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Bully Pulpit

The term "bully pulpit" stems from President Theodore Roosevelt's reference to the White House as a "bully pulpit," meaning a terrific platform from which to persuasively advocate an agenda. Roosevelt often used the word "bully" as an adjective meaning superb/wonderful. The Bully Pulpit features news, reasoned discourse, opinion and some humor.

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Is John McCain Stupid?

The Wall Street Journal

Is John McCain losing it?

On Sunday, he said on national television that to solve Social Security "everything's on the table," which of course means raising payroll taxes. On July 7 in Denver he said: "Senator Obama will raise your taxes. I won't."

This isn't a flip-flop. It's a sex-change operation.

There's a part of me that wonders if McCain truly wants to be president because he has a habit of taking one step forward and two steps back. Still hard to believe he's the GOP nominee because he makes Bob Dole look young and energetic.

Boarding the Tomnibus

By George Neumayr
The American Spectator

Beware of any pol with an airport named after him. Will Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport now have to be renamed? As the Alaska senator flies into it with seven graft-related indictments trailing him, his old nemesis, Tom Coburn of Oklahoma, emerges from this week looking better than ever.

Truth is the best policy and the best politics, Coburn's example reminds his pork-bloated colleagues. Where their power rests on hoarding government money, his power is based upon refusing it -- and that has proven much more potent.

Stevens, shrieking on the Senate floor in anger at Coburn for opposing his "Bridge to Nowhere," threatened to resign if he didn't get it. Had the Republican leadership displayed some sense, they would have let him go. But instead of choosing Coburn as their brand, they embraced big government, making the scandals of Randy Cunningham and Ted Stevens inevitable.

Dreams From My Literary Agent

(By Jim Geraghty/National Review Online) - It's an old point about Obama's early life experience, but when I read about the formation of the book "Dreams From My Father", a thought or two similar to Robert Stacy McCain's ran across my mind.

A 28-year-old law student gets written up in the newspapers, then gets a call from a literary agent? She calls him?

The agent then signs this 28-year-old nobody — whose only credential as an author is student law journal stuff — with Simon & Schuster. Hello? In what alternative universe does this happen?

He misses his deadline, but that's OK, because he then gets another big contract with a $40,000 advance. At this point, Obama's story is reminding me of another popular book, The Peter Principle.

But the real killer is how, having gotten a contract based on a proposal for a book about race relations, Obama pulls a bait-and-switch, and instead delivers ... a memoir.

A memoir! Whiskey Tango Foxtrot?? Unless you led the league in RBIs and helped the Yankees win the Series, how the hell does a 28-year-old get away with selling a memoir to a major publisher for $40,000?
That reminds me, Voting to Kill is now available at fine remainder bins everywhere...

As Aides Map Aggressive Race, McCain Often Steers Off Course

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (Washington Post) - Sen. John McCain last week delivered one of his sharpest critiques yet of Sen. Barack Obama's Iraq policies, carefully reading a prepared speech that accused his Democratic rival of failing the commander-in-chief test and promoting ideas that would force American troops to "retreat under fire."

But just hours after his crisp performance, the Republican presidential candidate blurred his own message with an offhand comment to a television interviewer that Obama's proposal for a 16-month time frame for removing combat troops from Iraq might be a "pretty good timetable." That seemed to run counter to his attempts to cast Obama as naive on foreign policy, and it sent his aides scrambling.

As Election Day nears, McCain's campaign is adopting the aggressive, take-no-prisoners style of Karl Rove, the GOP operative who engineered victories for President Bush. The campaign continued the attack Wednesday with a sarcastic television ad deriding Obama as a "celebrity," part of an intensifying effort to cast him as an elitist.

What Influences Barack Obama’s View of the Cost of Private Schools?

(By Jim Geraghty/National Review Online) - The WSJ touched on this, but it's worth a closer look: Barack Obama on school choice:

[John McCain’s] only proposal seems to be recycling tired rhetoric about vouchers and school choice… What I do oppose is using public money for private school vouchers. We need to focus on fixing and improving our public schools; not throwing our hands up and walking away from them.
At one point during the campaign, Obama made comments that seemed to suggest an openness to vouchers, but later his campaign insisted he has opposed them throughout his career because they “siphon off resources from our public schools.”

I guess vouchers might seem pointless if you saw private school tuition as jaw-droppingly expensive, and thought that the government would have to subsidize each student tens of thousands of dollars in tuition vouchers.

Where would one get that idea? Well, Obama’s daughters attend the University of Chicago Laboratory School, a private school. Malia is 10, and presumably just finished the fourth grade. Sasha is 7 and presumably just finished the first grade.

Standard full 2007-2008 tuition for grades one through four: $18,492.

For a fifth grader, it moves up to $20,286. If last year's rates apply to this fall, full tuition for both students for the coming year will be $38,778.

Because Barack Obama used to teach there, or because Michelle Obama is an employee of the University of Chicago’s hospital system, the Obamas most likely qualify for a staff discount.

Like I said, I guess vouchers might seem pointless if you saw private school tuition as jaw-droppingly expensive. These numbers from the Department of Education’s National Center for Education Statistics for the 2003-2004 school year put average tuition paid by private elementary school students at $5,049, about a quarter that of University of Chicago Laboratory School's tuition for this year.

Ron Paul followers pose danger for McCain in West

LAS VEGAS (AP) - Dueling delegations pitting Ron Paul's Nevada supporters against those of John McCain vow to take their fight to the Republican National Convention.

That's just one sign that the outsider, Internet-fueled movement led by the feisty Republican congressman from Texas remains afloat in the wake of McCain's victory in the GOP primaries.

In the libertarian-leaning West, where Paul's message of distrust of the federal government and ardent individualism played particularly well, there is talk of Republicans straying from McCain. Libertarian candidate Bob Barr has emerged as a favorite alternative for Paul activists, followed by Constitutional Party candidate Chuck Baldwin.

Dressed for Detention

(Fox News) - A school in Gonzales, Texas, will punish students who break the dress code by forcing them to wear a prison-like jumpsuit. A local television station reports that the policy takes effect in the upcoming school year.

Gonzales High School's dress code prohibits gang symbols. It says shorts and skirts must be knee-length. All shirts must have a collar and sleeves. Oversized clothing is prohibited. So are hats and sunglasses.

Officials say it is a way to keep the district's conservative values intact. But some students seem undeterred and say the plan may backfire. One said, "I talked to some of my friends about it and they said they are not going to obey the dress code just so they can wear the jumpsuit."

Spy Games

(Fox News) - Foreign-owned hotels in China are being told to install government software that can spy on Internet use by guests coming for the Olympic Games.

Tuesday, Republican Senator Sam Brownback of Kansas produced a document from China's Public Security Bureau that requires hotels to use the surveillance software. Several international hotel chains confirmed the government order to Brownback, but are declining to identify themselves for fear of reprisal.

The senator says hotels are in a bind because they do not want to comply, but they also do not want to jeopardize their investments. Failure to install the software could result in the loss of a license to operate a hotel in China.

Media Darling

(Fox News) - Barack Obama received a hero's welcome at a convention of minority journalists in Chicago, Sunday.

The Honolulu Star Bulletin reports that when Obama walked on stage at the gathering dubbed UNITY '08, "Many journalists in the audience leapt to their feet and applauded enthusiastically after being told not to do so. During a two-minute break halfway through the event... journalists ran to the stage to snap photos of Obama."

Not everyone attending the convention was a journalist, but the incident has come in for some criticism. National Association of Black Journalists Vice President Ernest Suggs told Newsweek Online, "It is offensive that because we have the same color or the same agenda, our journalistic ethics and responsibilities go out the window."

Fairness Doctrine Vote Not Happening, House Majority Leader Says

(CNSNews.com) - A bill to permanently ban the “Fairness Doctrine” – a dormant FCC rule that says broadcasters, mainly talk radio, must grant equal air time to opposing viewpoints – probably will not be voted on this year in Congress, House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) told CNSNews.com on Wednesday.

Hoyer also joined House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) in strongly suggesting that he would support reactivating the Fairness Doctrine, telling CNSNews.com that he is interested in “ensuring the availability of fair and balanced information to the American public.”

Rep. Mike Pence (R-Ind.), however, who wrote the bill – the Broadcaster’s Freedom Act – which would permanently ban the Fairness Doctrine, expressed surprise at Hoyer’s statement on Wednesday. Pence said that if Democrats maintain a majority in Congress, he thinks there will be a movement to restore the Fairness Doctrine.

Stokes County Home Health will not be privatized

(The Stokes News) - [Leon] Inman delved into the history of Stokes County health care in his comments. “In 2002,” he said, “I was sworn into this position. . .I saw Social Services and Health cut drastically.” Inman went on to say that he had seen both agencies slowly but surely make significant gains until they were nearly back on track at present. He stated that he had been on the Home Health Advisory Board in the past and had seen the Home Health agency make a significant profit a few years back.

However, Inman then questioned if the purpose of the agency was to show a profit. “We don’t ask the Sheriff’s Department. . .to show a profit,” he said. With regard to Stokes County Home Health, he asked, “So what if it doesn’t show a profit this year?” His conclusion matched that of the other commissioners, “I’m not ready to privatize Stokes County Home Health.” The motion was made and seconded to move the issue to the action agenda that night.

Ron Carroll compares Stokes County's tobacco heritage with slavery and segregation

Dr. Ron Carroll
(The Stokes News) - Another controversial subject on the discussion agenda was Division of Social Services Director Jan Spencer’s request to ban smoking in her building. Carroll stated that this was a taboo issue in Stokes County. Walker’s opinion was that directors of each department have the authority to make the executive decision.

Smith and Lankford both stated that they did not support a smoke-free policy when Stokes County had depended on tobacco for so long. They supported the idea that there should be designated areas where both employees and visitors could smoke.

Carroll disputed the thought that the county’s tobacco heritage should be considered in a decision. He mentioned that slavery and segregation were also part of our heritage but that he couldn’t support them. He agreed with Spencer’s request to make DSS smoke-free. Inman noted that most of the people in the room probably had emotional ties to tobacco, but that secondhand smoke was also an issue for many people. He, like the majority of the commissioners, supported a designated smoking area.

It was decided to put the issue on the action agenda for the next meeting, giving the county’s attorney some time to research smoke-free options.

Facing questions, Edwards evades reporters

(The News & Observer) - It was only three weeks ago that John Edwards was fielding media questions on his chances of filling the Democratic Party's vice presidential slot on Barack Obama's ticket or a potential Cabinet position in an Obama administration.

On Wednesday, however, the former U.S. senator and 2004 vice presidential nominee was eager to duck the press when the questions took a tabloid turn.

About a dozen reporters and photojournalists attended a speech Edwards gave to an AARP Foundation symposium on poverty and aging in Washington. Afterward, he avoided most of the waiting reporters, at least some of whom wanted to question him about recent reports in the National Enquirer that alleged an inappropriate relationship with a former campaign videographer.

Did Obama Accuse McCain of Running a Racist, Xenophobic Campaign?

(By Jake Tapper/ABC News) - "John McCain right now, he's spending an awful lot of time talking about me," Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., said today in Rolla, Mo. "You notice that? I haven’t seen an ad yet where he talks about what he’s gonna do. And the reason is because those folks know they don’t have any good answers, they know they’ve had their turn over the last eight years and made a mess of things. They know that you’re not real happy with them."

Obama continued: "And so the only way they figure they’re going to win this election is if they make you scared of me. So what they’re saying is, ‘Well, we know we’re not very good but you can’t risk electing Obama. You know, he’s new, he’s... doesn’t look like the other presidents on the currency, you know, he’s got a, he’s got a funny name.'

"I mean, that’s basically the argument -- he’s too risky," Obama said, per ABC News' Sunlen Miller. "But think about it, what’s the bigger risk? Us deciding that we’re going to come together to bring about real change in America or continuing to do same things with the same folks in the same ways that we know have not worked? I mean, are we really going to do the same stuff that we’ve been doing over the last eight years? ... That’s a risk we cannot afford. The stakes are too high."

Obama made similar comments earlier in the day in Springfield, Mo.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but does it not seem as if Obama just said McCain and his campaign -- presumably the "they" in this construct -- are saying that Obama shouldn't be elected because he's a risk because he's black and has a foreign-sounding name?

Stokes Home Health takeover vetoed

Commissioners decide unanimously to stick with current system

(Winston-Salem Journal) -
Stokes County commissioners voted unanimously Monday night not to sell Stokes Home Health to a private company.

Stokes Home Health, which is a division of the Stokes County Health Department, was established 30 years ago to serve people in Stokes County who are unable to leave home to get the treatment they need. Depending on the need, a registered nurse or certified nursing assistant is sent to the home.

Across the country, many local governments have found it cost-effective to turn over the responsibility for such services to private companies. Officials in Stokes County began considering the possibility of selling Stokes Home Health after an unnamed private company made an offer to buy it.

20th Anniversary Flashback: Limbaugh Debates Gore on Nightline

From Rush Limbaugh:
Sixteen years later, the same warnings of doom.

Rush Limbaugh's Morning Update: Delusions!

This week, the Los Angeles City Council banned new fast food restaurants from opening in poor neighborhoods in south Los Angeles for at least a year. Now, this law will supposedly combat obesity by attracting a better breed of restaurants with healthier food choices.

The assumptions here are breathtaking, including the notion that all-knowing government bureaucrats can make people eat approved food. I mean, people -- including the poor -- choose what they want from menus (what they can afford), and there's no reason to expect that's going to change. And what happens when the "wholesome" restaurants that the city council wants to move into these neighborhoods don't show up? Will the council mandate that they appear -- and then dictate how much they can charge for their more expensive menus? Will council members decree no french fries or burgers... ever?

The same day as the fast food ban, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors enacted their own injunction, this one prohibiting pharmacies from selling tobacco products. It goes into effect in the fall.

Now, California is awash in budget problems, and Democrats are talking about raising taxes on businesses again. The things that these dunderheads are tasked to do -- like manage their own budget, provide quality education, and fix the roads -- they can't do. Yet these meddling liberal tyrants want to control the inventory of businesses; they want to ban businesses they don't like -- just to satisfy their arrogant self-delusions!

You know, sooner or later (I hope), even you liberal voters are going to have your fill of these people... maybe not, though.

Read the Background Material on the Morning Update...
AP: LA Blocks New Fast-Food Outlets from Poor Areas
AP: San Francisco Board Passes Drugstore Tobacco Ban

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Congratulations to Rush on his 20th

Proper Tire Inflation? Great. How About the Other Two out of Every Three Drivers?

(By Jim Geraghty/National Review Online) - The RNC is chuckling over Obama calling for voters to make “sure your tires are properly inflated” because “we could save all the oil that they’re talking about getting off drilling if everybody was just inflating their tires.”

RNC spokesman Alex Conant responds, “Obama’s solution to America’s energy crisis is inflating tires?! Maybe he’s been out of the country too long.”

I'll give Obama a smidgen of credit, in that yes, having properly inflated tires can get you a few more miles per gallon.

Presidential Idol

The Brangelina-fication of the Obamas.

By Michelle Malkin
National Review Online

You couldn’t pass a grocery store line this weekend without seeing the picture-perfect smiles of the Obama family. There were Barack Obama’s young daughters (whose privacy their parents so sanctimoniously claim to want to protect) flashing their pearly whites on the cover of People. Malia and Sasha competed for attention right next to Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie’s toddler daughter, Shiloh, whose cherubic face was splashed on the cover of another celebrity tabloid. Next to them beamed basket-case starlet Lindsay Lohan and her new lesbian lover — oh, and that formerly pregnant “man” who just gave birth to a baby girl.

The Obamas blended seamlessly into this Hollyweird pop-culture galaxy.

The spread in People, which earlier this year fawned over a photo of the bare-chested Obama in his swimsuit, was supposed to be an “exclusive” first and last look at life at home with the Obamas. Knowing what we know about the Obama we know now, it probably won’t be the last.

Patriot Post: Barack's message is nothing but Disney.

President Obama Continues Hectic Victory Tour

By Dana Milbank
Washington Post

Barack Obama has long been his party's presumptive nominee. Now he's becoming its presumptuous nominee.

Fresh from his presidential-style world tour, during which foreign leaders and American generals lined up to show him affection, Obama settled down to some presidential-style business in Washington yesterday. He ordered up a teleconference with the (current president's) Treasury secretary, granted an audience to the Pakistani prime minister and had his staff arrange for the chairman of the Federal Reserve to give him a briefing. Then, he went up to Capitol Hill to be adored by House Democrats in a presidential-style pep rally...

...Inside, according to a witness, he told the House members, "This is the moment . . . that the world is waiting for," adding: "I have become a symbol of the possibility of America returning to our best traditions."

Obama makes Bill Clinton look like a humble man.

Wednesday Funnies :-)

David Letterman: From the “Top Ten Signs Barack Obama is Overconfident”: Proposed bill to change Oklahoma to “Oklobama”; Offered Bush 20 bucks for the “Mission Accomplished” banner; Asked guy at Staples, “Which chair will work best in an oval-shaped office?”; The affair with Barbara Walters; Having head measured for Mount Rushmore; He’s voting for Nader; Offered McCain a job in gift shop at Obama Presidential Library; Been cruising for chicks with John Edwards.

Jay Leno: Barack Obama is back from his big European tour. Did you see him in Europe? People were cheering him, holding up signs, blowing him kisses. And that was just the American media covering the story. ... Barack Obama was on “Meet the Press” Sunday. John McCain was on a new show called, “I Wish I Could Meet the Press.” ... Polls show Obama more popular than McCain in Germany, France, and Great Britain. However, McCain leads in Mesopotamia, Gaul and the Holy Roman Empire. So, it’s pretty balanced. ... In world news, I guess you’ve heard Barack Obama [was] elected Chancellor of Germany. ... You can tell the French are still a little gun shy. After speaking in front of 200,000 Germans, when Obama arrived in France, they said, “You came alone, right?” ... You know, they said on the news earlier [this week] that this political campaign has only 100 days left. Only! Anybody complaining that this thing was dragging out? ... I don’t know what’s less likely, Barack Obama getting enough experience in 100 days, or John McCain living another 100 days. ... The National Enquirer caught former presidential candidate John Edwards sneaking out of his girlfriend’s hotel room at 2:40 in the morning. See, Edwards got caught ‘cause the reporters were there waiting for him...[I]f Edwards didn’t want to get caught, he should have met this woman at the hotel where John McCain was staying. There are no reporters. ... If this story turns out to be true, there go his chances at becoming vice president. He could still be governor of New York. ... And in Puerto Rico, it [was] Constitution Day [Friday]. So, that’s where the Constitution went. I knew we weren’t using it anymore.


(National Enquirer) - A National Enquirer investigation has uncovered John Edwards’ mistress, Rielle Hunter – the mother of his “love child” – has been secretly receiv­ing $15,000 a month as part of an elaborate cover-up orchestrated by the former presidential contender.

The money is being funneled to Hunter by a wealthy colleague who was closely tied to the Edwards’ campaign. This same man is also shoveling cash to Edwards’ pal and former aide Andrew Young – who tried to take the heat off the ex-Senator by claiming he is the father of Rielle’s baby.

And The ENQUIRER is also exclusively revealing that Rielle’s baby is a girl named Frances Quinn Hunter and was born at Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital.

Drill, Drill, Drill Strikes Again: Oil Drops $3

(By Larry Kudlow/National Review Online) - Isn’t it funny that news reports this morning showing that Sen. Harry Reid will in fact allow a drill, drill, drill amendment to come to the Senate floor seem to have triggered a $3 drop in oil to less than $122 a barrel. Is this a coincidence? I don’t think so. More like cause-and-effect.

Video: Obama’s SUV and energy “free ride”

(By Ed Morrissey/Hot Air) - Americans for Prosperity have another global-warming hypocrisy moment for voters. Earlier this month, they caught Al Gore riding in big limousines left idling outside of the venue for his speech on energy conservation and emissions cuts. Today, they show Barack Obama using the kind of cars that he insists the rest of us have to eschew...

Dems Running Scared on Drilling

(By Rick Moran/The American Thinker) - Majority Leader Harry Reid is feeling the heat on the offshore drilling issue. He and Energy and Natural Resources Committee Chairman Jeff Bingham have crafted a bill that would open nearly a billion new acres off the coast of Alaska for study as well as accelerating Gulf of Mexico leases.

The Flag in the Lapel

(By Michael Novak/National Review Online) - Now we know why Obama took the American flag off his lapel. On July 24, in Berlin, he told us. The American flag is too small to contain him. He is not comfortable being an American citizen, only fully comfortable as a citizen of the world.


Battle of the Bulge

(Fox News) - The Los Angeles City Council is set to vote on a moratorium on new fast food restaurants in the neighborhood of South Los Angeles. Some city officials say the high obesity rate goes hand-in-hand with the limited restaurant options in the community. Public health records indicate 30 percent of adults in south L.A. are obese compared to just 19 percent in metropolitan Los Angeles.

City Councilman Bernard Parks says, "Our communities have an extreme shortage of quality foods."

Supporters of the year-long moratorium hope to attract restaurants that serve healthier food to the area. But California Restaurant Association spokesman Andrew Casana says, "What's next — security guards at the door saying 'you're overweight, you can't have a cheeseburger?'"

Changing His Tune

(Fox News) - Former White House press secretary Scott McClellan has changed his story and admits that FOX News Channel's Bill O'Reilly never received talking points from the White House.

On Friday, McClellan said on MSNBC that FOX News commentators would receive White House talking points, adding, "It was something we at the White House... were doing in getting them talking points and making sure they knew where we were coming from."

He then agreed with anchor Chris Matthews who asked, "Did people say, call Sean [Hannity], call Bill [O'Reilly], call whoever?"

But O'Reilly addressed the allegations Monday night, saying that McClellan was not telling the truth. And on O'Reilly's radio program Tuesday, McClellan said, "I messed up. I was specifically not trying to single anyone out, including you. There were people, not you, but there were people," who McClellan says received talking points.

Penning the Progress

(Fox News) - The progress in Iraq is so undeniable that now even the Associated Press is acknowledging it. An AP dispatch Monday declared, "Organized Resistance Has All But Ceased in Iraq."

The article written by the AP's Baghdad bureau chief and its chief military reporter says insurgents no longer have the clout to threaten the viability of Iraq’s government.

It says, "The United States is now winning the war that two years ago seemed lost."

The analysis goes on to say that systematic killings in Baghdad have all but ended, violence is at a four-year low and that the combat phase of the war is ending.

It adds, "In Baghdad, parks are filled every weekend with families playing and picnicking with their children. That was unthinkable only a year ago."

Nancy Pelosi Tries to 'Save the Planet'

Captain Planet

(Fox News) -
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi says she will block Republican attempts to lift the moratorium on offshore energy exploration because, "I'm trying to save the planet."

David Rogers at the Politico newspaper reports that Pelosi, who initially promised an open debate, has now resorted to what he calls hard-nosed parliamentary devices to block any Republican proposals on offshore oil and gas exploration.

Rogers also calls Pelosi "Nancy the Navigator" because she says, "I have always loved longitude. I love latitude; it's in the stars. But longitude, it's about time... time and clocks and all the rest of that have always been a fascination for me."

Thanks Union Bosses!

Call Congress Back To Vote On Drilling

(Investor's Business Daily) - When it comes to giving relief at the pump by drilling for more oil, this is truly a "do-nothing" Democratic Congress. President Bush should give 'em hell like Harry Truman did.

Obama's Global Tax

(Investor's Business Daily) - A plan by Barack Obama to redistribute American wealth on a global level is moving forward in the Senate. It follows Marxist theology — from each according to his ability, to each according to his need.

Quote of the Day...

"John Edwards was spotted Sunday morning coming out of church. He had Bill Clinton's Bible and was wearing Ted Kennedy's neck brace."
Rush Limbaugh

Rush Limbaugh's Morning Update: Change?

This week, John McCain attacked the Bush Administration for wasteful spending, while Obama blamed Bush and Wall Street for economic conditions overall. Both these candidates promised vast improvement if elected. McCain's version included giving himself some wiggle room on his commitment not to raise taxes. Obama, hopeless as ever, merely offered to change course with some "immediate action."

But neither candidate mentioned Congress, my friends, and as everybody who's had Civics 101 knows, it isn't the president who ultimately sets the budget or formulates tax policy; it is Congress. Just as important, Congress performs all kinds of social engineering -- from housing to education -- which greatly impacts the economy as well.

With gas prices and housing among the topmost issues for voters, we have a golden opportunity, here, for conservatives. For decades, liberal policies from Congress -- forbidding more drilling and refining of oil -- have restrained energy growth. Even now, Nancy Pelosi refuses to allow drilling to be taken up by the House (because she says she has to "save the planet"). And liberal welfare-state policy-making from Congress fueled the sub-prime debacle (not Wall Street), as well as the horrendous election-year "housing rescue" bill that just passed. In every screw-up -- from education to health care -- you will find the fingerprints of liberalism and Congress.

The real "change" required to heal decades of mismanagement in government is not about changing the cast of characters in the White House or a change of skin color of a candidate. It really does begin in Congress... after it begins with you -- because you're the one who send them there!

Read the Background Material on the Morning Update...
AP: Obama Blames WDC and Wall Street for Economic Woes

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Remembering the Gipper...

President Reagan and Bob Hope performing at the Bob Hope Salute to the United Sates Air Force 40th Anniversary Celebration at the Pope Air Force Base in Fayetteville, North Carolina. 5/10/87.

“We’re pursuing our goal of energy security while still respecting and protecting our environment. Our growing independence from foreign oil and our increasing sophistication in using our reserves reflect American ingenuity at its best. This progress didn’t come about as the result of some government program. It’s the result of getting government out of the way.”
Ronald Reagan
International Energy Exposition (May 1, 1982)

Obama TV Ad in Berlin Parody

Barack Obama's Stealth Socialism

(Investor's Business Daily) - Before friendly audiences, Barack Obama speaks passionately about something called "economic justice." He uses the term obliquely, though, speaking in code — socialist code.

Justice Department to Announce Charges Against Sen. Stevens

WASHINGTON (Fox News) — Alaska Sen. Ted Stevens allegedly made false statements to cover up gifts given to him by an oil contractor seeking his help on Capitol Hill, according to a seven-count federal indictment charging Stevens obtained Tuesday.

Stevens, 84, is the longest-serving Republican in the Senate and has been under investigation for more than a year, with a heavy focus on work done to his Girdwood, Alaska, ski-community home.

Keep an Eye on This Democratic Machine Scandal in Ohio

(By Jim Geraghty/National Review Online) - If, on Election Night 2008, the race comes down to Ohio, and if the Democratic turnout in Cuyahoga County is not quite what Team Obama was counting on, remember this little-noticed late July story...

Kaine in 'Serious' Talks With Obama

(Washington Post) - Virginia Gov. Timothy M. Kaine has told close associates that he has had "very serious" conversations with Sen. Barack Obama about joining the Democratic presidential ticket and has provided documents to the campaign as it combs through his background, according to several sources close to Kaine.

Sens. Evan Bayh (Ind.) and Joseph R. Biden Jr. (Del.) are also being seriously vetted by the campaign staff, according to sources with knowledge of the process.

Obama has revealed little about which way he is leaning. And despite rising anticipation that a decision is imminent, campaign officials said an announcement is likely in mid-August, shortly before the Democratic National Convention. Obama's top aides, David Plouffe and David Axelrod, huddled yesterday in the Washington office of Eric Holder, who along with Caroline Kennedy is vetting potential running mates.

Center for Union Facts Ad: Class Elections

From UnionFacts.com:

What if labor bosses controlled class elections? Labor union bosses have a new scheme to do away with secret ballot elections.

Rush Limbaugh's Morning Update: Homecoming

This past weekend, Lawrence, Massachusetts welcomed Army Staff Sgt. Alex Jimenez home. Fourteen months ago, the 25-year-old was reported missing after he and two other solders were captured during an ambush in Iraq.

On Saturday, Sgt. Jimenez's flag-draped casket, resting atop a horse-drawn carriage, was somberly escorted by members of the 10th Mountain Division through flag-lined streets. They made their way to the church where Alex took his First Communion -- and where his parents would say goodbye. His father, Ramon, wore his son's dog tags around his neck; his mother, Maria, placed a cross on his casket.

Hundreds of people attended the services for Staff Sgt. Alex Jimenez, including the Massachusetts governor and other elected officials. But perhaps the most poignant words offered came from a stranger to the family -- a 57-year-old woman -- who left work early to attend. Asked by her manager why she was attending the funeral of a solider she didn't even know, Sharon Dupont gave this answer through her tears: "You know what? He didn't know me... but he went over there for me."

My friends, we do know Alex Jimenez -- and all the other courageous men and women, from every background, every neighborhood of America, who answered the call of duty and gave service to this country with their lives.

We know them well. And the reason we know them well is because they are the best among us.

Read the Background Material on the Morning Update...
AP: Procession, Mass for Long-Missing US Soldier

Monday, July 28, 2008

Judge passes on the chance to fight battle against crime

By Scott Sexton
Winston-Salem Journal

GREENSBORO - Judge Henry Frye Jr. of Guilford Superior Court took another headlong leap into the deep end of the soft-on-crime pool Friday when he handed down another marshmallow sentence to an admitted armed robber.

Only this time the beneficiary wasn't the son (and namesake) of a high-profile college basketball coach. It was Brian Martin, the co-defendant of and partner in crime to the coach's kid, Sidney Lowe II.

Martin, 20, had agreed to plead guilty to more than a dozen counts of armed robbery, second-degree kidnapping and assault related to a home invasion and the shooting of a low-level, college marijuana dealer in March 2007.

The only thing left to decide was how long Martin would spend in prison. At the high end, he was looking at 30 years. At the low end, he faced about four.

Young Lowe was sent away for just 15 months of active time, along with Frye's recommendation that he serve it at a minimum-security prison farm. He had faced up to 23 years in a real prison with actual thugs for bunkmates.

Since he was charged with basically the same crimes as Lowe -- the only exception being that he actually shot somebody -- Martin surely expected similar kid-gloves treatment.

He got it. And how.

Frye sentenced him to between 24 and 38 months of active time, well below what the state normally requires of armed robbers with a previous drug conviction, and recommended that Martin be sent to a drug-rehabilitation center run by the N.C. Department of Correction.

Remembering the Gipper...

President Reagan working at his desk in the oval office. 5/6/82.

“The Founding Fathers knew a government can’t control the economy without controlling people. And they knew when a government sets out to do that, it must use force and coercion to achieve its purpose. So we have come to a time for choosing. Public servants say, always with the best of intentions, ‘What greater service we could render if only we had a little more money and a little more power.’ But the truth is that outside of its legitimate function, government does nothing as well or as economically as the private sector.”
Ronald Reagan

A Look at the Journalists Contributing Money to This Election Season

Money Trail

(Fox News) -
An analysis of federal records shows that the amount of money contributed during this election cycle by journalists favors Democrats over Republicans by a margin of 15 to one.

Investor's Business Daily reports 235 journalists have donated more than $225,000 to Democrats and just 20 journalists have given around $16,000 to Republicans.

An even greater disparity — 20 to one — exists between the number of journalists who have donated to Barack Obama over John McCain.

Individuals who are employed by major media organizations have given more than $315,000 to Democrats and about $23,000 to Republicans.

Stokes to look at plan

Private company wants to buy Stokes Home Health

DANBURY (Winston-Salem Journal) -
From a fiscal point of view, selling Stokes Home Health to a private company could make sense.

Those who work for the program, which is a division of the Stokes County Health Department, aren't sure, though, that it would be in their best interest and in the best interest of the people they serve.

At its regular meeting tonight, members of the Stokes County Board of Commissioners will examine a proposal from an unnamed private company to take over the program.

Obama Hasn't Closed the Deal With Voters

(By Bob Novak/CNSNews) - In the contest for president, Barack Obama is a magnetic candidate supported by a disciplined, well-organized campaign. John McCain seems wooden, with a campaign that appears to be in shambles. Yet Obama’s lead in the polls over McCain is fragile because he so far has not won the support of a majority of American voters.

An effective and massively publicized foreign trip failed to push Obama to the 50 percent mark. Hopes of Democrats and fears of Republicans that he would get a major bounce in the polls when he clinched the nomination and then on his campaigning abroad have not been realized.


(By Bob Novak) - Rep. Paul Kanjorski, a 71-year-old, 12-term congressman from a solidly Democratic Wilkes-Barre, Pa., district, may be the only incumbent House Democrat to lose in what shapes up as a disastrous 2008 for the Republicans.

Kanjorski is running behind Lou Barletta, the Republican Mayor of Hazleton, Pa., who has made a national reputation as a foe of illegal immigration. Kanjorski has a big money advantage and is waging a substantial television campaign, while Barletta has not yet been on television. But Barletta has 89 percent identification in the district, four to one positive. Kanjorski, who voted against the Iraqi troop surge, has been under fire for saying he “forced” President Bush to make the move.

A footnote: Barletta did not show up for Sen. McCain’s rally Wednesday in Wilkes-Barre. No more than 600 of the 2,500 theater seats were filled for the event.


(By Bob Novak) - Although former Sen. Phil Gramm’s resignation as national co-chairman of McCain for President was considered to be essential by the campaign, he resigned on his own without being asked.

As this column reported a week ago, Gramm apologized to his old friend and political ally John McCain for embarrassing his candidacy, and McCain told him not to worry about it. Shortly thereafter, Gramm resigned rather than become an attack target for having called America “a nation of whiners” whose recession is “mental.”

The same McCain strategists who felt Gramm had to go also consider his departure a major loss. McCain valued Gramm’s economic and political advice.


(By Bob Novak) - Sen. Barack Obama is employing his fundraising prowess to raise money not only for his presidential campaign but also for the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, seeking a filibuster-proof majority in the Senate.

Recipients of Obama’s summer mailing include many lobbyists who are called “switch hitters” in political parlance -- contributors to lawmakers of both parties who seek to open Capitol Hill doors to them on a bipartisan basis.

A footnote: While Democrats have a good shot at picking up four more Senate seats to put their majority at 55 to 45, collecting the 60 seats needed to break filibusters without Republican help seems out of reach. “We must have a deadlock-proof Democratic majority,” Obama said in his letter.


(By Bob Novak) - The principal reason why former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney has climbed to the top of Sen. John McCain’s practical wish list for vice president is the possibility that he could bring Michigan’s 17 electoral votes to the Republicans for the first time since 1988.

Private polls show Romney could make all the difference in Michigan. A McCain-Romney ticket carries the state by a moderately comfortable margin. With any other running mate, McCain loses Michigan.

George Romney, Mitt’s father, was a Detroit auto executive and the popular three-term governor of Michigan. The younger Romney won the 2008 primary in Michigan over McCain, who had won there in 2000 against George W. Bush.

Details missing from Obama's Social Security plan

WASHINGTON (AP) - Barack Obama's bid to place a new Social Security tax on very high incomes is either a bold or foolhardy plan, depending on who critiques it.

But its potential impact is almost impossible to gauge because he is providing few details on basic questions such as what the tax rate might be, what types of income would be taxed and how the taxpayers' benefits would be affected.

The Democratic presidential candidate says he would work with lawmakers from both parties to resolve such matters. Voters generally applaud bipartisan cooperation, but they apparently will go to the polls this fall with only a vague notion of what Obama has in mind.

No Drilling, No Vote

Speaker Pelosi won't let the House debate the merits of offshore drilling

Washington Post

WHY NOT have a vote on offshore drilling? There's a serious debate to be had over whether Congress should lift the ban on drilling in the Outer Continental Shelf that has been in place since 1981. Unfortunately, you won't be hearing it in the House of Representatives -- certainly, you won't find lawmakers voting on it -- anytime soon.

Instead of dealing with the issue on the merits, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), a staunch opponent of offshore drilling, has simply decreed that she will not allow a drilling vote to take place on the House floor. Why not? "What the president would like to do is to have validation for his failed policy," she said yesterday when asked that very question. "What we're saying is, 'Exhaust other remedies, Mr. President.' . . . It is the economic life of America's families, and to suggest that drilling offshore is going to make a difference to them paycheck to paycheck now is a frivolous contention. The president has even admitted that. So what we're saying is, 'What can we do that is constructive?' "

If there is an explanation buried in there about why that makes offshore drilling off-limits for a vote, we missed it. Ms. Pelosi is correct that drilling is no panacea for the nation's energy woes. The short-term effect of lifting the moratorium, if there were any, would be minimal. That doesn't mean the country shouldn't consider expanded drilling as one of many alternatives. There are legitimate concerns about the environmental impact of such drilling -- environmental concerns that, we would note, exist in other regions whose oil Americans are perfectly happy to consume. But have technological improvements made such drilling less risky? Why not have that debate?

Obama Plagiarizes Bono's Moment

From Rush Limbaugh:

BONO: This is our moment. This is our time. This is our chance to stand up for what's right. We're not looking for charity. We're lookin' for justice.

OBAMA: People of Berlin! People of the world! This is our moment. This is our time.

RUSH: There you have it, ladies and gentlemen, Obama plagiarizing Bono.

One Night in Baghdad :-)

Funny parody by Paul Shanklin. :-)

Rush Limbaugh's Morning Update: No Surge!

My friends, Nebraska's alleged Republican Senator, Chuck Hagel, came back home from his "Hey, Look at me! I'm Barack's buddy!" tour in Iraq, and he had some advice for both presidential candidates.

Senator Hagel -- the "Wizard of Smart" -- implored both McCain and Obama to "[q]uit talking about, 'Did the surge work or not work?' or, 'Did you vote for this or support this?'"

Now, it should be fairly obvious why Hagel wants the surge talk to stop. There's a continual buzz in some quarters of the Drive-By Media that the Messiah, Lord Barack Obama The Most Merciful, might actually look kindly upon Hagel and elevate him to the vice presidency. So, every kiss that Hagel plants on Lord Obama's rear-end counts.

Beyond that, both Senator Hagel and Lord Barack Obama The Most Merciful voted against the troop surge. Both of them took turns bashing President Bush, questioning his decision to send more troops; and both thought the military would fail to meet their objectives when the troop surge began -- and they were both dead wrong.

The overwhelming success of the military, beating back the terrorists in Iraq, is a glaring example of an incredible lack of judment from both Obama's and Hagel -- and highlights their arrogance. So any wonder why Hagel wants talk of the surge to disappear?

As for you, Senator McCain, here's another one of your senate buddies -- this one a fellow Vietnam vet -- throwing you under the bus and running you over backward. Are you beginning to find out who your real friends are? Can you say, "gas prices"?

Read the Background Material on the Morning Update...
Politico.com: Hagel Might as Well Make it Official

Barack Tour Groupies :-)

Friday, July 25, 2008

Drilling The Future

(By INVESTOR'S BUSINESS DAILY/Posted Monday, April 14, 2008) - America's energy crunch is sadly self-inflicted. While others around the world engage in a mad dash to find more oil reserves, the U.S. seems to think $111-a-barrel oil won't be affected by more supply.

Barack's Obama-isms

(Investor's Business Daily) - The gaffes Barack Obama has committed would have crushed the typical Republican politician. But the reporters who can't get over Dan Quayle's misspelling of "potato" have little to say about their man's slip-ups.

Not So Fair & Balanced

(Fox News) - The Arab news network Al-Jazeera celebrated the birthday of released Lebanese terrorist Samir Kuntar with a cake and fireworks.

The Middle East Media Research Institute reports that Kuntar — who shot an Israeli child's father in front of her and then beat her to death with his rifle in 1979 — was given a hero's welcome on the network.

One interviewer said, "You deserve even more than this. I think that 11,000 prisoners — if they can see this program now — are celebrating your birthday with you. Happy birthday."

Kuntar, who was part of that Israel-Hezbollah prisoner swap last week, was then presented with a cake and a collage of photos, including one of him and Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah. And as Kuntar cut into his cake the network set off fireworks.

Not Reporting the Good News?

(Fox News) - A sharp decline in the intensity of news coverage of the Iraq war immediately followed General David Petraeus' testimony before Congress last September.

Cybercast News reports that data from the Multi-National Force-Iraq shows there were 219 embedded reporters in Iraq when Petraeus told Congress that the surge was working. That was also the month that the surge reached full force.

The number of embedded reporters has since dropped by 74 percent in nine months to just 58 in June.

The largest single-month drop in embeds came in October of 2007 right after the general's testimony.

Kiwi Bounty

(Fox News) - It seems there will be no such hero's welcome in New Zealand for Condoleezza Rice this weekend.

The New Zealand Press Association is reporting that Auckland University's student association is offering a $5,000 reward to any student who can make a successful citizen's arrest of the secretary of state.

Association president David Do says the arrest would be for Rice's role in "overseeing the illegal invasion and continued occupation" of Iraq.

He adds, "It is hard enough living as a student in Auckland these days without having a war criminal coming to town, so we thought we'd give our students a chance to make a dent in their student loans and work for global justice at the same time."

Not Everyone In Germany Ecstatic About Obama's Berlin Speech

Berlin Backlash?

(Fox News) -
It seems not everyone in Germany was ecstatic about Barack Obama's speech in Berlin.

German broadcasting station Deutsche Welle reports that those attending were told to leave their placards and posters at home.

The move came under criticism, especially from the German left, which speculated that the campaign wanted to avoid images of Germans displaying anti-American statements. Others say the ban was aimed at preventing activists from making demands on Obama.

And the senator's visit will cost just over three-quarters of a million dollars — half of which will be paid for with German public funds.

One Change

From the Winston-Salem Journal:

One change this election season will be the close of an embarrassing era in North Carolina politics.

Our congresswoman, Rep. Virginia Foxx, is proud to call as her mentor a man whose legacy includes the use of hate and fear to create a political base. (Jesse Helms never would renounce the campaign tactics that validated racist attitudes in our society.) She has painted herself in his image at every opportunity, taking extreme positions that convey an indifference to the hardships faced by many; a record that belies the values of this district.

Fortunately, 5th District voters have an opportunity to send Roy Carter to Congress this November. Through his career as an educator, Carter has worked with students and parents from every walk of life, and understands the unique qualities that each individual possesses. Carter also has spent long hours demonstrating that when people work together, these talents complement each other and the result is far greater than the sum of the parts.

That is leadership: bringing people together, teaching respect and dignity.

Let us end the politics of fear and division and bring a more positive light to Northwest North Carolina. That is change I can believe in.



Mount Airy

New spot for landfill entry

It will be on Forsyth County side

(Winston-Salem Journal) -
The City-County Utility Commission has hired an engineering company to design a new entrance to a site of a proposed construction and demolition landfill on U.S. 311 -- although legal issues concerning the site remain unresolved.

The commission plans to pay HDR Engineering of the Carolinas $115,580 to design an entry to the landfill that would access the site from U.S. 311 in Forsyth County.

The designs will allow the commission to ask for approval from the N.C. Department of Transportation for the intersection, and from Norfolk Southern Railway for crossing the railroad tracks at that location.

Security Guard Confirms Late-Night Encounter Between Former Sen. John Edwards, Tabloid Reporters In Beverly Hills Hotel

(Fox News) - A hotel security guard told FOXNews.com he intervened this week between a man he identified as former Sen. John Edwards and tabloid reporters who chased down the former presidential hopeful after what they're calling a rendezvous with his mistress and love child.

The Beverly Hilton Hotel guard said he encountered a shaken and ashen-faced Edwards — whom he did not immediately recognize — in a hotel men's room early Tuesday morning in a literal tug-of-war with reporters on the other side of the door.

Citizen of the World

(By Peter Kirsanow/National Review Online) - Judging from the local drive time radio shows, we bitter, religious pistol-packers here in flyover country remembered only two things from Obama's Berlin visit: the phrase "citizen of the world" and Obama's failure to visit wounded troops at Landstuhl and Ramstein.

Obama's Week in Review

(By Jim Geraghty/National Review Online) - This weekend, when you’re told Obama had a fabulous week abroad, recall...

Rush Limbaugh's Morning Update: Account?

As more facts surface, there's growing outrage over the killing of a 49-year-old San Francisco man and his two sons, ages 20 and 16, during a road-rage incident.

The accused killer, Edwin Ramos, allegedly sprayed their car with an AK-47 after he was blocked from making a turn. Now, Ramos, it has been learned, is an illegal immigrant who belongs to the infamous MS-13 gang from El Salvador.

In addition, Ramos has committed at least two other felonies during his illegal stay in California. And even though he was facing deportation, he was released from police custody because San Francisco liberals have declared their town a safe haven for illegals -- a "sanctuary city."

Of course, the liberals on San Francisco's Board of Supervisors who enacted the laws preventing local law enforcement from turning over illegals to the feds should never be called to account for their complicity in these murders. Oh, no: Because, after all, only racists and xenophobes would dare suggest that immigration laws actually be taken seriously. Everybody knows that.

It's everybody's best interest that the victims' surviving family just bury their dead and shut up. They should stop their public demands for justice because, after all, there are larger issues to think about, my friends. We wouldn't want to offend a large potential voting block, or make people feel unwelcome in our country, with all this undue attention on a few murders... What would be the point of that? What kind of people are we becoming?

Read the Background Material on the Morning Update...
AP: Killings Turn Focus on San Francisco Sanctuary Law

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Is it 57 states or 51 states?

(RedState) - The leaders of the reality based community just can't seem to get a grip on reality. Obama thinks there are 57 states and now House Majority leader Steny Hoyer thinks there are 51 states.

From Hoyer's Office comes this:
House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer (MD) issued the following statement today after 51 state governors released a letter calling for the extension of renewable energy tax credits:

“Today, leaders of Congress received a letter signed by a bipartisan group of 51 state governors, urging us to extend tax credits for renewable energy and energy efficiency. ‘Extending tax incentives for energy efficiency and conservation,’ the governors wrote, ‘will slow the growth of future energy needs, minimize ratepayers costs, and lessen potential environmental impacts.’

“I couldn’t agree more. Alternative energy may not end the pain of $4 a gallon gas in the short term—but it is the only long-term solution to our energy crisis. And in the meantime, clean energy tax credits will create tens of thousands of American jobs.
He links to this (PDF) letter.. Apparently Puerto Rico has become one of the United States. I guess I need a new flag. Mine only has fifty stars on it.

GOPers Wait a Lifetime for a Moment Like This

(Marc Ambinder) - GOPers may have a field day with at least one oft-used-line from Obama’s speech today, which he amended slightly for his Berlin audience:

“America, this is our moment. This is our time” – Obama, speaking in MN the night he officially won the Dem nomination (6/3).

“People of Berlin -- people of the world -- this is our moment. This is our time” – Obama, in his first formal speech of his foreign tour (7/24).

What ad guru won’t be tempted to play the clips back-to-back, only one to a widely ecstatic cheering crowd of Europeans? Insert announcer with an appropriately unnerving, deep voice, asking: “Which is it, Obama? Who’s moment? Who’s time?”

It’s not John Kerry showing off his proficiency in French. Quiet the opposite, really. But maybe when a candidate is on foreign soil he shouldn’t use such un-foreign rhetoric.

Psst! Senator! No Walls Have Come Down in Belfast!

(By Jim Geraghty/National Review Online) - Obama's speechwriting team needs to hire a fact-checker.

Obama, speaking in Berlin today: "Not only have walls come down in Berlin, but they have come down in Belfast, where Protestant and Catholic found a way to live together."

USA Today, earlier this year:

"Ten years after peace was declared in Northern Ireland, one might have expected that Belfast's barriers would be torn down by now. But reality, as usual, is far messier. Not one has been dismantled. Instead they've grown in both size and number."

Obama scraps visit to wounded troops

BERLIN (AP) - Sen. Barack Obama scrapped plans to visit wounded members of the armed forces in Germany as part of his overseas trip, a decision his spokesman said was made because the Democratic presidential candidate thought it would be inappropriate on a campaign-funded journey.

The spokesman, Robert Gibbs, said Thursday that Obama made his decision out of respect for the servicemen and women, but Sen. John McCain's presidential campaign immediately criticized the move.

"Barack Obama is wrong. It is never inappropriate to visit our men and women in the military," said Brian Rogers, a spokesman for the Republican contender.

Obama's decision raised a number of questions because the visit, which had been scheduled for Friday, never appeared on the schedule of events distributed to reporters who are accompanying him on his travels.

The first word from the campaign about its existence was Gibbs' statement.

Obama had been planning to go to Landstuhl Regional Medical Center in Germany before a flight to Paris. Gibbs said the stop was canceled because Obama decided "it would be inappropriate to make a stop to visit troops at a U.S. military facility as part of a trip funded by the campaign."

Obama camp plasters posters at Western Wall

Advertises Democrat candidate's website, official slogan at Judaism's holiest site

JERUSALEM (WorldNetDaily) – Sen. Barack Obama's campaign plastered the entrance to the Western Wall – the holiest site in Judaism – with official campaign posters, WND has learned.

Jerusalem Police spokesman Mickey Rosenfeld confirmed to WND posters that adorned police barricades erected at the Western Wall plaza for Obama's visit were distributed by the presidential candidate's campaign.

"These posters were his campaign and not the doing of the police," said Rosenfeld, whose police department coordinated security and provided protection for Obama's visit today to the holy site.

Asked if it was traditional practice for politicians visiting the Western Wall to bring along posters or campaign materials, Rosenfeld replied, "No."

Obama More Pro-Choice Than NARAL

By Amanda B. Carpenter
Human Events

Sen. Barack Obama (D.-Ill.) portrays himself as a thoughtful Democrat who carefully considers both sides of controversial issues, but his radical stance on abortion puts him further left on that issue than even NARAL Pro-Choice America.

In 2002, as an Illinois legislator, Obama voted against the Induced Infant Liability Act, which would have protected babies that survived late-term abortions. That same year a similar federal law, the Born Alive Infant Protection Act, was signed by President Bush. Only 15 members of the U.S. House opposed it, and it passed the Senate unanimously on a voice vote.

Both the Illinois and the federal bill sought equal treatment for babies who survived premature inducement for the purpose of abortion and wanted babies who were born prematurely and given live-saving medical attention.

When the federal bill was being debated, NARAL Pro-Choice America released a statement that said, “Consistent with our position last year, NARAL does not oppose passage of the Born Alive Infants Protection Act ... floor debate served to clarify the bill’s intent and assure us that it is not targeted at Roe v. Wade or a woman’s right to choose.”

But Obama voted against this bill in the Illinois senate and killed it in committee. Twice, the Induced Infant Liability Act came up in the Judiciary Committee on which he served. At its first reading he voted “present.” At the second he voted “no.”

McCain on Fan and Fred Is McCain at His Very Best

By Larry Kudlow
National Review Online

Senator John McCain hit a grand-slam homerun today with an op-ed piece (“Take taxpayers off hook for rot at Fannie, Freddie”) that debunks the federal worship of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and takes off the table the possibility that these GSEs will get a strong dose of steroids if he is elected president. This is a dramatic statement that completely differentiates his view from the go-along, get-along policy of Sen. Obama.

“Americans should be outraged at the latest sweetheart deal in Washington,” writes McCain. “Congress will put U.S. taxpayers on the hook for potentially hundreds of billions of dollars to bail out Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. It’s a tribute to what these two institutions — which most Americans have never heard of — have bought with more than $170-million worth of lobbyists in the past decade.”

This is right on the money. This is the straight-talk McCain as true Washington reformer. The senator goes right to the heart of what Wall Street Journal editor Paul Gigot describes as a bad mix of government power backing private profit.

The Democratic ticket and the John Edwards affair

By Byron York
The Hill

There’s been a lot of talk lately that former Sen. John Edwards (N.C.) will have some sort of role in the Obama administration, if there is one.

A few months ago, Edwards, the Democratic Party’s 2004 vice presidential candidate, seemed to pull himself out of the VP race. But then, a couple of weeks ago, Edwards quietly put himself back in, telling National Public Radio, “I’m prepared to seriously consider anything, anything [Obama] asks me to do for our country.”

“Anything” could, of course, mean running for vice president. But Edwards has done that before, and he didn’t exactly put Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.) over the top.

Of course, “anything” could also mean serving as Obama’s attorney general, a position that has been mentioned for the former trial lawyer from North Carolina.

In any event, Edwards has shaped up as someone to watch should Democrats win in November.

But now there’s another reason to watch: an extensive story in the National Enquirer providing new evidence that Edwards, in the midst of his presidential campaign, had an extramarital affair that has, perhaps, resulted in a child.

John Edwards, The National Enquirer, And The Mainstream Press

(Business Week) - The National Enquirer comes up with what appears to be some evidence for their previous allegations on John Edwards’ infidelities.

(Caveats apply. I certainly haven’t done any reporting on this, but it certainly seems like they’ve found circumstantial evidence that at least passes muster with what I’ll call the Miami Herald standard for publication.)

Big blogs are quick to note, rightly, on how the big guns of the mainstream press have thus far steered completely clear of said story. But when it comes to tracking politicians’ peccadilloes mainstream media behavior has reliably been a bit schizophrenic. Even in this info-glutted era.

Here’s why this story didn’t get a whole lot of coverage in the bigger mainstream outlets, despite the agitation of certain prominent blogs...

In Germany, Obama urges joint fight against terror

BERLIN (AP) - Before an enormous crowd, Democratic presidential contender Barack Obama on Thursday summoned Europeans and Americans together to "defeat terror and dry up the well of extremism that supports it" as surely as they conquered communism a generation ago.

"The walls between old allies on either side of the Atlantic cannot stand," Obama said, speaking not far from where the Berlin Wall once divided the city.

"The walls between the countries with the most and those with the least cannot stand. The walls between races and tribes, natives and immigrants, Christian and Muslim and Jew cannot stand," he said.

Obama said he was speaking as a citizen, not as a president, but the evening was awash in politics. His remarks inevitably invited comparison to historic speeches in the same city by Presidents John F. Kennedy and Ronald Reagan, and he borrowed rhetoric from his own appeals to campaign audiences in the likes of Berlin, N.H., when he addressed a crowd in one of the great cities of Europe.

"People of Berlin, people of the world, this is our moment. This is our time," he said.

A High Mark: 40 years ago today, mountain became a beloved state park

PILOT MOUNTAIN (Winston-Salem Journal) - Ravens float on the wind, and rhododendron bloom along Pilot Mountain -- a rocky outcropping between Winston-Salem and Mount Airy that for years has been a landmark for travelers and a peaceful retreat for locals.

The mountain can be majestic and humble, rugged and delicate. It offers views of more than 3,000 square miles on a clear day. And, at 2,421 feet above sea level, it can be awe-inspiring.

"You can look out and see things that you can't see from anywhere else," said Vann Cox, 67, who grew up in the nearby town of Pilot Mountain.


(National Enquirer) - UPDATE: The NATIONAL ENQUIRER is revealing new details about the political scoop we broke yesterday - the secret meeting between Vice Presidential candidate John Edwards and Rielle Hunter.

Arctic 'has 90bn barrels of oil'

(BBC News) - The Arctic is estimated to hold 90bn barrels of untapped oil, according to figures from the US Geological Survey (USGS).

The USGS says the area has three times as much untapped natural gas as oil.

Drilling plans in the Arctic have been controversial, with environment groups worried about the effect on wildlife.

Why Democrats don't want to lower gas prices

Senator lets cat out of the bag on Bloomberg TV show

WASHINGTON (WorldNetDaily) –
A Democratic senator on the Energy and Natural Resources Committee inadvertently explained why her colleagues have no intention of ending the moratorium on offshore oil drilling or increasing the areas open for exploration and production – no matter how popular the idea might be with gas prices soaring.

In an interview with Bloomberg TV's "Money and Politics" last night, Sen. Maria Cantwell, D-Wash., explained Democrats don't want to increase supplies of oil and gasoline because they want to wean Americans off of petroleum products.

Asked point-blank if Democrats in the Senate would consider how increasing the supply of oil would lower the prices that are pinching U.S. consumers, Cantwell replied: "Oh, we definitely want to move beyond petroleum. And so there will be a supply side offered by the Democrats and it will include everything from battery technology to making sure that we have good home domestic supply, and looking, as I said about moving faster on those kind of things like wind and solar that can help us with our high cost of natural gas."

In other words, no.

End of Secret Ballot Helps Unions, Democrats, Says GOP

(CNSNews.com) - Unions and members of the Democratic Party are pushing to end the secret ballot for union authorization, a step that would help unions to expand and deliver more votes to the Democrats, according to Republican congressmen at a hearing.

Stokes Home Health may be sold

(The Stokes News) - Stokes County has operated a public home health service for 30 years, but the service is on the verge of being sold to the private sector. Liberty Homecare, a privately-owned home health agency, has made a lucrative offer to buy the service from the county. The contract must be approved by July 31, necessitating a decision in the very near future.

Although the final decision rests in the hands of the Stokes County Commissioners, the Stokes County Board of Health met on Tuesday night to reach their own decision which would be considered by the commissioners. In the end, the board voted not to make a decision but to turn the issue totally over to the commissioners.

Ron Carroll, a county commissioner who is also a member of the board of health, spoke out at the Tuesday night meeting. “I can’t make a recommendation on something I can’t see,” he said, referring to the fact that the terms of the contract have not been made public. Carroll insisted he needed to know “the nuts and bolts of it.”

Why the Press Is Ignoring the Edwards "Love Child" Story

A double standard is at work.

(Slate) -
Everybody had a good laugh last August when Roll Call broke the story about Sen. Larry Craig, R-Idaho, getting arrested at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport for playing footsies in a toilet stall. The late-night talk show hosts mined the material for days; Slate produced a re-enactment of the bathroom ballet; and newspapers, magazines, and cable channels shredded Craig.

The angle taken by most reporters and commentators wasn't that Craig's restroom conduct was particularly shameful. The press doesn't object to same-sex sex at all, nor should it. Craig's true offense, said the press and the clowns, was hypocrisy, which they consider an inexcusable crime. Craig had supported both federal and Idaho bans on same-sex marriage, had opposed hate crime legislation that would extend protections to gays, and had earned a perfect 0 rating (PDF) from the Human Rights Campaign, a gay lobby. And he had denied and denied any and all gayness while trying to recruit some action in a bathroom!

Although the Craig story and the John Edwards story, currently unfolding thanks to the National Enquirer, aren't directly analogous, they have a bit in common. Edwards, too, may be a sex hypocrite. The tabloid called Edwards a cheater last October and the father of a love child in December, and last night the Enquirer posted a story about Edwards' visit to his alleged mistress and child at the Beverly Hilton on Monday night.

Quote of the Day...

"The Drive-Bys are just a bunch of teenagers. The only thing they haven't done is throw underwear at Obama when he's up on stage -- yet."
Rush Limbaugh

Drive-Bys Ignore National Enquirer on Breck Girl Affair, Love Child

From Rush Limbaugh:
Edwards cornered, hiding in a hotel men's room.

Rush Limbaugh's Morning Update: Kiddie Terror

Some of our friends up north are upset, ladies and gentlemen, that their image is taking a beating. The angst is over the case of a Canadian-born terrorist, Omar Khadr, who is being held at Club Gitmo.

Khadr is the son of an Al-Qaeda financier. He was raised in Afghanistan. At age 15 he was captured on the battlefield, charged with throwing a hand grenade that killed one American Special Forces soldier and blinded another. Khadr's defense team recently released video excerpts of his interrogation by Canadian officials at Club Gitmo.

Now, in the video, this little kiddie terrorist is seen whining for his mommy, and begging for Canada to come to his aid. He complains that he's being tortured, and he begs for medical help for wounds that have not healed since his arrest. He doesn't bother to mention that he was near death when he was plucked off the battlefield, and that Americans saved his worthless little life.

Naturally, liberals in Canada's Drive-By Media and Parliament are up in arms. They're blaming Conservative Prime Minister Stephen Harper for allowing the supposed "mistreatment" of the youthful terrorist to continue at Gitmo. They are complaining that their national reputation as a kind and compassionate country is being ruined.

See -- all it takes is one accusing terrorist to get a country full of liberals to roll over and get on board the compassion train. But they have absolutely no compassion, or even a second thought, for those in the military who are killed by these terrorists while defending their freedom. They wouldn't have the guts to defend themselves.

Read the Background Material on the Morning Update...
AP: Video Footage of a Young Canadian Guantanamo Detainee Causes a Public Outcry

Thursday Funnies :-)

Conan O’Brien: “Barack Obama is [on] a trip to visit Iraq and several other Middle East countries. Obama says he is excited about the trip, mainly because he’s looking forward to meeting other people named Barack Obama.”

Jay Leno: Barack Obama is very popular in the Middle East. I guess a lot of people over there saw the cover of The New Yorker. This is Barack’s third day in the Middle East. And President Bush said that he has no timetable for bringing him back home. ... You know, sometimes when President Bush speaks, he does not use the best choice of words. You know? Like, today, he said the financial institutions are basically sound, and you can take that to the bank. ... John McCain called a press conference today. Unfortunately, all the press was out of the country covering Obama. ... Barack Obama is in Afghanistan. Bill Clinton went with him. At least that’s what he told Hillary. ... The feds say federal institutions are in trouble for giving money to those already in debt. That’s the problem. They gave money to those already in debt. So, why are we paying taxes? Who’s more in debt than the government? What, are they $9 trillion in debt? We’re giving them more money? We’re enablers. We need to stop this.

The media are in love with Obama :-)

(The Patriot Post) - All three network news anchors tagged along with Barack Obama on his trip to Europe and the Middle East, which turned out to be nothing more than a Dukakis-style photo op.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Obama: 'Look At My Deeds'... That I Didn't Actually Do

(By Jim Geraghty/National Review Online) - Obama in Israel:
Now, in terms of knowing my commitments, you don't have to just look at my words, you can look at my deeds. Just this past week, we passed out of the U.S. Senate Banking Committee, which is my committee, a bill to call for divestment from Iran, as a way of ratcheting up the pressure to ensure that they don't obtain a nuclear weapon.
I was going to say that Obama's statement that the Senate Banking Committee is "my committee" wasn't that big a deal, and not that surprising from a man who told Bibi Netanyahu that he was about ready to "fall sleep standing up." But he did say in the immediate preceding sentence, "Now, in terms of knowing my commitments, you don't have to just look at my words, you can look at my deeds."

In this case, Obama's words are wrong, and "his deeds" don't actually include voting for this bill. He had no role in the "passage" of this legislation.

I don't think it is wise for Obama to try this stuff in front of the Israelis.

UPDATE: The Obama defense: the bill that passed included provisions that match legislation he introduced last year. The problem is, that doesn't explain the "we" and the "which is my committee."

John Edwards Denies Affair (Kind Of)

(By Blake Whitaker/Hair Balls) - Former Senator, former (current?) veep candidate John Edwards was in town today for a meeting with ACORN, the organization that helps provide low-income housing.

He came to town in the wake of a National Enquirer report that he'd been caught by their reporters on a late-night hotel visit with an alleged paramour and the "love child" he'd purportedly fathered with her.

At a press conference, no one seemed anxious to ask about it. So we did.

At first Edwards seemed to pretend not to know what we were talking about, so we specified that we meant the Enquirer story.

"That's tabloid trash," he said. "They're full of lies. I'm here to talk about helping people."

Which, as we read it, doesn't really address the specific allegations. But we guess the "tabloid trash" label always works.

Our Government Problem-Solvers

At election time, pols can't help but "do something" — even if it makes matters worse.

By Thomas Sowell
National Review Online

We don’t look to arsonists to help put out fires but we do look to politicians to help solve financial crises that they played a major role in creating.

How did the government help create the current financial mess? Let me count the ways.

The Fine Line Between Pandering and Lying

(By John Hinderaker/Power Line) - Barack Obama held a press conference in Sderot, Israel today. I wouldn't have blamed him if he had stuck to a reasonable degree of pandering, but check out this question and answer from the press conference...

Time for another translation from Obamese.

You know, we might stop writing about his gaffes if he stopped making them.

(By Moe Lane/Red State) -
Today's I'm-sorry,-what? comes to us from his speech in Israel:

A bit of surprise, that, considering that the US Senate Committee of Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs doesn't number him among their members. I can only conclude that he decided that his bill - The Iran Sanctions Enabling Act of 2007, which he co-sponsored (along with a mere 15% of the Senate) - was enough of a prerequisite for him to get to be a member of the committee.

God knows it's better evidence of participation than he's managed with regard to his Foreign Relations Subcommittee chairmanship.

PS: People wishing to complain: please make sure that you first indicate whether that was Obama being a doofus, or whether it just his scriptwriters. Please use that precise word, too. You may be peeved all you like that I'm harping on this silly, easily avoided mistake, but the price is actually admitting that one was made in the first place.

Wall Street Likes the Bailout plus Drill, Drill, Drill

(By Larry Kudlow/National Review Online) - Can bad Washington policies sometimes work to the benefit of financial markets? In the short run the answer is certainly yes. Nothing illustrates this point better than the gigantic Fannie-Freddie housing bailout bill that will soon pass Congress and be signed into law by President Bush.

This is a perfect example of Washington’s new too-big-to-fail corporatism, or even semi-socialism. Fannie and Freddie are getting their dream wish lists of expanded loans, expanded debt, a full-fledged explicit government guarantee, and virtually nothing in the way of real reform, all in return for Uncle Sam’s imprimatur.

The only remote possibility for future GSE reform of political lobbying, huge compensations, and a downsized internal portfolio, or even future privatization moves, rests solely on the new regulatory powers embedded in the bill. But the chances of a strongman regulator actually succeeding in changing these government housing banks are slim to none in my view. Democrats running the House and Senate banking committees will never permit it. The GSE political pressures are too strong. And no reforms were codified in the actual bill.

HYPE: The Obama Effect (Movie Trailer)

Get a Whiff of This!

(Fox News) - A smelly, dead bird stuck in a tree near a tennis tournament in Vancouver, Canada, will be hanging around a little longer. The Canadian press reports that those attending the tournament are not happy about it.

But the city's parks board says the dead bird will not be removed because doing so could disturb the entire colony of endangered herons that live in the tree — putting them at greater risk. The board has determined that the carcass does not pose a threat to people below.

Officials say the dead bird will be removed when the colony leaves the tree — possibly sometime next month.

Doggy Dilemma

(Fox News) - British police chiefs are again having problems with dogs. Earlier this month the Association of Chief Police Officers began requiring police dogs to wear booties when searching the homes of Muslims because some Muslims believe dogs are unclean.

Now the Daily Mail reports police dog handlers are being told to consider whether criminals could be frightened — or allergic to dogs before using them in raids or searches. The association's adviser on dogs says the guidelines help prevent offending people like "asthma sufferers who may be sensitive to dog hair."

But one police sergeant says, "The whole point of police dogs is to frighten people rigid ... the traditional shout of 'stand still or I will set the dog on you' will presumably now have to become 'excuse me, my police dog is quite hairy and might cause alarm as he sinks his fangs into your right thigh — is that all right with you?'"

Green Means No

(Fox News) - The Barack Obama campaign's insistence that members of the press not wear green while in Israel and Jordan because it is the color of the Hamas terrorist group has been met with ridicule by some authorities on Islam.

The Politico newspaper reports that a New York University professor who is the former Middle East bureau chief for Newsday says, "I guess green is the 'Hamas color' — but it's also the color of Islam! That’s one way for the Obama campaign to alienate 1.4 billion Muslims worldwide."

And a spokesman for the council on American Islamic Relations called the dress code a "misstep," adding, "If he goes to Ireland, are they going to ask them not to wear green or orange?"

Questions About Special Mortgage Sen. Chris Dodd Secured from Countrywide

Under the Radar

(Fox News) -
Largely unnoticed by the national press, questions have arisen about that special mortgage that Senate Banking Committee Chairman Chris Dodd of Connecticut secured from Countrywide Financial. They emerge not in the news section of the Hartford Courant newspaper, but on its editorial page.

Former Republican state Legislator Kevin Rennie writes that Dodd "claimed he got a deal available to any other borrower."

But he said Dodd still has not produced a survey of interest rates available at the time he got the mortgage.

"The chairman of the Senate Banking Committee could get the information if he thought it would confirm his loud claim that it's outrageous to think he got special treatment."

Dodd's wife said other companies offered similar rates. But Rennie says Dodd has failed to identify those other lenders.