A conservatory of Ldotter blogs.

Saturday, April 05, 2008

Reconquista outrage. . .

. . .is sweeping the internets these days, thanks to an Absolut vodka ad that appeared in some magazine and on billboards in Mexico.

While I can understand why some folks would be angry over this, it really doesn't have any impact on me because, (1) I don't read any Mexican magazines, (2) I'm in Kentucky, not Mexico, and (3) I very rarely drink vodka, so my participation in the urged boycott would amount to nothing. I'm a beer drinker who likes an occasional scotch on the rocks, or a martini (if you drink vodka in your martinis, you're drinking "vodka martinis", not martinis), salty dog (once again, if you drink vodka in them, they're not salty dogs, they're "vodka dogs") or gin & tonic.

I'm always a little amused at the hype that surrounds these outrages where people call for boycotts of the products involved. They're largely ineffective, to begin with. First of all, the vast majority of people who drink Absolut vodka don't follow this kind of news, and don't really give a damn about some ad that ran in a Mexican magazine. So, bombarding them with chain emails, three quarters of which will be sent to SPAM folders or Recycle Bins unopened, will more than likely result in little more than a shrug once readers scroll down past the text of the email and look at the picture.

Then there's the matter of who actually buys the vast majority of Absolut vodka. I would venture to guess (with absolutely no authority or data to back it up, mind you -- just a hunch) that most Absolut is purchased by restaurant and bar owners, and that the package sales account for a relatively small percentage. That being the case, for a boycott to be effective, a good number of bar and restaurant owners would have to eliminate Absolut from their menus -- something that many will not do simply because it will have a negative impact on their bottom lines.

Like beer, liquor tends to rely heavily on brand loyalty. I find it hard to believe that an ad run in Mexico will stir a great number of people in America to switch brands, especially since your average American will probably never hear about it, and many who do will simply dismiss it. I'm sure restaurant and bar owners will feel the same way, and it's unlikely that they'll eliminate a popular product and risk sending patrons to another establishment where the product is available.

Most likely, the biggest result of a boycott in this case is going to be an increase in the number of bar fights that occur as newly minted Stoli drinkers confront unyielding Absolut devotees after a few vodka tonics to tell them that they're supporting a company that wants to give half of America away to the Mexicans. I've seen my share of vodka drunks, and believe me, I don't want to try to break up that fight.

Anyway, this will result in a bunch of hits for a few bloggers who want to use this as a pretext for stopping the North American Union. But, in the end, it will have roughly the same impact that the Miller Lite boycott had. Looks like they're still in business.

Sooner or later. . .

. . .someone in the press is going to have to struggle against their every instinct and put forth some pretense of making Obama accountable for his campaign's attacks on John McCain as a "warmonger". To begin with, his persistent disingenuous attacks on McCain's "100 years" statement are designed to paint him as precisely that. Furthermore, when he allows people like Ed Schultz to flat-out and unabashedly call him a "warmonger" just before he walks on stage to perpetuate the same discredited "100 years" mantra that he's been using for weeks, he is lending his tacit endorsement of that sentiment. For the Obama campaign to dismiss Schultz's comments as those of someone who is "not a surrogate" is, in fact, the very antithesis of the "New Kind of Politics" Obama purports to represent.

As if this weren't enough evidence of Obama's outright phoniness on this issue, bear in mind that Obama's campaign is currently being advised by a key campaign adviser to keep 60,000 to 80,000 troops in Iraq at the end of 2010 -- well after his promised "withdrawal of troops within 16 months". So, not only is Obama willing to mischaracterize his opponent's position (in the name of a "New Kind of Politics"), he's willing to do likewise with his own.

If anyone has demonstrated a new kind of politics, it's John McCain, who stepped forward immediately and denounced and apologized for the words of a local radio personality (like Ed Schultz) when he determined that they were not suitable for the kind of campaign he intends to wage against his opponent. It's notable that, when confronted with a strikingly similar situation, the Obama campaign, under the banner of a "New Kind of Politics", decided to issue the following statement to account for itself:
“John McCain is not a warmonger and should not be described as such. He’s a supporter of a war that Senator Obama believes should have never been authorized and never been waged.”

Friday, April 04, 2008

For the woman. . .

. . .who has everything, I found something you don't have.

Do you like bacon? Do you wear a bra? Well, then, try the Bacon Bra!

Investor's Business Daily. . .

. . .has a great editorial up today that shows how much of a problem Obama's arrogance is going to be for him as the campaign moves forward. It's hard to escape the conclusion that he's taken for granted that the press treatment that he's received so far is going to carry on throughout the remainder of his primary fight, all the way through the general election -- should he get that far, which still seems likely at this point.

What Obama clearly doesn't understand is the fact that the international press is going to be far less forgiving of his apparent unilateral streak than are his domestic media handmaidens. They don't operate under that sense of obligation that drives their American counterpart to gloss over his foibles in the name of Hope, Change and Unity in the name of reconciliation (i.e. penitence). They're just happy to watch Americans wallow in it, giggling as American liberals fall all over themselves to say nice things about the handsome young black man with the eloquent and sonorous voice who happens to be running for president.

Of all the weaknesses Obama can't afford right now, arrogance has to be at the top of the list. He still has a formidable primary foe to contend with, and a good segment of the population win over that is somewhat reluctant because of his lack of experience. If he doesn't watch out, people might get the notion that he thinks he's entitled to the job.

Of course, given the fawning coverage he's gotten, it's easy to see how he might get the impression that he's got it in the bag. Coupled with the fact that he's never had to face any genuine, credible opposition in an election before, you have to wonder how he's going to react when faced with the proposition that he could very well lose a race, even with the mainstream press carrying him on its back.

Thursday, April 03, 2008

Another big endorsement. . .

. . .came in for Sen. McCain today. With this kind of support, I really don't know how he can possibly lose.

Hillary as victim. . .

. . .has always been the role that brings her back into the good graces of the left. Randi Rhoades is going to be her antagonist. Just you watch. I'll bet a dollar's worth of unrolled pennies.

It's a pretty smart move. . .

. . .on behalf of the Clinton campaign to place emphasis on the popular vote at this point in the campaign, I think. Now that the DNC has given some leverage to the Florida and Michigan delegations through committee arrangements, it seems almost impossible not to have a great deal of consideration given to their popular vote totals -- or Florida's at least. And, it seems to be the pattern throughout this campaign that whenever Clinton seems to be gasping for air, she comes roaring back. I can easily envision that happening in Pennsylvania. I just can't escape the feeling that the Obama surge there is temporary.

As a Said Head. . .

. . .I guess I'm going to have to get over my contrarian streak and support Dale Earnhardt, Jr. this year, inasmuch as he's a McCain guy. I'm also going to have to start drinking Anheuser-Busch products, too, as a show of solidarity.

Sen. John McCain and Dale Earnhardt, Jr.

I don't know how well this is going to go down at my favorite Friday evening haunt, though. The last time I switched beers on them, they ended up having the same three cases of Miller High Life in their cooler for three months. Thing is, I'm not all that crazy about Bud, Bud Select, or Bud Lite. Maybe Michelob or Mich Light?

This calls for serious deliberation.

(For the uninitiated, a Said Head is a follower of NASCAR driver Boris Said.)

I always figured. . .

. . .male rock fans tended to vote Republican, just as a gut feeling. It turns out I'm pretty close to the mark, according to the survey cited in this article. I suppose you could count me among that demographic, although I listen to a whole lot more than just rock music these days. Still, at heart, I'm a rocker and I suppose I always will be.

"Shedding Skin" -- Pantera, Far Beyond Driven

I'm guessing Pantera fans would vote Republican or Libertarian in even higher numbers.

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Karl Rove's GQ interview. . .

. . .with Lisa DePaulo is extremely interesting, and not just for what it contains. There are a couple of moments when he goes off-the-record that are just begging for speculation. So, here's mine:

I speculate that he knows something about a big shoe that the Clintons are just waiting to drop on Obama. I'm talking size 14 Doc Martens.

Anyway, the stuff that's actually in the interview is great, all speculation aside.

I am ONLY posting this. . .

. . .image because Heidi Montag has endorsed Sen. McCain for president.

Also, it doesn't hurt that there seems to be unanimous outrage among all the Spears Sisters Suicide Sites. I figure, as long as they're beating up on McCain and Montag, at least they're giving Britney and Jennifer Love Hewitt a break.

Yeah, I know. Dream on. Nevertheless, not being a gay guy, I would like to personally thank Ms. Montag for her support on behalf of John McCain. Just drop me an email, Heidi. We'll make arrangements.

A good get by Geraghty. . .

. . .over at NRO's Campaign Spot blog. It seems Sen. Obama has engaged in a wee bit of resumé enhancement over the years, and Geraghty unearths the blog of a person who was once a co-worker of his that provides an example. It all makes for some pretty interesting reading, as the writer has clearly grown conflicted in his admiration for the senator.

Clinton donors. . .

. . .this is the kind of genius you're buying with your dollars:

Given her demonstrated record on paying her bills, though, I wouldn't hold my breath on getting a refund anytime soon.

Is there any way that the McCain campaign can buy the rights to this ad?

Chick and Ruth's Delly. . .

. . .in Annapolis, MD has an ongoing nineteen-year tradition that Sen. McCain took part in this morning. If I ever happen to find myself in Annapolis, I'll be stopping in. Hmmm. . .I think I'll have the Martin O'Malley.

Terrorize your neighborhood. . .

. . .Segway owners with the latest revolution in urban transportation: The Belgian Tiger.

The much overlooked. . .

. . .Supreme Court nominee, Ramesh Ponnuru, posted an email and answer from a reader who still has reservations about John McCain with regard to his dedication to pro-life issues, and makes a very valid point. Here's the meat of the email:
"McCain came out and said that he doesn’t care much about the social issues. As the author of The Party of Death, doesn’t that bother you? It bothers me. I’ll vote for him, but I’m not enthusiastic. It’s the same way I’d feel if Giuliani were the nominee."

Ponnuru goes on to point out that John F. Kennedy was less than passionate about the Civil Rights Movement, though he did support it in principle, and that it is of little importance whether or not someone signs legislation with a flourish, so long as he signs the legislation. This line sums it up nicely:
Would I prefer it if McCain brought to the life issues the passion of Sam Brownback? Sure. But a country capable of electing a Brownback president wouldn’t need him.

I would actually go a little further and say that McCain's relatively casual approach to the issue insulates him from a good deal of the alarmist rhetoric that his opponents on Right to Life issues would employ against him. After all, it would be an exercise in absurdity for NARAL to try to portray McCain as some kind of zealot, dead set on a course to jail teenagers who seek abortions out of desperation, or persecute abortion providers with midnight office raids. John McCain has been nothing if not practical in his opposition to abortion, and he has been just as consistent in it.

There's also been some concern expressed over his opposition to the ban on federal funding of embryonic stem cell research. I can understand, and indeed sympathize, with those who are concerned with his stance on this issue. At the same time, it seems clear to me that science has largely overtaken the issue and rendered moot much of the clamoring of its proponents, given the efficacy of research on adult stem cells in recent months.

It seems to me that McCain, once presented with all the information that is now available in the area of adult stem cell research, could easily persuaded that to insist on federal funding of embryonic stem cell research would be not only injurious to the good-faith opposition of pro-lifers on the matter, but also an unnecessarily divisive use of taxpayer funds when so much promise lies in the work of the private sector in areas about which there is unanimous acceptance.

Conservatives who are truly concerned about McCain's stance on social issues would do well to consider how much benefit can be drawn from having a person on their side who agrees with them in principle, but not to such an extent that it makes him a canvass for people who would gleefully paint him in the brightest of Luddite hues for it.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Bill Richardson responds. . .

. . .to James Carville's public rebuke with one of his own. I like the following remarks especially:
While I certainly will not stoop to the low level of Mr. Carville, I feel compelled to defend myself against character assassination and baseless allegations. (Emphasis mine)

I like it when they get personal. It's almost certain to draw another broadside from Carville. And, to be honest, I kind of like seeing Carville's venom being released into the veins of his fellow Democrats. Let's have more of this kind of honest, frank debate.

This, though, is the part I really liked.
I do not believe that the truth will keep Carville and others from attacking me. I can only say that we need to move on from the politics of personal insult and attacks. That era, personified by Carville and his ilk, has passed and I believe we must end the rancor and partisanship that has mired Washington in gridlock. In my view, Sen. Obama represents our best hope of replacing division with unity. That is why, out of loyalty to my country, I endorse him for president.

You see, what Richardson is doing here is portraying loyalty to Clinton as disloyalty to America. Nice touch. Although, I can't help noticing that he didn't exactly stick to his original promise of not stooping to "the low level of Mr. Carville."

All I can say is, Mr. Richardson, gird your loins. You've just called into question your opponent's love for his country while embracing a man who spent twenty years attending sermons, donating money to, and using the services of a minister whose most famous quote is, "God DAMN America."

You probably shouldn't have gone there.

Obama's preacher problems. . .

. . .are beginning anew, and seem to be getting a lot of attention from gay rights organizations(be sure to check out the first post in the comments section).

Also, be sure to check out Megan McArdle's run-down of the "Oppo-dump" going on between the Obama and Clinton campaigns. It's a pretty extensive list, rich with links. And, to think -- there are months yet to go in this already bloody campaign.

When I think of all this in contrast with the latest McCain video, I can't help feeling rather encouraged about his chances heading into November.

McCain's ads. . .

. . .are the most beautifully produced I've ever seen.

Monday, March 31, 2008

Here's one. . .

. . .for your bookmark file. It's a list of the 101 Most Useful Websites. I can't necessarily vouch for its complete accuracy, but I can say without reservation that there are some very useful sites listed.

The story of Cpl. Lee. . .

. . .and his companion, Lex, is one of those compelling accounts that warrant more detail than was given in my original post on McCain's encounter with the fallen hero's mother. Be sure to read this background story on the Lee family's efforts to bring Cpl. Lee's companion home.

Be sure to have tissue or a handkerchief nearby. It's one of those stories.

Gee, Wally. . .

. . .you look an awful lot like that McCain boy up the street.

On a more upbeat note. . .

. . .John McCain visited a children's group home today, called Hope Village, to highlight the "Service to America" aspect of his campaign. He met a young lady who has resided there for the past five years and is about to enroll in college this summer. Hope Village is a wonderful charity in Meridian, Mississippi founded by Sela Ward, a Golden Globe and Emmy winning actress who starred alongside Hugh Laurie in House -- one of the select few television programs I've really enjoyed over the last couple of years.

A touching story. . .

. . .about an encounter John McCain had with the mother of a young Marine who lost his life to an IED in al-Anbar. Do click this link and see what this election is truly about.
McCain listened and asked a few questions as Lee told the story of her son, Dustin. She said her son was killed by an explosive device as he was coming out of a building. He was two months shy of his 21st birthday, she said.

A German shepherd, Lex, that was trained as an explosive-detecting dog with Dustin's unit in Iraq and was with him when he died, sat next to Lee in the bus, his head on her thigh. McCain officials said Lex was wounded in the blast and given an honorary Purple Heart.

McCain and only McCain. . .

. . .could be putting up the kind of numbers in New Jersey and Washington that Rasmussen is finding. Romney might have been pretty competitive with Clinton or Obama in Michigan, and if he turns out to be McCain's pick for the VP slot, it could well push him over the top there.

I still have reservations as to whether or not Romney is the prescription that McCain needs in order to enthuse the parts of the GOP base that remain churlish over his nomination. But, he would provide economic credentials in a time when there's uncertainty, and could very well create inroads to an as-yet untapped donor base that seems reluctant to give 'til it smarts a little right now. And, four to eight years down the road, vice presidential experience -- given that the job has taken on considerably more prominence than it had in the past -- could reassure those conservatives who looked askance at his seemingly recent conversion to their cause.

Whoever McCain chooses as his running mate, he has already demonstrated a great deal of appeal with independents and right-leaning Democrats. I doubt seriously that a strong conservative selection will hurt him among those voters to anywhere near the extent it will help him among conservative Republicans. At this point, the only way McCain could go wrong in his selection would be to choose someone who confirms the suspicions of those who are already alienated.

It seems Ross Douthat. . .

. . .is a little less sanguine about the Markos Moulitsas takeover of the DNC than I am. Reading his post in reference to Joseph Lieberman's remarks about the hijacking of the Democratic Party by the MoveOn/Soros/Kos axis, I get the impression that he's walking just up to the line of declaring analogous to the Reagan Revolution, with the Clinton regime being its Rockefeller counterpart. I have to say I'm more than just a little bit skeptical.

It seems to me that if you look at the constituencies that are driving the Democrats today, they more closely resemble the Republican's John Birch Society problem that William F. Buckley worked in tandem with Barry Goldwater to eradicate. The truth is, there was nothing that could remotely be viewed as extreme in Ronald Reagan's campaigning or governance. It was perhaps "radical" in its departure from the political orthodoxy of its day, but radical and extreme are two different things.

What made Ronald Reagan a radical in his time was in fact the extremism of the status quo he worked to break.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

A walking, talking hope machine. . .

. . .has apparently transformed into a walking, talking time machine.

I bumped this post to the front page to save visitors the trouble of going through the archives to find the post on Obama's "teeny little Tuzla," as Lucianne.com calls it. Welcome Ldotters, one and all.

I just received an email from a friend pointing out some discrepancies in a Barack Obama speech at Selma, Alabama.

It seems hard to imagine how the story as related by Sen. Obama could be true, considering the fact that he was born on August 4, 1961. The marches in Selma, Alabama didn't begin until March 7, 1965. Also, his birth date would indicate that he was conceived in late 1960. This would seem to preclude the notion that Obama's grandfather was inspired by the words of John and Robert Kennedy to send Barack Obama, Sr. on a plane to America in an airlift they instituted in order to bring young African men to our shores. If there were any inspiring words and airlifts, they would have had to be uttered and instituted by Dwight Eisenhower, just as my email indicates.

So, here we have a candidate who has an incredible ability to connect with audiences, and manipulate the space-time continuum. I really don't know how the hell you beat that.

Thanks for bringing this to my attention, emailer!

UPDATE: Welcome Moonbattery vistitors! The link is very much appreciated, and anything that helps get the word out about Obama's historical revisionism is helpful.

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