Saturday, September 27, 2008

'They were tired of their parenting role'

Chicago Tribune reporter Judith Graham calls it the law of unintended consequences.

I call it the law of government overextension:

Parents are abandoning teenagers at Nebraska hospitals, in a case of a well intentioned law inspiring unintended results.

Over the last two weeks, moms or dads have dropped off seven teens at hospitals in the Cornhusker state, indicating they didn’t want to care for them any more.
Under a newly implemented law, Nebraska is the only state in the nation to allow parents to leave children of any age at hospitals and request they be taken care of, USA Today notes. So-called “safe haven laws” in other states were designed to protect babies and infants from parental abandonment.

Friday, September 26, 2008

McCain v Obama

Catching some of the debate.

We're on the war now, and McCain's got ample opportunity to demonstrate his understanding. Obama only has "I'd try this" and "I've got a bracelet too" along with a week attempt to "gotcha" McCain over meeting with Iran without preconditions - "Kissinger, your own advisor, recently came out with others to say we should" - while backpeddling seriously on the "is"-ness of "preconditions."

Thursday, September 25, 2008

'All we are saying is give Paul a chance'

Sir Paul is playing in Tel Aviv tonight, and certain people aren't very happy about it. Like Syria's sheik Omar Bakri Mohammed, currently hangin' in Lebanon, where it's perfectly legal to say something like this:
"If he values his life, Mr. McCartney must not come to Israel," Bakri told the newspaper. "He will not be safe there."

In Israel's 60th year, it's a big thing that's hard for us Amrikans to grasp.

Yay Mets losing!

We're even!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Congress bows to the will of the mighty GMC!

In their own particular idiom, of course: "Democrats concede, will end offshore drilling ban."


On CNN today, in the noon hour, re: Palin's pre-UN meeting chats: "It's a lot like speed-dating."

From The Corner, re: the bailouts: "Things aren't so bad that a panicked bunch of politicians can't make it much, much worse."

Friday, September 19, 2008


I don’t want to answer to all these fat-cat lobbyists, including that crippled war hero! Their wives, on the other hand...

What was I saying about dead cats and lobbyists?

Via Glenn.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

It's a beautiful day out, maybe one of that last real warm ones

It's a beautiful day out, maybe one of that last real warm ones here in the upper Midwest. Why aren't you out there?

Well, if you must, I recommend Owen's thread, "Obama’s Teleprompter Goes On the Road."

The comments are worth indulging in. Hilariously spins off topic.

And, sorry about all the bad news. Maybe not that last one, so much.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Supremes at stake?

It may not drive voters in droves, but it's an issue that's sure to be raised. Expect the 'sphere to become heated over this: Supreme Court seats are at stake in the coming election.

Poised to retire: 88-year-old Justice Stevens; 75-year-old Justice Ginsberg; and 72-year-old Justices Scalia and Kennedy, who may make it beyond the coming term but not the next.

Guess which one of them duck hunts with veep Cheney?

Monday, September 15, 2008

Maybe they should call it 'Political Snicker'

CNN's blogs had fun over the weekend:

Apparently you can't swing a dead cat without hitting a lobbyist. Or so anti-lobbyist Obama found in picking Biden.

Sarah Palin, political genius: "Palin tweaks stump speech for different audiences."

Oddly retitled from the main page where it appears as "Cindy McCain Rips 'The View'," a blurb post on Cindy McCain's response to treatment by The View includes a link to the video of McCain's appearance and hilarious comments that consistently call McCain a liar, yet don't bother to explain.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Obama, logs and specks

Seems a certain senator-cum-presidential-candidate isn't practicing what he's preaching:
Obama’s commitment to federally mandated pay equity stretches from the Rockies to Wall Street and beyond. And yet it seems to have eluded his Senate office. Compensation figures for his legislative staff reveal that Obama pays women just 83 cents for every dollar his men make.
Obama's men make $54k against his women's $45k. That's $9k per year less that they can contribute to the tax bank that will provide Hope! and Change! But wait, there's more.
Why this disparity? One reason may be the under-representation of women in Obama’s highest-compensated ranks. Among Obama’s five best-paid advisors, only one was a woman. Among his top 20, seven were women.

Ahhh, you say. See? If the women weren't off having babies and taking breaks from their 24-month career with Obama, they'd be making as much as the men.

Thanks for the info, Owen!

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Feminist backlash 'in a "terribly sexist" fashion'

Betsy Newmark fisks feminist anti-Palinite and New Republic editor Michelle Cottle's article. It's a great study in the pretzel logic of identity politics, along with the message that Dems are only interested in feminism that toes its party line.

A sampling from Cottle:
And, just like that, the strong, proud, fearless, gender-transcendent Hillary morphed into a disrespected, mistreated victim. Grievance feminism came roaring back with a vengeance. Clinton's supporters increasingly went from praising her gender-neutral success to celebrating her triumph over a male-dominated system and decrying the patriarchal forces still aligned against her. Obama wasn't just beating Clinton; he was behaving, as Hillary surrogate Geraldine Ferraro charged, in a "terribly sexist" fashion. Party bigwigs, we were told, were pushing Clinton to bow out in a way that they would never pressure a man.

Hey, gals - especially you old-school feminists I identify with - you can't have it be about gender and not about gender. If Hillary's advancement is good for feminism, so is Sarah Palin's.

Ultimately, feminism among its current practitioners is simply contra-genderism with an agenda. Stick with good ideas, and supporting women with good ideas, or choose to champion women's accomplishments - all women's accomplishments.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Turns out my prediction about Joe Biden's state of anxiety was

Turns out my prediction about Joe Biden's state of anxiety was pretty much on the mark. Let the spin begin:
...after Sen. John McCain chose Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, people laughed and said Biden was going to wipe the floor with Palin in the vice presidential debate. Now, after her incredible convention speech, Biden is saying that he's the underdog because he's not a very good debater.

Sobriety, rants and ratings

Olbermann and Matthews get canned from MSNBC's political coverage because they're boring?

Yeah. Sure. I can see that. Dead last in the ratings and all.

Also, there's the part about the new guy:
The network announced Monday that Olbermann and Chris Matthews have both been booted as co-hosts on political night coverage in favor of David Gregory, whose White House press corps experience may make him better suited to deliver sober and less opinion-driven assessments of the news.

I'm sorry, did you say 'sober' and 'less opinion-driven'? 'Cause I thought you said they were boring.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Headline of the day

"NYT: Obama to dispatch female surrogates."

Leads one to wonder if "dispatch" is used as a euphamism, and he's stalking baby carriers. Or is it a repeat from Star Trek, with Obama taking the Harry Mudd role?

Corporate media controlled by Republicans

Were MSNBC watchers the only ones who saw the two protesters trying to disrupt McCain's speech last night?

Sure, they apologized, saying they didn't have control of the camera people. Maybe they should be replaced with football camera people.

And remember, it's the protesters who're being oppressed, because "the delegates... have two powerful weapons on their side. The first is the corporate media," according to the UW Badger Herald. Of course cops are the other. Badger editors may want to rethink that first one.

Update: Owen noted the fracus before turning in last night (scroll past the "Lance Burri hookup" part), and apparently others did, too.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

'Biden must be wetting himself right now...'

Okay, Condi, you're off the hook. Palin brought the heat and the humanity to the convention last night - the era of the Gorebot (or evil chimperor-behind-the-scenes) veep may be over.

Pictures of Palin's younger daughter holding the new baby while licking her hand and smoothing his hair down will become iconic, historical images of modern politics. The family looked great, the young couple in question of late were radiant (not that it'll put to rest the left's attack on her young sensibilities, but don't expect them to pay kind heed to the hopefully genetic chutzpah of her mom), and through it all they looked like normal, average people from Anywhere, America.

Wished I'd live-blogged both Giuliani's and Palin's speeches, but there are plenty who did. Before I weigh in, let's take a look around.

The Washington Post article is so much fun I'll include the opening graph:

Palin Comes Out Fighting
Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin electrified the Republican convention Wednesday night, itching herself as a champion of government reform, mocking Democratic candidate Barack Obama as an elitist and belittling media criticism of her experience.
From the Chicago Tribune:

Palin fires up faithful, comes out swinging
The "hockey mom" hit the national stage on Wednesday night with a series of body checks.

Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, Sen. John McCain's surprise running mate on the Republican ticket, turned a week's worth of questions about her experience and "reform" image against her Democratic rivals, electrifying the third night of the hurricane-shortened Republican National Convention.

The Trib's John Kass, perhaps stinging from Palin's comments, retorts, "Expect Palin to knock squirrels out of trees..." - oh goody! He extends the metaphor to hunting!

Even the Trib's theater critic chimes in that SNL will have a field day. Lookin' forward to it!

The New York Times covers the speech, naturally, but their online version today is telling: "Palin Assails Critics and Electrifies Party" is set to the left in a single column, no pictures, while Kwame M. Kilpatrick's conviction and resignation as mayor of Detroit is the big story. With a really nice photo of Kilpatrick. I guess Gore-era journos don't consider veeps important.

Locally, the print version of the Gazette gave the convention/Palin's speech the top while dropping it down online under Nation/World and leading with the phrase, "The Republican presidential nomination [McCain's] at last," ironic, considering the Dem circus that finally spun itself out with happy deals for all just two short weeks ago while McCain's been the lone contender for months.

The Beloit Daily News online is only carrying the AP story about tonight's McCain speech, but it's a good bet that Palin's speech'll be prominent on the print version, though I won't see that for a while yet.

Others: Lance tosses bits of Giuliani's and Palin's speeches between networking; Sean hits both tart and bright notes in "The Future of the Republican Party:"

Assume she continues to hold up well under the assault from soulless Leftists. Should Sen. McCain not win the election, and she wants it, Gov. Sarah Palin will be the Republican Presidential nominee for President in 2012.

Tonight’s speech debuted the female Reagan.[...]

Commentor Rob notes that there is a God: “My gosh, Ronald Reagan has returned to us in the form of a beautiful woman in heels from Alaska!” Sean also adds a touch of humor you'd probably never have known about in his post on Code Pink protesters. I suspect fairy dust explains the performance.

At Badger Blogger, Bruce notes the media condescension toward Palin's speech and adds what could be some controversy over "white, upper-middle class Mid-westerners,” and Patrick sheds light on the Dems' ferocity and the cover wars. Can you say "double standard"? Can you say "busted"?

Owen catches Palin "deviating." Fred does as well. Jib is both embarrassed and relieved by the pantsuit resolution, while I add my only fashion comments, over there, until there is nothing left in the campaign worth discussing, or things devolve to that level of absurdity. Which doesn't stop the Boston Herald from embarrassing us all. Not that I'm pooh-poohing appearance. And Cathy gives personal insight as a woman politician that should end the discussion until aforesaid boredom sets in. Someone besides me thanks Palin for finally putting the whole "community organizer" canard to rest. Thanks, Peter!

Lest you otherwise miss her column, Ann Coulter writes: "The Best Man Turned Out To Be A Woman."

My take:
Palin proved she's not a one-trick pony. Let's put it in a way the left can really get into, but just won't find any evidence for: She's a woman with issues.

She doesn't stand for reform, she's lived it - and jokes about it in a way most people can appreciate. The comment about the governor not needing a personal chef, and the kids missing her, was a great over-the-back-fence quip.

Better still was how she got rid of the governor's private jet - she sold it on eBay. (Lots of people will think this is a joke, but that's how our college sells old equipment.)

She's the mother of a special-needs child, not a politician who trotted out a niece or supporter's kid to show their "experience" and commitment - the advocacy she promises from the White House is part of her everyday life, and sitting in as President of the Senate she'll have the clout to carry through.

Coming in as a newbie, she figured out a way to break the chokehold of big oil special interests in Alaska. Why aren't Democrats standing up and cheering? Isn't that what they hate, tarring 'Republican' as synonymous with oil cronyism? Is it because she opened up competition in her state, and helped get pipelines built?

She doesn't talk small government, she's actually cut a big budget and cut taxes, including - Jim Doyle, are you listening? - gas taxes, which she then put back in the pocket of the people of Alaska. Sarah! I'm looking forward to getting some tax relief, and I'm lookin' to you! If anyone can steer McCain in this most-conservative venture, she can.

Like McCain, she's experienced hard times most of us - especially in the cities - can't or won't live with: She had a big family while working at increasingly demanding jobs; she kept her special needs baby, knowing that no matter how much help you get, it is one of the greatest and undersupported challenges a person will face ("A 2002 literature review of elective abortion rates found that 91–93% of pregnancies in the United States with a diagnosis of Down syndrome were terminated.[24]"; further, parents of trisomies are often bombarded by friends and strangers alike about their selfishness in putting such a child through life); she has teenagers, and one of hers got pregnant; the other is shipping out for Iraq in a few weeks. She did all this under great and malicious scrutiny and opposition.

Flyover country can relate. Suburbanites can relate. If McCain's looking for those votes, he can consider them in Palin's tissue-and-gum-stuffed pocket.

Palin demonstrated her gravitas during her speech, and midway through, when she linked energy infrastructure, economics and foreign policy in one simple but sweeping comment on a key issue for this election, I thought, "Biden must be wetting himself right now at the thought of debating her."

Palin got it right when she described herself and hockey moms - who make soccer moms look like slackers - with the old joke: What's the difference between a pit bull and a hockey mom? Lipstick. I expect Biden will be covered in lipstick marks during the debates.

My prediction is that fall-back arguments about the limit of her experience, etc., won't be necessary as long as they stand back and give her the microphone.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

If you find yourself choking on generic network and MSM convention coverage...

I wrote this post to put up Tuesday but compy 386 here wouldn't move quickly enough for me to get the last link I needed, and after trying to stay one step ahead on the work and home fronts, I forgot I had it in the cue until after I wrote this morning's Palin post.

For example, "Hundreds to be charged after RNC protests ," try out some Badger-flavored coverage.

Check out Sean's place, or Lance's work here, or Brandon Henak's posts and WisPolitics and Christian Schneider and possibly some Owen.

Sean's already showing off his convention goody bag, complete with what look like some mystical kind of communication to American voters, including the close-up from the McAroni 'n Palin box.

Re Palin's 'duty to family' meme

I'll let Erik frame the argument in response to an excellent article that Sean posts:

Knowing the insane scrutiny of a presidential campaign and knowing the attention and vitriol that will be thrown at your family if a minor, single, high school drop out [?*] child, living at home, gets pregnant, how could one in good conscious [sic] subject your family in general, and your daughter in particular to the negative media attention that will inevitably occur?

That is a cruel thing to do to your family and your daughter.

Heck, I'll even bracket it with my simple response:

Yeah, Erik. As daughter of the governor of Alaska, nobody would ever have noticed.

And Palin should have stepped down as governor FOR THE GOOD OF HER FAMILY tm.

Sucks that there’s nothing on McCain, doesn’t it?

But that's the simple answer.

Let's get this one out of the way here and now. The left is sounding the trumpets and crying HYPOCRISY!, so let's do it by the numbers.

1. This would not be a question if Palin were not a woman. (Should be end of list, end of story.)

For example: Why not ask John Edwards if he should have packed up his campaign because of his family's issues - both Elizabeth's terminal cancer and his philandering during it.

Why not ask Al Gore about the scrutiny his kids underwent - they did drugs at the time and had run-ins with the law: should he ever be in the limelight?

The list could go on interminably, except, apparently, in the case of second-time presidential candidate (and '96 Dole Veep short-lister) John McCain, whose main skeleton is that after a highly decorated, influential and insanely tortuous career, he left a troubled marriage and began another, which has lasted 28 years. I don't like divorce, but what percent of public servants would be left to run things if that were a litmus?

2. Republican VP candidate Palin should be the one, with her co-candidate and family, to decide whether the level of scrutiny and their personal issues would be liveable if she accepted the nomination.

As another commenter on Sean's thread said,
"That is a cruel thing to do to your family and your daughter."

And if Bristol was saying to Mom, “Go for it, be the VP!” then I guess it would really be cruel to do something your kid was encouraging you to do… eh, Erik?

Service and scrutiny in high political office isn't a novel thing for Bristol to consider. We don't know yet how Bristol felt, but she'd have to be pretty self-centered and immature to not consider what it meant to the rest of the family.

3. Bristol is not newly pregnant, she's five months along.

She knew, as a governor's daughter, that she would receive unkind treatment in the broader press, some flak from "reporters" trying to get quotes, and that the main difference under a presidential campaign would be the number of stories and reporters leaping from bushes, resulting in the charming need for her to have to sit for a Good Housekeeping, People, or similar publication "inside story" interview.

Personally, I think she should campaign to be Paris' new BFF. Paris could use some conservative cred to show she's her own brand of maverick.

4. When, even during the Clinton era, have high-profile politicians' kids ever gotten a break?

Mama Hillary may have come across as the 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. Ol' Yeller who kept the press at bay, but if Chelsea'd turned up pregnant all bets would've been off.

5. How will this affect Palin's viability and performance as a potential VP?

It's not Palin's transgression, for you glass-house finger-pointers, it's her daughter's - and funny that you "it's Bill and Hillary's private business" people should consider it such. Palin's been able to deal with a lot and run a household and a state at the same time.

Ya think Palin was thumbin' her Blackberry when she was in Labor & Delivery back in March? She was probably advising on legislative updates, adding things to her official calendar, responding to the interest of the McCain team, and sending the family's grocery order to Peapod while working on her Lamaze breathing technique.

There. Five's good for me. Although I do reserve the right to add to this list as the "How Could She" hysteria unravels.

PS ?* Drop out? Show me the link - I think Erik's makin' this up as he goes. Not very considerate of what the young girl is going through...

Monday, September 1, 2008

Palin pregnancy psync

It's the psychological version of Hegel/Kant's dialectic (let me see if I can paraphrase it):

Thesis and antithesis reviewed together to determine common truths can find resolution and a new proposition in synthesis.

Althouse plumbs her readers' thoughts on Thing Two and finds that sweet spot - psync, whereby many thinkers consider an issue and arrive at a new determination through synthesis of their creative thinking - where things come into focus:

Ben (The Tiger) said:

Did someone leak this to someone else but get the details wrong, like in a child's game?

That's the best explanation I've heard.

Paglia - pregnant pause?

Hmm... wonder what uber-feminist Camille Paglia, who recently said -
“We may be seeing the first woman president. As a Democrat, I am reeling,” said Camille Paglia, the cultural critic. “That was the best political speech I have ever seen delivered by an American woman politician. Palin is as tough as nails"

- will make of the pregnancy issues, thing one and thing two.

Paglia link also via Glenn.