Friday, October 31, 2008

Democrats Behaving Badly

Very badly indeed:

Congressman Alcee Hastings (D-FL), a formal federal judge until his impeachment a decade ago, allegedly threatens the life of his opponent.

The wife of trial attorney and Democrat Bob Belovich, who is running for Congress against incumbent Republican Josh Mandel in Ohio, says that Mandel abandoned his constituency when, as a Marine requested to return to Iraq for a second tour, he willingly agreed to go. "Certainly he wasn't serving our needs," Mrs. Belovich complains of his second tour. Um, ma'am: in fact, he was. In the most meaningful and profound way possible. If you don't get that, you don't deserve to be an American -- let alone the wife of a Congressman.

UPDATE: And here's one from the Top Dog himself! Team Obama dismisses three reporters from O-Force-One. All three represent newspapers who ...(come on, take a guess)....

ENDORSED HIS OPPONENT!!!

You will submit to the Wonderful Awesomeness of The One!

Benedick Adds: I don't see what you're so excited about, Puck. So what if Obama is going to reward the fawning media and punish any media that express criticism of him or support for his opponents. What possible harm could come from an Executive Branch that simply refused to answer questions it didn't feed to the media lapdogs? Revoke White House Press Corps passes from anyone who dares challenge His Holiness, and all will peaceful and just.

Friday Morning Links

Good morning! Yours truly is still recovering from the shock of the Philadelphia Phillies winning the World Series (read: I haven't stopped grinning), and I hope to say something about that shortly. But until then, have a few links on me:

Conservatives for Obama: Those of us who spend way too much time on the Internet have noted that not a few self-styled conservatives have announced that their vote belongs to Obama -- not because he's so great, but because that Sarah Palin woman is just so gauche. Iowahawk explains the phenomenon.

More Shenanigans In Ohio: After some silly Democrat and Obama supporter unlawfully delved into Joe the Plumber's records (and, oops, unlawfully delved into them a little more than she first admitted), we learn that OH Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner -- the one who went to the Supreme Court to ask them to shield her from figuring out which of the 200,000 suspicious-looking voter registration forms are actually bogus before Tuesday's presidential election -- includes among her consultants one Karyn Gillette -- an Obama campaign gal and ACORN/Project Vote top gun.

Chill Wind: The New York Times can publish all manner of classified information about anti-terrorist activities in the name of the public's right to know, and Democrats cheer: anything to tarnish the Bush administration (and if a few thousand citizens get blown to bits as a result, then hey: it takes a few eggs to make an omelette). But, military folks (who, by the way, tend to vote Republican, but I'm sure that's not at all the issue) who went on the air to explain, in non-classified terms, what the Bush administration has done to protect you and me from getting blown to bits by the bad guys, are now under investigation - thanks to a pair of House Democrats.

American Jews, Are You Listening? American citizens living in Israel, and members of our military, who see our enemy up close and personal are voting overwhelmingly for McCain and against Obama.

Sarah Palin Is No Dummy: Take it from a Democrat.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Et Tu, Australia?

Another brick in the wall.

"Australia to implement mandatory internet censorship"

AUSTRALIA will join China in implementing mandatory censoring of the internet under plans put forward by the Federal Government.

The revelations emerge as US tech giants Google, Microsoft and Yahoo, and a coalition of human rights and other groups unveiled a code of conduct aimed at safeguarding online freedom of speech and privacy.

The government has declared it will not let internet users opt out of the proposed national internet filter. The plan was first created as a way to combat child pronography [sic] and adult content, but could be extended to include controversial websites on euthanasia or anorexia.
Or, say, any "controversial" policy positions that happen to offend the gentle sensibilities of the Progressive Overlords.

Another frontier tamed. For its own good.

By the way, the plan was created to "combat," among other things, " pronography [sic] and adult content"? Australia is banning "pronography"? And if they're banning both "Pronography" and "adult content," then I wonder what constitutes "adult content" that is separate from "pronogrpahy," and why must Australians be prohibited from viewing it?

Slippery, the slope is.

Congrats, Puck!

PHILLIES WIN. I have no love for the Phillies, but since I didn't have a dog in this fight, if it makes Puck happy, then I'm down with it.

Of course, I can't help but point out that in the City of Brotherly Love, victory equals rioting.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Burnout

I remember about three days before the bar exam, after having studied eight hours a day for over two months, I hit complete saturation. I couldn't look at the same rules and multi-prong tests one more time. Couldn't bear it.

That's where I am now on this election. I can't listen to another talking head. I can't turn on a cable news channel -- not even Fox. I'm done. Out. Maybe I'll blog about other things between now and next week. Maybe it'll pass. Maybe not. I hope to be reinvigorated once the votes have been cast and tallied, regardless of who wins.

I harbor every reasonable suspicion that Obama is the most left-wing candidate we've ever had. The evidence is overwhelming. I harbor every reasonable expectation that he will win. The evidence is plentiful. I harbor every reasonable fear that, increasingly, our rights and our property will be taken from us in the name of "progress" and "social justice." And it makes me sad. We are the last true Liberal Republic on the planet, and we -- most of us unwittingly -- are poised to throw it all away.

For good. Once a society accedes to government the power to administer the lives and property of its citizens, it is historically difficult to regain that power, absent a revolution.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Another Terrorist Sympathizer In Obama's Midst

This one is Rashid Kalidi, former mouthpiece for Yassir Arafat, currently the head of Middle Eastern Studies at Columbia University. Among other things, he thinks Palestinian violence against Israel is righteous and has lead to "political enlightenment."

And when he left Chicago to take up Professor Said's post at Columbia, Barack Obama sang his praises.

There is video. The MSM has it. The MSM will not release it.

What in the hell has happened to this country?

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Obama on the Constitution

In a nutshell: "Too bad the Warren Court felt constrained by what the Founding Fathers actually wanted for this country."

If you look at the victories and failures of the civil rights movement and its litigation strategy in the court, I think where it succeeded was to invest formal rights in previously dispossessed people, so that now I would have the right to vote. I would now be able to sit at the lunch counter and order as long as I could pay for it I’d be o.k. But, the Supreme Court never ventured into the issues of redistribution of wealth, and of more basic issues such as political and economic justice in society. To that extent, as radical as I think people try to characterize the Warren Court, it wasn’t that radical. It didn’t break free from the essential constraints that were placed by the founding fathers in the Constitution, at least as its been interpreted and Warren Court interpreted in the same way, that generally the Constitution is a charter of negative liberties. Says what the states can’t do to you. Says what the Federal government can’t do to you, but doesn’t say what the Federal government or State government must do on your behalf, and that hasn’t shifted and one of the, I think, tragedies of the civil rights movement was, um, because the civil rights movement became so court focused I think there was a tendancy to lose track of the political and community organizing and activities on the ground that are able to put together the actual coalition of powers through which you bring about redistributive change. In some ways we still suffer from that.


Emphases mine. And yes, these are actual quotes by an actual man who is actually on course to be the next president of our republic. Senator Obama thinks we suffer because the Warren Court wasn't radical enough to junk the Constitution entirely.

America, you have been warned.

Via Protein Wisdom.

Weekend Update

I'm Robin Goodfellow, and you're not. Which means, unlike me, you have not driven 850 miles in 36 hours, with a 2-year old, in your third trimester of pregnancy, to attend a World Series game that started an hour and a half late after a long rain delay, during which you (and your family) got so drenched that you left before a single pitch was thrown. And, unlike me, you did not hear, as you were steps away from your car, the sound of the crowd cheering as Jamie Moyer took the field. And finally, unlike me, you did not miss an exciting game filled with back-to-back homeruns and a bottom-of-the-ninth game-winning RBI at 2 in the morning.

In a word: FAIL.

But, the Phils won. So the weekend wasn't a total loss.

In other news for the common man: Question our socialist overlords in waiting, and you too can be the subject of an unlawful government investigation.

And to the media: Question our socialist overlords in waiting, and you lose the opportunity to ask them any questions, ever again.

Sleep well.

Friday, October 24, 2008

I Can Blog From My Phone

Vegas update: I'm losing. But not by nearly as much as I was last night when I decided to test the limits of my line of credit. Indeed, my daylight-hours recovery has been fairly stunning.

Meanwhile, when I turned on the tv after my afternoon nap, I learned a very important lesson, courtesy of Walker Texas Ranger ... Even a lawman with a heart of gold and a steely temper occasionally must roundhouse kick a sombitch upside the head.

Steak time.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

A Bit Of Good news

A former ACORN worker has been arrested and charged with theft by deception, forgery, and unsworn falsification to authorities after submitting 18 falsified voter registration forms.

The first of many, I hope.

'Ere I Depart

Power Line exposes how Obama's campaign website is set up to accept fraudulent credit card donations. (McCain's isn't.)

Discuss.

What Happens In Vegas . . .

. . . is likely to be relatively tame. I'm off this afternoon for three days of sun, blackjack, steak, booze, and catching up with old friends. Strange that I look forward to Vegas more for relaxation than for excitement these days.

I'm getting old.

And I won't be anywhere near a computer until Sunday night, if all goes well. So try and muddle through without me.

Meantime, why not check out my favorite internet timewaster game?

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Straight Talk

Orson Scott Card is one of my favorite sci fi novelists. He's also mad as hell, apparently, about the state of American journalism. A snippet:
If you had any principles, then surely right now, when the American people are set to blame President Bush and John McCain for a crisis they tried to prevent, and are actually shifting to approve of Barack Obama because of a crisis he helped cause, you would be laboring at least as hard to correct that false impression.

Your job, as journalists, is to tell the truth. That's what you claim you do, when you accept people's money to buy or subscribe to your paper.

But right now, you are consenting to or actively promoting a big fat lie — that the housing crisis should somehow be blamed on Bush, McCain, and the Republicans. You have trained the American people to blame everything bad — even bad weather — on Bush, and they are responding as you have taught them to.

If you had any personal honor, each reporter and editor would be insisting on telling the truth — even if it hurts the election chances of your favorite candidate.

Because that's what honorable people do. Honest people tell the truth even when they don't like the probable consequences. That's what honesty means . That's how trust is earned.

Barack Obama is just another politician, and not a very wise one. He has revealed his ignorance and naivete time after time — and you have swept it under the rug, treated it as nothing.

Meanwhile, you have participated in the borking of Sarah Palin, reporting savage attacks on her for the pregnancy of her unmarried daughter — while you ignored the story of John Edwards's own adultery for many months.

So I ask you now: Do you have any standards at all? Do you even know what honesty means? Is getting people to vote for Barack Obama so important that you will throw away everything that journalism is supposed to stand for?

Sadly, we know the answers to those questions are No, No, and Yes. Read the whole thing.

Code Words

A favorite mode of argument on the Left is the demonization of opponents rather than the refutation of ideas. I saw this first-hand on a daily basis as a student on a typical, P.C. college campus. Examples: An opponent of affirmative action doesn't truly believe the law should apply equally to all citizens regardless of race; rather, he is a racist. An opponent of Title IX-mandated limitations on sports programs for males doesn't truly believe a university should sponsor whatever athletic programs are popular among students; rather, he is sexist. An opponent of punitively progressive income taxation doesn't really think they are unfair and economically counterproductive; rather, he hates the poor. And so on.

This tactic has manifested itself in the national discourse about the presidential election. Ergo: Supporters of John McCain do not favor strong national defense, victory in Iraq, lower taxes, restrained courts, and fiscal responsibility. Rather, they are racists. Barack Obama is black. If you don't support him, you are a racist.

It's a form of bullying. Nobody wants to be called a racist.

Obama's supporters have refined the tactic. In addition to simply calling out McCain supporters as racists, they have taken to arguing that the use of certain so-called "Code Words" by the McCain campaign are, themselves, overt manifestations of racism.

The latest such "Code Word"? Socialist. Calling Obama a socialist for, you know, pledging to "spread the wealth around" by taking it away from you and redistributing it to others, makes you a racist.

We're all racists, now, I'm afraid.

Not for nothing, the destruction of one's opponents as a political strategy is Saul Alinsky 101. Demonize them. Make their lives miserable. Eventually they'll shut up and stop trying to oppose you. Then you can keep the power. Forget what they're doing to Sarah Palin. Look at what they're doing to Joe the Plumber, simply because he asked a question and got a (rare) honest answer from Obama. Look at what they're doing to private citizens who had the audacity to contribute to Republican candidates. Look at what they do to college professors who dare hold nonconforming opinions. Look at what they do to ordinary blue-collar workers who resist the will of labor unions. Look at what they do to school children who refuse to worship the progressive messiah.

For eight years I have listened to liberals whine that George W. Bush was taking away our rights and creating a fascist dictatorship. Have Republicans shaken down school kids for wearing anti-Bush t-shirts? Have Republicans filed criminal charges against people who air anti-Bush advertisements and entertainment? Have Republicans physically assaulted co-workers who hold different political views? No. This "end of civil liberties" meme was a fantasy during the Bush presidency.

The reality is coming.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Biden Gaffes; Palin Pounces

In case you missed it, Joe Biden announced yesterday that if Obama is elected president, our country is sure to face an immediate foreign policy crisis (is he accepting under-the-table money from the McCain campaign? Geez!).

Today, in her stump speech, Sarah Palin had some fun with it:

Did you hear what Senator Biden said at a fundraiser on Sunday? He guaranteed that if Barack Obama is elected, we’ll face an international crisis within the first six months of their administration. He told Democrat donors to mark his words – that there were “at least four or five scenarios” that would place our country at risk in an Obama administration. Thanks for the warning, Joe!

He didn’t specify what all those four or five scenarios will be, but for clues, let’s review the Obama foreign policy agenda.

Our opponent wants to sit down with the world’s worst dictators. With no preconditions, he proposes to meet with a regime in Teheran that vows to “wipe
Israel off the map.” Let’s call that crisis scenario number one.

Senator Obama has also advocated sending our U.S. military into Pakistan without the approval of the Pakistani government. Invading the sovereign territory of a troubled partner in the war against terrorism. We’ll call that scenario number two.

He opposed the surge strategy that has finally brought victory in Iraq within sight. He’s voted to cut off funding for our troops, leaving our young men and women at grave risk. He wants to pull out, leaving some 25 million Iraqis at the mercy of Iranian-supported Shiite extremists and al Qaeda in Iraq. By his own admission, this could mean our troops would have to go back to Iraq. Crisis scenario number three.

After the Russian army invaded the nation of Georgia, Senator Obama’s reaction was one of indecision and moral equivalence – the kind of response that would only encourage Vladimir Putin to invade Ukraine next. That would be crisis scenario number four.

But I guess the looming crisis that most worries the Obama campaign right now is Joe Biden’s next speaking engagement. Let’s call that crisis scenario number five.

The real problem is that these warnings from Joe Biden are similar to his earlier
assessment of Barack Obama. It wasn’t so long ago that he said Barack Obama wasn’t up to the job, and that, quote, “the presidency is not something that lends itself to on-the-job training.”

The same Joe Biden said he would be honored to run on the ticket with John McCain because, quote, “the country would be better off.” And here we have some common ground. I want a president who spent 22 years in uniform defending our country. I
want a president who isn’t afraid to use the word “victory” when he talks about the wars we are fighting. I want a president who’s ready on Day One. I want a president with the experience and the judgment and the wisdom to meet the next international crisis – or better yet to avoid it. I want John McCain as our commander-in-chief.


Joe Biden will be spending the last two weeks of the campaign in an undisclosed, secret underground bunker.

You Stay Classy, John Kerry.

Jerk.

Monday, October 20, 2008

A Post Listing A Bunch Of White Men Who Have (Or Had) Soul, In No Particular Order

Eric Clapton

Darryl Hall

Jason Mraz

Van Morrison

Elton John

Neil Young

Leonard Nimoy

Barack Obama = Lame.

He was for the Phillies before he was for the Rays.

"Unity candidate," my ass. Try opportunistic fraud. Listen, buddy, you can threaten to take my paycheck and give it to a smelly homeless dude because it somehow isn't "fair" for me to keep what I worked for. You can claim with a straight face to be able to heal the sick and stop the seas from rising. You can even call me a racist for having the audacity to disagree with your ham-fisted policies.

But do not -- DO NOT -- f*ck around with my Philadelphia Phillies. Don't feign interest in a team whose eight regulars you couldn't name even if Ryan Howard threatened to rip one of your arms off and smack you senseless with it.

In short, to borrow the immortal utterance of every Philadelphia fan:

BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO.

Vindication for Mothers...

...who are too busy to employ "re-usable" diapers (or are just plain grossed out by the thought of it)!

A study shows that the "carbon footprint" left by disposable diapers is smaller than that of washable, cloth diapers -- unless you hang the latter out to dry in the sun (bad luck if your child soils his drawers between October and April), use them for years on several different children, and wash them in water that's not really hot enough to kill germs. And for those of you who've never changed a dirty diaper: allow me to assure you that they contain plenty of germs what need killing.

Of course, the study is being hushed up by the British government -- because looking environmentally-friendly is more important than actually "saving the planet."

I've said it before, and I'll say it again: until those people who claim to want to "save the planet" start acting like there's an honest-to-God environmental crisis, I reserve the right to call them a pack of hypocritical scaremongers.

RELATED: "Thirty Years of Warmer Temperatures Go Poof!"

ALSO RELATED: The above evidence that global warming is a hoax notwithstanding, President Barack Obama would bully Congress into making carbon dioxide (that stuff you exhale) a regulated "dangerous pollutant," the result of which would be regulations out the wazoo, an almost certain economic depression, and more proof (as if proof were needed) that this is a man who has no problem -- indeed, seems rather comfortable -- with the notion of a centralized American economy, with his messianic self at the helm. (Via Protein Wisdom)

God help us.

Some Monday Morning Links

Bill Ayers: Just a guy in Obama's neighborho--er, make that office. (Via Powerline.)

Joe the Plumber: Guy asks a perfectly valid question, Obama (for once) gives a perfectly honest response ("I just want to spread the wealth around"), and the MSM goes after Joe as if he himself were running for office. Not so fast, says Iowahawk. We are all Joe.

Media Bias: The NY Times does another hitpiece on Cindy McCain (no new information, unless you count the stuff about the miscarriages, which I'll admit is of critical importance to this nation), for which the author went trolling through Facebook pages of daughter Bridget McCain's classmates. She got nothing. McCain's lawyers fire back. Good stuff, via Protein Wisdom.

An Obama Cabinet: As the self-described president who would bring change to Washington, Barack Obama would tap such Washington outsiders as John Kerry (Secretary of State), Chuck Hagel (Secretary of Defense), and Bill Clinton's former Treasury Secretary, Larry Summers. Now that's change you can believe in! (Via Powerline, again.)

Friday, October 17, 2008

True or False?

Death threats made against Barack Obama at McCain rallies.
- False, says the investigating FBI team.

Male Obama supporter in NYC steals McCain sign carried by middle-aged, glasses-wearing woman and beats her on the face with it.
- True, say police.

Extra Credit: Which of the above stories did you read in, or hear about from, the mainstream media?

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Hallelujah. FBI Investigating ACORN Nationwide

From Breitbart:
WASHINGTON (AP) - The FBI is investigating whether the community activist group ACORN helped foster voter registration fraud around the nation before the presidential election.

A senior law enforcement official confirmed the investigation to The Associated Press on Thursday. A second senior law enforcement official says the FBI was looking at results of recent raids on ACORN offices in several states for any evidence of a coordinated national scam.

Both officials spoke on condition of anonymity because regulatons forbid discussing ongoing investigations particularly so close to an election.

ACORN, the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now, says it has registered 1.3 million young people, minorities and poor and working-class voters—most of whom tend to be Democrats.
I want to see prison sentences. This kind of thing has been rampant for decades. It's time to take back our electoral system. (Photo ID requirements wouldn't hurt either.)

Congratulations to the Fightin' Phils!



I'm not going to make too big a deal about this, because I'm superstitious and there's more work to be done. But League Championships don't happen too often where I come from....so I want to take note and thank this Phillies team for being one of the most enjoyable and successful teams I have had the pleasure of watching.

What makes it really special for me (and, I'm sure, for many Phans out there) is that the core of this team -- Burrell, Rollins, Myers, Utley, Howard, and Hamels -- is home grown. I've followed them their entire careers, and I couldn't be happier to see them succeed.

Well, actually, I could -- but that's going to take about four more wins.

Go get 'em.

BENEDICK ADDS: What is this . . . eh . . . "baseball" you speak of? Pirates fans like me are more or less unaware that baseball season extends past August. Serious, congrats to your Phils, Puck. They seem like a decent bunch even if most of their fans (yourself excepted) are not.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

More From The Party That Screamed Bloody Murder About Republicans Allegedly "Stealing" Ohio In the 2004 Election

Oh, THOSE two-hundred thousand fake voter registrations? I have to report them instead of hiding them? D'Oh.

--Ohio Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner

I note for no particular reason that the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals judge who penned the opinion is an old acquaintance of mine.

More ACORN

Power Line reports that Philadelphia city officials and even CNN --CNN! -- are being forced to call fraud . . . you know, fraud.
CNN: According to city officials, close to 8,000 applications turned in by ACORN are problematic, including the 1,500 already sent to the U.S. Attorney, and officials expect the number to climb. Greg Voigt says so far his office is catching them, making sure no bad registrations lead to bad votes, but admits he has limited staff.

DEPUTY COMMISSIONER FRED VOIGT: Are there going to be bad votes? Sure, there are going to be bad votes. There are always bad votes. Am I concerned this is a close election? Of course, I'm concerned it's a close election. But, you have to weigh everything in terms of your capacity to find things out.

CNN: Voigt says the problem is ACORN hires people desperate for money, including drug addicts, homeless, recovering alcoholics, even recent parolees who only get paid if they get signatures. ...

CNN: We went to ACORN's Philadelphia headquarters where a rally was taking place, telling volunteers the recent news about voter fraud was just another attack by the
right wing and the media on the poor.

ACORN SPEAKER: That is fraud! That is voter suppression. That is not news. ...

GRIFFIN (CNN): Kiran, last week I was in Indianapolis, or actually, Gary, Indiana, where they had dead people being registered to vote. ACORN insists it trains its workers and doesn't have a big problem, but city officials here in Philadelphia beg to differ with that. Kiran?

CHETRY (CNN): Yeah, and in its defense, ACORN has said it is actually identifying these problematic registrations in advance and trying to notify authorities. In Philadelphia, ACORN said it flagged, I guess, 5,000 applications before the officials found them. Is that true?

GRIFFIN (CNN): Not according to the city officials, not true. They say that ACORN came in with a bundle of 1,100 that they thought were suspect. Actually, it turned out a couple of hundred of them were actually good voter registration cards that they processed and sent voter cards out to. So, there are a lot of disparities between the number that ACORN is getting and what city officials checking the actual records are getting, and that number, Kiran, is only going to grow as they continue to process more of these for this election.
Scott, I'm sure, will point us to the comparable, conservative, nationwide voter-fraud machine that is overwhelming elections boards with hundreds of thousands of false and duplicative registration forms. Any minute now.

Scenes From A Morgantown, West Virginia Burger King Bathroom No. 1

Woman Entering Restroom: HEY! This is the ladies room!

Me: No, Ma'am. This is the men's room.

Woman: It is NOT! This is the ladies room, and you shouldn't be in here!

Me: Ma'am, this is the men's room, and if you open the door and look at the sign, you'll see you're mistaken.

Woman: I read the sign, and it said "Ladies' Room," and you have to get out right now!

Me: Well, you misread the sign. But even if I wanted to get out right now, I couldn't. I'm guessing I have at least another 30 seconds to debate the point, which I'm happy to do; but there is one other thing that strongly suggests I'm correct that we're in the men's room.

Woman: Oh yeah? What?!

Me: While we're having this conversation, I'm standing at -- indeed using -- a urinal.

Woman:

Me:

Woman:

*slam*

Odds and Ends

Puck has been on the road for work, and so have I; hence the light blogging. Here are just a few things that caught my eye over the last day or so that you should be aware of:

-- Jesse Jackson informed voters yesterday that under an Obama presidency "decades of putting Israel's interests first" would end. Says Jackson, while "Zionists who have controlled American policy for decades" remain strong, they'll lose a great deal of their clout when Barack Obama enters the White House.

-- While Democrats continue to lather themselves about "hate mongering" by McCain supporters, outspoken Obama supporter Ron havens decorates his home for Halloween with Mannequins depicting a KKK-hooded John McCain chasing a fleeing Barack Obama with a baseball bat. Liberals deplored the outrage. Oh, wait . . . no they didn't.

-- Obama's promises to punish productive workers in order to "spread the wealth around" has some asking whether it's time to "go John Galt." (Me, I don't think we're quite there yet.)

-- Canada's Conservative Party won yesterday's election. Maybe the likes of Dennis Miller and John Voight will threaten to move there if Obama wins. Nah, I doubt it.

Monday, October 13, 2008

The Mask Slips

Barack Obama doesn't want to punish hard-working Americans. He just wants to"spread the wealth around a little."

Yeah, I think a guy named Karl Marx had the same idea. Ask people in China and Cuba and the former Soviet Union how that turned out.

ACORN Has Friends In Pennsylvania

...approximately 60,000 of whom appear to be imaginary.

Not content to let the people (or at least, the living, breathing, non-felonious ones age 18 and over) decide who will get this critical swing state's treasure trove of electoral votes, ACORN is apparently responsible for submitting the vast majority of fraudulent voter registration forms, rejected "due to fake social security numbers, incorrect dates of birth, clearly fraudulent signatures, addresses that do not exist, and duplicate registrations."

And it's not just Philly:

Delaware County: One of four key suburban counties that surround Philadelphia and are at the heart of the campaign by the forces of Senator Barack Obama to carry the state. In one instance, an ACORN employee circulating voter registration forms in Delaware County was featured on the Pennsylvania "Megan's Law" website, described as having been arrested for "aggravated indecent assault" of a child. Other ACORN circulators had prior criminal records for forgery and giving false information to a police officer, among other charges. ...

Philadelphia County: The situation in the state's largest city is so bad the Philadelphia City Commission, which supervises the registration of Philadelphia voters, voted unanimously to "voluntarily" turn over its extensive records to the United States Attorney's office for prosecution.

Dauphin County: Dauphin County (the location of the state capital) District Attorney Marsico said the situation was so bad in Harrisburg that one ACORN worker is now being sought by authorities for submitting more than 100 fraudulent voter registration forms. ...

Allegheny County: Pittsburgh. Here District Attorney Stephen A. Zappala Jr. and county police Superintendent Charles Moffatt have just announced, according to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, that "they are investigating and considering charges against ACORN staffers and other voter registration groups."

Centre County: The home of Penn State, which enrolls more than 40,000 students at its home campus. Justice Newman said there was a "massive effort" to fraudulently register students, with efforts aimed at "multiple registrations."

Erie County: The county at the northwestern tip of the state with its largest namesake city, here too students at local colleges are being targeted in "student registration drives" designed to register voters 18 and over "multiples of times." Student registrants, registered to vote in their home states, had "pending absentee ballot applications" submitted so they could vote for president both in Pennsylvania and elsewhere. The Director of Elections in Erie has reported the telltale "same handwriting" on applications, according to Newman.


I would bet money that the vast majority of these duplicate and fraudulent voters are not registered Republicans.

Perhaps most humorous[] was the role of 21st century technology in tracking down several attempted frauds. Through the wonder of Google, aerial shots displayed the following:

* 2418 Curtin Terrace in Philadelphia is -- an empty field.
* 3103 S. 24th Street in Philadelphia -- ditto.
* 4543 N. 11th Street in Philadelphia -- ditto.


Technology is such a drag.

But surely, the Democrats are just as concerned about this as I am, aren't they?

Er, no:

Asked whether the Pennsylvania State Democratic Party had come forward to work with the GOP on the ACORN voter fraud issue, Gleason tersely shook his head. One source did say that much of the impetus for the fraud was "an Obama effort," as opposed to the Democratic Party as an institution.


Comforting.

Thus have ACORN's fraud efforts -- those at least that have been detected -- been directed at Philadelphia (where increasing the Obama total to counter less enthusiastic support from white ethnics becomes critical), Delaware County in the pro-GOP Philadelphia suburbs, Dauphin County (in the heart of Central Pennsylvania) and Erie in the Northwest.

Is it really possible that the presidency could be stolen for Obama by virtue of a massive voter fraud here in Pennsylvania? And elsewhere? ACORN seems to think so. One so-called "non-partisan" ACORN member, Gleason pointed out, has been captured on video tape saying the group's objective was to "beat McCain down." Not exactly "non-partisan" sounding, is it?


Change you can believe in.

Free Speech In The Land Of Obama

"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances, unless such law shall call into question the hopeychangeywonderfulness of Our Lord and Savior Barack Obama, or shall hurt the feelings of his followers -- because we just can't have that nonsense, now, can we?"

Got that? Political speech is offensive if you're speechifying for the wrong guy.

Batten down the hatches, kids. If Obama wins, it's gonna be a long four years.

Hypocrisy

Seems there is quite a bit of hand-wringing amongst the mainstream media types about a sudden rash of "ugliness" at recent McCain-Palin events. No, not by the protestors who hold up awful signs and wear t-shirts calling Ms. Palin one of George Carlin's Seven Words You Can't Say On Television. By a couple loose cannons who really, really don't like Barack Obama and have resorted to saying things like, 'Traitor!' and 'Off With His Head!' when his name is mentioned.

It goes without saying that I don't approve of such things. But, by the breathlessness with which it's being reported, you'd think Republicans are all grabbing their white sheets and hoods from the back of their closests (thinking, no doubt, "Hoooey, it's a good thing this is more forgiving than my wedding gown!")

But seriously -- amidst all this tut-tutting from the liberal commentariat, I started thinking about the incessant, drooling, deranged hatred that has been coming from the Left since George W. Bush won in 2000. And I wondered why the media hadn't bothered to condemn any of that?

Guess I wasn't the only one.

Friday, October 10, 2008

More ACORN

Via Power Line:
The New York Post has the latest on ACORN's continuing assault on the integrity of
the upcoming Presidential election:

A man at the center of a voter-registration scandal told The Post yesterday he was given cash and cigarettes by aggressive ACORN activists in exchange for registering an astonishing 72 times, in apparent violation of Ohio laws.

"Sometimes, they come up and bribe me with a cigarette, or they'll give me a dollar to sign up," said Freddie Johnson, 19, who filled out 72 separate voter-registration cards over an 18-month period at the behest of the left-leaning Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now.

"The ACORN people are everywhere, looking to sign people up. I tell them I am already registered. The girl said, 'You are?' I say, 'Yup,' and then they say, 'Can you just sign up again?' " he said.


What's the point of signing up the same "voter" 72 times? ACORN employees are paid to meet a quota of new registrations, and the organization obviously doesn't care whether they are legitimate or not. But multiple registrations can easily open the door to voter fraud:

Johnson used the same information on all of his registration cards, and officials say they usually catch and toss out duplicate registrations. But the practice sparks fear that some multiple registrants could provide different information and vote more than once by absentee ballot.

At least nine states have now launched criminal investigations of ACORN, which has endorsed Barack Obama, and which the Obama campaign has paid $800,000 to support its voter registration activities.

Did Obama Improperly Undercut U.S. Policy in Iraq?

This Washington Times article suggests he did. On the evidence presented, though, it doesn't seem to me he overstepped his bounds as a senator and a nominee for the presidency. The breathless Druge Report headline seems a little overdone. Fair is fair, guys.

Ohio Election Law Violations Go Mainstream

It's bad enough that ACORN has inundated swing states with thousands of sham voter registrations. But it turns out that in at least one state -- Ohio -- high-ranking Democrats are abetting the fraud.

The Help America Vote Act, which loosens registration requirements, does contain some provisions calculated to mitigate election fraud. In particular, it requires states to verify the identity of newly registered voters with the state Bureau of Motor Vehicles and the federal Social Security Administration, and also to provide counties with the names of new voters whose records do not match.

Ohio Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner opted not to report inconsistencies between new registrations and existing records to the counties, a decision which has facilitated ACORN's efforts to swell the rolls with fake voters. The Ohio GOP took her to federal court, and last night a federal district court judge issued an order holding that Brunner is breaking federal law by not giving county elections boards the chance to determine whether new voter registrations are fraudulent. Said the judge, "It is hard to imagine a public interest more compelling than safeguarding the legitimacy of the election of the president of the United States." Quite so.

Incredibly, despite the clarity of the requirement in the federal statute, Brunner is appealing the decision -- which is to say, she's asking the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals to reverse the lower court and permit her to resume her practice of concealing fraudulent voter registration from county election officials.

Is it just me, or does that take some serious gall?

By contrast, meet Mike Coffman, the Secretary of State of Colorado (and a Republican). Faced with similar registration shenanigans, he instituted an investigation and canceled thousands of duplicate or otherwise invalid registrations. Which is what a Secretary of State is supposed to do.

As for Ohio, at least the federal judiciary seems willing and able to do its job.

Thursday, October 09, 2008

If A Democrat Cheats In The Election, And Nobody In the MSM Reports It, Is It Actually Cheating?

If I told you that the McCain-Palin campaign:

- gave $800,000 to an organization with a long history of voter fraud, and which was currently under investigation in nearly a dozen states for submitting fraudulent voter registration forms

AND

- took untold sums of money from foreign supporters without reporting the sources of that money, as required by law,

AND

- was accepting donations from people named "ASDFKLFD ADF;LKJ" from places like "Loving You."

You'd be calling for heads to roll, wouldn't you?

And yet, the Obama has done all of these things, and nobody in the MSM says a bloody word.

More Questions

Did unrepentant terrorist Bill Ayers ghostwrite Barack Obama's "Dreams From My Father"? James Cashill makes the case. This is an interesting new wrinkle in the "just a guy who lives in my neighborhood" saga.

Barack Obama Is Not A Moderate.

Barack Obama is a Socialist. Yes, with a capital "S".

A friend and colleague recently predicted that if Obama gets elected, this country will see the biggest transfer of wealth from rich to poor in world history. That, I think, is an understatement.

Because keeping what you've earned? Not fair, bro.

BENEDICK ADDS: Remember how hot and bothered the media got when they thought they discovered that Sarah Palin had been a member of the Alaskan Independence Party? Had that been true (which it's not), what ill future would that have portended? That, as vice-president, Palin would embrace policies that favored Alaskan secession? Riiiight.

But Obama as a member of the Socialist Party? Nothing to worry about, folks. No way we ought to be concerned about a socialist in the White House. Nothing to see here. Move along.

But, shhh . . . for those of you who are actually interested in what that might mean, here's some info from the website of Democratic Socialists of America, of which Obama was a member:
The Democratic Socialists of America (DSA) is the largest socialist organization in the United States, and the principal U.S. affiliate of the Socialist International. DSA's members are building progressive movements for social change while establishing an openly socialist presence in American communities and politics.

The website offers a rambling essay entitled, "The Political Perspective of the Democratic Socialists of America." Some excerpts (emphases mine):
As democratic socialists we are committed to ensuring that any market is the servant of the public good and not its master. Liberty, equality, and solidarity will require not only democratic control over economic life, but also a progressively financed, decentralized, and quality public sector. Free markets or private charity cannot provide adequate public goods and services.

Only a genuinely multinational armed force can intervene in violent conflicts to enforce generally accepted standards of human rights and democratic practices. Such peacekeeping is one important function that must be strengthened within a new global governance. Enforcement of international standards is another. Treaties on human rights, international labor standards, women's rights, environmental protection have all been ratified by many nations (albeit generally not by the US). Enforcement remains problematic. New international regulatory bodies must ensure that the interests of all the world's people are protected with the power to tax transnational corporations that can now escape national taxes.

Socialists have historically supported public ownership and control of the major economic institutions of society -- the large corporations -- in order to eliminate the injustice and inequality of a class-based society, and have depended on the the organization of a working class party to gain state power to achieve such ends. In the United States, socialists joined with others on the Left to build a broad-based, anti-corporate coalition, with the unions at the center, to address the needs of the majority by opposing the excesses of private enterprise. Many socialists have seen the Democratic Party, since at least the New Deal, as the key political arena in which to consolidate this coalition, because the Democratic Party held the allegiance of our natural allies. Through control of the government by the Democratic Party coalition, led by anti-corporate forces, a progressive program regulating the corporations, redistributing income, fostering economic growth and expanding social programs could be realized.

Alternative economic institutions, such as cooperatives and consumer, community, and worker-owned facilities are central to economic democracy. Equally important is the assertion of democratic control over private resources such as insurance and credit, making them available for socially responsible investment as well as over land, raw materials, and manufacturing infrastructure. Such democratic control must also encompass existing financial institutions, whose funds can be used to invest in places abandoned or bypassed by transnational capital, such as urban and rural areas, and in sectors of the population that have been historically denied control and ownership of significant economic resources. Such a program will recognize the economic value of childrearing and home care by family members as unpaid labor, and account for this work in all considerations of benefits.

Social Redistribution. Social redistribution--the shift of wealth and resources from the rich to the rest of society--will require:
(1) massive redistribution of income from corporations and the wealthy to wage earners and the poor and the public sector, in order to provide the main source of new funds for social programs,income maintenance and infrastructure rehabilitation, and
(2) a massive shift of public resources from the military (the main user of existing discretionary funds) to civilian uses.


Although such reforms will be very difficult to achieve on a national scale in the short term, their urgency increases as income inequality intensifies. Over time, income redistribution and social programs will be critical not only to the poor but to the great majority of working people. The defense and expansion of government programs that promote social justice, equal education for all children, universal health care, environmental protection and guaranteed minimum income and social well-being is critical for the next Left.

Democratic socialists reject an either-or approach to electoral coalition building, focused solely on anew party or on realignment within the Democratic Party. The growth of PAC-driven,candidate-based, entrepreneurial politics in the last 25 years leaves little hope for an immediate,principled electoral response to the rightward, pro-corporate drift in American politics. The fundamental task of democratic socialists is to build anti-corporate social movements capable of winning reforms that empower people. Since such social movements seek to influence state policy,they will intervene in electoral politics, whether through Democratic primaries, non-partisan local elections, or third party efforts. Our electoral work aims at building majoritarian coalitions capable of not only electing public officials on the anti-corporate program of these movements, but also of holding officials accountable after they are elected.

The U.S. electoral system makes third parties difficult to build at both the national and state level.Winner take-all districts; the absence of proportional representation; open primaries; executive-run governments that make coalition governments impossible; state legislative control over ballot access and election laws all combine to impede third parties. Much of progressive, independent political action will continue to occur in Democratic Party primaries in support of candidates who represent a broad progressive coalition. In such instances, democratic socialists will support coalitional campaigns based on labor, women, people of color and other potentially anti-corporate elements.

I wonder of voters would care about this . . . ambitious agenda. I wonder if voters would care that this organization considered Barack Obama one of its own as recently as a decade ago. I wonder whether the conventional media will have anything to say about it. Nope, I don't think so either.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Fraud

In comments to another thread, reader Scott suggested that complaints of Democrat Party voter fraud are much ado about nothing and that it is, in fact, Republicans who improperly influence elections by barring liberal voters from polling places.

Here's a round-up of the latest Democrat voter fraud initiatives (that we know of).

Please, Scott, show us something comparable regarding Republicans. The comments thread is all yours. Evidence trumps talking points.

PUCK ADDS: Theres an awful lot of information in that link about a group called ACORN. Hmm. Is this the same ACORN that Barack Obama trained, represented, and encouraged? And the same ACORN whose preferred policies, i.e. mortgages for people who couldn't pay them, which they promoted under threat of lawsuits alleging racism, helped bring our economy to its knees? And the same ACORN who is still benefiting from the buyout?

Why yes. Yes it is.

BENEDICK: I'm not seeing any evidence of Republicans disenfranchising Democrats in the comments thread. Nor any argument defending ACORN voter registration fraud as legitimate. Guess I'm right.

O' Hail the Messiah Lord Obama

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Inglorious Bastards

That's the name of Quentin Tarantino's latest project. It's about a small band of rogue, allied (mostly Jewish) soldiers who hunt Nazis and exact horrific revenge. Led by Brad Pitt. I'm intrigued.

Conversations With My Four-Year-Old Nephew, Eli

Me: Eli, on your 21st birthday, Uncle Benedick's taking you to Las Vegas!

Eli: No! Can't go to Vegas.

Me: Why not?

Eli: My birthday isn't 21. I'm 4.

Me: What will you be on your next birthday?

Eli: 5.

Me: And after that? What comes after 5?

Eli: 6.

Me: And then?

Eli: 7.

Me: Can you count to 21?

Eli: Yes.

Me: Okay, so when your birthdays get all the way up to 21, then we'll go to Vegas, okay?

Eli:

Me: Okay?

Eli: No!!

Me: Why?

Eli:

Me:

Eli: On my birthday we go to the mouse place.

What Liberal Bias in the Media?

The L.A. Times cuts McCain's remarks about the economy out of a story, then quotes Obama saying McCain is too scared to talk about the economy.

The blogosphere notices.

The Times story vanishes.

Nothing to see here, folks. Move along.

Scenes From My Local Starbucks No. 1

Butch Barrista (to Butch Friend of Barrista, in line behind me): So, are you going to the protest tonight?

Butch Friend of Barrista: Oh yeah! She's arriving around 5:30, so I have to figure out what I want to put on my sign.

Butch Barrista: Oh gosh, I know. I didn't even hear she was coming to Pittsburgh until last night.

Butch Friend of Barrista: I can't believe she would even show her face here. Ohmygod I hate her so much. There are going to be a lot of us there. We're totally going to disrupt her speech. We can't let her be heard.

Gay Student Who's Excited To Jump Into the Conversation: Are you talking about Sarah Palin?

Butch Friend of Barrista: Yeah, she's giving a speech downtown and we're gonna protest.

Gay Student: That's awesome! I have this friend -- well, like, kind of a friend, and she's a Republican and she just doesn't get why I hate Sarah Palin.

Butch Friend of Barrista: *knowing snort*

Gay Student: Like, I tell her . . . the Republicans -- they're not for you. They're not . . . For You.

Butch Barrista: I know. They're so stupid. Like, they vote against their own economic interests.

Me: Excuse me, but would you kids please pipe down for a minute and let Ms. Barrista get back to pouring my coffee so I can go to work? The grownups have to make some money today so we can pay taxes. Then you can all get together later and brainstorm innovative ways to waste them.

Butch Friend of Barrista: You know, Democrats pay taxes too.

Me: No doubt. Speaking of which, how much taxable income will you earn today scribbling "Sarah Palin Hates Vaginas" on pink posterboard?

Friend of Barrista: Fuck you.

Me: I'm pretty sure I'm not your type.

Me: *glances at Gay Student*

Me: Don't get any ideas, Barney Frank.

By Any Means Necessary

From the New York Post:
CLEVELAND - Volunteers supporting Barack Obama picked up hundreds of people at homeless shelters, soup kitchens and drug-rehab centers and drove them to a polling place yesterday on the last day that Ohioans could register and vote on the same day, almost no questions asked.

The huge effort by a pro-Obama group, Vote Today Ohio, takes advantage of a quirk in the state's elections laws that allows people to register and cast ballots at the same time without having to prove residency.

Republicans have argued that the window could lead to widespread voter fraud because officials wouldn't have an opportunity to verify registration information before ballots were cast.

Among the volunteers were Yori Stadlin and Vivian Lehrer of the Upper West Side, who got married last week and decided to spend their honeymoon shepherding voters to the Cuyahoga County Board of Elections.

Early today, Stadlin's van picked up William Woods, 59, at the soup kitchen of the Bishop Cosgrove Center.

"I never voted before," Woods said, because of a felony conviction that previously barred him from the polls. "Without this service, I would have had no way to get here."
What's truly frightening is how many Democrats don't think there's anything wrong with this.

Saturday, October 04, 2008

Steyn!

I'm telling you -- don't ever miss a Mark Steyn column. Today he rewinds the VP debate. A clip:
When Regular Joe Six-Pack Bluecollar Biden tried to match her on the Main Street cred, it rang slightly wacky. “Look,” he said, “All you have to do is go down Union Street with me in Wilmington or go to Katie’s Restaurant or walk into Home Depot with me, where I spend a lot of time.” Why? Is he moonlighting as a checkout clerk on the evening shift? Or is he stalking that nice lady in Lighting Fixtures? As for Katie’s Restaurant, ah, I’m sure it was grand but apparently it closed in 1990. In the Diner of the Mind, the refills are endless and Senator Joe is sitting shootin’ the breeze over a cuppa joe with a couple other regular joes on adjoining stools while Betty-Jo, the sassy waitress who’s tough as nails but with a heart of gold, says Ol’ Joe, the short-order cook who’s doing his Sloppy Joes just the way the Senator likes ‘em, really appreciates the way that, despite 78 years in Washington, Joe Biden is still just the same regular Joe Six-Pack he was when he and Norman Rockwell first came in for a sarsaparilla all those years ago. But, alas, while he was jetting off for one-to-one talks with the Deputy Tourism Minister of Waziristan, the old neighborhood changed.
As ever, read it all.

O.J. Is Guilty

He's been convicted by a Nevada jury of armed robbery and kidnapping. He'll be sentenced December 5.

This is totally going to impede his ongoing quest to find Nicole's real killer.

Unintended Consequences

Firebrand conservative radio host Jim Quinn likes to quip that "liberalism always produces the exact opposite of its stated intent."

I think this (from the UK Telegraph) might be what he's talking about:

Ruth Johnson, 33, who has two children, including a month-old baby, had not been using her usual method of contraception with her fiancée. She went to the Tesco dispensary in Hewitts Circus, Cleethorpes, Lincs, and asked an as assistant for the pill Levanelle. Miss Johnson was told it could only be dispensed by the locum pharmacist who was called to speak with her.

She said: "He came out from behind a screen and told me that he would not be allowing me to buy the pill from him because he had a right to refuse to sell it on the basis of his personal beliefs. "The pharmacist was of Asian origin so I asked him if it was because of his religion and he replied 'Yes'."

Miss Johnson, from Cleethorpes, was left feeling ashamed and worried and complained to the store manager who told her they couldn't force the pharmacist to sell the product. She said: "I asked him if a Jewish or Muslim checkout operator could refuse to sell pork or alcohol or if a Jehovah's Witness could refuse to sell birthday and Christmas cards."

Her concern is that the policy could deter teenage girls from seeking the morning-after pill. "I appreciate we live in a multi-cultural society but what gives him the right to impose his beliefs onto me?" she added....

Two years ago Jo-Ann Thomas, a school crossing patrolwoman with two children, faced a similar situation in Thurcroft, Rotherham, South Yorkshire. She was told by a Muslim pharmacist at Lloyds Pharmacy near her home that she should go to her doctor for supplies even though the item was in stock. She said at the time: "I'm a 37 year old woman, not a daft girl who doesn't know what she's doing. It's my choice not his. It's his religion not mine. He's a dispensing chemist and his job is to dispense drugs."

So what happens when the unfettered right of Muslims to impose Islamic values on the broader community clashes with the unfettered right of women to use abortion as a method of contraception? Quite a conundrum, eh?

Moderate, pro-choice liberals, take note: In the U.K. at least, Islam trumps women's choice. The world is a coal mine and Europe a canary. I think something might be afoul in the air down here . . . .

Wait .. Really?

You mean Barack Obama has personal and political connections with a domestic terrorist? Who knew? The New York Times finally got the memo.

Of course, predictably, the Times manages to spin the issue 180 degrees into the yarn that Obama is a moderate.

All together now: up is down, black is white, 2+2=5 . . . .

UPDATE: NR's Stanley Kurtz, who has doggedly done the investigating regarding Obama and Ayers that the conventional media won't do, offers these extensive observations on the Times piece:

Today’s New York Times carries a story on the relationship between Barack Obama and unrepentant Weather Underground terrorist, Bill Ayers. The piece serves as a platform for the Obama campaign and Obama’s friends and allies. Obama’s spokesman and supporters’ names are named and their versions of events are presented in detail, with quotes. Yet the article makes no serious attempt to present the views of Obama critics who have worked to uncover the true nature of the relationship. That makes this piece irresponsible journalism, and an obvious effort by the former paper of record to protect Obama from the coming McCain onslaught.

The title of the article when it first appeared on the web last night was, "Obama Had Met Ayers, but the Two Are Not Close." That was quickly changed to, "Obama and the ‘60's Bomber: A Look Into Crossed Paths." Perhaps the first headline made the paper’s agenda a bit too obvious. Even so, the new title simply parrots the line of Obama campaign spokesman Ben LaBolt that the two first met through an early "education project" and since have simply "encountered each other occasionally in public life or in the neighborhood." Or, as New York Times reporter Scott Shane puts it at the head of his article, since an initial lunchtime meeting in 1995, "their paths have crossed sporadically...at a coffee Mr. Ayers hosted for Mr. Obama’s first run for office, on the schools project (i.e. the Chicago Annenberg Challenge) and a charitable board, and in casual encounters as Hyde Park neighbors."

There is nothing "sporadic" about Barack Obama delivering hundreds of thousands of dollars over a period of many years to fund Bill Ayers’ radical education projects, not to mention many millions more to benefit Ayers’ radical education allies. We are talking about a substantial and lengthy working relationship here, one that does not depend on the quality of personal friendship or number of hours spent in the same room together (although the article greatly underestimates that as well).

Shane’s article buys the spin on Ayers’ supposed rehabilitation offered by the Obama campaign and Ayers’ supporters in Chicago. In this view, whatever Ayers did in the 1960's has somehow been redeemed by Ayers’ later turn to education work. As the Times quotes Mayor Daley saying, "People make mistakes. You judge a person by his whole life." The trouble with this is that Ayers doesn’t view his terrorism as a mistake. How can he be forgiven when he’s not repentant? Nor does Ayers see his education work as a repudiation of his early radicalism. On the contrary, Ayers sees his education work as carrying on his radicalism in a new guise. The point of Ayers’ education theory is that the United States is a fundamentally racist and oppressive nation. Students, Ayers believes, ought to be encouraged to resist this oppression. Obama was funding Ayers’ "small schools" project, built around this philosophy. Ayers’ radicalism isn’t something in the past. It’s something to which Obama gave moral and financial support as an adult. So when Shane says that Obama has never expressed sympathy for Ayers’ radicalism, he’s flat wrong. Obama’s funded it.

Obama was perfectly aware of Ayers’ radical views, since he read and publically endorsed, without qualification, Ayers’ book on juvenile crime. That book is quite radical, expressing doubts about whether we ought to have a prison system at all, comparing America to South Africa’s apartheid system, and contemptuously dismissing the idea of the United States as a kind or just country. Shane mentions the book endorsement, yet says nothing about the book’s actual content. Nor does Shane mention the panel about Ayers’ book, on which Obama spoke as part of a joint Ayers-Obama effort to sink the 1998 Illinois juvenile crime bill. Again, we have unmistakable evidence of a substantial political working relationship. (I’ve described it in detail here in "Barack Obama’s Lost Years."

The Times article purports to resolve the matter of Ayers’ possible involvement in Obama’s choice to head the Chicago Annenberg Challenge, yet in no way does so. Clearly, the article sides with those who claim that Ayers was not involved. Yet the piece has no credibility because it simply refuses to present the arguments of those who say that Ayers almost surely had a significant role in Obama’s final choice.

Steve Diamond has made a powerful case that, whoever first suggested Obama’s name, Ayers must surely have had a major role in his final selection. Diamond has now revealed that the Times consulted him extensively for this article and has seen his important documentary evidence. Yet we get no inkling in the piece of Diamond’s key points, or the documents that back it up. (I’ve made a similar argument myself, based largely on my viewing of many of the same documents presented by Diamond.) How can an article that gives only one side of the story be fair? Instead of offering both sides of the argument and letting readers decide, the Times simply spoon-feeds its readers the Obama camp line.

The Times also ignores the fact that I’ve published a detailed statement from the Obama camp on the relationship between Ayers and Obama at the Chicago Annenberg Challenge. (See "Obama’s Challenge.") Maybe that’s because attention to that statement would force them to acknowledge and report on my detailed reply.

Shane’s story also omits any mention of the fact that access to the Chicago Annenberg Challenge records was blocked. What’s more, thanks to a University of Chicago law student’s Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request, we now know that access to the documents was blocked by an old Obama associate, Ken Rolling, on the day I first tried to see them. And as a result of my own FOIA, we also have evidence that Rolling may have been less than fully forthcoming on the question of Ayers’ possible role in elevating Obama to board chair at Anneberg. In fact, Rolling seems to have been withholding information from a New York Times reporter. I’ve made this material public in a piece called, "Founding Brothers." How could a responsible article on the topic of Obama, Ayers, and the Chicago Annenberg Challenge ignore the story of the blocked library access and the results of the two FOIA requests? How could a responsible paper fail to aggressively follow up on the questions raised by those requests, and by the documents and analysis presented by Steve Diamond?

Most remarkably of all, Shane seems to paper over the results of his own questioning. On the one hand, toward the end of the piece we read: "Since 2002, there is little public evidence of their relationship." And it’s no wonder, says Shane, since Ayers was caught expressing no regret for his own past terrorism in an article published on September 11, 2001. Yet earlier in Shane’s article we learn that, according to Obama spokesman Ben LaBolt, Obama and Ayers "have not spoken by phone or exchanged e-mail messages since Mr. Obama began serving in the United States Senate in January 2005." Very interesting. Obama’s own spokesman has just left open the possibility that there has indeed been phone and e-mail contact between the two men between 2002 and 2004, well after Ayers’ infamous conduct on 9/11. Yet instead of pursuing this opening, Shane ignores the findings of his own investigation and covers for Obama.

The New York Times in the tank for Obama? You bet. And sinking deeper every day.

You don't say.

Friday, October 03, 2008

Nope, No Cult of Personality Here

Rejuvenated

Last night's vice-presidential debate can be summed up thusly: The media (stupidly) lowered expectations over the last week. Then, against all odds, Palin didn't fall off the stage. McCain's campaign is alive. Nothing more, nothing less.

I thought Palin was above average. I thought Biden was above average.

A few impressions:

My favorite line of the night was when Palin said, "I may not answer these questions the way the moderator or the Senator want me to, but I'm going to speak to the American people." Great stuff.

Biden lied his ass off. As Jonah Goldberg has noted, however, Biden is a convincing, impassioned liar. He's like a Hyper-Clinton. People who don't geekily follow politics will never realize, for example, how preposterous Biden's claim is that Obama called for tougher regulation of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac two years ago. Obama made the same claim in last week's debate. It's of course, completely false. McCain's the one who called for such reform. And the Democrats killed it. But you won't hear the conventional media pointing this out. Which enables Obama and Biden to repeat it and repeat it and repeat it until people who don't know any better simply accept it as true. Heck, if they keep saying it, and CNN doesn't contradict it, it must be true, right? Which is why McCain and Palin need to do a much better job of hitting back.

But I digress.

Incidentally -- and strangely for someone who's been in the Senate for three decades and taught constitutional law -- Biden demonstrated that he really doesn't understand the constitutional role of the vice president.

To his credit, Biden avoided (for the most part) coming across as condescending or sneering. But he couldn't wipe the smug grin off his face when Palin was talking, and that really rubbed my (Democrat) girlfriend (who dislikes Palin) the wrong way.

The media had hoped desperately to be able to spend today tearing Palin's carcass to pieces. Instead, they're left fulminating about Palin winking and insisting, goshdarnit, that the debate helped Obama.

Whatever. Republicans' nerves are steadied. More importantly, undecideds had a chance to witness for themselves that Palin can handle prime time. The republic may survive after all.

Thursday, October 02, 2008

A Glorious Future

Americans are finally willing to let somebody fix the country and solve all of our problems.

At long last, the journalism industry is united behind a Hero of The Party. Too, our educational institutions and labor unions have become useful, operational wings of The Party. Dissent cannot be tolerated. Nonconforming political speech must be met with criminal prosecution. Opponents must be descredited, hounded, destroyed.

Schoolchildren shall be herded together to sing Songs of Worship to The Leader. Your property is not your own. It is the Party's to take and redistribute as The Party sees fit. Whether you like it or not. The Constitution no longer means what it says. It will be "reinterpreted" to mean whatever The Party says it means. For the Greater Good.

Faith in a higher power is a weakness, to be ridiculed. Unless that higher power is The Leader. As a citizen, you are required to serve the Greater Good, as defined by The Party. Whether you like it or not. You are no longer free to make personal choices, if The Party has designated them to be bad choices. You will have a healthy body to go with your correct-thinking mind. Whether you like it or not.

The institutions that have girded liberty for centuries must be torn down. The Party knows better. The Party is going to make us all equal. The Party is going to decide what is fair and unfair. The Party is going to decide what recompense you deserve in exchange for your labor. The Party is going to decide what businesses and industries are worthwhile. The Party is going to control how those businesses and industries do their jobs.

And the Party is going to do whatever it must to attain -- and retain -- the power to control as much of your life, of my life, as necessary in order to make it all happen. America will become a utopia. Liberty breeds inequality and unfairness. So The Party is not going to let liberty get in the way of The Mission. The Progress. The Justice.

Submit.