Friday, November 28, 2008

From the Mail Bag

In response to my post noting that IU law professor Dawn Johnsen was going to be involved in the Obama transition team comes this email from a reader:

Not only is Prof. Johnsen working for the Obama transition team, she is holding a weekly celebration of his presidency that law students can get 3 credits for!

From an email from the dean:

Professor Dawn Johnsen will offer a new seminar for 3 credits on Fridays from 1:15 to 315 called Presidential Power Issues in the Transition from George W. Bush to Barack Obama. This seminar will explore "hot topics" in presidential power and especially as they relate to the transition of power from George W. Bush to Barack Obama. Issues likely to be explored include: presidential war powers; presidential authority to detain suspected terrorists; governmental use of torture, cruel treatment and other methods of interrogation; prosecution through military commissions; the role of the courts in constraining presidential authority; the law of executive branch appointments; appropriate standards for judicial appointments; and more. Requirements will include a research paper on the subject of your choice, within the area of presidential power or the separation of powers.

Hope and change, coming soon to a college classroom near you.

More Press Conference Comic Fun

Day by Day

More Impressive Obama Numbers

Patrick Ruffini has the breakdown of some numbers about the Obama campaign:

13 million e-mail addresses.

$500 million raised online.

6.5 million donations from 3 million donors with an average donation of $80.

3.2 million Facebook friends (to John McCain's 600,000).

2 million My.BarackObama.com profiles created.

One million participants in Obama's cell phone text messaging program -- this is less than the 6-8 million rumored but still massive.

400,000 volunteer blog posts written. 200,000 volunteer events created. 35,000 local and affinity groups created by supporters.

Three million volunteer phone calls made in the last four days of the election through the website without supporters having to step into a campaign headquarters.

The campaign had a full time chief technology officer in addition to a new media director. They had a full time analytics team whose job was to do nothing else but monitor site data.

As I blogged earlier this week, all of those numbers are impressive in their own way.

But, ultimately, America is a center-right country. Self-identified conservatives outnumber self-identified liberals or progressives on the order of two-to-one.

It is the efficient harnessing of this inherent advantage, whether on the web or by talk radio or some other medium, into an operable political movement or organization that gets donors and dollars, and engages in online communication and dialogue, that will help enormously to reverse Republican and conservative electoral fortunes.

Myths about California's Prop 8

There was an intriguing and rather misleading op-ed this week in the Indianapolis Star by Sheila Suess Kennedy, a professor at IU.

We saw recent evidence -- preliminary and tentative, to be sure -- that the massive public participation generated by Barack Obama's presidential campaign may prove more durable than most of us imagined. Spontaneous demonstrations against the Nov. 4 passage of California's Proposition 8 erupted across the country. (Prop 8 amended the California constitution and repealed the right to same-sex marriage.

Think about the irony of this for a moment. Obama carried California 61% to 37%. Proposition 8 passed 52% to 48%. Since it's unlikely that someone came to the polls to vote against Prop 8 but not vote for President, that means that around one Obama voter in six voted for the measure.

In reality, the proportion was probably higher (especially if you assume that not every McCain voter voted in favor of it). Exit polling, for example, has indicated that 70% of African Americans (who voted overwhelmingly for Obama) also voted for Prop 8. One Republican voter in five voted against Prop 8. One Democratic voter in three voted for it.

Maybe that "massive public participation generated by Barack Obama's presidential campaign" has had some unintended consequences.

Could it be that the people spoke, and some of Obama's supporters--or more accurately opponents of Prop 8--didn't like what they had to say?

With so much opposition, why did Proposition 8 pass?

The New York Times reported on the "11th-hour effort that saved the ban," which ultimately garnered 52 percent of the vote. According to the Times, "Interviews with the main forces behind the ballot measure show how close its backers believe it came to defeat -- and the extraordinary role Mormons played in helping to pass it with money, institutional support and dedicated volunteers."

One of the most sickening things about the reaction to the passage of Prop 8 has been the tendency of its opponents to focus on Mormons as being responsible (or to blame) for its passage.

Since Prop 8 passed, Mormons have been victim to an ugly backlash from Prop 8 opponents. White powder has been mailed to two Mormon churches, causing anthrax scares. In the ten days after the election, ten Mormon churches in the area around San Francisco and seven in Utah were vandalized; more vandalism than statistics would indicate they would normally receive in an entire year. The FBI may treat and investigate such incidents as hate crimes.

A wide variety of church and religious organizations (including Catholic, Jewish, and Evangelical groups, not just Mormons) had a profound impact in favor of the measure, to say nothing of the impact of black churches. Such groups as the Knights of Columbus, Focus on the Family, and Rick Warren's Saddleback Church were in favor of Prop 8; to attribute its passage largely to the efforts of Mormons is misleading and wrongly singles out one group out of many, to say nothing of the ugly treatment of Mormons and the vandalism of Mormon churches since the election.

When the campaign began, a clear majority of California voters opposed Proposition 8. When polls in mid-October showed voters continuing to reject the ban, supporters raised enormous amounts of money for advertisements that claimed churches would lose their tax exemptions if they refused to perform same-sex ceremonies and elementary schools would be forced to "teach homosexuality" to children. Both of these claims were demonstrably false. Worse, proponents clearly knew their ads were dishonest. But they were effective.

This isn't entirely true; an LA Times KTLA Poll in May showed Prop 8 passing 54% to 35% (a margin that the LA Times interestingly termed "narrow" at the time), and most of the polling was within the margin of error from late September onward.

I haven't seen any of the Prop 8 ads, but even taking the author's word for them being negative and dishonest, one can't help but wonder if there's going to be a movement afoot to make John McCain the next President, since he was also a victim of ads that were "demonstrably false" and "dishonest," even if they were effective. I'd better get out my poster board, my markers, and get ready to have a few protests of my own.

Negative ads, a certain member of Congress once said, work.

But then, complaining against negative ads generally and almost exclusively is the province and vocation of the people that lose because of them.

California is a huge state, and advertising is costly. Opponents of Prop 8 simply didn't have the resources to effectively counter the distortions, even though Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sen. Dianne Feinstein and the California Teachers Association all cut ads rebutting the charges. In the end, money talked. It was politics as usual.

This just isn't true.

Supporters of Prop 8 were, overall, outspent by almost two million dollars ($35.8 million to $37.6 million). But, again, I'm waiting for the movement to overturn the presidential election results because John McCain "didn't have the resources to effectively counter the distortions" put out about him by his opponents. I won't hold my breath.

But to say that Prop 8 won because of some vast fundraising advantage just isn't true. Opponents of Prop 8 spent more money than its advocates, hardly an endorsement of a theory that money talked and that the passage of Prop 8 was politics as usual.

But then a strange thing happened. Citizens all across America decided to flex the civic muscles they had just discovered they had.

I don't know what comes next, but it promises to be very interesting.

I'm doubting the hypothesis that the Obama campaign represents a new civic awakening among Americans, at least as it pertains to Prop 8. I'm inclined to think that there would have been protests on the passage of the measure with or without Obama's presidential campaign and its marshaling of new voters and new participants in the political process.

Morris Udall, after finishing second in a Democratic presidential primary in 1976, famously said, "The people have spoken, the bastards."

The people spoke. They didn't speak because they were hoodwinked by lots of negative ads, or misled by hordes of Mormon missionaries, or because the winning side vastly outspent the other. And even if they did, dwelling on such things is somewhat counterproductive and unfortunate.

And the people are also speaking when it comes to protests about the result. That's the beauty of America.

In two years (or sooner still), there could very well be a proposition on the ballot in California to overturn Proposition 8. It wouldn't surprise me in the least.

But at least if such a measure passed, it would pass on its merits and California would have gay marriage because the people voted to have it, not because it was imposed by a small group of unelected judges. I also think that, if it passed, there wouldn't be protests against it in public squares across the United States (or potential hate crimes against its supporters, or blacklists, or whatever other ugly backlash).

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Abraham Lincoln on Thanksgiving

Proclaiming a day of thanksgiving, observed in the United States ever since:

"The year that is drawing towards its close, has been filled with the blessings of fruitful fields and healthful skies. To these bounties, which are so constantly enjoyed that we are prone to forget the source from which they come, others have been added, which are of so extraordinary a nature, that they cannot fail to penetrate and soften even the heart which is habitually insensible to the ever watchful providence of Almighty God. In the midst of a civil war of unequalled magnitude and severity, which has sometimes seemed to foreign States to invite and to provoke their aggression, peace has been preserved with all nations, order has been maintained, the laws have been respected and obeyed, and harmony has prevailed everywhere except in the theatre of military conflict; while that theatre has been greatly contracted by the advancing armies and navies of the Union. Needful diversions of wealth and of strength from the fields of peaceful industry to the national defence, have not arrested the plough, the shuttle, or the ship; the axe had enlarged the borders of our settlements, and the mines, as well of iron and coal as of the precious metals, have yielded even more abundantly than heretofore. Population has steadily increased, notwithstanding the waste that has been made in the camp, the siege and the battle-field; and the country, rejoicing in the consciousness of augmented strength and vigor, is permitted to expect continuance of years, with large increase of freedom.

"No human counsel hath devised nor hath any mortal hand worked out these great things. They are the gracious gifts of the Most High God, who, while dealing with us in anger for our sins, hath nevertheless remembered mercy.

"It has seemed to me fit and proper that they should be solemnly, reverently and gratefully acknowledged as with one heart and voice by the whole American people. I do therefore invite my fellow citizens in every part of the United States, and also those who are at sea and those who are sojourning in foreign lands, to set apart and observe the last Thursday of November next, as a day of Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens. And I recommend to them that while offering up the ascriptions justly due to Him for such singular deliverances and blessings, they do also, with humble penitence for our national perverseness and disobedience, commend to his tender care all those who have become widows, orphans, mourners or sufferers in the lamentable civil strife in which we are unavoidably engaged, and fervently implore the interposition of the Almighty Hand to heal the wounds of the nation and to restore it as soon as may be consistent with the Divine purposes to the full enjoyment of peace, harmony, tranquility and Union.

"In testimony whereof, I have hereunto set my hand, and caused the seal of the United States to be affixed.

"Done at the city of Washington, this third day of October, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-three, and of the independence of the United States the eighty-eighth."

- Abraham Lincoln, October 3, 1863

It's become something of a tradition for me to post this every year; the words of the Great Emancipator never get old.

The Muppet Mobile Lab

Nothing to do with politics, but, dang, how do they do that?



Thankful for Small Government

Thankful for Small Government

Accomplishment, Already

Obama's Accomplishments

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

The Myth of Obama's Fundraising and the Future Possibilities of Hordes of Small Donors

From the Campaign Finance Institute:

It turns out that Barack Obama's donors may not have been quite as different as we had thought. Throughout the election season, this organization and others have been reporting that Obama received about half of his discrete contributions in amounts of $200 or less. The Campaign Finance Institute (CFI) noted in past releases that donations are not the same as donors, since many people give more than once. After a more thorough analysis of data from the Federal Election Commission (FEC), it has become clear that repeaters and large donors were even more important for Obama than we or other analysts had fully appreciated.

"The myth is that money from small donors dominated Barack Obama's finances," said CFI's executive director Michael J. Malbin. "The reality of Obama's fundraising was impressive, but the reality does not match the myth."

Although an unusually high percentage (49%) of Obama's funds came in discrete contributions of $200 or less, only 26% of his money through August 31 (and 24% of his funds through October 15, according to the most recent FEC reports) came from donors whose total contributions aggregated to $200 or less. Obama's 26% compares to 25% for George W. Bush in 2004, 20% for John Kerry in 2004, 21% for John McCain in 2008, 13% for Hillary Clinton in 2008, and 38% for Howard Dean in 2004.

Obama raised 27% of his money from people whose aggregated contributions fell in a middle range ($201-$999). John Kerry, who also relied on Internet fundraising after clinching the nomination, raised an almost comparable 24% from mid-range donors. McCain's mid-range supplied 20% of his total. Bush received only 13% from this group.

Obama received about 80% more money from large donors (cumulative contributions of at least $1,000) than from small donors. While the large donors thus were responsible for much more of Obama's money than either his small or middle range group, he received somewhat less proportionally from large donors than did his rivals or predecessors. Forty-seven percent of Obama's money came from large donors compared to 56% for Kerry and 60% for both Bush and McCain. However, because Obama's 47% is based on a larger total, that means he also raised significantly more large-donor money in absolute terms than any of his rivals or predecessors.

Much of this money was raised the "old fashioned" way. Since only about 13,000 of those who started out small for Obama ended up crossing the $1,000 threshold, that means the bulk of Obama's $213 million in large-donor contributions during the primaries came from about 85,000 people who started out giving big and stayed there. Much of this large-donor money – perhaps close to a majority – came to the campaign through bundling methods initially perfected by Bush.

These totals force a reality check. In McCain's case, a $100 million figure from bundlers would represent almost all of the money he raised from large donors ($122 million). In Obama's case, one should combine the estimated $90 million or so he received with the help of bundlers through August with the remaining $120 million or so from other large donors, and then compare it to the $119 million he raised from small donors through August. The comparison should make one think twice before describing small donors as the financial engine of the Obama campaign.

None of these findings denies the importance of either Obama's appeal to repeat donors or his innovative use of online social networking tools to interweave appeals for contributions and critically important campaign volunteers. In particular, Obama did attract repeaters who have not been part of the traditional large-dollar, reception-attending fundraising crowd. The fact is that Obama's financial juggernaut broke records at all contribution levels. The reality does not match the myth, but the reality itself was impressive.

Soren Dayton, over at The Next Right, has a slightly different perspective (blogged before this report came out):

Consultants, who get paid by campaigns, tend to focus on the dollars. But that's not what we should be focusing on when we look at the Obama campaign. We should be looking at the numbers of bodies. It is the size and scope of Obama's grassroots organization that is really the phenomenal innovation that could transform our politics. That, not the money, is what we need to figure out how to match.

Let's put it slightly differently. Obama got about 3m donors. He got about 6m cell phone numbers. And about 10m on his email list. Turning that around, about 1 in 3 of the people who signed up to his email list gave him money. That's earth-shattering.

Obama's "bodies" were impressive regardless, and they built on his movement of change theming (hiding from easy scrutiny or attention the more conventional origins of most of his fundraising, which would damage that meme).

But bodies are important in their own way.

If you could get one Rush Limbaugh listener in twenty (out of an audience of some twenty million) to give the Obama average of $200 per donor, you'd have two hundred million dollars (an impressive presidential fundraising number in a pre-2008 context).

If you could get Limbaugh's listeners (just using Rush as an example here for sake of theory) to give at the proportion of Obama's email subscribers (one in three), you would have over $1.3 billion. That's well over the billion dollars that some now estimate a potential GOP nominee might have to raise.

But $200 is a lot of money, no? And these are hard times.

So let's reexamine the math a bit, shall we?

Let's go back to the original example of one Limbaugh listener in twenty. Suppose that one Rush listener in twenty gave $10 a month, every month (via automatic account debit or somesuch), to some new political action committee (call it RushPAC or the Vast Right Wing Conspiracy PAC or the EIBPAC, or whatever), and they gave that small donation from now until the 2010 election.

By Labor Day, 2010 (twenty-two months from now), this political action committee would have $220 million in its coffers. Now let's take that number a bit further and put it in context.

There are probably fifty or sixty competitive House seats in a given cycle. The Democrats, by virtue of their fundraising advantage in the past two elections, have succeeded in expanding the competitive areas of the map onto Republican territory.

Let's assume that there are twice as many competitive House seats, if only Republicans had the money and resources to contest them. Say there were 110 competitive House seats. The above PAC, with its $220 million, could drop $2 million each into 110 different House races (better than one House race in four).

That's a lot of money in a competitive House race, and more money than the DCCC could hope to match in more places than the DCCC could ever hope to match (plus the candidate's own fundraising and the efforts of the RNC and the NRCC).

If you wanted to go for an even broader field, you could ensure that over half of all Republican House candidates (probably either incumbents in vulnerable districts or challengers a variety of Democratic seats) could have a million bucks apiece.

Moreover, the very presence of this fundraising apparatus, even before a dollar is sent to a campaign, will help drive candidate recruitment. Good conservative candidates, who might not have a chance in a district against the incumbent and the might of the DCCC, might be more willing to run if they knew that additional money was out there for him if they just stood up and ran. Good candidates would spring up all over the place, simply because of the incentive of the additional help their campaigns will receive (and the rejiggering of the map to be competitive in a more Republican way).

If you could get a higher proportion of Limbaugh listeners (or of conservative talk radio listeners in general) to contribute, the math becomes even more impressive very quickly. And all it costs those radio listeners is ten bucks a month. A small investment in restoring not just the Republican Party, but in bolstering a wide variety of conservative candidates too.

I'm not saying that Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, or any of the various conservative radio talkers should be advocating that. But the arithmetic is there, and they have a proven way of moving their listeners to do things. Remember Operation Chaos? And helping with this fundraising effort is probably easier, all in all, than pulling the lever for a Clinton, and lots of conservatives have already done that.

The national party and its institutions (the RNC and the NRCC and so forth) are badly broken. They will not recover quickly. The immediate fate of the Republican Party, and the future of the conservative movement, rests in its ability to marshal its vast numbers to take small steps together--outside of the broken party--to make a big difference. Things like this matter.

The Democrats and the liberals made their numbers matter (even if they concealed a more traditional campaign, as noted in the study above). The Republicans and the conservatives need to make their numbers matter too. And they need to leverage their existing institutional advantages in areas like conservative talk radio to do it.

Play from your strengths. Conservatives can make this sort of small donor arithmetic work relatively easily, without a whole bunch of harping about the faults of the national party. By such a broad mechanism, we can bypass the national party and send money directly to deserving candidates, and we can encourage the recruitment of capable conservative candidates at the same time by incentivizing them to run with the very presence of that money.

Glorious News: John McCain to Collaborate to Enable Obama Agenda He Campaigned Against

Sort of.

The first of no doubt many long knives that will be plunged into the backs of conservatives and Republicans that set aside their objections to work hard to support McCain's botched and bungled candidacy.

Q: With more Democrats in the Senate and the House and a Democrat in the White House, how do you see congressional efforts playing out on such issues as health care and immigration?

A: On immigration, there’s been an agreement between (President-elect Barack) Obama and (Arizona Republican Sen. John) McCain to move forward on that. … We’ll do that. We have to get this economy stuff figured out first, so I think we’ll have a shot at doing something on health care in the next Congress for sure.

Q: Will there be as much of a fight on immigration as last time?

A: We’ve got McCain and we’ve got a few others. I don’t expect much of a fight at all. Now health care is going to be difficult. That’s a very complicated issue. We debated at great length immigration. People understand the issues very well. We have not debated health care, so that’s going to take a lot more time to do.

It's not losing that's so bad, you see. It's the loser you supported turning into a Quisling to advance the very things he was opposing when you were supporting him (which, granted, he was trying to advance earlier on until his campaign collapsed and he thought better of it).

I am reminded of the fable of the scorpion and the frog.

The scorpion sought to cross the river. So he asked the frog to carry him across.

The frog said, "No, because you'll sting me and I'll drown."

"No, I won't," said the scorpion, "because then we'd both drown."

So the frog thought of it for a time and, since the reasoning of the scorpion made sense, at last agreed.

The scorpion climbed on the back of the frog, and the frog started to swim across the river.

Halfway across, the scorpion stung the frog.

As the frog started to drown from the poisonous sting, he looked at the scorpion and said, "Why'd you do that? Now we'll both drown!"

"I can't help it," the scorpion replied. "It's my nature."

John McCain can't help it either, it seems; it's his nature.

Random Thought of the Day

From The Next Right:

Republicans are about ready to fall into a couple of traps that losing parties apparently can’t avoid when the dust settles following a debacle such as they have experienced the last two election cycles. The first is the belief that the reason for being rejected by the voters is that their candidates weren’t “pure” enough ideologically and that only by pushing forward “true conservatives” can the GOP find its way back.

I don’t dispute the necessity for putting up more conservatives for office. But the idea that you can have some kind of lock step litmus tests to determine who a “true” conservative might be is nuts – and counterproductive. There are plenty of competitive congressional districts where one of those “true” conservatives would get slaughtered by most Democrats. When 70% of the country does not identify itself as “conservative,” you are deliberately setting up the GOP for defeat if you advocate only “real” conservatives receive support.

There are candidates that would be completely acceptable to the vast majority of conservatives who would fail some of the litmus tests given by the base. A party that seeks to diminish its ranks by making membership dependent on a rigid set of positions on issues is a party doomed to maintaining its minority status. The Democrats made the exact same mistake in 2000 and it cost them in 2002 and 2004.

Only when they stopped listening to people like Kos and recruited dozens of candidates that reflected the realities of their specific district did they break through in 2006 and 2008. These candidates were not hard left ideologues but much more pragmatic in their politics. That didn’t mean they were “conservative” or even “moderate.” It means they were attractive candidates with decent name recognition, well funded, well organized, and in tune with local concerns. And they wiped the floor with our guys.

The other trap the GOP appears to be springing on itself is the idea of “me-tooism.” “If you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em” may have worked for Bugs Bunny, but to see Republicans seeking to alter the disastrous Bush/Obama policies on bailouts only by proposing less money or nibbling around the edges rather than uniting to oppose these fundamental alterations in American society only proves that the vast majority of them are not worthy of conservative support. On this, the most important issue that has come before the Congress in a generation, the GOP is failing the test.

Truth.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

The Card Check Ad Suppressed by CBS

Change.gov You Can Believe In

From Ace:

So the change.gov website is hosted by bluestatedigital.

From their website:

"We Are Your Online Partner. We'll help you use the BSD Online Tools to rally support for your cause, build a constituency, raise money online, or get your candidate elected."

This is a .gov website.

The Obama pre-administration is using this site to gather information for donors. These are the same guyswho would have turned off the credit card validation rules.

All a bunch of Howard Dean campaign alumni.

...

GSA is the registrar for ,gov - here is the elgibility criteria:
"To preserve the integrity of the .gov name space, .gov domains are limited to United States government organizations at the federal, Native Sovereign Nation, state, and local level, and U.S. territories."

So, if change.gov is an offical government organization, we the taxpayers are paying Blue State Digital (which is explicitly partisan, and designed to raise funds and run campaigns) to run this site for us - was it sole sourced or competitlvely bid? I want to know, they are my tax dollars.

Alternatively, the campaign is paying for the site (this seems more likely to me) and thus they are misusing the .gov domain (of course, someone in government approved this), and they are using BSD to collect info - look all around the site, there are lots of "signup" forms all around. Lots of places where they are collecting addresses and demographic info - because that is what BSD is for.

Assuming there is a connection and not some sort of genuine legal firewall in effect between change.gov and Obama's "campaign for change" (and one would hope that there is one), this would be somewhat akin to a member of Congress utilizing their official website to bolster their campaign (taking their official email distribution list and adding it to the campaign's distribution list, for example).

That's a colossal no-no.

Does overlap between the office and the campaign happen? Of course. Surely those franked mail pieces you get the summer before every election really aren't designed to make you think more positively of your Congresscritter.

But it's never so overt, or at least it shouldn't be, as handing over email distribution lists or contact information. There are also Privacy Act considerations involved in any submission of information (contact information, too) by a citizen to the government.

Before you know it, citizens having recently-resolved constituent services issues will soon be contacted by a political campaign hitting them up for contributions or for volunteer hours.

After all, change worked for them, didn't it?

Photo of the Day

Will work for Obama
From The People's Cube.

Random Thought

Via Treacher:

It has been 21 months since Barack Obama announced his candidacy for President of the United States.

It has been four weeks since Joe Wurzelbacher asked Barack Obama about his tax plan.

Which man do you know more about?

A Hypothetical Obama Press Conference











All from the daily web comic Day by Day.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Indiana for McCain Facebook Group Urges Support for Mitt Romney

Mitt Romney and John McCainGot this message from the Indiana for McCain facebook group this afternoon:

Tom Sullivan sent a message to the members of Indiana for McCain.

Subject: This is only the beginning...

First of all, thank you for choosing to stand with us and fight for conservative principles. Republicans across the country suffered embarrassing defeats on November 4th, but as Harvey Dent once said, “The night is darkest just before the dawn. And I promise you, the dawn is coming.”

It’s true that we will have to wait until 2012 for Mitt Romney to Bring America Back. However, Tuesday was a wake-up call to all parts of the conservative movement. We will see a grassroots explosion from conservatives that hasn’t been witnessed by the United States since 1980. Democrats now control all branches of government, the majority of governorships, and will probably be able to appoint at least one judge to the Supreme Court. This will not go over well, and we must be ready to fight back starting in 2010 with the vitally important midterm elections and then ultimately in 2012 when we take back our country from the miserable state it may be in from the devastating effect of unchecked liberal policies.

What specifically can we do? We must take all of the fear and anger that many people feel and turn it into something productive. We must write letters to the editor of newspapers, magazines, and leave comments on blogs about the future of our nation and whom is best to lead. We need to make videos like http://campaigncircus.com%2Fvideo_player.php%3Fv%3D7796 and post them on Youtube and other sites. We need to study all of the issues affecting our country so we have knowledgeable comments to make when we discuss America’s future with our family, friends, and neighbors. We need to write our representatives in our state and our representatives in Washington and explain to them that we will not support many of the policies they are planning.

Finally, please JOIN and INVITE every conservative and Republican you know to http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=8331196519 Together, this can be just the beginning of Bringing America Back!

Yes, that's the official Indiana for McCain facebook group; it's got the indiana@johnmccain.com email as its email contact, the regional campaign office contact info, and so forth.

I suspect, however, that's not an official campaign correspondence or an official campaign position.

If I had wanted to support Mitt Romney running for President, I would have done so back in the primary in 2008. My opinion hasn't changed for 2012. There are a lot of great things about Mitt Romney, but, I'm sorry, that doesn't make him a good presidential candidate.

Oh, and quoting a comic book character that turned into a Batman supervillain doesn't exactly move me either.

No wonder the McCain operation in Indiana was (in many important ways) lacking in comparison to the Bush-Cheney Indiana operation in 2004. Of course, the important (and striking) difference is that BC04 wasn't operating in a swing state and McCain-Palin '08 was operating in one.

RNC Candidate Rundown

GOP LogoFrom Geraghty:

Starting next week, you will see a great deal of coverage in this spot of the race for chairman of the Republican National Committee. (In addition to continuing to spotlight the multitude of reasons that Eric Holder should not become the next attorney general.)

For now, a quick scorecard of the candidates:

Current RNC Chair Mike Duncan is considering running for reelection to the position.

Michael Steele: former Lieutenant Governor of Maryland; former chair of the Maryland GOP, commentator on Fox News.

Saul Anuzis: Current chairman of the Michigan GOP.

Chuck Yob: National Republican Committeeman from Michigan, former congressional candidate.

Katon Dawson: Current South Carolina GOP Chairman.

Chip Saltsman: Former Tennessee GOP Chairman, former campaign manager for Mike Huckabee.

Possible candidates:

John Sununu: Former New Hampshire Senator.

James Greer: Current Florida GOP Chairman.

Not running:

Fred Thompson.

Newt Gingrich.

For those of you activists who want to have a say in this, as opposed to bleating about it on blogs and having (ultimately) relatively little impact at all, I encourage you to contact Indiana's GOP national committee members, Jim Bopp and Dee Dee Benkie and make your case.

And, let me tell you, the RNC website doesn't make it easy to contact any of the national committee members; there is no listing or directory of them at all.

The contact information for Indiana's two members is (sort of) available on the State Party website (scroll down into the 9th District contact info to see Dee Dee Benkie's email address; Bopp's info more specifically, is available here).

If you have an opinion about who should be the next RNC chairman, don't just blog or talk about it. Talk to your national committee members and tell them what you think; it's what they're there for.

Bear in mind that you may have some polite persuading to do if you want to advocate on behalf of a specific candidate.

Power Line on the Palin Turkey Pardon Video

Hilarity:

What has liberals a-twitter is that--this being a turkey farm and all--someone starts killing a couple of turkeys in the background while Palin's interview is going on and she doesn't seem to care! She continues as though nothing were happening!

This suggests other dire possibilities. When Governor Palin and her husband take their commercial fishing boat out into the ocean for 24 hours at a time, braving high winds and waves, and succeed in hauling salmon into their boat, they don't catch and release the fish! Instead, they let them die so that people can eat them! And we won't even start on what happens when Palin hunts moose or caribou. Did you know that those aren't rubber bullets?

Yes, it's quite a scandal in Liberal Land. Sarah Palin actually doesn't mind when turkeys are killed, almost in her very presence. Which is the rub, I suppose. Unlike the Governor, most liberals make sure they're somewhere else when animals are being slaughtered for food.

But this explanation must be inadequate. Surely liberals would not express such horror if they too eat animals that have been slaughtered for their benefit. There is only one explanation that fully covers the case (and explains the title of this post): liberals must not eat turkeys that have been slaughtered by others. They must, instead, eat turkeys that are still alive, like oysters! I never would have imagined such a thing, but I don't see what else we can conclude from their horror over the turkey-massacre in Alaska.

The comment by a PL reader is also priceless:
She should tell the media that she apologizes and she'll do her next interview inside an abortion clinic.

Lefty Pro-Abortion Law Professor to Help with Obama Transition

From the Indy Star:

An Indiana University law professor who helped President-elect Bill Clinton make the transition to power in 1992 before serving in his administration has joined President-elect Barack Obama's transition team.

Dawn Johnsen is a member of Obama's Department of Justice Review Team, but it's unclear what her role will be. Under transition team policy, she can't speak publicly about her role.

Dawn Johnsen should be no stranger to the readers of this blog. She has been a vocal opponent of measures placing limits on abortion, was a former director of pro-abortion group NARAL, and appeared in a campaign ad for Baron Hill in 2006.

That's change you can believe in, and an interesting contribution from Baron and 9th District lefties to the Obama team.

Baron Named Blue Dog Leader

From Roll Call:

The fiscally conservative Blue Dog Coalition on Wednesday elected its new leaders for the 111th Congress, tapping Rep. Stephanie Herseth Sandlin (D-S.D.) as co-chairwoman for administration, Rep. Baron Hill (D-Ind.) as co-chairman for policy and Rep. Charlie Melancon (D-La.) as co-chairman for communications.

The spoils of victory, I suppose.

Quote of the Day

Irony:

“It’s a secret ballot, thank the Lord.”
- Rep. Louise Slaughter (D-NY), about keeping Secret her vote on retaining John Dingell as committee chairman.

Photo of the Day

Sarah Palin and Tina Fey
Tina Fey (left) and Sarah Palin, via Treacher.

Daily Funnies

Wilderness
Varvel: Wilderness.

Al Franken's Magic Trick
Ryskind: Al Franken's Magic Trick.

Sunk
Varvel: Sunk.

Something for Nothing
Ramirez: Something for Nothing.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Quote of the Day

"I think he has an odd combination of longevity and long-windedness that passes for wisdom in Washington."
- Karl Rove on Joe Biden

Radical Idea: Romney as General Motors Chief

Heh.

Right after he wrote an op-ed calling for them to go into bankruptcy.

GOP Governors +1

Assuming Janet Napolitano is the next Secretary of Homeland Security:

Fascinating ramification of Arizona Governor Janet Napolitano leaving her state to become Obama's Secretary of Homeland Security: "Republican Secretary of State Jan Brewer would serve the remaining two years of Napolitano's term, as next-in-line to the governorship. Brewer, a former state legislator, would appoint a replacement for secretary of state."

An AZ GOP insider goes on to note:

Since Arizona is experiencing a budget crisis, how much of this was a desire to "get out of town" before a meltdown ruins her reputation? ... We will now have a Republican governor because the Secretary of State is Jan Brewer. Since we control both of the houses of the legislature, a lot of bills that were vetoed by Napolitino will probably pass. Personally I can't imagine the Dems giving up a governor's mansion.

The Democrats have lost their best candidate in Arizona. Napolitano was a canny politician who knew how to outflank the GOP. I think going to Washington and taking up Homeland security will not be a boon to her future political career. Several Republicans were lining up to run for governor in 2010. With Jan Brewer as an incumbent, they may modify their plans.

The top of the Arizona GOP ticket in 2010 (Brewer and McCain) should help down ticket.

In the meantime, I just glad we are getting her out of the state. Who said that the Obama Presidency would be all bad?

McCain (perhaps deprived of his only serious rival to run for reelection in 2010) is justifiably pleased with the choice.

The Hair's New Hair

From Norman Cox:

Bauer’s “Barber”

This is something I should probably step lightly on. But I’ve been getting too many comments and questions to ignore it. Pat Bauer is, as one Democrat diplomatically described it, “seeing a new barber.” It’s been evident in his last few appearances that he had less “hair” but it was, let’s say, more stylishly done. The Speaker has apparently made the purchase many Hoosiers have wondered why he didn’t make for years. Quick question: Does this mean the Star’s Gary Varvel will have to stop doing the Minnie Pearl number, drawing Bauer with a price tag hanging from the back of his head?

As the internet meme goes, that post is worthless without pics.

Looking Ahead: 2010 Senate Seats

The long and short of it? It's the candidate recruitment, stupid. A lesson Republicans should have been learning in the past two cycles, but have failed to do so to their great woe.

On Evan Bayh:

Indiana (Evan Bayh) – Again, being the deciding vote on cloture on a number of measures isn’t really what he wants, but it is hard to imagine him tanking so badly that he loses. Some people say that Bayh may retire but that seems extremely unlikely to me, as he’d have to get a real job. (Not competitive at this time)

And on Kentucky:

Kentucky (Jim Bunning) – Bunning barely scraped by against unknown State Senator Dan Mongiardo in 2004. He’ll have a heckuva time holding this seat against likely opponent Ben Chandler in 2010, without Presidential coattails to support him. The 40-44 approval rating isn’t great news for him, but McConnell just won re-election with a similarly upside-down approval rating (but Bunning is no McConnell). (Likely competitive)

The 2004 Kentucky Senate race was a thing that you just had to sit back and watch with awe (and my memory might be a bit rusty, but it's amusing to recall it).

First, Bunning (a former pro baseball legend who was then handily ahead in polling) denounced his opponent as (paraphrase) "looking like one of Saddam Hussein's sons." This had the amusing virtue of being true (Daniel Mongiardo, his opponent and now the lieutenant governor of Kentucky, is dark-haired and well-tanned and of a similar body and facial type), but nobody was really laughing.

Then, Bunning decided to participate in one of the only debates of the campaign. Great right? Nope. Bunning decided to participate from Washington D.C. via live feed. This raised questions about whether he had utilized a teleprompter for at least part of the debate (his eyes appeared to be tracking text off-screen during his opening and closing statements), since he refused to allow media to be present to indicate whether he had any help. Bunning then refused to engage in a post-debate press conference, preferring instead to limit questions to a brief conference call over the phone with reporters.

Bunning traveled the campaign trail with a police escort at taxpayer expense. Why? He said that Al Qaeda was out to get him. "There may be strangers among us," he said.

Now that Bunning is running for reelection, one must assume that there will be additional entertainment to be had. One also has to wonder if Bunning has gotten any better at campaigning or public speaking, and whether his health is better or worse than it was in 2004. One also has to wonder what sort of Republican trend will be running nationally in 2010, since it was only Bush's coattails that saved Bunning in 2004.

Random Thought

Isn't it interesting how the Democrats like the secret ballot for their votes?

You know, removing Dingle from his committee chairmanship and allowing Joe Lieberman to retain his chairmanship?

Kind of strange for a party that wants to take the secret ballot away from American workers, no?

Daily Funnies

A drag on the ticket.
Ramirez: Drag on the Ticket.

Change
Varvel: The change they've been waiting for.

Fairness Doctrine
Ryskind: Fairness Doctrine.

Hope Meets Reality
Filibuster: Hope Meets Reality.

Best Friends Forever
Ramirez: Best Friends Forever.

Note About the Draft Mitch Video

In response to several emails... No, it wasn't paid for by Mitch Daniels. It was done by a student as a project. The class apparently did all sorts of videos for various Republican candidates; you can click on the video below and look at the sidebar (of related videos) and see some examples of videos for other likely and unlikely candidates (Thune, Huckabee, Crist, etc).

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Draft Mitch, the Video

Getting What He Deserved

Stuart Rothenberg's obituary on Michael Montagano's campaign:

The case of Indiana hopeful Mike Montagano (D) is in a class all by itself. Like a few other allegedly serious hopefuls I’ve met over the years, he was short on credentials and maturity. Even worse, he either couldn’t or wouldn’t take positions on issues.

Montagano, who received considerable financial help from his father, clearly was in over his head in this race, and his ability to win 40 percent of the vote says something about incumbent Rep. Mark Souder’s limited appeal and district voters’ willingness to vote for any Democrat on the ballot.

Earlier in the year, Rothenberg had Montagano pegged, saying he was, "more like an overly enthusiastic undergraduate running for class president than a Member of Congress."

Looks like his prediction--way back in July--held true come November.

An Election We Can All Be Proud Of

Baron Hill and Barack ObamaIowahawk sums it up well (I quoted the whole thing; be sure to read it all):

Election Analysis: America Can Take Pride In This Historic, Inspirational Disaster

Although I have not always been the most outspoken advocate of President-Elect Barack Obama, today I would like to congratulate him and add my voice to the millions of fellow citizens who are celebrating his historic and frightening election victory. I don't care whether you are a conservative or a liberal -- when you saw this inspiring young African-American rise to our nation's highest office I hope you felt the same sense of patriotic pride that I experienced, no matter how hard you were hyperventilating with deep existential dread.

Yes, I know there are probably other African-Americans much better qualified and prepared for the presidency. Much, much better qualified. Hundreds, easily, if not thousands, and without any troubling ties to radical lunatics and Chicago mobsters. Gary Coleman comes to mind. But let's not let that distract us from the fact that Mr. Obama's election represents a profound, positive milestone in our country's struggle to overcome its long legacy of racial divisions and bigotry. It reminds us of how far we've come, and it's something everyone in our nation should celebrate in whatever little time we now have left.

Less than fifty years ago, African-Americans were barred from public universities, restaurants, and even drinking fountains in many parts of the country. On Tuesday we came together and transcended that shameful legacy, electing an African-American to the country's top job -- which, in fact, appears to be his first actual job. Certainly, it doesn't mean that racism has disappeared in America, but it is an undeniable mark of progress that a majority of voters no longer consider skin color nor a dangerously gullible naivete as a barrier to the presidency.

It's also heartening to realize that as president Mr. Obama will soon be working hand-in-hand with a former Ku Klux Klan Grand Wizard like Senator Robert Byrd to craft the incoherent and destructive programs that will plunge the American economy into a nightmare of full-blown sustained depression. As Vice President-Elect Joe Biden has repeatedly warned, there will be difficult times ahead and the programs will not always be popular, or even sane. But as we look out over the wreckage of bankrupt coal companies, nationalized banks, and hyperinflation, we can always look back with sustained pride on the great National Reconciliation of 2008. Call me an optimist, but I like to think when America's breadlines erupt into riots it will be because of our shared starvation, not the differences in our color.

It's obvious that this newfound pride is not confined to Americans alone. All across the world, Mr. Obama's election has helped mend America's tattered image as a racist, violent cowboy, willing to retaliate with bombs at the slightest provocation. The huge outpouring of international support following the election shows that America can still win new friendships while rebuilding its old ones, and provides Mr. Obama with unprecedented diplomatic leverage over our remaining enemies. When Russian tanks start pouring into eastern Europe and Iranian missiles begin raining down on Jerusalem, their leaders will know they will be facing a man who not only conquered America's racial divide but the hearts of the entire Cannes film community. And those Al Qaeda terrorists plotting a dirty nuke or chemical attack on San Francisco face a stark new reality: while they may no longer need to worry about US Marines, they are looking down the barrel of a strongly worded diplomatic condemnation by a Europe fully united in their deep sympathy for surviving Americans.

So for now, let's put politics aside and celebrate this historic milestone. In his famous speech at the Lincoln Memorial 45 years ago, Dr. King said "I have a dream that one day my children will live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character." Let us now take pride that Tuesday we Americans proved that neither thing matters anymore.

Mitt Romney on the Auto Industry

He opposes a bailout:

If General Motors, Ford and Chrysler get the bailout that their chief executives asked for yesterday, you can kiss the American automotive industry goodbye. It won’t go overnight, but its demise will be virtually guaranteed.

Without that bailout, Detroit will need to drastically restructure itself. With it, the automakers will stay the course — the suicidal course of declining market shares, insurmountable labor and retiree burdens, technology atrophy, product inferiority and never-ending job losses. Detroit needs a turnaround, not a check.

Read the whole thing.

Quote of the Day

"So Joe Lieberman is keeping his chairmanship of the Homeland Security Committee on the say so of 42 Senate Democrats AND President Obama; his Secretary of State might be Iraq War supporter and preconditionless-summit opponent Hillary Clinton; no one will be prosecuted for waterboarding, Bush's guy John Brennan may take over at CIA and Bush's man Robert Gates may stay on as Defense Secretary.

"I don't know how the liberals feel, but so far the Obama administration rocks."

- Jim Geraghty

Daily Funnies

Obama in the Candy Store
Filibuster: Obama in the Candy Store.

Looking Ahead
Varvel: Looking Ahead.

Dr. Obamastein's Monster
Red Planet: Dr. Obamastein's Monster.

Gallows Humor
Ryskind: Gallows Humor.

Amusing quote: "Obama Wins–Proves that Anything Is Possible If You Have 99% of the Media Shilling For You 24 Hours A Day."

For Sale
Varvel: For Sale.

Fair Interpretation
Ryskind: Fair Interpretation.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Gasoline, Meet Fire

Isn't it a bit ironic to warn against pointing fingers and infighting, and then engage in a steaming load of it yourself?

Where to begin.

Vice presidents do not win or lose elections, and experience was not a winning message in a year like this. Hillary Clinton can tell you how well experience worked as a campaign argument.

Ultimately, at the bottom of the "blame Palin" phenomenon is the assumption that things would have been better with a different nominee. Who, I ask, would have been a better nominee?

Let's focus on Mitt Romney, since it appears to be his former staffers that are trashing Sarah Palin. John McCain lost his post-convention edge when he suspended his campaign, returned to Washington, and voted for the deeply unpopular bailout. While it's true that Mitt Romney was a business guru, he would have easily been caricatured by the opposition as the affluent snobbish face of Wall Street greed in the wake of the market crash and the bailout.

If the bailout and the market crash hurt John McCain (and that is true without a doubt), then the solution to avoiding being hurt by that is not to nominate somebody that is then going to double or perhaps triple the number of houses on the ticket.

John McCain, if political expediency was his sole motivating factor, should have voted against the bailout. But that's not John McCain, a guy who has spent his life putting his country before himself, his political party, and every other possible consideration. Voting against the bailout would have helped John McCain far more than putting a poster boy for country club Republicanism on the ticket with him.

Sarah Palin didn't hurt John McCain's electoral chances. What hurt John McCain's electoral chances were the curse of uncontrollable fate and the simple fact that John McCain is an honorable man in a profession of vicious scoundrels, dogged partisans, and ruthless hacks. I'm not convinced that, in the end, Palin helped McCain all that much either. I think that the ultimate motivator for the 57 or so million people that voted for McCain was not support for Sarah Palin--though that was certainly present among certain demographics of volunteers--but instead opposition to Barack Obama.

In the end, what wins elections is a big tent. Politics is about addition, not subtraction. And this sort of negative retrospection centered upon trashing Sarah Palin is not constructive and is not adding anything. It is just pissing off the very people that are necessary in any future Republican electoral coalition.

Draft Mitch, the Sequel

From Facebook.

And yes, I somehow got talked into being an officer in that group.

Ideas for Yard Signs

McCain-Palin Yard Sign
Obama-Biden Yard Sign
Both from The Corner (here and here).

Quote of the Day

"In the end, the issues that seemed so controversial and politically treacherous for so long didn't drive this election. Instead, voters looked at a governor who had spent his first term taking chances and offering vision, and wisely decided a second term was in order."
- Matt Tully

Photo of the Day

Nancy Pelosi
Bipartisanship.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Update

Apologies for the lack of posting; there's been a lot to take care of locally (both on election day and afterward) and not much time to do it. At the same time, the period post-election is a time for recuperation, introspection, and celebration (aside from the victories of Barack Obama and Baron Hill, there's a good bit to celebrate, at least locally and at the state level).

I'm not moving to Canada (alas, an English-speaking country that is sensibly moving in a center-right direction under a competent Conservative government), and I'm not about to stop blogging (Baron Hill doesn't get a pass for continued liberalism and shadiness, even if he was reelected because of the lackluster Sodrel campaign, and there are always going to be other political windmills at which to tilt). The 2010 election is only 725 days away.

I am also not willing to rush into any postmortems as yet. I'll look at that after I've had a week or more to give it serious thought. This election was two years (and perhaps longer) in coming; it is foolhardy for one to think that it can be suitably analyzed and fully understood within two days of it happening.

Monday, November 3, 2008

It Is Still Worth Fighting For

Meet the Best
I was going to type up a lengthy closing argument for as to why I am voting for John McCain. I may still do so. But it would be hard to encapsulate those reasons better than Jay Nordlinger has done with this short post over at The Corner:

There are a lot of people who didn’t like Edmund Morris’s biography of Reagan, which was authorized — they said it was a failure, or at least a missed opportunity. I don’t know. I didn’t read it. But I do know this: Morris had one insight into Reagan, and it was perfectly observed.

Reagan spent his entire life standing up to the bully. From boyhood on, he interposed himself between the bully and the innocent. He stood up to the bullies in his schools. He stood up to the Communists in Hollywood, and to the coercive unions. He stood up to the student radicals and their abettors. He stood up to the Soviets.

He simply stood up.

In the world today are a lot of bullies to stand up to: al-Qaeda, the mullahs, the North Koreans, the Chinese Communists, the Castro brothers, Chávez. John McCain will almost certainly do it. Barack Obama will almost certainly not.

That’s one reason — probably the biggest reason — I’m voting for McCain on Tuesday.

There is a lot to being President of the United States.

You have to stand up. You have to stand up and fight.

Name me one time that Barack Obama has ever really stood up in his life and fought for something greater than himself and it will be the first. No, "community organizing" with Bill Ayers doesn't count.

Barack Obama has made a career out of voting present or signing on late to bipartisan measures so full of consensus that they pass by unanimous consent and voice votes.

Even when I have damned him for it, John McCain has stood up and fought. He has fought for things that he believed in, even when others did not share that view, and even (especially, even) when what he was fighting for was not popular. He did it anyway.

As it was said memorably much earlier in another context by someone else and paraphrased here, it's true that when history calls out for a strong choice on some issue, I often say "No!" as John McCain, on the television, declared "Yes!" And in response to that same choice, Barack Obama has answered loud and clear in his brief time in elected office: "Present!"

The contrast between such bravery and such mealy-mouthed vapidity and effete wishy-washiness is astounding.

America is not done yet. Not by a long shot. But the trying times and immense challenges of the present and the likely future are insurmountable by a fresh face spouting empty words.

Action is required, and that action requires someone that knows what they are doing and has taken real action before. There is only one man in this race that fits that requirement.

Ultimately, for all of its flaws, America is still worth fighting for.

I choose to fight for her.

I choose the man that will fight for her.

I choose the only candidate that will fight for her.

I choose John McCain.

We *heart* McCain

"The Whole Thing Seemed Hopeless"

David Frum:

The president of the country was massively unpopular. His party was hammered by scandals. The economy was bad, unemployment was rising and polls showed worrying levels of public pessimism.

The nation’s left-wing opposition party had united behind a charismatic and appealing challenger: the first major party nominee to be something other than the usual white male.

Really, the whole thing seemed hopeless.

America 2008? No — France 2007.

Things Change

Things Change

Sunday, November 2, 2008

The Governator Terminates Obama



Lengthy, but well worth watching.

Obama's Plan to Cause Electricity Prices to Skyrocket, Bankrupt Coal Power Plants



You know, when I was asked earlier about the issue of coal, uh, you know — Under my plan of a cap and trade system, electricity rates would necessarily skyrocket. Even regardless of what I say about whether coal is good or bad. Because I’m capping greenhouse gases, coal power plants, you know, natural gas, you name it — whatever the plants were, whatever the industry was, uh, they would have to retrofit their operations. That will cost money. They will pass that money on to consumers.



So, if somebody wants to build a coal plant, they can — it’s just that it will bankrupt them, because they are going to be charged a huge sum for all that greenhouse gas that’s being emitted.

Obama: Questions Can Wait Until Wednesday

Via Hot Air:

JT: What would you tell your Treasury Secretary to do differently with the $700 billion?

BO: We’re on a tarmac.

JT: Why don’t you have a press conference?

BO: I will. On Wednesday.

The audacity of arrogance.

The Candidate of Change

Obama Defeats McCain

Obama defeats McCain
From his Photoshop to God's eyes.

Quote of the Day

“I always made one prayer to God, a very short one. Here it is: ‘O Lord, make our enemies quite ridiculous!’ God granted it.”
- Voltaire

Zoeller Leading in Another Poll

From the AP:

A new statewide poll shows GOP candidate Greg Zoeller for attorney general and Tony Bennett for superintendent of public instruction lead their Democratic rivals.

The WISH-TV Indiana Poll finds Zoeller leading Democratic attorney general candidate Linda Pence 51 percent to 39 percent. The same poll finds Bennett leading Democrat Richard Wood 45 percent to 39 percent in the race for superintendent of public instruction.

The poll was taken Oct. 24 through Tuesday and has a margin of error of plus or minus 5 percentage points.

Wood has gained some ground on Bennett since a similar poll taken Sept. 29 through Oct. 3 showed Bennett with a 36 percent to 29 percent lead.

Encouraging news.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Harrison County Frenchtown Candidate Forum

The Harrison County candidates attended a second forum at Frenchtown (in Spencer township, the most Democratic area of the county).

There was a third forum in Lanesville, but circumstances have conspired to prevent me from getting it uploaded in time for the election; I'm just too busy with other things. Some of it was memorable, though, (especially Buck Mathes talking about streakers and his younger days) so I'll upload those portions after the election.

Indiana House District 70
Tim Hunt (R) & Paul Robertson (D)

Superior Court Judge
John Evans (R) & Roger Davis (D)

Circuit Court Clerk
Sherry Brown (R) & Barbara Mathes (D)

County Recorder
Barbara Best (R) & Carole Gaither (D)

County Surveyor
Tom Bube (R)
Democratic candidate Carl Duley was not present.

County Coroner
Ray Saylor (R) & Rusty Sizemore (D)

Commissioner District 1
Phil Smith (R) & James Goldman (D)

Commissioner District 2
Rhonda Rhoads (R) & Carl "Buck" Mathes (D)

Council At-Large
Steve Hagard (D), Jim Heitkemper (R), Chris Timberlake (D) & Marion Wallace (R),
Richard Gerdon (D) was not present.

Hilarious

From Treacher:

When it comes to the economy, Obama can see the Soviet Union from his house.

Closing Arguments: McCain



I’ve served my country since I was 17 years old. And, spent five years longing for her shores. I came home dedicated to a cause greater than my own.

We can grow our economy. We will cut government waste.

Don’t hope for a stronger America. Vote for one.

Join me

Obama's "Civilian National Security Force"

Wow.

Change

Change.
Hat tip: Schansblog.

Blogging

Blogging
Hat tip: Schansblog.

Closing Arguments: Z4AG

What Idiot Said This?

From Angry White Boy:

During this political season, it is good to be reminded of these wise words.

You cannot help the poor by destroying the rich.
You cannot strengthen the weak by weakening the strong.
You cannot bring about prosperity by discouraging thrift.
You cannot lift the wage earner up by pulling the wage payer down.
You cannot further the brotherhood of man by inciting class hatred.
You cannot build character and courage by taking away men’s initiative and independence.
You cannot help men permanently by doing for them, what they could and should do for themselves.

THE IDIOT’S NAME APPEARS BELOW….

–Abraham Lincoln

H/T - Raced White Male

1984

Scenes Cut from the Obama Infomercial

Scenes Cut from the Obama Infomercial