Right Thinking From The Left Coast
I do not fear computers. I fear the lack of them - Isaac Asimov

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

My Sacrifice

I have to say, this bugs me, too:

It’s starting to annoy me that Barack keeps telling us how he turned down Wall Street for a career in “public service”. By this he means politics. Just how great a sacrifice is that? The kind of ambition that gets you into the Senate and maybe the White House is not exactly renouncing the world and all its temptations, is it? And now here we have Michelle doing the same thing. She gave up lawyering, she says, and chose “public service"--the kind that leads in due course to a 300k-plus salary. I’ve no problem with it. I just don’t want to keep being asked to admire the sacrifice.

I’ve never really understood why any politician feels that giving up a high-paying job at a law firm for a high-paying job in Washington where they can get just as much money and a historical legacy to boot is a sacrifice. Maybe it’s the risk of being indicted or impeached they’re talking about?

Posted by West Virginia Rebel on 08/27/08 at 03:29 PM in Politics  • (0) TrackbacksPermalink

The Beat Goes On

What do Ted Stevens and Tom DeLay have in common? They’ve both been indicted, yet can still get idiots to vote for them.

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — Even though he’s facing federal charges, Ted Stevens remains feisty as ever. The 84-year-old Republican handily won his primary race for Senate and immediately proclaimed the November election a “piece of cake.”

That’s despite some major hurdles Stevens faces in the next few months.

Stevens has a September trial that will keep him off the campaign trail for weeks, and he’s up against his toughest opponent in his 40 years in office: popular Anchorage Mayor Mark Begich.

Stevens won the race Tuesday with 63 percent of the vote, beating six other opponents, including his closest competitor Dave Cuddy by more than 35 percentage points.
....

Stevens, the Senate’s longest-serving Republican, has pleaded not guilty, and his trial in Washington starts Sept. 22.

That means he will spend weeks off the campaign trail, leaving the state largely to Begich.

Even so, Stevens doesn’t seem worried.

“I’m doing my job,” he said. “Alaskans trust me. This is still a Republican state.”

Perhaps, Senator Intertubes, but is it a conservative state?

Posted by West Virginia Rebel on 08/27/08 at 03:11 PM in Politics  • (0) TrackbacksPermalink

Barry on Barry

As usual, the best convention coverage is from Dave Barry:

But in the end, the focus of this convention will be on Barack Obama, who on Thursday night will receive the nomination in long-overdue recognition of a distinguished career of seeking the nomination. His goal, in his acceptance speech, will be to win over the undecided voters—the people who are unsure of what he really stands for, or who have received emailed rumors that he is a Muslim, or a socialist, or a vampire, or a lesbian. His goal will be to show, with no disrespect to the Muslim socialist vampire lesbian community, that he is a regular person just like you, except he has Vision and Leadership. After that, he will lay out his specific policies for building a brighter future. Then he will turn into a bat.

Heh.

Posted by Hal_10000 on 08/27/08 at 09:31 AM in Fun and Humor  • (0) TrackbacksPermalink

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

The Temple Of The One

Does he get a purple robe and golden crown, too?

DENVER (Reuters) - Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama’s big speech on Thursday night will be delivered from an elaborate columned stage resembling a miniature Greek temple.

The stage, similar to structures used for rock concerts, has been set up at the 50-yard-line, the midpoint of Invesco Field, the stadium where the Denver Broncos’ National Football League team plays.

Some 80,000 supporters will see Obama appear from between plywood columns painted off-white, reminiscent of Washington’s Capitol building or even the White House, to accept the party’s nomination for president.

He will stride out to a raised platform to a podium that can be raised from beneath the floor.

The show should provide a striking image for the millions of Americans watching on television as Obama delivers a speech accepting the Democratic presidential nomination.

Yes, it will say that he is your god now. The triump will come at the inauguration to make it official.

Posted by West Virginia Rebel on 08/26/08 at 09:55 PM in Election 2008  • (0) TrackbacksPermalink

Convention Quote of the Day

Really, this quote from Nick Gillespie should cover this entire nauseating week:

I’m not a Democrat (or a Republican), so I’m not the target audience, but [Monday] night’s weak proceeedings got to the core of my continuing disappointment with the party: They always talk a good game about helping the poor, creating a class-mobile America, and all that.

And yet they don’t talk about stuff that might actually achieve any of that: School choice at every level (not just college); ending labor regulations at the low-end of the market (including the minimum wage, which really socks young people and minorities by pricing them out of the labor market when they’re just starting out); ending the war on drugs (which has turned poor urban neighborhoods into war zones and heavily policed areas); and more. Even the talk on Iraq was muted and full of hooey: There were more than a few of us who saw Iraq as a non sequitur from the War on Terror before it unfolded. Most Democrats did not, and they don’t have a compelling reason to be against the war other than that it didn’t go well. Obama is different than Joe Biden in that case (the latter a big hawk at the start) and it will be interesting to see if they lay out a foreign policy that isn’t just about not intervening if you’re not going to win in a rout.

I realize this is basically just a libertarian’s lament: Why can’t the Dems give me what I want (or the GOP, for that matter). But just who is going to decide this election anyway? Both candidates are polling under 50 percent and there’s that 10 percent to 15 percent who can swing just about everything.

I did some fisking of Warner’s speech at my own site, but I don’t think I’ll do any more because it just gets repetitive.  First, the Democrats exaggerate a problem that is not nearly as bad as they think.  Then, they make high-flying pronouncements about ten impossible things they’re going to do before breakfast.  Finally, they propose policy that, if anything, would make those problems worse.  To listen to them talk, you’d think they hadn’t controlled Congress for the last two years.

It gets especially bad when they turn to energy policy.  They are promising all kinds of things—hybrids, alternative energy, an oil-free America—that they simply can not deliver.  I was talking to a liberal friend this weekend who is equally frustrated with the pie-in-the-sky promises the Democrats are delivering in lieu of solid doable policy (carbon tax, more funding for peer-reviewed energy grants, tax simplification, etc.).  He agreed with me that telling Americans to check their tire gauges was the most substantive thing any Democrat has said about energy policy in the last five years.

You can enjoy the spectacle and the story, I supposed.  It is inspiring that a black man is about to be nominated for President by the party of slavery and Jim Crowe.  But once the words start coming out of people’s mouths, I feel sleep coming on.  Responding to the substance of any of these convention speeches would be like beating a completely decomposed horse.  There’s more important stuff to blog about.

I guess the biggest reason the DNC lovefest is working my last nerve is that I just read Isakson’s biography of Ben Franklin as well as P.J. O’Rourke’s entertaining analysis of The Wealth of Nations.  I know I’m a sop for the past, but to read about the Enlightenment—when titans like Franklin and Jefferson and Hume and Smith and Voltaire were in the parlors of power—makes today’s bunch of focus-group-tested fungi seem small and unimportant.

But in a way, the contrast is also inspiring.  Two hundred years ago, our geniuses were needed in the halls of power.  Today, our nation is so rich and so free that the geniuses can invest their efforts in things like iPods and solar cells.  So maybe, in the end, watching the political conventions does inspire a surge of patriotism in my breast.  I am proud to be an American because so few of us are politicians.

Or TV commentators.

Posted by Hal_10000 on 08/26/08 at 09:13 PM in Election 2008  • (0) TrackbacksPermalink

Big Momma’s House

Well, Hillary just finished with her big speech. I have to say, this was probably the most energetic part of what had been an excrutiatingly long night of nobodies. She got the crowd fired up (finally) and I think had a good line about oil dictators. She wrapped it up with reminders about the beginning of the womens’ rights movement, the right to vote and for some reason quoted Harriet Tubman. Overall it was vintage Hillary and I think she made the case for her supporters to vote for Obama. We’ll see what happens on Thursday but if you’re a Democrat, she probably knocked it out of the park.

BTW, what was up with the orange jumpsuit? Egads.

Posted by West Virginia Rebel on 08/26/08 at 08:13 PM in Election 2008  • (0) TrackbacksPermalink

The Religious Left

Doubt they exist?  Read this:

Give those in this room who have power, along with those who will meet next week, the courage to work together to finally provide health care to those who don’t have any, and a living wage so families can thrive rather than struggle.

Hep us figure out how to pay teachers what they deserve and give children an equal opportunity to get a college education.

Help us figure out the balance between economic opportunity and corporate gluttony.

We have tried to solve these problems ourselves but they are still there. We need your help.

When big-government liberalism is mated with religion, we’ll get .... actually, what we’ve gotten for the last eight years.

Posted by Hal_10000 on 08/26/08 at 06:54 PM in Politics  • (0) TrackbacksPermalink

The Return of the Douchebag

Clinton just can’t help himself, can he?

Bill Clinton appeared to undermine Sen. Barack Obama again Tuesday.
The former president, speaking in Denver, posed a hypothetical question in which he seemed to suggest that that the Democratic Party was making a mistake in choosing Obama as its presidential nominee.

He said: “Suppose for example you’re a voter. And you’ve got candidate X and candidate Y. Candidate X agrees with you on everything, but you don’t think that person can deliver on anything. Candidate Y disagrees with you on half the issues, but you believe that on the other half, the candidate will be able to deliver. For whom would you vote?”

Then, perhaps mindful of how his off-the-cuff remarks might be taken, Clinton added after a pause: “This has nothing to do with what’s going on now.”

No, of course it doesn’t.  What kind of moron would think that?

You know, as much as I’ve been ripping Obama lately, I still prefer him to Clan Clinton.  I understood the sniping a few months ago—he’d taken away a nomination that was supposed to be theirs.  Bitterness is expected.  But this is sacrificing the party for yourself—deliberately attacking your own guy so that he’ll lose and you can run again in 2012.

What a douche.

Update: Apparently, Hillary gave a speech without even, you know, mentioning the guy at the head of the party.  They just can’t help themselves, can they?

Posted by Hal_10000 on 08/26/08 at 06:28 PM in Election 2008  • (0) TrackbacksPermalink

Madonna Whore

OK, McCain has now taken umbrage with Madonna’s video montage that showed Hitler, Mugabe and McCain in the same group.  You know what my response would have been?

That’s right, nothing.  Just ignore the twat.  I wouldn’t even acknowledge that a pop singer is being deliberately controversial to draw attention to herself.  Let’s Limbaugh do that.  For a politician to respond seems ... petty.

Posted by Hal_10000 on 08/26/08 at 06:24 PM in Celebrity Idiots  • (0) TrackbacksPermalink

Sore Losermen

It was stupid when the Left did it in the last two elections. It’s downright pathetic when so-called conservatives are making the same claims about Hillary:

7. All of the delegates from Michigan and Florida have been reinstated . . . long after it would do her any good. Now that the DNC concedes she was right, where does she go to get her delegate count and “she can win the large important swing states” argument back?

Denial ain’t just a river in Egypt, and some on the right who are desperate for a more beatable candidate to go up against seem to be swimming in it. Aside from the fact that those delegates shouldn’t be counted, the math just isn’t with She Who Awaits. If her supporters want a floor fight they are likely to get their keisters handed to them. This is Obama’s moment. Hillary suppoters on both sides are now simply desperate.

Posted by West Virginia Rebel on 08/26/08 at 03:09 PM in Election 2008  • (0) TrackbacksPermalink

One Good Swiftboating Deserves Another

I guess they need somebody to protest against:

Two-tour Green Beret Ted Sampley, who helped “Swift Boat” Democrat John Kerry in the 2004 presidential race, is now gunning for the GOP White House hopeful.

The organizer of Vietnam Veterans Against John McCain claims the Purple Heart-winning former POW has “never admitted the full extent to which he cooperated with his captors.” Sampley also charges that, in the 1990s, the “unstable” McCain, whom he calls “the Manchurian Candidate,” ignored “credible evidence” that American POWs were still alive in Southeast Asia.

“He wanted to normalize relations with Vietnam,” Sampley tells us. “He took away the only leverage we had for getting those soldiers back. Why? He was paying back the Vietnamese for keeping quiet about him.”

Is there any more proof that these people were nutjobs to begin with? Oddly, the Right seems to be ignoring them this time.

Posted by West Virginia Rebel on 08/26/08 at 03:05 PM in Election 2008  • (0) TrackbacksPermalink

Monday, August 25, 2008

Quick Convention Note

Since I am presently out of town, trying to secure my job prospects, I’m not watching the Democratic National Convention.  I might not watch anyway, since they bore the hell out of me.  But I will watch some of it later this week and will definitely liveblog Obama’s acceptance speech.

Posted by Hal_10000 on 08/25/08 at 08:42 PM in Election 2008  • (0) TrackbacksPermalink

Why I Love The Free Market, Part 9,638

Cool.  A school district is telling their bus drivers to make fewer left turns.  The reason?

In 2007, UPS used route-planning technology to map out delivery driving patterns to minimize left hand turns and decrease time spent idling in traffic waiting to turn.

According to the company’s Web site, the changes shaved close to 30 million miles off delivery routes, saved 3 million gallons of gas and reduced emissions by 32,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide — the equivalent of removing 5,300 passenger cars from the road for a year.

Wow.  Three million gallons of gas saved.  And we didn’t need any mandates or subsidies.  No Great Leader telling us to stop making left-hand turns.  Just companies figuring out how to save a buck.  Beautiful.

Posted by Hal_10000 on 08/25/08 at 08:20 PM in Politics  • (0) TrackbacksPermalink

Conservatism is Racism: The Search For More Votes

Jumping Jesus, do we have to start with this already?

If it makes you feel better, you can rationalize Obama’s missing 10-point lead on the basis of Clintonite sulkiness, his slowness in responding to attacks, or the concern that Obama may be too handsome, brilliant, and cool to be elected. But let’s be honest: If you break the numbers down, the reason Obama isn’t ahead right now is that he trails badly among one group, older white voters. He does so for a simple reason: the color of his skin.

Much evidence points to racial prejudice as a factor that could be large enough to cost Obama the election. That warning is written all over last month’s CBS/New York Times poll, which is worth examining in detail if you want a quick grasp of white America’s curious sense of racial grievance. In the poll, 26 percent of whites say they have been victims of discrimination. Twenty-seven percent say too much has been made of the problems facing black people. Twenty-four percent say the country isn’t ready to elect a black president. Five percent of white voters acknowledge that they, personally, would not vote for a black candidate.

Five percent surely understates the reality. In the Pennsylvania primary, one in six white voters told exit pollsters race was a factor in his or her decision. Seventy-five percent of those people voted for Clinton. You can do the math: 12 percent of the Pennsylvania primary electorate acknowledged that it didn’t vote for Barack Obama in part because he is African-American. And that’s what Democrats in a Northeastern(ish) state admit openly. The responses in Ohio and even New Jersey were dispiritingly similar.

Here’s the thing about liberals: they will never accept that America is a conservative country.  They will cling to the myth that the 2000 election was stolen, they will cling to the myth that the 2004 election was stolen.  Hell, I’ve had a liberal tell me that the 1972 election was stolen—apparently America really wanted to go with Ol’ Landslide George McGovern but that crook Nixon fooled ‘em.  Thomas Frank wrote a whole damned book about how Americans are voting against their interests.

In the liberal mind, it’s very simple.  Everyone who is not rich must want to provide for themselves on the backs of those who are.  So why aren’t they voting Democrat?  It’s because they’re deluded, it’s because they’re bigots, it’s because the Republicans are crooks, it’s because Venus is in the House of the Ram, whatever.

Now they’re starting to scream racism just because Obama is stagnating in the polls.  We’re two months and 100 million votes away from this thing, and they are already making excuses.  It simply doesn’t occur to them that as Obama’s economic rhetoric veers further and further to the left, America veers further and further toward McCain.  It can’t be because America likes small government.  It has to be the Paris Hilton ad.  It has to be the Messiah ad.  It has to be racism.  Something, anything, other than America taking pause at the prospect of the coming Pelosi-Reid-Obama triumvirate.

Posted by Hal_10000 on 08/25/08 at 08:08 PM in Election 2008  • (0) TrackbacksPermalink

The Forgotten Man

With all the hoopla surrounding Ted Kennedy’s visit to the big show and the tribute to his family, is one of the true architects of the modern Democratic Party being left out?

Whenever Democrats gather to celebrate the party, they invoke the names of their luminaries past. The list used to begin with Jefferson and Jackson. More recently, it’s been shortened to F.D.R., Truman, and J.F.K. The one Democrat with a legitimate claim to greatness who can’t be named is Lyndon Johnson. The other day I asked Robert Caro, Johnson’s Pulitzer-Prize-winning biographer and hardly a hagiographer of the man, whether he thought Johnson should be mentioned in Denver. “It would be only just to Johnson,” Caro said. “If the Democratic Party was going to honestly acknowledge how it came to the point in its history that it was about to nominate a black American for President, no speech would not mention Lyndon Johnson.”

Obama was born when the civil rights movement was at its peak. When he pays tribute to MLK, would it hurt to mention LBJ? Would he have the courage to do so?

Posted by West Virginia Rebel on 08/25/08 at 05:17 PM in Election 2008  • (0) TrackbacksPermalink
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