Free to Be Sarah P.

Ronald Reagan’s 11th Commandment, Thou shalt not speak ill of any fellow Republican, is out of favor with some conservatives when it comes to Sarah Palin.

But Bill Kristol remembers the Sarah Palin that invigorated the Party not so long ago:

Some in the McCain camp are nervous about Gov. Palin, but they shouldn’t be. They’ve totally mishandled her for the last week or two. Free Sarah Palin! Free Sarah Palin, that’s what I say! They have surrounded her — look, McCain picked her because she is a good governor, a good politician, a good communicator. Let her be a politician! Let her communicate. Put her on TV, put her on radio. Let her relax. Let her go into the debate and try to win the debate!

Mona Charen, Jonah Goldberg, Kathryn Jean Lopez, and Mark Steyn agree that the McCain campaign needs to free Sarah Palin to be herself, particularly at the debate on Thursday.  I don’t believe she’s done a bad job with her interviews, but there’s certainly something overly packaged about many of her responses, and we’ve had enough with the stump speech lines.

Sarah Palin isn’t just the latest interchangeable kid to be swapped into Menudo because the average age of band members was creeping up.  She’s a bright and gifted politician who dazzles voters with the rarest of political assets: her authenticity.

Bring back Sarah, unleashed, unbound, and authentic.

Does The Bailout Plan Screw the Poor?

image: Theodor Kittelsen, An Unfortunate Bear Hunt

If by “poor” you mean responsible taxpayers who fulfill their financial commitments each month even if it means delaying nonessential purchases, then yes, the bailout screws the poor. OK, maybe that’s stretching the definition, but who else could Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva be referring to when he told reporters the United States bailout bill neglects the poor?

“They want to help the banks and not help the poor,” Lula said late on Saturday in Sao Paulo during a campaign rally ahead of Oct. 5 municipal elections.

“Why give $700 billion to the banks and no money to the poor guys who lost their houses,” Lula asked, according to local media. He referred to the troubled U.S. housing market.

Methinks Lula needs a bit of Economics 101 before he opens his mouth again.

The Deep Childishness of Contemporary Liberalism

A 700 billion dollar bailout looms ominously on the horizon, and Barack Obama wants to make sure he can still increase early childhood education funding? Here’s the relevant line from the first presidential debate:

The problem with a spending freeze is you’re using a hatchet where you need a scalpel. There are some programs that are very important that are under-funded. I want to increase early childhood education….

Bill Kristol’s analysis of that gem is spot on, and contains my new favorite description of liberalism (in bold):

We’re in a major financial crisis, and Barack Obama wants to increase spending in an area where there’s notoriously little evidence that spending has paid off, an area that in any case isn’t a primary responsibility of the federal government (or perhaps of any level of government). Obama’s ritualistic invocation of early childhood education as deserving ever more funding is a reminder, one might say, of the deep childishness of contemporary liberalism.

I love that line. It does a superb job of capturing what I’ve discovered as my views have moved rightward. Full acceptance of doctrinaire liberalism requires a childlike shallowness of thought, almost a suspension of disbelief.

As one’s depth of thought about politics, governance, and law increases, there arises a stunning cognitive dissonance. Those who successfully cross the expansive chasm between contemporary liberalism and reality have shed that deep childishness of liberal thought.

Unfortunately, they’re few and far between.

Your Retirement Account is Temporarily Unavailable

Nice freakin’ timing, TIAA-CREF.

While half-listening to George W. Bush address the possibility of an economic doomsday, I decided to torture myself by checking on my retirement accounts. My initial attempts to login to TIAA-CREF were met with this unsettling message:

Planned maintenance? Probably. Crappy timing? Unquestionably.

McCain/Palin Smears, Now in Two Delicious Flavors

How do you prefer your smears? Overt or covert? Team Obama is playing it both ways now, and in all likelihood has been for some time.

So which is worse, the Obama campaign smearing Sarah Palin via a clan of astroturfing sockpuppets or Obama’s latest radio smear campaign against John McCain? And will it matter to voters?

Just askin’.

Vicious Palin Smears Traced Back to Obama Campaign?

My nomination for blog post of the year goes to The Jawa Report for their meticulous research on the source of the Sarah Palin smears.  This story is huge.

Their findings suggest that at least some of the smears were orchestrated by Winner & Associates, one of the world’s largest PR firms.  The research also indicates a likely link to David Axelrod, Obama’s chief media strategist.  They weave quite a convincing narrative and it’s imperative that the news organizations and the rest of the blogosphere pick this up and take it as far as it can go.

A mere summary doesn’t do their work justice – read it yourself.

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