Sunday, November 30, 2008

Jindal in Iowa

In a move that prompted obligatory speculation about his potential Presidential candidacy in 2012, Gov. Jindal visited Iowa.

I've found a lot to like about Jindal, but I didn't know he had been a Rhodes Scholar. Awesome. No "Sarah Palin-itis" here from weak kneed self-identified elite conservatives. They'll have to find something else to dislike about him, which they surely will.

I don't want to go too nuts about this though... Obama isn't even President yet. There's plenty of time. People are really jumping the gun about Jindal, with Steve Schmidt saying, "The question is not whether he'll be president, but when he'll be president, because he will be elected someday." Similar statements were made by Grover Norquist and Rush Limbaugh.

I'm as optimistic about Jindal as I am about any other up-and-comer, but let's have the guy be Governor for a while, get reelected, and we'll see what happens. And Jindal's smart enough to know that he can afford to wait another election cycle should the political winds be unfavorable, so we may be looking out to 2016 or later.

But I hope not.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

We no longer build excitement?

Bloomberg reports: "GM Said to Study Shedding Saab, Saturn, Pontiac to Win U.S. Aid"

We all know there are too many domestic car brands. I was just sort of surprised to see Saturn and Pontiac on the chopping block. I mean, who buys Buicks? Not that they're bad cars, but who under the age of 60 buys a Buick? (Ok, my dad is 54 and drives a Buick.) Tiger Woods ain't cool enough to bring this puppy back from the dead. The younger staid crowd could probably be convinced to go Caddy.

I haven't been following too closely, but I thought Saturns were supposed to be selling decently? (At least on a relative basis.) And I've always thought the Pontiac styling was better than a lot of other domestic lines, but they really shot themselves in the foot ditching the Grand Prix and leaving that customer to either go smaller with the G6 or way too big with the G8.

The G8 was idiotic. "Hey guys, let's make a monstrous sedan that gets bad fuel economy and has rear wheel drive!" What demographic does that target? Forty-something horsepower jockeys who feel the need to burn some rubber while taking the kids to soccer practice?

And they had just finally figured out a decent Grand Am styling when they dropped that model for the G5, which has no personality whatsoever. Sort of like how Ford finally made the Escort look not-like-a-piece-of-crap and then promptly dropped it for the Focus.

Speaking of Ford, besides a smoking hot spokes-model, what does Mercury have going for it? Being "not a Ford"?

I'm guessing that either Saturn or Pontiac will stay but not both. One of them has to stay, there's too big a gap between Chevy and Buick.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

South Park Conservatives

Another "oldie" book review here... South Park Conservatives: The Revolt Against Liberal Media Bias by Brian C. Anderson carries a 2005 copyright, and seemed to have top-ticked the market in conservative political ascendancy. Bush had won a second term, the extreme anti-war Left had revealed itself to be largely populated by aging hippies and various out-at-any-cost radicals, the Democratic party (as embodied by John Kerry) had no answer to Islamism, and the mainstream media had been scooped and occasionally discredited by bloggers - some of whom presumably wore pajamas while blogging.
Quite a bit has happened since then.

Ever since the phrase "South Park Republicans" was coined I've casually identified myself with the designation. The bitingly insightful criticism coupled with often coarse language that can be found in many of the blog posts in the "moronosphere" (led by the Original Moron, the Ace of Spades) offer an obvious comparison to the profanity-laced satirical cartoon. From my own experiences as an individual who was a freshman in college when the first "South Park" short clips started getting internet circulation, I think a clear trend has formed. There is a generation of younger Americans who have an appreciable anti-political-correctness layered on top of their natural partisan tendencies, and that many of those sentiments are more seriously irritated by the political left than by the right.

Expecting to gain further insight into this phenomenon, I ordered a used copy South Park Conservatives off the internet for under five bucks. It's even blurbed by Jonah Goldberg, an idol of many younger conservatives: "This book will change the debate about the future of conservatism."

Unfortunately, the oft-overlooked subtitle ("The Revolt against Liberal Media Bias") reveals the true thrust of the book, the backlash against the mainstream media. The themes of the book are largely known to any serious conservative reader: the unmistakable left-leaning bias of journalists, the rise of talk-radio and Fox News, the internet, and blogs. Among the less less-well appreciated evolutions are the rise of conservative book publishers and an increase in conservatism on college campuses.

Chapter 5 (of 8) is devoted to the South Park "Anti-liberals". Much of the "South Park" oriented content is a series of extended dialog quotes from the show demonstrating how the often vulgarity-strewn comedy rejects politically correct domination over the culture. The remaining half-chapter extends this observation to comedians like Colin Quinn and Dennis Miller.

The Chapter on the Blogosphere shows the book's age. In 2005 it might have been said that conservatives dominated the web, but no longer. Still, the conservative blogosphere maintains its primary function as the ultimate "bullshit detector" for the mainstream media, and it plays that role in a way that the left-leaning blogosphere cannot. Just as the right and left use radio, print, and television differently, so too do they use the internet differently, and for the right to attempt to carbon-copy the left's internet presence would not work.

Given the book's title, I had hoped for a more thorough examination of the South Park anti-liberal audience. Sadly, the book's title seems like an effort to ride the coattails of the very popular television show. "South Park" and its audience is a tangential topic in an otherwise unremarkable book about the rejection of polticial correctness and the evolution of information media in the country.

It is all too clear from Anderson's optimistic Conclusion chapter that cultural trends do not flow in one direction only. Hindsight allows me to pick on him a little:

News outlets will need to rein in their biases or risk blogosphere exposure and ridicule - a lesson the New York Times and CBS News should have learned by now.


On the contrary, exposure and ridicule have only emboldened the biases of traditional media outlets. The 2008 election cycle proved this emphatically.

Also:
The Left will have to reexamine, argue, and refine its positions, so many of which have proved disastrously wrong, and stop living off the past. It's hard to imagine that this development won't result in a broader, richer, deeper national debate - something liberals of an older, John Stewart Mill-stripe would have welcomed.


Enabled by an utter failure of governance by Republican officials, the bulk of the Democratic party has reached far into the past to the Progressive era and many of those disastrously wrong policies. Bush's "ownership society" as been derided as an "on your own" philosophy in a decidedly un-Millian fashion.

As to Goldberg's promise of "chan[ing] the debate about the future of conservatism", I think the South Park Conservative phenomenon does inform the direction of the ideological and existential debate in which defeated conservatives find ourselves. Even tentatively accepting Anderson's assertion that social conservatism among college age individuals is on the rise, the libertarian bent of 18-30 year olds seems apparent. This should be one more cog in the argument against "compassionate conservatism" and the massive state power that do-good-ism creates. To the extent that Huckabeeism threatens the libertarian segment of the conservative coalition it should be curtailed.

Back to the party of Grover Norquist.

Keep us safe and leave us alone.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Geek Holiday Preview

I spent the weekend working on a relative's computer, just as countless geeks will be doing over Thanksgiving.

Lessons learned:
  • The F-Defender live-CD is worthless. (Found zero viruses on an obviously compromised machine.)
  • The ClamAV Live-CD is better than F-Defender, but didn't get it all.
  • Dell should really ship Windows Recovery CDs by default.
  • If you're trying to fix things with a live cd then you're probably better off just going to System Restore rather than beat your head against a wall.
  • System Restore/Symantec Ghost is your friend. Ctrl-F11 on your semi-recent Dell.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Make "Make Work" Work

Let's build a high-speed rail system in this country.

It seems we're going to be dropping some coin on our infrastructure at the Federal level no matter what. Infrastructure isn't an inherently bad use of public funds, but we need to make sure we're not creating "make-work" jobs that don't produce much of value once the projects are complete. The proverbial broken windows (or in this case roads and bridges) do need to be fixed, but merely fixing them doesn't get us far.

If we're going to "invest" -a word that is used way too loosely- in infrastructure, let's build something of significant value.

A high speed rail system, perhaps? We've found out in the last year or two just how efficient the trains are, but we're way behind other developed nations in the modernity of our rail system. Perhaps a mag-lev corridor is too much to ask, but at least it bears a cost-benefit analysis.

Whatever we do, since we're definitely going to do something rather than nothing, we should make sure that we're laying the cornerstone for future growth, not just filling potholes to keep busy.

(cross posted at RedState)

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Keep it up GOP

... and you'll lose forever.

CQ reports that the GOP House caucus rejected a moratorium on earmarks introduced by Leader Boehner and Congressman Cantor.

"Boehner downplayed the conference’s decision to strip the moratorium language. 'I’m not sure the moratorium would have had that much impact,' he said."

(x-posted at PAWaterCooler)

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Bank Distress

I'm a little confused, and have drawn the conclusion that certain banks are still under considerable distress.

The Fed Funds Rate target is 1%
3-Month Libor is 2.22%
Prime is 4.0%
(All three according to Bloomberg.com as of today.)

I can get FDIC insured CDs for
3.41% APY for 3 months at GMAC
4.00% for 6 months at HSBC-Direct
4.00% for 12 months at ING-Direct
4.25% for 12 months at GMAC

(GMAC rates from Bankrate.com, HSBC and ING from their websites.)

CD rates are typically close to the Fed Funds rate, usually below it. Banks are screaming out for increased deposits. For investors looking to stash less than a quarter million at a time, CDs are still very attractive, so I'm not anticipating a huge flow of funds into stocks or commercial bonds until this changes.

In the tank

As if I needed anybody to tell me the media was in the tank for Obama, we have "How Obama Got Elected".

In. The. Tank.

When 57% of Obama's voters don't know what party controls congress, and they would have done better by random coin toss, I think it's safe to say that the media has failed to promote the public good with the public airwaves.

EDIT: Linked from the front page of AOL.com, and actually reinforcing the idea behind the website, this guy thinks HOGE "doesn't click", yet fails to address the polling figures.

Monday, November 17, 2008

DEE-troit

(or "deh-TROIT", depending on your locale.)

I'm undecided, but leaning towards a pre-packaged Chapter 11.

A "free money" bailout doesn't solve any real problems, it only delays them. The idea that the automakers would fare better under a "strings attached" mandate to make a particular type of vehicle is not a feasible plan. (Do we think Congress knows any better how to make and market cars than industry folks? Not I.)

Toyota and Honda may have had a leg up on hybrids and fuel economy, but TM was tooled for big trucks too.

Under Ch-11 the auto-cos can still maintain operations and get their respective houses in order. Some jobs will be lost, but there's really no way around that.

EFCA concerns

My plea for Senator Specter to oppose and potentially filibuster EFCA is up at PAWaterCooler.

If Specter wants to win his primary he will oppose Card Check.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

There is no Center

Professor James Gimpel has convinced me - everything I learned in Political Science 101 about median voter theory is bunk. Black's classic theory, amplified through the years by greater minds, assumes that there's a mass of rational voters in the middle of the left-right political spectrum.

Poppycock, apparently.

The first tip-off should have been the persistence of the UK Lib-Dem party, whose existence creates a theoretical unstable equilibrium.

Who are these people in the so-called center?
The research suggests that those who at various times occupy this center, often described as moderates or independents, are not very knowledgeable about or interested in politics. They do not follow campaign coverage closely, are inconsistent in their policy views, and are often not able to identify what positions are liberal or conservative.

So, in essence, most of them do not hold rational positions, and therefore would not be accounted for by an economic/game theory that assumes rationality.

Sounds to me like John McCain. His policies have been all over the map from an ideological perspective.

By any reasonable measure McCain was the more centrist candidate. In conservative circles there was a brief outbreak of "McCain Derangement Syndrome" during the primaries. We hated him. I identified three candidates I preferred ahead of him for the nomination, Thompson, Romney, and Giuliani, in that order. I hesitated to support him after he had the nomination tied up. Though I never vowed to vote against him, many did so. I suspect most reneged on that threat when Obama became the Democratic nominee, but conservatives were certainly holding our noses voting for McCain.

For all the jabber about how McCain ran too far to the right, I ask, "On what issue?" All we heard for months on end was "just like Bush". Well, Bush won. Outright at least once.

Oh, and Sarah Palin?
Moving centrists toward one’s candidacy is not a process that hinges on taking the right policy stands, either. Instead, it involves the enthusiasm and social contagion that builds around exciting candidates. We know from several volumes of political-science research that less-informed voters commonly substitute someone else’s judgment for their own. That someone else is often a spouse, workmate, or neighbor knowledgeable and enthusiastic about one of the candidates. Support for a candidate spreads through social influence processes. [This was the Dowd/Rove playbook outlined in "Applebee's America", using "The Influentials" as a precursor - JC]

It is therefore no accident that Sarah Palin’s nomination gave John McCain the only lead that he had during the fall campaign. [emph. added] She was Senator McCain's only hope for closing the enthusiasm gap, but then economic crisis stalled the gains. Polls will show that Barack Obama had social contagion working in his favor to pull the incoherent center in a leftward direction.

I'll disagree on two points. First, there is a real phenomenon that we describe as candidates "moving" to the center. I maintain that these candidates are often not changing their positions so much as they are emphasizing different issues. (That said, many of Obama's statements seem to come with a short expiration date.)

Second, a candidate needs to be able to articulate a semi-coherent philosophy. It may not be terribly important what sort of philosophy that is, but it definitely needs to be sold. McCain was an abject failure on this point, owing no doubt to the utter lack of such a philosophy.

The other Chinese Democracy

The weather forecast for Hell is heavy ice. And in other news, (the new) GnR is releasing the "Chinese Democracy" album November 23rd now that Axl has tweaked it for fourteen years.

Friday, November 14, 2008

History

In researching a previous post referencing Soviet era iconography, I ran across this guy's incredible collection of Soviet (and other) propaganda posters.

Do check it out.

Some of the slogans:

"The intellect, honor and conscience of our era! Lenin."

"The Constitution Day (October 7th). Family is under protection of the Government."

"Work like revolutionists!! Lenin"

"We won't let you do bad job!"

"Empathy is the main and, possibly, the only law that of human existence. F. M. Dostoyevsky"

"Build like you would for yourself!"

"Stop and punish harshly the lovers of the unearned rouble!"

"Let us start working. We are all experts at talking, but thanks, I got enough of that."

"Very many various villains wander in this country and around.
We will, of course, crush them, but to do away with all of them is extremely difficult. Vl. Mayakovski"

"Socialism means peace and building up."

"Let us strengthen the class solidarity and cooperation of all communists of all countries in the struggle for peace and socialism."

"Our era calls - forward! The five year plan calls - forward!"

"We shall go forward. Step higher with energy and unity of will. V.I. Lenin"

"It is desired that the Communist Union of Youth would teach everybody from the early years to responsible and disciplined work. V. I. Lenin"

"The most important thing to us is to preserve peace. All power to soviets! Peace to nations! Land to peasants! Factories to workers!"

"Time is on the side of peace, communism."

"Bread is the work and treasure of the whole Soviet nation."

"About Cooperation in the USSR. For us, the growth of cooperation is intertwined with the growth of socialism.....V.I. Lenin"

"We promise to the workers and to the peasants to do everything for peace - and we will do it. V. I. Lenin"

"There is nothing more superior than the term 'working man'!"

"We will do it! If we save extra 0,5% of farm production, that means 600 millions Roubles!"

"Thriftiness - is the communistic quality"

"We are the Party of the future, and the future belongs to the youth. We are the party of innovators, and the innovators are always eagerly followed by the youth. We are the party of fight, and youth will always fight first.. V. I. Ulyanov (Lenin)"

"Hurrah for the revolution of soldiers, workers and peasants! Peace! Bread! Work!"

"The Great October is the beginning of a new era of human kind. All power to Soviets! Peace to the nations!"

"Our weapon is to work efficiently and to achieve good quality."

Cracks in the Watermelon coalition

The Green/Red political coalition has shown its first signs of cracking in Canada where a carpool startup has been fined CA$11,000 and is forced to live within idiotic restrictions such as inability to cross municipal lines or collect money more than once a week.

Why? Because the bus companies complained!

Message to the greenies - your goals of reducing fossil fuel usage are only useful to the Left in so far as you are destroying capitalism. Try to go against a bureaucracy or a labor union and you're out of luck, comrades.

(via Slashdot)

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Typos and Guns

Really? Typos? Are you kidding me? You're going to steal an election for Al Franken?

I'm increasingly convinced that the run on guns is probably a wise choice. A Cold Civil War always has the potential to go hot.

Even Obama supporters are suspicious:
"One of the strangest things I've had happen in the past few weeks was that I've had people coming in here wearing Obama buttons and Obama T-shirts," Glen Parshall, owner of a local Fort Worth gun shop. "[They] tell me they're in here to buy them before he bans them."
Maybe I should get myself to Cabela's before January.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Chug a lug - PAWaterCooler




I've been invited to post at PAWaterCooler, so from time to time I'll be putting some content up there. So take a sip at the water cooler and maybe linger a while.

If you were going to leak this

If you were going to leak this -which I strongly oppose- why would you wait until after the election?

Oh, and Prez-Elect Obama - it's possible, even preferable, to take certain clandestine actions and then shut the heck up about it. You see, Mr. Internationalist Heal-the-World, not everybody likes it when you brag about your dog crapping in their yard.

Sunday, November 09, 2008

Priorities for the Opposition

As we queue up our Loyal Opposition mode, we need to focus on a few truly horrible Democratic proposals that we need to stop - no questions asked. To this end, I'm borrowing the DHS color coded threat levels.

Red - These proposals are undemocratic and/or unconstitutional. They must be stopped. I'm talking pitchforks and torches here.
  • The so-called Employee Free Choice Act, which strips workers of a secret ballot when voting on whether to unionize, and once a shop is unionized, management is forced to deal with the union and would be prevented from hiring "scab" workers.
  • Implementation of the so-called "Fairness Doctrine", which is anything but fair, and is a naked attempt to silence voices on the right.
  • Mandatory "community service" for middle and high school students. In my estimation, a violation of the Thirteenth Amendment against involuntary servitude, and for minor children no less. Some localities already have versions of this, and I think it's a travesty. ("Joe, why are you so keyed up about this?" At best this is a misuse of our educational infrastructure to do a job it wasn't indended to do. At worst, it (a) conditions young people that the government can force you to do things for which you will not be compensated, and (b) turns project approval into a political game where teachers have broad discretion - Johnny's plan to leaflet for "affordable housing" will be approved, but Billy's 2nd amendment awareness website won't, so Billy will be picking up litter on the highway instead.)

Orange - These proposals will do significant and irreversible damage to our freedom and/or economy, but we'll survive as a society if they happen. Your standard street demonstrations and public education will do.
  • The Obama health care plan. It's arguably worse than a pure socialization "single payer" scheme in that it becomes a direct tax on job creation. The Obama health plan will, through its fail-unsafe design, inexorably lead to single payer. But no matter how bad the government health scheme turns out, the empirical evidence seen in other democracies indicates we'll never have the chance to reverse course on this.
  • The negative tax scheme. Half or more of the population is going to be getting a direct cash hand-out. This can never be undone.
  • "Renegotiation" of NAFTA will do serious and permanent damage to our economy, and will make future trade negotiations difficult.
  • The Global Poverty Act puts the US permanently on the hook for an international wefare super-state that will mainly benefit warlords and dictators without solving the underlying problems of global poverty.
  • So-called "windfall" profits taxes will reduce oil production and increase the cost of energy over the long run. Aside from that,they are completely arbitrary in their application and introduce the idea that the government can tell which entities make "too much".
  • Raising the minimum wage and pegging it to inflation creates a destructive pro-cyclical economic feedback that will exacerbate unemployment and inflation in every single recession.

Yellow - These are very stupid proposals, but mostly ones that can be overcome by future Republican administrations if need be.
  • "Community service" as a condition for college aid is a blatant indoctrination scheme, but does not rise to the level of involuntary servitude. He who pays the piper calls the tune, and college students wanting funds are going to have to suck it up and dance for their lunch.
  • Increased taxes on capital gains and dividends will hurt our economy, but they sow the seeds of their own demise.
  • Subsidies for alternative energy implementation before the technology is economical. No economies of scale are going to help corn ethanol. Any spending (and there should indeed be some meaningful spending) should be on research and development to invent new technologies and make existing tech cost effective. Mere government fiat can't make one thing be cheaper than another without doing economic damage, as we've seen with the rise in the cost of food.
  • Efforts to undo globalization through the tax system will fail. Companies with overseas profits will merely spin off their foreign branches and arrange for exclusivity with the mother company. Shareholders will be no worse off since they will hold a stake in both the mother and child companies, but no jobs or profits will be repatriated. (If I can figure that out, rest assured the I-bankers have already.) Tax credits for domestic job creation will probably have some short term positive effect on unemployment, but productivity will suffer in the long run as incentives to automate and streamline are lessened, and the US will be at a disadvantage in the long run.

Saturday, November 08, 2008

Scrooge Shout-out

I really didn't need this downer of an article from Mark Steyn ("The Death of the American Idea"), but he did reference my favorite fallacious economic analogy, so I have to give him some props for that.

I don't need Barack Obama's help to “spread the wealth around.” I spread my wealth around every time I hire somebody, expand my business, or just go to the general store and buy a quart of milk and loaf of bread. As far as I know, only one bloated plutocrat declines to spread his wealth around, and that's Scrooge McDuck, whose principal activity in Disney cartoons was getting into his little bulldozer and plowing back and forth over a mountain of warehoused gold and silver coins. Don't know where he is these days. On the board at Halliburton, no doubt. But most of the beleaguered band of American capitalists do not warehouse their wealth in McDuck fashion. It's not a choice between hoarding and spreading, but a choice between who spreads it best: an individual free to make his own decisions about investment and spending, or Barney Frank. I don't find that a difficult question to answer. More to the point, put Barney & Co in charge of the spreading, and there'll be a lot less to spread.

New word

Found a new word I like - "Obamunism".

Just has a catchy ring to it.

Bizarro

Other than the obvious "firsts" of this Presidential election, we have some less obvious ones.

For the first time in at least a generation, a candidate has won on a platform of raising taxes (if only, as he claims, for the top 5%). Now, ironically, he may have to renege on that promise because of financial turmoil. To compound the irony, he will feel political heat from some corners for doing so!

Strange times indeed.

Great firewall of China

This is a content-free post intended to PUT me behind the great firewall of China, so regular readers can safely ignore this post and hope that the chinese WoW gold-farming spammer will stop commenting.

Chinese Democracy
Human Rights
Taiwan Independence
Free Tibet
Dalai Lama
Freedom of Speech
Internet Censorship
Falun Gong
Dictatorship

Friday, November 07, 2008

Dean's Due

For all the talk of the wonderful organizational skills of the Obama campaign, we need to remember that it was built on an idea hatched by Howard Dean. Much as he can be a raving lunatic at times, Howard Dean's "50 state strategy" was effective, and laid the foundational work for Obama to pick up several of those marginal states previously thought safe for Republicans such as Virginia, Indiana, and (God help us) North Carolina.

Sure it's a little hyper-inflated, a 50 state strategy. They weren't going to take Texas. (But we thought that about NC too, didn't we.) It rallies the troops, and it brings in the donations. A hundred bucks from a blue collar worker in Texas is worth just as much as a hundred bucks from a granola-smoking Berzerkley professor.

I don't believe in the whole "if you build it, they will come" Field of Dreams theory. But I do know if you don't build it, they definitely won't come.

Dean's strategy made it possible to exploit GOP weaknesses ad hoc. The reason McCain and Palin were in PA so much just before the election wasn't that they thought they were likely to win it, it's that they had to win it. They were playing defense in too many other areas, any of which they might have won individually, but they couldn't defend them all simultaneously.

So today's lesson for conservatives is to build infrastructure. Not necessarily staffing field offices in Hawaii, but consider a few of the following: support for existing and new conservative think tanks, mechanisms for candidate recruitment and support, some consistent and effective communications shops, possibly some social science and social psychology research ...

...and yes, maybe a few field offices in Pennsylvania and Ohio. I don't want us to turn into the money-burning welfare organization that the Democrats have become, but it's something to think about for the next time you expect us to magically pull your fat out of the fire.

Bumper Sticker

There's a certain grace period after an election where yard signs and bumper stickers are still socially accepted. Yard signs have to come down within about a week. Bumper stickers can linger on for a while longer. As a society, we sorta pushed the upper limits on tasteful bumpersticker-ism after the 2004 election. Three years into Bush's second term there were a significant number of Kerry-Edwards stickers in circulation. Only the Democratic primary put an end to that.

I expect Obama stuff to be out there continuously through 2012, but I have no particular gripes about that since (a) he won, and (b) he's a presumptive candidate for 2012.

So I feel somewhat entitled to keep my McCain sticker for a while longer. (Also keeping a Fred oval... because really McCain shouldn't have been our candidate.)

How much longer I can tastefully keep my McCain sticker is an interesting question. At the very least I think I have through the first hundred days of Obama's administration.

I'll reassess the situation then.

Unintended Consequences

San Franciscans are about to suffer under the law of unintended consequences now that their ban on tobacco sale in pharmacies has cleared the courts. Now non-smokers too will suffer from the jihad against Marlboros.

Apparently it's not enough to ban the act of smoking in pretty much any public place, people can't even buy their smokes in a convenient place anymore.

Who suffers from this ban? EVERYBODY who shops at drug stores, that's who. Cigarette sales are a huge part of the "front end" sales of any pharmacy. Any marginal pharmacy within the city limits is going to go out of business. Even fiscally healthy pharmacies may end up cutting store hours, and therefore cutting workforce hours as well.

The public will be less well served, and workers are going to lose hours.

Put that in your pipe and smoke it.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Hollow

Some of the NRO folks think this is cute, but I think it mostly rings very hollow.

From 52 to 48 with love.

Easy to be magnanimous in victory... but weren't we promised race wars and riots if Obama lost?

I'm sure some, even most of these folks are sincere, but I've just got to comment on a few of these...

Photobucket

"Anymore"? You were afraid of us? HAHAHA! But seriously though, some of Obama's policies are truly frightening.

Photobucket

If you're for the "Fairness Doctrine" and the "Employee Free Choice Act", you've already failed on the whole "fight for my rights" thing. (Excuse me while I go bitterly cling to a gun. "Cold, dead fingers" and all that.)
Photobucket


Um, yeah, what this guy said! (..seems to have slipped under the touchy-feely radar):
[Edit: It seems that the truth squads have since discovered this photo and removed it.]


Photobucket

I seem to remember a bunch of hippie protesters saying "Bush lied, people died", and I remember a bunch of Democratic Senators like HRC morphing from a state of certain knowledge about Iraq based on her own independent sources to saying Bush misled her. Oh, how united we were then! The nostalgia!

Photobucket

Indivisible? You mean like this?

Photobucket

Quite a few of these we-can-only-do-it-together messages. But really though, y'all are running the show now. You can most certainly do it without me. You've got the votes, why should I pretend to support your policies?

Leper

At the risk of propagating the circular firing squad environment, I think Red State is on to something.

Operation Leper.

The completely unprofessional behavior of particular McCain campaign staffers who speak anonymously to the press must not be allowed to stand. They want to cut down Sarah Palin, transferring the responsibility for their own mistakes (as well as McCain's flaws) onto Palin.

Wrong.

But more that whether I think it's wrong or not, it's actually irrelevant whether these future lepers have legitimate gripes. Too bad, so sad! Your job was to deal with Palin and then shut the heck up, even if she was the most difficult candidate in the history of electoral politics.

Staffers are dime-a-dozen. You will not be missed. You are expendable.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Gloom

Ok, I was never really a Hee Haw fan, but in light of recent events:

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Don't blame me

... I voted for Kodos the old white haired dude.

I seem to recall a bunch of people insisting that "dissent is the highest form of patriotism."

Dissent you shall have, and in abundance.

WaPo fudge

So after noon today, Rob Stein at WaPo reports everything is cool in PA.




But before 8 am there were already reports of shenanigans.

It got worse from there.

Then it got much worse.

But don't worry, no major snafus.

You stay classy, WaPo.

Monday, November 03, 2008

I am rubber you are glue

So sayeth the not-so-Honorable former Mayor of Scranton (via grassrootspa):
"There is no other reason for John McCain and Sarah Palin to be in the state based on what the polls say, except that they’re counting on us to be bigots," said former Scranton Mayor James McNulty, a Democrat. "Why else are they here? They’re counting on Pennsylvania not voting for a black man."

When I hear garbage like this, I'm reminded of the very second post I made on this blog back in 2006 when rural PA voted for Lynn Swann almost identically as did for Rick Santorum. The more rural your county, the more likely you were to vote for Swann.

Blow it out your tailpipe, McNulty.

Do you sense a pattern developing?

Amazingly, Obama is always taken out of context.

Funny, that.

(found at Mark Levin's NRO/Corner post)

Three Scenarios

I think the polls are a little off, but I'm not sure how much. Probably not enough to elect McCain. So I've created three scenarios on PredictNovember, "Polls basically correct", "Polls off a little", and the "McCain Optimistic Scenario".

If we assume that the polls are basically correct, and grant McCain North Carolina (which is a suspect assumption), we get this:

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If we assume that the polls are off a small but significant amount, McCain has a chance of taking Virginia and Ohio. However, that isn't good enough.

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The optimistic scenario for McCain relies on Pennsylvania. I could argue that McCain has a better chance of picking up Nevada, but it doesn't put him over the top and he hasn't spent time there, he's been trotting around PA.

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Here's the argument for Pennsylvania defying the polls. You've got the background of the "bitter" comments, Obama's opposition to concealed carry laws, and the recently revealed hostility toward the coal industry. In PA there could be several down-ticket House races that boost McCain: William Russell has a real chance of defeating Murtha, Barletta could unseat Kanjorski, and Hackett could beat Carney.

If the polls are off, then news networks "calling" states just after the polls close will not be reliable. Their projections are based on the same turnout models that the polls are based on. The proof will be in the actual results from PA, VA, OH, and NC.

That's not to say I believe McCain will win PA; in fact I believe it is highly improbable. But in the unlikely event we wake up to President-elect McCain, this is how I see it happening.

Saturday, November 01, 2008

Quote of the Day : NRO Red Meat

"It's not like ... Oh! the Care Bears just knifed each other..." - Jim Geraghty, on the allegations that Rep. Alcee Hastings threatened his opponent.

Ink

This looks like it might be photoshopped, but if it's real... "God save us from these people."