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ccp
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« Reply #500 on: July 14, 2008, 08:54:22 AM »

It's weird.

Clinton would have had his army of attack dogs all over every single talk show that would take them pounding the table and talking the points over and over.

What concerns me most is that when we see this early in a campaign it tends to be the same for the rest of it.  We sit and sit and sit and people keep saying he has to do this he has to do that and when is he going to get organized...

At least the Republican Convention is after the Dem convention. Didn't it used to be first?

Tony Blankley was on the radio the other night and was asked about Dick Morris.  He basically said he didn't care for him and that he was not always so honest.  But one cannot argue that Morris' strategy of the endless campaign when he advised Clinton to be in our faces every single day to promote new programs completely rejuvenated him in the polls.  I cannot believe my ears when I hear the Bush haters screeching that Bush is in daily campaign mode.  Why it is nothing compared to the Clintons who took it to a high art form.  Remember when Clinton's poll numbers went from something like 45% to 60% overnight with one speech promising everything to everyone.  Even Limbaugh couldn't believe how stupid the public was to suddenly forget everything he said before and suddenly love him because he went populist in literally one day.

That is why I believe that much of the public will just vote for whoever promises them the most that moment in time.  Everything that came before is totally forgotten.  It is that easy to bribe some people.  Just my ranting opinion anyway.

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SB_Mig
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« Reply #501 on: July 14, 2008, 11:01:03 AM »

Quote
"That is why I believe that much of the public will just vote for whoever promises them the most that moment in time.  Everything that came before is totally forgotten.  It is that easy to bribe some people."

I could not agree more.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #502 on: July 15, 2008, 08:39:26 AM »

Which is why the Founding Fathers founded us as a REPUBLIC, NOT a DEMOCRACY.
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DougMacG
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« Reply #503 on: July 15, 2008, 09:57:23 AM »

I would add John Hinderacker of Powerlineblog.com to CCP's list of people McCain should hire for a war-room style answer to the mixed messages coming from the Obama campaign:
 

In this morning's New York Times, Barack Obama published an op-ed on Iraq that presumably previews his "major speech" on the subject tomorrow. Even by Obama's standards, the piece is breathtakingly dishonest.

Obama admits that he opposed the surge, and the attendant change in strategy and tactics, that have brought us close to victory. But he somehow manages to twist his being wrong about the surge--the major foreign policy issue that has arisen during his time in Congress--into vindication:

    But the same factors that led me to oppose the surge still hold true. The strain on our military has grown, the situation in Afghanistan has deteriorated and we’ve spent nearly $200 billion more in Iraq than we had budgeted. Iraq’s leaders have failed to invest tens of billions of dollars in oil revenues in rebuilding their own country, and they have not reached the political accommodation that was the stated purpose of the surge.

Actually, however, Obama opposed the surge not because of those "factors" but because he thought it would fail. He said, on January 10, 2007, on MSNBC:

    I am not persuaded that 20,000 additional troops in Iraq is going to solve the sectarian violence there. In fact, I think it will do the reverse.

On January 14, 2007, on Face the Nation, he said:

    We cannot impose a military solution on what has effectively become a civil war. And until we acknowledge that reality -- we can send 15,000 more troops, 20,000 more troops, 30,000 more troops, I don't know any expert on the region or any military officer that I've spoken to privately that believes that that is going to make a substantial difference on the situation on the ground.

On March 19, 2007, on the Larry King show, he said:

    [E]ven those who are supporting -- but here's the thing, Larry -- even those who support the escalation have acknowledged that 20,000, 30,000, even 40,000 more troops placed temporarily in places like Baghdad are not going to make a long-term difference.

On May 25, 2007, in a speech to the Coalition Of Black Trade Unionists Convention, Obama said:

    And what I know is that what our troops deserve is not just rhetoric, they deserve a new plan. Governor Romney and Senator McCain clearly believe that the course that we're on in Iraq is working, I do not.

On July 18, 2007, on the Today show, he said:

    My assessment is that the surge has not worked and we will not see a different report eight weeks from now.

On November 11, 2007, two months after General David Petraeus told Congress that the surge was working, Obama doubled down, saying that the administration's new strategy was making the situation in Iraq worse:

    Finally, in 2006-2007, we started to see that, even after an election, George Bush continued to want to pursue a course that didn't withdraw troops from Iraq but actually doubled them and initiated a surge and at that stage I said very clearly, not only have we not seen improvements, but we're actually worsening, potentially, a situation there.

In short, Obama bet the farm on his prediction that General Petraeus and the American military would fail. He was as spectacularly wrong as John McCain was spectacularly right. But his op-ed somehow twists this history into vindication on the theory that Afghanistan has deteriorated, the Iraq war has been expensive, and Iraq's political leaders "have not reached the political accommodation that was the stated purpose of the surge."

Let's start with the last point. Obama completely fails to acknowledge the remarkable political progress that has resulted from the surge, as manifested by the fact that the country's largest Sunni bloc has rejoined the government, and the U.S. Embassy reports that 15 of the 18 benchmarks of political progress that were set by Congress are now being met. Those benchmarks were set precisely for the purpose of measuring the "political accommodation that was the stated purpose of the surge," yet Obama fails even to mention them.

Still more dishonest is Obama's failure to acknowledge what would have happened if his policy prescription, precipitate withdrawal regardless of military conditions, had been followed: chaos, sectarian violence, possibly genocide, a resurgent al Qaeda in control of part of Iraq, with Iran possibly in control of other areas of the country. This would have been a foreign policy disaster, yet Obama, with vague references to cost and Afghanistan, claims vindication!

As to al Qaeda--the elephant in the room--Obama simply dissimulates:

    Iraq is not the central front in the war on terrorism, and it never has been.

That's not what Osama bin Laden (Iraq is where the "Third World War is raging”) or Ayman al-Zawahiri (Iraq is "the place for the greatest battle of Islam in this era”) say. Al Qaeda summoned jihadists from around the Muslim world to go to Iraq to fight American troops, declaring that this effort is the central front in their war against civilization. Those jihadists have been devastated by American armed forces, who have thereby scored what may, with hindsight, turn out to have been the decisive victory in the war against Muslim extremism. Obama denies all of this in a single sentence, without citing any evidence whatsoever.

Finally, Afghanistan: Obama would have us believe that he urged defeat in Iraq because he was so firmly committed to victory in Afghanistan. Once again, he misrepresents the record.

In fact, Obama has never supported our troops in Afghanistan. On the contrary, he said on August 14, 2007--less than a year ago--that our forces there are mostly committing war crimes:

    We've got to get the job done there and that requires us to have enough troops so that we're not just air-raiding villages and killing civilians, which is causing enormous pressure over there.

Obama has been so uninterested in Afghanistan that when he went to Iraq and other countries in the Middle East with a Congressional delegation in January 2006, he skipped the opportunity to continue on to Afghanistan, which was taken by others who made the trip with him, including Kit Bond and Harold Ford. And, in an embarrassing gaffe, Obama claimed on May 13, 2008, that we don't have enough "Arabic interpreters, Arab language speakers" in Afghanistan because they are all being used in Iraq. Obama thereby demonstrated the intellectual laziness and incuriosity that characterizes his campaign: they don't speak Arabic in Afghanistan, and, anyway, interpreters are drawn from local populations, not shipped around the world.

Worst of all, far from being committed to victory in Afghanistan, Obama voted to cut off all funding for all of our military efforts in Afghanistan on May 24, 2007 (H.R. 2206, CQ Vote #181), thereby seeking to bring about defeat there as well as in Iraq. His current effort to portray himself as a wolf in sheep's clothing on Afghanistan is a complete fraud.

It is possible that at some point in American history there may have been a major politician as dishonest as Barack Obama, but I can't offhand think of such a miscreant.
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ccp
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« Reply #504 on: July 15, 2008, 10:54:33 PM »

Doug,

This guy is good.  I particularly got a kick out of, "Obama thereby demonstrated the intellectual laziness and incuriosity that characterizes his campaign: they don't speak Arabic in Afghanistan, and, anyway, interpreters are drawn from local populations, not shipped around the world". 

Yet BO carries himself as though he is the most intellectual and wisest sole on the planet.

From Wikepedia:

***Main article: Languages of Afghanistan

The most common languages spoken in Afghanistan are Persian (Dari dialects) and Pashto. Both are Indo-European languages from the Iranian languages sub-family. Statistics from the CIA World Factbook are listed in the chart in the sidebar, below the map of languages by region. Persian (Dari dialects) 50% and Pashto 35%; both are Indo-European languages from the Iranian languages sub-family. Pashto and Persian are the official languages of the country. Hazaragi, spoken by the Hazara minority, is another dialect of Persian. Other languages spoken include Turkic languages (primarily Uzbek and Turkmen) 9%, as well as 30 minor languages 4% (primarily Balochi, Nuristani, Pashai, Brahui, Pamiri languages, Hindko, etc.). Bilingualism is common.

According to the Encyclopædia Iranica,[63] the Persian language is the mother tongue of roughly one-third of Afghanistan's population, while it is also the most widely used language of the country, spoken by around 80% of the population. It further states that Pashto is spoken by around 50% of the population.***

In any case I feel that McCain has got to start playing this way or he will lose the the war for the hearts and minds of Americans.

Surely, many others are seeing the same thing and wondering when?  McCain recently compared himself to Teddy Roosevelt.  The only problem is except for "speaking softly and carrying a big stick", and running up San Juan Hill chuckling with joy when he shot some Cuban in the belly, and going on a Safari in Africa, I can't remember much else about TR.  Well, he is on Mt. Rushmore so I guess he's got to have been good right?
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #505 on: July 17, 2008, 09:42:50 AM »

Voters Want Economic Leadership
By KARL ROVE
July 17, 2008; Page A13

Elections are often reshaped by unexpected and fast-moving events, and when this happens a candidate who quickly takes the lead on the new issue can bolster his chances to win. There is such an opportunity now for Barack Obama and John McCain with the crisis facing Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

The mortgage giants touch tens of millions of people because their core business is to buy, insure and securitize home loans. But they act like huge hedge funds with their portfolios worth hundreds of billions. As government sponsored enterprises (GSEs), they have an implicit federal guarantee that allows them to borrow money more cheaply than competitors. They have used that advantage to make ever-larger bets in their portfolios, generating big profits when home prices were rising, but big losses when housing weakened.

 
Corbis 
Congress ignored an early warning sign when Fannie and Freddie failed to produce accurate accounting statements in 2002. That should have spurred Congress to pass reforms proposed by the administration the next year to clean up the GSEs. It didn't.

Now with Fannie and Freddie at greater risk, Messrs. McCain and Obama need to think like would-be presidents instead of senators. That starts with ignoring former Fannie CEO Franklin Raines, who says reform isn't needed – this from a CEO who couldn't produce accurate accounting statements. The goal has to be to force the GSEs into a position where they can no longer put taxpayer dollars at risk.

Serious reforms must include immediate measures to prevent Fannie and Freddie from collapsing, and long-term changes to protect taxpayers. That means jettisoning the implied federal financial backstop and shrinking Fannie and Freddie.

The candidate who makes such proposals will likely gain on the issue of "who's better to handle the economy." Mr. Obama leads on this in the latest Time magazine poll, at 44%-37%. But Republicans often win if they are within six points on this issue. The economy is still a jump ball.

That makes reining in the cost of a bailout that much more important. Making the stockholders and creditors of the GSEs bear most of the financial burden will appeal to voters suspicious of government getting too cozy with business.

A wag once said that Fannie and Freddie were political organizations masquerading as mortgage providers. They donate heavily to politicians who can shield them from regulation. This election the GSEs have given more than $800,000 to congressmen and senators who oversee legislation that affects them. They have also snapped up dozens of retiring lawmakers and staff as lobbyists and pay them lucrative salaries. Not bad for part-time, indoor work.

Over the past decade, the GSEs spent at least $171 million on lobbying, which combined would make Fannie and Freddie the third-biggest lobby. This has fostered a network of co-conspirators, including the liberal low-income advocacy group Acorn, big-city mayors and some lenders. Any reform must avoid creating more slush funds for the GSEs to reward political allies at taxpayer expense, and prevent them from investing in "jumbo" mortgages on expensive houses. After all, these GSEs were created to help lower- and middle-income homebuyers, not the rich and famous.

Leading on the economy's biggest problems – housing and the credit crisis – would allow Messrs. McCain or Obama to run as an outside-the-Beltway reformer, willing to take on insider deals that Middle America hates and add to (or foster) a reputation for decisive action. It would also help in battleground states. Denver, Detroit, Cleveland, Las Vegas and Miami metro areas are all in the top 10 in foreclosure rates.

Both candidates have challenges in taking up this cause. Each has received money from Fannie and Freddie employees this election: $82,299 to Mr. Obama and $14,400 to Mr. McCain. Mr. McCain isn't as strong in talking about the economy as he is about national security. Mr. Obama, on the other hand, is steeped in the Fannie/Freddie culture. He briefly tapped a former Fannie CEO to head his vice presidential search and he once worked for Acorn. And his campaign depends on Acorn's activists for voter registration drives. He may be too obligated to act against their allies.

But both candidates should remember past elections. For example, Republican William McKinley won in 1896 in part by embracing hard money after William Jennings Bryan's "Cross of Gold" speech at the Democratic convention. And in 1992, Bill Clinton won in part by promising tax cuts for the middle class to deal with a slowing economy. In both elections, nimbleness helped bring victory. What worked before can work today. An opportunity awaits Messrs. McCain and Obama. Will either man seize it?

Mr. Rove is a former senior adviser and deputy chief of staff to President George W. Bush.

See all of today's editorials and op-eds, plus video commentary, on Opinion Journal.
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ccp
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« Reply #506 on: July 17, 2008, 09:57:54 AM »

Nice try BO.
I prefer a President who will protect this country not give it away.
I don't care if he can't do a few jump shots and he is older and with an arthritic spine.  There is more to backbone then how straight one stands up:

http://blogs.abcnews.com/politicalradar/2008/07/obama-hits-the.html

That said BO probably will win.  It's a populist's year.  And what we see from McCain's campaign is probably what we are going to get.
But I have some hope yet my prediction is wrong.  On the other hand McCain did come back from the dead a year ago during the primaries.
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SB_Mig
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« Reply #507 on: July 17, 2008, 11:54:48 AM »

Quote
It is possible that at some point in American history there may have been a major politician as dishonest as Barack Obama, but I can't offhand think of such a miscreant.

That could quite possibly be the most hilarious thing I have ever read in my entire life...

Start here and work your way down the page:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Political_scandals_of_the_United_States#18th_century
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DougMacG
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« Reply #508 on: July 17, 2008, 06:56:55 PM »

SB,  I agree that Hinderacker's closing remark might have been offered at least partly in jest.  Previous American scandals stipulated, do you have any comment on the points about Obama's Iraq and Afghanistan inconsistencies alleged in the piece?  Back to scandals, who bought and who takes care of Obama's side yard? http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/chicago/chi-0611010273nov01,0,6186743.story
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G M
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« Reply #509 on: July 17, 2008, 07:33:47 PM »

http://formerspook.blogspot.com/

Obama’s Nuclear Mission

On the same day that the Washington Post berated Barack Obama for his arbitrary deadline for getting out of Iraq, the Democratic presidential nominee again demonstrated why he’s unqualified to serve as commander-in-chief.

Participating in a round table discussion at Purdue University, Mr. Obama warned about the dangers of “fighting the last war,” and pledged to focus on emerging nuclear, biological and cyber threats, if he’s elected in November.

From Brietbart and the Associated Press:

Two goals of his administration would be to secure all loose nuclear material during his first term and to rid the world of nuclear weapons, Obama told an audience before the round table discussion at Purdue.

Obama said adhering to nonproliferation treaties would put pressure on nations such as North Korea and Iran. North Korea has tested a nuclear weapon and Iran has an energy program the Bush administration warns could be a precursor to nuclear weapon development.

"As long as nuclear weapons exist, we'll retain a strong deterrent. But we will make the goal of eliminating all nuclear weapons a central element in our nuclear policy," Obama said.

He added, "The danger ... is that we are constantly fighting the last war, responding to the threats that have come to fruition, instead of staying one step ahead of the threats of the 21st century."

Like many of Obama’s ideas, this one certainly sounds reasonable. After all, how could any right-minded individual oppose the elimination of nuclear weapons, and efforts to secure material that could be used in an atomic bomb?

Unfortunately, Mr. Obama’s nuclear proposal is little more than pie-in-the-sky fantasy, for several reasons. First, there’s his reliance on nonproliferation treaties to “pressure” nations like North Korea and Iran into compliance on their nuclear programs. Perhaps Senator Obama hasn’t noticed, but that sort of “pressure tactic” hasn’t worked very well with Pyongyang and Tehran.

In fact, decades of compliance and direct diplomacy have resulted in…a nuclear-capable North Korea (emphasis mine), and an Iranian regime that is on track to get the bomb in as little as two years. Quite a victory for non-proliferation, wouldn’t you say?

Fact is, irrational players like the DPRK and Iran will follow non-proliferation agreements only its suits their needs. Consider the case of North Korea; in 1994, Pyongyang entered into the infamous “Agreed To” framework with the United States and South Korea, a move that was hailed as a triumph for non-proliferation and direct diplomacy. In exchange for fuel oil and other forms of economic aid, Kim Jong-il was supposed to give up his nuclear weapons program.

What happened? Food and fuel shipments began flowing to North Korea; cameras and U.N. inspectors were installed at the DPRK’s “declared” nuclear facility (Yongbyon), and the lack of activity was duly recorded. Meanwhile, work on Pyongyang’s nuclear program continued in secret, producing the technical breakthroughs that resulted in the detonation of a crude nuclear device in 2006.

Undeterred, the Bush Administration stuck with the diplomacy option, sponsoring “Six-Party” regional talks that yielded a new agreement last year. Never mind that North Korea’s record in such matters is abysmal; or that Pyongyang dragged its feet on issuing required declarations of its nuclear activities. Or, that Kim Jong-il provided nuclear technology to Syria while he was finalizing the Six Party accord. Or that the DPRK may yet retain a covert program, still capable of producing nuclear weapons.

Unfortunately, Iran’s compliance record is no better than North Korea’s. Years of effort by the European Union and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) have failed to produce a full accounting of Tehran’s nuclear program, or an agreement aimed at curbing those efforts.

But Mr. Obama believes that adhering to non-proliferation protocols will bring the Iranians and North Koreans in line; you can almost hear the laughter from Pyongyang and Tehran. So, why does the presumptive Democratic nominee believe that the failed policies of the past would be more successful under his administration? Obama has never explained, and (apparently) no one bothered to broach that subject during the Purdue forum.

There are other problems with Senator Obama’s proposal. He vows to retain a “strong” U.S. nuclear deterrent, while pursuing the elimination of those weapons. But what type of deterrent is Mr. Obama proposing? A flexible, robust arsenal, combining adequate numbers of strategic and tactical warheads, or a token nuclear force, along the lines of Great Britain and France?

Additionally, Mr. Obama has dodged another essential question related to the nuclear issue. Would he be willing to pursue unilateral cuts in our nuclear stockpile, as other Democrats have suggested in the past? If you follow that line of thinking, reductions in our inventory would (supposedly) prompt other nuclear powers to do the same. It’s a fool’s errand.

The Obama policy also ignores another, salient fact. Any reduction (or elimination) of nuclear weapons must be accompanied by significant increases in conventional forces, to provide the same deterrent value. One reason the U.S. invested so heavily in nuclear weapons during the 1950s was to offset the Soviet Union’s overwhelming advantage in conventional forces. As he reduces the size of the U.S. nuclear arsenal, how would Mr. Obama compensate for the decrease in our defensive posture?

Oh, that’s right. Since everyone would be part of that expanded non-proliferation regimen, there would be no need for an increase in our military forces, beyond those already outlined by the candidate. The naiveté of that “logic” is simply astounding.

That’s why we can’t resist taking a shot at Senator Obama’s thoughts on “fighting the last war.” Given the overwhelming success of the troop surge in Iraq, it would appear that our military has made the necessary adjustments for fighting a new type of enemy.

Beyond that, Pentagon planners have been working on future threats for generations—that’s why new weapons systems are developed, and strategy and tactics are continuously refined. Mr. Obama might be interested to know that the Air Force already has a cyber command, and its first, dedicated information warfare unit (which had an extensive cyber warfare mission) was established in 1992. Despite the military's legendary resistance to change, there are a few visionaries left in uniform and they were thinking about the "next war" long before Barack Obama.

***
To his credit, Senator Obama has worked on the nuclear non-proliferation issue in the past. Shortly after arriving in Washington, he signed on with the Senate expert in those matters—Indiana’s Richard Lugar—in sponsoring new legislation, aimed at dismantling a wider range of “leftover” weapons. The measure was based on the successful Nunn-Lugar bill of 1991, which provided money and expertise to help former Soviet republics dismantle their nuclear arsenals.

Along with role in authoring the bill, Obama also traveled with Mr. Lugar to Russia in 2005, inspecting “junkyards” of weapons that could be easily stolen or sold to terrorists. Mr. Lugar has been making these visits for more than a decade, but we can’t find any evidence that Senator Obama has been back to Russia since 2005. As with other Obama efforts, the initial flurry of activity suggests that the senator’s interest was aimed at filling a “foreign policy” square on his resume; once the bill became law (with his name prominently attached), Mr. Obama was ready to move on.
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SB_Mig
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« Reply #510 on: July 18, 2008, 11:13:32 AM »

DMcG,

My stance on pretty much all politicians is such that I don't see them as "flip-floppers". I call it business as usual. They'll say whatever it takes to get them elected, and in the process end up making fools of themselves/alienating part of their base/shooting themselves in the foot. Unfortunately, we have a short attention span and a media who is not willing to call them out unless its going to help their ratings.

I view both candidates with equal amounts of disdain. Obama is the great talker with zero experience and a shady background, and McCain is the experienced politician who doesn't seem to realize that the world has moved on. I find neither to be particularly compelling as a presidential choice.
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ccp
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« Reply #511 on: July 19, 2008, 05:50:28 PM »

http://www.zogby.com/news/ReadNews.dbm?ID=1530
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #512 on: July 19, 2008, 05:58:51 PM »

Woof CCP:

At the very least, please post a description of the contents of the URL along with the URL.  Better yet, post the contents too  cheesy

Released: July 18, 2008
Zogby Poll: Obama/Powell Ticket Could Bode Well for Democrats

Survey finds Clinton VP pick favored by nearly half of Dems; Huckabee, Romney viewed as best running mates for McCain


UTICA, New York - As the Presidential candidates ponder potential running mates, a new Zogby International telephone poll shows many voters would be more inclined to vote for Democratic Sen. Barack Obama if he were to select retired four-star general and former Secretary of State Colin Powell as his running-mate.

If Obama were to choose Powell, 42% of likely voters nationwide said it would make them more likely to support the Democratic candidate - as did 42% of Democrats and 43% of political independents. The Zogby International telephone poll of 1,039 likely voters nationwide was conducted July 9-13, 2008, and asked respondents how the selection of certain vice presidential candidates would affect their likelihood to vote for the two leading presidential candidates. It carries a margin of error of +/- 3.1 percentage points.

Likelihood to vote for Barack Obama if he chooses ... as his Vice President
 

 Likely Voters
 Democrats
 Independents
 

 More Likely
 Less Likely
 More Likely
 Less Likely
 More Likely
 Less Likely
 
Colin Powell
 42%
 10%
 42%
 12%
 43%
 9%
 
Hillary Clinton
 30%
 25%
 47%
 15%
 33%
 26%
 
Bill Richardson
 15%
 10%
 9%
 13%
 12%
 9%
 
Joe Biden
 11%
 16%
 6%
 22%
 11%
 13%
 
Kathleen Sebelius
 7%
 11%
 10%
 11%
 7%
 9%
 
Tim Kaine
 7%
 11%
 8%
 10%
 8%
 8%
 
Evan Bayh
 6%
 12%
 9%
 9%
 7%
 9%
 
 








While just 10% of likely voters said the selection of Powell would make them less likely to vote for Obama - giving him a net positive of 32% - Obama's former challenger for the Democratic nomination, Sen. Hillary Clinton, fared less positively overall. Even though 30% of likely voters would be more likely to support Obama with Clinton on the ticket, 25% would be less likely - giving Clinton just a 5% net positive rating among likely voters. Clinton fares much better with fellow Democrats, as 47% said they would be more likely to vote for Obama if Clinton were his running mate, for a net positive of 32% among Democrats. 

Former Republican rivals Huckabee and Romney could give McCain a boost

Among McCain's potential vice presidential picks, former Republican nomination challengers Mike Huckabee and Mitt Romney earned the strongest support from likely voters overall, as well as from Republicans and political independents. Among likely voters, 27% would be more likely to support McCain with Huckabee on the ticket, and 26% said the same if Romney were selected. A Huckabee pick would cause 13% of likely voters to be less likely to support McCain, while 11% would be less supportive of the presumptive Republican nominee if he were to choose Romney as his running mate. Among Republicans, 40% would be more likely to support a McCain/Huckabee ticket, while 11% would be less likely - a 29% net positive for the choice of Huckabee. If Romney were to be chosen, 41% of Republicans would be more inclined to vote for McCain, compared to 8% who would be less likely, for a net positive of 33%. Both fare well among political independents, with a 15% net positive for Huckabee and a 17% net positive for Romney if chosen as a running mate by McCain.

Likelihood to vote for John McCain if he chooses ... as his Vice President
 

 Likely Voters
 Republicans
 Independents
 

 More Likely
 Less Likely
 More Likely
 Less Likely
 More Likely
 Less Likely
 
Mike Huckabee
 27%
 13%
 40%
 11%
 29%
 14%
 
Mitt Romney
 26%
 11%
 41%
 8%
 30%
 13%
 
Joe Lieberman
 20%
 17%
 26%
 16%
 20%
 22%
 
Charlie Crist
 5%
 10%
 8%
 12%
 5%
 9%
 
Bobby Jindal
 5%
 9%
 7%
 9%
 6%
 9%
 
Tim Pawlenty
 3%
 8%
 3%
 5%
 1%
 7%
 
Mark Sanford
 3%
 9%
 3%
 9%
 2%
 10%
 
       









McCain's selection of Sen. Joe Lieberman would create a 3% net positive among likely voters and a 10% net positive among Republicans. Choosing Lieberman would create a 2% net negative on their likelihood to vote for McCain among independents. Florida's Republican Gov. Charlie Crist - often mentioned as a potential McCain running mate - shows net negatives among likely voters, Republicans and political independents, as does Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty, and South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford.


For a detailed methodological statement on this survey, please visit:

http://www.zogby.com/methodology/readmeth.dbm?ID=1322
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #513 on: July 19, 2008, 07:05:50 PM »

This is VERY good for BO and bad for McCain IMHO  cry cry cry

http://elections.foxnews.com/2008/07/19/maliki-i-support-obamas-withdrawal-timetable/
 
 
Maliki: I Support Obama’s Withdrawal Timetable
by FOXNews.com
Saturday, July 19, 2008
 
Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki told a German magazine that he supports Barack Obama’s plan to withdraw U.S. troops from Iraq within 16 months of taking office.

“U.S. presidential candidate Barack Obama is right when he talks about 16 months,” al-Maliki told Der Spiegel. He said he wants U.S. troops to leave “as soon as possible.”

The apparent endorsement of a cornerstone of Obama’s foreign policy is a big boost for the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee ahead of his scheduled meeting with al-Maliki. Obama, who is touring both Afghanistan and Iraq for the first time since becoming a presidential candidate, arrived Saturday in Afghanistan, where he is meeting with U.S. troops.

Al-Maliki said for the first time earlier this month that the U.S. military should work toward a timetable for withdrawal — something President Bush and Obama’s rival John McCain oppose. The White House also reported Friday that Iraq and the United States are discussing a “general time horizon” for reductions in troop levels.

Both developments gave Obama fuel in his argument that U.S. involvement in Iraq soon must draw to a close. But al-Maliki’s comments to Der Spiegel seemingly were the deepest the foreign leader has waded into the tense foreign policy debate between the two major presidential candidates.

Al-Maliki told the magazine that his comments were “by no means an election endorsement.”

But he seemed to refer disparagingly to McCain when he said “short time periods” in Iraq are more “realistic,” while “artificially prolonging the tenure of U.S. troops in Iraq would cause problems.”

McCain went after Obama in his radio address Saturday for announcing his proposed strategies for Afghanistan and Iraq before even departing.

“Apparently, he’s confident enough that he won’t find any facts that might change his opinion or alter his strategy. Remarkable,” McCain said, criticizing his rival for initially opposing the troop surge in Iraq.

“Today we know that he was wrong,” he said.

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G M
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« Reply #514 on: July 19, 2008, 10:19:40 PM »

Crafty,

Don't believe tha' hype: http://hotair.com/archives/2008/07/19/maliki-obamas-16-month-timetable-sounds-good/


In addition, Barry-O has had so many different positions on Iraq, sooner or later he might be correct having covered the entire spectrum of options.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NVy5REoiDJo

Edited by Marc to add the content:

Maliki: Obama’s 16-month timetable sounds good; Update: Spiegel changes quoteposted at 12:15 pm on July 19, 2008 by Allahpundit
Send to a Friend | printer-friendly Here’s the exchange from Spiegel’s English translation, duly hyped by Reuters as tacit evidence of Liberal Jesus’s foreign-policy sagacity.
SPIEGEL: Would you hazard a prediction as to when most of the US troops will finally leave Iraq?
Maliki: As soon as possible, as far as we’re concerned. US presidential candidate Barack Obama is right when he talks about 16 months. Assuming that positive developments continue, this is about the same time period that corresponds to our wishes.
The unasked follow-up question: How about the 14-month timetable that Obama wanted to set in January 2007 to start pulling troops out before those positive developments could occur? How keen does that look in hindsight? To repeat a point made yesterday, the only reason a timetable or “time horizon” is arguably a responsible strategy now is because it was properly rejected as being irresponsible then. Maliki hints at that in another part of the interview:
So far the Americans have had trouble agreeing to a concrete timetable for withdrawal, because they feel it would appear tantamount to an admission of defeat. But that isn’t the case at all. If we come to an agreement, it is not evidence of a defeat, but of a victory, of a severe blow we have inflicted on al-Qaida and the militias.
Exactly, which at least partly explains why Bush is more willing to compromise now on some sort of informal schedule. Compare Maliki’s justification for the timetable to Obama’s justification in his big Iraq speech. The pacification of the country is almost incidental, something to congratulate Petraeus on and then quickly move past. To the extent conditions in Iraq seem to affect his rationale at all, he offers this: “In the 18 months since the surge began, as I warned at the outset – Iraq’s leaders have not made the political progress that was the purpose of the surge. They have not invested tens of billions of dollars in oil revenues to rebuild their country. They have not resolved their differences or shaped a new political compact.” I.e. it didn’t work, so let’s get out. Back to Maliki for a rebuttal:
SPIEGEL: In your opinion, which factor has contributed most to bringing calm to the situation in the country?
Maliki: There are many factors, but I see them in the following order. First, there is the political rapprochement we have managed to achieve in central Iraq. This has enabled us, above all, to pull the plug on al-Qaida. Second, there is the progress being made by our security forces. Third, there is the deep sense of abhorrence with which the population has reacted to the atrocities of al-Qaida and the militias. Finally, of course, there is the economic recovery.
He’s exaggerating the extent of the reconciliation, but not entirely.
One more quote from the interview which I dare say won’t be making it into the inevitable Team Barry press release. The fact that Maliki thinks the war was good for Iraqis doesn’t mean it was good for America, needless to say, but Obama fans eager to exploit the timetable bit may want to mull this before baptizing his judgments with Absolute Moral Authority:
SPIEGEL: Mr. Prime Minister, the war and its consequences have cost more than 100,000 lives and caused great suffering in your country. Saddam Hussein and his regime are now part of the past. Was all of this worth the price?
Maliki: The casualties have been and continue to be enormous. But anyone who was familiar with the dictator’s nature and his intentions knows what could have been in store for us instead of this war. Saddam waged wars against Iran and Kuwait, and against Iraqis in the north and south of his own country, wars in which hundreds of thousands died. And he was capable of instigating even more wars. Yes, the casualties are great, but I see our struggle as an enormous effort to avoid other such wars in the future.
For context, here’s Petraeus on MSNBC yesterday afternoon (before the Spiegel interview was published) responding to reports that Maliki wants a timetable. He fudges a bit with the “time horizon” terminology, but note well the point about domestic politics and assertions of sovereignty. Another “positive development.” Exit question: What do we do now with that NYT piece from the other day about Iraqis who love Obama for bringing Hope but pray that the U.S. security presence doesn’t Change?

Update: Spend some time with this AP story about U.S. troops — who would have been reduced to a small Baker/Hamilton token force by now if Obama had had his way last year — helping Iraqi villagers rebuild after purging Al Qaeda. Quote: “It reveals how drastically American troops have shifted their focus from combat to helping Iraqis build on a newfound, if fragile, peace. And it reflects a continuing concern among U.S. commanders that the security gains could slip.” Not just among U.S. commanders, per the NYT piece.
Update: A commenter notes that Spiegel has rewritten the translation of the exchange about withdrawal to read as follows. There’s nothing in the article calling attention to the change; they’re trying to put one over on their readers, it seems.
SPIEGEL: Would you hazard a prediction as to when most of the US troops will finally leave Iraq?
Maliki: As soon as possible, as far as we’re concerned. U.S. presidential candidate Barack Obama talks about 16 months. That, we think, would be the right timeframe for a withdrawal, with the possibility of slight changes.
They’ve dropped the contingency about positive developments continuing, although it’s still implied by the part about potentially changing the plan. Did Maliki contact Spiegel and ask them to drop that part so that the quote would sound more assertive back home? Hard to believe the original translation would have been so off as to include a bit about “positive developments” that he never said.
« Last Edit: July 19, 2008, 11:27:12 PM by Crafty_Dog » Logged
ccp
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« Reply #515 on: July 20, 2008, 10:01:35 AM »

I don't recall till W was President that the opposing party would use overseas sentiments to influence how Americans should vote.

Before I comment on the Maliki statements,

First an associated and much more general related point,

Why should we vote for a candidate because people in another country want him to win?
This doesn't make much sense.  In fact I would be more inclined to do the opposite.
I want leaders who are going to stick up for us, and if at the same time that helps are true allies, great.  But the Democrats are happy to point out that their candidate would be loved so much more than the Republcian candidate.
That said, why are we not exploring why some in these other countries are so enthused about a Democrat.  They *have* to perceive it helps them more then they care about whether it helps America.  Of course if we have a major candidate running around saying we should stop being snobs about English, and we should take up Spanish and French the Latinos and the French will love him.  But who is he representing them or us?

Second back to the point at hand with regards to Maliki,

Now with regard to Maliki - he now claims his remarks were taken out of context.  I believe it.  The news media will take a small phrase, or quote of the overall context and it can have the complete "opposite" meaning from its intent.  I've had that happen to myself.  I gave an interview years ago and remarks that I said were true but *incomplete*.  The result was the meaning was completely lost and from what was published totally misrepresented.

***Iraqi PM disputes report on withdrawal plan

    * NEW: Der Spiegel says Nuri al-Maliki backs plan to withdraw troops within 16 months
    * NEW: Al-Maliki's spokesman says his remarks were "misunderstood"
    * Comments follow White House announcement of "time horizon" for withdrawal
(CNN) -- A German magazine quoted Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki as saying that he backed a proposal by presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Sen. Barack Obama to withdraw U.S. troops from Iraq within 16 months.
Nuri al-Maliki told Der Spiegel that he favors a "limited" tenure for coalition troops in Iraq.

Nuri al-Maliki told Der Spiegel that he favors a "limited" tenure for coalition troops in Iraq.

"U.S. presidential candidate Barack Obama talks about 16 months," he said in an interview with Der Spiegel that was released Saturday.

"That, we think, would be the right time frame for a withdrawal, with the possibility of slight changes," he said.

But a spokesman for al-Maliki said his remarks "were misunderstood, mistranslated and not conveyed accurately."

Government spokesman Ali al-Dabbagh said the possibility of troop withdrawal was based on the continuance of security improvements, echoing statements that the White House made Friday after a meeting between al-Maliki and U.S. President Bush.

In the magazine interview, Al-Maliki said his remarks did not indicate that he was endorsing Obama over presumptive Republican presidential nominee Sen. John McCain.

"Who they choose as their president is the Americans' business. But it's the business of Iraqis to say what they want. And that's where the people and the government are in general agreement: The tenure of the coalition troops in Iraq should be limited," he said.

"Those who operate on the premise of short time periods in Iraq today are being more realistic," al-Maliki said.

The interview's publication came one day after the White House said President Bush and al-Maliki had agreed to include a "general time horizon" in talks about reducing American combat forces and transferring Iraqi security control across the country. iReport.com: What should the next president know about Iraq?

The Bush administration has steadfastly refused to consider a "timetable" for withdrawing troops from Iraq.

In a statement issued Friday after a conversation between Bush and al-Maliki by closed-circuit television, the White House said that conditions in Iraq would dictate the pace of the negotiations and not "an arbitrary date for withdrawal."
Don't Miss

The two men "agreed that the goals would be based on continued improving conditions on the ground and not an arbitrary date for withdrawal," the White House said.

In an interview to air Sunday on "Late Edition," Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice told CNN's Wolf Blitzer that "those goals are being achieved now, as we speak. And so, it's not at all unusual to start to think that there is a horizon out there, in the not too distant future, in which the roles and responsibilities of the U.S. forces are going to change dramatically and those of the Iraqi forces are going to become dominant."

White House spokesman Scott Stanzel said al-Maliki had made it clear that such decisions will be based on continuing positive developments.

"It is our shared view that should the recent security gains continue, we will be able to meet our joint aspirational time horizons," he said.

The prime minister's remarks emerged as Obama visited Kuwait and Afghanistan before embarking on a tour of the Middle East and Europe to boost his foreign policy credentials. He also plans to visit Iraq.

The Democratic candidate says he supports a phased withdrawal of troops, promising to remove all combat brigades from Iraq within 16 months of taking office if he becomes president.

McCain does not think American troops should return to the United States until Iraqi forces are capable of maintaining a safe, democratic state.

He has been a strong advocate of the 2007 "surge" to escalate U.S. troop levels and says troops should stay in Iraq as long as needed.

McCain says Obama is wrong for opposing the increased troop presence, and Obama says McCain's judgment is flawed.
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« Reply #516 on: July 21, 2008, 05:21:22 PM »

http://www.iht.com/bin/printfriendly.php?id=14665033

McCain to Israeli TV: Sanctions might stop Iran, but US will not allow 2nd Holocaust

The Associated Press
Monday, July 21, 2008

JERUSALEM: American presidential candidate John McCain told an Israeli TV station that stiffer sanctions might stop Iran's threats against Israel. In an interview broadcast Monday, the Republican candidate said that in any event, the U.S. would not allow Iran to try to destroy Israel.

McCain's interview with Israel's Channel 2 TV aired just before Democratic candidate Barack Obama is due to arrive in Israel.

Asked about Israel feeling the need to attack Iran, McCain replied, "I would hope that would never happen, I would hope that Israel would not feel that threatened, " saying the U.S. and Europe could impose "significant, very painful sanctions on Iran which I think could modify their behavior."

He added, "But I have to look you in the eye and tell you that the United States of America can never allow a second Holocaust."

Israel considers Iran a strategic threat, discounting reports that Iran has dropped efforts to build nuclear weapons. Iran is developing long-range rockets and has called often for Israel's destruction.

Asked about possible military actions against Iran, McCain said, "I think we have a lot of options to explored before we seriously explore the military option, and I don't think we have exercised those enough.

McCain said he favors low-level contacts with Iranian officials, but not a meeting of presidents without preconditions. He said Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad would take advantage of such a meeting and its media coverage to call for the destruction of Israel.
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« Reply #517 on: July 21, 2008, 07:43:09 PM »

http://hotair.com/archives/2008/07/21/medal-of-honor-recipient-and-fellow-pow-endorses-mccain/

I wonder if Barry-O will be getting any MOH winner's endorsement.....

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« Reply #518 on: July 24, 2008, 09:45:57 AM »

A Tale of Two Flip-Floppers
By KARL ROVE
July 24, 2008

John McCain and Barack Obama have both changed positions in this campaign. That's OK. Voters understand that politicians can and, sometimes, should change their views. After all, voters do. Witness the wide swings in their answers to opinion polls.

But before accepting the changes, voters typically ask themselves three questions: Does the candidate admit he's shifting? What's the new information that altered his thinking? Does the change seem reasonable and not calculating?

Sen. McCain has changed his position on drilling for oil on the outer continental shelf. But because he explained this change by saying that $4-a-gallon gasoline caused him to re-evaluate his position, voters are likely to accept it. Of course, Mr. McCain doesn't explain why prices at the pump haven't also forced him to re-evaluate his opposition to drilling on 2000 acres in the 19.2-million-acre Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. But, then, what politician is always consistent?

Mr. McCain flip-flopped on the 2001 and 2003 tax cuts. He'd voted against them at the time, saying in 2001 that he'd "like to see more of this tax cut shared by working Americans." Now he supports their continuation because, he says, letting them expire would increase taxes and he opposes tax hikes. Besides, he recognizes that the tax cuts have helped the economy.

At least Mr. McCain fesses up to and explains his changes. Sen. Obama has shifted recently on public financing, free trade, Nafta, welfare reform, the D.C. gun ban, whether the Iranian Quds Force is a terrorist group, immunity for telecom companies participating in the Terrorist Surveillance Program, the status of Jerusalem, flag lapel pins, and disavowing Rev. Jeremiah Wright. And not only does he refuse to explain these flip-flops, he acts as if they never occurred.

Then there is Iraq. Throughout 2006 and early 2007, Mr. Obama pledged to remove all U.S. troops, even voting to immediately cut off funds for the troops while they were in combat. Then, in July 2007, he started talking about leaving a residual U.S. force, in Kuwait and elsewhere in the region, able to go back into Iraq if needed.

By October, he shifted again, pledging to station the residual U.S. troops inside Iraq with two "limited missions of protecting our diplomats and carrying out targeted strikes on al Qaeda."

Last week, writing in the New York Times, Mr. Obama changed again. He increased the missions his residual force would perform to three: "going after any remnants of al Qaeda in Mesopotamia, protecting American service members and, so long as the Iraqis make political progress, training Iraqi security forces." That's not all that different from what U.S. troops are doing now.

And just how many U.S. troops would Mr. Obama leave in Iraq? Colin Kahl, an Obama adviser on Iraq, has said the senator wants to have "perhaps 60,000-80,000 forces" in Iraq by December 2010. So much for withdrawing all combat troops.

It's dizzying. Yet, Mr. Obama acts as if he is a paradigm of consistency. He told a Georgia rally this month that "the people who say [I've been changing] apparently haven't been listening to me." In a PBS interview last week he said, "this notion that somehow we've had wild shifts in my positions is simply inaccurate."

Compounding all this is Mr. Obama's stubborn refusal to admit the surge was right and that he was wrong to oppose it. On MSNBC in January 2007, he said more U.S. troops would not "solve the sectarian violence there. In fact, I think it will do the reverse." Later that month he said at a Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing that the new strategy would "not prove to be one that changes the dynamics significantly." In fact, the surge has done far more than its advocates hoped in a much shorter period.

Yet Mr. Obama told ABC's Terry Moran this week that even in retrospect, he would oppose the surge. He also told CBS's Katie Couric that he had "no idea what would have happened" without the new strategy. And he still declares, in the New York Times last week, "The same factors that led me to oppose the surge still hold true." Given all that has happened, it's hard to understand how Mr. Obama can say, as he did Tuesday in a story on NBC Nightly News, that "I don't have doubts about my ability to apply sound judgment to the major national security problems that we face."

Americans have seen both candidates flip-flop. Mr. McCain at least has a record of being a gutsy leader willing to take unpopular stands who admits his shifts and explains the new information that caused them.

Mr. Obama has detached himself from past positions at record speed. And in doing so he runs the risk of being seen as a cynical politician, not an inspiring leader. If this happens, voters in large numbers may ask -- despite his rhetorical acrobatics -- if he is the change they've been waiting for.

Mr. Rove is a former senior adviser and deputy chief of staff to President George W. Bush.
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« Reply #519 on: July 24, 2008, 01:31:54 PM »

http://hotair.com/archives/2008/07/24/mccain-closing-the-gap/

Not inevitable.
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« Reply #520 on: July 28, 2008, 05:08:24 PM »

The Greatest Scandal
July 28, 2008
The profound failure of inner-city public schools to teach children may be the nation's greatest scandal. The differences between the two Presidential candidates on this could hardly be more stark. John McCain is calling for alternatives to the system; Barack Obama wants the kids to stay within that system. We think the facts support Senator McCain.

"Parents ask only for schools that are safe, teachers who are competent and diplomas that open doors of opportunity," said Mr. McCain in remarks recently to the NAACP. "When a public system fails, repeatedly, to meet these minimal objectives, parents ask only for a choice in the education of their children." Some parents may opt for a better public school or a charter school; others for a private school. The point, said the Senator, is that "no entrenched bureaucracy or union should deny parents that choice and children that opportunity."

Mr. McCain cited the Washington, D.C., Opportunity Scholarship Program, a federally financed school-choice program for disadvantaged kids signed into law by President Bush in 2004. Qualifying families in the District of Columbia receive up to $7,500 a year to attend private K-12 schools. To qualify, a child must live in a family with a household income below 185% of the poverty level. Some 1,900 children participate; 99% are black or Hispanic. Average annual income is just over $22,000 for a family of four.

A recent Department of Education report found nearly 90% of participants in the D.C. program have higher reading scores than peers who didn't receive a scholarship. There are five applicants for every opening.

Mr. McCain could have mentioned EdisonLearning, a private company that took over 20 of Philadelphia's 45 lowest performing district schools in 2002 to create a new management model for public schools. The most recent state test-score data show that student performance at Philadelphia public schools managed by Edison and other outside providers has improved by nearly twice the amount as the schools run by the district.

The number of students performing at grade level or higher in reading at the schools managed by private providers increased by 6.1% overall compared to 3.3% in district-managed schools. In math, the results for Edison and other outside managers was 4.6% and 6.0%, respectively, compared to 3.1% in the district-run schools.

The state of California just announced that one in three students in the Los Angeles public school system drops out before graduating. Among black and Latino students in L.A. district schools, the numbers are 42% and 30%. In the past five years, the number of dropouts has grown by more than 80%. The number of high school graduates has gone up only 9%.

The silver linings in these dismal clouds are L.A.'s charter high schools. Writing in the Los Angeles Daily News last week, Caprice Young, who heads the California Charter Schools Association, noted that "every charter high school in Los Angeles Unified last year reported a dropout rate significantly lower than not only the school district's average, but the state's as well."

On recent evidence, the Democrat Party's policy on these alternatives is simply massive opposition.

Congressional Democrats have refused to reauthorize the D.C. voucher program and are threatening to kill it. Last month, Philadelphia's school reform commission voted to seize six schools from outside managers, including four from Edison. In L.A., local school board members oppose the expansion of charters even though seven in 10 charters in the district outperform their neighborhood peers.

It's well known that the force calling the Democratic tune here is the teachers unions. Earlier this month, Senator Obama accepted the endorsement of the National Education Association, the largest teachers union. Speaking recently before the American Federation of Teachers, he described the alternative efforts as "tired rhetoric about vouchers and school choice."

Mr. Obama told an interviewer recently that he opposes school choice because, "although it might benefit some kids at the top, what you're going to do is leave a lot of kids at the bottom." The Illinois Senator has it exactly backward. Those at the top don't need voucher programs and they already exercise school choice. They can afford exclusive private schools, or they can afford to live in a neighborhood with decent public schools. The point of providing educational options is to extend this freedom to the "kids at the bottom."

A visitor to Mr. Obama's Web site finds plenty of information about his plans to fix public education in this country. Everyone knows this is a long, hard slog, but Mr. Obama and his wife aren't waiting. Their daughters attend the private University of Chicago Laboratory Schools, where annual tuition ranges from $15,528 for kindergarten to $20,445 for high school.

When the day arrives that these two candidates face off, we hope Senator McCain comes prepared to press his opponent hard on change, hope and choice in the schools.

WSJ
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #521 on: July 29, 2008, 10:17:36 AM »

Obama Should Stand Up to Russia's Regime
By GARRY KASPAROV
July 29, 2008; Page A17

Berlin is an ideal place for an American president, even a would-be president, to speak to the world about freedom and shared values. Barack Obama's recent visit evoked the famous speeches of John F. Kennedy and Ronald Reagan that defended the U.S. stance against the Soviet Union and tyranny in Eastern Europe. Both the Berlin Wall and the Soviet Union are now gone, but dangerous, nuclear-armed dictatorships are not. Sadly, Mr. Obama declined to mention this in Berlin.

The stage for his disappointing performance was set several weeks ago, when the Illinois senator rejected John McCain's proposal to eject Russia and exclude China from the Group of Eight (G-8). Mr. Obama's response during a July 13 interview on CNN -- "We have to engage and get them involved" -- suggests that it is impossible to work with Russia and China on economic and nuclear nonproliferation issues while also standing up for democracy and human rights.

It has repeatedly been shown that the exact opposite is true.

The U.S. does not cede leverage with authoritarian governments when it confronts them about their crimes. Instead, the U.S. increases its credibility and influence with foes and friends alike. Placating regimes like those in Russia and China today only entrenches hostile, antidemocratic forces.

Commercial agreements, arms control and other mutually beneficial projects can be pursued without endorsing dictatorship. During the same interview, Sen. Obama spoke of enlisting China to help write the "international rules of the road." This is the same logic that led the United Nations to place China, Cuba, Russia and Saudi Arabia on its current Human Rights Council. Do we really want to live under rules created with the approval of such regimes?

While Mr. Obama talked about the importance of receiving Russia's help in containing Iran's nuclear ambitions, Reuters reported that Tehran is acquiring advanced S-300 surface-to-air missiles from the Kremlin. This is the cooperation the West has earned by including Russia in the G-8.

In Berlin, Mr. Obama repeatedly mentioned the 1948 Berlin airlift. On CNN, he said he would like to "bring back the kind of foreign policy that characterized the Truman administration with Marshall and Acheson and Kennan." A strange statement, since President Harry Truman fought against giving up an inch to the communists on any front around the world. Not only did Truman save West Berlin; South Korea, Taiwan and Western Europe also have much to thank him for. By contrast, in their July 9 op-ed in the Los Angeles Times, Obama advisers Madeleine Albright and William Perry, secretaries of state and defense under Bill Clinton, criticized Sen. McCain's proposal to respond to major powers' human-rights abuses with more than lip service.

Mr. Obama also asked if the West would stand up for "the human rights of the dissident in Burma, the blogger in Iran, or the voter in Zimbabwe." Commendable, but what about the political prisoner in China and the recently convicted blogger in Russia? Zimbabwe's Robert Mugabe and Russia's Dmitri Medvedev both came to power in blatantly fraudulent elections. The hypocrisy of condemning one while embracing the other destroys American and European credibility, and undermines any attempt at global leadership. Those of us living behind the Iron Curtain at the time were grateful Ronald Reagan did not go to Berlin in 1987 to denounce the lack of freedom in, say, Angola.

In short, the candidate of change sounds like he would perpetuate the destructive double standards of the current administration. Meanwhile, the supposedly hidebound Mr. McCain is imaginative enough to suggest that if something is broken you should try to fix it. Giving Russia and China a free pass on human rights to keep them "at the table" has helped lead to more arms and nuclear aid to Iran, a nuclear North Korea, and interference from both nations in solving the tragedies in Darfur and Zimbabwe.

Would all of this have occurred had the U.S. and Europe threatened meaningful reprisals? At least Mr. McCain wants to find out.

Reagan's Berlin speech is remembered for his command: "Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!" But he also made a critical point about negotiating from strength, a point Mr. Obama seems to be missing. Reagan knew that if the U.S. backed down on the Strategic Defense Initiative, his speech would just be pretty words the Soviets would ignore.

Reagan avoided the mistake John F. Kennedy made when he met with Nikita Khrushchev in 1961. After the Bay of Pigs disaster, Kennedy was weak in Khrushchev's eyes and keen to make a deal, and the Soviet premier bullied him mercilessly in Vienna. The Berlin Wall and the Cuban Missile Crisis were soon to follow.

Today, instead of communists there are deal-making capitalists and nationalists running the Kremlin and China's National People's Congress. They, and blowhards like Hugo Chávez, hardly represent the existential threats faced by Truman, Kennedy and Reagan. Yet Mr. Obama still is reticent to confront them, saying in Berlin that "we must reject the Cold War mindset of the past and resolve to work with Russia when we can, to stand up for our values when we must." But the Cold War ended and democracy became the global standard not because Western leaders merely defended their values, but because they projected them aggressively.

On Sept. 11, 150 years ago, another Illinois politician to run for president, Abraham Lincoln, said: "Our defense is in the preservation of the spirit which prizes liberty as the heritage of all men, in all lands, everywhere." Not where it's convenient. Not in countries lacking large energy reserves. Everywhere, Mr. Obama, everywhere.

Mr. Kasparov, leader of The Other Russia coalition, is a contributing editor of The Wall Street Journal.
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« Reply #522 on: July 29, 2008, 11:50:57 PM »

McCain's Tax Blunder
July 30, 2008; Page A14
WSJ
One of the miracles of this Presidential election campaign is that John McCain still has a chance to win, notwithstanding his best attempts to kick it away. In his latest random policy improvisation, the Arizona Senator tried to give up the tax issue.

On ABC's "This Week" Sunday, Mr. McCain was asked to draw distinctions between his and the current Administration's economic policy. Given an easy opening, the Senator came back with his usual hodgepodge of new child-tax credits, promises to "veto every single pork barrel bill" and close wasteful government agencies, cut dependence on foreign oil and introduce a gas-tax holiday.

Then host George Stephanopoulos raised Social Security. "You're a longtime supporter of the private accounts, as President Bush called for them." Wishing to further distance himself from President Bush, when he could have drawn an equally useful contrast with Barack Obama, Mr. McCain didn't even own up to his support for private retirement accounts, simply saying, "I am a supporter of sitting down together and putting everything on the table and coming up with an answer."

Mr. Stephanopoulos pressed, "So that means payroll tax increases are on the table, as well?" Here came the words that have caused the McCain campaign well deserved grief: "There is nothing that's off the table. I have my positions, and I'll articulate them. But nothing's off the table."

So given a chance to reiterate his opposition to tax increases -- and underscore a main contrast with his opponent -- Mr. McCain punted. Democrats were quick to pounce, with the Democratic National Committee issuing a press release headlined, "McCain Tax Pledge? Not so much." It provided citations of the presumptive GOP nominee asserting that "Senator Obama will raise your taxes. I won't." Expect the "nothing's off the table" line to show up in Democratic TV spots this fall.

The wandering candidate also put his chief economic adviser, Douglas Holtz-Eakin, in an uncomfortable spot. Back in June, the McCain campaign went after Mr. Obama's proposal for a Social Security payroll tax increase on income above $250,000. A President McCain, his adviser then said, wouldn't consider a payroll tax increase "under any imaginable circumstances." So much for that.

Economics has never been Mr. McCain's strong suit, but with Iraq receding as a crisis the economy is the ground where the Senator will have to fight and win. And the tax issue provides him with a potent opening, given Mr. Obama's pledge to raise taxes on incomes, dividends and capital gains. In proposing to raise the payroll tax cap, the Democrat is to the left even of Hillary Clinton. Mr. McCain's Sunday blunder will make that issue that much harder to exploit.

Such mistakes also help explain the continued lack of enthusiasm for Mr. McCain among many conservatives. Meeting with us last December, before the primaries, he declared that "I will not agree to any tax increase," repeating the phrase for emphasis. He did not say any tax increase with the exception of Social Security. If Mr. McCain can't convince voters that he's better on taxes than is a Democrat who says matter-of-factly that he wants to raise taxes, the Republican is going to lose in a rout.

See all of today's editorials and op-eds, plus video commentary
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« Reply #523 on: August 03, 2008, 05:02:06 PM »

Political Diary
August 3, 2008
Paging Charlie Crist
Up until last month, John McCain led Barack Obama in every poll taken in Florida this year -- eleven in all. Since the middle of June, Mr. Obama has moved ahead in three of the last four surveys in the Sunshine State. The RealClearPolitics Average for Florida last Wednesday showed Messrs. McCain and Obama tied at 45.8% each, although a new poll on Thursday moved the average in Mr. McCain's favor by a slim 46% to 45.5%.

 
Mr. Obama's surge in Florida is explained by an analysis of advertising spending released last week by the University of Wisconsin. Between June 3 (the effective end of the Democratic primary) and July 26, Team Obama spent a whopping $5,028,000 on television ads in Florida -- at least $1 million more than Team Obama spent in any other state. Mr. McCain's spending during that same period? Zero.

Earlier this week the Obama campaign announced an unprecedented $20 million push for Latino voters that will focus on Florida and three other states. That effort, coupled with an expected surge in African-American turnout and an aggressive outreach to Jewish voters, has the Obama camp believing they have a legitimate shot at winning Florida in November.

Six weeks ago, with Mr. McCain leading in all the Florida polls, it looked as if adding Governor Charlie Crist to the ticket was not only unnecessary but might further alienate some conservatives. Now, with Mr. Obama pouring resources into Florida, things look considerably different. Speculation about a McCain VP selection lately has raged around Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty, but Mr. McCain may want to give Mr. Crist another look -- because it's impossible to see how Mr. McCain wins the White House without Florida's 27 electoral votes.
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« Reply #524 on: August 03, 2008, 06:15:31 PM »

http://rasmussenreports.com/public_content/politics/election_20082/2008_presidential_election/only_22_say_mccain_ad_racist_but_over_half_53_see_obama_dollar_bill_comment_that_way

Only 22% Say McCain Ad Racist, But Over Half (53%) See Obama Dollar-bill Comment That Way
Sunday, August 03, 2008

Sixty-nine percent (69%) of the nation’s voters say they’ve seen news coverage of the McCain campaign commercial that includes images of Britney Spears and Paris Hilton and suggests that Barack Obama is a celebrity just like them. Of those, just 22% say the ad was racist while 63% say it was not.
However, Obama’s comment that his Republican opponent will try to scare people because Obama does not look like all the other presidents on dollar bills was seen as racist by 53%. Thirty-eight percent (38%) disagree.
Both campaigns expressed a desire to move beyond the recent flap. On Saturday Obama backed off the racism charge and accused McCain's campaign of cynicism instead. He also rejected McCain's charge that the Democrat himself had brought race into the campaign with his dollar bill comment.
Two months after Obama clinched the Democratic Presidential Nomination, the race for the White House remains amazingly close in the Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential Tracking Poll.
Not surprisingly, the McCain ad generates significantly different perceptions along racial and ethnic lines. Most African-American voters—58%--saw the McCain ad as racist. Just 18% of white voters and 14% of all other voters shared that view. To watch the ad, click HERE.
As for Obama’s comment, 53% of white voters saw it as racist, as did 44% of African-Americans and 61% of all other voters.
There were also significant partisan divides. Democrats were evenly divided as to whether the McCain commercial was racist, and they were also evenly divided on the Obama comment. Republicans, by an 87% to 4% margin, rejected the notion that the McCain campaign ad was racist. But, by a 67% to 26% margin, GOP voters believe that Obama’s comment was racist.
Unaffiliated voters, by a five-to-one margin, said the McCain ad was not racist. By a much narrower 50% to 38% margin, unaffiliateds viewed Obama’s comment as racist.
Overall, just 22% of voters believe that most Americans are racist. That view is shared by 32% of Democrats, 20% of unaffiliated voters and 12% of Republicans. African-American voters are evenly divided on the question.
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« Reply #525 on: August 04, 2008, 08:57:25 AM »

Obama's Drill Bit
August 4, 2008
Even as he proposes to arbitrarily soak the profits from oil exploration (see here), Barack Obama is finally beginning to bend on offshore drilling. Late last week he said he could perhaps support more U.S. energy exploration, so long as it was part of a larger "bipartisan" deal that presumably includes more rules for conservation, subsidies for noncarbon fuels, and other favorites of his green backers.

Leave aside the economic contradiction in allowing more drilling to find more oil only to strip the profits from companies that succeed in finding it. The real news here is political, as Mr. Obama and his advisers have begun to see the polls move against them on energy. With gas at $4 a gallon, voters even in such drilling-averse states as Florida increasingly see the need for more domestic oil supplies. So Mr. Obama is now doing a modified, limited switcheroo to block any John McCain traction on the issue.

Only last week, Mr. Obama couldn't have been more opposed, calling more drilling a "scheme" that wouldn't reduce gas prices. He's also been telling voters that we don't need to open more areas to drilling because the oil companies weren't drilling enough on the leases they already have. That is nonsense, since not every lease yields oil in amounts worth developing and drilling permits aren't automatic even on leased land.

The question for Mr. Obama is whether this latest switch is merely a rhetorical move for campaign purposes. If he's serious, he'll start to publicly lobby Democratic leaders on Capitol Hill to allow a vote on drilling when they return from their August recess. The McCain campaign should keep the pressure on until he does, and until Congress moves.

 
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« Reply #526 on: August 07, 2008, 07:05:39 AM »

The sources of the following are, IMHO, quite capable of hyper-ventilating.  Lets see where this goes , , ,

==========

Obama Receives Illegal Funds From Gaza

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

Obama receives illegal funds from 'terrorist hotbed' Jim Brown - OneNewsNow - 8/6/2008 6:00:00 AMvar addthis_pub = 'onenewsnow';



According to Federal Election Commission filings, Barack Obama has received illegal donations from Palestinians living in Gaza, a hotbed of Hamas terrorists.


Obama received more than $24,000 in campaign contributions over a period of two months last fall from three Palestinian brothers from the "Edwan" family in Rafah, Gaza, which is a Hamas stronghold along the border with Egypt. The story was uncovered by Pamela Geller of the Atlas Shrugs blog. (see Federal Election Commission report)

Attorney and conservative commentator Debbie Schlussel notes foreign nationals are barred from making contributions in connection with any election -- federal, state, or local -- and an individual is allowed to give only $2,300 per election to a federal candidate or the candidate's campaign committee.

"The donations are basically through and through illegal -- that's number one. And number two is how the Obama campaign tried to conceal it," Schlussel chides. "They listed the campaign contributions as coming from Rafah, Georgia. They used the 'GA' from Gaza so it makes it look like it's legal; and then for the zip code it says '972,' which is actually the area code to dial over to Gaza," she contends.

The attorney comments that if the Obama campaign is willing to "accept thousands of dollars beyond the legal limit and they're also going to flout [Federal Election Commission] restrictions...that's very indicative of what kind of president [Obama] is going to be."

"They're not going to be worried about the details and they won't mind if they break the law to get to the final result that they want," adds Schlussel. She believes it is a "major news story when a presidential candidate receives money from 'a bastion of Islamic terrorism.' And Schlussel argues that the media is "bending over backwards to help Barack Obama and cover up any negative news about him."

Schlussel says Pamela Geller will likely file a Federal Election Commission complaint against the Obama campaign for violating restrictions and limits on campaign contributions.
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« Reply #527 on: August 07, 2008, 08:56:52 AM »

**Obama needs a bigger bus....**  rolleyes

http://michellemalkin.com/2008/08/05/another-obama-advisor-under-the-bus-shady-muslim-outreach-director-stepsdown/

Another Obama advisor under the bus: Shady Muslim outreach director steps down
By Michelle Malkin  •  August 5, 2008 11:25 PM

Well, that was quick. A little over a week ago, the Obama campaign proudly touted the appointment of a new Muslim outreach director. Now, he’s out following questions about his ties to a radical Muslim imam and the Muslim brotherhood. Doesn’t anyone do background checks for The One after all this time?

From a July 31 Obama campaign website blog post:
All -
Assalamu-Aleikum. My name is Mazen Asbahi and I’ve been blessed and privileged to be serving the Obama for America Campaign as the National Coordinator for Muslim American Affairs. I’m also coordinating Arab American matters. I’m treating the two roles separately as these are two separate constituencies, though of course there is some overlap.
In order to get Senator Obama elected, the Campaign needs all of you to continue your support and if possible to take it to another level. It’s a race for every vote in the key battleground states, such as Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia and Ohio. We need Muslim Americans to get excited about the Campaign, and there’s a lot to get excited about!
Sure, there have been mis-steps. And of course there are added sensitivities with our faith given the “smear” campaign trying to paint the Senator as too exotic and too un-American to be President.
If you have not plugged into the Campaign, please do. The Campaign makes it very easy to do. Visit your local Obama offices and register voters, raise money, get the word out, and pull in your friends and family to also participate.
Please feel free to contact me with ideas, critiques and suggestions for improvements on our outreach strategies. (Please keep in mind that I’ve just signed on Smiley).
Peace,
Mazen Asbahi

No peace from the WSJ, which reports tonight:

The Muslim-outreach coordinator to the presidential campaign of Barack Obama has resigned amid questions about his involvement in an Islamic investment fund and various Islamic groups.
Chicago lawyer Mazen Asbahi, who was appointed volunteer national coordinator for Muslim American affairs by the Obama campaign on July 26, stepped down Monday after an Internet newsletter wrote about his brief stint on the fund’s board, which also included a fundamentalist imam.
“Mr. Asbahi has informed the campaign that he no longer wishes to serve in his volunteer position, and we are in the process of searching for a new national Arab American and Muslim American outreach coordinator,” spokesman Ben LaBolt said in a statement.
A corporate lawyer at the firm of Schiff Hardin LLP, Mr. Asbahi tendered his resignation after he and the Obama campaign received emailed inquiries about his background from The Wall Street Journal. He did not respond to the email or a message left at his law office; the campaign released a letter in which Mr. Asbahi said he did not want to be a distraction.

The imam is Jamal Said. Background on his jihad-friendly mosque here.
And more details the Obama vetters neglected to vet:

The eight-year-old connection between Mr. Asbahi and Mr. Said was raised last week by the Global Muslim Brotherhood Daily Report, which is published by a Washington think tank and chronicles the activities of the Muslim Brotherhood, a world-wide fundamentalist group based in Egypt. Other Web sites, some pro-Republican and others critical of fundamentalist Islam, also have reported on the background of Mr. Asbahi. He is a frequent speaker before several groups in the U.S. that scholars have associated with the Muslim Brotherhood.

The Justice Department named Mr. Said an unindicted co-conspirator in the racketeering trial last year of several alleged Hamas fund-raisers, which ended in a mistrial. He has also been identified as a leading member of the group in news reports going back to 1993.

Mr. Said is the imam at the Bridgeview Mosque in Bridge-view, Ill., outside Chicago. He left the board of the Islamic fund in 2005, Securities and Exchange Commission filings state. A message left for Mr. Said at the mosque was not returned.
Allied Asset Advisors is a subsidiary of the North American Islamic Trust. The trust, which is supported financially by the government of Saudi Arabia, holds title to many mosques in the U.S. and promotes a conservative brand of Islam compatible with the ideology of the Muslim Brotherhood and also akin to the fundamentalist style predominant in Saudi Arabia. Allied executives did not respond to inquiries.

Countdown until CAIR screams Islamophobia and Obama minions scream racist?
3…2…1…
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« Reply #528 on: August 07, 2008, 09:45:14 AM »

August 07, 2008
Hillary's Growing Shadow
By Victor Davis Hanson
Barack Obama and John McCain are running neck and neck.

Impossible?

It would seem so. Republican President Bush still has less than a 30 percent approval rating. Headlines blare that unemployment and inflation are up -- even if we aren't, technically, in a recession. Gas is around $4 a gallon. Housing prices have nosedived. Sen. Ted Stevens, R-Alaska, has been indicted -- another in a line of congressional Republicans caught in financial or sexual scandal.

 
Meanwhile, the GOP's presumptive candidate, John McCain, is 71 years old. The Republican base thinks he's lackluster and too liberal.

So, everyone is puzzled why the Democratic candidate isn't at least 10 points ahead. It seems the more Americans get used to Barack Obama, the less they want him as president -- and the more Democrats will soon regret not nominating Hillary Clinton.

First, Obama was billed as a post-racial healer. His half-African ancestry, exotic background and soothing rhetoric were supposed to have been novel and to have reassured the public he was no race-monger like Al Sharpton. On the other hand, his 20-year career in the cauldron of Chicago racial politics also guaranteed to his liberal base that he wasn't just a moderate Colin Powell, either.

Yet within weeks of the first primary, the outraged Clintons were accusing Obama of playing "the race card" -- and vice-versa. Blacks soon were voting heavily against Hillary Clinton. In turn, Hillary, the elite Ivy League progressive, turned into a blue-denim working gal -- and won nearly all the final big-state Democratic primaries on the strength of working-class whites.

Americans also learned to their regret how exactly a Hawaiian-born Barack Obama -- raised, in part, by his white grandparents and without African-American heritage -- had managed to win credibility in what would become his legislative district in Chicago. That discovery of racial chauvinism wasn't hard once his former associate, his pastor for over 20 years, the racist Rev. Jeremiah Wright, spewed his venom.

Obama himself didn't help things as he taught the nation that his dutiful grandmother was at times a small-minded bigot -- no different from a "typical white person." And in an impromptu riff, Obama ridiculed small-town working-class Pennsylvanians' supposed racial insularity.

The primary season ended with a narrow Obama victory -- and a wounded, but supposedly wiser, Democratic candidate.

Not quite. Without evidence, he unwisely has claimed his opponents ("they") will play the race card against poor him. In contrast, on the hot-button issue of racial reparations, he recently played to cheering minority audiences by cryptically suggesting that the government must "not just . . . offer words, but offer deeds." He later clarified that he didn't mean cash grants, but his initial words were awfully vague.

Second, many are beginning to notice how a Saint Obama talks down to them. We American yokels can't speak French or Spanish. We eat too much. Our cars are too big, our houses either overheated or overcooled. And we don't even put enough air in our car tires. In contrast, a lean, hip Obama promises to still the rising seas and cool down the planet, assuring adoring Germans that he is a citizen of the world.

Third, Obama knows that all doctrinaire liberals must tack rightward in the general election. But due to his inexperience, he's doing it in far clumsier fashion than any triangulating candidate in memory. Do we know -- does Obama even know? -- what he really feels about drilling off our coasts, tapping the strategic petroleum reserve, NAFTA, faith-based initiatives, campaign financing, the FISA surveillance laws, town-hall debates with McCain, Iran, the surge, timetables for Iraq pullouts, gun control or capital punishment?

Fourth, Obama is proving as inept an extemporaneous speaker as he is gifted with the Teleprompter. Like most rookie senators, in news conferences and interviews, he stumbles and then makes serial gaffes -- from the insignificant, like getting the number of states wrong, to the downright worrisome, such as calling for a shadow civilian aid bureaucracy to be funded like the Pentagon (which would mean $500 billion per annum).

If the polls are right, a public tired of Republicans is beginning to think an increasingly bothersome Obama would be no better -- and maybe a lot worse. It is one thing to suggest to voters that they should shed their prejudices, eat less and be more cosmopolitan. But it is quite another when the sermonizer himself too easily evokes race, weekly changes his mind and often sounds like he doesn't have a clue what he's talking about.

In a tough year like this, Democrats could probably have defeated Republican John McCain with a flawed, but seasoned candidate like Hillary Clinton. But long-suffering liberals convinced their party to go with a messiah rather than a dependable nominee -- and thereby they probably will get neither.

Victor Davis Hanson is a classicist and historian at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University, and author, most recently, of "A War Like No Other: How the Athenians and Spartans Fought the Peloponnesian War." You can reach him by e-mailing author@victorhanson.com.
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« Reply #529 on: August 08, 2008, 10:15:17 AM »





August 08, 2008, 0:00 a.m.

On Energy, Do Everything
Democrats are killing themselves trying to prevent Americans from using proven fuels.

By Charles Krauthammer

Let’s see: housing meltdown, credit crunch, oil shock not seen since the 1970s. The economy is slowing, unemployment growing and inflation increasing. It’s the sixth year of a highly unpopular war and the president’s approval rating is at 30 percent.

The Italian Communist party could win this election. The American Democratic party is trying its best to lose it.

Democrats have the advantage on just about every domestic issue from health care to education. However, Americans’ greatest concern is the economy, and their greatest economic concern is energy (by a significant margin: 37 percent to 21 percent for inflation). Yet Democrats have gratuitously forfeited the issue of increased drilling for domestic oil and gas. By an overwhelming margin of two to one, Americans want to lift the moratorium preventing drilling on the Outer Continental Shelf, thus unlocking vast energy resources shut down for the last 27 years.

Democrats have been adamantly opposed. They say that we cannot drill our way out of the oil crisis. Of course not. But it is equally obvious that we cannot solar or wind or biomass our way out. Does this mean that because any one measure cannot solve a problem, it needs to be rejected?

Barack Obama remains opposed to new offshore drilling (although he now says he would accept a highly restricted version as part of a comprehensive package). Just last week, he claimed that if only Americans would inflate their tires properly and get regular tune-ups, “we could save all the oil that they’re talking about getting off drilling.”

This is bizarre. By any reasonable calculation of annual tire-inflation and tune-up savings, the Outer Continental Shelf holds nearly a hundred times as much oil. As for oil shale, also under federal moratorium, after a thousand years of driving with Obama-inflated tires and Obama-tuned engines, we would still have saved only one-fifth the oil shale available in the United States.

But forget the math. Why is this issue either/or? Who’s against properly inflated tires? Let’s start a national campaign, Cuban-style, with giant venceremos posters lining the highways. (“Inflate your tires. Victory or death!”) Why must there be a choice between encouraging conservation and increasing supply? The logical answer is obvious: Do both.

Do everything. Wind and solar. A tire gauge in every mailbox. Hell, a team of oxen for every family (to pull their gasoline-drained SUVs). The consensus in the country, logically unassailable and politically unbeatable, is to do everything possible to both increase supply and reduce demand, because we have a problem that’s been killing our economy and threatening our national security. And no one measure is sufficient.


The green fuels the Democrats insist we should be investing in are as yet uneconomical, speculative technologies, still far more expensive than extracted oil and natural gas. We could be decades away. And our economy is teetering. Why would you not drill to provide a steady supply of proven fuels for the next few decades as we make the huge technological and economic transition to renewable energy?

Congressional Democrats demand instead a clampdown on “speculators.” The Democrats proposed this a month ago. In the meantime, “speculators” have driven the price down by $25 a barrel. Still want to stop them? In what universe do traders only bet on the price going up?

On Monday, Obama outlined a major plan with mandates and immense government investment in such things as electric cars and renewables. Fine, let’s throw a few tens of billions at this and see what sticks. But success will not just require huge amounts of money. It will require equally huge amounts of time and luck.

On the other hand, drilling requires no government program, no newly created bureaucracy, no pie-in-the-sky technologies that no one has yet invented. It requires only one thing, only one act. Lift the moratorium. Private industry will do the rest. And far from draining the treasury, it will replenish it with direct taxes, and with the indirect taxes from the thousands of non-subsidized new jobs created.

The problem for the Democrats is that the argument for “do everything” is not rocket science. It is common sense. Which is why House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, surveying the political rubble resulting from her insistence on not even permitting drilling to come to a floor vote, has quietly told her members that they can save their skins and vote for drilling when the pre-election Congress convenes next month. Pelosi says she wants to save the planet. Apparently saving her speakership comes first.

— Charles Krauthammer is a nationally syndicated columnist.
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« Reply #530 on: August 09, 2008, 05:37:26 AM »

Campaign watch: Lots of nonsense
Barack Obama, as expected, has declined John McCain’s offer to participate in a series of 10 town hall meetings this fall. Obama, no doubt wondering how he would coherently expound upon “change we can believe in” when put on the spot by audience members, has committed only to the three debates scheduled by the Commission on Presidential Debates.

Obama also angered some black groups this week by “clarifying” his earlier position on slavery reparations. Earlier, when asked about the possibility of an apology and reparations for slavery and the Jim Crow era, he spoke about backing up words with deeds. He now says that an apology would not necessarily benefit black Americans, and that reparations might be a “distraction,” presumably from real change. No wonder he doesn’t want to participate in McCain’s town hall meetings—he doesn’t dare to walk this particular tightrope, or others, without his trusty teleprompter.

On the lighter side of things, the McCain campaign has been hitting Obama on all sides with humor. For example, Obama offered last week this money-saving tip: Americans should make sure their tires are properly inflated. While this maintenance practice does indeed improve gas mileage, it is hardly the sort of substantive suggestion we should be hearing from a presidential candidate. McCain senior aid Mark Slater soon began handing out tire gauges that read “Obama’s Energy Plan.” Who said the energy crisis isn’t funny?

The big buzz, of course, is that in a new ad, McCain compared Obama to celebrities Britney Spears and Paris Hilton. The ad called Obama “the biggest celebrity in the world” and asked if he was ready to lead. Hilton’s mother jumped to her defense, criticizing the ad. Oddly enough, she and her husband have donated $4,600 to McCain’s campaign. We think astute political analyst Jay Leno got this one right: “Of all the videos Paris Hilton has been in, this is the one mom’s upset about?”
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« Reply #531 on: August 13, 2008, 09:03:06 AM »

Mega liberal Maureen Dowd of the NY Times:

Yes, She Can
By MAUREEN DOWD
Published: August 12, 2008
WASHINGTON

While Obama was spending three hours watching “The Dark Knight” five time zones away, and going to a fund-raiser featuring “Aloha attire” and Hawaiian pupus, Hillary was busy planning her convention.

You can almost hear her mind whirring: She’s amazed at how easy it was to snatch Denver away from the Obama saps. Like taking candy from a baby, except Beanpole Guy doesn’t eat candy. In just a couple of weeks, Bill and Hill were able to drag No Drama Obama into a swamp of Clinton drama.

Now they’ve made Barry’s convention all about them — their dissatisfaction and revisionism and barely disguised desire to see him fail. Whatever insincere words of support the Clintons muster, their primal scream gets louder: He can’t win! He can’t close the deal! We told you so!

Hillary’s orchestrating a play within the play in Denver. Just as Hamlet used the device to show that his stepfather murdered his father, Hillary will try to show the Democrats they chose the wrong savior.

Her former aide Howard Wolfson fanned the divisive flames Monday on ABC News, arguing that Hillary would have beaten Obama in Iowa and become the nominee if John Edwards’s affair had come out last year — an assertion contradicted by a University of Iowa survey showing that far more Edwards supporters had Obama as their second choice.

Hillary feels no guilt about encouraging her supporters to mess up Obama’s big moment, thus undermining his odds of beating John McCain and improving her odds of being the nominee in 2012.

She’s obviously relishing Hillaryworld’s plans to have multiple rallies in Denver, to take out TV and print ads and to hold up signs in the hall that read “Denounce Nobama’s Coronation.”

In a video of a closed California fund-raiser on July 31 that surfaced on YouTube, Hillary was clearly receptive to having her name put in nomination and a roll-call vote.

She said she thought it would be good for party unity if her gals felt “that their voices are heard.” But that’s disingenuous. Hillary was the one who raised the roll-call idea at the end of May with Democrats, who were urging her to face the math. She said she wanted it for Chelsea, oblivious to how such a vote would dim Obama’s star turn. Ever since she stepped aside in June, she’s been telling people privately that there might have to be “a catharsis” at the convention, signaling she wants a Clinton crescendo.

Bill continues to howl at the moon — and any reporters in the vicinity — about Obama; he’s starting to make King Lear look like Ryan Seacrest.

The way the Clintons see it, there’s nothing wrong with a couple making plans for their future, is there? That’s the American way and, as their pal Mark Penn pointed out, they have American roots while Obama “is not at his center fundamentally American in his thinking and in his values.”

The Clintons know that a lot of Democrats are muttering that their solipsistic behavior is “disgusting.” But they’re too filled with delicious schadenfreude at the wave of buyer’s remorse that has swept the Democratic Party; many Democrats are questioning whether Obama is fighting back hard enough against McCain, and many are wondering, given his inability to open up a lead in a country fed up with Republicans, if race will be an insurmountable factor.

Some Democrats wish that Obama had told the Clintons to “get in the box” or get lost if they can’t show more loyalty, rather than giving them back-to-back, prime-time speaking gigs at the convention on Tuesday and Wednesday. Al Gore clipped their wings in 2000, triggering their wrath by squeezing both the president and New York Senate candidate into speaking slots the first night and then ushering them out of L.A.

Wednesday will be all Bill. The networks will rerun his churlish comments from Africa about Obama’s readiness to lead and his South Carolina meltdowns. TV will have more interest in a volcanic ex-president than a genteel veep choice.

Obama also allowed Hillary supporters to insert an absurd statement into the platform suggesting that media sexism spurred her loss and that “demeaning portrayals of women ... dampen the dreams of our daughters.” This, even though postmortems, including the new raft of campaign memos leaked by Clintonistas to The Atlantic — another move that undercuts Obama — finger Hillary’s horrendous management skills.

Besides the crashing egos and screeching factions working at cross purposes, Joshua Green writes in the magazine, Hillary’s “hesitancy and habit of avoiding hard choices exacted a price that eventually sank her chances at the presidency.”

It would have been better to put this language in the platform: “A woman who wildly mismanages and bankrupts a quarter-of-a-billion-dollar campaign operation, and then blames sexism in society, will dampen the dreams of our daughters.”
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« Reply #532 on: August 14, 2008, 02:04:30 AM »

I See Four
Key Battleground States
By KARL ROVE
August 14, 2008; Page A11

Presidential campaigns ultimately come down to who can win 270 Electoral College votes. With most states favoring one candidate or the other, this year's contest could come down to a few battleground states.

Based on visits this past week with party leaders and old pros, it's clear that Barack Obama will focus on Colorado and Virginia. Both have large concentrations of white, college-educated voters with whom Mr. Obama is popular. And both have seen Democrats surge recently.

Of the two, Mr. Obama is best positioned to pick up Colorado's nine electoral votes. Denver hosts the Democratic convention at the end of this month. And a quartet of local millionaires (mini-George Soroses) have spent lavishly to boost Democrats. They have succeeded at shrinking the Republican advantage among registered voters. The GOP now has just 68,507 more voters on the rolls in Colorado than Democrats, down from a 176,572 edge four years ago.

Democrats win the state when they hold down GOP margins in rural districts, and appeal to swing women voters in Larimer County and the Denver suburbs. Mr. Obama lacks rural credentials, but he might make inroads in the suburbs.

Sen. McCain's independence will help him in Colorado. Also, there will be two anti-union initiatives on the ballot this fall that could energize conservatives. But he needs to run up votes in the GOP strongholds of El Paso (Colorado Springs), Douglas (south of Denver), Weld (Eastern Plains) and Mesa (Western Slope) counties, while appealing to Democratic and independent Hispanics and Catholics.

The last time Virginia (13 electoral votes) went for a Democratic presidential candidate was 1964. In 2004, the GOP's margin was eight points. That makes Virginia an uphill climb for Mr. Obama, but not out of reach. He's focused on increasing African-American voters in Hampton Roads (in the southeastern corner of the state), Richmond and Petersburg, and on deepening his strength in Northern Virginia, where Fairfax was one of only 60 counties in America to flip from Republican in '00 to Democrat in '04.

But Mr. McCain's maverick image allows him to compete in Northern Virginia, where he's buying expensive D.C. TV ads. He also needs to do well in rural Virginia and the Richmond suburbs. Hampton Roads is home to nearly twice as many veterans as the national average, so Mr. McCain should be able to do well there.

If Mr. McCain lost Colorado and Virginia, he would likely have 264 electoral votes (assuming he carried the other states President Bush won in 2004). To win, he would have to pick up a state Democrats are counting on winning, such as Michigan.

With 17 electoral votes, Michigan is an attractive target. But it is also a complicated state. The Democratic machine is in near meltdown in Detroit, where the city's mayor is fighting felony charges stemming from an alleged cover-up of a sex scandal (he recently spent a night in jail). The party is also hurt by adverse reactions to Democratic Gov. Jennifer Granholm's $1.5 billion tax increase last year, which dampened economic growth.

Mr. McCain needs Reagan Democrats and independents in eastern Michigan. These working class, culturally conservative, mostly Catholic voters are how the GOP elected an attorney general, a secretary of state and a state Senate majority. These voters care about jobs and know manufacturing runs on affordable energy. They will respond to Mr. McCain's call for domestic drilling and expanded nuclear power.

Mr. McCain also needs to focus on "soft" Republicans, particularly in the Detroit suburbs. His renegade reputation will help him with socially liberal independents and Republicans. But Mr. Obama's change message will help him in western Michigan where the socially conscious, historically Republican Dutch voters have antiwar tendencies.

Then there is Ohio. Ground zero in '04, its 20 electoral votes will be hotly contested again this year. No Republican has won the White House without winning the Buckeye State.

How can Mr. McCain take Ohio? He can appeal to swing voters in the northeastern part of the state. Cuyahoga, Summit and Lucas counties and the Mahoning Valley are full of culturally conservative, working-class voters. In addition, Mr. Obama was wiped out in the primary among the blue-collar Reagan Democrats of southeastern Ohio. Outside of the university town of Athens, he won less than 30% of the vote in southeastern Ohio. This Appalachian region remains bad turf for him.

Mr. McCain will need to do well with suburban independents in the counties surrounding Columbus to balance heavy African-American turnout. He will also need to run strong in the Cincinnati suburbs in the southwest, and in rural and small-town counties.

Other states will see serious competition, including Florida, Pennsylvania, Nevada, New Hampshire, Missouri and Wisconsin. But Colorado, Virginia, Michigan and Ohio are likely to be the center of the action. To win, Mr. Obama needs to pick up 18 electoral votes more than John Kerry received, meaning Mr. Obama must carry Colorado or Virginia and add another small state to his column. If Mr. McCain carries Michigan as well as Ohio, it would make Mr. Obama's Electoral College math very difficult. And if Mr. McCain can limit GOP losses to one or two small states from those won by the GOP in 2004, he'll be America's 44th president.

Mr. Rove is a former senior adviser and deputy chief of staff to President George W. Bush.
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« Reply #533 on: August 15, 2008, 09:41:19 PM »

THE CLINTON CONVENTION

By DICK MORRIS & EILEEN MCGANN

Published on FoxNews.com on August 15, 2008.

Hillary and Bill have hijacked the Denver convention, making it into a carbon copy of what it would have looked like had she won until the last possible moment. By the time Obama gets up to speak and put his stamp on the convention, Hillary will have had one prime time night all to herself. Bill will have pre-empted a second night. Hillary will have had all the nominating and seconding speeches she wants. And the roll call of the states would record, in graphic detail, how the voters of state after state rejected Obama’s candidacy in the primaries. Only then, after three and a half days of all Clinton all the time will the convention then, finally, turn to its nominee and allow him to have an hour in the sun!

And what leverage did the Clintons have to achieve all of this? None. Hillary could not have taken the convention by storm and any show of party disunity would marginalize her forever in the Democratic Party. Had she or her supporters tried to pull off distracting demonstrations or to recreate Lafayette Park in Chicago in 1968, she would have paid a permanent price among the party faithful for sabotaging Obama’s candidacy.

This Clintonian tour de force raises a key question about Barack Obama: Is he strong enough to be president or can he be pushed around? His failure to stand up to the Clintons makes one wonder how effective he will be against bin Laden, Iran, Chavez, or Putin.

And now word emerges from the Obama camp that Indiana Senator Evan Bayh is on the short list for vice president. To select Bayh would bring Obama’s nemesis, Mark Penn, in through the campaign’s back door. Penn and Bayh are an item. Mark’s second (and current) wife, Nancy Jacobson was the key fund raiser for the Senator during his Senate campaigns. Penn has always been Bayh’s consultant and chief advisor. Penn played the key role in 1996 in getting Bayh a slot as the convention keynote speaker. Bayh has always marched to Mark Penn’s tune.

This, of course, the same Mark Penn who structured the vilification of Barack Obama as a marginal American and orchestrated the campaign to summon the white working class in opposition to his candidacy.

How much will Obama take?

His weakness if the face of the Clinton demands coupled with his refusal to debate McCain in the town forum meetings raise the question of whether he is tough when the teleprompter is turned off. Why is he afraid or unwilling to do tough interviews? It is not enough for him to say that he is the front runner and ask why he should risk such confrontations. In case he hasn’t noticed, he’s not the front runner. The tracking polls all suggest a tied race where taking certain risks would be reasonable, unless his handlers worry about his vulnerability in difficult or extemporaneous situations.

Is an unscripted Obama a pushover? Will foreign leaders conclude that he is not up to the job, just as Khrushchev did with JFK at his 1961 Vienna summit that presaged the Cuban Missile crisis? If he does so poorly in negotiating with the Clintons, how will he do with the Russians?
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« Reply #534 on: August 18, 2008, 08:10:10 AM »

I had forgotten about this event until I saw this column this morning:
====================


By WILLIAM KRISTOL
Published: August 17, 2008
NY Times

While normal people were out having fun Saturday night, I was home in front of the TV. But I wasn’t enjoying the Olympics. Your diligent columnist was dutifully watching Barack Obama and John McCain answer the Rev. Rick Warren’s questions at Saddleback Church. Virtue is sometimes rewarded. The event was worth watching — and for me yielded three conclusions.

McCain and Obama Agree to Attend Megachurch Forum (July 21, 2008) First, Rick Warren should moderate one of the fall presidential debates.

Warren’s queries were simple but probing. He was fair to both candidates, his manner was relaxed but serious, and he neither went for “gotcha” questions nor pulled his punches. And his procedure of asking virtually identical questions to each candidate during his turn on stage paid off. It allowed us to see the two giving revealingly different answers to the same question.

So, I say, with all due respect to Jim Lehrer, Tom Brokaw and Bob Schieffer — the somewhat nondiverse group selected by the debates commission as the three presidential debate moderators — one of them should step aside for Warren.

Second, it was McCain’s night.

Obama made no big mistakes. But his tendency to somewhat windy generalities meant he wasn’t particularly compelling. McCain, who went second, was crisp by contrast, and his anecdotes colorful.

Now I’m not entirely unbiased (!), so I don’t quite trust my initial judgment in such matters. But it was confirmed the next morning. NBC’s Andrea Mitchell reported on “Meet the Press” that “the Obama people must feel that he didn’t do quite as well as they might have wanted to in that context. ... What they’re putting out privately is that McCain ... may have had some ability to overhear what the questions were to Obama.”

There’s no evidence that McCain had any such advantage. But the fact that Obama’s people made this suggestion means they know McCain outperformed him.

Third, Obama and McCain really do have different “worldviews,” to use Rick Warren’s term.

Perhaps the most revealing moment was the two candidates’ response to a question about evil. Yes, evil — that negation of the good that, Friedrich Nietzsche to the contrary notwithstanding, we seem not to have moved beyond.

Warren asked whether evil exists and if it does, “do we ignore it? Do we negotiate with it? Do we contain it? Do we defeat it?”

Obama and McCain agreed evil exists and couldn’t be ignored. But then their answers diverged.

Obama said that “we see evil all the time” — in Darfur, on the streets of our cities, in child abusers. Such evils, he continued, need to be “confronted squarely.” And while we can’t “erase evil from the world,” we can be “soldiers” in the task of confronting it when we see it.

But, Obama added, “Now, the one thing that I think is very important is for us to have some humility” as we confront evil. Why? Because “a lot of evil has been perpetrated based on the claim that we were trying to confront evil.” After all, “just because we think our intentions are good doesn’t always mean that we’re going to be doing good.”

It’s nice to see a liberal aware of the limits of good intentions — indeed, that the road to hell is paved with them. But here as elsewhere, Obama stayed at a high level of abstraction. It would have been interesting if Warren had asked a follow-up question: Where in particular has the United States in recent years — at home or especially abroad — perpetrated evil in the name of confronting evil? Hasn’t the overwhelming problem been, rather, a reluctance to effectively confront evil — in Darfur, or Rwanda, or pre-9/11 Afghanistan?

John McCain appears to think so. Unlike Obama, he took the question about evil to be in the first instance about 9/11. McCain asserted that “of course evil must be defeated,” and he put “radical Islamic extremism,” Al Qaeda in particular, at the top of his to-defeat list. In this context, McCain discussed the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and concluded by mentioning “the young men and women who are serving this nation in uniform.”

So while Obama talked of confronting evil, McCain spoke of defeating it. Obama took the view that evil is generally abroad in the world; McCain focused on radical Islam and 9/11. Obama claimed that all of us must be metaphorical “soldiers” against evil; McCain paid tribute to actual American soldiers. And McCain couldn’t resist saying again Saturday night that if he has to follow Osama bin Laden to the gates of hell to get him and bring him to justice, he’ll do so.

Rick Warren remarked Saturday night that he wanted to help us understand Obama’s and McCain’s different worldviews. He accomplished his purpose.
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« Reply #535 on: August 18, 2008, 10:49:31 AM »

"Andrea Mitchell reported on “Meet the Press” that “the Obama people must feel that he didn’t do quite as well as they might have wanted to in that context. ... What they’re putting out privately is that McCain ... may have had some ability to overhear what the questions were to Obama.”

Kristol doesn't mention that Andrea Mitchell felt compelled to point out that McCain was speaking to his base while BO was not.  To me this displayed her bias and apparent need to temper BO's unequal performance compared to McCain with another excuse. 
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« Reply #536 on: August 18, 2008, 11:31:01 AM »

"Biased"; I don't think so.  McCain WAS speaking to his base or at least he hopes/wants it to be his base;
it's not "biased", it's simply true.

That does not negate that McCain may have done a better job.
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« Reply #537 on: August 19, 2008, 07:34:24 AM »

Note the bon mot, bolded below, where it's mentioned some of the protesters have received MMA training "for defensive purposes." Sounds like an Abbie Hoffman street theatre sort of claim, but if so, I wonder where they've trained.


Democratic Party Crashers Target Denver

They will do what they can to disrupt next week's convention.


August 19, 2008 - by Bridget Johnson
Support Pajamas Media; Visit Our Advertisers

A few newspapers ago, I once worked with a colleague who grumbled every time he saw a posting in the calendar advertising a meeting of the local anarchist group. He fumed over these meetings defying the very point of classic, every-Molotov-cocktail-for-himself anarchy. What’s next, he complained, electing a secretary to take meeting minutes and a treasurer to collect dues?

These days in Denver, anti-government groups have been meeting at local coffeehouses, in parks, online, and more to plot their disruption of the Democratic National Convention. They’ve organized “self-defense training” at a mixed martial arts gym, workouts supposedly intended for defense instead of offense. They’ve been hanging around the courts, lobbying for their right to block delegates and throw the city into general chaos. A federal judge’s recent decision to restrict their access to the Pepsi Center, they say, violates their free speech.

With names such as Recreate 68 (what, re-create Nixon’s election?) and Unconventional Denver, joined by anti-authority stalwarts such as the Clandestine Insurgent Rebel Clown Army and Code Pink (promising to inline skate through traffic to block the way), the DNC protesters have long been up in arms about how they won’t be given free reign of the Mile High City. They’re already accusing the city of essentially planning to combat them with paramilitary tactics. Denver, for instance, has set aside a warehouse to hold detainees in case the protests turn into another Battle of Seattle; protest groups have already christened the facility “Gitmo on the Platte” (though I doubt it serves the orange chicken on which al-Qaeda suspects dine).

When I arrived in Denver a month ago, the controversy was stewing over protesters’ claims that the police were going to employ ray guns that would stun demonstrators and make them poop their pants. Then the City Council passed an ordinance prohibiting people from carrying around buckets of pee or “feces bombs” with nefarious intentions. Excrement has really dominated the pre-protest conversation.

“The intent of this ordinance is to try to smear protesters and make them look as if they are somehow criminal or somehow going to engage in some kind of gross conduct,” Glenn Spagnuolo, an organizer of Re-create 68, said at a hearing on the ordinance while accusing city officials of fear-mongering.

Another group called Tent State University wanted to camp out in City Park for four days; billed as “4 days of love and action,” the anti-war group wants to force the Democrats’ hand as they listen to punk music and Ralph Nader, as well as nominating their own “party-less youth ticket.” After running into several headaches with city officials and neighborhood residents, the group is relocating its protests to Cuernavaca Park near lower downtown. Residents are, of course, thrilled.

Unconventional Denver, meanwhile, is largely using the Internet so that “anarchists, witches, clowns, Iraq vets, artists, SDSers, radical queers, immigrants, Earth First!ers, rebel Democrats, parents, precarious workers and others” can make it known that “come August, the Democrats’ attempt at co-opting our energies and power will fall short as we make it clear that change will come from below not above, in the streets and not in their stadiums.”

With kerchiefs tied across their faces in true anarchist chic, the group offered to call off all DNC protests if Denver took its $50 million in federal security grants and gave it to the needy. Do real anarchists negotiate with the government? The irony was that they wanted the blackmail cash distributed through government programs to schools, health care, poverty programs, etc. Is there such a thing as anarchist welfare?

Poseurs, my anarchist onetime co-worker would grouse!

The DNC protesters are truly bipartisan, or anti-partisan: Similar plans are in the works for the Republican National Convention in Minneapolis-St. Paul the following week. But there seems to be a fresh sort of loathing for the Democrats who are seen as traitors to the anti-war cause. Whereas these types of demonstrators go to Republican events perpetually harboring hated for what the party platform, they’re massing in Denver to teach Democrats a lesson.

In what form, though, will that come? Proposals have ranged from blocking delegates’ hotels to “snake marches” impeding their entrance into the convention. Calls to action have ranged from guerrilla gardening and old-school anti-capitalist rallies to seeking “insurrectionary marching bands” (conversely, those with no musical skills are asked to bang on pots and pans like 3-year-olds). And I can’t wait to see what the insane clown posse will try.

Yet a recent YouTube video featured two puppets — “Cat with Bat” and “Beaver with Cleaver” — threatening the “disruption, subversion and total destruction” of the DNC (and, in a bat stroke of bipartisanship, the RNC), calling brethren to arms and breaking into violent protest shots that could have come from any number of G-8 or World Bank meetings.

By whatever name, the anti-government, anti-authority, anti-globalization protesters are always looking for that spotlight opportunity to get their rhetoric out, and riot gear and police barricades only add to their anti-authority euphoria.

It should be interesting to see what the Democratic Party Crashers will bring about — but one thing they shouldn’t bank on bringing about is “change.”

http://pajamasmedia.com/blog/democratic-party-crashers-target-denver/2/
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« Reply #538 on: August 20, 2008, 08:12:36 AM »

The odd choices in Barack Obama's career

American Thinker 

August 20, 2008 | J.R. Dunn


It's time to throw my hat in the ring as regards predicting the election results. So here it is: Barack Obama will be defeated. Seriously and convincingly defeated. Not due to racism, not due to the forces of reaction, not even due to Karl Rove sending out mind rays over the national cable system. He will lose for one reason above all, one that has been overlooked in any analysis that I've yet seen. Barack Obama will lose because he is a flake.

I'm using the term in its generally accepted sense. A flake is not only a screwup, but someone who truly excels in making bizarre errors and creating incredibly convoluted disasters. A flake is a "fool with energy", as the Russian proverb puts it. ("A fool is a terrible thing to have around, but a fool with energy is a nightmare".)

Barack Obama is a flake, and the American people have begun to see it. The chief characteristic of a flake is that he makes choices that are impossible to either understand or explain. These are not the errors of the poor dope who can't grasp the essentials of a situation, or the neurotic who ruins things out of compulsion, or the man suffering chronic bad luck.

The flake has a genius for discovering solutions at perfect right angles to the ordinary world. It's as if he's the product of a totally different evolutionary chain, in a universe where the laws are slightly but distinctly at variance to ours. When given a choice between left and right, the flake goes up -- if not through the 8th dimension. And although there's plenty of rationalization, there's never a logical reason for any of it. After awhile, people stop asking.

Obama's rise has been widely portrayed as a kind of millennial Horatio Alger story -- young lad from a new state on the outskirts of the American polity, a member of once-despised minority, works his way by slow degrees to within arm's length of the presidency itself. That's all well and good -- we need national myths of exactly that type.

But what has been overlooked is the string of faux pas marking each step of Obama's journey, a series of strange, inexplicable actions, actions bizarre enough to require some effort at explanation, through such efforts have rarely been offered. It's as if the new Horatio made it to the top by stepping into every last manhole and open trapdoor in his path. And we, the onlookers, the voters who are being asked to put this man in the White House, are supposed to take this as the normal career path for a successful chief executive.

What are these incidents? I'm sure many of you are way ahead of me, but let's go to the videotape.

Here's a young man who graduated from Columbia with high marks, with a choice of positions anywhere in the country. He comes from a state generally held to be a close match to Paradise. One, furthermore, that can be characterized as the most successful multiracial society in the world, with harmonious relations not only between whites and blacks, but also Japanese-Americans and native Hawaiians as well. To top it off, a state controlled in large part by a smoothly-functioning Democratic machine. So where does he choose to go?

To Chicago. One of the windiest, coldest, most brutal cities in the country. One that is also infinitely corrupt in a sense that Hawaii is not. One that remains one of the most racist large cities in the U.S. (Cicero, Al Capone's old stomping grounds, a suburb that is effectively part of the city, is completely segregated to this day.) It would be nice to learn which of these aspects most attracted young Obama to the city. But if you'd asked at the beginning of the campaign, you'd still be waiting.

And what does he do when he reaches the city? Why, he joins a cult. Jeremiah Wright's Trinity United Church has been turned inside out since the videotaped sermons appeared early this year, without anyone ever quite explaining exactly what Obama was thinking of when he joined up in the first place. Street cred, so it's claimed. But there are a plethora of black churches that would have provided him that without the taint of demented racism that Wright's church offered.

Obama apparently had to swear an oath of belief in "black liberation theology" when he joined the church. (It is the little touches of that sort that make it a "cult", and not simply a "church".) Did the thought of his career ever cross his mind? Didn't he realize that church would inevitably cause him trouble somewhere down the line? That he'd be required to repudiate it and its ideas eventually? We can ask -- but we won't get an answer.

Back at school, Obama got himself named editor of the Harvard Law Review. This is a signal achievement, no question about it. The kind of thing that would be mentioned about a person for the rest of his life, as has been the case with Obama. But then... he writes nothing for the journal.

Now, let's get this straight: here we have one of the leading university law journals in the country, one widely cited and read. Entire careers in legal analysis and scholarship have been founded on appearances in the Review, including some that have led to the highest courts in the country. Yet here's an individual who, as editor, could easily place his own work in the journal -- standard practice, nothing at all wrong with it. But he fails to do so. And the explanation? There's none that I've heard. We can go even farther than that, to say that there is no explanation that makes the least rational sense.

We follow Obama down to Springfield, where as a state legislator, he voted "present" over 120 times. What this means, as far as I've been able to discover, is that he voted "present" nearly as much as he voted "yes" or "no".

Now, statehouses work very simply: a member approaches his colleagues and asks them them to vote for his bill. Some comply, some do not. Some ask, "Is it a good bill?" and some don't. Either way, they customarily, except in unusual circumstances, vote "yes' or "no". All except for Barack Obama. And how did get away with it? How did mollify his colleagues? How did he square himself with the party bosses? Echo answereth not.

(A good slogan could be made of this: "You can't vote present in the Oval Office." I hereby commend it to the McCain campaign.)

We turn eagerly to learn what his term in the U.S. Senate will reveal, only to be disappointed. But it's not surprising, really. After all, he was only there for 143 days.

And there lies one of the keys to Obama's rise. David Brooks pointed out in a recent New York Times column that Obama spent too little time in any of his positions to make an impact one way or another. This is what saved him from the normal fate of the flake: he was never around long enough for his errors and strange behavior to catch up with him.

But a presidential campaign is a different matter. A man running for president is under the microscope, and can't duck anything, as many a candidate has had reason to learn. If Obama is a flake in the classic mode, now is when it would come out. And has it?

The case could be made. Here we have a campaign with everything going for it -- the opposition party in a shambles, a seriously undervalued president, the media in the candidate's pocket, the candidate himself being worshiped as nothing less than the new messiah. And yet the results have comprised little more than one fumble after another.

First came the Wright affair. Obama apparently thought he was above it all -- a not-uncommon phenomenon with flakes -- and allowed the revelations to take on a life of their own before bothering to respond. Even then, his thoughtful and convincing explanation (that he hadn't been listening for twenty years) did little to settle the crisis, which instead guttered out on its own after nearly crippling his campaign. Even months afterward it threatens to pop back up at any time. The latest word is that Wright -- now a deadly enemy of his onetime protégé -- has written a book. I can't wait.

Obama learned his lesson, and confronted the next threat immediately, tackling The New Yorker cover with the avidity of a man having discovered zombies in the basement. A development that could have been defused with a chuckle and a quip (the customary method is for the politician to ask the cartoonist for the original) was allowed to explode into a major issue. The campaign's relentless attacks on one of the oldest liberal magazines extant merely perplexed the country at large. After all, any Republican has had to endure far worse.

Almost simultaneously, the birth certificate saga was unfolding. On no reasonable grounds, the campaign blew off requests for a copy of the document, at last releasing it through one of the least reputable sites on the Internet, and so badly copied that literally anything could be read into it -- and was. I'm not one of those who believes that Obama was actually born in Indonesia/Kenya/Moscow/the moon, but I still have plenty in the way of questions, almost all of them arising from how the matter was handled. Well played.

The latest pothole (or one of them, anyway) involves Jerome Corsi's The Obama Nation. Corsi has been given the full New Yorker treatment, with the campaign hoping to avoid John Kerry's "error" in not challenging Corsi's 2004 book, Unfit for Command. What Obama missed was the fact that Kerry's major problem was not with Corsi but with the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth, who were disgusted with Kerry's hypocrisy in running as an experienced military veteran, and set out to take him down. Corsi's effort dovetailed with the veteran's campaign and to a large extent was swept up with it. No such campaign is in operation against Obama. The smart method of answering Corsi would have been to allow the media to handle it, instead of drawing attention to the book and raising it to level of an issue. This appears to be a real talent for the Obama campaign.

We could go on. The victory tour of Europe, and the speech in which Obama declared himself "citizen of the world", a trope guaranteed to focus the attention of Middle America. His inept handling of Hillary, in which he wound up appearing frightened of the opponent he'd just beaten. Allowing Hillary (and her husband there, what's-his-name) a starring role in the Democratic convention is not a solution any sane individual would be comfortable with -- much less a roll-call vote. This threatens the near-certainty of turning the entire affair into BillandHillarycon, with the nominee winding up as a footnote. But it's all of a piece with the campaign Obama has waged up until now.

We've never had a flake as president. We've had drunks, neurotics, cripples, louts, and fools, but never a career screwup. (I except Jimmy Carter, whose errors arose from sincere, misguided goodwill.) And I don't think we're going to get one now. Another three months of flailing, incompetence, and a collapsing image will do little to assure voters concerned with terrorism, the oil crunch, a gyrating economy, and a bellicose Russia. (Anyone doubting that Obama will go exactly this route can consider the Saddleback church fiasco, which unfolded as this piece was being wrapped up. Evidently, the campaign goaded NBC news personality Andrea Mitchell into all but accusing John McCain of "cheating" by failing to take his place within the "cone of silence" during Obama's part of the program. The grotesque element here is that Obama's people and much of the liberal commentariat -- including Mitchell -- apparently believe that the "cone of silence", a gag prop for the old Get Smart! comedy series, actually exists and was in use at Saddleback.)

Many of us have dealt with flakes at one time or another, often in settings involving jobs and careers, and not uncommonly in positions of some authority. We all know of the nephew, the fiancé, the boyfriend, whose whims must be catered to, whose reputation must be protected, who must be constantly worked around if anything at all is to be accomplished, always at the cost of time, money, efficiency, and personal stress.

In the fullness of time, we will inevitably see such a figure in the White House. But not this year, and not this candidate. Such acts of national flakery occur only when there’s no real alternative. In this election, an alternative exists. Whatever his shortcomings, nobody ever called John McCain a flake.

J.R. Dunn is consulting editor of American Thinker.

http://www.americanthinker.com/2008/08/the_odd_choices_in_barack_obam.html
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« Reply #539 on: August 20, 2008, 08:58:24 AM »

In a similar vein:
==================

http://www.newsmax.com/morris/obama_new_jimmy_carter/2008/08/20/123638.html

Obama: the New Jimmy Carter
Wednesday, August 20, 2008 8:45 AM
By: Dick Morris & Eileen McGann  Article Font Size   


Last week raised important questions about whether Barack Obama is strong enough to be president. On the domestic political front, he showed incredible weakness in dealing with the Clintons, while on foreign and defense questions, he betrayed a lack of strength and resolve in standing up to Russia's invasion of Georgia.

This two-dimensional portrait of weakness underscores fears that Obama might, indeed, be a latter-day Jimmy Carter.

Consider first the domestic and political. Bill and Hillary Clinton have no leverage over Obama. Hillary can?t win the nomination. She doesn?t control any committees. If she or her supporters tried to disrupt the convention or demonstrate outside, she would pay a huge price among the party faithful.

If Obama lost ? after Hillary made a fuss at the convention ? they would blame her for all eternity (just like Democrats blame Ted Kennedy for Carter?s defeat). But, without having any leverage or a decent hand to play, the Clintons bluffed Obama into amazing concessions.

Hillary will get to play a film extolling her virtues produced by Harry Bloodworth Thomason. Bill will speak on Wednesday night. Hillary?s name will be placed into nomination. She will get to have nominating and seconding speeches on her behalf. And, on Thursday night, the last night of the convention, the roll call will show how narrowly Obama prevailed.

So Obama gave away Tuesday night, Wednesday night and part of Thursday night to the Clintons. It will really be their convention. A stronger candidate would?ve called their bluff and confined the Clintons to one night on which both Hillary and Bill spoke (he would have outshone her). He would have blocked a roll call by allowing a voice vote to nominate by acclimation. He would have stood up to the Clintons and recaptured his own convention.

If Obama can?t stand up to the Clintons, after they have been defeated, how can he measure up to a resurgent Putin who has just achieved a military victory? When the Georgia invasion first began, Obama appealed for ?restraint? on both sides.

He treated the aggressive lion and the victimized lamb even-handedly. His performance was reminiscent of the worst of appeasement at Munich, where another dictator got away with seizing another breakaway province of another small neighboring country, leading to World War II.

After two days, Obama corrected himself, spoke of Russian aggression and condemned it. But his initial willingness to see things from the other point of view and to buy the line that Georgia provoked the invasion by occupying a part of its own country betrayed a world view characterized by undue deference to aggressors.

We know so little about Obama. His experience is so thin that it?s hard to tell what kind of a president he?d be. While he nominally has been in the Senate for four years, he really only served the first two and consumed the rest of his tenure running for president and disregarding his Senate duties.

So we have no choice but to scrutinize his current transactions and statements for some clue as to who he is and what he?d do. In that context, his reaction to the first real-time foreign-policy crisis he faced as a nominee leaves his strength in doubt. So does his palsied response to the Clintons? attempt to make Denver a Clinton convention.

Is Obama an over-intellectualizing Hamlet who is incapable of decisive, strong action? With Iran on the verge of acquiring nuclear weapons and Russia resurgent, there isn?t much room for on-the-job learning.

© 2008 Newsmax. All rights reserved.
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« Reply #540 on: August 20, 2008, 09:48:46 AM »

Crafty, you called Cafferty a "chattering twit".   shocked
Perhaps...

So given his recent biased and vindictive books,
how would you categorize Dick Morris...?
In fairness, something much worse than a
mere "chattering twit?" I presume?   grin
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« Reply #541 on: August 20, 2008, 12:30:36 PM »

Well, he certainly hates those serial felons, the Hillbillary Clintons-- with good reason IMHO. 

I think he is in well over his head when he comments on international affairs, but as a student of the American electoral process he has quite a bit to offer.
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JDN
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« Reply #542 on: August 20, 2008, 12:40:33 PM »

Well, he certainly hates those serial felons, the Hillbillary Clintons-- with good reason IMHO. 

"serial felons"Huh  A rather strong term. I don't remember either Bill or Hillary (don't know about the
rest of the family) ever being found guilty of any felony.  Maybe I am wrong?
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G M
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« Reply #543 on: August 20, 2008, 11:05:15 PM »

http://hotair.com/archives/2008/08/20/obama-channels-uns-egeland-in-sneering-at-american-charity/

Obama channels UN’s Egeland in sneering at American charity
POSTED AT 5:25 PM ON AUGUST 20, 2008 BY ED MORRISSEY   


As if Barack Obama didn’t do enough damage with his “above my pay grade” response on abortion at the Saddleback Church presidential forum on Saturday, Jay Ambrose finds another revealing nugget in a different answer Obama gave Rick Warren.  When asked about his own shortcomings, Obama gave an initially touching response in identifying a “fundamental selfishness” in his youth that led to destructive behaviors.  Unfortunately, Obama then expanded on his statement to accuse Americans of a lack of charity:

“Americans’ greatest moral failure in my lifetime,” he said, “has been that we still don’t abide by that basic precept in Matthew that whatever you do for the least of my brothers, you do for me.”

Sorry, but he can hang that one up. Whatever the case is with his own selfishness, the evidence of an internationally superior American generosity is impressive, beginning with the numbers on our charitable giving. We give twice as much as the British per capita, and according to The American magazine, seven times as much as the Germans and 14 times as much as the Italians.

Even in inflation-adjusted dollars, the amount given each year just keeps getting larger, and meanwhile, we do far more volunteer work than in other industrialized countries.


Obama’s allegation echoes that of then-UN Undersecretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs Jan Egeland in December 2004.  In the immediate aftermath of the Asian tsunami disaster, Egeland commented that America was “stingy” (as well as other Western nations).  He called on the US to take more money in taxes so that the funds could get redirected to the UN relief funds:

“It is beyond me why are we so stingy, really,” the Norwegian-born U.N. official told reporters. “Christmastime should remind many Western countries at least, [of] how rich we have become.”

“There are several donors who are less generous than before in a growing world economy,” he said, adding that politicians in the United States and Europe “believe that they are really burdening the taxpayers too much, and the taxpayers want to give less. It’s not true. They want to give more.”


This makes sense if people count only that charity taken by threat of force by the government.  Even then, the notion made no sense; the US sent a massive Navy presence to the islands devastated by the tsunamis to ensure the proper distribution of relief, at no small cost to our nation and military during a period when we were fighting two wars.  Even apart from that, Americans raised over $2 billion privately for tsunami relief, more than doubling the $900 million spent by the US government.

In fact, no country even came close to our efforts in tsunami relief.  Germany and Australia gave $1.3 billion, the UK almost $800 million, Canada $780 million, Japan $500 million, and France gave $300 million.

The American noted the difference between Americans and the rest of the world as givers:

No developed country approaches American giving. For example, in 1995 (the most recent year for which data are available), Americans gave, per capita, three and a half times as much to causes and charities as the French, seven times as much as the Germans, and 14 times as much as the Italians. Similarly, in 1998, Americans were 15 percent more likely to volunteer their time than the Dutch, 21 percent more likely than the Swiss, and 32 percent more likely than the Germans. These differences are not attributable to demographic characteristics such as education, income, age, sex, or marital status. On the contrary, if we look at two people who are identical in all these ways except that one is European and the other American, the probability is still far lower that the European will volunteer than the American.

In Spain, the government studied this question and found that the US more than doubled any Western nation in per-capita donations (in Euros):

COUNTRY…………….PER CAP. GIVING

Spain……………………..122
Belgium……………………120
U.K……………………….117
Netherlands………………..110
Ireland……………………100
France……………………..74
Finland…………………….70
Austria…………………….50
Germany…………………….39
Hungary…………………….32
Slovakia……………………25
Czech Republic………………25
Romania……………………..5

U.S……………………….278

So the notion that Americans somehow come up short on charitable giving is simply a myth.  Moreover, it’s a myth with a purpose.  The people who float this nonsense want to take more out in taxes so that the elites who run the government make the decisions on how the money gets spent, and not the people who originally earn the money.

Once again, we see Obama give a knee-jerk Blame America First response without knowing the facts.  Americans give mightily, as a normal condition and especially in times of crisis.  Does Obama think he can win the votes of Americans by slandering them?

Addendum: As Instapundit notes, perhaps Obama can stop lecturing Americans about how to care for their figurative brothers and set an example by taking care of his own real brother, living in destitution and squalor.

Update: And while we’re talking about charity, please visit Baldilocks’ site to help her support the school Obama forgot.

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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #544 on: August 21, 2008, 12:15:52 AM »

""serial felons"  A rather strong term. I don't remember either Bill or Hillary (don't know about the
rest of the family) ever being found guilty of any felony.  Maybe I am wrong?"

Well apart from the perjury conviction, no.  That said, I mean this accusation in complete seriousness.  In my strongly held opinion these two are despicable criminals. 

One small example:  Hillary's $97,000 in commodity trading was a payoff from Tyson Foods, the largest employer in the state of AK to the wife of gubernatorial candidate Bill.  I've read a serious article by the head of IRS commodity trading fraud division during the years in question and in my mind there is no doubt about this.  Another small example: Selling presidential pardons.  Another small example: Taking $345,000 from Loral Satellite's Bernie Schwartz to bury an investigation into Loral giving the Chinese secret rocket technology by moving it from State Dept review to Commerce Dept.  Another small example:  Hubster Webbell taking $700,000 from the Chinese fronts the Riady's of Indonesia in return for WH's silence on Hillary's law firm's billing crimes-- the records of which we mysteriously found in her office after the statute of limitations expired.  Raising money from the Taiwainese in return for sending a US carrier through the straits between them and China.

There's plenty more.  The Clinton's are dirty to the core.
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JDN
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« Reply #545 on: August 21, 2008, 09:23:08 AM »

GM; I used to always like statistics in college; you can make them do almost anything.  Rather than looking at the number of people, let's look at wealth.  I mean don't you expect the rich American, the guy with the big house, the guy driving the new Benz to give more than the poor guy in the next town?  Simply put, America (the richest nation on earth) does not give, at least in comparison to their peers.  US aid in terms of percentage of their GNP has always been much lower than other industrialized nations.  As a percentage (2005) of GNI again we rank low; Norway is .95, Spain .41, UK .36 Italy .19 and numerous other countries all rank above the US paltry .16.

Plus counted among US aid are the millions/billions given to Iraq and others to fight the war on terror; important of course, but if you are hungry or dying of disease that doesn't help.  Take those dollars out and well, we rank even lower.

Yes, America gives privately, but that does not even come close to making up for the deficit of America being stingy as a nation.  As Dr. James Obrinski said, "... private donations are feel good, short term interventions and no substituted for the vastly larger and essentially political task of bringing health care to more than a billion people."

I think, I don't know, that Obama's point might have been that America as a nation should give more to the poor and needy of the world.  We should take a leadership position, not rank out of the top 10.  Rather we should be number one i.e. giving the greatest amount as a percentage of GNP.
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G M
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« Reply #546 on: August 22, 2008, 09:14:50 AM »

Can you cite the source for your statistics?
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JDN
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« Reply #547 on: August 22, 2008, 09:15:18 AM »

""serial felons"  A rather strong term. I don't remember either Bill or Hillary (don't know about the
rest of the family) ever being found guilty of any felony.  Maybe I am wrong?"

Well apart from the perjury conviction, no.  That said, I mean this accusation in complete seriousness.  In my strongly held opinion these two are despicable criminals. 


Ahhh I have no interest turning this into a Bill and Hillary debate (or a Bush/Cheney debate), but for the record the fact is Bill and Hillary were NEVER convicted of perjury.  Anotherwords, I stand by my comment that neither of them has ever been found guilty of ANY felony.  I understand you have a low opinion of them as do I have a low opinion of the ethics of Bush and especially Cheney but they too have never been found guilty of any felony.  It is all conjecture. 
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Body-by-Guinness
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« Reply #548 on: August 22, 2008, 09:29:44 AM »

Quote
Ahhh I have no interest turning this into a Bill and Hillary debate (or a Bush/Cheney debate), but for the record the fact is Bill and Hillary were NEVER convicted of perjury.

So if a tree falls in the forest, blue dress and "I didn't have sexual relations with that woman" and all, it doesn't make a sound? Trust the converse is true that Bush, Cheney, Rove, Petaeus, et al aren't war criminals, election stealers, tools of big oil, members of various cabals bent on world domination, felons, and all the other dreck and gibberish that many throw around about 'em?
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G M
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« Reply #549 on: August 22, 2008, 09:45:39 AM »


EXPLAINER
What Sort of Plea Did Clinton Cop?
Chris Suellentrop
Posted Friday, Jan. 19, 2001, at 7:09 PM ET

President Clinton and Independent Counsel Robert Ray agreed Friday to settle the seven-year Whitewater probe. The president admitted that he gave misleading testimony in the 1998 Paula Jones case about his affair with Monica Lewinsky, accepted a five-year suspension of his Arkansas law license, and promised to cover $25,000 in legal fees related to disbarment proceedings against him in Arkansas. In exchange, Ray agreed not to indict Clinton on perjury charges. What kind of agreement is this?

It's not your everyday legal agreement. It's not a declination, in which a prosecutor drops a criminal investigation because the case isn't solid enough to indict. Nor is it a plea bargain, in which a prosecutor accepts a guilty plea from the indicted in exchange for a lenient sentence (because, of course Clinton was never indicted). Nor is it a referral of a criminal case to civil authorities for resolution (such as when a criminal antitrust case is referred to civil prosecutors). The most unusual aspect of the deal is that Clinton reached a civil resolution with a criminal prosecutor.

The Clinton-Ray agreement occupies a legal space somewhere between a declination and a plea bargain. Ray declined to indict Clinton for criminal perjury (as in a declination), but he also struck a deal that requires Clinton to admit his evasions in the Jones proceedings and to pay a price (as in a plea bargain).

The deal brings in a third party, the Arkansas Supreme Court's Committee on Professional Conduct, which was considering disbarment of Clinton--a civil action--over his alleged perjury. How exactly the deal was brokered is not clear. But here's what it offers the three parties: Ray goes home knowing that Clinton received some punishment for his behavior. The Supreme Court's committee gets the same satisfaction. And Clinton frees himself from the clutches of a criminal prosecutor and from a civil proceeding in which he could have been disbarred.

Next question?

Explainer thanks Paul Butler, professor of criminal law at George Washington University Law School, and Jamin Raskin, professor of constitutional law at American University.

Chris Suellentrop, a former Slate staffer, writes "The Opinionator" for the New York Times.
Article URL: http://www.slate.com/id/1006913/
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