Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Hallow's Eve



No effigies, just a cool punkin carved by a mystery person. And not many kids at the door this year. Maybe they know about the blog. Anyway, here's an early start on Saturday's musical selection...

VideotapeGate

First things first--only the LA Times knows for sure if the tape should be released. Most of us don't know squat about journalism, including yours truly, but viewing from afar it's not too hard to imagine that busting a source's confidentiality could be rather instantly counter-productive.

OK, with that out of the way we can move directly into wild speculation!

Why else would they hold it? Well, other than the obvious reasons: love for Obama and hate for Republicans (or irrational fear of their base) there could be a few other decision points aside from integrity. Yesterday the Times said they were putting their source into potential "jeopardy", today they changed to:
The Times keeps its promises to sources
Yeah, yeah, sure, sure.

So who might fall into jeopardy at the tape's release? Palestinian-Americans, maybe? Nah--if they weren't mass killed or sent to internment camps after that infamous post 9/11 street dancing, they're safe. Khalidi himself? He spouts his stuff all over the world all the time, so no. Ayers and Dohrn? Please. Obama? Well...Obama does have jack-booted Secret Service thugs protecting him (sorry, slipped into liberal vernacular). We must of course assume these guys don't take hit orders for political enemies, which might put the leaker in some serious jeopardy. But that's just silly.

Besides, we're discussing the source, not the target. Presumably releasing the tape would finger the videotaper to members of the dinner party, presuming he/she gave themselves away on the tape, therefore any malice would seemingly originate with the dinner party attendees. If true, isn't it a legitimate concern that Obama attended a party with such potential thuggery? Were mob figures present? Nation of Islam goons? Terrorists (other than Ayers)? Fess up--again--LA Times. Put some sunshine in government.

Or maybe this. Maybe the leaker was a known Clintonite desperately trying to sabotage Obama's lead before it was too late. Why else would anyone trust the LA Times with such a tape knowing it could find its way onto the tubes? Unless they didn't care. Or unless they knew the secret was safe. But just imagine the embarrassment if the leaker turned out to be a Clinton operative with Bill currently out stumping for That One™ during the home stretch. By the way, where is Hillary?

Guess we should get used to it. Unless McCain can pull a gipper the coming Obama revolucion will likely feature many more such examples of high media integrity when the public interest is involved without a whit of irony as to how they handled the Bush era. Just don't question them about it and things will be fine.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Can't Fool All the People

More evidence that Tito the Builder might be the most intelligent pundit on the scene right now:


CNN's Politics main page this evening, 10/30, around 9 pm central. If you don't like clicking here are the top stories, magnified:


Nothing about Joe's records being hacked; nothing about Khalidi; nothing about Tito. And as if that's not enough, on the same page they posted some humor. Yes, that's hilarious, CNN.

Tied up in Knots

For the record, there will be no effigies hanging outside the McCloud household this Halloween. Not even one of bin Laden.

But if we were tempted to do such a thing there would be two of them--one with a likeness of Sarah Palin hanging directly next to another resembling Obama. It might be fun to watch the city police arrive with a court order demanding we unhang the Obama effigy then drive off as the Palin dummy twisted around in the fall breeze.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Verily he Sayeth Unto Us...

That yea though we walk through the valley of the shadow of McBush, Hussein will be with us; and our cup will runneth over from goodies stolen from Joe the Plumber's dreams; and sweetness and light will shineth all over the coming epoch.

Those who wish for sunshine on the past epoch, including parties with terrorists or mysterious university grades, are but mere distractions to teh feelgood perpetrated by GOP devils (that is, if one believes in the whole good bad thing, otherwise use the GOP Bourgeoisie).

And hey, his magic is already working--Fox cut down the World Series pre-game by about 20 minutes!

Iraq and the Obama Associations

Go ahead and trash this article as guilt by association, because it's going to contain a lot of associations, beginning with Rashid Khalidi and ending with Barack Obama.

McCain has joined the fray calling for the LA Times to release their tribute video to Khalidi whereupon:
A big farewell dinner was held in their honor by AAAN with a commemorative book filled with testimonials from their friends and political allies. These included the left wing anti-war group Not In My Name, the Electronic Intifada, and the ex-Weatherman domestic terrorists Bernadine Dohrn and Bill Ayers. (There were also testimonials from then-state Senator Barack Obama and the mayor of Chicago.)
So not only is there a video, but a testimonial book of some sort. But does any of this matter as to the election?

Yes. Think of the reverse scenario, with McCain was being linked to neo-nazis or separatists/secessionists, some of which was on a video that Fox News or Rush Limbaugh was sitting on, then imagine the reaction. But not only from a partisan perspective--the American people have the right to know if they're being pulled the wool from a guy almost nobody knew before 2004. If he likes to hang with Marxists, former radicals and ex-terrorists it's legitimate to ask whether he agrees with their views. His defense so far has been the incredulous stonewalling tactic, but time is quickly running out. So again yes, it does matter.

I'll let the big boys sort out this Times thing, since I'm more interested in whether Ayers' Weather thugs or Rashid Khalidi had any ties with the Palestinian terrorists, such as the group focused on a few days ago, the "May 15 Organization", who had a demonstrable connection to Saddam Hussein. As reported, this organization--evidently with cover from Iraq--set 13 bombs in the early 80s, one which blew up aboard a Pan Am 747 and killed a Japanese teenager. They found and defused the others.

Let's recap what was going on at the time. Reagan was president and America was slowly coming out of a recession. The Air Traffic Controllers were on strike then fired. Overseas, the Iraqis had attacked the Iranians and were fighting a bloody war on their border. One year earlier the Israelis disabled Saddam's nuke facility at Osirak and in 1982 were engaged in the first Lebanon war, a conflict started under a casus belli centered around the assassination attempt of Israel's UK ambassador Schlomo Argov by the Abu Nidal Organization, who were coddled by Saddam at the time.

In 1982 Rashid Khalidi was in Beirut working for the PLO press agency WAFA and had recently edited a section called "The Gulf and Palestine in Soviet Policy" in a book on the region, co-edited by Camille Mansour.

Name sound familiar? Well, Mansour is of no relation to Khalid al-Mansour, reportedly the benefactor who helped Obama gain entrance to Harvard Law in the late 80s. We don't know for sure because he ain't talking, which is like a flu with most of Obama's friends. Tick-tock.

What about Obama in the early 80s? He was attending Columbia and hanging around the library or so he says, at least most of the time. Meanwhile, the Weather Thugs had split up with one group containing Ayers and Dohrn and the other with the radicals, who had pulled off the Brinks robbery in 1981. Although this was the splinter weather group, there was an interesting name involved, one Nathanial Burns, aka Sekou Odinga. That should ring a bell to some, although it's not clear whether there's a connection.

But did they have any contact with radical Palestinian groups at the time? Hard to say. They were definitely part of the international resistance movement and we've learned that the Weather thugs had some contact with Cuba, but it's undeniable that Ayers and Dohrn had a cozy relationship with Khalidi after their wilder days ended, which was later shared by Obama. So it's natural to wonder if Obama shared their views about "justice" for the Palestinians, since he seems to share it for economics.

But what about Iraq? The PLO and Abu Nidal were not friends, at least on the surface. Saddam harbored Nidal, but he also befriended Arafat and later helped the families of suicide bombers in Israel with check payments. ANO was a socialist/Arab nationalist outfit, not Islamic (which would be antithetical to Ayers' since he seems to be irreligious). So even if there are no direct ties between terrorist groups in Iraq and the Weather thugs the leaders of these groups seem to have a common cause in mind--the Palestinians, and Khalidi does not seem to favor co-existing states.

But back to the 2003 party. I've been trying to find the date, but the closest I've come is a mislabeled "February 2005", missing the year. Was the party in Feb 2003? If so, that was only weeks before we invaded Iraq. Might there be some rhetoric on the tape about Saddam or other Arab nationalism? We know Obama was also familiar with Syrian Tony Rezko and Iraqi Auchi Nahdmi.

The LA Times has now said the source was confidential and they stand by their privacy agreement. How principled. Too bad they aren't the New York Times.

MORE 10/30/08

The apparent date of the party was early August 2003. Current events-wise, we were slogging along in Iraq with Saddam still on the lam and the Plame affair was beginning to brew based on David Corn's accusations.

BTW, here's Khalidi's perspectives on Palestine, if you can get through the video. Good luck.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

"Whack Job"?

This is simply unbelievable:
***In convo with Playbook, a top McCain adviser one-ups the priceless “diva” description, calling her “a whack job.”
It's absurd to think anybody in the McCain campaign would say such a thing--in context--to a site like Politico with one week left before the election. If true McCain should immediately concede and 1) admit his advisers are incompetent, or 2) he's incompetent. Gotta be something else going on. Or maybe this adviser did poorly on the "test".

Nobama 08 Blogburst

Presidential Character

By Mustang

Some people argue that domestic issues are of far greater importance than any discussion of character. I could not disagree more. All elections are about character. If we cannot trust the honor, patriotism, and fidelity of our elected representatives, then the issues don’t matter because whatever a candidate of low character shall say about political issues cannot matter.

I believe we each must consider the character of the two men who want us to elect them as our next president. Some may argue “What more is there to know about either candidate?” after a campaign that has lasted far too long. Ordinarily, at this point in the campaign, I would say, “nothing more.” Except in this election, “We the People” have found the press (as guardians of American democracy) seriously deficient. Rather than remaining impartial, the media has fallen head-over-heels in love with one of the candidates; we must excuse them from the jury of the court of public opinion. This year, the American people have not witnessed a fair trial.

Samuel Adams once said, "The public cannot be too curious concerning the characters of public men,” but this was long before the Obama Era. Political correctness and liberal bias have led us to outcries of racism for even asking questions not even remotely related to race.. The press castigated our friend “Joe the Plumber” for daring to ask about income redistribution. According to one radio report, the Secret Service visited a woman because she told an Obama Campaign worker that she would vote for Barack Obama, “over her dead body.” This kind of attention applied to citizens for merely expressing an opinion is patently un-American, but it is also reminiscent of the intimidation used to silence dissent in communist countries. Character matters all right, especially if suppression of the right of expression is what we can expect from an Obama presidency.

In order to assess the character of our presidential contenders, we must decide upon an appropriate exemplar. On the democratic side of the aisle, the obvious notables are Thomas Jefferson, Woodrow Wilson, Franklin Roosevelt, Harry Truman, John Kennedy, Lyndon Johnson, Jimmy Carter, and Bill Clinton. Jefferson may be too far back in time to serve as our role model. Roosevelt was a patent socialist. Truman left office as one of the most unpopular of all our presidents. Lyndon Johnson gave us too many scars. Mr. Carter was a buffoon and Bill Clinton . . . well, I wonder if we aren’t just a little too tired of hearing about him. Kennedy seems to qualify as the best Democratic Party exemplar, even if he was a womanizer; no one is perfect.

In the twentieth Century, notable Republican presidents have included Theodore Roosevelt, Dwight Eisenhower, Richard Nixon, and Ronald Reagan. Of these, Roosevelt was impetuous, Eisenhower cautious, Nixon resigned in disgrace, and Reagan was the great communicator. I therefore propose Reagan as our Republican Party exemplar.

In 1961, John Kennedy issued this mandate to the American people: “And so, my fellow Americans, ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country.” John Kennedy became the darling of the American people; many around the world shared this view. We called his presidency Camelot. He was young, relatively inexperienced, but he excited the people about America’s future. He believed in the rights of man, a strong national defense, and the protection of liberty throughout the world. He believed that nuclear deterrence was insufficient to maintain peaceful coexistence. He believed the United States should be a beacon of hope, and he argued for increased world trade. He sought to achieve working partnerships with other world leaders to achieve dignity, justice, and liberty for all the people of the world. He sought to attain solidarity among the western (Atlantic) nations; he refuted communism as doomed to failure. He set forth an economic policy of unshackled enterprise, industrial leadership, and vibrant capitalism. He sought to lower interest rates in order to increase the flow of money, reduced government spending, and lower taxes. He also vowed to help small businesses through government loans and fair trade policy. Mr. Kennedy was a fiscal conservative.

Ronald Reagan was once a Democrat. He said, “I didn’t leave my party; my party left me.” We assume he spoke about the party of John Kennedy, a platform designed to inspire the American people to greatness. This was also the platform of Ronald Reagan. He repudiated the policy of Jimmy Carter; looking forward, he said, “Democratic politicians are without programs or ideas to reverse economic decline and despair. They are divided, leaderless, unseeing, uncomprehending, they plod on with listless offerings of pale imitations of the same policies they have pursued so long, knowing full well their futility.”

Reagan brought the American people a new pride in their country and themselves, their achievements and future possibilities. He wanted the American people to have liberty and freedom of choice, low taxes as a catalyst for economic growth. He repudiated the so-called Great Society because it created low human productivity. He fought for an expansion of private property ownership, committed himself to improved economic opportunities for black Americans, rights and equality for every minority, and equal opportunities for women. He was committed to the rights of unborn children.


Modern Democrats have turned Kennedy’s ideal upside down; now the cry is “Ask what your country can do for you.” Today’s Democrat pursues the politics of dependency, the essential breaking point between civil rights leaders Martin Luther King, Jr., and Jesse Jackson. King wanted black Americans to realize the reality of equality, while Jackson’s policies pursue racism, separatism, and demands for greater gifts from the government. King wanted black Americans judged according to their character; Jackson views character as secondary concern because the means justifies the end. King fought for unity, Jackson has dedicated his entire life to reverse-segregation.

Modern Republicans have broken faith with the American people. They broke their Contract with America. Much of what has happened since mid-2005 is the result of this failure. As a Republican, I bemoan a Democratically controlled Congress, but I realize that men such as Duke Cunningham brought it to fruition. But, before anyone starts gloating, we should note that the United States Congress today has achieved the low point of popular opinion; it cannot possibly get worse. Or, can it?

It is time to ask ourselves where Barack Obama and John McCain stand with regard to our exemplars of presidential character. We should assume that “Country First” is a sentiment that every patriotic American deeply subscribes; that all of us want to see positive changes for the future. That said, let us dispense with bumper-sticker ideology, and investigate the actual character of each candidate. Let us consider the deeds of these men rather than their words.

Before announcing his candidacy for the highest office, Barack Obama associated himself with socialist organizations, a peculiar philosophy that supports state or collective ownership of all property and the means of production. Since we achieve personal and national wealth through property and the means of production, Mr. Obama apparently believes than an egalitarian society is only possible when the state controls property and wealth. By extension, the State will distribute wealth according to its own priorities, and the State will achieve this through any number of programs, including taxation. Socialist programs relieve individuals of responsibility, for themselves, and for their families. We see this clearly in Mr. Obama’s platform;

Economic Policy

• An immediate energy rebate to American families

• An expenditure of $50 billion to jumpstart the economy

• Federal assistance to states and localities in education, health care, and infrastructure

• Implement the Congressional housing bill through state and local spending

• Federal investment in infrastructure to replenish highways and bridges

• Expenditures in education to replace and repair schools

• Immediate steps to stem the loss of manufacturing jobs.

• Increase employment and implementing shared prosperity.

• National health care initiatives


We should perhaps note at this point that governments do not create wealth, people do. Governments may facilitate productivity through sound economic policy, but they cannot interfere in a market economy without significant disruption to capitalist investment and diminishing personal and corporate income and profits. Barack Obama’s socialist platform is anathema to Kennedy’s economic philosophy, and may be unparalleled since the days of Franklin Roosevelt. Simply stated, responsible government cannot spend more than anticipated revenues, and it is contrary to American values to redistribute income in a free-market environment.

John McCain is a moderate conservative approximating John Kennedy and Ronald Reagan. He believes that the Constitution of the United States limits the role of the federal government, and he strives to work with the Congress within a constitutional framework to improve government efficiency and reduce waste. Like Kennedy and Reagan, McCain believes that lower taxes improve productivity, and that reduced spending is fiscally responsible and economically necessary. While there are some things the federal government must do, other projects constitutionally fall within the purview of the 50 states. National defense and homeland security is something the federal government must do, but the central government must form partnerships with the states on other important human-services programs. Reflected in Mr. McCain’s platform:

Economic Policy

• Implement immediate transparency to the budgeting process

• Evaluate and reduce spending on wasteful and inefficient programs

• Empower states to improve public services

• Implement meaningful (and trustworthy) oversight of government programs

• Make government more efficient and responsive to citizen’s needs

• Prioritize spending to improve and safeguard America’s infrastructure

• Modernize Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid Programs

• Restore Social Security to a sound financial basis

• Expand opportunities to promote personal and industrial prosperity


Of these two men, which has the greatest character? Which of these candidates maintains faith with our founding principles of Constitutional Federalism, a steady hand on the tiller of state, while allowing individuals to choose for themselves their best course? John McCain is not a perfect man, nor is he without justifiable criticism of his previous positions; but John McCain is an open book. His service to his country and his associations has been honorable, and trustworthy.

Barack Obama has not been honest and forthright with the American people. He has hidden his past associations or played them down. He has defamed religious teaching through adherence to black separatist theology and racism, consorted with known terrorists, and enjoys the backing of organizations harmful to the interests and the people of the United States. As an advocate of socialist/Marxist ideology, Barack Obama is frankly, in our judgment, un-American. He falls far short of exemplars such as John Kennedy and Ronald Reagan.

Character matters because our nation is facing crises on several critical fronts. If we intend to resolve these problems, we must have the steady hand of true statesmanship. We must have in our president wisdom, experience, honesty, fidelity, and valor. Our president must be a man whose character is consistent with our Nation’s legacy of liberty and equality.

Every presidential election brings forth professional pundits who tell us that this election is the most important of our entire lifetime. This time, they could be right. Our selection of the right man will assure our children, and theirs, of a nation dedicated to individual liberty, prosperity, and the pursuit of happiness. If we choose the wrong man, we may very well witness an end to the United States as created by our forefathers. We are living in perilous times — there is no room for error in our selection of the 44th President of the United States.

On Election Day, one of these candidates will receive a majority of popular votes. In December, the Electoral College will validate the popular vote and confirm the identity of our next president. But this election is more than a referendum on the ability of the American voter to discern between two well-educated men. This election is rather a test of America’s ability to distinguish and reward personal character and to recognize integrity and statesmanship between one man who possesses these qualities and the other who does not.

We urge Americans to vote for John McCain. There simply is no other choice that is good for the American people, or our great country.

How do you tell a Communist? Well, it's someone who reads Marx and Lenin. And how do you tell an anti-Communist? It's someone who understands Marx and Lenin" — Ronald Reagan

also see..

Always on Watch / And Rightly So / Big Girl Pants / Confessions of a Closet Republican / Farmer’s Letters / GeeeeeZ / Has Everyone Gone Nuts? / Papa Frank / Paleocon Command Center / Pondering Penguin / Social Sense / The Amboy Times / The Crank Files / The Jungle Hut / The Logic Lifeline / The Merry Widow / Political Yen Yang

Monday, October 27, 2008

Calling all Idiots

They are from Tennessee and Arkansas. They do not represent Tennessee or Arkansas. Or the Mid South. Or Memphis. Or the Red States. Or Bitter Clingers. Or patriotism. Or the Republican Party. Or John McCain. Or Sarah Palin. Or Bill Clinton. Or Conservatives. Or Christians.

They represent all moronic idiots the world over who choose hate over love and can't think for themselves.

This event feels similar to the Fort Dix, Goose Creek, and Denver events, where suspected terrorists were captured on other charges then expressed their evil intent after arrest.

Whether these two had means to pull off the attack is debatable but all such threats have to be taken seriously not only literally, but also as to their societal relevance. A skinhead assassination of Obama might set race relations backwards 50 years overnight and cause chaos throughout the land. It's not out of the question that al Qaeda could recruit skins or other lily whites to target Obama in an effort to cause domestic destabilization ahead of or in conjunction with other attacks.

Will the civil libertarians complain as loudly about this event as they have about Islamic terror cell busts? Probably not. Regardless, it shows the importance of gaining intelligence to thwart events before they occur, something the left has largely groaned over during the Bush years.

Something else to keep in perspective. Once upon a time domestic terrorists plotted against America, the police, and the military. Some even managed to set off explosives, which killed a few people. Some later went to jail while other escaped justice and are currently employed in the Illinois university system.

The Right to Know

Some of the blogospheric buzz today is the lock down on a tape taken of Rashid Khalidi's going away party. Andy McCarthy makes the hard-to-argue point of a double-standard--who doesn't think the Times wouldn't release it if the video showed Palin at a party for young-earth creationists or secessionists? But he's a winger.

Jeralyn Merritt is not. Here's what she said about Khalidi back in April:
But I would like an explanation from Obama on his expressed support for Israel and his past support for Khalidi, which was shared by Ayers. In view of Obama's extensive reachout to Jewish voters, I think that's a reasonable request.
Yes she was a Hillary supporter, but in the same piece she praised Ayers and Dohrn, giving weight to her "reasonable request". After all, since Obama espouses the sunshine in government philosophy when it pertains to Bush it's reasonable to assume his own windows remain open.

But the bigger question is perhaps not whether the Times will release it, but whether anyone in the mainstream press is daring enough to ask Obama about it. For that matter, will they even ask him about the Syrian raid (since it seems to follow the Obama doctrine)? We've seen what happens when the campaign doesn't like the question.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

The Biggest Foreign Policy Mistake

Obama and others often like to say Saddam was no real threat to the United States and we could have left him alone in the middle of the Middle East without peril. Matter of fact, Barack has based his campaign on the judgment to stay out of Iraq, calling Bush's invasion after 9/11 the greatest foreign policy mistake ever.

The following article is from the New York Times on August 24, 1996, about a month after TWA flight 800 exploded off Long Island [emphasis added]:
The era of terrorist bomb attacks on airplanes is generally acknowledged to have begun on Aug. 11, 1982, when an explosion went off aboard a Pan Am jet en route to Honolulu from Tokyo. A 16-year-old Japanese boy was blown from his seat and bled to death before the pilots could land the Boeing 747.

Two weeks later, a bomb was discovered inside a small vinyl bag aboard another Pan Am jet. It did not explode and was found after the plane landed in Rio de Janeiro on a flight from Miami.

Comparing the devices, the F.B.I. found that the same plastic explosive, containing PETN -- the same substance found on wreckage from Flight 800 -- was used in both bombs. Federal officers also found that wiring from the unexploded bomb matched a hair-thin sliver retrieved from the body of the young victim, Toru Ozawa. In the following weeks, an informer helped the F.B.I. track down 12 more unexploded bombs aimed at Western interests. Similarities between the explosives and timers led authorities to conclude that the bombs were made by the same person or organization.
Follow this a moment. The bomb that killed the Japanese teenager on a Pan Am 747 in 1982 was linked to 12 other unexploded bombs, all traced to one entity. The Times tells us who:
The bomb that killed the Japanese teen-ager in 1982 had a devilish twist, which came to be regarded as the signature of the May 15 Organization, a Palestinian terrorist group named for the date in 1948 on which Israel was established.
And where was the 15th of May Organization based? Guess:
Location/Area of Operation

Baghdad until 1984. Before disbanding, operated in Middle East, Europe, and East Asia, Abu Ibrahim is reportedly in Iraq
.
After serving time in Greece the bomber of TWA 830, Mohammed Rashid, was released then nabbed by the FBI and recently sentenced to an American prison for his role in the murder. The leader of the gang, Abu Ibrahim, explained Iraq's connection in this Time article in 1991:
Awad felt he had no choice. He knew that the Iraqi government paid for May 15 members' rent and gasoline and provided Abu Ibrahim with documents, untraceable license plates and security guards. Now the May 15 chief had shown that with a word from him, the Iraqi military would bring Awad's business to a halt. Awad realized that he could not continue his life in Baghdad if he defied the bombmaker, and he headed for Abu Ibrahim's villa in the wealthy diplomatic quarter of southwest Baghdad. Abu Ibrahim welcomed the reluctant terrorist and personally trained him. At one point, Awad asked what would happen if the Iraqi police found the bomb in his suitcase while he was at the airport. "Don't worry," Abu Ibrahim replied. "The Iraqis know about everything we do."
Wow--decent proof that Saddam conspired with terrorists against the US from way back. But read the rest of it, which provides a rationale as to why Reagan didn't blow Saddam to kingdom come back in the 80s. As you might guess, it had something to do with our efforts to stop the Iranian revolution from expanding across the Sunni Arabian plains. Perhaps that was our biggest foreign policy mistake.

As to Ibrahim, he remains at large along with Rashid's wife Christine Pinter, whom he met through connections with the Baader-Meinhof Gang.

And speaking of Abu's, here's a story more pertinent to the news, featuring an Islamic fighter named Abu Ibrahim and his cross-border journey from Syria in an effort to fight for the Arab cause in Iraq.

Cross Border Syrian Raid

Neither confirmed nor denied. as yet.

As Allahpundit noted a commando raid suggests they were looking for somebody as opposed to just putting a cruise missile down the chimney, although massive explosions tend to attract more attention than a snatch and grab using small arms. Then again, helicopters aren't exactly inconspicuous and the attack took place in broad daylight, so it doesn't appear they were trying to hide themselves. We await further details.

In the meantime some patriots are weighing in over at HuffinPuff:
as expected, W. is delivering the October surprise Mac needed to put economy behind security.

"My friends, Today we are all Syrians."

When will we stop breaching other countries sovereignty? This is insane. We are homogenizing international laws and violating it whenever we please.

I hope Syria takes this matter to the United Nations and doesn't let it slide easily like they did with their aggressive occupying violent psychopathic bullying neighbor to the south
.
Let's see, Obama campaigns that he'll chase AQ into nuclear Pakistan (or anywhere) with or without permission of the host country and we hear cheering support. Bush evidently chases AQ into Syria without its blessing (we presume) and it's dangerous warmongering that should be reported to the UN.

Yes, the hate is so deep they'll defend a proven sponsor of terrorism whose leader most likely ordered the murders of both Rafiq Hariri and Pierre Gemayel along with setting up a clandestine nuke site with North Korea's help.

Maybe this is what Biden was referring to in his recent comments about standing with the Obama administration after he's been tested. Everyone assumes he meant otherwise.

Well whatever. Maybe president-elect Obama can just bypass Bush and send one of two capable special envoys to broker a surrender...

Saturday, October 25, 2008

On Eligibility

Regards Berg's lawsuit claiming Barack isn't eligible, here's the New York Times coverage:
One of the scurrilous right-wing rumors about Barack Obama is that he is a Kenyan citizen. That’s wrong.
From Kristof's blog. Which doesn't talk about Berg. Oh, here it is--a stock AP rewrite.

And here's the New York Times' coverage of John McCain's eligibility issues:
A lawsuit challenging Mr. McCain’s qualifications is pending in the Federal District Court in Concord, N.H.
And this. And more. All the news that's fit to print.


ht Poli-yy.

MORE 10/25/08

Guess this isn't fit to print, either, but it's a different Times this time.

Side Tracks



Nuff said.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Ayers Finally Located

The ex-dangerous professor was finally located tonight, much to the relief of the vast right wing conspiracy. Apparently he was hiding in an ingenious location--his own neighborhood:



Congrats to Fox and Jessie Watters for staking out this [insert appropriate slam here] scumbag. Normally I don't care much for O'Reilly's badgering tactics but in this case it seemed appropriate since it's doubtful the MSM was ever going to track him down, even if Palin, Joe the Plumber and Arnold Schwarzenegger showed up on his street to campaign.

Speaking of wardrobes, the Red Star shirt was a nice touch. Maybe he'll start a new craze. Otherwise it's hard to expand upon OR's excellent analysis other than to say he didn't call the police, he called the "pigs, man" to protect his "private property", two constructs now dripping with sweet irony.

But the last laugh is that in eleven days this man, Bill, might have an advocate and friend in the White House. As bizarre as this sounds I tend to agree with Joe the Plumber. Hey, wonder what he thinks about investments?

MORE 10/27/08

And again, by dangerous right wing hack Brian Ross. "What is it you're hiding, sir?" Gee Brian--he's been hiding 'it' for a year.

Those Crazy Kids!

Within two days we've seen two stories in the blogs about college-age kids practicing rather juvenile hijinks in an effort to help their favored candidate. One got national press attention and the other got, well, blog attention.

This isn't to diminish the absurd stupidity of the Pennsylvania college Republicans who thought it might be fun to play a little game of race-baiting by concocting a politically and racially motivated phony attack. These idiots were so idiotic they forgot to scratch the "B" on her cheek correctly. Stick with twister, guys.

The only hope left for conservatives is for these clowns to end up being closet Obama supporters working under deep cover trying to embarrass McCain. A rather thin reed, indeed.

But contrary to the Fox News guy's opinion it's not necessarily going to end McCain's chances unless someone directly ties her to the campaign itself, although the media will be doing their best to leave that impression.

What was the other story? Oh yeah, possible voter fraud in Ohio. That's all.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Unrepentant

This is making the rounds. Mr. Grathwohl was an FBI informant working in the Weather Underground with Ayers in the 70s:



I want you to imagine sitting in a room with 25 people, most of which have graduate degrees, from Columbia and other well-known educational centers, and hear them figuring out the logistics for the elimination of 25 million people. And they were dead serious.
Keep in mind this documentary was made in 1982 while Obama was hiding in the Columbia library and Ayers was down the street attending Banks College.

The video mentions foreign enemies taking over the country after the revolution. Smacks of a drug-induced fantasy but here's something from the New York Times in 1977 mentioning Ayers:
"In February 1970, leading WUO member Bill Ayers told fellow underground WUO member Larry Grathwohl that if communication could not be made through these Canadian numbers, an individual should get in touch with the Cuban Embassy in Canada in order to establish contact with other members of the WUO," the report said.
Just idealistic college kids who thought they could change the world when Obama was eight, right? Now they're idealistic adults who hope for change today, when Obama's 48. Peruse some of Ayers' available You Tube videos and he appears a garden variety liberal freethinking idealist bent to educate capitalism out of America's children, and Obama worked with him on that reform. Now Obama's on the verge of entering the White House during a "once in a generation" crisis of capitalism, one which Ayers and Dohrn must be thrilled about. Caveat emptor, as the professors say.

see LGF and Confederate Yankee.

Obama's Tax Cut

Obama is trying to counter Joe the Plumber with a cheap ripoff of Al Bundy to pimp his tax cut. Meet "Al the Shoe Salesman":



Is he real? Is Obama's tax cut real? Feel free to visit the calculator and do the math yourself (and endure the strange computer music). You'll see cuts, but not in graduated intervals, so it feels more like another stimulus check (which we know can be one and done). The only numbers he's throwing around are 95 percent and 250,000K, but even the 250K is a little deceptive.

Here's a screenshot of an input of 200,000-250,000 salary; married filing jointly; 2 deductions; saving for retirement; and with college expenses:



As can be seen, this person is not likely to get a cut even though making less than 250K. But wait! Listening closely to Obama's plan reveals that comrades making between 200,000 and 250,000 would not see any tax cuts, but wouldn't see any increases. If that feels like a change just remember, Obama is change. This, on the other hand, is a change that was slipped in under the radar.

MORE 10/26/08

One thing lost in the shuffle of Obama's prize winning giveaway plan to the middle class (taken at gunpoint from the rich) are the actual tax rates. They will not go down. The only ones he's pinned down are the highest brackets, which will go up.

But the real deception lies in the current Bush tax cuts. Obama and Biden have lied real hard to make it seem like they were only given to the rich, whereas in real life they were given to EVERYONE who pays taxes. Obama will allow them to expire in 2009, which equals an effective tax increase for more than just the rich. My daddy always warned me to be wary of slick-talking snake oil salesmen selling something that's too good to be true, and this year the Dems have not one, but TWO of them.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Al Qaeda Endorses Obama

By endorsing McCain:
"Al-Qaeda will have to support McCain in the coming election," said a commentary posted Monday on the extremist Web site al-Hesbah, which is closely linked to the terrorist group. It said the Arizona Republican would continue the "failing march of his predecessor," President Bush.
It's pretty clear. If Jihadist websites are favoring McCain they obviously prefer Obama. Why would they tell the truth?

Oh sure, the case can be made that bin Laden is trying to "Soviet" us into bankruptcy, a line of propaganda they're finally picking up on by calling our financial mess proof of victory:
In language that was by turns mocking and ominous, the newest posting credited al-Qaeda with having lured Washington into a trap that had "exhausted its resources and bankrupted its economy."
But the alternative is to give up and cede the same territory back to the jihadists. There's no question that when if Obama retreats from Iraq the world will witness a collective swoon from the fanatics, insurgents, extremists and criminals, emboldening any of their future endeavors. The term "paper tiger" came from both Saddam and bin Laden.

So leaving isn't the best option, either. I'm certainly open to other ideas, but as Obama indicated today his strategy is already set:
“The next administration is going to be inheriting a whole host of really big problems and so the president is going to be tested and the question is will the next president meet that test by moving America in a new direction by sending a clear signal to the rest of the world that we are no longer about bluster and unilateralism and ideology but we’re about creating partnerships around the world to solve practical problems.”
That'll strike fear into 'em--we'll open fire on head-chopping child murderers with partnerships to solve the problem of getting rid of Israel, like perhaps via financial help from our busted economy. These guys must be quietly licking their chops thinking the Great Satan is on its last legs.

BTW, did you catch Obama's dig against McCain in the Ellen clip? Yes, yes, surely Barack's a better dancer than an old war cripple. Wait, is that racist?

To the Moon, India

Good grief, we better get back on the stick:
Chandrayaan-1—which means "Moon Craft" in ancient Sanskrit—is scheduled to launch from the Sriharikota space center in southern India at 8:20 p.m. EDT Tuesday in a two-year mission aimed at laying the groundwork for further Indian space expeditions.

Chief among the mission's goals is mapping not only the surface of the moon, but what lies beneath. If the launch is successful, India will join what's shaping up as a 21st century space race with Chinese and Japanese crafts already in orbit around the moon
Nice to know they've put all our outsourcing dollars to good use. Seriously, what an amazing accomplishment. Or maybe they just really want that Google X Prize.

Now, if NASA can just keep them from scanning Tranquility Base and blowing our secret lunar history!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Nobama 08 Blogburst

An Enigma Named Barack

by L. A. Sunset

We The People, in order to preserve a more balanced reality, are committed to learning the truth and uncovering the obscurity of a presidential candidate; a man long cloaked in a mysterious veil, and one that we presume hides the truth and distorts the true man who is Barack Obama.

Our opposition to Mr. Obama is not a factor of race, ethnic identity, nor even his place of domicile (i.e., Chicago); it is rather about his past associations, his character, his judgment, and his vision for the future of the United States of America. We believe that these are valid questions and concerns, that the American press has failed to address them in an honest and forthright manner, and that the American people have the right to know the answers to several questions.

Despite rhetoric designed to mislead and misinform the American voter, such as that Barack Obama is a political centrist; that he sincerely wants to change politics inside the beltway; and/or there is hope for a new day under an Obama administration, the issue of his past associations, statements, and activities demand greater scrutiny. We have learned that Mr. Obama’s associations have deep roots within the modern socialist movement, black separatist theology, known ties to anti-Jewish/Pro-Muslim persons, and Chicago-styled machine-politics. We believe that when combined these radical elements present a clear and present danger to American social tradition and every citizen’s quest for life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. The “A” list of Mr. Obama’s associates includes (but is not limited to):

William Ayers, an unrepentant terrorist, who by his own admission assures us that he did not participate in enough acts of terror to advance his cause properly, has achieve national attention.

Rev. Jeremiah Wright, whose vile condemnations of “white America” entertained Mr. Obama for twenty years.

Rev. Louis Farrakhan (born: Louis Eugene Walcott) who, as the leader of the Nation of Islam is a racist, a black separatist, a homophobe, and an anti-Semite.

Barack Obama joined with Louis Farrakhan and Libyan leader Muammar al-Gaddafi supporting Raila Odinga in his bid to become president of Kenya. Odinga’s political defeat resulted in Muslim violence, burning churches, murdering 1,000 anti-Odinga voters, and renewed demands for the imposition of Shari’ah Law.

Abongo (Roy) Obama, the brother of Barack, is a former Christian now radical Muslim convert, supporter of Cousin Raila Odinga. Roy Obama wants to institute Shari’ah law, wants Barack Obama to convert back to Islam and, as an American president, adopt anti-Israeli policies.

Moussa Marzook is a member of Hamas and author of the Hamas Manifesto, first published in the Los Angeles Times and later reprinted and sold by Jeremiah Wright from the vestibule of Trinity United Church of Christ. Mr. Marzook was indicted by the United States government on issues relating to foreign terrorist activities inside the United States of America. Hamas endorsed Barack Obama for the American presidency in April 2008.

Tony Rezko gave financial backing to Barack Obama early in his to-date short-lived political career. Even though Mr. Obama plays down the association with Mr. Rezko, it is difficult to ignore that the facts prove differently. (See also: Allison Davis, below)

Nadhmi Auchi is linked to Barack Obama through Tony Rezko. He is an Iraqi born billionaire who the U. S. government claims operated as a bagman for Saddam Hussein. He is a London-based financier, one of the world’s richest men. In 2003, he was convicted of fraud involving the “Elf Affair,” Europe’s largest scandal since the end of World War II.

Allison Davis, former employer of Barack Obama, who later closed his law firm and became a partner of Tony Rezko. Davis assigned Mr. Obama to legal work on behalf of Mr. Rezko.

Rev. James T. Meeks, whom Barack Obama regularly sought for counseling, who served as an Obama delegate at the Democratic Convention and is a long-time political ally, who aided Obama as an influential black supporter, received funding from Tony Rezko. Meeks is known for anti-Jewish and homophobic rhetoric.

Rashid Khalidi, along with William Ayers and Barack Obama, is a former professor at Chicago University. He directs the Palestine Press Agency in Beirut, is an agent of the Arab American Action Network, and according to a top official of former-President George H. W. Bush and a former CIA intelligence officer, former Weather Underground
leader William Ayers funneled money to Khalidi, who maintains ties with the Palestine Liberation Organization. Khalidi also received $70,000 from the Woods Fund, and held fund-raising events in his home on behalf of Barack Obama.

Barack Obama is a former director of The Woods Fund, a non-profit organization that, in addition to its interests in “giving a voice to less advantaged people,” helped funnel money to Rashid Khalidi for the Arab American Action Network, which presumably includes Palestinian interests within the United States. The Woods Fund also helps to finance “community organizing, and public policy.”

Created in 1995 to help raise funds to reform Chicago public schools, the Chicago Annenberg Challenge involved William Ayers as a leading founder, who in turn appointed Barack Obama to its board of directors. Mr. Obama served on the board for
six years. According to investigative journalist Stanley Kurtz, writing for the Wall Street Journal, reforming Chicago public schools is a bid misleading: it was a program designed to radicalize students more than it was to educate them. According to Ayers, “Teachers should be community organizers, dedicated to provoking resistance to American racism and oppression.”


Astute Bloggers has illustrated additional past associations; it is a well-researched expose providing a clear view of what lays just beneath the surface of Obama’s deception. We understand why Mr. Obama would want to play down these associations; we do not understand why the American news media would assist him in doing so. Nevertheless, Astute Bloggers lifts the veil on two well-known groups: The New Party, and the Chicago Democrat Socialists of America. Let's take a closer look.

The New Party is an obscure, lesser-known political group. It practices a political strategy called electoral fusion, which entails placing a political candidate on several lines of the same ballot. An example of how electoral fusion works is located at this page; look for the lead “Vote your values,” two-thirds of the way down on the right-hand side of the page. Once a candidate receives the support of Democratic kingmakers, and if the New Party feels the candidate will serve their socialist cause, they will add the candidate's name more than once in order to gain votes that are more popular. From the above link:

The New Party is an umbrella organization for grassroots political groups working to break the stranglehold that corporate money and corporate media have over our political process.

Our current work and long-term strategy is to change states' election rules to allow fusion voting - a method of voting that allows minor parties to have their own ballot line with which they can either endorse their own candidates or endorse the candidates of other parties. Through fusion, minor parties don't have to always compete in the winner-take-all two party system and can avoid "spoiling" - throwing an election to the most conservative candidate by splitting the votes that might go to two more progressive candidates (ours and another party's).


Not surprisingly, “community organizing” is the bedrock of The New Party; socialist progressivism is their ideology. The Chicago chapter maintains a close relationship to the Associations of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN). According to this 1996 publication, Barack Obama is clearly affiliated with The New Party

Illinois: Three NP-members won Democratic primaries last spring and face off against Republican opponents on Election Day: Danny Davis (U.S. House), Barack Obama (State Senate), and Patricia Martin (Cook County Judiciary).

Note: Readers familiar with Chicago politics will recognize the names of former Chicago mayor Danny Davis on that list also.


From this evidence, we begin to understand the role electoral fusion played in Mr. Obama’s rapid rise to political power.

Chicago Democrat Socialists of America pursues socio-political programs implied by the title of their organization, but even this organization is more than meets the eye. Cornel West, while serving as an Honorary Chair to Chicago DSA penned a remarkably revealing essay entitled Toward a Socialist Theory of Racism. Chicago DSA and Dr. West were particularly interested in Barack Obama because of his New Party affiliation, his success in running for State senator, and the strategies he employed, to wit: “Barack Obama, victor in the 13th State Senate District, encouraged NPers to join in his task forces on Voter Education and Voter Registration.”

Well, so what if Barack Obama peaks the interest of the Chicago DSA? It is important because no one backs a dark-horse candidate unless there is a chance he will win, and/or there is a reasonable expectation for a return of political capital. In an article entitled, The End of Liberalism socialist author Daniel Cantor wrote, “A massive Times-Mirror poll registered 53% of the public in favor of a ‘major third party,’ so there's no doubt that the soil is fertile. Among the hopeful contenders is the ‘New Party,’ one of a handful of newly forming independent, progressive parties in the country. New Party chapters have backed 93 candidates in nine states over the last eighteen months and won 62 elections.” An index of New Party political propaganda is available, here.

Daniel Cantor, of course, is the executive director of New York’s Working Families Party, another socialist group with chapters in Connecticut and Oregon. He urges socialists, “Vote Your Values.” This would appear to be good advice for everyone with values.

John Nichols writes for The Nation, a politically progressive publication. Nichols is a well-established writer, perhaps best known for ad nausium demands for the impeachment of George W. Bush for war crimes and other frivolous reasons; so much for his credibility.

Taken by themselves, none of these concerns will alter the course of human history. After all, as Americans, we encourage political and social discourse; we value the right of everyone to express an opinion, no matter how insane that opinion may be, and all of us have the right to associate with anyone we choose. Yet it is instructive to note that socialist radicals have completely infiltrated the Democratic Party, and we need no further proof than the inane rhetoric emanating from every Democrat in the House and Senate. The concern expressed in this essay is not that other ideas are unworthy of debate; it is rather that Barack Obama freely decided to associate with dangerously radical and disreputable influences and he now seeks to hide those associations.

Why would he do that? Barack Obama wants to become our next president; he knows that most Americans repudiate Marxist/socialist ideology; he is aware that if most voters begin to see the real Barack Obama, John McCain will win the election. But we believe that Barack Obama has been dishonest with American voters who are capable of thinking. We believe he has taken advantage of Americans voters who are incapable of thinking. We believe that if Mr. Obama stepped up to a microphone and told us what he really believes, he would be lucky to win the post of an Animal Control Specialist.

Honesty, truthfulness, clarity, judgment, motivation, patriotism, and common sense are all important attributes for the office of the President of the United States. We do not believe that Barack Obama has any of these qualities. And, if Mr. Barack Obama has been less than truthful about his associations, what makes anyone think we can trust his campaign promises, his vision for America? The fact is that every man is free to associate with whomever he pleases; but this does not protect any man from judgments about those associations. We believe that the sheer weight of Mr. Obama’s involvement with questionable individuals and organizations will lead a reasonable person to query both his judgment and motivation for nefarious associations.

We the People of the United States, who are also a loose confederation of bloggers, categorically reject Barack Obama for president. He is a radical socialist, he is a black separatist, a racist, he harbors pro-Muslim/Anti-Jewish sentiments and associates, he identifies with homophobes, convicted swindlers, known terrorists, creative financiers, and he has already signaled his willingness to sacrifice National Security for a dialogue with Muslim fanatics.

We cannot vote for this man. We urge you to join us in defeating Barack Obama. So say us one, so say us all.

also see..

Always on Watch / And Rightly So / Big Girl Pants / Confessions of a Closet Republican / Farmer’s Letters / GeeeeeZ / Has Everyone Gone Nuts? / Papa Frank / Paleocon Command Center / Pondering Penguin / Social Sense / The Amboy Times / The Crank Files / The Jungle Hut / The Logic Lifeline / The Merry Widow / Political Yen Yang

Monday, October 20, 2008

Miss Run Amok Resurfaces

On Fox, no less. But just one minute--for all who pegged Judy Miller as a neocon, not so fast:
“I was a Hillary supporter who has gone over to the Obama side,” Miller told Politico earlier by phone. “Lots of people think they know what I believe, but don’t.”
I suspect that will be a tough one for many to swallow, figuring she's pulling a Colin Powell rehabilitation maneuver. Oddly, both had parts in the Plame affair.

But I'm not convinced she was ever a neocon. After all, she was a New York Times reporter, and besides, we've been told that guilt by association is wrong, wrong, wrong. And sad. Very sad. Pay no mind to the fact that Joe Lieberman and Christopher Hitchens, both liberal thinkers about everything short of national security, were instantly and virulently branded as neocons for supporting Bush on Iraq (although Hitch has fallen off the wagon--predicted, sort of) and such associations are perfectly legitimate, yet McCain brings up Ayers and he's an evil racist. Ah, just another day in leftyworld.

Wonder if Ms. Miller has a similar narrow agreement with Fox News she had with Patrick Fitzgerald on her grand jury testimony about Scooter? In other words, can someone finally ask her where she got Joe Wilson's name before talking to Libby, and just what the hell the "Aspens" were all about? Or what does she think about that reporter shield law that quietly went down the drain last month?

Maybe it'll be covered in the movie.

Testing the Mettle

Jim Geraghty will soon be slimed for right-wing fearmongering. The charge? Repeating Joe Biden's campaign rhetoric:
I've been asking Obama waverers if they thought Putin and Medvedev would take it easy on the new guy while he learns the ropes. Russia's a good bet, but you have to wonder if Hezbollah and Hamas would feel like they could take some shots at Israel while the new president settles in. Ahmadinejad might enjoy rattling the saber, and seeing if Obama still makes good on his pledge for a summit without preconditions within one year. If Kim Jong Il is still alive and kicking, God knows what he'll try with a new guy.
Follow the link to read Biden's set-up (or apology for Barack's experience, whichever) if you've not already heard it. If Obama wins he'll be entering office not only with one of the most aggressive domestic agendas in recent memory but also with an agenda to 'change the world'. How many foreign leaders will see this as extreme naivete? Lots, perchance.

Hamas is already running interference by saying they'll send Obama a note of congratulations the moment he wins election. No doubt we'll also be treated to images of Arabs dancing in the streets firing their Kalashnikovs. So sure, Biden is already trying to temper the coming blows.

Oddly enough ole four-letter Joe seems to be suggesting, once again, that McCain might be a better choice at this point. Or Hillary. Or perhaps himself.

Of Records and Such

From the WaPo:
"Voters need to know who is most likely to be running the country in 2010 if Senator McCain is elected in 2008," Wendy Epstein, a New York dermatologist and Obama supporter, wrote in an eight-page analysis of the senator's risk circulating on the Internet.
Death-wish 2008. Here's the Times' foray into political fitness:
Both Barack Obama and Joe Biden released recent medical records to the Times showing that they were healthy, though Altman notes that Biden's documents "did not indicate whether he had had a test in recent years to detect any new aneurysm," and Obama's most recent check-up was in January 2007.
That's funny. CBS News is saying otherwise:
Biden, now 67 years old, has yet to release his medical history, of which the aneurysms are one of the few known episodes.

Biden’s spokesman David Wade told Politico that "we intend to make available his medical history before the election.”
But let's not obsess on records of the past, such as original birth certificates, college transcripts or State Senate records and the like. They are but distractions! It's all about the issues, and Mrs. Palin, of course:
Meanwhile, "Nothing is known publicly about Ms. Palin's medical history," Altman reports, "aside from the much-discussed circumstances surrounding the birth of her fifth child last April. Ms. Palin has said that her water broke while she was at a conference in Dallas and that she flew to Anchorage, where she gave birth to her son Trig hours after landing.
Ah yes, the true motive of this sudden medical interest--it's a reminder McCain is still old and formerly cancerous and suggestive that Palin still might not be Trigg's mama. They know Barack is as healthy as a horse (he shoots hoops with the troops) and, sad to say, nobody really cares about Biden, evidenced by his gaffe-a-minute roadshow to nowhere.

The American people deserve no less than a full medical history, governmental history, business history, college (and other schools) history, voting history, and a full vetting of all these candidates' primary friends and associations. So c'mon 60 Minutes and the Chicago Tribune--let's get busy before time runs out.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Wheat From Chaff

This is perhaps a waste of time and effort for what it's worth, but it's the big news story of the day, so here goes.

Colin Powell's endorsement of Obama is perhaps the most absurd of the season so far. Much like the Chicago Tribune endorsement Friday, Powell went through a litany of reasons why he's backing Obama, none of which really make sense.

The left is in full celebration of the man they formerly blamed for not speaking enough truth to power. It's a faux cheer of course--they are really cheering the backstab. If Powell were the GOP nominee he would have received the Rice, Thomas treatment from these quacks long ago, regardless of any unity message.

Actually, Powell is bit like Obama as a speaker. He has a syrupy smooth and soothing speaking style that tends to lull the viewer, but beauty is truth. His allegations that the GOP is moving further right are laughable considering their nominee this year. And even if, what kind of conservative eschews his principles for a man who is arguably further left than George McGovern? A man who's looking primarily at race, status, and job opportunities perhaps?

For instance, he didn't talk much about Obama's lack of expertise in military affairs or how he might handle Iraq or fight terrorists, despite Obama's promises. He did fantasize about a future president Obama reaching out to "all towns, not just small towns" in bringing together America, a slap at Palin. Now, whether that includes plumbers or those clinging to church and guns wasn't covered, nor was Obama's wind-swept history of reaching across aisles.

The general then brushed off Obama's dabblings with a confessed traitor much better than Obama ever has, insinuating such past associations are silly and meaningless and perhaps even racist. This despite Obama forgetting to mention that he shared an office with Ayers in Chicago during his Annenberg Challenge period, something That One ™ completely ignored when asked during debates.

Too bad Brokaw didn't ask Powell whether such meaningless associations would disqualify Obama from getting a top secret security clearance if he were applying for a federal job (which also requires college transcripts). But he speaks so well!

As to Barack governing from the middle, it's certainly nice to envision such a thing (and we should all "hope" he does) but reality could be far different. If Barack rides into DC with a mandate and filibuster-proof Senate he'll have no reason to govern from anywhere but the left. And that's really what this "change" is all about.

The anecdote about the Muslim soldier who gave his life was seriously touching and wonderful, but he was using it as a political hammer. Bush was the one who coined the phrase "religion of peace" and McCain has never talked down people's faith like Obama has. McCain didn't deny sitting in a racist church whose pastor blamed guys like Powell for America's roosting chickens. In reality his allegations are a classic strawman -- that unnamed GOP leaders who are racist and xenophobic -- designed to topple over Mac's head at the last minute.

So the final nail has been nailed, the knife of revenge turned. The man who's been angling for it since Armitage dropped Plame's name to Novak has finally spoken, and spoken well. Shall we forget he once endorsed his friend Dick Cheney for VP or have his neocon warmongering ways now been forgiven? Perhaps we'll find out when the cabinet picks are announced.

MORE 10/20/08

It's hard to make this stuff up:
Colin Powell will have a role as a top presidential adviser in an Obama administration, the Democratic White House hopeful said today.

"He will have a role as one of my advisers," Barack Obama said on NBC's "Today" in an interview aired today, a day after Powell, a four-star general and President Bush's former secretary of state, endorsed him
.
Let's see, Colin Powell once believed Saddam was working with AQ. Colin Powell was in favor of taking out Saddam, a move Barack Obama believes was the "worst foreign policy mistake" we've ever made. I wonder, who's going to be advising whom?

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Side Tracks

Had a southern rock theme in mind this week but just noticed my friend LA over at Poli-yy beat me to it. Check out his lineup of Capricorn artists from the 70s, one of which was the Marshall Tucker Band. Here's a live clip, one I think captures the tightness of this group (whom I saw live several times):



There's also a passing this week. Not everyone knew his name but they knew "The Four Tops". Levi Stubbs, the lead singer, passed away Friday. RIP.

Friday, October 17, 2008

The Chicago Curse

I blame the Cubs:
On Nov. 4 we're going to elect a president to lead us through a perilous time and restore in us a common sense of national purpose. The strongest candidate to do that is Sen. Barack Obama. The Tribune is proud to endorse him today for president of the United States.
This is somewhat surprising and troubling since the Cubs have actually gone to the World Series sooner than the Tribune last endorsed a Democrat. Is McCain now cursed? Perhaps it's worth a bit of scrutiny.

Start with this, which suggests the endorsement wasn't all that "surprising":
On Dec. 6, 2006, this page encouraged Obama to join the presidential campaign.
Prophesy fulfilled. Moving ahead:
...as he rose from an effective state senator to an inspiring U.S. senator to the Democratic Party's nominee for president.
Which part of the 120+ "present" votes constitutes effective? Surely they aren't referring to gun control or babies born alive? And surely they know the exact living room or law firm from which that career began--we await confirmation. But "inspiring" U.S. Senatorial career? That's news to some.

It gets thicker and heavier, though:
Obama envisions a change in the way we deal with one another in politics and government. His opponents may say this is empty, abstract rhetoric. In fact, it is hard to imagine how we are going to deal with the grave domestic and foreign crises we face without an end to the savagery and a return to civility in politics.
Like bashing plumbers who dare question his dedication to the middle class then not apologizing for his supporters when they dragged him through the mud? Or like "Truth Squads" formed in Missouri containing elected officials threatening to crack down with the force of law on anyone employing politics as usual? Or bashing the sitting president while talking policy with foreign leaders behind his back? Or making irrational pledges to invade nuclear countries unilaterally if they don't acquiesce to our demands? Maybe the Trib needs to occasionally check the actual news wires every once in awhile (or maybe they only subscribe to AP and Reuters).
The Republican Party, the party of limited government, has lost its way. The government ran a $237 billion surplus in 2000, the year before Bush took office -- and recorded a $455 billion deficit in 2008.
No great argument there, but how does it make sense to cure that problem with an even bigger spender?
He has responded to the economic crisis with an angry, populist message and a misguided, $300 billion proposal to buy up bad mortgages.
There they go with "angry". The press was so eager to paint McCain as angry that they've painted him as angry without him ever showing any signs of anger. Count me as one who figured he'd eventually blow his top but it hasn't happened. One can argue his reaction to the bailout bill was a strategic blunder, but I won't--had he returned to DC and screamed "no we can't" Congress would have followed; the bill would not have passed; the stock market would have dropped anyway and with no rescue package the meltdown would have been entirely his fault. He had no choice.
McCain failed in his most important executive decision. Give him credit for choosing a female running mate--but he passed up any number of supremely qualified Republican women who could have served. Having called Obama not ready to lead, McCain chose Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin.
Biden, anyone? But there's a nifty turnaround on Palin. They say McCain made a mistake by removing his "not ready to lead" argument in picking the Sarahcuda, but picking her didn't change the fact Obama isn't ready to lead, it just took some of the luster off it, ie, if he's not, she's certainly not. Yet the Trib is endorsing Obama due to his superior leadership. Go figure.

BTW, perhaps they'd be kind enough to list all the qualified GOP women he passed over so we can discuss--personally I didn't see that made as much sense politically. He is trying to win--that's still OK in AmeriKKKa, right?
We know first-hand that Obama seeks out and listens carefully and respectfully to people who disagree with him.
General Petraeus or Mahmoud Ahmadinejad?
He worked to expand the number of charter schools in Illinois--not popular with some Democratic constituencies.
Please do tell us more about his thoughts on education reform. Do they match Ayers's views? Does the answer have something to do with Obama being eight?
He took up ethics reform in the U.S. Senate--not popular with Washington politicians.
Bravo, we need more. But it wasn't a big news story, he didn't go that far out on a limb, and not much got done. If the Trib really wants reform perhaps they need a second look at the ditzy unqualified chick.

We're getting to the end now, where the final howlers lay:
Obama is deeply grounded in the best aspirations of this country, and we need to return to those aspirations. He has had the character and the will to achieve great things despite the obstacles that he faced as an unprivileged black man in the U.S.
And it would be nice if we could pin down all those aspirations before the clock runs out. As to "unprivileged", are they kidding? He attended private elementary schools, Occidental College, Columbia University, and Harvard Law--at least we think he did based on the sketchy memories of the few who recall him then. Oh well, perhaps he'll release his transcripts soon along with all the instances where he was denied jobs or promotions due to his race. We await.
When Obama said at the 2004 Democratic Convention that we weren't a nation of red states and blue states, he spoke of union the way Abraham Lincoln did.
Count me as one who was inspired by that speech as well. He's a good speaker (although McCain was funnier at the Alfred dinner last night). But the reality is he's spent a year driving a wedge between rich and poor, Republican and Democrat, black and white, elite and hick. His message of hope and change has withered under the hot lights of win or lose. All indications say he's lying about his past and lying about our future.

But again, maybe we should blame the Cubs. Or Chicago players of some kind.

What's He Up To?

Louis Farrakhan, that is:
Hundreds of religious leaders of different faiths have been invited to the event planned for Sunday, a rededication of the group's historic Mosque Maryam on the city's South Side. Farrakhan is scheduled to speak.

"We have restored Mosque Maryam completely, and we will dedicate it to the universal message of Islam, and the universal aspect of the teachings of the Honorable Elijah Muhammad," Farrakhan said in an invitation letter. "It represents for the Nation of Islam, a new beginning.
"
Obama is still stinging (only mildly, since nothing really stings him) from the Reverend's prophecy moment in February. Everyone knows such quasi-endorsements don't really help that One with the clinging masses, made clear by Reverend Jackson's recent remarks in Europe. Some say these two leaders are angling to maintain their relevance, or worse. Judge for yourself.

Exit note--the article mentioned a bit of past history about Farrakhan but left out the most colorful, for some reason:

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Hysteria is in the Eye of the Beholder

Try if you will to make sense of this:
While a few of Alaska's large glaciers are advancing, 99 percent are retreating, the book, "Glaciers in Alaska," states. The book was written by USGS research geologist Bruce Molina.
In combination with this:
Never before in the history of a research project dating back to 1946 had the Juneau Icefield witnessed the kind of snow buildup that came this year. It was similar on a lot of other glaciers too.

"It's been a long time on most glaciers where they've actually had positive mass balance," Molnia said.
And finally...this:
Permafrost continues to warm, however the rate of warming in the 2000s is significantly slower than in the 1990s. There is a continued tendency for a decrease in the snow cover of the Northern Hemisphere in the months of April through October. Glaciers are shrinking in most of the world. The amount of river discharge to the Arctic Ocean is increasing.
Is it any wonder Palin said she's not sure global warming is 100 percent mad-made? Mere men can't even fully explain it.

Well, How Nice

The AP has already shown more curiosity about Joe the tax-dodging, McCain lovin', Keating related Plumber than they ever did with William the flag stompin', domestic terrorist America hatin' Ayers. The sun comes up, the sun goes down here on Main Street.

THEY MIGHT AS WELL JUST GO AHEAD AND SAY IT.. 10/16/08

Joe the Plumber is Hitler.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Debate Thread

The McCain death watch is on around cable TV and news outlets. But McCain's been down before. He was written off in Hanoi and written off last summer. So we'll see if a Gipper moment will ensue now that everyone has handed Barack the crown.

Opinions vary as to what he should do. My previous flippant suggestions notwithstanding, it seems his main attack should be to say:

  1. He's not Bush
  2. He will fight for the public against those who perpetrated the financial mess, including Democrats and Repubs in govt
  3. Obama WILL raise taxes no matter what he claims--use the term 'voodoo economics' maybe.
  4. Mention that associations do matter by showing what guys like Ayers have in store for education reform today, not when Obama was 8.
  5. Point out that Barack has said he'd have "sunshine in government" but won't even release his own personal information.
  6. Hammer his own experience level, a commodity sorely needed in a time of crisis, and remind folks he will have Democrats on his cabinet.

We'll see what happens.

LIVE BLOGGIN (for my own amusement)

0804 I'm already annoyed at Schieffer for some reason.

0805 McCain on fairness-- basically uses the Prodigal Son example to explain away any bitterness from those who played by the rules regards his 300 billion buy back. Fairly ineffective.

0808 Obama is getting vewy vewy wonkish, and McCain comes back with the plumber.

0810 Barack is explaining his class envy program of taxing the rich, going right for the evil oil companies to explain socking it to Joe the Plumber--who's apparently too rich now for Barack. McCain comes back with "spread the wealth", right jab. Class warfare, another quick jab. Tax increases, another slap. McCain is breaking through on this ..right now.

0814 Nobody likes taxes..then let's not raise them. McCain now mentions our high corporate tax rates...OUCH. Where was this vigor in the past two meetings? McCain won this first round.

0815 Schieffer brings up the cutback question, which Obama answers by going right after subsidies to evil corporations. Gee, he can't think of any excesses in the Fed Govt except a few corp subsidies? McCain is now dodging the question but Schieffer reels him in and forces him to answer, which is also subsidies to corps!

0820 Obama is once again defending his earmarks after just answering the question about what he'll cut. Apparently earmarks aren't part of his plan. McCain finally parachutes out of the Bush Blimp, saying "you should have run against him 4 years ago". Good.

0825 McCain is hammerin' Mac tonight. The Rope-a-Dope is currently against the ropes. Obama answers by saying he reaches across the aisle on all kinds of insignificant things that don't amount to voting on things, and yes, you are just like Bush, except you don't believe in torture like president Bush does! President Bush sure do love him the smell of some torture in the mornin', don't he?

0830 Schieffer reminds both of them of their former high road and with details, including Ayers (in an attempt to take them off the table for McCain). And he answers by blasting Obama with John Lewis and how he never repudiates any out of bounds remarks from his own folk--good reply. Then smacks him on public financing. Obama= Well look...the TV programs say McCain's ads are 100 percent negative! Then he goes on to call McCain McBush again.

Body language update.. Obama is a little timid being this close to McCain, I think. And he has more gray than a few months ago.

0833 Barack on Lewis--maybe he was right! Now, after using a tit-for-tat explanation, he says people are tired of tit-for-tat. Hey-- McCain almost used the Eric Stratton Animal House line I recommended ("I don't have to stand here while you tear down the USA") and Obama answers with something, not sure what. McCain then launched into ACORN and Ayers, calling him a washed-up terrorist. So here we go:

I was 8. He did something bad. I have condemned. 10 years ago we served on CAC funded practically by Reagan. Ayers has all kinds of GOP friends. He's not in the campaign.

ACORN-- their employees suck and I represented them only with motor voter (illegals?). He didn't mention coaching them.

McCain-- Woods Fund 30K to ACORN! Obama--not true I started my campaign in Ayers' living room. McCain is kicking some serious ass.

0840 Joe Biden one of the finest public servants? No wonder we're in this mess. And Obama just dropped a G, which is what Tina Fey mocks about Palin. Then he hinted the dead president issue, which really only applies to the old man, even though Biden is old, has plugs and uses Botox.

McCain--plugs Sarah's energy and reform prodigy by saying we need a breath of fresh air, which is a slap at Biden. Then Mac goes for the female vote by mentioning special needs and autism. But is she qualified? Barack--let the voters decide (good answer) and reminds Mac research on autism requires funding (another good reply).

Now Mac takes on his old friend Joe by taking out the foreign policy scalpel on his federalism plan and First Gulf War mistake, then goes right back to earmarks, stopped by Schieffer.

0845 Climate Change time. It was announced today the glaciers increased in Alaska this past year, btw. Mac then pastes Obama on NAFTA. But as to Nook plants, aren't we just creating more terrorism targets? I'd rather see more drilling, solar and wind, personally. But McCain said nothing about global warming.

Obama--10 year time frame for reducing foreign dependence. OK, and he wants to expand domestic production, which allows him to bash the oil companies again. He really knows the populist buttons to push, like with NAFTA. McCain then blasts Obama's flowery words by saying drill here, drill now.

0855 McCain reminds us Obama has never been south of the border, so he can't be well versed on Columbia or Mehico (but he's been to Pakistan and Africa!). That's effective. Obama then reminds us that Detroit isn't making fuel efficient cars (he's right). McCain then smacks back by comparing Obama's reluctance to keep NAFTA with his willingness to sit down with Hugo Chavez. Another body blow. I think Obama is somewhat bloodied and on the ropes still.

0900 Health care--Obama can make a big comeback here. His analogy of the federal health program is fine and most people will feel jealous, which is the point. But Fed workers are limited in their plans to about 3 viable programs, and I understand the co-pays and premiums are pretty high. McCain goes back to Joe the Plumber and says Obama will fine him! Obama says no he won't -- he'll fine the EVIL CORPORATIONS! McCain congratulates Joe for being rich (this is good) and says Obama certainly WILL fine him because he's not a small business anymore. I suspect we'll need some fact checking here.

As to McCain's plan, I don't fully understand. He needs to do better getting this across. Then he said "Senator Government". Well, that's more descriptive than "Barack America" I guess.

0910 Abortion. Here we go. McCain--no litmus test, he's a federalist. Good answer. McCain mentions the "Gang of 14" and reminds Barack he did not, but messes up by saying Barack didn't vote for Justice Breyer (oops). Obama--no litmus test, BUT...(typical Obama) and hey, he's not a federalist. McCain--we must change the culture of America then whips right into the born alive deal, which Obama says sounds incredible because it's not true. And hey, Republicans voted with me, and we need Planned Parenthood and sex ed for kindergarteners (OK, I added that last one). McCain, who looks more like the adult here, reminds everyone he has compassion.

0920 Education. Obama--more money and reform. But what kind of reform, Obama? The Annenberg Challenge shunned math and science skills. Will McCain bring this back up? In the meantime, he's talking about Charter Schools and mentions that Barack sends his kids to private schools. He's also talking with more passion than Obama, and has been all night. And looking him squarely in the eye.

Obama is now talking about local control of schools and making some good points about unfunded mandates. But now he's talking about focusing on early childhood education, which is one of Ayers' pet project (small schools?). Scary stuff. Now McCain reminds Obama about Washington, DC voucher program and how Obama's kids are in private schools.

McCain is talking about transparency--too bad he doesn't mention this in context with Barack's refusal to issue his Columbia grades to the public.

Obama finished up by reminding us there are not enough vouchers, and McCain had a kind of awkward ending.

Final Statements- McCain said "my friends" for the first time. Wow. Nice message discipline, such as his hitting of the spending button, about 10 times tonight. He bumbled the speech, though.

Obama- the new great depression is here. McCain is Bush. I have the change we need.
Other than the great depression, our brighter days are ahead. And we have to spend spend spend more more more.

McCain shakes Obama's hand in victory, I believe.

FINAL 10/15/08


Fox News is outright giving Obama the presidency now. Curious. I think they are reading the tea leaves and are angling for future access. The Luntz focus group was ridiculous. "How many of you had a candidate before coming in?" None. "How many changed your vote?" Four. How do you change from nobody?

Oh well. Get ready for the Democrats, I guess. If Fox has given up, it's over.