31 July 2008

Obama's No-Limit Racial Hold 'Em

Yesterday Obama, Guitar Hero* said this:
What they're going to do is make you scared -- of me, He's not patriotic enough. He's got a funny name. He doesn't look like all the presidents on the dollar bills
He was clever to apply it to future, as yet unsaid comments by "the others." By doing so, no one can make a link between Obama's accusation and what someone--anyone--said.

Today, responding to the McCain camp's rightful accusations that Obama had played "the race card," Robert Gibbs (Obama Spokesman) said this:
What Barack Obama was talking about was that he didn't get here after spending decades in Washington. There is nothing more to this than the fact that he was describing that he was new to the political scene. He was referring to the fact that he didn't come into the race with the history of others. It is not about race.
How is anyone supposed to get any of that from looking at the dollar bills in their pocket and comparing them to the picture Barack Obama on the cover of all the celebrity gossip mags (like Time, Newsweek, The New York Times)?

We don't have any big bills in our wallet (Benjamin Franklin was never president anyway), but looking at the ones we do have, the only thing we can gather from an in depth, pictoral analysis is that Lincoln and Washington were old and white (well, green-tinged white, actually. owing to the color of the paper on which money is printed). We can draw no other conclusions. Do Obama and Gibbs actually expect people to believe that his comment wasn't about race?

Washington ($1) didn't "spend decades in Washington." It wasn't even the capital of these United States when he was President. Hamilton ($10), like Franklin, was also never President, and spent little time in Washington before being shot by Aaron Burr. Lincoln, meanwhile, spent the vast majority of his life in Illinois state politics. So, in fact, Obama does have something in common with the man on the $5 bill. Andrew Jackson ($20) actually did spend a number of years in Washington, but he was a Democrat, so there's that. Ulysses Grant ($50) was a war hero who had never spent any significant amount of time in Washington.

The implications of what Obama said (again, see quoted text above) are clear: they were white, he is black and the Republican/Conservative/McCain others--"they"--are going to try and scare people by pointing this out.

This is the lowest form of racial grievance politics--playing the race card like this takes a page out of Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton's book. Heck, we don't know why Reverend Jackson is so upset with Obama, the two of them are one and the same.

*Over-the-top performance, no real skill or experience.


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30 July 2008

Obama, Meet Straw Man, Straw Man, Meet Obama

In response to McCain's most recent adds lampooning the junior Senator from Illinois' rock-star status, Obama trotted out his favorite straw man argument:
What they're going to do is make you scared -- of me, He's not patriotic enough. He's got a funny name. He doesn't look like all the presidents on the dollar bills
You see, this is a pretty clever argument to make. Which Republican or McCain surrogate has tried to make someone scared of the big bad Obama? Which Republican has said Obama is not patriotic enough? Which Republican said he has a funny name? Which Republican pointed out that Obama doesn't look like all the presidents on the dollar bills?

The last accusation is particularly galling. Because he's making a prediction of future attacks "what they're going to do ..." he doesn't have to come out and say, 'So and so said I don't look like all the presidents on the dollar bills'--essentially calling someone--Republicans, conservatives, the McCain camp--a racist. This is outrageously offensive and insulting and is just the type of racial grievance politics Obama was supposed to leave behind--remember the whole post-racial load of garbage we were fed?

Furthermore, all those "future accusations" Obama made about the mysterious others who will try and dissuade people from voting Obama, well, the Clinton campaign and all her surrogates--presumably good Democrats the lot of 'em--already made all those accusations.

This is the dirty little secret about this election. Clinton played dirty, really dirty and because it was Democrat vs. Democrat, black vs. woman, the MSM didn't really know what to do.

Contrast that now with the response to McCain's latest ad and their general critique: Obama is more rock-star politician (we prefer the Guitar Hero* metaphor) than potential President and he lacks any qualifying experience whatsoever. Somehow, Obama morphed this into a race/patriotism thing (well, you read the quote above) and the MSM is buying into it.

And just because they're playing true to form and we expected it all along doesn't make it any less sucktastic when we see it in print.

*Over-the-top performance, no real skill or experience.


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29 July 2008

Obama & The Press

Hunting around the interweb, we found this graph which well describes the mutual adoration relationship between the Junior Senator from Illinois (Mr. Guitar Hero* himself) and the MSM.

Courtesy of Ms. Noemie Emery:
when Obama appeared — cool, suave, urbane, and much hipper than they were — they had found their revenge and their voice. They were thrilled when he said that wearing a flag pin was a meaningless gesture and proposed a new kind of patriotism that did not include cheering. They nodded in approval when, listing laudable ways of serving one’s country, he included the Peace Corps, teaching, and community service, but left out the armed forces. When the Rev. Jeremiah Wright, his pastor for 20 years, was criticized for delivering tirades against whites and American culture, they defended Obama, not least because many of them agreed with the preacher; some blamed the critics of Wright’s racism for being racists themselves. And when Obama told a well-heeled crowd at a billionaire’s home in San Francisco that small-town Pennsylvanians “cling” to religion and guns from misplaced desperation, they were not at all bothered, as that was what they had believed all the time.
*Over-the-top performance, no real skill.


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28 July 2008

Making Sense Of Mitt

Last week the McCain camp let fly a few rumors they might make an announcement regarding McCain's veep choice. It didn't happen and most people concluded it was a play at attracting a little press during Obama's European Vacation.

Either way, the name that keeps popping up is Mitt Romney.

Long-time readers of this blog know that we backed Romney early in the Republican Presidential Primary. We liked him early because his politics most closely matched our own. However, endorsement of Mitts was a qualified one--to our mind, he was not the perfect candidate.

And we're not sure how much we like him for Vice President. Our desire to see Mitt do something on the national scene is superseded by our overarching desire to see McCain in the White House. Even then, unlike the Dems, we don't want him there because we see him as some sort of epochal answer to the world's problems.

Like many of the so-called paleoconservatives who frequent this blog, but never comment, we don't see McCain as perfect either. But we refuse to make the Ross Perot mistake many conservatives made in 1992 and 1996.

It helps that as we have come to know more about Senator McCain, we've liked what we've found.

For the stat-heads among us, those who appreciate a quantitative approach to their political evaluation, who follow the new statistical evaluations in baseball--sabermetrics, and are not cowed by regression analysis, we recommend fivethirtyeight.com.

The guy who writes fivethirtyeight, Nate Silver, is an Obama supporter and writer for Baseball Prospectus. Apart from his choice in candidates, he is very good and very methodical in his electoral evaluation. If you like Real Clear Politics poll combo thingy, you'll love fivethirtyeight.com.

The reason we share this website with you today, is that Nate has a fantastic post up about how VP candidate Mitt Romney might affect the electoral map. It is exhaustive and to the extent possible, empirical. It is, far-and-away, the best read on how Mitt might affect the race.


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27 July 2008

Obama & The Troops

We're not going to say that Barack Obama, Guitar Hero* hates the troops or that he's unpatriotic. We're sure he respects them and is as patriotic as the next guy. But we will say this: by skipping his visit to the injured troops in Germany, he once again showed his true poltical colors.

Obama is a political opportunist--a man whose every campaign decision is made out of political expediency.

It's common knowledge that visits to injured troops are limited to the respective staffs of the visiting politicians with campaign staff excluded. That Obama and his fawning entourage were ignorant of this fact is revealing. That they opted to skip the visit because they couldn't make it another campaing event is even more revealing.

This tells us--rightly or wrongly--that if the injured troops couldn't be used as political props for the Obama campaign, then they aren't worth visiting.

Obama's political outlook--lick a finger and stick it in the air--contrasts sharply with John McCain. Every politician makes political decisions, but can anyone point to an unpopular position taken by Obama? Can anyone highlight a principled political risk he has taken?

Before The Surge, John McCain was for more troops in Iraq. And since the start of The Surge, he has been it's staunchest defender--despite it's unpopularity. A year ago, most political observers were writing John McCain's political obituary because of his support for The Surge.

One year later, The Surge has produced incredible security gains and the political gains have followed. John McCain deserves much credit for his principled stand.

Back to Obama.

What can we count on from the junior Senator from Illinois? Anything beyond empty, pleasing to the ear rhetoric about Hope and Change?

We know one thing: he will always act in a self-interested, politically expedient way--whether it's visiting the troops or supporting The Surge.

*Over-the-top performance, no real skill.


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Making Fun Of Mitt

With all the humorless Obamaniacs hanging around the interweb, we often find ourself nostalgically reminiscing about the good, ol' days when pop culture made fun of people like Mitt Romney.

In the middle of our 30 Rock marathon last night, we came across the following exchange between NBC exec & conservative caricature, Jack Donaghy and stereotypical liberal writer, Liz Lemon:
Jack: Those jokes you wrote for my Mitt Romney fundraiser, they were top-notch.
Liz: Those weren't jokes. That was an appeal for a return to common sense and decency.
Jack: Well it got big laughs.
With any luck, McCain will pick Romney for his running mate and we can all go back to making fun of Mitt.


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25 July 2008

Biblical Obama

If you haven't read this piece by Gerard Baker, you should. It's a funny Biblical adaptation of Barack Obama's (Guitar Hero*) short political career. Predictably, the Obamaniacs (read: the media) are less pleased with it than anyone else. Can't these people have a sense of humor about themselves and their candidate?

(Thank you Matt Drudge for bringing it to our attention.)

It's humor, people. Someone should remind the humorless Obama surrogates in the comments section. Their response to this bit of satire is a replay of the whole New Yorker kerfuffle from a couple of weeks ago.

Here's a little sampling:
The Child was blessed in looks and intellect. Scion of a simple family, offspring of a miraculous union, grandson of a typical white person and an African peasant. And yea, as he grew, the Child walked in the path of righteousness, with only the occasional detour into the odd weed and a little blow.
*Over the top performance, no real skill.

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President Bush Is The Dark Knight

We sensed it the first time we watched The Dark Knight last Saturday and tonight, as we watched it for a second time, the idea began to crystallize. There are distinct parallels between The Dark Knight, President Bush, and The War On Terror.

On the drive home we began to plan out exactly how we would write the post. And then we did our usual ante-sleep news review--Drudge, WSJ, various sports pages--and came across this op-ed by Andrew Klavan, writing in the Wall Street Journal.

We agree with most everything he writes, except for a a few of his characterizations in the concluding 3 or 4 graphs. The entire thing is worth reading, here is a sample:
There seems to me no question that the Batman film "The Dark Knight," currently breaking every box office record in history, is at some level a paean of praise to the fortitude and moral courage that has been shown by George W. Bush in this time of terror and war. Like W, Batman is vilified and despised for confronting terrorists in the only terms they understand. Like W, Batman sometimes has to push the boundaries of civil rights to deal with an emergency, certain that he will re-establish those boundaries when the emergency is past.

And like W, Batman understands that there is no moral equivalence between a free society -- in which people sometimes make the wrong choices -- and a criminal sect bent on destruction. The former must be cherished even in its moments of folly; the latter must be hounded to the gates of Hell.

"The Dark Knight," then, is a conservative movie about the war on terror. And like another such film, last year's "300," "The Dark Knight" is making a fortune depicting the values and necessities that the Bush administration cannot seem to articulate for beans.

Conversely, time after time, left-wing films about the war on terror -- films like "In The Valley of Elah," "Rendition" and "Redacted" -- which preach moral equivalence and advocate surrender, that disrespect the military and their mission, that seem unable to distinguish the difference between America and Islamo-fascism, have bombed more spectacularly than Operation Shock and Awe.

Why is it then that left-wingers feel free to make their films direct and realistic, whereas Hollywood conservatives have to put on a mask in order to speak what they know to be the truth? Why is it, indeed, that the conservative values that power our defense -- values like morality, faith, self-sacrifice and the nobility of fighting for the right -- only appear in fantasy or comic-inspired films like "300," "Lord of the Rings," "Narnia," "Spiderman 3" and now "The Dark Knight"?

The moment filmmakers take on the problem of Islamic terrorism in realistic films, suddenly those values vanish. The good guys become indistinguishable from the bad guys, and we end up denigrating the very heroes who defend us. Why should this be?

The answers to these questions seem to me to be embedded in the story of "The Dark Knight" itself: Doing what's right is hard, and speaking the truth is dangerous. Many have been abhorred for it, some killed, one crucified.

Leftists frequently complain that right-wing morality is simplistic. Morality is relative, they say; nuanced, complex. They're wrong, of course, even on their own terms.

Left and right, all Americans know that freedom is better than slavery, that love is better than hate, kindness better than cruelty, tolerance better than bigotry. We don't always know how we know these things, and yet mysteriously we know them nonetheless.
Good on Christopher Nolan for co-writing and directing a powerfully good movie that explores the complexities of right and wrong while always knowing, in the end, what is right and what is wrong.


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24 July 2008

Al Gore Is An Idiot

"The world has spent $50 billion on global warming since 1990, and we have not found any actual evidence that carbon emissions cause global warming."

--David Evans, a scientific consultant to the Australian Greenhouse Office from 1999 to 2005, writing in The Australian newspaper.

With oil and therefore gas prices high, the economic slowdown and the bursting of the housing bubble, the climate for discussion of global warming (pun intended) has changed.

Whereas before those in the academic community (usually so contrary) may have felt uncomfortable countering Al Gore's "scientific consensus," the aforementioned factors seem to have made more people feel like they can speak their minds about the so-called man-caused-carbon-caused-global-warming.

For the last few years, Bjørn Lomborg seemed like the only one tough enough to stand athwart history, yelling Stop!. His Copenhagen conferences calling attention to other, more pressing needs (easy interventions in lesser developed countries) helped. Highlighting the poor return on investment in the global warming industry helped some more.

There is a sane, rational, cost effective way to talk about all things global warming. And then there's Al Gore's way.

Opt for the former.


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23 July 2008

The Global Warming "Consensus"

The obamaean reception given to Al Gore at the Nutroots convention in Austin, Texas (read: swooning/fainting) gives context to the following quote (h/t: S. Lybbert) which calls into question the global warmism "consensus" and Al Gore's algorean blow-hardedness.

Does anyone still take him seriously? (besides the nutroots)

"It is my professional opinion that there is no evidence at all for catastrophic global warming. . . . It is also my professional opinion that the severely limited predictive capacity of the natural sciences is no adequate basis for globally orchestrated mitigation efforts concerning greenhouse gases. Fortunately, the time rate of climate change is slow compared to the rapid evolution of our institutions and societies. There is sufficient time for adaptation. We should monitor the situation both globally and locally, but up to now global climate change does not cause severe problems requiring immediate emission reductions. . . . [Researchers have] presented no scientific basis for dire warnings concerning climate collapse. Local and regional problems with shorter time scales deserve priority."
link

Hendrik Tennekes, former director of research at the Royal Dutch Meteorological Institute, writing at climatesci.org.


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22 July 2008

Media To Obama: "We Heart You!"

This time, a fantastic video presentation put together by the McCain team sending up the MSM (led by Chris Matthews and the MSNBC team) infatuation with Barack Obama, Guitar Hero*:


. video

YouTube video link

To vote for your favorite track (same video, two different soundtracks) click here.

*Over-the-top performance, no real skill.


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21 July 2008

Don't Just Take Our Word For It

Thanks to John Fund and the folks at Political Diary (h/t: S. Lybbert) for bringing this fantastic quote to our attention--further illustrating the degree to which the MSM has become a shill for Pope Barack Obama I:
I think that the coverage [Barack Obama] is getting is beyond presidential. It's papal. I mean, a president never has all three anchors on the way with him. . . . If you needed any evidence of how much in the tank the mainstream media are, this is it.
This, in addition to the NYT's refusal to print Senator McCain's op-ed unless he conform to their preferred policy, well, can we make it any clearer than that? The one redeeming glimmer of a silver lining is the fact that John Q. Public seems to be wise to the machinations of the Democrat Party's media-arm. Per Rasmussen by way of Politico:
In an automated survey of 1000 likely voters, Rasmussen found that 49 percent of respondents believed reporters would favor Obama in their coverage this fall, compared with just 14 percent who expected them to boost Sen. John McCain. The number of Americans who see pro-Obama bias in the press has increased by five percent in the last month.

According to Rasmussen’s numbers, less than a quarter of voters – 24 percent – now trust the press to report on the election without bias
Click this link to get the full Rasmussen report.

So much for objective journalism. Of course, we kind of expected this from the NYT. After all, this is the same New York Times that gave a price break to the Moveon.org slander of General Petraeus last September.

We take some comfort in knowing that the NYT's stock price is at a 20 year low.


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McCain's New York Times Op-Ed

We woke up this morning intending to write a kind of an update about Iraq and how much things had improved over the last 18 months, 12 months, and 6 months. We were going to talk about how courageous Senator McCain had been to defend The Surge just over a year ago when it was so unpopular and looked like it would probably cost him the Republican nomination.

All of those things remain true--and Senator McCain should be rewarded for taking an unpopular stance that has proved right and good.
(something like this: Victory in Iraq)

But it's all been kind of preempted by the New York Times' refusal to print Senator McCain's op-ed just a week after printing Senator Obama's. This doesn't surprise us. It fits right into the ongoing narrative of Obama's fawning press coverage. At this point, can anyone deny it?

Obama commits gaffes every day ('I'll be President for 8-10 years') but it is not reported the way it would be if Senator McCain made the same remark. And if the shoe were on the other foot about Iraq--if Senator McCain were the one who wanted to abandon Iraqis to civil war and sure genocide, you better believe every liberal talking head would write numerous 'I told you so' op-ed pieces about how The Surge proved him wrong.

And the New York Times won't even print an op-ed piece in which Senator McCain challenges Senator Obama on Iraq. He challenged Obama the way the MSM should have been doing all along--by pointing out that Obama has been and remains wrong about Iraq. That his policy does not match reality. That he said ridiculous, unsupportable things in the primary ('I will withdraw within 16 months regardless of what's happening on the ground or what my commanders tell me') to get elected by the Leftists in his party.

Is it too much to ask that his press entourage actually ask Senator Obama a tough question? Is that allowed?

Oh well, the least the rest of us can do is link to the text of Senator McCain's op-ed piece at Drudge. Check it out here.

This is just another example of Barack Obama, Guitar Hero candidate:

He's plays well to a crowd, but give him a real guitar and he's a disaster.


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19 July 2008

Barack Obama: Guitar Hero Candidate

And finally, a little unintentional honesty from Obama Senior Advisor, Jenny Backus re: Senator Obama's Guitar Hero performance at the 2004 Democrat convention:
No one more than Barack Obama understands how important it is to deliver a convention speech well. He [Sen. Obama] wouldn't be where he is if he didn't know how to deliver convention speeches.
If you're nodding your head while reading this thinking, "yeah, isn't he (Obama) awesome?(!)" then you won't get our point.

But flip this around for a moment and imagine if these words dropped from the mouth of a Senior McCain Advisor. The Obamaniacs over at Daily Kos would be up in arms and blogging about how he's more than just his smash hit speech of 2004--that he's about HOPE and CHANGE and JFK-reincarnate and whatever other buzzword Team Obama has been field testing in Berkeley and Eugene.

And the more we think about it, Guitar Hero is a pretty good metaphor (analogy?) for what Senator Obama brings to the table: over-the-top performance & zero actual skill.

We just have to hope Americans don't hand him the real goblet of rock this November. They may find, like Guitar Hero enthusiasts everywhere, his "skill set" doesn't translate to the real thing.

*UPDATE 9:39pm PST: This probably deserves it's own post. Oh well, here it is, Barack Obama playing Guitar Hero. There's no denying, he's really good.


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18 July 2008

Sly Stallone Is For McCain, Are You?

Real Men Vote for McCain
Top 10 reasons why.

By Lou Aguilar
(our edits in parentheses)

1. Barack Obama spent 20 years sitting in church while his preacher and others bad-mouthed the United States of America. Navy pilot John McCain spent five years being tortured in the Hanoi Hilton, and refused a chance to walk out ahead of fellow POWs with more seniority.
(see Rescue Dawn.)

2. Obama wants to cut and run from Iraq regardless of conditions on the ground or future consequences. McCain took on the president and secretary of defense in demanding more troops for Iraq, a policy that is inarguably winning the war. He also has two sons who fought in Iraq.
(Obama has only visited Iraq once. He was last there 923 days ago. McCain has visited Iraq numerous times.)

3. McCain supports nuclear power. Obama backs wind energy.
(McCain also supports hydroelectric power.)

4. Obama wants restrictive gun control because only economically depressed middle-Americans “cling to God and guns.” McCain unwaveringly supports the Second Amendment.
(Go Constitution.)

5. McCain has deviated from his party’s conservative base on several occasions (McCain-Feingold Bill, Gang of 14, McCain-Kennedy Bill, opposition to torture). Obama has voted the left-wing line every single time, and been designated the most liberal Senator in Congress.
(Though we may not always like it, McCain is far and away the more moderate/centrist of the two candidates.)

6. Obama is willing to meet with hostile state leaders like Ahmadinejad and Hugo Chavez without preconditions. McCain will set conditions first, talk later — maybe.
(that was a stupid thing for Obama to say.)

7. Obama is married to a bitter, angry lawyer who became “proud” of her country for the first time this year. McCain’s wife is a beer heiress who founded an organization to provide MASH-style units to disaster-torn world regions. Did I mention that she’s a beer heiress?
(better beer than ketchup, right?)

8. Obama supports higher taxes for a government-run nanny state that will coddle all Americans like babies. McCain trusts people to spend their less-taxed money however they wish.
(huzzah for limited government.)

9. The name John McCain sounds like “John McClain,” the action hero played by Bruce Willis in the manly Die Hard series. “Barack Obama” sounds like the kind of elitist villain John McClain has to outwit and defeat.
(can you name a better action series?)

10. McCain is endorsed by Clint Eastwood, Sylvester Stallone, and Arnold Schwarzenegger. Obama gets support from Leonardo DiCaprio, Matt Damon, Oprah Winfrey, Tom Hanks, and every weenie in Hollywood. Plus, Susan Sarandon has vowed to leave the country if McCain gets elected. Case closed.
(we already blogged about Sarandon.)

Lou Aguilar is a fiction writer and former Washington Post video critic, Washington Times television critic, and USA Today reporter.


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17 July 2008

Dangerous & Strange Bedfellows

In the most recent issue of "Natty Review" appears an article by Daniel Pipes--director of the Middle East Forum and Taube/Diller distinguished visiting fellow at the Hoover Institution of Stanford University. In it, Pipes discusses the pragmatic alliance between "Islamists, Marxists, and the radical Left."

It is both persuasive and alarming.

For the hurried, an outline will be provided below, for those with a few minutes on their hands, click here.

Allied Menace
By Daniel Pipes

Overview: Despite their obvious ideological differences, Islamists and Leftists have begun to make common cause in their efforts against Western Civilization including the U.S., Great Britain & Israel.

Examples: Hugo Chavez's alliance with Mahmoud Ahmadinejad; Ken Livingstone the Trotskyite former mayor of London; Noam Chomsky, friend of Hezbollah; Ella Vogelaar, Dutch minister for housing; the Workers World's (an American Communist newspaper) laudatory obituary of Hezbollah terrorist Imad Mughniyeh; Carlos the Jackal & others actually converted to Islam; Norman Mailer called the 9/11 perpetrators "brilliant"; Michel Foucault supported the Iranian Revolution and called Ayatollah Khomeini a "saint"; during the Cold War, Islamists favored the Soviet Union and "the U.S.S.R. receive[d] but a small fraction of the hatred and venom directed at the United States;" the Cairo Anti-War Conference. The list goes on

Why the "unholy alliance?"

1. Similar enemy--Western Civilization, the U.S., Great Britain, Israel, Jews, believing Christians, and international capitalists.

2. Shared political goals: they want coalition forces to lose in Iraq, an end to the War on Terror, the spread of anti-Americanism, and the destruction of Israel.

3. Marxism-Leninism and Islamism have historical and philosophical ties: a stages view of history; crossover of Leftist thinkers like Franz Fanon, Che Guevara, Jean-Paul Sartre, Lenin, & Stalin. Additionally, Marxists have replaced the failed rise of the worker with the rise of the Islamists (ie. the Iranian Revolution, 9/11. et al.)

4. A pragmatic path to power. Both groups are able to subordinate conflicting pillars of their respective ideologies in order to combat their common enemy--here again, Western Civilization. Add to the examples listed above the Stop the War Coalition whose committee members are drawn from the British Communist party and the Muslim Association of Britain.

Conclusion: Where communists, Trotskyites, Maoists, Castroists and others "had been clinging to the dregs of a clapped-out cause," Islamists bring a new proletariat. This dangerous and strange partnership is a threat to Western Civilization which "must be exposed, rejected, resisted, and defeated."


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16 July 2008

Whitewashing History, New York Times-Style

Sometimes we ask ourselves, "why do we still read the New York Times?"

And then we remind ourselves, "oh yeah, it's so the hypocritical haters don't accuse us of getting all our info--persuasive or otherwise--from the (what do they call it again? oh yeah, the "natty review." so clever, so original.) "Natty Review." It's the same reason we peruse the Daily Kos & Huffington Post, watch the Daily Show & The Colbert Report (genuinely funny, sometimes) and skim the angry-left ranting of the Seattle PI message boards.

Nevermind that the aforementioned hypocritical haters never read any of our stuff.
(And by that we don't mean this blog.)

Anywho, we ask ourselves these questions about our continued reading of the NYT because of ridiculous things like this, courtesy of James Taranto and Best of the Web:

The Jerusalem Post reports on a happy event for the Palestinian Authority:
President Mahmoud Abbas on Wednesday sent his regards to the families of Samir Kuntar and the other four Lebanese prisoners scheduled to be transferred to Hizbullah.

Abbas praised the prisoner swap and congratulated the Kuntar family.
Kuntar was in an Israeli prison for an attack that took place on April 22, 1979. Two years ago we quoted a survivor, Smadar Haran Kaiser, who described the attack:
It had been a peaceful Sabbath day. My husband, Danny, and I had picnicked with our little girls, Einat, 4, and Yael, 2, on the beach not far from our home in Nahariya, a city on the northern coast of Israel, about six miles south of the Lebanese border.

Around midnight, we were asleep in our apartment when four terrorists, sent by Abu Abbas from Lebanon, landed in a rubber boat on the beach two blocks away. Gunfire and exploding grenades awakened us as the terrorists burst into our building. They had already killed a police officer.

As they charged up to the floor above ours, I opened the door to our apartment. In the moment before the hall light went off, they turned and saw me. As they moved on, our neighbor from the upper floor came running down the stairs. I grabbed her and pushed her inside our apartment and slammed the door.

Outside, we could hear the men storming about. Desperately, we sought to hide. Danny helped our neighbor climb into a crawl space above our bedroom; I went in behind her with Yael in my arms. Then Danny grabbed Einat and was dashing out the front door to take refuge in an underground shelter when the terrorists came crashing into our flat.

They held Danny and Einat while they searched for me and Yael, knowing there were more people in the apartment. I will never forget the joy and the hatred in their voices as they swaggered about hunting for us, firing their guns and throwing grenades. I knew that if Yael cried out, the terrorists would toss a grenade into the crawl space and we would be killed. So I kept my hand over her mouth, hoping she could breathe. As I lay there, I remembered my mother telling me how she had hidden from the Nazis during the Holocaust. "This is just like what happened to my mother," I thought.

As police began to arrive, the terrorists took Danny and Einat down to the beach. There, according to eyewitnesses, one of them shot Danny in front of Einat so that his death would be the last sight she would ever see. Then he smashed my little girl's skull in against a rock with his rifle butt. That terrorist was Samir Kuntar.

By the time we were rescued from the crawl space, hours later, Yael, too, was dead. In trying to save all our lives, I had smothered her.
If smashing a 4-year-old girl's skull with a rifle butt makes Kuntar a hero, you have to wonder what one would have to do for the Palestinians to consider him a coward. The New York Times, meanwhile, describes Kuntar's attack this way:
Perhaps Israel's most reviled prisoner, Samir Kuntar, will return to a hero's welcome when he crosses into Lebanon this week, 29 years after he left its shores in a rubber dinghy to kidnap Israelis from the coastal town of Nahariya.

That raid went horribly wrong, leaving five people dead, a community terrorized and a nation traumatized. Two Israeli children and their father were among those killed.
What does the Times think would have happened if the "raid" had gone right?

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15 July 2008

David Horsey: Obama Backers Have No Sense Of Humor

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In response to Obamaniacs' outrage over The New Yorker's satirical cover, David Horsey, a fav cartoonist of ours from the Seattle PI, sketched this one with John & Cindy McCain.

General conservative pundit response? A few chuckles.

You see, this harks back to something we have discussed on the pages of this blog before. Since conservatives do not revere their Presidential nominees the way leftists do, we don't take it as a personal affront when they are lampooned--even ironically.

And we get that The New Yorker was irony--not part of the right-wing attack machine meant to derail the utopian-Presidential campaign of one Barack Obama. The New Yorker cover wasn't designed to make fun of Obama--it was designed a send-up of gun/religion clinging conservatives. Duh.

It's not that leftists aren't smart--we're sure they're roughly as intelligent as McCain supporters--it's that they are blinded by their love of Obama.

What's even funnier is the fact that many leftist commenters on the pages of the PI see the Horsey cartoon and say, "take that, Republicans!" As though The New Yorker cover and Horsey's cartoon were some sort of back-and-forth name calling game between Republicans and Democrats (as opposed to funny satire from two leftwing periodicals). They didn't get The New Yorker cover and they don't get that the McCain cover makes fun of their lack of humor.

Oh well, they can just go back to watching The Daily Show and laughing when prompted by the laugh track.


[laugh!]


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Tony Snow, RIP


For years we watched Tony Snow on Fox News. He was fair in reporting and persuasive in arguing a point and advocating policy. Though we never knew him personally, we always knew him to be a strong and ardent defender of conservatism. He was a good example.

In the aftermath of the Scott McClellan disaster, Tony Snow was, well, awesome. Longtime observers of the office of Press Secretary say Tony Snow was the best ever. And he was very good in a very difficult time for the Bush Administration and the country. He was loyal and competent and very, very good.

Today's Political Diary (h/t: S. Lybbert) ran a few pieces about Tony Snow which seem only appropriate to reproduce here.

John Fund on Tony Snow:
It took C-SPAN only a few hours after news that Tony Snow had died to begin airing the last major public speech he gave -- a closing address to the Conservative Political Action Conference in Washington last February.

The former White House press secretary was at his rhetorical finest in telling conservatives: "We've got more work to do and we have to do it as a team." He directly addressed those conservatives who were considering not supporting John McCain as the Republican nominee by suggesting they see a bigger picture. "You want to make every pundit look bad? Then stand tall for what you believe. Don't be shy. You want to stun the establishment? Then become a mighty force for conservative principles, and tackle the task with confidence and cheer. . . .This may be a time of testing. But it's not our swan song. Not by a long shot. Instead . . . this is our moment. This is the time to do what we do best -- turn adversity into strength."

It didn't take long after C-SPAN aired this speech for a viewer to call McCain headquarters and urge them to run excerpts at the Republican convention in Minneapolis as part of a tribute to the departed White House aide. Don't be surprised if Tony Snow is called on to rally the troops one last time.
John Podhoretz:
"[Tony Snow] wrote, he edited, he wrote speeches, he hosted television shows and radio shows and gave endless speeches. In all these pursuits he was agile and deft and successful. But I think it's safe to say that it turned out Tony's greatest achievement was his time as White House press secretary. At this crucial job, a central one in American political life, he proved to be the best -- the best ever, without qualification. He could speak with fluency, honesty, wit, and clarity on every subject under the sun; he remained poised, unruffled . . . sure of himself at the podium in the press room. Tony was a fascinating type. He was, literally, the opposite of a paranoid. He was a 'pro-noid.' He assumed people liked him. It is a rare quality for any person. It is almost unheard-of in Washington"
Brendan Miniter:
On Saturday conservatives lost a strong voice for their ideas and the world lost a thoroughly decent man. I knew him in a different capacity. I got to know Tony nearly a decade ago through a mutual friend, Ken Smith. Ken, the deputy editorial page editor of the Washington Times, himself died of liver cancer in July 2001. An article Tony wrote in response to Ken's death couldn't help but come to mind this weekend. "Suffering often does grotesque things to people: It transforms them physically and spiritually; twisting the body and desiccating the soul. But Ken never became bitter or morose. He didn't milk his plight to elicit pity," Tony wrote.

Ken remained himself, shared his kindness and never let on how much pain he was in. Later Tony would say that by keeping his dignity, facing his terminal cancer with the same conviction that he had used to build his life, Ken had performed one last service: He showed us all how to face our own mortality. A few years later, Tony returned to Ken in a column headlined "How to Be Sick." He wrote: "There are things far worse than illness -- for instance, soullessness."

I last saw Tony several years ago as he was heading out the door of a Starbucks in Alexandria, Va., on his way to work. He wasn't rushing. He had time for a man who was asking for spare change. Tony reached into his pocket, dug out several coins and at least one bill and handed it to the man. I saw Tony step closer to the man and heard him ask how he was. As the door closed, I couldn't hear what else he said, but as Tony walked away both were smiling.

*UPDATE 17 July 12:22pm PST: Today a funeral will be held for Tony Snow. In honor of the man and in addition to what we posted earlier, check out this NRO Symposium.


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14 July 2008

This, Too, Is Satire

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For the record, and to forestall all you haters, this and this.


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10 July 2008

Jesse Jackson Feels Threatened

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Regarding Rev. Jackson's threat to cut off Obama's you-know-whats, well, we definitely side with Senator Obama. Obviously the good reverend means this metaphorically, but still, does he think the secret service will even let him get close to Sen. Obama?

Per the New York Post, Jackson doesn't like the fact that Obama encourages young black men to be good fathers and recently "told students to stick with school and forget about careers as rap stars or pro basketball players."

Yeah, that's really bad advice, Senator Obama. What were you thinking?

Don't gets us wrong. We've listened to speeches and read others in which Obama does come across as incredibly condescending, but this wasn't one of them.

What "black leader" Jesse Jackson doesn't like about Obama is that a successful Obama, whose rhetoric about self-reliance more closely mimics Bill Cosby's than Jackson's and Sharpton's, threatens his status. To our mind, this might be the only positive resulting from an Obama win in November--a purge of the Jesse Jackson/Al Sharpton hate mongering among the black community.

Or, if his Rev. Wright/Father Pfleger connections are any indication, it could get worse. Who knows?

Either way:

Barack Obama > Jesse Jackson

and

Democratically Elected President > Self Appointed Racist Hate Monger

*UPDATE 11 July 12:18am: After thinking for awhile about Rev. Jackson's whispered threat, we realized that this had deeper meaning than originally thought. Roots--a book we've read and documentary we've viewed (twice)--has a particularly shocking scene where the main character Kunta Kinte, having run away and been caught for a second time, is given the choice of cutting off part of his foot, leaving him unable to even walk normally, or castration. He chooses the former. The author, Alex Haley wasn't just making up this little bit of drama. Castration, or the threat thereof, was a frequent practice of the slaving type to keep the slaves in check.

The Reverend Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton preach a particularly vile doctrine of hate and modern racism designed not to uplift and aid, but to keep under their thumb the very people they claim to help. Whatever else we (or anyone) may think about Obama's politics (we don't like them, at all), the mere fact that a black man in America is the leading candidate for the highest office in the land is a repudiation of everything for which Jackson stands.

But here again, Obama's past raises its ugly head.

Where do Reverend Wright and Father Pfleger fit in? Like everyone else, we would like to believe that Senator Obama is above and beyond the racist politics of Jackson & co. But his history leads us to conclude otherwise. Instead of bring change and hope to America and especially African Americans, the fear we have is that he will simply ensconce in the Presidency the attitudes embodied by Wright & Pfleger.

These are the tremendous risks you run when you elect someone who aspires to be more than just the next President of the United States.


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04 July 2008

Happy Patriot Day


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Nathan Hale

"I only regret that I have but one life to give my country."

Independence Day Must Reads:

Apotheosis of Liberty - Thomas Jefferson
A Day at the Beach - Peggy Noonan
Celebrating and Safeguarding Our Freedom - Fr. Roger J. Landry


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