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Power User
Posts: 42483

« Reply #650 on: September 16, 2008, 09:35:23 AM »

McCain, Obama Confront the Market
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GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. -- The U.S. banking crisis is shaking up the presidential race as well as the agenda of the next president, forcing both candidates to confront a financial calamity.

John McCain and Barack Obama jockeyed to seize an advantage on the financial crisis, signaling how Wall Street's troubles have become a bigger concern on Main Street. The candidates wrapped the market instability into broader campaign themes but found themselves wrestling on unfamiliar territory. Republican candidate Sen. McCain pointed to his credentials cleaning up Washington's excesses while Democratic candidate Sen. Obama blamed the crisis on Washington's deregulatory bent over the past three decades.

Both candidates blamed Wall Street greed and special-interest influences in Washington. "We've seen self-interest, greed, irresponsibility and corruption undermine these hard-working American people," Sen. McCain said at a rally in Orlando, Fla., where he promised to "put an running Wall Street like a casino." He offered no specific prescriptions but did call for ending "multimillion-dollar payouts to CEOs that have broken the public trust."

Sen. McCain pushed the need for an updated regulatory system, a cry he began this spring. "And there's an alphabet soup of different agencies, and they have to be streamlined, they have to be consolidated, and they have to be effective," he said. "Those regulators have been asleep at the switch, and we've got to fix it." Sen. McCain also promised he wouldn't use taxpayers' dollars to solve the problem.

Sen. Obama singled out the Bush administration's deregulatory push for what he described as "the most serious financial crisis since the Great Depression." While Sen. McCain wasn't at fault, he said, "I do fault the economic philosophy he subscribes that says we should give more and more to those with the most and hope that prosperity trickles down."

While the candidates and their running mates focused on the financial crisis Monday, all four found themselves in unfamiliar territory. Sen. McCain and his running mate, Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, have little experience dealing with financial crises, and neither do Sen. Obama or his running mate, Sen. Joe Biden, whose expertise is in foreign affairs.

Sen. McCain's campaign pointed out that the senator had talked with Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson for "seven to 10 minutes" and contacted his economic team, including former Hewlett-Packard Co. head Carly Fiorina. Sen. Obama said he spoke about the market turmoil Monday morning with his economic team, including former Fed Chairman Paul Volcker and former Treasury Secretary Lawrence Summers.

Regardless of who wins the election, the crisis will further constrain the next president, sapping time and money from proposals on health care and tax relief. Both sides have promised more regulation of financial institutions and more transparency for investors. Sen. McCain has called for tougher measures to overhaul Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Sen. McCain Monday stressed the importance of allowing homeowners to refinance their mortgages, saying that the financial markets couldn't stabilize until the housing market found a bottom.

In a March speech on financial-market overhaul, Sen. Obama called for extending commercial-banking regulations to investment banks, hedge funds and mortgage brokers. He called for a commission that would monitor threats to the financial system. He said deregulation that culminated in 1999 with a partial repeal of the 1930s' Glass-Steagall Act, which had separated investment banks and commercial banks, had been driven by lobbyists and was intended primarily to facilitate mergers.

Neither candidate backed a government rescue deal for Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. over the weekend. But each offered few specifics about what they would do. "We are going to have a lot of rebuilding to do," Sen. Obama said at a rally in Colorado.

The McCain campaign released a new ad Monday to capture the mantle of reform by promising tough changes to "protect your life savings."

Sen. McCain promised to overhaul the regulatory system. Among the problems Sen. McCain has identified, according to policy head Doug Holtz-Eakin, is the lack of a clearing house for derivatives so investors know the risks they entail; the lack of accountability for mortgage brokers; and the overall lack of capital backing in the system.

Both candidates had rushed to address the need for regulatory overhaul in March after the collapse of Bear Stearns Cos., but until the government was forced to backstop Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac last week, the financial crisis was viewed as a problem that concerned Wall Street bankers but not rank-and-file workers.
Power User
Posts: 42483

« Reply #651 on: September 16, 2008, 05:59:41 PM »
Power User
Posts: 42483

« Reply #652 on: September 18, 2008, 01:39:45 PM »

Plausible, but unsourced from Jack Wheeler's "Tothepoint":

Written by Dr. Jack Wheeler     
Monday, 15 September 2008 

To The Point has long maintained that the Clintons will do what they can to make sure Obambi loses in November - for only then does Hillary have a chance for the White House in 2012.

Now there's proof.

As reported by WorldNetDaily, last Wednesday (9/10), billionaire Richard Mellon Scaife met Bill Clinton in the latter's Harlem office in New York.  Ostensibly, the purpose of the meeting was to gain Scaife's funding support for Clinton's Global Initiative project.

But WND missed the real story - for that wasn't the purpose of the meeting at all, only the cover.  Here's what really happened.

The day after the end of the Republican convention (Friday 9/05) with Palinmania beginning to sweep the country, Bill Clinton made a personal phone call to Scaife and asked when they could meet.  They settled on the following Wednesday - the day before Clinton was to meet Obama in his Harlem office on Sept. 11.

In the meeting Clinton had personally requested, the two discussed the Global Initiative project, but it was clear to Scaife that this wasn't Clinton's purpose.  The discussion was perfunctory, Clinton didn't go into detail about the project nor push Scaife for specific ways to support it.

So Scaife waited for the other shoe to drop and it did. 

"How's NewsMax doing?" Clinton asked.  Scaife is the one the principal investors in NewsMax, which has become a major conservative news website.  Then after a little blah-blah, Clinton casually mentioned the purpose of the meeting.

"You know, Dick, one thing that nobody has really checked out yet is Obama's long-standing and deep relationship with Louis Farrakhan.  It's going to really hurt him badly once it's fully disclosed."

Your assignment, Mr. Scaife, is to unleash NewsMax and the conservative media on Obama's connection with the most rabidly anti-Semitic black racist in America.

Expect NewsMax to do so. 

Finally we have specific evidence of Clinton submarining Obama.  This isn't the only instance, of course.  The Clintons are launching a full-court press to ensure Obama's defeat.

Take Pennsylvania.  It's a must-win state for Obambi.  He cannot do so without the legendarily corrupt "overvote" support of former Philadelphia mayor and now governor of Pennsylvania, Ed Rendell.  As Philly mayor in 2004, Rendell's machine stuffed enough ballot boxes in South Philly to ensure victory for Kerry.

Last April, Hillary defeated Obambi in the Dem Pennsylvania primary by 10%.  Note who is raising her hand in victory in this story:  Gov. Ed Rendell. 

What Clinton has asked Rendell to do is shut off the fraud machine.  And more.  Word is that Rendell intends to shut down the independent vote fraud organizers of ACORN in Philly and Pittsburgh.

Obambi can kiss the Keystone State adios.

Thus the left can also kiss goodbye any hope for their latest delusion - that Obambi will dump Biden and throw a "Hail Hillary" pass.

As explained this week by Jack Kelly, the speculation is that Saracuda is going to field dress Biden and make moose stew out of him in their October 2 debate.  So on October 3, the entire leftie media/blogosphere chorus will deafeningly demand Hillary replace Slow Joe.

She will tell Obambi to not even think about it. 

She and Bubba have too many fun October Surprises planned for Obambi.  What Bubba tasked Scaife with was only one of them.  There'll be lots more.  Relax and enjoy.

« Reply #653 on: September 18, 2008, 11:12:21 PM »

Come on man, its all about McCain and Palin. I can't wait for the day when Palin is getting of AirForce One on a rainy day, and for whatever reason she kind of slips and her skirt kind of gets pulled up over her head.
Power User
Posts: 42483

« Reply #654 on: September 19, 2008, 10:56:35 AM »

financial crisis changes the entire shape and feel of the presidential election. It isn't just bad news, it's bad news that reveals what many people deep down feared, and hoped not to see revealed: that the huge and sprawling financial system of Wall Street is maintained essentially on faith, mood and assumption; that its problems are deep; that at some level the system looks to have been a house of cards. It isn't just bad news; it's deep bad news that reaches into the heart of widespread national anxiety.

APEveryone is afraid—the rich that they will no longer be rich, the poor that they'll be hit first by the downturn in the "last hired, first fired" sense, the middle class that it will be harder now to maintain their hold on middle-classness.

Both the Democrats and the Republicans spent the week treating the catastrophe as a political opportunity. This was unserious. A serious approach might have addressed large questions such as: Was this crisis not, at bottom, a failure of stewardship?

Instead, from Barack Obama: It's the Republicans' fault, and John McCain means more of the same. From McCain: We're reformers and we'll clean up the mess, unlike Mr. I Can't Think of Anything to Do but Raise Taxes.

Open question only history will answer: President Bush did not address the nation on the crisis until Thursday of this week, almost a week after it began, and Democrats are going to try to paint this as 9/11 times Katrina: Where was he? Will this work? Will it stick? They're going to try to turn Mr. Bush into Herbert Hoover. Hoover was not good for the Republican brand.

The economic crisis brings a new question, unarticulated so far but there, and I know because when I mention it to people they go off like rockets. It is: Do you worry that neither of them is up to it? Up to the job in general? Is either Mr. McCain or Mr. Obama actually up to getting us through this and other challenges? I haven't heard a single person say, "Yes, my guy is the answer." A lot of shrugging is going on out there. This is a read not only on the men but on the moment.

The overarching political question: In a time of heightened anxiety, will people inevitably lean toward the older congressional vet, the guy who's been around forever? Why take a chance on the new, young man at a time of crisis? Wouldn't that be akin to injecting an unstable element into an unstable environment? There's a lot at stake.

Or will people have the opposite reaction? I've had it, the system has been allowed to corrode and collapse under seven years of Republican stewardship. Throw the bums out. We need change. Obama may not be experienced, but that may help him cut through. He's not compromised.

The election, still close, still unknowable, may well hinge on whether people conclude A or B.

A mere hunch in a passing moment: In a time of crisis, confusion and fear, Americans just might, in their practicality, turn back to the old tradition of divided government. They know the Congress will be Democratic. They assume it will soon be more Democratic. Therefore the president they choose may well be of the other party.

A fearless prediction: My beautiful election enters its dark phase.

Lots of signs of the new darkness. Mr. Obama's army is swarming, blocking lines when Obama critics show up for radio interviews. A study out Thursday said the Obama campaign has become more negative than the McCain campaign. There is the hacking—no one at this point knows by whom—of Sarah Palin's personal email account. From Mr. Obama himself, a new edge. He tells an audience in Elko, Nev., to "argue" with McCain supporters and "get in their face." Bambi is playing Chicago style. No doubt everyone around him has been saying, and for some weeks now, "Get tough." But this is not how to get tough, and it does not reflect a shrewd reading of what the moment demands. People want depth, not ferocity. We've got nerves that jingle-jangle-jingle.

And it gives Mr. McCain a beautiful opening. He can now play Oldest and Wisest, damning the new meanness more in sorrow than in anger.

There's another reason things will get more mean than meaningful. Here is the tough, sad, rather deadly assumption I see rising among our media people, our thinkers, observers and chatterers, the highly sophisticated who've seen'em come and seen'em go: It is, again: What if neither of them is the right man? What if neither of them is equal to the moment? What if neither party is equal to the moment?

This is not in itself important—who cares what they think, really? But there will be a small impact in terms of tone. If you are a longtime Obama supporter and are beginning now to admit to deep doubts, you can't just announce you've been wrong for the past year. You'd look like a fool. You cannot speak credibly, or in a way you yourself believe, in rosy support. But what you can do is turn, with new rage, on the guy you've at least long opposed. So you ignore Mr. Obama and attack Mr. McCain with new ferocity. Or, if you have doubts about Mr. McCain, you ignore him and turn your heat on Mr. Obama.

The Obama campaign has been one of real dignity and cool, and in this it reflected its candidate. It won't be good to see this end. It will be sad, actually.

On the Republican side, the legitimate anger sparked by the media's personal attacks on Sarah Palin and her family has now been funneled, coolly and almost chillingly, into antimedia manipulation. This is no good. It may help the Republicans win, because no one likes the media. Even the media doesn't like the media. But it invites charges of winning bad. And if you win bad in a 50/50 nation, it makes it really hard to govern.

A final point. Do you ever have the passing thought that the presidential election doesn't matter as much as we think? Whoever wins will govern within more of less the same limits, both domestically and internationally. A New York liberal leaning toward Mr. McCain told me this week he has no fear that Mr. McCain may be a more militant figure than Mr. Obama. We already have two wars, "we're out of army." Even if Mr. McCain wanted a war, he said, he couldn't start one.

I wonder if we follow the election so passionately because we're afraid. We're afraid a lot of our national problems are intractable, and the future too full of challenge.

We cannot tolerate feeling this way. So we make believe the election can change everything. And we follow it passionately to convince ourselves its outcome will be decisive and make everything better. We reassure ourselves with pictures of the cheering crowds at the rally. We even find some comfort in the latest story of the latest dirty trick. But deep inside we think: Ah, that won't work either.

Some part of me thinks we are all making believe this is a life-changing election because we know it's not a life-changing election. Ever have that thought? Me too. Then there's a rally or a scandal or a gaffe, and it passes.

Please add your comments to the Opinion
Power User
Posts: 2004

« Reply #655 on: September 19, 2008, 06:45:29 PM »

It seems McCain is having a bad week shocked

And elsewhere, he is busy quoting Franklin D. Roosevelt; poor McCain, he must really be confused.
Power User
Posts: 15533

« Reply #656 on: September 20, 2008, 02:40:37 AM »

I saw Obama looking extra-nervous recently, is he back on coke? Did he ever quit?
Power User
Posts: 15533

« Reply #657 on: September 20, 2008, 03:04:14 AM »

**Sounds like Mr. Cafferty was confused.**,675980.story

By Karen Freifeld
Staff Writer

August 5, 2003, 3:37 PM EDT

Like most journalists, CNN morning anchor Jack Cafferty would prefer to cover news than make it. Especially when it's bad news.

But Tuesday, a stunned Cafferty was greeted by photographers as he went into a midtown Manhattan court to plead guilty in connection with a hit and run accident.

According to the criminal complaint, Cafferty was driving a Cadillac with a New Jersey Press license plate on Ninth Avenue near 42nd Street May 14th when he allegedly made an abrupt turn and hit bicyclist Billy Maldonado.

About five people tried to stop Cafferty by running after the car, waving their arms and yelling, "Hey Stop," according to the complaint, but the newsman allegedly continued through at least two red lights, while dragging the bicycle underneath the vehicle.

Maldonado, who was knocked to the ground, suffered bruises.

Cafferty was charged with leaving the scene of an accident, reckless driving, assault and harassment.

But Tuesday he was allowed to plead guilty to only a traffic violation: Operating a motor vehicle knowing or having cause to know property damage had been caused. He was sentenced to 70 hours of community service, with six months to complete it, and a $250 fine. He also apparently made restitution.

Cafferty had no comment yesterday but the criminal complaint said Cafferty told police he saw the bicyclist get off the ground but didn't realize he had hit him. "I am unaware I was in an accident," he said.

Cafferty's attorney Seth Rosenberg insisted his client had acted responsibly ."This was never anything more than a traffic violation," he said.

Attorney Suzanne Holzberg, who represents Maldonado, expressed disappointment. "He did not plead guilty to the more serious charge of leaving the scene knowing he caused personal injury," she said. "I think he got off pretty easy."

Maldonado, she said, wasn't as lucky. Bruised up from the fall, she said, he still needs an operation on his right elbow.
Power User
Posts: 15533

« Reply #658 on: September 20, 2008, 03:07:37 AM »

Does Obama Have Cocaine-Related Mental Impairment?
Cocaine is a risk factor for permanent mental impairment, and disqualification for access to nuclear weapons

The Obama campaign, as shown by material on over which the campaign’s staff exercises editorial control, sanctions the spread of rumors to the effect that John McCain has an age-related neurodegenerative disease. The Obama campaign is apparently unfamiliar with the adage about glass houses and stones. Let’s begin with the facts, as stated by Barack Obama himself.

I blew a few smoke rings, remembering those years. Pot had helped, and booze; maybe a little blow when you could afford it. Not smack, though… (Barack Obama, “Dreams From My Father,” page 93, paperback edition., “Blow” = “Cocaine; to inhale cocaine; to smoke marijuana; to inject heroin”)

While the Obama campaign sanctions supporters’ use of McCain’s age (younger than Dianne Feinstein, Robert Byrd, and Ted Kennedy by the way) to suggest that he might have a neurodegenerative disease, Obama’s admitted use of cocaine puts him at higher risk for mental impairment. It also disqualifies him from access to or control of nuclear weapons under the Armed Forces’ Nuclear Weapon Personnel Reliability Program.

Cocaine is one of the most potent, addictive, and unpredictable recreational drugs, and thus can cause the most profound and irreversible damage to the nervous system. The high risk associated with cocaine remains the same regardless of whether the drug is snorted, smoked, or injected into the user’s bloodstream. In addition to the intense damage cocaine can cause to the liver, intestines, heart, and lungs, even casual use of the drug will impair the brain and cause serious damage to the central nervous system. Although cocaine use affects many components of the body, including vision and appetite, the most significant damage cause by cocaine takes place in the brain and central nervous system. adds,

Taking cocaine could cause irreversible brain damage, scientists from Edinburgh University have warned.

Tests on genetically modified mice showed that cocaine inhibited the brain by destroying a key protein responsible for learning and memory.

Abusing the highly addictive drug can lead to long-term memory loss and learning difficulties, say experts.

The fact that cocaine use increases the risk for permanent mental impairment does not make such impairment automatic, just as age does not make neurodegenerative diseases automatic. On the other hand, if the Obama campaign wishes to tacitly albeit not actively suggest that the country should not take a chance on McCain because of his age, we are quite prepared to argue that the country should not take a chance on a former cokehead–and the Armed Forces’ Nuclear Weapon Personnel Reliability Program agrees. While pre-service marijuana use does not automatically disqualify a service member from access to or control of nuclear weapons, pre-service cocaine use does.

(2) Drug Abuse

(a) See definition 15. in enclosure 2. It is not the intent of this
Directive to automatically render ineligible for the PRP any individual
who, before the effective date of this Directive, has disclosed
pre-Service drug abuse, or who has not yet been asked to make such
disclosure, and who is currently certified for PRP duties after having been
formally screened in accordance with then-existing guidance. Further
recertification of such individuals for future PRP status shall be in
accordance with this Directive, except that previously disclosed and
considered drug abuse and pre-Service drug use not required previously
to be disclosed, shall not be sole grounds for denial of
recertification or for mandatory decertification.

(b) Except for the category of individuals identified in
subparagraph B.2.a.(2)(a), above, or otherwise provided in this
Directive, any pre-Service use, admitted or otherwise discovered, of illicit drugs such as heroin, heroin derivatives, cocaine, “crack,” phencyclidine (PCP), lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD), ecstasy,” or other “designer” drugs, amphetamines, barbiturates, or other narcotic drugs not prescribed by proper medical authorities, and anabolic steroids shall
render an individual ineligible for admission to or retention in PRP
duties. The individual shall not be certified into the program or shall be permanently decertified, and those actions shall be made a matter of
permanent record.

The reference adds that prior marijuana use (to which Bill Clinton as well as Barack Obama admitted) is not an automatic disqualifier. The bottom line is, however, that prior history of cocaine use disqualifies a member of the Armed Forces from touching a nuclear launch key, or indeed any access to weapons of mass destruction. The idea of giving someone with that kind of history the authority to order the use of such weapons, or even access to the codes for launching such weapons, should therefore appall all Americans. This document from the Secretary of the Navy adds,

b. Drug Abuse. Drug abuse is a violation of the law. It
demonstrates a behavior pattern or action which is reasonably
indicative of a contemptuous attitude toward the law or other
duly-constituted authority. Any conduct which falls within the
definition of drug abuse may be grounds for disqualification or

(1) Any personnel determined to have pre-service or inservice abuse
of any drug will be disqualified prior to initial assignment to a PRP
billet or, if currently assigned, will be permanently decertified except:

(a) pre-service or in-service cannabis use which was acceptably
screened under previous PRP guidance will not be the sole basis for
disqualification or decertification,

Again, PRP refers to the (Nuclear Weapon) Personnel Reliability Program, and pre-service marijuana use is not an automatic disqualifier. Any history of cocaine use, however, does permanently disqualify an individual from access to or control of nuclear weapons, because the Armed Forces cannot afford to take the slightest chance on a person with impaired judgment having access to weapons that can kill millions of people.
Power User
Posts: 2004

« Reply #659 on: September 20, 2008, 11:07:24 AM »

Actually GM, my point was not Cafferty (do I really care if he was in a car accident and got a traffic violation ticket? Gee, I got a traffic ticket this month too)
but that the Wall Street Journal, a Murdoch publication (Fox News) came out and skewered McCain.  You know, the WSJ, the same publication that
the conservatives love to quote?  Even the WSJ wonders if McCain knows what end is up!

Here's the article from September 19, 2008 in case you missed it.

Chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission, Christopher Cox.
To give readers a flavor of Mr. McCain untethered, we'll quote at length: "Mismanagement and greed became the operating standard while regulators were asleep at the switch. The primary regulator of Wall Street, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) kept in place trading rules that let speculators and hedge funds turn our markets into a casino. They allowed naked short selling -- which simply means that you can sell stock without ever owning it. They eliminated last year the uptick rule that has protected investors for 70 years. Speculators pounded the shares of even good companies into the ground.

"The chairman of the SEC serves at the appointment of the President and has betrayed the public's trust. If I were President today, I would fire him."

Wow. "Betrayed the public's trust." Was Mr. Cox dishonest? No. He merely changed some minor rules, and didn't change others, on short-selling. String him up! Mr. McCain clearly wants to distance himself from the Bush Administration. But this assault on Mr. Cox is both false and deeply unfair. It's also un-Presidential.

Take "naked" shorting, in which an investor sells a stock short -- betting that it will fall in price -- without first borrowing the shares he is selling from an investor who owns them. The SEC has never condoned the practice, and since 2005 it has clamped down on short selling in any stock that shows evidence of naked shorting. The SEC further tightened its rules against naked shorting just hours before Mr. McCain excoriated Mr. Cox for doing nothing.

The rules announced Wednesday will increase penalties and close loopholes that exempted broker-dealers from the rules against naked shorting. They also make it clear that deliberately selling short a stock whose shares cannot be borrowed is fraud under the Securities Exchange Act. That's all to the good, we suppose; fraud is fraud. But regular short selling is not fraud. It adds valuable information to the market about what investors believe to be the price direction of a stock. Demonizing short-sellers as a band of criminals, or barring short-selling outright in financial stocks, as regulators in the U.K. did Thursday, removes information from the market.

Then there's Mr. McCain's tirade against the "uptick rule," a Depression-era chestnut that investors could only short stock after a rise in that stock's price. The SEC staff studied the effect of the uptick rule on prices for years, in a controlled experiment involving thousands of stocks. It found the rule had no effect. Other studies, including those that examined the uptick rule's effect on stocks disclosing bad news, also found that it "protected" no one. The SEC's permanent staff has long supported repeal and the SEC's commissioners voted to do so unanimously in June 2007.

While he was at it, Mr. McCain added the wholly unsupported assertion that "speculators pounded the shares of even good companies into the ground." It wasn't very long ago that he blamed speculators on the long side for sky-high oil prices. Then oil prices fell. Now Mr. McCain wants voters to believe speculators are responsible for driving mismanaged financial companies to ruin. The irony is that this critique puts Mr. McCain in the same camp as some of the Wall Street CEOs who have led their firms so poorly. They also want someone (else) to blame.

In case Mr. McCain is interested, overall short interest in financial companies actually declined by 20% between July and the end of August. That's right: Far from driving this crisis, shorts were net buyers of financial stocks this summer, as they must buy stocks back to close their positions and realize their gains (or losses).

In a crisis, voters want steady, calm leadership, not easy, misleading answers that will do nothing to help. Mr. McCain is sounding like a candidate searching for a political foil rather than a genuine solution. He'll never beat Mr. Obama by running as an angry populist like Al Gore, circa 2000.

Power User
Posts: 42483

« Reply #660 on: September 20, 2008, 12:20:21 PM »

BTW, I already posted that WSJ editorial.

Concerning this: "a Murdoch publication (Fox News)"  as a very long time WSJ reader (30 years now) I found the Murdoch takeover to be very concerning and since it has happened I have seen a disconcerting drift towards posting more and more articles by Democrats, liberals, and others of that ilk in some sort of misguided "fair and balanced" nonsense.  I don't go to the WSJ for "fair and balanced", I go there for informed, intelligent discussion i.e. people who have already figured out the free minds and free markets are the way to go.  Fox News (excepting the outstanding Brit Hume Report, and the solid Neil Cavuto show) is not right or left, it is pandering to market segments underserved by the MSM.

Power User
Posts: 15533

« Reply #661 on: September 20, 2008, 08:47:24 PM »

September 19, 2008, 7:00 a.m.

Obama 101
My firsthand lesson.

By Amir Taheri

On Monday, in an opinion piece published in the New York Post, I suggested that Senator Barack Obama had urged Iraqi leaders to postpone making an agreement with the United States until there was a new administration in Washington.

I said this because Obama himself had said it.

In an interview broadcast by NBC on June 16, 2008, Obama said that he had told Iraqi foreign minister Hoshyar Zebari that “the Congress should be involved in any negotiations regarding the Status of Forces Agreement with Iraq” and “suggested it may be better to wait until the next administration to negotiate such an agreement.”

I said it because Iraqi foreign minister Hoshyar Zebari said it.

In an interview published by the pan-Arab daily Asharq Alawast on September 11, 2008, Zebari raised the issue at length. This is part of what he said: “Obama asked me why, in view of a change of administration, we were hurrying the signing of this special agreement, and why we did not wait until the coming of a new administration next year to agree on some issues and matters.”

I said it because my Iraqi sources, who asked not to be identified because they do not wish to pick a quarrel with someone who could be the President of the United States next year, said it.

A day after my op-ed was published, Obama’s campaign issued a statement, in effect confirming what I had said.

It said, in part, “Senator Obama has consistently said that any security arrangements that outlast this administration should have the backing of the US Congress — especially given the fact that the Iraqi parliament will have the opportunity to vote on it.”

On Wednesday, the senator issued another statement — also in response to my op-ed — denying that he had ever opposed “a redeployment and responsible drawdown” of U.S. forces in Iraq. But I never said he did. I also never said that he opposed motherhood and apple pie; In any case, no one would oppose “redeployment and responsible drawdown,” something that is happening all the time. Redeployment means moving some units from one location to another. Drawdown means reducing the size of the expeditionary force in accordance with the task at hand. Right now troops are being redeployed from Anbar province to Salahuddin. There is also drawdown: The number of U.S. troops has been drawn down to 136,000, the lowest since a peak of 170,000 in 2003.

What Obama hopes his more radical followers will not notice is that he is no longer speaking of “withdrawal.”

He also hopes to hide the fact that by telling the Iraqi leaders that a putative Obama administration might scrap agreements reached with the Bush team, he might have delayed the start of a process that should lead to a withdrawal of U.S. forces within a mutually agreed timeframe. The later you start the negotiating process, the later you get an agreement. And the later you have an agreement, the later you can withdraw your troops based on the agreed necessary security arrangements to ensure their safe departure.

By trying to second-guess the present administration in its negotiations with Iraq, Obama ignored a golden rule of American politics. I first learned about that rule from Senator Edward Kennedy more than 30 years ago. During a visit to Tehran, Kennedy received a few Iranian reporters for a poolside chat. The big question at the time was negotiations between Washington and Tehran about massive arms contracts. When we asked Kennedy what he thought of those negotiations, his answer was simple: He would not comment on negotiations between his government and a foreign power, especially when abroad. That, he said, was one of the golden rules of American politics.

A few years later, I spent a day with Ronald Reagan during his visit to Iran. I asked what he thought of the strategic arms limitation talks between the U.S. and the USSR. He echoed Kennedy’s golden rule: He would not comment on his government’s negotiations with a foreign power, especially when abroad.

A couple of years ago, I ran into that golden rule again. At a meeting with Senator Hillary Clinton in Washington, I asked what she thought of the Bush administration’s negotiations with the Iraqis concerning security cooperation. She said she would not second-guess the president and would wait for the outcome of the negotiations. In a statesmanlike manner, Senator Clinton reminded me of the golden rule—one that is common to all mature democracies where the opposition is loyal and constitutional.

Today, Senator Obama is the leader of a loyal opposition in the United States, not the chief of an insurrection or a revolutionary uprising. What we are witnessing in the U.S. is an election, not an insurrection or a coronation, even less a regime change.

Obama should not have discussed the government-to-government negotiations with the Iraqis. That he did, surprised the Iraqis no end. Raising the issue with them, especially the way he did, meant that he was telling them that he did not trust his own government. The Iraqis could not be blamed for wondering why they should trust a government that is not trusted by the leader of its own loyal opposition. (There was also no point in raising the matter, because Obama did not know the content of the negotiations.)

An opposition leader’s foreign trips are useful as fact-finding missions. This means that the opposition leader listens to the locals, asks questions, and tries to get the political feel of the place. He is not there to lecture the natives or bad-mouth his own government back home.

Obama might have attended a session of the new Iraqi parliament and congratulated the people of Iraq for defying death to go through one referendum and two general elections to build a new democracy.

He might have visited some of the good work done by over 1.2 million Americans, both military and civilian, who have heroically served in Iraq since its liberation.

He might have visited some of the wounded victims of terrorism, both U.S. troops and Iraqi civilians, to comfort them, and assure them of continued U.S. determination to fight the forces of evil.

He did none of those things during his eight-hour photo-op visit.

In the American system, the administration can conclude agreements with foreign powers on a range of issues backed by an executive order from the president. I am no expert, but the U.S. has signed scores, maybe hundreds of such agreements with many countries across the globe. To be sure, the U.S. legislature always has the power to seek the abrogation of any of these agreements. When it comes to treaties, however, they cannot come into effect without full Senate approval.

However, Iraq and the U.S. are not negotiating a treaty, and, if they were, Obama could have waited until the draft text was submitted to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, chaired by his vice-presidential running mate Joseph Biden.

In any case, every agreement and every treaty contains mechanisms for its suspension or abrogation. Therefore, even supposing Bush was negotiating an absolutely terrible agreement with the Iraqis in which he would be selling the family silver, Obama should have waited until he saw the text, and then demanded the cancellation of the accord through the constitutional channels.

One key feature of all mature powers, at least since the Congress of Vienna, is the reliability of their international commitments. Even putschists who seize power in a military coup make sure that their first pronunciamento includes this key sentence: We shall honor all of our country’s international obligations and commitments. Even regime change does not absolve states from their international obligations. The new Iraqi government, for example, has not rejected the estimated $100 billion in foreign debt left by Saddam Hussein.

Instances of a state reneging on all its obligations as a result of change are rare in history. One instance came in 1918 when Trotsky, appointed Commissar for Foreign Affairs by Lenin, announced that he had abrogated all of Tsarist Russia’s treaties with foreign nations and ordered the texts burned to heat the rooms of an empty foreign ministry.

What Obama was attempting, however, was more original. It amounted to preemptive diplomacy used against one’s own government: opposing an agreement not yet negotiated and of the content of which he knew nothing. A neophyte in matters of politics and diplomacy, the young senator is certainly not wanting for originality.

Since I do not wish to become involved in an Alphonse-and-Gaston number with Obama, I suggest that we focus our attention on the fact that the nominee is left without anything resembling a policy on Iraq. So, rather than coming out with another denial of something I never said that he had done, the esteemed senator should ponder these questions:

Does he still believe that toppling Saddam Hussein was illegal and “the biggest strategic blunder in U.S. history”? If yes, we might wonder why he is prepared to deal with the new Iraqi leaders who, by definition, have usurped Hussein’s power in Baghdad with American support.

Does he still want to withdraw from Iraq or does he want to stay, doing a bit of “drawdown” and “redeployment” every now and then? And, if he wants to stay, on what basis, for what purpose, and for how long?

Is Senator Biden’s plan to carve Iraq into three separate states still a live option or has it been thrown into the dustbin where it should have been from the start?

Would Obama now support the conclusion of a Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA) and a Strategic Framework Agreement (SFA) through negotiations between the Bush administration and the Iraqi administration of Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki, also a “lame duck,” as it faces elections early next year?

— Amir Taheri’s new book, The Persian Night: Iran Under the Khomeinist Revolution, is due for publication in November.

National Review Online -
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Posts: 42483

« Reply #662 on: September 21, 2008, 01:19:40 PM »

Jack Wheeler:

 , , , And fourth is the release this week of John Fund's book Stealing Elections.  This is an incredibly important book.  John exposes the plans of the ultimate "community organizer" ACORN to commit massive voter fraud in cities throughout the country - and details how Obama is an ACORN operative.  He was a "community organizer for ACORN and then their lawyer.

Obambi, John reveals, has 9,000 lawyers ready to challenge November 4 election results in thousands of precincts in hundreds of counties in dozens of states, all under the phony claim of "voter suppression" perpetrated by evil election-stealing Republicans.

Just to take one single county, Bernalillo County in New Mexico:  over 1,000 fraudulent voters registrations have been submitted by ACORN, and if they are not accepted, ACORN will scream "voter suppression!"

Incidentally, Obambi's call for his followers to "argue with your neighbors and get in their face" if they don't support him (9/17 in Elko NV) is a classic ACORN intimidation technique.  Read John's book.
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Posts: 15533

« Reply #663 on: September 21, 2008, 08:19:14 PM »

Democrats and Double Standards
Obama's not-so-secret weapon: the media.
by Stephen F. Hayes
09/29/2008, Volume 014, Issue 03

When Barack Obama announced his presidential candidacy in Springfield, Illinois, on February 10, 2007, he promised to change the practice of American politics.

This campaign must be the occasion, the vehicle, of your hopes, and your dreams. It will take your time, your energy, and your advice--to push us forward when we're doing right, and to let us know when we're not.

Obama told the crowd on that chilly day that he was running "not just to hold an office, but to gather with you to transform a nation." He was particularly concerned with the way politicians run for office. He decried "the smallness of our politics" and "the chronic avoidance of tough decisions" and politicians who win by "scoring cheap political points." All of this, he said, had led voters to look away in "disillusionment and frustration."

"The time for that politics is over," Obama said.

Or maybe not.

This past week at a campaign rally, Obama told his supporters to challenge Republicans and independents skeptical of his candidacy. "I want you to argue with them and get in their face," he said.

This is the newer, tougher Obama. The avatar of a new American politics of hope is gone, replaced by a no-nonsense practitioner of the old politics. His campaign is now less the vehicle of your hopes and your dreams than a vehicle of your frustration and your anger.

You might think that this walking, talking contradiction would be the focus of intense media scrutiny--hypocrisy being a staple of modern political reportage--but you'd be wrong.

The media line on the new Obama is simple: It's John McCain's fault. Barack Obama would like to win the presidency the right way but McCain won't let him.

According to the press, in recent weeks, the McCain campaign has so distorted Obama's record and campaign proposals that the young senator has had no choice but to fight back with old-school tactics. "McCain's tactics are drawing the scorn of many in the media and organizations tasked with fact-checking the truthfulness of campaigns," wrote Politico's Jonathan Martin. "In recent weeks, Team McCain has been described as dishonorable, disingenuous and downright cynical."

And so while McCain's every utterance is factchecked and factchecked again in an attempt to shame him from challenging Obama too aggressively, Obama gets a pass.

Consider two examples.

On August 16, Pastor Rick Warren asked John McCain how much money someone would have to make to be considered rich. McCain didn't answer directly. "I think that rich should be defined by a home, a good job, an education and the ability to hand to our children a more prosperous and safer world than the one that we inherited," he said.

Then he made a joke: "So, I think if you are just talking about income, how about $5 million?"

The audience laughed, immediately understanding that McCain was being facetious. Just in case there were any doubts McCain started his next comment by saying "seriously," to underscore the joke. Then he made a prediction.

"I'm sure that comment will be distorted," he said with a shrug of his shoulders.

And it has been. "It should come as no surprise that John McCain believes the cutoff for the rich begins at $5 million," Barack Obama's campaign said in a statement. "It may explain why his tax plan gives a $600,000 tax cut to the richest 0.1 percent of earners." At a campaign appearance two days after McCain made the comments, Obama himself mocked McCain. "I guess if you're making $3 million a year, you're middle class," Obama said.

Some news accounts noted that McCain was joking and others even reported that McCain predicted his words would be twisted and used against him. In an August 18 article in the Los Angeles Times, Greg Miller actually did both and noted that McCain aides had made clear their boss was joking. "Even so," Miller wrote, "the remark highlighted the candidates' disparate outlooks. Analysts who study income distribution said the answers appeared to reflect shifting political calculations more than economic reality."

So Miller, writing under the headline, "Who's Rich? McCain and Obama have very different definitions," used McCain's facetious answer as if he had meant it. (Miller also speculated that Cindy McCain's family money may have shaped McCain's views of what constitutes rich.) Not only was Obama not called on his misuse of McCain's comment, reporters piled on. Is it any wonder that the line has made regular appearances in Obama speeches over the past month?

"Now, I don't believe that Senator McCain doesn't care what's going on in the lives of Americans," Obama said in his acceptance speech at the Democratic National Convention. "I just think he doesn't know. Why else would he define middle-class as someone making under $5 million a year?"

Then there are the absurd lengths to which some reporters are willing to go to protect Obama and attack McCain. Last week, the McCain campaign released an ad accusing Obama of being too close to Fannie Mae executives. In particular, it claims Obama took advice on housing and finance issues from former Fannie Mae chairman Franklin Raines. The Obama campaign protested, saying that Raines was not an adviser and had not given Obama counsel in any capacity. The McCain campaign defended the claim by citing an article that ran in the Washington Post on July 16, 2008. That article noted that Raines had "taken calls from Barack Obama's presidential campaign seeking his advice on mortgage and housing policy matters."

Last Friday, the Washington Post "factchecked" the McCain ad and concluded that the campaign had been "clearly exaggerating wildly" in order to link Obama to Raines and that the "latest McCain attack is particularly dubious."

Factchecker Michael Dobbs wrote that McCain's evidence that Raines had advised Obama was "pretty flimsy"--not a description that probably endeared him to Anita Huslin, the reporter who wrote the story this summer. But Dobbs did talk to Huslin. Here is his account of their conversation:

Since this has now become a campaign issue, I asked Huslin to provide the exact circumstances of the quote. She explained that she was chatting with Raines during the photo shoot, and asked "if he was engaged at all with the Democrats' quest for the White House. He said that he had gotten a couple of calls from the Obama campaign. I asked him about what, and he said 'oh, general housing, economy issues.' ('Not mortgage/foreclosure meltdown or Fannie-specific,' I asked, and he said 'no.')"

By Raines's own account, he took a couple of calls from someone on the Obama campaign, and they had some general discussions about economic issues.

Got that? Huslin stands by her reporting--that Raines had given advice to the Obama campaign about mortgage and housing policy matters--and yet the McCain campaign is faulted by the Washington Post for relying on information that comes from the Washington Post.

More amusing, though, is that in the rush to accuse the McCain campaign of lying, Dobbs glosses over a major discrepancy between the story that appeared in his paper and that of the Obama campaign. Obama spokesman Bill Burton claims that the campaign "neither sought nor received" advice from Raines "on any matter." It is possible, of course, that Raines simply made up the conversations he described to the Post reporter. But it seems more likely, given the toxicity of Raines, that the Obama campaign would simply prefer that those conversations had never taken place.

Dobbs concludes: "I have asked both Raines and the Obama people for more details on these calls and will let you know if I receive a reply."

That's reassuring, since Dobbs has already decided that the McCain campaign has been dishonest. Two things are clear with six weeks left in the presidential race. Barack Obama will practice the old-style politics that he lamented throughout the Democratic primary. And the media will give him a pass.
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Posts: 2004

« Reply #664 on: September 21, 2008, 09:37:00 PM »

My High School (La Canada) has a Class reunion site.  Most of my classmates are misguided Republicans, although I enjoy them all.   grin

I thought since I have been a bit "serious" lately, I thought a fun light post might be appropriate.  It was forwarded from one of my classmates.  By the way, he is a newscaster, at one time he worked in Alaska has nice things to say about Palin.

A young woman was about to finish her first year of college. Like so
many others her age, she considered herself to be a very liberal
Democrat,and among other liberal ideals, was very much in favor of higher taxes
to support more government programs, in other words redistribution of wealth.
She was deeply ashamed that her father was a rather staunch
Republican, a feeling she openly expressed. Based on the lectures that she had
participated in, and the occasional chat with a professor, she felt
that her father had for years harbored an evil, selfish desire to keep what he
thought should be his.
One day she was challenging her father on his opposition to higher
taxes on the rich and the need for more government programs. The
self-professed objectivity proclaimed by her professors had to be the truth and she
indicated so to her father.
He responded by asking how she was doing in school. Taken aback, she
answered rather haughtily that she had a 4.0 GPA, and let him know that it was
tough to maintain, insisting that she was taking a very difficult course load and was
constantly studying, which left her no time to go out and party like other people she knew.
She didn't even have time for a boyfriend, and didn't really have many college friends
because she spent all her time studying.
Her father listened and then asked, 'How is your friend Audrey doing?' 
She replied, 'Audrey is barely getting by. All she takes are
easy classes, she never studies, and she barely has a 2.0 GPA. She is so popular
on campus; college for her is a blast. She's always invited to all the
parties and lots of times she doesn't even show up for classes because
she's too hung over.'
Her wise father asked his daughter, 'Why don't you go to the Dean's
office and ask him to deduct 1.0 off your GPA and give it to your
friend who only has a 2.0. That way you will both have a 3.0 GPA and certainly
that would be a fair and equal distribution of GPA.'
The daughter, visibly shocked by her father's suggestion,
angrily fired back, 'That's a crazy idea, how would that be fair?
I've worked really hard for my grades! I've invested a lot of time, and a lot of
hard work!   Audrey has done next to nothing toward her degree. She played while I
worked my tail off!'
The father slowly smiled, winked and said gently,
'Welcome to the Republican party.'
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Posts: 42483

« Reply #665 on: September 22, 2008, 12:13:25 PM »

McCain at His Worst

What is John McCain thinking? First, Mr. McCain takes a wild swing by saying as president, he would have fired Chris Cox, chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission, for "betraying the public trust." It turns out a president doesn't have the statutory authority to do that, and Mr. Cox has been a political asset in dealing with the financial meltdown of last week. Indeed, the day after his call for Mr. Cox's firing, Mr. McCain retreated and called him "a good man."

Now Mr. McCain has compounded his error by floating the name of Andrew Cuomo, the pugilistic Democratic New York attorney general, as his possible nominee to head the Securities and Exchange Commission. Mr. McCain told CBS's "60 Minutes" that Mr. Cuomo had "respect" and "prestige," praising his tenure as secretary of housing and urban development in the Clinton administration.

Mr. McCain must be looking at a different record than I am. Mr. Cuomo was a political grandstander at HUD, ranging far afield to file frivolous lawsuits against gun manufacturers. He also spent taxpayer money to hire such firms as Booz Allen Hamilton, PriceWaterhouseCoopers, and Ernst & Young to paper over snafus at his agency.

Among the problems created by Mr. Cuomo while at HUD were what the liberal Village Voice called last month "a series of decisions between 1997 and 2001 that gave birth to the country's current crisis." A Voice investigation found that Mr. Cuomo "took actions that -- in combination with many other factors -- helped plunge Fannie and Freddie into the subprime markets without putting in place the means to monitor their increasingly risky investments. He turned the Federal Housing Administration mortgage program into a sweetheart lender with sky-high loan ceilings and no money down, and he legalized what a federal judge has branded 'kickbacks' to brokers that have fueled the sale of overpriced and unsupportable loans. Three to four million families are now facing foreclosure, and Cuomo is one of the reasons why."

Most egregiously, Matthew Rees of the Weekly Standard documented how Secretary Cuomo used the power of his office to declare war against Susan Gaffney, the HUD inspector general who was investigating charges of self-dealing by Cuomo aides. The Government Accountability Office later concluded Mr. Cuomo had used underhanded tactics to pursue spurious charges of racial discrimination against Ms. Gaffney.

The GAO found that HUD's decision to handpick two lawyers to investigate the discrimination charge, and award them contracts totaling $100,000 (the normal cost is about $3,000), represented "significant deviation" from the standard process of investigating discrimination complaints.

Ms. Gaffney, a classic whistleblower in the maverick tradition John McCain claims to embody, was an innocent victim of Mr. Cuomo's smear machine. Mr. McCain needs to go back and look at the Cuomo record at HUD -- and at the New York Attorney General's office for that matter -- before he so loosely and recklessly promotes Mr. Cuomo as someone to oversee the nation's securities regulation.

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Posts: 103

« Reply #666 on: September 23, 2008, 05:03:30 PM »

Sept. 18, 2008--The Republican Party has finally found the outer edge of political cynicism; it's located in Macomb County, Mich. Operatives there have figured out an upside to the foreclosure crisis roiling black neighborhoods: It enables mass voter-registration challenges and thereby offers a powerful opportunity to suppress the vote in Democrat-leaning districts.

An enterprising journalist for the independent-media site Michigan Messenger exposed the party's plan to exploit foreclosures last week, prompting local leaders to feign outrage, claim to have been misquoted and threaten a libel suit. Those denials notwithstanding, the Obama campaign has asked a federal court to issue an injunction against any use of foreclosure filings in registration challenges, just in case. As general counsel Bob Bauer put it, "They can tell it to the judge."

But while the details of the Michigan plot may be uniquely noxious, the broader tactic—known as voter "caging"—is a 50-year-old Republican dirty trick that is rooted in century-old voting laws designed to skirt the 15th Amendment. A series of legal challenges had finally driven voter caging into remission by the 1990s. But in 2004, desperate Republican operatives facing a huge Democratic turnout revived it with great success. And they're redeploying it widely in 2008.

The scam is as convoluted as it is craven. It starts with a list of potentially ineligible voters. The Macomb County gang planned to create its list from recent foreclosure filings, according to the Messenger, based on the notion that people who have lost their homes are likely to be registered under incorrect addresses. The more traditional route is to simply flood largely non-white districts with mailers marked "do not forward," then compile the names that are returned undeliverable.

Most states maintain stunningly broad rules governing registration challenges, so this sort of flimsy evidence is enough to make sweeping claims of voter fraud. Armed with their lists, Republican operatives file mass challenges to thousands of registrations, charging that the listed residents are cheating the system by polling in the wrong precinct. At the polls, they then challenge individual voters, which often means those voters only get a provisional ballot.

The challenge itself isn't the point, however. A 2007 Project Vote study outlines voter caging’s history and notes that most mass registration challenges are filed just under the deadline and are rarely pursued meaningfully. Rather, the goal is to gum up the democratic process by creating chaos, both at the point of registration and on Election Day.

By holding a breathless press conference trumpeting widespread voter fraud, Republicans busy election boards with responding to nonsense rather than serving voters and, worse, justify sending ranks of operatives to polling stations to harass voters in the name of "monitoring." Each Election Day challenge occupies a poll worker, creating long lines and disorder that discourages all would-be voters. And if they're lucky, they scare new voters away from showing up at all.

The tactic has been so wildly successful that Republicans have solidified the myth of voter fraud in both the popular mind and the law. This spring, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld an Indiana law that requires voters to show a state-issued ID at the poll. The court ruled that the specter of voter fraud justified the imposition on democracy. It ignored research showing voter fraud to be extraordinarily rare and dismissed evidence that blacks, youth and low-income people are all far less likely to have state IDs.

Republican operatives set the stage for that ruling in 2004. They challenged half a million voters in targeted campaigns across nine politically strategic states, according to Project Vote. Prior to the election, Florida, Pennsylvania and Ohio all made voter challenges even easier than they had already been; all three states had Republican-controlled legislatures. In Ohio's Cuyahoga County—which includes Cleveland and is reliably Democrat—Republicans flooded polling stations with operatives to challenge 14,000 voters; 45 percent of them lived in majority black communities. They hit 31,000 voters statewide.

And as registration deadlines approach this fall, the same process is gearing up all over the country.

In Wisconsin, Republican Attorney General J. B. Van Hollen filed suit last week—a month before the registration deadline—demanding election officials check individual records of thousands of voters who registered before the state's new voter ID system went into effect. In Madison, City Clerk Maribeth Witzel-Behl complained that the last-minute demand will make other necessary preparations for the largest-expected voter turnout impossible. "It will disenfranchise voters," she told Wisconsin's Capital Times.

In Louisiana, the secretary of state is busy purging thousands of "inactive" voters from the rolls. According to the Louisiana Justice Institute, the only way you'd know you're on the inactive list is if you saw the state's ad in a newspaper, which thousands of still-displaced Orleans Parish residents couldn't do. The Justice Institute has published a searchable database of the names here, to help displaced residents who want to vote in their hometown make sure they stay registered.

Meanwhile, at least one Virginia county has targeted college students with plain scare tactics. In Montgomery County, home to Virginia Tech, the registrar warned Virginia Tech students that listing their campus address for voter registration could jeopardize everything from their parents' tax returns to their own driver's licenses. "If you have a scholarship attached to your former residence, you could lose this funding," the ominous but vague memo declared, according to Inside Higher Ed.

And Michigan's not the only place where losing your home could mean also losing your vote. The Columbus Dispatch reported this summer on state election officials' concerns that Ohio's new voter ID law will collide with foreclosures to create chaos at the polls. Voters who are registered at their old homes but have new addresses on their IDs, for instance, will be turned away. Ditto in several other states with both new voter ID laws and waves of foreclosure.

None of this is new. Republicans first used the myth of voter fraud to justify vote-suppression tactics in an Arkansas race in 1958, deliberately exploiting Reconstruction-era laws that made voter challenges easy enough to keep newly franchised blacks out of the process. It worked so well in '58 that in 1964 they launched "Operation Eagle Eye," which targeted 1.8 million voters nationally.

The game proceeded with impunity until 1981, when the Democrats sued over a voter-caging campaign in New Jersey, arguing that the effort deliberately disenfranchised minority voters. That case, along with a subsequent one in 1986, generated a consent order that barred the national party from launching mass voter challenges without getting court approval. The order, however, does not bind state party officials.

Nor can we count on the network of federal law enforcement that mobilized to block just this sort of chicanery in the Jim Crow days. The Bush administration's politicized firings of U.S. attorneys were, in no small part, driven by its effort to stymie the protection of voter rights Three of the eight U.S. attorney firings being investigated by Congress involved officials who refused to go after supposed voter-fraud cases in the run-up to the 2006 congressional elections.

Which leaves it to us to protect ourselves from this cynical but deeply effective manufactured chaos. A growing number of watchdog groups are trying to mobilize citizens to do the Justice Department's job. This week, a coalition under the banner Election Protection launched a Web site and a hotline (1-866-OUR-VOTE) where voters can learn how to make sure their own registration is secure and report problems in their districts. The Advancement Project has set up a similar site here.

Jurisdictions facing registration irregularities, backlogs and confusion now will certainly face the same on Nov. 4. Neither situation will be accidental, and the best tool left for identifying them in advance is through would-be voters. An ounce of prevention, watchdogs stress, is worth a pound of post-election litigation and outrage.

Kai Wright is a regular contributor to The Root.

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Posts: 9475

« Reply #667 on: September 24, 2008, 10:59:55 AM »

"The Republican Party ...mass voter-registration challenges and thereby offers a powerful opportunity to suppress the vote in Democrat-leaning districts."

A challenge to my voter registration would be met swiftly with proof of identity, eligibility and residency to vote.  I don't know Macomb County, but the story also refers to Wisconsin which has been victim of massive voter fraud operations and razor thin Democratic victories.  What is cynical about attacking known fraud.  Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
Inquiry finds evidence of fraud in election
Cast ballots outnumber voters by 4,609

Investigators said Tuesday they found clear evidence of fraud in the Nov. 2 election in Milwaukee, including more than 200 cases of felons voting illegally and more than 100 people who voted twice, used fake names or false addresses or voted in the name of a dead person.

Officials said charges will be filed in coming weeks, as individual cases are reviewed and more evidence is gathered.

Nonetheless, it is likely that many - perhaps most - of those who committed fraud won't face prosecution because city records are so sloppy that it will be difficult to establish cases that will stand up in court.

And even now, three months after the investigation, officials have not been able to close a gap of 7,000 votes, with more ballots cast than voters listed. Officials said the gap remains at 4,609.

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Posts: 42483

« Reply #668 on: September 24, 2008, 04:15:44 PM »

ACORN, with which BO has heavy connections, is notorius for massive voter fraud.
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Posts: 42483

« Reply #669 on: September 24, 2008, 10:37:52 PM »

I am on a really crummy computer in Switzerland with no audio, but this clip comes recommended to me.


The WSJ rips McCain another butthole again:

The Candidates Vote 'Present'


Last we checked, the President of the United States was still George W. Bush, the Secretary of the Treasury was still Henry Paulson, the Chairman of the Federal Reserve was still Ben Bernanke, and Congress still had 533 members not running for President who are at least nominally competent to debate and pass legislation.

So count us as mystified by Senator John McCain's decision yesterday to suspend his campaign and call for a postponement in Friday's first Presidential debate so that he and Barack Obama can work out a consensus bill to stabilize the financial system. This is supposed to be evidence of leadership?

Mr. McCain's decision follows an equally odd suggestion from Mr. Obama yesterday morning that the two candidates issue a joint statement of principles and conditions for the financial rescue package. As a purely political matter, we understand why Mr. Obama would just as soon say "present" on a tricky Senate vote. He probably figures the current economic mess plays into his argument for "change," so why not minimize any differences with Mr. McCain on the Paulson plan as he heads to Election Day?

We also understand Mr. McCain's desire to further dress his campaign in "Country First" gilding, as if patriotism and consensus are one and the same, or that getting something done is more important than getting it right.

Whatever the motive, this is not what the country expects from its Presidential candidates. The Administration and the Congress have a responsibility to negotiate legislation, and we can only hope it isn't carbuncled to a point that makes it impossible for Treasury to hold a decent mortgage-backed securities auction, or allow markets to clear. As Senators, Messrs. Obama and McCain also have a responsibility to give us their up-or-down verdict on the bill as it emerges. If they have specific differences or suggestions, they certainly have a large megaphone to broadcast them.

As candidates, however, they are not serving the public by hiding behind a fog of faux bipartisanship that obscures their core economic principles and their approach to governance in times of crisis. Far from being an issue that is above electoral politics, the financial panic is too serious not to have a serious discussion about. President Bush gave both candidates a hand last night by inviting them to a White House meeting on the legislation today, but this looks more like political theater than it does actual governing. Both candidates are angling to get some credit for being in on the deal, whatever it might be.

Nor does it stanch a panic when Mr. McCain issues a statement warning that "I do not believe that the plan on the table will pass as it currently stands, and we are running out of time," or comparing the current situation to September 11. No plan passes without going through Congressional hazing, if not modification, and predicting doom does nothing to reassure Americans that our political system is able to manage amid turmoil.

Mr. Obama was right on the merits, and politically shrewd, to respond to Mr. McCain's suggestion to postpone Friday's debate by saying that "Presidents are going to have to deal with more than one thing at a time. It's not necessary for us to think that we can only do one thing and suspend everything else." He added that he planned to be at the debate.

The behavior of both candidates has an air of running for political cover. Neither of them need master the subtleties of credit default swaps and mortgage-backed securities in time for their debates. But it would be reassuring to know that they are at least capable of holding, and sticking to, a coherent position on what is now the most important issue of the campaign. When one of them becomes President, he won't have the luxury of pressing the "pause" button at the next crisis.

The First Debate Could Be Decisive

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Presidential debates are important -- and the first debate is the most important of all, establishing an arc of opinion that persists unless jarred loose by big mistakes or dramatic events.

So whether this year's first presidential debate between Sens. Barack Obama and John McCain is Friday night or postponed a few days, it may be the fall's most critical event. In the nine first debates since 1960, the perceived winner of the debate averaged a 4.2 point net swing in the Gallup poll.
[The First Debate Could Be Decisive] Martin Kozlowski

Mr. Obama fought hard to have the first clash devoted to foreign policy and the last on the economy. It may be smart to end the series on his strongest turf. But that means the debates start on ground where Mr. McCain is more comfortable, having a sizable poll lead on who'd be a better commander in chief.

Here's the advice some experts I consulted offered the candidates:

First, do no harm. Persistent proficiency is better than big mistakes. Remember Al Gore's sighs in 2000? President George H.W. Bush glancing at his watch in 1992? Michael Dukakis's botched answer to Bernie Shaw's death-penalty question in 1988?

Know what you want to achieve and have that narrative down cold, for yourself and for your opponent. How do you want potential defectors and converts to see and feel about you and your opponent when it's over? How do you accentuate your strengths and his weaknesses?

Answer the questions. Voters don't like it when candidates are not responsive. Mr. McCain shone so much brighter at Rev. Rick Warren's Saddleback conversation because he answered with plain talk and simple declarative statements.

People want to see candidates operating without a script. They are clamoring for spontaneity. So avoid hyper-repetition. For example, Mr. Gore's repeated robotic invocation of the phrase "risky scheme" backfired.

Spend time describing problems. In the '92 debates, Bill Clinton and Ross Perot established personal links with voters as much from how they portrayed the nation's challenges as from their proposals to address them.

Humor is a powerful weapon, but only if it is not canned or forced. Ronald Reagan demolished Walter Mondale with this self-deprecating line: "I want you to know that also I will not make age an issue of this campaign. I am not going to exploit, for political purposes, my opponent's youth and inexperience."

The counterpunch is better than the punch. The first person to attack generally suffers, especially if the attack comes across as exaggerated or unfair. Attack sparingly and then by inference and obliquely. Rather than a frontal assault on Mr. Obama's inexperience, Mr. McCain could say America's adversaries will test any new president, and only he has the skill and leadership the country will need in that crisis.

Mr. McCain needs to come across as optimistic, loose and likable. He must guard against revealing his lack of respect for Mr. Obama. And he must grab the "change" banner from Mr. Obama by describing a few things he'll do internationally that are new and different.

Mr. McCain should remind voters the surge in Iraq was the most vital decision in the War on Terror. Mr. Obama opposed it and even continued to oppose it after it was an undeniable success. And Mr. McCain should frame energy as a security issue with large implications for jobs and our economy.

Mr. Obama's task is to look like a credible commander in chief. Right now, too many people lack confidence that he's up to the most important of presidential responsibilities.

Mr. Obama must avoid the pervasive sense of nuance that weakened his performance at the Saddleback Forum. He should attack less. If Mr. McCain is condescending, Mr. Obama should call him on it. If Mr. McCain launches a full-out assault, Mr. Obama should rebut it. Otherwise, he should aim for firmness, seriousness of purpose and clarity in his views.

In criticizing President Bush's foreign policy, Mr. Obama must be careful not to sound like he's running down America. Breaking with someone in his party on a vital issue would show leadership and independence.

The story line of the coverage afterward can do almost as much to shape perception as much as the debate itself. Mr. Gore was on defense for weeks after his '00 sighing fit.

Mr. Obama has more recent debate experience, and he's wise to have spent three days in Florida resting. Mr. McCain, by contrast, has campaigned with little rest and rehearsal. This is dangerous. Mood and countenance matter as much as command of issues.

A debate tie goes to the frontrunner. With that now being Mr. Obama by a slim margin, Mr. McCain must emerge the clear winner, or his prospects of being the next president will dim.

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

« Last Edit: September 24, 2008, 11:35:44 PM by Crafty_Dog » Logged
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« Reply #670 on: September 27, 2008, 02:37:46 AM »

I'm in Switzerland for the DB Swiss Gathering at the moment and missed the debate.  Does anyone have a URL where I can see it?


Des Moines, Iowa

One lingering fear for Democrats has been that the prolonged primary fight might have weakened Barack Obama for the general election. That fear seemed to be realized when Hillary Clinton's supporters initially appeared slow to rally behind him before the party's national convention in Denver last month.

APBut here in Iowa, one of the most tightly contested states in the country, the drawn-out campaign season is proving to be a boon for the Democratic candidate. Sen. Obama has enjoyed an average nine-point lead in state polls over the past three weeks, according to, which aggregates poll data.

One reason is that for much of 2006 and most of 2007, Mr. Obama and the other Democratic presidential candidates crisscrossed the state, organizing precincts, personally meeting voters and buying ad time -- all in record amounts and at levels far greater than anything John McCain and the other Republicans did.

According to Washington, D.C., political analyst Eric M. Appleman, who tracks such things, Mr. Obama made 44 visits and spent all or part of 89 days in Iowa during the two-year period leading up to the Iowa caucuses on Jan. 3 of this year. Mr. McCain, by contrast, clocked half that -- 22 visits over 43 days during the same period.

More Iowans have had the chance to see Mr. Obama in their hometowns, watch him speak in forums, and view his advertising than those who've met or seen Mr. McCain. Mr. Obama's rallies routinely produced huge crowds, and his campaign organization did a superior effort at locating, registering and turning out supporters on caucus night, when he won a plurality of the vote. That organizational infrastructure remains in place, and is now augmented with the supporters of other Democratic presidential candidates.

One benefit of all the Democratic attention on Iowa has been increased voter registration. Four years ago, Republicans had a 9,026 edge in registered voters. Today, there are over 100,000 more Democrats registered to vote than Republicans.

Iowa has just seven electoral votes, making it a smaller prize than Florida or Ohio. But both parties fight hard to win here, because it is a closely divided state that could tip the balance in a closely divided election. In 2000, Al Gore carried Iowa by a mere 4,144 votes, less than 1% of the vote. In 2004, George W. Bush put the state back in the Republican column, carrying it by a margin of 10,059 votes.

For Mr. McCain, however, the state is a steeper climb than it has been for other Republicans. He doesn't profit much from his military background here. Iowa has some of the lowest levels of per capita spending on the military, there are no large military bases in the state, and no large communities of military retirees. The Almanac of American Politics calls Iowa "one of the most dovish, isolationist-prone states" in the nation.

According to the Des Moines Register's Iowa Poll, 74% of the state's voters say the country is on the wrong track. And it found that voters think Mr. Obama "best understands people like you" by a margin of 55% to 37% over Mr. McCain. Mr. Obama is also seen as best able to fix the economy, bring down gas prices, win the respect of world leaders, and inspire the country. Mr. McCain is seen by more voters as having the experience to lead and being best able to keep America secure.

Iowa has also been trending Democratic. In the 2006 elections, Democrats picked up two congressional seats, the governorship and control of both houses of the state legislature.

One thing to watch in all of these battleground states is what the rural vote is doing. In past elections, Republicans have carried small towns and farm and ranch country by hefty margins. If Democrats can limit those margins, they can win close states by piling up votes in urban areas.

According to a Center for Rural Strategies poll of rural voters in 13 battleground states, Mr. McCain holds a 10-point lead with rural voters, slightly less than the 13-point lead Mr. Bush had at a similar point in the 2004 elections.

That shows that all is not lost for Mr. McCain in Iowa. He and his running mate Sarah Palin staged a rally recently in Cedar Rapids that attracted an impressive crowd of 6,000. She is energizing social conservatives, and those activists are one reason why Iowa flipped to Mr. Bush four years ago.

The GOP has also shown the ability to close fast in the final days of presidential elections. In 2000, Mr. Gore led by seven points in early September. Yet Mr. Bush nearly won the state. In 2004, John Kerry held a seven-point lead and lost by a point.

A big unknown is how independents will break. Voters who declined to affiliate with a political party when they registered to vote make up 35.1% of the state's electorate, which is a larger percentage than registered Democrats (34.6%) or Republicans (30%).

When you consider how rapidly GOP voters "come home," and how their organizers turn out Republican voters in the last few days of a campaign in Iowa, Mr. Obama's nine-point lead may not be much of a firewall. And if there is any hidden racial prejudice in a state that is 96% white, his lead could evaporate quickly.

Mr. Yepsen is the Des Moines Register's political columnist.
« Reply #671 on: September 27, 2008, 10:30:45 AM »

Prepare him for the stabbing, just like Mike Tyson in the fourth, homeboy be jabbing!
« Reply #672 on: September 27, 2008, 02:25:37 PM »

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« Reply #673 on: September 27, 2008, 04:48:25 PM »

Thank you SB.
« Reply #674 on: September 27, 2008, 05:40:32 PM »

I've seen this on a couple RSS feeds, but haven't liked the sourcing so didn't post. Now its coming out of the MO Governor's office. . . .

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Contact: Jessica Robinson, 573-751-0290

Gov. Blunt Statement on Obama Campaign’s Abusive Use of Missouri Law Enforcement

JEFFERSON CITY - Gov. Matt Blunt today issued the following statement on news reports that have exposed plans by U.S. Senator Barack Obama to use Missouri law enforcement to threaten and intimidate his critics.

“St. Louis County Circuit Attorney Bob McCulloch, St. Louis City Circuit Attorney Jennifer Joyce, Jefferson County Sheriff Glenn Boyer, and Obama and the leader of his Missouri campaign Senator Claire McCaskill have attached the stench of police state tactics to the Obama-Biden campaign.

“What Senator Obama and his helpers are doing is scandalous beyond words, the party that claims to be the party of Thomas Jefferson is abusing the justice system and offices of public trust to silence political criticism with threats of prosecution and criminal punishment.

“This abuse of the law for intimidation insults the most sacred principles and ideals of Jefferson. I can think of nothing more offensive to Jefferson’s thinking than using the power of the state to deprive Americans of their civil rights.  The only conceivable purpose of Messrs. McCulloch, Obama and the others is to frighten people away from expressing themselves, to chill free and open debate, to suppress support and donations to conservative organizations targeted by this anti-civil rights, to strangle criticism of Mr. Obama, to suppress ads about his support of higher taxes, and to choke out criticism on television, radio, the Internet, blogs, e-mail and daily conversation about the election.

“Barack Obama needs to grow up. Leftist blogs and others in the press constantly say false things about me and my family.  Usually, we ignore false and scurrilous accusations because the purveyors have no credibility.  When necessary, we refute them. Enlisting Missouri law enforcement to intimidate people and kill free debate is reminiscent of the Sedition Acts - not a free society.”
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« Reply #675 on: September 27, 2008, 06:25:53 PM »

Specifically what are the accusations?
« Reply #676 on: September 27, 2008, 06:51:06 PM »

That select (Democratic) law enforcement officials have been tapped to go after those who disseminate campaign material the Obama campaign deems false. I note there is currently a fight over ads and mailings the NRA is sending out; MO is a state with a significant hunting heritage; so I wonder if this is part of the brouhaha. Bottom line is that there is the taint of prior restraint in this effort.
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« Reply #677 on: October 01, 2008, 12:14:43 AM »

Thursday's VP debate will be moderated by Gwen Ifill who according to Michelle Malkin is a bit invested in an Obama victory.

The title of Ifill’s book “Breakthrough: Politics and Race in the Age of Obama.”Release date: Inauguration Day.  Nonpartisan my foot.

Ifill’s publisher, Random House, is already busy hyping the book with YouTube clips of Ifill heaping praise on her subjects, including Obama and Obama-endorsing Mass. Governor Deval Patrick. The official promo for the book gushes:

    “In The Breakthrough, veteran journalist Gwen Ifill surveys the American political landscape, shedding new light on the impact of Barack Obama’s stunning presidential campaign and introducing the emerging young African American politicians forging a bold new path to political power…Drawing on interviews with power brokers like Senator Obama, former Secretary of State Colin Powell, Vernon Jordan, the Reverend Jesse Jackson, and many others, as well as her own razor-sharp observations and analysis of such issues as generational conflict and the ‘black enough’ conundrum, Ifill shows why this is a pivotal moment in American history.”

Ifill and her publisher are banking on an Obama/Biden win to buoy her book sales. The moderator expected to treat both sides fairly has grandiosely declared this the “Age of Obama.” Can you imagine a right-leaning journalist writing a book about the “stunning” McCain campaign and its “bold” path to reform timed for release on Inauguration Day – and then expecting a slot as a moderator for the nation’s sole vice presidential debate?
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« Reply #678 on: October 01, 2008, 12:32:49 PM »

Hey Doug,
I didn't see your post till just now and posted on the "media thread" a similar article about the moderator for the VP debate.

I coulldn' t agree with you more.  Of course she is a major BO fan.  She is not going to have a book about him if she dislikes him.

The media bias is so depressing as is the prospect of the far left controlling all three houses.

I just don't see McCain as having the persuasion skills to turn this around in the face of an obvious leftist and pro-BO media onslaught and unless Palin can come through as some sort of looks like BO is our next President.  cry angry shocked sad 

As soon as he wins he will move left - far left. 

Funny thing, I don't blame W as much as the corrupt and totally failed recent Republican majority in the House and Senate for this debacle.  I don't know if the Republicans can ever win back trust and respect of the majority.  Too many of them on the take, bought out, just like the crats.

I don't even know who could have stopped the credit crises.  Even those who spoke up about FannieFreddie were up against a whole oraganized gang of theives bought out by the lobbyists that no regulation could have gotten enough wide spread support to pass it seems.

To watch Frank, Dodd, BO getting taking credit (the new talking points is that the newer versions of the bailout plan meet the criteria as set forth by BO - as if he had anything to do with it) is just nauseating.  Why Dodd had a sweetheart mortgage deal as did BO who became a millionaire after he became a Senator!  Yet the media is silent. 

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« Reply #679 on: October 01, 2008, 01:25:36 PM »

What crazy looks like. She'll probably get a cabinet position under the Obama administration.
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« Reply #680 on: October 05, 2008, 02:39:24 PM »

A small story:

We live in a two-on-a-lot in the front unit.  Our neighbor in back is a very active and very committed feminazi liberal.  She is running for reelection on the local Health District Council or something like that and so we let her post her yard sign in front of our house (four years ago there had been words over her effort to place a Kerry sign cheesy ),  Anyway, today she is hosting a BO party and people came looking for her house.  My wife happened to be out front chatting with a friend.  One by one they came and stopped in front of our house, and one by one my wife pointed them to the house in the back.  One fella stopped and looked at the McCain sign and said, "She... lives... in... this... house...?"  My wife said, "NO, she lives in the house in the back".  Then my wife leaned in and half whispered, "The people who live in the front are conservatives."  They man crumpled his nose and said, "Ewwwwe".   As he walked off my wife said, "They're conservatives, but they're reeeeeeeeeeeeal nice!"   

« Last Edit: October 05, 2008, 05:38:51 PM by pretty_kitty » Logged
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« Reply #681 on: October 06, 2008, 01:14:12 PM »

In the popular media wisdom, Sarah Palin is the neophyte who knows nothing about foreign policy while Joe Biden is the savvy diplomatic pro. Then what are we to make of Mr. Biden's fantastic debate voyage last week when he made factual claims that would have got Mrs. Palin mocked from New York to Los Angeles?

APStart with Lebanon, where Mr. Biden asserted that "When we kicked -- along with France, we kicked Hezbollah out of Lebanon, I said and Barack said, 'Move NATO forces in there. Fill the vacuum, because if you don't know -- if you don't, Hezbollah will control it.' Now what's happened? Hezbollah is a legitimate part of the government in the country immediately to the north of Israel."

The U.S. never kicked Hezbollah out of Lebanon, and no one else has either. Perhaps Mr. Biden meant to say Syria, except that the U.S. also didn't do that. The Lebanese ousted Syria's military in 2005. As for NATO, Messrs. Biden and Obama may have proposed sending alliance troops in, but if they did that was also a fantasy. The U.S. has had all it can handle trying to convince NATO countries to deploy to Afghanistan.

Speaking of which, Mr. Biden also averred that "Our commanding general in Afghanistan said the surge principle in Iraq will not work in Afghanistan." In trying to correct him, Mrs. Palin mispronounced the general's name -- saying "General McClellan" instead of General David McKiernan. But Mr. Biden's claim was the bigger error, because General McKiernan said that while "Afghanistan is not Iraq," he also said a "sustained commitment" to counterinsurgency would be required. That is consistent with Mr. McCain's point that the "surge principles" of Iraq could work in Afghanistan.

Then there's the Senator's astonishing claim that Mr. Obama "did not say he'd sit down with Ahmadinejad" without preconditions. Yet Mr. Biden himself criticized Mr. Obama on this point in 2007 at the National Press Club: "Would I make a blanket commitment to meet unconditionally with the leaders of each of those countries within the first year I was elected President? Absolutely, positively no."

Or how about his rewriting of Bosnia history to assert that John McCain didn't support President Clinton in the 1990s. "My recommendations on Bosnia, I admit I was the first one to recommend it. They saved tens of thousands of lives. And initially John McCain opposed it along with a lot of other people. But the end result was it worked." Mr. Biden's immodesty aside, Mr. McCain supported Mr. Clinton on Bosnia, as did Bob Dole even as he was running against him for President in 1996 -- in contrast to the way Mr. Biden and Democratic leaders have tried to undermine President Bush on Iraq.

Closer to home, the Delaware blarney stone also invited Americans to join him at "Katie's restaurant" in Wilmington to witness middle-class struggles. Just one problem: Katie's closed in the 1980s. The mistake is more than a memory lapse because it exposes how phony is Mr. Biden's attempt to pose for this campaign as Lunchbucket Joe.

We think the word "lie" is overused in politics today, having become a favorite of the blogosphere and at the New York Times. So we won't say Mr. Biden was deliberately making events up when he made these and other false statements. Perhaps he merely misspoke. In any case, Mrs. Palin may not know as much about the world as Mr. Biden does, but at least most of what she knows is true.
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« Reply #682 on: October 06, 2008, 01:22:30 PM »

Who wants to bet if Gwen Ifill will point out the flaws in Biden's statements?  rolleyes
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« Reply #683 on: October 08, 2008, 08:49:07 AM »

It would appear that McCain's populist pandering on the economic crisis has doomed his campaign and has doomed America to a President Obama leading an unrestrained Dem Congress.

We are fcuked.

October 7, 2008
Vol. 3, No. 41
Where We Find Ourselves This October:
The Bush-Paulson Economy is a Failure
Obama and the Left Would Be Worse
Can McCain Offer a Path to Economic Growth and Prosperity? By Newt Gingrich 
America this October is like a patient who has barely avoided a massive heart attack. We have no strategy for recovery, no strategy for economic growth, and no strategy for holding accountable those who have created this mess.

We're also far from out of danger. If we do not create an economic recovery program, we will be facing another bailout next year.
To put it another way: We can mop up water all we want but if we don't fix the leak we will simply have to keep mopping. Similarly, we can pass a bailout, but if we don't fix the economy we will have more and more bailouts.

America Must Get Back to the Fundamentals to Be Healthy Again
If we don't develop an energy abundance plan, we will continue to send $500 billion or more a year overseas and our economy will continue to weaken.

If we don't focus on making it easier for small business and for entrepreneurial startups, we won't have the new jobs to replace the old ones that are fading away under the pressures of science, technology and the world market.

If we don't get government spending, government regulations, government bureaucracy and government-mandated litigation under control, our economy will continue to weaken and we will be hit with rising inflation.

America has to get back to the fundamentals to become healthy again.

The Bush-Paulson Economic Strategy Has Been a Disaster
The Bush-Paulson strategy has been a disaster and has made things more difficult.

This spring, the $152 billion stimulus bill was wasted money. It should have been invested in science, technology, energy, infrastructure and pro-jobs, pro-savings tax cuts.

Imagine repealing the business killing Sarbanes-Oxley bill, eliminating the capital gains tax, going to 100 percent annual expensing for small businesses, and other practical steps to create jobs and generate wealth to mop up the bad debts.

Imagine half of the $152 billion invested in clean coal, biofuels, solar power, wind power, nuclear power, natural gas vehicles, hydrogen vehicles and drilling for oil and natural gas. Imagine the other half being invested in the National Institutes of Health, the National Science Foundation, and in a space-based air traffic control system that would increase capacity in the Northeast by 40 percent. That would have been a long-term investment strategy instead of a wasted stimulus package.

Amazingly, the Housing Bailout Contained $500 Million for Radical, Anti-Free Market Groups
To give you a sense of how failed the current strategy has been, consider this: This summer a $300 billion housing bailout was passed with a $500 million a year payment to a radical, anti-free market group called ACORN and other left-wing organizing groups.

ACORN is a left-wing, political extortion racket. It's currently busy bussing people to vote early in Ohio and elsewhere - these are your tax dollars at work. You get taxed to send a left-wing group money to use to elect left-wing predatory politicians to raise your taxes to give more money to groups who help them get elected, etc.

It was suicidal for a Republican president to sign that housing bailout bill and any bill that contains funding for groups so radically opposed to the values and interests of the vast majority of Americans.

The Paulson Bailout a "Paradigm Shift" Toward Big Government and Big Cronyism
The Paulson bailout was initially bad and made worse by the Congressional Democrats. Then, John McCain and the House Republicans moved the bill from terrible to merely bad.

Still, lobbyists are already lining up to get their piece of the Paulson pie. They see a goldmine of new government regulation and involvement in private industry for them to exploit for their clients. One lobbyist told the Hill newspaper: "This will ripple through every piece of major legislation we are looking at next Congress. This is a paradigm shift."

Too Little Too Late: The SEC Moves Away From Mark-to-Market Accounting
Finally, the Bush Administration resisted for months modifying the mark-to-market accounting system which has been the source of many unnecessary bankruptcies.

The need to abandon the mark-to-market rule was the focus of my speech last Tuesday morning at the National Press Club. By Tuesday afternoon, to its credit, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) admitted the mark-to-market rule needed to be revised and announced a substantial change in its application. If the SEC had done this three months ago, it might have avoided $500 billion of the $700 billion in bad debt that Paulson wants to bail out with your money.

But If Bush-Paulson is Bad, Obama-Frank-Dodd-Pelosi-Reid Will Be Worse

Clearly, by any reasonable standard, the Bush-Paulson stewardship of the economy has failed.  But the Barack Obama-Barney Frank-Chris Dodd-Nancy Pelosi-Harry Reid-left-wing policies of big government, high taxes, more litigation, and insider deals for their left-wing special interests will be even worse.

We've heard a lot about predatory lenders in this current economic crisis. They deserve their share of the blame. But it's time to introduce a new term that gets us closer to the real roots of this crisis: Predatory politicians.  Predatory politicians are much more dangerous than predatory lenders. Predatory politicians have the power of the government to coerce you.  Government under Obama, Frank, Dodd, Pelosi and Reid will be government by and for predatory politicians. It will make dealing with predatory lenders seems like a walk in the park.

McCain and Palin Should Sound the Call Against Predatory Politicians

The elite media has desperately sought to avoid the guilt of the left for the current crisis. But this is a topic Senator McCain and Governor Palin should spend at least one-third of their time on for the next four weeks.

For more information on predatory politicians and their role in the making of the economic crisis, see my paper "Predatory Politicans, Destructive Leftwing Politics and the Roots of the Housing Crisis."

And if McCain and Palin find themselves in need of arguments against the left's all-purpose excuse that a lack of government regulation is all that is behind the economic crisis, they should read this conversation with Warren Buffet. The government had a 200-employee agency whose sole job was to watch over Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and yet Fannie and Freddie still managed to bring the economy to its knees.

The Questions Senator Obama Needs to Answer

Senator Obama is intimately tied to corruption, left-wing radicalism, and predatory politicians. But the elite media has done everything it could to avoid asking the key questions. For a list of the questions Senator Obama needs to answer before we can judge his fitness for office, see my paper "Why is Barack Obama Afraid to Answer These Questions?" Senator McCain and Governor Palin should spend another third of their time asking Obama and the elite media to answer these questions.

They could use the same technique that Senator Richard Russell used in 1936 to defeat populist Georgia Governor Gene Talmadge. Russell literally posted a list of questions on the podium in Macon and told the crowd "Don't let him leave until he answers them." It was the psychological turning point of that campaign because Talmadge refused to answer and the people knew it.

If everywhere Obama and Biden went for the next 28 days they were faced with these questions they would rapidly lose popular legitimacy.

The McCain Crisis: Danger and Opportunity
Senator McCain now faces the crisis of his career.

He is behind. He will not catch up on a state-by-state basis.  He will either win the argument in the national media, suddenly growing stronger in many states or he will lose the national debate and gradually decline further in a number of states.

The Danger For McCain
If Senator McCain is not prepared to separate himself from the Bush-Paulson economic program, he has no opportunity to win.

The country is deeply fed up with the Bush presidency and angry about the Paulson bailout. If McCain is confused or uncertain about how bad this economic performance is, he will never get the country to listen to him.

The Opportunity for McCain
Just as Margaret Thatcher and Ronald Reagan (as well as the House Republicans in 1994 with the Contract with America) created a large argument which led to a decisive result, so McCain has an opportunity to reach beyond the daily attacks and clever tactics and spend the last 28 days of this campaign making a large argument over America's future.

If McCain is prepared to declare that it is time for a fundamental change away from the failure of Bush-Paulson and away from the leftism of Obama (a "clean rupture" as French President Nicolas Sarkozy described it in breaking with President Jacques Chirac (watch my video on Sarkozy here) or "bold colors with no pale pastels" as Reagan described it in breaking with President Ford in 1976), then he has a huge opportunity on three levels:

First, small business and free markets are better than bureaucrats and socialism.

We know this as a matter of American values and polling confirms it. The margin isn't even close; it's about 70 -20 or better. Clinton pollster Doug Schoen and Republican pollster Kellyanne Conway recently did a survey for American Solutions which proves the American people hold the government responsible for much of our current economic pain. On other key issues like energy and taxes, the Platform of the American People proves that McCain could build a big majority.

Second, the vast majority of the American people are deeply fed up with the corruption, dishonesty, and arrogance of Washington and of many of their state capitals.

A candidate with the courage to tell the truth about Franklin Raines, Chris Dodd, Barney Frank, the Carter and Clinton-era pressures for bad loans, the ACORN pressure for bad loans (trained in Chicago by Barack Obama in his community organizer days) would have an enormous response from a country which is sick of predatory politicians, arrogant bureaucrats, and elitist reporters.

In short, the elites would be enraged but the American people would be enthusiastic.

Third, there are huge groups of Americans eager to have someone address their concerns and offer them hope.

Millions of small business owners would like a program that cut spending in Washington and taxes on their businesses and reduced regulations and red tape.  Millions of drivers would like an energy program that offered them hope. They believe in drilling here and drilling now.  Every person who uses electricity is eager for a determined effort to develop clean coal.  Millions of retirees or soon to be retirees would like a program that would strengthen the economy and increase the value of their investments.  Entrepreneurs and venture capitalists would fight for a program that abolished Sarbanes-Oxley, eliminated the capital gains tax, and expanded H-1B visas for talented workers.

A bold program of the right changes would rally a massive number of activists and donors to fight for a better future.

"Action This Day"
That was the slogan Winston Churchill used to focus and energize the British Government when he became prime minister in the darkest days of World War II.

If Senator McCain is prepared to be as bold as Winston Churchill and as aggressive as Theodore Roosevelt, this is an election that can be won and might be won by a shocking margin (like Harry Truman in 1948).

The choice is his. As for myself, I know of no other path that will work.

Your friend,

Newt Gingrich 
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« Reply #684 on: October 09, 2008, 12:05:47 AM »

Voters Haven't Decided Yet
Now it's up to the candidates to drive home their message.By KARL ROVEArticle
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Tuesday night's presidential debate was good entertainment. Both candidates were animated and loose throughout a wide-ranging discussion. Sen. Barack Obama did well in Sen. John McCain's favorite format. Mr. McCain was more focused and sharp than in the first debate, though the cameras above him made his balding pate more prominent.

APTom Brokaw was often a distraction: Did he really need over a hundred words -- including the name "Sherard Cowper-Coles" -- to ask about Afghanistan?

Mr. McCain's advocates were cheered by him advancing the theme that Mr. Obama lacks a record of accomplishment or bipartisanship in the Senate. Mr. McCain also described how Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac constituted "the match that started this forest fire" that's engulfed our economy, and nailed Mr. Obama and Democrats for being AWOL on GSE reform.

Mr. McCain was most effective on taxes and spending. He argued now is not the time to raise taxes and hit Mr. Obama's proposal to hike small business taxes: three out of four filers in the top 5% report small-business income. Mr. McCain called for a spending freeze and attacked earmarks, including Mr. Obama's $3 million for a Chicago planetarium's "overhead projector." Mr. Obama weakly replied earmarks were only $18 billion.

Advocates of Mr. Obama, on the other hand, saw him scoring points on style and connecting with questioners. He patiently explained to one how the Wall Street rescue package would help him and his neighbors on Main Street. He had the night's emotional high point when he talked about his dying mother fighting her insurer over whether her cancer was a pre-existing condition. He called for dramatic change and tied Mr. McCain to the Bush administration, though not too often to be obnoxious.

Mr. Obama also offered his villain responsible for the current crisis: "the deregulation of the financial system." Many voters will accept Mr. Obama's designation, despite it being both wrong and a slap at President Bill Clinton, who signed the 1999 deregulation legislation that Mr. Obama seems to object to, and Treasury Secretary Bob Rubin and Undersecretary Larry Summers, who helped fashion it. What do these Obama advisers think of being blamed for the credit-market meltdown?

What about swing voters? There are probably more undecided and persuadable voters open to switching their choice than in any election since 1968.

About Karl Rove
Karl Rove served as Senior Advisor to President George W. Bush from 2000–2007 and Deputy Chief of Staff from 2004–2007. At the White House he oversaw the Offices of Strategic Initiatives, Political Affairs, Public Liaison, and Intergovernmental Affairs and was Deputy Chief of Staff for Policy, coordinating the White House policy making process.

Before Karl became known as "The Architect" of President Bush's 2000 and 2004 campaigns, he was president of Karl Rove + Company, an Austin-based public affairs firm that worked for Republican candidates, nonpartisan causes, and nonprofit groups. His clients included over 75 Republican U.S. Senate, Congressional and gubernatorial candidates in 24 states, as well as the Moderate Party of Sweden.

Karl writes a weekly op-ed for The Wall Street Journal, is a Newsweek columnist and is now writing a book to be published by Simon & Schuster. Email the author at or visit him on the web at
For those open to Mr. McCain, it is unclear how they will respond to his plan to order the Treasury secretary "to immediately buy up the bad home loan mortgages in America and renegotiate at the new value of those homes." It came across as both impulsive and badly explained. No experts were ready to defend it. No explanatory paper was flung at journalists. Nor were surrogates like Mitt Romney briefed. But the campaign did admit it borrowed the idea from Hillary Clinton.

 shocked shocked shocked shocked shocked shocked  cry cry cry

While it was good Mr. McCain engaged on health-care reform, his explanations were not crisp or powerful. And he failed to defend his proposed corporate tax cut. Why not say America has the world's second-highest corporate tax rate, putting the U.S. at a disadvantage in creating jobs?

For those leaning to Mr. Obama, there was no evidence of bipartisanship. There was no talk of accomplishments. Did he really think it was smart to answer Mr. McCain on Fannie by dismissing the GSE reform bill and pointing to a letter he wrote? In the Senate, is the pen mightier than legislation? And Mr. Obama's say-one-thing, do-another approach was apparent. Blast Mr. McCain for talking up the economy, then say, "I am confident about the American economy." Blame Mr. McCain for the credit meltdown, and end the assault with "you're not interested in hearing politicians pointing fingers." Say "only a few percent of small businesses" will get taxed when 663,000 small enterprises are in the top 5%.

There were no knockouts. What matters now is how well the candidates prosecute the themes they have laid out in the election's remaining 26 days. Interest is high. People are paying more attention than usual.

Each faces a big challenge. Mr. McCain's is that events have tilted the field towards Mr. Obama. To win, Mr. McCain must demonstrate he stands for responsible conservative change, while portraying Mr. Obama as an out-of-the-mainstream liberal not ready to be president.

Mr. Obama's test is that voters haven't shaken deep concerns about his lack of qualifications. Having accomplished virtually nothing in his three years in the Senate except to win the Democratic nomination, Mr. Obama must show he is up to the job. Voters like him, conditions favor him, yet he has not closed the sale. He may be approaching the finish line with that mixture of lassitude and insouciance he displayed in the spring against Mrs. Clinton.

But here's a warning sign for Mr. Obama. Of recent candidates, only Michael Dukakis in 1988 has had a larger percentage of voters tell pollsters they believe he lacks the necessary qualifications to be president.

Mr. Rove is a former senior adviser and deputy chief of staff to President George W. Bush.
Power User
Posts: 2004

« Reply #685 on: October 12, 2008, 10:07:09 AM »

October 10, 2008
A Buckley endorses Obama
Posted: 11:08 PM ET

From CNN Ticker Producer Alexander Mooney

Christopher Buckley, son of William F. Buckley, is backing Obama.

(CNN) — No, hell has not frozen over, but a Buckley is backing a Democrat for president.

Christopher Buckley, the son of the late conservative icon William F. Buckley, said Friday he's decided to back Barack Obama's White House bid, the first time in his life he will vote Democrat.

“It’s a good thing my dear old mum and pup [sic] are no longer alive. They’d cut off my allowance," Buckley, a columnist for the conservative National Review, wrote on the Web site The Daily Beast Friday.

Buckley, who praised McCain in a New York Times Op-Ed earlier this year and defended the Arizona senator's conservative credentials against wary talk-radio hosts, said McCain is no longer the “real” and “unconventional” man he once admired.

"This campaign has changed John McCain," Buckley wrote. "It has made him inauthentic. A once-first class temperament has become irascible and snarly; his positions change, and lack coherence; he makes unrealistic promises, such as balancing the federal budget 'by the end of my first term.' Who, really, believes that?

"Then there was the self-dramatizing and feckless suspension of his campaign over the financial crisis," Buckley added. "His ninth-inning attack ads are mean-spirited and pointless. And finally, not to belabor it, there was the Palin nomination. What on earth can he have been thinking?"

But Buckley made clear he's not just voting against McCain, praising Obama for his "first-class temperament and first-class intellect."

"Obama has in him—I think, despite his sometimes airy-fairy 'We are the people we have been waiting for' silly rhetoric—the potential to be a good, perhaps even great leader. He is, it seems clear enough, what the historical moment seems to be calling for," Buckley wrote.
Power User
Posts: 15533

« Reply #686 on: October 12, 2008, 10:11:50 AM »


Location: SCG HQ

Situation: Election drawing close, Obama still an enigma

Date: Sunday, 12 OCT 2008
SCG International is a non-partisan organization providing private intelligence, security and training services.
We seem on the verge of putting into the Oval Office a man who, less than a month before the election, remains an enigma.
Is he, despite having the most liberal voting record in the Senate, the moderate politician he presents himself as in the debates and on the stump? Or is he, if not a leftist radical himself, someone perfectly comfortable in the company of such?
If the latter, has he been not just misleading, but lying about his past? If so, what else has he been lying about, and what other lies might he tell us if elected?
We went through a presidency with many unsavory associations, and serial fabrications about them, in the 1990s. Do we want to repeat the experience?
Lessons Learned
In 1992, the Democrat's presidential nominee had a long history of questionable acquaintances, shady real estate deals, and multiple infidelities to both his wife and many of his political associates.
He also had a long-standing abusive relationship with the truth, which had earned him the sobriquet in Arkansas of "Slick Willy."
While not every charge flung at him was true, many were. He truly was the most corrupt president since Warren Harding (in fact, there are a number of other eerie similarities between the two presidents), and perhaps in U.S. history.
That came as no surprise to those who had observed him as attorney general and governor of Arkansas.
The Whitewater problems were no secret before the 1992 election, nor were his dalliances, except to most of the public. The local press in Arkansas was quite familiar with this history, but the national media refused to either investigate or report it, instead going so far as to famously whitewash his marital problems on 60 Minutes.
While many of Clinton's scandals were for things that occurred during his administration, his Arkansas record should have been adequate to keep him out of national office, had it been known.
By cocooning him from the voting public, the media managed to get him into the White House, only to have all the old scandals revealed, and new ones created, after he became president.
The tragic thing about the Clinton presidency is that it didn't have to happen, and we could have been spared all of the scandals, including Lewinsky, had there been proper coverage and investigation of him before the election.
In fact, the media could have even gotten a different Democrat president, had they simply aired Clinton's dirty laundry during the primaries. It was, after all, a Democrat year, particularly with Ross Perot in the mix to siphon off votes from George H.W. Bush.
But they fell in love with Bill Clinton and, as we all know, love is blind. The problem, of course, is that when the major media wear blinders, the rest of us don't get the view. That was particularly the case in 1992 when the web had just been invented and the only people using the Internet were nerds.
Well, now the media have found a new paramour with a checkered past, and they (with a few exceptions) are once again lovingly carrying (or at least attempting to carry) the non-blushing bride across the electoral threshold.
Just as few bothered to go to Little Rock in 1992, the media haven't been able to spare any reporters from their vital duties in checking library records in Wasilla, Alaska, to take a trip to Hyde Park to see just what this new candidate is and was about.
Fortunately, this time there are a few individuals who have been doing so, and unlike 1992, they have their own printing presses, in the form of blogs and web publications. What they've found is potentially disturbing, and certainly information that the voting public should have a right to know before it buys another pig in a poke.
There is a disturbing pattern to revelations of Senator Obama's unsavory associations. Whenever one is uncovered, it is minimized both by denying the depth of the relationship, and by denying that there is anything wrong with the associate and this campaign spin is unfailingly reported by the media.
Let's examine a few of them.
First there was Tony Rezko, a now-convicted felon (and under investigation at the time) who helped the Obamas purchase their home in Chicago on strangely favorable terms. When confronted about it, Senator Obama told us that it "wasn't the Tony Rezko I knew."

Next came Reverend Jeremiah Wright. Barack and Michelle Obama were members of his congregation for two decades, sat in the pews on Sunday, were married by him, had their children baptized by him, were spiritually advised by him. The title of Senator Obama's self-aggrandizing book was taken from one of his sermons. Yet they professed surprise when his repeated bigoted and anti-American ravings were aired last spring, and then said that this was normal for an African-American church. He asks us to believe that he was unaware of his long-time pastor's inflammatory rhetoric.

Now, with the left-wing social activist organization ACORN in the news because its Nevada office was raided in an investigation of voter fraud, Senator Obama, who has been a trainer and legal counsel for the organization, is denying his relationship with it. Of course, there are other reasons to not want to be associated with it, given it (and his) at least partial responsibility for the current financial crisis. But there's abundant evidence to the contrary.
Now that the McCain campaign is exposing his long-standing relationship with terrorist Bill Ayers, former Weatherman and domestic terrorist (not to mention his wife Bernardine Dohrn, a founder of that group), the Obama campaign responds by saying that the bombings were something that happened when he was eight years old.
As if that's a defense of a close association with someone who has never expressed regret for his actions, and who remains unrepentant and defiant about it. Then they deny the relationship, claiming that he was "just a guy in my neighborhood."
Well, with all of the Rezkos, Wrights, Ayers and Dohrns, it's starting to look like a pretty rough neighborhood. Perhaps he should consider moving.
Except the denials don't hold up.
Senator Obama has claimed that the fact that his initial campaign kickoff for a State Senate seat in 1996 was hosted at the home of Ayers and Dohrn was just a happenstance - that they had nothing to do with his career. But this week, that fact was exposed as a lie.
When people tried to investigate their relationship in the Chicago Annenberg Challenge, in which hundreds of millions was spent to radicalize schoolchildren while contributing nothing to their actual education, the University of Illinois attempted to prevent access to the relevant history.
At whose behest? If it was the Obama campaign behind the scenes, it wouldn't be inconsistent with their recent attempts to shut down free speech in Missouri.
The latest revelation is that Senator Obama was a member of the leftist "New Party," an offshoot of Democratic Socialists of America. If history is a guide, he'll deny it, despite the evidence (an unsuccessful attempt has been made to scrub all references to Obama from the website). Or else simply say "Hey, we could use a little socialism now, given the state of the economy."
Given this history, it is long past the time that Senator Obama should be given the benefit of the doubt.
At this point, the question should be: why should we believe anything that he or his campaign tells us?
Leave aside the ideological question of whether or not we want someone with such an apparent radical leftist history running the country. Is this kind of spin and prevarication that we want to deal with for the next four years?

Contact SCG at for more information.
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Posts: 2004

« Reply #687 on: October 13, 2008, 09:26:48 AM »

Commentary: McCain campaign following in Hillary's footsteps
Rollins: An internally divided campaign can't successfully confront opponent
John McCain is following Hillary Clinton in running a divided campaign, he says
Rollins says Obama is running a disciplined and focused campaign
Rollins: McCain needs to address the economic crisis, which scares Americans
Next Article in Politics »

By Ed Rollins
CNN Contributor
Editor's Note: Ed Rollins, who served as political director for President Reagan, is a Republican strategist who was national chairman of former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee's 2008 presidential campaign.

Ed Rollins says internal divisions are preventing McCain's campaign from getting out a clear message.

NEW YORK (CNN) -- A campaign at war with itself cannot fight its opponent effectively.

We have seen two major campaigns this year that could be described as internally divided -- Sen. Hillary Clinton's losing primary campaign and now Sen. John McCain's general election effort.

And while chaos and disarray reigned supreme in Sen. Barack Obama's opponents' campaigns, the steady, disciplined and strategically driven Obama campaign marches forward toward likely victory.

Clinton's campaign had several different groups setting and implementing strategy. They include the first campaign team led by pollster Mark Penn, her loyalists from the White House days led by eventual campaign manager Maggie Williams and campaign chairman Terry McAuliffe, and a rump group led by her husband. Prior to this year and his efforts on his wife's behalf, President Clinton was viewed as one of the best political strategists around.

All that brain power couldn't come together and agree on a consistent strategy to beat a young inexperienced outsider. There will be second guessing and finger pointing for years to come.

We now see something similar in the McCain campaign. There have been at least three major managerial changes or overthrows in the past 18 months.

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In Depth: Commentaries
The first was the Rick Davis/John Weaver battle. Weaver and Mike Murphy, one of the best media strategists in the business, were the key players in the 2000 McCain effort and Weaver was the political guru who guided McCain's efforts since then. Davis, with a major assist from Cindy McCain and his former lobbying partner, Charlie Black, ousted Weaver.

Davis and Black, who masterminded Bob Dole's unsuccessful 1996 campaign and Phil Gramm's aborted presidential effort before that, are super lobbyists, and they opened the doors to their K Street allies.

Davis was then replaced -- in reality if not in title -- by Steve Schmidt, part of Karl Rove's operation. Schmidt is a first-rate tactician but new to McCain's world, and he still shares power with Black and Davis. This campaign would have been a much different operation if Weaver and Murphy had been brought back; but that was never going to happen with Davis and Black.

In the end, it's not relevant who holds what title in the McCain operation, because it is not being run by campaign professionals, but by the Washington lobbying class.

And no one seems to be in charge, least of all the candidate. The end result is a campaign suffering from "schizophrenia."

John McCain is saying one thing on the stump, his running mate another. But the worst sin is that his advertising campaign is incoherent and putting out multiple and inconsistent messages.

What McCain and his campaign need to understand is that whatever happened in the past is no longer relevant. James Carville's famous slogan in Bill Clinton's 1992 victory over the first Bush: "It's the economy stupid!" can now be replaced with "You morons, what have you done with my money, my life and my kids' future?"

If John McCain wants anyone to pay attention to him in the last three weeks of this campaign, he must address those concerns.

Attacking Obama for his association with Bill Ayers -- the unrepentant Vietnam-era terrorist who should have been jailed four decades ago for bombing New York City Police Headquarters, the United States Capitol building, and the Pentagon -- is a legitimate tactic. So is asking questions regarding the influence of the Rev. Jeremiah Wright, Obama's controversial pastor.

The problem is that few voters care about what happened 40 years ago when in the last few weeks they have seen their savings and retirements and possibly their jobs and homes going up in flames. If you don't talk to voters about their concerns they will not spend one minute listening to you in the closing days of a campaign.

Government is not working. President Bush's leadership has failed the country and Congress has not done much better. How are you going to be better? That's the question voters want answered.

With one debate remaining and less than three weeks of campaigning left, John McCain's 10-year quest to be president is coming to a close and -- as of today -- a dreadful one.

All I can advise is "Engage us, John!" You are an honorable man who has dedicated your life to serving this country. Quit the name calling and make the last weeks about leadership and solutions.

Accept Obama's challenge issued last week: "The American people aren't looking for someone who can divide this country. They're looking for somebody who will lead this country."

Tell us how you will lead this country through the greatest crisis we have faced in modern times.

And Sen. McCain, remember your own words of last week about Obama: "He's a decent family man -- citizen -- that I just happen to have disagreements with on fundamental issues."

Tell us what those disagreements are. Then, at least voters can make their final choices on things that matter to them now.
Power User
Posts: 42483

« Reply #688 on: October 13, 2008, 07:21:40 PM »

I'm thinking today's move in the market should lessen the damage to McC.

Here's PD WSJ:

Like Nixon, Obama Won't Be Satisfied Unless He Wins Ugly
An Alaska Scandal That Wasn't
Just Pray the Election Doesn't Come Down to Ohio
Obama's Ghostwriter? (Quote of the Day)
Another Lehman Lesson


A PD item on Massachusetts politics should have made clear that no woman had been elected to its governorship or U.S. Senate seat. Lt. Gov. Jane Swift became Acting Governor in 2001 when Gov. Paul Cellucci resigned to become U.S. Ambassador to Canada. Sorry for the error.

-- The Mgmt.

If You Don't Have a Race Card, Invent One

Georgia Rep. John Lewis has decided that the McCain campaign is channeling Southern segregationist George Wallace. The civil rights icon issued a statement over the weekend saying, "What I am seeing reminds me too much of another destructive period in American history." He accused Team McCain of "hatred and division, and there is no need for this hostility in our political discourse."

New York Daily News columnist Errol Louis followed up by accusing the McCain campaign of using Willie Horton tactics, referring to a 1988 ad by an independent group supporting George H. W. Bush against Massachusetts Governor Michael Dukakis, involving rapist and murderer Willie Horton, who was released from prison on a furlough program supported by Mr. Dukakis. On one of his furloughs, Horton raped a woman in front of her husband. Even Mr. Louis acknowledges the incident was "fair game, to a point." But the use of Horton's image in a single commercial "became the worst kind of racial scare-mongering, a low point in modern politics," he says, before sliding into an unexplained parallel to the fact that "McCain has begun harping on Obama's tenuous connection to William Ayers, an ex-radical who served with Obama on the six-member board of a Chicago charity."

What is curious about these attacks is that there are almost no specific examples. Congressman Lewis cites no examples and Mr. Louis only refers to Mr. McCain's attacks on the Obama-Ayers connections without saying how they implicate racism. Mr. Ayers is white and investigations by both the New York Times and CNN have found that Mr. Obama appears to have obscured the extent of his relationship with the unrepentant Weather Underground bomber.

Last week, Mr. McCain responded to a woman at a rally who called Mr. Obama "an Arab" by saying she was wrong and that his opponent was a decent man whom he had disagreements with. To date, Mr. McCain has never used the Rev. Jeremiah Wright's 20-year association with Barack Obama against him -- a forbearance that was nonetheless rewarded with the kind of attacks that Rep. Lewis and Mr. Louis launched over the weekend. Just imagine the reaction from Obama supporters if Mr. McCain had even dipped his toe into the Rev. Wright controversy.

Claiming that race has been injected into a campaign when it clearly hasn't is cheap demagoguery and does nothing to improve race relations in this country.

-- John Fund

The Old-Boy Network Strikes Back

Gov. Sarah Palin has been asking reporters to actually read the Alaska state government report issued over the weekend that supposedly found she had abused her power in seeking the dismissal of Alaska State Trooper Mike Wooten. And indeed, the report is more favorable to Mrs. Palin than much of the reporting has suggested. Mrs. Palin and her husband Todd did likely push for Mr. Wooten to be fired. But Special Prosecutor Stephen Branchflower was originally asked to look into whether Mrs. Palin violated state laws by firing her Public Safety Commissioner Walt Monegan, who claimed that he was let go for refusing to oust Mr. Wooten. Mr. Branchflower determined that, in fact, the governor was within her rights to fire Mr. Monegan.

What's more, the recommendations Mr. Branchflower makes are largely favorable to Mrs. Palin. She had warned that Mr. Wooten, her ex-brother-in-law, was too unstable to be a police officer and had posed a threat the Palin family. Mr. Branchflower discounts the family's personal safety concerns, but recommends that the legislature create procedures so those who file complaints about police officers are informed about what steps are subsequently taken. Throughout the Wooten affair, the Palins had expressed frustration that no one could tell them what disciplinary action had been taken against Mr. Wooten (which likely led to the impression they were pressuring state officials). The report also notes that the original complaint filed against Mr. Wooten came from Chuck Heath, Mrs. Palin's father, who reported being concerned about an alleged threat by Mr. Wooten to kill him.

The report is a compilation of sordid details surrounding a messy episode in Alaska. Democrat Sen. Hollis French, who oversaw the special out-of-session legislative committee that ordered the investigation, insisted it be completed and released before Election Day. The report seems to rely on an assumption that Mrs. Palin wasn't really concerned about her personal safety, because she had reduced the size of her security detail -- never mind that she had campaigned partly on trimming back gubernatorial perks and pomp and had acted on those promises in other ways too. The report is available online ( It's hardly the smoking gun her opponents would like it to be.

-- Brendan Miniter

The War for Ohio

The seesaw court battle in Ohio over "Golden Week," a seven-day period earlier this month when state residents could register and immediately cast an absentee ballot, continues.

First, a federal judge slapped down Jennifer Brunner, Ohio's controversial Democratic Secretary of State, for failing to allow counties the information they need to verify the identity of hundreds of thousands of newly-registered voters signed up by outside groups such as the housing lobby ACORN. A lawsuit asking Ms. Brunner to follow the federal Help America Vote Act's provisions mandating that new registrations be matched with government databases to confirm their validity was brought by the Ohio Republican Party.

"Plaintiffs assert, and the court agrees, that it is hard to imagine a public interest more compelling than safeguarding the legitimacy of the election of the president of the United States," Federal District Judge George C. Smith, who was appointed to the bench by President Reagan, wrote in his ruling.

The Associated Press reports that Ms. Brunner claims HAVA "provides no requirements regarding what to do if a mismatch is discovered, and it is up to Ohio's counties to check the system for flagged registrations and investigate if warranted." But until the judge's order, Ohio's counties had not been allowed full access to the necessary records to do the job.

Ms. Brunner responded with an immediate appeal to the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals. Over the weekend, a divided three-judge panel vacated Judge Smith's order, siding with Secretary Brunner. Today, the full Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals is likely to take up the case and issue a final ruling.

Democrats, who had expressed keen interest in making the position of Secretary of State a non-partisan office when Republican Ken Blackwell held the post in 2004, have been largely silent on the issue since Ms. Brunner won election in 2006.

-- John Fund

Quote of the Day

"Prior to 1990, when Barack Obama contracted to write 'Dreams From My Father,' he had written very close to nothing. Then, five years later, this untested 33 year-old produced what Time Magazine has called -- with a straight face -- 'the best-written memoir ever produced by an American politician.' The public is asked to believe Obama wrote 'Dreams From My Father' on his own, almost as though he were some sort of literary idiot savant. I do not buy this canard for a minute, not at all. . . . [T]here are only two real possibilities: one is that Obama experienced a near miraculous turnaround in his literary abilities; the second is that he had major editorial help, up to and including a ghostwriter. The weight of the evidence overwhelming favors the latter conclusion and strongly suggests who that ghostwriter is" -- author Jack Cashill, writing at on why he suspects former Weather Underground fugitive William Ayers ghostwrote Mr. Obama's memoirs.

Have We Found the Real 'Weapons of Mass Financial Destruction'?

Barack Obama and Joe Biden and just about anybody else with a "D" stumps on "restoring America's standing in the world," while generously throwing around the damnation "unilateral" in relation to George W. Bush's administration.

Whatever the errors of the Bush team, this critique mangles the real issue -- which was never "unilateral vs. multilateral" (a distinction that resolves into meaninglessness when you really think about it) but "isolationist vs. engaged." President Bush engaged the U.S. in the world in extraordinarily controversial ways -- but we're certainly engaged. The message of the Iraq and Afghanistan interventions: The march toward a more interdependent globalized economic society will not be stopped by chaos arising from lagging regions and failing nations.

This weekend's coordinated actions by First World governments to repair the financial system may be even more significant. Message: We're doubling down on interdependence, not throwing up our hands and running away from globalization.

What's more, Mr. Bush and his fellow world leaders got some good news with the successful netting out of $400 billion in Lehman default insurance trades on Friday. These unregulated instruments (known as credit default swaps) raised fears of potential domino-like consequences because no regulatory overseer was in a position to know whether 350 banks and hedge funds had used them responsibly or recklessly committed one-way bets on Lehman's solvency. Well, it turns out big financial players aren't crazy. In a new market created outside the established regulatory apparatus, it appears they didn't take suicidal, "unregulated" risks after all.

Keep this in mind as the post-mortems of the global panic start to come in. More and more the relevant question will be why firms took exactly such unhedged risks in the market for housing-related financial instruments -- a market created by government, dominated by government, and subject to never-ending solicitude and subsidies from Congress and the White House regardless of political party.

-- Holman W. Jenkins Jr.

Power User
Posts: 2004

« Reply #689 on: October 14, 2008, 09:25:16 AM »

Not sure where to post this, but on this Subject and many others on this forum Islam in general has been badly maligned. 
Yes, we are are war.  And yes, there are some very bad Muslims as there are bad Christians, Jews, and Buddhists although
bad Muslims seem to rank near the top.  Yet, we seem to paint all Muslims as being bad; I don't think it's true.  I think we
need to stop being racists and simply be human and try a little tolerance and understanding.

updated 2 hours, 30 minutes ago

Commentary: So what if Obama were a Muslim or an Arab?
Campbell Brown says McCain right to set the record straight about Obama
We've all been too quick to accept that calling someone Muslim is a slur, she says
Brown asks why being an Arab-American should be a disqualifier for higher office
We need to distinguish between radical Muslims and the rest, she says
Next Article in Politics »

By Campbell Brown
Editor's note: Campbell Brown anchors CNN's "Campbell Brown: Election Center" at 8 p.m. ET Mondays through Fridays. She delivered this commentary during the "Cutting through the Bull" segment of Monday night's broadcast.

Campbell Brown says it's on the record that Sen. Barack Obama is a Christian, but why should that matter?

NEW YORK (CNN) -- You may find it hard to believe that this remains an issue in this campaign, but it does.

The candidates, both candidates, are still getting questions about Barack Obama's ethnicity and religion. If you are even semi-informed, then by now you already know that of course, Barack Obama is an American.

Of course, Barack Obama is a Christian. Yet just a few days ago, there was a woman at a rally for John McCain incorrectly calling Obama an Arab:

Woman at rally: I don't trust Obama. I have read about him and he's an Arab.

Sen. John McCain: No ma'am, no ma'am. He's a decent family man, citizen that I just happen to have disagreements with on fundamental issues. That's what this campaign is all about. He's not, thank you.

'No bias, no bull'

Get the latest on the presidential race on "Campbell Brown: Election Center."
8 ET Monday through Friday on CNN

see full schedule »

Now, I commend Sen. McCain for correcting that woman, for setting the record straight. But I do have one question -- so what if he was?

So what if Obama was Arab or Muslim? So what if John McCain was Arab or Muslim? Would it matter?

When did that become a disqualifier for higher office in our country? When did Arab and Muslim become dirty words? The equivalent of dishonorable or radical?

Whenever this gets raised, the implication is that there is something wrong with being an Arab-American or a Muslim. And the media is complicit here, too.  Watch Campbell's commentary »

We've all been too quick to accept the idea that calling someone Muslim is a slur.

Don't Miss
Brown: Race shouldn't dominate campaign
Brown: Sheriff's actions show desperation
In Depth: Commentaries
Campbell Brown: Election Center
I feel like I am stating the obvious here, but apparently it needs to be said: There is a difference between radical Muslims who support jihad against America and Muslims who want to practice their religion freely and have normal lives like anyone else. iReporter pleads with voters to 'stop the racism'

There are more than 1.2 million Arab-Americans and about 7 million Muslim-Americans, former Cabinet secretaries, members of Congress, successful business people, normal average Americans from all walks of life.

These are the people being maligned here, and we can only imagine how this conversation plays in the Muslim world. We can't tolerate this ignorance -- not in the media, not on the campaign trail.

Of course, he's not an Arab. Of course, he's not a Muslim. But honestly, it shouldn't matter.

Power User
Posts: 7833

« Reply #690 on: October 14, 2008, 10:14:01 AM »

The only outrage is from the RNC.   Silence from BO that has paid an organization to round up voters for Democrats.
You want to talk about "disenfranchised" voters.  What a joke. 

Vote drives defended, despite fake names
By Richard Danielson, Times Staff Writer
In print: Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Mickey Mouse tried to register to vote in Florida this summer, but Orange County elections officials rejected his application, which had an ACORN stamp on it. 
 Mickey Mouse tried to register to vote in Florida this summer.

Orange County elections officials rejected his application, which was stamped with the logo of the nonprofit group ACORN.

Tow truck driver Newton Bell did register to vote in Orange County this summer. In the hands of ACORN, his paperwork went through without a hitch.

Two cases, two outcomes, each with a connection to ACORN, the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now.

Nationwide, ACORN is a favorite GOP target for allegations of voter registration fraud this year.

That's not new. Similar complaints followed the 2004 elections. A criminal investigation in Florida found no evidence of fraud. ACORN even has a cameo role in the scandal over the 2006 firings of several U.S. attorneys by the Bush Justice Department.

Under attack again, ACORN leaders defend their work. Often, they say, things are as not simple as they're portrayed.

Take Mickey Mouse.

Yes, that's their logo. But they say their workers routinely scanned all suspicious applications.

"We don't think this card came through our system," said Brian Kettenring, ACORN's head organizer in Florida.

With more than 450,000 member families nationwide — 14,000 in Florida — ACORN is a grass roots advocacy group focused on health care, wages, affordable housing and foreclosure.

Bell, the truck driver, certainly, is more representative of ACORN's work in Florida than the cartoon mouse is.

This year, ACORN signed up 1.3-million voters nationwide and about 152,000 in Florida, mostly in Orange, Broward and Miami-Dade counties. ACORN estimates it flagged 2 percent of its Florida registrations as problematic because they were incomplete, duplicates or just plain bogus.

That's enough to give headaches to election officials and to provide ammunition to Republican activists.

Brevard County elections officials have turned over 23 suspect registrations from ACORN to prosecutors. The state Division of Elections has received two ACORN-related complaints, in Orange and Broward counties.

ACORN wasn't active in the Tampa Bay area. Last week, however, Pinellas County elections officials gave local prosecutors 35 questionable registrations from another group, Work for Progress.

The GOP accuses ACORN of registration fraud all over the country. In Las Vegas, authorities said the group's petitions included the names of the starting lineup of the Dallas Cowboys.

"This is part of a widespread and systemic effort … to undermine the election process," says Republican National Committee chief counsel Sean Cairncross, who describes ACORN as a "quasicriminal organization."

No, Kettenring said, it's more like Wal-Mart.

"Some percentage of Wal-Mart workers try to get paid without doing their work or steal from their employer," he said.

Some ACORN workers, he said, have simply made up names.

Maybe, elections officials say, but it's still annoying.

"We did experience a significant amount of problems, enough that we did contact the group to express some of our frustration with their work," said Linda Tanko, Orange County's senior deputy supervisor for voter services.

ACORN's problems included applications with unreadable handwriting, missing information, signatures that didn't match those on file, altered dates of birth or Social Security numbers, applications for people already registered to vote and names that appeared repeatedly, often with different addresses.

ACORN said it terminates canvassers who forge applications. In Broward County, it fired one worker after he turned in applications with similar handwriting and brought the matter to the attention of the Supervisor of Elections Office.

Pay to gather registrations started at $8 an hour, and the goal was 20 signups per day. The organization did not pay by the signature or pay bonuses for volume. The organization also tried to follow up on each registration, calling the person listed to confirm that the form is accurate.

In most states, ACORN must turn in every form that is filled out. "We must turn in every voter registration card by Florida law, even Mickey Mouse," Kettenring said.

Well, not yet, said Jennifer Krell Davis, spokeswoman for the Florida Department of State.

Florida does have a law saying third-party voter registration groups must turn in every form without regard to things like party affiliation, race, ethnicity or gender. So far, however, the state has not written the rules to implement it.

In Florida, ACORN is best known for its 2004 effort to lead a petition drive to raise the minimum wage. The FDLE looked into voter fraud allegations then and found no laws were broken.

ACORN also played a role in the firing of one of nine U.S. attorneys dismissed in 2006.

In New Mexico, U.S. Attorney David Iglesias was fired "because of complaints by elected officials who had a political interest in the outcome" of, among other things, a Republican voter fraud complaint against ACORN, according to an internal Justice Department report last month.

This year, 39 members of the House of Representatives have asked Attorney General Michael Mukasey to investigate ACORN.

One of those, Rep. Tom Feeney, R-Oviedo, also has written to supervisor of elections offices in Central Florida seeking "all ACORN-related registration of voters within the last two years."

Republicans also accuse Sen. Barack Obama of trying to distance himself from ACORN, which he represented in a federal lawsuit in 1995.

ACORN's political action committee has endorsed Obama, but the group says its voter registration efforts are nonpartisan.

And the McCain campaign's complaints now are puzzling, ACORN says, because two years ago McCain was the keynote speaker at an immigration reform rally ACORN co-sponsored in Miami. "In 2006," Kettenring said, "we were working together."

Richard Danielson can be reached at or (813)269-5311.

Power User
Posts: 42483

« Reply #691 on: October 14, 2008, 10:33:57 AM »

JDN wrote:

"Not sure where to post this, but on this Subject and many others on this forum Islam in general has been badly maligned. 
Yes, we are are war.  And yes, there are some very bad Muslims as there are bad Christians, Jews, and Buddhists although
bad Muslims seem to rank near the top.  Yet, we seem to paint all Muslims as being bad; I don't think it's true.  I think we
need to stop being racists and simply be human and try a little tolerance and understanding."

Ummm , , , I invite you to name us some "bad Buddhists".  Any terrorist bombings?  Any fatwas?  Any beheadings? Any beatings of women by purity police?  Any destruction of the symbols of other religions?  Any thing at all?  rolleyes

I challenge you to show where this forum is about maligning Muslims and Islam.  This forum is about TRUTH.  To speak the Truth is not to malign- and to conflate the two is , , , a malignment of its own.

Where do we "paint all Muslims as being bad"? 

For example, I have repeatedly made the point here that we need to define this war with Islamic Fascism as being between Civilization and Barbarism, not against Islam when Islam respects "Pursuit of Happiness enabled by Freedom of Choice, informed by Freedom of Speech, and guaranteed by Separation of Church and State".    The very purpose of this formulation is to leave it up to Muslims to decide what their religion is to be!

There was a time (one thousand years ago) when Islam led the world in science and shone in many ways.  Then it decided to freeze itself in its understandings (I forget the name for this decision) and with this decision, things began to go downhill and now we have a situatiaon where intellectually brave and honest people are left to fairly wonder if they can respect "Pursuit of Happiness enabled by Freedom of Choice, informed by Freedom of Speech, and guaranteed by Separation of Church and State". 

If they cannot, then there is a fundamental problem unique to Islam and Islam is fundamentally seditious to the American creed in a way that has nothing to do with freedom of religion and everything to do with self-defense.   If they DO respect and support "Pursuit of Happiness enabled by Freedom of Choice, informed by Freedom of Speech, and guaranteed by Separation of Church and State", then we will see it in support from American Muslims (e.g. with language skills, as well as politically) for efforts to deal with Islamic Fascism. 

As for Muslims outside of America, for them too it is for them to decide what their religion is to be.  If the relgion is about fatwas for books and cartoons, then there is a fundamental problem.  If the religion is about death to apostates (see e.g. yesterday's post about Iran in Islam in Islamic Countries) then it is silliness incarnate to blather about racism.  (Indeed, in that Islam is not a race, it IS silliness, but that is a separate point.)

In this forum we are ALL about understanding-- WE SEEK TO UNDERSTAND WHAT IS TRUE, not to find ways to believe that avoid the search for Truth.    As for "tolerance", tolerance begets tolerance.  OTOH tolerance of that which seeks to destroy one's tolerance is simply , , , the path of those who fear to speak truth to religious fascism.

"Tere are more than 1.2 million Arab-Americans and about 7 million Muslim-Americans, former Cabinet secretaries, members of Congress, successful business people, normal average Americans from all walks of life."

I have seen articles suggesting that these numbers have been puffed up, but putting that point aside I will agree.  There ARE many American Muslims who are fine people and good Americans. (I'm not wild about that Muslim congressman from MI though).  Indeed we do not see here in America analogs of the Paristinian Revolt that we see in Paris and elsewhere in France.  America has been good to them, and many of them seek to be good to America.  There are some (far too few in my opinion) who help OUR country with their language skills.  There are some (far too few in my opinion) who sign up to serve our Armed Forces.  I have a doctor who is a Muslim.

JDN, I have complete confidence that you are a good person of a good heart and I am sorry that I feel the need for such vigorous words in this post-- but I utterly reject your charge that this forum is about racism and intolerance.

« Reply #692 on: October 14, 2008, 11:06:10 AM »

Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE). Often shortened to "Tamil Tigers" of "Tamil Eelam."

Tamil refers to the predominant ethnic group of northeastern Sri Lanka (other substantial Tamil communities live in India, Malaysia and Singapore.) Eelam means homeland in the Tamil language.

Tamil Eelam is the name that the LTTE gives to the northern and eastern part of Sri Lanka that they would like to claim as independent.

Founded In:

The group began armed actions against the Sri Lankan government in 1983.

Home Base:
Sri Lanka
Backing & Affiliations :
The group finances itself and arms purchases in Europe, through a variety of illegal and legal means.
According to homeland security and counterterrorism expert Frank Cilluffo in House testimony in 2000, the Tamil Tigers used funding methods that included soliciting funds from expatriates in the West on false humanitarian grounds; narcotics trafficking and dealmaking with Indian organized crime:

"Indian traffickers supply drugs and weapons to the LTTE, who in turn sell the drugs. The profit garnered from the drugs are then used to repay the Indians for the weapons."

The establishment of an autonomous Tamil entity in Sri Lanka.
The Tamil Tigers are best known for their suicide bombings, which are carried out by elite squads called Black Tigers. They have committed about 200 attacks so far. Tamil members wear a "vest" filled with explosives to attack, a tactic that has been adopted by Hezbolla and Hamas, among other groups.
Fighters wear cyanide pills around their necks and are trained to take them if they are captured.

In addition to suicide attacks, the LTTE make use of surface-to-air missiles and rocket propelled grenades.

Their targets include military and political figures, civilians, and competing militant Tamil groups.

Notable Attacks:
The assassination of Indian Prime Minister Sri Rajiv Gandhi in 1991;
The assassination of Sri Lankan president Premadasa in 1993
Prospects for Peace:
In 1985, the LTTE and the Sri Lankan government began peace talks, but no headway was made until 2002, when they negotiated a ceasefire. The ceasefire was meant to last four years, and was reaffirmed by both sides in February 2006. Nevertheless, the LTTE resumed attacks in the spring of 2006. The situation rapidly deteriorated, and although neither side called off the truce, there was consisted fighting between the Sri Lankan military and the Tamil Tigers in the fall of 2006.

Most observers of the situation are pessimistic about the prospects for a peaceful settlement in the near future, in a government dominated after 2005 elections by hard line Sinhalese nationalists. Jihan Perera, an Sri Lanka based analyst, said that "There is a question mark about the government's willingness to put forward a realistic proposal that would at least go halfway to meeting the Tamil people's aspirations, let alone LTTE aspirations" (in "Resumption of Sri Lanka War Tests Civilians' Endurance," by Somini Sengupta, New York Times,September 18, 2006).

Historical Context:
Sri Lanka, an island in the Indian Ocean off the southeast coast of India, gained its independence in 1948. Ethnic Sinhalese Buddhists make up about three-quarters of the island's population; Tamils, both Indian and Sri Lankan, are the next largest ethnic group. Most are Hindu. Tamil terrorism is rooted in conflict between the Tamils and the Sinhalese, who predominate in government.

The Tamil population began to agitate for secession in the early 1970s, following Sinhalese measures to establish their cultural and political dominance. For example, Sinhalese was made the only official language and Buddhism was decreed the official religion. In the 1970s, student groups and others turned to armed protest to press their case with the government.

The conflict escalated in 1983, when anti-Tamil riots in the capital, Colomo, killed thousands and displaced almost 100,000 residents. The moment was decisive for many Tamils, who lent large scale support to independence movements.

According to some estimates, about 65,000 people died in the conflict between 1983 and 2002.

Role of the Tsunami
There were hopes following the devastating tsunami of December 26, 2004 that the humanitarian tragedy might help reduce the friction between the government and the Tamils. The northwestern Tamil areas of the island were among the hardest hit.

Instead, disputes between the government and the Tigers over the distribution of international aid soon arose, as did accusations from UNICEF and elsewhere that the group was recruiting child soldiers from among those orphaned by the tsunami

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Posts: 15533

« Reply #693 on: October 14, 2008, 11:49:29 AM »

What's the body count of the Tamil Tigers vs. the global jihad ?

Name for me the school of islamic theology that rejects violent jihad and islamic supremacism.

Why is it that JDN can't deal with reality and can only parrot politically correct talking points?

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Posts: 42483

« Reply #694 on: October 14, 2008, 12:00:37 PM »

Actually GM that is Rachel taking me to task for my comments on Buddhism.  cheesy

Very good Rachel!  cheesy

But let us be clear, If I read correctly the terrorist Tamils are not the Buddhists here:

"Ethnic Sinhalese Buddhists make up about three-quarters of the island's population; Tamils, both Indian and Sri Lankan, are the next largest ethnic group. Most are Hindu. Tamil terrorism is rooted in conflict between the Tamils and the Sinhalese, who predominate in government."

i.e.the Buddhists are the government/majority population, NOT the terrorist Tamils.

"The Tamil population began to agitate for secession in the early 1970s, following Sinhalese measures to establish their cultural and political dominance. For example, Sinhalese was made the only official language and Buddhism was decreed the official religion. In the 1970s, student groups and others turned to armed protest to press their case with the government."

Armed resistance to English being the official language of the US would certainly tick me off more than a little.  As for ANY religion being an official religion, that strikes me as a really bad idea-- which is a fundamental problem I have with Sharia by the way.  That said, from this article we do not know what practical consequences resulted from this declaration.

"The conflict escalated in 1983, when anti-Tamil riots in the capital, Colomo, killed thousands and displaced almost 100,000 residents. The moment was decisive for many Tamils, who lent large scale support to independence movements." 

Coincidentally enough the DBMA Ass'n has a representative in Sri Lanka named Prasad and I will ask him about this.  He is Christian, which may put him in a good position to comment from a relatively impartial point of view.

That said, I think my larger point remains valid and essentially uncontested by this piece.  So far it appears that we have an ethnic conflict.  There's nothing here about Buddha saying that the Sinhalese must submit cut off the heads of the Tamils if they do not submit to Buddha.

I look forward to Prasad's input.

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Posts: 15533

« Reply #695 on: October 14, 2008, 12:28:27 PM »

The majority of arabs in the US aren't muslim. Many had to flee here because of muslims. The majority of muslims in the world aren't arab. Islam is a religion/political movement. It isn't a race or ethnicity.
Black Grass
Posts: 18

« Reply #696 on: October 15, 2008, 07:17:29 AM »

Is there any examples of International terrorism that was not done in the name of Islam ? I can only think of one Air India 1985, and even that you can conceivable argue was an internal affair Indian Sihk v. Indian Hindu).

anyways back to to election

Power User
Posts: 7833

« Reply #697 on: October 15, 2008, 10:31:36 AM »

I have met Egyptian and Lebanese Christian Arabs who agree with what you say.  They tell me the Muslim Arabs are not tolerant of them.
Many hate the Hamas Hezballah and the Palastinians who are intent on making trouble for everyone.  They dislike the Arab Muslims in their own countries who are intolerant and control the Christian minority.

Power User
Posts: 42483

« Reply #698 on: October 15, 2008, 12:46:05 PM »

See my entry today in the Iraq thread-- it mentions that recent attacks on Christians may have been the work of AQ.
Power User
Posts: 2004

« Reply #699 on: October 15, 2008, 01:52:49 PM »

Is there any examples of International terrorism that was not done in the name of Islam ? I can only think of one Air India 1985, and even that you can conceivable argue was an internal affair Indian Sihk v. Indian Hindu).

anyways back to to election


Could you define "International Terrorism" please.
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