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Saturday, November 08, 2008
Conservatives Should Read This

David Sirota, writing in Salon says that Obama should go "progressive" (i.e., socialist). But get this bit of nonsense:

Democrats need to discard other lies, too -- especially those about Bill Clinton. To hear the pundits tell it, Clinton's first-term pitfalls underscore why the next administration should avoid "governing in a way that is, or seems, skewed to the left," as the Washington Post's Ruth Marcus most recently asserted. History, of course, proves the opposite. Recounting Clinton's early years to Politico, a lobbyist correctly noted that the new president didn't move left -- he pushed conservative policies like NAFTA, thereby demoralizing his base and helping Republicans take Congress.

I think we can all recognize that as fantasy, that governing from the left led to Clinton's downfall. NAFTA did not pass during Clinton's first two years. Sirota's wrong here, but of course, he is wrong in a way that works for his argument.

So it is with conservatives who are claiming that the demoralized right wing was the reason we lost this election. Look, if the right wing didn't come out to prevent Obama's winning the presidency, what good are they? Fair-weather friends are not what you want when you're fighting a war.

But I don't believe the right wing sat on their hands this time. They may have been reluctant to support McCain whole-heartedly, but they for damn sure didn't want Obama. So they did the right thing. But it wasn't enough.

We all recognize how foolish the left sounds when they lose an election and claim it was because their candidate wasn't radical enough. So why do some conservatives find the argument compelling when the shoe's on the other foot?
Friday, November 07, 2008
It All Started As Good Fun

See, we were going to go to the Mormon Temple and scream our lungs out about the damned Mormons not letting gays get married. A little Mormon-bashing never hurt anybody. But then people started calling us the N-Word.

A number of Rod 2.0 and Jasmyne Cannick readers report being subjected to taunts, threats and racist abuse at last night's marriage equality rally in Los Angeles.

Geoffrey, a student at UCLA and regular Rod 2.0 reader, joined the massive protest outside the Temple of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Westwood. Geoffrey was called the n-word at least twice.

Horrors! All these sensitive liberals using the N-word?
Rating the Quarterbacks, 2008

We're about halfway through the season, so we can look at the passing stats year to date and break the passers into three groups:

The Studs:

1. Kurt Warner, Arizona Cardinals. Warner has a passer rating of 104.2, second only to Philip Rivers. My choice for MVP thus far.

2. Philip Rivers, San Diego Chargers. A fine player having his best season so far despite the struggles of his team.

3. Drew Brees, New Orleans Saints. Ditto.

4. Tony Romo, Dallas Cowboys. His team's miserable performance without him shows what an excellent find he has been for big D.

5. Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay Packers. Quietly having a super season after being the forgotten man in the Brett Favre circus, Rodgers has 13 TD passes and only 5 interceptions.

6. Chad Pennington, Miami Dolphins. Shunted out of New York in favor of Favre, Pennington has already led the fish to three more wins than they had in all of 2007.

7. Jason Campbell, Washington Redskins. Campbell has shown progress every year he's been in the league and appears poised to move into the elite category. Has thrown just two interceptions in 273 attempts.

8. Donovan McNabb, Philadelphia Eagles. Consistently excellent player.

Second Tier:

9. Jay Cutler, Denver Broncos. Another player who looks ready to make the leap into the elite class.

10. Kyle Orton, Chicago Bears. Doesn't do anything great, but avoids mistakes and has upped his game enough to look like a potential future star.

11. Matt Schaub, Houston Texans. Quietly performing well but getting no recognition due to his team. Needs to cut down on his interceptions.

12. Trent Edwards, Buffalo Bills. The surprise team of the league appears to have found a player who can lead them to the promised land. Young, and making huge progress over 2007. Only negative is that he doesn't throw enough TD passes.

13. Eli Manning, New York Giants. Surprised he rates this low, but he only averages 6.9 yards per attempt (everybody rated above Manning here has over 7 yards a toss). Still, his team is 7-1 and looks like the class of the NFC.

14. Jeff Garcia, Tampa Bay Bucs. Solid player, but not having as good a season as in 2007, and not likely to return to his past form at age 38.

15. Jake Delhomme, Carolina Panthers. Always one of my favorites for his playoff performances, but doing nothing special this year in the regular season.

16. Brett Favre, New York Jets. Leading the league in interceptions, but considered a success in New York.

17. Matt Ryan, Atlanta Falcons. Doing very well for a rookie QB.

Below Average:

18. David Garrard, Jacksonville Jaguars. Has slipped quite a bit from his excellent 2007 campaign. Not hurting his team, but not helping them, either.

19. Matt Cassel, New England Patriots. Yes, it was Tom Brady and not the system in New England.

20. Peyton Manning, Indianapolis Colts. Having his worst season since his rookie year.

21. Ben Roethlisberger, Pittsburgh Steelers. An off year despite the success of his team.

22. Dan Orlovsky, Detroit Lions. Actually not playing bad compared to the rest of his team, which stinks.

23. Gus Frerotte, Minnesota Vikings. I'm surprised to see he's still in the league and will be even more surprised if he makes it to 2009. Not playing terribly like the guys below him, but at 37 you can't be mediocre.

24. Marc Bulger, St. Louis Rams. A reminder that good young QBs don't always take that next step forward.

The Bad:

25. Carson Palmer, Cincinnati Bengals. Currently injured but was performing very poorly when he went out. Another guy whose career took a sharp u-turn away from stardom in the last few years.

26. Joe Flacco, Baltimore Ravens. Not doing badly for a rookie, but not at Matt Ryan's level either. Has played well the last few weeks and could be moving up.

27. JT O'Sullivan, San Francisco 49ers. Hard to believe that Alex Smith could be worse than this.

28. Kerry Collins, Tennessee Titans. No, this is not a mistake. Averaging only 6.0 yards per pass attempt; among those rated higher only Carson Palmer is throwing shorter. Has not made the costly mistake, but is clearly not the reason the Titans are undefeated.

29. Tyler Thigpen, Kansas City Chiefs. Still only 24 and could move up, but a 51% completion rate and 5.5 yards per attempt are not encouraging signs.

30. Matt Hasselbeck, Seattle Seahawks. Has been injured lately but doing very poorly before he went down.

31. JaMarcus Russell, Oakland Raiders. Sub-50% completions. Young and very talented but needs to show progress.

32. Derek Anderson, Cleveland Browns. Huge step back from his solid 2008 campaign.

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Thursday, November 06, 2008
The Schoolteacher from Hell

Oh, my, she doesn't half browbeat the McCain supporters in her class, and then announces proudly that her kids voted for Obama.

Hat Tip: Belchspeak
Obama Cabinet List Reports

Sounds like he's going to have a bunch of dolts:

President-elect Barack Obama has drafted a star-studded short list of cabinet candidates, with political heavyweights Caroline Kennedy, Robert F. Kennedy, Colin Powell and John Kerry among the most notable names being eyed by his transition team.

That's RFK, Jr., of course. He's the horse's ass that wrote a ridiculous article for Rolling Stone on how the Republicans stole Ohio in 2004. It's a classic piece of conspiracy theorizing as I discussed here.

John Kerry's being bruited about as Secretary of State. Good God! The Boston Fog Machine at Foggy Bottom? I can only hope that's somebody's idea of a joke.
Wednesday, November 05, 2008
The Morning After

The media are doing their best to convince people that Obama had a big win. Don't buy it. Just looking at the two-party vote, Obama won by about six percentage points. That's a only a slightly larger margin of victory than Clinton in 1992 and smaller than Clinton's margin in 1996, Bush Sr.'s margin in 1988, way smaller than Reagan's in 1984 and 1980, and Nixon's in 1972.

Predictably, liberals are claiming this represents an embrace of liberalism.

These guys--and the others who are counseling Barack Obama and the Democrats to "go slow"--couldn't be more wrong. They are looking at Obama's election through the prism of Jimmy Carter's win in 1976 and Bill Clinton's victory in 1992. Both Carter and Clinton did misjudge the mood of the country. They tried unsuccessfully to govern a country from the center-left that was moving to the right (in Carter's case) or that was only just beginning to move leftward (in Clinton's case), and were rebuked by the voters. But Obama is taking office under dramatically different circumstances. His election is the culmination of a Democratic realignment that began in the '90s, was held in abeyance by September 11, and had resumed in the 2006 election.

Nonsense. America is not becoming more liberal. Obama plainly ran a campaign that for the most part was patterned after Bill Clinton's "third way". He benefited from a terrific tailwind due to general Bush fatigue and the economic crisis. And he still barely won, losing (as I write) some traditional bellwethers like Missouri.

I am not going to sit here and hope that Obama turns out to be another Jimmy Carter; I'd much rather have another Bill Clinton (albeit without the raiding of the intern pool), even if it means two terms instead of one. The country has too many problems for us to pray for four bad years so we can make it into power again.

If you want something to give you a chuckle today, check out chucklehead John Derbyshire:

What lost this election was the cloth-eared cluelessness of George W. Bush, the timid squeamishness of John McCain, and the deep lack of interest in conservative principles among Republican primary voters.

Sour? You bet I’m sour. Where was conservatism in this election? Where was restraint in government? Where was national sovereignty? Where was liberty? Where was self-support? And where are those things now? Where are they headed this next four years? Down the toilet, that’s where. Pah!

My vision of hell is a world where the only two political pundits are Derb and Sully.
Tuesday, November 04, 2008
Pro-Obama Celebration Turns to Riot In Baltimore

I am hearing via my niece who is at Johns Hopkins that the police have been unable to maintain order.

Update: News report here; predictably the focus is on the fact that the police were supposedly too aggressive in getting the celebratory crowd away from a hospital's emergency entrance.

Sterling Clifford, a Baltimore Police Department spokesman, said officers had been monitoring the gathering at St. Paul and E. 33rd streets for two hours. About 2 a.m., police received five complaints from the neighborhood concerning the loud noise, including one from nearby Union Memorial Hospital, and "made the determination it was time to close it down."

"As is sometimes the case, there were people who did not want to go home," Clifford said.

Clifford said Union Memorial reported that one of its entrances and an intersection near the hospital were blocked by members of the crowd. He said that a student liaison from Hopkins was trying to help police disperse the crowd with a bullhorn but that the crowd chanted: "These are our streets. We won't go."
Congratulations to President-Elect Obama

Yeah, those words stick in my craw, but let's face it. The guy may be an empty suit but he ran a very disciplined campaign. Aside from Joe the Plumber, Obama didn't make any major mistakes; all his problems were from his past.

Senator McCain will no doubt get a ton of second-guessing, but I don't think there's any doubt that the financial crisis eliminated any chance a Republican candidate had of winning today. I'll try to run the numbers, but I suspect strongly when all is said and done that McCain did better than the party in the aggregate.
Early Results

Obviously the major trendlines are pointing towards a Republican slaughter in the House and Senate. McCain so far seems to be outperforming the Senate candidates quite handily. For example, with 5% in from Virginia, McCain is leading by 15 in precincts where the incumbent Republican, Gilmore, is losing by 14 points. Ditto with Kentucky, where McCain is leading by 15 in precincts where the incumbent Republican, Mitch McConnell is only up by 4.

It seems clear to me so far that it is not John McCain being repudiated by the voters here, but the Republican party in general. I'm still hopeful, but my reading of the tea leaves right now is that Obama will win by a modest margin, not the blowout that many people were predicting.
Andrew Sullivan, Still on the Palin Pregnancy Story

Gotta hand it to that old newshound, he's sticking with his conspiracy theory:

We have been given no actual records of the last pregnancy, or any reccords at all, although we are told by the elusive Dr. Catherine Baldwin-Johnson that labor was at 35 weeks - not as premature as previously believed (if you research the average weight of full term DS babies, you find, by the way, that Trig was not underweight). There is no time for any reporters to ask any questions, of course, or any time for the questions raised by the pregnancy to be aired in the press.... We need documentation to verify the last pregnancy: the amniocentesis results with Sarah Palin's name on them, for example, would be readily available and easy to disseminate, and would help raise awareness of Down Syndrome.

Lol! I still respect his writing skills, but he's gone completely insane. The Trig Truthers, indeed.
I Voted!

Poll workers told me that voting was steady and that at least 50 voters were lined up when the polls opened. The guy in front of me didn't have his current address on his driver's license, and the workers demanded additional ID from him. Fortunately he was prepared with an APS bill and a cable bill, so they let him vote, but I was very pleased to see Arizona's tough voter ID bill being enforced.

I did vote for one Democrat; the guy who was running against Sheriff Joe Arpaio. I used to be an Arpaio fan, but he's become a parody of his former self and I would be very pleased to see him voted out (although I expect him to win).
Annoy the Media and Vote!

This is supposed a minor distraction on the way to be the coronation of King Obama I, but remember, the Super Bowl was supposed to be a mere formality before we could all acknowledge that the New England Patriots were the greatest football team of all time.

I cannot guarantee our efforts will be crowned with success. But I can guarantee you that if we sit home and sulk we'll lose big time. Let's do our part today, and if the miracle occurs we can all say we were part of the greatest comeback in political history since... well, since John McCain became the Republican nominee.

Monday, November 03, 2008
Around the Horn

Why liberals should cheer a McCain victory.

1. It would be a victory for an underdog. Liberals are supposed to like underdogs. McCain is a lonely guy standing up against an unprecedentedly well-financed, superorganized, ExxonMobil-like Obama juggernaut. A McCain upset victory would be a classic liberal happy ending.

Another moron Obamacan claims that Obama is the "real" conservative:

Social Security has long been considered one of the most successful New Deal programs, working well now for 70 years. Yet in 2005, the Bush plan to establish private accounts that could be invested in the Stock Market got nowhere. McCain, too, has embraced this idea. In 2008 it looks ridiculous. The Stock Market! Again, this is a radical proposal, not a conservative one.

Yes indeedy, keeping your money earning that 1-2% that it does in Social Security is better than investing in the longer term winner of the stock market. And this is hardly conservative:

Ever since Roe vs. Wade, abortion has been a salient controversy in our politics. But the availability of abortion is linked to the long advancement of women's equality. Again, we are dealing with social change, and this requires understanding social change, a Burkean imperative that Obama understands.

How is the availability of abortion linked to the long advancement of women's equality? That goes unanswered, as does whether the long advancement of women's equality is good for the country.
Sunday, November 02, 2008
Obama: I Will Bankrupt the Coal Industry

Asked for a comment, Andrew Sullivan said that Obama's position was actually the conservative position. "He talked about markets, and that's conservative."

Update: Rick Moran's take: Change you can freeze to death by. His commenter Darren points out this contractiction in Obama's grandiose claims:

So if somebody wants to build a coal-powered plant, they can; it's just that it will bankrupt them because they're going to be charged a huge sum for all that greenhouse gas that's being emitted.

That will also generate billions of dollars that we can invest in solar, wind, biodiesel and other alternative energy approaches.

It's kind of like the logic that says raising taxes further on cigarettes will not only stop people from smoking, but will generate lots of revenues.


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