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« June 2008 | Main | August 2008 »

July 31, 2008

Request Ludacris' New Song As Often As Possible

Barack Obama's friend and supporter Ludacris has released a new rap song supporting his candidate, Politics: Obama is Here. Hearing this for the first time on Rush Limbaugh's show yesterday, at first I thought it was a parody. It isn't.

It's a remarkable piece of ... work. And I think that all of us should make it the top-requested song on the airwaves this summer and fall. Play it all the time, over and over again. I think that it's important for the American public to see and hear admitted Obama supporters in all of their glory.

To give you an idea of how much of a problem Barack Obama and his campaign thinks this song - by a supporter of his - could be to the candidate is the speed in which they came out and attempted to throw Ludacris under the bus: Obama campaign rejects rapper Ludacris' rhymes. (Note how the AP reporter covering for Obama on this issue calls the rap song a "rhyme" - I guess that polls better than "rap"...)

If this is what the country is in for with an Obama Presidency, according to one of Obama's friends and supporters, why shouldn't America hear it as often and as loudly as possible? The Senator can make the song one of the pillars of his post-racial candidacy. Imagine it playing at the DNC convention in Denver! What on earth is the Obama campaign afraid of? Although admittedly I don't think that I've ever heard anyone request a pre-emptive pardon for himself from a candidate who isn't even President yet...

Here's the lyrics to this latest ode to the Messiah, courtesy of LiveLeak. Read it - aside from the aforementioned pardon request, it contains nothing but what the Left has been saying, loudly and repeatedly, throughout this entire election season. Why are they suddenly embarrassed about it now?

I'm back on it like I just signed my record deal
yeah the best is here, the Bentley Coup paint is dripping wet, it got sex appeal
never should have hated
you never should've doubted him
with a slot in the president's iPod Obama shattered 'em
Said I handled his biz and I'm one of his favorite rappers
Well give Luda a special pardon if I'm ever in the slammer
Better yet put him in office, make me your vice president
Hillary hated on you, so that b^$&%* is irrelevant
Jesse talking slick and apologizing for what?
if you said it then you meant it how you want it have a gut!
and all you other politicians trying to hate on my man,
watch us win a majority vote in every state on my man
you can't stop what's bout to happen, we bout to make history
the first black president is destined and it's meant to be
the threats ain't fazing us, the nooses or the jokes
so get off your ass, black people, it's time to get out and vote!
paint the White House black and I'm sure that's got 'em terrified
McCain don't belong in ANY chair unless he's paralyzed
Yeah I said it cause Bush is mentally handicapped
Ball up all of his speeches and I throw em like candy wrap
cause what you talking I hear nothing even relevant
and you the worst of all 43 presidents
get out and vote or the end will be near
the world is ready for change because Obama is here!
cause Obama is here
The world is ready for change because Obama is here!

Once again, here's the video: Politics: Obama is Here. I wonder if there's enough time for the entertainment world to award Ludacris a Grammy for this before the election?

Update: Economy Bottomed Out in Fourth Quarter 2007

The release of the second quarter 2008 GDP numbers was accompanied by revisions to the GDP figures from 2005-2007. From those revisions, based upon newly available data, it appears that the economy did contract during one quarter - the fourth quarter of 2007. The previous GDP number for that quarter was a positive growth of 0.6%. The new data shows that there was, in actuality, a slight contraction of GDP during that quarter - a negative 0.2%.

From that new data, it appears that the economy bottomed out last year. The two subsequent quarters since then have seen a slowly rising growth curve established - first quarter 2008 saw a revised positive 0.9% growth, and the just released second quarter GDP rose at a positive 1.9%. Slow, but moving in the right direction - away from a real recession.

Obama's Iraq Problem

With Barack Obama's post-World Victory Tour bounce in the polls evaporating (if, indeed, there ever was one), it's becoming obvious that the candidate still has a major Iraq problem. Karl Rove, who has given the best and most accessible-to-the-average-person campaign analysis so far this election season, has another great op-ed up in the Wall Street Journal this morning, Obama's Iraq Fumble:

Mr. Obama's problem is he opposed the policy that created the progress that makes victory in Iraq possible. Mr. Obama's unbending opposition to the surge undermines his fundamental argument that he has better judgment on national security. Mr. McCain needs to use Mr. Obama's retrospective mistake to shape voters' prospective conclusion, convincing them that Mr. Obama's badly flawed judgment on the surge shows he cannot be trusted with major foreign-policy decisions.

Mr. Obama also created a problem by canceling a visit to U.S. soldiers who were wounded in Iraq and are now recuperating at Landstuhl hospital in Germany. His campaign has offered a welter of explanations. What's the real one? My rule is that when in doubt, see what a candidate said at the time and judge his candor. In a July 26 London news conference, Mr. Obama explained: "I was going to be accompanied by one of my advisers, a former military officer. And we got notice that he would be treated as a campaign person, and it would therefore be perceived as political because he had endorsed my candidacy, but he wasn't on the Senate staff."

The solution was obvious. Leave the campaign adviser behind and visit the wounded troops. Mr. Obama's decision to work out in the hotel gym instead adds to his growing reputation for arrogance.

Most importantly, Mr. Obama missed the opportunity to show he can admit a mistake. He could have said that what he saw on his visit to Iraq convinced him that the surge was right and its success now allows U.S. troops to be safely drawn down. Instead, he insisted he was right to say the surge wouldn't work.

That may give voters pause. If Mr. Obama can't admit the surge worked after the fact, how can voters count on him to keep his mind open to the facts on other important foreign-policy decisions?

The media is doing their best to cover for Barack Obama and his many errors. But I think that the American public is smart enough overall to see through that. And that's why the polls are still essentially tied when Obama should be ahead against an old mistake-prone candidate who is running a lousy campaign, in this "year of the Democrats", by at least 20 points.

And the GDP Numbers Show - Still No Recession, Obama and Fellow Dems Crushed

On July 12th of this year, just two and a half weeks ago, noted economist and Messiah Barack Obama stated to an adoring crowd in San Diego that the country is in a recession. Here's the quote, from an AP report on MSNBC, Obama's home network (Obama says ‘little doubt’ country in recession):

SAN DIEGO - Barack Obama said Saturday there is "little doubt we've moved into recession," underscoring the country's need for a second economic stimulus package, swift steps to shore up the housing market and a long-term energy policy to reduce reliance on foreign oil imports.

That bold call was itself just two weeks removed from the release of the final GDP numbers for the first quarter of 2008, which showed a growth in GDP of 1.0%, revised upwards from previous estimates of 0.9%.

The advanced estimate for the second quarter of 2008 was just released at 8:30am this morning, and it comes in at a surprisingly strong 1.9%. Whoops - no recession!

That's stunning when one considers the fact that the housing and credit 'crisises', soaring energy and food prices, and rising unemployment hit the economy full force during this quarter.

It just goes to show you that the underlying economic metrics are wounded, but the overall economy is still hanging in there. Not that the American public would have any idea about that. For the drive-by media, it's all recession, all the time.

As a recession is defined as two straight quarters of negative GDP growth, and slowing GDP growth apparently bottomed out in the fourth quarter of last year at a positive 0.6%, it looks as if we might avoid a real recession - we seem to be on an upward growth curve now.

Look for the Democrats and the drive-by media to continue to insist that the country is in a recession, since that is a vital component to their "President Obama to the rescue" storyline.

Perhaps Barack Obama will come out and state that the bad economic news being constantly reported by the media can't be biased or wrong - and at the very least the country is in a mental recession, which is just as bad as a real one.

Oh wait, someone already tried saying that...

July 29, 2008

Another Gift To The Dems - GOP Should Have Previously Taken Care of Stevens

Well, the Republicans have just given the Democrats another electoral gift. Fox News is reporting that the Justice Department is going to announce charges against Republican Senator Ted Stevens at 1:20 this afternoon. No other details are available at this time (1:00pm ET) at Fox News, but the "Alaska Politics" blog on the Anchorage Daily News' website confirms that Stevens has been indicted by a Federal Grand Jury, and promises more details shortly at adn.com.

Anyone who paid attention to political coverage of Congress over the past few years has known that this was coming. While there was word over the past year that GOP insiders were attempting to convince Stevens to step down, they couldn't even convince the man to not run for re-election. I assume that his re-election campaign will no longer be an issue, now.

The GOP leadership should have done more to sideline Stevens before the inevitable indictments came down. Even though he served his county admirably for a long time, in recent years he became the poster-boy for why the Republicans in Congress lost their way.

Instead, the GOP has another public corruption scandal on their hands immediately before an important election. They've given another gift to the Democrats. However, there is still a way that the GOP can minimize the damage that the indictment of Steven will do.

They should force the Senator to resign immediately, giving a replacement Republican (either an appointment by Republican Governor Sarah Palin or a candidate in the fall) an easy road against any Democrat contender. The GOP should then compare Steven's resignation to Democratic Congressman William Jefferson's refusal to do the same when he was indicted last year.

There's still time to get in front of this.

Senator "No" Wins a Big One in the Senate

Yesterday, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid attempted to bring up for consideration what was being referred to as the "Tomnibus" bill - an omnibus spending bill comprised of 35 separate bills that were being blocked by Republican Senator Tom Coburn. "Blocked" is actually a poor word to use - Coburn was objecting to the quick voice-vote passage of these spending bills, largely filled with pork-barrel projects, without a debate - and without containing within the legislation some sort of process to gauge the effectiveness of these new spending programs.

In actuality, Coburn really opposed only about five of those bills outright - but feels that it's the Senate's job to look at all of these bills carefully on their merits, not pass them automatically because the spending would help politician's re-election efforts at home.

Senate Republicans sided with Coburn yesterday, and the "Tomnibus" was defeated. The actual vote was 52-40 for consideration, which fell 8 votes short of allowing to bill to go to the Senate floor for a vote. The Washington Post reports that while the Democrats are furious, Coburn really doesn't care (Sen. Reid Thwarted On Bundle Of Bills). And if the following message from the Republican Senator could find its way into a series of GOP campaign ads, along with details on the trick Reid tried to pull and the spending that the Democrats were trying to push through, it would probably resonate well with the voters:

Reid cobbled together the 35 bills -- each of which had passed the House by large margins -- into one legislative package in an attempt to overcome all of Coburn's parliamentary obstacles at once. Coburn is opposed to creating federal programs unless other programs he considers duplicative are eliminated or reduced in scope, and he demands that new programs also contain measures of their effectiveness.

"We don't do that in this city. We just conveniently charge it to our grandchildren," Coburn said in debate before the vote, noting the record $482 billion deficit projected yesterday for 2009.

The Democrats seem to be screaming to the high heavens about quite a few things these days (gas and oil prices, the Tomnibus bill, the deficit, etc.). They're probably going to incorporate these issues into campaign ads. The problem for the Dems is that once you start looking carefully at these issues, the GOP position looks more and more appealing to the average voter.

It would be a good idea for the Republicans to listen carefully to what the Dems are barking the most loudly about, then pre-emptively launch campaign ads pointing out precisely what the Democrats are complaining about, and what the GOP solution is. In other word, go out and stake an ownership position on these issues before the Democrats do. Remember, it's not the GOP against the Democrats this fall, it's the GOP against the Democrats and the media.

Democrats Caving On Energy Bill?

Late yesterday afternoon, The Hill reported that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has apparently softened his stance on prohibiting a vote an amendment offered by Republicans which would erase the Congressional ban on offshore oil drilling: Senate moves closer to energy vote deal:

The Senate on Monday inched toward a potential breakthrough on stalled energy legislation, as Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) said Republicans could offer four amendments, including a vote on offshore oil drilling.

Speaking on the floor, Reid proposed that Democrats and Republicans each would have four amendments, which could be second-degree measures and would be subject to 60-vote thresholds.

That would be a welcome development, but anytime you're dealing with Harry Reid, I'd be careful that he's not setting up a parliamentary trick. In other words, read the fine print. Here's the Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell:

Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said Reid’s proposal was “significant.” He asked for time to confer with GOP senators.

“This is a significant step in the direction I had hoped we might take,” McConnell said. “I’m very encouraged by this development.”

Just an hour earlier, in a conference call with reporters, McConnell strongly suggested that GOP senators would hold firm against any effort to pass anything besides the energy bill.

“Right now the No. 1 subject in the country is the price of gas at the pump,” McConnell said at the outset of the Senate’s last week of work before the August recess. “We think we ought to do something about that and then move on to other subjects.”

Seems on first reading that it's good news. Even if the GOP loses the vote on their amendment by failing to come up with the 11 or so Democrats it would take to pass, the vote will succeed in painting the Democrats as being (and actively voting) against any type of reasonable quick solution to get the oil and gas prices down. I wonder if Barack Obama would vote against it, or just miss the vote?

Works for me!

Novak's Last Column, For A While: Can McCain Back In?

(I was going to post on Bob Novak's latest column when I heard the news that the columnist was just diagnosed with a brain tumor. Upon reflection, I'm still going to post on what I trust will be his last column only for a short while, and demand that he get better quickly and get back to work - we have an important election coming up, Bob!)

In his latest column, Bob Novak writes convincingly about the prospects of John McCain backing into the Presidency, much like he backed into the Republican nomination: Can McCain Back In Again?:

WASHINGTON -- In the contest for president, Barack Obama is a magnetic candidate supported by a disciplined, well-organized campaign. John McCain seems wooden, with a campaign that appears to be in shambles. Yet Obama's lead in the polls over McCain is fragile because he so far has not won the support of a majority of American voters.

An effective and massively publicized foreign trip failed to push Obama to the 50 percent mark. Hopes of Democrats and fears of Republicans that he would get a major bounce in the polls when he clinched the nomination and then on his campaigning abroad have not been realized.

Overnight surveys by Gallup and Rasmussen for the past two weeks have shown Obama hovering around 46 percent, while McCain has declined from 45 percent to 41 percent after the wild acclaim for Obama in Berlin, for a 6-point deficit that is by no means insurmountable. These numbers have prompted speculation among Republican political practitioners that McCain can back into the presidency, just as he backed into his party's nomination.

Novak goes on to mention that even Bob Dole's disastrous 1996 campaign against Bill Clinton got the Republican faithful more exited about their candidate than they are now about John McCain.

I agree. Right now, John McCain looks like a terrible candidate, is campaigning terribly, his campaign is a wreck, and the media has all but publicly endorsed Barack Obama. It's stunning that Obama isn't 20 points ahead right now, with a growing lead.

That's why I'm still optimistic about John McCain. I don't think he'll be a bad President, he just won't be a conservative President. But an Obama Presidency would be a disaster for our country.

And even if McCain gets in, I think that he'll be a one-term President. I'd be stunned if he ran for re-election. Look how the Presidency has aged people like Bill Clinton. If that happens to McCain, he'll look and act like Methuselah in 2012. That means that we might be able to get a conservative in the White House quicker with McCain as President than with Obama. It's very hard to beat an incumbent.

July 28, 2008

What's This? USA Today/Gallup Poll Has McCain Up By 4?

In a sure sign that the Presidential race between Barack Obama and John McCain is so close that no-one has a clue as to what's really going on, USA Today's "On Politics" blog reports on an interesting poll development this afternoon. A few hours after the Gallup daily Presidential tracking poll came out showing Barack Obama with an 8 point lead over John McCain among registered voters, the USA Today/Gallup poll among likely voters was released showing that John McCain has a 4 point lead over Barack Obama - an increase in support for McCain of 10 points over the last month!

Republican presidential candidate John McCain moved from being behind by 6 points among "likely" voters a month ago to a 4-point lead over Democrat Barack Obama among that group in the latest USA TODAY/Gallup Poll. McCain still trails slightly among the broader universe of "registered" voters. By both measures, the race is tight.

The Friday-Sunday poll, mostly conducted as Obama was returning from his much-publicized overseas trip and released just this hour, shows McCain now ahead 49%-45% among voters that Gallup believes are most likely to go to the polls in November. In late June, he was behind among likely voters, 50%-44%.

Among registered voters, McCain still trails Obama, but by less. He is behind by 3 percentage points in the new poll (47%-44%) vs. a 6-point disadvantage (48%-42%) in late June.

According to all of the pundits, John McCain had an abysmal last week. Heck, he's had an abysmal last month! Yet in this poll, he gains 10 points on Obama during that span. It could be an outlier, but still.

The drive-by media must be kicking themselves - asking what on Earth can they do to help Obama more than they already have...

I have an idea! New story for tomorrow's New York Times: John Edwards was actually visiting John McCain's love-child at a Beverly Hills hotel last week, doing opposition research on behalf of Barack Obama's campaign!

Bob Novak Diagnosed With Brain Tumor

This has just been a brutal summer for journalists. Human Events, the weekly newspaper owned by the same publisher as Bob Novak's "Evan-Novak Political Report", has issued a release that informs us that the esteemed columnist has just been diagnosed with a brain tumor. Here's the message within the piece from Novak himself:

“On Sunday, July 27, I was diagnosed with a brain tumor. I have been admitted to Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, where doctors will soon begin appropriate treatment.

“I will be suspending my journalistic work for an indefinite but, God willing, not too lengthy period.”

Terrible news. Good luck Bob, and God Bless...

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