"There is no limit to what a man can do or where he can go if he doesn't mind who gets the credit." - President Ronald Reagan.

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Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Rep. Artur Davis: "We Were Wrong!"

Rep. Artur Davis, Democrat-Birmingham, Alabama, who was in the video from 2004 of Democrats fighting Republican efforts to fix Fannie Mae issued a statement of apology today admitting, "We Were Wrong!" Davis wasn't as vocal or obnoxious as Rep. Maxine Waters.

“Like a lot of my Democratic colleagues, I was too slow to appreciate the recklessness of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. I defended their efforts to encourage affordable homeownership, when in retrospect I should have heeded the concerns raised by their regulator in 2004. Frankly, I wish my Democratic colleagues would admit that when it comes to Fannie and Freddie, we were wrong. By the way, I wish my Republican colleagues would admit that they missed the early warning signs that Wall Street deregulation was overheating the securities market and promoting dangerously lax lending practices. When it comes to the debacle in our capital markets, there is much blame to go around for both sides.”

In the video, Davis said, "The concern that I have is you're making very specific, what you have correctly acknowledged, broad and categorical judgments about the management of this institution, about the willfulness of practices that may or may not be in controversy. You've imputed various motives to the people running the organization. You went to the board and put a 48-hour ultimatum on them without having any specific regulatory authority to put that kind of ultimatum on 'em. Uh, that sounds like some kind of an invisible line has been crossed."

Thus far, Davis is the only Democrat who accepted responsibility in this mess. Kudos to him. I disagree that Republicans missed the warning signs and deregulation had nothing to do with the debacle. He also voted yesterday for the bailout bill.

Only An Idiot Would Vote Democrat!

This was supposed to be a Democrat year. With an unpopular president, unpopular war, looming recession pressures, it appeared that the Democrats would clean up. However, it hasn't worked out that way.

The presidential race is basically a horse race with both Senators McCain and Obama neck-and-neck with some fluctuations. Likewise, the congress is up for grabs. The Democrats expected to add many numbers to their majorities, but recent polls have shown that the GOP has closed the gap.

The meltdown on Wall Street should be going against the Democrats as they created Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and documentation has emerged that they resisted Republican efforts to fix them (see earlier post on the 2004 video of Rep. Maxine Waters, et al. fighting with Republicans).

The Democrats caused the problem, refused to fix it when they had the chance, and they should pay a heavy price for it.

Barack Obama gained his nomination by the skin of his teeth. He is an empty suit whose resume is as "thin as piss on a rock" and it is only due to the MSM's support that he is where he is. He's a nothing.

The Democrats have offered nothing but more socialism. They screwed up this economy. With all this going on, anyone who votes for a Democrat, all down the line, would have to be an idiot to do so.

I am not overly fond of John McCain, but he is a far better choice than Obama. His adding of Gov. Sarah Palin generated great excitement within the party. I pray that the McCain campaign didn't overload her for her debate with Joe Biden. Let Palin be Palin.

They say that a country gets the government they deserve. If the idiots prevail and Obama wins and the Democrats add to their majorities, when things get even worse, you can't say I didn't tell you so.

"Burning Down The House" - Democrats' Fannie Mae Cover-up

A video of Democrats defending and covering up Fannie Mae in 2004 had surfaced on YouTube. But since YouTube's parent company supports Obama, it has been pulled.

However, this link will take you to a different site that still has the video with instructions on how to download it into your computer.

Pass this on!

Monday, September 29, 2008

Bailout Fails In House Vote!

Taxpayers scored a big victory today when the House failed to pass the bailout bill by a vote of 228 to 205.

Speaker Nancy Pelosi immediately blamed Republicans for the bill's failure. During the debate before the vote, Democrats badmouthed the GOP over the crisis (despite the fact that this crisis is Democrat-made) and Pelosi gave a scathing speech at the end of the debate against Republicans. How do they expect Republicans to support them if they are being badmouthed? She definitely dissed too many people.

Minority leader John Boehner said that the bailout would have passed, but "had it not been for this partisan speech the Speaker gave on the floor of the House." He lamented that just before the vote came up, "... the Speaker had to give a Partisan voice that poisoned our caucus." Looks like Pelosi's mouth took her to a place that her feet couldn't get her out of.

Apparently, Pelosi was also unable to strongarm enough Democrats to pass the bailout as 40% voted against it. Over 90 of them voted against the bailout. No doubt worried about their re-election.

On a side note: Rush Limbaugh today played audio from a C-SPAN video (on YouTube) of Democrats fighting against Republican efforts in 2004 to reform Fannie Mae. The Democrats (led by Rep. Maxine Waters) played the race card and called GOP efforts a "political lynching of Franklin Raines." Check it out! Video here!

UPDATE: YouTube pulled the video (small wonder, their parent company is an Obama supporter) but another site has it and I edited the link above accordingly.

Obama Truth Squad Thuggery

As mentioned in my update on Obama: Thuggery You Can Believe In, the News 4 television station is trying to back off the report on prosecutor intimidation in the Missouri Obama "truth squads." They are now claiming that the story got "twisted."

Newsbusters.org posted this in response:

News 4 reporter Mills has more recently tried to back away from his original report:

“If they think a group has put out a misleading ad, they’re basically going to call a press conference and say the ad is misleading," reporter John Mills told the News-Leader on Sunday. "I’m sure the Republicans would do the same thing."

In his TV report, Mills said the prosecutors "also say that they plan to respond immediately to any ads and statements that might violate violate Missouri ethics laws."

..... In Mills' Sept. 23 report, there is no mention by St. Louis County Attorney Bob McCulloch and St. Louis City Attorney Jennifer Joyce that they would invoke their prosecutorial powers to stop any perceived mistruths from being spread about the Democratic presidential candidate.

Horse manure.

These people are prosecutors.

How do prosecutors "respond" to actions they feel violate the law? They prosecute. Most reasonable viewers would have concluded that they were planning to act against "offenders" in their official capacities.

This backoff by Mills is baloney. The original plan, from the Obama campaign, comes from people who simply didn't realize how ugly what they were saying, planning, and probably still doing, sounds -- and is.

Like me, they aren't buying the "official" clarification. The Obama campaign has a track record of intimidation and threats against opponents. That is Chicago-style thuggery, plain and simple. Just ask the NRA, Stanley Kurtz and David Freddoso.

Additionally, The American Thinker posted this:

St. Louis prosecutor Jennifer Joyce, member of the Obama "Truth Squad" in Missouri made up of members of law enforcement pleads innocent to charges of intimidation of political foes.

The Political Fix has her statement:

As a citizen, I believe that elections should be about issues. I also have enormous respect for our First Amendment and freedom of speech. My sole purpose in participating in this initiative is about getting truthful information to the voters. This has never been or never will be about prosecuting people.

Clearly there are those who are attempting to twist the purpose of this initiative for their own benefit. This attack is a great example of how the truth is distorted in campaigns and what we're trying to stand up against.

Nice strawman, Jennifer. No one on this side is talking about prosecution either - only the threat of prosecution which everyone knows is a time honored tactic of prosecutors who desire a certain result in court but can't prove wrongdoing.

In this case, there's a little old thing called the First Amendment that stands in the way. But that wouldn't stop an aggressive prosecutor from sending letters hinting that opponents could be arrested if their version of the "truth" were in conflict with the official Obama line.

And where's MSM on this story? There's nothing but dead silence from them. Of course, if it were the McCain campaign doing this, the story would be on the front page of every newspaper and it would be the lead story on the television news.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Obama: Thuggery You Can Believe In!

Barack Obama's legal team must've graduated from the University of Moscow in the 1940s (during Josef Stalin's time) as they have again tried to trample opponents' First Amendment rights:

According to Newsmax.com:

The Obama camp has been threatening television and radio stations to keep them from airing anti-Obama ads.

The latest target is the NRA and stations in Pennsylvania.

The Obama camp is particularly angry with an NRA ad entitled "Hunter" which lays out Obama's record on gun control.

Obama's campaign also earlier threatened stations airing the Bill Ayres ad by the American Issues Project along with stations who broadcast interviews with Obama critics Stanley Kurtz and David Freddoso.

The National Rifle Association issued this statement:

Earlier this week, the National Rifle Association-PVF released a series of radio and television spots to educate gun owners and sportsmen about Barack Obama's longstanding anti-gun record. In response to the NRA-PVF ads, a clearly panicked Obama campaign and the Democratic National Committee (DNC) are doing everything they can to hide Obama's real record by mounting a coordinated assault on the First Amendment.

They have gone to desperate and outrageous lengths to try to silence your NRA by bullying media outlets with threats of lawsuits if they run NRA-PVF's ads. They have sent intimidating cease and desist letters to cable operators and television stations, threatening their FCC licenses if they run the ads.

Obama and the DNC have been using strong-arm tactics reminiscent of Chicago machine politics to try and cover up the truth and silence NRA by forcing the stations to assist them in hiding Obama's radical anti-gun record.

And now, Obama and the DNC have opened a new front in their assault on your First Amendment rights by calling on their followers to contact these station managers to demand that the stations not run NRA-PVF's ads.

NRA stands behind the accuracy of these ads, and NRA attorneys have responded to the Obama campaign's despicable and abusive attempt to trample on the First Amendment by sending a thorough rebuttal to station managers. This rebuttal clearly and conclusively refutes the Obama campaign's fallacious claims that the ads are inaccurate. For more information, and to see the letter, please click here.

To learn the truth about Barack Obama's anti-gun record, please visit http://www.GunBanObama.com This website is loaded with features and information that you, as a gun owner, need to know. This is a must-see website that you will want to pass along to anyone you know who loves freedom and supports the Second Amendment. While you're there, don't forget to take the "OMatch," compatibility quiz to see if you and Barack are a match.

Copyright 2008, National Rifle Association of America, Institute for Legislative Action.

Definitely thuggery you can believe in!

More thuggery (Source: PowerLineBlog.com):

In Missouri, Obama has enlisted his allies in public office, including St. Louis County Circuit Attorney Bob McCulloch, to threaten criminal prosecution of any Missouri television station that runs ads about Obama that are untrue. Since every politician sincerely believes that all ads run by his opponents are untrue, the field of potential criminal exposure is broad indeed.

Missouri's Governor Matt Blunt responded strongly to Obama's attempted flaunting of the Constitution:

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

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

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

Barack Obama needs to grow up. Leftist blogs and others in the press constantly say false things about me and my family. Usually, we ignore false and scurrilous accusations because the purveyors have no credibility. When necessary, we refute them. Enlisting Missouri law enforcement to intimidate people and kill free debate is reminiscent of the Sedition Acts - not a free society.

What would Obama do if he became President and in control of the Justice Department?


Mark Steyn at National Review Online weighs in:

Yes, we ban [Mark Steyn]

As Stanley Kurtz, Milt Rosenberg and David Freddoso can tell you, this pattern is well established: The Obama campaign's response to uncongenial allegations is not to rebut them but to use its muscle to squash the authors. This is especially true when it comes to attempts to lift the curtain however briefly on the Senator's mysterious past. The New York Times' general line on the Obama candidacy may approximate that of Bagehot on the British monarchy ("we must not let daylight in upon magic"), but the last time I checked that was not yet constitutionally enshrined.

Throughout my travails this last year with Canada's capricious, totalitarian "human rights" commissions, I have expressed my appreciation for America's First Amendment. Free societies do not criminalize opinion. What Obama is doing via pliable Missouri public officials is disgusting - and a revealng portent of what his Administration would do to its enemies*.

(*By "enemies", I mean Stan and David, of course. Ahmadinejad & Co will be sleeping soundly in their beds.)


The Springfield, Missouri News-Leader is now reporting:

A St. Louis television reporter says a story he reported last week about Barack Obama's campaign forming a “truth squad” of prosecutors has been twisted out of context.

Republicans, including Gov. Matt Blunt, and conservative talk shows hosts have sought to portray Obama's use of prosecutors as campaign surrogates as a form of intimidation to squelch free speech.

But the KMOV reporter who first reported about two St. Louis County prosecutors joining the truth squad says "in the retelling of the story, it got out of control."

“If they think a group has put out a misleading ad, they’re basically going to call a press conference and say the ad is misleading," reporter John Mills told the News-Leader on Sunday. "I’m sure the Republicans would do the same thing."

In Mills’ Sept. 23 report, there is no mention by St. Louis County Attorney Bob McCulloch and St. Louis City Attorney Jennifer Joyce that they would invoke their prosecutorial powers to stop any perceived mistruths from being spread about the Democratic presidential candidate.

Even though McCullough and Joyce never said they would invoke their powers, Republicans say just attaching their law enforcement titles to their names for political reasons gives off a perception of a police state.

“Prosecutors, because they can take away from somebody’s liberty, are held to a higher standard … because people are intimidated by them,” said Ed Martin, a St. Louis attorney and president of the American Issues Project.

In August, Martin’s organization aired a television ad in Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Virginia describing Obama’s longstanding relationship with William Ayers, an unrepentant 1960s domestic terrorist. While not disputing its facts, the Obama campaign has called for Martin's group to be prosecuted.

Frank Donatelli, deputy chairman of the Republican National Committee, held a conference call with reporters Saturday morning while touring the state’s offices for GOP presidential candidate John McCain.

In an interview with the News-Leader, Donatelli admitted the Democratic prosecutors “haven’t specifically said” they would use their prosecutorial powers on Obama’s behalf.

“I don’t think you have to use the power. I think if you just call out somebody and you have the power, you’ve made your point,” Donatelli said. “It’s not that you have to prosecute a guy, but people think you might.”

Donatelli said prosecutors don’t normally join campaign truth squads because their mere presence as a campaign attack dog “has a chilling affect on people’s rights of free speech.”

Exactly! Why announce that prosecutors and sheriffs are a part of this "truth squad" then? Obviously, it is to intimidate Obama's opposition. Since the Obama campaign has already used thug tactics against Kurtz, Rosenberg, Freddoso and the NRA, a reasonable person is going to assume that the DAs, sheriffs and city attorneys on Obama's behalf would prosecute anyone who telecasts an "untrue" ad against Obama.

Plus, the station's original report said this:

Prosecutors and sheriffs from across Missouri have teamed up with something called the Barack Obama Truth Squad, announced KMOV’s News 4, at 6 p.m.

“The Barack Obama campaign is asking Missouri law enforcement to target anyone who lies or runs a misleading TV ad during the presidential campaign,” News 4 reported.

Hello! They said, "asking Missouri law enforcement to target anyone." If that doesn't mean prosecution, I don't know what else does!

I'm not buying their excuse. I wasn't born yesterday.

Obama Lied About Kissinger's Iran Position

Former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger (pictured above with Gov. Sarah Palin) is annoyed that Sen. Barack Obama lied about his Iran positions during last night's debate with Sen. John McCain. McCain even refuted Obama's misstatement on Kissinger's Iran position during the debate.

In an exclusive to the Weekly Standard former Sec. Kissinger made it clear - he was NOT pleased that Obama had lied about his position on the issue of Iran in the evening's debate:

He says: "Senator McCain is right. I would not recommend the next President of the United States engage in talks with Iran at the Presidential level. My views on this issue are entirely compatible with the views of my friend Senator John McCain. We do not agree on everything, but we do agree that any negotiations with Iran must be geared to reality."

Debate 1: McCain Wins

It is interesting to hear the first debate between Senators John McCain and Barack Obama. I say hearing as I was on the road and listened to the debate on the radio.

Remember back in 1960, those who listened to the first debate between John Kennedy and Richard Nixon felt Nixon won, but those who watched it felt Kennedy won.

On substance, McCain clearly showed his experience. His points just flowed with passion and conviction. While Obama did not make any major gaffes, he sounded as if he crammed for a big high school or college exam. His points were devoid of any passion or conviction.

To underscore Obama's lack of experience and real conviction, the moment came when McCain mentioned a bracelet he wore with a fallen soldier's name. Obama then jumped in and said that he, too, wore a bracelet. Then he fumbled around and had to read the name. Jim Geraghty at National Review Online felt it was a "Bush (George H. W. Bush) looking at his watch moment."

This was clearly John McCain's debate. Although he came out ahead, he passed up a lot of opportunities to run away with it (like mentioning Obama's taking the Georgia/Russia matter to the United Nations where Russia has a veto on the Security Council).


68% 229,654
30% 100,693
2% 8,249

Total Votes: 338,596

Friday, September 26, 2008

How the Democrats Created the Financial Crisis

Who is to blame for the financial crisis? The Democrats!

Kevin Hassett wrote this at Bloomberg.com:

How the Democrats Created the Financial Crisis: Kevin Hassett

Commentary by Kevin Hassett

Sept. 22 (Bloomberg) -- The financial crisis of the past year has provided a number of surprising twists and turns, and from Bear Stearns Cos. to American International Group Inc., ambiguity has been a big part of the story.

Why did Bear Stearns fail, and how does that relate to AIG? It all seems so complex.

But really, it isn't. Enough cards on this table have been turned over that the story is now clear. The economic history books will describe this episode in simple and understandable terms: Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac exploded, and many bystanders were injured in the blast, some fatally.

Fannie and Freddie did this by becoming a key enabler of the mortgage crisis. They fueled Wall Street's efforts to securitize subprime loans by becoming the primary customer of all AAA-rated subprime-mortgage pools. In addition, they held an enormous portfolio of mortgages themselves.

In the times that Fannie and Freddie couldn't make the market, they became the market. Over the years, it added up to an enormous obligation. As of last June, Fannie alone owned or guaranteed more than $388 billion in high-risk mortgage investments. Their large presence created an environment within which even mortgage-backed securities assembled by others could find a ready home.

The problem was that the trillions of dollars in play were only low-risk investments if real estate prices continued to rise. Once they began to fall, the entire house of cards came down with them.
How the Democrats Created the Financial Crisis: Kevin Hassett
Turning Point

Take away Fannie and Freddie, or regulate them more wisely, and it's hard to imagine how these highly liquid markets would ever have emerged. This whole mess would never have happened.

It is easy to identify the historical turning point that marked the beginning of the end.

Back in 2005, Fannie and Freddie were, after years of dominating Washington, on the ropes. They were enmeshed in accounting scandals that led to turnover at the top. At one telling moment in late 2004, captured in an article by my American Enterprise Institute colleague Peter Wallison, the Securities and Exchange Comiission's chief accountant told disgraced Fannie Mae chief Franklin Raines that Fannie's position on the relevant accounting issue was not even ``on the page'' of allowable interpretations.

Then legislative momentum emerged for an attempt to create a ``world-class regulator'' that would oversee the pair more like banks, imposing strict requirements on their ability to take excessive risks. Politicians who previously had associated themselves proudly with the two accounting miscreants were less eager to be associated with them. The time was ripe.

Greenspan's Warning

The clear gravity of the situation pushed the legislation forward. Some might say the current mess couldn't be foreseen, yet in 2005 Alan Greenspan told Congress how urgent it was for it to act in the clearest possible terms: If Fannie and Freddie ``continue to grow, continue to have the low capital that they have, continue to engage in the dynamic hedging of their portfolios, which they need to do for interest rate risk aversion, they potentially create ever-growing potential systemic risk down the road,'' he said. ``We are placing the total financial system of the future at a substantial risk.''

What happened next was extraordinary. For the first time in history, a serious Fannie and Freddie reform bill was passed by the Senate Banking Committee. The bill gave a regulator power to crack down, and would have required the companies to eliminate their investments in risky assets.

Different World

If that bill had become law, then the world today would be different. In 2005, 2006 and 2007, a blizzard of terrible mortgage paper fluttered out of the Fannie and Freddie clouds, burying many of our oldest and most venerable institutions. Without their checkbooks keeping the market liquid and buying up excess supply, the market would likely have not existed.

But the bill didn't become law, for a simple reason: Democrats opposed it on a party-line vote in the committee, signaling that this would be a partisan issue. Republicans, tied in knots by the tight Democratic opposition, couldn't even get the Senate to vote on the matter.

That such a reckless political stand could have been taken by the Democrats was obscene even then. Wallison wrote at the time: ``It is a classic case of socializing the risk while privatizing the profit. The Democrats and the few Republicans who oppose portfolio limitations could not possibly do so if their constituents understood what they were doing.''

Mounds of Materials

Now that the collapse has occurred, the roadblock built by Senate Democrats in 2005 is unforgivable. Many who opposed the bill doubtlessly did so for honorable reasons. Fannie and Freddie provided mounds of materials defending their practices. Perhaps some found their propaganda convincing.

But we now know that many of the senators who protected Fannie and Freddie, including Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton and Christopher Dodd, have received mind-boggling levels of financial support from them over the years.

Throughout his political career, Obama has gotten more than $125,000 in campaign contributions from employees and political action committees of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, second only to Dodd, the Senate Banking Committee chairman, who received more than $165,000.

Clinton, the 12th-ranked recipient of Fannie and Freddie PAC and employee contributions, has received more than $75,000 from the two enterprises and their employees. The private profit found its way back to the senators who killed the fix.

There has been a lot of talk about who is to blame for this crisis. A look back at the story of 2005 makes the answer pretty clear.

Oh, and there is one little footnote to the story that's worth keeping in mind while Democrats point fingers between now and Nov. 4: Senator John McCain was one of the three cosponsors of S.190, the bill that would have averted this mess.

(Kevin Hassett, director of economic-policy studies at the American Enterprise Institute, is a Bloomberg News columnist. He is an adviser to Republican Senator John McCain of Arizona in the 2008 presidential election. The opinions expressed are his own.)

CNN Feeding Obama Camp Debate Questions?

A rumor is afoot that CNN may be feeding the Obama campaign the questions to be asked during tonight's debate, if it comes off.

Frankly, I would not be at all surprised as the MSM has been in the tank for Obama. It is my opinion that they would stoop this low.

We'll see!

Dems Try To Give ACORN $100 Million!

It has been revealed that the leftist crooks of ACORN were in line to receive $100 million from the Paulson bailout plan.

Michelle Malkin writes:

Just heard from several readers that Lindsay Grahamnesty told Fox that the Mother of All Bailouts includes a reported $100 million more in funding for the left-wing housing entitlement thugs and heavily tax-subsidized fraudsters at ACORN. Under the original bailout proposal, apparently, a large portion of any repayment of the $700 billion would go to Barack Obama’s good friends at ACORN with a smaller allocation to debt repayment. Readers heard him say it was 20 percent.

Told you not to trust Hank Paulson.

And I repeat: Fiscal conservatives need to be looking out for us tonight as they try to ram this thing through with a plethora of goodies for liberal shakedown artists.


Update: A Freeper writes, “Senator Graham is referring to Section 5 of the Dodd counter-proposal to the Paulson Plan. To summarize, it promises a minimum 20% of the ‘profits’ from the Treasury’s sale of assets to The Housing Trust Fund and the Capital Magnet Fund.” See here.


ACORN has been organizing protests across the country while maneuvering for their next handout.

No bloody way would the Republicans go for a plan that funds ACORN. It is a good thing they walked out!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

McCain/Obama Debate May Be On!

The Los Angeles Times is reporting:

There were indications today that McCain intends to attend the debate after all, despite his request Wednesday for its postponement. Campaign aides told reporters traveling with the candidate that there was the possibility of a flight to Mississippi after this afternoon's meeting about the bailout plan with President Bush at the White House.

There are also indications that some economic discussions will take place during the debate despite the topic being on foreign policy.

Reid Sneaks Oil Shale Ban In Bailout

It has been discovered that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-NV, tried to sneak in an extension of an expired ban on oil shale drilling into the appropriations continuing resolution (CR).

From The Heritage Foundation:

Leave it to Senator Majority Leader Harry Reid to crash the Energy Freedom party. Not only is he crashing the party, he’s doing so through the side door where he thinks no one can see him.

Just when it appeared that we could celebrate Congress lifting the ban on oil shale, Senator Reid “has decided to sneak an extension of the oil shale ban through as Congress fights over the financial bailout.”

Thanks to Senator Jim DeMint and his blog for alerting the public and providing the text of the legislation:

Sec 1602 continues ban on oil shale. The language follows: SEC. 1602. Notwithstanding any other provision of law, including section 152 of division A of H.R. 2638 (110th Congress), the Consolidated Security, Disaster Assistance, and Continuing Appropriations Act, 2009, the terms and conditions contained in section 433 of division F of Public Law 110–161 shall remain in effect for the 19 fiscal year ending September 30, 2009.

This comes as both a stunning and ridiculous development; Americans are still coping with high energy prices and coming to grips with a plan to bailout Wall Street, and Senator Reid is denying access to potentially one of America’s most abundant energy reserves.

Thank goodness Reid's chicanery had been discovered and removed. Remember, the Democrats want you to pay high prices at the gas pump!

News Flash For Obama: Pig With Lipstick Found!

News Flash For Obama: Pig With Lipstick Found!

An actual pig with lipstick has been located:

The Statesman and The Coward

John McCain suspended his campaign effective today and proposed that Friday's debate on foreign policy be delayed. McCain did this so he can return to Washington, D.C. to concentrate his efforts to arrive at a legislative solution to the Wall Street mess. He also asked Sen. Barack Obama to join him.

But Obama rebuffed him. He said that he's "available anytime, anywhere" and all anyone needs to do is to "call me."

"Call me" is not leadership. That is putting partisan interests ahead of the national interest. "Call me" is also cowardice. It also signals an admission (of sorts) that he feels he isn't needed.

Obama also contends that it is important for the people to see a debate. I would agree had the debate's topic tonight was economic policy. Instead, it is on foreign policy. Obama says the people "need to hear from us." Why didn't he accept McCain's challenge for several town hall meetings? Obama refused them all. He also refused to appear jointly with McCain at the Lake Forest forum. He insisted instead on appearing separately. Waiting a few days before debating (after the final legislation is passed) wouldn't hurt anything.

In putting the national interest ahead of politics, McCain has shown that his slogan of "Country First" is a real McCain principle, not just a slogan. That is the definition of leadership and statesmanship.

Obama has agreed to attend a meeting today at the White House only when President Bush called him. He will be joining McCain and congressional leaders of both parties. This is a welcome flip-flop, but it still went against Obama's original impulse. Perhaps his pollsters found that his "Katrina Moment" wasn't playing well with the public. As the titular leader of his party, it was also his duty to attend.

So who won the day? Clearly it was McCain. He showed leadership, take action and a capacity to make decisions. Obama appeared to have been "caught in the headlights." He also took his sweet time to respond.

As a member of the U.S. Senate, it is Obama's job to be present for crucial votes. By accepting Bush's invitation, he ended up doing the blinking.

McCain gave a game-changing performance. He looked and acted presidential. Obama's performance was one of a coward, not of a president.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Obama: No Reason To Postpone Debate and Suspend Campaign

McCain suspended his campaign to return to Washington to deal with the economic crisis.

NEW YORK (AP) - Republican John McCain says he's directing his staff to work with Barack Obama's campaign and the debate commission to delay Friday's debate because of the economic crisis.

In a statement, McCain says he will stop campaigning after addressing former President Bill Clinton's Global Initiative session on Thursday and return to Washington to focus on the nation's financial problems.

McCain also said he wants President Bush to convene a leadership meeting in Washington. Both he and Obama would attend the session.

McCain gave a brief statement before the press and said he is suspending his campaign until action is completed in Congress on how to deal with the economic crisis. He called upon Barack Obama to do the same.

The Obama campaign spokesman responded, "There's no reason to postpone the debate or suspend campaigning."

Looks like Obama again is putting politics before the national interest.

Is It True? Sen. McCain is voting NO

This was posted by Amanda Carpenter:

Wednesday, September 24, 2008
Is It True??
Posted by: Amanda Carpenter at 1:45 PM

Democratic Majority Leader Harry Reid said he got word John McCain will support the bailout.

“I got some good news in the last hour or so … it appears that Sen. McCain is going to come out for this,” Reid said, according to The Hill.

"It appears" are the operative words here. McCain has not made any public statements indicating this is true. Why would he let Reid break the news on this?

How mad would it make TH readers if McCain supported this thing???
Is there any chance Reid is misspeaking, or trying to make people mad at McCain?

Update: Commenter Sarah writes:
"Either Sen. Reid is not telling the truth or the person who I spoke with in Sen. McCain's office lied to me. I just contacted Sen. John McCain's DC office not 1/2 an hour ago (of whom I am a constituent) and was informed by the nice woman on the other end that Sen. McCain is voting NO on the $700 billion "No Wall Street Banker Left Behind" bill. I called 202-224-2235."

Say No To Wall Street Bailout Petition

If you oppose the Wall Street Bailout, here's a petition you can use to vent:

No Wall Street Bailout

FBI Investigating Fanny, Freddie, AIG, Lehman, et al.

Accordng to the Associated Press:

The FBI is investigating four major U.S. financial institutions whose collapse helped trigger a $700 billion bailout plan by the Bush administration, The Associated Press has learned.

Two law enforcement officials said Tuesday the FBI is looking at potential fraud by mortgage finance giants Fannie Mae (FNM) and Freddie Mac (FRE), and insurer American International Group Inc. (AIG) Additionally, a senior law enforcement official said Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. (LEH) also is under investigation.

The inquiries will focus on the financial institutions and the individuals that ran them, the senior law enforcement official said.

Definitely a step in the right direction!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Before Congress Okays Bailout...

Before Congress okays the $700 billion bailout of Wall Street, they need to do a few things:

1. Remove Barney Frank, D-Mass., as chairman of the House Financial Services Committee.

2. Remove Christopher Dodd, D-Conn., as chairman of the Senate Banking Committee. He was the top recipient of campaign donations from Fannie Mae. That alone should disqualify him from being involved in the bailout package.

From Yahoo Anwers.com:

Both of them pushed for lending standards to be watered down to permit sub-prime loans, so that minorities would get loans. Now we are in a fully fledged financial and housing crisis because of these loans. The principal quasi-federal agencies - Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac - have gone belly up. Those who were running them are closely connected with Senator Obama's campaign.

3. Launch a full investigation of the cause(s) of this financial mess. The investigation should be made by a Senate Select Committee, not through the Senate Banking Committee headed by Dodd. Likewise, a special investigation should be made by the House of Representatives.

4. If the House and Senate refuse to fully and fairly investigate this mess, then President Bush should appoint a special Presidential Commission.

If heads should roll, including those of Franklin Raines, Jim Johnson and Jaime Gorelick, then they should roll.

Obama Campaign Behind Palin Smear Video?

The Jawa Report has done some investigating into a Sarah Palin smear video posted at YouTube. It seems that the trail leads to a Democrat PR firm, Publicis Groupe's Winner & Associates.

Jawa has posted a detailed report called Hope, Change, & Lies: Orchestrated "Grassroots" Smear Campaigns & the People that Run Them.

The Jawa Report writes:

We believe that the case has been made that the Palin smear video was produced by the Publicis Groupe's Winner & Associates. We believe the evidence to this effect is compelling.

We also believe that the evidence shows that W&A tried to spread the lies about Palin in such a way as to catch the attention of the left-wing netroot supporters of Barack Obama. We think it is unlikely that one of the largest PR firms in the world would do this for free. That they would pay for video production out of their own pockets, hire a well known voice actress, or that its employees would work together in their free time to help the video go viral.

So, if we're right, who paid them? As of this writing we cannot answer that question. Our initial reaction was that this campaign had all the hallmarks of the Soros funded Moveon.org, but given David Axelrod's known predilection to these type of stealth campaigns it would not surprise us in the least if the Obama campaign itself was orchestrating it.

Nope, considering that Obama is a product of Chicago machine thug politics, it would be no surprise at all.

UPDATE: Ethan Winner issued the following statement:

September 22, 2008

1:30 pm PDT

Statement of Ethan Winner

The following is in response to questions I have received regarding the post on the Jawa Report website.

I produced and posted on the Internet the video entitled “Sarah Palin: A Heartbeat Away.”

The idea for the video was mine. No one paid me to produce it. The only out-of-pocket cost will be the fee for the voice-over narrator, which I will pay personally when I receive an invoice. Contrary to the allegation in the Jawa Report, the voice-over artist has never done any work for the Obama campaign. I retained her through a talent agency based solely on the quality of her voice.

Neither the Obama campaign nor any independent political action committee has had a connection with the making and/or posting of this video. Just like the thousands of Americans who have posted videos on the Internet regarding the current Presidential campaign, I produced this video as an expression of my right to free speech, which is guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution.

I believe the American people have a right and a need to know information about candidates for political office and their views. I made this video because I think it is important for the public to be aware of the association between Sarah and Todd Palin and the Alaskan Independence Party. The New York Times has reported that the Alaskan Independence Party website describes the party as seeking, in the words of the party, “a range of solutions to the conflicts between federal and local authority,” including “advocacy for state’s rights, through a return to territorial status, all the way to complete independence and nationhood status for Alaska.”

While a number of media outlets have said that reports that Sarah Palin was a member of the Alaskan Independence Party may have been erroneous, her attendance at the party’s 1994 convention, her video speech to the 2008 convention and her husband’s membership in the Alaskan Independence Party have not been called into question.

Some people have asked why I have pulled the video from the Internet. The reason is simple. Following the posting of personal information about me by the Jawa Report, my family began to receive threatening and abusive phone calls and emails.

Rusty Shackleford's Response:

Do I find his response hard to believe. Yes I do. I would especially note the carefully crafted future tense usage for when he will pay the voice over artist.

It’s almost …. Clintonesque.

So, he produces the video. He pays for the video production — out of his own pocket. He then posts it to YouTube using multiple phony identities.

Then he gets his friends at one of the largest PR firms in the world to post it on the internet, to suggest to others that they pass it on, and spend company time defending the outright lies in the video — all for free?

And the multimillionaire who is President of the firm also spends his free time defending the lies on his “homemade” — yet professionally voiced over — video?

Hey Ethan, with that business savvy no wonder you were forced to rent out the family yacht! Maybe it’s time to also get rid of those courtside seats.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Sarah Palin Disinvited By Blackmail

It now has been revealed that left wing Democrat groups blackmailed the Conference of Presidents of Major Jewish Organizations with threats of lawsuits on their tax-exempt non-profit status unless Gov. Sarah Palin is disinvited to attend the anti-Mahmoud Ahmadinejad rally. Ahmadinejad is to appear at the United Nations this coming week.

Rush Limbaugh brought this out during his opening monologue this morning.

CBS 2 spoke to Assemblyman Dov Hikind, Democrat from Brooklyn, who said:

"This is insulting. This is embarrassing, especially to Gov. Palin, to me and I think it should be to every single New Yorker. It's an absolute shame that this has happened. To threaten organizations - to threaten the Conference of Presidents that if you don't withdraw the invitation to Gov. Palin we're going to look into your tax exempt status - that's McCarthyism."

The same report quoted Bob Kunst, the president of "Hillary Now":

“I’m absolutely appalled at the behavior of the Democrats. I’m a Democrat and for the first time in my life I’m going to vote Republican. I can’t take it anymore.”

There is a rule in Saul Alinsky's “Rules for Radicals” book. It is Rule #9.

Rule 9: The threat is more terrifying than the thing itself. When Alinsky leaked word that large numbers of poor people were going to tie up the washrooms of O’Hare Airport, Chicago city authorities quickly agreed to act on a longstanding commitment to a ghetto organization. They imagined the mayhem as thousands of passengers poured off airplanes to discover every washroom occupied. Then they imagined the international embarrassment and the damage to the city’s reputation.

So Obama partisans, using Alinsky's Rule 9, threatened the Jewish groups with lawsuits on their tax-exempt non-profit status. Obama has acknowledged Alinsky's influence on him.

Richard Baehr at the American Thinker wrote:

In one of the most shameful, cowardly and foolish displays by the organized Jewish community in America since its weak response to the Holocaust, the Conference of Presidents of Major Jewish Organizations, and its Executive Director Malcolm Hoenlein, caved in to pressure from left wing Democratic groups, and disinvited Sarah Palin from speaking at the rally by the UN today to protest Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and his genocidal agenda for Israel.

Incredibly, the NJDC and its leader Ira Forman and the J-Street lobby, both crowed of their role in the decision. Having spent a day on an NJDC panel in Denver, I can attest to the fact that Iran (and for that matter, Israel) were not even on the agenda of the Jewish Democrats - the sole topic that seemed to excite folks was abortion (more, more more!).

Obviously there are too many Jews being born for NJDC and its members.

Several member groups of the Conference have protested the decision, and were angered by their exclusion from the decision making process. They include CAMERA, ZOA, JINSA and the National Council of Young Israel. Hats off to them. I contacted leaders of other groups that should have protested and didn't, and they begged off that they did not participate in the decision, and their role is more private.

Sorry, but I disagree. When the community turns itself into an object of ridicule because of the behavior of a collection of thugs who care more about appearances and how they might impact an election than the survival of Israel, then you need to speak up.

It looks like the Conference of Presidents of Major Jewish Organizations got knee-capped by Democrat thugs. Let's call it what it is, folks! Blackmail!

However, below is the full text of the remarks Gov. Palin would have delivered. I guess the Democrats would rather play sleazy politcs than have Israel supported:

I am honored to be with you and with leaders from across this great country — leaders from different faiths and political parties united in a single voice of outrage.

Tomorrow, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad will come to New York — to the heart of what he calls the Great Satan — and speak freely in this, a country whose demise he has called for.

Ahmadinejad may choose his words carefully, but underneath all of the rhetoric is an agenda that threatens all who seek a safer and freer world. We gather here today to highlight the Iranian dictator's intentions and to call for action to thwart him.

He must be stopped.

The world must awake to the threat this man poses to all of us. Ahmadinejad denies that the Holocaust ever took place. He dreams of being an agent in a "Final Solution" — the elimination of the Jewish people. He has called Israel a "stinking corpse" that is "on its way to annihilation." Such talk cannot be dismissed as the ravings of a madman — not when Iran just this summer tested long-range Shahab-3 missiles capable of striking Tel Aviv, not when the Iranian nuclear program is nearing completion, and not when Iran sponsors terrorists that threaten and kill innocent people around the world.

The Iranian government wants nuclear weapons. The International Atomic Energy Agency reports that Iran is running at least 3,800 centrifuges and that its uranium enrichment capacity is rapidly improving. According to news reports, U.S. intelligence agencies believe the Iranians may have enough nuclear material to produce a bomb within a year.

The world has condemned these activities. The United Nations Security Council has demanded that Iran suspend its illegal nuclear enrichment activities. It has levied three rounds of sanctions. How has Ahmadinejad responded? With the declaration that the "Iranian nation would not retreat one iota" from its nuclear program.

So, what should we do about this growing threat? First, we must succeed in Iraq. If we fail there, it will jeopardize the democracy the Iraqis have worked so hard to build, and empower the extremists in neighboring Iran. Iran has armed and trained terrorists who have killed our soldiers in Iraq, and it is Iran that would benefit from an American defeat in Iraq.

If we retreat without leaving a stable Iraq, Iran's nuclear ambitions will be bolstered. If Iran acquires nuclear weapons — they could share them tomorrow with the terrorists they finance, arm, and train today. Iranian nuclear weapons would set off a dangerous regional nuclear arms race that would make all of us less safe.

But Iran is not only a regional threat; it threatens the entire world. It is the no. 1 state sponsor of terrorism. It sponsors the world's most vicious terrorist groups, Hamas and Hezbollah. Together, Iran and its terrorists are responsible for the deaths of Americans in Lebanon in the 1980s, in Saudi Arabia in the 1990s, and in Iraq today. They have murdered Iraqis, Lebanese, Palestinians, and other Muslims who have resisted Iran's desire to dominate the region. They have persecuted countless people simply because they are Jewish.

Iran is responsible for attacks not only on Israelis, but on Jews living as far away as Argentina. Anti-Semitism and Holocaust denial are part of Iran's official ideology and murder is part of its official policy. Not even Iranian citizens are safe from their government's threat to those who want to live, work, and worship in peace. Politically-motivated abductions, torture, death by stoning, flogging, and amputations are just some of its state-sanctioned punishments.

It is said that the measure of a country is the treatment of its most vulnerable citizens. By that standard, the Iranian government is both oppressive and barbaric. Under Ahmadinejad's rule, Iranian women are some of the most vulnerable citizens.

If an Iranian woman shows too much hair in public, she risks being beaten or killed.

If she walks down a public street in clothing that violates the state dress code, she could be arrested.

But in the face of this harsh regime, the Iranian women have shown courage. Despite threats to their lives and their families, Iranian women have sought better treatment through the "One Million Signatures Campaign Demanding Changes to Discriminatory Laws." The authorities have reacted with predictable barbarism. Last year, women's rights activist Delaram Ali was sentenced to 20 lashes and 10 months in prison for committing the crime of "propaganda against the system." After international protests, the judiciary reduced her sentence to "only" 10 lashes and 36 months in prison and then temporarily suspended her sentence. She still faces the threat of imprisonment.

Earlier this year, Senator Clinton said that "Iran is seeking nuclear weapons, and the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps is in the forefront of that" effort. Senator Clinton argued that part of our response must include stronger sanctions, including the designation of the IRGC as a terrorist organization. John McCain and I could not agree more.

Senator Clinton understands the nature of this threat and what we must do to confront it. This is an issue that should unite all Americans. Iran should not be allowed to acquire nuclear weapons. Period. And in a single voice, we must be loud enough for the whole world to hear: Stop Iran!

Only by working together, across national, religious, and political differences, can we alter this regime's dangerous behavior. Iran has many vulnerabilities, including a regime weakened by sanctions and a population eager to embrace opportunities with the West. We must increase economic pressure to change Iran's behavior.

Tomorrow, Ahmadinejad will come to New York. On our soil, he will exercise the right of freedom of speech — a right he denies his own people. He will share his hateful agenda with the world. Our task is to focus the world on what can be done to stop him.

We must rally the world to press for truly tough sanctions at the U.N. or with our allies if Iran's allies continue to block action in the U.N. We must start with restrictions on Iran's refined petroleum imports.

We must reduce our dependency on foreign oil to weaken Iran's economic influence.

We must target the regime's assets abroad; bank accounts, investments, and trading partners.

President Ahmadinejad should be held accountable for inciting genocide, a crime under international law.

We must sanction Iran's Central Bank and the Revolutionary Guard Corps — which no one should doubt is a terrorist organization.

Together, we can stop Iran's nuclear program.

Senator McCain has made a solemn commitment that I strongly endorse: Never again will we risk another Holocaust. And this is not a wish, a request, or a plea to Israel's enemies. This is a promise that the United States and Israel will honor, against any enemy who cares to test us. It is John McCain's promise and it is my promise.

Thank you.

Michael Reagan: Bailout Is "Robbery"

Source: Newsmax.com

Talk show host Michael Reagan says that the Wall Street bailout plan is nothing less than "robbery."

The runaway government bailout of Wall Street at taxpayer expense is nothing less than "robbery,” according to Michael Reagan.

The top-rated talk-show host and Newsmax columnist told the 5 million listeners of "The Michael Reagan Show" on Friday that their pockets and those of their fellow Americans were being picked clean by the panic-driven bailout.

"Democrats Franklin Raines, Jim Johnson, Jamie Gorelick, Penny Pritzker, Chris Dodd and Barney Frank are robbing the American taxpayer, and Republicans in the House and Senate had been tapped to drive the getaway car," said Reagan.

To read the full article, go here.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Manchester Union Leader Blasts Obama For Mudslinging

The Manchester (New Hampshire) Union Leader editorialized yesterday about the dishonest, mudslinging campaign of Sen. Barack Obama called, "Obama In The Mud: So Much For Honesty."

The editorial reads:

When Barack Obama first began campaigning in New Hampshire in early 2007, many voters swooned. We watched him speak to retirees in Claremont one snowy February day that year. Not a single voter we talked with before he spoke planned to vote for him. Afterwards, many said they would. The word that spontaneously came from the lips of multiple attendees: sincere. They couldn't remember a politician who spoke with such sincerity, they said. And many of them had been voting since World War II.

We wonder what those same voters think of Obama's sincerity now. In the past few weeks, Obama has thrown so many false accusations against John McCain that just keeping track of them has become difficult. And these aren't innocent errors. They are deliberate distortions of the sort Obama has always said he reviles.

On Thursday, Obama said of McCain, "He has consistently opposed the sorts of common-sense regulations that might have lessened the current crisis." That's entirely untrue.

As The Washington Post pointed out in an editorial on Friday, McCain in fact has supported many new regulations of financial institutions, including some that Obama opposed. "In 2006, he pushed for stronger regulation of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac -- while Mr. Obama was notably silent," The Post wrote.

Obama attacked McCain for having a top financial advisor who supported a deregulation bill a few years ago. Yet two top Obama financial advisors, with whom he met on Friday to help him form his response to the current troubles on Wall Street, supported the same bill, which was signed by President Clinton.

Also last week, Obama released a Spanish-language ad that portrayed McCain as anti-immigrant and anti-Hispanic and tried to link him to immigration policies that were not his own as well as some choice Rush Limbaugh quotes that appeared to insult Mexicans.

Anyone who has followed the immigration debate knows that McCain is the most pro-immigration Republican on the national stage and that he is not in the least anti-Hispanic. To pull quotes from Rush Limbaugh, who has completely different immigration views than McCain and who opposed him on that issue for years (and still does) is completely disingenuous. The ad is so bad that even The New York Times called it "misleading."

Obama's campaign also accused McCain of lying when McCain's campaign ran an ad saying that Obama supported sex education for kindergarteners. But the bill in question, which Obama supported in the Illinois state Senate, did indeed change state law to allow sex education for kindergarteners.

Obama has said that he won't attack John McCain's motives, only his policies. But he has repeatedly attacked McCain's motives, suggesting that he has been bought off by oil companies and lobbyists.

Obama's greatest strength as a candidate, aside from his oratorical skill, has long been his apparent sincerity and decency. Voters attracted to him think of him as that rarest of things: an honest politician. He has claimed himself that he would never engage in the sort of deceptive politicking that he says has tainted Washington for so long.

Yet here he is violating his own professed standards. This is not the Barack Obama so many voters in New Hampshire and elsewhere thought they knew. But it is the real Barack Obama. For despite his rhetoric, he is in fact campaigning so dishonestly that even The Washington Post and The New York Times have called him on it. Which means that he is in practice no different from those regular politicians against whom his entire campaign has been built.

Yes, that's the real Barack Obama that we all know!

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Interesting Sushi Choices!

I stopped in a sushi restaurant* for lunch a couple of months ago in mid-Wilshire in Los Angeles.

I thought their choices were interesting:

Sushi Menu

*Actual scan of the menu.

Let Fannie, Freddie and AIG Collapse!

Let Fannie, Freddie and AIG Collapse! The government is hell-bent on bailing out Fannie Mae, Freddie Mack and AIG with $700 billion of our tax dollars. These institutions acted irresponsibly by granting loans to people who had no business getting them in the first place and other institutions bought into these bad loans.

Screw 'em! Let them collapse!

With all the gimmie-gimmies in the country demanding nationalized health care and everything else the government can provide, we are headed towards becoming the United Socialist States of America anyway. So why not just let those lending institutions collapse and get the process of becoming the USSA completed even faster?

Why pussyfoot around? It's what the idiots who plan to vote for Obama want anyway!

Ahem. I'm not ready to give up on the good ol' U.S. of A., but it is frustrating to see that we, the taxpayers, are being forced to bail out these irresponsible companies. It is like bailing out a Las Vegas high-roller after he/she lost at the craps table. $700 billion is a bit too much to stomach.

I hope that a special investigator is appointed to see who is responsible for this calamity and prosecute those people who made out like bandits (Raines, Johnson, Gorelick, et al.). They should be prosecuted for profiting from cooked books if evidence is found.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Joe Biden On The Way Out?

Former NY Mayor Rudy Giuliani at the GOP National Convention "warned" Sen. Joe Biden that he should get his vice-president nomination "in writing" from Barack Obama.

Well, the rumor is out from Democrat sources that Obama plans to jettison Biden on or about October 5, which is after the October 2 vice-presidential debate between Biden and Gov. Sarah Palin, and replace him with Hillary Clinton. This is so Hillary won't have to debate Palin.

It is more than likely just a rumor, but given Obama's penchant for throwing people under the bus, it should not come as a surprise if the rumor turns out to be true.

The scenario is that Biden will excuse himself due to either health issues or make a major gaffe that forces Obama to act.

If true, it looks like they'll have to make more room under the Obama bus.

We shall see.

Democrats Caused Wall St. Debacle

The Democrats are up to their eyeballs with responsiblity for the current crisis on Wall Street over Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Barack Obama was the no. 2 recipient of campaign donations from Fannie Mae (Sen. Christopher Dodd was no. 1).

Two former CEOs of Fannie Mae are now on Obama's staff as economic advisors: Franklin Raines and Jim Johnson. Those two raked in millions of dollars for themselves.

Another noted Democrat was involved (from Michael Reagan's article, link below):

Jamie Gorelick, an official in Clinton’s Justice Department — the woman who built the “wall” that prevented the FBI from targeting terrorists before 9/11 — worked for Fannie Mae and took home $26 million.

Gorelick should be familiar to us from the 9/11 Commission Report as she was the one responsible for keeping the CIA from sharing terrorist data with the FBI before 9/11 thanks to her wall.

The Wall Street Journal has a compendium of articles warning of the debacle and the involvement of Democrats: Wall Street Journal Compendium

The Obama campaign is currently trying to blame Republicans for this crisis, but that won't fly as the real facts are now coming out. In fact, McCain warned of a possible crisis (source: Michael Reagan):

Obama brazenly blames John McCain and the GOP for the current Wall Street mess when it’s clear none of it was due to Republican policies. The truth of the matter is that it was McCain and three GOP colleagues who sought to reform the government’s lending policies three long years ago after the Bush administration had failed two years earlier. On May 25, 2006, McCain spoke on behalf of the Federal Housing Enterprise Regulatory Reform Act of 2005, and warned against the debacle we are now facing if it failed to pass.

He told the Senate that a report by the Office of Federal Housing Enterprise Oversight charged that “Fannie Mae employees deliberately and intentionally manipulated financial reports to hit earnings targets in order to trigger bonuses for senior executives.”

McCain warned, “If Congress does not act, American taxpayers will continue to be exposed to the enormous risk that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac pose to the housing market, the overall financial system, and the economy as a whole.”

McCain predicted the entire collapse we now are suffering through. He stressed the falsification of financial records to benefit executives, including Obama advisers Franklin Raines and Jim Johnson.

Jonah Goldberg at National Review Online writes:

The current financial crisis stems in large part from the fact that people who shouldn’t have been buying a home, or who bought more home than they could afford, now can’t pay their bills. Their bad mortgages are mixed up with the good mortgages. And thanks in part to new accounting rules set up after Enron, the bad mortgages have contaminated the whole pile, reducing the value of even stable mortgages.

Of course, there are other important factors at work here, having to do with changing technology among other things. And even if the bad mortgages weren’t in the system, we’d still have the hangover from the end of the housing boom. But the financial system could have handled that with the usual corrections. The biggest dose of poison entered the financial bloodstream through Washington. And some people warned us. In 2005, Fannie Mae revealed it overstated earnings by $10.6 billion and that it didn’t really know what was going on. The Bush administration pushed for reforms, but those efforts were rebuffed by Congress, with Democrats Barney Frank and Christopher Dodd taking point, because Fannie and Freddie have spent millions in campaign contributions.

In 2005, McCain sponsored legislation to thwart what he later called “the enormous risk that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac pose to the housing market, the overall financial system and the economy as a whole.”

Obama, the Senate’s second-greatest recipient of donations from Fannie and Freddie after Dodd, did nothing.

Meanwhile, Raines, the head of a government-supported institution, made $52 million of his $90 million compensation package thanks in part to fraudulent earnings statements.

Hopefully, people will remember this when they go to the polls in November.

To see Michael Reagan's full article:
Michael Reagan: Democrats Own Wall Street Debacle

To see Jonah Goldberg's full article: Wall Street Fat Cats Aren't At Fault This Time

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Legal chapter closes on Kelsey Smith murder

The Kansas City Star published this editorial on the Kelsey Smith case:

Legal chapter closes on Kelsey Smith murder

A life sentence has sent Edwin Hall off to the hard, anonymous confines of prison. He is ineligible for parole and unlikely to be heard from again by this community.

What should live on is the memory of Kelsey Smith, the vibrant young woman whom Hall abducted in the parking lot of a Target store in Overland Park. Searchers found her body near Longview Lake four days later.

Smith, 18, had graduated from Shawnee Mission West High School 10 days before she was killed on June 2, 2007. She was headed for Kansas State University that fall.

Her murder triggered an interest in safety seminars and self-defense courses. They, too, should be sustained.

Smith became a crime victim while running a routine errand in a suburb usually thought of as safe. Hall’s attack was a reminder of the need for constant vigilance.The teenager’s parents, Greg and Missey Smith, have started the Kelsey Smith Foundation. Among other things, it produces safety seminars and sponsors self-defense courses. Participants learn that it took Hall only 16 seconds to surprise Smith, shove her into her car and drive away.

A similar effort is the “TAKE Defense” program established by the family of Ali Kemp, the Leawood teenager who was murdered while working at a swimming pool in 2002. The program teaches women how to keep themselves safe.

With the sentencing of Hall, a chapter in a tragic story is finished. One way for people to honor Kelsey Smith’s memory is to learn how to decrease their own chances of becoming crime victims.

Missey and Greg Smith have demonstrated grace throughout their terrible ordeal. Their enduring gift is to use a family’s tragedy to help protect others.

Kelsey Smith's Killer's New Home

Edwin Hall, the convicted killer of Kelsey Smith, has been moved to his new home at El Dorado Correctional Facility (EDCF) near El Dorado, Kansas.

A maximum security prison, El Dorado was opened in 1991. Its capacity is 1,300 inmates, but an expansion is either underway or planned.

For more info: Inside Prison: El Dorado Correctional Facility

Maybe some kind person can send him a "housewarming gift"? Perhaps a framed picture that says Home Sweet Home? Enjoy your stay, Jack!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Kelsey Smith's Killer Sentenced

“I tried really hard to figure out the right words to say today. I’m so, so sorry for what I’ve done. That’s it. That’s all I can say.”

These were the only audible words that Edwin Hall spoke in court since his arrest and guilty plea for the kidnapping, murder and rape of Kelsey Smith last year in Overland Park, Kansas. Is he really sorry for what he did? Or is he sorry for being caught? Who knows.

Kelsey's family had plenty to say to Hall and his defense team.

One by one, family members rose up and spoke about the life that was snuffed out in an horrific act of madness after lead defense attorney Paul Cramm spoke of Hall's childhood.

The Kansas City Star wrote:

The emotional 90-minute hearing opened with defense attorney Paul Cramm revealing that Hall had been sexually abused repeatedly by family members when he was under the age of 6.

Cramm showed a picture of Hall as a young boy and a drawing that Hall had made after he was removed from his family’s home and placed in state custody.

The drawing showed two stick figures. The small figure, which represented Hall, was on his hands and knees. The bigger stick figure was an uncle, Cramm said.

“In no way do I use this as an excuse for what happened,” Cramm said. “It is not an excuse, judge, but it’s an explanation.”

Missey Smith, rightly so, would have none of that. In a heroic statement, she said that she, too, suffered abuse as a child, but “he had the choice to stop. He did not,” she said.

Hall could have stopped from the moment that Kelsey caught his attention in the Target store to the final moments when he snuffed out her life. But he didn't.

Kelsey's eldest sister, Stevie Hockersmith, delivered words filled with righteous anger at Hall, and at Hall's wife Althea for standing by her husband despite his horrendous acts. She never expressed any sympathy to the Smith family.

Kelsey's other other sister, Lindsey Smith Evans, said, "Your selfish act ended a brilliant life, and you will have to live with that. I'm comforted by memories of her, but you will be haunted by the emptiness of your own soul."

The tactics of Hall's defense attorney during the months leading up to Hall's plea agreement were addressed by Greg Smith, Kelsey's father. He said that the antics used by Cramm "made a mockery of the system."

"I stand here today a heartbroken father, knowing that Kelsey's gone," he said emotionally. "The very act of living triggers memories of her."

The family's statements were reinforced via a moving video of Kelsey's life which included a clip of her receiving her high school diploma (two weeks before her murder) and her voice-mail message from her phone: “Hi guys, can’t come to the phone right now. Leave me a message. ’Bye.”

This case first caught my attention from the beginning. I followed the story from the frantic search for Kelsey, to the playing of the Target video of her abduction, her body's discovery and all though the pre-trial hearings.

As a father, I could easily see this horror happen to my own daughter, who is two years older than Kelsey and who also aspires to be a veterinarian. My daughter once worked at a Target store. Many others around the country could also easily see themselves in the Smith's shoes. This is something that no parent or family should have to go through.

Kelsey Smith had a bright future ahead of her. She had a lot of potential and was a natural leader. All that was taken away by one of the most inept killers to have walked on the face of this planet.

The idiot allowed himself to be videoed at the Target store and he left so much DNA and other forensic evidence in Kelsey's car and on his clothes that even Mr. Magoo could've prosecuted him to a conviction!

Edwin Hall will rot in prison until his last breath. It is comforting to know that he will no longer be free to victimize anyone else. He'll have plenty of time to think about what he did.

It never ceases to amaze me at how the Smith Family was able to cope with this tragedy and to start a foundation in Kelsey's honor (Kelsey's Army) at the same time. That is why I nominated them for recognition on NBC's Making A Difference on the NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams. May others have agreed with me and seconded the nomination. (Did you hear that, Brian?)

Kelsey Smith's memory will live on through the Kelsey Smith Foundation. She will also not be forgotten by those of us who closely followed this case. I was laid off last November from my insurance claims position (a direct result of the mortgage crisis) and there are very slim pickings for claims jobs in California. Luckily, I maintained my security permits (firearms, etc.) in case I needed them. Turns out I did as I am now working as a field supervisor. I proudly attached my Kelsey's Army wristband on my gun holster.

Edwin Hall's "sorry" just doesn't cut it.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Obama (Finally) Tells The Truth!

On ABC's Good Morning America, Barack Obama made a big gaffe on negative campaigning while being interviewed by Chris Cuomo. It may be a gaffe, but he accidentally told the truth.

Source: Rush Limbaugh.com

OBAMA: Hold on, I didn't -- I didn't say that. What I said was -- I mean, let's be fair, Chris -- what I said was that John McCain is out of touch.

CUOMO: But the ad is a negative ad. You paint him as an old man, say you can't use a computer, he's never sent an e-mail, what does that all mean?

OBAMA: What it means is that we've got a 21st century economy and John McCain does not have a vision for how to move that forward.

CUOMO: So no apologies for that ad?

OBAMA: If we're going to ask questions about, you know, who has been promulgating negative ads that are completely unrelated to the issues at hand, I think I win that contest pretty handily.

For once, Obama (unintentionally) told the truth!

Monday, September 15, 2008

Lehman Bros. Bankruptsy: Gave More To Obama

Investment bank Lehman Brothers, who is filing Chapter 11 bankruptsy today, gave Sen. Barack Obama much more in campaign donations than they donated to Sen. John McCain.

According to Reuters:

Both presidential candidates have gotten a lot of money from Lehman employees -- Democratic candidate Barack Obama to the tune of at least $370,000, and Republican John McCain, $117,000 -- according to the nonpartisan, nonprofit Center for Responsive Politics. In the 2008 election cycle, Lehman political action committees, employees and their immediate family members have given $1.9 million to all federal candidates, said the center, which posts its campaign finance data at www.opensecrets.org.

Lehman donors ranked fourth on Wall Street in total 2008 campaign giving, trailing Goldman Sachs Group Inc, Morgan Stanley and UBS AG, the center said.

"If Lehman Brothers needs a helping hand from the federal government, they know who to call," Sheila Krumholz, the center's executive director, told Reuters.

"Like nearly every bank on Wall Street, Lehman and its employees have been major financial supporters of lawmakers, who may now feel compelled to return the favor," she said.

Lehman donors have sent 64 percent of their 2008 donations to Democrats and 36 percent to Republicans, the center said.

As Lehman Brothers has now filed bankruptsy, maybe they should have saved their money.

Banned Books: Another Leftist Lie

The Left is out screaming that Gov. Sarah Palin, while as Mayor of Wasilla, Alaska, tried to ban books at the city's library. This is just another untrue smear from the Left.

The Confederate Yankee checked and found that no books were banned during Palin's terms as Mayor. The only thing Palin did was to inquire on the challenge process parents may take to challenge objectionable books.

The Confederate Yankee writes:

Some panicky progressives keep claiming (erroneously) that while as Mayor of Wasilla, Alaska, Sarah Palin banned book in the public library, or tried to ban books, and some of the rumors being passed around even attempt to named books that the rumor creators said were banned.

According to the National Review Online:

In the coming weeks, you'll be hearing a lot of claims that Sarah Palin wants to ban books or burn librarians at the stake or some such nonsense. Connecticut Yankee nukes the argument by checking with the Wasilla Library itself: "No books have ever been banned in Wasilla at the request of Sarah Palin, or anyone else. Further, only one of the five books challenged even occurred during her terms in office."

USA Today has this article on the subject: "Palin Did Not Ban Books In Wasilla As Mayor"

You can always tell when the Left gets panicky, they toss out all kinds of lies and smears. This is just another one.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Obama's Resume: Thin As Piss On A Rock

What does Obama's resume tell us? It tells us that he had great potential, but failed to act on opportunities. In short, he's an underachiever. The only thing he's achieved was to write two autobiographies and to seek higher office while doing little or nothing in the offices he held.

Dean Barnett picks through Obama's resume and found these interesting facts:

WHAT STORY DOES Barack Obama's résumé tell? Obama became the head of the Harvard Law Review in 1990 and graduated Harvard Law magna cum laude in 1991. These accomplishments suggest great intelligence and strong interpersonal skills. They also suggest limitless potential.

So what did Obama choose to do with his limitless potential after leaving Harvard? Not much. His first two years out of law school, he began writing a book, commenced lecturing at the University of Chicago Law School and returned to his old vocation of community organizing*. Obama's résumé would probably advertise the fact that he eschewed big money options to better serve humanity in these various capacities. Many members of the legal community would view these claims of selflessness with skepticism. Some cynical readers of his résumé would infer that he spent the time "trying to find himself," and perhaps think of the old Bill Cosby crack that after two years of searching, he should have been able to find not just himself but a couple of other people as well.

All readers of his résumé circa 1993 would ask what Obama accomplished at his serial vocations. And there the story gets grim. He didn't finish his book during the two years in question. He didn't pursue any scholarship at the University of Chicago, so his career there stalled at lecturer and never advanced to the professor level. And as is ever the case with something as nebulous as community organizing*, pointing to tangible accomplishments would be impossible.

Thus begins a pattern of under-achievement, or more specifically non-achievement, that has followed Obama since law school. In later years, Obama practiced law for a few years and then he had enough of that. His 1995 book, Dreams From My Father showed much promise, yet Obama didn't further explore his skills in this area until over a decade later with the best forgotten campaign tome, The Audacity of Hope. Similarly, Obama was a part time state legislator of minimal accomplishments. When Obama went to the United States Senate, he impressed his colleagues with his potential. But he again never attempted to tap that potential, beginning a run for president shortly after his arrival in the World's Greatest Deliberative Body.

Unlike Obama, one wouldn't look at the early years in Sarah Palin's résumé and necessarily see unlimited potential. A 1987 graduate of the University of Idaho, Palin's greatest accomplishments from her youth would come in the "Miscellaneous Information" portion of the résumé. The fact that she had won a beauty contest would impress some people. Her sinking of a critical free throw on a broken ankle in her high school state championship would impress others. Still, there would be nothing in Palin's résumé from her younger years that would suggest potential like Obama's.

And yet throughout her adult life Palin, again unlike Obama, overachieved. In 1992, she got elected to the Wasilla, AK city council. In 1996 she became mayor. She was by all accounts a very successful mayor. Her résumé entry for her mayoral years would have all sorts of bullet points for tangible accomplishments like reducing city property taxes by 40 percent. Similarly, Palin's time as governor has been distinguished. Both would starkly contrast with the various stops in Obama's career where he occasionally held impressive titles but accomplished little.

Two things would leap out from Sarah Palin's résumé--a pattern of overachievement and a pattern of actually getting things done. Two things would also leap out from Barack Obama's résumé--an undeniable wealth of talent and an equally undeniable dearth of accomplishments.

While it has become almost a cliché on the right to belittle Obama as a talker rather than a doer, his résumé suggests just that. Obama does have the requisite brain power to be president; it's unlikely that the intellectual demands of the job would overwhelm him. But his past work experience is unnerving. Obama had ample talent to excel at all the other positions he has held, and yet he accomplished little at each. So what would he do as president? Would his efforts in the Oval Office be as indifferent and irresolute as they've been at every other stop along his professional path? Could one imagine him making the political sacrifices and showing the fondness for bold action that characterized Harry S. Truman?

As for Palin, she lacks Obama's glittering Ivy League credentials. While that fact scandalizes vast portions of the Bos-Wash corridor, the scandalized neglect the most common purpose for an education--to develop one's abilities to such a point that one can actually begin accomplishing things. And there again is where Palin shines--she has gotten a tremendous amount done everyplace she has been.

In truth, Sarah Palin is the kind of employee virtually every enterprise seeks--the kind who gets things done. And Barack Obama is the kind of employee a company hires only when it's in the mood for taking a risk and willing to wager that the candidate's past performance isn't predictive of his future efforts.

Dean Barnett is a staff writer at THE WEEKLY STANDARD.

It was recently written that Obama's resume is "tissue-paper thin." I'd say it's thinner than piss on a rock.

*Working for the radical left-wing organization, ACORN (Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now).

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