A Prophet or Profit?

Oh, it think the blood is going to shoot out of my eye balls over this one. This weekend in Atlanta, GA is the first ever "New Baptist Covenant Celebration" conference. It is the brain child of Southern Baptist rejects/former US Presidents Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton. Their goal is to unite the many baptists through out the United States who apparently have lost faith in the continued growth of the Southern Baptist Convention as it remains one of the most conservative denominational groups today. The elder former President said in his opening remarks, "For the first time in more than 160 years, we're convening a major convocation of Baptists throughout an entire continent without any threat to our unity or to our freedom brought by differences of race, politics, geography or the legalistic interpretation of Scriptures," according to Baptist Press.

Now, as bad as this is...various apostate and liberal so called "baptist" groups gathering to bash the SBC; that isn't even the worst thing. The high light of the day (and someone had to be high to decide on this one) was the awarding of former Vice President and Presidential Election Sore-Loser Algore with the "Baptist of the Year Award". Yes, i said "Baptist of the Year"...which apparently was not something that the vast majority of baptists had a say so in since i never got a ballot.

Robert Parhman, the Executive Director of the Baptist Center of Ethics (another SBC reject who left on his own accord) went as far as to refer to Algore as a...and this is where the head gets ready to explode a "baptist prophet" according to Baptist Press. No, really, i didn't stutter and i'm not making it up, Algore was called a "baptist prophet".

In Parham's introduction of the Profit maker, he said, "We have with us today a Baptist prophet who is so unacceptable that the Baptist establishment in his hometown of Nashville neither acknowledged his winning the Nobel Peace Prize nor honored with coverage his notable Nobel lecture...Prophets are unacceptable because their truth is inconvenient." Obviously, this was a slam on the Southern Baptist Convention which is based largely out of the great city of Nashville.

The Profit Algore went on to say in his speech that some Baptist spokesmen deny the reality of global warming because they are locked in a coalition with rich and powerful people who take advantage of the poor for economic profit. Yeah, that's right...i'm in a coalition with rich and powerful people to take advantage of the poor for economic profit. I'm just rolling in the dough here in my 3 bedroom home where i can just build up my carbon footprint!

If i was only the Profit maker like Algore, i could simply fly private jets across country, have someone drive me around in an SUV, and rest comfortably in my 10,000 square foot house when i finally get time to rest. No, instead i'm too busy trying to take advantate of the poor for my own profit according to the bitter ex-VP!

Just for the record Mr. Parham, a prophet is one who declares the truth of God to point people toward God. A prophet of God preaches to save the soul...not to "save the earth". If Algore is your idea of what "Baptist of the Year" is, i'm thankful that you have decided to abandon my Southern Baptist Convention...and i'm glad we were not invited.


1996 All Over Again

It's kind of surprising, when you look at it, how much the McCain candidacy of 2008 matches up with the Bob Dole candidacy of 1996.

War hero, running largely on war record? Check.

Has run for President before? Check. (Dole tried in 1980 and 1988.)

Has been in the Senate long enough to grow moss? Check.

So-called "compromise" candidate coming out of a crowded field? Check. Dole's '96 run was against such notable Republicans as Lamar Alexander, Phil Gramm, Alan Keyes, Dick Lugar, and Dan Quayle.

Was considered to be the "electable" candidate? Check. See my earlier article on this.

Did not excite economic or social conservatives? You betcha! Check!

It didn't work for Dole, why the heck does McRINO think it will work for him?

I think we are heading for a November where many conservatives sit at home, and another Clinton gets elected.


McCain's Latest Endorsement

Fellow conservatives, do you want your next President to have been officially endorsed by the New York Times?


Then don't vote for John McRINO McCain.

It would be hard to imagine a worse thing for Sen. John McCain as he tries to convince the Republican grass roots he's not a liberal. The Times, which for decades has attacked virtually all the policies of Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush, on Friday endorsed McCain as "the best choice for the party's presidential nomination," calling its decision "an easy one."


The paper also cited McCain's liberal stances on government regulation to combat climate change and amnesty for illegal aliens, as well as his willingness to co-write major legislation with far-left colleagues such as Sen. Ted Kennedy.


Other positions also make McCain Times-friendly. He supported the heavy-handed Sarbanes-Oxley regulatory regime now making it a nightmare to operate a publicly traded company. He voted to increase CAFE fuel regulations. He opposed a repeal of the "death tax." And he expressed support for raising Social Security payroll taxes on the middle class.

Moreover, while McCain may claim he opposed Bush's across-the-board tax cuts because they weren't paired with spending reductions, his arguments then were classic class-warfare rhetoric about "the most fortunate among us" not getting taxed enough. As Senate Commerce Committee chairman a decade ago, McCain even sponsored and voted for a near-tripling of cigarette taxes.

And the best part of this IBD article:

Heading toward Tuesday's Florida primary, the GOP nomination increasingly looks like a two-man race between Sen. McCain and Gov. Mitt Romney. Now Romney has a weapon that will resonate deeply with Republican voters who resent the establishment media's longtime crusade against Reagan Republicanism:

"Vote for me, not the candidate of the New York Times."


Let's see McRINO's supporters spin this one.

UPDATE: Looks like Rudy's already using it.
Voice Over: “Rudy Giuliani is not endorsed by The Tampa Tribune. Not endorsed by the Orlando Sentinel. Not endorsed by the South Florida Sun-Sentinel. In fact, he’s not endorsed by any of the liberal newspapers. When you’re responsible for cutting people’s taxes by an incredible seventeen percent …”
And, near the end...
Voice Over: “… you’re the last person on earth to be endorsed by the liberal New York Times. Rudy Giuliani. Tested. Ready. Now.”
Bad news for McRINO, I think.


Free Health Care for Everyone Doesn't Really Include EVERYONE

Before you get all excited about HillaryCare or ObamaCare providing free health care to "everyone," take a look at who the British (whose system Hillary and Obama wish to copy) are considering excluding:

Doctors are calling for NHS treatment to be withheld from patients who are too old or who lead unhealthy lives.

Smokers, heavy drinkers, the obese and the elderly should be barred from receiving some operations, according to doctors, with most saying the health service cannot afford to provide free care to everyone.
(red emphasis mine)

Gee, here I thought the government could really provide free care to everyone.

Moral of the story: Never believe it when a politician says they can give you something for free... unless it's hot air.

Hillary: The Rules Don't Matter, I am a Clinton!

Once again, Hillary is making the claim that rules don't apply to her:

In a bit of political theater, Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton and the Florida Democratic Party clamored to restore convention delegates that had been stripped by the national party.

At stake: 185 delegates in a state where Clinton leads almost 2-to-1.

The presidential candidate said Friday — just four days before Florida's primary — that she wants the convention delegates from Florida and Michigan reinstated. The national party eliminated all the delegates from those states — more than 350 in all — because they broke party rules against holding their primaries before Feb. 5. All the major Democratic candidates also made pledges not to campaign in those states before their primaries.

Uh, excuse me, Hillary, if you're campaigning for the nomination of a given party, don't the party's rules kind of apply to you?

What's interesting here, tho, is that a couple of left-leaning commentators are taking issue with Hillary's stand, here and here.

Congratulations, guys, you're finally figuring out what the Vast Right-Wing Conspiracy has known about the Clintons for over a decade.

(cross-posted at Liberal Implosion)


Just For Fun!

A quick trip down classic TV memory lane, and some more here.

Check out some of the earlier posts from today on that same blog, there's more of the same, but I'm too lazy to put links to all of them.


Something New Has Been Added

I hope everyone is seeing the 5 little stars at the bottom of each post... that's a new rating system I installed, thanks to the nice folks at HaloScan, who also handle my commenting and trackbacks.

Feel free to use it, that's what it's there for. Of course, we all know that lefties will try spamming it, but we won't let them spoil things.

Maybe Trees Aren't Such a Good Idea

Hmmm... greens against trees? Well, in one case they are:

In a case with statewide significance, the Santa Clara County District Attorney's Office is pursuing a Sunnyvale couple under a little-known California law because redwood trees in their backyard cast a shadow over their neighbor's solar panels.
Wonder which side Algore will come down on.

McCain and Mexico

Okay, this speaks volumes about McCain's illegal immigration stand right here:

McCain's "Hispanic Outreach Director" is the same guy who held that job for Mexico's President Vicente Fox! U.S.-born dual citizen Juan Hernandez was in Fox's cabinet as Director of the Office for Mexicans Living Abroad and is notorious for having said of Mexican Americans on Nightline on June 7, 2001, "I want the third generation, the seventh generation, I want them all to think 'Mexico first.'"
Now, can anyone reading that truly believe that McCain has decided to actually secure the southern border?

If he truly has, as he claims, let's see him offer a bill to do that--and only that--in the Senate during the next session.

Don't hold your breath, tho.

On War Heroes

I want to begin by stating, for the record, that Senator John McCain's service to this nation and sacrifice for it is both laudable and honorable. He is certainly a Genuine American War Hero.

But, I wish to take issue with those who apparently think that somehow qualifies him for the Presidency. And I can do it in two words, with explanation to follow: Max Cleland.

Like McCain, Cleland was in Vietnam. Cleland was also grievously wounded in Vietnam. To be sure, the circumstances differ (Cleland was injured by an accidental grenade activation), but Cleland's sacrifice of two legs and part of an arm in service to America would also seem to qualify him as a Genuine American War Hero.

So, here's the question... would all you self-proclaimed "conservatives" who are supporting McCain based on his war record also support Cleland?


1995 Redux

Here's a blast from the past to think about... from Time, 13 Nov 1995:

It certainly isn't enough to protect Dole's status as heir apparent. Polls last week were indicating that while Dole would narrowly beat Powell for the Republican nomination, only Powell could beat Clinton in the general election. That scenario leaves a gaping hole in Dole's game plan, which depends, among other things, on his being able to argue that he's the most electable Republican candidate in a field of unknowns and extremists. If Powell doesn't run, Newt Gingrich has often said he just might. Last week in an interview with TIME, he repeatedly hinted that Dole may not be comfortable as the leader of the revolution. "I think he's effective at it,'' Gingrich said. "Whether he's comfortable, you'd have to ask him, but he's certainly effective...There seems to be a relaxed, comfortable effectiveness, which is very real. Now whether or not, inside himself, that fits his zeitgeist, I haven't a clue.''
My, my, don't we hear a lot about who is the "most electable" these days? And wasn't Senator John Kerry (D-Christmas in Cambodia) picked by the Party of the Donkey last time based on "electablity"?

Hmmm... food for thought, methinks.


A Dilemma

Okay, I got a small problem.

I just got my first shipment from the Conservative Book Club (no link, cause I am not intending to plug them), and it contains the following four books:

  • The Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam and the Crusades
  • The Politically Incorrect Guide to the Middle East
  • The Politically Incorrect Guide to Capitalism
  • The Politically Incorrect Guide to Darwinism and Intelligent Design
The problem is simple... which do I read first?

Sad News

A statement issued today by Fred Thompson:

Today I have withdrawn my candidacy for President of the United States. I hope that my country and my party have benefited from our having made this effort. Jeri and I will always be grateful for the encouragement and friendship of so many wonderful people.
I kind of doubt we've seen the end of Fred. If some GOP candidate doesn't offer him a cabinet position--or maybe Veep--they're all idiots.

For the time being, the Blogs for Fred Thompson links will remain on the sidebar, for two reasons:
  1. They provide links to some really good blogs.
  2. I haven't completely decided who I am going to support yet. I am leaning Romney, but not 100% sure yet.


More Number Crunching

This time, Jed Babbin of Human Events takes a good long look at some numbers:

According to a Fox News exit poll, 32% of the Michigan Republican primary voters identified themselves as independents or Democrats. Another Fox exit poll showed 20% of the South Carolina Republican primary voters said they were either Democrats or independents. In Michigan, Gov. Romney won with 39%, Sen. McCain was second at 30% and Gov. Huckabee third at 16%. In South Carolina, John McCain won with 33% of the vote, Mike Huckabee had 30% and Fred Thompson had 16%. Given those margins, it’s pretty clear that the Dems and independents controlled the result in both states.
Now, why would so many Donkeys vote for McRINO? Maybe because he follows their philosophy?

The Case For Sitting Out

Professor Bainbridge makes a case for staying home this November:

God made the people of Israel wander in the desert 40 years so as to remake the Israelis into a people fit for the tasks ahead. The GOP seriously needs a time out so that it can rethink its role in American democracy. There are a lot of legitimate questions facing the GOP. Do you adhere to the limited government principles of Reagan and Thatcher or do you follow the lead of UK Tory leader David Cameron? As the Economist recently opined, “it seems likely that the Republican Party, as a number of its members are already urging, will have to embrace environmentalism and cuddly economics as the Tories were forced to.”


If the choice is between choosing the lesser of 4 evils and teeing up a process by which the GOP reinvents itself for the 21st Century, I’m inclined to opt for the latter. Coupled with losing Congress in 2006, losing the presidency in 2008 will provide a pair of defeats that surely will prompt “attentiveness” on the part of the GOP leadership and the intellectual base of think tanks and academics who helped lay the foundation for the Reagan and Gingrich revolutions. Just as the Israelis had to be punished for listening to the 10 fearful spies, the GOP needs to be punished for having been seduced by Bush and DeLay. Just as the Israelis came back stronger and fitter for the tasks ahead, so might a chastened GOP.
He has a point, and more than just the Biblical one. Losing the White House to Slick Willie set the stage for the GOP comeback of 1994.

I'm not prepared to say that I won't vote for anyone except Fred, but if the nominee is The Huckster or McRINO, there's a very good chance I will write in Charlie Brown for President.


Doing Some Number Crunching

I've been looking over the results of the primaries and caucuses (caucii?) so far, and I've discovered something about media darling McCain. First, the data:

Of the six contests held so far, Romney has come in 1st in three, 2nd in two, and 4th in only one (South Carolina). McCain, on the other hand, has been 1st only twice, 2nd once, 3rd once, and 4th twice... and one of those was a tie (at zero) with Rudy, The Huckster, and Paul in Wyoming--so that might as well be counted a last place finish.

Now, the analysis of the data. What this tells me is that Mitt has appeal to people across the country, from New Hampshire to Nevada. McCain does not.

So why is the media so enthusiastic to anoint McCain? Simple: he hates tax cuts, wants to impose Algore-like environmental restrictions on business, quashes free speech, and wants to let illegal immigrants into the country and give them official status within 24 hours! McCain is loved by the media because he agrees with them on so many issues.

McCain is really McRINO. He should have switched to the Party of the Donkey when he had the chance after the 2000 election.

Conservative Enough?

So, McCain is now the media-anointed front-runner for the nomination. His supporters are saying that he is conservative enough to lead the GOP.

I beg to differ.

We thought Mr. Bush the elder was conservative enough. Then he went and broke his "no new taxes" pledge, and nominated the liberal David Souter to the Supreme Court. In his defense, he also nominated Clarence Thomas, and stood with him throughout the Anita Hill kerfuffle, and Gulf War I was run relatively well, except that he didn't take care of Saddam once and for all.

We also thought Bush the younger was conservative enough. That was, however, until No Child Left Behind, which Ted Kennedy (D-Chappaquiddick) sponsored in the Senate. Any bill that Teddy sponsors is hardly a conservative bill. Then there were the--fortunately stymied--proposals to put Harriet Miers on the Supreme Court and grant literally millions of lawbreakers amnesty--I refer, of course, to illegal immigrants. And don't get me started on the huge expansion of the federal government. Again, in his defense, I must admit he did push through tax cuts, and has so far prosecuted the Iraq War with relatively few mistakes.

However, we need to get past this idea that "conservative enough" is enough. Each of the post-Reagan Republican Presidents has been considered "conservative enough," yet has pushed through some very liberal programs... and not, as President Reagan did, only when they had no choice. No one was pressuring Bush 43 to ram No Child Left Behind through; there was no huge public outcry for amnesty for illegal immigrants--in fact, quite the opposite!

For those who think that rock-solid conservatism cannot win, I point you back to The Gipper. He won, and won easily, in his re-election bid carrying 49 states. Democrat-Lite he was most assuredly not, yet he won with no problem.

Be warned, McCain supporters... history shows that conservative enough isn't.


First Returns from South Carolina

It's probably too early to tell if this is the start of a trend, but I offer it For What It's Worth:

Four votes for Fred Thompson from a family of evangelicals, which is interesting because, when I spoke to these same folks two weeks ago, none of them were Thompson supporters. In fact, they were barely aware of his candidacy. One was a Giuliani supporter and the others were looking fondly upon Huckabee, but hadn't made a decision.

Proving...? Nothing, of course. But this is a storyline I've been hearing from South Carolina all week: "Values voters" drifting away from Huckabee. This might explain why he decided to play the Robert E. Lee card in the final days of the campaign. Can't get the religion vote? Go for the rednecks.


Fifty-One Fred Quotes

A contributor at RedState has compiled fifty-one comments from both leading conservatives and everyday bloggers about Fred.

It's well worth a read.

Are ya listening, South Carolina?

With Fred On The Campaign Trail

Erick Erickson is with Fred in South Carolina, and provides an interesting and enlightening report:

Traveling through snowy South Carolina with Fred Thompson, I’m struck by the sense that finally, the man has arrived. The candidate so many conservatives were excited by early in 2007 is finally walking the land.

The Fred Thompson in South Carolina this week is the one America saw knock into Mike Huckabee as a pro-life liberal with “blame America first” beliefs whose economic policies would destroy the economy. And the crowds love it.

Though barely mentioned in the national media, Senator Fred Thompson has been on a barn storming tour crisscrossing South Carolina for more than a week. In a unique approach, he is not just going to major media markets, but to rural areas of South Carolina. On my first day on the trail with Senator Thompson, he drew a crowd of 180 people to a small Mennonite restaurant in Abbeville, South Carolina — population 26,000 with a median income of $15,370. He capped off the day at the Orangeburg-Calhoun County Technical College in Orangeburg, South Carolina with over 200 people braving a rare snow shower to hear him. The day before I joined him on the campaign trail, Senator Thompson’s campaign saw large capacity auditoriums overflowing with people standing outside the buildings waiting to get in.
It's really no wonder that Fred doesn't get much coverage from the leftymedia... they always ignore the conservative candidate as much as they can. We tend to forget that because in the last few election cycles the GOP candidate has also already been a high government official--President or Vice President--and thus a lot harder for the leftymedia to ignore. This time, however, with neither Mr. Bush nor Mr. Cheney in the race, they feel safe in ignoring the true conservatives and focusing on the RINOs, namely McCain and The Huckster.

Don't, I say again, DO NOT let the lack of coverage make you think Fred is dead. He's out there, the leftymedia are just showing their true colors by not reporting on him.

Fred can win... he has just as good a shot as any of the others right now, and with The Huckster imploding, it's entirely possible that Fred could pick up a large block of the Christian Evangelical vote--I really can't see them going to Romney, Giuliani, or McCain in large numbers. Fred is also heading into the area of the country where his style really shines--just read the article linked in the title. If he can pick up a lot of support there, he can increase his visibility and make a real run for it.

I've said it before and I will say it again... this one is far from over.

Limbaugh on Fred

The lesser known Limbaugh, David (Rush's brother), has a great piece on Fred today:

There is simply too much herd mentality among us about electability. We tell ourselves a candidate is not inspiring, then pretty soon we're convinced he's unelectable, and, voila, he almost becomes so. Yet, at that very moment, he's proving to us that he is quite presidential, quite electable and quite motivated for the job -- if we can only shed our predispositions against his "electability." Since electability is often a matter of collective perception, it can turn on a dime, as with the reversal of the respective fortunes of screaming Howard Dean and somniferous John Kerry in 2004.

This primary season, relatively speaking, has just begun. But Fred is now up against the wall. How can we expect him to have done much better than he has to date with everyone prattling on about the overwhelming odds against him? The "experts" continue to be wrong at almost every turn, so why can't they be wrong about Fred, too? It's time to quit empowering them by following their dictatorial doom-prophecies. It's encouraging that John Zogby's latest South Carolina poll shows that while levels of support for McCain and Huckabee "have remained static," Fred is starting to move up.

Supporters have asked Fred to step up, and he has -- he has shone brilliantly in the last month, setting himself head and shoulders above the pack in many cases. Now it's time for conservative voters to step up and quit placing artificial limitations on Fred, and on themselves.

Fred has answered the conservatives' call. Shouldn't we answer his?

Fred is, as Limbaugh points out, not perfect, but he is the most Reaganite of the current crop of candidates. If you, like me, are a Reagan conservative, you really need to take a close look at Fred.


Another Preview of HillaryCare (or ObamaCare)

I guess the UK's National Health Service is staffed with fans of Invasion of the Body Snatchers:

The UK Nanny State just revealed its latest agenda item and it is decidedly ghoulish. Last week, British (but really Scottish) Prime Minister, Gordon Brown, announced his support of a Labour government plan to snatch the body parts of any citizen. The good news is that this policy only applies to dead people. The bad news is obvious. This is the ultimate death tax, surgically extracted.

Without any apparent squeamishness, Gordon Brown backed the Presumed Consent Scheme (they often call programs “schemes” in England) to redress the demand for transplanted organs by fiat. Here’s the deal. Rather than go looking for those bothersome donor cards on a fresh cadaver, the British populace is now fair game. If you don’t specifically carry a card saying “leave my corpse alone” -- known as “the opt out option”, or unless one’s family is on hand to object, one’s remains are considered fair game for an organ harvest festival.

The justification for adopting Presumed Consent is a function of a recognized market deficit. The Government has noticed that 1000 patients die annually while waiting for a critically-needed transplant. Another 8000 are on various organ waiting lists hoping to get lucky when they go critical or for just the right replacement part to turn up in the chop shop.

According to the NHS Organ Donor Registry, there are more than 14 million Brits who have voluntarily listed themselves as donors, however, one third of all families refuse consent for organ donation when a loved one dies, usually in unexpected circumstances. In typical fashion, the government plans to overcome this donor reluctance by setting up -- you guessed it -- a new Task Force to enlighten the populace about the importance of giving this gift of life.

Read the whole thing... as usual, the link is in the title of this post.

Like McCain-Feingold? You'll LOVE The Huckster's Plan!

More evidence of the implosion (I'll explain after the quote):

I think that every candidates should speak for themselves, and that every thing that involves the candidate's name or another candidate's name should be authorized and approved by that candidate, otherwise it shouldn't be spoken....
Okay, first off, this is basically slicing the First Amendment out of the Constitution and stuffing it in the shredder. Essentially, if this law were passed, I would have to get Mr. Huckabee's permission before I could even include his name in this sentence (no idea if nicknames like "The Huckster" would also require permission).

However, this is also evidence of his campaign imploding. There's a pattern here, and it is reminiscent of another politician. See if you can guess who:
  • The Huckster raises taxes while in office. Realizing that this is bad news in a Republican primary, he immediately latches onto a plan that many conservatives like, the FairTax.
  • The Huckster pushes for a federal smoking ban. When he discovers that such a ban doesn't sell well among the GOP base, he dumps it.
  • Now, The Huckster gets caught push-polling, so he immediately calls for lots and lots of restrictions.
This is worse than campaigning by polls, this is knee-jerk campaigning, folks. Something jabs The Huckster, he immediately responds in a way that is not only painfully obvious, but at times is greatly excessive.

In short, there is no core set of political beliefs in The Huckster (I won't comment on his religious beliefs except to say that many of his policy positions fly in the face of my understanding of Southern Baptist theology--but I am not a Southern Baptist so I may be misunderstanding their positions on some issues). There simply is no "there" there. I may have policy disagreements with Mr. Giuliani, but at least he is open and honest about them, and I respect him for that. Rudy is not my first choice, nor my second, but if he gets the nomination I would vote for him (First and second choices are Mr. Thompson and Mr. Romney, in that order, in case anyone is curious). Anyway, getting back to The Huckster, he has not shown us the kind of honesty that Mr. Giuliani has, and as such, he reminds me powerfully of another Arkansas governor who had the same lack of core beliefs.

The Huckster is Slick Willie with less polish. That's about all there is to it.

The Huckster Push-Polls - UPDATED AND BUMPED

Because I frequently comment on Confederate Yankee's blog (yes, I am that C-C-G), I generally try to stay away from stuff he is covering... it just doesn't seem right to me for some reason.

This time, however, I am gonna make an exception.

The obvious suspect here is the campaign of the man who wants to rewrite the Constitution to match his personal idea of God's will... and has even said so!

Okay, enough channeling CY... I just had to share that one, tho.

UPDATE: More, from Reason Magazine:

Ah, the joys of the primary season. South Carolina Attorney General Henry McMaster has been asked to prosecute pro-Mike Huckabee push polling now underway in the state. State law bans such automated calls.

McMaster is a major John McCain supporter in the state, but the prime target of the calls -- at the moment -- seems to be Fred Thompson. In a call partially recorded last night by one South Carolina resident and sent to McMaster, Thompson's record on abortion and taxes was attacked.

This mirrors similar recent efforts in Michigan against Mitt Romney, where the same firm placed calls to voters blasting Romney's record on guns and immigration. One report pegged the number of such calls into Michigan at five million while South Carolina is on tap to receive one million calls.

As I commented to a friend earlier today, The Huckster is imploding, and it's about time. This sort of Bravo-Sierra is not Christian at all.

UPDATE II (and bump): The Palmetto Scoop has uncovered more about the firm actually making the calls, and it's not pretty:
The firm that’s been doing the calls on Common Sense Issues’ behalf is ccAdvertising (also known as FreeEats.com). And their legal record isn’t encouraging. That company has already lost twice in federal court. In 2004, they challenged North Dakota’s do-not-call law and lost (they’d made approximately 235,000 calls polling a range of GOP hot-button issues). The company was fined $20,000. And in 2006, they challenged Indiana’s do-not-call law and lost (the group made 400,000 calls attacking Rep. Byron Hill (D-IN)). [PAUL KIEL - TPMmuckraker]
Also, The Huckster's campaign has issued a sort of a call for it to stop:
Huckabee's campaign quickly disavowed the push polling. "We know nothing about that and don't condone it. Anyone who is doing that in an effort to help us needs to stop. This does not reflect the positive spirit of the campaign," said spokeswoman Alice Stewart.
Oh, where to start with this one.

First, why is a spokeswoman saying this and not The Huckster himself?

Second, why not name the companies--and the leaders of those companies--that are doing this by name and demand that they stop? The "we know nothing" Sgt. Schultz defense ain't gonna fly, the name of Common Sense Issues has been out there since soon after this story broke.

Third, I nearly spewed my morning beverage all over my laptop when I read "positive spirit of the campaign." Riiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiight! That "positive spirit" that had The Huckster claim that a crying baby was a Romney supporter, perhaps? How about the "positive spirit" that had The Huckster openly questioning Romney's religion, while at the same time not permitting any questions about how The Huckster's own actions square with his own religion? Maybe they're referring to the "positive spirit" that had The Huckster call an organization dedicated to prosperity for all Americans "The Club For Greed," just because they pointed out The Huckster's real economic track record? "Positive spirit," indeed.

Just more evidence of The Huckster imploding, folks.

Update III: It ain't just SC:

Nevada Republican voters are receiving automated phone calls that appear to be a poll, but end up criticizing candidates with the exception of former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee.

Also known as "push polls," the phone calls are intended to present negative information about candidates and have caused hostile reaction in Nevada.

"I got it myself," said Heidi Smith, chairwoman of the Washoe County Republican Central Committee. "I can testify to it. I was so mad.

"They were pretending they were doing a poll. It was horrible. At the end, they said this was not paid for by any political party, but you'd have to be an absolute moron to know it's not Huckabee (this group is supporting)."

The calls, which also targeted voters in Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina, are sponsored by Common Sense Issues, a nonprofit organization that backs Huckabee.

The more this story gets around, the worse The Huckster looks... which is why I am doing my small part to spread the word.


New Fred Ad for SC

Now this is what I call Fred at his best... explaining things clearly, but in 60 seconds.

According to NRO's Corner, this will start running tomorrow in every media market in South Carolina. And I expect that it will help Fred to victory.

Time for a Change

Do not adjust your computer monitor. I changed the look of the blog. To be honest, I kinda got tired of the light-text-on-dark-background thing, and I do like red, so here we go. :)

Some posts with color highlighting may be hard to read... if you spot one that is particularly difficult, I'd appreciate if you'd drop me a line, or comment on it.

Class Act, that Huckster

WARREN, Mich.: Confronted by crying toddler on Tuesday, Republican presidential hopeful Mike Huckabee quipped the child must be for his rival Mitt Romney.

"He's not the happiest boy today," Huckabee said, smiling for a picture with the boy and his brother and sister. "I think he must be a Romney voter. Look at him. He's so sad."

Real classy, Pastor Huck.

Fred on Religion

Gotta love it:

LADY'S ISLAND, S.C. -- Mixing theology and social issues on the campaign trail is rare for Fred Thompson, but he discussed it today answering a question from a member of the audience.

A woman asked him if he would “as a Christian, as a conservative” continue President Bush’s programs to combat global AIDS.

“Christ didn’t tell us to go to the government and pass a bill to get some of these social problems dealt with. He told us to do it,” Thompson said.

“The government has its role, but we need to keep firmly in mind the role of the government, and the role of us as individuals and as Christians on the other.”
Huckabee's campaign and supporters claiming this is an attack on the Huckster in 3... 2...

Hillary Won?

It's not being widely reported as far as I can see online (Yahoo! News, for example, has not one wire story about it), but Hillary "won" the Michigan primary on the D side.

So why is it not being reported? Because even though she was running essentially unopposed (there were three also-rans in the field--Kucinich, Dodd, and Gravel--none of whom has a snowball's chance in Hades to ever make it to the Oval Office), she still "won" only 55% of the vote.

That's what the leftymedia doesn't want to report... "uncommitted" got 40% of the votes cast for Democrats in Michigan. Let me rephrase that: 40% of those voting in the Democratic primary in Michigan would rather vote for nobody than vote for Hillary!

Sure, it's a "victory," but it's also a huge embarrassment to the Hillary campaign. That's why there's not much coverage of it.


Ruminations on Neo-Isolationism and its Dangers

Once again, been doing some ruminating, this time on the Ron Paul brand of neo-isolationism. I've decided that it's a fundamentally flawed policy for several reasons:

  1. The central premise itself is fatally flawed. The idea is that if we ignore the world, the world will ignore us. Sorry, folks, but putting our collective hands over our ears, closing our eyes, and singing "lalalalalala" at the top of our lungs won't stop other nations from knocking on our door--or knocking over our skyscrapers either. History shows this clearly; the last time isolationism was seriously tried in this nation was during the 1920s and 1930s. It ended rather suddenly on one Sunday morning in December, 1941.
  2. There is also an idea that if we stop "meddling" in the Middle East, that things will calm down. Again, this is not in line with reality. Like a cop standing on a corner keeps neighborhood kids from causing too much trouble, America's presence in the Mideast has helped keep the violence from getting worse. Just imagine what the turbulent Mideast would look like if those bent on violence weren't afraid of American planes, bombs, tanks, and troops showing up if they went too far.
    1. A corollary to this is that America is primarily responsible for the restraint shown by Israel. If we stopped asking Israel to hold back on their responses to Arab violence, it doesn't take a lot of imagination to understand what would happen... just look at the Six-Day War, for example, and Israel's bombing of Iraqi nuclear facilities in the 1970s.
  3. There's also, among at least some proponents of neo-isolationism, a concept that the people of the Middle East are not worth shedding American blood to help. This one doesn't need a lot of comment from me, so I will just say that people are people, they all bleed red, and to single out one group as unworthy of our help is distasteful in the extreme.
Bottom line, neo-isolationism quite simply won't work. It will not deliver what it promises, because the entire idea is screwy. Maybe that's why the wackos that follow Ron Paul like the idea.


More Bad Iraq News for the Democrats

Ya know how the Democrats like to demean the surge by claiming that it hasn't brought political progress? Well, that claim just got a lot harder to support--not that that will stop the lefties.

BAGHDAD - Iraq's parliament adopted legislation Saturday on the reinstatement of thousands of former supporters of Saddam Hussein's Baath party to government jobs, a key benchmark sought by the United States as a step toward easing sectarian tensions.

The bill, approved by a unanimous show of hands on each of its 30 clauses, is the first piece of major U.S.-backed legislation approved by the 275-seat parliament. Other benchmarks languish, including legislation to divide the country's vast oil wealth, constitutional amendments demanded by minority Sunni Arabs and a bill spelling out rules for local elections.
Oops... there really is political progress happening, folks. It may be slow, but the Iraqi Parliament has still passed more substantive laws than the US Congress has managed. Reid, Pelosi, et al are apparently more interested in beating the dead horse of pulling out of Iraq (what is it now, 40+ failed attempts?) than actually doing what they're supposed to do, like pass spending authorization bills.


Human Events Endorses Fred

Here's an excerpt:

We make this endorsement on the basis of much research, having interviewed Sen. Thompson and some of his opponents, as well as examining what they have all said and done. We conclude that Thompson is a solid conservative whose judgment is grounded in our principles.

In his Senate years, Mr. Thompson compiled an American Conservative Union lifetime rating of 86.1, which is higher than both Sen. John McCain (82.3) and Rep. Ron Paul (82.3). The Club for Growth has praised Thompson as someone who has a strong commitment to limited government, free enterprise and federalist principles.

On the issues that matter most to conservatives, Sen. Thompson’s positions benefit from their clarity. He is solidly pro-life. He said that he was in favor overturning Roe v. Wade because it was “bad law and bad medical science.” As the National Right to Life Committee said in its endorsement of him Nov. 13, 2007, “The majority of this country is opposed to the vast majority of abortions, and Fred Thompson has shown in his consistent pro-life voting record in the U.S. Senate that he is part of the pro-life majority.”

Thompson’s record is solid on voting to preserve gun owners’ rights, cut taxes, reduce government spending and drill for oil in Alaska’s Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. He has voted consistently against gay marriage. Thompson is by no means perfect. He strongly supported the McCain-Feingold bill, did not support the impeachment of Bill Clinton on perjury and more than once voted with the trial lawyers against limitations on liability in defective product and medical malpractice cases.

We like the way Thompson unhesitatingly attacks the liberal ideologues and their activists such as MoveOn.org and the ACLU, and the way he reaches out to those we knew as the Reagan Democrats.
Maybe Fred is starting to turn things around?


Fred Catches Fire

Ya gotta know that Fred's had a stupendous night when the editors and contributors to an online publication that endorsed Romney say with no dissension that Fred won tonight's SC debate.

I guess when Fred says he's "all in," he means it.

UPDATE: Okay, we have some dissension in the ranks of that online publication. There's one Ron Paul supporter who, of course, claims that Paul won the debate. This illustrates, again, the alternate reality that Paulites inhabit.

Anbar Ready For Transfer of Security

More on the victory over the terrorists:

WASHINGTON (AP) - Iraq's western province of Anbar, hotbed of the Sunni Arab insurgency for the first four years of the war, will be returned to Iraqi control in March, a senior U.S. general said Thursday.

In a telephone interview from Iraq, Marine Maj. Gen. Walter E. Gaskin, commander of the roughly 35,000 Marine and Army forces in Anbar, said levels of violence have dropped so significantly - coupled with the growth and development of Iraqi security forces in the province - that Anbar is ready to be handed back to the Iraqis.

Thus far, nine of 18 Iraqi provinces have reverted to Iraqi control, most recently the southern province of Basra in December. The process has gone substantially slower than the Bush administration once hoped, mainly because of obstacles to developing sufficient Iraqi police and army forces. But Defense Secretary Robert Gates said Thursday that he expects the process to continue.

And yet Harry Reid is still trashing the surge.

I begin to believe that Democrats don't live in the same time-space continuum as the rest of us.

Voter ID Opponents Make A Big Mistake

Those opposing the simple requirement to show photo ID in order to vote have made a huge error in choosing their "poster child." Turns out she'd be a better example of why we need laws that make it mandatory to show photo ID to vote:

On the eve of a hearing before the U.S. Supreme Court, the Indiana Voter ID law has become a story with a twist: One of the individuals used by opponents to the law as an example of how the law hurts older Hoosiers is registered to vote in two states.

Faye Buis-Ewing, 72, who has been telling the media she is a 50-year resident of Indiana, at one point in the past few years also claimed two states as her primary residence and received a homestead exemption on her property taxes in both states.

Monday night from her Florida home, Ewing said she and her husband Kenneth “winter in Florida and summer in Indiana.” She admitted to registering to vote in both states, but stressed that she's never voted in Florida. She also has a Florida driver’s license, but when she tried to use it as her photo ID in the Indiana elections in November 2006, poll workers wouldn’t accept it.

Subsequently, Ewing became a sort-of poster child for the opposition when the Indiana League of Women Voters (ILWV) told media that the problems Ewing had voting that day shows why the high court should strike it down.

But Indiana Republican Secretary of State Todd Rokita said Monday that Ewing’s tale illustrates exactly why Indiana needs the law. “This shows that the Indiana ID law worked here, which also calls into question why the critics are so vehemently against this law, especially with persons like this, who may not have a legal right to vote in this election,” Rokita said.
It really doesn't take a lot of rumination to figure out why the Party of the Donkey opposes voter ID laws so vehemently--if they believe that they are the beneficiaries of the votes of people like Mrs. Ewing, then naturally they'd fight tooth and nail against any law that stops such fraud.

Their error in picking their "injured party," however, makes it a lot less likely that they'll win this one.


Chavez Embarrassed Again

File this one under "oops."

Acting as freelance "mediator," last week Hugo Chavez let the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, known as FARC, make a fool of him by offering to release three hostages and then failing to show up as Chavez's traveling circus of 150 journalists, 15 international observers, the Red Cross and Hollywood film director Oliver Stone waited.

They had come to toast the Venezuelan dictator as "the only" solution to Colombia's 46-year conflict and introduce his hand as a player in Colombia's U.S.-backed war. Instead they swatted mosquitoes in the jungle, and as the Colombian government revealed the real truth of a baby hostage's whereabouts, they blamed the government.

Heck of a negotiator, hmmm? Can't even get a hostage turnover to work right.

Yet Another Reason I Don't Trust Polls

It's quite simple.

Here's the RealClearPolitics poll averages for the NH Democratic Primary:

New Hampshire Democratic Primary

Tuesday, January 8 | Delegates at Stake: 22

RCP Average01/05 to 01/07Obama +8.3
Suffolk/WHDH01/06 - 01/07Obama +5.0
American Res. Group01/06 - 01/07Obama +9.0
ReutersC-Span/Zogby01/05 - 01/07Obama +13.0
Rasmussen01/05 - 01/07Obama +7.0
CNN/WMUR/UNH01/05 - 01/06Obama +9.0
Marist01/05 - 01/06Obama +8.0
CBS News01/05 - 01/06Obama +7.0

Here's the actual results:

Democrats (100% reporting)

Candidate Raw # %
Hillary Clinton 112,251 39
Barack Obama 104,772 36
John Edwards 48,681 17
Bill Richardson 13,249 5
Dennis Kucinich 3,919 1
Total Write In 2,502 1
Joe Biden 628 0
Mike Gravel 402 0
Others 918 0

Any questions?

Ruminations on the Nomination

Okay, here's the results of my ruminating so far. I reserve the right to change my mind at a later time... say, any time more than 30 seconds after posting this.

Fred has to bring his "A" game to South Carolina. Fortunately, South Carolina's culture is a lot more similar to Tennessee's than Iowa's or New Hampshire's, so if Fred is going to shine anywhere, it will be in SC. I am cautiously optimistic that Fred will do well there, especially if he and others start really pointing out Huckabee's dismal record on taxes and other issues.

Giuliani also has to bring his "A" game, but to Florida, not SC. That's the first state where Rudy has a halfway decent chance of winning, IMHO. Fred could do well there, but so could Romney or McCain... Huckabee probably wouldn't sell well in Florida.

Others have suggested this and been pooh-poohed, but if Fred takes SC and Rudy wins Florida, a brokered convention is a real possibility. Note that there's a lot of ifs in that statement, but the chances are better than in any election since I've been watching elections.

I think a brokered convention could be a good thing. With the popularity of "reality" TV, a brokered convention might just draw more eyes to the TV than a convention usually gets, and give the GOP a real opportunity to explain who they are and what they stand for. Of course, if the GOP screws it up, they could end up turning off a lot of prospective voters, so it would have to be handled with care... and rule number one should be to remember that the media (with the possible exception of Fox News) is not their friend.

Well, that's my take on it. Your mileage may vary, past performance is not necessarily indicative of future results, coffee is hot, and all the rest of the usual disclaimers apply.


Stupid Headline of the Day

I kid you not.

MSNBC: "College Drinking Games Lead to Higher Blood Alcohol Levels."

Up next, "Turning Lights On Improves Visibility at Night."

More on Mitt's Dirty Trick

Here's some more thoughts on Mitt's recent anti-Fred rumor-mongering:

All evidence points to the Politico story being the result of a dirty trick. As Bob Novak reports today the rumors of Thompson’s supposed plan to drop out after Iowa were apparently being pushed by Mitt Romney’s campaign. One political consultant who appears on the news as unaffiliated with any campaign was apparently at the center of the trick. His involvement is something we are investigating. Why isn’t anyone else tracking him down? Who was he working for, and how? Do any of the grand guardians of journalism even care? Perhaps after today they will.

Politico’s coverage broke several basic rules. Most importantly, it was reported on the day of the caucuses at about 11 am Eastern time, when Iowans were making last minute decisions to go to the caucuses that evening. Several other media outlets apparently had the same story, possibly from the same sources. Yet they declined to cover it because they recognized the red flags that waved all around it. Politico chose to go with it.

I asked Politico editor John Harris why. In an e-mail response to several questions I’d e-mailed him, Harris said, “The Politico story that you and others focused on was based on reporting within Thompson’s political circle. It was not based on information from rival campaigns. The writers were passing on newsworthy reporting about the state of thinking within Thompson’s operation.” Harris also wrote, “Thompson spokeswoman Karen Henretty did not deny our reporting when we contacted her. She told Politico, and was quoted in the story saying, ‘Doing well in Iowa means exceeding expectations, and Fred has been exceeding expectations for more than 40 years, Thursday’s results aren’t likely to close any chapters.’” And, “I do not have any knowledge about your assertion that the Thompson story was being promoted by other campaigns. It did not influence our reporting.”

Politico -- either willfully or by being duped -- was party to a dirty trick. But Politico’s coverage broke another basic rule of campaign reporting. Though Thompson’s campaign denied the rumors, the denials were buried in the story rather than properly written into the lede. There was no attempt at balance. The editors didn’t do their jobs.

Politico’s coverage -- despite the obvious problems -- got worse, not better. The following morning, a second story quoted a Thompson volunteer reacting to Thompson’s post-caucus speech: “‘Michael Murphy, a Thompson volunteer who drove down from Cleveland, shouted exuberantly after the speech, ‘You hear that? No dropping out!’ Not just yet anyway.” The broad sneer in that last line couldn’t have been missed by any editor who had read the story. Leaving it in removed any doubt about Politico’s bias.

It was only after my questions reached Harris that they published a piece saying Thompson was staying in the race. But the damage had already been done. How many voters didn’t go to the caucus for Thompson because they believed their cause was lost? How many donors didn’t write checks that day -- or since -- because they believed Thompson would soon drop out?

The issue here isn’t only the fate of Fred Thompson’s campaign. The issue is how the campaigns and the press will do their jobs this year. There are huge undercurrents of nastiness among the candidates and distrust of government among voters. Negative advertising seem to have crowded out all other ads. If that isn’t leavened by skepticism in the media to what the campaigns say privately, the dirty trick that befell Thompson will this year beget many more.

Note to Howard Kurtz: why aren’t you investigating this one?
Yeah, where are the big investigators on this one?

Probably fawning all over Obama.


Fred Blasts NBC News

Gotta love it!

LESTER HOLT: We saw on the Democratic side Iowa became kind of a viability test. We saw some of the lower-tier candidates drop out after seeing the results in Iowa. What is your gut check right now in terms of your own viability? will it be South Carolina, will it be Super Tuesday?

FRED THOMPSON: I'm not going to engage in that -- further beating the process issue to death. We're talking about the future of our country here and the fact that our worst enemies are trying to get their hands on nuclear weapons and we're bankrupting the next generation. That's what I'm talking about. The rest is all speculation and I don't engage in it.

HOLT: It's a fair point you make; you don't engage in it. But you were the victim of some rumors on this subject of your viability and questions if you would drop out. How much did that hurt you?

THOMPSON: Well let's think about that. It did hurt me, and the media lapped it up. It was put out by another campaign; made no sense at all.

HOLT: Which campaign?

THOMPSON: A few days before the election and made no sense at all, and I was coming strong, and the media took it up, and spread the rumor, and probably cost me two or three points in Iowa. So the lesson there is not, you know, politicians being politicians. The lesson there is that the news media really ought to check these stories out and come to me, and ask me, and take my word for it.

HOLT: Senator, fair shot against the news media, but what candidate were you mentioning that put that out there?

THOMPSON: I'm not gonna. I owe you nothing, frankly, in that regard and I'm not going to say anything more about it right now.

Of course, I posted earlier about which campaign started that rumor, but if Fred had mentioned the name, I'm sure someone would have lambasted him for smearing another campaigner. So, Fred stays above that fray, and instead smacks the leftymedia a good one.

Bravo, Fred!


Romney, Huckabee, Thompson, McCain

That's the current running order in the only "poll" that really matters... the results from the states that have already chosen their delegates... and did you know that there's more delegates pledged than just the ones from Iowa?

Anyway, here's the breakdown as of right now (subject, of course, to change)

Romney: 26 delegates.
Huckabee: 20 delegates.
Thompson: 6 delegates.
McCain: 3 delegates.

Since 1,191 delegates are needed for a majority, you can see that everyone still has at least a statistical chance of making it.

This one is still way too early to call, folks.

Mitt's Dirty Tricks

I can't say I care much for this report from Robert Novak:

Published reports that Fred Thompson soon will withdraw from the Republican presidential contest and endorse Sen. John McCain have been traced in part to Mitt Romney's campaign, trying to stir up strife between McCain and Thompson.
That is, I think even Mitt supporters would agree, hitting below the belt.

I just lost a lot of respect for the man from Massachusetts.


Fred's Lazy Campaign

Courtesy Jim Geraghty over at NRO's Campaign Spot, here is Fred's schedule for today:

WHAT: Fred Thompson Interviewed Live by John Roberts and Kiran Chetry on CNN's American Morning.
WHEN: 6:15 am CT
WHERE: CNN, Check your local listings.

WHAT: Fred Thompson Interviewed Live by Harry Smith on CBS's The Early Show.
WHEN: 7:00 am CT
WHERE: CBS, Check your local listings.

WHAT: Fred Thompson Interviewed Live by Brian Kilmeade, Steve Doocy, and Gretchen Carlson FOX's FOX & Friends.
WHEN: 7:35 am CT
WHERE: FOX News, Check your local listings.

WHAT: Fred Thompson Live Interview on Morning Report with Dan Kennedy.
WHEN: 8:20 am CT
WHERE: WOC 1420, Davenport
NOTE: Listen live at http://www.woc1420.com/main.html.

WHAT: Fred Thompson Live Interview on Schulte & Swann Morning Show.
WHEN: 8:35 am CT
WHERE: KZIA 102.9, Cedar Rapids
NOTE: Listen live at http://www.kzia.com/HOME/tabid/36/Default.aspx.

WHAT: Fred Thompson Interviewed Live by Tim Russert on MSNBC.
WHEN: 9:45 am CT
WHERE: MSNBC, Check your local listings.

WHAT: Fred Thompson Participates in Radio Town Hall with KFAB's Tom Becka
WHEN: 12:30 pm CT
WHERE: Quality Inn & Suites
3537 West Broadway (Hwy 6)
Council Bluffs, IA
NOTE: Doors open at 12:00 pm CT. Please pre-set all equipment by 12:10 pm.

WHAT: Fred Thompson Participates in Press Availability
WHEN: 1:15 pm CT
WHERE: Quality Inn & Suites
3537 West Broadway
Council Bluffs, IA

WHAT: Fred Thompson Live Interview on Mac's World
WHEN: 2:40 pm CT
WHERE: WOW 98.3, Des Moines
NOTE: Listen live at http://www.983wowfm.com/default.asp.

WHAT: Fred Thompson Live Interview on The Sean Hannity Show
WHEN: 3:05 pm CT
WHERE: Check Your Local Listings.
NOTE: Listen live at http://www.wabcradio.com/.

WHAT: Fred Thompson Interviewed Live by Wolf Blitzer on CNN's The Situation Room.
WHEN: 4:20 pm CT
WHERE: CNN, Check your local listings.

WHAT: Fred Thompson Live Interview on The Bob Bruce Radio Experience
WHEN: 4:40 pm CT
WHERE: WOW 98.3, Des Moines
NOTE: Listen live at http://www.983wowfm.com/default.asp.

With a schedule like that, how can anyone call anyone lazy?


Lefty Think-Tank: Fox News Channel "Most Balanced"

You can tell they're lefties from the subhead of their press release... it includes "not a typo."

Who’s Fair and Balanced?: Fox News Channel’s coverage was more balanced toward both parties than the broadcast networks were. On FOX, evaluations of all Democratic candidates combined were split almost evenly – 51% positive vs. 49% negative, as were all evaluations of GOP candidates – 49% positive vs. 51% negative, producing a perfectly balanced 50-50 split for all candidates of both parties.

On the three broadcast networks, opinion on Democratic candidates split 47% positive vs. 53% negative, while evaluations of Republicans were more negative – 40% positive vs. 60% negative. For both parties combined, network evaluations were almost 3 to 2 negative in tone, i.e. 41% positive vs. 59% negative.
That popping you hear is the sound of lefty heads exploding.

The Wildest Bhutto Conspiracy Theory Yet

This one takes the cake:

ISLAMABAD: The controversy over former premier Benazir Bhutto's assassination has taken another turn with a section of her Pakistan People's Party (PPP) claiming she was targeted with sophisticated "laser beam technology".

Bhutto's wounds were caused not by bullets but by some sort of laser weapon, 'The Nation' newspaper said quoting sources in the PPP.

When Bhutto was admitted to Rawalpindi General Hospital shortly after the fatal attack on her on December 27, doctor Musaddiq Khan, who treated her, told a PPP leader that he had seen "such a case for the first time in his life", sources said.

Bhutto's wounds were not caused by bullets and she had died before reaching the hospital. A part of her brain and blood had spilled out from her head, they quoted the doctor as saying.

The sources also claimed both the gunshots and the bomb blast in the attack on Bhutto "were a decoy to hide the real shooters".

The paper further quoted the sources as saying that the militant leader Baitullah Mehsud and the Taliban, blamed for her assassination by the government, did not have such technology.

Perhaps Dr. Khan has a reason for not wanting the militants or the Taliban to be thought responsible?

Fred is Too Sane to be President

That's what this blogger says:

Fred Thompson is in the middle of a 40 town Iowa tour - so he is hardly lazy. And he does go on television shows - thus dealing with critics, such as myself, who attacked him for not going on enough shows. But what sort of person would enjoy all this?

A lunatic. Someone who was interested in office for its own sake - not as a means to reduce the size and scope of government.

What the media, including Fox News (the only non-leftist news station and, therefore, of vital importance in the Republican nomination process), are saying is that Fred Thompson is too sane to be President. It is not enough to produce detailed policies for dealing with the entitlement program Welfare State (a cancer that is destroying the United States and the rest of the Western World), or producing a new optional flat tax (individuals could continue to use the existing system if they wished to) to deal with the nightmare of complexity that the income tax has become.

It is not even enough to have a long record of service, going back to Watergate and taking down a corrupt Governor of Tennessee in the 1970's. And having one of the most Conservative voting records in the United States Senate - before leaving it in disgust at how the system did not allow real reform.

No - someone has to enjoy the prospect for office for its own sake, not to reduce the size and scope of government and restore a Federal Republic. One must enjoy the whole process of politics - i.e. be crazy. Or one must pretend to enjoy it - i.e. be a liar.

And then people complain that politicians are either crazy or corrupt. When they shoo away anyone who comes along who is neither crazy or corrupt.
Glenn "Instapundit" Reynolds appears to concur. And, for what it's worth, so do I.

I think P. J. O'Rourke said, "anyone who wants elected office should be permanently barred on the grounds of mental instability." That's part of why I like Fred. He will serve honorably, but he doesn't make the Oval Office the be-all and end-all of his existence.

Hat Tip: NRO's Corner.


Iowa Caucuses for Non-Wonks

If you want to know how the Iowa caucuses work--and if you care about who our next President is, you should--ya just gotta read the article linked in the title above. Here's a quick sample:

The trouble with the Iowa caucuses isn't that there's anything wrong with Iowans. It's the bizarre rules of the process. Caucuses are touted as authentic neighborhood meetings where voters gather in their precincts and make democracy come alive. In truth, they are anything but.

Caucuses occur only at a fixed time at night, so that many people working odd hours can't participate. They can easily exceed two hours. There are no absentee ballots, which means the process disfranchises the sick, shut-ins and people who are out of town on the day of the caucus. The Democratic caucuses require participants to stand in a corner with other supporters of their candidate. That eliminates the secret ballot.

There are reasons for all this. The caucuses are run by the state parties, and unlike primary or general elections aren't regulated by the government. They were designed as an insiders' game to attract party activists, donors and political junkies and give them a disproportionate influence in the process. In other words, they are designed not to be overly democratic. Primaries aren't perfect. but at least they make it fairly easy for everyone to vote, since polls are open all day and it takes only a few minutes to cast a ballot.

Little wonder that voter turnout for the Iowa caucuses is extremely low--in recent years about 6% of registered voters. Many potential voters will proclaim their civic virtue to pollsters and others and say they will show up at the caucus--and then find something else to do Thursday night.
And that's just the start.

Welcome to 2008!

Jed Babbin issues a call to arms:

Forget the holiday. All leaves are cancelled. As we set sail into the election year, sound general quarters. The USS Conservatism is at battle stations from now until the smoke clears on the morning after the election. Sharpen the cutlasses, issue a brace of pistols to all hands, and load with chain shot, for I mean to grapple and board.

All of us, especially those in the media, have to be fast and accurate. Let no media-contrived story go unchallenged, no Democrat allowed to speak untruths without being slapped with the facts. This is the fight we were born for, folks. Play the deguello: quarter will not be asked or given. This is one we have to win, and we will. All hands on deck.

I'm ready... bring 'em on.