Friday, October 31, 2008

At the sports desk: NFL weekly picks

I was 7-6-1 last week; i am 60-52-4 for the year.
On to this week:

Arizona 3 over ST. LOUIS. PICK: CARDINALS. I know, Arizona hasn't done well on the road this year. But they almost beat a good Carolina team last week, and you feel like they're about to break through. And note this: Arizona has the 2nd best passing offense in the NFL so far this year. St. Louis meanwhile is only 25th best in the league at defending the pass.

Atlanta 3 over OAKLAND. PICK: FALCONS. Always tricky when you're dealing with Matt Ryan, the Falcons' rookie QB, on the road. But remember that the Raiders' JaMarcus Russell is basically a rookie, too. Ryan has shown poise. And note this: Atlanta has the 3rd best rushing offense in the NFL so far. The Raiders, meanwhile, are only 26th best in the league at defending the run.

BUFFALO 5.5 over NY Jets. PICK: BILLS. They've been very solid at home, with Trent Edwards playing with a lot of precision. I expect Edwards to have another good day--the Jets are only 23rd best in the league at defending the pass.

CHICAGO 12.5 over Detroit. PICK: BEARS. The Lions continue to play the only-OK Dan Orlovsky at QB, and they continue to make many, many mistakes. They'd love to get Rudi Johnson or Kevin Smith going; but the Bears are 6th best in the league at defending the run.

CLEVELAND 1.5 over Baltimore. PICK: BROWNS. The Browns have struggled, but I sense they're finding their way a bit, especially after last week's win at Jacksonville. The Ravens will try to pound the ball; but did you know that the Cleveland defense is 10th best in the league at stopping the run?

DENVER 3.5 over Miami. PICK: BRONCOS. Two teams that are hard to figure. But Denver is at home; they still have the 3rd best pass offense in the NFL, and Miami struggles against the pass, with a defense that ranks only 25th in the NFL at stopping it.

INDIANAPOLIS 6 over New England. PICK: PATRIOTS. Not to win; I like Indy to win this one in a close game--they're at home and getting healthy. But 6 points is too much to give here, given Indy's struggles.

Jacksonville 7.5 over Cincinnati. PICK: JAGUARS. Jacksonville is ranked only 22nd in the NFL vs the pass. Only problem is, Cincy, with their injuries at QB and other issues, can't run it well or pass it, ranking in the bottom 5 in the league in both categories. And they're ranked 28th in the league against the run--guess what: Jax, with Taylor and Jones-Drew, can run it. And will.

MINNESOTA 4.5 over Houston. PICK: TEXANS. Houston is running under the radar, but they're playing well and have won 3 in a row. The Vikings meanwhile haven't really found it yet. And note this--Minnesota is very good at stopping the run, but not so much vs the pass; and the Texans and Matt Schaub and now ranked 5th in the NFL in passing offense. Go with the Texans in an upset.

NY GIANTS 9 over Dallas. PICK: GIANTS. Brad Johnson just is no Tony Romo; without the vertical passing game, the Giants will stack the line and stuff the "Boys.

Philadelphia 6.5 over SEATTLE. PICK: EAGLES. McNabb is healthy, Brian Westbrook is getting healthy; and despite being on the road, you sense that the Eagles will find a way to win this one by a TD or more. Note: Philly and McNabb are 8th in the NFL in pass offense; Seattle is only 30th best in the league at stopping the pass.

Tampa Bay 8.5 over KANSAS CITY. PICK: BUCS. That's a lot of points, and with a team like Tampa, which doesn't always score a lot, it's worrying. But, you have to think that Jon Gruden will have his team ready here, given they lost last week; and the Bucs can run the ball--they're ranked 9th in the league in rushing, while KC can't stop it--they're last in the league at defending the run.

TENNESSEE 5.5 over Green Bay. PICK: TITANS. You worry that Tennessee will have a letdown here, after their big Monday night win over Indy. But they've been awfully consistent. And when the Titans do well, they run it--they're 4th in the league in rushing. Meanwhile the Pack has a hard time sacking runners--they rank only 25th in the league at stopping the run. I gotta go with the Titans at home.

WASHINGTON 2 over Pittsburgh. PICK: STEELERS. This game is tough to pick--both teams will want to run it, but both teams are ranked in the top 5 in the league at stopping the run. But remember Pittsburgh's win at Jacksonville a few weeks ago? It was hard to see how they did it, but Big Ben found a way. I have a feeling he'll find a way this time too.

At the sports desk: college football weekly picks

I was unbeaten last week, and my upset special was meant to be Georgia over LSU--got it right.
Let's see how I do this week:

ALABAMA vs Arkansas St. Big shock--I like the Tide to continue to roll in this breather game.

BYU vs COLORADO STATE. The Cougars escaped last week's upset bid by UNLV; I think they'll right themselves even further vs the Rams, who just don't seem to have the firepower to win a game like this. PICK: COUGARS.

Florida vs. Georgia. Ah, the annual world's-largest-outdoor-cocktail-party game, in Jacksonville. I see Florida is favored. But I really liked what I saw from Georgia last week, on the road at LSU, a hard place to win. I suspect Richt has the Gators' number. UPSET PICK: BULLDOGS.

LSU vs Tulane. A chance for the Tigers to get well for a week against their undermanned in-state foe. PICK: LSU.

MICHIGAN STATE vs Wisconsin. MSU got well last week against the down-on-their-luck-this-year Wolverines; I have a hard time seeing the wildly-inconsistent Badgers winning this one on the road. PICK: SPARTANS.

MINNESOTA vs Northwestern. Wow, what a story are the Gophers; they won only one game all last year; this year, so far, they've lost only one, while winning 7. A tough, opportunistic defense that causes turnovers is the key for them. I like them to keep winning at home vs the Wildcats, in what should though be a close one. PICK: GOLDEN GOPHERS.

Missouri vs BAYLOR. The Bears love to throw the ball, and they do it fairly well; Coach Art Briles is developing this team. But Mizzou loves to throw the ball too, and they do it better. PICK: TIGERS.

NOTRE DAME vs Pittsburgh. I know, I know, Pitt got bumped off last week. But I think it was because they were looking ahead to this game. Now it's here, and I suspect they'll have enough focus and firepower on offense to pull off an upset agains tthe improved, but still a bit erratic Irish. UPSET PICK: PANTHERS.

OKLAHOMA vs Nebraska. Just too many weapons on the Sooner offense for the Huskers to keep up with them. PICK: OKLAHOMA.

OKLAHOMA STATE vs Iowa State. The Cowboys fell to Texas, but no disgrace there; they competed well. This is a good OSU team. Iowa State meanwhile got blasted at home last week by A&M. PICK: COWBOYS.

SOUTHERN CAL vs Washington. The only question is how bad the Trojans will maul the Huskies; it will be bad, but I don't think they'll put up 69 again. PICK: SOUTHERN CAL.

TCU vs UNLV. This is a tricky game for the Frogs, still harboring BCS ambitions, but on the road against a team that almost upset BYU last week. The key, though--the Horned Frogs have a tough, tough defense, and that will pull you through in "trap" games. PICK: TCU.

Texas vs TEXAS TECH. I know, I know, Texas has done very well, Colt McCoy is outstanding, the Longhorns have navigated a very tough schedule so far masterfully. And I know, Tech hasn't been here before, they've in the past lost games against teams like this, etc. But did you see the machine-like precision with which Tech played last week vs Kansas? OU only beat Kansas by 14, at home. Tech blasted them by 42, on the road. This Tech team is different. They're fast, but they're bigger, and tougher, and more mature. UPSET PICK: RED RAIDERS.

Utah vs NEW MEXICO. The Utes are unbeaten, and another possible BCS-buster. This game could be tough--New Mexico has a tough defense, and will be at home. But I think the Utes will find a way. PICK: UTAH.


Reporters from three newspapers, all three of which just happened to endorse John McCain, all get booted from the Obama campaign plane.

The Obama people claim there just isn't enough room. Funny that only now does it become an issue. The truth is, this fits right in with a pattern we're seeing from the Obama folks--they don't like criticism, whether it be trying to pressure WGN radio from airing the views of an Obama critic, cutting off a Pennsylvania TV station from further interviews when it didn't like an anchor's questions, to this. And when they don't like criticism, they retaliate.

A real good way to "unite" the nation, that.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Racism watch (contd)

Even when the McCain campaign doesn't mention race at all, it's all...about race:

"John Judis made the case that the McCain campaign's argument about "spreading
the wealth," "socialism," and "redistribution" is ultimately about race. The argument, Judis said, "is aimed ultimately at white working class undecided voters who would construe "spreading the wealth" as giving their money to blacks. It's the latest version of Reagan's 'welfare queen'
argument from 1980. It if it works, it won't be because most white
Americans actually oppose a progressive income tax, but because they fear
that Obama will inordinately favor blacks over them." I perceive the rhetoric the same way."

And if indeed Obama is elected, conservatives, look for any criticisms of his policies as president, whatever the criticisms are, to be slammed as "racist" then too.

Be ready for it. Don't be intimidated by it. And eventually, the American people will reject it.

Maybe it really is tightening...

The latest FoxNews poll shows a closer presidential race:

"As the candidates make their closing arguments before the election, the race has tightened with Barack Obama now leading John McCain by 47 percent to 44 percent among likely voters, according to a FOX News poll released Thursday. Last week Obama led by 49-40 percent among likely voters."

That last sentence is the key--last week, this same poll had Obama up 9.
We'll see what happens...

Making their lists, checking them twice...

Now it can be told: during the recent Olympic Games, the Chinese dictatorship acted...well, like a dictatorship:

"The Chinese government, concerned about the possibility of demonstrations during the Beijing Olympics, created a list of nine U.S. athletes and one assistant coach it thought might cause problems, USA Today reported Thursday."

What they should have been doing was making sure their gymnasts were actually of age, instead of breaking the rules and using girls who sure looked to be under the age of 12.

Congrats, by the way, to the USOC for standing strong on this:

"USOC spokesman Darryl Seibel told USA Today in an e-mail Wednesday that the concerns were "entirely unjustified and unwarranted." "As such, we rejected the request to address this with our athletes," Seibel told the newspaper. "We saw absolutely no need to burden our athletes with this."

Gee, and he was about to reach retirement age...

"The Nebraska State Patrol says it has seized more than 200 pounds of marijuana and arrested a Michigan man....

"The driver, who was alone in the minivan, was arrested on suspicion of marijuana possession with intent to deliver. The patrol described him as a 64-year-old man from Wyoming, Mich."

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Big donors to Obama get big access Obama's advisers, that is--details on today's Politico.
"Change we can believe in"? More like business as usual.
And remember, this is the kind of thing Bill and Hillary Clinton did--they were masters at using this kind of fund-raising technique--only they gave donors direct access to Bill, to Al Gore, to the Lincoln Bedroom, etc.

Yes, Obama had to defeat the Clintons in order to get where he is right now.
But that doesn't mean he's rejected everything about them. Seems to me he's copying several of their methods and procedures. Be afraid.

Sarah Palin's future

The NY Times reports today that conservatives will meet after the election, whatever happens in it, to plot the future--and that Sarah Palin will be at the top of the agenda:

"Whether the Republican presidential ticket wins or loses on Tuesday, a group of prominent conservatives are planning to meet the next day to discuss the way forward, and whatever the outcome, Gov. Sarah Palin will be high on the agenda....Despite all the criticism, she has many supporters among Republicans who see her as bright, tough and a star in a party with relatively few on the horizon. “She’s dynamite,” said Morton C. Blackwell, who was President Ronald Reagan ’s liaison to the conservative movement. Mr. Blackwell described vying to get close to Ms. Palin at a fund-raiser in Virginia, lamenting that he could get only within four feet. “I made a major effort to position myself at this reception,” he said, adding that he is eager to sit down with her after the election to discuss the future. Asked if the weeks of unflattering revelations and damaging interviews had tarnished her among conservatives, he replied, “Not a bit.”Brent Bozell, president of the Media Research Center, a conservative group, called it a “top order of business” to determine Ms. Palin’s future role. “Conservatives have been looking for leadership, and she has proven that she can electrify the grass roots like few people have in the last 20 years,” Mr. Bozell said. “No matter what she decides to do, there will be a small mother lode of financial support behind her.”

I completely agree. Conservatives are right to put her at the top of their post-election agenda.
When she was picked as John McCain's VP choice, and then when I learned more about her record in Alaska and, especially, when she gave her speech at the Republican convention, I saw smarts, I saw savvy, I saw strength, and I tell you, I saw female-Reaganesque star power. She's got something. She can be a leader, both in the party and among conservatives. She came off badly in a few interviews, but that will soon recede into the past and she'll have plenty of chances to show everyone who she really is. Palin power! It's here to stay.

Imagine that!

The liberal actor Richard Dreyfus, on working with director Oliver Stone in making the film "W":

"...Dreyfuss went on to say director Oliver Stone was a fascist. “Imagine working for Sean Hannity ... you can be a fascist, even when you’re on the left,” he told the ladies of the “View.”

Wow, Mr. Dreyfus discovered one can be a "fascist" even on the "left"!!
I guess he never read much about Josef Stalin.
But then our liberal friends in Hollywood have never been known for their grasp of history.

Today's media echo... that Obama leads McCain or is tied with him in 8 crucial battleground states.
It's a major headline in every media outlet I've checked today.
Now our media friends would tell you there's no pro-Obama bias in that--that they're simply telling you, accurately, what is major news today.

But here's my problem with it--that there's a glee, an eagerness, a special drive among the Obama fans in the media to say, "Hey, Obama's ahead; it looks good for Obama."

I sure don't recall media outlets touting a Bush lead late in the election of 2004. Do you?

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

There is some good news out there for the GOP...

Jim Geraghty reports that it's likely that Republican challengers will defeat at least 3 Democratic incumbents in House races.

Joe Biden made another gaffe--Obama has said his tax increases will apply only to those making $250,000 a year; now Biden has said they hit those making $150,000 per year.
The McCain-Palin campaign is hitting this hard today, by all accounts.

And the Gallup traditional daily tracking poll has the race very, very close--only a two point difference.

Obama and friends

Bill Sammon on Fox News today digs out a revealing paragraph from Barack Obama's autobiography:

"...Obama himself acknowledges that he was drawn to socialists and even Marxists as a college student. He continued to associate with Marxists later in life, even choosing to launch his political career in the living room of a self-described Marxist, William Ayers, in 1995, when Obama was 34.Obama's affinity for Marxists began when he attended Occidental College in Los Angeles. "To avoid being mistaken for a sellout, I chose my friends carefully," the Democratic presidential candidate wrote in his memoir, "Dreams From My Father." "The more politically active black students. The foreign students. The Chicanos. The Marxist professors and structural feminists."

So does this prove that Obama is some kind of radical Marxist or Socialist in disguise? No, folks.
That's not the point here. Rather, this proves instead that Obama is all about appearances. He wanted to look good to the black community, wherever he lived. He didn't want to appear as a "sellout" (read: too close to whites). He was being political. He wanted to rise and be a big fish in whatever pond in which he found himself. In college, that meant associating with hard leftists. Elsewhere, it meant other things (for example, once elected to office in Illinois, he nurtured a view of himself as a centrist).

The question then becomes: is there really any there there? Or does he simply shape himself to fit any context, will he simply be whatever he has to be, in order to...well, gain power?

Is this all about gaining power for Barack Obama? Will he do or be anything to get it?
Is there really a core to this guy? Or is he really a...yes, say it...FAKE?
The evidence begins to add up.

How do you define "bipartisanship"?

Nancy Pelosi defines it as "one-party control":

"Elect us, hold us accountable, and make a judgment and then go from there. But I do tell you that if the Democrats win and have substantial majorities, Congress of the United States will be more bipartisan,” said Pelosi."

I'm amazed she has time for making these definitions, she's so busy "trying to save the planet."
She doesn't seem too bright, does she? But all most members of the news media can do is attack Sarah Palin.

Why do conservatives sometimes talk of "Republicans-in-name-only"?

They call them "RINOs." Why? Here's a good example:

"Earlier this month, Sen. Chuck Hagel (R-NE) criticized Sen. John McCain’s (R-AZ) choice of Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin as his running mate, telling the Omaha World-Herald that “it’s a stretch to, in any way, to say that she’s got the experience to be president of the United States.” In a recent interview with The New Yorker, Hagel went even further, saying that he doesn’t believe Palin is “qualified to be President of the United States."

Senator Hagel claims, anyway, to be a Republican. He knows there's an election going on right now. He knows the man he's claimed in the past to respect, John McCain, needs all the help he can get. So why does he say something, publicly, that he knows can and will hurt the campaign?

Because he's a Republican in name only, that's why.
Why don't you just join the Democratic Party and get it over with, Sen. Hagel? We'll be fine without you.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Obama and the constitution--why it matters

So in a 2001 interview, we now know that Barack Obama said this:

" radical as I think people try to characterize the Warren Court, it wasn’t that radical. It didn’t break free from the essential constraints that were placed by the Founding Fathers in the Constitution, at least as it’s been interpreted, and the Warren Court interpreted it in the same way that generally the Constitution is a charter of negative liberties."

And that's what was important about that interview--that Obama criticized a Court for failing to "break free from the essential constraints that were placed by the Founding Fathers in the Constitution." (I'm not convinced the other comments on "redistribution" are as important as others make them.) It's an amazing statement. It's also a radical statement. Why? It's simple: yes, indeed, there are "constraints" placed in our Constitution by the Founders--on the state, largely. The Constitution says the state can't abridge the right to free speech, that it must allow the people to possess their own firearms, etc.

Now here's the thing: do you want future Courts to decide, based on the whim of their new "interpretations" of the Constitution as a "living" document, that those old "constraints" no longer exist? Bam, they're gone? In a sense, a Court has already done that, inventing a "right" to abortion that the Founding Fathers had no intention of providing. Our society has been divided by that ever since. How has that worked out for us? Not well. Yet Barack Obama apparently thinks it'd be cool for future Courts to break free of the Founders (as long as the changes they'd make would be "progressive").

See, that's how an activist judiciary works--important changes in law and public policy enacted without democratic debate, without legislative debate, without a chance even to vote in or out the persons who made the changes. Barack Obama in this interview signals he's okay with it. has he changed since then? Heh. He was 40 years old, not 8, when he made the comments...

(hint to the McCain campaign, too: if you make the above case, believe me, the average Joe will understand exactly what you're getting at and will, I think, recoil from the Obama position. But time is short...)

Obama/Biden will cut you off...

So, it's interesting and it's becoming a trend--the Obama/Biden campaign's reaction to tough criticism, that is.

Most recently, a local TV anchor asked Joe Biden some tough questions. In response the Obama/Biden camp canceled an interview with Biden's wife for that station, and said they won't be getting any more interviews for the duration of the campaign.

And don't forget what happened a couple of months ago--the Obama campaign tried to use intimidation tactics to get WGN radio to silence an interview with a conservative critic of Obama.

The Obama campaign, lashing out at its critics, and even trying to silence them. It's a worrisome trend. Remember, the election hasn't even occurred yet...

Progressive voices of "moderation"

A mannequin dressed as Sarah Palin is hung from a noose on someone's front porch.

My Democratic and progressive friends keep roaring about Republican/conservative "extremism" and how McCain supporters are saying "ugly" things about Obama. Do yours?

If they do, remind them of this.

The philosophy of a Palin supporter

Told to an American Spectator reporter at a Palin rally in Florida yesterday:

"As a young woman and mother of four in New York, Chianella found herself for a time on welfare. But she said when things turned around for her she paid the state back all the money she had collected. What a concept. "Life is a do-it-yourself project," she said. "It's not a give-away."


Liberalism watch (contd)

What liberals are saying these days about conservatives within the Republican Party, now that the left is convinced they're about to win an election:

"I think that the narrowing of the Republican party down to the
vicious, ignorant, bitter core of Palin acolytes and Rovian hacks is a
good thing, and the Christian Nationalists that will take over the
party will be more than willing to throw aside the McClellans, the
Powells, the Buckleys, and everyone who who they deem has shown
insufficient fealty to the cause. We should support that. The more we
can marginalize the rancid remains of the GOP into a discredited Palin
wing, the neo-cons with their hillbilly yokel Christian right front,
the better."

Nothing like a little overconfidence, hmmm? It can come back to bite you.
And it's a funny thing--the above is the same kind of thing they said about the Republican Party back in the 1960s, about it being "taken over" by "Buckleyites", by "Reaganites", by the "fanatical Goldwater wing", etc etc etc. They've been predicting the death of conservatism for over 60 years. And they've been wrong every time. Stand defiant!

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Liberalism watch: taxes

The Washington Post says Senator Obama is winning the debate over taxes. But how is he winning it?:

"For the first time in decades, Democrats appear to have the upper
hand in the debate over taxes. Independent analysts estimate that only
a small fraction of small-business owners would see their taxes
increase under Obama's plan, and polls show that voters are beginning
to accept Obama's argument that more Americans would see their taxes
cut under his proposals. Even some Republicans said they worry that
Obama has more than neutralized a signature GOP issue with the promise
of a tax cut for middle-class Americans."

Which actually is a great point for conservatives.
Once again, we see a great masquerade ball--the only way for Obama to
win is for he and his running mate to disguise themselves as
conservatives and pretend to run to McCain's right on this issue.

I guarantee, if Obama gets elected--we must remind him of this
95%-of Americans-will-get-a-tax-cut promise every single day.
And if he gets elected and then breaks
this promise, as Bill Clinton did after he broke his middle-class-tax
cut promise after 1992, as I expect Obama would break this one, we
will hammer him on it every single day. And use it to defeat him.

Hard left watch

They accuse Sarah Palin of encouraging those who would do violence in the name of opposing abortion...

...and so again we see it: supposed Republican "associations" with those who would do violence are just terrible; but Democrats' associations (this means you, Barack Obama) with someone who DID participate in terrorist acts (that is, Bill Ayers)--oh, those don't mean a thing.


Friday, October 24, 2008

At the sports desk: NFL weekly picks

I was 8-6 last week; I am now 53-46-3 for the season.
On to this week's picks:

Tampa Bay 1.5 over DALLAS. Pick: BUCS. Romo is definitely out; Jeff
Garcia is playing much better right now than is Brad Johnson; and the
Buc defense has been brilliant lately.

Washington 8 over DETROIT. Pick: REDSKINS. The Lions are at home,
but their QB is Dan Orlovsky. They've struggled to stop the run; and
the 'Skins have Clinton Portis.

Buffalo 4.5 over MIAMI. Pick: BILLS. This is a tough one. But if
Baltimore can shut down the Dolphins' run game, I think the Bills can
too. Trent Edwards have been brilliantly efficient, and safe, for the

NEW ENGLAND 3.5 over St. Louis. Pick: PATRIOTS. I don't expect the
Pats to implode, as Dallas did last week, thus doing a big favor for
the Rams. The key to the game is turnovers, and the Pats are good at
forcing them.

San Diego 2.5 over New Orleans. Pick: CHARGERS. It's expected to be
windy and rainy in London by Sunday. The Saints don't have Reggie
Bush. The Chargers do have LT going against that questionable Saints
defense. Go with the Bolts.

NY JETS 8.5 over Kansas City. Pick: JETS. The Jets have Brett Favre,
who's played well at home. KC will likely have to go with
third-stringer Tyler Thigpen. "Nuff said.

BALTIMORE 5.5 over Oakland. Pick: RAVENS. Joe Flacco is improving,
and he plays better at home. The Raiders struggle to stop the run,
and guess what--Baltimore has Willis McGahee and others. Go with the

PHILADELPHIA 5 over Atlanta. Pick: EAGLES. Philly has had two weeks
to scout Matt Ryan, and he's facing a hostile road environment. I
think the Eagles will limit Michael Turner, and get Donovan McNabb's
passing game going.

CAROLINA 1.5 over Arizona. Pick: PANTHERS. Simple: the Panthers have
a solid defense, and Arizona has not proven they can win on the road.
Go with the cats.

HOUSTON 4 over Cincinnati. Pick: TEXANS. As I said last week,
they're a better team than their record indicates.

JACKSONVILLE 2 over Cleveland. Pick: JAGUARS. The Browns just have
not gotten in sync this year, and now there's this Kellen Winslow
situation. Meanwhile, the Jags can run the ball; and they will this
week, too.

PITTSBURGH 1 over NY Giants. Pick: GIANTS. It comes down to the
Giants pass rush, and I have a hunch they will get some pressure on
Roethlisberger and cause some turnovers. Should be fantastic game.

SAN FRANCISCO 7.5 over Seattle. Pick: 49ERS. Did you see how bad
Seattle looked on Sunday night? I think the Niners, energized by
their new coach and with Frank Gore to pound the ball, will get it
done vs the demoralized Seahawks (who apparently will still be without
Matt Hasselbeck).

TENNESSEE 4.5 over Indianapolis. Pick: TITANS. The Colts just have
had a hard time getting healthy; and their defense is struggling vs
the run...which is what Tennessee does, very well.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

At the sports desk: college football weekly picks

I didn't do too well on my upset specials last week. Let's try to do better:


Alabama vs TENNESSEE. The Vols just can't score. They're rebuilding. PICK: CRIMSON TIDE.

FLORIDA vs Kentucky. Looks like the Gators have righted themselves, judging by their blowout of LSU. PICK: GATORS.

KANSAS vs Texas Tech. Believe it or not, oddsmakers have installed KU as a slight favorite. I don't buy it--I think Tech's combo of a great passing game and run game will help them outscore the Jayhawks, maybe by two touchdowns. UPSET SPECIAL PICK: RED RAIDERS.

LSU vs Georgia. Again, oddsmakers have the Tigers as a slight favorite. But they don't impress me that much, and I see

Are the American people moving left?


"NBC and the Wall Street Journal ask whether “government should do more to solve problems and help people” or “is doing too many things better left to businesses and individuals.” In December 1995, a 62-32 percent majority picked the first option. In October of this year, only a 47-45 plurality did."

Read the whole thing.
And use this against those declaring that the era of Reagan is over, blah blah blah.
Not only is Ponnuru's evidence persuasive, but think of this: if the era of Reagan was truly over, Barack Obama wouldn't have to run while desperately disguising himself as a conservative--claiming for example that he wishes to give 95% of the country a tax cut.
That's a conservative position. It's significant that he feels the need to adopt it.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008


So according to a recent poll, here's why some voters are choosing Obama over McCain:

"Swing voters have tilted Obama's way as the economy has overwhelmed
all other issues as the top priority for Americans. In interviews with
Cavenaugh and a dozen others who participated in a recent Los Angeles
Times/Bloomberg poll, demeanor emerged as a dominant theme in their
explanations for why they trusted Obama more than McCain to guide the
nation out of its financial crisis."

Ugh. I gotta tell you, that's just silly.
They sound like George Stephanopoulos and his focus on eye-rolling in the final McCain/Obama debate. Just because someone appears to be calm, cool, and professorial, doesn't mean he is competent or knowledgeable or up to the challenge.
Take a football analogy--Brett Favre is not always calm and cool. Yet he's one of the best quarterbacks ever to play the game--he has knowledge and ability DESPITE his excitable personality.
It's just too bad that people focus on style and personality in an election, and not on positions.

So what?

The enemies of conservatism in the mainstream news media are today pouncing on this story:

"The Republican National Committee spent about $150,000 on clothing, hair styling, makeup and other "campaign accessories" in September for the McCain campaign after Palin, the governor of Alaska, joined the ticket."

And the answer to this should be: so freaking what???
Does anyone realize how much the OBAMA campaign is spending during this election season, on ads, on everything? It's literally hundreds of millions of dollars. Our friends on the left have been roaring at us for years about how terrible it is that we have all this money in politics. The Obama campaign this cycle, meanwhile, is awash in it, spending it like drunken sailors, opting out of taking federal monies and accepting federal guidelines after they promised they wouldn't, and now they want to big deal out of the RNC spending a measly $150,000?

What a laugh. Fundamental: don't let Democrats put you on the defensive with this nonsense. Instead, remind them of their own hypocrisy on the larger issue: campaign spending.

Progressive voices of moderation

I guess they think they can take the law into their own hands:

"An anti-war protester confronted former Bush administration aide Karl Rove while he spoke at a San Francisco mortgage bankers' meeting. A statement by the group Code Pink identified the woman as 58-year-old Janine Boneparth, who tried to handcuff Rove in what she called a citizen's arrest for "treason."

Liberal acquaintances of mine keep shouting that it is Republicans and conservatives who are the extremists these days. Hmmm...

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

The American people on wealth redistribution

But I think Barack Obama missed this memo:
(and conservatives need to remember this, and talk about this, both for the next two weeks and way beyond this campaign.)
(oh, and, by the way, Republicans in congress need to ACT on this and act as if they believe it!)

Despite what some may tell you, "wealth redistribution" is not a political winner. Not even close.

PRINCETON, NJ — When given a choice about how government should address the numerous economic difficulties facing today's consumer, Americans overwhelmingly — by 84% to 13% — prefer that the government focus on improving overall economic conditions and the jobs situation in the United States as opposed to taking steps to distribute wealth more evenly among Americans.

Americans' lack of support for redistributing wealth to fix the economy spans political parties: Republicans (by 90% to 9%) prefer that the government focus on improving the economy, as do independents (by 85% to 13%) and Democrats (by 77% to 19%).

Which presidential candidate do U.S. troops support?

At first blush, you might not think this significant. Always, in the recent past anyway, the U.S. military has been conservative and has supported Republican presidential candidates.

But in the past few months, I can tell you--liberal acquaintances of mine has been claiming that there was widespread support for Barack Obama in the U.S. military; and those same liberals have tried to suggest that there is a lot of disillusionment in the military with the war in Iraq.

Well, if true, then a poll of the military should show Obama doing well with the troops, right?
But here's what a recent poll shows instead:

"A poll by the Military Times newspaper group suggests that there is overwhelming support for John McCain among U.S. troops in every branch of the armed forces by a nearly 3-1 margin. According to the poll, 68 percent of active-duty and retired servicemen and women support McCain, while 23 percent support Barack Obama. The numbers are nearly identical among officers and enlisted troops. The Military Times, which publishes the Army Times, Navy Times, Marine Corps Times and Air Force Times, polled 80,000 subscribers from Sept 22 to Sept. 29. The non-scientific survey gathered 4,300 respondents -- all of them registered and eligible to vote."

Who's depressed by falling fuel prices?

Are you? No? Well, but these guys are...
Because they're all about developing alternative energy sources and fuels, and they think cheap oil will blunt that urgency.

Don't get me wrong, I'm all for researching and developing energy alternatives.
But don't be depressed at falling oil prices, for goodness sake!
Think of the ordinary Joe Sixpacks out there who are benefiting from it, and be glad for them.
Again, that's the problem with liberal elites--they claim to be working on behalf of ordinary folks, but they have no idea of what ordinary folks want and need in their daily lives.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Sarah Palin: a big plus for McCain

Don't let the naysayers fool you--she's brought big crowds, TV ratings, and energy to the McCain campaign. In Indiana and Florida, crowds of 10,000 and 20,000 and more.

As Jim Geraghty explains today, who else could have done that?
No one. Go Sarah.

Why conservatives like Christopher Buckley are wrong

A tiny few conservatives and Republicans have, remarkably, said they will vote Obama.
They're wrong. In the next couple of weeks, we'll keep pointing out why.
Today we find a good example, as a London newspaper reports on a recent Obama speech in Manhattan:

" I want you to believe," said the candidate, clad in an open-necked shirt and barn jacket. "Not so much believe just in me but believe in yourselves. Believe in the future. Believe in the future we can build together. I'm confident together we can't fail."

Fundamental: conservatives don't believe elections and the work of government can, or should, "change the world."

At the sports desk: Rays vs Phillies in the Fall Classic--who would've thunk it?

More details here.
Should be a good Series--I especially look forward to seeing how Rays pitchers will handle Phillie sluggers like Ryan Howard and Chase Utley.

Back to the ALCS for a moment--congrats to the Rays, but to the Red Sox, too. That was quite a battle. I was struck by the mental toughness both teams showed. The Red Sox, after all, were down 3-1 in the series, had been pounded at home for two straight games, and then in game 5 trailed 7-0. But they got off the mat, and eventually won not only game 5, but game 6 on the road, as well.

So then the pressure shifted to the Rays. They'd blown a 3-1 series lead; they faced the prospect not just of heading into the offseason with that knowledge, but also the possibility of blowing a golden opportunity and doing so by losing the last two games at home.

But they sure did respond well, didn't they? You had to feel good for the Rays, a team that never had finished a season above .500 in its entire existence; now off to the World Series. Should be fun.

As I said yesterday...

...maybe Colin Powell endorsed Barack Obama in the hopes of securing some kind of post in an Obama yesterday.

So, comes today, and we see this:

"Colin Powell will have a role as a top presidential adviser in an Obama administration, the Democratic White House hopeful said Monday. "He will have a role as one of my advisers," Barack Obama said on NBC's "Today" in an interview aired Monday, a day after Powell, a four-star general and President Bush's former secretary of state, endorsed him."

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Yawn...Colin Powell endorses Barack Obama

Some details here.
I yawn, because what else is new? Another "moderate" Republican-in-name-only echoes liberal mainstream media talking points, obviously desperate to gain the praise of NBC or the New York Times and, who knows, perhaps desperate to be considered for a post in an Obama administration; and further, who knows, perhaps feeling duty-bound to endorse someone of the same race (though he denies this).

But mainly I see another moderate Republican out to gain acceptance from the New York Times and other "mainstream" establishment elites. Yawn...

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Why Christopher Buckley and his defenders are wrong

Christopher Buckley, son of William F. Buckley Jr. and noted author and essayist, has as perhaps many of you know endorsed Barack Obama. He's also left National Review, the magazine his father founded. He has many conservative critics, of course; and some defenders, including the columnist Kathleen Parker in today's Washington Post.

I've agreed with Ms. Parker a lot in the past; but not on this. Here, she's dead wrong.
She's wrong, for example, to suggest that there was a "tsunami" of anger and opposition to Buckley among the NR community, and wrong to suggest in any way that Buckley was run out of NR in a fit of pique by the magazine's current stewards, as Rich Lowry has clearly stated in The Corner.

But here's the larger point. Did you notice Ms. Parker's defense of Christopher Buckley's argument as to WHY a conservative should support Obama? No? Neither did I. That's because there's a reason for that. There isn't one. Mr. Buckley says it's horrible, just horrible, that over the past 8 years we've seen a huge increase in the national debt and in entitlement programs. Yep. You betcha. Not good things.

And how is voting for Barack Obama going to help with those problems, exactly???? Obama's going to introduce tax increases, and $800 billion in new spending; that's something a conservative should be in favor of? Really?

And really, the larger point is that Christopher Buckley and his followers have forgotten the lessons WFB Jr. learned. A quick story: back during the 1960 presidential election, Buckley and the young NR were trying to decide if they should endorse Richard Nixon, the Republican nominee, for president or not. They didn't really want to. They thought he was too moderate and wishy-washy, especially on domestic issues. But Buckley's fellow senior editor James Burnham made a powerful argument to the editor-in-chief. Look, he said, at who surrounds John F. Kennedy, the Democrats' nominee. All the forces of liberalism, all their interest groups, all the leading advocates, support Kennedy. They clearly knew what his election would mean: a victory for liberalism. How, then, Burnham argued, could NR not support Nixon--against whom, again, lined up all those on the left?

Buckley was slow to accept Burnham's argument, but eventually he did so. Never again during Buckley's tenure as editor in chief did NR fail to endorse the Republican candidate for president. The situation is the same now. Lining up around Barack Obama are ALL the forces of liberalism, progressivism, the left, whatever you want to call it. They certainly know what Obama represents. But Christopher Buckley and Kathleen Parker want to tell us that an Obama victory can somehow help conservatism??

Please. WFB Jr. would have known better.

Friday, October 17, 2008

At the sports desk: college football weekly picks

Last week's record: 10-3.

ALABAMA vs Ole Miss. Hard to see the powerful Tide blowing this one; they ain't Florida. PICK: CRIMSON TIDE.

BOSTON COLLEGE vs Virginia Tech. I think BC is coming on. PICK: EAGLES.

GEORGIA vs Vanderbilt. Vandy's gotta be down after last week; and when was the last time they won between the hedges? Won't be tomorrow. PICK: BULLDOGS.

LSU vs SOUTH CAROLINA. The Tigers too gotta be down after that pasting by Florida last week; and I don't think LSU is at the high level they were last year. Meanwhile, the ol' ball coach has a decent team, is at home, and will throw some new stuff at LSU. UPSET SPECIAL PICK: GAMECOCKS.

North Carolina vs VIRGINIA. Did you see Virginia get blown away by USC way back in week 1? I don't think they've improved enough to beat the young but talented UNC bunch. PICK: TAR HEELS.

Ohio State vs MICHIGAN STATE. I sense a new toughness in the Spartans. Plus they're at home; and don't forget, Terrell Pryor is talented, but a freshman, too. UPSET SPECIAL PICK: SPARTANS.

OKLAHOMA vs Kansas. This could be a bit of a trap game for the Sooners; Kansas can really move the ball. But I don't think KU can slow down the Sooner offense much. PICK: SOONERS.

OKLAHOMA STATE vs Baylor. I badly underestimated OSU last week. I won't this week; and Baylor can't stop anybody. PICK: COWBOYS.

Michigan vs PENN STATE. A down year for Michigan. Meanwhile, Penn State is tough and efficient. PICK: NITTANY LIONS.

Pittsburgh vs NAVY. It will be a tough game; and remember that Navy won at Pitt last year. But I think Pitt and LeSean Jackson will be a bit too powerful for the Middies this time. PICK: PANTHERS.

SOUTH FLORIDA vs Syracuse. The farewell tour for Syracuse coach Greg Robinson continues.

TEXAS vs Missouri. This has all the makings of a shootout. But as we saw last week, Mizzou's defense has issues, and Chase Daniel just can't outscore everybody. Certainly not Texas. A close game, but...PICK: LONGHORNS.

Texas Tech vs TEXAS A&M. The Aggies gave up 44 last week to K-State. Imagine how much Graham Harrell and the high-powered Red Raiders can put up on them. PICK: RED RAIDERS.

UTAH vs Colorado State. BYU fell Thursday night, but there's still one undefeated team left in Utah; I look for the Utes to stay that way at home. PICK: UTES.

Southern Cal vs WASHINGTON STATE. I know, USC was a big favorite vs Oregon State, too. I think they've learned their lesson (despite being no less than a 43 point favorite in this one). PICK: TROJANS.

John and Joe

You know, I will say this: the McCain campaign did do a wise thing in seizing upon Joe the Plumber, Barack Obama's conversation with him, and explaining how Joe is an excellent example of the problem with raising taxes--it hurts little guys and small businesses.

And they're doing a good job today in keeping this guy and the whole issue in the news.
Not to mention decrying the fact that Joe is being attacked, and irrelevant criticisms of his life being made, simply because Joe and his story isn't helping the Obama campaign. And make no mistake, this is why the attacks have come--because Joe and his story are something that hurt the Obama folks.

I liked this from McCain today:

“The response from Senator Obama and his campaign yesterday was to attack Joe,” Mr. McCain said. “People are digging through his personal life, and he has TV crews camped out in front of his house. He didn’t ask for Senator Obama to come to his house. He wasn’t recruited or prompted by our campaign. He just asked a question. And Americans ought to be able to ask Senator Obama tough questions without being smeared and targeted with political attacks.”

This has been a national story for over 2 days now. It's friendly ground for McCain, and it's a good, principled conservative issue (lower taxes mean more freedom, they mean help for those little guys wanting to pursue the American dream). Let's see if it helps in the polls at all...

Confirmed--Sarah Palin to appear on SNL

No details yet on what she'll say or do, but doggone it, it should be funny.

Michigan U.S. Senate race

I know, you've heard nothing of it. That's because the GOP has basically conceded it, running an unknown state senator, Jack Hoogendyk, against the powerful, well-known Carl Levin, who's seen as unstoppable.

And you know, I'm sure the political observer quoted in the article was right when he said:

"For Carl Levin, it's once again a noncompetitive race," said Craig Ruff, senior fellow at Public Sector Consultants, a Lansing-based nonpartisan public policy think tank. "Levin is more liberal than the people he represents and yet he has endeared himself to Democrats and independents and no small number of Republicans who seem to be proud to have him in the Senate because of his heft."

People don't agree with Levin; but they want him in the senate because he's famous and has "heft."

I know people who think that way when they vote for a candidate. And it's sad.

At the sports desk: NFL weekly picks

Somehow last week, in the midst of all the upsets, I squeaked out a 7-7 record.
I'm now 45-40-3 for the year.

BUFFALO 1 over San Diego. Pick: BILLS. San Diego's been very inconsistent, especially on the road. Yes, they sliced through the Pats' defense last week; Buffalo's D is better.

CAROLINA 3 over New Orleans. Pick: PANTHERS. Carolina's at home; and they have a better defense than does New Orleans. The Saints always seem to end up on the losing end of games like this on the road.

CHICAGO 3 over Minnesota. Pick: BEARS. The Vikings offense couldn't get much done last week against the lowly Lions. How will they get much done in Chicago against a Bear team desperate to, at home, atone for last week's blown opportunity?

Dallas 11 over ST. LOUIS. Pick: RAMS. Not to win; but to keep it close. I think the Cowboys will wind up having to go with Brad "Checkdown" Johnson (as Patrick Crayton called him last week), so don't expect much explosiveness out of Dallas' offense.

HOUSTON 9.5 over Detroit. Pick: TEXANS. Yes, the Lions beat the spread for the first time last week. But this week they're not playing Gus Frerotte and the struggling Vikings; they're playing Matt Schaub, Andre Johnson, and a Texans team that is much better than its 1-4 record.

Indianapolis 1 over GREEN BAY. Pick: COLTS. This is a tough one. Green Bay and Aaron Rodgers got a big win on the road last week. But last week, in their win over the Ravens, I saw the old (and very good, Super Bowl contender) Colts. They played fast; they were aggressive; the offense had explosiveness. I look for that to continue.

MIAMI 3 over Baltimore. Pick: DOLPHINS. The Fish have been very, very good against the spread this year; I think they might be unbeaten. Their offense and Chad Pennington have actually executed the "wildcat" stuff very well. Meanwhile the Ravens appear to have hit a bump in the road. Joe Flacco's confidence is down. I doubt it will improve this week.

NY GIANTS 10.5 over San Francisco. Pick: GIANTS. That's a lot of points but, at home, the Giants have shown this year that they can cover. I see the Monday night mess at Cleveland as an aberration. They'll move the ball against a leaky San Fran defense; meanwhile, J.T. O'Sullivan is making too many turnovers; the Giants will cause more this week.

NY Jets 3 over OAKLAND. Pick: JETS. The Raiders still appear to be a mess; JaMarcus Russell still has a long way to go. Meanwhile I see Brett and the Jets O gaining confidence week to week. The Jets won't blow out Oakland, but they'll win by a TD.

Pittsburgh 9.5 over CINCINNATI. Pick: STEELERS. Simple--the Steelers had a bye week and so Big Ben should be more healthy; meanwhile, the Bengals won't have Carson Palmer. They'll have to go with Ryan Fitzpatrick. Not a good matchup vs Troy Polamalu and the hard-hitting Steelers.

TAMPA BAY 10.5 over Seattle. Pick: SEAHAWKS. No, not to win the game. Instead, 10 and a half points is just too much to give, when you're dealing with a Bucs team that doesn't have an explosive offense, that instead relies on turnovers and the defense scoring TDs to blow teams out. I just think Seattle will hold onto the ball, and thus lose by less than 10.

Tennessee 8 over KANSAS CITY. Pick: CHIEFS. Yes, I know, no Larry Johnson for the Chiefs. But again, remember that Tennessee is not an explosive offensive team, relying on running LenDale White and company, and safe throws from Kerry Collins. I think the Chiefs will, at home, find a way to get the ball to Tony Gonzalez, slow the Titans down, and keep this one close.

WASHINGTON 7.5 over Cleveland. Pick: REDSKINS. I just gotta believe the 'Skins will bounce back this week, at home; and although I give the Browns congrats for their win on Monday night, still I'm not convinced they're fixed. Did you see all those illegal procedure penalties by the Browns? It was embarrassing. They'll make more mistakes in Washington, and it'll get them beat by 10 points or more.

NEW ENGLAND 3 over Denver. Pick: PATRIOTS. Well. Who knows what to expect here--neither team played well at all last week, really. Both have obvious weaknesses. The key as I see it: a good defense can take advantage of Matt Cassel's weaknesses. But Denver doesn't have a particularly good defense; and so the Patriots' run game and short passing scheme can work. Go with the Pats at home.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Will Barack Obama, as president, grant 95% of Americans a tax cut?

I doubt it--for, when campaign spokesmen are subjected to direct questioning by a journalist from the American Spectator, the details are real, real vague (and by the way, back in 1992 and afterwards, the Clinton people pulled this same kind of stunt):

So when Plouffe reiterated the 95 percent claim, I asked him a simple question aimed at clarifying whether Obama's tax plan was about cutting rates, or merely handing out government checks. "What rates would actually go down"? I asked."Middle class people are going to see, systemically, their taxes reduced, and small businesses," Plouffe responded. "But what rate would go down for lower-income Americans?" I persisted, seeking more information."We'll have to get you the exact details on that," Obama's campaign manager told me.

Read the whole thing.

Destroying Joe the Plumber

It was actually a very neat tactic last night from John McCain--introduce Joe the plumber, use the conversation he had with Barack Obama a few days ago (Joe wants to start his own small business soon; Obama's plans would lead to higher taxes for him; Obama apologizes but vows to plow ahead anyway, saying it's needed in order to spread the wealth around), and show how that makes Obama's policies, well, dangerous to the economy.

And so now, as Jim Geraghty shows today, our friends on the left are after old Joe:

"Thank God we live in a free country, where you can speak your mind on public issues, without fear that those who disagree will respond by exposing anything you've ever done that you regret or that could embarrass your family. Oh, wait, never mind. We have to know, according to some, about Joe the Plumber's tax lien, and how he doesn't have a license - which, if the smear artists bothered to check the law, he only needs for commercial work, not residential work.This is the way our opponents operate now. Destroy anyone who stands in your way. Humiliate them. Make sure that anyone else who ever wants to skeptically question Barack Obama knows that every last bit of their dirty laundry will be aired for all the world to see."

We shouldn't be surprised.
Look at the smear job they did on Sarah Palin. I'm glad she's fought back.

At the sports desk: congrats to the Phillies

Too bad for the Dodgers, but congrats to the Philadelphia Phillies for being the first team to qualify for this year's World Series.

They've played well this postseason, getting the clutch hits and solid starting pitching.
You have to feel kinda good for Philly fans. Oh, yes, they have kind of bad reputation nationally--they boo a lot, they're hard on their star players, they famously once even booed Santa Claus.

But you know what? You also have to say that they're passionate, they care, and they support their teams. I have no problem with fans like that. I'm sure they're happy today. Let's see now if the Tampa Bay Rays can join them; that would be a great story, too...

Changing life in these United States dept

A girl sends out her nude pic to a few friends...and disturbs a school in Michigan, as it gets sent out eventually to over 200 kids.
The police talk of pornography, and confiscate over a dozen cell phones from high schoolers.
What a mess. My real question is: what makes a 14 year old want to "express herself" by sending out a nude picture to anyone--even her friends? Sigh...

Who won last night's debate?

ABC's George Stephanopoulos said Barack Obama did--not on substance, but because throughout he stayed "cool."

Actually the source above was being far too kind. I watched Stephanopoulos' "analysis" last night on "Nightline." And the main difference he spied between the two candidates at last night's debate was that, occasionally, when Obama was speaking and McCain disagreed with what he was saying, McCain rolled his eyes and looked a tiny bit exasperated.

That's right--in the eyes of former Clinton aide Stephanopoulos, that was the difference in the debate.

Now think about this. What's so bad about rolling your eyes? How does that disqualify you to be president? Let's see. If you're in the Oval Office, and an aide or a head of a department or a cabinet secretary says something rather stupid to you, are you to show no signs of irritation? Must you sit there like a sphinx? Since when did that become a requirement to be president?

If someone says something truly silly to you, and you're genuinely angry about it, and all you do is roll your eyes--that's actually very good self-control.

Sheesh. Once again, media "analysis" of these things is driven by style, by looks, by the surface appearance of things, not by real substance and real issues. But then, we all know that Stephanopoulos and most members of the mainstream news media want Obama, they desire him to win, and the only question was on what basis, silly or no, they would claim his victory last night. Eye-rolling is what they found. Many ordinary folks will accept that. It's the world we live in.

But we don't have to like it.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

At the sports desk: observing the NFL so far...

...I think I've learned the following (and by the way I only went 7-7 last week in my picks, so my knowledge only goes so far, but...):

I thought before the season started that the Minnesota Vikings of the NFC North could be a Super Bowl contender. Now, I wonder if anyone from that division will wind up with better than a 9-7 record (as Green Bay, Minnesota, and Chicago are all 3-3 right now...and tied for 1st).

I thought before the season began that the Atlanta Falcons, starting rookie QB Matt Ryan, would really struggle. But, especially after watching him closely this past week vs the Bears, I now think this kid really has something. He can make throws. He has maturity. The Falcons are a playoff contender.

Before Monday night, I thought the NY Giants were perhaps the best team in the NFL. Then came their debacle vs. Cleveland. I also thought, before Sunday, that Washington had established itself as a power. Then came their loss to St. Louis. Unpredictability remains a norm in the NFL.

Early in the season I thought the Dallas Cowboys were perhaps the best team in the league. But they've had 3 poor games in a row, Tony Romo is out for 4 weeks, and now things look a lot tougher for them. They may have to struggle a bit just to make the playoffs. The Giants right now look like the best bet to win the NFC East.

What surprised me most about the Cowboys/Cardinals game this past Sunday was the pressure the Arizona D-line put on Romo. Maybe the Cardinals are actually a serious playoff contender? We'll know they are when they can actually win on the road.

I thought this past Sunday night's game vs. the Chargers really exposed the limitations of the Patriots' Matt Cassel. He makes mistakes; he has a harder time throwing deep with accuracy. Teams are wising up, crowding the line and daring him to beat them deep. He has played decently so far and there remains no doubt the Patriots have above-average talent. But how far can this team really go? There are serious questions.

Remember, the Miami Dolphins remain only a 2-3 team. But hasn't Tony Sparano maximized his talent on the offensive side of the ball so far? I can't think of a coach who's done more with less.

Last week, for the first time, the Indy Colts truly looked like the Colts. But even so, Tennessee with its defense and ball-control offense will give them a serious run for the AFC South title.

Sometimes, I have no answers--only questions. Such as: will Big Ben remain healthy enough to keep the Steelers on a path to another division title?

Are the Cleveland Browns really fixed, with their big Monday night victory over the Giants? I dunno--did you see all of their silly procedure penalties? Still too many mistakes.

Who is going to emerge from the AFC West? Denver's defense struggles, and Jay Cutler's inconsistency re-emerged last Sunday; San Diego remains without Shawn Merriman and with a-not-100% LaDainian Tomlinson.

The AFC is wide open. Come to think of it, so, right now, is the NFC...

Another presidential debate tonight

Apparently it's the 40th debate this political season, if you count all those from the primary campaign...

I didn't realize there had been quite that many.
It seems like overkill, looking back on it.
Clearly, McCain needs to shake things up.
My suggestion: look, I'm sure the Obama campaign EXPECTS you to come at them over Ayers; they'll be prepared. So come at him from another direction. Talk about how terrorists are leaving Iraq now, because of our success there. That doesn't sound like the defeat Obama forecast for our efforts there. Talk about Obama's claim that, for his proposed budget, he's cutting more than he's spending. No way is that true. Come at him from a conservative direction--why not talk abortion??? He's very liberal on that issue.

Draw big distinctions; it's your only chance.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Beware the latest polls...

I noticed yesterday there was a lot of huffing and puffing (especially on ABC) about a new ABC/Washington Post poll that had Obama 10 points ahead. A CBS poll shows a similar lead.

But if you go look at all the daily state/national polls, look closely...
Note that Rasmussen, Zogby, the Hotline poll, and the daily Gallup tracking poll all have this presidential race as only a 5 or 6 point race. That's still pretty close. Don't forget that...

We'll be fighting them somewhere

The Afghan foreign minister says more "foreign fighters" have joined the terrorists in his country. Where have they come from?

"American military successes in Iraq have prompted growing numbers of well-trained “foreign fighters” to join the insurgency in Afghanistan instead, the Afghan defense minister said on Tuesday. The minister, Gen. Abdul Rahim Wardak, said at a news conference that the increased flow of insurgents from outside Afghanistan had contributed to the heightened intensity of the fighting here this year, which he described as the “worst” since the American-led forces toppled the Taliban government in 2001. American commanders have said that overall violence here has increased by 30 percent in the past year and have called for more troops. The defense minister said that “the success of coalition forces in Iraq” had combined with developments in countries neighboring Afghanistan to cause “a major increase in the number of foreign fighters” coming to Afghanistan."

Gosh. And our liberal friends keep telling us that it is BECAUSE WE ARE IN IRAQ--for that reason and that reason alone--that there were insurgents, that the insurgents were Iraqis, and that if we weren't in Iraq, they wouldn't exist, they wouldn't be fighting. But obviously that's not true.

But the truth is--wherever we go, wherever they see an opportunity, there they'll be. They hate us and what we stand for. We must defeat them. It's as simple as that.

More ACORNs raining on Obama...

Lots of news about the voter-registration group ACORN today.
The WSJ online writes about it, summing up the case against it--its unrepentant liberalism, its involvement with fraudulent voter registration, Barack Obama's ties to it.

Apparently the group signed up one teenager to vote--73 times.

Somebody from the group tried to register Mickey Mouse to vote.

Even NBC's site has an article up today critical of ACORN.

And all this is great. But now here's the key: John McCain MUST find a way to raise this at the debate tomorrow night, and pin Mr. Obama to it. Voter fraud is a serious issue. Mr. Obama must be put on the defensive about this.

The McCain campaign (contd)

So today Senator McCain announces a new economic plan, including the following statement:

"McCain said President Bush's $250 billion plan to buy shares in the nation's leading banks should be short-term and last only until the institutions are reformed and put on a sound footing again. "When that is accomplished," McCain said, "government will relinquish its interest in these private companies. We're going to get the government out of the business of bailouts and equity stakes and back in the business of responsible regulation."

Great. Sounds to me like he's trying to sound like a Democrat on the economy, only a little bit less so. It's me-tooism, and it won't work.

And then there's also this coming out today:

"John McCain said Tuesday that Barack Obama is “probably ensured” that his association with 1960s radical William Ayers will come up in Wednesday’s debate. “I was astonished to hear him say that he was surprised that I didn’t have the guts” to bring up Ayers, McCain said on KMOX, a St. Louis radio station. “I think he is probably ensured that it will come up this time.”

Great. Again, one day he's not talking about it, the next day he is. Not a clear message; no clear distinction between he and Obama. Not a way to win a campaign.

Monday, October 13, 2008

The McCain campaign

The big news today is that, in trying to fire up some campaign workers, he said he'd whip Barack Obama's you-know-what at the next debate.
I don't see it as a big deal. He was just trying to fire up his supporters.
Remember when Barack Obama a couple of weeks ago told his supporters to "get in the face" of those not backing the Democrats?
A larger problem here though, for the McCain campaign, remains their message.
The McCain team doesn't have a consistent one. One day they talk about Obama's association with Bill Ayers. The next day they don't. One day they talk about abortion. The next day they don't.
Unless and until McCain makes a clear, consistent message that differentiates him from Senator Obama, this race won't be changed, and McCain will lose. But there's still time...

UPDATE: Jim Geraghty over at NRO I think agrees with me, and adds a couple of very valuable points:

" seems McCain — and notice I say the candidate, not the campaign — is more or less assenting to the MSM’s view of what is in bounds and what is out of bounds in terms of relevance and good taste in this campaign. The MSM thinks that Ayers, Wright, Rezko, the theme of the “Celebrity” ad, ACORN voter fraud efforts, the Democrats' blind eye to the mismanagement of Fannie and Freddie, and basically any other story that might actually harm Obama's standing in the polls is out of bounds. The second problem is that it’s tough to dabble in the controversial topics. (And I understand the argument that many voters only pay attention in the final month, but when you bring up Ayers, etc. with four or five weeks to go, when you're behind, it is a near-guarantee that the strategy will be painted as a desperation move.) You either have to insist that the whole lot of Obama's associates — Ayers, Dohrn, Wright, Meeks, Pfleger, Rezko, Nadhmi Auchi, Rashid Khalidi, Alexi Giannoulias — are revealing about the candidate's character, judgment, and worthy of discussion, and defend that argument full-throatedly... or you can't go there. You certainly can't back down in the face of media criticism; that back-and-forth implicitly validates the media criticism."

Paul Krugman wins a Nobel Prize...

...and thus this award, going to the NY Times' very liberal and often-wrong economics writer, proves that anyone, literally anyone, can win a Nobel.

How do I know Krugman is often wrong?
Go here, and read about the efforts of the "Krugman truth squad."
They lay out his errors chapter and verse.
Just goes to show how political these Nobel prize awards can be.

Wall Street rebounding so far today...

...and the best part of it is simply that, for once, we're not being hit by a barrage of bad news.
Isn't it kind of nice?

Sunday, October 12, 2008

A lesson this presidential campaign has taught us

Really it's an old one, but Mark Davis is right to point it out again: attempts to change the nature of campaigning won't work. Campaigns cost a lot, and they will go negative; and it's no big deal:

"Campaign spending is free speech. Candidates have to spend millions because they have to start running a full year before the Iowa caucuses. (Surely you know fundraising meetings are already underway for 2012.) But why lament this? Candidates ask for money, we give it to them, they run ads, and we either pay attention or not. Campaigns start absurdly early because we pay attention that early. The system works. As for the tone of ads, every candidate's pledge to campaign less negatively lasts until his chops are busted in an opponent's negative ad. Then comes the "you have to fight back" logic, which may or may not be true because virtually no one has ever failed to fight back. But, again, is this such a huge problem? Plenty of campaign ads stick to the issues, despite the impossibility of thoroughly addressing any issue in 30 or 60 seconds. Since ads are a terrible basis for making a choice in any election, try ignoring them in favor of the more thoughtful exercise of watching debates and reading multiple sources reporting from the campaign trail."

He's especially right about negative campaigning. It's been with us forever. In 1840, Whigs bashed the Democrat incumbent Martin Van Buren as an effete snob living it up in a palatial White House while the nation suffered through an economic depression. In 1800 Federalists ripped into Thomas Jefferson, calling him a radical atheist who would lead America into chaos. We survived then. We'll survive today's negativity. Don't like it? Ignore it!

Saturday, October 11, 2008

A good explanation of how the country got into this financial mess...

...came recently from George F. Will:

"...a timeless political trope is: Government should budget the way households supposedly do, conforming outlays to income. But the crisis came partly because so many households decided that it would be jolly fun to budget the way government does, hitching outlays to appetites.
Beneath Americans' perfunctory disapproval of government deficits lurks an inconvenient truth: They enjoy deficits, by which they are charged less than a dollar for a dollar's worth of government. Conservatives participate in this, even though deficits fuel government's growth by obscuring its cost. The people can emulate the government because credit has been democratized. Democratization of everything is supposedly an unquestionable good, but a blizzard of credit cards (1.5 billion of them, nine per cardholder), subsidized loans and cheap money has separated the pleasure of purchasing from the pain of paying. Furthermore, the entitlement mentality fostered by the welfare state includes a felt entitlement to a standard of living untethered from savings."

Bingo. Read the whole thing--Will has been very, very critical of Republicans in congress for the past several years (and often rightly so--the GOP in Congress became far too willing to be free spenders). But here he's very sympathetic to the majority of Republicans' rejection of the first bailout bill. That vote may go down in history as a good one for the GOP (one of the few they've had recently).

And by the way, maybe Americans are starting to wise up--a recent poll shows that, by over a 20 point margin, Americans strongly oppose the bailout plan eventually passed.

Friday, October 10, 2008

At the sports desk: NFL weekly picks

Last week was a strange one, with bizarre games and crazy endings, etc etc.
So I went 6-6-2, putting my record at 38-33-3. Time to improve this week!

Chicago 3 over ATLANTA. Pick: BEARS. The Falcons run the ball well, piling up over 170 yards again last week vs Green Bay. But the Bears stop the run well, and will load up to stop Michael Turner. The Bears seem to do well in this type of game.

Dallas 5 over ARIZONA. Pick: CARDINALS. There's a definite trend--Arizona does well at home, especially putting points on the board with their passing game (Kurt Warner last week at home--33 of 42, 250 yds). Meanwhile the Cowboys have injuries in the secondary. I see the Cowboys winning this game, but in a very tight one; go with the Cards to keep it real close.

DENVER 3.5 over Jacksonville. Pick: BRONCOS. The Jags have struggled on offense--only 38 yards rushing last week. Meanwhile Jay Cutler has largely shone, especially at home (last week 23 if 34, 227 yds). I think the Broncos will find a way to win this one by 6 or 7 pts.

HOUSTON 3 over Miami. Pick: DOLPHINS. I just think the Texans will still be shell-shocked from last week's unbelievable collapse; and the Dolphins have shown an ability to smash-mouth their running game down peoples' throats, and a tough D--they held the Chargers to 202 total yards last week. Go with the fish.

INDIANAPOLIS 4 over Baltimore. Pick: COLTS. Again--I think they're getting healthier, and they can hold Joe Flacco in check (he threw 2 INTs last week).

MINNESOTA 13 over Detroit. Pick: VIKINGS. Jon Kitna is out for the Lions; their defense can't stop anybody, and again they're awash in negativity. Adrian Peterson will run wild. Gus Frerotte will too--the Lions gave up over 300 yds passing to Kyle Orton, for goodness' sake.

NEW ORLEANS 7 over Oakland. Pick: SAINTS. Oakland has the craziness of a new coach and the usual drama there; the Saints unbelievably blew last Monday night's game despite Reggie Bush's heroics. But I like Drew Brees and the Saints offense to put more than 7 points distance between them and the Raiders.

NY JETS 5.5 over Cincinnati. Pick: JETS. Honestly, Cincinnati hasn't played that badly the last couple of weeks vs the Giants and Cowboys. But they're on the road again, for a third straight game; and they face a rested Jets team that's coming off a 56 point explosion vs Arizona. The Jets will win this game by at least a touchdown.

Philadelphia 5 over SAN FRANCISCO. Pick: EAGLES. Yes, the Eagles have had their troubles, including last week. But they face a 49er team that still doesn't know that well how to win, that is leaky on defense (gave up nearly 400 total yards last week to Matt Cassel) and turns the ball over (J.T. O'Sullivan last week threw 3 picks). I like the experienced Eagles to win this one by a touchdown or more.

SAN DIEGO 5 over New England. Pick: CHARGERS. The Chargers didn't play well at all last week, outgained by the Dolphins by nearly 200 yards. But they play better at home; the Patriots won last week, but benefited from a mistake-prone 49er squad--note that the Patriots, in winning last week, still allowed 5 sacks and had Cassel throw 3 INTs. I think the Patriots' less-than-awesome character now will catch up to them in San Diego.

SEATTLE 2 over Green Bay. Pick: SEAHAWKS. How to read this game? Neither team has looked too good lately; the Seahawks gave up over 500 total yards to the Giants, but Green Bay, in losing at home to rookie Falcons QB Matt Ryan, gave up over 400 total yards. Mike Holmgren is a good coach; his team is at home; they're bound to rebound.

TAMPA BAY 1.5 over Carolina. Pick: PANTHERS. Mainly because right now it seems to me that Jake Delhomme and the Panthers are executing better than Griese and the Bucs.

WASHINGTON 13.5 over St. Louis. Pick: REDSKINS. Mainly because the Rams have given no indication so far that, either at home or on the road, they're going to stay too close to anybody, new coach or no. Meanwhile, the 'Skins wins both at Dallas and at Philly were mighty impressive.

NY Giants 7.5 over CLEVELAND. Pick: GIANTS. Cleveland has simply not shown the ability to move the ball effectively or consistently, nor have they shown they can stop people. Meanwhile, the Giants running and passing games have been executed with near-precision by Eli Manning. To top it off, I saw today that someone on Cleveland's defense is talking trash about Brandon Jacobs. Yikes. The Giants to be motivated, and to power on ahead.

At the sports desk: college football weekly picks

I was 8-2 last week. HOME TEAMS IN CAPS.

AUBURN vs Arkansas. Pick: TIGERS. Arkansas is having a down year; Auburn's defense will dominate.

Boise State vs SOUTHERN MISSISSIPPI. Pick: BOISE. They could be a BCS-buster again.

BYU vs New Mexico. Pick: COUGARS. They could be a BCS-buster, too; and they've been very consistent, blowing everyone out so far.

FLORIDA vs LSU. Pick: GATORS. Florida's at home; and I haven't seen the same power and explosiveness from LSU this year that I saw last year.

GEORGIA vs Tennessee. Pick: BULLDOGS. Georgia needs to bounce back from that pasting they got from Alabama. Fortunately for them, the punchless Vols are the perfect opponent.

Michigan State vs NORTHWESTERN. Pick: SPARTANS. Did you know Northwestern was undefeated right now, at 5-0? Neither does a lot of the nation. Their schedule hasn't been the toughest. This will be a tight game, but look for Javon Ringer to be the difference in a Spartan win.

MISSOURI vs Oklahoma State. Pick: TIGERS. Mizzou put up 52 on Nebraska; think what they'll do at home to the Cowboys.

Notre Dame vs NORTH CAROLINA. Pick: TAR HEELS. Notre Dame, behind Jimmy Clausen, has improved. But so has UNC under Butch Davis. ND still struggles away from South Bend; look for Carolina to win a close one.

OHIO STATE vs Purdue. Pick: BUCKEYES. OSU got kind of fortunate last week, as they benefited from Wisconsin blowing another one. They're fortunate again this week in playing the Boilers, a team which hasn't won a big game in forever and is awash in negativity.

Oklahoma vs Texas. Pick: SOONERS. A great game between two top 10 teams. Sam Bradford will be the difference. He's good.

Penn State vs WISCONSIN. Pick: NITTANY LIONS. The Badgers have issues--they've lost two in a row and haven't held leads. Meanwhile Penn State plays consistent, largely mistake-free, solid football. Hard to pick against that.

TEXAS TECH vs Nebraska. Pick: RED RAIDERS. Texas Tech's offense really looked to come together last week at Kansas State; it was almost unstoppable. So they're fortunate, since Nebraska's defense hasn't exactly stopped too many people lately. Watch out for Tech.

Arizona State vs SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA. Pick: TROJANS. USC probably learned its lesson from the unfathomable loss to Oregon State; but it may be too late to help them re: the national championship hunt.

More good news from Iraq

Even the NY Times can't hold back the facts:

"Market by market, square by square, the walls are beginning to come down. The miles of hulking blast walls, ugly but effective, were installed as a central feature of the surge of American troops to stop neighbors from killing one another.
“They protected against car bombs and drive-by attacks,” said Adnan, 39, a vegetable seller in the once violent neighborhood of Dora, who argues that the walls now block the markets and the commerce that Baghdad needs to thrive. “Now it is safe.”
The slow dismantling of the concrete walls is the most visible sign of a fundamental change here in the Iraqi capital. The American surge strategy, which increased the number of United States troops and contributed to stability here, is drawing to a close. And a transition is under way to the almost inevitable American drawdown in 2009."
Remember--we are winning in Iraq.

The Washington Post today abandons objective journalism

Today, from reporter Dan Balz:

"I wrote yesterday about the risks to both McCain and Obama -- and the country -- as they fire at one another in increasingly sharp terms. The danger is that the winner will come to office with a sizable portion of the population poisoned by the effects of the campaign.
But what's also clear is that McCain's tactics are over the line, with no restraint in sight, and threaten to provoke reactions among partisans on both sides that will continue to escalate."

Sigh. "Over the line"? Really? So the Obama campaign and its surrogates rip McCain's words out of context, distort his positions, attack Sarah Palin and her family, but it's McCain who has gone "over the line"? Poor Mr. Balz--he disagrees with the attack on Bill Ayers. And what indeed would the Dan Balzes of the world say if John McCain was friends with and associated with someone who in his past blew up abortion clinics and remained today unrepentant about it?

I guess once in a while it's good that members of the liberal establishment news media remind us exactly how biased they are.

Dropping ACORNS and other nuts on Obama's head

I'm glad to see John McCain beginning to talk about this--this is a group with close ties to Obama, and it's very vulnerable to charges of vote fraud, as today's reports indicate:

"Republicans allege Democrats and their allies are trying to subvert the voter registration system, and perhaps the election itself, with an avalanche of inaccurate or fraudulent new voter registrations....Republicans have made a group called ACORN, the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now, the chief villain in the home stretch of the campaign.
Their allegation: that ACORN has been flooding election officials in states from Nevada to Connecticut with thousands of erroneous and fraudulent voter registration forms.
In Jackson County, Missouri, (which includes Kansas City) election officials said this week that fraudulent registration forms had been handed in by ACORN canvassers. In Las Vegas, investigators from the office of Nevada Secretary of State Ross Miller, a Democrat, served a search warrant Tuesday on the ACORN office, as part of an investigation into allegations of voter registration fraud. Miller’s agents seized computer hard drives and boxes of documents....Campaigning in Mosinee, Wisc., on Thursday, McCain responded to shouts of “ACORN!” in the crowd by saying, “There are serious allegations of voter fraud in the battleground states across America…. You’ve seen these are serious allegations, my friends, and they must be investigated, and they must be investigated immediately, and they must be stopped before November the 4th so Americans will not be deprived of a fair process in this election.”

This has been building for several days. Keep an eye on it. And by the way, today was not a great day for the Obama campaign; in addition, the NY Times raised questions about Obama's fundraising:

"Last December, someone using the name “Test Person,” from “Some Place, UT,” made a series of contributions, the largest being $764, to Senator Barack Obama’s presidential campaign totaling $2,410.07. Someone identifying himself as “Jockim Alberton,” from 1581 Leroy Avenue in Wilmington, Del., began giving to Mr. Obama last November, contributing $10 and $25 at a time for a total of $445 through the end of February. The only problem? There is no Leroy Avenue in Wilmington. And Jockim Alberton, who listed his employer and occupation as “Fdsa Fdsa,” does not show up in a search of public records. An analysis of campaign finance records by The New York Times this week found nearly 3,000 donations to Mr. Obama, the Democratic nominee, from more than a dozen people with apparently fictitious donor information. The contributions represent a tiny fraction of the record $450 million Mr. Obama has raised. But the questionable donations — some donors were listed simply with gibberish for their names — raise concerns about whether the Obama campaign is adequately vetting its unprecedented flood of donors."

Keep an eye on this too. Remember one of the first major ethical problems to plague the Clinton administration? Think October 1996, and $50,000 coffees, along with the renting out of the Lincoln Bedroom for campaign cash. Maybe Democrats never change.

Obama and education

Thomas Sowell recently said, okay, Obama supporters demand we talk about "real issues"--so let's talk education. There, Obama talks the talk--he seems to understand the problems we face, especially those faced by urban students in inner-city schools. But he doesn't walk the walk:

"In his book, Dreams from My Father, Obama said candidly that black teachers and administrators “defend the status quo with the same skill and vigor as their white counterparts of two decades before.” It is not a question of Obama’s not knowing. He has demonstrated conclusively that he knows what is going on.But, for all his eloquent words, he has voted consistently for the teachers’ unions and the status quo.“I owe those unions,” he has said frankly. “When their leaders call, I do my best to call them back right away. I don’t consider this corrupting in any way.”Only other politicians’ special interests are called “special interests” by Barack Obama, whose world-class ability to rationalize is his most frightening skill.Even when he verbally endorses the reform idea of merit pay for teachers, he cleverly re-defines merit so that it will be measured by teachers themselves, rather than by “arbitrary tests.” In other words, Obama placates critics of the educational status quo by being for merit pay in words, while making those words meaningless, so as not to offend the teachers’ unions."

It's rather remarkable the Obama is so willing to admit how deeply in the pocket of teachers unions he is. Will that change as president? No way.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Obama's contradictions (contd)

Even the NY Times sees them, concerning his economic proposals:

"...Mr. Obama continues to promise that everything will get better once he is president, but does not explain how his programs and governing philosophy will adjust to new economic realities. He said Wednesday that Americans needed to unite to avoid “a dark and painful recession,” even though many economists say that a recession has already begun, and that pain may be inevitable."

The NY Times seeing reality! Too bad it happens so rarely...

Still a close race

Zogby says the McCain/Obama race remains basically a dead heat, which could break either way in the coming weeks.

As Jim Geraghty's friend said the other day, what will happen if Sen. Obama's lead in other polls begins to shrink in the weeks to come? Will there be panic?

Price of gas begins to tank

Here's one example of this, from Michigan--I've heard it's happening in other states, too.
There's one bright spot in a troubled economy, at least.
For conservatives--use this. It reminds people that the market does in fact respond to rises and falls in demand.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Barack Obama's contradictions

James Taranto at the WSJ online points out a couple:

"All of us are going to make sacrifices," he says--but he is going to raise taxes only on Fortune 500 CEOs other really rich people; and his spending cuts will spare "people who need help." It doesn't add up when you think it through, but the casual listener gets to feel noble while responding to an appeal to his self-interest....[and, on another subject] it seems to us incoherent to criticize the Bush administration both for being too "reactive" and for failing to restrict its post-9/11 focus to Afghanistan."

Don't forget another one: on the one hand, Senator Obama says we no longer have the respect in the world that we used to, we need to use more diplomacy and multilateralism, we need to seek diplomatic solutions, so let's sit down with Iran (without preconditions, mind you!), sit down with Cuba, etc.

And yet at the same time, he publicly announces that we'll go into Pakistan and launch attacks against Bin Laden and Al Qaeda, whether Pakistan is on board with that or not.

Racism! watch

This will be another regular feature here.
With Barack Obama leading right now in the race for the presidency, and thus with the possibility of 4 or 8 years of an Obama Administration staring at us, one thing we'll see more and more is the sight of Obama partisans calling any, and perhaps EVERY, criticism of Obama "racist."
We are now seeing it after last night's debate--some want to label John McCain's reference to Obama as "that one" as racist.
It's ridiculous. It's simply another way to refer to somebody else in the room.
McCain uses the phrase all the time, to refer to all kinds of people.
When I watched the debate and McCain used the phrase, I thought nothing of it whatsoever.
But some will go to any lengths to label others as "racists."
Keep an eye out for this.
But don't, conservatives, be intimidated by it.

McCain/Obama debate #2

So some are saying last night's debate was "boring", it was a draw, therefore it helps Obama, or at the least it's not a "game-changer" so that helps Obama, etc.

Gee. I dunno. I thought Senator McCain did a good job of drawing contrasts and, for the most part, drawing them in a conservative direction, from Senator Obama. McCain drew distinctions with Obama on taxes, spending, the candidates' health care policies, and in foreign policy; and he made them pretty clear. In fact, I thought a time or two Obama sounded slightly annoyed at the facts McCain pointed out.

It's true there was no huge "gotcha" moment, or any point that greatly stood out, during the debate. But McCain's a bit behind now. As we all know, if your team is behind in a game, you can't come back all at once. Instead, it's a process. There's nearly a month left in this campaign. There's another debate. I suspect McCain may have begun the process of coming back last night. The same kind of thing happened in 2004. George W. Bush didn't do that well in debate 1 in '04. But he did better in the next two, and I think that all began to pile up in his favor.

But it's a process, and it takes awhile. Here's an idea for the McCain folks: Obama committed a big howler last night. He claimed, in his budget plans, that he's "cutting more than he's spending." Huh??? He has a bundle of new programs and initiatives he wants to push; he hasn't talked much about cuts. No one's denied that his plans add up easily to a cost of over $500 billion (McCain says it's more like $800 billion). No way is his claim true. Indeed, the local news which came on in my area right after the debate immediately identified that Obama claim as one with lots of problems (a "stretch", as they put it). So McCain and co. should pound away on this day after day, and point to how it's yet another reason that Obama can't be trusted, as another reason that Obama is too inexperienced to be entrusted with the presidency.

Who else agrees with me that McCain did well?
Well--some on a college debate team in Indiana agree.

Naturally, many members of the media, who want Obama to win, and want the dominant narrative right now to be that of Obama leading, connecting with voters, and McCain failing to change this, see the debate differently.

But I'm heartened that Rich Lowry largely agrees with my take, too, over at NRO.