August 29, 2008
A VOLT OF ITS OWN: Mazda’s electric car.
A VOLT OF ITS OWN: Mazda’s electric car.
REGRETS AFTER prostate surgery.
IN THE MAIL: Jeffrey Toobin’s The Nine: Inside the Secret World of the Supreme Court.
THEY’RE SAYING THAT MCCAIN HAS PICKED SARAH PALIN. The Insta-Wife is ecstatic, which may bode well for that demographic. I’d like it if she had more executive experience, but to be fair, she’s got more than anyone else on either ticket. Is she too liberal on gay rights? Not for me, but maybe for some people.
UPDATE: Sissy Willis has more, including video of an interview of Palin by Larry Kudlow.
ANOTHER UPDATE: Judging from SayUncle, Palin will play well among the crucial bitter gun-clinger demographic. [They prefer to be called ‘blasty-Americans’ now — ed. Oh, good grief.]
Plus, the WaPo’s Ben Pershing on Sarah Palin’s Porkbusting.
The pick is getting good marks from Geraldine Ferraro.
And, Palin as the anti-Ted Stevens.“In an election where the Republicanâ€™s biggest liability isnâ€™t Iraq but Ted Stevens and the Alaskan Bridge To Nowhere, McCain took his maverick mantle by the reins and just signed up the Anti Stevens to help him root out the corruption endemic in DC.”
This rather churlish response from the Obama campaign won’t help them — dissing small towns doesn’t fit well after Biden’s “nobody is better than anybody” talk. [LATER: McCain response: “I’d think the Obama people would have learned by now not to belittle the experience of women.”]
By contrast, I just saw Palin praise Hillary Clinton and Geraldine Ferraro as pathbreakers. And that “18 million cracks in the glass ceiling” line was delightfully sly.
MORE: Reader Kyle Griffin emails: “Did the Obama campaign just accuse the Republican campaign of having a VP with insufficient experience? Was that really smart? Will we see an ad about that tomorrow from the McCain youTube team?” Yeah, it did seem like an unforced error.
An “I told you so” from Katie Granju. [LATER: Granju emails: “I’m telling you. She’s got the goods. Of course, I disagree with her on, well, mostly everything, but she’s super impressive.” Yeah, I’d never seen her speak before, and I was wrong to discount her, though I thought she’d said she didn’t want the job.]
More on Geraldine Ferraro on Palin.
Roger Simon: Obama the stodgy, McCain the Maverick.
An interesting angle from reader Frank Martin:
Question: Which state borders the Former Soviet Union?
Hey, will you look at that?, 2 years of foreign policy experience.
Well, maybe. And reader Joel Mackey writes:
As a conservative, disenfranchised from the Republican party due to their pork barrel spending, I find myself excited at the prospect of Sarah Palin as VP. Her stands against corruption, her focus on fixing issues affecting America, instead of political manuevers to gain and hold power for power’s sake, make me excited to vote for her.
The only memes that grab my attention with the Obama compaign are when he talks about reforming Washington, but his statements are so vague and his friends are so leftwing, that I suspect his rhetoric is code for changing to a more socialistic model. Whereas Palin would bring reform which would more closely resemble what Reagan would enact.
McCain has hit a homerun, possibly a game winning homerun. Her introductory speech brought a positive emotional response from me, very very rare.
If this reaction is common, I guess it’s a better pick than I had thought. But not everyone’s happy. Reader John Shirey writes:
I just don’t get it – if they were going to pick someone with such limited experience, then why not pick Jindal, who to me is one of the few Republicans I actually like (other than his absolutist stance on abortion), and despite his tender age seems extremely competent and well-spoken. The Palin selection also shows how limited his choices really were in that he couldn’t come up with a Biden-type pick (experienced, ready to lead) that somehow wouldn’t piss of the base (Romney, Giuliani, Lieberman, etc.).
As I mentioned earlier, the GOP has a bench problem. Though the Biden pick wasn’t exactly a game-changer.
Lots of thoughts at Ann Althouse — just keep scrolling as she has multiple posts. I like this: “Earth to nameless CNN website commenter: Women are not a minority.”
From Paul Mirengoff, disappointment.
Beldar put up a big background post in June. Ahead of the curve!
David Post: Sarah Who?
Jeff Goldstein notes a rhetorical snare. Heh.
And Col. Douglas Mortimer emails that it’s no big deal: “What’s the point of the being the Governor of a whole state if you can’t even get your sister’s asshole ex-husband fired from a gub-ment job? After all, its not like she’s been caught in a sweetheart real estate deal with a convicted felon, you know.”
MCCAIN AND OBAMA TAX PLANS compared.
UPDATE: Yeah, I left out radio. I’m an idiot.
DOING JOBS OTHER AMERICANS WON’T DO: The Typo Vigilantes.
JEFF TAYLOR ON problems with the banking system. “The present situation is portrayed overwhelmingly as an economic story when, in fact, it is primarily about regulation and public policyâ€”the past 30 years of bipartisan, nearly universally-praised policy to be specific. And it is probably that universality of opinion that keeps misconstruing what is really happening.”
JIM LINDGREN: “Mandatory community service sucks in much that is private and diverse and spits out an excessively homogenized version of the good, a version that would come with a government seal of approval. Itâ€™s probably not an accident that many American groups who tend to favor greater government largesse are relatively stingy in their own donations to charity.”
SOLVING YOUR PROBLEMS with help from the Internet.
MICKEY KAUS ON THE SPEECH: “A little flat, and not just because of its now-required State-of-the Union laundry-list passages.”
FACT-CHECKING THE MCCAIN CAMPAIGN’S OBAMA FACT-CHECKS.
GEOTHERMAL PROSPECTS: As Geothermal Energy Heats Up, 5 Next-Gen Projects Take Shape. “Unlike wind and solar power, which are intermittent, geothermal energy is base-load powerâ€”available 24/7, 365 days a year. And the price of geothermal energy is stable, unlike economically volatile coal and natural gas. . . . Unlike conventional geothermal power, which has been limited to areas with stores of hot groundwater, EGS power plants create their own geothermal reservoirs by pumping water to hot, dry rocks located tens of thousands of feet under the surface.”
PARSING OBAMA’S GUN RHETORIC:
“We can keep AK-47s out of the hands of criminals.” All right, then! Can I have an AK-47? I’m not a criminal. He’s trying to say we can accommodate gun rights and gun regulations, but he won’t admit to anything near the level of gun regulation he’d support, so he ends up sounding silly.
This is what happens when law professors make speeches, and other law professors listen to them!
SANTA BARBARA’S RESOLVE AGAINST DRILLING FADES: “The speed with which opinions have changed in Santa Barbara County as gasoline prices have climbed has been astonishing. The vote there reinforces, at the local level, a shift evident in national polls and in the delicate willingness of Democratic leaders like Senator Barack Obama, the presumptive presidential nominee, and the House speaker, Nancy Pelosi of California, to open the door to limited coastal drilling.”
RONALD REAGAN: Yesterday’s poll showed a lopsided Reagan preference, and I hear lots of Reagan-nostalgia on talk radio, etc. But if Republicans want another Reagan, they should recognize that he didn’t come from nowhere, and work on their farm team.
I’VE HEARD OF KNOCKING THEIR SOCKS OFF, but their eyelashes? “Daytime talk show diva and billionaire businesswoman Oprah Winfrey, who played a crucial early primary role in raising the prominence of her fellow Chicagoan Barack Obama, was so moved by her man’s Democratic acceptance speech Thursday night that she cried off her false eyelashes.”
MORE ON GUSTAV from Brendan Loy. It’s starting to look like a Texas landfall.
A LOOK AT missile defense in Poland.
DOG BITES MAN: Media Cheers Obama Speech. “Several members of the media were seen cheering and clapping for Barack Obama as the Illinois senator accepted the Democratic nomination Thursday. Standing on the periphery of the football field serving as the Democratic convention floor, dozens of men and women wearing green media floor passes chanted along with the crowd.”
UPDATE: Related item here.
OBAMA’S SET REALLY DOES LOOK LIKE George W. Bush’s “game show” set from 2004.
HERE’S THE FULL TEXT OF OBAMA’S SPEECH. As with McCain, I have to go to The Corner for these things.
UPDATE: The trademark five-minute take from PoliPundit.
ANOTHER UPDATE: Hmm. Will this line play well with Hillary fans? “And when I hear a woman talk about the difficulties of starting her own business, I think about my grandmother, who worked her way up from the secretarial pool to middle-management, despite years of being passed over for promotions because she was a woman.” Maybe, maybe not.
I liked the pro-nuclear line.
ANN ALTHOUSE IS liveblogging the Invesco festivities.
UPDATE: So is Randy Neal.
ANOTHER UPDATE: And Stephen Green is drunkblogging.
MORE: Stephen Green: “Did Obama REALLY just accuse McCain of being unwilling to pursue bin Laden? I donâ€™t like McCain. I donâ€™t (yet) plan to vote for McCain. But I would NOT go around impugning John McCainâ€™s manhood.”
STILL MORE: Don Surber parses.
I’d say not bad, but not as good as Bill Clinton’s speech last night.
TalkLeft: “The language did not soar. The rhetoric, tone and demeanor were down to Earth. I give this speech, in this place, at this time, an A+. ” Stephen Green is less enthusiastic.
Josh Marshall: “I think he’s doing a good job inoculating against next week’s attacks (and responding to the earlier ones) without appearing defensive or reactive.”
Jim Lindgren liked the text.
Megan McArdle: “I was disappointed by the speech. Your mileage may vary, of course. But it was basically standard Democratic Convention Boilerplate: nothing we haven’t seen before from Obama, or for that matter, every Democratic presidential candidate in living memory.”
SPY PHOTOS of the production Chevy Volt.
DANNY GLOVER ON the McCain online video machine.
HAPPY 100TH BIRTHDAY to Lyndon Johnson.
TIM CAVANAUGH WONDERS WHAT HAPPENED to the “new Democrats.”
REASON TV: Jobs Americans Won’t Do. Heh.
AN EXCERPT from the prepared text of Obama’s speech.
TONIGHT, SENATOR, JOB WELL DONE:
DAVID BERNSTEIN ON THE AARP’S “ridiculous claim that 1.85 million Americans go bankrupt every year due to medical bills. In other words, the AARP is claiming that every single bankruptcy in the U.S. is due to medical bills. Even Elizabeth Warren doesn’t go that far. The AARP has launched a mass media campaign, including television ads, based on this blatantly dishonest premise. One can only hope it will damage its credibility.” Yeah, every time I turn on the TV I see this commercial.
PROGRESS WITH POLYWELL FUSION: A report from Alan Boyle. Faster, please.
HYDROGEN POWERED SPEED CARS at Bonneville. Video at the link.
WHO WILL MCCAIN PICK FOR VP? A discussion. My thoughts: I like Joe Lieberman, and I like the idea of a bipartisan ticket, but somebody — I forget where I saw this, but send me the link if you know — said that a McCain-Lieberman ticket would look like the greeting committee at an old folks’ home. That’s a little harsh, but I can see it. Romney just feels wrong to me, I’m not sure why. He’s got a good resume and he seems like a nice guy, but he comes across as a bit plastic, the opposite of the “straight talk” brand, I guess. The Insta-Wife likes the idea of Carly Fiorina, but I’m not so sure. I don’t see any great picks for him, which says bad things about the Republicans’ farm team. On the other hand, Joe Biden isn’t exactly a fresh face himself. . . . But neither is McCain, and the Obama-Biden ticket has its fresh face already.
INSTA-POLL: Inspired by a commenter over at Ann Althouse’s.
TALKLEFT: Olbermann Reports, You Decide.
ROBERT POOLE ON Air Traffic Computer Woes and Long Travel Delays.
AT HOT AIR, some video from Denver. Inspired by Borat?
OKAY, I POSTED A LINK to my Is Dick Cheney Unconstitutional? article earlier today, and then when I got to the office my reprints had arrived from the Northwestern University Law Review. But before I can even send them out, I learn that I’m too late: “It was almost as if Vice President Cheney had already left the scene, riding off into the sunset like some cowboy to the Wyoming plains.”
THIS COULD BE A BIG DEAL: Going From One Cell Type to Another Without Using Stem Cells.
ORIN KERR: “Maybe this is a quirky reaction, but the more I get to know Barack Obama, the more he reminds me of Chief Justice John Roberts. Their politics are very different, of course â€” perhaps 180 degrees apart. But there is something about the two men that strikes me as similar.” So which Justice is McCain like? I’m going with Whizzer White.
WHITE COLLAR CRIME BLOG ON THE KPMG DECISION: “The government did not lose this case, as some might say. In fact, they won. When justice is done for all, as is reflected in this opinion — the prosecution, defense, and society wins.” It sounds like the right outcome, anyway.
DUDE, WHERE’S MY RECESSION? (CONT’D): Economy rebounds in 2Q, mostly spurred by exports. “The Commerce Department reported Thursday that gross domestic product, or GDP, increased at a 3.3 percent annual rate in the April-June quarter. The revised reading was much better than the government’s initial estimate of a 1.9 percent pace and exceeded economists’ expectations for a 2.7 percent growth rate.” Not to say things are hunky-dory — I’m worried about inflation — but this doesn’t look like a recession.
CHARLIE WILSON’S PEACE: In the Washington Post, Charlie Wilson — yes that one — writes:
As we commit troops to the “war on terror,” America’s civilian institutions of diplomacy and development continue to be chronically undermanned and underfunded. We spend 1 percent of the federal budget on these critical elements of our foreign policy, compared with 22 percent on the military and weapons.
While I have always believed in and fought for a strong defense, I know that we cannot rely on the military alone to keep us secure. As the situations in Afghanistan and Georgia suggest, our future threats are likely to come from states that cannot meet the basic needs of their people. We can avoid the need to spend so much on our military — and put so many of our soldiers in harm’s way — simply by investing more in saving lives, creating stable societies and building economic opportunity.
That sounds like the “nation-building” that George W. Bush derided in 2000, but I think we’ve learned better since then.
TRANSCODING IS NOT A CRIME: This seems obvious to me, but it’s nice to have an opinion on the subject.
BOB BARR THE ONLY ONE ON THE BALLOT IN TEXAS? That could have been fun, but the update says it’s just the website that’s behind.
A BOUNCE FOR OBAMA after all, 3 to 6 points depending on who you believe.
BABY BARIATRICS? Ugh. What worries me is that it may be satire now, but so many things like that wind up becoming reality a few years later . . . .
THE GREENING OF FRESH KILLS: Turning a landfill into a park.
IN NEW YORK, saving energy with green roofs: “This month, Gov. David A. Paterson approved tax abatements to developers and building owners who install green roofs, or a layer of vegetation and rock that absorbs rainwater, insulates buildings and extends the lives of roofs. . . . Temperatures on buildings with green roofs are up to 30 percent lower during the daytime in the summer than they are on those with conventional roofs, which means that tenants on the floors below do not have to run their air-conditioning as much.”
A CROSS-COUNTRY TRIP in a full-sized electric car.
TAYLOR MARSH: “Bill Clinton’s speech last night reminded us why Democrats love him and Republicans hate him.”
IS THE HYDROGEN ECONOMY NEARER THAN WE THINK? I hope so, but “hope” is the key word.
NEWS FROM DENVER: Protesters denied access to attorneys, forced to march in leg shackles, ACLU charges. So maybe the ABC News thing wasn’t an aberration.
UPDATE: On the ABC News item, Marc Danziger has The Brown Palace’s side.
IN THE MAIL: Bob Schieffer’s America. By Bob Schieffer, but you probably figured that out.
ANN ALTHOUSE CALLS THIS MCCAIN AD “devastating.” She adds: “I want to post devastating Obama ads too. Please point me to some!” Weirdly, McCain seems to have taken a lead in the rapid-delivery YouTube department. I wouldn’t have predicted that. The Obama stuff, meanwhile remains in this vein. It’s well-produced and star-studded, but it’s not hitting the key points. As Phil Bredesen suggests, he should get more specific.
OOPS: Somehow I neglected to mention that Randy Neal has been blogging the DNC. Just keep scrolling. Lots of cool photos, too.
MYTHBUSTERS ON MOON LANDING CONSPIRACY THEORIES:
For Hyneman and Savage, taking on the moon landing conspiracy was a no-brainer. “They’ve been on our radar for a long time, because it’s something everybody knows about, and it’s not something you can go there yourself to check it outâ€”at least not very easily,” Hyneman told PM last week. “When we started to look into all the suspicions that were there, there was a lot of meat for us to dig into. Especially since it’s sort of centered on special effectsâ€”that’s our daily work, so we got into it.” Though other people have tackled the moon conspiracy, “We felt that we couldn’t put it to bed until we put our own stamp on it,” Savage says.
It’s not likely to satisfy the conspiracy theorists, though.
AN INSTA-POLL: Regarding Bill Clinton’s speech last night, Robert George commented: “In short, his appearance demonstrates why, a half-century later, Republicans must still think that the most significant legislation they ever got passed was the 22nd Amendment. Otherwise, that guy may well have been finishing his fourth term.” What do you think?
MANDATORY VOLUNTEERISM? I’m against it.
WORRIES ABOUT PEOPLE WHO WANT TO send political opponents to jail.
READER KEVIN PEDRAJA EMAILS:
I’m curious, I’ve been reading a large amount of coverage on Instapundit that offers criticisms of Obama, his campaign and his proposed policies. I understand it’s mostly a reaction to what you perceive as fawning portrayals of Obama in the mainstream media. But I’m not seeing a whole lot of material from you (or that you’re linking to) that offers a reason to vote FOR McCain.
Well, as I’ve said before, this is an opinion blog, not a political blog-machine like Kos, and you’re right that it’s focused on media criticism. I don’t tell people who to vote for, and I don’t see putting people in the White House as part of my mission — or something that a blog can do anyway. (My occasional talk about endorsing Obama — though it worried some readers — is a joke, as I don’t endorse people; endorsements seem kinda presumptuous for a blogger, in my opinion.) McCain will have to give you the reasons to vote for him, and that will probably start to happen more next week. At least if he wants to win. My take on Obama, as I’ve said before, is that he’s not really ready to be President, and that he didn’t think he’d get this far when he started this campaign — what’s followed has been brilliant improvisation, propped up by a lot of media sympathy. That media sympathy hasn’t been entirely good for him, though, as I think it’s encouraged some mistakes that a more experienced, or more careful, candidate would have avoided. He might still make a good President — some people with great credentials and experience have made lousy Presidents, and some people with weak resumes have made good ones. But it’s quite irritating to see just how in-the-tank the press is for Obama, an irritation that quite a few Democrats have noticed as well. I don’t mind ’em having opinions, I just wish they’d put ’em on the opinion pages. Or start blogging!
VICE PRESIDENTS: Obama has picked Biden. McCain will announce his running mate soon. But whichever winds up President, he might want to think of giving his Vice President a less active role than Dick Cheney has enjoyed. I’ve argued elsewhere that such a strong role might be unconstitutional, but I’m pretty sure — for reasons also set out there — that it’s a bad idea. The Vice President’s most important role is as a replacement President, one who can start fresh. Too much day-to-day executive responsibility can limit that — while you don’t want someone kept in the dark as Truman was about the atom bomb, you don’t want the VP involved in policies, etc., that might go bad and compromise his/her ability to come in as a fresh leader if the President dies, resigns, or is impeached. Just a thought. Will anyone listen? Doubtful.
NOW HERE’S A SUGGESTION: “There’s only one way to resolve this 3 am thing: reality TV. Set up a TV program where each candidate is called unexpectedly at 3am and tell them of some impending crisis in their campaign and see how they react. That would be much more revealing than any debate.” Why not? It seems like everything is turning into reality TV anyway.
GREEN ENGINEERING AT BLACKWATER: “Many of the vans at Blackwater run on vegetable oil.” Interestingly, they’re also working on wind power and the like, because delivering fuel for generators in remote areas is such a logistical burden.
ADVICE TO OBAMA FROM PHIL BREDESEN: Get more specific.
JIM LINDGREN notes that the Obama campaign seems much more upset by Stanley Kurtz’s actions than by Bill Ayers’. And Marc “Armed Liberal” Danziger is unhappy with the campaign’s effort to silence critics.
UPDATE: Here’s an editorial in Investor’s Business Daily. The Ayers connection itself is less interesting to me than the campaign’s over-the-top response. It seems to me that they could have put this behind them already, but instead their reaction seems to be fanning the flames.
ANOTHER UPDATE: Going after a Chicago radio station for hosting a broadcast on the subject. As I say, fanning the flames.
MORE: Still more on The Obama Campaign vs. WGN radio. Two items from Lindgren are worth breaking out here, too: “If Obama or his campaign had ever denounced Ayers with the fervor that his campaign has now used in denouncing Kurtz, Obama wouldnâ€™t be having trouble on his connection to Ayers. ”
Also, “The Obama campaign response is so unusual (the wording used against a member of the press and their contacting TV advertisers on stations running the TV ad) that I wonder if they have polled the issue and they discovered that voters give this whole issue a lot more credence than I think it merits.” Either that or they’re trying to deliver a brush-back against future attacks or scandals. But I’d guess the former.
MORE: Reader George Hancock sends a link to the WGN show’s audio. (Bumped).
TIGERHAWK ON building a better power grid in a hurry. “From the discussion in news media, it does seem that one need not believe in anthropogenic global warming to support a reconstruction of our national power grid. Not only is it essential to the exploitation of energy that will reduce our dependence on foreign oil (a salutory goal in and of itself), but it would save an enormous amount of energy regardless of its source (making the economy much more efficient). The question is, how do you rebuild the grid in a hurry?” He has some thoughts.
A GRAND SLAM LAST NIGHT AT THE DNC? “After a couple of uneven nights, the Democrats really hit their stride Wednesday. When even John Kerry can give a strong, forceful speech (including a line that was a hard jab at John McCain and a self-deprecating comment — really, see for yourself), it would be hard to have a bad night.” He’s right about Bill Clinton’s performance, too.
A WELL-ROUNDED EDUCATION doesn’t have to start with college. College is swell, but it’s not for everyone. And even those going to college might benefit from taking a year or two off to do something else first.
SO IS THIS GOOD NEWS OR BAD? The Ranks of the Ultrawealthy Grow.
THE L.A. TIMES on the McCain campaign’s rapid-response program. I expect the Obama campaign will do the same thing next week during the Republican convention. The McCain campaign hasn’t been sending me this stuff, though — I’ve had to go to The Corner to find it. Obama campaign folks — next week, feel free to send your responses directly!
UPDATE: Patrick Hynes emails that I should have been getting stuff. But while I get emails from him occasionally, I haven’t been getting those “official statement” emails. Or maybe they’re being spam-filtered? Just remember, you can’t spell “socialism” without “cialis!” It’s okay, I get enough email, really, but I would like to have ’em. And the ones from Obama, too, if anyone there is reading this.
MATT WELCH ON THE DEMOCRATS’ new hawkish foreign policy. “You’d think that such a disconnect between anti-war base and pro-interventionist leadership would cause a few brains to explode, but the only people who seem to be hearing the dissonance in Denver are journalists. . . . This is not necessarily change that war-weary Obama supporters can believe in, and in fact it’s much less change than a restoration of the liberal interventionism of Bill Clinton’s second term.”
UPDATE: So what do I think? I’m not sure. I’m relieved that the Dems aren’t going all dove on us, but I’m not particularly impressed with Madeleine Albright, et al. On foreign policy and defense, I suspect an Obama Administration would feature a lot of familiar faces from the Clinton era. We could do worse, I suppose, but I wonder if the habits of mind formed during the 1990s holiday from history will serve us well now.
OKAY, BIDEN STARTED OFF STRONG, but ran long. The Obama folks may want to persuade him that less is more — but I suspect that his own staffers tried that earlier in this election season. Still, a good performance, though not in Bill Clinton’s league by any means. It certainly supports this theory of why Biden was chosen.
UPDATE: The McCain campaign responds.
ANOTHER UPDATE: Coming out after Biden, Barack Obama demonstrates that he, at least, understands the “less is more” principle.
A SHOUTING MATCH among Tennessee delegates in Denver. Michael Silence observes: “Geez. They’re sounding like Knox County Republicans.” Ouch.
MICKEY KAUS says that Obama campaign manager David Plouffe is “whistling past the graveyard” on polling numbers. I don’t know if that’s right — I think that everyone, including me, expected Obama to be polling better at this point. The Bush Administration is unpopular, and the Republican Congress — witness Ted Stevens’ primary win — has been dreadful. Given that, it’s surprising that things are in a statistical tie.
On the other hand, elections are won by those who show up, and I think Plouffe is right that Democratic constituencies have more “fire in the belly” than Republican constituencies. What’ll be interesting is to see if Obama can keep Republicans from getting negative enough about his prospects to motivate them, while keeping Democrats motivated enough to sustain that edge — while McCain tries to do the opposite, of course. I suspect that turnout will be the deciding factor here, and reports seem to suggest that the Democrats have a better ground game. Will that be true? Stay tuned, I guess.
UPDATE: Reader David Ragsdale sends a correction:
Um…it’s actually a Democratic Congress now.
Or maybe you meant to write “The Republicans in Congress” …but given that it’s only been in the past few weeks that at least 50% of Americans know that the Democrats control Congress you should be more clear.
Yeah, I really meant the Republican delegation in Congress. I stand corrected.
ANOTHER UPDATE: Reader Jonathan Limebrook emails:
I hate pork nearly as much as you do, but I think you condemn Ted Stevens, and with him the politics of Alaska, without truly understanding the relationship between Alaskans and the federal government. The state is virtually owned by the federal government– I believe Nevada is the only state with more federal ownership– and Alaskans are pretty inured to having the feds run roughshod over them. I lived there from 1974 to 1984. The most salient event in turning me from a liberal into a libertarian was when James Earl Carter, unhappy with the state’s land claims after the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act, high-handedly turned vast swaths of the state into national monuments to punish Mike Gravel for his recalcitrance in accepting the fiats of an imperial government.
Alaskans are smart enough to know that, ignored as an electorate, they have to keep returning their representatives to Congress so that their seniority will eventually avail Alaskans of some political clout. If Stevens appears to you to be a dinosaur, well, he is, but there is method in his longevity. When the federal government, under the sway of Greenpeace and the Sierra Club, routinely and without a second thought restricts the livelihoods of Alaskans in their own home, they willl fight back in the onlly way available to them. Alaskans feel that every dime they can wring out of the federal government is theirs by right.
Which brings us to the infamous “bridge to nowhere” whose $250 million price tag shocks you so. By the way, federal spending in Tennesee is over four times that on food stamps alone (http://www.statehealthfacts.org/profileind.jsp?rgn=44&ind=25&cat=1. Bridges are expensive to build, and especially so in Alaska when the rust belt is not just up the river. As for it being a bridge to nowhere, did it ever occur to you that after it was built, it would be a bridge to somewhere? That little island would have become a place people where could live and without having to take their kids to school by boat in a snowstorm.
Thanks for letting me have my say.
You’re welcome, but I still think the arrogance and entitlement of Ted Stevens is both disgraceful in itself, and a blot on the honor of the Republicans. Trent Lott, after saying he was “damn tired” of the Porkbusters effort, has finally come around on the pork issue. Stevens hasn’t.
STEPHEN GREEN POSTS a wrapup on Bill Clinton’s speech.
OBAMA AS Jackie Robinson.
BILL CLINTON JUST DEMONSTRATED that he’s still the best the Democrats have. And — wonder of wonders — he kept it short.
UPDATE: More: “Bill Clinton finally did what no one else has done effectively in the first two and a half days of the convention: He articulated a clear rationale for supporting Barack Obama, while also pointedly attacking McCain.”
TOM MAGUIRE CRITICIZES McCain’s new “Tiny” ad: “Obama is murky enough on Iran without McCain stirring more mud into the mix. . . . The truth ought to be effective enough – when this bubbled up in May even the Times was willing to present McCain’s side fairly.”
UPDATE: ABC News says the ad “crosses the line into dishonesty.”
ANN ALTHOUSE IS liveblogging Clinton’s speech and tonight’s convention coverage generally. Boy, Bill’s sure getting a big ovation at the start.
OBAMA KEEPS PUSHING BACK ON THE AYERS AD, ensuring that it gets further attention. Though it’s called a “smear,” aren’t smears supposed to be, you know, false? The answer: “If the point is to Islamicize Obama for the ignorant wingnut masses, why include any photos of Ayers? He doesnâ€™t fit the profile of an Islamic terrorist; he fits the profile of what he actually is, a domestic terrorist. They could have easily dirtied this up by not showing his picture or mentioning his name to seed doubt about who Obamaâ€™s mystery pal might be. As it is, the narrator specifically refers to the Weather Underground as an ‘American terrorist group.’ Beyond that, though, the left usually loves to point out that domestic terrorists like abortion clinic bombers are every bit as evil as the jihadist movement that so worries hysterical fearmongers like you and me. Which is true: There arenâ€™t as many of them and they donâ€™t have as many apologists, but a truck bomb is a truck bomb is a truck bomb. Morally, theyâ€™re equivalent. Just donâ€™t point out that equivalence when youâ€™re criticizing Barack Obama; that turns it into a smear.”
Meanwhile, more on who the Weathermen really were:
During the April 16 debate between Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama, moderator George Stephanopoulos brought up â€œa gentleman named William Ayers,â€ who â€œwas part of the Weather Underground in the 1970s. They bombed the Pentagon, the Capitol, and other buildings. Heâ€™s never apologized for that.â€ Stephanopoulos then asked Obama to explain his relationship with Ayers. Obamaâ€™s answer: â€œThe notion that somehow as a consequence of me knowing somebody who engaged in detestable acts 40 years ago, when I was eight years old, somehow reflects on me and my values, doesnâ€™t make much sense, George.â€ Obama was indeed only eight in early 1970. I was only nine then, the year Ayersâ€™s Weathermen tried to murder me.
Read the whole thing.
TALKLEFT: HOWARD WOLFSON slams MSNBC, Keith Olbermann, and Chris Matthews.
BUSH’S TEMPLE? I dunno, this looks more like a game show set. I don’t know if anyone made much of it in 2004, but then after Kerry’s grandiloquent naval display it probably seemed understated by comparison. (Thanks to reader Bill Jones for the link).
Meanwhile, Tom Maguire wonders if the “Greek Temple” is supposed to echo the Lincoln Memorial. “Anyway, King will double-surely be invoked in The Speech, so I am sticking with the Lincoln Memorial motif.” So does positioning himself as Martin Luther King’s successor make Obama look more, or less, grandiose?
UPDATE: Reader Wayne Kimbell emails: “Glennâ€” Of course, George W. Bush was President of the United States at the time…the set is appropriate to his Office, unlike Oâ€™s stagecraft.” Well, I dunno. I’m still going with “game show.”
DAVE STEWART’S OBAMA MUSIC VIDEO:
ANN ALTHOUSE: “So…. what the hell? I’m sitting here, eating my arugula salad and zucchini ‘pasta,’ catching up on last night’s ‘Daily Show,’ sipping my chardonnay, waiting for it to be late enough to bother to start watching the proceedings at the Democratic National Convention, and suddenly Barack Obama has been nominated by acclamation. The ostensible point of the convention, choosing the nominee, occurs more than an hour outside of prime time? WTF?!” I liked the roll call of the states when I was a kid. Oh, well.
MORE: “This convention is all about the Clintons, isn’t it? She dominated last night. She controls the nomination tonight. And the rest of the evening is the lead-up to Bill. How awful for Barack… in his moment of triumph.”
GUSTAV THREATENS THE CAYMANS: “I think it is plausible that Gustav could intensify further, to Category 4 strength, before hitting the Caymans, though the most likely intensity is Category 2. Keep in mind that our skill forecasting intensity changes is poor. If you have plans to be on the northern Cayman Islands–Cayman Brac or Little Cayman Island–on Friday, be prepared to be stuck there for several days, as Gustav may heavily damage these islands. Grand Cayman Island is also at risk–the HWRF model predicts Gustav will pass over Grand Cayman on Friday afternoon.”
UPDATE: Preparing for Gustav in New Orleans by buying guns. At least this time, the police won’t be able to confiscate ’em.
MORE THOUGHTS ON problems recruiting men for college.