Friday, August 29, 2008

Palin picked as McCain running mate

McCain just picked Palin to be his running mate. It is a really good move in my mind. Here is Ed Morrissey's take on it.

First, though, let’s assess the risk. Palin has served less than two years as Governor of Alaska, which tends to eat into the experience message on which McCain has relied thus far. At 44, she’s younger than Barack Obama by three years. She has served as a mayor and as the Ethics Commissioner on the state board regulating oil and natural gas, for a total of eight years political experience before her election as governor. That’s also less than Obama has, with seven years in the Illinois legislature and three in the US Senate.

However, the nature of the experience couldn’t be more different. Palin spent her entire political career crusading against the political machine that rules Alaska — which exists in her own Republican party. She blew the whistle on the state GOP chair, who had abused his power on the same commission to conduct party business. Obama, in contrast, talked a great deal about reform in Chicago but never challenged the party machine, preferring to take an easy ride as a protegé of Richard Daley instead.

Palin has no formal foreign-policy experience, which puts her at a disadvantage to Joe Biden. However, in nineteen months as governor, she certainly has had more practical experience in diplomacy than Biden or Obama have ever seen. She runs the only American state bordered only by two foreign countries, one of which has increasingly grown hostile to the US again, Russia.

And let’s face it — Team Obama can hardly attack Palin for a lack of foreign-policy experience. Obama has none at all, and neither Obama or Biden have any executive experience. Palin has almost over seven years of executive experience.

Politically, this puts Obama in a very tough position. The Democrats had prepared to launch a full assault on McCain’s running mate, but having Palin as a target creates one large headache. If they go after her like they went after Hillary Clinton, Obama risks alienating women all over again. If they don’t go after her like they went after Hillary, he risks alienating Hillary supporters, who will see this as a sign of disrespect for Hillary.

For McCain, this gives him a boost like no other in several different ways. First, the media will eat this up. That effectively buries Obama’s acceptance speech and steals the oxygen he needs for a long-term convention bump. A Romney or Pawlenty pick would not have accomplished that.

Second, Palin will re-energize the base. She’s not just a pro-life advocate, she’s lived the issue herself. That will attract the elements of the GOP that had held McCain at a distance since the primaries and provide positive motivation for Republicans, rather than just rely on anti-Democrat sentiment to get them to the polls.

Third, and I think maybe most importantly, Palin addresses the energy issue better and more attuned to the American electorate than maybe any of the other three principals in this election. Even beyond her efforts to reform the Oil and Natural Gas Commission, she has demonstrated her independence from so-called “Big Oil” while promoting domestic production. She brings instant credibility to the ticket on energy policy, and reminds independents and centrists that the Obama-Biden ticket offers nothing but the same excuses we’ve heard for 30 years.

Finally, based on all of the above, McCain can remind voters who has the real record of reform. Obama talks a lot about it but has no actual record of reform, and for a running mate, he chose a 35-year Washington insider with all sorts of connections to lobbyists and pork. McCain has fought pork, taken real political risks to fight undue influence of lobbyists, and he picked an outsider who took on her own party — and won.

This is change you can believe in, and not change that amounts to all talk. McCain changed the trajectory of the race today by stealing Obama’s strength and turning it against him. Obama provided that opening by picking Biden as his running mate, and McCain was smart enough to take advantage of the opening.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Obama's acheivements for civil rights

Say what you will about Obama's capabilities and suitability for office, he sure has lifted civil rights to a whole new playing field. The Onion has more:

Portrayal Of Obama As Elitist Hailed As Step Forward For African Americans

It's the economy, stupid.

If you say the economy is fundamentally strong, you are immediately branded as an out-of-touch wealthy elitist. "Sure," they say, "it's good for you. But for the rest of us regular Americans..." Now I'm not saying everything is good. I'm saying the economy is fundamentally strong overall. On average. We are currently not close to a recession, let alone any negative growth. To even mention a depression shows a person's utter incompetence, let alone stupidity. The economy is actually doing very well, for that matter. The GDP (how much we produced) went up 3.3% over the last three months. That growth is much higher than expected, catching many pundits and economists by surprise. To have GDP growth 6-7% over an entire year is considered very healthy.

So what will happen? [deep breath] The economy (overall, not including financials, housing or automotive) will be growing healthily which will put pressure on the Fed to increase overnight lending rates which will prop up the dollar (slightly) even though the dollar will still be overvalued (p.s., the Fed does not actually have to raise rates, people only have to think that they will for this to happen). That higher dollar and resulting increased stock prices (people bullish on the future) will drive down crude oil costs, stimulating the economy even further due to the lower gas prices. Unfortunately, the gas (and oil) prices will not remain low, as the old rule of supply and demand will come in to effect in about a month. In the short term, however, we will enjoy lower crude and gas prices - as soon as the hype from hurricane Gustav blows over (pardon the pun).

Thanks for listening.

The X(perience) Factor

The United States Presidency is not a celebrity position. Real, hard decisions will need to be made in which human lives will be lost. What the president chooses will either increase or decrease human suffering, and I, for one, would like someone who has already learned the consequences of their decisions firsthand before attaining the most powerful position on this planet.

Here is McCain's most effective ad to date. Via Hot Air.

You know, I am a believer in … in knowing what you’re doing when you apply for a job. Uh, and I think that … if I were seriously to consider running on a national ticket, I would essentially have to start now, before having served a day in the Senate. Now there may be some people who are comfortable doing that, but I am not one of those people. — Barack Obama, 2004

Monday, August 11, 2008

Olympic Drama

Phelps is ripped (Photo: AP)

In my new drive to maintain sanity, I will not talk of the Russian war with Georgia, or of the US Volleyball coach's father who was stabbed to death in China, I will instead talk about the amazing 4x100 men's relay in which the USA swim team came from far behind to beat the French. It is one of the most amazing come-from-behind victories in Olympics history.

One of the beaten French swimmers, Amaury Leveaux, has the best quote about the race. But before you read it, picture in your mind the French racecar driver Jean Girard from the movie Talledega Nights (played by Sasha Cohen of Borat fame) and read it in his French accent. And before you do that, to put this quote in context, let me give you a quote the French swimmer Alain Bernard spewed before the race:
"The Americans? We're going to smash them. That is what we came here for."
Here's what Mssr. Leveaux, one of the French swimmers, said after the US anchor, Jason Lezak, overcame a full body-length deficit behind the smack-talking Bernard in the final 50m lap of the race [don't forget the accent]:
"A fingertip did the victory. It is nothing."
HA! Classic. Anyways, I'm sure that you've been salivating to see video of the US team serving up a large helping of irony to the French team. Go here for the video from NBC. (I'm sure you can find it on You Tube, but the quality is better here.)

As a post-script, you can hear in the video that Michael Phelps first (coherent) words, quotable here in all their American glory:
"That's what I'm talking about!"

Friday, August 08, 2008

Watch the Olympics online - Live!

Y'all sad that you're at work and also can't watch the Olympics tonight because you're Shomer f---ing Shabbos? Well, you can watch the Olympics live right here:

Thursday, August 07, 2008

McCain is a respectable, capable guy - just ask the Dems

McCain's latest campaign ad is out, and it's a doosie. (h/t: LGF quicklinks)

Jewish Rapper 'E-Shy' hates on Obama

I know some of you are convinced that I am a Mossad agent. Well, the truth is that I am actually a well-known rapper, known by my street name of E-Shy.

And I'm really good, too. (h/t: Gateway Pundit)

Monday, August 04, 2008

Charlie bit my finger!

Such a sweet boy. They are so cute! 42 million hits and counting... (Hat tip: Grandmama)

4-year-old drummer whiz Igor Falecki

This 4-year-old drummer kid will knock your socks off (literally). Here is one of many videos of him. His talent is absolutely unbelievable. Off-tempo beats, changes in tempo, fills that match the music, and timing! My gosh his timing! Some kid geniuses go crazy with fills and such, but Igor patiently shows real talent by applying his skills with reservation. That takes maturity, and to find that in a four-year-old truly boggles the mind.

Update: He's actually six years old now (and five in the video below). But, whatever:

Friday, August 01, 2008

No-Drill Policy Of Democrats Harms Planet

Below is a spot-on editorial by Charles Krauthammer decrying the "Save the Planet" rhetoric repeated mindlessly by Pelosi and the Democrats. If they would look at the issues holistically and see the sum of the damage done by their policies, the Dems should actually support indigenous drilling.

No-Drill Policy Of Democrats Harms Planet

By CHARLES KRAUTHAMMER | Posted Thursday, July 31, 2008 4:30 PM PT

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi opposes lifting the moratorium on drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge and on the Outer Continental Shelf. She won't even allow it to come to a vote.

With $4 gas having massively shifted public opinion in favor of domestic production, she wants to protect her Democratic members from having to cast an anti-drilling election-year vote.

Moreover, given the public mood, she might even lose. This cannot be permitted. Why? Because as she explained to Politico: "I'm trying to save the planet; I'm trying to save the planet."

A lovely sentiment. But has Pelosi actually thought through the moratorium's actual effects on the planet?

Consider: 25 years ago, nearly 60% of U.S. petroleum was produced domestically. Today it's 25%. From its peak in 1970, U.S. production has declined a staggering 47%. The world consumes 86 million barrels a day; the United States, roughly 20 million. We need the stuff to run our cars and planes and economy. Where does it come from?

Places like Nigeria, where chronic corruption, environmental neglect and resulting unrest and instability lead to pipeline explosions, oil spills and illegal siphoning by the poverty-stricken population — which leads to more spills and explosions.

Just this week, two Royal Dutch Shell pipelines had to be shut down because bombings by local militants were causing leaks into the ground.

Compare the Niger Delta with the Gulf of Mexico, where deep-sea U.S. oil rigs withstood Hurricanes Katrina and Rita without a single undersea well suffering a significant spill.

The United States has the highest technology to ensure the safest drilling. Today, directional drilling — essentially drilling down, then sideways — allows access to oil that in 1970 would have required a surface footprint more than three times as large.

Additionally, the U.S. has one of the most extensive and least-corrupt regulatory systems on the planet.

Does Pelosi imagine that with so much of America declared off-limits, the planet is less injured as drilling shifts to Kazakhstan and Venezuela and Equatorial Guinea? That Russia will be more environmentally scrupulous than we in drilling in its Arctic?

The net environmental effect of Pelosi's no-drilling willfulness is negative. Outsourcing U.S. oil production does nothing to lessen worldwide environmental despoliation. It simply exports it to more corrupt, less efficient, more unstable parts of the world — thereby increasing net planetary damage.

Raped Rain Forests

Democrats want no oil from the American OCS or ANWR. But of course they do want more oil. From OPEC. From where Americans don't vote. From places Democratic legislators can't see.

On May 13, Sen. Chuck Schumer — deeply committed to saving just those pieces of the planet that might have huge reserves of American oil — demanded that the Saudis increase production by a million barrels a day. It doesn't occur to him that by eschewing the slightest disturbance of the mating habits of the Arctic caribou, he is calling for the further exploitation of the pristine deserts of Arabia. In the name of the planet, mind you.

The other panacea, yesterday's rage, is biofuels: We can't drill our way out of the crisis, it seems, but we can greenly grow our way out. By now, however, it is blindingly obvious even to Democrats that biofuels are a devastating force for environmental degradation. It has led to the rape of "lungs of the world" rain forests in Indonesia and Brazil, as huge tracts have been destroyed to make room for palm oil and sugar plantations.

Here in the U.S., one of every three ears of corn is stuffed into a gas tank (by way of ethanol), causing not just food shortages abroad and high prices at home, but intensive increases in farming with all of the attendant environmental problems (soil erosion, insecticide pollution, water consumption, etc.).

This to prevent drilling on an area in the Arctic one-sixth the size of Dulles Airport that leaves untouched a refuge one-third the size of Britain.

There are a dizzying number of economic and national security arguments for drilling at home: a $700 billion oil balance-of-payment deficit; a gas tax (equivalent) levied on the paychecks of American workers and poured into the treasuries of enemy and terror-supporting regimes; growing dependence on unstable states of the Persian Gulf and Caspian basin.

Pelosi and the Democrats stand athwart shouting: We don't care. We come to save the planet!

They seem blissfully unaware that the argument for their drill-there-not-here policy collapses on its own environmental terms.