Monday, June 30, 2008


There may be one issue Obama hasn't "adjusted" himself one, but Glen Reyolds makes a prediction.

Go to the link to find out (or read the tags).

It will be interesting to see how the "faithful" handle this pivot.

Aslo pointed out by Glen is Darleen Click on some things that acutally are unpatriotic.

Wesley Clark: Not helping.

Once again let's recall that Obama's assurance that his inexperience is his superior judgment.
It's even one of his slogans. "Judgment to Lead."

Is it any shock that there's yet another person related to the campaign that Obama has to distance himself from?

You see General Wesley Clark had some... interesting things to say about McCain and his military service.

Video here.

And that's a guy that's supposed to beef up Obama's international and defense cred.

Vets for Freedom issues a harsh response to the Clark's vile words

JammieWearingFool looks into the "classy" performance of the Dems in smearing McCain and that attacks on his service are a consistent pattern.

It's good that Obama denounced Clark, but wouldn't it have been better if Obama had the judgment to realize that Clark has a history of being "reckless".

But I guess that's more of the Change Obama has going for him.

Like how he tells Rolling Stone how much he loves Town-Hall meetings.

Quick! He better tell McCain that. I heard that old guy's thinking on doing a few of those meetings with Obama. McCain's been having a real hard time setting up some of those with him...

Sunday, June 29, 2008

The Mathmatics of a 3rd Party

Rand Simberg finds a post by Eric Raymond and finds them alinged in thinking.

Gun owners who are (like me) libertarians and swing voters are in the same fix as SayUncle. Many of us have good reasons to loathe McCain; mine, as I've previously mentioned, is that I think BCRA (the McCain-Feingold campaign finance "reform" act) was an atrocious assault on First Amendment liberties. Others can't stand McCain's position on immigration, or the idiotic blather he tends to spew on economics-related subjects. But for those of us who think Second Amendment rights are fundamentally important, voting for anyone who would appoint more anti-firearms judges (a certainty from Obama given his past views) is just not an option.

That translates into votes for McCain. Probably including (though I shudder and retch at the thought) my vote. It's not like there's any chance Obama's going to push for the repeal of BCRA. So I'm left with a choice between a candidate hostile to both my First and Second Amendment rights and one that supports the Second Amendment. (Normally I'd vote Libertarian, but the LP's isolationist foreign-policy stance seems so batty after 9/11 that I can't stomach that option in this cycle.)

Emphasis added. It's a terrible thing, but that's the reality.

I'm not fond of McCain. That's for a lot of the reasons Eric Raymond cites above, but for every thing I don't like about McCain Obama's position is worse.

This falls in with the simple math of 3rd parties in a "Two Party System".

Now consider three candidates (A, B, C). You rank them in order of how repellent their policies and character are, IE how much you would not want them in office.

A is the worst, B is not great but better than A, and C is the person you want into office.

Now assuming that A and B are in the two parties, what does that give us?

C will not win. It's that simple.

So the question is, which is more important? Casting a vote to give C more of a "victory", that is having him less marginalized.

Or is casting a vote to prevent A from getting into office.

Naturally, this depends on how much worse A is than B in your personal opinion. If A and B are nearly the same to you then protest voting for C makes sense. If both are really bad but one is much worse... then why have your vote help the candidate you dislike the most get in?

Remember that only A or B will be president. One of them will be in office. If you have a strong preference against A, then where should your vote go?

It's cynical but realistic. In this example, you are using your vote to block the candidate you dislike the most.

Vote for A: A's lead over B goes up by 1
Vote for B: A's lead over B goes down by 1
Vote for C: A's lead over B does not change.

Pretty easy, no? There's only one way to vote that reduces A's stance relative to B.

In our political system one wins the presidency by getting the majority of electoral votes. One gets electoral votes by winning the plurality of votes in a state (or by district in some states).

Given that a 3rd party will not get into a 2nd position, the only way to block the lead of a person in one of the two major parties is to vote for the other guy.

Yes it's distasteful and realpolitik, but that's reality.

One can also apply this math to states where say Candidate B has no chance of winning, where the polled lead and historical record of Candidate A and A's party in that state has it a sure thing.

First, be sure that it is a sure thing. This is a strange election.

In this case Candidate B falls into the same camp as Candidate C. If we assume either will win in this State.

In that case your vote is freerer. In the sense that it's "futile" to vote. Still, spite is a great way to vote.

Also since some people feel the Nationwide popular vote means something... you can vote for B to keep A's overall (and meaningless) lead down.

Again, if there is a chance to overturn A's lead, voting for B will make the #2 spot higher. Remember, that Candidate C will not move beyond 3rd place. So any hope of stopping A, once again, goes to voting for B.

It's cynical and calculating and cold, but I'd rather vote on factors like that than on hope and feelings and other qualities that make me a rube.

Politics is a con-game, and the best conmen are the ones that make themselves not look like conmen.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Nuance, Flip flop? Compare and contrast.

Here's a Washington Post article on Obama's "current" stance on firearms.

Barack Obama is under hostile fire for changing his position on the D.C. gun ban.

Oh, I'm sorry. He didn't change his position, apparently. He reworded a clumsy statement.

That, at least, is what his campaign is saying. The same campaign that tried to spin his flip-flop in rejecting public financing as embracing the spirit of reform, if not the actual position he had once promised to embrace.

Is this becoming a pattern? Wouldn't it be better for Obama to say he had thought more about such-and-such an issue and simply changed his mind? Is that verboten in American politics? Is it better to engage in linguistic pretzel-twisting in an effort to prove that you didn't change your mind?

Why should Obama take the risk of having that he changed position exposed?

He thinks he can get away with it, and that the media will cover him.

As Glen Reynolds finds out with further reading of the article

Reynolds has another post about Obama's "flipflops" and notes something

To expand a bit: Either the people who believed the early-primary left-talk are the rubes, or the people who believe Obama now are the rubes . . . or anyone who thinks Obama has fixed principles at all is a rube. Your call.

And Obama has some problems... with Youtube.
Damn people smearing him by putting his various public statements together.

What do the numbers show?

As always check the facts, see what the numbers tell you.
It's a key step in trying to decode what the news is saying,
Don Surber on DC gun Ban

Question: Did the murder rate really triple under the Washington, DC, gun ban?

Answer: Yes. The murder rate was 26.8 homicides per 100,000 people in 1976, when the ban became law. That would be its lowest rate for the next 30 years. It peaked at 80.6 homicides per 100,000 people in 1991.

Question: What’s the highest the murder rate has been in gun happy West Virginia in that time?

Answer: 6.9 homicides per 100,000 people.

Surber has more questions and answers on his report.

Also is the US in a recession?

Well if you go by the actual definition of one... No. No, we are not.

A 1% annual growth rate won’t excite many people. It follows a quarter with 0.6% growth, making it the weakest two-quarter period in the last four years, as the chart demonstrates. However, this is hardly the worst economy we’ve seen in memory. The 2000-2001 recession and the damage done to the economy after 9/11 was far worse than what we see now. In fact, the slight rebound may indicate that the worst of the slowdown is over and that we may start seeing a return to the stronger growth we have experienced since 2003.

Remember this when politicians and the media talk about “the worst economy since the Great Depression”. When the real numbers come out, no one bothers to report them. The hyperbole serves them better than the truth.

And Glen has a Gallup poll on what Americans thing should be done to help the economy.

Some good news there.

Friday, June 27, 2008

The World is Just Awesome

You've probably already seen this one... For the Discovery channel.

This is a remarkably hopeful and humanist video.

It celebrates the world. Both the natural world and humanity's achievements. It literally goes from above the sky to the deepest oceans. It covers science, culture, engineering, the arts.

It doesn't just show the natural phenomenon but it has people trying to catalog, observe, understand it and just what humanity will do to get there.

This little commercial celebrates what it means to be human, to build, to learn, to explore.

It's nice to not have guilt laid on about being human, and to have something present just how –well- awesome the world is, and that humanity is the only species that can appreciate it.

Simply put... the world is awesome.

XKCD also did a comic on it today.

Heller VS DC

Good News for the Bill of rights.

No commentary right now. Just a mess of links.

Andy McCarthy quotes Justice Scalia's majority opinion in the gun case:

We know of no other enumerated constitutional right whose core protection has been subjected to a freestanding “interest-balancing” approach [responding to Justice Breyer’s proposal for a new standard for the right to possess a gun]. The very enumeration of the right takes out of the hands of government – even the Third Branch of Government – the power to decide on a case-by-case basis whether the right is really worth [his emphasis] insisting upon. A constitutional guarantee subject to future judges’ assessments of its usefulness is no constitutional guarantee at all. Constitutional rights are enshrined with the scope they were understood to have when the people adopted them, whether or not future legislatures or (yes) even future judges think that scope is too broad. We would not apply an “interest-balancing” approach to the prohibition of a peaceful neo-Nazi march through Skokie… Like the First, it is the very product of an interest-balancing by the people – which Justice Breyer would now conduct for them anew.

Rand has more

A bigger roundup from Hotair

And of course what Does Obama do?

The man is a complete Weathervane

To be fair, let's show the statements of both McCain and Obama on the rulling.

Note how each deals with Chicago in their statement. Also note who mentions self-defense as a factor and the constitution.

And John Hinderaker notes something...

"Obama Clarifies Position..." Is that becoming a familiar headline, or what? I hope someone is compiling them all. Today, it was the Supreme Court's gun decision: "Obama clarifies position on D.C. gun ban":

Similarly here's another position he's shifted on

Perhaps the shine is waning....
"Is Obama turning out to be just another politician?" at McClatchy a newsoutlet that is not what one would call right leaning.

More StrategyPage.

With Iraq calming down other more intractable problems are coming to the front

Say what you will, it is a sign of progres when the problems change in size and nature, maybe this'll be some new bad news to get Iraq in the news again.

Some stories just don't get's another big front in the "War On Terror" that keeps being ignored.


What did Obama do as a community organizer?

It’s easy to wonder whether the candidate who talks about “real change” and pledges a government that will “heal the sick” and “stop the oceans from rising” actually knows how to get big things done – or whether he had the patience. Obama would seem to have the skills and brains to be a legendary community organizer, or state legislator, or U.S. senator. But momentous accomplishments in each of those positions take time, and at each level, Obama hit a wall, and turned his attention
to a position of greater power.

I note this as the Boston Globe takes a comprehensive look at Obama’s efforts at housing as a state legislator and as a U.S. senator, and comes to devastating conclusions. The policy changes Obama pushed have been catastrophic failures for the public, but lucrative for his donors.

Go here for more, and the link to the Boston Globe report

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Afghanistan and Iraq

From StrategyPage Afghanistan Becomes The Most Dangerous Place

A little update about what's happening over there.

Plus this...

It's a different kind of war in Afghanistan, with the enemy taking higher losses than their Iraqi counterparts. Al Qaeda has shifted its operations to Pakistan and Afghanistan, and is using the same tactics that caused it to be defeated in Iraq. Yes, it sounds idiotic. But these are the same people who believe they get 72 virgins (to abuse for eternity) when they are killed in combat, and seriously believe that if they keep fighting long enough, the world will become one big Islamic religious dictatorship, where women will live very restricted lives and all the men will wear beards. If it weren't for all the innocents these maniacs kill, it would be comic. But they do, and it isn't.

Similar to the previous post about problems in Canada. Just because it's humerous, even darkly, doesn't mean it isn't dangerous.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Clown Shoes

Sometimes people talk of the banality of evil.

Well, that applies with evil when it's silly and laughable.

Like the Canadian Kangaroo Courts.

Glen Reyonds sums it up.

When the stormtroopers wear clown shoes instead of jackboots, it's easy to forget that they're still stormtroopers.

And here's more

USAF Changes & After the War

An overview of the situation facing the US Airforce.

Then there's what the Army will do after the War.

A new problem for windmills

Lots of new tech has unexpeted problems when put into large scale use.

Here's an odd problem you may not have expected windmills to have.

"Do not look behind that curtian!"

Resume padding is a common thing. People embellish, and add stuff. Especially those that are a bit thin on experience.

But you know... If you claim a piece of legislation as a major accomplishment in a campaign add, you should have written the bill of been a major supporter of it, or at the very, very least be present to vote on it.

Do I even have to say who did that?

Apparently the most Obama did to it was try to insert an amendment to the bill, which was not passed. Is that how low the bar is now?

Yuval Levin has more.

Even under the most generous reading imaginable could any of that count as passing legislation that extended health care for wounded troops? The Chicago Tribune noted the problem on its blog last week but defended Obama by pointing out that John McCain didn’t vote for the bill either. That would be an interesting piece of information if John McCain had cited this bill as among his chief legislative accomplishments.

The Obama team’s desire to pad the resume is understandable — it’s awfully slim after all. But this kind of dishonesty will catch up with them…or at least it should.

In related news, it may be that Obama's "gaffs" are catching up to him.
"Obama loses his Teflon Sheen"

By laughing not with, but at, Obama the mainstream media again demonstrated the type of emotional distance one might almost mistake for journalistic independence. (Conservative pundits have been mocking Obama’s elite iconography for some time.)


If McCain can do that, and more importantly, if the media re-adjusts their outlook to cover Obama as they would any ordinary politician, the result may be significant and the race more competitive than only the most optimistic Republicans thought possible.

Empahsis added. That would be a nice dream wouldn't it? To cover Obama as a man, and look at his actions and his past record.

That the question is even being raises is a victory I suppose.

Related articles about this shift in view of Obama.

The Mendacity of Hype by Geoffrey Norman

For realists — or cynics, if you prefer — there was finally some good news from the presidential campaign. No more worries about “a new politics” and “change” which, if they had been for real, would have required one to take the campaign seriously and pay attention to this season’s political star, Barack Obama. Turns out, it was a sham.

Normally, realists have a fairly easy time of it when it comes to presidential politics. Without knowing who the candidates are or what they are saying, one can confidently assert, “They are all the same,” and “The way you can tell that they’re lying is that their lips are moving.” You don’t have to do any deep research or hard digging to back up these assertions in any given political season.


But we all hope for something else, we all have a sequestered place in our hearts longing for “a new kind of politics.” And when we hear whispers of it, we want to buy in. Barack Obama had a lot of us going for a while. He was “post-racial.” He was all about “hope” and “audacity.” He was for “change.” And this time, he promised, we really could achieve it. “Yes we can.”

Well, it appears that it is time to say, “Be still my heart,” and move on to other things. Obama told us his campaign wasn’t going to be about the money — after all, that was politics as usual. He was going to “aggressively pursue an agreement with the Republican nominee to preserve a publicly financed general election.” Later, he expanded on that to say, “I will sit down with John McCain and make sure that we have a system that works for everybody.”

Well, McCain is still waiting for that sit-down. Turns out, Obama is all about the money. Now that he can raise more on his own than the government could have offered him — and probably more than McCain can raise — Obama has changed his mind (assuming it was ever made up), and is hoping the voters will not hold it against him.

Politics, man — you do what you gotta do.

And Peter Wehner piles on "St. Barack Was a Mirage"

The problem for Obama is that his core appeal has been largely aesthetic; he positioned himself as St. Barack, flying high and high-mindedly above the “old” politics of distractions, divisions, and cynicism. He wouldn’t play the “Washington game.” Obama has been sold to us as post-everything (post-partisan, post-ideological, post-racial, and post-label). If that appeal is stripped away, then Obama will be seen as a deeply and reflexively liberal one-term senator — and as something of a fraud. That combination may be enough to defeat him in a year that should overwhelmingly favor Democrats.

I doubt we’ve reached the point at which Obama’s tactical moves have metastasized into a character problem — but I suspect we’re getting close. Columnists like David Brooks and Michael Gerson, both of whom have had favorable things to say about Obama in the past (as have I), wrote columns on Friday that are evidence of how much things have changed when it comes to Obama. Even among our political class, Obama seems to stand out as highly ambitious, fairly ruthless, and utterly self-interested political figure. When John McCain says he would rather lose an election than lose a war, it is a believable claim. One cannot imagine Obama saying — well, sincerely saying — that same thing about anything. His political viability — a term once used by a young Bill Clinton — seems to matter above all to Barack Obama, dwarfing every other consideration.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Compare and Contrast.

One party wants "45 new reactors by the year 2030."

The other wants to nationalize Oil and ponders that if it happens it's “because it never should have been private in the first place.”

If you're worried about appearing too young and inexperienced...

Don't let your aides say that a children's book has alot to teach about Foreign Policy.

It just makws you look silly.

“Winnie the Pooh seems to me to be a fundamental text on national security.”

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

A bit more history.

Just what has Obama done?
Barack Obama: The Undistinguished Gentleman

Complemented here.
To Which I Would Add...

Nothing really to say here. Just more detail in the past of a man who wants to be president. Something everyone should want to know more on.

Luddite Party '08

Obama speaks out to the kind of change and new future he wants to bring us:

"Globalization and technology and automation all weaken the position of workers," he said, and a strong government hand is needed to assure that wealth is distributed more equitably. He spoke aboard his campaign bus, where a big-screen TV was tuned to the final holes of the U.S. Open golf tournament.

After he turned off the marvel of technology he exited his luminous means of conveyance and went out to smash some looms.

One wonders what Obama's solution is to this weakened posiiton. Perhaps restrictions on automation, maybe we can ban ATMs and welding robots.

For globalization, I suppose we can go to isolationist trade practices.

Via Glen

Almost a metaphor

Via Glen Reynolds.

AL GORE: Still guzzling energy in Nashville. "Despite adding solar panels, installing a geothermal system, replacing existing light bulbs with more efficient models, and overhauling the home’s windows and ductwork, Gore now consumes more electricity than before the 'green' overhaul."

It's almost like a metaphor.

Look at it this way, if Al hadn't made his mansion greener, just imagine how much more power his house would use. He's still saving.

Of course one might ask him to use a bit... less.

Obama the Organizer

It's not just his campaign, Obama cites his time as a community organizer as why he can be president.

Byron York asks some pointed questions:

What did Obama do as a community organizer? And what in that experience helps
qualify him to be president?

What he finds out probably won't surprise you.

AP... killing it's buisness.

So now the AP wants to charge people citing their stories and giving them links.

This doesn't seem like an enforcable or buisness-growing model.

But I guess they want to reduce people... seeing their stories.

Back to Sept 10 world?

So Obama's now saying he'd like to bring counter-terrorism back to a Law Enforcement role...

Like it was before September 11th.

Rand Simberg has more.

Meet the Sniper

Latest intro vid for Team Fortress 2

Meet the sniper.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Good Campaign mean good Presidency?

You may remember previous posts noting the... problems Obama has in vetting staff, keeping a secure website, and controling his spending.

One wonders if it would be wise to make the conduct of such a campaign central to the case of whether you should be president. (Let's ignore how self-referential it all is. Vote for me because I'm good at getting others to vote for me).

The mainstream media for some time has been searching for material to bolster Barack Obama’s flimsy résumé. After all, he lacks national security experience, has no major legislative accomplishments, and never held an executive position. Not to worry, say the liberal cheerleaders. Peter Beinart raised a typical defense:

Luckily, Obama doesn’t have to rely on his legislative résumé to prove he’s capable of running the government. He can point to something more germane: the way he’s run his campaign.


Accepting for the sake of argument that a political campaign can foreshadow an administration, it is worthwhile to update some of these media evaluations to see just how effective a chief executive Obama has been.

It's not a good sign when your credentials are so flimsy that you have to grab whatever is handy as a thin justification as to why you deserve the job. It's like saying "I deserve this job because I was goot enough to get an interview and found the confrence room where the interview was."

In short, Obama’s standard operating procedure has been one of evasion, seclusion, and unwillingness to put himself or potentially harmful information out for full inspection by the media — no matter how friendly and helpful they have been during his primary race.

If openness and transparency are ongoing concerns for voters, the conduct of the Obama campaign — up to now at least — suggests that an Obama presidency won’t have much of either.

Still, there are other qualities in a president. For example, it is generally a good idea for the president to be able to stand up to criticism and avoid the common trap of believing they are under siege from hostile forces. That just causes them to batten down the hatches and recede into their own close-knit group of advisors, right?

But there again, we see that Obama’s conduct during the campaign suggests that he has the thinnest of skins. He frequently has demonstrated that he does not appreciate being on the receiving end of any criticism. Any examination of his record or reminder of his own inconvenient words from the opposing camp has been termed a “smear” or a “distraction” or “the politics of division.” His record, his own words, his policy positions, his associations — all are deemed inappropriate topics for the campaign.

Read it all.

James Lileks on energy and "windfall profits"

As always James Lileks has some good sarcasm on the energy issues of today.
As I said on the Hewitt show tonight, I feel as if Bizarro World is slowly leaking into ours, and one day we will see Superman and note he has that ugly grey faceted skin, and wonder when that happened. Well, we just didn’t pay attention to the signs. In Bizarro World, illegal foreign combatants are granted constitutional rights; in Bizarro World, people react to high gas prices and energy shortfalls by refusing to boost domestic capacity. You have John McCain nixing ANWAR drilling and lending his sonorous monotone to cap-and-trade; you have Obama noting that gas prices rose too quickly, which presumably means he would have favored a gradual rise to ninety-buck-a-tank fill-ups;

It's sad given how let's be generous and say "cloudy" on energy McCain is, Obama still manages to be worse.

I’ve heard some people yearn for a windfall profits tax that would reinvest the money in alternative energy, or rebate it back to the consumer. Fine. Apply that to your business. Here’s the acceptable profit level. You don’t get to make any more than that. If you do, the state will confiscate the property and divide it among your competitors, or give it back to your customers. Have a nice day. But oil is different. It’s necessary! So is food. Farmers are doing well. Let us therefore set the acceptable level for corn farmers, take away the excess profits, invest it new forms of sweeteners or biofuels farmers cannot yet produce, and give people rebates for Splenda to compensate for the price of high fructose corn syrup.

"Windfall profits tax" also seems like a loser of an idea given a wobbly economy. I guess nothing improves buisness growth like increaseing command-economy style control and distribution of wealth.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Oil Prices, it's not the magnitude but the rate

Earlier today I posted Victor Davis Hanson's thoughts on the liberal views on energy policy.

And today Obama obliged us with his thoughts on the oil prices.

Watch the video yourself and see if you think Obama really wants oil to be less costly, or if he wants us to "get used to it".

"Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?"

Victor Davis Hanson chims in on Obama's dislike of having to "vet the vetters."

I think he was paraphrasing Juvenal's famous line "Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?" (Who will police the police themselves?). But whereas Obama was suggesting that the paradox might be pointless and unending, Juvenal was making a different, moral point — not the silliness of nagging critics wanting to watch the watchmen, but the dilemma in a corrupt age of finding any moral censor one can trust. I think Obama is one of the first public figures I can remember who used the sentiment in exactly the opposite way it was intended — that we are too hypercritical of, rather than too trusting in, our guardians.

I'm sure Obama would rather that we were more trusting in him. If everyone took everything he said at face value, then we would all be supporting him.

Also for such a "technically sophisticated campaign"... how come Obama didn't do Hugh Hewitt's suggestion.

"I'm not asking Barack Obama to vet the vetters. I'm just asking him to Google them."

Go ahead google Jim Johnson and Eric Holder. Now why didn't Obama do this? Or did he?

Bill Bennett on the "Uncouth McCain" video

Do they really want to tell a man who turned down early release and spent five and a half years in a POW camp that he is insensitive to the desires of returning home? Do they really want to tell a man whose father and grandfather are military heroes that the most important thing is returning home? Do they really want to tell a man whose own son has signed up and fought in Iraq about the importance of coming back home?

Sure they do. Facts are less important than feelings. And it "feels" like McCain is a war-lovin' loon.

And it's likely a coincidence that this smear about McCain was released the day Obama had to dump another associate of his.

I mean Obama has to distance himself from so many people that it's not like you need to coordinate things.

We'll finish with some thoughts by Peter Wehner

Throwing Johnson under the same bus that rolled over the Reverend Jeremiah A. Wright Jr. and Trinity Church may be politically necessary. Yet the damage, I think, is real because of an accretion effect.

It can’t be said often enough: the conceit of the Obama campaign is that its candidate is the antithesis of politics as it has been practiced for decades, if not for centuries. He is, we are told, the agent of change, the great turner of the page, a man unstained by politics and who will alter the way it has been practiced. He is bi-partisan and post-partisan and beyond political labeling. He will not unfairly portray the views of his opponent or engage in petty distractions. According to his wife Michelle, he will heal the broken souls of America. And according to Obama himself, he will begin to heal the planet.

The bar has been set enormously high – and it has been set there by Obama, his wife, and his campaign.

If voters begin to believe that the Obama Phenomenon is really an Obama Myth – that he is just another conventional politician, but in this instance one who emerged out of the largely polluted waters of Chicago politics – then Obama is reduced to being a one-term senator with very few achievements in his life that commend him to be president.

Emphasis mine. This is Obama's biggest problem. As Wehner states they raised the bar high, so high that even being a "conventional politician" will undo him.

As Rand says
The man's good at giving speeches, but he doesn't seem to be able to identify or hire good staff. Do we really even want him picking cabinet members, let alone running the country?

Yesterday's Events

Yesterday Obama had to dump a well... what was he?
From Rand Simberg

I'm kind of scratching my head here. Can an Obama supporter explain to me how he can accept the resignation of someone who doesn't work for him? Maybe it's just more of that change you can believe in...

Actually, it would be pretty amusing if someone in the press asked him that question. Don't hold your breath, though.

You see Rand, it's the same way that someone who has a task that is "tangential" to the campaign one day can be let go because it would "distract in any way from the very important task of gathering information about my vice presidential nominee."

You're right, it shows how enthralled the media is, that such softball examples of Obama being full of hotair and totally inept at picking staff goes ignored.

Energy Policy Problems

Victor Cavis Hanson has some thoughts on energy policy and what needs to be done.

Of course, give it a read.

But a paradox is that most environmentalists think of themselves as egalitarians. So, instead of objecting to the view of a derrick from the California hills above the Santa Barbara coast, shouldn’t a liberal estate owner instead console himself that the offshore pumping will help a nearby farm worker or carpenter get to work without going broke?

Another paradox: American laws and technology ensure a rig off Florida or in Alaska has far less chance of springing a leak than one in the Persian Gulf or the Russian tundra. If there really is a shared Planet Earth, then aren’t we all its collective stewards? By locking out energy exploration in the United States, we are encouraging it almost everywhere else.

It's nice to see a dose of reality and pragmatism.

At best, the massive transfer of national wealth to most oil producers translates into a Chinese worker on an assembly line working longer for less money while artificial island resorts pop up in the Persian Gulf. At worst, that strapped Chinese fabricator is also working harder for another Iranian centrifuge, al-Qaida landmine, or Saudi-funded madrassa.

We should stop talking about suing the OPEC cartel, jawboning the House of Saud to lower prices, blaming the oil companies, or adding yet another massive tax on sky-high gas prices. What we don’t need right now are more pie-in-the-sky sermons about wind and solar saving us all or about millions of new jobs in green technology that can be almost instantly created.

That all may be possible in a generation. But in the here and now, we still need to tap the abundant conventional energy we already have in the United States. And in large part that means building, mining, and drilling.

Science Without Experiments

Jim Manzi has an article about politics in science and the problems of science that can't be proven cleanly (IE having a conclusive experiment)

The science that informs public debate increasingly can not use experiments to adjudicate disagreements, and instead must rely on dueling models. We wouldn’t purposely expose randomly selected groups of people to lead paint, and couldn’t build parallel full-size replicas of earth and pump differing levels of CO2 into them.

There is a spectrum of predictive certainty in various fields that label themselves “science,” ranging from something like lab-bench chemistry at one extreme to something like social science at the other. Scientific fields that address integrated complexity sit in a gray area somewhere in between. We can pound the table all we want, and say with smoldering intensity that “science says X,” but our certainty is much lower when X = “the projected change in global temperatures over the next 100 years” than when X = “the rate at which this bowling ball will fall.”

Serious scientists in fields dominated by integrated complexity are constantly trying to develop methods for testing hypotheses, but the absence of decisive experiments makes it much easier for groupthink to take hold. A much larger proportion of scientists self-identify as liberal than conservative, so when scientific questions of integrated complexity impinge on important political questions, the opportunities for unconscious bias are pretty obvious. Hasty conservative political pushback (e.g., “global warming is a hoax”) naturally creates further alienation between these politicians and scientists. The scientists then find political allies who have political reasons for accepting their conclusions; consequently, many conservatives come to see these scientists as pseudo-objective partisans. This sets up a vicious cycle. Unfortunately, that’s where we find ourselves now in far too many areas.

Fortunatly, Manzi has some solutions, which involve having more engagement wich science and trying to get more experimental data on various subjects.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

"A new kind of politics? Yep. One even more shamelessly dishonest than the old."

Quote from Glen Reyonlds on Obama's "tweaking" of the truth about McCain's position on Iraq.

Mark Ambinder has more

The context makes it clear that McCain is reiterating his position that the presence of troops isn't the issue; instead, it's the casualties they receive. The differences between McCain and Obama are clear enough; Obama wants a bare-bones U.S. presence in Iraq, and McCain is willing to tolerate a much larger one; Obama believes that the presence of U.S. troops exacerbates the tension and gives Iraqis a crutch to delay political reconciliation. McCain does not. One would think that those differences are a sufficient basis upon which to launch a political attack. Instead, though, in a conference call with reporters, in remarks by Democrats like Joe Biden, in a blistering statement by Rep. Rahm Emanuel, McCain is being portrayed as, inter alia, not caring one whit about casualties and deaths and chaos and certainly not about the families of troops who dealt with deployment after deployment.

Emphasis mine. In going out of his way to emphasis that casualties are a very important factor in troop levels, McCain is smeared as being callous and uncaring about casualties among the troops. It's like a Fireman giving a lecture about fire safety being called an arsonist.

I'm not saying the statement of McCain's wasn't problematic, that it was makes Obama's response all the more, well, clumsy.

Obama could have hit McCain and done it accurately, but he would rather take the easy way.

That is Obama's style.

Remember yesterday? Obama said the role of vetting a VP nomination is "tangential" and now today...

“Jim did not want to distract in any way from the very important task of gathering information about my vice presidential nominee, so he has made a decision to step aside that I accept. We have a very good selection process underway, and I am confident that it will produce a number of highly qualified candidates for me to choose from in the weeks ahead. I remain grateful to Jim for his service and his efforts in this process.”

Emphasis mine. Insert the expected "Is that the change Obama meant?" comment.

Hot Air has a roundup of links and thoughts on this.

Remember events like this when someone talks about how brilliant and new the politics of Obama are.

Speaking of brilliance...

It's not just blogs full of crazy that's wrong with the Obama website. There's also childish security holes too.

It should be noted that the Obama campaign is getting all kinds of credit for being “internet savvy,” much more so than the McCain campaign. But is it really true?
How could anyone who has spent more than 10 minutes on the internet not know that if you allow any random person with an ISP to post anything they want at your web site, you’re going to have serious problems?
And if they’re so savvy about the internet, why are there so many amateurish mistakes and security holes at their site—so many that they’re advertising for a web security expert, after putting the site online?
Like so much else about the Obama campaign, this notion that they are more “internet savvy” simply doesn’t hold up under close examination.
The whole idea of opening up a presidential candidate’s web site to anyone at all is fatally flawed, and shows a very serious lack of judgment.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Just because you make alot of money...

Doesn't mean you'll have alot.

Despite having record donations the Obama campaign is spending more money than they have coming in.

Weekly Standard has some of the lavish spending Obama's been letting his people do.

Makes you wonder what kind of tax-and-spend operation Obama will run once he doesn't have to depend on voluntary contributors to foot the bill. Also makes you wonder how biased the media must be that it would characterize the Obama campaign as lean and efficient when in reality it is desperate, spendthrift, and broke. Finally, makes you wonder how a guy who has raised all this money, won his party's nomination, and received all this fawning attention for his historic achievement remains very nearly tied in the polls.

Why the B2 Crashed

From StrategyPage

ATTRITION: B-2 Crash Caused By High Humidity

Some sensors on the B2 were overloaded by the eccessive Humidity on Guam. This caused the plane's system to become... confused.

Monday, June 9, 2008

Let's talk about Judgment again.

Glen Reynolds: I think we're seeing a pattern of poor judgment here.

MICKEY KAUS: "Barack Obama's choice of Jim Johnson to vet his VP prospects is already embarrassing his campaign . . . Johnson was an atrocious, tin-eared choice on many other grounds. He's symbol of old Democratic elites--the Mondale Restoration!--and of Beltway business as usual. He's gotten obscenely rich off of public service while pursuing a failed liberal antipoverty theory (community develpment) and taking credit for spreading around other peoples money. . . . Why would Obama, in his first big personnel decision, choose a paleoliberal greedhead with a track record of failure? You tell me. He's described Johnson as "a friend." It looks as if he was at best highly susceptible to amicable overtures from someone he should have had some critical perspective on."

For a man that touts his judgment... you'd think Obama can pick better people.

Or at least better excuses when he gets found out.

I am not vetting my VP Search Committee for their mortgages. You’re going to have to direct – it becomes sort of a – this is a game that can be played – everybody, who is tangentially related to our campaign, I think, is going to have a whole host of relationships.

The man heading up his VP search is "tangentially related". Wow.

Would you have someone on your VP search Committee that's got anything shady in his past? Especially if you were running as a Washington outsider?

If you were running would you honestly think the people helping your find your vice president aren't "working for you" or only "tangential" to the process? Even if you thought at much, wouldn't you make sure everyone working for you was as clean as possible? Especially if you were exposing lobbyists and such with the opposition and their staff.

Here's a video of Obama's confused excuses, and some commentary picking it apart.

Do we think Obama will suddenly get better at picking people once he's in office?
Or will we get more "The Secretary of State is a governmental position and not paid out of my pocket. I picked him for the discrete purpose of running the State department, and not on his methods of personal wealth building, legal or otherwise."

I guess that works given this scenario envisioned by Mark Steyn

Only this week, another of his pals bit the dust, convicted by a Chicago jury of 16 counts of this and that. “This isn’t the Tony Rezko I knew,” said the senator, in what’s becoming a standard formulation. Likewise, this wasn’t the Jeremiah Wright he knew. And these are guys he’s known for 20 years. Yet at the same time as he’s being stunned by the corruption and anti-Americanism of those closest to him, Obama’s convinced that just by jetting into Tehran and Pyongyang he can get to know America’s enemies and persuade them to hew to the straight and narrow. No doubt if it all goes belly up and Iran winds up nuking Tel Aviv, President Obama will put on his more-in-sorrow-than-in-anger face and announce solemnly that “this isn’t the Mahmoud Ahmadinejad I knew.”

Maybe he's saving all his competence and judgment for 2009 and on.

Iraq, Iran, the Pentagon & Obama.

IRAQ: Kill Them All, Please
June 9, 2008: U.S. combat deaths (19) hit an all time low last month. This is the continuation of a trend that began a year ago. Iraqi deaths (532 civilians and security forces) were also the lowest this year, but indicate that the Iraqis have taken over most of the fighting, and were suffering over 96 percent of the combat deaths. The nature of the fighting has fundamentally changed in the last year, with the Iraqi security forces finally coming into their own, after years of recruiting, training and weeding out those who were inept, unwilling or disloyal.

U.S. troops now concentrate on mentoring Iraqi combat units, and going after key terrorist operatives (leaders, financial supporters and technicians). There are at least a dozen terrorist cells still operating, and all have to be hunted down.

Doesn't exactly sound like that old "No progress in Iraq" chestnut. Though the decreased media coverage may be a bit of a hint too, but good news doesn't get the ratings of bad news.

Related to the situation in Iraq, what would you call a person that doesn't change their opinion in light of new information?

Remember when people called Bush disconnected and ignorant for ignoring the changing (for the worse) situation in Iraq? And now that things are getting better...

LEADERSHIP: The Pentagon Gets Ready For President Obama

Here's a hint, it's not a good thing, remember change isn't always an improvement.
The Pentagon is getting ready for some fairly heafty cuts into their spending, but it's not like they'll have a war to worry about.

President Obama will make sure of that.

Well, maybe Obama wants a more "European" military model

MURPHY'S LAW: Peace Destroys the French Army
The French problem is a common one throughout Europe, where the post Cold War military is as seen more of a jobs program, to keep unemployment down, than as a serious attempt to maintain military power.

Also here's a primer about the situation in Iran.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Be Skeptical with the News

It's not even that people think that the media is biased. Now most people don't even think the media is trying.

Answering no: 68% overall, including 56% of Democrats and 50% of liberals.

Voters have little doubt as to who is benefitting from the media coverage this year—Barack Obama. Fifty-four percent (54%) say Obama has gotten the best coverage so far. Twenty-two percent (22%) say McCain has received the most favorable coverage while 14% say that Hillary got the best treatment

Which shows that the populace does have some sense. Which is good given how blatant the media fawning for Obama has become.

On non-political stories, there's also some other major events that are not getting covered.

Including some very bad stuff for Amsterdam homosexuals.

Guns and Obama

David Harry has a list of Obama's actual position on things related to the Second Amendment. Odd that such a "transparent" and "post-partisan" candidate would have his actual history in this regard considered... smearing him.

Harry sums up the logic of saying the NRA has smeared Obama by positng the truth:

In which event, isn't this a little like arguing that ACLU has "smeared" Candidate Smith by truthfully saying he is anti free speech, just because he supports requiring a permit, with education requirements, before a person may criticize the government, imprisoning anyone who "falsely accuses a government official of misconduct," outlawing "speech that offends anyone without reasonable cause," etc., because the person expressing this view thinks that no one should criticize the government without knowing its business, or make false statements, or should offend others without cause?

Is it any surprsie that we're finding pointing out Obama's history is a smear in his view?

It fits perfectly with the Special Obama rules.

Sloppy work.

The Obama Campaign really needs to keep a better eye on the people it lets blog on their official website.

Can you imagine if McCain's website was chock full of antisemitic paranoid ranting?

LGF has links to the troubling insanity.

There’s something deeply wrong with a presidential candidate who attracts so many of these hateful psychotics. Read the comments; you just won’t believe what is allowed to be posted at Barack Obama’s web site.

Crazy supporters like this is and was one of the main reasons I was so skeptical of Ron Paul and thought of him as just another conman.


That was fast.

Obama Campaign Throws Antisemitic Blog Down the Memory Hole

And another one

Note how these posts are only deleted when someone brings them up and talks about them. Some had been aroudn for months before being "discovered".

New Politics.

An Open Offer to U.S. Senators

Michael Yon has an open offer to US Senators.
I hereby offer to accompany any Senator to Iraq, whether they are pro-or anti-war, Democrat or Republican. I will make this offer personally to a few select Senators as well. Our conversations during the visit would be on- or off-record, as they wish. Touring Iraq with me, as well as briefings by U.S. officers and meetings with Iraqis, would provide an accurate and nuanced account of the progress and challenges ahead, so that the Senators might have a highly informed perspective on this most critical issue. Our civilian leaders need to make decisions based on the best information available. The only way to learn what is really going on in Iraq is to go there and listen to our ground commanders, who know what they are doing. Generals Petraeus and Odierno have years of experience in Iraq, and vast knowledge of our efforts there. But the young soldiers who have done multiple tours in Iraq also have unique and invaluable perspectives as well. These young soldiers have personally witnessed the trajectory of the war shift dramatically, and can articulate those changes in concrete and specific terms. It doesn’t matter if a soldier is only twenty-something. If he or she spent two or three years in the war, that person is likely to have valuable insights. The best way to understand what is really going on is to listen closely to a wide range of service members who have done multiple tours in Iraq. Some will be negative, some will be positive, but overall I am certain that the vast majority of multi-tour Iraq veterans will testify that there has been great progress, and now there is hope. Combat veterans don’t tolerate happy talk or wishful thinking. They’ll tell you the raw truth as they see it.

I'm not alone in hoping that some will take him up on his offer.

Friday, June 6, 2008

Video of B2 Crash

The airforce released another video of the B2 bomber crash on Guam

It looks like the plane suddenly got too steep of an angle of attak on takeoff and stalled. Then it came down and hit the ground with a wingtip.

Edit: On rewatching I can see it takeoff and then suddenly pitch down a few degrees and start losing altitude. That seems to trigger the abnormal behaviour.

A lot of things could have done that, hardware failure, pilot error, windgust at just the wrong time, or a combination of that and more.

Terrible shame, it's good that the pilots made it out.

The B2 is a very difficult to maintain airplane and difficult to fly. Still, it is rather important to find out why this happened.


One of the initial reasons I was so wary of Obama is overly enthusiastic and messianic claptrap his core supporters babble. These people have bought into the idea that Obama is different, and like most devotees are quite put-off when evidence shows up that their man is exactly that, a man, a mortal.

Mark Morford writes a gushing love letter about Obama that shows exactly the kind of thing that makes me wary of Obama.

Nicely, he starts of with a fair warning:

Warning: If you are a rigid pragmatist/literalist, itchingly evangelical, a scowler, a doubter, a burned-out former '60s radical with no hope left, or are otherwise unable or unwilling to parse alternative New Age speak, click away right now, because you ain't gonna like this one little bit.

Emphasis added.

He's not speaking to a fence-sitter or someone not into Obama yet. No, he's speaking to the converted. And you better not be someone who pragmatically values every politician before voting for them, that seems too rigid.

He's also got a nice excuse lined up if you "don't get it".

Consider the mentality of a person that feels that a "doubter" is a bad thing. It is easier to "preach to the choir" than to try to convince someone to change their view point.

No, it's not merely his youthful vigor, or handsomeness, or even inspiring rhetoric. It is not fresh ideas or cool charisma or the fact that a black president will be historic and revolutionary in about a thousand different ways. It is something more. Even Bill Clinton, with all his effortless, winking charm, didn't have what Obama has, which is a sort of powerful luminosity, a unique high-vibration integrity.

Emphasis added. And fresh ideas? What is new about his ideas? They seemed pretty standard to me. What policy differences did he have with Hillary? Durring the primaries they seemed to have identical ideas. Does that mean she's got "fresh ideas" too?

Then there's the creepy idea of seeing a politician with " powerful luminosity" and a " high-vibration integrity". Is that the kind of integrity that has you spend 20 years worshiping under the preaching of a paranoid racist, donating thousands to his church, using one of his speeches to title you book, and having him marry you to your wife?

So is this the new type of integrity? Where one week you say you can no more disavow him than "the black community" and another say "Well, I may not know him as well as I thought."

Here's where it gets gooey. Many spiritually advanced people I know (not coweringly religious, mind you, but deeply spiritual) identify Obama as a Lightworker, that rare kind of attuned being who has the ability to lead us not merely to new foreign policies or health care plans or whatnot, but who can actually help usher in a new way of being on the planet, of relating and connecting and engaging with this bizarre earthly experiment. These kinds of people actually help us evolve. They are philosophers and peacemakers of a very high order, and they speak not just to reason or emotion, but to the soul.

Emphasis HIS.

Boy is he right, this is gooey (as opposed to the firm Boolean logic he used earlier in the article?). I have laughed out loud a few times reading this. It's just amazing.

This is the type of soppy thinking we're dealing with. "Spiritual" people are what will give us a new way, and have us evolve. I guess because these people don't have an organized theology, their religious style rhetoric is supposed to be okay.

How would Mark feel if a McCain supporter said that McCain would help us "evolve" and "lead to a new way of being."

The unusual thing is, true Lightworkers almost never appear on such a brutal, spiritually demeaning stage as national politics. This is why Obama is so rare. And this why he is so often compared to Kennedy and Martin Luther King Jr., to those leaders in our culture whose stirring vibrations still resonate throughout our short history.

Emphasis Added. You see Obama is a "Lightworker" because of what he says he will do, not what he has done. Mark believes Obama is one, therefore he is.
Isn't faith great?

Now, Obama. The next step. Another try. And perhaps, as Bush laid waste to the land and embarrassed the country and pummeled our national spirit into disenchanted pulp and yet ironically, in so doing has helped set the stage for an even larger and more fascinating evolutionary burp, we are finally truly ready for another Lightworker to step up.

And you can't have a good religious con without a redemption angle. In this mythology Bush is the devil, and Obama is the spiritual son of JFK. "Another try" at the peacemaker and Lightworker.

After he gives a bit of a boilerplate saying that " I'm not saying the man's going to swoop in like a superhero messiah and stop all wars and make the flowers grow and birds sing and solve world hunger and bring puppies to schoolchildren. Please. I'm also certainly not saying he's perfect, that his presidency will be free of compromise, or slimy insiders, or great heaps of politics-as-usual."

You can infer the pity in his voice that his god-man has to set down to our level, to allow himself to be brutalized and demeaned by our poltics and that he will have to compromise to get what he wants.

The devotee has a defense mechanism. This keeps him from losing faith when he sees his messiah working with "slimy insiders" and doling out "great heaps of politics-as-usual".

But that's required. While Obama may not be a god, he's close enough to make some real change. Not a messiah, but different from you or me.

But there simply is no denying that extra kick. As one reader put it to me, in a way, it's not even about Obama, per se. There's a vast amount of positive energy swirling about that's been held back by the armies of BushCo darkness, and this energy has now found a conduit, a lightning rod, is now effortlessly self-organizing around Obama's candidacy. People and emotions and ideas of high and positive vibration are automatically drawn to him. It's exactly like how Bush was a magnet for the low vibrational energies of fear and war and oppression and aggression, but, you know, completely reversed. And different. And far, far better.

Emphasis added.

Recall the list of Wright, Rezko, Ayres, Pfleger. Are these the people "automatically drawn to him"?

Let's have a more level-headed article.
Victor Davis Hanson speaks on Obama's associates

Back to Mark

I suppose it's futile to try to logic out the thinking of a man that believes that Bush et al have dammed-up "vast amounts of positive energy swirling about".

Don't buy any of it? Think that's all a bunch of tofu-sucking New Agey bulls-- and Obama is really a dangerously elitist political salesman whose inexperience will lead us further into darkness because, when you're talking national politics, nothing, really, ever changes? I understand. I get it. I often believe it myself.
Not this time.

Really? So Obama isn't going to make everything perfect but he'll come as close as he can, because that's just what an amazing guy he is. Mark, this is called a personality cult. You assign values and powers to this man, that he does not have.

Well he's correct. This article was not for anyone not already tithing to the "Church of Obama". If anything it makes Obama seem like an empty suit, who's only virtue is that he's not Bush (but term limits... so.. isn't everyone in the race that?)...

Obama also has the ability to tap into those that attribute supernatural evil to the Bush administration, and those that put great stock in the views of "spiritualists".

Therefore, the total lack of evidence about how Obama would fix things, or what he has cone is totally congruent.

If you can read the article again. Mark does not list what Obama has actually done and only has the vaguest notion of actual policy when Obama gets in (Universal Healthcare, losing in Iraq). Yet he's one step removed from saying how Obama will save us all.

Hat tip Glen Reynolds
He started that post with this: YOU CAN SPOT A BUBBLE by irrational exuberance, and pronouncements that the usual rules no longer apply.

One hopes that this bubble will pop before November. Not sure Mark could believe in that change.


Kate Woodbury notes the type of "reasoning" that Mark has.

When in my master's program, I would refer to this attitude--"whatever I say is tolerant no matter how intolerant it sounds because what I'm saying is de facto tolerant"--as Calvinism although maybe that's unfair to Calvinists. Still, the approaches bear a similarity: rather than behaving a certain way, one adopts certain attitudes or positions. If I gain a conviction that I am saved, I must be saved.

Given this thinking, if people have the conviction that Obama is this great leader then he is one. Facts are just something that "rigid pragmatist/literalists" cling to.

And they call people on the right the dogmatic ones?
It's also interesting who becomes labeled a "Right Winger"

If you look at the policies of people like Rachel Lucas, Rand Simberg, or Glen Reynolds to name a few... they are only "right wing" in the sense that skeptism for Progressivism and the Far Left is right wing.

That's a very collective notion of politics. "You're either with us or against us."

Speaking of Rachel Lucas, she links to an article by Jon Bolton

Read it to see how well Obama strikes up when you dig deeper than merely saying Obama will be a messiah-lite.

Executive Summary: Obama really needs to brush up on his history skills.

People should be skeptical of their politicians. Even the ones of the same party as yours, even ones you think you agree with.

That's what the voter should do.

I've said it before, but it bears repeating:

If you have a politician that you totally agree with and think is a wonderful guy and someone unique and special, then there are two options.

1) You are a truly lucky person to be living in a singular time in history and have found a perfect leader.

2) You're a gullible rube that got taken in by a smooth-talking conman (IE a skilled politician)

Which do you think is more likely?

Thursday, June 5, 2008


Why Obama Must Go to Iraq
By Pete Hegseth
Mr. Obama frequently decries the danger of "dogmatists" and "ideologues" in public policy, yet he himself has proven consistently uninterested in putting himself in situations where he might be confronted with the hard complexities of this war. It suggests a dangerous degree of detachment and overconfidence in his own judgment.

After all, Mr. Obama was among those in January 2007 who stridently opposed the surge and confidently predicted its failure – even going so far as to vote against funding our soldiers in the field unless the Bush administration abandoned this new approach. It is now clear that Mr. Obama's judgment on the surge was spectacularly wrong.

Yet rather than admit his mistake, Mr. Obama has instead tried to downplay or disparage the gains our troops have achieved in the past 12 months, clinging to a set of talking points that increasingly seem as divorced from reality as some in the Bush administration were at the darkest moments of the war.

It boggles the mind how a man who styles himself as the more diplomatic candidate and the one with more savvy when dealing with other countries and willing to deal with even unpleasant countries... won't deal with one that might be an ally.

It's also frightening the amount of disconnect Obama has with Iraq. One worries that he actually believes that hopey-dopey claptrap.

The Permanent Campaign
By Jame Taranto
Some will say Mrs. Clinton is being disloyal to her party if she undermines Obama's chances of winning in November. But maybe she just practices a different kind of party loyalty. After all, if you can be a patriot while hoping your country loses a war, why can't you be a loyal Democrat while hoping your party loses an election?

James also lays out Hillary's options and what it will take for her to get what she wants. If Obama needing her as VP for the election, that's pretty risky for him. What if office even more skeletons come out of the closet and he has to resign in scandal...

Of course, if Hillary had something that damning, she's likely have used it by now or at least before the convention. Still it's not wise to be between a Clinton and what they want.

A city occupied by the US forces wracked by violence that won't ever abate, even if draconian security measures are introduced that do nothing more than hurt the poor. After all if asking for people's ID's to vote is wrong, then asking them to show ID's before passing a checkpoint just to enter a neighborhood is unthinkable.

It shows how much this once beautiful capital city has fallen.

The city? Washington DC

Don't worry, once Obama takes over he'll clean it up, just like he cleaned up Chicago...

Oh... At leas I'm sure it's just a coincidence that DC has banned guns and sky-high violence too.

Rand Simberg shows another example of Obama's judgment.
On the man's conviction on numerous counts related to corrupt political fixing and other deals, Obama responds:
"That's Not The Tony Rezko I Knew"

It's nice to know that we're close to electing a man who is so easily fooled by conmen, racists, hatemongers, and slimeball criminals. At least Obama has plenty of experience and accomplishments to make up for his terrible judgment in friends and associates...

LGF has a similar post

Barry's either a clueless nitwit that can't tell his associates are dirty who will slowly realize who he's been associating with only after it gets out into the media.

Or, he's a opportunistic politician (how tautological) that will work with anyone as long as it gets him ahead and then sheds them when they become inconvenient.

So his "New Politics" are either the babble of a gullible nitwit or the calculated chicanery of a confidence artist. Great choice, eh?

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Things usually reserved for gods.

James Lileks is a daily read for me. His sense of whimsy and comforting babble are a great compliment to his expansive interest in the debris of our past and culture. His website is a treasure trove of images of old matchbooks, bygone motels, horrid food, insidious adds.

It's a place where someone with the right inclination can loose hours browsing around looking at what once was. The rambling site design means a lot of stuff can be quite the surprise to find.

His post today is fun, it contrasts Obama's gloomy, yet hopeful?, rhetoric about the condition of Minneapolis with the... actual state of the city. It also deals with the bits of his life.

That's not what struck me.

At the end of the post he mentions an update to his project of documenting old Minneapolis buildings. Specifically Rand Tower

And there's this: a carving you might find in a museum in 2600 years.


Like the ancient civilizations, we had our mythological figures, too - except we actually figured out how to do the things usually reserved for gods.

That really says it all for me.

Rand Tower Page
Bigger image of the carving

Dark Canada

Glen has a link roundup of what's going on in Canada.

It's a textbook example of how some people try to stop free speech by using "special" courts. Where the normal rules such as evidence, presumption of innocence, and impartial jury don't exist.

This is the refuge of people that with axes to grind that can't get what they want via the real courts.

It's something to watch out for, because it can happen here.

Over the Top, Literally, Rhetoric

The problem with campaigning as a "new leader" and an agent of change is that you have much father to fall when events show that you're just human, and worse a politician

Barry, I know you're happy about finally (though with a Clinton staking the heart isn't enough, you need to remove the head and stuff it with garlic...) clenching the nomination, but it might be best to reduce the... Messianic rhetoric, just a tad.

No joke, LGF shows BHO 's latest speech where he is one tiny step from claiming Biblical miracles, (never mind that a cynic would say his spending, taxation, healthcare and foreign policy plans would need a miracle to work).

I recently had a conversation where someone complained that only "right wing hack" sites call Obama "Barry". Yes, heaven forbid a potential president is called by a diminutive nickname form of his first name (which he used himself growing up in Hawaii).

I guess calling George Bush, Georgie or William Clinton Billy is similarly frowned upon..

But what can you expect, when a candidate has so many special rules that even his middle name is a touchy subject.

Monday, June 2, 2008

Victor Davis Hanson on the candidates.

This time the rules he comes up with are based on the flaws of the candidates and what they should do to win.

Very interesting to show what the choice (likely) will be in Nov.

Autopsy of the Primaries: The only Democratic Candidate who can lose the General Election; the only Republican one who can win it.

Gone for a week.

Stuff had come up.

Here's a bunch of good posts by Rand Simberg of Transterrestrial.

Canadian Kangaroos has links to the start of the completely Orwellian and textbook definition kangaroo court (no presumption of innocence, much looser rules or procedure, sloppy evidence, and actual thought crime) against Mark Steyn.

That right there is how free speech is controlled and taken away. Read.

Splitter Has some good news on the situation of Al Qaeda

One would think this is a good thing.

Even the French are getting it.

This Is Leadership? Links to comments on Barry's judgment and leadership. Specifically in relation to his (after 20 years) former church. It looks like he threw that under the bus when it became inconvenient for the General Election.

New Politics.

You Can Take The Man Out Of The Leftist Church Where he links to Stanley Kurtz's research showing how that racist church was not such an ill-fit for Barry.

The Uncle Seems Real delves into Barry's stories. Once again it shows my main thesis of fact-checking the news. Anyone with a basic inkling of history (or even geography) would smell something fishy about Barry talking about a relative liberating Auschwitz. Given it's in Poland.

It looks like having a relative at the liberation of Buchenwald wasn't punchy enough.