I’m not sure whether to say “heh,” “yikes,” or both simultaneously
September 30, 2008
The Washington Times has a good article summarizing the Obama campaign’s recent bully tactics. It’s a good read, and I’m not just saying that because they quote me. OK, I lied. If they hadn’t quoted me in the article, I probably wouldn’t know that the article existed, in which case I probably wouldn’t be telling you what a great article it is. But it is a good article anyway, so do read it.
UPDATE: Welcome, Washington Times reader! No, that wasn’t a typo; as far as I know there really was only one.
September 29, 2008
UPDATE: I hereby declare TGirsch the winner. Phelps is a close runner up, though.
September 28, 2008
Two major European banks, Bradford & Bingley and Fortis, teetering on collapse. I blame President Bush, and the European leaders who voted with him 9% of the time.
I received my absentee ballot on Friday. Here’s how I’m voting, and why.
President and Vice President: John McCain and Sarah Palin. First, losing the war on terror is not an option. Everything else is a distant second. Second, I like the Bill of Rights. Yes, McCain sucks on the First Amendment, but at least he doesn’t try to shut down radio stations or threaten criminal actions against anyone who attacks him. If he did, this blog would have been shut down years before I finally got around to endorsing him myself. Yes, McCain is imperfect on the Second Amendment, but puh-leeze. He’s better on the issue than any other President who has served in my lifetime, and he’s an order of magnitude better than the guy who supported Wilmette’s “right” to persecute a law-abiding citizen for exercising his right to self-defense in violation of an unconstitutional handgun ordinance. Third, I like the rule of law. There’s every reason to believe McCain will appoint judges to the Supreme Court and the Court of Appeals who will apply the law as written rather than make convenient crap up on their own. Obama had two chances to confirm good Supreme Court Justices whose qualifications he himself admitted were beyond dispute. He blew both chances, not just by voting them down for no good reason, but by joining efforts to filibuster them, as well. Forget “ready” to lead; that implies he might be someday. This bastard is congenitally unfit to lead.
Straight Party Voting: Republican. However, I’m voting for the candidates separately to make a point about each. In a nutshell, Southern Democrats were wrong in 1860, and they’re wrong in 2008. [That's not entirely fair, as today's Southern Democrats are generally less wrong than today's non-Southern Democrats, but they're wrong nevertheless.]
U.S. Senate: Elizabeth Dole. My favorite reverse-carpetbagger. I must admit it’s kinda fun to hear Kay Hagan’s supporters try to blame her for the high cost of gasoline. Since, y’know, she supported drilling but too many of her opponents did not, so let’s vote in the opponents, instead.
Congress (Dist. 6): Howard Coble. It’s nice to finally know whose district I live in. Up until now, the League of Women Drivers, or whatever you call a league of women who don’t know what they’re doing, had been telling me I lived in Mel Watt’s district. It’s a relief to know I don’t.
Governor: Pat McCrory. RINO, Schmino. Our tax rate is so-so, but worse than so-so when compared to the states that surround us. And our personal income tax is only marginally better than the one I thought I was getting away from when I fled from the People’s Republic of California to the United States seeking political asylum. This guy favors a limited school voucher program (albeit more limited than what I’d like to see) but more importantly, at least he can friggin’ bring himself to call illegal immigrants illegal. UPDATE: NRA dissents.
Lieutenant Governor: Robert Pittenger, by default.
Attorney General: Bob Crumley, by default. Plus, I haven’t heard Roy Cooper condemn Obama’s bully tactics, and frankly am scared shitless about the prospect of any state having an Attorney General who can’t or won’t. It’s not as though this state is immune to politically motivated criminal prosecutions. UPDATE: NRA dissents.
Auditor: Leslie Merritt, by default.
Commissioner of Agriculture: Steve Troxler, by default.
Commissioner of Insurance: As an attorney for a company that will be regulated by the winner of this race, I’m pleading the Fifth on this one and making my vote secret after all.
Commissioner of Labor: Cherie Berry, by default.
Secretary of State: Jack Sawyer, by default.
Superintendent of Public Instruction: Richard Morgan, by default.
Treasurer: Bill Daughtridge, by double-default. One default because he’s a Republican and so am I (the usual basis of a default vote). The other basis of default is that while some weak-kneed Republicans end up spending like drunken sailors, Democrats spend that way when they’re sober. If Governor McCrory/Perdue tries to spend that way, I want a treasurer that will at least try to talk him/her out of it.
State Senate (Dist. 33): Stan Bingham, by default, but then again, who the hell else was I going to vote for? No one else is on the ballot!
State House (Dist. 80): Jerry Dockham, see above.
County Commissioner: Cathy Dunn, Fred McClure and Larry Potts, by default.
Supreme Court: Bob Edmunds. Judges are the one elected position where I deliberately give incumbents the edge. Even if I didn’t, his challenger, Suzanne Reynolds, is endorsed by NOW and every union in town. There are times when it is appropriate to vote out an incumbent judge, but this ain’t it.
Court of Appeals (1): John Martin. No one else is on the ballot, duh.
Court of Appeals (2): Jewel Ann Farlow. She’s running as a strict constructionist. Her opponent, Jim Wynn, is the incumbent, but his endorsement give pause. If he’s really a fair judge, why would the AFL-CIO or the North Carolina National Organization for Women give a rat’s patoot whether he’s retained or not? And why would President Clinton have tried so hard to get him on the federal bench, over Republican objections? There may well be a legitimate answer to these questions, but I’m not seeing it anywhere.
Court of Appeals (3): Sam Ervin. He’s the incumbent, which works in his favor by default. He’s a Democrat appointee, which doesn’t. However, his opponent has troubling list of endorsements, so I see little reason to rock this particular boat.
Court of Appeals (4): Doug McCullough. He’s the incumbent, with upwards of 700 opinions to his name, so unless anyone can find a really crappy one he wins by default. His opponent, Cheri Beasley, claims endorsements from NOW, AFL-CIO and the North Carolina Academy of Trial Lawyers. Never heard of the last group before, but with a name like that it can’t be good.
Court of Appeals (5): Dan Barrett. AV rated attorney, endorsed by Gov. Martin (the only Republican ever to serve two terms in this state). Admittedly, this one is a thinker, though, as Linda Stephens is the incumbent, and does seem to have a pretty impressive endorsement list of her own. So if you vote for Stephens on the theory that judges should be re-elected unless there”s a compelling reason not to, I won’t hate you. Not for that, anyway. I reserve the right to hate your guts for any other reason.
Court of Appeals (6): Bob Hunter. He’s endorsed by my Congressman, Howard Coble. His opponent, John Arrowood, is endorsed by NOW, AFL-CIO and the defense attorneys. This being the state where every third citizen’s last name is Nifong, I might be willing to view the defense attorney endorsement as a plus. But NOW and AFL-CIO? I don’t think so.
Superior Court Judge (Dist. 22B): Ted Royster. A judge who owns two rescue dogs and teaches CHP classes in his spare time. What’s not to like? Here’s hoping Mr. Royster a speedy recovery between now and election day.
Soil and Water Conservation District Supervisor: Clarence Loflin. Jeez, I could barely type that title without falling asleep. I’m sure it’s an important job, though, and someone’s got to do it. Since Mr. Loflin was the only person in the whole friggin’ district who could be bothered to throw his hat in the ring, he’s got my vote.
Davidson County Board of Education: Alan Beck, Karen Craver and Allan Thompson. Again, it’s a dirty job but someone’s got to do it. Three people I’ve never heard of applied for three positions, and no one else did, so there you are.
September 27, 2008
It was a draw, at least for now. I say “for now” because it’s tough to tell how these things will play out until we’ve had at least a week to digest the issues and kick them around. Compare the first debate in 2004, which was universally (by “universally” I mean “everyone except Hugh Hewitt”) viewed as a Kerry win. It was, judging by everyone’s impressions immediately after the debate. However, Kerry’s Pyrrhic victory entailed handing Bush a number of sound bites that seemed to work for Kerry at the time but ultimately worked to Bush’s advantage, instead (most notably, Kerry’s “global test,” which Bush let go on the first debate but beat him up over in the third). The new McCain ad about Obama agreeing with McCain on everything is cute, but it won’t sway anybody. By and large, both candidates did well, which doesn’t move the ball too far in either direction. On the one hand, McCain put to bet the silly rumor that he had suspended his campaign and sought to delay the debate because he was chicken. On the other, Obama put to bed the rumor, which I myself formerly believed, that he was avoiding 10 town hall debates because he knew he was completely worthless without a teleprompter. If this had been the pure foreign policy debate as originally scheduled, I’d declare Obama the winner by default. Since it turned out to be a hybrid, I declare a draw.
September 26, 2008
Apparently, there’s a universal rule that if a Presidential candidate’s full legal name contains “Hussein,” he’s entitled to win 100% of the vote.
Via Uncle, it seems that bullying TV stations over NRA ads unfavorable to the Dear Leader is not an aberration, but part of a greater strategy of winning through intimidation. Now the disciples are forming Orwellian-named “Truth Squads” made up of sheriffs and prosecutors in Missouri to intimidate anyone who “lies” (says stuff adverse to Obama’s electoral interests).
Make no mistake about it: these fascist scum are no more interested in The Truth than that infamous Russian newspaper called The Truth (Pravda). If The One wins and at least one non-liberal Supreme Court Justice retires during the next four years, the Pravda Party will have total unchecked power. Think long and hard about that before pulling the lever for Mr. Pravda himself, or before throwing away your vote (either by not voting at all, or by voting for Mickey Mouse, Bob Barr, the Tooth Fairy, Ralph Nader, Bob the Builder, or anyone else who doesn’t have a chance of winning).
UPDATE: Two cheers for Missouri’s non-fascist governor, who bluntly condemns these tactics. The third will have to wait until the day when such vile tactics are so far beyond the pale that no major party ever considers employing them again.
Apparently, it’s not enough for Barack the Bully to have the Washington Post, the New York Times, the L.A. Times Jake Tapper, Annenberg Political (humorously known as “Factcheck.org”) and every other mainstream media outlet in its pocket. No, that’s not good enough; you got to stop the paid ads, too. What good would Pravda or Neues Deutschland have been if they ran paid editorials from dissidents? [That’s a pretty crappy analogy, Xrlq. Everyone knows the commie governments of the USSR and the GDR had full control of their economies to an extent Obama can only dream of, so even if some dissident were ballsy enough to submit an ad like that to a state-run newspaper, where was he going to find the money to pay for it in the first place? -Ed. Shut up. -Not Ed.] Enter Robert F. Bauer, the scum attorney serving as General Counsel to another scum attorney currently seeking the Presidency. On Tuesday, Scum Attorney #1 sent a cease and desist letter on behalf of Scum Attorney #2 to a number of TV and radio stations suspected of running a hard-hitting – but absolutely truthful – advertisement by the National Rifle Association (links added by me):
Dear Station Manager:
As General Counsel to Obama for America, I write about an advertisement sponsored by the national Rifle Association (“NRA”) that may be airing on your station. The text of the advertisement, and a thorough explanation of its falsity, is attached.
Looky here. Apart from his inapt use of “thorough” to mean “selective” and “falsity” to mean “inconvenience,” he got the whole first paragraph right! The letter really was sent to station managers, Bauer really is General Counsel to the Obama campaign, the letter really is about an ad sponsored by the NRA, and the text of that ad really was attached to it. By Democrat standards, well done!
This advertisement knowingly misleads your viewing audience about Senator Obama’s position on the Second Amendment. In an article published today, the Washington Post fact-checks this advertisement and awards it three “Pinocchios,” meaning: “Significant factual error and/or obvious contradictions.”
Translation: one news organization that is every bit as rabid in its opposition to gun rights as Barack Obama is, has said the ad wasn’t true, therefore, it must not have been true, and no other news organization should even consider the possibility that it might be. Of course, let’s not go overboard or anything. We don’t want you to shut down all ads that get three or more Pinocchios, just the ones that make our side look bad.
For the sake of both FCC licensing requirements and the public interest, your station should refuse to continue to air this advertisement.
Translation: I’m not stupid enough to say that I’ll kill you if you don’t do as I say. Instead, let’s just say that it would be a real shame if someone were to do it. We all know the current President would never do anything like that, but who’s to say who might be President in the future?
The unarguable falsities in this advertisement include the following:
Of course, as the Journal of Irreproducible Results (now known as Annals of Improbable Research) demonstrated, the -able/ible can refer either to that which cannot be done, or to that which should not be done. In this case, it’s pretty clear which one the B.O. campaign is talking about. Of course the facts of Obama’s record on guns can be argued, at least for now. Just don’t, dammit, or else.
- The NRA advertisement falsely claims that “Barack Obama supports a huge new tax on my guns and ammo.” Note that the NRA is claiming that Obama, in the midst of his presidential campaign, supports such a tax. In fact, Senator Obama has no policy to raise taxes on firearms or ammunition. The Washington Post found this article to be based on “very flimsy evidence.”
Of course the ad said nothing about what positions Obama advanced “in the midst of his Presidential campaign.” Bauer simply made that part up, as if to suggest that Obama’s past record is completely irrelevant to what he would do as President.
- The NRA advertisement falsely claims that Senator Obama “voted to ban virtually all deer hunting ammunition.” This claim is based on Senator Obama’s vote for the Kennedy Amendment, which would have expanded the definition of armor-piercing ammunition. As the Washington Post noted, Senator Kennedy – the author of the amendment in question – explained that it “will not apply to ammunition that is now routinely used in hunting rifles or other centerfire rifles.” Factcheck.org unequivocally labeled the NRA’s claim “false.”
So the author of the bill lied about its scope. What else is new? As for “Factcheck.org,” a humorous reference to Annenberg Political, let’s just say if the names “Annenberg” and “Obama” sets off any bells, it’s purely a coincidence.
- the NRA advertisement falsely claims that Senator Obama “supports a ban on the shotguns and rifles most of us use for hunting.” The source of this claim is the debate between Senator Obama and Alan Keyes on October 21, 2004; the full text of Senator Obama’s remark on the subject is attached. In it, Senator Obama voiced his support for the federal assault weapons ban, which was in place from 1994 to 2004. This bill banned only the most vicious types of assault weapons, not the “shotguns and rifles most of us use for hunting,” as any hunter who purchased a rifle or shotgun in that ten-year period can attest. And in that same debate exchanged, Senator Obama made clear that he only opposed firearms that were irrelevant for hunting unless the deer were “wearing bullet-proof vests.”
All deer wear bullet-proof vests. As for the “vicious” guns banned as “assault” weapons, let’s just say that Obama was not an author of the federal ban in question, which predated his political career. He was, however, a sponsor of a more recent, much broader bill that would have labeled just about anything an “assault” weapon.
Unlike federal candidates, independent political organizations do not have a “right to command the use of broadcast facilities.” See CBS v. DNC, 412 U.S. 94, 113 (1973).
Last time I checked, federal candidates don’t have that power, either; only sitting Presidents do, and then only if they have “Chavez” or “Hussein” in their names. Caveat elector.
Because you need not air this advertisement, your station bears responsibility for its content when you do grant access. See Felix v. Westinghouse Radio Stations, 186 F.2d 1, 6 (3rd Cir.), cert denied, 314 U.S. 909 (1950).
Arguments like this one are commonly referred to by my powdered-wig-wearing colleagues as merda equi, which is law-Latin for “excrement of, pertaining to, or emanating from, a horse.” All Felix actually says is that if you weren’t required to air an ad, you can’t defend a suit against the ad by arguing that you were. It doesn’t provide an iota of evidence that any station faces liability for running an ad truthfully (or, for that matter, even falsely) attacking a public figure. The plaintiff in Felix wasn’t a candidate or a public figure. He was the guy associated with the candidate being attacked in the ad. For the cases to be remotely analogous, picture the NRA (or any other group, save for the McCain campaign itself) running an ad attacking Obama for his cozy relationship with unrepentant terrorists like William Ayers, only to have Ayers himself turn around and sue them for defamation (which Ayers would be free to do, but for the inconvenient fact that he really is an unrepentant terrorist).
Moreover, you have a duty “to protect the public from false, misleading or deceptive advertising.” Licensee Responsibility With Respect to the Broadcast of False, Misleading or Deceptive Advertising, 74 F.C.C.2d 623 (1961).
The FCC piece in question is not about political advertisements, which enjoy the broadest protection under the First Amendment, but about commercial advertisements, which have only limited protection today – and had none at all in 1961. For a political campaign to argue that any station has a “duty” to “protect” its viewers from advertisements that portray their candidate in a negative light is nothing short of frivolous.
Failure to prevent the airing of “false and misleading advertising” may be “probative of an underlying abdication of licensee responsibility.” Cosmopolitan Broad. Corp. v. FCC, 581 F.2d 917, 927 (D.C. Cir. 1978).
Cosmopolitan Broadcasting Corporation lost its license for almost completely turning over its programming to time brokers, who in turn committed a host of FCC violations the courts concluded would not have occurred if Cosmopolitan had maintained control of their station. Boy, Mr. Station Owner, it sure would be a shame if that were to happen to your station, too, only this time for failing to do the very thing that got Cosmopolitan in trouble. Just to be on the safe side, don’t run any ads against Candidate Obama now that you wouldn’t want to have to defend in front of President Obama later.
This advertisement is false, misleading and deceptive.
Translation: Barack Obama is such a congenital flip-flopper that any ad based on his actual voting record in the past, rather than the stuff he’s been saying on the campaign trail post-Heller, is false, misleading and deceptive.
We request that you immediately cease airing this advertisement.
Not a demand, of course, just a polite request, that only happened to be signed by a lawyer because the P.R. guy was busy. And only happened to cite threatening references to other cases because … well, just because.
We would request the courtesy of a reply;
I’m sure the B.O. campaign will be getting plenty of those, not necessarily from the stations that they were trying to intimidate.
and if you have questions, or believe that this ad is somehow fit for airing on your station, we ask that we have an opportunity to discuss this matter further, in person or by conference call.
‘Cuz hey, if threatening you with the loss of your livelihood didn’t do the trick, there’s always a Plan B.
Please contact Kendall Burman, at (312) 819-2433 or firstname.lastname@example.org, for more information or to inform us of your decision.
Fair enough, but his letter is from Bauer, why not contact him or, if that fails, the bar he answers to? If Ms. Burman is in a position to defend the frivolous theories advanced by the letter, perhaps she should have signed it herself.
Patterico, Allah, Uncle, Sebastian, Instapundit and Jonathan Adler, Alphecca, Bitter Bitch, Robb Allen, Linoge, David Zincavage and Chad Johnson, Rustmeister, McQ, Curtis Lowe, Mad Rocket Scientist and David Hardy have more.