Kidnapped by Japan - How A Mother's Dying Wish Led To A Father's Unimaginable Loss

Read the story here

Friday, June 20, 2008

Friday Zen

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McCain Behind Closed Doors: I'm Still For Comprehensive Immigration Reform!

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Allahpundit over at Hot Air reports (with some info coming from Michelle Malkin) this depressing but not surprising information on John McCain's carefully screened meeting last night with Chicago area Latinos:

Exercise caution. There’s only one source, she’s a member of the Minutemen and thus perhaps inclined to look too skeptically at what Maverick says on this subject, and this wouldn’t be the first time in the past few days where the media’s exaggerated something he said at a town hall. Even so, we got a bunch of e-mails this morning about the AP wire report on last night’s “private meeting” in Chicago showcasing this quote from attendee Rosanna Pulido:

“He’s one John McCain in front of white Republicans. And he’s a different John McCain in front of Hispanics,” complained Rosanna Pulido, a Hispanic and conservative Republican who attended the meeting.

Pulido, who heads the Illinois Minuteman Project, which advocates for restrictive immigration laws, said she thought McCain was “pandering to the crowd” by emphasizing immigration reform in his 15-minute speech.

Jake Tapper must have gotten some e-mails too because he called her this morning to follow-up. Quote:

[S]he went to the meeting, a room full of 150-200 people. “Sure enough,” Pulido says, “his mantra at the meeting was comprehensive immigration reform.’ And there were cheers and applause whenever he mentioned comprehensive immigration reform.”

“Then he said, ‘I bet some of you don’t know this — did you know Spanish was spoken in Arizona before English?’ And the crowd roared. I was appalled,” Pulido said. “He was pandering to these people — that’s what they wanted to hear.”…

“He was telling one group of people one thing and the Hispanics another,” says Pulido. “I’m a conservative and I think he’s throwing conservatives under the bus.”…

As Allahpundit correctly notes, this isn't the best sourced story out there and its veracity should be regarded somewhat skeptically. Heightening one's skepticism is this quote:
"This was not a secret meeting," said Rafael Rivadeneira, a vice chairman of the Republican National Hispanic Assembly of Illinois, who was among more than 150 Chicago-area Hispanic leaders who attended. "There was nothing he said that they wouldn't want people to hear."

What makes this story so troubling is how easy it is to believe. McCain had been building some degree of goodwill among conservatives over the past few days with his evolving-in-the-right-right-direction energy policies but it is very much like him to bristle at conservative support and turn around and bite us in the ass as his version of "You're welcome." We can only hope that the story is mis-characterizing the meeting and that McCain is smart enough to realize that roundly kicking your core constituents every now and then is not the smartest road to the White House. The lack of trust conservatives have over his position on illegal immigration is something he needs to overcome not to reinforce.

The Economy Stinks Because They Say It Does.

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Hat tip to Michael Novak over on The Corner for this story detailing how the media distorts its reporting of news about the economy based on which party is in the White House.

Why has so much of the media accepted the deep recession story when the data is so mixed? The most plausible explanation is that many are motivated by political bias.

Economist John Lott and I studied thousands of economic news stories written over the past 30 years or so, and found that coverage tended to be far more negative when there was a Republican in the White House as there is now.

The bias has an easy explanation. Yale University economist Ray Fair has shown that a weak economy hurts the incumbent party. If a Democratic-leaning press can convince everyone that the economy is in recession, then it can influence the election.

Our analysis indicates that the treatment of the economy would be much different if there were a Democrat in the White House today. If so, then the headline of each bad piece of news would be, more accurately, "Economy Hovering Above Recession."

But instead of that, we get doom and gloom.

The politically motivated pessimism, like the computer virus, can have real consequences. While the economic data has been mediocre, consumer sentiment, as measured by the Conference Board, has been driven by the negative drumbeat to its lowest in 16 years. Negative sentiment might well slow spending enough to give us a textbook recession in the second half of the year.

But another possibility lurks behind the numbers. The Federal Reserve and Congress have delivered a ton of economic stimulus, and that stimulus is set to juice up an economy that has been weak, but not terrible. If everything goes according to plan, the economy will grow faster in the second half of the year, and a recession will have been avoided.

If we follow that path, then you can bet that the media won't admit it until Nov. 5.

Even in years when the msm is not as completely enamoured of the Democratic nominee as they are with Barack Obama, their reporting of the performance of the economy remains skewed. Is it any wonder then that this year, in which the economy is weak, but demonstrably not in a recession the msm rarely give us insights like the following:
Over the past two quarters, the annualized growth rate was about 0.7 percent, almost double the growth rate of the shallowest recession on record.

Consumption has been holding up as well. Annualized real consumption growth over the first two quarters of a postwar recession is 0.2 percent. The maximum annualized growth rate over the first two quarters was 2.8 percent, posted during the 1969-70 recession. The minimum growth rate over the same time frame was negative 4.7 percent, which was posted during the recession of 1980.

The annualized growth rate over the past two quarters has been 0.8 percent, not the best on record, but roughly four times higher than the typical post-World War II recession.

A pessimist might argue that the jobs data has been terrible this time, right?

Think again.

Job Losses

The average change in non-farm employment during the first six months of a postwar recession is negative 387,000. The maximum employment loss was slightly more than 1 million during the recession of 1948-49. In the recession of 1973-74, employment actually rose 690,000. That's a wacky number for a variety of reasons. If we exclude it from the calculations, then the average post-war recession began with a drop of 506,000 jobs.

The employment loss since December 2007 has been 324,000 jobs, way below that average.

Barack Obama is spending a good deal of his efforts running against the "Bush economy" as if it were almost as awful as Reaganomics (a term that fell out of favor with the press when Reagan's economic policies actually kicked in and started to work) but in fact the economy continues to grow, even now, albeit slowly. Don't expect the media to correct him anytime soon.

Has McCain Found His Issue?

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John McCain's task in this election is a daunting one. Some of the impediments he faces are:

  1. The fact his party is in extreme disfavor with the public

  2. He is of the party of an unpopular President finishing his second term leaving a struggling economy

  3. He will be facing an opponent the press loves

  4. He will be facing a much better funded opponent

  5. His base is unenthusiastic about his candidacy

  6. He's old

  7. Etc

But he does have a possible ace up his sleeve if he's willing to use it and there seem to be more signs every day that he just might be. Yesterday came this story announcing that he called for:

...the construction of 45 new nuclear reactors by 2030 and pledged $2 billion a year in federal funds "to make clean coal a reality," measures designed to reduce dependence on foreign oil.

In a third straight day of campaigning devoted to the energy issue, the Republican presidential nominee-in-waiting also said the only time Democratic rival Barack Obama voted for a tax cut was for a "break for the oil companies."

McCain said the 104 nuclear reactors currently operating around the country produce about 20 percent of the nation's annual electricity needs.

"Every year, these reactors alone spare the atmosphere from the equivalent of nearly all auto emissions in America. Yet for all these benefits, we have not broken ground on a single nuclear plant in over thirty years," he said. "And our manufacturing base to even construct these plants is almost gone."

Coupled with his recent announcement of being in favor of additional offshore drilling McCain is starting to look serious about an issue that is top of mind for a large segment of the population. According to a recent CBS poll Gas/Heating oil is second only to Economy/Jobs as the most important problem facing this country today (and an argument can be made that energy and the economy are really part of the same issue).

The advantages of taking this pro-active, pro-American initiative line are numerous.

  1. It isn't pie in the sky. It will work to bring energy prices down. As soon as the market understands that more oil will be coming online even if it will be some years down the road the price of oil will begin to drop. And a belief that more nuclear power will be added to America's energy mix will have the same effect.

2. Barack Obama can't mimic McCain. As this story points out:

A recent report by the Interior Department shows that there are about 139 billion barrels of undiscovered oil on U.S. territory, onshore and offshore combined, much of it restricted from extraction because of environmental regulations. Further, indications are that Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) does not support drilling for that oil and would not take steps to do so if elected president.

On Monday, President Bush called on Congress to allow the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) and the Continental Shelf to be opened to domestic oil drilling -- something that would "help us through this difficult period" of $4 per gallon gasoline, he said.

Since entering the Senate, however, Obama has co-sponsored at least 100 pieces of legislation supported by environmentalists, including measures against further domestic oil drilling. He has voted against drilling in ANWR and against an oil leasing program also set for ANWR.

Obama explained why he opposed domestic oil drilling in his bestselling book, "The Audacity of Hope."

"We cannot drill our way out of the problem," Obama wrote, adding, "over the last 30 years, countries like Brazil have used a mix of regulation and direct government investment to develop a bio-fuel industry; 70 percent of its new vehicles run on sugar-based ethanol."

In a Sept. 2005 speech in Indianapolis, Obama further stated his opposition to expanded oil drilling.

"We could open up every square inch of America to drilling and we still wouldn't even make a dent in our oil dependency," he said. "We could open up ANWR today, and at its peak, which would be more than a decade from now, it would give us enough oil to take care of our transportation needs for about a month. Clearly, this is not a solution."

It isn't merely that he's made statements opposing drilling in the past - God knows that violating his word is not a major concern for Obama as his violating his previous policy on public financing of his campaign shows) but he can't afford to alienate the Environmental extremists who have been major supporters. Yesterday the Sierra Club endorsed Obama and most other environmental groups are likely to do the same. He won't risk their ire. So as McCain's position becomes better known and gains him some traction, Obama is stuck making excuses.

Also if McCain would finally reevaluate his position on drilling in ANWR, a place which he still persists in believing is some sort of Grand Canyon-like pristine wonderland (Its not. Swamp in the summer; tundra in the winter. See photo below) he could go a long way in warming up those conservatives who remain hostile to him, a significant portion of whom may choose to "sit this one out" unless McCain does something to make them happy. ANWR may just be that warm bath they're looking for.

John McCain is not going to have an easy time winning this election but a full-bore push to cut energy prices by making the US more independent of Arab oil could go a long way in accomplishing that end.

Blogs For John McCain is encourage as well

Just Average American comments

Ed Morrissey at Hot Air also notes the opportunity for McCain

The Opinion Blog notes Charles Krauthammer's column on this issue

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Thursday Zen

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Drill, Dammit, Drill

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Amazingly it looks like the Republicans might actually be getting smart on the issue of drilling for domestic oil. Yesterday President Bush came out in support of ...

...John McCain’s plan to lift the ban on fresh oil drilling off the US coast and accused Democrats of contributing to record fuel prices by restricting domestic production.

Mr Bush called on the Democratic-controlled Congress to lift the moratorium that has limited access to offshore oil and gas reserves for more than two decades.

His intervention came a day after Mr McCain, the Republican presidential candidate, made the same proposal in a shift from his previous support for the ban.

Mr Bush said about 18bn barrels of oil were believed to exist in the 80 per cent of US coastal waters that are off-limits to drilling – enough to match current US production for 10 years.

The Republicans have made their push for increased domestic oil production a key policy ahead of November’s presidential poll amid mounting public anger at soaring petrol prices.

McCain's move towards opening up more domestic drilling is a move in the right direction on what will probably be one of main issues in this campaign season and one on which the Dems are vulnerable, beholden as they are to the Evironmental loons of the Left. McCain, of course, is still opposed to drilling in ANWR, for reasons that still seem as mysterious as Mona Lisa's smile but the fact that he positioning himself as he seems to be doing hopefully is hinting at a reevaluation of his current ANWR policy.

The American people, under the pressure of the current dramatic spike in oil prices are finding that their adherence to every whim of the Environmental movement has consequences that they might not be ready to live with. A recent poll shows that the Republicans might just have found an issue on which they and country are unambigiously in agreement:

A push by U.S. President George W. Bush and Republican presidential candidate Senator John McCain to lift a ban on U.S. offshore oil drilling could find plenty of support from Americans weary of rising energy costs, according to a Reuters/Zogby poll.

Some 59.6 percent of Americans surveyed in the poll released on Wednesday said they would favor government efforts to boost domestic drilling and refinery construction to cool record prices.

Roughly the same amount -- 59.3 percent -- said they would back efforts to reduce domestic demand in the world's biggest energy consumer through tougher fuel-efficiency standards, while 54.2 percent of respondents said they supported increased use of biofuels like ethanol to cut gasoline use.

With Iraq more clearly appearing to be a success with every passing day and an emphasis on doing what the American people want done re: oil drilling, maybe, just maybe this November won't be quite the debacle for Republicans it seemed certain to be just a short time ago.

But of course one should never discount their ability to screw things up, either.

Hot Air is encouraged as well

OverView Of Michelle's Big Adventure

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Barbara Walters, continuing her personal jihad against whatever might have remained of her credibility (and believe me, there wasn't much left) invited Michelle Obama to The View yesterday to, you know just shmooze with the girls; fist-bump, talk about pantyhose, how she manages to look so smashing, etc. But Babs wasn't going to shy away from the tough questions so she also blind-sided the lovely Michelle by asking her to try to figure out why those vile, hate-mongering Republicans are going to "you know...attack you...What do you think is causing this controversy and these attacks?" Of course Joy Behar and Whoopie Goldberg were on hand to help Michelle and show deep understanding of any nonsensical thing she might say.

Speaking of nonsensical and Whoopi, her observation that up until now Black women on TV have usually been toothless imbeciles actually seemed to raise the same question in Michelle's mind as it did in mine: 'Whoopi, what the Hell kind of racist crap are you saying?' Sort of off the top of my head the first Black women on TV who come to my mind are Oprah Winfrey, Condi Rice, Halle Berry and Vanessa Williams. Not a toothless grammatically-challenged simp among them.

But aside from that little lapse Babs and the chicks tried to make Michelle's little visit as unchallenging and uncontroversial for her as if it were scripted by the DNC. But despite the effort to make things as smooth as possible the political Michelle couldn't help but pop out now and then. In talking about the Obamessiah's Father's Day speech, in which he parroted Bill Cosby without the sincerity Michelle couldn't help but uncover her solution to just about everything: government. Even while couching her answer in terms of personal responsibility she lets us know that it is government's responsibility to make parents responsible. Of course if the Obama's were interested in Black fathers' sticking around and being real fathers they might not support the whole social and political structure that has destroyed the Black family. But the girls were certainly never going to go there.

By the time the half hour love-fest was over the Obama campaign had gotten exactly what it wanted, the reinvention of Michelle, the former perpetually po'ed dragon-lady into Michelle, the homebody, the America-lover, the chick who's just like you and all your girlfriends who just went to see the Sex and the City movie together (and yes, of course Michelle loves S and the C. Duh.).

I'll bet it got boffo ratings. Mission Accomplished. For Michelle, that is. For Babs, what's left? Participating in a wet T-shirt contest?

Michelle Malkin comments as well

Hot Air does as well

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Wednesday Zen

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Illegal Immigration Benign? Uh, Not really

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A hat tip to John Derbyshire at NRO for the astonishing video, above. Derb's source, Tuscon schoolteacher John A. Ward concludes a formal complaint to the Tucson Unified School District Governing Board with the following:

Although the video highlights one teacher at one school in TUSD, my experiences as a former teacher in the ethnic studies program in TUSD allow me to recognize the situation for the much wider problem that it is. TUSD should be forthcoming about its ethnic studies program. It has an obligation to the citizens of Tucson and the taxpayers of Arizona to do so. Ultimately, it is We the People who get to decide the nature of our public schools, not one powerful lobby within the District.

I wish I could carry the video around in my pocket and whip it out to every person who tells me illegals have no other motivation in coming here than to earn a buck and become Americanized.

A Tale Of Two More Endorsements

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The Wall Street Journal yesterday had a good piece on who some influential Iraqis support in the upcoming US Presidential election. The answer should come as no surprise:

"...I did sit down last week with four key provincial Iraqi leaders, Sunnis and Shiites, who -- without actually endorsing Mr. McCain -- made their views abundantly clear.

"The Iraqis are really fearful about some of the positions the Democratic Party has adopted," says Sheik Ahmed Abu Rishah. "If the Democrats win, they will be withdrawing their forces in a very rapid manner."

Mamoun Sami Rashid al-Alawi, the governor of Anbar province, agrees. "We have over a million casualties, thousands of houses destroyed," he says. "Are we going to tell [Iraqis] that the game is over? That the Americans are pulling out?"

Messrs. Abu Rishah and Awani, both Sunni, have possibly the toughest political jobs on the planet. Sheik Abu Rishah inherited the leadership of the Iraq Awakening movement when his brother was killed by al Qaeda last September. Gov. Awani's immediate predecessor was kidnapped and killed by insurgents, and he has survived more than a score of assassination attempts.

Today, the governor speaks with a mixture of confidence and foreboding. He insists al Qaeda has been vanquished. But, he adds, "Iraq is in a strategic location and has huge resources. There are a lot of eyes on Iraq." Later in the conversation, he makes his point more precisely. "Liberating Iraq is a very good dish. And now you are going to hand it over to Iran?"

A sense of incredulity hangs over the way Iraqis see the U.S. political debate taking shape. The governor tells a moving story about their visit to Walter Reed hospital, where they were surprised to find smiles on the faces of GIs who had lost limbs. "The smile is because they feel they have accomplished something for the American people."

But the Iraqis came away with a different impression in Chicago, where they had hoped to meet with Mr. Obama but ended up talking to a staff aide. "We noticed there was a concentration on the negatives," the governor recalls. "The Democrat kept saying that Americans have committed a lot of mistakes. Yes, that's true, but why don't you concentrate on what the Americans have achieved in Iraq?"

The Iraqis are even more incredulous about Mr. Obama's willingness to negotiate with Iran, which they see as a predatory regime. "Do you Americans forget what the Iranians did to your embassy?" asks the governor. "Don't you know that Ahmadinejad was one of [the hostage takers]?"

Only in these times would it not be surprising to see foreigners trying to talk up the accomplishments of the US to a disparaging US Presidential contender. The concluding sentences of the piece almost have to be read twice to be believed:
The administration and the Iraqi government are now wrangling over a status-of-forces agreement -- evidence that Iraq has reached a point where it can once again act like a sovereign nation. But the Iraqis leave no doubt that they want a deal, not least "so Iraq would be able to protect U.S. interests in the region," as Sheik Abu Rishah puts it. Having lost 4,100 Americans for Iraq, the Iraqis are offering to return the sacrifice -- assuming only that the alliance endures.

Throughout our interview, the men did not stop fingering their prayer beads, as if their future hinges on their ability to make their case to the American public. They're right: It does. Which is why Iraq, all but alone among the nations, will be praying for a McCain victory on the first Tuesday in November.

Now after reading the above the following video doesn't seem so odd:

A few days after this endorsement, Hamas did recant but one has to wonder if that had more to do with the recognition that their good words were hurting their candidate than any real reevaluation of Obama.

RedArizona also notes who is supporting McCain

The Goracle Endorses The Obamessiah

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Al Gore's endorsement of Barack Obama is an act of courage the likes of which has not been seen since the first liberal donned an AIDS ribbon. Courageously waiting until weeks after the Obamessiah secured the Democratic nomination Gore, looking overstuffed and sounding more and more like an unhealthy version of wrestling promoter, Vince McMahon took the stage to hector the American people and tell pretty lies about Saint Barack.

Seemingly eating a steady diet of his own press clippings Gore condescended to his audience by saying some calculatedly kind words about John McCain which he knew would garner boos so that he could play the role of "bigger man" before coming out against "experience" as a qualification for high office.

But our shared experience as a nation tells us otherwise. I remember when one prominent Republican wondered out loud whether the Democratic nominee, and “really is grown up enough to be president.” Another used the phrase, “naive and inexperienced.” Yet another said, “the United States cannot afford to risk the future of the free world with inexperience and immaturity in the White House.” Who are they talking about? Every single one of those quotations came from the campaign of 1960, when the Republicans attacked John Fitzgerald Kennedy for allegedly lacking the age and experience necessary to be president.

Apparently Gore forgot that one of the centerpieces of Democratic candidate, Mike Dukakis' 1988 campaign against George Bush was his "poor judgement" in picking as inexperienced a VP candidate as Dan Quayle (who, by the way was far more accomplished and experienced than is the Obamessiah). Hey, Al I know about Dan Quayle. He was a Vice President of mine and Barack Obama is no Dan Quayle and as I've said here, that is not a good thing.

Of course Al, showing even more audacity than he does girth had to, as always, go into his global warming rap despite this info which comes via Hot Air:

In the year since Al Gore took steps to make his home more energy-efficient, the former Vice President’s home energy use surged more than 10%, according to the Tennessee Center for Policy Research…
In the past year, Gore’s home burned through 213,210 kilowatt-hours (kWh) of electricity, enough to power 232 average American households for a month…

After the Tennessee Center for Policy Research exposed Gore’s massive home energy use [in February 2007], the former Vice President scurried to make his home more energy-efficient. Despite adding solar panels, installing a geothermal system, replacing existing light bulbs with more efficient models, and overhauling the home’s windows and ductwork, Gore now consumes more electricity than before the “green” overhaul.

Since taking steps to make his home more environmentally-friendly last June, Gore devours an average of 17,768 kWh per month – 1,638 kWh more energy per month than before the renovations – at a cost of $16,533. By comparison, the average American household consumes 11,040 kWh in an entire year, according to the Energy Information Administration.

Apparently the audacity of hope is not the only audacity Democrats like to display.

But even more odd than Obama's delight at the 12th hour endorsement by one of America's most peculiar, scolding frauds is the location chosen for the the pasty former VP to give it; Michigan, home of the US auto industry. This would hardly seem to be the most auspicious locale from which the planet's conscience should try to pump up the fortunes of the hallowed one. Simply put, Al Gore is not exactly a friend of cars. In his towering work of overstatement, Earth in the Balance Gore had this to say:

When we seek to artificially enhance our capacity to acquire what we need from the earth, we do so at the direct expense of the earth’s ability to provide naturally what we are seeking. We frequently ignore the impact of our technological alchemy on natural processes. When we manufacture millions of internal combustion engines and automate the conversion of oxygen to CO2, we interfere with the earth’s ability to cleanse itself of the impurities that are normally removed from the atmosphere.
Source: Earth in the Balance, page 207

While he likes to add how doing this is something of a cinch and would actually produce and not lose jobs I wonder how the average auto worker would react if they realized that the man who wrote the words above may well get a chance to act on those beliefs in an Obama presidency.

All in all, even in a campaign that seems more political satire than reality, Gore's endorsement spectacle managed to come off as, well, weird. What's next Barack; America-cursing clergy? Oh, wait. Never mind.

Sister Toldja note the fraud of the Goracle also

Barking Moonbat also takes note of the historic endorsement

Stop The ACLU also thinks the Goracle is a wee bit of a phony

Wake Up America thinks so, too

Moobattery also pays homage to the Goracle

So does Secular Apostate

Mike's America doesn't think much of the planet's conscience, either

Liberty Pundit is also amused by the Goracle's hypocrisy

Common Sense Political Thought notes it as well

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Stormy Weather

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Had a bit of a lightning storm in Northeastern CT where I live last night that kept me off the computer during the time I usually write so there probably won't be many (if any) posts today. Be back tomorrow.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Monday Zen

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Pet Chair!

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It was designed by a Dutch guy. I always tell you those damn Eurpeans are lazy...Of course it does look kinda cool and...NO! NO! I won't be buying one! I mean it. Really.

Tough Times

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My buddy Brian over at Liberty Pundit is having a bit of a tough time right now. He lives right near the mid-West flooding. While his home is safe, his job is under water and this is causing some understandable hardship. Any help would be appreciated.

WFB Should Have "Plastered" Him When He Had The Chance

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During a 1968 joint television appearance at the Democratic National Convention William F. Buckley turned to author/homosexual/lefty gasbag Gore Vidal, who had just called him a "crypto-Nazi, and uttered these now famous words "Now listen, you queer, you stop calling me a crypto-Nazi or I'll sock you in the goddamn face and you'll stay plastered." Sadly there was no follow-through and the execrable Vidal remained un-plastered. Buckley should have hit him.

In yesterday's NY Times Magazine Vidal was interviewed and had this to say about John McCain's years being held as a POW in Vietnam:
Reporter: And what about Mr. McCain?

Vidal: Disaster. Who started this rumor that he was a war hero? Where does that come from, aside from himself? About his suffering in the prison war camp?

Reporter: Everyone knows he was a prisoner of war in North Vietnam.

Vidal: That’s what he tells us.

As reprehensible as such suggestions are, they're really very much in keeping with Vidal's personality which, along with his native intellect, viperous nature and the joy he takes in condescending to everyone from kings to kooks made him something of an enfant terrible when young. Sadly the enfant terrible often morphs into the cranky nut-job as he ages and so it has been with Vidal.

Among some of his more intentionally provocative (never discount the use of the vicious bon mot to gain publicity) quotes are:

"When Ronald Reagan's career in show business came to an end, he was hired to impersonate, first, a California governor and then an American president who would reduce taxes for his employers, the Southern and Western New Rich, much of whose money came from the defence industries. There is nothing unusual about this arrangement. All recent presidents have had their price-tags."
Gore Vidal, Armageddon? (essay)

"Whenever a friend succeeds, a little something in me dies." (A little bit of self-revelation which actually explains much about him.)
Gore Vidal, "quoted in Sunday Times Magazine (London)", September 16, 1973

'We still don't know by whom we were struck that infamous Tuesday, or for what true purpose. But it is fairly plain to many civil libertarians that 9/11 put paid not only to much of our fragile Bill of Rights but also to our once-envied system of government which had taken a mortal blow the previous year when the Supreme Court did a little dance in 5/4 time and replaced a popularly elected President with the oil and gas Bush-Cheney junta.'
Gore Vidal - "The Enemy Within" essay

'The truth about Pearl Harbour is obscured to this day. But it has been much studied. 11 September, it is plain, is never going to be investigated if Bush has anything to say about it.'
Gore Vidal - "The Enemy Within" essay

Vidal had spent much of his dotage cultivating his unpleasant, factually dubious rhetoric but the charge against McCain, the facts of which he seems blithely unaware may hopefully hasten his retreat into irrelevance.

McCain's experiences as a POW are briefly summarized here by people far more credible than the conspiracy mongering Vidal.

Hat tip to Hot Air

Commentary Magazine also notes

Baldilocks Strikes Back!

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A respectful head nod to fellow blogger baldilocks for having the principles and guts to go after Black conservatives for going wobbly and potentially voting for the Left-wing extremist, Barack Obama. Baldilocks references this story which documents how some previously stalwart conservatives, people who know why liberalism is antithetical to the best interests of not just White people but Black people and people across the color spectrum, are placing color above the best interests of the nation.

Highlighted are such folks as former Congressman J.C. Watts and radio host Armstrong Williams. Retired General Colin Powell is also noted, although his "conservatism" on issues other than military have always been something of a question mark. Notably lacking in the story are such true-believers as Dr. Thomas Sowell, who has made it clear that Obama's policies, whatever his skin tone, make him utterly unacceptable as President and radio talk show host and all around brilliant guy Larry Elder who is also putting priniciple first.

Baldilocks, like Sowell and Elder puts principle over pride, even the understandable pride taken in the fact that a Black man is a serious contender for the highest office in the land.

Armstrong Williams, Rep. J.C. Watts, General Colin Powell, Senator Edward Brooke and, sadly, my friend Joseph C. Phillips may be falling into the trap which I have repeatedly described--one lined with pride and with fear: pride of race and fear that Obama is the last chance for a black president to be elected. (GOPAC chairman Michael Steele isn't going for the okey doke, however; but that may be only due to his position.)

People say that women have problems thinking objectively and strategically. Well, I'm seeing a whole group of men who are having that problem. Friends, you're letting the nearness of a dream's seeming fulfillment blind you to what will likely come after that ephemeral happiness is dissipated, after the novelty has worn off: the nightmare.

And guess who will get blamed for that short-sightedness? Not just you.

With 90+ percent of black Americans voting Democrat regardless of who the candidate is, it will be bad enough as it is. But I, for one, expect you, black conservative Republican men to have enough balls to stand on principle, not on your emotions. You've shown your testicular fortitude by being publicly conservative against a tide of Identity Politics. Don't start behaving like castrati now.

Stop thinking selfishly. We're not choosing a President of Black American Dream Fulfillment; we're choosing a President of the United States.

It has always been amazing to me that Blacks stick as faithfully to the Democratic Party as they do considering the monumental damage that party has done to them. Writer Bruce Bartlett chronicles that damage in his book Wrong on Race: The Democratic Party's Buried Past . And in this column he summarizes some of the Democratic sins:

Slavery is the greatest evil ever to beset black people in this country. In the decades leading up to the Civil War, there was intense political debate on what to do about it. The Republican Party was founded in 1854 for the express purpose of ending slavery. The Democratic Party, by contrast, defended it to the bitter end.

Just to show how far Democrats would go to defend slavery, it's worth remembering what happened to Sen. Charles Sumner, Republican of Massachusetts. After giving a speech denouncing slavery in 1856, he was viciously beaten by Rep. Preston Brooks, Democrat of South Carolina, for daring to question the right to own slaves. Being a coward, Brooks waited until the elderly Sumner was seated alone at his desk in the Senate and, without warning, struck him repeatedly with a cane. It took months for Sumner to recover.

In 1858, Sen. Stephen A. Douglas, Democrat of Illinois, debated Republican Abraham Lincoln on the question of slavery. Said Douglas during one of those debates: "For one, I am opposed to negro citizenship in any and every form. I believe this government was made on the white basis. I believe it was made by white men for the benefit of white men and their posterity forever, and I am in favor of confining citizenship to white men, men of European birth and descent, instead of conferring it upon negroes, Indians and other inferior races."

So prevalent were these views in the Democratic Party that Douglas was named its presidential candidate in 1860. Amazingly, Southerners actually viewed Douglas as being too moderate on the slavery issue and instead voted for Vice President John C. Breckinridge, a slave-owner who also ran as a Democrat, thus splitting the pro-slavery vote and allowing Lincoln to win.

After the war, the Democratic Party held a lock on the South for more than 100 years. All of the "Jim Crow" laws that prevented blacks from voting and kept them down were enacted by Democratic governors and Democratic legislatures. The Ku Klux Klan was virtually an auxiliary arm of the Democratic Party, and any black (or white) who threatened the party's domination was liable to be beaten or lynched. Democrats enacted the first gun-control laws in order to prevent blacks from defending themselves against Ku Klux Klan violence. Chain gangs were developed by Democrats to bring back de facto slave labor.

President Woodrow Wilson, the second Democrat to serve since the Civil War, reintroduced segregation throughout the federal government immediately upon taking office in 1913. Avowed racists such as Josephus Daniels and Albert Burleson were named Cabinet secretaries. Black leaders like W.E.B. DuBois, who had strongly supported Wilson, were bitterly disappointed, but shouldn't have been surprised. As president of Princeton University, Wilson refused to admit blacks and as governor of New Jersey ignored blacks' requests for state jobs, even though their votes had provided his margin of victory.

When Franklin D. Roosevelt had his first opportunity to name a member of the Supreme Court, he appointed a life member of the Ku Klux Klan, Sen. Hugo Black, Democrat of Alabama. In 1944, FDR chose as his vice president Harry Truman, who had joined the Ku Klux Klan in Kansas City in 1922. Throughout his presidency, Roosevelt resisted Republican efforts to pass a federal law against lynching, and he opposed integration of the armed forces.

Another Ku Klux Klan member, Sen. Robert C. Byrd, Democrat of West Virginia, personally filibustered the Civil Rights Act of 1964 for 14 straight hours to keep it from passage. He is still a member of the U.S. Senate today. As recently as the 1980s, Sen. Ernest Hollings, Democrat of South Carolina, publicly referred to blacks as "darkies" and Hispanics as "wetbacks" without suffering any punishment from his party.

In short, the historical record clearly shows that Democrats, not Republicans, have been the party of racism in this country.

Liberal policies tie Blacks to a new master, the government which, like any smart master keeps them dependent. Black conservatives know this. How they can now even think of signing up with Massa' because he may now have a Black face is something on which other conservatives should confront them.

Baldilocks does and she deserves credit for doing so.

Rhymes with Right also reviews The Dem's history re: race

D.C. Thornton also sees it right

So does Outside The Beltway