Archive for August, 2008
31 Aug 2008

Newt Gingrich Admires McCain’s VP

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Sarah Palin Unveils the Alaska State Quarter

Newt Gingrich sent Bill Kristol the following email, which he authorized him to share.

Authenticity is the one word threat to the Obama-Biden ticket.

There is something going on this weekend which traditional pundits, traditional consultants and traditional politicians are simply missing. All of the normal biography-oriented and issue-oriented analysis misses an emotional gestalt event comparable to when Ronald Reagan in 1980 crystalized his leadership in New Hampshire when he seized control of the GOP debate.

In one sudden moment Friday, John McCain fundamentally changed American politics in a manner that transcends issues and details.

The great threat to the Obama-Biden ticket can be captured in one word: authenticity.

There is something unaffected and “unsophisticated” (in the Columbia, Princeton, Harvard and University of Chicago meanings of the word) about Governor Palin. She really was point guard of a state championship basketball team. She really is a competent hunter. She is a hockey mom. She has one son about to go to Iraq.

She has 13 years in elected office

By any practical standard she has done far more in the real world with much more spontaneity and practicality than Barack Obama. And there is something deeply real and courageous about John McCain ignoring most of his advisers and all of the “insider wisdom” to reach out to a younger woman whose greatest characteristic is undaunted courage and a willingness to clean out the corruption in her own party.

This is a moment of stunning authenticity versus a sad collapse on the part of the Obama campaign from ” change you can count on” to politics as usual, as marked by Obama’s choice of a senator first elected when Palin was 9 years old. …

Finally 2008 really has given us “change we can count on.” Ironically, it is the McCain-Palin ticket.

31 Aug 2008

McCain’s Intentions

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Neil
, a commenter on Classical Values, offers this analysis:

Mitt Romney would’ve been the safe choice–he would’ve delivered Michigan, along with a 51% victory.

With this choice, McCain has stated his intention to “shoot the moon”. He’s solidified his existing alliances and has now reached out to many disenchanted Democrats, but without alienating his base of support.

He’s going to try for a blowout…


Simon
himself says:

The smell of fear is in the air. There is blood in the water and the sharks are circling. Despite the fact that this year should be a lock for Democrats from top to bottom, I think there is a strong likelihood that the Democrats could lose control of the House and Senate. I think the Presidency is already a lost cause for them.

Hat tip to Bird Dog.

31 Aug 2008

MSNBC: Hot and Bothered by Obama

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Even avowedly-liberal Bill Maher found Chris Matthews’ and Keith Olbermann’s commentary on Barack Obama’s acceptance speech unusual.

The coverage after, that I was watching, from MSNBC, I mean these guys were ready to have sex with him.

video

If you believe Larry Sinclair, those guys have got a chance, too.

31 Aug 2008

Swedish Version of Loch Ness Monster Filmed

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The Frösö Runestone

British newspapers are quoting Swedish reports that Sweden’s version of the Loch Ness monster was recently filmed in Storsjön, Sweden’s fifth largest lake.

Telegraph:

SWEDEN’S own version of the Loch Ness monster, the Storsjoe or Great Lake monster, has been caught on film by surveillance videos, an association that installed the cameras says.

The legend of the Swedish beast has swirled for nearly four centuries, with about 200 sightings reported in the lake in central Sweden.

“On Thursday at 12.21pm, we filmed the movements of a live being. And it was not a pike, nor a perch, we’re sure of that,” said Gunnar Nilsson, the head of a shopkeepers’ association in Svenstavik.

The association, together with the Jaemtland province and local municipality of Berg, installed six surveillance cameras in the lake in June, including two underwater devices.

The project, which has so far cost about 400,000 kronor ($73,400), is aimed at resolving the mystery of the Swedish Nessie.

The first sighting dates back to 1635 and the most recent to July 2007, with most speaking of a long, serpent-like beast with humps, a small cat or dog-like head, and ears or fins pressed against the neck.

The association employs one person full-time to review the recorded video footage each day.
In the images filmed yesterday and posted on a website dedicated to the Storsjoe monster, a long serpent-like being is seen swimming in the murky waters.

“A highly-advanced system on one of the cameras detected heat produced by the cells,” indicating that it was a live being, Mr Nilsson said.

The Sun has a slideshow and a video.

The creature is actually known in Swedish as Storsjöodjuret.
Cryptomundo

31 Aug 2008

Rumors of War

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Israeli Intelligence mouthpiece Depkafile, on Saturday, posted a rumor of the withdrawal of Dutch Intelligence assets from Iran in the face of an impending US attack.

A Dutch AIVD Secret Service ultra-secret operation underway in Iran in recent years has been halted and an agent recalled in view of “impending US plans to attack Iran,” within weeks, writes Joost de Haas, known for his good intelligence contacts, in the Dutch newspaper De Telegraaf.

The AIVD operation aimed to infiltrate and sabotage the weapons [and nuclear] industry in the Islamic Republic.

According to intelligence sources in the Netherlands, the US [or Israel] was expected to make a decision within weeks to attack nuclear plants with unmanned aircraft, used to avoid risking the lives of air crews and warplanes.

DEBKAfile’s military sources report this would be the first time drones operated by remote control were used against major strategic targets, necessary in Israel’s case to hold its air fleet and flight crews ready to defend the country against reprisal from Iran’s allies. Syria and the Lebanese Hizballah have stockpiled thousands of rockets for this purpose.

The Iranian targets to be bombed would include also military installations brought to light partly by the Dutch espionage operation, described by De Telegraaf as extremely successful. “One of the agents was able to infiltrate the Iranian industry” and for years shared information with the American CIA. “Various supplies could also be sabotaged and stopped. These were parts for missiles and launching equipment.”

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The deputy chief of Iran’s Armed Force HQ is warning that any attack on Iran will lead to world war and the elimination of Israel.

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And Pakistan’s Daily Times is editorializing against such an attack.

A British newspaper has reported that the US may be about to launch a blitz against Iran “as the last resort” to block Tehran’s efforts to nuclearise. It says the preparations in the Pentagon are not just war-games but the plan is to actually make the strike. The most likely strategy would involve aerial bombardment by long-distance B-2 bombers, each armed with up to 40,000 pounds of precision weapons, including the latest bunker-busting devices.

the original story is attributed elsewhere to the Friday edition of Sunday Telegraph, a sister paper of the Telegraph, but I couldn’t find it on-line.

31 Aug 2008

They Picked Sarah Palin In June

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Not all members of the punditocracy are always wrong.

Here are some opinion-makers who thought Sarah Palin would make a terrific vice presidential selection for McCain more than two months ago.

Jack Kelly, of the Toledo Blade, is narrowly the earliest I’ve found, writing on June 7th:

There is one potential running mate who has virtually no down side. Those conservatives who have heard of her were delighted to learn that McCain advance man Arthur Culvahouse was in Alaska recently, because they surmised he could only be there to discuss the vice presidential nomination with Gov. Sarah Palin.

At 44, Sarah Louise Heath Palin is both the youngest and the first female governor in Alaska’s relatively brief history as a state. She’s also the most popular governor in America, with an approval rating that has bounced around 90 percent.

This is due partly to her personal qualities. When she was leading her underdog Wasilla High School basketball team to the state championship in 1982, her teammates called her “Sarah Barracuda” because of her fierce competitiveness.

Two years later, when she won the “Miss Wasilla” beauty pageant, she was also voted “Miss Congeniality” by the other contestants.

Sarah Barracuda. Miss Congeniality. Fire and nice. A happily married mother of five who is smart and drop-dead gorgeous.

But it’s mostly because she’s been a crackerjack governor, a strong fiscal conservative, and a ferocious fighter of corruption, especially in her own party.

Ms. Palin touches other conservative bases, some of which Mr. McCain has been accused of rounding. Track, her eldest son, enlisted in the Army last Sept. 11. She’s a lifetime member of the National Rifle Association who hunts, fishes, and runs marathons. A regular churchgoer, she’s staunchly pro-life.

Kimberley Strassel of the Wall Street Journal said Mr. McCain should run against a corrupt, do-nothing Congress, a la Harry Truman. If he should choose to do so, Ms. Palin would make an excellent partner.

“The landscape is littered with the bodies of those who have crossed Sarah,” pollster Dave Dittman told The Weekly Standard’s Fred Barnes.

Mr. Obama’s support has plunged recently among white women. Many Hillary Clinton supporters accuse him – I think unfairly – of being sexist. Having Sarah Palin on the ticket could help Mr. McCain appeal to these disgruntled Democrats.

Running mates usually aren’t named until the convention. But if Mr. McCain should name Ms. Palin earlier, it would give America more time to get to know this extraordinary woman. And because she’s at least a dozen feature stories waiting to be written, she could help him dominate the news between now and the conventions.

Another reason for selecting Sarah Palin early would be to force Barack Obama to make a mistake. He’d have to rule out choosing someone like Virginia Sen. Jim Webb as his running mate, for fear of exacerbating charges of sexism. And if he chose a woman other than Hillary Clinton, the impression Democrats are wimpy would be intensified.

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But only a day later, on June 8th, Beldar published what would become the first of a series of posts strongly arguing for Palin.

I’ve spent several hours now reading about, and watching video clips of, 44-year-old Alaska governor Sarah Heath Palin. There are indications that she’s on McCain’s radar, along with many other candidates. I, for one, am very, very impressed with her. Indeed, I’m convinced already that it’s no fluke that she’s more popular with her constituents than any other current American governor (roughly a 90% approval rating). And I’m finding myself increasingly receptive to, and even persuaded by, the idea that she would be not merely a bold pick, but a smart pick, as McCain’s running mate.

If you’re not acquainted with Gov. Palin already, you owe it to yourself to get up to speed. …

Sarah Palin actually risked her entire political career to take on her own party’s entrenched leadership, and then thoroughly and effectively cleaned house in the largest state in the Union. Between her and Obama, who’s already proven him- or herself more likely to provide the “change you can believe in”?

This spring she used her line-item veto to cut $268 million from state spending bills — in a state that, comparatively, is flush with money, which makes pork projects almost irresistible. She resisted, and it appears that she’s going to make her vetoes stick. That’s the antidote to Bridges to Nowhere! (Which she opposed, by the way; the federal money originally committed to it, she’s now re-directed into more appropriate infrastructure programs.)

As governor, she’s also pushed hard against other entrenched interests, including the energy companies (BP, ConocoPhilips, and ExxonMobil) who hold the lease rights to much of Alaska’s oil and gas wealth. She is a fierce, knowledgeable, and articulate advocate of responsible development of Alaskan resources to benefit not only its own residents — who actually pay among the nation’s highest gasoline prices and have the least access to affordable and clean natural gas — but also the other 49 states, and she recognizes that this is not just a matter of economic necessity, but ultimately of national security.

Palin has spoken out and brought suit to prevent radical environmentalists from exploiting the ridiculous naming of the polar bear as an endangered species, showing no hesitation to stand up against them or their well-wishers in the federal bureaucracy. Yet she and her family are enthusiastic outdoorsmen — engaging in ice fishing, hunting, and snow-mobiling (her husband has won the 2000-mile Iron Dog race four times). Check out this campaign video of her and her family loading up their single-prop float-plane (not a corporate jet!) with sporting gear — that’s got to be at least as cool as Obama shooting hoops.

It doesn’t hurt that Gov. Palin is attractive and photogenic. (She was not, as Jonah Goldberg recently wrote, Miss Alaska, but she was Miss Wasilla; last December Vogue Magazine came to photograph her and her three daughters back in Wasilla; and comedian Craig Ferguson declares that she has a “sort of naughty librarian vibe.”) But she’s climbed through local and state politics on her own — not based on who her daddy or her husband is (or was).

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Beldar may have influenced the thinking of sometimes-somewhat-Conservative Ann Althouse, who on June 12th, made a 10:06 video of a discussion with Rachel Sklar in which she strongly contrasted Palin with Hillary, as a woman who made it into high office on her own.

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They should all be feeling pretty good about now.

30 Aug 2008

Fawn Follows Beagle Home

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One of those viral emails arrived today, at the end of a long succession of forwards, containing the amusing above photos, accompanied by the following text:

A fawn followed this beagle home — right through the doggie door — in the Bittinger, MD area. The owner came home to find the visitor had made himself right at home. This hit the 6 o’clock news big time

I was a little skeptical, but the story seems to be true.

Apparently, the home was really located in Accident, Maryland, asnd it happened last month, according to poster No. 10 in this Grantsville, Maryland forum. And the original photos can be found at the Deep Creek Times site here.

Hat tip to Candice Kobetz.

30 Aug 2008

Palin Endorsed by Mark Steyn

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Mark Steyn comes out in support of John McCain’s vice presidential selection.

Governor Palin is not merely, as Jay describes her, “all-American”, but hyper-American. What other country in the developed world produces beauty queens who hunt caribou and serve up a terrific moose stew? As an immigrant, I’m not saying I came to the United States purely to meet chicks like that, but it was certainly high on my list of priorities. And for the gun-totin’ Miss Wasilla then to go on to become Governor while having five kids makes it an even more uniquely American story. Next to her resume, a guy who’s done nothing but serve in the phony-baloney job of “community organizer” and write multiple autobiographies looks like just another creepily self-absorbed lifelong member of the full-time political class that infests every advanced democracy.

Read the whole thing.

30 Aug 2008

Never Mind the Homeless, Pity Developers

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1:43 video

Hat tip to Karen L. Myers.

30 Aug 2008

My Fellow Americans

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David Brooks wrote the speech that should have been given at recent democrat convention. A must read.

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Hat tip to Scott Drum.

29 Aug 2008

And Whom Does the GOP Ticket Remind You of?

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link

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Hat tip to Benjamin Duranske.

29 Aug 2008

Sarah Palin on Facing Criticism in Politics

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Discussing Hillary’s situation, she is against whining. She thinks attacks and intense scrutiny are an inevitable feature of the political process. And she believes women need to do their best and prove themselves. It looks to me like she’s ready.

1:33 video

29 Aug 2008

System Repair as D&D

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Stingray puts a dramatic spin on the everyday adventure of using a PC.

Ok, who brought the cheetos?”
“Yo.”
“Sweet, we’re all set. Everybody got their characters rolled?”
“Yeah, what’s this run again? Will there be decent gold? I need more gold.”
“Shaddup. You know you’ll find out when you’re in there. All right. It’s morning and your party is preparing to adventure.”
“My sysadmin orders a barrel of coffee.”
“My programmer lights a cigarette.”
“The first challenge approaches. A digital anachrotroll draws near, brandishing the smoking ruins of the laptop you prepared for last week’s adventure.” …

“The laptop remains broken.”
“All right. My sysadmin casts information request.”
“Rolling… you receive gibberish.”
“Damnit. My sysadmin arranges a pickup on the machine.”
“The troll misses the pickup and grows irritated.”
“Screw it. Your turn.”
“My programmer arranges a pickup.”
“The troll arrives with the laptop and deposits the smoking yet still slimy remains on your best pack.”
“Delightful. Will you have your damn sysadmin fix this thing already and get rid of the troll?”
“Yeah yeah. I’m rolling. Crap, the dice are not friendly today. At least it’s fixable, technically. Ok, my sysadmin returns the laptop in working order.”

Read the whole thing.

29 Aug 2008

The Palin Strategy

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Noemie Emory, in the Weekly Standard, explains why the choice of Sarah Palin is a brilliant strategic move.

1. Steps on the story of Obama’s speech (and convention), and possibly the bounce coming from them, and wipes them off the news cycle. The Sunday news shows will be all-Palin, all of the time.

2. Sends Republicans into their convention on a huge head of steam.

3. Wipes out the image of McCain as the crotchety elder and brings back that of the fly-boy and gambler, which is much more appealing, and the genuine person.

4. Revs up the base AND excites independents, which no one else in the party, or perhaps in the world, could have accomplished.

5. Puts youth, change, and history on both of the tickets.

6. May detach some young people, especially women.

7. May attach some women pissed off about Hillary.

8. As a pro-life super-achiever, puts feminists in a tizzy.

9. Revives some of the double-edged nature of the Democratic primary, which featured a black vs. a female trail-blazer, and put both sides on notice on sensitivity issues. Democrats used to raising charges of racism against Obama’s critics may face charges of sexism and/or condescension if they try to diss her.

10. Steps on Obama’s claims to have been a reformer, as he reformed nothing (much less the corrupt mare’s nest of Chicago arrangements), while she was a dragon-slayer up in Alaska.

11. As a mother of five, one a Down Syndrome baby, helps her side take on the Democrats on abortion extremism and the Born Alive bill.

12. Reignites the deep and unhealed stresses inside the Democrats, some of whom will now wonder more loudly than ever why they didn’t pick Hillary.

13. Counters Michelle in a way Cindy couldn’t.

14. Counter-intuitively, makes the issue of Obama’s light resume more potent than ever. Her lack of experience is no more than his is. And he’s–to use a term from Alaska, and the Iditarod–their lead dog.

McCain displayed with this selection a boldness and willingness to gamble uncharacteristic of Washington politicians. It’s more in the spirit of the US Navy, going completely on the offensive and being willing to risk everything to deliver a decisive blow in a form the enemy could never have anticipated and prepared for.

I don’t think McCain came up with all of this himself, but he is clearly getting some very clever advice these days, to which he is paying attention. He may very well be president yet.

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H/t to Karen L. Myers.

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