Shots Across the Bow

A Reality Based Blog

Monday, September 22, 2008

Lies, Smears, and Dirty Politics:  So Much for the Clean Part.

The New Politician uses the same old tricks

The Jawa report investigates a smear vidoe on Sarah Palin and finds that not only was it professionally produced, but that there was an extensive and coordinated campaign to try and make it go viral, a campaign organized by a PR firm with strong ties to David Axelrod, Barack Obama, and the left netroots.

Obama and his people are playing dirty, spreading lies and astroturfing.

And yeah, I know. Manish and his co-travelers are all going to say that there's no real proof of anything, that it is all circumstantial. Of course, that doesn't prevent them from believing absolutely horrible things about McCain and Palin with even less evidence, does it?

So save your breath trying to defend your hero. Obama knows, and tacitly approves of these tactics. After all, it's not like he hasn't used similar ones before, right?

Posted by Rich
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Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Dueling Distortions:  Both Ads Get It Wrong

Obama is running a Spanish language ad that conflates McCain's immigration policy with Rush Limbaugh's. That's untrue. Limbaugh was actually blasting McCain for supporting a comprehensive immigration reform bill that included potential amnesty.

On the other hand, McCain has been running a Spanish language ad claiming that Obama and the Democrats were the reason the bill failed. That's also untrue. Obama and the Democrats supported the bill strongly enough that it passed in the Senate.

If you want to know why I was ready to give up on politics, garbage like this is the answer.

Posted by Rich
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Reality Check for the Ideologically Blind

In a running discussion in the comments below, one man claims tha tthe left is not upset with the Palin pick. He also believes that the only untoward attacks on Palin have come from tin foil hat wearing members of the fringe.

Yeah, right. John Hawkins has gone through and selected 20 obnoxious quotes about Palin. They come from lots of people you may have heard of, from liberal policy wonks, to mainstream media reporters, to Hollywood actors, to Democratic Party Chairs.

A couple of the standouts, with my commentary in italics:

    "What is the difference between Palin and a Muslim fundamentalist? Lipstick." -- Juan Cole at Salon-As soon as somebody finds evidence of Sarah Palin beheading reporters for being Jewish, I'll but this one. Until then, this idiot doesn't deserve the position he holds.
  • (John McCain has chosen a running mate) "whose primary qualification seems to be that she hasn't had an abortion." -- South Carolina Democratic chairwoman Carol -FowlerBecause we all know that having an abortion is the single most important right of passage in becoming a true woman.

  • "Her greatest hypocrisy is in her pretense that she is a woman." -- Wendy Doniger at the Washington Post-Because raising 5 kids and having a career is not what a true feminist would do...Oh, wait.

  • "A few years ago, CBS gave serious consideration to a reality series called The Real Beverly Hillbillies. The idea was to "transplant genuine Appalachian natives into the world of Los Angeles glitz and glamour." It never happened. But now it has, with a twist - Alaskan hillbillies have been transplanted into the world of Washington politics." -- John Doyle at the Globe and Mail-Because when he sees Sarah Palin, all he can think of is Ellie May in the cement pond.

  • "The broader question if Sarah Palin becomes vice president, will she be shortchanging her kids or will she be shortchanging the country?" -- NBC correspondent Amy Robach-Because dad's who work never have to shose between their families or their careers.

No, there's no hatred here, no anger, no bitterness.

Posted by Rich
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Add Arrogant to Articulate.  And Clean

The one thing that I want to insist on is that, as I travel around the country, the American people are a decent people. Now they get confused sometimes. You know, they listen to the wrong talk radio shows or watch the wrong TV networks, um, but they’re, they’re basically decent, they’re basically sound.

I wonder if Prison Break is on Obama's Federally approved watching list. It is, after all, on one of "those" networks. Instead of watching unjustly imprisoned men fighting a corrupt and paternalistic government, I should probably watch "The Office" on one of the approved networks.


Posted by Rich
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The Obama Energy Plan: The Long Term Solution Part 3: The Chicago Hustle

Question: What do Three Card Monte, the Shell Game, and Obama's Energy Plan have in common?

Answer: They are all con games. They all offer something for nothing, and wind up costing the mark, usually big time. This time, we're all the mark.

From the plan:
A small portion of the receipts generated by auctioning allowances ($15 billion per year) will be used to support the development of clean energy, invest in energy efficiency improvements, and help develop the next generation of biofuels and clean energy vehicles – measures that will help the economy and help meet the emissions reduction targets. It will also be used to provide new funding to state and federal land and wildlife managers to restore habitat, create wildlife migration corridors, and assist fish and wildlife to adapt to the effects of a warming climate. All remaining receipts will be used for rebates and other transition relief to ensure that families and communities are not adversely impacted by the transition to a new energy, low carbon economy.

That's probably the first time I've heard $15 billion referred to as small, but let's look at the numbers once again. Maybe in Obama's scheme, it is small.

First of all, since Obama plans to auction off every ton of emissions, it would be a good idea to know just how many tons we're talking about. According to the EPA, in 2006, the US emitted 7,054 million metric tons of greenhouse gases. Of that, 5637 million metric tons are from combustion of fossil fuels. Transportation and electricity generation account for 4184 million metric tons or 74%. Industry and commerce only account for 19% of total emissions.

Now when you listen to Obama talk about his plan, listen very carefully. You'll hear him talk about businesses, companies, and corporations. You'll hear him talk about how business must work smarter, and must reduce their emissions. What you won't hear him say is that the largest part of US greenhouse gas emissions come from you and I driving to and from work, and keeping our homes cool. Because if he said that, the whole 83% reduction thing would begin to strike too closely to home.

So he distracts us from it. He says he will take money from the corporations, then use some of it (15 billion) to advance energy policy ( more about that soon) and give the rest to us. The problem with that plan is twofold. First, any money he pulls from corporations will be replaced by money they pull from us. If you make it more expensive for a company to manufacture and provide a product, they will charge more for it. That's simple math. The second problem is that he wants to basically bribe us with our own money. It goes from us, through the corporations, to the Federal government through the emissions auction back to us.

It starts and ends with us. Except just like the laws of thermodynamics tell us, every transaction costs something. What we get back will never be as much as what is taken from us. That's the con. That's the hustle.

The scary thing is we have no way of knowing how big the hustle will be. Obama's plan never mentions how much he expects this energy auction to rake in for the Federal Government. He isn't telling us how he plans to extend the auction to cover the 74% of emissions that come from our daily activities. Power companies can compete in the auctions, and pass the extra costs onto us, but how will Obama address filling our gas tanks? Will he represent us at the auction, and after purchasing what he considers an adequate amount of credits pass the costs onto us in the form of another gas tax? How about heating oil for homes? Will homeowners go to the auction, or will Obama set a price and impose it as a tax on heating oil? Again, we don't know. He won't tell us.

All we do know is that he considers $15 billion to be a small piece of the pie, and folks, to me that sounds like a pretty big pie.

Just out of curiosity, in the upcoming debate on domestic and energy policy, do you think the moderator will ask Obama any of these rather pointed questions?

Neither do I.

Posted by Rich
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Tuesday, September 16, 2008

New Campaign Slogan for Obama

Forget the Cowbell, More TELEPROMPTERS!

Posted by Rich
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Presidential Readiness Test

The credit crisis (No, it's not a recession. This is a different animal all together, and if we keep using the wrong diagnosis, we'll keep giving the wrong medicine.) claimed two Wall Street Giants and threatened another today. The Stock Market fell over 500 points yesterday.

So how did our two Presidential candidates react?

John McCain released this ad:

Barack Obama blamed Bush.

So, do you want a President who looks for answers, or one who looks for scapegoats?

UPDATE: By the way, once again, McCain beats Obama in leadership. McCain was on the air in hours with a response while Obama was still consulting advisors. McCain leads, Obama follows.

Posted by Rich
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He’s Articulate….Sorta

If we're going to ask questions about, you know, who has been promulgating negative ads that are completely unrelated to the issues at hand, I think I win that contest pretty handily.

I agree with you completely, sir.

Posted by Rich
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Superb Misdirection

While all eyes have been riveted on Alaska, Obama's numbers have been dropping in some pretty unlikely places.

Obama had an 18% lead in June, but is now down to a 5% lead, which is nearly a statistical tie. There's no doubt that Obama still has the upper hand in New York, but McCain has closed the gap considerably without even setting foot in the state. Strategically, he could spend some time in New York, causing Obama to have to do the same, diverting resources from swing states like Pennsylvania, that are slipping away from him.

This is a case that once again demonstrates the wisdom of the Palin choice. McCain can send Palin to New York and profit from it just as much or more than if he went himself. Obama can't say the same for Biden.

Posted by Rich
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Wall Street Tumbles While Obama Camp Rejoices

If I hadn't already heard about these clowns, I would have passed on this story, but now it's not an isolated slip of the tongue, but a pattern revealing a pretty dark mindset.

Candy Crowley tells us that the Obama campaign wanted horrific news from Wall Street because it played into what they consider a strength of their campaign. I guess they would be equally thrilled by bad news from Iraq. A bloody disaster there would help them in the polls as well.

And before you protest that liberals aren't that heartless, remember Gary Kamiya.

I have a confession: I have at times, as the war has unfolded, secretly wished for things to go wrong. Wished for the Iraqis to be more nationalistic, to resist longer. Wished for the Arab world to rise up in rage. Wished for all the things we feared would happen. I'm not alone: A number of serious, intelligent, morally sensitive people who oppose the war have told me they have had identical feelings.

Some of this is merely the result of pettiness -- ignoble resentment, partisan hackdom, the desire to be proved right and to prove the likes of Rumsfeld wrong, irritation with the sanitizing, myth-making American media. That part of it I feel guilty about, and disavow. But some of it is something trickier: It's a kind of moral bet-hedging, based on a pessimism not easy to discount, in which one's head and one's heart are at odds.

Many antiwar commentators have argued that once the war started, even those who oppose it must now wish for the quickest, least bloody victory followed by the maximum possible liberation of the Iraqi people. But there is one argument against this: What if you are convinced that an easy victory will ultimately result in a larger moral negative -- four more years of Bush, for example, with attendant disastrous policies, or the betrayal of the Palestinians to eternal occupation, or more imperialist meddling in the Middle East or elsewhere?

Wishing for things to go wrong is the logical corollary of the postulate that the better things go for Bush, the worse they will go for America and the rest of the world.

So by liberal calculus, the bloody deaths of hundreds or thousands is a good thing, if it hurts conservatism. Stalin slaughtered 20 million people (a fairly low estimate) using the same moral math.

Kamiya wrote his piece in April of 2003. More than 5 years later, the same sentiments are still alive and well in the Democratic Party.

Posted by Rich
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Looks Like I’ll be Going Strong for the Duration, Folks

Markos "Screw 'em" Zuniga has decided that it's time to get nasty. Not content with puff pieces about Track Palin's supposed drug issues, Bristol Palin's baby, Trig's parentage, etc, he wants his diarists to get down in the mud and start playing nasty.

I don't know how you can get any lower than what his diarists have already been slinging, but I'm afraid we're all about to find out.

Incidentally, I agree with Kos on one thing; Obama's magic new politics is BS.

Link (I won't link to Kos, so the link goes to wizbang where I found the piece.)

Posted by Rich
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Obama Seeks Delay in Troop Withdrawal Plan

When the story first broke, I didn't jump on it because when things sound too outrageous to be true, they usually are. Now that its been confirmed by the Obama camp, I guess I have to recalibrate exactly what "too outrageous" means.

Amir Taheri posted a column in the NY Post that claimed that while on his trip to the Middle East, Barack Obama tried to influence Iraqi Foreign Mihister Hoshyar Zebari to hold off on any agreements on American troop draw-downs until the new administration took office, based on a "state of weakness and political confusion" in the Bush administration.

Think about that for a second. A presidential candidate interfered in ongoing negotiations between the US Government and a foreign nation for personal gain. There ought to be a law against garbage like that, and in fact there may be.

I figured the story was an exaggeration, an attack piece written by a guy who didn't like Obama, but the Obama campaign has confirmed the story, ironically while denying it.
But Obama's national security spokeswoman Wendy Morigi said Taheri's article bore "as much resemblance to the truth as a McCain campaign commercial."

In fact, Obama had told the Iraqis that they should not rush through a "Strategic Framework Agreement" governing the future of US forces until after President George W. Bush leaves office, she said.

You see the difference there? Foreign Minister Zebari claimed that Obama tried to get Iraq to delay the agreement until the next administration while Obama spokeswomen said that Obama tried to get them to delay the agreement until Bush left office.

Yeah, that's completely different. /sarcasm.

Posted by Rich
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Tackling the Issues

Remember when Democrats used to say they wanted to campaign on the issues, and leave all the personal stuff behind? Remember Obama campaigning as new kind of politician, one who ran on ideas, not ideology? Have you heard the liberal pundits crying about nasty politics and mean spirited ads that detract from the debate about the policies and programs supported by the candidates?

Have you noticed that I'm getting not getting any comments from any liberals on the posts where I dismantle Obama's energy policy, plank by plank, using real world numbers and his own campaign website?

They're very quick to weigh in on whether John McCain can send an email or not, but when it comes to substantive issues, I guess they hear their mommy calling or something because they sure don't want to engage. Is it that they are ignorant of Obama's policies? Is it too much trouble for them to actually research Obama's policies, and see exactly how they would work? Or is it that policy is too boring, and it's much more fun to rip into somebody personally?

You'll have to ask them, because I don't know. I'm giving them what they say they want, and I'll keep giving it to them for the remainder of this election cycle. As soon as I finish energy, I'm heading into Obama's health care plan, which, sad to say, makes his energy plan look almost brilliant.

Yes, it really is that bad.

Posted by Rich
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Democrats are Stretching

Apparently, after all the digging, the best the Democrats could come up with was a tired riff on Al Gore's "I took the lead in creating the internet" gaffe. One of McCain's advisors, Douglas Holtz-Eakin was waving a Blackberry around and said, "You're looking at the miracle that John McCain helped create," referring to the Gore claim. Humor impaired Democrats (Are there any other kind) took his sarcasm literally and ran with it.

If that's the best they've got, no wonder Obama's poll numbers are falling faster than the Dow.

Posted by Rich
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Winning Elections the Obama Way:  Destroy Your Opponent

Obama has tried to distance himself from the near constant slimeballs being thrown at Palin, even as his own campaign is flinging feces at McCain, but is his denial credible? He claims to be a new breed of politician, one who runs on ideals and not ideology, who is running a new kind of campaign, but is he really?

Let's look at his record, shall we?

In 1996, Obama, along with 4 rivals, including the incumbent, Alice Palmer, was running for a State Senate seat in Illinois. This unusual situation came about because Sen. Palmer had just tried and failed in her bid for a US Senate seat, and entered the state race at a very late date. All four challengers were required to qualify via petition, and all four submitted petitions with sufficient signatures. The Obama campaign challenged all four petitions, and were able to disqualify enough names from each of them to have all four challengers stricken from the ballot.

All perfectly legal, but not exactly emblematic of a "new" breed of politician. Ironically, Obama campaigned on a platform of giving a "voice to the voiceless." Apparently the only voices he heard were the ones chanting his name.

When Obama set his eyes on higher office, the US Senate, he faced a tough challenge from Blair Hull, a self made millionaire who largely financed his own campaign. Hull was a popular liberal, with strong name recognition and a big lead at the polls. That is until the "new kind of politician," Barack Obama, went old school on him. The Chicago Tribune broke a story that during Hull's divorce, in 1998, his wife had filed for an order of protection against him, and that he had been arrested for battery, but never charged. In a profile of David Axelrod, the architect behind Obama's meteoric rise to Presidential candidate, the New York Times had this to say:
As the 2004 Senate primary neared, it was clear that it was a contest between two people: the millionaire liberal, Hull, who was leading in the polls, and Obama, who had built an impressive grass-roots campaign. About a month before the vote, The Chicago Tribune revealed, near the bottom of a long profile of Hull, that during a divorce proceeding, Hull’s second wife filed for an order of protection. In the following few days, the matter erupted into a full-fledged scandal that ended up destroying the Hull campaign and handing Obama an easy primary victory. The Tribune reporter who wrote the original piece later acknowledged in print that the Obama camp had “worked aggressively behind the scenes” to push the story. But there are those in Chicago who believe that Axelrod had an even more significant role — that he leaked the initial story.

Meet the new boss. Same as the old boss.

Having swept the field clean for his state run, and destroyed his opponent in the US Senate Democratic Primary, Obama had one race left, the Senate race. One more chance to demonstrate that he wasn't old school, that he really was a new kind of politician.

Well, one thing we can say for Obama, he's consistent.

The Republican candidate was Jack Ryan. Ryan was running 22 points behind Obama, but apparently that wasn't enough. He had been through a divorce 5 years earlier from actress Jeri Ryan, and in order to protect their child had sealed the divorce records. The records were first mentioned during the Republican primary, and Ryan and his ex-wife agreed to make the divorce records public, but asked that the child custody records remained sealed. The Obama campaign kept the issue of the sealed records alive, e-mailing reporters about the records, and the Chicago Tribune lawsuit to have them unsealed.

Against the wished of both parents, the records were unsealed, and the sensational nature of the allegations forced Ryan to withdraw from the race.

For the third time in three races, Obama was able to force the withdrawal of his most significant competition through personal attacks. he has yet to win an election based solely on the issues.

That's the context in which Obama is denying that he is behind all the personal attacks on Sarah Palin and her family. That's the context in which Obama is attacking McCain for being old and disabled. This is how Obama operates, folks. It's been apparent in every campaign he's run. He doesn't debate policy; he doesn't run on ideas. He looks for ways to destroy the viability of the opposition candidate, regardless of party, and by any means necessary.

Based on his past campaigns, I am convinced that Obama is not only aware of all the sleaze, but that he authorized it and is encouraging it. The only other option is to believe that he's so ignorant that he doesn't know what his campaign is doing to win him elections.

And that's an even worse answer.

Posted by Rich
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