My personal musings about anything that gets on my radar screen--heavily dominated by politics.


As Usual, Right Formation, Wrong Play, Wrong Execution 

To borrow a football analogy, imagine if a quarterback continually came to the line of scrimmage, saw the defense, audibled to a perfect formation for a big play, and then called a weak running play that kept getting botched.

That seems to be the McCain playbook right now.

Right formation: In Palm Beach, Florida, today Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., attacked Sen. Barack Obama's pending 30-minute prime-time address as a "gauzy, feel-good commercial," that was "paid for . . .

Wrong play: ". . . with broken promises."

Botched execution: "Senator Obama signed a piece of paper committing to public financing of his campaign if I did," McCain said. "Twice he looked the American people in the eye and said he would sit down with me before he abandoned public financing. He didn't mean a word of it."

THE--THE--story of this last week should be the recent revelations of widespread campaign donation fraud to the Obama camp, coupled with the newly revealed symbiosis between the Obama campaign and ACORN, which could be spiced up with the mention of Rashid Khalidi. McCain had a chance to go for the home run ball--in effect, he had his best wideout one-on-one with a linebacker--and opted for a draw play, instead.

How's this:?

"This gauzy, feel-good infomercial was paid for with illegal donations from the likes of Adolphe Hitler, Della Ware, and hundreds--perhaps thousands of others--who have no provable identity, and, thus, no role in financing an election.

"This was paid for with the twice-broken promise to run a publicly-funded campaign.

"This was paid for in spite of hundreds of thousands of 'spare change' being donated from the Obama campaign to the group ACORN, which has now been implicated in the most widespread, concerted, systemic attempt at defrauding the American public through an election we've seen since Tamany Hall.

"It's nice that Senator Obama has the spare change to buy millions of dollars worth of air time; perhaps he could 'donate' some more of that spare change to the Los Angeles Times to see if they can get a little air time to broadcast a tape they're sitting on of him toasting Rashid Khalidi.

Just my take. Maybe, come to think of it, that would be a better sort of thing for a Vice Presidential candidate to say.

But, like SO MANY things this campaign, it really does need to be said.


There Actually IS A Real Danger In This 

So the LATimes is protecting Barack Obama from his own history.


By not releasing a video of an Obama tribute to a PLO bag man--a story they wrote about once before--they completely guarantee that Obama will not have to face any tough questions about either his support for Israel or his past associations.


So, here's my question: who, exactly, protects Barack Obama from himself when he's in negotiations with Benjamin Netanyahu, Vlad Putin, Ahmedinijad or anybody else with actual experience, a real agenda, and anything BUT Barack Obama's interests in mind?

Yes, the election process is often ugly in America; but, the upside is that it puts the candidates through a test of fire which, supposedly, makes them better ready for the actual stresses of the job. Obama has had none of that fire. How in the Hell is he supposed to deal with people who think he's an easy mark and will use his naivete as the first pretense to act to end America?

The danger of a fawning press is manifold, but surely it's occurred to one of the "old guard" that this is an unprecedented precipice.

Hasn't it?


But, Still, There's Reason To Hope . . . 

From Virginia VirtuCon, via Generalissimo:

I was having dinner a night ago with a friend of mine who is a statistician for a well-regarded private polling company. . . . After mocking the hell out of the voter id spreads used by Rassmussen, Zogby, etc. (and this is coming from a committed Dem who will be voting for Barry O) she said the results of their polling lead her to believe that McCain will definitely win FL, OH, NC, MO and NV. She says Obama definitely wins New Mexico. She said that Colorado and New Hampshire were absolute dead heats. She said she thinks there is a 55% chance Obama holds on in Pennsylvania and a 75% chance McCain wins Virginia. She absolutely laughed at the public polls showing Obama leading Virginia–and pointed out that all of those polls rely on Dem turnout being 4 and as much as 7, when in 2006, Republicans actually had the advantage by 3. She also pointed out that the numbers for Obama in SWVA look absolutely awful and that McCain is running 10 points better then Allen did in NoVa.

If it's at all a surprise that the "professional journalists" are completely in the tank for Obama in their news coverage (which, of course, it isn't), then is it even a leap of faith to assume that the journalistic pollsters are screwing with their polling to affect the outcome? Hardly--more like a bunny hop of faith.

Is there really any difference between calling the election early on election night and calling the election 10 days early? Anything to supress Republican turnout . . .

For what it's worth.

Why We Can't Win . . . Maybe Ever Again 

Think about the reality here: John McCain's only real chance, barring a political earthquake, is to draw to an inside straight on the Electoral College map.

Superimpose the places he needs to sweep with the list of places where ACORN is very active and, in most cases, being accused of "irregularities."

Notice any similarities? Yeah--me, too.

For every illegal ballot that gets caught, how many do you think actually slip through? And we've seen what happens during a contested election to "irregularities"--they get counted, anyway.

I am 100% convinced that this election, if it gets even a little bit close, is going to be stolen. And the media, who has the power to change that with a little investigation, is so in the bag for Obama that the truth will never see the light of day.

Which puts into power all the people who are really good at running this sort of operation . . . .

which nearly guarantees a huge structural advantage ad infinitum for Democrats.

The political wilderness is going to seem like a tropical vacation compared to where we're headed.

If Race Weren't An Issue Of Elite Guilt In America . . . 

is there any way in the world that Barack Obama would even be the nominee, much less the actual front-runner for the Presidency?

Consider his positions:

:the most radical pro-abortion major candidate in history
:dedicated to the disassembly of the next generation of military weaponry, along with big cuts to the traditional military
:has admitted to a goal of redistributing the wealth
:has promised to meet with foreign leaders for negotiation "without precondition"
:espouses a "government first" approach to solving nearly every domestic problem
:has promised to raise taxes (by repealing Bush tax cuts), and promised to spend nearly $1 trillion more than current budget--traditional "tax and spend"

If he were NOT an eloquent black man, we would have a very easy time pegging Obama's positions, for they are, in effect, no different than this list of losers: John Kerry, Al Gore, Michael Dukakis, Wlater Mondale, Jimmy Carter.

This is an old comfortable template. Unfortunately, the country has gotten so caught up in Obama's "change"-ness that it hasn't had the time to notice that his policies are very old-school.

If the elites weren't so enamored of his blackness, Obama wouldn't have made it out of the Democratic primaries. And even if you simply write that aspect off as the Democratic Party managing to overcome its own racists, there is simply no explanation for the rest of the country's unwillingness to take him on except fear of race.

We are about to elect the very first Affirmative Action President.

I wonder if Sandra Day O'Connor thinks a twenty-five year continuation of THIS is a good idea.


Why An Obama Presidency Scares Me 

You'd think this would be an easy one to write, wouldn't you?

I'm not worried about the "test" in the first six months. That is to say, while I'm sure it's coming, that's not the thing that has the potential to keep me awake at night.

The thing about this is, the Democrats are MUCH better than Republicans at the game of attaining power. I fully expect the Dems to spend two years being very "reasonable," like they tried to be in Colorado, picking off the low-hanging fruit and trying their darndest to seem both moderate and competent.

By the way, I expect this to be fully and completed assisted by a stock market/global economy that miraculously "turns the corner" in the first two weeks after Obama's inauguration. See my post from a couple nights ago, and then try to find out what George Soros has been doing for the last eight months. Or, better still, try to figure out what Vlad Putin and his $600 billion off-the-books fortune have been busy with.

So, for two years they can shore up their resources, make no major waves, but all the while quietly restocking major positions within Defense, Homeland Security, Justice, State and the lower Courts with like-minded functionaries. As the inevitable attrition from the bureaucracy of people who came in with President Bush takes place, these fundtionaries will gradually help Obama and his people consolidate their ideological hold on every branch and function of government. Simultaneously, the "sunsetting" and gradual erosion of some of the protections President Bush put in place after 9/11 will finally begin to be felt.

Faux prosperity will return, the safeguards will loosen, the country and the government will let down its guard, and then . . .

the 3 a.m. call.

And I'm not talking about Israel or other interests around the world.

We know these people are patient; we know they hate us and there's really no explaining that away (no matter how eloquently); we know they view conciliation and compromise as weakness;

and we know they'll hit us again, if the possibly can.

THAT's what scares me about Obama. I'm sure he'll botch Israel, and I would expect that "President Obama" makes most of the former Soviet satellites very nervous. But a wicked combination of actual attack with economic attack by the concerted forces of evil in the world could push America out of the ranks of "major industrialized nation."

And Robert Ferrigno's vision begins to come into focus.


Waiting on THIS Commercial 

Featuring Sarah Palin.

Palin, walking in front of a wall of TV's, each tuned to something Obama/Biden.

Hi, America. Over the last two months, you've been inundated in your own living rooms with hundreds and hundreds of political ads. But what you've probably never seen is the candidates speaking unscripted--telling people what they REALLY think without the benefit of speechwriters and a teleprompter.

Here's something you might have never seen:

[cut to shot of Obama talking with Joe the plumber, with subtitles] Joe: Your tax plan . . .is going to raise my taxes, isn't it?

Obama: . . . I think that , when you SPREAD THE WEALTH AROUND . . .

[back to Palin] Senator Obama has spent nearly half a BILLION dollars trying to convince you that he's going to cut your taxes. What this moment with Joe the plumber reveals is his real intention--to take money from the people who work hard and are good at earning it, and make sure that it goes to somebody else. And if you doubt the truth of that moment, maybe you should think about what the Democratic leadership in Congress has said:

[cut to shot of Barney Frank] "There will be tax increases down the road;
[cut to shot of Charlie Rangel] "`` I cannot think of one' of President George W. Bush's first-term tax cuts that merit renewal."

A President Obama with a Nancy Pelosi/Harry Reid Congress means higher taxes for you.

Then there's this:

[cut to shot of Biden talking in Colorado] Biden: Mark my words. It will not be six months before the world tests Barack Obama like they did John Kennedy. The world is looking. . . .And we're gonna need you guys, because the things we do are going to, at the time, look wrong."

[back to Palin] I think the world will test a President Obama, also. After all . . . .

[cut to clip of Obama] Questioner: Would you be willing to meet separately, without precondition, during the first year of your administration, in Washington or anywhere else, with the leaders of Iran, Syria, Venezuela, Cuba and North Korea?....."

Obama: I would.

[Palin] And his own website brags that "Obama is the only major candidate who supports tough, direct presidential diplomacy with Iran without preconditions"

So, is Senator Obama just the man to sit across the table from Ahmedinijad at just the moment that Iran begins to carry out its plan to bomb Israel?

Are you willing to take that chance?

Or would you prefer to see a man whose unguarded, unscripted moments are about the value of hard work, the reward of earning your way, and the obvious benefits of the government getting out of your way?

Would you prefer to see a man who survived five years in a POW camp sitting across from Iran? Do you imagine that the world would think it needed to test the mettle of John McCain?

This election is close, and, soon, we're all going to get off of your televisions for a while. But before you go vote, think about what these two men say when they don't think the cameras are rolling, and decide for yourself who you think is closer to your values.

And then vote accordingly.

Thank you, and God Bless America.


Has Anybody Else Wondered This? 

I had briefly sort of considered this idea, then I heard Mike Huckabee bring it up, as well, and then . . .


:doesn't it seem odd that oil would spike around the world to the degree it did in an election year? And NOT because of actual supply and demand, but because of "speculators" (correct me if I'm wrong, but doesn't speculation imply a market which implies the possibility of manipulation by people?)

:And then, doesn't it seem like strange coincidence that just when oil starts to calm down the rest of the financial markets go down the crapper?

Huckabee said these words two or three weeks ago: "economic terrorism."

Now there's this: "Jihadist group claims responsibility for US financial meltdown"

Members of the Egyptian Jihad group have declared that Islamic Jihad groups are responsible for the financial meltdown in the US as they distributed hundred of millions of US dollars in the world stock markets.

I'm not going to say anything definitive. I'm just saying . . . If somebody smart and important isn't looking into this possibility, it would be . . . well . . .

completely predictable, given the competence level of the government over the last few years.

And then I'm gonna say "follow the money"--who has benefitted from the financial meltdown?


How to Lay The Groundwork 

I'm not completely sold on an Obama landslide . . .yet . . .but the polls are looking more and more grim. And, even though someone as smart as Michael Barone is saying "it ain't over yet," now is the time, when people are paying attention, that John McCain could lay the groundwork for a Republican revival.

I think it's time he stop campaigning for this one--he needs to, as my brilliant friend suggested, say what he really wants to now. I would say it's time to cut simple commercials--one camera, one angle. Just John McCain talking directly to the American people.

Or, better yet, just John McCain and Sarah Palin talking to the American people.

Tell them that the Founders were rightfully worried about the consolidation of power in government, whether that be within one party or one branch or the government as a whole. Tell them--tell US--that the Founders were rightfully wary of making promises to us about what the government could do for us, because every time we looked to the government to do FOR us, we also gave it the power to take away FROM us. Tell us that there is a history in America of protectionism and high taxes, and it led to the Great Depression and the Carter Era of Stagflation. Tell us that, historically, economic troubles IN America have always led to military troubles FOR America. Tell us that the Founding Fathers, when confronted with a difficult choice, pledged their "lives, liberties, and their sacred Honor" to "Liberty, or give me Death." The giants who created this great country never looked to this great country for solutions BEFORE they looked to themselves.

Remind us that the greatness of America lies, not in its government and what it can do for us, but in ourselves, in our creativity, in our work ethic . . .

and in our rejection of the government as our caretaker and Mother Superior.

Because, ultimately, the Founding Fathers of this great country were more afraid of themselves than they were of foreign powers, and that every step towards dependence on the government makes that fear more realistic.

Remind Americans that what we stand for and what we mean is more than government programs and safety nets; remind Americans that Jefferson did not guarantee happiness, but, rather, the "pursuit of happiness;" remind Americans that our greatness is never found in a hand outstretched to Washington, but one extended to our neighbors and our communities.

It could be enough to change the game this time; it might be enough to forestall the long march to obscurity; and it's absolutely necessary to give Republicans any chance in the future.

A Limited Opportunity 

If you haven't had a chance to yet, and you have an ooportunity to have a night out with your spouse soon, may I suggest a wonderful production of "Les Miserables" at the Arvada Center for the Performing Arts.

As one of only 15 regional theaters licensed to produce the smash London/Broadway musical, the ACPA has done a remarkable job of taking the super-scale production and making it work for regional theater. They work with a reduced cast, a very reduced orchestra, and a stage that may be only 1/3 the size of the normal theaters that put this on. Yet, there is nothing missing from the story line or the emotional impact of the musical. It is, in a word, remarkable.

And, when you consider that 29 of the 30 cast members are Denver-based (gotta love regional talent), you really get a sense that the future of the arts in the Denver Metro region is limitless.

IF it gets the support of the community. I've seen the play twice now--once with my oldest daughter, and once with the Mrs--and both shows were sold out, and they've had to extend the run twice.



What McCain Must Do Tomorrow Night 

Short of an horrific pratfall by Obama tomorrow night, it looks like the stretch run is going to be a stretch stagger by the McCain campaign.

Unless. . . .

First of all, he MUST reject the filter of the professional journalism class. I'm sure Bob Scheiffer is very nice and all, but the media is killing McCain, and he has to find a way to get past them. Scheiffer, given the power the moderator traditionally has, will run interference for Obama and run the most uninspiring, milquetoast debate in history. So he should take his opening statement and challenge Obama to a one-on-one discussion--"since you ducked the ten town hall debates I invited you to take part in during the summer"--directly with the American people. Lose the moderator, lose the podium, create an event . ..

Which, second of all, he can use to FINALLY bring up the character issue. "In the past ten months, you've had to apologize for your pastor, for your grandmother, you've never quite answered questions about your ties to terrorist Bill Ayers, your friend and business associate Tony Rezko is behind bars for corruption, and a group you once trained, ACORN, is now implicated in widespread and egregious election fraud activities. My question is: if these are the people you've surrounded yourself with your entire life, why should the American people have any reason to think that your White House wouldn't be populated with some of the most corrupt, anti-American political operatives they've seen this side of Hugo Chavez's Venezuela?"

And then, third of all, he can take a one-term pledge. "I will serve for four years, to steward this great nation through this crisis. Therefore, I will be beholden to no one, no interest, no party, no consideration save the needs and the welfare of the United States. I think it's remarkable that Senator Obama pledges to be "non-partisan" when the Washington Post analysis concluded that he votes with his Party 96% of the time--do you suppose that there's any chance it would be different when he is in the White House. Do you suppose that a President Obama, with designs on a second term, would suddenly show a willingness to buck his party in the interest of the nation? And consider for a moment the agenda that his party leadership in Congress has proposed: repeal the Bush tax cuts, which amount to an enormous tax increase for every American; immediate and unconditional surrender and retreat from Iraq; and the most ambitious redistribution of wealth from hard-working Americans to others in the history of this great Republic. I'm telling you that I will set the clock for four years once I take the oath of office, and I will recover prosperity, freedom and strength for the American people before that clock runs out."

It would be a game-changer. Any doubts that linger about Obama can be used to rationalize a four-year delay while he seasons a bit; and I think Americans implicitly trust a man who would be willing to walk away from power of his own volition.

Just my two cents.

New Sidebar 

Notice, over there to the right, the new thing. It is a Yahoo!Pipe--a scrolling, live feed of everything the Rocky Mountain Alliance 2.0 writes. Just click on the interesting title, and it will take you to the website it originated on.

Cool stuff, this technology thing.

Thoughts On A Prayer, part II 

"May God grant us the wisdom to discover right, the will to choose it, and the strength to make it endure. "

I think Americans proceed on the assumption, for the most part, that our way of life is a birthright, and that it can never be taken away from us.

I think the ancient Athenians probably thought the same thing.

I've been talking to several people of late who are somewhat . . .pessimistic . . . about the future of our country. And none of them are Democrats, who make a living out of making YOU pessimistic--they include a businessman, a naval officer, and a prominent radio personality. And all of them are, by nature, I would say, optimistic people. It's just that the turn of events in this country are, shall we say?, disturbing.

Ever hear of a Scottish history professor by the name of Alexander Tyler? A few famous quotes are generally attributed to him, most notably this one:

"The average age of the world's great civilization, from the beginning of time, has been about 200 years."

Sound familiar?

Go look up a little about Tyler (including all the stuff on Snopes), and I'll return to this discussion tomorrow. Let's just say it has EVERYTHING to do with "the strength to make it endure."

On the Lighter, Dumber Side 

:Did I actually hear Arlen Specter (R-PA) arguing on Meet the Press yesterday that Chuck Shumer and the Democrats had broken a gentleman's agreement? Did I? As if it's possible to enter a gentleman's agreement with those who are NOT gentlemen! And is our side actually so stupid to think that a gentleman's agreement would hold up? In an election year?

:Oy, those Denver Broncos. Can you say "exposed"?

:But, at least we have the Avalanche. Oh, wait . . .


:Is it golf season yet?

:What the hell is wrong with the Florida 16th?


Thoughts On A Prayer 

As I was considering the current condition of the country the other day, a quote from an entertaining but otherwise meaningless movie leapt to mind:

"May God grant us the wisdom to discover right, the will to choose it, and the strength to make it endure. "

Let us consider that prayer in relation to the government's bailout of the financial sector two weeks ago.

The "wisdom to discover the right" is a disturbingly rare thing in Washington. Only one fool had the candor to admit that "nobody knows what to do," and he's the subject of an attack ad now. If the beginning of wisdom is the phrase "I don't know," then that makes Harry Reid a wise man.

Is anybody else as frightened as I am that Harry Reid is "wise" compared to the rest of Washington?

And, of course, note that not knowing what to do DID NOT stop Harry Reid from doing something, anyway.

I suspect, based on the original vote in the House, that there actually were a few people who knew what to do. In fact, I know that's the case:

One lawmaker who voted against the bill, Rep. John Culberson, R-Texas, said the measure would leave a huge burden on taxpayers. "This legislation is giving us a choice between bankrupting our children and bankrupting a few of these big financial institutions on Wall Street that made bad decisions," he said. Culberson voted against the bill.

Other conservative Republicans who voted "no" argued the bill would be a blow against economic freedom.

Thaddeus McCotter, R-Mich., said the bill posed a choice between the loss of prosperity in the short term or economic freedom in the long term. He said once the federal government enters the financial marketplace, it will not leave. "The choice is stark," he said.

Yes, for full disclosure, I should point out that I opposed this bailout as well. And I wrote about it here: it makes sense, from an economic perspective, to let institutions that act stupidly fail; it also makes sense to build a firewall around them so they don't take out the whole economy with them.

This bailout did not do that: this bailout saved the stupid from the consequences of their stupidity, while bankrolling an enormous government takeover of a segment of the economy, and making the American people foot the bill for it.

Nonetheless, led by President Bush and Treasury Secretary Poulson, the Senate under the leadership of Harry Reid went running right into the tunnel chasing the light at the other end. Once they did that it was relatively easy to push the smart members of the House to stop acting smart and get on board.

Which is where the second part of the prayer comes into play: the "will to choose it." After Senate passage, 58 members of the House changed their minds and voted for it. So, because of political momentum and pressure, elected officials--whose oath is to the Constitution, mind you--decided that freedom was not important enough a principle to stand on.

Moreover, where does this President, who ran and got elected on "free market" principles, get to decide--unilaterally--that the market is no longer an effective mechanism for managing the economy? Surely it occurred to him that Henry Poulson, whose background is on Wall Street, might have a mixed motive in deciding whether or not to bail out his old friends and future benefactors.

Or did he "look into his eyes . . . " and blah blah blah

There were a handful (171) of House members who had the wisdom to discover the right, and the will to choose it--they just happen to be outnumbered in Washington by about 2-1.

And, how's that working out for us?

On the day the first bailout bill failed, the Dow Jones fell over 700 points. But, on the next day, it rebounded by over 400 points; on the day of the second House vote, the Dow was up as much as 300 points, fell after the vote and ended the day down 157 points. In the week after the financial sector was "rescued" by Washington, the Dow Jones dove by over 1800 points--more than 18% of its value--to finish its worst week ever (for comparison, in July 1933 (The Great Depression) the Dow dove 17%, its previous worst).

I think the pattern is clear: the markets don't believe the government can help.

And what about that last portion of the prayer: the "strength to make it endure"?

We, as a people, are guilty for this one.

We have looked to the government to solve our problems, to manage our lifestyles, to take care of our opportunities, and keep us healthy, and, as a result, have elected to Congress people who are telling us all about how they best can do that for us. As a result, the "right" is no longer something that we can have endure--we have lost track of it altogether. Those few with both the wisdom and the will are so overmatched in Congress that they don't have the strength to make it endure.

WE don't have the strength.

And that's on just the economy. Later I will discuss the possibility that this is not just an economic disaster--the Big Picture is pretty bleak, as well.



All I Needed To Hear From Last Night's Debate Happened In The First Five Minutes 

Tom Brokaw: "The audience members and thousands of people on the internet have submitted questions for our candidates, and I have selected the list to ask tonight" (or something to that effect)

Barack Obama: "What we are seeing is the final verdict on eight years of . . . " blah blah blah

John McCain: "Friends, I have a plan, and it starts with energy independence . . . " and then not a word about Democratic obstruction of energy independence.

Tom Brokaw selected the questions--that's the fastball down the heart. You know it's coming, but you really shouldn't swing at it. Of course, then Brokaw manipulated the questions to avoid any hint of a question that deals with either experience or judgment, so John McCain has no opening to go after Wright/Ayers/Rezko. Strike One.

Then Obama gets to spout his version of history, unchallenged and undisputed. The final verdict on the economic policies of the past eight years is that, just as we learned at the end of the Clinton administration, the cycle returns and every up has its down. It is remarkable that we did not slip into massive recession following 9/11, and with all the anxiety about the price of gasoline, Americans still have managed to keep the economy humming along. But there's always a price--six years of surprising prosperity is bound to have a tough down cycle. Call that one the slider that you were sort of expecting, but really didn't want to swing at. Strike Two.

Then, given the opportunity to both defend the record of tax cutting that kept the economy moving AND to slam Obama's friends for their involvement in the meltdown of the nations's financial sector, McCain chooses to talk about energy independence and some new idea for the Treasury, and I don't know what else. I kinda started to tune out. That's the hanging curveball that you just can't get the bat off your shoulders for. Strike Three--looking.

Look, there are those that think McCain won on points. But, like I wrote in the prelude to yesterday, even a unanimous decision was inadequate to the needs of the moment. McCain needed a knockout, and he came out and tried to out-dance the dancer.

I don't know if this can be salvaged at this point. Opinion is starting to harden, and Obama is starting to show up in polls at 50%-plus. I think McCain's only possibility is to force the point in the next debate, challenge Obama in the opening statements to forego the pre-arranged format, and insist on a 90-minute townhall where they can both expound on their ideas and their credentials. If McCain lets himself get dragged into another scripted tit-for-tat, I don't think he can turn this around.

But just as importantly, McCain needs new ad guys. I like the beginning of the ad "Dangerous," but writing in the conclusions "How Dishonorable" and "How Dangerous" was weak . . in my opinion. And that seems to be a recurring themeof the ad campaign--begin to make a great point and then muck it up with a goofy conclusion. Meanwhile, Barack Obama is splitting his time between articulating a vision for the future (chock-full of deception, no doubt, but still a vision) and hammering McCain on every front.

It's starting to feel like 1996 again.


what McCain Needs To Do Tonight 

I think this debate is the pivotal moment in this campaign. Early voting starts soon (has started some places), the Dems are ramping up their "Make Up The Vote" effort, and the Obama campaign has shifted fully into front-runner status. If McCain actually wants to be the President, he can't settle for a tie tonight, he can't be happy with a win on points, and he can't--ABSOLUTELY can't--afford to lose this debate.

He has to score a dominating knockout, the kind that Mike Tyson was famous for.

That is, the early, scary boxer Mike Tyson . . . not so much the later, scary crazy rapist Mike Tyson.

So, here's what I'm looking for:

:to the question about going negative in the last weeks of the campaign:

in the course of a normal American election, candidates have their lives inspected and examined from every angle. For instance, in the week following my running mates' extraordinary Convention speech, media outlets sent about fifty producers up to Alaska to search through trash cans and look under rocks and inspect every aspect of Gov. Palin's life. We were treated to serious discussion on major media outlets of the possibility that Gov Palin's youngest son was actually her grandchild by her daughter. And we were regaled with interviews of, seemingly, every single person in Wasilla who disagreed with my running mate. On the other hand, in eighteen months of campaigning, only one serious journalist has spent any time in Chicago going through the records of Sen. Obama's past business dealings, his ties to the political machine, and the genesis of his political philosophy. When that one journalist had a chance to explain his work on CNN, most of the interview ended up on the cutting room floor.

So what we have is an extraordinary election, in which the major media has chosen to ignore the life and associations of one of the two nominees for President, all the while decrying the "negative tone" of my campaign, while ignoring the my opponent put out a 13 minute video yesterday, which has spun into a number of television ads, about my complete exoneration from a scandal twenty years ago.

What we have been forced to do, as a campaign, is to spend our time trying to inform the public about Mr. Obama's record, a record that is paper thin, but reveals a politician deeply out of touch with core American values. It's easy to call that sort of approach "negative," but it's a lot more accurate to call it "truthful"--it's only the reality that casts my opponent in a negative light.

:to the question about the financial meltdown:

ACORN, CitiBank being forced to loan in poor neighborhoods, Barney Frank, Franklin Raines, Fannie and Freddy and my warnings in 2005, campaign donations

:to questions about the housing crisis:

Tony Rezko and sweetheart deals

:to every question about education:

the Chicago Annenberg Challenge, Bill Ayers, radical ideas, community organizing and failing inner city schools, choice, competition,

And he absolutely has to turn every hint of a question about experience into a question about judgment into a question about Obama's ties to Ayers/Wright/Rezko and his own lengthy record of service to and love of country.

This has to be a knockout. No pulled punches, no odd smiles . . . We need to see Commander-in-Chief and "Most Powerful Man in the Free World" John McCain.

Anything less will guarantee that in about 105 days we'll be greeting Commander-in-Chief Barack Obama.

Updates after the debate. For live coverage of the debate, tune over to Ben's or to Michael's sites--they're doing a group live blog.


Day Late, Dollar Short? 

This weekend has seen the McCain campaign finally begin to force the issue of Obama's character into the debate. The "professional journalists" have been remarkably reluctant to probe into this--even according to such sources as Hillary Clinton aide Mark Penn.

To wit: Sarah Palin levels a charge against the Obama/Ayers connection

To wit: John McCain brings the argument that Democrats and Obama are responsible for the financial meltdown.

It's about damn time. Why--WHY!--did this take a week, when, in the interim, there's been an Obama attack on Republican's responsibility for the crisis, there's been a Veep debate, and there's been an open microphone following the passage of the bailout?

And, for its part, the Obama campaign is swinging back . . . HARD. Even if it's all based on a tisue of lies and smears designed to catch at least one republican in a Democrat scandal, a lot of people still remember the Keating Five and the S&L collapse. In fact, I'm not sure if it counts as swinging back if the counterattack actually lands before the first attack gets thrown.

Which makes me wonder just how nimble the Obama campaign is. As soon as the McCain camp announces that the gloves are coming off, they roll out an attack along the same lines.

McCain camp: ten days later, speech, not ad; Obama camp: immediate, and enough to blanket the airwaves and the internet.

I wonder why the RCP average is drifting so hard against us. . . . no, I don't.

A Note For The Ad Guys 

First, I'm very disappointed that I DID NOT see any effective attack ads during football today.

Second, if the best you can do is hit the "real Obama" for voting to raise taxes 94 times, at least you could drop in the not-incidental fact that Obama has only been on the Senate floor for 160-some days.

That's one tax for every two days on the job.

You might as well hit him on experience if you're going to go after the tax issue.

Which reminds me, this is another area in which the President has been a TERRIBLE Republican. Not on actual taxes, just on the issue. Again, his and his White House's inability to articulate the economic program that brought on the strong economic conditions of the past four years has made it impossible for Republicans to gain any traction on the issue of taxes. The Dems have hung "tax cuts for the rich" around our necks, and since we haven't been able to cut through the chatter with our own rhetoric, the current economic troubles are ours to die with.

Fairly or not.

Could We All Just Agree . . . 

that there are some events that DO NOT NEED OUR POLITICS!?!?!?

The whole family took part in the Denver Race for the Cure today--the Mrs. ran the 5k race, and then joined us as we walked with a large group of friends. Just a tiny part of the estimated 65,000 (!) people raising money for research on breast cancer.

A great cause, right? Stands alone, right?

Some can't see it . There was a huge contingent of Obamaniacs there ("Grandmas for Obama for the Cure " . . . . huh?) passing out goofy-looking "O" glasses. And, y'know, annoying but, whatever.

But the worst of it was from our side. And, I must say, I understand the passion behind it, and I understand the sense of ungency, . . . .

but it made me sick to see this sign: "Abortion increases breast cancer by 40%"

Everybody, PUH-LEEZE!, can we just come together for a cause and not taint it with our own? It's just so . . .arrogant. . . to think everything is always about us.


The Ball Is In McCain's Court 

Sarah Palin may have staunched the bleeding on Thursday night--maybe even better than that, as she has regnited the base.

But if John McCain has any intent of taking the oath of office on January 20th, he has got to start playing to win. I can't imagine that this is going to be that hard.

And yet . . . if the best they can do is that sad little ad about "the Real Obama", and all McCain can hit him on is taxes, then it's going to be a very long month.

On the other hand, if Sarah Palin's speech in Englewood this morning is any indication of the direction this is going, then maybe there's hope.

For another take on this, read my brother's thoughts. I agree with everything he has to say.

Yes, That Was Yours Truly . . . 

on the television tonight.

My very good friend Ben was kind enough to invite me to join a discussion of Amendment 49 on Independent Thinking with Jon Caldara.

What? You missed the show? On a Friday night on KBDI channel 12? You should really reprioritize--real issues are actually discussed somewhere, even on Friday nights.

You can catch the rebroadcast on Tuesday at 5.

Karl Rove Had His Metrics . . . 

And rode that approach to electoral victory in 2000, 2002 and 2004. But the Left adapted, and learned. So, even though, by the account of people in the campaign, the GOP exceeded its GOTV targets in CD7 in 2006, we had our butts handed to us.

Now the Left has their model:

Colorado's wealthiest and most influential progressives have devised a successful campaign-funding scheme described as ingenious even by conservative opponents who have seen it secure Democratic statehouse majorities in two consecutive elections.

The umbrella over a cadre of 30-plus loosely affiliated organizations is called the Colorado Democracy Alliance, and at its helm are some of the best-known donors in state and national politics, including millionaire activists Tim Gill and Pat Stryker.

Of course, this isn't such a revelation; members of the Alliance have been writing about this for a couple years now. I'm surprised that it only took the Denver Post two years to figure this out.

But, even with that, the Democracy Alliance is still incapable of avoiding the victim card and overstating its need:

"The right has always had access to and successful deployment of significant resources to advance their agenda," Grueskin said. "The progressive movement has watched from outside the window. Now there's parity."

Aww. Poor little progressives. Never mind the reality:

“Democrats now control the majority of the nation’s wealthiest congressional jurisdictions. More than half of the wealthiest households are concentrated in the 18 states where Democrats control both Senate seats.”

So, now Colorado has been bought by the rich few for the purpose of Democrat governance. Do you think it would have taken two years for the Post to find out about it if the Republicans had pulled this sort of scheme?

And this model is being exported across the country.

So how long until we adapt, and learn?


Movie Alert: Something Conservatives Can Enjoy 

If you haven't seen the ads for it, and are dying to see something that you can enjoy, go this weekend and watch this movie.

It's from David Zucker, the intellectual (?! I think he might take offense to that) force behind Airplane and The Naked Gun. There's a long history of good laughs to be found there, and with Kelsey Grammer, Jon Voigt, and Dennis Hopper on board, this promises to be absolutely hilarious.

Impressions On The Debate 

First of all, and most important, she did what she HAD to do: she put herself up as credible, strong, and capable. Took the issue of McCain's judgment off the table.

Secondly, she connected very well with main street--I think she came off as a normal person in a world of oddities. That was especially effective, given that she was standing next to "The Squinter."

Third, I think she won on points. Not a knockout, maybe even a split decision, but I do think she won.

But not by as much as she could have. When she watches the film, I think she'll be pretty disappointed.

First of all, she should have called Biden on the Constitution: Article I deals with the legislature, not the Executive, and specifically NOT the Vice President. Secondly, when he talks about the framers and the Veep, he conveniently forgets that for the first part of the Republic, the Veep was often adversarial to the President--the first loser. And third, I think it would have been pretty useful to have a quote or two handy from Joe to beat him about the head about his disagreements with Obama.

It was good, but disappointing. Kind of like watching your quarterback complete a nice pass for a first down, but then noticing on replay that there was a man wide open downfield for a touchdown. Good and useful, but. . .

Just One Word About the Veep Debate 

I don't really think that the Veep debate plays all that big a role in Presidential politics. After all, Cheney pretty handily smacked Joe Leiberman around, and we all know how the 2000 election turned out.

But there is one possibility that that could change tomorrow: if Sarah Palin comes out and goes like a real hockey mom, this could be something to see. Joe Biden is such a blowhard, and Gwen Ifill is now a demonstrated shill, so the stage is ripe for Sarah Palin to take the lead and dominate.

I'm reminded of an episode of The West Wing. The President (Martin Sheen) takes to the stage and throws around some of the sharpest, most pointed attacks against his opponent and makes no point of appearing bipartisan or appearing likeable. And, in this fictional world, he dominates the debate. The rationale of the staff was that polling showed that, no matter what he did, he was going to be seen as arrogant, so "you might as well knock some people down in the process."

Now, I don't think Sarah Palin is seen as arrogant, but the expectations for her are so low, from a political standpoint, that she should feel free to go out and throw some elbows. And do it with a smile.

Here's a thought--let Biden be Biden, and then show the same smiling disdain for him that Couric, et al. have shown for her for the past several weeks. And take a few shots at the media while she's at it. For instance, I would love to hear these two lines:

"Well, Senator, I can appreciate the importance of trying to calm the markets and reassure the American people. Unfortunately, I don't think you do that by talking about how the then-Governor of New York went on a device that wasn't invented for ten years to show Presidential leadership. And I don't think you do that by saying 'I'll come to help if they want me to.' The great ones always want the ball when then game is on the line, and when the game was on the line last week and into the weekend, only one candidate was where the ball was."

"No, no, I'm sorry, Ms. Ifill. With all due respect, I'm not going to let you cut me off when Senator Biden was just given two minutes to expound on nothing. The American people deserve to hear the other side of that issue, they deserve to know the connections beween Senator Obama, the Democrats in Congress, and the problems in the financial markets. And since you and your colleagues have shown no interest in doing YOUR jobs, I'm going to take this opportunity to tell the American people what they need to know to understand."

C'mon, if you're gonna claim to be a hockey mom, you might as well throw a few hip checks. . .

and all with that winning smile.


If I Were In Congress . . . 

. . . I would be pushing for a Firewall, rather than a "Bailout."

In other words, I would put structures and devices in place around the failing banks and institutions, like a fence, that could prevent the problem from spreading to other parts of the economy. But I would do nothingto help out the institutions that are guilty of bad business--let 'em fail.

Creative destruction is a key component to a market economy--when businesses engage in bad practices, they should be allowed to fail. What will come up from the ashes will be better for the economy as a whole, even if there is some transitional pain.

Probably a good thing that I'm not in Congress.

Who Wants To Lay Odds . . . 

...on the Senate deal "falling apart at the last minute," only to be rescued thanks to the intervention of Barack Obama?

Anyone? Anyone?

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