Monday, July 24, 2006

Trouble at NRSC Corral

Interesting news and comment about Elizabeth Dole's efforts as chairwoman of the National Republican Senate Committee:
Senator Dole has been the victim of horrible timing. It's tough to be a Republican, right now. ...
But, if there is any room for criticism of the NRSC -- and Senator Dole's leadership -- it lies in their unwavering support of liberal Republicans, such as Lincoln Chafee. Granted, it may be part of the NRSC's charter to support all Republicans, but to what degree they support these candidates is a matter of discretion.
The Doles have never been trusted by conservatives. Bob Dole was once famously denounced by Newt Gingrich as "the tax collector for the Welfare State." He was also known as "the Senator from Archer Daniels Midland." Dole's 1996 presidential campaign was a waste of time and money. By Labor Day, everybody in the GOP knew there was no hope for Dole to win.

Despite conventional wisdom that the GOP is vulnerable this year in the House, I think the greater danger to Republicans is in the Senate, because of guys like Santorum (who was forced to walk the plank for Specter, thus alienating his pro-life base) and Mike DeWine (an open-borders enthusiast).

-- McCAIN

Do the (Non-Profit) Hustle!

So I'm over at Dan Riehl's site, in which he attempts the impossible task of taking Glenn "Lambchop" Greenwald seriously. And I read this about Greenwald:
He's propped himself up to be something he isn't and it led to Working Assets, in effect, paying him to write a book. Yet, as a first time author, he had 4 or 5 researchers, including a lawyer, an editor, and some others. He has also thanked Jennifer Nix for contributing to his book and spent another 20 hours with his formal editor before typing a word.
Having arrived late at this particular fisking (misplaced my VRWC secret decoder ring last week), I was forced to ask myself, "What the heck is Working Assets?" So I found out:
Working Assets was established in 1985 to help busy people make a difference in the world through everyday activities like talking on the phone. Every time a customer uses one of Working Assets' donation-linked services (Long Distance, Wireless and Credit Card), the company donates a portion of the charges to nonprofit groups working to build a world that is more just, humane, and environmentally sustainable. To date, over $50 million has been raised for progressive causes.
Yuck. A non-profit that hustles gullible liberals on behalf of the professional activists who run such festering sores on the body politic as Friends of the Earth, the Brady Center, Planned Parenthood, Veterans for Peace, and (I'm not making this up) Parents for Public Schools.

Non-profit scams

Let me explain something about non-profit organizations: Just because they're "non-profit" doesn't mean that the career "activists" who run them don't get paid. And in nearly every instance, I'll guess, the CEOs of these outfits are collecting six-figure salaries that far exceed the average income of the earnest donors who -- thinking they are advancing "progressive causes" -- donate to the non-profits via Working Assets.

Such "charity" thus involves convincing middle-class donors to give money that pays the salaries of professional activists who are in the top 2% of all U.S. income earners. It's Robin Hood in reverse.

C'mon: What's the salary of the CEO of the Brady Center? Or what are the salaries of the 5 highest-paid employees of Planned Parenthood? Do you think that even 1% of Working Assets donors have ever asked such a question? Of course not.

And here's another question the clueless liberal donor never asks: What's in it for me? In other words, by giving to some "progressive" non-profit, am I actually accomplishing anything toward the triumph of progressivism? Will this help elect Democrats?

We know that Working Assets has turned Glenn Greenwald into a bestselling author who's honeymooning in romantic Rio with a beau who may (or may not) be his partner in sock puppetry. What we don't know is exactly how the heck Greenwald's good fortune is going to help beat Karl Rove and the GOP on Nov. 7. But if I were a believer in "progressive causes," I think I'd want to know the answer to questions like that.

The 'activism' scam

This is a major reason, I would say, why conservatives routinely mop the floor with liberals. With their Calvinistic understanding of Original Sin and a fallen universe, conservatives are much more skeptical of "causes" and the activists who claim to advance them. Trust me, there are right-wing ripoff artists just like there are left-wing ripoff artists, but ripping off liberals is infinitely easier because liberals are just so dang gullible.

A true believer and his money are soon parted, as George Soros and other wealthy liberals may eventually discover. If I were Soros (or any other major liberal donor), I'd spend part of my wealth on some private detectives to ask such questions as:
  • These professional activists, who derive their incomes from my politically-motivated "philanthropy" -- where do they live? What is the assessed value of their homes? Have any of them recently purchased vacation homes?
  • How much time do these aforesaid activists spend working on what I am supposedly paying them to do?
  • How much expense-paid travel are the activists billing to the "cause," and what are the destinations of their travels?
  • If the non-profits are hiring outside consultants and contractors, can we ascertain that these are legitimate firms doing useful work directly related to the purpose of the organization?
Every since I took a freelance assignment in 2004 to write about MoveOn.org, I've developed a nagging suspicion that vast amounts of liberal largesse are being soaked up by "activist" types who aren't exactly providing an honest day's work for an honest day's pay. Soros and his rich friends spent jillions via 527s to defeat Bush in 2004, yet Bush got a higher percentage of the popular vote than any presidential candidate in 16 years. How does that make sense?

I don't have the time or inclination to go chasing this particular hunch. Honestly, if professional activists are partying away millions of dollars in liberal donations with expense-paid trips to exotic resorts, that's a hidden advantage to conservatism that I wouldn't want to see exposed. So if any such scam is afoot, the liberals will have to expose it themselves.

But just in case any liberal happens to have clicked over to this site and read this far, let me point out a bit of recent history: A key aspect of Jack Abramoff's scam involved a non-profit "think tank" whose headquarters was a mansion in Rehoboth Beach, Del., staffed by a yoga instructor and a lifeguard.

If Republicans do that kind of stuff, just imagine what insane tricks the party of Al "Beach Boy" Mollohan and William "Cold Cash" Jefferson might be up to!

-- McCAIN

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Ko$ for $ale!

First, Nancy Pelosi backstabs William Jefferson and the CBC, and now we must ask: Has Markos Moulitsas Zuniga sold out to Cynthia McKinney's opponent? Dummie Funnies says yes:

You might not be able to buy Kos's support with Blogola payments via advertising or the Unknown Jerome "consulting" fees but at least you can buy Kos's silence which is just as important. Poor Joe Lieberman. Had he only paid big bucks for a Daily Kos ad months ago, he could have spared himself the agony of a close race with Kos-supported Ned Lamont.

One Kossack is ALL-CAPS ANGRY:
WHY IS KOS ALLOWING ADVERTISING FOR HER OPPONENT, a Republican stooge, Hank Johnson? This is a guy that Diebold could really get behind. Why is Kos behind it too?
Hey, man, it pays Markos' bills! Besides, as Dan Riehl points out, the whole DailyKos environment is pretty much a Caucasian thing.

But if you want the real explanation for Cynthia's problems, just ask Billy McKinney:

"Jews have bought everybody. Jews. J-E-W-S."

-- McCAIN

Joe-Mentum or No-Mentum?

Two views of Joe Lieberman in today's Hartford Courant:
  • Go Joe by Reps. Rosa DeLauro and John B. Larson, both Connecticut Democrats.
  • No More Joe by Irving Stolberg, former Democratic speaker of the Connecticut House of Representatives.
Stolberg gives his game away with this kind of rhetorical bombast:
And his defense of an incompetent president, a vice president who fits the dictionary definition of fascism and an extremist administration that has perpetrated torture, illegal eavesdropping and a general shredding of the Constitution is insulting to the people who elected him in the first place.

You can love or hate the Bush administration, but "the dictionary definition of fascism" is not a phrase intended for persuasion. On whom has this "extremist administration" illegally eavesdropped? Can Stolberg cited even one example? But this is not an argument, it's a sermon preached directly to the choir. Stolberg is parading his Bush-hating credentials before a presumed audience of anti-war Dems, courting the crowd's applause.

Remember when Joe Klein at least tried to pretend that he was an objective reporter/analyst? Check out the peroration of Klein's latest partisan stump speech in Time:
Joe Lieberman is, without question, one of the finest men I've known in public life. I could never imagine myself voting against him. But he was profoundly wrong about the most important issue of the past five years — and now, at the very least, he has to acknowledge that there's an elephant sitting in the pickup truck.

That Connecticut Kool-Aid must be some powerful stuff.

-- McCAIN

Buckley on Dubya

This is about the only way Bill Buckley could ever get favorable coverage by CBS:
"If you had a European prime minister who experienced what we've experienced it would be expected that he would retire or resign," Buckley says.
Asked if the Bush administration has been distracted by Iraq, Buckley says "I think it has been engulfed by Iraq, by which I mean no other subject interests anybody other than Iraq. ... The continued tumult in Iraq has overwhelmed what perspectives one might otherwise have entertained with respect to, well, other parts of the Middle East with respect to Iran in particular." ...
"I think Mr. Bush faces a singular problem best defined, I think, as the absence of effective conservative ideology — with the result that he ended up being very extravagant in domestic spending, extremely tolerant of excesses by Congress, and in respect of foreign policy, incapable of bringing together such forces as apparently were necessary to conclude the Iraq challenge," Buckley says. Asked what President Bush's foreign policy legacy will be to his successor, Buckley says "There will be no legacy for Mr. Bush. I don't believe his successor would re-enunciate the words he used in his second inaugural address because they were too ambitious. … So therefore I think his legacy is indecipherable."
Who can argue? Except for tax cuts, Bush's domestic agenda is ... well, "indecipherable" is a good word. Of course, the 9/11 attack completely re-focused the Bush presidency and the administration's defenders would say that the invasion of Iraq was necessary to the war on terror.

How we got here

It should be remembered that in 2002, when the administration began beating the drums for war with Iraq, the Democrats in Congress insisted on a debate. At that time, the Democrats overwhelmingly endorsed the administration's claims that the Iraqi WMD program and Saddam's defiance of the U.N. were legitimate grounds for war. (In 1998, the Clinton administration had made the same arguments.)

The thing that must be remembered about 2002 is this: The White House and leaders of both parties in Congress expected a cakewalk in Iraq. And, at least so far as conventional warfare was concerned, they were right: From the first bomb until the fall of Baghdad took just three weeks. The vaunted Republican Guards were destroyed (or ran away), the dictator and his henchmen went into hiding or fled the country. U.S. combat casualties in the invasion and conquest of Iraq were about 400 dead; considering that Saddam's armed forces had once been the fourth-largest military in the world, this was not a particularly heavy toll.

The war was a success, but the subsequent peace has been marred by what most call an "insurgency," but which is actually a brutal terror campaign -- roadside bombings and kidnappings. (Very few U.S. casualties in the current phase are the result of small-arms fire, or even mortar attacks.) The terrorists are mostly foreigners, who are recruited, funded and supported by Iran, Syria and al-Qaeda. This is not to say that there are no Iraqis involved. But the Iraqis know that the U.S. forces can't leave until order is restored, so they have an interest in stopping the violence. The overwhelming majority of Iraqis, then, are opposed to this terrorism, which is killing more Iraqi civilians than U.S. troops.

What's happening

Iran, Syria and al-Qaeda know that the continued large-scale U.S. presence in Iraq is an irritant, so the terrorists -- backed by outside forces -- are escalating the violence in order to force U.S. troops to remain. Why? So they can inflict a Mogadishu-style humiliation on the United States.

Ever since Vietnam, America's enemies have believed that the U.S. does not have the resolve to sustain military operations long-term, if such operations mean significant numbers of casualties. To these enemies, our unwillingness to fight -- if fighting means U.S. casualties -- is weakness and cowardice.

No less an authority than Osama bin Laden has said that it is this weakness, as exemplified by the U.S. retreat from Somalia after the "Black Hawk Down" incident, that inspired al-Qaeda's belief that it could attack America with impunity. In the Third World, strength is admired and weakness reviled. Because of America's retreat after one battle, we were "a weak horse," and Osama reckoned that the Islamic world would rally behind the "strong horse" of al-Qaeda.
When people see a strong horse and a weak horse, by nature, they will like the strong horse.
-- Osama bin Laden, 2001
Whether or not the U.S. invasion of Iraq was wise or good, it has accomplished one thing: It has put American troops on the ground facing al-Qaeda-backed terrorists. Thus, the American military has the opportunity to refute bin Laden's argument, to show that our troops are not afraid to fight in defense of freedom.

This refutation has cost the lives of 2,500 U.S. soldiers -- and the blood of thousands of others wounded -- but this is really a belated payment for more than 40 years of an American foreign policy based on risk-avoidance. The current mess might never have occurred, had it not been for ill-advised actions in Somalia and elsewhere.

Osama's assessment was entirely correct. People prefer the strong horse to the weak horse, and ever since 1968, U.S. policy has put us into the "weak horse" role, at least from the Third World perspective. What Osama did not understand, however, is this: The policies pursued by the American political elite do not necessarily reflect the wishes, interests or character of the American people.

I believe that the American people understand the stakes in Iraq. The American people understand that, if the U.S. military retreats in the face of a haphazard terrorism campaign carried out by a ragtag bunch of young fanatics, this will embolden fanatics everywhere.

Having expended the lives of 2,500 soldiers already, will we not stick it out another year or two -- risking perhaps another 800-1,000 U.S. deaths -- in order to crush the terrorists, and to establish a stable government in Iraq?

Dying for a mistake?

John Kerry likes to talk about war in terms of asking someone to be the last man to die for a mistake. This is foolish. Mistaken or not, wars end in victory for one side and defeat for the other. Having voted to send Americans to war -- back when he expected it to be an easy and popular affair -- Kerry's regrets now are worse than useless. Once war has commenced, the achievement of victory is the only proper object of the statesman.

One might argue that the War of 1812 was a U.S. policy blunder brought about by the anti-British resentments and expansionist ambitions of the "War Hawks," and thus that the last American killed in the Battle of New Orleans "died for a mistake." But New Orleans was a U.S. victory, the war enhanced American prestige in Europe, and the war did, after all, give us our national anthem -- inspired by the bombardment of Ft. McHenry.

Mistakes? I consider the Spanish-American War a folly, and I am still waiting for someone to tell me what good America accomplished by its intervention in World War One. And the 1999 war with Serbia - what was that about? But thinking such foreign adventures a fool's errand does not require me to cheer for American defeat, or to urge that we stop fighting merely because the fighting is difficult and deadly.

War means fighting, and fighting means killing, as Nathan Bedford Forrest once said. If the United States wishes to be as pacifist as Sweden or France, it may be that we may avoid wars in the future ... or not. But I hope that, the next time war fever strikes Congress, someone will speak up to remind them that wars don't always go as planned. Sometimes wars drag on and become unpopular. I hope, before they commit their nation's troops to fight another war, our leaders will be prepared to explain to several thousand American mothers and fathers -- and wives and children -- why their loved ones had to die in some god-forsaken desert or jungle.

It is obvious to me that Democrats like Kerry who voted for the war in 2002 weren't thinking about any of this. They were thinking about the elections, and their own ambitions. Now the Democrats (and not a few Republicans) want to blame the Bush administration for all that's gone wrong in Iraq and pretend that their Monday-morning quarterbacking is "courageous." It's really gutless irresponsibility. If they really believed their own rhetoric, then those who voted for the war but have since turned against it would resign from Congress. But they don't do that, do they?

The only fitting epithet: Weak horses!

-- McCAIN

Saturday, July 22, 2006

Democrats: 'Deus dementat ...'


The sock puppetry of Greenwald -- viciously dismantled by Ace of Spades and Dan Riehl -- is further proof, were it needed, that the rapid rise of the left-wing blogosphere is bad news for Democrats.

Almost from the instant YearlyKos drew national attention to this phenomenon, the Moonbats have demonstrated that they are not ready for primetime. Like the dot-com bubble of the 1990s, the left side of the blogosphere attracted a bunch of get-rich-quick schemers who saw an opportunity to exploit the ignorance of others.

Because the average reader of liberal blogs knows even less about economics than he knows about politics, the first clever guys to tap the market were able to establish themselves as kingpins. It was rather like being at the top of a pyramid scheme.

The left blogs represented different things to producers and consumers. The producers saw an opportunity to earn money and gain influence; the consumers were dazzled by the promise of political success.

Guys like Kos and Jerome made a big show of being political analysts, of possessing some special insight that would enable the "people-powered movement" to defeat Bushitler and the Repugs. Some four years into this enterprise, the Ayatollahs of Kosola are "0-for-eternity," and yet their visitors keep coming back. Why? Because, sad as it is for Democrats to admit, the crackpot paranoid politics of the Kos crowd is their only hope for regaining the power they've been steadily losing since 1994.

The desperation of the Left in the post-Clinton age created a huge market of would-be suckers to be tapped by the likes of Kos, Jerome and Glenn Greenwald -- faux-sophisticates with a knack for articulating the grievances of the hard-core true believers.

Right v. Left

Outside the Beltway points out important differences between Left and Right on the blogosphere. But the biggest difference is this: The Right has been rolling up political victories since 1980.

With the (not insignificant) exception of the Clinton presidency, conservatives can look back on nearly a quarter-century of unprecedented electoral success. From their post-Watergate ebb of 1974, conservative-led GOP has risen to almost complete domination of the political landscape so that, even in 2006 -- with scandals, internal dissent and a discouraging war to hinder them -- Republicans are still odds-on favorites to maintain their congressional majorities.

The Right side of the blogosphere, therefore, doesn't have to offer any "bold new ideas" or esoteric strategies for conservative victory. Conservatives know a thing or two about winning in politics, and so there is no single genius-guru, nor even really an oligarchy, atop the Right side of the blogosphere. Conservative blog activity is diverse in form, content and ideology.

But the Left, grasping at any straw of hope, has thrust wealth, influence and even something like fame onto a relative handful of individuals whose names were unknown before 2000. The estimated annual ad revenue of DailyKos is $631,800; previously it was $832,000, but it seems that Kos has (a) reduced his ad slots from 8 to 6; and (b) increased the price per ad from $2,000 to $2,025 per week.

After less than a year of blogging, Greenwald's ranked in the Technorati Top 100 and his book is a New York Times bestseller. The guys on top of the Left blogosphere are making out like bandits.

Hustling trust

What the Left side of the blogosphere has been hustling for the past 5 years is not merely entertainment (like Michelle Malkin in shorts on a trampoline). They're not jokers like Ace, or online sleuths like Dan, they're not even "proud members of the MSM" like Don Surber.

No, the Blogonistas are faithful leaders of the flock. Like Jim Bakker or Jimmy Swaggart, their stock-in-trade is piety and trust.

How is that trust gained? Flattery:
"Oh, you are so smart and generous and noble, my fellow anti-war liberals. Your politics is destined to triumph over the evils of Bushitler, but you have been betrayed and sold out by the Lieberman-worshippers and the DLC. They are dishonest cowards, not courageous fighters like you! Let's all band together and really FIGHT HARD for our cause!"
Thus, by a sort of a populist sycophancy, trust is gained. And to what use do they put that trust? To enrich and exalt themselves.

And what does the average Kossack get from this transaction? Zip. Zero. Zilch. Nada. The ordinary Kossack is like Erin in Flagstaff: Paying money to hang around losers.

What the Kossacks can't seem to comprehend is this: The advertisers at DailyKos are buying traffic. In other words, every time anyone clicks onto DailyKos, that generates a "visit," the aggregate of which then is translated into revenue for Kos. And this kingpin status then creates other income-generating opportunities for Kos and Jerome, and likewise for Greenwald, et al.

Armageddon looms

All of which would be perfectly fine if the Big Box bloggers of the Left were actually directing the Democratic base toward victory. But they have not delivered victory in the past two elections, and it does not look as if they will deliver victory anytime soon.

We are now within weeks of the 2006 elections. A third consecutive GOP victory over the "people-powered movement" should suffice to disillusion all but the most deranged Moonbats. A well-funded team of political professionals is now hard at work to accomplish such a victory.

Maybe Greenwald can explain away his apparent sock puppetry -- although Allah Pundit isn't buying Glenn's "my Brazilian lover is as obsessed with my blog as I am" argument. Jerome and Kos have managed to keep up their hustle despite their various post-YK embarassments. But what will they say after a crushing defeat in November? Even if the Democrats come close to recapturing Congress but fall short, that kind of horseshoes-and-hand grenades stuff isn't what the Kossacks really want.

And the Right blogosphere isn't going anywhere. On Nov. 8, the whole gang will still be online, to highlight how much money the Kossacks poured into losing campaigns at the behest of the Moonbat Mullahs. Conservative bloggers will remind everyone that Kos and Jerome and Greenwald got paid big bucks for their political insights, and that those political insights were revealed to be entirely bogus.

I'll bet if you clicked over to DailyKos right now, you'd see them almost SCREAMING LIKE THIS about the need for their readers to give, give, give to Democrats. The Left bloggers are within weeks of their own little Armageddon. Those Democrats, like Howard Dean, who have delivered the party into the hands of the Kos crowd are proving once again the ancient maxim:
Quos perdere vult deus dementat prius.
Whom the gods would destroy, they first make mad. When Democrats surrender their party to stock scammers, astrologers and "patriots" who've decamped to Rio -- well, don't blame us for reading the omens and portents.

UPDATE 7/23
Ace of Spades finds himself enjoying it too much, hammering some nicey-nice "blog civility" hall monitor like Mark Gastineau in full-blown 'roid rage, sack-dancing over a fallen quarterback:
PS, your blog sucks and always has. Just wanted to point that out.
Oh, good luck on getting linked on this obvious, contrived bit of Insta-bait.
"Oh, look at me, I preen about what good manners we should all have! Let’s stick to the substance, guys!" ...
And then Ace adds this "update":
No one looks cool when they lose their, um, cool.
Serenity now. Perspective. Putting the computer down.


LOL! While Ace looks for his Zen space, I'll say in his defense that there's nothing quite like the feeling of strutting around with a fresh bloody scalp, and it's easy to get carried away. I know. I've done it myself.

I'm thinking maybe Ace ought to consider the Ned Flanders option: Just stop hatin' on Glenn. The man has been exposed as a vainglorious fool, his pride and reputation assaulted. Now everybody else is dogpiling on the guy. If you keep up the attack, you look sadistic. So be the big guy, say "God bless you," and walk away.

I discovered the bliss of Flanders-ism with Cynthia McKinney. Having spent 15 years hatin' on McKinney, I lost my joy just about the time everybody jumped on the anti-McKinney bandwagon. Having been demonized myself, I have some empathy for people who find themselves cast in the "Villain of the Day" role.

McKinney screwed up. Patrick Kennedy screwed up. Glenn Greenwald screwed up. Once somebody like that is exposed for their screw-ups, the continued piling-on is just overkill. Call in Ned Flanders and let it drop. ...

But never mind that -- Dan's got video!

-- McCAIN

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Reality-based insanity

It's official: Tree-huggers are crazy.

And if you ever wanted to see video of Michelle Malkin, in shorts, jumping on a trampoline, this is your chance.

Remember: She fed me lunch!

UPDATE
Moonbats have their own video heroes. Is that Markos leading the chant?

-- McCAIN

Erick on Cagle

Nice post at Red State.

-- McCAIN

Armageddon for Moonbats

Matt Stoller, ignoring pleas from friends and family, drank the Kos Kool-Aid and is now hallucinating about a Ned Lamont victory.

If and when the effects wear off, maybe Matt will consider some facts:
  • Lieberman has led every public poll in this primary.
  • Lieberman stomped Lamont in the TV debate.
  • The Moonbats are about to be taught a lesson that Hezbollah is currently learning: Genesis 12:3.
So tell me, Matt, how come Jerome Armstrong's astrology charts didn't warn him about the IDF's plans to boost the Joe-Mentum?

The Jihad Johnnies are lobbing missiles into Haifa, sparking talk of World War III, and the Moonbats think they're going to defeat one of the staunchest Zionists in the Senate?

Good night, Ned!

-- McCAIN