A conservatory of Ldotter blogs.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

I've added new tracks. . .

. . .to the playlist at your right. Sorry rock n' roll haters, there's nothing there for you. But, rest assured that I'm working on other playlists filled with different types of music. The problem is that you have to fill one playlist before you can create another. And, for some reason, I just couldn't bring myself to put Dwight Yoakam on the same list as Iron Maiden. It just didn't seem right to me.

So, I'm working on playlists that don't have a musical whiplash effect. The next one will be more of a mishmash. A little something for everybody.

However, if you're a rocker, there should be something in the current one that'll strike your fancy. And, since I set the player up to shuffle the song order, you can always open up my blog, hit the the Play button, and listen to it in the background while you're doing all that productive crap you're supposed to be doing on computers.

O'Rourke on the Big Stick. . .

. . .gives us a glimpse into life on an aircraft carrier, and the under-appreciated aspects of conservatism that John McCain embodies.
Some people say John McCain isn't conservative enough. But there's more to conservatism than low taxes, Jesus, and waterboarding at Gitmo. Conservatism is also a matter of honor, duty, valor, patriotism, self-discipline, responsibility, good order, respect for our national institutions, reverence for the traditions of civilization, and adherence to the political honesty upon which all principles of democracy are based. Given what screw-ups we humans are in these respects, conservatism is also a matter of sense of humor. Heard any good quips lately from Hillary or Barack?

This is why P.J. O'Rourke is one of my favorite writers, and always will be. Great column that ought to be a must-read within the conservative blogosphere.

Friday, April 18, 2008

These things are tasty. . .

. . .but, I caution against sitting down with a bag, eating a whole bunch of them, then forgetting that you ate them not long before you decide to rub your eye.

I was stirred from sleep. . .

. . .around 4:37 this morning, according to the news, by a 5.2 magnitude earthquake. I had no idea what it was at the time. I just remember the shaking, which wasn't violent by any means. A 5.2 is either pretty small potatoes, or I live far enough from the epicenter that much of the energy had dissipated by the time the seismic waves reached me. Whatever the case, what I felt was not much more than someone nudging you to wake up.

Of course, our local news is all over this like Michael Moore on a baker's dozen of Krispy Kremes. No tsunami warnings. . .yet. We'll have to keep an eye on the eastern seaboard and make sure it doesn't collapse into the Atlantic before we make any hasty predictions. But, for now, all is quiet and still in western Kentucky.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Q: What's the difference. . .

. . .between Barack Obama and Eliot Spitzer?

A: Eliot Spitzer's whores get paid by the night. Obama's whores get paid by the word.

McCain's flag pin. . .

. . .is the very life he's led. But, for some reason, Mark Nickolas doesn't seem to get that. Here's a hint, Mark: If you spend nearly six years in a POW camp, sacrificing your freedom for your country, that's a bit of a lapel pin in itself.

If you take off your lapel pin with a flourish and declare that your reasons for doing so are because you see it as somehow beneath you to put one on when you can demonstrate your patriotism through your words in ways that no lapel pin could ever express, then you damned well ought to be able to express that patriotism when you're asked about a silly little lapel pin like the ones so many Americans wear every day.

Where's McCain's flag pin? It's stuck in many a liberal craw right now.

Obama's feet of clay. . .

. . .crumbled a bit in last night's debate. That's why we're reading reviews like this from Tom Shales:
"For the first 52 minutes of the two-hour, commercial-crammed show, Gibson and Stephanopoulos dwelled entirely on specious and gossipy trivia that already has been hashed and rehashed, in the hope of getting the candidates to claw at one another over disputes that are no longer news. Some were barely news to begin with."

Far be it from me to tell a news guy what the news is. But, since when did a Style columnist get to make the determination? (On an unrelated note, how many chins are you allowed to have while still claiming the mantle of style columnist?)

In any event, how predictable is it that the most venomous review of Obama's inquisitors should come from a style columnist?

Look, Tommy Boy. Stick with reviewing will.i.am's Obama videos. The only thing we learned from this particular column is that it's possible to get an entire pair of big-girl panties wedged into a man's gluteal cleavage. If you truly care about this nation's welfare, you won't conjure up that noxious image again by waxing dyspeptic on the state of the nation's politics.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Just words. . .

. . .to be sure, but "cannon fodder" doesn't seem like the best way to describe our troops, even if you're in front of an east coast elite crowd, in Manhattan. But, that's precisely how Sen. Obama described them.

Between this kind of nastiness, his casual dismissal of small-town America's values, and belittlement of everyday gestures of sincere support for our troops, Barack Obama has really put himself in a tight spot with unaffiliated and socially conservative Democrat voters.

The fact is, what Obama sought to do in that statement was to demonize President Bush as the Commander in Chief of the armed forces. The idea that he would use our troops as "cannon fodder" is deeply offensive. The fact that he would do so while, at the same time, professing to be the herald of a "New Kind of Politics" is breathtakingly hypocritical.

If he is willing to characterize our troops and their commander in chief in such a way, what must he think of the families who express such pride in those men and women serving our nation in Iraq and Afghanistan? Would he describe the disabled veteran who gave him the flag pin as mere "cannon fodder"?

How would he describe Sen. McCain? "Vietcong Whipping Boy?"

H/T -- Rich Lowry at The Corner.

Whether you're an elitist. . .

. . .or not can be determined by answering a simple question.

Most people living in the so-called "red states" that elected George W. Bush as president are:

(a) patriotic.

(b) jingoistic.

Obama's flag pin. . .

. . .problem is the anchor of his snobbery difficulties, which have grown into a full-fledged crisis over the past week. The problem was never that he simply didn't wear one. The problem has always been his stated reason for not wearing one -- that they are mere trinkets signifying a false patriotism.
“You know, the truth is that right after 9/11, I had a pin. Shortly after 9/11, particularly because as we’re talking about the Iraq war, that became a substitute for, I think, true patriotism, which is speaking out on issues that are of importance to our national security, I decided I won’t wear that pin on my chest; instead I’m gonna try to tell the American people what I believe will make this country great, and hopefully that will be a testimony to my patriotism.”

But, what does that reveal about the way he views people who do choose to wear these lapel pins? The answer was made plain in his speech to big-time donors in San Francisco. It's not too big a stretch to come to the conclusion that a man who sees a simple gesture like wearing a lapel pin to demonstrate one's pride and love for America as nothing more than pretense might also see the act of voting in defense of their belief in God, or their rights to protect themselves by owning firearms as the actions of a trapped animal lashing out at its rescuer -- the rescuer in this case being the Messiah of a New Kind of Politics.

However, now that Obama has been confronted with a situation wherein a flag pin takes on a meaning he hadn't considered prior to his arrogant dismissal of the sentiments of those who choose to wear them, he seems to have found the Lord. Should he be ridiculed for this minor about-face? I don't think so. I think that anytime a person makes a decision to bring himself a little closer to those who have legitimate reasons to be critical of him, he should be commended for doing so.

But, Obama shouldn't be allowed to evade answering questions about his previous stance. He ought to be asked just why it is that it took a disabled veteran offering an object he once derided as mere window dressing to bring him around to the idea that there are real, honest-to-God sentiments behind the act of displaying a flag pin on one's lapel. Why was he originally so quick to see it as somehow beneath him to do what so many Americans do every day in order to remind themselves just how much we have been given by our forefathers? Did it not occur to him that, in placing that small pin on themselves every day, many people use it as a moment of reflection to fully grasp the greatness of America and its people, and of the men and women serving our interests abroad at such great sacrifice?

The truth of the matter is that ever since 9/11, the American left has portrayed overt displays of patriotism -- particularly among its own tribe -- as capitulation to the right. Displaying the flag, whether outside one's home or on one's person, is an act of either jingoism, in the case of conservatives, or outright cravenness, in the case of liberals. It is as though liberals view any act that could possibly be construed as having been inspired by conservative leanings in any way is tantamount to a "sell-out".

There's a streak of childishness among the cultural left that equates embracing America in a time when she is being led by conservatives with ideological treason. It's not enough to simply criticize the leaders with whom you have a beef. You must decry the people who put them there. After all, in the liberal mind, there is absolutely no possible way that George W. Bush could have been elected to office unless a dangerously large portion of our population were afflicted with either extreme stupidity, or supreme gullibility.

So, it should come as no surprise when Barack Obama, in speaking to the most left-leaning elements of his constituency, speaks to them in the terms that make them feel vindicated in their disdain for the people who thrust two terms of a Bush presidency on them. He simply speaks to people in the language they understand. His problem is that his most ardent supporters speak a language that is entirely alien to the people he needs most. Those ardent supporters look down their noses with a certain condescending tolerance of the barbarian hordes, never fully comprehending what they're all about, and cling to the idea that Barack Obama is the man who can save them from their own barbarity.

In effect, what Obama said in San Francisco that evening was, "Look, I'm going to have to go through some rather unseemly and distasteful motions if I'm to have a hope in hell of bringing your ideas to fruition, and it's going to require a lot of patience from you good folks. But, don't worry. While it may seem that I've wandered off the reservation from time to time in my attempt to ingratiate myself to these folks who are, by nature, resistant to my gestures, keep in mind that I'm doing it with our shared vision in mind. I'm sorry it has to be this way, but that's politics. If I could win this election on the strength of you folks alone, you know where I'd be spending my days."

Many Democrats will have no problem with that. They harbor similar sentiments, no matter where they live or how much they make. As far as they're concerned, the only reason they weren't able to come up with the thousand bucks it took to get into that fundraiser is that George W. Bush has been their president for almost eight years. They're more than happy to endure their present circumstances until November, if only Obama can sooth the savage beasts in whose midst they find themselves.

But, the unaffiliated voters, and the Democrats who don't feel any particular ideological allegiance to a party that views them as people with nowhere else to go are going to find someplace else to go. And John McCain is the perfect excuse for them to go there.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

There will be lightness. . .

. . .in blogging tonight. I have a social engagement which calls me away from my beloved daily ritual, but only for the night. Of course, I could return for some late night blogging, but that depends on how the evening progresses.

If you get bored while I'm away, feel free to listen to some music. The stereo is right over there at the top of my sidebar, at the right. There's a small collection of hard rockin' tunes with some slightly lighter fare sprinkled in for no good reason.

Good night, and good. . .lord! I almost sounded like Keith Olbermann there!

Maybe Obama is bitter. . .

. . .and is projecting his psyche onto small-town America. It's not often that I nod my head in agreement while reading a Dana Milbank piece, but this one had me doing it as he recounted some of the less attractive Obama moments during yesterday's editors luncheon hosted by the Associated Press.

It seems that while John McCain has proven himself to be an open book to the press, Obama has been decidedly less so. And, it's fairly obvious that a little bit of resentment is starting to bubble up within Obama. For instance, this particularly nasty shot at both McCain and President Bush:
"If I had to carry the banner for eight years of George Bush's failures, I'd be looking for something else to talk about, too."

Is that the "New Kind of Politics" Obama has been promising his worshipful minions throughout his campaign? If so, the Old Kind of Politics is starting to look pretty high-minded and nearly as lofty as the Chicago Democrat's rhetorical flourishes.

But, he reserved his most scornful words for a fellow Democrat, despite professing that he's doing his best to exercise restraint:
"Senator Clinton may not feel that she can afford to be as constrained. But I'm sure that Senator Clinton feels like she's doing me a great favor, because she's been deploying most of the arguments that the Republican Party will be using against me in November."

I guess the opposite of bitter in this instance would be "vindication". Rush Limbaugh has to be feeling a good bit of that right about now, what with the smashing success of his Operation Chaos.

The McCain family recipe. . .

. . .flap has clearly touched a nerve among the brie-nibbling, chardonnay-swilling set over at the Huffington Post. I'm not sure if it was the fact that none of the recipes called for arugula or hundred-dollar ham, but something clearly has them gnashing their veneers today.

Monday, April 14, 2008

The Red State Rubes. . .

. . .performing a local favorite, "Let's Go a-Huntin' After Church, Amigo!"

Hillary's "Cling" ad. . .

. . .is pretty weak. As a totally non-professional non-ad guy, I think I could have done better than this:

Frankly, I think using the audio from the speech with subtitles overlaying images of Americana -- small-town churches as people stream in on Sunday morning, Ducks Unlimited-like sunrise hunting scenes, and multi-ethnic groups of blue collar workers enjoying one another's company would have been much more effective. This "man on the street" ad just doesn't really get to the point. Plus, how often does it seem that someone unearths the identity of one of the people who appear in these types of ads and it turns out to be an embarrassing selection?

This ad has absolutely no emotional appeal. It's really just a few people saying the standard fare of political campaign ads. The Clinton campaign missed a great opportunity. But, at least there weren't any phones in view.

Sen. McConnell said Hooters. . .

. . .was a major source of worry for Hillary at the same Kentucky GOP event where Rep. Geoff Davis's colloquialism (see my previous post, just below) provided fodder for the folks at Politico. A pretty good zinger, I thought.
"I hear she hasn't been this worried since a new Hooters opened" near her home with former President Bill Clinton, McConnell said, prompting laughs from the 400 Northern Kentucky Republicans.

Yes, Washington elitists. We gun-totin', other-hatin', Bible-thumpin' galoots in small-town America are known to enjoy the odd ribald, bawdy quip. It's a rural thing. You wouldn't understand.

The U.S. of KKK-A. . .

. . .is apparently the home of some very racially sensitive folks. Last Saturday night, Rep. Geoff Davis (R-KY) spoke at a GOP dinner on Saturday night wherein he uttered the following words about Sen. Obama:
"That boy's finger does not need to be on the button."

He has since apologized in a hand-delivered letter to Obama's senate office, according to the folks over at Politico.

This is the first I've heard of this, so it's difficult to know what kind of furor it's going to generate. But, if anyone decides that this is something to use as a cudgel against conservatives, you might want to stop and consider that, at present, the Democrats are locked into a fight over who's an elitist who doesn't have a clue as to what life is like in small-town America. And, Kentucky being the very portrait of small-town America, you might want to understand that the word "boy" is used in everyday speech in a completely benign fashion. For instance, when you're sitting at the bar drinking beer with your buddies, and one of them says something funny, you're very likely to hear one of the guys at the bar say, "That boy ain't right," or "Dammit, boy!"

Now, given the fact that both Obama and Clinton are going to great pains to make sure that the average rural voter doesn't see them as out of touch, condescending, or of an otherwise insolent mindset, it would serve them well to accept Davis's apology with a good measure of magnanimity. Stirring up further racial disharmony at this point would be the biggest mistake the Democrats could possibly make if they hope to stand a chance in November.

It remains to be seen, however, if the Democrats are smart enough to see that. They've come by their elitist image without any outside help thus far.

Corrected the chronology of Rep. Davis's comment.

Small-town America speaks. . .

"I swear, Mister Obommer, I ain't bitter. I ain't ne'er bit nobody, 'ceptin' my ol' dawg Hank. An' that wuz 'cause he stolded mah favorite possum!"

It's not Obama's fault. . .

. . .that small-town America has taken umbrage at his unintentional(ly publicized) slight. It's clearly the fact that our nation's interior is populated by dullards, rednecks, and backward palookas who lack the ken to sift through his words for their true meaning. And, I suppose I can sympathize. I've been in that situation before myself.

Once, I was talking to a female friend of mine about another mutual female friend. We were going on about how she was having trouble finding a decent guy when I said, "You know, I look at her and I see the bitterness oozing from her pores. She's hooked up with loser after loser until she has finally come to the conclusion that every man she meets is a loser. So, rather than set her sights any higher, she turns to booze, and gets liquored up, then the next thing you know, her underwear is hanging from some guy's ceiling fan -- a guy whose name she doesn't know and who will never call her again, which she's just fine with because he's just another loser as far as she's concerned."

Well, the next thing I know, the two of them had apparently spoken, and the girl in question is calling me to give me a piece of her mind. It was all so completely crazy. The way she saw it, I was calling her an embittered, drunken strumpet!

Go figure!

Hoity-toity polyglot Obama. . .

. . .after backing himself into a corner, decided to lash out at his opponents in an attempt to yank the focus from his latest gaffe by feigning incredulity at the very idea that others would dare portray him as being out of touch.
“Here’s what’s rich,” he said. “Senator Clinton says, ‘well, I don’t think people are bitter in Pennsylvania. I think Barack’s being condescending.’ John McCain says, ‘oh, how could he say that? How could he say people are bitter. He’s obviously out of touch with people.’”

Mark Salter, McCain's senior adviser, responded:
“It’s hard to keep a straight face when you’re accused of being out of touch by a guy who thinks the whole country is worried about the high price of arugula or that you hunt ducks with a six shooter.”

H/T - Patrick Hynes

If you're a veteran. . .

. . .or active duty, this strikes me as a great tool for keeping up with buddies, old and new. It's called Military Planet, and it appears to be a social networking site specifically targeted to the armed services and the unique circumstances our military personnel often find themselves in.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Obama's elitism battle. . .

. . .is going to plague him for some time to come. It's one of those problems that sink into the American consciousness and stay there like an earwig. There's very little he can do to rid himself of the image. He could try eating potted meat sandwiches at a Saturday night dirt track race, but that carries the risk of looking like the Democrat counterpart to M.C. Rove.

The one thing I would avoid if I were in his shoes would be to have Katrina vanden Heuvel ride to my rescue. I'm sure she means well, but she's got to understand that, of all the things people are going to say in his defense, none of them are going to begin with the words, "As Katrina vanden Heuvel points out. . ." That would be akin to having Barry Bonds write a blurb for your book on sportsmanship.

But, please, Katrina. Do go on.

The Moderate Voice. . .

. . .has a brief round-up of daily tracking poll data that seems to indicate that Obama's recent disquisition on the terribly unsophisticated predilections of the hoi-polloi haven't hurt him all that badly among Democrat voters. But, as McCain has opened up a lead among unaffiliated voters, it strikes me as having happened at perhaps the worst possible time for his campaign. Zogby apparently agrees, which makes me a little nervous.

With his arrogance. . .

. . .on full display this week, Obama's going to have to deal with his duplicity next. The folks over at NewsBusters have provided a wonderful example of just how oily the Illinois Senator can be. They point out that in one of the ads he has in heavy rotation at the moment, he claims, "I don't take money from oil companies."

While it is quite commendable that Barack Obama doesn't "take money from oil companies," since it's been illegal for any campaign to do so for over a century, it really evades a very important truth; a truth that shows how adept Obama can be in his use of language when he needs to. NewsBusters explains in the following paragraph:
. . .FactCheck.org reveals the reality that two of Obama's biggest "bundler" donors are executives at oil companies. "Two of Obama's bundlers are top executives at oil companies," FactCheck.org says, "and are listed on his Web site as raising between $50,000 and $100,000 for the presidential hopeful."

For now, at least, the establishment media outlets seem content to let him slide on this rather unctuous teaspoon of irrelevant truth diffused in a barrel of oleaginous flim-flam. But, eventually, he will be asked about it. And, more than likely, his answer will serve to further confirm the inadvertent bit of candor he displayed in San Francisco when he spoke of small-town America as though it were little more than a vast collective of easily hoodwinked chumps.

Never mind NASCAR Dads and Soccer Moms. This year's electoral powerhouse is going to be Zeke from the Creek.

Imagine Hillary drinking beer. . .

. . .like one of us regular folk!

Well, she did it last night in Crown Point, Indiana at a place called Bronko's restaurant. Not only did she drink a beer, she downed a shot of Crown Royal and ate a slice of pizza. I wonder if she asked for the Crown Royal bag to hang over her rear view mirror. That would have picked up some authenticity points. It's always the little things, Hillary.

Her transformation from empowered, cosmopolitan woman on the world stage to Good Time Charlene at your local saloon has been nothing short of miraculous in the wake of Obama's patronizing remarks about the great unwashed to his Marin County meal tickets. At the rate she's morphing, all Obama would have to do is be seen driving past an art gallery and Clinton will be trading in her black pants suit for a pair of Carhartt coveralls and a can of Copenhagen.

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