Saturday, March 04, 2006

Shameless blog appeasers

Getting on Michelle Malkin's blogroll is, of course, every nuevo blogger's dreams. At DONKEY CONS, we count ourselves lucky that Michelle once linked our post on the "Message from Milwaukee".

Lately we've been wondering if Michelle is mad at us. She's not answering my e-mails. I figure she's just so busy -- probably a zillion other bloggers are trying to get her attention -- that she doesn't have time, even if she still likes me. (Similarly, Lynn's wondering why Hugh Hewitt stopped returning her calls.)

Blogger desperation is an ugly thing. You post something you think is really cool, then check your Technorati page and get that feeling, "If a tree blogs in the forest and nobody is there to trackback to it, did it really blog at all?" So then you try to get the attention of the Blog Stars and pray for some response. You blogroll them, and pray for reciprocation. I haven't figured out how to do trackbacks (though Basil has given me some hints I might try), so I can't make that work. Instead, I'm reduced to e-mailing out my blegs. It's a huge task, but through pesky persistence, I actually got one of my posts linked from Best of the Web Today. And then there was the whole "inside CPAC with Ann Coulter" trip.

Not content to blog unnoticed, Lance at Red State Rant is now shamelessly begging (here and here) to be added to Michelle Malkin's blogroll. It's a sad and pitiable act of self-degradation, as I hope Instapundit and Little Green Footballs will agree.

There needs to be a word for this kind of practice: Blogwhoring?

Speaking of which, the whole point of this blog is to promote DONKEY CONS -- see our "Annoy a Liberal" 2-for-1 special -- and I'm trying to get the book into the hands of as many bloggers as possible when it comes out April 4. (Ask Chris Short about this strategy.) If you're a blogger interested in reviewing the book, please send me an e-mail with your blog URL, and let's talk.

-- McCAIN

UPDATE: Just wanted to point out that, of course, I'm blogwhoring(TM) like crazy. And Red State Rant -- who has been blogging for three years -- is not a "nuevo blogger." I've just added Red State Rant to my blogroll and offered him a free book. This is what I like to call the "Abramoff strategy" of book promotion. If DONKEY CONS becomes a bestseller, I'm figuring we'll be flying bloggers to St. Andrews to promote the next one.

Ralph Reed "just flat-out wrong"

The latest edition of that excellent news weekly, WORLD Magazine, has a wonderful article about Ralph Reed, disgraced former associate of federal inmate "Indian Jack" Abramoff:

Maurice Atkinson learned everything he knows about politics from Ralph Reed. The vice chairman of the Bibb County Republican Party in central Georgia cut his teeth on political activism in Indiana, where he was an active member of the Christian Coalition when Mr. Reed was executive director of the organization. When Mr. Atkinson moved to Georgia six years ago, he delved into local politics and supported Mr. Reed in his successful bid for state party chairman. ...
Supporting Mr. Reed for lieutenant governor of Georgia was initially a "no-brainer" for Mr. Atkinson.
But a year later, he's changed his mind and now supports Georgia senator Casey Cagle, Mr. Reed's Republican opponent. Switching camps, Mr. Atkinson says, was a "no-brainer" as well: After reading multiple reports that Mr. Reed made millions from anti-gambling work backed by disgraced lobbyist Jack Abramoff and his casino-rich tribal clients, "I realized that he's just flat-out wrong."

You should read the whole thing, but suffice it to say the wheels have so obviously fallen off the Reed bandwagon, I believe the Cagle campaign should start printing bumper stickers with this slogan: "Mene, mene, tekel, upharsin." To wit:

Last month 21 out of 34 Republican state senators signed a letter calling on Mr. Reed to withdraw from the race "for the good of the Republican Party." ...
Mr. Reed's campaign brought in $1.4 million in the first six months of 2005, but only $400,000 in the second half of the year, according to the Associated Press. Mr. Cagle raised more than $600,000 in the same six-month period.

Reed's fundraising is drying up, in other words, and from Erick Erickson at Peach Pundit (recently added to our "Blogger Buddies" list) comes this "News of the Weird" item:
I just got an invite to Ralph Reed’s kick off event. Haley Barbour, the governor of Mississippi, will be present to speak for Ralph. The hosts of the event are Fred Cooper, Pete Correll, Jim Edenfield, Bernie Marcus, Guy Millner, Bob Nardelli, and Joe Rogers. That’s a pretty swank list of hosts. Tickets are $1000. Co-Chairs pay $5,000.00.
I'm looking at some of the names on that list and saying, what are these guys thinking? Bernie Marcus is co-founder of Home Depot and Bob Nardelli is the company's CEO. Joe Rogers is CEO of Waffle House. Jim Edenfield is a Chamber of Commerce type. Pete Correll is CEO of Georgia-Pacific. Fred Cooper is successful businessman who has a place down on Sea Island and was official host of the 2003 G-8 Summit.

In other words, these are some of the biggest business brains in Georgia, and they're still willing to put money into the Ralph Reed campaign? What is interesting, though, is what this says about Reed's strategy: Having alienated his Christian conservative base by prostituting himself to Indian Jack, now Reed is prostituting himself to the same Chamber of Commerce crowd that backed Johnny Isaakson (R-Youkiddingme), who is such a notorious RINO he should be in the Atlanta Zoo instead of the U.S. Senate.

Meanwhile, during my search for background information about Casey Cagle, I discovered an article that mentions (a) Cagle once walked on as a tackle for Erk Russell's Georgia Southern team; and (b) a gay-rights activist calls Cagle "a right-wing extremist."

That's the kind of endorsement that goes a long way in Georgia!

--McCAIN

UPDATE: The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports that e-mail messages clearly contradict Reed's claims that he didn't know he was working for Abramoff's gambling clients. (Hat tip: PEACH PUNDIT.)

UPDATE II: Linked by Basil's Blog.

Mayor Bill's Paris adventure

OK, last blog of the week about former Atlanta Mayor Bill Campbell.

In 1999, Campbell and one of his mistresses, former WSB-TV reporter Marion Brooks, took a trip to romantic Paris. The trip was paid for by United Water, a French company that later got an $80 million contract from the city.

Hizzoner's lover took along her camera, and her photos became part of the evidence presented by federal prosecutors in Campbell's corruption trial. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution has a photo album here.

Interesting tidbit about these photos, however. Remember how the media went crazy with the idea of photos showing President Bush with Jack Abramoff? What was that supposed to prove? The president gets his photo taken with lots of people, and no one has seriously alleged that Abramoff's tawdry casino hustle involved the White House. (Since George W. has never vetoed a single bill from Congress, it's hard to see the point of bribing Bush anyway. If you can bribe your bill through Congress, that's all that counts.)

On the other hand, guess who joined Bill Campbell and his mistress on their corrupt little jaunt to Paris? Wilson Lawrence "Larry" Wallace, the city's former chief operating officer, who's now serving four years in prison for bribery.

So if United Water also paid for a Paris trip for Larry Wallace -- a corrupt former city official who is also a close personal friend of Hizzoner -- doesn't that suggest ... something?

I'm just saying ...

-- McCAIN

Libertarian leader Harry Browne dies

Harry Browne was a class act and, as such, deserved an obituary by the best journalist in America.

-- McCAIN

Friday, March 03, 2006

Campbell trial: "I can't recall"

An interesting week in the corruption trial of Bill Campbell, the former Democratic mayor of Atlanta. There was, for example, an outbreak of a rare disease that sometimes strikes Democrats when they are compelled to testify under oath, courtroom amnesia:

Former Atlanta City Attorney Susan Langford returned to the stand Friday morning ... and her memory continued to fail her.
She answered “I don’t recall” more than 50 times during about 45 minutes of contentious cross-examination by Assistant U. S. Attorney Sally Yates about her handling of the city’s legal matters.
Langford was asked about her involvement in giving and revoking liquor licenses to Atlanta strip club owner Michael Childs, who the prosecution alleges paid Campbell about $50,000 in bribes to get licenses.
Langford ... said she didn’t recall whether she overruled the license board’s decision to revoke the license for Club Nikki’s, owned by Childs, because of a series of shootings, fights and other ordinance violations at the club.
At that point, Yates showed Langford a document detailing the hearing in which, claimed Yates, Langford ignored the wishes of the board and issued a renewal of Nikki’s license anyway.
“Does that refresh your recollection of what happened?” asked Yates.
“It really does not,” said Langford. “I just do not recall.”
Langford also testified that she did not know that Michael Coleman was Campbell’s personal attorney. Then Yates showed her documents, which Langford had seen while she was city attorney, indicating that Coleman epresented Campbell.
Langford said: “Perhaps I misspoke.”
Perhaps she did. The "I don't recall" response -- even when confronted with documents that clearly demonstrate the facts -- is a great way to avoid a perjury charge when you're trying to help a Democrat escape corruption charges.

Another great escape trick, blame the dead guy:

Steven Labovitz, Bill Campbell’s longtime friend, said he never knowingly violated any campaign laws while working as campaign treasurer in the 1997 mayoral election.
He laid discrepancies and illegal campaign contributions at the feet of deceased Campbell friend Rickey Rowe.
Asked by defense attorney Billy Martin if he ever authorized any illegal contributions, Labovitz responded. “Absolutely not. My integrity is incredibly important to me. I would never do anything like that.” ...
Labovitz’s testimony was in response to previous government testimony from businessman Ronnie Thornton who said he gave the campaign $126,000 in illegal campaign contributions in 1997 after being told by the mayor he needed to give at least $100,000 in donations or he would not be able to get a huge construction contract at the airport.
Samuel J. "Rickey" Rowe, the Campbell crony who was a central figure in the cesspool of corruption at Atlanta City Hall, died in 2004 of complications of diabetes. Now that he's dead, Campbell's lawyers are trying to lay all the blame on their client's late friend. This is kind of like how the Clintons did with Vince Foster, Ron Brown and Jim McDougal.

Another typical Democratic defense, amazing to outsiders, is the blind loyalty method:

A government handwriting expert testified that signatures on seven documents came from the hand of Campbell. But in testimony on Thursday, a former city employee stood by her contention that Campbell didn’t do it. ...
[Eunice] Lockhart-Moss says that Campbell did not sign the seven documents that federal prosecutors say bear his signature. She insists Campbell refused to sign them on the day he left his job as mayor. The documents approved millions of dollars for United Water, a company that paid for Campbell’s expenses during a trip to Paris.
Lockhart-Moss testified the last person she saw with the documents was Campbell’s chief operating officer, Dewayne Martin, whom she claimed sometimes signed documents with Campbell’s signature.
Government prosecutors challenged her, saying that twice, when interviewed before a government grand jury, she never mentioned the United Water documents. Her explanation -- “They never asked me.”
Hmmmm.

Q. Why would Ms. Lockhart-Moss name Dewayne Martin as the last man with the United Water contract, the $80 million scam that is the biggest single item on the federal indictment of Campbell?
A. Martin has been cooperating with prosecutors.

Ms. Lockhart-Moss is playing the thuggish, antinomian "no snitching" card. She is appealing to the ugly idea that cooperating with law enforcement is the worst possible crime -- especially when it might send a Democrat to prison.

We keep repeating this, but it is important to remember that no fewer than 10 people have already gone to prison for their roles in the federal crimes of which Campbell is acccused. Yet witnesses like Langford, Labovitz and Lockhart-Moss insist that Campbell himself -- the jet-setter with two mistresses who always paid his tabs with cash -- is innocent.

Lockhart-Moss is seeking to impugn the witnesses against Hizzoner by claiming that they, not he, were the criminals, and that they are liars to boot. Smearing Martin serves the same basic function as smearing the dead guy, Rickey Rowe. But of course, what do you call a mayor who surrounds himself with lying criminals like Martin and Rowe?

The word "corrupt" springs to mind.

-- McCAIN

Previous DONKEY CONS analysis of the Campbell trial:

2/24: Mayor: "What's in it for me?"

2/18: Hotlanta Mayor's Love Triangle

1/27: Campbell trial: "That's my ho!"

1/18: What did I tell you about Atlanta?

1/17: Atlanta mayor goes on trial today

Democratic arson

Democrat drowning campaign aide: Business as usual.

Campaign aide torching Democrat's HQ: Unusual.
A campaign aide to [Georgia] Lt. Gov. Mark Taylor turned himself in today and admitted setting a fire in a building housing Taylor's campaign headquarters.
Josh White, 29, research director for Taylor's gubernatorial campaign, told investigators he was upset about failing to complete an assignment for the campaign, authorities said. ...

Rick Dent, a spokesman for Taylor, said the campaign's staff normally begins each work day with a conference call, and on Tuesday, White wasn't on the call, and didn't show up for work.
"That got our attention, because he's an extremely reliable employee," Dent said. ...
Dent said White was hired by the campaign last July, after previously working as a researcher with the state Democratic party.
"I think we're all stunned by what we've been through and what we've since discovered," Dent said. "There was nothing that we saw or heard in his background that would lead you to believe he would do something
of this sort
. If he was involved in any way, we would be absolutely stunned."


"Stunned"? C'mon, he worked for the Democratic Party. That's pretty suspicious, if you ask me.

HAT TIP: PEACH PUNDIT.

-- McCAIN

Future Ex-Democrats

Black Democrats warn their leadership not to take their votes for granted:

Black voters' loyalty to the Democratic Party is no longer a certainty in Maryland, especially among young independent voters, several black leaders say.
"We might be the last generation of unabashed loyalists to the Democratic Party," state Senate Majority Leader Nathaniel J. McFadden of Baltimore says. "The Democratic Party is no longer a monolith for the African-American community." ...
"The younger black demographic is not as tied in to the Democratic Party," says Robert Johnson, founder of Black Entertainment Television.

While chasing after new "victim" groups -- immigrants, gays, Wal-Mart shoppers, spotted owls -- to exploit shamelessly for political advantage in recent years, Democrats have been been ignoring African-American voters.

With strong statewide candidates like Michael Steele (MD), Ken Blackwell (OH) and Lynn Swann (PA), the GOP is finally in a position to make Democrats pay for this racial hubris in 2006. Whiny white liberals like Howard Dean, Rahm Emanuel, Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid will have no one but themselves to blame if, on Nov. 8, "black Republicans" are to Democratic defeat what "values voters" were in 2004.

Prediction #1: A fresh round of "GOP = KKK" racial fearmongering by Democrats.

Prediction #2: It might not work this time.

Democrats have been crying "wolf" about evil Republicans for so long, that a growing number of African-Americans have seen through the Big Lie.

At the Conservative Political Action Committee (CPAC), I had the opportunity to talk to lots of black Republicans -- some of the most confident, cheerful conservatives you'll ever meet. They know what just about everybody else who follows American politics knows: In recent decades, Democrats have come to depend on getting over 90% of the black vote, in exactly the same way Democrats used to depend on blue-collar union voters. Black Republicans know that if the GOP could get just 20% of the black vote on a regular basis, the Democratic Party would be finished as a meaningful force in national politics. And 2006 could be a breakthrough year in that regard.

Dean & Co. would be fools to ignore this threat.

But even if the Dem leadership does pay attention to the peril posed by the black Republican movement, they might not be able to stem the tide with their tired old tactics of jumping up and down and screaming "racism." Georgia's Herman Cain -- a conservative millionaire who would now be Sen. Herman Cain, if the Rove White House hadn't backed notorious RINO Johnny Isaakson -- has aptly summarized the Democratic Party's approach to African Americans (and everybody else, for that matter): THEY THINK YOU'RE STUPID.

-- McCAIN

UPDATE: RNC Chief Ken Mehlman went to Michigan to promote black GOP recruiting, Michigan Conservative reports.

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Breeding victory

Thanks to OpinionJournal.com for this synopsis of Phillip Longman's amazing article about patriarchy in the latest edition of Foreign Policy:

In the United States, . . . the percentage of women born in the late 1930s who remained childless was near 10 percent. By comparison, nearly 20 percent of women born in the late 1950s are reaching the end of their reproductive lives without having had children. The greatly expanded childless segment of contemporary society, whose members are drawn disproportionately from the feminist and countercultural movements of the 1960s and 70s, will leave no genetic legacy. ...

Meanwhile, single-child families are prone to extinction. A single child replaces one of his or her parents, but not both. Nor do single-child families contribute much to future population. The 17.4 percent of baby boomer women who had only one child account for a mere 7.8 percent of children born in the next generation. By contrast, nearly a quarter of the children of baby boomers descend from the mere 11 percent of baby boomer women who had four or more children. These circumstances are leading to the emergence of a new society whose members will disproportionately be descended from parents who rejected the social tendencies that once made childlessness and small families the norm. These values include an adherence to traditional, patriarchal religion, and a strong identification with one's own folk or nation.

This dynamic helps explain, for example, the gradual drift of American culture away from secular individualism and toward religious fundamentalism. Among states that voted for President George W. Bush in 2004, fertility rates are 12 percent higher than in states that voted for Sen. John Kerry.

As Richard Weaver famously observed, ideas have consequences. "Be fruitful and multiply" is an idea. It's also a commandment. My wife and I have six children.

-- McCAIN

Fake CBS poll (and Anna Nicole Smith)

A proven way to get a lot of Web hits is to mention female celebrities like Britney Spears, Paris Hilton, and Pamela Anderson who are perennial Google favorites of guys looking for nude porn pictures and videos. So ....

Q. What do Anna Nicole Smith and the latest CBS News poll have in common?
A. They're both (artificially) STACKED!

The CBS Poll famously showed President Bush's approval numbers at an "all-time low," but at Newsbusters, Brent Baker reports that the poll "lists 409 Democratic respondents versus 272 Republican respondents. CBS 'weighted' the results to effectively count 289 Republicans versus 381Democrats."

Remember that in the past two elections, the party split was about even -- 48-48 in 2000, and 51-48 in 2004.

This CBS poll hugely oversampled Democrats, as Baker's colleague Greg Sheffield explains:

"Total Republicans" contacted: 272 unweighted and 289 weighted. "Total Democrats" contacted: 409 unweighted and 381 weighted. "Total Independents"
contacted: 337 unweighted and 348 weighted. ...

The Pew Research Center for the People and the Press ... shows that in both 2004 and 2005, 30% said they were Republican compared to 33% who said they were Democrats. The new CBS poll (even after being weighted) had a population of only 28% Republicans to 37% Democrats.

Doing the math, the new poll -- even using the "weighted" numbers -- had 12.1% too many Democrats and 6.7% too few Republicans. So this poll, which is stacked to give a net 18.9% advantage to Democrats, is as fake as Anna Nicole's silicone-enhanced bustline.

-- McCAIN

P.S.: Some arbiters of blogosphere ethics may say that it's wrong to try to lure traffic to a political blog by gaming Google. They might say its unethical to atttract hits from perverts searching for the Pam Anderson sex video or the lesbian kiss between Madonna and Britney. But remember: We want DEMOCRATS to read our blog, too! (And thanks for visiting our blog, Senator Kennedy.)

Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Real courage, real dissent

Left-wingers are always congratulating themselves on how brave they are to dissent against Bush administration policies. Oh, what courage, to "speak truth to power" when you're a rich Hollywood movie star, a tenured university professor or a paid flack for George Soros.

But let's talk about real courage. We previously mentioned how Bruce Bartlett seemed to have the exact same idea about Democratic scandals that we have documented in DONKEY CONS. Well, guess what?

Bruce Bartlett -- a well-respected economist who served in the administrations of both Reagan and Bush 41 -- was FIRED from his job at a conservative think tank.

Why? Because he wrote a book explaining why he believes President Bush is not a conservative.

That is courage.

-- McCAIN

Sunday, February 26, 2006

Incompetence of Ohio Dems

OK, first Ohio Democrats chased war hero Paul Hackett out of the Senate race. Now they've fumbled away a congressional seat:

A Democratic candidate considered the party's best hope to hold onto a key House seat from Ohio failed to collect enough signatures to qualify for the party primary.
A county election board ruled Wednesday in Lisbon, Ohio, that state Sen. Charlie Wilson had only 46 valid signatures on his petition for candidacy, four shy of the 50 he needed to qualify for the race. ...

After incumbent Rep. Ted Strickland decided to run for governor, national Republicans targeted the race as their best chance to pick up a House seat in what promises to be a tough year for the party.

Dude! You can't even get 50 valid signatures in a congressional district with over 500,000 citizens? LOL!

Democrats are talking about appealing the decision, but they might not want to invite too much legal scrutiny of the situation. In trying to get Wilson qualified, the Dems may have violated state election law, State of the Union reports:

"For the past week, Ohio Democrats have been running around threatening to make sure state election laws were enforced in an effort to knock our candidates off the ballot," said Ohio Republican Party Chairman Bob Bennett. "Now they find themselves in a situation where campaign laws were clearly violated, and they’re trying to cover their tracks. For a party that talks a lot about a culture of corruption, the Democrats are engaging in some pretty corrupt behavior here.”

Gee, and I thought the GOP was the Stupid Party!

-- McCAIN

Traficant debate

You would think that, by the time a Democrat's corruption finally lands him in the federal penitentiary, there wouldn't be any question whether he was a bad guy.

You would be wrong:

He may be sitting in a Rochester, Minn., federal prison hundreds of miles from the area he served for more than two decades, but former U.S. Rep. James A. Traficant is anything but far from the minds of many Mahoning Valley residents.
The ex-congressman symbolically took center stage as more than 300 people came to the Chevrolet Centre on Saturday to attend a town-hall-style debate, "Jim Traficant: Saint or Sinner?" It focused on whether the former nine-term congressman has been good or bad for the region. ...
The two-hour forum, sponsored by vindy.com and WFMJ Channel 21, and moderated by Vindicator columnist Bertram de Souza, pitted Traficant supporter John Brown, who calls himself a political independent, against
Democrat Robert Fitzer, who spoke against the former congressman. ...

Fitzer ... who was instrumental in the Mahoning County Democrats for Change movement, said Traficant took bribes from the Cleveland and Pittsburgh factions of the mob and consistently lied about his actions.
Others he took bribes from, Fitzer contended, were mall developer J.J. Cafaro and Atty. R. Allen Sinclair, a Traficant staff attorney.
"Traficant was a salesman for bribery. He took office with one hand on the Bible and one hand in your pocket," Fitzer told the audience.

Given the bizarre doings of Ohio Republicans of late, guess which side of the Trafficant issue they're on?

Alex Mangie, a YSU sophomore and vice president of YSU's College Republicans, praised Traficant for the infrastructure improvements and other projects he brought to the area. Last summer's two strikes at the university would probably have been resolved faster had Traficant been part of negotiations, Mangie speculated.
Another notable Republican in the audience, Dr. Bill Binning, said he thinks Traficant should no longer be in prison.
Binning, who is chairman of YSU's political science department and former longtime chairman of the Mahoning County Republican Party, said the length of Traficant's incarceration has far outweighed whatever crime he committed.

Uh, Alex, Bill ... when your own Ohio GOP is looking kinda sleazy, and you have here an Ohio Democrat who has been convicted and sent to federal prison for corruption, do you really think that praising and defending the Democratic crook is smart politics? Do you think any Ohio Democrats would ever say a nice word about Tom Noe or Bob Ney? Do California Democrats praise "Duke" Cunningham?

Yeah, I know, Traficant was a patriotic, centrist independent, a blue-collar populist with a wacky sense of humor -- but he was also crooked as hell. Don't you think this "debate" might have been a good forum to make the point that Trafficant illustrates why electing Democrats is not the answer to the "culture of corruption"?

When you get a clean shot, you ought to take it. That's all I'm saying.

-- McCAIN