Cahnman's blog

Focus Groups, State Run (no longer Drive-By) Media, and Idiot Swing Voters

Apparently, multiple "Jornalists" in the State Run Media attended a focus group on President Obama the other night.

Both Dan Balz of the Washington Post and Gloria Borger of CNN were there.

The message we're supposed to take away from this focus group: Republicans (and to a lesser degree Conservatives) shouldn't read too much into President Obama's cratering poll ratings.  Independants still want President Obama to "succeed."  Even the "Independants" who voted for McCain are emotionally invested in President Obama.

Balderdash.

President Obama's poll ratings are tanking because he ran the most dishonest Presidential campain of my lifetime.  When you run as a moderate centrist (with a HARD CORE left wing legislative record in both the Illinois State and US Senate) no one should be surprised the public has a massive negative reaction when you govern as a hardcore leftist; this is infinitely more true when your most "moderate" position is MORE bailouts.

(OK, admittedly, President Obama's only genuinely moderate position is continuting George W. Bush's successful Iraq policy.  That's also been his most successful move.)

Here's what I find hilarious: back in 2005, no reporter in the then Drive-By, now State controlled, media offered any similar words of caution to Democrats when George W. Bush's political standing was in peril.

In 2005, no then drive-by, now state-run, media reporter advised Democrats not to go for the kill against George W. Bush.

In 2005, the dominant storyline was when Americans would rise against an "out of control" President.

Contrast 2009 vs. 2005 in the media narrative.

In 2005, American Citizens who undermined our troops were considered patiots.  In 2009, genuine Patriots are called "Teabaggers."

In 2005, dissent was Patriotic.  In 2009, dissent is un-American.

Gotta go to Bed Soon; Here's My Point:

Right Now is the Time to (figuratively) go for Obama's jugular.  Jim DeMint was right...we can destroy the Presidency of the most dangerous person to hold this office of my lifetime over the next few months.  We shouldn't be afraid.

In 2005, Democrats were confronted with a Popular President; they did everything within their power to destroy him politically and personally.

Turnabout is fair play.

I hope this helps.

Cahnman out.

 

How to Talk About Health Care

See what I say say 57 seconds into this video.

(Make sure you click on the video report to the left of the text report.)

Cahnman out.

Iraq: Case Closed

From the Top Newspaper in Baghdadi:

Thank You America – And Damn You, You Bastards By Jabr Al Jabouri Al-Bayyna Al-Jadida [Baghdad] July 1, 2009

America chose to save us from the most evil party, and the most despicable President in the universe [Saddam]. Meanwhile, the Arab powers stood firmly against the American project. They used all means to thwart them, but Allah’s will had another say in this matter. America turned the Ba’athists into the world’s laughing stock by showing them fleeing in their underwear on live television. Meanwhile, the Arab powers turned those cowards into national heroes on their satellite channels.

America gave the lives of 4,000 of its people to Iraq’s land to instill security and democracy, while the Arabs sent us their filthy mercenaries who mercilessly murdered, bombed, and slaughtered the Iraqi people.

America came bearing democracy for Iraq, while the Arabs brought us the new religion of the Wahhabis and Salafists. This religion aims to destroy Iraq and return it to the days of minority rule.

America canceled all of our debts and urged the rest of the world to do so, while the Arabs refused to do so and they even demanded payment for every Iraqi citizen living in their countries.

America allowed Shias to practice their religion while the Arabs bombed the Askari shrine. America proposed that the Iraqi President be Kurdish – so that we can prove to the world that Iraq has entered an age of freedom and respect for ethnic minorities. Yet, the Arabs have “removed Iraq from the Arab map,” pointing to the fact that the President is a non-Arab. America urged all honorable Sunnis to take part in the political process, while the Arabs issued a fatwa to kill every Sunni Iraqi who works with the government.

America opened the world to us, while the Arabs slammed their doors in our faces. America urged the world’s countries to open embassies in Iraq. Thus far, the Arabs have not opened embassies… or even acknowledged Iraq’s new democratic regime. America is carrying the burden of removing Iraq from Chapter 7 of the UN Charter, while the Arabs – led by Saudi Arabia – are doing their best to obstruct these efforts.

America urged the Gulf States to allow Iraq to return to the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), while the Arabs refused to allow Iraq to join the GCC. The Americans sponsored Iraq membership in international, political, and cultural organizations, while the Arabs expelled the Iraqi Authors and Writers Union from the Arab Writers Union.

America decided to withdraw from Iraq cities and hand these cities over to the Iraq forces on June 30 in preparation for the final withdrawal from Iraq. The Arabs decided to hinder the withdrawal so that their excuse for fighting the occupier and killing the Iraq people can remain. America signed the Strategic Framework Agreement with Iraq, which includes all political, cultural, military, and technological fields. The Arabs issued a decision stating that Iraq is “officially occupied” because we signed the security agreement. Never mind that all these Arab countries have agreements with America. The Arabs decided that every American soldier in Iraq is an occupier that must be killed, while if an American soldier was to be in Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Kuwait, or Egypt he would be considered as a friendly ally that must be treated with respect. The Arabs decided to consider every Iraqi living in America to be a traitor and spy, even though Iraqi people living in America are fewer in numbers than all other Arab nationalities. The Arabs consider every Iraqi who works as a translator for the American forces to be a traitor…

This is how Arabs are, and this is just a drop in a vast ocean. All this is what the Arabs do in public. What they do behind the walls is another matter entirely.

According to American news sources, Saudi Arabia has been trying hard to convince America to return the Ba’athists to power in Iraq. However, the American Administration does not care about what Saudi Arabia thinks or wants in this country.

Today, our American friends are true to their word. They have handed over security responsibilities to the Iraq forces, and they decided to withdraw from the Iraqi cities.

I wonder when the American forces in Saudi Arabia – estimated at 80,000 troops – are going to withdraw. When are the 30,000 U.S. soldiers in Kuwait going to withdraw? When are the American bases in Qatar, Egypt, Oman, Yemen, and all other Arab countries that live off American aid going to be shut down?

The geographically close, but, in humanitarian terms, distant Arab Nation does not deserve any political, cultural and commercial ties with us. Nations that are completely different from and unrelated to us are racing to assist us.

After six years of liberation, we now know who our friend is and who our foe is. We should not give a chance to those idiots who claim that Iraq is part of the Arab Nation. These idiots should understand that Iraq is part the federal, free and democratic world.

Translated from www.albayyna-new.com/

 

h/t. Weekly Standard

 

Austin Tea Party Debrief

Greetings from the Great City of Austin in the Great State of Texas in the Good Old U S of A on this, our Independence Day.  Just spent three hours under the 105 degree Texas sun (in addition to walking back and forth to the capital...about 2 miles in each direction).  Before I collapse from Heat Stroke, let me share a few observations:

Attendance: Roughly 3000.  Substantially lower than the April tea party @ the Capitol.  Then again, at the April party the temperature was 75.

Crowd: Mostly folks in their 50's and 60's.  Some families with children.  All in all, an older crowd than April.  About 30% Ron Paul types, 50% more traditional GOPer, 20% assorted other.

Signs: Generally quite clever.  Personal favorites: any of the several that referred to Waxman/Markey as "Crap and Trade."

Sleeper GOP Gubernatorial Candidate: Debra Medina.  I might be biased because I met her today (also briefly met Sen. Cornyn and Gov. Perry) AND got to talk to her a bit.  She's a down the line, SERIOUS, conservative.  Like the message, concerned about viability.  I told her I intend to re-elect the incumbent, but that if she could prove herself a viable candidate in BOTH the primary AND general, I'd consider giving her my vote.

Most Embarrassing Moment for a Speaker: Sen. John Cornyn being greeted by a loud chorus of Boos as he took the stage due to his vote on TARP.

Most Embarrassing Moment for the Ron Paul supporters: Continuing to Boo Senator Cornyn after he acknowledged their concerns and moved on to Porkulus/Crap and Trade/Obamacare where he's firmly on our side.

Best Speaker, Runner Up: Wanye Allyn Root.  The 2008 LIbertarian Party Vice Presidential Nominee gave the crowd an inspiring speech on the value of limited government with a whole lotta quotes from Goldwater and Reagan thrown in.  Gets brownie points in my book for his rousing (by libertarian standards) defense of President Bush's overspending and bailouts being several orders of magnitude less bad than President Obama's overspending and bailouts.

Best Speaker, Overall: Governor Perry.  No one else even came close.  Whatever his alleged flaws, Governor Perry has done A TON over this past decade to have left us the strongest economy in the country right now.

In many ways, the attitude of people in Texas towards Governor Perry right now reminds me of the attitude in NYC of people towards Rudy in July 2001.  The man's gotten so much right that his citizens now take these things for granted.

All in all, an Afternoon well spent!

I hope this helps.

That is all.

Cahnman out.

Thomas L. Friedman: Thank You Very Much George W. Bush

In today's New York Times, Thomas L. Friedman belatedly notices major changes that have been occuring in the Middle East for at least five years:

[S]omething is going on in the Middle East today that is very new. Pull up a chair; this is going to be interesting.

What we saw in the Lebanese elections, where the pro-Western March 14 movement won a surprise victory over the pro-Iranian Hezbollah coalition, what we saw in the ferment for change exposed by the election campaign in Iran, and what we saw in the provincial elections in Iraq, where the big pro-Iranian party got trounced, is the product of four historical forces that have come together to crack open this ossified region.

First is the diffusion of technology. The Internet, blogs, YouTube and text messaging via cellphones, particularly among the young — 70 percent of Iranians are under 30 — is giving Middle Easterners cheap tools to communicate horizontally, to mobilize politically and to criticize their leaders acerbically, outside of state control. It is also enabling them to monitor vote-rigging by posting observers with cellphone cameras.

I knew something had changed when I sat down for coffee on Hamra Street in Beirut last week with my 80-year-old friend and mentor, Kemal Salibi, one of Lebanon’s greatest historians, and he told me about his Facebook group!

The evening of Lebanon’s election, I went to the Beirut home of Saad Hariri, the leader of the March 14 coalition, to interview him. In a big living room, he had a gigantic wall-size television broadcasting the results. And alongside the main TV were 16 smaller flat-screen TVs with electronic maps of Lebanon. Hariri’s own election experts were working on laptops and breaking down every vote from every religious community, village by village, and projecting them on the screens.

Well, Mr. Friedman, it's good of you to notice what's been going on in the region for several years now; it's better late than never.  Where this story gets interesting, however, is to whom Mr. Friedman (unlike Fareed Zakaria) gives credit for this monumental development:

for real politics to happen you need space. There are a million things to hate about President Bush’s costly and wrenching wars. But the fact is, in ousting Saddam in Iraq in 2003 and mobilizing the U.N. to push Syria out of Lebanon in 2005, he opened space for real democratic politics that had not existed in Iraq or Lebanon for decades. “Bush had a simple idea, that the Arabs could be democratic, and at that particular moment simple ideas were what was needed, even if he was disingenuous,” said Michael Young, the opinion editor of The Beirut Daily Star. “It was bolstered by the presence of a U.S. Army in the center of the Middle East. It created a sense that change was possible, that things did not always have to be as they were.”

When I reported from Beirut in the 1970s and 1980s, I covered coups and wars. I never once stayed up late waiting for an election result. Elections in the Arab world were a joke — literally. They used to tell this story about Syria’s president, Hafez al-Assad. After a Syrian election, an aide came in and told Assad: “Mr. President, you won 99.8 percent of the votes. It means that only two-tenths of one percent of Syrians didn’t vote for you. What more could ask for?”

Assad answered: “Their names!”

Lebanese, by contrast, just waited up all night for their election results — no one knew what they’d be.

In other words, President Bush's grand strategy for winning the global war on terror is working, albeit more slowly than anyone predicted.  Of course, as in any war, there have been setbacks along the way:

the Bush team opened a hole in the wall of Arab autocracy but did a poor job following through. In the vacuum, the parties most organized to seize power were the Islamists — Hezbollah in Lebanon; pro-Al Qaeda forces among Iraqi Sunnis, and the pro-Iranian Islamic Supreme Council of Iraq and Mahdi Army among Iraqi Shiites; the Taliban in Pakistan and Afghanistan; Hamas in Gaza.

Fortunately, each one of these Islamist groups overplayed their hand by imposing religious lifestyles or by dragging their societies into confrontations the people didn’t want. This alienated and frightened more secular, mainstream Arabs and Muslims and has triggered an “awakening” backlash among moderates from Lebanon to Pakistan to Iran. The Times’s Robert Mackey reported that in Tehran “chants of ‘Death to America’ ” at rallies for Mahmoud Ahmadinejad last week were answered by chants of “Death to the Taliban — in Kabul and Tehran” at a rally for his opponent, Mir Hussein Moussavi.

To those of us who were paying attention, of course, this was apparent back in 2007.  Finally, Friedman closes with a mush brained sop to his liberal readers:

along came President Barack Hussein Obama. Arab and Muslim regimes found it very useful to run against George Bush. The Bush team demonized them, and they demonized the Bush team. Autocratic regimes, like Iran’s, drew energy and legitimacy from that confrontation, and it made it very easy for them to discredit anyone associated with America. Mr. Obama’s soft power has defused a lot of that. As result, “pro-American” is not such an insult anymore.

On the other hand, maybe what's going on right now is the result of a process that was set off five years ago that we have become increasingly irrelevant to over time.  FWIW, Bush probably was too hands off in 2005 and 2006, which probably did allow the Islamists more room to make their move than we had to allow them.  At the same time, doubling down in Iraq in 2007 definately convinced the locals we were there to stay.  Now, in 2009, the process seems to have taken on a life of it's own.

 

Over the next few years, this will be interesting....

I hope this helps.

That is all.Cahnman out.

Newt Gingrich Drinking Game

Drink every time he says "Fundamental," "Newt.org," or "Stunning."

I hope this helps.

Cahnman out.

CA Sen: Draft Jon Voight

OMG, this speech is AMAZING!!!

Barbara Boxer is Going Down!!!

Cahnman out.

Fareed Zakaria: Had you written this two years ago, it would have made a difference....

Fareed Zakaria writes a safe too little too late article on Iraq; no single money quote:

Obama still has the power to shape a decent outcome in Iraq. In doing so, he could help change the political dynamic within the Arab world and present a new model of America's relations with a modern, Muslim, Arab country.

Not that any other President of the United Staes was talking about that 6 and 1/2 years ago (when it was tough) or anything....

(Since I'm gonna go through the article graf by graf, I'd like to pre-emptively (there's that phrase again) inform Mr. Zakaria that his opinion on the liberation of Iraq and the surge remains as irrelevant now as it was in 2003 and 2007.  The only reason I comment on his opinion now is because the drive by media gives him more coverage than he deserves.)

Next, emphasis on slow:

Iraq is going through a slow but crucial transformation, from war zone to new nation-state. The next set of policies that Washington and Baghdad decide upon will determine how well this turns out.

Duh.

Next:

When the surge was announced in January 2007, I was somewhat cautious about it. I believed that more troops and a proper counterinsurgency strategy would certainly improve the security situation—I had advocated more troops from the start of the occupation—but I believed that the fundamental problem in Iraq was political discord among the country's three main sects and ethnic groups. The surge, in my view, would alleviate those tensions but also postpone the need for a solution. Only a political agreement among these groups could reach one.

Insert the word might between but and also and everyone believed this; what's your freaking point?!?

Also, rephrase "Postpone the need for a solution" with "Buy Us Some Time" and the surge suddenly looks a lot better.

I was wrong in some ways. First, the surge turned out to be a more sophisticated strategy—encompassing political outreach to the Sunnis—than I had imagined. Second, the success of the surge empowered the Baghdad government, brought Sunni rebels out from hiding and thus broke the dynamic of the civil war. Sunni militants have now been identified, their biometric data have been collected and their groups are being monitored. They cannot easily go back to jihad. The Shiite ruling elites, secure in their hold on the country, have less to gain by ethnic cleansing and militia rule.

Calling the surge sophistocated; how magnanimous of you!!!  I'm glad you were wrong in some ways!

They cannot easily go back to jihad.  No kidding (I'd use a scatalogical reference were I feeling less charitable).  Credit where it's due to the admittedly flawed Nuri-al Maliki with David Petraeus and Ray Odierno getting the assists on the goal.

Jihadists biodata being held by the US Military; why didn't the drive by media tell me about that in 2007 or anything?!?

Next:

An adviser to surge commander Gen. David Petraeus told the reporter Nir Rosen that the civil war in Iraq would end when the Sunnis knew that they'd lost and the Shiites knew that they'd won. Both now seem to be true.

Petraeus' adviser told you the war would be won when the Sunni's knew they'd lost and the Shiites knew they'd won....Gee, I'm sooo glad you and everyone else in the drive by media made that sooo easy from 2003-January 20, 2009 (btw, I could find a million more links on this topic if I felt like investing the time).  At least both now seem to be true....

Next:

while a renewal of the civil war—and a return to high casualty levels—is highly unlikely

Speaking for myself, I'd say damn near impossible over highly unlikely.  They again, I'm an optimist when my country takes courageous actions overseas.

Oh, and, by the way, I'm sorry your original concerns about the Surge remain.  I had forgotten that Fareed Zakaria's personal opinion is our primary metric for judging the success of America's Iraq Policy.

Next:

American influence is not what it was a few years ago.

Duh.  Thank you Fareed Zakaira.  Had I never heard or read you say this, I might not have lived a personally satisfying life.

Next:

Today, Arab regimes paint a picture of Iraq that suggests that American-led democracy has led to chaos, collapse and, perhaps more crucially, to Shiite tyranny. This is a damning indictment because for the rest of the Arab world—which is overwhelmingly Sunni—it suggests that democracy is something to be feared. It is also a convenient lesson because it means that Arab dictators can postpone indefinitely any need to open up their own political systems. But the message does resonate: opinion polls show that large majorities view Iraq as a failure and a sham democracy.

That's right because your buddies in the drive by media didn't have anything to do with this....

(Sorry, Common Dreams was the only site that still has that story up.  That said, much like the last link I could find a million more stories on a similar there if I felt like investing more time on this).

Next:

It isn't. There is much going on in Iraq that is admirable. Kurds, Shiites and Sunnis are beginning to work out their differences through negotiation, not violence. Freedom of speech abounds. A new economy is taking shape, in which entrepreneurs are creating jobs and a civil society. Elections are punishing thugs and theocrats who cannot deliver services and rewarding more-pragmatic forces. The appeal of radical Islam is waning.

Duh.

Next:

This was not Barack Obama's war. But it might well turn out to be his greatest legacy to the Arab world. Ambassador Ryan Crocker ended his distinguished stint in Iraq with these fitting words: "In the end, how we leave and what we leave behind will be more important than how we came."

Fareed, when we win this war, it will be George W. Bush's legacy to the Arab World.  Barack Obama will get the credit that Mariano Rivera gets when he comes into the game with Yankees up by 17,000 runs because he needs some work.

I end this post with the full text of my e-mail to Fareed Zakaria about this article:

In other words, what you're saying is that now that George W. Bush is out of office, it's OK for the drive-by media to say nice things about America's policy there.

How we leave being more important than how we got in has been true since day 1; the only thing that's changed since then is the American President's last name and the weather.

Some of us had the courage of our convictions to stick with Iraq when it was unpopular.

Generations from now, George W. Bush will be remembered as the American Hero he truly is while insignificant intellectual poseurs such as yourself will fade into the irrelevance you deserve.

To paraphrase Davy Crockett: You can go to hell; I'll stay in Texas.

Adam Cahn Austin, TX

P.S. "War of Choice" my ass.

I hope this helps.

That is all.

Cahnman out.

Obama, Machiavelli, and 43; why style still matters when the follower is quietly copying his predecessor....

President Obama rhetorically threw America under the bus yesterday.

George W. Bush gave the same substantive speech (minus apologies) a year ago.

My question is this: President Obama, as much as you quitely continue 43's counterterrorism policies In Iraq, Afghanistan, Club Gitmo, Terrorist Surveillance, and Rendition has the thought ever occured to you that despite your good (as much as it pains me to admit that) actions, your good actions are easily undermined by your words.

You don't understand Machiaveli 101; fear is more important than love.

I agree with you on a certain level; George W. Bush made us unloved around the world.  God Bless him, George W. Bush rejected the paradigm of appeasement to make sure our enemies feared us.

On the other hand, you really seem to think that by talking to them, our enemies will magically surrender.  Dude, it doesn't work that way.  Pussies are only an inch and a half away from you know what.

President Obama, America has not done anything wrong (except for raising taxes in 1990) over the past thirty years.  Given that you're speaking at Normandy later this week, before you throw America under the bus again, consider America's True Greatness.

I hope this helps.

Cahnman out.

2012: Mitt Romney throws Bailout Nation Under the Bus

In his FNS interview today, Mitt Romney mentioned his NYT Op-ed from late last year:

Without that bailout, Detroit will need to drastically restructure itself. With it, the automakers will stay the course — the suicidal course of declining market shares, insurmountable labor and retiree burdens, technology atrophy, product inferiority and never-ending job losses. Detroit needs a turnaround, not a check.

While it never should have come to this, it's refreshing to hear Republicans talking about letting losers fail.  Between Romney and Dick Cheney, it's almost looking like we can get the GOP away from Bailouts.  To Paraphrase Rick Santelli, Governor Palin are you listening?!?

 

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