Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Voter ID Law Reinstated

The U.S. Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals on Monday reinstated Albuquerque's voter ID law. The appeals court relied on the landmark decision by the U.S. Supreme Court in an Indiana case (the Crawford case) last spring that a photo ID requirement did not violate voters' rights, and reversed the ruling of an Albuquerque federal court last year that the photo ID requirement was unconstitutional because it wasn't applied identically for in-person and absentee voters.

The photo ID requirement was passed in 2005 by what City Councillor Sally Mayer described as "a huge margin". The ACLU opposed (and opposes) the requirement, and is considering its options; it may decide to appeal the decision to the U.S. Supreme Court.

The reversal of the lower court's decision was reported in Tuesday's edition of the Albuquerque Journal (subscription required).

In my view, anyone who opposes a voter ID requirement is objectively promoting vote fraud.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Modified Campaign Signs

Steve Hayward, of National Review's The Corner has found a use for yard signs from the just-completed presidential campaign — he reported having a pair of modified campaign signs (one from each campaign) in front of his house the morning after the election. One is modified from a McCain-Palin sign,

and the other from a Obama-Biden sign.

These both look pretty good to me!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

John McCain in New Mexico

John McCain was in Roswell last night -- his last stop on the way back to Arizona to vote. But he was back in New Mexico this afternoon. He had a rally, but that wasn't what he was really here for. He and his folks went up to the north side of Albuquerque, to a restaurant called El Pinto, where they picked up chile and salsa.

Now the campaign is over, and we are left with our hopes and our fears. Let us all pray that our hopes are fulfilled and our fears fail to manifest.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Sarah Palin & John McCain

Here's what I wrote to friends a month ago.

Background: We have seldom made a political contribution; the only one I can think of is one we made to one of the re-election campaigns for Senator Pete Domenici. We have never attended a political rally for any candidate. We have never had a political bumper sticker on any of our cars, though for part of that time that may have been influenced by military political prohibitions. (Don't get ahead of me, now!)

Nearer background: John McCain has not been my candidate. I have strongly objected to some of the bills he has sponsored -- McCain-Feingold and Kennedy-McCain come immediately to mind. John McCain is still not my candidate -- except by comparison to Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama. You may remember what I wrote more than a year ago, that New Mexico governor Bill Richardson was the only Democrat running who was worth considering. That's still the case -- and he's been out of the race for some time now.

Current observations: From what I read and what I hear in conversations, McCain's selection of Alaska governor Sarah Palin for the VP spot has been making a BIG difference. Crowds have gotten big. Money is pouring in. Volunteers, too. Offices all over the country have described the difference as "like a switch being thrown." It's added an excitement factor to his campaign.

Since Gov Palin was named, I've seen three sorts of reactions. The Left and the yellow dog Democrats (who would vote for a yellow dog before they would vote for a Republican) -- and I know a number of folks in both categories -- have been negative. [I noted and commented on some of that reaction here.] Of course, those folks would have a negative knee-jerk reaction about ANYONE on a Republican ticket. For the rest, the reaction has varied with how much they knew about Palin. Those who have known about her record have been positive. Those who have not known about her have been unsure -- but have tended to become more supportive as they have learned about her. Yes, my circle of acquaintance might be a factor, and these advantages could be thrown away, but I don't see a downside as of now.

There seems to be some tactical good news in this pick, too. Obama spent quite some time ignoring McCain and trying to make the case that he has more experience than Palin. To do that, he's had to lie about both his experience and hers -- ignoring her governorship and pretending that going where his campaign manager tells him to go is executive experience. Independent of anything else, his focus on comparing himself to Palin makes clear he can't compare to McCain, which will have an effect on everyone but the committed Left and the yellow dog Democrats.

For myself: I knew a lot more about Gov Sarah Palin than most folks. I'd actually been running across material on her for some months. Some was from folks who said things like "I wish McCain would select her for VP, but it'll never happen." I tended to agree with that assessment. But I was also impressed with her drive, and with what she's accomplished in Alaska in a relatively short time. And then what they thought would never happen, did happen. And it made a difference. For us, McCain's willingness to stake out a position in this manner and select someone with real reform and issue (especially energy) credentials got us to make a contribution to his campaign.

It is said a candidate's VP selection gives a view into the candidate's head. Obama's selection said his "change" mantra was BS, eyewash. McCain's selection seemed to put a different light on even the things he's done that I objected to. It seems to emphasize his mission orientation, and the resulting willingness to take "half a loaf" to get SOMETHING -- ANYTHING -- to get something done. It reminded me of my Dad muttering at the director when something went wrong at his TV station "Do SOMETHING, even if it's WRONG!" (And, clearly, I believe he gave up far too much to Feingold and Kennedy, for example, to get some kind of bill.) But it also suggests that, given the opportunity, McCain would prefer to be a true reformer. This selection made us much more positive about supporting and voting for him.

That enthusiasm, and a friend's wife who works in a political office and moonlights for the McCain campaign, got us tickets to the event when John McCain and Sarah Palin came to Albuquerque the Saturday after the Republican convention ended. 6000 tickets were given out, in about a day. Then a bigger room (exhibit hall) was obtained, and the campaign said others should just show up. MANY did. Even so, the press reports just said "over 6,000" attended. Like most people, we were behind the podium; not many were in front, between it and the TV cameras. The good thing about where we were was that, being higher, we could actually see the platform and the speakers -- and we have the pictures to prove it.

Now we need to find bumper stickers. The one for my wife's van should be one that says "I'm voting for Sarah -- and that old guy she's running with". And one for my car -- maybe "Another Democrat for McCain". Yes, I am aware that wearing McCain bumper stickers puts our cars at risk for damage.

One more thing: A friend (actually more than one) asked me if I thought Palin would be a good president, a question with particular relevance because of McCain's age and long-term physical damage. Under these circumstances, that is a legitimate question. My answer is that one can argue the hypotheticals of whether she would make a good president. But if John McCain's age kicks in and he drops dead, I'd MUCH rather see Sarah Palin in the White House than either Barack Obama or Joe Biden. Plus, of course, she starts today with a lot more experience than Harry Truman had, for example, when he succeeded FDR -- and much more executive experience than either Obama or Biden. And she'll get more between now and whenever it might be needed. (I should say, too, that my friends started off being pretty negative, but have since made contributions to the McCain-Palin campaign.)

I wrote all the above before watching the first presidential debate. (Actually, most of it a couple of weeks before.) Yes, we watched the debate. And we saw nothing new. Obama continued to perform as the Chicago (Richard J. Daley) Machine politician he is. He'll say anything to win, no matter how what he says conflicts with either or both of reality and what he's said before. He figures once he gets in he can do whatever he wants. (Hey, it worked before -- that's how the Senate got its most left-wing member.) Meanwhile, McCain was McCain, as he's always been. As usual, he's trying too much to get along. That translates into too many times when he's let Obama get away with his false statements. (I had a fantasy earlier this week that McCain stayed in Washington and sent Sarah to the debate in his place. And she chimed in multiple times with "But Barack, that's not what you told so-and-so. That's not what you said in this debate/speech/interview.")

That's what I wrote to friends a month ago. Nothing has happened since to change these opinions. I will cast my vote tomorrow for John McCain and Sarah Palin.

Barack Obama, Chicago Machine Politician

When I lived in Chicago, I saw the way that city's political machine operates. It was and is dirty and corrupt. It's the reason "dirty Chicago politician" became a trite phrase. That's important this year because, as Canadian columnist David Warren notes

Mr. Obama was from his political beginnings the darling of a Chicago political machine, notorious for both corruption, and harbouring radicals. His very smoothness and articulacy, even his blackness, made him their golden boy, assuring him of financial patronage along his way.
Warren also commented on how unlikely it is that one can picture Obama standing up to Congress, much less facing down our enemies abroad. He continues
Whereas, I can easily imagine Ms. Palin digging in her formidable heels, and the only question -- a fair one, mind -- is, does she know enough about the mechanics of Washington and world affairs? (And to be even more fair: does Mr. Obama?)
In my view, Obama's background as a creature of the Chicago political machine is more than enough by itself to tell me not to vote for him. But there are other things that raise additional questions about him. I wrote about some of them here. My personal favorite for sheer egotism and bravado is what he said when he clinched the presidential nomination:
I am absolutely certain that generations from now, we will be able to look back and tell our children that this was the moment when we began to provide care for the sick and good jobs to the jobless; this was the moment when the rise of the oceans began to slow and our planet began to heal.
There are other reasons to oppose Obama's election, as well. Good summaries of those can be found here and here. More than enough reasons to oppose the most leftist and radical, inexperienced and unqualified individual ever to be nominated for President of the United States.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

What's Good for the Democrats

Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid made a lot of promises in 2006 to get a majority of Democrats elected in both houses of Congress. How have they done with those?

The behavior of the economy is notable. Most of the economic damage during the Bush Administration has been in the last two years, since the Democrats took over Congress. Here's what some of that damage looks like.
To be fair, some of the damage coming up now wasn't produced by actions of the Pelosi-Reid Congress. Some of it was produced by the actions of Democrats in previous Congresses, like the actions in the Carter and Clinton Administrations that got Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac making the bad loans that have now come home to roost and brought about the current economic crisis.

That's not saying the Republicans are blameless. They certainly didn't get the job done when they had control of Congress, either, though some of that was due to Democrat obstructionism. And it can be argued that many elements of the economic cycles may be out of the control of Congresses and Presidents. Even so, it's worth keeping in mind while listening to the evening news that

        What's bad for the country is good for the Democrats

Covering Up For Obama

The Los Angeles Times still won't release the tape from the going-away party for former PLO spokesman Rashid Khalidi at which Barack Obama apparently said some very kind things about him. Obama was joined there by his friends, and Khalidi's, domestic revolutionaries Bill Ayers and Bernadine Dohrn.

The Times won't either publish a transcript of the tape or post the video. It pretends the couple of sentences on Obama's comments it buried in a story six months ago constitute "a detailed account". It claims their source gave the tape to the news media (them) on condition that they not release it, and "The Times keeps its promises to sources." And now the Times has asserted that "To break that agreement might put the source of the tape in jeopardy."

There are a couple of conclusions to be drawn from this:

  1. There is something incredibly damaging on the video, from which the Times wants to protect Barack Obama.
  2. Some of Obama's supporters may well react violently against anyone perceived to have done anything to jeopardize the Coronation of The One.
It seems to me there are good reasons why Mahmoud Admadinejad, Hugo Chavez, and the U.S. Communist Party all want Barack Obama elected President of the United States.