September 2008 Archives

JOHN MCCAIN, SARAH PALIN AND ISRAEL

In a radio interview September 30th, Sarah Palin was asked this question:

HH: Governor, let’s close with some foreign affairs. It is reported that you had an Israeli flag in your governor’s office. You wore an Israeli flag pin occasionally. One, is that true? And two, why your support for Israel?

SP: Well, it is true, and I ran into Shimon Peres recently at a meeting, and he even pointed that out. He said I saw a picture of you on the internet, and you had an Israeli flag in your state government office, and I said I sure do. You know, my heart is with you. And all of those trials and tribulations throughout history that Israel has gone through, not only does that allow me to want to support that country, but Israel is our strongest and most important ally in the Middle East. And they are a democratic country who I believe deserves our support, and I know that John McCain believes as I do that Israel is our friend, and we need to be there to support them. They are there for us, and I do love that country.

Even though there is plenty to worry about in this country, what is playing out in Europe cannot be ignored. Muslims are becoming more numerous and powerful and are openly seeking to transform the continent into an Islamic land under, at some point, Islamic law.

Those who value the democratic principles of the west, including free speech, freedom of assembly, freedom of religion and the equality of women are increasingly concerned and are starting to speak out.

However, a strange union has taken place between Muslims and the far left, both of which have as an ultimate goal the destruction of the dominance of Western civilization.

This past weekend in Cologne saw those assembling at a conference to express concern for Western values silenced by violent mob action supported by police of the city, with the apparent appproval of the elected mayor. Doublespeak was in evidence as the mayor called the total disruption of the conference “a victory by the democratic forces of the city.”

“It couldn’t happen here,” would be the typical American reaction. Oh, no?

As in Europe, huge mosque complexes are opening across the States -- one very recently in Boston and another in Atlanta. Do they portend the extension and entrenchment of Islamic law in the United States? One difference between the United States and Europe is that we don't have street thugs enforcing a code of silence on the subject. That's because of the other difference: We don't have any political parties willing, or even able to discuss it.

If we ignore it, maybe it will go away.

Well, it won't. Islam is an aggressive, expansionist ideology bent on world domination. It is extremely well-funded with oil monies (from the West) and being advanced by a large and growing percentage of true believers among the 1.3 billion Muslims worldwide. It is a threat that no political party in the U.S. dares confront, as has been the case in Europe. In Britain, 20 years of denial have resulted in a large Muslim population 40% of whom want Islamic law to replace British law. Even in the United States, a recent poll of American Muslims found that 26% of young people 14 to 30 felt that suicide bombings were justifiable sometimes. That's not a threat?

Cologne's Anti-Islamization Conference Shut Down by Mayor, Police and Thugs

Diana West, Syndicated Columnist
Thursday, September 25, 2008

Dr. Thomas Sowell, senior fellow at Stanford's Hoover Institution in economics and public policy, points out how crazy it is to look to Congress to develop a solution for the financial crisis when they were the people who caused it in the first place. Special mention is given to the two chief culprits Democratic Congressman Barney Frank of Massachusetts and Democratic Senator Christopher Dodd of Connecticut.

Whatever is done, Dr. Sowell says, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac should be wound down and put out of our misery as soon as practicable. No more private corporations with federal "implicit" guaranties. Brilliantly right, as always.

Bailout Politics Thomas Sowell Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Nothing could more painfully demonstrate what is wrong with Congress than the current financial crisis.

Among the Congressional "leaders" invited to the White House to devise a bailout "solution" are the very people who have for years created the risks that have now come home to roost.

Five years ago, Barney Frank vouched for the "soundness" of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and said "I do not see" any "possibility of serious financial losses to the treasury."

Moreover, he said that the federal government has "probably done too little rather than too much to push them to meet the goals of affordable housing."

Earlier this year, Senator Christopher Dodd praised Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac for "riding to the rescue" when other financial institutions were cutting back on mortgage loans. He too said that they "need to do more" to help subprime borrowers get better loans.

In other words, Congressman Frank and Senator Dodd wanted the government to push financial institutions to lend to people they would not lend to otherwise, because of the risk of default.

This is hardly surprising since it confirms what we see and hear every day from network TV and radio news and cable outlets like CNN and MSNBC and read in the NY Times, the Globe and Washington Post. They have abandoned their duty to inform the American people honestly.

Instapundit reports:

September 29, 2008
A READER AT A MAJOR NEWSROOM EMAILS: "Off the record, every suspicion you have about MSM being in the tank for O is true. We have a team of 4 people going thru dumpsters in Alaska and 4 in arizona. Not a single one looking into Acorn, Ayers or Freddiemae. Editor refuses to publish anything that would jeopardize election for O, and betting you dollars to donuts same is true at NYT, others. People cheer when CNN or NBC run another Palin-mocking but raising any reasonable inquiry into obama is derided or flat out ignored. The fix is in, and its working." I asked permission to reprint without attribution and it was granted.

WHO IS BARACK OBAMA? MARXIST SOCIALIST

| 1 Comment

Just weeks until the presidential election and Barack Obama is still a largely unknown mystery figure because the national media has refused to do the intensive investigation into his background that it does for, say, a white Republican woman from Alaska.

All we know is the carefully crafted biographical narrative put together by the Chicago Democratic machine that is running Obama's campaign, as approved by Obama himself. Like the two memoirs about his life, the Obama narrative is part fiction and omits a great deal of disturbing information about what Obama believes, what he has done and what he intends to do.

Because of the work of bloggers and independent researchers are doing, some information is belatedly coming to light. What has been found so far is frightening.

Obama's fixation on building black power to fight white America, his associations with terrorists and others who hate America, his years of work to advance Marxist socialist goals, his long involvement with organizations such as ACORN deeply involved in vote fraud and thuggish intimidation to corrupt the banking system, his go-along relationship with the patronage and payoff Chicago Democratic machine, his close friendship with a slumlord convicted of political fraud, his callous disregard for human life and his casual disregard fo truth are all being revealed despite fierce threats from the the Obama campaign to prevent such disclosures. Are these disclosures coming too late? Will the national media continue to shut their eyes?

Don't the American people deserve to know the truth about Barack Obama?

Melanie Phillips views the situation with amazement, concern and horror from London:

Barack Obama appears to sit on a nexus between Marxist revolutionary activists, unrepentant former terrorists, Black Power racists, Chicago mobsters – oh, and a Saudi who is trying to buy up America. If you were to turn up at US immigration control with a background of such associates, it’s a fair bet they wouldn’t let you off the air-bridge. Yet this man may well become President of the US! If any other candidate had had merely a fleeting relationship with William Ayers, his candidacy would have been terminated before it was even articulated -- let alone what we now know about Obama’s key role in Ayers’s CAC and its funding of radical groups; let alone the fact that Obama had been mentored during his formative years by a Communist Party plant; let alone his work for organisations modelled on the seditious philosophy of Saul Alinsky; let alone his two-decade membership of a Black Power church; let alone his relationship with fraudster Tony Rezko.

And yet despite all of this, virtually no-one in the mainstream media is asking any questions. Has there ever been a more staggering, surreal and scary race to the White House?

William Ayers and Bernadine Dohrn, the Weathermen terrorist bombers of the 1970s, hosted Obama's campaign kickoff for the Illinois Senate in 1995 and have been closely associated with Obama ever since in radical, socialist activities in the Chicago area. Ayers makes no bones about his desire to change America into a socialist state. He describes himself as a "small "c" communist." Ayers and Dohrn have been busy rounding up Communists, Marxist socialists, radicals, terrorists and so-called progressives to elect Obama president.

Bill Ayers and Bernardine Dohrn are involved in an organisation uniting three Marxist parties, a host of '60s radicals and terrorists and a new generation of militant activists.

That organisation has spawned a spin-off organisation specifically designed to put Barack Obama in the White House and to bring about massive social change across the US.

Ayers and Dohrn helped launch Barack Obama's political career. Do they guide it still?

For more on the Obama/Ayers nexus see, for example, one of our prior positings.

Thumbnail image for ayersflag.jpg

William Ayers and Barack Obama were closely linked in radical politics in Chicago for years.

Ayers is the unrepentant terrorist bomber of the Capitol, the Pentagon and police stations who escaped prison time because of prosecutorial error. One of his compatriots who was separately investigated was sentenced to 58 years in prison for the same things Ayers did as a member of the Weather Underground. (He has claimed he only meant to blow up property and never intended to hurt anyone. This lie has been exposed: three of his people assembling a nail bomb according to his design were killed. The bomb was intended to be set off at a dance at Fort Dix to kill soldiers and their dates.)

When Obama first ran for public office in Illinois, his kickoff event in 1995 was hosted by Ayers in the home he shared with fellow terrorist bomber Bernadine Dohrn. Over the next six years Obama and Ayers worked closely together seeking to instill radicalism into the Chicago school system, not seeking to improve education, but to turn teachers and the kids into community agitators. The project ran through $160 million in charitable contributions and a study found it had no discernible effect.

Ayers and Obama worked as paid directors on the small board of another charity funding radical groups in the Chicago area, including one Arab American group that funneled money to a known Palestinian terrorist organization.

In 2001, while they were still actively collaborating, Ayers published a book glorifying his days as a terrorist bomber in the 1970s, expressing no regret except he hadn't done enough. In a newspaper interview, also in 2001, he showed his continuing hatred of America, saying the very thought of it made him "want to puke." For a Chicago magazine that same year he was shown on the cover standing on the American flag.

Obama has tried repeatedly to downplay his relationship with Ayers and the mainstream media have shown no interest in looking into it. It fell to a researcher at the respected Washington Ethics and Public Policy Center Stanley Kurtz to do the leg work. He has been harrassed by Obama supporters every step of the way and for a time public records in Chicago to which he sought access -- for the Chicago Annenberg Challenge --were blocked.

What Kurtz found is illuminating.

What drew Ayers and Obama together was "community organizing." That's what the Chicago Annenberg Challenge was all about. Teachers were to be taught to become dedicated to provoking (the kids they're teaching, presumably) resistance to "American racism and oppression." Ayers has said in his "Teaching Toward Freedom," his goal is to "teach against oppression," against America's history of evil and racism, thereby forcing social transformation.

Does this sound like what Obama was fixated on during his high school and college days when he "hung out" with black power advocates and Marxist socialists and then went on to live the real thing in Chicago as a community organizer before going off to get a law degree?

Ayers describes himself much like Obama thought about himself, as recounted in "Dreams From My Father." Ayers says: "I'm a radical, Leftist, small 'c' communist."

Together, Obama and Ayers tried to advance their Marxist socialist goals by making teachers and children in the schools into radicals like themselves. Fortunately, they seemed to have failed in their mission. Hopefully, providing a good education for the kids is still the priority of the Chicago school system.

So Ayers is not only an unrepentant terrorist he is still a radical seeking to change the system. Obama has gone underground with his radicalism, seeking to achieve his goals from the inside of the system rather than from without. There is no indication that his Marxist socialist goals have changed at all.

Clearly, a distaste, a hatred of America still powers Ayers. There is much in Obama's rhetoric that exhibits the same distaste.

A renowned disciple of the late socialist agitator Saul "The Red" Alinksy, helped train Obama in Alinsky community organizing and them recommended him for Harvard Law School. "Alinsky, the father of community organizing, dreamed of socialism one day replacing the "jungle" of American capitalism."

Obama says that the goals he had as a socialist community organizer haven't changed since his days organizing on behalf of radical groups such as Gamaliel and ACORN.

During that period Obama worked with the unrepentant terrorist bomber William Ayers, who described himself as "a small "c" communist, on programs to radicalize teachers and students in the Chicago school system.

Some key items:

Obama approached Northwestern University professor John L. McKnight – a loyal student of Alinsky's radical tactics – to pen the Harvard letter in the late 1980s. McKnight serves on the boards of radically anti-American groups in Chicago, including one accused of thuggery.
[McKnight] helped train him in the agitation tactics of Alinsky, who wrote the organizing manual, "Rules for Radicals," which he dedicated to mankind's "very first radical, Lucifer."
The Chicago-based Gamaliel Foundation lists McKnight as a board director. From 1985 to 1988, Obama worked for a subsidiary of Gamaliel, where he cut his teeth as a community organizer on Chicago's South Side. McKnight and Gamaliel, which was founded on Alinsky's principles, provided training for [Obama].
Alinsky, the father of community organizing, dreamed of socialism one day replacing the "jungle" of American capitalism. He wrote that he hoped "for a future where the means of production will be owned by all of the people instead of just a comparative handful."

Alinsky dedicated the first edition of his book, "Rules for Radicals," to Satan: "Lest we forget at least an over-the-shoulder acknowledgment to the very first radical known to man who rebelled against the establishment and did it so effectively that he at least won his own kingdom – Lucifer."

Obama, in his 1995 memoir, said he wanted to go to Harvard Law School to "learn power's currency in all its intricacy," with the goal of "making large-scale change" as a national politician.
Obama says ...his views haven't really changed from his days organizing on behalf of radical Alinsky groups like Gamaliel and ACORN in Chicago.

Obama did training himself, as shown here at the blackboard doing "Power Analysis."

OBAMATEACHINGRADICALS.jpg


"My views are not so much more refined than they were when I labored in obscurity as a community organizer," he averred in his 2006 autobiography.

Read it all.

Update: See also this item about Obama's socialist upbringing.

Power is what Obama has always sought, and he has learned how to get it and use it at the feet of some of the most radical socialists in America. Now he seeks the power of the presidency to organize every community of America according to their agenda.

OBAMA'S ROLE IN SUBPRIME MORTGAGE SCANDAL

While Democrats in Congress were pressuring Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to plunge deeper and deeper into the subprime swamp, there were activists on the frontlines doing all they could to force banks to make loans that in the ordinary course they wouldn't make. Why not? Because those not getting mortgages had bad credit histories, not enough money for reasonable downpayments or lived in areas where housing values were deteriorating.

One of the hotbeds where forcing banks to make loans sane bankers wouldn't make was Chicago, about the time Barack Obama came back from law school to take his community organizing to a higher level.

Since Obama has said he learned more as a community organizer than he did in college and law school many have wondered just what a community organizer does.

Stanley Kurtz has done an astonishingly thorough job of recreating how one community organization ACORN, playing the race card charging discrimination, using intimidation and confrontation and pressure on regulatory officials, forced banks to make mortgage loans they otherwise would not make. His report is also a devastating exposé of Obama's Marxist socialism in action. Wealth redistribution is his goal: Take from the haves and give it to the have-nots.

Read it all and you will see how ACORN and Obama worked the levers of black power to undermine sound financial policies. The result of their efforts, along with similar ones throughout the nation, has been a financial disaster of historic proportions.

Key Kurtz excerpts:

Community organizers intimidate banks into making high-risk loans to customers with poor credit. In the name of fairness to minorities, community organizers occupy private offices, chant inside bank lobbies, and confront executives at their homes - and thereby force financial institutions to direct hundreds of millions of dollars in mortgages to low-credit customers. In other words, community organizers help to undermine the US economy by pushing the banking system into a sinkhole of bad loans. And Obama has spent years training and funding the organizers who do it.
ONE key pioneer of ACORN's subprime-loan shakedown racket was Madeline Talbott - an activist with extensive ties to Barack Obama. She was also in on the ground floor of the disastrous turn in Fannie Mae's mortgage policies.
By September 1992, The Chicago Tribune was describing Talbott's program as "affirmative-action lending" and ACORN was issuing fact sheets bragging about relaxations of credit standards that it had won on behalf of minorities.

And Talbott continued her effort to, as she put it, drag banks "kicking and screaming" into high-risk loans.

What made this [pilot] program different from others, the [Chicago Sun-Times said], was the participation of Fannie Mae - which had agreed to buy up the loans. "If this pilot program works," crowed Talbott, "it will send a message to the lending community that it's OK to make these kind of loans."

Well, the pilot program "worked," and Fannie Mae's message that risky loans to minorities were "OK" was sent. The rest is financial-meltdown history.

IT would be tough to find an "on the ground" community organizer more closely tied to the subprime-mortgage fiasco than Madeline Talbott. And no one has been more supportive of Madeline Talbott than Barack Obama.
[Obama] returned to Chicago in the early '90s, just as Talbott was starting her pressure campaign on local banks. Chicago ACORN sought out Obama's legal services for a "motor voter" case and partnered with him on his 1992 "Project VOTE" registration drive.

In those years, he also conducted leadership-training seminars for ACORN's up-and-coming organizers. That is, Obama was training the army of ACORN organizers who participated in Madeline Talbott's drive against Chicago's banks.

More than that, Obama was funding them. As he rose to a leadership role at Chicago's Woods Fund, he became the most powerful voice on the foundation's board for supporting ACORN and other community organizers. In 1995, the Woods Fund substantially expanded its funding of community organizers - and Obama chaired the committee that urged and managed the shift.

The Woods Fund report makes it clear Obama was fully aware of the intimidation tactics used by ACORN's Madeline Talbott in her pioneering efforts to force banks to suspend their usual credit standards. Yet he supported Talbott in every conceivable way. He trained her personal staff and other aspiring ACORN leaders, he consulted with her extensively, and he arranged a major boost in foundation funding for her efforts. And, as the leader of another charity, the Chicago Annenberg Challenge, Obama channeled more funding Talbott's way - ostensibly for education projects but surely supportive of ACORN's overall efforts.
IN short, to understand the roots of the subprime-mortgage crisis, look to ACORN's Madeline Talbott. And to see how Talbott was able to work her mischief, look to Barack Obama.

Then you'll truly know what community organizers do.


Stanley Kurtz is a senior fellow with the Ethics and Public Policy Center in Washington, DC.

So the rescue bill failed and the media immediately began babbling about how the Republicans in the House didn't come through. In fact, the majority Democrats have all the votes they need to pass a bill without a single Republican vote. Democrat Speaker of the House Pelosi did not crack the whip of party discipline and 95 Democrats voted no, when if only 11 more of them had voted yes the bill would have passed.

Much has been made of Pelosi's highly partisan pre-vote speech ladling blame for the financial crisis on the Bush Administration and Republican policies. Is that the way to build a coalition on a must-pass bill?

Some have speculated that Members of the House may have decided Pelosi knew something they didn't know, that perhaps the bill wasn't all that do-or-die or else she wouldn't have leveled such a partisan shot against Republicans. Calls to Congress were running 40 or more to 1 against the bailout bill, so many Members were nervous about voting yes. Well, if Pelosi didn't think the bill was all that important, it's not surprising that a number of Republicans (who despised the bill) and 95 Democrats voted no.

Such reckless Democratic incompetence in economic matters -- and governing -- is taking a savage toll on the American economy and the life savings of all Americans.

Those who track such figures note that the losses in the U.S. stock markets at the close of business after the bill's defeat were $1.1 trillion, some $400 billion more than the rescue bill would have authorized be spent to stabilize the financial markets.

Principally responsible for the housing bubble and its collapse is of course Democratic House Financial Services Chairman Barney Frank, who blocked the many demands for reining in Fannie and Freddie by the Bush Administration and Republicans, including Senator McCain, going back to 2003 and continuing into 2007. Now Pelosi has added one trillion dollars to the Frank-induced losses as American savers watch in horror as their life savings shrivel.

More losses are almost certain to follow as rescue proponents regroup and the clock ticks on without a solution. No official business is expected in Congress till Wednesday or, more likely, Thursday.

UPDATE: A Karl Rove analysis of the vote and other sources indicate that Speaker Pelosi allowed several of her senior colleagues, including House Chairmen, and 16 vulnerable freshmen to vote no. Republicans saw and heard this and concluded that Pelosi apparently had some inside information and didn't think the vote was such a big deal. So many Republicans voted what they felt: It was a bad bill, representing too much government intervention in the economy.

Also, Jesse Jackson, Jr., Obama campaign co-chairman, from Chicago, voted no. A subcommittee chairman on Barney Frank's committee voted no.

SECOND UPDATE: A Republican on Capitol Hill explains why the bill is viewed as bad by Republicans and offers a few alternatives that would be more in keeping with a market economy:

And as for alternatives:

- how about reinforcing FDIC to give people confidence in their savings? Maybe more support for money markets?

- How about cutting corporate taxes or cap gains taxes?

- How about buying up (or financing the purchase of) the AAA securities that currently are having trouble moving but are not “toxic,” in order to increase liquidity and help with possible insolvency for healthier institutions rather than the old line investment banks?

- How about doing something about the silliness of the $62 Trillion Credit Default Swap market (e.g. the margin requirements, etc…)?

- How about immediately changing mark-to-market rules?

- And – heaven forbid – how about belt-tightening in Washington? Don’t hold your breath – but imagine what a signal that would send – a freeze in discretionary spending, a moratorium on earmarks and a real plan to educate America about entitlements and talk about the need to get our fiscal house in order.

THIRD UPDATE: It now appears that Pelosi planned it all. She gave her people a pass, figuring the Republicans would provide enough votes to put the bill through anf then the Democrats would use their votes to beat them over the head in the November election. Too clever and her cynical politicizing cost the nation's markets one trillion dollars.

In late 2004 there was a hearing in the House of Representatives about the fraudulent accounting, excessive executive compensation and increasing risks at Fannie Mae. This video shows how Democrats and Republicans responded to the warning contained in the regulator's report calling for reforms to be enacted by Congress. Needless to say, Republicans supported reforms, but House Democrats, led by ranking committtee member Barney Frank of Massachusetts, dismissed the report of dangerous risk as fiction, maintaining that in fact there were no problems at Fannie Mae.

It is Democratic opposition to reining Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac in that created the housing bubble and its inevitable collapse and the worldwide financial meltdown that has followed. All of the money lost in 401(k)s and other savings is due to the dereliction of duty on the part of Congressional Democrats more interested in currying favor with their special interest constituencies and obtaining campaign contributions and other goodies from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac than protecting the economy of this country and the life savings of hard-working Americans. Even former president Clinton agrees that Democrats in Congress blocking Republican attempts at reform of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are responsible for this financial crisis.


To round out the sorry picture of Democratic malfeasance, the ten-minute video included in our earlier entry "History of the "Affordable Housing" Bubble and Collapse" is a fitting companion to this video.

At a press conference today it was announced that an amended rescue plan (which was significantly improved by House Republicans over the original plan, which they had rejected) had been agreed to,

In announcing the agreement, Democrats House Speaker Pelosi, Senate Majority Leader Reid and House Financial Services Committee Frank railed at Wall Street greed and acted as if the financial collapse was Wall Street's fault (which the media will echo, as it already has). It wasn't. Blame lies squarely with those very same Congressional Democrats.

It can't be said often enough the fault lies with Congressional Democrats who constantly pushed government-backed Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to buy up every subprime loan offered to them -- and to issue their own as well, regardless of the credit of the borrower. Democrats had loosened requirements so much that virtually everyone could get a mortgage loan for "affordable housing," which in many cases is turning out to be unaffordable.

To raise money for new mortgages, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac packages mortgage loans up and sells them to the world. As has been the case since 1968, the loan packages are rated AAA, triple-A, the highest quality rating there is, because of the "implicit" guaranty of the U.S. government. Buyers rely not so much on what is in the package but on the backing of the U.S. government. That the packages sold over the past few years weren't creditworthy was the fault of Fannie and Freddie and their Democratic backers in Congress. (Subprime mortgages skyrocketed from 2% of total mortgages in 2002 to 30% in 2006.)

It was Fannie and Freddie that bought and assembled the uncreditworthy mortgages into packages; when the housing bubble (created by the demand for housing fueled by all the new folks who "qualified" for mortgage loans) started to deflate, the worst mortgages began to default, wiping out the value forf those who had bought those parts of the packages; naturally, those buyers demanded that they be protected because of the backing of the federal government.

The situation rapidly deteriorated and the Bush Administration had to step in and take over Fannie and Freddie, firing their top executives who were responsible for the lax standards and jeopadizing American taxpayes as a result. As one of those executives told a newspaper just weeks before the takeover, it was Democrats in Congress who constantly pressured them to relax standards and do more for "affordable housing."

In 2003 and 2005 the Bush Administration and Alan Greenspan called on Congress to tighten standards immediately and stop the out-of-control growth of subprime lending, warning of danger to the financial system and the economy. Democrat Barney Frank of Massachusetts, ranking member of the House Financial Services Committee, led the opposition, saying there was no crisis and the Administration was crying "wolf."

Legislation prepared by Senate Repubicans in 2005 and backed by the Administraton and John McCain to rein in Fannie and Freddie was rejected by Democrats and died. Again, Barney Frank was in the lead, accompanied by Democrats Dodd of Connecticut, ranking member of the Senate Banking Committee, and Reid of Utah, Minority Leader. The Bush Administration made more than 15 appeals to Congress to act before it was too late.

The collapse of the overheated housing market has caused the entire financial system to come close to a total halt, so drastic action is required. Secretary of the Treasury Paulson and Federal Reserve Chairman Bernanke immediately proposed a plan, which has now been strengthened considerably by House Republicans and will have bipartisan support in Congress. It stands an excellent chance of stabilizing the world financial system and over the long run, several years, it may well prove to be profitable for American taxpayers

The nation is fortunate that President Bush appointed as Chairman of the Federal Reserve and as Secretary of the Treasury two such highly-qualified individuals who have the intelligence, experience, vision and creativity to deal with this financial crisis.

It can be hoped that the worst is past, but there no doubt will be rough days ahead. But there is a rescue plan in place that should do the job.

Here's the top five recipients of campaign contributions (all Democrats) from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac over the period 1989-2008.

What's amazing is that Obama collected so much money in such a short time in the U.S. Senate to be number 2 on the list that covers 20 years.

Oh, and Massachusetts' Barney Frank, who was perhaps the major figure in blocking efforts to rein Fannie and Freddie in in 2003 and later, was 16th, with $40,100 in campaign contributions.

1. Dodd, Christopher J
S
D-CT
$133,900

2. Kerry, John
S
D-MA
$111,000

3. Obama, Barack
S
D-IL
$105,849

4. Clinton, Hillary
S
D-NY
$75,550

5. Kanjorski, Paul E
H
D-PA
$65,500

No one can say the financial collapse that $700 billion of taxpayer money is being asked for to fix wasn't seen coming. Trouble is those who could have stopped it, didn't want to change their ways and blocked proposed reforms.

Soon after taking office, Bush had his hands full with the Clinton recession and 9/11. But by 2003, he proposed what the New York Times called "the most significant regulatory overhaul in the housing finance industry since the savings and loan crisis a decade ago."

The plan included a new regulator for Fannie and Freddie, one that could boost capital mandates and look at how they managed risk.

Even after regulators in 2003 uncovered a scheme by Fannie and Freddie executives to overstate earnings by $10.6 billion to boost bonuses, Democrats killed reform.

"Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are not facing any kind of financial crisis," said Rep. Frank, then-ranking Democrat on the Financial Services Committee.

North Carolina Democrat Melvin Watt accused the White House of "weakening the bargaining power of poorer families and their ability to get affordable housing."

In 2005, then-Fed Chairman Alan Greenspan told Congress: "We are placing the total financial system of the future at substantial risk."

McCain Urged Changes

That year, Sen. John McCain, one of three sponsors of a Fannie-Freddie reform bill, said: "If Congress does not act, American taxpayers will continue to be exposed to the enormous risk that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac pose to the housing market, the overall financial system and the economy as a whole."

Sen. Harry Reid — now Majority Leader — accused the GOP of trying to "cripple the ability of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to carry out their mission of expanding homeownership."


Saddest Thing About This Mess: Congress Had Chance To Stop It

EVEN OBAMA AGREES MCCAIN IS RIGHT

This McCain ad was out before the presidential debate was over (which McCain won hands down):


Here is more information on the Democratic effort to slide money from the bailout bill into the hands of socialst activists such as ACORN, which has a long history of working with Barack Obama, as well as a long history of involvement in voter registration fraud. Some 20% of any "profit" from the rescue bill will go into a Housing Trust Fund to be tapped by ACORN and its ilk.

Who is ACORN and why should we care?

Key info:

ACORN routinely commingles funds from its housing arm into political projects such as voter registration and get-out-the-vote drives. Money is fungible. Any taxpayer money that ACORN gets for housing makes it easier for the group to put its other funds into voter drives.

"These are taxpayer funds, in an indirect method, being used to subsidize political activism," says Rep. Jeb Hensarling, a Texas Republican and chairman of the conservative House Republican Study Committee. "I'm sure they're not going out and registering any Republicans."

Obama cut his community organizer teeth with ACORN. As a young lawyer he represented the group in a suit against the state of Illinois, which was concerned that postcard registration and a new motor voter law might invite fraud. ACORN later invited Obama to train its staff in leadership seminars.

ACORN has a political arm that endorsed Barack Obama for president in February and has stepped up its registration efforts to help elect a future benefactor. The Obama campaign admits to failing to report $800,000 in campaign payments to ACORN. They were disguised as payments to a front group called "Citizen Services Inc." for "advance work."

Consumer Rights League official Jim Terry says: "ACORN has a long and sordid history of employing convoluted Enron-style accounting to illegally use taxpayer funds for their own political gain. Now it looks like ACORN is using the same type of convoluted accounting scheme for Obama's political gain."

A major part of ACORN's sordid history is vote fraud. ACORN has been implicated in voter fraud and bogus registration schemes in Missouri, Ohio and at least 12 other states. Last July, ACORN settled the largest case of voter fraud in Washington state history, involving nearly 2,000 bogus voter forms. In Ohio in 2004, ACORN submitted forms for the likes of Mary Poppins, Dick Tracy and someone named Jive Turkey.

ACORN uses taxpayer money to elect people like Barack Obama who will work to get them more taxpayer money. Democrats are willing to rip off taxpayers in a national crisis to make it happen.

Read it all.

There is a lot to absorb about the financial crisis that the nation finds itself in. No one can be certain what the best remedy is to get the credit markets unstuck and to keep the economy from falling into recession. Hopefully, what is hammered out this weekend will start moving things in the right direction.

However, how we got into this mess is not so difficult to understand -- good intentions and venality run wild. Democratic housing programs for the low income and minorities spun out of control and Democratic supporters of the programs successfully blocked efforts to rein them in and keep them from exploding. "Affordable housing" was not affordable.

This ten-minute video tells the story. There is a lot in it. To read some of the quoted articles, just push the pause button. Massachusetts congressman Barney Frank is of course a featured participant, since he was a key player in blocking reform in 2003 and later.

As for accuracy, the maker of the video invites one and all to check the facts by googling or however else one wishes to proceed.

The so-called bailout bill being worked on already has had Democratic pork shoved into it. There is a provision that 20% of any "profits" coming out of the deal will go to housing community organizers, including the most notorious of them all ACORN, which has been linked to vote registration fraud on behalf of Democrats in more than a dozen states. Last year in Washington State, for example, ACORN settled a massive vote fraud suit and several of its workers went to prison. This year there are ongoing investigations of fraud by ACORN in Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania and New Mexico. We have reported on ACORN's fraudulent activities several times this year, wondering if fraud might win the election for Obama. ACORN is working nationally for Obama's election and it's political committee has endorsed Obama for president. It has 850 offices in 70 major cities, including, for example, Philadelphia, where it is being investigated for voter registration fraud.

While he was in Chicago as a community organizer, Obama trained ACORN workers and later represented the organization as a lawyer. He is fully aware of its tactics, its Democratic orientation when it is supposed to be nonpartisan and its extensive hilstory of voter fraud cases. Obama hired ACORN in his run for the state senate in Illinois and has used ACORN in his primary campaign for president.

That some of the taxpayer money that is supposed to go to unfreeze credit markets is going to wind ou with ACORN is unconscionable and unacceptable.

Here is the first public report last night that money for ACORN had been stuck into the bailout bill.

For a great deal more on ACORN, click here.

Caroline Glick, the foremost analyst of Middle Eastern affairs, is a citizen of Israel and of the United States. She writes regularly for the Jerusalem Post and is a fellow at the Center for Security Policy in Washington, DC.

American Jewish organizations had organized a rally in New York for September 22nd to protest the appearance of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the president of Iran, at the United Nations. The reason is obvious: Ahmadinejad has repeatedly called for the elimination of Israel and is believed by all those in the West who are sane that he is intent on developing nuclear weapons to use, in the first instance, against Israel.

Invited guests who had accepted were Hillary Clinton and Sarah Palin. It is reported that the Obama campaign pressured Clinton to withdraw, which she did. Pressure was immediately put on the organizers of the event to disinvite Palin so the event wouldn’t appear to be “partisan.”

Caroline Glick in no uncertain terms denounced the event organizers and Democratic Jews for putting their desire for a Democratic president to be elected ahead of the survival of the State of Israel. As she put it, "Democratic American Jewish leaders decided that putting Sen. Barack Obama in the White House is more important than protecting the lives of the Jewish people in Israel and around the world."

Glick's disgust and outrage is evident in this excerpt:

LIBERAL AMERICAN Jews, like liberal Americans in general, and indeed like their fellow leftists in Israel and throughout the West, uphold themselves as champions of human rights. They claim that they care about the underdog, the wretched of the earth. They care about the environment. They care about securing American women's unfettered access to abortions. They care about keeping Christianity and God out of the public sphere. They care about offering peace to those who are actively seeking their destruction so that they can applaud themselves for their open-mindedness and tell themselves how much better they are than savage conservatives.

Those horrible, war-mongering, Bambi killing, unborn baby defending, God-believing conservatives, who think that there are things worth going to war to protect, must be defeated at all costs. They must intimidate, attack, demonize and defeat those conservatives who think that the free women of the West should be standing shoulder to shoulder not with Planned Parenthood, but with the women of the Islamic world who are enslaved by a misogynist Shari'a legal code that treats them as slaves and deprives them of control not simply of their wombs, but of their faces, their hair, their arms, their legs, their minds and their hearts.

The lives of 6 million Jews in Israel are today tied to the fortunes of those women, to the fortunes of American forces in Iraq, to the willingness of Americans across the political and ideological spectrum to recognize that there is more that unifies them than divides them and to act on that knowledge to defeat the forces of genocide, oppression, hatred and destruction that are led today by the Iranian regime and personified in the brutal personality of Ahmadinejad. But Jewish Democrats chose to ignore this basic truth in order to silence Palin.

They should be ashamed. The Democratic Party should be ashamed. And Jewish American voters should consider carefully whether opposing a woman who opposes the abortion of fetuses is really more important than standing up for the right of already born Jews to continue to live and for the Jewish state to continue to exist. Because this week it came to that.

Click here to read the full Glick denunciation of Democratic Jews putting partisanship ahead of the survival of Israel.

Click here to read the address that Sarah Palin would have given had she not been disinvited.

Glick has already made it clear that Israel should not trust Obama.

It is not surprising if you missed John McCain's stinging denunciation of The New York Times, since hardly any news outlet dared carry it. The Times has disgraced itself and its great history by descending into little more than a propaganda sheet for the Democratic Party (right along with its wholly-owned subsidiary The Boston Globe.) It has been relentlessly attacking McCain and refusing to do any kind of thorough examination of the record of Barack Obama while at the same time it is turning a microscope on and doing a hatchet job on Sarah Palin. It is betraying the trust of the American people.

It is no wonder that after so many months, actually years, of campaigning that Obama remains a mystery. The media, led by the New York Times, has not done its job. It has accepted, indeed, embraced, the carefully constructed narrative spun by Obama himself in his two books (part fiction, as he himself has admitted) and by the Chicago Democratic political machine that elected him first in Chicago, then to the Senate and is now running his campaign. David Axelrod, his chief strategist, has been at the side of Chicago's Mayor Daley for years helping run the machine denounced by reformers and Chicago media alike for its record of patronage, payoffs, vote fraud and graft.

Now the media, again led by the New York Times, is disturbed that after all they have done, the presidential race is still essentially tied. Hence the new line that is being floated across the mainstream media: With all the compelling evidence they have put forward about why Obama is superior and deserving of the presidency, it must be the racism of the American people that is holding Obama's poll numbers down. Therefore, American voters must now stand up and prove they aren't racists by voting for Obama.

The American people aren't racists and there are many reasons why Barack Obama should not become president of the United States. Information is finally becoming public, no thanks to the mainstream media, about Obama's troubling associations, his close relationship with what in Chicago is called the "corrupt" Democratic machine, his Marxist socialist beliefs and his seeming distaste for what Jeremiah Wright might call "white America."

As the unanswered questions mount about who Obama really is, John McCain's solid and steady record of good judgment and service to the country he loves will lead Americans to cast the right vote on November 4th.

Here is the full statement from the John McCain website about the shocking partisanship of the New York Times.

A Partisan Paper of Record

DEXTER FILKINS RETURNS TO BAGHDAD

Despite its sad collapse as an objective source for news, the New York Times still employs honest reporters hired during its days as the nation's leading newspaper. Dexter Filkins is one of those, often described as one of the outstanding war reporters of our times, This is from a recent piece (HT:Jonah Goldberg):

BAGHDAD — At first, I didn’t recognize the place.

On Karada Mariam, a street that runs over the Tigris River toward the Green Zone, the Serwan and the Zamboor, two kebab places blown up by suicide bombers in 2006, were crammed with customers. Farther up the street was Pizza Napoli, the Italian place shut down in 2006; it, too, was open for business. And I’d forgotten altogether about Abu Nashwan’s Wine Shop, boarded up when the black-suited militiamen of the Mahdi Army had threatened to kill its owners. There it was, flung open to the world.

Two years ago, when I last stayed in Baghdad, Karada Mariam was like the whole of the city: shuttered, shattered, broken and dead.

Abu Nawas Park — I didn’t recognize that, either. By the time I had left the country in August 2006, the two-mile stretch of riverside park was a grim, spooky, deserted place, a symbol for the dying city that Baghdad had become.

These days, the same park is filled with people: families with children, women in jeans, women walking alone. Even the nighttime, when Iraqis used to cower inside their homes, no longer scares them. I can hear their laughter wafting from the park. At sundown the other day, I had to weave my way through perhaps 2,000 people. It was an astonishing, beautiful scene — impossible, incomprehensible, only months ago.

When I left Baghdad two years ago, the nation’s social fabric seemed too shredded to ever come together again. The very worst had lost its power to shock. To return now is to be jarred in the oddest way possible: by the normal, by the pleasant, even by hope. The questions are jarring, too. Is it really different now? Is this something like peace or victory? And, if so, for whom: the Americans or the Iraqis?

There are plenty of reasons why this peace may only amount to a cease-fire, fragile and reversible. The “surge” of American troops is over. The Iraqis are moving to take their country back, yet they wonder what might happen when the Americans’ restraining presence is gone. The Awakening, a poetic name for paying former Sunni insurgents not to kill Americans or Iraqis, could fall apart, just as the Shiite Mahdi Army could reanimate itself as quickly as it disappeared. Politics in Iraq remains frozen in sectarian stalemate; the country’s leaders cannot even agree to set a date for provincial elections, which might hand power to groups that never had it before. The mountain of oil money, piled ever higher by record oil prices, may become another reason to spill blood.

But if this is not peace, it is not war, either — at least not the war I knew. When I left Iraq in the summer of 2006, after living three and a half years here following the collapse of Saddam Hussein’s regime, I believed that evil had triumphed, and that it would be many years before it might be stopped. Iraq, filled with so many people living so close together, nurturing dark and unknowable grievances, seemed destined for a ghastly unraveling.

And now, in the late summer of 2008, comes the calm. Violence has dropped by as much as 90 percent. A handful of the five million Iraqis who fled their homes — one-sixth of all Iraqis — are beginning to return. The mornings, once punctuated by the sounds of exploding bombs, are still. Is it possible that the rage, the thirst for revenge, the sectarian furies, have begun to fade? That Iraqis have been exhausted and frightened by what they have seen?

The folks at Power Line remind us of this 2003 article in the New York Times, once the respected newspaper of record:

The Bush administration today recommended the most significant regulatory overhaul in the housing finance industry since the savings and loan crisis a decade ago. Under the plan, disclosed at a Congressional hearing today, a new agency would be created within the Treasury Department to assume supervision of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the government-sponsored companies that are the two largest players in the mortgage lending industry.

The new agency would have the authority, which now rests with Congress, to set one of the two capital-reserve requirements for the companies. It would exercise authority over any new lines of business. And it would determine whether the two are adequately managing the risks of their ballooning portfolios.

The plan is an acknowledgment by the administration that oversight of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac -- which together have issued more than $1.5 trillion in outstanding debt -- is broken. A report by outside investigators in July concluded that Freddie Mac manipulated its accounting to mislead investors, and critics have said Fannie Mae does not adequately hedge against rising interest rates. ...

The proposal is the opening act in one of the biggest and most significant lobbying battles of the Congressional session. ...

''The current regulator does not have the tools, or the mandate, to adequately regulate these enterprises,'' Mr. Oxley said at the hearing. ''We have seen in recent months that mismanagement and questionable accounting practices went largely unnoticed by the Office of Federal Housing Enterprise Oversight,'' the independent agency that now regulates the companies. ...

Significant details must still be worked out before Congress can approve a bill. Among the groups denouncing the proposal today were the National Association of Home Builders and Congressional Democrats who fear that tighter regulation of the companies could sharply reduce their commitment to financing low-income and affordable housing.

''These two entities -- Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac -- are not facing any kind of financial crisis,'' said Representative Barney Frank of Massachusetts, the ranking Democrat on the Financial Services Committee. ''The more people exaggerate these problems, the more pressure there is on these companies, the less we will see in terms of affordable housing." (emphasis added)

The New York Times is no longer respected and House Democrats didn't support the reforms for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

OBAMA REJECTS HIS WHITE HERITAGE

From his high school days into college, Obama was obsessed with his race. He wasn't a "real African-American," sharing a history of slavery. But he wondered what he wanted to be. He recounts in his his partially fictionalized autobiography that as early as age 12 he had decided to distance himself from the white race, his mother's race. He no doubt was influenced by the American communist party member the black Franklin Marshall Davis, who became a mentor of sorts in his pre-college days, who advised Obama never to trust the white man.

Certainly in college, again as recounted in his first memoir, he made a point of "hanging out" with black radicals, Marxist socialists and black power advocates like Franklin Marshall Davis. And then we learn of a romance with a white woman, whom he rejected because she was white.

September 25, 2008

Exclusive: Obama's Soft Core Racism

Dr. Yale Kramer

“It was usually an effective tactic, another one of those tricks I had learned: People were satisfied so long as you were courteous and smiled and made no sudden moves. They were more than satisfied; they were relieved –such a pleasant surprise to find a well-mannered young black man who didn’t seem angry all the time.” - Barack Obama

Is any of what you see of Barack Obama what you get? Is it all good manners and show? What does he really believe? If you read his first book, the memoir “Dreams from My Father: a Story of Race and Inheritance,” would you recognize today’s confident charmer, the Jedi Knight, the post-racial candidate for the Presidency of the United States? Probably not.

MEDIA PROTECTED: BARNEY THE POWERFUL


That the mainstream media is looking into this is amazing.

How the symbiotic (incestuous, other might say) relationship caused this financial cataclysm is going unreported.

Excerpts:

Media Mum on Barney Frank's Connection

Jeff Poor January 25, 2005

Are journalists playing favorites with some of the key political figures involved with regulatory oversight of U.S. financial markets?

MSNBC’s Chris Matthews launched several vitriolic attacks on the Republican Party on his Sept. 17, 2008, show, suggesting blame for Wall Street problems should be focused in a partisan way. However, he and other media have failed to thoroughly examine the Democratic side of the blame game.

Prominent Democrats ran Fannie Mae, the same government-sponsored enterprise (GSE) that donated campaign cash to top Democrats. And one of Fannie Mae’s main defenders in the House – Rep. Barney Frank, D-Mass., [is] a recipient of more than $40,000 in campaign donations from Fannie since 1989.

At least one financial expert Andy Kessler thinks that the Bush Administration financial system rescue plan developed by Secretary of the Treasury Hank Paulson, working together with Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke, is brilliant and will in the long run prove immensely profitable for American taxpayers, That's not to say there will not be a lot of heartache and suffering for people who bet too much on housing prices rising to the sky. There are many details to be worked out, but the outlines of the Paulson plan appear to have been adopted by Congress, so this expert's view might provide some comfort at this time of gloom.

Is there a simple way to describe how the world financial crisis started and unfolded? Stephen Schwartzman, chairman of the Blackstone Group, did that at a roundtable of 20 financial experts in New York sponsored by the Yale School of Management this Tuesday:

"It's a perfect storm. It started with Congress encouraging lending to lower-income people. You went from subprime loans being 2% of total loans in 2002 to 30% of total loans in 2006. That kind of enormous increase swept into the net people who shouldn't have been borrowing.(emphasis added)

Those loans were packaged into CDOs rated AAA, which led the investment-banking firms [buying them] to do little to no due diligence, and the securities were distributed throughout the world, where they started defaulting.

It all started during the Clinton years when new regulations pressured banks to make loans to less creditworthy people, often living in neighborhoods that bankers considered too risky. Traditionally, many if not most banks held mortgage loans for the life of the loans and relied on their deposits for new money with which to make new mortgage loans.

Now banks became uneasy with the new loans they were making and wanted to get them off their books. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac said they would take those subprime loans off their hands and subprime loans skyrocketed from 2% to 30% of all mortgage loans in just four years. Such receptivity of Fannie and Freddie to subprime loans encouraged nonbank mortgage companies to accelerate their subprime loan business and to sell their loans to Fannie and Freddie, too.

Obama played the race card successfully against Hillary Clinton and has tried it now several times against McCain and, despite some oh-so-light crticism, is still at it. Now the media is joining him: There is no reason to vote against Obama unless you are a racist. Prove you're not a racist: Vote for Obama.

So it's come to this.

The media plays Obama's race card

America's journalists insist that anyone who doesn't favor Obama is a racist. It's not only wrong, it's the Democrats who have the racism problem.

Jonah Goldberg
Los Angeles Times
September 23, 2008

The news media have been shamefully stoking the idea that the only way Barack Obama could possibly lose the presidential election is if American racists have their way. Indeed, the fact that Obama isn't leading in polls by a wide margin “doesn’t make sense ... unless it’s race,” says CNN's Jack Cafferty.

Slate's Jacob Weisberg says Obama is losing among older white voters because of the "color of his skin," in an article subtitled "Racism is the only reason McCain might beat him."

WILL CONGRESS OVERREACT, AS USUAL?

There's a lot of wisdom here, not the least of which is this:

As a rule, Congress is good at two things: 1) doing nothing at all. 2) overreacting.

Something to keep in mind.

September 23, 2008

A Free-Market Fix

By Edwin Feulner

Nobody has ever lost money by betting on the federal government to overreact to a crisis. And as Congress weighs a bailout of the financial markets, it looks as if that’s where the smart money should go yet again.

Any day now, lawmakers are expected to agree to invest some $700 billion -- more than the country spent on the first five years of the Iraq war -- to restore the financial markets. But lawmakers should also be careful to protect taxpayers.

Let’s begin by noting that there is a legitimate federal role in extraordinary circumstances. There are things Washington needs to do to keep our economy functioning. For example, it was a smart move for the Federal Reserve to pour $150 billion into the system. The Fed exists, after all, to make sure money keeps moving and credit remains available.

But as lawmakers debate buying up hundreds of billions in assets, they should realize that the government’s aggressive meddling in financial decision-making is what got our economy into this mess in the first place. The long-term answer isn’t more federal control, it’s a return to free-market principles.

One way to do so is to make sure that any bailouts are as limited as possible. If a private firm is so integral to the financial operations of the economy that it requires assistance, so be it. But in that case, the taxpayers’ should be investing as little as possible, and company employees and stockholders should suffer the consequences of their bad investments.

Also, lawmakers should avoid turning the rescue package into a Christmas tree, loaded up with goodies for special interests. One proposal in a Senate bill would require 20 percent of any profitable transaction to be deposited into a special fund that pays for low-income housing. That’s a silly idea that would, in the long run, only serve to make things worse.

Consider one of the root causes of today’s problems: the collapse of the sub-prime mortgage market.

A big reason for that failure is federal policies aimed at increasing home ownership. Getting more people into homes was a stated goal of the Bush administration and lawmakers of both parties, many of whom received massive campaign contributions from government-sponsored enterprises Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

Fannie and Freddie played up their status as GSEs, telling shareholders they were a safe place to invest. Now they’ve been absorbed by the government, meaning investors may indeed be safe, but taxpayers are at risk. Washington needs to get out of the housing business. It shouldn’t be a federal concern whether or not someone owns a home.

Also, Wall Street firms should consider changing how they compensate their investment bankers. Many earn the lion’s share of their pay in bonuses, a policy that tends to encourage bankers to make risky deals to prop up the short-term bottom line at the expense of long-term planning. Firms should revise their compensation packages, paying bonuses based on a 3-5 year rolling average. This, of course, should be done by management, not by federal regulation.

Similar shady accounting was occurring at Fannie Mae, by the way.

The Office of Federal Housing Enterprise Oversight, the regulator charged with keeping an eye on Fannie and Freddie, reported two years ago that, “Between 1998 and 2004, Fannie Mae’s senior management deliberately and intentionally manipulated accounting methodologies to hit earnings targets and help executives maximize their bonuses.” That’s why former executives were able to cash out millions of dollars and stick taxpayers with the bill.

Finally, lawmakers should repeal Sarbanes-Oxley, the regulation-heavy law it passed after Enron collapsed a few years ago. Sarbox, as it’s known, hasn’t worked. It didn’t protect our economy from the current crisis, for example. But it has helped drive entrepreneurs to invest overseas (where regulations are lighter) instead of here at home. Washington could encourage growth on the Street just by getting out of the way.

As a rule, Congress is good at two things: 1) doing nothing at all. 2) overreacting.

Lawmakers appear ready to prove that rule with a massive overreaction. They would be better off letting free-market principles guide any rescue package. Otherwise, who’s going to bail out taxpayers?

Ed Feulner is president of the Heritage Foundation (heritage.org).

DrillNow.jpg

The relentless pressure by the Bush Administration, John McCain, Sarah Palin and the hardy band of House Republicans who stayed on the House floor all during the August recess to press for drilling has paid off.

In the face of a Bush Adminstration threat to veto any omnibus bill that contained an extension of the offshore drillling moratorium the Democratic leadership of the House and Senate (and Obama) buckled and gave in, finally giving the chance of some gas pump relief to American motorists. (We had forecast this showdown earlier this month.)

The trio of Pelosi/Obama/Reid had been doing all they could to serve their environmental extremist masters, but McCain/Palin/Bush were on the right side of the issue and prevailed.

Thumbnail image for 3Dems.jpg

The American people are the winners. The Democratic obstructionists are the losers.

The fight isn't over. There's a moratorium in the Gulf that remains to be lifted and a Democratic moratorium preventing drilling for oil in Rocky Mountains shale is still in effect and must be terminated. The oil in shale could move the U.S. into the number one position in the world for oil reserves. The shale oil moratorium was the idea of Colorado Democratic senator Salazar and so far has survived one Republican effort in committee to terminate it. Republicans are sure to keep the pressure on.

Not only do we have the prospect of oil flowing, there will be many new jobs for Americans in America.


Here's the story, hot off the internet one-half hour ago.

Democrats to let offshore drilling ban expire

By ANDREW TAYLOR Associated Press Writer

8:15 p.m., September 23, 2008

Democrats have decided to allow a quarter-century ban on drilling for oil off the Atlantic and Pacific coasts to expire next week, conceding defeat in a months-long battle with the White House and Republicans set off by $4 a gallon gasoline prices this summer.

House Appropriations Committee Chairman David Obey, D-Wis., told reporters Tuesday that a provision continuing the moratorium will be dropped this year from a stopgap spending bill to keep the government running after Congress recesses for the election.

Republicans have made lifting the ban a key campaign issue after gasoline prices spiked this summer and public opinion turned in favor of more drilling. President Bush lifted an executive ban on offshore drilling in July.

"If true, this capitulation by Democrats following months of Republican pressure is a big victory for Americans struggling with record gasoline prices," said House GOP leader John Boehner of Ohio.

Democrats had clung to the hope of only a partial repeal of the drilling moratorium, but the White House had promised a veto, Obey said.

The House is expected to act on the spending bill Wednesday. The Senate is likely to go along with the House.

"The White House has made it clear they will not accept anything with a drilling moratorium, and Democrats know we cannot afford to shut down the government over this," said Jim Manley, a spokesman for Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid. "We look forward to working with the next president to hammer out a final resolution of this issue."

While the House would lift the long-standing drilling moratoriums for both the Atlantic and Pacific coasts, a drilling ban in waters within 125 miles of Florida's western coast would remain in force under a law passed by Congress in 2006 that opened some new areas of the east-central Gulf to drilling.

Just last week, the House passed legislation to open waters off the Atlantic and Pacific coasts to oil and gas drilling but only 50 or more miles out to sea and only if a state agrees to energy development off its shore. It quickly became clear that measure would not get the 60 votes needed in the Senate.

Republicans called that effort a sham that would have left almost 90 percent of offshore reserves effectively off-limits.

The Interior Department estimates there are 18 billion barrels of recoverable oil beneath the Outer Continental Shelf, about half of it off California.

While the ban on energy development will be lifted if the Senate goes along with the House action, it doesn't mean any federal sale of oil and gas leases in the offshore waters — much less actual drilling — would be imminent.

The Interior Department's current five-year leasing plan includes potential leases off the Virginia coast but probably would not be pursued unless the state agrees to energy development. And the state is unlikely to do so without Congress agreeing to share federal royalties with the state.

The congressional battle over offshore drilling is far from over. Democrats are expected to press for broader energy legislation, probably next year, that would put limits on any drilling off most of the Atlantic and Pacific coasts. Republicans, meanwhile, are likely to fight any resumption of the drilling bans that have been in place since 1981.

John McCain, the Republican presidential nominee, has promised to make offshore oil drilling a priority if elected president. He has called for developing the oil and gas resources along all of Outer Continental Shelf and for the federal government to share royalties with states who go along with drilling.

Democratic presidential rival Barack Obama has said he would support limited drilling in certain areas — possibly the South Atlantic region — if it is part of a broader energy plan to shift the U.S. away from oil to alternative fuels and more energy efficiency.

The debate over offshore drilling is not expected to subside in the first months of the next presidency — no matter who sits in the White House.

Lifting the drilling ban gives considerable momentum to the underlying bill, which includes the Pentagon budget, $24 billion in aid for flood and hurricane victims and $25 billion in loans for Detroit automakers in addition to keeping the government open past the Oct. 1 start of the 2009 budget year.

But Democrats decided not to use the must-pass measure as a battering ram to carry an extension of unemployment benefits for the long-term jobless past White House veto promises, prompting grumbling among some lawmakers. Efforts to boost food stamps and give states billions of dollars to help with Medicaid bills also fell through.

But the measure would double, to $5.2 billion, funding for heating subsidies for the poor, Obey said.

The measure also would provide more than $600 billion to fund the 2009 budgets for the Pentagon, Homeland Security Department and the Veterans Affairs Department. Nine other spending bills for the 2009 budget year starting Oct. 1 remain unfinished.

Bush had threatened to veto bills that don't cut the number and cost of pet projects known as "earmarks" sought by lawmakers in half from current levels or cause agency operating budgets, taken together, to exceed his request. Obey said, however, the White House would reluctantly sign the measure.

UPDATE: Congressional Democrats now say that they will in fact defy the will of the American people and after the election this fall they will push through a new ban on offshore drilling. President Bush would be sure to veto that, as would President McCain.

As the Barney Frank market tumbles and 401(k)s shrink, we all start thinking about how we can save a buck. If you're a little clever and somewhat talented and you're wondering if you can afford that basement renovation project, here's an answer.

Click here.

They know how to do things in Kentucky.

As the Democrats in Congress scramble to get their buddies in the media to blame "Wall Street" and the Bush Administration for the Fannie Mae/Freddie Mac meltdown, there are some who see the picture clearly. It was them (we know: they).

That capitalist broadsheet Investor's Business Daily has a crystal clear view. It will be publishing a series of analyses and this one is the first. Knowing what we know already, it's all too accurate.

Was this a crisis that surprised everyone? Not at all. There are culprits.

President Bush, reviled and criticized by Democrats, tried no fewer than 17 times, by White House count, to raise the issue of Fannie-Freddie reform. A bill cleared the Senate Banking panel in 2005, but stalled due to implacable opposition from Democrats and a critical core of GOP abettors. Rep. Barney Frank, who now runs the powerful House Financial Services Committee, helped spearhead that fight.

Barney Frank was most recently quoted as saying this:

"The private sector got us into this mess. The government has to get us out of it."

The truth is indeed the first casualty when those who are responsible are running for cover.


September 22, 2008
'Crony' Capitalism Is Root Cause Of Fannie And Freddie Troubles
By TERRY JONES in Investor's Business Daily

In the past couple of weeks, as the financial crisis has intensified, a new talking point has emerged from the Democrats in Congress: This is all a "crisis of capitalism," in socialist financier George Soros' phrase, and a failure to regulate our markets sufficiently.

Well, those critics may be right — it is a crisis of capitalism. A crisis of politically driven crony capitalism, to be precise.

Indeed, Democrats have so effectively mastered crony capitalism as a governing strategy that they've convinced many in the media and the public that they had nothing whatsoever to do with our current financial woes.

Barack Obama has repeatedly blasted "Bush-McCain" economic policies as the cause, as if the two were joined at the hip.

Funny, because over the past 8 years, those who tried to fix Fannie Mae(FNM) and Freddie Mac (FRE)— the trigger for today's widespread global financial meltdown — were stymied repeatedly by congressional Democrats.

This wasn't an accident. Though some key Republicans deserve blame as well, it was a concerted Democratic effort that made reform ofFannie and Freddie impossible.

The reason for this is simple: Fannie and Freddie became massive providers both of reliable votes among grateful low-income homeowners, and of massive giving to the Democratic Party by grateful investment bankers, both at the two government-sponsored enterprises and on Wall Street.

The result: A huge taxpayer rescue that at last estimate is approaching $700 billion but may go even higher.

It all started, innocently enough, in 1994 with President Clinton's rewrite of the Carter-era Community Reinvestment Act.

Ostensibly intended to help deserving minority families afford homes — a noble idea — it instead led to a reckless surge in mortgage lending that has pushed our financial system to the brink of chaos.

Subprime's Mentors

Fannie and Freddie, the main vehicle for Clinton's multicultural housing policy, drove the explosion of the subprime housing market by buying up literally hundreds of billions of dollars in substandard loans — funding loans that ordinarily wouldn't have been made based on such time-honored notions as putting money down, having sufficient income, and maintaining a payment record indicating creditworthiness.

With all the old rules out the window, Fannie and Freddie gobbled up the market. Using extraordinary leverage, they eventually controlled 90% of the secondary market mortgages. Their total portfolio of loans topped $5.4 trillion — half of all U.S. mortgage lending. They borrowed $1.5 trillion from U.S. capital markets with — wink, wink — an "implicit" government guarantee of the debts.

This created the problem we are having today.

As we noted a week ago, subprime lending surged from around $35 billion in 1994 to nearly $1 trillion last year — for total growth of 2,757% as of last year.

No real market grows that fast for that long without being fixed.

And that's just what Fannie and Freddie were — fixed. They became a government-run, privately owned home finance monopoly.

Fannie and Freddie became huge contributors to Congress, spending millions to influence votes. As we've noted here before, the bulk of the money went to Democrats.

Dollars To Dems

Meanwhile, Fannie and Freddie also became a kind of jobs program for out-of-work Democrats.

Franklin Raines and Jim Johnson, the CEOs under whom the worst excesses took place in the late 1990s to mid-2000s, were both high-placed Democratic operatives and advisers to presidential candidate Barack Obama.

Clinton administration official Jamie Gorelick also got taken care of by the Fannie-Freddie circle. So did top Clinton aide Rahm Emanuel, among others.

On the surface, this sounds innocent. Someone has to head the highly political Fannie and Freddie, right?

But this is why crony capitalism is so dangerous. Those in power at Fannie and Freddie, as the sirens began to wail about some of their more egregious practices, began to bully those who opposed them.

That included journalists, like the Wall Street Journal's Paul Gigot, and GOP congressmen, like Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan, whom Fannie and Freddie actively lobbied against in his own district. Rep. Cliff Stearns, R-Fla., who tried to hold hearings on Fannie's and Freddie's questionable accounting practices in 2004, found himself stripped of responsibility for their oversight by House Speaker Dennis Hastert — a Republican.

Where, you ask, were the regulators?

Congress created a weak regulator to oversee Freddie and Fannie — the Office of Federal Housing Enterprise Oversight — which had to go hat in hand each year to Capitol Hill for its budget, unlike other major regulators.

With lax oversight, Fannie and Freddie had a green light to expand their operations at breakneck speed.

Fannie and Freddie had a reliable coterie of supporters in the Senate, especially among Democrats.

"We now know that many of the senators who protected Fannie and Freddie, including Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton and Christopher Dodd, have received mind-boggling levels of financial support from them over the years," wrote economist Kevin Hassett on Bloomberg.com this week.

Buying Friends In High Places

Over the span of his career, Obama ranks No. 2 in campaign donations from Fannie and Freddie, taking over $125,000. Dodd, head of the Senate Banking panel, is tops at $165,000. Clinton, ranked 12th, has collected $75,000.

Meanwhile, Freddie and Fannie opened what were euphemistically called "Partnership Offices" in the districts of key members of Congress to channel millions of dollars in funding and patronage to their supporters.

In the space of a little more than a decade, Fannie and Freddie spent close to $150 million on lobbying efforts. So pervasive were their efforts, they seemed unassailable, even during a Republican administration.

Yet, by 2004, the crony capitalism had gone too far. Even OFHEO issued a report essentially criticizing Fannie and Freddie for Enron-style accounting that let them boost profits in order to pay their politically well-connected executives hefty bonuses.

It emerged that Clinton aide Raines, who took Fannie Mae's helm as CEO in 1999, took in nearly $100 million by the time he left in 2005. Others, including former Clinton Justice Department official Gorelick, took $75 million from the Fannie-Freddie piggy bank.

Even so, Fannie and Freddie were forced to restate their earnings by some $3.5 billion, due to the accounting shenanigans.

As we noted, those who tried to halt this frenzy of activity found themselves hit by a political buzz saw.

President Bush, reviled and criticized by Democrats, tried no fewer than 17 times, by White House count, to raise the issue of Fannie-Freddie reform. A bill cleared the Senate Banking panel in 2005, but stalled due to implacable opposition from Democrats and a critical core of GOP abettors. Rep. Barney Frank, who now runs the powerful House Financial Services Committee, helped spearhead that fight.

Now, with the taxpayer tab approaching $1 trillion or more, we're learning the costs of crony capitalism.

BARNEYFRANKP2.jpg

Democratic Congressman Barney Frank of Massachusetts, now Chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, who gave Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac the green light in 2003 to plunge even deeper into risky subprime lending now blames the private sector for the mess he and other Democrats in Congress created.

As the photo session shown above was taking place on Monday,September 22nd, Barney Frank, surrounded by the ever attentive press, is quoted as saying this:

"The private sector got us into this mess. The government has to get us out of it."

George Orwell, report to Congress. Actually, this is more than doublespeak. It is a deliberate misstatement of historical fact, what sometimes is called a bald-faced lie.

If one can point to one person and one moment when a dangerous situation was given what turned out to be an irrreversible push towards inevitable financial disaster, it is to Barney Frank in 2003:

Fannie and Freddie retained the support of many in Congress, particularly Democrats, and they were allowed to continue unrestrained. Rep. Barney Frank (D., Mass), for example, now the chair of the House Financial Services Committee, openly described the "arrangement" with the GSEs at a committee hearing on GSE reform in 2003: "Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have played a very useful role in helping to make housing more affordable . . . a mission that this Congress has given them in return for some of the arrangements which are of some benefit to them to focus on affordable housing." The hint to Fannie and Freddie was obvious: Concentrate on affordable housing and, despite your problems, your congressional support is secure.

The financial cost to American taxpayers will not be known for years, but early estimates place it in the hundreds of billions of dollars. Some say more than a trillion.

Barney Frank not only gave Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac the green flag in 2003, he brushed aside attempts to rein them in. In April, 2004:

Rep. Frank ignored the warnings, accusing the Administration of creating an "artificial issue." At a speech to the Mortgage Bankers Association conference, Rep. Frank said "people tend to pay their mortgages. I don't think we are in any remote danger here. This focus on receivership, I think, is intended to create fears that aren't there."

Democrats in Congress, led by Frank and Dodd, encouraged Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac in their reckless lending and then turned a deaf ear to warnings, from Alan Greenspan, the Bush Administration and John McCain among others, that tighter standards and oversight had to be put in place or financial disaster would follow.

In 2005 the Republican-controlled Senate Banking Committee passed a bill to provide supervision of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, but the Senate Democratic leadership rejected it. Since not enough Democrats would vote for it to achieve a 60-vote filibuster proof majority, the bill died. The House version never received any action, because other bills to give Fannie and Freddie more money for affordable housing initiatives and Katrina hurricane relief took precedence.

While it has been widely reported that Democratic Senate Banking Committee Chairman Dodd was number one in campaign contributions from Fannie/Freddie sources and Obama was number three, Barney Frank's number 16 position has not received the attention it deserves. These Democrats got Fannie and Freddie campaign money because of their unquestioning support.

Now the press will dutifully report that it's the dreaded private sector that is responsible for the American public's financial losses and it is up to government to save them.

BEWARE POLITICIANS WHO DO WHAT POLITICIANS DO

As usual, the clear-thinking and plain-speaking economist Dr. Thomas Sowell explains today's financial quagmire very well. Principal warning: Beware the polliticians seeking to spend your money for you. Beware especially of those who led the way into the current mess.

The Wall Street Journal, which has for years been sounding the alarm about the riskiness of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, recently cited Senator Christopher Dodd along with Senator Charles Schumer and Congressman Barney Frank among those on Capitol Hill who have been "shilling" for these financial institutions, downplaying the risks and opposing attempts to restrict their free-wheeling role in the mortgage market.

Where have we heard those names before?

A Political "Solution"

By Thomas Sowell

Estimates of how much money a government program will cost are notoriously unreliable. Estimates of the cost of the current bailout in the financial markets run into the hundreds of billions of dollars, and some say it may reach or exceed a trillion.

Many people have trouble even forming some notion of what such numbers as billion and trillion mean. One way to get some idea of the magnitude of a trillion is to ask: How long ago was a trillion seconds?

A trillion seconds ago, no one on this planet could read and write. Neither the Roman Empire nor the ancient Chinese dynasties had yet come into existence. None of the founders of the world's great religions today had yet been born.

That's what a trillion means. Put a dollar sign in front of it and that's what the current bailout may cost.

Will that money be spent wisely? It is theoretically possible. But don't bet the rent money on it or you could end up among the homeless.

Whenever there is a lot of the taxpayers' money around, politicians are going to find ways to spend it that will increase their chances of getting re-elected by giving goodies to voters.

The longer it takes Congress to pass the bailout bill, the more of those goodies are going to find their way into the legislation. Speed is important, not just to protect the financial markets but to protect the taxpayers from having more of their hard-earned money squandered by politicians.

Regardless of what Barack Obama or John McCain may say they are going to do as president, after a trillion dollars has been taken off the top there is going to be a lot less left in the federal treasury for them to do anything with.

Already Senator Christopher Dodd is talking about extending the bailout from the financial firms to homeowners facing mortgage foreclosures-- as if the point of all this is to play Santa Claus.

The huge federal debts that we already have are the ghosts of Christmas past.

Financial institutions are not being bailed out as a favor to them or their stockholders. In fact, stockholders have come out worse off after some bailouts.

The real point is to avoid a major contraction of credit that could cause major downturns in output and employment, ruining millions of people, far beyond the financial institutions involved. If it was just a question of the financial institutions themselves, they could be left to sink or swim. But it is not.

We do not need a replay of the Great Depression of the 1930s, when the failure of thousands of banks meant a drastic reduction of credit-- and therefore a drastic reduction of the demand needed to keep production going and millions of people employed.

But bailing out people who made ill-advised mortgages makes no more sense that bailing out people who lost their life savings in Las Vegas casinos. It makes political sense only to people like Senator Dodd, who are among the reasons for the financial mess in the first place.

People usually stop making ill-advised decisions when they are forced to face the consequences of those decisions, not when politicians come to their rescue and make the taxpayers pay for decisions that the taxpayers had nothing to do with.

The Wall Street Journal, which has for years been sounding the alarm about the riskiness of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, recently cited Senator Christopher Dodd along with Senator Charles Schumer and Congressman Barney Frank among those on Capitol Hill who have been "shilling" for these financial institutions, downplaying the risks and opposing attempts to restrict their free-wheeling role in the mortgage market.

As recently as July of this year, Senator Dodd declared Fannie Mae and Freddie "fundamentally strong" and said there is no need for "panicking" about them. But now that the chickens have come home to roost, Senator Dodd wants to be sure to get some goodies from the rescue legislation to pass out to people likely to vote for him.

Don't make any bets on how this situation is going to turn out-- except that we can predict that politicians will blame the "greed" of other people. You can bet the rent money on that.

Dr. Sowell is a senior fellow at Stanford's Hoover Institution and the author of many books on economics and other subjects.

Today's op-ed in the Wall Street Journal is another look into how the financial crisis the world is now experiencing could have been averted or at least have been much more limited in scope and far less damaging.

Key paragraphs:

The strategy of [Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac] presenting themselves to Congress as the champions of affordable housing appears to have worked. Fannie and Freddie retained the support of many in Congress, particularly Democrats, and they were allowed to continue unrestrained. Rep. Barney Frank (D., Mass), for example, now the chair of the House Financial Services Committee, openly described the "arrangement" with the GSEs at a committee hearing on GSE reform in 2003: "Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have played a very useful role in helping to make housing more affordable . . . a mission that this Congress has given them in return for some of the arrangements which are of some benefit to them to focus on affordable housing." The hint to Fannie and Freddie was obvious: Concentrate on affordable housing and, despite your problems, your congressional support is secure.
In 2005, the Senate Banking Committee, then under Republican control, adopted a strong reform bill, introduced by Republican Sens. Elizabeth Dole, John Sununu and Chuck Hagel, and supported by then chairman Richard Shelby. The bill prohibited the GSEs from holding portfolios, and gave their regulator prudential authority (such as setting capital requirements) roughly equivalent to a bank regulator. In light of the current financial crisis, this bill was probably the most important piece of financial regulation before Congress in 2005 and 2006. All the Republicans on the Committee supported the bill, and all the Democrats voted against it. Mr. McCain endorsed the legislation in a speech on the Senate floor. Mr. Obama, like all other Democrats, remained silent. [Unable to muster enough Democratic votes for a filibuster-proof majority, the Republicans failed in their effort to get the bill out of the Senate.]
If the Democrats had let the 2005 legislation come to a vote, the huge growth in the subprime and Alt-A loan portfolios of Fannie and Freddie could not have occurred, and the scale of the financial meltdown would have been substantially less. The same politicians who today decry the lack of intervention to stop excess risk taking in 2005-2006 were the ones who blocked the only legislative effort that could have stopped it.

Barney Frank from Massachusetts, Chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, was of critical importance in urging Fannie and Freddie into deeper and deeper risk filled waters. The two senators from Massachusetts Kerry and Kennedy were among those Democrats (including Barack Obama, number 2 on the Fannie/Freddie campaign contributions list) who failed to help the reform legislation pass the Senate and move to the House for possible favorable action and enactment.

OPINION SEPTEMBER 23, 2008

Blame Fannie Mae and Congress For the Credit Mess

By CHARLES W. CALOMIRIS and PETER J. WALLISON

Many monumental errors and misjudgments contributed to the acute financial turmoil in which we now find ourselves. Nevertheless, the vast accumulation of toxic mortgage debt that poisoned the global financial system was driven by the aggressive buying of subprime and Alt-A mortgages, and mortgage-backed securities, by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. The poor choices of these two government-sponsored enterprises (GSEs) -- and their sponsors in Washington -- are largely to blame for our current mess.

COUNTDOWN TO FANNIE MAE, FREDDIE MAC DISASTER

Warnings about the mushrooming problems being created by the unrestrained lending of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were delivered to Congress many times.

Here is a chronology.

The Administration's Unheeded Warnings About The Systemic Risk Posed By The GSEs

For many years, the President and his Administration have not only warned of the systemic consequences of financial turmoil at a housing government-sponsored enterprise (GSE) but also put forward plans to reduce the risk that either Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac would encounter such difficulties. President Bush publicly called for GSE reform 17 times in 2008 alone before Congress acted. Unfortunately, these warnings went unheeded, as the President's repeated attempts to reform the supervision of these entities were thwarted by the legislative maneuvering of those who emphatically denied there were problems. Many prominent Democrats, including House Financial Services Chairman Barney Frank, opposed any legislation correcting the risks posed by GSEs.

Two different articles appeared over the weekend about how and why the current world financial crisis came about. We touched on this subject several days ago as well, dealing not only with the financial crisis but the self-imposed oil shortfall that is driving up prices of gasoline and heating oil and everything else for average Americans.)

It's simple: It all started with Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and loose lending standards to promote home ownership among those who realistically couldn't afford it.

In 2004 and 2005 a major effort backed by President Bush began in the Senate to rein in the two super government sponsored agencies. A reform bill, S. 190, co-sponsored by three senators, including Senator McCain, appeared to be gaining momentum, but then was blocked by Democrats in both the Senate and the House. If that bill had become law, the terrible consequences being experienced today would not have happened.

OBAMA BEING EXPOSED FOR STOKING RACIAL TENSIONS

Rush Limbaugh made the unvarnished statement that Obama was exploiting racial tensions for political purposes. His basis for the statement was an Obama Spanish language ad aimed at Hispanic voters that took Limbaugh totally out of context, linked him to McCain on immigration policy (which is a fantasy), all with the purpose of inflaming race hatred. As Limbaugh said in his Wall Street Journal article;

The malignant aspect of this is that Mr. Obama and his advisers know exactly what they are doing. They had to listen to both monologues or read the transcripts. They then had to pick the particular excerpts they used in order to create a commercial of distortions. Their hoped-for result is to inflame racial tensions. In doing this, Mr. Obama and his advisers have demonstrated a pernicious contempt for American society.

Limbaugh concluded that Obama was "unworthy of the presidency."

This website has carried extensive commentary about Obama's playing of the race card. See the category "Hall of Shame."

On Monday (tomorrow) Limbaugh will devote a major portion of his three-hour show dissecting the Obama ad. His show runs in all 50 states, not just the four that the false Obama ad has been run in. It will feature Spanish language translations, since Obama's false charges were in Spanish.

Because of the uproar, AOL Hotseat created a poll: "Is Obama exploiting racial tensions for political benefit?" The poll is totally unscientific and appears on a conservative website, but so far more than 16,000 have voted and 66% say yes, only 32% say no. Massachusetts, the bluest of states, checks in with 67/31% and California with 64/34%.

Monday's Limbaugh show is sure to have an attentive audience.

Jeff Jacoby of the Boston Globe does an excellent job of taking apart Pelosi's phony Democrat energy bill that is her idea of how to save the planet while hoping Joe voter would be conned into seeing it as a pro-drilling bill, which it sure isn't.

The drilling bill that bans drilling

By Jeff Jacoby | September 21, 2008
The Boston Globe

Q: Says here the House of Representatives approved a bill to allow offshore oil drilling, but nearly all the Republicans voted against it. Weren't Republicans the ones chanting "Drill, baby, drill!" at their convention last month?

A: Yep. That's why they voted against this bill. It isn't a drilling bill, it's an anti-drilling bill. If it becomes law, nearly all the oil and gas in the Outer Continental Shelf would be off-limits forever.

Q: Huh? The story says the bill "would allow offshore drilling as close as 50 miles from the Atlantic and Pacific coasts." It quotes House Speaker Nancy Pelosi: "It's time for an oil change in America, and this bill represents that." That's anti-drilling?

A: C'mon: A few weeks ago, Pelosi was implacably opposed to letting the House vote on lifting the offshore drilling moratorium. "I'm trying to save the planet!" she told Politico. "I'm trying to save the planet!" You really think someone so sanctimoniously hostile to drilling just six weeks ago is all for it now?

Q: But this bill -

A: This bill permanently bans all drilling within 50 miles of the US coast, which just happens to be where most of the recoverable oil and gas reserves are. It permits drilling between 50 and 100 miles out only if the adjoining states agree - which they won't, since the bill denies them any share in the royalties the oil companies would have to pay, thereby eliminating any financial incentive for a state to say yes. Virtually all the oil off the California coast and beneath the Eastern Gulf of Mexico would be locked up for good. Don't be fooled: The only offshore drilling this bill really opens the door to would have to be 100 miles or more out to sea, where the oil companies have no infrastructure.

Q: But the Democrats claim they are "expanding the availability of oil by at least 2 billion barrels."

A: Do you know how much oil is out there? According to the Interior Department, the offshore areas where drilling is restricted contain more than 19 billion barrels - that's equal to 30 years of current imports from Saudi Arabia. The bill would deny Americans access to as much as nine-tenths of that oil. A good deal? I don't think so.

Q: So what are you saying? The Pelosi bill is a sham?

A: Call it a political maneuver. Democrats don't really mind high gasoline prices; more pain at the pump means reduced consumption of fossil-fuel, which they and their environmental allies blame for global warming. But with millions of constituents growing increasingly upset over $4-a-gallon gas, and with polls showing the public heavily in favor of lifting the drilling ban, they had to do something. Voila - Speaker Pelosi's bill: a feint of supporting offshore exploration that would actually make drilling more difficult.

Q: Well, I can't fault Pelosi for thinking about the planet. Maybe we need more energy, but do you really think drilling more oil wells in the ocean is good for the earth?

A: Here's a news flash: The less oil we pull out of the ground ourselves, the more we have to import from abroad. Now who do you think is more likely to injure the planet - the United States, which uses the world's most advanced and environmentally sensitive drilling technology? Or Saudi Arabia and Nigeria and other exporters that aren't nearly as fastidious about oil leaks and pollution? Think of the American oil rigs in the Gulf of Mexico. They're so well-built that not even Hurricanes Rita and Katrina caused a significant oil spill.

Q: OK, but isn't our addiction to oil the root of the problem? Don't we need to wean ourselves off oil and move to greener sources of energy?

A: In theory, sure. In reality, we'll be running on oil for decades yet. Listen:

Well, the winds of change are blowin'

And we recognize that need

But tractors, trucks, cars, and planes can't run on tomorrow's dreams

So while we're workin' on the future, we can't ignore today

'Cause who knows how much time the alternative might take?

Q: Nice - where's that from?

A: Aaron Tippin's new single.

Q: What's it called?

A: "Drill Here, Drill Now.

RUSH LIMBAUGH STRIKES BACK AT OBAMA RACISM

Obama is playing the race card every day now. Vote for me or you're a racist. Any criticism of him or his supporters is racist, according to him and his supporters in the media.. At the same time he is fanning the fire of racism himself to draw minorities and elites to him by whatever works, lies included.

A recent Spanish language Obama ad took quotes from old Rush Limbaugh shows and turned them on their head to make it appear that the "ugly" words of Limbaugh (which "ugly" they weren't) were words from McCain. Since the issue involved is immigration, to suggest that McCain and Limbaugh are singing the same song is laughable if it weren't so diabolical.

Limbaugh said he wasn't going to shrug this insult off and as a first step wrote the following article for the Wall Street Journal. As a follow-up he will devote his Monday radio show broadcasting nationwide, not just in the four states where Obama ran his racist commericals, with Spanish interpreters assisting, to dissect the Obama commercials and reveal them for the false appeal to racism that they are.

LImbaugh's position is that anyone who appeals to racism as Obama is doing in this instance, and as he has done in many other instances, is unfit to be president.

Obama Is Stoking Racial Antagonism
By RUSH LIMBAUGH
Wall Street Journal
September 19, 2008

I understand the rough and tumble of politics. But Barack Obama -- the supposedly postpartisan, postracial candidate of hope and change -- has gone where few modern candidates have gone before.

Mr. Obama's campaign is now trafficking in prejudice of its own making. And in doing so, it is playing with political dynamite. What kind of potential president would let his campaign knowingly extract two incomplete, out-of-context lines from two radio parodies and build a framework of hate around them in order to exploit racial tensions? The segregationists of the 1950s and 1960s were famous for such vile fear-mongering.
Here's the relevant part of the Spanish-language television commercial Mr. Obama is running in Hispanic communities:

"They want us to forget the insults we've put up with . . . the intolerance . . . they made us feel marginalized in this country we love so much." Then the commercial flashes two quotes from me: ". . . stupid and unskilled Mexicans" and "You shut your mouth or you get out!" And then a voice says, "John McCain and his Republican friends have two faces. One that says lies just to get our vote . . . and another, even worse, that continues the policies of George Bush that put special interests ahead of working families. John McCain . . . more of the same old Republican tricks."

Much of the media that is uninterested in Mr. Obama's connections to unrepentant 1970s Weather Underground terrorist William Ayers and Rev. Jeremiah Wright have so far gone along with the attempt to tie me to Mr. McCain. But Mr. McCain and I have not agreed on how to address illegal immigration. While I am heartened by his willingness to start by securing the borders, it is no secret that we have fundamental differences on illegal immigration.

And more to the point, these sound bites are a deception, and Mr. Obama knows it. The first sound bite was extracted from a 1993 humorous monologue poking fun at the arguments against the North American Free Trade Agreement. Here's the context:

"If you are unskilled and uneducated, your job is going south. Skilled workers, educated people are going to do fine 'cause those are the kinds of jobs Nafta is going to create. If we are going to start rewarding no skills and stupid people, I'm serious, let the unskilled jobs that take absolutely no knowledge whatsoever to do -- let stupid and unskilled Mexicans do that work."
My point, which is obvious, was that the people who were criticizing Nafta were demeaning workers, particularly low-skilled workers. I was criticizing the mind-set of the protectionists who opposed the treaty. There was no racial connotation to it and no one thought there was at the time. I was demeaning the arguments of the opponents.

As for the second sound bite, I was mocking the Mexican government's double standard -- i.e., urging open borders in this country while imposing draconian immigration requirements within its own borders. Thus, I took the restrictions Mexico imposes on immigrants and appropriated them as my own suggestions for a new immigration law.
Here's the context for that sound bite:

"And another thing: You don't have the right to protest. You're allowed no demonstrations, no foreign flag waving, no political organizing, no bad-mouthing our president or his policies. You're a foreigner: shut your mouth or get out! And if you come here illegally, you're going to jail."

At the time, I made abundantly clear that this was a parody on the Mexican government's hypocrisy and nobody took it otherwise.

The malignant aspect of this is that Mr. Obama and his advisers know exactly what they are doing. They had to listen to both monologues or read the transcripts. They then had to pick the particular excerpts they used in order to create a commercial of distortions. Their hoped-for result is to inflame racial tensions. In doing this, Mr. Obama and his advisers have demonstrated a pernicious contempt for American society.

We've made much racial progress in this country. Any candidate who employs the tactics of the old segregationists is unworthy of the presidency.

Mr. Limbaugh is a nationally syndicated radio talk-show host.

We always thought that Charlie Gibson was a bit different from the NBC elite, but, alas, this interview didn't show that. It was a "gotcha" interview supposedly quoting Palin's "exact" quote, as he asserted, but it wasn't. Sad.

Why do the elites of media and academia think so highly of themselves that they can look down sneeringly over their glasses and get away with misquoting to make their point?

In invoking God's blessing Sarah Palin aligned herself with Abraham Lincoln. As for Charlie Gibson, apparently God was looking the other way.

WHO GOT US INTO THIS MESS? WHO WILL GET US OUT?

What a mess.

Oil and gasoline prices are sky high because world oil supply growth is stagnating. The U.S., once the largest producer in the world, is seeing its mature fields fade and its oil reserves decline.

Suddenly, the U.S. financial markets are in free fall. Retirement savings in 401(k)s are vanishing. House values are collapsing. The world worries that the entire financial system will freeze up.

How did this all happen?

Democratic policies are responsible for both crises we face.

Oil blackmail. For decades Democratic Members of Congress, beholden to their extremist environmental backers, have prevented drilling for oil and gas offshore and in the most promising areas of Alaska. Since only recently has technology been developed to extract oil economically from Rocky Mountains shale, that was not included in the annual renewal of the drilling ban, so Colorado Democratic senator Salazar had a separate moratorium slapped on that.

The U.S. has within its land mass and its territorial waters enough untapped oil to make the U.S. totally independent of hostile and unstable oil producers overseas. Yet Democratic policies have made us vulnerable to supply imbalances that drive up oil and gasoline prices to levels the public cannot afford.

When it's finally obvious to all that it's imperative for national energy security as well as fair treatment of the public to drill now, the Democrats still say no, then say, well, maybe as part of a comprehensive plan and then produce sham bills that can't pass and are sure to be vetoed if somehow they get through Congress.

McCain/Palin are for doing all that is possible to increase our energy supplies starting with drilling for oil and gas in an environmentally responsible manner and developing all of the alternative energy sources that make economic sense. But make no mistake about it: Oil will be vital for a long time. Its use will not end in ten years, as Obama predicts. It will still power the world's ships and aircraft for many years to come.

The time to end the Democratic policy against developing our own resources is now.

Unaffordable housing. Democratic pressure to make home ownership available to those who really couldn't afford it built through the years, reaching a crescendo during the Clinton years. The two secondary mortgage market corporations Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were universally considered as having 'implicit' federal guarantees and the debt they issued was rated high accordingly. Their job was to buy mortgage from originators, thus supplying them with fresh money to make new mortgages. More and more Fan and Freddie were pressured to buy loans that originated in subprime, often minority neighborhoods, when in the ordinary course local banks would shun such loans as too risky.

A study done by the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston in 1992 suggested that banks were doing "redlining," refusing to make loans in tough, usually minority, neighborhoods. The usual charges of racism and discrimination followed and Fannie and Freddie said they would take such loans on their books. As standards loosened, more and more people bought houses that just a few years earlier they could not buy. Private mortgage buyers competing with Fannie and Freddie had to loosen standards even more to keep the quasi-federal Fannie and Freddie from "creeping" into their business.

President Bush expressed concern several times during his first and second terms and proposed new sweeping regulatory authority over the two agencies, backed by Senator McCain, but Democrats fought the proposals, armies of Fannie and Freddie lobbyists worked over Congress and the President's reform efforts went nowhere. The present chairman of the House Financial Services Committee Barney Frank brushed off the proposed reforms as totally unnecessary as did the ranking Democrat on the Senate Banking Committee Chris Dodd and after 2004 so did Barack Obama. Senator McCain was especially prescient in warning in 2005 of the dangers to housing and the economy Fannie and Freddie represented because of their huge size.

It is no surprise that the Dodd and Obama are among the top four recipients of Fannie/Freddie campaign contributions. The top four (John Kerry and Hillary Clinton are the other two) all received more than $100,000. Obama's money total was the most remarkable because he was number two after just a few months in the Senate, while the others had been collecting their loot over years. (Some have suggested that the least Obama can do is give back the $100,000 plus he received from Fannie/Freddie.)

Years of Democratic pressure to make loans easier to get resulted in the greatest homeownership in American history. But in 2006 the new building boom was not finding as many buyers and prices had run up so high for existing homes since everyone could now get a mortgage almost regardless of credit that existing home sales started to slow as well. Furthermore, the looser standards encouraged buyers "to reach," to buy a more expensive house than cash flow would support on a regular mortgage by getting an adjustable or interest only mortgage. As those mortgages started to reset, buyers found themselves unable to make the payments. Since house value increases were slowing, it was no longer possible to refinance with a bigger mortgage using the new money borrowed to pay the bigger mortgage payments.

So when housing slowed, then entered a serious dive it was only a matter of time before the ripples caught up with the secondary market mortgage buyers, from Countrywide Credit up to the biggest of all, Fannie and Freddie. Ironically and sadly, Richard Syron, who was CEO of the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston when it issued the "redlining" report that triggered the call for more "realistic, "affordable" and racially blind mortgage lending standards, was at the helm of Freddie when it collapsed and was taken over by the federal government.

The housing values domino was the first to fall, then mortgage defaults escalated and some tranches of mortgage-backed securities sold to buyers around the world fell to zero and world financial panic resulted. No one knew how big the bust was going to be or how long it would last. It's said by some it won't be over until housing values stabilize, which could be in 2009 or later.

This all started with well-meaning but financially disastrous Democratic policies to make it possible for more Americans to own homes. Money flowed into housing like never before from Fannie and Freddie and private mortgage lenders. But the music stopped and there aren't enough chairs to go around.

These crises are still unfolding. The U.S. has gone through difficult times before and has, with strong leadership, come out of them stronger than ever. Senator McCain has correctly said the fundamentals of the economy are strong and expressed optimism that this challenge will be met successfully. Obama, in contrast, said he sees a future America as poorer and meaner than today.

Democratic opposition to drilling and Democratic opposition to tighter lending standards for home mortgages and oversight of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have created these disasters. Yet Obama opposes comprehensive drilling and Obama's campaign advisors include former top officials of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac who walked away with tens of millions of dollars of Fannie and Freddie money in severance payments even though they were authors of the failure that taxpayers will now have to pay for.

Reform is desperately needed in Washington, but will be difficult to achieve. McCain and Palin are two tough reformers who have bucked the system. Obama has reformed nothing. McCain and Palin can shake up Washington and will serve the taxpayers, not special interests.

The nation cannot afford a continuation of the disastrous Democratic policies that have already cost Americans billions and will in the end cost taxpayers hundreds of billions of dollars, perhaps even more.

DEFEATING ISLAMIC IMPERIALISM

We live in a dangerous world. John McCain correctly refers to Islamic imperialism as the "transcendent challenge" of our times. That does not mean we need not pay close attention to Russian intentions or China's military buildup, but we are in the middle of war with Islamic imperialism right now and we are sending hundreds of billiions of dollars to help fund those who are attacking us and weakening us from within. .

Unfortunately, all Western governments continue to bury their heads in the sand about the true nature of the Islamic threat and the ongoing war. Political correctness spawns ludicrous euphemisms to avoid describing and facing the real threat head on. Whether we like it or not, what is surging in the Muslim world is a return to the core message of Mohammad, the founder of Islam: Muslims cannot rest, there will be no peace, until Islam rules supreme in the world.

Brigitte Gabriel, a Christian, grew up in conflicted Lebanon and saw the clashes and civil war provoked by Muslims (an estimated 150,000 died) seeking to overthrow the constituional order and take control because of their population growth. As is now happening in every country of Western Europe, Muslim birth rates far exceed Christian birth rates. Eventually, Gabriel fled to the United States, where she has been raising alarms and sounding warnings ever since about the Islamic theat. Her first book was "Because They Hate." She has just had a new book published, "They Must Be Stopped: Why We Must Defeat Radical Islam and How We Can Do It." The book couldn't be more timely.

In an interview, Gabriel made her chilling point succinctly and bluntly:


This [book] is a straightforward inside look at a devout enemy motivated by religion who is willing to destroy the whole world in order to achieve our complete submission under Islam. I do not mince words. What we are calling radical Muslims are nothing more than devout purists. I quote the Koran verse after verse using the same words these terrorists use in their speeches and their videos. We have turned a deaf ear and pretend that this couldn't be true for too long. I use a publicly suppressed and potentially volatile Pentagon intelligence study on the source of Islamic extremism to substantiate the fact that it is the Koran, the holy Islamic book, that is driving them. It is the religion itself, straight from the mouth of the Prophet Mohammed, the perfect man, according to Muslims. It is not yet politically correct to talk about a religious war. But this is exactly what we are facing: a religious war declared by devout Muslims. The Islam of Mohammed is back. It's not radical Islam. It is not Wahhabi Islam, it's Mohammed's original Islam. We are committing cultural suicide by turning a blind eye to the danger Islam continually spells out.

What she says is true and our government and other governments keep talking about a "Religion of Peace" when all the evidence is to the contrary. Some argue, with a great deal of good sense, that Islam is at its core a political, imperial ideology supposedly following the words of Allah as conceived by Mohammad as its excuse to wage war on the world and assume power over it.

How many of the billion plus Muslims even know what the Koran says is unknown. How many have read it, absorbed it and are committed to Mohammad's commands is unknown. What is known is that for at least 30 years Saudi Arabia has been spending money building and staffing mosques, schools and Islamic centers around the world with the goal of educating every Muslim about what the Koran really says and what Mohammad really commanded. Two-thirds of the mosques built in the United States in recent years were in whole or part funded by Saudi money. One can assume that the teachings of those mosques don't wander far from what the Saudis want. (Why do 26% of recently polled American Muslims between the ages of 14 and 30 believe that suicide murder is acceptable in some cases?) And there are modern-day Islamic imperial Fifth Columnists at work in the U.S. today

Shiite Iran is a contest with Sunni Saudi Arabia for leadership of Mohammad's world. Their goal is the same, world supremancy, and nuclear weapons are their chosen tools for their next step up.

U.S. government agencies have issued directives not to use "inflammatory" rhetoric such as "Islamic terrorism." The British government now refers to Islamic terrorism as "anti-Islamic behavior," since, you see, Islam is a Religion of Peace. Islam won't have to wage much of a war to win if its targets are lying down before them.

Which presidential ticket will face reality? In Berlin, Obama called for all walls to come down between Jews and Christians on the one hand and Muslims on the other and there would be peace. Tell that to the Israelis. When one side is totally committed to your destruction, there is no middle ground to negotiate: It is live or die. That is the true message of Islam for all non-Muslims, not just the Israelis.

With trillions of dollars pouring into regimes bent on creating an Islamic-controlled world, the followers of Mohammad may be in the best position in 1400 years to advance their goal against their enemies (and we all are their enemies) living in denial and pleading, "Can't we all get along?"

All of this is shocking, but true. Are there good Muslims? Of course. There are an untold number who don't accept the imperial dictate of the Koran and of Mohammad, who just want to worship one god and live in peace with their neighbors of all persuasions. They have a special responsibility to confront and defeat their fellow Muslims who are bent on world domination. Their problem -- and our problem -- is there is more in the Koran that supports the "radical" (which means returning to core beliefs) Muslim views than the views of any would-be reformers of Islam.

The first thing we can do is to sharply reduce the money we are sending to oil and gas producers promoting Islamic imperialism to keep their war chests from swelling. The obvious solution is to drill now in our own territories and develop as many ways of producing energy other than oil as we can. John McCain has pledged to launch a massive offensive towards energy independence as a first priority of his administration. Sarah Palin is an expert on oil and gas and knows where a lot of it can be found in the Alaskan wilderness and waters. Alaska is our #2 producer of oil now and could be #1 when congressional prohibitions on drilling are terminated.

Money is a weapon of war. We cannot completely disarm the enemy, but we can made its task measurably more difficult if we wake up and take urgent action now. The added bonus of this sensible war policy is that we will create hundreds of thousands of American jobs in the process and lower enegy prices for our citizens.

Islam is not a new threat. Over the centuries, its power has waxed and waned. In the early days of the United States, Muslims terrorizing American shipping were defeated by the newly-formed U.S. Navy and Marines on the Mediterraean shores (of Tripoli). Our most intellectual president John Quincy Adams had no illusion about Islam:

"In the seventh century of the Christian era, a wandering Arab of the lineage of Hagar [i.e., Muhammad], the Egyptian, combining the powers of transcendent genius, with the preternatural energy of a fanatic, and the fraudulent spirit of an impostor, proclaimed himself as a messenger from Heaven, and spread desolation and delusion over an extensive portion of the earth. . . . He poisoned the sources of human felicity at the fountain, by degrading the condition of the female sex, and the allowance of polygamy; and he declared undistinguishing and exterminating war, as a part of his religion, against all the rest of mankind. THE ESSENCE OF HIS DOCTRINE WAS VIOLENCE AND LUST: TO EXALT THE BRUTAL OVER THE SPIRITUAL PART OF HUMAN NATURE."

HOW UNHINGED IS THE LEFT? YET ANOTHER EXAMPLE

Hackers broke into Sarah Palin's Yahoo account and stole pictures of the family and some emails and posted them on the web. The reaction of the unhinged left was, Gee, that's great, but how come you didn't find anything real juicy?

Reports in the mainstream media were generally equally off base. Far from deploring the criminal hacker attack, the MSM made the crime sound like good investigative journalism.

The personal attacks on Palin by the mainstream media are an essential part of their campaign for Obama. They see how popular she has become, but still feel if they can destroy her, they destroy the McCain/Palin ticket and deliver victory to Obama.

Senator McCain issued a statement saying this was a shocking invasion of privacy and that the information had been turned over to the FBI and other police authorities.

For more, see John Hinderaker's take at Power Line.

Update: Michelle Malkin has a transcript of the hacker who did the break-in. He's now panicked that the FBI will be on his tail. However, despite continuing innuendos of the press that there must be some kind of incriminating information in her account, the hacker said no, there was nothing there.

I read though the emails… ALL OF THEM… before I posted, and what I concluded was anticlimactic, there was nothing there, nothing incriminating, nothing that would derail her campaign as I had hoped, all I saw was personal stuff, some clerical stuff from when she was governor…. And pictures of her family.

Rather than download everything, which would take time, he instead posted on a hacker board the new password he had created for the Palin account, so everyone could join in the invasion of her family's privacy. The wave of hackers attacking the account triggered an automatic shutdown of the account by Yahoo.

How the hacker traced Palin's life online to come with the password she was using is a lesson for all in how careful we have to be to avoid criminals seeking to steal your identity, your bank account and credit card numbers and to pry into your lives.

The Malkin post.

Obama's favorite fraudulent vote registration organization ACORN is currently under investigation in Michigan for submitting phony forms (all Democrats, you can be sure), and now it is in the middle of another phony vote registration mess in New Mexico. ACORN, funded in generous part by taxpayer dollars tucked into Democratic affordable housing authorization bills, from all appearances seems bent on stealing the election for the candidate its political action commitee has endorsed, Barack Obama.

Michelle Malkin, who has written extensively (as have we) about ACORN's trail of criminal charges involving vote registration fraud, covers the New Mexico situation.

ACORN Watch: 1,100 suspicious voter cards in NM
By Michelle Malkin • September 17, 2008 06:19 PM

ACORN LOGO.jpg

Barack Obama’s dear friends at ACORN are busy trying to lie, cheat, and steal their way to victory in November.

The latest ACORN Watch entry comes to you from the battleground state of New Mexico, where election officials have notified prosecutors of an estimated 1,100 possibly fraudulent voter registration cards.

More...

See also our previous articles here and here. And where is ACORN's heartland? Chicago.

Speaker Pelosi pushed a sham energy bill through the House that on its face appears to authorize drilling offshore. It also has lots of money for wind and sun. But the main thing the bill does is permanently prohibit offshore drilling where the oil is, in waters within 50 miles of the coast. For example, Governor Palin of Alaska has pointed out that there are rich deposits of oil and natural gas jus off the Alaskan coast that could be providing energy to the nation in one to two years.

The good news is that there aren't 60 votes in the Senate to pass this cynical Pelosi attempt to make it look as if Democrats were doing something for energy when in fact they are doing the bidding of the environmental extremists who have a stranglehold on their party. (The president said he would veto the bill, anyway.)

Misguided Republicans in the Senate have teamed up with Democrats to sponsor a "compromise" that will ensure that the U.S. can never use the vast majority of its existing resources to achieve energy independence. That bill, too, will not be able to muster the 60 votes to pass, since Senate Minority Leader has vowed to use all his skill and power block it.

In fact, the solution to the public's demand to "drill now" is less than two weeks away. The principal ban on drilling has been renewed annually for decades. If it not renewed by September 30, it will expire. If renewal of the ban were put to a clean up and down vote, it would lose by substantial margins in both houses of Congress, because Democrats would be exposed as enemies of national energy security if they were to vote for a continuation of the ban.

You can be sure that Speaker Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Reid are feverishly working up an omnibus budget bill that must pass before the start of the government's fiscal year on October 1 or the government will be shut down in the midst of a financial crisis. Buried in the bill will be the renewal of the drilling ban.

Democrats intend to defy the Republicans and the President, daring them to shut the government down and take the blame for it. (How stark an example can one ask for to demonstrate why the President should have the same line item veto that governors of states have.)

Since there will be a party line Democratic vote to approve the omnibus bill in the House, the showdown will come in the Senate. Senate Republicans and the President must stand firm. This is a matter of vital national security and Democrats working against the interests of the nation must be exposed and defeated. Not only are these Democratic leaders working to keep the U.S. dependent on oil producers who wish us no good, they are willing to put the nation's economy in jeopardy by paralyzing the government with a shutdown.

The drive for energy independence can start on October 1.

With access opened up to our rich resources of oil and natural gas offshore and in Rocky Mountains shale (a separate Democratic moratorium running to December 31), dependence on hostile and unstable oil producers will be dramatically cut. Legislation to authorize and provide incentives for nuclear power, clean coal, coal gasification, wind, solar, thermal and all feasible energy alternatives can then be put together. McCain and Palin, Congressional Republicans in the House by their summer-break energy information sessions on the House floor and President Bush have all made it clear that years of saying "no" must end now. (Obama sides with the environmental extremists in supporting the fakery -- and risks to the nation -- the Democrats are perpetrating.)

The showdown is at hand and the public wants, needs and deserves "All of the Above."

Who's responsible for the high price of gas? Pure and simple, Democrats in Congress. They made most of the U.S. off limits to drilling years ago and as a consequence U.S. reserves have been dwindling and our dependence on hostile and unstable foreign oil producers has increased.

It's in America's interest for world oil production to increase. One of the most promising untapped source -- beside the U.S. itself -- is Iraq. With violence down and attacks on antiquated pipelines and other oil faciliites mostly a matter of the past, it was time, the Iraqi govenment thought, to start rebuilding its oil infrastructure. So it drafted no bid contracts to hire Western oil companies -- Exxon Mobil and Chevron (American), BP (British), Shell (British/Dutch) and Total (French) -- to put their expertise to work to help increase its oil production.

A good deal for everyone, right? Well, not everyone thought so. Three Democratic senators John Kerry of Massachusetts, Chuck Schumer of New York and Claire McCaskill of Missouri objected, created a public uproar in the U.S. and Iraq and as a result Iraq canceled the contracts with the Western oil companies. Now, months later Iraq hired the Chinese to do the job.

The partisan meddling by Kerry, Schumer and McCaskill in foreign affairs in an attempt to dicate foreign policy and to punish American oil companies has delayed any increase in the production of oil from Iraq and cost these oil companies revenues, jobs and the chance to be at the head of the line for future work.

That's disgusting. Jeff Beatty, running to unseat John Kerry this November, released an ad today pointing out that Kerry has done nothing in his years -- decades, actually -- for oil indepedence. In fact, Kerry has repeatedly voted to ban drilling in the U.S. along with his fellow Democrats, which is a major reason why the U.S. now faces this grave national security risk. Now add in this latest blow to world oil production by his meddling in Iraq. Like Obama privately seeking to get Iraq to hold off working out a timetable for American troop withdrawal until after "he's" elected, the Kerry/Schumer/McCaskill meddling, in the words of Fred Kagan, is "harmful to American interests and our prospects in Iraq.

Below is Jeff Beatty's new ad and Fred Kagan's report on how Kerry,Schumer and McCaskill's meddling gave China the first big new oil contract in Iraq.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------

No Oil for Blood

By Frederick W. Kagan
The Weekly Standard | 9/17/2008

Yesterday morning, I had the honor of testifying before the House Budget Committee on the situation in Iraq. The discussion was polite and civilized, and was a reminder that even now it is possible for people who disagree about what to do in Iraq to argue without raised voices and disagreeable language (apart from the Code Pink women, yelling for those who think that shouting opponents down is preferable to arguing with them). Congressman Brian Baird once again demonstrated that it is possible even for those who bitterly opposed the war to recognize the importance of doing the right thing now--as well as the possibility of crossing the Republican-Democrat sectarian divide on this issue. One question came up repeatedly in the hearing that deserves more of an answer than it got, however: Why, after all the assistance we've given to Iraq over the past five years, was the first major Iraqi oil deal signed with China and not with an American or even a western company? The answer is, in part, because three Democratic senators intervened in Iraqi domestic politics earlier this year to prevent Iraq from signing short-term agreements with Exxon Mobil, Shell, Total, Chevron, and BP.

The Iraqi government was poised to sign no-bid contracts with those firms this summer to help make immediate and needed improvements in Iraq's oil infrastructure. The result would have been significant foreign investment in Iraq, an expansion of Iraqi government revenues, and an increase in the global supply of oil. One would have thought that leading Democratic senators who claim to be interested in finding other sources of funding to replace American dollars in Iraq, in helping Iraq spend its own money on its own people, and in lowering the price of gasoline for American citizens, would have been all for it. Instead, Senators Chuck Schumer, John Kerry, and Claire McCaskill wrote a letter to Secretary of State Rice asking her "to persuade the GOI [Government of Iraq] to refrain from signing contracts with multinational oil companies until a hydrocarbon law is in effect in Iraq." The Bush administration wisely refused to do so, but the resulting media hooraw in Iraq led to the cancellation of the contracts, and helps to explain why Iraq is doing oil deals instead with China.

Senators Schumer, McCaskill, and Kerry claimed to be acting from the purest of motives: "It is our fear that this action by the Iraqi government could further deepen political tensions in Iraq and put our service members in even great danger." For that reason, presumably, Schumer went so far as to ask the senior vice president of Exxon "if his company would agree to wait until the GOI produced a fair, equitable, and transparent hydrocarbon revenue sharing law before it signed any long-term agreement with the GOI." Exxon naturally refused, but Schumer managed to get the deal killed anyway. But the ostensible premise of the senators' objections was false--Iraq may not have a hydrocarbons law, but the central government has been sharing oil revenues equitably and there is no reason at all to imagine that signing the deals would have generated increased violence (and this was certainly not the view of American civilian and military officials on the ground in Iraq at the time). It is certain that killing the deals has delayed the maturation of Iraq's oil industry without producing the desired hydrocarbons legislation.

Nor is it entirely clear what the senators' motivations were. Their release (available along with their letter to Secretary Rice at the New York Observer quoted Senator McCaskill as follows: "'It's bad enough that we have no-bid contracts being awarded for work in Iraq. It's bad enough that the big oil companies continue to receive government handouts while they post record breaking profits. But now the most profitable companies in the universe--America's biggest oil companies--stand to reap the rewards of this no-bid contract on top of it all,' McCaskill said. 'It doesn't take a rocket scientist to connect these dots--big oil is running Washington and now they're running Baghdad. There is no reason under the sun not to halt these agreements until we get revenue sharing in place,' McCaskill said." So was this about what's best for Iraq and American interests there or about nailing "big oil" in an election year?

Either way, like Barack Obama's asking the Iraqi foreign minister to hold off on a strategic framework agreement until after the American election, it was nothing but harmful to American interests and our prospects in Iraq.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Frederick W. Kagan is a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute and author of Finding the Target: The Transformation of the American Military (Encounter).

Jeff Jacoby, not only the Boston Globe's lone conservative columnist but it's only sane one, shows the sickness that runs through the Democratic Party and its left wing media, so starkly demonstrated by their attacks on Governor Sarah Palin.

The public sees the media and the left wing elites for the Obama shills that they are and keep pushing up Palin's favorability ratings as the insults and false charges rain down.

Enough of the Palin feeding frenzy

By Jeff Jacoby, Boston Globe Columnist | September 17, 2008

IN POLITICS, cheap shots and invective are occupational hazards. But when have we seen anything to match the frenzy of rage and contempt set off by the nomination of Sarah Palin?

Virtually from the moment John McCain selected her, Palin has been under assault. There has been legitimate criticism, of course. But there has also been a gusher of slander, much of it - like the slur that she isn't the real mother of her infant son, Trig - despicable.

For someone who has been in the national spotlight for only three weeks, Palin has been the victim of an astonishing array of falsehoods. Voters have been told that she slashed funding in Alaska for special-needs children. That she tried to ban books from Wasilla's public library. That she was a member of the secessionist Alaskan Independence Party. That she links Saddam Hussein to the attacks of 9/11. That she backed Pat Buchanan for president. That she doesn't want students taught about contraception. That she called the war in Iraq "a task from God." All untrue.

Hillary Clinton's supporters complain that coverage of her campaign was tainted by sexism, such as the Washington Post story that focused on her cleavage, or Mike Barnicle's description of her on MSNBC as "looking like everyone's first wife standing outside a probate court."

Obama too has suffered the slings and arrows of outrageous comment - the Fox News segment that captioned a picture of his wife "Obama's Baby Mama," for example, and the infamous New Yorker cover showing the Obamas as terrorists in the Oval Office.

But the left's onslaught against Palin has been of a different order of magnitude.

"Ideologically, she is their hardcore pornographic centerfold spread," columnist Cintra Wilson wrote in Salon. "She's such a power-mad, backwater beauty-pageant casualty, it's easy to write her off and make fun of her. But in reality I feel as horrified as a ghetto Jew watching the rise of National Socialism."

On the website of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, commentator Heather Mallick was even cruder. Palin appeals to "the white trash vote" with her "toned-down version of the porn actress look," she wrote. "Husband Todd looks like a roughneck. . . What normal father would want Levi 'I'm a [bleeping] redneck' Johnson prodding his daughter?"

From radio talk-show host Randi Rhodes came the smutty suggestion that the governor of Alaska has an unhealthy interest in teenage boys: "She's friends with all the teenage boys," Rhodes told her audience last week. "You have to say no when your kids say, 'Can we sleep over at the Palins?' No! NO!"

The smears and sneers have been without end. One liberal congressman likened Obama to Jesus - and Palin to Pontius Pilate. A Democratic state chairman declared scornfully that Palin's "primary qualification seems to be that she hasn't had an abortion." A University of Chicago professor seethed: "Her greatest hypocrisy is in her pretense that she is a woman."

The national media, meanwhile, have only further eroded what remained of their reputation for objectivity.

For months they refused to mention the infidelity of John Edwards, yet they leaped with relish onto Bristol Palin's pregnancy . Ravenous for any negative morsel on the GOP running mate, they deployed legions of reporters to Alaska, who have produced such journalism as the 3,220-word exposé; in Sunday's New York Times that upon winning office, Palin - gasp! - fired opponents and hired people she trusted.

Yet the more she has been attacked, the more her support has solidified. In the latest Fox News poll, Palin's favorable/unfavorable ratio is a strong 54-27. She is named by 33 percent of respondents as the candidate who "best understands the problems of everyday life in America," more than those naming Obama (32 percent), McCain (17), or Joe Biden (10). Among independent voters, Palin's lead over Obama on this measure widens to 13 points. In a recent Rasmussen poll, 51 percent of voters said the press was trying to hurt Palin through its coverage, versus just 5 percent who thought it was trying to help - a 10-1 disparity.

Millions of Americans, not all of them conservative, instinctively identify with Palin. That is why the left's scorching assault, so ugly and unhinged, is backfiring. The longer it goes on, the more it undermines the Democratic ticket - and the more support it builds for McCain, and his refreshingly normal running mate.

MEDIA IN THE OBAMA TANK FOR FINAL PUSH

Doesn't everyone now know this is the way it is? The media is panting to elect Obama and is doing all it can to destroy McCain and Palin. Joel Mowbray highlights how the New York Times, once the venerable paper of record and undisputed authority for truth and objectivity, has now become a propaganda outlet devoid of balance and fairness.

It's an incredible litany worth reading.

Meanwhile, Jennifer Rubin shows that the Times is not alone, although it is leading the pack of jackals at the heels of McCain and Palin. Isn't the supposedly genial, affable and even-handed Charlie Gibson ashamed of his insulting and condescending interview of Governor Palin? Maybe that's it. There is no longer any professional pride in the mainstream media, so they no longer can feel shame. It's all about their power to sell their agenda, their candidates and to destroy anyone in their way. It's a war the media can't be allowed to win.

September 15, 2008

Into the Obama Tank for the Final Push
By Jennifer Rubin

John McCain believes he is in an existential war. America is engaged in a death struggle against Islamic terrorists.

But he is also fighting for his life: against a media establishment dedicated to his political destruction.

Any pretense of fairness by the mainstream media is gone. The MSNBC duo of anchor buffoons have been downgraded but not fired. The Washington Post runs dueling front page articles -- one a recycled tabloid-like piece (apologies to our tabloid friends who generally don't recycle old material) about Cindy McCain's past drug problems and one, made up out of whole cloth, that Sarah Palin's allegedly believes and told departing troops that Iraq was behind 9-11. Caught concocting the latter story, the Post tried a hasty edit on the piece (in the middle of the night, no less) -- a maneuver which bloggers quickly spotted.

We saw the oozing condescension of normally mild-mannered Charlie Gibson in his Palin interview. Assuring Palin he was using a direct quote (he was not) to accuse her of believing her son was on "task form God" and laying a gotcha trap on the Bush Doctrine (which has no single meaning), Gibson seemed himself to have a "task" -- to trip up a figure held in contempt by most of his colleagues.

Every day we see how corrupt the media has become, from the New York Times, the Washington Post (sad to say, except for parts of its editorial pages), Newsweek, Time and so on. They can't do enough to trash McCain and Palin and won't do anything to unveil the carefully hidden Obama, the Chicago Democratic machine pol who rose to prominence on his soaring oratory despite his disturbing history (which of course no one has been told about).

No one dared -- or wanted to -- look behind the screen, afraid of or nervous about what they would find. So the 13 year association wth terrorist bomber William Ayers, why Obama bonded with Jeremiah Wright, why Tony Rezko, convicted of political corruption, raised $250,000 for Obama, remain unexplored.

And then there is "Bush lied." WMDs, you name it. Illustrative is a report that came across the Associated Press wire on July 5, 2008 that disappeared as quickly as if it were water in the Saudi desert. The Investor's Business Daily, a lonely voice, noticed. What do you know? Saddam had half a billion tons of yellowcake stashed away ready to be used when his friends got the UN restrictions lifted. Corruption ruled in the rest of the media, which ignored its duty to the public to report the news.


Saddam's Nukes

By Investor's Business Daily
Monday, July 07, 2008 4:20 PM PT

WMD: Hear about the 550 metric tons of yellowcake uranium found in Iraq? No? Why should you? It doesn't fit the media's neat story line that Saddam Hussein's Iraq posed no nuclear threat when we invaded in 2003.

It's a little known fact that, after invading Iraq in 2003, the U.S. found massive amounts of uranium yellowcake, the stuff that can be refined into nuclear weapons or nuclear fuel, at a facility in Tuwaitha outside of Baghdad.

In recent weeks, the U.S. secretly has helped the Iraqi government ship it all to Canada, where it was bought by a Canadian company for further processing into nuclear fuel — thus keeping it from potential use by terrorists or unsavory regimes in the region.

This has been virtually ignored by the mainstream media. Yet, as the AP reported, this marks a "significant step toward closing the books on Saddam's nuclear legacy."
Seems to us this should be big news.

After all, much of the early opposition to the war in Iraq involved claims that President Bush "lied" about weapons of mass destruction and that Saddam posed little if any nuclear threat to the U.S.

This more or less proves Saddam in 2003 had a program on hold for building WMD and that he planned to boot it up again soon.

This is clear, since Saddam acquired most of his uranium before 1991, but still had it in 2003, when invading U.S. troops found the stuff. (The International Atomic Energy Agency seems to have known about the yellowcake in the 1990s, but did nothing to force Saddam to get rid of it. It's duplicating its error today with Iran and North Korea).

That means Saddam held onto it for more than a decade. Why? He hoped to wait out U.N. sanctions on Iraq and start his WMD program anew. This would seem to vindicate Bush's decision to invade.

The American Thinker Web site reported four years ago on the scary math behind Saddam's uranium hoard: 500 tons of yellowcake, once refined, could make 142 nuclear weapons.

But yellowcake wasn't all they found at Tuwaitha. According to the AP, the military also discovered "four devices for controlled radiation exposure . . . that could potentially be used in a weapon."

By the way, this should put to rest the canard peddled by the American left and by former Ambassador Joseph Wilson that "Bush lied" about Iraq seeking yellowcake from the African country of Niger.

Given what we know, including comments by officials in Niger's government, Iraq did make overtures to buy uranium. And it's quite possible all or part of the 550 tons came from there.

What's more, if Bush hadn't acted, we might today see a nuclear Iraq, an Iran on the way to having a weapon, Libya with an expanded nuclear program, and Syria — with its close ties to Saddam — on the way to having a nuke.

Of equal concern is why the media ignored this good news coming from Iraq. It seems to be of a piece with how they've treated other recent positive developments in Iraq.
We ask again — why aren't you seeing and hearing more about this? The reason is simple: The mainstream media find it inconveniently contradicts the story they have been telling you for years.

There is a nutty but dangerous compromise being talked about in Congress that will allow miniscule offshore drilling, put a big new tax on oil companies that will raise gas and heating oil prices and will forbid drilling in most offshore areas forever.

Shamefully, some otherwise, at least sometimes, sensible Republicans are supporting this national security disaster. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell is, so far, denouncing half-way measures. This isn't even half-way. It will ensure American dependence on hostile oil producers forever.

This air-headed compromise must be blocked. To get things moving in the right direction, drill now, no ifs, ands and buts. Do the other things, too, no problem. T. Boone Pickens is wrong, We can drill our way out of our problem. (Even he says drill now.)

With new technology, the ability to obtain oil from Rocky Mountain shale along with the resources offshore Alaska and the lower 48, we have more energy resources than Saudi Arabia. We published this chart back on July 13th, courtesy of Power Line, who found it:

The chart is hard to read, but the great majority of U.S. reserves are in Rocky Mountains shale. If we allow offshore drilling, our reserves would be much, much higher. Offshore exploration has been banned for decades by Congress, so no one knows how much is out there. Take a lesson from Brazil, which is aggressively exploring off its coast; in just the past year they have found tens of billiions of new barrels of oil.

Obama says we can end dependency on oil in ten years. Nonsense, we can't, no matter if we do everything right. Oil is the best fuel for transportation and won't be replaced easily. Jet planes can't be plugged in and fly. But we have the oil to reduce our dependency on foreign producers dramatically in ten years. We can do enough in that time period so that we are relying on ourselves and our friends in Canada, Mexico and, yes, Brazil.

We need to get our head outs of the sand and our dreams out of the sky and do what we need to do. The most environmentally sensitive drilling in the world is done in the U.S. So at the same time as we draw on our own resources for national security purposes, we are ensuring that best environmental practices will be followed.

How silly -- as well as how dangerous -- is the so-called compromise from the Gang of 20?

How about this?

From LaughTech.

It really isn't funny, but the message hits home.

Whether you are Republican or Democrat or independent, contact these senators who are undercutting the cause of energy independence and tell them to knock it off. Here they are:

Amy Klobuchar
Ben Nelson
Blanche Lincoln
Bob Corker
Elizabeth Dole
Evan Bayh
John E. Sununu
John Thune
John W. Warner
Johnny Isakson
Ken Salazar
Kent Conrad
Lindsey Graham
Mark Pryor
Mary Landrieu
Norm Coleman
Saxby Chambliss
Susan Collins
Tim P. Johnson
Tom Carper

If you know any of them, contact them and tell them they are dead wrong. They are putting America at risk and why? Who are they pleasing? A substantial majority of Americans want to drill now. Why are these senators falling into the trap of satisfying environmental extremists?

Lindsey Graham is one of the instigators of this plan. He purports to be a close friend and supporter of John McCain, but he is ignoring the position taken by John McCain and the energy expertise of Sarah Palin as governor of Alaska, who says the oil is there and can begin flowing in one or two years. McCain should show tough leadership and tell Graham he's wrong and to back away.

BIDEN: CHARITY CLEARLY BEGINS AT HOME

Democrat VP nominee Joe Biden has released ten years' worth of his tax returns. One of the usual inspections made by the media is of charitable giving. It's a good bet you didn't see a report of Joe's pathetic record of charitable gifts on your TV news or in your newspaper. This isn't news? Joe Biden is very generous spending taxpayers' money, but he sure hangs on to his own.

Joe Biden's charity stays home.


Adjusted
Gross Income Charity

1998 $215,432 $195

1999 $210,797 $120

2000 $219,953 $360

2001 $220,712 $360

2002 $227,811 $260

2003 $231,375 $260

2004 $234,271 $380

2005 $321,379 $380

2006 $248,459 $380

2007 $319,853 $995

Total $2,450,042 $3,690

Why was Joe's giving, comparitively speaking, so high in 2007? He was running for president.

NO GOVERNMENT BAILOUTS FOR PRIVATE COMPANIES

The financial crisis shaking the world is serious, but the govenment has drawn the line correctly: No bailouts of private companies. The pain of adjustment will be borne by the companies themselves, their creditors and their shareholders, not the taxpayers.

While there was criticism of the federal rescue of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, they had to be saved because, uniquely, they carried for decades the "implicit" guaranty of the U.S. government. Based on that assurance, Fannie and Freddie bonds are owned around the globe. Uncle Sam could not walk away.

The implicit guaranty was a bad policy that Congress after Congress left in place, because it made mortgage lending possible to marginal borrowers that otherwise would never take place. Indeed, the recently deposed president of Freddie Mac, the very capable Dick Syron, admitted that they were under constant Democratic pressure from Congress to do even more to help make home ownership possible. Chairman of the House Financial Services Committee Barney Frank was at the forefront pressing such expansiveness on his fellow Massachusetts citizen. (Indeed Frank fattened the recent mortgage bailout bill to include funds for voter registration, knowing that ACORN, chronically involved in vote fraud, would be early in line for the money to register Democrats.)

President Bush several years ago asked Congress to rein in the federally-backed mortgage agencies, but nothing happened. So the house of cards finally collapsed and the taxpayers are picking up the tab.

McCain/Palin's new ad addressses the issue.

Unfortunately, the Democratic desire to make the federal government the mortgage lender of last resort to those who had no assets justifying home ownership has proven very costly to taxpayers. Rational lending standards must be reimposed and Fannie and Freddie must be weaned away from the government's backing. Any question who is more likely to do that, McCain or Obama?

A shocking report out of Iraq reveals that Obama during his visit there asked the Iraqi government to delay any agreement on troop withdrawal until after the election and the installation of a new adminisration. Iranian exile Amir Taheri writing in the New York Post reports (HT: Power Line):

Amir Taheri details what he believes is Barack Obama's sorry record of double-dealing on Iraq:

WHILE campaigning in public for a speedy withdrawal of US troops from Iraq, Sen. Barack Obama has tried in private to persuade Iraqi leaders to delay an agreement on a draw-down of the American military presence. According to Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari, Obama made his demand for delay a key theme of his discussions with Iraqi leaders in Baghdad in July.

"He asked why we were not prepared to delay an agreement until after the US elections and the formation of a new administration in Washington," Zebari said in an interview.

Power Line's John Hinderaker nails it for what it is:

This is shocking, although, coming from Obama, not surprising. It's not just that he has tried, in private, to achieve the exact opposite result from the one he has advocated in public. Worse, Obama has in effect tried to conduct his own foreign policy as a President-in-waiting, thereby undermining the actual foreign policy of the United States
[I]f what Taheri says is right, Obama is carrying out his own foreign policy, in opposition not only to his own stated position on Iraq, but in opposition to the foreign policy of the United States, with a view toward bringing about failure, not success, in Iraq. Nice.

For the Tahiri article, click here. For Power Line's take on it, click here.

Obama as a lawyer in Chicago represented and worked with ACORN on their voter registration drives. ACORN is notorious for its fraud in voter registration drives, only registering Democrats and throwing away Republican registrations. Even more important, they aggressively register phantom citizens -- total fakes. Numerous ACORN workers have been indicted for such fraud. ACORN's PAC has endorsed Obama for president. See our previous report on ACORN's history of vote fraud.

Now there is this new report of ACORN fraud in the swing state of Michigan.

More ACORN Vote Fraud Attempts
September 15, 2008
-By Warner Todd Huston

The union supporting, Democratic Party pushing, extreme leftist Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN) has been caught trying to gerry rig voter applications in Michigan. It is looking like fraud on a massive scale in Detroit as ACORN tries to fill the Democrat voter rolls with fake Democrat voters.

ACORN is being investigated after several Municipal Clerks discovered fraudulent and duplicate voter registration applications.

The majority of the fraudulent and duplicate applications are coming from the liberal ACORN group based in Detroit, Michigan, which now has ACORN investigating the problem once again as well as the Secretary of State’s Office turning over some of those applications to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
And it isn’t just Detroit that has found fraud being perpetrated by ACORN.

In recent years, ACORN’s voter registration programs have come under investigation in Ohio, Colorado, Missouri and Washington, with some employees convicted of voter fraud.
The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review is also reporting that the Obama campaign has been forced to amend a report to reflect over $800,000 of previously unreported ACORN donations to his campaign.

ACORN is at the heart of one of the most massive voter fraud campaigns in American history. ACORN is intimate with Barack Obama and is a major supporter of unions throughout the country and is doing its level best (and illegally at that) trying to assure that Obama wins this election.

Clark Judge, who served in the Reagan Administration, decided he, too, would analyze the respective qualities of Obama and Sarah Palin for leadership on national security matters. The mainstream media has made it clear what they want to think, but perhaps they're missing something in their haste to shore up the credentials of their chosen one.

Judge reviews what the media has been saying and doesn't begrudge their right to say it. But fair analysis of capabilities is what is needed.

For the answer to the question posed in the title to this item, follow Judge's analysis to the end. You'll be glad you did.

So what are the now hysterical, frightened Obama followers saying in New Hampshire?

“You want to know the honest truth? I think she’s [that's Sarah] like a bad actor from a B-list sex movie,” said Paula Vanbuskirk, an Obama-supporting independent, whose contempt for the Alaska governor and self-styled “hockey mom” was shared by almost everyone questioned by the Financial Times. (subscription required)

My, my, we know their vision is blurred if they have been supporting The One, but we had no idea how curdled their humanity had become.

Just because so many of Obama's friends and backers are haters of America shouldn't mean that the good folks of New Hampshire should become haters, too. But "contempt" for Sarah Palin was shared by almost everyone?

One Obama supporter in Manchester worried:

“I had become complacent,” she said. “I thought the election was in the bag. Then, all of a sudden, we’ve got this big fight on our hands.”

The Financial Times (a British newspaper) concluded:

Her anxiety was widely shared among the 8,000 people that turned up to see Barack Obama in Manchester over the weekend, amid mounting Democratic jitters about declining poll numbers and escalating Republican attacks.
If it was Mr McCain’s intention to ignite a fresh “culture war” between middle America and east coast liberals by nominating Ms Palin, the evidence in Manchester suggested he has succeeded in spectacular fashion.

It appears from this report that if a "culture war" has broken out it's the "east coast liberals" who are lighting the fire.

An exasperated Obama supporter proved the point, letting slip her true feelings:

I just do not trust the American people,” said Eleanor Shavell, 58, a computer programmer, who, along with several others, joked she would move to Canada if Mr Obama loses. “I cannot believe that 80 per cent of this country thinks we’re headed in the wrong direction yet 50 per cent are supporting McCain and Palin. I guess it’s like at school, there’s always got to be a bottom 50 per cent."

Well, John McCain and Sarah Palin do not agree with that Obama view: They do trust the American people.

It’s an old saying that you are known by the company you keep. When any candidate for public office emerges, the candidate’s record, his positions, his promises and his associations are all looked at. The slimmer the record, the more important associations are.

There is a good deal that is unsettling about Obama’s history – his admitted Marxist socialist associations in high school, college and his community organizing days, his easy comfort with black power haters of white America such as Rev. Jeremiah Wright and Louis Farrakhan and his friendship with others with a record of continuing hatred of America, such as unrepentant terrorists William Ayers and Bernadine Dohrn.

While Obama tried to shrug Ayers and Dohrn off as just folks in the ‘hood, in fact there had been a close working relationship between Obama and the terrorists going back to at least 1995.

Obama kicked off his first campaign for the Illinois state senate in 1995 in the Ayers/Dohrn home. In 1995 Ayers established the Chicago Annenberg Challenge and named Obama as Chairman of the Board, a post he held till 2000. A study showed the $110 million CAC spent on trying to inculcate radical ideas into Chicago schools had a negligible effect. (Friends of Obama blocked a distinguished researcher from Washington’s Ethics and Public Policy Center from gaining access to the public records of the CAC, but the resulting uproar caused the University of Illinois, Chicago to step in to allow such access. Interesting information is sure to follow.)

From 1999 to 2002 Obama served together with Ayers as paid directors on the board of a left wing foundation, the Woods Fund. During the time that Obama was a director, the Woods Fund made generous contributions to an Arab group founded by Obama friend and campaign contributor Columbia University professor Rashid Khalidi, a supporter of the Palestinian Liberation Organization while it was labeled by the U.S. State Department as a terror group; Khalidi explained he hosted an Obama fundraiser and gave him money because he was sympathetic to the Palestinian cause. The group in question, the Arab American Action Network, subscribes to the notion that the establishment of the state of Israel was a catastrophe.

So the myth peddled by the Obama campaign about the Obama/Ayers ties is just that, a myth.

As the outlines of the Obama/Ayers relationship get filled in by independent researchers, the Obama campaign has reacted hysterically, doing all it can to cut off all discussion of Obama-Ayers, from flooding talk radio shows with threatening phone calls and emails to urging federal prosecutors to bring legal action to cut off free speech. As noted, supporters for a time were able to block access to the public records of the Chicago Annenberg Challenge.

Ayers himself has sought to calm the storm and, like Obama, is telling the best story, not the true story.

Andrew McCarthy, the former federal prosecutor who sent the blind sheikh to prison for the first bombing of the World Trade Center in 1993, has caught Ayers flat out in preposterous lies. Ayers said in a Fox News interview that he and his fellow terrorists didn’t really intend to hurt anybody, just bang up some property.

Absurd.

Three of Ayers' associates were killed when a bomb they were building – according to Ayers’ design – exploded. It was a nail bomb to be used to murder American soldiers at a dance at Fort Dix. If the plan had been successful, hundreds of lives would have been lost as the bomb tore “though windows and walls and, yes, people, too,” in the words of William Ayers.

Ayers described the Weatherman organization he was forming as “an American Red Army” the purpose of which was murder: Its ideology was, according to Ayers, “Kill all the rich people. Break up their cards and apartments. Bring the revolution home. Kill your parents.”

In his 2001 book Fugitive Days Ayers told of the glee he felt in the bombings of the Capitol building and the Pentagon – “the bastards were finally going to get what was coming to them.” He also said in the book that America “makes me want to puke.”

McCarthy concludes:

These savages wanted to kill massively. That they killed only a few people owes to our luck and their incompetence, not design. They and the Democrat politicians who now befriend and serve them can rationalize that all they want. But those are the facts.

Despite the publicity surrounding the publication of Ayers’ book in 2001, including an article in the New York Times in which Ayers clearly said he was not sorry for what he had done and actually wished he had done more, the Obama/Ayers relationship continued. The unrepentant Ayers even was featured in 2001 on the cover of a Chicago area magazine standing on an American flag. Will Obama say he didn’t see that as he didn’t hear Reverend Wright slandering America?

Thumbnail image for ayersflag.jpg

At a gathering of “old” terrorists in 2007 Ayers and his wife Bernadine Dohrn were caught on tape waxing nostalgic for their “activist” days.

So Obama lied about his close association with this unrepentant terrorist and Ayers lied about what he intended with his bombings. What drew Obama and Ayers to each other? What world view did they share?

The same could be asked about Obama's relationship with Jeremiah Wright and other America haters such as Louis Farrakhan.


For the complete article by Andrew McCarthy exposing Ayers’ lies, read on.

Bill Ayers: Unrepentant LYING Terrorist
Andrew McCarthy in NROnline
August 27, 2008

[In a Fox News interview], Ayers preposterously claimed that he and his fellow Weather Underground terrorists did not really intend to harm any people — the fact that no one was killed in their 20 or so bombings was, he said, "by design"; they only wanted to cause property damage:

Between October 1969 and September 1973, the Weather Underground claimed credit for some twenty bombings across the country, in which no one was harmed — save the three cell members who perished in a Greenwich Village townhouse in March 1970, when one of their creations detonated prematurely. Ayers claimed the fact that no other individuals were killed as a result of the Weathermen’s actions was “by design.”

In his autobiography, Fugitive Days: A Memoir, Ayers recalled, he posed the question: “How far are you willing to take that step into what I consider the abyss of violence? And we really never did, except for that moment in the townhouse.… I actually think destroying property in the face of that kind of catastrophe is so — restrained. And I don’t see it as a big deal.

Right.

First of all, "that moment in the townhouse" he's talking about happened in 1970. Three of his confederates, including his then girlfriend Diana Oughton, were accidentally killed when the explosive they were building to Ayers specifications (Ayers was a bomb designer) went off during construction. As noted in Ayers' Discover the Networks profile, the explosive had been a nail bomb. Back when Ayers was being more honest about his intentions, he admitted that the purpose of that bomb had been to murder United States soldiers:

That bomb had been intended for detonation at a dance that was to be attended by army soldiers at Fort Dix, New Jersey. Hundreds of lives could have been lost had the plan been successfully executed. Ayers attested that the bomb would have done serious damage, "tearing through windows and walls and, yes, people too."(emphasis added)

In fact, Ayers was a founder of the Weatherman terror group and he defined its purpose as carrying out murder. Again, from Discover the Networks:

Characterizing Weatherman as "an American Red Army," Ayers summed up the organization's ideology as follows: "Kill all the rich people. Break up their cars and apartments. Bring the revolution home, Kill your parents."

Now he wants you to think they just wanted to break a few dishes. But in his book Fugitive Days, in which he boasts that he "participated in the bombings of New York City Police Headquarters in 1970, of the Capitol building in 1971, and the Pentagon in 1972," he says of the day that he bombed the Pentagon: "Everything was absolutely ideal. ... The sky was blue. The birds were singing. And the bastards were finally going to get what was coming to them."

And he wasn't singular. As I noted back in April in this article about Obama's motley collection of radical friends, at the Weatherman “War Council” meeting in 1969, Ayers' fellow terrorist and now-wife, Bernadine Dohrn, famously gushed over the barbaric Manson Family murders of the pregnant actress Sharon Tate, coffee heiress Abigail Folger, and three others: “Dig it! First they killed those pigs, then they ate dinner in the same room with them. They even shoved a fork into the victim’s stomach! Wild!” And as Jonah recalled yesterday, "In appreciation, her Weather Underground cell made a threefingered 'fork' gesture its official salute." They weren't talking about scratching up the wall-paper.

A Weatherman affiliate group which called itself "the Family" colluded with the Black Liberation Army in the 1981 Brinks robbery in which two police officers and an armed guard were murdered. (Obama would like people to believe all this terrorist activity ended in 1969 when he was eight years old. In fact, it continued well into the eighties.) Afterwards, like Ayers and Dohrn, their friend and fellow terrorist Susan Rosenberg became a fugitive.

On November 29, 1984, Rosenberg and a co-conspirator, Timothy Blunk, were finally apprehended in Cherry Hill, New Jersey. At the time, they were actively planning an unspeakable bombing campaign that would have put at risk the lives of countless innocent people. They also possessed twelve assorted guns (including an Uzi 9 mm. semi-automatic rifle and an Ithaca twelve-gauge shotgun with its barrel sawed off), nearly 200 sticks of dynamite, more than 100 sticks of DuPont Trovex (a high explosive), a wide array of blasting agents and caps, batteries, and switches for explosive devices. Arrayed in disguises and offering multiple false identities to arresting officers, the pair also maintained hundreds of false identification documents, including FBI and DEA badges.

When she was sentenced to 58 years' imprisonment in 1985, the only remorse Rosenberg expressed was over the fact that she and Blunk had allowed themselves to be captured rather than fighting it out with the police. Bernadine Dohrn was jailed for contempt when she refused to testify against Rosenberg. Not to worry, though. On his last day in office, the last Democrat president, Bill Clinton, pardoned Rosenberg — commuting her 58-year sentence to time-served.

These savages wanted to kill massively. That they killed only a few people owes to our luck and their incompetence, not design. They and the Democrat politicians who now befriend and serve them can rationalize that all they want. But those are the facts.

Charles Moore is the former editor-in-chief of London's Telegraph newspaper. He is currently working on the official biography of the former prime minister, the lioness Margaret Thatcher, who was the political soulmate of Ronald Reagan. Nonetheless, he travels in high liberal circles in Britain and reports on the overwhelming support for Barack Obama and the disdain for John McCain and the uncouth savage from Alaska.

But Moore has done his homework and has found Obama's books interesting, particularly the first, "Dreams from my Father." He tracks Obama's spiritual journey and wonders whether it actually runs in the wrong direction, from America to Kenya. It perhaps discloses more about Obama than he meant to disclose.


Mr Obama's more recent book, his political testament, is called The Audacity of Hope. But his more interesting one, published in 1995, before many had heard of him, is called Dreams From My Father. In it, Obama explains that "The Audacity of Hope" was the title of a tremendous sermon by a minister in Chicago called the Rev Jeremiah Wright.

When he heard this sermon, Obama first fully connected God with his politics ("I felt the tears running down my cheeks"). Mr Wright subsequently married the Obamas.

The sermon was strong stuff. It drew on the suffering of Hannah in the book of Samuel, barren until blessed by God, to depict a world "where white folks' greed runs a world in need". It showed how black people could throw off their oppression and move "beyond our narrow dreams".

This year it emerged that the Rev Mr Wright had preached that people should not sing "God Bless America!", but "God Damn America!" because of its racist sins. Obama quickly put some distance between himself and his closest clerical friend.

But it raised the question, are black politics in America still defined by their hatred of white domination? If Obama's politics are "black" in that sense, he does not stand a chance.

Moore accurately identifies and names the theme that runs through Obama's book and life. Obama had a black communist mentor in Hawaii who warned him never to trust whites. He sought out black power advocates in college, went to Chicago after college to learn how to organize blacks using the fabled communist Alinsky method of stoking discontent and rallying -- and masking the real purpose of -- a socialist movement behind vague promises of "hope" and "change." There Obama quickly learned the best way to achieve and exercise black power was to work within the system, not against it. So get a law degree and run for office with the backing of the Chicago political machine, learning all the while the rhetorical skills of white America hater Jeremiah Wright, with whose racist policies he obviously agreed.

No one in the U.S. in the mainstream media or the blogosphere has raised the question that Moore has. If asked, there would be no answer from the Obama campaign but denial. But a review of the history leads to another concusion.

Rather than post-partisanship and healing, Obama has been using his race skillfully --falsely claiming racist attacks on him --- to vault over Hillary Clinton and now John McCain. Black power is being subtly advanced.

At the end of his rumination, Charles Moore says this:

So Americans, who actually have to decide what all this means, have a much more serious task than we do. It will not prove that they are bigots if they decide that Barack Obama is too big a risk.

What's astonishing is the near unanimity of American and British commentators thoroughly confused by Moore's article. Most thought he was urging the election of Obama. A few thought he was inveighing against the prevailing British Obama worship. The other near unanimity was the rejection of Obama by the commentators; Obama might appeal to the elites lunching with Moore, but he had little or no support among those who cared to post on this newspaper website. The Telegraph, a once might conservative organ, has more or less thrown in with its liberal brethern under its new ownership.

This is what coul be called a typical entry:

"It is time for a black president, I thought,"...

What you're missing, Charles, is that most of America could't care less whether or not Obama is black. That's an utterly vacuous reason to vote for a leader, particularly in America where the office of president is very strong and not a figurehead. Those who do care that he is black- African-Americans who will vote for him in racial solidarity and non-black Americans who will not vote for him out of racism essentially cancel each other out. Call it a wash. What you are left with is the rest of the voting public who prefers to analyze a candidate's qualifications for president. And after you get past his race the reason to vote for Obama is...what exactly? He is the least qualified presidential candidate of the last fifty years and you want him with his finger on the nuclear button? I suspect a majority of Americans will disagree.

Read the comments. They are fascinating.

"DEADNESS OF THE SOUL" AT COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY

Here's an interesting observation that was posted the day after this year's 9/11. When John McCain at a 9/11 forum at Columbia University spoke of his pride in American exceptionalism and how its men and women have shed blood for freedom in the world, his words were greeted with dead silence from the audience. Well, what does that mean? Blogger Dr. Sanity's blunt appraisal:

The dead silence at Columbia, one of the supposed "gems" of American academia bespeaks of a deadness of the soul that is truly pathetic.

To get the flavor of the situation, read this;

DEAD SILENCE AT COLUMBIA

I watched the [rather ridiculous, I thought] ServiceNation Presidential Forum at Columbia University last night and had the same reaction as a reader at The Corner at one point:

Did you notice how McCain received absolutely NO applause when he talked about how Americans have shed blood around the globe in defense of freedom and should be commended for that? I thought to myself — is there not an audience at this event? The camera panned back and did reveal an audience. What kind of people don't respond to such positive statements about the history of America?

Here is the portion in question:

WOODRUFF: Senator, I want to come back to something you said earlier, I think you used the word exceptional and unique about being an American. On this 9/11, this special day, what — help us understand what you think it means to be an American. And I don’t mean that in the obvious way.

I mean, people who live in Canada, who live in Mexico, around the world feel special about their country, so what is it that’s different about being in America? Are Americans better than people in some of these other countries? We hear the term “exceptionalism” about the United States.

MCCAIN: I do believe in American exceptionalism.

MCCAIN: And I think it was best articulated by our founding fathers. But I also think that my hero, Teddy Roosevelt, expressed it very well, and other leaders throughout our history.

We’re the only nation I know in the world that really is deeply concerned about adhering to the principle that all of us are created equal and endowed by our creators with certain rights. And those we have tried to bring to the world. And we have not so much militarily, but through example, through leadership, through economic assistance.

Look at what we did for Europe after World War II, look at the continuous efforts we make throughout the world. Look at the efforts we’re making to combat HIV/AIDS in Africa. There’s a lot more America can do.

And I love these other countries, and I’m not trying to denigrate them. But I know of no other country in the world with the generosity of spirit and the concern for fellow human beings than the United States of America, and I think that goes back to our very beginnings.

WOODRUFF: Does that make America better than these other…?

MCCAIN: I think it makes us exceptional. I think it makes us exceptional in the kind of citizenry we have and the kind of service and sacrifice that we are capable of.

And I mean that in no disrespect to any other nation, our close and unique relationship with the British. I have — I’m not trying to in any way denigrate any other nation, but it doesn’t in any way diminish my pride in the history of this nation, which has literally shed our blood in all four corners of the earth many times in defense of someone else’s freedom and have tried to further the principles of freedom and democracy everywhere in the world. I think we’re dedicated to that proposition. And, frankly, I think we’ve done a pretty good job.

McCain's passionate statement about American exceptionalism (and Woodruff's sense of disbelief that anyone could possibly think America was better than any other country) evoked absolute dead silence from the Columbia crowd. I think John McCain was somewhat taken aback that there was no response to this.

I think this perfectly exemplifies what it has come down to in this country: a great number of Americans--mostly of the Democrat and brainwashed leftist persuasion--don't think America is anything special. They live in the freest, best off, most productive, most generous country on the globe, and they don't think that's anything special.

Instead of being proud of their own country, they feel shame. Instead of seeing America as a "shining light on the hill" they believe it exemplifies all that is evil in the world. "No, no, no! Not God bless Amerika! God Damn Amerika!" And you wonder why the Reverend Wright saga didn't take down the Obama campaign when far less incendiary comments have thoroughly destroyed previous presidential campaigns?

The dead silence at Columbia, one of the supposed "gems" of American academia bespeaks of a deadness of the soul that is truly pathetic.

Of the many comments, this one rang a bell:

I tuned in at exactly that point of the Q&A and was immediately disgusted by Woodruff's little drama - implying that America is not "better", then trying to trap McCain into saying that it was, thus creating a "gotcha" for all the widdle Progressives to perseverate incessantly about for the rest of their very sad lives. [Do these people remind anyone else of Dana Carvey's SNL Church Lady character?]

But McCain slam-dunked it right back down all their whiney throats, imo, with what I thought was a brilliant exposition of America's exceptional dream at work. He was so on fire that I was "speechless" myself for a few seconds.

The reality of Palin, especially vs Obama, already has these elitist infants nearly corralled within their playpens. It should be both interesting and gratifying to see what the America/self haters do if McCain keeps effectively slamming the reality of America as conceived and at work in the real world into their oso Progressive/Defeatist fantasyland bubble - as the rest of real America watches.

Two reports highlight the astonishing official Democratic attacks on the faith of a Catholic candidate for Congress in Virginia. He is accused of belonging to a Catholic organization which they say favors "rolling back women's rights," which is nonsense.

Fidelis, a national Catholic organization, had this to say:

The ads explicitly attack Fimian for his association with Legatus, a prominent Catholic social organization that does not take any political stands. The group was heralded by the late Pope John Paul II, and is active in providing spiritual assistance to business leaders in dioceses across the country... [T]o attack a faithful Catholic because of his private association with a non political group that is well respected and active in the Church smacks of a level of religious bigotry that has no place in American politics.

A disgusted Catholic blogger said this:

This is how desperate the Democratic Party has become -- it now wages deceitful bigoted smear campaigns on a candidate's Catholic faith.

The attack ads on the candidate's faith are sponsored by the official Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, so this is not some aberrant local foulup. It's horrifying enough that the Democratic party's presidential candidate is the most pro-abortion public official in America, one who seeks to bring back partial-birth abortion -- which is opposed by 75% of all Americans. Now it is affirmatively attacking a candidate for being a good Catholic. That's a sure way to drive Catholics out of the party altogether. People of all faiths who seek to live a good life should be appalled.

MEDIA BIAS CONTINUES FOR OBAMA, DISSES PALIN

ABC grills Palin, gives Obama a pass. Do they think the public doesn't notice?

One writer sure did.


ABC's Gibson grilled Palin hard, but it may backfire

By MARTIN SIEFFPublished: Sept. 12, 2008 at 11:47 AM

WASHINGTON, Sept. 12 (UPI) -- There were no surprises, no knockout zingers, but also no bloopers Thursday night in Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin's first TV interview since becoming the Republican vice presidential nominee.

Charles Gibson of ABC News was out for blood and inherently applied a double-standard compared with the kid gloves George Stephanopoulos used on Democratic presidential nominee Sen. Barack Obama of Illinois on Sunday night.

Gibson was out to embarrass Palin and expose her presumed ignorance from the word go. By contrast, when Obama referred to his "Muslim faith" on Sunday and did not correct himself, Stephanopoulos rushed in at once to help him and emphasize that the senator had really meant to say his Christian faith.

Polls at this stage don't mean what they show will happen on November 4th, but trends seems to be developing in these key states. HotAir? Read.

OBAMA STORY UNRAVELING IN THE SOUTH

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution is a liberal redoubt in the conservative south that, like the Boston Globe in oh-so-blue Massachusetts, allows a conservative voice like Jeff Jacoby speak out every so often. In Atlanta, it's Jim Wooton.

Obama and the Chicago Democratic machine that is running his campaign have been very careful about constructing the Obama story. It's largely fiction and that is finally coming to light.

Reverend Jeremiah Wright for 20 years -- I never heard a thing. Bill Ayers, the terrorist who planted bombs in the Pentagon and police stations whose girl friend died constructing a nail bomb of his design intended to kill soldiers at a dance -- just someone in the neighborhood (though I did work with him for 13 years on paid boards and I appreciate his fundraising help.). Good old Tony Rezko who raised $240,000 for me (Too bad he's convicted on charges of political corruption; glad I bought my house with him when I did.). But my wife is finally proud of America (after all those years being educated at Princeton and Harvard Law and being on the payroll at $300,000 plus at a Chicago hospital) because I did so well against Hillary despite her racial smears at me -- like John McCain is doing.

My two books about me, understandably spiffed up a bit to make a good story even better, you understand, shows how qualified I am to be commander-in-chief. I can talk the talk so I never have to walk the walk; who else can say that?

I am ready to have the safety of the nation placed in my hands. Working with the United Nations, we will create a safe new world for all of us. Those new taxes I will impose will be put to good use to raise up the poor of the world; the UN has assured me they will take care of your tax money.

Indeed, we are the ones you have been waiting for. It's our time.

Who says different?

Jim Wooten has talked to a few.
.
Here's his take.

Panic sets in for Obama, Democrats
By Jim Wooten | Friday, September 12, 2008, 09:04 PM

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Barack Obama knows it. The election he had in the bag is slipping away.

The selection of Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin as John McCain’s running mate has so thrown him off stride, as it has most other Democrats, that all the momentum he had has vanished. He’s getting panicky advice from everywhere. He intends to launch more and sharper attacks, abandoning any pretense of a new and different, more civil campaign.

Democrats know something, and desperation is setting in. They have a novice campaigner who wanders off message. With every advantage in the primaries, Obama couldn’t win the big states — New York, New Jersey, Ohio and Pennsylvania — against Hillary Clinton, even when he got to define the rules for running against him. She could never risk alienating the base she’ll need in 2012; John McCain and Sarah Palin have no such constraints — hence the panic.

For a “change” candidate, Obama appears to be a man locked in time, unable to move past criticism, unable to move from the grip of the Democratic left, unable to adapt to the changed reality that the campaign is not the referendum on the war in Iraq or on the administration of George W. Bush that he’d envisioned.

He’s begun to sound dated. Last week, for example, he devoted valuable campaign days — less than two months remain — into explaining a silly “lipstick on a pig” line. The McCain campaign had reacted, accusing him of making the reference to Palin. “I don’t care what they say about me,” Obama responded. “But I love this country too much to let them take over another election with lies and phony outrage and ‘Swiftboat politics.’ Enough is enough,” he said. (The Swiftboat reference is from the 2004 campaign of John Kerry).

The Democratic left is still seething from the Kerry campaign’s loss and is determined to see Bush expelled from the White House in disgrace — the reason it is locked in to making this a referendum on the administration now ending.

It barely worked when the maverick McCain, no darling of the Bushites, got the nomination. With Palin, the Washington outsider, the “third term” argument is plainly absurd. But Obama can’t let go, just as the lefties can’t let go of the Swiftboat Veterans for Truth defeat of Kerry. He can’t move on.

Obama has the habit, too, of reminding voters of their doubts about him, as he did in reminding a Detroit audience that he’s been accused of being less interested in protecting you from terrorists than reading them their rights. And, when he professes love of country as his basis for refusing to allow the McCain campaign to attack his words, he raises questions about why he finds the affirmation of love necessary.

Obama will lose because with less than two months remaining voters won’t be able to get comfortable with him. He can’t stay on message and he can’t avoid sending signals that interfere with the message when he does.

McCain, on the other hand, has been superb going back at least to Obama’s European tour. Mainstream America is comfortable with him and, with Palin’s selection, conservatives who had their doubts are onboard. The GOP is energized and suddenly an unwinnable election is reversed.

Obama got this far by winning small states and Southern states he has no chance of carrying in November. In Georgia, for example, the latest Insider Advantage poll has McCain pulling 56 percent of the vote to 38 percent for Obama, numbers that are not likely to change more than 4 percentage points in November. The undecideds and those who intend to vote for third-party campaigns are at 6 percent.

In this election, voters will decide early. Obama’s been in a yearlong campaign; McCain’s familiar. The two are sufficiently exposed and known for voters to make a decision now.

It’s not over. But it’s getting there — and Obama knows it.

MCCAIN WILL GENERATE BETTER GROWTH. HERE'S WHY.

What do you think will work for the American economy?

Ranking states by domestic migration, per-capita income growth and employment growth, ALEC found that from 1996 through 2006, Texas, Florida and Arizona were the three most successful states. Illinois, Ohio and Michigan were the three least successful.

Texas, Florida and Arizona are right-to-work states, while Michigan, Ohio and Illinois are not. Michigan, Ohio and Illinois impose significantly higher minimum wages than Texas, Florida and Arizona. Yet with all the proclaimed benefits of unionism and higher minimum wages, Texas, Florida and Arizona workers saw their real income grow more than twice as fast as workers in Michigan, Ohio and Illinois.

Obama will pattern the federal program after what has failed in Michigan, Ohio and Illinois.

Here's the real killer example:

Incredibly, the business climate in Michigan is now so unfavorable that it has overwhelmed the considerable comparative advantage in auto production that Michigan spent a century building up. No one should let Michigan politicians blame their problems solely on the decline of the U.S. auto industry. Yes, Michigan lost 83,000 auto manufacturing jobs during the past decade and a half, but more than 91,000 new auto manufacturing jobs sprung up in Alabama, Tennessee, Kentucky, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia and Texas.

Conclusion:

The states have already tested the McCain and Obama programs, and the results are clear. We now face a national choice to determine if everything that has failed the families of Michigan, Ohio and Illinois will be imposed on a grander scale across the nation. In an appropriate twist of fate, Michigan and Ohio, the two states that have suffered the most from the policies that Mr. Obama proposes, have it within their power not only to reverse their own misfortunes but to spare the nation from a similar fate.
The whole thing.

CHARLIE GIBSON, "IMPATIENT TEACHER," WAS WRONG

Washington Post columnist Charles Krauthammer calls Charlie Gibson of ABC News to task for his bungling of the Sarah Palin interview, unfairly making it appear she didn't know what she was talking about. In fact, it was Gibson who erred on what the Bush Doctrine was. Palin was rightly confused by Gibson's ambiguous question.

Yes, Sarah Palin didn't know what it is. But neither does Charlie Gibson. And at least she didn't pretend to know -- while he looked down his nose and over his glasses with weary disdain, sighing and "sounding like an impatient teacher," as the Times noted. In doing so, he captured perfectly the establishment snobbery and intellectual condescension that has characterized the chattering classes' reaction to the mother of five who presumes to play on their stage.

Since Krauthammer himself was the first to use the term "Bush Doctrine", he rightly feels quite qualified to lecture Gibson on how wrong Charlie was.


Charlie Gibson's Gaffe

By Charles Krauthammer
Saturday, September 13, 2008
Washington Post

"At times visibly nervous . . . Ms. Palin most visibly stumbled when she was asked by Mr. Gibson if she agreed with the Bush doctrine. Ms. Palin did not seem to know what he was talking about. Mr. Gibson, sounding like an impatient teacher, informed her that it meant the right of 'anticipatory self-defense.' " -- New York Times, Sept. 12

Informed her? Rubbish.

The New York Times got it wrong. And Charlie Gibson got it wrong.

There is no single meaning of the Bush doctrine. In fact, there have been four distinct meanings, each one succeeding another over the eight years of this administration -- and the one Charlie Gibson cited is not the one in common usage today. It is utterly different.

He asked Palin, "Do you agree with the Bush doctrine?"

She responded, quite sensibly to a question that is ambiguous, "In what respect, Charlie?"

Sensing his "gotcha" moment, Gibson refused to tell her. After making her fish for the answer, Gibson grudgingly explained to the moose-hunting rube that the Bush doctrine "is that we have the right of anticipatory self-defense."

Wrong.

Read it all.

OBAMA SHAMES HIMSELF -- AGAIN

The Financial Times reports (HT: Power Line):

SEPTEMBER 11, 2008 THE PANIC SPREADS... ...to Capitol Hill: Democratic jitters about the US presidential race have spread to Capitol Hill, where some members of Congress are worried that Barack Obama’s faltering campaign could hurt their chances of re-election. ... “There is a growing sense of doom among Democrats I have spoken to . . . People are going crazy, telling the campaign ‘you’ve got to do something’.” The generic Congressional ballot is, indeed, getting closer. Likewise, the gap in party identification is narrowing. In general, the tide is flowing in the Republicans' direction. Of course, the Republicans are starting from a very bad point. Still, it appears that by November the Republican Party will be in better shape, broadly speaking, than has been the case for the last few years.

But what does a panicky Obama himself do?

He runs an ad mocking McCain for not being able to send an email.

Outrage immediately filled the internet. Jonah Goldberg pointed out that as far back as 2000, the Boston Globe reported on McCain's well known problem:

The reason he doesn't send email is that he can't use a keyboard because of the relentless beatings he received from the Viet Cong in service to our country. From the Boston Globe (March 4, 2000):
McCain gets emotional at the mention of military families needing food stamps or veterans lacking health care. The outrage comes from inside: McCain's severe war injuries prevent him from combing his hair, typing on a keyboard, or tying his shoes. Friends marvel at McCain's encyclopedic knowledge of sports. He's an avid fan - Ted Williams is his hero - but he can't raise his arm above his shoulder to throw a baseball.

Instapundit has a round up of the many comments, one of which was this:

"It's extraordinary that someone who wants to be our president and our commander in chief knows how to send an e-mail ...but not how to do a five-minute Google search." Or even how to hire someone who can . . . .

And another:

"I think they spent months trying to figure out how they can position Obama as better qualified than McCain, and basically came up with the fact that Obama can type."

John Hinderaker of Power Line had the most acid comments of all:

I've always thought that Barack Obama is unqualified for the office of President--he isn't qualified to be a Senator, either--but I've never thought he was particularly mean-spirited. Until now....

"I guess now we'll find out whether Barack Obama is capable of shame."

The British correspondent for the Times of London in the U.S. is home for a few days and is running into folks left and right who suddenly are startled, concerned and alarmed that The One, who they too adore, might lose the election to, well, a former beauty queen.

Baker tells them no, the real problem is the veneer is wearing off Obama and, despite the soaring rhetoric, promise of reform and bipartisanship, he's being revealed as what he has always been, a pol from the corrupt Chicago Democratic political machine, the most partisan Democrat in the Senate and a go-along guy when faced with a choice to back reform.

The essential problem coming to light is a profound disconnect between the Barack Obama of the candidate's speeches, and the Barack Obama who has actually been in politics for the past decade or so.
Here's the real problem with Mr Obama: the jarring gap between his promises of change and his status quo performance. There are just too many contradictions between the eloquent poetry of the man's stirring rhetoric and the dull, familiar prose of his political record.

A specific example:

Speechmaker Obama talks a lot about finding ways to move beyond the bloody battlegrounds of the “culture wars” in America; the urgent need to establish consensus on the emotive issue of abortion.

Politician Obama's support for abortion rights is the most extreme of any Democratic senator. In the Illinois legislature he refused to join Democrats and Republicans in supporting a Bill that would require doctors to provide medical care for babies who survived abortions. No one in the Senate - not the arch feminist Hillary Clinton nor the superliberal Edward Kennedy - opposed this same humane measure.

So what do you believe, the record or the rhetoric?

The fact is that a vote for Mr Obama demands uncritical subservience to the irrational, anti-empirical proposition that the past holds no clues about the future, that promise is wholly detached from experience. The second-greatest story ever told, perhaps.


Gerard Baker's report appeared in The Times of London today, Friday, September 12th.


Barack Obama the speechmaker is being rumbled

There is a yawning gulf between what the Democratic candidate says and how he has acted. That's why the race is so close

Gerard Baker

It's funny how the harder you look at something, the harder it can be to understand it. I can't recall a US presidential election that has attracted more attention. But neither can there have been a time when the world has watched what goes on in America with the nonplussed, horrified incomprehension it has now.

Travelling in Britain this week, I've been asked repeatedly by close followers of US politics if it can really be true that Barack Obama might not win. Thoughtful people cannot get their head around the idea that Mr Obama, exciting new pilot of change, supported by Joseph Biden, experienced navigator of the swamplands of Washington politics, could possibly be defeated.

They look upon John McCain and Sarah Palin and see something out of hag-ridden history: the wizened old warrior, obsessed with finding enemies in every corner of the globe, marching in lockstep with the crackpot, mooseburger-chomping mother from the wilds of Alaska, rifle in one hand, Bible in the other, smiting caribou and conventional science as she goes.

Read it all.

THE OBAMABUBBLE

Charles Krauthammer chronicles the swelling of the Obama bubble, carried aloft by hot air, and now in danger of collapse.

Obama's problem: Never in the history of presidential politics has "the gap between adulation and achievement been so great." Two books about himself and a speech in 2004 do not a president make.

The one most impressed by his ascension to the heights was Obama himself. "We are the ones (That's me) we've been waiting for!"

Why, he told one group at a campaign stop that a light would come down from above and shine on them with the word that they would vote for Obama.

Though there was much excited talk about the wonderful Democratic convention, deflation was already evident. The Greek temple backdrop was an object of ridicule, no longer the setting for a god.

As Spengler reported in the Asia Times,

Senator Barack Obama's acceptance speech last week seemed vastly different from the stands of this city's Invesco Stadium than it did to the 40 million who saw it on television. Melancholy hung like thick smog over the reserved seats where I sat with Democratic Party staffers. The crowd, of course, cheered mechanically at the tag lines, flourished placards, and even rose for the obligatory wave around the stadium. But its mood was sour. The air carried the acrid smell of defeat, and the crowd took shallow breaths.

And all this before the new star flashed across the TV screens.

How did this happen? Krauthammer counts the ways.

Obama's Balloon Was Leaking Even Before Palin
By CHARLES KRAUTHAMMER
Washington Post
September 12, 2008

The Democrats are in a panic. In a presidential race that is impossible to lose, they are behind. Obama devotees are frantically giving advice. Tom Friedman tells him to "start slamming down some phones." Camille Paglia suggests, "Be boring!"

Meanwhile, a posse of Democratic lawyers, mainstream reporters, lefty bloggers and various other Obamaphiles are scouring the vast tundra of Alaska for something, anything, to bring down Sarah Palin: her daughter's pregnancy, her ex-brother-in-law problem, her $60 per diem, and now her religion. (CNN reports — news flash! — that she apparently has never spoken in tongues.)

Not since Henry II asked if no one would rid him of his turbulent priest, have so many so urgently volunteered for duty.

But Palin is not just a problem for Obama. She is also a symptom of what ails him. Before Palin, Obama was the ultimate celebrity candidate. For no presidential nominee in living memory had the gap between adulation and achievement been so great.

Which is why McCain's Paris Hilton ads struck such a nerve. Obama's meteoric rise was based not on issues — there was not a dime's worth of difference between him and Hillary on issues — but on narrative, on eloquence, on charisma.

The unease at the Denver convention, the feeling of buyer's remorse, was the Democrats' realization that the arc of Obama's celebrity had peaked and had now entered a period of its steepest decline. That Palin could so instantly steal the celebrity spotlight is a reflection of that decline.

It was inevitable. Obama had managed to stay aloft for four full years. But no one can levitate forever.

Five speeches map Obama's trajectory.

Read it all.

OBAMA TAKES ON PALIN -- AND LOSES

Will the OBAMA take advice from Karl Rove? Unlikely. Nonetheless, what Rove suggests makes sense for Obama.

As we noted a day or so ago, Obama is a classic narcissist and he just can't stand all the excitement Palin is generating. Hence, he can't help himself; he must attack her.

Every time he does, he loses. His cute lipstick on a pig remark (and "old fish" for McCain) universally was seen as a slap at the Republican VP candidate.

For a presidential candidate to be whacking at the VP candidate is a loser, says Rove. Republicans will say "keep it up." Democrats should shout, "Are you nuts?"

Butch and Kathy King run Wildman Lodge in Alaska. Quite a few friends and clients had emailed or called asking their views on Governor Sarah Palin. So Butch and Kathy sent an email out to friends and clients in the "lower 48." On their website is this posting which is worth reading:

Regarding Sarah Palin Wildman Lake Lodge on the remote Alaska Peninsula . . .

Thanks for your interest in my recent email.

When I wrote the email, I was merely responding to friends and clients in the lower 48, who were asking me about Governor Sarah Palin. I really didn’t mean for this email to go round the world, but it may already have. Kathy and I are simple folks and life time Alaskans who run a lodge on the remote Alaska Peninsula. I am a bush pilot and guide for the same operation that I started as the camp boy for, back in 1966. Kathy and I both pitch in to respond to emails and inquiries about fishing and hunting with us Alaska. Although we have enjoyed many of your emails, the two of us just can't keep up with all of the questions that we are recently receiving, so I have posted the following:

Below is a copy of my original email which I sent to friends and clients. These are my personal comments as a life time Alaskan, and you may or may not choose to share them with your friends, but you do have my permission:


Dear Friends.

Fishing is good here at Wildman and I rarely have time for politics, but recently many of our friends are asking us “Who is Sarah Palin?” Of course, as Alaskans, Kathy and I are extremely proud of her. We just want to let you know that Sarah “Barracuda” Palin is a straight shooting, hard charging, get it done gal. She knows when to listen, how to analyze the facts and how to make a decision, then implement the plan. She doesn’t do a poll before jumping in with both feet like too many of the Washington types. She has little legislative experience because she has always held the EXECUTIVE position; in private life, as mayor of Anchorage’s largest bedroom community or more recently as Governor of our State. She is a smart, attractive home grown Alaska girl with excellent moral and family values. She can see what needs to be done and does not hesitate to get it done.

WHO'S STUPID?

An op-ed in the New York Sun summarizes the zigs and zags of Obama assertions. If the assertion doesn't fit the facts, why, deny the facts.

Mr. Obama has changed his position on numerous occasions, cannot explain why he has done so, and yet his campaign expects us to believe that he never changed his mind on any of those issues.

"They must think you're stupid."

Read it all.

WE CANNOT FORGET WE ARE AT WAR


.

September 11, 2001 was a public declaration that the 1400-year war proclaimed by Mohammad against the rest of the world had entered a new and very dangerous phase.

This war is being waged every day throughout the world, usually not making headlines, but being proclaimed anew and plotted in mosques in such places as London, Paris, Barcelona, Copenhagen, New York and Islamabad.

The goal of the war of Islamic supremacism is global rule, with, in the United States, the Constitution being replaced by Sharia, Islamic law.

The enemy is patient, clever and determined and works not only through warfare and terror, but also quietly by such techniques as demands for special treamtment and cries of victimhood and discrimination, using our very openness, tolerance, political correctness and laws to subvert our way of life.

We cannot forget, we cannot rest.

EXISTENTIAL THREAT OR MINOR ANNOYANCE?

Iranian exile Amir Tahiri takes the occasion of a joint visit by McCain and Obama to Ground Zero to contrast their views on the existential threat of Islam to the rest of the world. McCain calls it the "transcendent challenge" of our times. Obama doesn't see it.

WHEN all is said and done, this election may well have only one big issue: the existential threat that Islamist terrorism poses to America's safety. Since McCain and Obama offer radically different policies for facing that threat, American voters do have a real choice.

Tahiri's article:

THE LESSONS OF 9/11 By AMIR TAHERI in the New York Post

September 11, 2008 --
TODAY's joint visit to Ground Zero may give the impression that John McCain and Barack Obama share a common analysis of the causes of 9/11 and how to deal with its legacy. They don't.

The divide starts with the question: Why was America attacked?

McCain's answer is simple (or, as Obama might suggest, simplistic): The United States was attacked because a resurgent Islam has produced a radicalism that dreams of world conquest and sees America as the enemy.

In different shapes and sizes and under a range of labels, that radical streak of Islam has waged war on America since 1979, when Khomeinists seized the US embassy in Tehran and held its diplomats hostage for 444 days.

The killing of 241 Marines in Beirut in 1983, the first World Trade Center attack in 1993 and a host of other operations that claimed more American lives were episodes in a war - the reality of which the United States faced only after 9/11.

McCain doesn't hesitate to acknowledge that his country is engaged in a Global War on Terror. He doesn't believe that 9/11 might've been prompted by some wrong America did to others. To him, the nation was an innocent victim of "Islamic terrorism."

McCain asserts, "America faces a dedicated, focused and intelligent foe in the War on Terrorism. This enemy will probe to find America's weaknesses and strike against them. The United States cannot afford to be complacent about the threat, naive about terrorist intentions, unrealistic about their capabilities, or ignorant to our national vulnerabilities."

He'd pursue and fight these "enemies" wherever they are - including, especially, in Iraq. "If we run away," he says, "they are going to follow us home."

OBAMA, by contrast, doesn't use terms such as "the Global War on Terror" or "Islamic terrorism." Nor does he claim that America was simply an innocent victim.

In one speech, he used the image of a US helicopter flying over the poor countries in Africa and Asia, where it's seen as a symbol of oppression. He says his objective is to turn that helicopter into a symbol of American aid to the downtrodden.

For Obama, the threat comes not from terrorists but from "extremists" and their "program of hate." He never uses such terms as "jihadist," judging them hurtful to Muslims. He speaks of "violent extremists who are a small minority of the world's 1.3 billion Muslims."

In one speech, he claimed that the Islamists aim only at "creating a repressive caliphate." He seemingly hasn't heard of jihadist movements whose declared aim is to destroy the United States in the name of Islam.

For McCain, the War on Terror is a "just war" in which Americans fight for their security and their allies'. Obama rejects the concept of "just war." He dismisses the Iraq war as both "unnecessary and unjust" - though the struggle in Afghanistan is "a necessary war."

ONE constant Obama theme is the claim that poverty and economic factors breed terrorism; this echoes the analysis of Jimmy Carter back in the '70s. Strengthening that impression is Obama's pick of Sen. Joseph Biden as running mate.

Read it all.

OBAMA'S VIEW OF 9/11

Right after 9/11 Illinois State Senator Barack Obama thought we should try to understand the conditions of povetry and helplessness that drove those frustrated men to do what they did.

Really.

At least he didn't say, as did his then spiritual mentor and pastor the Reverend Jeremiah Wright, that the "chickens were coming home to roost."

As for poverty and despair, one commentator said this:

In an opinion piece in Commentary magazine, writer Abe Greenwald commented on Obama's belief that the 9/11 attacks were rooted in poverty and despair. "Strange," he called it, "considering our attackers were wealthy and educated, connected and ecstatic."

As Greenwald put it, Obama "could have asked (terrorist and colleague) Bill Ayers, 'Bill, did your 'failure of empathy' stem from your impoverished upbringing as the son of the CEO of Commonwealth Edison?" Did poverty and despair also cause the Weather Underground member and host of Obama's first fundraiser to bomb government buildings?

Fact is, the roster of terrorists and their handlers reads like a list of of Ivy Leaguers.

Investor's Business Daily addresses Obama's concerns.

Obama And 9/11
By INVESTOR'S BUSINESS DAILY
Wednesday, September 10, 2008 4:20 PM PT

The Anniversary: Eight days after terrorism declared war on America, a young state senator blamed it on "a failure of empathy" — yet another reason why Barack Obama should never be commander in chief.

The July 20 issue of the New Yorker magazine got a lot of attention for its cover, which carried a "satirical" cartoon depicting Michelle and Barack Obama that Obama supporters found tasteless and offensive. Buried inside that issue's feature story, however, was a reaction by Obama to 9/11 that all voters should find even more tasteless and offensive.

The article reprised a piece published in Chicago's Hyde Park Herald on Sept. 19, 2001, and written by a then-unknown and otherwise undistinguished state senator from Illinois. The senator, a former community organizer, wrote that after tightening security at our airports and repairing our intelligence networks, we "must also engage . . . in the more difficult task of understanding the sources of such madness."

According to Barack Obama, the madness that drove terrorists to turn passenger jets into manned cruise missiles aimed at our centers of finance, government and military power "grows out of a climate of poverty and ignorance, helplessness and despair."

As if the answer to the attacks should have been food stamps for al-Qaida.

Hardly anyone in America knows that Barack Obama rose in politics because he played ball with the corrupt Democratic political machine that runs Chicago and is now running his campaign. That's because the mainstream media have not bothered to report on it, because, it might, well, damage Obama's image.

Was Obama a reformer, did he fight they system or fit right in?

Since Mayor's Daley machine is running his campaign -- David Axelrod, his chief strategist, was Daley's right hand man -- the answer is obvious. No doubt the Chicago machine thinks they can profit from running Washington as they have from running Chicago.

Finally, a serious, careful reporter, not from mainstream media, is starting to dig in. What he finds is corruption that's easy to understand, that continues despite indictments here and there because it's so profitable. After short jail terms, they're baaack.

Obama’s Days with Daley

Reform . . . the Chicago way.
By David Freddoso

In 2003, Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley’s son Patrick and nephew Robert Vanecko became original investors in Municipal Sewer Services, a sewer cleaning and inspection company which had bought out a bankrupt firm. The company quickly had the old firm’s contracts with the city of Chicago extended without competitive bidding, at a value of $3 million to the company.

MSS did not disclose the Daley family members as investors in its official filings, as required by city ordinance, and it remains unclear how much money Daley’s family members made when they cashed out of the firm in late 2004. MSS would go on to acquire other city contracts and receive $7.9 million from Chicago before Tim Novak of the Chicago Sun-Times reported the conflict of interest late last year. The company was forced to walk away from a live contract and close its doors earlier this year.

On Friday, that same sewer contract was awarded to another company on a non-“friends and family” basis. It was one more story of dirty Chicago politics that went unnoticed in the national media.

This story of Patrick Daley feeding from the trough — or more properly, from the sewer — exemplifies the sweetheart deals that are typical of the political environment in which Senator Barack Obama rose. It rounds out the story of how each member of the family of Obama’s Illinois Senate mentor, Emil Jones, somehow manages to make big money from government salaries and contracts. It may evoke memories of the illegal pension-fund manipulation that landed Obama’s fundraiser, Tony Rezko, in federal prison — or of the millions in corporate welfare that Obama, as a state senator, showered upon Rezko and his other major donors in Chicago’s slum development business.

THE COURAGE OF PRESIDENT BUSH

Paul Mirengoff, one of the three brilliant lawyers who write the Power Line blog has just gone through Bob Woodwood's most recent exposé of what really happened inside the Bush White House. It's so good we hope they won't mind that we are copying that entry in full:

Being right should count for something

The Washington Post is running a series of articles adapted from Bob Woodward's book "The War Within: A Secret White House History 2006-2008." The articles purport to provide an inside account of the dissension over Iraq war policy and especially the surge.

The articles are well worth reading but they have an odd quality. The point of view that Woodward's narrative conveys is that a cowboy president, at the urging of a cowboy retired general (Jack Keane), ignored or gave short shrift to the sober warnings of top military professionals that the surge wouldn't work and would weaken the military. Bush did, of course, reject the advice of top military professionals, but events have proven that this advice was poor. And we have long known that the approach many of them advocated was failing on the ground. Yet the way Woodward writes the articles provides little sense of this. The reader almost wants to scream at Bush, "don't do it," despite the fact that "it" has been hugely successful.

The tendency among many conservatives is to criticize Bush for waiting so long to reverse course in Iraq and to implement the winning strategy. But if Woodward's account is true, I think Bush deserves considerable credit for getting it right at all, given the terrible advice he received from his top military professionals.

Even historians not favorably disposed to Bush may have to conclude that he was more sinned against than sinning, especially when it came to Iraq. Prior to the war, he was plagued by an intelligence agency that was largely clueless about the situation in Iraq. Once the war started, he was plagued by military leaders who seemed largely clueless about how to win there and, in Woodward's account, may not have been sufficiently committed to winning. Yet Bush was able nonetheless to come up with the winning strategy.

Historians should also be impressed by this statement by President Bush to Retired Gen. Keane, that Bush told Keane to deliver to Gen. Petraeus at a time when Petraeus was struggling against superiors who did not support what he was trying to do:

I respect the chain of command. I know that the Joint Chiefs and the Pentagon have some concerns. One is about the Army and Marine Corps and the impact of the war on them. And the second is about other contingencies and the lack of strategic response to those contingencies.
I want Dave to know that I want him to win. That's the mission. He will have as much force as he needs for as long as he needs it.

When he feels he wants to make further reductions, he should only make those reductions based on the conditions in Iraq that he believes justify those reductions. These two concerns that we are discussing back here in Washington -- about contingency operations and the needs of the Army and the Marine Corps -- they are not your concerns. They are my concerns.

I do not want to change the strategy until the strategy has succeeded. I waited over three years for a successful strategy. And I'm not giving up on it prematurely. I am not reducing further unless you are convinced that we should reduce further.

This is Lincoln (the resolve) and Grant (the clarity) rolled into one. The author [ah, that's Bush, not Woodward], the recipient, and the intermediary deserve the nation's gratitude.

OBAMA CALLED SARAH PALIN A WHAT?

When news broke about Obam'a "lipstick on a pig" crack while campaigning, it didn’t necessarily mean Obama was taking a shot at Sarah Palin. However, Jake Tapper, reporting for ABC News thought so, since he said “some of them no doubt” thought Obama was alluding to Sarah Palin, obviously projecting his own reaction onto the crowd, which responded with laughter and applause.

As the controversy swirled and McCain took after Obama about the crack (and Tapper wrote another blog entry that of course Obama wasn’t doing that), it was only fair to go back and read the whole thing as reported by Tapper.

Here it is:

"You know, you can put lipstick on a pig," Obama said, "but it's still a pig."
The crowd rose and applauded, some of them no doubt thinking he may have been alluding to Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin's ad lib during her vice presidential nomination acceptance speech last week, "What's the difference between a hockey mom and a pit bull? Lipstick."

"You can wrap an old fish in a piece of paper called 'change,'" Obama continued, "it's still gonna stink after eight years.”

Well, it immediately became clear that indeed Obama was calling Sarah a pig despite his denial, because, right after the dig at Sarah, he took a shot at McCain’s age, calling him “an old fish in a piece of paper called ‘change, it’s still gonna stink after eight years.”

Apparently, Obama was pleased with his pig charge and decided to go after the "old fish." Too, too cute.

So the personal attack was actually a deliberate, double-barreled one: Palin is a pig (the ultimate Muslim insult) and McCain is an old fish that will still be stinking after eight years.

Well, at least he’s conceding that the "old fish" will be alive after eight years in the presidency.

Not nice.

Update: My, how disappointing to go back to Tapper's blog Thursday morning, September 11 to find that he had updated his entry to eliminate his own reading of the audience reaction where he said "some of them no doubt" thought Obama was referring to Palin, obviously putting his own reading onto the laughter and applause. Now Jake says,

The crowd rose and applauded, some of later telling reporters that they thought Obama had been alluding to Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin's ad lib during her vice presidential nomination acceptance speech last week, "What's the difference between a hockey mom and a pit bull? Lipstick."

Here Tapper is rewriting his own history, no longer revealing his reaction to the Obama line ("some of them no doubt" thought), but now saying that some later were "telling reporters." In other words, since he took the side of Obama in the denial when the controversy erupted, he had to cover what his reaction had been. The telltale evidence shows in the hasty editing: Note that there is an obvious extra word "of" that doesn't belong in the rewritten text. The original phrase had been "some of them" as seen in the original quoted first above. Tapper did note that his post had been updated, though he didn't say where. Tapper is thought to be a reputable reporter, but here he is jumping into the controversy as a player and rewriting his report to hide his own reaction to Obama's knock at Palin.

Not right.

SARAH PALIN: NO "SMALL-TOWN GIRL"

James Bennett is a California businessman and writer with a special concentration in helping develop American technology and writing on international affairs. As appears from this article, he is very familar with Alaska. His conclusion is that Sarah Palin's experience, farsightedness, assertiveness and talent could well make her "a powerful figure in the White House":

The surprise is not that she has been in office for such a short time but that she has succeeded in each of her objectives.

She has exposed corruption; given the state a bigger share in Alaska's energy wealth; and negotiated a deal involving big corporate players, the US and Canadian governments, Canadian provincial governments, and native tribes - the result of which was a £13 billion deal to launch the pipeline and increase the amount of domestic energy available to consumers. This deal makes the charge of having "no international experience" particularly absurd.

in short, far from being a small-town mayor concerned with little more than traffic signs, she has been a major player in state politics for a decade, one who formulated an ambitious agenda and deftly implemented it against great odds.

Read it all.

Sarah Palin is not such a small-town girl after all

By James Bennett in the Telegraph, London
Last Updated: 12:01am BST 09/09/2008

It is clear that few in America, let alone Britain, have any idea what to make of Sarah Palin. The Republicans' vice-presidential candidate confounds the commentators because they don't understand the forces that shaped her in the remote state of Alaska.

Thus, most coverage dwells on exotica - the moose shooting, her Eskimo husband - combined with befuddlement at how a woman can go from being mayor of a town of 9,000, to governor, to prospective VP within the space of a few years.

But, having worked with Alaskans, I know something of the challenge she has faced, and why - contrary to what Democrats think - it could make her a powerful figure in the White House.

THE NARCISSIST OBAMA

Obama has many of the characteristics of the classic narcissist. After all, his major accomplishment has been writing two books about himself.

Now a marketing executive emailed Hugh Hewitt about how badly Obama has gone off message since the sudden emergence of Sarah Palin as the "new star." Consider:

--He hasn’t had a “good communicator” day since his acceptance speech.

--Tell me where he’s looked or sounded Presidential?

--He keeps comparing himself and his record to his opponent’s VP pick – thereby diminishing himself as POTUS

-- He’s looking elitist again, with the small town mayor attack

-- A “fighter for families” and his campaign attacks a woman’s family (with teen pregnancy and a Downs baby) – not good

-- They’ve now gone negative big-time. That “pig” statement is going to hurt him. And it may hurt him with those Hillary supporters and feminist groups who have bit their tongues up until now.

He can't stand it.

Doctor Sowell is blessed with practical wisdom and the ability to express his thoughts with great clarity. We are the beneficiaries of his gifts. Today he focuses on the Left's world and the real world.


SowellNRO.gif

September 09, 2008, 6:00 a.m.

Grow Up
The vision of the Left.

By Thomas Sowell

Conservatives, as well as liberals, would undoubtedly be happier living in the kind of world envisioned by the Left.

Very few people have either a vested interest or an ideological preference for a world in which there are many inequalities.

Even fewer would prefer a world in which vast sums of money have to be devoted to military defense, when so much benefit could be produced if those resources were directed into medical research instead.

It is hardly surprising that young people prefer the political Left. The only reason for rejecting the Left’s vision is that the real world in which we live is very different from the world that the Left perceives today or envisions for tomorrow.

Most of us learn that from experience — but experience is precisely what the young are lacking.

“Experience” is often just a fancy word for the mistakes that we belatedly realized we were making, only after the realities of the world made us pay a painful price for being wrong.

MR. OBAMA: YOU'RE WRONG

This homemade video by a soldier returned from Iraq is powerful.

BOYCOTT SHOWCASE CINEMAS

Incredible, gross insults were leveled against our President and the Republican Vice Presidential candidate on MTV's annual MTV music award show by the British MC, who pleaded with viewers to vote for Obama.

I know America to be a forward-thinking country, right. Because, otherwise, you know, would you have let that retarded cowboy fellow be president for eight years?

We were very impressed. It was nice of you to let him have a go. Because in England, George Bush wouldn’t be trusted with a pair of scissors.

I am obliged by broadcasting law to show some balance in this situation, which means, uh, the Republicans might be alright. Sarah Palin. She’s a VILF! A vice president I’d like to…fumble, fondle, I dunno. I do feel a little bit sorry for her daughter, getting pregnant, poor kid. Is it a boy? Is it a girl? It’s a P.R. stunt. Come on. Be honest.

And I feel most sorry for that poor teenaged father. Boy. One minute, he’s just a teenaged lad in Alaska having joyful, unprotected sex. And the next minute: Get to the Republican convention. I think that is the best safe sex message of all time. Use a condom or become Republican! …That boy will spend the rest of his life masturbating while wearing a condom…

Oh, well, Hollywood, what can you do, right? Wrong. MTV is part of the Viacom entertainment empire controlled by Sumner Redstone from Newton, Massachusetts. It also controls 1500 threaters around the world, incuding Showcase Cimemas. As you drive north on Route 128 in Dedham, Massachusetts, you will see the headquarters of Viacom's National Amusements on the right. So when you buy a ticket at Showcase, you're feeding this organization that is doing so much to corrupt American culture. Go elsewhere.

National Amusement has its tentacles in many places. It has power and it seeks favors. It has donated more than $350,000 to the Obama campaign. This summary:

Donor: National Amusements

How Much: $352,603

What They’ll Want: What could a theatre chain want from a potential Obama administration that could inspire over $350,000 in donations? Don’t be misled. National Amusements has long been media mogul Sumner Redstone’s vehicle of choice when making campaign contributions. Through the company Redstone owns controlling interests CBS, Viacom (which owns MTV, BET), Paramount Pictures, and Dreamworks. Look for National Amusements to ask for looser regulations from the FCC regarding television ownership that prohibits cable television stations from also owning broadcast stations in the same market. Beyond the six figure donation, Redstone can donate “in-kind” with favorable press to the Obama campaign - look for the media maven to ride out his agenda to the fullest extent possible

Read Michelle Malkin's report.

Hugh Hewitt is not well known on the East Coast (where Chatham is, for those in Rio Linda, as some might say), but he is a popular radio talk show host broadcasting from KRLA in Los Angeles. Hewitt is very issue oriented and he, unlike most radio hosts, very frequently has guests whom he interviews. The range of his reading and knowledge is really impressive. For his "real" job, he's a law professor specializing in environmental issues.

This week he decided to limit his show to taking calls from first time women callers who had something to say about McCain/Palin. His lines were overloaded, so emails poured in. Here's one that shows the excitement that Sarah Palin has created:

Dear Mr. Hugh Hewitt, I tried calling in, but it is busy. My time is limited, as I'm sure many other people who listen to your show is too, therefore I am emailing you instead. Okay, what I want to say to you and for others to hear as well is this: I am a 42-year-old married mother of three. I own my own home-based business. My husband is 43 and also self-employed. We are high school sweethearts and are Catholic.

I had the privilege of being able to vote for Reagan in 1984. I never really got into politics or religion though until after 9/11. I only had one question: Why? I started educating myself about politics and religion. I read books about Islam and realized I was lied to in school. I was led to believe that we could all sing around the campfire singing Kumbaya. I became awakened and started paying more attention to the Demo and Repub parties. I had been an Independent, because I was also lied to about the Repubs. I realized too that i was a Repub all along, so I switched parties.

I had become dismayed though in the Repub party for about two or three years now though because I have felt like they have no backbone and that they were only in it for themselves. Nobody was speaking for us. The fence still hasn't been completed, illegal immigration still hasn't really been taken care of, social security and medicare/medical programs need to be revamped, I feel like we haven't fought hard enough in this war on terror, and their is too much political correctness.

I loved Ronald Reagan and for what he stood for. I get teary-eyed when I hear some of his recorded speeches and quotes. I have been yearning for a leader with backbone for this country for awhile now and I finally see that in Sarah Palin. That is why I am excited about her.

Not because she is woman, but for what she stands for and what she has accomplished and what she is capable of doing and that she doesn't take any crap from anybody. I see that leadership in her. It's kinda neat though that this leader that many of us has been waiting for is a woman. Wow, I can't say enough great things about her. It's like you said on Friday, August 29th on your show, "What's not to like?".

I grew up with hunters and I fished. I was an outdoor girl and still am. I got involved with my children's school to make it better and I believe in cleaning up the political arena. I am not discounting McCain, don't get me wrong, I was going to vote for him anyways because I knew it was important to vote than be a no vote because that would be a vote for Obama. I donated to the McCain/Palin campaign on Sunday. I saw right away that she is the future of this Republican party and getting it back to the grassroots of the Reagan era. Happy Days are here again!

P.S. I'm sure McCain will do a fine job as President.

Now, Sarah can't walk on water (though she does in Alaska when it's frozen, which doesn't count). Republicans shouldn't get their expectations too high; she's human, like all of us. But, as what the baseball scouts look for, she's a "natural." And that does count for a lot.

OBAMA SHOUTS "IT'S A LIE!" NO, IT'S A FACT

McCain/Palin is out with a new ad emphasizing that they are "two mavericks" aiming to cut wasteful spending and expose the pork barrel politicians who feed on Washington goodies. (Obama is one of those, having steered taxpayer money to his wife's employer in Chicago.)

In this ad, the statement that Governor Palin killed the infamous "Bridge to Nowhere" is denounced by a hysterical Obama-man as a "lie." But as the estimable Power Line blog notes, even Alaska Democrats said so: 'Gov. Palin recently cancelled the Gravina Island Bridge near Ketchikan that would have connected the Alaska mainland with Gravina Island (population: 50)." Obama does have trouble dealing with the truth. As he admitted, even his two autobiographies were buffed up to make him look better. Can't let the facts get in the way of a good story.

The British are as excited about Sarah Palin as many Americans are. Gerard Baker led the charge with his Times of London column. The Sun and the Telegraph quickly followed.

The Telegraph's reporter was with McCain/Palin campaigning in small town Michigan, where he saw a good many "Democrats for McCain" signs being waved.

palin-mccain_801840c.jpg

One interview:

Janet Smith, 41, a special education teacher from Flint Township is a registered Democrat who supported Mrs Clinton in the Democratic primary. But she said she was now backing Mr McCain: "I just don't have a good gut feeling that Obama has what it takes to lead this country. I'm an American first before I'm a party member. McCain is an American first; he's bringing back patriotism."

Now the Mail's columnist Melanie Phillips argues that Palin's persona can be an inspiration for "Middle Britain" to take their country back from the leftist elite who are systematically destroying Britian's moral culture. Much of the article is about what can and should be done in Britain by the Tories, but her take on the U.S. situation is arresting.

Despite obvious differences between the U.S. and the UK, her triumph carries important lessons for British politics, too.
Palin's storming of the political citadel is the victory of the outsider, the little person who takes on the establishment - and wins.

Her full column:

Contempt, apathy and lies - why Britain is crying out for our own 'pitbull with lipstick'

by Melanie Phillips
September 8, 2008 Daily Mailonline, UK

Across the Atlantic, Americans have been convulsed by the overnight sensation of Sarah Palin.

At a stroke, this hockeymom 'pitbull with lipstick' has galvanised John McCain's presidential ticket and given the Obama Democrats their biggest and maybe insuperable problem.

But her significance does not stop there.

PalinPhillips.jpg

Britain needs its own 'pitbull with lipstick' like U.S. vice-president nominee Sarah Palin.

Despite obvious differences between the U.S. and the UK, her triumph carries important lessons for British politics, too.

Palin's storming of the political citadel is the victory of the outsider, the little person who takes on the establishment - and wins.

In Britain and America - as in other parts of the Western world, too - an enormous gulf now yawns between leaders and led.

People have concluded that politicians of all parties seem to inhabit a world apart, governed by self-interest, cynicism, corruption, incompetence, deep contempt for the electorate and an incorrigible instinct to deceive them.

Politicians know this. Which is why they all purport to stand on a platform of 'change'.

But change from what to what, precisely?

Unless there's a clear answer, 'change' becomes a pointless soundbite which risks creating an impression of yet more political sleight of hand.

This is the trap into which Barack Obama has fallen.

Yes, he has amazing gifts of charisma and oratory; along with his youth and black ancestry, this all helps create the impression that he is an outsider and embodies a fresh start.

But, on closer inspection, he looks suspiciously like yet more of the same old same old. The way he changes his political message to fit the audience he is addressing sits ill with his pitch to represent a new politics of integrity.

And his voting record and positions on social issues place him firmly among the Left-wing elite which has waged such devastating war upon the West's moral values.

By contrast, Palin has a very strong sense of right and wrong rooted in her evangelical Christian faith. Perversely, this damns her in the eyes of the Left as the 'hard Right'.

This is clearly absurd: she is a working mother of five who has shown herself as capable of felling Big Oil and other political cartels against the public interest as shooting moose.

WHY THE POLL SWING TO MCCAIN/PALIN?

Now that the two national political conventions are history, an assessment is in order. Tracking polls are telling an interesting story: From before the Democratic convention to after the Republican convention there has been an 11-point shift in favor of McCain/Palin to put them up by three points.

Clark Judge provides an exceptional analysis on the Hugh Hewitt blog on why this is happening .

Yesterday, the San Francisco Chronicle (hardly a GOP mouthpiece) ran an op-ed by former city mayor and former Democratic Speaker of the California Assembly Willie Brown (hardly a GOP ally). His lead was, “The Democrats are in trouble.” Coming out of the McCain convention, he warned, “the Republicans are now on the offensive and Democrats are on the defensive. And we don’t do well on the defensive.”

But why?

...McCain’s pick of Sarah Palin – inspired though it was – could not in itself have turned the contest around so. After all, as we were told many times in the preceding weeks, the country picks presidents, not vice presidents. Instead, the time was right for the American people to take a second look at Senator McCain, and last week they did. This readiness to look again shouldn’t have come as the surprise that, for media and Democratic Party operatives, it was. Several weeks ago a poll surfaced that asked voters how much they knew and wanted to know about the candidates. A large proportion said that they knew all they needed to know about Senator Obama – not surprising given the saturation coverage of the prior few months. They wanted to hear more about John McCain. So of the five most telling statements from the podium during the week, four concerned and three were by McCain himself....
[A]s Senator McCain himself laid out his agenda, he began with an indictment of his own party in Congress. He said, we came to change Washington and Washington changed us. And he added, we lost the people’s trust. It was accurate and remarkably candid assessment of why the GOP lost both houses on 2006 – and established as the culprit the insider dealing and a self-dealing culture that afflicts both parties. In a moment, he seized for himself the post-partisan mantle from the increasingly partisan Senator Obama....
Finally, he told his personal story not as heroic but as sacramental – a confrontation through suffering with his sins. When, after that, he consecrated himself to his task and called on those who followed him to so as well – to do what’s right -- one felt a depth of personal commitment to restoring the honor of our democratic government as deep as that of Washington, Adams, and Jefferson to creating our democratic government.

Read it all.

William Safire was the token conservative on The New York Times opinion pages for years and it was a sad day when he retired. His successor David Brooks is such a pale imitation that the new editor of the opinion pages added Bill Kristol of The Weekly Standard for once-a-week commentary.

However, for today, the Times asked Bill Safire to comment on the speeches at the two conventions. The most moving speech for the Democrats was Joe Biden's son tribute to his dad. Obama didn't live up to his Greek god temple settng.

He thought Joe Liberman was especially effective speaking directly to Democrats and indepdependents at home as to why in this time of increasing danger the battle-scarred man of judgment John McCain was the leader America needs. Safire noted that McCain has never been a very good orator, but what came through was "trust" in what he says and promises to do. As for Sarah Palin, Safire had this to say:

[T]he St. Paul convention was hit by Hurricane Sarah and her admirable family. The cliché is that — faced by part of a party long troubled by McCain’s different drumming — the governor of Alaska was able to “energize the base” of social conservatives. The more salient fact is that her skillful speech and joyful demeanor was even more impressive than Obama’s introduction to the Democratic Party four years ago. The establishment-shaking candidate was a happy warrior in the glare of major-league scrutiny. Most of the huge, uncommitted audience at home enjoyed this strong woman’s national audition.(emphasis added)

In a bipartisan aside, he warned the media that their ferocious attacks on McCain/Palin and "media adulation" of Obama would backfire. Public opinion of the media is now about as low as that of the Democratic Congress and polls show that substantial majorities know they are being treated like sheep and fed pro-Obama fodder by the mainstream media (led, of course, by The New York Times).

To read it all, click here.

Oh, my, the Brits are fascinated by Sarah.

Here's the London Sun's take (highlights bolded liberally):


NEWS
SHANAHAN
Palin shows us how it's done
From FERGUS SHANAHAN
in St Paul, Minnesota
Published: 05 Sep 2008

WHY, why, why can’t WE have a Sarah Palin?

That was the question churning in my mind as I witnessed this astonishing American presidential race.

A week ago few in Britain had heard of Palin.

Today, the moose-huntin’ mom is the most talked-about woman in the world.

And with good reason.

Her sensational performance at the Republican convention may turn out to be the moment the White House slipped from Barack Obama’s grasp.

She was an electrifying mix of passion, energy, optimism and plain speaking. The exact opposite of the slippery, two-faced, depressing bunch of third-raters who parade on our Westminster stage.

In Palin and the Democrats’ Barack Obama, America has two hugely charismatic people offering distinctly different roads.

Palin is sidekick to Vietnam war hero John McCain. He isn’t short of fame and glory either. But as I look closer to home, which giant British personalities are making news on the Westminster scene today? Er — Charles Clarke. A lumbering, grumbling tub of resentment, Big Ears snipes at Gordon Brown while lacking the courage to do anything about it. ....

Where is someone with the X-Factor mass appeal of Palin and Obama?

It’s grim. And sad, too, because I have seen here how exciting a political battle can be when slugged out by huge characters before an enthralled nation.

Democrats and their Lefty media backers had been sneering that Palin is a small-town nobody, a hick from Alaska put into a job way beyond an inexperienced woman.

Believe me, you will not be hearing that again. [Wrong there; they're still trying.]

Full of self-assurance and aggression, super Sarah popped Barack’s balloon big-time.

From the moment she walked on stage in this cavernous bear pit, smart in cream jacket, trim black skirt and black heels, she proved that McCain knew exactly what he was doing when he picked her as running mate.

PALIN HEELS.JPG

The first thought was that here was America’s youthful Maggie Thatcher, minus the swinging handbag. Hair piled into a slight beehive — more Sarah White House than Amy Winehouse — she blinked and smiled behind her geeky specs as the vast crowd went ballistic.

She is popular with voters for the very reason America’s snooty political establishment despises her: She isn’t one of the Washington gang.

She’s a mum of five from icy Alaska with a sledge-load of problems behind her own front door that workaday Americans can relate to.

A child with special needs. A daughter of 17 pregnant. A constant juggle between family and career. Compared to the career politicians dominating both parties here she seemed fresh, natural — one of us and not one of them.

She revelled in being an outsider.

She spoke to America as one working mum to another. She cracked good jokes.
Showing steel beneath her magnolia jacket, she slaughtered Obama’s lack of experience, his vanity, his emptiness beneath the windy waffle.

It was the most powerful demolition of the Democrat hero I have heard in two weeks on the US election trail.

The wagons have been drawn up and the Republicans are ready for battle.

The McCain-Palin ticket now looks in exciting shape. A war hero and a heroic mum. Experience and optimism.

And when McCain joined the Palin gang — babies and boyfriends and all — on stage after her speech, there was a sense of cheeky fun absent from Obama’s solemn coronation.

How the Democrats must be regretting Hillary isn’t running with Obama. Barack’s sidekick, Joe Biden, looks a dull old dog compared with the ball of fire that is Palin.

And consider this: If Obama loses, Hillary Clinton will run for the Democrats in 2012. Opposing her is sure to be Sarah Palin. That would guarantee America its first woman President.

And my fistful of dollars, having seen both in action here, would be on Palin. Most of all, though, the Palin sensation makes our own Westminster politics look as grey and dull as the leaden September skies. It’s dire.

We need a moose loose in our Hoose.

MCCAIN: FIGHT WITH ME!

John McCain had a hard act to follow coming after Sarah Palin. But he did a masterful job of expressing his commitment to serving America, fighting waste, earmarks and special interests while making sure America is safe.

His personal story of imprisonment and torture in Vietnam was told to a quiet, teary crowd. He confessed he had been broken by torture, but credited his cell mates with raising him from despondency to determination. It was in that Hanoi prison cell that he came to realize how much he loved America and dedicated his life to serving his country. All of this was delivered in a matter of fact manner, but his emotion broke forth as he called for all Americans to fight with him to make a great America even better than it is.

The audience responsed with a rising crescendo of yes, yes, we are with you, John and Sarah. We will stand up and fight with you for an even better America for our children and grandchildren. As you have, John McCain, we will put Country First.

WHO WILL BRING REAL CHANGE TO WASHINGTON?

It's pretty sad when you have to read a British newspaper (or the Jerusalem Post) to get a fair view of the McCain/Palin ticket. But Gerard Baker, the U.S.correspondent for the Times of London, thankfully continues his objective commentary about the campaign that is now entering its final phase. (Excerpts follow.)

So here's why she matters.
First of all she offers an opportunity for an ailing Republican party to reconnect with ordinary Americans. She's conservative, but her conservatism is not that of the intolerant, uncomprehending white male sort that has so hurt the party in recent years. She is much closer to a model of the lives of ordinary Americans - working mother, plainspoken everywoman juggling home and office - than any Republican leader in memory.

PALIN JUNE 2008 SUPERMARKET.jpg

(June 30, 2008, with her youngest, Trig, food shopping.)
The contrast with Mr Obama is especially powerful. The very fact that Mrs Palin didn't go to elite schools but succeeded nonetheless - the very ordinariness with which she so piquantly jabbed Mr Obama on Wednesday - is what will make her so appealing to Americans. And as a pro-life conservative she debunks in one swoop the enduring myth that all women subscribe to the obligatory nostrums of radical feminism.
But there's more to it than that.
The opportunity for McCain-Palin is not reaction, but reform - a reform rooted in a distant conservatism that could be due for a comeback.

Hailing from Arizona and Alaska, the Republican ticket has a chance to rekindle a western conservatism different from the old Yankee paternalist sort or the Bible Belt version. They like their guns out there (some still kill their own food) and they are pro-life and deeply pro-America, of course. But at a time of grave challenges, the themes of economic freedom and opportunity, the resistance to the idea that government holds all the answers, could resonate with voters.

This is an election, as the Democrats have realised all along, about an America on the cusp of change. With the moose-hunting, establishment-taunting Mrs Palin at his side, Mr McCain might represent a bigger change than the one that his opponents are offering.

John McCain has pledged to be on the side of the American people and to "shake up Washington," to attack the waste, the earmarks and the corruption while making certain America is prepared for whatever assaults may be launched against her. These two tough-minded mavericks can make it happen.

More...

Rudy Giuliani was the keynote speaker of the Republican National Convention, but his excellent speech got overlooked in the excitement over Governor Palin's address. It's worth a look and a read.

The transcript is here.

The Middle East's most perceptive strategic analyst Caroline Glick wrote in the Jerusalem Post about the brilliance of John McCain in making a hard-eyed assessment of his own strengths and weaknesses and those of Barack Obama and in taking the bold action he did as a consequence. It's trite to say "Know thyself, know thy enemy," but too often that fundamental advice is forgotten or ignored.

What about Obama?

In Sen. Barack Obama, McCain faces a young, vigorous and charismatic opponent who has successfully energized his supporters and the powerful US liberal media establishment. Owing to that excitement, Obama has raised unprecedented amounts of campaign contributions. He has also rallied tens of thousands of loyal foot soldiers who have volunteered to serve his campaign. Both the donors and the volunteers are essential for winning voters and bringing them to the ballot boxes on November 4.

Obama's velvet tongue is also a formidable asset. His ability to mesmerize audiences with soaring rhetoric is compared favorably to president John F. Kennedy's eloquence.

Obama's other massive advantage is the liberal media. Since he first launched his primary campaign, the liberal media - which include the major US newspapers, television news networks and two out of three cable news networks - have been actively advocating on his behalf while downplaying his opponents.

But all of these formidable strengths are matched by countervailing vulnerabilities. While Obama's supporters are energized, the drawn-out primary election battle with Sen. Hillary Clinton splintered the Democratic Party base. Whereas most of Clinton's voters will no doubt vote for Obama in the general election, their support is more tenuous in swing states where Obama's cultural cache is less appealing.

And while Obama is a stunning speaker, his record of actual accomplishments is all but nonexistent. The combination of his extraordinary speeches and his ordinary empty resumé engenders a sense that Obama suffers from extreme arrogance.

Then, too, while the media has done its best to project a positive and credible image of Obama, his past political associations with radicals such as Rev. Jeremiah Wright and William Ayres and corrupt influence peddler Tony Rezko call both his patriotism and his honesty into question.

So how did McCain see himself?

On the other hand, McCain has been unable to generate excitement in his party. His reputation as a maverick has often been earned at the expense of his political base, which is overwhelmingly socially conservative and suspects him of being a closet liberal. This has made fund-raising a challenge, and raised concerns that many conservatives will simply not vote on Election Day.

Moreover, McCain has never distinguished himself as a great communicator. His war wounds, which prevent him from raising his arms above his shoulders, make him appear even older than his 72 years. When compared to the vigorous, handsome 46-year-old Obama, McCain tends to look and sound like an old man.

This age and rhetorical distinction is only magnified by the disparity of media coverage of the two candidates' campaigns. The media have a pronounced and documented tendency to play up McCain's weaknesses and Obama's strengths while downplaying McCain's strengths and Obama's weaknesses.

What did McCain have to do?

IN LIGHT of these realities, McCain's strategic challenge has been on the one hand, to transform Obama's strengths into weaknesses while bringing Obama's actual weaknesses to the public's attention in a persuasive way. On the other hand, McCain needs to unify his own party around his candidacy without alienating independents and Democrats whose votes can be won.
In recent weeks, largely through the well-conceived, satirical use of television ads, McCain sought to meet these basic challenges. By comparing Obama's speech in Berlin to Moses's parting of the Red Sea, he playfully yet effectively drew attention to Obama's arrogance and called the credibility of his rhetorical skill into question. Other ads effectively brought Obama's slim record of actual achievements into view. Still other ads sought to attract disaffected Clinton voters by using her own primary campaign denunciations of Obama's record and radical associations.

Most importantly, in the lead-up to Palin's selection as his running mate, McCain has successfully provoked a public debate about the fairness of the media's support of Obama.

McCain's selection of Palin as his running mate, then, came after he had set the conditions for a strategic assault on Obama by successfully weakening him and discrediting his support base. The surprise entry of a young, accomplished woman with a compelling personal story who was all but unknown to the national audience, placed the Obama campaign and particularly his media supporters in a state of shock. And in their shocked reaction to her selection, the liberal media destroyed their own credibility - not to mention likability - among the general public.

The media instantly attacked -- inexperience, they shouted, thus highlighting the very meager accomplishments of Obama -- two books about himself.

She shouldn't be running because she has a special needs child. That blew up in their faces immediately.

Then they trumpeted the fact that Palin's unmarried daughter was pregnant and created a media circus that totally destroyed any illusion that the media was being fair in this election.

The unfair attacks instantly angered, energized and solidified the base, because, after all, Sarah Palin was one of them, and John McCain had shown, by picking her, he was, too, putting to rest any nagging doubts.

Far from a gamble, his move was a stroke of brilliance that showed an acute understanding of who Palin is, how he himself is perceived, and what motivates both the media and his own party base.

McCain's undoing of the elite, leftist media provides a universal lesson for contending with the Left. At base, the Left's ideology, whether relating to women's rights, human rights, academic inquiry or war and peace is not universal but tribal. Moreover, when the Left is challenged on any one of its signature issues, because it cannot actually make a case for the universal applicability or even logic of its views, it tends instead to embrace the politics of personal destruction while ignoring the obvious contradictions between its stated beliefs and actual behavior.

McCain has weakened Obama and exposed the hypocricy of the media.

Now McCain and Palin have to deliver. But McCain has shown outstanding judgment and leadership in positioning for victory when all seemed to be going against him.

McCain's strategic grasp of the requirements for a successful presidential race provide an important lesson for policy-makers and political leaders. To win in politics and war you must be willing to acknowledge both your strengths and your weaknesses, and those of your opponent. It is never easy to look reality in the face. But unless leaders are willing to do so, they will never win
.


Column One: John McCain - master strategist
Sep. 4, 2008
Caroline Glick , THE JERUSALEM POST

MCCAIN'S ACCEPTANCE SPEECH

For those who may have missed it or want to read it now or download it, here is the text of Senator John McCain's speech accepting the mandate to shake up Washington and protect the nation from all enemies, foreign and domestic. The video is courtesy of C-Span.

The morning after McCain promised he will win the election with a fellow maverick at his side, both determined to shake up Washington, Victor Davis Hanson observed that Palin Derangement Syndrome and overkill by the elites of the left may well make that happen.

When we consider. . .the latticed background of careers of successful contemporary female role-model politicians, such as a Diane Feinstein, Nancy Pelosi, Mary Landrieu, or Hillary Clinton — or pundits like Sally Quinn, Eleanor Clift, Andrea Mitchell, Campbell Brown, Gail Collins (the list is depressingly endless, in which marriage or lineage provides either the necessary capital, contacts, or insider influence — or sometimes all three) — then surely, whatever one’s politics, there should be some concession that what outsider Palin has accomplished, given where she began, is nothing short of remarkable.

In short, Sarah Palin is the emblem of what feminism was supposed to be all about: an unafraid, independent, audacious woman, who soared on her own merits without the aid of a patriarchal jumpstart, high-brow matrimonial tutelage and capital, and old-boy liaisons and networking.

Instead this entire sorry episode of personal invective against, and jealousy toward, Sarah Palin is surreal. Given the rising backlash, Palin Derangement Syndrome may prove to be the one thing, fairly or not, that sinks Barack Obama.

Read it all.

WHO WILL "SHAKE UP WASHINGTON"?

Maverick John McCain made it clear in his speech to the Republican National Convention that he had chosen Alaska Governor Sarah Palin as his VP because she was a maverick, too. She fought the establishment to root out corruption and waste, as McCain has done throughout his career. He said that together they will "shake up" Washington. To underscore that message, the campaign released a new ad.

Power Line notes:

40 Million?!

The Associated Press reports that, counting PBS, over 40 million Americans watched Sarah Palin on television last night--more, by around two million, than saw Barack Obama in Denver.

I suppose we should say a word of thanks to the Daily Kos cesspool [a vicious far left blog that was universally condemned when it said "Screw them" about four American contractors tortured and killed in Iraq] and the mainstream media who, together, tried to destroy Governor Palin but instead created for her a virtually unprecedented audience.

The wild-eyed accusation that Governor Palin's new baby was actually the baby of her 17-year old daughter Bristol, which the family was covering up, first appeared on the foul left wing website Daily Kos. Unverified though it was, the mainstream media immediately picked it up and ran with it. That forced the Palin family to disclose the fact that Bristol was pregnant, thus destroying any semblance of privacy the teenager would have had.

While the Obama campaign said the right thing about leaving famiily members alone, it did little or nothing to halt the hysterical attacks that Obama supporters in and out of the media immediately began leveling at Governor Palin, making headlines around the world.

The sexist attack contnued -- how can a mother of five with a pregnant daughter be vice president -- led to the enormous audience for Governor Palin's debut on the national political stage, which can only be described as a triumph. As even Wolf Blitzer of CNN said (as did Chris Wallace of Fox News), "A star is born."

Palin and her family acted with courage and grace with instant support and love for Bristol. And viewers also saw John McCain, who entered the stage after Sarah's speech, give Bristol a big hug.

Most vitriolic of the elite women sneering at Sarah Palin was perhaps Sally Quinn of the Washington Post, whose eminence derives from her marriage to her boss at the Post, executive editor Ben Bradlee, 20 years her senior. Most recently, Quinn, a non-Catholic, was criticized by taking communion at Tim Russert's funeral. Quinn oversees a Post column entitled "On Faith," so she was fully aware what she was doing was a deliberate insult to the Catholic Church.

Support for the Palin family poured in from all other the country. Average Americans felt they had been attacked. The mean, politically driven attacks on the Palin famiily had backfired.

SARAH PALIN'S LIFE IN ALASKA

A video of Sarah Palin's rise was supposed to play at Wednesday's Republican National Convention program, but the schedule ran late. It may run tonight, but here it is.

REPUBLICAN NATIONAL CONVENTION SIDEBARS

PalinNewsReports.jpg

From NROnline

-------------------------------------------------------------------------

Some of the comments after the Palin triumph:

John Hinderaker the Power Line blog quoted from an AP story:

"One speech does not a campaign make. ... Even as she spoke, airplanes in Alaska were unloading reporters and political operatives sent to pore through her personal and public life."

John notes:

It's interesting, isn't it? Where are the planeloads of "reporters and political operatives" poring through Barack Obama's "personal and public life?" Those poor newspapers and other media organizations have been strapped for resources for so long that they just haven't been able to look into Obama's career and associations. Now, thankfully, planeloads of reporters have become available. Maybe when they're done investigating Sarah Palin's daughter's boyfriend, do you think they will turn their attention to the Democrats' nominee for President of the United States?

That was just a rhetorical question, of course. After all, news organizations have to have priorities!


-----------------------------------------------------

A reader's email to radio talk show host Hugh Hewitt:


I work in a small manufacturing facility in the greater Syracuse NY area. It is pretty darn "blue" around here, but kind of a "centrist dem, labor-oriented, working class value blue-collar blue". Not the "fever swamp truther, BushCo kind of blue". Anyway, to the point. No one EVER talks politics here, but the place is BUZZING with Palin fever. Everyone's talking about her, and the most often used phrase I hear is "finally, one of us!"

The left is in serious, serious trouble. I myself wasn't enthused about McCain, though my respect for the man's sacrifice alone gets my vote. But now I will be writing my first EVER check to any candidate. And I will gladly support the McCain/Palin ticket because she inspires me.

--------------------------------------------------------

Some favorites from Sarah's speech:

"I guess a small-town mayor is sort of like a "community organizer," except that you have actual responsibilities. I might add that in small towns, we don't quite know what to make of a candidate who lavishes praise on working people when they are listening, and then talks about how bitterly they cling to their religion and guns when those people aren't listening. We tend to prefer candidates who don’t talk about us one way in Scranton and another way in San Francisco.”
“What does he actually seek to accomplish, after he’s done turning back the waters and healing the planet? The answer is to take more of your money…give you more orders from Washington…and to reduce the strength of America in a dangerous world. America needs more energy… our opponent is against producing it.”
"With Russia wanting to control a vital pipeline in the Caucasus, and to divide and intimidate our European allies by using energy as a weapon, we cannot leave ourselves at the mercy of foreign suppliers. To confront the threat that Iran might seek to cut off nearly a fifth of world energy supplies ... or that terrorists might strike again at the Abqaiq facility in Saudi Arabia ... or that Venezuela might shut off its oil deliveries ... we Americans need to produce more of our own oil and gas. And take it from a gal who knows the North Slope of Alaska: we've got lots of both."
"But listening to him speak, it's easy to forget that this is a man who has authored two memoirs but not a single major law or reform - not even in the state senate. This is a man who can give an entire speech about the wars America is fighting, and never use the word "victory" except when he's talking about his own campaign. But when the cloud of rhetoric has passed ... when the roar of the crowd fades away ... when the stadium lights go out, and those Styrofoam Greek columns are hauled back to some studio lot - what exactly is our opponent's plan? What does he actually seek to accomplish, after he's done turning back the waters and healing the planet? The answer is to make government bigger ... take more of your money ... give you more orders from Washington ... and to reduce the strength of America in a dangerous world."
"Some candidates use change to promote their careers. John McCain has used his career to promote change. "
My fellow citizens, the American presidency is not supposed to be a journey of "personal discovery." This world of threats and dangers is not just a community, and it doesn't just need an organizer. And though both Senator Obama and Senator Biden have been going on lately about how they are always, quote, "fighting for you," let us face the matter squarely. There is only one man in this election who has ever really fought for you ... in places where winning means survival and defeat means death ... and that man is John McCain.
---------------------------------------------------------

How did some of the Obama supporters take it?

At Talking Points Memo they are stunned:

Yet if you didn't sense last night how deeply Sarah Palin channeled some of the country's deepest, most powerful currents of pent-up indignation and yearning, you don't sense the trouble we Democrats are in.
Rhetorically, she was the anti-Obama,. She was stirring precisely because she was so artless, matter-of fact, and "American" — with no cadences or grand, historic resonances, but with plenty of mother wit and shrewdness. Credit her as much as the speechwriters.

In Canada, Andrew Coyne at Macleans isn't necessarily predisposed to liking Palin, but he admits he witnessed something very impressive, calling her "the best natural speechmaker since Reagan":

It was that good. No, she’s not qualified, and the substance was thin, but my God — that was perhaps the greatest bit of political theatre I have ever witnessed. Her critics in the media and in the opposition may regret having piled on quite so enthusiastically, and with so little heed for who they hurt — or angered. Watching the tumultuous, ecstatic reaction in the hall, I was reminded of the famous words of the Admiral Yamamoto after Pearl Harbour: “I fear all we have done is to awaken a sleeping giant, and fill him with a terrible resolve."

Showing that some decency still flickers in the Democratic Party, law professor Susan Estrich, campaign manager of the failed Dukakis presidential bid, expressed outrage at the hatchet job Sally Quinn of the Washington Post and other elites, particularly feminist elites, were doing on Governor Palin. On the Greta van Susteren Fox News show, Estrich fumed:

I’ve never seen anything this bad in my life, and, Greta, I was with Geraldine Ferraro in ‘84 – and this is worse.... I don’t agree with Sarah Palin on the issues. I mean, she and I are very far apart, but I have never seen from some of my friends such vicious and mean-spirited attacks on her most personal choices, which is what they are. We ask that our choices be respected. Hers should be respected. And this questioning of whether she should as a mother of five be running for Vice President, I don’t recall anybody saying that Arnold Schwarzenegger shouldn’t run for governor of California because he’s got four kids. I think this is just really unfair, really sexist, and very likely to provoke a backlash.

---------------------------------------------------------------------

McCainPalin150tall[1].jpg

Though US Magazine is trashing Sarah Palin in its cover article out tomorrow with a lurid cover caption "Babies, Lies & Scandals," their online readers seem to be rejecting the attempted brainwashing. (The owner of the magazine is a Obama supporter and contributor who has maxed out.)

Poll of US Magazine online readers

Sarah Palin entered history last night at the Republican National Convention with a stirring address that filled the auditorium with applause time and time again. Poised, witty, down-to-earth, Sarah told her all-American story and began the election contest in earnest. Unshaken by the liberal media's onslaught of lies and innuendo and the suggestion that a woman in her position couldn't do the job, she showed that she was ready to take on the elite naysayers. As one worried leftwinger noted, her performance was "alarmingly strong."

This is the full video of her address, thanks to C-Span.

PalinConvention.jpg

Excitement! You want excitement? It was there last night when Sarah Palin showed she belonged on the big stage of American politics. A jubilant John McCain congratulated Palin for her stirring performance and asked the delegates, "Didn't we make the right choice?" and received a roar of approval.

In an article entitled "Palin's Home Run," The Wall Street Journal's John Fund said it well:

Sarah Palin electrified the hall, and from what I can tell from my e-mail inbox that excitement is being replicated in living rooms across the country.

If John McCain wins the presidency, he believes

one of the most enduring accomplishments of his term will have been what he did before it started: helping to fill the Republican Party's future talent bench with such a fresh and compelling figure.

The full report, with video.

Even the ever-sneering New York Times in its headline banner acknowledged the waves of excitement and welcoming approval that swept through the convention hall before, during and after Governor Palin's speech: "PALIN ASSAILS CRITICS AND ELECTRIFIES PARTY."

Delegates said they were enthralled by Ms. Palin. "I think she’s great; she’s giving it back to the Democrats for all the sorry things they’ve said about her and about America," said Anita Bargas, a delegate from Angleton, Tex. "She’s a conservative, and she has a great sense of humor."

ABC News quoted one delegate who made a telling point:

Oklahoma delegate Don Burdick was ecstatic after Palin's speech.

"I don't think anyone can deny that we saw a genuine person, she was great," Burdick told ABC News' Ron Claiborne.

While America still doesn't know who Barack Obama is because he is hidden behind the Daley machine's carefully crafted life story (and two Obama-written partly fictionalized autobiographies), Sarah Palin, who described herself as an "average hockey mom," is someone America can instantly relate to.

The text of Governor Sarah Palin's address to the Republican National Convention.

US MAGAZINE NOW OWNED BY BIG OBAMA DONOR

Just look at these covers of US magazine. Fair? Hah.

US Magazine is now owned by Jann Wenner, the founder of Rolling Stone . . . and a big-time donor to Barack Obama. In checking his contribution records to Obama, he seems to have maxed out. (It is not owned by Time Warner, as originally reported.)

The editor on Fox News this morning claims the article is really balanced, but Megan Kelly tore him apart on that; she had read it and went through several items to prove it wasn't.

But the major intended effect of the magazine was the cover. More people see US Magazine at the grocery checkout counter and it's the "Babies, Lies & Scandals" cover headline they knew millions would see who never read the article.

Disgusting.

REPUBLICAN NATIONAL CONVENTION -- TUESDAY

The highlights of the evening were speeches by former Senator Fred Thompson and Senator Joe Lieberman. Just eight years ago Lieberman was the vice presidential nominee of the Democratic Party, but last night he was urging Democrats and Independents to vote for America, not for a party, and to vote for McCain/Palin.

Lieberman in one reference contrasted McCain and Obama very well:

Senator Obama is a gifted and eloquent young man who can do great things for our country in the years ahead. But eloquence is no substitute for a record -- not in these tough times.

In the Senate he has not reached across party lines to get anything significant done, nor has he been willing to take on powerful interest groups in the Democratic Party.

Contrast that to John McCain's record, or the record of the last Democratic President, Bill Clinton, who stood up to some of those same Democratic interest groups and worked with Republicans to get important things done like welfare reform, free trade agreements, and a balanced budget.

Click here for Lieberman's speech (video and transcript).

Click here for Fred Thompson's remarks (video and transcript).

Thompson made many fine observations, but this is an unanswerable one:

It’s pretty clear there are two questions we will never have to ask ourselves: ‘Who is this man?’ and ‘Can we trust this man with the presidency?’

PALIN'S ENERGY LEADERSHIP

The media coverage of Sarah Palin has focused on her all-American story, but has neglected her long, deep and active involvement in the critical matter of energy security for the United States.

As a newly elected governor, Palin hit the ground running and, not waiting for Congress to act, had the state okay the building of a 1,700-mile natural gas pipeline to serve the lower 48 states. She's pushed ahead with all the environmental paperwork so that oil from offshore Alaska can be in the pipeline in the next two or three years -- if Congress lifts its offshore drilling moratorium.

Drill now.

Palin's Importance
By Investor's Business Daily
Tuesday, September 03, 2008

Security: The impact of prolonged high oil prices is moving well beyond economics. Russia now takes license to assault Georgia, and intends worse. John McCain's Alaska running mate has the only weapon.

When Alaska governor Sarah Palin was chosen for the McCain vice presidential ticket, most attention was on her beauty-queen past and down-home North Woods family life. In reality, she's the powerful governor of Alaska, the most pivotal state in the union for energy.

John McCain understood well that it's the one state that can liberate the U.S. not just from high prices but from increasingly threatening enemies whose power derives solely from high oil prices.

Alaska was purchased in 1867 explicitly to ensure America's energy future. Palin's leadership has done much to develop Alaska's energy resources, but the state is still stonewalled by Congress.

Palin's strong Alaskan presence in Washington will change that.

LIFE AND DEATH CHOICES

Jeff Jacoby of the Boston Globe summarizes the "stark" difference between the Obama/Biden and McCain/Palin tickets on issues of life. Speaking at a town hall meeting in Pennsylvania earlier this year, Obama said that if his daughters made a mistake, he didn't want them "punished with a baby."

Jacoby goes on:

Obama advocates abortion rights even more sweeping than those enacted under Roe v. Wade. "The first thing I'd do as president," he assured the Planned Parenthood Action Fund last year, "is sign the Freedom of Choice Act." The measure would not only codify Roe, it would eliminate even restrictions on abortion that the Supreme Court has allowed - the federal ban on government funding of abortion, for example, or the law prohibiting partial-birth abortion.

Polls show that 75% of all Americans oppose partial-birth abortions, which Obama wants to bring back.

Jacoby again, this time on Obama's opposition to protecting babies who survive failed abortions:

As an Illinois lawmaker, he [Obama] opposed a bill making it clear that premature babies born alive after surviving a failed abortion must be protected and cannot be killed or simply left to die. Even after virtually identical legislation passed unanimously in the US House and Senate, Obama continued to oppose the state version. On abortion, no presidential candidate has ever been so extreme.

As for the McCain/Palin ticket, Jacoby says this:

And when has a Republican ticket ever been so unabashedly antiabortion? Senator John McCain, long one of the Senate's reliably antiabortion votes, is a father of seven, including an adopted orphan from Bangladesh. His running mate lacks McCain's voting record, yet her bona fides are even more impressive: When Palin and her husband learned last winter that she was carrying a baby with Down syndrome, they never considered not having him. More than 90 percent of pregnant American women in the same position choose abortion. Palin chose life.

Jacoby concludes:

The next president and vice president will be the most pro-choice in US history. Or the most pro-life.


Read the entire article by clicking here.

How does the leading analyst of the Middle East Caroline Glick view the Obama/Biden ticket? She asks whether the addition of Biden as VP nominee means Israel can trust Obama. Her unequivocal answer in effect is “Hell, no.”

OBAMA is currently receiving the support of some 57 percent of American Jews. Although this is less than any Democratic presidential nominee in recent memory, it is still disturbing that a large majority of American Jews support him. The Obama campaign no doubt hopes the Biden selection will shore up Jewish support.

It can only be hoped that despite their party loyalty and what they're telling pollsters, American Jews (indeed, American voters generally) will judge Biden and Obama by their records and positions.

Biden has consistently denied the threat emanating from Iran and Syria not only for Israel but for the U.S. as well. And Obama's statements and actions expose him as a man ill disposed not only toward Israel but America itself.

Here's her analysis.

With Biden On Board, Can Obama Be Trusted?
By Caroline Glick, Aug. 28, 2008

Many American Jewish observers welcomed Barack Obama's selection of Sen. Joseph Biden as his vice-presidential running mate. As a member of the Senate since 1973, and the serving chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Biden is a seasoned political player and foreign policy heavyweight. His experience, it is argued, will make up for Obama's inexperience; his moderate liberal views will make up for Obama's radical liberal views.

Biden has a track record of often supporting Israel. And as he entered the Democratic presidential primaries last year, he stepped up his pro-Israel pronouncements. In an interview with the Forward for instance, Biden rejected the anti-Israel call to distance the U.S. from Israel in a bid to ratchet up Arab support for the U.S. As he put it, "In my 34-year career, I have never wavered from the notion that the only time progress has ever been made in the Middle East is when the Arab nations have known that there is no daylight between us and Israel. So the idea of being an 'honest broker' is not, as some of my Democratic colleagues call for, the answer. It is being the smart broker, it is being the smart partner.

But while Biden's rhetoric on America's relationship with Israel is firm, his positions on issues critically important to Israel's national security call into question his willingness to stand by Israel. He is a staunch supporter of an Israeli transfer of the strategically critical Golan Heights to Syria and has harshly criticized the Bush administration for its refusal to support Israeli negotiations with Syria. At the same time, he downplays the significance of Syria's strategic alliance with Iran and its sponsorship of terrorists in Iraq, Lebanon and the Palestinian Authority. Belittling those ties, Biden has claimed repeatedly and without a shred of evidence that the Syrians really want to put all of that behind them.

LEFT-WING SLIME MACHINE ATTACKS PALIN FAMILY

The Democratic attack machine is going into overdrive hitting on Sarah Pallin, making charges and creating false rumors, thus showing how frightened they are of the appeal of this corruption fighting governor.

McCain/Palin is working just as hard to rapidly transform Governor Palin from an unknown into a public persona, which means shedding virtually all vestiges of privacy. This contrasts sharply with Obama's stonewalling and intimidation to hide parts of his past that conflict with and undermine the campaign-scrubbed narrative put together by the guiding lights of the Chicago political machine running the Obama campaign.

However, today's big news, that Palin's 17-year old daughter is pregnant and will have her baby, doesn't concern Palin's politics at all. The news is being made public now to counter slimy rumors traced to the left wing Daily Kos website that the son Sarah had four months ago was really her daughter Bristol's baby and Palin was covering up for her.

Sarah Palin and her husband Todd released this statement:

"Our beautiful daughter Bristol came to us with news that as parents we knew would make her grow up faster than we had ever planned. We're proud of Bristol's decision to have her baby and even prouder to become grandparents," Sarah and Todd Palin said in the brief statement.

"Bristol and the young man she will marry are going to realize very quickly the difficulties of raising a child, which is why they will have the love and support of our entire family."

So the Democratic attackers succeeded in making it impossible for the 17-year old to have her baby quietly in peace.

Obama must be incredulous. Back in March he said this:

"Look, I got two daughters — 9 years old and 6 years old," he said. "I am going to teach them first about values and morals, but if they make a mistake, I don't want them punished with a baby.

The Palin family doesn't think the response to such a mistake is abortion, but protection of the life of the unborn.

Dr. James C. Dobson of Focus on the Family issued the following statement:

"In the 32-year history of Focus on the Family, we have offered prayer, counseling and resource assistance to tens of thousands of parents and children in the same situation the Palins are now facing. We have always encouraged the parents to love and support their children and always advised the girls to see their pregnancies through, even though there will of course be challenges along the way. That is what the Palins are doing, and they should be commended once again for not just talking about their pro-life and pro-family values, but living them out even in the midst of trying circumstances.

Obama said that if anyone in his campaign was found to be involved in spreading this false rumor or going after families of McCain or Palin he or she would be fired.

SARAH PALIN: INTERNATIONAL SENSATION

Palin Head Shot.jpg
Sarah Palin is creating an international sensation. The Times of London featured a long article about Palin in its Sunday edition along with two commentaries.

Here is the front page news item.


August 31, 2008

Sarah Palin: conservatives find the girl of their dreams
The Alaskan governor’s family life and political views press the right’s buttons

Sarah Baxter

When Sarah Palin stepped into the spotlight as John McCain’s running mate in Dayton, Ohio, and promised that women could “shatter that glass ceiling once and for all”, it was an electrifying moment in a presidential election that had already produced its share of upsets and surprises.

History was on the march again the morning after Barack Obama became the first African-American to accept his party’s White House nomination. After the fireworks, the 80,000-strong crowd who had cheered Obama to the skies at the Mile High stadium in Denver woke up with a hangover.

“We may be seeing the first woman president. As a Democrat, I am reeling,” said Camille Paglia, the cultural critic. “That was the best political speech I have ever seen delivered by an American woman politician. Palin is as tough as nails.”

With her beehive hairdo and retro specs, Palin, 44, has a “naughty librarian vibe”, according to Craig Ferguson, the Scottish comedian who stars on late-night US television. However, the selection of Palin, the governor of Alaska and a mother of five, as the first female Republican vice-presidential nominee is no joke for the Democrats.

Rush Limbaugh, the conservative radio chat show host, exulted, “We’re the ones with a babe on the ticket” — one, moreover, with a reputation as a tax-cutter and corruption buster in her job as the first woman governor of Alaska.

Palin’s selection on the eve of the Republican convention in St Paul, Minnesota, has set the stage for an epic battle for the votes of women, African-Americans, evangelical Christians and the young. The demographic wars that dominated the contest between Obama and Hillary Clinton are now set to be replicated in the national election.

Will America fall in love with Palin or will she fizzle, like Dan Quayle, the vice-president to George Bush Sr who could not spell “potatoe”? Can she help McCain to defeat Obama, a modern political phenomenon, who drew a record-shattering television audience of nearly 40m — more than the Olympics opening ceremony in Beijing — to watch his convention speech?

“Good Lord, we had barely 12 hours of Democrat optimism,” said Paglia. “It was a stunningly timed piece of PR by the Republicans.”

Whether Palin’s selection is more than a political stunt depends on how she handles the electoral pressure cooker. With the election in November, there is no time for on-the-job training. Karl Rove, Bush’s former aide, offered a guarded welcome to the “gun-packing, hockey-playing” governor, sayhing: “We’ll get a taste in the next five days of how well she does in the 62 days that follow.”

After Obama’s acceptance speech was wiped from the front pages, even he was forced to acknowledge that she “seems like a compelling person . . . with a terrific personal story”. Republicans are hailing their potential new vice-president as the all-American girl of their dreams.

Palin is gunning for the 18m women who voted for Hillary Clinton — a third of whom have not made up their mind to back Obama, according to the latest polls. McCain specifically deployed the language of feminism and civil rights when announcing her candidacy. “She stands up for what’s right and she doesn’t let anyone tell her to sit down,” he said.

Palin’s parents learnt that she had been selected by McCain while they were heading for a remote camp in Alaska to hunt caribou. “I was speechless,” her father said. The skin of a grizzly bear that he shot drapes the sofa in her office.

The more Republicans examined Palin’s record, the more they liked it, although some are fearful of buyer’s remorse. She was born in the conservative heartland of Idaho before moving to Alaska as a baby. At school she was nicknamed Sarah Barracuda on the basketball court because she was so competitive and she led the prayers before each game.

She was a “hockey mom” who cut her teeth at the parent-teacher association before becoming mayor of Wasilla, a suburb of Anchorage with a population under 7,000. In 2006 she beat the corrupt male establishment in Alaska to win the governorship. She opposes same-sex marriage, but one of her first acts in office was to veto a bill blocking health benefits for gay lovers of public employees.

She hunts, ice-fishes and is a crack shot who knows how to fire an M16 rifle. “I was raised in a family where gender was not going to be an issue,” she said. “The girls did what the boys did. Apparently in Alaska that’s quite commonplace.” No softy, she sued to stop the federal government making polar bears an endangered species and favours drilling for oil in the Arctic wildlife refuge. However, she also levied a windfall tax on oil companies.

Palin was glamorous enough to have entered beauty contests to earn money for college. She was crowned Miss Wasilla in her home town and was runner-up in the 1984 Miss Alaska contest. “They made us line up in bathing suits and turn our backs so the male judges could look at our butts. I couldn’t believe it,” she told Vogue, more amused than outraged.

Counterbalancing McCain’s reputation as a political dinosaur, Palin smoked pot when it was legal in Alaska, admitting, “I can’t claim a Bill Clinton and say I never inhaled”, and her children, Track, 19, Bristol, 17, Willow, 13, Piper, 7, and Trig, four months, have hippie-sounding names. Track, who joined the US infantry in September last year, is about to be deployed to Iraq. “It has really opened my eyes to international events and how war impacts everyday Americans like us,” she said.

On stage in Ohio, the Palin family looked every bit as photogenic as the Obamas on their big night in Denver. Todd, her rugged husband, is part Yupik Eskimo and is four-time champion of the 2,000-mile Iron Dog snowmobile race. If that is not macho enough, he is a member of the steelworkers’ union and a seasonal oil production operator for BP, from which he earned $93,000 last year. He also helps to run the family’s commercial fishing business. They eloped in 1988 to avoid the cost of a wedding. “We had a bad fishing year so we didn’t have any money,” he said.

Like his wife, he is able to swap the traditional roles. “My husband loves being a dad as much as I love being a mom,” Palin said. “I’ve got great help there.”

She needs it. They “wanted enough kids for a basketball team”, she once said, but Trig was born this year with Down’s syndrome. Palin knew there were complications while she was pregnant but never considered an abortion. When he was born, she said, “I’m looking at him right now and I see perfection. Yeah, he has an extra chromosome. I keep thinking: in our world, what is normal and what is perfect?” Undaunted, she held a meeting as governor three days after giving birth. “I just put down the BlackBerrys and pick up the breast pump,” she said of her life as a working mother.

Left-wing websites such as the Daily Kos are leading the chorus of disapproval for now. “Having had two children at home at the age of four months, I know how much help they need even without unfortunate medical conditions,” said one tut-tutter.

Republican women, however, are delighted by Palin’s example. Kellyanne Conway, 41, a Republican pollster and mother of three, said, “I really feel mother knows best without the peanut gallery giving unsolicited advice. She strongly conveys to women today that you don’t have to choose between a successful career and motherhood. You do have to make sacrifices, but you can have it all.”

Evangelical Christians could turn out in droves for Palin, a member of Feminists for Life who opposes abortion even in cases of rape or incest, if she maintains her promise.

Deborah Fikes, a board member of the National Association of Evangelicals, said: “I would just trust that the child is not neglected in any way. There are millions of women who work. Why is it that the father cannot provide the same standard of care? There has been an evolving view of working women even in conservative Christian circles.”

Fikes said Palin was an inspiring choice: “I didn’t think the Republicans would pick a female candidate for another decade, but John McCain is not a typical conservative leader.”

Other conservative women have pointed out that Palin was a much more effective counterweight to the super-competent and glamorous Michelle Obama than Cindy McCain, wife of the Republican candidate.

Cindy, a beer industry heiress who bought the seven homes that McCain cannot remember and once said the only way to travel around her home state of Arizona was by private plane, was under fire last week from her own half-sister. She said she was voting for Obama after Cindy had repeatedly claimed to be an “only child” and never expressed regret that her father had ignored her half-sister in his will.

In fact, even though the Clinton aides could barely conceal their satisfaction when she was chosen, the woman who Palin upstages most of all is Hillary. If Obama wins the election, Hillary will have to wait until 2016 to stand again. And if he loses, Palin will be first in line to become America’s first woman president.

PALIN AND SMALL TOWN AMERICAN GOVERNANCE

Raido talk show host Hugh Hewitt, who is a law professor specializing in environmental regulation and natural resources law, discusses an aspect of Sarah Palin's experience that the Obama folks and their adoring media are taking gleeful shots at.

[B]y a very large measure these mayors, council members and commissioners are genuine public servants –and they get very smart, very fast about the communities they serve and the real successes and failures that define American life, whether in Wasilla, Alaska or Dearborn, Michigan or Sharon, PA.

Spend a decade doing this work and you will have made tens of thousands of decisions –and votes—and seen the consequences of public policy decisions play out in a large way even though the stage is relatively small. And you will have developed style and insight into people and bureaucracy. And you will be skilled in performing in public.

Read it all.

Palin By Comparison
Hugh Hewitt
Sunday, August 31, 2008

Those who listen to my radio show know that I spend my mornings and some evenings practicing and teaching law. For the 20 years since I left Washington, D.C., I have been a land use and natural resources lawyer, guiding landowners –principally home builders but also churches and commercial developers—through the maze of federal, state and local regulatory permitting that blankets the use of land in the U.S. I have had clients throughout the west, and this has meant appearing hundreds of times before city councils, county boards and regional and state commissions and agencies. It has meant thousands of meetings with elected and appointed local government officials.

I provide this as background to a few comments on Sarah Palin’s decade as a city council member and mayor of a small town, Wasilla, Alaska. Don’t underestimate the enormous benefit this provides the governor in the campaign and beyond as she takes up the duties of a vice president. Local government experience means an immersion in the real problems of real people as well as with a myriad of issues from the details of budgets for road maintenance and police and fire forces, to the land use issues I mentioned above, to parks and recreation and school construction issue issues.

And, of course, snow removal, the bane of many mayors' lives.

It also means appearing at thousands of the events that define small town life, from the Rotary to the start of the local fund-raising 5K, and the hiring and firing of staff that has to make the traffic lights work and oversee the trash collection.

And mostly it means being able to connect with people who look to the local government to get the big things in small towns right.

Sitting on a dais week after week and listening to public comments and presentations from staff is the least glamorous of all elected offices, but very central to the functioning of the republic. Hundreds of thousands of Americans serve in these all-but-voluntary jobs and do so out of a sense of public spiritedness. Of course there are knuckleheads among the local electeds, and I have encountered many of them.

SARAH PALIN VS. BARACK OBAMA - A BRITISH VIEW

Gerard Baker is the Washington correspondent for London's newspaper The Times. He has developed his own comparison of Obama and Palin as the liberal media try to rip Palin apart. His calm look is worth reading every word.

September 01, 2008
Sarah Palin vs. Barack Obama
By Gerard Baker The Times, London

Democrats, between sniggers of derision and snorts of disgust, contend that Sarah Palin, John McCain's vice-presidential pick is ridiculously unqualified to be president.

It's a reasonable objection on its face except for this small objection: it surely needs to be weighed against the Democrats' claim that their own candidate for president is self-evidently ready to assume the role of most powerful person on the planet.

At first blush, here's what we know about the relative experience of the two candidates. Both are in their mid-forties and have held statewide elective office for less than four years. Both have admitted to taking illegal drugs in their youth.

So much for the similarities. How about the differences?

Political experience

Obama: Worked his way to the top by cultivating, pandering to and stroking the most powerful interest groups in the all-pervasive Chicago political machine, ensuring his views were aligned with the power brokers there.

Palin: Worked her way to the top by challenging, attacking and actively undermining the Republican party establishment in her native Alaska. She ran against incumbent Republicans as a candidate willing and able to clean the Augean Stables of her state's government.

Political Biography

Obama: A classic, if unusually talented, greasy-pole climber. Held a succession of jobs that constitute the standard route to the top in his party's internal politics: "community organizer", law professor, state senator.

Palin:A woman with a wide range of interests in a well-variegated life. Held a succession of jobs - sports journalist, commercial fisherwoman, state oil and gas commissioner, before entering local politics. A resume that suggests something other than burning political ambition from the cradle but rather the sort of experience that enables her to understand the concerns of most Americans..

Political history

Obama: Elected to statewide office only after a disastrous first run for a congressional seat and after his Republican opponent was exposed in a sexual scandal. Won seat eventually in contest against a candidate who didn't even live in the state.

Palin: Elected to statewide office by challenging a long-serving Republican incumbent governor despite intense opposition from the party.

Appeal

Obama: A very attractive speaker whose celebrity has been compared to that of Britney Spears and who sends thrills up Chris Matthews' leg

Palin: A very attractive woman, much better-looking than Britney Spears who speaks rather well too. She sends thrills up the leg of Rush Limbaugh (and me).

Executive experience

Obama: Makes executive decisions every day that affect the lives of his campaign staff and a vast crowd of traveling journalists

Palin:Makes executive decisions every day that affect the lives of 500,000 people in her state, and that impact crucial issues of national economic interest such as the supply and cost of energy to the United States.

Religious influences

Obama: Regards people who "cling" to religion and guns as "bitter" . Spent 20 years being mentored and led spiritually by a man who proclaimed "God damn America" from his pulpit. Mysteriously, this mentor completely disappeared from public sight about four months ago.

Palin: Head of her high school Fellowship of Christian Athletes and for many years a member of the Assemblies of God congregation whose preachers have never been known to accuse the United States of deliberately spreading the AIDS virus. They remain in full public sight and can be seen every Sunday in churches across Alaska. A proud gun owner who has been known to cling only to the carcasses of dead caribou felled by her own aim.

Record of bipartisan achievement

Obama: Speaks movingly of the bipartisanship needed to end the destructive politics of "Red America" and "Blue America", but votes in the Senate as a down-the-line Democrat, with one of the most liberal voting records in congress.

Palin: Ridiculed by liberals such as John Kerry as a crazed, barely human, Dick Cheney-type conservative but worked wit Democrats in the state legislature to secure landmark anti-corruption legislation.

Former state Rep. Ethan Berkowitz - a Democrat - said. "Gov. Palin has made her name fighting corruption within her own party, and I was honored when she stepped across party lines and asked me to co-author her ethics white paper."

On Human Life

Obama: Devoutly pro-choice. Voted against a bill in the Illinois state senate that would have required doctors to save the lives of babies who survived abortion procedures. The implication of this position is that babies born prematurely during abortions would be left alone, unnourished and unmedicated, until they died.

Palin: Devoutly pro-life. Exercised the choice proclaimed by liberals to bring to full term a baby that had been diagnosed in utero with Down Syndrome.

Now it's true there are other crucial differences. Sen Obama has appeared on Meet The Press every other week for the last four years. He has been the subject of hundreds of adoring articles in papers and newsweeklies and TV shows and has written two Emmy-award winning books.

Gov Palin has never appeared on Meet the Press, never been on the cover of Newsweek. She presumably feels that, as a mother of five children married to a snowmobile champion, who also happens to be the first woman and the youngest person ever to be elected governor of her state, she has not really done enough yet to merit an autobiography.

Then again, I'm willing to bet that if she had authored The Grapes of Wrath, sung like Edith Piaf and composed La Traviata , she still wouldn't have won an Emmy.

Fortunately, it will be up to the American people and not their self-appointed leaders in Hollywood and New York to determine who really has the better experience to be president.

Gerard Baker is US Editor and Assistant Editor of The Times of London.

P.S. Baker has a genius for characterization. If you missed his comments after Obama orated to 200,000 Germans, click here.

PALIN: RISING STAR?

palin smile.jpg

Bill Kristol is the token non-left op-ed writer in the New York Times. Today he weighs the Palin risk and says she will be the key to election or defeat for McCain. Was this a shrewd choice? Only if she does well. He thinks she will.

He's wrong about one thing he says, however:

Voters are unlikely to learn much that is new or surprising about Obama, McCain or Joe Biden over the next two months. Palin’s performance as the vice-presidential nominee, on the other hand, is the open and unresolved question of this campaign. She is, in a way, now the central figure in this fall’s electoral drama.

The carefully-hidden real story of Barack Obama is starting to come out. The fictional dressing is being stripped away and the real agenda behind the uninformative call for "change" is finally being dug out, against howls of protest from the Obama campaign. Why bespoil the romantic tale they have spun with an unblinking look at the hard facts about "God Damn America" Jeremiah Wright, unrepentant bomber of the Capitol and the Pentagon William Ayers and convicted felon Tony Rezko and the central role of the Chicago political machine in Obama's rise?

Kristol's take on Palin:

I think she can pull it off. I’m not the only one. The day after the V.P. announcement, I spoke with an old friend, James Muller, chairman of the political science department at the University of Alaska, Anchorage. He said that Palin “has been underestimated over and over again. She took on the party and state establishments here in Alaska, and left them reeling. She’s a very good campaigner, a quick study and a fighter.”

Muller called particular attention to her successes in passing an increase to the oil production tax and facilitating the future construction of a huge natural gas pipeline. “At first the oil companies thought she was naïve, and they’d have their way. Instead she faced them down and forced them to compromise on her terms.”

Can she face down the Democrats, Joe Biden and the national media over the next couple of months?

John McCain is betting she can. Perhaps, as he pondered his vice-presidential selection, he recalled the advice of Margaret Thatcher: “In politics if you want anything said, ask a man. If you want anything done, ask a woman.”

PANIC IN THE OBAMA CAMP OVER TERRORIST AYERS

The Obama campaign is getting desperate as academic researchers (where’s the mainstream media?) start digging in earnest into the Obama narrative.

It is disturbing that so many of Obama’s influential friends hate America and seem determined to undermine (they call it "change") American society.

Based on Obama's own writings, Obama’s 20-year association with black power advocate Reverend Jeremiah Wright does not appear to represent a philosophical aberration for Obama. What attracted Obama over a 13-year period to unrepentant terrorist bomber William Ayers, who has demonstrated his hatred of America with real bombs and is now pushing a socialist agenda on public school children?

Obama has tried to pass Ayers off as just someone who lives in the neighborhood, but it it turns out there was a close continuing relationship, including through a foundation established by Ayers and chaired by Obama to fund radical socialist and black identity policies centered on the Chicago public school system.

While both Ayers and Obama sent their children to private school, Obama opposes school choice for public school children.

Stanley Kurtz of the Ethics and Public Policy Center in Washington is looking into what was accomplished with the $110 million raised by the Ayers foundation. Where did the money go, what good did it do? So far, the answer seems to be "not much." Kurtz has only recently been able to get into the files of the Chicago Annenberg Challenge at the University of Illinois after having been initially refused access.

The viciousness which the Obama campaign has attacked the highly respected Kurtz ("slimy charcter assassin") in an effort to keep him off a Chicago area talk show demonstrates vividly its panic that its carefully crafted Obama story will be exposed as the fairy tale it is.

Kurtz, in Chicago to review the 1,000 CAC [Chicago Annenberg Challenge] files the university library relented and allowed him to see, was asked to discuss the matter with host Rosenberg. The Obama camp was invited to send a representative and refused to do so although the headquarters is but four blocks away. Instead the campaign organized a swarm of non-stop callers to WGN attacking Kurtz as a “vicious racist” a “slimy character assassin” and suggesting WGN failed its obligations as a broadcaster by allowing him to publicly air his views. The baseless charges and the vitriolic nature of them were startling to the station, the host, and the guest. Except for telling outright lies about the Ayers connection and the CAC, the campaign has done everything in its power to show us that it does not believe there is a free speech right to examine Obama’s record — such of it as has not been buried or “lost.” The unexamined life of Barack is what they prefer we vote on.

Kurtz has only had time for a preliminary look at the CAC files, but actions such as these raise a red flag.

The CAC files show the organization funneled money to activist organizations and did so on ideological grounds, favoring applications that focused on ethnic identity and bilingual education and turning down grant proposals which did not. Thus, CAC funded a Juneteenth (sic) effort by the South Shore African Village Collaboration and a peace school but rejected proposals by the Chicago Algebra Project aimed at increasing student achievement and the District 5 Math Science Initiative which was trying to increase the math and science competence of Hispanic youngsters.

In the Democratic platform is a warning of the socialist program planned for America:

Take a close gander at the draft Democrat platform. It is full of plans to bring community organizers to your own neighborhood — undoubtedly offering us all the chance to watch more money wasted on programs and people unable to improve public school academic performance.

School choice for poor kids? Nah.

Check out how this sordid story of Obama campaign intimidation and attempted cover-up is unfolding.

Powered by Movable Type 4.23-en

About this Archive

This page is an archive of entries from September 2008 listed from newest to oldest.

August 2008 is the previous archive.

October 2008 is the next archive.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.