Friday, August 29, 2008

The Real Reformers

Sarah Palin is a very good choice as McCain's VP. I am relieved that he didn't pick Lieberman or Ridge, but Palin is a gutsy choice that should appeal to conservatives, Hillary supporters, and independents (anybody else McCain should be targeting?). Palin is wildly popular in Alaska (80-90% approval ratings), she's a fiscal and social conservative who has had no problems taking on her own party in Alaska over issues of wasteful spending and dependence on the federal government. She's pro-life, the youngest of her five children has Downs Syndrome, which is an interesting contrast with Obama's view that Downs babies that survive an abortion don't have human rights. She snowmobiles and hunts moose! She used to be a commercial fisherwoman! What more do you want, blue-collar and Mountain West people?

Palin should fit nicely into a "Reform" message for McCain. They are both mavericks who have taken political risks by bucking their own party to do what they think is best for the country. Obama also claims to be a reformer, although McCain should do more to highlight his record in the state senate and as a US Senator. Obama was 100% lined up with the dirtiest politicians in all the land. He never once crossed anyone in the Chicago Machine. Even when he had the opportunity to support a liberal Democrat, Forrest Claypool, for Cook County Board President, a candidate that pledged to end the cronyism, corruption and extortion, he instead backed Todd Stroger, the son of the previous president. With Obama's support, Stroger won the primary by 7% of the vote. Stroger has wasted no time, he's increased the sales tax to 10.25%, laid off hundreds of nurses, and cut 43 prosecutors, all so he can hire more friends and family to high paying, do-nothing jobs.

Picking Biden brought Obama down a few points in the polls, but he's certain to get a few points following the convention. Palin's a sure thing to give McCain a couple points back. Now the only thing that can possibly hold the McCain/Palin ticket back is the incredible number of sexists in this country.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

From Rhetoric to Practicalities

George Will's column on Obama's upcoming speech is a must read.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Obama and Ayers

Sorry Senator Obama, but William Ayers is not going away.

Have you ever been a friend or business associate of a terrorist? Not someone who, to your shock and horror, turned out secretly to have bombed government buildings. No, the question is whether you’ve ever befriended an unreconstructed radical whose past was well known to you when you entered his orbit and walked through doors he opened for you. Have you been chummy with an unapologetic terrorist who, years after you’d known and worked closely with him, was still telling the New York Times he regretted only failing to carry out more attacks — and that America still “makes me want to puke”?

Barack Obama has.

William Ayers is a former member of the 60's terrorist organization, the Weathermen. He is responsible for a bomb that killed a police officer in San Francisco and for bombing the Pentagon. He and his wife escaped conviction on a technicality. He is entirely unrepentant to this day ("I don’t regret setting bombs. I feel we didn’t do enough" 2001 NYT) but has shifted his focus from terrorism to indoctrinating education students in hard left-wing ideology at the University of Illinois Chicago.

Obama has claimed he is "just a guy from my neighborhood." Umhmm. Perhaps he forgot that he sat on the board for the Wood Fund, a leftist charity, with Ayers for several years. There, they voted to give tens of thousands to groups like Rev. Wright's church and a member of Arafat's PLO. When Ayers received a huge grant to improve Chicago's public schools, he asked Obama to chair the board. Between 1995 and 1999, Obama (in his only executive experience to date) gave out $100 million to his leftist buddies and in the end, even by the group's own admission, they failed to produce any measurable improvement in the schools (imagine how much money he could waste as President). Obama went on to launch his political career at the home of Ayers and his terrorist wife.

Obama was 8 years old when Ayers committed his crimes. No one is arguing guilt by association. However, doesn't Obama's choice of friends (Ayers), advisors (Rev. Wright), and associates (Tony Rezko) tell you that the image he projects disguises his true leftist beliefs? And why would Ayers pick Obama for this board? Obama says Ayers is "respectable" and "mainstream." I think most people would disagree. If John McCain was appointed to chair an organization by David Duke or if he let abortion clinic bombers hold fund raisers for him, I bet the media would let you know about it.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Celebrities Gone Green

In his book Makers and Takers, Peter Schweizer describes many liberals as "friends of goodness," meaning that supporting goodness is not the same thing as actually being good. A good example are those who advocate higher taxes on the wealthy to help the poor while giving almost nothing personally (Obama, cough! Kerry, cough! Gore, cough!). When they do give, it's usually to "the arts," the ACLU, groups that promote increased government spending, or to churches run by crackpot hate-mongers.

But what's even cooler than pretending to care about the poor? Why, the environment, of course! Here are the "7 Most Retarded Ways Celebrities Have Tried to Go Green."

On a tip from Alex.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Joe Biden On Barack Obama

I guess the McCain campaign saw my post on Biden. This is a great campaign ad. I bet we'll be seeing a lot of this one.

Saturday, August 23, 2008


I was hoping Obama would choose Senator Joe Biden as his running mate. It's the safe choice, probably a mistake considering how much ground McCain has been gaining lately. Biden is thought to be experienced on foreign policy, which shores up a major weakness, but he's not exactly on board with Obama's foreign policy. In the last few years he may have been more supportive of John McCain than Obama, but Obama picked him to be a brawler, and that is what we should expect. However, past comments by Biden could come back to haunt him.

Biden on Obama

"I think he can be ready, but right now I don't believe he is. The presidency is not something that lends itself to on-the-job training."

"Having talking points on foreign policy doesn't get you there."

“If the Democrats think we're going to be able to nominate someone who can win without that person being able to [bring to the] table unimpeachable credentials on national security and foreign policy, I think we're making a tragic mistake.”

On Obama’s Iraq plan, Sept. 2007: “My impression is [Obama] thinks that if we leave, somehow the Iraqis are going to have an epiphany. I’ve seen zero evidence of that.”

“I mean, you got the first mainstream African-American who is articulate and bright and clean and a nice-looking guy. I mean, that’s a storybook, man.”

“When this campaign is over, political slogans like ‘experience’ and ‘change’ will mean absolutely nothing. The next president has to act.”

Biden on Iraq

Meet the Press, 2002, on Saddam: “He’s a long term threat and a short term threat to our national security… “We have no choice but to eliminate the threat. This is a guy who is an extreme danger to the world.”

2005: “We can call it quits and withdraw from Iraq. I think that would be a gigantic mistake. Or we can set a deadline for pulling out, which I fear will only encourage our enemies to wait us out — equally a mistake.”

Meet the Press, 2007, on WMDs: "Well, the point is, it turned out they didn’t, but everyone in the world thought he had them. The weapons inspectors said he had them. He catalogued — they catalogued them. This was not some, some Cheney, you know, pipe dream. This was, in fact, catalogued.

On Obama's Iraq plan, August 2007: “I don’t want [my son] going [to Iraq]. But I tell you what, I don’t want my grandson or my granddaughters going back in 15 years and so how we leave makes a big difference... "[Criticizing Obama and Clinton's efforts to stop funding bills for Iraq] There’s no political point worth my son’s life. There’s no political point worth anybody’s life out there. None.”

Biden on Senator McCain

2007: “The only guy on the other side who’s qualified is John McCain.”

2005: “John McCain is a personal friend, a great friend, and I would be honored to run with or against John McCain, because I think the country would be better off..."

2007: “I’ve been calling for more troops for over two years, along with John McCain and others subsequent to my saying that.”

Thursday, August 21, 2008

I Have One House

McCain made a little blunder - when a reporter asked how many homes he owned, he didn't know the answer (he doesn't actually own any, his wife owns them all). Obama seized on this, of course, on the campaign trail. Does Obama really want to get into a discussion on homes and elitism? Did McCain ever get a great deal on property from a convicted felon? Who was it that claimed that rural voters are bitter people who cling to "guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren't like them"? Obama's really just a regular Joe, isn't he? He only made $4 million last year (and gave less than 1% of his income to charity from 2000-04).

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

From the Onion...

Hurdler Overcomes Many Hurdles To Win Hurdle Race

Alex brought it to my attention that this was a dead link. Sorry about that, it's fixed now.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Courting the Evangelicals

Rev. Rick Warren talked with McCain and Obama at his church in California on Saturday about issues he thought would be important to evangelicals. I didn't get a chance to see it because I was at the beach, but everything I've read and heard indicates that McCain did quite well. Obama's camp is now alleging that McCain somehow heard the questions in advance and that accounted for the difference, although that doesn't seem to be true.

Highlights (thanks NR online):

When asked, “What’s the most gut-wrenching decision you’ve ever had to make?” Obama cited his decision to oppose the Iraq war. That is like me saying the most difficult decision of my life was to support the Iraq war. Obama was not in the Senate at the time this decision was being made and had no more influence on the decision that I did.
When McCain got the question, he was able to tell an old story with a sense of gravity and poignancy that he seldom shows in public. He described his time as a prisoner of war, when he was offered a chance for early release because his father was a top naval officer. “I was in rather bad physical shape,” McCain told Warren, but “we had a code of conduct that said you only leave by order of capture.” So McCain refused to go. He made the telling even more forceful when he added that, “in the spirit of full disclosure, I’m very happy I didn’t know the war was going to last for another three years or so.” In one moment, he showed a sense of pride and a hint of regret, too; he came across as a man who did the right thing but not without the temptation to take an easy out. In any event, the message was very clear: John McCain has had to make bigger, more momentous decisions in his life than has Barack Obama.

They were asked when they “went against party loyalty and maybe even against your own best interest for the good of America.” Obama cited working with McCain on campaign finance reform. Unfortunately, Obama worked with McCain only briefly on the issue before jumping back in the Democratic camp, prompting an angry letter from McCain asserting that Obama had done exactly the opposite of what Warren's question was about. The fact is, Obama doesn't have any examples because he's never gone against party loyalty.
When McCain got the question, everyone in the room thought he would bring up campaign-finance reform, the issue on which he has alienated the Republican base for years. But he didn’t. 'Climate change, out-of-control spending, torture,' he said. 'The list goes on.' McCain’s prime example, though, was his story of opposing Ronald Reagan’s decision to send a contingent of Marines to Lebanon as a peacekeeping force. 'My knowledge and my background told me that a few hundred Marines in a situation like that could not successfully carry out any kind of peacekeeping mission, and I thought they were going into harm’s way,' McCain said. But he deeply admired Reagan, and wanted to be loyal to the party; it was a difficult decision.

“At what point does a baby get human rights, in your view?”

Obama: “Well, I think that whether you are looking at it from a theological perspective or a scientific perspective, answering that question with specificity, you know, is above my pay grade.” Um, er, please don't make me answer this question. As I discussed last week, Obama doesn't even believe all babies that are already born have human rights.

McCain: “At the moment of conception. I have a 25-year pro-life record in the Congress, in the Senate, and as president of the United States, I will be a pro-life president and this presidency will have pro-life policies.”

Perhaps the low moment for Obama was when he was asked, “which existing Supreme Court justice would you not have nominated?” Obama said, “I don’t think he was an exp . . . ” — he then caught himself — “a strong enough jurist or legal thinker at the time for that elevation.” He went on to say that, while he opposed their views on the Constitution, he had no such reservations about the intelligence of the white conservatives on the bench. From the WSJ:

So let's see. By the time he was nominated, Clarence Thomas had worked in the Missouri Attorney General's office, served as an Assistant Secretary of Education, run the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and sat for a year on the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals, the nation's second most prominent court. Since his "elevation" to the High Court in 1991, he has also shown himself to be a principled and scholarly jurist.

Meanwhile, as he bids to be America's Commander in Chief, Mr. Obama isn't yet four years out of the Illinois state Senate, has never held a hearing of note of his U.S. Senate subcommittee, and had an unremarkable record as both a 'community organizer' and law school lecturer. Justice Thomas's judicial credentials compare favorably to Mr. Obama's Presidential résumé by any measure. And when it comes to rising from difficult circumstances, Justice Thomas's rural Georgian upbringing makes Mr. Obama's story look like easy street.

This is all promising, let's just hope McCain doesn't blow it by picking an unacceptable VP.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Infanticide in Illinois

A few years ago, a couple in the Chicago area found out that their unborn baby had Down syndrome. They decided to abort the child, so doctors induced labor at Christ's Hospital. The violent contractions almost always kill the baby at this stage in its development. This one lived. Jill Stanek, a nurse, was shocked at what happened next. The baby was not placed in an incubator, he was left to die. Someone suggested they put him in a linen closet until he died, but Jill took the child in her arms until he died, 45 minutes later.

Jill soon found that it is perfectly legal in Illinois to let a premature baby die if he is unwanted. She eventually found her way to state senator Patrick O'Malley, who proposed legislation to right this wrong. The bill was careful not to infringe about the "right" to abortions (this is Illinois after all). It stated that "the words 'person,' 'human being,' 'child,' and 'individual' include every infant member of the species homo sapiens who is born alive at any stage of development.” All babies who were actually born would then have to be treated, whether or not they were wanted.

Only one state senator spoke in opposition. His name is Barack Obama. His comments on March 30, 2001:
There was some suggestion that we might be able to craft something that might meet constitutional muster with respect to caring for fetuses or children who were delivered in this fashion. Unfortunately, this bill goes a little bit further, and so … this is probably not going to survive constitutional scrutiny. Number one, whenever we define a pre-viable fetus as a person that is protected by the equal protection clause or other elements in the Constitution, what we’re really saying is, in fact, that they are persons that are entitled to the kinds of protections that would be provided to a — a child, a nine-month-old — child that was delivered to term. That determination, then, essentially, if it was accepted by a court, would forbid abortions to take place. I mean, it — it would essentially bar abortions, because the equal protection clause does not allow somebody to kill a child, and if this is a child, then this would be an antiabortion statute.

Essentially he argues that infants born this way may or not be "persons," but that their rights as persons are secondary to the constitutional right to an abortion. Therefore, infanticide is necessary to maintain this right.

Obama pledged in July 2007 that "the first thing" he will do as president is to erase all federal and state restrictions on abortion. His top priority would be to re-legalize partial birth abortion and to force states to fund abortions. Barack Obama is a "new kind of politician" alright. He is new in the sense that he is more to the extreme left than anyone in the Senate. In 2001 the Senate considered similar legislation to the bill Obama opposed in Illinois, the Born-Alive Infants Protection Act. It passed 98-0.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Discrimination and Divisiveness

Ward Connerly, a prominent affirmative action opponent, is leading efforts to put an initiative on Arizona's ballot to ban racial preferences in state contracting, employment, and university admissions. National Review (print edition) notes that McCain has endorsed the initiative, while Obama has called it "divisive" and said that these efforts are "too often designed to drive a wedge between people" rather than "to solve a big problem."

NR's take: "How big a problem racial preferences are depends on how you view the downgrading of merit, the codifying of unfairness, and the divisions that the preferences themselves engender. We suspect that what Obama most dislikes about Connerly is the way his initiatives tend to 'drive a wedge' between Democratic politicians and the public."

I'd add that ending affirmative action in itself will "solve a big problem." Affirmative action, in addition to violating the Equal Protection Clause of the constitution ("no state shall… deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws"), sets up under qualified students for failure (students admitted because of affirmative action have disastrously low graduation rates) and creates bitterness and resentment on the part of the more qualified Asian and white students denied admission. Hiring someone because of their race is the definition of discrimination - no matter who you are discriminating against.

If you have time to read more, here's a column from Thomas Sowell on the subject. A few nuggets:
This study... found that 'of those [faculty and members and administrators] who think that preferences have some impact on academic standards those believing it negative exceed those believing it positive by 15 to 1.'

Affirmative action is great for black millionaires but it has done little or nothing for most people in the ghetto. Most minority business owners who get preferences in government contracts have net worths of more than one million dollars.

Monday, August 11, 2008

PGA Championship

I made the drive to Bloomfield Hills with some buddies this past weekend for the PGA Championship at Oakland Hills. Our tickets were for Saturday, but we saw very little golf, as play was suspended at around two because of rain. It was something of a blessing in disguise, because that made the tickets good for Sunday's play. This was the first time I've attended a pro tournament, you can't get much better than the final round in a major. In the morning my friend Mike and I camped out in the grandstand at number 5, a par four that was eating players up. The pros make it look so easy, but you get a much better appreciation for how good they are in person than just by watching on TV. We saw Ernie Els hit the green from a fairway bunker about 190 yards away - I'd be thrilled to hit the green from the fairway at that distance. Watching the pros' touch around the greens was the most impressive thing.

In the afternoon we found seats behind the 17th green, a par 3. The two-tiered green funneled balls hit to the middle to the wrong tier, leaving a very difficult 2 putt. Players aiming for the pin often found their ball in the bunker. We watched Pedraig Harrington, Sergio Garcia, and Ben Curtis battle for the lead on the scoreboard, listening to the crowds at other holes to try to guess what had just happened. Garcia put his approach in the water on 16, a bogey that dropped him into a three way tie. Harrington and Garcia then hit two of the best three tee shots we saw that afternoon (Justin Rose almost holed his). However, Harrington hit a 10 foot, slippery down hill putt for birdie and Garcia's five foot, flat putt lipped out, opening the door for Harrington's victory after Curtis (playing in the next group) went on to bogey. What a great time!

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Good News From Iraq

In addition to the news that US combat fatalities in Iraq dropped to 5 in July, a low for the war, the Wall Street Journal reports that Muqtada Al-Sadr is disarming his army. The Mahdi Army led by the Shiite cleric has long been a difficult enemy of US troops and peace loving Iraqis and has controlled significant space in Baghdad. Reportedly, they will shift their focus to "education, religion and social justice" and won't even carry weapons.

WSJ credits crackdowns on the Mahdi militias and a loss of popular support for the group due to their use of violence. Together with a near-total defeat of al-Qaeda in Iraq, if the Mahdi Army does disarm, there would not be any significant organized enemy of the US left in Iraq.

What a difference a year makes. The "surge" (opposed by Obama, favored by McCain in case you've forgotten) has been an unqualified success. Imagine how different life would be for the Iraqi people if our troops has left when Obama and the Democrats were demanding that we cut and run (it seems that their lives aren't even bad enough to report on if you ask the media). There will always be disagreement on whether or not we should have gone to war in the first place. However, looking back on the success of the surge, McCain's foreign policy experience certainly trumped Obama's lack of any experience.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Obama's New Energy Plan

Obama has unveiled his new energy plan - telling you to properly inflate your tires. He claimed that this would save more gas than off shore drilling would produce. When asked for the data to back up this claim, the Obama camp had to admit that Obama basically made it up. The Republicans continue to press Speaker Pelosi for a vote on off shore drilling, an actual plan (also favored by McCain) that would increase domestic supply, cutting the price you pay at the pump and allowing for our economy to grow. The Democrats continue to stand in the way.
Obama counters these calls for increased drilling by saying that this action won't generate new oil for 7 years (as if alternative energy solutions are any closer). By this logic, if you're going into your sophomore year in high school, you should probably drop out now, because a college degree won't benefit you for 7 years. Obama must have forgotten about the evil oil speculators - doesn't it stand to reason that if they believe the supply of oil will increase in the long run it will affect prices in the here and now? This is what is meant by a "psychological" benefit. Notice that the oil speculators are no longer enemy number one, now that they're losing money because of the falling price of oil.

Obama blasts the US for importing $700 billion in oil a year. This is not a wealth transfer to foreign countries. It is a voluntary exchange of money for $700 billion worth of oil! Oil that gets me where I want to go. Also, most of that money goes to Mexico and Canada who then spend an awful lot of it on our products. Yes, it would be better if we had more of our own oil, but the Democrats are standing in the way.

Obama's energy plan is to tell you to use less oil and to punish the oil companies that bring you oil. Drive less. Fly less. Obama and his party are beholden to the environmental wackos and will always favor higher energy prices. Energy policy is going to be a huge advantage for the Republicans this November.

Sunday, August 03, 2008

Our house went under a little transformation just before we left for vacation - new siding and a new roof. Here's the before and after, see what you think. The old siding was about 35 years old and the paint was failing pretty bad, it looked much dingier up close. We went with cedar shake style siding on the dormers.

I've got one more big home improvement project planned - a new drain tile system for the basement to keep it from flooding and then hopefully the money pit will ease up on us a little.

I'm Back

Sorry for the lack of postings, Sarah and I just got back from two weeks of vacation. We spent the first week on a service project in Honduras with our church youth group. We had an amazing week working at an orphanage in Comyagua. Here's a picture of a few of my new friends, Riksee, Fany, Wendy and Gabriela. We spent last week relaxing with my family on Lake Michigan. Back to work tomorrow. Grrr.