Gustav: Botched Already?

Galrahn thinks the Navy might be late to the party:

The USS Bataan (LHD 5) deployment is coming a day late, and it is particularly noteworthy the Navy will have difficulty deploying more ships from the east coast if necessary. Hurricane Hanna will soon be influencing the lines of communication at sea off the east coast of Florida, meaning after Monday any other ships will be forced to take the long route through heavy seas around Hanna to help in the Gulf Coast.

Polling Isn’t Strategy

Tom Jensen of Public Policy Polling has some advice for the Obama campaign:

Here’s a list of selected North Carolina metropolises that are more populous than Wasilla:

Waynesville, Dunn, Mt. Holly, Washington, Holly Springs, Pinehurst, Kings Mountain, Lincolnton, Hendersonville, Southern Pines, Tarboro, Smithfield, Hope Mills, Newton, Indian Trail, Graham, Wake Forest, Cornelius, Boone, Reidsville, Mint Hill, Albemarle, Clemmons, Eden, Henderson, Carrboro, Roanoke Rapids, Elizabeth City, Morganton, Morehead City, Garner, Lenoir, Kernersville, Mooresville, Shelby, Lexington, Apex, Thomasville, Lumberton, Asheboro, Matthews, Havelock, New Bern, Sanford, Statesville, Kinston, Huntersville, Monroe, Salisbury, Laurinburg, etc.

So here’s my challenge to the Obama campaign: these towns represent pretty much every TV market in the state, and I bet an equally ridiculous sounding lists of cities bigger than Wasilla could be produced in almost every other state that they’re targeting. Get a group of friendly Mayors to do a press conference in every one of those markets the day of Palin’s nomination speech and talk about how they’re evidently qualified to hold the second highest office in the land two years from now.

The only trouble with this plan is that I’m willing to bet that at least a couple of these mayors do think they’re qualified to be vice president.

Never underestimate the ego of a politician.

Winning Attitude

Ross Douthat:

He’s running for the Presidency at a time when the Republican brand is in the toilet, with a party that seems unable to excite its hard-core supporters or woo swing voters, and a leadership — McCain included — that gets the heebie-jeebies when called upon to discuss any topic save terrorism, 9/11 and the Surge. Even if by some Jeremiah Wright-aided miracle he edges out Barack Obama, he’ll limp into the White House as a John Major-in-the-making – an aging politician who won an election that belonged by rights to the other party, facing Democratic majorities in both houses, a media that will be primed to treat Senators Obama and Clinton as the default co-Presidents for the next four years, and a conservative base that’s just waiting for an opportunity to turn on him. Does this sound like a recipe for a successful Presidency?

WaPo Examines Troopergate

Nothing in the Washington Post’s article about the Palin/trooper situation changes my assessment that the issue is a loser for the Dems. For what it’s worth, it seems like a straightforward account of how things got to where they are.

Cub Bidders Shuffle

The Chicago Tribune supplies an update on the state of the bidding for the Cubs. A couple of the competitors are looking shaky, but Mark Cuban could face a battle with Thomas Ricketts, the son of Ameritrade founder J. Joseph Ricketts:

Forbes magazine estimates the family’s war chest at $2.6 billion. The Ricketts’ bid matches the league’s preference for deep-pocketed owners and family control, making the clan a strong candidate.

It’s not clear, though, if Ricketts made the highest offer in the first phase of the auction that was completed last month.

That would be Cuban, by all other reports. He bid $1.3B.

Quitter (II)

Orson Scott Card, remembering fondly Solzhenitsyn’s Harvard critique of American society:

We are what Sozhenitsyn accused us of being. Unwilling to listen to and learn from him, we are acting out the tragicomedy of national decline. Is there still greatness in us? Just as the dying British Empire, led by the genuinely brave Winston Churchill, had one last paroxysm of greatness in World War II, we may be enacting our last spasm of courage under the leadership of George W. Bush.

What rot. This is not 1978, and Card’s take is little more than Jimmy Carter’s malaise speech updated.

Switching Places

Thomas Barnett notes how the major parties have changed approach on the way to explaining why he’ll vote for Obama:

When I look at the labeling now with parties, to me it all seems backwards. Republican presidents seem to be associated with huge deficits and more radical foreign policies, while Dem presidents seem to be associated with more frugality and more conservative national security policies.

I tend to make my pick largely on foreign policy, and the reason why I would take Obama over McCain is because I think Obama will be a more cautious, conservative national security leader than McCain, who I expect to be more bold and radical–much like Bush. I just don’t think America can afford four more years of that.

You might read the whole thing. He comes from a post-Boomer outlook that has little use for red/blue division or refighting the battles of 40 years ago.

Palin and Abortion

As usual, the right misses the point when it comes to abortion:

I saw a concerted effort by the media to marginalize her as a far right winger, out of touch with moderate and pro-choice women.  This is unfair to her, and to all of us who respect her admirable decision to carry to term a child diagnosed in utero with Down’s Syndrome.  It’s been noted here that 90 percent of parents who receive the news that their child will be born with this disability choose to terminate.  Governor Palin put her principles into practice.  And as a pro-choicer, I can say with sincerity that I admire her act of character and love.

As can we all. What provokes rather more controversy, however, is the assumption that people who believe as Palin does have the right to impose their views on the other 90 percent of America.

Mixed Reviews In Alaska

Palin’s first year and a half in the governor’s office gets mixed reviews from the cognoscenti back home in Alaska.

Not Leaving the Trooper Alone

A long post from Washington Monthly blogger Steve Benen shows Democrats could well get themselves in trouble by making an issue of McCain veep pick Sarah Palin’s efforts to get her state-trooper brother-in-law fired. It’s clear Palin has been disingenuous about her activities and the former state public safety commissioner she actually did fire has a point when he says there are personnel-law reasons that should keep a governor from putting a finger on the scales like she tried to.  But looking strictly at the politics of it, that’s beside the point. Most police forces are good-ol’-boy bastions that more often cover for than investigate fellow cops who get involved in domestic violence. That’s so widely known that women not only will give Palin a pass on the issue, many will actively take her side. Trust me, Dems, this one’s a loser.