Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Obama wins big in Guam

The Unofficial result in Guam, with all 58 precincts reporting gives Obama another win:

- 20,120

- 11,940

Barr - 212

Guam gets no Electoral Votes. But, unlike the results from Dixville Notch and Hart's Location, New Hampshire, Guam has been a reliable predictor of the outcome of the presidential election:

  • Before President Reagan crushed Walter Mondale in 1984, he won by a landslide in Guam.

  • In 1992, Guam's straw poll said President George H. W. Bush only deserved one term.

  • In 1996 Guam re-elected President Clinton by a wider margin than the states.

  • In Guam, George W. Bush barely snuck past Al Gore in 2000.

  • W beat John Kerry with ease in 2004.

Voting twice in Philly

At least one voter has been observed voting twice under the watchful eye of a Philadelphia poll worker.

Listen to the following phone call received by the Honest and Open Election Hotline:

We have already heard that Republican Election Board members have been tossed out of polling stations in Philadelphia.

What's next?

Monday, September 1, 2008

Ex-Dem Chair Apologizes for Inappropriate RNC Hurricane Remark

Don Fowler, the callous former Chairman of the Democratic National Committee, apologized on Sunday for laughing at the fact that Hurricane Gustav might hit the New Orleans area at the same time President Bush was scheduled to address the Republican National Convention:

"If this offended anybody, I personally apologize," Fowler told ABC News. "It was a mistake, and it was a satirical statement made in jest. And one that I clearly don't believe."
My RedState colleague, Absentee, caught the uncaring Fowler making his inappropriate comments on an airline flight from Denver, Colo., to Charlotte, N.C., following the Democratic National Convention.

In the recording, Fowler says:
"The hurricane’s going to hit New Orleans about the time they start. The timing is -- at least it appears now that it’ll be there Monday. That just demonstrates that God’s on our side. [Laughter] Everything’s cool."
I'll bet that doesn't seem very funny to all the folks being evacuated in the face of Hurricane Gustav.

You can watch the video of Fowler's indiscretion here.

Fowler didn't learn his lesson very well. The Former Chairman of the Democrats offered a political required, if insincere apology. Fowler then went on to insult Absentee -- calling him "some right-wing nutcase."

Palin Makes Good First Impression - Better Than Biden

Sarah Palin made a good first impression.

A new Rasmussen Reports poll finds 53% now have a favorable opinion of Palin:

Palin earns positive reviews from 78% of Republicans, 26% of Democrats and 63% of unaffiliated voters.

[. . ]

By way of comparison, on the day he was selected as Barack Obama’s running mate, Delaware Senator Joseph Biden was viewed favorably by 43% of voters.
The following video of Governor Palin, speaking at in Dayton, Ohio following her introduction by John McCain as his pick for vice president shows why she made such a good first impression:

Monday, August 18, 2008

Drudge: Obama May Announce VP Tuesday

Drudge reports Obama has made decided who he wants to be his running mate.

Obama has set out an elaborate roll-out to announce his decision that will begin with an early morning e-mail to supporters, perhaps as early as Tuesday, Zeleny and Adam Nagourney have been told.

Tracking Poll Update - 8/18


McCain - 43%
Obama - 44%

The Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential Tracking Poll of likely voters for Monday shows Obama attracting 43% of the vote while McCain earns 44%. When "leaners" are included, it’s Obama 47% and McCain 46%.


McCain - 44%
Obama - 45%

The latest Gallup Poll Daily tracking poll of registered voters finds finds Obama has a three percent lead over McCain, 46% to 43%.

Obama Insults Justice Clarence Thomas

The Wall Street Journal takes Obama to task for demeaning Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas at the Saddleback Church forum:

Pastor Rick Warren asked each Presidential candidate which Justices he would not have nominated. Mr. McCain said, "with all due respect" the four most liberal sitting Justices because of his different judicial philosophy.

Mr. Obama took a lower road, replying first that "that's a good one," and then adding that "I would not have nominated Clarence Thomas. I don't think that he, I don't think that he was a strong enough jurist or legal thinker at the time for that elevation. Setting aside the fact that I profoundly disagree with his interpretation of a lot of the Constitution." The Democrat added that he also wouldn't have appointed Antonin Scalia, and perhaps not John Roberts, though he assured the audience that at least they were smart enough for the job.

So let's see. By the time he was nominated, Clarence Thomas had worked in the Missouri Attorney General's office, served as an Assistant Secretary of Education, run the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and sat for a year on the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals, the nation's second most prominent court. Since his "elevation" to the High Court in 1991, he has also shown himself to be a principled and scholarly jurist.

Meanwhile, as he bids to be America's Commander in Chief, Mr. Obama isn't yet four years out of the Illinois state Senate, has never held a hearing of note of his U.S. Senate subcommittee, and had an unremarkable record as both a "community organizer" and law school lecturer. Justice Thomas's judicial credentials compare favorably to Mr. Obama's Presidential résumé by any measure. And when it comes to rising from difficult circumstances, Justice Thomas's rural Georgian upbringing makes Mr. Obama's story look like easy street.
You can watch the Democrats' presumptuous nominee, demean Justice Thomas in the following video:

Obama could have answered the question without being uncivil and insulting Justice Thomas.

Hillary On McCain Versus Obama

Agence France Presse reminds us that as Obama, the Democrats' presumptuous nominee, pays homage to Hillary at Democrats' convention in Denver, Colorado, he will be faced with specters from the primary battle.

The McCain campaign is running an ad that shows Hillary making that devastating comparison between the experience of McCain versus Obama:

"I know Senator McCain has a lifetime of experience he will bring to the White House. And Senator Obama has a speech he gave in 2002," she says in the ad, referring to Obama's stand against the Iraq war, which Bill Clinton once dismissed as a "fairy tale."
The following video shows that Hillary made the comparison often:

Obama Says McCain Camp Paints Obama As The Anti-Christ

Immediately after Obama's appearance with the reverend Rick Warren, the Democrats' presumptuous nominee was interviewed by CBN News Senior National Correspondent, David Brody.

Among other things Brody asked Obama whether the McCain campaign is purposely using imaginary to scare people about him being the anti-Christ. Obama answered yes. You can watch and read a partial transcript of the interview here.

I'm sick and tired of this bovine fecal matter where folks try to refute the McCain campaign ad "The One," by falsely claiming the ad tries to make the Obama out to be the anti-Christ. Watch the ad:

I've watched and watched that ad numerous times. All the ad does is use the Obama's own words to show just how presumptuous and egocentric Obama is. And boy is Obama presumptuous and egocentric.

So lets get this straight. Obama is not the anti-Christ. So says the debunker Snopes. And so say the authors of Left Behind, Tim LaHaye and Jerry Jenkins:

"I've gotten a lot of questions the last few weeks asking if Obama is the antichrist," says novelist Jenkins. "I tell everyone that I don't think the antichrist will come out of politics, especially American politics."

"I can see by the language he uses why people think he could be the antichrist," adds LaHaye, "but from my reading of scripture, he doesn't meet the criteria. There is no indication in the Bible that the antichrist will be an American."
The Obama has no one to blame for folks thinking he might be the anti-Christ, other than Obama.

And don't forget the Obamamessiah theme picked up by the McCain campaign's ad "The One" was started by Hillary. Hillary used the Obamamessiah theme back in February. Then, the Times of London published Gerard Baker's "He ventured forth to bring light to the world -- The anointed one's pilgrimage to the Holy Land is a miracle in action - and a blessing to all his faithful followers."

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Warren gets McCain and Obama on the same stage

Tonight the Reverend Rick Warren, author of the best-selling book "The Purpose-Driven Life," will conduct a "forum" with Senators John McCain and Barack Obama.

Each candidate will be interviewed separately by Warren for one hour. The interviews will focus on four areas: the role of the presidency in government, leadership, the candidates' world view and America's role internationally.

The Associated Press reports that the forum is the Perfect setting for Obama to counter the persistent rumors that Obama is Muslim:

The church forum also gives him a perfect setting to counter the misperception that he is Muslim. A recent poll by the Pew Research Center for the People and the Press found that 12 percent of respondents believe the Illinois senator is Muslim.
I've been saying for weeks that Obama needs to confront his Muslim problem head on. Maybe Obama will do so tonight.

The forum will take place in Warren's Saddleback Church, located in Southern California. The so-called mega-church is the fourth-largest church in America.

The two-hour forum will be held in a non-debate format. Warren will have a separate long-form conversation with each candidate for 50 minutes. There will be commercial breaks every ten minutes.

The questions to both candidates will be identical to provide a fair comparison, although the follow-up questions may differ, based on their response.

Obama will be interviewed first, as determined by the flip of a coin. McCain will not hear the questions during the first hour. Between the two interviews, the candidates will appear together on stage for photographs.

The forum will be broadcast live on CNN, MSNBC, FOX News Channel, Daystar Television Network, and Southern California's KDOC-TV at 8:00-10:00 P.M. ET / 7:00-9:00 P.M. CT / 5:00-7:00 P.M. PT

In the following video, Time's Amy Sullivan and Beliefnet's Dan Gilgoff discuss the forum's possible impact on Hardball:

Image Credit: Getty Images/AP Photo

Dem Chairman Dean Continues Playing Obama Camp's Race Cards

The Boston Globe reports that on NPR today the national chairman of the Democrats' called the Republican Party the "white" party:

"If you look at folks of color, even women, they're more successful in the Democratic Party than they are in the white, uh, excuse me, in the Republican Party,” Dean said at one point.
You can listen the Democrats' chairman continue to play Obama's race card below:

If you want more context, you can listen to the entire NPR broadcast here.

Obama can't get away with playing the race card anymore. No, not now that the McCain Campaign called Democrats' presumptuous nominee on playing the race card. No, not now that the Obama's chief strategist admitted that the Obama's comments referred to Obama's race. No, not now that a majority see Obama's dollar bills comments as racist.

According to the Globe, McCain campaign co-chairwoman Carly Fiorina, called Dean on continuing to play the Obama's race card:
“It is disappointing to see Howard Dean trying to use gender and race to divide voters. His comments are insulting, inappropriate and have no place in this election.”

DNC spokeswoman Stacie Paxton claims Dean misspoke,
“He misspoke and corrected himself immediately.”
I've listened to Dean's comments several times. You are never going to convince me Dean's comments were not intentional. If you believe Dean's comments were unintentional, well, I have ocean front property to sell you in Kansas.

Florida Republican Party's $2.8-billion Obama Oil Gift

Lost is found.

The Republican Party of Florida delivered a $2.8 billion "check" to Obama’s Tallahassee headquarters:

"The check was from Senator Barack Obama and made out to oil companies as payment for his vote on the 2005 Energy Bill that provided nearly $3 billion in subsidies for oil and natural gas production," RPOF says.

“A local volunteer found the valuable check at a gas station near the Tallahassee airport yesterday," communications director Erin VanSickle deadpanned in a news release.

She added: “We can only assume that the document was mistakenly dropped by Senator Barack Obama’s campaign manager David Plouffe. He likely stopped at the gas station to check the tire pressure on his rental car prior to heading to last night’s campaign fundraiser in Tallahassee.”
The Obama, the Democrat's presumptuous nominee, forgets that it was Obama who voted for President Bush's energy bill, while McCain voted against it.

McCain called the Obama on this a week ago at a Town Hall in Lima, Ohio:
"I want to take a minute here on this issue because I think Senator Obama might be a little bit confused. Yesterday, he accused me of having President Bush's policies on energy. That's odd because he voted for the President's energy bill and I voted against it." -- John McCain

You can watch McCain reminding Obama about that vote in the following video:

John McCain:
"I spoke up against the Administration and Congress and Senator Obama when they gave us an energy bill with more giveaways to Big Oil and really no solution to our energy problems.

I want to take a minute here on this issue because I think Senator Obama might be a little bit confused. Yesterday, he accused me of having President Bush's policies on energy. That's odd because he voted for the President's energy bill and I voted against it. I voted against it had $2.8 billion in corporate welfare to Big Oil companies, and they're already making record profits, as you know. Senator Obama voted for that bill and its Big Oil giveaways. I know he hasn't been in the Senate that long, but even in the real world, voting for something means you support it and voting against something means you oppose it.

Anyway, my friends, just like on the energy bill, I've argued for reform and change in Washington for years and it hasn't made me friends. It hasn't made me friends in Washington. My friends, I was not elected Miss Congeniality again this year, but I don't answer to them. I answer to you. I answer to you. You will always know exactly where I stand and you will always know, no matter what, I will always do what I believe is right for our country. I will put my country first. If there's anything you take from this meeting, I will put my country first.

For his part, Senator Obama is an impressive orator. I applaud his talent and I applaud his success. All Americans should be proud of his accomplishments, but Washington is full of talented talkers, my friends, and unfortunately on issues big and small, what Senator Obama says and what he does are two different things. Senator Obama says he's going to change Washington, but his plan is to raise your taxes and spend more of your money. It's not my idea of a solution that troubles Washington. In fact, it sounds a lot like the problem.

Tracking Poll Update - 8/15


McCain - 41%
Obama - 44%

The Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential Tracking Poll of likely voters for Tuesday shows Obama attracting 44% of the vote while McCain earns 41%. When "leaners" are included, it’s Obama 47% and McCain 45%:

Despite the Russian invasion of Georgia, daily tracking data shows no shift in voter priorities for Election 2008. Forty-one percent (41%) say economic issues are most important while just 22% name national security issues as the top priority.


McCain - 44%
Obama - 44%

The latest Gallup Poll Daily tracking poll of registered voters finds McCain and Obama tied at 44% each:
The Aug. 12-14 polling shows a slight dip in Obama's support, which had ranged between 46% and 48% (averaging 47%) in August. McCain has averaged 43% support among registered voters so far in August. Thus, the closer margin seen in today's results is due more to movement away from Obama than toward McCain. Twelve percent of registered voters now say they are undecided or supporting another candidate, which is on the high end of what Gallup has measured this year.

Obama's Bad Poll Day

In the New Republic, Nate Silver writes that three new polls released on Thursday "show significant movement toward John McCain:"

In Washington, SurveyUSA has John McCain trailing by 7 points. This hardly moves Washington into competitive territory, however, SurveyUSA had polled Washington no fewer than nine times since Super Tuesday, and had shown Obama ahead an average of 13.4 points, including 16 points in a survey released in mid-July.

A similar pattern manifests itself in Minnesota, where Rasmussen has Barack Obama's lead eroding to 4 points; Obama had held a 13-point lead last month. And in the critical swing state of Colorado, Rasmussen has John McCain edging into a 1-point lead; last month, it had been Obama by 3.

Silver notes McCain is gaining ground among Independents and Republicans, but doesn't understand what is causing the shift toward McCain. The explanation is simple. Russia has again revealed its belligerent tendencies with its naked and brutal aggression against Georgia. McCain has been right about Russia for a long time and won the Georgian 3:00 phone call moment.

Jon Stewart On The John Edwards Affair

Jon Stewart takes John Edwards to task for some of the sillier things Edwards said in his confession:

John Edwards -- author of the famed claim that there are two Americas -- was apparently only faithful to his wife in one of them.

Media Bias Bigger Problem Than Campaign Cash

A new Rasmussen Reports poll finds a majority of voters, 55%, believe media bias is more of a problem than big campaign contributions.

Rasmussen found the usual partisan and ideological divide:

Republicans are the most likely to see media bias as the bigger problem. Eighty-one percent (81%) of the GOP faithful hold that view. Democrats and unaffiliated voters are more evenly divided. Obama’s Party, by a narrow 50% to 41% margin, say that campaign cash is the bigger issue. Among those not affiliated with either major party, 47% say media bias is the problem while 43% hold the opposite view.

Fifty-three percent (53%) of liberals see campaign contributions as a bigger problem than media bias. Seventy-four percent (74%) of conservatives hold the opposite view. Among the moderates, 49% say media bias is the problem while 42% disagree.

An earlier Rasmussen survey found that most believe reporters are trying to help Obama win the election.

McCain Wins Russian/Georgian Conflict 3:00 A.M. Moment

You remember Hillary's infamous 3:00 a.m. ad. Russia's invasion of Georgia presented Senators McCain and Obama with a true 3:00 a.m. moment.

Their responses to the crisis suggest dramatic differences in how each candidate would lead America during an international crisis.

McCain got it right from the start. In his initial statement, McCain sided clearly with America's ally, Georgia, took Russia to task for violating Georgia's sovereign territory, noted danger to Euro-Atlantic stability and security, called for diplomatic pressure on Russia, and a review of what NATO can do to stabilize the situation:

Today, news reports indicate that Russian military forces crossed an internationally-recognized border into the sovereign territory of Georgia. Russia should immediately and unconditionally cease its military operations and withdraw all forces from sovereign Georgian territory. What is most critical now is to avoid further confrontation between Russian and Georgian military forces. The consequences for Euro-Atlantic stability and security are grave.

The government of Georgia has called for a cease-fire and for a resumption of direct talks on South Ossetia with international mediators. The U.S. should immediately convene an emergency session of the United Nations Security Council to call on Russia to reverse course. The U.S. should immediately work with the EU and the OSCE to put diplomatic pressure on Russia to reverse this perilous course it has chosen. We should immediately call a meeting of the North Atlantic Council to assess Georgia's security and review measures NATO can take to contribute to stabilizing this very dangerous situation. Finally, the international community needs to establish a truly independent and neutral peacekeeping force in South Ossetia.
Obama blew it. According to Reuters, the Democrats' presumptuous nominee issued a statement that shows the worlds greatest celebrity is just an empty suit:
"I strongly condemn the outbreak of violence in Georgia, and urge an immediate end to armed conflict," Obama said in a statement. "Now is the time for Georgia and Russia to show restraint, and to avoid an escalation to full-scale war. Georgia's territorial integrity must be respected."

Obama called for direct talks among all sides and said the United States, U.N. Security Council and other parties should try to help bring about a peaceful resolution.
It took a day of watching Russia pound Georgia before the Obama got around to condemning Russia and nuancing his position to sound more like McCain's.

Watch the following video:

Jon Stewart On The 'Celeb' Ad

John Stewart takes on the "Celeb" ad and Obama's race card:

The Democrats' presumptuous nominee started this meme.

Paris Hilton Has A Better Energy Policy Than Obama

Wearing a bikini and heels, Paris Hilton responds to McCain's "Celeb" ad, which suggests the Democrats' presumptuous nominee is little more than a widely recognized media concoction:

McCain campaign spokesman Tucker Bounds responded quickly:
“It sounds like Paris Hilton supports John McCain’s ‘all of the above’ approach to America’s energy crisis - including both alternatives and drilling. Paris Hilton might not be as big a celebrity as Barack Obama, but she obviously has a better energy plan,”
Remember, Obama started this meme.

Obama Started It

Senator McCain's presidential campaign released a new television ad comparing the Obama to Britney Spears and Paris Hilton. The ad suggests the Democrats' presumptuous nominee is little more than a widely recognized media concoction:

Obama's campaign responded with a commercial dismissing McCain's complaints as "baloney" and "baseless."

Despite those assertions, Obama started this meme himself. CNN's Dana Bash reports Obama compared himself to Paris Hilton at a dinner in 2004:

"Andy Warhol said we all get our 15 minutes of fame," then Senator-elect Obama said at a Gridiron dinner in December, 2004. "I've already had an hour and a half. I mean, I'm so overexposed, I'm making Paris Hilton look like a recluse."

[. . .]

The same comparison was also made in September 2006, when speculation swirled about whether the still-very coy Obama would mount a presidential bid.

Upon speaking at Tom Harkin’s annual Iowa steak fry — a must-attend event for any presidential hopeful — CNN asked Obama about the Paris Hilton comparisons.

“Yeah, exactly,” Obama started to reply before Harkin jumped in and said, “Remember that movie with Robert Redford that was called 'The Natural, about a baseball player? This is the natural of politics.”

In the Washington Post, Richard Cohen writes about the fact the Obama is all talk, while McCain has actual done things:
"Just tell me one thing Barack Obama has done that you admire," I asked a prominent Democrat. He paused and then said that he admired Obama's speech to the Democratic convention in 2004. I agreed. It was a hell of a speech, but it was just a speech.

On the other hand, I continued, I could cite four or five actions -- not speeches -- that John McCain has taken that elicit my admiration, even my awe. First, of course, is his decision as a Vietnam prisoner of war to refuse freedom out of concern that he would be exploited for propaganda purposes. To paraphrase what Kipling said about Gunga Din, John McCain is a better man than most.

But I would not stop there. I would include campaign finance reform, which infuriated so many in his own party; opposition to earmarks, which won him no friends; his politically imprudent opposition to the Medicare prescription drug bill (Medicare has about $35 trillion in unfunded obligations); and, last but not least, his very early call for additional troops in Iraq. His was a lonely position -- virtually suicidal for an all-but-certain presidential candidate and no help when his campaign nearly expired last summer. In all these cases, McCain stuck to his guns.
So, what has Obama accomplished, other than becoming the world's most popular and presumptuous celebrity?

Obama Replaces American Flag With Obama Logo

When John McCormick reported Obama replaced his Boeing 737 campaign plane with a Boeing 757, he noted the new aircraft had "a giant flag painted on its tail."


In yet another display of his patriotism, Obama replaced the American flag with the Obama Logo. Lynn Sweet reports that Obama's 757 has been repainted "with the Obama sunrise logo on the tail."


Oh the audacity of Obama's ego.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Obama Says New Yorker Insulted Muslim Americans

By now you have probably seen the New Yorker magazine's satirical cover depicting Obama and his wife as flag-burning, fist-bumping radicals. You know, the cartoon which depicts Obama in traditional Muslim clothing -- sandals, robe and turban -- his wife, Michelle, with an assault rifle slung over one shoulder and dressed in camouflage and combat boots and her hair in an Afro, while an American flag burns in a fireplace and a portrait of Osama bin Laden hangs above the mantel.

Obama says the cartoon doesn't bother him but that it was an insult to Muslim Americans:

"You know, there are wonderful Muslim Americans all across the country who are doing wonderful things," the presidential candidate told CNN's Larry King. "And for this to be used as sort of an insult, or to raise suspicions about me, I think is unfortunate. And it's not what America's all about."
According to the associated Press article, "Obama blamed himself for not being forceful enough in challenging some of the rumors about him, including that he is Muslim."

For once I agree with Obama. He has only himself to blame for the lingering perception that he is Muslim. As I have said before, Obama must confront his Muslim issue head on.

The caricature of Mrs. Obama would have far less punch had Obama dissociated himself from Bill Ayers, along with his wife Bernardine Dohrn. Ayers was a 1960s leader of the American terrorist group the Weathermen, a Communist-driven splinter faction of Students for a Democratic Society. Ayers is said to have summed up the Whethermen's ideology as follows: "Kill all the rich people. Break up their cars and apartments. Bring the revolution home, Kill your parents."

According to Wkipedia, the Weathermen, conducted a series of bombings against the US government throughout the early 1970s, bombing several federal buildings. Dohrn is a principal signatory on the group's "Declaration of a State of War" (1970) that formally declared war on the U.S. Government, and completed the group's transformation from political advocacy to violent action. Dohrn also co-wrote and published the subversive manifesto Prairie Fire (1974), and participated in the covertly-filmed Underground (1976).

Image Credit: Associated Press via the Baltimore Sun.

9/11 Billboards Spark Controversy

Billboards bearing a photo of the Twin Towers burning and a plea not to vote for Democrats has sparked controversy in Orlando, Florida.

The person behind the billboard, Mike Meehan, is holding the Democrats responsible for the 9/11 attacks:

Abc_billboard2_080716_mn"I'm holding the entire Democratic Party responsible for the attacks on 9/11," said Meehan, who wrote, sang, produced and recorded the song. He said people should not vote for Democrats because they are too focused on solving the problems in the economy when they should be focused on the war on terrorism.

[. . .]

"Democrats are relaxed on fighting the war on terrorism," he said. "But it's just as important as the economy. The economy and terrorism go together."

Terrorists had warned they would destroy the American economy financially, and we can see their success in the high prices of oil, Meehan said.
Meehan's website advertises a CD and music video titled "The Republican Song," with the chorus, "Don't vote for a Democrat." He sells CDs for $5 to cover the cost of getting his message out.

According to ABC affiliate WFTV in Orlando, both parties have criticized the billboards.

Meehan knows people will find his ads offensive, but he said, "It's more offensive that our nation is forgetting about the attacks." We must never forget.

Image courtesy of ABC.

McCain Pledges More Education Options

John_mccain_official_photo_portraitThe Associated Press reports John McCain is telling the NAACP that he will expand education opportunities for children in failing schools.

In excerpts released ahead of his speech, McCain says that the worst educational problems in the country are often found in schools in black communities and that he will provide greater school choices and scholarships for such students:

As in other challenges African Americans have met and overcome, these problems require clarity of purpose. They require the solidarity of groups like the NAACP. And, at times, they also require a willingness to break from conventional thinking.

Nowhere are the limitations of conventional thinking any more apparent than in education policy. Education reform has long been a priority of the NAACP, and for good reason. For all the best efforts of teachers and administrators, the worst problems of our public school system are often found in black communities. Black and Latino students are among the most likely to drop out of high school. African Americans are also among the least likely to go on to college.

After decades of hearing the same big promises from the public education establishment, and seeing the same poor results, it is surely time to shake off old ways and to demand new reforms. That isn’t just my opinion; it is the conviction of parents in poor neighborhoods across this nation who want better lives for their children.

[. . .]

Over the years, Americans have heard a lot of “tired rhetoric” about education. We’ve heard it in the endless excuses of people who seem more concerned about their own position than about our children. We’ve heard it from politicians who accept the status quo rather than stand up for real change in our public schools. Parents ask only for schools that are safe, teachers who are competent, and diplomas that open doors of opportunity. When a public system fails, repeatedly, to meet these minimal objectives, parents ask only for a choice in the education of their children. Some parents may choose a better public school. Some may choose a private school. Many will choose a charter school. No entrenched bureaucracy or union should deny parents that choice and children that opportunity.

[. . .]

If I am elected president, school choice for all who want it, an expansion of Opportunity Scholarships, and alternative certification for teachers will all be part of a serious agenda of education reform.

Obama Erases His Criticism Of The Surge

In a silly effort to hide how wrong Obama was about the surge, Obama's criticism of the surge has been removed from Obama's campaign Web site.

The New York Daily News, was first to report that Obama's campaign website was scrubbed over the weekend to remove criticism of the U.S. troop "surge" in Iraq.

The following video highlights the poor judgment Obama is trying to erase:

Unlike Obama, McCain long advocated that more troops were needed to win in Iraq.

According to the Associated Press, McCain says "Obama is failing to acknowledge success." Someone should tell Obama it's usually best to simply admit when you are wrong. Scrubbing Obama's website to erase Obama's judgments that proved to be wrong won't work well in today's YouTube world.

Time for Some Campaignin'

Take a few minutes, relax, and enjoy a good laugh. "Time for Some Campaignin'" isn't as good as JibJab's 2004 efforts -- "This Land" and "Good to be in DC" -- but it is still enjoyable. Watch as the good folks at JibJab bid farewell to Bush and welcome Obama and McCain to center stage:

Friday, June 20, 2008

Obama Financing Flip Flop Widely Criticized

Obama's decision to become the first presidential candidate to opt out of the public financing system resulted in some of the most negative media coverage Obama has received during the campaign.

NBC Nightly News said the decision "created a firestorm," looked Obama's at pledge to "observe the limits if his opponent did," and showed excerpts from a February interview with Tim Russert in which he indicated he would seek to participate in the system. Watch Andrea Mitchell's video report:

ABC World News called the move "a direct contradiction" of Obama's early promises. CBS Evening News said Obama "abandoned a campaign pledge," adding, "it is a big reversal. Only months ago, Obama was signaling a willingness to preserve public financing. No wonder John McCain smelled a flip-flop."

Liz Sidoti of the Associated Press, said Obama "tarnished his carefully honed image as a different kind of politician -- one who means what he says and says what he means -- while undercutting his call for 'a new kind of politics.'"

Sidoti also blasted Obama's argument that he had to make the move to defend himself against independent groups running ads:

But he failed to mention that the only outside groups running ads in earnest so far are those aligned with Obama — and running commercials against McCain.

So much for being a straight shooter.

McClatchy's David Lightman, said the decision "is not only a huge blow to the Watergate-era campaign finance system, but it could hurt the Democratic nominee's effort to paint himself as a reformer:"
But the Illinois senator, whose campaign mantra has been reform and change, has now put himself in the position of being the candidate who lit the match that allowed the ailing public financing system to finally implode.
Lightman quoted Brad Coker, managing partner of the Mason-Dixon Research polling firm:
"For him to go outside this framework leaves him open to charges of hypocrisy."

Even the New York Times saw fit to criticize Obama in an editorial:
The excitement underpinning Senator Barack Obama’s campaign rests considerably on his evocative vows to depart from self-interested politics. Unfortunately, Mr. Obama has come up short of that standard with his decision to reject public spending limitations and opt instead for unlimited private financing in the general election.
The Times also pointed out that "Obama’s description of public financing as 'broken' is only half true."

According to Democratic Senator Russ Feingold, "while the primary cycle’s public matching subsidies are 'broken' and need updating for inflation, 'the system for the general election is not.'"

The Washington Post also took Obama to task, editorializing, that Obama "had an opportunity here to demonstrate that he really is a different kind of politician, willing to put principles and the promises he has made above political calculation." Politicians "do what politicians need to do. But they ought to spare us the self-congratulatory back-patting while they're doing it:"
Pardon the sarcasm. But given Mr. Obama's earlier pledge to "aggressively pursue" an agreement with the Republican nominee to accept public financing, his effort to cloak his broken promise in the smug mantle of selfless dedication to the public good is a little hard to take.

Obama is making a huge mistake here. Candidates frequently prove you can't buy an election. And as the Watergate scandals demonstrated, too much money can corrupt campaigns, despite the best of intentions and disciplined management. More important, when is Obama going to stop changing his mind whenever it is politically expedient and offer some change we can count on.

Obama's The First

Obama reverses his financing pledge.

By changing his mind today, Obama becomes the first presidential candidate to opt out of the public financing since the system was enacted as part of the 1974 reforms demanded by public reaction to the Watergate Scandal.

In November 2007, Obama answered "Yes" to Common Cause when asked "If you are nominated for President in 2008 and your major opponents agree to forgo private funding in the general election campaign, will you participate in the presidential public financing system?"

According to Agence France-Presse, Obama "pledged last year to work 'aggressively' with the Republicans on a deal to preserve public financing, under which candidates limit their spending in return for matching funds from the federal Treasury."

As the McCain campaign correctly notes, this broken Obama pledge "will have far-reaching and extraordinary consequences that will weaken and undermine the public financing system."

Obama has once again revealed himself to be just another typical politician who will do and say whatever is most expedient for Barack Obama.

We should expect nothing more than such expediency from Obama. After all, he started this campaign by expediently breaking his word that he would not run for president in 2008:

On January 22, 2006, Obama stated flat out he wouldn't seek the presidency in 2008:

MR. RUSSERT: There’s been enormous speculation about your political future, Senator. The man you succeeded in the Senate, Peter Fitzgerald, a Republican, said this recently. “I think there’s a very good chance that Senator Obama is on the Democratic ticket in 2008 as the vice presidential nominee.” Do you agree?

SEN. OBAMA: No. You know, I can’t speculate on those kinds of things. What I have said is that, you know, I’m not focused on running for higher office, I’m focused on doing the job that the people of Illinois just sent me to do.

MR. RUSSERT: But there seems to be an evolution in your thinking. This is what you told the Chicago Tribune last month: “Have you ruled out running for another office before your term is up?” Obama answer: “It’s not something I anticipate doing.” But when we talked back in November of ‘04 after your election I said, “There’s been enormous speculation about your political future. Will you serve your six-year term as United States senator from Illinois?” Obama: “Absolutely.”

SEN. OBAMA: I will serve out my full six-year term. You know, Tim, if you get asked enough, sooner or later you get weary and you start looking for new ways of saying things. But my thinking has not changed.

MR. RUSSERT: So you will not run for president or vice president in 2008?

SEN. OBAMA: I will not.
Can we count on anything Obama says? I mean, other than the fact that he will change his mind.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Obama Is Running For Jimmy Carter's Second Term

In an interview with NBC's Brian Williams, McCain said Obama seems to be running for a second Carter term:

Williams: Is it going to be tough to run with an incumbent party for the White House, given this economic backdrop?

McCain: I-- I think it's-- it's tough. But I think the American didn't, people didn't get to know me yesterday. They know me. They know that I have fought for restraining spending, which Senator Obama has been a big part of, with earmarking (UNINTEL) projects. They know that I have been a strong fiscal conservative, and they know I understand the challenges that they face.

They need a little break from-- from their gasoline taxes, and they -- and they know that -- we've got to get spending under control. And we've got to become independent of foreign oil. Sen. Obama says that I'm running for a Bush's third terms. It seems to me he's running for Jimmy Carter's second. (LAUGHTER)

It's an apt comparison. On July 15, 1979, Carter went on national television and gave what became known as his malaise speech. Among other things said this:
I'm asking you for your good and for your nation's security to take no unnecessary trips, to use carpools or public transportation whenever you can, to park your car one extra day per week, to obey the speed limit, and to set your thermostats to save fuel.

In Roseburg, Oregon recently, Obama sounded a lot like Jimmy Carter did when the former president gave that infamous speech:
All right. So that's what we want to do on global warming here in the United States. We are also going to have to negotiate with other countries. China, India, in particular Brazil. They are growing so fast that they are consuming more and more energy and pretty soon, if their carbon footprint even approaches ours, we're goners. That's part of the reason why we've got to make the investment. We got to lead by example. If we lead by example, if we lead by example, then we can actually export and license technologies that have been invented here to help them deal with their growth pains. But keep in mind, you're right, we can't tell them don't grow. We can't drive our SUVs and, you know, eat as much as we want and keep our homes on, you know, 72 degrees at all times, whether we're living in the desert or we're living in the tundra and then just expect every other country is going to say OK, you know, you guys go ahead keep on using 25 percent of the world's energy, even though you only account for 3 percent of the population, and we'll be fine. Don't worry about us. That's not leadership. [Transcript courtesy of CNN's Ballot Bowl]

Next thing you know, Obama will be talking about killer rabbits.

UPDATE: Baseball Crank has more.

Democrats' New Political Threat to U.S. Security

We have been through this time and time again.

The left and its media allies cannot accept that the country's leaders, especially those leaders with a Democrat "D" near their name, found it necessary to authorize the use force in the war the Islamic extremists continue to wage against us.

The left's solution has been to fabricate a myth that we were "mislead" into war. Despite the fact that no less than three exhaustive reviews have completely discredited this mythical lie, last week the Democrat controlled Senate Intelligence Committee, chaired by West Virginia Democrat John D. Rockefeller IV, tried to try and rewrite history and thereby breath new life into this despicable myth.

As a few Democrats realize, success in Iraq will be a problem for the Democrats. Now that the success of the surge is being recognized by the press, if not the Democrat's standard bearer, those that once supported the war but switched positions with the prevailing political winds are growing desperate. The only way those Democrats who once supported the war, and thereby offended the Democrats' agenda-setting antiwar left-wingers, can see to hold onto power is to blame their support for the war on being mislead.

Fred Hiatt takes a look at Rockefeller's new report revised history and finds Rockefeller has not yet accomplished the left's mission. Hiatt explains that if you bother to read Rockefeller's new report revised history you will find that it fails to support Rockefeller's assertion that the "administration repeatedly presented intelligence as fact when it was unsubstantiated, contradicted or even nonexistent:"

On Iraq's nuclear weapons program? The president's statements "were generally substantiated by intelligence community estimates."

On biological weapons, production capability and those infamous mobile laboratories? The president's statements "were substantiated by intelligence information."

On chemical weapons, then? "Substantiated by intelligence information."

On weapons of mass destruction overall (a separate section of the intelligence committee report)? "Generally substantiated by intelligence information." Delivery vehicles such as ballistic missiles? "Generally substantiated by available intelligence." Unmanned aerial vehicles that could be used to deliver WMDs? "Generally substantiated by intelligence information."

As you read through the report, you begin to think maybe you've mistakenly picked up the minority dissent. But, no, this is the Rockefeller indictment. So, you think, the smoking gun must appear in the section on Bush's claims about Saddam Hussein's alleged ties to terrorism.

But statements regarding Iraq's support for terrorist groups other than al-Qaeda "were substantiated by intelligence information." Statements that Iraq provided safe haven for Abu Musab al-Zarqawi and other terrorists with ties to al-Qaeda "were substantiated by the intelligence assessments," and statements regarding Iraq's contacts with al-Qaeda "were substantiated by intelligence information." The report is left to complain about "implications" and statements that "left the impression" that those contacts led to substantive Iraqi cooperation.

It is peculiar that it is Rockefeller who is now pushing the Bush Lied myth. Peculiar, because it was
Rockefeller, who said in October 2002 that the threat from Iraq was imminent:
"There has been some debate over how 'imminent' a threat Iraq poses. I do believe Iraq poses an imminent threat. I also believe after September 11, that question is increasingly outdated. . . . To insist on further evidence could put some of our fellow Americans at risk. Can we afford to take that chance? I do not think we can."

The committee's vice chairman, Senator Christopher Bond, along with three other Republican senators filed a minority dissent and assert that they were cut out of the report's preparation, allowing for a great deal of skewing and partisanship, but that even so, "the reports essentially validate what we have been saying all along: that policymakers' statements were substantiated by the intelligence."

Let us again review the facts, at least the way history stood before Rockefeller's attempt at rewriting history.

HISTORY (Before It Was Rewritten)

Again, no fewer than three exhaustive reviews have determined that we were not mislead into war.

The Bipartisan Senate Select Committee Report On The U.S. Intelligence Community's Prewar Intelligence Assessments On Iraq found no evidence of political pressure to change the intelligence community's judgments related to Iraq's weapons programs. At pages 284-285 the report states:

Conclusion 83. The Committee did not find any evidence that Administration officials attempted to coerce, influence or pressure analysts to change their judgments related to Iraq's weapons of mass destruction capabilities.


Conclusion 84. The Committee found no evidence that the Vice President's visits to the Central Intelligence Agency were attempts to pressure analysts, were perceived as intended to pressure analysts by those who participated in the briefings on Iraq's weapons of mass destruction programs, or did pressure analysts to change their assessments.

The Robb-Silberman Commission On The Intelligence Capabilities Of The United States Regarding Weapons Of Mass Destruction likewise found "no evidence of political pressure." At pages 50-51 the Robb-Silberman report states:

The Commission found no evidence of political pressure to influence the Intelligence Community's pre-war assessments of Iraq's weapons programs. As we discuss in detail in the body of our report, analysts universally asserted that in no instance did political pressure cause them to skew or alter any of their analytical judgments. We conclude that it was the paucity of intelligence and poor analytical tradecraft, rather than political pressure, that produced the inaccurate pre-war intelligence assessments.

The British Butler Report, Review Of Intelligence On Weapons Of Mass Destruction similarly "found no evidence of deliberate distortion." At page 110 the British Butler report states:

Treatment of intelligence material

449. In general, we found that the original intelligence material was correctly reported in [Joint Intelligence Committee] assessments. An exception was the '45 minute' report. But this sort of example was rare in the several hundred JIC assessments we read on Iraq. In general, we also found that the reliability of the original intelligence reports was fairly represented by the use of accompanying qualifications. We should record in particular that we have found no evidence of deliberate distortion or of culpable negligence.

The effect of departmental policy agendas

450. We examined JIC assessments to see whether there was evidence that the judgments inside them were systematically distorted by non-intelligence factors, in particular the influence of the policy positions of departments. We found no evidence of JIC assessments and the judgments inside them being pulled in any particular direction to meet the policy concerns of senior officials on the JIC.


In the Committee's rewritten history, according to the New York Times the new report "concluded" that President Bush "and his aides built the public case for war against Iraq by exaggerating available intelligence and by ignoring disagreements among spy agencies about Iraq's weapons programs and Saddam Hussein's links to Al Qaeda:"
In a statement accompanying the report, Senator John D. Rockefeller IV, the West Virginia Democrat who is chairman of the Intelligence Committee, said: “The president and his advisers undertook a relentless public campaign in the aftermath of the attacks to use the war against Al Qaeda as a justification for overthrowing Saddam Hussein.”
That's funny in the peculiar sort of way.

MORE HISTORY (Before It Was Rewritten)

Here is what Rockefeller and other Democrats said before the history was rewritten:

SEN. JAY ROCKFELLER (D-WV): "There is unmistakable evidence that Saddam Hussein is working aggressively to develop nuclear weapons. And will likely have nuclear weapons within the next five years. We also should remember we have always underestimated the progress that Saddam Hussein has been able to make in the development of weapons of mass destruction." (Sen. John Rockefeller, Congressional Record, S.10306, 10/10/02)

SEN. EVAN BAYH (D-IN): "Bill, I support the president's efforts to disarm Saddam Hussein. I think he was right on in his speech tonight. The lessons we learned following September 11 were that we can't wait to be attacked again, particularly when it involves weapons of mass destruction. So regrettably, Saddam has not done the right thing, which is to disarm, and we're left with no alternative but to take action." (Fox News' "The O'Reilly Factor," 3/17/03)

SEN. JOE BIDEN (D-DE): "We know he continues to attempt to gain access to additional capability, including nuclear capability." (NBC's "Meet The Press," 8/4/02)

SEN. CARL LEVIN (D-MI): "[Saddam] has ignored the mandates of the United Nations, is building weapons of mass destruction and the means of delivering them." (Committee On Armed Services, U.S. Senate, Hearing, 09/19/02)

SEN. RUSS FEINGOLD (D-WI): "With regard to Iraq, I agree, Iraq presents a genuine threat, especially in the form of weapons of mass destruction, chemical, biological, and potentially nuclear weapons. I agree that Saddam Hussein is exceptionally dangerous and brutal, if not uniquely so, as the president argues." (Sen. Russell Feingold [D-WI], Congressional Record, S.10147, 10/9/02)

SEN. BARBARA BOXER (D-CA): "The weapons they [Iraq] have are a threat to the world. And mister president, the world must respond." (Sen. Barbara Boxer, Congressional Record, 10/10/02, p. S10252)

SEN. HARRY REID (D-NV): "Saddam Hussein, in effect, has thumbed his nose at the world community. And I think that the President's approaching this in the right fashion." (CNN's "Inside Politics," 09/18/02)

SEN. HILLARY CLNTON (D-NY): "It is clear, however, that if left unchecked, Saddam Hussein will continue to increase his capability to wage biological and chemical warfare and will keep trying to develop nuclear weapons. Should he succeed in that endeavor, he could alter the political and security landscape of the Middle East which, as we know all too well, affects American security." (Sen. Clinton, Congressional Record, S.10288, 10/10/02)

SEN. JOHN KERRY (D-MA): "According to the CIA's report, all U.S. intelligence experts agree that Iraq is seeking nuclear weapons. There is little question that Saddam Hussein wants to develop nuclear weapons." (Sen. Kerry, Congressional Record, S.10172-3, 10/09/02)

SEN. CHRIS DODD (D-CT): "There is no question that Iraq possesses biological and chemical weapons and that he seeks to acquire additional weapons of mass destruction, including nuclear weapons. That is not in debate." (Sen. Dodd, Congressional Record, S.10177, 10/09/02)

SEN. CHUCK SCHUMER (D-NY): "Saddam Hussein is an evil man, a dictator who oppresses his people and flouts the mandate of the international community. While this behavior is reprehensible, it is Hussein's vigorous pursuit of biological, chemical and nuclear weapons, and his present and potential future support for terrorist acts and organizations, that make him a terrible danger to the people to the United States." (Sen. Schumer, Congressional Record, S.10302, 10/10/02)

REP. NANCY PELOSI (D-CA): "As a member of the House Intelligence Committee, I am keenly aware that the proliferation of chemical and biological weapons is an issue of grave importance to all nations. Saddam Hussein has been engaged in the development of weapons of mass destruction technology which is a threat to countries in the region and he has made a mockery of the weapons inspection process." (Rep. Pelosi, Press Release, 12/16/98)

The consensus that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction formed in the Clinton administration. The consensus was more than evident in 1998, when President Clinton was threatening to attack Iraq.

President Clinton:
If Saddam rejects peace and we have to use force, our purpose is clear. We want to seriously diminish the threat posed by Iraq's weapons-of-mass-destruction program.

Secretary of State Madeline Albright:

"We must stop Saddam from ever again jeopardizing the stability and security of his neighbors with weapons of mass destruction," Albright said Sunday, addressing a news conference in Jerusalem.

"The chemical weapons Saddam has used and the biological weapons we know he has tested pay no attention to borders and nationalities."


The Democrats have tried to politicize intelligence before. In January 2003, during the Senate's battle over how much money will go to each party to pay for committee staff, Senate Democrats successfully insisted on changing the staffing structure of the Select Committee on Intelligence. The Democrats’ change divided the committee's staff into two groups, reporting separately to the panel's Republican chairman and Democratic vice chairman.

In a prescient moment, Senator Pat Roberts (R. Kansas), then the incoming chair of the Committee, warned:
"We should preserve our Intelligence Committee staff as a single unified staff that works for the committee as a whole under the supervision of the chairman and the vice chairman. The minority apparently wishes to divide the committee staff for the first time in history into majority — minority or partisan camps."

Jim Geraghty wrote:

Roberts said the panel has been a unique institution in the Senate and was envisioned from its start in 1976 to operate under different rules than other committees. He contends the committee has worked well and effectively with a professional nonpartisan staff as originally intended and should continue to do so.

The committee has made no comparable change in its history. When the committee was formed in 1976, members were allowed to nominate one staff member each to be placed on the panel's payroll and handle that member's committee issues. But over time, it became clear that the staffers felt a greater sense of loyalty to their sponsoring member rather than to the committee as an institution, and according to committee reports, some staffers worked on non-intelligence issues for their member. That system was scrapped at the beginning of the first session of the 104th Congress, and replaced with a system where staffers were assigned to work with specific senators on intelligence-related work.

By the end of 2003, it was revealed that the Democrats had gone even further in their efforts to politicizing intelligence. A leaked memo caught the Democrats plotting to use classified information against President Bush in the 2004 presidential campaign. The contents of the memo, drafted by the Senate Intelligence Committee's Democratic staff and reported by Fox News, can be found here.

You probably remember Democratic Senator Zell Miller's "Heads should roll" reaction:

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Zell Miller (D-GA) today released the following statement concerning a memo written by Democratic staff on the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence that suggests ways to politicize intelligence data:

I have often said that the process in Washington is so politicized and polarized that it can’t even be put aside when we’re at war. Never has that been proved more true than the highly partisan and perhaps treasonous memo prepared for the Democrats on the Intelligence Committee.

Of all the committees, this is the one single committee that should unquestionably be above partisan politics. The information it deals with should never, never be distorted, compromised or politicized in any shape, form or fashion. For it involves the lives of our soldiers and our citizens. Its actions should always be above reproach; its words never politicized.

If what has happened here is not treason, it is its first cousin. The ones responsible - be they staff or elected or both should be dealt with quickly and severely sending a lesson to all that this kind of action will not be tolerated, ignored or excused.

Heads should roll!”

Former Democratic Senator Bob Kerrey, who served as vice-chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, was critical of this attempt to politicize intelligence. In an article entitled “A Political Threat to U.S. Security,” Kerrey wrote:

The production of a memo by an employee of a Democratic member of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence is an example of the destructive side of partisan politics. That it probably emerged as a consequence of an increasingly partisan environment in Washington and may have been provoked by equally destructive Republican acts is neither a comfort nor a defensible rationalization.

It is small comfort because the House and Senate intelligence oversight committees were established 30 years ago expressly and explicitly to be a unique refuge from the destructive forces of partisan politics. Keeping these committees non-partisan is vital for the nation's security because much of what is done to collect, process and disseminate intelligence needed by civilian and military leaders is done under conditions of rigorously regulated secrecy.

The Democrats have politicized intelligence before. They didn't get away with it in 2003 and they shouldn't get away with it now just because they attempt to do so under the guise of a poorly rewritten history.