Mrs. Bill Clinton

John Hawkins has written a really scathing indictment of Hillary Clinton attacking, not her political positions, but the fact that she is doing nothing more than ride on Bill’s coattails, having no independent experience of her own that would justify making her President of the most powerful nation in the world during a time of war and instability.

Media people again fail to do their job

Would it surprise any of you to learn that the media’s coverage of the President horse race accords more coverage, and more favorable coverage, to the Democratic candidates? It didn’t surprise me, but it’s still useful to see it in black and white:

Campaign coverage of the 2008 presidential election has been both biased and shallow, according to a study released today by the Project for Excellence in Journalism and Harvard University’s Shorenstein Center on the Press, Politics and Public Policy.

One party dominates, and there’s way too much partisan fluff.

Numbers reveal all: Democratic candidates were the subject of half of the 1,742 recent print, broadcast and online news stories analyzed in the research. Republicans garnered 31 percent.

“Overall, Democrats received more positive coverage than Republicans (35 percent of stories versus 26 percent), while Republicans received more negative coverage than Democrats (35 percent versus 26 percent),” the study said.

Just as interesting is the fact that, while the public really, really wants to know about the candidates’ positions on the issues and their voting records during public office, that’s not what they’re getting:

The public pines for substance. A separate survey found that 77 percent of the respondents said they wanted more solid information on candidate policies and ideas. The press did not deliver.

Instead, almost two-thirds of the coverage focused on the “game” of the political horse race and candidate “performance.” Accounts of their marriages, health and religion followed in importance in 17 percent of the stories — with just 15 percent examining domestic and foreign policies. A mere 1 percent shed light on candidates’ public records.

“The press and the public are not on the same page when it comes to priorities in campaign coverage,” the study said. “This disparity indicates there is room for the press to calibrate its coverage differently to make it more useful and possibly more interesting to citizens.”

You can read (and weep over) the rest of the report here.

Hat tip: American Thinker

They serve us and we deny them the right to vote

I was impressed by the temperate tone in this Stars and Stripes article, because I was just incensed when I read that our troops, who are putting their lives on the line for us, as a result of bureaucratic inefficiency, are being denied that most fundamental of all American rights, the right to the vote:

Overseas military voters had less than half of their votes counted in last year’s congressional elections, according to data released by the U.S. Election Assistance Commission on Monday.

“One thing is clear: At every level of government, we need to do a better job,” said Donetta Davidson, chair of the commission. “We must make sure all eligible voters are getting their opportunities.”

The figures, released at the commission’s annual conference on ways to improve and troubleshoot the absentee voting process, showed that only about 992,000 of the nearly 6 million eligible overseas citizens requested ballots for the 2006 general election.

That included about 119,000 military personnel stationed outside the United States. Of those, only about 57,000 — less than 48 percent — had their votes successfully cast or counted.

EAC officials said that’s roughly the same percentage that were counted for expatriates and domestic military filing absentee ballots. The major failures were on the ballot delivery side, with about 72 percent of those who failed to vote never receiving any of their requested election materials.

Still, the commission also saw positive news for overseas military.

In a survey of absentee voters from four states — South Carolina, Florida, Illinois and Montana — researchers found that overseas military were nearly three times as likely to attempt to vote as their overseas civilian counterparts. And nearly 90 percent of those who made it through the system were pleased how the voting process worked.

I love the Orwellian last paragraph, with the commission congratulating itself for the fact that 51,300 of the 119,000 who tried to vote actually reported that they had a good experience.  Gee!  I’m glad they could find something good to crow about considering that 54% of American troops have been denied their right to vote.

My question is, considering that we have a Democratic Congress, what can be done to correct this situation by the 2008 elections?

Reaching out to women voters

In an inspired Wall Street Journal article, Kimberley Strassel points out that Republican candidates, at their peril, are ignoring women, while Democratic candidates, knowing that women voters are the statistical difference for them between success and failure, are wooing them aggressively. This wooing needed go well.  Strassel explains that the Democrats are locked in the 1970s when it comes to thinking about what women want. She, therefore, uses her column to look at what women want now and to give the Republican candidates some pointers about how to communicate to women that the Republicans, not the Democrats, will address their 21st Century needs. Here’s just one of her ideas:

Here’s an example of how a smart Republican could morph an old-fashioned Democratic talking point into a modern-day vote winner. Ms. Clinton likes to bang on about “inequality” in pay. The smart conservative would explain to a female audience that there indeed is inequality, and that the situation is grave. Only the bad guy isn’t the male boss; it’s the progressive tax code.

Most married women are second-earners. That means their income is added to that of their husband’s, and thus taxed at his highest marginal rate. So the married woman working as a secretary keeps less of her paycheck than the single woman who does the exact same job. This is the ultimate in “inequality,” yet Democrats constantly promote the very tax code that punishes married working women. In some cases, the tax burdens and child-care expenses for second-earners are so burdensome they can’t afford a career. But when was the last time a Republican pointed out that Ms. Clinton was helping to keep ladies in the kitchen?

For that matter, when was the last time a GOP candidate pointed out that their own free-market policies could help alleviate this problem? Should President Bush’s tax cuts expire, tens of thousands of middle-class women will see more of their paychecks disappear into the maw of their husband’s higher bracket. A really brave candidate would go so far as to promise eliminating this tax bias altogether. Under a flat tax, second-earner women would pay the same rate as unmarried women and the guy down the hall. Let Democrats bang the worn-out drum of a “living wage.” Republicans should customize their low-tax message to explain how they directly put more money into female pockets.

As you know, I hate identity politics. However, to the extent that’s the game Democrats play, the Republican contenders would do well to heed Strassel’s warning and curry a demographic that has the power, if ignored, to latch on to bad Democratic policies in the complete absence of any Republican policies.

It’s “random thoughts” day

I’m on another vacation, sitting in a cyber cafe, working at a small computer with a microscopic keyboard, so it must be random thoughts day. Thank goodness DQ is doing the heavy lifting.

The first thing that caught my interest is what Mitt said at the debate, which I really liked:

But it was Romney forced on the defensive on the issue of abortion, when Kansas Sen. Sam Brownback defended automated phone calls his campaign had been making that highlight his rival’s one-time support for pro-choice policies.

“It’s truthful,” Brownback said.

Romney called it “desperate, maybe negative,” adding moments later, “I get tired of people that are holier than thou because they’ve been pro-life longer than I have.” (Emphasis mine.)

The fact is that many people who came of age in the 1960s have taken a long slow journey from one side to the other. As my own change in political convictions shows, the fact that I came late to the game doesn’t mean I’m not one of the biggest fans. In any event, as I keep reminding and reminding people, the best we can hope for is a chief executive who appoints strict constructionist judges, since it is they, not the President, who will change abortion policies.

Indeed, I’m reminded again and again that, probably, the most important thing the new President can do is change the Supreme Court — and we must really hope that the new President is a conservative. I think I’ve hammered hope the point that, if you haven’t already read Melanie Phillips’ Londonistan, you must. It points the finger of blame at activist judges who decided that the laws and traditions of their own country were irrelevant, because they were connected to a higher authority of human rights law, courtesy of the EU and the UN. (As you may recall, some of our more liberal and aged Supreme Court justices have been making tentative moves in the same direction.)

I’m now reading Bruce Bawer’s While Europe Slept: How Radical Islam is Destroying the West from Within, which describes in chilling detail what is happening, day-to-day, on the streets of Europe as a result of the multi-cultural, socialist, non-democratically judge ruled European nations that allowed unlimited Muslim immigration, with full funding no matter the fraud, and has proven unwilling because of  its doctrinal blinders to deal with the inevitable Islamist nihilism, violence and brutality.  Bawer is a liberal  gay man who is mad, frightened, and finally aware the America is the last, best hope for Western freedom  and democracy.

Continuing randomly, Confederate Yankee continues to eviscerate the once reputable TNR over the Scott Thomas propaganda piece.  It now turns out that when TNR did  it’s little “we were sort of wrong” mea culpa, it left out  a few pertinent facts.  Whoops!

TNR’s not  the only one covering up information to score political or ideological points (or just to cover up journalistic  malfeasance).  Turns out that, again, the Times is guilty of allowing the publication of an article attacking Orthodox Jews that used as its starting  point a known false anecdote.  Starting with Walter Duranty, journalistic integrity at the Times seemed to have morphed into, if we beieve the underlying ideology, we are acting with integrity when we lie about those  facts to support our ideological  beliefs.  Incidentally, that’s psychologically similar to the European Muslims who have no problems breaking European laws because, as far as they’re concerned, such laws don’t exist.

Incidentally, since I’m in Times bashing mode (it’s editorial policies make it an easy target), let me just  direct you to an American Thinker article exposing its decision to publish a piece by known  Israel  basher — and Canadian — Michael  Ignatieff as he explains  why he can’t support the war in Iraq. Surprise, surprise!  It’s all about the “Jooos.”  As Babu said to Jerry, finger rhythmically wagging, “You are a very bad man.”

And the last random thought, a surprising report today that more women are living with the fathers of their children!  We used to call that marriage, but they don’t because they aren’t (married, that is).   I  suppose this should be heartening, but I find it depressing, at least from the child’s  point of view.  Marriage says (even though it may not  mean) “we’re committed for the long haul.”  Living  together says (even though it may not  mean) “I can walk out at any time.”  I think the former is better for children’s sense of stability, rather than the latter.

A little perspective on the Democrats’ Fox debate debacle

Seraphic Secret gets to the heart of the insanity behind the Democrats’ decision to hide from Fox TV:

So let me get this straight. According to the Democrats, Israel is supposed to sit down and chat with Hamas, a terrorist gang dedicated to Israel’s annihilation.

According to the Democrats Israel is also supposed to sit down and “dialogue with Iran,” a country that denies the Holocaust, even as it promises a new Holocaust.

Also, according to the Democrats, America is supposed to shmooze with the North Koreans, a country that has systematically murdered over 3 million of its own citizens.

Why? Well, because you “talk to your enemies.”

But the Democrats refuse to take part in a debate sponsored by Fox Cable Network because, y’know, Fox is too right wing.

Got that?

I’d like to thank the Democratic Presidential candidates: Edwards, Obama, & Clinton for being so publicly willing to reveal their cowardice. They’re terrified of Fox journalists armed with Mont Blanc pens. Imagine how they’d stand up to the surging jihadist threat.

Read the rest here.

The whole thing would be funny if it weren’t so damn scary that these people actually want to be in charge. I guess that’s why I was especially charmed by John Derbyshire’s column today about Giuliani’s SOB factor. Damn right that in this day and age I don’t want a shrinking violet, or a wobbly waffler, or a sensitive flower leading my nation. I want someone who doesn’t need to be best friends with every petty tyrant, every newspaper reporter, and every political foe. It’s one thing to be able to get along. It’s another thing to sacrifice your principles and backbone entirely so as to be liked. That’s fine if you’re a social gadfly, but disastrous if you’re the leader of a target nation. (By the way, I think Romney could be an SOB, too, as could most of the Republican candidates, bless their mean little hearts.) | digg it

Get out there and vote . . . or, maybe not.

I am, apparently, worthy of voting. I bet you, my regular readers, are too. But if you’re in doubt, take this test:

I have to admit to having slipped up on one question, but my excuse is that I’m not a very visual person, and photos are involved. It is worrisome that, of all the people who have taken the test, only a little over half are sufficiently well-informed to recognize the majority of people pictured, all of whom are prominent in one way or another.

Hat tip: Palmtree Pundit