Saturday, October 31, 2009

Back When Don Johnson Was Hot...

Heh - every Halloween I dig out this obscure Don Johnson movie, Sweet Hearts Dance, because I love this Halloween scene. It's the devil in me.

215 to Go

Gitmo is six detainees lighter today as six of the Uighurs are on their way to the sunny Pacific island of Palau.

There are 215 still to go, some probably coming to a neighborhood near you as they await trial in the U.S. The good news? They probably won't have swine flu. They get the vaccine before you do.

Full Metal Jacket Reach Around: The Halloween Edition

It's been a hectic morning around here; I got up to do my FMJRA: Halloween Edition post, settle in with some Mello Joy coffee, and log on...whammo! Pop-up city. I've picked up a tacky trojan on my desktop. So, I'm running one scan after another, regular mode, safe mode, the whole nine yards - and this takes lots of time - and decide to check up on the world through my iPhone. Thank goodness for my iNews app on my iPhone because that's how I checked Stacy's blog in my reader and found out that Dede is packing up her toys and going home.

So, I dug out my slower-than-Christmas-I-hate-Vista laptop and here I am. Let's get on with the links. I've got Halloween to celebrate and Hoffman news to catch up with!

First this week is of course Stacy whose sitemeter is probably crashing servers right now with his breaking the Scozzafava story. Stacy's been on this one since the beginning and is on scene now still posting updates.

In the Halloween spirit is Ann Althouse who is shopping for costumes!

Sister Toldjah has comments and updates on the Hoffman/Owens race; Another Black Conservative is also keeping up with the updates. Wyblog weighs in, noting the power of the conservative blogosphere. Plus, the story is exploding all over Memeorandum.

Donald Douglas has some observations on the Ayn Rand influence and notes a review by Adam Kirsch on Anne Heller's new book, Ayn Rand and the World She Made (over in my sidebar).

The Daley Gator is in Halloween mode with Edgar Allan Poe! Go Gator!

Gateway Pundit has a preview of Rush Limbaugh's appearance on Fox News Sunday.

Left Coast Rebel is paying some Rule 5 homage to Mary Katharine Ham.

Fisherville Mike has THE BEST pumpkin design!

Celebrating Halloween even on vacation is Troglopundit. Best picture award.

Best cartoon award goes to Ruby Slippers!

I'm in agreement with Professor Jacobson on Obama and the Dover pictures.

Talk about scary, Doug Ross has a post on the SEIU and Obamacare/socialized medicine.

Be sure to read Emptysuit's post on Obama's rewards to his top fundraisers. This isn't a new practice, but Obama is going above and beyond.

Carol has done a fabulous job this week supporting Project Valour.

Pundette takes a look at the creating/saving jobs data. Scary!

Snaggletoothie is wondering if illegals will be counted in the census.

Okay, I had to read it out loud before I got it, but this is funny!

Honesty in Motion has a funny but NSFW video.

Speaking of funny, don't miss Sarah's account of The Great Cat Chase!

Grandpa John has been digging in the graveyard. Well, sort of.

Bride has been kind of quiet lately, and I've missed her, but she's back with this post which is spot on.

So. This has taken me four times longer than usual to do because of this slower-than-Christmas-I-hate-Vista laptop. Hit the tip jar or something. Drop some candy in there; it's Halloween, after all! Meanwhile, enjoy some song and dance.

Dede Calls it Quits

I've spent the morning running scans on my desktop in an attempt to rid it of an intrusive trojan/virus. Then comes word that Dede quits NY-23. Oh the irony.

Robert Stacy McCain is on scene and broke the news, at least, that's how I found out. This is exciting stuff! Who would have thought that a small special election in upstate New York would have turned into such a referendum on the GOP, RNC, NRCC and, well, Newt.

Professor Jacobson is calling it an all out referendum on Obama now. Liberals vs. conservatives.

The talk on Twitter is sort of cautious; some are hesitant to get too excited just yet. Part of that is because Scozzafava was such a liberal some of her voters may go to Hoffman. The last poll had it a dead heat with Hoffman and Owens with Dede a distant third.

Hot Air reports that Hoffman supporters are headed to Scozzafava's campaign to seek her endorsement. Heh. She's so far left, I'm not even sure that's a good idea.

Things are happening quickly now. Stay tuned for more updates!

(Cross posted at Not One Red Cent)

Friday, October 30, 2009

Scary Fun with Mary Katharine Ham

Heh! Some fun with Mary Katharine Ham:

Joe Biden Heads to Upstate New York

UPDATED BELOW!

How nervous must the Democrats be about NY-23 to send Joe Biden to campaign for Owens? And he's bringing country singer John Rich with him.

Via Memeorandum, Biden is heading to upstate New York to make an eleventh hour push for Bill Owens. This is basically a two man race now between Owens and conservative Doug Hoffman. Dede Scozzafava's campaign has collapsed faster than the Chicago Cubs season did this year. With the RNC now welcoming Hoffman to caucus with them once he wins, Scozzafava must be steaming.

Politico reports that the Biden rally will be Monday in Watertown:

The visit by Biden underlines how badly national Democrats want to snatch this seat, Republican-held since before the Civil War, from the GOP. But it also reflects Democrats' 11th-hour efforts to avoid a clean sweep Tuesday of the three mostly closely-watched races. With Republicans almost certainly winning the Virginia gubernatorial contest and the New Jersey governor's race very much up in the air, the upstate New York congressional race may represent the party's best chance for victory.

We can only hope Stacy McCain will stick around up there to cover Biden's visit; maybe some more shoe leather donations would help!

Allahpundit reminds us how "popular" Biden is lately.

Smells like desperation to me!

Update: Add one more reason for Scozzafava to get steamed: Rep. Issa, who supported her previously, is now backing away from her and is overnighting Doug Hoffman a $5,000 check!

(Cross-posted at Not One Red Cent!)

Nancy Pelosi's Bundle of Joy

I've been so involved in NY-23 over the past couple of weeks that I haven't paid a lot of attention to the Obamacare situation. That's the thing with this administration - if you blink, or look at some other critical issue, you get ambushed on your flank by some 1,990 Nancy Pelosi bill.

Not to worry, however. There are plenty of good folks slogging through this thing so you don't have to. Take a look first at Philip Klein's piece at American Spectator. Klein looks at the section regarding "Employer Responsibility" and comes to the conclusion that this bill is a huge job killer. Klein keeps his explanation pretty simple:

For full-time workers, business will have to contribute at least 72.5 percent toward individual health insurance policies, and 65 percent for family policies. For part-time workers, the required percentage would be based on a proportion of how many hours they worked relative to the hours worked by a full-time employee. The exact proportion would be determined, once again, by the Health Choices Commissioner, in conjunction with the Secretary of Labor, the Secretary of the Treasury, and the Secretary of Health and Human Services.

Any employer with a total annual payroll of over $500,000 that does not meet these requirements will be subject to a new tax, which reaches as high as 8 percent once payroll reaches over $750,000.

This is a killer for small business. And larger businesses will be inclined to lower their payroll in order to avoid penalties.

The Wall Street Journal also breaks the House bill down:

Creates government-run health-insurance plan that would negotiate rates with doctors and hospitals.

Employers must provide health-insurance coverage or pay fine of 8% of payroll (for those with payroll greater than $750,000).

Surtax of 5.4% on married couples earning more than $1 million a year or individuals making more than $500,000 a year.


Those who go without insurance would pay fine of up to 2.5% of adjusted gross income.

Of course, low income families will get subsidies to buy health care. The public option is still in there but now we learn that it won't provide lower cost coverage. And yes, it will still drive your regular provider out of business. In fact, as Jammie Wearing Fool reads it, no new private insurance companies will be allowed to form.

With regard to the cost issues, Hot Air has a post on all the new taxes that come with this bundle of joy:

  • Employer Mandate Excise Tax (Page 275): If an employer does not pay 72.5 percent of a single employee’s health premium (65 percent of a family employee), the employer must pay an excise tax equal to 8 percent of average wages. Small employers (measured by payroll size) have smaller payroll tax rates of 0 percent (<$500,000), 2 percent ($500,000-$585,000), 4 percent ($585,000-$670,000), and 6 percent ($670,000-$750,000).
  • Individual Mandate Surtax (Page 296): If an individual fails to obtain qualifying coverage, he must pay an income surtax equal to the lesser of 2.5 percent of modified adjusted gross income (MAGI) or the average premium. MAGI adds back in the foreign earned income exclusion and municipal bond interest.
  • Medicine Cabinet Tax (Page 324)
  • Cap on FSAs (Page 325)
  • Increased Additional Tax on Non-Qualified HSA Distributions (Page 326)
  • Denial of Tax Deduction for Employer Health Plans Coordinating with Medicare Part D (Page 327)
  • Surtax on Individuals and Small Businesses (Page 336)
  • Excise Tax on Medical Devices (Page 339)
  • Corporate 1099-MISC Information Reporting (Page 344)
  • Delay in Worldwide Allocation of Interest (Page 345)
  • Limitation on Tax Treaty Benefits for Certain Payments (Page 346)
  • Codification of the “Economic Substance Doctrine” (Page 349)
  • Application of “More Likely Than Not” Rule (Page 357)
That Limitation on Tax Treaty item, above? Ed Morrissey explains that "it places a penalizing tax on American earnings for corporations with overseas profits. That should drive those corporations that can relocate to foreign shores, while making other American corporations less competitive."

And the final prize after all this? 18 million will still be uninsured. So, if this passes, what have we gained? Absolutely nothing but another huge bureaucracy, another entitlement program, higher unemployment, inevitable rationing leading to inferior care.

Back up and start over, folks. This just gets worse with each new incarnation.

NY-23: Pataki Endorses Hoffman

Former New York Governor George Pataki has endorsed NY-23 candidate Doug Hoffman. Via Memeorandum, here is Pataki's statement:

As someone personally engaged in the way of life in the Adirondacks and Northern New York, I’m deeply concerned about the course of our nation and the outcome of the election in the 23rd Congressional District.

Simply put, we cannot afford to give another vote to Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid we cannot afford another vote for higher taxes, we cannot afford another vote for government run health care and we absolutely cannot afford another vote to take away from hard working men and women the right to secret ballot.

That is why tonight, I’m proud to endorse Doug Hoffman, a Republican, running on the Conservative line for Congress in the 23rd Congressional District.

Doug Hoffman will stand up to Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid. He will fight for all the residents of northern New York. He will fight for our proud servicemen and women at Fort Drum, our dairy farmers in Lowville and our manufacturers in Plattsburgh.

As a businessman, and as a life-long resident of the North Country Doug Hoffman understands the need to lower taxes on working families, the need to stand tall against terror and he won’t back phony stimulus programs that fail to create the jobs we need and leaves a mountain of debt to our children.

When elected to Congress Doug will work to reduce our taxes, he will stand tall against those who despise our freedoms and he will be a vigilant stalwart against those who would substitute government programs for individual initiative.

And Doug Hoffman can win.

I urge all the voters of the 23rd Congressional District – Republican Democrat, Independent and Conservative to come out and vote for Doug Hoffman for Congress.

Pataki now joins a very, very long list of folks who have endorsed Hoffman, including Sarah Palin, Rick Santorum, Steve Forbes, Tim Pawlenty, and my own Representative, John Fleming. Conservatives4Palin has the list, here.

Now it seems that even the NRCC is bailing on Scozzafava as Pete Sessions says that Doug Hoffman would be "welcome with open arms" into the ranks of the Republican leadership. Politico reports that :

On Thursday afternoon, Sessions appeared to tacitly acknowledge that Hoffman may represent the GOP’s best chance to keep the Republican-held seat from being picked up by a Democrat.

“I think it’s pretty clear that a person who would vote for John Boehner, support tax cuts, support growing our economy, and defeat Nancy Pelosi’s tax and spend agenda will be really welcome in our conference, and I think having a person who can win that district off that message would be really good for the Republican Party,” Sessions said.

What? Now that Hoffman has surged past Scozzafava in the polls, leaving her now in third place behind the Democrat Bill Owens, Sessions wants in on the Hoffmania? I'm sure Scozzafava was thrilled when she read that one.

Don't expect the NRCC to have learned any real lessons here. As long as the Republican leadership is out of touch with the conservative base, they will continue to support whichever candidate they feel can win the seat. As conservatives, we need to send our support directly to those candidates that reflect our values rather than to the RNC as long as they continue to prop up candidates like Scozzafava and Charlie Crist in Florida.

Time posts an article today which sums up this race:

Jeff Graham, the mayor of Watertown and a member of the Independence Party, says Hoffman is "a meek, soft-spoken guy who is mad as hell and just decided to go ahead and do this 2009 version of Mr. Smith Goes to Washington. And it seems to be working."

Run Doug, Run!

(Cross-posted at Not One Red Cent!)

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Rick Rowe Visits Bossier High

My school, lookin' good! So proud of our great kids!

Shreveport Weather

Crazy bad weather here this evening; these pictures are from Jerry Newman, posted here, at the Shreveport Times website. Anyone familiar with Shreveport knows that's the steeple from the First United Methodist Church now on the ground in downtown Shreveport. It crushed this car when it fell.

Tornadoes all around us - mostly in Haughton and North Bossier, so far. This one, that knocked the steeple down, ended up in North Bossier. There are condos in Greenacres Place on fire and lots of blown roofs in Haughton. Also in Haughton, a huge pine tree fell, cutting a house in half. There was an elderly woman inside along with her daughter; both have been checked out and are doing okay.

More weather on the way this evening. Shelters are open at Platt Elementary on Highway 80 in Haughton and one is opening at the Bossier Civic Center.

I've checked on a couple of my friends from work that live in Bossier and at last check they were fine. Feel free to leave check-ins and updates in the comments!

NY-23: Doug Hoffman Surges in Latest Poll

Jumpin' jehosaphat! Have you seen the latest Daily Kos poll on NY-23? Here's the summary:

Owens 33 (-2 vs. last poll, Oct. 22)
Hoffman 32 (+9)
Scozzafava 21 (-9)
Und 14

and the breakdown is here. That's quite a jump for Doug Hoffman, and I might note, quite a fall for Dede. The poll was conducted from October 26 to October 28 so it would reflect the Palin endorsement. Governor Rick Perry now joins the lineup of those who have endorsed Hoffman along with Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty, former House Majority Leader Dick Armey, Fred Thompson and Rick Santorum, among others.

Allahpundit notes the poll with the reminder that this isn't actually a Daily Kos poll - they just paid for it. The pollster, Research 2000 is reliable. In addition, he says "Remember too that the campaigns have been whispering for the past week that internal polls show a two-man race now with Scozzafava fading. Consider this confirmation."

The end is near: Hoffman, Scozzafava and Democrat Owens will debate tonight; election day is Tuesday. Stacy McCain is doing the road-trip-thing, on his way to Syracuse as we speak. I believe you'll be able to watch tonight's debate online.

It's not too late to send some cash Hoffman's way so he can keep the momentum! As Robert Stacy McCain says, it's HOFFMANIA!

(Cross-posted at Not One Red Cent!)

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Monster Mash

I do love Halloween! I'm getting in the spirit...

Quote of the Day

“Are we saying that as Americans you’ve got to have an ‘R’ by your name before you vote for them? Where do you draw the line?” he continued. “If somebody with a record like this gets our seal of approval, regardless, only because she’s got an ‘R’ by the name… You know, just because we’re Republicans doesn’t mean that we’re deaf, dumb, and blind.”

Fred Thompson

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Charles Krauthammer Speaks to Der Spiegel

Readers of this blog know I adore Charles Krauthammer; I think he's brilliant. I almost always agree with what he says - not always, but almost. I like him because he challenges me; I have to look up some of his references or allusions. Kind of like Dennis Miller. But not exactly.

Krauthammer has a really nice interview in Der Spiegel. He says some things that depress me though, like this:

SPIEGEL: Do you basically think Obama is going to be a one-term president?

Krauthammer: No, I think he has a very good chance of being reelected. For two reasons. First, there's no real candidate on the other side, and you can't beat something with nothing. Secondly, it'll depend on the economy -- and just from American history, in the normal economic cycles, presidents who have their recessions at the beginning of their first term get reelected (Reagan, Clinton, the second Bush), and presidents who have them at the end of their first term don't (Carter, the first Bush). Obama will lose a lot of seats in next year's Congressional election, but the economy should be on the upswing in 2012.

I know in my heart he is right; but oh my, it's a concept that just makes my heart sink. Right now I feel like I am on guard every single second, waiting, waiting to see what ambush is coming from the left next. I think I'm all focused on Obamacare and then out of the bushes comes Cap 'n Tax again, sneaking out of the Senate. Waxman-Markey in new clothes. Always on the watch. About the only bright light I have is that it might get better in 2012 - hell, even 2010 if the elections go well. My optimism hasn't left me completely.

On the "Obama Doctrine," Krauthammer had this to say:

SPIEGEL: You famously coined the term "Reagan Doctrine" to describe Ronald Reagan's foreign policy. What is the "Obama Doctrine?"

Krauthammer: I would say his vision of the world appears to me to be so naïve that I am not even sure he's able to develop a doctrine. He has a view of the world as regulated by self-enforcing international norms, where the peace is kept by some kind of vague international consensus, something called the international community, which to me is a fiction, acting through obviously inadequate and worthless international agencies. I wouldn't elevate that kind of thinking to a doctrine because I have too much respect for the word doctrine.

SPIEGEL: Are you saying that diplomacy always fails?

Krauthammer: No, foolishness does.

I couldn't agree more with that. Yet it, too, is depressing. Especially combined with the thought that we might have to hold on by our fingernails until 2016. Crikey!

Ah well. I adore Charles Krauthammer and I think I'll add an extra prayer for him and for our country tonight. It couldn't hurt.

On Polls and Third Parties

I'm always so cautious about polls. My opinion of polls is that you can always find one that supports what you want to hear. So with that in mind, I'm excited, yet cautious, about the Club for Growth poll that shows a Hoffman surge in NY-23:

A poll released today by the Club for Growth shows Conservative Party candidate Doug Hoffman surging into the lead in the special election in New York's 23rd congressional district to replace John McHugh, the former congressman who recently became Secretary of the Army. The poll of 300 likely voters, conducted October 24-25, 2009, shows Conservative Doug Hoffman at 31.3%, Democrat Bill Owens at 27.0%, Republican Dede Scozzafava at 19.7%, and 22% undecided. The poll's margin of error is +/- 5.66%.

Club for Growth has endorsed Hoffman, but does that take any validity from their poll? Who knows. I'd like to say no, but were it in reverse, I'd probably discount the results; say if ACORN produced a poll that showed Scozzafava surging, I'd ignore it.

There's a lot of analysis out there over the past few days about the state of the GOP and the role of third parties. Glenn Beck did a spiel on that yesterday. He was on Fox & Friends this morning commenting on his interview with Hoffman; he noted how Hoffman isn't some polished, professional politician that's been on television forever. He comes across as a regular Joe. Beck says you're going to see more and more people like Hoffman, people who have never run before but who are tired of what they're seeing in Washington and who want to get back to the principles of our country. People are not necessarily going to vote for the letter-designation after the name anymore.

Is this a good thing? Or is it, as Newt says, going to hurt the party in the long run? Here's the deal. This is where I am with it. The party be damned. I've never actually associated myself with "party" and in fact was a registered Democrat up until about eight months ago even though I haven't voted for a Democrat in years. It has always depended on the candidate for me, and how closely they mirror my own values. Most of the time it's a Republican. But if it's a Conservative or a Libertarian or even a Democrat (not likely!), that's where I'm voting.

If that makes the Republican tent too small, then so be it. If it's the end of the Republican party, what have we lost? As it is right now there isn't much difference between that and the Democrats.

I think in Hoffman, people are beginning to see that one individual CAN make a difference. He's providing hope to a lot of people, and not that phony, slick, glamorized "hope" we were encouraged to buy into last year. Real hope. Real grassroots hope.

Run, Doug, Run! Good luck!

Monday, October 26, 2009

Hoffmania!

LOTS of articles about NY-23 this morning! As Stacy McCain says, it's "Hoffmania!"

American Thinker has a piece by Bruce Walker in which he says:

Supporting Doug Hoffman, the Conservative Party candidate in the 23rd District, ought to be the easiest decision any conservative has to make. If he wins, his victory is a major trumpet call in the election twelve months from now. But even if he loses, and the Democrat Owens wins, conservatives are better off. The chameleon Republicans like Jeffords, Chaffee, and Specter have prevented the real debate that Americans hunger to hear: the conservative voice of liberty, traditional values, and love for America against the leftist voice of group-buying, anti-religious, and unpatriotic enemies of what has made us great. Hoffman is the easy, obvious choice.

And then we have American Specator and Stacy McCain's piece in which he gives us background on Hoffman's humble beginnings:

Given his hardscrabble upbringing, Hoffman's sympathies are clearly with the conservative grassroots. He was able to get a college education only because his excellent academic record in high school inspired local businessmen to establish a scholarship fund to assist him. Joining the National Guard also helped, and he served a total of six years in Guard and Army Reserves before finishing his enlistment as a staff sergeant. Shortly thereafter, already married with two young children, Hoffman completed his MBA at the University of Connecticut and returned home. At age 27, he became controller -- that is to say, the chief accountant -- for the 1980 Lake Placid Olympic Organizing Committee, responsible for a multimillion dollar budget.

Spectator's Washington Prowler also comments on the NY-23 race and Dede Scozzafava's collapsing campaign:

Scozzafava's campaign hasn't had a good week, taking hits almost daily from conservative grassroots organizations and websites and in the media. Last week, just about every major conservative political website and organization called on Scozzafava to step aside after it was revealed that her husband called the cops on a Weekly Standard reporter who was politely asking the candidate tough questions about her support for card check legislation. Scozzafava's husband also approached local Democrat party leaders earlier this year about the possibility of her running on the Democrat party line should the Republican nomination not take shape.

And, of course, The Washington Post weighs in on Palin's endorsement of Hoffman:

Sarah Palin's decision late last week to endorse the Conservative Party candidate over the Republican nominee in a special U.S. House election in Upstate New York is the latest example that the former Alaska governor's allegiance is to her conservative principles rather than the party's edicts.

Hoffman is making real gains; it's not too late to send some cash so he can continue the momentum!

No Thanks, Newt

Newt says he will run for President (presumably as a Republican!) in 2012 if the citizenry demands it of him or if he "and his wife, Callista, assess the field of candidates in 2011 and feel 'a requirement as citizens that we run.'"

Let me put your mind to rest, Newt. Thanks, but no.

No thanks. Uh uh. We'll catch this one, you can move on.

Maybe you and Dede Scozzafava can write a book or something.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Mark Your Calendar: The 2009 Highland Jazz and Blues Festival

If you are in or around Shreveport, or will be, mark your calendar for November 14 which is the date for the 2009 Highland Jazz and Blues Festival. Good times!

On the schedule this year, so far, is:

The Rebirth Brass Band
Robin and the Bluebirds
Professor Porkchop and the Dirty Dishes
A. J. Cascio and the Two Tone Blues Band
River Breezes
A. J. Haynes
Dan Sanchez and the Kings of Pleasure
Howlin' Henry & the Harptones
Total Choice

I went last year (my first time) and had a blast. The fun kicks off at noon and goes until 5. As in previous years, there will be things for sale - food, beer, art, etc. Last year I bought a cool Christmas ornament from folk artist Bertha Cooper Harris, and some awesome blueberry granola.

Here is my account of last year's fun.

Join the Facebook group for updates!

Here's a video of Rebirth:



I am SOOOOOOO there! And all you people that wimped out on going with me last year because it was cold - grab a blanket!

Fall in Iowa

Mary Landrieu Speaks to Protesters

Via The Dead Pelican, here is Mary Landrieu at her town hall in Lafayette, Louisiana yesterday. She went outside before the meeting, grabbed a bullhorn and, much to her credit, spoke for about ten minutes with protesters, even taking some questions. I don't agree with Landrieu most of the time, but props to her for doing this and not hiding inside or running from speaking to her constituents like many have done.

She says in this video that she "generally" doesn't support a public option and "generally" doesn't support a trigger. (All those "generally"'s bother me a bit...). She says she is definitely NOT for reconciliation and will not vote for that. She will support cloture - she says if they have 60 votes then that's a good thing. She also says that she supports Medicare Advantage and supports versions of the bill that keep it in. She is for more choice and private market reform.

Part I:



Part II:

NY-23: Hoffman Pens an OpEd

Be sure to read Doug Hoffman's OpEd in the New York Post today. Stacy McCain pointed to it in this early morning post, and it's worth the read. I'll quote a tiny bit:

Taxes, the deficit, red tape and regulation are breaking the back of the nation, mortgaging the future of our children and grandchildren.

Americans have had enough and are vocalizing their anger in town hall meetings and on the streets of Washington. They are mad as hell and they’re not going to take it anymore!

That’s why I am running. I am one of them!

Freedom is what Americans want. Economic freedom to reap the rewards of the free enterprise system, personal freedom from the intrusion of big government in our lives, freedom from the nanny state that is being forced upon us.

I’m a lifelong Republican running as the nominee of the New York State Conservative Party. I didn’t leave the Republican Party, the party left me. The GOP bosses in New York and Washington felt the candidate needed to be as liberal as possible. They picked a professional politician, with a voting record more liberal than 46 Democrats in the New York state legislature. They threw principles out the window.

From there he goes on to point out Scozzafava's liberal positions and record.

You may wonder why you should be interested in a race in New York when you don't live anywhere near there, but this race is a bellwether for the 2010 races, in my mind. Are we going to let the national Republican leadership continue to put candidates like Scozzafava and Charlie Crist out there and tell us that's how to take back America?

There is no difference between Crist, Scozzafava and any other liberal politician already in Congress except for the party designation after their name.

Hoffman is a true conservative candidate, like Marco Rubio, and is the kind of candidate we need to support. Send him $5, $10, $25, whatever you can, to help him take back America.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Methodist Church in Rural Iowa

Iowa Corn Shocks






Bobby Jindal on Hannity

Did you see Bobby Jindal on Hannity last night? I was really hoping Hannity would ask him about the NY-23 election, but no luck. I've contacted Jindal's office twice trying to get him to endorse Hoffman, but no luck. Jindal SAYS the right things, but he's still sort of "iffy" around here and gets mixed reviews. I like him, but I've still got him in the unproven category.

Full Metal Jacket Reach Around : The LSU-Auburn Edition

It's a busy Saturday today. We had another round of heavy rain this week so I've got to get on out there and do the yard work this morning. I have a grocery list as long as my arm. My daily check up on Mom fits in here somewhere. Then Steve gets back from Iowa today so I'm headed out to the airport this afternoon to pick him up. Both my dogs are due for a bath, but maybe I can bump that until tomorrow. Then LSU plays Auburn tonight at 6:30. There's my day.

So, to the links:

Starting out with Ed Morrissey at Hot Air because he has a great post on whether or not the Obamacare mandate is constitutional. (It's not.) He lays it all out, so go take a look. Doug Ross also addresses this question.

Stacy McCain has been doing some great work this week reporting on the Doug Hoffman campaign. Stacy and his cohorts, Smitty and Jimmie, have kept The Other McCain at the top of my blogroll all week. Although, I'm hearing Stacy may be needing some bail money. Hoffman is looking to be a strong closer, I think! Dede? Not so much.

Honesty in Motion is also keeping up with NY-23 as is Bob Belvedere.

Speaking of elections, Wyblog has a post on Corzine.

Pundette has a great post on cultural dropouts and civility.

Legal Insurrection takes a look at the LGM attack on Caroline Glick.

Ruby Slippers had a post on the Cheney v. Obama story this week.

Left Coast Rebel has a post on Jeb Bush and his "advice" to Republicans. Read my lips: No more Bushes! Carolyn Tackett is also pondering the future of Republicans.

I enjoyed Trog's post this week about blogging and traffic. My traffic has been in the cellar ever since school started back in the fall. I've resigned myself to the fact that my traffic is going to be hit and miss depending on when I'm blogging full time or working a job that pays my bills. I get linkage from my very generous blogging buddies, I get the occasional Instalanche, and I've been linked by Malkin a few times, Coulter, Hot Air, Linkiest, and Fark. (I can't figure out why I never appear on the trackbacks when I link to Hot Air.) Those high traffice days are the fun days - Trog is right. We don't blog for money (at least I don't - does anybody really make money at this?), but for the joy of writing, learning, and the traffic.

Carol is back with her most excellent FMJRA post! I've missed her Saturday round-ups. And she linked me, even though the link goes to someone else. I love her anyway. :) (It's okay Carol, The Daley Gator's link to me went somewhere else, too, in his Saturday linkage. I'm cursed on linkage this week.) And she has a new, not-president approved sheep. Love those sheep.

Cassandra invites you to join the A-Team!

Liberty Belle has a wonderful "scatterbrained" cornucopia post.

Althouse has a post for Soupy Sales.

Fausta reports on a huge refinery explosion in Puerto Rico; I better go gas up my car before oil prices triple!

Sarah has finally dried out enough from the Georgia floods to tell her story and update her blog!

Critical Narrative questions the authority of Obama's czars to act without consulting with the president, among other things.

*Heh!* Grandpa John wonders about the Florida Gator ACORN connection! This one is for Grandpa John, gleefully swiped from Texas Rainmaker:



And on that note, I'm going to hang up my LSU flag and start my day.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Friday's Quick Reads

In a rush this morning, but here are a couple of things that caught my eye today:

First the Krauthammer article this morning regarding the White House war with Fox News. And have you noticed the shift on Fox this week, ever since Axelrod and Rahm came out last weekend saying Fox isn't a news channel? I've seen a new ad running that shows Fox reporters in war zones, hurricanes, natural disasters, protests, and at political conventions reporting hard hitting news stories. The language in the ad is all about Fox NEWS, with the emphasis on NEWS. When Shepard Smith would break for commercial last night and do his lead out, he'd say "...on Fox NEWS channel" or "....coming up on Fox, the place for NEWS." Shepard Smith is the master of manipulation of tone, and the intent was clear - "we're a news channel!"

The Fox war sort of ties in with what Peggy Noonan is writing about today as well. Her main point is that it's time for Obama to own this presidency and quit blaming Bush for everything. It's undignified and it's not presidential. In the same vein, this war with Fox is also not presidential. Trying to shut Fox out of the pool access to the pay czar yesterday - not presidential. Noonan attributes Obama's tanking poll numbers to his failure to own this presidency: "At some point, you own your presidency. At some point it's your rubble. At some point the American people tell you it's yours. The polls now, with the presidential approval numbers going down and the disapproval numbers going up: That's the American people telling him."

I think that's part of it, but most of it is a difference in policy; Americans aren't getting what they thought they voted for.

And speaking of presidential, I don't want to hear anybody criticize the way George W. Bush speaks EVER again when now what I have to listen to is this:

Democrats, he said to the Democratic audience, are "an opinionated bunch." They always have a lot of thoughts and views. Republicans, on the other hand—"the other side"—aren't really big on independent thinking. "They just kinda sometimes do what they're told. Democrats, ya'll thinkin' for yourselves."

As Noonan says, I hate it when he tries to get all folksy, and down home. It's embarrassing.

One other item to note today is the Palin endorsement of Doug Hoffman in the NY-23 race. That news broke all over the blogosphere last night and now makes the race a national news story; now everyone is paying attention to it. Did you see that Hoffman's campaign war chest doubled in just a week?! Spectacular! And many are calling for Scozzafava to pull out of the race after her brouhaha with the police and John McCormack of the Weekly Standard earlier in the week.

All this, and just think - the Friday News Dump is still to come.

Quote of the Day

The problem isn't his personality, it's his policies. His problem isn't what George W. Bush left but what he himself has done. It is a problem of political judgement, of putting forward bills that were deeply flawed or off-point. Bailouts, the stimulus package, cap-and-trade; turning to health care at the exact moment in history when his countrymen were turning their concerns to the economy, joblessness, debt and deficits—all of these reflect a misreading of the political terrain. They are matters of political judgment, not personality.

Peggy Noonan
Wall Street Journal, Octboer 23, 2009
"It's His Rubble Now"

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Sarah Palin for Doug Hoffman!

Finally, Sarah Palin comes out for Doug Hoffman in NY-23!

Via Facebook (emphasis mine):

The people of the 23rd Congressional District of New York are ready to shake things up, and Doug Hoffman is coming on strong as Election Day approaches! He needs our help now.

The votes of every member of Congress affect every American, so it's important for all of us to pay attention to this important Congressional campaign in upstate New York. I am very pleased to announce my support for Doug Hoffman in his fight to be the next Representative from New York's 23rd Congressional district. It's my honor to endorse Doug and to do what I can to help him win, including having my political action committee, SarahPAC, donate to his campaign the maximum contribution allowed by law.

Our nation is at a crossroads, and this is once again a "time for choosing."

The federal government borrows, spends, and prints too much money, while our national debt hits a record high. Government is growing while the private sector is shrinking, and unemployment is on the rise. Doug Hoffman is committed to ending the reckless spending in Washington, D.C. and the massive increase in the size and scope of the federal government. He is also fully committed to supporting our men and women in uniform as they seek to honorably complete their missions overseas.

And best of all, Doug Hoffman has not been anointed by any political machine.

Doug Hoffman stands for the principles that all Republicans should share: smaller government, lower taxes, strong national defense, and a commitment to individual liberty.

Political parties must stand for something. When Republicans were in the wilderness in the late 1970s, Ronald Reagan knew that the doctrine of "blurring the lines" between parties was not an appropriate way to win elections. Unfortunately, the Republican Party today has decided to choose a candidate who more than blurs the lines, and there is no real difference between the Democrat and the Republican in this race. This is why Doug Hoffman is running on the Conservative Party's ticket.

Republicans and conservatives around the country are sending an important message to the Republican establishment in their outstanding grassroots support for Doug Hoffman: no more politics as usual.

You can help Doug by visiting his official website below and joining me in supporting his campaign:
http://www.doughoffmanforcongress.com/donate3.html.

Irony

Isn't it a clue that there is something just too unsuitable about the safe schools czar, Kevin Jennings, when you aren't even comfortable blogging about his patronage of the arts because people at the school where you work may stumble across it and deem it inappropriate?

Those links, by the way, are the clean ones. I'm not even linking to the site with pictures. I like my job.

Irony.

Balloon Boy - The Halloween Costume

You knew it was coming. Balloon Boy - The Halloween Costume.

Reality Check, Please!

Updates below.

Is music "torture"? I guess some of it could be, depending on your
taste. Fox has a story posted (which I can't link to right now because
I'm posting via cellphone) that reports several "high-profile
musicians" are demanding that the federal government release the names
of the songs blasted at Gitmo.

Because the songs were played for hours these musicians say this
"practice amounted to torture."

Can we please get a clear definition of "torture"?

I'm just amazed at these people. Tom Morello of Rage Against the
Machine is quoted as saying "The fact that music I helped create was
used in crimes against humanity sickens me."

Reality check, please!

Thomas Blanton of the National Security Archive said, "The musicians
and the public have a right to know how an expression of popular
culture was transformed into an enhanced interrogaton technique."

Cue the Conway Twitty. I'll confess.

Amazing.

Update: Now that I'm back at a computer I'm going to add a couple of links for this story. Memeorandum, of course, has lots.

Jammie Wearing Fool covers it. ooooooooo the Meow Mix Song. God help us.

This is the original Fox post I was quoting and here is the Washington Post story that Fox quotes.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Meltdown in NY-23

What an embarrasing thing this is! Via Hot Air is this clip of Dede Scozzafava who, for some ungodly reason, decided that it was a good idea to have a press conference outside a Hoffman campaign office! Seriously, could we think of a WORSE place?



I'm with Allahpundit - I almost feel sorry for her at this point. Her campaign is melting faster than a banana fudgsicle in August.

Jim Geraghty even suggests it's time for the NRCC to ask for their money back:

It's not just the inanity of Dede Scozzafava's campaign calling the cops on a reporter; it's doubling down and calling McCormack a liar. With audiotape now exposing the Scozzafava campaign as the liar in their account of the candidate's interaction with John McCormack, it's a different ballgame. I'm actually finding myself driven to a position beyond the editors.

It's time for the NRCC and RNC to cut their ties, and more. It's embarrassing enough when a candidate won't answer reasonable questions from reasonable press and her campaign attempts to smear them in order to cover up their mess. Forwarding McCormack's e-mails to Talking Points Memo just shows how upside-down the Scozzafava campaign is.

The time has come for the RNC and NRCC to ask for their money back.

Well, that's not going to happen, but this might be a good time to send Hoffman some cash so he can capitalize on this meltdown and make some gains.

From Guantanamo Bay to Standish Max

Gordon Cucullu, author of Inside Gitmo, published earlier this year, has been busily updating his Inside Gitmo Blog which you should keep an eye on if you're interested in the subject of what happens to Guantanamo.

Cucullu has been keeping up with the reports that Guantanamo detainees may be moved to Standish Max Correctional Facility in Michigan. He recently toured the facility along with terrorism expert Dr. Peter Leitner.

The debate over bringing the detainees to Standish has been heating up over the past few weeks. It's not a "done deal" that Standish will be used; the idea was floated a while back, then taken off the table, and now talk is up again. The local population does not necessarily support the idea. In a column for the New York Post last week, Cucullu reports "The Arenac County Board of Commissioners last week voted 4-1 in favor of taking detainees -- but the Standish City Council couldn't even make quorum when it met to discuss the issues. And the three council members who expressed support for the idea indicated that they'd rather just take normal prisoners from other states."

Earlier this summer it was announced that Standish Max would close as part of a reorganization by the Michigan Department of Corrections. This would result in a loss of jobs for about 350 people. But questions are being asked as to whether bringing Gitmo detainees there is the best way to offset this economic quagmire. Many of the locals have safety concerns:

Standish resident Dave Munson, who has been spearheading the anti-Gitmo transfer movement in Standish, said the city needed to look at more than just money and think about who would be held in Guantanamo Bay.

“These guys are not soldiers, they’re enemy,” he said. “We shouldn’t treat them as equals. … They haven’t earned the right to step on our soil. We are a tourism county, not a terrorism county.”

Cuclullu and his terrorism expert looked at the security issues and found some points of concern:

Under normal circumstances this would be a proper maximum security facility. Designed effectively to keep prisoners in, not focused on potential outside threats.

The reasonable assessment is that Standish Max is highly vulnerable to attacks from outside. Even a small suicide bomber igniting the propane tank would be a disaster. A truck filled with ammonium nitrate explosive, al Qaeda’s weapon of choice, would yield catastrophic results.

Politico posted an article that suggests Standish residents are supportive of the Gitmo transfer, but in fact the resolution that the city council voted on was simply to offer Standish for the "detainment of current Federal prisoners held in Federal facilities" without specifying those future prisoners as Gitmo prisoners. There is no agreement that they necessarily want those prisoners to be from Gitmo.

The Detroit Free Press puts it this way:

Instead of passing resolutions supporting the transfer of detainees, the council, faced with job losses when a state prison closes this month, voted to encourage the state to find prisoners from other states or the U.S. government to transfer prisoners to the facility.

The unanimous vote doesn't preclude the transfer of the Guantánamo prisoners to the soon-to-be-closed Standish Maximum Correctional Facility, but removed all references to the terror detainees from the resolution.

So what's the answer? Well, if you ask Peter Finn of the Washington Post, maybe the best answer is to just leave them where they are:

For up to four hours a day, Khalid Sheik Mohammed, the self-proclaimed mastermind of the Sept. 11 attacks, can sit outside in the Caribbean sun and chat through a chain-link fence with the detainee in the neighboring exercise yard at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. Mohammed can also use that time to visit a media room to watch movies of his choice, read newspapers and books, or play handheld electronic games. He and other detainees have access to elliptical machines and stationary bikes.

Yet, if transferred to a Federal facility, such as Standish Max or the prison in Florence, Colorado:

If sent to a facility such as the federal supermax prison in Florence, Colo., they would be sealed off for 23 hours a day in cells with four-inch-wide windows and concrete furniture. If they behave, and are allowed an hour's exercise each day in a tiny yard, they will do so alone. They will have little or no human contact except with prison officials. And the International Committee of the Red Cross, the only outside group with access to Camp 7, will no longer have contact with them.

Now the ball is in the President's court. Will the ill-conceived campaign promise to close Guantanamo be more important than the security concerns of taxpaying American citizens? Will the Gitmo guys end up at Standish or some other Federal facility? What will Eric Holder's Justice Department conclude? Any bets?


Mark Steyn Opines on the NY-23 Race

Mark Steyn offers some observations of the NY-23 race:

Newt really needs to re-think his support for Dede Scozzafava. This isn't RINO but DIABOLO - Democrat In All But Official Label Only. It's not one of those "socially liberal, fiscally conservative" bi-swinger deals - not when you're pro-"stimulus", pro-cash-for-clunkers. And the reductive argument that her sole redeeming value - a willingness to vote for John Boehner as Speaker - is reason enough to support her is silly in a special election. If he's ever Speaker, Boehner won't be till January 2011, and it's 12 months premature for Newt to be telling voters they need to suck it up and accept that a handful of Jim-Jeffords-in-embryo-form are necessary for the Republican tide.

He makes an interesting point. It does seem that Scozzafava's "sole redeeming value" is her willingness to vote for John Boehner as speaker, but there is so much more at stake than that. And as Steyn points out, that wouldn't even occur until 2011 at best. And what guarantee does anyone have that she would still vote for Boehner when the time came? The rumor mill has offered the possibility that she might change parties. Arlen Specter redux.

Steyn goes on to raise a competence issue with Scozzafava as well:

At this stage in the nation's affairs, Washington doesn't need another incoherent buffoon insulated by a phalanx of thin-skinned twerps already guarding her like a 30-year incumbent for whom routine questions are an outrageous form of lèse-majesté.

After the weird incident with John McCormack this week, Michelle Malkin points out that we can also add "liar" to the list of Scozzafava's credentials.

Hoffman can win this race. But, as Steyn points out, if he doesn't then a large part of the blame falls to the crap weasels at the NRCC who endorsed Scozzafava and decided she was the Republican that could win. In a traditionally conservative and Republican district, why in the world would they think such a thing?

Robert Stacy McCain profiles the NY-23 race here, and quotes Hoffman's media coordinator Rob Ryan's response to the Scozzafava/McCormack incident as saying "The only thing the police need to investigate in this race is if Dede Scozzafava is impersonating a Republican."

Ryan also says that this race will be a real bellwether for the Republican party, something Steyn notes as well. How big a tent does the Republican party want to pitch? According to Steyn, if Hoffman loses and the seat falls to a Democrat, largely due to the NRCC's misguided endorsement, "it will be a cautionary tale for party leaders who, as in NY-23, make choices that confirm everything a disgruntled base thinks of them. "


More on this race can be found at Memeorandum.

(Cross posted at Not One Red Cent!)

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

I'm Here

Light blogging today. I've got three books going at once and am feeling the need to finish at least one of them.

I've turned off all the televisions and have crawled up in a comfy spot with the two dogs. (Although, Hannity has Lynn Cheney, Dana Perino, AND Jeri Thompson on tonight. It's a tempting line-up.) But no - all televisions are off. I'm reading.

Blogging resumes tomorrow.

That is all.

Your Daily Affirmation From James Carville

Via The Washington Examiner, James Carville thinks I'm an oddball:

"The self-identifying conservative Republicans who make up the base of the Republican Party stand a world apart from the rest of America," write Carville and Greenberg. Conservative Republicans, according to the Democracy Corps research, don't trust Barack Obama; are scared by the speed with which the president and Democrats in Congress are attempting to enact new programs; don't like government takeovers of business; and believe that many of their fellow Americans don't fully appreciate the threat posed by the Democratic agenda."

According to Carville, this makes me out of step with the rest of the country. So be it.

These are the conclusions of a report entitled "The Very Separate World of Conservative Republicans," a new report by Democracy Corps, the political research firm run by Democratic operatives James Carville and Stanley Greenberg.

The report also concludes that Republicans don't have a very high opinion of their own party. I'd say there is some accuracy in that as well; as long as the national Republican leadership puts candidates like Dede Scozzafava or Charlie Crist out there, who are really liberals with "R"s after their names, you bet that the conservative base is going to be unhappy.

Dede Scozzafava, for example, had the police respond to one of her meetings last night because reporter John McCormack made her "uncomfortable" when he asked her about card check, higher taxes, and abortion funding in Obamacare. McCormack's questions exposed her liberal bias, and I'm guessing THAT is what made her uncomfortable; not much the cops can do for her there.

One good bit of news in the Carville report, though. Republicans aren't racist:

After Republican Rep. Joe Wilson's famous "You lie!" outburst during Obama's address to Congress, commentators all over the media accused conservatives of outright racism. The Democracy Corps focus groups were conducted not long after the Wilson matter, and Carville and Greenberg were specifically looking for signs of racial animus. "We gave these groups of older, white Republican base voters in Georgia full opportunity to bring race into their discussion, but it did not ever become a central element, and indeed, was almost beside the point," Carville and Greenberg write. Race, they conclude, was "certainly not what was bothering them about President Obama."

Nope, it's just his policies we're concerned about. We could have told you that without a report from James Carville.

More on the Scozzafava story at Memeorandum, or McCormack's account here.

Monday, October 19, 2009

The Baucus Bill is Now Really A Bill

Are you ready to read? Here's all 1502 pages of the Baucus Bill. In PDF.

Someone put on a pot of coffee, would ya?


Ray Nagin Visits Cuba to Learn About Disaster Preparedness

New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin is on a field trip to Cuba, on a State Department sanctioned expedition, in order to learn about disaster preparedness.

One might think that after Hurricane Katrina in 2005, Ray Nagin would know just about all there is to know about how to prepare for a hurricane. Trial by fire, as they say. However, it seems as if Mayor Nagin believes he can learn something from Cuba.

Marco Rubio has a response at NRO's The Corner:

"In Cuba, it doesn’t take a hurricane to cause power outages; government rationing of electricity has been doing that for some time. The destruction of the agricultural economy didn't begin when storms destroyed crops; it began when the regime took control of the means of production. The country's infrastructure didn’t start crumbling because of hurricane-strength winds; it’s been deteriorating for decades, along with many aspects of Cuban life, because of a regime obsessed with using its limited resources to maintain power, deprive its people of fundamental liberties and close itself off from the free world.

But perhaps the worst part about the regime’s hurricane-mitigation program is its routine, cruel, and inhumane rejection of American aid."

Port of New Orleans president and CEO Larry LeGrange is all for the Nagin trip, however, and says that Nagin is exploring future trade opportunities with Cuba. He says when the trade embargo with Cuba is ended, Nagin's efforts can only help New Orleans.

Some NOLA residents are getting a little testy over Nagin's little jaunts, however. Earlier this summer, Nagin, his wife, and other city officials went to Shanghai and to Sydney which cost the taxpayers over $28,000. Nagin had promised a "sponsor" for that trip that never materialized. Part of the problem there is the possibility that someone with business ties to the city was footing the bill, which of course, would be unethical.

Nagin is not the first mayor to travel to Cuba for disaster preparedness; the mayor of Galveston, TX traveled to Cuba earlier this year.

Not everyone is impressed with Cuba's hurricane preparedness skills. Besides Rubio, another dissenting voice is George Fowler, a Cuban-American who is also the Vice President of the Cuban American National Foundation.

Fowler said, "we have very little to learn from Castro. It is a country that is embargoed by our own policies because it's been run by a dictator for 50 years. It is also one of four countries that our state department has declared to be a state sponsor of terrorism." While various news articles tout Cuba's success in hurricane preparedness, Fowler said it's communist propaganda, and he doesn't buy the delegation's explanation that New Orleans can learn valuable lessons in disaster readiness from Cuba.

At any rate, Nagin and company are in Cuba. At the very least, maybe Nagin can learn that when a hurricane hits your city, you don't barricade yourself in a luxury hotel "awaiting the federal cavalry." When he came out, he declared that New Orleans would once again be a "chocolate city."

Yes, maybe the Cuba trip isn't such a bad idea, after all!