Sep 12 2008

The AP is totally in the tank for Obama

Category: election 2008,McCain,media,Obama,Palin,politics,White Househarmonicminer @ 9:35 pm

If you have any sense, you’ll simply ignore all AP reporting in this election cycle.  In what pretends to be a news article, the AP claims that McCain’s claims skirt the facts. This bit of magnificent analysis is by one Charles Babington.  The only hint given to the reader that it is mere opinion, and not NEWS, is the word “analysis” in the title. By rights, it has no place in a list of “news stories”, and should be clearly marked “editorial by left leaning writer”, but of course the AP isn’t that interested in helping you discern the difference. Here’s the first paragraph:

Republican presidential nominee John McCain, a self-proclaimed tell-it-like-it-is maverick, keeps saying his running mate, Sarah Palin, killed the federally funded Bridge to Nowhere when, in fact, she pulled her support only after the project became a political embarrassment. He said Friday that Palin never asked for money for lawmakers’ pet projects as Alaska governor, even though she has sought nearly $200 million in earmarks this year. He says Obama would raise nearly everyone’s taxes, when independent groups say 80 percent of families would get tax cuts instead.

This is risible. 80 percent of families don’t PAY income tax. About 40% of families pay no federal income tax. Obama wants to simply GIVE non-tax paying people a “tax cut” by sending them a check. In many cases of the 60% who DO pay income tax, the “tax cut” will amount to more than the taxes they pay.   He will pay for this by raising taxes on the top 5%. There are a couple of names for this: “welfare” is the polite one. Pure class-warfare socialism is another.

Further, if you ask the people in Alaska who “killed the bridge to nowhere”, they will say Sarah Palin.  Sarah Palin’s political enemies in Alaska say that she killed it.  Palin’s political friends say she killed it.  80% approval rating is hard to argue with.  But of course, Mr. Babington (one wonders if this is mispelled…  should it be Blabington?), from his olympian position as an AP flack, knows things that no one in Alaska knows, being so much smarter than the average Alaskan.

Even in a political culture accustomed to truth-stretching, McCain’s skirting of facts has stood out this week. It has infuriated and flustered Obama’s campaign, and campaign pros are watching to see how much voters disregard news reports noting factual holes in the claims.

Since this “news” story is full of factual holes, one can only hope the voters disregard it.  This diatribe goes on for a dozen more paragraphs of distortion about McCain and Palin, until at last, we get this sop to evenhandedness:

Obama, of course, has made exaggerated or questionable assertions as well. Earlier this year, for instance, he repeated a claim that more black men are in prison than in college, after news accounts refuted it. He also used a McCain remark about having troops in Iraq for “100 years” to exaggerate McCain’s proposals for being fully engaged militarily in that country.

THIS is the best this writer can find to document Obama’s false claims and questionable assertions?  What diligence.  What attention to detail.  What thorough research.

Voters are going to have to be very careful this season.  The major media are so far in the tank for Obama that they present pure opinion/spin pieces as if they are news.  A simple challenge to anyone who doubts this: try to find an AP piece, by ANY writer, ANY time in the last 6 months, that is this negative about Obama.  Since the AP seems to think it’s OK to disguise pure opinion as news, surely, if they were being evenhanded, they would publish at least ONE that was negative about Obama in the radical way that this piece is negative on McCain. 

Start looking.  I’ll check back next week to see if anyone found anything and put it in the comments area.  Oh:  and if, by some miracle, you find one, can you find another one? 

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Sep 11 2008

Time to DRILL. Here. Now.

Category: energy,global warming,McCain,Obamaharmonicminer @ 10:34 pm

Venezuela’s Chavez says US ambassador must leave – Yahoo! News

President Hugo Chavez ordered the U.S. ambassador to leave Venezuela within 72 hours on Thursday, accusing the diplomat of conspiring against his government and saying he would also withdraw his own envoy from Washington immediately.

Chavez made the move in solidarity with Bolivia after his Andean ally expelled the U.S. diplomat there, accusing him of aiding violent protests. He said a new American ambassador will not be welcome in Caracas “until there’s a U.S. government that respects the people of Latin America,” suggesting that diplomatic relations will be scaled back until President Bush leaves the White House.

“They’re trying to do here what they were doing in Bolivia,” Chavez said, accusing Washington of trying to oust him.

“That’s enough … from you, Yankees,” Chavez said, using an expletive. Waving his fists in the air, he added: “I hold the government of the United States responsible for being behind all the conspiracies against our nations!”

Holding up a watch to check the time, Chavez declared: “From this moment, the Yankee ambassador in Caracas has 72 hours to leave Venezuela!” He told his foreign minister to recall Venezuela’s ambassador to Washington, Bernardo Alvarez, “before they kick him out of there.”

The U.S. Embassy said it was aware of Chavez’s speech but had not received official notification. Embassy spokeswoman Robin Holzhauer said Ambassador Patrick Duddy is traveling in the United States this week.

The diplomatic spat brings relations between the two countries to a new low and raises questions about whether it could hurt trade. Venezuela is the fourth-largest oil supplier to the United States, and Chavez also threatened to cut off crude shipments “if there’s any aggression against Venezuela.”

How clear can it be? If you’re against drilling in the USA, everywhere we have oil, then you are consumed with some kind of sick self-hatred, and you hate the rest of us, too.  It’s time for the America hating eco-panic “gotta keep the wilderness no one ever sees pristine” Left to be replaced with someone who has our better interests in mind.

In the meantime, does anyone with a desire to survive and to live in a free nation really want Obama in charge when the Russians start putting bomber bases in Venezuela?

Maybe he’ll negotiate nicely with Putin….  hold him down to just a couple dozen bombers, and maybe only 100 or so nukes. 

In return we’ll promise not to admit any more former Warsaw block nations into NATO.

Fair trade, right?

We really, really need you, Senator McCain.

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Sep 08 2008

This post is rated PG: why Left leaning talk radio is rotting garbage

Category: McCain,media,Palin,politicsharmonicminer @ 9:24 am

Stay Classy, Stephanie Miller: Jokes McCain Picked Palin ‘To Look At Her A**’ |

Out in the snarkiest swamps of liberal talk radio is the Stephanie Miller show, which is very low on policy talk and very high on toilet humor and sex jokes. At the end of the show’s first hour on Tuesday, Miller aired a clip of McCain’s Friday unveiling of Sarah Palin: “Here is Grampy McSame [McCain] introducing his trophy VP before he stepped back to check out her a** for twenty minutes.”

As McCain spoke, the show’s official impressionist, Jim Ward, began impersonating McCain: “My next trophy wife…The middle part of Alaska is a**…and she’s got a terrific one, my friends.” Miller lamely added: “She puts the a** in Al-a**-ka.”

Miller read critical quotes from Paul Begala, Peggy Noonan, and Joe Conason, and said the choice was incredibly desperate.  Then Ward piped up again in his McCain voice: “Desperation, and a desire to look at her a** for hours and hours, my friends.”

Miller wrapped the segment: “We better have fun, Jim, because she may be out by the end of this show.”

The Left wants a “fairness doctrine”, so they can muzzle talk radio, which is predominantly right-leaning. There are several reasons that right-leaning talk radio succeeds, while left-leaning talk radio mostly fails (Air America should be given last rites and planted… They can barely GIVE AWAY advertising, because so few are listening.). The “fairness” doctrine would demand that left leaning broadcasters get as much air time as right leaning ones.

Obviously, that would mean that half of talk radio would be rated G, and the other half would be somewhere between PG and PG-13, with occasional excursions into R ratings.   In this case, though, only (intellectual) children will be listening to the PG-13 stuff.

(Of course, I know better than this.  The real result of the “fairness” doctrine will be the end of talk radio, because no network can afford to devote half its time to programs that don’t attract an audience.  And that’s exactly why the Left is pushing the “fairness” doctrine, to end talk radio as a media force.  Free speech, anyone?)

Hey, all you lefties: aren’t you PROUD that Stephanie Miller is your spokesperson? The elegance of the satire is breathtaking.

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Sep 04 2008

John McCain convention speech

Category: election 2008,McCain,Obama,politicsharmonicminer @ 10:00 pm

I watched McCain’s speech to the Republican National Convention tonight.

There will always be some policies that he’ll promote with which I’ll disagree.  I don’t expect to approve of his approach to illegal aliens, campaign finance “reform”, “global warming” or “climate change”, “bipartisanship”, etc.  He is starting to make the right noises about drilling…  now if he’ll add Anwar to his offshore drilling commitment, and nuclear energy as well.  We’ll see on that.  He occasionally makes populist sounding noises, and seemed to be suggesting a new entitlement program for people who have “lost jobs due to globalization”.  That’s worrisome, but maybe he only means to suggest a different way of allocating current unemployment compensation funds.

Nevertheless, with all the likely policy disagreements I’ll have with him, I have nothing but respect for McCain the man, and I think he’ll do the right things on foreign policy, taxes, spending, judges, education, etc.

Continue reading “John McCain convention speech”

Sep 01 2008

I Hate, Therefore I Am

Category: Bush,Clinton,election 2008,Group-think,McCainamuzikman @ 8:00 am

It is clear to anyone paying attention to the Presidential race that a primary strategy being employed by the Obama campaign is to establish political equivalence between George Bush and John McCain. The Democratic candidate often repeats that a vote for McCain is a vote for 4 more years just like the last 8 years. The daily drumbeat is to fix in the minds of voters this simple equation, Bush=McCain.

The thinking behind this effort is fairly obvious. Bush is despised by the Left. McCain is like Bush. Therefore McCain should be despised as well.

Where did this hatred for Dubya come from? Why is he the object of such revulsion and animosity? The obvious answers are things like the 2000 election, the war in Iraq, the housing slump, high gas prices, hurricane Katrina, “global-warming”, Dick Cheney, “connections” to Big Oil, etc, etc, etc.

But I think the source of “Bush-loathing” goes a little farther back and is helpful in pointing out one rather significant difference between liberals and conservatives. I believe the genesis takes us to Bill Clinton.

Clinton did and said some things while in office that were considered pretty despicable by many people. They do not need to be reiterated here, no one has forgotten Monica Lewinski et al. But as a result of despicable actions he came to be despised by many, especially conservatives. But for those who did (and do) have contempt for Bill Clinton, it was because he earned it.

Enter George W. Bush. From day one he has been despised by the Left. At the time Bush took office I almost had the feeling  liberals (and their mainstream media shills) were saying, “OK, now we’ll show YOU how to detest a president!” But the difference is this. Because he was despised by the Left at the outset, EVERY action he has undertaken, seen through those lenses is considered to be despicable. Bush didn’t have to earn it, it was waiting for him when he got there and it has been that way for 8 years.

John McCain is NOT George Bush (yes, I’ve seen them together). But he does share one thing with Bush without even being elected – utter contempt from the Left. And like Bush, he won’t have to lift a finger, it will simply be bestowed upon him.

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Aug 31 2008

Complaints from the Right about Gov. Palin’s nomination

Category: Biden,economy,election 2008,McCain,Obama,Palin,politics,White Househarmonicminer @ 9:20 am

This fairly mild criticism from Powerline assumes “facts not in evidence” about the nature of economic knowledge required by a President, or Vice-President:

When I traveled with Senator McCain last November, just about the first question he answered was, what will you look for in a running mate. McCain responded that, first and foremost, he would want someone already qualfied to be president. Second, he said that because the economy is not his strong-suit, he would want someone with strong expertise in this area.

McCain did not say he wanted someone who would appeal to a potentially disaffected constituency within the Democratic party, or call attention (in an ironic way) to the inexperience of the Democratic nominee, or make such a splash as to counteract any Democratic convention bounce, or create a contrast to the Democratic vice presidential nominee, or “shake up” the Republican party, or “freshen up” the ticket, or reinforce his image as an opponent of corruption.

From the Left, such a criticism of Obama makes some sense, because the Left believes in complicated, frighteningly sophisticated economic models that supposedly allow the government appointed economic elites to tinker with the economy in the just the right way to make everything come out right.  These are essentially rooted in Keynes and Galbraith, both liberal progressive icons, because they are thought to have described a way to combine markets and capitalism with government management of the economy. Leaving out the fact the no one in the world knows enough to do such a thing, at least criticism of Obama makes sense, to the effect that he doesn’t know enough about economics to be President (economics of the liberal progressive brand, that is). Obama surely doesn’t have a detailed background in these matters, and so will be totally dependent on his advisers, economic rasputins all.

Does it make sense to level a similar criticism at Sarah Palin?

In a word, no. Here’s why.

Economics as understood from the right does not require a President who is deeply versed in complicated theories of market manipulation, and academic theories of how to rob Peter and pay Paul to make us all better off. It requires a President who knows enough to avoid wasteful spending, to keep taxes low, to keep regulation to a minimum, to encourage the development of energy resources, to remove as many barriers to free trading as possible, etc. It is not complex, and mostly requires a President who will avoid doing harm, supported by advisers who can help with the details.

Arguably, Sarah Palin has far more background in economic management than Obama, because in her executive roles she has cut taxes and spending. It is not complicated, and her behavior in office tells us all we really need to know about her economic background and perspectives, which is more than sufficient.  It is not an overstretch to say that if Congress had spent the last 8 years voting to do the sorts of things Palin has advocated, and has done as governor, we would all be in far better shape economically.  In fact, it’s more likely that the Congress would still be Republican.

So who, exactly, is unqualified here?

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Aug 30 2008

Kudos to Politico and Yahoo

Category: election 2008,Group-think,McCain,media,Palin,politicsharmonicminer @ 2:54 pm

Here is something so rare that it’s essentially a man bites dog story. I don’t know that I’ve ever seen something quite like this in political reporting. After running a story quoting various academics and political commentators bashing Gov. Palin as “too inexperienced” to be vice-president, Yahoo/Politico actually ran this update with a response from the McCain campaign.

Update: After reading this article, the McCain campaign issued the following statement: “The authors quote four scholars attacking Gov. Palin’s fitness for the office of Vice President. Among them, David Kennedy is a maxed out Obama donor, Joel Goldstein is also an Obama donor, and Doris Kearns Goodwin has donated exclusively to Democrats this cycle. Finally, Matthew Dallek is a former speech writer for Dick Gephardt. This is not a story about scholars questioning Governor Palin’s credentials so much as partisan Democrats who would find a reason to disqualify or discount any nominee put forward by Senator McCain.”

Two things, one unremarkable, one not:

Continue reading “Kudos to Politico and Yahoo”

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Aug 29 2008

Take A Deep Breath

Category: election 2008,McCain,Palinamuzikman @ 11:09 pm

Did you ever walk outside after a storm has passed and the sun begins to peek out? The air is so clean and washed by the rain. I love that smell. Ever throw open a window in a room that’s been closed up for some time? What a contrast between the stale, stuffy air inside the room and the fresh breeze that blows in through the window. Have you ever gotten in your car on a hot, smoggy day, driven up to the mountains, then rolled your window down to take that first deep breath of cold, crisp mountain air? It’s almost shocking! A brisk reminder to the lungs of truly fresh air.

Now I know in the days and weeks to come much will be said, both pro and con, about John McCain’s selection of Sarah Palin as his Vice Presidential running mate. But just for today I do declare it feels like someone opened a window in this stuffy room.

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Aug 27 2008

She lies so casually, and so grandly, but tells the truth once… or twice

Category: election 2008,McCain,Obama,politics,White Househarmonicminer @ 9:04 am

Hillary has always had a very distant relationship with the truth, of course, all the way from the lies she told the press to protect Bill from his dalliances, to the lies she told investigators about Whitewater (“I’m sorry, Senator, I don’t recall.”) and the White House travel office firings (she masterminded FBI accusations to taint innocent people so she could install her cronies in their places), the lies she told investigators about her role in the Vince Foster coverup (she had his office “sanitized” before investigators could get there), blah, blah, blah, the list is so incredibly long that it would take a week to write it all down.

Her speech to the Democrat convention in Denver was no different, just on a grander stage.

Just to mention one of her more minor lies of the evening, did you know that John McCain is not for equal pay for equal work for women? I didn’t either. Neither does he.

Did you know that the US government “gave” the oil companies their recent large profits? Imagine that. She is either a breathtaking liar, or breathtakingly ignorant about how the economy works. I’m betting on the former.

Nearly every paragraph (sometimes every sentence) either assumed a lie, or told one outright. Again, the list of lies in her speech is so long, I just don’t want to waste the time listing it all.

But she told the truth in two ways, at least, one explicitly, the other implicitly.

She said that unless Obama is elected, the Democrats would not be able to complete their makeover and utter restructuring of American life, the economy, universal health care (meaning, if you work, that you pay for someone else), punitive taxation, new entitlements, etc. That’s absolutely true.

And while she endorsed Obama, I did not notice much about Obama’s preparation for the job in her speech. She did not praise his character, his background, his abilities, anything at all that might be positive about Obama directly. It was all about the policies she wants, and the observation that if Obama loses, they won’t happen.

In her omission of any particular praise about Obama, she told the truth, both objectively, and in terms of her “personal truth” about him, given the disdain in which she holds him, and given her previous sober assessment of Obama’s preparation for the job:

That must have been some speech he gave in 2002.

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Aug 26 2008

Do we want the Rookie at bat in the bottom of the ninth with two outs?

Category: election 2008,Iran,Islam,McCain,Obama,politics,White Househarmonicminer @ 9:00 am

Obama is not the heavy hitter we need to deal with this.  Neither, will all due respect, is his pinch-hitter, who has a flashy looking swing, but simply misses the ball way too often.

A senior Iranian atomic official said Sunday that Iran has chosen the site for and started designing a new 360 megawatt nuclear power plant.

Iran has yet to complete construction of its first nuclear power plant and has previously sent conflicting signals about the state of work on a planned second plant. An Iranian official said this year construction work had already begun.

Can we have a show of hands for all of you who would like Obama to be the one we depend on to navigate the treacherous waters of Iran’s nuclear armament intentions?  This is not a misused cliche…  if Iran’s nuclear facilities are attacked, they plan to close the Strait of Hormuz.  They’ve been buying Russion Kilo-class subs to do it with, along with lots of land-based ship killer missiles from both Russia and China.  We’ll reopen it, of course….  but it will take some time, and will leave huge unresolved problems.  How does $250 per barrel of oil sound to you?

Personally, I’d like to be putting at bat a player with sufficient reputation that the opposing pitcher decides to walk him instead of just throwing fastballs at his head, followed by a change-up that leaves him whiffing.

This is the big-leagues, not celebrity baseball.

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