Smokes For Troops

A sheriff from Oakland County MI has his heart in the right place. Instead of burning a recent seizure of cigars, he’s sending them to Michigan troops serving in Iraq:

The county’s Narcotics Enforcement Team seized the stogies, valued at $15,000, during a traffic stop of a convicted drug felon in January.

 Sheriff Michael Bouchard said Thursday the cigars were thought to be illegal Cuban cigars, but they turned out to be high-quality Dominicans.

He said he couldn’t give them away if they were Cuban cigars.Bouchard said he’s not sending the cigars to encourage smoking, but he hopes the smokes will provide a respite from their stressful routines. He also added many of his own deputies are serving in Iraq.

Shhhhh…don’t anyone tell the anti-smoking zealots.

Hat tip: Crime Scene KC 

Was Obama’s Speech A Success?

Here are some initial reactions to Obama’s speech.

The right wing blogosphere is not impressed:

Ace of Spades HQ

American Thinker Blog

Hot Air

MSNBC has a poll up, which shows the vast majority of respondents indicating that he “successfully tackled the issue of race in his speech”.

Here are the numbers, thus far:

Yes – 66% He answered the tough questions and wasn’t afraid to be honest.

no – 26% No, he didn’t ease my concerns about the divisive comments of his former pastor, Rev. Jeremiah Wright.

Not sure – 7.6% I don’t know. I need more time to review the points of his speech.

You can count Oliver Willis as one of the 66%:

One of my personal maxims has been that politicians will disappoint you. The ones you like will have personal failings, while the ones you detest will fail time and time again. With Senator Obama, for the first time in my life, I have watched a political leader who I don’t worry if he’ll be up to the task.

It’s like you had Michael Jordan in his prime or Joe Montana with 2 minutes to go. It’s that feeling where you say to yourself: Ok, breathe, he’s got it.

Chill, Barack’s got it.

St. Andrew is in full swoon:

Alas, I cannot give a more considered response right now as I have to get on the road. But I do want to say that this searing, nuanced, gut-wrenching, loyal, and deeply, deeply Christian speech is the most honest speech on race in America in my adult lifetime. It is a speech we have all been waiting for for a generation. Its ability to embrace both the legitimate fears and resentments of whites and the understandable anger and dashed hopes of many blacks was, in my view, unique in recent American history.

And it was a reflection of faith – deep, hopeful, transcending faith in the promises of the Gospels. And it was about America – its unique promise, its historic purpose, and our duty to take up the burden to perfect this union – today, in our time, in our way.


Interesting….. Crooks and Liars has a poll up showing this result, thus far:

34% – He hit a home run

38% – He whiffed

18% – It was just ok

10% – I’m not sure

And the Political Machine:

Yes, it was groundbreaking and historic. 368 (53.6%)
It was a good speech, like lots of his speeches. 73 (10.6%)
Nothing new, just empty rhetoric. 222 (32.4%)
Not sure. 22 (3.2%)

My own impression? If Obama is having trouble convincing the left of his sincerity, he can forget about the independents, who he needs if he is going to be viable in the general election. I still think this issue has done him in.

MSM Coverage:

The Washington Post

USA Today






Express yourself in Haiku over at Ace’s Haiku Thread: Change, Hope and Obama’s Black-Hatin’ Granny!


This CBS poll shows that the speech actually hurt Obama.

Democrats are especially apt to say their views are unchanged, with 76 percent saying it has made no difference of their view of Obama, 15 percent saying it made their view less favorable and 2 percent saying it made their view more favorable.

Republicans are the most likely to say their view has been affected: 47 percent say they’ve become less favorable, and 53 percent said it did not make a different.

Sixty-one percent of independent voters say they are unaffected, but 36 percent said it made their view less favorable. Two percent of independents said it made them more favorable view.


Byron York has a good post up at National Review on Obama and his audience. Not surprisingly his supporters loved the speech. Disturbingly, they are in general agreement with the political sentiments of Rev. Wright.

Bmac, who grew up around black churches made the same point, today on his blog.

I have to admit I was completely unaware that this is where so much race-baiting rhetoric was coming from. It is just so completely at odds with my view of how a Christian church should conduct itself.