Friday, February 29, 2008

It's 3:00 AM

B. Hussein Obama is having a cow over this ad because he knows that there's nothing in his background which recommends him to be the hand which picks up the phone. However this will backfire not only on Hillary but on the Democrat party because the answer that any sane American will have to the question asked, in the context of this election cycle, is John McCain.

If the only issue at stake in this election were the nation's short-term security McCain would not just be the best choice but the only choice.

Those of you who read this blog know that I hate John McCain with the blazing heat of a thousand suns, but honesty compels me to observe that the answer to the question asked in the ad is McCain.


McCain f**ks up and tells the truth.

Kings used to ride to war at the head of their army

LONDON, Feb. 28 -- Prince Harry has been fighting on the front lines in Afghanistan for 10 weeks, his presence there kept secret until Thursday in a remarkable deal between the British military and news media.

British military officials confirmed that Harry, 23, third in line to the British throne, deployed to Afghanistan on Dec. 14 and has been fighting Taliban forces from a forward operating base in southern Helmand province.

News of Harry's deployment immediately became sensational news here and rekindled an emotional debate about whether the red-haired second son of Prince Charles and Princess Diana should be risking his life in war.

When the news was posted Thursday on the Drudge Report Web site, British newspapers and television stations instantly rolled out extensive special reports on the first British royal to see combat since the Falklands War more than 25 years ago.

Those reports included lengthy taped interviews with Harry just before his deployment in December and last week at his Afghan base. Photos and video showed Harry firing a machine gun, patrolling on foot in full combat gear in an Afghan village and washing his socks in a camp sink.

"All my wishes have come true," Harry told reporters in last week's camp interview, wearing a brown military T-shirt and camouflage pants and noting that he had not showered in four days.

"It's very nice to be sort of a normal person for once; I think it's about as normal as I'm going to get," said Harry, now addressed with his rank as Cornet Wales. "It's much better being here experiencing it rather than hearing all the stories of people coming back."

"Prince Hal at last!" said Robert Lacey, a noted royal biographer, referring to Shakespeare's famous warrior prince.

Harry's military adventures have been tabloid fodder in Britain since last year, when military commanders decided to deploy him to Iraq, then changed their minds in the face of extensive publicity. Officials said Harry could too easily become an irresistible target for enemy forces, putting himself and his fellow soldiers at unnecessary risk.

In the December interview, one of the most extensive of his life, Harry said he considered leaving the army after being denied an Iraq deployment. The reason he didn't, he said, was "the possibility of this" mission to Afghanistan.

"I would never want to put someone else's life in danger when they have to sit next to the bullet magnet," he said. "But if I'm wanted, if I'm needed, then I will serve my country as I signed up to do."

Perhaps the most startling disclosure Thursday was not that Harry finally got his wish to see combat, but that Britain's famously feisty media agreed, en masse, to keep quiet about it.

Harry and his older brother, William, are tabloid favorites because of their youthful good looks, their status as sons of one of the world's most famous women and their appetite for late-night drinking sessions at London's most exclusive nightclubs.

The idea that Britain's diverse and highly competitive media outlets could keep a secret about anything struck many observers as remarkable -- particularly when that secret was England's favorite young hell-raising party boy.

"It makes me wonder what else is going on," said John Harmer, 30, a London office worker. "I don't think it can be the first time" that the media have agreed to keep information from the public.

Some wondered whether an agreement among leading media outlets to withhold information would damage the media's credibility. "One wonders whether viewers, readers and listeners will ever want to trust media bosses again," TV broadcaster Jon Snow wrote in his blog. "Or perhaps this was a courageous editorial decision to protect this fine young man?"

Prince Harry put on his country's uniform and served his nation in combat. He deserves the gratitude and respect of the British people. The British media did the right thing and they also deserve the gratitude and respect of the British people.

While the people certainly do have the right to know that a royal prince was sent to war they do not have the right to know it while he is still deployed and that knowledge would make him he entire focus of the enemies efforts, to either kill or better yet capture him.

While I wish no ill to his older brother William I believe that Harry would make a fine king one day.

Obama has the wrong facts but the right message

From Financial Times:

Until a few weeks ago Barack Obama’s economic platform was the most centrist of the three Democratic contenders remaining after John Edwards, the flag-bearer of the left, dropped out in late January.

Since Super Tuesday on February 5, that has changed. Scenting, perhaps, the chance of settling the nomination next week (when Ohio, Texas, Rhode Island and Vermont go to the polls), Mr Obama has indulged in a bidding war with Hillary Clinton to see who can rail most strongly against globalisation.

Campaign veterans say much of the rhetoric can be discounted as classic primary season politicking that will be diluted when it comes to the general election. But sympathetic economists have expressed concern about proposals Mr Obama has unveiled in the past two weeks since campaigning began in earnest to woo the workers of Ohio.

Last week Mr Obama came out against “open trucking” with Mexico in which freight lorries would drive across the border instead of unloading on to American trucks. His new stance coincided with the endorsement of the Teamsters union, which is opposed to competition in road freight.

In addition to attacking the North American Free Trade Agreement, which Mr Obama says has cost the US “millions of jobs”, both candidates have alarmed America’s neighbours by threatening to opt out of Nafta.

“Threatening to repudiate international agreements would have serious foreign policy consequences which would undermine Mr Obama’s broader foreign policy goals,” says Susan Aaronson, professor at George Washington university and a former adviser to Bill Richardson, who dropped out of the race in January. “Some of this may be normal pandering for the primaries. But it has gone much further than expected.”

Mr Obama’s proposal to levy lower corporate tax on companies that reverse the offshoring of jobs has caused disquiet. “Patriot employers” was unveiled when Mr Obama had already become the favourite to secure the nomination. Some say it is unworkable.

“It just isn’t clear why the Obama campaign felt the need to bring this out now,” one Democratic economist says. “It might have political merits in the primaries but there are many more effective and less bureaucratic ways than this to incentivise the creation of new jobs.”

Mr Obama’s terminology has also raised eyebrows. “What he is effectively saying is that companies that offshore jobs are unpatriotic,” says Gary Hufbauer, senior fellow at the Peterson Institute of International Economics. “This is serious language.”

Tacking to the left on the economy would be vindicated in the eyes of many if Mr Obama won in either Ohio or Texas next Tuesday. But officials on John McCain’s Republican campaign believe Mr Obama has given them ammunition for the general election.

Mr McCain, whose core selling point is strength on national security, has been mocked for a self-confessed weak grasp of economics and for having suggested last month that spending cuts should be part of any fiscal stimulus package – a measure that would further depress growth.

But advisers to Mr McCain believe that Mr Obama would present a juicy target as nominee. “We see him as a classic liberal whose proposals come straight out of the 1970s,” says Douglas Holtz-Eakin, senior McCain adviser. “It is hard to understand his stance on trade. Access to the US market is a vital element of our foreign policy.”

If Republican strategists think that they are going to be able to use Obama's positions on issues like this to frighten off voters in this election cycle I'm afraid that they are in for a nasty surprise.

I know a lot of people in this little corner of Western North Carolina who normally vote Republican - people who are church going Christians who want lower taxes and who support the military and want victory in Iraq - who are planning to vote for Obama because of economic issues like this.

They believe that cheap Chinese imports and trade deals like NAFTA are killing the economy of the region, taking their jobs and shipping them overseas and taking food out of their children's mouths. They also see Mexicans flooding the area and taking the jobs which are left. Promising to withdraw from NAFTA and prevent cheap Chinese textile imports from finishing off the few textile mills that still survive in the South and not letting Mexican truck drivers take jobs away from US truck drivers is not going to cost B. Hussein Obama one vote in this region.

Of course the nation is better off as a whole with free trade but any economic change will bring some disruption and cause some pain and the pain is easier to see than the benefits.

I'm not suggesting that the Republicans pander to the left on economic issues. That would do more harm than good. What I am saying is that Republicans need to understand that there are some arguments that they are not going to win even if they are right. Obama is telling a large segment of the voting public what it desperately wants to believe. If McCain tells them that Obama is wrong they will not believe him. Instead they will think he has "sold out" to the international corporations. If McCain proves to the people that he is right and Obama is wrong the people will hate him for it because people hate having their world view convulsed and their most cherished illusions shattered.

During this election cycle with the mood of the nation what it is Republicans have one thing going for them and that is the issue of national security. If they can convince the public that the threat of terrorism trumps every other concern they can win the White House - maybe.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Clinton to withdraw?

No, we're not talking about Bill's preferred method of birth control. . .

A couple of days ago Rush Limbaugh mentioned a rumor which he had heard that Hillary Clinton's internal polling was so bad for her in Texas and Ohio that she was going to announce her withdrawal from the race on Friday afternoon.

Rush said that the reports were coming to him from reliable sources but that there was no substantiation. In that spirit I offer them to you.

Be on the lookout for news from the Clinton campaign tomorrow, but don't be disappointed if nothing actually materializes.

Tonight's Music

In honor of the new Iron Man movie here is Black Sabbath's Iron Man. Look at how young Ozzie Osborne is here.

Iron Man comes to the big screen

I used to love Marvel comics and my favorite was Iron Man. There is an Iron Man movie due out in May which looks like it will be very cool. Here is a trailer:

Iron Man Exclusive Trailer

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Not all Anglican bishops are nuts, just most of them

From Front Page Magazine:

In January, Church of England Bishop of Rochester Michael Nazir-Ali ignited Islamic protests when he asserted that some areas of British cities have become “no-go” zones for non-Muslims.

Now under police protection after receiving death threats, Nazir-Ali refused to back down this past Sunday in an interview with The Telegraph of Britain. The ethnically Pakistani Nazir-Ali has also criticized the remarks earlier this month by his superior, the Archbishop of Canterbury, who suggested Islamic law possibly should have civil authority in Britain .

Nazir-Ali asked The Sunday Telegraph: "Do the British people really want to lose that rooting in the Christian faith that has given them everything they cherish - art, literature, architecture, institutions, the monarchy, their value system, their laws?"

After the initial flare-up responding to his January comments, the Bishop of Rochester responded on his website: "The purpose of my article was to point out that the best way for welcoming and integrating newer arrivals in this country should have been a Christian vision of hospitality and not the secular policy of multi-culturalism which has led to such disastrous consequences."

[. . .]

Nazir-Ali’s father was a convert from Islam to Christianity, a decision that could have resulted in his death in Pakistan . After himself becoming an Anglican bishop in Pakistan at age 35, Nazir-Ali had to resettle in Britain because of Islamist death threats. So this bishop has few illusions about the threat posed by creeping Islamization. Nor is he a stranger to the possibly lethal consequences of challenging radical Islam.

"If you disagree, that must be met by counter-arguments, not by trying to silence people,” he explained to The Telegraph about the latest dangers his remarks have aroused. “It was a threat not just to me, but to my family. I took it seriously, so did the police. It gave me sleepless nights."

For many of Britain ’s cultural and religious elites, Britain’s Islamic minority is merely an opportunity to burnish their multicultural credentials and atone for the real and imagined sins of Christendom across the centuries. Just as British appeasers of 70 years ago sanctimoniously believed themselves virtuous because of their zeal to accommodate fascism, today’s multiculturalists are smugly blind. They want to pretend that radical Islam will neatly fit into their dreams of a beautiful social mosaic. They are loath to admit that multiculturalism is the hobby of Western liberals, who can freely enjoy their hobby only thanks to Western concepts of tolerance. That which they seek to appease in fact would ultimately smash their rainbow kaleidoscope, if permitted the power.

"The recovery of Christian discourse in the public life of this nation is so important,” Nazir-Ali told The Telegraph. “It's that discourse that will allow us in a genuine way to be hospitable to those who come here from different cultures and religions." Having come from the Global South, the Bishop of Rochester knows that humanity is overwhelmingly religious by nature. Europe ’s brief flirtation with aggressive secularism will not persist. "The real danger to Britain today is the spiritual and moral vacuum that has occurred for the last 40 or 50 years,” the bishop warned. “When you have such a moral vacuum something will fill it.”

Nazir-Ali prefers Britain ’s historic religious traditions to the traditions of his native Pakistan : "If people are not given a fresh way of understanding what it means to be a Christian and what it means to be a Christian-based society then something else may well take the place of all that we're used to and that could be Islam."

The Telegraph reported that many Church of England clerics rallied to defend their chief prelate, Rowan Williams, when he was criticized around the world for his voluminous pontifications about possible civil recognition of Islamic Law. Few senior prelates offered a similarly robust defense of Nazir-Ali, despite the death threats against him.

"I don't court popularity,” Nazir-Ali told The Telegraph. “If I say something it's because I think it's important enough to say it.” But he is perplexed by the reluctance of other British bishops to address the Islamization of some British cities that even some British civil authorities openly acknowledge: "I can't guess why they haven't talked on the issue. I'm not responsible for other people's consciences." When The Telegraph asked if Britain’s religious officials are silent due to cowardice, the Bishop of Rochester responded: "You'd have to ask them."

Nazir-Ali told The Telegraph that Islamist teachings about polygamy, women’s rights and freedom of belief would undermine British civil concepts about equality: "People of every faith should be free within the law to follow what their spiritual leaders direct them to, but that's very different from saying their structures should replace that of the English legal system because there would be huge conflicts."

The Bishop of Rochester speaks clearly when many of his fellow Church of England clerics, presiding over empty museum-churches, prefer to obfuscate. But having fled his native land once in the face of Islamist threats, Nazir-Ali seems undeterred.

Islam is the fastest growing religion in Europe not only because of immigration from Muslim countries and the high Muslim birthrate but because the bankrupt secularism of European culture is being rejected by a population who ache to fill the spiritual void left by the abandonment of Christianity. Islam grows because it appears to be strong and vibrant and its followers are full of certitude.

Of course the picture is not completely bleak. Evangelical Christianity is the second fastest growing religion in Europe as some Europeans seek to reconnect with what it was that made European civilization great to begin with.

McCain loses another potential supporter

Another conservative has looked at John McCain and decided that keeping the White House isn't worth selling his soul. JB's Corner has stepped up and joined the Dump McCain Now! blogroll. Welcome aboard.

Q: Why do so many McCain supporters have beards?
A: Because it's hard to shave when you can't stand to look at yourself in the mirror.

McCain is not only evil, he is a hypocrite

One thing you can count on George Will to do is tell the truth as he sees it without regard to party sensibilities:

Certain kinds of conservatives, distrusting Richard Nixon's ideological elasticity, rejected him — until 1973. Although it had become clear that his administration was a crime wave, they embraced him because the media were his tormentors. Today such conservatives, whose political compasses are controlled, albeit negatively, by the New York Times, have embraced John McCain. He, although no stickler about social niceties (see below), should thank the Times, for two reasons

First, the Times muddied, with unsubstantiated sexual innuendo about a female lobbyist, a story about McCain's flights on jets owned by corporations with business before the Senate Commerce Committee, and his meeting with a broadcaster (McCain at first denied it happened; the broadcaster insists it did, and McCain now agrees) who sought and received McCain's help in pressuring the Federal Communications Commission. Perhaps McCain did nothing corrupt, but he promiscuously accuses others of corruption, or the "appearance" thereof. And he insists that the appearance of corruption justifies laws criminalizing political behavior — e.g., broadcasting an electioneering communication that "refers to" a federal candidate during the McCain-Feingold blackout period close to an election.

McCain should thank the Times also because its semi-steamy story distracted attention from an unsavory story about McCain's dexterity in gaming the system for taxpayer financing of campaigns. Last summer, when his mismanagement of his campaign left it destitute, he applied for public funding, which entails spending limits. He seemed to promise to use tax dollars as partial collateral for a bank loan.

There are two ways for a candidate to get on Ohio's primary ballot — comply with complex, expensive rules for gathering signatures or simply be certified to receive taxpayer funding. McCain's major Republican rivals did the former. He did the latter.

Democrats, whose attachment to campaign reforms is as episodic as McCain's, argue that having made such uses of promised matching funds, McCain is committed to taking them and abiding by spending limits — which would virtually silence his campaign until the September convention. This would be condign punishment for his argument that restricting spending does not restrict speech. But Bradley Smith offers him some support.

When Smith chaired the Federal Election Commission, he voiced skepticism about the wisdom and constitutionality of aspects of McCain-Feingold's campaign regulations. McCain responded characteristically, impugning Smith's character. When, at a 2004 Senate hearing, Smith nevertheless extended his hand to McCain, McCain refused to shake it.

Smith, behaving honorably toward someone who does not reciprocate civilities, today says McCain has an arguable case that, not having cashed any public checks, he should be released from his commitment and the spending ceiling. The FEC must decide, but it cannot act because it lacks a quorum.
Normally it has six members, three from each party. Three members — two Democrats and one Republican — were recess appointments whose terms have expired. Senate Republicans are prepared to confirm all three — plus the confirmation of David Mason for a new term as chairman — to six-year terms, but Barack Obama and three other Democrats are blocking confirmation of the Republican, Hans von Spakovsky.

Von Spakovsky is as skeptical as Smith is about the entanglement of politics in regulations for which McCain is primarily responsible. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, refusing to surrender the settled principle that each party chooses its FEC members, insists that all four be voted on as a package.

McCain, although rarely reticent about matters concerning campaign regulations, has said nothing in defense of von Spakovsky, the campaign against whom has been led by the Campaign Legal Center, whose president is Trevor Potter, general counsel of the McCain campaign.

In 2001, McCain, a situational ethicist regarding "big money" in politics, founded the Reform Institute to lobby for his agenda of campaign restrictions. It accepted large contributions, some of six figures, from corporations with business before the Commerce Committee (e.g., Echosphere, DISH Network, Cablevision Systems Corp., a charity funded by the head of Univision). The Reform Institute's leadership included Potter and two others who are senior advisers in McCain's campaign, Rick Davis and Carla Eudy.

Although his campaign is run by lobbyists; and although his dealings with lobbyists have generated what he, when judging the behavior of others, calls corrupt appearances; and although he has profited from his manipulation of the taxpayer-funding system that is celebrated by reformers — still, he probably is innocent of insincerity. Such is his towering moral vanity, he seems sincerely to consider it theoretically impossible for him to commit the offenses of appearances that he incessantly ascribes to others.

Such certitude is, however, not merely an unattractive trait. It is disturbing righteousness in someone grasping for presidential powers.

I believe that Mr. Will misspoke. McCain's problem is not "righteousness" but self-righteousness.

I continue to take great pleasure in the fact that McCain is having difficulty with the speech restricting laws which he considers his greatest achievement.

It is these incidents of seemingly spontaneous justice which continually reaffirm my faith in a just God.

Well it wasn't meant to actually work, so who cares?

From The Washington Post:

The Bush administration has scaled back plans to quickly build a "virtual fence" along the U.S.-Mexico border, delaying completion of the first phase of the project by at least three years and shifting away from a network of tower-mounted sensors and surveillance gear, federal officials said yesterday.

Technical problems discovered in a 28-mile pilot project south of Tucson prompted the change in plans, Department of Homeland Security officials and congressional auditors told a House subcommittee.

Though the department took over that initial stretch Friday from Boeing, authorities confirmed that Project 28, the initial deployment of the Secure Border Initiative network, did not work as planned or meet the needs of the U.S. Border Patrol.

The announcement marked a major setback for what President Bush in May 2006 called "the most technologically advanced border security initiative in American history." The virtual fence was to be a key component of his proposed overhaul of U.S. immigration policies, which died last year in the Senate.

Investigators for the Government Accountability Office had earlier warned that the effort was beset by both expected and unplanned difficulties. But yesterday, they disclosed new troubles that will require a redesign and said the first phase will not be completed until near the end of the next president's first term.

Those problems included Boeing's use of inappropriate commercial software, designed for use by police dispatchers, to integrate data related to illicit border-crossings. Boeing has already been paid $20.6 million for the pilot project, and in December, the DHS gave the firm another $65 million to replace the software with military-style, battle management software.

In an interview, Gregory L. Giddens, the department's executive director for the border effort, confirmed that "we . . . have delayed our deployment as we work through the issues on Project 28. While there is clear urgency of the mission, we also want to make sure we do this right."

Boeing has said that the initial effort, while flawed, still has helped Homeland Security apprehend 2,000 illegal immigrants since September. It estimated in 2006 that it would spend $7.6 billion through 2011 to secure the entire 2,000-mile southern border, an ambition that was meant to win support from conservatives for legislation creating a guest-worker program and a path to legalization for 12 million illegal immigrants.

But officials said yesterday that they now expect to complete the first phase of the virtual fence's deployment -- roughly 100 miles near Tucson and Yuma, Ariz., and El Paso, Tex. -- by the end of 2011, instead of by the end of 2008. That target falls outside Boeing's initial contract, which will end in September 2009 but can be extended.

The virtual fence was to complement a physical fence that the administration now says will include 370 miles of pedestrian fencing and 300 miles of vehicle barriers to be completed by the end of this year. The GAO said this portion of the project may also be delayed and that its total cost cannot be determined. The president's 2009 budget does not propose funds to add fencing beyond the 700 or so miles meant to be completed this year.

"The total cost is not yet known," testified Richard M. Stana, the GAO's director of homeland security issues, because DHS officials "do not yet know the type of terrain where the fencing is to be constructed, the materials to be used, or the cost to acquire the land."

The pilot virtual fence included nine mobile towers, radar, cameras, and vehicles retrofitted with laptops and satellite phones or handheld devices. They were to be linked to a near-real-time, maplike projection of the frontier that agents could use to track targets and direct law enforcement resources.

GAO investigators said that Boeing's software could not process large amounts of sensor data. The resulting delays made it hard for operators in a Tucson command center 65 miles to the north to lock cameras on targets. Radar systems were also triggered inadvertently by rain and other environmental factors. Cameras had trouble resolving images at five kilometers when they were expected to work at twice that distance, Stana said.

He added that the system was developed with "minimal input" from Border Patrol agents, resulting in an unworkable "demonstration project" instead of a operating pilot system. He blamed the DHS for acting too hastily in trying to deliver a working pilot by last June.

The effort produced "a product that did not fully meet user needs, and the project's design will not be used as the basis for future . . . development," Stana testified, adding that the DHS plans to replace most of the components. The Wall Street Journal said Saturday that Boeing's pilot project will not be replicated.

A nongovernment source familiar with the project said that the Bush administration's push to speed the project during last year's immigration debate led Boeing to deploy equipment without enough testing or consultation.

With more time, the source said, equipment and software will be tested more carefully and integrated with input from Border Patrol agents in three remote locations. "Doing it this way mitigates all kinds of risk," said the source, who was not authorized to speak publicly. Those running the project "basically took equipment, put it on towers and put it out there without any testing as such" because of the tight deadline.

Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff said Friday that the department will "take elements" of the pilot project and apply them elsewhere, but that it plans to expand the number of mobile ground surveillance units from a handful to 40, and to double its fleet of three unmanned aerial vehicles. Boeing has offered DHS a $2 million credit from the funds it has already received.

Technology at the border is "not necessarily going to be in the configuration of P28," Chertoff said, adding that unmanned aerial systems in particular "will play a major role" in most border areas.

Boeing spokeswoman Deborah Bosick said the company is referring all questions to the DHS.

So what they're really saying is that the whole thing was rammed through as a show to try to fool all the bigoted racist redneck hillbillies who oppose amnesty and now it's falling apart.

And none of this even touches the biggest problem with a "virtual fence" which is that all the virtual fence does is alert the Border Patrol to the fact that someone is crossing. They then have to go pick the illegals up after they have already crossed and bring them before a judge. The illegals will get a court date, because nobody can be kicked out of the US, even an illegal caught red-handed sneaking over the border, without getting his day in court. Since there isn't room to keep all the illegals caught trying to cross the border locked up, or the funds to feed them and provide for their other basic needs in the BP's budget, they will be released after promising to report back for their court date.

Of course nothing is ever seen of them again until they are picked up in an ICE raid in Tacoma or Charlotte or Pittsburgh. Or until they get busted for raping some 12-year-old girl or get drunk and ram their car into a mini-van killing an entire family.

On the day that the president of the United States is willing give up the physical barriers that surround the White House and give up the small army of Secret Service agents who physically estcourt him wherever he goes in favor of a virtual security system I consider protecting our borders with one. Until that day, however, I insist on a physical fence backed up with all the camera towers and radars and UAV and the other stuff.

Miss Ann is talking

That means that YOU are listening!

William F. Buckley was the original enfant terrible.

As with Ronald Reagan, everyone prefers to remember great men when they weren't being great, but later, when they were being admired. Having changed the world, there came a point when Buckley no longer needed to shock it.

But to call Buckley an "enfant terrible" and then to recall only his days as a grandee is like calling a liberal actress "courageous." Back in the day, Buckley truly was courageous. I prefer to remember the Buckley who scandalized to the bien-pensant.

Other tributes will contain the obvious quotes about demanding a recount if he won the New York mayoral election and trusting the first 100 names in the Boston telephone book more than the Harvard faculty. I shall revel in the "terrible" aspects of the enfant terrible.

Buckley's first book,
God and Man at Yale, was met with the usual thoughtful critiques of anyone who challenges the liberal establishment. Frank Ashburn wrote in the Saturday Review: "The book is one which has the glow and appeal of a fiery cross on a hillside at night. There will undoubtedly be robed figures who gather to it, but the hoods will not be academic. They will cover the face."

The president of Yale sent alumni thousands of copies of McGeorge Bundy's review of the book from the Atlantic Monthly calling Buckley a "twisted and ignorant young man." Other reviews bordered on the hyperbolic. One critic simply burst into tears, then transcribed his entire crying jag word for word.

Buckley's next book,
McCarthy and His Enemies, written with L. Brent Bozell, proved that normal people didn't have to wait for the Venona Papers to be declassified to see that the Democratic Party was collaborating with fascists. The book -- and the left's reaction thereto -- demonstrated that liberals could tolerate a communist sympathizer, but never a Joe McCarthy sympathizer.

Relevant to Republicans' predicament today, National Review did not endorse a candidate for president in 1956, correctly concluding that Dwight Eisenhower was not a conservative, however great a military leader he had been. In his defense, Ike never demanded that camps housing enemy detainees be closed down.

Nor would National Review endorse liberal Republican Richard Nixon, waiting until 1964 to enthusiastically support a candidate for president who had no hope of winning. Barry Goldwater, though given the right things to say -- often by Buckley or Bozell, who wrote Goldwater's
Conscience of a Conservative -- was not particularly bright.

But the Goldwater candidacy, Buckley believed, would provide "the well-planted seeds of hope," eventually fulfilled by Ronald Reagan. Goldwater was sort of the army ant on whose body Reagan walked to greatness. Thanks, Barry. When later challenged on Reagan's intellectual stature, Buckley said: "Of course, he will always tend to reach first for an anecdote. But then, so does the New Testament."

With liberal Republicans still bothering everyone even after Reagan, Buckley went all out against liberal Republican Sen. Lowell P. Weicker Jr. When Democrat Joe Lieberman challenged Weicker for the Senate in 1988, National Review ran an article subtly titled: "Does Lowell Weicker Make You Sick?"

Buckley started a political action committee to support Lieberman, explaining, "We want to pass the word that it's OK to vote for the other guy or stay at home." The good thing about Lieberman, Buckley said, was that he "doesn't have the tendency of appalling you every time he opens his mouth."

That same year, when the radical chic composer Leonard Bernstein complained about the smearing of the word "liberal," Buckley replied: "Lenny does not realize that one of the reasons the 'L' word is discredited is that it was handled by such as Leonard Bernstein." The composer was so unnerved by this remark that, just to cheer himself up, he invited several extra Black Panthers to his next cocktail party.

When Arthur Schlesinger Jr. objected to his words being used as a jacket-flap endorsement on one of Buckley's books in 1963, Buckley replied by telegram:


In a famous exchange with Gore Vidal in 1968, Vidal said to Buckley: "As far as I am concerned, the only crypto Nazi I can think of is yourself."

Buckley replied: "Now listen, you queer. Stop calling me a crypto Nazi, or I'll sock you in your goddamn face and you'll stay plastered."

Years later, in 1985, Buckley said of the incident: "We both acted irresponsibly. I'm not a Nazi, but he is, I suppose, a fag."

Writing in defense of the rich in 1967, Buckley said: "My guess is, that the last man to corner the soybean market, whoever he was, put at least as much time and creative energy into the cornering of it as, say, Norman Mailer put into his latest novel and produced something far more bearable -- better a rise in the price of soybeans than 'Why Are We in Vietnam?'" (For you kids out there, Norman Mailer was an America-hating drunkard who wrote books.)

Some of Buckley's best lines were uttered in court during a lengthy libel trial in the '80s against National Review brought by the Liberty Lobby, which was then countersued by National Review. (The Liberty Lobby lost and NR won.)

Irritated by attorney Mark Lane's questions, Buckley asked the judge: "Your Honor, when he asks a ludicrous question, how am I supposed to behave?"

In response to another of Lane's questions, Buckley said: "I decline to answer that question; it's too stupid."

When asked if he had "referred to Jesse Jackson as an ignoramus," Buckley said, "If I didn't, I should have."

Buckley may have been a conservative celebrity, but there was a lot more to him than a bow tie and a sailboat.

Miss Ann already misses the great man.

Tonight's Music

An Irish band called Owen's playing at a pub in Paris.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

We're so screwed

From The Asia Times Online:

"Cherchez la femme," advised Alexander Dumas in: "When you want to uncover an unspecified secret, look for the woman." In the case of Barack Obama, we have two: his late mother, the went-native anthropologist Ann Dunham, and his rancorous wife Michelle. Obama's women reveal his secret: he hates America.

We know less about Senator Obama than about any prospective president in American history. His uplifting rhetoric is empty, as Hillary Clinton helplessly protests. His career bears no trace of his own character, not an article for the Harvard Law Review he

edited, or a single piece of legislation. He appears to be an empty vessel filled with the wishful thinking of those around him. But there is a real Barack Obama. No man - least of all one abandoned in infancy by his father - can conceal the imprint of an impassioned mother, or the influence of a brilliant wife.

America is not the embodiment of hope, but the abandonment of one kind of hope in return for another. America is the spirit of creative destruction, selecting immigrants willing to turn their back on the tragedy of their own failing culture in return for a new start. Its creative success is so enormous that its global influence hastens the decline of other cultures. For those on the destruction side of the trade, America is a monster. Between half and nine-tenths of the world's 6,700 spoken languages will become extinct in the next century, and the anguish of dying peoples rises up in a global cry of despair. Some of those who listen to this cry become anthropologists, the curators of soon-to-be extinct cultures; anthropologists who really identify with their subjects marry them. Obama's mother, the University of Hawaii anthropologist Ann Dunham, did so twice.

Obama profiles Americans the way anthropologists interact with primitive peoples. He holds his own view in reserve and emphatically draws out the feelings of others; that is how friends and colleagues describe his modus operandi since his days at the Harvard Law Review, through his years as a community activist in Chicago, and in national politics. Anthropologists, though, proceed from resentment against the devouring culture of America and sympathy with the endangered cultures of the primitive world. Obama inverts the anthropological model: he applies the tools of cultural manipulation out of resentment against America. The probable next president of the United States is a mother's revenge against the America she despised.

Ann Dunham died in 1995, and her character emerges piecemeal from the historical record, to which I will return below. But Michelle Obama is a living witness. Her February 18 comment that she felt proud of her country for the first time caused a minor scandal, and was hastily qualified. But she meant it, and more. The video footage of her remarks shows eyes hooded with rage as she declares:

For the first time in my adult lifetime, I am really proud of my country and not
just because Barack has done well, but because I think people are hungry for
change. And I have been desperate to see our country moving in that direction
and just not feeling so alone in my frustration and disappointment.
The desperation, frustration and disappointment visible on Michelle Obama's face are not new to the candidate's wife; as Steve Sailer, Rod Dreher and other commentators have noted, they were the theme of her undergraduate thesis, on the subject of "blackness" at Princeton University. No matter what the good intentions of Princeton, which founded her fortunes as a well-paid corporate lawyer, she wrote, "My experiences at Princeton have made me far more aware of my 'Blackness' than ever before. I have found that at Princeton no matter how liberal and open-minded some of my White professors and classmates try to be toward me, I sometimes feel like a visitor on campus; as if I really don't belong."

Never underestimate the influence of a wife who bitch-slaps her husband in public. Early in Obama's campaign, Michelle Obama could not restrain herself from belittling the senator. "I have some difficulty reconciling the two images I have of Barack Obama. There's Barack Obama the phenomenon. He's an amazing orator, Harvard Law Review, or whatever it was, law professor, best-selling author, Grammy winner. Pretty amazing, right? And then there's the Barack Obama that lives with me in my house, and that guy's a little less impressive," she told a fundraiser in February 2007.

"For some reason this guy still can't manage to put the butter up when he makes toast, secure the bread so that it doesn't get stale, and his five-year-old is still better at making the bed than he is." New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd reported at the time, "She added that the TV version of Barack Obama sounded really interesting and that she'd like to meet him sometime." Her handlers have convinced her to be more tactful since then.

"Frustration" and "disappointment" have dogged Michelle Obama these past 20 years, despite her US$300,000 a year salary and corporate board memberships. It is hard for the descendants of slaves not to resent America. They were not voluntary immigrants but kidnap victims, subjected to a century of second-class citizenship even after the Civil War ended slavery. Blackness is not the issue; General Colin Powell, whose parents chose to immigrate to America from the West Indies, saw America just as other immigrants do, as a land of opportunity. Obama's choice of wife is a failsafe indicator of his own sentiments. Spouses do not necessarily share their likes, but they must have their hatreds in common. Obama imbibed this hatred with his mother's milk.

Michelle Obama speaks with greater warmth of her mother-in-law than of her husband. "She was kind of a dreamer, his mother," Michelle Obama was quoted in the January 25 Boston Globe. "She wanted the world to be open to her and her children. And as a result of her naivete, sometimes they lived on food stamps, because sometimes dreams don't pay the rent. But as a result of her naivete, Barack got to see the world like most of us don't in this country." How strong the ideological motivation must be of a mother to raise her children on the thin fair in pursuit of a political agenda.

"Naivete" is a euphemism for Ann Dunham's motivation. Friends describe her as a "fellow traveler", that is, a communist sympathizer, from her youth, according to a March 27, 2007, Chicago Tribune report. Many Americans harbor leftist views, but not many marry into them, twice. Ann Dunham met and married the Kenyan economics student Barack Obama, Sr, at the University of Hawaii in 1960, and in 1967 married the Indonesian student Lolo Soetero. It is unclear why Soetero's student visa was revoked in 1967 - the fact but not the cause are noted in press accounts. But it is probable that the change in government in Indonesia in 1967, in which the leftist leader Sukarno was deposed, was the motivation.

Soetero had been sponsored as a graduate student by one of the most radical of all Third World governments. Sukarno had founded the so-called Non-Aligned Movement as an anti-colonialist turn at the 1955 Bandung Conference in Indonesia. Before deposing him in 1967, Indonesia's military slaughtered 500,000 communists (or unfortunates who were mistaken for communists). When Ann Dunham chose to follow Lolo Soetero to Indonesia in 1967, she brought the six-year-old Barack into the kitchen of anti-colonialist outrage, immediate following one of the worst episodes of civil violence in post-war history.

[. . .]

Barack Obama is a clever fellow who imbibed hatred of America with his mother's milk, but worked his way up the elite ladder of education and career. He shares the resentment of Muslims against the encroachment of American culture, although not their religion. He has the empathetic skill set of an anthropologist who lives with his subjects, learns their language, and elicits their hopes and fears while remaining at emotional distance. That is, he is the political equivalent of a sociopath. The difference is that he is practicing not on a primitive tribe but on the population of the United States.

There is nothing mysterious about Obama's methods. "A demagogue tries to sound as stupid as his audience so that they will think they are as clever as he is," wrote Karl Krauss. Americans are the world's biggest suckers, and laugh at this weakness in their popular culture. Listening to Obama speak, Sinclair Lewis' cynical tent-revivalist Elmer Gantry comes to mind, or, even better, Tyrone Power's portrayal of a carnival mentalist in the 1947 film noire Nightmare Alley. The latter is available for instant viewing at Netflix, and highly recommended as an antidote to having felt uplifted by an Obama speech.

America has the great misfortune to have encountered Obama at the peak of his powers at its worst moment of vulnerability in a generation. With malice aforethought, he has sought out their sore point.

Since the Ronald Reagan boom began in 1984, the year the American stock market doubled, Americans have enjoyed a quarter-century of rising wealth. Even the collapse of the Internet bubble in 2000 did not interrupt the upward trajectory of household assets, as the housing price boom eclipsed the effect of equity market weakness. America's success made it a magnet for the world's savings, and Americans came to believe that they were riding a boom that would last forever, as I wrote recently [1].

Americans regard upward mobility as a God-given right. America had a double founding, as David Hackett Fischer showed in his 1989 study, Albion's Seed . Two kinds of immigrants founded America: religious dissidents seeking a new Promised Land, and economic opportunists looking to get rich quick. Both elements still are present, but the course of the past quarter-century has made wealth-creation the sine qua non of American life. Now for the first time in a generation Americans have become poorer, and many of them have become much poorer due to the collapse of home prices. Unlike the Reagan years, when cutting the top tax rate from a punitive 70% to a more tolerable 40% was sufficient to start an economic boom, no lever of economic policy is available to fix the problem. Americans have no choice but to work harder, retire later, save more and retrench.

This reversal has provoked a national mood of existential crisis. In Europe, economic downturns do not inspire this kind of soul-searching, for richer are poorer, remain what they always have been. But Americans are what they make of themselves, and the slim makings of 2008 shake their sense of identity. Americans have no institutionalized culture to fall back on. Their national religion has consisted of waves of enthusiasm - "Great Awakenings" – every second generation or so, followed by an interim of apathy. In times of stress they have a baleful susceptibility to hucksters and conmen.

Be afraid - be very afraid. America is at a low point in its fortunes, and feeling sorry for itself. When Barack utters the word "hope", they instead hear, "handout". A cynic might translate the national motto, E pluribus unum, as "something for nothing". Now that the stock market and the housing market have failed to give Americans something for nothing, they want something for nothing from the government. The trouble is that he who gets something for nothing will earn every penny of it, twice over.

"Evil will oft evil mars", J R R Tolkien wrote. It is conceivable that Barack Obama, if elected, will destroy himself before he destroys the country. Hatred is a toxic diet even for someone with as strong a stomach as Obama. As he recalled in his 1995 autobiography, Dreams From My Father, Obama idealized the Kenyan economist who had married and dumped his mother, and was saddened to learn that Barack Hussein Obama, Sr, was a sullen, drunken polygamist. The elder Obama became a senior official of the government of Kenya after earning a PhD at Harvard. He was an abusive drunk and philanderer whose temper soured his career.

The senior Obama died in a 1982 car crash. Kenyan government officials in those days normally spent their nights drinking themselves stupid at the Pan-Afrique Hotel. Two or three of them would be found with their Mercedes wrapped around a palm tree every morning. During the 1970s I came to know a number of them, mostly British-educated hollow men dying inside of their own hypocrisy and corruption.

Both Obama and the American public should be very careful of what they wish for. As the horrible example of Obama's father shows, there is nothing worse for an embittered outsider manipulating the system from within than to achieve his goals - and nothing can be more terrible for the system. Even those who despise America for its blunders of the past few years should ask themselves whether the world will be a safer place if America retreats into a self-pitying shell.

As I said yesterday, Obama hates America.

Some people may be wondering why, given all this, I don't support John McCain as the lesser evil. The answer is simple. Men like Obama are common in the Democrat party. If we defeat Obama in 2008 he or someone just as bad will be there in 2012 and again in 2016 and again in 2020 and so on into the future. The only way to beat them back consistently is to have a strong and committed conservative movement in control of the Republican party.

John McCain is dedicated to the destruction of conservatism and if he is elected he will do everything in his power to turn the GOP into a moderate to liberal organization in his own image (remember the sitting president runs the party and places his own hand-picked people in leadership positions).

After four or even eight years of "leadership" by McCain the Republican party will be a hollow shell unable to beat back the next Obama or Clinton to come down the pike. The future presidents will be one sorry leftist after another until America collapses into bankruptcy and chaos.

Those of us who understand the danger which McCain represents to the survival of the Republic and are attempting to save the GOP from itself are being attacked by timid and short-sighted fellow Republicans who have so given in to their fears that they can't see beyond the November elections. Like lifeguards being pummeled by the panicked person we are attempting to save from drowning we have no choice but to soldier on.

Since I can't vote for McCain and I can't vote for either Obama or Clinton what am I going to do in November? I am going to the polls and vote for every Republican on the ballot who isn't an outright enemy of the conservative movement. I'm going to vote for Elizabeth Dole for Senate. She isn't the perfect conservative, but she has not made it her mission to destroy conservatism. I am going to vote for Patrick McHenry, a 100% across the board conservative who is one of the best men in the House of Representatives. I'm going to vote for conservatives in the NC state government and in local races.

I urge all of you to do the exact same thing. Leave the top of the ticket blank and vote for real Republicans for House, Senate and state and local races.

If we keep a conservative minority in the Senate large enough to sustain a filibuster we can stop major portions of the liberal-left agenda dead in its tracks. That means no amnesty for illegal aliens. No socialised medicine. No ruinous tax increases and no disasterous cuts in the military budget. Yes we will lose ground but the damage will not be fatal to the nation.

Someone's been watching too much TV

Increasingly autonomous, gun-totting robots developed for warfare could easily fall into the hands of terrorists and may one day unleash a robot arms race, a top expert on artificial intelligence told AFP.

"They pose a threat to humanity," said University of Sheffield professor Noel Sharkey ahead of a keynote address Wednesday before Britain's Royal United Services Institute.

Intelligent machines deployed on battlefields around the world -- from mobile grenade launchers to rocket-firing drones -- can already identify and lock onto targets without human help.

There are more than 4,000 US military robots on the ground in Iraq, as well as unmanned aircraft that have clocked hundreds of thousands of flight hours.

The first three armed combat robots fitted with large-caliber machine guns deployed to Iraq last summer, manufactured by US arms maker Foster-Miller, proved so successful that 80 more are on order, said Sharkey.

But up to now, a human hand has always been required to push the button or pull the trigger.

It we are not careful, he said, that could change.

Military leaders "are quite clear that they want autonomous robots as soon as possible, because they are more cost-effective and give a risk-free war," he said.

Several countries, led by the United States, have already invested heavily in robot warriors developed for use on the battlefield.

South Korea and Israel both deploy armed robot border guards, while China, India, Russia and Britain have all increased the use of military robots.

Washington plans to spend four billion dollars by 2010 on unmanned technology systems, with total spending expected rise to 24 billion, according to the Department of Defense's Unmanned Systems Roadmap 2007-2032, released in December.

James Canton, an expert on technology innovation and CEO of the Institute for Global Futures, predicts that deployment within a decade of detachments that will include 150 soldiers and 2,000 robots.

The use of such devices by terrorists should be a serious concern, said Sharkey.

Captured robots would not be difficult to reverse engineer, and could easily replace suicide bombers as the weapon-of-choice. "I don't know why that has not happened already," he said.

But even more worrisome, he continued, is the subtle progression from the semi-autonomous military robots deployed today to fully independent killing machines.

"I have worked in artificial intelligence for decades, and the idea of a robot making decisions about human termination terrifies me," Sharkey said.

Some people need to have a glass of warm milk and a nap. Terminator was just a movie, well actually a series of movies and a TV show, but youi get the point.

William F. Buckley 1925 - 2008

You have doubtless herd by now that the great William F. Buckley, Jr. has passed. Here is the statement issued by the editors of Naional Review:

Our revered founder, William F. Buckley Jr., died in his study this morning.

If ever an institution were the lengthened shadow of one man, this publication is his. So we hope it will not be thought immodest for us to say that Buckley has had more of an impact on the political life of this country — and a better one — than some of our presidents. He created modern conservatism as an intellectual and then a political movement. He kept it from drifting into the fever swamps. And he gave it a wit, style, and intelligence that earned the respect and friendship even of his adversaries. (To know Buckley was to be reminded that certain people have a talent for friendship.)

He inspired and incited three generations of conservatives, and counting. He retained his intellectual and literary vitality to the end; even in his final years he was capable of the arresting formulation, the unpredictable insight. He presided over NR even in his “retirement,” which was more active than most people’s careers. It has been said that great men are rarely good men. Even more rarely are they sweet and merry, as Buckley was.

When Buckley started National Review — in 1955, at the age of 29 — it was not at all obvious that anti-Communists, traditionalists, constitutionalists, and enthusiasts for free markets would all be able to take shelter under the same tent. Nor was it obvious that all of these groups, even gathered together, would be able to prevail over what seemed at the time to be an inexorable collectivist tide. When Buckley wrote that the magazine would “stand athwart history yelling, ‘Stop!’” his point was to challenge the idea that history, with a capital H, pointed left. Mounting that challenge was the first step toward changing history’s direction. Which would come in due course.

Before he was a conservative, Buckley was devoted to his family and his Church. He is survived by his son Christopher. Our sadness for him, and for us, at his passing is leavened by the hope that he is now with his beloved wife, Patricia, who died last year.

Mr. Buckley was one of the principle fathers of the modern conservative movement (the others were Barry Goldwater and Ronald Reagan). This nation owes Mr. Buckley's memory a debt which can never be adaquately repaid. The best we can do is dedicate ourselves to the preservation of the conservative movement.

Update: The Corner is running a nonstop string of tributes to Mr. Buckley.

Another courageous conservative steps up

Da Hawg Frog Blog has joined the Dump McCain Now blogroll.

If you are a real conservative who cares about preserving the Republican party as a conservative party because you realize that the only way to save this nation is through sound conservative governance I urge you to oppose the election of John McCain.

Tonight's Music

Bagadou Breton (The Breton Band).

B. Hussein Obama hates the US

By now everyone has seen this picture of Barrack Hussein Obama wearing the traditional garb of a Somali elder on a visit to Wajir, a rural area in northeastern Kenya, near the borders with Somalia and Ethiopia. I have no problem with Mr. Obama dressing in the local costume as a sign of respect to his hosts.

And Mr. Obama will not even salute the flag during the playing of the National Anthem, as this photograph shows:

Notice that even Mrs. Bill Clinton, a leftist who hates the USA as much as anyone since King George, has put herself out to the point of placing her hand over her heart while the Star Spangled Banner is playing. If this isn't enough we are also told that Obama refused to recite the Pledge of Allegiance.

Clearly B. Hussein Obama has more respect for the sensibilities of Somali Muslims than he does for his fellow Americans.

It is said that hypocrisy is the tribute that vice pays to virtue. I have always been willing to accept that from politicians because at least it meant that they acknowledged that virtue deserved tribute.

It seems however that Obama is not even willing to go that far. Look closely at the photograph above. Obama's facial expression and body language expresses a calculated contempt for the Anthem, the Pledge and the nation which they are intended to represent and honor.

There is no question that Barack Hussein Obama is no more deserving of the honor of being the President of the United States than Hillary Clinton or John McCain.

Anyone who would vote for any of those three is at the very least a willfully ignorant useful idiot and at the most a traitor on the order of Benedict Arnold or Jack Murtha.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Burn in Hell, John McCain

CINCINNATI (AP) - Republican John McCain quickly denounced the comments of a radio talk show host who while warming up a campaign crowd referred repeatedly to Barack Hussein Obama and called the Democrat a "hack, Chicago-style" politician.

Hussein is Obama's middle name, but talk show host Bill Cunningham used it three times as he addressed the crowd before the likely Republican nominee's appearance.

"Now we have a hack, Chicago-style Daley politician who is picturing himself as change. When he gets done with you, all you're going to have in your pocket is change," Cunningham said as the audience roared.

The time will come, Cunningham added, when the media will "peel the bark off Barack Hussein Obama" and tell the truth about his relationship with indicted fundraiser Antoin "Tony" Rezko and how Obama got "sweetheart deals" in Chicago.

McCain wasn't on stage nor in the building when Cunningham made the comments, but he quickly distanced himself from them and the talk show host after finishing his speech. McCain spoke to a couple hundred people at Memorial Hall in downtown Cincinnati.

"I apologize for it," McCain told reporters, addressing the issue before they had a chance to ask the Arizona senator about Cunningham's comments.

"I did not know about these remarks but I take responsibility for them. I repudiate them," he said. "My entire campaign I have treated Senator Obama and Senator (Hillary Rodham) Clinton with respect. I will continue to do that throughout this campaign.

McCain called both Democrats "honorable Americans" and said "I want to dissociate myself with any disparaging remarks that may have been said about them."

Asked whether the use of Obama's middle name—the same as former Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein—is proper, McCain said: "No, it is not. Any comment that is disparaging of either Senator Clinton or Senator Obama is totally inappropriate."

McCain said he didn't know who decided to allow Cunningham to speak but said he was sure it was in coordination with his campaign. He said he didn't hear the comments and has never met Cunningham, but "I will certainly make sure that nothing like that happens again.

Here are Mr. Cunningham's remarks:

Notice that Bill didn't say one word about B. Hussein Obama that wasn't the absolute truth. But John F**king McCain couldn't wait to run to a microphone and apologise, calling both Hussein and Mrs. Bill Clinton "honorable".

Bill Cunningham is a solid conservative who has been serving the conservative movement for decades. To be so disrespected by the Republican nominee for doing nothing more than saying the God's honest truth is mind boggling!

I want all of you brain-dead McCain kool-aid drinkers to take a good close look at this and tell me if you can still stick your fingers in your ears and hum loud enough to drown out McCain's leftism!

This little man is a left-wing mole burrowing into the Republican party with the intention of destroying it. Go ahead and vote for him if you want to guarantee that there will never again be a conservative president of the USA. Because that is what you'll do. McCain will so rip the heart out of the Republican party that it will never elect another president, at least not a conservative one.

It's going to be a fun four years

Monday, February 25, 2008

Tonight's Music

A Celtic jam session at McGonigel's Muckey Duck in Houston, Texas. These jam sessions which occur in English/Irish/Scottish theme pubs all across the US on a weekly basis are informal events where musicians both amature and professional are invited to come and play.

Hillary is losing

Bob Novak finally asks out loud the question which Democrat party bosses have been thinking about and even beginning to whisper to each other. Who will tell Hillary that it is time to go?

Even before Sen. Barack Obama won his ninth straight contest against Sen. Hillary Clinton, in Wisconsin last Tuesday, wise old heads in the Democratic Party were asking this question: Who will tell her that it's over, that she cannot win the presidential nomination and that the sooner she leaves the race, the more it will improve the party's chances of defeating Sen. John McCain in November?

In an ideal though unattainable world, Clinton would have dropped out when it became clear even before Wisconsin that she could not be nominated. The nightmare scenario was that she would win in Wisconsin, claiming a "comeback" that would propel her to narrow victories in Texas and Ohio on March 4. That still would not have cut her a path to the nomination. But telling her then to end her candidacy and avoiding a bloody battle stretching to the party's national convention in Denver might not have been achievable.

The Democratic dilemma recalls the Republican problem, in a much different context, 34 years ago, when GOP graybeards asked: "Who will bell the cat?" -- or, go to Richard Nixon and inform him that he had lost his support in the party and must resign the presidency. Sen. Barry Goldwater successfully performed that mission in 1974, but there is no Goldwater facsimile in today's Democratic Party (except for Sen. Ted Kennedy, who could not do it because he has endorsed Obama).

Clinton's rationale for remaining a candidate is the Texas-Ohio parlay, and pre-Wisconsin polls gave her a comfortable lead in both states. But Texas has become a dead heat, and her margin in Ohio is down to single digits. Following the Wisconsin returns, Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland, Clinton's leading endorser in the state, is reported to have privately expressed concern as to whether he can hold the state for her. If she ekes out a win in Ohio while losing Texas, who will bell Hillary?

The former sense of inevitability regarding Clinton becoming the first female president was based on her dominance over weak fields in both parties. McCain was the one Republican who worried Democratic strategists, and he appeared dead three months ago. Mitt Romney, the then-likely Republican nominee, was viewed in Democratic circles as unelectable.

Obama's improbable candidacy always worried Clinton insiders, which explains the whispering campaign that the Illinois neophyte would prove vulnerable to a Republican onslaught as the presidential nominee. That private assault continues to this day, with Obama described as a latter-day George McGovern whose career record of radical positions will prove easy prey for GOP attack dogs.

But Clinton could not go before Democratic primary voters and assail Obama for being too far to the left. Instead, she insinuated moral turpitude by asserting that Obama had not been "vetted." When that backfired, she claimed plagiarism by Obama in lifting a paragraph from a speech by his friend and supporter Deval Patrick, the Massachusetts governor -- an approach that yielded mainly derisive laughter among politicians.

I listened in on last Wednesday's news media conference calls by Clinton campaign managers Mark Penn and Harold Ickes in the wake of her Wisconsin drubbing. Incredibly, they were hawking the same plagiarism charge that had just proved ineffective. Clinton herself raised the bogus issue again at Thursday night's debate in Austin and was rewarded with boos from the Democratic audience.

Clinton's burden is not only Obama's charisma but also McCain's resurrection. Some of the same Democrats who short months ago were heralding her as the "perfect" candidate now call her a sure loser against McCain, saying she would do the party a favor by just leaving.

Clinton's tipping point may have come when it was announced that her $5 million loan to her campaign came from a fund she shares with Bill Clinton. That puts into play for the general election business deals by the former president that transformed him from an indigent to a multimillionaire and might excite interest in their income tax returns, which the Clintons refuse to release. The prospect impels many Democratic insiders to pray for the clear Obama victories on March 4 that they hope will make it unnecessary for anybody to beg Hillary Clinton to end her failed campaign.

Usually I am not the sort of person who likes to kick a person when they are down. However Hillary and Bill Clinton are such perfect living symbols of nearly everything that is wretched, detestable, vile, filthy and evil about the modern Democrat party that it is not just acceptable to pile on but even necessary.

Back when Bill Clinton won re-election to the presidency a great many of us thought that at least after another four years it would be over and he would go off into that twilight of presidential retirement and we could forget about him. Then people began talking about how Hillary was going to try to take his place in the Oval Office. It didn't seem possible at first, but then she was elected to the Senate and then it seemed that we would have to live with a shrill thick-ankled sword of Damocles hanging over our heads just waiting to fall on us in 2008.

Now her own party is rejecting her and a lot of us are tempted to pop the corks on some champagne bottles and have a party (it will help us forget that McCain is our nominee) but celebration is premature. Although it is unlikely that McCain will win in November we have to consider the possibility that he will. What about 2012? By then McCain's age will be a major consideration. So much so that a great many people believe that he only intends to serve one term.

The thinking goes that he will put everything he has into reforming the budget process so that earmarks and other egregiously wasteful practices will be done away with, win the war in Iraq and work with congressional Democrats to ram through an amnesty/open borders bill and impose draconian regulations on the economy under the guise of global warming legislation.

Having secured his legacy (at least in his own mind) McCain will decline to seek the nomination a second time which will allow his vice president to run as a sort of incumbent against whoever the Democrats nominate.

The problem is that the Republican party will be so demoralized by all that McCain will do mess up the country that it may not be possible to mount an effective campaign in 2012 no matter who the nominee is. This could leave the door open for a resurgent Hillary - unless we destroy her so utterly now we literally break her spirit and render her psychologically incapable of risking another political campaign.

To this end I say kick her as hard as you can while she is down. Stomp on her. Work her over with sledgehammers and crowbars, blowtorches and pliers. Dig a hole down to the earth's mantle and throw her in it and fill it in then have the Pope himself seal the cover-stone with the same ritual that St. Peter used to seal the gates of Hell. Put her into a rocket and fire her into the heart of the sun or embed her in a rogue comet heading out into interstellar space. Do whatever it takes (within the law, of course) to ensure that she never rises again to torment us.

And do it all in the depressing knowledge that like the monster in a bad horror movie no matter what we do she can always come back for another sequel.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Tonight's Music

Here's something a bit different. I enjoyed that Cab Calloway number in yesterday's Betty Boop cartoon so much that I decided to post a video of his second most famous song, Reefer Man.

This song was written and recorded several years before congress responded to hysterical propaganda that marijuana would "inflame" negro men and cause them to rape white women by outlawing pot.

"Man whats the matter with that cat there?"
"must be full of reefer"
"full of reefer?!"
"yea man"
"you mean that cats high?!"
"sailing lightly"
"get away from here
Man is that the reefer man?"
"thats the reefer man"
"I belive hes losing his mind"
"I think hes lost his mind!"

Oh have you ever met that funny reefer man reefer man
have you ever met that funny reefer man reefer man
If he said he swam to china, and he sell you south carolina
then you know your talkn to that reefer man
Have you ever met funny reefer man reefer man
Have you ever met funny reefer man reefer man
If he said he walks the ocean, any time he takes the notion
then you know your talkn to reefer man.

Have you ever met this funny reefer man reefer man
oh baby baby baby reefer man reefer man
If he trades you dimes for nickles
and calls watermellons pickles
then you know your talkn to that reefer man
Have you ever met funny reefer man reefer man
Have you ever met funny reefer man reefer man
If he takes a sudden mania
he'll want to give you pennsylvaina
oh you know your talking to the reefer man

Have you ever met funny reefer man reefer man
Have you ever met funny reefer man reefer man
If he said one sweet is funny
because he wont sell me atlantic
then you know your talkin to that reefer man

Don't worry Ralph, McCain will send you the cool mil' when he gets his matching funds

WASHINGTON (AP) - Ralph Nader said Sunday he will run for president as a third-party candidate, criticizing the top White House contenders as too close to big business and pledging to repeat a bid that will "shift the power from the few to the many."

Nader, 73, said most people are disenchanted with the Democratic and Republican parties due to a prolonged Iraq war and a shaky economy. The consumer advocate also blamed tax and other corporate-friendly policies under the Bush administration that he said have left many lower- and middle-class people in debt.

"You take that framework of people feeling locked out, shut out, marginalized and disrespected," he said. "You go from Iraq, to Palestine to Israel, from Enron to Wall Street, from Katrina to the bumbling of the Bush administration, to the complicity of the Democrats in not stopping him on the war, stopping him on the tax cuts."

"In that context, I have decided to run for president," Nader told NBC's "Meet the Press."

Ralph Nader once again sets out to get a nominal Republican elected to the White House. He must think that enough RINO presidents will finally drive a stake through the heart of the GOP.

Could be he's right.

The WaPo continues to lick Castro's boots

The left-wing mainstream media's love affair with Fidel Castro and his murderous communist regime shows no signs of abating even though he has likely been dead for some time. The Washington Post shows where their priorities lie:

HAVANA, Feb. 24 -- Fidel Castro's brother, Raúl, was named president of Cuba on Sunday, preserving a nearly half-century socialist dynasty that brought free schools and health care to all Cubans as well as political repression.

Wherever there is a jackboot stomping on a human face there will be a well-heeled Western liberal to explain that the face does, after all, enjoy free health care and 100 percent literacy.
-- John Derbyshire

Mrs. Bill Clinton perpares herself to lose

From The New York Times:

To her longtime friends, Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton sounds unusually philosophical on the phone these days. She rarely uses phrases like “when I’m president” anymore. Somber at times, determined at others, she talks to aides and confidants about the importance of focusing on a good day’s work. No drapes are being measured in her mind’s eye, they say.

And Mrs. Clinton has begun thanking some of her major supporters for helping her run for the Democratic presidential nomination.

“When this is all over, I’m really looking forward to seeing you,” she told one of those supporters by phone the other day.

Mrs. Clinton has not given up, in her head or her heart, her quest to return to the White House, advisers say. But as resolute as she is, she no longer exudes the supreme confidence that was her trademark before the first defeat, in Iowa in January. And then there were more humbling blows, aides say: replacing her campaign manager on Feb. 10, then losing the Wisconsin primary and her hold on the women’s vote there last Tuesday.

If she is not temperamentally suited to reckon with the possibility of losing quite yet, advisers say, she is also a cold, hard realist about politics — at some point, she is known to say, someone will win and someone will not.

“She has a real military discipline that, now that times are tough, has really kicked into gear,” said Judith Hope, a friend and informal adviser to Mrs. Clinton, and a former chairwoman of the New York State Democratic Party. “When she’s on the road and someone has a negative news story, she says, ‘I don’t want to hear it; I don’t need to hear it.’ I think she wants to protect herself from that and stay focused.

“That said, she knows that there will be an end,” Ms. Hope said. “She is a very smart woman.”

Over take-out meals and late-night drinks, some regrets and recriminations have set in, and top aides have begun to face up to the campaign’s possible end after the Texas and Ohio primaries on March 4. Engaging in hindsight, several advisers have now concluded that they were not smart to use former President Bill Clinton as much as they did, that “his presence, aura and legacy caused national fatigue with the Clintons,” in the words of one senior adviser who spoke on condition of anonymity to assess the campaign candidly.

[. . .]

There is a widespread feeling among donors and some advisers, though, that a comeback this time may be improbable. Her advisers said internal polls showed a very tough race to win the Texas primary — a contest that no less than Mr. Clinton has said is a “must win.” And while advisers are drawing some hope from Mrs. Clinton’s indefatigable nature, some are burning out.

Morale is low. After 13 months of dawn-to-dark seven-day weeks, the staff is exhausted. Some have taken to going home early — 9 p.m. — turning off their BlackBerrys, and polishing off bottles of wine, several senior staff members said.

Some advisers have been heard yelling at close friends and colleagues. In a much-reported incident, Mr. Penn and the campaign advertising chief, Mandy Grunwald, had a screaming match over strategy recently that prompted another senior aide, Guy Cecil, to leave the room. “I have work to do — you’re acting like kids,” Mr. Cecil said, according to three people in the room.

Others have taken several days off, despite it being crunch time. Some have grown depressed, be it over Mr. Obama’s momentum, the attacks on the campaign’s management from outside critics or their view that the news media has been much rougher on Mrs. Clinton than on Mr. Obama.

And some of her major fund-raisers have begun playing down their roles, asking reporters to refer to them simply as “donors,” to try to rein in their image as unfailingly loyal to the Clintons.

[. . .]

Mrs. Clinton has, though, increasingly sought to keep her fate in perspective. In her debate in Texas on Thursday with Mr. Obama, she delivered what some viewers saw as a valedictory — but what she said was a simple expression from the heart — when she spoke warmly about the race and her rival.

“I am honored to be here with Barack Obama. I am absolutely honored,” she said. “And you know, whatever happens, we’re going to be fine.”

She found herself explaining on Friday that the remark was not meant as some sort of farewell. Yet to some friends, she is in fact acting differently; to others, the situation has become simply heartbreaking. When Mr. Clinton said last week that his wife had to win in Texas and Ohio, it was not only the first public admission by a senior member of her circle that her candidacy was on the line, it was also a moment that deepened the feeling of shock felt by some of her supporters.

“A lot of her friends are just feeling, ‘How could this be happening to her?’ ” said James Carville, a friend of the Clintons and a former strategist to Mr. Clinton. “It’s just hard to understand. She is a very sympathetic person. I hope it turns around for her.”

I think old serpent head is going to be disappointed.

The more I see of Mrs. Clinton's behavior the more I am beginning to believe that the Clintons don't really have any kind of "scorched earth" strategy to steal the nomination from Hussein. I mean they are making an effort to keep the super delegates on board, which is entirely within the DNC's rules. And they are even making a sleazy play to get some of the pledged delegates to break their word and abandon Obama and they are trying to get the delegates from Michigan and Florida seated. But it is looking as though they aren't going to be willing to have the convention descend into a 1968-type riot and split the party.

Perhaps they have made some kind of deal. It is within the realm of possibility that Mrs. Clinton could be Obama's VP (unlikely, but possible). It is also a fact that the next president will make two Supreme Court appointments. Can you imagine Hillary on the Supreme Court? Can you imagine Bill and Hillary as the first husband and wife team of Supreme Court justices?

Or maybe Bill gets to be our ambassador to the UN (he can't be Secretary General because no nation with a seat on the Security Counsel can have one of their nationals as Secretary General) while Hillary gets to be the Attorney General (so she can go on fighting for the children).

It could be that Hillary wants to be the next majority leader in the Senate while Bill gets sent to Amsterdam as our ambassador to the Netherlands where pot and prostitution are both legal and the whores lie naked in storefront windows to better attract their customers. That would suit Bill's temperament even better than the red light district of Hot Springs.

The possibilities are nearly endless as to what Hill and Bill might take as their consolation prize for losing the big brass ring.

A brief note from hell

HAVANA (AP) - Fidel Castro on Saturday rejected the idea of major political change after Cuba's parliament chooses a new president—his final published comments as the nation's longtime leader.

The article on the front page of the Communist Party newspaper Granma was one of a flurry of recent columns and announcements from Castro, who is retiring after 49 years as head of Cuba.

Writing under his new title, "Comrade Fidel," the 81-year-old Castro scoffed at suggestions in news reports that his retirement, announced Tuesday, would lead to political changes aided by Cuban exiles in the United States.

"The reality is otherwise," Castro wrote. He quoted approvingly from other articles that said his retirement showed the failure of U.S. officials to affect Cuba's political transition.

Castro said he would now lay his pen aside until lawmakers decide Sunday on his replacement as president of the island's supreme governing authority, the Council of State. Castro's 76-year-old brother Raul, the defense minister, is his constitutionally designated successor as first vice president, and is widely expected to be named president.

The younger Castro has headed Cuba's caretaker government for 19 months, since Fidel announced he had undergone emergency intestinal surgery and was provisionally ceding his powers.

In a separate report, Granma said "all the conditions have been created" for Sunday's meeting of the 614-member parliament, whose members were elected on Jan. 20. Renewed every five years, the parliament known as the National Assembly is charged at its first gathering with selecting a new 31-member Council of State headed by the president.

Fidel Castro has held the position of president since the current government structure was created in 1976. For 18 years before that, he was prime minister—a post that no longer exists.

He will remain the head of the Communist Party and a member of the National Assembly, to which he was re-elected to last month.

The AP writes with apparent straight face about Castro being "re-elected" and they expect us to take anything else they say seriously?

Note to my fellow Republicans. You have allowed this same media that wants us to believe that Castro was legitimately elected while Bush stole the 2000 election to select our 2008 presidential candidate for us. I hope you're proud of yourselves.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Tonight's Music

This is Peatbog Faeries live at the 2006 Rainforest World Music Festival in Sarawak by Antares.

Tarnished halo?

From The Washington Post:

Broadcaster Lowell "Bud" Paxson yesterday contradicted statements from Sen. John McCain's presidential campaign that the senator did not meet with Paxson or his lobbyist before sending two controversial letters to the Federal Communications Commission on Paxson's behalf.

Paxson said he talked with McCain in his Washington office several weeks before the Arizona Republican wrote the letters in 1999 to the FCC urging a rapid decision on Paxson's quest to acquire a Pittsburgh television station.

Paxson also recalled that his lobbyist, Vicki Iseman, likely attended the meeting in McCain's office and that Iseman helped arrange the meeting. "Was Vicki there? Probably," Paxson said in an interview with The Washington Post yesterday. "The woman was a professional. She was good. She could get us meetings."

The recollection of the now-retired Paxson conflicted with the account provided by the McCain campaign about the two letters at the center of a controversy about the senator's ties to Iseman, a partner at the lobbying firm of Alcalde & Fay.

The McCain campaign said Thursday that the senator had not met with Paxson or Iseman on the matter. "No representative of Paxson or Alcalde and Fay personally asked Senator McCain to send a letter to the FCC regarding this proceeding," the campaign said in a statement.

But Paxson said yesterday, "I remember going there to meet with him." He recalled that he told McCain: "You're head of the Commerce Committee. The FCC is not doing its job. I would love for you to write a letter."

McCain attorney Robert S. Bennett played down the contradiction between the campaign's written answer and Paxson's recollection.

"We understood that he [McCain] did not speak directly with him [Paxson]. Now it appears he did speak to him. What is the difference?" Bennett said. "McCain has never denied that Paxson asked for assistance from his office. It doesn't seem relevant whether the request got to him through Paxson or the staff. His letters to the FCC concerning the matter urged the commission to make up its mind. He did not ask the FCC to approve or deny the application. It's not that big a deal."

The Paxson deal, coming as McCain made his first run for the presidency, has posed a persistent problem for the senator. The deal raised embarrassing questions about his dealings with lobbyists at a time when he had assumed the role of an ethics champion and opponent of the influence of lobbyists.

The two letters he wrote to the FCC in 1999 while he was chairman of the Senate Commerce Committee produced a rash of criticism and a written rebuke from the then-FCC chairman, who called McCain's intervention "highly unusual." McCain had repeatedly used Paxson's corporate jet for his campaign and accepted campaign contributions from the broadcaster and his law firm.

This wouldn't be such a big deal of McCain wasn't always so on with how clean and pure as the wind driven snow he is. But that is what McCain bases his appeal to the voters on and like Hillary whose "35 years of experience" turn out to be smoke and mirrors when examined closely McCain's integrity is largely an illusion.

When a Senator writes a letter to a government agency, whose budget congress controls, on behalf of a contributor asking them to hurry up and make a decision he doesn't have to specify that he wants the decision to be made in favor of the person who gives him money and free rides on his corporate jet. That part is implied and if McCain didn't know that then he is too stupid to hold public office.

And when you get down to it what was so wrong about what McCain did? What is the moral difference between a Senator twisting the arm of the Social Security Administration to get some old lady her check so that she and her friends will vote for him and and donate money to his campaign and that same Senator twisting the arm of the FCC to get out of a businessman's way and let him get on with business so that the businessman will donate money?

The answer is that there is no real difference. It is just a matter of scale. The fact is that lobbyists and "special interest groups" simply represent people. The NRA represents not only its 4 million members but the 100 million or so gun owners in this country, even the ones who are too stupid to realize that they need representation. The domestic auto makers lobbyists represent not only the fat-cat CEO's and board members of the Big Three, but all the people who work in the auto industry and all the millions of people whose insurance and pension funds are invested in the car companies.

Paxson was only seeking to grow his business and provide profits for his investors and jobs for his employees. The FCC, an agency which has been overtaken by technological advances and no longer serves any useful purpose - if it ever did serve one, was standing in his way and he exercised his First Amendment right to petition his government for a redress of grievances and the only reason that this can be seen as any kind of problem is because of the phony-baloney "rectitude" of sanctimonious pricks like John McCain.

Which is why I have no sympathy for him. Rather I take great amusement in seeing him once again hoist on his own petard.