Thursday, September 30, 2010
After Gloria Allred (who, don’t kid yourself, was put up to this by Jerry Brown and Democrats) held her bizarre press conference yesterday and paraded a sobbing, Mexican, criminal in front of the cameras to talk about how she committed a felony by lying on employment documents, creating a fake ID, and breaking all sorts of laws to obtain a high-paying job in the home of Meg Whitman in California, we realized what makes us like and dislike certain politicians: their ability to punch back against attacks and how aggressively they counter manufactured scandal.
Gloria Allred is revolting. That needs to be said several times a day. She’s trying to affect November’s election by driving a wedge between Hispanic voters and Meg Whitman by using this Mexican criminal to paint Whitman as a Leona Helmsely-esque tyrant. Whitman fired this woman, “Nicky”, when Nicky told her she was actually an illegal alien and admitted she’d been lying to Whitman for nine years about her work eligibility. Nicky then somehow got connected with Allred, who saw the opportunity to help near-octogenarian Jerry Brown in his flailing bid for the governorship by creating a manufactured scandal for Whitman to deal with in the last month of the campaign. When Arnold Schwarzenegger was running for Governor, Allred tried to do this to him as well, finding a woman who can forward and said she was abused by him.
Allred’s antics around election day are as predictable as pumpkins popping up around Halloween.
Smashing these political pumpkins takes guts and skill, and only the really admirable conservative candidates are ever any good at it. For some reason, on the Republican side of the aisle, no one seems to teach these people how to take down Democrats when they pull these stunts. Governor Palin, Lt. Colonel Allen West, Congresswoman Michele Bachmann, Candidate Nikki Haley, Governor Chris Christie, and Governor Jan Brewer are all EXCELLENT at smacking back whenever the Left concocts ridiculous charges against them.
Not coincidentally, we like all of these people very much, because they give us something to cheer about every time they raise up a grizzly paw and strike back against Democrats — leaving the Left bewildered and stunned, because for decades now Republicans have forever refused to fight back.
“We need to take the high road,” consultants in wood-paneled private clubs insist.
“If we address these charges and counter them, we are giving them credence, so it’s my advice to just ignore them,” advisors note.
“Is there any more mayo for my sandwich? It’s so spicy and I need the mayo to cool it down so I can enjoy it and my tummy won’t feel funny later,” the quintessential Republican campaign operative whines.
There’s no reason to wonder why Republicans lose so many elections — when they keep taking advice not to smack people like Gloria Allred back HARD when they pull stunts like yesterday.
So far, Meg Whitman’s done a good job of hitting back…and it looks like Allred had telegraphed what she was up to because the Whitman campaign had all of “Nicky’s” documents ready for perusal moments after Allred’s press conference.
It will take a day or two to see whether or not Allred’s stunt has any bearing on the campaign, but what we’re really waiting for is Meg Whitman’s retaliatory hit on Jerry Brown. Here in Chicago we’ve long heard that there’s a lot of nasty stuff in Brown’s recent past that will come out in this California race. Brown’s still hated by many Clinton people we know, as the wounds from the 1992 campaign have not yet healed, and the Clintons themselves have long, long memories that are picked up by those who love and support them.
The big question is whether Whitman’s going to go for Brown’s throat and take him down with whatever she’s got on him, or whether she’ll follow a classic, McCain-like campaign and “not go there”, just as McCain made the personal decision not to expose Obama’s past and his connections with Jeremiah Wright, William Ayers, Frank Marshall, and other radicals even after the Obama campaign repeatedly called McCain a racist and kept spreading all sorts of lies about him.
Saying “I want to run a clean campaign” is code for “I do not have what it takes to win and I am afraid to stand up to bullies because I want to be loved by a media that will never love me and wants to destroy me while I am too stupid to realize this”.
Whitman didn’t get to where she is by being stupid. And she certainly didn’t spend $120 million of her own money to let Gloria Allred and a Mexican criminal derail her campaign.
We don’t know a lot about Whitman, but like the woman…and are rooting for her to step up to the plate and really show us what she’s got now that Democrats have thrown down the gauntlet like this.
Wednesday, September 29, 2010
This election will be the political equivalent of shock and awe. Media and Democrats will be confused and disorganized. Reports concerning the survivability of the party will follow. Republicans will not be spared as long-overdue reform is imposed. The unprincipled media, sensing the mood of the country, will no longer be able to shill for the Democratic Party they want to survive.
The potential for danger is inside the Democratic Party. President Obama will be at the center of the storm. He is a newcomer, still viewed as an outsider. Obama was never personally popular with other politicians; he was tolerated. To the extent that he could advance the agendas of those in power, he had value. Now his oratory and popularity no longer sell, and he will be held responsible for galvanizing the public against the criminal enterprise we so politely call Congress.
Obama is a liability. His aggressive agenda jeopardized the establishment. Presidents come and go, but the old bulls of Congress die in office. It is they who own and run Washington, not some figurehead president. Obama's magic is gone. It duped the Party just as it did much of the country. This wunderkind is now a pompous, dangerous fool to both sides of the aisle. He embarrassed the real power in Washington and threatened their version of the Cosa Nostra.
Political power is respected, even when it is disliked. Obama came into office displaying contempt for Congress. He was a political phenomenon who established his own advisory group of czars. Congress was to be tolerated, but little more. Much of what was done was in violation of the Constitution. In a Congress where principles don't matter, advancing the ball is what matters.
Political alienation is never pretty. In this case, it could be tragic. We have a president with a Messiah complex, blinded by extreme narcissism. He has lived in an unreal bubble all his life, supported by shadowy figures who viewed him as a meal ticket for ideological change. Most of his life has been devoid of both discipline and reality.
Mr. Obama has never experienced real failure or unpopularity. How will this pampered man-child react to what may be total rejection? That is the core of the problem. The president is likely a sociopath. The nation and his personal tragedy are inextricably linked. The Democratic Party is in there, too. How this drama plays out could affect the entire world.
Mr. Obama is unlikely to be able to handle what is coming. His two-year record contains too many examples of pettiness and "it's-never-my-fault" behavior. Whether he behaves as a spoiled brat and strikes out at some country (say, Iran) to demonstrate his manhood is unknowable. Perhaps he will surprise and accept the fact that he has replaced Jimmy Carter as our worst president, although that is unlikely.
An intervention is inevitable. An intervention might be from trusted friends, or it could be a Nixonian pre-resignation meeting. The Democratic Party will intervene. They will do so out of self-interest rather than concern for the tragedy we call Mr. President. This meeting is likely to be Nixonian.
The administration's initial reaction is predictable. The president and his Chicago thugs will resist. These are tough guys, but from a small pond. The amateurs from Chicago don't stand a chance against the Washington pros. This is street-crime versus organized crime. The big boys have too much at risk to allow some street punk to ruin it.
From a Neoneocon commenter:
Perhaps more productive is to plant the seed of doubt/thought in the fertile soil between their ears, and let it go at that.
One example is turning leftist viewpoints back on one’s interlocutor apparently without noticing the conflict, viz., if talking to a liberal physician, go on a tear about how Obama’s absolutely right that doctors yank out body parts just to turn a buck, and that you for one are glad that Obama (keep using His name) has had the courage to punish such parasites and cut back their income. It’s for the children!
Other examples include:
1. Talking up militant unionism to anyone who has to (or in some future development, may have to) deal with them.
2. To a liberal mom holding forth about her child’s performance in school, talk about how the Dems are absolutely right that grades are elitist and merely reflective of class advantages, that her child should be sent to an inner city school to learn about the downtrodden, and that since all children are equally valuable they should therefore all receive the same grade. (If anything brings out the hard-nosed side of most women, it’s something that disadvantages their children. And quite right, too.)
3. To a liberal dad who’s proud of his son, talk up homosexuality, and tell him you agree that all children should be taught the …uh…ins and outs of all the myriad “lifestyles” Dems support, and encouraged to try them all. If he’s proud of a daughter, talk about how you approve of abortion without parental consent, and think that the Dems are right to support illegitimate births among teen-aged girls.
4. To accusations of “Islamophobia,” from a liberal who is female, Jewish, homosexual, or a non-believer, extol the virtues of Islam, and speak approvingly of Islamic policies toward the group to which your interlocutor belongs. (”No, no, I admire Islam. They sure know how to keep their ________ in line, don’t they? We could learn a lot from them.”)
5. To union members, talk about how you approve of the Dem’s environmental policies. “Barack’s right, we must preserve the environment for the spotted howling cockroach, no matter how many jobs are lost. Losing blue-collar jobs is a small price to pay for seeing the cockroaches gambol merrily in a pristine habitat.”
6. To someone who makes a lot of money, talk about how everything over some sum (choose, say, 70% of the guy’s annual income) should be confiscated in taxes and given to the poor. He’s got so much, they’ve got so little. It’s not fair!
7. Car buff? Government Motors should produce only strictly utilitarian transport (Trabants!) They’re good enough for the proletariat.
You get the idea. Dem policies have a thousand cleavage planes in them, because they’ve cobbled together a whole bunch of groups that have mutually exclusive views. Jam the person’s face in the part that’s repellent to him, but act as though you presume he – as a Dem – will agree. The hard part is keeping a straight face.
Additionally, just for fun, with people who don’t know my actual views, I sometimes like to use psychic ju-jitsu; express agreement, and then go progressively (sorry) even further left to titrate their views, ending up waxing eloquent about policies that would make Karl Marx squirm. (Think Kim Jong Il’s press secretary and you’ve got the idea.) The trick is to see how far you can go without the other person realizing that you’re engaging in parody. It’s amusing to watch initial smiles of agreement slowly slip, and even more so if they start arguing a more conservative line.
Saturday, September 25, 2010
Great Dr. Zero post.
It’s not an exclusively partisan scandal. The party in power tends to attract the big payoffs, from contributors eager to turn thousands of campaign dollars into millions in taxpayer loot. It’s an investment that pays huge dividends, no matter how rotten the economy might be. As the party dedicated to government growth and central control, the Democrats are more aggressive salesmen, and they can count on general media disinterest, so they can be more brazen.
The sharpest fangs of the Ouroboros are public employee unions, especially the teachers’ union. Titanic amounts of taxpayer money are poured into the hands of the NEA, and despite generally poor performance, they are politically shielded from reform. One of the biggest controversies from President Obama’s first year in office was the brutal murder of a popular District of Columbia school choice program, carried out by the Democrats on the order of the teachers’ union. The NEA buys this kind of influence by donating tens of millions to Democrats each year – over $56 million during the 2008 election season.
These very expensive money-laundering systems have been running for decades, consuming taxpayer billions to stuff millions into the coffers of politicians, who then grab more billions to throw into the machine. As long as vast sums of money are accumulated in Washington, the politically connected will gather to feast. Politicians need funding to stay in office, and despite their posturing as selfless public servants, they tend to be greedy and envious… with a strong sense of entitlement to the lavish lifestyle paraded before them by big-money contributors. They will always lose the battle against temptation to sell their power. They wrap their sins in self-righteous rhetoric, which they can sometimes convince themselves to believe. No central accumulation of power has ever escaped corruption on a massive scale, anywhere in human history.
Consider the terrible image of this huge serpent feeding upon itself, and ask yourself: what is the use of a “moderate” agenda that merely causes the beast to chew a little more slowly? What is the “centrist” position relative to a system designed for automatic, perpetual growth? Even if the President repaired to the golf course for the rest of his term, and Congress held no further sessions, the growth of the federal government would continue automatically. You can hear the sounds of the serpent’s teeth scraping against its own tail in talk of baseline budgeting, and the term “cuts” used as a curse against reductions in the rate of spending increase.
How will you maintain your “independence” when control over every aspect of your life is fantastically valuable, and politicians have plenty of eager buyers with deep pockets lined up?
It’s not enough to tinker at the edges of this system. Vast amounts of power must be torn from Washington, and returned to the people. We must begin the fearsome task of pulling the serpent’s tail from its jaws, or we will all be crushed by its death throes.
“Moderate” voters would be well advised to study the Tea Party critique of our unsustainable government carefully. As dramatic as it sounds, it’s the truly moderate position. The Ourboros has shown it cannot be reasoned with, and there are no firm boundaries it respects. The “living Constitution” is but the tip of its flickering tongue. Leave it alone for a few more years, and it will teach you the true meaning of “extremism.”
Friday, September 24, 2010
They'd be this straightforward (from a VDH column):
Proud and loud?
In other words, why cannot liberal defenders of Obama simply say, “Government, much more wisely than a selfish private sector, can ensure a vibrant economy. When people are assured of comprehensive government entitlements they use that security as a base for renewed work and investment. Deficits create consumer demands, spread money around to those who need it most, and spur economic prosperity. And when business provides society with over half its profits in income, payroll, and assorted state and local taxes, the resulting redistributive change and spread-the-wealth equality ensure aggregate economic growth”?
But no one seems to wish to run on the very philosophy that just two years ago was gospel. Instead we get “Obama made us do it.”
Thursday, September 23, 2010
BIG MEDIA’S BIGGEST FAILURE: The Debt. “Indeed, our unsustainable financial situation led to the creation of a Tea Party movement — one of the biggest political developments in America over the past two years. It would seem to be the perfect news peg for ongoing media coverage of our government’s fiscal irresponsibility. Of course, it didn’t work out quite that way, did it? Instead, the establishment media ignored, then attacked the Tea Party movement . . . . Thus, the establishment media reveals itself, not as the people’s watchdog against irresponsible government, but as the irresponsible government’s guard dog against the people. It is ground zero for manufacturing center-left consent.”
ID refuted!! here:
I think that I shall never see
A theory dumber than ID.
It says that God can make a tree,
A beaver or a honeybee—
That God can simply get a whim
To make the small E. coli swim;
He waves his hand through Heaven’s air
And lo! Flagella everywhere!
But sometimes even God falls down
And makes a poor pathetic clown:
Yes, poems are made by fools like me,
But only God can make Behe.
Tuesday, September 21, 2010
Quip lifted from comment here.
Dropping the pretense:
The UK government tax collection agency says…
…all your money really belongs to us anyway, so why not just skip the middleman: you!
Perhaps it’s only a matter of time, although for now the proposal is still considered “radical:”
The UK’s tax collection agency is putting forth a proposal that all employers send employee paychecks to the government, after which the government would deduct what it deems as the appropriate tax and pay the employees by bank transfer.Please read the whole article. In it, the proposal is criticized, to be sure. But the main arguments seem to be whether it would really save the government money or cost money instead, and whether errors would be likely to be made. Liberty? Never heard of it.
The proposal by Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC) stresses the need for employers to provide real-time information to the government so that it can monitor all payments and make a better assessment of whether the correct tax is being paid.
Thursday, September 16, 2010
Wednesday, September 15, 2010
Over at Rick's.
I have a whole shelf of Kreeft's books...
Here's a great WFB quote from the article that Rick links to:
I have a whole shelf of Kreeft's books...
Here's a great WFB quote from the article that Rick links to:
A clever debater once accused William F. Buckley of having “one of the finest minds of the thirteenth century.” Buckley replied, “I don’t deserve that compliment.”
Tuesday, September 14, 2010
Thursday, September 09, 2010
What hath Affirmative Action wrought? VDH:
The wonder is not that Obama is angry at criticism, but why he is so surprised in a weird “how dare they?” fashion.
Various explanations come to mind. Like the early presidential years of Ronald Reagan and Bill Clinton, Obama has experienced a radical drop in approval ratings. His preconceived notions about the world abroad have proven shockingly therapeutic. He must be disappointed that an Ahmadinejad or Putin is not swayed by his charisma and does what he pleases, which is mostly to oppose America and its interests whenever he can. Messianic disappointment with an unappreciative lesser world can explain a lot.
Keynesian economics did not pan out. Pundits without the responsibility of governance, who advised him to borrow trillions, now abandon him for not borrowing more trillions. He must be confused why he is both being attacked by friends and yet unable to borrow his way to recovery.
Yet Obama’s petulance, I think, more likely derives from a certain surprise — leading to anger — that originates from novel and sudden demands for accountability. Quite simply, no one has dared question Obama before — much less press him for deeds to match his mellifluous words.
Did he really think he could talk his way through four years of the American presidency?
Apparently, he did, and apparently he was almost right — given that rhetoric and sophistry earned him the presidency in the first place. In what follows, I hold some empathy for Obama’s pique; you see in some sense those around him suddenly changed the rules, and what in the past had been habit and custom no longer quite applied.
An Old Story
This is an old story with a long heritage. We know Obama got into Columbia; we have no idea what he accomplished there — or whether his undergraduate transcript merited admission to Harvard Law School. Obama may have charmed his way into Harvard Law Review, but in brilliant fashion he seems to have guessed rightly that once there he would be singularly exempt from the usual requirements of quantifiable achievement.
A part-time visiting law professorship at the University of Chicago Law school rarely leads to a permanent tenure-track position, much less a tenured billet– and never without a body of published articles and books. In Obama’s case those protocols simply did not apply. He was not only offered whatever he wanted, but as Justice Kagan reminded us, Obama was courted by Harvard Law School as well.
It is hard to think that an Elena Kagan, dean of Harvard Law School, would have gushed over the rather undistinguished legal record of Barack Obama, had he been either a well published but obese white Harvard Law graduate, or a conservative African-American antipode to the Biden-Reid stereotype, perhaps in the Clarence Thomas mold. After all, it was not just Obama’s appearance or skin color or cadences that so impressed Biden and Reid and won over liberal Americans, but his politics as well that earned him an exemption not accorded even to an equally professional appearing Colin Powell or Condoleezza Rice.
But enough speculation over motives for the origins of Obama’s strange and growing petulance. All that matters for the country is that the current president of the United States seems surprised that as our chief executive he is earning scrutiny not previously accorded him — and that he finds that demand for accountability both exasperating and abjectly unfair. Thus this week’s latest “like a dog” whine.
For some reason, Obama believed that those who expected after his campaign promises a real upturn in the economy, or fiscal responsibility, or inspired foreign policy would be satisfied, as they had in the past, merely with soaring rhetoric and superficial reassurance. When they were not, and voiced such displeasure, as ingrates they had supposedly reduced Obama to canine-like status.
Given all that, it is understandable both why America is very worried about what it has wrought — and why Barack Obama is miffed and lashes out.
You would too if both accountability and criticism were novel experiences at 49.
Sunday, September 05, 2010
Friday, September 03, 2010
And it turns out that evil, conservative policies might be just the thing when one faces electoral Armageddon:
OCTOBER SURPRISE? White House considers pre-midterm package of business tax breaks to spur hiring. I think we’ll see a lot of these kinds of things now that they’re desperate.
Thursday, September 02, 2010
Today's pop music sucks.
From Mike Allen's Playbook this AM:
TIME magazine dubs Obama “MR. UNPOPULAR”—Michael Scherer: “White House aides explain this change as a largely inevitable reflection of the cycles of ?history. Midterms are almost always bad for first-term Presidents, and worse in hard times. “The public is rightly frustrated and angry with the economy,” says Dan Pfeiffer, Obama’s communications director, explaining the White House line. “There is no small tactical shift we could have made at any point that would have solved that problem.” In more confiding moments, aides admit that the peak of Obama’s popularity may have been inflated, a fleeting result of elation at the prospect of change and national pride in electing the first African-American President. As one White House aide puts it, ‘It was sort of fake.’”Wow. This White House is paralyzed with self-pity and still suffused with arrogance and ideological blindness. The president is plummeting in the polls and his party with them because their ideas don't work, they seem ashamed of America, and they want to take all the money and give it to their friends. This isn't hard to figure out, but the ego in the Oval Office needs a grand historical explanation for his unfolding failure.
Incompetence and arrogance combined with extreme ideology far outside the American mainstream is just too easy for him to grasp.
"Will the media call the Silver Spring/Discovery Channel gunman an environmental terrorist?"
Wednesday, September 01, 2010
Vanderleun comments here.
It all gives me that warm fuzzy feeling I get when reading 1984.
Vanderleun comments here.
It all gives me that warm fuzzy feeling I get when reading 1984.
Has a couple of good posts.
From the second one:
From the second one:
Sooner or later, one or more insane Muslim jihadists are going to figure out how to defeat an airport security system at one or more of the hundreds of airports sending flights into the country or inside the country itself.
Once they get on board one or more planes, they will succeed in blowing them out of the sky causing hundreds of innocent deaths. If they are really lucky they will manage to detonate their bombs over a city causing hundreds of more deaths on the ground below.
The gelded child who styles himself as a president will make mewling noises on and off for a week or so, and then will go on a stress induced golfing vacation. The congress will be predictably outraged. There will be funerals and a lot of TV, newspaper, and magazine coverage of the "missing."
Flights will then resume at an even more glacial inspection pace except for those in first class, government class, or with private jets. The rest of us will then be told that in order to board the plane we must strip naked and don bright orange government approved flight sacks complete with relief tubes and Depends.
All except for Muslim men and women and children whose religion will not allow them to participate in such a demeaning measure.