It's Not All About Hillary

So Hillary was on O'Reilly last night (and again tonight), and apparently was somewhat impressive. So much so that some on the conservative side of the aisle might even view her as acceptable. Heck some obscure internet pundits have declared that she might possibly be the "most uncompromising wartime President in U.S. history" (should that be 'herstory'?)

That may well be true, I dunno.

But I want to say this to all conservatives who think that perhaps things wouldn't be so bad if she were to get the nomination and then win the election....

This election ain't all about the war, and this election ain't all about Hillary.

The election is about all the issues, and the election is about all the people she would bring into the administration with her.

It has been proven time and again that a President is limited in what he actually *can* do. It is the politicos who are brought in to take over the vast federal bureaucracies and establish/implement their policies that are the ones who can do the most good....or the most damage.

So if you think that Hillary as a tough talking, uncompromising wartime president is acceptable, than you had better be ready to accept all the liberal and leftist activists who are going to take over leadership positions in Justice, Education, Immigration and Customs Enforcement , HHS, EPA, OMB, DHS, Defense, CIA, etc....

To make matters worse, since the Dems own (and will continue to own) both the House and the Senate, there will be no inclination to put forth "moderate" appointees in order to win confirmation. You can't filibuster everybody, doing so will get you ground up by the inevitable Clinton PA noise machine.

Thusly, Hillary should not be acceptable to any conservative just because she might talk a good game on one or two issues during the campaign. To believe otherwise, IMHO, is delusional....

Dude, Where's My Recession?

"Before you declare a recession, as many economic pundits have, shouldn’t the economy, well, actually recess a bit — if only for a quarter?"

Has the MSM got you convinced that we are in a recession? If so, take a read of two economists courtesy of Larry Kudlow....

Bottom Line: Out: Recession. In: Expansion.


I Hate Remakes....

I hate it when they remake a perfectly good movie....
"Faced with a possible campaign meltdown thanks to the incendiary remarks of Reverend Wright, Barack Obama tried to put his relationship with the problematic pastor behind him once and for all at a make or break press conference this afternoon."
"I never had spiritual relations with that man...."

Meh. I like the original better. It was a more fiery deception.

Fun with Polls - Round 1

Rich Lowry posted the results of an Ipsos/AP poll that says that in a face-off between Hillary Clinton and John McCain, Hillary would beat McCain by 9 points (50-41).

Now, I hate most political polls since they are accepted at face value, with no concern for what the internal demographic makeup of those polled might be. Overweight the poll with Democrats and you can skew the results one way, overweight it with Republicans (Yeah, right!) and you can skew the results another.

So, does Hillary *really* lead McCain by 9 points? Maybe. But I would argue that the internal demographics of this poll skew it to her advantage a little too much to really believe those numbers. Ipsos' demographics are somewhat vague, but there is enough info to make some interesting observations. They also don't break out results for "Registered Voters", let alone "Likely Voters".

(2004 demographics were obtained here)

1) First, the make up of the poll is 45.7% Dem/Lean Dem, 34.5% GOP/Lean GOP, and 19.8% Unknown (Independent?) Now we may have had a greater amount of Democratic voters participating in the primaries, but that is mainly due to the fact that they still have an ongoing contest. In an actual cross-section of actual "likely voters" in this country, there is no way that Dems outnumber GOP voters by 11%. Maybe a few, but not 11. In the 2004 election, which was "extremely important" for the Dems to win, the breakout was 37%-37%. Hence the first portion of the poll skew.

2) It appears to me that they slightly overweight younger voters. In 2004 ages 18-24 was 8%, 25-29 was 9%. For this Ipsos poll, ages 18-35 made up 30% of those polled. While they don't line up exactly, that still seems like a bit of a disparity to me. Thus skewing the poll with a bloc of voters that breaks for Dems.

3) This poll has an unemployment rate of 17%. Holy stagflation, Batman! Thats a lot of unemployed voters. Gee, I wonder if they are going to break for the Dems?? For a bit of context, in 2004, those with incomes below $15k (which by my math would include $0, or unemployed) was only 8% of all voters. More skewed....

4) In terms of education those polled that have a HS degree or less make up 52% of the voters. Now there are no 2004 numbers from my source to compare this to, but methinks that this is out of sorts. The last US census shows that only 46% of those over 18 have a HS degree or less. A small disparity. Additionally, I would suspect that those who have not finished HS might be less inclined to vote, but those that do would break for the Dems. A little bit more skewed....

5) The racial demographics also seem a little skewed. Those identified as 'White' make up 74% versus 77% in 2004. Meanwhile those identified as 'Hispanic' make up 13%, whereas they only were 8% of the 2004 electorate. While the Hispanic demographic is growing, 5% in leass than 4 years?? Whites historically break for the GOP, while Hispanics break for the Dems. Even more skewing.

Now, none of these items are egregious enough that they would call the poll into question, but a pinch here, and a pull there, and you can make the numbers dance in a particular direction. That is why I never trust these types pf polls, because more often than not, their internal demographics do not reflect reality when it comes to 'Likely Voters'. So, if you oversample those demographics that break for the Dems, then you produce a poll that will be skewed towards the Dems.

Ultimately a poll like this is fairly irrelevant anyhow. National polls mean nothing. A Presidential election is not national election. It is lots of many state elections to select someone to lead the confederacy (oops, bad word) of those states. Bring me 50+ good state polls, tally up Electoral Votes, and project a winner, then I'll buy it.

But Don't bring me Hillary 50 - McCain 41%. It tells absolutely everybody, absolutely squat!

Images and their Messages

Bob Owens at Confederate Yankee points out a new DNC ad against McCain which contains the usual selective editing and some video of U.S. Soldiers in an explosion.

As disturbing as the use of such video is to make political hay, it is slightly more disturbing that television networks would allow it to run, apparently without question.

Are these the same television networks that put heavy restrictions on showing imagery from the attacks of 9/11 because they might be disturbing and (unstated) send the wrong message (e.g. retribution) to the American public?

By that measure of thinking, the DNC ad could prove traumatic for military families and veterans. But I suppose that is justified, if it will help swing an election and get the troops home faster, right?

At the very least if the networks are to air this ad, they should use an introduction warning of graphic images. But that would just highlight the crassness of the effort even more.

H/T - Instapundit


Starvation = Greener Planet, Part II

The other day, I posted on how a *really* Green agenda requires most humans (e.g. us non-enlightened troglodytes) to be *really* dead.

Well, right on cue, here is an opportunity from National Review contributor Iain Murray to get a free Chapter excerpt ('Ethanol: Save the Planet, Starve the World') from his new book, 'The Really Inconvenient Truths".

Click here to get a copy.

Your Papers Please

It is predictable that the left would portray today's Supreme Court decision on Voter Identification laws as a blow against freedom and proof of the erosion of civil rights.
The court vote 6-3 to uphold Indiana's strict photo ID requirement. Democrats and civil rights groups say the law would deter poor, older and minority voters from casting ballots.
Funny, strict ID requirements don't seem to deter 'poor, older and minority' persons from driving.

If you can stand your butt in line for hours to get a license, then you can spare 20 seconds to pull it out and show it to the poll workers.

Stop whining....

UPDATE: From Doug Ross...much more than driving...
"Put simply, the only thing voter ID deters is fraud. Without identification, a person cannot apply for welfare, can't drive, can't fly, can't hold a job, can't have a bank account, can't apply for either social security, Medicare or Medicaid, and can't apply for food stamps or WIC. So much for hurting the "elderly, poor and minorities."


Starvation = Greener Planet

Almost as much fun as watching the current internecine warfare in the Democratic Party, is watching liberals as they realize that alleged solutions for their current hot fad cause, "Global Warming", are in fact quite detrimental to another perennial favorite, "Global Hunger/Poverty".

One wonders how they might de-conflict their desire to cool the planet, with their desire to prevent the starvation of the Third World poor (or COSTCO shoppers).

However, for the really extreme environmentalists (as opposed to those who learn to "go green" from NBC peer pressure Public Service Announcements), there is no conflict.

In fact for their Eco-Extremist agenda to be successful, they actually want millions billions of people to starve off. You see, a truely "green" planet is one that is devoid of human life.
"Curing a body of cancer requires radical and invasive therapy, and therefore, curing the biosphere of the human virus will also require a radical and invasive approach..."
No wonder the environmentalists are pushing ethanol so hard. It *can* save the planet. Ethanol = Starvation = Greener Planet

I guess it is just too bad we won't be around to see it....

UPDATE: Welcome Instapundit readers! For a great collection of alternative Climate/Environmental news that you won't find during Earth Week, check out Doug Ross.


Details, Details

I will usually criticize the liberal press for its failure to know the difference between an Army Staff Sergeant and an Air Force Staff Sergeant, or an F-16 and an F-18.

It may be small potatoes in the press room, but details matter.

So it disappoints me that the normally stalwart NY Post and its editors have failed the details test.

Accompanying today's column by Ralph Peters about General Petraeus and his new job, is a picture of the General, but just a little bit out of date.

Petraeus is a 'General', or in everyday parlance, a '4-Star General'. This picture shows him as a 2-star, or 'Major General', which he hasn't been since 2004.

Since Petraeus is the most photographed military leader this decade, especially the last year, it shouldn't be too hard to find a picture of him with the correct rank.

C'mon NY Post, get it right. We expect better of you...


'Our Best Interests'

As usual, Mark Steyn does the best job of pointing out the idiocracy of the liberal view of what is in the best interests of this country:

"Obama and far too many Democrats have bought into this delusion, most thoroughly distilled in Thomas Frank's book "What's The Matter With Kansas?", whose argument is that heartland voters are too dumb (i.e., "moronic muppets") to vote for their own best interests.

Europeans did "vote for their own best interests" – i.e., cradle-to-grave welfare, 35-hour workweeks, six weeks of paid vacation, etc. – and as a result they now face a perfect storm of unsustainable entitlements, economic stagnation and declining human capital that's left them so demographically beholden to unassimilable levels of immigration that they're being remorselessly Islamized with every passing day. We should thank God (forgive the expression) that America's loser gun nuts don't share the same sophisticated rational calculation of "their best interests" as do Thomas Frank, Obama, too many Democrats and the European political establishment.

Had this view of "our best interests" been prevelant 232 years ago, then perhaps we would still bebe sending our taxes to London rather than Washington.

In short, this upcoming election is really about whther we want to continue being the US of A, or whether we desire to be the European Union.

Let It Begin Here

"Stand your ground. Don’t fire unless fired upon, but if they mean to have a war, let it begin here."

232 years ago, a group of bitter men clung to their guns and religion, driven by their antipathy towards people who weren't like them. It the end, I think it worked out OK.
[Update: Someone has pointed out that this was actually 233 years ago. They are of course correct. Ironically, I had done the math correctly, as the year that was running around in my head was 1776...instead of 1775. Damn that public school education....]

For a more than complete send up of this historic event, please go and read Jules Crittendon's posting, 'April Morning'.

To this day, the man below stands resolute, clinging to his gun, under the flag of a free and democratic country.


Words of Warning

I am just starting to work my way through Steve Coll's 'Ghost Wars', in preparation for my vacation to the Shomali Plain.

Early during a recitation of William Casey's efforts of working with the Pakistanis to support the burgeoning Mujahadin, Pakistani President Zia-ul-Haq offered the following insight that Iraqi leaders may want to keep in the back of their minds:
"...being an ally of the United States was like living on the banks of an enormous river. 'The soil is wonderfully fertile,' he said, 'but every four or eight years the river changes course, and you may find yourself alone in a desert."
This is not to say that Iraqi leaders should root for one result or another in this fall's election, but just be warned that we are going to fight this Long War, with a many short term strategies.

But they probably figured that out already....


Deployments mean less Housework?


Perhaps they should ask military wives whose husbands are deployed for months on end. According to this story, they should have *less* 'housework' while he is away.

Somehow I doubt that would be what they find....


Mono-Focus on COIN?

Mil/Law blogger Phil Carter has a spankin' new blog home over at WaPo, go check it out.

In his most recent post he highlights the thoughts of an Army officer who thinks that his service is taking its Counter-Insurgency strategy too far.

He argues that Gen. Petraeus's counterinsurgency tactics are getting too much credit for the improved situation in Iraq. Moreover, he argues, concentrating on such an approach is eroding the military's ability to wage large-scale conventional wars....

"We've come to see counterinsurgency as the solution to every problem and we're losing the ability to wage any other kind of war."...

More fundamentally, Col. Gentile, 50 years old, worries that the military's embrace of counterinsurgency - limiting the use of heavy firepower and having soldiers focus on local governance - means it isn't prepared to fight a traditional war against potential foes such as Iran or China.
I would tend to agree with this statement, and had intended to blog something about my thoughts a while back, but never got around to it. Many have decried the 'Cult of Technology' that left us unprepared to fight the fight we are in, but I simply think that the pendulum has swung too far the other way. Perhaps it is a factor that the Army is "all in", and everyone has to learn COIN at the expense of some forces remaining prepared for a conventional, 'force-on-force' fight.

As Carter states, both Gentile and Petraeus are right. In the end it will be a matter of strategic emphasis. My concern is that after so much time in the forefront, COIN will become the "conventional" strategy, and the Army fields that have shed their traditional missions to become defacto infantry in this war, will be unprepared to re-assume those traditional missions. COIN may well reign in the 21st Century, but to prepare for it at the expense of other contingencies could leave us wondering in the future why we were unprepared for a 'heavy' fight.

Carter would also do well to add a major Army name to those who agree with Gentile's thesis. that name would be Barry McCaffrey. In his 18 Dec 07 'After Action Report' (See PDF), he states "We are digging a strategic hole for the US as we mono-focus on counter-insurgency capabilities ---while China inevitably emerges in the coming 15 years as a global military power. "

Lets just hope we can find a way to focus on two things at once.....