Saturday, July 15, 2006

How NOT to report a poll

In recent years, the Associated Press seems to have decided that maintaining a reputation for fairness and credibility is far less important than crusading for liberal causes and promoting the Democratic Party line.

Case in point: Donna Cassata's Friday poll-mongering story, which claims that Democrats are favored by a 3-to-1 majority over Republicans. What utter tripe!

The most important words in the story are found in the fourth paragraph: "AP-Ipsos poll of 1,000 adults ..."

Adults! Random freaking adults!

As I explained in March: Random adults don't vote. All political polls of "random adults" will skew leftward for the very reason that Democrats do much better among people of limited education, people who don't know anything about the issues, people with limited interest in politics, the kind of people who NEVER VOTE.

This dirty little secret explains why Democrats have to run those "knock and drag" voter-turnout efforts, with activists going door-to-door on Election Day in low-income districts, offering bus rides to the polling places.

If you have a job and an education, chances are you've never experienced this treatment. Why? Because Democrats know that somebody like you is (a) civic-minded enough to get to the polling place on your own, and (b) disproportionately likely to vote Republican.

So you, the suburban homeowner, have never seen a knock-and-drag operation, and you don't understand why this type of activity is absolutely essential to the existence of the Democratic Party. This AP poll is a reminder: Democrats have an overwhelming majority of support among ignorant people, the kind who can't even name their U.S. Senators.

The less you know about the issues, the more likely you are to support Democrats but ... the less likely you are to vote at all. And these "random adults" who aren't likely voters tip the AP poll heavily to the left.

But Donna Cassata of the AP doesn't explain this to the reader. She doesn't distinguish "adults" from "likely voters," nor does she explain that this telephone poll probably tells us absolutely nothing about what's going to happen on Nov. 7.

Because any poll includes a number of non-voters -- even when they're trying to screen for likely voters -- all polls tend to overpredict the Democratic vote, because Democrats do better among non-voters. In fact, the person who tells a poll-taker that he will vote, but doesn't actually vote, is just about always a Democrat.

The Associated Press's poll-based reporting has become almost as bad as the New York Times, which notoriously misrepresents poll results in its coverage.

Sweetness & Light does a good job of dismantling this AP poll:
The AP article goes on to reiterate in several variations how impossible it will be for Republicans to hold onto their majority in Congress.
But, as regular readers of this site will
recall, the French company Ipsos always over-samples Democrats. And this case is no different
The larger picture, in terms of press bias, is this: The U.S. electorate has been trending steadily toward the Republicans for about 40 years. Yet every election gain for the GOP is greeted by the press as something shocking. The press was stunned by the three consecutive landslides (1980, '84, '88) during the Reagan-Bush era. The media gasped at the 1994 "Republican Revolution."

What have we seen in the past six years? Bush barely squeaked by in 2000, but scored a surprising off-year victory in 2002, then in 2004, became the first U.S. president to win an absolute majority of the popular vote in 16 years. Still, the press clearly wishes to believe that Bush and the GOP are widely hated; the press slants the news to put Republicans in the worst possible light; and yet, somehow, year after year, the election results don't match the media slant. Hmmmm.

Is it possible that the GOP could lose on Nov. 7? Sure, anything's possible. But it's not bloody likely. And this kind of slanted AP reporting, while perhaps helping the DNC's fundraising, will only increase Democratic voters' sense of betrayal and disappointment when (as we might reasonably expect) the Dems once again go down to defeat.


Very sad

A former Commerce Department official killed his 12-year-old son and then killed himself.

Motive unknown at this point, but of course some idiot has the answer: Halliburton!

His wife, who escaped alive, was a government lawyer.


Pelosi's implausible deniability

Nancy Pelosi is now claiming that the flag-draped coffin ad the DCCC sent out with a fund-raising letter wasn't really about fund-raising:
It is not a solicitation, it is not a fundraising solicitation. As far as the Republicans are concerned, politicizing the war, if it weren't so tragic, it would almost be funny with Karl Rove going around the country talking about politicizing the Iraq war. ... I don't know why they are making an issue of this except that, again, it speaks truth to power about what is happening in Iraq.
So Pelosi lies about the ad, and then blames Republicans for "politicizing the war." AllahPundit is exactly right when he says they're just stupid:
If they’re willing to sow the wind with death photos, so be it. They’ll reap the whirlwind when the backlash comes.
The Democrats were stupid to think they could get away with that trick, and they are even stupider to think they can lie, and act like innocent victims, and blame everything on Republicans. The American people can see through cheap lies like that, and the Democrats only hurt themselves with such dishonest tactics.

ALSO BLOGGING: Sister Toldjah, Old War Dogs ...

Captain Ed said:

The DCCC talked about moving onto another subject, but they aren't fooling anyone -- it got chased off the air.


DONKEY CONS: Rave review
DONKEY CONS: Another rave review
DONKEY CONS: Yet ANOTHER rave review
DONKEY CONS: Vilmar loves it!
DONKEY CONS: WorldNetDaily loves it!
DONKEY CONS: About the book
DONKEY CONS: On Capitol Hill
DONKEY CONS: About the authors

Friday, July 14, 2006

Thanks, Nancy! Thanks, Rahm!

Greetings, THOR TOLO fans!

From page 14 of DONKEY CONS:

Maybe Democrats think Americans are stupid. ... But just how stupid do they think we are? At this writing, Nancy Pelosi and her friends are talking about how Democrats will win control of Congress in 2006 by campaigning against a Republican "culture of corruption." ...

If Democrats try to make "corruption" the central issue of their campaign, they'll surely lose — and we'll probably sell a lot more books.

Hey, Nancy: You go, girl!

Nancy Pelosi put Rahm "Hired Truck" Emanuel -- who owes his seat to the corrupt Daley machine in Chicago -- in charge of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. And now Emanuel's DCCC runs an ad with a doctored photo of Tom DeLay along with photos of flag-draped coffins (ugh), etc.

Guess what, you stupid Democrats? Our phones are ringing, and I'm just about to go on a top afternoon drive-time show on the West Coast.

Talking Point #1: If the problem is corruption in Congress, Democrats are not the solution. We've got an entire book -- with over 600 notes -- covering the astonishing history of Democratic Party corruption. In fact, you might say Democrats invented political corruption in America.

In Chapter 2 of Donkey Cons, we document that over the past 30 years, corrupt Democrats in Congress have outnumbered corrupt Republicans by a 3-to-1 ratio. (The final tally is on page 36 of the book.)

Want some good examples? Let's see, very quickly, from the index of DONKEY CONS:

Somehow, alas, we managed to overlook Rep. Al "Beach Boy" Mollohan (D-W.Va.), but if Nancy and Rahm want to help us sell out the first edition -- BUY TWO COPIES! -- we'll make sure Al gets into the updated paperback.

Oh, and you can download a FREE CHAPTER in PDF format and learn all about the real "party of the rich."

For more information on the DCCC's flag-draped fund-raising video, it's also being blogged by: Red State, Hot Air, Protein Wisdom, Captain's Quarters, Right Angle ...

Thanks to Bioinformaticus Maximus for the link at Red State. I should point out that the sentence, "Rahm Emanuel is corrupt," goes beyond the known facts. Emanuel was elected by the corrupt Daley machine, but this does not mean that Emanuel is personally guilty of any wrongdoing. (The same was true of Harry Truman and the Pendergast machine in Kansas City.)

We might compare Emanuel to Her Fraudulency, Christine Gregoire of Washington state, who took the governorship because the corrupt King County Democrats stole the election. Gregoire herself may have done nothing wrong personally, but her election by illegal means renders her incapable of claiming any "moral high ground."

So it is with Emanuel. As long as the head of the DCCC holds an office gained by illegal means -- and more than a dozen people have gone to prison because of the "hired truck" scandal in Chicago -- then the Democrats have no moral standing to condemn Republicans for a "culture of corruption."


DONKEY CONS: Rave review
DONKEY CONS: Another rave review
DONKEY CONS: Yet ANOTHER rave review
DONKEY CONS: Vilmar loves it!
DONKEY CONS: WorldNetDaily loves it!
DONKEY CONS: About the book
DONKEY CONS: On Capitol Hill
DONKEY CONS: About the authors

Liveblogging Armageddon

Michael Young is in Beirut.

The revolution will not be televised, but the Apocalypse will be blogged.


Border fence roll call

The Senate voted 71-29 Thursday against an appropriations amendment that would have funded 370 miles of fence along the U.S.-Mexico border.

The Senate voted to build the fence in May as part of their "compehensive" immigration-reform bill -- a/k/a, The Amnesty That Dare Not Speak Its Name -- and so now they are like Kerry on Iraq: The were for the fence before they were against it.

Only two Democrats voted to authorize funding for the fence, while Republicans split with 27 yeas to 28 nays.

Please notice that the four most vulnerable incumbent Republican senators facing re-election this fall -- DeWine, Santorum, Burns and Talent -- all voted "yes" for the fence. This is especially key for DeWine, who was excoriated by conservatives when he voted for the amnesty bill in May. His vote Thursday in favor of funding the border fence gives DeWine a chance to portray himself as a "get tough on illegal aliens" candidate and differentiate himself from his centrist Democrat challenger, Sherrod Brown.

Democrats voting YES (2)
Carper, Del.; Nelson, Neb.

Republicans voting YES (27)
Allen, Va.; Brownback, Kan.; Bunning, Ky.; Burns, Mont.; Burr, N.C.; Chambliss, Ga.; Coburn, Okla.; Craig, Idaho; Crapo, Idaho; DeMint, S.C.; DeWine, Ohio; Dole, N.C.; Ensign, Nev.; Enzi, Wyo.; Grassley, Iowa; Hatch, Utah; Inhofe, Okla.; Isakson, Ga.; Lott, Miss.; Roberts, Kan.; Santorum, Pa.; Sessions, Ala.; Shelby, Ala.; Talent, Mo.; Thomas, Wyo.; Thune, S.D.; Vitter, La.

Democrats voting NO (42)
Akaka, Hawaii; Baucus, Mont.; Bayh, Ind.; Biden, Del.; Bingaman, N.M.; Boxer, Calif.; Byrd, W.Va.; Cantwell, Wash.; Clinton, N.Y.; Conrad, N.D.; Dayton, Minn.; Dodd, Conn.; Dorgan, N.D.; Durbin, Ill.; Feingold, Wis.; Feinstein, Calif.; Harkin, Iowa; Inouye, Hawaii; Johnson, S.D.; Kennedy, Mass.; Kerry, Mass.; Kohl, Wis.; Landrieu, La.; Lautenberg, N.J.; Leahy, Vt.; Levin, Mich.; Lieberman, Conn.; Lincoln, Ark.; Menendez, N.J.; Mikulski, Md.; Murray, Wash.; Nelson, Fla.; Obama, Ill.; Pryor, Ark.; Reed, R.I.; Reid, Nev.; Rockefeller, W.Va.; Salazar, Colo.; Sarbanes, Md.; Schumer, N.Y.; Stabenow, Mich.; Wyden, Ore.

Republicans voting NO (28)
Alexander, Tenn.; Allard, Colo.; Bennett, Utah; Bond, Mo.; Chafee, R.I.; Cochran, Miss.; Coleman, Minn.; Collins, Maine; Cornyn, Texas; Domenici, N.M.; Frist, Tenn.; Graham, S.C.; Gregg, N.H.; Hagel, Neb.; Hutchison, Texas; Kyl, Ariz.; Lugar, Ind.; Martinez, Fla.; McCain, Ariz.; McConnell, Ky.; Murkowski, Alaska; Smith, Ore.; Snowe, Maine; Specter, Pa.; Stevens, Alaska; Sununu, N.H.; Voinovich, Ohio; Warner, Va.

Independent voting NO (1)
Jeffords, Vt.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Whither Stooksbury?

Meet Clark Stooksbury, lover of Crunchy Cons, defender of Smoosh, hates Donkey Cons.

Stooksbury: Has written for Chronicles and the American Conservative.
McCain: Has written for Chronicles and the American Conservative.

We are both thus clearly associated with paleoconservatism.

This is what is interesting to me: My review of Crunchy Cons, which apparently so antagonized Mr. Stooksbury, includes a reference to economist Mark Skousen:
Others have chastised Dreher for praising Hillary Clinton’s mantra “it takes a village,” but I’m more disturbed by his economic views. Crunchy Cons mentions neither Ludwig von Mises nor F.A. Hayek, and it seems entirely possible that Dreher has never read anything by the free-market Austrian economists or their successors. Instead he relies on Small Is Beautiful author E.F. Schumacher, practically the only economist mentioned in the book.

This is a telling choice. As the economist Mark Skousen has pointed out, Small Is Beautiful has a substantially Malthusian message that “enslaves everyone in a life of ‘nonmaterialistic’ values.” For Skousen, Schumacher’s Buddhist economics was a primitive mysticism that “clearly results in a primitive economy.” Dreher, no doubt, would dismiss Skousen as a soulless libertarian.
That review was published in the libertarian journal Reason. Mr. Stooksbury is a contributing editor to another libertarian journal, Liberty. If we look at the masthead of that journal, we see among Mr. Stooksbury's fellow contributing editors Reason associate editor Brian Doherty, plus several other people whose work I have long admired: Dave Kopel, a staunch Second Amendment defender; Wendy McElroy, dissident feminist; Bill Kauffman, a Burkean critic of "progress"; homeschooling advocate Sheldon Richman; and ... Mark Skousen!

What we have here, then, is a most curious misunderstanding. Mr. Stooksbury and I seem to inhabit almost synchronous orbits within what might be called the paleolibertarian region of the political galaxy, our chief points of disagreement being:
  • Mr. Stooksbury's admiration of Crunchy Cons, a book based on the Buddhist economics detested by the libertarian Skousen, and generally panned by conservative critics. (In the latest issue of The American Spectator, Florence King may have outdone us all.)
  • Mr. Stooksbury is anti-war and seems to have conceived me as some sort of neocon chickenhawk warmonger type. In fact, as friends will attest, I was a confirmed skeptic of the casus belli for the Iraq invasion -- at least so far as it was publicly articulated by its advocates. But once the war began, I was for victory. In other words, if this is ancient Athens, then I am not the rash and ambitious Alcibiades, but the wise statesman Nicias, who advised against the expedition to Sicily but, once the assembly voted to go, urged them to make the expedition with the strongest possible force.
  • Mr. Stooksbury seems to have been afflicted with a variant strain of Bush Derangement Syndrome that is widespread among my paleolibertarian friends.
If I could wangle an invite to speak at the next John Randolph Club, I would like to address the tendency of which Mr. Stooksbury's case presents such a typical example.

We are living in weird times and, as Hunter S. Thompson said, when the going gets weird, the weird turn pro, but for crying out loud, this is getting too weird even for me. Some of my paleolibertarian pals, it seems, would rather make common cause with the anarchist Noam Chomsky or conspiracy theorists like Michael Moore than to be caught associating with any conservative who supports a "hang tough" policy in Iraq.

Such is their loathing for Bush that I keep waiting for them to start arguing for tax increases. After all, Bush supports tax cuts and if Bush is Satan incarnate -- which seems to be the operative principle for some people -- then tax cuts must be part of the satanic plot.

If I were invited to speak to the JRC, I'm sure a lot of people wouldn't like my speech, but as long as I weren't shouted down, I think I could use the opportunity to ask some important questions:
  • Why haven't the follies of the Bush administration caused more conservatives to reconsider the Platonic/Straussian dominance of the movement?
  • What are the central and fundamental flaws of (and not merely the latest blunders caused by) the ideology generally called neoconservatism?
  • If neoconservative ideology is flawed, why then has it become so popular?
  • Why have rival ideas within the Right -- including traditionalism and libertarianism -- failed to make inroads again the neoconservative ascendancy?
I've been pondering this question for a few years, and have some ideas about the answers. And in those answers, I think, lie some implications for what should be done to remedy these problems and make some headway for a change.

As I say, I would be glad to address this topic in depth at the next JRC meeting. But the first thing I'd suggest is that we call a ceasefire -- or at least invoke the Geneva Conventions -- in these kinds of feuds amongst those of us on the Right who have been been for so long systematically excluded by the powers that be within the Official Conservative Movement.

That means let's stop quarreling, Mr. Stooksbury (and I'd say the same to Mr. Dreher), and see if we can't find some common ground for cooperation. But first of all, let's stop the circular firing squad routine, OK? We all seem to agree that the conservative movement has gone badly astray, though our interpretations differ as to the causes and nature of the problem.

But let me make one thing clear: I am not the problem. Nobody at Official Conservative Movement headquarters has ever solicited my advice, nor do I expect an invite to the next state dinner at the White House. So if you don't like the war or George Bush, if you're annoyed by Sean Hannity's latest rant or the most recent betrayal by the Republican Senate, please don't vent your frustrations on me. I've got enough enemies already without becoming your personal scapegoat.


Homegrown Jihadis

He hates America and gives aid and comfort to our enemies.

I guess you could say Adam Gadahn is sort of like the New York Times, except fat and hairy.

Michelle has video.



Smoosh is the name of a Seattle-based "girl group" featuring two sisters ages 12 and 14. They are getting lots of media hype. (More here.)

Are they the female Second Coming of Hanson? Or ... could it be something else?

Notice a political slogan in this publicity photo?

They're the Bubble Gum Moonbats.
Pre-Teen Dixie Chicks.
Anti-American Top 40.
Adorable Dhimmis.
Middle School Cindy Sheehans.

Don't buy it. Don't let your kids buy it.

* UPDATE 7/13 *
Some Smoosh fans have been upset by this posting. But who was it that decided that Smoosh should inject politics into its act, via the anti-Bush button prominently displayed in the publicity photo? It's a free country, but why would Asya (or Chloe, since I can't tell them apart) wish to alienate the 51% of American voters who backed Bush in 2004?

If Smoosh is free to be anti-Bush, are we not equally free to be anti-Smoosh? More to the point: Are we not free to resent vulgar political sloganeering from a couple of middle-school musicians?

Actually, I like Smoosh's music. I also like Green Day, purely as music. But the trend of entertainers intruding fashionable left-wing politics into their acts -- actors who lecture us about global warming, guitarists hectoring us about foreign policy -- does not promote unity in a nation so deeply divided between Red and Blue. (As Laura Ingraham puts it: Shut Up and Sing.)

In Seattle (where the corrupt King County Democratic machine stole the governorship for Her Fraudulency, Christine Gregoire), I suppose it's considered cute for an adolescent pop star to sport a "NO BUSHIT" button in a publicity photo. But, in case the parents of Asya and Chloe didn't notice, John Kerry is not president, and such cheap partisan posturing will have the effect of reducing Smoosh's potential audience by half.

Or, as our good Marine buddy Cpl. Josh Belile might put it:
"Durka durka, Muhammed jihad!"

* * * * *
LOL! The Kossacks go Smooshie:
With all that is happening in your country and the world why would a Right Wing Blogger go after 12 and 14 year old sisters?
Good question. Another good question: What kind of parents would allow their daughter to pose for a publicity photo while wearing a "NO BUSHIT" button?

* * * * *
Crunchy Con Smoosh-ophile Clark Stooksbury thinks I'm attacking his patriotism.

Mr. Stooksbury, I'm not saying that the Smoosh girls don't have a right to hold negative opinions of Bush -- since I myself have expressed such opinions vis a vis The Amnesty That Dare Not Speak Its Name, among other issues, including NCLB. But such policy-specific criticism is not what a "NO BUSHIT" button is about.

It's one thing when Neil "I'm Still Canadian" Young makes himself obnoxious via crude political posturing, or when a propagandist like Michael Moore starts retailing conspiracy theories. They're grown men, and are at least responsible for their own idiocy.

But Asya and Chloe aren't even old enough to sign a contract without parental permission. Some adult -- parents, publicist, manager, record executive -- must have thought, "Hey, a 'NO BUSHIT' button -- great idea!" So these girls, whose youthful cuteness helped them gain an audience as musical performers, are thus made an advertising vehicle for political messages. It's a bait-and-switch.

What next? Will Smoosh hire Jerome Armstrong as a consultant?

* * * * *
Notice the completely uncritical "oh my gosh aren't they wonderful" tone of this CBS News feature. That seismic tremor you feel is caused by Edward R. Murrow rolling in his grave.
* * * * *
Critic's corner

You can download a video of Smoosh's latest song, and see what technology makes possible in the 21st-century music industry.

Myself a singer-guitarist-songwriter of some experience, I am friends with some real musicians. I gave up my music career ambitions in the late '80s, just a few years before affordable, high-quality home digital recording became widely available. What has struck me about the trend of the past 15-20 years is a steady decline in pop songcraft and musicianship: vague lyrics, badly rhymed; guitarists slogging out power chords rather than picking riffs and leads; vocalists who whine or shout rather than sing.

As much as I got bored with the "album rock" sound of the mid-'70s -- what a relief when the Ramones and Elvis Costello appeared on the scene! -- in retrospect it must be admitted that groups like Bad Company, Steely Dan, Styx, and Foreigner (to name but a few) represented something of a zenith of pure musicianship in rock. They could play their instruments.

Not to knock the Smoosh girls (as musicians), but you see how the advance of technology has elevated amateurism. They are the musical equivalent of a TV "reality show": the fact that the performers are not professionals, that they have not paid their dues, is the raison d'etre of the act. Their untutored youthful earnestness is presented as authenticity. They are "real people."

This is where technology has a cultural impact: Smoosh is now in the big leagues of show biz because, unlike 30 years ago, one doesn't need to spend years playing cover tunes in honky-tonks and gin joints, then rent a recording studio, cut a demo, land a recording contract and score radio play in order to reach a mass audience. (Go back and listen to Skynyrd's early Muscle Shoals sessions and realize that in 1972, this popular club band couldn't even get a contract with those professional-quality demos, which included songs like "Freebird" and "Gimme Three Steps" that later became classics.)

Now it goes like this: Buy some digital recording gear, cut a CD in your basement -- the "studio" time is effectively free, so you can overdub and retake infinitely -- and put it up on the Web. Then do your own video and put that online. You can become tomorrow's "next big thing," even if you're just a couple of middle-schoolers.

This is where Smoosh is definitely unlike Hanson. Before they became suddenly famous, the home-schooled Hanson brothers had spent years listening to and attempting to imitate the old classics in their dad's record collection. For all its bubble-gum pop silliness, "Mm-Bop" had discernible roots: Those kids had obviously listened to a lot of Motown and early Beatles. Smoosh's music seems to reflect no influences that predate the MTV rotation of recent years.

Ask yourself how Smoosh compares to earlier pop prodigies. Do they hold a candle to 12-year-old Stevie Wonder?

My 13-year-old twins have a garage band. I've helped them just a little. Among other things, I helped them learn the chord progression to Green Day's "Holiday." But I've resisted the urge to meddle or to give them too much fond encouragement. If they're ever really going to be any good, they need to figure things out for themselves. They need to struggle and stumble and pay some dues. They'll either quit or stick with it, but whatever they do, they'll have to do it on their own.

Pushing a couple of half-trained musicians into the glare of the national spotlight, before they're even old enough to play in a nightclub? You can say it's cute. I call it crazy.


DailyKos "implosion"?

Noel Sheppard notices the impending collapse of Kosistan. Sheppard leaves out something important, that I keep repeating:
The estimated gross annual ad revenue
of DailyKos is $832,000

I've tried to explain to Dan Riehl why I think that number is one key to understanding the Ko$ola/JeromeGate scandal. There has been a noticeably reluctance on the part of some bloggers to "follow the money," and I think I know why:
  • Conservatives don't like the "class warfare" angle, and don't wish to appear to be criticizing Kos for making money from what is, after all, the #1 political site in the blogosphere.
  • Nearly all bloggers have ads, and so if the DailyKos ads are more lucrative ... well, so what?
OK, please let me explain. This will take a bit -- it's complex, almost nuanced -- but I think if you'll read for a minute or two here, I can describe why the revenue numbers point to the heart of this thing. Focus your mind on three areas of inquiry:
  • Who are the advertisers on Daily Kos, and why is that space so valuable? What are advertisers paying for?
  • What do the Kossacks think they're getting from Daily Kos? What is the demand that is being supplied?
  • What is the difference between blogs on the Left and blogs on the Right?
We shall take these questions in reverse order. But before we do, let me remind you how this whole thing started.

The 'pump and dump'

After YearlyKos, some Kossacks wondered why former Virginia Gov. Mark Warner (a DLC guy who is to the right of Joe Lieberman) got the big push at YK. Chris Suellentrop then (a) reminded us that the "Blogfather," Jerome Armstrong, was a consultant to Warner, and (b) mentioned that Armstrong had been accused by the SEC of unethically touting dot-com stocks.

Those who recall the late-'90s dot-com bubble used the term "pump and dump" to describe the BluePoint scam that Armstrong was accused of participating in. Armstrong (allegedly) presented himself on the Internet as an honest provider of securities information. Instead, Armstrong was (allegedly) in the pay of persons who stood to profit by hyping sales of certain securities, and his (alleged) failure to disclose this financial interest was therefore (allegedly) a species of fraud.

Now consider what happened with MyDD and DailyKos after 2002. In the beginning, Kos was a MyDD contributor. Then Kos started his DailyKos site, and in 2003, the partnership of Armstrong Zuniga LLC was formed, with a contract to provide Internet advice to the Dean campaign.

Ask yourself this: If Armstrong were to apply his (alleged) "pump and dump" knowledge to politics, what would the result look like? How would it work?

Blogs, Left and Right

What is the most noticeable non-political difference between liberal sites like DailyKos, MyDD, etc., and conservative sites like Instapundit, Malkin, HotAir, etc?

The conservative sites are all about news. Some of the news is strictly Dem/GOP politics, some of it's about the war, some of it is the sort of culture war "Outrage of the Day" stuff, e.g. ACLU vs. Boy Scouts, "teachers gone wild," liberal judge going easy on recidivist child molester, etc. And some of it's just fun stuff: World Cup, "American Idol," jokes, whatever.

The leftist "Big Box" political blogs are different in that they are quite narrowly focused on Democratic partisanship, liberal ideology, the anti-war movement, and attacking the Bush administration. You never expect to go on one of the big leftie sites and see, for example, an "Amber Alert" headline where some kidnapper is on the lam. They don't seem to be much interested in chitchatting about celebrities, sports or anything like that.

The Big Box lefties, then, provide very little non-political news and offer virtually no entertainment value beyond politics.

Furthermore, and this is key: Big Box lefties are all about picking Democratic candidates, promoting their campaigns, and especially fund-raising. Virtually every significant left-wing blog has those "click here to contribute" posts about giving campaign cash to Democrats. And lots of the "news" is the same kind of stuff: "Oh, here's a candidate in this Democratic primary" and "Democrats have a good chance to pick up a House seat in District 47."

It's been this way almost constantly with mega-Moonbat blogs since McCain-Feingold was passed in 2002. The action is very election-focused, very campaign-focused, very money-focused.

And yet they keep picking losers.

Think about that. More on Thursday.


Wednesday, July 12, 2006

The sexiest blogger?

I'm often asked: Who do you think is the sexiest blogger?

Frankly, I can't answer this question. At least not for the record. In terms of female bloggers, the totally hottest one ... well, she's married. And I'm married, too. So it would simply be uncouth, unchivalrous and un-Christian for me to answer this question.

I also have a problem in judging the sexiest male blogger category -- but not the problem you think.

Despite being notoriously heterosexual (married nearly 20 years, 6 children), I am actually a pretty good judge of men's looks. I'm comfortable saying that, since I am merely observing an objective fact: Men are good-looking, or are not.

No erotic desire is implied if I say, for instance, "I totally understand why chicks went wild for Joe Namath. If I was a chick, I would too." Also, Patrick Swayze: That guy could probably make Rosie O'Donnell go straight and praise Jesus, y'know? (Admit it, Rosie!)

See? Objective facts. It's just like me saying, "Vilmar's latest Chick of the Week is a total hottie ... but not quite as hot as Week #7." This doesn't mean that I would betray my wife or anything like that (stop spamming me, Estella, it's no use begging). I am merely observing and analyzing aesthetic criteria, OK?

So being able to judge male looks is not the problem that disqualifies me from declaring who the sexiest male blogger is. The problem is this: I know the guy personally, and there might be certain ethical problems.

Josh just added Donkey Cons to his blogroll. And so, by identifying Josh as the sexiest guy in the blogosphere, it might hurt the feelings of my blog buddies like Ace, Dan Riehl, Don Surber and Rob Huddleston. Those guys have been kind enough to link me, and I don't want to offend them when I tell all you lonely ladies: Josh has got it going on.

It's an ethical dilemma, you see. But in my totally fair, objective and neutral way, let me tell you ladies about Josh: The boy's got this total babyface thing happening, and these big ol' puppy-dog eyes. If the blogosphere were Tiger Beat in 1974, Josh would be Leif Garrett. Or maybe even Shaun Cassidy.

This fall, he will start his senior year at college, but Josh looks so doggone young ... Let me put it this way: If Debra Lefave or Pamela Rogers ever makes a jailbreak, Josh might need police protection.

Josh is also a fine, upstanding, Christian conservative guy from Alabama. So in addition to the babyface thing, he's also very polite and charming in an aw-shucks, Southern gentleman kind of way.

Did I mention that Josh loves Ann Coulter? I don't mean raw, carnal lust -- at least, not merely that. (He's only human.) No, Josh also seems to admire Miss Coulter the way only a future conservative journalist could admire her. Thoughtfully. Respectfully. Yea, almost reverently.

Anyway, Miss Coulter, if you've ever wanted to enjoy the frisson of a Mrs. Robinson-type fantasy -- guilty pleasure, minus the guilt -- you really need to bookmark Josh's blog. He's young, he's cute, he's conservative and (lucky you) he's totally legal.

But you need to hurry, Miss Coulter: This town is crawling with shameless "skinterns" who, as one of them confesses:
[W]ear plunging necklines and short skirts to work. ... [T]hey wear outfits to work that make their bosses' jaws drop.
Interns! We know what an intern did to Bill Clinton. Don't let them get to Josh.

By the way, Miss Coulter: The last sentence of your latest column was brilliant. Julius and Ethel are now what I call "good Communists."

And one more thing: Even though he lost out to Josh on the "sexiest blogger" title, Don Surber also greatly admires you.


Castro dead? Thank you, God!

Just a rumor so far but it's a reason to smile -- even if it's, say, 47 years too late.

It would be the answer to years of prayers of many millions of people.

That Commie bastard took over Cuba in 1959 -- the year I was born -- so I've been waiting my entire life for that lying bloodthirty SOB to collect his one-way express ticket to the Bottomless Pit.

There's one line from "Scarface" that sums up my feelings on this subject:
I kill a communist for fun. But for a green card? I gonna carve him up real nice.
-- Tony Montana

Have I ever mentioned how much I hate Communists? Really. The only good Commie is a ...
Well, if the rumors are true, Fidel just joined the ranks of the good Commies.

CROAK CASTRO PRAYER CIRCLE: Jonah Goldberg, Dangerous Extremist, Right Angle, Babalu Blog, Malkin , Fausta, Uncommon Sense ...

Independent Sources points out that Cuban women are smoking hot, with a bikini-clad Daisy Fuentes to illustrate the point. (Remember: Both hands on the keyboard.)

Erick at Red State -- who, being from Georgia, should know a thing or two about smoking hot babes -- keeps both hands on the keyboard long enough to predict:
Cuban-American relations will be effectively normalized within 48 hours of the verification of Fidel Castro's death. 72 if it happens on a weekend.
* * * * *
I just talked to a friend who fled Cuba with her parents decades ago.

She: "I don't know. It seems like he's never going to die. Castro's like a cockroach. You could nuke him and it probably wouldn't kill him."

Me: "Well, it wouldn't hurt to try ..."
* * * * *
Won't you help the cause? Buy DONKEY CONS now! (Buy TWO!)

Hey, to celebrate this happy occasion, we'll even give you ...


Ralph Reed = ham sandwich

"You can indict a ham sandwich," defense attorneys like to say, and that's a point that Republicans in Georgia must think about as they step in the voting booth for the July 18 primary.

Whenever the subject of the Abramoff investigation has been raised, Ralph Reed's campaign has stuck to its talking points:
  • Reed has not been charged with a crime.
  • Reed is not under investigation.
  • Reed did not know that the millions he got from Abramoff were from casino interests.
  • Anything that seems to contradict Reed's version of the story is a smear made up by the liberal media.
  • Reed is very sorry, even though he didn't do anything bad, but he promises never, never ever to do anything bad again. Scout's honor! Honest Injun!
But ... wait. While the Democratic Party has suffered tremendous statewide setbacks in Georgia over the past 15 years, the party can still elect officials at the local level in areas where the party's strength remains.
Among such Democratic local officials in Georgia are dozens of sheriffs, judges and, perhaps most importantly, district attorneys.
A good district attorney can almost always get an indictment, if he wants to indict somebody bad enough. A good D.A. has lots of friends, and if he's got friends on the grand jury -- which, of course, he does -- they can help sway the votes of the other grand jurors when the question of indictment comes up for a vote.
(Ever heard of Ronnie Earle?)
So picture a Democratic stronghold in Georgia -- Fulton County? -- and picture the district attorney's office.
Look there, on his desk. What's that?
Why, it's a thick file folder bursting at the seams: Lots of newspaper articles, FEC records, a copy of the Senate report on the Abramoff affair, etc., etc.
But look, there's another folder, too. It's from the Georgia Department of Revenue, and it's got about seven or eight years' worth of Ralph's tax records. And there's another folder with Ralph's bank records.
See, there is this thing called a "subpoena," boys and girls, and when a district attorney gets hungry for a ham sandwich, he can always get his good friend the judge to let him subpoena records.
And what else do we see on our loyal Democratic D.A.'s desk? Why, it's several volumes of Georgia statutes and case law! Let's see: Fraud, conspiracy, money laundering, banking laws, forgery, tax evasion ...
Tsk, tsk, you nasty Democrat D.A.!
What you've got there on your desk ... why, it's a fire hazard, is what it is! What if all those newspaper clippings were to catch fire? They could start a big bonfire -- big enough to burn a witch!
Wonder which witch our friend the Democrat D.A. wants to burn? Well, he might have to get himself a witch hunt to find one.
Let's see, who will help him with his witch hunt?
I know! His good friends on the grand jury!
And you know when the best season is for a witch hunt? C'mon, guess.
That's right! October is witch season in Georgia -- a couple of weeks before Halloween is a good time to hunt for witches. And ... guess what?
That's right! (Oh, you are so smart!) Right after Halloween this year is another big holiday, even bigger and scarier than Halloween. It's called Election Day, boys and girls.
How do they celebrate Election Day in Georgia? With parties. There is a Democrat party and a Republican party.
And what happens in Democratic districts on Election Day? The dead rise from their graves and vote for Democrats! (That's why it's so scary!)
But pity poor Ralph the Witch. Even if he's as clean as a whistle, as pure as the driven snow, he can't get elected in Georgia on Election Day. Dead Democrats don't vote for Republicans, and even some Republicans won't vote for Ralph after that mean old witch-hunting district attorney does his thing.

Think about it, boys and girls. Ralph Reed may be a Good Witch or a Bad Witch, but if a Democrat D.A. wants to take him down before Election Day, we know what kind of witch he'll be:
A ham sand-witch.

Gee, and isn't it funny what how those greedy trial lawyers are always so eager to help Democrats?


Tuesday, July 11, 2006

More idiocy

If you're a Democrat looking to waste your time, read the latest fund-raising letter from If you're a Democrat who also wants to waste your money, they're be glad to help with that, too:
Dear MoveOn member,
Right-wing Congresswoman Nancy Johnson (R-CT) is kicking her campaign into high gear this week. Her strategy: distance herself from the bad decisions she's been a part of (like Iraq), and hope to eke out a win under the radar this November.
It ain't going to happen. Starting next Monday, we're deploying our organizers to manage new on-the-ground visibility campaigns with MoveOn members in EVERY competitive Republican district.
We'll make sure Republicans can't hide from the truth.
Because this work is powered by MoveOn volunteers the program is pretty inexpensive—just $3,000 per district for a week-in, week-out campaign for the next two months. For every 60 people who chip in $50, that'll be one more district we can go to. Can you contribute? ...

For the last few months, we've worked together to air "Red-Handed" TV ads that get out the truth about Republicans' ties to big corporations. The ads have been very effective: highly respected polling firm Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research just issued a report on how the ads did. The verdict: the program made a big impact, changing all four races we targeted.

But four races are only a fraction of the total number of seats up for grabs. We need to take our "Caught Red-Handed" message to every competitive district—making sure voters there are armed with the facts about the amount of special interest money their member of Congress took and the bad votes he or she cast.

We know the message works. And through Operation Democracy, our local field program, we know MoveOn members can organize to make a difference. The organizers are raring to go. Now, we just need to raise the money to pay organizers and put the program in motion.

Can you chip in?

There's another piece of good news from our "Red-Handed" TV ads: even in strongly Republican districts, when you provide voters with information about what their Congressman has been up to, they change their allegiance. That's not just good news for us—it's good news for democracy. ...

–Eli, Marika, Carrie, Tanya and the Political Action Team
Tuesday, July 11th, 2006
Another stinking heap of lies from the MoveOn Moonbats.

Nancy Johnson -- "right-wing"? That would explain her endorsement from the tree-hugging League of Conservation Voters. And there's this analysis from the highly respected, non-partisan Rothenberg Report: "Murphy will be hard-pressed to sneak up on, out-work or out-raise Johnson, as he did with previous opponents. And it will be difficult to label Johnson as a conservative ideologue."

According to the (again, highly respected) Almanac of American Politics, Johnson's voting record is about 60% liberal on social issues, 5o% liberal on economic issues, and 50% liberal on foreign affairs. Some right-wing monster, this 71-year-old Nancy Johnson, who's been in Congress since 1982.

Johnson's Democratic challenger, state Sen. Chris Murphy, actually moved from the neighboring 1st District (where the congressman is a Democrat) in order to run against Johnson. Her 5th District is 80% white with a median household income over $53,ooo, and more military veterans (12%) than people below the poverty line (8%).

Connecticut, and Johnson's district, were pro-Clinton and anti-Bush. But Johnson, a sweet old middle-of-the-road Republican lady who's been in Congress for 24 years, is well-known to her constituents and was sitting on $2.5 million in campaign cash as of April 23.

So, while is pumping sunshine up the skirts of their suckers ... er, donors, Johnson is actually a quite formidable opponent. Being targeted by is a sure-thing fundraising appeal for any Republican incumbent. The obvious Democratic strategy is to try to tie Bush around Johnson's neck in a district where Bush has never been popular.

But this is not a presidential year -- no Kerry on the ticket to boost the Dem vote -- and because this really is one of the more vulnerable Repulbican incumbents, the GOP campaign machine will have this district thoroughly canvassed and organizer. Nancy's got plenty of campaign money, and the NRCC will send its A-team to help.

You watch: John McCain, Rudy Giuliani, maybe even Arnold Schwarzenegger -- every big-name Republican with crossover appeal to swing voters will be popping into CT5 between Labor Day and Election Day. The phone canvassers will work the district and the moderates will get recorded calls from Rudy or John, the solid conservatives will get recorded calls from W. or Laura.

I keep telling people: The GOP didn't get to this point without knowing a thing or two about winning elections. The Democrats haven't won a national majority since Jimmy Carter in 1976 (Clinton got 43% in '92 and 49% in '96.) The Democratic donor base keeps frittering away their money on hopeless campaigns, hiring blogger/astrologer/consultants and trying to pass gay marriage in Oklahoma. The GOP hoards its resources and picks its battles.

But the idiots on the MoveOn mailing list (and the folks who give money in DailyKos fundraising campaigns) only get one side of the story, as if the Republican Party was just going to sit and watch while the Dems run their game. It doesn't work that way in real-life elections. Name recognition and incumbency are powerful weapons, especially in a House race, where TV ads are less effective. A lot of the action occurs by phone and direct mail, and $2.5 million will buy a lot of that stuff.

It is, of course, possible that Nancy Johnson can lose this race. It is also possible that a huge unsuspected tsunami of anti-Republican sentiment will come crashing down in November, and if you get that kind of vibe, anything is possible. But when one of's best prospects for a pickup involves an effort to portray a sweet 71-year-old moderate as a ferocious right-winger ... they're pretty desperate, folks.


Judith Levine & her pedophile admirers

A couple months ago, I talked about my old feud with Judith Levine, author of the pro-pedophile book Harmful to Minors. Levine gets angry at the accusation that her book is an encouragement for, and defense of, child molesters, but if you Google her name and her book title, you quickly find that pedophiles are some of her biggest fans.

So here we go again: An avowed pedophile who declares himself a fan of Harmful to Minors. (He's also a big fan of Dakota Fanning.)

Among his commenters: ILGO, GLMeister, and the Lepidopterist, who likewise considers Dakota Fanning a "hottie," and who has a "girl lover" group blog here.

Here's a classic: ILGO has another site dedicated to the proposition that fathers are a greater danger to their own daughters than are child molesters. This is totally bogus, and even dangerous. In fact, the greatest sexual risk to girls -- something that Professor Robin Fretwell Wilson has examined in the context of divorce -- comes from stepfathers and "mom's boyfriend." Fretwell sees the increase of non-traditional family forms (via divorce, remarriage and single parenthood) as the basic cause of the rise in child sexual abuse, especially for girls. This is ironic, because feminists have led the way in demonizing fathers and the traditional marriage-based family, thus encouraging the trend toward fatherless households -- and little girls have suffered as a result.

But to return to the author of Harmful to Minors: Levine writes a book about how bad it is to protect children from sex, the sources cited in the book include notorious pedophiles, she argues in that book for lowering the age of consent to 12, and the book draws almost universal praise from avowed pedophiles BUT ... it's not a pro-pedophile book.


Reed & Cagle: TIED in Georgia Poll

Georgia Lieutenant Governor -- Republican
Casey Cagle ...... 37%
Ralph Reed ....... 37%

500 likely GOP primary voters, surveyed July 5-6 by InsiderAdvantage

The sample was weighted by age and gender, according to pollster Matt Towery who adds: "Cagle made major progress in eight days - moving up from a 32 percent-to-27 percent deficit, to even at 37 percent each. There is little doubt that his hard-hitting ad dealing with Reed's casino gambling lobbying issues, along with equally hard hitting direct mail and 'push' phone calls have damaged Reed a bit."

It's now one week until the July 18 primary, and this is the first time since the campaign began that a public poll has shown Cagle even. (Cagle's campaign people say their own internal polling has shown their guy leading since May.)

The candidates had their one and only TV debate Sunday night. Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports:

Washington lobbyist Jack Abramoff became the third man in a live, statewide debate between the two Republican candidates for lieutenant governor on Sunday, as Casey Cagle prodded Ralph Reed for his association with the convicted influence-peddler.

For the first 20 minutes of an hourlong debate, Reed's relationship with his lifelong friend and former business associate dominated the most tense meeting yet between the two candidates.

"It's clear that the Abramoff scandal is a national scandal, and it's one that will continue to haunt my opponent," Cagle said.

My brother who lives near Atlanta says Reed is counter-attacking hard with negative ads on Cagle, which is exactly what Cagle spokesman Brad Alexander predicted last week:
"Their first ad was an attack on Casey, and I expect them to continue that strategy. If Ralph's desperate, all he knows how to do is attack."
Oh, and here's an article about Ralph Reed's Abramoff connection:
Gene Mills of the Louisiana Family Forum, a respected evangelical group with close ties to Focus on the Family (FOTF), says his group became active in opposing the Jena casino in 2002 after Mr. Reed called: "He gave us the early intelligence on this." Mr. Mills says Mr. Reed told him that he had "some outside organizational interest" in seeing the casino defeated, and urged the Louisiana Family Forum to jump into the fray.

Mr. Mills said he exchanged information with Mr. Reed in the early stages of the opposition effort, but that's all: He didn't ask Mr. Reed to identify his "outside organizational interest," because "I knew that Ralph was a staunch opponent of gambling." That's the way other evangelicals acted as well: They trusted Mr. Reed, and apparently had no inkling that he was involved with Mr. Abramoff and was being paid by Coushatta funds. ...

Overall, the Senate Committee reported not only Mr. Reed's actions but noted a pattern of cover-ups. The report also showed scoffing at Mr. Reed's earlier reputation as a moral leader: When a tribal public-relations representative observed that Mr. Reed was an "ideologue," the report quotes Mr. Abramoff's reply—"as far as the cash goes."

That's from WORLD Magazine, an evangelical news weekly whose editor is Marvin Olasky -- the Christian activist often credited with helping inspire George W. Bush's "compassionate conservative" agenda. My co-author, Lynn Vincent, is features editor at WORLD.


Genesis 12:3

Does anybody else remember former Rep. Denise Majette (D-Ga.)? Remember when word got out that Cynthia McKinney was taking campaign cash from the Jihad Lobby? And remember how Majette stunned the world by beating McKinney?

And yet, David Frum is skeptical of Joe-Mentum:
I'm inclined to think that Lieberman will squeak through the August primary, but what do I know? ... And whether he wins or loses. ....
Squeak through? Mr. Frum, did Joe "squeak through" that debate? Or did he mop the floor with that Exeter-educated Moonbat sock-puppet?

These are providential times, dear David. By Aug. 8, Joe's going to have enough campaign cash to pave Connecticut in $100 bills stacked five deep, and the streets will be packed solid with Lieberman volunteers.

You think G. Gordon Liddy, Sean Hannity, Michael Medved, Michael Savage and Bill Bennett are just going to sit around and watch while the Moonbats take down Lieberman? Uh-uh.

Judgment Day is coming for Ned Lamont and there is going to be a mighty tribulation for the cyber-ayatollahs who staked their reputations on that loser. $832,000 a year! By November, Kos is going to be the biggest laughingstock in American politics.

Wake up and smell the Joe-Mentum!

UPDATE: Ned Lamont has a new ad. Exactly what he expected it to accomplish, I don't know. But it's good to see that he's wasting money. He's a gazillionaire. Let him spend his last dime on stupid ads, if he wants. He can't win.


I'm plagiarizing Don Surber

Some of the words in this sentence have probably been used before by Don Surber, who demonstrates the Left's secret method of detecting Ann Coulter's plagiarism.


Kos "Let's pick a loser" update

A couple weeks ago, I told you how the Ayatollah Kosola had picked yet another loser candidate to endorse, a former Clinton aide who's trying to get elected in an upscale Chicago suburban district. I described the incumbent, Republican Rep. Mark Kirk, as "a razor-sharp candidate" who was also "sitting on $1.3 million campaign cash."

Surprise, surprise! Guess who Morton Kondracke just named "one of Congress’ most effective moderates"? And guess who is the architect of "the GOP’s 'Suburban Agenda,’ a set of bills designed to appeal to the majority of American voters who live in the suburbs."

Rep. Mark Kirk, naturally.

So while the Moonbat Mullahs of Kosistan cry "jihad" and waste resources in vain efforts to defeat a Democratic moderate like Joe Lieberman -- Joe-Mentum, baby! -- Republican moderate Mark Kirk is cooking up a GOP mini-agenda, perfectly sized for the mini-vans driven by suburban soccer moms.

(Remember this the next time Schumer or some other Democrat starts ranting about how the GOP is controlled by dangerous extremists and the Religious Right.)

Did you know that Mark Kirk has been endorsed by NEA and Planned Parenthood, and that the Chicago Tribune called this Republican "one of the brightest members of the House"? Well, I knew that because I visited the Kirk for Congress campaign Web site.

Now, what did I say on June 30?
I just don't see a smart Republican guy like Mark Kirk getting rolled by a left-wing Democrat running his first-ever campaign. And the fact that this is one of the "key races" targeted by Kos gives you a good idea of just what dim prospects the Democrats have for '06.
I'm just an objective reporter of facts, and certainly I'm no big fan of NEA or Planned Parenthood. But if I were a gambling man I'd bet that if Republicans (even conservative pro-life Republicans) realized that the left-wing Moonbats were targeting Mark Kirk as part of their plan to take over Congress, put Nancy Pelosi in charge and impeach President Bush ... Well, if the high-rolling rich Republican fat cats knew about that, I bet they might want to help Mark Kirk lay a huge lopsided defeat on that former Clinton aide who's running against him.

Because whatever else Mark Kirk votes for, he'll vote to make a Republican speaker of the House when the 110th Congress convenes after the next election. And as Bob Barr once told me in reference to Connie Morella, that's the vote that really matters.

But what do I know? I'm just a dumb blogger. I don't generate $832,000 a year in annual ad revenue like Markos Moulitsas Zuniga does. And I don't know anything about astrology or dot-com stocks like Jerome Armstrong does. No 2008 presidential candidates have signed me as a campaign consultant, either.

It's kind of a funny thing about Republicans: They manage to win elections pretty regularly, without making a lot of headlines about how they pay so much attention to bloggers. Maybe that's because politicians who pay attention to bloggers are crazy.

So please, Republican politicians, don't listen to bloggers. Dan Riehl, Don Surber, Allah Pundit, Ace of Spades, Red State -- don't listen to any of those guys. They're nice guys and all that, but they're just bloggers, OK? If bloggers ever say anything important enough that you need to know about it, you'll hear about it on talk radio or see it on Fox News.

Whatever you do, Republican politicians, don't do like the Democrats. Don't surrender your campaign strategy to a bunch of clowns just because they happen to have a URL on their business cards, OK? And don't let bloggers pick your next party chairman. That would be crazy.

You beat Democrats. We'll blog about it. Deal?