Posted by Brad @ 9:44 pm on August 27th 2008

John Kerry thread

Wow, an Obama-centric speech for a change!

Post your thoughts here (I have to run between rooms).

Posted by James @ 9:01 pm on August 27th 2008

Bill Clinton Live!

Here we go!

Posted by Adam @ 8:20 pm on August 27th 2008

Romneyphobia

Yuval Levin has read the Democratic Party tea-leaves and decided that they are running scared of a McCain-Romney ticket:

Judging by the Obama camp’s assorted efforts to prepare the ground for McCain’s VP choice on Friday, they seem to be terrified of Mitt Romney. They’ve got some good lines about him, to be sure, but more striking than what they say is that he’s all they talk about.

To be fair, Levin does provide some argumentation in support of Romney, but I tell you, if anyone’s scared of Romney it should be those of us that support McCain. Obama’s pick of a running-mate that’s aimed at blunting McCain’s personal advantage on some issues to some extent frees McCain up to pick someone to strengthen his own ticket (in that he won’t have to pick a running-mate to match against Biden) and I’d like to see him pick almost any of the other main contenders.

I’m OK with Kay Bailey Hutchison or Pawlenty, incidentally (and so is my anti-hero, Larry Kudlow).

Posted by Adam @ 7:19 pm on August 27th 2008

And it’s Ted!

Sen. Ted Stevens wins Republican primary in Alaska. Because, God knows, being an indicted laughingstock should be no barrier to representing the Great State of Sucking Down Federal Handouts. Jesus wept, Alaska.

Bit more interest in the Primary for the state’s Representative, where state Governor Sarah Palin has endorsed the challenger Sean Parnell, her Lieutenant Governor, to (get this) 18-term incumbent Don Young.

Posted by James @ 7:07 pm on August 27th 2008

Obama nominated by acclamation

I just watch Hillary release her delegates and move that Obama be nominated by acclamation. Nancy Pelosi put the motion to the delegates for a yea or nay voice vote. She called on all those that were in favor to say “yea” and there was a strong response, albeit not arena wide. Pelosi paused and basked in the lingering “yea” voices, then called on all those against to say “nay”, but after second or two, and before any voice could be heard, she hurriedly announced that with two thirds in agreement the motion was passed and Barack Obama was thereby nominated by acclamation.

I have to believe that this maneuver is not going to sit well with a noticeable portion of the one third minority. If that’s unity, then I can safely say that all TCP bloggers and readers are unified in the opinion that I am the best contributor to this or any blog since Al Gore invented the Internet.

I guess that in many ways it is entirely appropriate that Obama has been nominated by hurried acclamation. After all, hurried acclamation is essentially the story of his campaign.

Posted by Brad @ 6:20 pm on August 27th 2008

The Associated Press Brand Takes a Nosedive

It’s been a bad year for the Associated Press.

In the era where print journalism is suffering mightily from online news coverage, the AP has, up until this year, been doing alright, as the bouillon from which the media soup is made. It’s the go-to thing to quote to convey the gist of a news story, which would seemingly allow it to translate perfectly well into any medium so long as that medium is print-based. And yet, 2008 has seen them suffer greatly under a bevy of off-kilter aggressiveness. Three big things are happening that don’t bode well for their future, and have made them go from a completely neutral non-entity, just “the news” in the most generic sense, to a muscular, bullying company with a bad face.

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Posted by Brad @ 4:04 pm on August 27th 2008

The Rap Wars

Adam mentioned that Daddy Yankee endorsed McCain. There’s apparently a bit more to the story. He did so because he got Sister Souljah’d by the Obama people:

There’s some amusement today about John McCain’s endorsement by the Puerto Rican performer Daddy Yankee, who has an assault charge and some some seriously racy lyrics.

There’s a bit more backstory, though. A Democratic Party source tells me a representative for Daddy Yankee approached Obama’s Latino outreach staffers earlier this year about possibly endorsing Obama.

But he didn’t pass the vetting, and Obama’s aides said they weren’t interested in his support. So, apparently, he moved over to McCain.

Another non-campaign source, however, tells me there are a few other prominent entertainers Obama’s turned down for somewhat similar reasons.

Although give Michael Goldfarb credit:

McCain spokesman Michael Golfarb emails: “That’s a Ludacris suggestion.”

/eyes bug out; yanks tie

Posted by Brad @ 1:20 am on August 27th 2008

Zinger of the Day, Part III

Man, coming across a lot of them tonight.

This is from the Onion’s profile of the candidates, most of which are old, but the third party candidates are new:

Bob Barr

Issues:
(1995–2007) Trying to control the faith, sexuality, reproduction, drug use, and national allegiance of every single American.
(2007–) Aw, Fuck it.

Posted by Brad @ 1:04 am on August 27th 2008

Zinger of the Day, Part II

NY Governor David Patterson, on McCain:

“If he’s the answer, then the question must be ridiculous.”

Posted by Rojas @ 12:14 am on August 27th 2008

Red pill

Doesn’t matter what the press says. Doesn’t matter what the politicians or the mobs say. Doesn’t matter if the whole country decides that something wrong is something right. This nation was founded on one principle above all else: the requirement that we stand up for what we believe, no matter the odds or the consequences. When the mob and the press and the whole world tell you to move, your job is to plant yourself like a tree beside the river of truth, and tell the whole world – “No, you move.”

-Captain America

Hillary Clinton spent thirty minutes tonight paving the ground for her own 2012 campaign, and did as little as she could for Barack Obama. The speech was in no meaningful respect likely to improve Obama’s chances at the Presidency.

TCP’s observers–who fight each other like cats and dogs at the slightest provocation–are unanimous in this assessment (excepting Adam, who hasn’t yet weighed in). Our reasons and our evidence are contained within the liveblog thread. Since we are apparently the only people on earth who believe this, we invite anyone and everyone to debate the issue with us.

Let us rumble.

Posted by Brad @ 12:06 am on August 27th 2008

Zinger of the Day

Not many people caught Sebelius today, but this has got to rate as one of the great lines.

“For John McCain, there’s no place like home. Or home. Or home.”

Posted by James @ 10:16 pm on August 26th 2008

Hillary: The Live Blog

Sorry, Rogas, this one is mine.

Get your prediction in: Blue Jacket or Red Jacket?

Posted by Rojas @ 9:42 pm on August 26th 2008

Warner liveblog

Sure, why not?

Posted by James @ 9:32 pm on August 26th 2008

The Democratic Donkey Seems Ass-Backwards

As I have observed this presidential campaign, something has become more and more obvious to me. From the messianic phenomenon of Barack Obama, to his unlikely and Davidian stoning of the Clinton Goliath, to his selection of Joe Biden as his VP running mate, this whole thing has taken on the look of a frenzied crowd in a burning building clambering for an exit.

The Bush years have turned many Democrats from rational opposition to soccer (football) hooligans who have elevated a sport to a turf war. Allowing their emotions to overtake their judgment they have allowed themselves to fall victim to the seed of hope rather than ambition. This unbridled hope has led them to the natural next step which is faith.

While both hope and faith are virtues in and of themselves, when they become the driving force behind what you do they become a vulnerable target for those who know how to exploit them. They make you religious even if you are not, and beg for a pastor to minister to and feed those aspects within you. When this happens one no longer is as interested in what they think as they are in what they feel. Hope and faith shroud rational ambition to achieve the possible with their lofty and idealistic vision to achieve the improbable. A friend of mine once said (and I paraphrase here) “People can handle defeat. Defeat is not the ultimate punishment, hope is. Hope is the great tormentor in that it often is what leads you forward to your next defeat.” Cynical words to be sure, but not all that inaccurate if hope is divorced from rational thought.

When I examine the Democratic race this political season, I see this very dynamic in play. The Democrats, especially the far left that pretty much makes up the base of that party today, have allowed their disagreement with George W. Bush to deteriorate to a loathing and even fear that borders on the absurd. In that state they opened themselves up to hope as soon as it manifested itself in a dynamic and youthful African-American politician named Barack Obama. Obama, whether because he operates on hope and faith himself or he simply saw what the people wanted and responded, fell into the pastorly role with unusual aplomb. Meanwhile, his competition, Senator Clinton in particular, even as they likewise sought change, articulated it not in terms of hope, but in terms of achieving the feasible. Unfortunately, they realized too late that hope and faith had met within the Party and were going steady– with Barack Obama.

Obama didn’t have to have navigating experience or even a readable map to the Promised Land, he simply had to inspire the faithful to follow him by making them feel good and thus believe; and he has. The problem is (and I think many seasoned Democrats have arrived at this conclusion quietly) they now have a situation where a man who should have been the best Democratic VP choice in history has ridden a rainbow to the top spot and has now had to acquiesce to one “should be ticket-topper” (Clinton), because he needs the votes of her supporters and is too inexperienced to finesse them without pandering to her or too youthfully arrogant to gain them by showing her genuine respect; and he has had to select another “should be ticket-topper” (Biden) because either Obama or his advisors recognized that foreign policy and CIC credentials were/are his Achilles’ heel.

This, I think is the source of the most consternation within the Democratic Party (no matter how they try to poorly mask it): They have a backwards ticket and are genuinely worried about it; except the Clintons of course, this is a great consolation prize since they stand to lose so much if he wins. It explains the polls, it explains the quiet turmoil in Denver, it explains why mechanics like James Carville have been less than enthused with the Democratic Convention, at least thus far.

At the end of the day, it may just be that, for all their hope, Democrats, in their liberal “faith-based” crusade for change, may just find themselves hoist by their own daisy-filled petard and becoming victims of their own hysterical and hurried attempt at an exodus; lost in the wilderness for another four years– grumbling and cursing hope.

Posted by Brad @ 5:25 pm on August 26th 2008

Passive Aggressive Bill Watch

As I argued with James, about the worst we’re going to get from the Clintons is Bill shooting off his mouth, and he hasn’t disappointed. While Hillary is going to blast McCain with her convention speech, and only about 60 PUMAs showed up to their first event (the “reporter to PUMA” ratio covering them is estimated at at least 10 to one, whereas the “reporter to Ron Paul supporters” will likely be 1 to 2500), Bill will still be tossing off a snippy remark here or there, as he’s not used to losing, and he’s even less used to not being the Big Dog anymore. He’s enough of a narcissistic that I suspect the biggest thing that chafes him about the whole primary outcome is he no longer has the mojo or the sparkle anymore. American politics has moved on.

I highly suspect that the “turned off to Bill Clinton to turned against Obama” ratio will be pretty solidly in Obama’s favor with stuff like this:

The former president, speaking in Denver, posed a hypothetical question in which he seemed to suggest that that the Democratic Party was making a mistake in choosing Obama as its presidential nominee.

He said: “Suppose you’re a voter, and you’ve got candidate X and candidate Y. Candidate X agrees with you on everything, but you don’t think that candidate can deliver on anything at all. Candidate Y you agree with on about half the issues, but he can deliver. Which candidate are you going to vote for?”

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

Posted by Brad @ 5:08 pm on August 26th 2008

Will Saletan’s Michael Phelps Problem

A bit more aggressive than Rojas’. This is why I like Will Saletan. He’s one of the few with both the platform and the balls to write an intelligent and calm article arguing that Michael Phelps was awarded a gold medal for a race he lost.

Saletan’s argument? He admits that it’s mostly academic, but he suggests that Cavic reached—and touched—the wall first. But Phelps was the one to apply enough pressure to trigger the sensor first. He thus technically won the race according to the standards set, but he didn’t get there first.

The 100 m butterfly happens to be one of the only Olympic things I happened to catch, and I side with Saletan’s hunch.

Posted by Brad @ 9:16 am on August 26th 2008

Clinton Day

James can no doubt appreciate Dave Barry’s take:

Already there has been sporadic gunfire between the Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton delegates. Political observers see this as indication that there is still some underlying tension between the two sides. Yes, Clinton has been making speeches urging her supporters to work for Obama; but at the same time she has also been using what one Obama adviser described as “a lot of air quotes.”

Sen. Clinton is scheduled to address the convention Tuesday night, when she will either call on her supporters to unite behind Obama, or attempt to snatch the nomination and escape with it by helicopter to a secret mountain fortress. ”We are fully confident that Sen. Clinton will do the right thing,” stated a Democratic party official, adding, “but we have a net.”

Posted by Brad @ 8:44 am on August 26th 2008

A Free-Market-Loving, Big-Spending, Fiscally Conservative Wealth Redistributionist

That’s how David Leonhardt describes Barack Obama’s style on economic matters for the New York Times, in an article worth reading. Obama’s a hard guy to peg on bread-and-butter economic agendas, not because he’s wishy washy, but more because his style is unfamiliar and doesn’t fall into the neat binary we tend to set up for such things. The title of the article is, more or less, accurate. There’s a lot to Obama that should worry free market enthusiasts. But Obama isn’t so easy to peg. He would cut taxes for the 80% of people who make less than 120k more than McCain proposes (a lot more), more than Clinton proposed, and more than Bill Clinton achieved. He would also, at least if best guesses on sometimes amorphous campaign plans are to be trusted, reduce the deficit significantly more than McCain. He would certainly redistribute wealth, and make the tax code much, much more progressive.

Still, it’s a fascinating look, and worth the read. Obama is both much worse, and much better, than you feared and hoped. The fairest way to peg him is as a new breed of conservative Democrat.

Posted by Brad @ 12:32 am on August 26th 2008

Scary Stuff

DENVER (CBS4) ― CBS4 has now learned at least four people are under arrest in connection with a possible plot to kill Barack Obama at his Thursday night acceptance speech in Denver. All are being held on either drug or weapons charges. […]

The story began emerging Sunday morning when Aurora police arrested 28-year-old Tharin Gartrell. He was driving a rented pickup truck in an erratic manner according to sources.

Sources told CBS4 police found two high-powered, scoped rifles in the car along with camouflage clothing, walkie-talkies, a bulletproof vest, a spotting scope, licenses in the names of other people and methamphetamine. One of the rifles is listed as stolen from Kansas.

Subsequently authorities went to the Cherry Creek Hotel to contact an associate of Gartrell’s. But that man, who was wanted on numerous warrants, jumped out of a sixth floor hotel window. Law enforcement sources say the man broke an ankle in the fall and was captured moments later. Sources say he was wearing a ring with a swastika, and is thought to have ties to white supremacist organizations.

A third man — an associate of Gartrell and the hotel jumper was also arrested. He told authorities that the two men “planned to kill Barack Obama at his acceptance speech.”

That man, along with a woman, are also under arrest.

The Secret Service, FBI, ATF and the joint terrorism task force are all investigating the alleged plot.

Now, all Presidential candidates and politicians who are extremely in the national consciousness get attention from nuts. Very, very rarely does the scary stuff go very far. But the threat to Obama is real.

Posted by Rojas @ 10:19 pm on August 25th 2008

Michelle Obama liveblog

To dedicate a liveblog to this speech is probably more of a cry for help than an attempt at political analysis. But at this point I feel compelled to provide our eight readers with something to think about other than the gibberish that they’ve been served by the Dems so far. Aside from the excellent live band, it’s been a pretty wretched opening night.

Posted by Brad @ 8:35 pm on August 25th 2008

Pizza Politics

I love stuff like this.

The Fark headline from whence I got the link says it well “Utah State senator is rude to a pizza delivery girl that had a little known blog until now”.

A good life lesson: always bend over backwards to make people feel comfortable, and always, always, be nice to the help. This becomes even more true the more powerful you are.

Posted by Adam @ 8:27 pm on August 25th 2008

Convention gossip: telling porkies and NAFTA grudge archeology

Nothing extraordinary about this stuff — not really ‘breaking news’ — but Byron York has a Corner post about the recent ill-temper between teams Clinton and Obama, in essence saying that when the story that Clinton wasn’t being considered, as evidenced by the lack of a document dump, came out, someone in team Obama got rattled and released a story that Hillary Clinton had said not to bother with the whole document stuff if she wasn’t in serious consideration. However, that story was untrue and the irritation has been made worse by David Axelrod yesterday trying a different tack whereby he said that they didn’t need a Clinton document dump because they already knew her so well.

Byron York’s question is why they didn’t just go through the motions:

And even those who are not passionately committed to one side or the other are trying to figure out why Obama didn’t just go through the motions of vetting Clinton. Tell her that she was high on the list and go through the entire process. It wouldn’t have been true, and Clinton probably would have known it wasn’t true, but what could she have done?

Sure it would be deceitful, but then apparently so was what that actually did in damage limitation, in which case, get the deceit in early enough to mitigate damage.

The other piece of interesting (to me) but not earth-shattering (to anyone else) news was David Gregory just now on MSNBC explaining that the reason Nancy Pelosi and Hillary Clinton are rivals isn’t because they’re both competing to be Queen Bee, but rather dating back to Bill Clinton’s tenure as President when she and others felt that Bill Clinton ‘threw them under the bus’ (Gregory’s appalling choice of words) over issues including NAFTA. That’s something that concerns me; given that Clinton was right on NAFTA, what’s Obama going to owe to Pelosi and her ilk in return for all this support? Or is it just standard ‘Democrats together’ stuff and she’ll bite her tongue if he does the Right Thing on free trade as did Bill Clinton? It hadn’t occurred to me before that this was a big issue in the Pelosi-Clintons rift, I confess, which I fear is a function of my ignorance rather than it is David Gregory’s journalistic excellence, but it adds to my concerns about Obama and trade.

Posted by Brad @ 8:12 pm on August 25th 2008

Rally For the Republic Official Schedule

Wow, they really have managed to put together a shadow convention to the RNC. Tucker Carlson, Grover Norquist, Bruce Fein, Jesse Ventura, Gov. Gary Johnson, Lew Rockwell, Howard Phillips, etc. Anyone would have to admit, they’re going to have a good run of it Tuesday. If you want to know where the best party in the country is going to be a week from tomorrow, here it is. Wish like hell I could have made it.

Schedule below the fold.

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Posted by Rojas @ 6:33 pm on August 25th 2008

This probably WILL work

Much, much better:

Notice the important changes between this ad and the previous hamfisted attempt on the subject:

1. This one doesn’t provide Clinton herself with control of the narrative. It puts her supporters in the driver’s seat, and entices them to make their own judgments. A Clinton response to this ad will be much, much less effective.

2. Instead of playing to Clinton supporters’ resentments, this one plays to their independence and to the issues which allegedly underlay their support for her. That’s the right move. The resentments will take care of themselves without any pandering. The experience line challenges Clinton’s supporters to take their own argument seriously and to prove that they weren’t supporting her out of mindless gender loyalty. It also poses a very subtle challenge on the grounds that many of them may feel taken for granted by the party. If Clinton retaliates explicitly here, she’ll reinforce that.

3. There’s another subtle de-fusing going on here. Not every Democrat feels somewhat uncomfortable about Obama because they find him inexperienced–there are other reasons as well. The “it’s OK, really” business is a way to play to those concerns without asking the voters to explicity acknowledge them. Note also the general tone of “you’re not alone; others of your ideology feel the same.”

4. They’ve picked the right person for the ad. Following Bartosevich’s initial statement of her support for McCain in June, the Wisconsin Democratic party suspended its own rules and stripped her of the delegate status to which she had been elected in the party primary. If the Dems go after her in the media, they will bring that story to national attention. Needless to say, it won’t play well.

I don’t much like the construction of the ad–it’s corny and sort of annoying–but the arguments are really pretty elegantly framed. It’s the diametric opposite of the last attempt.

Posted by Adam @ 4:05 pm on August 25th 2008

Epic determination

Rosie Swale Pope has finished her around-the-world run. Now 61 years old and doing it to raise awareness of prostate cancer following the death of her husband, it’s taken her five years and she finished it on crutches. I remember listening to a radio story about her years ago (possibly before I even left the UK) and thinking that she was one tough woman.
Trans-world route of Rosie Swale Pope

Her journey website tells the story of her travels. Amazing lady.

Posted by Adam @ 2:04 pm on August 25th 2008

Daddy Yankee endorses McCain

Alas, I confess that I don’t have my finger on the pulse of youth culture of any description. Anyhow, Daddy Yankee has apparently endorsed McCain, which will presumably in itself be entirely meaningless (as endorsements generally are) but makes me wonder whether McCain can make some actual inroads on the immigration issue, where although he’s from the wrong party (as much of the GOP appears intent on painting itself as the anti-immigration party) but has a much better track record on immigration than just about any national politician, for those who care a lot about this issue (as I do).

Posted by James @ 9:56 pm on August 24th 2008

McCain surprise?

I have been thinking about McCain’s options with regard to a VP selection, especially after Mr. Obama’s selection of Joe Biden. I have wondered whether he would seek the reluctant Bobby Jindal for his youth, or one of his fellow primary contenders for their base supporters. I must say that the Mitthuckerudy option seems doomed to failure. Likewise, seeking a young politician for the sake of their youth is similar folly. Let’s face it, Obama is a unique “young” man in the political field. So what does McCain do? I can only think of one very reluctant man that would more than level the field, but would actually tip it deeply McCain’s way were he to be persuaded to join the ticket. That person is Colin Powell.

Powell is only slightly younger than McCain, so the “youth” factor would be out the window. However, Powell has at least a little support from every corner of the political landscape, and a lot of support from much of it. A McCain/Powell ticket would be a formidable team for Obama/Biden to tackle. The question is: Is it even possibility? Powell has been reticent about everything political for a long time. Could he ever be persuaded to jump into the cesspool of a presidential campaign? I have no idea, I am just thinking out loud.

What do you think? Is a McCain/Powell ticket an impossibility?

Posted by Brad @ 9:54 pm on August 24th 2008

This isn’t going to work either

Fox News dispatches intrepid reporter to stand in the middle of a mass of marching anti-war fringe Democratic protesters, clearly looking to push a “Democrats divided” storyline.

Said intrepid reporter tries to ask various marchers why they hate the Democratic party.

Marchers, in no short order, tell Fox News reporter to go fuck himself.

Hilarity ensues.

The best part is not the “Fuck Fox News” chant that erupts. The best part is the sniveling reporter loudly complaining that protesters are against freedom of speech. Because they keep telling him to fuck off. As they protest.

Poor, poor censored Fox News reporter.

Posted by Rojas @ 3:52 pm on August 24th 2008

Biden on foreign policy

The Council on Foreign Relations runs down the list.

I don’t know why Democrats are crowing about Biden’s foreign policy judgment, given that his overall orientation, taken issue by issue, appears to be closer to McCain’s than to Obama’s.

Posted by Rojas @ 3:40 pm on August 24th 2008

This isn’t going to work

Okay. First of all, if McCain now chooses ANYBODY except Romney or Huckabee as his running mate, he’s going to get this thrown right back in his face. Hell, even if he chooses one of those two, the Obama campaign will create an ad featuring the other’s comments.

Secondly, this ad grants Hillary Clinton control of the narrative. And indeed, this ad was followed almost immediately by a repeat endorsement of Obama by Hillary and a clear deliniation of the policy reasons why she prefers him to McCain.

Third, there was no reason to make this an overt argument. Everybody who could possibly have been bothered by the decision not to include Clinton on the ticket is already privately stewing about it. This ad creates no new anger, and it causes the people who ARE angry to reconsider their reasoning and to circle the wagons against an outside attack. If the enemy is in the process of destroying himself, you let him do so; you don’t intervene and try to accelerate the process.

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