Obama hands Hillary an early Christmas present

Will these comments, made in front of a gathering of uber-rich supporters in San Francisco this past weekend, cause Obama’s poll surge in Pennsylvania to reverse course? (emphasis added)

But the truth is, is that, our challenge is to get people persuaded that we can make progress when there’s not evidence of that in their daily lives. You go into some of these small towns in Pennsylvania, and like a lot of small towns in the Midwest, the jobs have been gone now for 25 years and nothing’s replaced them. And they fell through the Clinton administration, and the Bush administration, and each successive administration has said that somehow these communities are gonna regenerate and they have not. So it’s not surprising then that they get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren’t like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations.

Tom Maguire correctly points out these remarks sound a lot like the Mrs.

Ben Smith has the audio, and probably the best explanation for clueless liberals as to why conservatives are up in arms over the remarks:

The quality isn’t great — it’s best listened to with headphones. The context doesn’t really change the substance of the remarks, which came as he discussed on his work to connect with working class voters in Ohio and Pennsylvania.

The reason that Obama’s critics are jumping on this is that he seems to be speaking diagnostically about people’s beliefs — their attachment to religion or guns — casting their sometimes-conservative politics as symptoms. Which is rarely how people like to view their own beliefs.

The McCain camp has hit back on the comment. Hillary issued a direct response here:

The BO campaign is fighting back, but rest assured this soundbite is going to be used against Barack Obama from now until the PA primary on April 22nd – and beyond. Talking about people being discouraged and “bitter” about their economic situation is one thing, but asserting that the frustration “causes” them to “turn to guns and religion” is insulting, and also makes it sound like being a gun enthusiast and/or being a believer in God is a bad thing. And to say it in front of a crowd full of the elitist of the elite – well, that just raises the Ickometer even higher.

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Check out tons more blogger reax via Memeorandum.

Rush mentioned this blog on air?!?

I received a friendly email from new ST reader and fellow North Carolinian Debra B. this evening telling me about her blog, and in the email she said that she heard Rush mention my site recently! What I want to know is, where was the huge traffic spike I hear usually follows a Rush mention? I have gotten a lot of extra Google hits this week, more so than normal, but not in mindblowing numbers. Maybe people were Googling to find the blog? Did anyone else hear it?

My very first political blog post was defending Rush during the Rush Limbaugh/ESPN/Donovan McNabb “controversy.” It would be cool as heck to have an audio clip of this of the mention. Hopefully it wasn’t Sister Souljah he was talking about …

BTW, make sure to check out Debra’s blog. I’m adding it to the blogroll, so in case you don’t get a chance tonight, check it out at your leisure. Lots of interesting links related to The Chosen One at the top of the page.

Friday links and open thread

It’s another busy day for me in the office, so here are a few links for your perusal until I can return later this evening to catch up:

—- Unfortunately, Hillary Clinton isn’t the only one embellishing (actually, it’s more like lying) about her trip to Bosnia as first lady. The Bubbinski has gotten in on the act as well, trying to ‘clarify’ things. Jake Tapper fact checks him here. Jim Geraghty has fun with both Bubba and the mediots here.

—- Headline from the Washington Post: “Big Donors Among Obama’s Grass Roots.” My response? Toldjah So.

—- Speaking of Obama, Gateway Pundit posts what he believes to be shocking audio of excerpts from Obama’s book Dreams From My Father. I listened to this last night and like Sean Hackbarth and Dan Collins, I didn’t find anything particularly shocking about it and some of the audio lacks context. As big a critic as ya’ll know I am of BO, I just don’t see the controversy here. The only thing the audio might indicate is an implication that Obama was in attendance at TUCC when his “former pastor” made some of the controversial remarks Obama claims he never heard. But then again, most of us already know he was anyway.

—- And for once, I agree with the junior Senator from Illinois regarding his remarks on parental responsiblity.

—- Jules Crittenden assures everyone: No, that wasn’t a naked woman seen in Dick Cheney’s sunglasses.

—- Michael Yon writes in the Wall Street Journal that we need to keep on surgin’ in Iraq. Bob Owens notes that Yon has a new book out, which you can purchase here.

—- Caught up in all this American Airlines mess? My sympathies are with you. Hang in there.

—- John Hawkins surveyed the conservative blogosphere on who their least and most desired picks were for McCain’s VP choice. The results can be read here.

Back later …

Introducing the Light Bulb Freedom of Choice Act

A bright (pun intended) idea from Minnesota Congresswoman Michelle Bachmann (h/t:see-dubya):

Congress slipped into the recent energy bill a mandate that within four years the everyday incandescent bulb is to disappear from the shelves of your local grocery and hardware stores. In it’s place? The fluorescent bulb that for years many consumers have avoided.

The list of complaints about fluorescent bulbs is long. Some are bothered by the higher price, others by the harsher light, others by their lack of adaptability to household fixtures, and still others by concerns over their mercury content.

So on what grounds has Washington justified this unwanted intrusion into our lives?

They say that these high-mercury bulbs will reduce the strain on our energy supply, reduce the carbon footprint, and lead to greater energy efficiency. But there’s little to no evidence to back up their claims.

Congress has intruded on your shopping list on a whim; in favor of a fad.

Well, that doesn’t sit well with me and I know it doesn’t sit well with you.

America was founded on the idea that people are far better able to make their own decisions than the government.

So I’ve [introduced] the Light Bulb Freedom of Choice Act, which makes a simple challenge to Big Brother: either Congress’ own independent investigative arm, the Government Accountability Office (GAO), marshals evidence to back up the assumptions behind the light bulb ban – or Congress repeals the mandate.

In other words, I’m asking Congress to actually be – hold your breath – accountable to the people. If they are going to intrude into our lives, and control our most basic decisions, the least they can do is have enough respect for the American people to back-up their claims.

Specifically, my bill would ask the GAO to study whether the ban:

1.) leads to lower costs for consumers,
2.) leads to reduced carbon emissions, and
3.) does not lead to a health risk, particularly for vulnerable populations, like those in nursing homes, day care centers, schools, and hospitals.

It’s nice to see that true conservatism isn’t dead in the House after all :D