Fred Thompson As Himself.

Q: (Courtesy ABC News) My only problem with you and why I haven’t thrown all my support behind you is that I don’t know if you have the desire to be President. If I caucus for you next week, are you still going to be there two months from now?

That is a very good question, not because its difficult to answer, but I’m gonna answer it in a little different way than what you might expect.

In the first place, I got into the race about the time people normally get into… get into it. The fact of the matter is people get into it a lot earlier than they used to. For some of them, they were juniors in high school.

The first place, I wouldn’t be here if I didn’t. I wouldn’t be doing this. I grew up in very modest circumstances. I left government and I and my family have made sacrifices to be sitting here today. I haven’t had any income for a long time because I figured to be clean, you’ve got to cut everything off. I was doing speaking engagements and I had a contract to do a TV show. I had a contract with ABC radio…and so forth. A man would have to be a total fool to do all those things and to be leaving his family which is not a joyful thing if he didn’t want to do it.

I am not consumed by personal ambition. I will not be devastated if I don’t do it. I want the people to have the best president they can have.

When this talk first originated from people around the country both directly and through polls, liked the idea of me stepping up and of course, you always look better from a distance.

But most of those people are still there. I approached it from the standpoint of a deal. A kind of a marriage. If one side of a marriage really has to be talked into the marriage, it probably ain’t going to be a good deal. But if you mutually decide it’s going to be a good thing. In this case, if you think this is a good thing for the country, then we have an opportunity to do some wonderful things together.

I’m offering myself up. I’m saying that I have the background, the capability and concern to do this and do it for the right reasons. I’m not particularly interested in running for president, but I think I’d make a good president.

Nowadays, the process has become much more important than it used to be.

I don’t know that they ever asked George Washington a question like this. I don’t know that they ever asked Dwight D. Eisenhower a question like this. But nowadays, it’s all about fire in the belly. I’m not sure in the world we live in today it’s a good thing if a president has too much fire in the belly. I approach life differently than a lot of people. People, I guess, wonder how I’ve been as successful as I’ve been in everything that I’ve done. I won two races in TN by 20 point margins in a state that bill Clinton carried twice. I’ve never had an acting lesson. I guess that’s obvious by people who’ve watched me…

When I did it, I did it. Wasn’t just a lark. Anything that’s worth doing is worth doing well. But I’ve always been a little more laid back than most. I’m only consumed by very, very few things. Politics is not one of them. The welfare of our country and our kids and grandkids is one of them.

If people really want in their president super type-A personality, someone who has gotten up every morning and gone to bed every night and been thinking about for years how they win the presidency of the United States, someone who can look you straight in the eye and say they enjoy every minute of campaigning, I ain’t that guy. So I hope I’ve discussed that and didn’t talk you out of anything. I honestly want – I can’t imagine a worse set of circumstances [than] achieving the Presidency of the United States under false pretenses. I go out of my way to be myself.

(Via Redstate)


(Via Instapundit)

No wonder the media powers-that-be fear him.


Barring some unforeseen urge to post, I’m taking the rest of the year off. Posting to resume on or about Jan. 1, 2008. I may still be commenting from time to time, though.

Thanks for visiting! The archives remain open for those who are jonesin’ for a fix.

More American Arrogance,.
or: You’ve Won When You Can Laugh at the Enemy

Big Santa-hat tip to Van der Leun on this one, too:


I love Jeff Dunham!

Merry Christmas, everyone!

UPDATE: Welcome, visitors from Instapundit. If you liked that, I think you’ll love this.

Movie Review: I Am Legend.

My wife and I just got back from seeing I Am Legend. I haven’t read the classic novel, but I have seen The Ωmega Man once or twice, which was the second film version of it.

Let me say up front, I am a fan of Will Smith – I’ll go see pretty much anything he’s in because I think he’s a good actor, and I like him. I’ll also go see anything SciFi that doesn’t look cheesy. This one was a no-brainer. Besides, from the previews it’s a zombie flick, with lots of guns. What’s not to like?

Uh, this movie.

Don’t get me wrong, it’s not bad. I can’t point to anything in particular I didn’t like about it, but it just didn’t affect me. I never became involved in the story. Yes, it startled me a couple of times (it’s sort of a horror film, so it’s supposed to), but that’s it. Even at the supreme emotional point of the film… meh. Nada. About 2/3rds of the way through it, my wife was about to nod off (she had other reasons). I asked her if she wanted to go home, but she declined. I asked her, because at about that point I realized I really didn’t care how it ended.

We stayed to the end, and I was right.

Your mileage may vary, but I’m willing to bet this flick drops off the box office radar in two weeks or less. Sorry, Will.

On Search Engines, Christmas Shopping, and the Economy…

My wife went out shopping this evening, looking for something specific for her father – a quilt-lined flannel shirt in red or blue plaid without a hood, extra large.

She shopped for about two and a half hours. No joy. Everything she found had a hood. She was, suffice it to say, not happy.

“Honey,” I said, “I can find that for you pretty easily, I bet.”

“Online? Can you get it in time for Christmas?”

“Probably not now, but if you’d asked yesterday…”

“I didn’t know that’s what he wanted yesterday.”

“Oh. Well, we can give him a picture of what he’ll be receiving a day or two after Christmas.”

So I went searching. Specifically, I went Googling. (Yes, Google is evil, but it can still be your friend.)

Funny thing was, I wasn’t finding much. Oh, they were out there, but the winter fashion season is over, so everything’s in closeout. Wrong sizes, wrong colors, etc.

So then I went to Yahoo! and tried their search engine. Third hit on the page, Yahoo!Shopping. Not what I’m looking for on that page, but there’s a search function, so plug in “quilt lined flannel shirts” again, and bingo! Sixth down the page is a JC Penny St. John’s Bay quilt lined flannel shirt. I check, and it’s not only available in the right size and color, it’s shown to be in stock at the local mall. And it’s on sale, 50% off!

We just got back. They had exactly two of the right size and color still in stock. Original price: $50.00. Sale price: $19.99. According to my math, that’s more than 50% off.

This engendered a few thoughts.

First, it’s far, far easier to do your shopping online. If someone makes it, it’s probably advertised somewhere on the web. Ten minutes surfing beats two and a half hours driving, parking, walking, shopping, walking, driving, and waiting for idiots to get the hell out of the way.

Second, if there’s a lot of whatever it is you want out there, you can bargain hunt with the best of them. I’ve found that through judicious searching I can usually get what I want, delivered, for a little less than I can buy it locally. As long as I don’t need it right now, that’s by far the better deal. And if it costs just a little more? The convenience is worth it.

Third, on high-end stuff you can also comparison shop and you can get generally reliable feedback from consumers who have purchased the items you’re looking at. When I had to replace my audio receiver earlier this year, I settled on a new Onkyo home theater unit based on general recommendations from audiophiles at, and on customer reviews at enthusiast web sites and sites that sell the hardware. As a result, I bought a decent system at a reasonable price point, and since time was of the essence I placed the order online with Circuit City (best price locally), and simply drove down and picked it up. In and out in less than ten minutes. They had it waiting for me when I walked in the door.

Fourth, it isn’t just high end stuff. My wife is hell on our non-stick cooking pans. Recently our 12″ square griddle gave up, and I had to find a new one. Glenn Reynolds has run several mini-carnivals of cookware, so I did some research there, and then went shopping. I ended up buying a griddle through, paying for it partially with a gift certificate. I had it delivered to me at work. No hassle, and it probably took less time than driving to a store, selecting one, and checking out with it, without doing the research first.

Fifth, I don’t think Christmas is going to be all that great for the brick-and-mortar retailers this year, for all of the abovementioned reasons. If it was, they wouldn’t be having 50% Off Sales before Christmas. And since the internet heavily leverages the purchasing power of the consumer, I’m also willing to bet that the overall profit picture isn’t going to be all that pretty for the virtual retailers, either. Someone’s always willing to undercut you.

So what do I think? I think if you’re a brick-and-mortar only retailer, your business model better be really, really good. If you’re a virtual retailer, you’d better have a damned good user interface, and you’d better be connected to the top search engines. I’ll pay extra if I don’t have to screw with a web site that makes it nearly impossible to find what I’m looking for, but I will deal with a little difficulty if it’ll save me a bunch of dough.

And I think I ought to invest in FedEx, UPS, and DHL. Those boys are going to do nothing but grow.

Bloggers: The New Watchdogs.

We may not be the Gatekeepers (we tore the gates down), but we’re the watchdogs of both old and new media. Three examples:

Earlier this week Roger Simon of The Politico wrote a very negative piece on a campaign stop by Fred Thompson. The Riehl World View examined his story, and the CBS video, and called foul. Instapundit picked it up, and that, as they say, was that. (UPDATE: It ain’t over yet.)

Congress passes a gun bill, HR 2640. Nobody much hears about it except us gunnies. It’s a compete oddity – supported by the Brady Campaign and the NRA. So, of course the (only gun) Violence (counts) Policy Center opines in opposition, as does the Gun Owners of America, and the Brady Center for the Prevention of Gun Ownership claims that the law does a lot of things it doesn’t. Who do you hear about this from? Not the legacy media. You hear about it from gunbloggers – people who, you know, actually understand the topic on which they write. Sebastian at Snowflakes in Hell disassembles the GOA argument, and Say Uncle counters both the VPC and Paul Helmke.

If you want to know this stuff, the New York Times isn’t going to tell you.

Third one: While Dennis Kucinich has about as good a shot at the Oval Office as I do, he is still a sitting Congressman. It’s good to know what our elected officials really think and do.

It would seem that someone doesn’t want us to know some interesting things about Mr. Kucinich, according to David Drake, and he’s got the screenshots to prove it.

The old saying is true: the internet treats censorship as damage and simply routes around it. And, as Tam recently said, “The internet, much like Soylent Green, is people.” People with voices we never had before.

No wonder governments fear the Internet.