ARC's 1st Law: As a "progressive" online discussion grows longer, the probability of a nefarious reference to Karl Rove approaches one

Friday, August 29, 2008

The Experience Question

Obama will run into trouble if he continues to question the experience level of McCain's VP selection:

"Today, John McCain put the former mayor of a town of 9,000 with zero foreign policy experience a heartbeat away from the presidency," Obama spokesman Bill Burton said in a statement.

As opposed to the Democrats, who nominated a former community organizer wiith zero foreign policy experience to be the heartbeat of the presidency.

Your Co-Conspirator,
ARC: St Wendeler

Why Palin???

The only drawback to the Palin selection is that it (to some degree) undercuts the inexperienced argument. While Palin certainly is more qualified than Obama, a superficial anlaysis of the age, time in government, etc won't help. And we know the MSM doesn't do anything deeper than the superficial.

One other drawback is that Alaska is already in the McCain camp, so it doesn't immediately flip a single state in McCain's favor.

However, here are a couple of points that will help McCain.

1) Palin favors drilling in ANWR and with gas prices as they are, this is a killer issue for the GOP. I can just imagine the exchange during the Vice President debates:

Biden: We can't drill in ANWR because of the environmental impact and because it won't have any impact on the price of gasoline until 10 years from now!

Palin: Senator Biden, with all due respect, the mere mentioning of the possibility of drilling offshore earlier this summer caused a $20/barrel drop in the price of oil. Using American energy resources instead of Saudi Arabian energy resources in the short term, while transitioning into a green-energy economy, sees like the best option.

And Senator, while you're commuting back & forth from DC to Delaware, I live in the state of Alaska. And if you think that you're more concerned about the environment of Alaska than someone who lives in Alaska, I think you've spent too many years in DC.

Senator - While you've "summered" in The Hamptons, I've actually vacationed with my family in ANWR.

Other benefits?
She's youthful.

She's not from D.C.

She's intelligent.

She has a maverick streak against the GOP pork-barrellers in Alaska.

All of this lines up with McCain's strengths.... Now, it's just a matter of communicating it to the voters.

The people over at Draft Sarah Palin have a lot more details.

Check out this interview of Palin by Larry Kudlow on CNBC to see her in action.

Your Co-Conspirator,
ARC: St Wendeler

Jonah on the See-No-Good Democrats

The Democratic Convention did seem to be heavy on the dire situation in America, even as the economy continues to grow, unemployment remains in historic lows, and we're expanding the footprint of democracies in the world.

Here's his column:

Economy of Words
Dude, where's my recession?
By Jonah Goldberg

The US economy — yes, that economy — grew at a 3.3 percent annual rate last quarter. This no doubt caused consternation at the highest levels of the Democratic Party, perhaps forcing some to consider a new convention film at the last minute: “Dude, Where's My Recession?”

To hear the Democrats at their convention this week, you'd get the sense that a recession is merely a technical term for the worst human misery ever visited upon a once-great people. You'd think Americans were listening to the Democratic speeches as they huddled around their kitchen tables (if they hadn't already been used for firewood), deciding which of their children to pack off to the orphanage and how much tree bark they can afford to eat next week.

Last night, Barack Obama proclaimed: “Our economy is in turmoil, and the American promise has been threatened once more.” He went on to describe an America reminiscent of the Grapes of Wrath (if not Mad Max).

But this was a week-long theme. Over and over again, Democrats insisted that the “American dream” is being snuffed out, crushed, beaten, stabbed and quite possibly dismembered in President Bush's West Wing bathtub, where Bush and Dick “The Cleaner” Cheney can dissolve the remains in sulfuric acid.

On Wednesday, Joe Biden reminded the world that he rides Amtrak home to Delaware from Washington. (Apparently not since Gunga Din has there been a more heroic commute.) He told us that when he gazes out the window of his barreling locomotive, he can “almost hear” the conversations in the houses he sees whizzing by.

He “almost hears” things with an awful lot of specificity: “Should Mom move in with us now that Dad's gone? Fifty, 60, 70 dollars just to fill up the gas tank? How in God's name, with winter coming, how are we gonna heat the home? Another year, no raise? Did you hear — did you hear they may be cutting our health care at the company?” Super Joe even hears people asking him, “How are we gonna retire, Joe?”

Is there nobody between DC and Delaware talking about “American Idol” or their kids' school play or how they're sick of meatloaf?

Obviously, there is real economic pain out there. Food and energy costs are rising too fast and by too much. The mortgage crisis is real.

But while Americans don't like the direction in which the country is heading, and hate high gas prices, they're pretty satisfied with their lives.

Some 94 percent of Americans polled by Harris Interactive this month said they were satisfied with the lives they lead. Gallup reports that only 9 percent of Americans are dissatisfied with their jobs and only 13 percent are dissatisfied with their job security. The unemployment rate is at a five-year high of 5.7 percent, but it wasn't long ago when that was considered close to full employment.

“Ladies and gentlemen,” mourned Sen. Biden, the “American dream feels like it's slowly slipping away. I've never seen a time when Washington has watched so many people get knocked down without doing anything to help them get back up.”

Quick question: Was this the same Washington that oversaw the largest expansion of entitlements (aka the prescription-drug benefit) since the Great Society? Was this the Washington that recently started doling out $168 billion in stimulus checks?

Biden's keen ability to hear only awful news is symptomatic of a Democratic Party that isn't merely eager to return to the White House, but desperate to launch a new New Deal.

The mind-set is on display in almost every speech. Sen. Hillary Clinton decried the policy of “giving windfall profits” to oil companies. She seems to believe that all of the money, everywhere, is the government's, and your profits are a gift. Windfall profits are defined as too big a gift from government.

Montana Gov. Brian Schweitzer, borrowing a line from Obama, complained that John McCain wants to give “$4 billion in tax breaks for Big Oil?”

No. McCain wants to lower the corporate tax rate to make us more competitive with our rivals. Yes, oil companies are included — but by this logic (as my colleague Ramesh Ponnuru notes), Obama's middle-class tax cut will be a tax break for hookers and serial killers.

The greatest irony is that the one area where the Democrats are right about American pain — high gas prices — is the one area where they're most reluctant to do anything substantial. Why? Because global warming appears to be their best shot at finding a major crisis to justify a new New Deal.

The bad news for the throngs in Denver is that Americans aren't as miserable as the Democrats need them to be.

As I read this column, I was listening to Allman & Crane on 97.1 here in St Louis. They've been in Denver all week and were interviewing that Ohio worker who had to disassemble a plant in 2004 so that the equipment could be shipped to a lower-cost country. (BTW, they're lower cost countries because they don't have whacky employer-based healthcare systems or a ridiculously high tax rate.) Anyway, Ohio Joe turned out to be your average Joe Sixpack who didn't really understand the issues, the trend of the industrialized world away from socialized medicine, etc. Oh, and by the way, while he was laid off in 2004 because of his plant closing, he's been employed for the past 3 years in a similar job with similar pay. The only problem he has with his job today is that he doesn't want to work until he's 67 so he and his wife can get on Medicare. His previous employer (thanks to a strong union) was contracted to pay for 100% of retirees health care. While that policy may have been fine for the early 20th century, it's impossible to compete in the global economy of the 21st century with a system that results in hyper-inflation of health care costs. (I wonder why his previous employer had to shutter their doors???)

He wants to retire in his late 50s and have someone else pay for his health care costs.

What was it that Phil Gramm said about our country?

If you look at any segment of our economy to that is failing to meet the needs of the consumer, from health care to oil to education, you'll see the all-knowing and all-caring hand of government.

I get the sense that if Obama does become president, we're going to hear this dreadful phrase more often:

"I'm from the government and I'm here to help."

Your Co-Conspirator,
ARC: St Wendeler

The Architect On Obamessiah's One Page Resume

Karl Rove provides this excellent analysis of Obama's 1 page resume, which The One was compelled to exaggerate last night. My previous post also looked at his meager accomplishments and highlighted how even Obama knows he isn't ready for the Presidency.

(Tip of the hat to Maddog for providing the link.)

August 28th, 2008
Biden's Exaggerations
Inflating Obama's record will not resolve doubts.
By Karl Rove

THE DEMOCRATIC NATIONAL CONVENTION exposed the central defect of Senator Barack Obama's candidacy: the absence of compelling evidence he is up to the job of president. The exposé comes courtesy of a bad habit of his running mate, Senator Joe Biden. When in doubt, Mr. Biden exaggerates. And in the past week, he did a lot.

Voters expect candidates to embellish, but only so much. Go beyond acceptable stretching and a candidate may squander his most precious political possession: credibility. Mr. Obama may be on this perilous path.

Last Saturday, America heard Mr. Obama's new running mate exclaim, "I watch with amazement as he came to the Senate. I watch with amazement!" Mr. Biden's hyperkinetic praise is what we expect a running mate to offer his benefactor at the top of the ticket.

But Saturday and again Wednesday night, Mr. Biden also praised Mr. Obama for three specific legislative accomplishments. One of them was an ethics bill, called by Mr. Biden in his acceptance speech "the most sweeping in a generation." However, many critics--including Hillary Clinton--criticized it as weak. For example, under Mr. Obama's bill, lobbyists may buy politicians meals if they are eating standing up but not if they're sitting down. Mr. Obama's bill didn't ban privately funded travel for congressmen or authorize an independent investigation office. But Mr. Obama did help draft, negotiate, and push the legislation that passed. The other two supposed accomplishments are more problematic.

Saturday, Mr. Biden asserted Mr. Obama "made his mark literally from day one, reaching across the aisle to pass legislation to secure the world's deadliest weapons," a claim similar to one Mr. Obama made earlier in the campaign. Wednesday night, Mr. Biden was more expansive, claiming Mr. Obama was a leader "to pass a law that helps keep nuclear weapons out of the hands of terrorists." This implied a big, important controversial measure, passed with difficulty after the intervention of an extraordinary leader.

In reality, the Lugar-Obama Bill was passed on a voice vote on December 11, 2006. It was so routine, there was no recorded vote. The media didn't consider it important or controversial. Neither the New York Times nor the Washington Post reported its Senate passage, though the Post ran a 798-word op-ed by Senators Lugar and Obama the week before it was approved. It was not the subject of a story on the CBS, ABC or NBC evening news--not when it passed, not when it was signed, not ever. No story about it appeared in Roll Call or The Hill, the daily newspapers that cover the minutiae of Congress. It drew only one squib in Congressional Quarterly--and that story didn't mention Obama, just Lugar. The Bush administration supported it. The legislation required the administration to report to Congress within 180 days "on proliferation and interdiction assistance" to secure the mostly conventional weapons stocks littering the nations born from the collapsed Soviet empire. It created a new State Department office to support the Bush administration's "Proliferation Security Initiative" aimed at interdicting weapons of mass destruction and conventional weaponry. And the bill authorized $110 million in funding. But this legislation didn't require a profile in courage to co-sponsor or hard work and powerful persuasion to pass, as Mr. Biden implied.

Saturday, Biden proclaimed: "But I was proudest, I was proudest, when I watched him spontaneously focus the attention of the nation on the shameful neglect of America's wounded warriors at Walter Reed Army Hospital." The problem for Mr. Biden (and the object of his praise, Mr. Obama) is the problems at Walter Reed were revealed in articles in the Washington Post, starting February 18, 2007. Unless Mr. Obama writes for the Washington Post under the nom de media of Anne Hull or Dana Priest, he didn't "spontaneously focus the attention of the nation." The two reporters did. The legislation to correct the shortcomings emerged from a Senate committee Mr. Obama doesn't serve on and he played no significant role in drafting or pushing it through the legislative. Mr. Obama is not the real hero of the Walter Reed turn-around, despite Mr. Biden's extravagant claims.

Like Mr. Biden, Michelle Obama's speechwriter could not resist hyping her husband's work. Monday night, Mrs. Obama talked about "what he's done in the United States Senate, fighting to ensure that the men and women who serve this country are welcomed home not just with medals and parades, but with good jobs and benefits and health care--including mental health care." This is an apparent reference to the Dignity For Wounded Warriors Act, a bill Mr. Obama introduced that never made it out of the Senate Armed Services Committee, despite its Democratic majority. Americans missed the spectacle of Mr. Obama "fighting to ensure" because he was missing for that particular battle. And if he was fighting, he must have been ineffectual because fellow Democrats didn't think this bill was worth passing.

When candidates lack real accomplishments, they and those around them exaggerate what they have done, puff their performance, hype the difficulty of their activities and depict their work as far more substantial than it really is. But if you describe yourself as something you're not, or as having done things you haven't, a critical press corps may be aroused and the contrast with what people believe to be true may be jarring.
[...]

Of course, this assumes that you have a press corps that is actually critical of a candidate, their resume, and their policy prescriptions for the country. This year, the Obamessiah movement is not something that has deluded the hard-core progressive Rank & File; no, it's clearly taken the entire press corps outside of Fox News. Last night, they were seen applauding and cheering with the crowd as Obama spoke.

Chris Matthews and Keith Olbermann should be ashamed of themselves for the propaganda they have spun over the past 4 days: they are not simply covering what the Obamessiah campaign spins to them, they are actually creating new lines of propaganda on behalf of the campaign.

Last night Matthews said he was getting a lot of grief from his critics for being "in the tank for Obama," to which he retorted - "to Hell with my critics!" (I assume he'll agree when we make the case that he's biased.)

As I remarked to my co-conspirator Brian, watching Olbermann and Matthews in Minneapolis will be hilarious to see how snarky and dismissive they will be of the entire event. As I watched MSNBC's coverage, I had this strange feeling that Olbermann and Matthews were both sitting there with their pants around their ankles, pleasuring themselves as Obama spoke. (Chris - that thrill you're feeling isn't in your leg.)

As Obamessiah Disciples, the MSNBC anchors will feel cold, naked, afraid, and helpless when they are no longer in His presence and will do anything in their power to get back to the Him.

Your Co-Conspirator,
ARC: St Wendeler

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Obamessiah on Obamessiah's Weak Resume

Excellent new web-video from McCain, in which he uses Obama's own words to underscore how unprepared he is for the Presidency.



In Joe Biden's speech last night, when he laid out the case for why Barry Hussein Obama should be President, you'll note that it was rather short and shallow.

I believe the measure of a man is not the road he travels, but the choices he makes along that road.

And, ladies and gentlemen, Barack Obama could have done anything after he graduated from college. With all his talent and promise, he could have written his own ticket to Wall Street. But what did he choose to do?

He chose to go to Chicago, the South Side of Chicago. There, there, in the South Side, he met women and men who had lost their jobs. Their neighborhood was devastated when the local steel plant closed. Their dreams had to be deferred; their self-esteem was gone. And, ladies and gentlemen, he made their lives the work of his life.

That's what you do when you're raised by a single mom who worked, went to school, and raised two kids on her own. That's how you come to believe to the very core of your being that work is more than a paycheck. It's dignity. It's respect.

(APPLAUSE)

It's about whether or not you can look your child in the eye and say, "We're going to be all right."

Because Barack Obama -- because Barack Obama made that choice, 150 more children and parents have health care in Illinois. He fought to make that happen.

And because Barack Obama made that choice, working families in Illinois pay less taxes and more people have moved from welfare to the dignity of work. And he got it done.

And when he came to Washington, when he came to Washington, John and I watched with amazement how he hit the ground running, leading the fight to pass the most sweeping ethics reform in a generation.

He reached across party lines to pass a law that helped keep nuclear weapons out of the hands of terrorists.

(APPLAUSE)

And then he moved Congress and the president to give our wonderful wounded warriors the care and dignity they deserve.

(APPLAUSE)

You know, you can learn a lot about a man campaigning with him, debating him, seeing how he reacts under pressure. You learn about the strength of his mind. But even more importantly, you learn about the quality of his heart.

In summary, here are Obama's qualifications as described by his #2:
  1. Obama was drawn to Alinsky's model of becoming a street agitator instead of seeking a regular income - although it worked out for him financially in the end, what with all of the Chicago political connections he made.
  2. 150 children now have healthcare thanks to the taxpayers of Illinois Barry Obama.
  3. Barry Obama was associated with a Republican-sponsored Welfare Reform bill in the Illinois State Senate
  4. He hit the ground running and was involved in an ethics reform package for Congress - that really made a huge impact. And is this the one that he wasn't even a co-sponsor of and voted against? Or the one sponsored by John McCain? Or the one he was co-sponsor of, drafted by Feingold, which never passed the Senate? Or perhaps it's the Ethics Reform bill that he proposed in September of 2007 which has yet to see the light of day in the US Senate? What an accomplishment!
  5. A nuclear non-proliferation law. One accomplishment for Obama!!! Oh, wait... that was Richard Lugar's bill, which Obama and 25 other Senators were co-sponsors on. (by the way, 17 of the 26 co-sponsors were Republicans.)

This is the guy who's got the requisite experience to lead a nation of 300 million people and a $14 trillion economy? A guy who's major accomplishments consist of getting asbestos out of an inner-city housing project, schmoozing corrupt Chicago politicians, giving a speech in 2004, and co-sponsoring a few bills in the US Senate????

Seriously???? Surely the Democrats have to be waking up to the reality that they've nominated a slick lightweight. Sure, he wined, dined, and bedded them during the primaries; but it's Sunday morning and the Democratic Party is probably starting to recognize that they have a hangover and have joined themselves to a guy who's can't provide for them.

Your Co-Conspirator,
ARC: St Wendeler

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Political Dunce

Jake Tapper carries water for Obama, saying that McCain is making a scurrilous and unfair attack against the junior Senator.

From Jake's Political Punch:

[...]
Today's new McCain ad -- "Tiny," which you can watch HERE -- crosses a new line into dishonesty, however, beyond whether or not it's actually airing anywhere.

The script reads; "Iran. Radical Islamic government. Known sponsors of terrorism. Developing nuclear capabilities to 'generate power' but threatening to eliminate Israel.

"Obama says Iran is a 'tiny' country, 'doesn't pose a serious threat,'" the ad continues. "Terrorism, destroying Israel, those aren't 'serious threats'? Obama -- dangerously unprepared to be president."

This is a dishonest representation of Obama's words.
Is that so? Can you provide the text of Obama's speech where he said that Iran was a serious threat?

You will? Really?
On May 18, on Pendelton, Oregon, Obama said that "strong countries and strong Presidents talk to their adversaries. That's what Kennedy did with Khrushchev. That's what Reagan did with Gorbachev. That's what Nixon did with Mao. I mean think about it. Iran, Cuba, Venezuela -- these countries are tiny compared to the Soviet Union. They don't pose a serious threat to us the way the Soviet Union posed a threat to us. And yet we were willing to talk to the Soviet Union at the time when they were saying, 'We're going to wipe you off the planet.'
[...]
That is not even close to Obama saying Iran is a "tiny" country that "doesn't pose a serious threat."
[...]

Not even close? He did say that Iran was a tiny country (compared to the USSR, which by default, all countries are tiny compared to the former commie empire that was the USSR).

He also said that Iran doesn't pose a serious threat to us the way the USSR did. (While the Soviets certainly had a larger conventional and nuclear military force, they were rational actors who could be deterred through our policy of Mutually Assured Destruction or MAD). The reason that Iran is a more serious threat is because, while their conventional and nuclear forces are numerically smaller in comparison, their leadership could not be described as rational actors who could be deterred through MAD - what with all the 12th Imam boojah-boojah and hosannas to martyrdom that they're throwing around each week.

This is important and not too fine a distinction. Obama's belief that Iran is not as serious threat as the former USSR is naive and it's a legitimate attack for McCain.

I don't think McCain's attack could be described as "not even close" to the truth. When it comes to Fact Checking, we all know where Jake "The Tap" Tapper will come down.

Your Co-Conspirator,
ARC: St Wendeler