Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Sarah, The Anti -Elitist

The hate mongering against Governor Palin continues in the dinosaur media while elitist Republicans add to the chorus, playing the role of useful idiots for the Left. The bottom line is that the deranged Left hates Sarah because she is pro -life and is a regular person. You know the kind like me who live in "fly over" country, who the liberals despise. These hatemongers would prefer to be in the company of Communists and Islamo-terrorists, rather than have to mingle with Conservatives.

It was so refreshing to hear Sarah on the Hugh Hewitt show. It is amazing that she comes across as a regular American, you know the kind the Founding Fathers ( oops, racist slave owners) intended to hold office in this country. In fact, the Founding Fathers took great pains in drafting the constitution to prevent a ruling class of elitists from taking over. Boy, they must be turning over in their graves.

There was one exchange in particular on the Hugh Hewitt Show that really hit home with the host. He asked the Governor how the economic crisis impacted the Palin family, and she replied that her husband lost $20,000 in his 401k. She emphasized that her family was struggling, just like families all over America. Hugh was astounded that somebody running for high office could be so down to earth and in touch with regular folks. He even asked the rhetorical question, "when was the last time you heard a politician say they lost $20,000 in their 401k." It was an answer that speaks volumes.

Unlike Bill Clinton, Sarah truly feels our pain because she is one of us. She is the antithesis of the limousine liberal with maids and butlers, attending $30,000 a plate Hollywood dinners. She knows what it is to raise a family, work hard, and earn a living. Nor did she get to the top by marrying or sleeping with the right the man, like the junior senator from New York.

This is her great sin, along with her pro-life stance. She is the greatest threat to liberalism since Ronald Reagan. As with President Reagan, elitist liberals will learn again the hard way that regular folks can have extraordinary abilities. Such a notion is astounding to them. Almost as astounding as having the audacity to fail to abort a Downs Syndrome baby. You see, because they are elitists liberals believe that they are better and more talented than everyone else, which is why only they must govern the country. We the people are too stupid in their eyes. They fancy themselves gods and liberalism is their sacred religion.

I say let the Left continue its assault on Sarah, it is evidence of their fear of her. They know they are helpless to stop her. But they are also smart enough to know that there is something that can stop her, the McCain campaign. That is why Liberals wage this war, to pressure the McCain campaign to smother her. Unfortunately, I must admit that this strategy has been working the last few weeks. It is now time for the McCain camp to wake up. The campaign should have learned by now that the dinosaur media is not their friend.

I hope the McCain campaign is astute enough to let Sarah be Sarah. What better way to burn the media, than to let Sarah field dress Joe Biden tomorrow night. It's time to take the gloves off NOW! No less than the future of the free world depends on it.

The Common Sense Fix

From Dave Ramsey:

Years of bad decisions and stupid mistakes have created an economic nightmare in this country, but $700 billion in new debt is not the answer. As a tax-paying American citizen, I will not support any congressperson who votes to implement such a policy. Instead, I submit the following three-step Common Sense Plan.

I. INSURANCE

a. Insure the subprime bonds/mortgages with an underlying FHA-type insurance.
Government-insured and backed loans would have an instant market all over the world, creating immediate and needed liquidity.
b. In order for a company to accept the government-backed insurance, they must do two
things:
1. Rewrite any mortgage that is more than three months delinquent to a 6% fixed-rate mortgage.
a. Roll all back payments with no late fees or legal costs into the balance. This brings homeowners current and allows them a chance to keep their homes.
b. Cancel all prepayment penalties to encourage refinancing or the sale of the property to pay off the bad loan. In the event of foreclosure or short sale, the borrower will not be held liable
for any deficit balance. FHA does this now, and that encourages mortgage companies to go the extra mile while working with the borrower—again limiting foreclosures and ruined lives.
2. Cancel ALL golden parachutes of EXISTING and FUTURE CEOs and executive team members as long as the company holds these government-insured bonds/mortgages. This keeps underperforming executives from being paid when they don’t do their jobs.
c. This backstop will cost less than $50 billion—a small fraction of the current proposal.

II. MARK TO MARKET [Note: Done today]

a. Remove mark to market accounting rules for two years on only subprime Tier III bonds/mortgages. This keeps companies from being forced to artificially mark down bonds/mortgages below the value of the underlying mortgages and real estate.
b. This move creates patience in the market and has an immediate stabilizing effect on failing and ailing banks—and it costs the taxpayer nothing.

III. CAPITAL GAINS TAX
a. Remove the capital gains tax completely. Investors will flood the real estate and stock market in search of tax-free profits, creating tremendous—and immediate—liquidity in the markets. Again, this costs the taxpayer nothing.
b. This move will be seen as a lightning rod politically because many will say it is helping the rich. The truth is the rich will benefit, but it will be their money that stimulates the economy. This will enable all Americans to have more stable jobs and retirement investments that go up instead of down.

This is not a time for envy, and it’s not a time for politics. It’s time for all of us, as Americans, to
stand up, speak out, and fix this mess.

Another Palin lie is exposed

but is the damage already done? The MSM hopes so.

Thanks to Confederate Yankee for the debunking.

Better Late Than Never

Why the McCain campaign didn't have a centralized counter-operation up and running once the deranged lefties in the blogosphere and their enablers in the MSM started slinging their sh--, um, garbage, at Sarah Palin is beyond me. That they thought they would get a fair shake from the MSM was delusional. Well, now they have started - check this out.

Defending Palin from Conservative Critics

Among the more distasteful reactions to Governor Palin's run for the Vice-Presidency has been that of some of the stuffed shirts of the GOP. I have attributed the negative response from some of these folks as a "not one of us" alien-ness to Palin that they just don't like (essentially, she's a hick and we're the literati).

However, Rod Dreher never struck me as a Frum or Brooks type; he seems much more down to earth. He even crafted a name for people like himself, playing on the "ordinary Joe" vibe, crunching on granola and wearing Birkenstock's, but still adherents to conservative politics: Crunchy Cons.

It came as a surprise to me, then, that he had abandoned support of SHP. I think his reasons are kind of thin, and John Mark Reynolds takes him to task:

Let’s face it: the Washington Republican brand is dead. John McCain had the wisdom (as a good leader) to hire a bright, rising executive (with proven success as as governor). Joe Biden may know the players and the teams better to start, but isn’t he more of the same stuff we have been getting? If he were a lead editor on a paper, then wouldn’t it be a paper that nobody is reading?

It may be that hiring the bright and rising young sport-reporter from the sticks will not work out for John McCain, editor of the Republican paper, but it was a sensible call. There is no reason (after a few short weeks) to call it a failure. We know Palin can work a crowd and give a great speech. We know she is not up to speed on interviews (in this weird environment). We do know she was an effective governor, so the evidence still suggests that she can do the job.

Given the mess in Washington, I cannot imagine she is a bigger risk than more of the same!

Hugh Hewitt Interviews Sarah

Excerpting just a portion here from Townhall:

HH: Governor, let’s turn to a couple of issues that the MSM’s not going to pick up. You’re pro-life, and how much of the virulent opposition to you on the left do you attribute to your pro-life position, and maybe even to the birth of, your decision, your and Todd’s decision to have Trig?

SP: Yeah, you know, I think that that’s been probably the most hurtful and nonsensical slap that we’ve been taking is our position that we have taken, pro-life, me personally, and saying that you know, even though I knew that 13 weeks along that Trig would be born with Down Syndrome, and I said you know, he’s still going to be a most precious ingredient in this sometimes messed-up world that we live in. I know that my son is going to provide a lot of hope and a lot of promise in this world, and I’m so thankful of course that I’ve had the opportunity to give him life and to bring him into this world. But I think yeah truly, that that’s been a hurtful slap that we have taken, because people just don’t understand. Ironic too, Hugh, that some would consider my position on life and trying to usher in a culture of life, respecting the sanctity of life in America, that that is seen as an extreme position when to me, an extreme position is one that Barack Obama took when he was in the Illinois State Senate, not even supporting a measure that would ban partial birth abortion, not even supporting a measure that would during, after a botched abortion and that baby’s born alive, allowing medical care to cease and allowing that baby to die. That to me is extreme. That’s so far, far left it’s certainly out of the mainstream of America. To me, that is the extreme position, not my position of just wanting that culture of life to be respected, and not wanting government to sanction the idea of ending life.

HH: Do you think the mainstream media and the left understands your religious faith, Governor Palin?

SP: I think that there’s a lot of mocking of my personal faith, and my personal faith is very, very simple. I don’t belong to any church. I do have a strong belief in God, and I believe that I’m a heck of a lot better off putting my life in God’s hands, and saying hey, you know, guide me. What else do we have but guidance that we would seek from a Creator? That’s about as simple as it gets with my faith, and I think that there is a lot of mocking of that. And you know, so bet it, though I do have respect for those who have differing views than I do on faith, on religion. I’m not going to mock them, and I would hope that they would kind of I guess give me the same courtesy through this of not mocking a person’s faith, but maybe perhaps even trying to understand a little bit of it.

Bold emphasis mine. Since the MSM won't bother giving her an opportunity to address these issues, I am even more thankful for alternative media. How repulsive has our culture become that a female politician is forced to justify her decision to give birth to her handicapped child, rather than abort him? If these so-called feminists were truly about "choice" they'd have nothing but respect for Sarah Palin and her husband.

Here's a woman who's maintained a long-term marriage and family, run a successful business, served on a city council, and gone on to run a city and an oil-producing state. Everything she's achieved politically she's accomplished on her own, without the coattails of a well-connected spouse or parents. She didn't need a "village" to raise her children -- just a supportive network of relatives. Upon attaining the Governor's office, she sold the jet, fired the chef and promptly put the state's checkbook on the Internet so Alaskans could easily hold their leaders accountable.

And while she holds her faith dear, Sarah Palin has never governed from a pulpit, though her enemies are hell-bent on proving otherwise (good luck with that, you idiots; when you're done chasing wild geese, there's a domestic terrorist and a rabid Reverend in Chicago who are worthy of investigation).

Lastly, in spite of the nastiest, most disgraceful assault I've ever witnessed on any politician (and after eight years of relentless Bush-bashing, that's quite an observation), Sarah still manages to maintain her composure, dignity and sense of humor. She's the classiest thing I've seen on the political stage in years. And if the McCain camp lets her be herself when she dukes it out with Joe Biden, I have no doubt she will do us all proud. Let Sarah be Sarah!

In case the earlier link no longer works...

Here is a current working one (there has been talk of Warner Music making a copyright claim on the music used in the original leading to the pulling of it from YouTube):



Still germane, still important, and still not getting covered by the MSM...

Monday, September 29, 2008

PDS Alert!

"Abort Sarah Palin." Yes, they can sink even lower.

The DiGi's get up close and personal with Governor Palin

Here is a photo that ran in the Philadelphia Daily News after the McCain and Palin visit to Media:




Ralph, my beloved older brother who has Down Syndrome, is wearing a dark shirt and has his right hand extended toward Governor Palin; he is above her and to her left. My mother Rose has her hand on Ralph's shoulder and is leaning forward. My older brother Mark is between Rose and Ralph, wearing a white shirt.

Governor Palin greeted Ralph by asking him what his name was; after answering her, she gave him a cheerful "Nice to meetcha, Ralph!" Now, let's let Sarah be Sarah so that we can say that Ralph is on a first name basis with the Vice President of the United States.

Red State, Blue County

As part of my online marketing efforts for Water Signs, I was advised to join groups like Facebook. While it's great fun using the site to keep up with my nephew Dom (and good friends who live out of state), most of the South Florida acquaintances are solidly in the Obama camp. Against my better judgment, I just spent ten minutes on a post explaining why the War on Terror -- which should really be called the "War against Radical Islamic terrorism" -- vis a vis Iraq, has been a success. This was in response to someone linking the Washington Post's article about fallen soldiers. Why is it so hard for people to understand that Saddam was a threat to his own people, the region, the USA and the rest of the world? What don't they get about over 15 violated UN (sigh!) resolutions, terrorist training camps all over the country, rape rooms, torture chambers and other atrocities? Why can't they see that we drew the enemy into Iraq like cockroaches, where it was much easier to annihilate them?

Most importantly, what don't they comprehend about the concepts of honor and belief in a cause greater than oneself? No soldier hopes to die, but should they fall in battle, the best way we can show our gratitude is by finishing the job.

Finally, perhaps the Washington Post should publish photos of all of the dead babies at Christ Hospital in Chicago -- you know, the ones who miraculously survived abortions and were left to die in soiled utility rooms? Senator"above my pay grade" Obama refused to "honor" these human beings by voting for the Born Alive Infant Protection Act, just another reason why this man must never become President. And yet, South Floridians in general, love him.

Thank God for the I-4 corridor, Jacksonville and Pensacola -- otherwise, this state would be a lost (political) cause.

Uh-Oh - Devastating Video on Bridge to Nowhere

I bet some people who were unconcerned about the Bridge to Nowhere are going to be upset that it might implicate a Vice-Presidential nominee after watching this:



Shocking!

I Can't Believe They Get Away With This Stuff

There are two ways to analyze issues: one is the way our friends who fancy themselves citizens of the "reality-based community" do it and consists mainly in mythologizing history to fit their script; the other is to look at history as it is, not as we wish it were, and evaluate the facts. I don't care to give myself a moniker which is chosen simply to implicitly denigrate my political opponents, so I will simply say that I am in the second camp. Spare me "truthiness" and give me the genuine truth, please. I can handle it.

To that end, here is a video which also falls into the MUST WATCH and MUST SHARE category:



I don't understand why McCain goes first to "Wall Street greed" to explain this mess. It is a failure of government: failure to recognize that their desire to expand home ownership distorted the market and created a real estate bubble; failure to recognize that threatening institutions that failed to follow government-mandated lending rules that violate fiscal prudence led to financial ruin; and failure to accept its role in making this happen as a way of having a clear-eyed way of getting us out of this government-sponsored disaster. Instead, we are offered the medicine of creeping socialism as a cure to creeping socialism.

I also don't understand how a country with a nominally free press won't cover this in the manner which is appropriate. It's almost as if electoral considerations trump the truth. Almost?

UPDATE: VDH weighs in:

This Was All Predictable [Victor Davis Hanson]

That is an astounding tape of the past 2004 House hearings on Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, in which Reps. Walters, Meeks, Davis, Clay, and Frank (who really should recuse himself from the present discussions given his culpability for the original mess) essentially bully and all but call the honest worried bank regulators liars and quasi-racists after hearing their prescient warnings that these institutions were suspect, violating accounting laws in Enron-like fashion, verging on insolvency, and being used as cash cows for their dishonest administrators.

The shouting, accusations, grandstanding, praise of 100% financing, and kudos to Franklin Raines (whose creative accounting allowed himself and his cronies multimillion dollar bonuses) are surreal. And to watch these exchanges is chilling since it is a scary example of demagoguery in which statistics and audits, in postmodern fashion, are attacked as biased.

PS. As I recall Raines was the one who, following the Enron scandals, gave public lectures about corporate responsiblity and CEO honesty. And as one begins to read about Raines, James Johnson, Jamie Gorelick, and Leland Brendsel at Freddie Mac, one begins to understand their modus operandi. Freddie and Fannie were landing pads for former Democratic insiders, who milked the agencies for millions in bonuses as they covered their tracks by donations to Congressional candiates and pseudo-racial-populism of helping minorities buy homes with little down. Their careers are every bit as nauseating as anything at Enron — and yet the press strangely does not go after them in the manner we learned of Ken Lay's deceit. God help us all.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

New Ad from Our Country Deserves Better PAC

"Sarah Palin Better Than Barack Obama."

An Appeal to the "Undecideds"

At this late stage of the game, if you truly can't make up your mind about which candidate to vote for, if you cannot plainly see the stark differences between the war hero/seasoned adult and the empty-suited adolescent with Marxist leanings, or understand that the very survival of our republic rests heavily upon an engaged and informed electorate, then do us all a favor and stay home on Election Day. Yes, you have a right to vote, but you also have an obligation to pay attention to the facts. And frankly, if all Americans were actually bothering to investigate and observe, there would be no "undecided" voters. For crying out loud...wake up, people!

It just blows my mind that a mere seven years after 9/11, there is a very high probability of my fellow countrymen handing over the safety and security of the greatest nation on earth to a man who would sit down without preconditions with psychotic dictators who want nothing more than our total destruction. How could anyone possibly come away from Friday night's debate with the impression that Obama won? He was clearly in over his head, scowling, interrupting, stuttering and otherwise displaying a gross misunderstanding of the USA and the dangerous world in which we live. Here we are, on the brink of proclaiming victory in Iraq, and because too many citizens possess a "me first" attitude of entitlement, wherein the government exists solely to dole out largesse, Obama has a real clear shot at the White House.

Memo to undecideds: The Constitution recognizes your God-given right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. It doesn't guarantee you the right to unlimited credit, health insurance or even a job. There are some rare concepts known as a good work ethic, self-reliance and self-motivation. Perhaps you should give those a try while you're networking with your friends on MySpace and accepting every spoonful of biased coverage the mainstream media feeds you.

Government exists to keep you free so you can go after your dreams -- that includes "providing for the common defense" in the form of the best Military in the world. A vote for Obama guarantees a huge cut in defense spending and a rush towards socialism. Oh, and it also ensures that all of the progress we've made in Iraq, courtesy of brave, honorable soldiers and their leadership, will be for naught, as the first thing Obama will do is cut-and-run from success and gut Military spending in favor of his pet projects. Is that what you really want? Are you so enamored by the idea of electing a black man as President of the United States that any black man will do, whether good for the country or not?

And here's another fact to mull over: universal healthcare and socialism have been abject failures everywhere they've been tried -- just ask a Canadian or a Brit. Do you really want a government bureaucrat dictating to you and your doctor the terms of your medical care? While we're on the topic, do any of you actually know who pays for such a boondoggle? Nah, didn't think so.

Well, I've given you a lot to digest here, though there's a whole lot more to consider. But if you have no interest in reality, I beg you again -- just stay home on November 4!

Bracelets, again

Even though I was on the "I've got a bracelet too!" line when it was first uttered (check out the live blog entry if you need proof), even I would not have guessed that Obama was wearing the bracelet in violation of the wishes of the fallen soldier's parents. Gee, if McCain's bracelet was being worn in contravention of the stated wishes of the parents of the slain warrior, I wonder if we might have heard something from the MSM? Ya think?

And to add irony to insult (from the story linked above):

Jopek began by saying that his ex-wife was taken aback, even upset, that Obama has made the death of her son a campaign issue. Jopek says his wife gave Obama the bracelet because "she just wanted Mr. Obama to know Ryan's name."

And he couldn't even remember the soldier's name without checking the bracelet. I find Obama more creepy by the day.

Bailout Plan

I heard a deal was struck late yesterday or early today. I hope that McCain and the Congressional Republicans didn't cave. I'm sure that the devil will be in the details.

Do any lawyers have a comment on this?

I am not well-versed in what the framers of the Constitution specifically had in mind with the phrase "Natural-born citizen". Does Obama fit the bill?

I've Got a Bracelet, Too!

I am still dumbfounded by that exchange, and why it hasn't been mocked mercilessly. On the atmospherics alone, where he sounded like a kid who is afraid the teacher won't recognize his work after she praises another student's work, and then where he hemmed and hawed and had to read the name off the bracelet, he should be taking a bath.

Then there is the deeper meaning, and you don't have to dig all that far to get there: What is he is saying about being Commander in Chief? That any harm that befalls any soldier is too great a burden for that soldier's parent that he will be cowed into not engaging militarily? A volunteer military, composed of adults, who accept that disfiguring injury and even death may be the price they pay for their service, is not something that the CinC will deploy because of those risks, despite the fact that those who will suffer have accepted the risk? As I explained to my son, it would be like me going to his school and arguing that the anxiety that testing provokes is too great a burden on such young children, and they should do away with testing altogether. Kind of makes it hard for a school to fulfill its educational mission, doesn't it? So, if we don't accept the risk of injury and death to our soldiers, sailors, and airmen, how can the military fulfill its mission? The Dems might conceive of the military as a government program that gives jobs to rednecks and produces future PTSD sufferers, but a lot of us think of the military in far different terms.

This is the kind of weepy, addled thinking that will forever prevent me from being a leftist. While I occasionally sympathize with their intended goals, this isn't one where I do. And even when I do (e.g., expand educational opportunity), I find their tactics to be geared more to creating and sustaining a voting bloc (e.g., the NEA), than toward actually accomplishing the goal. And they are utterly resistant to accountability: if the program fails but the voting bloc materializes, then sustain the voting bloc, failure to meet goals be damned.

On the bracelet, here is a good NY Post piece; an excerpt:

"I've got a bracelet, too," Obama said - given to him by the mother of a dead soldier who asked Obama to "make sure that another mother's not going through what I'm going through."

Here lies the difference between these two men:

Obama will accept defeat if continuing on hurts too much. For McCain, any mission where defeat is an option is a mission not worth fighting in the first place.



Saturday, September 27, 2008

About those online polls....

You know, the ones heavily favoring Obama as the winner of the debate? Deaf Republicans has done a little digging and come up with some very telling evidence. Seems the "Citizen of the World" was deemed the winner of the debate by other citizens of the world, not the USA!

Monday Crash?

Scary stuff, from Gateway Pundit:

On Friday, the US government stepped in and sold Washington Mutual after customers withdrew $16.7 billion from accounts since Sept. 16th leaving the Seattle-based bank "unsound." It was later announced that Washington Mutual Inc. bondholders were likely to lose most of their money. This was a HUGE mistake by the government and must be corrected quickly or it could have major consequences.

Head over there to read the entire report. I am going to follow Jim Hoft's example and repost the video that explains how we got into this terrible mess. If you haven't watched it, please take a few minutes to do so:

Phillies Eastern Division Champs Once Again !

Only one other time in their history, have the Phillies entered the final weekend of the season with a record of 89 - 70 and needing two wins to win their division, as they did this year. Both times, including today, the Phillies won the first two games of their final regular season series to clinch their division with a record of 91 - 70 and one game remaining.

That previous occasion occurred in that glorious year of 1980 when the Phils went on to win the World Series and Ronald Reagan was elected in a landslide one month later. Let's hope that history repeats itself, both in sports and in politics.

As for now, we are in a party mode. The Phils are celebrating wildly. Many of the fans remained after the game and the players stayed out on the field , spraying champagne and jumping around. Some players were even giving champagne bottles to the fans. It's such a great feeling to be a Philly sports fan at a time like this. Now its on to the playoffs and hopefully the World Series. P - H -I - L - L -I - E - S, Phillies!

Ed Snider

This man proved once again today that he is not only one of the great owners in sports, but also a great American patriot. He not only cares for former players, many of whom he has helped through difficult times in retirement, he actually appreciates and cares for the fans. First as owner of the Flyers and now the Sixers as well, he understands that it is the fans who support these teams and he has always treated them as part of the family. He never threatened to move his teams looking for more money somewhere else, and he also never asked for government money when he built not one, but two arenas.

Yesterday, Mr. Ed did something that solidified my already extremely positive view of the man. He hosted Sarah Palin at a campaign event at the Irish Pub in Center City. This NHL Hall of Famer knows a hockey mom when he sees one. Sarah showed up wearing a Phillies jacket and the crowd went wild. They expected 500 people and over 2000 showed up. One of the attendees was quoted in the paper as saying, " Hey Sarah we need you to field dress a donkey." After the event, Sarah went back to her hotel room and watched the debate. That's two trips to the Philly area in five days. I hope there are many more before the campaign is over.

Let's hope that we see Ed and Sarah together again soon. I think the Inaugural Ball on January 20 would be the perfect occasion.

Let's Go Flyers

What a great day in Philly! The Flyers had a closing ceremony at the Spectrum today. America's showplace will close in the Spring of 2009 after a run of 42 years. It was the home of the Sixers and Flyers from 1967 until 1996 when both teams moved into the Wachovia Center. It saw two Stanley Cup Championships in 1974 and 1975 and an NBA Championship in 1983. It also hosted the famous 1976 game began between the reigning two - time Stanley Cup Champion Flyers and the Soviet Red Army. Of course the Flyers went on to crush the so-called greatest team in the world, 4 - 1. The Spectrum is now the home of the AHL Phantoms, who won a Calder Cup there. It has also hosted events such as boxing, wrestling, rodeos, concerts, and the circus. Frank Sinatra performed there as did Luciano Pavarotti, and numerous rock stars.

Ed Snider, the longtime Flyers owner, once again put on a memorable event. The man is first class all the way. He built the Spectrum in 1967 without a dime of government money, and repeated the feat in 1996 when he built the Wachovia Center. He stood up to the Soviets when they gutlessly walked off the ice after a perfectly legal check from Ed Van Impe absolutely leveled Valery Kharlamov. It was Ed who told the Russians, "no hockey, no money." The anti - capitalist Soviets returned to the ice to get their butts kicked and so they could pick up their checks.

Twelve of the sixteen captains in Flyers history came in for the event from Lou Angotti, the very first Flyers captain, to current captain Mike Richards. Of course, their most famous captain of all Bobby Clarke was also there. All of the captains were escorted onto the ice wearing their captains' jerseys, with the lights dimmed and the spotlight on them once again. Then at the end, Mr. Snider came out in the old orange Flyers blazer that the team's announcers used to wear with the Flyers logo on the breast pocker.

After a touching moment of silence for all "fallen" Flyers, Lauren Hart came onto the ice to sing God Bless America. She was accompanied by the voice of Kate Smith whose visage was emblazoned on the scoreboard draped in an American flag. Throughout the ceremony, the scoreboard flashed scenes from famous games, including the two Cup clinchers and the Russian game from 1976. It gave me chills watching it.

Who in Philly could ever forget the famous call in 1974 by Gene Hart, the greatest hockey announcer who ever lived. " Ladies and gentlemen the Flyers are going to win the Stanley Cup, ladies and gentlemen the Flyers win the Stanley Cup, ladies and gentlemen the Flyers have won the Stanley Cup." What a great memory and one that I will always cherish.

This ceremony just proved once again that the Flyers are a class organization, and it all starts at the top with Ed Snider. He si one of the greatest owners in professional sports. As such, I can think of no other way to close than to once again quote the great Gene Hart, " good night, good hockey." Prosit!

Elitist Conservatives

This group of Big Government elitist Washington conservatives is really aggravating me. They hijacked the Bush Administration, and foisted this big government philosophy on the President. Now, don't get me wrong. The President is a good and decent man, and he has done many good things on the foreign policy front. However, his domestic spending agenda has been a disaster. This is the dirty little secret behind the President's low polling ratings, which are a potential albatross hanging around McCain's neck.

The President's low standing in the polls is not because of liberals, they were never with him anyway. It is because common sense conservatives deserted the President and with good reason. They were taken for granted by the Administration and big spending congressional Republican. It was these Washington fat cats which handed the Democrats the election in 2006.

Now this group which fancy themselves as part of "the erudite among us", attack Sarah Palin because she is not of the beltway. These so-called conservatives have been hanging out with liberals too long. All their worried about is not being invited to the right Washington cocktail parties.

Ronald Reagan experienced the same types of attacks from these people as Sarah Palin is experiencing today. I don't forget 1976, because I was with Reagan then and I heard it all. They said he's nothing but a war monger, a "B" actor, and that nobody to the right of Gerald Ford could ever be elected. They mocked his intellect and his lack of Washington credentials. How history has proven these elitists and their liberal cousins wrong.

Sarah Palin is a breath of fresh air and the greatest conservative leader since President Reagan. Let the elitists crow in defeat. We in "fly over country" knwo a great leader when we see one. What we have on our hands is the next Margaret Thatcher. Memo to the McCain campaign. Let Sarah be Sarah! If you do, these elitists will be crying in their beer once again on another November 4. Just like they did in 1980.

Political Limerick

There once was a man named Barack
his looney, leftist ideas were a shock.
He would oft tilt his head,
and praise Commie Red
as for America, he thougt it a crock!

I agree with John

My campaign is full of lies!

Rick Moran on Kathleen Parker

If there's one unfortunate phenomenon (beside the thought of Obama winning the presidency) unfolding in the 2008 campaign, it is the emergence of a palpable disgust and underestimation of Sarah Palin from alleged "mainstream" conservatives. From David Frum to Charles Krauthammer and Peggy Noonan to Heather MacDonald, prominent voices on the Right have joined the left-wing, Palin-smearing chorus. Granted, they are much more civil in their discourse than the unhinged minions at Daily Kos, Democratic Underground and Huffington Post, but given their supposed commitment to a strong defense, robust foreign policy, limited government and fiscal responsibility, their dismissal of Palin's accomplishments as a reformer, veto-pen wielder and energy expert is perplexing at best and country-sabotaging at worst.

If the Republican VP candidate's two-year stint as governor of an oil-producing state and real record of accomplishment in taking on and beating entrenched special interests isn't good enough for these people, how do they reconcile the Democrat presidential candidate's paper-thin resume (two of his last three years in the US Senate have consisted of campaigning for the country's highest office), close associations with America-haters like Bill Ayers, Bernadine Dohrn and Jeremiah Wright (just to name a few) and willingness to sit down with rogue regimes that want to annihilate Israel and the rest of western civilization?

Kathleen Parker chalks it all up to Palin's interview performances with Charlie Gibson (who behaved more like a hostile cross-examiner than a balanced journalist), Katie Couric and Sean Hannity, concluding that, based on these appearances Palin is "way out of her league." Gee, I guess one's ability to answer questions of biased (Hannity excepted) talking heads is much more important than say, getting a stalled (30 years!) pipeline through Canada and into the United States to "feed hungry markets," or slashing wasteful spending for the benefit of Alaskan citizens.

Moran writes:

I'm not exactly sure what Parker's point is here. Is it that Palin doesn't talk like a Washington policy wonk? Is it that her knowledge of the issues is deficient? What is it?Forget that Palin is no more or less qualified for high office than Barack Obama (in some important ways, more qualified). Neither of them is inherently unqualified to serve. That's because there are no qualifications except that the candidate be a native born American citizen and at least 35 years old. The Founders left the qualifications list extremely vague for a very good reason; they hoped and expected ordinary Americans to have a chance at the top job.

Granted we live in a complex world with huge problems. But presidents are not economic or foreign policy experts. Or military, trade, or education experts. At bottom, the greatest assets any president have are their innate common sense and their ability to communicate with the people. Beyond that, their judgement is informed by their life experience not what they read in some book somewhere. And anyone who has read presidential autobiographies knows how overwhelmed they all have felt when first taking over.

Yes, Virginia. There is always a learning curve for a new president and vice president. And while Palin may seem like a fish out of water at times, it is only because we are so used to seeing our politicians able to smoothly avoid all questions and give the answers to questions they prefer. It is the gift of deception that Palin hasn't quite mastered yet and it shows. (Give her time and she'll be as evasive as any politician in Washington.)Besides this, if Palin were to withdraw, McCain may as well pack it in and go back to Arizona. No sense in staying in a race you are going to lose hugely.

Given the ludicrousness of her position, I'm starting to wonder if Parker has another motive. One of the Moran's commenters noted that Ms. Parker is pro-choice. Until I do some research, I can't know for sure, but if anyone does (Doc Paul, Mark?), it would be an interesting angle to consider. In the meantime, maybe Parker should consider promoting herself as a "moderate" if she's so hell-bent on defeat. After all, if McCain were to heed her misguided advice, it would result in an Obama landslide as a demoralized base would most likely sit home on Election Day. Thankfully, this is one of a handful of times that being a Maverick suits the Senator well.

Eight Questions for the Blogosphere

1) Obama claimed in his answer to the first question that he had been warning about what he called the "subprime mess" for years. Is this true? I assume that it's not, as last night's debate was the first time I can recall him making such a claim. Does anyone know the truth about this claim?

2) Is the effective tax rate for American businesses significantly lower than the nominal rate? If so, is it anywhere near the rate in Ireland, as he implied?

3) Obama claims that FDR authorized the federal government to buy up homes during the depression (Great Depression only after the New Deal, but I digress) and then sold them at a profit. Is this true?

4) Is there any objective evidence that Al Qaeda is a stronger organization now than before the War on Terror was launched?

5) Obama claims that he opposed designating the Irani Republican Guard a terrorist organization because, he implied, it was part of a bill designed to expand the operations in Iraq (I think that was what he was implying). Is there contemporaneous evidence that his opposition was based on a consideration other than genuine opposition to such a designation in regard to the IRG?

6) Does Obama really believe that we didn't talk enough with North Korea? How many different sets of talks took place, and how effective were they?

7) Did Obama raise concerns about Russian peacekeepers in Georgia long before the attack, and suggest their replacement with a multi-national force?

8) Does he really believe that this country is not as desirable a place to be as it was when his father came here, what, 50 years ago? If so, illegal immigration wouldn't be an issue, right?

Henry is not amused

Dr. Kissinger (who Jon Podhoretz cheekily notes was the real winner in the debate - who'd've thought so much time would be devoted to what he thinks?) is not happy with Barry's mischaracterization of his position on talks with Iran.

Henry Kissinger Schools Obama

From ABC News:

Former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger came to the defense of longtime friend Sen. John McCain following Friday's presidential debate saying he "would not recommend the next President of the United States engage in talks with Iran at the Presidential level."

"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," Kissinger said in statement issued by the McCain campaign.

During the debate, Obama pointed to Kissinger to defend his position because the former secretary of state supports direct talks with high-level Iranians without preconditions. Kissinger does not, however, support the U.S. president personally engaging in those talks, a point which McCain sought to drive home during the debate.

Either Barack "just doesn't understand" or he assumed Kissinger would happily play along with his mischaracterization. You lose again, messiah. Go back to the south side of Chicago -- oh, excuse me -- Hyde Park -- with the rest of the area's rich, elite liberals and let the adults govern and defend the country.

Oh Tannenbaum?

Greg Pollowitz (a good guy in my book, as he answers my occasional e-mails) was aware of the Obama talking points on the bail-out bill, which used to number 5. Last night, he only rattled off 4. What was the dropped 5th talking point?

Fifth, we both agree that this financial rescue package should move on its own without any earmarks or other measures. We have different views about the need for other action, but this must be a clean bill.

As Greg adds, when they are talking about steering $20 billion to ACORN, suddenly the importance of not "Christmas tree"-ing the bill becomes a whole lot less important to Barry (hey, if he is on a first-name basis with a Senator 25 years his senior, we can call him Barry, can't we?).

Now, what was that that Chuckie Schumer was saying?

Friday, September 26, 2008

Clear Edge To McCain In First Debate

In my humble opinion, John McCain was clearly the winner in round one of the Presidential debates. He appeared presidential and had complete command of the facts, while Obama appeared nervous and looked like he was on the high school debate team. If the debate, was a fight it would be scored a unanimous decision for McCain. However, it should have been a knockout.
McCain should have harped on the true cause of the current economic crisis. As Daria and Doc Paul have eloquently stated, the root cause was bad government regulation in the form of the CRT. If McCain hammers home this point in the future, he can cripple Obama. In addition, I thought McCain missed a golden moment when Obama claimed that the children of the world no longer look up to America like his Kenyan father did. The perfect retort would have been something on the order of, if that's the case Barack, why do millions come here every year both legally and illegally and why we are we the first country in the history of the world to have to build a fence to keep people out.
Nevertheless, a good night for McCain. He can make it a perfect weekend if he is able to return to DC and get a compromise bill passed that upholds conservative principles. As for now, I cannot wait for the VP debate!

More on Krauthammer

A commentator at Hot Air made a good point: Charles is so peeved over the Palin pick it's clouding his judgment. I think that's a fair assessment.

Did I watch the same debate...

as Brit Hume, Fred Barnes and Charles Krauthammer? I thought Obama came across as a petulant, arrogant adolescent, constantly interrupting, making faces and acting defensive. McCain pummeled him on foreign policy -- Iraq, the Russian invasion of Georgia, Iran, Pakistan -- and yet Charles calls it a "draw?" Hume and Barnes remark that both men came across well? Not from where I was sitting!

My picks for Sound Bites of the night (all quotes approximate)

3) "I've got a bracelet too!"



2) "They are still sending out videotapes" - ooh, shuddering with fear! VIDEO tapes!

1) "Let me see if I got this straight. We sit down with Ahmedinajad and he says he's going to wipe Israel off the map and we say 'No you're not'? Oh, please!"

And it's over

Brit Hume: Spirited debate, pretty good exchange, not just parallel news conferences. Quite a bit of time on domestic matters early on. McCain pounded away on spending, Obama on taxes. Obama was pressed on what programs he would cut but didn't answer. Obama kept coming back to "Iraq is a mistake". Brit doesn't buy the "I didn't call for a sit-down with Ahmedinajad" line.

Brit can't think of a soundbite, and neither can Fred. C'mon, guys: "I have a bracelet too!"

Fred Barnes: McCain finished strong. Obama didn't get rattled, although he was on the defensive.

Nina Easton: I give it to McCain. Moved conversation about financial crisis back to spending, where McCain is comfortable. Style: McCain clear and direct. Still something bland and policy-speak about Obama. Rounded edges, not direct.

Bill Kristol: I didn't think it was close. I agree with Nina and not with Fred. McCain got under Obama's skin - visibly irritated Obama, made him frustrated.

Brit: A lot of "I agree with Senator McCain" statements.

Juan Williams: As expected, he thinks Obama was on the offensive. However, he does knock Obama for the weird facial ticks. "Tactics and strategy" might be a sound bite. You are associated with the last 8 years.

Brit: How successfully did Obama make the case that the last 8 years were awful and McCain would be just 4 more. I didn't think Obama did that.

Juan: Grudgingly agrees with that to some extent.

Carl Cameron: Says McCain's advisers say, as expected, that McCain did well. Turning point: Iran. McCain put Obama on defense. 8 times Obama said that he agreed with McCain, 7 times McCain explicitly said that Obama was wrong.

Major Garrett: From Obama campaign - Rick's casino "Shocked that Obama's people think he won" (being cute). Obama is trying to spin McCain's experience as being trapped in the past, so they were happy that he brought up Kissinger, Reagan, etc.

PHILS WIN, METS LOSE! WOO-HOO! 2 games ahead with 2 to go!

I think I am done blogging. Phew....

Don't Answer Next Time

:)

Question 8

Missed Lehrer's opening

McCain responds to Obama's energy claims and defends his record, calls Obama out on reprocessing.

Obama says he doesn't object to nuclear waste, gets sidetracked.

Lehrer asks if we are safer from a 9/11 attack today.

McCain - yes we are. I called for a commission and this is another area where I disagreed with the administration. Got most of the reforms written into law - bipartisan. Intelligence services need improvement (trained interrogators, better technology, work with our allies). Safer today than 9/11 but that doesn't mean we don't have a long way to go. Reorganized agencies, but still a long way to go. Do better along our borders as well.

Obama - In some ways better. Still much to do (ports, chemical sites). Suitcase nuke is biggest threat. I actually believe we need missile defense. Focus on Al Qaeda - in 60 countries - not just Iraq. Gives McCain kudos on torture issue.

McCain - In case of missile defense, Obama says it has to be proven. It wasn't proven when Reagan proposed it and used it to win the Cold War. Obama doesn't get it: loss in Iraq will weaken us everywhere. Hammers Obama on specific dates for withdrawal regardless of facts on the ground. Central issue of our time.

Lehrer asks if he accepts the connection that McCain claims.

Obama - yes, but we are focused solely (!) on Iraq. [Uh, no. Not having a standing military in a country does not mean that we are not paying attention to what's happening there.] Usual liberal bromides about money spent on the war is money not spent on domestic matters. [Yawn] Strategic vision has been missing last 8 years.

McCain - I have been involved in every major national security matter of the past 28 years. I don't think Obama gets it, and I have the experience, he doesn't. McCain says that the Bush admin "clings" (Obama laughs, amplifying the impact of the word) to outmoded ideas, and that is what Obama has done as well. Solemn about not needing OTJ training. I am ready.

Obama - My father is from Kenya, wrote lots of letters to come to US. Our standing now is not the same. [Puh-leeze]

McCain - When I came home from prison I saw veterans being mistreated. Worked on POW/MIA issues. I guarantee you as President of US, I know how to heal the wounds of war and work with allies.

Question 7

Russia

Obama - supports preparation for NATO membership of Georgia, etc. Missed some it because of a call from Daria (!). But, yes, I agree, Obambi is out of his depth and looks like a piker.

McCain - Naivete in Obama's initial call for restraint on both sides when Russia invaded. Looked in Putin's eye and saw K, G, and B. Georgian action has everything to do with energy. Personalizes his relationship with Georgia's president. Recounts scenes from his own visits to Tblisi. Much more detailed response showing a great grasp of the issues. Ukraine is our friend and ally.

Obama - McCain and I agree for the most part... disagree with McCain's characterization of his response, then he lies about calling out Russia immediately. Don't argue facts, they can be checked later, and this one will be checked. Claims to have warned administration that there were Russian peacekeepers in Georgia and they should be replaced - really? Check the record on that claim. On energy: lies about us having only 3% of the world's energy supply. Hope McCain nails him on this.

Question 6

Reading of threat from Iran

McCain - Existential threat to Israel, threat to region. We cannot allow a second holocaust. Form a League of Democracies. Russians are preventing the UN Security Council from making any progress. LOD can impose sanctions that the UN won't. Essentially calling for economic warfare on Iran. Iranians are putting the most lethal IEDs into Iraq, sending killers into Iraq, calls out Obama for voting against designating Republican Guard as a terrorist organization.

Obama - Claims that he has always regarded Republican Guard as terrorists but rejected specific bill because it expanded the war in Iraq (?) Tough diplomacy with Iran needed.

McCain - Hits on the "without precondition" meetings with Ahmadinejad, Raul Castro, Chavez. Don't legitimize these losers by offering meetings. Reagan example with USSR, Nixon with China - precondition would be not to legitimize them.

Obama - Ahmeadinejad is not the most powerful person in Iran. Kissinger thinks that we should have talks without preconditions and he is an adviser to you. Redefines preparation in a way that makes them seem a whole lot like preconditions. In NorKo, we didn't talk and they progressed on nuclear weapons capacity.

McCain - Kissinger did not say he would approve face-to-face meetings of president of US and of Iran. Schooling Obama again: what he doesn't understand is that you don't sit down with, and legitimize, a guy who calls Israel a stinking corpse and wants to wipe it off the face of the earth. NorKo, most brutal regime on the face of the earth, don't know status of "dear leader's" health - we need to go back to Reagan's trust but verify.

Obama - tries to redefine his "no preconditions" statements

McCain - "So he's gonna say I want to wipe Israel off the map and you're going to say I disagree. Oh, please!" Obama is parsing words.

Question 5

Afghanistan...

Obama - situation is getting worse. More deaths now than at any time since 2001. Four times as many troops in Iraq as in Afghanistan and that is a (pause) strategic mistake. Says he will send 2 (or maybe 4) brigades to Afghanistan. Have to deal with Pakistan. Giving them foreign aid but they won't clear the safe havens.

McCain - I won't repeat the mistake of the post-Soviet resistance in Afghanistan, where we left once we thought the job was done. Takes Obama to school on the issue of announcing strikes into Pakistani territory. I have been to Waziristan... need new strategy, need to obtain allegiance of Pakistanis, or at least their cooperation... bombing of Marriott hotel was a signal from terrorists not to cooperate with the West. Not just addition of troops will matter, strategy will matter, I will not publicly state we will attack them.

Obama - Here's what I said "If the US has Osama in our sights and Pakistain is unwilling to do the job, we should take him out". Cheap shots at McCain (Bomb Iran and North Korea). We coddled Musharraf, we were anti-democratic, we lost legitimacy in Pakistan, and they weren't going after Al Qaeda.

McCain - There was a failed state in Pakistan (sorry, little boy, you weren't around when Musharraf became president and Pak was a failed state). Story of him opposing Reagan on the placement of Marines in Lebanon. I supported first Gulf War, Bosnia (even though many of my colleagues did not), Kosovo, Somalia (opposed the change in mission from peace keeping to peace making). Anecdote about town hall in New Hampshire where the mother of a fallen soldier asked him to wear a bracelet in honor of her son. "Make sure the mission succeeds". We don't want defeat. I know what it's like to be part of a military to be the losing side.

Obama - "I've got a bracelet too" - might be the sound bite of the night. Obama's bracelet is from a mother who doesn't want any other mothers to lose children in war. "They are still sending out videotapes" - sound bite of the night contender - I'm ascared of those videotapes!

McCain - "You might think with that kind of concern Senator Obama might have gone to Afghanistan" - ouch! Good one, McC! Obama doesn't get the connection between Iraq and Afghanistan.

Obama is flustered

JMac pistol-whipped him on Iraq!

Obama

Cringe-worthy, but understandable

I get that he has to paint himself as the "anti-Bush," but geez, I hate to hear about how he opposed the President on climate change, not to mention Gitmo and torture!

Question 4

What are the lessons of Iraq?

McCain: Don't allow failure. I went to Iraq in 2003 and saw that a change was needed. Supported it, and now we are winning. We will see a stable ally in Iraq. Consequences of defeat: increase in sectarian violence, increased Iranian influence, need to go back to fight again.

Obama: Fundamental difference. Should we have gone in the first place? Claims it was "politically risky" for him to oppose it. Really? In Hyde Park in Chicago? I don't think so. Arrogantly claims that he was right and Bush and McCain were wrong. Al Qaeda stronger than ever? Ridiculous! Back to the Iraqi surplus. Lesson to be drawn? Never hesitate to use force, but I will use it wisely, unlike what we did in Iraq.

McCain: Beautiful response. Didn't go to Iraq for 900 days. Hits him on not calling a meeting of his own committee with NATO oversight.

Obama: Makes a series of claims that McCain really wants to knock down.

McCain: Obama doesn't know the difference between a tactic and strategy. Obama won't recognize the progress. (Obama mumbles "not true") McCain hammers home that the strategy has worked, and will be implemented in Afghanistan. Claims Obama didn't vote for troop funding.

Obama: Claims the difference is between timetables and whether funding should be tied to them. Claims he knows strategy versus tactics. Claims McCain was wrong on Afghanistan, and what Sec'y Gates has said affirms his own view and not McCain's.

McCain: Petraeus and Osama bin Laden agree on at least one thing: Iraq is the central front of the war. Obama's plan is snatching defeat from the jaws of victory.

Foreign Policy?

Yes, Doc Paul, I was wondering the same thing!

Question 3

What are you willing to give up to afford a $700 billion bail-out?

Obama - Can't guarantee what the tax receipts will be, so can't be sure what the tax policy will really be. Shifts to alt-energy, health care, cost of college, infrastructure. Haven't heard what he would cut, though.

McCain - Defense spending cuts - good for him - Nixon-goes-to-China stuff. Speaks smartly about the contract issues involved and how he saved $6.8 billion on a Boeing contract - "I know how to do this".

Lehrer asks again - what are you going to cut?

Obama jumps in to answer first. Lehrer unimpressed with his answers. Obama still not answering the question, and Lehrer still trying to get an answer.

McCain - spending freeze on everything except for a handful of vital things (veterans issues, defense, etc.).

Obama - Says a spending freeze is a hatchet and you need a scalpel, but he won't say where he will direct his scalpel. Tries to tie in Iraq war costs.

McCain - Shout out for nuclear power. I wish he would go back and take on the Iraq war canard.

Lehrer, trying again to get an answer to his question:

Obama - no doubt it will affect our budgets. FDR got us out of the depression by buying up homes and holding them until their value increased? News to me.

McCain - I want to make sure we don't hand over the health care system to the federal government (plays well in this 2 MD household). McCain comes back to the spending freeze (at least he gave an answer to Lehrer's question). Spending restraint called for again. Wants to cut federal budgets.

Obama - Ham-fisted attempts to tie McCain to Bush on spending. Another set-up for McCain. We'll see...

McCain - Back to the "I'm not Miss Congeniality" - lists where he has disagreed with Bush. "Maverick of the Senate".

Finally!

"A lot of people might be interested in Senator Obama's definition of rich!" And yes, businesses create jobs.

The Bear Line McCain Used

Is old and tired.

Good Line

Earmarks as gateway drugs...

Question 2

McCain - Lambastes spending, earmarks, etc. Finally! He rips Obama for nearly a billion dollars in earmark requests, laying it out as a fundamental difference between the two.

Obama - Claims to have suspended earmark requests. Going on about his supposed tax cuts (really just redistribution). Earmarks are only $18 billion, McCain wants to cut taxes by $300 billion, helping only rich people.

McCain - Suspended after he started running for President, not out of principle. Notes that earmarks have tripled. Calls Obama on increased spending requests.

Obama - Claims that McCain is making up the numbers. Appeals to the middle class, says we can't afford 4 more years of the last 8.

McCain - Not taking it lying down. Explains why he wants to cut business taxes. Not backing down on significance of earmarks. Talking about dividend to families, tax (health) credits, to benefit the middle class.

Obama - Claims that the effective rate for businesses is low because of loopholes. Slams McCain's health insurance proposal.

McCain - Walking the walk versus talking the talk. I voted against a bill festooned with add-ons and Obama voted for it.

Aside: Who the heck is Obama looking at? And isn't this a foreign policy debate?

Obama - Claims that McCain is not being truthful. McCain laughing at Obama's counter-claim.

Is it just me?

Or is Obama insufferable? Ugh!

I Vote

To eliminate the word "bipartisan" from the political lexicon! McCain just gave a good answer, but I have to cringe every time I hear about "Republicans and Democrats coming together." Who got us into this mess, after all!

Debate Live Blog - Part I

Watching the Fox coverage with Brit Hume presiding over the network coverage.

He hands it over to Jim Lehrer, who quips about taking a deep breath and holding his breath for 90 minutes (I think it was Lehrer).

"Global Financial Crisis" - so that's how he is going to work in the credit crunch.

Lehrer says the questions are his own and are known to no one other than himself. Calls for no noise of any kind.

Eisenhower quote: "We must achieve both security and solvency".

First question to Obama on the financial recovery plan.

Obama: Usual thanks to the usual people. Clearly coached to be direct in his answers and not so theoretical. First mistake: blames Bush and then says McCain has supported it. McCain has the chance now to knock it out of the park. We'll see.

McCain: Expresses thoughts about Ted Kennedy's health. Going for the "bipartisanship is keen" track. He better get back to the Obama assertion (i.e., lie). He whiffs.

Follow up: do you favor this plan?

Obama: Haven't seen the language. Optimistic, blah, blah. Obama now lying about having called for action on the "subprime mess". This must be a lie, as his campaign has never made this claim.

McCain: Responding, but meekly. Warming up with Ike story about D-Day Eve and the two letters - one expressing thanks for a successful operation and the other offering his resignation because of its failure. He goes to the point of the story: accountability. But he deflects credit and doesn't take on the Obama fabrications.

Obama: Making up a story line (not watching out for Main Street), and McCain is letting him get away with it.

McCain: Presents well, but isn't responding to Obama, just stating things that he has said before.

By the way....

What's with Kathleen Parker and La Shawn Barber?

The First Debate

Ok, I'll join Doc Paul in a little live-blogging here in just a bit. Right now, I am live-streaming 102.9 FM in Philly -- the best classic rock station there is! Brit Hume is on, but I am too nervous to listen to all of the preliminaries! So until we get to the meat-and-potatoes, I'll just rock on with Creedence! :)

Happy Petrov Day

I didn't know that today was his day, but on this day, September 26, 25 years ago, a man named Petrov saved the world. Read about it here. Live-blogging of the debate to begin shortly.

The Pure Class of the Palins

meets the pure crass of the New York "elites". James Taranto nails it:

From the New York Times Web site, we learn an interesting detail about Sarah Palin's family:
Her parents had come to New York after 9/11 to help with the recovery effort.
Her parents, Chuck and Sally Heath, worked at Fresh Kills landfill in Staten Island in January and February of 2002 as part of a federal Department of Agriculture program.
In a phone interview this evening, Mr. Heath said that he and his wife worked to keep sea gulls and rats from scavenging. Mr. Heath, who is a retired science teacher and is 70 now, and Mrs. Heath, 68, a retired secretary, have worked for the Agriculture Department for the last 15 years. They travel around the world dealing with "nuisance" animals like rats and bears.
"A lot of people just didn't like the job, it was kind of a morbid thing," he said of the work at the Staten Island landfill. "But I thought it was part of history." He said they worked alongside detectives and firefighters and enjoyed "rubbing elbows" with them and hearing their stories.
While working at Fresh Kills, they stayed in Edison, N.J., about 17 miles away. Mr. Heath said that was the only part of their tour that they did not like, because the traffic was so heavy. "I'm a country boy," he said.

It's hard to be in New York these days without hearing vicious and snobbish comments about Palin and her family. The other night we heard a journalist on an elevator call the Alaska governor "stupid" (he was annoyed because her security had delayed his arrival at an event). Earlier a woman at a cocktail party went on a tear about Palin's pregnant daughter.

It's nice to think that the Palin family does not seem to reciprocate New Yorkers' contempt for them.

Perfect Game

On Father's Day, June 21, 1964, the first Father's Day that my Dad could hold me in his arms (I would have been 5 1/2 months old then), Jim Bunning pitched a perfect game for the Phillies, blanking the Mets 6-0 at Shea Stadium.

After a Hall of Fame career, Jim Bunning became a Senator from Kentucky. This might not be on par with his performance on that long-ago Father's Day, but it's darn near perfect. Thanks, Senator Bunning.

MUST WATCH VIDEO!

E-mail this link to everyone you know:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H5tZc8oH--o

That will send them to YouTube to see the video embedded below. You have to pay attention - a lot of information is packed into 10 minutes of video (with a pleasing soundtrack, I might add). This is what I have been railing about: the Democrats' slick attempt to make this a failure of markets and deregulation when IN FACT it is a failure of oversight and misguided regulation by DC (with a dollop of Wall Street greed to complete the recipe for disaster).

PLEASE watch this carefully and PLEASE spread the word.





H/T Flopping Aces

Also, read this IBD editorial and send it to everyone in your address book.

Credit Crunch Politics

Insight from Jennifer Rubin:

The Democrats need to get their story straight. On one hand, it is beyond dispute at this point that Congressional Republicans were never on board. It is equally clear that the Democratic majority won’t act without the ”cover” of a substantial number of Republican votes–that is they demand that this deal not be done, in Chris Dodd’s words, ”on a three-legged stool.”

So several things follow. First, this is precisely why Hank Paulson and Harry Reid summoned John McCain–to get Republican cover for the Democrats who despite the looming crisis can’t bring themselves to govern (that is, to vote on and pass a bill which they believe is essential). Second, that is why McCain presented but did not endorse the GOP’s wish list of conservative suggestions in the White House meeting. That is how one cajoles and drags along a recalcitrant party–by allowing them to have their say. (From reports it appears that the hyper-empathetic Barack Obama attempted to corner the Republicans, not a comforting sign that he knows how to negotiate with people who are in fundamental disagreement with him.) Third, while it would be nice for the Democrats to drag more Republican votes along, it is highly unlikely that they need as a mathematical matter all 100 Republican votes they have asked for. Whether they get 50 or 100, Democrats almost certainly could pass the Paulson bill in a form acceptable both to the White House and the Senate. But they don’t want to–Chris Dodd told us that.

And finally, if there is no deal, if the stock market drops hundreds more points, if there is no abatement in the short term credit crunch, and if more banks and other institutions fold today, we’ll see if running off to a debate and lifting whatever pressure exists to make a quick deal seems like such a good idea. Having spent over twenty years as a labor negotiator I can tell you: unless you provide contentious parties with a deadline, no matter how artificial, they will never reach a deal.

Another element of the politics of this, which the libs are trying to paint in the worst possible light for McCain and the Republicans, facts be damned (Alan Colmes was particularly guilty of this last night), is that the Congressional Dems just can't help themselves. I have heard that there are upward of 2,000 earmarks attached, with frivolous spending items and completely unrelated matters (e.g., Harry Reid's attempt for GOK what reason to ban oil shale exploration). It was just Sunday on Fox News Sunday that Chuckie Schumer, seated next to John Kyl, stated with all the credibility he could muster that he and his Democratic colleagues would not "Christmas tree this thing". I thought it was an interesting verbing of a noun (I usually think of decorating or trimming a Christmas tree, but I digress), and that made it perhaps more memorable. Yet here they go, at a time of crisis, trying to slip in their pet projects. I think that any lawmaker who tries to slip in an earmark should be publicly humiliated. And not just if he or she is a Republican.

UPDATE: More from KLo at The Corner:

This is what Lindsey Graham said on Greta's show: “And this deal that's on the table now is not a very good deal. Twenty percent of the money that should go to retire debt that will be created to solve this problem winds up in a housing organization called ACORN that is an absolute ill-run enterprise, and I can't believe we would take money away from debt retirement to put it in a housing program that doesn't work.”

ACORN is one of the dirty little secrets of the left that needs to be exposed by more than just Michelle Malkin.

UPDATE 2: I found the transcript of Chuckie Schumer and Jon Kyl being interviewed by Chris Wallace; here's the relevant part:

WALLACE: If you hear some Democrats talk about a stimulus package — infrastructure, you know, a variety — unemployment relief, a variety — even a bailout to the auto companies. Are you going to "Christmas tree" this bill?

SCHUMER: No, we will not "Christmas tree" this bill. The times are too urgent. Everyone has their own desires and needs. It's going to have to wait.

Now, as for a stimulus package, I think that is — the economy is sinking. Unemployment, 6.1 percent. Many of us believe we need a stimulus package. Many of us believe this is the appropriate time to do it before Congress adjourns. We can't wait three months.

WALLACE: As part of the bailout?

SCHUMER: But it doesn't necessarily have to be part of the bailout. That's something that's being decided right now.

And I think our leaders both in the House and Senate are coming to the conclusion it should be alongside the bailout, but not part of it.

WALLACE: Senator Kyle, can you live with the kind of add-ons that Senator Schumer is talking about?

KYL: Well, first of all, I think that he is correct to say that these things should not be added on to this particular bill.

WALLACE: Oh, I think he did say that the mortgage should be added onto the...

KYL: Well, all right. We'll talk about that separately. But with regard to the stimulus package...

WALLACE: Stimulus, right.

KYL: ... look, there is a crisis in our country. And we've got to come together as House and Senate, Democrat and Republican, and deal with this crisis as Americans, for the American people, and not try to bring on all of our political agendas.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

And now for a little (more) self-promotion

Sorry, I know this is O/T again, but I just received my copy of Water Signs: A Story of Love and Renewal today, and I am thrilled to report that Lulu did a fabulous job! I cannot express how exciting it is to finally publish my first of (hopefully) many novels; I even have a publicist -- wow!

We are planning to work the huge South Florida market first, which involves sending out press releases to local print, radio and television media. Of course, I am competing with election news, but perhaps a little escapism every once and a while between now and November will be good for the collective South Florida soul. I know it's good for mine, notwithstanding my political junkie tendencies -- especially this week (oy!).

Anyway, Tina (my PR pro) has some fabulous ideas, so I'm very excited to be working with her.

And since I've lost over 10 pounds on Nutri System and am halfway to my goal, maybe there's a commercial with Dan Marino in my future?? Hey, a girl can dream!

Brief baseball diversion

I watched the Braves telecast of the Phils stinking up the joint, which put me in a bad mood. Then I switched over to the Mets-Cubs in time to see that the Mets had put their first batter in the 9th inning on third base with no one out (not sure if it was a triple or involved stolen bases and/or errors, but whatever). David Wright, whom I would love if he weren't a Met, then K'd swinging. The Cubs intentionally walked two batters to get to Ryan Church, who grounded sharply to the drawn-in second baseman, who threw home to force the lead runner. A strikeout ensued, and the lump in the collective throats of the Mets and their fans was no smaller than that Big Apple prop they have out behind the outfield fence.

I later saw Derek Lee bloop a double over first base to score the go-ahead run in the 10th, and then, while I think I had switched over to some political show, a 2-run blast made the score 9-6. I just had to watch the Mets go meekly in the bottom of the inning, which they did.

Two years in a row, two blown leads. They are in danger of not merely blowing the division again, but are now tied for the wild card - and my money is on the Brewers. If the NY Post hasn't used it already, I think they should dub them the "Melts".

PS: I may be enjoying the schadenfreude of another Met Melt, but the Phillies better get their act in gear too.

The Dog That Didn't Bark

In Mark's last post, he makes an excellent point that deserves amplification: if there was any conceivable way to tie the Fannie Mae/Freddie Mac debacle to the GOP, the compliant MSM would have done so. That they haven't speaks volumes, but it's a classic case of the dog that didn't bark: if you aren't paying close attention, you would miss the silent clue as to where the blame lies. In this, it is analogous to the popular internet game of "Guess the Party", where party identification in a story that makes a politician look bad is not stated (or buried toward the end of the story) if that pol is a Democrat. If it's a Republican, it's more than likely in the headline, and never farther away than the first or second line.

As I have been educating myself about this catastrophe, it is pretty clear that the fault lies in a succession of good intentions awry: starting with making the dream of home ownership more readily available (even to the non-creditworthy), then doing things to make it look as if there is no discrimination (the bad kind, not the good kind) in lending practices, and then, having erected an edifice to make this happen with the government as its sponser (FM/FM), buy off the solons who are supposed to be regulating it (#1 - Dodd, #2 - Obama). Then when the feces hits the fan, talk generically about how Republicans don't believe in regulation and that's the root of the problem.

Except the record shows things to be far different from how the Dodds and Franks of the world would like to paint the picture:



PS: Senator Dodd's father was censured for using political money for personal use. Like father, like son. If he had any shame (he doesn't), he would resign, not pretend to be a leader in "fixing" the mess he created.

Wizard of Electoral Politics

Great strip by someone other than Muir, in this case, by the late great Brant Parker and Johnny Hart, whose collections in paperback I devoured as a kid:



Johnny Hart was a big deal in the Southern Tier of New York, where I hung my hat for a decade. More Johnny Harts and fewer Maurice Hincheys would have been good for the region.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Economic Crisis Roll Call

The President while covering some key points in his speech tonight, blew it when he attempted to lay out the history of the problem and the role played by Fannie and Freddie. This is clearly a Democratic mess and it has Barack Obamas's fingerprints all over it. The Democrats used Fannie and Freddie as their own personal piggy bank while forcing lending institutions to make loans to people who couldn't pay them back. This of course was done under the guise of compassion. Let the record reflect that John McCain spoke out about this problem in 2005 as did President Bush who proposed regulatory legislation in 2003 which was shut down by who - our friends across the aisle, that's who. Why the President didn't lay out these facts is perplexing.

I like President Bush and voted for him twice , and I do believe that history will treat him kindly. However, I am frustrated by his continuing reluctance to call out his political enemies when they are wrong. He should have named names in his speech tonight. Because he didn't, I will. The following is a roll call (though clearly not inclusive) of the major culprits:

Jimmy Carter
Bill Clinton
Christoper Dodd
Barney Frank
Hillary Clinton
Franklin Raines

Note any similarities. Here's a hint, Democrats all. You might think it's funny that there haven't been any Congressional hearings on the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression, to paraphrase Barack Obama. After all, this Congress has held hearings on everything. Remember the Roger Clemens steroid fiasco? Clearly if they had time to hold hearings on steroids in baseball, surely this Democratic Congress could find the time to hold hearings on this financial crisis. Here's the problem. They can't find any Republicans to pin this one on! You don't think San Fran Nan or Dingy Harry would put any of the transgressors on the above list under oath, do you?

The answer is a resounding no, escpecially in a Presidential election year. Yet if there was even one Republican that could possibly be blamed for this crisis; that person would have been subpoenaed to testify and the dinosuar media would have been salivating to cover it, all the while insinuating (declaring) that the trail led all the way back to the Administration and of course John McCain.

Failing to address the cause of the problem wasn't the President's only failing either. This bill in its current form is terrible. It is pure Socialism, and it is a case of the cure being worse than the disease. This bailout will only encourage more reckless behavior in the future. Besides since it was government which caused the problem in the first place with its "compassionate lending" edict, why would anyone in their right mind think that government could ever solve the problem? The answer is, it won't. The fact is, that even more government will only exacerbate the problem.

I think Newt has the right idea. The plan should call for a government loan to be paid back, and not a bail out. Then we should zero out the capital gains tax and drill here and now, and stop sending $500 billion overseas. That would allow free markets to work and provide a long term solution.

It was a good move for Johnny Mac to suspend his campaign while Obama travels around the country and lets Congress know that he's available by phone if needed. After all he can't be disturbed by trifling events such as this, while he's preparing for a foreign policy debate. It is now clear which candidate truly puts country first.

It is now vital for McCain to go to Washington and work out a compromise solution. He needs to challenge the Adminstration and put some Coonservative checks and balances in the existing bill. This will put Obama in the awkward position of siding with the Administration on the total bail out and against McCain. The political fall out will be dramatic and will show the public that McCain does indeed have a grasp on economic issues. This coupled with his recent reaching out to Mitt Romney will seal the deal and enable him to beat Obama on the issue of the economy.

If McCain is able to pull this off he will again surge into the lead. But he too must name names and I'm not talking Cox and Cuomo either. If he is able to pull it off by Friday and make it to the debate on foreign policy, the election could well be over by the time the candidates leave Oxford,MS.

McCain - Palin Rally in Media PA

What a thrill to attend this event! The atmosphere was electric as the Borough of Media was beseiged by over ten thousand people to see the McCain - Palin team. As impressive as they are on TV, they are that much more impressive in person.
Despite a few protesters with thier vile signs and equally repugnant behavior, it was a tremendous event. It was orderly and well organized.

It was exciting to feel the patriotism in the air and to see the American flags flying. The program was fantastic. The crowd was treated to a number of excellent speakers beginning with the invocation by the clergy, including St. Mary Magdalen's own Fr. Ralph Chieffo. A male singer with a superb voice sang the national anthem and then led the crowd in a stirring rendition of "God Bless the USA". It was thrilling to hear thousands of patriotic Americans sing in unison.

The real highlight though was the stirring performance of the Main Street Miracles, a Downs Syndrome singing group whose motto is " we are people of ability and not disability." The Miracles sang several songs including, Lean on Me. It gave me chills.

I attended the event with my wife and kids, my sister, my mother,and my brother, Ralph who has Downs Syndrome. He suffers from nothing Senator Obama and contrary to what you think he has been an overwhelming blessing to all of us.

The crowd roared when the Straight Talk Expresss finally rolled in. Senator Liebernman spoke eloquently and then both Governor Palin and Senator McCain blew the roof off. While they were on the stage, Senator McCain was presented with a POW/MIA motorcycle, which roared up onto the stage driven by a Viet Nam veteran.

After the speeches the best was yet come. Both Senator McCain and Governor Palin exited right past where we were sitting and I was able to get close up pictures with my cell phone. The greatest moment occurred when Ralph caught Sarah's eye. She looked him in the eye and with a big smile asked him, "what's your name? He was beaming as he answered, "Ralph", to which a smiling Sarah replied. "nice to meet you Ralph", as she shook his hand.It was one of those moments in life that I will cherish forever.

To cap it off we attended a post - rally party at my friend's law office across the street. There was plenty to eat and drink and we made new friends including a woman and her daughter who flew in from California for the event.

There has never been a more important election in our history. We will win Pennsylvania and win a great victory on November 4. Viva McCain - Palin!

About damned time!

I have been talking to the wall, asking why on earth Mitt Romney isn't front and center on this matter, advising the McCain campaign and acting as the spokesman. It looks as if they are finally moving in that direction.

Here Jann goes again!

Words fail me, except to say that the Left in general, and this cretin in particular, never run out of new ways to disgust! Via Michelle Malkin (who is on the job, as usual), read about the latest character assassination attempt by those who wish to destroy America as we know it. Wake up, electorate! Your country needs you. In the meantime, I think I need a brief respite from political blogging -- it's starting to get a little scary. Maybe I should focus on something more pleasant, for a while.

Who's to blame for the Fannie and Freddie Mess?

FOX News goes where other major news outlets fear to tread:



UPDATE: Read this!
UPDATE, Part Two: Michelle exposes the dirty little secret underscoring many of these bad mortgages. Hey Congress, can we enforce our immigration laws now?
UPDATE, Part Three: I am not sure what to make of this, though Richard Miniter thinks it's a brilliant move. I suppose it all depends on what McCain plans to do once in Washington, but why can't he propose a solution AND still participate in the debate on Friday night? In any case, I am hoping his plan precludes imposing unfair burdens on hard-working US taxpayers -- you know, those of us who played by the rules to actually qualify for our mortgages -- and unlike the protected, PC members of our population -- diligently pay them every month?

This whole sordid mess is just one more example of the high price of multi-culturalism.

Kill the Bill!

More from Michelle on the "universally negative" reaction to the proposed bailout -- hit the phones and make your displeasure known to your congressional representatives! If we could defeat amnesty, we can defeat this ridiculous proposal. I vote to make Mr. CRA, 1977, pay for it!

When I have more time, I will relate my banking adventures at Washington Mutual as they relate to Carter's horrible legislation. Alas, for now, it's off to work!

Water Signs Update

I spoke with a representative from the wonderful charity, Soldiers Angels yesterday. If they like the formatted manuscript of Water Signs I emailed to them, my new novel will be the featured book on the Soldiers Angels site for January, 2009 (there's a waiting list). For each copy sold, I will donate back a portion of the proceeds to help supply care packages and other items for our brave Military men and women. Since most of their featured authors are on the NY Times Bestseller List, I'll be in good company! :)

I am very thankful for their openness is giving an unknown an opportunity, and hope to report back here that the book has been accepted, so stay tuned! More importantly, consider heading over to their site and making a donation.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Why is Obama so vapid, hesitant, and gutless?

You can't get the right answer without asking the right question. For Hitch's answer, go here.

"We Want Sarah. Shame On The Rally Organizer"

Blowback from the disinvitation of Palin from the anti-Iran rally.

UPDATE: Caroline Glick in The Jerusalem Post has an outstanding take on the pettiness of the Democratic Jews in America, and the meaning of their refusal to allow Governor Palin to speak. An excerpt:

It was a remarkable speech, prepared by a remarkable woman. But it was not heard. It was not heard because the Democratic Party and Jewish Democrats believe that their partisan interest in demonizing Palin and making Americans generally and American Jews in particular hate and fear her to secure their votes for Obama and his running-mate Sen. Joseph Biden in the November election is more important than allowing Palin to elevate the necessity of preventing a second Holocaust to the top of the US's national security agenda.

PS: I am no anti-Semite, so let me say this delicately: the politics of Jewish Americans, and the Joy Behar-ish in-your-face attitude with which those views are so often espoused, has done more to harm the reputation of Jews than anything that any 100 anti-Semites going off half-cocked about the Jooos! could ever do.

PPS: What is with the plethora of (relatively) new Jewish female writers who absolutely rock? Jennifer Rubin, Lisa Schiffren, Caroline Glick... It used to be just Mona Charen, but now there is an embarrassment of riches!