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.
Sunday, August 31, 2008
Conveniently, the Republican Party really doesn't need him to be there. Matter of fact, they really need him to be completely out of the picture.
Saturday, August 30, 2008
Real Clear Politics
One of the few political cliches that makes sense is that "In politics, overnight is a lifetime."
Less than a year ago, the big question was whether Rudolph Giuliani could beat Hillary Clinton in this year's presidential election. Less than two months ago, Barack Obama had a huge lead over John McCain in the polls. Less than a week ago, the smart money was saying that Mitt Romney would be McCain's choice for vice president.
We don't need Barack Obama to create "change." Things change in politics, in the economy, and elsewhere in American society, without waiting for a political messiah to lead us into the promised land.
Friday, August 29, 2008
Is McCain trying to lose this election? "Daring choice," my ass. This is a delusional choice.
There goes the "Obama has no experience" argument. I guess a VP doesn't need experience?
From Wiki: In 1984, Palin won the Miss Wasilla contest earlier, then finished second in the Miss Alaska beauty pageant ... In the Wasilla pageant, she played the flute and also won Miss Congeniality. Palin holds a bachelor's degree in journalism from the University of Idaho, where she also minored in political science.
Obviously, he picks his running mates like he picks 2nd wives: trophy-esque. John, smart men and women aren't going to fall for this one.
Barack Obama is an immensely talented man whose talents have been largely devoted to crafting, and chronicling, his own life. Not things. Not ideas. Not institutions. But himself.
Nothing wrong or even terribly odd about that, except that he is laying claim to the job of crafting the coming history of the United States. A leap of such audacity is odd. The air of unease at the Democratic convention this week was not just a result of the Clinton psychodrama. The deeper anxiety was that the party was nominating a man of many gifts but precious few accomplishments -- bearing even fewer witnesses.
What scandal? Edwards hikes speaking fee
(Chicago Sun-Times) - Just weeks after former presidential candidate John Edwards admitted cheating on his wife, he's not shying away from public speaking engagements -- and his fee has gone up, his agent says.
Edwards is due to speak at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign on Oct. 14. The agent for the former North Carolina senator has told the university student group organizing the event that Edwards is looking to add to his speaking calendar and that he's charging more, said university spokeswoman Robin Kaler.
Edwards is to speak on "The American Dream," Kaler said. Tickets are free, but the student group is paying him $65,000.
Kaler said the student group gave Edwards the opportunity to back out of the speech in light of his admission to having an extramarital affair. Neither Kaler nor the student group would give the Chicago Sun-Times the name of Edwards' agent. Edwards could not be reached for comment.
Edwards' other appearances include a September speech with wife Elizabeth at Salem State College in Massachusetts, according to college spokesman Jim Glynn.
Edwards has come under fire in the past for his speaking fees. In 2006, he was paid $55,000 to speak at the University of California-Davis about poverty.
A Daring Choice
I have to confess, I didn’t give him enough credit. I have come to support McCain grudgingly, only after Giuliani and then Romney. And when the VP stakes began both on my Web site and radio show Palin had been a consistent favorite of readers and listeners. As disappointment and even hostility with Washington has grown, McCain has done something so many of us were hoping for–he made a daring, maverick and ultimately the right choice for his running mate.
A choice reflective of real change, but change based in principle and true progress.
What’s the difference now between Obama and McCain? Last night, Obama spoke about rejecting the politics of the past, after he spoke for a good 20 minutes embracing the old, tired and failed liberal politics of the past 50 years.
With choosing Palin, McCain has now set the standard of genuine change, a willingness to buck the status quo, not just rhetorically, but actually.
Perhaps we shouldn’t have been surprised–it was a Republicans who put African-Americans into actual positions of power, rejecting the Clintonian notion that blacks should accept the absurdity of a white man being the ‘first black president.’ And now, it is again a conservative who elevates a woman to power.
There were many other predictable, perhaps safer, choices McCain could have made which would have satiated the conservative based. Yet, he chose someone who has the qualifications and has a history of also walking the maverick walk, but does not necessarily have the traditional resume, and that’s exactly what we want in a day when trust in government has never been lower.
Sarah Palin is a perfect choice and moves me from grudging support to full, invigorated advocacy for his campaign.
Now it’s time for every authentic feminist out there to make the same commitment to the McCain-Palin ticket.
Obama camp employs tactics of radical leftists.
Yet this week in Denver, the Secretary-Treasurer of the AFL-CIO -- a union that backs Obama -- said: "Quite frankly a lot of union members believe he's the wrong race." That comes on top of the racial overtones within the Democrat Party and Drive-By Media for this entire political season. There were claims that Obama "wasn't black enough," didn't have "slave blood," or was a "Magic Negro." Bill Clinton and Barack Obama bitterly accused each other of playing the race card.
The most quoted line from Dr. King's speech is the dream that his children would "not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character." For conservatives, politics is not about "identity." We are not invested in the color or gender of a candidate; we are focused on their ideas, and whether they intend to protect and defend the traditions and institutions that made this country great.
Over the last 18 months, we've heard a lot about the need for "change." It's time you "identity-based" Democrats joined us. That would be a welcome "change" we could believe in.
I'm not holding my breath, but it would be nice.
Read the Background Material on the Morning Update...
• Reuters: Democrats Ready Celebration for Obama
Thursday, August 28, 2008
Obama’s speech was predictable, it was implausible, and it was strikingly, inexplicably, angry.
The sea of young people we'll see cheering Barack Obama's speech in Denver Thursday night is just a tiny slice of a nationwide movement. According to a recent poll by Harvard University's Institute of Politics, Obama leads John McCain by an astonishing 23 points, 55% to 32%, among voters younger than 25.
It is easy to see why. Obama is young. He seems to brim with hope and optimism. He "gets" 21st century culture. In contrast, John McCain is old, very old, and more than a little bit cranky. Heck, he's even unfamiliar with the Internet.
Yet if you look at the policies advocated by the two candidates, Obama's appear almost perversely designed to hit those young supporters in the pocketbook.
The Presidency: The Longest-Held Full-Time Job of Obama's Life.
He's been a U.S. senator since January 4, 2005, and so it would be just over four years when he takes office January 20, 2009. Having said that, any honest observer would admit that Obama hasn't been treating his Senate seat as a full-time job for the past few years.
Obama '08: He'll Get Bored Quickly Anyway.
By Karl Rove
The Weekly Standard
THE DEMOCRATIC NATIONAL CONVENTION exposed the central defect of Senator Barack Obama's candidacy: the absence of compelling evidence he is up to the job of president. The exposé comes courtesy of a bad habit of his running mate, Senator Joe Biden. When in doubt, Mr. Biden exaggerates. And in the past week, he did a lot.
Voters expect candidates to embellish, but only so much. Go beyond acceptable stretching and a candidate may squander his most precious political possession: credibility. Mr. Obama may be on this perilous path.
Last Saturday, America heard Mr. Obama's new running mate exclaim, "I watch with amazement as he came to the Senate. I watch with amazement!" Mr. Biden's hyperkinetic praise is what we expect a running mate to offer his benefactor at the top of the ticket.
Barack Obama, Reaching Across the Aisle 4 Percent of the Time
Biden votes with his party 96.6 percent of the time. Kerry's 95.6 percent.
McCain votes with his party 88.3 percent. Throughout this convention, we've heard the Democrats endlessly accusing McCain of marching in lockstep with President Bush, either 90 percent or 95 percent of the time, depending on which speaker is demagoguing speaking at any given moment.
In other words, McCain breaks with Bush more than Obama breaks with Harry Reid and Ted Kennedy.
Which guy is really trying to overcome partisan divisions?
And my reaction was, “Give me a break. For one thing, it’s hard to take lessons on compassion from the party of abortion-on-demand. Get that one right — or do better on it — and maybe then you’ll be fit to speak to the rest of us.”
And I am reminded more broadly why I became a Republican, those moons ago. I was taught that the Republican party stood for greed, for dog-eat-dog, for ignorance, for callousness. And I was taught that human decency demanded that you be a socialist, basically. But then I grew up, and learned what a free economy did for people, as opposed to socialism (or collectivism, or statism, or a social-welfare state). I saw results as life was really lived in the world.
Hillary in Elevator Mishap
Then it got worse.
After Wednesday night's festivities ended, there was a minor elevator mishap at the Pepsi Center that involved Clinton, sources tell ABC News.
Apparently, the elevator got stuck between floors, stranding Sen. Clinton and others for several minutes. For about five minutes inside the elevator it was "hectic" and not a little claustrophobic -- the elevator was over-packed, which is why it stopped, a source says. The doors needed to be pushed open and some of those in the elevator -- a couple Secret Service agents -- needed to be lifted and squeezed out in order for it to start moving again.
Clinton was seen leaving the scene looking a tad shell-shocked, but an aide says, "She's fine."
Here's our editorial today on the outrageous matter (is this America or Putin's Russia? Maybe this explains Obama's soft approach to Russia's Georgia aggression?). It says, in part:
Kurtz has obviously hit a nerve. It is the same nerve hit by the American Issues Project, whose television ad calling for examination of the Obama/Ayers relationship has prompted the Obama campaign to demand that the Justice Department begin a criminal investigation. Obama fancies himself as “post-partisan.” He is that only in the sense that he apparently brooks no criticism. This episode could be an alarming preview of what life will be like for the media should the party of the Fairness Doctrine gain unified control of the federal government next year.
Obama's numbers prior to the convention were falling rapidly - largely as a result of some effective framing of Obama by the McCain campaign as a lightweight celebrity who is not ready to lead.
The New York Sun points out that the vaunted race card Obama played so successfully against the Clintons that blunted many of their attacks has ben preemptively blocked by McCain...
After being paralyzed for the past 20 years, Radi Kaiof began to walk down a street in Israel to the sound of a dim mechanical hum. That was the sound of an electronic exoskeleton, developed by a small Israeli high-tech company, propelling the 41 year old paraplegic down the street with a proud expression on his face. The device, called ReWalk, is the brain child of engineer Amit Goffer, founder of Argo Medical Technologies. While ReWalk helps paraplegics, people paralyzed below the waist, to walk, stand and climb stairs, for Goffer, the device has a much more important impact on the user. Goffer himself was paralyzed in an accident in 1997, but he cannot use his own invention because he does not have full use of his arms.
The set for Obama's speech is fit for a Greek god.
"My fellow Democrats: I've never been so ticked in my life. With gas and food prices soaring; a war we've demonized; Hurricane Katrina; Cheney, Bush... and Republicans running an ol' wrinkled white guy who's half Democrat half the time -- and they put up this Obama fella? I mean, he couldn't win the general if you spotted him five points!
And... don't any of you dare blame me! I set Hillary up on the ten-yard line -- goal to go! She had more money than I ever had, and my legacy to run on -- and she couldn't close the deal against a freshman running on 'hope' and 'change'? She only had to remind everybody that I am 'the Man from Hope' -- and how I changed the world, beating Republicans at every turn! I did it easy!
Now I have to sit here, mouthing: 'I love you,' while she brags about her historic run? Ain't no history worth having in losin'! Nobody would even know her name if weren't for me. Even Limbaugh tried to pull it out for her! If I'd had him behind me, I'd still be president!
This whole thing is pathetic! She can't even say she's a proud wife! And all my black friends are gone -- after all I have done for you people?
You know, when this is all over -- and ya'll come back lookin' for advice from me? I'm chargin' full price. Cause I will never -- I tell you -- never ever forget this! Good night and... I'm warning you!"
Read the Background Material on the Morning Update...
• AP: Bill Clinton to Test Skills with Speech for Obama
Wednesday, August 27, 2008
Assessing Biden: Snore
The predictable pudding that lacked a theme:
America has never had it worse, nevermind the "malaise" and hostage crisis of the Carter years, the chaos of the late 60s, the Great Depression, the Civil War... an increase in the median income, an unchanged, and a drop in the uninsured in the past year are additional signs of impending irreversible catastrophe.
George W. Bush and John McCain are the same.
We have no allies anymore. Only electing Obama will make the world love us again.
The surge didn't happen. Iraq is endless chaos. Obama's 16 month withdrawal plan will fix everything.
Community organizing on the South Side is perfect training to be president. A nuclear weapons bill that passed by unanimous consent is the major legislative accomplishment of our time.
There was nothing in this speech that was surprising. Nothing that Biden hasn't said a thousand times before. If you've been covering him since the beginning of this race, this was every one of Biden's campaign speeches put in a blender, with some of his surrogate work he's done since Obama won the nomination thrown in for spice.
I suppose if someone in America had never encountered Joe Biden before, they might have liked his combativeness. I've liked it at times in the past. But tonight, Biden was... reheated leftovers.
And so a historic primary ends fittingly, with the great champion of delegate enfranchisement calling for an end to the state roll so that the Chicago machine politician might win by acclamation. I can’t find video of this afternoon’s Masada ritual, but it sounds like emotions ran high. “I am not telling you what to do,” she reminded them, and indeed, until the bitter end, she was still pulling somewhere between a third and half of her pledged delegates.
The women I love always break my heart. Sigh.
You know Hillary has to be crushed. Does anybody honestly believe her & Bill want Obama to win in Nov? If Obama wins, the Clintons are done. Maybe Bill with team up with Jimmy Carter and go build some houses.
By Byron York
National Review Online
Denver — About midway through the schedule at the Democratic convention Tuesday night, I ran into a British friend in the hallway that runs outside the main arena of the Pepsi Center. He, like me, had ducked out of the big room for a few minutes' relief from the overwhelming tedium of the convention program.
He had an idea. “There ought to be a rule at conventions that no speaker can say anything that's already been said, he told me. All the points would be made, but just once. “The whole thing wouldn't last a night,” I said. “Twenty minutes,” he responded.
And even then it might be boring. The truth is, from the standpoint of style and oratory, this Democratic convention has been a bust. From Virginia Senate candidate Mark Warner's poorly-received keynote address — with lines like “You know, America has never been afraid of the future, and we shouldn't start now” — to Montana Governor Brian Schweitzer's inspiring declaration that “We're pursuing coal gasification with carbon sequestration,” the Democratic delegates who pay any attention to the podium have been forced to wage a constant battle against boredom.
The only truly rousing speech at this convention has come from a man who had to get out of a hospital bed to deliver it. Yes, Michelle Obama's address on Monday was popular, and yes, Hillary Clinton's speech last night was widely praised, but in those cases the crowd inside the Pepsi Center seemed to be celebrating the speakers' presence as much as what they had to say. For every “No way, no how, no McCain” that Sen. Clinton spoke, there was an equal and opposite clunker, like “This will not be easy. Progress never is.”
This is a convention starved for a good show.
The New York Times
I’ve been to a lot of conventions, and there’s always something gratifyingly weird that happens.
Dan Quayle acting like a Dancing Hamster. Teresa Heinz Kerry reprising Blanche DuBois. Dick Morris getting nabbed triangulating between a hooker and toes.
But this Democratic convention has a vibe so weird and jittery, so at odds with the early thrilling, fairy dust feel of the Obama revolution, that I had to consult Mike Murphy, the peppery Republican strategist and former McCain guru.
“What is that feeling in the air?” I asked him.
“Submerged hate,” he promptly replied.
Why, then, is everyone in Denver talking about stagecraft?
It’s simple: Reporters got their first glimpse of the stage where Barack Obama will deliver his speech tomorrow night at Invesco Field. Reuters described the set as similar to a "Greek temple."
Thus a legend -- not the good kind -- was born.
Said one Democrat: "This is a disaster of mythical proportions." Said another: "It's not enough that he wants to be president -- he wants to be Zeus." Said the first: "Will he send down thunderbolts from the mountain?"
Those are the Democrats -- though assuredly not Obama partisans. Cue the Republicans: The RNC blasted around an e-mail referring to the "Temple of Obama."
"Tomorrow you're going to see Obama come down from Olympus to be among us mere mortals," Michael Steele, the former lieutenant governor of Maryland, told reporters in Denver.
Senior Obama advisers dismiss the comparisons. There will be columns, they say, but it won’t look like a Greek temple -- or even the White House portico.
"It looks like any state capitol," one adviser tells ABC News. "It's a bunch of columns."
For the candidate who brought you his very own faux-presidential seal, this is not a good perception. Obama aides insist that the set is staying, and that it won't look as bad as it sounds right now; the real backdrop, they say, will be his supporters.
It raises anew the larger issue: After Berlin, and the "Celebrity" ads, does Obama want to accept the nomination in front of a screaming crowd of 75,000 people?
Obama folks, who see the evening as an organizing tool, say yes. There’s a real enthusiasm gap here that the Obama folks want to exploit
But I wonder: If this was being put together post-"Celebrity" -- had it not been in the works for months -- would the campaign have had such a problem with accepting the nomination inside the Pepsi Center -- just like people normally do?
Wednesday Funnies :-)
Jay Leno: As you all know by now, Barack Obama sent out a cell phone text message at 3 a.m. on Saturday morning to tell everyone he picked Joe Biden as his vice president. How do you think this makes Hillary Clinton feel, huh? Finally, she gets a telephone call at 3 a.m.—it’s to tell her they picked Joe Biden. ... Well, you know at the Democratic Convention this week in Denver, both Bill and Hillary will be speaking. Not to each other, of course. ... John McCain is an older, white-haired man who has been in the Senate for over 20 years, voted for the Iraq War, and said Barack Obama did not have the experience to be president. I’m sorry, that’s our intro for next week when Joe Biden is on, I got confused.
DENVER (ABC News) — Police in Denver arrested an ABC News producer today as he and a camera crew were attempting to take pictures on a public sidewalk of Democratic Senators and VIP donors leaving a private meeting at the Brown's Palace Hotel.
Police on the scene refused to tell ABC lawyers the charges against the producer, Asa Eslocker, who works with the ABC News investigative unit.
A police official later told lawyers for ABC News that Eslocker is being charged with trespass, interference, and failure to follow a lawful order. He also said the arrest followed a signed complaint from the Brown Palace Hotel.
Eslocker was put in handcuffs and loaded in the back of a police van which headed for a nearby police station.
The Democratic presidential candidate will accept the party White House banner before a more than 70,000-strong crowd at an outdoor football stadium here late Thursday.
Pictures and an aerial film footage of the set being constructed for the speech show a curved backdrop with creamy, gray column-like structures, which could suggest Washington architecture, or a classical structure, like a Greek or Roman temple.
A Question of Conception?
The archbishop added, "I presume that his integrity will lead him to refrain from presenting himself for communion if he supports a false 'right' to abortion."
Denver's archbishop was not invited to speak at any Democratic convention events but he says he would like to speak privately with the Delaware senator about the matter.
See No Evil
So, the California Legislature passed a bill last week to ensure the vehicles make more noise. The measure has been sent to Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger who has not yet taken a position. It would establish a committee to study the issue and recommend ways to make the vehicles louder. The recommendations would be due by 2010.
RALEIGH (Winston-Salem Journal) - Two weeks after a devastating revelation sent her husband into political exile, Elizabeth Edwards isn't getting the steady sympathy usually afforded to a woman scorned.
Instead, she has faced criticism from dedicated Democrats who say they think that she was too willing to keep the affair a secret to help John Edwards' political ambitions, as well as her own.
At a time when she was expected to hold a prominent role in pushing an agenda of improved health care for Americans, she stands silent. While fellow Democrats converge in Denver to nominate Barack Obama for president, Edwards remains in seclusion in North Carolina.
'The Things We Choose To Do Together'
"This is the kind of leadership [Obama] offers to bring to the presidency — not because government can solve every problem in everybody's life; but because 'government,' as Barney Frank likes to say, is simply the name we give to the things we choose to do together."
While the phrase may sound good to Frank and laid off Hallmark card copywriters, it's meaningless and stupid. Apparently the things we choose to do together include IRS audits, seizing privately-held land under Kelo v. City of New London, building Bridges to Nowhere, giving subsidies to sugar producers and foreign aid to the Egyptian government, bans on the use of private land because endangered species may be present at times, and the line at the Department of Motor Vehicles.
Having said that, it's nice to see Patrick, Frank, and the Democrats recognizing that the Iraq War, the interrogation of detainees, eavesdropping on suspected terrorists, research and development on advanced weapons systems, and capital punishment are "things we do together."
McCain Aide Mocks Obama's Columned Stage
"Is this from the Onion?" quipped a McCain adviser.
The reference to the satirical newspaper came after Reuters reported that Obama is planning an elaborate rock concert set-up complete with post-speech fireworks.
The national anthem will even have a touch of celebrity: Jennifer Hudson, the Oscar-winning actress and former American Idol castoff, will perform the honors at the onset of the evening.
Starting with a July ad which included footage of Paris Hilton and Brittney Spears, the McCain campaign has been airing a series of television ads which paint Obama as a celebrity lacking in substance.
The celebrity-like trappings of Obama's Thursday's speech may have given the Republicans new ammo.
DENVER (National Review Online) - Democrats here are preparing to anoint Barack Obama as their nominee. Despite his long record of alliances with Chicago’s political machine and his use of government positions to help his friends and donors — and possibly himself — they are still fooling themselves with the idea that he stands for “hope,” “change,” and a “new politics.”
But on Tuesday, two time zones to the west of here, Republican voters did not even have the option of fooling themselves. They knew exactly what they were doing, and they did it anyway. Their senator had recently been indicted on seven federal charges, and they re-nominated him. He won an embarrassing 63 percent majority in a crowded field in last night’s primary election.
Federal prosecutors accuse seven-term senator Ted Stevens (R., Alaska) of taking gifts from parties interested in legislation and concealing them on his financial disclosure forms for seven years in a row. But a large majority of voters in Alaska’s Republican primary just did not care. They love pork — something Stevens has proven expert in providing — and evidently they don’t mind self-dealing in their politics.
A Huge Embarrassment
"It's like 'Thanks, madam speaker, you've done quite enough. Please move along,'" says one Obama adviser. "She got us stuck on three different issues that we wanted no part of. She's no master strategist, no matter what she may believe. You may see more of her, but if her mouth is open, what comes out won't be anything that our campaign wants anything to do with."
According to several House Democrat leadership staffers, Pelosi grew increasingly angry several months ago that she was not being given a strategic role in directing the Democrat convention or being actively sought out by the Obama campaign for advice. "She made a point that she was queen of the far left, which was the group that really helped Obama get to where he was," says Democrat leadership staffer, adding, "She didn't call herself a queen, but you get the point, and so did the Obama people."
Now Pelosi's big mouth has ensnared Obama in Catholic abortion issues, and campaign issues from four years ago that he wanted no part of and wasn't a part of just a week ago. Further, Pelosi's continued gaffes on the subject have renewed examination of Pelosi's poor standing in the Catholic Church. Given her position and votes on abortion and birth-control issues, she is not in good standing with the Catholic Church, despite what she may herself believe.
Explains Peter Nobel, an attorney for the "Liga Juvenil De Baseball De New Haven" [Spanish for "Youth Baseball League of New Haven"]: "The spirit of the league was community, family, well being, nurturing. It's an extended family, and it's been disrupted." By little Jericho's talent.
The team has been punished while this saga unfolds. Jericho said that he was "sad" because there was no baseball game Saturday. He and his team showed up, but the league cancelled the event when the coach refused to bench little Jericho.
Now, why am I bringing up this story, while the big political news is the Democrat Dupe-America-Fest in Denver? It's simple. What's the source of this message, that high achievers should be punished in order to "level the playing field"? Where do these ideas, that competition is inherently evil and unfair, and that we should "nurture" mediocrity, come from? These are the very themes that liberal Democrats are proudly articulating in Denver; it's how liberals "play [hard] ball." And they've already worked their way into every aspect of American life -- the case of Jericho Scott is just a direct result of punishing achievers.
Read the Background Material on the Morning Update...
• New Haven Register: Baseball Brouhaha Goes Into Extra Innings
Tuesday, August 26, 2008
The stage, similar to structures used for rock concerts, has been set up at the 50-yard-line, the midpoint of Invesco Field, the stadium where the Denver Broncos' National Football League team plays.
Some 80,000 supporters will see Obama appear from between plywood columns painted off-white, reminiscent of Washington's Capitol building or even the White House, to accept the party's nomination for president.
He will stride out to a raised platform to a podium that can be raised from beneath the floor.
Real Clear Politics
It doesn't help the Obama campaign that William Ayers is back in the news. Ayers, you'll recall, was the Weather Underground terrorist in the late 1960s and '70s whose radical group set bombs at the Pentagon and U.S. Capitol. During the April 16 Democratic debate, Barack Obama explained his past association with Ayers by saying he was just a guy "in my neighborhood," meaning the University of Chicago enclave known as Hyde Park. But is that end of it? This is, after all, Chicago we're talking about; where political patronage and nepotism are the only ways one moves up the power ladder.
Decades after his radical youth, Ayers was one of the original grantees of the Chicago Annenberg Challenge, a school reform organization in the 1990s, and was co-chairman of the Chicago School Reform Collaborative, one the two operational arms of the CAC. Obama, then not yet a state senator, became chairman of the CAC in 1995. Later in that year, the first organizing meeting for Obama's state Senate campaign was held in Ayers's apartment.
You might wonder what Obama was doing working with a character like this. And you might wonder how an unrepentant terrorist got a huge grant and cooperation from the Chicago public school system. You might wonder--if you don't know Chicago. For this is a city with a civic culture in which politicians, in the words of a story often told by former congressman, federal judge, and Clinton White House counsel Abner Mikva, "don't want nobody nobody sent."
Meanwhile, another Gallup poll says 50 percent expect their taxes to be raised under Obama, despite the complaints of his economic advisors that they’re only raising taxes on the top few percent.
Make no mistake about it: There are many doubts and unanswered questions about the Illinois senator regarding his experience, his foreign policy, his economics, and his prior political and spiritual relationships. And despite some good moments last night, I don’t think Michelle Obama made the sale. At the end, only her husband can do it. Hillary can’t do it. If the badly split Democrats can be united at this late date, only Obama can do the job. No one else.
Remembering the Gipper...
Ronald Reagan’s Remarks at a Luncheon for the College of Physicians (April 1, 1987):
“Our competitive system has produced the finest health care in history. And with each year that passes, it saves more lives, finds cures to more diseases, makes life better for more people than ever before.”
Obama not only aired a response ad to the spot linking him to William Ayers, but he sought to block stations the commercial by warning station managers and asking the Justice Department to intervene. The campaign also planned to compel advertisers to pressure stations that continue to air the anti-Obama commercial.
It's the type of going-for-the-jugular approach to politics many Democrats complain that Kerry lacked and that Republicans exploit.
You might call what has been done here “laying the groundwork” — preparing for an Obama loss. If the worst should happen, and McCain wins, there will be only one explanation: racism. Everyone — at least every McCain voter — will have to wear a scarlet “R.” And so will the country at large.
Think, for a moment, about what this assertion does to black Americans. It says to them, along with everyone else, “If Obama loses, it won’t be because Americans again prefer a right-leaning Republican to a left-leaning Democrat. It will be because of the sin of racism — it will be because whites are anti-black.”
Is that a good belief to instill? Is it true? Will the age-old practice of grievance-stoking ever end? (No, of course not.)
You see, the Republicans are very, very good at dividing people. You know, they’re always … you gotta be mad because this group is against that and that group doesn’t get that. That’s terrible for the country, but it’s a time-honored way to win elections, and people use it in all kinds of different countries … Slobodan Milosevic used it in Yugoslavia!
But not all the environmentally friendly initiatives have worked out as planned. The New York Sun reports instead of the traditional plastic cards, one hotel in downtown Denver handed guests key-cards made from what they called "sustainably-harvested wood." The only problem was, a lot of guests couldn't get in their rooms.
After a few hours, red-faced hotel managers abandoned their green plan, switching out plastic for the wooden cards. A clerk says the hotel is now handing out one of each, suggesting the wooden key-cards be kept as souvenirs.
McCain spokesman Tucker Bounds said, "The comparisons are outrageous, unacceptable and crudely divisive... it clearly shows that when it comes to supporting Barack Obama, his fellow worldwide celebrities refuse to consider any smear or attack off limits."
Toward the end of the performance, pictures of Al Gore, Mahatma Gandhi and former Beatle John Lennon were flashed alongside Barack Obama's image.
But that did not stop him from venting, "The coverage of Barack Obama was embarrassing... MSNBC was the official network of the Obama campaign." Rendell continued to say MSNBC's Chris Matthews "loses his impartiality when he talks about the Clintons."
CNN's Lou Dobbs, meanwhile, expressed a similar sentiment Sunday, saying on air, "My colleagues in the national media are absolutely biased, in the tank supporting the Obama candidacy while claiming the mantle of objectivity."
Does Joe Biden Have a Connection With a Corrupt Fundraiser?
(Fox News) - Democratic vice presidential candidate Joe Biden says he is a 30-year friend of a key figure in the Tony Rezko trial. Rezko is the Chicago businessman and friend of Barack Obama who has been convicted on several counts of fraud and bribery.
The Chicago Sun-Times reports Chicago lawyer Joseph Cari Jr. helped Biden with his presidential runs this year and in 1988 and has been a financial contributor. Three years ago Cari admitted to taking part in an $850,000 kickback scheme that prosecutors say was part of a political fundraising operation for Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich. That scheme was overseen by Rezko. Cari is awaiting sentencing.
The Obama camp, which has been defending its own candidate's ties to Rezko, downplayed the Biden-Cari relationship. Spokesman Ben LaBolt said, "Mr.Cari was a fundraiser for many prominent elected officials."
This spring, Obama's links to Ayers briefly became a campaign controversy. Now American Issues Project is spending $2.8 million to air a TV ad highlighting links between Obama and Ayers, a founder of the Weather Underground Organization, which opposed the Vietnam War and was responsible for several bombings.
Obama released a rebuttal TV ad Monday. "With all our problems, why is John McCain talking about the '60s, trying to link Barack Obama to radical Bill Ayers?" a narrator asks.
A movie, Hype: The Obama Effect, was first shown Sunday in Denver. It was made by Citizens United, another conservative group, and explores the Ayers-Obama connection and questions whether Obama can unite the country.
Documents released today by the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) will be scrutinized for clues to the relationship.
Ayers was a founder of the Chicago Annenberg Challenge, a school-reform group. Obama chaired its board from 1995-99. National Review reported last week that UIC said records detailing meetings and other business were public, then reversed itself. UIC said Friday there was a misunderstanding.
Obama from a home in Kansas City: I'm 'here in St. Louis'
Tonight, Democrat Barack Obama didn't know what town he was in.
In a live satellite speech tonight to the Democratic National Convention in Denver from a home in Kansas City, Obama said: "I'm here with the Girardo family here in St. Louis."
Then came a graphic across the television screen that said Obama was in Kansas City, Mo.
After playing the clip of a befuddled Obama trying to answer the question, "When does a baby get human rights?" Tom Brokaw asked Pelosi, "When does life begin?"
Here's how the most powerful woman in America (now that Hillary's been knocked off) answered the question: "I would say that as an ardent, practicing Catholic, this is an issue that I have studied for a long time. And what I know is, over the centuries, the doctors of the church," the doctors of the church? "have not been able to make that definition. And senator (sic) uh, uh, St. Augustin' said at three months. We don't know." Speaker Pelosi went on to say that she doesn't think "anybody can tell you when life begins,” and that the Catholic Church has been debating the issue for centuries.
Are we to believe that as an "ardent, practicing" Catholic, the Queen Bee really doesn't know that her Church has always taught that life begins at the beginning, at conception? Or that she doesn't know – as an "ardent, practicing" Catholic – that the "doctors" of the Church have had no trouble "making that definition"?
Not even Nancy Pelosi is that stupid! It just can't be. The simple fact is that liberals like Lord Obama and the Queen Bee Pope Pelosi cannot tell the truth. Not only about when life begins, but about seemingly anything else!
Read the Background Material on the Morning Update...
• HotAir: Pelosi lies about Catholicism and Abortion - Ed Morrissey
Monday, August 25, 2008
Remembering the Gipper...
“We, the members of the New Republican Party, believe that the preservation and enhancement of the values that strengthen and protect individual freedom, family life, communities and neighborhoods and the liberty of our beloved nation should be at the heart of any legislative or political program presented to the American people.”
YES WE CAN - by Barack Obama :-)
YES WE CAN is the bestselling new life success tool by Barack Obama - Biden 2008. Learn the success principles that took an introverted young child from Hawaii to the precipice of the White House. Glean the wisdom of the sages in such chapters as "Divorced Opponents are the Best Opponents," "Throw Grandma Under the Train," "I am Not my Brother's Keeper," and "Articulate, Bright and Clean." Foreward by Rev. Jeremiah Wright. Oprah Book Club, 2008.
Chiding His Colleagues
"I think Keith has gone too far. I think Chris has gone too far," the veteran NBC newsman said at a forum sponsored by Harvard's Shorenstein press center. But Brokaw said that they are "commentators" and "not the only voices" on MSNBC and that viewers could sort it out.
He was responding to criticism from Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell, a Hillary Clinton supporter, who declared at the forum that "MSNBC was the official network of the Obama campaign."
CBS's Bob Schieffer defended the media's reluctance to cover John Edwards's extramarital affair, saying Edwards's candidacy was over and "I don't see that we have time to be fooling with this."
But ABC's George Stephanopoulos noted that "the level of the coverup here was kind of astonishing," and Brokaw expressed concern about this question: "What if it had been Mitt Romney? Would the press have gone after that story more aggressively?"
As Democrats kick off their convention Monday, the onetime presidential contender is a man without a party - or a political future - trying to rebuild bridges through dozens of remorseful phone calls.
It's proving a hard sell with onetime true believers.
And wouldn't you know, it's all about the Clintons. The trouble with the news-free nature of modern conventions is how anything unplanned can instantly get of hand with thousands of reporters in town vying for every morsel of something different.
With more than enough to fuel the storyline about a rift between Barack Obama and the Clintons on the convention's opening day, the media frenzy is on.
Pelosi: Civilization at stake in November
"We've got a planet to save. Nothing less is at stake other than civilization as we know it today," the California Democrat and speaker of the House told reporters Saturday afternoon in assessing the election and the nominating convention taking place here over the week.
She said Mr. Obama's new running mate, Sen Joseph R. Biden Jr., was a good choice because he melds Washington know-how with an outsider's view. She pointed to his daily commute by train from his home in Delaware to Washington as evidence he is still a man of the people.
"Joe Biden is the all-American boy," she said in a luncheon for reporters sponsored by the Christian Science Monitor.
Mrs. Pelosi will be at the Democratic National Convention here this week, serving as permanent convention chair.
Yet as Hollywood prepares to decamp to Colorado for a series of VIP events held on the sidelines of the convention, presidential hopeful Obama is likely to keep a careful distance from the glitterati, analysts say.
Republican rival John McCain's campaign has recently sought to turn Obama's surging popularity into a weakness, scoring some direct hits by likening the Democrat to gossip-page perennials such as Paris Hilton and Britney Spears.
Denver's Rocky Mountain News reports on its site today, "The Jersey boys are coming, and we ain't talking about Frankie Valli. The Boss and Bon Jovi are ready to perform."
Springsteen's people have not confirmed, by the Rocky notes, "Multiple sources confirmed to the Rocky that Jon Bon Jovi will fly in to perform two acoustic songs before Sen. Barack Obama gives his acceptance speech at Invesco Field on Thursday. After the speech, Bruce Springsteen will close out the night, presumably solo acoustic (E Street Band member Nils Lofgren told the Rocky last week that the band wouldn't be with Springsteen in Denver)."
'Barack Obama would cut the taxes of the guy who cut you off in traffic this morning.'
By this standard, Obama's tax plan offers tax cuts for child molesters and serial killers.
This is what happens when a candidate makes a silly charge, and the press doesn't make an issue of it. They keep repeating it and repeating it, because it's clear that there's no consequence.
"He really wanted [Kansas Gov. Kathleen] Sebelius," says one Obama insider with knowledge of the Democrat candidate's vetting process. "And if our European tour had played better here at home, she might have been the pick."
But, says the insider, the campaign's internal polling indicated what the public polling indicated -- that Obama failed in his European sojourn to build out his foreign policy credentials. "We needed the foreign policy on the bottom of the ticket more than we want to admit," says the insider.
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (News4Jax.com) - Some are questioning whether a top city leader showed favoritism when he ordered crews to help a "single woman" cope during the storm. That single woman was U.S. Rep. Corrine Brown, D- Jacksonville.
(BBC News) - In her new book, serialised in the Mail on Sunday, Carol Thatcher says she first noticed her mother's memory was failing over lunch in 2000.
She says she "almost fell off her chair" seeing her mother, 82, struggle.
Ms Thatcher also says Baroness Thatcher had to be reminded several times her husband, Sir Denis, had died.
In her book, A Swim-On Part in the Goldfish Bowl: A Memoir, she tells of how her mother's "blotting-paper brain", which had always absorbed information, began to fail eight years ago - a decade after leaving power.
Does McCain have any poor siblings living in huts?
Two America-hating statements in a single day.
Now, if you aren't old enough recall that phrase, "the best and brightest", it has a history in American politics -- it was used to describe the Ivy League advisors to JFK during the era liberals like to call "Camelot", and here is their legacy:
•It was the holdover Kennedy foreign policy team -- "the best and brightest" -- that micromanaged the Vietnam War from their desks in Washington, ignoring the advice of the commanders in the field... with disastrous results.
•The "best and brightest" re-emerged during the Carter years; older, but none the wiser. They appeased the Soviets, decimated our intelligence agencies -- as well as the military and its readiness -- and gave away the Panama Canal. They turned Iran from an ally to the enemy that still troubles us today.
•These old fogies reappeared in the Clinton years, Sleepy Warren Christopher among them. Citing the "Peace Dividend" following the collapse of the Evil Empire, they weakened the military Ronald Reagan rebuilt. They ignored the threat of terrorism, electing to criminalize it rather than fight it. Hello, 9/11.
They have been an utter catastrophe for American security, and yet Lord Obama wants to re-inflict them upon us. Their best has never been good enough, and they're far from bright. So this time, folks, let's just pass.
Read the Background Material on the Morning Update...
• Reuters: Obama Vows "Best and Brightest" Foreign Policy Team
Sunday, August 24, 2008
Real Clear Politics
WASHINGTON -- Barack Obama has made his economic thinking excruciatingly clear, so it also is clear that his running mate should have been not Joe Biden, but Rumpelstiltskin. He spun straw into gold, a skill an Obama administration will need in order to fulfill its fairy-tale promises.
“Once Russia invaded Georgia I would have bet it would be Sen. Biden,” Mr. Edwards said by phone Saturday afternoon.
The Waco congressman kept so mum during two months of secret vetting that Washington’s pundit class never believed he was a serious contender — until Friday, when the Obama team finally let slip that he’d been thoroughly vetted, and it became clear he was rejected only at the last stage.
But more than a lack of buzz, Mr. Edwards blamed Russia’s aggression and another surprise development for dooming his shot at the vice presidency: the peccadilloes of a similarly named politician, John Edwards.
But after today's Obama-Biden speeches to a massive crowd in Springfield, Ill., many reporters are rolling back the tape and asking each other, "Did he really say that?"
When introducing his running mate, Obama said, "So let me introduce to you the next president - the next vice president of the US of America, Joe Biden."
And then when it was Biden's turn to speak, the Delaware senator called the presumptive Democratic nominee "Barack America" instead of Barack Obama.
Saturday, August 23, 2008
Let us count the ways...
In picking Sen. Joe Biden to be his running mate, Barack Obama sought to shore up his weakness — inexperience in office and on foreign policy — rather than underscore his strength as a new-generation candidate defying political conventions.
He picked a 35-year veteran of the Senate — the ultimate insider — rather than a candidate from outside Washington, such as Govs. Tim Kaine of Virginia or Kathleen Sebelius of Kansas; or from outside his party, such as Sen. Chuck Hagel of Nebraska; or from outside the mostly white male club of vice presidential candidates. Hillary Rodham Clinton didn't even make his short list.
The picks say something profound about Obama: For all his self-confidence, the 47-year-old Illinois senator worried that he couldn't beat Republican John McCain without help from a seasoned politician willing to attack. The Biden selection is the next logistical step in an Obama campaign that has become more negative — a strategic decision that may be necessary but threatens to run counter to his image.
Former rival Hillary Rodham Clinton, an also-ran in Obama's search for a vice presidential choice, called Biden "an exceptionally strong, experienced leader and devoted public servant." Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said the Obama-Biden ticket will bring the change the country needs, including a filibuster-proof Senate majority.
The campaign of Republican rival John McCain wasted no time, immediately producing an ad featuring Biden's previous praise for McCain and comments critical of Obama from an ABC News interview last year. Biden had said he stood by an earlier statement that Obama wasn't yet ready to be president and "the presidency is not something that lends itself to on-the-job training."
The loquacious Delaware senator brings more than verbiage to Obama's side. Biden is a foreign policy heavyweight with a decade longer in the Senate than the seasoned Republican presidential candidate, John McCain. That's almost three more decades of experience than his new boss.
In Washington, Biden, 65, is known as a collegial figure even when he's competitive—one who can spin flowery praise one moment and biting fulmination the next.
Obama picks Biden for veep
Biden, 65, is a veteran of more than three decades in the Senate, and one of his party's leading experts on foreign policy, an area in which polls indicate Obama needs help in his race against Republican rival John McCain.
The official who spoke did so on condition of anonymity, saying they did not want to pre-empt a text-message announcement the Obama campaign promised for Saturday morning.
Friday, August 22, 2008
Real Clear Politics
It would be hard to make a better case against a Barack Obama presidency than the one Obama has made in his own words. The most memorable thing about Obama's speeches is not generally what he says, but rather how large and enthusiastic the audiences are. If voters pay attention only to the symbolism and get caught up in the excitement of the Obamessiah and his throngs of fainting disciples, he stands a good chance of winning in November. If voters pay attention instead to the things Obama is saying, the case against an Obama presidency will be clear.
Obama's youthful appearance is often cited as one of his biggest assets, but when he opens his mouth he doesn't always come off as presidential or even particularly intelligent. The political figure who perhaps has received the most ridicule in the past twenty years is Dan Quayle (due largely to a misspelled word on a flashcard he read during an appearance at a school). I wonder how much more grief would have been heaped on Vice President Quayle if he had made any of the following gaffes committed by Barack Obama (from Michelle Malkin)...
National Review Online
CNN sees activity at (Joe) Biden's house.
A plane flew from Midway in Chicago to New Castle, Delaware this evening, landing at 7:33 p.m. eastern.
The Weekly Standard says it's Biden. Other networks are saying it's not Bayh or Kaine.
If accurate, this is interesting. I can't recall a running mate who immediately before being selected told reporters, "I'm not the guy." Unless Team Obama told him he was out, and then changed their mind, Biden began his role as Obama's running mate by lying to the press. I realize he's in a tough spot, probably sworn to secrecy, but most figures in his position in the past have offered evasive or coy responses— "You'll have to wait for the text message," "I've got nothing new to tell you," or "you know, I hear Tim Kaine's lawn is a lot nicer." Instead, Biden said he wasn't the choice. (He later adjusted his response to a more appropriately evasive, "I haven't talked to anyone.")
I wonder if any other journalists feel like Biden crossed the line by giving a flat denial when he presumably knew he was still under consideration.
Ed and Hugh object, with the latter noting Obama "ignores how those structures were assembled, the source and conditions of the labor, the lack of pollution controls in Beijing and throughout China, the many complaints that Chinese infrastructure outside the Olympics zone remains shoddy, the recent record of Chinese manufacturing scandals, including the heparin fiasco which killed many Americans, and of course the catastrophe brought about by Chinese building standards in the region rocked by the recent earthquake."
But beyond that, let's look at Obama's examples of Chinese excellence...
Now it appears the misery has spread to older kids. Community colleges across the nation are running out of teachers and out of room as enrollments are exploding, and the reason for that is the parents are demanding their children attend these lowly "community colleges," instead of sending them off to the more expensive institutions of higher learning.
The plight of one victim -- a 19-year old girl in Virginia, totally innocent -- illustrates the horror. Her parents had a $20,000 college fund set up for her, but the value fell in today's economy. So, rather than take student loans, her parents are shipping her off to community college. Her mother -- her selfish mother -- said: "We're approaching retirement... I don't want to get heavily in debt."
My friends, I am pleading with you all. Think very carefully about what you're doing here. The children are our future, the hope of humanity. What kind of a message are we sending them with all of this selfishness?
Read the Background Material on the Morning Update...
• AP: Weak Economy Spurs Growth for Community Colleges
Thursday, August 21, 2008
Kenneth Vogel comes up with the answer at Politico that eluded John McCain in his earlier interview. The actual number of houses owned by McCain is … zero. That’s right — the Senator doesn’t own a single property in his own name...
The cloak of media invisibility is slowly beginning to lift from Barack Obama's most important administrative leadership experience, helming an expensive educational reform effort in Chicago that failed to produce any measurable academic gains, according to the project's own final report.
Add in the fact that former Weatherman and admitted terrorist William Ayers (whom Obama described in the Philadelphia debate as merely a "neighbor") was head of the operating arm of the CAC, working with Obama on distributing scores of millions of dollars to grantees in the wards of the city, and you have a topic that the Obama campaign wishes to avoid at all costs.
A compliant media has averted its eyes so far. A timeline of Obama's career from George Washington University omits it. Why the McCain campaign has not raised more questions on the subject is a question beyond my pay grade. But there are signs it is on the case.