Sunday, August 31, 2008
But "Tom W." wrote this to Uncle Jimbo at Blackfive (h/t J. Goldberg):
Alaska is the first line of defense in our missile interceptor defense system. The 49th Missile Defense Battalion of the Alaska National Guard is the unit that protects the entire nation from ballistic missile attacks. It’s on permanent active duty, unlike other Guard units.
As governor of Alaska, Palin is briefed on highly classified military issues, homeland security, and counterterrorism. Her exposure to classified material may rival even Biden's.
Palin is privy to military and intelligence secrets that are vital to the entire country's defense. Given Alaska's proximity to Russia, she may have security clearances we don't even know about.
Given Biden's position on the Foreign Relations Committee, Jimbo is rightly skeptical that Palin's knowledge rivals Bidens. But it probably does beat Obama's.
Oh, and then there's that whole $26 billion natural gas pipeline negotation with Canada too. Again, it's not setting the world on fire to negotiate with a friendly nation over a simple economic matter, but it's more than Obama has done.
Saturday, August 30, 2008
The real question: "Does Barack Obama have the experience to take over, if – God forbid – something happens to Joe Biden?"
As I mentioned before, it is not enough for a leader to have good advisors (assuming you want to call Joe Biden a good advisor).
The Democratic ticket is upside-down on experience. Question Palin's experience all you want, but our ticket is aligned correctly on that dimension. Our fall-back pick is as good as their number one. And your number two ain't so hot in my book either.
Friday, August 29, 2008
Say "hello" to a good chunk of the blue-collar Hillary women.
Contrast that with...
If it is Palin, then this leak is awesome. To borrow a phrase - McCain, you magnficent bastard!
EDIT: I think I found the perfect theme track for Palin: "Barracuda" by Heart.
EDIT 2: Fox is confirming Palin as of about 10:30 Eastern. This had darn well better be true. A head-fake of this magnitude would be political malpractice.
Wednesday, August 27, 2008
I think this will resonate with the majority of voters who are paying attention, but we may suffer in marginal farm states. This is a politically risky thing to do, but it is also the right thing to do.
As a policy matter, I think we may end up merely freezing the mandates or cutting them back slightly . Removing them entirely will send a shock to the farm economy, but allowing them to grow as planned is unsustainable. As much as I'm a free-marketer, another part of being conservative is not making sudden swings in policy and to avoid introducing exogenous shocks to the economy. To suddenly kill the ethanol mandate will have unplanned repercussions. Some combination of freeze, reduction, or phasing-out would be preferable. A compromise might also include a mandate for flex-fuel capable vehicles, which would create a potential market for biofuels if/when they become economical, and therefore an incentive to develop the technologies that might allow biofuels to become viable.
Sunday, August 24, 2008
Machiavelli - The Prince, XXII
The chosing of ministers is a matter of no little importance for a prince; and their worth depends on the sagacity of the prince himself. The first opinion that is formed of a ruler's intelligence is based on the quality of the men he has around him. When they are competent and loyal he can always be considered wise, because he has been able to recognize their competence and to keep them loyal. But when they are otherwise, the prince is always open to adverse criticism; because his first mistake has been in the choice of his ministers.
The Prince, XXIII
For this is an infallible rule: a prince who is not himself wise cannot be well advised...
...[G]ood advice, whomever it comes from, depends on the shrewdness of the prince who seeks it, and not the shrewdness of the prince on good advice.
It's an open question whether Biden will be good council to Obama. But ultimately it is Obama's wisdom that really counts.
It's probably a bad sign that I'm sick of Biden already. Is it November yet?
Thursday, August 21, 2008
This isn't your average online poll - you need to go to the trouble of giving them a valid email address in order to minimize tampering. This will also have the effect of magnifying intensity since ya don't just go giving out your email address to every little web-app in the world.
But the RNC takes the cake on this one...
Today I got a piece of mail that blew my mind. A bright yellow envelope with the words "PAST DUE" printed in stark red from the RNC.
Chairman Duncan, you are not "DUE" anything. Your partisans are DUE some actual conservative governance.
This presumptuousness is a very poor communication strategy.
EDIT: Photo added (Welcome Grapevine readers!)
Wednesday, August 20, 2008
Sunday, August 17, 2008
McCain did very well, and if he performs at this level of competence until November he has an excellent shot at winning.
Some criticisms of Obama's answers:
- Haven't we been hearing about how the Democrats are committed to reducing the number of abortions for some time now? "Safe, Legal and Rare" goes back at least as far as Bill Clinton. And if there's an undeniable moral and ethical gravity to the abortion question, then what exactly is that moral element? What does it mean, to borrow Teresa Heinz-Kerry's formulation, that abortion is a "something" rather than a "nothing"?
- How many women with unplanned pregnancies discuss abortion with pastors or spouses? Come on now.
- If gay marriage is to be a state issue, then why shouldn't opponents be concerned about the full-faith-and-credit clause?
- Should Catholic charities be able to perform the public function of placing adoptions if they discriminate against gay couples?
- Elaborate on "sacrifices".
As I alluded to earlier, Obama skated by on these issues because Warren was not interested in following up. In my estimation that was the greatest flaw of the Saddleback civic forum.
Edit 08/18/08 - I don't want to hear anything more about how the "cross in the dirt" story is fabricated. There is at least one first hand witness that McCain has told the story in the 70's.
Saturday, August 16, 2008
I get all sorts of junk political mail asking for donations despite the fact that I've donated less than $100 in my entire life to political candidates (other than rubber chicken dinners for my county Republican committee). Recently I got one for Deborah Honeycutt, an African-American physician running as a Republican against an incumbent Af-Am Democrat in Georgia's 13th district.
Not that I was going to donate, but my curiosity was piqued. I went to the FEC website to see how the fundraising was going. Much to my surprise, very well! $2.8 million (almost all of it from individuals) versus $690,000 (the vast majority of it PAC money) for the incumbent Congressman David Scott. An odd discrepancy for a "majority minority" Cook "D+10" district.
Wouldn't that be great?! A black, professional, female Republican Congresscritter!
What does she have to show for it? Just under a quarter million in "cash on hand" with $131k in debt to boot. Turns out that most of those donations are plowed back in to direct mail fundraising.
The direct mail firm is preying on the hopes and wishes of Republicans across the nation who want so desperately to be more inclusive and long for the chance to show African-Americans that we want to embrace them. Nearly three million dollars from the pockets of Republicans who believe in the promise of "the Democratic party's worst nightmare".
But unfortunately this looks like money down the rabbit hole. All the more sad when one considers that the money could have been used on a viable race.
Erick at Peach Pundit has differing thoughts, saying that the TPM report was just trying to marginalize the direct mail fundraising mechanism that has worked so well for Republicans. He may have a point about the margins involved in direct mail and the new campaign finance reporting regime, but I still think this stinks.
Friday, August 15, 2008
Those are the words of an average citizen in Texas. Heck yeah. From your mouth to God's ear.
Rep. Hensarling gets a gold star this week for extra effort.
H/T - The Corner
Monday, August 11, 2008
But people who care to know this sort of thing already know it, so I'm not breaking any news here. The important question is "why?"
Why in the name of all that is holy would Big Oil donate to Obama?
My theory is that the very biggest of the big oil companies want higher-priced oil and they know Obama's policies will bring it. They have massive reserves, but Exxon in particular has been reluctant to do more exploration. The easiest way for such a company to make more money is for the price of oil to magically levitate.
Who is donating to McCain? Among them, those connected to Koch Industries, Valero, Marathon, Hess, ConocoPhillips, and Occidental. What's different about this grouping? Valero, Marathon, and Hess in particular have significant refining businesses that use oil as an input. Koch too is involved in several industries that use oil as an input. These companies suffer if oil is extremely expensive.
Those who benefit from expensive oil and restricted exploration donate to Obama. Those who benefit from less-than-stratospheric oil and those who want to do more exploration donate to McCain.
Sunday, August 10, 2008
It's hard to ignore people who... oh, say... get their pictures plastered on the cover of the thingie in my Saturday newspaper.
Also, Blogger ate one of my previous posts on Obama... not sure if I'll try to reconstruct it or not.
Wednesday, August 06, 2008
I'll cut to the chase, the moral of the story is give money to Lou Barletta, and Hackett if you have some extra jingle.
Melissa Hart has over $600k in the bank but Altimre has two and a half times as much. I don't think she'll pull this one out, but it's not impossible.
Patrick Murphy has a lot of ammo to try to keep the seat Democrat. Gerlach should be able to bring this one home for us again.
Hackett is burning through his ample cash to knock off Carney and take this seat back for the Republicans and he may pull it off. Lou Barletta needs money in order to keep up his poll numbers. This is one we can pick up!
The Murtha-Russell race is much closer than one would imagine, particularly given all the problems that have plagued the Russell campaign from the very beginning. That race could be a sleeper-surprise, and I'd love to see some real polling there.
It's a shame Gilhooley has so little money. We've neglected that district way too long.