Friday, October 31, 2008

In the tank for Obama

In the Tank: A Statistical Analysis of Media Bias
By John Perazzo | Friday, October 31, 2008

"During the 2008 presidential election, even center-left observers have noted the unmistakable bias of the prestige news media toward Democratic candidates and the Democratic Party in general. As we shall reveal, the bias of the media is pervasive, ideologically motivated, and quantifiable: that is, it has been admitted, measured, and analyzed in statistical terms. Those results reveal a media doggedly out-of-touch with the political center and tilted decidedly leftward.

One of the most striking aspects of the current presidential campaign is the news media’s assault on Sarah Palin. The Republican vice presidential candidate has been portrayed as a ditzy know-nothing; a Christian fanatic who uses her office to vengefully carry out personal vendettas and who may even have faked her motherhood of her son Trig. From the media coverage of Palin, readers and viewers would never know that she effectively ran an important state, or that she had the highest voter-approval ratings of any governor in the U.S."

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Obama's radical mentors

Diana West, on Obama:

"Only three weeks ago I wrote about the presidential race's "third candidate." By that I meant the phenomenon of Barack Obama's hard-left affiliations just then bursting into public view and catching up with the front-runner as the candidates headed into the campaign's final stretch.

Turned out, of course, this was not a "candidate" the prObamedia was ever going to cover, not even as evidence of Obama's lifelong association and collaboration with radicals -- self-identified communists, even -- gained definition and detail, mainly on Internet journals and blogs. At the beginning of Obama's life, for example, there was "Frank," Obama's boyhood mentor who appears in his 1995 memoir "Dreams from My Father." Accuracy In Media's Cliff Kincaid has identified "Frank" as Frank Marshall Davis, a known Stalinist in a Soviet-sponsored communist network in Hawaii. But Obama obscures Frank's identity in his book, even, as Sean Hannity has reported, going so far as to drop passages about "Frank" from the more recent, recorded version of the book. Why? The media never asked.

Later in Obama's life there was Mike Klonsky, an unreconstructed Marxist and erstwhile leader of an honest-to-goodness Maoist splinter group in the United States. Klonsky, like his buddy, ex-Weatherman William Ayers, spreads Marxism through education "reform." As the National Review Online's Andrew C. McCarthy reported, Obama directed nearly 2 million foundation dollars to fund Klonsky's ideas in the 1990s. More recently, Klonsky wrote a "social justice education" blog on the official Obama campaign Web site -- at least until a blog named Global Labor and Politics pointed this fact out. Klonsky's musings were summarily scrubbed from the campaign Web site in June. Why? The media never asked.

And so it goes. The assorted radicals -- from ACORN to Ayers, from anti-white Jeremiah Wright to Saudi-adviser Khalid al-Mansour to former PLO associate Rashid Khalidi -- who have peopled Obama's ideological passage from rising leftist to post-ideological cipher, have been lost in the blur to a media focused solely on their own prize: Obama in the White House."

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

A liittle bit of McCain's internal polling revealed

From the Wall Street Journal:

In Memo, McCain’s Top Pollster Sees Tighter Race
Elizabeth Holmes reports from battleground Pennsylvania on the presidential race.

"John McCain’s campaign has seen “significant” progress in internal polling in the last week, Republican pollster Bill McInturff said Tuesday, with notable strides among rural voters and soft Democrats.

McInturff, the campaign’s chief pollster, made a case for the viability of the campaign in a memo to the strategy team, which was released to the media late Tuesday. The campaign has seen the race between McCain and Barack Obama move “significantly over the past week,” McInturff said. “All signs say we are headed to an election that may easily be too close to call by next Tuesday.”

To be sure, public polling data both nationally and in battleground states tell a different story. Obama has a several-point lead nationally and has broken the 50% barrier in many battleground states.

But each campaign conducts extensive polling of its own and, according to McInturff, the McCain campaign has reason to be hopeful.

“The strongest sub-groups for McCain are non-college men and rural voters of both genders,” McInturff said. The campaign has also seen more reason to hope that they will get more than a “20% chunk” of soft Democrats. “Wal-Mart women,” which the campaign describes non-college-educated women in households making less than $60,000 a year, are “swinging back solidly,” McInturff said.

Undecided voters make up about 8% of the electorate in battleground states, McInturff said, and represent an older, rural and economically challenged voter bloc. McInturff said their surveys had found them to be “quite negative” and “seek change,” but tend to skew Republican."

How polls are tweaked

I’ve noted a curious trend in Gallup’s daily tracking poll: the margin between Barack Obama and John McCain seems to be correlated to the day of the week the poll is released.

Pollsters have long known that the demographic makeup of a random telephone sample changes from night to night. Those with families are less likely be available at home during weekend polling. Since that demographic tends to vote more Republican, weekend polling often understate support for the GOP. Polling companies use weighting to attempt to balance unbalanced weekend samples. But the Gallup traditional daily tracking poll doesn’t seem to have balanced the disparity enough.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

The strange campaign of John McCain

Is the McCain campaign actually comatose?
Or is actually trying to win the election another one of those sullying undertakings that are beneath McCain's dignity? As George Will has pointed out, McCain "seldom dismounts from his high horse."
But, even for McCain, this is a strange performance. He is obviously behind in the polls, but within striking distance. Ordinarily, a candidate in that position would be pulling out all the stops to try to pull off an upset.
Instead, we get nothing new from McCain, even though he has some excellent cards to play.
He could offer to limit himself to one term as President, which would take the age issue off the table and appeal to women because this might lead to a Sarah Palin vs. Hillary Clinton contest in 2012.
He could shed the dark shadow of President Bush by pledging to pardon the two border patrol agents, Ignascio Ramos and Alonso Compean, whom the Bush administration prosecuted and sent to prison in 2006.
He could announce that he would appoint Mitt Romney to a key post overseeing the unwinding of the mortgage fiasco and economic recovery.
Each of those steps could gain the McCain-Palin ticket some votes, while also lifting the spirits of voters who are becoming more and more fearful of an Obama dictators..., er, presidency.
Every day we wait for the McCain campaign to make news in some way. Every day brings more silence.
Meanwhile, Obama serves up new warnings about his intentions. Now, he urges voters to take the day off on election day. Time was when employers determined when employees got days off, or the matter was settled through collective brgaining.
The Central Committe hasn't even taken office yet, and already Obama is rearranging the calendar to suit his ambitions, our wishes be damned.
McCain could breath a little life into his campaign by pointing that out.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Obama sees Constitution as impediment

Seven years ago, Barack Obama made what is likely to become the best closing argument against his election to the presidency.

It wasn't a speech. It was a recorded radio interview in which Obama made clear that redistribution of wealth is one of his major goals and the United States Constitution is an impediment to those goals.

Explaining the shortcomings of the Supreme Court led by Chief Justice Earl Warren, Obama said that, regrettably, "the Supreme Court never ventured into the issues of redistribution of wealth, and of more basic issues such as political and economic justice in society.

To that extent, as radical as I think people try to characterize the Warren Court, it wasn’t that radical. It didn’t break free from the essential constraints that were placed by the founding fathers in the Constitution, at least as it's been interpreted and Warren Court interpreted in the same way, that generally the Constitution is a charter of negative liberties. Says what the states can’t do to you. Says what the Federal government can’t do to you, but doesn’t say what the Federal government or State government must do on your behalf, and that hasn’t shifted and one of the, I think, tragedies of the civil rights movement was, um, because the civil rights movement became so court-focused I think there was a tendancy to lose track of the political and community organizing and activities on the ground that are able to put together the actual coalition of powers through which you bring about redistributive change. In some ways we still suffer from that.

I’m not optimistic about bringing about major redistributive change through the courts. You know, the institution just isn’t structured that way."

Oddly, Obama, who lectured on constitutional law at the University of Chicago, does not mention the legal gymnastics that the court performed in its 1973 decision that opened the door to abortion on demand. In that decision, the court acknowledged that the constitution did not contain specific language that established a woman's right to privacy, justifying abortion, but did find "emanations" from the document that it used to tweeze out such a privacy right.

Writing for the court, Justice William O. Douglas penned these words, "Specific guarantees in the Bill of Rights have penumbras formed by emanations from those guarantees that help give them life and substance."

A future court might perform similar gymnastics and find a judicial right to redistribution of wealth. There has been speculation that, in the event of an Obama presidency, three of the Supreme Court's nine justices might retire during his first term, giving him a chance to fashion a court more to his liking.

You can listen to Obama's recorded remaks at

Thursday, October 23, 2008

IBD/TIPP poll: McCain behind by.1.1 points

The firm that polls for Investors Business Daily, known for having called the 2004 election most closely, shows John McCain just 1.1 percentage points behind Barack Obama, and closing fast.
IBD/TIPP reported Thursday that, in its most recent survey, McCain was supported by 43.7 percent of those polled, while Obama had the support of 44.7 percent. On Tuesday, Obama was up by 6 percentage points.
One of the most surprising findings of the latest poll was that 74 percent of 18-to-26-yar-olds supported McCain, while only 22 percent chose Obama.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

A video record of Obama's positions on issues

Here's an extraordinary video record of Barack Obama's political career posted by Ed Morrissey:

George Soros and Obama

Townhall lists the extensive ties between Barack Obama and George Soros, the Hungarian-born speculator who made a huge fortune betting against the British pound and then moved to the United States, which he doesn't seem to like much in its current state and seems bent on making into another, well, Hungary. For a non-citizen, he swings a lot of weight.

Monday, October 20, 2008

The long reach of Karl Marx

Why the Left Hates (and Fears) Joe the Plumber
by Carol Platt Liebau

"It’s been quite a week for “Joe the Plumber,” aka Joe Wurzelbacher of Ohio. His comments elicited a telling moment of candor from Barack Obama, who insisted that “when you spread the wealth around, it’s good for everybody.” The redistributionist tone of Obama’s remarks received plenty of attention, not least from John McCain; they were a rare – and disturbing – insight into the mindset of an unusually disciplined candidate who has been remarkably under-covered by the press.

Not surprisingly, things soon took an ugly turn for Joe. In an effort to discredit him, the media camped out on his front yard and started nosing around in his past. In just two days, America learned more about Joe the Plumber than the press has told us in two years about Barack Obama. Both Obama and Joe Biden ridiculed Mr. Wurzelbacher, scoffing that they knew very few plumbers whose taxes would increase under their plan. Videos even went up on YouTube, fantasizing about Joe’s violent death, and publicizing his (and his ex-wife’s) phone numbers.

Maybe Joe should have expected it. After all, Americans have seen this kind of vitriol before. Back in 1991, the left unleashed the full weight of its fury against Clarence Thomas, a black man who refused to subscribe to liberal theories about race. It surfaced again this summer, when “feminists” came after Sarah Palin. Now, it’s Joe’s turn."

My observation:

The assault on Joe the Plumber is straight out of Karl Marx's playbook. Joe the Plumber, in Marxian terms, is suffering from "false consciousness." That is, he is confused and does not realize where his own best interests lie. He has allied himself with forces that actually are out to destroy him, while turning his back on forces that are trying to save him. Therefore, he must be destroyed before he can lead others astray.

If the systematic effort to destroy Joe is evidence of anything, it is evidence that America's mainstream journalists learned well from their Marxist liberal arts professors. I'm sure some of those professors are smiling today. They have left their mark.

Walking free from the wreckage

The people who have the most to gain from the predicted Democratic domination of Congress include several who are most at fault for the destruction of the mortgage market and the resulting financial catastrophe.

One is Rep. Barney Frank of Massachusetts, who was among the most forceful advocates of mandated mortgages for high-risk borrowers. Another was Sen. Chris Dodd of Connecticut. They, along with Sen. Barack Obama, are also among the politicians most favored by largesse from Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae, the intermediaries in the scam.

If large Democratic majorities ensue, as predicted, they are likely to escape any retribution, or even criticism, for their roles.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Socialism without a purpose

Unfazed by the recent disappearance of more than $3 trillion in wealth, Barack Obama has famously declared that his objective as president will be to "spread the wealth around."

Given the fact that the United States is in debt to the tune of about $10 trillion, and has just lost another $3 trillion in fragile "assets," isn't this tantamount to a soldier rushing into battle without any ammunitiion?

What is it, exactly, that Obams is going to spread around?

This puts Obama, and the United States, in a very strange position. The voters may elect a socialist to the Oval Office on Nov. 4, even though he will have none of the tools that socialists require, namely other people's money. Lots of it.

It is rational for voters who have socialistic goals, such as single-payer universal medical care, to vote for a socialist presidential candidate who shares their goals. But what is the point of electing a socialist who can't possibly achieve those goals?

A hard-headed observer might conclude that what the United States needs most in the White House is an expert at making something out of nothing. There happens to be one such expert available, namely Mitt Romney, who became rich by dismantling failed businesses, disposing of the wreckage and salvaging the parts that still had value.
Those skills are precisely what the United States needs now, for similar duty on a much larger stage.

It is the government's responsibility because government-sponsored entitites, Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae, and highly placed members of Congress were key players in a 30-year social engineering project that destroyed the free market in mortgages and caused the loss of $3 trillion in mortgage-based securities.

What does Obama bring to the task at hand? Nothing at all. His oratorical gifts will do him no good. Neither will his seeming aversion to anything that normal people throughout the world consider to be work.

He was a community organizer in Chicago for a few years, which means he talked a good socialist game but didn't actually have to play one. Community organizers are talkers, not doers.

As a state senator in Illinois, he frequently voted "present," instead of yea or nay, which evinces a dislike for decison-making.

Yes, Obama is a millionaire, but he made almost all of his money presumptuously authoring two autobiographies, not by jousting in the hazardous arena of private enterprise. The preparation of his resume appears to be his life's work.

His reliance on cleverness, his skimpy work background, and his aversion to making hard decisions all argue that he is unfit for the task at hand.

To seize the moment, John McCain should announce three steps:

1. If elected, he will serve one term. This would take the age issue off the table and attract an untold number of women voters from both parties who could then anticipate a 2012 contest involving Hillary Clinton or Sarah Palin, or both.

2. If elected, he will, on his first day in the White House, pardon the two imprisoned border patrolmen, Ignascio Ramos and Alonso Compean, while also providing back pay and a return to duty. This would draw a bold black line between him and President Bush, a line he needs to draw.

3. If elected, he will appoint MItt Romney to a key post involving economic recovery and unwinding the mortgage industry mess, owing to his expertise in salvaging value from failed enterprises.

This is not the time for the United States, a serious nation, to begin an unserious experiment with socialism.

{Earlier post: Promise to Pardon the Border Patrolmen, Mr. McCain}

Friday, October 17, 2008

The new one-way airline

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- While U.S. airlines downsize and scrimp on amenities, one carrier is offering its passengers leather seats, ample legroom and free food. But frequent fliers probably don't want a ticket on what may be the fastest growing "airline" serving Central America.
This carrier is run by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the federal agency responsible for finding and deporting undocumented immigrants. A crackdown on illegal immigration has led to a spike in deportations and the creation of a de facto airline to send the deportees home.

Promise to pardon the border patrolmen, Mr. McCain

Memo to John McCain:

You looked good in the last debate. You're closing in on Barack Obama. But you still haven't accomplished the thing you most want - a clear line of distinction between you and President Bush.

Here's how you draw that line in bold black letters: Annouonce that, on your first day in office, you will pardon Alonso Compean and Ignascio Ramos. Moreover, you will restore them to immediate active duty as border patrolmen if they so choose. You will direct that the two men be reimbursed for the salaries they have lost, with perhaps something extra.

President Bush's Justice Department chose to prosecute Compean and Ramos for shooting a suspected drug smuggler in the buttocks as he fled across the U.S.-Mexico border. After a two-week trial, in March, 2006, Compean was sentenced to 12 years in prison and Ramos to 11 yeasr and one day on charges of causing serious bodily injury, assault with a deadly weapon, discharge of a firearm in relation to a crime of ivolence and civil rights violations.

It's a little difficult to figure out which gallery the frat-boy president was playing to at the time, but the prosecution didn't play well with the public, except, of course, for the drug dealers and growers.

The incident happened as Ramos and Compean were responding to the border patrol's pursuit of Osbaldo-Aldrete-Davila, an illegal alien from Mexico, who was driving a ran loaded with 800 pounds of marijuana.

The Bush Justice Department gave full immunity to the suspect, but charged the border patrolmen.

While this is not the only stumble the frat-boy president has made, it is one of the most egregious. If you correct it, you can't help but win some votes.

You also will have shouted "I'm not George Bush," one more time, but this time your shout will be heard.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Joe the Plumber

You never know where the next hero will emerge.
This time it's Joe the Plumber.
This obscure blogger has been doing his damndest to make the case that ACORN candidate Barack Obama is a socialist, but got nowhere.
Joe Wurzelbacher confronted Obama in Toledo, Ohio, and in a few seconds got Obama to admit that his intention is to "spread the wealth around." In other words, he will take money from those who have earned it and give money to those who haven't earned it.
In left-wing-land, that's known as justice.
On my side of the fence it's known, at best, as social engineering. Others call it government thievery.
It has never been popular in America, except among, well, socialists.
Now Obama has fessed up, though not intentionally. His challenge now is to muddy up the issue before the election. Otherwise, it could sink him.
This is almost too much to bear. Last weekend, Toledo beat the University of MIchigan in football. Now, Toledo has spawned perhaps the most important figure in the 2008 election.
There's also this. Ever since the 1970s, when Richard Nixon's "plumbers" became famous, the word has been under a cloud. No more. What a day, or month, or year, for Joe the Plumber.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

A new dog in town

I've lost my house.
It happened so quickly. A few days ago, a new fur ball came into my life. About 20 inches long and 14 inches high. Black and brown.
A miniature Doberman Pincher, with powerful legs and the personality of a linebacker.
On day 2, he spotted a small opening and darted through it, vanishing down the street at warp speed.
I ran after him, found him standing placidly on a front yard 600 feet away, pretending to study insects in the grass. I walked over and picked him up. No objection.
That was his first step. He was willing to endure captivity at my house, but the terms would have to be negotiated. Otherwise, there would be further escapes, more running down the street in pursuit.
Two days later, he took over the house. He now has two adults tending to his every wish.
That's what a good pet does. He recognizes what you're thinking: How did I ever get along without this guy?
Then he takes over the house.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

A New York period Obama won't talk about

Tom Maguire asks:

"What did Barack Obama do while at Columbia from 1981 to 1983 and in the year after his graduation? That part of his life is scarcely mentioned in "Dreams From My Father"; the Wall Street Journal remarked in the mystery a month ago and the NY Times puzzled over it a year ago."

Monday, October 13, 2008

Karl Marx's long reach touches us again

Draft dodgers of the 1960s became newly minted college professors in the 1970s.
College professors of the 1970s became the indoctrinators of the college students of the 1980s and beyond.

Now, in the words of Jeremiah Wright, the chickens have come home to roost.
The doctrine of llmited government, once the backbone of the American system, has few takers.
The doctrine that government is the true source of wealth, and that private enterprise is a criminal conspiracy that sucks off the wealth has many takers.

Democrats destroyed the free market in home mortgages by waging a 30-year social engineering project, and then blame the market for the resulting finanacial collapse.

The phrase that Barack Obama seems to like best is, "I will invest..." As president, you see, it will be his job to steer the economy in the right direction. If he were to leave that task to the markets, the vehicle through which individuals and families make their preferences known, producers might make the wrong things.

Obama's professors must be proud, at least the ones who were devotees of Karl Marx. It's hard to escape Marxist professors in elite universities like Columbia and Harvard, and there is no sign that Obama made any effort to do so.

Indeed, much of Obama's script seems to be deeply Marxist in origin. His appeal is to the self-designated oppressed, who are always to be found. His enemy is the monied classes and interests that own the factories and are always conspiring to keep the people down.

Marx counted on the downtrodden to carry out the necessary revolution. Obama counts on ACORN, his former employer, which is willing to use any means, especially voting fraud, to put "the One" in the Oval Office, which would be tantamount to a revolution.

We have been warned.

Against Obamanomics

From Taxprof:

Hundreds of Economists Sign Letter Opposing Obama's Tax Plan

Hundreds of economists (including Nobel Prize winners Gary Becker, James Buchanan, Robert Mundell, Edward Prescott, and Vernon Smith) have signed letters opposing Barack Obama's economic and tax plans.

My observation: I don't see what their problem is with Obamanomics. The legislature raised taxes here in Michigan during a recession, and that has worked out so, so well.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Upward failure

When 59 percent of Americans sampled tell Rasmussen Reports that they want every member of the U.S. House and Senate removed, the targets include both Democrat Sen. Barack Obama and Republican Sen. John McCain.

In other words, we are going to promote to the highest office in the land someone most of us found wanting in a lower office.

Let's call it what it is: upward failure.

Perhaps we should look for another way to select our presidential candidates.

Perhaps, in the internet age, our regional differences can not be preserved by state-by-state caucuses and primary elections. Why don't we throw up our hands on that question and find another way? This way isn't working.

Muslim economics?

Enemies of capitalism, including muslim clerics, are now describing America's financial debacle as a failure of the free market system.
It is no such thing.
Instead of capitalism's failure, the debacle is a huge success for capitalism's home-grown enemies.
For 30 years leftist Democrats, recently including Barack Obama, have rained blow after blow against the free market in home mortgages. They subverted the market in the service of social engineering. They made it possible for more and more bad credit risks to get mortgages.
When the badness of those mortgages became manifest, the financial system collapsed under the strain.
If the free market had been allowed to work, thsoe bad mortgages would not have happened.
It is especially rich that muslims are now suggesting that America should try the muslim economic system as a replacement. We already have. Al Capone invented it. Muslims stole it from Al Capone, and probably didn't even pay royalties.

Putin, entertainer of the year

Vladimir Putin seems to be auditioning for Entertainer of the Year.
There he is, bare-chested, showing his prowess in the martial arts.
Not long ago, he sent Russian forces into Georgia on the pretext that Georgia was claiming a region that actually was part of Georgia.
Since then he's made mischief in the arctic, where he's laying claim to oil rights.
He's cozying up to Cuba and is sending Russian bombers to Venezuela. A few days ago, Russia fired an intercontinental missile halfway across the Pacific.
Here's a theory. If he keeps focusing attention to himself, his nukes and his adventurous spirit, maybe we won't notice that his country is dying.
Russia is beset by epidemics of aids, tuberculosis, vascular disease and alcoholism. The population is shrinking.
The average age at death in Russia is 59. In the West, we're just hitting our stride at 59. In Russia they're dying or already dead.
Now, oil prices have fallen sharply and Russia is even less capable than before of dealing with its simultaneous catastrophes.
To me, it's regrettable. I spent my college years reading Dostoyevsky. I guess Russia really is as tragic as Dostoyevsky perceived it to be.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Friends of Obama who played with fire...

A family whose home was bombed by the Bill Ayers gang has some questions for Barack Obama...

Stalking Sarah Palin

How one Alaska politician convicted Sarah Pallin in Troopergate...of what, exactly? You figure it out.

Unknowns pile up in election

The tipping point has arrived.

The mysteries and evolving influences of this campaign are now more impressive than the presumed facts.

The presumed facts are that Barack Obama leads in the polls, has more money, is favored by an adoring media horde, and is backed by America's reigning political thugocracy, out of Chicago.

And yet, John McCain and Sarah Palin are drawing huge, enthusiastic crowds that often manifest outright hostility to Obama. Commentator extraordinaire Michael Barone asked 12 New Yorkers whom they favor, and 11 of them said McCain-Palin. What are the odds?
The polls do not take account of the Bradley Effect, the tendency of white voters to favor black candidates in polls more frequently than they vote for them in elections.

Surprises also may be aborning in court houses around the country, growing out of ACORN's determination to see that every living thing votes somewhere and that as many dead people as possible drag themselves to polling places. Tony Rezko, Obama's chief fund raiser in the past, is talking to investigators in Chicago, and what he says may have the effect of shortening the long prison sentence he faces on corruption convictions.

The Bradley Effect alone, if it manifests itself, could wipe out Obama's lead in the polls. Any one of the other simmering issues could put McCain-Palin over the top.

There is also this. It has seemed to me for some time that McCain's choice is not between four years and eight years. It is between four years and no years. If he pledges to serve one term, he will unleash a realization among America's 150 million women that in four years they might break through the glass ceiling that has kept the Oval Office out of reach.

In four years, if McCain wins, their choices might be Sarah Palin or Hillary Clinton.

The coming thugocracy

Michael Barone on "The Coming (Obama( Thugocracy"

Tony's talking

Tony Rezko, facing a long prison term on corruption convictions, is talking to investigators. Is Barack Obama sweating yet?

Friday, October 10, 2008

The Obama cabinet, a work in progress

ACORN nominee Barack Obama, who has been assured by the shadow Central Committee, which will count the votes, that he will win the election, has begun selecting his top aides. Word is that the following are likely choices:

Director of Central Planning: William Ayers, Chicago
Direct of Corporate Disintegration: Barney Frank, congressman from Massachusetts
Director of National Reeducation: Rev. Jeremiah Wright, Chicago
Director of Security for a new Office of Instant Citizenship for Kenyans, Jamie Gorelik
Director of National Entertainment: Spike Lee, movie maker, New York
Director of Education, K through PhD: Maxine Waters, congresswoman from California
Director for the Proper Conduct of Sports: O.J. Simpson
Selector of Proper Movie Scripts: Louis Farrakhan, Nation of Islam
Director of Contemptible U.S. Armed Forces: John Kerry, senator from Massachusetts
Director of Gun Confiscation from Angry White Churchgoers: Michelle Obama
Director of Voting Fraud: to be conducted in-house by Obama, outsourcing to ACORN
Director for Nullification of the Constitution: outsourced to the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco
Director of the Budget: Tony Rezko, Chicago

This lisst will be updated as appropriate.

The oil price line looks like a waterfall

Crude Oil Drops Below $80 as Equities Slump on Credit Freeze

By Mark Shenk

Oct. 10 (Bloomberg) -- Crude oil fell below $80 for the first time in a year and copper headed for its biggest weekly drop in more than 20 years on concern that the deepening financial crisis will push the global economy into a recession.

Oil in New York is approaching its biggest weekly decline since 2003 amid plunging share prices in Asia and Europe. The S&P 500 fell 5 percent to the lowest level since the start of the Iraq War in 2003. All commodities with the exception of coffee are down on signs that demand for raw materials will drop as the global economy falters.

My observation:

We have a securities market calamity and an incredible drop in oil prices occurring at the same time. Do these forces offset each other? Or will the dramatic drop in oil prices overcompensate for the stock market decline?

For the first time in my life I want to hear from a master of the universe on an important question, and none is to be found. Step up please.

Kumbaya isn''t selling

From Townhall:

The steel mills and coal mines of western Pennsylvania helped fuel the nation's economic engine. Today, old factory shells and boarded-up storefronts stand as bleak reminders of those once-prosperous times.
But the voters in working-class enclaves such as this still are a sought-after prize in presidential politics, and many are belatedly backing Democratic nominee Barack Obama.

My observation: I guess Kumbaya, which John McCain seems to regard as the national anthem, isn't as popular among conservative, blue-collar, Reaganite Democrats as the McCain camp figured.

Panics come and go

From the Wall Street Journal, a perspective on panics, of which we have had many:

We are now in the midst of a major financial panic. This is not a unique occurrence in American history. Indeed, we've had one roughly every 20 years: in 1819, 1836, 1857, 1873, 1893, 1907, 1929, 1987 and now 2008. Many of these marked the beginning of an extended period of economic depression.

My question: Does this mean that we will have to contend with an unpopular depression as well as an unpopular war? Or, should we end the war and spend all of our efforts on being depressed?

Thursday, October 9, 2008

If this is true, bye -bye Barry

From Drudge:

WASH TIMES Friday: Obama secretly tried to sway Iraqi government to ignore Bush deal on keeping troops in Iraq... Developing

Update: The story is true, but does not live up to the tease.

Holding on until they are sane

George Will has resurrected, in timely fashion, a quote from Conservative Margaret Thatcher, whose strength of conviction Americans deeply admire notwithstanding the relative scarcity of that quslity in home front leadership.

Shortly before she was elected prime minister of England for the third time, in 1987, Thatcher observed to a journalist, "Someday, Labour will win an election. Our job is to hold on until they are sane."

If they take on the same obligation, Republicans in America would seem to have a long and hard slog ahead of them.

* The Democratic Party, after all, are whimsically espousing a candidate, Barack Obama, who has done nothing in his life that a normal person would consider an accomplishment.

* While running for president, Obama tried to tinker with delicate diplomacy then under way between President Bush and the Iraqi government over withdrawal of troops.

* Democratic spokemen have the affrontery to blame Republicans for their own party's 30-year assault on the mortgage market, which has become a casualty of Democrats' social engineering.

* Obama's former employer, ACORN, has violated National Football League rules by registering the Dallas Cowboys to vote in several jurisdictions, which may force the players to travel exhaustively to vote repeatedly at a time when they ought to be preparing for their next game.

* Decades after securing voting rights for African Americans, prominent Democrats are warning white Americans that, if Obama loses, those black citizens will take to the streets to wreak vengeance. Blacks who were championed for their normality in the 1960s are now said to be on the edge of savagery.

What's up with that? is the most appropriate response, although the English might require an interpreter.

There are, of course, problems with the proposed standard of sanity that is to be enforced before the Democrats can be permitted to win.

Is Michael Moore to be considered a Democrat, in which case the Democrats may have to wait decades for another win?

Which segments of the Democratic party are to be considered barometers in the assessment of sanity?
Joe Biden, who has traced the advent of television back to at least 1929?
Obama, who announces to the world each day whether he loves or hates America that day by the presence or absence on his lapel of a flag pin?
Michelle Obama, who is obviously a Marxist, but is being hidden so nobody finds out about that who doesn't know it already?

Were it up to me to decide, I would select Hillary Clinton as the barometer. She lost the nominating contest to Obama but is now waiting for his collapse or defeat, which her loyal supporters may actually bring about.

The Clinton caucus is lying in the weeds, and may rally to John McCain and Sarah Palin at the close, putting the Republican ticket over the top. Since that would put Clinton in the driver's seat for 2012, that strategy is as flamboyantly sane as anything can get.

Acorn and Obama

Is ACORN Stealing The Election?
By INVESTOR'S BUSINESS DAILY | Posted Wednesday, October 08, 2008 4:20 PM PT
Election Fraud: A radical group Barack Obama used to work for is committing voter-registration fraud in several states, ahead of the election. What does Obama know about this scam?

Barack, the socialist?

Barack Obama's rhetoric is laced with socialist inclinations, as is evident in his frequent promise, "I will invest..." Now, there is evidence that he actually has been a part of a socialist movement in America.

Bush doubles down

WASHINGTON (AP) - The Bush administration is considering taking ownership stakes in certain U.S. banks as an option for dealing with a severe global credit crisis.

My resonse: How, exactly, does the Bush administration distinguish itself from this golden definition of a fanatic?

"A fanatic is a person who reboubles his effort once he has lost sight of his objective."

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Obama and sexed

Why Obama's support for sex education in kindergarten makes him a spear-carrier for the far left

Paglia on Palin

Camille Paglia, lesbian intellectual and Barack Obama supporter, in Salon:

"When I watch Sarah Palin, I don't think sex -- I think Amazon warrior! I admire her competitive spirit and her exuberant vitality, which borders on the supernormal...
One of the most idiotic allegations batting around out there among urban media insiders is that Palin is "dumb." Are they kidding? What level of stupidity is now par for the course in those musty circles? (The value of Ivy League degrees, like sub-prime mortgages, has certainly been plummeting. As a Yale Ph.D., I have a perfect right to my scorn.) People who can't see how smart Palin is are trapped in their own narrow parochialism -- the tedious, hackneyed forms of their upper-middle-class syntax and vocabulary."

A hard-boiled perspective

Politics is hard to follow sometimes. Here's a hard-boiled perspective.

Chicago, 1968. Saw the fires. Heard the glass breaking. Saw Mayor Daly call in the B-52s.
Everybody else thought it was Civil War II. I figured Dusty's had run out of vodka again.

Last night, at the debate, Tom Brokaw asked John McCain where he spent his honeymoon. McCain jumped on a table and shouted, "I'm not George Bush."

Brokaw asked McCain for his favorite color. McCain shouted, "I'm not George Bush."

Passtimes? "I'm not George Bush."

I started to get the picture. McCain didn't actually go on a honeymoon with his wife. Bush did. That kind of thing sticks in a man's craw.

My advanced insight tells me the McCain campaign has polls that show Bush to be the single biggest obstacle to his election as president. That wouldn't surprise me. I don't think there will be another President Bush for 100 years.

McCain seems fixated on "crossing the aisle." He goes on about it as if it was a sacramental act, like ordering two beers at a time at Dusty's. You never hear him talking about walking down the aisle. I guess that seals it.

If this doesn't work out for McCain, maybe his wife, Cindy, will move on. She's still a chick. Maybe we'll have a beer some time at Dusty's.

I saw some odd things while I wrote about politics for 150 years. Once I was talking with Walter Mondale in a bar, and I noticed that he always had an aide sitting next to him. One would leave, another would jump into his place. It was choreographed. So I asked. Mondale was afraid that a woman would sit down next to him and someone would snap their picture. He's a preacher's son, you know. You also know he's never been touched by scandal, real or imagined.

Bob Dole was a stitch, the funniest politician I ever shared a plane with. You have to admire a man who was shot up in Italy and was still delivering hilarious, side-splitting one-liners decades later. Most of the World War II vets are gone now, and we'd be better off if they weren't.

I rode on Ted Kennedy's plane during one of his campaigns. They lost my bag. I didn't know that happened on charters. Kennedy's life and career are another matter

The most interesting landing I ever made was in South Dakota, at the Pine Ridge Indian reservation. I had been flying all day on a four-seater with George McGovern. The problem was that it was almost dark when we arrived, and the reservation didn't have an airport.

I thought this was going to be a problem. When I looked down, I saw dozens of cars lined up on a meadow with their lights on. Has McGovern said or done anything lately that pissed off the Indians? I wondered. But we got down and bounced to a stop across the meadow.

A couple of hours later, when it was even darker, we took off. I'm still here, which is something of a mystery to me.

I guess we have to get back to the debate, although I'd rather not. It wasn't interesting. It wasn't illuminating. It was canned rhetoric. I guess the only reason I watched it was that I wanted to know how many times McCain would talk about "crossing the aisle." I lost count.

Doesn't he understand that his crossing the aisle is the reason a lot of conservatives don't like him? Is he willing to go on alienating conservatives in exchange for liberal recruits? How does that math work out, exactly?

The biggest advance we could make in election technology is a new line that says, "None of the above."

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

A fairy tale for our time

Once upon a time in America, how you lived your life mattered.
If you went to school, got a part-time job, graduated from college and got a good job, you were on your way. Your income made it possible for you to buy a house. If you had managed your life in such a way that you easily could handle your monthly bills, the mortgage that you got to pay for your house carried a modest interest rate.

If you did well at your job, you got a better job at a higher salary. So you got married. Now that you could see a future for yourself, with a family, you worked even harder, and got a still better job, with higher pay. So, you became a father, which made you work even harder because you wanted to take your kids to baseball games.

You moved up the ladder at work. More money, more respect, more invitations, more trips, a better life.

Then, all of a sudden, without you even knowing it, your luck turned.

The Democratic Party decided to reward the minorities and low-income people who had been voting for its candidates for many years, and to make sure their children stayed loyal to the party.

So, way back in the 1970s, the Democrats passed the Community Reinvestment Act, which forced lenders to write mortgages for low-income people. It didn't matter why those people had low incomes. Bad luck? Lazy? Drunk? In jail? It didn't matter. It also didn't matter if you had paid your bills on time. If you were poor you could get a low-interest mortgage. How you had lived your life didn't matter anymore.

I could make a detour here and write that this sent a bad message to young people. You didn't have to take care with your life to get a nice mortgage later on. But I won't do that because I want to get on with this fairy tale.

What happened here is called liberalism. One of the things you have to realize about liberalism is that it doesn't have to make sense. It just has to feel good. The liberal has to be able to say he helped somebody out today. It doesn't even matter if the helping hurts.

As the years went by, the Democrats, in and out of Congress, made more and more rules for the lenders. More and more people got mortgages, whether or not they had taken care with their lives.

One reason the lenders got by with writing more and more mortgages for poor people is that they didn't have to worry any more about the risk they were taking. In fact, the risk was so low that you would have needed a magnifying glass to find it.

Isn't that something? The lenders made more and more risky loans, and the risk they were actually taking almost vanished. No wonder people have started thinking that politicians are sleight-of-hand artists. They had taken something that used to be thought of as dangerous and made it disappear. Maybe they'd do that with rattlesnakes.

If you looked closely, though, you found that the risk didn't vanish. It just moved away. It had become somebody else's problem.

As soon as the lender wrote the mortgage, the lender sold it to Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac, two companies with funny names that the government had set up, but didn't actually run. They were actually run by politicians, who aren't used to thinking about things like risk, costs, or profit. The reason is, when politicians want money, they can take it away from people like you, who have taken care with their lives, any time they want. They think costs are something other people worry about. That's because people who have taken care with their lives are paying their costs, whatever those costs are.

Besides, Fanny and Freddie didn't have to worry about risk either. They put mortgages in bundles and sold them as soon as they could. The risk moved away again.

This kept on going, and growing, for many years.

Then, some people stopped paying their mortgages, and word got around. Soon, bankers who had loved mortgages for years, started to sell them for whatever they could get, and the banks started going out of business because they had bought a lot of mortgages that were losing value.

This is the strange part. The people who got stuck with all those mortgages when they lost their value were the masters of the universe at Merrill Lynch, Lehman Brothers and other big investment banks that were famous for making people rich, especially the people who ran them.. A lot of the masters of the universe don't have jobs now, but for some reason they're still rich. But you won't find Merrill Lynch or Lehman Brothers in the telephone book any more.

It's going to cost a lot of money to pay for the damage. The politicians wrote up a bill for $700 billion. The people who will pay that bill are the people who have taken care with their lives.

It's like I told you before. Liberalism doesn't have to make sense. It just has to feel good. The politicians want to help out.

The Ayers file

The Republican Party has released its file on Bill Ayers, Barack Obama's funky pal:

Monday, October 6, 2008

Ties that bind

Barack Obama's ties to silk-stocking terrorists Bill Ayers and Bernadine Dohrn go back at least 21 years, to 1987, contrary to the messiah's claim that they only traded prayer rugs a time or two.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

A new era, a game-changing event

We are suddenly in a new era.
In the old era, we tolerated politicians who served themselves while screwing us. Now, infuriated by the mortgage bailout fiasco in Washington, we are ready to kick ass.
Fifty-nine percent of Americans sampled by Rasmussen Reports would like to see all 535 members of Congress thrown out.

Even if we bat 1,000 in each election, this will take six years. IF we really tried, we could pick off at least 435 in November. That's a start.

There will never be a better time for John McCain to play the best card he has been dealt - the one that's up his sleeve.

McCain, 73, is an incumbent senator who voted for the bailout. Obviously, he would be on the target list of the angry voters if he were running for reelection. But he is running for president, and his opponent is Barack Obama, also an incumbent senator who voted for the bailout
The shrapnel that will be unleashed by the public's fury can be expected to hit both candidates.

The shift in the public's attitude means the election game has changed. But McCain now has an advantage, and it could be decisive. If he were to pledge to step aside after serving one term, the door would be open for his ticket-mate, Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, to become the first female major-party candidate for president in American history.

She is popular. Alone amng the four major party candidates for the White House, she is untainted by the mortgage controversy.

The possibility that she might break the glass ceiling in just four years would not be lost on conservative, blue collar Democrats, the core of 18 million who voted for Hillary Clinton during the primaries. About 6 million of those voters are opposed to Barack Obama, according to polls, and may be available to McCain-Palin. What's more, Clinton and the Republican ticket-mates have been pointedly exchanging pleasantries for several weeks, suggesting that a future convergence might be in the works.

Clinton, after all, stood to become the first female major-party candidate for president until Obama pushed her aside.

The promise of a one-term McCain presidency also might be inviting to millions of other women - whether Democrats, Republicans or independents - who have longed for, and worked for, the day when one of their own would inhabit the Oval Office.

Here's a hint of the potential payoff for McCain: The Los Angeles chapter of the National Organization for Women has endorsed Palin, breaking with feminist orthodoxy.
"America, this is what a feminist looks like," Chapter President Shelly Mandel said of Palin.

Even if McCain declines to limit his potential White House tenure, Congress's vote on the bailout appears to have been a game-changing event, as suggested by the public's throw-the-bums-out attitude.

It was Democrats who distorted the housing market by requiring lenders to offer low-interest mortgages to borrowers who would have been ineligible, or subject to higher rates, under previous standards.

It was Democrats who inflated the housing market by laying the basis for chain mortgage transactions in which original lenders sold their paper to Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac, which bundled and sold the mortgages to investment banks, which bundled the bundles and sold them again.
These transaction chains attracted foreign investors and inflated the housing market, creating the bubble that burst this year

It was primarily Democrats who promoted and benefited from Fannie and Freddie, which played key roles in those chains of mortgage transactions.

The question is, will Republicans be able to make that case to voters? They have a big hurdle to overcome. After all, it was the Bush White House that originally proposed the bailout. The House and Senate only massaged it.

Ultimately, the voters will have to decide what they hate most:
The self-serving social engineeering that produced the mess?
Or the questionable actions the White House and Congress took to deal with the mess?

Throw all the bums out, 59 percent say

From Rasmussen Reports:

Congress was front and center in the national news last week and the American people were far from impressed. If they could vote to keep or replace the entire Congress, 59% of voters would like to throw them all out and start over again. The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey found that just 17% would vote to keep the current legislators in office.

Today, just 23% have even a little confidence in the ability of Congress to deal with the nation’s economic problems and only 24% believe most Members of Congress understand legislation before they vote on it.

Last week, the House of Representatives initially rejected a financial bailout bill proposed by the Bush Administration. Later, after the Senate added a number of items that some call “pork” and others call “sweeteners,” the measure eventually passed. While the bill survived Washington, it did so at a time when just 30% of voters favored it and 45% were opposed.

(Want a free daily e-mail update? If it's in the news, it's in our polls).

Only half (49%) believe that the current Congress is better than individuals selected at random from the phone book. Thirty-three percent (33%) believe a randomly selected group of Americans could do a better job and 19% are not sure (see crosstabs).

A separate survey found that just 11% of voters say Congress is doing a good or an excellent job. (see crosstabs and recent trends).

Despite these reviews, more than 90% of Congress is likely to be elected this November due to an electoral system designed to benefit incumbents. The biggest advantage offered those in the House of Representatives is a process known as Gerrymandering where Congressional Districts are loaded with friendly voters from Representative’s own party. In effect, Members of Congress—working through their state legislature--get to choose their voters rather than letting voters choose their Congressman.

Also aiding incumbents is high name recognition from news coverage, large staffs funded by taxpayers, and other perks. While the staff positions are technically excluded from politics, the constituent services they provide in a Congressman’s name are among the most effective of all campaign techniques.

Forty-nine percent (49%) of all voters believe Members of Congress are paid too much while just 5% believe they are paid too little. Thirty-seven percent (37%) say Congressional pay is about right.

While unhappiness with Congress cuts across partisan and demographic lines, Democrats are a bit less unhappy than other voters. Seventy-four percent (74%) of Republicans would vote to throw out the entire Congress as would 62% of unaffiliated voters. Only 43% of Democrats go along. Still, just 25% of those in Barack Obama’s party would vote to keep the entire Congress even though it’s controlled by Democrats.

However, there is agreement across party lines when it comes to whether or not most Members of Congress understand legislation before they vote on it—25% of Democrats say yes along with 24% of Republicans and 24% of unaffiliated voters.

Democrats currently enjoy a nine-point advantage in the Generic Congressional Ballot.

When the Constitution was written, the nation’s founders expected that there would be a 50% turnover in the House of Representatives every election cycle. That was the experience they witnessed in state legislatures at the time (and most of the state legislatures offered just one-year terms). For well over 100 years after the Constitution was adopted, the turnover averaged in the 50% range as expected.

In the twentieth century, turnover began to decline. As power and prestige flowed to Washington during the New Deal era, fewer and fewer Members of Congress wanted to leave. In 1968, Congressional turnover fell to single digits for the first time ever and it has remained very low ever since.

See survey questions and toplines. Crosstabs available for Premium Members only.

Rasmussen Reports is an electronic publishing firm specializing in the collection, publication, and distribution of public opinion polling information.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

It's high noon; no one showed up

This is what is wrong with John McCain's campaign.
He has played the POW card too often.
He has played the warrior card too seldom, if he has played it at all.
While Democrats and their cheerleaders in the media were tryng to kneecap Sarah Palin, McCain was singing Kumbaya.
That is not how a warrior behaves.
If he had told the kneecappers to mind their manners, many voters would have risen to their feet. If he had shaken his clenched fist, the election would be all-but-over now.
That's how starved America is for the manly spirit. There is a void in politics where manhood used to be.
This is especially true for the conservative blue collar Democrats who voted for Hillary Clinton and now have no one to admire. They voted for Ronald Reagan in the 1980s and for Clinton in 2008. Now they are footloose. They will not be captured by a candidate who sings Kumbaya or talks about his POW years as a defining experience. The P in POW stands for prisoner. That is not an image that a leader should embrace.
The time has come to stoke the fire, if there is any fire left in John McCain.
Tell war stories, not POW stories.
Tell us about your father and grandfather, both admirals who served during interesting times and undoubtedly had many stories to tell.
Too much has been made about what McCain can't do. The Democrats have cleverly figured out what to say and do that will provoke the McCain campaign to talk explicitly about what he can't do.
Here are some options:
1. Set a beer can on a fence post, hand McCain a rifle or a pistol and see if he can knock it off. Keep filming until he hits. Throw away the misses.
2. Show McCain driving off-road in an off-road vehicle. If he's never done it before, so what?
3. Show old family films of McCain at play, preferably football but baseball will do. Table tennis? Croquet? Golf?

Bear in mind that during Franklin Roosevelt's long tenure in the White House we knew he had a strong mind and a stout and good heart; we didn't know he had useless legs. His handlers carried out a deception that I, for one, deeply admire.

We have recently seen too much of the corruptocrats of Washington. They played the compassion card to defeat standards and get special treatment for their clients. Now we are all paying the hidden costs of their compassion, while they blame the people who tried to stop their thuggery.

Their compassion was not a sign of character, but rather the opposite.
Because of that, it's about character now. Show us McCain's. The warrior character, not the POW character.
When Americans look at footage of the White House, they want to see John Wayne ready for the draw, not Woody Allen exploring his inadequacies on still another psychiatrist's couch.
Winston Churchill wrote movingly about how happy he was when he heard about Pearl Harbor. He had been terribly afraid that England was going to lose the war. When Japan attacked at Pearl Harbor, America was in the fight. Churchill went to sleep that night knowing that his side was going to win.

Bids stranded at the buzzer

Friday's House vote on the bailout bill stopped the auction and left a lot of bids unprocessed. Here are some of those failed bids:

Arnold Schwarzenegger, $10 million: He wanted to be impeached so he doesn't have to be governor of California any more. Resignation would have wrecked his Hollywood image. Impeachment would have spiffed it up.

Bill Clinton, $10 million. He had another list of people he wanted pardoned but isn't president any more so he needwd a waiver. For some reason, Hillary was on the new list.

Sarah Palin, $1,500: Having dealt with the dregs of American politics in Washington, she wanted to relinquish her vice=presidential nomination and go back to Alaska.

Todd Palin, $1,500: He had a list of 50 Washington politicians and 75 Washington jouralists he wanted to punch in the nose, and wanted a prepunch pardon.

Barney Frank, $7,500: He wanted to be named permanent U.S. ambassador to Madagascar, where, under a new name, he would be beyond the reach of Bill O'Reilly.

Jeffrey Immelt, chairman of General Electric, $8 million: He wanted to submit a bill compelling a publisher to print and distribute his new book, "Goddam It, I Just Can't Play This Game."

Although these bids remained unprocessed at the buzzer, they may become grist for another auction because House members had so much fun at the first one.

Friday, October 3, 2008

An unusual, but possibly historic, conversation

They're like messages conveyed by drumbeat across miles of impenetrable forest, but the messages are taking on the aspect of a conversation.
Hillary Clinton describes Sarah Palin as a "composed and effective debater."
"It's amazing, you know, she's been thrust into the national spotlight with very little preparation and I think that, all things considered, you saw a very composed and effective debater last night."
The comment is a little unusual in that Palin, a Republican, and Clinton, a Democrat, are nominally adversaries.
Put the word "nominally" in italics.
Clinton's message is intended not only for Palin, but also for the 18 million who voted for Clinton in the presidential primaries. About 6 million of them won't support Barack Obama, who defeated Clinton, according to pollsters.
Palin has answered back, her words also intended for those 18 million.
If the conversation bears fruit, Obama will have a hard time winning the election and, four years from now, Clinton and Palin may be debating each other as candidates for president.

Earlier post: The Republicat party is born

12 New Yorkers cast 11 votes for McCain

Michael Barone, master of the political universe, has posted a superb rundown on the state of the presidential contest.
You will find it here:

Here is his most remarkable finding:

"I have 12 close friends in the New York City area from ages 24 to 31, who work in various fields, from accounting to advertising. All are registered Democrats from similar backgrounds and all voted for Kerry last election. Eleven of them, in response to a recent email, told me they are voting for John McCain. The one who’s not, an erstwhile supporter of John Edwards, is undecided.

Why would none of them support Obama? All gave similar answers: they are moderate Democrats, fiscally conservative, but who, more importantly, saw the horrors of 9/11 up close. As one man said, “We lived it; others watched and read about it.” Others wrote me along the lines of “McCain is the more centrist candidate,” and “Obama’s sketchy foreign policy will not keep us safe from a terrorist attack.” Readers of the Wall Street Journal, they know McCain, for better or worse, is anything but a third term for Bush. That is telling, and worth watching.

These New Yorkers confirm that it’s not a bunch of mossbacks who are preempting the coronation of our first (half) black president; it’s more likely politics, inexperience, naiveté, empty rhetoric, European vacations , out-of-touch elitism, PUMAs, socialist tendencies, or his relationships with nefarious folks."

I knew Barone was good. I didn't know he was this good.

Sarah Palin, alive again

Sarah is back.

Peggy Noonan: "She killed. She had him at 'Nice to meet you. Hey, can I call you Joe?' She was the star. He was the second male lead, the good-natured best friend of the leading man. She was not petrified but peppy.

The whole debate was about Sarah Palin. She is not a person of thought but of action. Interviews are about thinking, about reflecting, marshaling data and integrating it into an answer. Debates are more active, more propelled—they are thrust and parry. They are for campaigners. She is a campaigner. Her syntax did not hold, but her magnetism did. At one point she literally winked at the nation.

As far as Mrs. Palin was concerned, Gwen Ifill was not there, and Joe Biden was not there. Sarah and the camera were there. This was classic 'talk over the heads of the media straight to the people,' and it is a long time since I've seen it done so well, though so transparently. There were moments when she seemed to be doing an infomercial pitch for charm in politics. But it was an effective infomercial."

Just think, Washington's koolaid drinkers almost destroyed Sarah Palin by trying to make her just like them: deceitful and stupid, knowng the talking points and nothing else. Now she's escaped. Form a phalanx. If the koolaid drinkers approach, shoot.

Another media nut job

NBC News political director Chick Todd: “All the trend lines are pointing in Obama’s direction.
Look at the trendlines in broadcasting and you have to say: "All the trend lines are pointing in Fox's direction."

New word

New word: maverdick
Usage: I call myself a maveric but, in fact, a lot of my fellow Republicans don't like me because I tend to drift over to the other side, so in truth I am a maverdick.

Earlier post: New times, new words

Thursday, October 2, 2008

An alternative to a bailout

Tired of seeing Congress bidding up the rewards to financial institutions for failure? Here's an alternative approach proposed by Mort Zuckerman. Writing in the New York Daily News, Zuckerman argues:

"There's an alternative to buying the bad loans and investments. This would be to invest public funds in these financial institutions through the purchase of prior preferred stock by the government, which would put them senior to all shareholders. Preferred shareholders, namely the public, would be the last to realize losses and the first to receive gains. This would still recapitalize the banking system and give them time to dispose of their bad assets in an orderly fashion.

It's this same approach that Warren Buffett adopted when he invested $5 billion in Goldman Sachs. So why should the public get a worse deal when they are asked to use their dollars to be invested in lesser quality financial institutions, which have a higher risk?"

I'll bid $50,000 for 3 more zeros in par. #7

This is simply pathetic. We have a first-class auction going on in Washington, with billions of dollars in assets and tax breaks on the table, and who's in charge?
Not an auctioneeer.
Instead, we have an assortment of unindicted politicians sorting out bids and writing new entries in the Wall Street bailout bill.
No wonder we get so little for our money.
What we need in that room is an auctioneer who knows the meaning of the covert wink, the three fingers in the air, the shoulder shrug. How else are the bill's authors going to know who has high bid?.
Professionalism, that's what congress lacks.
They're selling the country, piece by piece, and all they're getting for it is a trip here, a lavish dinner there, tens of thousands of dollars in camplaign contributins and who knows what else.
Here, I specifically exclude Rep. William Jefferson of Louisiana, who is accused of hauling in a freezer-size payoff, is under indictment, and also is running for reelection. You have to put that down as superior performance.
The thing to do now is put an auctioneer in charge.
Don't let some future Mark Twain say there are two things a human being should never see - sausage being made and laws being passed.

Who's to blame?

Defenders of President Bush are now in spread-the-blame mode, focusing on the Community Reinvestment Act as the root cause of the financial breakdown. This has the intended effect of shifting some of the blame to the Clinton administration.

The CRA was a foul piece of social engineering, requiring lenders to grant specific levels of lending to borrowers who were, in many cases, bad credit risks. It was enacted in 1977 during the failed presidency of Jimmy Carter. The act should have been repealed long ago but remains in force because minority lobbies and liberals rely on it to maintain their standing in the compassion caucus.
They received credit for the compassion. Now they're taking your taxes to pay the hidden costs.

Ordinarily, an attempt to throw mud at a president who left office almost eight years ago would be snuffed by newpaper readers and voters alike. In my experience, they informally enforce an Iron Law of Blameworthiness that goes like this: A president who, during eight years in office, has failed to block or repeal the evil policies of his predecessors owns any resulting calamity.
Under those terms, Bill Clinton and his predecessors would skate.
Are those terms applicable? I'm not sure.

In my view, there were two separate binges of social engineeering that should be considered individually.

The most insidious and destructive was the long series of government mandates and interest group pressures, beginning in the 1970s, that forced private lenders to become servants of racial hustlers and radical pressure groups.
These forces were channeled by Democratic politicians into Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae, which became champions of subprime lending, fueling inflation in housing. Freddie and Fannie,in turn, became benefactors of Democrats candidates.
Liberal luminaries such as Sen. Chris Dodd and Rep. Barney Frank demonstrated that subversion of the free market in mortgage lending could be profitable, both politically and financially.

Not surprisingly, the subprime market grew.

By lowering interest rates repeatedly, the Bush administration may have aggravated inflation in housing, but its culpability pales in comparison with the relentless social engineering that preceded it.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

From Gwen Ifill to Shoeless Joe

Gwen Ifill is an admirer of Barack Obama.
To prove it, she is about to publish a book titled "The Breakthrough: Politics and Race in the Age of Obama."
The man hasn't even won the election yet, and he already has an age named after him.
But that isn't the point. The point is that Ifill, who works at a left-wing network named PBS, is also scheduled to referee Thursday night's debate between Sarah Palin and Joe Biden.
The McCain campaign didn't know about the book.
What, if anything, does this tell us about the McCain campaign?
While we're at it, why don't we revive Shoeless Joe Jackson, measure him for an umpire's uniform and put him behind the plate for the World Series?
You're too young to know, or care, about Shoeless Joe?
I remember him well. Joe Biden and I watched his rise and fall on television.
Shoeless Joe was a great outfielder who seemed destined for the Hall of Fame. But he didn't get there. He was banned from baseball in 1921 for his involvement in the Black Sox scandal of 1919, so named because some of the White Sox players allegedly tried to fix the World Series.
The man who banned Shoeless Joe was baseball commissioner Kenesaw Mountiain Landis, which I point out only to show that people had real names in those days.
In any case, take a hard look at any Shoeless Joe memorabilia that may have escaped the clutches of a guy named Simpson.
Here's why. Shoeless Joe didn't have much schooling. He had his wife sign most of the things that are now considered memorabilia. He signed very few things himself. So, the things he did sign are very, very valuable.
Somebody help me out here. I'm trying to remember why I started writing this post
Oh, yes. Here's the thing. Even if you find one of Shoeless Joe's old shoes you won't be able to buy it. As I understand it, you can't get a loan from a bank for anything these days, even a sure thing like Shoeless Joe's old shoe. It has something to do with Barack Obama and his friends pressuring banks to lend money to people who didn't pay back the loans.
I'll be riveted to the tv set on Thursday to see if Ifill has anything to say about that.

McCain sends a signal to Clinton

The surreptitious, but visible, Republicrat alliance between John McCain's campaign and Hillary Clinton's Democratic caucus has taken another step.
From Townhall:

"Bill Clinton is playing a starring role in a John McCain commercial. And here's the ad's kicker: "You're right Mr. President."

Fancy that. The Republican presidential nominee with a tip of the hat to the last Democratic president.

A new minute-long McCain commercial features the former president asserting that congressional Democrats could have done more to regulate the nation's major mortgage financiers."

This is the latest in a series of signals, back and forth, between the McCain campaign and the Clintons, the visible expression of an alliance that could defeat Barack Obama and set the stage for another run by Hillary Clinton in 2012.

Video at Townhall
Earlier post: The Republicrat Party Is Born