Archive for the ‘politics’ Category

dear misanthrope

I forgot to mention, in this blog’s heyday, that if everyone who thinks the earth is overpopulated would off themselves, it would help.

Thanks.

(w/ thanks to Dan Collins over at Protein Wisdom for reminding me to say this)

Kathleen Parker, Martyr?

I like Ms. Parker and have enjoyed many of her columns. However, lately she’s turned her guns on her fellow conservatives, and has taken some heat for it. Apparently she considers herself a martyr, but who fired the first round? Let’s think about this: You shoot at a BIG group of people with your one gun, and they fire back in a hail of bullets. Too bad for you, but what did you expect?

Oh, reasonable conversation? Please don’t offend everyone’s intelligence that way. Offer me more than ‘Palin was picked by McCain’s sex drive’ and we’ll have something to talk about.

Now Ms. Parker whips out her holier-than-thou-ness and blames those idiot evangelicals for McCain’s defeat, and Jonah Goldberg nails her on the arrogance and faux-martyrdom. I swear the woman expects a hagiography.

Update: Jeff Goldstein over at Protein Wisdom also takes Ms. Parker to task, though with a different angle and some constructive ideas:

…what Parker seems to miss is that Palin is “part of the problem” largely because Parker gives cover to the Democrats and the liberal media to paint her — and those like her — as crazed religious fanatics, rather than as ordinary people of faith who happen to believe in the tenets of their religion.

So rather than highlighting those instances where Sarah Palin’s belief in God — and her own personal sense of morality — was overridden, in terms of public policy, by fidelity to the law, and a truly conservative style of governing, Parker went instead for the easy target, scoring points with the “right” kinds of people by attacking something that proves increasingly easy to attack: faith.

The Denver Post’s libertarian columnist David Harsanyi and others outlined Gov Palin’s governing philosophy and found it far more palatable than, say, the governing policy of the “Maverick” John McCain. (Recall, Palin vetoed a Republican effort to deny same sex couples certain privileges on the grounds that she thought the measure likely unconstitutional.)

Yet, were you to ask the average voter about Palin, those not diehard conservatives or political junkies would know virtually nothing of her governing philosophy — but plenty about her speaking in tongues, or her burning books, or her stance on abortion, or her slaughtering of helpless wolves, or her pregnant daughter, or her career as a beauty pageant contestant.

And people like Parker, putative conservatives, are largely to blame for allowing that caricature to take shape and breathe.

Preach it, brother.

Post-election Analysis

This is a collection of links to interesting and worthwhile analysis of “what next.”  Again, I will post my own views in a later post.

Randy Barnett over at the Volokh Conspiracy, an Obama foe, notes three good things about Obama winning.  I agree.

Joel Kotkin over at Forbes discusses the triumph of the creative class.  This is an interesting demographic shift.

Cassandra at Villainous Company talks about how to handle the situation and offers post-election predictions.

Via Rachel Lucas come Bill Whittle (always a worthwhile read) and predictions from Steven Den Beste, a legend in the dextrosphere.

The Right Path Now

This is a collection of links to ideas for what the Right can do now.  My own comments will come later.

Building a Rightroots Movement part one and part two.

Mark Tapscott talks about bloggers becoming the new journalists.

Ace of Spades on Rightroots and the kind of candidates we need.

thank goodness it’s over

carry on

VDH: “The End of Journalism”

Victor Davis Hanson:

Sometime in 2008, journalism as we knew it died, and advocacy media took its place.

we have never quite seen anything like the current media infatuation with Barack Obama, and its collective desire not to raise key issues of concern to the American people. Here were four areas of national interest that were largely ignored.

I’ve listed his four points w/ brief notes.  Read the article to get the story on each one.

  1. Campaign Financing: Imagine the reaction of the New York Times or the Washington Post had John McCain renounced his promise to participate in public campaign financing, proceeded instead to amass $600 million and outraise the publicly financed Barack Obama four-to-one, and begun airing special 30-minute unanswered infomercials during the last week of the campaign.
  2. The VP Candidates: … we are about to elect a vice president about whom we know only that he has been around a long time, but little else — and nothing at all why exactly Joe Biden says the most astounding and often lunatic things.
  3. The Past as Present: Imagine the reaction of CNN or NBC had John McCain’s pastor and spiritual advisor of 20 years been revealed as a white supremacist who damned a multiracial United States, or had he been a close acquaintance until 2005 of an unrepentant terrorist bomber of abortion clinics, or had McCain himself sued to eliminate congressional opponents by challenging the validity of African-American voters who signed petitions, or had both his primary and general election senatorial rivals imploded once their sealed divorce records were mysteriously leaked.
  4. Socialism? Imagine the reaction of NPR and PBS had John McCain advocated something like abolishing all capital gains taxes, or repealing incomes taxes in favor of a national retail sales tax.

There are many other things the media has failed to properly inform the US public of.  A quick list would include things like:

  1. Saddam’s bribery of France, Russia and China to keep himself in power
  2. The Oil-for-Food scandal, which was bigger than Enron and possibly lead to the deaths of half a million Iraqis, but which got extremely little coverage
  3. In Feb. 2003 Hans Blix listed 1000 tons of chemical weapons agent that Saddam declared he had in 1991 but had failed to turn over or prove he had destroyed as an example of what his team was searching for
  4. That a number of foreign intelligence agencies confirmed CIA reports that Saddam had WMDs
  5. That the deputy commander of CentCom, Gen. DeLong, claims we had intelligence assets on the ground before the invasion who saw WMDs being loaded into semi-trailer trucks bound for Syria
  6. Joseph Wilson’s lying in his NYT article and the fact that the Bush administration response was to declassify his testimony to the CIA proving he lied
  7. The actual conditions under which they reported from Iraq during the sanctions period (i.e., they failed to inform us Iraqi intelligence agents were with them constantly, that if they reported negative things about Saddam’s regime they would get kicked out of the country, etc.)

I could keep going, but I’m out of time tonight.

Bustin’ Palin rumors

Charles Martin has done good work, and had fun, busting a good number of lies rumors about Palin.

Here are a few of my favorites:

8. No, the Downs baby (Trig) isn’t Bristol’s kid, and no, the kid wasn’t born with Downs because (a) Palin flew on an airplane (b) went home to have the baby after an amniotic leak (c) because he was the result of incest between Todd Palin and Bristol.

30. yes, her 17 year old daughter is pregnant; no, the baby’s father is not an eighth grader; no, having sex at 16 is not statutory rape in Alaska. And no, there’s no way that a 17 year old can be 5 months pregnant as a result of having sex before she was 16. Learn to count for God’s sakes

31. yes, she did fire the public safety guy, Monegan — but he said in the Anchorage paper that, for the record, she never, and no one else in her administration ever, tried to make him fire her ex-brother-in-law.

32. and yes, the state trooper (her sister’s ex-husband) she was worried about did: tase her 10 year old nephew; drive his state patrol car while drinking or drunk; did threaten to “bring her down”; and did threaten to murder her father and sister if they dared to get an attorney to help with the divorce.

33. yes, the state trooper was suspended when he was put under a court protective order

34. no, the trooper wasn’t fired

66. No, she’s not a “global warming denier”, and when the crush dies down remind me to explain why the very phrasing “global warming denier” is anti-scientific, anti-intellectual, and a clear sign of a desire to impose your beliefs by coercion.

81. No, Sarah Palin doesn’t think that dinosaurs walked the earth with Adam and Eve 4000 years ago, In fact, this was a purposeful satire that comes from a post actually entitled Fake Governor Palin Quotes. This has, however, kept neither Matt Damon nor Maureen Dowd from propagating them as fact.

a new tide rises

Neo-neocon opens a discussion on one of her commenter’s statements:

I’m in an artistic field, where the leftists wear buttons and give political speeches on professional occasions, and I keep my mouth shut because I’d like to continue working—yes, this has been discussed here before, but in fields where everyone is a contractor it really IS that raw. You speak and contracts dry up. I’ve seen it happen. …

This said, I’ve seen a new generation starting to come into positions of power. The thing is, like gay people in the bad old days, we’ve developed ways of picking up the “tells” and we all find each other and know each other—eventually. … And I can see the replacement taking place, all but invisible to the people still holding most of the power. People whose entire identity is bound up in justifying stopping the vietnam war which they believe the ultimate evil, are being replaced by people who see that stopping the vietnam war—the way they did—was surrendering to evil.

For further support, I offer two articles. First, via Mad Minerva, this NYT article:

In general, information on professors’ political and ideological leanings tends to be scarce. But a new study of the social and political views of American professors by Neil Gross at the University of British Columbia and Solon Simmons at George Mason University found that the notion of a generational divide is more than a glancing impression. “Self-described liberals are most common within the ranks of those professors aged 50-64, who were teenagers or young adults in the 1960s,” they wrote, making up just under 50 percent. At the same time, the youngest group, ages 26 to 35, contains the highest percentage of moderates, some 60 percent, and the lowest percentage of liberals, just under a third.

When it comes to those who consider themselves “liberal activists,” 17.2 percent of the 50-64 age group take up the banner compared with only 1.3 percent of professors 35 and younger.

Then, via Instapundit, this post at the Volokh Conspiracy:

It turns out that the most recent Gallup poll of Jewish opinion, released yesterday, shows that Jews 55 and older are supporting Obama 74 to 19 percent, and Jews ages 18 to 34 are supporting him by a significantly lower margin, 67 to 29 percent.

In all the hullaballoo about Obama’s immanent victory and the rise of lefty power, I’ve read several comments to the effect that the conservative movement is over. Au contraire, it is rising. What is happening now is the last crusade of the boomers. They hold the positions of power today: they are the editors, the professors, the big names, the corporate bosses, the senators, etc. But we’re right behind, a few years younger, or a decade younger. We’ll be next in those places, and we aren’t half as lefty.

all joe the plumber all the time

Joe inspires a blog I intend to keep an eye on. I think Unfair Doctrine has a lot of promise. Here’s their “Why We’re Here”:

“I asked a question. When you can’t ask a question to your leaders anymore, that gets scary. That bothers me.” — Joe Wurzelbacher

Transterrestrial Musings plays time-traveling journalist:

71 BC

ROME (Routers) Diligent investigative reporters were shocked to learn today that many, indeed most of the captured slaves in yesterday’s battle in Lucania who proclaimed “I am Spartacus” were actually misleading military authorities, and not the famous rebel leader at all.

Claudia Rosett asks questions (dangerous! Watch out!):

But to squabble over Joe’s record is to miss the real point. Obama is the one running for public office, aspiring to the country’s highest position of power and public trust. Joe is not. He’s a private citizen, who had every right to ask a very good question. He wanted to know why he was being taxed “more and more for fulfilling the American dream?”

What he got from the well-heeled Senators Obama and Biden was mockery and contempt.

Most disturbing is this: If that’s how Joe the Plumber gets dealt with while Obama is still stumping for votes, then what happens to Joe, or anyone else who dares question Obama’s plans, should Obama win the White House?

Should we expect that that the answer will be targeted investigations, a public display of whatever can be dug up in the way of private laundry, and sneers from the Oval Office?

I am Joe the Plumber

I Am Joe

It seems to have caught on a bit.

First thing out of the gate, I’d like to copy a bit (well, almost the whole thing) of Iowahawk’s post on this:

We’ve all witnessed a lot of insanity in American politics over the last few years. Up until the last few days, none of it has seriously bothered me; hey, just more grist for the satire mill. But after witnessing the media’s blitzkreig on Joe ‘the Plumber’ Wurzelbacher, I can only muster anger, and no small amount of fear.

Politicians — Sarah Palin, Bill Clinton, et al. —  obviously have to put up with some rude, nasty shit, but it’s  right there in the jobs description. Joe the Plumber is different. He was a guy tossing a football with his kid in the front yard of his $125,000 house when a politician picked him out as a prop for a 30 second newsbite for the cable news cameras. Joe simply had the temerity to speak truth (or, if you prefer, an uninformed opinion) to power, for which the politico-media axis apparently determined that he must be humiliated, harassed, smashed, destroyed. The viciousness and glee with which they set about the task ought to concern anyone who still cares about citizen participation, and freedom of speech, and all that old crap they taught in Civics class before politics turned into Narrative Deathrace 3000, and Web 2.0 turned into Berlin 1932.0.

Godwin’s Law! you say? if the jackboot fits, wear it.

If it’s meta-memes and meta-meta-narratives these media headlice want, so be it. I hope you will join me in expressing a simple bit of solidarity with this guy, Spartacus style. I AM JOE. I am a Wal Mart schlub in flyover country who changes my own oil and unclogs drains without a license. I smoke and drink beer and toss the football in the front yard with my kid, and I figure I can fend my way without handouts from some Magic Messiah’s candy bags. Most everyone in my family and most everyone I grew up with is another Joe, and if you screw with them, you screw with me.

Amen, brother.

Volokh Conspiracy:

I was stunned to see some document showing Joe the Plumbers’ tax problems on my 10pm (CT)newscast on the local NBC affiliate in Chicago on Thursday night. They have very little time for any national news and they actually spent time on Joe the Plumbers’ tax problems. Amazing!

But when an actual candidate — Barack Obama — released his tax returns, which on their face seemed to show an ethics violation of Illinois law, the press couldn’t care less.

Just to remind you, Illinois prohibits state legislators from taking speaking fees, and Barack reported “speaking fees.”

CNN:

At a rally in Melbourne, Florida Friday evening, Senator McCain revealed he had called Joe Wurzelbacher.

“I talked to him this morning for the first time ever,” said McCain. “And I want to tell you his sprits [sic] are good and he’s a tough guy. He is what small business people all over this country are all about. They are tough and they are good and they want to get ahead and they want to keep their money.”

McCain did apologize to the Ohio resident for thrusting him into the media spotlight on the night of the debate according to McCain press secretary Brooke Buchanan.

Buchanan did say that the Arizona Senator invited Ohio’s most famous voter to meet up with the campaign but did not set up any specific stops.

Whether Joe is there in person or not, he is certainly a star at McCain events. …

And the crowd definitely seemed to be full of Joe supporters as well as John supporters, with people at the Melbourne rally were wearing tee shirts with a picture of a name tag on them that said, “My name is … Joe the Plumber” and holding signs about Joe like one on stage that said, “Joe’s dough, not Obama’s.”

But CNN’s Anderson Cooper is an idiot in this video.  He objects that Joe’s first name is really Sam and that he’s not a licensed plumber, so one CNN analyst he interviews call him ‘Sam the non-plumber’ and the other interviewees carry the joke.  Anderson notes Joe doesn’t make anywhere near $250,000 a year.  Never mind that Joe is actually employed as a plumber in an apprenticeship program, that a license isn’t required, and that Joe’s point was he wanted to buy a company that made $250,000 or so.  So Cooper is basically an idiot.  I wonder if Anderson Cooper is a licensed journalist?  If not, can we then call him Andy the non-journalist?

K. Daniel Glover at Video Done Right, in an excellent story on this:

Expect more of the same over coming days. In fact, don’t be surprised if all of those investigative reporters sent to Alaska after John McCain chose Sarah Palin as his running mate suddenly get reassigned to the plumber beat in flyover country. Joe The Plumber must be discredited at all costs!

Ed Morrissey at Hot Air:

So what have we learned from this episode?

  1. Thou shalt not offend The One by asking him a question.  Of any kind.
  2. Anyone who questions The One will have to undergo a public pillorying of a kind unseen since the Red Scare, or perhaps the Inquisition.
  3. The Tanning-Bed Media will happily participate in any inquisition, as long as it keeps them from investigating irrelevant issues like Obama’s ties to the Chicago Machine, William Ayers, ACORN, or his record on protecting infanticide.

Don’t ask questions. Don’t check the records of people running for political office, but do check the records of those who dare violate Rule #1.  No dissent will be tolerated.  Our political and media masters have spoken.

I only ask one favor of the Left and the media: please keep this story alive for another three weeks.  I can’t wait to read Michelle’s column tomorrow.

Free Republic.

But, because Joe the Plumber, a regular every-day Amereican playing catch with his child on a middle class American street, trying to earn a living for his family, was honest about the impact of the Obama plans from his perspective, and because he did not drink the Obama kool-aid, the MSM, the DNC, and the Obama campaign now consider that hard working, well spoken, young man as the enemy.

The truth is that the left, the Obama campaign, the DNC, and the MSM will lie, fabricate, misquote, commit fruad, beg, borrow, or steal in their effort to slow down what is happening on the ground with the McCain campaign right now, and particularly with the likes of Joe and especially Sarah Palin who is burrowing underneath all of their hype and drawing 25-30,000 people at a time to her rallies and getting the message of hope and conservative values out.

Jill Zuckman at the Tribune’s Washington Bureau:

Sen. John McCain offered a vigorous defense of Joe the Plumber today, accusing Barack Obama’s campaign of “digging through his personal life” because he asked Obama a tough question.

“I think Senator Obama could use a few more tough questions,” McCain said.

Joe Wurzelbacher, the plumber who questioned Obama about taxes in Holland, Ohio, turns out to owe back taxes and not hold a license for his plumbing work, according to news reports.

“The response from Senator Obama and his campaign yesterday was to attack Joe. People are digging through his personal life and he has TV crews camped out in front of his house,” McCain told a rowdy crowd at Florida International University. “He didn’t ask for Senator Obama to come to his house. He wasn’t recruited or prompted by our campaign. He just asked a question. And Americans ought to be able to ask Senator Obama tough questions without being smeared and targeted with political attacks.”

Good Morning America interviews Joe.

Copious Dissent has video of Bill Maher accusing Joe of racism.

Gateway Pundit links a YouTube video he says shows Joe’s reaction to the presidential debate, but YouTube says it’s no longer available.

Here’s a couple more Joe links, just for good measure:

Firefighter blog

Ace of Spades with an appropriate Photoshop.