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Tuesday, September 30, 2008

 

Fred Thompson Reviews Sarah Palin and Says "Very Well Qualified"

From Townhall, his column in full

When John McCain selected Governor Sarah Palin, as his running mate, the Democrats and their far-left constituency let out a primal scream that could be heard from sea to shining sea. How dare he choose someone that they and their pals in the media had not had a chance to vet (i.e. libel, slander, and otherwise and otherwise eviscerate). Ah, but it was not too late. These seekers of “a new kind of politics” poured torrents of malicious abuse upon her and her family.

Plane loads of scandal mongers, lawyers and other truth seekers became more numerous in Alaska than the polar bear, as they rallied local Democrats and disgruntled Republicans to their cause.

Here was a woman who chose to have children and a career. Aging Washington socialites weighed in with newly discovered sensitivity for mothers with careers outside the home. Here was a woman who became upset because her ex-brother-in-law had tasered her nephew and threatened her father. The Democrats and their friends had to save the country from a woman like this.

Governor Palin’s every comment was scrutinized by the media and judged against what Jefferson or Lincoln might have said. Never mind that her counterpart, the 30-year-Washington-veteran Joe Biden, apparently is unaware that America relies upon coal for a lot of it’s electricity or that he recently referred to a top level U.S. official’s visit to Iran that never happened. That’s just Joe being Joe – protected by the sheer number of his gaffes and the fact that he is Barack Obama’s running mate.

For a while there it seems the fact that so many uninformed yahoos (average people) love her was going to drive the main stream media nuts. They had a hard time grasping the fact that people like her because she is precisely the kind of politician that everyone has been saying they’ve wanted: Independent, not a captive of the Beltway including a Congress with a 9% approval rating, who will take on hacks of either party; who has the tenacity to win and the courage to fight for the long-term benefit of those she represents.

Apparently what no one counted on was that a politician like this would actually show up on the national scene. The media was caught by surprise. The media doesn’t like surprises.

Naturally, there was a backlash to the treatment of Governor Palin and cooler-headed critics have largely concentrated on what they claim is her lack of qualifications. Of course much of the criticism of her qualifications reveals the application of the same old double standard. Less accomplished governors in times past have been considered to be perfectly “well-qualified” as VP picks.

However, it is a legitimate issue and should be taken seriously. I especially take seriously the criticism of people such as New York Times columnist David Brooks who I consider to be an insightful analyst of the political scene.

He recently wrote that governance is hard. It requires acquired skills. Most of all it requires prudence. What is prudence? Among other things, it is the ability to absorb information and discern the essential current of events – the things that go together and the things that will never go together. It is the ability to engage in complex deliberations and to understand which arguments have the most weight. How is prudence acquired? Through experience. Experience allows a leader to judge what is important and what is not. He added, “Sarah Palin has many virtues. If you wanted someone to destroy a corrupt establishment, she’d be your woman. But the constructive act of governance is another matter.”

One can hardly disagree with the desirability of our leaders having the qualities that Brooks describes (putting aside the question of how many of our leaders who are not Sarah Palin have demonstrated these qualities). But there are other important qualifications, such as will, courage, and determination. Frankly, an infusion of these qualities into our body politic is desperately needed – not just to raise hell with the establishment, but to speak the hard truth about unpleasant choices facing our country. To push for choices that will, in the long term, benefit our country, our children and our grandchildren. In other words, things which “prudent” leaders are all too often reluctant to do.

For many years we have failed to address looming problems that will prove catastrophic to our nation. It’s not because we are bereft of leaders with great experience. And it is not because they do not understand the “essential current of events.” They know these things all too well. It is because they do not have the political courage to do anything about it.

Recently, a Washington Post editorial pointed out that even before the recent financial crisis on Wall Street, the Government Accountability Office issued a report declaring the federal government on an “unsustainable long term fiscal path.” This was primarily due to the projected cost of Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid, brought on by an aging population. We will be spending $41 trillion dollars more on these entitlements in the next 75 years than we will receive in payroll taxes and premiums, although the crunch will actually begin much sooner than that. And we already owe Japan and China about $500 billion each.

David Walker, the former Comptroller General of the United States calls this problem much larger than the recent financial rescue plan. In fact he calls it the “super sub-prime crisis.” Which bring me to the current sub-prime crisis.

Wall Street and Washington were full of people who were “qualified and experienced” in the field of finance. Sen. Barack Obama, for one, has a great deal of experience in the housing field. So do many of his closest advisers. I would have traded some of that experience for a few more leaders with less experience and more courage to buck the establishment and tell the truth about what was happening.

This brings me back to Governor Sarah Palin, and why I say that courage and political will are at the very top of the “qualification” requirements for today’s leaders. So the question is, how does Sarah Palin compare on that score with Biden and Obama, for that matter? Very well, I’d say.

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The Prowler Speculates: Democrat Leaders Played to Lose

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.



And

[Rahm] 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.

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New McCain Ad: REIN

Who's responsible for the financial crisis.

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The Religion of Obama

This is creepy.

Die Obamajugend Singt!



This sort of thing is creepily reminsicent of totalitarian countries.

Is Obama going to be our "Dear Leader?"

Will our public buildings be festooned with huge Obama banners?

Will morning calestenics be compulsory?

Will we need to have our own copy of "The Audacity of Hope" to wave at rallies?

And those camps that our youth will be required to volunter for?

This is not funny.

This is how it starts.

It seems to be happening here.

Roger Simon:

Watching this video has disturbed me more than almost anything I have seen in recent years. It is the kind of exploitation of children that reminds me of Young Pioneer Camps I saw when visiting the Soviet Union in the Eighties.


A commenter at Ann Althouse asks:

What will happen next? Will he descend from the clouds in a Ford Trimotor?



Compare and contrast:

Kids love Lenin (they are his little potatoes):


Kids love Fidel:


Kids love Kim Jong-Il:



Thanks to Sundries:
It's all there, people. Don't say later, you didn't know.

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The Fix Is In

Rush Limbaught talked about this today. From Glenn Reynolds at Instapundit.

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 . . . .

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Monday, September 29, 2008

 
Jerry Pournelle on the bailout and the causes of the financial mess:

Off the top of my head observations:

Golden parachutes: we may detest them, but they are not the cause of the problem. And every one of the Democrats involved in this bailout benefited from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and every one of them was in favor of the CRA provisions requiring more and more sub-prime loans in order to increase home ownership.

And listening to Pelosi and Reid's press conference, I am guessing that their provisions for helping keep people in their homes probably means that those who should not have been buying houses in the first place will be protected in one way or another. People who made horrible decisions and bought houses without down payment and interest only loans will be bailed out by those who put up a down payment and took out a normal 30 year amortization loan and have made their payments all along. Perhaps this is a good thing. Ownership promotes a certain independence. But I suspect that things will be gimmicked so that in order to keep the house you should never been able to buy, you will have to continue to support the Democrats. But then I have a nasty suspicions mind.

On protecting Wall Street:
Of course when government forces banks to make bad loans, is there then a moral obligation from all of us to make the banks whole again? They were only doing what we told them they must do. I know, I know, we the people didn't vote to force the banks to make bad loans; but our government did, and the Congress did, and we continued to elect those who did that, and we are now to cheer them as heroes for rescuing us from the financial collapse. Barney Frank, Chris Dodd, Pelosi, Reid -- they were all for regulations requiring more sub-prime loans. Banks that didn't comply were in a world of hurt.

Biden is asking where McCain was! Well, Biden, McCain was in 2003 trying to curb Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and cut back the pressure from the CRA, that's where he was. Where were you? And where was Obama?


In their own words HERE...



This video is of a hearing held by Congress to take testimony from Armando Falcon, head of the Office of Federal Housing Enterprise Oversight (OFEO).

In this video you will see Democrats fighting tooth and nail to keep Fannie and Freddie from being reformed before these government-sponsored entities blew up, the fallout from which is now threatening the world's financial structure. Here is the video of the hearings in which Democrats tell us "nothing is wrong," everything is great, there are no problems. They use the hearings as an opportunity to beat up on the would-be regulators, accuse them of wanting to lynch Franklin Raines, and tell us that Fannie and Freddie are operating exactly as they want them to act.

We see Maxine Waters (DEMOCRAT) accuse the regulators of “…trying to fix something that wasn’t broke;” and stating that “under the outstanding leadership of Mr. Frank Raines everything under the 1995 act has worked just fine.” She also praised “desktop underwriting and 100% loans.”

We see Gregory Meeks (DEMOCRAT) tell OFEO’s Falcon “I’m pissed off at OFEO” and “Nothing that’s indicated that’s wrong with Freddie Mac.” He’s attacking the regulators for raising questions about Freddie’s business practices; practices that led to catastrophe just four years later.

We see Arthur Davis (DEMOCRAT) say “…that sounds like some kind of invisible line has been crossed” when regulators dared to raise concerns about Fannie and Freddie.

We see Lacy Clay (DEMOCRAT) claim that “This hearing is about the political lynching of Franklin Raines.”

We see Barney Frank (DEMOCRAT) defending Fannie and Freddie’s accounting practices stating that “I don’t see anything in your report that raises safety and soundness problems.” Frank goes on: “It serves us badly to raise safety and soundness as a general shibboleth when it does not seem to be an issue.

And then we have the testimony of Franklin Raines, CEO of Fannie Mae testifying that the real estate backed assets (mortgages) he holds are “so riskless” that he should be able to leverage his assets 50 to 1. At the time he was borrowing $30 for every $1 of capital. That means that if real estate declined just 3% Fannie Mae is wiped out. That is exactly what happened – and worse - and we are left holding the bag.

Meanwhile Franklin Raines has collected $100 million and is advising Barack Obama.

 

DOCS DETAIL BARACK TIES TO RADICAL

Just a guy that lives on his block, hmm?
Via NY Post:
While Barack Obama has long downplayed his connection to Bill Ayers, a co-founder of the violent Weather Underground radical group, new documents show the two worked much more closely together in starting an educational foundation than has been previously known.

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The Virginian Pilot’s Rape Rooms

Somewhere in the bowels of the bunker known as the Virginian Pilot building there must be rape rooms. Where else would we get stories about Sarah Palin charging for rape kits unless there are actual rape rooms there? You know - rooms where it’s perfectly permissible to rape Sarah Palin in print every day. Rooms where vicious rumors about lists of books that Palin was accused of banning are born nine months after the truth was gang raped by the gang-bangers at the Virginian Pilot. Rooms where the truth is left bleeding after being sodomized by the Pilot’s writers and editors.

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Oh Those AP Muckrakers Score Big On Sarah Palin

Intrepid AP sleuth Brett J. Blackledge breathlessly reports the Sarah Palin, while she was major of Wasilla once got a zoning variance, accepted a free facial, got (and kept) some flowers and some free salmon.

This stunning revelation was posted on The Union.com. No, not the Onion. You can’t make this stuff up folks.

This is comedy gold and she should bring it up during her VP debate.

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Official Missouri Truth Squad Incident Report

Cub Reporter Biff Spackle discovered this document that confirms the report of Barack Obama's 'Truth Squad' (the high-ranking Democratic prosecutors who have threatened to "prosecute critics of Barack Obama").




Which incident(s) are you reporting? (Check all that apply)
They mocked, questioned or satirized Obama (with or without styrofoam Greek columns).
They mentioned Obama's questionable citizenship/elibility for the presidency.
They mentioned Obama's questionable religious background.
They mentioned Obama's 20-year affiliation with a racist, anti-semitic Church.
They mentioned Obama's many affiliations with extremists and those tied to terrorists.
They mentioned Obama's career was launched and orchestrated by terrorist Bill Ayers.
They mentioned all of Obama's missing records (medical, collegiate, birth certificate, etc.).
They described Obama's blatant lie about infanticide that was even recanted by his handlers.
They described Obama's many ties to Fannie Mae executives and the mortgage meltdown.
They showed me pictures of Obama's stunning results as a "community organizer" and state senator.


Read the rest...

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Sunday, September 28, 2008

 

Kenneth Anderson's Law of War and Just War Theory Blog: If I were writing John McCain ads ...

Kenneth Anderson's Law of War and Just War Theory Blog: If I were writing John McCain ads ...: "McCain’s populism is unconvincing. He has to make the connection where it actually belongs: thread the needle of Barney Frank and Chris Dodd in Congress, Wall Street plutocrats who can afford to vote Democrat, corrupt community organizing entities like Acorn, and Obama as community organizer. Given what community organizing has given us so far - a trillion dollar mess - can we really afford a community organizer in the White House? The impression wanted is that Acorn, with its voter registration felons, is about to enter the White House. That, and the connection between out of touch billionaires who have profited from your soon-to-be-pain and community organizers who demanded that Wall Street, via Congress, give them cash. McCain needs to make that connection - the super, super rich, the do-gooding elitists who always know what to do with your money, and people who couldn’t really afford the mortgages they were given.


Those are the buttons I’d be pressing, were I McCain."

 

If I Were Writing John McCain Ads...

Ken Anderson has some ideas for McCain ads:
1.
Pictures of Obama-supporting zillionaires - and note, billionaires, so far as I am aware, trend Democrat - e.g., Soros, etc. Tag line: “Why are these super-rich people supporting Obama? Maybe they’re smarter than the rest of us. Maybe they know something we don’t know. Or maybe they’re just so rich they can afford to. But can you?”

I like that one.

2.
Run against Frank and Dodd and the Democratic Congress. Pictures of Barney Frank and Chris “the senator from Countrywide” Dodd ... America: you don’t live in Barney Frank’s district and you don’t live in Chris Dodd’s state. You can’t vote them out of office. But you can vote against the Senator who voted with them and who wants to be President with your money. With Barney Frank in the House and Chris Dodd in the Senate, can you afford Barack Obama in in the White House?

3.
Community organizing, Acorn, and Wall Street. What’s the connection? A Democratic Congress has been telling Wall Street and the nation’s banks to shovel money to community organizing outfits for years and called it “affordable housing.” Wall Street, in return for fat handouts and ten million dollar bonuses which your $700 billion is now going to pay for, was happy to do it. ... Can we really afford to have a community organizer in the White House?


4.
Yeah, let’s have a tax on the rich - the super rich - McCain should support a clawback tax on billionaires alone. A confiscatory one that causes the WSJ editorial page to go crazy. I bet you’d find they’re mostly Democrats and Democratic party contributors - and that would put Obama and the Democratic party in a genuine bind.


And I really like this:
McCain’s populism is unconvincing. He has to make the connection where it actually belongs: thread the needle of Barney Frank and Chris Dodd in Congress, Wall Street plutocrats who can afford to vote Democrat, corrupt community organizing entities like Acorn, and Obama as community organizer. Given what community organizing has given us so far - a trillion dollar mess - can we really afford a community organizer in the White House? The impression wanted is that Acorn, with its voter registration felons, is about to enter the White House. That, and the connection between out of touch billionaires who have profited from your soon-to-be-pain and community organizers who demanded that Wall Street, via Congress, give them cash. McCain needs to make that connection - the super, super rich, the do-gooding elitists who always know what to do with your money, and people who couldn’t really afford the mortgages they were given.



Those are the buttons I’d be pressing, were I McCain.

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What if Obama Represent The Last Gasp of the Past?

Richard Fernandez of Belmont Club raises an interesting point. Just as the academic fads that rose to spectacular heights during the end of the last decade are now in decline, it could very well be that the kind of faddish Marxism/radicalism represented by Bill Ayers and Barack Obama are the peak of the wave that is already receding.


The conventional wisdom is that Obama is the man of the future. It’s argued that he represents what the younger generation desires. But what if, on the contrary, Obama actually represented the last gasp of the past? When Thomas Sowell writes about Obama’s “worn-out economic ideas” can he really be serious? Michael Ledeen argues in dead earnest that BHO’s ideas are mostly obsolete.

“Paradoxically, Obama is in some ways more a victim of age than McCain, although of a different sort. Obama is an advocate of ideas that have aged to the point of dementia. He’s an old-fashioned radical, and the leftist ideas that inspire him are no longer relevant to our world. As Hegel used to say, the world changes, and the ideas that once described reality, and could be used to effectively change it when necessary, no longer apply to the changed world. Obama’s political ideas have aged, which is why they have no policy saliency. They’re just words, fossilized remnants of a civilization that no longer exists.”

It may be objected that simply because ideas are old they are not necessarily in decline. Perhaps they are notions “whose time has come”. But the site Gene Expression describes the results of interesting experiment which suggest Leftist ideas are now past their prime. The author did a frequency count of terms which are strongly associated with the leftist ideology in archives of JSTOR by year. JSTOR is an archive of academic journals. The result of the frequency counts are startling to say the least.


(click on the link for the analysis)

Fernandez concludes:
While it would be foolish to conclude on the basis of such slender evidence that the ideological ground is crumbling under Obama’s feet it would explain the curious brittleness of his campaign. The unremitting assault by the Action Wires, street-men from ACORN, spokesmen with no apparent concern even for the appearance of fairness and even government prosecutors upon his critics more resembles the behavior of the desperate rather than the supremely confident. The despite the bold front, it may be the case that for Ayers and company it’s now or never. If the long term trends are running against them, then it is Power now, by any means necessary.


There is something very old fashioned about a machine politician from Chicago who associates with 1960s bombers, black racists preachers and convicted swindlers and who hobnobs with San Francisco billionaires and Hollywood stars while speaking of disdain about the working class.

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I THOUGHT IT WAS WRONG to question people's patriotism.

Glenn Reynolds: I THOUGHT IT WAS WRONG to question people's patriotism.

From Gateway Pundit: Despicable Nancy Pelosi calls GOP Unpatriotic for missing a meeting--A meeting they were not invited to.

I guess that when the MSM is so far in the tank for Democrats that it's somewhere more slavishly a party organ than Pravda under Stalin, you can depend on them not to tell the American people the truth. I'm waiting for Pelosi to claim that Republicans have poisoned the drinking water.



Oh wait, she has.



Speaker Pelosi had the gall to go before cameras and call the Republican members of the House "unpatriotic" for not attending that earlier meeting.
(The meeting Dodd admitted they weren't invited to.)

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Video of Congressional Hearnings In Which Democrats Assure Us Fannie and Freddie Are Doing Great and Attack Regulators!

This video is of a hearing held by Congress to take testimony from Armando Falcon, head of the Office of Federal Housing Enterprise Oversight (OFEO).

In this video you will see Democrats fighting tooth and nail to keep Fannie and Freddie from being reformed before these government-sponsored entities blew up, the fallout from which is now threatening the world's financial structure. Here is the video of the hearings in which Democrats tell us "nothing is wrong," everything is great, there are no problems. They use the hearings as an opportunity to beat up on the would-be regulators, accuse them of wanting to lynch Franklin Raines, and tell us that Fannie and Freddie are operating exactly as they want them to act.

We see Maxine Waters (DEMOCRAT) accuse the regulators of “…trying to fix something that wasn’t broke;” and stating that “under the outstanding leadership of Mr. Frank Raines everything under the 1995 act has worked just fine.” She also praised “desktop underwriting and 100% loans.”

We see Gregory Meeks (DEMOCRAT) tell OFEO’s Falcon “I’m pissed off at OFEO” and “Nothing that’s indicated that’s wrong with Freddie Mac.” He’s attacking the regulators for raising questions about Freddie’s business practices; practices that led to catastrophe just four years later.

We see Arthur Davis (DEMOCRAT) say “…that sounds like some kind of invisible line has been crossed” when regulators dared to raise concerns about Fannie and Freddie.

We see Lacy Clay (DEMOCRAT) claim that “This hearing is about the political lynching of Franklin Raines.”

We see Barney Frank (DEMOCRAT) defending Fannie and Freddie’s accounting practices stating that “I don’t see anything in your report that raises safety and soundness problems.” Frank goes on: “It serves us badly to raise safety and soundness as a general shibboleth when it does not seem to be an issue.

And then we have the testimony of Franklin Raines, CEO of Fannie Mae testifying that the real estate backed assets (mortgages) he holds are “so riskless” that he should be able to leverage his assets 50 to 1. At the time he was borrowing $30 for every $1 of capital. That means that if real estate declined just 3% Fannie Mae is wiped out. That is exactly what happened – and worse - and we are left holding the bag.

Meanwhile Franklin Raines has collected $100 million and is advising Barack Obama.




Thanks to the American Thinker

Classical Values
It Wasn't Broke
said Democrats

and...

Power and Control


The Best Congress Fannie Could Buy

This is a long and complicated story about how Obama backers were behind the mortgage industry meltdown. It hast to start some where, so lets start with a well known Chicago name Penny Pritzker. It starts with a bank failure.


NOTE: the original comments have been edited and extended with quotes from the video.

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Apparently 99% of Books Have Been 'Banned'!

Ever since the "book banning" charge arose after Sarah Palin was chosen as the VP candidate I have had a beef with the country's librarians.

Randall Hoven takes up the cudgel.

...regardless of Sarah Palin: what is so bad about a mayor, or even a student's parent, asking a school's library to remove a book from its shelves or just not display it as prominently?


When a mayor or parent or just anyone in the community tries to do such a thing, it is called censorship, book-banning or book-burning. When a librarian does it, it is called "selection."


First, I'd like to clarify the language. Normally, a thing is considered "banned" only if it is a crime to buy or own that thing. You know, like guns have been banned in New York City and Washington, DC. If a book is removed from a public library, it is not "banned," it is simply not provided free of charge at taxpayer expense. And if a book is not even removed from the library, but merely taken off its prominent display shelf, it is not banned or censored at all, it is simply not promoted by your local government.


If anything not provided free by the government is considered "banned," then everything from guns to stereo systems have been banned throughout our history. By that measure, almost everything except scooters for the handicapped is now banned.

But let's get back to considering the stocking of public libraries with books. The Library of Congress has about 21 million catalogued books. Cumberland County, Pennsylvania, has 91,805 books in its entire Joseph T. Simpson Public Library system. The University of Kansas has 51,563 books in its Dykes Library. That means these two large library systems contain about 0.4% and 0.2%, respectively, of the universe of books contained in the Library of Congress. And even the Library of Congress does not have every book.


That means that just about any library you or your child uses has less than 0.1% of all books in it. Someone must have censored 99.9% of them! Who are these censors?


Here is part of the job description for a librarian:


Librarians are responsible for deciding which materials to buy for their libraries. They purchase not only books, but also videos, DVDs, compact discs, databases, and magazines. Librarians use lots of information to help them choose what to buy. They read special journals filled with reviews of new books. They listen to requests from library users. They also notice which books library patrons use the most. If a librarian sees that children's picture books in Chinese are checked out often, he or she might make a note to order more.





Couldn't anyone do that? What special expertise is required to go through journals and select? Who writes those journals? Not only librarians, but just about everyone from politicians to shoe salesmen listens to the requests of their customers. How do we keep bias from creeping into the decisions of librarians?


Here's an exercise for the reader. Ask your local public school library (grade school or high school) to stock Race, Evolution, and Behavior. It is listed on Amazon.com and is in fact ranked 61,595 in sales - fairly popular. Do you think the school librarian will put it in the display case next to Al Gore's An Inconvenient Truth? After all, the librarian is trained to appreciate views that challenge the world views of the complacent, and books that "make you think."

When you choose what books go into a library, you are also choosing what books will not go into that library, since you simply can't fit them all in. So why are librarians considered the one and only ones who can make such decisions? Concerned citizens can't. Parents of children who use the school library can't. The mayor, or any other elected official, can't. Not ever. No way. No how. That's censorship. But librarians not only do it, they do it every day. It's considered their job.


The real question is not which books should be stocked and not stocked at your local library, but who decides.
...
When you put your child into the socialist institution of public education, a certified teacher can refer your child to a psychologist. That certified psychologist can diagnose your child with a behavioral disorder. A certified physician can then prescribe a behavior-modifying drug. Then your NEA certified teachers can demand that your child take that drug, with the full threat of the law, including the possibility of your child being taken from your custody. Just to make it clear, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that "parents have no due process or privacy right to override the determinations of public schools."


But fear not, everyone in the process is certified.


This Rule By The Discreet Elite has become more than just certification-gone-wild. It has become tyranny. What used to be considered a straight-forward matter of parenting and letting parents use their common sense and what their own mothers taught them, has become a matter for the "collective". As well-behaved members of this collective, we must respect our betters. And we know who our betters are, because they have certificates saying so. If you don't comply politely, you could be fined, jailed, or have your children take from you. It's for your own good.

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Missouri Governor Accuses Obama of Conspiring to Violate Civil Rights



"This November you are voting for your freedom"

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Fascist Jerk of the Day: Robert F. Bauer

Robert F. Bauer

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Obama and the Debate: Proud of His Country?

Worth repeating. Peter Kirsanow at NR Online (The Corner)

Two quick points on the debate:

Obama inexplicably chose to feed the narrative that he's smug, arrogant and condescending by repeatedly referring to McCain as "John" and by his behavior while McCain was speaking; on the split screen Obama's expression was one of disdain and he had a tendency to interrupt and talk over McCain as McCain was trying to wrap up a point. Not necessarily in the same league with Gore's repeated sighing, but off-putting enough.

Second, at the very end Obama seemed to be going for a big finish. He talked about his father from Kenya "writing letter after letter" trying to come to college in the U.S., because in no other country on Earth could one make it like here—"our ideals and values inspired the world." Powerful stuff.

But then Obama concludes by saying " I don't think any of us can say that our standing in the world now, the way children around the world look at the United States, is the same. " CLANG. He then states, reminiscent of Kerry's "Global Test", that we need to "show the world that we will invest in education" and "things that will allow people to live their dreams".

The Obama campaign spent months countering Michelle Obama's " for the first time in my life I'm proud of my country " statement and then Obama himself suggests our ideals and values don't inspire the world, and that we ourselves realize our values and ideals are suspect.

Criticizing George Bush or any of our other political leaders is one thing. Contending America's ideals and values are somehow suspect is a breathtaking statement for a prospective commander in chief to make, especially when thousands of Americans have given life and limb, sons and daughters, in brave demonstration of our ideals and values.

In case Mr. Obama missed it, millions remain sufficiently inspired to try to come to America; our values and ideals still cause the rest of the world to look to us first whenever there's a crisis. And we always respond.

Like Obama and millions of other Americans, my father also came to America from another country. Not after writing letters trying to come to a prestigious college here, but after escaping from the death squads of the Soviet empire. Once here, he saluted the American flag every single day. And although he has since passed, I'm certain he'd marvel at our ideals and values today. He'd hold Obama's statement in contempt.

Insulting the values and ideals of America may be fashionable in the salons occupied by William Ayers and Rev. Wright. It may be a matter of course at swanky fundraisers in San Francisco attended by pampered glitterati. But it's not something likely to fly with those who expect their president to have unwavering pride in America and the sacrifices of its best and bravest.

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Gray Lady Dons a Cheerleader Skirt

Jonah Goldberg on the McCain vs. NY Times war.

According to Politico, Obama spokesman Bill Burton called Schmidt’s attack on the Times “laughable.” Burton released a list of 42 “probing stories” from the Times. Among these allegedly hard-hitting exposés were the following headlines: “In Law School, Obama Found Political Voice,” “Charisma and a Search for Self in Obama’s Hawaii Childhood” and “In Illinois, Obama Proved Pragmatic and Shrewd.”
It’s amazing the Obama campaign survived such an onslaught.

Meanwhile, the Times ran a scurrilous, unsubstantiated story suggesting McCain had an inappropriate sexual relationship with a lobbyist. Its coverage of Palin has been so heinous, Times readers could be forgiven for thinking the Alaska governor is a transvestite in a Klan robe who speaks in tongues.

The New York Times is clearly rooting for Barack Obama (just as it was rooting for McCain against Bush in 2000). As Kurtz has demonstrated, the Times has soft-pedaled Obama’s ties to William Ayers, an unrepentant domestic terrorist whose former outfit, The Weathermen, bombed the Pentagon and other American targets.

Times editorials read like Obama press releases. On McCain’s controversial ad criticizing Obama’s vote for a sex-ed bill in the Illinois legislature, the Times proclaimed that McCain “flat-out lies” and argued that “at most, kindergarteners were to be taught the dangers of sexual predators.” A plain reading of the actual bill shows that the Times is flat-out lying.

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Saturday, September 27, 2008

 

Catholic Vote 2008

A MUST SEE VIDEO




THIS ELECTION VOTE YOUR CONSCIENCE



Richard Fernandez:
That the question of abortion should figure in the 2008 elections may puzzle sophisticates elsewhere. But that’s how it works. People who’ve never met in their lives and won’t meet again for forty years. And what do they talk about in that momentary conversation? Of the eternal questions. That’s what.

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"Promise" Obama vs. Biden On Cutting Off Funding for the War

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From Crony Capitalism to Crony Community Organizing: "Profit” Loophole in Bailout Bill Doesn’t Require Net Profits.

From Jim Lindgren at Volokh:

I have supported a bailout, but if this provison is in it I would oppose it.


Much of the blogosphere is up in arms because of the provision in Senator Dodd’s financial bailout bill that might funnel profits from the bailout plan to ACORN Housing (related to the disreputable activist group ACORN), and other more reputable service organizations.

I have read Dodd’s proposed statute and in some respects, it is far worse than has been reported. Senator Dodd has placed a loophole in the bill that is explicitly designed to siphon off tens or hundreds of billions of dollars to the Housing Trust Fund and the Capital Magnet Fund even if there are no net profits in the $700 billion venture.


Completely, totally unacceptable. NFW.

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Gov. Blunt Statement on Obama Campaign’s Abusive Use of Missouri Law Enforcement

JEFFERSON CITY - Gov. Matt Blunt today issued the following statement on news reports that have exposed plans by U.S. Senator Barack Obama to use Missouri law enforcement to threaten and intimidate his critics.


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


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


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


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

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Obama Flip-Flops On Missile Defense



Does it bother anyone on the Left that that Barack Obama can lie so readily?

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McCain's Big Night

The Weekly Standard's Dean Barnett:

Far be it from me to differ with the punditocracy's mainstream, but I happen to feel that last night's debate was a pretty big win for John McCain. I'm aware that most observers have called it a draw, agreeing that both men performed rather ably. I'm also aware that the polls show a majority of watchers thought Obama "won." But still, it was a big night for McCain. Or more precisely, it was a bad night for Obama.


Read the rest.

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Liberal Outrage: A Pro McCain March in Manhattan



Via Vanderleun.

"Doug" comments:
The left doesn't realize that it has morphed into the southern bigots of the late 1950s early 1960s.

This very much recalls those film clips of the angry spitting haters of the south abusing the poor black children and setting up gauntlets as the kids tried to make their way into segregated schools.


YES, that's exactly what this march is like. All it needed was police dogs and fire hoses. If Obama becomes President, those will be supplied.

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Just In Case You Forgot

From Powerline, September 17th, 2008

The Washington Post -- never more than a headline away from a Democratic talking point


Today, the Washington Post's news section ran the following headlines relating to the presidential campaign:

"McCain Embraces Regulation After Many Years of Opposition"

"McCain Able to Skirt Limits of Federal Financing"

"McCain BlackBerry Easily Connects With Gore Internet"

"Palin Exaggerates Alaska's Energy Role"

The Post has no headlines or stories about Obama. It probably recognizes that, as John noted today, Obama is a spent force in any positive sense, and that the best it can do for him now is to remove the spotlight while amping up the attacks on McCain.

The story about McCain "embracing regulation after many years of opposition" appears on page 1. Author Michael Shear, who has emerged as a top anti-McCain hatchet man for the Post (he also wrote the silly BlackBerry piece), makes no mention of
the fact that in 2005, McCain cosponsored the Federal Housing Enterprise Regulatory Reform Act, the strongest legislation introduced up to that time to control Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

Given recent developments, no fair story about McCain's position on regulation could omit this fact. But Shear (who was assisted on the story by fellow Democratic partisan Anne Kornblut) was not about to let it stand in the way of his hit piece, as the Washington Post pursues its relentless campaign to help elect Barack Obama.

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Let Taxpayers Profit From The Bailout

Others have argued that the government purchase of mortgages bonds at distressed levels could turn into a financial bonanza.

From Andy kessler at the Wall Street Journal:

My analysis suggests that Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson (a former investment banker, no less, not a trader) may pull off the mother of all trades, which could net a trillion dollars and maybe as much as $2.2 trillion -- yes, with a "t" -- for the United States Treasury.
Andy Kessler is a former hedge fund manager, the ones who know how to profit from buying and selling distressed securities.


The question is: who's going to get the profits?

Democrats would like the people responsible for this mess profit. Organizations like ACORN, the corrupt advocacy group.

Or they will spend it on their next boondoggle.

How about making the American taxpayers the ones that will profit. It is, after all their money.

Here’s how it can be done.

Create a “Reconstruction Finance Corporation.” (RFC)

Give every American taxpayer equal shares of the RFC.

The treasury loans the RFC $700 million dollars.

The RFC buys the distressed debt for bargain basement prices (the holders will be glad to sell to get it off their books.)

The RFC hold the bonds until the real estate market rights itself.

When the true value of the mortgage bonds are established the FRC can sell the bonds to interested parties.

The treasury gets it loan back.

Profits from the sale are distributed to shareholders (those taxpayers who got their shares) as dividends. I want my part of the $2 trillion profit.

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545 People - An e-Mail Making the Rounds

545 PEOPLE
By Charlie Reese

Politicians are the only people in the world who create problems and then campaign against them.

Have you ever wondered why, if both the Democrats and the Republicans
are against deficits, WHY do we have deficits?

Have you ever wondered why, if all the politicians are against inflation and high taxes, WHY do we have inflation and high taxes?

You and I don't propose a federal budget. The president does.

You and I don't have the Constitutional authority to vote on appropriations. The House of Representatives does.

You and I don't write the tax code, Congress does.

You and I don't set fiscal policy, Congress does.

You and I don't control monetary policy, the Federal Reserve Bank does.

One hundred senators, 435 congressmen, one president, and nine Supreme Court justices 545 human beings out of the 300 million are directly, legally, morally, and individually responsible for the domestic problems that plague this country.

I excluded the members of the Federal Reserve Board because that problem was created by the Congress. In 1913, Congress delegated its
Constitutional duty to provide a sound currency to a federally chartered, but private, central bank.

I excluded all the special interests and lobbyists for a sound reason.
They have no legal authority. They have no ability to coerce a senator, a congressman, or a president to do one cotton-picking thing. I don't care if they offer a politician $1 million dollars in cash. The politician has the power to accept or reject it. No matter what the lobbyist promises, it is the legislator's responsibility to determine how he votes.

Those 545 human beings spend much of their energy convincing you that what they did is not their fault. They cooperate in this common con regardless of party.

What separates a politician from a normal human being is an excessive amount of gall. No normal human being would have the gall of a Speaker, who stood up and criticized the President for creating deficits. The president can only propose a budget. He cannot force the Congress to accept it.

The Constitution, which is the supreme law of the land, gives sole responsibility to the House of Representatives for originating and approving appropriations and taxes. Who is the speaker of the House? She is the leader of the majority party. She and fellow House members, not the president, can approve any budget they want. If the President vetoes it, they can pass it over his veto if they agree to.

It seems inconceivable to me that a nation of 300 million can not replace 545 people who stand convicted -- by present facts -- of incompetence and irresponsibility. I can't think of a single domestic problem that is not traceable directly to those 545 people. When you fully grasp the plain truth that 545 people exercise the power of the federal government, then it must follow that what exists is what they want to exist.

If the tax code is unfair, it's because they want it unfair.

If the budget is in the red, it's because they want it in the red.

If the Army & Marines are in IRAQ, it's because they want them in IRAQ.

If they do not receive social security but are on an elite retirement plan not available to the people, it's because they want it that way. There are no insoluble government problems.

Do not let these 545 people shift the blame to bureaucrats, whom they hire and whose jobs they can abolish; to lobbyists, whose gifts and advice they can reject; to regulators, to whom they give the power to regulate and from whom they can take this power. Above all, do not let them con you into the belief that there exists disembodied mystical forces like 'the economy,' 'inflation,' or 'politics' that prevent them from doing what they take an oath to do.

Those 545 people and they alone, are responsible.

They and they alone, have the power.

They and they alone, should be held accountable by the people who are their bosses provided the voters have the gumption to manage their own employees.

We should vote all of them out of office and clean up their mess!

Charlie Reese is a former columnist of the Orlando Sentinel Newspaper. What you do with this article now that you have read it is up to you, though you appear to have several choices.


1. You can send this to everyone in your address book, and hope they do something about it.

2. You can agree to vote against everyone that is currently in office, knowing that the process will take several years.

3. You can decide to run for office yourself and agree to do the job properly.

4. Lastly, you can sit back and do nothing, or re-elect the current bunch.

YOU DECIDE, BUT AT LEAST SEND IT TO EVERYONE IN YOUR ADDRESS BOOK,
MAYBE SOMEONE IN THERE WILL DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT!

After All, our present Congress has the lowest approval rating over the last one hundred years, shouldn't we be looking at the real problem within Congress?

 

Bogus Poll Intended to Boost Obama

Pajamas Media has the analysis.

Bottom line:
Washington Post-ABC poll ... that 38% of the individuals who made up the poll identified themselves as Democrats, while only 28% identified themselves as Republicans, ...

The poll tweaked the numbers in Obama’s favor in other ways as well. Even the so-called “independents” that comprised the poll were actually more partisan than independent. When asked towards which political party they “lean,” the independents who replied “Democrat” outnumbered those who responded “Republican” by an 18% margin!


These polls are designed to dishearten Reoublicans. Don't worry. Work hard. We win. Remember too that large numbers of Democrats are racists who won't vote for the "black guy."

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Unmitigated Garbage from FactCheck.org on Obama’s Second Amendment Record

Xrlq points us to this ridiculous FactCheck.org piece on Obama and gun rights. I am by now completely disenchanted with FactCheck.org and virtually every other “fact checking” site out there, and this piece does nothing to dispel my depression.


The summary version: FactCheck ridicules the NRA in this piece. But the NRA is careful to say: look at Obama’s record and not his rhetoric. And at least two of the NRA claims are backed up by references to Obama’s record. Yet FactCheck.org goes on to minimize or completely ignore Obama’s record on these points, choosing instead to concentrate on citations to Obama’s later campaign rhetoric.

Click on the link to read the whole thing.

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Katie Allison Granju Wants to Start the Next Subprime Crisis Now.

Katie Allison Granju blogs for the Knoxville News Sentinel and is, I’m sure, a very nice person. She has those sincere glasses. But she's a total ditz. Someone who feels for the poor and downtrodden and is willing to set the fuse for the next subprime crisis before we know how much damage this one will eventually do. So far Granju’s love for her fellow man has blown up in our faces and we can’t begin to count the cost because the damage assessment is not over.

Let’s count the casualties this far. It has cost us AIG (the largest insurance company in the world), Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac (the government sponsored mortgage bundlers), Bear Stearns, Washington Mutual, Lehman Brothers, IndyMac and quite a number of smaller banks. It has driven Merrill Lynch into the arms of Bank of America, is leading to a run on Wachovia. Dominoes are toppling so fast that each day brings fresh superlatives as the bankruptcies multiply. Up to now, Lehman Brothers sets a record for size, making the Enron fiasco a minor footnote in history. Wait for bigger and better records.

It has led to the world’s oldest money market fund to “break the buck” and is threatening to freeze the world’s financial arteries as all lending stops. As financial companies reduce their balance sheets and struggle to remain solvent, calling in loans and refusing to extend new ones, Granju wants a do-over.

One of most infuriating things about people like Granju is their apparent belief that they understand how the world works and wishing can make it so.

The lesson she takes away from this catastrophe is not the fear that her desires will lead to a repeat, but that there was some minor little flaw with the concept of home ownership for the impoverished. She wants them to own houses so a way must be found, dammit.

Here’s her suggestion:


How about a new government-backed lending program that works more like Habitat for Humanity or the Peace Corps. Instead of investing taxpayer dollars into mortgages on suburban subdivision-after-subdivision of brick and vinyl McMansions, why not encourage buyers to move back into the more modest houses that already exist in our center cities. Require a commitment that they will stay in their house for a certain number of years or risk significant penalties, thus discouraging speculators from using FHA loans as virtually free venture capital. Find a way to reward sweat equity in crafting loan programs.

When she talks about a “new” government backed lending program it’s obvious that she does not understand the old program. She may not understand that Fannie and Freddie did not extend mortgages. She may not understand that it was banks and thrifts that made these mortgages which is why, Katie, it’s not the government that declared bankruptcy but private companies that owned and insured these mortgages.

She also appears to believe that if you create no-money-down-adjustable rate-3% first-year-interest-only mortgages you can limit them to people of your choice. You (downtrodden-unemployed-homeless- cash-only-day-laborer) gets one of these but YOU (speculative-flipper) do not. Can we say illegal discrimination? I thought so.

And like all good social engineers who stand ready to lend the their J-school expertise to financial markets, she has something against people who want to move out of center cities and into suburbs; places where kids can play in the back yard and where schools may not be war zones. The use of the pejorative “McMansions” tells us lots about Katie. That and her blog entries tell us more than we want to know.

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How ACORN Helped The Housing Crisis Harm Taxpayers

The financial panic currently threatening global credit markets has at its heart bad mortgages. Mortgages that those who took them out cannot pay. From Washington, fingers have been pointed to greedy bankers, fat cats on Wall Street, and other handy scapegoats.

The truth is that the root cause of the mortgage mess is found in Washington and with organizations like ACORN which have long pushed and used extortion tactics to force banks to make bad loans. All the while, collecting millions of dollars in grants and “donations” from banks that paid them protection money.

“ Documents provided by internal whistleblowers, cross-checked with public records and recorded events, expose hypocritical lending recommendations tied to ACORN Housing Corporation’s agreements with major banks— agreements that end up harming consumers.“


In February 2008, economics professor Stan Liebowitz of the University of Texas at Dallas suggested:

At the crisis’ core are loans that were made with virtually nonexistent underwriting standards—no verification of income or assets; little consideration of the applicant’s ability to make payments; no down payment … From the current hand-wringing, you’d think that the banks came up with the idea of looser underwriting standards on their own, with regulators just asleep on the job. In fact, it was the regulators who relaxed these standards—at the behest of community groups and “progressive” political forces.14

Liebowitz further pointed to ACORN’s role in the current housing “crisis” and to current advertisements highlighting its role in procuring loans without using credit scores, 100-percent financed loans, and acceptance of undocumented income.15

In the prescient 1992 New York Times article, ACORN’s longtime housing leader, Michael Shea, admitted that banks would not have adopted ultimately harmful policies “if there was no community pressure and the law,” but that those factors made “a lot of bankers see it’s in their self-interest.”16

That selfinterest— ACORN’s and modern banks’—made possible the extension of cheap credit to risky borrowers and has led directly to the modern subprime mess.


Dr. Thomas DiLorenzo of Loyola College:

... “thousands of mortgage defaults and foreclosures in the ‘subprime’ housing market (i.e., mortgage holders with poor credit ratings) . . . [are] . . . the direct result of thirty years of government policy that has forced banks to make bad loans to un-creditworthy borrowers.”12

Further, DiLorenzo argues:
The only way these borrowers could qualify for their mortgage loans (even ignoring their bad credit ratings) was to take out adjustable rate mortgages, some of which had astonishingly low first-year rates in the 3 percent range, and sometimes lower. This is what has largely fueled the subprime mortgage meltdown—the inability of thousands of subprime borrowers to afford their mortgages now that their rates have adjusted upward. Thus, the combination of the Fed’s enforcement of the CRA (with the help of political pressure groups like ACORN) and its post 9/11 monetary policy in general are the reasons for the bursting real estate bubble and the “subprime” mortgage meltdown.13


ACORN helps illegal immigrants get mortgages using “under-the-table” (untaxed and unreported) money as income. It encourages people to buy homes with no money down, who have no credit rating or documented income. It encourages people to take out interest-only loans, 40 year non-amortized loans (which means that you can reach the end of a 40 year mortgage and still owe money), and reverse mortgages. This is not responsible credit counseling. This puts ACORN on the side of the most abusive lending practices in the country, right up there with payday loans. The difference is that payday lenders are not recipients of taxpayer money.

This report by the Consumers Rights League should be read by everyone who want to know of the cozy relationship between Washington politicians with semi-criminal gangs of "activists" that live off taxpayer money and extorted contributions from banks. And it documents the insane advice given to poor people by these vampires that prey on their ignorance.

Oh, did I mention Obama's relations to ACORN?

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Thursday, September 25, 2008

 

Gun Ban Obama



Obama's threateining to yank their licenses if they run this ad:
Barack Obama’s campaign is trying to silence TV stations for running the National Rifle Association’s latest ad campaign using strong arm tactics by threatening them with possible legal action if they run the ads:

Failure to prevent the airing of “false and misleading advertising” may be “probative of an underlying abdication of licensee responsibility” Cosmopolitan Broad. Corp v. FCC, 581 F.2d 917, 927 (D.C. Cir. 1978).

So basically, stop running NRA’s ads, or your broadcast license could be in jeopardy. They detail the WaPo’s FactCheck.org repetition as proof. This is Chicago politics at its finest folks. If you can’t win fair, win dirty. This is not how a free society is supposed to function. This is not the kind of man I want leading my country.

Besides, every bit of what NRA claimed is true. It’s the Obama campaign and the news media that’s lying.

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If Republicans Are Victims, It Isn't a Crime

The original headline for this story is “How to Blow a Scoop” But let’s face it, the MSM isn’t interested in reporting crimes against Republicans. A scoop is when they can pin something on a Republican. Covering up for Democrats is part of the job description.

They are too busy telling us that Sarah Palin is an empty headed bimbo who bans books, believes that dinosaurs lived 6000 years ago and is a religious nut.
Ted Bridis may the face of the MSM jerks on this story.

Here’s what Ted Bridis looks like. You may wish to tell him what you think. His e-mail address is: TBridis@ap.org (try to hack it) ... I’m sure he won’t mind. After all, he’s a reporter.

Here's Michelle Malkin: AP reporter e-mails: Yeah, it’s all Palin’s fault

A reader e-mailed AP reporter Ted Bridis yesterday after Bridis’s article on the Palin e-mail hacking disclosed that the AP was refusing to cooperate with the feds and suggested that Palin was to blame for the crime.

Bridis’s report states: “The Secret Service contacted The Associated Press on Wednesday and asked for copies of the leaked e-mails, which circulated widely on the Internet. The AP did not comply. The disclosure Wednesday raises new questions about the propriety of the Palin administration’s use of nongovernment e-mail accounts to conduct state business. The practice was revealed months ago — prior to Palin’s selection as a vice presidential candidate — after political critics obtained internal e-mails documenting the practice by some aides…”

Here’s the e-mail exchange:

—–Original Message—–
From:
Sent:
To: Bridis, Ted
Subject: Palin’s email theft

Hi,

You think that this story “raises questions” about *her* use of her own email? Questions from whom? You?

This isn’t really the point of the story. It appears that you are using the theft of the mail to put forth your own anit-Palin feelings. It’s a trend.

Perhaps you should tell us what happened, and not try to give us your opinion on what questions it raises. Alright?

Did the AP steal the mail? “Questions have been raised about whether the Associated Press stole Gov. Palin’s private email…”
And here’s the response my reader received from Bridis:

From: “Bridis, Ted” TBridis@ap.org
To:
Subject: RE: Palin’s email theft

If Gov. Palin hadn’t been using a consumer-level Yahoo! account (more than one, actually) this crime wouldn’t have happened because the hacker exploited the service’s “forgot-my-password” mechanism, which is inherently insecure.

Previously disclosed e-mails indicate her administration embraced Yahoo! Accounts, among other reasons, because of questions over whether personal e-mail accounts are covered under Alaska’s Open Records Act. Palin’s critics in Alaska were poring over records they had obtained from the governor’s office of official internal e-mail communications and causing political hay.

The issues are inextricably linked.

The AP publicized Palin’s other personal e-mail accounts, as well as her husband’s, which were derived from information obtained illegally by the hacker. Bridis says having Yahoo accounts is an open invitation for hackers and that the victims are to blame for invasions of privacy.

Robert Stacy McCain notes on the same subject:
Scandal, crime, politics—the story had nearly all the makings of a blockbuster, a surefire Drudge link, no less. So why did it seem that nobody in big-time journalism wanted to report it?
...
It’s an perfect lesson in what’s gone wrong with America’s major media. No potential scoop is so big that it can’t be ignored if it doesn’t conform to the regnant political bias. A Republican with a personal email account? Scandal! A Democrat who hacks a Republican’s personal email account? Ho-hum.


I have a hard time believing (no, I really don't) that someone who works for the AP would write such a stupid e-mail. I asked Ted "no neck" Bridis for confirmation that he actually wrote it. Awaiting his reply.

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Countrywide Made Home Loans to Gorelick, Mudd: Leading Democrat, Ousted Fannie Chief Deny Any Favoritism



"What's the difference between Enron and Fannie Mae? Answer: The guys at Enron have been convicted."

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The Coal Miner (McCain/Palin Ad)


 

Our Generals Almost Cost Us Iraq

I have had a long standing suspicion that the problems with our strategy in Iraq were not the fault of George Bush. Bush is not a micro-manager. His willingness to accept compromise solutions (take the current increasingly flawed economic bill) is the hallmark of his administration. His administration has been marked by getting along with congress in its spending priorities and with the largest entitlement increase in history; a sop to Liberals.

The only thing that he has been unwilling to cave on is the war in Iraq. He has fought congress and some in his own party to win. His record on the war is eerily similar to Lincoln’s who chose military leaders who lost until he finally found one who won.

Macubin Thomas Owen has an insightful article in the Wall Street Journal that confirms some of my beliefs.

The dominant media storyline about the Iraq war holds that the decisions about how to conduct it pitted ignorant civilians -- especially the president and secretary of defense -- against the uniformed military, whose wise and sober advice was cavalierly ignored. The Bush administration's cardinal sin was interference in predominantly military affairs, starting with overruling the military on the size of the force that invaded Iraq in March 2003.

But it's not just the media that peddles this story. As Bob Woodward illustrates in his new book, "The War Within: A Secret White House History 2006-2008," it also resonates among many senior uniformed military officers.
...
Historians have long recognized that Abraham Lincoln's judgment concerning the conduct of the Civil War was vastly superior to that of Gen. George McClellan. They have recognized that Gen. George C. Marshall, the greatest soldier-statesman since George Washington, was wrong to oppose arms shipments to Great Britain in 1940, and wrong to argue for a cross-channel invasion during the early years of World War II, before the U.S. was ready.

Historians have pointed out that the U.S. operational approach that contributed to our defeat in Vietnam was the creature of the uniformed military. And they have observed that the original -- unimaginative -- military plan for Operation Desert Storm in the Gulf War was rejected by the civilian leadership, which ordered a return to the drawing board. The revised plan was far more imaginative, and effective.

So it was with Iraq. The fact is that the approach favored by the uniformed leadership was failing. As the insurgency metastasized in 2005, the military had three viable alternatives: continue offensive operations along the lines of those in Anbar province after Fallujah; adopt a counterinsurgency approach; or emphasize the training of Iraqi troops in order to transition to Iraqi control of military operations. Gen. John Abizaid, commander of the U.S. Central Command, and Gen. George W. Casey, commander of the Multi-National Force in Iraq -- supported by Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld and Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. Richard Myers -- chose the third option.

Transitioning to Iraqi control was a logical option for the long run. But it did little to solve the problem of the insurgency, which was generating sectarian violence. Based on the belief by many senior commanders, especially Gen. Abizaid, that U.S. troops were an "antibody" to Iraqi culture, the Americans consolidated their forces on large "forward operating bases," maintaining a presence only by means of motorized patrols that were particularly vulnerable to attacks by improvised explosive devices. They also conceded large swaths of territory and population alike to the insurgents. Violence spiked.

In late 2006, President Bush, like President Lincoln in 1862, adopted a new approach to the war. He replaced the uniformed and civilian leaders who were adherents of the failed operational approach with others who shared his commitment to victory rather than "playing for a tie." In Gen. David Petraeus, Mr. Bush found his Ulysses Grant, to execute an operational approach based on sound counterinsurgency doctrine. This new approach has brought the U.S. to the brink of victory.

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Wednesday, September 24, 2008

 

"Therefore Choose Life"

This is just one of the many reasons why the Catholic Church continues to receive my respect.

via American Digest.

Click on the link for a truly inspiring video.

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Alcee Hatings: "Anybody toting guns and stripping moose don’t care too much about what they do with Jews and blacks"

Dem leader Rep. Alcee Hastings (D-FL) is seen here with fellow Rep. Robert Wexler (D-FL) who lives in Maryland.

Impeached Federal judge and Democratic House Leader Alcee Hastings attacked Sarah Palin and hunters today in a shameful racist rant.
The audience didn't mind. They cheered and laughed.
Sick.
CNN reported:


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.
Let's face it.
There is no way a Republican could say anything this foul and still have a career.
Then again... There aren't any impeached Republican judges currently serving in the US House.


To my friends on the (D) side: nice bunch of people you're associated with.

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Ann Coulter on the Financial Crisis

In Bush's first year in office, the White House chief economist, N. Gregory Mankiw, warned that the government's "implicit subsidy" of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, combined with loans to unqualified borrowers, was creating a huge risk for the entire financial system.

Rep. Barney Frank denounced Mankiw, saying he had no "concern about housing." How dare you oppose suicidal loans to people who can't repay them! The New York Times reported that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were "under heavy assault by the Republicans," but these entities still had "important political allies" in the Democrats.

Now, at a cost of hundreds of billions of dollars, middle-class taxpayers are going to be forced to bail out the Democrats' two most important constituent groups: rich Wall Street bankers and welfare recipients.

Political correctness had already ruined education, sports, science and entertainment. But it took a Democratic president with a Democratic congress for political correctness to wreck the financial industry.

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As Obama Balks, What McCain Should Do

McCain goes to Washington to enter the debate on protecting the economy.

Palin debates Obama in Mississippi.

Why not? Alaska is in great shape and Obama can only vote "present."

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Biden, Obama helped keep 'Bridge to Nowhere' alive

Biden not only voted for the infamous bridge, but he wants his own earmark for his own "Biden Bridge."

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Letter to the Department of Justice

I understand that the DOJ held a conference this year on the subject of voter suppression. A source in the department discusses the tenor of this conference here.

From this whistleblower we learn this:


"But even worse was the presentation by one of his career lawyers, James Walsh, obviously made with Kappelhoff’s approval.

Walsh is a former Voting Section lawyer who transferred to the Criminal Section after working for Senator Ted Kennedy on a detail. Not surprisingly, Walsh is also a contributor to Obama, which is certainly on par with the almost $150,000 that DOJ lawyers and staff who live in Virginia, Maryland, and the District of Columbia have contributed to the Obama campaign, including John Bert Russ, the lawyer in the Voting Section who is responsible for the observer program that will send out hundreds of federal observers on election day.

Walsh made it clear that the Criminal Section intends to use the civil rights statutes to criminally prosecute anyone they consider to be engaging in voter “intimidation” or “oppression.”

The accusation is made that during the conference “Every single example of wrongdoing that Walsh and other presenters used in their presentations talked about Republicans: there was not a single example of any wrongdoing committed by any Democrats in the entire two-day conference.”

In view of this heightened emphasis on preventing voter suppression, please tell me what the DOJ is doing about the apparent flagrant suppression of Republican votes by Ohio Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner who has a reputation as the most partisan state official in Ohio. The Deomcrat's latest stunt rejected absentee ballots for thousands of Republicans."

I refer to this article by Peter Bronson at Cincinnati.com

I will be posting your response on my blog.

I would appreciate a name and phone number of a spokesperson for the DOJ who can address these issues.

Thanks in advance,

[Moneyrunner]

UPDATE: E-mail received Wednesday, September 24, 2008 3:05 PM

Thank you for contacting the Department of Justice. This is an automatic acknowledgement that your e-mail was received. It will be reviewed in the order it was received.


Oh goody. I can hardly wait...

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NY Times Lies About McCain

It's now so blatant they are not even trying to hide it any more. The NY Times, furious at being called out by McCain is now printing front page lies. Not innuendo, not slanted news, not "wink, wink" stuff, but outright lies.

This is the headline to the NY Times lie:

McCain Aide’s Firm Was Paid by Freddie Mac

WASHINGTON — One of the giant mortgage companies at the heart of the credit crisis paid $15,000 a month from the end of 2005 through last month to a firm owned by Senator John McCain’s campaign manager, according to two people with direct knowledge of the arrangement.

The disclosure undercuts a statement by Mr. McCain on Sunday night that the campaign manager, Rick Davis, had had no involvement with the company for the last several years.

Mr. Davis’s firm received the payments from the company, Freddie Mac, until it was taken over by the government this month along with Fannie Mae, the other big mortgage lender whose deteriorating finances helped precipitate the cascading problems on Wall Street, the people said.

They said they did not recall Mr. Davis’s doing much substantive work for the company in return for the money, other than speak to a political action committee of high-ranking employees in October 2006 on the approaching midterm Congressional elections. They said Mr. Davis’s firm, Davis & Manafort, had been kept on the payroll because of Mr. Davis’s close ties to Mr. McCain, the Republican presidential nominee, who by 2006 was widely expected to run again for the White House.

Mr. Davis took a leave from Davis & Manafortfor the presidential campaign, but as a partner and equity-holder continues to benefit from its income. No one at Davis & Manafort other than Mr. Davis was involved in efforts on Freddie Mac’s behalf, the people familiar with the arrangement said.


This is a lie.

Here is Senator McCain's response:

A Partisan Paper of Record

Today the New York Times launched its latest attack on this campaign in its capacity as an Obama advocacy organization. Let us be clear about what this story alleges: The New York Times charges that McCain-Palin 2008 campaign manager Rick Davis was paid by Freddie Mac until last month, contrary to previous reporting, as well as statements by this campaign and by Mr. Davis himself.

In fact, the allegation is demonstrably false. As has been previously reported, Mr. Davis separated from his consulting firm, Davis Manafort, in 2006. As has been previously reported, Mr. Davis has seen no income from Davis Manafort since 2006. Zero. Mr. Davis has received no salary or compensation since 2006. Mr. Davis has received no profit or partner distributions from that firm on any basis -- weekly, bi-weekly, monthly, bi-monthly, quarterly, semi-annual or annual -- since 2006. Again, zero. Neither has Mr. Davis received any equity in the firm based on profits derived since his financial separation from Davis Manafort in 2006.

Further, and missing from the Times' reporting, Mr. Davis has never -- never -- been a lobbyist for either Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac. Mr. Davis has not served as a registered lobbyist since 2005.

Though these facts are a matter of public record, the New York Times, in what can only be explained as a willful disregard of the truth, failed to research this story or present any semblance of a fairminded treatment of the facts closely at hand. The paper did manage to report one interesting but irrelevant fact: Mr. Davis did participate in a roundtable discussion on the political scene with...Paul Begala.

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Obama and Ayers Pushed Radicalism On Schools

Stanley Kurtz finally received access to the Chicago Annenberg Challenge records:

Despite having authored two autobiographies, Barack Obama has never written about his most important executive experience. From 1995 to 1999, he led an education foundation called the Chicago Annenberg Challenge (CAC), and remained on the board until 2001. The group poured more than $100 million into the hands of community organizers and radical education activists.

Why did he skip this important part of his executive experience?

How did they work?

In works like "City Kids, City Teachers" and "Teaching the Personal and the Political," Mr. Ayers wrote that teachers should be community organizers dedicated to provoking resistance to American racism and oppression. His preferred alternative? "I'm a radical, Leftist, small 'c' communist," Mr. Ayers said in an interview in Ron Chepesiuk's, "Sixties Radicals," at about the same time Mr. Ayers was forming CAC.

CAC translated Mr. Ayers's radicalism into practice. Instead of funding schools directly, it required schools to affiliate with "external partners," which actually got the money. Proposals from groups focused on math/science achievement were turned down. Instead CAC disbursed money through various far-left community organizers, such as the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (or Acorn).


Read the whole thing.

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Supressing (Republican) Votes In Ohio

Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner has a reputation as the most partisan state official in Ohio. And she works hard to earn it. The Democrat's latest stunt rejected absentee ballots for thousands of Republicans.
...now she's hassling Republicans who want to vote for John McCain.

Two Hamilton County voters have sued, accusing her of "the disenfranchisement of thousands of voters."

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.

Nice.

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The Media Now Accuses White Democrats of Racism

I have noted it.

Rush Limbaugh has noted it.

And now Jonah Goldberg has noted it.

The MSM is accusing white Democrats of racism because Barack Obama is not running away with this election.

According to the MSM, it has nothing to do with Obama’s lack of credentials, or his unsavory associations, or his far-Left views on subjects like gun control and abortion, or even his rabid followers. The reason for Obama’s failure to seal the deal is racism among white working class voters.


Goldberg:
Many journalists are so committed to the racism-explains-everything line they are labeling any effective anti-Obama ad as an attempt by John McCain to "viciously exacerbate" America's "race-fueled angst," in the words of one New York magazine writer.

For example, a McCain ad noted that Franklin Raines, the Clinton-appointed former head of Fannie Mae who helped bring about the current Wall Street meltdown, advised the Obama campaign. Time's Karen Tumulty gasped that because Raines is black, McCain is playing the race card.

Why, she wants to know, didn't McCain attack Obama's even stronger ties to the even more culpable former Fannie Mae chairman, Jim Johnson, who had to resign from Obama's vice presidential search team because of his sketchy dealings with mortgage giant Countrywide Financial? "One reason might be that Johnson is white; Raines is black," Tumulty suggests.

Or another reason might be that the McCain campaign was saving that attack for its next ad, which is what happened.
...

This spectacle is grotesque. It reveals how little the supposedly objective press corps thinks of the American people - and how highly they think of themselves ... and Obama. Obama's lack of experience, his doctrinaire liberalism, his record, his known associations with Weatherman radical William Ayers and the hate-mongering Rev. Jeremiah Wright: These cannot possibly be legitimate motivations to vote against Obama, in this view.

Similarly, McCain's experience, his record of bipartisanship, his heroism: These too count for nothing.

Racism is all there is. Obama wins, and America sheds its racial past. Obama loses, and we're a nation of "Bull" Connors.
...
The media's obsession with race in this election is probably fueling the Bradley effect. Repeating over and over that voting against Obama is racist only makes non-racist people embarrassed to admit that they plan to vote for McCain.

Another rich irony is that the only racists who matter in this election are the ones in the Democratic Party. News flash: Republicans aren't voting for the Democratic nominee because they're Republicans.
...
If the media were more objective, we'd be hearing a lot more about the racism at the heart of the Democratic Party. (Imagine if the black nominee this year were a Republican!) But such objectivity would cause too much cognitive dissonance for a press corps that defines "racist" as shorthand for Republican and sees itself as the publicity arm of the Obama campaign.

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Tuesday, September 23, 2008

 

Fannie & Freddie and How We Got Into This Mess



UPDATE: Finally: Republicans Finger Democrats as Responsible for Fannie/Freddie Meltdown

This was a fifteen year campaign by the Democrats, ACORN, and Fannie and Freddie's executives to loosen up mortgage requirements to the point where there simply where no requirements at all.

Net result? Trillions of federally guaranteed dollars flow into the housing market that shouldn't have been there -- suddenly buying a house becomes the easiest possible purchase you can make. All you need is a signature and a smile.

If the federal government were guaranteeing a trillion new dollars for no-money down car purchases with no credit checks or proof of employment or income, what do you think would happen to the price of cars?

They'd triple. For a while.

Housing market turns into dangerously overinflated bubble. Which is what always happens when a trillion fresh, cheap, easy dollars flow into a sector and begin chasing the same limited pool of goods.

Millions of credit-poor homebuyers -- with erratic and unverified incomes -- now have mortgages with payements well out of their range. But at least the homes are still worth their selling price... so if they default on a $350,000 house, no sweat, the bank now owns the $350,000 house, which can be sold for $350,000 to someone else.

But finally the bubble bursts -- and now all those credit-poor, erratic income homeowners now have mortgages for $350,000 on houses actually worth $150,000.

So what do they do? They walk away or stop paying. Which makes perfect economic sense.

Leaving Fannie and Freddie guaranteeing a trillion in bad mortgages. Which means you're guaranteeing them.

The bank made a $350,000 payment to the home-seller -- but now has only a $150,000 home to show for it. Uh-oh.

You the taxpayer just went on the hook for that $200,000 loss.

Via Ace of Sp[ades.

In reality, this exaggerates the amount of the loss. That $350,000 house will probably re-sell for $200,000 or more. Housing prices have dropped, but nowhere near 60-70%.

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