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Not So Fast, McCain

John McCain is acting like a winner. A bad-tempered winner with no sense of perspective, a chip on his shoulder the size of his well-fed ego, and an arrogant disregard for the precepts of the President whose "foot soldier" he claims he was so many years ago. Apparently, McCain thinks that being in government service the same time as Ronnie qualifies him to make that claim, although such a lax definition would allow Mikhail Gorbachev the same honor.

But a winner nonetheless, in the same way we saw 'winner' defined, back in the days when an NBA team would celebrate with gangsta imitations, in the same way that Floyd Landis figured no one would dare investigate his doped-up Tour de France win, and so on.

Anyway, McCain is going on these days about what a great 'conservative' he is, by which we are supposed to accept the hijacking of Senate Judicial hearings, the suppression of individual political speech just before an election, and insubordination of party leadership whenever they disagree with him as proud hallmarks of the Reagan Revolution. Apparently, McCain believes that his present position in front of the GOP race gives him the right to redefine terms, to lie about his opponents, and to declare the race over. But to that I call not so fast, Senator McCain, this race is not nearly done. In fact, it's just warming up.

Tuesday, February 5, twenty-two states will hold their GOP caucus or primary, with 1,102 delegates riding on the outcome. For comparison, all six states which have had a GOP primary or caucus up to now have accounted for a total of only 181 delegates, and some of those are uncommitted. For all the hoo-dah in the media, the fact is that it takes 1,191 delegates to secure the nomination, and none of the candidates has even cleared a hundred in his tally yet. Seems McCain is real anxious that most of the country does not get a chance to say whether or not this chucklehead should carry the banner of the Republican party into the fall. I certainly understand why McCain would want to shut the doors now, but it's important we don't get fooled by his act.

To be sure, McCain did a hero's service during the Vietnam War. In challenging his hubris, I want to make clear that I am not denying the man his due as a hero. For those unclear on that point, what made McCain a hero during Vietnam was not simply that he was prisoner of war, but that because of his high profile as the son of the Navy's CNO, McCain was the subject of much worse torture and pressure from the North Vietnamese. Not just physical torture, though there was plenty of that, but emotional torture as well, such as suggesting that if he played along, McCain could get his buddies released from prison camps, or trying to give McCain preferential treatment so the Communists could gain a propaganda victory. For six years, John McCain defied his captors, and was a lasting source of strength to his fellow prisoners.

McCain's lesser qualities appear, however, in his work as a Senator. As a Senator, McCain quickly established a stubborn refusal to work with anyone who was not going completely in his direction, and more than once McCain defied GOP leadership in critical situations, most notably during the George W. Bush Administration. Bittter from his 2000 primary defeats, McCain was one of only two Republican senators who voted against the Bush tax cuts, saying that he wanted spending cut first, but also that he opposed "tax cuts for the rich".

McCain was one of the writers of the infamous McCain-Feingold campaign finance law, which basically tries to stifle anyone discussing an election in the last month before it happens. McCain has never apologized for that assasult on the First Amendment.

Then there is the "gang of 14", another example of McCain leadership where McCain decided that having the Senate actually do its job as a body and vote on judicial appointments was not good, that one-seventh of the Senate could make back-room deals on judges, not even based on their qualifications, but purely to expedite political arrangements. Again, McCain has never apologized for railroading qualified judges and defying the Constitutional role of the United States Senate. Indeed, McCain seems to think he can gloss that over and we will let it go, as if it were some minor foible. But the record needs to be seen in total, the times McCain got it right, and the times he got it wrong.

I certainly have issues to some degree with Mitt Romney and Mike Huckabee, but in both of their cases, I at least believe they are conducting honest campaigns by the standard we see these days. It is truly disappointing to see a former naval officer of McCain's repute prostitute his honor in the pursuit of an office he so patently should not perform.


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Comments (39)

Senator McCain's contributi... (Below threshold)
kevino:

Senator McCain's contribution to Immigration Reform also come to mind.

let us not forget his sland... (Below threshold)
Jeff:

let us not forget his slander of the Swift Vets and his endorsement of Bloomberg ...

You forgot about super Tues... (Below threshold)
BarneyG2000:

You forgot about super Tuesday. McCain has AZ, CA, NJ and NY all but locked-upped. That is 379 winner takes all delegates. Huck could take the south (all WTA) and those 212 delegates. I would think that McCain would do well in IL and MN and take at least half of those delegates.

That doesn't leave much for Romney, but hopefully just enough that Romney stays in and stimulates the economy by dumping tens of millions of his own dough into the economy.

McCain is already a few yea... (Below threshold)
kb:

McCain is already a few years older than Regan was when he was elected. The press hammered Regan on his age throughout his Presidency. Jokes were printed regularly. McCain had already shown at times that he forgets what he says shortly after he says it.

Right now the press loves McCain. The press built McCain up out of the blue when it was certain that he had no chance. That would soon change if McCain gets the nomination.

It is almost like the Clinton war room is dictating a game-plan and tactics to the media. They also know McCain is not in good grace with conservatives.

"Independent voters" have played a large role in his victories. Can you say 'Democrat'?

The media hates Romney. So much that he gets very little, if any press coverage. When he does it is not very positive.

It seems that the press believes it would be easier for a Democrat victory in November if they ran against McCain and a possible loss if it is against Romney.

If you haven't, try reading... (Below threshold)
Tbird:

If you haven't, try reading Robert Timberg's book, "The Nightengale's Song". It give a good insight into McCain's character and what make's him tick. Some of it is a bit disquieting.

Barney you moron, what do y... (Below threshold)
DJ Drummond:

Barney you moron, what do you think they call Tuesday, February 5? You know, the day I wrote about in the fourth paragraph of the article?

Your math skills are nothing to brag about, either ...

Mitt Romney is having a ser... (Below threshold)
Capital L:

Mitt Romney is having a seriously difficult time defeating John McCain. Why in the world do you imagine he would be able to beat the eventual Democratic nominee, even if said nominee is Hillary Clinton?

Delusion.

McCain isn't perfect, but I rather like Republican control of the executive. I can't foresee any mistake he would make that Clinton or Obama would do 10x worse over.

Even Kruathammer on Special... (Below threshold)
BarneyG2000:

Even Kruathammer on Special Report said that Rush and the other right-wing neo con media will fail in it's attempt to smear McCain. They do not speak for the true conservative as best written by john Cole:

"Radically restructuring government to create an unaccountable executive is not conservative. Building a security apparatus that is designed to spy on citizens is not a conservative principle. Runaway spending and bloated budgets are not conservative ideas. Torture and permanent aggressive wars are not conservative principles. Fearmongering and keeping the electorate scared is not a conservative principle. And on and on."
http://www.balloon-juice.com/?p=9580#comments

GAH that should have been "... (Below threshold)
Capital L:

GAH that should have been "wouldn't do 10x worse over."

"let us not forget his slan... (Below threshold)
mikem Author Profile Page:

"let us not forget his slander of the Swift Vets"

I'll second that. Talk about an act of political whoredom, grrr.

... and by the way Barney, ... (Below threshold)
DJ Drummond:

... and by the way Barney, not only is CA NOT a winner-take-all state (they go by congressional district), California is very conservative for Republicans. You seem to have missed the fact that Democrats won't be able to vote for McCain in the Cali GOP primary, just as you failed to note how the state is organized.

I am also amused by your math. As I wrote in my article, Tuesday posts 1,102 delegates up for grabs in 22 states. As I noted, McCain will NOT claim 379 delegates in those races, nor do I expect Huckabee to claim 212 delegates (you have also not noticed Huck's spending pattern, for instance), but even if McCain got 379 and Huck got 212, that would mean Romney took the other 511 and that would give him the lead again in the delegate count.

Once again, you embarrass yourself.

Let me clarify one point, B... (Below threshold)
DJ Drummond:

Let me clarify one point, Barney - McCain MAY claim as many as 379 delegates on Super Tuesday, perhaps even more. But your projection that McCain will take a commanding position and Romney will - in your perverse wet dreams - slide to 3rd somehow just because you pray to your idol of Al Gore in the corner of your room that it will happen, is just another demonstration of how poor your grasp of the process has devolved.

Here's my prediction of the... (Below threshold)
sam:

Here's my prediction of the delegate breakdown for the Feb 5 states:

McCain 62%
Romney 24%
Huckabee 14%

Based on what, sam? No can... (Below threshold)
DJ Drummond:

Based on what, sam? No candidate has never yet cleared 50% on any caucus or primary. Any reasonable projection of delegates would follow known trends, especially demographics.

Give it up and get used to ... (Below threshold)
McCainiac:

Give it up and get used to it. McCain's way ahead, and there is no way that Romney or Huckabee have a chance. Especially Romney - if he couldn't win NH or FL, there's no place he can win except Utah, NV and MI.

Huck will take AR and maybe AL and GA.

McCain takes AZ, AK, CA, CO, MN, MO, OK, NY, TN, WV and IL.

I bet McCain even wins MA, because of the way Romney trashed it when he was away campaigning.

Romney takes UT.

Well said DJ. I have... (Below threshold)
Myronhalo:

Well said DJ.
I have no intention of voting for John McCain though I also am a Viet Nam vet, and flew many combat missions there. John had the misfortune to get shot down, and I didn't. But getting shot down doesn't make a person a hero. The real heroes gave up their lives and have been forgotten.
A real hero is someone who is faithful to his promise to his wife "till death do us part."
A real hero states the truth and not just what people want to hear.
Courage is saying the truth regardless of what it costs in the end.
I don't see any hero material in the present version of John McCain, even though "imaginary Hollywood heroes" like Arnold Swartzenegger endorse him.

McCainiac - "McCain's wa... (Below threshold)
DJ Drummond:

McCainiac - "McCain's way ahead".

No, he definitely is not. He's 28 delegates ahead, with 1,102 to be decided next Tuesday. Just over 9 percent of the delegates have been allocated so far. Statistically, McCain's lead is 1.17% of the total number of delegates, well within any standard deviation calculation.

DJI have to catch ... (Below threshold)
Rory:

DJ

I have to catch a flight so I don't have a lot of time-

But-I have been following you for a long time and you've Malkinized yourself.

This is gross-

It is truly disappointing to see a former naval officer of McCain's repute prostitute his honor in the pursuit of an office he so patently should not perform.

Hell you gave more respect to a complete moron for a lot longer-Oak Leaf- for one hell of a lot less-career wise.

Also Mitt Romney didn't prostitute his career as Olympic Saviour to campaign and win the second election of Bush-a wartime president.

At least Rudy Giuliani, MCCain and Schwartzenegger did.

Your guy Mitt was busy doing the political CYA.

Rory, I can't even tell wha... (Below threshold)
DJ Drummond:

Rory, I can't even tell what you were trying to say in that comment.

Did I not note, in detail, McCain's clear heroism in Vietnam? I made it abundantly clear that it was McCain's political ambitions which soiled his name.

I note you did not even try to defend his conduct as a Senator, you just went into smear mode.

Geez, why d'you want to imitate a Clinton?

I despise the politician Mc... (Below threshold)
mikem Author Profile Page:

I despise the politician McCain, but you are shortchanging McCain's Vietnam service. He was not "just" shot down and frankly if you are going to argue that being shot down doesn't make one a hero, then you are simply providing the best ammunition to someone who argues that being killed doing one's duty, whether soldier, fireman, or police office doesn't make one a hero either.

That said, McCain was offered release by the North Vietnamese and refused (!!!!!!!!!) because he thought that other enlisted POWs, who were treatly even more harshly by their captors, deserved to be released first. He refused to "abandon them". Thereafter the lighter mistreatment accorded to his officer status disappeared and he was punished severely. That result was easy to see coming and McCain made the courageous decision anyway. I challenge anyone to be cocksure that they themselves would have done the same. Personally, I think that I would have strained to find a rationale for going home. I certainly am not sure that I would have had McCain's courage.

He was certainly a hero, in the very best respect, and not just because he was shot down.

We don't need to disappear McCain's heroism to argue against him as President, or to be angry at him for his betrayal, in the current political realm, of his fellow Vietnam veterans.

My comment was directed at ... (Below threshold)
mikem Author Profile Page:

My comment was directed at Myro, not you, DJ, just so you and he know.

DJ, it looks like you are t... (Below threshold)
BarneyG2000:

DJ, it looks like you are taking a beating on this, so I might as well add on.

You said: "and by the way Barney, not only is CA NOT a winner-take-all state (they go by congressional district), California is very conservative for Republicans."

Well according to my source CA is winner take all at the district and at large delegates (169). http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Republican_Party_(United_States)_presidential_primaries,_2008

CA also elected the Terminator Gov, and RC has McCain leading Rom by 33% to 22% in CA.
http://www.realclearpolitics.com/epolls/2008/president/ca/california_republican_primary-258.html

So, you are wrong on both counts, and my math is fine. I was pointing out the "in-the-pocket" states for McCain. McCain will pick-up many more delegates from the other states, and as pointed out above Mr. Flip/Flop only has a couple states in the bag with no where the number of delegates.

McCainiac you'd better thin... (Below threshold)

McCainiac you'd better think again. Tennessee certainly will not be a McCain state. The majority of us are still Fred Thompson supporters who will likely vote Romney. I've seen no support anywhere for ol' John, lots of Romney and Ron Paul signs and a mazillion Hillary signs. Unfortunately, in the general election TN will likely go to Hillary because there are so many people holding their hands out to the government that it's no longer funny, but disgustingly nauseating.

Rotten at reading comprehen... (Below threshold)
DJ Drummond:

Rotten at reading comprehension too, huh Barney?

You said it yourself: winner take all at the district level. Not the state, the congressional district, just as I said.

And 33% of the polls, even if it holds up (remember Obama was gonna win NH by so much?), 33% of 173 delegates is 57 delegates. Sure, if McCain claims a win in every congressional district, he could grab all 173, but only a complete moron would expect that, much less predict it. Which is of course why you predicted it.

As I said, you only embarrass yourself.

"Based on what, sam? No can... (Below threshold)
sam:

"Based on what, sam? No candidate has never yet cleared 50% on any caucus or primary. Any reasonable projection of delegates would follow known trends, especially demographics."

Based on analysis of who will likely win where, and how delegates will be awarded. Want to place a bet? You do your own analysis and give your numbers, and then we can agree on a dollar amount.

Barney, you just backed up ... (Below threshold)
SCSIwuzzy:

Barney, you just backed up what DJ said.
CA is not a winner take all state, votes are allocated at the district level. The "at larges" go to the overall winner plus whatever he/she got from the districts.

So your assertion, even according to your own source, that CA is a WTA state is busted.

I would point out that McCa... (Below threshold)
Jeff:

I would point out that McCain didn't die in the line of duty. Doing ones duty is to be respected not made into hero worship.

He did what he had to do to survive, as did hundreds of other POW's. At least one POW received the Medal of Honor for doing more than surviving the ordeal. In other words, going beyond the call of duty. That was heroic ...

DJ, you said CA was too con... (Below threshold)
BarneyG2000:

DJ, you said CA was too conservative to vote for McCain, yet he is leading by double digits even before he got the endorsements of Rudy and the Gov.

According RC, McCain is beating Romney in every state that counts except CO and MA. McCain has solid leads in AZ, CA, IL, MN, OK, GA, TN and is even with the Huck in MO.

Nice to see that you are smoking that Romney pipe dream.

Barney, do you really base ... (Below threshold)
DJ Drummond:

Barney, do you really base your sense of things on polls?

Really?

PS - go back and read what I warned you about on Obama and NH. Or have your mommy read it to you.

"He did what he had to do t... (Below threshold)
mikem Author Profile Page:

"He did what he had to do to survive, as did hundreds of other POW's."

Oh, really? What part of surviving includes refusing to return ahead of others to home and family.

Unbelievable.

Fred! is still my man on 2/... (Below threshold)
Morrissimo:

Fred! is still my man on 2/5 -- and if McCain is the Repub nominee, Fred! will be my man in Nov as a write-in. Will it make a difference, one way or the other? Nope. Will I sleep like a baby that night? Yep.

DJ has a rather vested inte... (Below threshold)

DJ has a rather vested interest in McCain losing. He was the one that wrote this:

But I will say plainly, that because they have chosen to personally savage the President, to abandon the GOP when their support would have made a difference, and to put their egos and image ahead of the nation's welfare, such candidates as John McCain, Tom Tancredo, and Sam Brownback will never gain the GOP nomination, and thank God for that.

If McCain gets the nomination, DJ will not only be served an absolutely huge portion of crow to consume, he'll have to re-examine his entire thesis for that article. The "evolving demographic" of "generally reasonable and open-minded" people that make up Republican voters will have chosen McCain and his flaws over all of DJ's preferred candidates.

We've already seen both of DJ's "wild cards" hit the discard pile, so now he has no choice but to pin all his hopes on his self-proclaied "mild card."

Based on analysis ... (Below threshold)
Based on analysis of who will likely win where, and how delegates will be awarded. Want to place a bet? You do your own analysis and give your numbers, and then we can agree on a dollar amount.

Don't feel bad you never got a reply on this one, sam. DJ's way of dealing with a challenge like this is usually to dismiss it out of hand with no actual data and then ignore further replies. He'd rather continue feeding pathetic trolls like Barney than actually give his counter-predictions or (god-forbid) actually take you up on your direct challenge. My prediction for delegates awarded is:

McCain: 52%
Romney: 27%
Huckabee: 21%

"The "evolving demographic"... (Below threshold)
Alan Orfi:

"The "evolving demographic" of "generally reasonable and open-minded" people that make up Republican voters will have chosen McCain and his flaws over all of DJ's preferred candidates."

You are making jumping to some wild conclusions about the Rebublican Party. I hate to break it to you, but McCain's success is much more a result of simply being in the right place at the right time. It is indisputable that crossover libs made the difference in his NH and SC victories. Without them, this entire run never happens. There were no liberal Republican candidates to contest McCain (Giuliani elected not to), so he had the corner on liberal market as Huckabee, Romney and Thompson split votes. McCain has actually gotten only 30 percent of the Republican vote to this point... hardly a basis for your "evolving demographic" nonsense.

What crawled up your behind... (Below threshold)
DJ Drummond:

What crawled up your behind, Joe?

Yes, I think McCain is a poor, poor candidate and more than a few folks think he will blow up sometime between now and the convention. But for now, it's perfectly reasonable to argue about his qualifications and problems.

When I wrote that McCain, Brownback, and Tancredo were not tenable as nominees, I explained why (I noticed you left out that part - must not have been convenient for you, huh?), and the validity of my observation has not changed.

And yes, I am not at all thrilled with our available choices, but again I make my argument based on the best available candidate. Unlike you, I manage to get over it when I don't get exactly what I want. Adults do that sort of thing all the time, so you might want to start trying to get in the swing of it.

As to sam's "challenge", there is nothing I need to respond to - he voiced his opinion, I disagreed, end of story.

I am also noting, again, that none of the McCain rowdies can seeem to produce any sort of cogent argument, about just why Conservatives should support him. He's lied about his record, engaged in Clinton-style smear tactics against Romney, and now he and his lackeys want to pretend the race is already over, with only 7.6% of the delegates allocated.

It's fine for you to have an opinion that your boy McCain will claim 52% of the delegates. But again, the numbers point towards a brokered convention right now, so it's only reasonable to ask you to explain what you think will change the balance. Since McCain's poll numbers show he has not cleared 40% support, let alone 50%, and since so many of the primaries are NOT winner-take-all, and since the demographics show places where one particular significant GOP candidate is strong, claiming that McCain is going to break out and run away with the nomination is a bold claim which is not supported by the existing numbers. So asking sam, and you, how you figure that will happen is the logical response. Your testy retort suggests that you can't answer that question, that your projection for McCain is just wishful thinking and you don't like having that highlighted.

You're the one saying McCain is worth voting for. If you have any evidence why a conservative should not laugh at that idea, then you need to make your case, not pretend that liberals and indies sneaking into GOP primaries will get the job done for you.

Just look at the polling in... (Below threshold)
McCainiac:

Just look at the polling in the big delegate states like NY, IL, CA, NJ, MN - all heavily with, or trending to, McCain in the absence of, and with the endorsement of Giuliani.

Romney squandered his millions. Huck will end up with more delegates than Romney.

Rasmussen's daily tracking ... (Below threshold)
Alan Orfi:

Rasmussen's daily tracking has Huckabee increasing national support from 16 percent to 21 percent over the past 4 days. He is embarrassing those in the media who keep insisting this is a 2-man race.

It is obvious that Huckabee cannot win the nomination outright. However, in the event that he does take a number of southern states next Tuesday, the likelihood of a brokered convention increases substantially. With this McCain disaster looming, I think a lot of folks wouldn't mind this scenario despite the history.

conservatives can' find any... (Below threshold)
Rich:

conservatives can' find any conservative reason to support Romney so they resort to ad-hominem attacks. Great stuff. All the liberals were right about the conservative movement.

When I wrote that ... (Below threshold)
When I wrote that McCain, Brownback, and Tancredo were not tenable as nominees, I explained why (I noticed you left out that part - must not have been convenient for you, huh?), and the validity of my observation has not changed.

Did you even go back and look at that article? I can understand you totally misunderstanding my points, but now you're not even understanding your own. That article wasn't about McCain. It was about "the Base" and why it was not just important, but absolutely required that the Republican candidate show respect for George W. Bush and his "overall work," defer to what you described as basic conservative principles, etc. The article mentioned McCain exactly once, and I quoted that in full. You claim that I left out something about McCain, et. al., but then you failed to follow up on what that was. If there was something there, please enlighten us as to what it was with the exact quote I left out. In any event, the part that was relevant was that you claimed that McCain WOULD NEVER be the nominee because you and the base didn't accept him.

My point was that your "The Base" article is now proving to be not just wrong, but absolutely, totally, and completely wrong. In fact, it's hard to imagine that you could have written something more hilariously off base. You didn't say that McCain shouldn't be the Republican nominee, but that he WOULD NEVER be. You have proven to be the one of the "irrational malcontent"s who claimed to represent the majority, when you actually did not have any idea you were in the minority and it was your favored candidates that would struggle and drop out.

I am also noting, again, that none of the McCain rowdies can seeem to produce any sort of cogent argument, about just why Conservatives should support him.
Once again, you miss the whole point. That argument is not necessary. You and the people you thought were the all-powerful base are simply not proving to be relevant in this primary election cycle. If and when McCain is the nominee, you'll get on board. The only other choice that you have is "abandoning the party and leaving the fate of the nation in the hands of the likes of Pelosi and Reid, of Murtha and Byrd." I, as a moderate, am looking for something totally different in a candidate than you are. That's why I like McCain and you don't. Since we want different things, I can revel in the fact that your favored candidates, the ones I had a hard time stomaching, are already gone.
You're the one saying McCain is worth voting for. If you have any evidence why a conservative should not laugh at that idea, then you need to make your case, not pretend that liberals and indies sneaking into GOP primaries will get the job done for you.
You, as an extreme conservative, should laugh at that idea. I think that the people voting for McCain will get it done, explicitly without you. As far as I am concerned, that's great -- the best of all possible worlds. McCain should definitely understand who got him the nomination (moderates) and who he can count on in the general election just because they want to prevent Hillary (you and your ilk). He will owe you nothing post election and will have a free hand to govern as a moderate. What more could I ask for?

Now let's talk about my predictions and the reasoning behind them. They're based on very simple, back-of-the-napkin calculations. One caveat is that I don't include West Virginia in my totals, so my totals/percentages are based on 1072 delegates awarded. I give winner-take-all New York(101), New Jersey(52), Arizona(53), Connecticut(30), Deleware(18), North Dakota(26), and Missouri(58) to McCain with Utah(36) and Montana(25) to Romney. That is a baseline of 338 delegates for McCain and 61 for Romney. Then, I divide the rest equally at 224 each. That gives McCain (338+224)/1072 = 52%, Romney (61+224) = 27% and Huckabee 21%. There is one unassigned delegate left over. Now let's see your counter-analysis, if you actually have any.

Your testy retort suggests that you can't answer that question, that your projection for McCain is just wishful thinking and you don't like having that highlighted.
I guess we'll know in a few short days which one of us is engaging in wishful thinking, at least about Super Tuesday. You already won the first two wishful thinking rounds, but perhaps you can hit the trifecta...





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