Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Speaking of injustice...

There's trouble in India:

"Police in northern India arrested a man who allegedly threw a girl into a pile of glowing embers after he caught her trespassing, an attack authorities said Wednesday may have been motivated by caste....She is considered a dalit _ a member of the lowest caste in India, where a system of rigid social hierarchy still lingers. The alleged attacker, Madan Singh, 22, comes from a higher caste."

Yet if you listen to persons like Jeremiah Wright, and those on the left who defend him, you'd swear that the focus of injustice in the world is the United States.

By the way... e-mailer informs me that the O'Reilly/Clinton interview will take place somewhere I know well---in none other than South Bend, IN...details here.

Finally South Bend is known for more than a college football team.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Must-see TV

Hillary Clinton to appear, both this coming Wednesday and Thursday nights, on Bill O'Reilly's show on the Fox News Channel.

The no-spin zone to get a severe test.
Make no mistake, Hillary undoubtedly thinks the interview will play well, no matter what, with Democrats. They'll play it as Hillary-the-fighter unafraid to take on anyone, anywhere.

John McCain and conservatives dept

Room for hope: McCain rejects universal health care, urges a market-based solution.
He needs to keep talking this way, and convince us he means it.

Support Bush...

...when he makes such common-sense arguments concerning gas prices as he makes today:

"[Bush] charged that although lawmakers have called on foreign governments to increase their oil production, they have opposed efforts to expand production in the United States, blocking "environmentally safe exploration" for oil in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in northeastern Alaska. Bush cited an Energy Department estimate that drilling in the refuge could allow the United States to produce about 1 million additional barrels of oil a day, yielding about 27 million gallons of extra gasoline and diesel a day. "That would be about a 20 percent increase of . . . crude oil production over U.S. levels, and it would likely mean lower gas prices," Bush said. "And yet such efforts to explore in ANWR have been consistently blocked." He also attributed high gas prices to a lack of U.S. refining capacity, noting that the last new domestic oil refinery was built more than 30 years ago. "Yet in this area, too, Congress has repeatedly blocked efforts to expand capacity and build more refineries," Bush said."

Seriously, conservatives---write your congressman. There are simple things that we could be doing, that are very much consistent with our beliefs in free markets and capitalistic creativity, that could help reduce the price at the pump. Urge Congress to get at them.

"Outraged" Obama

He gives a press conference, denouncing in few uncertain terms the Reverend Wright.
It's probably a denunciation he should have made weeks ago.
I disagree with those who would imply that the Wright issue should somehow be off-limits for conservatives and Republicans...
At the same time I'd remind conservatives: it is Obama who is the candidate for president, not his pastor.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Simon (read: Howard Deanj] says...

What Simon says, you're supposed to follow.
But will Democratic Party bigwigs follow Howard Dean?
Today, he says either Clinton or Obama must drop out of the race after the final primary, on June 3. He also says all superdelegates must make up their minds by then.

Will they?
Prediction: Hillary Clinton, even if she's behind on June 4th, won't drop out.
Prepare for more Democratic Party chaos. I don't think Mr. Dean's got the cojones to force the issue.

Good news

Details here:

"...the Supreme Court ruled 6 to 3 that states can indeed require voters to produce photo identification in order to prevent voter fraud. “We cannot conclude that the statute imposes ‘excessively burdensome requirements’ on any class of voters,” Justice John Paul Stevens wrote in the majority opinion."

Finally, the way is clear to really crack down on voter fraud.
Citizens are required to produce photo ID for lots of things.
The idea that somehow it's an excessive burden when it comes to voting simply doesn't hold up.

Friday, April 25, 2008

One reason why the Dem race goes on

Not the only reason--but one.

Think about it: polls of Democrats consistently show solid majorities saying Hillary need not get out of the race.

CNN and other cable news networks have done well in the ratings with all of their political shows covering the primary race.

Polls in Pennsylvania showed that even significant numbers of Hillary voters believed that, in the end, Obama would win. Yet they voted for Senator Clinton anyway, and she won the state.

What's up? I suggest: significant numbers of Democrats are, quite simply, enjoying this contest. They don't want it to end. And apparently they aren't swayed by those in the chattering classes (read: the news media) who warn that an extended race and all the negativity growing between Obama and Clinton will hurt Democrats' chances to win in November. I'm sure the Democratic base has heard the argument. But they don't seem persuaded by it.

Actually, the chatterers in the Beltway often are wrong, but this time they may have a point. The Democratic race has gotten negative, it's not helping to improve the image of either Clinton or Obama, and many have noted over the past weeks that John McCain has gained in the national polls vs both Obama and Clinton. So the Beltway pundits have a point. But the majority of Democrats don't seem to care.

So Democrats are enjoying it. And hey, if they want it to continue, let it continue...

Maybe Obama has it locked up

This experienced Washington political observer says that superdelegates are leaning Obama, Pennsylvania hasn't changed that, and barring a political earthquake, Obama's got the nomination.

I suspect she's right--top Democrats fear alienating the African-American constituency of the party. Now, more than ever, conservatives then must develop a principled and consistent critique of Barack Obama.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Feelings--oh wo wo, feelings...

Somebody asked me recently what conservatives "felt" about a certain issue.
Before I answered, I remembered something a wise conservative told me some years ago...
And I said: well, conservatives "think", and they "believe" certain things (hopefully based on fact, analysis, and principles). They don't, however, simply "feel."

It may seem like minor linguistical nitpicking, but think about it.
Actually, it's a very real and important point.

The Democrats: Pennsylvania

Hillary wins...
But it was expected, and it wasn't overwhelming--so how much will it really change things?
Obama remains the favorite--but this race will go on, and on, and on...
Note how important the campaigns' "expectations" game is.
The Clinton camp tried to claim that a win is a win.
Pro-Obama folks spun it that Clinton needed to win the state by more than 10 points for it to have a deeper meaning. Sure enough, it doesn't appear that Senator Clinton will win by more than 10...and so the majority of media mavens, it appears to me, are suggesting that the Clinton victory lacks some oomph.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Sharia Standard Time

Muslim "scientists" are calling for it:

"Muslim scientists and clerics have called for the adoption of Mecca time to replace GMT, arguing that the Saudi city is the true centre of the Earth. [One scientist] said the English had imposed GMT on the rest of the world by force when Britain was a big colonial power, and it was about time that changed…"

So now they want Islam to be the colonial power imposing things on everyone else. Interesting...
I wish it was surprising. But it's not.

A big cheer for Wal-Mart

Guess who had perhaps the most effective response to Hurricane Katrina? Not government. Read the whole thing, but here's a good excerpt:

extraordinary delegation of authority -- essentially promising unlimited support for the decision-making of employees who were earning, in many cases, less than $100,000 a year -- saved countless lives in the ensuing chaos. The results are recounted in a new paper on the disaster written by Steven Horwitz, an Austrian-school economist at St. Lawrence University in New York. While the Federal Emergency Management Agency fumbled about, doing almost as much to prevent essential supplies from reaching Louisiana and Mississippi as it could to facilitate it, Wal-Mart managers performed feats of heroism. In Kenner, La., an employee crashed a forklift through a warehouse door to get water for a nursing home. A Marrero, La., store served as a barracks for cops whose homes had been submerged. In Waveland, Miss., an assistant manager who could not reach her superiors had a bulldozer driven through the store to retrieve disaster necessities for community use, and broke into a locked pharmacy closet to obtain medicine for the local hospital.

Meanwhile, Wal-Mart trucks pre-loaded with emergency supplies at regional depots were among the first on the scene wherever refugees were being gathered by officialdom. Their main challenge, in many cases, was running a gauntlet of FEMA officials who didn't want to let them through. As the president of the brutalized Jefferson Parish put it in a Sept. 4 Meet the Press interview, speaking at the height of nationwide despair over FEMA's confused response: "If [the U.S.] government would have responded like Wal-Mart has responded, we wouldn't be in this crisis."

This benevolent improvisation contradicts everything we have been taught about Wal-Mart by labour unions and the "small-is-beautiful" left. We are told that the company thinks of its store management as a collection of cheap, brainwash-able replacement parts; that its homogenizing culture makes it incapable of serving local communities; that a sparrow cannot fall in Wal-Mart parking lot without orders from Arkansas; that the chain puts profits over people. The actual view of the company, verifiable from its disaster-response procedures, is that you can't make profits without people living in healthy communities. And it's not alone: As Horwitz points out, other big-box companies such as Home Depot and Lowe's set aside the short-term balance sheet when Katrina hit and acted to save homes and lives, handing out millions of dollars' worth of inventory for free.

Obama's bargain

Did you catch this? A few weeks ago, Shelby Steele made a good point concerning Barack Obama's appeal to whites:

"How to turn one's blackness to advantage? The answer is that one "bargains." Bargaining is a mask that blacks can wear in the American mainstream, one that enables them to put whites at their ease. This mask diffuses the anxiety that goes along with being white in a multiracial society. Bargainers make the subliminal promise to whites not to shame them with America's history of racism, on the condition that they will not hold the bargainer's race against him. And whites love this bargain -- and feel affection for the bargainer -- because it gives them racial innocence in a society where whites live under constant threat of being stigmatized as racist. So the bargainer presents himself as an opportunity for whites to experience racial innocence."

Yes. And, I would add, perhaps Obama offered, to middle-of-the-road Americans, what they perceived as a chance to atone for what they saw as any past racism of their own.

Steele then goes on to point out that this is why the Jeremiah Wright story presented Obama with such danger--it imperiled his "bargain" with whites; he no longer looked like the one able to present whites with innocence.

But, again I must tell conservatives: Obama's a tough cookie. He appears to have weathered the Wright storm. I don't think the right will get far beating that dead horse. If some Americans are determined to use Obama to atone for their perceived racist pasts, it will be tough to stop them. Now what we CAN do is point out this fundamental: the presidency in this day and age is a pretty important job, facing important issues. Your vote for it shouldn't be used to exorcise past demons. You want redemption for the racial slurs you said when you were younger? Then go out and do things in your community, go out and demonstrate judging people on the content of their character, not the color of their skin, in your daily life. But meanwhile, when it comes to voting for president, vote on the issues and on the candidates. Nothing more, nothing less.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Profs connecting with students

Many today at the university level do so by posting personal info on their web pages:

“I have students come to my office hours and comment on a commonality between their interests and mine,” he wrote. “For example, one student said they had sat in precisely the same spot as I had in the Italian Cinque Terre town of Vernazza.” Nate Ackerman, a lecturer in mathematics at the University of Pennsylvania, whose Web page includes information about his wrestling achievements and photos of him with his cats, agreed. “It’s better when your professor’s human,” he said."

Which is fine, though I don't think all professors should be forced into this kind of sharing. Our main job isn't to entertain or be our students' buddies. Another way to connect: watch, or at least be familiar with, some of the top/popular movies and TV shows that your students are washing. Try to know something about what they know about; be familiar with their world. Then we can speak some of the same language.

Carter's failed diplomacy

Jimmy Carter meets with the Hamas terrorists...

And as far as one can tell, gained no concessions from them whatsoever.
Indeed, now the Hamas people claim added legitimacy for their organization, despite their legacy of terroristic acts (as both the U.S. and Israel have pointed out).

Many on the left, Carter included, claim that we must "talk" and negotiate with pretty much everybody and they further seem to claim that nothing but good can come from it.

This sorry episode, however, refutes such a notion.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Hillary being Hillary

Which means, not entirely honest and accurate.
See for example some of her comments on the most recent debate between she and Senator Obama.
Here she responds to the Obama campaign's criticism of some of the questions asked:

"Clinton said Friday that getting tough questions is part of what happens in a debate and campaign. "Having been in the White House for eight years and seeing what happens in terms of the pressures and the stresses on a president, that was nothing," she said."

Tsk. Of course, Obama and his campaign were not suggesting that the questions asked were too "tough." Rather, they've been suggesting that not enough important issues were raised, that there was too much discussion of the recent campaign tempests. One can certainly criticize Obama for his complaining here--certainly the Wright controversy and his comments on rural voters living in small towns raised larger issues that deserve to get covered in a debate.

Still, Mrs. Clinton is again (no surprise) mischaracterizing what her opponent is saying.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

The Democrats: debate # 21 last night

And perhaps the last.
Many reviews claim Hillary Clinton was the "winner" last night.
Myself, I saw it as a draw, with Obama parrying many of Clinton's predictable blasts.
And did anyone catch Hillary, when apologizing for the falsehood she spread about she and Chelsea supposedly landing in Bosnia under sniper fire in 1996, suggesting that next time she should "get more sleep" before telling such a story?

Wow. Note there that she borrowed the same tack that her husband tried to use a few days ago on that issue--claim it happened merely because the Senator was tired.
Yet when she related this anecdote the first time, it was in a speech given at 11 a.m. in the morning. She had plenty of time to wake up. Mrs. Clinton knows this. She knows further that her husband was slammed, rightly, for offering up the excuse that she was tired. Yet she just couldn't help herself. She had to try to peddle the false excuse, yet again.

Maybe a few out there would be snowed by it.
Hey--the Clintons snowed people for over 8 years, beginning in 1992.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

More on the coming X-Files movie

For all the X-Files fans out there (I am one):

"The title is out there. Sci-fi mastermind Chris Carter has revealed that his franchise's much-anticipated big-screen sequel has been dubbed The X-Files: I Want to Believe. "It's a natural title," Carter told the Associated Press. "It's a story that involves the difficulties in mediating faith and science. 'I want to believe.' It really does suggest Mulder's struggle with his faith."

Read the whole thing.
I can't wait for the movie to come out.

CNN cowers

So why is CNN apologizing to the government of China, just because its commentator Jack Cafferty suggested its leaders were "goons and thugs" and its products were "junk"?

I don't care how loudly the Chinese whined about it; the fact is that Cafferty's comments concerning China's at-times brutal dictatorship aren't that far off the mark, and anyway they're HIS comments, not the network's. CNN should have simply made that distinction clear and left it at that. One would have hoped its devotion to free speech would have played a larger role in its response here. But, well, this is CNN we're talking about...

For the sake of historical accuracy dept

I'e seen this comment made several times in recent weeks--in this case, it comes from a recent piece by long-time Democratic Party strategist Bob Beckel:

"Two things have become obvious about the state of the Democratic nomination for president. The first is that the stars haven'’t been better aligned for Democrats to win the White House since FDR crushed Hoover in 1932."

Not necessarily true. Take 1964. Then, you had Lyndon Johnson as the Democratic incumbent, having just recently taken over for the assassinated John F. Kennedy. LBJ would get a sympathy vote. The economy was good. Johnson passed some major pieces of legislation in '64, such as the Civil Rights Act. His Republican opponent, Barry Goldwater, would be, fairly or unfairly (I would argue unfairly) slammed an extremist, out of the mainstream. Johnson had little opposition in gaining the Democratic nomination that year. Talk about the stars being aligned!

Or take 1976. In that year, the Democrats nominated, without too much party division, a popular newcomer to national politics, Jimmy Carter. Meanwhile, the Republicans had a divisive battle for the party's nomination between Gerald Ford and Ronald Reagan; the eventual nominee, Ford, was an unelected president; the party was in that year irrevocably stained by the recent Watergate debacle and Richard Nixon's resignation from office; and the economy was in recession. Again, talk about Democratic stars being aligned...

It could be argued that, well, the Democrats in 2008 would be in great shape if there was no battle royale for the party's nomination between Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama. But that battle is here, and it ain't going away anytime soon. Such didn't exist in 1964 and 1976. Thus, the fact is, the way things are laid out now, this is NOT the Democrats' best shot at the White House since 1932 (though the odds still favor them).

More UN corruption

More details here:

"The United Nations Development Program (UNDP), the U.N.’s anti-poverty flagship, has overridden its own rules requiring competitive bidding for procurement contracts on more than half of the $1.5 billion in goods and services it paid for over the past three years, an investigation by FOX News has determined."

Gee, what a surprise.
Remember the Oil-for-Food program?

The age issue

John McCain is too old to be an effective president, says Pennsylvania Democratic congressman Jack Murtha.

Funny, because McCain is 72; Murtha is 75.
Even better point: why is Murtha, known mainly for all the pork-barrel goodies he brings home to his congressional district, young enough to be a congressman, but McCain is too old? Being a congressman can be a stressful, year-round job, too.

Mainly, to me it's just funny to see Murtha, who is as corrupt as anybody in public office anywhere, lecturing anybody about anything.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Obama: the Teflon candidate?

His comments about "bitter" small-town, rural folks "clinging" ignorantly to God and guns so far haven't seemed to hurt him. Superdelegates from states about to vote don't see it as a big deal.
Recent polls indicate he's gaining in states like Indiana and North Carolina.

But we haven't seen the last of this issue.
Republicans in the fall will surely try to make hay out of Obama's elitist, rather arrogant comments.

Another reason to toughen our policies towards illegal immigrants

Why do too many illegals charged with serious crimes escape punishment?
Well, look at our policies on bail:

"Part of the problem is the law. Under the current bail law, judges are allowed to consider a variety of factors in setting bail, including a suspect's ties outside of the community. But they are not allowed to consider whether someone is in the country illegally and facing deportation."


A holiday from gasoline taxes?

It's what John McCain is proposing today for this summer.
Interesting. Nice to hear him sounding like a conservative.
The right needs to keep pushing for more.

Monday, April 14, 2008


Did you catch the season finale last night of "Dirt", on F/X?
I thought it was a fascinating look inside the world of Hollywood, our celebrity culture, papparazzi, and the endless media outlets who cover all this stuff. It was funny, at times shocking, risque, and bizarre. But it made for good television. And Courtney Cox, who played the publisher of "Dirt Now" magazine, is good.
Season two just ended.

But hopefully there will be a season 3.

News flash: 99 percent of liberals see Bush presidency as a failure

Actually, the news item is that nearly 99% of historians in a survey see the Bush presidency to have failed.

But anyone will tell you that the vast majority of professional historians have a very liberal and partisan political outlook. So of course they look down their noses at President Bush. It was the same situation in 1960, don't forget--then too, most historians were liberals, and when surveys were taken that year, the vast majority of them believed the presidency of Dwight Eisenhower, a Republican, was a failure. A failure! And today, Ike is ranked as one of this country's best presidents.

So don't take these partisan views too seriously.

Why conservatives worry about John McCain dept

He says today that America is in a recession. What caused it?:

"Sen. John McCain this morning said "greedy" Wall Street investors are partly to blame for what he said is probably an economic recession the nation is now suffering. "There has to be a modification of the greedy behavior of some of these people," he said, using the word "greedy" repeatedly in remarks to the Associated Press annual meeting at the Washington Convention Center today."

Ay yi yi. He sounds indistinguishable from his Democrat opponents.
I can just hear him saying these same kinds of things (and acting on them) as president.
I was writing too fast the other day and badly mis-wrote--I've certainly not been the first to jump on John McCain for his departures from conservatism. But I've been quick to criticize. And this kind of thing is why. Mr. McCain is going to have a hard time bringing all conservatives on board.

On Obama, Geraldine Ferraro, race, the Clintons

An interesting e-mail:

But in this case, why shouldn't [[Ferraro raise the issue of Obama's race and whether it has been a benefit to him]? Ignoring it is like ignoring the 800-lb. gorilla in the room (in Illinois using that term could probably be ticketed for "disturbing the peace"). Obama himself wants to have a conversation about race, so why should this be off-limits? And the Clintons? It occurs to me that this generation's preoccupation with them is like a mirror image of my parents' generation's preoccupation with Richard Nixon. Next to Obama, Hillary suddenly doesn't seem like the she-devil.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Obama/Clinton compete in an unknown primary

And Obama appears to have won again.

Good news from Iraq

Though you may never have heard it. Remember the recent Iraqi offensive in Basra?
Many in the mainstream media were quick to declare it a failure.
Not so, reports The Weekly Standard:

"The Iraqi military was able to clear one Mahdi Army-controlled neighborhood in Basra and was in the process of clearing another when Sadr issued his ceasefire. The ceasefire came on March 30, after six days of fighting, and was seemingly unilateral in the sense that the Iraqi government made no apparent concessions in return. By that time, 571 Mahdi Army fighters had been killed, 881 wounded, 490 captured, and 30 had surrendered countrywide, according to numbers tabulated by The Long War Journal. Thus, an estimated 95 Mahdi Army fighters were killed per day during the six days of fighting. In contrast, al Qaeda in Iraq did not incur such intense casualties even during the height of the surge."

Read the whole thing.

Now HERE'S something on which to base some conservative criticisms of Obama

Ah, yes, here we see it--some good old-fashioned liberalism from Senator Obama. Yes, those small-town people who talk about the right to own a gun, who go to conservative churches every Sunday, who think that illegal immigration is a real problem in this country, who espouse other conservative beliefs...see, they can't be expressing real thoughts and beliefs that should be taken seriously. They don't have a legitimate belief system about which we should debate. Oh, no, they're simply resentful, angry people, ticked off at losing a job, taking it out on the poor and the less fortunate, acting out in violence. They have no ideas or beliefs; they simply have anger and resentment. Or so, in any case, goes the thinking of many contemptuous liberals; it's gotten them into trouble before, and it will likely get Senator Obama into trouble here. And it's sad that the Senator thinks this way. Go get him.

From Ben Smith of The Politico, who seems to be a pretty straight-shooting observer of the Democratic primary season--apparently Obama said this at a San Francisco fund-raiser, commenting on the difficulties of campaigning in small-town Pennsylvania:

"You go into these small towns in Pennsylvania and, like a lot of small towns in the Midwest, the jobs have been gone now for 25 years and nothing's replaced them...And they fell through the Clinton administration, and the Bush administration, and each successive administration has said that somehow these communities are gonna regenerate and they have not. And it's not surprising then they get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren't like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations."

American Idol elimination

Last night, Michael Johns was eliminated from "American Idol." It's down to 7 contestants now.
This writer today is shocked; she argues he was one of the most "talented" contestants left, and had a great deal of "star quality."

And yet, to me, this goes to show just how subjective these kinds of analyses can be, how much assigning such qualities can be in the mind of the beholder. Because to me Michael Johns was a good singer and performer; but not an outstanding one. I never got the feeling he truly connected with enough people, that he had enough personality. But that's just me; obviously others felt otherwise (but not enough of them voted for him).

How to lose weight and friends

A man details a diet that over 9 months lost him 140 pounds.
Caveat: it involved eating nothing but baked beans.

Protesting China in Argentina, too

The Olympic Torch for the Beijing games is in Argentina today--and there, it faced protesters denouncing China's human rights record, too.

Again, it's kind of remarkable that there are so many people around the world anxious to protest China's dictatorship. I never knew so many existed. (when was the last time your pal at the water cooler discussed China with you???) And it's not as if concern for human rights is a bad thing.

History too tells us that these protests can be a good thing. Nazi Germany, don't forget, hosted the summer Olympics in Berlin in 1936. There were almost no protests against Nazi human rights abuses then. Hitler both covered them up and got the world to ignore them. The Nazi regime came through the Games stronger. We all know what then blew up in 1939. We shouldn't make that same kind of mistake again.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Hillary Clinton is no Richard Nixon

Well, yes--it's true. What inspires me here is this rather indignant essay from an author for The New Republic, arguing hotly that Hillary Clinton's campaign should not be termed "Nixonian."
(Well, hey, he's right--she hasn't yet [as far as we know] wiretapped her opponents or authorized goons to bust into others' campaign headquarters).

But our liberal friends miss a big point here.
No, it's true, Hillary Clinton isn't like Richard Nixon. And that should count against her.
Look, the only way Senator Clinton can win the Democratic Party's presidential nomination is by dividing the party, by splitting it wide open. It's highly unlikely she'll win the popular vote. She won't come out on top in the race for delegates. So she's hoping for a coup--for her to be able to peel off enough superdelegates to put her over the top and gain her the nomination. There's no question this would anger Obama supporters in a big way and rent the party asunder.

Guess what: going after a nomination, come hell, high water, or a split party, is something Richard Nixon never did. When he went after the GOP nomination in 1960, he was the favorite going in. He also became a surprising favorite in 1968, and led the race much of the way (as he did in '60). Now 1964 was different. Nixon never officially entered that race, leaving the field to candidates such as Barry Goldwater, Nelson Rockefeller, and William Scranton. But by the summer, with Goldwater in the lead for the nomination but with many nervous GOPers fearing that his victory would lead to defeat in November, there were a number of people who urged Nixon to make a last-minute run. And he could have run, and would have had a shot at the nomination (though the odds were against him).

But Nixon declined. He knew how divisive such a run would be (and there were undoubtedly other, more selfish considerations too). But no one denies that the fear of dividing the party played a role.
Senator Clinton has to know that her game now will, if it succeeds (and even if it fails) divide her party. But she doesn't care. She should be more Nixonian.

Remember Geraldine Ferraro?

I know, it's hard to place her...
She's rapidly faded from the scene. Again.
But not long ago she, a Hillary supporter, made the comment that Barack Obama wouldn't be leading the Democratic race if he weren't black. Was she simply doing the Clinton campaign's bidding, trying to gain it white votes by injecting race into the campaign? You decide. But a bit ago, Roger Simon had perhaps the wisest comment about her:

" Ferraro, 72, was the Democratic vice presidential nominee in 1984, and if she said anything memorable then or in the years since, I can’t remember it. But she seems intent on making up for lost time."

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Those selfless federal employees

We're always told by Hollywood and the mainstream news media that it's "neocons", Republicans, corporate CEOs, defense contractors, and various rich folks who are the "corrupt" ones...

But lookee here:

"Federal employees charged millions of dollars for Internet dating, tailor-made suits, lingerie, lavish dinners and other questionable expenses to their government credit cards over a 15-month period, congressional auditors say."

Speaking of Senator Clinton's tactics

Isn't this one rather obvious? Last month, Hillary declined to call for President Bush or anyone else to boycott the Beijing Olympics. But now, desperate for headlines, she calls for it.

Anything to try to win an election.

The Democrats: Pennsylvania

There's yet more evidence today that Senator Clinton's lead is slipping: a new poll has her lead there over Obama down to only 6 points.

Why is this important? Because as conservatives we should be cheering each and every Clintonian slip. Make no mistake, Barack Obama will be no picnic. But we cannot have a power-mad, ends-justify-the-means person such as Hillary Clinton anywhere near the White House. I'd therefore much rather have Obama as the Democrats' nominee than her.

And it just may be that Hillary's rather obvious bull-in-a-china-shop tactics are what's costing her. If so, more's the better.

Today's Iraq hearings...

...feature heavy media coverage of presidential candidates stating positions we already knew...

While ignoring the fact that both Gen. Petraeus, and especially Ambassador Crocker, point--with evidence--to significant progress being made in Iraq. We can win in Iraq.

Monday, April 7, 2008

Why conservatives worry about John McCain dept

Did you catch this? From a recent op-ed by the libertarian writer Matt Welch in the NY Times:

"BEHIND any successful politician lies a usable contradiction, and John McCain’s is this: We love him (and occasionally hate him) for his stubborn individualism, yet his politics are best understood as a decade-long attack on the both legislation and rhetoric, Mr. McCain has consistently sought to restrict the very freedoms he once exercised, in the common national enterprise of “serving a cause greater than self-interest.”...“We are fast becoming a nation of alienating individualists, unwilling to put the unifying values of patriotism ahead of our narrow self-interests,” Mr. McCain warned in a speech during his 2000 presidential campaign. He added that “cynicism threatens to become a ceiling on our greatness.”...Teenagers are cynical about professional sports because of steroids (a “transcendent issue,” Mr. McCain once thundered in the Senate), so he has proposed that the government be given the authority to demand that even Division II college athletes be subject to the personal intrusion of random drug testing and punishment. Likewise, because betting on college sports could make one cynical about games possibly being thrown, Mr. McCain wanted to make that a federal offense."

Yikes. As an acquaintance of mine said the other day, what many of us worry about is that, if McCain becomes president, every day he's going to wake up and think about how he can stick it to conservatives (not to mention libertarians). Can he be trusted?

More on Obama/Wright

So some of my e-mailers have questioned my view of Barack Obama and his troublesome pastor, Jeremiah Wright. They think the issue is more important than I have suggested it is (and other bloggers agree with them).

They make some good points. So does Michael Gerson here, when he wrote recently:

"Barack Obama has run a campaign based on a simple premise: that words of unity and hope matter to America. Now he has been forced by his charismatic, angry pastor to argue that words of hatred and division don't really matter as much as we thought."

I like this line of argument because it frames the Wright issue more in terms of principle. That's where we need to be. I didn't mean to imply that the question of Jeremiah Wright was meaningless. It isn't. It raises questions. But I don't think it can be a main line of conservative criticism, nor the only one. But I like the way Gerson frames the issue, and the questions it raises. Read the whole thing.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

On illegal immigration: worrying that this is true...

...worrying, that is, that what Tony Blankley wrote recently is true:

"I am not by nature a believer in large political conspiracies, noting that usually events can be explained by merely a conspiracy of idiots against the forces of reason. And so perhaps in this case, too. The Bush administration and the leaders of the Democratic Party both want (for different reasons) no obstruction to the full flood of illegal workers (for the Republicans) and voters (for the Democrats) into the United States, thus their adamantine opposition to a physical obstruction to such passage."

Read the whole thing. And let's face it, both Republicans and Democrats talk about border security; some in both parties talk about building physical fences; others in both parties talk about virtual fences. But little gets done.

Taking on Barack Obama

Michael Gerson here gets it right: Republican/conservative criticism of candidate Obama must be carefully-thought-out:

"Barack Obama will not be defeated by taunts about his middle name, which gain his juvenile persecutors all the sympathy of a schoolyard bully. He will not be defeated by sinister interpretations of his hypnotic popularity -- people generally (and unsurprisingly) are attracted to the handsome, genial and eloquent. And in a change election, Obama will not be defeated because he seems inexperienced -- his freshness is actually a qualification."

He won't be defeated by simply calling him a liberal or leftist, either.
But read Gerson's entire piece: what he does is to go on to show how Obama's campaign pledge to meet "without preconditions" with dictators such as Hugo Chavez or Mahmoud Ahmadinejad could turn out to be disastrous decisions, and could boomerang decisively against the national security interests of the United States. Principled conservative candidates can easily, and successfully, point these kinds of things out.

But such conservatives must be principled, and consistent, themselves.

Friday, April 4, 2008

The "reconquista" of the United States

Absolut vodka toasts the idea.
Gosh, can you just imagine the liberal outcry if an American corporation ran an ad imagining an American conquest of Mexico???

Understanding Hillary

One of my favorite writers, Peggy Noonan, wrote wisely the other day about "getting" Hillary in the light of recent events:

"This is the point where, with Hillary Clinton, either you get it or you don't. There's no dodging now. You either understand the problem with her candidacy, or you don't. You either understand who she is, or not. And if you don't, after 16 years of watching Clintonian dramas, you probably never will. That's what the Bosnia story was about. Her fictions about dodging bullets on the tarmac -- and we have to hope they were lies, because if they weren't, if she thought what she was saying was true, we are in worse trouble than we thought -- either confirmed what you already knew (she lies as a matter of strategy, or, as William Safire said in 1996, by nature) or revealed in an unforgettable way (videotape! Smiling girl in pigtails offering flowers!) what you feared (that she lies more than is humanly usual, even politically usual)....What, really, is Mrs. Clinton doing? She is having the worst case of cognitive dissonance in the history of modern politics. She cannot come up with a credible, realistic path to the nomination. She can't trace the line from "this moment's difficulties" to "my triumphant end." But she cannot admit to herself that she can lose. Because Clintons don't lose. She can't figure out how to win, and she can't accept the idea of not winning. She cannot accept that this nobody from nowhere could have beaten her, quietly and silently, every day. (She cannot accept that she still doesn't know how he did it!)."

And what has to fundamentally worry conservatives is that we can't want anyone so obviously power-hungry near the seats of governmental power. That's why I don't care is Hillary might be easier for Republicans to defeat in the fall. So what? I still don't want her as the Democratic Party's nominee. For this reason: people think she'd lose. But what if she didn't? If she becomes the Democrats' nominee, she could become president. And that's a scary thought.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

High School Confidential

By the way, speaking of TV recommendations--check this out:
A show called "High School Confidential", airing every Monday night on the "WE" TV cable channel.

The show followed 12 girls who attended a typical high school in Kansas for all 4 years of high school, from 2002-2006. Now this is Kansas; and these were very typical young ladies. You wouldn't think much would be happening.
But it does--bulimia, depression, suicidal thoughts, health problems, sex, drugs, drinking, etc etc etc. Many of the high school girls portrayed in the show come through fine. Their courage and smarts are to be applauded. One shouldn't watch the show to leer at others' troubles.

Rather, you should watch it in order to understand the pressures, difficulties, threats, challenges, hopes, dreams, fears...which confront ALL young people today. Young people in your town, in your neighborhoods. People close to you. It's not just facing everybody else. It's facing your kids.

Goodbye to Ramiele Malubay...

...for she was the latest contestant eliminated on this season's edition of "American Idol."
More details here, plus other AI tidbits.
I've been watching the show closely this season. It's addicting.
Again, I think the show does so well for several reasons: viewers can participate in the show by voting for their favorites. And one does get favorites, contestants to root for; it keeps you tuning in each week. The singers perform songs that we all have some familiarity with. I think we enjoy judging each contestant's performance for ourselves, and then seeing how our judgment matches up with that of Randy, Paula, and Simon.

My favorite performer right now is Carly Smithson.
Though I also catch myself rooting for Kristy Lee Cook, who seems like a very nice young lady, with a good voice, but who for some reason gets raked over the coals week after week by vicious blogger Simon-Cowell-wannabees...

More poll watching

Many of you might not have seen this poll, it was done by a smaller Indiana paper.
But a South Bend Tribune poll suggests that the Indiana Democratic primary is too close to call:
Hillary Clinton leads Barack Obama by only 49-46.
(A poll I saw yesterday for IN had her up by 9).
Could both Indiana and Pennsylvania be tightening?
Not good news, if true, for Senator Clinton.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Hillary has a new 3 a.m. ad...

And The Corner Yuval Levin demonstrates why whoever created it clearly needs more shut-eye:

"Hillary Clinton has a new “it’s 3am” ad, and “this time the crisis is economic.” Apparently someone has called at 3 o’clock in the morning to inform the chief executive that “home foreclosures are mounting.” Given John McCain’s famous temper, it seems to me he’d certainly be well prepared to provide the appropriate response to such a ridiculous phone call at such a ridiculous hour.Wasn’t the whole point of the 3am ad to raise the question of foreign policy readiness, rather than simply to suggest that it’s time for a light sleeper in the White House?"

Maybe next the Clinton ad team will suggest that the President receives the latest inflation rate report at 3 a.m.

Poll update

This poll, shockingly, has Obama now leading Hillary Clinton in Pennsylvania.
I'd be wary of it, myself; it's too much at variance with other recent polls.
My guess is Senator Clinton still has a lead in PA.
But most polls show Obama closing the gap, and this certainly is more evidence for that.
If Obama wins Pennsylvania, will Senator Clinton then quit???
The pressure for her to get out of the race would then be overwhelming.
The Clintons' heads might explode. :+)

Signs of societal decline dept

A growing occurrence in north Texas of teen sex parties as a rite of passage.
"We see a lot of this," said Monica Tunstle-Garrett, Dallas County Health Specialist.

The Iraq war and its lessons

Jules Crittenden, writing recently in the Weekly Standard, points out two important ones:

"The errors committed in this war have contributed greatly to American frustrations. There was a failure to recognize the extent of the challenge ahead, even as ambitious plans were being laid starting in late 2001. The Bush administration could have had a blank check and recruits lined up around the block, but instead insisted on taking us into war with a post-Cold War military that is only belatedly being built up. The administration failed to seize control of Iraq with sufficient urgency and, when a complex insurgency was well underway, failed to move with sufficient skill to quell it until late in the day. The greater failure was to not adequately communicate the mission to Americans and to the world. All wars go through evolutions, and it is unrealistic to expect no missteps. In this case, however, they are cited most frequently not as arguments to improve the war effort, but as excuses for abandonment...

The American people have been allowed to believe that getting out of Vietnam was the best thing we did there, and that there was no penalty for cutting our losses. It should not be surprising that so many believe the same of Iraq. Looking past the immediate victims of that historic abandonment, the Soviet Union was emboldened by our show of weakness, invading Afghanistan and triggering a fateful string of events. Iran, seized by Islamic zealots, staged the 1979 hostage crisis to kick off three decades of support for terrorism and a bid for regional domination. In both cases, the belligerents knew we would do nothing about it. Figures like Osama bin Laden, among others, noted this void, and created the circumstances we are currently compelled to address."

Indeed, people forget that, after our withdrawal from Vietnam and its fall to the Communists in 1975, nations such as The Philippines, South Korea, and Singapore talked openly of moving away from the U.S. They wondered if, as an ally, we could be counted on. And does anyone believe that Vietnam did NOT encourage the Soviet leadership to believe that we would have no significant reaction to an invasion of Afghanistan?

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Trendy Tuesday

Today let's identify current trends, tea leaves, signs of the way things are going in politics, in society...

More evidence of Obama as Dem front-runner: even Clinton-backers expect him to win.

High gas prices remain a center of controversy as oil executives get grilled by congressmen.
Conservatives beware: this will surely continue to lead to demands for expansions of state powers.

More Islamic extremism: an imam in an East London mosque backs punishments such as rape and killing for non-Islamic "unbelievers."
Conservatives need to remember, and to keep emphasizing, that the war on this kind of Islamic fascism still goes on.

Good news from Iraq: the liberation of the city of Karmah.

Surprising trend: democracy to triumph in Zimbabwe? Long-time dictator/thug Robert Mugabe, loser of the recent election, to step down? Let's hope so.

Obama/Clinton continues to divide the Democratic Party: Bill Richardson endorses Obama, James Carville calls him a Judas and defends the remark...