February 19, 2008

Wisconsin and Hawaii: Another Pair of Obama Blowouts (See Update)

Filed under: Taxes & Government — Tom @ 10:24 pm

Up at Drudge right now, concerning the Wisconsin exit polls:

Obama Won:

Women (51-49)
All age groups under 65
All education levels
All regions of the state — urban, suburban and rural

Voters without college degrees (50-48)
Democrats (50-49)
Whites (53-46)
White men (59-38)
Voters who decided in the last week (58-42)

Won or tied voters of all income levels
Tied among white women
Tied among union members
Tied among union households

The networks called Wisconsin for Obama lickety-split after the Wisconsin polls closed.

As has been the case for several weeks now, the only question appears to be how much the candidate I often refer to as BOOHOO (Barack O-bomba Overseas Hussein “Obambi” Obama) will beat expectations.

The early answer appears to be, “by quite a bit, as usual.” The Real Clear Politics average going in was Obama by 4.3%. With 39% counted, he’s up 56-43 (ABC site here; Fox YouDecide here), overachieving vs. the polls by more than 8%.

Related, as Obama’s delegate lead continues to grow — I understand from what I have read and heard at various places today that:

  • “Pledged” delegates to the Democratic National Convention do NOT necessarily have to vote as they are “supposed to” based on the actual voting and the respective rules of their states.
  • Hillary Clinton’s minions are considering going after pledged Obama delegates in hopes of getting them to change.

My February 10 prediction (“Write it down: The only way Hillary can win the nomination is if she steals it.” — and that she won’t become president in any case) looks like it has more truth to it than even I thought when I did the predicting.

If the Clinton campaign really turns a significant number of “pledged” Obama delegates into Hillary supporters, the “never happen” rupture and eventual split in the Democratic party between African-Americans/disaffected rank and file and the party elites may very well come to pass. Cynthia McKinney, Ralph Nader, and the Greens could turn into a real party instead of a sideshow if the Clintons take it all to the limit.

I’ll update further tomorrow morning. By that time, Hawaii will be official. A Pajamas column demands my attention.

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UPDATE, Feb. 20, 7:30 a.m. — Obama wins Hawaii’s caucus by 52. Go here for more.

SOBer Steubenville Prolife Shoutout

Filed under: Life-Based News,MSM Biz/Other Bias,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 2:07 pm

When I read the story about Bill Clinton’s appearance in Steubenville, Ohio, and his lash-out at prolife students there, I thought an SOBer might be involved:

Speaking to a protester who held up a sign that read “Abortion Kills Children,” Clinton said while on “our watch” the Clintons were able to reduce the abortion rate without eliminating abortion rights.

During his administration, “We had the lowest teen pregnancy rate since the statistics had been kept when we were doing that.

And guess what? Without overturning Roe v. Wade, or trying to keep people all torn up and upset or calling them killers, the abortion rate went down almost 20 percent on our watch,” said Clinton, who twice during his administration vetoed a ban on partial-birth abortions.

Abortions declined between 1993 and 2000 from 1.5 million to 1.31 million, according to the Alan Guttmacher Institute. The number continued to decline to 1.21 million through 2005, the last year of available data from AGI.

That reduction stat calculates to 13% (.19 million decrease divided by 1.5 million), and, regardless, has absolutely nothing to do with anything the Clinton Administration initiated. What an incredible load of rubbish from Mr. Clinton about “saving more lives.”

Anyway, my prime SOBer “suspect” was Franciscan Conservative’s Billy Valentine.

I suspected correctly, as reported by Students for Life:

“I gave you the answer. We disagree with you,” Clinton said. “You wanna criminalize women and their doctors and we disagree. I reduced abortion. Tell the truth, tell the truth, If you were really pro-life, if you were really pro-life, you would want to put every doctor and every mother as an accessory to murder in prison. And you won’t say you wanna do that because you know, that you wouldn’t have a lick of political support. Now, the issue is who, the issue is, you can’t name me anybody presently in politics that did more to introduce policies that reduce the number of real abortions instead of the hot air putting out to tear people up and make votes by dividing America. This is not your rally. I heard you. That’s another thing you need is a president, somebody who will stick up for individual rights and not be pushed around, and she won’t.”

….. Clinton’s heated response came after being questioned on his support of abortion-on-demand. The outburst is on YouTube and is also being reported by MSNBC.

“Perhaps pro-abortion politicians will finally realize that they can’t hide their views from pro-life students,” said Billy Valentine, one of the Franciscan University of Steubenville Students for Life members who helped organize the protest of over 100 students. “Our generation is pro-life. It is amazing that these pro-abortion politicians think that they can continuously support the killing of millions of unborn children and no one will express their dissatisfaction.

Once again, no identifiable Clinton-initiated policy or program reduced abortions. None (welfare reform, to the extent it could be credited, doesn’t count, because Clinton didn’t initiate it, and mightily resisted it).

Well done, sir. Pro-abort politicians enter Steubenville at their political peril; that is as it should be. The day is coming when pro-abort politicians assuming that any given crowd of young people supports abortion on demand will do so at their political peril.

Of course, Mr. Valentine wasn’t quoted by anyone in Old Media.

A vid is also at the Students for Life link.

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Flashback: John Kerry had a similar Steubenville experience in 2004 (2nd item at link), and Franciscan U had a big hand in that:

Before Kerry arrived there was a huge pro-life march led by Franciscan University students, 500 strong. “You can’t be Catholic and pro-abortion”, read some of their signs. Students and members of local Catholic parishes were full of energy and FoxNews reported that this was the largest protest against Kerry outside of the Democratic Convention. Just picture 500 pro-lifers marching from their college campus to meet Kerry. Where else but in Steubenville, Ohio! Though the Franciscan University did not organize the event, it is well known for its orthodox Catholic education which encourages students to put their faith into action. These students simply cherish their Catholic faith and could not stand to let Kerry use their faith as a political prop.

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UPDATE: Y’all are developing a reputation. Here’s a report from a West Virginia TV station

The crowd was largely friendly, but as always in Steubenville they sparred over abortion.

Media Willful Blindness on Castro, and Other Related Items

Filed under: MSM Biz/Other Bias,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 11:57 am

This is a job (mostly) for NewsBusters to chronicle on Cuban dictator Fidel Castro’s resignation as “President.” I’m sure NB posters will be quite busy today noting faux-rosy descriptions of the Workers’ Paradise and its head thug.

I’ll lead things off, even though NB also mentions it, with an excerpt from Anita Snow’s Associated Press report:

Castro’s ….. detractors called him a dictator whose totalitarian government systematically denied individual freedoms and civil liberties such as speech, movement and assembly.

The word “dictator” doesn’t appear anywhere else in Anita’s snow job.

Earth to Anita and Old Media: Castro objectively (there’s that word again) is/was “a dictator whose totalitarian government systematically denied individual freedoms and civil liberties such as speech, movement and assembly.”

NB’s current contributions are these:
- Clay Waters — NYT Gives ‘Charismatic’ Castro Credit for ‘Great Social Achievements’
- Ken Shepherd — Castro Headlines/Labeling Watch; AP: ‘Detractors’ Called Him Dictator
- (HAD to add this) Scott Whitlock — ABC’s Sawyer Hails ‘Dashing,’ ‘Rock Star’ Fidel Castro

Others weighing in and/or reporting now (I don’t intend to update beyond this list):
- Michelle Malkin
- Bryan at Hot Air
- CNN — Obama, McCain on Castro’s resignation (I wonder if the hard left is going to give Obama a hard time over what he said?)
- BBC (major gag alert)
- Miami Herald

UPDATE: A mandatory add from NB’s parent, a February 2007 report from Media Research Center — “Fidel’s Flatterers: The U.S. Media’s Decades of Cheering Castro’s Communism.” It recites 20 years of Drive-by Media Drivel.

Couldn’t Help But Notice (021908)

Filed under: Taxes & Government,US & Allied Military — Tom @ 8:45 am

It looks like the Clinton superdelegate (“superdel”) bleed to BOOHOO (Barack O-bomba Overseas Hussein “Obambi” Obama) has begun.

I’ve been updating (without re-posting) the spreadsheet I created for Super Tuesday every few days for changes in delegate counts. As of last Friday, Hillary Clinton was leading Obama in superdels 242-156.

As of late last night at Real Clear Politics, it was 239-168.

Clinton LOST 3, Obama gained 12. Her lead of 86 shrank, just like that, to 71.

Much more of that, and the Democrats’ superdel controversy will end itself.

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I don’t understand why no one is speculating about the real impact of this (“Obama ‘Robbed’ in NY”) — If Obama is really being cheated out of hundreds, or even thousands, of votes in New York, and the (ahem) “oversights” are corrected, could the current New York delegate counts (currently at 139-93 in favor of Hillary Clinton) change?

I would think it’s more than a little possible.

According to this New York Times blog explanation:

….. the 281 (New York Democratic) delegates include 151 pledged delegates (and 25 pledged alternates) who will be selected based on the proportion of the vote their candidate receives in each of New York’s 29 Congressional districts in the primary on Feb. 5.

Total Democrat turnout in the state on Super Tuesday was roughly 1.75 million. This means that each of the 151 voter-outcome-based delegates have made or will make their pledges based on the results from an average of under 12,000 votes (or about 60,000 votes, if they are supposed to declare based on whole-district and not sub-district results, which isn’t clear from the article). A few hundred votes for Obama in several precincts, especially if they are all in one congressional district (or sub-district, depending on how individual congressional districts allocate their delegates) could ultimately move a few delegates to Obama and take them from Hillary in closely-contested areas.

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I’m in the unusual position of defending uber-liberal Margaret Carlson, formerly of Time and CNN’s old Capital Gang, now with uber-liberal Al Hunt’s Bloomberg News. Carlson got unfairly ripped by Taylor Marsh over at Huffington Post Saturday.

Carlson sent an e-mail to someone suggesting that, as far as Hillary Clinton’s candidacy is concerned:

….. I covered the Clinton White House for 8 years and don’t think it would be good for the country to go back there.

Relatively innocuous stuff.

Not according to Marsh, who launched into a major rant:

Op-ed columnists, however, can say whatever they want, but they should not split hairs about the true motives behind their agenda, which is manifest through articles and subsequent cable tv talking head performances. Carlson also obviously doesn’t think there will be any repercussions for sharing her anti Hillary Clinton agenda. She also doesn’t seem to care if a reader knows she’s out to get the Clintons, as long as it’s not known in the wider world. After all, she can’t interrupt her commentator gigs or her poison pen Bloomberg columns targeting the Clintons.

Oh, horse manure. Carlson’s opinion is pretty mild, and indicates no strong “agenda” to “get” anyone. Ms. Marsh’s reaction only proves that, as is the case all too often, any criticism of Hillary Clinton is recast as an attempt to destroy her.

This is the type of reaction that makes its way all the way up the Old Media food chain, and not just over Mrs. Clinton. Although the Carlson-Marsh situation is Dem-on-Dem, Marsh’s reaction illustrates how any criticism of a liberal or Democrat by anyone, but especially a conservative or Republican, gets characterized as a “personal attack,” even when the criticism (as is usually the case) is entirely about issue positions, or, in Carlson’s case, so mild as to not even be yawn-worthy.

As NewsBusters’ Martin Finkelstein noted earlier this morning, Old Media types like Matt Lauer, as he did in a Barack Obama interview, don’t even wait for the “Swiftboating” attacks to occur, instead simply assuming that they’re coming (of course, the actual definition of “Swiftboating” is “telling the truth about Democrats”).

Now if Ms. Marsh wants to see a real example of a media person with a clear “agenda,” try this from September of 2004, via Powerline:

We may be inching closer to the truth about the false Associated Press report claiming that a Republican crowd in West Allis, Wisconsin, booed the announcement that President Clinton had been hospitalized, and “President Bush did nothing to stop them.”

(Scott) Lindlaw is one of the AP reporters who cover the Bush campaign. His anti-Bush prejudices are well-known; our source has heard him say that his “mission” is to see that Bush is not re-elected.

On the day of the West Allis rally, Lindlaw was wearing ear plugs in his ears, as he often does to minimize crowd noise. After Bush’s speech, he approached another AP reporter and said that he thought he had heard boos, and asked whether his colleague had heard any. The second AP reporter said that she didn’t hear any booing. Nevertheless, Lindlaw apparently sent in a story, which wound up for some unexplained reason under Tom Hays’ byline, which said: “Bush’s audience of thousands in West Allis, Wis., booed. Bush did nothing to stop them.”

I wonder if this bothered Ms. Marsh even a little bit at the time. The September 2004 entries at her web site (reviewed in some detail by yours truly), plus a search on “lindlaw” at the site that returned no results, would indicate that the answer is “not so much.”

Were there any repercussions for Lindlaw? A month later, in commenting on yet another another biased Lindlaw report, Powerline didn’t see any:

The (Wisconsin crowd) story was a complete fabrication, later retracted by the AP, but the AP has never responded to our many emails on the subject, and to our knowledge Scott Lindlaw has never been disciplined in any way for filing a false story.

Indeed, Mr. Lindlaw continues to ply his trade for AP, currently in California. One of his more recent efforts is this economic sky-is-falling report from the Golden State — which I also suspect doesn’t bother Ms. Marsh even a little bit.

Cross-posted in slightly revised form at NewsBusters.org.

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Psst. Attacks are down 80% in Iraq.

Positivity: Hiker’s rescue stirs a warning to others in New Hampshire

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 7:46 am

From the Granite State:

February 18, 2008

New Hampshire officials cautioned hikers yesterday against going it alone, a day after they rescued a Boston man who became lost on a trail where a New Hampshire man died last week.

“Hiking alone is a dangerous thing any time of the year, but during the winter it’s especially dangerous,” said Lieutenant Kevin Jordan of the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department, who helped coordinate Saturday’s rescue of 28-year-old Benjamin R. Davis from Franconia Notch State Park.

Davis could not be reached yesterday for comment. Jordan blamed his misadventure on severe weather and a lack of preparedness.

Davis was rescued by helicopter about 4:45 p.m. Saturday, more than 30 hours after he set out on an overnight hike to the summit of Mount Lafayette. He had made the trip eight or nine times before, officials said.

Sixty to 90 mile-per-hour winds Friday night pushed him off the trail, which is 2 1/2 hours north of Boston, Jordan said.

Davis spent Friday night in his tent, but realized he was lost Saturday morning and used his cellphone to contact his girlfriend at 11 a.m. She contacted authorities, who began searching, Jordan said.

A New Hampshire Army National Guard search-and-rescue team in a Black Hawk helicopter found Davis and airlifted him to Littleton Regional Hospital. Officials there did not list him among patients last night.

“He was doing well [Saturday] night, but he did have some injuries to his feet, especially,” Jordan said.

About 30 members of the Army National Guard and Fish and Game Department were involved in the rescue. The National Guard helicopter dropped search-and-rescue personnel on a ridge above the Franconia Ridge Trail, then began a grid search pattern.

At 4:15 p.m., Davis dialed 911, helping emergency services triangulate his position using cellphone towers in the area and giving rescuers coordinates that were an eighth of a mile away. He was rescued shortly thereafter.

The 911 system “certainly saves time, and in this case, it saved his life,” Jordan said. …..

Go here for the rest of the story.