They Know What Matters

The state deficit is zooming out of control.

Two of the three gubernatorial candidates have no idea how they’re going to fix it; they’re a step or two shy of hosting a contest looking for ideas.

The DFL, which has controlled the legislature for the past four years and dominated it completely for two, has spent the whole time whining about wanting more money to give to public employee unions and all but claiming Tim Pawlenty personally blew up the 35W bridge, and telling you you’re a racist who hates children if you don’t agree.

Minnesota’s health care – which, with its private/public partnership currently insures well over 90% of Minnesotans, including virtually all of them that actually want insurance – is about to get tossed into a vortex of government-controlled mediocrity by Obamacare.

So what do our brilliant DFL hamsters think is the real priority?

Recycling fake outrage over the FBI’s raids on protesters at the Republican National Convention in Saint Paul two years ago (in the House and the Senate).

From the Senate bill:

1.1A resolution
1.2memorializing the President of the United States and Congress to review the FBI
1.3raids on Minnesota activists.
1.4WHEREAS, a number of Minnesotans were issued subpoenas to appear before a grand jury
1.5in Chicago in October; and
1.6WHEREAS, these Minnesotans have not been arrested or charged with any crime; and
1.7WHEREAS, four of these Minnesotans are American Federation of State, County and
1.8Municipal Employees members in good standing in the union; and
1.9WHEREAS, FBI spokespersons have stated that the raids were prompted by the activities
1.10of the four union members, and other individuals subject to the same raids; and
1.11WHEREAS, these people are entitled to a presumption of innocence under the United
1.12States Constitution; and
1.13WHEREAS, every American has the constitutional right to advocate and organize for
1.14change of the foreign policy of the United States; and
1.15WHEREAS, the recent report by the Department of Justice Inspector General soundly
1.16criticized the FBI for improperly targeting domestic peace and antiwar groups for investigation;
1.17and
1.18WHEREAS, Minnesota’s elected officials have frequently gone on record in defense of
1.19trade unionists and others to educate, mobilize, and organize for the legitimate goals of peace,
1.20justice, and solidarity with all working people; and
2.1WHEREAS, Minnesota’s elected officials disavow any practices or policies which threaten
2.2the rights or civil liberties of trade unions and nonviolent peace organizations, and oppose both
2.3attacks on traditional constitutional guarantees and the granting of wider powers to the FBI to
2.4infiltrate or intimidate community groups, unions, and activists; NOW, THEREFORE,
2.5BE IT RESOLVED by the Legislature of the State of Minnesota that it expresses grave
2.6concern that the recent FBI raids are reminiscent of the Palmer Raids of the 1920s, the McCarthy
2.7hearings of the 1950s, and the FBI’s harassment of nonviolent civil rights and peace activists of
2.8the 1960s and 1970s, and that these raids may be the beginning of a new and dangerous assault on
2.9the First Amendment rights of union activists and antiwar peace campaigners.
2.10BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED by the Legislature of the State of Minnesota that, since
2.11no acceptable justification or evidence has been presented for these raids and subpoenas and
2.12there is no reason to believe any are forthcoming, it urges Congress to review these arbitrary
2.13and capricious raids.
2.14BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED by the Legislature of the State of Minnesota that, in light
2.15of the Inspector General’s recent report on the FBI investigation of certain domestic advocacy
2.16groups, we call upon the President of the United States to order an immediate investigation
2.17into the circumstances, motivation, and propriety of the judicial and FBI intimidation of these
2.18Minnesotans.
2.19BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Secretary of State of the State of Minnesota is
2.20directed to prepare copies of this memorial and transmit them to the President of the United States,
2.21the President and the Secretary of the United States Senate, the Speaker and the Clerk of the United
2.22States House of Representatives, and Minnesota’s Senators and Representatives in Congress.

Glad to see they can prioritize.

UPDATE:  Nachman from Loyal Opposition went to the Capitol to protest – one on one, in person.  He notes that the resolution, in support of the “Anti-War Committee”, would seem to be a violation of the DFL’s putative core princples:

The Anti-War Committee believes that:

The Anti-War Committee is opposed to the U.S. military, political, and economic support for the state of Israel. We see Israel as an illegitimate apartheid state, and we stand in solidarity with the Palestinian struggle for justice and self-determination. We support the Palestinian right of return, the demand for a dismantling of Israeli settlements, an end the Israeli Occupation, and an end to racist policies in all of the territories. Our work includes protest, education, and solidarity trips to Palestine.” [4]

Aside from being libel, this is their statement of support for the destruction of the Jewish state of Israel, the Salafi Islamists who call for it’s destruction, and, in turn, for the subsequent annihilation of Jewish presence in the Holy Land. The Anti-War Committee and it’s supporters are public about their support for these ends, as their public statements of their support for the re-establishment of supply lines to and material support for the Harakat Al-Muqawama Al-Islamiyya (Hamas – the Islamic Resistance Movement), a designated terrorist organization. [5] The warrants were issued based upon probable cause and pursuant to an investigation concerning violations of “Providing, attempting and conspiring to provide material support to designated foreign terrorist organizations”. [6]

As a reminder, here are the core beliefs of the DFL.

We, the members of the Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party, in the State Convention assembled, in order to…sustain and advance the principles of liberal democracy, and uphold human rights, civil rights and constitutional government, do establish this Constitution.”

Representatives Clark, Davnie, Hayden, Kahn, and Hausman; Senators Berglin, Pappas, Moua, Dibble (see UPDATE, infra), and Torres Ray have some explaining to do.

I’ll need to follow up to see how that appeal to “core principles” works…

Newsweek: “Go to your room, voters!”

I started out my “adult” life, at least to about halfway through college, as a liberal.

But starting in high school, I had doubts; the Dems were a disaster on national security; the economy was falling apart; I started to have doubts that “giving everything to everyone” was anything more than a good campaign promise to people who didn’t think all that hard in the first place.

Those doubts culminated in looking furtively about the polling station in November of 1984 and pulling the lever for Ronald Reagan.  And then lying to my parents about it.  For the time being, anyway; I obviously stayed conservative; within two years, I was hosting a conservative talk show in the Twin Cities.

So here’s a question: was my political evolution, which was a  considered result of a whole lot of reading and thinking and discussion, a sign of growing up and finding myself when it came to my political worldview?

Or a sign that I was just incoherent?

The latter, claims Jacob Weisberg in a Newsweek article called “Why the Public Is to Blame for the Political Mess

In trying to explain our political paralysis, analysts cite President Obama’s tactical missteps, the obstinacy of congressional Republicans, rising partisanship in Washington, and the Senate filibuster, which has devolved into a super-majority threshold for important legislation. These are large factors to be sure, but that list neglects what may be the biggest culprit of all: the childishness, ignorance, and growing incoherence of the public at large.

That’s a fairly big thought, there.  We’ll come back to that.

Anybody who says you can’t have it both ways hasn’t been spending much time reading opinion polls lately. One year ago, 59 percent of the American public liked the economic stimulus plan, according to Gallup. A few months later, with the economy still deeply mired in recession, a majority of the same size said Obama was spending too much money on it. There’s nothing wrong with changing your mind, of course, but polls reflect something more troubling: a country that simultaneously demands and rejects action on unemployment, deficits, health care, and other problems.

They neglect one other things; polls don’t exist in a vacuum.

A year ago, “the public” was wracked with Bush fatigue.  With the full connivance of a media that was completely in the bag for Barack Obama (painting him as a centrist, for crying out loud), they had a brief fling with radical liberalism.  Then they saw the price tag, and the rot that would set in if Obama’s agenda passed, and changed their minds.

They may be demanding action – but not the action that Reid, Pelosi and Obama want to bring them.

Weisberg is half right. The public had a moment of immature incoherence.  It lasted through all of 2008.

We’ll see if people grow up by 2012.

A Realistic Proposal

With the dismissal of yet another “ethics complaint” against Norm Coleman…

The Federal Election Commission has dismissed a complaint by the state DFL accusing former U.S. Senator Norm Coleman of using campaign funds for personal use to pay legal fees stemming from a lawsuit in Texas.

The FEC today reported the dismissal of the complaint in September. It earlier dismissed a similar complaint by the Alliance for a Better Minnesota, a group allied with Democratic causes.

…perhaps it’s time to confront the very real probability that every single “ethics complaint” lodged by Democrats against Republicans should be treated as nothing more than a nuisance, as chanting-point fodder for the lefty alt-media, until proven otherwise?  Sort of the rhetorical equivalent of another “9/11 Truth” or “the Moon Landing was fake!” conspiracy?

It’d save a lot of time, money and energy.  That’s all I’m saying.

(Yes, I know – it’s a purely rhetorical point.  It’d involve the media, which is universally, utterly in the bag for the left, being honest about their motivations.  Don’t hold your breath).

Against Type

It’s not often that I find myself defending Saint Paul mayor Chris Coleman. Indeed, I die a little inside at the thought.

But they say you can learn a little about a guy by his enemies.

So here goes; good job, Mayor Coleman.

A group of stalkers followed Coleman to a fundraiser last week:

About 30 demonstrators showed up outside a fundraiser for St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman on Friday, objecting to what the group saw as an overreaction by police during last week’s protests outside the Republican National Convention.

Carrying signs that read “I Am Ashamed” and “I Survived 9/1,” the group strolled the sidewalk in front of a St. Anthony Park residence where the event was being held, briefly confronting Coleman when he arrived.

Look, I don’t support government overreach; police overreach against legitimate protest is no better than, say, siccing the FCC on conservative talk radio under the guise of the “Fairness” Doctrine.

But look at what Coleman’s administration – which is of a relatively small city, remember – was facing:

  • A movement that pledged to “shut down” Saint Paul and the convention
  • Groups that were threatening to stalk and kidnap delegates and other people.
  • Credible threats of violence and mayhem from groups that have carried it out in the past (see Seattle, 1999).
  • Groups that did, in fact, commit violence against delegates on the first day – sandbag attacks on buses, bleach squirted at delegates and so on.

With that background, caution was hardly misplaced.

So did officers possibly use “excessive caution” on protesters who didn’t obey lawful orders to disperse – macing people excessively and so on?  Possible.

Did the police break up any protests that were legally permitted, and where the protesters were operating within the conditions of the permit?  I’ve been asking counterculture types for the past week, and heard nothing.

The protesters, I suspect, are upset – legitimately at what may have been instances of cops overapplying mace, and illegitimately at the overall approach, which seems not to have had any affect on legal, permitted protests.

And they’re upset because their protests, outside the echo chamber of the perennially-angry far left, had zero affect on the convention, on national policy, on the GOP, and – most galling to them, I suspect – the national press coverage of the convention.  Pissed off kids and ageing hippies throwing things in the streets?  Dog bites dog.  Sarah Palin sweeping all before her?  Pitbull bites lightworker.

The protesters barely qualified as a sideshow.  Unless you were a cop.

Anyway – good job, Mayor Coleman.

Feel free to keep the good will flowing, by the way, by reconsidering your property tax hikes.

We Got A Call

On the show last Saturday, Ed and I got a phone call from “Doug”, a volunteer driver who ended up spending most of the convention shuttling MSNBC people around the Cities.

And yow – what a phone call.  Ed has the audio from the phone call – it’s about six minutes.  Give it a listen.

Ed summarizes:

  • According to Doug, MS-NBC apparently took no chances on questions from the crowd.  Rather than get caught with a question that might make Republicans look good, their producer pre-screened questioners, and Chris Matthews pretended it was random.
  • Republicans were good tippers.  MS-NBC stiffed the drivers.
  • Media people talked in the cars about how effective the Republican convention turned out to be, while publicly saying something else entirely.

Now, reading this bit here – which criticizes Ed’s piece (and, by extension I suppose, mine) on the subject – there are a few legitimate questions about this segment:

…much as I realize that MSNBC is now a left leaning network, mostly at night, this sort of “bottom of the barrel” type of scraping to find dirt on networks that don’t agree with your political ideologies is, quite frankly, childish and immature.

There was no “scraping”; Doug called us, unsolicited.  And

You think Fox News doesn’t pre-screen people on their network? Please. Don’t make me laugh.

I won’t make you laugh, but I might make you learn something, with any luck.

Of course Fox (and everyone else) screens people.  The objection is to screening to find people that precisely fit the narrative that’s already been written.
And finally:

Okay, first of all, were any precautions taken to ensure that this guy was not some sort of crank caller? I highly doubt this.

We – our producer Matt, in this case – did the usual phone screen.  It’s not impossible to think there was a crank.

So we’ll do what bloggers do; cast the question open to the legions of experts out there.

Were you a volunteer at the convention?  Were you in the audience on MSNBC?  What did you see?

My gut says the guy was on the level.  But what the heck; let’s shoot for confirmation.

Convention: Sublime To The Ridiculous

With all the talk about Sarah Palin’s sublime speech and the anarkids’ display of petulance, it seems we’ve pretty much missed talking about the dumbest display of the entire RNC; “True Blue Minnesota”‘s jumbotron.

Now, when TBM started talking about mounting “huge” jumbotrons high above downtown Saint Paul, on Cathedral Hill, to beam messages of goading and shame down upon the assembled delegates, I was thinking something like this:

But in fact, the effect was neither as sinister nor as grandiose.

Indeed, I can’t find a photo of it anywhere on the web (I didn’t bring a camera with me). Absent a picture, I need to come up with something to explain the overall effect.

There.

That’s it.

Shaken, not detonated

A couple of our loyal commenters accused law enforcement of “overreaching” during the pre-RNC house raids that uncovered various and sundry household items; asserting that the items uncovered could be used for anything.

Does Freedom of Assembly Include the Right to Carry a Bucket of Urine?

And Now She’s A Weapons Expert

The Star Tribune listed an abbreviated list of said items; conveniently omitting those that tend to be less useful for domestic chores, some of those items included throwing knives, a gas mask and filter, homemade caltrops (everyone that reads this blog surely knows what they are by now), and empty plastic buckets cut and made into shields.

Despite hundreds of arrests and the generous use of mace and teargas, the event went on without making national news for the wrong reason. Clearly this was the result of a conspicuous show of force and a proactive approach on the part of law enforcement.

But it could have been en entirely different story if it weren’t for the aforementioned approach, and as it turns out a little luck.

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) – Two Texas men are charged in federal court in Minneapolis with illegally possessing Molotov cocktails. Authorities say the men planned to target law enforcement during the Republican National Convention.

Twenty-two-year-old David Guy McKay and 23-year-old Bradley Neil Crowder are each charged with one count of possession of firearms that were not registered to them.

The two Austin men are in custody following an initial court appearance Friday.

According to the criminal complaint, law enforcement officers overheard a conversation in which McKay said the Molotov cocktails he and Crowder made would be thrown at vehicles parked in a lot in St. Paul.

The lot was used by law enforcement, and patrolled by U.S. Secret Service and the military.

Just for fun, I would entertain anyone’s offering as to other common household uses for the molotov cocktail. Thank you in advance for your creativity as a liberal to defend almost any behavior as a personal freedom or exercise of free speech.

Pro Forma

The Associated Press states the bleeding obvious; the GOP isn’t real stacked with minorities

The Republican National Convention showcased a Native American color guard, a black preacher and video footage of civil rights pioneer Rosa Parks, all part of its effort to present the GOP as a picture of diversity. What it hasn’t offered is many minorities speaking from the podium in prime time, or sitting among the delegates.

Well, tell me about it!  Here in the Fourth District, we realize the GOP’s shortcomings at reaching out to the Afro/Latin/Somali/Hmong American communities.  It’s a challenge the GOP needs to meet. 

But I think it’s worth noting that as “white” as the GOP’s body of delegates may have been, it was a lot more diverse than the clots of protesters outside, who were as close to universally white as anything this side of a Klan rally.

Just saying.

What I Did All Day: 8PM

I joke constantly that doing the Northern Alliance Radio Network is the easiest talk radio gig in the world, because you rarely need to do any actual show prep.  John, Chad, Brian, Ed, King, Michael and I blog about the stuff all week; we’re completely, constantly immersed in our material. Prep is almost redundant.

Counterintuitively, last night was even more so.  Palin’s speech was a huge slab of red talkradio meat that could have sustained an hour or two without any notes.  McCain’s speech had its notes as well (later post).

And the guests?

We landed Hugh Hewitt and Duane Patterson – but that’s no challenge.  They’ll do any media they can get.  They’d appear on Pacifica, I think.

We followed them up with a couple of women – east-coast Democrats, actually – who’d gone to Denver in an RV to support Hillary.  They worked hard to get the roll-call vote, and were disappointed with the treatment they felt Mrs. Clinton received.  They loaded back up in the RV, and started driving home (Pennsylvania and Delaware) – and, listening to the radio, became ever more revolted by the treatment they heard their own side giving Sarah Palin.  They got to Terra Haute before they realized they needed to do something.  They put “Saint Paul” into their Garvin (they had no idea where the city was), swerved northwest, and drove all night to get to Saint Paul, on their mission – to convince fellow Hillary supporters to turn out for the Palin/McCain ticket.  That interview was a hoot; sort of like interviewing Edith Bunker and Linda Richman.  A hilarious couple of ladies, and great people to have on your side.

And then…Paul Shanklin and Michael Ramirez.  Simultaneously.  If you’ve been hiding under a rock; Shanklin is Rush Limbaugh’s parodymonger, writing spoof songs featuring dead-on impressions of political figures (usually Democrats) for the past umpteen years; Ramirez is a big cheese at Investors Business Daily, one of the best editorial cartoonists in the business, and a pretty funny guy himself. 

The Northern Alliance – at least, Volume II, Ed and I – don’t do a lot of interviews.  But over the years on the NARN, I’ve inteviewed quite a few people that I admire a lot, in many ways; a partial list (because over four and a half years, I’m sure I’ve forgotten a few) includes David Bellavia, Mitt Romney, Victor Davis Hansen, Christina Hoff-Summers, Norm Coleman, Michelle Malkin, Mona Charen, Steven Vincent, Mike Nelson (yes, that one, of Mystery Science Theater fame), John Lott…and on, and on.  Of course, Ramirez is a giant in the field, and Shanklin – well, I used to do parody songs myself, back when I was with Don Vogel.  And Shanklin is the best ever.  And interviewing people for whom you are an unabashed fanboy is an interesting exercise; trying to sound excited but not obsequious (or worse, like Chris Farley’s awestruck cable interviewer character) can be hard, at least for me.  I try to “humanize” them – often (I’m not making this up) by remembering that their underwear is just as likely to be riding up as mine is right now

That usually helps.

Anyway – interviewing Shanklin and Ramirez together was sort of like sharing a table with Robin Williams and Billy Crystal (and Ed, feel free to book both of them any ol’ time here).

And after all that, we had Mac’s speech.   More on that later.

Another interview with Hugh and Duane, and it was time to head out.  Here’s the point where I give the shout-out to the Patriot crew that actually did the work this past week, the setting up and tearing down and moving stuff; program director Nick Novak, producer Matt Reynolds, promotions director Kate Fisher, majordomo Jay “Long Suffering” Larson, and Salem Radio’s extraordinary robogeek engineer Anthony Ochoa.  Since I hadn’t the faintest idea how to tear the gear down (and Ochoa would have dissected and killed me in that order if I’d tried), I retired to the “Captain’s Quarters”, a media/delegate reception area in the basement of the Wilkins Arena, with an open bar, swedish meatballs and jalapeno poppers.  It was packed with people – media, delegates, staffers, everyone.  I mixed it up for a bit – but after the week I’d had, I was too tired to socialize all that much. 

It was, truly, an action-packed evening.

Breaking News

The City of Saint Paul has asked downtown businesses to send workers home in advance of the 4PM protest march.

This is the protest dealt with in the meeting I personally covered about six weeks ago:

“We worked very hard to make the Day 1 march on the Xcel something that you can bring your family to and you can all come out for the war. And we believe Day 4 is for the truly committed and for the people who really want to see change and expect that to be a little harder to come to than just showing up with the kids and the balloons.”

Other rumors are flying.

I’ll be on the air tonight from 8 til 10 on AM1280.

Smells Like Mean Spirit

Mary Mitchell at the Chicago Sun-Times makes the by-now ever-more-obligatory nod to the power of Sarah Palin’s speech last night…

…but calls it “mean-spirited”.

“I love those hockey moms. You know what they say the difference is between a hockey mom and a pit bull — lipstick,” Palin said.

And then she showed us what she means:

“In small towns, we don’t heap praise on working people when they are listening and talk about how bitter they are and they cling to their religions and guns when those people aren’t listening,” she said.

“We prefer candidates who don’t talk to us one way in Scranton and another way in San Francisco.”

Those are the kinds of jabs the Obama campaign will have a difficult time dealing with simply because Palin is a female, and the campaign will not want to appear to be sexist.

No, Mary Mitchell.  The Obama campaign will have a difficult time dealing with those jabs because they use Barack Obama’s own words against him

Which, I suspect, will soon be called “racist”.

There’s There, There

Bruce Benidt from The Same Rowdy Crowd – one of the better (read:  more readable, less drearily awful) leftyblogs in town – seems to enjoy good oratory too:

Democrats have come up against a force here. It’s the same force — absent substance — that worked for George Bush. But Palin is ten times the speaker Bush was and is.

There is no comparing the two as speakers.  Bush is, at best, an adequate orator, with immense preparation and motivation.  He’s at his best one-on-one – not an inconsiderable talent with a job that involves so many personal meetings and so much mano-a-mano armtwisting  and cajoling.

But Palin stands out – especially given the absolutely awful state of political oratory in America today.  Indeed, this campaign is blessed with two excellent orators.  The difference, I think, is that Obama is a lot like an actor; he’s at his best with the big prepared speech.  Is Palin more like the stand-up comic, capable of rolling with the verbal punches?  She as a reputation of thinking on her feet; here’s hoping.

Personal opinion — she’s competely unqualified to be president should something happen to the aged McCain, and McCain’s choice of her is reckless and rash and would endanger the country he claims to put first. And some of what she said was just a lie — Obama will raise taxes on a steelworker, for example.

Tomayto, tomahto; if Obama taxes the company that sells the steelworker the gas to run his car, the steelworker pays for it. 

But I digress.  “Reckless choice” has become the Dem meme lately, begging the question “and so why is the even-less-experienced Obama any better?”

But, she did a very good job tonight, she jabbed at Obama with zest and a smile, and in a dull field of dreadful GOP speakers, she is not just a breath of fresh air but wind and rain and sunshine all at once.

Dull, dreadful speech is epidemic in American politics. Besides Palin, the list of good American political orators is painfully short.  Offhand, I can think of only a few; Tim Pawlenty, Rudy Giuliani…

…I’ll work on it.

Palin stumbled when delivering a few sentences about foreign issues — the only time she was dull and clunky. When talking about family and state government and no new taxes and small town values, she was kickass.

I agree.  About 80% into the speech, she got into some wonky material about foreign policy, and a little energy drained out.  But she recovered and, obviously, finished big. 

She’s trouble for the Dems. A smart pick by McCain in terms of getting elected. A frightening choice for the country.

No more frightening – if experience is the arbiter – than the top of the other ticket is.

Pundits Gone Wild

I was sitting two booths down from Hugh Hewitt last night, on Radio Row. At one point, I was in a clutch of guys – Hewitt, Dennis Prager, Duane Patterson, King Banaian, Ed Morrissey – that’d challenge anyone’s intellectual adequacy (unless you, like I, ignore the concept).

And you could tell they were elated at the Palin speech. We interviewed Duane and Hugh after the event – that’s a matter of record (and should be going up on Townhall soon). Dennis Prager had another story he shared with me that I’ll hold off on until after his show (since I’m assuming he’ll use it; it is that good).

Hewitt writing on Townhall this morning:

Until yesterday the collective MSM sneer was that Palin was “Hello Kitty,” reeling backwards under the pressure. Now she’s Gorgo, smashing up the MSM’s cars. The dismayed punditry is pondering the “meanness” of her attacks and her lack of details on health care refom. A complete triumph over the Beltway-Manhatan media elites, but they will of course regather in Mordor and try again next week.

That, again, was Duane’s salient point; her address was straight out of the Reagan playbook. It bypassed the media and went to her real audience, the American people.

Of course, nothing cheeses off Big Media like being bypassed.

The Obamains decying “mean-spritiedness” are diminishing Obama the former giant slayer turned victim. They think Sarah Palin, Rudy, Mitt and Huck are tough? Remember Obama is scheduling meetings with Ahmadinejad, Kim, and Chavez for ’09. Disarray is far too complimentary a word to use for the Obama campaign.

So here’s hoping Mac scores the kill tonight.

Body Language

I’ve said it before – I’m an oratory geek.  It’s the family business; Dad was a speech teacher for most of four decades, and has actually had a longer radio career than me (he’s been doing weekly editorials at KDSU, a public station in Fargo, since the eighties).  And of course, I’ve noodled around the trade a bit.

I was watching Palin on the closed-circuit last night from Radio Row.  And for most of the speech, she was in control.  Unlike most political speakers – who are slaves to the teleprompter, and who are largely terrible in front of crowds – Palin radiated confidence and control.

She has some gestures when she speaks; a few times, when she wanted to throw in some subtext, she had a little wink she’d toss off.  A little gesture, but one that says “this is my house, and I’m just getting started”.  She radiates cool unflappability; I’m looking forward to all of that going up against the Joe Biden we’ve seen in all of those Senate hearings – the endlessly-yammering self-adulating blowhard Biden that’s made such a caricature of himself.

If the Sarah Palin we saw last night shows up against the Joe Biden we saw in the Alito and Edwards hearings, the Democrats are in huge trouble.
I really need to watch the whole thing again.

What If A Bunch Of El-Flopola Self-Styled “Radicals” Took Their Masks Off And Nobody Cared?

Last weekend’s raids in Minneapolis drew a fair share of controversy; many commentators posited that, based on the list of materials captured in the raids, it appeared that Ramsey County sheriff Bob Fletcher overreached in carrying out the raids (although I personally will wait to hear more about the evidence against the various arrestees).

I suspect that the Ramco Sheriff and the other Law Enforcement agencies involved in the raids did a little quick calculating (Warning!  Pure Conjecture Follows!) and figured that weathering a few lawsuits from the ACLU’s legal jackals would be better than dealing with the kinds of violence and mayhem the subjects were planning.

I think it worked.

The first day’s protests were a complete flop.  The anarkids’ planned mayhem was largely anticipated and controlled.  Traffic was never blocked. And outside of a few spasms of impotent violence, things pretty much just worked.

So the anarkids are back to going “They hit us first!”  They’ll be “unmasking” and “answering questions” at a presser at one of the raided houses later today.

Almost wish I could be there.

A Bit Of Thatcher

One of the things I loved about Lady Margaret Thatcher, former conservative Prime Minister of the UK, was her sheer gleeful unrepentance.  She – like her friend Ronald Reagan – had a vision and mission; they both took it to the people directly, bypassing the media and going straight for mainstreet in their respective nations, ignoring the slings and barbs of the nattering classes.

Thatcher needed few defenders, since she was always on the attack.

Kevin Ecker sees some of the same traits (writing at True North and Eckernet).  Defend Palin?

Me? I not gonna bother.

Why?? Because ultimately it only benefits Palin and she’s already proven that she’s more than capable of handling it. Part of me even wonders if she thrives off it.

Even if one looked only at her acceptance speech, it’s obvious this is no fragile flower of a woman. She has no problem being tough and aggressive. She can defend herself and honestly I think it puts her in her element. She’s earned the reputation of being a tough tenacious figher, and a spirit like that likes to be challenged. So let them challenge her. Let them underestimate her. Let them mock her. I think she’ll answer back much better than she takes.

I think it was last weekend that someone – I can’t remember who – invoked Thatcher in referring to Palin.

The coming weeks will tell, but I think she got off to a great start.

John McCain…

LIVE BLOGGED

…is getting much more than he bargained for tonight.

Sarah Palin is on tonight. She is as comfortable in front of this crowd as she is at her son’s hockey game.

This bodes well so far.

…and now she’s going after Obama and Biden! Un bee leeeev a bull! She aint wastin’ no time!

So much for the motherly image!

I can guarantee you that Obama’s handlers are peeing their pants at this very moment. Sarah Palin is stealing this race before the paint dries on the yard signs.

She does look like Tina Fey.

…and she is abolutely crusifying Obama.

Other highlights:

I was just your average hockey mom, and signed up for the PTA because I wanted to make my kids’ public education better.

When I ran for city council, I didn’t need focus groups and voter profiles because I knew those voters, and knew their families, too.

Before I became governor of the great state of Alaska, I was mayor of my hometown.

And since our opponents in this presidential election seem to look down on that experience, let me explain to them what the job involves.

I guess a small-town mayor is sort of like a “community organizer,” except that you have actual responsibilities. I might add that in small towns, we don’t quite know what to make of a candidate who lavishes praise on working people when they are listening, and then talks about how bitterly they cling to their religion and guns when those people aren’t listening.

We tend to prefer candidates who don’t talk about us one way in Scranton and another way in San Francisco.

 

Our opponents say, again and again, that drilling will not solve all of America’s energy problems – as if we all didn’t know that already.

But the fact that drilling won’t solve every problem is no excuse to do nothing at all.

 

And there is much to like and admire about our opponent.

But listening to him speak, it’s easy to forget that this is a man who has authored two memoirs but not a single major law or reform – not even in the state senate.

 

But when the cloud of rhetoric has passed … when the roar of the crowd fades away … when the stadium lights go out, and those Styrofoam Greek columns are hauled back to some studio lot – what exactly is our opponent’s plan? What does he actually seek to accomplish, after he’s done turning back the waters and healing the planet? The answer is to make government bigger … take more of your money … give you more orders from Washington … and to reduce the strength of America in a dangerous world. America needs more energy … our opponent is against producing it.

Victory in Iraq is finally in sight … he wants to forfeit.

Terrorist states are seeking new-clear weapons without delay … he wants to meet them without preconditions.

Al Qaeda terrorists still plot to inflict catastrophic harm on America … he’s worried that someone won’t read them their rights? Government is too big … he wants to grow it.

Congress spends too much … he promises more.

Taxes are too high … he wants to raise them.

 

In politics, there are some candidates who use change to promote their careers.

And then there are those, like John McCain, who use their careers to promote change.

They’re the ones whose names appear on laws and landmark reforms, not just on buttons and banners, or on self-designed presidential seals.

 

A leader who’s not looking for a fight, but is not afraid of one either. Harry Reid, the Majority Leader of the current do-nothing Senate, not long ago summed up his feelings about our nominee.

He said, quote, “I can’t stand John McCain.” Ladies and gentlemen, perhaps no accolade we hear this week is better proof that we’ve chosen the right man. Clearly what the Majority Leader was driving at is that he can’t stand up to John McCain.

 

My fellow citizens, the American presidency is not supposed to be a journey of “personal discovery.” This world of threats and dangers is not just a community, and it doesn’t just need an organizer.

 

To the most powerful office on earth, (Senator McCain) would bring the compassion that comes from having once been powerless … the wisdom that comes even to the captives, by the grace of God … the special confidence of those who have seen evil, and seen how evil is overcome.

She pulled it off. The crowd is absolutely electrified.

Blitzer on CNN: She hit it out of the Park! Clearly a star has been born in the United States.

Anderson Cooper: if anyone is wondering why she is such a popular governor, they know now

Campbell: John McCain got his attack dog!

CNN: The most macho speech of the night was given by a woman

John McCain’s choice is so very justified…and he just walked onto stage…surprise!

Rudy Giuliani…

LIVE BLOGGED

…is giving the speech of his lifetime.

If you believe in Voodoo, Barack’s backside is quite sore by now from the application of Rudy’s foot.

Cindy McCain is cradling Sarah Palin’s baby boy as Rudy speaks.

Highlights:

A few years later, he ran for the U.S. Senate. He won and has spent most of his time as a “celebrity senator.” No leadership or major legislation to speak of. His rise is remarkable in its own right – it’s the kind of thing that could happen only in America. But he’s never run a city, never run a state, never run a business.

He’s never had to lead people in crisis.

This is not a personal attack….it’s a statement of fact – Barack Obama has never led anything.

Nothing. Nada.

 

Look at just one example in a lifetime of principled stands — John McCain’s support for the troop surge in Iraq. The Democratic Party had given up on Iraq. And I believe, ladies and gentlemen, that when they gave up on Iraq they were giving up on America. The Democratic leader in the Senate said so: “America has lost.”

Well, if America lost, who won? Al Qaida? Bin Laden? In the single biggest policy decision of this election, John McCain got it right and Barack Obama got it wrong.

 

Obama was going to take public financing for his campaign, until he didn’t.

Obama was against wiretapping before he voted for it.

When speaking to a pro-Israel group, Obama favored an undivided Jerusalem. Until the very next day when he changed his mind.

I hope for his sake, Joe Biden got that VP thing in writing.

 

When Russia rolled over Georgia, John McCain knew exactly how to respond.

Having been to that part of the world many times and having developed a clear worldview over many years, John knew where he stood. Within hours, he established a very strong, informed position that let the world know exactly how he’ll respond as President. At exactly the right time, John McCain said, “We’re all Georgians.”

Obama’s first instinct was to create a moral equivalency – that “both sides” should “show restraint.” The same moral equivalency that he has displayed in discussing the Palestinian Authority and the State of Israel.

Later, after discussing it with his 300 foreign policy advisors, he changed his position and suggested that the “the UN Security Council,” could find a solution. Apparently, none of his 300 advisors told him that Russia has a veto on any UN action. Finally Obama put out a statement that looked …well, it looked a lot like John McCain’s.

Here’s some free advice: Sen. Obama, next time just call John McCain.

 

Does Freedom of Assembly Include the Right to Carry a Bucket of Urine?

Police raid RNC protest sites in Twin Cities

First of all, protesting is a loser’s game. It has no lasting impact on policy or public opinion. If you want to affect policy, you have to be organized, respectful, and these days demonstrate that you have at least one hundred thousand voters of the same consensus, whatever your cause or complaint.

Otherwise you are a non-starter politically. You may find that unfair, nonetheless it is how the game is played. The internet, the great equalizer of this day and age makes the dissemination of information and the gathering unto oneself of like-minders easier than ever.

As a blogger, I don’t begrudge anyone that would oppose the policies of their government. Open, unfettered debate is a right and a responsibility for every citizen. However, protesting and the disruption of a legitimate political process is an ineffective, wasteful, and frankly lazy way to express one’s opinion.

Our law enforcement is charged with protecting those that gather for the legitimate process as well as the protestors, putting them in a veritable squeeze play. Add the fact that an outbreak of violence at an event of the magnitude of the Republican Convention in Saint Paul is not out the realm of possibility.

If the protesters are obtuse enough to make their plans to exercise anarchy and disruption known, a preemptive strike by law enforcement should not be a surprise and in fact serves to dissuade those that would break the law by bringing harm to persons or property.

Ramsey County authorities raided several Minneapolis homes and a St. Paul building on Friday and Saturday as a pre-emptive strike against disruptive protests of the Republican National Convention.

Three people were arrested and more than 100 were handcuffed, questioned and released by scores of deputies and police officers, according to police and elected officials familiar with the raids.

In a statement Saturday morning, Ramsey County Sheriff Bob Fletcher said the St. Paul raid targeted the RNC Welcoming Committee, a group he described as “a criminal enterprise made up of 35 self-described anarchists…intent on committing criminal acts before and during the Republican National Convention.”

But that can’t be right. How could a group with such an innocuous name intend to bring harm to persons or property?

“These acts include tactics to blockade and disable delegate buses, breaching venue security and injuring police officers,” Fletcher said.

But the raids drew immediate condemnation from activists and St. Paul City Councilman Dave Thune, whose district includes the former theater at 627 Smith Avenue South, which was rented by activists as a gathering space.

“This is not the way to start things off,” Thune said Saturday morning. “This is sending the wrong message. Regardless of how you feel about these people…they had a right to be there.”

Not if they are breaking the law – any law. Even the RNC Welcoming Committee should be smart enough to know that.

At a news conference Saturday, Cheri Honkala of the Poor People’s Economic Human Rights Campaign, one of the protest groups, described the Friday raid and an earlier one Thursday that evicted a demonstrators’ camp on Harriet Island as “terrorism” intended to divert attention from issues the protest groups are raising and cast the news as police versus protestors.

Terrorism. Don’t insult our intelligence.

You are not raising any issues. No one cares about you because you have marginalized yourself by the means you have chosen to publicize your cause.

“We will not be intimidated,” Honkala said.

Big words. Not smart.

Thune was especially critical of Fletcher for taking action within St. Paul city limits and because the raid apparently did not yield any dangerous materials, such as Molotov cocktails, bombs or other devices.

“I’m really ticked off…the city is perfectly capable of taking care of things,” Thune said. “If they had found anything that could have been used to commit a crime they would have arrested somebody.”

Sounds like the cops cut the protesters some slack. Law Enforcement had a Warrant. Hey Thune, mind explaining what these items might be used for then?

Pioneer Press/Twin Cities.com (HT “Chuck”):

  • materials to creating “sleeping dragons” (PVC pipe, chicken wire, duct tape), which is when protesters lock themselves together 
  • large amounts of urine, including three to five gallon buckets of urine 
  • wrist rockets 
  • a machete, hatchet and several throwing knives 
  • a gas mask and filter 
  • empty glass bottles 
  • rags 
  • flammable liquids 
  • homemade caltrops (devises used to disable buses in roads) 
  • metal pipes 
  • axes 
  • bolt cutters 
  • sledge hammers 
  • repelling equipment 
  • Kryptonite locks 
  • empty plastic buckets cut and made into shields 
  • material for protective padding 
  • an Army helmet. 

The RNC Welcoming Committee denied criminal intent and described the police actions as “violence” that is a sign of more extreme police measures to come.

“The police may claim that the raid was executed according to protocol – however, the violence inherent in this action may only be a hint of the violence to be expected on Monday and beyond, and is only a hint at the violence perpetrated daily by the police,” the group’s statement read.

Violence? Reports (from a newspaper more likely to be sympathetic to the protestors than anyone else by the way) cited no violence save busting down a door. Being asked to lie down and keep still is hardly an act of violence.

…and what the hell do you plan on doing with a bucket of urine any way? Idiots.

This action on the part of law enforcement is a small price to pay in what will surely be a rarified environment. The people that have gathered lawfully have as much right to be there, and to be kept safe, as the protesters have to excrete their rage.

Gustav, You Little Bastard

Gustav is expected to achieve Category Five status, equal in category to Katrina

NEW ORLEANS, Louisiana (AFP) — Desperate to avoid a repeat of the Katrina catastrophe in 2005, New Orleans began mandatory evacuations Saturday as another deadly hurricane, Gustav, bore down on the city.

Traffic crawls on major route out of New Orleans

Campaigns Weigh In on Gustav Preparations

Also today Fox News anchor Chris Wallace reported that Republicans indeed are considering “curtailing or suspending” the convention. He said Sen. McCain, in a taped interview scheduled to air on the network Sunday, told Fox News “the festivities” around his presidential nomination would be inappropriate “while Americans were in trouble.”

Four of these things belong together

Four of these things belong together
Four of these things are kind of the same
Can you guess which one of these doesn’t belong here?
Now it’s time to play our game (time to play our game).

Joe   Barack   Gustav   Sarah   John  

“That’s right boys and girls. If you guessed  Gustav, you’re right!

Gustav has become a real S.O.B. kids, and we want him to go away!

Yes, kids, I know that makes Gustav a little like Joe.

Stop laughing.

No kids, I don’t know how many times federal dollars will be used to half-rebuild a community that was built below sea level.

Stay focused kids.

We want Gustav to stay away from the Gulf Coast so that all the nice activists here in town don’t have to extend their stay and won’t get fired from their jobs at, well, actually they don’t have jobs - we call them parasites - I mean professional protesters.

Here’s the update from forecaster Knapp kids!”

000
WTNT62 KNHC 291915
TCUAT2
HURRICANE GUSTAV TROPICAL CYCLONE UPDATE
NWS TPC/NATIONAL HURRICANE CENTER MIAMI FL   AL072008
315 PM EDT FRI AUG 29 2008

DATA FROM AN AIR FORCE RECONNAISSANCE AIRCRAFT INDICATE THAT
GUSTAV HAS AGAIN BECOME A HURRICANE WITH MAXIMUM WINDS NEAR 75
MPH…120 KM/HR.

$$
FORECASTER KNABB