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

Friday, October 17, 2008

Obama and Iranian Caviar

Well, it just had to happen, some room service staffer at the Waldorf leaked that the Obamas orderd Iranian caviar, champaign and lobster. The iranian caviar was apparently consumed without preconditions.

Your Co-Conspirator,
ARC:MontereyJohn

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Don't Tax Me, Bro!

In a tribute to Joe the Plumber, I've made up some more T-Shirts. Original versions are still available here.

The new shirts are a play on the "Don't Tase Me, Bro!" kerfluffle from a few years ago. These can be purchased through our Don't Tase Me, Bro! store on CafePress.com.

You'll also find stickers, mugs, etc. Enjoy!

Here's a sample of one of the styles:






Your Co-Conspirator,
ARC: St Wendeler

A Game Changer

I watched the debate last night with the Saint, and I was struck by one thing in particular. The fact that Joe the Plumber was directly talked to by the candidates. This is echoed in this mornings media discussions on the major networks, and the cable networks. In short, last nights debate was about "Joe the Plumber", and "Joe won".

This is a HUGE strategic mistake by Obama. Whether it is enough to change the outcome of the election remains to be seen. However, in the closing weeks of the campaign, when Obama had all but sewn up the election, the remaining discussion could possibly be all about Joe. Certainly the next 3 days of media will be about Joe.

Prior to the debate, I don't think many people had heard about Joe. If you weren't a news junkie pouring through YouTube clips for the latest campaign clips, or watching Fox News, you might have missed it. But by Barack directly targeting Joe in his debate responses, its become all about Joe. And that is not a strong point for Obama. As Joe mentions in his GMA clip here:

"To be honest with you, that infuriates me," plumber Joe Wurzelbacher told Nightline's Terry Moran. "It's not right for someone to decide you made too much---that you've done too good and now we're going to take some of it back."

"That's just completely wrong," he added.

Joe as "Everyman" is evident in the video. This is your average hard working family man. This will directly target the swing voters in battleground states. It will further demonstrate that Obama is too far to the left. Obama will be on the defensive trying to explain why people who do not pay any taxes currently, will need to get a check with Joe's money.

As evidenced in the GMA clip, the Obama camp (and the media is just one arm of that camp) will hit the following talking points hard:

  1. Obama's tax plan won't affect someone as "small" as Joe. He doesn't make $250,000 (currently).
  2. Even if he did have to pay the additional taxes, "its not that much, only 3% more".
  3. Joe Wurzelbacher already had his mind made up about the race and therefore his opinion about the race and Obama's tax plan is not to be acknowledged. This is where the questions about who he's planning on voting for come from.
None of these talking points will effectively blunt the issue. As Joe points out, it's not about the amount, while he doesn't make $250,000 currently, he would like to in the future. He's considering the purchase of the plumbing business for just that reason. To provide for his family. And he doesn't like the basis for the change, that because he might be successful in the future, that somehow he needs to give his money to the government so that people who don't pay taxes can receive money for not working as hard.

If I were in the McCain campaign, I'd immediately start airing an ad, showing the "other" Joe's in America. The electrician, the general contractor, the bricklayer, the store owner, the small factory owner providing jobs to Americans.

And if I were Joe, Id prepare for the onslaught the media is going to bring on him. His background will be looked into, probably with as much vigor as the Palins. I expect we'll soon start to hear "stories" about how Joe is not what he seems. If it isn't a "youthful indiscretion" in his past, it will be that he's too good, or a Christianist, or something else.

One things for sure, Obama cannot let the current theme about "Joe the Plumber" remain.

In football terms, Obama just threw an interception with 4 minutes left in the game, and now McCain has the ball. All he needs to do is put it in the end zone in the remaining time.

Gateway Pundit and Michelle Malkin are covering

Your Co-Conspirator,
ARC: Brian

Follow Up on "Kill Him!!!"

It would seem that I was correct about the MSM narrative going around about people yelling out "Kill him!" I had questioned the claim that this had been shouted during a Palin rally in Florida and it would seem that a similar incident reported by some reporter in Pennsylvania (to continue the narrative that McCain/Palin supporters are unhinged, violent racists) is complete b.s.

Turns out that the Secret Service gets very interested if they hear such things about presidential candidates and investigate.

From the Times-Leader
:

October 15
Secret Service says "Kill him" allegation unfounded
By Andrew M. Seder aseder@timesleader.com
Staff Writer

SCRANTON – The agent in charge of the Secret Service field office in Scranton said allegations that someone yelled “kill him” when presidential hopeful Barack Obama’s name was mentioned during Tuesday’s Sarah Palin rally are unfounded.

The Scranton Times-Tribune first reported the alleged incident on its Web site Tuesday and then again in its print edition Wednesday. The first story, written by reporter David Singleton, appeared with allegations that while congressional candidate Chris Hackett was addressing the crowd and mentioned Oabama’s name a man in the audience shouted “kill him."

News organizations including ABC, The Associated Press, The Washington Monthly and MSNBC’s Countdown with Keith Olbermann reported the claim, with most attributing the allegations to the Times-Tribune story.

Agent Bill Slavoski said he was in the audience, along with an undisclosed number of additional secret service agents and other law enforcement officers and not one heard the comment.

“I was baffled,” he said after reading the report in Wednesday’s Times-Tribune.

He said the agency conducted an investigation Wednesday, after seeing the story, and could not find one person to corroborate the allegation other than Singleton.


Slavoski said more than 20 non-security agents were interviewed Wednesday, from news media to ordinary citizens in attendance at the rally for the Republican vice presidential candidate held at the Riverfront Sports Complex. He said Singleton was the only one to say he heard someone yell “kill him.”

“We have yet to find someone to back up the story,” Slavoski said. “We had people all over and we have yet to find anyone who said they heard it.”
[...]
The MSM - making up stories to benefit The Obamessiah.

Gateway Pundit also has the story.

Your Co-Conspirator,
ARC: St Wendeler

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Joe the Plumber

Joe the Plumber should be in every campaign ad until Nov 4th...

I've made T-shirts to celebrate Joe's struggle against the coming Obamacracy here.

Here's a sample:




Oh, and Another Rovian Conspiracy's Interfaith bumper sticker available here.

Your Co-Conspirator,
ARC: St Wendeler

Schieffer's Scheissspiel

Here's the open post for the live-blogging by the Conspiracy. Brian is here with me at an undisclosed location, we're heavily armed, and Penelope is protecting the homeland with her Browning 9mm. Monterey John on the Left Coast will probably join a little later, as soon as he stops screaming at the TV.

Here's the MSM narrative pre-debate:

  • This is McCain's last chance. He risks being too negative if he looks at Obama or answers any of Schieffer's questions - his mere audacity to appear on stage is a racist attack on all that is good and pure. Have we mentioned that this guy is old and either doesn't get it or flat out lies about everything?
  • Obama is amazing - so calm, so collected, so intellectual. It's unfortunate that he has to be seen on stage with some old guy who clearly doesn't get it. Why can't Bush just step aside now and get Barry in the Oval to do some much needed changing and hoping.
Here's the Conspiracy's prediction for the MSM narrative post-debate:
  • McCain didn't deliver and he didn't change anything. It's really a shame that this once proud statesmen had to resort to such ridiculous attacks and couldn't say anything substantive about the problems that face Americans everyday in this economic climate. While he talks a good game about reform, he'd just be another Bush administration. He just doesn't understand that people want real change.
  • Obama is amazing - so calm, so collected, so intellectual... soo... "presidential." His detailed policy prescriptions really struck a chord with the American people, particularly those in the battleground states. Let's go to the map and show the votes how impossible it is for McCain to even come close on November 4th. It finally looks like the America people are going to be heard from this year and will get the change they so desperately need. Have we mentioned that McCain is old and has had cancer? He really looks tired and I think the campaign is taking it's toll on him.
If you're watching on CNN-HD (or tune into CNN post-debate), here are my predictions for the Pundit punch-count that they run during the back & forth:
  • Begala - Obama rules (35+ / 2-); McCain sucks (2+ / 25-)
  • Bennett - McCain's alright - Obama (12+ / 14-) ; McCain (18+ / 10-)
  • Castellanos - Obama did what he needed to do (13+ / 10-) ; McCain better than last time (20+ / 8-)
  • Gergen - Obama's won it (20+ / 4-) ; McCain (10+ / 10-)
  • King - Obama's running away with it (15+ / 3-) ; McCain (14+ / 3-)
  • Martin - Obama's the bees knees (14+ / 3-); McCain, not so much (5+ / 10-)

Just a guess...

Enjoy the debate!!!

Your Co-Conspirator,
ARC: St Wendeler

Tonight's Debate

Jeff Goldstein over at Protein Wisdom provides this excellent advice to the McCain campaign:

“CBS/NYT: Obama 53, McCain 39″
[...]
Which is to say, whether the polls are believable or not — whether media bias or a sudden uptick in ostentatious civility is responsible for the numbers – shouldn’t matter one whit.

What matters is defining Barack Obama. And McCain best realize that if he’s to have any chance whatever, he needs to continue to pound away at Obama’s political and ideological lineage and make the case to voters that the man who’s been speaking to them in pleasing bromides has, for his entire political life, been involved with organizations and causes that have very clear plans of action — and that those plans often involve redistribution of wealth, funding for “social justice,” and gaming the system to destroy it from within. He needs to make clear that, if Team Obama and the media wish to spin these facts as “smears,” then they’ve effectively insulated the Illinois Senator from any criticism, given that he has very little record to run on.

And Team McCain should get past their concerns that Americans “won’t understand” a complicated narrative. It’s quite possible that they might not — but that’s no excuse not to lay it out anyway. After all, nothing the McCain camp has done thus far, including playing at collegiality, has worked, nor will it: McCain may just now be waking the fact that the press has long used him as an easy mark.

In short, “Maverick” (gag) needs to flesh out Barack Obama — not because it might win him the election, but rather because we as a country deserve to be told what the press has worked so hard to cover up, rationalize away, and excuse. He needs to go negative like a fucking viking.

Then if we go ahead and vote a socialist into office, we have no one to blame but ourselves.
[...]

The comment regarding the poll is very appropriate, given that information about Obama's stances on the issues, his radical roots, and the implausibility of his policy prescriptions given the current state of the economy have not been covered in any great substance by the MSM.

Have any of the great social issues been discussed in the debates? Justices? Abortion? Gay Rights? 2nd Amendment? 1st Amendment?

This is most likely explained by the fact that the MSM, to the extent that it can, is insulating Obama on issues that it knows do not play in the heartland the battleground states.

And, as Jeff points out, if the MSM is unwilling to bring up the issues and provide voters with sufficient information about who Obama is and what he stands for (other than Hope, Change, and a Tax Cut for 95% of AmericansTM), McCain has not only the opportunity, but the duty as a candidate for the presidency to inform the voters.

Unfortunately, I don't have high expectations for tonight... McCain's debate performances in the primaries were always underwhelming. But, if he's going to change the trajectory of this campaign, tonight is the night and at least he knows that.

Me? I'll be nursing some expensive Scotch tonight... recognizing that the days of cheap scotch on the dirty linoleum floor are not that far in the future.

Your Co-Conspirator,
ARC: St Wendeler

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Kill Him!!!

There's a big kerfluffle going on about someone supposedly saying "Kill Him" in response to Palin's attacks on Ayers (and his connection to Obama). A lot of bits have been spent trying to spin this as a racist, verbal assault on Obama - and I think it's pretty clear that anyone who thinks that is unhinged, despite the speed with which the lie has been spread.

But, here was my immediate reaction to the story, which I attempted to post in the comments to the original Washington Post story:

'"Kill him!" proposed one man in the audience.'

Ummmm, I have to call b.s. on this one. Listen to the video that's available on YouTube; You won't hear anyone yell that.

One man? Out of how many? 20,000?

Reporters shouldn't write inflammatory or embarrassing comments without attributing them to a specific person.

Listen for yourself and see if you hear anyone yell "Kill him!" You can hear a lot of other folks in the background, but not the statement the reporter wrote.



One commenter on the Washington Post story tried to defend Ayers' comments about wanting to do more (than just plant a few bombs). I responded to the comment:
The comment to which you refer was reported in the Sept. 11 edition, which means it was spoken sometime before Sept. 11

True, anything that appears in print was probably said before you actually read it. I suppose you raise this point because of the infamous date (the date when Chimpy W. McBushitler/Cheney took down the WTC as their Reichstag fire!!!)

But the date of his comments isn't important... it's that he said he regrets that he didn't do enough.

here's the first paragraph of the article on Ayers' book about being a fugitive.
'I don't regret setting bombs,'' Bill Ayers said. ''I feel we didn't do enough.'' Mr. Ayers, who spent the 1970's as a fugitive in the Weather Underground, was sitting in the kitchen of his big turn-of-the-19th-century stone house in the Hyde Park district of Chicago. The long curly locks in his Wanted poster are shorn, though he wears earrings. He still has tattooed on his neck the rainbow-and-lightning Weathermen logo that appeared on letters taking responsibility for bombings. And he still has the ebullient, ingratiating manner, the apparently intense interest in other people, that made him a charismatic figure in the radical student movement.


And, despite Ayers' claim that he was "taken out of context" 4 days later, this statement is wholly consistent with his previous statements. Check out this video and scroll to 7:50 (near the end). You'll see Bernadine Dohrn & Billy Ayers saying the same thing...





no regrets; I wish we would've done more.

So, what are we to make of this?

An unattributed comment by some guy who's voice was not picked up by any recording device has been spread like wildfire through the nutroots... If it was said, it wasn't heard by Palin or anyone else in the crowd, since the "Boooos!" drowned whoever it was out.

This was all to further the MSM narrative that anyone opposing Obama or trying to bring up the relationship between Obama and his radical comrades in Chicago is a racist and that the McCain campaign, in bringing up these connections, were playing with fire.

The MSM is so far in the tank on this election and they've lost any desire to even pretend that they are objective journalists.

Your Co-Conspirator,
ARC: St Wendeler

Rock The Vote

Not..

Excellent video here from John Stossel's 20/20 on Friday.

Here's part of the text, but you should watch the video.

Maybe It's Your Civic Duty Not to Vote
Should Uninformed Voters Be Casting Their Vote on Nov. 4?
By JOHN STOSSEL

Oct. 9, 2008—

We keep hearing how important it is for everyone to vote and that voting is our civic duty.

Celebrities like Christina Aguilera, Leonardo DiCaprio, Diddy and Dave Matthews urge everyone to get out and vote. And to help people vote, voter registration groups such as HeadCount deploy volunteers to sign people up.

HeadCount focuses on registering young people at rock concerts and music festivals around the country. During the concerts, famous musicians such as Eddie Vedder and Jack Johnson implore their fans to sign up to vote. Marc Brownstein, the bassist for the band The Disco Biscuits and a co-founder of HeadCount, tells fans to "please participate this year by casting your vote!"

Brownstein and a friend, Andy Bernstein, co-founded HeadCount in 2004.

"We do this because we want the kids to be a part of the political process," Brownstein said.

Bernstein added, "We registered over 100,000 people. ... It is so imperative that this generation's voice is heard. And they are being heard."

But are these get-out-the-vote drives entirely a good thing? "20/20" asked some newly registered young people some basic questions about our government.

Some people were knowledgeable.
[...]
But many of the young voters didn't seem very informed. Some didn't know how many states are in the U.S. or how many senators there are. Few could explain Roe v. Wade, the landmark Supreme Court ruling upholding abortion rights.

"Roe v. Wade is segregation maybe?" one new voter guessed.

Another asked: "Was Roe v. Wade where we declared bankruptcy?" And still another wondered, "That was about a black person and a white person?"

Brownstein said, "There's a lot of uninformed voters out there."

So should those uninformed voters just stay home?

"It's an argument that really, really smacks against everything we hold dear as Americans," Bernstein said.

"Democracy is not about taking ... the most educated portion of the society and having them decide," Brownstein said.

But could these voters' civic duty be to not vote, because they know very little?

"We don't believe it's their civic duty not to vote. We're out there telling them that it is their civic duty to vote," Brownstein said.
[...]

Read the whole thing... I love how Brownstein is pushing uninformed people to vote, but I'm sure that he's targeting people who he feels will be more inclined to vote or who will listen to not so veiled rhetoric from band leaders to "vote for change" (a refrain that I heard 20 times from lead singers at a concert event I attended recently).

In all seriousness, voting is not your civic duty - informing yourself so you are sufficiently aware of the issues (and the candidates' corresponding positions) is your civic duty.

In this regard, I'm not an elitist - and I think Stossel misses the point here. I know that the American electorate (as personified by the hipster-dufus' shown in the video) can do better and I would encourage them - if they are serious about their desire to perform their civic duty - to drop the ecstasy and the water bong *bubble bubble* 6 months to one year prior to election date and educate themselves on the issues.

I'm looking forward to Stossel's piece on the 17th.

Your Co-Conspirator,
ARC: St Wendeler

Matthew Yglesias: Useful Idiot or just a plain old idiot?

This post by Matthew Yglesias regarding the Acorn voter fraud issues is just hilarious:

Error Rates

I find that an awful lot of problems are caused by people’s inability to understand things like error rates and big numbers. If a pharmaceutical company came out with a new anti-depression drug and gave it to a million people suffering from depression, of whom 970,000 were helped you wouldn’t turn around and conclude that the company was perpetrating a deliberate fraud based on the fact that “tens of thousands” of patients got no relief. You’d say that the medicine was helpful in 97 percent of the indicated cases. ACORN is trying — and succeeding — in an effort to register a lot of new voters.
Let me retool Matthew's example so it's more appropriate to the Acorn situation:
if a pharmaceutical company came out with a new anti-depression drug and gave it to a million peope suffering from depression and 30,000 people were killed outright, Barack Obama, John Edwards, the MSM and the plaintiff's bar would be on TV within minutes suing the pharmaceutical company for billions.

Fraudulent voter registration undermines and kills our democracy. If the dead, cartoon characters, and already registered individuals can be fraudulently registered to vote multiple times, our democracy is fraudulent.

And, it's good to know that a 3% disenfranchisement rate is acceptable for Yglesias.
There’s simply no way to gather over one million new voter registration forms without some of the forms having been filled out with bogus information.
"some of the forms"? How about 100% of the first 2500 forms turned into a county in Indiana?

That's not "some." That's criminal.
You could ask the group to automatically toss out the obviously wrong ones — some guy saying he’s Tony Romo, someone else saying he’s Mickey Mouse — but the law requires them to hand all the forms in to prevent them from tossing out forms filled out by people who say they want to register Republican.
Who passed the law?

Who makes it easy for such fraud?

Who consistently obstructs any attempt to require some form of identification for registration?
Consequently, if you go out and register over a million voters you’ll wind up with a lot of bad forms being submitted. But just as 30,000 is a lot of people and also only a very small fraction of one million people, when you’re talking about registering over a million new voters you’d need orders of magnitude more bad forms to constitute real evidence of a systematic fraud campaign.

Meanwhile, if you want to reduce the number of bad forms submitted, you have basically three options:
  1. Make voter registration much easier and more automatic so as to reduce the need for registration drives.
  2. Let registration organizers toss out forms.
  3. Stop all registration drives by conflating good faith errors with systematic, criminal fraud.
Conservatives like option (3) because they don’t like it when large numbers of people vote.
Actually, conservatives don't object to registration drives. They object to fraud.

Let's have a registration drive where people are required to show an ID and the conservatives would cheer.
And that’s what this is about, finding a backdoor way to delegitimize [sic] all efforts at large-scale registration drives. It’d be as if instead of trying to ban computers (obviously impossible) you passed a law saying you could throw someone in jail for selling a computer that’s prone to crashing. It’s computer sales fraud — the thing’s supposed to work! Well, nobody knows how to build a crash-free computer so, bye bye computer industry.

That's an idiotic analogy.

In reality, fraudulent voter registration is already a crime. Voter Registration forms have the following:
The information I have provided is true to the best of my knowledge under penalty of perjury. If I have provided false information, I may be fined, imprisoned, or (if not a U.S. citizen) deported from or refused entry to the United States.

I know that perjury isn't a big deal (especially when it's involving a sexual harassment case), but it would seem that ACORN, being the great "community organizers" that they are, are assisting people in committing perjury. This is also a crime, called subornation of perjury.

It's a crime you imbecile! What ACORN is doing on behalf of Barry Hussein Obama is criminal! Registering Mickey Mouse is criminal.

My ruling?

Matthew Yglesias is just a plain old idiot.

Your Co-Conspirator,
ARC: St Wendeler

Monday, October 13, 2008

el Atlas encogiĆ³

Or, "Atlas Shrugged" (according to AltaVista/Yahoo's babelfish).

This story about Venezuelan oil production
is tragic, humorous, and predictable:

Venezuela's oil output slumps under Hugo Chavez

By Jeremy McDermott in Caracas
Last Updated: 7:26AM BST 13 Oct 2008

To win allies and forge an anti-American front, Mr Chavez sells oil to friendly countries at low prices. Ironically, the only big customer buying Venezuelan oil at the full market price is the United States, which the president routinely denounces as the "Empire".

"As production falls, the sales to the US become more important," said Pietro Donatello, an oil analyst from Latin Petroleum in the capital, Caracas. "Only the US is paying the full amount for Venezuelan oil and in cash, the rest are in some kind of barter agreements."

You know... nothing makes more sense than to trade oil for chickens.... bartering is the new wave of the future!!! Viva la revolucion!
The state oil company, PDVSA, produced 3.2 million barrels per day in 1998, the year before Mr Chavez won the presidency. After a decade of rising corruption and inefficiency, daily output has now fallen to 2.4 million barrels, according to OPEC figures. About half of this oil is now delivered at a discount to Mr Chavez's friends around Latin America. The 18 nations in his "Petrocaribe" club, founded in 2005, pay Venezuela only 30 per cent of the market price within 90 days, with rest in instalments spread over 25 years.

And there's nothing better than selling your buddies black gold at a 70% discount, in exchange for the promise of full payment next Tuesday... but when next Tuesday is actually in 2038? Not so much.
The other half - 1.2 million barrels per day - goes to America, Venezuela's only genuinely paying customer.

Meanwhile, Mr Chavez has given PDVSA countless new tasks. "The new PDVSA is central to the social battle for the advance of our country," said Rafael Ramirez, the company's president and the minister for petroleum. "We have worked to convert PDVSA into a key element for the social battle."

Witness here the true nature of any socialist country... the authoritarian impulse inevitably displays itself. Companies are no longer in business to deliver the goods and services to their customer - no, they become key elements for social[ist] battle.

And what does that mean? Well, it means an oil company being converted to raising chickens:
The company now grows food after Mr Chavez's price controls emptied supermarket shelves of products like milk and eggs. Another branch produces furniture and domestic appliances in an effort to stem the flow of imports. What PDVSA seems unable to do is produce more oil.
[...]
"There is a bottleneck in the Venezuelan production system," said Mazhar al-Sheridah, 68, an oil expert at the Central University of Venezuela. "It will cost at least $32 billion to build another three upgrading units and take some five years, meaning that Venezuelan production is stuck at current levels for a while yet."

All this means that Venezuela has missed much of the benefit from the oil boom and, now that prices are falling, Mr Chavez faces huge financial problems. Nobody is sure at what point his government would be unable to pay its bills, but most sources consulted believe this would probably happen if oil falls to $80 a barrel. Yesterday, oil was trading at $79.80.
FYI - Citgo is wholly owned subsidiary of PDVSA (and by extension, Hugo Chavez) the primary distributor of Venezuelan oil.

Sure would be nice if we had drilled offshore and in ANWR 5-10 years ago so we could replace Hugo's oil with our own. And it's a shame that we're not taking steps to further reduce the price of oil.

I'm sure Hugo & Barry will be best buddies... I just hope that Barry takes up Hugo's fashion sense.

Your Co-Conspirator,
ARC: St Wendeler