Saturday, December 13, 2008

Hey guys, Let's use the economic problems to institute national healthcare!

I'm watching Chris Wallace on Fox News Sunday interview Senators Corker (R-TN) and Stabenow (D-MI).

Stabenow just stated that the big three union employees are actually making less than their competitors, but the difference is in healthcare benefits. She then said:

"Then we need to join with our president elect and have real healthcare reform."

Wallace did not give Corker a chance to immediently respond, but he looked pretty mad. Volkswagon is currently building a plant in Corker's hometown (my hometown of Chattanooga, the city couldn't be happier). Do those employees get universal healthcare? I don't think so.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Why Ban Tasers?

Eugene Volokh, at The Volokh Conspiracy (why can't I come up with a cool blog name like that, I ask you?) notes that a number of jurisdictions have banned the personal possession of tasers, and asks if there is any good reason for it.

Now, the jurisdictions that he gives are the usual suspects (Hawaii, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island, Wisconsin, plus Philadelphia, Baltimore, Chicago, and Washington, D.C.), so this is probably not an issue here in freedom loving Tennessee. I've sometimes thought about getting a taser to carry around campus (about once or twice a week when I get those emails warning about another robbery/mugging/assault that took place on the very route that I walk every day to get from the law school to the parking lot. But, of course, I shouldn't worry, campus is a super safe gun free zone!)

According to Charles Krauthammer, the Real Barack Obama cares little about foreign policy or economics, and seeks power to "transform"

Krauthammer says:

As Obama revealingly said just last week, "This painful crisis also
provides us with an opportunity to transform our economy to improve the lives of
ordinary people." Transformation is his mission. Crisis provides the
opportunity. The election provides him the power.

According to Krauthammer, the Bush administration has already laid the groundwork for a New Deal style federal interventionism, and the bailouts already in place will result in "undreamed of amounts of money at Obama's disposal."

It begins with a near $1 trillion stimulus package. This is where Obama
will show himself ideologically. It is his one great opportunity to plant the
seeds for everything he cares about: a new green economy, universal health care,
a labor resurgence, government as benevolent private-sector "partner." The first
hint came yesterday, when Obama claimed, "If we want to overcome our economic
challenges, we must also finally address our health care challenge" -- the
perfect non sequitur that gives carte blanche to whatever health-care reform and
spending the Obama team dreams up. It is the community organizer's ultimate

Read the whole thing. My only complaint is that it provides little guidance as to what this change will be. Obama has been nothing if not unpredicatable from the start, and right now, I have no idea what "change" means.

Has Atlas Shrugged All Over The Country?

C. Edmund Wright, at the American Thinker, says yes.

Like many business owners, we are no longer willing to take all of the
financial and legal risks and put up with all of the aggravation of owning and
running a business. Not with the prospects of even higher taxes, more
regulation, more litigation and more emboldened bureaucrats on the
horizon. Like others we know, we are getting out while the getting is,
well, tolerable. Many who aren't getting out are scaling back.

. . .

It is no secret that owners circulated endless emails leading up to
election day discussing lay off plans were Obama to win. Entrepreneurs
instinctively understand the danger posed by larger liberal majorities in power.
The risk-reward equation and fierce independence spirit of start up businesses
are anathema to the class warfare, equality of outcome and spread the wealth
mentality of the left.
We have very little appetite to have our lives
run by elected or un-elected officials like Barney Frank and Jamie Gorelick. We
have no appetite to be taxed even more by the likes of Charlie Rangel. These
clowns destroyed Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and our entire economy as a result.
Congress, by their own admission, cannot even run their own damned dining room
with a captive customer base! Some of them refuse to pay their own tax
burden. Why in the world would we subject ourselves to their ilk armed with the
unchecked powers of the Oval Office and both houses of congress and a massive
army of bureaucrats?
We got into business to be independent. We will get out
for the same reason.
The fact that Obama is not in office yet is irrelevant.
Businesses must see "around the corner" and plan accordingly. Rightly or
wrongly, business owners see a huge anti-business shift in motion and they are
making preparations NOW. We do not want to have business illiterates like Chris
Dodd dictate our decisions from the comfort of his home made possible by a quid
pro quo Countrywide mortgage.

As someone who's currently job hunting, I sure hope they're getting it out of their systems now.

Daniel B. Klein asks "What Should Liberals Liberalize?"

He suggests school choice, immigration, international trade, ag subsidies, drug prohibitions, occupational licensing, minimum wage, the FDA, and several others.

This, of course, assumes that liberals seek, you know, freedom.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Michelle Malkin is taking on the Obama Birth Certificate crowd. Here, she basically accuses them of being no different from the 9-11 truthers and the nutjobs who still believe that Sarah Palin faked her last pregnancy.

The plain truth will never mollify a Truther. There’s always a convoluted
excuse – some inconsequential discrepancy to seize on, some photographic
“evidence” to magnify into a blur of meaningless pixels – that will rationalize
irrationality. Palin could produce Trig’s umbilical cord and it still wouldn’t
be enough.

Alas, Trutherism thrives on both the left and right. Which brings us to the spate of lawsuits challenging President-elect Barack Obama’s U.S. citizenship. On Friday, the
U.S. Supreme Court considers one of those suits filed by New Jersey citizen Leo
, who maintains that Obama is not a “natural born citizen” because
his father held British citizenship.

There may be a seed of a legitimate constitutional issue to explore here (how is the citizenship requirement enforced for presidential candidates, anyway?) And at least Donofrio concedes that Obama was born in Hawaii. But a dangerously large segment of the birth certificate hunters have lurched into rabid Truther territory. The most
prominent crusader against Obama’s American citizenship claim, lawyer Philip
(who, not coincidentally, is also a prominent 9/11 Truther), disputes that Obama was born in Hawaii and claims that Obama’s paternal grandmother told him she saw Obama born in Kenya.

I can't help but agree. There has been nothing about this controversy that has rung true to me in the least, and the people who cling tenaciously to it do themselves, and (by association) anyone who opposes Obama a great disservice by undermining the legitimacy of any real criticism that may be had.

But Michelle brings up an interesting side note. There may be a seed of a legitimate constitutional issue here, after all. Nobody has ever established what the constitution means by "natural born citizen," and maybe we need to know this.

So I'm thinking that this really opens the door to legitimate debate on whether the natural born citizen, whatever it means, really ought to be there at all. Think about it. Let's say that Obama really was born in another country, but his parents moved him here shortly thereafter. Now, obviously he would have had to have committed some fraud to cover that up, which we would have a legitimate problem with, but other than that, how would the place of his birth, the place that he wouldn't even remember, have any impact on his actual abilities to serve as president? The fact that he lived in Indonesia for a time that he actually does remember, in fact, a time during which he was forming his personality and learning about the world, is not held against him. Can you think of one legitimate reason that his birthplace is actually important, other than the strict rule of law?

A person has absolutely no choice in the question of where he or she is born. Let's do away with the restriction on where a person is born and look at how they have lived, instead.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008


Gas is $1.85 a gallon at several stations in my neighborhood. One dollar and eighty-five cents! There were tears, people.

Friday, November 14, 2008

A very sad story . . . and a very sad reaction

CNN's Ruben Navarrette, Jr. discusses a terrible story about a group of teenage boys in Patchougue, NY, who allegedly decided to go "beaner jumping."

The bullies found 37-year-old Marcello Lucero, who was attacked, beaten and stabbed to death. The alleged assailants include Jeffrey Conroy, Jordan Dasch, Anthony Hartford, Nicholas Hausch, Jose Pacheco, and Kevin Shea, all 17, and Christopher Overton, 16.

As the person who authorities allege stabbed Lucero, Conroy is charged with first-degree manslaughter as a hate crime. The others are charged with first-degree gang assault.

According to Suffolk County Police Commissioner Richard Dormer, all seven "admitted their involvement ... in this crime." They pleaded not guilty in court. Suffolk County Assistant District Attorney Nancy Clifford said the suspects wanted to "find some Mexicans to ---- up."

Now, this is inexplicably, undeniably a terrible story. But Mr. Navarrette doesn't really blame the boys. Nor does he blame a culture that glamorized violence and thuggish behavior. Nor does he venture into their family situation or gang associations or psychiatric medications. No, Mr. Navarrette strongly implies that the cause of this is the immigration debate.

Nor should we tolerate an immigration debate that turned anti-Hispanic and that some now blame for incidents like such as this.

In 2006, the last year for which statistics are available, Hispanics were -- according to the FBI -- the No. 1 victim of hate crimes motivated by ethnicity or national origin, representing 62.8 percent of the victims of such crimes.

When tragedy strikes, there are always those who look for someone to blame. In Suffolk County, local activists are blaming public officials who have crusaded against illegal immigration to score political points with their constituents.

The anti-immigrant atmosphere was something even the presidential candidates talked about. Earlier this year, Barack Obama pointed to comments by radio and television hosts critical of immigration. "A certain segment has basically been feeding a kind of xenophobia," he told supporters at a Palm Beach, Florida, fundraiser, tying that sentiment to an increase in hate crimes against Hispanics.

In an interview just before the election, Sen. John McCain told me that there have always been those who stoke fears that American culture and the English language are on their way out.

Do you hear that? "Nor should we tolerate the immigration debate . . ." A discussion of the laws of country, and whether or how they should be enforced, is simply not tolerable if it may carry the blame for "hate."

I would almost guarantee that these teenage thugs had virtually no real awareness of the debate that has gone on in this country about illegal aliens. Their use of the word "beaner," in fact, is one that I would bet that they picked up from Carlos Mencia on Comedy Central. They were simply looking for some way to take their aggression out, thought up a good excuse, and Marcello Lucero, sadly, was in the wrong place at the wrong time.

It's things like this that lead to censorship and all sorts of other freedom erosion's, folks. People that think that we must change what we "tolerate," for the good of society. Better to just let the government handle it; if we plebeians discuss it, well, someone could get hurt.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Don't worry kids, you can still blame everything bad that ever happens to you ever on racism

Well, this is a relief. For a moment there, I was afraid that the Obama election meant that we were a post-racial society, and a black man can achieve anything that a white man can, even the nation's highest office. Apparently, according to Timothy Noah at Slate, my fears are unfounded:

But in a more complex and indirect way, the stubborn refusal of a majority of whites to vote Democratic is all about race. Take a look at this chart. The alignment of whites with the Republican Party hasn't made it impossible for Democrats to win presidential elections, but it has made it fairly difficult. For the past 40 years, whites have made up 74 percent to somewhere north of 90 percent of all voters. Jimmy Carter got elected president by narrowing to four percentage points the gap between whites voting Republican and whites voting Democratic. Bill Clinton did it by narrowing the gap to a remarkable 2 percent. I don't think it's a coincidence that both men drew some appeal simply from being white Southerners. The South is where the GOP holds its tightest grip on the white vote.

So, at least South still equals racist, even with a black president. Jesse Jackson will be so relieved.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

A New Post-Traumatic Stress Syndrome

This is hilarious. I hope it helps ease the pain:

Obama Win Causes Obsessive Supporters To Realize How Empty Their Lives Are

Obama Campaign Workers Upset About Not Getting Paid All That They Earned

I guess that we can safely assume that most of these folks have never earned (or even seen) an actual paycheck:

"Still that's not right. I'm disappointed. I'm glad for the president, but I'm disappointed in this system," said Diane Jefferson, temporary campaign worker.

"It should have been $480. It's $230," said Imani Sankofa.

"They gave us $10 an hour. So we added it. I added up all the hours so it was supposed to be at least $120. All I get is $90," said Charles Martin.

"I worked nine hours a day for 4 days and got paid half of what I should have earned," said Randall Waldon.

But I thought that we were supposed to be getting over the simplistic notions about keeping money that we earn!

Welcome to the real-world kids, welcome to the real world.

BIggest Post-Election Stock Drop in History

From Bloomberg News (via Instapundit):

The stock market posted its biggest plunge following a presidential election as reports on jobs and service industries stoked concern the economy will worsen even as President-elect Barack Obama tries to stimulate growth.

Hang on to that hope and change kids! Pretty soon, it may be all that you've got.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Non-presidential things to watch today

1. What will California do with proposition 8 (state constitutional amendment on gay marriage)? They say that as California goes, so goes the nation. The few other states that have enacted gay marriage haven't seemed to have much of an effect on the nation as a whole, but I think that California will be different. (For the record, I support gay marriage, but I don't like the idea of it being imposed by the courts- though I haven't read the CA constitution or opinion, so I'm not sure whether it was a leap or not)

2. Will Massachusetts do away with its state income tax? The other states that have no income tax are all well known for having at least some conservative/libertarian streaks (Tennessee, Florida, Texas, Alaska, Nevada). Massachusetts, aka Tax-achusetts, would be the first solidly blue state to make such a move. Could this be a good sign for supporters of the Fair Tax?

3. What will happen to John Murtha? I'm all for a long time congress member getting kicked out, and that it is for showing his true colors in such an obnoxious fashion only makes it more delightful!

4. What will happen to Ted Stevens? See above, re: long time congress member getting kicked out. I hate to lose another Republican given what we're facing right now, but I'm really not a fan of Stevens and I'm pretty glad to see him get what he deserves.

I Support Barack Obama

Now, don’t get me wrong. I don’t want Obama to win this one today. I cast my vote proudly for McCain-Palin, and I wish that I could have done more. I have very low expectations for an Obama presidency. But if he is going to win this thing tonight, and I think that he will, he will be president of my country, the greatest country that has ever been, the country that has given me and my family amazing opportunities, the country that I thank God every night that I am allowed to be a part of. I think that the leaders of this country deserve respect.

The American people are not perfect, and they have not always made the best choices. Such is a risk that you take with a democratic republic. In the face of this new presidency, we must remain vigilant that our freedoms do not expire, we must viciously protect our freedoms of economic opportunity and entrepreneurship, freedoms of expression, freedoms to defend ourselves, even our rights to just make bad decisions. We must viciously defend ourselves against accusations of selfishness for not wanting to from those that fail to do even the minimum without government coercion. We must be aware of those who hide from criticism behind accusations of racism. But these are things that we should always do. Government is a power that is always larger than you; even if that power is wielded by those with whom you agree, it can still be abused, and it will be.

But, if Barack Obama is to be my country’s president, I support him. I will remain vigilant; I will speak out when I think that he is wrong, as I have about Presidents Bush and Clinton before him, but I will also try to give him credit when I think that he is right. I will continue to criticize his supporters, if I think that they have crossed a line, but I will give him, and his office, my respect. If I see supporters on my side attempting to echo the immature behavior of the out of power party of the last 8 years, the name calling, the assassination fantasies, the ridiculous accusations, I will speak out. President Obama is far, far from my choice, but he is not my enemy.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

So, when is spellcheck going to start recognizing Barack Obama?

I can keep typing it over and over: Barack Obama, Barack, Obama, . . . surely by now he must be the most blogged about name out there these days. Get with the program, spellchecking programs!

"Don't mind queer eye for the white supremacist guy up there."

Jules Crittenden sees a lot of androgyny in the recently arrested Obama assassination plotting skinheads.

Here's an example of how freedom of speech should work

Some idiot in West Hollywood is, I'm sure, quite proud of his Halloween display, which includes a mannequin dressed as Sarah Palin hanging from a noose, and a mannequin dressed as John McCain in a flaming chimney. He calls it "art" and "within the spirit of Halloween."

I don't think that this is funny. I don't think that this is decent, moral, creative, thought-provoking, clever, or in any way helpful to our national discourse. I don't think that it is art. And I don't think that you ought to give a rat's ass what I think.

The fact is, while I have seen several commentators denounce this as twisted or nonsensical, I am happy to say that I am yet to see anyone call for any action to be taken other than denouncement. Freedom of speech includes the freedom to say what others don't like; and I'll support this moron's right to say what I don't like.

Just ask yourself- would it go the same way if the "artist" had been a Republican supporter?

Monday, October 27, 2008

How Dare You Ask a Difficult Question!

So, some local reporter in Orlando had the audacity to ask Joe Biden some fairly pushy questions the other day. (You can see the full video, as well as links to some comments, at Instapundit.)

West wondered about Sen. Barack Obama's comment, to Joe the Plumber, about spreading the wealth. She quoted Karl Marx and asked how Obama isn't being a Marxist with the "spreading the wealth" comment.

"Are you joking?" said Biden, who is Obama's running mate. "No," West said.

West later asked Biden about his comments that Obama could be tested early on as president. She wondered if the Delaware senator was saying America's days as the world's leading power were over.

"I don't know who's writing your questions," Biden shot back.

The Obama campaign's response: You will get no more access to us. None.

Biden so disliked West's line of questioning that the Obama campaign canceled a WFTV interview with Jill Biden, the candidate's wife.

"This cancellation is non-negotiable, and further opportunities for your station to interview with this campaign are unlikely, at best for the duration of the remaining days until the election," wrote Laura K. McGinnis, Central Florida communications director for the Obama campaign.

McGinnis said the Biden cancellation was "a result of her husband's experience yesterday during the satellite interview with Barbara West."

Now, I'm sure that the campaign members can interview or not with whomever they choose, and it really wouldn't bother me too much if they just canceled the interview with Jill. After all, she's just a spouse, and, by the standards of this campaign, a pretty boring one at that. (Quick, name one thing about Jill Biden other than the fact that her husband's on the VP ticket . . . yeah, that's what I thought.)

But the blanket "No Interview For You" statement should give us a major pause. True, there's no real "free speech" issue here- the First Amendment was certainly not violated, as I said, the campaign members can interview with whomever they want. But I think that we need to think about how the members of this campaign feel about people who ask tough questions. Will the Obama presidency limit their interviews to only those who they know will be friendly? Will those that dare to step out of line and ask tough questions about administration policy get punished by having their access cut off? Will this cause a chilling effect where journalists dare not risk asking any questions that might offend? Is this the kind of America that you want?

(Also posted at Unfair Doctrine)

On Obama's NPR "Socialist Bombshell"

The transcript comes from, and audio is available at, Hot Air:

If you look at the victories and failures of the civil rights movement and its litigation strategy in the court. I think where it succeeded was to invest formal rights in previously dispossessed people, so that now I would have the right to vote. I would now be able to sit at the lunch counter and order as long as I could pay for it I’d be o.k. But, the Supreme Court never ventured into the issues of redistribution of wealth, and of more basic issues such as political and economic justice in society.

To that extent, as 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 its been interpreted and Warren Court interpreted in the same way, that generally the Constitution is a charter of negative liberties. Says what the states can’t do to you. Says what the Federal government can’t do to you, but doesn’t say what the Federal government or State government must do on your behalf, and that hasn’t shifted and one of the, I think, tragedies of the civil rights movement was, um, because the civil rights movement became so court focused I think there was a tendency to lose track of the political and community organizing and activities on the ground that are able to put together the actual coalition of powers through which you bring about redistributive change. In some ways we still suffer from that. …

I’m not optimistic about bringing about major redistributive change through the courts. You know, the institution just isn’t structured that way.

OK, so a lot of commentators are calling this a pretty big deal, but I'm not sure that I'm impressed.

There's nothing here that we didn't know about Obama already if we have been paying the least amount of attention.

Here's the problem- if you haven't been paying enough attention (or have been willfully ignorant of the signs up to now), you're not going to be swayed by anything here. This is a typical "early Obama" answer (by early, I mean before about September of this year- with Obama, there's not a whole lot of late). It meanders about and doesn't really say anything at all specific.

There are two things here that ought to scare the pants off of those of us who fear socialism:

1) Obama strongly implies that he thinks that the Supreme Court's role should, or at least acceptably could, include wealth redistribution (as well as "economic justice," whatever that means). This almost certainly means that the justices that he would appoint, if given full reign by a supportive Congress and still moonstruck press, will make Justices Bryer and Ginsberg look like Pat freakin' Robertson. And those justices will be around for decades. But the problem is, he doesn't ever come right out and say that that is what he supports. There's no sound bite that says this that can be used and echoed.

Look, I don't want us to be in a world where you have to have a sound bite, but we are where we are. Particularly for someone who is still impressionable at this point in the game. You have to have something that can be packaged and grabbed onto, and that's just not here.

2) He imples that the Supreme Court should be, or at least acceptably could be, "set up" in a way that would bring "major redistributive change." He doesn't say for sure what that would be, but the surrounding statements strongly imply that a) that change would involve "break[ing] free from the essential constraints that were placed by the founding fathers in the Constitution," and b) that going beyond the constitution would be a good thing (as he stated then that he was "not optimistic" that this would happen- surely he was not envisioning personally appointing justices at the time).

Now, if you already understand that Obama is a socialist, then you didn't have to go through that logical process to get there from here. But, if you already understand Obama is a socialist, you aren't who we need to be talking to right now. The only reason that things like "Joe the Plumber" and "McCain has 7 houses" work is because they are easy to grasp and easy to repeat. This isn't. So it won't help.

Look, the fact of the matter, and I think that this current election shows it, is that most people just don't fear socialism in the form that Obama presents it. We have next to no economic education, and there is little to no understanding that redistribution has to come from somewhere. I have spoken to a number of people that I would have called well educated and informed and am shocked to find out how little they know about the Constitution- even fellow law students want judges that will do what is "right" or "fair" (of course, always in the their estimation), rather than what the Constitution says (and almost as many of them are on my side of the political spectrum as not, I'm sorry to report).

I wish it were different. I'll try to raise my kids to think differently, and I'll try to spread the word through this blog and my general discussions, but the fact of the matter is, most people just won't get it.

Update: Jennifer Rubin and Glenn Reynolds also think that this is no surprise from Obama

Saturday, October 25, 2008

So, I just got back from early voting . . .

Ok, so first off, you know that the line had to be about 97% McCain/Palin (I went to the small mall in Hixson, an older suburb of Chattanooga, TN- super middle class, suburbia, family oriented, etc, etc. Secondly, it was early voting- there were maybe 6 people there under 60, and at least half of them were housewives who brought their kids). But who do I get behind me? An ultra-liberal, ultra-poorly informed, loud talking, old man, gay couple.* Really! I have absolutely no idea how this happened.

So, from the moment they got behind me, the one started to remind the other that he must not forget to vote for Obama. The first time I thought that he was joking. But apparently not, apparently the fellow really needed reminding. The way I figure it, if you need reminding of who to vote for, you probably aren't prepared enough to vote. (yeah, he was older, and I'm sorry if he had some sort of dementia or something, but that doesn't disprove my point). Anyway, from there they started to discuss "the Catholics" as in, "the Catholics are going to vote for McCain because they're against abortion." That was the first time that I wanted to turn around. I mean really? Did these fellows not realize that first of all "the Catholics" actually more often tend to lean Democrat? Maybe they've not heard of that obscure political family known as the Kennedys? Were they not aware that one of "the Catholics" was on the Democratic ticket? I'm guessing not, because they made "the Catholics" the topic of the next several minutes of conversation.

The topic (logically) continued to abortion. Then I got to hear all about how if I don't want an abortion I shouldn't have one, but why shouldn't there be a choice. That was the second time I wanted to turn around. Really, as an actual women, the concern is not that a woman will have an abortion- it's that an innocent kid will get aborted. Poor kid, not bad woman. These geniuses went on to demonstrate their nuanced understanding of the issues by complaining that the Republicans wanted to put us back into "olden times" and that they complained about "these Islamic countries" when look at us, we are the ones who want to oppress women.

That was the third time that I wanted to turn around. Because really, what's being required to have four witnesses to prove a rape or risk a death sentence for adultery, or 10 year old child brides? Clearly, Republicans are much worse.

Anyway, they went on to wealth envy about how much has been spent on Sarah Palin's wardrobe (clearly a more important issue that the rampent voter registration fraud or Obama's faulty fundraising). I managed to make it through the line and happily cast my vote.

* I should add that I take no issue with the old man gay couple part- it just colors the story up a bit. It's the loud liberalism that I had trouble with. Of course, maybe if they just got married . . .

Crazy or not so much? Steven M. Warshawsky is quite sure that McCain is winning

He makes his case here. He brings up some thought provoking points. For example:

Well, there is another story out there that the MSM refuses to address. A huge story. One that could, and I think will, significantly affect the outcome of this race. I'm referring to the widespread phenomenon of registered Democrats openly supporting John McCain. There are numerous "Democrats for McCain" type organizations. There are numerous websites and blogs written by Democrats touting McCain's candidacy. There are pro-McCain grassroots efforts being led by Democrats. And we all know friends or relatives who are Democrats, who voted for John Kerry in 2004, and who are no fans of President Bush - but who are going to vote for John McCain this year.

I actually can't say that I know any of these people. I mean, sure, I wish I did. I'd probably buy them a beer. And I'm sure that I know a few people who are still making their minds up, who will probably end up checking the McCain box. But I can't think of a single person who admits that he or she voted for Kerry last time, but will vote for McCain this go 'round. But hey, I'm a college student- maybe the real world is different.

Another statement that gave me pause:

There is nothing remotely similar to this taking place among Republicans. (No, Christopher Buckley endorsing Obama is not the same thing at all.)
Really? Him, and Colon Powell, and a number of others who have jumped ship on McCain? I agree that it's somewhat different, but I wouldn't go so far as to say that it's not the same thing at all.

That it's just going to get more and more interesting I have no doubt. But I am far from convinced that Mr. Warshawsky won't be eating his words come 11/5.

Student Suspended for Anti-Obama T-Shirt

Michael P. Stafford, Esq., at The Delaware Employment Law Blog, has an interesting story about a 5th grader who had the audacity to wear a tee-shirt to school with the slogan “Obama is a terrorist’s best friend.”

The free-speech rights of a student is the topic of the day in Colorado, where a 5th grader has been suspended for wearing a tee-shirt emblazoned with the slogan “Obama is a terrorist’s best friend.” The student’s family claims that his First Amendment right to free speech is being trampled. Conspicuously absent from news coverage of this developing story is any detailed description of the tee-shirt causing “substantial disruption” to the school.


Did the school administration make the correct decision in suspending this youngster?
Under well-established Supreme Court precedent, public school administrators may regulate student speech protected by the First Amendment only in three circumstances: (1) when the speech is substantially disruptive; (2) when the speech bears the imprimatur of the school (such as in a school newspaper or yearbook), or; (3) when the speech is lewd or plainly offensive. In particular, under Tinker v. Des Moines, 393 U.S. 503 (1969), student speech may be regulated only if the school has a well-founded expectation that the speech will cause substantial disruption of the school’s operations or interference with the rights of others. The expectation of disruption must be a specific and significant fear of disruption, not just some remote apprehension of disturbance. In this regard, speech is not disruptive merely because it causes offense or hurt feelings in listeners.

Moreover, any regulation of student speech must also be “content neutral.” In Tinker, which involved students wearing black armbands to school to protest the Vietnam war, the Supreme Court observed that the school had singled out the anti-war black armbands for prohibition but had not forbidden other controversial or political symbols. As many courts have noted in a variety of contexts, restrictions on speech because of its message or content are presumed to be unconstitutional.

I think that Mr. Stafford is just a little bit off on his interpretation here, because he leaves off any discussion of last year’s Moorse v. Frederick (aka, the “bong hits 4 Jesus case”), where the US Supreme Court muddied the waters a little bit on the Tinker test that Stafford cites. (The Court found that the student’s rights were not violated when he was punished for waving a banner on the sidelines of a parade that the students were watching which read “bong hits 4 Jesus”.) However, the Court in Moorse focused overwhelmingly on the school’s “compeling interest” in discouraging illegal drug use, which the majority interpreted this banner as promoting.

Here, I would say that the school might make a similar argument- in fact, it would probably focus on “hate speech” or something similar. However, does the school have a compeling interest in discouraging discussion about the associations of prominant political figures? I think not.

(Also published at Unfair Doctrine)

Friday, October 24, 2008

What can gay marriage proponants learn from social conservatives?

A lot, according to Gay Patriot. For example, he points to a study done by "The Gay and Lesbian Medical Association" (who knew such an organization existed?) which indicates that same-sex couples lead longer and happier lives.

More advocates of gay marriage should do as the authors of this report have done–and consider the social conservative defense of traditional marriage. Kudos to them for treating gay marriage as more than a gimmick in the campaign for “equality,” but instead as an meaningful institution which benefits those who undertake its obligations.

I agree. The benefits of a traditional, stable, long term marriage are too immense to count. I cannot imagine that they would not be similar for homosexual couples in similar relationships.

"I’d rather lose an election than lose my bearings."

Says Charles Krauthammer, on why he's not jumping ship on McCain.

First, I’ll have no truck with the phony case ginned up to rationalize voting for the most liberal and inexperienced presidential nominee in living memory. The “erratic” temperament issue, for example. As if McCain’s risky and unsuccessful but in no way irrational attempt to tactically maneuver his way through the economic tsunami that came crashing down a month ago renders unfit for office a man who demonstrated the most admirable equanimity and courage in the face of unimaginable pressures as a prisoner of war, and who later steadily navigated innumerable challenges and setbacks, not the least of which was the collapse of his campaign just a year ago.

McCain the “erratic” is a cheap Obama talking point. The 40-year record testifies to McCain the stalwart.

Nor will I countenance the “dirty campaign” pretense. The double standard here is stunning. Obama ran a scurrilous Spanish-language ad falsely associating McCain with anti-Hispanic slurs. Another ad falsely claimed McCain supports “cutting Social Security benefits in half.” And for months Democrats insisted that McCain sought 100 years of war in Iraq.

McCain’s critics are offended that he raised the issue of William Ayers. What’s astonishing is that Obama was himself not offended by William Ayers.

. . .

The case for McCain is straightforward. The financial crisis has made us forget, or just blindly deny, how dangerous the world out there is. We have a generations-long struggle with Islamic jihadism. An apocalyptic, soon-to-be-nuclear Iran. A nuclear-armed Pakistan in danger of fragmentation. A rising Russia pushing the limits of revanchism. Plus the sure-to-come Falklands-like surprise popping out of nowhere.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Blasphemous much?

Courtesy of NRO:

Votive Early, Votive Often [Mark Steyn]

A reader took this picture today at a street fair at Hayes and Octavia in San Francisco, of all places:

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

"there are really only two ways to interpret the Constitution -- try to discern as best we can what the framers intended or make it up."

No matter how ingenious, imaginative or artfully put, unless interpretive methodologies are tied to the original intent of the framers, they have no more basis in the Constitution than the latest football scores. To be sure, even the most conscientious effort to adhere to the original intent of the framers of our Constitution is flawed, as all methodologies and human institutions are; but at least originalism has the advantage of being legitimate and, I might add, impartial.

Says Justice Clarence Thomas. Ladies and gentlemen, it simply doesn't get any better than that.

Update: Ann Althouse disagrees:

You just conceded that "even most conscientious effort to adhere to the original intent of the framers of our Constitution is flawed," so why do you -- in the same sentence -- call it impartial? With such incoherence showing so plainly on the surface of your remarks, why should we trust your labyrinthine exegesis of the documents from the 18th century?

But, is "impartial" necessarily the complete opposite of "flawed"? I don't think so at all. It seems to me that Justice Thomas is saying that although it has its flaws, it is impartial and that is one of the reasons that it is the best- it screens out partiality.

Update 2: I just started reading the comments, and 3 out of Ann's first 4 agree with me.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Stacey Campfield Speaks!

Today, State Rep. Stacey Campfield, Dist. 18-Knoxville (R), came to speak at Tennessee. The first thing that grabbed my attention was the difference between his reputation and the persona he displayed today. It was remarkably pragmatic at times. As a man who has only been in the General Assembly since 2005, he seems to have already learned a lot about politics.
Gun legislation was a hot topic of the day. Campfield's personal belief seems to be that any responsible adult should be able to carry a firearm when they aren't drunk. But the legislation he has proposed is more tempered in its approach. The two major gun bills he's introduced involve higher-ed professors carrying firearms on campus and anyone to be able to carry in state parks (assuming they can meet federal regulatory and state carry permit requirements). As opposed to a free-for-all approach to gun carrying, the legislation is designed to actually win over a few votes. Whether or not it actually does so remains to be seen.
Rep. Campfield has already had to choose his battles. He has sought middle ground on gun issues. He knows that law already on the books are hard to change. There are two sides to the bailout. Solutions to immigration problems will not be easy or popular. And sometimes trying to change one piece of a regulatory scheme opens up pandora's box for the myriad other problems in the overall regulation.
The issues facing Tennessee today are plentiful. In only one hour, Rep. Campfield and the Federalist students were able to touch on a number of them, but so many more remain. We talked about illegal immigration. There's one piece of the puzzle. We also talked about being a low-tax state and being attractive to outsiders. Which leads to the question: who do we deal with a large influx of residents, both legal and illegal? And how far can we trust government to go in dealing with growth?
Bring on your comments!

Sunday, October 19, 2008

“I asked a question. When you can’t ask a question to your leaders anymore, that gets scary. That bothers me.” — Joe Wurzelbacher

There's a really, really important new blog out there tracking threats to our freedom of speech, a topic I've become increasingly concerned about of late.

Altas is Shrugging

Buckle your seat-belts: The world of "Atlas Shrugged" is here.

I've excerpted a brief description of the book's plot for those who haven't read it. Following is a link to an article of a sad reality which, depending on this election, may become all too common.

..."Atlas Shrugged" Plot:

The theme of Atlas Shrugged is the role of the mind in man's life and, consequently, presentation of a new morality- the morality of rational self-interest.[4]

The main conflicts of the book surround the decision of the "men of the mind" to go on strike, refusing to contribute their inventions, art, business leadership, scientific research, or new ideas of any kind to the rest of the world. Society, they believe, hampers them by interfering with their work and underpays them by confiscating the profits and dignity they have rightfully earned. The peaceful cohesiveness of the world disintegrates, lacking those individuals whose productive work comes from mental effort. The strikers believe that they are crucial to a society that exploits them, denying them freedom or failing to acknowledge their right to self-interest, and the gradual collapse of civilization is triggered by their strike.


Monday, October 13, 2008

Deborah Taylor Tate Speaks!

So, if you didn't make it out to hear Ms. Tate speak about her commission at the FCC, you missed out on a good time. She is well-spoken, yet down-to-Earth. She also said a few things that might be of interest to Federalists:

--One of her main themes as FCC Commissioner is "regulatory humility." This is her own version of laissez-faire regulation. Rather than try to dictate what's best for an industry, Ms. Tate first brings attention to a problem, then let's the key industry players have first crack at trying to remedy and regulate themselves.

--My favorite quote of the night: "You have to give the markets room to operate." Only this way can businesses compete, which breeds innovation, cost efficiencies, and meaningful self-regulation.

--I was intrigued/worried by the fluidity of authority between the various federal agencies. She seemed to describe an ebb and flow to the jurisdictional boundaries between such agencies as the FCC, the FTC, DOJ, etc. For instance, lately, the FCC has been moving away from certain commercial regulation, while keeping a close eye on antitrust/anti-competitive behavior.
Overall, it was a good event. And the catered dinner was incredible...

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Is it really that hard to eat on $25 a week

Some folks in Illinois tried to eat on $25 a week to understand the plight of the food stamp-users. And then they whined about how hard it was.

Listen folks, my first year in college (98-99), I lived on $27 per week. Not ate, lived on that money (which I made babysitting for a family near the school). My scholarship covered rent, utilities, tuition, and books, so we'll ignore those expenses, and my parents were generous enough to cover liability insurance on my $400 dollar car, but everything else came out of that babysitting money. We're talking food, clothing (well, that kind of grungy look was still in, so thrift stores got a lot of my business there), gas, household items, makeup (again, relied on the grungy look), entertainment, booze (it was college, after all), and anything else that happened to come up.

I ate a lot of tuna fish, macaroni and cheese, ramen noodles, eggs, and generic everything, but I always had plenty. Yes, I very rarely had good quality meat (the occasional chicken breast when they were on sale), but it's hard to cook good quality meat for one in a college student's kitchen, anyway. (Plain Spaghetti-Os were something like 50 cents a can; the ones with meatballs were a dollar and a few cents, so I used to get both and combine them, that way I could get 4 meals with meat.) And I rarely had treats like sodas or ice cream. But I got by just fine. (And now, am a fabulous cook!) These people can, too.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Debate Time!

OK, now for the debate. McCain has traditionally had the advantage in townhalls, but anything can happen right now. Will McCain continue to swing hard like he has been this week? Will the townhall format be destroyed by ringers? We shall see.

9:00- OK, now we get to see why Obama has refused to do townhall-style debates up to now.

9:06- McCain: "Now, I have a plan . . ." Good way to start.

9:10- Did anyone else notice that McCain is left-handed? Have we ever had a left-handed president before? I've always noticed that left handed people are more creative- is that a good explanation for the whole Maverick thing.

9:12- "Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. I'll bet that you've never even heard of them before this crisis." I'm not sure whether Oliver is amused or insulted.

9:18- Fox has a weird split screen going on, with the speaking candidate in the top right hand corner, and the listening candidate in the lower left. Obama is turned full body towards McCain while he speaks.

9:34- Obama says that Washington needs to lead by example on spending so that consumers will follow suit. Yes, I wasn't sure if I should buy that flat-screen TV on my credit card, but then I said "Hey, what would Congress do?"

9:19: Theresa asks: "How can we trust either of you with our money?" Obama's answer: "Oh, yeah, well Bush was worse." McCain: "I've been a reformer!" Correct answer: "You can't, but it's not like you've got a lot of choices here, honey. What are you gonna do about it, vote third party. Hah!"

9:27- Tom Brokaw keeps asking them to keep within the time limit, but doesn't seem willing to do anything about it but nag.

9:22- McCain tells Theresa to check the watchdog groups, they all say Obama is the most liberal big spender. I don't know why that seems like such an interesting tactic to me.

9:24-hehe- TPM says: "We're told this audience was selected to be a cross-section of the local community. But is it not obvious that it's weighted to bald men?"

9:25- McCain seems to be having a difficult time talking about how he's work across the aisle- he keeps stumbling over words. This is odd for him, because its the same talking points we've heard from him a hundred times before.

9:38- Obama wants to respond, but Tom Brokow smacks him down. GO TOM!

9:46- The computer caught on because it was a better way to do things, like, well, compute. Green energy just seems to be about feeling superior to others.

9:48- Hah- we should really start referring to Obama as "that one."

9:50- One of the most commonly asked questions of Obama is whether Healthcare should be a commodity? Really?

9:54- "Senator Obama will fine you." How has this not been a campaign commercial yet?

9:56- Tom asks: "Is healthcare a right, privilege, or responsibility?" Is there any good answer to that? Obama says "right"- so others are obligated to provide it if you choose not to do so for yourself?

10:04- Tom Brokow's defining the "Obama doctrine," right up front. You hear that, future vice presidential candidates? No confusion next time.

10:07: Hehe- Jac says: "9:55 - Tom Brokaw asks: "Is health care in America a privilege, a right, or a responsibility?" Are single-word multiple-choice answers in a presidential debate simplistic, patronizing, or ridiculous?"

10:09: Poor Katie asking about Pakistani sovereignty. She looks really really nervous. And Obama just plants himself right in front of her and stares at her the entire time that he answers the question.

10:11- Obama looks really unnatural when he says that we will kill Bin Laden. Like it's really difficult for him to say.

10:13- Oh, Brokow went down this time. I take back my prior "go tom."

10:16- I hate when politcians say that they know how to do something that the government has been trying to do all along. Well, if you know how so well, tell somebody why dontcha?

10:21- Obama's response on Russia is completely incoherent. Wait, did Obama just say that the Bush policies are making us more safe? I don't understand him at all here.

10:30- "What don't you know, and how will you learn it?" Well, I don't know why anyone thought that that was a clever enough question to make the cut.

10:32- Obama says that there are young people that have the grades and the will and the drive to go to college but don't have the money. I'd like to meet just one person who has all of those things, but financial difficulties prevent him or her from going to college. Any college. While working part-time. I was one of those students; my parents gave me nothing for college. But with a little grades, will, and drive, I managed just fine.

10:34- I think that the last question should have just been "What would you like to talk about, and what would you like to say about it?" Would have been the same result, most likely.

The End. On the whole, a pretty good debate, but nothing exciting at all. McCain threw out a lot of insults, but none of them really led to sparks.

Monday, October 6, 2008

When I was eight years old . . .

Neil Boortz makes, I think, an exceptionally good point about the argument that Ayres’ activities don’t matter because they happened when Obama was 8 year old:

While we're at it, I'm getting tired of this asinine argument that Ayers threw
his bombs when Obama was only eight-years-old and that this somehow excuses
Obama for any friendship the two may have had. Actually ... this makes the
situation worse. It is not as if a friend of Obama's went off the deep end and
started planting bombs. This man's record was there when Obama found him. It was
not a question of what Ayers might become ... it was the fact of what he already
was, an unrepentant terrorist, when Obama embraced him. An 80-year-old could use
this mindlessly stupid "but I was only eight years old" argument to excuse a
friendship with Hitler today.

Right on. For more, see this (by way of instapundit): "Obama was indeed only eight in early 1970. I was only nine then, the year Ayers’s Weathermen tried to murder me."

FCC Commissioner Coming to UT!!

On Monday, October 13, FCC Commissioner Deborah Taylor Tate will be speaking to the Tennessee College of Law.  This will take place in Room 132 of the Law School at 6:00 pm.
While the Federalist Society is not sponsoring the event, this could still be a great thing for Federalists.  The FCC is always a hotbed of debate and controversy at the intersection of freedom of speech, decency, and fairness.  This is a great chance to ask questions on all these hot-button topics.
Most importantly, the event will be catered.
So show up and bring your concerns to this great event!

What does size have to do with presidency?

Ann Althouse has a link to a very interesting chart comparing recent candidates.

The answer: we like them tall and not too thin. In all of the races where the shorter candidate won, he was stockier than the tall guy (think GWB and John Kerry).

So, what do we have here- Obama is tall, but very thin (at 6 foot 1 1/2 and 180 lbs), but McCain is very small, (5 foot 7, 165 lbs).

Is anyone else shocked that McCain is that short? My husband is 5'8", and I think of him as a pretty little guy (which I like, quite a lot). But I've always thought of McCain as pretty tall. He seems tall. And, maybe because he's skinny, and young, but I always thought Obama seemed somewhat short.

Does perceived size matter?

Once again, any criticism whatsoever of Obama is racism

According to the AP, by way of Hot Air:

“Our opponent … is someone who sees America, it seems, as being so
imperfect, imperfect enough, that he’s palling around with terrorists who would
target their own country,” Palin told a group of donors in Englewood, Colo. A
deliberate attempt to smear Obama, McCain’s ticket-mate echoed the line at three
separate events Saturday.
“This is not a man who sees America like you and I
see America,” she said. “We see America as a force of good in this world. We see
an America of exceptionalism.”…
Palin’s words avoid repulsing voters with
overt racism. But is there another subtext for creating the false image of a
black presidential nominee “palling around” with terrorists while assuring a
predominantly white audience that he doesn’t see their America?

If you ask me, the McCain camp should try to milk this all they can. The more people see this "If you dare question me, I will label you a racist" sort of politics, the less they will trust Obama.

Kudos to president of the LA branch of NOW

Shelley Mandel complements Sarah Palin: "America, this is what a feminist looks like."

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Why Does Joe Biden Hate the Obama Campaign?

Obama Campaign ad "terrible":

In light of several negative ads put out by both campaigns, CBS’s Katie Couric asked Biden if he is disappointed with the tone of campaign, noting the Obama ad that derides McCain for admitting he doesn’t know how to use a computer.

"I thought that was terrible, by the way," Biden replied.

"Why'd you do it then?” responded Couric.

"I didn't know we did it,” Biden answered, “and if I'd had anything to do with it, we would have never done it.”

At the end of the ad a picture of Biden with Obama is displayed as Obama says “…and I approve this message.” Couric pointed out that – as with every campaign ad – Obama did approve it.

“I don't think anything was intentional about that,” said Biden. “They were trying to make another point.”

Well, it was, but even so, you're not supposed to say that.

Three hours after the interview aired, the Delaware senator tried to walk back the comments in a statement saying he had never seen the ad, that he was merely reacting to reports in the press and he knew there was nothing intentionally personal in it.

Oh, wel that's better, then.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

What's the Plan?

William Galston has some strong words for Barack Obama:

I'll get right to the point: You are in danger of squandering an election most of us thought was unlosable. The reason is simple: on the electorate’s most important concern – the economy -- you have no clear message, and John McCain has filled the void with his own.

But just yesterday my liberal friend told me all about Obama's reponse to yesterday's economic problems, a great six point plan for the economy. (He didn't know what the points were, but still, it was great.) So, what are those six points?

So, I googled "obama six point plan economy" I got some notes about a Bush six point plan from 2003, and an article from last March with an Obama six point economic plan. The only recent reference I could find was this:

Obama reiterated a six-point economic plan affecting Wall Street that included more oversight, transparency and streamlining of regulatory agencies, cracking down on market manipulation, and regulating institutions for "what they do, not for what they are."

Sounds pretty standard to me. What's McCain's economic plan? His site says:

John McCain has a comprehensive economic plan that will create millions of good American jobs, ensure our nation's energy security, get the government's budget and spending practices in order, and bring relief to American consumers. Read each of the sections below to learn how the McCain Economic Plan will help bring reform, prosperity and peace to America.

It goes on to outline plans for: workplace flexibility (I'm all for this, but not sure what the government's role in it can be without mandates), lower taxes on gas, government reform, support for small businesses, lowering barriers to trade, simpler taxes, etc. Again, sounds fine enough, but pretty standard.

What does Barack Obama's site say about his economic plan? (Off topic, but the first thing that I notice is that takes me to a site where I have to register my name and contact information. I search around and low on the screen and very small is the button that allows me to skip this step- annoying. Moreover, his site is fancy and full of pictures of him and Biden bathed in heavenly light, and it is slow!). His plans involve basically what we have heard before- middle class tax cuts, windfall profits taxes, something about a Job and Growth Fund that I can't quite figure out, simplify tax filings, etc. Here's an interesting one: eliminate taxes on seniors making over $50,000/year. I can't quite follow that one- how much do seniors making that little pay in the first place? It can't be much, if anything at all. And even so, I would think that a family w/ kids in that pay range is probably better suited for needing such a tax break. Anyway, it goes on and on (and on and on). I didn't see any mention of a 6 point plan, though.

So, on the whole, I can see what Mr. Galston was saying- thereis no coherent message here. Unlike McCain's site, there is no summary and point by point issue, just pages of information that I can't imagine anybody sitting down and reading just out of curiosity.
Regardless of who will be our next president, it looks like we need to prepare for some pretty serious economic turmoil. See this video-report from The Onion: "Economists Warn Anti-Bush Merchandise Market Close to Collapse."

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

McCain Lies?

Ann Althouse, who voted Obama in the primaries, takes a look at Byron York's defense of McCain's allegations about Obama's support for comprehensive sex education for little kids.

Read the whole thing, but take note, Obama does not come out looking good.

More Obama Camp Attempts to Shut Down Dissent

Here. Note that his side was offered the chance to respond, and refused.

What will become of the First Amendment under an Obama Administration?

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

If McCain Wins

As things begin to look better and better for McCain, I’m actually starting to get worried about the reactions that will follow if McCain does pull this one off. If he loses, oh, well, I don’t think that people on the right will be all that distraught- they’ll make a big deal about it, they’ll complain about it, but they’ll move on. Conservatives don’t put all of their trust in the government or worship their candidates, as a general rule, so the idea of having one that they dislike is tolerable to say the least. But, if McCain wins, as Russ Smith puts it:

I have no clue if or when that could happen, but I do have an opinion of what will follow in this country if McCain pulls off what so recently seemed the miraculous feat of becoming the country’s 44th president. Voter fraud, conspiracy, “sleazevertisements” (the preferred term of many left-wing bloggers), disenfranchised voters, the return of redneck chic; those will be the immediate cries of Democrats who thought the election was in the bag. Once again, scores of celebrities will claim they’re moving abroad (and inevitably won’t). And then the depression will kick in hard.

Silly and irrational as all of the Bush 2000 election rhetoric wound up being, I do think that it really hurt the country that so many people were so tied up in hatred of everything that he stood for the entire two terms. Had liberals not been able to tie themselves up emotionally in the idea that Bush’s entire presidency was illegitimate and unfairly won, then I think that the country would not have been so divided, and perhaps we could be in a better place, in terms of world support and the war efforts.

Here, if McCain wins, even if it is decisively, there are already too many ready made arguments (racism, redneck-ism, etc) that liberals can cling to in the same way that they have during the Bush presidency, and they are so tied up in Barack our savior that many simply cannot believe that he could lose this election on the merits. And the crying, and fussing, and gnashing of the teeth will be nearly intolerable.

Finally, Tucker Carlson, the witty veteran of cable television shows, who’s been mercilessly and unfairly maligned by left-wingers, expressed an opinion that’s close to my own. “Even those who supported Hillary in the primaries will scold the rest of us for voting against a black man. They’ll be shrill and self-righteous, more even than usual, and they’ll never stop. It’s almost enough to make you want to vote for Obama, just so we won’t have to hear them.”

Tucker’s a card, but you can’t argue that a McCain win, for liberals, will be the political equivalent of Black Friday back in 1929.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Stupidest Sarah Palin comment thus far: "Her greatest hypocrisy is in her pretense that she is a woman."

This has to get the award for the most outrageous Sarah Palin comment of the political season.

Her greatest hypocrisy is in her pretense that she is a woman. The Republican
party's cynical calculation that because she has a womb and makes lots and lots
of babies (and drives them to school! wow!) she speaks for the women of America,
and will capture their hearts and their votes, has driven thousands of real
women to take to their computers in outrage. She does not speak for women; she
has no sympathy for the problems of other women, particularly working class

Apparently, in Wendy Doninger's world, when the a baby is born, and they ask the usual "boy or girl" question, about half the time the answer will be, "Well, it has a vagina, but we'll have to wait until it forms a coherent stance on abortion to be sure, so you'd better just call it Jamie or Robin for now."

Update: couldn't resist- her picture- if that's a woman, well, can we just create a third sex for me, Palin, and the other hot right wing chicks?

Thursday, September 11, 2008

More on the Pig comment: Is any insult to a woman automatically sexist?

Instapundit did a poll asking whether the Lipstick remark was "a deliberate sexist smear" or "an inadvertent gaffe."

Can I think that Obama was referring to Palin as the pig (the referrence to the old fish later certainly appears to be McCain, after all), without thinking that it's sexist? Does "pig" have a special function as a sexist remark?

If we believe that it was to refer to Palin (and he's not just an idiot for not thinking of the obvious connection with the word lipstick), then I'm going to go with it was just a plain, stupid, insult. That doesn't make it any better in my book- it's juvenile and crude, but not neccessarily sexist.


Obama's electorial map

Oh please, oh please!

Democrats threatening to shut down government over oil drilling debate:

The chairman of the House Democratic Caucus said Tuesday that House Republican
Whip Roy Blunt (R-Mo.) would be the “author” of a government shutdown if
President Bush followed Blunt’s advice and vetoed any bill extending the federal
moratoria on new offshore oil drilling and shale-oil development. The moratoria
are currently set to expire on Sept. 30. “If Mr. Blunt’s recommendation to
the president is for a veto to force that, he’d be the author of the shutdown of
the government,” Rep. Rahm Emanuel (D-Ill.), chairman of the House Democratic
Caucus, said at a House Democratic leadership press conference attended by House
Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.).

If the democrats really go through with this, I predict a republican landslide.

On 9/11

The History Channel is running a retrospective on 9/11 tonight. I’m recording it. As I look back over the last 7 years, it’s hard to believe that it was so long ago, but also, so short. So much as changed in my life since 2001. I was a newlywed, and a college student who didn’t know what she wanted to do with her life. The highest job that I had reached was waitress, and I had never even considered the idea of law school.

As I look back, I think that I have forgotten a lot of the true, unbearable absurdity of that day. The dazed look around campus as I walked to class knowing that things are different now. The voice of my history professor, explaining that he couldn’t lecture that day, because this was going to be big, big, bigger than Pearl Harbor, he didn’t know what it would mean. Attempting to find some normalcy as I watched the news with some of my classmates while we stuffed envelopes for the Honor’s program, a promise to help that I had made seemingly a century ago.

I think that in a lot of ways, the human mind tries to gloss over these things and forget them. I think that its easier that way, to not dwell on the bad. And I’m not sure that I want to remember, to relive. But then, I think that in some ways it’s necessary. I think that it’s more human to remember, to not lose touch with what happened, and why. If I forget, then I am nothing, and I can do nothing to make it better.

I've been trying to give Obama the benefit of the doubt on the "lipstick on a pig" comment

(which can be found at Instapundit, Melissa Clouthier, Powerline, Althouse, Ace of Spades, or Hot Air.) After all, it is a common expression, and it made some sense in the context that he used it, but Rachel Lucas makes a darn good point:

Obama says it’s a common expression. Yes, yes it is. We all know that, and we
also all know that Palin’s “lipstick” line was hugely publicized and that Obama
good and goddamn well knew it too.
Obama is supposed to be a genius. A
whip-smart man of brilliance. A masterful wordsmith with soaring verbal and
intellectual skills.
The way I see it, you have precisely two possibilities
here, with a dependent conclusion for each:
(1) He did use it as a snide
reference to Palin. Which means he’s a dickhead.
(2) He did not use it
as a snide reference to Palin. Which means he’s not half as smart as his
superfans want to believe. If he didn’t know how it would be construed, then he
is RETARDED when it comes to nuance and anticipating political moves and all
that happy horseshit.

I simply can't argue with this one. I just can't.

To the arguement that it's a common expression (which, by the way, is it? Seems like it's a common expression that you would read in early 20th century literature about people who work on farms all day-how often does this phrase get used from someone who doesn't work around pigs on a regular basis? When was the last time you heard this phrase in general conversation? In general conversation from someone younger than, say, John McCain?), Rachel goes on to point out:

Which, of course, so is “that’s the pot calling the kettle black.” I’m
pretty sure that if John McCain used that Very! Common! Expression! in reference
to Obama, it would actually make the entire internet physically explode.


Joe Biden, you are an odd, odd man.

BOSTON -- Joe Biden said Wednesday that Hillary Clinton might have been a
better choice for the Democratic ticket.
Biden was defending Clinton after a
questioner at a fund-raiser said he was glad she wasn't selected as Barack
Obama's running mate.
''Hillary Clinton is as qualified or more qualified
than I am to be vice president of the United States,'' Biden said. ''She is
qualified to be president of the United States of America. She is easily
qualified to be vice president of the United States of America, and quite
frankly, might've been a better pick than me.''
Clinton lost to Obama in the
party primary and some of her backers have resisted embracing Obama. AP

Of course, Obama knew that when he picked you, so what does that make him?

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Issues I'm to the left of Barack Obama on

I'll be the first to admit that the anti-gay statements are a big motivator, but I definitely think that the trend (can you call avoiding a topic a trend?) of liberatarianism on the gay issues is a good one.

This is just sad

Slate asks for dreams about Sarah Palin.

Would anyone in the world dare to admit to dreams about Barack Obama having a friendly beer with Osama, or shining your shoes and eating watermelon? Then why is it OK to discuss (and solicit) dreams about Mrs. Palin "as a scolding, ominous figure," urging one's "young son to kill Palin with a string bean," or about "a fashion show [where] Palin served her creme fraiche on little scooped corn chips?"

Peaceful protests for better schools: "Very selfish" says Chicago mayor

Paul Tough of Slate Magazine writes: (you might have to scroll down)
An unusual act of civil disobedience last week in Chicago: To protest inequities
in Illinois' system of school financing, James Meeks, a Baptist minister and
state senator, organized a boycott of the first day of school by 1,400 Chicago
public-school students, almost all of whom were black. The twist: That morning,
he bused them all to Northfield, a wealthy, mostly white Chicago suburb,
to the lavish campus of New Trier
Township High School
, a public school with four orchestras, a rowing club, a
course in "kinetic wellness," and AP classes in French, Spanish, German, Japanese, Latin, and Chinese. You know, your basic American public school. The Chicago kids lined up and tried to enroll for classes—symbolically, at least.
To their credit, the administrators at New Trier, as well as a few parents and students, welcomed the visitors with signs, snacks, and cool drinks. Every Chicago student who took part in the protest was invited to register at the school, but none of them will in fact be able to enroll because of New Trier's residency requirements. No
house in the suburbs, no spot in the school.Mayor Daley fulminated,
calling Meeks's protest "very selfish." But it was a peaceful demonstration and
by all accounts a successful one ("This is civil disobedience at its finest,"
one New Trier parent said).
As the Chicago Tribune reported:
"At issue is how much money schools spend per student. In a funding system
fueled largely by local property taxes, New Trier Township spent nearly $17,000
per student in 2005-06 ... while Chicago Public Schools spent an estimated
$10,400 per pupil."It's one of those basic facts of American educational life
that seem inevitable and yet impossible at the same time. On the one hand, of
course the wealthy burghers of Northfield are going to spend more on their
public schools than the poor residents of inner-city Chicago. On the other hand:
We're really going to send rich white kids to excellent, well-funded public
schools and send poor black kids to substandard, poorly funded public schools?
That's our plan for fixing public education in America?

Unfortunately, Mr. Tough focuses more on the money spent than on the actual way to fix it, the big V word (vouchers), but the point is clear. And Mayor Daley is threatened.

Kudos, by the way, to the New Tryer folks who offered their support.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

It's a bad time to be Barack Obama

From Hot Air:

With both Rasmussen and Gallup showing Barack Obama moving backwards even before the Republican Convention dropped its balloons on Andrea Mitchell, one can excuse the Democratic nominee for hearing footsteps. How desperate has he gotten? Looks like he’s playing the race card once again:

“I know that I’m not your typical presidential candidate,” Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., told executives and employees of the Schott glass company Friday afternoon, “and I just want to be honest with you. I know that.”
“And I know that the temptation is to say, ‘You know what? …The guy hasn’t been there that long in Washington.,’ You know, ‘he’s got funny name,’ You know, ‘we’re not sure about him,’” Obama continued. “And that’s what the Republicans, when they say, ‘This isn’t about issues, it’s about personalities,’ what they’re really saying is, ‘We’re going to try to scare people about Barack. So we’re going to say that you know, maybe he’s got Muslim connections or we’re going to say that, you know, he hangs out with radicals or he’s not patriotic.’

Once again, Obama has resorted to a smear campaign against the McCain campaign. They have never –never — even hinted that Obama has “Muslim connections”. They have never made even a slight attempt to make his race an issue, despite this fourth repeat of this particular smear. Neither has the RNC nor any mainstream Republicans. In fact, the McCain campaign let go one staffer who only Twittered a link to a Jeremiah Wright video earlier this year.

If Obama wants to argue that some misdirected bloggers have made these kind of
attacks, he might have a point. But by that standard, the Democrats have
attacked Bristol Palin, smeared Sarah Palin about the maternity of her youngest
child, and questioned the mental capacity of John McCain. If Obama wants
to start making these kinds of accusations, then maybe he ought to get his own
house in order first.

Friday, September 5, 2008

More on Palin and Sexism

From The Volokh Conspiracy:

Daddies, Mommies, Politicians and Double Standards:

I was driving my baby daughter Eden to her four-month doctor
appointment this morning, when I heard reporter Anne Korblut of the Washington
Post on The Diane Rehm show defending the media's coverage of Sarah Palin and
her family. She said something along the lines of, "If Barack Obama had a
four-month-old special needs baby, and a seventeen year-old pregnant daughter,
I'd be the first to ask whether this is the right time for him to be running for
Balderdash! Obama has two daughters, one born in 1998, the other
in 2001. Even if we acknowledge that mommies tend to do more of the parenting
than daddies, can we all agree that little girls need their daddies, and that
fathering little girls creates some moral obligation to spend time with them?
Since January 2005, Obama's family has lived in Chicago, while he
initially spent much of his time in D.C. working as a Senator, and then, since
last Spring, he has spent almost all of his time on the road campaigning. I'd be
surprised if he's seen his kids more than once a month during campaign
Does this make Obama a less-than-ideal father? You bet it does. But
he's not running for Father of the Year, he's running for president. So it's
entirely proper that this has NOT been a political issue.
Enter Sarah Palin.
If any reporter, Anne Kornblut or otherwise, has asked Obama how he feels about
not participating in the raising of his children on a day-to-day basis, or what
will happen when he's president if one his girls is sick in the middle of the
night and is calling for daddy (as people have asked about Palin), I've missed
I agree that it's hypocritical of the "traditional values" crowd to
suddenly lionize Palin, when they've been arguing for years that a mother's
place is with her small children. (Dr. Laura, to her credit, has been consistent
on this, and is duly critical of the Palin pick.)
But for the media to claim
that there's no double-standard in how they treat Palin's family obligations and
how they treat Obama's (or other male politicians, for that matter) just can't
withstand scrutiny. Either it's okay to delegate one's parenting
responsibilities to pursue political ambitions, or it's not.

I do disagree on one point: maybe some traditionalists think that it should be the woman that stays home, but I'll bet that most just want someone to stay home. Surely in the White House, Todd would stay home with the kids at least most of the time, so I don't see a problem there.

And moreover, John Edwards' wife is dying. If he had become president (and we're putting aside the issue of the affair, since we didn't know anything about it at the time), there is a good chance that she would have died while he was in office. They have two small children, who would have no mother at all in this case (and would surely be pretty distraught to boot). But I never heard anyone, anyone discuss or dare to ask what would happen in that case- whether Edwards would be too distracted to pursue his duties. Why? Because Edwards has a penis.