Take it from one who knows

I saw something rare today:  a car that not only had a discrete McCain/Palin bumpersticker, but that also had a big bumper sticker saying “Freedom vs. Socialism – November 4, 2008.

As I was standing there admiring this sight, the car’s owner hove into view.  I stopped her politely and said, “I have to tell you, I really love your bumper sticker.”

She smiled at me and, in a thick Russian accent, replied, “I don’t hear that often.”

I bet she doesn’t, but her accent explains precisely why the charge that Obama is a socialist resonates so strongly with her.  She knows socialism up close and personal, and she knows that a move in that direction is a simultaneous move away from a free society.

Why the Times’ latest excuse isn’t credible

I really like James Taranto, who writes at the WSJ’s Opinion Journal.  I think he’s wise and witty, but even the wisest and wittiest can sometimes be wrong — as I think he is this time.

Taranto takes exception to Charles Johnson’s belief that the LA Times is lying when it says that it can’t release the Khalidi/Obama videotape because it made a promise to its source not to do so.  Andrew McCarthy thinks the same, but Taranto’s not buying.  This is because Taranto thinks the LA Times’ excuse sounds valid.  I think he misses the larger point.  I actually sat down and wrote Taranto a letter:

You express surprise that Charles Johnson, among others, finds incredible the LA Times latest excuse for refusing to release the Khalidi/Obama videotape.  To your mind, the excuse is a valid one, because you can readily envision realistic scenarios that would support this kind of excuse.  You’re correct.

However, Johnson’s incredulity (and mine, I might add) arises, not because of the actual merits of the excuse, but because of the fact that it took the Times three or four tries to come up with this one.  In other words, it’s probably not the truth because, had it been the truth, the Times would have advanced it immediately.  Instead, the Times spun like crazy until it finally came up with something that would satisfy media professionals.

In this regard, I should say that the Times‘ behavior is strongly reminiscent of Jon Lovitz’s famous pathological liar, a fixture of late-1980s Saturday Night television.  You remember him:  lie, after lie, after lie, until he finally hit upon one that sounded credible, at which point he’d rub his hands together and say, “Yeah, that’s the ticket.”  I think you just bought the Times’ ticket on this one.

Now we’re selfish

You’ve probably heard that Obama called anti-socialists “selfish.” For more on the significance of that comment,this link is a good one, because it makes the point that, in Obamaland, you’re selfish if you don’t let the government take and distribute your hard earned cash. It’s useful to compare this with statistics showing that conservatives are much more generous when it comes to giving to charities, and the fact that both Biden and Obama have been exceptionally, ah, let’s say “careful” when it comes to giving their own wealth to charity.

An interesting view from the inside?

Frankly, I don’t know if this is the real deal or not, but if it is real, it’s certainly worth serious consideration, both before and after the election.  It purports to come an anonymous Obama staffer, who started as a Hillary supporter.  She writes about her disillusionment with the Obama campaign, offering facts to support her contention that it’s all a very dangerous shell game.  Some excerpts:

Biden, by the way, has been a disaster inside the campaign. Everyone cringes whenever he gives an interview, and he creates so many headaches as the campaign has to stay on their toes in order to disseminate information and spin whatever it was he was trying to say.

2 – Sarah Palin. Don’t believe what the media is telling you about how horrible a choice she was. Again, our internal polling suggest that though she has had a minimal impact on pulling disaffected Hillary Democrats to McCain, she has done wonders in mobilizing the base for McCain. Another thing – we were completely taken by surprise with her pick. In my capacity in the research department, I looked into the backgrounds of Leiberman, Romney, Pawlenty and Ridge, and prepared briefs. I don’t mind bragging that we had pretty good stuff on all of them. With Leiberman, the plan was to paint him as an erratic old-timer who didn’t have a clue as to what he was doing (pretty much a clone of McCain). In Romney, we had him pegged as an evil capitalist who cut jobs. Pawlenty was going to get the “Quayle treatment”, or more precisely: a pretty face, with no valid experience. Tom Ridge was going to be used to provide a direct link from McCain to Bush. As you can see, we were quite enamored of all of them. Then the unexpected happened – Sarah Palin. We had no clue as to how to handle her, and bungled it from the start. Though through our misinformation networks, we have successfully taken some of the shine off. But let there be no doubt. She remains a major obstacle. She has singlehanded solidified “soft” Republican support, mobilized the McCain ground game, and has even had some appeal to independents and Hillary voters. This is what our internal polling confirms.

3 – Obama’s radical connections. Standards operating procedure has been to cry “racism” whenever one of these has been brought up. We even have a detailed strategy ready to go should McCain ever bring Rev. Wright up. Though by themselves they are of minimal worth, taken together, Rev. Wright, Bill Ayers, Father Pfelger, and now, Rashid Khalili, are exactly what the campaign does not need. The more focus on them, the more this election becomes a referendum on Obama. The campaign strategy from the very beginning was to make this election a referendum on Bush. Strategists have been banging their head on how successfully McCain has distanced himself from Bush. This has worked, and right now the tide is in his favor. People are taking a new look at Barack Obama, and our experience when this happens tells us this is not good news at all. When they take a look at him, one or more of these names are bound to be brought up. McCain has wisely not harped on this in recent weeks and let voters decide for themselves. This was a trap we set for him, and he never fully took the bait. Senator Obama openly dared him to bring up Ayers. This was not due to machismo on the part of Obama, but actually due to campaign strategy. Though McCain’s reference to Ayers fell flat in the last debate, people in the Obama campaign were actually disappointed that he didn’t follow through on it more and getting into it. Our focus groups found this out: When McCain brings these connections up, voters are turned off to him. They’d rather take this into consideration themselves, and when this happens, our numbers begin to tank.

Read it all.  Send it to friends.  If they’re conservative, they’ll believe it.  If they’re liberal, they’ll say it’s all a lie and that it’s probably disinformation planted by Karl Rove.

Morning reads *UPDATED*

This morning’s reads contain a lot of National Review Online articles.  It just happened that way:

Rea Hederman explains how the Obama campaign attributed a false quotation to her for an ad.  I bet a lot of people watched the ad.  I wonder how many will catch the correction.

Mona Charen gives ten extremely good reason for voting for John McCain.  This is nice to read if you’re one of those people who is voting against Obama.  It will make you feel better about yourself.

Thomas Sowell explains why Obama, Powell and their followers are wrong when they want to vote for Obama because they think it will help America win some world popularity contest.

It’s been said before, but Victor Davis Hanson always says these things so well.  (Oh, and what’s been said before and what Hanson says again is that this election witnessed the end of an honest media as we know it.)

And if you don’t believe Hanson, John Perazzo has the numbers to back him up on the media bias point.

Michelle Malkin exposes (and, yes, it does need to be exposed again, and again, and again) the gross hypocrisy of those organizations such as the ACLU that purport to protect Americans from government overreach.  Apparently the mandate has shifted so that they only protect terrorists from government police investigations.  People like Joe the Plumber — and you and me — are on our own.  And if you’re a reporter, you’re sitting by yourself on the tarmac, while the others fly by in the Obama plane.

Early on, polling showed the California’s Proposition 8 — the one that wants to confine marriage to a relationship between one man and one woman — was failing.  As the election nears, that gap is closing.

The press goes hysterical when someone, anyone, who once had an R near his or her name announces that he or she is supporting Obama.  Crickets chirp, however, when some, say someone close to Obama, perhaps a speech writer, jumps off that bandwagon and heads for McCain land.  “All the news that’s fit to print” should read:  “All the news that helps our chosen candidate, Barack Hussein [but he's not Muslim] the Messiah Obama.”

Lastly, Pierre Legrand debunks a debunker, explaining why an Obama apologist got it wrong.

UPDATE:  Speaking of Prop. 8, Okie on the Lam created this charming and interesting video:

Hat tip:  Cheat-Seeking Missiles

Must see TV

If it comes around again on Turner Classic Movies (and you know it will), you must watch The Scarlet Pimpernel.  Not only is it a delightful action romance, it is truly a tour de force for Leslie Howard.  He plays the lead character, Sir Percy Blakeney, whose appearance as the most idiotic fop in England disguises the razor sharp mind and lion-like courage that makes him the Scarlet Pimpernel, heroic rescuer of French aristocrats headed for the guillotine.  Not only is Howard perfect, it’s also a lovely movie, with the most dazzling costumes and real sense of the period.

And now for something completely different….

You all remember how, at the MTV awards, Russell Brand, a British comedian who was completely unknown to Americans went on a wild anti-Bush rant, with a few jabs at religious people, as well.  If you don’t recall, let me refresh your recollection:

If his aim was to be noticed by America, Russell Brand more than achieved his goal last night as he ranted that President Bush was a “retarded cowboy” while hosting the MTV awards.

The British comedian, who is a virtual unknown in America, left the crème of the music world stunned as he championed Barack Obama, ran down George Bush and made lewd jokes about the Christian pop band Jonas Brothers.

I’m happy to report that Russell Brand has finally gone just a wee bit too far, and he’s taken a chunk of the BBC down with him.  Here’s the story:

Jonathan Ross is a BBC radio host who pulls in a seven figure a year (in pounds) annual salary.  He had Russell Brand as a guest on his pre-recorded radio show.  Brand was also on the BBC pay roll, earning something in the low six figures (in pounds) annually.

These two boys arranged to have an interview with Andrew Sachs.  For those of you who are not afficienados of classic British comedy from the 1970s, this name may not mean anything to you.  But for anyone who has ever watched Fawlty Towers, you’ll instantly connect him with Manuel, the charmingly incompetent Spanish waiter, who never mastered English.

Andrew Sachs (who escaped Nazi Germany in 1938) is now a 78 year old man and, significantly for this story, a grandfather.  His granddaughter, who is a Goth performer, once dated Russell Brand.

Brand and Ross thought it would be too, too funny, as a sort of preparation for the Sachs interview, to call and leave a series of increasingly obscene messages on Sachs’ answering machine.  The BBC thought the messages were pretty damned funny, and allowed this pre-recorded show to be aired.  Here’s a taste of Brand’s and Ross’ humor:

Brand: I said Andrew Sachs! Look Andrew Sachs I have got respect for you and your lineage and your progeny, never let that be questioned.

Ross: Don’t hint.

Brand: I weren’t hinting! Why did that come across as a hint?

Ross: Because you know what you did.

Brand: That wasn’t a hint.

Ross: He f***ed your granddaughter! [laughter in the studio]

[snip]

Brand: [singing] I’d like to apologise for the terrible attacks, Andrew Sachs, I would like to show contrition to the max, Andrew Sachs. I would like to create world peace, between the yellow, white and blacks, Andrew Sachs, Andrew Sachs. I said something I didn’t have oughta, like I had sex with your granddaughter. But it was consensual and she wasn’t menstrual, it was consensual lovely sex. It was full of respect I sent her a text, I’ve asked her to marry me, Andrew Sachs.

Ross: This has made it worse, you have trivialised the whole incident.

Brand: Hang up, hang up! It’s trivialised it!

[snip]

Ross: No. I’ve got a better idea  –  let’s both put on striped shirts and break into his house, merely to delete the answerphone message  –  let’s see what happens. What could go wrong?

Brand: Nothing. Literally, nothing could go wrong as we smash our way into Andrew Sachs’s house.

Ross: No. No, we break in like cat burglars tonight when he’s in bed.

Brand: ‘Yes, while he sleeps.

Ross: …and go up to the pillow to kiss him to say sorry.
Brand: Kiss him up and down his body apologising, drench him in gin.

Ross: M********e him to say sorry. Make him feel better.

(bursts out laughing)

Brand: ‘So sorry, Andrew Sachs, this will make up for it. Go on finish it, into the palm of my hand. Good girl for uncle daddy, good girl for uncle daddy. (Laughs) There we go, what a show it’s been.

Ross: What’s that noise I hear? Ah, it’s a Sony Award coming your way.

Although Ross, Brand and the BBC standards department clearly thought this was good-humored fun for all, the British public, showing that all decency hasn’t been fully leeched away by a politically correct mindset that forces the abandonment of moral standards, went ballistic.  The BBC was deluged with more than 27,000 angry calls, letters and emails.  The Daily Mail (my favorite British rag) received over 5,500 emails on the subject, with more than 4,000 of them registering complaints.  You can get a taste of that here.

Even the BBC can’t withstand that kind of pressure (and that is a good reminder for those of us contemplating the coming “bipartisan” era of a completely Democratic government that may not be subject to any Republican braking mechanisms, such as filibusters.)  Heads have begun rolling:  Russell Brand has resigned, Jonathan Ross’s job is on the line (and the complaints against him are in full flood), and the BBC has been publicly exposed (again) as a moral vacuum.

But even that’s not the worst of it.  The worst of it is that Sachs’ granddaughter has delivered the ultimate insult:

In a frank interview with The Sun, Miss Baillie described how Brand was a flop in the bedroom, despite his reputation as a lothario.

Revealing that she slept with the star after their ‘lavish’ first date, she said: ‘ I’m not going to go into detail about what happened there although I’m obviously no shrinking violet.

‘I will only say he’s a disappointment in the bedroom considering he has had so much practice’.

She also said that Brand was ‘clean freak’ and would ask her to use mouthwash before she kissed him.

The details of the affair will heap more public humiliation on Brand, who has always been proud of his ladies’ man image.

Remember, folks:  In the entertainment world, you can do drugs (as Brand did), you can get arrested, you can solicit sex from prostitutes, you can insult America, you can have a completely psychotic episode — and you will be the recipient of tearful support from everyone, including Oprah.  But you can’t be bad in bed!  In an industry completely founded on sexuality, the discovery that Brand is a failure in the bedroom is the ultimate ignominy.  He’s through, folks.