Saturday, September 13, 2008

The Clintons For Example

You have to check this out. It looks like the reporters the NY Times sent up to Alaska to dig up what they could on Palin have sent back their first missive. I would say the great Klondike strike, it ain't. But, I do agree Sarah Palin's case for canonization is now in serious doubt.

Among other things you will learn:

-- Upon getting elected, Palin fires people who have held jobs for years ("professionals") and puts in people she has known for years, often going back to her high school days. Why a reform-minded politician would do this in a notoriously corrupt state is, of course, baffling.

-- Palin bears grudges and takes them personally. This is a rare fault in politicians and not to be endured. The Clintons, for example, have set a fine example in letting bygones be bygones.

No Room For That

“Does anybody doubt that she’s a tough negotiator?” said State Representative Carl Gatto, Republican of Palmer.

The nerve — hiring trusted people and running a competent, popular administration. So we veer back to “secrecy” –dastardly tales of using a private email account and reliance on a circle of close advisors. Once again, the sheer banality of it all is both numbing and humorous.

Wow, are you shocked and appalled yet? Me neither, and I can’t for the life of me figure out the point of the story. Ah, yes: the reporters were told to “get the goods” and this is all they found. But being the New York Times they made it really long, put it on the front page, and hoped people wouldn’t read it all that closely and say, “I guess she has a pretty good record if that’s all they had.”

And if you are looking for any detailed description of any of  her accomplishments — presumably the reason for her 80 percent popularity — forget it. No room for that.

OBirds Of A Feather Don't Donate Together

Jennifer Rubin flags the TaxProf's analysis of Joe Biden's miserly donations to the poor:

Joe Biden today released ten years of his personal income tax returns, drawing further attention to the tax issues raised by Sarah Palin’s tax problems associated with her per diem reimbursements while governor of Alaska. I wonder, though, if the move might backfire because the returns show that the Bidens have been amazingly tight-fisted when it comes to their charitable giving. Despite income ranging from $210,432 - $321,379 over the ten-year period, the Bidens have given only $120 - $995 per year to charity, which amounts to 0.06% - 0.31% of their income.

Obama's history is also one of being a charitable tightwad. Unsurprisingly enough.

And this is the best the Dems can give us.

Thanks but no thanks.

Libs Aim For The Zero Carbon, Zero Life "Footprint"

Aren't liberals the ones who are supposed to love stories about subsistence hunters struggling to live sustainable lives in tiny carbon footprints, as Gaia intended? That's part of the justification for Alaska's aerial hunting of wolves, according to a Washington Post piece from 2003, the year the current law allowing it was signed by former Gov. Frank Murkowski. ($)

Willie Petruska came home from his annual hunt last year without a moose, for the first time ever. For Petruska, whose family depends on the meat a moose provides for the winter, it is no small matter that restrictions on hunting gray wolves have led to a sharp decline in the moose population.

"I've seen a lot of wolves killing the calves," said Petruska, 64, who lives in Nikolai, about 200 miles from here, and has been hunting in this part of central Alaska for much of his life. "A lot of people never got their moose last September."


Earlier this week, it was Joe Biden admitting Hillary might have been a better VP pick than him. Today, it's Obama denigrating his all-talk service in the Senate so others don't have to. Here he is responding to a reporter question about whether Dems have belittled small-town mayors in going after Palin's service:

"We've had an awful lot of small town mayors at the Democratic Convention, I assure you," Obama said. "I meet them all the time. The mayors have some of the toughest jobs in the country because that's where the rubber hits the road. You know, we yak in the Senate. They actually have to fill potholes and trim trees and make sure the garbage is taken away."

On Flat Vs Not

Greg’s previous posting of the two photos below could yet have an impact on the election. I received the following email from an independent, centrist friend of mine.

Sharp-eyed readers might also notice that Obama’s back tire is flat, when inflated tires are one of Obama’s big ideas on energy. Does the flatness of his tire perhaps mirror the increasing flatness of his campaign?

Did I Forget To Mention Mayor ODaley

In January 2007, when Obama finally endorsed Daley for re-election, a reporter asked how his “concerns” from 2005 had figured into his endorsement. Again, Obama hedged: “There is no doubt that there remains progress to be made. . . . But ultimately you want to look at the whole record of this administration. . . . The city overall has moved in a positive direction.”
The idea is that deep down, Obama is a reformer — he’s just undercover for now. He can advance and then show his true colors later, after getting the critical support of Daley and Chicago’s crooked politicians.

Here’s another way of putting it: If Barack Obama is a reformer, he may be the first one ever to become President of the United States without having done anything serious or difficult in the name of reform.

What Would They Do When Elected?

Watching some of this hysterical outpouring of anger is surreal, as grown-ups sound like children whose mothers did not buy them a snack or failed to take them to the zoo as promised.

Unless Obama's team can get a handle on this self-induced and paranoid madness, they risk turning a small, natural, and probably temporary 2-3 point bump—quite normal in such a tight see-saw race—into a permanent and insurmountable 5-6 point McCain lead, as the quiet swing voters shrug and say to themselves, "Hmmm, liked that Obama, but if he and his supporters panic and go wild and vicious like this, what in the world would they do when elected?"

Hate to be a broken record, but old pro Hil as VP at this fire would have had an extinguisher in hand (Bill manning the hose), not a Biden match and more Axelrod fuel.


Well, Anne-Marie Slaughter is the dean of the Woodrow Wilson School at Princeton. She was interviewed by Alan Johnson, for a book titled: "Global Politics After 9/11: The Democratiya Interviews."


Here's how the exchange begins:


Johnson: What are the central differences, and what are the elements of continuity, if any exist, between 'the Bush doctrine' and the 'grand strategy of forging a world of liberty under law'?


Slaughter: Tell me what you mean by 'The Bush Doctrine'.


In other words, Dean Slaughter gave the same answer as did Palin.

How They Like It

"When buying and selling are controlled by legislation, the first things to be bought and sold are legislators. "

Which is how the legislators like it.

Obama, Alinsky, Gramsci And Transformational Marxism

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The seditious role of the community organiser was developed by an extreme left intellectual called Saul Alinsky. He was a radical Chicago activist who, by the time he died in 1972, had had a profound influence on the highest levels of the Democratic party. Alinsky was a ‘transformational Marxist’ in the mould of Antonio Gramsci, who promoted the strategy of a ‘long march through the institutions’ by capturing the culture and turning it inside out as the most effective means of overturning western society. In similar vein, Alinsky condemned the New Left for alienating the general public by its demonstrations and outlandish appearance. The revolution had to be carried out through stealth and deception. Its proponents had to cultivate an image of centrism and pragmatism. A master of infiltration, Alinsky wooed Chicago mobsters and Wall Street financiers alike. And successive Democratic politicians fell under his spell.

Inconvenient Facts

Remember Cicero's picture from China in "Wish You Happy"? This phenomenon is called "Yellow Dust" - and it comes from China. On average, the Chinese are bringing 1 coal-fired power plant on line per week, each with a 75 year lifespan, generally using 1950s technology rather than anything like new clean coal tech, and often burning high-sulfur coal. Neal adds that China's emissions rise over the next 10 years will surpass by 5x the decreases that the Kyoto Protocol seeks from the rest of industrialized world (and will not get). Nor is that all:

All You Need To Know: Contrasting Gibson With Obama And Palin

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Obama interview:

How does it feel to break a glass ceiling?
How does it feel to “win”?
How does your family feel about your “winning” breaking a glass ceiling?
Who will be your VP?
Should you choose Hillary Clinton as VP?
Will you accept public finance?
What issues is your campaign about?
Will you visit Iraq?
Will you debate McCain at a town hall?
What did you think of your competitor’s [Clinton] speech?

Palin interview:
Do you have enough qualifications for the job you’re seeking? Specifically have you visited foreign countries and met foreign leaders?
Aren’t you conceited to be seeking this high level job?
Questions about foreign policy
-territorial integrity of Georgia
-allowing Georgia and Ukraine to be members of NATO
-NATO treaty
-Iranian nuclear threat
-what to do if Israel attacks Iran
-Al Qaeda motivations
-the Bush Doctrine
-attacking terrorists harbored by Pakistan
Is America fighting a holy war? [misquoted Palin]

Edited Out: Only What You Actually Needed To Hear

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It doesn’t have to lead to war and it doesn’t have to lead, as I said, to a Cold War, but economic sanctions, diplomatic pressure, again, counting on our allies to help us do that in this mission of keeping our eye on Russia and Putin and some of his desire to control and to control much more than smaller democratic countries.

His mission, if it is to control energy supplies, also, coming from and through Russia, that’s a dangerous position for our world to be in, if we were to allow that to happen.

That answer presented Palin as a bit too knowledgeable for the purposes of ABC News and was, of course, edited out. Palin's answers about a nuclear Iran were carefully edited to the point where she was even edited out in mid-sentence to make it seem that Palin favored unilateral action against that country


Pontius Pilate was the guy that voted: "present"



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So, I do pay attention to the blogs. And I am not in any way unappreciative of the impact that they have on entire campaigns and world opinion.

Oh dear, O dear, O dear. The old septuagenarian’s not that out of touch, is he? And yet the Obama campaign lurches forward, foot placed firmly in its collective mouth. The damage, still being calculated, with be substantial. As Glenn Reynolds notes,

In a single not-very-compelling ad calling McCain a clueless geezer who can’t even send email, the Obama campaign managed to draw attention to his war injuries again, to show that it doesn’t even know that the 2000 McCain campaign actually pioneered the insurgent Web tactics that Obama used in the 2008 primary, and to produce an ad that seems tailor-made to alienate voters more than a few years older than Obama, all without providing any actual reason to, you know, vote for Obama. That’s a combination of cluelessness, sloppiness, and narcissism . . .

And that, mon brave, is only for starters.

Fuel Economics 101

It's amazing what you can learn if you just ask a question or two instead of assuming you already know the answer.

Why are gas prices spiking today?

Gouging, right? It's the evil big oil companies ripping us off again!

Actually, no, it isn't.

I stopped in at a few gas stations, some chain and some independent to see exactly what was going on. I got pretty much the same story from both sides, with some slight differences. Basically, what has happened is that the slide in crude prices combined with the supply interruptions from Gustav and now Ike, have combined to create a shortage of bulk fuel in Tennessee, and that means the retail outlets are running dry.

Here's how it worked.

Friday, September 12, 2008

The "Gaffe"

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

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

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

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

I know something about the subject because, as the Wikipedia entry on the Bush doctrine notes, I was the first to use the term. In the cover essay of the June 4, 2001, issue of the Weekly Standard entitled, "The Bush Doctrine: ABM, Kyoto, and the New American Unilateralism," I suggested that the Bush administration policies of unilaterally withdrawing from the ABM treaty and rejecting the Kyoto protocol, together with others, amounted to a radical change in foreign policy that should be called the Bush doctrine.

Epic OFail

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Fully 47 percent say Obama lacks the proper experience — an even worse reading than the 36 percent who had the same criticism about McCain running mate Sarah Palin, serving her second year as Alaska governor after being a small-town mayor.

Hey, thanks for making experience an even bigger issue than before, Senator Obama!  After the first shrieks of “untested” went out about Palin, the Democratic offensive got everyone wondering about the credentials of the top of the Democratic ticket.  Result?  Epic fail.  More people believe Obama lacks enough experience for the job than believe him suitably prepared.

Democrats have to be dumbfounded at the state of the race with less than eight weeks to go before the election.   Their presidential ticket was supposed to usher in a new era of Democratic control.  I’d start watching for overt signs of buyer’s remorse in the next few days.

Way, Way, Way Too Much

Ultimately, McCain realized he couldn't go the distance, but the message was clear to any political organization with hopes for the future. His Web team had played the Internet like a Stradivari. . . .

In certain ways, McCain was a natural Web candidate. Chairman of the Senate Telecommunications Subcommittee and regarded as the U.S. Senate's savviest technologist, McCain is an inveterate devotee of email. His nightly ritual is to read his email together with his wife, Cindy. The injuries he incurred as a Vietnam POW make it painful for McCain to type. Instead, he dictates responses that his wife types on a laptop. "She's a whiz on the keyboard, and I'm so laborious," McCain admits.

Yes, McCain's 2000 campaign was famous at the time for its pioneering use of the Internet. Really, whatever Obama's paying his people, it's too much . . . . (Sandeep found this via Ace).

More OExcellent Executive Campaign Running Experience. Check.

But it turns out it's a lot dumber than that:

The reason he doesn't send email is that he can't use a keyboard because of the relentless beatings he received from the Viet Cong in service to our country. . . . McCain's severe war injuries prevent him from combing his hair, typing on a keyboard, or tying his shoes.

Oops. Another unforced error from the Obama campaign, which seems to have had a lot of those lately. The above is from 2000 -- don't these people know how to use Google? Or NEXIS? Or something?

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

ANOTHER UPDATE: On that note, reader Amy Lopez notes that Obama was recently touting his experience managing his campaign as evidence of his executive ability. That argument isn't looking as strong after the past couple of weeks.

Well, let's see. Run against a woman; call her a pig with lipstick. Check.

And continue the allegory by calling the old guy a stinky fish. Check.

Oh, and since he's handicapped and can't use a keyboard, mock that too. Check.

OMoron that would resign from the race if he had an ounce of self-awareness. Check.

Time for the InTrade betting on when the OMessiah will be replaced. Maybe the Palin versus Hillary matchup will come yet this election cycle.

No There There

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As Baker notes, Obama has no track record of standing up to his party in
Congress, either.  His only real record of reform comes from a bill
creating a searchable budget website, co-authored with Tom Coburn, and so
controversial that it met no opposition whatsoever.

Obama asks the nation to take on faith that he will somehow become something
completely different than the machine pol he has been throughout his brief
political career.  Meanwhile, he also asks voters to take on faith that
John McCain will somehow become a carbon copy of George Bush despite a
decades-long history of fighting wasteful spending.  He wants Americans to
believe that he has the superior judgment in time of war, and at the same time
ask them to forget that John McCain got the surge right and he got it completely

That seemed to work, at least for a while, but Americans have begun to
realize that Obama not only has little political experience, he has none in
reform or leadership. 

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Proof On The Rosenbergs: Oh What A Surprise


Ever since he was tried and convicted with Julius and Ethel Rosenberg on espionage charges in 1951, Morton Sobell has maintained his innocence.

Until now. In an interview on Thursday, Mr. Sobell, who served nearly 19 years in Alcatraz and other federal prisons, admitted for the first time that he had been a Soviet spy. And he implicated his fellow defendant, Julius Rosenberg, in a conspiracy that delivered to the Soviets vital classified military information and what the American government claimed was the secret to the atomic bomb.

Before my time, but I believe that all right-thinking people believed the Rosenbergs innocent back then. I wonder what other beliefs, widely shared among right-thinking people today, will turn out to be similarly wrong in 50 years?

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

He Hopes To Not Fail At Change This Time

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In 2001, the Chicago Annenberg Challenge (CAC) turned over its records to the University of Illinois Chicago’s (UIC) Richard J. Daley library. The records are of value because they document the close working relationship Obama had with domestic terrorist leader and “bomb designer” William Ayres. They demonstrate that Obama failed at the one executive position he ever held; Chairman of the Board of the CAC. And they reveal how the charitable funds donated to improve the public education of Chicago schoolchildren were used to fund extreme radicals like Ayers and Maoist Mike Klonsky.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Recovering From The OMANPAD Disaster

September 8, 2008: Although Georgia has not been able to join
NATO, it has been able to link it's air defense radars with NATOs air defense
system. NATO engineers and technicians recently devised ways to link the
signals from the Russian made radars used in Georgia, to the monitoring systems
used by the NATO air defense network. The signals from Georgia are sent by
satellite to Europe, where NATO air defense controllers can see, in real time,
what is going on over Georgia. This makes it more difficult for the Russians to
violate Georgian air space, then lie about it.
NATO nations are also sending Georgia
new weapons, including portable anti-aircraft missiles. The Russians are not
happy about this, and are using a loophole in the ceasefire agreement
negotiated in France last month, to raid Georgian bases and continue destroying
That disaster having been noted here.


Tests on Tuesday revealed that the Illinois Senator tore his Anterior Kosiate Ligament, or AKL, and may be out for the season.   Obama’s campaign had been limping since the announcement of Sarah Palin as John McCain’s vice presidential choice, but today’s “lipstick on a pig” attack revealed the true extent of the injury. 

The AKL is responsible for holding the tongues of liberal politicians. It prevents candidates from veering into Daily Kos-esque personal attacks, and destructive, elitist comments. Obama’s running mate, Joe Biden, lost his AKL during a childhood bout with the chicken pox, and is prone to verbal gaffes and personal attacks, like the one Obama made today. 

Don't Forget The Fish

commentators forgot to examine his entire attack:

"You can put lipstick on a pig. "It's still a pig."

"You can wrap an old fish in a piece of paper called change. It's still gonna stink."

When read in the entire context you can see what he seems to mean with his dual animate male/female references and why he probably evoked two metaphors: most would think that Obama is talking about both on the ticket and his anger how each has expropriated his change motif.

So in that sense he appears both to insult the 72-year old McCain as the "old fish" that is still going to "stink", and to refer to Palin, who had famously evoked the metaphor of lipstick in a nationally televised address, as still the pig despite the lipstick.

The fact that he used two metaphors to attack the two, and used expressions referring both to age and Palin's recent use of "lipstick" don't seem to be accidents and that's why the cooing crowd got the old fish=McCain;lipsticked pig=Palin immediately.

Or is it that the Barracuda also runs a fishing boat? In any case, she's obviously deep in his psyche now...

Part 2: "You'd Get Your Ass Outta Town"

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“I’d love to go through the details, but I’m not going to,” Woodward replied.

The details, Woodward says, would compromise the program.

“For a reporter, you don’t allow much,” Pelley remarked.

“Well no, it’s with reluctance. From what I know about it, it’s one of those things that go back to any war, World War I, World War II, the role of the tank, and the airplane. And it is the stuff of which military novels are written,” Woodward said.

“Do you mean to say that this special capability is such an advance in military technique and technology that it reminds you of the advent of the tank and the airplane?” Pelley asked.

“Yeah,” Woodward said. “If you were an al Qaeda leader or part of the insurgency in Iraq, or one of these renegade militias, and you knew about what they were able to do, you’d get your ass outta town.”

The Next Vehicle

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Data gathered in a raid at midnight — collected by helmet-mounted cameras that can scan rooms, people, documents and cellphone entries and relay the pictures back to headquarters — often lead to a second or third raid before dawn, according to U.S. officials. … “It’s been the synergy, it’s been the integration that has had such an impact.”

Synergy had a name. And that name was the Surge.  It was the combination of protecting intelligence sources, exploiting the information and feeding it back into the system in the form of increased security and more actionable information that was fatal to the Iraqi insurgency. Finding the correct organizational and social expression of strategy is one of hardest challenges of war. All of the technologies available in Iraq are also available to the Afghan/Pakistani theater. But the correct vehicle to combine them has not yet been found.

It's Not Wise To Taunt The Stars

In an updated edition of The Chilling Stars, published earlier this year, Dr Svensmark and I remarked that we were advising friends to enjoy the global warming while it lasted. Since we wrote that, portents of a solar downturn, and possibly even a new little ice age, have become more sinister. The sun ought to be freckled with sunspots now, as a symptom of magnetic vigour, but instead we’ve had more than a year with very few spots. Global temperatures are down on last year and Australia and South America are just emerging from a bitter winter.

Not convinced? Well back in April the UK Met Office, one of the shrillest of global warming outfits, issued a forecast for summer 2008. It declared, ‘the risk of exceptional rainfall, as seen last summer, is assessed as very low’. These are the folk who claim to tell you what the climate will be like 100 years from now.

As I finish writing, amid torrential rain in Sussex, I notice that my roof is starting to leak.

All You Need To Know

Rasmussen: "While 82% of voters who support McCain believe the justices should rule on what is in the Constitution, just 29% of Barack Obama’s supporters agree." Their preferred metric? "the judge's sense of fairness."

Hey! That's Not In The Script!

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You don’t hear their hearts actually start to break until he says, “Troopergate is going to come out in her favor.” Although the most traumatic part, surely, must have been the exchange about how the mayor of Wasilla’s experience compares favorably to Barack Obama’s. Hey, that’s not in the script.

But He Will Get Away With It

This legislation that Obama claims as his own was couched in the annual State
Department Authorization...he wasn't even a cosponsor of that larger bill. His
amendment had been folded into the larger authorization much earlier (yes, by
unanimous consent).

But we can actually take this one step further.
After the bill's passage, the US went on a worldwide hunt to buy up MANPADs.
Unable to get the MANPADs out of the hands of real enemies, we twisted the arms
of allies to give up air defense stockpiles we deemed superfluous. One of the
easiest targets? Georgia. We browbeat Georgia into giving us its MANPAD
stockpile, which was their only air defense. We all know the rest of the story.
Georgia was smart enough to go buy a few new MANPADs from places like Poland
(against our loud protestations), but when Russia invaded last month they didn't
have nearly enough to protect themselves against Russia's onslaught.

Obama shouldn't be allowed to get away with this.

What About The Homeowners In Kansas?

“It’s not bailing out the homeowners who are in trouble, by the way,” Rogers said. “It’s not bailing out people who want a mortgage – it’s just bailing out financial institutions. This is not my idea of the way things are supposed to be, but if that’s what America wants, you know, it can elect people who are going to do it. I think it’s a mistake.”


     The Rogers Holdings CEO had little confidence that Democratic presidential nominee Sen. Barack Obama, Ill., or Republican vice-presidential nominee, Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, would be able to do anything to steer Fannie or Freddie on a more stable path.


     “This is a big huge mess and neither one of them has a clue as to what to do next year,” Rogers said. “Bank stocks around the world are going through the roof, that’s because they’ve all been bailed out. You don’t see the homeowners in Kansas going through the roof because they’re not being bailed out.”

Barack's Bridge

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Lord, please have Obama continue to use that Bridge to Nowhere line.  It has progressed from a dumb attack almost all the way to a Big Lie.  Obama voted for that bridge — twice!  So did Joe Biden.  Obama has requested almost a billion dollars in earmarks in just three years of being in the Senate; McCain doesn’t earmark at all.

Hunting Sarah: Axelrod Astroturf Edition

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Courtesy of Jim Treacher, your fun fact of the day. Consider it a gloss on The One’s befuddlement as to why McCain would think to hold him and his campaign responsible for the more obnoxious anti-Palin excrescences of the left. I was going to bring up the Townhouse thing but Ace already beat me to that, so by way of value added I’ll simply remind you that the nutroots have always had a cozier relationship with their party leadership than the righty blogosphere has, right down to tools like Harry Reid and Dick Durbin pandering at the same site chiefly responsible for spreading the “Bristol is Trig’s real mom” smear.

Poke around Treacher's site. Your jaw will drop.

Monday, September 08, 2008

The Mess

The Rogers Holdings CEO had little confidence that Democratic presidential nominee Sen. Barack Obama, Ill., or Republican vice-presidential nominee, Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, would be able to do anything to steer Fannie or Freddie on a more stable path.


     “This is a big huge mess and neither one of them has a clue as to what to do next year,” Rogers said. “Bank stocks around the world are going through the roof, that’s because they’ve all been bailed out. You don’t see the homeowners in Kansas going through the roof because they’re not being bailed out.”


     Rogers had previously called for Fannie and Freddie to be allowed to go bankrupt. “They should not be bailed out,” he told “Worldwide Exchange” July 15. “This is outrageous. Who are these people who are taking our money and doing this and ruining America?”


     “Let the patient go bankrupt,” he said. “We have courts in America; they will be reorganized.”


     Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were “wove a mantle of invincibility” through lobbying

No Time For Earmarks!

Secondly, notice Obama is starting to go after Palin:

"She's a skillful politician. But, you know, when you've been taking all these earmarks when it's convenient, and then suddenly you're the champion anti-earmark person, that's not change. Come on! I mean, words mean something, you can't just make stuff up."

That's amusing, from the guy who requested $740 million in earmarks, steered a million to his wife's employer, and who steered state grants to his buddies like Fr. Michael Pfleger. (Notice the AP is trying to cover for Obama by saying he hasn't requested any lately. Wow, it's almost as if Obama has been spending the past year doing something besides being a senator from Illinois.)

A campaign can only really send one message at a time. Notice the headline: "Obama Takes First Shot at Palin." If the story of the day is Obama's shot at Palin, the story isn't any criticism of McCain.

Their Worst Nightmare

A: No, I don't think that it includes something that is relatively benign.  Explicit means explicit.  No, I am pro-contraception, and I think kids who may not hear about it at home should hear about it in other avenues.  So I'm not anti-contraception.  But yeah, abstinence is another alternative that should be discussed with kids.  I don't have a problem with that.  That doesn't scare me, so it's something that I would support also.

Reviewing answers like this, and the various things Palin has had to say about the life issues, assisted suicide, and similar matters, it’s pretty clear that it is not going to be easy for the Democrats to paint Palin as a cultural extremist or a “Christianist.”

As they review this record, the Democrats will find she is not who they hoped she might be. She is, for the most part, a social conservative with a soft touch—their worst nightmare.

Dems "Secretly Against" Ethics Reform?!

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Better still was when Mr. Wallace asked Mr. Axelrod to name an example of Sen. Obama standing up against his own party. The best Mr. Axelrod could come up with was "ethics reform." He's referring, of course, to the Honest Leadership and Open Government Act of 2007, whose principal sponsor was Sen. Russ Feingold. Sen. Obama was one of seventeen co-sponsors. And it passed the Senate by a vote of 96 to 2. Since both of the "nay" votes were Republicans (Sens. Orin Hatch and Tom Coburn), it's pretty hard to paint this as Sen. Obama "standing up against his own party." (The best Mr. Axelrod could come up with was to claim that many Democrats were secretly against the bill, which is hardly a ringing endorsement of his party, now, is it?)

If political reconciliation and legislative success is the sole standard, however, then the do-nothing Democratic Congress of which Sen. Obama is a part is surely a bigger failure.