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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.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Can Congress Fix A Problem It Caused?

By Thomas Sowell
IBD Editorials

Nothing could more painfully demonstrate what is wrong with Congress than the current financial crisis.

Among the congressional "leaders" invited to the White House to devise a bailout "solution" are the very people who have for years created the risks that have come home to roost.

Five years ago, Barney Frank vouched for the "soundness" of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and said "I do not see" any "possibility of serious financial losses to the Treasury."

Moreover, he said the federal government has "probably done too little rather than too much to push them to meet the goals of affordable housing."

Earlier this year, Sen. Chris Dodd praised Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac for "riding to the rescue" when other financial institutions were cutting back on mortgage loans. He too said they "need to do more" to help subprime borrowers get better loans.

In other words, Rep. Frank and Sen. Dodd wanted government to push financial institutions to lend to people they wouldn't lend to otherwise, because of the risk of default.

The idea that politicians can assess risks better than people who've spent their whole careers doing so is so obviously absurd that no one should take it seriously.

Congress: Please Stay Home

(By Randall Hoven, American Thinker) - I'm going to go out on a limb and make an economic prediction: if there is no bailout, the economy will keep muddling along without even entering a formal recession. The Dow will stay comfortably above 10,000 and real GDP growth will stay positive.

Drudge has posted two significant articles. The first from CNN explains that there is no catastrophe and that we should do nothing but let the companies that screwed up go bankrupt, and then fix what government broke in the first place, primarily Fannie and Freddie.

The second article from the National Post points out why we should be fighting the bailout tooth and nail. It reminds us that the fifth point in Karl Marx's Communist Manifesto was the "centralization of credit in the banks of the state, by means of a national bank with state capital and an exclusive monopoly."

Singing the new Gospel of the New Messiah; Update: NBC chief behind the effort?


(By Ed Morrissey, Hot Air) - I’m a little sick of the idea of using children to promote political positions and especially candidates, so I’m inclined to look at this kind of effort with a jaundiced eye under any circumstances. However, this video seems even creepier than most. Sing for Change brags about getting 22 children from 5-12 to regurgitate some execrable lyrics as though they had the first clue about the topic of the songs...

VIDEO: Obama Kids Sing for Dear Leader...

New McCain ad: Hey, you know who else blames Democrats for the mortgage mess?

(Hot Air) - Starring America’s favorite newly minted right-leaning independent. Viscerally enjoyable, although Obama’s led in the polls on the economy for so long that I wonder if he and the Dems aren’t bulletproof to charges like this by now. In fact, this plays more like a congressional ad than a presidential one, with The One making a brief cameo in his accustomed role: “Notably silent,” out of harm’s way, careful not to commit to a position too strongly lest it complicate life for him down the road. Which may explain why he didn’t phone a single House Democrat yesterday to push them to vote for the bailout he allegedly supports.

Democrat Leaders Played to Lose

(Washington Prowler) - House Speaker Nancy Pelosi ordered her Majority Whip, Jim Clyburn, to essentially not do his job in the runup to the vote on Monday for the negotiated Wall Street bailout plan, according to House Democrat leadership aides.

"Clyburn was not whipping the votes you would have expected him to, in part because he was uncomfortable doing it, in part because we didn't want the push for votes to be successful," says one leadership aide. "All we needed was enough to potentially get us over the finish line, but we wanted the Republicans to be the ones to do it. This was not going to be a Democrat-passed bill if the Speaker had anything to say about it."...

...Further, according to House Oversight Committee staff, [Rahm] Emanuel has received assurances from Pelosi that she will not allow what he termed a "witch hunt" to take place during the next Congressional session over the role Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac played in the economic crisis.

Emanuel apparently is concerned the roles former Clinton Administration members may have played in the mortgage industry collapse could be politically -- or worse, if the Department of Justice had its way, legally -- treacherous for many.

Video: Where was Dodd during the Fannie Mae collapse?

(By Ed Morrissey, Hot Air) - At least one media outlet wonders where Chris Dodd went while Fannie Mae went belly-up on its binge of bad mortgage paper. Unfortunately, that curiosity is limited to Fox News Channel, which almost guarantees that other mainstream media outlets won’t cover it. While Al Hubbard tends to lay all of the blame off on Democrats, when Republicans had plenty of time to act as well, at least he’s directing the spotlight where it really belongs...

Young voters, homeless targeted in Ohio's election

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Democrat Barack Obama's presidential campaign blitzed bars and advocates for the homeless have lined up vans to ferry potential voters from shelters.

The prize could be thousands of traditionally elusive voters in hard-fought Ohio who would have the chance to register and vote on the same day — if the courts don't intervene.

One-stop voting, scheduled for Tuesday through Oct. 6, would be especially convenient for those Democratic-leaning voters who have traditionally had trouble getting to the polls. It's a reality not lost on two parties locked in a tight race four years after President Bush's 118,000-vote victory in Ohio gave him a second term.

The Price Is (Always) Right

(By John Hood, Carolina Journal Online) - The public has been poorly served by its elected representatives, by individuals who exhibit little understanding of economic realities.

The Fix Is In

By Glenn Reynolds
Instapundit.com

A READER AT A MAJOR NEWSROOM EMAILS:


"Off the record, every suspicion you have about MSM being in the tank for O is true. We have a team of 4 people going thru dumpsters in Alaska and 4 in arizona. Not a single one looking into Acorn, Ayers or Freddiemae. Editor refuses to publish anything that would jeopardize election for O, and betting you dollars to donuts same is true at NYT, others. People cheer when CNN or NBC run another Palin-mocking but raising any reasonable inquiry into obama is derided or flat out ignored. The fix is in, and its working."

I asked permission to reprint without attribution and it was granted.

UPDATE: The Anchoress hears similar things. And reader Eric Schubert: "The Edwards debacle was proof enough of where the heart of the MSM lies, and lack of curiousity of the press about Edwards probably cost Hillary the nomination. And that shameful episode offers a warning to the MSM. What if Obama does have a skeleton in his closet (such as a shady deal or outright bribe) that is revealed after he wins the election? While the chance of this scenario is remote, imagine the backlash against the MSM if it could be shown that a reasonable investigation by the MSM would have easily revealed this secret to the public prior to the election?"

ANOTHER UPDATE: Rand Simberg isn't so sure: "Where was the backlash against this about Bill Clinton in 1992? They just seem to continue to get away with it." Well, yes and no. Their reputation and readership/viewership keep falling. And layoffs keep happening. I think they're willing to pull out all the stops because they realize this is the last election where they have a chance at swinging things this way. No point saving your credibility for the future when you don't have a future, I guess . . . .

Rush Limbaugh's Morning Update: Apology

Well, with so much focus on the $700 billion bailout boondoggle, you may have missed a rare event: a Drive-By Media apology.

At issue? A column by Drive-By journalist Heather Mallick after the Republican convention, posted on the Canadian Broadcast Corporation website. Ms. Mallick wrote that Sarah Palin looked like a "porn actress" and was chosen to appease the Party's "unlettered," "white trash" base -- "the hick vote." She claimed red states vote Republican "to give themselves the only self-esteem available to their broken, economically abused existence."

And that was mild! Ms. Mallick went on to say that Gov. Palin "isn't even female really," attacking her as "vicious and profoundly dishonest." Then came the smears on the rest of the Palin family. Daughter Bristol was called a "pramface"; Mallick described Bristol's boyfriend an "f-in' redneck." Even Palin's army son Track wasn't spared -- Mallick claimed that he is "terrified" as he heads to Iraq.

There was more , and it was equally vile. After 300 complaints, the Canadian broadcaster apologized: "Mallick's column is a classic piece of political invective. [Because] it is viciously personal, grossly hyperbolic, and intensely partisan... this column should not have appeared on the CBCNews.ca site." They put new editing procedures in place to keep this stuff under wraps. (They say.)

But this is exactly what you Drive-Bys believe! You know it, and I know it. So why hide this stuff? Why apologize? Just be who you are -- unapologetically! For once!

Read the Background Material on the Morning Update...
National Post: CBC News Apologizes for Web Column Attacking Palin

Monday, September 29, 2008

Red flag rising

From 1813 to 1907, the U.S. dollar appreciated in value. What cost one dollar in 1813 cost only 48 cents in 1907. In 1913, the Federal Reserve was formed, ostensibly to provide financial stability and "fight inflation." Since then, the value of a dollar has all but vanished, as what cost one dollar in 1913 cost $20.73 in 2007; the dollar has lost 95.2 percent of its value under management of the Fed.

But at least the central bankers are keeping the financial system stable, right? Hardly. Although the Drudge Report is again reporting that the Paulson plan is on go-ahead, this time with some added provisions that are supposed to make the deal more palatable to American politicians, if not American taxpayers, the reality is that whatever is being done almost surely will not avert the coming economic cataclysm for long. This injection of liquidity into the system may alleviate the symptoms temporarily, but since the core problem was caused by excess liquidity in the first place, it cannot possibly be the solution. Still, a crash tomorrow is arguably better than a crash today; it's understandable if the politicians facing re-election in five weeks time would rather not face an electorate more in the mood for pitchforks than polls.


Vox Day

The only thing the Congress should be doing about this is sitting on its hands. Let these idiot bankers who made all these dumbass loans fail. They deserve it, and it's healthy for the financial system. This bailout is like going through your corn crop and cutting down everything but the plants that are full of worms and rot. Whichever CEOs and directors decided to make policy based on providing loans to people who have no business getting loans should end up destitute. In fact, I sincerely hope every single one of them ends up living under a freeway overpass somewhere with everything they own in a shopping cart.

But no, the Republicrats and the Demopublicans will bail their banker buddies out somehow. Hide and watch it happen.

O'S DANGEROUS PALS

By STANLEY KURTZ
New York Post

WHAT exactly does a "community organizer" do? Barack Obama's rise has left many Americans asking themselves that question. Here's a big part of the answer: Community organizers intimidate banks into making high-risk loans to customers with poor credit.

In the name of fairness to minorities, community organizers occupy private offices, chant inside bank lobbies, and confront executives at their homes - and thereby force financial institutions to direct hundreds of millions of dollars in mortgages to low-credit customers.

In other words, community organizers help to undermine the US economy by pushing the banking system into a sinkhole of bad loans. And Obama has spent years training and funding the organizers who do it.

Scaling Down

(By Jay Nordlinger, National Review Online) - Wanted to share with you an arresting letter from a friend:

Just thought I’d send some thoughts from small-business America. My husband’s business is a canary in the coalmine. When tax policies are favorable to business, he hires more guys, buys more goods, etc. When he is taxed more heavily, he fires people, doesn’t buy anything new, etc. Well, duh. So, at the mere thought of a President Obama, he has paid off his debt, canceled new spending, and jotted a list of whom to “let go.”

The first of the guys will get the news tomorrow. And these are not minimum-wage earners. These are “rich” guys, making between $200,000 and $250,000 a year.

My husband will make sure that we’re okay, money-wise, but he won’t give himself a paycheck that will just be sent to Washington. He’ll make sure that he’s not in “rich guy” tax territory. So, he will not spend his money, not show a profit, and scale his workforce down to the bare minimum.

Multiply this scenario across the country and you’ll see the Obama effect: unemployment, recession, etc. No business owner will vote for this man, but many a “middle-class worker” will vote himself out of a job. Sad the Republican can’t articulate this.

I’ll say. But she did, didn’t she?

The End of the U.S. Financial System as We Know It?

(By Larry Kudlow, National Review Online) - A number of Republican House members and staff, along with others who are plugged in, are telling me that Nancy Pelosi and the Democrats will come back with a new bill that includes all the left-wing stuff that was scrubbed from the bill that was defeated today in the House.

As this scenario goes, the House Democrats need 218 votes, and they have to pick up a number of black and Hispanic House members who jumped ship because the Wall Street provisions, in their view, were too benign. So things like the bankruptcy judges setting mortgage terms and rates, the ACORN slush-fund spending, the union proxy for corporate boards, stricter limits on executive compensation, and much larger equity ownership of selling banks through warrants will all find itself back in the new bill. Of course, this scenario will lose more Republican votes. But insiders tell me President Bush will take Secretary Paulson’s advice and sign that kind of legislation.

Personally, if this scenario plays out, I would probably withdraw my support for the rescue mission and switch to plan B, which would center on the FDIC and its bank-recapitalization powers. The bank-ownership issue, in particular, could lead to heavy nationalization of America’s financial system with a three-house Democratic sweep in November.

I’m not forecasting, because I don’t know the next bill’s content. And while McCain’s polls are heading south, he could still win. But a three-house Dem sweep to implement some of the very onerous provisions being talked about could set up the end of the U.S. financial system as we know it.

I’m gonna wait and see. Obviously, the financial markets are in total collapse today. And the economic outlook is suffering.

Tough day. One of the worst I can remember.

Obama, ACORN, and the Current Crisis

(Weekly Standard) - The extent to which Rep. Barney Frank, Sen. Chris Dodd, Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid, and Barack Obama himself are avoiding blame for this crisis despite symbiotic relationships with those who caused it is truly amazing.

The nerve with which they hold forth about "unbridled capitalism" and "deregulation" while conveniently forgetting their culpability in government interference in the market, which first pressured banks (via Community Reinvestment Act) and then incentivized banks (via Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac) to make risky loans to people with troubled credit history.

Obama has been heavily involved with a certain group of community organizers that encouraged such behavior since the very beginning of his career— ACORN. I'm going to pull out a little bit of Stanley Kurtz's piece on this connection, but read the whole thing. The details are devastating, even if you know the basic outline already:

[Prominent Chicago ACORN activist Madeline] Talbott continued her effort to, as she put it, drag banks "kicking and screaming" into high-risk loans. A September 1993 story in The Chicago Sun-Times presents her as the leader of an initiative in which five area financial institutions (including two of her former targets, now plainly cowed - Bell Federal Savings and Avondale Federal Savings) were "participating in a $55 million national pilot program with affordable-housing group ACORN to make mortgages for low- and moderate-income people with troubled credit histories."

What made this program different from others, the paper added, was the participation of Fannie Mae - which had agreed to buy up the loans. "If this pilot program works," crowed Talbott, "it will send a message to the lending community that it's OK to make these kind of loans."

Well, the pilot program "worked," and Fannie Mae's message that risky loans to minorities were "OK" was sent. The rest is financial-meltdown history.

IT would be tough to find an "on the ground" community organizer more closely tied to the subprime-mortgage fiasco than Madeline Talbott. And no one has been more supportive of Madeline Talbott than Barack Obama.

Breaking: Bailout bill fails, Dow roller-coasters

(By Ed Morrissey, Hot Air) - This has to be considered a shocker. The bailout bill failed in the House, and it wasn’t especially close. The final tally was 207-226, with Democrats supporting it 141-94, while Republicans opposed it 66-132.

How did the markets react? Initially, with panic. Dow dropped from around a -290 to more like a -660, but then recovered within minutes to a -400. Within a few minutes after that, it rose a little further to about -360, a 300-point gain, but it continued to go up and down, and probably will all day long.

What does this mean? The Senate can always initiate their own version of the plan and re-send it to the House, but that will take some doing. Can Republicans change their votes after taking this kind of stand?

If it stands, it will be a repudiation of the leadership in both House caucuses and the Bush administration. Pelosi couldn’t hold her caucus together, and Boehner, Cantor, Blunt, and Putnam will find themselves in the minority of theirs.

Obama sought rape victim for ad

(Politico) - Barack Obama's campaign earlier this month sought to find a rape victim to appear in a campaign commercial, according to an email obtained by Politico.

Kiersten Steward, director of public policy at the Family Violence Prevention Fund, served as a conduit between the campaign and victims and women's advocates.

"Obviously, this is a big ask and I haven’t seen a script but presumably it will be a brief this is what happened to me, we need someone who will fight for women like me, these are the guys to do it," Steward wrote in a September 15th email. "Again, that’s just my assumption given how these things usually go."

Steward, a former top aide to Rep. Maurice Hinchey (D-NY), said the Obama campaign would have a crew in Washington and was hoping to film that week.

She didn't respond to a message.

A peak deal is in view for N.C. - it will pay $12 million to buy Grandfather Mountain

LINVILLE (Winston-Salem Journal) - North Carolina will buy Grandfather Mountain and its about 2,600 acres of backcountry wilderness, preserving one of the state's natural treasures.

Gov. Mike Easley and family members of the late Hugh Morton are expected to announce the purchase today.

The $12 million deal will not include state ownership of the 600-acre tourist attraction that includes the Mile High Swinging Bridge, the nature museum and animal habitat, but North Carolina will have a conservation easement on that land. The agreement ensures that the scenic attraction will continue and can't be developed for other use.

Running Out the Clock on Obama—Ayers

(By Peter Kirsanow, National Review Online) - It's been nearly a week since Stanley Kurtz presented evidence that Sen. Obama has seriously misrepresented his relationship with William Ayers, yet there's no indication that news organizations are pressing the candidate for an explanation.

Among other things, Stanley shows that it's reasonable to conclude that Ayers selected Obama, then a " young and inexperienced lawyer", to chair the Chicago Annenberg Challenge. There, Obama and Ayers directed substantial sums of money to radical organizations (see Stanley's article today via the web briefing).

A few years later, Obama launched his political career at a gathering at Ayers home. The Ayers-Obama relationship certainly appears to be more like a mentor—protégé relationship than it does Obama's description of a random acquaintance of two guys who happen to live in the same neighborhood.

Perhaps the media were too preoccupied with the bail-out last week to follow up on the Ayers story. Is no journalist interested in the relationship between a presidential candidate and a terrorist?

The Bailout Follies: Taxpayers Will Be Forced to Buy the Bad Debt of LOCAL GOVERNMENTS

(By Andy McCarthy, National Review Online) - Orwell must be having a good laugh today. Nancy Pelosi yesterday released a summary of the bailout. Under the heading of "Protection for Taxpayers ..." Madame Speaker includes this whopper (my italics): The scheme "[a]llows the government to purchase troubled assets from pension plans, local governments, and small banks that serve low- and middle-income families."

So in addition to rewarding irresponsible lenders and borrowers, we taxpayers are now to be "protected" by buying the toxic debt of states, cities and municipalities. It's one thing to throw a life-line to the credit industry; local governments, by contrast, have the ability to cut spending drastically or raise taxes if their inhabitants want government services. Elected politicians are then accountable for runaway spending and mismanagement. If Detroit or Chicago is sinking because of big-government policies, that's what the citizens of those cities asked for by voting for Democrats year in and year out. Why should the rest of us be on the hook for that?

Basically, the agreement struck over the weekend with key participation from many of the guiltiest politicos provides no mechanism for valuing the debt that Americans are being asked to assume; places few meaningful limits on the public/private recklessness we will be forced to underwrite; would go into effect right before an election which, if Obama wins, would turn management of the bailout over to a new, big-government administration; and protects not the taxpayers but the defaulters to whom Democrats compelled the banks to extend credit beginning in the nineties (lighting the fuse for today's big bang), while responsible borrowers are denied what would otherwise be available credit and a more honest housing market.

Other than that, it's a great deal.

THE MELTDOWN'S ACORN

(New York Post) - As Congress slogged toward an apparent financial-market rescue bill over the weekend, the time arrived for a closer look at the roots of the crisis.

Who were the culprits?

Many and varied.

But as Election Day grows ever nearer, the role of one candidate in particular stands out: that of Barack Obama.

10 Surprising Health Benefits of Sex

The health benefits of sex extend well beyond the bedroom. Turns out sex is good for you in ways you may never have imagined.

(WebMD) - When you're in the mood, it's a sure bet that the last thing on your mind is boosting your immune system or maintaining a healthy weight. Yet good sex offers those health benefits and more.

That's a surprise to many people, says Joy Davidson, PhD, a New York psychologist and sex therapist. "Of course, sex is everywhere in the media," she says. "But the idea that we are vital, sexual creatures is still looked at in some cases with disgust or in other cases a bit of embarrassment. So to really take a look at how our sexuality adds to our life and enhances our life and our health, both physical and psychological, is eye-opening for many people."

Sex does a body good in a number of ways, according to Davidson and other experts. The benefits aren't just anecdotal or hearsay -- each of these 10 health benefits of sex is backed by scientific scrutiny.

Video: The pork stylings of Joe Biden

(By Ed Morrissey, Hot Air) - Joe Biden has had a good time talking about the Bridge to Nowhere, and so far the mainstream media has been happy to repeat his attacks on Sarah Palin for her initial support for the Ketchikan bridge before opposing it as governor. However, CNN finally reports on the support this bridge received from both Biden and Barack Obama, and goes one better. They report on Biden’s pork record, including a project that CNN calls The Bridge to Two Nowheres:

Video: Democrats insist “nothing wrong” at Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac in 2004

(By Ed Morrissey, Hot Air) - By 2004, all of the elements of the current financial collapse had been in place for several years. The aggressive approach to enforcing the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) started under Bill Clinton in 1998, and the seemingly endless appetite for paper by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac had turned massive amounts of bad loans into mortgage-backed securities to spread their cancer throughout the system. In 2004, a year after the Bush administration tried to tighten regulation and oversight on Fannie and Freddie, Congress was told yet again that disaster loomed. The Democratic response is instructive to seeing who really sat back and allowed this collapse to occur (via Power Line):

Media Mum on Barney Frank's Fannie Mae Love Connection

Democratic House Financial Services Committee Chair promoted GSEs while former 'spouse' was Fannie Mae executive.

(By Jeff Poor, Business & Media Institute) - Are journalists playing favorites with some of the key political figures involved with regulatory oversight of U.S. financial markets?

MSNBC’s Chris Matthews launched several vitriolic attacks on the Republican Party on his Sept. 17, 2008, show, suggesting blame for Wall Street problems should be focused in a partisan way. However, he and other media have failed to thoroughly examine the Democratic side of the blame game.

Prominent Democrats ran Fannie Mae, the same government-sponsored enterprise (GSE) that donated campaign cash to top Democrats. And one of Fannie Mae’s main defenders in the House – Rep. Barney Frank, D-Mass., a recipient of more than $40,000 in campaign donations from Fannie since 1989 – was once romantically involved with a Fannie Mae executive.

MINDLESS GAME

(Washington Prowler) - Sen. Barack Obama and his debate prep team were surprised that Sen. John McCain remained calm and collected during the debate. Obama's continual references to "John," while McCain referred to Obama as "Senator," was intended to needle McCain's patience in hopes for a flash of McCain infamous temper. But McCain was, according to campaign advisers, ready for the needle and didn't take the bait.

Room Service

DROP-BY DEMOCRATS

(Washington Prowler) - Secretary of the Treasury Henry Paulson allowed his staff to let Sen. Chuck Schumer, among others, into the negotiating room over objections from the Republican negotiators also sitting there, Sen. Judd Gregg and House Minority Whip Roy Blunt.

As part of the agreement in setting up the negotiations taking place in the Capitol office Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, there would be four negotiators present in the room. But by late Saturday afternoon, Democrats had broken that agreement, sending Schumer, Senate Budget Committee Chairman Kent Conrad, Sen. Max Baucus, and Sen. Jack Reed in and out of the negotiations. Reed, especially, was, according to a Treasury aide, a vocal participant in the negotiations, at one point shouting down Blunt.

Overshadowing the negotiations was Sen. John McCain, who had convened an emergency meeting of economic advisers and surrogates at his Arlington, Virginia national headquarters, and from there was making calls to mostly conservative members of the House caucus, measuring their willingness to back a compromise Wall Street bailout proposal.

Oddly -- at least from the Bush Administration perspective -- Democrats were insistent that Treasury Secretary Paulson remain at the helm of whatever funding/bailout entity was formed by the negotiations and legislation. Meanwhile, Republicans, led by McCain, were said to be proposing an independent chief of the bailout entity.

"It would have to be someone the American people could trust to do the right thing, protect their interests, not mismanage the fund, and reaffirm trust in the market," says a Senate leadership aide.

The idea of an "honest broker," as it were, was floated initially by the McCain campaign late Saturday, according to a knowledgeable Treasury aide, and was quickly opposed by Paulson and the Democrats.

Citigroup to buy Wachovia banking operations

Citigroup will buy Wachovia's banking operations; FDIC says Wachovia didn't fail

NEW YORK (AP) - Citigroup Inc. will acquire the banking operations of Wachovia Corp., one of the nation's largest banks, in a deal facilitated by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.

Citigroup will absorb up to $42 billion of losses in the deal, with the FDIC covering any remaining losses, the government agency said Monday. Citigroup also will grant the FDIC $12 billion in preferred stock and warrants.

The FDIC asserted that Wachovia didn't fail, and that all depositors are protected and there will be no cost to the Deposit Insurance Fund.

Rush Limbaugh's Morning Update: Civil Idiocy

My friends, we have arrived at a potentially dangerous crossroads in the global warming hoax. Speaking at Bill Clinton's "Global Initiative" last week, former Vice President Algore said, "If you're a young person looking at the future of this planet and looking at what is being done right now... and not done... I believe we have reached the stage where it is time for civil disobedience to prevent the construction of new coal plants that do not have carbon capture and sequestration." His remarks were met with enthusiastic applause.

Now, there are 28 coal plants under construction in America, with another 20 permitted to begin construction pretty soon. Our nation's economic vitality and future depends on increasing -- not decreasing -- our supply of energy.

In addition, eco-terrorism is a real threat to our national security. It's already cost millions of dollars in property damage and lives, and requires significant law enforcement resources to combat. The anarchist movement is populated with the same kind of kook, fringe, violent nut-jobs that Algore is now inciting.

To placate disciples of Al Gore's global warming hoax, millions in the Third World face hunger and starvation from the soaring food prices -- a direct result of crops being used for bio-fuels. Riots have erupted worldwide, people have died, and now Gore wants to unleash an even greater wave of lawlessness and domestic terrorism? I mean, debate is one thing, but this decision to play with lives and private property to satisfy his megalomaniacal ego... when the earth is probably cooling because of sun activity, anyway? It's amazing.

Read the Background Material on the Morning Update...
Reuters: Gore Urges Civil Disobedience to Stop Coal Plants

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Missouri governor goes nuclear on Obama for using prosecutors on campaign “truth squad”

(Hot Air) - Oh, now. Would people really refrain from criticizing Obama just because they fear being, er, sent to prison for it?

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

More at the link. Needless to say, no one actually has to be prosecuted for this to work. Prosecution will be impossible anyway in most cases thanks to the First Amendment. The point isn’t to jail critics but merely to price the cost of prospective litigation into their decision on whether to publicly criticize The One. Add this to the threatening letters his lawyers sent to station managers over the NRA ads, the flash-mob smearing of David Freddoso, and the appeal to the Justice Department to prosecute the American Issues Project for its perfectly factual yet devastating Ayers ad. Oh, the fun we’ll have with a deep blue Congress and an Obama-run DOJ and FCC. He promised you a “new type of politics,” didn’t he?

Saturday, September 27, 2008

The 'long run' arrives

The reality is that the American financial system is not a free market, and it is not even remotely capitalist. It is actually a parasitical system in which the financial elite prey upon the capitalists by virtue of having purchased political approval for their predation. Moody reported that financial services firms earned more than one-quarter of total corporate profits in 2007 – 27.4 percent, to be precise. They did not earn these profits through producing anything or from making business operations more efficient; they obtained it from behaving rather like pirates pillaging passing trade vessels.

Vox Day

In looking back on what a complete and utter disaster George W. Bush has been for the American Conservative movement, I don't believe that even the debacle in Iraq compares to the financial and economic morass he is creating in his desperate attempts to preserve his legacy, such as it is.

Candidates Accuse Each Other of Recklessness on Economy, Military

(Fox News) - John McCain explicitly portrayed Barack Obama as “dangerous” and “naive” on the world stage Friday, in a tense and wide-ranging debate that focused as much on the economy as it did on foreign policy.

Obama, meanwhile, repeatedly accused his rival of being President Bush’s protege, dismissing him as out-of-touch with the working class and simply mistaken on the Iraq war.

Both candidates used their first presidential debate, held at the University of Mississippi, to cast each other as reckless and unsteady at a critical time in American history.

Screen Legend Paul Newman Dies at 83 of Cancer

NEW HAVEN, Conn. (Fox News) — Paul Newman, the Academy-Award winning superstar who personified cool as an activist, race car driver, popcorn impresario and the anti-hero of such films as "Hud," "Cool Hand Luke" and "The Color of Money," has died. He was 83.

Newman died Friday after a long battle with cancer at his farmhouse near Westport, publicist Jeff Sanderson said. He was surrounded by his family and close friends.

In May, Newman had dropped plans to direct a fall production of "Of Mice and Men," citing unspecified health issues.

In August, he finished chemotherapy and told his family he wanted to die at home. He was given only weeks to live.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Missouri Prosecutors, Sheriffs 'Target Anyone Who Lies' About Barack Obama

(By Jim Geraghty, National Review Online) - A St. Louis television station reports — their words — "The Barack Obama campaign is asking Missouri law enforcement to target anyone who lies or runs a misleading TV ad during the presidential campaign."

Prosecutors and sheriffs from across Missouri are joining "The Barack Obama Truth Squad."

They mention Jennifer Joyce, St. Louis Circuit Attorney and Bob McCullough, prosecutor for St. Louis County in Missouri.

The reporter says, "They will be reminding voters that Barack Obama is a Christian who wants to cut taxes for anyone making less than $250,000 a year."

While the report never quite comes out and says that anyone running an ad saying those things would be subject to prosecution, that certainly is the message implied.

Not all things that are wrong are illegal. Saying that Barack Obama is a Muslim is wrong, but it does not warrant prosecution by the state.

Found Footage: Sarah Palin's 1984 Miss Alaska Pageant Video, Swimsuit Competition

Who’s that girl?

(Waxy.org) - Somehow, a 22-year-old University of Alaska student named Richard Millay got his hands on a videotape that's eluded the media since John McCain asked Sarah Palin to be his running-mate — original footage of her 1984 Miss Alaska Pageant.

Of course, this is all very frivolous and has nothing to do with the current campaign. But like Barack Obama's high school basketball footage, it's a little glimpse into the early life of a highly-visible national figure.

A Paulson-Cantor Plan Is a Win-Win for Taxpayers

(By Larry Kudlow, National Review Online) - The single-biggest mistake in the Paulson bank-rescue-plan marketing effort has been the failure to explain clearly how taxpayers are going to recoup $700 billion used to buy toxic assets at auction in order to unfreeze the banking system. In other words, folks don’t understand how taxpayers will be paid back, and may actually make profits, which will enable the new government debt to be erased after the Treasury bank-rescue is completed.

Chicago Commune

(INVESTOR'S BUSINESS DAILY) - Barack Obama summed up well the perversity of Democratic Party thinking when he told Fox News' Bill O'Reilly that it is "neighborliness" for Washington to hike taxes on those who are "sitting pretty."

Section 105(d) of the Bailout Must Go

(By Erick Erickson, Red State) - Here is what it says:

TRANSFER OF A PERCENTAGE OF PROFITS.

DEPOSITS.Not less than 20 percent of any profit realized on the sale of each troubled asset purchased under this Act shall be deposited as provided in paragraph (2).

USE OF DEPOSITS.Of the amount referred to in paragraph (1)

65 percent shall be deposited into the Housing Trust Fund established under section 1338 of the Federal Housing Enterprises Regulatory Reform Act of 1992 (12 U.S.C. 4568); and 35 percent shall be deposited into the Capital Magnet Fund established under section 1339 of that Act (12 U.S.C. 4569).

REMAINDER DEPOSITED IN THE TREASURY.All amounts remaining after payments under paragraph (1) shall be paid into the General Fund of the Treasury for reduction of the public debt.

Here is what it means:

The Democrats want to fund ACORN and other far left organizations -- those groups are the recipients of the funding in these programs.

This provision must be stripped from the final bill. If not, it must absolutely be opposed. We cannot afford to have the Democrats fund their interest groups with a taxpayer bailout.

McCain's Going to Debate Tonight

(Fox News) - John McCain is resuming his campaign activities and will debate Barack Obama Friday night in Mississippi, McCain’s campaign announced two days after he said he would suspend his campaign to deal with a financial rescue plan being debated in Washington.

On Skipping Tonight's Presidential Debate

If McCain is looking at the current drama on Wall Street as an opportunity to skip out on a debate w/ Obama so he can pose in Washington as a uniter — cutting through corruption or whatever — then I say, sure, just do it. But take Obama with you to the Senate floor for an unmoderated "debate" there. (Talk about real drama.)

In this day and age, someone who flies on government-owned private jets everywhere they go can be in Washington one minute and in Mississippi the next. Presidents should be able to multi-task; that means taking care of business in Washington, then making it to your next commitment to the Americans who will (or won't) be voting for your ass.

And in other news, pigs flew

(By Ed Morrissey, Hot Air) - A major media outlet slammed Barack Obama today for misleading and untruthful advertising. Was it Fox? ABC? The Washington Post? Not in this case, at least. The New York Times, which has come under fire for a series of slanted and misleading attacks on John McCain themselves, scolds Obama for misrepresenting McCain’s positions on a number of issues:

Mr. Obama began his own run of advertisements on radio and television that have matched the dubious nature of Mr. McCain’s more questionable spots.

A radio advertisement running in Wisconsin and other contested states misleadingly reports that Mr. McCain “has stood in the way of” federal financing for stem cell research; Mr. McCain did once oppose such federally supported research but broke with President Bush to consistently support it starting in 2001 (his running mate, Gov. Sarah Palin of Alaska, does not support it).

A commercial running here on Thursday morning highlighting Mr. McCain’s votes against incentives for alternative energy misleadingly asserts he supports tax breaks for “one source of energy: oil companies.” Mr. McCain’s proposed corporate tax break would cover all companies, including those developing new sources of power.

A new television advertisement playing in areas with high concentrations of elderly voters and emphasizing Mr. McCain’s support for President Bush’s failed plan for private Social Security accounts misleadingly implies Mr. McCain supported “cutting benefits in half” — an analysis of Mr. Bush’s plan that would have applied to upper-income Americans retiring in the year 2075.

A much criticized Spanish-language television advertisement wrongly links the views of Mr. McCain, who was a champion of the sweeping immigration overhaul pushed by Mr. Bush, to those of Rush Limbaugh, a harsh critic of the approach, and, frequently, of Mr. McCain.

Democrats Blame McCain for Why Their Majority Can't Find a Majority of Votes

(By Jim Geraghty, National Review Online) - ABC News' interpretation of things:

Sen. John McCain may or may not have broken the bailout bill — and surely he didn't do so all by himself.

But he owns it now.

In the battle over perceptions, it really is this simple: There was a deal before McCain came back to Washington. There was not a deal by the time the evening ended. And now there might not be a bill — or a first presidential debate Friday in Mississippi.

Wait a minute. The House Republicans were never on board. And you don't actually need their votes to pass this bill; the holdup is that the House Democrats are terrified of having sole responsibility for the bill.

What changed between yesterday afternoon and evening is that the Democrats position changed from "we're comfortable passing the bill without many House GOP votes" to "we're NOT comfortable passing the bill without many House GOP votes."

How is that John McCain's fault again?

Obama said McCain "injected presidential politics into delicate negotiations." How? By showing up to vote on legislation?

Notice that they never explain how John McCain, simply by arriving inside the Beltway, somehow broke up a consensus that was there earlier in the day. If McCain had come in and persuaded people to oppose the bill, it would be a different story. But the message of Pelosi, Reid, Dodd and Obama is, "McCain is here, so it must be his fault."

No Way, Jose!

(Fox News) - A man arrested for driving under the influence in South Charleston, West Virginia, got into a lot more trouble after he was hauled down to the police station.

José Cruz was pulled over for driving with his headlights off and then failed a series of sobriety tests. When police were fingerprinting him at the station, Cruz allegedly moved closer to one of the officers and broke wind. In the complaint, the officers say they noticed a "very strong" odor.

The stunt led Cruz to be charged with battery on an officer in addition to DUI and obstruction.

Green Thumb

(Fox News) - A $100,000 grant that then-Illinois State Senator Barack Obama awarded in 2001 to a group headed by a one-time campaign volunteer is under investigation by the Illinois attorney general.

The Chicago Sun-Times reports the grant was intended for a botanical garden in Chicago's Englewood neighborhood, but the garden was never built and the money may have been misspent. Records obtained by the Sun-Times show $65,000 of the grant went to the wife of Kenny Smith — an Obama campaign volunteer for his failed congressional run in 2000. Smith heads the Chicago Better Housing Association which was in charge of the project.

Records show Smith wrote another $20,000 in grant-related checks to a construction company that his wife created five months after work on the garden was supposed to have begun.

Trash Talking

(Fox News) - Democratic Congressman Alcee Hastings of Florida told an audience of Jewish Democrats Wednesday they should be wary of Sarah Palin because "anybody toting guns and stripping moose don't care too much about what they do with Jews and blacks."

Hastings was speaking at the National Jewish Democratic Council's annual conference. Observers say the room erupted in applause and laughter as he made the comments.

He then added, "If Sarah Palin isn't enough of a reason for you to get over whatever your problem is with Barack Obama, then you damn well had better pay attention."

Joe Biden Ad-Libs His Way Into the Headlines Again

Wrong Turn

(Fox News) - Senator Joe Biden was reading through a speech on foreign policy in Cincinnati Wednesday when he suddenly departed from his prepared text.

The Democratic vice presidential nominee criticized John McCain for opposing negotiations with Iran, saying, "After seven years... the Bush administration realized the absurdity of its own policy and sent our leading diplomat to Iran. The assistant secretary of state as he went to Tehran, sat down at the instruction of the president of the United States."

Oops.

No such meeting ever happened. There was a meeting with Iran but it was Undersecretary William Burns and it was in Switzerland — not Iran — and Burns merely sat in on discussions between Iranian representatives and other international diplomats. Burns had no negotiating role and was just an observer.

And, U.S. diplomats had previously met with Iran anyway, at a lower level in Iraq to discuss issues related to Iraq.

Just a reminder: House GOP can’t block a bailout bill

(By Ed Morrissey, Hot Air) - Speaker Nancy Pelosi has the plenary power to bring a bill to the floor of the House, and no parliamentary procedure can help a minority to block a majority will to pass it. That’s one fact that has to be remembered while Pelosi and Barney Frank blame the House GOP over the collapse of the bailout bill:

“I didn’t know I was going to be the referee for an internal G.O.P. ideological civil war,” Mr. Frank said, according to the AP Thursday, in the Roosevelt Room after the session, the Treasury secretary, Henry M. Paulson Jr., literally bent down on one knee as he pleaded with Nancy Pelosi, the House Speaker, not to “blow it up” by withdrawing her party’s support for the package over what Ms. Pelosi derided as a Republican betrayal.

“I didn’t know you were Catholic,” Ms. Pelosi said, a wry reference to Mr. Paulson’s kneeling, according to someone who observed the exchange. She went on: “It’s not me blowing this up, it’s the Republicans.”

Mr. Paulson sighed. “I know. I know.”

The Democratic ACORN bailout; Update: Video added

(By Ed Morrissey, Hot Air) - House Republicans refused to support the Henry Paulson/Chris Dodd compromise bailout plan yesterday afternoon, even after the New York Times reported that Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson got down on one knee to beg Nancy Pelosi to compromise. One of the sticking points, as Senator Lindsey Graham explained later, wasn’t a lack of begging but a poison pill that would push 20% of all profits from the bailout into the Housing Trust Fund — a boondoggle that Democrats in Congress has used to fund political-action groups like ACORN and the National Council of La Raza...

Couric Diminishes Gov. Palin

The American Spectator

CBS News anchor Katie Couric ordered staff to drop all references to "Governor" or "Gov." from her interview with Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin. When a staff member pointed out that in other venues, Couric and CBS News had referred to Governor Palin's opponent, Joe Biden, using his title of "Senator" or the abbreviation, Couric, according to a CBS News editorial aide, sought approval from CBS News management to drop the "Governor" reference during her broadcast interview with Palin that began on Wednesday night.

Rush Limbaugh's Morning Update: Scam

Yesterday I offered a prediction that once the election was over, Democrats would restore the ban on offshore oil drilling that they just allowed to expire. It took less than 24 hours for me to be right.

As you recall, my friends, I told you that for over 20 years, liberals have banned exploration and drilling because they believe high gas prices are good: high prices force you to drive less and make you angry, and therefore -- in their perverted view -- save the environment and get them votes. But now they are facing an electorate that is awakening to the hideous consequences of their energy policies. So Democrats did an about-face, allowing the ban on offshore drilling to expire... all the while planning to reinstate it once the elections are over and they are out of political danger.

Within hours of my prediction, Nancy Pelosi's second-in-command, Steny Hoyer, acted true to form. He told CNSNews.com that restoring the ban on oil drilling "will be a top priority for discussion next year," if Democrats still control Congress.

That's why environmental wacko activists are not howling at the moon over next week's expiration and why Democrats aren't on the campaign trail defending their quarter-century ban on drilling. They know if they fool enough of you -- for another few weeks -- into thinking they've relented, they can screw you again once the elections are over.

Is it cynical? Yeah. Dishonest? Sure. Shameless? Of course! But for Democrats -- the Party of Scam -- it's just business as usual. You elect them, you deserve them.

Read the Background Material on the Morning Update...
CNSNEWS.com: Democrat Leader -- Restoring Offshore Drilling Ban a "Top Priority" for Next Year

Thursday, September 25, 2008

1999 NY Times Article Revealed True Cause of Current Fannie Mae Crises

(Newsbusters) - This is probably an article that the New York Times wishes it didn't have in its archives because it reveals the true culprits behind the current Fannie Mae meltdown. You will find "uncomfortable" truths in this September 30, 1999 article by Steven A. Holmes starting with the title, "Fannie Mae Eases Credit To Aid Mortgage Lending," that you won't find in current editions of the New York Times (emphasis mine):

In a move that could help increase home ownership rates among minorities and low-income consumers, the Fannie Mae Corporation is easing the credit requirements on loans that it will purchase from banks and other lenders.

The action, which will begin as a pilot program involving 24 banks in 15 markets -- including the New York metropolitan region -- will encourage those banks to extend home mortgages to individuals whose credit is generally not good enough to qualify for conventional loans. Fannie Mae officials say they hope to make it a nationwide program by next spring.

Fannie Mae, the nation's biggest underwriter of home mortgages, has been under increasing pressure from the Clinton Administration to expand mortgage loans among low and moderate income people and felt pressure from stock holders to maintain its phenomenal growth in profits.

They Gave Your Mortgage to a Less Qualified Minority

By Ann Coulter
Human Events

On MSNBC this week, Newsweek's Jonathan Alter tried to connect John McCain to the current financial disaster, saying: "If you remember the Keating Five scandal that (McCain) was a part of. ... He's really getting a free ride on the fact that he was in the middle of the last great financial scandal in our country."

McCain was "in the middle of" the Keating Five case in the sense that he was "exonerated." The lawyer for the Senate Ethics Committee wanted McCain removed from the investigation altogether, but, as The New York Times reported: "Sen. McCain was the only Republican embroiled in the affair, and Democrats on the panel would not release him."

So John McCain has been held hostage by both the Viet Cong and the Democrats.

Obama bundler meets with Ahmadinejad

Peace activists for Obama sucking up to terrorists.

(By Ed Morrissey, Hot Air) - And she’s bragging about it, too. Apparently without “preparations”, Code Pink founders Jodie Evans and Medea Benjamin met with Iranian president and raging anti-Semite Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in New York. Evans wears another hat in this election as well; she has pledged to raise over $50,000 for Barack Obama as one of his main bundlers:

Calling it a “major step forward” in relations between Iran and the United States, leading activists Medea Benjamin and Jodie Evans of CODEPINK Women for Peace — along with more than 150 other U.S. peace group representatives — met Wednesday afternoon with Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad here following his appearance at the United Nations General Assembly on Tuesday.

Bill Clinton Blames Democrats for Financial Crisis

(Newsbusters) - Going very much against the media meme that the current financial crisis is all George W. Bush and the Republicans' fault, Bill Clinton on Thursday told ABC's Chris Cuomo that Democrats for years have been "resisting any efforts by Republicans in the Congress or by me when I was President to put some standards and tighten up a little on Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac." (relevant section in video at 2:45)

Dean Compares Obama to Ariel Sharon

(By Ed Lasky, American Thinker) - Are all the Democratic leaders just gaffe-masters? At what point does the selling of Barack Obama to the pro-Israel community become just absurd and pathetic? Doesn't the absurdity in and of itself indicate their are serious and legitimate problems with his views on Israel?

Sharon knew how to make deals with enemies. But he also knew how to defend his people, how to fight a war.

Barack Obama could not even fight the corrupt political machine of Chicago; he could not even dissuade his Pastor from stopping the anti-American rhetoric or the claims that whites created AIDS to kill blacks.

Where did the money for Obama Gardens go?

(Hot Air) - The Illinois Attorney General has opened an investigation into the money granted in a Barack Obama earmark in 2001 to the spouse of a campaign aide, thanks to the investigative work of the Chicago Sun-Times. When Obama challenged Bobby Rush for his seat in Congress, he tried to drum up support from the Englewood neighborhood by earmarking state money to establish a botanical garden. Despite promises that Obama would remain engaged in raising more than a million dollars, Obama lost interest after losing the election and never fulfilled his pledge for action. Now it looks like the state funds went no farther than Obama’s aide:

A $100,000 state grant for a botanic garden in Englewood that then-state Sen. Barack Obama awarded in 2001 to a group headed by a onetime campaign volunteer is now under investigation by the Illinois attorney general amid new questions, prompted by Chicago Sun-Times reports, about whether the money might have been misspent.

The garden was never built. And now state records obtained by the Sun-Times show $65,000 of the grant money went to the wife of Kenny B. Smith, the Obama 2000 congressional campaign volunteer who heads the Chicago Better Housing Association, which was in charge of the project for the blighted South Side neighborhood.

Smith wrote another $20,000 in grant-related checks to K.D. Contractors, a construction company that his wife, Karen D. Smith, created five months after work on the garden was supposed to have begun, records show. K.D. is no longer in business.

Attorney General Lisa Madigan — a Democrat who is supporting Obama’s presidential bid — is investigating “whether this charitable organization properly used its charitable assets, including the state funds it received,” Cara Smith, Madigan’s deputy chief of staff, said Wednesday.

Women who dye their hair are more sexually confident

(UK News) - Blondes really do have more fun, and they are more confident and more likely to initiate sex, scientists have proved.

Researchers said that women who dye their hair experience an increase in feelings of attractiveness to the opposite sex and general confidence.

It means that artificial blondes are more likely to ask someone out on a date or even broach the topic of a pay rise with their boss.

Dr Mark Sergeant, who led the team of experts linked to Nottingham Trent University, said the changes in behaviour were "significant".

He said: "Colouring your hair may seem like an art to most people, but there is actually a lot of science behind it.

"Not only were their confidence and mood levels elevated but also their inhibitions seemed to be mitigated with many reporting feeling more attractive and sexually exciting.

"There was a marked improvement in the ability to express their opinions and ask for things that they may not ask for ordinarily in a work environment."

The study, commissioned by Clairol, also found that women who dye their hair blonde were also more likely to question authority at work or raise complaints.

More than 50 per cent of the 205 women studied said they coloured their hair purely to "get attention" from strangers or "be noticed" by friends and colleagues.

PETA asks Ben & Jerry's to use human breast milk in ice cream

MONTPELIER, Vt. (AP) - Ice cream made from breast milk?

That's what the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals wants Ben & Jerry's Homemade Ice Cream to consider making.

The Virginia-based nonprofit group sent a letter to company co-founders Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield on Tuesday asking them to use human breast milk instead of cow's milk in their products.

PETA says the health of consumers and cows would benefit from the switch.

Ben & Jerry's spokesman Rob Michalak said the company applauds PETA's creative approach to bring attention to an issue, but believes that a mother's milk is best used by a child.

Goracle calls for civil disobedience to prevent construction of dirty coal plants

(Hot Air) - The truly frightening thing? He’s actually to the right of a member of the Democratic ticket on this subject.

Nobel Peace Prize winner and environmental crusader Al Gore urged young people on Wednesday to engage in civil disobedience to stop the construction of coal plants without the ability to store carbon…

“If you’re a young person looking at the future of this planet and looking at what is being done right now, and not done, I believe we have reached the stage where it is time for civil disobedience to prevent the construction of new coal plants that do not have carbon capture and sequestration,” Gore told the Clinton Global Initiative gathering to loud applause.

“I believe for a carbon company to spend money convincing the stock-buying public that the risk from the global climate crisis is not that great represents a form of stock fraud because they are misrepresenting a material fact,” he said. “I hope these state attorney generals around the country will take some action on that.”

McCain’s acting in good faith in pulling out of the debate, says Clinton

(Hot Air) - Via Breitbart, here he is from this morning’s GMA, just a week after calling McCain a “great man” and mere hours before stressing how “personally, profoundly honored” he is to have him speak at his charity. This must be the first time since … ever that he and Gingrich have agreed on something. Think he’s enjoying feeding The One this turdburger in bite-sized morsels as thanks for all the racial demagoguery thrown at him during the primary?

The best part of this isn’t the “good faith” bit but his point — which he repeats, so that no one misses it — that Maverick actually wanted more debates, not less. That’ll be a handy riposte tomorrow if McCain ends up skipping out and the left starts accusing him of being scared. Exit question that’s really not a question: Dude, he’s totally voting Republican this year, isn’t he?

Did McCain answer a 3 AM call?

(By Ed Morrissey, Hot Air) - CBS News reports that John McCain suspended his campaign as a response to a call from Henry Paulson to rescue the bailout plan, which would have headed for defeat without his leadership. Bob Schieffer reported this morning that McCain flew back to Washington to help reach a compromise that would allow Republicans to support a form of bailout, and that without his help, efforts to resolve the crisis would have collapsed...

New York Times Prints Obama Propaganda on the Front Page



From RushLimbaugh.com:

It's Democrats, not McCain, who put us in this sewer!

Rush Limbaugh's Morning Update: Sham

For over twenty years, liberal Democrats have banned exploration and drilling for oil off our shores. They've argued that higher gas prices would benefit the nation, by forcing drivers to conserve energy. Their environmentalist wacko guru, Algore, went so far as to call the internal combustion engine the greatest threat facing mankind. As long as gas prices were affordable and supplies plentiful, these liberals never had to face voters to defend their policies.

But now, Democrats have what they've wanted. Not only have higher oil prices forced changes in driving habits; they have driven up the cost of everything else. In addition, the explosion of biofuels like corn, which liberals forced on the market, have caused food prices to skyrocket worldwide.

This week, facing an electorate now awakening to the hideous consequences of Democrat energy policies, Democrats stood down. They decided to let their decades-old ban on drilling for oil off of our shores expire. For now. In hopes that a new Democrat president will reinstate it by Executive Order... after the elections are over and they are out of political danger.

If drilling for our own oil were as much a threat to the environment as these liberals have claimed all these years, they'd be willing put their political necks on the line with voters, and they would stand by the ban right now. The fact that they aren't proves what a sham it has been all these years -- sham policies from the Party of Scam.

I'll tell you another way that they're going to go around this, and that is to train every far-leftist fringe wacko group how to file lawsuits to stop anybody who wants to drill, drill, drill. This dropping of the moratorium? Nothing more than a public display of disingenuousness.

Read the Background Material on the Morning Update...
AP: Democrats to Let Offshore Drilling Ban Expire

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Alcee Hastings: Anyone who hunts moose “don’t care too much about what they do with Jews and blacks”

(Hot Air) - From a man who’s no stranger to abject disgrace comes one of the purest examples of racial demagoguery we’ve seen from either side during this very long campaign, duly laughed at and applauded by the same group that worked so hard last week to get Palin disinvited from the anti-Iran rally. His party will love him for it, I assure you.

Rep. Alcee Hastings told an audience of Jewish Democrats Wednesday that they should be wary of Republican VP nominee Sarah Palin because “anybody toting guns and stripping moose don’t care too much about what they do with Jews and blacks.”

“If Sarah Palin isn’t enough of a reason for you to get over whatever your problem is with Barack Obama, then you damn well had better pay attention,” Rep. Alcee Hastings of Florida said at a panel about the shared agenda of Jewish and African-American Democrats Wednesday. Hastings, who is African-American, was explaining what he intended to tell his Jewish constituents about the presidential race. “Anybody toting guns and stripping moose don’t care too much about what they do with Jews and blacks. So, you just think this through,” Hastings added as the room erupted in laughter and applause.

Congress Knew and Ignored The Warnings

(Radio Vice Online) - Before you lay this at the doorstep of deregulation or the Republicans watch part two of Fox New Special Report by Bret Baier (Part One is under Featured video). Congress (Barney Frank) was warned … Barney not only ignored but made matters worse by encouraging more lending. Republicans proposed legislation but didn’t either have the votes or the … umm … fortitude to get it through.

As Pat Buchanan said earlier today … this is the Federal Government riding to the rescue to save us from a catastrophe they created.

Johnson to lead Obama briefing

(Politico) - Former Fannie Mae chairman Jim Johnson was dumped from Obama's vice presidential search team, but he's still playing a behind-the-scenes role on the campaign.

Former Senator Tom Daschle, a top Obama backer, emailed a select list this afternoon that he and Johnson would be leading a briefing intended largely for Clinton's campaign brain trust next month.

"Jim Johnson and I have scheduled another informal breakfast discussion and update on the campaign early next month," he wrote to a list including Senator John Kerry, James Carville, and Richard Holbrooke, as well as Clinton's former top campaign aides, including Howard Wolfson, Geoff Garin, and Harold Ickes.

Johnson's involvement comes at a moment when political association with the failed mortgage giants is particularly toxic. He was already the subject of a McCain ad attacking Obama.

The October third breakfast is also a mark of the continuing effort to bring the ex-Clintonites into the Obama fold.

Ayers and Obama

(By Peter Kirsanow, National Review Online) - Stanley Kurtz's piece today describing what appears to be an attempt to cover-up the extent of Sen. Obama's ties to William Ayers should have journalists salivating. This is a big story that, so far, the press seems determined to avoid.

A rookie reporter could look at what Stanley's adduced and clearly see that Sen. Obama has engaged in serious misdirection regarding his relationship with Ayers. The ties between the two are far more lengthy and extensive than Obama admits.

It appears that Ayers took a keen interest in Obama at a time when Obama was nothing more than, as Stanley puts it, "a young and inexperienced lawyer." Why? There are tens of thousands of young and inexperienced lawyers in Chicago. What did Ayers see in (or hear from) Obama that caused the former to take such an interest in him?

Stanley shows that there's a reasonable probability that Ayers plucked Obama from obscurity to chair the Chicago Annenberg Challenge ("CAC"). Then, after working together on the CAC and directing millions to radical organizations, Ayers hosted Obama's political coming out party. That certainly looks more like a mentor-protégé relationship than a tenuous relationship between two guys who happen to live in the same neighborhood.

The story of why an unrepentant terrorist has such a close relationship with a presidential candidate should have reporters swarming over the Obama campaign demanding answers.

What Mel Watt said in 2003 and what he is saying now...

I heard Rep. Mel Watt blaming Bush and the Republicans for the current financial crisis today during a newsbreak on WSJS. I see here that he's involved in the bailout negotiations. Well, here's an article from the New York Times dated September 11, 2003:

The Bush administration today recommended the most significant regulatory overhaul in the housing finance industry since the savings and loan crisis a decade ago.

Under the plan, disclosed at a Congressional hearing today, a new agency would be created within the Treasury Department to assume supervision of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the government-sponsored companies that are the two largest players in the mortgage lending industry.

The new agency would have the authority, which now rests with Congress, to set one of the two capital-reserve requirements for the companies. It would exercise authority over any new lines of business. And it would determine whether the two are adequately managing the risks of their ballooning portfolios.

The plan is an acknowledgment by the administration that oversight of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac — which together have issued more than $1.5 trillion in outstanding debt — is broken. A report by outside investigators in July concluded that Freddie Mac manipulated its accounting to mislead investors, and critics have said Fannie Mae does not adequately hedge against rising interest rates...

...Among the groups denouncing the proposal today were the National Association of Home Builders and Congressional Democrats who fear that tighter regulation of the companies could sharply reduce their commitment to financing low-income and affordable housing.

”These two entities — Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac — are not facing any kind of financial crisis,” said Representative Barney Frank of Massachusetts, the ranking Democrat on the Financial Services Committee. ”The more people exaggerate these problems, the more pressure there is on these companies, the less we will see in terms of affordable housing.”

Representative Melvin L. Watt, Democrat of North Carolina, agreed.

”I don’t see much other than a shell game going on here, moving something from one agency to another and in the process weakening the bargaining power of poorer families and their ability to get affordable housing,” Mr. Watt said.

Media Campaigns Hard for Obama

By Tony Blankley
Real Clear Politics


The mainstream media have gone over the line and are now straight-out propagandists for the Obama campaign.

While they have been liberal and blinkered in their worldview for decades, in 2007-08, for the first time, the major media consciously are covering for one candidate for president and consciously are knifing the other. This is no longer journalism; it is simply propaganda. (The American left-wing version of the Völkischer Beobachter cannot be far behind.)

And as a result, we are less than seven weeks away from possibly electing a president who has not been thoroughly or even halfway honestly presented to the country by our watchdogs -- the press. The image of Obama that the press has presented to the public is not a fair approximation of the real man. They consciously have ignored whole years of his life and have shown a lack of curiosity about such gaps, which bespeaks a lack of journalistic instinct.

Thus, the public image of Obama is of a "man who never was."

Wednesday Funnies :-)

Jay Leno: Hillary Clinton canceled an appearance at [a] rally [this] week in New York after learning that Sarah Palin would be there. And ironically, Bill Clinton had previously canceled after finding out Hillary would be there. ... The stock market was up 400 points [the other day], or as the Democrats call it, terrible news. ... Financial experts are saying we are entering a new chapter in the American economy. I believe it’s Chapter 11. ... To give you an idea how bad the American economy is, Mexico is now calling for a fence along the border. ... I went to my ATM machine today; it gave me an IOU. ... President Bush had a press conference outside the Oval Office to talk about the economy. He would have had it inside, but the bank has foreclosed on it. ... Barack Obama continues to criticize John McCain’s economic plan. McCain would like to criticize Obama’s plan, but nobody knows what it is yet. ... Barack Obama said again that he wants to raise taxes on the rich—that’s provided by November anyone is still rich. ... That seems to be the theme: Joe Biden said that paying higher taxes is patriotic. The Republican strategy on Joe Biden? Let him keep talking.

Render unto Obama

Vero Dollar-Billus.

(By Ed Morrissey, Hot Air) - First we had the Vero Possumus seal, and then the Barackopolis. One might have thought that Team Obama would have learned their lesson on hubris and self-absorption, but a deal with a British firm goes even farther. Democrats have begun striking coins with Barack Obama’s profile — and already proclaiming him President:

The coins already sold to the Democrats will be presented to the senators, congressmen, governors and other politicians they are being given to within the next two weeks.

There will also be a television advertising campaign launched in the US.

The company directors got the idea of producing the coins after seeing actress Meryl Streep talking about Barack Obama on a television programme.

When they got in touch with the Democrats the party jumped at the chance. And the coins have proved such a hit that locally produced versions have already been launched to compete with the UK originals.

The coins show Senator Obama’s face, along with a picture of the White House and the legend “President of the United States of America”.

Founding Brothers

What’s behind Obama’s early rise?

(By Stanley Kurtz, National Review Online) - New evidence strongly suggests that Barack Obama has been less than forthcoming about the role that unrepentant Weather Underground terrorist Bill Ayers may have played in choosing him to lead the Chicago Annenberg Challenge (CAC). Through a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request, I have obtained an e-mail message from former CAC executive director, Ken Rolling, to Warren Chapman and Anne Hallett, two of CAC’s three co-founders. Bill Ayers was the third founder. In Rolling’s message, sent the morning after I first requested access to CAC records housed at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC), he admits to avoiding a reporter’s inquiries about who picked Obama to head CAC. Rolling also appears to prime Chapman and Hallett to avoid telling the press the whole story of how Obama was chosen, and provides them with an apparently incomplete story to use instead. Although it’s too early to draw definitive conclusions from this evidence, it does raise serious questions about Barack Obama’s own account of the process by which he was chosen as CAC board chair.

OH Secretary of State fooling around with GOP absentee ballots

(By Rick Moran, American Thinker) - This is pretty brazen even for a Democrat.

It appears that Ohio's Secretary of State doesn't like Republicans very much. In fact, Jennifer Brunner has been referred to as the "most partisan" official in the state.

That must explain why she is disqualifying thousands of Republican votes through some arrogant chicanery that would make Mayor Daley in Chicago proud:

The John McCain campaign sent out more than 1 million applications for absentee ballots to Republicans. Each had a line at the top next to a box: "I am a qualified elector."

Brunner sent a memo telling county election officials to reject those applications for absentee ballots if the box was not checked. "Failure to check the box leaves both the applicant and the board of elections without verification that the applicant is a 'qualified elector'," she wrote.

But that's contrary to state law and Brunner doesn't have the authority, according to the lawsuit and an opinion from Hamilton County's Republican Prosecutor Joe Deters.

Ohio law allows voters to request an absentee ballot on the back of a grocery sack if they want to, as long as they include their name, address, date of birth, signature and either a driver's license number, last four Social Security numbers or a valid picture I.D.

There is nothing in the law about checking a box to verify a qualified voter. The voter's signature is enough, because that's what is checked to send ballots, said Hamilton County Clerk of Courts Greg Hartmann, who ran against Brunner in 2006 and is now county chairman for the McCain-Palin campaign. "It's just bald partisanship," he said. "She's trying to disqualify likely McCain voters."

Where Democrats Get Their Talking Points

Rush Limbaugh's Morning Update: Service!

An ardent disciple of The Messiah, Lord Barack Obama The Most Merciful, wanted to serve his master -- but the excrement hit the fan, so to speak.

Kent Higgins, a chaplain at the University of Massachusetts Amherst campus, sent students this e-mail message: "If you're scared about the prospects for this election, you're not alone. The most important way to make a difference in the outcome is to activate yourself. It would be just fine with McCain if Obama supporters... sleep in and stay home between now and Election Day." Chaplain Higgins then told students that if they canvassed, found other supporters, or volunteered for Lord Obama, a "sponsor" in the University's history department would reward them with course credits.

When questioned about the plan, the University threw the chaplain under the bus -- since his plan violates University policy and might even violate state ethics laws. The chair-babe of the history department, Audrey Alstadt, told AP: "We do not engage in or sponsor partisan political activity, [and] we certainly do not give academic credit for participation in partisan politics." That is a laugh; a liberal university -- in the heart of liberal land -- that's politically neutral! That's a first!

Lord Obama's disciple, Chaplain Kent Higgens, is now disavowing his own e-mail. He claims he never intended his plan to only include Obama supporters (and believing that certainly does take faith).

I guess, Chaplain, you'll just have to figure out how to offer service to your master some other way -- why don't you pray on it?

Read the Background Material on the Morning Update...
AP: UMass Officials Quash Credit-for-Campaigning Offer

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

We Tried!

(Radio Vice Online) - This is an interesting exercise in looking inside the mind of a liberal. They, in this case, Cong. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (Chris Matthews’ favorite) explains that this bank crisis is the Republicans fault, that the Democrats tried for two years to stop this by “reigning in CEO pay.”

Joe Biden Unplugged :-)

The Schumer Slight Of Hand

(Radio Vice Online) - Chuck Schumer is making the rounds … pointing fingers … laying blame on Republicans and deregulation. Well here’s another glass house update. From the New York Sun:

As Senator Schumer attempts to blame Wall Street’s recent economic upheavals on a lack of regulation by the Bush administration, he may have some inconvenient facts to confront.

Until the current credit crisis, Mr. Schumer had been a leading voice for deregulation: He has championed the repeal of a Great Depression-era law that prohibited commercial banks from underwriting securities; he has written an opinion piece calling for the Sarbanes-Oxley Act to be “re-examined,” and he has opposed a bill that sought to reduce taxpayer risk in the event of a housing market slowdown by requiring Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae to sell their entire investment portfolios of about $1.5 trillion worth of mortgage assets.

We will not let the Democrats spin this away from themselves.

The Genesis Of The Credit Crisis

(Radio Vice Online) - Make no mistake, Congress will try to either ignore or gloss over the mistakes made that put us into a situation where the American tax payer will be on the hook for a trillion dollars (that numbere still boggles the mind) to right the listing financial ship we are sailing today. Already Democrats are trying to lay the blame on President Bush. But make no mistake, this financial fiasco keeps coming back to Democrats like Bill Clinton, Barney Frank, Chris Dodd and yes even Nancy Pelossi. They were duly warned as early as 2004 and instead chose to do nothing.

Bush Called For Reform of Fannie Mae & Freddie Mac 17 Times in 2008 Alone... Dems Ignored Warnings

(Gateway Pundit) - For many years the President and his Administration have not only warned of the systemic consequences of financial turmoil at a housing government-sponsored enterprise (GSE) but also put forward thoughtful plans to reduce the risk that either Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac would encounter such difficulties. President Bush publicly called for GSE reform 17 times in 2008 alone before Congress acted.

Unfortunately, these warnings went unheeded, as the President's repeated attempts to reform the supervision of these entities were thwarted by the legislative maneuvering of those who emphatically denied there were problems.

The White House released this list of attempts by President Bush to reform Freddie Mae and Freddie Mac since he took office in 2001.

Unfortunately, Congress did not act on the president's warnings...