Monday, October 13, 2008


Odds and ends...

  • If you're like me, you saw a bunch of headlines this weekend to the effect that Troopergate report: Palin abused authority. The headline could more appropriately have read, "Report: Palin's firing of Monegan 'proper and lawful'." Get the whole story from Beldar here.

  • A year and a half ago, I said that "a year from now, the media will no longer be able to hide the fact that things are going well in Iraq." Well, it isn't for lack of trying:
    The number of foreign journalists in Baghdad is declining sharply, a media withdrawal that reflects Iraq's growing stability and the financial strains faced by some news organizations.

    In a stark indication of the changing media focus here, the number of journalists traveling with American forces in Iraq has plummeted in the past year. U.S. military officials say they "embedded" journalists 219 times in September 2007. Last month, the number shrank to 39. Of the dozen U.S. newspapers and newspaper chains that maintained full-time bureaus in Baghdad in the early years of the war, only four are still permanently staffed by foreign correspondents. CBS and NBC no longer keep a correspondent in Baghdad year-round.

    "It remains important and it remains interesting," said Alissa J. Rubin, the New York Times' acting bureau chief in Baghdad. "But what's in front of us now is almost a static situation. There's not a clear narrative line. The stories are more complex."

    The story is simple, and the narrative line is clear:
    Bad News for America = Good News for Democrats = Big News
    Good News for America = Bad News for Democrats = No News

  • John Hinderaker, at PowerLineBlog, commenting on a Stanley Kurtz piece in the NY Post, notes that "one of the common themes of modern American history is that liberals will create a problem by ill-advised government action, then benefit from it politically by proposing ever more intrusive government action to solve it. That appears to be happening again in connection with today's credit crisis."

    I don't disagree. How could it be otherwise? When your proposed solution to every intractable human problem is using the power of the Government to distort market signals, to incentivize bad or risky behavior and punish good behavior, the creation of new intractable problems is inevitable. And when the only tool you've got is a hammer, everything looks like a nail.

  • Steyn. Brilliant as always.
    The day after the debate I bumped into two Obama supporters in St Johnsbury, Vermont who said isn’t it great that he's on course to win. Well, they were cute chicks, and I know an obvious pick-up line when I hear one, so I stopped to chat. God Almighty, it was like reverse Viagra: After ten minutes of Babes For Barack, I never want to meet a female woman of the opposite sex for the rest of my life. Their basic pitch was:

    How do you solve a problem? Like, Obama!

    How do you hold a moonbeam in your hand?

    That’s John McCain's problem. Traditionally, when an unknown politician emerges on the national scene, it’s a race to define him. Governor Palin is a good example: within days, the coastal sophisticates were mocking her as a chillbilly ditz with a womb that spits out inbred kids faster than the First National Bank of Welfare Swamp issues subprime mortgages. That’s politics as usual: Define your opponent. But Obama is defined by his indefinability. When I pointed out to my Vermont gals that he lives in a swank pad that was part of some shady real estate deal with a convicted fraudster (Tony Rezko), that he entrusted his daughters’ entire religious education to a neo-segregationist anti-American nut who preaches that the government created the AIDS virus to kill black people (Jeremiah Wright), that he attended fundraisers with a political patron who’s an unrepentant terrorist proud of plotting to blow up young ladies just like them at a dance at the Fort Dix military base (William Ayers), when I pointed all this out, they looked at me as if I’d brought a baseball bat to a croquet match. Mere earthbound politicians are defined by their real estate deals and sleazy buddies, but Obama is defined only by his vibe. As his many admirers in France would say, he has a certain
    je ne sais quoi. And, if you try to pin down quoi precisely, then they don’t want to sais.

  • This is sad, and a little disturbing, but probably unavoidable.
    if Obama wins, I plan on giving him as much of a chance as the Democrats gave George Bush. I will gleefully forward every paranoid anti-Obama rumor that I see, along with YouTube footage of his verbal missteps. I will laugh and email heinous anti-Obama photoshop jobs, and maybe even learn photoshop myself to create some. I'll buy anti-Obama books, and maybe even a "Not My President" t-shirt. I'm sure that the mainstream bookstores won't carry them, but I'll be on the lookout for anti-Obama calendars and stuff like that. I will not wish America harm, and if the country is hurt (economically, militarily, or diplomatically) I will truly mourn. But i will also take some solace that it occurred under Obama's watch, and will find every reason to blame him personally and fan the flames.

    I know that I have little goodwill to spare for an administration that holds everything that I hold dear in contempt.

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