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Why Obama Won

Well, now that the election's over, we can look back and see where the key elements came together to make Barack Obama the 44th president of the United States. And it's only with the blessing of hindsight that we can fully grasp the significance of certain events.

As I see it, Obama won the presidency because of two key decisions. The first one enabled him to win the primary, and the second clinched him the general election.

In both cases, Obama (or his team) looked very carefully at the rules of each contest and found the loopholes that they could best exploit to win.

I don't mean that as a criticism. In contests like this, it is not only acceptable to look carefully at the rules and find the best way to play within them, but entirely appropriate to do so. Indeed, it is the people who find they have to re-define the terms of victory to best suit themselves halfway through the game that are the despicable ones.

In the primaries, the Obama campaign early on realized that victory was defined on a single term -- collecting enough delegates in enough primaries to clinch the nomination. Number of votes and number of states were simply irrelevant. Obama made a point of abiding meticulously by the rules, especially in the case of the Florida and Michigan primaries, and left it for Hillary Clinton and her backers to whine about "18 million people voted for her" and to play their little games in those states. In the end, Clinton lost -- and Obama won.

In the general election, the Obama camp seemed to figure out that the funding restrictions were entirely optional -- and the likely Republican nominee had committed himself to abiding by them. A quick head-fake (also known as "a broken promise") towards accepting public funding froze McCain to carefully predefined spending limits, while leaving Obama free to keep raising and spending money like a drunken Kennedy.

Those very same people also noted that when Congress passed its financial reporting and ethics reforms of the past few years, they had not included political campaigns. (Gee, Congress excluding itself from the same rules they impose on everyone else. THAT'S new and surprising...) That let the Obama campaign raise literally hundreds of millions of dollars that, under any other circumstances, would have likely resulted in criminal investigations and indictments.

Again, this is not sour grapes. I'm troubled by the rampant fraud and abuse in the Obama fundraising, especially through online donations via credit cards, but the simple fact is that they obeyed the rules.

There is some pretty strong evidence that they did enable a lot of lawbreaking, but it seems that they didn't break any laws themselves. And considering that victory ensures forgiveness of a multitude of sins (and the Justice Department, either facing an incoming Obama administration or under one, won't be likely to look too closely at the matter), it ends up mattering not a whit.

In the end, the Obama campaign played by the rules -- after putting them under a microscope and finding the key exceptions, conditions, and loopholes that they needed to guarantee a win. In the end, they simply played the game better than any of their rivals because they knew the game better than their rivals.

And in the end, that was enough to win.


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Comments (73)

Again, this is not sour ... (Below threshold)
Tim:

Again, this is not sour grapes. I'm troubled by the rampant fraud and abuse in the Obama fundraising, especially through online donations via credit cards, but the simple fact is that they obeyed the rules.

There is some pretty strong evidence that they did enable a lot of lawbreaking, but it seems that they didn't break any laws themselves. And considering that victory ensures forgiveness of a multitude of sins (and the Justice Department, either facing an incoming Obama administration or under one, won't be likely to look too closely at the matter), it ends up mattering not a whit.

Sorry, if those credit card donations put people over the limit or came from overseas, then they DID break laws. But hell, who cares about Democrats breaking laws? Laws don't apply to them, only Republicans.

BTW, is it OK to start calling Obama 'Hitler' yet, or photoshop him as a monkey?

I heard this on the a talk ... (Below threshold)
mag:

I heard this on the a talk radio many years ago...what stage are we at??? I think we are coming close the the last. I just saw this in print somewhere else and I think it bears repeating. Maybe some of you already saw this. But, base on what I saw around the country....I have totally lost faith in my fellow countrymen. Not just because of obama, but things I saw in my own state. People want to be ignorant and taken care of. We elect our own poison. No one to blame but ourselves.

From bondage to spiritual faith
From spiritual faith to great courage
From great courage to liberty
From liberty to abundance
From abundance to complanceny
From complanceny to apathy
From apathy to dependence
From dependence back to bondage.

Tim - I believe the correct... (Below threshold)
Mike:

Tim - I believe the correct monkier is "Stalin". :-)

...

The aftermath of the massive illegal fundraising scheme undertaken by Bill Clinton 12 years ago provides a good roadmap to what will happen during the next 12 months: bloggers like JayTea will continue to complain, there will be a few half-assed "investigations" by the MSM, the Obama administration will undertake a half-assed investigation in order to "clear the air" and "dispel the rumors," and finally some peon scapegoat will be sacrificed for The One. And Democrats will freely break the rules in similar fashion over and over again whenever it benefits them.

But you can bet your sweet bippy that if any Republican dared to lie about accepting public funds, or discard credit card verification for online fundraising, the Democrats and the MSM (but I repeat myself) will be all over it like flies on molasses.

I have much respect for Joh... (Below threshold)
SDW:

I have much respect for John McCain and his concession speech reinforced that respect.

That said, he lost because the people of this country are tired of what we've gotten from "W." Many people saw at least 4 more years of the same misery, cheating, irresponsible government that Bush gave us - whether this is justified or not does not matter.

The people of American have spoken.

They also metagamed better.... (Below threshold)

They also metagamed better. (Metagaming is cheating strategically instead of tactically.) They played the reverse race card ("They called me Black") and the reverse attack ad card ("McCain today harshly criticized Obama for his associations with 60's radicals"). Obama lawn signs went missing or were vandalized, but it's not clear by whom. Anonymous "angry racists" shouted epithets at McCain and Palin rallies. A group of "McCain supporters" shouted at Obama supporters at a polling place.

There will be Sena... (Below threshold)
MPR:

There will be Senate and House races in 2010. We need to begin supporting good conservative candidates not just where we live but, other states and districts also.If the economy goes south with higher taxes and unemployment and if nothing is done about energy situation, namely all the above. Or the Middle East erupts into full scale conflicts. We need to be ready with candidates that have answers not just bumper stickers. I know there were lots of reasons for us to be mad at congress in the 06′ election but, to many of us stayed home or voted cross party and the leadership in the Senate and the House went to the liberals. Leadership in congress matters because all of the committee chairmanships go to the majority party. You could make a good case that we would not be where we are today had we been able to hold the majority even by a slim margin. This has never been lost on the Democrats who seem to work together better than Republicans and/or Conservatives.
Let's wash our faces this morning and get ready to fight on. Lots of angry venting and gloating will be going on for a good while. That's OK.
My old football coach would say,"when you compete in anything there is no substitute for winning. It's more fun. But, when you lose, you learn a lot more. And the first thing you learn is to get back up. Never, never, stay down. You stand up for your faith, your family your country and never, never lay down and quit". Never.

Obama won because there is ... (Below threshold)

Obama won because there is a significant number of people who think they pay too much in taxes, but others, who also think they pay too much, don't pay enough.

Those who rail against others for their "greed" voted to give themselves more money.

Go figure.

Well, yeah, all of that and... (Below threshold)

Well, yeah, all of that and the fact that the majority of voters are abject morons. A socialist controlled and corrupted educational system combined with a mass media so entirely in the tank has created as much and will continue to for generations to come.

I'm troubled by the ramp... (Below threshold)

I'm troubled by the rampant fraud and abuse in the Obama fundraising, especially through online donations via credit cards...

Huh?!?!?

What's the matter with this?

Cheers,

The problem Arne is my fr... (Below threshold)
mf:

The problem Arne is my friend said when the story broke is O didnt at 1st know if the contributions online were legal/no screening method. McCain's site had a screening method.

I sincerely hope that the f... (Below threshold)
JFO:

I sincerely hope that the folks from the right continue to look for external reasons why McCain as well as Congressional Republicans were defeated - rather soundly at that.

God forbid that the commenters here take a look at what role that conservative ideas,positions played in the loss. Or god forbid that you look at the role of Bush or the role of the Republican controlled congress (6 years) played in the defeat.

Yes, keep looking at "fraud" or the "liberal media" or any of the other external reasons why you lost. Please keep doing that. I beg you.

McCain wasn't the best cand... (Below threshold)
Mycroft:

McCain wasn't the best candidate the GOP could have fielded. Why did they field him?

We need to search for a good candidate NOW and start campaigning NOW for the 2010 elections for every seat, and the 2012 presidential race.

George Bush has broken the zero year curse, but I expect to see Obama start the 08 year curse.

Funny how my thoughts were to 1976 all over again this morning. Do you remember gas lines? I do.

Obama won because you lost.... (Below threshold)
GOP Delenda Est:

Obama won because you lost.

Get over it.

GOP Delenda Est. Conservatism Delenda Est.

I will offer this, and only... (Below threshold)

I will offer this, and only this, to Barack Obama. Congratulations on your historic victory.

Now then, I've been seeing "country first" on a lot of right leaning blogs, with folks attempting to be polite. As far as I know, socialists don't care about country unity. You either agree with them, or you're forced to agree.

During the Reagan presidency, the George H.W. Bush presidency, and during the George W. Bush presidency, I've heard, "Not my president." Now it's my turn. Obama, if you do what I think you're going to do and make Jimmy Carter look like a great President, expect to get fired by the voters in 2012.

I will never support socialism, and I'm not going to start now. Country first my ass.

McCain allowed himself and ... (Below threshold)
hcddbz:

McCain allowed himself and his VP to be defined by Obama and the MSM. McCain courted Dem and independents more than his base. Finally when he had chance to with the true risk takers and oppose the bailout he backed off. He should have gone out there and talked about all the sweeteners in the deal and how in America you need to take risk and be accountable for them. He should of hammered FM/FM and named names all the time. He never really connected with the base in any real way.
He had too much baggage too many times he stood against his party , on Immigration, On Campaign Finance Reform, Gang of 14 and on and on.

He sowed the seeds of his own destruction and now America will reap the whirlwind.

To the extent like Dole he simply thought it was his time and he did not fight the fight to win. MCCain brought a .38 to the Gunfight and BHO brought the Howitzer.

Now hopefully we can lose the Rhinos, and elitists Republicans and start the fight to reclaim the country. There is no way BHO can fulfilled all the promise he made. He will have all the nut cases making demands that he keep his word. If he repeals the Bush Tax Cuts lots of people in the Middle class will be shocked.

Republicans lost for a numb... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:

Republicans lost for a number of reasons, but mostly for economic reasons. A large percentage of the electorate are bread and butter voters. These voters want a government that takes care of people in all stages of their life. Education for the young, health care for all, good jobs, and low prices. They don't care much for space exploration, nor having the best military in the world, nor building up other nations. To them the nation building in Iraq was just too expensive. In a way Republicans were harmed by the success of Bush in keeping the U.S. safe from further terrorist attacks. The bread and butter voters see the war as being over.

Today the U.S. has the strongest military it will ever have because Obama wants to cut defense expediters dramatically. Today the U.S has the cheapest energy it will have for decades to come because Obama wants to tax energy. Today U.S. citizens have the greatest freedom they will ever have because Obama plans on infringing constitutional rights such as the1st, 2nd and 10th amendments. Today the U.S. has the fairest tax system it will likely ever have because Obama plans to steal from the rich and middle class to pay the poor to stay poor. Today the U.S. has low interest rates, low inflation, and a struggling but still growing economy, but Obama will change that, not because he wants to, but because the tax on energy and on small business will cause it to happen.

The key for conservatives is to keep the liberals from citing Bush as the cause of all problems for years to come. The Democrats are in control with significant majorities in both houses of Congress and the Presidency. Conservatives have to make sure the Democrats take the blame for their actions. Then the bread and butter voters will want another change come 2010 and 2012.

Whatever republican's come up with as an agenda it has to appeal to the bread and butter voters. Please, lets not have any more "I don't know anything about the economy" candidates.

Country first my as... (Below threshold)
Hansel2:

Country first my ass.

There is a reason people with your mindset are now in the political wilderness. You're so far up your own ass, so convinced that your fear is strength, and so much a navel-gazer regarding your needs... your wants above everyone else....

My wife and together make over the $250,000 mark, and we may well get taxed a bit more, but, lets face it, we can afford it - and the Clinton economy was a boon for us and most people. And, quite honestly, if I can help the rest of the this country lift themselves up, it's going to be financially beneficial to me as well. How do I know this? Saw it during Clinton.

George Bush has been a scourge on this country for 8 years. He's lied, he's destroyed our economy and our standing around the world. The only people who refuse to believe this given truth are fools like yourself who cling on to an attitude that it's all about you and no one else, that bullying is the only way to run a foreign policy and conservative ideas are the only ones with value.

Well, look at the vote. The majority of the country disagrees with you profoundly. Maybe you should put your hate aside and start rethinking who you are and what kind of American you want to be.

And, by the way, the "socia... (Below threshold)
Hansel2:

And, by the way, the "socialism" mantra was created by Rove's protege. It has no basis in reality. Once again, they've made you a puppet of their talking points.

Hansel, how does the govern... (Below threshold)
Kev:

Hansel, how does the government taking from you and giving to someone else help "lift themselves up"? Does it teach them to educate themselves, to go to work, instead of sitting home smoking and playing XBOX?

And the socialist thing was... (Below threshold)
Kev:

And the socialist thing was based on Obama's own words and beliefs. Dam, even the few socialists I know say Obama is a Democratic socialist... why can't you just admit that??

I'M THE FIRST NUT ... (Below threshold)

I'M THE FIRST NUT (Ode to Bush)
(I'm a Nut. Leroy Pullins)
WilliamBanzai7

Sing Along With the Music: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YqsauoDmgDo


Beedle-dee-bah, beedle-dee-bah, beedle-dee-ree-pa-Bush..

[Chorus]
I'm nut, I'm a nut
My Presidential legacy don't amount to much, whoopa-whoopa-whoopa-whoopa
The head on my shoulders is sorta loose
And I ain't got the sense God gave a moose
Lord, I ain't crazy, but ...I'm the First Nut

Is is wetter under in the Potomac, if you're in it when it rains?
Is it shorter to Camp David, than it is by a plane?
Between myself and I, I wonder who's the dumber
Is it hotter down in Crawford, than it is in the summer?

[Chorus]

I drove my Cadillac to Wall Street to satisfy my lust
Wheelin', dealin', left ol' Wall Street on a Greyhound bus
I should'nt have set the markets on fire while I was there
But remember only forest fires prevent Bears

[Chorus]

The poverty war was almost over, until I began to fight
If it took a dime to go 'round the world
I'd cut taxes out of sight
I don't mind to take the Bankers out
If they don't mind to go Dutch
Makes me feel like 700 Billion Bailout Dollars
And I bet the Treasury ain't worth half that much

[Chorus]

Oh, crazy man! I'm a nut!
Oh, Lordy, Lordy Lordy, Lordy
I'm crazy, I'm the First Nut!

The Republicans got destroy... (Below threshold)
Jaim:

The Republicans got destroyed because you guys had almost eight years of governance (2001-2006) and you messed. everything. up.

So simple. I guess you guys can't read.

Hansel2,The Clinto... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:

Hansel2,

The Clinton economy was the result of the dot com bubble, pure and simple. That bubble started to fall apart in Clinton's last year and the economy was technically in a recession when Clinton left office. Go look it up if you're not afraid of the truth.

Bush didn't cause 9/11 despite liberals best attempts to make that claim. Sorry if you don't understand what it takes to defend this nation nor why Saddam had to go. Hopefully, Bush taught the Islamic terrorists that it's not smart to attack the U.S. on it's soil and Obama won't face a similarly problem. However, there's no guarantee and Obama can't use the military like Bush did or he'll alienate people like you.

The subprime mortgage was invented during the Carter administration and strengthened in the Clinton administration. The people who caused the subprime mess are now in full control, but many drank the "it's Bush's fault" kool-aid without bothering to find out the truth.

Obama swallowed the human caused global warming scam hook line and sinker and plans on taxing energy significantly to cause people to change their behavior. Behavior like heating and cooling your home, going for a vacation, running a steel plant, or producing any energy intensive product. The $4 gas we had in July will seem like the good old days.

Well, look at the vote. The majority of the country disagrees with you profoundly.

Don't get too comfortable, those same voters will turn on the democrats if Obama can't live up to his many promises.

You know, Hansel, you've al... (Below threshold)
Tim:

You know, Hansel, you've always had the right to give the government more of your money. Just go ahead and pony it up. What you just voted for is forcing other people to give up their money. As far as putting ahte aside, I'm giving Chimpy Obama the same respect, the same honeymoon you and the lefties gave George W Bush. Your guy won, so now we play by YOUR rules.

Tim, that's ridiculous revi... (Below threshold)
gmanj:

Tim, that's ridiculous revisionist history. On 9/12/01, I and almost every other democrat stood in unity with GW Bush and took at his words the promise of healing and a better tomorrow.

He and his incompetent or corrupt (take your pick) VP and staff took that faith and destroyed it irreparably.

The seeds of a defeat of the right wing's (conservative is the wrong word because there is absolutely nothing "conservative" about W's governance) ideologies in the independents of America were thrown then and were reaped yesterday. Sarah Palin won't win back the middle, the Repubs touting her better think that one through long and hard when ponying up a 2012 candidate.

President Barry Chimpy stol... (Below threshold)
WildWillie:

President Barry Chimpy stole a couple of states. Listening to JFO, there are no republicans in Washington. That shows what an idiot he is. The democrat machine threw so much money into the senate races and still are far from a super majority. I would not call that a repudication of conservative ideals. The reasons some republicans lost was there not following conservative ideals.

Chimpy and I Hate America Michelle are in the White House. On to 2010. ww

My wife and toget... (Below threshold)
hcddbz:
My wife and together make over the $250,000 mark, and we may well get taxed a bit more, but, lets face it, we can afford it - and the Clinton economy was a boon for us and most people. And, quite honestly, if I can help the rest of the this country lift themselves up, it's going to be financially beneficial to me as well. How do I know this? Saw it during Clinton.

Hansel2

Please explain why the current crop of Social Assistance programs is not working? Then please explain what will change to make sure that they now work.

I mean we have, CHIP, food stamps, Section 8 housing, EIC the tax rate was lowered form 15 to 10% for the working poor. They are exempt from the AMT. At what level does the assistance go away? How long will the assistance last? Once they do not need it will they pay it back?

Aside from government programs there are also many private programs.

AL Gore did one good thing as VP he was head of re-inventing government project. It showed that there was an incredible amount of redundancy in Federal and State government programs and therefore just an obscene amount of waste fraud and abuse.

So do we need new programs or should the existing programs be better run?

The GOP lost because we dug... (Below threshold)

The GOP lost because we dug ourselves a huge trench from 2000-2006, and as we realized we were doing it we kept digging deeper.

When your non-defense discretionary spending is 50% above Bill Clinton's and you're a Republican, you have a problem. You will never win a contest by trying to out-generous a liberal with the people's money.

First, you'll never spend enough, the liberals can always find ways you should have spent more. Second, it's tacit acceptance of the progressive-liberal concept that tax money=love, if you accept that you're already a huge step away from your principles. Third, taking more money from people, either now in the form of taxes or later in the form of deficits, violates your principles right there.

Add to that the various ethical scandals that befell the folks who stayed more than 3 terms after 1994 and the Gingrich Revolution had exceeded its shelf-life. The GOP brand is just not a good one this year, the Dems who got picked off in Congress were people like Mahoney who were just as rotten as the people they replaced, and Nick Lampson in Texas because he was never supposed to win a GOP district to begin with.

Sarah Palin was a benefit to the McCain camp, not a detriment. She was still a little wet when they pulled her out of Alaska, if McCain was going to pick her then in retrospect she needed some prior notice and a briefing book or three to read for a couple of months ahead of time. Once she found her footing she was great, but in the meantime she failed to nail her first big interviews and the media defined her before she could define herself. Nevertheless, there is not another GOP figure that could have done better, and there is nobody we have with the "Rock Star" appeal to blue-collar conservatives. The highbrow types like Brooks, Noonan, Will and Parker have issues with her, but their issues are solvable with some study and practice on Palin's part.

For all that Sarah Palin was supposed to be a culture warrior it was nowhere in her rhetoric. She didn't run on abortion, or guns, or gay marriage. She answered the questions when they came up but it was not a fixture of her stump speech and she said less about those issues than was said about her on those issues by the left.

The War in Iraq is functionally over. It's at maintenance level now and we'll draw down below that soon. We won. Whether Iraq can hold onto the victory is another question, but the War in Iraq is just not an issue anymore because the media does not report military success out of the fear that reporting success will bring more military action. The conflict in Afghanistan is trickier due to logistical issues but it's doable as well, just on a longer time scale.

The real problem is going to be the folks lining up to test Obama's chest in the next couple of years. Maybe he can buy them off and maybe he can't, but by 2003 GWB had established himself as a guy best not messed with. The ironic thing is that the first foreign policy wrench President Obama is going to have to extract from the gears will be one thrown by Israel, IMO. If they can't trust him they'll deal with Iran on their own, which could be anything from conventional attacks to EMPs to the kind of crazy stuff only the Israelis can think up and execute.

Obama is not a deterrent, at least not now. Bush was, he won in 2004 because of the security mom issue and without a security threat foremost in the public's mind the GOP lost its most reliable issue. The economy would have been a good issue but a clear economic message was slow in coming from the McCain camp. The McCain health thing is easy to explain -- "I want to take the health care tax benefit away from companies and give it to you" -- but was never articulated that way.

It took an unlicensed plumber to do what McCain's team could not -- make a pithy argument about the economic plans of his opponent. If that doesn't tell you that there was a problem in the McCain campaign, then nothing will.

. . .that's ridicu... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:
. . .that's ridiculous revisionist history. On 9/12/01, I and almost every other democrat stood in unity with GW Bush and took at his words the promise of healing and a better tomorrow.

And if terrorists succeed in attacking the U.S. under Obama's watch, I'm sure almost all Republicans will stand up in unity with Obama. The difference is that Obama can't use the military like Bush did for a number of reasons. First, Obama would have no moral authority to put any troops in harms way after the left's disgraceful tactics against Bush, and the bread and butter voters won't stand for another costly war. We just may see how well that works out, and if Obama can't stop the terrorists, people will be longing for a man like Bush to defend us. I hope it doesn't happen, but liberal ideology could go down in the flames of Islamic terrorism.

"Maybe you should put yo... (Below threshold)

"Maybe you should put your hate aside and start rethinking who you are and what kind of American you want to be."

I will always hate socialism. I will never put that aside. Socialism is responsible for more human misery, suffering and deaths than anything else in history. And because of that, I refuse to follow lemmings like you over the cliff. You go right ahead and enjoy the plunge into insanity.

"I will always hate sociali... (Below threshold)
gmanj:

"I will always hate socialism."

Didn't McCain cite Teddy Roosevelt as a hero? If OBama's ideas are socialist, so then were Roosevelt's. Funny, that.

gmanj:I've never b... (Below threshold)

gmanj:

I've never been a McCain (socialist-lite) fan either. Funny, that.

Tim, that's ridiculous r... (Below threshold)
T:

Tim, that's ridiculous revisionist history. On 9/12/01, I and almost every other democrat stood in unity with GW Bush and took at his words the promise of healing and a better tomorrow.

You conveniently left out the "Commander In Thief", "Selected, Not Elected" and all that other garbage that the left was spouting even before the inauguration. Spare me your phony unity after 9/11. As soon as it was politically allowable, they broke with Bush and with the country. Remember the 9/11 Commission? Remember how a plot that was in the works for years was Bush's fault even though he had only been in office 8 1/2 months. Revise that.

Obama owes the hard left li... (Below threshold)
hermie:

Obama owes the hard left like MoveOn (Soros' group) and to the Chicago Machine.

Fitzgerald will be either be dismissed, or hamstrung by an Obama Justice Department. in order to halt the investigations into the crooked dealings in Illinois. Of course as POTUS, Obama will have the authority just like Bush had. The only thing is that the MSM will treat Obama's dismissals as perfectly legal, while Bush's dismissals were vilified as 'politicizing' the Justice Department.

Investigations into MoveOn and ACORN activities will be dropped and states which have started their own investigations will be pressured by the Obama Administration to quit as well.

I do blame McCain for ever thinking that he had any goodwill with the MSM. I predicted during the primaries that those who he considered 'friends' when he was the favorite of the MSM to bring in whenever there was an anti-Bush issue, would not hesitate to stab him in the back if he became the nominee.

I blame the Illinois GOP who so quickly abandoned Jack Ryan when the issue with his unsealed child custody records became public fodder. I also blame them for ignoring decent Illinois-based replacements and importing Alan Keyes instead.

I do blame the Chicago Tribune which made it a mission to find a friendly judge to open up divorce and child custody records. They were more concerned with destroying Obama's opponents than protecting the best interests of the Ryans' child.

I blame those Republicans who were too slow to defend Sarah Palin and too quick to abandon her, without giving her a chance to show what she could bring to the ticket.

I will always hate... (Below threshold)
RA:
I will always hate socialism.

Hey Tom, how do you define socialism?

gmanj,I think you've... (Below threshold)
SCSIwuzzy:

gmanj,
I think you've confused your Roosevelts.
Teddy actively opposed socialism. Google the term muckraker.

"Maybe you should put yo... (Below threshold)

"Maybe you should put your hate aside and start rethinking who you are and what kind of American you want to be."

This advice from someone who could not put their hatred aside when the electorate voted for a guy he didn't like.

Forgive me if I just ignore your petty and disingenuous advice and be the same American I have always been.

"Hey Tom, how do you def... (Below threshold)

"Hey Tom, how do you define socialism?"

The same way everyone defines it. Let me guess...Charlie Gibson is a hero of yours, right?

The Clinton economy... (Below threshold)
Hansel2:

The Clinton economy was the result of the dot com bubble...


The subprime mortgage was invented during the Carter administration...

Any more excuses you want to make for Bush? Your apologies are embarrassing. Listen to yourself, man. You've bought into this delusion that the democrats are responsible for anything that's gone wrong in this country. Bush has been in office for 8 years! What has happened in the last decade is the result of republican rule. Sorry, it's just the truth -- obviously a truth you'll never admit - part of what makes you the loser in this situation.

Most of the country understands they've been bamboozled by these characters. Live in denial and anger if you wish. Just don't fool yourself into believing it's because you've been right all along. And keep chanting socialist. It bears no resemblance to reality, but reality has never been a strong point on this site and for this audience.

gmanj,I think you... (Below threshold)
RA:
gmanj, I think you've confused your Roosevelts. Teddy actively opposed socialism. Google the term muckraker.

I think "gmanj" was referring to Theodore Roosevelt's support of progressive taxation.

The same way every... (Below threshold)
RA:
The same way everyone defines it. Let me guess...Charlie Gibson is a hero of yours, right?

What? I have no idea why you brought up Charlie Gibson (I assume this is a reference to a recent interview or something). I am asking you what you think socialism entails...it's a term that a lot of people are throwing around like crazy, and some people have a different understanding of what it means.

I am just asking you for your perspectives about what is and what is not socialism. That's all.

"You conveniently left out ... (Below threshold)
gmanj:

"You conveniently left out the "Commander In Thief", "Selected, Not Elected" and all that other garbage that the left was spouting even before the inauguration. Spare me your phony unity after 9/11. As soon as it was politically allowable, they broke with Bush and with the country. Remember the 9/11 Commission? Remember how a plot that was in the works for years was Bush's fault even though he had only been in office 8 1/2 months. Revise that."

Given the way Florida broke in 2000, are you saying the repubs would have handled things differently had the shoe been on the other foot? Thought not.

Sheesh, I've heard calls of a stolen election today in a 2-1 electoral vote race! And didn't this sort of stuff all start with the impeachment proceedings because Bill Clinton got a BJ from an intern and didn't fess up to it?

Hansel2,You can pu... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:

Hansel2,

You can put your head up your butt where the light doesn't shine, but the fact that the subprime mortgage was created and strengthened by democrats is part the legislative record. It had nothing to do with deregulation, it had to do with government mandates to correct the supposed problem of banks red-lining minorities. Ignorance of the truth has put the very party responsible for the disaster back in charge.

That's ok, the jig will be up just as soon as the "it's all Bush's fault" kool-aid loses it's potency. As soon as tha happens you can kiss your liberal dreams good by. Most of the electorate are bread and butter voters and if the democrats can't deliver they'll throw the democrats out of power faster than they threw out the Republicans.

"I am just asking you fo... (Below threshold)

"I am just asking you for your perspectives about what is and what is not socialism. That's all."

I know what socialism is in general, and I know there are many different theories on socialism. I don't feel the need to go through a pop quiz and explain the definition(s) of such a broad term(s) to you or anyone else. In the context of my earlier comment, it should be clear that in general, I think Obama is a socialist. If it wasn't clear to you, you're either ignorant of the general term or you're simply interested in picking a nit. Either way, this isn't a political science class, and I'm not interested in pursuing the topic any further. Capiche?

Mac wrote:<blockquote... (Below threshold)
RA:

Mac wrote:

Bush didn't cause 9/11 despite liberals best attempts to make that claim. Sorry if you don't understand what it takes to defend this nation nor why Saddam had to go. Hopefully, Bush taught the Islamic terrorists that it's not smart to attack the U.S. on it's soil and Obama won't face a similarly problem. However, there's no guarantee and Obama can't use the military like Bush did or he'll alienate people like you.

Anybody who claims that "Bush caused 9/11" is a complete fool. But be careful in mixing two separate issues, Mac. There were the 9/11 attacks, and then there were issues with Saddam and his regime. These are two separate. After 9/11, people like Cheney, Wolfowitz, and Rumsfeld felt that it was the right time to deal with Hussein...but that was not because of some perceived connection between Hussein and Al Qaeda. It was because of longstanding issues with Hussein, and the fact that he didn't turn out to be the compliant dictator we had hoped for. If Hussein had decided to toe the line, as the Saudis do, I doubt he would have been touched by Bush and Co. (despite human rights issues, etc).

The subprime mortgage was invented during the Carter administration and strengthened in the Clinton administration. The people who caused the subprime mess are now in full control, but many drank the "it's Bush's fault" kool-aid without bothering to find out the truth.

Both sides blame one another for this. Congress spent like crazy, and Bush refused to stop them with any vetos. So, all in all, the blame can be attributed to both parties (despite all of the rhetoric from each camp).

Hey Tom, no need to get def... (Below threshold)
RA:

Hey Tom, no need to get defensive with me. I am just asking. And yes, I am fully aware of the standard definition(s) of socialism.

In the context of my earlier comment, it should be clear that in general, I think Obama is a socialist.

Ok. Got it. So then, what president represents your ideal choice...at least in an economic sense?

Either way, this isn't a political science class, and I'm not interested in pursuing the topic any further. Capiche?

Whatever you say. I enjoy talking about this stuff, debating it, and learning about the ways that other people think about it. You seem like a pretty smart guy, so I thought I would ask you what you think--and why. I definitely didn't mean to set you off or irritate you.

the fact that the s... (Below threshold)
Hansel2:

the fact that the subprime mortgage was created and strengthened by democrats is part the legislative record.

Mortgage "products" (interest-only loans, floating-rate mortgages) were the creation of regulation-free Wall Street. Loan bundles - completely unvetted - were sold to financial institutions who, in turn, decided to create derivatives based on ridiculous calculations. All this started after many of these institutions were losing brokerage fees to places like etrade and needed some of other income generators.

It wasn't the loans alone that put us in this bind, but the complete lack of oversight on these robber barons who've built this house of cards. It's one thing to have multitudes of homeowners who should never have been homeowners, but quite another to have trillions in stocks betting that they'll stay solvent. With oversight, this wouldn't have been allowed on this level. But that would never have happened in a Bush administration, where having friends like Ken Lay tell you all you need to know about the place regulation has in their priorities.

But, you know -- you keep thinking it's all the democrats fault. It's your delusional mantra.

Both sides blame one ano... (Below threshold)
Tim:

Both sides blame one another for this. Congress spent like crazy, and Bush refused to stop them with any vetos. So, all in all, the blame can be attributed to both parties (despite all of the rhetoric from each camp).

I think we all agree that both parties spend like crazy (one of our biggest beefs with Pres Bush, BTW), but what the hell does that have to do with the sub-prime crisis? That was caused by feel-good legislation, made with the best of intentions but deeply flawed, which was then abused by borrowers and lenders alike. And when our side tried to fix it, we we were called racists, haters of the poor, lynch mobs, etc. It's one hundred percent documented and videotaped fact that the Democrats stood in the way. Hell, they want more of what went wrong in the first place, and now they'll probably get it.

I also blame the Republican... (Below threshold)
hermie:

I also blame the Republicans who were elected to Congress with help from the 'Contract With America', who did four things which lead to the Pelosi//Reid/Obama troika:

1) They did not act as if they were the majority party. They tried the 'let's all get along' strategy, which the Dems used to stall actual reforms and implement legislation which kept liberal programs alive.

2) They did not act like conservatives after they were in Congress. They drifted away from conservative principles in order to be stroked and lauded by the MSM.

3) They did not replace moderate GOP leaders with actual conservatives. They allowed 'repackaged' Republicans to retain power and thus there was a leadership which did not adhere to conservative principles.

4) They did not demand reform, press ethics violations and in the case of Jefferson, Hastert sided against the men and women of law enforcement and made the House seem as if they were above the law.

JFO~Yes, ... (Below threshold)
LaMedusa:

JFO~

Yes, keep looking at "fraud" or the "liberal media" or any of the other external reasons why you lost. Please keep doing that. I beg you.

No need to beg. A couple of corrections, though. It's not a "liberal media" any more. That was long gone after the infiltration of other elements. The one thing that liberals cling tightly too has been ignored this time around, and that is why we are all on the verge of losing everything. It's not over yet.

I think "gmanj" w... (Below threshold)
hcddbz:
I think "gmanj" was referring to Theodore Roosevelt's support of progressive taxation


"I hold that while man exists it is his duty to improve not only his own condition, but to assist in ameliorating mankind."

And again:

"Labor is prior to, and independent of, capital. Capital is only the fruit of labor, and could never have existed if labor had not first existed. Labor is the superior of capital, and deserves much the higher consideration."

If that remark was original with me, I should be even more strongly denounced as a Communist agitator than I shall be anyhow. It is Lincoln�s. I am only quoting it; and that is one side; that is the side the capitalist should hear. Now, let the working man hear his side.

"Capital has its rights, which are as worthy of protection as any other rights. . . . Nor should this lead to a war upon the owners of property. Property is the fruit of labor; . . . property is desirable; is a positive good in the world."

And then comes a thoroughly Lincoln-like sentence:

"Let not him who is houseless pull down the house of another, but let him work diligently and build one for himself, thus by example assuring that his own shall be safe from violence when built."

Teddy was progresive he left the party but he did not beleive in handouts either.



Practical equality of opportunity for all citizens, when we achieve it, will have two great results. First, every man will have a fair chance to make of himself all that in him lies; to reach the highest point to which his capacities, unassisted by special privilege of his own and unhampered by the special privilege of others, can carry him, and to get for himself and his family substantially what he has earned. Second, equality of opportunity means that the commonwealth will get from every citizen the highest service of which he is capable. No man who carries the burden of the special privileges of another can give to the commonwealth that service to which it is fairly entitled.

I stand for the square deal. But when I say that I am for the square deal, I mean not merely that I stand for fair play under the present rules of the game, but that I stand for having those rules changed so as to work for a more substantial equality of opportunity and of reward for equally good service. One word of warning, which, I think, is hardly necessary in Kansas. When I say I want a square deal for the poor man, I do not mean that I want a square deal for the man who remains poor because he has not got the energy to work for himself. If a man who has had a chance will not make good, then he has got to quit. And you men of the Grand Army, you want justice for the brave man who fought, and punishment for the coward who shirked his work. Is that not so?

So with the above in mind we have a system of welfare. If your on it to long then you get kicked off I think that is in line with Teddy.


"Hey Tom, no need to get... (Below threshold)

"Hey Tom, no need to get defensive with me. I am just asking."

I'm not getting defensive. You've asked, and my answer is, I'm not interested in pursuing the topic. OK?

Hansel2,I agree wi... (Below threshold)

Hansel2,

I agree with you about the process that led us to the current economic issues, but the calculations they made were "ridiculous" mainly in retrospect. Literally, some of the smartest people in the world made those calculations and it wasn't just one group, there were dozens of groups that made and remade their risk models and they all came to the same conclusion -- the derivatives were "safe". So safe that the Basel II capital requirements would allow banks to hold AAA tranches of CDOs as capital in preference to mortgages like mine. There's an "international agreement" for you -- see where it got us?

It wasn't just a few "robber barons", it was most of an entire worldwide industry. If you think things are bad here, they're worse in Europe. The simple truth is that the people who botched the risk assessments are still smarter than anyone that you can find to regulate them. My opinion is that it's human nature to find and exploit opportunities, capitalism does not create in anyone desires that are not already there.

The problem with the bailout is that it eliminates the feedback loop that educates people about the penalties of overcorrection. Nerfing bad outcomes doesn't teach anybody anything and just makes it more likely the government will be called upon to intervene again.

By 'government' I mean 'you and me'.

By 'intervene' I mean 'pay more than we should in taxes for years and years'.

I missed that you brought u... (Below threshold)

I missed that you brought up Ken Lay, Hansel2.

The fact that you bring up Enron is pretty silly. The event Enron is remembered for the most is the California Energy Crisis of 2000.

The regulatory scheme implemented by California was the proximate cause of electrical shortages. Enron simply took advantage of bad regulations that prevented electrical companies from hedging against price increases, and made them pay through the nose on the day-to-day spot prices that the California regulations demanded that SCE and PG&E use to get electricity.

It got so bad that Kaiser Aluminum shut down its smelters -- they could make more money selling their contracted electrical power than they could by manufacturing aluminum.

Enron is an example of the fallacy that regulation will control or fix human behavior. The people that drove Enron into the ground just flat lied. Period. They're either in the ground (Lay) or in prison (the rest of them), where they belong. More regulation will not stop people who are willing to commit criminal acts of fraud any more than gun control stops murder.

What we got after Enron was Sarbanes-Oxley -- which is a burden to companies but did nothing to prevent the more recent economic issues.

@Tom: No problem. <p... (Below threshold)
RA:

@Tom: No problem.

@Darren:

The simple truth is that the people who botched the risk assessments are still smarter than anyone that you can find to regulate them. My opinion is that it's human nature to find and exploit opportunities, capitalism does not create in anyone desires that are not already there.

No shit! How can anyone regulate some of these guys? And I agree with you that people will find and exploit any and every opportunity they can...

"Again, this is not sour gr... (Below threshold)
max:

"Again, this is not sour grapes." - Wrong.

Hey Tom, why are you afraid to answer the question? It couldn't be because you don't know what you're talking about, could it?

"Hey Tom, why are you af... (Below threshold)

"Hey Tom, why are you afraid to answer the question? It couldn't be because you don't know what you're talking about, could it?"

How long have you erroneously believed you've been blessed with ESP? How long have you had a reading comprehension problem?

Ooooh, the "reading compreh... (Below threshold)
max:

Ooooh, the "reading comprehension" zinger, ouch. How 'bout telling me how much Obama Kool-Aid I've been drinking?

Just answer the question.

Suck it up, guys. Perfectly... (Below threshold)
Harriet Happy:

Suck it up, guys. Perfectly legal win. Get over it.

"Just answer the questio... (Below threshold)

"Just answer the question."

Just who the hell do you think you are? Napoleon Bonaparte? I don't answer to schmucks like you. If you think it's such an intriguing question, answer it yourself. It's not a mystery to me.

RA,There ... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:

RA,

There were the 9/11 attacks, and then there were issues with Saddam and his regime. These are two separate.

They are separate only in that 9/11 was a different terrorist group than Saddam. What 9/11 did was open a second front in the war with Islamic terrorism. We found out after invading Iraq that Saddam didn't have WMD, but we also found out he had corrupted the UN (like that was hard) as well as French and Russian officials. Had Bush allowed Saddam and his sadistic sons to remain in power they would have been out from under UN sanctions long ago and free to use their billions in oil dollars to rearm. I can just see Obama trying to deal with Saddam as he pursued his vendetta against the U.S. for his humiliating defeat in the first gulf war. People would now be blaming Bush for leaving Saddam in power.

Congress spent like crazy, and Bush refused to stop them with any vetos. So, all in all, the blame can be attributed to both parties

Spending on the war and building a stable elected government in Iraq was necessary and had absolutely nothing to do with the subprime mess. Bush tried to get congress to control subprime lending years ago, but democrats blocked that legislation just like Republicans have been blocking legislation for the last two years. The president can't veto existing law nor veto new law into existence. McCain introduced S90 in the Senate to limit subprimes, but the democrats blocked it.

The subprime loan was the invention of democrats and it was strengthened and protected by democrats until it blew up in all our faces. They then broke out the "it's all Bush's fault" Kool-Aid and that's such powerful stuff it got them past 2008 when they should have been turned out of power. The democrats won't be held accountable until they run out of their "it's all Bush's fault" Kool-Aid. Question is, do they have enough to get them though 2010 or even 2012? Guess that depends on how much it takes to keep voters blind to the truth.

Mac:They ... (Below threshold)
RA:

Mac:

They are separate only in that 9/11 was a different terrorist group than Saddam. What 9/11 did was open a second front in the war with Islamic terrorism.

Like I said, Iraq was a separate issue. What 9/11 seemed to do was open up the possibility that the American people would support another war in Iraq. That's what Bush's advisers apparently felt, anyway.

Spending on the war and building a stable elected government in Iraq was necessary and had absolutely nothing to do with the subprime mess.

Well, since Iraq was such a primary focus for Bush and his administration, I do think that economic issues did get put on the back burner That's how issues like the subprime disaster got out of control. But it wasn't just Bush, and it wasn't just republicans, and it wasn't just democrats. The Fed was a problem too, among others. There is plenty of blame to spread around.

The subprime loan was the invention of democrats and it was strengthened and protected by democrats until it blew up in all our faces.

Right. Convenient how it was all the democrats who did it. I doubt it. Republicans were in control from 2000-2006. Are you suggesting that this whole problem was created between 2006 and the present? Really? From what I know, both Repubs and Dems were on the take, and can and should be held responsible for what happened.

LOL! Apparently, it wasn't... (Below threshold)

LOL! Apparently, it wasn't an intriguing question to max either. Since socialists themselves disagree on a specific theory, it's a good thing that endless argument never got started.

I'm troubled by the ramp... (Below threshold)

I'm troubled by the rampant fraud and abuse in the Obama fundraising, especially through online donations via credit cards...

[Arne]: Huh?!?!? What's the matter with this?

The problem Arne is my friend said when the story broke is O didnt at 1st know if the contributions online were legal/no screening method. McCain's site had a screening method.

You mean he took it all in small unmarked bills? Your "explanation" makes no sense as a defence of the first objection.

As for "screening", did McSame make them insist they're good 'Mur'kuns before taking the money? Recite the Pledge of Allegiance? What?

At least if it's a credit card and not an envelope of bills, you can trace it back and return it (and hand over for prosecution as warranted) if you find out it's not acceptable.

Cheers,

Obama won because you lo... (Below threshold)
James Cloninger:

Obama won because you lost.

Get over it.

GOP Delenda Est. Conservatism Delenda Est.

Oh, please, I bet you weren't thinking "Bush won because Gore/Kerry/Democrats lost, get over it." four/eight years ago.

Also, When does President Teleprompter start handing out my free house?

Sounds like a bunch of sour... (Below threshold)
Darr West:

Sounds like a bunch of sour grapes to me. Sow what you reap! The "pubes" are paying for years of greed, excess and sloth behavior. Who ever heard of tax cuts during a time of war? Huh? Broken promises, religious extremes, un-caring, un-thinking (Palin didn't know Africa was a country!??), aren't we done with this now? Can't we move on? The conservative agenda died last night, only having to be rebuilt again.

Did you see the crowds worldwide last night? The world wants the US to lead again, not hide under conservative rule!

As for "screening", did ... (Below threshold)
James Cloninger:

As for "screening", did McSame make them insist they're good 'Mur'kuns before taking the money? Recite the Pledge of Allegiance? What?

In a sense, their credit card info has to pass through the default AVS software that 99% of legitimate companies use. The Obama Campaign's AVS was deliberately turned off (it requires recoding to turn off the protection).

And, if you look around the 'net for some articles, you will see that a number of people put it to test on both sites...Questionable donations to Obama had no problem, whilst they were rejected at McCain's:

http://www.zimbio.com/Barack+Obama/articles/2718/Credit+Card+Payment+Expert+Explains+Depths

RA,Well, ... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:

RA,

Well, since Iraq was such a primary focus for Bush and his administration, I do think that economic issues did get put on the back burner That's how issues like the subprime disaster got out of control.

That's revisionist history. The fact is that Bush did what a president could do to stop the subprime disaster just like he tried to stop the social security disaster that's still coming. It's the democrats who blocked both efforts and it's a mater of public record.

Right. Convenient how it was all the democrats who did it. I doubt it. Republicans were in control from 2000-2006. Are you suggesting that this whole problem was created between 2006 and the present?

You're not paying attention and that's what the democrats depend on. The subprime loan was invented by democrats during the Carter administration. That's back in the 70's. No bank in their right mind would give a mortgage to a subprime (unqualified) borrower. Minorities made a big stink and called it red-lining. The democrats passed a law requiring banks to make such loans and put the government on the hook to guarantee them. Fast forward to the Clinton administration and democrats strengthened the law by allowing banks that didn't make enough subprime loans to be sued. Guess what, Obama was involved in bringing some of those law suits.

This is all a mater of public record for anyone who cares about the truth. Or you can just take another gulp of that "it's all Bush's fault" kool-aid and go back to sleep.

Darr West,Sounds t... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:

Darr West,

Sounds to me like you fell into a punch bowl of "it's all Bush's fault" kool-aid. A large percentage of the electorate are bread and butter voters, and it's those people who gave Obama and other democrats their win. It was neither voters embracing the liberal ideology nor rejecting the conservative ideology. You only need to look at the ballot initiatives to see that the majority of voters still oppose radical liberal causes.

The good news for Republicans is that with the democrats in full control the potency of the "it's all Bush's fault" kool-aid will quickly fade. Obama and company have to actually deliver on the economic promises they made or the bread and butter voters will throw them out of office quicker than the put them in.

Did you see the crowds worldwide last night? The world wants the US to lead again, not hide under conservative rule!

I feel sorry for these folks. Little do they know that the USSR is back and the only nation in it's way is now run by naive anti-military types. Obama has already said he would dismantle the missile shield at a time when it's just becoming a viable defensive weapon. Democrats are already chomping at the bit to decimate the defense budget, and they must, in order to pay off on some of their campaign promises. On 1/20/2009 the USSR (formally Russia) will be free to start reabsorbing it's former satellite nations and the U.S. won't (nor can) do anything about it.

Without a dominate military and a man of principle, courage, and resolve as it's Commander In Chief, the U.S. is a toothless tiger. All Obama will be able to do is make a lot of noise as millions of those cheering his win slip back into bondage. Such is the cost of liberalism.

While not necessarily agree... (Below threshold)
Playin Possum:

While not necessarily agreeing...

I take it you mean the absurd unconstitutional rules McCain helped to foster beginning with McCain-Feingold - for which I never forgave him - screwed him in this election?

Splendid!

My Karma ran over your Dogma! Roadkill!

Face it. Bush got into off... (Below threshold)
gkam:

Face it. Bush got into office by the intervention of the Political Wing of the Supreme Court and took over the National Government, with a judiciary seeded with right-wingers, and majorities in both houses of Congress.

And what did you do with it? You corrupted the Department of Justice, installed incompetent political hacks everywhere in government, looted the Treasury, failed us on 9/11 then compensated by panicking and depriving me of the civil rights for which I fought in 1968. We have had scams without end, wars without end, bad debts without end, and now we face the natural end of Laissez-Faire economics started by Reagan, and costing us over ten trillion dollars.

In short, the only competence was in the hard-line political operatives and looters. We are in a Perfect Storm of disasters now. Got any idea why you are scorned?

go obama is what i have to ... (Below threshold)
mackenzie:

go obama is what i have to say

why not watch bowling for columbine?? everyone
who started the terrist attack?? who payed for it??? bush!!!
if everyone trust eachother why is everyone locking there doors????
why does it seem like the canadian's feel safer??
ever canadian's are not getting all the news on everything bad??
why not watch this movie by micheal moore and watch it a couple more times all you bush lovers! and clint lovers
maybe its time everyone sits back and see what he does?
because obama going to change this country! give it time.

"go (away)obama is what i h... (Below threshold)
LaMedusa:

"go (away)obama is what i have to say"

It's what we've all been saying for weeks, but it just didn't work. We didn't know the secret handshake.




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