Sunday, August 31, 2008

Let The Demonization Of Sarah Palin Begin

It should come as no surprise that the Dems are launching some countering criticism to the picking of Sarah Palin to be McCain's running mate. All is fair in love, war, and politics, and it's almost completely certain that the governor has stepped into a hornet's nest by accepting this invitation.

The most obvious criticism is the lack of experience at the international level. That's fair, that's factual. But Obama doesn't have any, either. And yet, in spite of this little well-known tidbit, this isn't stopping some Democrats from throwing stones in the front yards of some pricey and pretentious glass houses.

But when a campaign makes a decision to do this, they must keep something in mind. If a candidate's campaign wishes to render some valid criticism, it really does help if they have their facts straight. If they want free-thinking individuals to give much credence to their arguments, it helps to be honest and forthright with that criticism, free from exaggerations and embellishments. Otherwise, the campaign risks looking desperate and deceitful; and when this happens campaigns are lost.

One of the first things these anxiety ridden hacks are starting to put forth (until more half-truths can be manufactured) is prominently featured in this early piece by the Washington Post.

For the past several years, Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, the Republican vice presidential candidate, has been embroiled in a bitter family feud that has drawn in the state police, the attorney general, the governor's office and the state legislature.

A bipartisan state legislative panel has appointed a special prosecutor to investigate whether Palin improperly brought the family fight into the governor's office. The investigation is focusing on whether she and her aides pressured and ultimately fired the public safety commissioner, Walter Monegan, for not removing Palin's ex-brother-in-law from the state police force.

Before we go any further, I have to ask where's the crime? In most states, the governor picks the department heads. They are hired and, if need be, fired by the same governor. Unless there is a union for state police commissioners, they can be fired at any time, for any reason. Can they not? Here, we have the suggestion that one former such official in this classification was let go simply because he did not terminate someone related to the Governor. This lends to the suggestion a case of sour-grapes that is rooted in nothing more than a family issue.

But just the same, I think we ought to be fair about it.

I did some checking, and Obama's camp might be interested to know some things before they buy into the subtle and not-so-subtle accusations. The national and international media would do well to take notes on this, too.

After learning about this article from the Anchorage Daily-News (HT: Advance Indiana), all signs are pointing to the fact that this man has established a pattern of misbehavior, which would be unacceptable in any private sector job.

Troopers eventually investigated 13 issues and found four in which Wooten violated policy or broke the law or both:

• Wooten used a Taser on his stepson.

• He illegally shot a moose.

• He drank beer in his patrol car on one occasion.

• He told others his father-in-law would "eat a f'ing lead bullet" if he helped his daughter get an attorney for the divorce.

Beyond the investigation sparked by the family, trooper commanders saw cause to discipline or give written instructions to correct Wooten seven times since he joined the force, according to Grimes' letter to Wooten.

Those incidents included: a reprimand in January 2004 for negligent damage to a state vehicle; a January 2005 instruction after being accused of speeding, unsafe lane changes, following too closely and not using turn signals in his state vehicle; a June 2005 instruction regarding personal cell phone calls; an October 2005 suspension from work after getting a speeding ticket; and a November 2005 memo "to clarify duty hours, tardiness and personal business during duty time."

From the info gathered here, we can see something that is obviously lacking in the character and behaviors of someone, who has been entrusted with the safety and security of the state of Alaska's citizens. And as you may guess, there is a union behind this.

"Mike is not without a blemish," the union's Cyr said. But some of the problems noted by Grimes were small matters, he said. Many troopers were told to reimburse the state for personal cell phone calls, he said. Wooten had to miss work for court during the divorce, he said.

The union president, Rob Cox, is a 17-year trooper veteran who worked alongside Wooten in the Valley. Cox said he never thought of him as a rogue cop.

I bet you have never heard that excuse before, have you?

I highly suggest reading all of the ADN and WaPo articles, before rendering judgment on this case. And if there are any hacks for the Obama campaign reading this post, you may want to say to yourself, nice try, and then think twice before parading this one out in the talking points wars.

Just a suggestion.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Another Blast From The Past

With this being the Labor Day weekend and the traditional kickoff of the general election campaign, I thought we'd just have some fun.

Here is the ultimate election rock song, Alice Cooper's Elected:

The Capitol Steps is an entertainment group that puts political parody songs with melodies we all know. Here are some that are appropriate for this campaign:

Super Zealous Radicals

We Only Have McCain

Hillary Will Survive

Every now and then, people ask me why I run for office of some kind. Besides that weekend in Tijuana becoming known throughout the world, I just don't think I have the temperament to remain diplomatic in all situations. This is especially true when someone plays me for a fool. Having been lied to by some of the best liars in the world, has made me fairly proficient at spotting BS a mile away.

Don't get me wrong, I am a patient man. I bear with conditions much longer than I probably should and I pick and choose my battles carefully. But sometimes enough is enough and dealing with liars in Washington for a living might be just more than I can handle.

If I went to Washington, I'd have one thing in mind. I would put my moderation on the back burner, clean house, and I would do it with a vengeance. Here's the song most appropriate to describe what would be my attitude and mood, if that were to happen:


Friday, August 29, 2008

PYY Assessment: The Sarah Palin Pick

Like anyone else, I was shocked that McCain went with a dark horse. Like anyone else, I have been scrambling for information on Gov. Palin and her history on the planet. And like anyone else that tries to objectively analyze the campaign from a strategic/tactical standpoint, I have come up with an initial thought or two. Here is my initial assessment on the pick:

1. In the short term, Obama's speech was erased from the "talking head" shows and from the world of the private conversation. This was the talk of the town and the dominant news story of the day. In a day when there should have been a conversation about the "emperor's" speech (and the lack of a wardrobe thereof), I guarantee you, even Obama's camp did not get to gloat in it very long. You can bet there were more than one verbal exchange among them.

2. This was a risky move to be sure, but it was not without some merit. Gov. Palin is not a monolithic politician. Like McCain, she is a maverick and guides more by her principles, despite the fact that some of us may disagree with him/her on some of them. There's always a risk when picking someone who is relatively unknown, but the challenge for the McCain camp will now be to get her known and liked. To do this, she must be able to stand her ground, when the vicious stuff from the Democratic dirty tactics battalion heads out on bivouac.

3. Obama's camp wanted Romney badly. Their second choice would have been Tom Ridge. They wanted Romney to use his primary soundbites against McCain, in the same manner the GOP has used the Biden ones (to a great level of effectiveness, too, I might add). We can expect to see more of those, now that this angle has been taken away from Camp Obama. They wanted Tome Ridge to tie McCain to Bush. This strips the Democrats of this weapon, much in the way the cavalry commanders stripped Chuck Connors' "Branded" character of his sword and rank, in the opening credits of that old time show.

4. Palin's pick has not only energized the GOP base, but independents will likely come alive as well. There are lot of people sitting on the fence right now, most of them do not feel a connection to Obama or McCain. The most disenfranchised of them are independent soccer moms, who will (in all likelihood) instantly feel a genuine kinship with this lady.

5 .Some of the other demographics she will appeal to?

-Union members, who are usually conservative on most issues, come to mind almost immediately. These are those that are faith-based, gun rights advocates, and have simple down-to-earth lifestyles. They do not worry about the price of arugula.

- Right-to-lifers apparently love her. She does much to re-attract the evangelicals that were skeptical about McCain.

- Fiscal conservatives will love her. She has been a strong advocate against rampant spending and against high taxes that are sorely needed to support this pillar foundation, of the Democratic philosophy. She even returned money back to the taxpayers of Alaska, when it wasn't needed.

6. This shows that despite the criticism hurled at it by many GOP pundits, McCain's camp is not dead and is taking nothing for granted in this election. When some people would roll over and play dead (like Mondale did in 84 and Bob Dole did in 96) just to recover in one piece, they are pressing onward. Not only this, they are thinking some things through and making some bold decisions to better demonstrate a more cogent vision. He was counted out before the primaries began and he came back, then. Looks like he is staying with his opponent.

7. Another balloon deflated on the Obama side is the experience issue. Camp O dares not to make too big of an issue of the experience factor. Palin has more executive experience than Obama, even though it's not much. Having Palin a hearbeat from the Presidency is preferable to having a novice occupy the Presidency. The fact that McCain's mother is sharp as a tack in her 90s, is a factor which fares well for the senator. Genes are many times, a good predictor of health. With Obama, we know a greenhorn will make the decisions, with McCain we can only deal with hypothetical scenarios.

8. She has an opportunity to help turn a lackluster campaign into a winning ticket. But she has to be up to the job. Many indications have been pointed out that she can and will. But only time will tell, if it will work. It's now up to Camp Mac to develop a coherent policy on everything that Obama doesn't have (which is pretty much everything). Then, they must effectively communicate that policy, complete with specific and stated in terms that common people can understand, and reasonably believe. An energetic voice will help this cause, much like a good effective ad campaign does for a new or improved product.

The Big Speech

I didn't see it. It was slated for 10:00 PM EDT and at my age, I need my sleep before my ten hour days. But I am sure I will get to see and hear clips throughout the day, and will be able to view it in the internet this weekend.

In the few soundbites I have already heard (as I pry my eyes open this morning), it sounded like any other speech he has given. What I have already heard was long on rhetoric and short on specific plans to fix everything that is wrong with this country (which, according to him, is everything). And why shouldn't it be? This is what got him here.

So what did everyone else think?

Some Stats To Review

Funny how Democrats (and other forms of leftists) that continue to oppose the war in Iraq, use blatant distortions in casualty figures. Never do they use facts, never do they portray their arguments in an accurate manner. Many claim that minority soldiers are killed or wounded disproportionately. They rail as if there have been more casualties in this war than ever before (although they may not use those words). In other words, they paint a picture that is not real and devoid of integrity.

But at this website, we can do a comparative analysis of casualties in Iraq with other wars, presidencies, and other demographics. This is a pretty detailed report that I recommend everyone look at, when they get a chance.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

ABC Reporter Jailed, Roughed Up

An ABC News producer was arrested yesterday, while on a public sidewalk outside a Denver hotel. The hotel called the police and filed a complaint. No doubt it was due to some of the people that were attending gatherings in it, hosted by lobbyists. ABC has been following the money trail of lobbyists, with the special attention being given to the extravagance during the Democratic Convention.

Sounds like Chinese political culture has made it's way into the U.S.

The interesting thing is, Obama campaigned against lobbyists during the primary season, painting Hillary and the overall culture as a beast that needed to be tamed. But now we see that system is much bigger than an upstart lawyer from the southside of Chicago.

Maybe the Presidency is too big of a job for him.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

When Democrats Attack

Paul Begala, an obnoxious Democratic party hack, has decided that the Democrats are missing a golden opportunity. He pens his criticism in this article.

Michelle Obama was spectacular Monday night. Poised, charming, beautiful, and most of all, authentic.

She may have been poised, she may have made few (if any) mistakes, but she was anything but spectacular or authentic. Here true feelings are well-known to us right now, and believe me, she is not Claire Huxtable in the least. Her speech was marginal, at best; nothing more than a stump speech.

As Karl Rove commented after the speech, she had an opportunity to connect and missed it.

Ted Kennedy was heroic. Rising out of a wheelchair to stride out on stage, he showed us all the meaning of courage.

I am no fan of the man, but I will not engage in the same mean-spirited attacks at a time when his health is failing. I wish him well, but the word heroic doesn't apply when talking about a speech.

But unless you're married to the nominee or fighting off brain cancer, each speaker has one job at the Democratic convention: make the case for change. That case begins with a resounding, ringing indictment of the failed Bush-McCain policies. In other words: attack.

Attack what?

Should they attack McCain's years of experience working with both sides of the aisle? Should they attack his service record? Should they attack the man that didn't always follow the Bush doctrine, to the letter? How about his plans to drill for oil? Or what about his stance on not raising taxes, when the economy is sputtering?

The big issue the Democrats could attack McCain on if they would, should be his immigration policies. But that (within itself) is hard to do, when those that should be attacking are close to being on the same side of the issue. You cannot make a credible case in this area, when you see illegals as gravy train votes.

But the only thing Begala knows is attack, for he is a political pit bull. It's the old "tear down the other side for political gain" approach. And so it goes, what he is not considering in this instance is the difference between a legitimate attack and a smear campaign. He doesn't recognize the difference. He wants to keep harping on the same old tired things that have lost the Democrats the last two presidential elections. He wants to play the same tired class warfare card, hoping enough people will believe that Democrats will redeem the oppressed and afflicted from the evil Republicans. That is the Democrats' right to do so if they wish, but it's not getting them anywhere.

By contrast, McCain's campaign is right to point out the countless flaws in the Obama candidacy, because there is much to criticize. No experience at the national and international level, no judgment, and no real record to evaluate how the man will govern. None. Nada. Zip. Zilch.

Last weekend the Obama campaign clearly demonstrated this and yet, for some unknown reason, they took away the only thing they had going in their favor. The change factor, with Obama being the outsider, was their only hope. But now with Biden on the ticket, it's gone. It disappeared and vanished into the thin air of Denver.

If this isn't enough, there's another thing to consider. By appointing Biden to the #2 slot, Obama has made himself look much weaker than he already did. From now on throughout this entire campaign, whenever Biden tells us all of his many years of service in the Senate and his many accomplishments, he will be inferring that his running mate does not. And we already knew this, from day one. If I am advising McCain, this is what I keep hitting.

So Begala and Carville can call for all of the attacks they want, empty suits carry little credibility when making empty attacks. When an opponent such as McCain has a lifetime of experiences, there are bound to be mistakes along the way and those things are fair game. But it's more important to note, the person who never makes mistakes is the one who doesn't do anything. And when the opponent has no record of doing anything, the criticism must be directed at that lack of accomplishment and the resources the candidate used to rise to this level in the first place (SEE: William Ayers).

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

A Tell-Tale Sign

From the Denver Post, comes this jewel.

Supporters of Hillary Rodham Clinton furiously circulated petitions on the floor of the Democratic National Convention last night, hoping to stave off a plan to hold the convention's roll call at breakfast Wednesday — out of the public eye — sources inside the delegations said. The move being worked out between the Obama campaign and officials behind Clinton's suspended bid, would work in two parts: Delegates would cast votes at their hotels Wednesday morning; that night, at the Pepsi Center convention site, the roll-call process would rely on the votes cast that morning, the delegates said.

What does this tell us? It says that the Obama camp doesn't trust the Clinton camp, one bit.

They are deadly afraid the Clintons have lined up something slick, something like a convention coup. They have to be worried that there are doubts among the super-delegates, who were won over late and with some extra effort.

I tell you folks, there's trouble in paradiseland. The Democrats are as close to being as divided, as they were in 68, as they ever have been since.

A Revision In Network Call Letters

In 2005, in the infancy of this blog, I posted this piece telling us just what those network call letters meant.

Today, it's time we revise them a bit. Here are the changes, as I see them:

NBC - National Barack Channel

MSNBC - More of Same National Barack Channel

CBS - Central Barack Station

ABC - Almost Barack Channel ( they do a better job than the others, in remaining unbiased)

PBS - Proletariat Barack System

CNN, FOX, and NPR all remain the same.

Thank you for your support.

Biden Will Be Trouble For Democrats

Slate is far from a partisan mouthpiece. For those that were too young to remember, here's an article that revisits Joe Biden's plagiarism. This piece is an in-depth examination of the offenses and why they were particularly important at that juncture in time, as well as today.

As I have said repeatedly, Biden brings experience that Obama just doesn't have and will not get before November. But with that experience comes the deeds of a career politician, some already known and others, yet to be discovered.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Brother, Can You Spare Some "Change"?

Underneath the facade of carefully crafted speeches that will outline a vision of an America that's different, willing to take a leap of faith, and yearning for change, there is an underworld operating right now in Denver. After the cry of action, the play will begin and the roles the actors play will become more fully developed. Behind it all will be a crew of technocrats, stagehands, directors, and producers that want to make a sales pitch or two, and sell a service or product.

If that's not enough, there's more. As in any part of an entertainment event, sponsorship of such a production plays the most important role. Even though it is unseen and unheard from (during the show), it's there. And most of us will not see it at home on the TV screens.

We'll hear how the Democrats are the hope of our future, while they lambaste George Bush for creating the poor, screwing the middle class, and for generally being Satan, incarnate. During this time, the words and the prose will all be pointing to the one that will deliver us all from oppression and corruption, Barack Hussein Obama. All the while, many will watching in earnest to see if they will be getting a good return on their investments. Behind the scenes during all of this, lobbyists are doing what Obama said he did not want them to do and wanted to change. They are spreading money around like candy being thrown off of Mardi Gras parade float.

Despite a campaign that attacked corporate and special interest lobbyists as evil and banned their money and participation, Sen. Barack Obama has done little, if anything, about their pervasive, free-spending presence at the Democratic convention in Denver, ethics watchdog groups say.

I think he could have sent a signal to say I want this tamped down," said Ellen Miller of the Sunlight Foundation, a political ethics watchdog group.

"But he has not," she said, "so it's party time."

The man that says he wants to change the way business is done is Washington, is off to a great start. Maybe he thinks it counts as "change" if he changes it from DC politics to that of The Windy City. Ask any Chicagoan, that's how it's done there. But, the interesting thing is clear. Obama is not wanting to implement change, nearly as much as he and his peers want us all to believe that he does. And what's his campaigns excuse?

A spokesman for the Obama campaign, Ben LaBolt, said the Senator could not "make changes to this year's convention" because of the "very late end to the primary season."


We didn't think we'd win the nomination and have all of this money thrown at us, so abruptly and so soon. Because of this, we must disregard the promises we made for the good of the Party and the furtherance of the ultimate goal, which is beating George, uh, John McCain, in the fall. The people, who we promised this to, were primarily Democrats and they will all understand our rationale. We cannot afford four more years of George Bush's policies, which is what we will get with John McCain. (Now if you'll excuse us, we have to go to an after-session party hosted by some friends, and we are already late.)

So, here we are. We are stuck in a news cycle that will last until Thursday night, when "The One" will accept his party's nomination, in a stadium that can showcase the Democratic moonies that look for deliverance from perceived injustices, imposed on Americans, by an out of touch Republican Party that wants people to suffer. "Change we can believe in" and "changing the way business is done in Washington" will both be the central themes for the next four evenings, over and over, ad nauseum. But if you want to know the truth about it, the only change I see is the change that will passing from hand to hand in the restaurants, hotels, and bars.

"Senator, can I buy you a bagel? Latte? Hot dog? How about a martini?"


Sunday, August 24, 2008

PYY Sunday Public Service Message

For those that do not understand the nuances of politicalese, PYY wishes to translate the statement from Hillary Clinton on Obama's pick of Joe Biden for VP, free of charge and as a public service.

Hillary's statement:

“In naming my colleague and friend Joe Biden to be the vice presidential nominee, Barack Obama has continued in the best traditions for the vice presidency by selecting an exceptionally strong, experienced leader and devoted public servant. Senator Biden will be a purposeful and dynamic vice president who will help Senator Obama both win the presidency and govern this great country.”


In naming my colleague and friend Joe Biden to be the vice presidential nominee, Barack Obama has confirmed what I have repeatedly said throughout the entire primary process: He's not ready. Had he not named an exceptionally strong, experienced leader and devoted public servant to compensate for his complete lack of experience, the election would have been a complete blowout. Now, we have moved the party's position from that of "not having a snowball's chance in hell" to "will likely lose a close election", because you didn't nominate me. (Don't say I didn't warn you.)

Footnote question to Obama supporters - How much more supportive do you want this woman to be, after you threw her and her husband under the bus for a green-horned novice?

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Recommended Reading

AICS from The Logic Lifeline is a good friend of this blog and has been on a hiatus for awhile. But now, it appears that Biden being named as Obama's running mate has flushed him out a little.

Here is a well-written synopsis of his take on the election, thus far. Lots of valid points to consider, give it a look when you get a moment.

Another Blast From The Past

If I had to names names, Matchbox 20, the Cowboy Junkies, and this weekend's featured act were easily three of the great bands of the 90s. Their sound was unique, fresh, and versatile. If you haven't give this band a chance or have never heard of them at all, you owe yourself an opportunity to get to know them.

Meet one of Canada's biggest Indie bands, Barenaked Ladies.

This first song wreaks of the LA folk sound from the late 60s- where bands like Buffalo Springfield and the Byrds were two of the dominant forces. Here is the catchy, mellow tune called, If I Had A Million Dollars:

This one revisits some pasts ghosts in the writer's life. There aren't any real major demons here that most people haven't faced at some time or another, but there are certainly some unresolved issues about moving forward. This one is named, The Old Apartment:

This is not necessarily a tribute song. It leads me to believe that he was a fan, but recognized his ability to identify with some of issues of his idol. The music is not in any way connected, but the message was real in an abstract sense. It was art imitating life. The music in this one really blew me away, the first time I heard it. Here is the song, Brian Wilson:

This next one reminds me a little of Herman's Hermits with a 90s technology in the music. It's an upbeat little tune called, It's All Been Done:

Our last tune is a real rocker. In fact, it's one of may favorites even though it's a tribute to one vice I do not share with others I have known. I can take it or leave it (mostly leave it). But when I do imbibe, I like Martinis (That's gin and vermouth with an olive, on the rocks; none of this apple-tini and other flavored sissy drinks that show "-tini" on the end.) Here is the molecular compound known in chemistry circles as ETOH, ethanol, or put very simply, Alcohol:


It's Biden

It's official, it's Biden. Mr. Plagiarism runs with another Mr. Plagiarism. This ought to be interesting.

Obama has been accused of some level of plagiarism in a recent campaign speech, maybe Biden can show him how it's done. But whatever, it has become apparent that the man who was demonized by the hard left political hacks (and the media) for calling Obama a "clean" black has won some confidence from Barry O.

Biden's words, "I mean, you got the first mainstream African-American who is articulate and bright and clean and a nice-looking guy. I mean, that's a storybook, man" will no doubt be played over and over the next few weeks, along with the other campaign gaffe that rang out during the campaign - "you cannot go to a 7-Eleven or a Dunkin' Donuts unless you have a slight Indian accent". Future gaffes and past deeds that will come to light ought to make this a fun campaign for the RNC and McCain campaign.

He adds some sense to the ticket on the foreign policy issues this country will be facing in the coming years and if I were a Democrat, I would have supported him far above the others. But I am not and will not, mainly because when it comes to fiscal responsibility issues, he is still a tax and spend liberal who wants to advance class-warfare ideological stances.

Let the games begin. Let the shovels be dusted off and readied for use. There is a long history on Joe Biden that's just begging to be dug up, from the back of someone's yard.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Obama's Running mate

The tension is mounting, the media is being driven nuts, and everyone is married to their cell phones waiting for a message that has not come yet. From a tactical standpoint, the Obama camp has taken a calculated risk with this "wait and see" approach.

It is true, there are some possible advantages to this kind of game plan. The primary reason this is so? Camp Obama's ability to control the story. After all, he has taken a hit in the news lately.

McCain's ability to exploit his weak showing with some creative advertising is a stark reminder of the reality of Obama's inexperience and potentially poor judgment, should he be elected. McCain's campaign has done a much better job of counter-punching and planting some seeds of doubt (and at very least, concern) about his opponent's resume. (This includes the relationship with Rezko, which is fair game as question material for anyone else wanting a job.)

The other advantage this strategy employs is keeping McCain from naming his running mate sooner than the Convention. It may very well be that the Obama campaign will try to keep this a secret until tomorrow at a rally in Springfield Illinois or Sunday, with some believing that it may not be until after the Clintons have spoken in their allots time slots.

But there are also some disadvantages that must be considered.

Primarily, the Obama people have missed a golden opportunity to dominate the news cycle (even more so than they already have), all day long today and going into the weekend. They have missed out on a Friday the day news junkies that have to deal with back to school issues and other kinds of distracting commitments, over the weekend.

It also may create the perception there is some apprehension of the pick, on their part. It may be they have decided on a dark horse, now that Bayh and Kaine are reportedly no longer in the running.

Whoever may be looking to PYY for the latest news and information, not only needs to see a shrink, but should be prepared to be let down. I will be on the road all day Saturday and if the pick were to be announced then, it as this point that commentary would be delayed. But you can bet I will be thinking about it.

One reason Obama may be dragging this out can be found in this article.

“The only explanation that makes sense is that he really does have a surprise pick or he's trying to convince someone to join the ticket,” said a skeptical operative who has worked for Hillary Clinton, who believed that Obama has squandered a good opportunity to set the agenda in the week before the convention.

Who would be balking? Biden? Napolitano? Someone else?

In Their Own Words

Evidently, Nevada Senator Harry Reid "can't stand John McCain". This revelation comes to us courtesy of the Las Vegas Review-Journal:

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., defended Connecticut Sen. Joe Lieberman on Wednesday after the former Democratic vice presidential nominee accepted a speaking slot at next month's Republican convention in Minnesota.

"He has a close personal relationship with John McCain. I don't fully understand why he does," said Reid, who said Lieberman called Tuesday from the Republic of Georgia to alert him to the move.

"I told him last night, 'You know, Joe, I can't stand John McCain.' He said, 'I know you feel that way,' " Reid said.

This is the same Reid who said in 2002 that President Bush was approaching the Iraq situation in the right fashion and voted to authorize the use of force; the same one that later told us the war was lost.

So who really knows how Harry Reid feels at this juncture. He has turned out to be one of the biggest liars in the history of the US Senate.

But there are some Democrats that like and respect John McCain:

What a world we live in.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Fallout Uh-Bama

Polls don't mean much right now, unless there happens to be a wide gap between candidates. But it is significant to note that McCain has pulled ahead in the Reuters/Zogby for the first time.

In a sharp turnaround, Republican John McCain has opened a 5-point lead on Democrat Barack Obama in the U.S. presidential race and is seen as a stronger manager of the economy, according to a Reuters/Zogby poll released on Wednesday.

The reason for this turnaround, as stated by Reuters:

The reversal follows a month of attacks by McCain, who has questioned Obama's experience, criticized his opposition to most new offshore oil drilling and mocked his overseas trip.

The poll was taken Thursday through Saturday as Obama wrapped up a weeklong vacation in Hawaii that ceded the political spotlight to McCain, who seized on Russia's invasion of Georgia to emphasize his foreign policy views.

"There is no doubt the campaign to discredit Obama is paying off for McCain right now," pollster John Zogby said. "This is a significant ebb for Obama."

That's what Obama supporters want you to believe.

The truth is, many people got their first real look at him last weekend, at Saddleback. There, he had no teleporompters, no cheering fans, no well-written speeches. Polls usually run a week behind an event and despite what the media wants to say, this is the fallout from his poor performance.

Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard Cleaning Up Mess

Since his election in November, Mayor Ballard has has one heck of a job trying to weed out undesirables on the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department. Today, the Indy Star is reporting that two more officers are in hot water. Both may lose their jobs and face criminal charges.

An Indianapolis police officer faces a misdemeanor charge of false reporting after his fiancée fled the scene of an accident while she drove his squad car.

Yesterday, it was announced that another officer is in the same dire straits.

An Indianapolis police officer has been suspended without pay and is under criminal investigation as the result of a citizen complaint.

Put that with this recent story, and we have four officers in two weeks up against the wall.

A former Indianapolis police detective attended a Marion Superior Court hearing Thursday after a judge threatened his arrest.

This doesn't count the others that have been fired and charged with other crimes earlier in the year.

The saddest thing in all of this is, there have been some Democrats that have been blaming Ballard (who has been in power for a grand total of some eight months now) for this current mess. They claim this never happened under the Peterson Administration and are looking to pin this on the current one, but only an idiot would do so, knowing that the IMPD was under Sheriff Frank Anderson's control until earlier this year. Anderson and Peterson, both, conspired to lower the standards and now things are coming to light as a result of this act of incompetence.

It takes some time to identify and investigate bad apples. After the process has begun, if it's done right, one can usually expect some positive results. At this point in time, we are seeing those results and I think it's only reasonable to expect there will be more.

The message to IMPD officers that think they can run afoul of the law and get away with it becuse they have a badge, should be crystal clear by now. The countless officers that put their lives on the line everyday to protect the citizens of this city are sick and tired of this. This will not be tolerated any longer. These reprobates will be caught, they will lose their jobs, and if they are convicted of criminal offenses, they will be in jail with many of those they have locked up over the years. If that isn't enough to straighten their dumb asses out, they will be paying the price in the protective custody section of prison.

I have nothing but respect for police officers. They have one of the most endless, tireless, thankless, and underpaid jobs on this planet. But when one of them hides behind a badge to do his/her dirty deeds, I take no greater pleasure than seeing them sweat it out behind bars. They deserve every bit of shame and ridicule they get. And if they get recognized in the prison yard, so be it.

Worthless bastards, they are.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Recommended Reading

I have two articles I think are well worth the time of PYY readers. Whether one agrees with them totally or not, these pieces are well-written and succeed in opening an entire portal of thought for those that like to ponder the political universe.

The first one comes from Reed Galen, McCain's former deputy campaign manager. It is a comparative look at the Super Bowl (from this past season) and the current presidential campaign. Both are quite similar, when you take a moment ad think about it. (Sorry Greg)

The second one is a brief but pointed examination of what many believe to be the Europeanization of the Democratic Party. The worldviews are closer in alignment than at any other time in our history. Much can be gleaned from doing a comparative study of Europe's and the new Democratic Party's belief systems, and this essay is a start.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Obama's Running Mate To Be Announced Soon

Some say it could be any day now. The chess match is about to begin. The Democratic Convention comes first, so he and his advisors must make their minds up soon, and announce the decision, soon.

Reports are flowing that Obama could announce his running mate very soon and you may guess, it has many on edge.

Senator Barack Obama has all but settled on his choice for a running mate and set an elaborate rollout plan for his decision, beginning with an early morning alert to supporters, perhaps as soon as Wednesday morning, aides said.

Obama's deliberations remain remarkably closely held. Aides said perhaps a half-dozen advisers were involved in the final discussions in an effort to enforce a command that Obama issued to staff members: that his decision not leak out until supporters are notified.

Obama had not notified his choice — or any of those not selected — of his decision as of late Monday, advisers said. Going into the final days, Obama was said to be focused mainly on three candidates: Senator Evan Bayh of Indiana, Governor Tim Kaine of Virginia and Senator Joseph Biden Jr. of Delaware.

Being the position of having to choose first, puts McCain into a very good position whereby he can steal some of the thunder during the convention. It forces Obama to show his hand first, giving McCain the opportunity to counter with a better choice.

Evan Bayh brings his ability to win a red state with him, but outside of Indiana, no one knows him. He is dull and inexperienced at the national and international level, just like Obama. Bayh is already playing a political game to get nominated, turning on his initial candidate. But, there is a movement among the hard left progressives to keep him off of the ticket that may prove too difficult of a hurdle to clear.

Tim Kaine who? Governor of Virginia, you say? May help him with that state, but he is also a virtual unkown in the international realm - where Obama needs the most help.

The only real sensible choice from this short list is Biden. He knows his foreign policy far better than most other Democrats and he definitely compensates for most of BO's profound weaknesses. In fact, if I were Democrat, I would have supported him for President far above any of the others. But he is not without fault.

For one, he is a jerk that loves to play dirty politics for political purposes and he has a long history of it. Lots of enemies can be made over the span of a career, the length of his. I would expect some real dirt to surface from his past.

Whoever is chosen will need to understand that the Barack ship may still sink, despite the running mate. Can they smell what Barack is cooking? For someone like Bayh and Kaine, it could be a career ender. For Biden, he'll still maintain his stature, but could lose a legacy in the process.

A Discrepancy In Numbers

Not only has NBC been in the tank for Obama (in the last post was but one example), the Ombudsman for the Washington Post has noticed a disparity in coverage between Obama and McCain.

Democrat Barack Obama has had about a 3 to 1 advantage over Republican John McCain in Post Page 1 stories since Obama became his party's presumptive nominee June 4. Obama has generated a lot of news by being the first African American nominee, and he is less well known than McCain -- and therefore there's more to report on. But the disparity is so wide that it doesn't look good.

Translation: There is an acceptable level of disparity due to the novelty of Obama's successful campaign thus far, but it can be (and has been) carried way too far.

It's easy to like a guy that can address a stadium full of people in an eloquent fashion. Doing so, generates real news. No argument here. But, when every story seems to show one candidacy as some kind of catharsis that stands to heal the world of everything Bush has created and the other as some old outdated, antiquated, obsolete person that stands for everything the President stands for; we not only have a disparity in news coverage, we have a distinct discrepancy.

The Uh-Bama Chronicles

I haven't had time to listen to the Rick Warren interviews in their entirety (when my four-year old grandson visits for a weekend, he gets the bulk of my attention). But from the clips I have heard, there really was no contest and it gives cause to wait patiently for the debates.

Uh-Uh-Uhbama is what he will be known as, real soon. His ability to speak extemporaneously is not one of his better qualities. Unless he has time to rehearse a speech that was written for him, he has a definite communication problem.

Naturally the Obama spin machine has begun its damage control, using the MSM to voice its displeasure. As part of the aftermath of this exercise, there are some surfacing complaints by the McCain camp, as well:

McCain's campaign manager Rick Davis asked Sunday for a meeting with Steve Capus, the president of NBC News, to protest what the campaign called signs that the network is "abandoning non-partisan coverage of the Presidential race."

Davis made the request Sunday in a letter that is part of an aggressive effort by Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) to counter news coverage he considers critical.

In this case, the campaign is objecting to a statement by NBC's Andrea Mitchell on "Meet the Press" questioning whether McCain might have gotten a heads-up on some of the questions that were asked of Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.), who was the first candidate to be interviewed Saturday night by Pastor Rick Warren at a presidential forum on faith.

NBC biased? Say it isn't so. The National Barack Channel has clearly been in the tank for Uhbama, since his string of caucus frauds began in Iowa. But let's read on for Mitchell's response to the complaint:

"I wasn't expressing an opinion," Mitchell said. "I was reporting what they were saying."

Interesting, to say the least. Could she have at least contacted the McCain camp to get their response to the complaints from Uhbama's staff and reported it? I think she could/should have, she just didn't want to.

It's hard to tap dance your way through a pointed interview with tough questions, when you have no life experiences to guide you. And that appears to be the problem Uhbama is having right now, which could very well be a large part of why he hasn't pulled away from McCain in the polls. Maybe the brilliant minds over at NBC could hypothesize this for their evening newscast.

Here's the story and the links to the video of the forum. See what you think.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Another Blast From The Past

In 1977, my dad pretty much hated my music. All of it. He saw my developmental stages and phases up close, as I developed my likes and dislikes. There were many times he'd abide with me as I listened to music, of which I knew in my heart he had great disdain.

His teenage music was rooted in the big band jazz sound, mine (as you may have surmised by now) was based on a sound that parents (from that era) did not know or understand.
He watched the Monkees with me once in a great while when they were a hot item, and throughout the show he told me they were degenerates. He said he couldn't understand why I would want to call noise, music. From the Beatles through the Who, Rolling Stones through Grand Funk Railroad, he finally began to believe that I was of little hope and the world was going to turn communist and would go to hell in a handbasket, when I got older.

In 1977, I was home on leave with a few clothes and a few of my favorite cassette tapes. There was one in particular that for some strange reason caught his ear about the second time he heard it. He was stunned. First, he told me that I must have made a mistake. Then when I assured him I had not, he began to shake me violently and scream out loudly:

"What have you done with my son?" "Come out of him this instant!"

The band was Supertramp, one of my all-time favorites. This particular tape I was playing was entitled Even In The Quietest Moments and (along with Crime of The Century) was one of the few true masterpiece works of musical art, ever recorded on this planet. I'd rank it up there with Sgt Pepper and Elton John's Goodbye Yellow Brick Road.

The reason he liked it? It was damned good.

It was an isometric mixture of classical, jazz, and rock. And to this day, I have a hard time finding any other music that has this almost flawless sound and the innate ability to capture a person's spirit with vivid imagery. The music, the lyrics, the chemistry of the musicians all were of the highest quality. And in my humble opinion, they were just about a third of a notch below the Beatles, in creativity and stature. In my dad's ears, they were a damned good band.

Since there is hardly a song I do not like by these guys, I thought this time around, I'd play some songs from this very tape that blew my pop away on that summer day in 1977.

This first one was the one I believe my father liked best. I mean, what's not to like about it? It has one of the most pleasant melodies, coupled with lyrics of a risky adventure. You can really lose yourself in this one. (The piano is awesome.) Here is From Now On:

If you are not careful, you will find yourself enraptured in this one, as well. This one is called, Downstream:

I happen to think this was my dad's second favorite song on this LP. Here is Lover Boy:

None of these three previous songs made any real waves on the charts. This band is one of the few acts whose best songs never were hits. But this next one made it to #15. Even those that still do not know who Supertramp is, will remember this one. Here is Give A Little Bit:

The album comes to an arousing crescendo in this final tune. It was written and produced 31 years ago, but is very appropriate for this day and age. It is about the stupidity of mankind.

History recalls how great the fall can be
While everybodys sleeping, the boats put out to sea
Borne on the wings of time
It seemed the answers were so easy to find
Too late, the prophets cry
The islands sinking, lets take to the sky

It questions the seriousness of our desire to solve problems and improve our world. Maybe my dad was right all along. Maybe the world will go to hell in a handbasket, now that I am older.

Can you hear what I'm saying
Can you see the parts that I'm playing
Holy man, rocker man, come on queenie,
Joker man, spider man, blue eyed meanie
So you found your solution
What will be your last contribution?
Live it up, rip it up, why so lazy?
Give it out, dish it out, lets go crazy,

This one is simply titled, Fool's Overture:

Today, I have this recording in the form of a CD and still listen to it periodically. I hope you enjoy it.

Thanks for reading PYY.

Vice President Kerry?

Just when you think you've heard at all, here comes something like this.

Barack Obama has yet to name a vice presidential nominee and some are wondering if he might turn to Massachusetts to round out the ticket.

John Kerry for vice president?

Don't dismiss the notion just yet.

Wishful thinking on some people's part, I am sure. But even still, I wouldn't put anything past the left wing faction that has hijacked the Democratic Party. They are stepping up the pressure to deny Evan Bayh a spot on the ticket. It wouldn't surprise anyone.

But as you may guess, Kerry is denying it.

Kerry is a proven vascillator, liberal elitist, and overall appeaser; Obama may actually be considering a carbon copy of himself for his running mate. How funny would that be? You cannot write a comedy of errors any better than this.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Recommended Reading

VDH has written another stellar essay that you won't want to miss.

Charles Krauthammer has one worthy of a look, on possible sanctions against Russia if they overthrow the Georgia government. He left one big one out, see if you can guess which one it is.

John Hawkins at Town Hall has penned 25 Reasons You Might Be A Liberal.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Fun At The Fair

Last Saturday, Mrs. Sunsett decided that was the day we would make our annual trek to see the Indiana State Fair. Never mind that we go every year, it is a tradition that cannot be broken, once started.

Not much new here this year except for one event that my wife thoroughly enjoyed, many more times than I could/did (being the sports fan in the family). Don't get me wrong, this was a very interesting hour speaking to these guys.

Here are the four remaining members of the 1954 Milan Indiana basketball team that won the state championship, back when Hoosier Hysteria meant something (when there was a single class tournament and one champion). It was the team of which the 1986 movie Hoosiers was based on. This was about a true to life David that slew a true to life Giant. Interestingly enough in this saga, the giant was not evil, he was just the giant and the David was just the David.

The gentleman that is second from the left is Bobby Plump, the guy that hit the real shot to win the real game. He spoke of the time George Steinbrenner had Lee Iaccocca on his private plane for a flight to somewhere (long enough to watch a movie). At first, Lee balked at watching a movie about Indiana high school basketball history. After George talked him into it, he relented. After watched it, he said it was one of the greatest motivational movies he'd ever seen. In fact, he wanted to see it again on the way back.

Here are the four surviving members of the "Milan Miracle":

One of the attractions that the Fair offers, year-round, is a replica of a historical Hooks Drug Store, a chain of drugstores deeply rooted in the history of Indiana. Here is the outside of where the druggist worked:

Here is the inside:

These were some of the items that were probably some of the most popular:

When the cost of your tofu goes up, you can look no further than the use of soy diesel. It is used exclusively in all Fair shuttles:

One the regulars here is Amerloque. He raises apples. I clearly had him in mind, when I snapped these:

No trip to the Fair is complete without looking at the animals. This year, we gave some of that time to visit with the Milan guys. But we did manage to see some of the cows:

Do you like history? Like to walk in it? Anyone who wonders why the spirit of rugged individualism is still alive and well, can see by taking a tour of this popular annual exhibition. Here are a few shots of Pioneer Village, the first is from the barbershop:

Here a typical daytime farm kitchen, where the family had breakfast and lunch:

Here are a couple pics of the evening kitchen, where the evening meal was eaten:

These are just a few of the many shots I was able to get off, when I was not looking for something good to eat. This year we went lighter than usual. Only one funnel cake (as a hazardous ingestion material) was consumed by yours truly. The rest of my diet was fairly healthy. No fried Oreos or candy bars, this year.

I may post more later, if anyone is interested.

Russia: A Study In Paradox And Consistency

As we decipher what went wrong with the US policy on Russia and analyze the conditions that led up to where we are at present, there are some things we must think about before we can draw some intelligent conclusions.

From the time the Soviet Union fell until now, Russia has transformed itself from a communist to a fascist regime. Think about it. In just nineteen short years, Russia has almost completely reversed its traditional position on the political spectrum. Two ideologies that once felt very threatened by each other have occupied space in the Kremlin, in my adult lifetime. And in the interim, there was a brief feeble attempt at operating a democratic republic. But it has failed.

To get the full appreciation of this concept, just imagine a chemical converting itself from an acid to a base. Both compounds are caustic, both can be harmful in their extreme forms. Both can potentially be very dangerous, if not handled correctly. (Feel free to read or reread an earlier post I called The Political PH Scale for more.)

Communism and fascism are terms that are generally accepted as economic in nature, but in some instances they are applied to the political sciences. In some areas they compare, others they contrast.

Under communism as we have known it in our lifetimes, economic theory was based on state control. Prices were set by the government under the doctrine known as "central planning". Converting to a free market economy was a difficult task for Russia, since only socialism was permitted to be taught in schools for seventy years. Economists had trouble grasping the simplest of concepts, like price setting.

The political system under Soviet style communism was rigidly controlled, there were no free elections, and in essence was a dictatorship (sometimes monarchical, sometimes oligarchical). It relied heavily on the KGB to squash opposition and keep the people under the heavy hand of the leadership.

Under fascism, private ownership was allowed. Private companies were allowed to exist but only with a watchful eye from above. Governmental approval was still an important component and nothing could be done without it. The businesses were highly taxed for uses deemed to be in the best interests of the state.

Likewise, there were no free elections, life was rigidly controlled, and sported a dictatorship. Hitler used the Gestapo to protect his rule. Mussolini used OVRA. All totalitarians, be they individual or by committee, rely on a secret police component to protect the regime with many bordering on the edge of paranoia as a driving force.

With today's Russia raking in billions in energy revenues, arms sales, and other high profit commodity ventures, they have successfully turned the "central planning" philosophy into quite a successful venture, a corporate state (which is a central theme in most forms of fascism the world has seen in the times of its existence). With Putin serving as supreme potentate, this fulfills the dictatorship requirement despite the fact there was an attempt to put on a show of an election.

With this knowledge and understanding, the case can be made the real enemy here is not the wallet or purse strings, but authoritarianism.

Sure, the case can always be made against socialist economic policies. They are logically flawed and have been proven to stall healthy growth. But in many socialist nations, there are free elections and the people actually elect leaders that echo the will of the people. And in these cases, their desire is usually for more dependency on government.

There is no real freedom in any component of fascism. Sure, they may allow private enterprise to exist in name, but behind the scenes that's about as far as it goes. In other words, under fascism, the government owns it but let's you keep it in your own name. Many person has lost his/her business under Hitler and Putin, by not doing what the government wanted them to do.

But at some time along the way, both systems seek out an imperialist path which is guided by expansive self-interest. Hitler sought to restore Germany to it's former boundaries. Now, Putin seeks to do the same. Both have used nationalism as the central theme for their expansion projects. Both ideologies have a strong nationalist component.

But let's get back to how we got to this point. We can look at this and that, we can point fingers at each other all day long. The fact of the matter remains simple.

What has happened has happened and cannot be changed now.

What is imperative to guide us to a solution is just as simple.

We need to understand what has transpired in Russia and use it to effect a sensible solution. Nothing will ever be solved until people gain these two understandings. So once this educational benchmark can be attained, this is when a real comprehension of what we are dealing with can truly be realized.

The fact remains, this is what real hegemony looks like. This is what a real war for oil looks like. America did invade Iraq and arguments can be made all day long about the prudence of such an undertaking. But that's where it ends.

We did not invade a democracy. We overthrew a brutal blood-thirsty dictator. We did not install our own government, we allowed the Iraqi people determine who would lead them. And now, they are determining their own destiny and we are not actively working to replace them, when we disagree with their self-determined policies.

The same cannot be said for Putin's Russia and his incursion into the Republic of Georgia.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Obama And The Turtle: Can A Stranded Turtle Lead Anything?

There is an old aphorism about a turtle on a fencepost that applies to the Obama story. I heard a caller today on the Dennis Miller Show make this very fitting analogous comparison:

Obama is like a turtle on a fencepost because:

1. We don't know how it got there.

2. We know it doesn't belong there.

3. We know it can't get down from there.

4. If it falls from there, it won't be pretty.

This is especially applicable when we consider Obama's weak response to the Russia-Georgia conflict and his criticism of John McCain's much stronger one.

From the Boston Globe comes this report on the Obama campaign's comments about McCain's stern words:

"Barack Obama, the administration and the NATO allies took a measured, reasoned approach," Obama adviser Susan Rice said on MSNBC. "We were dealing with the facts as we knew them. John McCain shot from the hip, very aggressive, belligerent statement. He may or may not have complicated the situation."

McCain's response to this comment was critical of the Obama camp's desire to make this an election issue:

Asked about criticisms by Barack Obama's campaign saying he was being “belligerent and aggressive” toward Russia, McCain replied, “This isn't a time for partisanship and sniping between campaigns. This is about hundreds if not thousands of innocent people whose lives are being taken or they are being rendered homeless, wounded. This is not time for that to start with.”

McCain has every right to emphasize the fact that this issue should not be politicized. Using this conflict to take a swipe at an opponent shows immaturity, it exposes his inexperience and lack of expertise in foreign affairs.

Now is the time for Obama to show his leadership qualities and why he is able to perform in difficult foreign policy crises. He isn't. Now is the time for him to put his mettle on display for all to see. He isn't. All he has managed to do is throw a soft pitch and criticize McCain for throwing a faster one.

The important questions everyone should ask are:

If he were to become President, would he be able to hold up during an international crisis like the one playing out a world away? Would he show statesmanship or would he play the role of political hack novice and blame Republicans for making everything worse?

Now is the time for demonstrating leadership qualities for the purpose of giving voters something to analyze before they cast their votes this November. It is not the time for playing politics by using a very difficult situation as fodder for a lackluster platform.

Recommended Reading

Short on time and energy, here are a few things I have managed to read:

1. VDH's latest essay is about Moscow's incursion into Georgia. As always, it's worth a good look.

2. Michael Williams from the Guardian has some good points, worthy of some consideration on how "Old" Europe let Georgia down.

3. Here some official reactions to the situation:

President Bush

Barack Obama

John McCain

Read them all and see what you think.

4. Maureen Dowd is quite an arrogant and snobby writer for the NYT. But sometimes, she stumbles onto something and makes a point or two. She must get around the blogs, because many of us have been saying Hillary has something up her sleeve. And now, Dowd seems to think so too.