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Health Care vs. Wealth Care.
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Americans Voting With Their Feet.
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Idea Majorities Matter.
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The "Shrinking" Middle Class.
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From Ashes, GOP Opportunities.
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Biggest Health Care Moment In Decades.
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Unions Antithetical to Liberty.
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« July 2007 | WILLisms.com | September 2007 »

Wednesday Caption Contest GREATEST HITS!

Okay all you caption goombahs out there (you know who you are), here are the primo captions as chosen by Will and myself from the consistently impressive competition in WILLisms captioning -

Will's faves:

Rodney Dill's inaugural winner


The soldiers had searched her a number of times, but it wasn't until years later that they figured out she was stealing baby strollers.



Sven still wasn't one-hundred percent mindful on the concept of incognito.



Concerned with a backlash from the Jackson trial and the Catholic Priest scandals, Menudo opts for a new look in 2005.

Jim Rose


Austin Hilsmier, 3, from Chicago enjoys this interactive art exhibit titled, "That's Not Water".

Ben Evans


The Say Dez School of Safe Driving proudly announces the opening of their new drive thru window.

Another Rodney Dill


Chavez: "I'm please to have such a well known celebrity as Bill Cosby come and visit our beautiful country."

Rodney Dill again


As Harry Reid comes in touch with his feminine side, he realizes in shock that he can't stop touching it.



"DJ Abdul in the house! Where my Shi'ites at? We raisin' da roof on this mosque! Holla"



Sean Penn accepts his "I'm #1" button while still in character from Sam I Am.


After a good-luck kiss from her long-time coach, Maria was tossed a record 36 feet, 4 inches.

Zsa Zsa


Mia Hamm Denies Steroid Use in Women's Soccer

My faves:


It suddenly occurred to Bridget that the only difference between a spa treatment and her mudwrestling gig was who got paid.


Star Wars fans were thrilled today as dazzling computer generated scenes from the upcoming sequel "Attack of the Cloning Tool" were released to the Reuters news agency....

Rodney Dill

The expectations for the new Silver Surfer movie far exceeded the actual event.

Heheheh, this caption over at File It Under is my all time fave however -




And now . . . this week's WILLisms.com Caption Contest photograph:

burned man.jpg

Here is the actual caption:
Workers assess the damage to The Man after an arsonist who climbed up its leg lit the structure on fire on Tuesday morning, Aug. 28, 2007, in the Black Rock Desert in Gerlach, Nev.
Well that caption just sucks. Give us a real caption, please!

Entries will remain open until 11:59 PM, Central Standard Time, Tuesday, September 7. Submit your captions in the comments section, or email at mccracken.ken@gmail.com.

Last week's photo:

burnin love.jpg

Winners from last week: 1. Nathan Hale:

Attempting to disguise his true nature, the latest reincarnation of the Panchen Lama decided to hide himself in plain view. [ed. - Dude, working Panchen Lama into a caption gets you bonus points. Well done.]

2. Mica Vim Toot:

Herve Villachaize portrays Baby Doc Duvalier in "Haitian Tattoo!" August 28-29 5pm, at the Melody Tent.

Tickets still available.

3. Mr. Bagel:

Kim's rendition of Jail House Wok was unique.

All your caption are belong to us! Enter today!

Posted by Ken McCracken · 29 August 2007 01:08 PM · Comments (15)

Islamist Elected President of Turkey

Abdullah and Hayrunisa Gül

Turkey's military has issued a strong warning in regard to the election of Abdullah Gül as Turkey's 11th president after three rounds of elections. Gül, Turkey's foreign minister until his election as president, has a history of heavy involvement in islamist politics, and the fear is that he will install islamists to political positions throughout the country once he was elected. His wife would be the first Turkish first lady to wear a headscarf, which is seen as a deterioration of secularism.

General Yasar Buyukanit wrote on his website: "Our nation has been watching the behaviour of separatists who cannot digest the unitary structure of the Turkish Republic and centres of evil who are trying to systematically erode the country's secular structure." Political secularism is the foundation of Turkish government, established by Atatürk in 1922.

"The constitution will be my guide," Gül said during the announcement of his second bid to become Turkey's new president last week. "The Republic of Turkey is a democratic, secular and social state based on the rule of law. My primary objective will be to protect and further strengthen these principles…"

Posted by Ken McCracken · 28 August 2007 10:41 AM · Comments (14)

This Is Your No-Brainer On Drugs

It seems like a no-brainer.

There is a worldwide shortage of opium used to make legal painkillers. Afghanistan produces more opium than any other country, and this year they have had a bumper crop, according to the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNDOC) 2007 Annual Opium Survey:

In 2007, Afghanistan cultivated 193,000 hectares of opium poppies, an increase of 17% over last year. The amount of Afghan land used for opium is now larger than the corresponding total for coca cultivation in Latin America (Colombia, Peru and Bolivia combined). Favourable weather conditions produced opium yields (42.5 kg per hectare) higher than last year (37.0 kg/ha). As a result, in 2007 Afghanistan produced an extraordinary 8,200 tons of opium (34% more than in 2006), becoming practically the exclusive supplier of the world’s deadliest drug (93% of the global opiates market).

The total opium harvest for the year was estimated at 8,200 tonnes, up from 6,100 tonnes last year, a 34 percent spike, it said. The harvest normally ends around late July.

The area planted with opium poppies had risen to 193,000 hectares (476,710 acres) from 165,000 in 2006, representing a 17 percent rise, it said.

Opium is then sold in an illicit trade that the Taliban uses to fund its terrorist operations:

The US is dangerously close to turning Afghanistan into the next Iraq," said Piper. "Forced eradication of opium crops is driving poor Afghans into the hands of our enemies, strengthening the Taliban, and feeding the insurgency there. The war on drugs is undermining the war on terror and pushing Afghanistan to the brink of civil war.

Truly, opium represents the 'sinews of war' for the Taliban, in a country where opium is virtually the only valuable export. It is the only sure way for them to raise money to wage war.

Therefore . . . in the name of fighting the Global War On Terror we buy up the opium crop and pay for it by selling much-needed legal morphine. Right?

Wrong, according to Ambassador Thomas Schweich, the U.S. coordinator for Afghan counternarcotics and justice reform. Licensing farmers to grow legalized opium puts Afghanistan in danger of (nay, guaranteeing) becoming a “narco-welfare state.” That is, farmers will still continue to produce opium for the much more lucrative illicit trade (at $138 per kilo) instead of the lower licensed trade (at $16-$49 per kilo). Licensing schemes in Turkey, and especially India, have shown that significant portions of the legal opium crop is subverted to illicit channels, leaving corruption in its wake. Only "massive subsidies" would bring the legal price up enough to entice all farmers to grow legal crops instead of illegal. (Isn't the U.S.federal government the heavyweight champ of subsidizing crops, however? Isn't fighting the War on Terror and starving the Taliban possibly the only legitimate reason to do so? Works better than ethanol in Afghanistan's case!) Moreover, massive legal subsidizing would ensure a diversion of all of Afghanistan's cropland to poppies, producing even larger yields.

Afghanistan's illegal opium trade comes to about $3.1 billion per year. I leave it to you to decide if buying it all would be a no-brainer or not.

Posted by Ken McCracken · 28 August 2007 03:21 AM · Comments (2)

HuffPo New Low

The Huffington Post manages to consistently plumb new depths of hatred and sociopathology, but today Martin Lewis posted what is probably the most loathsome piece of garbage yet - General Pace, You Can Save the US - by Arresting Bush for "Conduct Unbecoming".

This is what I wrote to the HuffPo in response:

Dear Whomever,

Martin Lewis' post calling for a coup against the White House is a new low for the Huffington Post. Is the Huffington Post going to stand by this traitorous incitement to overthrow our democratically-elected President? Is that what the Huffington Post stands for - illegal militarism in the name of punishing policies some leftist doesn't like?

I urge you to retract this post, fire Martin Lewis, and issue an apology.

Sincerely outraged,

Ken McCracken

I sincerely urge everyone out there to contact the Huffington Post and let them know this crosses the line. Big time.

And please, no 'corrections' defending Lewis claiming he is not calling for a coup d'etat. The only mechanism for relieving the President of his duties as Commander-in-Chief lies in impeachment - what Lewis is calling for completely subverts the Constitution.

P.S. Ed Morrissey agrees that Lewis is pleading for the destruction of the Constitution:

Lewis quotes extensively from the Uniform Code of Military Justice, but clearly his scholarship does not extend to the Constitution. The command of the armed forces follows from the president's election to office, and cannot be separated from the office itself. Bush isn't C-in-C because he got appointed to that position, but because the American electorate voted him into that role. In other words, the military cannot arrest the C-in-C but leave the President in power, and to argue otherwise is to demonstrate complete ignorance.

Secondly, the President does not serve at the pleasure of the Joint Chiefs -- and indeed, the military is subservient to the civilian command structure. They do not have arrest authority over the President -- nor over anyone else in the US other than military personnel, as the Posse Comitatus Act stipulates. Civilian oversight keeps the military from seizing power and is a long and vital tradition in this nation. It's what keeps us from becoming a banana republic, run by military strongmen.

And one of his commenters notes "See? Liberals DO support our troops."

Posted by Ken McCracken · 25 August 2007 04:37 PM · Comments (20)

Quotational Therapy: Part 141 -- John Edwards Is No Longer A Viable Candidate.

The One-Term Senator Now All But Done-

Sure, he's not quite as clueless as Barack Obama, but former VP candidate John Edwards has not had such a good run, of late.

By now, you've surely heard/seen this ridiculous comment:

I'm going to be honest with you—I don't know a lot about Cuba's healthcare system. Is it a government-run system?

Yes, and it's precisely the kind of socialism that you are now advocating in your stump speeches and in debates.

But wait, there's more.

A couple of months back, Edwards responded to a rapid fire list of items in a game of "right or privilege," in this YouTube interview (Edwards' answers below):

College education - right
Health care - right
A liveable wage - right
Owning a handgun - privilege
American citizenship for someone not born here but has worked here for one year - right, but five years instead of one year
Access to the internet - right

So basically, everything is a right, except for the one that is actually in the United States Constitution. That one is merely a privilege.

Add these to his blogger fiasco, his $1250 haircut, John Kerry's regrets about picking him for the '04 ticket despite Edwards' unseemly exploitation of a family tragedy, his awkward and contrived populist anger that doesn't really suit him well, his hypocrisy on Wal-Mart and Rupert Murdoch, not to mention the transparent use of his sick wife as his campaign's attack dog.

John Edwards, no longer feeling pretty:

And the polls are showing it.

Previous Quotational Therapy Session:

Nancy Pelosi.

The right quote can be therapeutic, so tune in to WILLisms.com for quotational therapy on most Mondays and Fridays.

Posted by Will Franklin · 24 August 2007 10:05 AM · Comments (9)

Bill Clinton: Still The Lyingest Liar That Ever Lied

Remember last year when former President Bill Clinton, the most famous liar in all of human history, indignantly wagged his finger at Chris Wallace and claimed he did everything he could to kill Osama bin Laden?

Well, as I said at the time, Bill Clinton wagging his finger is a tell that he is lying - you can bank on it - and Mike Issikoff has caught Clinton with his pants down once again (so to speak). Andrew Breitbart, subbing on the Dennis Miller radio show, invited Issikoff on to discuss Issikoff's Newsweek article about the CIA inspector general's uncomplimentary report about the CIA's pre-911 performance.

The report also includes evidence that Bill Clinton authorized force to capture bin Laden, but not to kill him. According to Michael Scheuer, “there was never any ambiguity,” he said. “None of those authorities ever allowed us to kill anyone. At least that’s what the CIA lawyers told us.”

Posted by Ken McCracken · 22 August 2007 11:55 PM · Comments (29)

Wednesday Caption Contest: Part 118

This week's WILLisms.com Caption Contest photograph:

burnin love.jpg

Here is the actual caption:
A young Filipino Elvis Presley impersonator dances during a break at a contest in suburban Manila on Sunday Aug. 19, 2007. The event was held as a tribute to the 30th death anniversary of Elvis Presley.
Oh be real . . . that's not a caption! Give us a real one, please!

Entries will remain open until 11:59 PM, Central Standard Time, Tuesday, August 28. Submit your captions in the comments section, or email at mccracken.ken@gmail.com.

Last week's photo:


Winners from last week:

1. Rodney Dill :

The expectations for the new Silver Surfer movie far exceeded the actual event.

2. Elliot Nathan:

What? You're supposed to wrap your hands when you box?

3. DANEgerus:

All I said was 'Maybe Jose Padilla was guilty' and that's the last time I go to the Daily Kos convention.

They can have my captions when they pry them from my cold, dead fingers. Enter today!

* Wednesday Caption Contest Greatest Hits postponed one more week! That is all! *

Posted by Ken McCracken · 22 August 2007 03:59 PM · Comments (22)

Nunn Of The Above

Run, Sam Nunn, run.

Posted by Ken McCracken · 21 August 2007 02:33 PM · Comments (1)

Iraq War Causes Police Ammo Shortage! Except, Not Really

The Associated Press turned in yet another news tale, reporting that there is a huge shortage of ammunition available for police around the country, due to the ammo demands of the Iraq War.

Confederate Yankee actually asked the two largest ammo manufacturers in the country to verify this report and, strangely, their accounts differs massively from the AP's. Apparently, the shortages are due to increased demand among police for ammo, and increased demand for copper in China. The largest manufacturer of ammunition in the country, ATK, doesn't even manufacture military and police ammo in the same production line.

The AP: who needs editors when you're just makin' stuff up.

Update: Confederate Yankee informs us in the comments that a third manufacturer, Remington, also denies the AP's report.

Posted by Ken McCracken · 21 August 2007 10:09 AM · Comments (4)

Just Say Nyet To More Putin Uranium

Garry Kasparov

Garry Kasparov, once the world's highest-rated chess player, and now nemesis of Vladimir Putin, is urging Australia not to sell uranium to Russia, stating "should Australian uranium end up in the wrong hands - and it's not too far-fetched to suggest that Russia under Putin is already in the wrong hands - Australia will not be able to act innocent or to claim ignorance."

The deal is set to be concluded in September when Putin visits Australia. Australia's Foreign Affairs Minister Alexander Downer believes proliferation fears are unwarranted, stating "I don't think Russia would want to become a rogue state and break international law. It would lead to a collapse in their relations with Australia and probably with an awful lot more countries. I don't think there is any danger of that."

The fear, obviously, is that any such uranium would end up in Iran. Russia is helping Iran build its nuclear program, and had been enriching fuel for the Iranian regime.

Russia sure seems eager to pile up its already sizeable uranium enrichment capabilities:

Russia produces about six percent of the world's total uranium. The Uranium Institute estimates 1999 production figures at 2,000 metric tons (t) per year. As of June 2000, Russia's Ministry of Atomic Energy stated that uranium production stood at 2,500t per year.  In a September 1998 article, Bellona estimated production at 2,500t per year, with an additional 1,000t produced from enrichment tailings. According to the Uranium Institute, overall uranium production has decreased since 1993.  However, the All-Russian Institute for Chemical Technologies announced in late November 2000 that Russia plans to double uranium production to 4,000-4,500t annually by 2010. According to the IAEA 2001 "Red Book" Uranium 2001: Resources, Production and Demand, Russia produced approximately 2,987t U3O8 in 1998, 3,083t in 1999, 3,260t in 2000, and an estimated 3,437t U3O8 in 2001.
Domestic Consumption and Stockpiles
Russia exports 16,000t of uranium each year, and uses 8,000-8,500t to produce nuclear fuel. As of December 2000 it was estimated that Russian nuclear power stations used between 3,000t and 4,500t of uranium annually with an additional 2,200t committed to fuel Soviet-built reactors in the NIS and Eastern Europe.  Approximately 1,000t is used to produce submarine fuel.  
Russia relies heavily on its large uranium stockpile to make up the difference between the uranium it annually exports and uses domestically (24,000-24,500t) and the uranium it annually mines (2,000-2,500t). Russia's stockpiles are equivalent to 500,000t of low-enriched uranium (LEU). This figure takes into account 1,400t of highly enriched uranium (HEU) which is equivalent to 420,000t of LEU added to 80,000t of uranium that has been stockpiled over the years. 

Posted by Ken McCracken · 21 August 2007 06:57 AM · Comments (2)

Quote Of The Day

"Hillary doesn’t make mistakes."

Posted by Ken McCracken · 20 August 2007 04:54 PM · Comments (120)

This Just In . . .

The staff at a hotel in Cancun, Mexico kicked out Nobel Prize winner Rigoberta Menchu when they mistook her for a bag lady.

Meanwhile, Stephen King was mistaken for a vandal in an Australian bookshop when he wandered in off the street and began signing books.

And now for some music:

Posted by Ken McCracken · 17 August 2007 09:24 AM · Comments (3)

Just . . . Wow . . .

The Dow Jones finished down 16 points today. But what a wild ride getting there.

Update: Well apparently, hotlinking a chart from Yahoo! gets you delayed quotes!

So far, the market seems to be doing well.


Posted by Ken McCracken · 16 August 2007 08:01 PM · Comments (4)

Jose Padilla: New Leftist Hero On Ice

Jose Padilla

The left is in full meltdown today over Jose Padilla's conviction, pouring all their energy and passion into defending an al-Qaeda operative now convicted of planning to murder our fellow citizens with a dirty bomb. It is saddening and pathetic enough that they can only seem to get worked up about excusing al-Qaeda members rather than fighting them. What makes it more doleful is that their hand-wringing over Padilla is based on misperceptions and misinformation fed to them by partisans more interested in skewering President Bush than at arriving at the truth.

Here is the false leftist narrative on the Padilla case: President Bush is using his unitary executive powers to arrest American citizens and hold them indefinitely without charges, legal counsel, or regard for any constitutional rights. A typical apoplectic leftist response is this, from the Democratic Underground: "imprisoned without charge for 3.5 years, physically and/or psychologically tortured 'til he's half-insane, and what do we do? Convict him anyway. Now he'll face the needle." This Kos diarist warns: "everything points to a coming police state and woe unto all dissenters, both here and everywhere."

Well, first of all, Padilla is facing life imprisonment, not the death penalty. As for being imprisoned for 3.5 years without charges, it isn't as if he and his battalion of lawyers were not busy during that time: Padilla had a hearing on his petition for a writ of habeus corpus, had questions over the writ heard before the Supreme Court, and had a second appeal before the Fourth Circuit. The wheels of justice turn slowly, but that is true for everybody, not just al-Qaeda dirty bomb makers.

As for the claims of torture, these came from a forensic psychologist hired by Padilla's legal team. Enough said.

As for the overwrought fears of the Kos diarist, it is not true that the Padilla case means "woe unto all dissenters." Only those 'dissenters' who also happen to be al-Qaeda operatives need worry about being classified as enemy combatants. It was Congress that passed legislation allowing this kind of detention for American citizens, not some Executive Order from President Bush. The Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF) allows for military commissions to target nations, organizations or persons whom the President "determines planned, authorized, committed, or aided the September 11, 2001 attacks, or harbored such organizations or persons." The DUmmies and Kos Kultists might be surprised to learn that clownsuit-wearing hippies on stilts leading International A.N.S.W.E.R. protests are exempt. Padilla, being an al-Qaeda alum however, fits into that category quite nicely, and was held as an enemy combatant, not as a criminal suspect. Only when he was handed over to the Department of Justice for indictment did the time begin to toll for speedy trial requirements.

Of course, facts don't matter when there is a narrative to be propounded.

Posted by Ken McCracken · 16 August 2007 04:22 PM · Comments (9)

Wednesday Caption Contest: Part 117

This week's WILLisms.com Caption Contest photograph:


Here is the actual caption:
This photo provided by the Ashland Police Dept. shows Kasey G. Kazee, 24, of Ashland, Ky.,who was charged with first-degree robbery, according to Ashland Police Sgt. Mark McDowell. Kazee had his head wrapped in duct tape to conceal his identity when he tried to rob Shamrock Liquors Friday, Aug. 10, 2007.
Nice try, but there has to be more going on here than that. Give us a real caption, please!

Entries will remain open until 11:59 PM, Central Standard Time, Tuesday, August 21. Submit your captions in the comments section, or email at mccracken.ken@gmail.com.

Last week's photo:


Winners from last week: 1. Giacomo:

Conclusive proof: Neither John nor Paul was the walrus.

2. Dennis:

Don't eat the brown AntAcid.

3. Rodney Dill:

Kucinich 2008 finally gets its groove on.

Have no fear, captioning is here! Enter today!

Next Week: Wednesday Caption Contest *Greatest Hits* !!

Posted by Ken McCracken · 15 August 2007 03:39 PM · Comments (29)

Obama Gaffe Check

For a guy as bright and intelligent as Barack Obama, he sure says some stupid things. He makes Joe Biden look guarded by comparison.

Stick a fork in him, he's done.

Here is an incomplete catalog of Obama gaffes:

  • When asked how we would respond to another major al-Qaeda attack on the U.S., he talked about disaster response instead of military action.
  • Last May, in the wake of the deadly Kansas tornado, Obama said "Ten thousand people died - an entire town destroyed". The death toll was actually 12 people.
  • Obama stated that he would meet with enemy dictators - without any preconditions.
  • Not long after, he said "if we have actionable intelligence about high-value terrorist targets and President Musharaf will not act, we will." With allies like Obama, who needs enemies?
  • He then declared that the use of nuclear weapons against al-Qaeda were "not on the table."
  • Obama just last week referred to the 'president' of Canada. Canada has a prime minister, not a president.

Plus: when did it become the Associated Press' job to campaign for Barack Obama? Yesterday, the AP released an article Fact Check: Obama on Afghanistan which claims to 'correct' Republican outrage over Obama's latest gaffe, in which Obama said

  • "We've got to get the job done there and that requires us to have enough troops so that we're not just air-raiding villages and killing civilians, which is causing enormous problems there."

Nedra Pickler offered this response -


A check of the facts shows that Western forces have been killing civilians at a faster rate than the insurgents have been killing civilians.

The U.S. and NATO say they don't have civilian casualty figures, but The Associated Press has been keeping count based on figures from Afghan and international officials. Tracking civilian deaths is a difficult task because they often occur in remote and dangerous areas that are difficult to reach and verify.

As of Aug. 1, the AP count shows that while militants killed 231 civilians in attacks in 2007, Western forces killed 286. Another 20 were killed in crossfire that can't be attributed to one party.

This 'fact check' competely misses the point. Pickler ignores the fact that we have thousands of boots on the ground fighting and killing the Taliban, and it should be obvious to a neutral observer that the effort in Afghanistan consists of much more than air-raiding villages. Pickler then sidesteps Obama's insinuation that our troops kill civilians indiscriminately, and that this is official policy. This is the real Republican complaint here, and Pickler's fact check just further falls apart by not even addressing it.

Can we can expect a fact check from Nedra Pickler when the DNC jumps on a supposed gaffe by a Republican candidate? Well if this is the best she can offer, she needn't bother. Not that she was going to. That would be an act of even-handed fairness and detached journalism, which the AP continually proves itself incapable of.

Posted by Ken McCracken · 15 August 2007 05:25 AM · Comments (29)

Quote Of The Day

Michael Yon on the alleged lack of political progress in Iraq:

"Some of our commanders could probably run for local offices in Iraq, and win."

Posted by Ken McCracken · 13 August 2007 08:55 PM · Comments (2)

Kos Needs Hillary More Than Hillary Needs Kos

Hey Kos, I thought the DLC was radioactive. No?

Via HotAir we have the Pajamas Media Remix of Markos "Screw 'Em" Moulitsas of Daily Kos and Harold Ford, Democratic Leadership Council chairman. How confusing - wasn't it Kos who called the DLC Republican-lite? Notice that David Gregory brought up Kos' scathing op-ed about the Clintons written only last May. Try to wrap your brain around this bit of silliness contained within: "Heck, we haven't won more than 50.1 percent since 1964. And complicit in that failure was the only Democrat to occupy the White House since 1980: Bill Clinton."

Wow, winning the White House is a mark of failure? Is Kos' ego so big that he thinks only his victories matter? Maybe, just maybe, the guy who actually won the White House knows a thing or two about how to get it done. Perhaps, young master Markos, the world does not in fact revolve around you.

If Kos suffers from this delusion, he will get a very rude awakening come next year. Hillary Clinton, the presumptive nominee, does not need Kos' money, his approval, nor his organization. In fact, once the primaries are over, Kos and the Gang become one huge fricking liability as Hillary oh-so-predictably tacks back toward the center and tries to convince the nation that she is, in fact, Republican-lite. She may start looking for that Sister Souljah moment to put a wedge between herself and Kos just as soon as it is politically expedient to do so. Kos, who doesn't appear to have a clue about how he appears to the world, just might inadvertently oblige her. If not, Kos will be happy to take all the credit for her victory, just as he thinks he alone defeated the Republicans last November. It takes that little to satisfy Kos. He doesn't know what real power is or how to wield it, and so he is content with everyone calling him Kingmaker. He thinks that actually makes him a Kingmaker.

Kos isn't about power, really, he is about the illusion of power, and Kos has at least enough sense to know that if he makes enemies with Hillary and she wins the nomination . . . he is cast into utter irrelevance from which his fledgling organization would most likely not recover. Thus the abrupt about-face on Hillary, the DLC and his new bestest buddy Harold Ford.

P.S. I find Kos really tough to watch. Ford is smooth and polished, but Kos looks . . . um . . . crazy, and his mannerisms and ventriloquist dummy head are really distracting. Are they Democrats really going to hand their party over to that guy? While I slobber at the prospect of generations of Republican wins that would follow in Kos' wake, I am not comfortable with seeing a once-great party like the Democratic party reduced to that.

Posted by Ken McCracken · 13 August 2007 01:54 AM · Comments (7)

With All Due Haste

USA Today reports that it will take big bucks to transport new bomb-resistant vehicles to Iraq quickly -

WASHINGTON — The Pentagon has asked Congress for nearly $750 million to urgently airlift needed armored vehicles to troops facing roadside bombs in Iraq, according to budget documents.The emergency funding request would allow the military to fly many of the Mine Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP) vehicles to troops rather than send them by ship, which takes weeks. The flight takes 13 hours, allowing for same-day delivery, said Lt. Col. Ed Thomas, an Air Force spokesman.

Michael O'Hanlon of 'A War We Just Might Win' fame had this to say about this proposed airlift - "It's ridiculous that it took this long to send MRAPs . . . it's an example of wishfulness and politics getting in the way of protection for troops. It's a bad mistake verging on the unconscionable."

So much for O'Hanlon being a Bush lapdog.

As for the unconscionability of not having the MRAP delivered, consider that the military has set an 'aggressive' timetable to build MRAPs, some of which have not been properly tested, and for whom there are only two steel mills in the U.S. producing the necessary armor. Not even saying O'Hanlon is wrong here, but just take a look at the context and judge for yourself if this is a major screwup, a minor screwup, or par for the course.

At least we know O'Hanlon isn't in the political camp that looks for affirmation instead of information.

Posted by Ken McCracken · 9 August 2007 12:50 AM · Comments (15)

Ron Paul Sucks!

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Posted by Ken McCracken · 8 August 2007 09:33 PM · Comments (40)

Wednesday Caption Contest: Part 116

This week's WILLisms.com Caption Contest photograph:


Here is the actual caption:
Crossroads Guitar Festival master of ceremonies actor Bill Murray appears onstage as a 70's rocker in Chicago, Saturday, July 28, 2007
You call that a caption? Give us a real one, please!

Entries will remain open until 11:59 PM, Central Standard Time, Tuesday, August 14. Submit your captions in the comments section, or email at mccracken.ken@gmail.com.

Last week's photo:

Winners from last week: 1. Hoodlumman:

Fido always had a knack for dating above his "pay grade."

2. GOP and College:

I knew dogs could help guys pick up chicks, but this is just weird!

3. Elliot:

The relationship will never last. It is only 'Puppy Love'

All we are saying, is give captioning a chance. Enter today!

Posted by Ken McCracken · 8 August 2007 02:59 PM · Comments (54)

Quotational Therapy: Part 140 -- Nancy Pelosi Hates America.

Pelosi Does Her Best Baghdad Bob Impression-

By now, surely you've heard about how the Democrats stole a vote in the House of Representatives. If not, here is the gist:

The House of Representatives almost turned into the Fight Club Thursday night, when Democrats ruled that a GOP motion had failed even though, when the gavel fell, the electronic score board showed it winning 215-213 along with the word FINAL. The presiding officer, Rep. Mike McNulty (D., N.Y.), actually spoke over the clerk who was trying to announce the result.

In the ensuing confusion several members changed their votes and the GOP measure to deny illegal aliens benefits such as food stamps then trailed 212-216. Boiling-mad Republicans stormed off the floor. The next day, their fury increased when they learned electronic records of the vote had disappeared from the House's voting system.

This is pure evil, folks. This is a HUGE deal. Honestly, I couldn't give less of a care about the actual measure they were voting on, but for Democrats to do what they did, procedurally, is almost unimaginable. A functioning democracy cannot handle that sort of underhandedness on any sort of regular basis. Democrats are doing their best to undermine the very basis of freedom in this country. That's not an exaggeration. What happened last week was seismic.

More on last week's truly Orwellian event:

The House on Friday unanimously agreed to create a special select committee, with subpoena powers, to investigate Republican allegations that Democratic leaders had stolen a victory from the House GOP on a parliamentary vote late Thursday night...

The agreement for a special committee was extraordinary. Such powerful investigative committees usually are reserved for issues such as Watergate and the funneling of profits from Iranian arms sales to the Nicaraguan Contras in the 1980s.

"I don't know when something like this has happened before," said House deputy historian Fred Beuttler.

So what was the Pelosi response:

Speaker Nancy Pelosi made matters worse when she told reporters, "There was no mistake made last night."

Oh, okay. Sorry.

Democrats in Congress today are doing their best to undermine America's already-shaken confidence in our public institutions. Both Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi have conducted themselves even more shamefully than anyone could have imagined at election-time last year. They have driven Congressional approval to historic lows and proven that Democrats are not fit to run this country:


Again, this Democrat vote tampering in the House is truly monumental, and entirely worthy of "major scandal" level of media coverage.

More Pelosi, out of touch with reality:

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., charged Republicans with blatant obstructionism: "They've just been deluged by the success of the Democrats on behalf of the American people," she said.

This has to be the most unintentionally hilarious quote of the political year.

Previous Quotational Therapy Session:

Senator Dodd On Social Security.

The right quote can be therapeutic, so tune in to WILLisms.com for quotational therapy on Monday and Friday.

Posted by Will Franklin · 6 August 2007 02:07 PM · Comments (15)

Republican Presidential Debate (Iowa: August 5, 2007)

On C-SPAN last night, I happened to catch the replay of the Republican debate in Iowa, hosted by ABC and moderated by left-wing operative George Stephanopoulos and his local sidekick David Yepson.

Here's my scorecard (and this is not an endorsement of anyone, by any stretch of the imagination):


The panel was physically arranged with the front-runners in the middle, and the fringe candidates on the left and right. In a bizarre move signaling the hyper-horserace-ification of our political process, George Stephanopoulos announced the results of the latest Iowa-specific ABC news poll, as all the candidates not named Romney rolled their eyes and bit their lips:


So, let's go from left to right on the stage.

Tom Tancredo-

Wants to tell terrorists that we will nuke Mecca and Medina if they pull off a large terrorist attack. Ardent supporter of the FairTax, which is intriguing. Several minutes into the debate, George Stephanopoulos had not recognized him, and he became highly agitated (rightfully so). Tancredo is great on a lot of issues, but he needs to learn to smile and joke and laugh. The angry white dude does not play well, especially paired with his ardent and vocal opinionation on illegal immigration. Tom Tancredo would lose all but a handful of states in a general election.

In this debate, Representative Tancredo gets a D.

Tommy Thompson-

A good and decent man, but he really needs to drop out and throw his efforts behind someone he feels comfortable supporting. He tried so hard to build up a dramatic crescendo on Iraq, only to receive tepid applause. He rambles and blusters and loses track of his own thoughts, and in order to bail himself out he will just blurt out some platitude.

In this debate, Governor Thompson gets a: D-.

Sam Brownback-

He is a good Senator, and although he is known for being a social conservative, he is also fantastic on taxes, trade, spending, entitlements, etc. At this debate, he just did not impress. His plan to partition Iraq might have made sense 3 or 4 years ago, but now it just seems like he is grasping at straws to differentiate himself from the pack.

In this debate, Senator Brownback gets a C-.

John McCain-

A true American hero, but there were times when he seemed to stumble over his words. His age is beginning to really show. At the same time, though, he looked very composed and gave incredibly presidential answers. On the issues, McCain is not particularly exciting, but he could beat any of the Democrats.

In this debate, Senator McCain gets a B+.

Rudy Giuliani-

I've had a slight lean toward Rudy for a while now. I think he is fantastic when he talks about taxes and trade and such. He really knows how to stand up to liberals on those and other economic issues and explain them-- without dumbing it down for the lowest common denominator-- such that everyone can understand what he is talking about. I loved when he called out the strange little Iowan co-moderating with George S. for asking a liberal question. Rudy is great, but Mrs. WILLisms.com thinks he needs to work on his NY lisp thing he has going on. Surprisingly, Rudy sustained very little damage on social issues.

In this debate, Mayor Giuliani gets a B.

Mitt Romney-

Mitt just looks like an actor playing "President Romney." And I mean that in a good way. He is likeable. He is exceedingly well-spoken. He had some awesome one-liners, such as the one about Barack Obama going from Jane Fonda to Dr. Strangelove in the course of one week. He sort of lost me a bit when he started talking about "health care" and "education" being prerequisites for democracy in places like Iraq. Had he not fumbled around on that issue, he might have had a near-perfect debate.

In this debate, Governor Romney gets an A-.

Mike Huckabee-

The formerly corpulent former Arkansas Governor apparently scored extremely well with an Iowa focus group watching the debate. It's easy to see why. He had all sorts of folksy ways of explaining things. Occasionally he drifted into populist demagoguery, but he definitely knows how to speak to Middle America. Forensically-speaking, Huckabee is a surprisingly good debater, but I just don't feel like I can trust him to resist those populist impulses.

In this debate, Governor Huckabee gets a B-.

Ron Paul-

Dr. Paul is an embarrassment. I know stating that obvious fact will draw the ire of the internet Paulites, but it's true. Ron Paul might very well be incredible as the domestic president. He might actually succeed in abolishing the IRS, gutting major government expenditures, and otherwise shaking up the status quo. Then again, his approach is so poor, that he might just alienate everyone and fail miserably. In this debate, he looked like the worst caricature of a little senile Texan: H. Ross Perot meets the alter ego of Dennis Kucinich. Ron Paul really should not be on stage with legitimate candidates. He is only included for his anti-war novelty. Worse than that, he is a hypocrite on earmarks.

In this debate, Representative Paul gets an F.

Duncan Hunter-

It is unfortunate that Duncan Hunter is polling so poorly, because he is superb on national security issues. To win in Iraq, it will require more than saying "we're winning," "we will win," and so forth. Rather, we need someone who can speak tactically about how we are winning and how we will win without losing the audience. Duncan Hunter is that guy. He looks and sounds like a leader ought to look and sound. On domestic/economic issues, however, he is pretty poor.

In this debate, Representative Hunter gets a B-.

The missing pieces: Newt Gingrich and Fred Thompson.

I am a huge Gingrich fan, but he would probably lose in the general election by a fairly large margin. That being said, Gingrich really ought to be in these debates. He is the best "idea guy" out there today, and he really ought to be on the stage at this stage.

The legend of Fred Thompson is something to behold, but I am not 100% certain that he can live up to that myth. His blogging is really pretty spectacular, but-- ironically-- for an actor, his stump speeches are not particularly great. Yet.

His fundraising has been tepid. As of today, there's a good reason he is not officially in the race. Before anyone declares him the second coming of Reagan, he needs to prove himself a bit more. As a huge Fred fan, count me among the wait-and-see folks.

All of the Republican candidates, including the ones that have yet to declare, seem to have fairly obvious and exploitable weaknesses, but, as Mrs. WILLisms.com remarked, they just need to talk about taxes, all the time. You can hardly go wrong with any of the candidates on that crucial issue. Moreover, when pitted against the socialist nightmares that are Hillary, Obama, Edwards, and Richardson, it will not be difficult whatsoever to get behind whomever the Republican nominee is in 2008.

Posted by Will Franklin · 6 August 2007 12:18 PM · Comments (21)

Sunday Heidi Weimaraner Update: 19 Months Old.

Hard to believe, but it's been six months since the past Heidi update. And she is now 19 months old, to the date.

We went to Midland over the weekend to visit her human grandparents.

She got to swim:


She poses this way when she is concentrating really hard on when and where we are going to throw her toy:


And, yes, an action shot is in order:


And now Heidi has a new uncle (my new little brother).

His name bounced from Sugar to Leo to everything in between over the weekend, but it looks like it has finally landed on Fearless Forbes Flat-Tax Franklin. Forbes, for short. He is a golden retriever puppy, born at the end of May:


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Posted by Will Franklin · 5 August 2007 09:14 PM · Comments (18)

Trivia Tidbit Of The Day: Part 451 -- High Capital Gains Taxes Harm The Economy.

Investment Capital Likes To Be Treated Well-

From Americans for Prosperity:

...when the tax rate was reduced in 1981, 1997 and 2003, capital gains tax revenue increased 49 percent, 49 percent and 88 percent, respectively, over the next three years. In contrast, when the tax rate was increased from 20 percent to 28 percent in 1986, the tax's revenue dropped 44 percent over the next three years.

This is not rocket science.

Investor's Business Daily has a great editorial on this subject:

Pitting classes against one another may be an effective way of getting votes in Democratic primaries, where it seems the lowest common denominator get the highest priority. But as trendy as this process has become, it is one of the most economically destructive developments ever in our nation's political discourse.

Solving problems — not appealing to crass emotionalism — is the responsibility of our leaders. In the case of ratcheting up the capital gains rate, the results will likely extend to wrecking the economy.

Plus the highly elucidating graph:


This is a prime example of how a lower tax rate (a large component of economic freedom) leads to stronger economic growth. Higher taxes, meanwhile, stymie economic activity and harm human progress. Higher taxes are immoral; anything that punishes and indeed prevents success is illogical and nonsensical.


Previous Trivia Tidbit: America On The Verge Of Becoming Pre-Sarkozy France.

Posted by Will Franklin · 2 August 2007 01:58 PM · Comments (2)

Wednesday Caption Contest: Part 115.

This week's WILLisms.com Caption Contest photograph:


Here is the actual caption:
Shari Gonzalez poses with Loki, a dog which she rents from Flex Petz, Thursday, July 26, 2007, in San Diego. Flex Petz rents dogs by the day to time-pressed and space-challenged people and is preparing to bring its 'shared dog ownership concept' to Manhattan, San Francisco and London later this year. (AP Photo/Chris Park)
Seriously? There must be a better caption for this photo.

Entries will remain open until 11:59 PM, Central Standard Time, Tuesday, August 7. Submit your captions in the comments section, or email at mccracken.ken@gmail.com.

Last week's photograph:


Winners from last week:

1. Doug:

Senator Clinton was happy she donated the outfit she had originally planned to wear to the debate to Madame Tussauds.

2. Deathlok:

Do these stripes make me look sober?

3. rodney dill:

They say stripes make you look wider. Lindsey wore hers just to stay visible.

Captioning: the other white meat. Enter today!

Posted by Will Franklin · 1 August 2007 12:08 PM · Comments (31)