Archive for January, 2008

Yay Fascism!

Saturday, January 26th, 2008

The Federal Censorship Commission is at it again:

The Federal Communications Commission has proposed a $1.4 million fine against 52 ABC Television Network stations over a 2003 broadcast of cop drama NYPD Blue.

The fine is for a scene where a boy surprises a woman as she prepares to take a shower. The scene depicted “multiple, close-up views” of the woman’s “nude buttocks” according to an agency order issued late Friday.

So five years after the fact we get the FCC coming to protect us from the horrors of nude buttocks. I wish Congress would abolish this unconstitutional agency, but with the rise of Nanny-statism among the GOP and the legislate what is good mentality of the Democrats, the FCC will be around to suppress free speech for years to come.

Who Gets Tennessee?

Saturday, January 26th, 2008

One of my favorite former professors, Dr. Michael Fitzgerald, weighs on primary voting in Tennessee:

Michael Fitzgerald, a professor at the Howard Baker Center for Public Policy at the University of Tennessee, said McCain could gain votes from those who agree with his military and foreign affairs stances, while Romney could garner support on his economic platform.Huckabee’s appeal among evangelical Christians would likely be unaffected by Thompson’s decision, said Fitzgerald. About two-thirds of adults in the state identify themselves as evangelical Christians, according to figures from previous Middle Tennessee State University polls.

“Huckabee’s piece of the action is with more fundamentalist Christians, the evangelicals,” Fitzgerald said. “Fred’s being in or out wouldn’t make a difference with that group.”

Sounds about right. Most likely Tennessee will go either to Romney or McCain. The results of Florida will also have some impact.

Cross posted at Tennesseefree

Kucinich Out

Thursday, January 24th, 2008

Dennis Kucinich has dropped out of the presidential race. I believe he is the last marginal Democratic candidate to exit. One wonders who he will endorse, or, more importantly, if it will matter.

Life on Mars?

Thursday, January 24th, 2008

The Mars rover Spirit has captured a strange figure on the Red Planet. Is it an alien? It looks to me like bigfoot. I am skeptical, of course, but I want to believe.

Fairmont, WV

Thursday, January 24th, 2008

I took the following photos in Fairmont, WV during my visit in November.


Marion County Courthouse


Downtown Fairmont


The Monongahela River


Hopewell Road

Cross posted at Hillbilly Savants

Hunter Endorses Huckabee

Wednesday, January 23rd, 2008

Former presidential candidate Duncan Hunter has endorsed Mike Huckabee. Some may find this surprising, but it’s important to remember that Hunter is a protectionist when it comes to trade and is given to economic populism. Huckabee is the only other GOP candidate in this boat.

UPDATE: Michelle Malkin’s head has exploded, as it frequently does.

The Many Editions of Mitt Romney

Wednesday, January 23rd, 2008

With Fred Thompson out of the race, some of his Tennessee supporters have signed on for Mitt Romney. I understand why they have; as has been noted before, the current crop of GOP candidates leaves much to be desired. I don’t think Romney was a terrible governor, and he does have an impressive resume. There are certainly worse candidates out there than him.

But having said that, I just can’t bring myself around to support Mitt Romney. The primary reason being you never know what you’re going to get. Romney has completely morphed at least four times over the past 15 years. He tends to support whatever positions tend to be most convenient for whatever office he is seeking at the time he holds them. I don’t like that.

It all started in 1994 with his race against Ted Kennedy for the US Senate. It was during this race that the first political incarnation of Romney was first glimpsed: Mitt 1.0. In this edition, Mitt Romney was an unabashed Massachusetts liberal. He favored abortion rights. He didn’t much like Ronald Reagan. Unfortunately for him, he did not unseat Kennedy.

A few years later, noting the failure for version 1.0, Mitt Romney launched Mitt 2.0. In this new and improved edition, Romney portrayed a centrist, pro-choice, pro-universal healthcare Republican. He emphasized his business experience, but also was careful not to veer too far right, as evidenced by his opposition to the Bush tax cuts.

It’s no secret that Mitt 2.0 was very successful in Massachusetts, at least for his first term. But Romney wanted to take his product national, and knew he needed to be retooled yet again in order to do it. So with some retooling, Romney relaunched himself as Mitt 3.0. This new and improved Mitt Romney was often at odds with previous editions, but consistency is far less important than power. Mitt 3.0 was an unlikely social conservative, staunchly pro-life and anti-gay marriage, completely at odds with Mitt 1.0, and, to a lesser extent, Mitt 2.0. But Mitt 3.0 did impress some influential people, and immediately emerged as a top contender for the GOP nomination. Yet this edition was never as popular with average Americans, as evidenced by its marketing failure in Iowa and New Hampshire, and yet again Mitt Romney had to pretend to take new positions.

And so it was that Mitt 4.0 was born. In this edition, Mitt Romney backs away from conservatism. Instead, he borrows heavily from Mike Huckabee and embraces economic populism. He promises to use the power of government to revive the Detroit auto industry. Mitt 4.0 was very successful in Michigan, but it remains to be seen how well it will sell elsewhere. Should Mitt 4.0 fail, look for Romney to relaunch Mitt 1.0, and position himself for a VP slot on a Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama ticket.

For me, it’s not Mitt 4.0 that is scary, although it is certainly worrisome. What concerns me is if Romney does get elected president and finds his poll numbers down. What will Mitt 5.0 look like? Given his history, it could be anything.

Cross posted at Tennesseefree

Fred Thompson Out

Wednesday, January 23rd, 2008

This is old news, but Fred Thompson has dropped out of the presidential race. It’s a shame, but not a surprise. We’ll see who, if anyone, he endorses, and if he’s interested in a VP slot.

Politics is Irrational

Monday, January 21st, 2008

James Joyner has an interesting post on how this is so.

Weekend Winners and Losers

Sunday, January 20th, 2008

Republicans:

John McCain: McCain won the most important primary of the weekend in South Carolina. He didn’t win by a large margin, but he did demonstrate that he can win in different parts of the country and that his NH victory wasn’t simply a regional one. His leads in both national polls and in Florida put him in a good position, at least for the time being.

Mitt Romney: His win in Nevada was significant, although like Michigan it could also be a regional phenomenon (Nevada has a large Mormon population). His fourth-place showing in South Carolina wasn’t great, but shouldn’t hurt him too much since he barely even campaigned there. He wasn’t the biggest winner of the weekend, but he wasn’t damaged too badly.

Mike Huckabee: Huckabee is in trouble. Southern Evangelicals are his natural base, and there are few states that will be as demographically friendly to him as South Carolina. He finished a strong second, but that won’t be enough. More than anyone else, he needed a win here. Where does he go from South Carolina? He has no chance in large states like California or New York.

Fred Thompson: Fred is finished. I hate to write that, but it’s true. He needed a win in South Carolina, and he came in third, only marginally ahead of Romney. Like Huckabee, it’s hard to see where he goes from here. South Carolina was his best shot, and without a win here, I don’t think he’s long for this race.

Rudy Giuliani: Who? Again, he didn’t compete, so it’s do-or-die for him Florida.

Democrats:

Hillary Clinton: Her win in Nevada was significant, as it establishes her again as the front runner. She leads nationally and should be in good shape going into Super Tuesday.

Barack Obama: Obama was hurt by his loss in Nevada. As an insurgent going up against a single front runner, he needs to win early and often. He should be in good shape in South Carolina, but after that it becomes more difficult.

John Edwards: All that’s left for Edwards is to decide who he wants to throw his delegates to. Not that that’s necessarily a bad position, as he should be in position to get a good deal from who he ultimately throws them to.

Cross posted at Tennesseefree