Best fact check ever — fact-checking Clint Eastwood

Ned Rice has taken it upon himself to fact-check Clint Eastwood’s RNC presentation.  This may well be the best and most honest fact-check every done.  Here’s just a sample, but you will be denying yourself one of life’s great pleasures if you don’t read the whole thing:

“You’re getting as bad as Biden. Of course we all know Biden is the intellect of the Democratic party.”

Joe Biden is not the intellect of the Democratic party, he is the Vice President of the United States.

“Kind of a grin with a body behind it.”

Joe Biden is clearly more than just a grin with a body behind it. He also has hair plugs.


“You are an — an ecological man.”

President Obama’s credentials as an “ecological man” are a matter of opinion. Critics note that since 2008 ocean levels have continued to rise and the Earth has yet to begin healing itself.


“We own this country.”

Even a cursory audit of the federal government’s books would suggest that China owns this country.

If you haven’t yet seen Eastwood’s shtick, you should.  Here:

My first take on it was “wow, this is kind of embarrassing.”  My second take was, “wow, this is kind of brilliant.”

Eastwood represents an elderly demographic (he’s 82).  That demographic theoretically consists of people the Obama Camp is claiming should hate Romney/Ryan.  But these same people like Eastwood . . . and he likes Romney/Ryan.  Also, when the talking heads attack Eastwood’s stuttering delivery, they’re generally attacking old folks who have slowed down, but definitely haven’t gotten stupid.

Eastwood is also one of the rare people who has the stature to poke fun at Obama.  I especially liked the “don’t tell me to shut up,” although I don’t know how well that will play ultimately.  As I point out periodically, Obama is not a nice man.  The media tells us he is, but he isn’t.  Now Eastwood also said he’s not nice.  The question is whether people believe Eastwood or the media.

The whole thing was pleasantly unscripted.  That was a little bizarre, but it was a refreshing change from the plasticity that characterizes conventions — especially, per the media, Republican conventions, which the media claims are made up entirely of racist Stepford men and women.

This will also get tons of play as people tune in to see Eastwood either be brilliant or make a fool of himself.  As to the latter, those people might come away having learned something that exists outside of their sterile little bubble.

The New York Times presents a fantasy history aimed at destroying Mitt Romney

A liberal friend sent me the editorial that the New York Times published practically within seconds of Mitt ending his speech, and asked me to try to defend Mitt from the editorial’s charges.  Nothing easier, says I.  Here’s a nice little Fisking of the New York Times’ alternate reality:

Mitt Romney wrapped the most important speech of his life, for Thursday night’s session of his convention, around an extraordinary reinvention of history — that his party rallied behind President Obama when he won in 2008, hoping that he would succeed. “That president was not the choice of our party,” he said. “We are a good and generous people who are united by so much more than divides us.”

The truth, rarely heard this week in Tampa, Fla., is that the Republicans charted a course of denial and obstruction from the day Mr. Obama was inaugurated, determined to deny him a second term by denying him any achievement, no matter the cost to the economy or American security — even if it meant holding the nation’s credit rating hostage to a narrow partisan agenda.

There are three good ways to dispose of this argument.  The first is to point out that Republicans were fighting a rear-guard action for the first two years of Obama’s term.  Obama owned Congress.  He had both Houses entirely under his party’s domination.  There was little to nothing that the Republicans could do to halt the Progressive political avalanche.

The second, which the New York Times conveniently forgets, is that, in 2010, the American people, at every opportunity, resoundingly rejected everything the Democrat sweep had tried to achieve.  They elected a Congress that was manifestly intended to be a bulwark against Obama’s policies.  Those Republicans who won after promising to oppose unleashed Progressivism would have been betraying their constituents had they done anything other than put on the brakes.

As I type those last words, I could hear the New York Times editors say “But the Republicans didn’t even try.  They just whined and fought, making it more difficult for Obama to corral his majority.”  And that leads to the third way of disposing of the argument that Republicans destroyed Obama’s “can’t we all get along?” moments.  The fact is that Obama had no “can’t we all get along” moments.  He went the other way:  “I won.”  Those are Obama’s words, and they weren’t uttered on the night of his victory party, when they would have been quite appropriate.  Instead, Obama refused even to consider Republican input:

After listening to a critique of the nearly nine hundred billion dollars stimulus package from Republican Congressional leaders, along with some helpful suggestions on how to fix it, President Barack Obama had a two word answer.

“I won,” President Obama said, indicating why the Republicans were not going to have any significant input into the bill. President Barack Obama was echoing sentiments by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi who had explained by the House Democratic leadership version of the stimulus bill was going to pass with or without Republicans.

That wasn’t the last time Barack Obama ignored people.  Aside from assigning others to do his dirty work, Obama swiftly acquired a reputation on both sides of the political aisle for being aloof.  He not only ignored Republicans, he wasn’t such a big fan of his own Democrats either:

Democrats in Congress say they have grown frustrated with President Obama’s lack of leadership in their ongoing battle with Republicans over spending cuts.


During the 14-month fight over Obama’s national health-care law – the most brutal political battle since the impeachment of Bill Clinton – the president opted not to fully engage until the final three weeks.

If the president declined to take the lead when it came to a multi-trillion-dollar law that will forever be associated with his name, why would Democrats assume that he would be so quick to saddle up for some penny ante squabbling over funding the government for six months?

But in Congress, Democrats, both moderate and liberal, continue to wonder aloud why Obama is not doing more to resolve the current impasse on spending. West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin said it the most tartly, when he charged last week that Obama had “failed to lead,” but we have heard similar refrains from many of his colleagues.

Barack Obama has proven repeatedly to be a “my way or the highway” kind of guy.  From practically his first month in office, when Republicans approached him in good faith, he explicitly rejected any attempts to compromise — a peculiar inflexibility that began to make sense when one sees that Obama eventually refused even to work with his own party.

Now, back to the New York Times:

Mr. Romney’s big speech, delivered in a treacly tone with a strange misty smile on his face suggesting he was always about to burst into tears, was of a piece with the rest of the convention. Republicans have offered precious little of substance but a lot of bromides (“A free world is a more peaceful world!”) meant to convey profundity and take passive-aggressive digs at President Obama. But no subjects have received less attention, or been treated with less honesty, than foreign affairs and national security — and Mr. Romney’s banal speech was no exception.

I’ll let the preceding paragraph pass.  It’s certainly mean-spirited, and it’s stupid insofar as it expects a convention to be anything more than a shiny-faced political party roll-out, but it’s too insubstantial to merit serious comment.

It’s easy to understand why the Republicans have steered clear of these areas. While President Obama is vulnerable on some domestic issues, the Republicans have no purchase on foreign and security policy. In a television interview on Wednesday, Condoleezza Rice, the former secretary of state, could not name an area in which Mr. Obama had failed on foreign policy.

That last sentence I quoted explains why I don’t like Condi.  It’s so easy to name multiple areas in which Obama has failed in foreign policy.  She wants to be Mrs. Nice Gal, however, and invariably ends up yielding to the bad actors.  She’s a lovely and principled woman, and a great pianist, but she really doesn’t have the intestinal fortitude to deal with direct challenges.  And boy, are there are lot of direct challenges to the claim that Obama has been successful at foreign policy:

Iran almost has a nuclear bomb, and Israel is almost certainly on the verge of launching a preempting attack, one that will destabilize the Middle East for who knows how long.  And that’s just the political view.  The human aspect is that there will be an enormous number of people, both Iranian and Israeli, dying.

Speaking of Israel, the Israeli/Palestinian situation has deteriorated more under Obama than it has under any president I can remember.  Under Bush and Condi, at least the two sides were talking.  Obama’s and Hillary’s ham-handed approach, by giving the most recalcitrant and blood-thirsty side enormous leeway, put all talks to an end.

Obama sat on his hands during Iran’s Green Revolution.  What could have destroyed the Shia fundamentalist government, one that has been in a state of declared war with the U.S. since 1979, ended up strengthening it, as the regime was able to identify and destroy its opposition, both in government halls and on the street.

Obama went the other way with the Arab Spring, fomenting the uprising against governments that were nominally friendly to us, and doing so when there was no democratic alternative.  The result has been that Egypt is entirely controlled by the Muslim extremists, while other Arab countries, ranging from Libya (where we gave air support to Islamic fundamentalists) to Tunisia (which has fallen to the fundamentalists) have fallen outside of America’s sway.

In Central and Eastern Europe, Obama snatched a defensive system away from our allies, and has assured Putin, who is no friend to America or democracy generally, that Obama will have more “flexibility” to give Putin what he wants in the next four years.

Pakistan has become increasingly hostile, in large part due to the fact that Obama has used more and more drones (of dubious legality).  I hold no brief for Pakistan, but Obama’s acts fall in an ugly shady area that treats our nominal allies as active enemies.

Afghanistan?  Allied deaths are increasing as the withdrawal deadline draws near.  This is not the type of rising fatalities that inevitably come with a surge tactic, since that is an approach that sees us deliberately engaging in more aggressive battles to destroy our enemy.  Instead, our enemies are harrying our retreat, with deadly consequences for the young men (and some young women) who have put their lives on the line for a callous and ungrateful Commander-in-Chief.

All of the above foreign policy failures are just off the top of my head.  I’m sure I could come up with more if I thought out it.

For decades, the Republicans were able to present themselves as the tougher party on foreign and military policy. Mr. Obama has robbed them of that by being aggressive on counterterrorism and by flexing military and diplomatic muscle repeatedly and effectively.

This is a hoot.  Barring speeding up the Iraq withdrawal (with terrible consequences for freedom loving Iraqis) and announcing an imminent Afghanistan withdrawal (with terrible consequences for American and Allied troops and for the Afghanis), Obama’s robust foreign policy has been either somewhat farcical or has been even more bloodthirsty than the Bush policy that the New York Times denounced so vociferously for eight years.

The farcical part was the bin Laden killing.  Yes, it’s great that bin Laden was killed.  I doubt that was a strategic victory, but it was a moral victory.  But from moment that bullet hit bin Laden’s head, Obama destroyed much of the target value by instantly announcing his triumph (destroying the utility of information seized at the bin Laden compound) and by putting his own SEALS at serious risk (with the result that too many have died).  We’ve also learned that Obama was barely able to issue the order, because he was afraid it might make him look bad if the 0peration failed.  (That is, national security concerns were not what guided his decision-making).

As for the rest, Obama broke his promise to close Gitmo, started a new war in Libya, and has a personal kill list in Pakistan.  Bush was excoriated for the first item on that list, and would have been re-pilloried for the second and third.  Indeed, that last one — the kill list — also suggests a president who has gone far beyond his limited expertise (law lecturer, community organizer, etc.), and gotten into the spirit of killing people.  I guess the New York Times subscribes to the theory that a foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds.

Mitt Romney has tried to sound tough, but it’s hard to see how he would act differently from Mr. Obama except in ways that are scary — like attacking Iran, or overspending on defense in ways that would not provide extra safety but would hurt the economy.

Mitt Romney has proven over his career that he is tough.  That matters because the mere fact that he is tough is itself a deterrent.  Obama is the weak underbelly of foreign policy, which means that bad actors feel free to act badly.  They build nuclear reactors, take over American-friendly governments, demand flexibility, etc.  In this, though, the Times is consistent.  One of the things that drove me away from the Left is its inability to understand that the most dangerous position to be in is one of weakness — or perceived weakness.  If you’re strong, or look strong, you’re more likely to be left alone.

And incidentally, when it comes to the economic costs of a military build-up, wasn’t it the New York Times’ own Paul Krugman who assured us that a military build-up is the best way to revitalize the economy?  He yearned for an alien attack from outer space, but I think it’s enough to look at the Leftists and Islamists around us, none of whom wish America well.

Before Thursday night, the big foreign policy speeches were delivered by Senator John McCain and Ms. Rice. Mr. McCain was specific on one thing: Mr. Obama’s plan to start pulling out of Afghanistan at the end of 2014 is too rapid. While he does not speak for Mr. Romney, his other ideas were unnerving, like suggesting that the United States should intervene in Syria.

Mr. Romney reportedly considered Ms. Rice as a running mate, and she seems to have real influence. But Ms. Rice is a reminder of the colossal errors and deceptions of George W. Bush’s administration. She was a central player in the decision to invade Iraq and the peddling of fantasies about weapons of mass destruction. She barely mentioned Iraq in her speech and spoke not at all about Afghanistan. She was particularly ludicrous when she talked about keeping America strong at home so it could be strong globally, since she was part of the team that fought two wars off the books and entirely on borrowed money.

Ms. Rice said the United States has lost its “exceptionalism,” but she never gave the slightest clue what she meant by that — a return to President Bush’s policy of preventive and unnecessary war?

Condi was a weak Secretary of State — but not for the reasons the Times claims.  She did nothing wrong in believing that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction, because those weapons either did exist (and are in Syria now) or because it was reasonable to believe in the nuclear Potemkin Village Hussein had built up around himself.  She’s also right, as I said in my above comment, that America is most safe, not when it’s going around bombing Libya, sending drones into Pakistan, and kowtowing to dictators, but when it is economically strong, with a strong defensive military.  Where she failed was in her inability to understand that the Palestinians do not want a peaceful two-state solution.  They want Jewish genocide, followed by total regional domination.  I can’t forgive her for her weakness in that area, even though I know it was weakness without malice.

She and Mr. McCain both invoked the idea of “peace through strength,” but one of the few concrete proposals Mr. Romney has made — spending 4 percent of G.D.P. on defense — would weaken the economy severely. Mr. McCain was not telling the truth when he said Mr. Obama wants to cut another $500 billion from military spending. That amount was imposed by the Republicans as part of the extortion they demanded to raise the debt ceiling.

In this case, extortion is a two-way street.  The New York Times seems to have forgotten that the Congressional Democrats have refused to submit any budgets.  It’s also forgotten that the budgets Obama submitted were so ludicrous even the Democrats refused to vote for them.  Obama is holding the entire economy hostage by insisting on a tax-and-spend approach that has seen Greece and Spain in flames, that promises to destroy the rest of Europe, and that hasn’t been so great for the United States either.  The Republicans were naive enough to believe that Obama wouldn’t destroy the whole economy, but they were wrong.

Ms. Rice said American allies need to know where the United States stands and that alliances are vitally important. But the truth is that Mr. Obama has repaired those alliances and restored allies’ confidence in America’s position after Mr. Bush and Ms. Rice spent years tearing them apart and ruining America’s reputation in the world.

See my foreign policy paragraph above.

The one alliance on which there is real debate between Mr. Romney and Mr. Obama is with Israel. But it is not, as Mr. Romney and his supporters want Americans to believe, about whether Mr. Obama is a supporter of Israel. Every modern president has been, including Mr. Obama. Apart from outsourcing his policy to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on settlements, it’s not clear what Mr. Romney would do differently.

Talk about boot-strapping:  The New York Times claims that, when it comes to supporting Israel, “Every modern president has been, including Mr. Obama” has has done so.  It has no basis for this statement other than its own fevered assurances. Obama’s affinity has been completely pro-Palestinian and anti-Israel.  He took such a harsh line with Israel that he made demands more extreme than even the Palestinians were making (think:  1967 border).

And what does the Times mean when it says that Obama “outsourced his policy to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on settlements”?  We know that Obama outsources most of his work (got to get in that golf), but the fact is that, when it came to settlements, he seemed to take a very personal role in trying to reverse decades of American and Israeli policy, and to humiliate Netanyahu to boot.  Obama ended up with egg on his face.  So if the New York Times meant by that statement that “Obama ended up with egg on his face when it came to dealing with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu,” I guess the statement is correct.  Otherwise, it makes no sense, and its throwaway quality at the end of the editorial shows that the editors know that it makes no sense.

Okay, that was easy.  If you have any fish packed tightly in a barrel, just hand me a gun.  I’m ready.

The Democrats’ focus on reproductive rights is ill-timed

You all have probably noticed what I’ve noticed:  while the Democrat party gets support from young voters, it doesn’t have many young politicians.  (And maybe the young voters would like to think about that one for a while.)  Obama, at 51, is one of the youngest of the Democrat leaders.  This may help explain why the upcoming Democrat convention has such a pathetic line-up.  There are no young lions exciting the crowd.  There are only ragged old Lefties — which may explain the Democrats’ decision to use the Akin kerfuffle to make their DNC about reproductive rights.

The Democrats are dragging out one woman after another to demand that the government pay for her, and everyone else’s, birth control, abortions and Gawd knows whatever other stuff they can put under the heading of reproductive rights.  This tactic differs mightily from the RNC approach, which repeated 1992′s successful (for Clinton) mantra:  “It’s the economy, stupid!”

The Republicans are the ones on the correct path.  Reproductive rights are a luxury for flush times.  During poor times, someone who hasn’t worked for two years (and might have been too depressed to have sexual relations in that same time), isn’t going to get excited about seeing government money poured into birth control pills and free sterilization.  It’s simply not a winning point outside the base.


Watcher’s Council winners to start September

Here they are:

Council Winners

Non-Council Winners

The Watcher’s Council has a lot of weasels in its sights this week

The political slow season is ending and the Watcher’s Council is keeping a close eye on escalating events around the world.  I’ve included this week’s submissions, below, and I suggest that you pair reading these posts with reading the newest Watcher’s Council forum, in which Council members discuss whether our political system has become completely dysfunctional:

Council Submissions

Honorable Mentions

Non-Council Submissions

Ryan’s intelligent speech

I liked this speech:

I’ve also enjoyed the frenzied reaction amongst my liberal Facebook friends, who swear that Ryan lied every time he opened his mouth. The biggest alleged lie was about the GM plan in Janesville, but facts show that the only ones who are lying about this are the desperate Dems.

My favorite lines:

Obamacare, as much as anything else, explains why a presidency that began with such anticipation now comes to such a disappointing close.

It began with a financial crisis; it ends with a job crisis.

It began with a housing crisis they alone didn’t cause; it ends with a housing crisis they didn’t correct.

It began with a perfect Triple-A credit rating for the United States; it ends with a downgraded America.

It all started off with stirring speeches, Greek columns, the thrill of something new. Now all that’s left is a presidency adrift, surviving on slogans that already seem tired, grasping at a moment that has already passed, like a ship trying to sail on yesterday’s wind.


President Obama was asked not long ago to reflect on any mistakes he might have made. He said, well, “I haven’t communicated enough.” He said his job is to “tell a story to the American people” – as if that’s the whole problem here? He needs to talk more, and we need to be better listeners?

Ladies and gentlemen, these past four years we have suffered no shortage of words in the White House. What’s missing is leadership in the White House. And the story that Barack Obama does tell, forever shifting blame to the last administration, is getting old. The man assumed office almost four years ago – isn’t it about time he assumed responsibility?


Behind every small business, there’s a story worth knowing. All the corner shops in our towns and cities, the restaurants, cleaners, gyms, hair salons, hardware stores – these didn’t come out of nowhere. A lot of heart goes into each one. And if small businesspeople say they made it on their own, all they are saying is that nobody else worked seven days a week in their place. Nobody showed up in their place to open the door at five in the morning. Nobody did their thinking, and worrying, and sweating for them. After all that work, and in a bad economy, it sure doesn’t help to hear from their president that government gets the credit. What they deserve to hear is the truth: Yes, you did build that.


President Obama is the kind of politician who puts promises on the record, and then calls that the record. But we are four years into this presidency. The issue is not the economy as Barack Obama inherited it, not the economy as he envisions it, but this economy as we are living it.

College graduates should not have to live out their 20s in their childhood bedrooms, staring up at fading Obama posters and wondering when they can move out and get going with life. Everyone who feels stuck in the Obama economy is right to focus on the here and now. And I hope you understand this too, if you’re feeling left out or passed by: You have not failed, your leaders have failed you.

None of us have to settle for the best this administration offers – a dull, adventureless journey from one entitlement to the next, a government-planned life, a country where everything is free but us.

Listen to the way we’re spoken to already, as if everyone is stuck in some class or station in life, victims of circumstances beyond our control, with government there to help us cope with our fate.


Mitt and I also go to different churches. But in any church, the best kind of preaching is done by example. And I’ve been watching that example. The man who will accept your nomination tomorrow is prayerful and faithful and honourable. Not only a defender of marriage, he offers an example of marriage at its best. Not only a fine businessman, he’s a fine man, worthy of leading this optimistic and good-hearted country.

Our different faiths come together in the same moral creed. We believe that in every life there is goodness; for every person, there is hope. Each one of us was made for a reason, bearing the image and likeness of the Lord of Life.

We have responsibilities, one to another – we do not each face the world alone. And the greatest of all responsibilities, is that of the strong to protect the weak. The truest measure of any society is how it treats those who cannot defend or care for themselves.

Each of these great moral ideas is essential to democratic government – to the rule of law, to life in a humane and decent society. They are the moral creed of our country, as powerful in our time, as on the day of America’s founding. They are self-evident and unchanging, and sometimes, even presidents need reminding, that our rights come from nature and God, not from government.


The right that makes all the difference now, is the right to choose our own leaders. And you are entitled to the clearest possible choice, because the time for choosing is drawing near. So here is our pledge.

We will not duck the tough issues, we will lead.

We will not spend four years blaming others, we will take responsibility.

We will not try to replace our founding principles, we will reapply our founding principles.

The work ahead will be hard. These times demand the best of us – all of us, but we can do this. Together, we can do this.

We can get this country working again. We can get this economy growing again. We can make the safety net safe again. We can do this.

Whatever your political party, let’s come together for the sake of our country. Join Mitt Romney and me. Let’s give this effort everything we have. Let’s see this through all the way. Let’s get this done.

James Taranto nails what makes Paul Ryan special, and explains what a strong message Romney sent to America when he selected Ryan as his running mate.  Ryan isn’t just about budgets, he’s about fundamental freedoms.  Removing the debt burden from American people is only one part of it:

Whatever the outcome of this year’s election, Bloomberg columnist Jonathan Alter thinks Paul Ryan will be president one day. Alter told us so at a late-afternoon reception at a downtown Tampa hotel sponsored by The Wall Street Journal. He also said that Ryan isn’t really a “deficit hawk” but a “small-government conservative.” To Alter, that was a criticism. To us, it is a recommendation. That disagreement is a synecdoche for the Obama-era political and ideological divide.

“What’s the difference?” asked another journalist, a British one, when we recounted the conversation later, after Ryan’s convention speech. After all, Ryan did say: “In this generation, a defining responsibility of government is to steer our nation clear of a debt crisis while there is still time.” He is concerned about the debt, and he has plenty of reason to be.

But a mere deficit hawk wouldn’t have said this: “None of us have to settle for the best this administration offers, a dull, adventureless journey from one entitlement to the next, a government-planned life, a country where everything is free but us.” A deficit hawk is averse, above all, to debt; a small-government conservative, to coercion. A deficit hawk doesn’t mind big government, as long as it’s paid for with high taxes.

As Taranto explains, deficit hawks are Democrat enablers, allowing them to expand government constantly as long as they find the money to pay for it.

Axelrod lied, but Ryan didn’t

Yesterday, I did a post in which I said that, while the HuffPo was crowing about an alleged Paul Ryan, I caught David Axelrod red-handed in a repeatedly disproved lie.  I had my doubts about whether Ryan had lied — it’s not his style — but that’s not where I was going with my post, so I didn’t address that subject.  Had I followed through, I would have discovered that HuffPo wasn’t the only outlet claiming that Ryan lied.  As it happens (no big surprise here), Ryan did not lie.

Obama, the un-likable — a continuing series

Given that the media is working overtime to portray Obama as Mr. Nice Guy and Romney as Mr. Heartless, Capitalist Bully, a friend suggested that I start a running post tracking the times when Obama is a jerk. I’ll start with some past history of jerkiness, and then just keep updating and reposting this as I go along.  Incidentally, what I notice about these as I compile them as that, for the most part, they are not studied insults.  Instead, they flow effortlessly from the man, as if meanness is his default setting.

1. Obama sends families of downed SEALS a form letter signed by an electric pen.

2.  A snide Obama telling his then-opponent Hillary that she’s likeable enough:

3. Obama gives his political opponents the finger:

4. Obama, without benefit of many facts, says police behaved stupidly:

5.  Obama talks about finding someone’s “ass to kick” (and calls media opponents “talking heads”):

David Axelrod lies again

HuffPo asserts that Paul Ryan lied in his speech.  I haven’t listened to the speech, nor have I read the HuffPo piece.  I just found the HuffPo claim amusing because a few minutes before reading that headline, I had just read David Axelrod’s email begging me, yet again, to donate $3 to the Obama/Biden campaign (emphasis mine):

Judging from the number of times they’ve said it this week, you would think repealing Obamacare on Day One is the most urgent goal of the Republican Party and number one reason to elect Mitt Romney.

I’d like to know what’s noble about making it harder for people to get health care.

President Obama refused to give up on this legislation because he knew it was about real people — people like his own mother who, in her final days, battled cancer and mounting bills, or my daughter Lauren, whose intractable epilepsy, at just seven months old, nearly bankrupted our family and burdened her with a pre-existing condition that threatened her future coverage.

Today, there are millions of families like ours who won’t have to suffer through needless heartache over situations beyond their control.

If the President loses, Republicans are guaranteeing those protections will be gone with him.

You can make sure that doesn’t happen. Donate $3 or more before this Friday’s critical FEC deadline.

When the Supreme Court affirmed the Affordable Care Act, I was moved to tears. This week, the Republicans are moving a lot of people to act as well — to make sure they can’t take their destructive platform to the White House.

The next time you hear someone at the Republican convention attack Obamacare, remember what they’re actually trying to take away.

The highlighted language states two things:  (1) that Obama’s mother died of cancer; and (2) that she had mounting bills because her insurance company wouldn’t pay for her care.  The first statement is true, in that Dunham did indeed die of cancer.  The second, however, is a blatant lie.  Dunham did indeed struggle with an insurance company, but that struggle had nothing to do with her medical bills, which her insurer paid (emphasis mine):

“I will never forget my own mother, as she fought cancer in her final months, having to worry about whether her insurance would refuse to pay for her treatment. And by the way, this was because the insurance company was arguing that somehow she should have known that she had cancer, when she took her new job, even though it hadn’t been diagnosed yet,” Obama said at a town hall meeting in Portsmouth, N.H., on Aug. 11, 2009.

But a biography of Obama’s mother and additional reporting by the New York Times have shown that a key point of that anecdote is incorrect. Obama’s mother was fighting not for treatment but for payments from a disability insurance policy.

A Singular Woman: The Untold Story of Barack Obama’s Mother by journalist Janny Scott documents the life of Obama’s mother, S. Ann Dunham, an anthropologist who also worked on the issues of development aid and microcredit in Indonesia.

The book documents Dunham’s final illness — uterine and ovarian cancer — in some detail. Dunham’s illness became acute when she was working in Indonesia in 1994, and she was diagnosed in Hawaii early the next year.

Scott interviewed Dunham’s doctor, family and friends for the book and had access to Dunham’s correspondence and personal papers. According to Scott’s account, Dunham’s health insurance covered her treatment.

But Dunham also filed a claim for disability insurance. It was the disability insurance company that refused to pay because they said her cancer was a pre-existing condition, according to the book.

Some facts lend themselves to differing interpretations. The facts about Obama’s mother and her medical coverage for cancer do not. Obama lied. Axelrod perpetuates that lie.

I feel needed

My family needed me today. All of them. Every last one of them. I feel very needed. Separating need from want, while I wanted to read stuff on the internet and write things, and needed to take care of them. And I did.

Tonight, I think I want chocolate ice cream. However, since I’d like to eat a more healthy diet, I will remind myself that I don’t need chocolate ice cream, and I’ll take my substitute feed, which is frozen peas (cold, a little crunchy, and mildly sweet).

Thoughts on peanut throwers

The Left is excited:  two people were allegedly ejected from the RNC because they threw peanuts at a black CNN camera operator and said “this is how we feed the animals.”  Put aside the fact that this happened with two people out of thousands in attendance, and put aside the fact that they were swiftly ejected, rather than celebrated.  Here’s what I’m willing to bet, although we’ll probably never know if they were ejected without ascertaining their true identities:  I bet investigation would reveal that they’re Democrats.

In any event, the Leftist media is on fire when it comes to finding racism everywhere — the liberal racist dog whistle blows loud, long, and clear to those attuned to its frequencies.

“Get Out!” — the new “It’s time for them to go.”

I remember in 1992, when I was a silly young-ish Democrat, the excitement of hearing people at the DNC chanting “It’s time for them to go” — a reference to twelve years of Republican governance.  Now, after only four years of Obama, a clever, bouncy ad tells the Obama-niks to “Get Out”:

Hat tip: Lulu

Magic Mike intersects with the RNC protests

James Taranto writes from Tampa about the Leftist protest and its sponsor (emphasis mine):

“Really hard to notice the RNC protesters if you’re not running around trying to find them,” Slate’s Dave Weigeltweeted early yesterday afternoon. “V far from convention, other events.”

The convention’s start was delayed a day, and so was the late-afternoon party in honor of Grover Norquist that we’d planned to attend. This seemed like an excellent time to check out the protesters, such as they were. So we sent Weigel a direct message asking where he found them. He didn’t reply. We guess he wanted an exclusive.

Enlisting Twitter as a reporting tool, we asked our 16,000 followers (in case you’re not among them, we’re @jamestaranto) and quickly came up with 2101 W. Main St., site of “Occupy Tampa.” After lunch we rode out there and found a pitiful little encampment on a lot so small that Zuccotti is Yellowstone by comparison. OT propaganda calls the site “Voice of Freedom Park,” but the map doesn’t show a park there.

It turns out the site is privately owned, by “adult nightclub owner Joe Redner,” as the Tampa Tribune euphemistically put it in June.

Wow!  That rings a bell.  Sleazy adult nightclub owner in Tampa?  A-ha!  I know what’s familiar.  It reminds me of the movie Magic Mike about a stripper who works at a club in Tampa:

The club is owned by Dallas, (Matthew McConaughey) who is a self serving, all-indulging proprietor of the club, and has designs on creating an empire which in his words, will “globally dominate” the world of male strippers. He forgoes friendships and loyalty to achieve his dream, including jeopardizing a close friendship with Mike who has been with him from the start for 6 years and is one of Dallas’ star performers.

So, ladies and gentlemen, is this what the proud sponsor of the RNC protests looks like?

One more item to add to the list of nasty actors on the Left

This one didn’t make the original post, because the malfeasor isn’t a politician, she’s a journalist.  Nevertheless, Elspeth Reeve deserves to be called out for her lies.

UPDATE:  Welcome, Ace of Spades readers!  As you’ve probably figured out, Maetenloch gave more meat to the story than I did.  The only thing I did was head him in the right direction.  However, if you’re in the mood for a little political red meat, I do recommend “the original post” referenced above, since that’s where I have a lot of fun stuff about those wacky, gaffe-prone, mean-spirited Democrats.

About Prince Harry — it’s his nature (but I actually don’t mean that in a bad way)

My sister asked me “What do you think about Prince Harry?”

For starters, I don’t think about Prince Harry too much, but right now, the front page coverage is making one forcibly aware of him.  Frankly, this is how I think of Prince Harry:  He’s an Australian sheep dog, and perhaps with the same level of narrow intelligence:

Australian sheep dogs are wonderful animals, provided that you keep them busy doing the task for which they are born.  If you do not keep an Australian sheep dog busy, it becomes destructive, both to itself and to its environment.  It will chew up a house, break its teeth on the cages meant to control it, worry its skin to death (truly), etc.  Give the dog a job, though, and it just chugs along cheerily.

Prince Harry is exactly the same.  He loves the military and, from everything I’ve heard, when he’s on duty, he’s good at his job.  Keep him busy, and he’s happy and productive.  Once the down time starts, though, Katy bar the door.  That’s a boy who’s going to get himself in trouble — especially because trouble, in the form of wine, women, and song, finds him so easily.

I have no doubt that there are Las Vegas videos being circulated right now that show Harry engaging in carnal relationships with various women, either seriatim or simultaneously.  Take a physical animal, and then throw in booze, lots of women, and a morality-free environment, and it’s inevitable.  Nor would I be surprised if drugs were involved.

Under the circumstances, the worst thing to do would be do sack Harry from the military.  He should be punished by being given massive amounts of extra work.  Then, once the punishment period is over, they should continue to give him more and more work and responsibility.  This is a sheep dog that needs to be kept out of trouble, because he’ll just harm himself if allowed to roam free.  (In this regard, I seriously fault his minders for giving him free rein.  What were they thinking?)

Democrat gaffes, nastiness, and sheer ignorance — just a few highlights from the Democrat side of the aisle

Todd Akin’s ill-informed remarks opened the floodgates for the usual smears about the fact that all conservatives are ignorant, racist, sexist, theocratic, misogynistic tyrants.  The one that got the greatest play amongst my liberal Facebook friends was Timothy Egan’s New York Times‘ column claiming that Akin isn’t the only Republican crackpot in Congress.  He went for the usual suspects, namely those Congressmen who don’t believe in anthropogenic climate change (meaning that they acknowledge the change but deny mankind’s centrality) and those who do not believe that scientific evolution does away with God’s role in human creation.  Oh, the horror!

It occurred to me that it would be easy to put together a list of Democrats currently or recently in government positions who have also said stupid things or hold beliefs that make ordinary people (not political ideologues, but ordinary people) writhe in discomfort.  As I discovered when I surveyed my readers, it’s almost too easy.  Although the gaffes don’t make the headlines and talk shows, they’re out there, and they show a Democrat party rife with ignorance, stupidity, and nastiness.  I know that the Democrats are incapable of being embarrassed, but perhaps the swing voters out there might find this list interesting.

Before I begin, let me explain my parameters:  I excluded all quotations from Leftist entertainment figures.  Collecting examples of ignorance and nastiness from that group was like shooting fish in a barrel, and would have made this list unforgivably long.  I also excluded foolish statements driven by ideology, since those statements would include just about every thing that every Democrat in politics has ever said (see, e.g., Nancy Pelosi).  Instead, I went for sayings (or conduct) that were so stupid or mean-spirited that people unaware of politics and uninterested in ideology would still appreciate that the people saying or doing these things are pretty poor standard-bearers for their party.  Organizationally, because there are such rich pickings on the Left, I’ve divided my examples by subject matter, rather than by person.  Finally, this is hardly a comprehensive list.  I simply chose highlights, most of them suggested by you, my readers.

So, fasten your seat belts, sit back, and enjoy the ride.


Barack Obama calls a Navy corpsman a “Navy Corpse-man.

Barack Obama thinks Austrian is a language.

Hank Johnson, currently representing Georgia’s 4th Congressional District, is worried that overpopulation could cause the island of Guam to tip over.

Barack Obama remembers an imaginary railway running between New York and Europe:  “We used to have the best infrastructure in the world here in America. We’re the country that built the Intercontinental Railroad.”

Without TOTUS nearby, Obama gets confused:  “I had the great honor of seeing some of you because a comrade of yours, Jared Monti, was the first person who I was able to award the Medal of Honor to who actually came back and wasn’t receiving it posthumously.” Jared Monti was killed in 2006. Barack Obama’s awarded him a posthumous Medal of Honor on June 23, 2009.

While campaigning, Barack Obama looks forward to becoming President of America’s 57 (or is it 58, or 59?) states.

Joe Biden enthusiastically tells a wheel-chair bound man to “stand up.  “Stand up.  Let me see you.  Oh, God love you!  What am I talking about?”

Perhaps there’ll always be an England, but there isn’t an “English Embassy.“  Poor Obama.  No one told him that.

In July 2010, thirty-five years after the Communists unified Vietnam under their control, Sheila Jackson Lee was roused to say “Today, we have two Vietnams, side by side, North and South, exchanging and working. We may not agree with all that North Vietnam is doing, but they are living in peace. I would look for a better human rights record for North Vietnam, but they are living side by side.”

Jackson Lee’s ignorance isn’t limited to planet earth.  She takes it to the cosmos, having asked NASA about the American flag flying on Mars (and then complaining that it was racist for the story to make the news.)  (Aside from being profoundly ignorant, Jackson Lee is generally a nasty piece of work.  I would not like having her as one of the flag-bearers for my political party.)

(I’ve come to the conclusion that collating Obama gaffes is another fish-in-the-barrel proposition.  His gaffe reel could make a full, two-hour, cinema-release movie.  For a comprehensive list, check out NewsBusters.)


Sen. Robert Byrd’s past includes founding a Ku Klux Klan chapter, during which he served as Exalted Cyclops.  He later told young people that was a mistake because it was a political albatross around his neck.

Joe Biden puts on a fake Indian accent to excoriate out-sourced call centers.  Biden seems peculiarly enamored of that fake Indian accent.

Joe Biden puts on a fake black accent to attack Romney and Ryan for attempting to re-enslave blacks.

Joe Biden compliments Barack Obama for being “clean” and “articulate” — just how all black people want to hear themselves described by rich, old white men.

Sen. Harry Reid offers Obama a similar racist “compliment”:  he said that Obama could be politically successful because he is “light-skinned” and has “no Negro dialect, unless he wanted to have one.”

Barack Obama makes it plain that he doesn’t think much of white people:  “[T]he point I was making was not that my grandmother harbors any racial animosity. She doesn’t. But she is a typical white person, who, if she sees somebody on the street that she doesn’t know, well there’s a reaction that’s in our experiences that won’t go away and can sometimes come out in the wrong way. And that’s just the nature of race in our society. We have to break through it.”  (At least they’re not stupid, the way police are in Obama’s world.)

When it comes to antisemitism, you can’t beat Cynthia McKinney, Al Sharpton, the Rev. Jesse Jackson, all of whom get mention in Larry Elder’s powerful piece about the tragedy that is black antisemitism.


In one of the nastiest put-downs I’ve seen, a condescending Obama tells Hillary she’s “likable enough.”  This is the same man who later cracked a joke that quite obviously called his female political opponent a pig.  Generally, Obama doesn’t seem comfortable around women.  In the White House, he’s subservient to them; on the road, condescending.

Maxine Waters states her devout wish that the Tea Party go “straight to Hell.”

Barack Obama thinks highly of ordinary Americans and the way they respond to economic hard times:  “And it’s not surprising then they get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren’t like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations.”

Despite their secularism, Democrats aren’t above citing God when it suits them.  Jennifer Granholm, for example, looking at the weather system heading towards Florida, tweets “R convention delay due to Isaac: I guess God has ways to shut that whole thing down.”

When it comes to mean (and profoundly racist), no one beats the Democrats’ own Rep. Pete Stark:

In August 1990, Stark drew controversy for calling Health and Human Services Secretary Louis Wade Sullivan, an African American, “a disgrace to his race” for supporting Bush Administration policies that Stark called “bankrupt and damaging to minority members.” Stark was criticizing Sullivan’s opposition to proposals for federally sponsored national health insurance when Stark had introduced legislation for national health insurance at the time, and said that Sullivan had been influenced by George H. W. Bush administration officials such as Office of Management and Budget Director Richard Darman and White House Chief of Staff John H. Sununu to change his positions on both abortion and health care. Sullivan angrily retorted, “I don’t live on Pete Stark’s plantation”,[29] and replied in a statement, saying in part, “I guess I should feel ashamed because Congressman Stark thinks I am not a ‘good Negro.’ As a Cabinet member who has spent almost four decades of my life dedicated to healing,…[I] am unable to express my own views without being subject to race-based criticism by those who are not ready to accept independent thinking by a black man.” Stark later apologized for the controversy.[30]

In May 2004, Stark responded to a constituent Army National Guard member’s letter critical of Stark’s recent vote on the war in Iraq by immediately calling the service member’s telephone and leaving a feisty response on voicemail which was later broadcast on San Francisco’s talk radio station KSFO. Stark’s harsh voicemail was transcribed as follows:

Dan, this is Congressman Pete Stark, and I just got your fax. And you don’t know what you’re talking about. So if you care about enlisted people, you wouldn’t have voted for that thing either. But probably somebody put you up to this, and I’m not sure who it was, but I doubt if you could spell half the words in the letter, and somebody wrote it for you. So I don’t pay much attention to it. But I’ll call you back later and let you tell me more about why you think you’re such a great goddamn hero and why you think that this generals [sic] and the Defense Department, who forced these poor enlisted guys to do what they did, shouldn’t be held to account. That’s the issue. So if you want to stick it to a bunch of enlisted guys, have your way. But if you want to get to the bottom of people who forced this awful program in Iraq, then you should understand more about it than you obviously do. Thanks.[31][32]

On October 18, 2007, Stark made the following comments on the House floor during a debate with Congressman Joe Barton of Texas: “Republicans sure don’t care about finding $200 billion to fight the illegal war in Iraq. Where are you going to get that money? Are you going to tell us lies like you’re telling us today? Is that how you’re going to fund the war? You don’t have money to fund the war or children. But you’re going to spend it to blow up innocent people if we can get enough kids to grow old enough for you to send to Iraq to get their heads blown off for the President’s amusement.”[33][34] Following the initial criticism to his statements, when asked by a radio station if he would take back any of his statements, Stark responded “Absolutely not. I may have dishonored the Commander-in-Chief, but I think he’s done pretty well to dishonor himself without any help from me.”[35] The same day, his office also issued a press release, saying in part, “I have nothing but respect for our brave men and women in uniform and wish them the very best. But I respect neither the Commander-in-Chief who keeps them in harms [sic] way nor the chickenhawks in Congress who vote to deny children health care.”[36] Five days later on October 23, after the House voted down a censure resolution against Stark sponsored by Minority Leader John Boehner, he said, “I apologize for this reason: I think we have serious issues before us, the issue of providing medical care to children, the issue about what we’re going to do about a war that we’re divided about how to end.”[37]

Other controversies include singling out “Jewish colleagues” for blame for the Persian Gulf War and referring to Congressman Stephen Solarz of New York (who co-sponsored the Gulf War Authorization Act) as “Field Marshal Solarz in the pro-Israel forces.” in 1991.[38] In 1995, during a private meeting with Congresswoman Nancy Johnson of Connecticut, he called Johnson a “whore for the insurance industry” and suggested that her knowledge of health care came solely from “pillow talk” with her husband, a physician. His press secretary, Caleb Marshall, defended him in saying, “He didn’t call her a ‘whore,’ he called her a ‘whore of the insurance industry.’”[38] In a 2001 Ways and Means Subcommittee on Health hearing on abstinence promotion, he referred to Congressman J. C. Watts of Oklahoma as “the current Republican Conference Chairman, whose children were all born out of wedlock.”[38] In 2003, when Stark was told to “shut up” by Congressman Scott McInnis of Colorado during a Ways and Means Committee meeting due to Stark’s belittling of the chairman, Bill Thomas of California, he replied, “You think you are big enough to make me, you little wimp? Come on. Come over here and make me, I dare you. You little fruitcake.”[38]

In an older video taped interview with Jan Helfeld concerning the size of the national debt, Stark stated that the size of the national debt is a reflection of the nation’s wealth. When pressed if the nation should take on more debt in order to have more wealth, Stark threatened Helfeld and said, “You get the fuck out of here or I’ll throw you out the window.”[39]

On August 27, 2009, Stark suggested that his moderate Democratic colleagues were “brain dead” for proposing changes to the health care reform bill being considered by Congress. Saying that they “just want to cause trouble,” Stark claimed, “they’re for the most part, I hate to say, brain dead, but they’re just looking to raise money from insurance companies and promote a right-wing agenda that is not really very useful in this whole process” during a conference call.[40]

The San Francisco Chronicle editorialized on Stark, “Only a politician who assumes he has a job for life could behave so badly on a semi-regular basis by spewing personalized invective that might get him punched in certain East Bay taverns. Would-be challengers sometimes sense a whiff of opportunity, but the reality of taking on a 16-term Democrat in solidly liberal terrain is nothing short of daunting. Surely there must be someone along the shoreline between Alameda and Fremont who could represent the good citizens of the district with class and dignity. It’s not the case now.”[41]

During a town hall meeting, a constituent who opposed Barack Obama’s health care plan told Stark, “Mr. Congressman, don’t pee on my leg and tell me it’s raining.” Stark responded with, “I wouldn’t dignify you by peeing on your leg. It wouldn’t be worth wasting the urine.”[42]

Corruption and crime

Maxine Waters’ family makes a fortune off the political perks she sends their way.

Ted Kennedy leaves Mary Jo Kopechne to die slowly in a submerged car while he wanders off, showers, calls political fixers, and does whatever else is necessary to hide adultery and manslaughter.

Barney Frank’s boyfriend ran a bisexual brothel in Frank’s home.  Frank claimed not to have noticed.

Gerry Studds, while serving in Congress, had a gay sexual relationship with an under-aged page.

Anthony Weiner (married) tweeted nude pictures to a variety of women.

William Jefferson used his political power to extort so much money, he eventually resorted to hiding it in his freezer.  I guess he liked cold, hard cash.

Joe Biden plagiarizes a speech by British politician Neil Kinnock.  Although it scuttled his 1988 presidential bid, no one is really surprised, because Biden already had the same habit in law school.

Five of Obama’s cabinet nominees (some of whom nevertheless get the go-ahead from a Democrat dominated Congress) have legal problems.

Obama’s safe school’s czar boasts about having protected a pedophile.

Sorry about the silence, but real life kept interfering

Sometimes real life is a pain in the whatsit.  Exercise was good, but I wasn’t thrilled that paying work (yes, real paying work), plus a doctor’s appointment for my Mom not only dragged me away from blogging, but dragged me away from thinking about blogging.  Feh!

Tomorrow should be a bit more peaceful and, presumably, I’ll have recharged my mental energy and creativity.

Thanks for your contributions to today’s Open Thread.

The appearance of “Indigenous Muslims” at the DNC offends America’s true indigenous people

Identity politics worked very well for the Democrats for a long time, provided that they played the various little groups off against “white men.”  Barring some in-fighting in academia amongst various “victim” subgroups — a spectacle that Christina Hoff Sommers described to hilarious effect in Who Stole Feminism?: How Women Have Betrayed Women — Democrats mostly managed adroitly to hide from their interest groups that, if you define the economy as a finite, government-controlled pie, eventually there will not be enough pieces to go around.

Or maybe the Democrats shouldn’t get even that credit.  Because the obsession with identity politics didn’t gain traction until the Reagan years (although it existed before), there was usually enough pie to go around once one had successfully dispossessed those poor white males.  Now, however, despite or because of 3.7 years of Obamanomics, the pie is small and crumbly.  And with that small pie, the allegiances are getting frayed as well.

A friend Servo1969 sent me a link to an interesting post contending that Native Americans have had it up to here and beyond with the Democrat team’s game-playing.  They were offended when it turned out that Elizabeth Warren had parlayed a false (or, at least, incredibly attenuated) Native American heritage into a well-paid legal career.  Now, some are even more peeved, and rightfully so, by the fact that the Democrats are pandering to a Muslim group that identifies itself as representative of “indigenous Muslims”:

Native Americans are very angry to learn that Muslims in the United States of America are being touted as “indigenous”, a complete falsehood.


Twenty-thousand Islamists and their sympathizers are expected to attend the opening of the Democratic National Convention on August 31 [BW:  It's actually September 4 to September 6] to focus on Islam with Jumah[sic], the Friday prayer, to draw in Muslims to the DNC. The important prayer and two days of events are being coordinated by the Bureau of Indigenous Muslim Affairs (BIMA), a national Muslim non-profit claiming that the event is non-political. Being a part of the actual convention makes it pretty hard to claim that it isn’t a political event. The initials BIMA quickly caught my attention because I’m keyed in to the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA), the agency that my husband works closely with in his capacity as Director of Security for an Indian casino. I was appalled when I went to the BIMA website and saw the words “Indigenous Muslim.”

The word “indigenous” is a term of art.  It does not mean that someone is born within a country’s borders.  Instead, it refers, always, to the original people who populated a country before an imperialist force (Western or Eastern) took over.  One can have American-born Muslims, but there are no “indigenous Muslims.”  It’s either foolish, disingenuous, or dishonest for Muslims to try to parlay their non-white status into a simulacrum of the United States’ true Native American population.

Lesson to Democrats:  You can successfully complain about pie allocation when there’s lots of pie.  If you destroy the pie, however, you may regret trying to slice it into so many different pieces.

UPDATE:  As you can see, I substituted “Servo1969″ for “A friend.”  I mention that here because, if people send me emails with information, I always ask people’s permission before using their name in a post.  When I wrote the post, I hadn’t yet confirmed that Servo1969 wouldn’t mind showing up in here.

I need our collective brains to help me create a list of embarrassments to the Democrats

The Democrats are kvelling about Todd Akin.  Indeed, at the New York Times, one enterprising writer has put together a list of a handful of Republicans who hold views that are outside of the mainstream (or who articulate arguably valid views in invalid ways).  A cartoonist has also put together a crude cartoon that shows a doggy crate in which the RNC will hide “unsightly reminders of your party’s past.”  Here’s what I need from you:  help putting together well-sourced evidence showing that the Dems have some people of their own with views outside of the mainstream, not to mention an unsightly past.  My memory being shaky, I thought I could use help from the collective knowledge that is the Bookworm Room.

Here’s my start:

Teddy Kennedy is one of the unsightly past winners.  It was bad enough that he was cheating on his wife, but he made it worse when, probably under the influence of alcohol, he drove off a bridge, walked away from the car leaving a young woman in it, and then forget to get help for her.  Mary Jo Kopechne took several hours to suffocate in the cold and dark.

If we’re counting dead Democrats, there’s the Ku Klux Klan Exalted Cyclops, Sen. Robert Byrd.  (This article from Slate, written in the wake of Byrd’s death, is fascinating, because it manages to make a bloodless recitation out of what ought to be an appalling insight into the Democrats’ past.)

There’s Hank Johnson, currently representing Georgia’s 4th Congressional District, who was worried that overpopulation could cause the island of Guam to tip over.

Maxine Waters represents California’s 35th Congressional District.  She’s responsible for quite a few gems that put her outside of the American mainstream.  A short list includes (a) her deep and abiding love for Fidel Castro; (b) her demand that the U.S., 149 years after slavery ended, give reparations to this generation of American blacks; (c) her insistence that the CIA created the crack cocaine epidemic amongst American blacks; (d) her devout wish that the Tea Party go “straight to Hell,” and (e) the fortune her family made off the political perks she sent their way.

And then my memory fails me.  I’m sure that there are more serving Democrats or deceased “lions” who have advanced views or engaged in conduct that, in a normal world, would get a column in a major American publication anxious to show that the entire party is a collection extremist nut cases.


There are some nice romances out there

Last week, I wrote a post about relationship porn, in which I argued that the sex in romance novels is the least interesting part for romance readers.  The most interesting part, I said, is that the heroes like, respect, and support the heroines.  I also said that there are few writers who even try to do what the great Georgette Heyer did, which was to write a cleverly plotted, true romance, one with no sex.  (Indeed, many of hers don’t even offer a chaste kiss.)  Moreover, those few who do write non-erotic romances tend to write Christian romances.  Those Christian romances can be very nice, but they don’t suit me too well.

After I wrote that post, I got an email from Judith Lown, who said that she not only reads my blog (yay!  thank you!), but that she’s written a couple of traditional romances, one of which is available on Kindle.  I immediately looked up the Kindle edition and, low and behold, I’ve already read it:

Not only did I read A Sensible Lady, I liked it. It involves a young woman who moves into a new home, ends up adopting her orphaned nephew, and is pursued (in a genteel way) by three very different men.  I read it some months ago, so I cannot give you a more detailed plot summary than that — nor would I want to.  Romances all have the same plot anyway, because the whole point is boy and girl meet, fall in love, and get married.  Where they differ isn’t so much in plot as in style:  witty or flat, funny or maudlin, porn-y or romantic.  Lown’s book, as I recall, is often witty and — and this is why I liked it — very decent.  The characters are genuinely good and interesting people.  It was a pleasure to spend time in their company, which is the nicest thing I can ever say about a book.

The frantic, angry, whiny, demanding Obama campaign

I got another Obama campaign solicitation in this morning’s email.  I get them every day and have for months.  In the beginning, they were rather jaunty.  “Hey, we’re going to win.  Pitch in.”  Then they got commercial.  “Want a chance to sit in the backroom of an Obama event?  Pitch in.”  Now, they are unbelievably vicious.  Here’s the latest one, ostensibly from “Barack” himself (emphasis mine):

When I’m out there talking to voters, we talk about what we’ve done, what we plan to do over the next four years, and why the other guys have dangerous plans to go back to the policies that failed America for almost a decade.

But there is another question that keeps coming up, and you need to know about it: “Why do I see so many more ads for the other guys?”

You don’t need me to tell you that the Romney campaign is outraising us – that billionaire ideologues and corporate interests are piling on tens of millions more in negative ads trashing us, and that all of it means that undecided voters in battleground states like Iowa could be seeing false, misleading, negative attacks at a rate almost twice as often as they hear from us.

Last week, when I was in Iowa, voters told me they were feeling it. The numbers back it up: Our side is getting outspent 2-to-1 on the air there.

But the folks asking me about this don’t want an explanation — they want to know what I’m going to do about it.

And the fact is that solving this problem is up to you.

Close the gap on the air by making a donation of $5 or more now.

You’re getting this email because you know what the stakes are in this election. You know the facts about what we’ve done to prevent a deeper crisis and to start building an economy that works for the middle class.

But for someone who’s not as engaged, these ads may be an important and possibly even primary source of information about the choice in this election.

So it’s a bad situation if 90 percent of them are false, negative attacks on us.

We’re losing this air war right now.

I don’t have as much time to campaign this time as I did in 2008, so this whole thing is riding on you making it happen.

Donate now to close the gap on the air:

Thank you,


It’s pretty Nixonian, isn’t it?  Although I do believe Nixon had more class.  He didn’t sign his communications “Richard.”  He respected the office of the president and, if I recall correctly, signed official correspondence “Richard Nixon.”

What’s singularly absent from this begging letter, of course, is optimism, a plan, or boasts about past accomplishments.  No surprise, really.  We know that “Barack” is not optimistic, that he can’t voice his plan for fear of scaring anyone but the true believers, and that only the true believers like his past accomplishments.  Obama is campaigning negatively because he’s got nothing else to do.

Scott Johnson, at Power Line, has what I think is the best summary (so far) detailing the nastiness of the Obama campaign.  I’m posting a snippet here, but you should read it all:

There is a certain quality to the Obama campaign. Howie Carr captures it this morning in “Be afraid, be very afraid of RNC (say the Dems).” The whole constellation of alleged crime, rapine, murder, and felony murder goes over the top. It reeks of desperation. And this is just for openers. The authors of the campaign are trying to fight their way out of a hole.

Obama’s stump speech this time around is also off in tone. It lectures. It hectors. It whines. Toby Harnden derides the Obama campaign as “a joyless slog.” Andrea Tantaros observes its “relentless negativity.”

Obama makes one thing perfectly clear, as Richard Nixon used to say. It ain’t morning in America, and it’s not getting better any time soon.

The Obama campaign gives us a jumble of falsity. Yuval Levin takes apart the campaign’s latest Medicare ad. Grace-Marie Turner adds “More Obamacare fiction.”

By the lights of the campaign, our enormous deficit problems can be meaningfully addressed by raising taxes on the rich. And the campaign is sure not to say much about such signature accomplishments as Obamacare and the trillion-dollar stimulus from hell.