Okay, you know what? This Republican ideological purity complaint against John McCain has officially reached its ad absurdum illogical conclusion.
Ann Coulter claims she will not only vote for, but campaign for Hillary Clinton if John McCain wins the Republican nomination:
Well I hope Coulter campaigns for Hillary, because it certainly won't help her. With any luck Coulter will register as a Democrat too, and the GOP can thankfully be rid of her at last.
Pretending that Hillary is some kind of hawk on the war to justify not supporting McCain is just playing a stupid and dangerous game with our national security.
(h/t Hot Air)
By Ken McCracken at 1/31/2008 08:10:00 PM
Strike while the iron is hot!
Remember last year when Fred Thomspon formed an exploratory committee, how excited a lot of people got that a Reaganeque figure was about to enter the race? Right around that time, Fred came out with this short and brilliant video that absolutely smacked down Michael Moore on freedom of speech that got very wide play and generated a lot of enthusiasm. Fred should have waited a week for it to simmer down, then reignited the base by announcing his candidacy. But no, he waited. He skipped the debates. Rumors swirled about disarray in his campaign. Fred was about ideas, but unfortunately campaigns are mostly about personalities and rhetoric, and Fred left his ample theatrical skills hiding in the wings while lesser lights got the applause. Weeks, and months went by, and everyone figured he was only half-serious about running, and that is the message that stuck.
Rudy Giuliani was, hard to believe, at one time the presumptive GOP candidate. He did well on television with his ads and debate performances, but he refused to actually campaign for any states until the Florida primary this week. He was looking at second- or third-place showings in Iowa, New Hampshire and Nevada, so he just decided to write them off and put his resources elsewhere. McCain and Romney started eating into his poll numbers in Florida, his first and last stand. A handful of place or show finishes in other states would have kept at least some momentum and excitement going for him, but instead he just watched it all crumble. He proved that an all-big state strategy just doesn't work.
So all you future candidates out there, keep your momentum, seize your moment, and be wary of cutting corners in your efforts.
By Ken McCracken at 1/31/2008 11:59:00 AM
First of all, the Keating Five was not a jazz ensemble. McCain 'proved' that campaign finance reform was necessary because he could not be trusted to do the right thing.
He tried to make amends by tearing out entire sections of the Constitution. The First Amendment is not a negotiable instrument to be bargained away to earn plaudits from the press (the only consituency that ever really gave a damn about campaign finance reform), but McCain found the First Amendment to be quite fungible in the name of increasing his political visibility. The man certainly has his priorities. What other parts of the Constitution, pray tell, might John McCain find inconvenient when his popularity is at stake?
Protecting the new and odious practice of filibustering judicial nominees by cementing it in place via the Gang Of Fourteen, does still more harm to the Constitution.
Amnesty, shamnesty, or anything even close to resembling citizenship for illegals is an insult to the rule of law, and to the hallowed tradition of legal immigration in this country. Dragging his feet on building a border fence to protect our sovereignty belies an ugly ulterior motive.
Fighting tooth and nail against the centerpiece of the Bush domestic agenda - significant tax cuts - was a remarkable act of disloyalty, a dismaying display of economic ignorance, and 'maverick' politics at its very worst.
He has an abiding faith in the voodoo science of global warming.
He publicly threw Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld under the bus, during wartime, yet again to earn kisses from the press.
He called the Swiftboat Veterans "dishonest and dishonorable", with no basis in his personal experience or the record to justify doing so.
Call it the McCain Mutiny, call it McCain Derangement Syndrome . . . these are troubling reasons to doubt McCain that are grounded in reality and facts, unlike the neurosis that is the Bush Derangement Syndrome. If he wins the nomination you will hear no more of this talk from me about McCain, and I will boost him as if he was the second coming of Ronald Reagan himself. But right now, this is the time to hold his feet to the fire and get some 'straight talk' that is aimed, for once, at Republicans and not his liberal masters who continually goad him into stabbing the GOP in the back.
Update: The governator of Caleeforneeah is endorsing McCain. It takes a RINO to know a RINO?
By Ken McCracken at 1/30/2008 08:25:00 PM
News is out everywhere that John Edwards is about to end his presidential candidacy, according to a source in his campaign.
This is to his benefit. Rather than fight on quixotically in some pointless crusade 'for working people' or some other excuse to stay in the spotlight, Edwards is doing the right thing and going out while people are still paying at least a little attention to him. He is saving himself the embarassment of being a guest who doesn't know when to leave.
There are a few other candidates out there who should be that realistic.
Update: Ugh. Democratic cheerleader posing as journalist Nedra Pickler gushes tears into her grape Kool-aid over Edwards leaving the campaign:
DENVER - Democrat John Edwards is exiting the presidential race Wednesday, ending a scrappy underdog bid in which he steered his rivals toward progressive ideals while grappling with family hardship that roused voters’ sympathies, The Associated Press has learned.
By Ken McCracken at 1/30/2008 10:32:00 AM
Apparently still pondering whose campaign he can damage most with his endorsement, Jimmy Carter held off on choosing either Obama or Clinton, though he did call Obama's campaign 'titillating.'
*Concept shamelessly stolen from James Taranto.
By Ken McCracken at 1/29/2008 07:54:00 PM
With nearly half the votes counted, McCain beats Romney 36% to 32% in Florida's Republican primary, which is winner-takes-all contest for delegates.
McCain did well among latino voters, yet not so well among the military, surprisingly enough. Does this strengthen McCain against Clinton in a national election, who is depending heavily on the hispanic vote, and who is watching her support among African-Americans dwindle?
This primary seems to put to rest the notion that McCain cannot win in the Republican base. This was the first primary contest so far in which neither Democrats nor independents are allowed to vote for Republicans, and yet McCain won.
By Ken McCracken at 1/29/2008 06:51:00 PM
It has been a joy and a delight to watch the Democrats tearing each other apart over identity politics during this presidential election. Finally, the fundamental unfairness of treating certain groups as more special than others is showing its very ugly consequences as women and African-Americans are pitted against each other in this desperate battle for premier victimhood.
It is always interesting to keep tabs on who the darling PC group of the moment is, that special identity that is placed reverently atop the PC totem pole to assume the cherished status of 'moral authority over all' that the leftwing cognoscenti expect us all to follow. Is it women this week? Or 'people of color' (not to ever be confused with 'colored people', even though, heh, they are exactly the same thing), or lefthanded lesbian filipinos?
Well in Europe it appears that the top slot now belongs to . . . bigoted and chauvinistic Muslim males. Incredible, but a group that rejects every single liberal ideal there is, and whose views harken back to the dark ages, appear to be emerging as the new top protected species.
As Bruce Bawer notes: "Multiculturalists cant face all this. So it is that even when there are brutal gay-bashings, few journalists write about them; of those who do, few mention that the perpetrators are Muslims; and those who do mention it take the line that these perpetrators are lashing out in desperate response to their own oppression."
How did this come to be? Let's analyze it. In order for all of these competing identity groups to come together for political purposes, they need the fiction of 'multiculturalism' to keep them tied together. That is, all cultures and groups are equally valid, equally valuable, equally good, blah blah (except whites and conservatives, naturally). But . . . when members of a group don't actually treat others as equally valid, equally valuable and so on, the fault cannot lie with multiculturalism itself and its pollyanna and unrealistic fictions. Multiculturalism is a necessary political tool that cannot be blamed for any of this, so the fault must lie elsewhere. The solution is to absolve these young Muslim men of their anti-social tendencies by casting them as victims too. They know not what they do.
So, being an intolerant, gay-bashing, female-loathing theocrat is okay as long as they fit into the liberal schema of the oppressed classes. Then, anything goes because it just isn't their fault, somehow. Remember, to liberals it isn't what you do, or what you think or say that counts, only the symbolic value of the color of your skin, your sex, and your economic circumstances matter.
By Ken McCracken at 1/29/2008 03:24:00 PM
Hallelujah. Via Jason Javitz we find that one GOP candidate has momentarily noticed that we have a guy named George W. Bush in the White House. The Bush administration has not been the disaster of comic-book proportions that the left pretends it is (economic growth, low unemployment, tax cuts, success in Iraq, etcetera and so on. Oh, the horrors) and it is about time a GOPper in the limelight acknowledged that.
Mitt Romney: "I salute the fact the president has kept us safe these past six years." And, "Has the president done everything perfectly? Absolutely not,' said Romney a day earlier. 'But is he a person I deeply respect for his conviction and his appreciation for the country and his desire to do what's right for it? I sure do."
Well done, Mitt.
By Ken McCracken at 1/26/2008 08:16:00 PM
Heh, I can't be trusted around polls anymore, so I won't try to blognosticate about what the South Carolina primary actually means . . . but the only poll that really matters shows that Obama won bigtime in SC.
Bill Clinton wasted no time whatsoever in trying to 'ghettoize' Obama (Mickey Kaus' term, not mine) by pointing out that Jesse Jackson won South Carolina too in 1984 and 1988. I predict (wince) that this will backfire. Obama, as others have pointed out, is not a black candidate, he is a candidate who happens to be black. That makes all the difference in the world. Obama has avoided the trap of embracing the Jacksons and Sharptons in this campaign, and that has been key to his success, and a source of frustration to the Clintons who apparently are still placing all their chips on white racism to win.
I have come to really like Obama. Oh, I wouldn't trust him with the keys to the White House, and yes I'd vote for John McCain before I'd vote for an inexperienced socialist for president. But he has stood up to the Clinton Deceit Machine better than expected, hasn't lost his cool, and is becoming a better campaigner than Bill Clinton. That might be faint praise these days actually, and Bill's unhingedness did in fact contribute to Hillary's undoing in SC I believe, but when you are going up against the Clintons, you are still going up against the best.
One reason is because he has that sincerity thing going for him that Hillary hasn't learned how to fake yet.
Update: This post and first comment at Matthew Yglesias' place made me laugh out loud:
After all this time being told by the Clinton campaign that Barack Obama is some kind of closet Reagan-worshipping right-winger, it's a bit confusing to be told that he's the second coming of Jesse Jackson, too.
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That was the Unity ticket in 1980, Reagan/Jackson. Don't you remember?
P.S. Or is Obama just like JFK? I wish these Dems would make up their minds.
By Ken McCracken at 1/26/2008 06:52:00 PM
Update: Mea Culpa! Wow, I read that poll and didn't see that, lo and behold, Mormons are mentioned, as Hugh points out. I too apologize to Brian Williams.
This presents me with a dilemma, however. This post is now completely erroneous and irrelevant. Do I take it down? Mind you, I don't mind being wrong, even egregiously wrong, in a blog post. It has happened before, it will happen again. I actually think this kinda thing is fun, because I don't pretend to be perfect and this is just an inevitable part of the organic nature of blogging. So I wouldn't take the post down in order to do a CYA. But . . . what is the point of this post now? All it is doing is taking up space. It isn't particularly newsworthy even as a fine example of sloppy blogging. Normal practice is to make the correction and leave the post up.
But would it be so wrong to have just said 'screw it' and taken it down?
During the Republican debate yesterday, co-moderator Brian Williams, asked Mitt Romney the following question:
Williams: Governor, we’ve got an NBC News-Wall Street Journal poll coming out in the morning that says, among a lot of other things, 44 percent of respondents say a Mormon president would have a difficult time uniting the country. And I know you’ve answered similar questions about what you were able to do with the Catholic vote in Massachusetts, but 44 percent nationally, writ large, is a large number.
There is a huge problem here, which is that the poll Williams refers to asks no questions whatsoever about Mormonism, or how a Mormon president would fare in uniting the country.
Was Williams being dishonest? Was he making an honest but poor inference? Or is he just clueless?
Williams is either too fraudulent or too stupid to be trusted as a journalist, regardless of what character defect led him to ask this question.
(h/t Hugh Hewitt, not surprisingly)
By Ken McCracken at 1/25/2008 04:41:00 PM
"Today, our troops started moving toward Mosul ... and the fight there will be decisive," said Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, as thousands of Iraqi troops moved towards northern Iraq in a bid to eradicate al-Qaeda and its insurgent allies.
While most of Iraq is now secure, much of northern Iraq is controlled by al-Qaeda and former Ba'athist forces. Iraq's third-largest city, Mosul, was rocked by explosions two days ago, as Iraqi forces detonating a roadside bomb there unknowingly set off explosives in a bomb-building factory nearby. Mosul is, as U.S. officials point out, one of the few places in Iraq where al-Qaeda can still operate freely.
The fact that al-Qaeda and its allies are boxed up in Mosul is a testament to the success of The Surge elsewhere in Iraq. Al-Qaeda has nowhere else to go in urban Iraq save Mosul, Kirkuk and a scan few other places in Iraq. This is due to the widespread cooperation with the U.S. among the populace, the vastly improved Iraq security forces, and the deep revulsion for al-Qaeda even among devout Sunnis. This Iraqi surge is now possible because Iraq military units can be safely removed now from places such as Anbar Province and Baghdad.
This is the end of the end for al-Qaeda in Iraq.
By Ken McCracken at 1/25/2008 11:52:00 AM
Drudge right now is featuring this marvelous picture of the Clintons with indicted Chicago real estate developer Tony Rezko. Hillary attempted to lambast Barack Obama regarding Rezko, saying "I was fighting against those [Reagan] ideas when you were practicing law and representing your contributor, Rezko, in his slum landlord business in inner city Chicago."
As for this rather embarrassing picture of not one, but both Clintons with this 'slumlord', Hillary said "I probably have taken hundreds of thousands of pictures. I don't know the man. I wouldn't know him if he walked in the door."
Maybe she would recognize him if he had fistfuls of cash. Are we to believe that Rezko got the honor of a double Clinton portrait entirely gratis? With anyone else, you would give them the benefit of the doubt.
Some advice to Hillary: you aren't exactly Caesar's wife when it comes to ethics, corruption and special favors (certain commodity deals in Arkansas come to mind). Go on about Obama's alleged corruption if you must, but that dredges up a lot of the muck from the Clinton years that even Democrats want to forget. Face it, Obama is a piker compared to you when it comes to corrupt contributors.
Here is a good primer on Barack Obama's dealings with Tony Rezko, which have already been big news in the Chicago area for quite some time.
The key nugget is this:
A few months after Obama became a U.S. senator, he and Rezko's wife, Rita, bought adjacent pieces of property from a doctor in Chicago's Kenwood neighborhood -- a deal that has dogged Obama the last two years. The doctor sold the mansion to Obama for $1.65 million -- $300,000 below the asking price. Rezko's wife paid full price -- $625,000 -- for the adjacent vacant lot. The deals closed in June 2005. Six months later, Obama paid Rezko's wife $104,500 for a strip of her land, so he could have a bigger yard. At the time, it had been widely reported that Tony Rezko was under federal investigation. Questioned later about the timing of the Rezko deal, Obama called it "boneheaded" because people might think the Rezkos had done him a favor.
Update: Drudge is also featuring an article about a chimp who beats humans in memory competitions. What, was his opponent Hillary, the woman with the world's worst memory?
P.S. I am not one of these people who thinks Hillary is an ugly witch with green skin and a warty nose. She takes some great pictures (and alas, some not so great) and the picture above is flattering, image-wise, for both Hill and Bill. Unfortunately, Hillary has this consistent habit of taking good pictures with the wrong people:
By Ken McCracken at 1/25/2008 10:02:00 AM
America's least-presidential President shows just how he goes about belittling his own status. The link shows a CNN reporter asking for Clinton's reaction to Dick Harpootlian's claim that the Clintons are engaging in Lee Atwater-style political tactics against Obama. Clinton plays the trump victim card in response.
Is there anything less attractive than whining, especially coming from a supposedly accomplished politician and alleged 'genius' at campaigning? Perhaps this is indeed an unconscious (or conscious) attempt to derail Hillary's ride to the nomination.
The idea that Clintons are just honest folks working for the American people (can we put that tired old Clinton cliche to rest, please?) who would never, ever engage in smashmouth politics is just patently ludicrous - but apparently this whole schtick works on a great many gullible Democrats. After all, Bill Clinton's childish tirades do not seem to be diminishing Hillary's chances at victory.
Perhaps this routine works because perpetual victimhood is the very foundation of the Democratic Party. Whining isn't a bug - it's a feature!
By Ken McCracken at 1/23/2008 02:39:00 PM
Well it will take a lot more than this to make me and a lot of other folks warm up to McCain. It does help a little, however:
Orlando, Fla. – One of Florida's most famous military men, General H. Norman Schwarzkopf, has put his weight behind Sen. John McCain's bid for the presidency today. "Stormin' Norman" Schwarzkopf, a retired four-star general who was commander of the Coalition Forces in the 1991 Gulf War, became well known to most Americans with his daily, televised press conferences describing the course of the war. As the co-author of the plan for Operation Desert Storm, Schwarzkopf's strategy was so successful that the ground war concluded in just four days. "Sen. John McCain has served our country with honor in war and in peace," Schwarzkopf said in a statement. "He has demonstrated the type of leadership our country sorely needs at this time. For that reason, he has my complete support."
By Ken McCracken at 1/23/2008 09:10:00 AM
Gleefully gloating about how you have captured the body parts of your enemies is pretty much the definition of caveman barbarity.
"We have the heads, the hands, the feet and even a nearly intact cadaver from the head down to the pelvis," he said.Well, 'caveman' pretty much exactly describes Hassan Nasrallah, leader of Hezbollah, who has literally been living underground since his 'victory' against Israel in 2006. He did come out into the sunlight for his first public appearance since the war, visiting a stadium in Beirut to commemorate the Shi'ite festival of Ashura.
A million of his followers came out to join him. I am surprised and disappointed that the Israelis didn't find him there.
P.S. Could you just imagine the response if Ehud Olmert made a public appearance and gloated over having the body parts of dead Hezbollah fighters?
By Ken McCracken at 1/19/2008 11:13:00 AM
This is the most frightening part: "We do not know who executed these attacks or why, but all involved intrusions through the Internet."
Well of course cyberattacks come through the internet, but the stark revelation that someone using the same internet connection such as you or I are using can turn off the switch in major metropolitan areas is perturbing to say the least.
Um, shouldn't we do something about this?
By Ken McCracken at 1/19/2008 10:51:00 AM
She's no comeback kid. Those wires are glowin', and Hillary is about to pop up ready to be slathered with butter and marmalade.
This is better than watching the Dallas Cowboys lose againandagainandagainandagain by several orders of magnitude (America's Team my ass).
Right after Iowa, Obama was polling only one point ahead of Hillary in New Hampshire, but now it looks like a real Obamalanche - the quite reliable Rasmussen, and CNN now put Obama a healthy twelve and ten points ahead respectively in the Granite State.
Kevin Drum is a bit miffed:
In related news, apparently the flinty-eyed independents of New Hampshire aren't quite as flinty-eyed as they'd like you to believe. After a solid year of town halls, coffee klatsches, and early morning doorbell ringing — because, you know, New Hampshirites take their electoral responsibilities so much more seriously than the rest of us — all it took was a few thousand Iowans to flip them from one side to the other in less than 24 hours. Feh.Kidding? People love a winner! (and they like to back the right horse. . . ideology be damned. New Hampshirites are no less susceptible to this than anyone else).
By Ken McCracken at 1/07/2008 12:50:00 AM
Common sense and even a cursory knowledge of history provided plenty of proof that the infamous and widely-discredited Lancet studies were fradulent. Now, via Instapundit, we can follow the money and find that the second study was largely financed by George Soros, who dictated a pre-election release of the data in 2006:
Follow the money. Lancet II was commissioned and financed by Tirman, the executive director of the Center for International Studies at MIT. (His most recent book is 100 Ways America Is Screwing Up the World.) After Lancet I was published, Tirman commissioned Burnham to do the second study, and sent him $50,000. When asked where Tirman got the money, Burnham told NJ: "I have no idea."
In fact, the funding came from the Open Society Institute created by Soros, a top Democratic donor, and from three other foundations, according to Tirman. The money was channeled through Tirman's Persian Gulf Initiative. Soros's group gave $46,000, and the Samuel Rubin Foundation gave $5,000. An anonymous donor, and another donor whose identity he does not know, provided the balance, Tirman said. The Lancet II study cost about $100,000, according to Tirman, including about $45,000 for publicity and travel. That means that nearly half of the study's funding came from an outspoken billionaire who has repeatedly criticized the Iraq campaign and who spent $30 million trying to defeat Bush in 2004.
The very idea that Iraq suffered anything close to the casualties claimed in that study - on the order of two to three times the casulties suffered by both side in the American Civil War, or higher than the death toll of the conventional and nuclear bombings of Tokyo, Hiroshima, Nagasaki, Dresden and Hamburg put together, was simply ludicrous for any student of the history of warfare. There simply were no reports or photographic evidence of anything remotely close to such death tolls and damage coming out of Iraq.
The ridiculously high figures posited by that study of course gained wide attention among the credulous throughout the world, but now it is becoming crystal clear that the entire entrprise was financed by high-octane leftist partisans and written by some more concerned about 'imperialism' than the truth.
Once again, in the tradition of Walter Duranty, we find the left is most eager to play games with numbers of mass casualties to suit their ideological biases and project their agenda.
By Ken McCracken at 1/04/2008 06:50:00 AM
With nearly all Iowa precincts now reporting, Hillary comes in third behind Obama and Edwards.
Electability is what matters above all to Iowa Democrats, even before ideological purity. This is a replay of '04, where the front runner (Dean) stumbled then fell when the prospect of that guy running against the Republicans frightened Iowans into picking someone, anyone, who could possibly beat George Bush.
Hillary, with her sky-high negatives, was the opponent of choice for Republicans in '08, and Iowa Dems who want to win know that.
Is Hillary toast? No, far from it. Nor should she be toast. What, are we gonna let a high school stadium full of Iowa caucasians(?) decide this election?
By Ken McCracken at 1/03/2008 08:18:00 PM
WASHINGTON - The military's reliance on unmanned aircraft that can watch, hunt and sometimes kill insurgents has soared to more than 500,000 hours in the air, largely in Iraq, The Associated Press has learned. And new Defense Department figures obtained by The AP show that the Air Force more than doubled its monthly use of drones between January and October, forcing it to take pilots out of the air and shift them to remote flying duty to meet part of the demand.
Ack, this is supposed to be a bad thing? Our pilots are an extremely valuable military asset, keeping them safe and (relatively) rested is, I would think, to be desired. If they can get the jobs done with drones, that is the more expendable (and cheaper) way to go.
Just call on . . . THE REAPER.
By Ken McCracken at 1/01/2008 06:21:00 PM
If you can't see what's wrong with this news story about a British commando attack in Helmand Province, Afghanistan, you are obviously not a highly-trained, detached and objective journalist:
Royal Marines crept into position as the fanatics partied the night away just hours after Ms Bhutto was killed in Pakistan.
The bash was being held in ruined compounds a few hundred yards from Our Boys remote base in Kajaki.
Ragtag Taliban sentries tried to hit back with machine gun fire but stood no chance against the heroes of 40 Commandos Charlie Company.
The terrorists were pounded with mortars, rockets and heavy machine guns.
Two bloodthirsty revellers trying to creep towards Our Boys in a trench were spotted by thermal-imaging equipment and targeted with a Javelin heat-seeking missile.
The £65,000 rocket designed to stop Soviet tanks locked on to their body heat and tore more than a kilometer across the desert in seconds.
Troop Sergeant Dominic Conway, 32 who directed mortar rounds grinned: It must have had quite a detrimental effect on their morale.
Sgt Conway, from Whitley Bay, Tyneside, said of the Taliban lair: It used to be their backyard and now weve made it ours.
Wow. This isn't journalism, it's editorializing. Which means par for the course when it comes to the MSM. But for once, this journalist got the editorializing right, and correctly deduced who the good guys and bad guys are. Too bad you would never see something like this in the U.S. I mean, no mention of quagmires or worsening situations or mounting casualties or anything like that. Just amazing.
By the way, isn't a 'Taliban party' an oxymoron on par with 'jumbo shrimp'? What do they do, beat women with exposed ankles like a pinata?
By Ken McCracken at 1/01/2008 12:15:00 PM