Thursday, January 31, 2008

Cormac McCarthy and No Country for Old Men

Don't expect to find author Cormac McCarthy at a New York loft party:
Cormac MacCarthy and No Country for Old Men: Book to Film

Down with the Dial O Meter

The Morning News shows have found a new toy with which they can bedazzle the benumbed assholes who believe in this crap: the DIAL METER. We’ve always believed that pundits like Joe Scarborough didn’t want to think and now they have additional support for their handicaps. Instead of thinking, they can now comment by machine. The “dial meter” is that diagram of lines flowing across the screen. It is created by a group of people who sit and watch political debates with a dial in front of them. When they hear something they like, they turn up the dial. If they hear something they really, really like, they turn up the dial while shouting “Yippee!” If they are ecstatic, scream like Howard Dean, grab their crotches, and hump the dial of the machine. Very unseemly.

CNBC's Sqawk Box: Quick, Quintanilla, and Kernen

Quick, Quintanilla, and Kernen may sound like a law firm but it's not. They're the three hosts of CNBC's Squawk Box and they dish the early business news while many people aren't yet awake. The conversation's likely to stray into regular news areas and this a.m. was no different. These are three smart people in spite of the laconic and laid-back style. Becky Quick is like that brainy attractive girl you were afraid to hit on in high school because high intelligence usually gets in the way of passionate daydreams. Joe Kernen has a studied nonchalance but will always beat the dealer whether it's Poker or Three Card Monte. Carl Quintanilla is the bright and fresh-faced guy who makes you feel cheery while he tells you you are dying of cancer. It's a good place to be to get a grip on things, especially if you are up to here (cut-throat gesture) with primary campaign politics.
So Becky Quick was telling the story about a New York economist professor who did a study on government give-backs to stimulate the economy. As you know, there are 2 such plans in congress and parts of both plans refer to "rebate" programs. The whole idea of the "rebate" is to get people to pump money back into the economy. So the professor's study had 2 groups, one in which the give- back was called a "rebate" and the other group in which the give-back was called a "bonus." Guess which group pumped more money back into the economy?
People getting $50 bucks of "rebate" money spent about 12.50 whereas people receiving "bonus" money spent about 22.00. You can do the psychology yourself. Maybe a third alternative would better suit the goal of pumping money into the economy: call the give-back money the taxpayer's "winnings."

Absence of Vice: No Fatwas, Please...

No Fatwas, please. This Teddy-Bear is named Jesus. Mark Steyn’s “Happy Warrior” has a story about a new reality show in which non-Muslims are made to live under Islamic Law or Sharia. It’s those irreverent British again who are producing the show. What would it be like for “infidels” living for three weeks without alcohol, pornography, pork, non-marital sex, and loose women? I can’t imagine, but the character roles which are anathema to the religion, according to the show’s producers, are a gay hairdresser, a fashion model, a cab driver with an addiction to soft-core magazines. It’s all good, just so long as they don’t feature a first grader who names his teddy-bear “Mohammed.”

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

McCain Wins and Scarborough Simmers: The Media Critic

Scarborough was virtually dripping venom at the John McCain win. He jumped on McCain’s victory with the subtlety of a 20 ton elephant at a British Tea Party. Pauvre Mika….so embarrassed and rightly so… Apparently the MSNBC Morning Joe crew still gropes in the dark for a focus. Instead of letting the more intelligent Mika take the lead, Scarborough huffs and puffs like a demented pontiff. His petty resentment and venom against McCain leaps out uncontrollably in every utterance.

“Well, wait until the voters find out who McCain really is,” he thunders.

Or blunders. Apparently the voters did find out who McCain really is and voted for him in large numbers. One of the great things about our era is that people understand they don’t need their politic or intellectual views molded by Ann Coulter or

Fortunately, MSNBC brought in some real reporters for last night’s coverage of the Florida primary: Tom Brokaw, Brian Williams, and Russell. Unfortunately, Keith Olbermann was the “anchor” and “moderated” between the real reporters. With Brokaw and the others, at least, there was some intelligent and informed commentary. The only reason a person ever watches the pundits in the first place is in the hope that you’ll learn more than you know already.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Mario Bartiromo Dishes the Societe Generale Banking Scandal

Check out my recently published content on AC. It gives you a slightly different angle on the Soc Gen fiasco. Things are bound to get worse:

Jerome Kerviel and the Society Generale Banking Scandal

Absentee Ballots in Florida and Absentee Candidate Giuliani

Florida, the “hanging chad” state has liberal absentee ballot rules and it wouldn’t surprise anyone if the voting system gave rise to protests and cries of voter fraud. Extensive absentee ballots have already been received in large numbers so someone has the lead.

In some Florida counties, absentee voting has soared as voters try to avoid lines and delay at the polls. Other voters are complaining of confusion caused by the manner in which the absentee voter packages are returned. Confusing instructions, some say. But voting officials are saying that things are running smoothly.

Meanwhile, absentee presidential candidate Rudy Giuliani has reportedly been seen in Florida where his fate hangs in the balance. Just about everyone feels Rudy made a big mistake in not making the early primary rounds. Apparently, he’d never heard about adult voter ADD.

Uber-conservatives and failed politicians like Bay and Pat Buchanan join Rush Limbaugh and Ann Coulter in attacks upon John McCain. What is it about decency that these people don’t like? Politics does indeed make strange bedfellows but that’s what people have to remember. There’s politics and then there’s the real world. I think McCain could beat most of the politicians in a fair fight with his one good hand. The other, you know, was crushed and broken several times during his trajectory from a fighter-bomber to the long-term hospitality of a North Vietnamese prison camp. You can’t be reminded of that enough. What doesn’t break you makes you stronger. Fighter jocks are made of strong stuff to begin with. Who the hell could stand all that mental and physical punishment and drilling? Chris Matthews? David Gregory? Keith Olbermann? Rush Limbaugh?

Speaking of absentees, the entire Democratic slate snubbed Florida. While they may blame the rules, it plays badly that Billary, John, and Barak wouldn't at least go down to spend some time with the folks.

Will France Guillotine Societe Generale CEO?

CNBC’s Maria Bartiromo jetted over to Paris to interview French Finance Minister Christine Lagarde about the Soc. Gen. scandal. Read down the page for particulars, but Jerome Kerviel pulled a fast one on international securities markets. Societe Generale bank was hit hard and President Sarkozy is angry that Soc Gen’s CEO hid the debacle from everyone including his government. He wants heads to roll and Soc Gen. and he’s not alone in wanting to bring back the guillotine.

Bartiromo’s interview with regard was intriguing and French “stonewalling” appeared to be a more acceptable practice than it is in the U.S. A polite and dignified Christine LaGarde was reassuring in a trilling voice and with great diplomatic aplomb. Bartiromo might have been doing a lot of thinking to herself:

“Nice lady, but where do they get these idiots?”

It developed later that Jerome Kerviel’s rogue trading practices were known several months ago when a Dutch derivatives firm made a complaint against Societe Generale and the young trader.

To me, it all looks like bumbling, fumbling, rationalizing and covering. America killed Ken Lay for far less. France seems to smile and dote upon the enfant terrible and the powerful ancient bank which must ultimately be held responsible.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Morning Joe Draws a Blank

I flip three channels regularly in the a.m.: Fox News, CNBC, and MSNBC’s Morning Joe. That usually puts me in touch with my surreal self. One of the chief reasons for watching the “Morning Joe” is Erin Burnett’s brief appearance each morning to provide some sense of economic direction. I suppose I could just watch “Squawk on the Street” all day long, but then again I could just freeze a picture of Erin on my screensaver. Either way, it would be awfully creepy. I like Erin, and so I force myself to watch the “Morning Joe” and I’m content to catch Burnett’s appearance for about 60 seconds. This morning Erin had the impossible task of explaining Jerome Kerviel’s massive financial debacle at France’s Societe General to a numb and uncomprehending Joe Scarborough who acted like that “inclusion” kid in your 8th grade Math Class. Nice enough, but lost in the ether. Scarborough had only “Duh” to say on the subject of Jerome Kerviel and his impact on the world economy. Zip. Zero. Nada. Joe, you gotta’ go back to school and complete that economic 101 course.

Jerome Kerviel’s Facebook Fair-Weather Friends

And just when you thought your Facebook friends were your friends for life, now we learn that Jerome Kerviel’s Facebook’s friends were canceling their existence on Jerome’s Facebook pages. Paul Kedrosky (, who manages a blog called “Infectious Greed” reports that Kerviel’s facebook friends dwindled from eight to one on the day that news of Jerome’s activities hit the media. Gee, maybe I’ll sign up on there. Though Kerviel supposedly didn’t make a dime from his trades for himself, he’s likely to get rich from book and film contracts when he gets out of jail. Soc. Gen. is pressing criminal charges against him. Enterprising attorneys in the U.S. might be wise to press a class action lawsuit against Soc. Gen. and the Bank of France to recoup investor losses here.

Unwinding the Trades at France's Societe Generale Bank

Jerome Kerviel, the "Rogue Trader" at France's Societe Generale Bank.

“Unwinding Kerviel’s trades” means looking after Societe General’s money and to hell with everyone else! The bank secreted Kerviel’s activities until they could cut their billion dollar losses and hedge against further declines. In “unwinding” their positions, however, Soc. Gen. dumped a whole bunch of losing positions on the markets, which triggered massive programmed trading and panic which spread across the Atlantic. Many economic analysts say that the precipitous market decline in European trading is what moved the U.S. Fed Reserve to cut an unprecedented .75 percentage points.

The financial, political, and legal arithmetic has not yet been calculated. “Covering your ass” seems to be the rule, particularly in countries which are less transparent than the U.S. The French Federal Reserve seems to be acting like a doting and enabling parent. Boys will be boys, ha-ha! Soc. Gen. lost only 8 or 9 billion, but the market lost trillions in its recent decline, though not all of that can be attributed to hapless, feckless and criminal Jerome.

Woman of the Day: CNBC’s Maria Bartiromo

Your heroes of yesterday are not necessarily your heroes of tomorrow. I used to think that “corporate business types” were the most boring people in the world. As a result of my backward thinking on this subject, I’m “challenged” when it comes to understanding economic events. The only consolation in that is that I’ve got plenty of company.

But what has this got to do with Maria Bartiromo, the “money honey” of CNBC’s financial broadcast network? Only that she’s one of the brightest and most accomplished women in the world today and one of the few people capable of explaining what happened at France’s Societe Generale Bank last week. And she’s not boring. Her morning report of the “Rogue Trader” story was exceptional for its focus, succinctness, and factual basis. Bartiromo is the anchor woman on CNBC’s Closing Bell and she also holds things down on Wall Street Journal Report on the same channel.

The Wall Street Journal also did a fine job of reporting that story, but the usual talking heads of the pundit TV media make no effort to report what they don’t understand. Granted, it’s a story that wasn’t easy to understand. It concerns a “low-level trader” named Jerome Kerviel and his unauthorized activities at Society General. This is likely to become a film when the full impact of it is understood.

Kerviel is a crafty and handsome 31 year-old guy who figured out how to circumvent computer security and the rules and regulations governing world securities trade. Over the past year, while securities were booming, Monsieur Jerome played the securities markets like an intoxicated slot machine player who keeps winning. Until the market dipped, and the system he’d cheated so well finally sent up the red flags of margin calls. Translated: billions of dollars in loss for Societe Generale.

When the bank finally learned about it, its CEOs were shitting bricks as well as running for cover. It’s unclear when they reported the fraudulent fiasco to France’s central bank but they kept mum while they tried to “unwind the trades.”

Friday, January 25, 2008

Sucking Up to Union Bosses: Hillary,Billary,Barak and John

A significant but little reported story concerns an alarming congressional bill provided with an Orwellian title and supported by Hillary Clinton, Barak Obama, and John Edwards. The "Employee Free Choice Act" would eliminate the secret ballot in union elections. Union officials would be able to see how employees were voting. No secret ballot, in other words. This could make things intensely difficult for the workers and leaves them open to badgering, cajolery, and other pressures. The so-called “card-check” system could lead to the type of intimidation of workers which Bill Clinton says he witnessed during the Nevada primary campaign of his wife. The legislation would make it a crime for business managers to grant raises or improve working conditions while a plant is being organized. Sucking up to the union bosses seems to be more important to the campaigning Democrats than protecting workers.

Mary Cheney: Woman of the Day

Mary Cheney...

The National Journal interviewed Vice-President Dick Cheney's daughter Mary and her response is interesting,honest, and direct:

There are people out there who want to strap bombs onto babies and blow up as many men and women as they can. For me, given those circumstances, the candidate you have to support is the candidate that is going to do the best job of protecting this country, her interests, and her people. I don't think I have the luxury of being a single-issue voter on the issue of gay rights. I have made very clear publicly my differences of opinion with certain people in the [Bush] administration on the issue of gay rights."

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Heath Ledger KOs the Blogosphere

Heath Ledger's death is a news story, I will concede. But am I the only one who finds it weird that Heath Ledger is the number one news story on the internet, the newspapers and television? Sorry, but I'm not any more attracted to celebrity deaths than any other death. If anything, I'm partial to other deaths, the ones that go unnoticed. It's horrendous how much of a toll drugs take on minority communities in the U.S. and, once in a while, those stories make to the back pages, much to the credit of the reporters who write those stories.

Gang of Four: Limbaugh, Hannity, Beck and Coulter

Rush Limbaugh’s an original, without a doubt, and those people who are always pounding on him and trying to get him off the air are idiots. Once a lone wolf crying in the wilderness, Limbaugh has emerged into the light with wealth, power, and influence beyond reckoning. As much as he is funny, biting, and satirical, Rush is sometimes wrong. Nonetheless he has his true disciples, some of whom are talented like Shawn Hannity and Glenn Beck, and some of them mere followers like Anne Coulter. Whether Limbaugh and his apostles are talented or not, it is important to remember that no one’s right all of the time, and sometimes “too right” can also be “too wrong.” “Too wrong” means expecting others to walk in lockstep with a set criteria of beliefs handed to you from talented media gamers and entertainers. This seems to be case when one considers the vehemence with which the Gang of Four is attempting to undermine John McCain’s surge in the primaries.

It may be that Rush has had his day and, where once he led, now he is content to follow and to get his marching orders from True Conservative Headquarters. It’s been reported that, should McCain become the GOP nominee, Tom DeLay and some others won’t support him. If that’s true, I can only interpret that as weakness, and a lack of interest in America. Nonetheless, the True Conservatives (a group which includes Ron Paul, incidentally) have each in their turn over the last few days discouraged any support for McCain.

It’s ironic that the Gang of Four should cite “principle” as the reasons for campaigning against McCain and Huckabee. Perhaps Limbaugh believes that the word principle is a synonym for ideology. Or maybe McCain is confused, failing to understand that personal principles are mere window dressing and must be sacrificed to the Great Conservative In The Sky. Under this scenario, the war is not important, nor the men and women who died in it, and it is believed that a GOP adherence to ideological “rightness” is ordained by God, and that the path the Heaven of Ideological Rightness runs right up Rush Limbaugh’s asshole.

I wonder who it is that the Gang of Four favors. Should Giuliani not perish in Florida, will he be next on the Gang of Four agenda?
But why, with Romney’s moderate agenda as Massachusetts governor, would Romney be the choice for the Gang of Four?

No doubt Limbaugh wants to precipitate an “inspiring” (yawn) and redundant ideological debate in the GOP, a tactic sure to hurt America when the results are that Obama, Edwards, or Clinton becomes president.

GOP Seating Chart: McCain, Huckabee, Romney

Michael Luo’s column today in the New York Times draws the focus off the tensions between Obama and Clinton on the campaign trail and turns its attentions to Republican candidates. There’s not much to the article—it’s like one of those seating charts used in school, you know, the ones where the student indicates whom they’d like to sit next to. So let me condense:

McCain likes Huckabee who likes McCain. Romney stands aloof from the rest and, while he describes his GOP rivals as “friends”, doesn’t really like any of them. Except perhaps Giuliani, who campaigned for Romney when he ran for Massachusetts governor.

The other “news” contained therein is that the campaign staffs are feisty and inclined toward heated exchanges. Next time, borrow a seating chart from an elementary school teacher and publish this “news” as a graphic.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Unprecedented Three-Quarter Point Cut by Federal Reserve Wobbles the Financial Markets

They’re really rockin’ on CNBC. While the financial markets are crashing down around the world, I can’t think of any media I’d rather be with than Joe Kernan, Erin Burnett, Rick Santelli, Jim Cramer, Becky Quick, Mark Faber, and the entire CNBC crew which is too large to mention. These otherwise perceived dull peeps are having their moments today with volatility like 1929. The Fed announced a surprise rate cut of ¾ of a percent early this morning and the market greets it as bad news and too late to penetrate the problems of economic markets. A lot of it is the marketing of mortgage debt and CDOs (collateralized debt obligations) sold overseas but a lot of it is because most people are panicked that the Fed moves have been behind the curve, too little, and too late. Ironic that ¾ percent is considered too little and the forecasters are saying that other cuts are on the way. The markets just opened so it will be one of the wildest rides in history on Wall Street, following the tsunami that hit foreign shores yesterday with European and Asian stock markets “crashing,” according the word used in French newspapers.

I don’t know how the financial people from CNBC keep their heads from exploding but these people are the epitome of cool as they get feeds from forecasters around the country and around the world. The carnage is likely to go on even my small change investment is hurting, but CNBC has been giving me a free education. Or maybe I’m paying for it as stocks and the dollar drops, inflation rises, and the credit markets bounce around in a hall of mirrors.

The arbitragers are busy if they’re not apoplectic. There are likely to be fistfights on the trading floor, and perhaps on CNBC.

Bill Clinton: World Financier

Billary Clinton is a composite figure of William and Hillary Clinton. I used the term long ago in order to represent a problem America has not faced before. Other presidents have received advice from spouses, certainly, but never to the degree that may be anticipated from another Clinton presidency. The Bush presidents have been purposeful in keeping family apart from politics, and even to avoid the appearance of doing so. The constitution allows that Americans vote for only one president at a time. To my mind, the election of two presidents is to substitute the American system of democracy for an oligarchy.

The potential problem this represents has been presented in a series of articles by the Wall Street Journal. Today’s Wall Street Journal article by JOHN R. EMSHWILLER describes Bill Clinton’s friendship and business relationship with billionaire Ron Burkle. Burkle is the head of Yucaipa Cos. and helped the Clintons recover from the legal debts incurred during Bill’s presidency. Helped, as in hired. The WSJ article notes that Bill Clinton could now receive about $20 million as the former president severs his ties with Yucaipa in the wake of his Hillary’s candidacy.

Bill Clinton was a savvy investor before he was hired by Burkle so it’s not surprising he let his winnings ride in Yucaipa even beyond its September 2007 expiration date. The Wall Street Journal article today explains in detail the degree to which Clinton’s financial interests are tied up with foreign investment companies in the United Arab Emirates and elsewhere. Mrs. Clinton has complained about ‘selling U.S. debt to foreign countries’. The WSJ article describes “sovereign wealth funds” as “giant pools of money controlled by foreign governments.” Mrs. Clinton herself took issue with such funds in a Wall Street Journal interview and said that “foreign funds ‘lack transparency’ and could be used by foreign governments as ‘instruments of foreign policy.’"

Reporter John R. Emshwiller wrote that Mr. Clintons’ duties at Yucaipa were never clear but his contacts with world leaders certainly aided the Yucaipa investments.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Is Hillary Clinton Sweating? Or is it just the glow before the Coronation?

Did you fail to notice just how much everyone’s fretting about the presidential primary race? Even so, I think Billary has a lock on it; the establishment forces have been lined up on her side for a long time. But the primary campaign’s not the shoo-in scenario that she expected. The woman finds she must work for the votes she gets and she has to be more than a little worried about the African-American vote. Billary’s showing in Nevada may be an indication of how much sway she holds over the Hispanic voting population in most states. While Los Cubanos may vote differently in Florida, and have been conservative in their thinking, the tensions between Hispanic and African-American voters are significant cause for the Democrats to worry about November.

Actually, all ethnic conflict is patently stupid. So how is it that two ostensibly bright people like Barak and Billary could be embroiled in the swamp of ethnic politics? It’s not the 30s any more, nor the 50s, nor even the 60s (though Billary would like to think it is). The specter of a racial divide in the Democratic Party is both ugly and unproductive, so how did it happen? And where shall we look to find fault?

The fault lies in the hubris of the Democratic Party elite who believed that the “coalition” of “diverse interests” could survive a reality check. It wasn’t long ago that Barak Obama’s candidacy was regarded with an avuncular patronization. Isn’t it a wonderful story and a wonderful country where a young African-American man from nowhere could announce his candidacy for the presidency of the U.S.? But a new day dawned after Iowa, and the shadows fell across the plantations of the rich liberals who hunger more for a return to power than to free itself of a hypocrisy and bias frequently projected outward. But the Billary Democrat battle cry of “Experience” makes a hollow sound when it sings across the canyons of the inner city where feminism is not just a bon mot and women have been as strong as men since time immemorial. The experience of which Billary speaks is that of a lurker in the computer forum of life in the Bill Clinton Whitehouse. Why should not Barak Obama, with his far less insulated experience of American life, be as qualified in experience as a woman who grew up in a protected environment, petted and encouraged by leftist patricians for her precocious ideals?

Bigwig Democrats like Teddy Kennedy have already reproached the former president for his deprecations of an Obama “fairlyland.” There was trouble, too, in Nevada when Bill whipped up on the Culinary Unions set to vote in the casinos. The stage was set for protests and claims of foul play with the election commission. But Harry Reid’s state came through for the liberal establishment in spite of Obama’s walking way with more delegates.

Meanwhile, Messrs. Hannity, Limbaugh, and Madame Tussaud Anne Coulter are waxing for Mitt Romney. I don’t mind Romney, I kind of like the guy, but they’re arrogant too if they think that he can beat Billary and the Racketeering Mob which part of the Democratic Party has become. And I really hate the way the peddle that “True Republican” crap around as if you need a tattoo dedicating your ass to mindless ideology instead of real leadership. But hey, let me end on a happy note: Plain John McCain Broke Them Down in South Carolina. Of course everybody’s pissed off, the left, right, and center of both major parties. Chris Matthews and Joe Scarborough declared a National Day of Mourning. The thought of a truly free and independent Republican man is just too much for lots of people to take.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Are you a Rush Limbaugh or Anne Coulter Approved Republican?

Proving that Republican women can be free spirits too, Anne Coulter proudly displays her legs alongside a Grateful Dead poster.

Rush Limbaugh hasn't yet made Time's Man Of The Year but one day he probably will. Rush is a really, really, really funny political satirist except when he's not. It's not funny when Rush refuses to issue hero Republicans like John McCain a "True Republican" passport. I'll bet McCain could get Rush's approval if he organized an Auschwitz or Bataan style death march for illegal immigrants. But now let's turn to today's play:

A man sits reading the newspaper while his eight year old son sits on the floor playing a computer game. A political news show is on television.

Daddy, who owns the Republican party?

(looks up from paper)
What's that, sonny?

Who owns the Republican Party?

(putting down the newspaper)
Well, I don't know that it has an owner, not exactly.

But if it did have an owner, who would the owner be?

Well, I'm not sure but I think that people like Rush Limbaugh and Anne Coulter might own the Republican party.

How can you tell, Daddy?

I can't really...It's just a feeling I have. I don't think the Republican Party really has an owner but there are people like Anne Coulter and Rush who often tell the Republican Party what it should be and who should belong to it. And if the Republican Party accepts that, then it is much like bequeathing a little bit of ownership to them.

What do you mean, Daddy?
Well, let me put it this way. I person could register as a Republican and vote for Republicans and even be a war hero like many other Republicans and still not be a "True Republican" according to Anne Coulter and Rush Limbaugh.

How can that be, Dad?

Take John McCain for instance. Anne and Rush are saying he's not a "True Republican" because he doesn't believe that a person could, in good conscience, round up ten million illegal immigrants and organize a Bataan Death March to get them back across the border. "True Republicans" like Anne Coulter and Rush Limbaugh must always refer to Senator McCain as an "Amnesty Candidate."

Doesn't make sense, Dad. Wasn't Ronald Reagan a "True Republican?"

Yes. Ronald Reagan was the truest of the "True Republicans." In fact, he is the God of the "True Republicans."

But didn't Reagan grant amnesty to thousands of illegal immigrants?

Indeed, he did, Sonny, but're getting too big for your britches. And you're not understanding that the Republican Gods can do things that mere mortals can't and still be "True Republicans."

Because Rush Limbaugh and Anne Coulter say so?
That's right, son.

Even if it means ruining the country by losing the election.

Gee, Republican politics are sure strange, dad.

Only in Florida where Rush Limbaugh has his mansion and wherever Anne Coulter has hers.

But what do they have against that John McCain.

History, sonny. Nothing more than history.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Huffington Post Puffing with Tom Andrews

You already know there's a blog called the HUFFINGTON POST. An article appeared recently indicatingthat former congressman Tom Andrews missed out on the part of his 8th grade composition class where you learn to support your arguments. His article in the Huffington Post is called "Contrary to the Headlines: There Will Be No Retreat from the Anti-War Movement on Iraq."

Tom Andrews disputes the notion that the anti-war coalitions are easing up on their anti-Iraq war campaign. Andrews bucks up the troops with a litany of generally old news. He laments the high cost of the war while some Americans are “facing a declining pay check, runaway gas prices and the increasing possibility of a pink slip”. Andrews describes a massive erosion of support for the war, which you're supposed to believe because the newspapers he reads say so, and points to unnamed Republican Senate and House members who have “decided to end their political careers voluntarily…” before they can be voted out of office. Warning: capital letters are used for emphasis. Another warning: Anyone who must use capital letters to add strength to his/her argument is sending a subliminal appeal for an intervention. It's soooooo yesterday's breakfast.

Law Requires News Commentators To Declare Party Politics

It's not really a law but it should be: Moeursalen's Law--Support it!

I like to keep an eye on CNBC’s Squawk on the Street with Erin Burnett and Mark Haynes. Sometimes I have used both eyes on Erin Burnett and pretended Mark Haynes isn’t there, even though he’s an entertaining and amiable grouch. I like the other members of the CNBC crew, the ones who specialize in finance and economics; I’ve learned quite a bit from watching. I don’t really follow individual stocks except that you can’t watch the show without knowing something of what the IBMs and the Comcasts are doing,as well as the Ford Motor Companies, Chrysler and GM.

The one thing I noticed is how concerned they are with integrity and keeping in line with SEC regulations. Whether recommending or disdaining particular stocks or investment sectors, the economic pundits always follow rules of disclosure. This means that the experts who are called upon to comment on investments must reveal their own portfolio interests. The purpose is clear, of course, and that purpose is to prevent stock manipulation. Certainly, one can’t help be affected by the ups and downs of the market.

But now I’d like you to consider some legislation I’ve proposed called Moeursalen’s Law. Moeursalen’s Law is designed to prevent market manipulation of the “news product.” Clearly, a Chris Matthews or an Andrea Mitchell favors Hillary Clinton over a Barak Obama and Keith Olbermann prefers anyone to a President Bush, but what’s the harm of declaring it? By the same token, people like Fred Barnes (who often appears on the Fox network) seems to be a supporter of Republican positions in nearly all cases that I’ve observed. Being a television pundit these days is much different than it was in the days of the Big Three Networks when all of the newscasters tended to be center-left and there was no pretense of “fairness.”

With so many media factions competing for attention these days, the biases are obvious so why not declare them? Certainly, news people vote just like the rest of us and they will vote for one candidate or another. There can be no purer evidence of news bias than when a newscaster votes for one candidate over the other. Moreover, newscasters have an unusual burden of hiding their personal preferences while delivering the news, even while the public identifies the bias in most cases.

Does Chris Matthews really fear that people will stop listening to him if they know he will vote for a Hillary rather than a John or a Mitt?

What about Mika Brezinski? Her father was a Carter advisor and is still active in the politics of the liberal establishment. Wouldn’t she keep her audience if she acknowledged her preference for Hillary, or Barak, or John Edwards over Romney, McCain, or Giuliani? If you’re wondering why I didn’t list “Huckabee” it is because Mika has indicated she prefers Huckabee to be the Republican candidate for two reasons:

1) Huckabee fits into the stereotypical molded outlines fitting her vision of the ideal Republican candidate. Huckabee is the “religious right”, a free-spending fiscal conservative, an avuncular and staid representative of a male status quo.

2) As she sees it, Huckabee will be easiest of all the leading Republican candidates to beat because there will be no competing issues for Hillary, the candidate she clearly favors.

So I’m urging my readers to sign in the comments section if they support Moeursalen’s Law. Since the FCC rules the airwaves on behalf of “the people”, let them know that you favor full disclosure of the voting records of the people who give you the news. Keith Olbermann, Shawn Hannity, and Rush Limbaugh won’t mind. Why should Andrea Mitchell, Dan Rather, or George Stephanopoulus?

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Granbury Texas Focuses in on Hillary Clinton Campaign

There are many people who think Texans are a bunch of uncivilized ruffians. Well, it’s merely not true. In fact, the state of Texas is a place where ladies groups regularly meet to discuss current events and develop practical home-skills. Here is a photo taken at a recent "Say NO to Hillary" ladies group meeting in Granbury, Texas.

New York Times Describes McCain Smear Campaign

The New York Times is showing signs of character in publishing a story of a smear campaign being conducted against Senator McCain in his presidential bid. Not only does the New York Times tell the story, but it also shows the history of past attacks against a man who is stands head and shoulders above the crowd of Lilliputians in the race for the presidency.

One of the attacks was traced to the Huckabee camp and was, of course, disowned by the Arkansas governor and his “holy” supporters. It shows a cartoon of McCain as a POW with campaign slogans on the prison walls. Other slime assaults simply lie about McCain’s record on a variety of issues, and include automated telephone messages. Another mentions McCain’s adopted child and says the kid was McCain’s illegitimate love child.

Not part of the same story and yet part of the same story are the backhanded attacks on Obama, who mentioned in his book that he fooled with cocaine as a youth. How desperate and sickening

I once heard a Southern girl describe a certain person and his unscrupulous behavior as being “lower than a snake’s belly.” You had to hear it in the vernacular and with a strong Southern accent to truly appreciate the full contempt in which she held that person.

It seems fitting to remember that as the primary campaign moves to South Carolina.

Fed Chairman Bernanke: Fiscal Stimulus or Soylent Green?

The House Banking Committee pressed hard to see if Fed Reserve Chaiman Ben Bernanke would benefit their party or candidate in the upcoming presidential elections. Bernanke held his ground, reiterating for congress members that 1 plus 1 still makes 2. Yet some congress members seemed to be still pondering the issue.

Among the things that were brought out:

The current projected deficit doesn’t even count the cost of entitlement debt such as that being incurred by social security. Early in the Bush administration, congress resisted any adjustments to that program and Democrats managed to terrorize seniors during the 2004 elections with the prospect that they were going to be turned out in the cold.

Bernanke also pointed out the Bush tax cuts were set to expire in 2008 and that would have a negative effect on the slowing economy. That was regarded as stonewalling by some congress members on the committee who were hoping for a tax increase and a Democrat in the White House.

Bernanke felt that a bipartisan stimulus plan which puts more money into the pockets of people earning less than $50 k would be helpful in the short term. The short term goal is to get people to continue spending money to boost the economy.

In spite of a constant whip lashing by certain members, Bernanke kept insisting that 1 and 1 still made 2 and that fiscal policy was set by congress and monetary policy was set by the fed. How thick could he be? Bernanke had the nerve to say that additional spending had to be supported by additional revenues or they would have a counteractive effect to a recovery. A Wall Street Journal article today quoted the fed chairman as saying that the U.S. faces “daunting long-run budget challenges associated with an aging population, rising health-care costs, and other factors."

Who the hell is Bernanke, anyway? Didn’t he ever hear of Soylent Green?

Friday, January 11, 2008

McCain Gets Moeursalen"s Help in Resolving Great Illegal Immigration Debate

This is how a British illegal immigrant named Ricky Hatton was recently treated by an American in Nevada.

The Great Immigration Debate in the U.S would be a lot easier to resolve if we drained some of the hate from it. Are we all supposed to march out into the street with our fists pumping into the air and screaming at the top of our lungs to get rid of all illegals? I’d worry that people would started hating back to different centuries, determining who was it exactly who arrived on the Mayflower without American citizenship. I guess everybody did. What happened next? Did people turn in their British passports and head on down to the immigration office to get American visas? Did the indigenous peoples protest about our lack of citizenship papers before we killed them off? And what about their citizenship papers? What gave them the right?

Okay, so I hear Democrats and Republicans screaming about the issue. Fine, I can scream as loud as anyone. Get rid of the money-sucking illegals! That way we’ll all be suddenly content and far more wealthy, driving around in luxury cars from socialist Europe. But how are we going to accomplish this task?

First, we’ve got to locate about 2 million criminals. That would be my first priority as president. I wouldn’t do anything else until I did that. Truth to tell, I think that screaming about illegals is the plan. A political candidate would not want to risk losing a hot campaign issue by coming up with a realistic plan for its resolution. They’re not stupid, you know.

While all the candidates are joined together in screaming about the effing illegals, I have only heard one candidate describe a single real plan. That’s John McCain. He must be pretty dumb, John McCain. Maybe something happened to his brain in the North Vietnamese prison camp for about five or six years. I bet there were lots of times he wished he could get deported. McCain could have some kind of ultra-realistic affliction which has no place in contemporary politics. Isn’t there a syndrome called URA? You know, the one where your brain goes, “Hey, this shit is effn serious bad shit!” all the time?

No one likes John McCain’s plan, probably because it’s the only one we’ve heard of. Immigrant plans are very much like people. When there’s only one of them, the plan gets lonely.

Other candidates are remarkably silent on the issue, except for the screaming. I can tell you right now that Obama wouldn’t be chasing down the illegals, nor would Hillary Clinton. Huckabee would have a tough time cuffing them especially if he saw them in church. Edwards would, no doubt, file a class action lawsuit on their behalf. Giuliani wouldn’t do it either—I’ve often questioned his citizenship. His last name ends with an “i”, you know. Eventually, everyone would weary and have the illusion that something had been done, that the crisis had passed, and that there were greater issues which required more immediate attention.

Barak Obama, Karl Rove, Andrea Mitchell: Word up!

I’m losing my religion. On one side of the scale is liberal news reporter Andrea Mitchell, an ardent Clinton supporter. On the other is conservative Republican political advisor to George Bush, Karl Rove.

Mitchell appeared on Joe Scarborough’s Morning Joe program to provide commentary about the Saturday ABC debate forum for the Democrats. Karl Rove wrote a piece in the Wall Street Journal’s Op-Ed page on Thursday, January 10.

I can’t believe that both these supposedly intelligent individuals, to whom America presumes to look for political and social guidance, could have so badly misinterpreted a certain remark made by Senator Barak Obama to a coy and self-deprecating Hillary Clinton. Not only did these two high-voltage media pundits misinterpret Obama’s remarks; they misinterpreted his remarks in the same precise and very dull snippet of language.

Remember the scene:

A WMUR TV reporter Scott Spradling asked Hillary why voters were “hesitating on the likeability issue”…and were…”liking Obama more.”

Hillary’s answer was disarming and candid.

“Well, that hurts my feelings,” she smiled pensively.

To which Obama, with a respondent but self-possessed male charm, remarked to Hillary:

“You’re likeable enough, Hillary.”

Now both Mitchell and Rove have both said that Obama’s remarks were “dismissive.” Rove went on to describe Obama’s “trash talking” as an “unattractive carryover from his days playing pickup basketball at Harvard.”…et cetera. Andrea Mitchell used exactly the same word, “dismissive”, in her a.m. television appearance to describe Barak’s rejoinder. Can idiots so complete as these (Mitchell and Rove) be the best the media has to offer?

Obama’s remark was a measured and subtle compliment, too subtle to reach the deadened synapses of Rove and Mitchell apparently. It was an acknowledgement that Hillary was an accomplished and powerful competitor without characterizing himself as a fawning sycophant. It was recognition of polity and propriety, a youthful African-American male paying tribute to the power of women and to that woman in particular. It made me wonder what kind of books Mitchell and Rove read. Do they read Jane Austen or Shakespeare? Or is it all Machiavelli and John Galbraith?

In fact, Obama’s remark was tender and appreciative, without being slavish and “churlish,” as Mitchell added to her own “dismissive” remarks. I’m not voting for Obama, mainly due to his opposition to the war in Iraq, but I’ve begun to like and respect the guy. There’s something culturally dumb not to have understood Obama’s remark as it was intended in reality. Maybe one day Obama will take them together by the hand for a tour of the tough Chicago neighborhoods where Obama worked and where words do not have to be filtered through the cemented, smug, establishment culturalism of elitist media moguls before they are fully understood.

Russian Mafia and Godfather Vladimir Putin?

You Can Get Anything You Want If Know A Certain Arms Dealer in Mother Russia

A Russian weapons smuggler was arrested at a children’s resort in the Pocono Mountains this past week. Even the Russian mafia needs the warm and fuzzy feeling on occasion. What could be more benign than a vacation at the Great Wolf Lodge, a Poconos resort that caters to families with children?

A reported criminal associate and local gun dealer was also arrested by federal agents in conjunction with the arrest of Sergey Korznikov of Moscow, Russia. The man, identified as Mark Komoroski, aged 45, is the owner of D&R Sports, a gun shop in Nanticoke, Pennsylvania. Komoroski says he had a license from the “government” to sell the weapons and high-tech military devices like face shields and night-vision scopes but the federal agents, having arrested Komoroski, are obviously not in accord with this view.

A larger and more insidious picture of illegal arms dealing may emerge when federal prosecutors develop their case. Sergey Korznikov is the owner of a Russian company called Tactia. The Philadelphia Inquirer report says that Komoroski’s D&R Gun Shop shipped night vision rifle scopes and other assault weapons components to Korznikov’s company, Tactia. The documents accompanying the shipments were falsified and indicated that clothing, not war materiel, was inside the shipping containers.

The arrests came partly as the result of the renewed vigilance of the U.S. government after the 9-11 attacks. While government monitoring of financial and other data has come under criticism from some quarters, the increased security measures have yielded results. The U.S. intelligence watch list contained the name of Russian company Rockman EOOD. This is where the case becomes larger than would first appear; Sergey Bout is the owner of Rockman EEOD and he is the brother of a former KGB officer named Victor Bout.

Federal agents have not said publicly whether they have concluded that Sergey Bout was a single tributary among the many tributaries in the cascade of arms being shipped to combat hot spots around the world. No particular ideology can be observed from the pattern of Victor Bout’s arms dealings—he has sold weapons and war materiel to the Taliban and to its enemies, to African warlords and their enemies, and to anyone with enough money to purchase them.

Victor Bout has been the subject of books like the “Merchant of Death” and other books which describe Bout’s activities in international arms trafficking. While Victor Bout enjoys the protection of Russian citizenship, the U.S. and Interpol have tried unsuccessfully to capture him and bring him to justice. However, the Russians refuse to extradite Bout, currently living comfortably with his family in Moscow.

This is not the only instance in which the Russian refusal to extradite has impaired international criminal investigation. Russian president Vladimir Putin recently refused to surrender the men suspected of the murder by poisoning death of former KGB agent Alexander Litvinenko in London. Putin has refused repeated requests by Britain’s Scotland Yard to interview the suspects. The common suspicion in Russia and in some quarters of the international press is that Putin, a former KGB agent himself, enriches his friends and protects them from political, legal, and business enemies.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Bush Signals Fair Warning to Iranian Gamers

Former Iranian Speed Boat Number One
Former Iranian Speed Boat Number 2
Iranian Mosquito Boat Cruising for a Bruising

It was interesting to see the tapes of those Iranian speed boats taunting U.S. ships in the Straits of Hormuz. It really would have been excellent if someone on the Navy ship had pulled the trigger but now President Bush has given fair warning. Next time it happens, the radio communication will be something like this:


(a nano-second later)

U.S. Warships: KA-BOOM! The tiny atoms of your debris will float to the surface of the sea in about three minutes.

Well, we can dream, can’t we? It may have been better to let them off the hook, depending on the distance. I hope the Navy would never let them approach within a distance capable of inflicting any damage at all on our ships or personnel.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Joe Scarborough Disses New Hampshire Winner John McCain

The Morning Joe program on MSNBC was once more intensely fascinating if only for the speed in which its “reporters” can change direction. Sucked up by preliminary projections and polls, Joe Scarborough led the cheering section for Billary Clinton’s three point “comeback” in New Hampshire and did his best to suck the air out of the much wider margin John McCain victory. There was a bit of role reversal in Scarborough’s testy exchange with David Shuster this a.m. and Scarborough had to pull rank (he clumsily called it “hitting the ejection seat”) on Shuster who sharply disagreed with Scarborough’s interpretation of the results. The only "ejection seat" Scarborough ever hit would be in the bathroom. Shuster was right in saying the pundits and the pollsters “screwed up” in their assessment of the Clinton win. Scarborough heaped obsequious and fawning praise on Clinton for what everyone knew to begin with.

• Clinton has strong support among women who think breaking the “glass ceiling” is more important than other issues facing the country.

• The Clintons live everywhere in the U.S. That means short supply lines which can be managed with the same degree of efficiency with which General Petraeus delivers firepower and humanitarian aid according to where and when it is needed.

Scarborough was un-American in dumping his rancor on McCain’s victory talk. No doubt there is some long ago political slight aggravating Scarborough’s old bedsores. What other reason could there be for decrying the American service achievements of John McCain? Deeply cynical and disillusioned ideologues like Scarborough can only diminish their own meager records of public service by such petty malingering.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Dicksville Notch Sinks Hillary Clinton, Chooses McCain

If Davy Crockett were rinnin' in Dicksville, he'd be sure-fire winner...

The results from Dicksville Notch are in and John McCain’s won it with 10 votes. Ha-ha.

A more interesting story comes from today’s RCP poll which, if validated by the results, shows Obama about 10 points ahead of Billary. I’ve never been a Bill Clinton hater and I always thought there was a better man in him than the one who balled a teenage apprentice. The real Bill Clinton came out swinging at Barak Obama. There were no “dirty tricks” about it—Bills’ attack was frontal. He went at Obama with hard body blows and didn’t pull his punches. His punch went something like this:

“Not one time has Obama been asked about his flip-flop on the Iraq war. At one time, Obama even said he supported President Bush’s policy.”

That was the drift of it. But it was good to see Big Bill back in center ring, feet set like a heavyweight fighter, defending his wife with the passion of any primitive. One of the biggest turn-offs about most Democratic candidates is their wormy, back-door conniving and pretense. Bill said that Barak was living a “fantasy” but he should kick some ass in the Democratic Party and get it back to its basic function and roots.

Speaking of worms, there was that Ron Paul character threatening to sue Fox News because he won’t be in the Republican TV debates. Hell, why not let me pontificate? I’m just as popular a candidate as he is (nil) and there’s the added premium that I’m not yet off the rails. Well, he is the favorite of many Democrats, as is Governor Huckleberry. If the Democrats are successful in nominating Governor Huckleberry, they will be able to validate all those “right-wing conservative Christian-sans-separation-church-and-state” placards they’ve already bought.

Monday, January 7, 2008

Vote for Laughing Boy: The Bill Richardson Presidency

I had trouble sleeping and watched the Democratic forums in the hopes of getting a soporific buzz from the proceedings. Admittedly, my sleepy pattern was jarred when moderator Gibson mentioned the 30% to 50% likelihood that a nuclear bomb would explode in an American city. Did he really say that?

Wide awake suddenly, I looked at the man who had the dais, a rotund, roly-poly guy who was identified as the governor of New Mexico, Bill Richardson. Hey, I love New Mexico! It’s beautiful and enthralling. They should keep their governor. I didn’t know he was running for president, anyway, and neither did Mr. Gibson. The next thing I heard Gibson ask is why Richardson was running for the presidency. Yeah, why?

If ever an avalanche of cozy bromides left a political lip, it was next on the Democratic forum. Billary Clinton watched bemused, certain that her domain wasn’t threatened by the porky fireplug who would be president only if hell really did freeze over. I had an unusual thought at that moment. Was the Richardson guy rich, with a lot of money in his coffers, or was he supported by a fund created by the other candidates? Let me get this straight:

He was a Bill Clinton appointment to Energy, I know, but what did he do there? I would love to have a car with a sail, at least. Or a windmill project off Cape Cod that wouldn't offend the Kennedy clan.

Richardson kept jawboning about how he faced down the North Koreans but then why is Jong-Il such a pain in the ass any more? I'm sure the North Korean dictator was really intimidated by that steely Richardson stare.

running his mouth like he’s this great envoy and world ambassador. He doesn’t know when to keep his mouth shut about the plum jobs he’s landed just to nail down political support from Hispanics.

It was really embarrassing how Richardson answered the nuclear explosion question. He kept saying he would want to be sure who it was who did it. He wouldn’t just “react”. He’d wait until the offenders confessed and then he’d invade Pakistan. A very reasoned approach from a highly entertaining and likeable buffoon. Why doesn’t he just drop out? Who’s giving him money? Why doesn't he get his own television show?

Sunday, January 6, 2008

Davy Crockett's $550,000 Last Letter (Or Not)

Today's spotlight on History:

Gregory Curtis writes a fascinating account of the meandering path of Davy Crockett's purported last letter in "The Texas Monthly." The state of Texas takes its history seriously enough to have offered $550,000 for the 1836 document, pending authentication. Curtis provides substantial detail, telling why this version of the often-quoted Crockett letter is neither a forgery nor the real thing -- it's most likely a genuine copy of the original, transcribed by a family member of Crockett's for sentimentality's sake. This is great historical sleuthing, colorful, and with a tinge of scandal.
in Texas Monthly by Gregory Curtis, January 2008
Read more here...

The LA Times Touts Barak Obama Victory

Wallsten reports the stunning upset engineered by Barack Obama in the Iowa caucuses, tracing how a man who "just three years ago held an office no higher than a state legislator" beat more entrenched, moneyed Democrats. Wallsten tells how independent and first-time voters were drawn to Obama and how the sentiment for change propelled Obama forward. Obama was also strong with traditional Democrats, splitting the vote among them with Hillary Clinton. Wallsten describes Obama's win as a "rebuke" to the Clinton campaign and a bad omen for candidate John Edwards, who failed to pull the expected support from his base.
in Los Angeles Times by Peter Wallsten, 4 January 2008
Read more here...

Saturday, January 5, 2008

After Hillary Loses New Hamshire: Campaign 2008

A distorted view of the Iowa defeat...

I was talking to a friend the other day and the subject of Billary Clinton’s third place finish in Iowa came up. My friend pointed out that the Clinton “dirty tricks squad” would soon emerge from the woodwork. If so, that’s going to have to be a dirty tricks squad that leaves no forensic evidence lying about. I don’t see how that’s possible since Obama supporters will quickly find any roads or bread-crumb trails that lead to Billary Clinton. No matter what, though, there’s no time for dirty tricks between Iowa and New Hampshire except for the clumsiest of efforts. The sort of blunt re-statements of political realities that we’ve already heard by Clinton supporters (and by Hillary herself) is already too surreal for pundits and voters to believe. No, I’d guess we’ll soon be seeing more of the “nice Hillary” until Jan 8. Billary’s only chance is a solid and miraculous showing in the Feb. 5 Super-primaries. That would prove, once and for all, that the moon really is made of cream cheese.

Friday, January 4, 2008

Primary 2008: Bloody Iowa -- On to the New Hampshire Primary

It’s already old news, just one day after Iowa. There’s no sense repeating that Huckabee was the favorite saint of Midwestern Evangelicals. There’s no denying that he has an amiable demeanor and disposition, too, and a personal style that passes muster with the Harper Valley PTA. But Iowa is Iowa and the primary process is ahead of us.

The story so far:

John McCain’s newly discovered popularity shouldn’t be newly discovered. It was only the drive-bys who were so quick to count him among “yesterday’s men.” It’s a bit like boxing—the truth always emerges after the fight starts, not before.

I wouldn’t make such a big story about Mitt Romney’s “defeat”. He came in second with a wide gap between himself and Huckabee, sure, but 2nd best in Iowa isn’t bad. Not when you consider that 40 % of the state is Evangelical. The real story there, unfortunately, is that Romney’s going to have to knock back on McCain and it’s going to be bloody. He’ll hit the headline stories:

• McCain’s vote against the Bush tax cuts.
• McCain’s compromise with the failed immigration bill.

People ought not to forget that McCain’s vote against the tax cuts was actually a vote against excessive pork-fat expenditures. He wanted the R’s to get their spending in line before the tax cuts were in place.

McCain’s support of the Immigration Bill was pure realism. Anyone can demagogue the issue, and most people are. Spare me the spectacle of a mass deportation of 12 million men, women, and children herded across the border to Tijuana. McCain supports stronger immigration enforcement and border security. The failed immigration policies we inherited over the years cannot be ameliorated with cattle prods and a Bataan style death march.

Which brings us to Billary and Barak. Obama’s great success in Iowa is not so much surprising as the degree of it. Obama’s strength is that he’s not a reactionary, and not interested in letting himself be pigeonholed into representing a mere slice of America’s Democratic Party political establishment, as Billary does. I also can’t help thinking that Michelle Obama helped Barak out a great deal. Her late appearances in Iowa were as hot as an Iowa wood stove in winter.

Billary lost big in Iowa. It’s a bad sign for her that she finished such a distant third. Lanny Davis couldn’t think of anything to say about it except that Obama negelected to kowtow to Billary in his victory speech. Is that some kind of joke? Or a veiled threat? Let me translate Lanny Davis:

“You can’t get anywhere, Barak, unless you bow to the nice love-me-liberal plantation owners in Massachusetts and New York.”

Which is what makes me puke about a certain contingent of today’s Democrats. They’re so phoney-baloney.

Editor’s note: The “baloney” reference is due to the Romney influence.

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Iowa Primary 2008: The Gospel Truth (not)

Here’s my capsule version of the Iowa Campaign of today, 01/3/2008:

The drive-by media is hammering the note that, if Romney wins in Iowa, it’ll be because he’s rich and has spent a lot of money. This view would have you believe that nobody actually likes Romney. Romney’s a winner, smart and charismatic. People who dismiss or underestimate Romney are engaged in fanciful thinking.

If Hillary doesn’t come in first in Iowa, it’ll be because John Edwards has been campaigning there for many years. This view would have you believe that nobody likes Edwards and that Iowa does not have a populist bent.

Iowans truly like Barak Obama but its mostly the younger voters who will support him, but not to the point of going out to vote on a cold night when they could be partying. This view ignores the Michelle Obama factor. Her recent appearances in Iowa were sensational and lit up the older crowd but her appearance on the scene may be too late.

Rudy Giuliani stands no chance of winning in Iowa. The liberal media is right on with this one but faces a real hammering when Super Tuesday arrives. Giuliani knows his own weaknesses among Republicans but you don’t prosecute the mob and then become mayor of New York City by quitting in the early rounds. Rudy Giuliani isn’t the shot fighter some pundits would have you believe he is.

John McCain went to New Hampshire to nail down his “must-win” support there. That seems to be an effective strategy. He’s jetting back to Iowa to make a last-minute push for a good showing. McCain will finish stronger than the pundits predict in Iowa. If McCain finishes third in Iowa, that’ll be a huge victory for a guy who knows how to both talk and fight. Unlike the other candidates, McCain can do both at the same time. While chewing gum, too.

Love and Hate on MSNBC

Give The Morning Joe credit for luring me away from Fox News a.m. I can hardly stand the rest of the MSNBC programming day and that goes well into the evening. I sometimes spin the channels to Chris Motormouth Matthews just to get reinforcement for what not to think. I can take Keith Obermann, former sportscaster, for about three seconds on a good day. His combined un-funny choice of material and Big Loser-Little Loser Boredom Segment is aimed at the parasitic tranche of American voters who never committed the unforgivable sin of acting out of anything but self-interest.

The crew managed by Joe Scarborough is balanced. By that I mean that Joe is a Republican and all the other crew members are Democrats. As a general formula: 1R = 4D unless the 1R = RP (Ron Paul) or CH (Chuck Hagel). Anyway, it is my considered opinion that The Morning Joe is doing a fairly effective job in its 2008 primary reporting.

Mika Brezinski is a liberal, a fairly honest one. She acknowledged this a.m. that her father, a former Carter advisor, is working for Barak Obama. Her brother, she says, is working for McCain. I feel her pain. David Shuster seems to have joined the “team.” I hope that’s not permanent. He’s not bashful about bashing any Republican and cheerleading for any Democrat with particular devotion to Billary Clinton, formerly known as Hillary Clinton. Shuster’s bias is just too much, his schtick too corny, his smug solipsism too ugly.

Joe Scarborough said one-half a smart thing about the current primary campaign, comparing it to his own experience in the 1990s. Back then, says Scarborough, the 1994 elections were a refutation of the sixties. He said the current campaign is more about the future but clearly, with Billary Clinton as the leading Democrat, you’d have to say this one is about the sixties, too.

Okay, so this is weird, but my favorite candidate on the Democratic side is Barak Obama. I don’t agree with Obama about most things, especially the war, but he has been an honest and consistent candidate. Obama’s done his time in the trenches, I respect that. Obama’s wife, Michelle, is a real asset to the campaign. I’d vote for her in a hot minute except for her opposition to the war. That’s why I wouldn’t vote for Obama—it’s a Democratic disease—foreign policy consists of much palaver and little reality. Foreign policy for the democratic candidates seems to be: sue them, subpoena them, and soothe them.

It’s as if they’re campaigning for chairmanship of the U.N. If Obama wins or has a strong showing in Iowa, the entrenched Democratic political machine will have a giant task in undermining Barak while “making nice” with him. Terry McAuliffe’s Billary Worshippers will play upon the reservations of cultural bigots in the Democratic Party, of which there are legion.