A conservatory of Ldotter blogs.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Here's an excellent source. . .

. . .for all the Rezko watchers out there. I'm a little surprised that I hadn't heard of this site prior to discovering a surge of incoming traffic from it while checking my site statistics. Rezkorama is a clearinghouse of information on the proceedings that have ensnared Barack Obama and his well-connected fixer/benefactor. I heartily recommend bookmarking it, as Rezko's trial promises to be a veritable fountain of news and intrigue.

"Let us all bask. . .

. . .in its warm, glowing, warming glow." Homer J. Simpson uttered those words in reference to television. I would like to invite folks to do the same with the civil war going on among the Nutroots.

Is there anyone who didn't see this coming when Markos Moulitsas took over the DNC?

Speaking of contrast. . .

. . .you don't suppose Hillary might be trying to draw one by appearing at a service at Lakewood Church in Houston to hear Joel Osteen, the anti-scowl, do ya?

We are often defined. . .

. . .by the choices we make under pressure. When Barack Obama was faced with the choice of either finding a church and pastor who more closely reflected his supposed principles, or staying put for political expediency, he chose to stay.

Contrast that with the choice that John McCain was faced with, and how he reacted.

Do you not see, Senator. . .

. . .that this whole flap is about who you are, what you believe in, your values, judgment and experience? And, do you not see, Senator, that Tony Rezko's involvement in your campaign is yet further evidence that your values, judgment and experiences are not those that America needs or wants?

Do you not see, Senator, that one of the reasons that the sentiments expressed by your pastor/mentor/political ally in his sermons are so dangerous is that they cause your supporters to resort to the most half-witted rationalizations imaginable in a vain attempt at protecting you from their consequences?

And, do you not see, Senator, that the more you attempt to explain away the atrocious rhetoric of Rev. Wright through viral email campaigns, the more it legitimizes your connection to him, and undermines the authenticity of the very foundation of the campaign you have run?

And, do you not see, Senator, that by continuing to dismiss the importance of the abhorrent invective of the pastor you have turned to for spiritual and moral guidance for the past two decades as the meanderings of a wacky old "uncle", you are making fools of the hundreds of thousands of people who have donated to your campaign based on the notion that you will elevate our nation and its politics?

To persist in the charade that you are somehow above the politics that have divided this nation is to perpetuate a fraud on the American people. "Have you no sense of decency, sir, at long last? Have you left no sense of decency?"

ADDENDUM: Welcome to visitors from Rezkorama.com! Please feel free to browse other posts, bookmark my homepage, subscribe to my RSS feed, add me to your Bloglines subscription list, or help me secure financing for a million dollar home.

Many thanks for the link!

Friday, March 14, 2008

In the interest of equal time. . .

. . .and since it's a Friday night, and my friends demand my presence, I will leave readers with this video, sent to me by my dear friend, Beverly:

Twenty years on. . .

. . .Barack Obama finally decides it's time to reconsider the propriety of some of his pastor's sermons. I don't know about anyone else, but this strikes me as a little late in coming. Actually, it strikes me as pure duplicity. To have your marriage performed, children baptized, home blessed, and political career supported by a man whose church you have attended for two decades indicates a pretty high level of esteem for him. It's hard to imagine anyone going to the same man for all of these services while harboring the degree of anger and outrage Obama professes at this late date.

This would be an entirely different story had Obama simply met with Jeremiah Wright on a few occasions to solicit his political support and perform community outreach to his parishioners. But, Obama clearly invested a good deal of his spiritual and political life in this man, having stayed in the fold for two decades.

There simply is no defending Barack Obama in this matter. And, anyone who insists on doing so is going to look foolish beyond redemption, or worse. To expect the people to believe that these statements are somehow unique in a career spanning nearly forty years is to demand the kind of idiotic credulity from the public that destroys the very basis upon which Obama has presented himself to it. After all, if we are to swallow this obvious piece of putrescence, is there anything under the sun we wouldn't just as readily swallow provided it was wrapped in the shiny bow of hope and change?

A letter to the editor of The American Thinker puts this very succinctly:
"Barack Obama either agreed with what was preached from the Trinity pulpit, or he tuned it out and stayed around pretending to for political reasons. To say he stayed for 20 years but doesn't agree with Wright's preaching is incredible denial. It'd be like a man buying White Sox season tickets for 20 years, attending the games, and saying he's not a fan."

Look out, everybody. . .

. . .Keith Olbermann has put on his ass-chewin' shoes! It probably would have been a bit more effective if not for a couple of things: (1) the fact that, if you watch closely at the end, you can see his chin quiver like that of a long-suffering wife, and (2) Rev. Jeremiah Wright.

I'm one of those fortunate people who has never subjected himself to a full episode of whatever he calls his show, though I did watch him years ago in his capacity as the ESPN anchor who kept viewers informed on Dick Trickle's finishes in NASCAR races.

If I thought he was capable of embarrassment, I would think that he would be feeling a great deal of it right about now, given all that's come out about Obama's minister of 20 years, but clearly he's not. Embarrassment is beyond anyone who utters the words, "Do you not see, Senator???" with all the earnestness of a soap opera actress playing the role of a woman watching the crumbling of her scheme to destroy the marriage of a powerful politician so that she can take the place of his long-suffering, dedicated wife.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Wasn't it nice of Obama. . .

. . .to procure a $1,000,000 earmark for the hospital that Michelle works for? No wonder Michael Riordan thought, "She was terrific!"

Why, if I was the president of a hospital, and I had an employee who could potentially bring in $1,000,000 through her husband's political clout, I can easily see promoting her to Vice President of Community Affairs.

Come to think of it, if I were the president of a hospital, and an employee wanted a promotion and told me that she could bring in $1,000,000 in taxpayer money, I just might give it to her.

It would be interesting to find out the chronology of all of this, wouldn't it?

Stepping out of my car. . .

. . .just now, I still have the voice of Rev. Jeremiah Wright ringing in my head. I can't remember hearing an angrier sounding man in my life. It seems Sean Hannity was discussing ABC's coverage of the minister, whom Barack Obama has referred to as being "like an old uncle who says things I don't always agree with". That description strikes me as more than a little odd. I have uncles who say things I don't agree with. I come from a long line of union workers. And, yes, I do like them. Uncles do have that avuncularity about them, after all.

But, what I don't do is go out of my way to drop by on a weekly basis to hear them say things that I don't agree with. I also don't take my children to them to have them baptized into the world of organized labor. Of course, I don't have any children. But, that's not relevant here. If I did, I wouldn't. In fact, if I did have children, and were taking them to see my uncles, I'd spend the entire car ride explaining to them how my uncles are OK guys, but extremely wrong-headed in their thinking with regard to the relationship between business and labor, and that they think the way they do because, when they were young, they were brainwashed by monsters who feast on the souls of children. (Need a babysitter?)

But, Obama has taken his children to see Rev. Wright on a regular basis. And, they were baptized by the Rev. Wright. You'll have to forgive my skepticism, but I somehow doubt that Obama has sat his children down beforehand, and said:
"You know, girls, Rev. Wright is a good guy. But, he's a bit of a kook. And, while it's important to remember that he says some outrageous stuff that you might just as likely hear coming from the mouth of a really bad guy like, say, David Duke, it's just as important that we keep going to this church. You see, kids, it's a very important church to the black people of Chicago. And, me being involved in politics the way I am, I have to maintain the appearance of a God-fearing man, while also maintaining a sense of authenticity with regard to my blackness. So, what I want you girls to remember is that, Rev. Wright is a kook, but I'm a senator who hopes to become President of the United States. And, if I am to have any chance of becoming President, I'm going to have to have the support of Rev. Wright. Yes. . .even though Rev. Wright is a kook. But, we can't go around calling Rev. Wright a kook in public, because that might cause him to withdraw his support, and call into question the authenticity of my blackness. So, we just have to think of him as a kind of wacky uncle from the Old School.

So, I want you girls to remember this: Rev. Wright says things that make people very angry. We don't agree with all of those things. But, we like him anyway. And, if anyone thinks there's something wrong with that, just say, 'It's a black thing. You wouldn't understand.' Now go and get dressed for church."

Now, if it weren't for the fact that the senator's wife had expressed similar sentiments as Rev. Wright with regard to America's basic morality, the above speech could very well be a plausible scenario. But, it seems readily apparent that something has sunk in from all those sermons. In fact, anyone who sat in on one of Mr. Wright's sermons and didn't know anything about America could easily be forgiven for thinking that America is "downright mean" and not a place to be considered a source of pride until Barack Obama arrived on the scene.

But, Michelle Obama grew up in an America that allowed her to attend one of the world's most elite institutions of higher learning, and land a job making well over $300,000 a year as an attorney working for a high profile university hospital in one of the nations largest cities. If that's the kind of meanness that America represents to Rev. Wright and Mrs. Obama, I'll take a curb sandwich and a nice, tall can of whoop-ass.

What this really all boils down to is the fact that Barack Obama and his wife, running under the banner of Hope, Change and Unity, have cried foul over the Clinton campaign's divisiveness, while at the same time immersing themselves and their children on a near-weekly basis in some of the most divisive rhetoric anyone can imagine being employed in modern American society. The fact that this rhetoric emanates from the pulpit and the mouth of an "old uncle" who says things they "don't always agree with" doesn't mean it isn't divisive. And, the fact that the mouth and the pulpit belong to a black man doesn't make it any less deplorable or dangerous.

So, if the Obama campaign is truly interested in bringing people together and putting an end to the same old politics that that pit Americans against one another, it seems to this particular blogger that he ought to begin at home with his wife, and at church with his minister, and get off his high horse with regard to Geraldine Ferraro.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

I guess Matthews. . .

. . .can save his indignation, now. It seems Geraldine has stepped down. I can't help but wonder, though, if she would have been forced out if she'd been, say, a black man.

If I were Chris Matthews

. . .I think I'd be fairly indignant right now, after having been forced to make an abject apology for being insensitive to Hillary Clinton by suggesting that she wouldn't be where she is if her husband hadn't cheated on her.

Of course, Matthews is supposed to maintain some semblance of objectivity -- at least between Democrats -- where Ferraro is acting as a "rogue" campaign shill. Nevertheless, if it's offensive for Matthews to suggest that Hillary is relying on her victimhood to further her career, why is it any less offensive for Ferraro to suggest the same of Obama?

As far as I'm concerned, both sides have ample reason to be angry at one another. In fact, I suspect that they will eventually prove Doug Wilder correct.

You just have to wonder. . .

. . .how good John McCain must be feeling about his chances right about now. Both of his potential rivals for the general election have close political allies mired in corruption scandals, and Democratic operatives are trying to beat him up for busting a corrupt deal with Boeing that forced its CFO and a high-ranking civilian official within the Air Force to resign from their posts, saving the taxpayers billions of dollars.

Now, his opponents' party is dining on its own spleen, with the Clinton camp suggesting that Obama is a token candidate. This little bit of political malevolence isn't going to age well among the just-over-half who support Obama. And, the just-under-half who support Clinton are, well, Clintonites. They don't forget anything, and they never quit. I just don't see any "forgive and forget" rapprochement happening anytime in the next year. I don't think we've even seen the beginning of the bitterness.

All the while, John McCain will be touring the countryside, meeting the American people, telling his story, making his case, visiting foreign nations, and looking like an incumbent. His hands will be free of any of the dirt that will have been thrown at the eventual Democrat nominee. He can quite honestly and accurately say to the American people, "Some change is good, and some is bad. If you take a look at the campaigns being waged by all parties involved, I think the choice is obvious."

Here's a freebie for the McCain campaign: "I hope to focus on the issues for a change."

Don't know how. . .

. . .I missed this site for so long, but I only discovered it a couple of days ago. It's called icanhascheezburger.com, and I dare you not to laugh:

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

One of my favorite performances. . .

Yesterday, at Right Wing News. . .

. . .John Hawkins posted his Top Ten Reasons Bloggers Don't Succeed. And, after reading it, I have to admit I'm guilty of several of the reasons, and maybe all of them. I don't know. All I do know is that when I started this blog back in September of 2004, I had one of the best launches a person could ask for, and built upon that for several months, until life intervened and I was called away from it for about two years.

Remarkably, the whole time I was away, there were still several people who checked in fairly regularly to see if I had updated. When I decided to return to blogging a couple of months ago, I checked my hit numbers and was astonished to see that I had amassed over 65,000 despite not having posted anything of consequence in my two-year absence. That was pretty encouraging, to say the least. If nothing else, it seems to mean that I have a fairly solid core of readers who will at least make the effort to type my URL in the address bar.

The first reason Hawkins gives for blogger failure is that they're just "not very good". On this measure, I think I'm probably respectable. I write fairly well at times, but there are other times when I can't seem to string together a coherent paragraph to save my life. Part of the reason for that is that I could very well be the most angst-ridden writer in the blogosphere. One demonstration of my angst is the fact that I do not, under any circumstances, ever proofread my writing until after I've published it. Whether I write a quick ten-word wiseass remark, or a 3,000-word essay, I refuse to go over it until I've gone ahead and hit the "Submit" button. The reason for this is that, if I started proof-reading and making corrections and changes prior to publishing, I'd never finish a piece and nothing I wrote would ever get published.

Another one of the reasons Hawkins gives for the lack of success of most bloggers is that they're simply not consistent. I think it goes without saying that this applies to me. Here, I tend to fall back on excuses, really. Jobs, social life, and all that. There's no better way of putting it than to simply say that my priorities are screwed up. However, I must point out that, in my defense, what first pulled me away from my regular blogging was the fact that I was working on a local judicial campaign, and once you've committed to a political campaign, nearly everything in life beyond food, water, shelter and clothing gets set aside. This was most emphatically the case with the campaign I was working on. It started out as ours to lose, which we quickly proceeded to do, only to stage the proverbial miraculous comeback and survive the primary. From that point on, it was 18-plus hour days and seven-day weeks. My only time at home was spent sleeping and doing laundry. By the time the campaign ended, I didn't even have internet access at my home.

Another reason for blogger failure, according to Hawkins, is that they simply don't cover interesting material. This, too, has proven to be a big challenge for me. Often, when I've gone a full day, or two, without posting anything, it's not for lack of trying. I will sit and scour the web for hours and hours only to come up empty-handed. Which, if you look at it objectively, is quite absurd. There simply is no excuse for anyone who can't find something interesting to write about on the Web.

But, the problem for me isn't so much that there's not anything interesting out there to write about. It's more that I'm never quite sure whether what I find interesting is going to be seen in the same way by those who read my blog. In that sense, I'm constantly at war with the reader. It could be that I have decided to limit what I cover based on my need for the approval of those who have stayed with me over the years, rather than simply doing what I want to do and hope that some new folks will find their way to my humble abode. This is something I definitely need to work on. It seems I'm a square peg trying to pound myself in this round hole of a blog.

As an illustration, I'll point out that the single most viewed in all of my hundreds of posts over the years is called "In Defense of 80's Metal". Somehow, it managed to find its way into the Yahoo directory on the subject.

So, it seems the challenge here for me is to somehow strike a balance between my passion, which is politics, and all of my other interests -- while still maintaining a predominantly political blog. I've actually been toying with this idea for the past week, or so, and trying to figure out just how to approach it. It first struck me that this might be a good idea when the publicist for the early 90's pop metal band Trixter contacted me to let me know that they have a new album set to be released in the near future and asked if I'd like to do an interview with the band. It strikes me as an interesting idea and I'm currently working on it.

Uniqueness is another of the qualities Hawkins cites for blogger success, and that has always struck me as the single most important key to success, and the one that has vexed me from the very beginning. How on earth do I stand out when there are literally thousands upon thousands of blogs out there that take the same basic view of politics as a libertarian-leaning conservative? The only avenue I could ever see was to do it with the writing. Unfortunately, In my case, this has proven to be a self-perpetuating obstacle. As the most angst-ridden writer alive today, I often find myself battling the self-defeating thoughts of inadequacy, which in turn lead to a lack of motivation, which in turn, leads to inconsistency, which in turn leads to the atrophy of the writing chops, which feeds the whole cycle. On the bright side, if they ever devise a way to convert self-doubt into energy, I could be the basis of the long sought-after perpetual motion machine.

It's possible that I could break this cycle if I can just figure out how to quit trying to force my square peg self where I don't belong. So, from now on, I'm just going to try to get back to basics and do my thang, as the kids like to say.

Finally, Hawkins points to the various areas of promotion as a cause for failed blogs, and that has undoubtedly been the case for this one. When I first started, I had a great place to self-promote at Lucianne.com, but it soon became apparent that it wasn't practical for her to allow all of her posters to post links to their personal blogs, and even less fair for her to allow me to do so when others couldn't. At that point, it just seemed to me that it was going to have to be a strictly word-of-mouth operation. And, at first, it seemed to be working pretty well. I was getting all manner of tips from readers and picking up the occasional link here and there. But, at that point in time, the blogosphere was still experiencing the pangs of growth in the explosion of the medium following the Rathergate scandal.

But, the idea of actively "promoting" my work to other bloggers always struck me as the wrong way to go about it. I always figured that, if the writing stood up, and people found it interesting, my readership would eventually develop itself. And, there's some element of pride -- of the foolish bent, I suppose -- that has kept me from reaching out to other bloggers to promote my own. For some reason, it always struck me as a little shabby to email better-known bloggers to ask them to read what I've written. Oddly enough, I would never think that of someone else who had done it, and would be the first person to congratulate another blogger who had managed to succeed in landing one of those coveted links we all crave at some level by simply writing one of the biggies and asking them to give their work a once-over. In an honest moment, I suppose I would characterize my thinking as somewhat arrogant in that regard, and something I obviously need to give more thought to.

But, it's not entirely pride that's kept me from seeking out the imprimatur of the blog capos. There's the silly romantic notion that it's somehow better to struggle and dwell in obscurity while you slowly build a reputation, brick by lonely brick, as a reasonably talented blogger who finally broke free from the pack when he at long last got his one big break. And, also, there's the silly notion that it's somehow more satisfying to one day look back on your body of work and say to yourself, "Well, I might have accomplished jack squat, but at least I did it on my terms."

Whatever becomes of this blog over time, I do have to say that it's an enjoyable pursuit, on the whole. It could be that I simply don't have what it takes to break through and leave a mark on the blogosphere. Odds are, that's the case. But, if nothing else, I'll honestly be able to say that my failure wasn't for lack of trying. It could be that it's for lack of trying hard enough. But, thanks to John Hawkins, it won't be because I didn't know how to do it. And, for that, he deserves thanks.

Now, I have to hit the Submit button. Wish me luck!

UPDATE: Hey! John Hawkins at Right Wing News was right! Linking out works! Many thanks to Mr. Hawkins. Now I have to get to work.

Monday, March 10, 2008

"Now, let's go get us some whores!!!"

(Chang W. Lee/The New York Times)

"My God! I feel like Jack from Will and Grace!"

(AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)

Sunday, March 09, 2008

Since I'm not getting enough. . .

. . .hate mail these days, I figured I might try to gin some up.

Inspired by this story over at Lucianne.com.

The L. Brent Bozell article. . .

. . .in the Washinton Post can be summed up this way:
"Some conservatives are so dumb that they can't see the difference between John McCain and Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama. I can see the difference, but I would rather have had someone else in office, and the difference isn't as great as I would like it to be. So don't count on me or any of my friends to point out those differences. Since I'm not really happy about his nomination, I can blame it on the GOP establishment rather than the voters themselves. And if it should happen that Hillary or Obama wins, that's OK with me. I'm largely immune to the effects of their government programs, and in fact I tend to do better when they're in office, since I become more relevant.

So, if John McCain wants to win, he'd better kowtow to me and my buddies in the establishment conservative media. Because, frankly, it's no skin off my back if Hillary wins. To hell with McCain, you, and the troops in the field. I'm gettin' mine."

You can go to the trouble of reading it if you want, but I've just given you the Reader's Digest condensed version.

This generation's pet rock. . .

. . .is Barack Obama, according to Victor Davis Hanson, and as usual, I find myself in 100% agreement. Obamamania was doomed by the swoon.

This is America, dammit. We do not wiggle in our seats over politicians. Even Nina Burleigh was cynical enough to name her price when she offered to "service" Bill Clinton; namely, keeping abortion legal. Up until a couple of weeks ago, Obama could have personally gone to every Planned Parenthood clinic and chased women down the sidewalks with graphic photos of aborted fetuses and it wouldn't have put a dent in his public genuflection numbers.

Now, though, the adulation has finally gotten to be a bit much for the average person to take. In these days of ubiquitous marketing, people have developed a very tough hide when it comes to media hype. Remember how that one thing was supposed to revolutionize our extremely mobile society? (I'm seriously struggling to remember the name of the thing here.)

Ah, yes. The Segway.

It never even caught on to the degree that the Pet Rock did. Being the product of this overhyped media culture that I am, the first thing I thought of when I read the headlines trumpeting the impending arrival of this wonder of modern technology was an ad slogan: "Segway: Faster than walking. Slower than bullies." It seems I'm not alone. I've yet to personally see one in action. All I've seen is high profile mishaps, which leads me to believe that the only revolution that will come from the contraption will likely come in the science of skin grafting.

So, Obama can claim to have been more successful than the Segway. He can also claim to have defeated Alan Keyes in a race for the Senate seat he currently occupies. And, to his credit, he's the only person in history to have defeated Keyes for an Illinois Senate seat. That should temper the scoff reflex.

But, what does Obama need to do from here? Better yet, what does will.i.am need to do from here? I have a hard time envisioning him being recognized for anything other than o.ba.ma from here on out. It will be a millstone around his musical neck for the rest of his days. Poor guy. At least Warren Zevon had the talent to keep moving forward after "Werewolves of London". I'm not sure will.i.am has the chops.

And Oprah? Are middle-aged white women going to forget her betrayal of their sob sister in chief? Will she forgive her audience of menopausal marauders if Hillary should manage to pull out a victory by hook, crook, and backroom snooker? Or, will she become radicalized and kick poor Wally Lamb out of her book club to make room for more Cornel West and Michael Eric Dyson?

I suspect Hanson is right when he says, "by summer, few will admit they had purchased one." In fact, by next spring, I can envision a lot of folding card tables filled with excellent bargains will.i.am CD's next door to tables filled with best-selling titles from Oprah's Book Club when the garage/yard sale season kicks into high gear in the Merlot-and-brie-soaked shires of American suburbia.

And, then, we'll get to hear all over again about how America is looking for "real" change.

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