Upper Left Coast

Thoughts on politics, faith, sports and other random topics from a red state sympathizer in indigo-blue Portland, Oregon.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Media bias? What media bias?

In 19 months the press has yet to examine the relationship between Bill Ayers (self-admitted American terrorist who bombed the Pentagon) and Barack Obama (the presidential candidate), even though Obama began his political career in Ayers' living room.
In 10 days we discovered that Sarah Palin (the vice presidential candidate) really did not have a baby five months ago. It was her 17-year-old daughter’s (only that was not true, but it still was covered as hard news).

In 19 months we have yet to hear much about how Obama (presidential candidate) got all four of his state senate seat opponents removed from the ballot, nor how that squares with his "change" mantra.
In 10 days, most media have failed to mention that Palin (VP Candidate) defeated the sitting governor in his own primary AND a popular former governor in the general election AND has an 80 percent approval rating from the people of Alaska AND that is the highest approval rating of all 50 governors.

In 19 months there has never been any investigation into the admitted drug use by Obama (presidential candidate) more than two decades ago.
In 10 days we found out that 22 years ago Todd Palin (VP candidate’s husband) got a DUI.

It took 19 months for the Obama (presidential candidate) campaign to be asked about Obama’s “Fourth Trimester Abortion” vote. You know, the one where he refused to recognize a live-born infant as a person if the intent was to abort the baby. (And no one in the mainstream media corrected him when he lied about that vote.)
It took 10 days for the eagle-eyed media to discover that while the Alaska state aircraft was indeed put on E-bay by Palin (VP candidate), it failed to sell there and was in fact sold by a broker.

In 19 months of campaigning we have yet to find out what Obama (presidential candidate) did as a “Community Organizer,” nor why it's relevant to his bid for president.
In 10 days, we have a third-hand report that when Sarah (VP candidate) was a mayor, she went to the library and had a discussion about banned books. No books were banned. No librarian was fired and no titles or subjects were mentioned.

In 19 months of campaigning we have yet to know the true extent of the relationship between Obama (presidential candidate) and Tony Rezko (convicted felon, currently serving time for bribing politicians).
In 10 days we discovered that Palin (VP candidate) went to four different colleges during six different stints AND she got in trouble for pulling the fire alarm as a prank in one of them.

In 19 months the press seems to have forgotten to write about the millions of tax dollars that Obama (presidential candidate) directed to Tony Rezko’s buildings, many of them in Obama’s ward, or to mention that the buildings either remain condemned as uninhabitable or are continually cited for failure to meet the most basic rules.
In 10 days we learned that as a mayor with no influence in the decision, Sarah Palin (VP candidate) was for the Bridge to Nowhere, but when she became governor, and had enormous influence, she was against it AND (this is shocking) she used the funds on other more important Alaska infrastructure just like a governor should!

In 19 months there has been no coverage in the mainstream press about how the teachings of Saul Alinsky (a left-wing radical who wrote “Rules for Radicals”) have shaped the views of Obama (presidential candidate), even though Obama is said to have learned and applied Alinsky's teachings as a community organizer.
In 10 days there have been many articles complaining that Sarah Palin (VP candidate) got her nickname “Barracuda” because she was competitive in high school basketball.

It took 18 months for the Italian press to find Obama's (presidential candidate who is fond of the phrase "I am my brother's keeper") half-brother George, a Kenyan who lives in a tin hut about the size of a modest walk-in closet and lives on $12 a year. The American press has yet to find him.
It took 10 days for the press to put together specials on Palin's (VP candidate) family in Wasilla, Alaska (never pronounced without the "population 7,000" suffix), where they have interviewed about all 7,000 of the inhabitants.

Note: I received this via email and it was listed as authored by someone named Greg Stewart. I couldn't find any indication of who that might be.



Friday, September 26, 2008

The debate over today's presidential debate

comes down to talk vs. actions.

Barack Obama's strength is his words, and he believes the American people desire to hear the words of their presidential contenders. He intends to proceed with the debate, regardless of progress on the current crisis, in order to demonstrate that he can discuss our country's issues intelligently and masterfully.

John McCain's strength is his actions, and he believes the American people desire to see what their presidential contenders would actually do in crisis. He believes talk is cheap if it's not backed up by actions. And he intends to proceed with the debate only after dealing with this crisis, because his priority is actions before words.

Which would you rather have in the White House? A man who tells you what he believes, or a man who shows you?

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Tuesday, September 23, 2008

If Joe Biden were McCain's VP choice, the election would be over

In favor of Obama.

That's the (I think correct) summation of Victor Davis Hanson regarding gaffe-a-minute Joe Biden, whose ridiculous comments receive a yawn and a pass from the media:
I think in the space of about the last 24 hours, Joe Biden claimed that the AIG bailout was bad, but then said it wasn't bad;

that we did not need to burn coal;

that his apology about the dirty McCain ad was, as they say, inoperative;

that FDR once went on television to address the nation after the stock market crash of '29 (that's a twofer that trumps Obama's Americans liberating Auschwitz);

and all but said that McCain took a $50,000 bribe.

Not a bad day's work — encompassing terrible energy policy, flip-flopping, historical ignorance, and slander. And this comes on top of Palin the "good looking" "Lt. Governor" of Alaska, Hillary as the better VP pick than himself, the patriotism of paying higher taxes, and so on.

And those in turn come on top of the primary remarks about Indians in donut shops, and "bright and clean" blacks. And those in turn come on top of . . . (Well, go back to the pilfered speeches and made-up bios.)

Something is very wrong here. While most forgive the silly slip like "Barack America" or asking the wheel-chair bound to stand up, I think the Obama staff must have gone from amusement to embarrassment and now to serious concern whether Biden is up to the job.

Had this been Palin, the election would now be over.
Or, as Jonah Goldberg said a couple of weeks ago:
Biden could shout on Meet the Press, “Get these squirrels off of me!” and the collective response would be, “There goes Joe again.” But if Palin flubs the name of the deputy agriculture minister of Kyrgyzstan, the media will blow their whistles saying she’s unprepared for the job.
In other words: if Joe Biden were a conservative Republican and McCain's No. 2 pick and he made these same gaffes, the press would be trumpeting them from the rooftops.

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Thursday, September 18, 2008

Biden admits Palin is more qualified than Obama

Here's Joe Biden, speaking yesterday at a rally in Ohio:
I used to be a councilman. I left that for this job -- for the Senate -- you know why? Your job is harder.
And which one of our candidates was a city councilor? Oh yeah, that would be Sarah Palin. Apparently eight years as a councilor and mayor is better preparation than we thought.



Wednesday, September 17, 2008

A 600-foot tower in Waterfront Park?!

When I first read this, I had to check the calendar to make sure it wasn't somewhere close to April Fool's Day. How'd you like this added to the Portland skyline (click on the photo to enlarge it)?

Read more about it here.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Cool photo of the day

From a friend who's a big Nebraska Cornhusker fan, here's a shot of Husker Stadium awash in red on gameday, complete with flyover.


Monday, September 15, 2008

Questions for Obama

From George Will in the May 5, 2008 issue of Newsweek:

• Senator, concerning the criteria by which you will nominate judges, you said: "We need somebody who's got the heart, the empathy, to recognize what it's like to be a young teenage mom. The empathy to understand what it's like to be poor, or African-American, or gay, or disabled, or old." Such sensitivities might serve an admirable legislator, but what have they to do with judging? Should a judge side with whichever party in a controversy stirs his or her empathy? Is such personalization of the judicial function inimical to the rule of law?

• Voting against the confirmation of Chief Justice John Roberts, you said: Deciding "truly difficult cases" should involve "one's deepest values, one's core concerns, one's broader perspectives on how the world works, and the depth and breadth of one's empathy." Is that not essentially how Chief Justice Roger Taney decided the Dred Scott case? Should other factors—say, the language of the constitutional or statutory provision at issue—matter?

• You say, "The insurance companies, the drug companies, they're not going to give up their profits easily when it comes to health care." Why should they? Who will profit from making those industries unprofitable? When pharmaceutical companies have given up their profits, who will fund pharmaceutical innovations, without which there will be much preventable suffering and death? What other industries should "give up their profits"?

• ExxonMobil's 2007 profit of $40.6 billion annoys you. Do you know that its profit, relative to its revenue, was smaller than Microsoft's and many other corporations'? And that reducing ExxonMobil's profits will injure people who participate in mu-tual funds, index funds and pension funds that own 52 percent of the company?

• You say John McCain is content to "watch [Americans'] home prices decline." So, government should prop up housing prices generally? How? Why? Were prices ideal before the bubble popped? How does a senator know ideal prices? Have you explained to young couples straining to buy their first house that declining prices are a misfortune?

• Telling young people "don't go into corporate America," your wife, Michelle, urged them to become social workers or others in "the helping industry," not "the moneymaking industry." Given that the moneymakers pay for 100 percent of American jobs, in both public and private sectors, is it not helpful?

• Michelle, who was born in 1964, says that most Americans' lives have "gotten progressively worse since I was a little girl." Since 1960, real per capita income has increased 143 percent, life expectancy has increased by seven years, infant mortality has declined 74 percent, deaths from heart disease have been halved, childhood leukemia has stopped being a death sentence, depression has become a treatable disease, air and water pollution have been drastically reduced, the number of women earning a bachelor's degree has more than doubled, the rate of homeownership has increased 10.2 percent, the size of the average American home has doubled, the percentage of homes with air conditioning has risen from 12 to 77, the portion of Americans who own shares of stock has quintupled … Has your wife perhaps missed some pertinent developments in this country that she calls "just downright mean"?

• You favor raising the capital gains tax rate to "20 percent or 25 percent." You say this will not "distort" economic decision making. Your tax returns on your 2007 income of $4.2 million show that you and Michelle own few stocks. Are you sure you understand how investors make decisions?

• During the ABC debate, you acknowledged that when the capital gains rate was dropped first to 20 percent, then to 15 percent, government revenues from the tax increased and they declined in the 1980s when it was increased to 28 percent. Nevertheless, you said you would consider raising the rate "for purposes of fairness." How does decreasing the government's financial resources and punishing investors promote fairness? Are you aware that 20 percent of taxpayers reporting capital gains in 2006 had incomes of less than $50,000?

• This November, electorates in four states will vote on essentially this language: "The state shall not discriminate against, or grant preferential treatment to, any individual or group on the basis of race, sex, color, ethnicity or national origin in the operation of public employment, public education or public contracting." Three states—California, Washington and Michigan—have enacted such language. You made a radio ad opposing the Michigan initiative. Why? Are those states' voters racists?

• You denounce President Bush for arrogance toward other nations. Yet you vow to use a metaphorical "hammer" to force revisions of trade agreements unless certain weaker nations adjust their labor, environmental and other domestic policies to suit you. Can you define cognitive dissonance?

• You want "to reduce money in politics." In February and March you raised $95 million. See prior question.

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Friday, September 12, 2008

The media said it, so it must be true

From a story on the ABC News website today, entitled First Palin Interviews Get Mixed Reaction:
So, how did she do?

Appearing extremely rehearsed
and slightly nervous, Gov. Sarah Palin sat down with ABC's Charles Gibson for interviews that aired Thursday on "World News" and "Nightline."
Just what does "extremely rehearsed" look like? And how does such an interpretation by the reporter belong in the lede of a news story? (Hint: it doesn't, unless you have an agenda.)

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Things to remember about 9/11

Courtesy of Tony Woodlief:

I’m no expert on global politics. I can’t discern whether it’s better to find and kill Islamofascists with all the collateral damage that entails, or play a Clintonesque diplomacy shell game, or something in between. But I do know that right action springs from right thinking, and right thinking is reflected in clear words. So it seems to me that seven years after that awful morning we ought to remember clearly — every citizen and certainly every politician who wants to represent us — a few essential things:

  • These men, women, and children were murdered.
  • Their murderers were slaves to a cult that hates truth and peace.
  • There is no reasoning nor negotiating with people who celebrated in the streets when they heard the news.
  • If we choose to resist this death cult, some of us will die.

And finally, for the Christian, these truths: that the line between Dark and Light traverses every heart, that it is not by our own merit that we were born outside the death cult, that we are enjoined to pray for our enemies, and that the reason we do so is because, on that blessed day when vengeance pours down from Heaven, no dark thing will escape.

The line between Dark and Light traverses every heart. Including mine.

It is not by my own merit that I was born outside the death cult. It is an unearned blessing from God, and I need to treat it as such, to be thankful, and to find ways to show that thanks.

We are enjoined to pray for our enemies. Not just the people who tick me off in traffic. Because God is not wanting anyone to perish, and that includes those who conspire against Him to kill His innocent children.

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Thursday, September 11, 2008

Immediate takes on the Palin-Gibson interview

Charlie Gibson seemed annoyed to have to participate, like it was below his pay grade. He kept plowing through his questions, not interested in much follow-up and not interested in having a conversation. It seemed apparent to me that his questions -- while mostly fair -- were designed to elicit gotcha moments.

Sarah Palin seemed nervous and a little defensive, as if she was expecting more of the same treatment from the press that she's already received. I don't think she hurt herself terribly, nor did she help herself much.

The interview was so tightly (and badly) edited that I think we missed a lot of context. I hope ABC will make the entire interview available.

Palin's worst answer was in the context of national security experience: to paraphrase, I have experience with Russia because on a clear day we can see Russia from Alaska.

Her best answer was about her son's departure for Iraq. That's when she could shine as a human being and a mom, not just a vice president.

Palin handled his questions about her religious statements, but I think Gibson's decision to ask them will backfire on the left, as they discover that those statements resonate with the heartland of America.

She seemed knowledgeable about the Russia-Georgia conflict. I agreed with her take on a potential Israel-Iran showdown, though I wished she would have indicated that our relationship with Israel is such that we would be talking about potential military options before they were implemented.

There seems to be some concern about her answer about the "Bush Doctrine," but I had the same reaction she did: which part, Charlie? If you ask a hundred people (normal people, not hyperactive partisans) about the definition of the "Bush Doctrine," I'll bet you get a hundred different answers.

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Remembering where I was -- and so much more

When recalling a prominent moment in history -- JFK's death, the moon landing, the Challenger explosion, Sept. 11 -- people are prone to use one of my least favorite clichés: I will always remember where I was when it happened.

Of course, it becomes a cliché because it's got a huge nugget of truth embedded in its triteness -- we do remember where we were. But it's so immensely insufficient for me when I look back at that September morning seven years ago.

I still remember the panic in my wife's voice when she woke me, and -- despite my grogginess -- I recall exactly what she said.

I still remember that feeling in my gut as I sat before the television screen and watched hell unfold -- an ache much like I remember feeling when, as a kid, I slipped off the bike pedals and landed stomach-first on the handlebars.

I still remember my disbelief that these monumental structures -- where, as a teenager, I had stood on the observation deck more than a thousand feet above the New York City sidewalks -- could be toppled by the combination of jet fuel and hatred.

I still remember the feeling of unknown for our country -- what would this mean for us? -- and the fear that this was just the beginning.

I still remember Tom Brokaw signing off that evening with the reference to 9-1-1, the first time I'd made the connection between the emergency number and the date.

I still remember the anger I felt toward Palestinians who were dancing in celebration over the attacks.

I still remember concurrently trying to figure out how to explain the circumstances to our 4-year-old while wanting to shield her from the events altogether, even though the television -- which we kept watching for days -- replayed the events ad nauseum.

I still remember the feeling of unease around the fact that we had been trying to get pregnant, and suddenly weren't so confident in the world in which we would bring up our children.

I still remember the eerie silence in the days immediately following the tragedy, silence brought about by the lack of airplanes in the sky. And the unsettling rumble once those planes again took to the air.

I still remember my sister-in-law's fear that my wife -- who worked in a multi-story building downtown -- faced the same vulnerability as those thousands who perished when the twin towers fell.

And I still remember the men and women, fathers and mothers, brothers and sisters, children and grandchildren, friends and neighbors, who never saw their loved ones again.



Tuesday, September 09, 2008

A funny definition of neighborliness

When I hear the word "neighborliness," I think of neighbors coming together in a spirit of community and love to voluntarily help those who need it.

Barack Obama has a different definition. On Bill O'Reilly's show Monday night, Obama made it clear that his definition of neighborliness is the forced transfer of money from those who have been successful in America (and who, by the way, employ a huge number of people through their successful businesses) in order to give it to those who have less:
If I am sitting pretty and you’ve got a waitress who is making minimum wage plus tips and I can afford it and she can’t, what’s the big deal for me to say I’m gonna pay a little bit more? That is neighborliness.
Under that definition, if I get held up in an alley and the thief takes my wallet, but I make enough money to absorb the loss of whatever cash is in the wallet, I'm just being neighborly.

O'Reilly consistently hammered Obama on his plan to raise taxes on the wealthy in order to fund tax cuts elsewhere. Obama refused to take O'Reilly's bait when the latter called it "class warfare" and "income redistribution," even though that's exactly what it is -- taking money away from one class of people to give to another class.

Obama even laid out the terms of how the class warfare will work, telling O'Reilly "you can afford that." In other words, anyone who dislikes such a financial redistribution deserves to be demonized because in the eyes of the left, they should be able to afford whatever the government takes from them -- even though a return to the Clinton tax structure would require those folks to write another five-figure check to the IRS.

Obama tried to come across as an everyday man, saying "I don't like paying taxes. You think I like writing a check?" But his definition of neighborliness is anything but typical. It is, as O'Reilly correctly noted, a "socialist tenet."

By the way, the funniest line in that interview came from O'Reilly, when he said, "It's not all about me, believe me."

Which, of course, is as far from the truth as it could be.

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Wow. Just Wow.

From the public opinion polling firm Rasmussen Reports:
Most American voters (60%) . . . [say] the Supreme Court should make decisions based on what is written in the constitution, while 30% say rulings should be guided on the judge’s sense of fairness and justice . . .

While 82% of voters who support McCain believe the justices should rule on what is in the Constitution, just 29% of Barack Obama’s supporters agree. Just 11% of McCain supporters say judges should rule based on the judge’s sense of fairness, while nearly half (49%) of Obama supporters agree.
Did you get that? Seven out of every 10 Obama supporters disagree with the notion that justices should rule based on the contents of the Constitution. Seven out of 10 don't believe in the Constitution!

And what happens when the sense of fairness from Justice A differs from that of Justice B? You've got to have a common basis for ruling, and that basis is the Constitution. If you don't think it's fair, then you get it changed. The fact that 70 percent of Obama supporters don't get this (or worse yet, consciously disagree with it) is frightening.

Fannie & Freddie like Democrats

Over the last 20 years, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have given more to current or former Democrat candidates for president (to the tune of hundreds of thousands of dollars) than to any other members of Congress.

Sen. Christopher Dodd of Connecticut, chairman of the Senate banking committee, has pulled in $133,900, followed by Sen. John Kerry ($111,000), Sen. Barack Obama ($105,849) and Sen. Hilary Clinton ($75,550). Like in Dodd's case, many of the millions of dollars from Fannie & Freddie have gone to those on committees that regulate the industry; they have been more likely to help whichever party in control of Congress at any given time.

What's most impressive about this is the fact that Dodd and Kerry have been senators for the duration of that 20 years, so it's not so surprising that they might have pulled in decent amounts. But Obama did it in less than four years, and Clinton in less than eight.

The top Republican, at No. 6 on the list, was Sen. Bob Bennett of Utah ($61,499). And at No. 25 was Oregon Rep. Darlene Hooley, who earned $28,750 during her six terms in the House.

Overall, Democrats made up 16 of the top 25 recipients, and have received nearly a million dollars ($966,778); Republicans (with five members in the top 12) pulled in less than half that amount ($419,648).

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Monday, September 08, 2008

Chill out a little

No one is happier than me to see McCain/Palin climb into the lead in polling numbers. But, we have eight weeks and a day before the election -- including four debates. A lot can happen between now and Nov. 4.

Sunday, September 07, 2008

The foreign policy qualifications of governors

A very interesting post by Michael Ledeen on NRO today:

In discussions of the Palin nomination, one line keeps cropping up, to whit, "Governors don't really have foreign policy experience." Not so. Years and years ago I was the editor of The Washington Quarterly, and we started a series on the foreign policies of American states. I don't remember how many of them we commissioned, but the one that sticks in my mind was on the foreign policy of Nebraska. It was a real eye-opener for me, and for our readers, because it turned out that Nebraska had an amazing (to me, highfallutin intellectual in the nation's capital that I was) range of international activities, billions of dollars of foreign trade, ongoing contacts with foreign governments on matters ranging from "risk assessment" (of precisely the same sort that the State Dept carries on) to educational exchanges, financial operations, and ongoing discussions of all of the above with our own federal agencies. Nowadays that list would expand to cover terrorism, money laundering, illegal immigrants, etc. etc. Most states have directors of "homeland security," in the case of big states like California and New York such bureaus carry on intelligence exchange with foreign governments as well as with our own FBI, CIA, DIA, DEA and the like.

Those generalizations about governors should be revisited, I think. They were misguided back in the early eighties, and they're far more out of date today.

Slamming journalists

I read a commenter today dismissing any comparison between Sarah Palin and Margaret Thatcher because Lady Thatcher has a degree in chemistry, whereas Palin believes that the world was created in six days.

I have no idea if Palin believes literally in the biblical story of creation, and don't really care. However, I, too, think it's ludicrous to compare the two, mainly because we have the benefit of four decades of retrospective to examine Thatcher's accomplishments without a corresponding history for Palin.

But I had to laugh at the writer's point, because Palin has a degree in journalism, so one could argue that the writer doesn't think much of her education. Which doesn't say much for an overwhelming number of journalists in America.

Including, come to think of it, me.

The funniest political interview I've ever seen

Courtesy of Gully at Resistance is Futile.

I laughed at this. Hard.

From the Bizarro Comic Strip.



Saturday, September 06, 2008

Balancing demands

The McCain campaign faces a difficult choice.

Do they continue to keep Sarah Palin in a cocoon, refusing to allow reporters to ask any questions of her and, in the process, feeding the perception that she's not ready for prime time?

Or do they allow her to take press questions with the knowledge that the press will treat her at least as contemptibly (if not more so) as they have for the first week of her national political career?

If she's as sharp as I think she is, I vote for No. 2. The first option will be fine for the "base," but will do nothing for the rest of undecided America. The second option will continue to expose the press for the left-wing hacks they are, while revealing more about the character and skills of the vice presidential nominee.

And if those skills are not as high as I think? Well, then bad on John McCain.

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Friday, September 05, 2008

If Obama ever gets the votes, he'll take away your guns

That's the tacit admission that Barack Obama made today during an appearance in Pennsylvania before a "hand-picked crowd," as reported by the Wall Street Journal:

A woman in the crowd told Obama she had “heard a rumor” that he might be planning some sort of gun ban upon being elected president. Obama trotted out his standard policy stance, that he had a deep respect for the “traditions of gun ownership” but favored measures in big cities to keep guns out of the hands of “gang bangers and drug dealers’’ in big cities “who already have them and are shooting people.”

“If you’ve got a gun in your house, I’m not taking it,’’ Obama said. But the Illinois senator could still see skeptics in the crowd, particularly on the faces of several men at the back of the room.

So he tried again. “Even if I want to take them away, I don’t have the votes in Congress,’’ he said. “This can’t be the reason not to vote for me. Can everyone hear me in the back? I see a couple of sportsmen back there. I’m not going to take away your guns.’’

Remember, one of the Democrats' goals this election season (along with Obama in the White House) is a filibuster-proof majority in the Congress. Obama seems to be saying that if he gets elected along with such a majority, he won't hesitate to support Orwellian gun-control legislation.

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Thursday, September 04, 2008

McCain's understanding of the world

John McCain is no Barack Obama. He's not photogenic. He's not a spectacular speaker. His war injuries make him look robotic at times.

And from a purely superficial standpoint, I worry a little bit that too many Americans might make their decisions about the presidency as if it's a beauty contest, instead of looking at the lives and listening to the hearts of the men who want to be the 44th president of the United States.

But I hope there was at least one undecided voter out there tonight who heard John McCain's heart. I hope they heard loud and clear that John McCain has a clear understanding of the world, an understanding garnered by years in the military, years in the government and -- most importantly -- years of watching what war can do to a family, a community and a country:

We face many dangerous threats in this dangerous world, but I'm not afraid of them. I'm prepared for them. I know how the military works, what it can do, what it can do better, and what it shouldn't do. I know how the world works. I know the good and the evil in it. I know how to work with leaders who share our dreams of a freer, safer and more prosperous world, and how to stand up to those who don't. I know how to secure the peace.

My friends, when I was 5 years old, a car pulled up in front of our house. A Navy officer rolled down the window and shouted at my father that the Japanese had bombed Pearl Harbor. I rarely saw my father again for four years. My grandfather came home from that same war exhausted from the burdens he had borne and died the next day. In Vietnam, where I formed the closest friendships of my life, some of those friends never came home with me.

I hate war. It's terrible beyond imagination.

I'm running for president to keep the country I love safe and prevent other families from risking their loved ones in war as my family has. I will draw on all my experience with the world and its leaders, and all the tools at our disposal -- diplomatic, economic, military, and the power of our ideals -- to build the foundations for a stable and enduring peace.

Do you get it? John McCain would keep us out of war if it was at all possible, because he understands the costs of war, but he also understands that war is sometimes necessary to sustain the freedoms that most of us take for granted.

Barack Obama would keep us out of war regardless of the situation, because he doesn't understand the impacts of restraining us from a war we must fight. He believes all war is bad, but has no basis for judging the competing costs of aggression or pacifism.

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Thoughts from the Palin speech

Sarah Palin made effective use of her small-town roots to make a direct appeal to small-town people across the United States. She has to know that the big-town liberals were never going to vote for her ticket to begin with, but there are plenty of small-town folks (and big-town folks with small-town values) who liked what they heard.

She has a mischievous smirk that crosses her face when she's getting ready to deliver a zinger, which made it all that much more fun to watch the speech, rather than just reading it or even hearing it.

Unlike the folks at Blue Oregon, I didn't think it was too sarcastic -- I loved the lines. But then, that's my type of humor, so I'm probably not the right person to ask. I do think the question of whether she connected with independents is a legitimate and important one, but I'm more inclined to think she did because of my first point above.

Years from now, we're still going to be seeing video of little Piper Palin grooming her little brother while sitting in the stands.

Lots of people are praising Rudy Guiliani, but I'm not one of them. He had some good lines, but he went too long and seemed to be making up lines as he went along.

Michael Steele was very good. Mitt Romney made me glad he's not the VP candidate.

If a Republican questioned whether Hilary Clinton could be the president and still be a successful mother and wife, that Republican would be fired, dropped from the ticket, or would announce that he was stepping away to "spend more time with my family" in a heartbeat. And the press would still continue to trumpet that comment weeks or even months after the fact, as some supposed evidence of GOP bias against women. But somehow, the Democrats can make this suggestion about Palin and no one in the media even raises an eyebrow.

Cindy McCain is a stunning 54-year-old woman. There's a reason that one of the more popular Google searches has been "How old is Cindy McCain?"

I'm amazed at the number of times I see people change the subject rather than deal with the question at hand. Example: Bringing the Palin family on the stage is interpreted (by a bojack.org commenter) as "Teenage parents as American heroes. How cute." Even though anyone with half a brain knows there's never been a suggestion that this is intended to glamorize teen pregnancy, and that it's simply a family moment. Simple. Uncomplicated. Not sinister. Not hypocritical. But let's slam the 17-year-old kid who's been dragged through the mud for the last week, instead of dealing with a genuine issue.

And that doesn't even touch the issue that they're comparing Sarah Palin's experience -- which, like it or not, does have several categories that are foreign to Barack Obama -- with that of Mr. Obama, even though Obama is running for president against John McCain, not against Sarah Palin. Is it fair game to examine Palin's resume? Unquestionably. But let's remember who is running against whom, and compare oranges to oranges.

Overall, a very good night.



Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Breaking news from the O

McCain hugs Palin upon his arrival in Twin Cities

With the way the media has covered Sarah Palin, I half-expected that headline to be followed by some sexual harassment allegation.

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