Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Crazy PIlls...

Over at Politico, Ben Smith talks about an email he received from a Republican consultant. This fellow was conducting a focus group to test a new no-holds-barred attack ad on Obama. Listen to what he says about the comments from the focus group after seeing the ad:
Reagan Dems and Independents. Call them blue-collar plus. Slightly more Target than Walmart.

Yes, the spot worked. Yes, they believed the charges against Obama. Yes, they actually think he's too liberal, consorts with bad people and WON'T BE A GOOD PRESIDENT...but they STILL don't give a f***. They said right out, "He won't do anything better than McCain" but they're STILL voting for Obama.

The two most unreal moments of my professional life of watching focus groups:

54 year-old white male, voted Kerry '04, Bush '00, Dole '96, hunter, NASCAR fan...hard for Obama said: "I'm gonna hate him the minute I vote for him. He's gonna be a bad president. But I won't ever vote for another god-damn Republican. I want the government to take over all of Wall Street and bankers and the car companies and Wal-Mart run this county like we used to when Reagan was President."

The next was a woman, late 50s, Democrat but strongly pro-life. Loved B. and H. Clinton, loved Bush in 2000. "Well, I don't know much about this terrorist group Barack used to be in with that Weather guy but I'm sick of paying for health insurance at work and that's why I'm supporting Barack."

I felt like I was taking crazy pills. I sat on the other side of the glass and realized...this really is the Apocalypse. The Seventh Seal is broken and its time for eight years of pure, delicious crazy....
This jibes very well with what I've seen in some people I know. There seem to be five general categories of those old enough to vote:
  1. They don't care at all (and likely won't vote).
  2. They're in love with Obama, and are definitely voting for him.
  3. They see McCain as shaky, but better than the only realistic alternative (that's me).
  4. They think both candidates are awful, and won't vote.
  5. They think both candidates are equally incompetent, but they're voting for Obama for no reason they can articulate (that's the group the consultant is describing).
Add all that up, and it doesn't look good for McCain...

Obama's Tax Plan...

A simple, but effective presentation by Penn & Teller:

Chili Cook-Off...

Reader Jim M. sent me this little comedy essay. I had tears running down my face by the time I finished it...
Chili Cook-Off

If you can read this whole story without laughing, then there's no hope for you. I was crying by the end. This is an actual account as relayed to paramedics at a chili cook-off in Oklahoma.

Note: Please take time to read this slowly. If you pay attention to the first two judges, the reaction of the third judge is even better. For those of you who have lived in Texas or Oklahoma , you know how true this is. They actually have a Chili Cook-off about the time Halloween comes around. It takes up a major portion of a parking lot at the Oklahoma City Park

Judge #3 was an inexperienced Chili taster named Frank, who was visiting from Springfield , IL

Frank: 'Recently, I was honored to be selected as a judge at a chili cook-off. The original person called in sick at the last moment and I happened to be standing there at the judge's table, asking for directions to the Coors Light truck, when the call came in. I was assured by the other two judges (Native Texans) that the chili wouldn't be all that spicy; and, besides, they told me I could have free beer! during the tasting, so I accepted and became Judge 3.'

Here are the scorecard notes from the event:

Judge # 1 -- A little too heavy on the tomato. Amusing kick.
Judge # 2 -- Nice, smooth tomato flavor. Very mild.
Judge # 3 (Frank) -- Holy crap, what the hell is this stuff? You could remove dried paint from your driveway. Took me two beers to put the flames out. I hope that's the worst one. These Texans are crazy.

Judge # 1 -- Smoky, with a hint of pork. Slight jalapeno tang.
Judge # 2 -- Exciting BBQ flavor, needs more peppers to be taken seriously.
Judge # 3 -- Keep this out of the reach of children. I'm not sure what I'm supposed to taste besides pain. I had to wave off two people who wanted to give me the Heimlich maneuver. They had to rush in more beer when they saw the look on my face.

Judge # 1 -- Excellent firehouse chili. Great kick.
Judge # 2 -- A bit salty, good use of peppers.
Judge # 3 -- Call the EPA. I've located a uranium spill. My nose feels like I have been snorting Drano. Everyone knows the routine by now. Get me more beer before I ignite. Barmaid pounded me on the back, now my backbone is in the front part of my chest. I'm getting sh*t-faced from all of the beer.

Judge # 1 -- Black bean chili with almost no spice. Disappointing.
Judge # 2 -- Hint of lime in the black beans. Good side dish for fish or other mild foods, not much of a chili.
Judge # 3 -- I felt something scraping across my tongue, but was unable to taste it. Is it possible to burn out taste buds? Sally, the beer maid was standing behind me with fresh refills. This 300 lb. woman is starting to look HOT... just like this nuclear waste I'm eating! Is chili an aphrodisiac?

Judge # 1 -- Meaty, strong chili. Cayenne peppers freshly ground, adding considerable kick. Very impressive.
Judge # 2 -- Chili using shredded beef, could use more tomato. Must admit the cayenne peppers make a strong statement.
Judge # 3 -- My ears are ringing, sweat is pouring off my forehead and I can no longer focus my eyes. I farted, and four people behind me needed paramedics. The contestant seemed offended when I told her that her chili had given me brain damage. Sally saved my tongue from bleeding by
pouring beer directly on it from the pitcher. I wonder if I'm burning my lips off. It really ticks me off that the other judges asked me to stop screaming. Screw them.

Judge # 1 -- Thin yet bold vegetarian variety chili. Good balance of spices and peppers.
Judge # 2 -- The best yet. Aggressive use of peppers, onions, garlic. Superb.
Judge # 3 -- My intestines are now a straight pipe filled with gaseous, sulfuric flames. I crapped on myself when I farted, and I'm worried it will eat through the chair. No one seems inclined to stand behind me except that Sally. Can't feel my lips anymore. I need to wipe my butt with a snow cone.

Judge # 1 -- A mediocre chili with too much reliance on canned peppers.
Judge # 2 -- Ho hum, tastes as if the chef literally threw in a can of chili peppers at the last moment. **I should take note that I am worried about judge number 3. He appears to be in a bit of distress as he is cursing uncontrollably.
Judge # 3 -- You could put a grenade in my mouth, pull the pin, and I wouldn't feel a thing. I've lost sight in one eye, and the world sounds like it is made of rushing water. My shirt is covered with chili, which slid unnoticed out of my mouth. My pants are full of lava to match my shirt. At least during the autopsy, they'll know what killed me. I've decided to stop breathing. It's too painful. Screw it; I'm not getting any oxygen anyway. If I need air, I'll just suck it in through the 4-inch hole in my stomach.

Judge # 1 -- The perfect ending, this is a nice blend chili. Not too bold but spicy enough to declare its existence.
Judge # 2 -- This final entry is a good, balanced chili. Neither mild nor hot. Sorry to see that most of it was lost when Judge #3 farted, passed out, fell over and pulled the chili pot down on top of himself. Not sure if he's going to make it. Poor feller, wonder how he'd have reacted to really hot chili?

Judge # 3 - No Report

Socialized Medicine...

The National Health Service (NHS) in England is often held up as an example of how to do it right by the proponents of socialized health care in the U.S. My friends in England are quite puzzled by this, as they would trade our health care for theirs in an instant. This morning I read an article that tells you how the NHS itself views it; the subhead says it all.
An NHS trust has spent more than £12,000 on private treatment for hospital staff because its own waiting times are too long.
Go read the whole thing...and remember this (and your post office) the next time someone tells you that we should have the federal government running our health care system...


Normally I don't pay any attention at all to the likes of Howard Stern – but somehow I surfed to the audio clip below, and I was dumbstruck. In it, Howard Stern is asking questions of voters in Harlem. He asks questions that, in each case, ask them if they support some policy or personnel selection of Obama – but in each case he substitutes the actual policy or personnel selection of McCain. Not one voter detects the substitution.

God help us all – these people are going to elect the next President of the U.S...


Here's the lead of an excellent editorial over at the National Review:

Last June, five Supreme Court justices dreamed up a constitutional right for aliens held as enemy combatants to challenge their wartime detention in court. Now the bitter fruits of the Boumediene decision are plain to see: In Washington, a federal judge has ordered the release — into the United States — of 17 men captured near Tora Bora after the American invasion of Afghanistan.

The men are Uighur Muslims from China. And therein lies the key to this convoluted tale. The outpouring of media sympathy for the Uighurs suggests that they were on holiday when they were mistakenly swept up by invading Americans. In point of fact, they had trained at jihadist paramilitary camps, where they were schooled in bomb construction, close combat, assassinations, and the like. Specifically, the Uighurs are tied to an al-Qaeda affiliate, the East Turkestan Islamic Movement, a designated terrorist organization. As terrorism researcher Thomas Joscelyn has documented, several of them were fighting against our troops. Their capture was entirely proper. And predictably, many of them have joined forces with other jihadists held in Guantánamo Bay to riot and assault American guards.
This is a wonderfully clear example of the consequences of a court that has no problem distorting the Constitution into something it was never meant to be. It is impossible for any rational thinker even to imagine that the Founding Fathers would have agreed with this Supreme Court decision – much less the consequences of it in this case.

In recent years my view of the Supreme Court has completely flip-flopped. I used to think of them as sort of the safety net – the restraint that would keep the elected politicians from doing something really outrageous or stupid. Now I think of them as the enablers, and in some cases the leaders, of this country's stampede toward socialism. If The One is elected, and manages to pack the court with more justices of the Ruth Ginsberg ilk, this is only going to get much worse...

The Banking Crisis, Explained...

Don't understand the recent banking crisis? Here it is, explained in a single, very easy-to-understand graphic.

Book of Obama...

Jeff Goldstein is feeling his oats; there's all kinds of tasty treats on Protein Wisdom these past few days. For example, he's rewritten the old parable about the ant and the grasshopper, as one chapter in the “Book of Obama”. I'll tease you with one passage, but then you'll need to go read the rest:
No worries, though, the grasshopper decided. For he was entitled to some of that corn, being hungry and all, and to deny him food was a moral failing on the part of the Ants, whose greed was so loathsome that it should be punished by those who respected social justice. So the grasshopper complained loudly to his leaders about this terrible inequity in food distribution.
And you won't regret just starting at the top and reading down...