Saturday, September 13, 2008

Posting schedule, comments, and Ike


I'm traveling today and part of tomorrow.

Blogging resumes tomorrow, Sunday, at 11 AM.

I've printed out the comments I've received this week online and will respond to many of them in my first post tomorrow.

I'll also be posting tomorrow on Gibson's self-righteous, ambush interview of Gov. Palin; the Raleigh N&O's Anything for Obama "reporting" of the interview; and some of the latest on the Duke Hoax, frame-up attempt and ongoing cover-up of same.

And more.

I hope those of you in areas hit by Ike stay safe. You are in the thoughts and prayers of millions of us.

We'll also be looking for ways we can help. I'll be posting on that in the coming days.

I'll see you all tomorrow morning.


Here's Obama's "Can't send an email" attack ad

We're told by Sen. Obama's legions of MSM reporter-supporters he's brilliant.

They also tell us he's put together a brilliant campaign team, a sign of his brilliant executive ability and judgment.

So why in heavens' name did Obama and his team put out an attack ad that mocks Sen. McCain for not sending emails when its well-known it's painful for McCain to use a keyboard because of the injuries caused by the torture he endured while a POW?

How could they not have known what's in this post: Obama's mocking of McCain's POW disability?

Here's Obama's mocking ad.

Friday, September 12, 2008

The Churchill Series – Sept. 12, 2008

(One of a series of weekday posts on the life of Winston S. Churchill.)

Today is the 100th Anniversary of the marriage of Winston Spencer Churchill, age 33, and Clementine Ogilvy Hozier, age 23.

The wedding took place on a Saturday at 2 PM at Saint Margaret’s Church, Westminster.

The usually tardy groom arrived with his best man, Lord Hugh Cecil, twenty minutes early to cheers from the large crowds gathered in front of the church and Parliament Square.

Inside the church he greeted guests and took his seat on a front pew along with Cecil and his friend and future Prime Minister Lloyd George.

At two minutes past two the usually prompt Clementine had not yet arrived. But a minute or two later cheers could be heard outside St. Margaret’s and a few minutes after that the bride entered the church.

What follows is from Jack Fishman’s My Dearling Clemtine: The Story of Lady Churchill, something of a potboiler, but accurate on the wedding:

The church was decorated with palms and chrysanthemums and arum lilies. The chancel and altar were wrapped in white flowers, chrysanthemums and camellias in a setting of green.

The bride, a picture of white in her satin dress and veil of Brussels net, carried a white bouquet of lilies and myrtle and a prayer book bound in white kid. On her head was a simple coronet of orange blossoms. ...

The brides only jewelry was a pair of diamond earrings – a gift from the groom.

… The clergy came down t the chancel. As his bride approached, Winston put out his hand and shook hers warmly.

The ceremony began.

[The groom’s profession of vows was audible throughout the church; the bride’s could barely be heard.

Bishop Welldon, who’d been Headmaster at Harrow when Winston was a student there, was preached the wedding sermon.]

Bishop Welldon uttered prophetic words, “The sun shines on your union today.
“Allow me to remind you how much you may be to each other in the coming days, in the sunny hours and in the somber hours.

“There must be in a statesman’s life many times when he depends on the love, insight, penetrating sympathy, and devotion of his wife.

"The influence which the wives of our statesmen have exercised for good on their husbands’ lives is an unwritten chapter of English history too sacred perhaps to be written in full.

“May your lives prove a blessing, each to the other, and both to the world”
A large reception followed that ceremony. The wedding cake was five feet tall and the champagne flowed.

The bride and groom stayed only a brief while before departing for Paddington Station from whence they traveled to Blenheim Palace, Winston’s birthplace where just a month before he’d proposed to Clementine. The following day they left Blenheim to begin their honeymoon.

By the standards of their class and time, the Churchill’s honeymoon in Italy (the lake district and Venice) was very brief. It lasted just a few weeks because, as Clementine explained to friends, Winston had to be “back in London on October 4 to resume his Parliamentary duties.”

And so Winston and Clementine began their fifty-six years of married lives which would “prove a blessing, each to the other, and both to the world”

I hope you all have wonderful weekends.


Afterword: It’s a pity most people pass by St. Margaret’s Church which is just a few yards from Westminster Abbey. The church has many historic associations besides the Churchill wedding. Oliver Cromwell worshiped there and Sir Walter Raleigh is buried beneath its alter, to name just two. It’s a beautiful church. You can read more about it here.

Five Presidents, ABC's Gibson & Gov. Palin on God

The video below has clips of former Presidents FDR, HST, IKE, JFK, and Reagan, Alaska's Gov. Palin and a supremely self-important, badgering network news anchor talking about God and America.

Please give the video a look if you care about America and worry about where the academic left and the liberal/leftist media are dragging it.

Then I hope you'll pass on links to friends.

BTW - When ABC anchor Charles Gibson insists he's quoting Palin's "exact words," he's wrong.

Hat tip: AC

Obama's mocking of McCain's POW disability

The Associated Press, one of Sen. Obama's most powerful Tank Corps news organizations, reported today:

John McCain is mocked as an out-of-touch, out-of-date computer illiterate in a television commercial out Friday from Barack Obama as the Democrat begins his sharpest barrage yet on McCain's long Washington career.

The new fighting spirit comes as McCain has been gaining in the polls and some Democrats have been expressing concern the Obama campaign has not been aggressive enough. Obama's campaign says the escalation will involve advertising and pushes made by the candidate, running mate Joe Biden and other surrogates across the country.

"Today is the first day of the rest of the campaign," Obama campaign manager David Plouffe says in a campaign strategy memo. "We will respond with speed and ferocity to John McCain's attacks and we will take the fight to him, but we will do it on the big issues that matter to the American people. …

"Our economy wouldn't survive without the Internet, and cyber-security continues to represent one our most serious national security threats," [Obama spokesman Dan] Pfeiffer said. "It's extraordinary that someone who wants to be our president and our commander in chief doesn't know how to send an e-mail." (emphasis added)

McCain has said he relies on his wife and staff to work the computer for him and that he doesn't use e-mail. …
Plouffe and Pfeiffer, frequently praised for their political acumen by Obama reporter-supporters, are expected to hold key White House positions when he ascends to his Presidency in January ’09.

Meanwhile, NRO’s Jonah Goldberg reports on this latest Obama attack ad:
Yep. The day after 9/11, as part of its "get tough" makeover, the Obama campaign is mocking John McCain for not using a computer, without caring why he doesn't use a computer. . . .

[]I guess it depends on what [Obama means] by "extraordinary." The reason [McCain] doesn't send email is that he can't use a keyboard because of the relentless beatings he received from the Viet Cong in service to our country.

From the Boston Globe (March 4, 2000):
…McCain gets emotional at the mention of military families needing food stamps or veterans lacking health care. The outrage comes from inside: McCain's severe war injuries prevent him from combing his hair, typing on a keyboard, or tying his shoes.

Friends marvel at McCain's encyclopedic knowledge of sports. He's an avid fan - Ted Williams is his hero - but he can't raise his arm above his shoulder to throw a baseball. …
Sen. Obama and his team can put out a scurrilous attack ad mocking Sen. McCain for his POW disability.

But no sensible person will believe McCain’s POW disability means he’s somehow less qualified to be President than The One.

What could Obama, Plouffe, Pfeiffer and others have been thinking when they made such a scurrilous ad?

Sure, it will go down just fine with most of MSM and millions of liberals and leftists.

But decent Americans are sure to be disgusted by this latest example of what we can expect from President Obama when he governs what his wife calls this “downright mean country.”

The AP’s report of Obama’s disgusting attack ad is here; Goldberg’s reporting is here.

Hat tip: Instapundit

Was WaPo’s Kurtz paying attention?

The Washington Post's media columnist Howard Kurtz begins his comments on last night's Gibson-Palin interview:

Anyone who said that Charlie Gibson might go easy on Sarah Palin might want to quickly delete those comments.

What the ABC newsman conducted yesterday was a serious, professional interview that went right at the heart of what we want and need to know about the governor: Could she be president? Does she understand the nuances of international affairs? Does she have a world view? He was all business, respectful but persistent. . . .

Did she believe the Iraq war is a task from God? When Palin demurred, Gibson said those were her "exact words." No fancy footwork, no long-winded setups, no gotchas.(emphasis added)

Just a solid, straight-ahead interview. ...
Kurtz's Gibson-gushing drew a response from U of Tennessee Law Prof and blogger Glenn Reynolds:
One that -- as everybody who pays attention by now knows -- got those "exact words" wrong. A "gotcha" based on a false report from the AP.

Is this what passes for solid professionalism in big media today? Actually, it seems like it is. …
Reynolds also asks: "SO is Howard Kurtz related to Charlie Gibson?"

Kurtz's column's here; Reynolds' post's here.

They must break Sarah Palin

Charles Krauthammer begins his column today:

The Democrats are in a panic. In a presidential race that is impossible to lose, they are behind. Obama devotees are frantically giving advice. Tom Friedman tells him to "start slamming down some phones." Camille Paglia suggests, "be boring!" (What about bringing back Michelle Obama to tell us again America's "a downright mean country?" - - JinC)

Meanwhile, a posse of Democratic lawyers, mainstream reporters, lefty bloggers and various other Obamaphiles are scouring the vast tundra of Alaska for something, anything, to bring down Sarah Palin: her daughter's pregnancy, her ex-brother-in-law problem, her $60 per diem, and now her religion. (CNN reports -- news flash! -- that she apparently has never spoken in tongues.) Not since Henry II asked if no one would rid him of his turbulent priest, have so many so urgently volunteered for duty.
The current gang of Dems and media volunteers “for duty” are not unlike Henry's knights who so willing stabbed Thomas Becket in the back because he threatened Henry’s throne.

Obama’s courtiers know they must break Sarah Palin or very likely lose the election.

So we see the angry, energized, “tell any lie; promote any smear” attempts to assassinate her character and destroy her public career.

Krauthammer's entire column's here.

Hat tip: BN

Not for the first time WaPo distorts Palin

Bill Kristol at Weekly Standard Blog with my comments below the star line -

Kristol begins - - -

Here are the headline and the first two paragraphs from an article posted online that apparently will be on the front page of Friday’s Washington Post:

“Palin Links Iraq to 9/11, A View Discarded by Bush"

By Anne E. Kornblut Washington Post Staff Writer

Friday, September 12, 2008; A01

FORT WAINWRIGHT, Alaska, Sept. 11 -- Gov. Sarah Palin linked the war in Iraq with the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, telling an Iraq-bound brigade of soldiers that included her son that they would "defend the innocent from the enemies who planned and carried out and rejoiced in the death of thousands of Americans."

The idea that Iraq shared responsibility with al-Qaeda for the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, once promoted by Bush administration officials, has since been rejected even by the president himself. On any other day, Palin's statement would almost certainly have drawn a sharp rebuke from Democrats, but both parties had declared a halt to partisan activities to mark Thursday's anniversary.” . . .

Kristol continues - - -

Kornblut’s interpretation of what Palin said is either stupid or malicious.

Palin is evidently saying that American soldiers are going to Iraq to defend innocent Iraqis from al Qaeda in Iraq, a group that is related to al Qaeda, which did plan and carry out the Sept. 11 attacks.

It makes no sense for Kornblut to claim that Palin is arguing here that Saddam Hussein’s regime carried out 9/11—obviously Palin isn’t saying that our soldiers are now going over to Iraq to fight Saddam’s regime.

Palin isn’t linking Saddam to 9/11. She’s linking al Qaeda in Iraq to al Qaeda....

The rest of Kristol’s post is here.


Folks, are any of you surprised at what Kristol reports WaPo do any of you not know most in WaPo’s newsroom, in in the tank for Obama and Kornblut is about as objective a reporter as Matt Cooper, Joe Klein and Elizabeth Bumiller.

So who’s surprised Kronblut and WaPo’s editors teamed up on something like what Kristol notes?

Kornblut and many in WaPo “newsroom” are as deep in the tank for Sen. Obama as Andrew Sullivan, Maureen Dowd and former Chicago journalist David Axelrod.

You all may be interested to read the following from one of those Q&A with “our top reporters” MSM newspapers host at their Web sites. It’s from Sept. 3. The “questioner” prattles about “Palin's own relentless cuts of any program that might possibly provide the slightest help to unwed teenage mothers.”

That of course is false and was debunked on day one when the MSM “smear Palin” crowd put it out there.

But notice that Obama supporter Kornblut says nothing to correct the “questioner“ error.

Why do you think that is?

Is WaPo and Obama’s Kornblut, as Kristol asks, “either stupid or malicious?”

Here's the relevant part of WaPo’s Sept. 3 Q&A which it tells readers is meant to “inform them.”

Arlington, Va.: I have two questions. First, why are we not hearing more about the hypocrisy inherent in Gov. Palin's stance on her daughter's pregnancy juxtaposed against the Republicans' (and Palin's own) relentless cuts of any program that might possibly provide the slightest help to unwed teenage mothers? Second, what's your take on a potential vice-presidential debate? I hardly watch any broadcast TV, but if there is going to be a vice presidential debate I'll be glued to the set just to see what Joe Biden does to Palin. My sense is it won't be a pretty sight. The Trail: Palin Slashed Funding for Teen Moms (, Sept. 2)

Anne E. Kornblut: Good questions, both. I think the point you raise about Palin's approach to programs for teen funding is one we addressed in today's paper-- Paul Kane, my colleague, has a good story on it. I'll see if I can find the link.

Obviously that's the kind of policy issue that is now relevant, and on the table, in a way that she will have to answer.

And on the VP debate. You and me both. It'll be a real sight to behold.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

The Churchill Series – Sept. 11, 2008

(One of a series of weekday posts on the life of Winston S. Churchill.)

Sept. 12, 2008 is the 100th Anniversary of the wedding of Winston Churchill and Clementine Hozier. It was an extraordinary and loving marriage that lasted 56 years until Winston’s death in January 1965.

Churchill historian Paul Addison tells us a good deal about their marriage in his gracefully written, extremely interesting review of Speaking for Themselves: The Personal Letters of Winston and Clementine Churchill, edited by the Churchill’s daughter Mary Soames, herself a graceful, informative writer.

Addison begins - - -

In the fifty-six years of their married life Winston and Clementine Churchill were often apart. Winston was never content for long unless he was off in search of action and adventure, but Clementine too was affected by wanderlust. Sometimes it was she who set off for distant parts, leaving Winston at home.

In 1935 she sailed away for a three-month cruise to the Far East aboard Rosaura, a yacht belonging to Lord Moyne. VE-Day found her in Moscow at the end of a tour of the Soviet Union.

Whenever they were separated, Winston and Clemmie exchanged long letters, supplemented by occasional notes and telegrams. Hence this remarkable edition of 800 exchanges out of some 2000 written between them, which opens with a letter from Mr. Winston Churchill to Miss Clementine Hozier on 16 April 1908, and closes with a note from Clemmie to Winston on 18 April 1964. . . .

It was, of course, a marriage of its time. In the wedding ceremony Clemmie promised to love, honour and obey. A capable and intelligent woman and a strong supporter of female suffrage, she sacrificed much of her own potential for a husband who never sought to disguise his egotism or his absorption in the masculine world of politics. For him, marriage and family life were one facet of a crowded existence; for her they were a vocation.

Yet the marriage worked for a simple reason, tenderly and movingly expressed in the letters of both partners. Winston and Clemmie married for love and the passing of time served only to strengthen the bonds between them. . . .

Addison’s entire review, hosted by the Churchill Centre, is here.

I hope you all give it a read.

Politico’s blames ABC for latest Palin smear

Sen. Obama’s MSM Tank Corps launched multiple attacks against Gov. Sarah Palin tonight in response to fact-based, thoughtful comments Palin made during an ABC interview with Charles Gibson.

Palin drew heavy fire from Obama's Tankers for her comments concerning Russia’s aggressive moves in Eastern Europe and America's NATO obligations.

Without waiting for a full transcript of the Gibson-Palin interview, Obama’s most aggressive units attacked.

But their intelligence was either very faulty or they misunderstood what little intelligence they had.

That question's still in dispute.

What's not in dispute is that many of Obama's MSM Tank Corps units misdirected their attack.

As a result, they soon came under fire themselves from informed forces who'd seized control of the Gibson-Palin interview transcript and began to exploit their advantage.

Faced with withering facts refuting their specious claims, all but Obama's Kos and other such units are in full retreat as of 23:00 ET tonight.

But they’re expected to regroup by morning and take up new positions among “friendly populations” – NPR, the AP, Brian Williams, Chris Matthews, CNN, The Nation, – from where they’ll launch fierce new smears.

Meanwhile, fighting has broken out among Obama’s forces with his left flank Politico now claiming tonight's defeat was ABC’s fault.

Under the headline:

Palin hawkish on Russia
Politico’s blame-shifting continues with:
This isn't the headline the McCain camp wanted out of Palin's interview: Possible war with Russia.
And here's the tease [headline]at ABC News' website now Politico tells us:
With that Politico is letting you know it now has an interview transcript it didn't have when it posted its earlier in the evening Palin-bashing.

So none of that earlier in the evening Palin-bashing was Politico's fault, right?

ABC is responsible: “That’s [ABC’s] tease.”

Politico continues with “not us, blame ABC”:
According to the ABC transcript, Palin seems simply to be restating the U.S. obligation under Article Five of the NATO treaty, in the context of a question about her support for Georgia's entry into NATO, something Obama also supports. (emphasis added)

When asked by Gibson if under the NATO treaty, the U.S. would have to go to war if Russia again invaded Georgia, Palin responded: "Perhaps so. I mean, that is the agreement when you are a NATO ally, is if another country is attacked, you're going to be expected to be called upon and help.

"And we've got to keep an eye on Russia. For Russia to have exerted such pressure in terms of invading a smaller democratic country, unprovoked, is unacceptable," she told ABC News' Charles Gibson.
Now, folks, in case you thought the latest Palin smear was Politico’s fault, Politico wants you to know its not.

I don't believe that.

I think what happened is MSM Obama Tankers were cocked and eager to fire at Sarah Palin.

So eager they fired when there was no cause to.

But since Politico wants to explain itself and blame ABC, let's stand back and let Politico have the last word tonight.

I'll be back on this story tomorrow with what ABC is saying.

What follows is all from Politico:

Here's some of the interview transcript, which doesn't include that exchange. .

» Continue reading Palin hawkish on Russia

ABC News' Charles Gibson has three interviews with Vice Presidential candidate Governor Sarah Palin on September 11 and September 12. The first interview took place today. The interview will air on “World News with Charles Gibson” at 6:30PM EST tonight.

The second interview will take place after tonight's "World News." That interview will appear first on "Nightline" at 11:35PM EST this evening and on "Good Morning America" Friday morning at 7AM EST.

A third interview will take place Friday and will air on "World News" and "20/20" at 10PM EST.

In each case, ABC News will push the fresh content from each of these interviews as soon as possible. We will continue to send updated links as the interviews air.

Any media usage please credit ABC News.(emphasis added)

The rest of Politico’s climbdown’s here.

Media reporter warns McCain

Boston Phoenix media reporter Adam Reilly is warning Sen. John McCain he’d better be nice to the media or reporters and editors will strike out at him and possibly cost the McCain-Palin ticket the election.

Extracts from Reilly followed by my comments below the star line

Reilly says - - -

…The RNC also featured McCain’s formal, foolhardy declaration of war on the press — the same press, by the way, that made him a political superstar. Now the press seems inclined to fire back.

And if this dynamic continues over the next two months — and the election is as close as everyone expects it to be — it could be the factor that makes Obama president. …

Right now, McCain’s gambit [attacking the media] looks brilliant — witness the aforementioned post-convention bump. The prediction here, though, is that, come Election Day, he’s going to rue his decision.

Why? Now that the Democratic and Republican pep rallies are over, the candidates desperately need the press’s assistance to get their message out.

But now that McCain has given the press the finger, most members of the media will be a lot less inclined to do anything that aids his campaign.

Some of them may actually respond by leveling direct, aggressive challenges at the McCain-Palin ticket. …

Elsewhere, however, the pushback will probably be more subtle — manifesting itself, for example, in which stories get reported and which stories get prominent play.

Case in point: as of this writing, the following articles were the first-, third-, fourth-, and fifth-most-viewed on the Web site of McClatchy’s Washington, DC, bureau: “McCain’s history of hot temper raises concerns”; “Palin used state funds for trip to speak at her former church”; “Here’s the story about Palin’s book-banning try as mayor”; “Campaign saying little about Sarah Palin’s religious faith.”

It’s also likely that McCain’s gambit will make the press less inclined to follow his campaign’s talking points on Obama and Joe Biden, Obama’s running mate. ….

Reilly offers a lot more like what you’ve just read. It’s all here.



Reilly leaves no doubt that as far as he’s concerned a prime qualification for the presidency is proper deference to the media; proper deference being don’t dare call attention to the transparent partisanship of Obama’s MSM Tank Corps.

If McCain gets uppity and criticizes The One’s media disciples, very bad things will happen. McCain won’t be able to get his message out and certain kinds of stories attacking him and his running mate will appear.

Who knew MSMers were so petty, spiteful, and arrogant?

The best one-liner McCain’s gotten off in the campaign came when he was asked whether he’d watched news coverage of Sen. Obama’s visit to Paris.

“Yes, I did,” McCain answered. “I saw all those people cheering and waving, and that was just the American press corps.”

Message to Reilly: Thanks for helping expose that big MSM fib about “we’re all objective professionals here.”

A Rev. Wright reminder

Sept. 11 is a very appropirate day to recall Sen. Obama's friend, mentor and pastor of almost 20 years Rev. Jeremiah Wright's vicious racism and anti-Americanism, including his hate-rant from the pulpit on the Sunday following the Sept. 11 attacks.

You'll find a number of what many Democrats dismissively call Wright's "snippets" here , including the one where with obvious righteous satisfaction Wright says Sept. 11 was "America's chickens coming home to roost."

Law profs $$ campaign contributions

Paul Caron, at TaxProf Blog, tabulates the political contributions by law professors this year.

Overall, 92.7 percent of the contributions went to Democrats. But for presidential candidates, it was a little less evenly split than that: 94.7 percent to Barack Obama, 5.3 percent to John McCain.

The breakdown in political contributions by professors at various law schools includes:

  • Harvard: 100% ($23,632) to Democrats, 0% to Republicans
  • Chicago: 100% ($14,158) to Democrats, 0% to Republicans
  • Michigan: 100% ($11,653) to Democrats, 0% to Republicans
  • Stanford: 100% ($8,900) to Democrats, 0% to Republicans
  • Texas: 100% ($6,107) to Democrats, 0% to Republicans
  • UC-Berkeley: 100% ($4,850) to Democrats, 0% to Republicans
  • Pennsylvania: 100% ($2,711) to Democrats, 0% to Republicans

That's better than Stalin, Khrushchev, or Brezhnev ever did in Soviet election results.


Folks, anyone surprised?

Hat tip: AC

September 11 Remembrance

Lorie Byrd at Wizbang posts "Never Forget" which begins with words President Bush’s addressed to the nation that first Septemeber 11:

"The pictures of airplanes flying into buildings, fires burning, huge structures collapsing, have filled us with disbelief, terrible sadness, and a quiet, unyielding anger. These acts of mass murder were intended to frighten our nation into chaos and retreat.”

“ But they have failed; our country is strong. A great people has been moved to defend a great nation. Terrorist attacks can shake the foundations of our biggest buildings, but they cannot touch the foundation of America. These acts shattered steel, but they cannot dent the steel of American resolve."
Lorie then offers some personal reflections including this:
I was watching the Today Show and saw the second plane hit the tower in real time. I remember shock, disbelief, and sadness, but most of all a vulnerability that did not exist on September 10. That feeling stayed with me for quite some time. I had felt it to a much lesser extent when the WTC was bombed years earlier, but 9/11/01 was, obviously, on a level never before seen in our nation's history.

When I heard the announcement that the Pentagon had been hit as well, and then saw video of the gaping hole, my only thought was "we have been attacked and we are at war."
Lorie ends her post with wise, proud thoughts from humor columnist Dave Barry:
"The people who did this to us are monsters; the people who cheered them have hate-sickened minds. One reason they can cheer is that they know we would never do to them what their heroes did to us, even though we could, a thousand times worse."

“They know that when we hunt down the monsters, we will try hard not to harm the innocent. Those are the handcuffs we willingly wear, because for all our flaws, we are a decent people."
The extracts from Lorie’s post say much better than I could what I want to share with you today.

So I’ll leave off saying anything else except “Never Forget!”

Lorie’s entire post's here.

Blackfive has a link roundup as does Michelle Malkin whose post also includes results (with graphs) of a multi-nation poll which asked respondents who was responsible for September 11.

Mudville Gazette has powerful and painful photos of the Twin Towers under attack that remind us why we should "Never Forget!"

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

The Churchill Series – Sept. 10, 2008

(One of a series of weekday posts about the life of Winston S. Churchill.)

Between May 10, the day Churchill became Prime Minister, and June 27, 1940, the date of the letter below, the Germans overran the Allies in the West and drove the British Expeditionary Force off the continent; France signed an armistice with Germany; Britain’s supply lines in the Atlantic were coming under intense U-boat attack; many were predicting England would soon be invaded; and the “smart people” were predicting Germany would soon crush Britain and force it to plead for terms.

It was in those circumstances that Clementine wrote Winston the following letter.

The French sentence you’ll read can be translated as “You rule a soul only by calm.”

The letter is presented here as punctuated in the copy found on pg. 665 in Martin Gilbert’s Churchill: A Life (Henry Holt, 1991). I’ve added a few paragraph breaks for readers’ ease.

June 27, 1940

My Darling,

I hope you will forgive me if I tell you something that I feel you ought to know.

One of the men in your entourage ( a devoted friend) has been to me & told me that there is a danger of your being generally disliked by your colleagues & subordinates because of your rough sarcastic & overbearing manner –

It seems your Private Secretaries have agreed to behave like schoolboys & “take what’s coming to them” & then escape out of your presence shrugging their shoulders. Higher up, if an idea is suggested (say at a conference) you are supposed to be so contemptuous that presently no ideas, good or bad, will be forthcoming.

I was astonished & upset because in all these years I have been accustomed to all those who have worked with & under you, loving you – I said this & I was told “No doubt it’s the strain” –

My Darling Winston – I must confess that I have noticed a deterioration in your manner; & you are not so kind as you used to be.

It is for you to give the Orders & if they are bungled – except for the King the Archbishop of Canterbury & the Speaker you can sack anyone & everyone. Therefore with this terrific power you must combine urbanity, kindness and if possible Olympic calm. You used to quote: - “On ne regne sur les ames que par le calme’ –

I cannot bear that those who serve the Country & yourself should not love you as well as admire and respect you –

Besides you won’t get the best results by irascibility & rudeness. They will breed either dislike or a slave mentality – (Rebellion in War Time being out of the question!)

Please forgive your loving devoted & watchful


I wrote this at Chequers last Sunday, tore it up, but here it is now.

Winston’s pet names for Clementine were “Cat” and “Kit.” She ended the letter with a sketch of a cat.

They say a friend is someone who tells you what you need to hear; not what you want to hear.

Every time I read that letter it reminds me that Hitler was facing two very formidable Churchills.

ABC’s Palin broadcasts plans

The AP reported a few minutes ago:

Charles Gibson's interviews with Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin will form the basis of a special prime-time edition of "20/20" Friday, ABC said Wednesday.

Gibson is traveling to Fairbanks and Wasilla, Alaska, for the first TV interviews with Palin since she was selected as John McCain's running mate.

The first excerpts of the talks will be shown on "World News" Thursday [,Sept. 11.]

Gibson is having three separate interviews with Palin, ABC said. Parts of the interviews will be spread around other ABC news programs, including "Nightline" and "Good Morning America."

The prime-time special, at 10 p.m. EDT, will also include a bio of Palin by ABC's Kate Snow and a round-table discussion on the presidential race moderated by George Stephanopoulos. . . .
The rest of the AP’s story’s here.


We’re going to get a lot of “tease” in the next 24 hours about the various ABC broadcasts.

The “meat” will come in the Friday PM programs.

Those programs will “set the table” for the Sunday morning talk shows.

I think Gov. Palin will do well Friday night.

Easy prediction: Between Friday when Palin will make a mostly favorable impression as a likeable, able and informed governor and Sunday’s talk shows, the Dems’ and MSM’s Obama’s Tank Corps’ attacks on her will rise to new levels of intensity.

They know if they can destroy Palin, they’ll win the election.

Worst Palin smear yet. How low can Dems go?

Just when you think the Dems can’t stoop any lower in their campaign to destroy the reputation and public career of Alaska’s Gov. Sarah Palin, along comes a smear worse than the one before.

This now from Politico - - -

South Carolina Democratic chairwoman Carol Fowler sharply attacked Sarah Palin today, saying John McCain had chosen a running mate "whose primary qualification seems to be that she hasn’t had an abortion.”

Palin is an opponent of abortion rights and gave birth to her fifth child, Trig, earlier this year after finding out during her pregnancy that the baby had Down syndrome.

Fowler told my colleague Alex Burns in an interview that the selection of an opponent of abortion rights would not boost McCain among many women.

“Among Democratic women and even among independent women, I don’t think it helped him,” she said.

Told of McCain's boost in the new ABC/Washington Post among white women following the Palin pick, Fowler said: "Just anecdotally, I believe that those white women are Republican women anyway."


You can’t make it up, can you?

My previous post dealt with one of Obama’s media flacks, Newsweek’s Eleanor Clift, who was worried the Dems’ were too “high-mind[ed].”

Here’s a real worry every American concerned with fair treatment of political candidates ought to have: We’ve not seen the worst yet of what the Dems are going to throw at Palin.

Newsweek’s Clift must be feeling better

Just a month ago, Newsweek’s Eleanor Clift, one of the most reliable of the media’s Reliable Dems for Obama, was worried.

Democrats might hurt their election chances because – well, because Sen. Obama and the Dems just brim with “high-mindedness,”Ms. Clift fretted.

This from her Aug. 15 column:

… [Emory University psychology professor Drew Westen] credits Obama with wanting to run a different kind of campaign but says that Democrats have it in their DNA to avoid confrontation and then rationalize their aversion to negative attacks as high-mindedness.

The Obama team, by failing to fully exploit McCain's vulnerabilities--that he's not really a straight talker, that he's four more years of Bush--has unwittingly allowed their candidate to become the sole focus of the campaign.

"Because Obama is so bent on running a positive campaign, the campaign is about him. There's been no real effort to define McCain to the American people," [says Westen.] …
Clift and professor Westen needn’t have worried for today we read in the Newsport News Free Press:
Democrat Barack Obama lambasted Republican John McCain's campaign for "lies, phony outrage and Swift Boat politics" at Granby high School on Wednesday in response to the latest brouhaha on the campaign trail

McCain's campaign seized on a comment Obama made at a town hall meeting Tuesday in Lebanon, when Obama said, "you can put lipstick on a pig, but it's still a pig" in describing McCain's economic strategy. …
And yesterday from the WSJ’s John Fund post “The Hunt for Sarah October:”
Democrats understand Sarah Palin is a formidable political force who has upset the Obama victory plan. The latest Washington Post/ABC Poll shows John McCain taking a 12-point lead over Barack Obama among white women, a reversal of Mr. Obama's eight-point lead last month.

It's no surprise, then, that Democrats have airdropped a mini-army of 30 lawyers, investigators and opposition researchers into Anchorage, the state capital Juneau and Mrs. Palin's hometown of Wasilla to dig into her record and background. My sources report the first wave arrived in Anchorage less than 24 hours after John McCain selected her on August 29. …
Professor Westen may be a little pained right now and busy revising his “Obama is so bent on running a positive campaign” lecture.

But Eleanor Clift must be feeling better and expecting Obama's poll numbers to rise.

Clift’s column’s here; the Free Press story’s here; and the WSJ’s Fund’s post’s here.

McCain will carry N. C. by at least 10 points

A poll of North Carolina voters taken just after the end of the RNC and released yesterday has Sen. McCain up 20 points over Sen. Obama.

Most recent head-to-head polls of N. C. voters show McCain up by single digits, in some cases as few as 3 or 4 points.

So should we put much stock in this most recent poll?

People can decide that for themselves.

I’m treating it as the kind of outlier poll that points in the right direction, but overstates the margin.

My call – and I think I’m being conservative (small “c”) – is that McCain will carry N. C. by at least 10 points.

Why do I believe that?

Most of the “good news” about Obama – that he’s the “change candidate,” that he’s “the post-racial candidate,” “that he wants to ‘shake things up in Washington,’” etc., - is already well-known to N. C. voters.

We had a high-visibility Obama-Clinton primary here this Spring. Senator Obama and his wife were in the state often. They were very effective in getting their message out. Their efforts were backed by a large, organized, enthusiastic and heavily-financed campaign apparatus.

If I’m not mistaken, Obama spent more on his primary than any other presidential nominee candidate in our state’s history.

On top of all that, Obama’s media coverage was very positive to say the least.

Most of the N. C. media went along reciting his campaign themes without giving them serious scrutiny. I can’t recall Obama ever being asked tough, fair, and important questions such as:

“Senator, you say you’re a ‘post-racial’ candidate. But you’ve accepted the endorsement of one of the most powerful political organizations in this state – The Durham Committee on the Affairs of Black People – which excludes all but blacks from membership. How do you square that with your post-racial stance?

And how is the Durham Committee’s racially exclusionary membership policy different from that of other groups with racially exclusionary membership policies?

But with much of the “good news” about Sen. Obama widely-known, N. C. polls still, as I’ve noted, consistently show him trailing Sen. McCain by single digits, the +20 outlier excepted .

Assuming the polls are a reasonably accurate gauge of Obama’s standing with N. C. voters, can he improve his standing with them?

I’m sure some will say, “Yes.”

But I can’t think of much he can do to improve his standing between now and election day; and I can think of a number of issues and factors likely to lower it.

I know his supporters say wait until voters hear Obama’s economic plan.

But North Carolinians have already heard it: from Vice-president Gore in 2000 and Sen. Kerry in 2004.

Let’s be honest: Obama’s economic plan is repackaged liberalism: just what Gore and Kerry promised.

For the record, Bush carried this state in 2000 by 13 points and in 2004 by 12 points.

By the time Election Day comes around the GOP will have seen to it that voters here know Sen. Obama was ranked the number 1 liberal in the Senate by National Journal. (The National Journal gave Sen. Biden had a pretty high liberal rating, too.)

Liberal presidential candidates just don’t do well in the old Tar Heel state.

That’s the main reason I feel safe saying McCain should carry this state by at least 10 points.

In future posts I’ll offer other reasons why I’m confident North Carolina belongs is the “Solidly for McCain” column.

Your thoughts?

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

The Churchill Series – Sept. 9, 2008

(One of a series of weekday posts on the life of Winston S. Churchill.)

In the Autumn 1982 edition the Churchill Centre’s quarterly, Finest Hour, historian Richard Langworth reviewed Clementine Churchill (Houghton Mifflin, 1979), a biography by her daughter, Mary Soames and Family Album (Houghton Mifflin, 1982), Soames sequel to Clementine Churchill. Excerpts from Langworth’s review follows: - - -

This reviewer should begin by admitting to serious prejudice, which influenced his judgment: he thinks Lady Soames is, to borrow a piece of Georgia vernacular, a peach.

But the most critical reviewer would be hardpressed to complain about CLEMENTINE CHURCHILL, a tour de force in a class by itself; or about her sequel, FAMILY ALBUM, just released by the same publishers. Both books are in their way "standard works," mandatory for any Churchill bookshelf, and so far ahead of similar works as to be incomparable.

CLEMENTINE CHURCHILL is of course the second "Clemmie" biography, but Fishman's MY DARLING CLEMENTINE was justifiably criticized as a potboiler. Perhaps this has to do with the fact that CSC was still alive when Fishman wrote it - and CSC was a very private person. Her daughter Mary undertook a really authoritative biography on the understanding that it would not be published in Lady Churchill's lifetime.

All that aside, it is a tremendous, inspiring story, a love story first and foremost, for the wonderful relationship between Sir Winston and Clementine must be labeled thus; yet it is also a professional, well-researched, competent history, with Clemmie's faults not expunged from the record, though they were overwhelmingly exceeded by her virtues.

Lady Churchill was, of course, first and foremost, the perfect mate and foil for her complex genius-husband: "Clementine had no hobbies, such as gardening - that great solace and refuge for countless Englishwomen. For her it was more a matter of administration - not an absorbing or satisfying occupation; and her own active involvement stopped after deadheading roses and irises. Nor did tapestry, knitting or embroidery . . . appeal to her . . . she had lost the habit of driving [along with its] blissful measure of independence . . . Throughout her married life, Clementine's first priority had been. to run her home. Her standards of perfection never altered, nor her attention to minute detail."

The great strain of being Mrs. Churchill, the recurrent grappling with what WSC called the Black Dog - depression - following the Dardanelles, Plug Street, the loss of office in 1929, the bittersweet Thirties, the 1945 election, the 1955 retirement, are all measured here, and one gets the impression that each took its toll on Clementine.

But the real lady is here too: the determined loyalist, the closet radical, the saviour of social occasions otherwise likely to be Winston-monologues, with that all-pervading interest in those around her.

No one can know without reading this book the true greatness of Lady Churchill, nor appreciate the crucial role she played in delivering, unsullied by events, an ebullient Winston, time after time, crisis after crisis, to inspire and ennoble the world. . . .

The remainder of Langworth’s review is here. I hope you read it.

Langworth’s review is only one of thousands of Churchilliana documents the Churchill Centre has made available on the Net; thereby helping sustain his legacy and inform future generations.

Politico: Obama just “poked fun"

From Politico - - -

Amie Parnes reports from Lebanon, VA:

Obama poked fun of McCain and Palin's new "change" mantra.

"You can put lipstick on a pig," he said as the crowd cheered. "It's still a pig."

"You can wrap an old fish in a piece of paper called change. It's still gonna stink."

"We've had enough of the same old thing."

The crowd apparently took the "lipstick" line as a reference to Palin, who described the difference between a hockey mom and a pit bull in a single word: "lipstick." ...

Politico’s entire post’s here.

Did Sen. Obama, a long-time friend of the anti-America racist Jeremiah Wright and terrorist Bill Ayers, just “poke[] fun” at “McCain and Palin's new ‘change’ mantra?”

Is Politico sure Obama wasn’t really “lashing out?"

Please don’t call me a racist.

I’m just asking.

Obama wouldn’t use 527s. Remember?

It was all part of the new, post-racial, “change you can believe in” politics.

“That’s why I’m voting for Senator Obama.“

If he got his party’s nomination, Sen. Obama promised to campaign using public funds. He said he didn’t want “to be beholden to the special interests.”

He got the nomination and now Obama’s taking hundreds of millions from those special interests he said he didn’t want “to be beholden to.”

His public funds pledge? Forget about it.

But there was still his pledge not to encourage and get involved with those nasty 527s.

We were led to believe only Republicans did that.

Obama Come to Save Us made it clear he’d never get involved with the 527s.

Until today.

From Marc Ambinder at the Obama-supporting, left-wing The

… An Obama adviser privy to the campaign's internal thinking on the matter [of 527s] says that, with less than two months before the election and with the realization that Republicans have achieved financial parity with Democrats, they hope that Democratic allies -- what another campaign aide termed "the cavalry" -- will come to Obama's aid. [ Financial parity? It’s polls showing a McCain-Palin surge that has Team Obama and his MSM Tank Corps panicked and calling in the 527 “cavalry.” - - JinC]

The Obama campaign can't ask donors to form outside groups; it can only communicate, through the public and the media, with body language, tells and hints.

The upshot: Obama's campaign will no longer object to independent efforts that hammer John McCain, just as, in their mind, the McCain campaign has not objected to those efforts targeted at Obama. "I assume with their 527s stirring, some [Democratic] ones will as well," another senior campaign official said.

The money is there. The top two 527s -- the Service Employees International Union and America Votes -- are liberal in orientation. The SEIU fund has contributed to other 527 efforts, and America Votes has earmarked most of its money for what it calls the "largest grassroots voter mobilization" in history. . . .
There’s more.

You can read it all here.

World’s easiest prediction: The slimes and smears we’ve seen from major news organizations seeking to destroy Gov. Sarah Palin’s personal reputation and public career will seem like nothing in a few weeks.

Team Obama and Obama’s Tank Corps are just warming up.

Newest N. C. poll: McCain +20

ABC11-WTVD is reporting - - -

In an election for President of the United States in North Carolina Tuesday, September 09, Republican John McCain suddenly and breathtakingly surges to a 20-point win over Democrat Barack Obama, 58% to 38%, according to this latest exclusive SurveyUSA election poll conducted for ABC11-WTVD.

In 3 previous SurveyUSA NC tracking polls, McCain had led by 8, 5, and 4 points. Today: 20. McCain has gained ground in every demographic group. Among men, McCain led by 9 last month, 27 today. Among women, Obama led by 2 last month, trails by 12 today. McCain holds 9 of 10 Republican voters; Obama holds 3 of 4 Democratic voters; independents, who were split last month, break today crisply for McCain, where, in the blink of an eye, he is up by 25.

The following was asked of 671 likely voters (more data on collection listed at the bottom):

  • If the election for President were today, would you vote for ... (choices rotated) Republican John McCain? Or, Democrat Barack Obama?

    58% McCain (R)
    38% Obama (D)
    2% Other
    2% Undecided

The Results of a SurveyUSA Election Poll
Geography Surveyed: North Carolina
Data Collected: 09/06/2008 - 09/08/2008

McCain is now in front among the educated and less educated, among the affluent and less affluent. He's polling at 64% in Coastal Carolina (up from 57%), at 60% in Charlotte (up from 53%), and at 54% in Raleigh / Greensboro (up from 44%). Pro-Life voters backed McCain 2:1 last month, 4:1 this month.

The rest of the story’s here.

I’ll say more about this poll and the presidential race in North Carolina tonight.

Just want to get this newest poll news to you now.

Red-State Feminism

Marriage and Caste in America author Kay Hymowitz writes about it at City Journal’s site - - -

Sarah Palin may be today’s Elvis, but that doesn’t mean she’ll be the Queen. Vice presidential nominees rarely change the course of presidential politics, and despite last week’s Google records, Palin may well take her place in the nation’s large pantheon of would-be veeps whose names history has forgotten.

Still, beware of underestimating Palinsanity, as blogger Ann Althouse has described the storm of comment that the Alaskan governor has aroused. Whatever Palin’s political impact, her cultural significance is profound. For better and for worse, she introduces a new and likely long-running cultural type to the national stage—the red-state feminist.

Of course, the feminist commentariat, primarily coastal and upper-middle-class, has been quick to deny that Palin is any sort of feminist at all. Yes, Palin can boast political success, activism, authority, and self-confidence in front of an audience of 37 million, and, though less widely discussed (perhaps because so profoundly envied), an egalitarian marriage of the sort that has become the foundational principle of feminist utopia.

But in most other respects, especially her position on abortion, she has struck female media types as something more like the Anti-Feminist. She is a “humiliation for America’s women” (Judith Warner for the New York Times) and a tool of the “patriarchs” (Gloria Steinem for the Los Angeles Times).

But the crucial point here is that Palin never wanted to be part of Steinem’s club, and in that respect she speaks for many of her sex. (emphasis added)
The large majority of women—surveys have put the number at somewhere around 75 percent—shy away from calling themselves feminists, even while supporting some movement goals like equal pay. The primary reason for their coyness: feminism’s ambivalence at best, and hostility at worst, toward motherhood and marriage. …

The rest of Hymowitz’s article’s

Warner, Steinem and feminists like them can't tolerate women who don’t behave like malleable, go-along members of NOW.

“Hurry and get that abortion. There’s no telling what could happen if you delay. This is a downright mean country.”

“NOW’s not saying Bill’s conduct was perfect. But she’s 22. And he’s done so much for our cause.”

I don’t wonder so many women don’t want to be identified as “feminists.”

Amazon has more about Hymowitz’s book, including 12 reader reviews, here.

Law Prof debunks WaPo’s latest Palin hit piece

Today’s Washington Post headlines:

Palin Billed State for Nights Spent at Home

Taxpayers Also Funded Family's Travel
After examining WaPo’s claims George Mason Univ. School of Law Professor David Bernstein concludes at Volokh Conspiracy:
[Palin] apparently maintained two residences, the governor's mansion in Juneau, which by state law is her official work "base" and where assumedly she didn't get a per diem (but where her predecessor had a personal chef whom she let go), and Wasilla, from where she commuted to Anchorage for work when the legislature wasn't in session.

Saintly to take the per diem she was legally entitled to when in the second residence? No.

Worthy of the lead headline on Please!

Not illegal, not unethical, and not a scandal.
(Emphasis added)
No, not illegal, not unethical, and not a scandal.

But the members of Obama’s Tank Corp at the Washington Post were able to fire a hit piece at Gov. Palin anyway.

WaPo’s hit piece is here. Bernstein’s takedown of it's here.

Obama lashes out at McCain, Palin

Usually Sen. Obama’s MSM Tank Corps claim he's “responding to attacks” from critics.

The critics, as the Tank Corps' stories usually spin it, “have lashed out at the Senator who wants to bring a new tone to politics and is refusing to engage in personal attacks on his opponents.”

Etc., etc. . . .

But now, one of Obama’s leading Tank Corps divisions, Agence France Presse, fires this "news":

Barack Obama ripped into John McCain and Sarah Palin as never before Monday, accusing his Republican White House foes of "shameless" dishonesty with their claim to be "mavericks" ready to shake up Washington.

McCain and Palin were "lying about their records," the Obama campaign said after the Republican running mates advertised themselves in a television spot as the "original mavericks" who would stand up for hard-pressed voters. . . .
"I've got to admit, these folks are shameless," Obama told a rally here, displaying a passion and an intensity rarely seen from the Illinois senator. . . .
The rest of AFP’s story’s here.

Does AFP expect intelligent people to believe the meme about Obama's "passion and an intensity rarely seen?"

Sen. Obama was hugely passionate and intense after his racist, anti-American friend and pastor of almost 20 years, Jeremiah Wright, said he was “just another politician.”

Remember Obama's obvious upset when he said Wright was not “respecting” him.

Obama was also obviously passionate and intense when he publicly disowned Wright, something he'd said just weeks before in Philadelphia he could no more do than disown the black people.

I could cite other examples but you get the idea.

The entire AFP story's here.

BTW – When will journalists such as Maureen Dowd, Barry Saunders, Andrew Sullivan and Elizabeth Bumiller start insisting Sen. And Mrs. Obama answer questions about their long-term close friendships and activist relationships with Wright, terrorist Bill Ayers and convicted felons Kwame Kilpatrick and Tony Rezko?

Monday, September 08, 2008

The Churchill Series – Sept. 8, 2008

(One of a series of weekday posts about the life of Winston S. Churchill.)

To mark the 100th Anniversary Winston and Clementine Churchill’s marriage this Sept. 12 I’ve been running a series within the Series focused on the lifetime of love and support they gave each other.

Today’s post contains excerpts from a letter Clementine wrote Winston while taking a brief holiday in France in 1921. Winston had remained behind in London to tend to government business.

The F. E. Smith Clementine refers to was Churchill’s closest friend. They were each godfather to the other’s only son and together they founded The Other Club, composed of “agreeable people.” The club’s by-laws state its sole purpose was “to dine.”

Clementine didn’t like F. E., tried to discourage the friendship and even asked Churchill to break it off. She thought Winston drank and gambled too much when with Smith. But there’s nary a hint of any of that in the letter.

The Lt. Col. Maclean mentioned in the letter is John Bayne Maclean, the Canadian founder of The Maclean Publishing Company and Maclean’s Magazine, still today one of Canada’s most respected print publications.

Maclean and Churchill had recently clashed over a number of issues involving Anglo-Canadian relations.


18 February 1921

Hotel Bristol

My Darling Winston,

Here I am feeling rather lonely in this vast hotel full of middle-class English people. But I have made the acquaintance of your formidable foe Lt. Col. J. B. Maclean.

I told Colonel Maclean that I had heard that he was a strong Imperialist and that you were one also, & that being so he ought to “wait & see” before attacking you.

He then talked a lot about F. E. & said that a lot of his prejudice against you was owing to the fact that you were his friend – I asked him why he did not like F. E. & he said that his visit to America & Canada during the War was a series of blunders & insolences.

That at every public dinner he was drunk, that every speech he made was tactless, patronizing & in bad taste, that at one town when he arrived some pretty women were asked to meet him at dinner & that he made a bet he would kiss all seven of them before the evening was out etc – etc – etc –

I told Colonel Maclean that since all these happenings F. E. had become Lord Chancellor & that he was said to be one of the greatest Lord Chancellors that had ever been, that he couldn’t have been nearly as drunk as he seemed, that he was a tremendous sportsman (hunting, tennis, etc), that his wish to kiss the seven ladies only indicated his general admiration of transatlantic women & that anyhow you weren’t in the least like him.

I then encouraged him to talk about Canada & himself which he did at enormous length.

He is naïf, vain, touchy, kindhearted, horribly energetic and vital. …


You can easily visualize Churchill smiling and nodding as he read the letter.

For the last 56 years of his life Winston Spenser Churchill had no wiser or more devoted friend than Clementine Hozier Churchill.

The letter excerpts are found on pg. 231 of Speaking for Themselves: The Personal Letters of Winston and Clementine Churchill. Edited by their daughter, Mary Soames. (Black Swan, 1999)

WaPo editorial: “Ms. Palin's Pipeline”

A Washington Post editorial today says Gov. Sarah Palin’s “attempt to deliver natural gas from Alaska is revealing about her governing style.”

WaPo continues - - -

…Ms. Palin is indeed correct about the need to tap the 35 trillion cubic feet of natural gas under Alaska's North Slope, the same region whose oil made the state wealthy but which has begun to run dry. …

Yet for decades the idea has been deadlocked by federal and state politics -- and unless the United States can install a pipeline to transport Alaska's gas soon, companies may commit to foreign sources of liquefied natural gas, thus locking in long-term dependency on imports. (emphasis added)

Congress passed legislation to expedite a pipeline in 2004. Ms. Palin's predecessor as governor, Republican Frank H. Murkowski, attempted to negotiate a deal with the three oil companies that control the North Slope gas, Exxon Mobil, BP and Conoco Phillips. His plan would have awarded the companies a long-term tax freeze in return for relatively weak commitments to actually build the pipeline.

But even though Vice President Cheney and Sen. Ted Stevens (R-Alaska) lobbied hard for Mr. Murkowski's approach, Alaska's public and legislature balked, viewing the proposal as stacked in favor of the Big Three oil companies.

Ms. Palin rode criticism of Mr. Murkowski's deal to victory over him in the 2006 Republican gubernatorial primary and then to the governor's office later that year.

She reversed Mr. Murkowski's strategy, asking the legislature to pass a law setting criteria for a deal, then throwing the project open to companies other than the Big Three.

The result was a commitment by an experienced pipeline company, TransCanada, to build the project, which may take 10 years, in return for $500 million in state seed money derived from Alaska's recent oil windfall.

The oil companies still control the gas. So, if TransCanada actually gets all the necessary permits, assembles financing and builds the pipeline, the Big Three will have to be persuaded, years from now, to ship their gas through it on reasonable terms. Meanwhile, BP and Conoco Phillips have announced plans to build a pipeline of their own without the state's backing -- a sign that the political and economic wrangling over this immense and risky project is far from over.

But it is also a sign that Ms. Palin's outflanking of the oil companies injected some competition and urgency into a process that was previously stalled. Perhaps her Democratic opponent for the governorship in 2006, who campaigned on similar ideas, would have achieved these results. Nevertheless, Ms. Palin actually did.

The entire editorial’s here.

The WaPo editorial has, I’m sure, already upset Team Obama and its MSM hatchet crew trying to destroy Palin before the public gets to know her.

It also reminded me of a post last week in which I linked to a CNBC interview with Gov. Palin in which she discussed fossil and renewable energy development and use consistent with respect for the environment.

I’ve never heard a political leader of either party speak so knowledgeably and easily about those matters in combination.

The interview, which lasts 14 minutes, can be accessed here.

How USA Today treated REALLY bad news

One of the Obama Tank Corps most important divisions, USA Today, battled yesterday with how to present a REALLY bad news report which began:

The Republican National Convention has given John McCain and his party a significant boost, a USA TODAY/Gallup Poll taken over the weekend shows, as running mate Sarah Palin helps close an "enthusiasm gap" that has dogged the GOP all year.

McCain leads Democrat Barack Obama by 50%-46% among registered voters, the Republican's biggest advantage since January and a turnaround from the USA TODAY poll taken just before the convention opened in St. Paul. Then, he lagged by 7 percentage points.
But those first two paragraphs don’t give readers the most important news of the damage suffered by Obama-Biden.

Yes, yes, I know. Journalists are supposed to get the most important news into the first two paragrahphs. They're the ones readers are most apt to read and remember.

But USA Today is part of the Obama Tank Corps. So you'll have to go to the eighth paragraph for that news because its bad for the O-B team. I've put the key sentence in the graf in bold.
The convention bounce has helped not only McCain but also attitudes toward Republican congressional candidates and the GOP in general.

"The Republicans had a very successful convention and, at least initially, the selection of Sarah Palin has made a big difference," says political scientist Larry Sabato of the University of Virginia. "He's in a far better position than his people imagined he would be in at this point."

However, in an analysis of the impact of political conventions since 1960, Sabato concluded that post-convention polls signal the election's outcome only about half the time. "You could flip a coin and be about as predictive," he says. "It is really surprising how quickly convention memories fade."

McCain has narrowed Obama's wide advantage on handling the economy, by far the electorate's top issue. Before the GOP convention, Obama was favored by 19 points; now he's favored by 3.

The Republican's ties to President Bush remains a vulnerability. In the poll, 63% say they are concerned he would pursue policies too similar to those of the current president. Bush's approval rating is 33%.

In the new poll, taken Friday through Sunday, McCain leads Obama by 54%-44% among those seen as most likely to vote. The survey of 1,022 adults, including 959 registered voters, has a margin of error of +/— 3 points for both samples.

Among the findings:

• Before the convention, Republicans by 47%-39% were less enthusiastic than usual about voting. Now, they are more enthusiastic by 60%-24%, a sweeping change that narrows a key Democratic advantage. Democrats report being more enthusiastic by 67%-19%.

• Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, a national unknown before McCain chose her for the ticket 10 days ago, draws a strong reaction from voters on both sides. Now, 29% say she makes them more likely to vote for McCain, 21% less likely.
Obama's choice of Delaware Sen. Joe Biden as running mate made 14% more likely to vote for the Democrat, 7% less likely.

• McCain's acceptance speech Thursday received lower ratings than the one Obama gave a week earlier: 15% called McCain's speech "excellent" compared with 35% for Obama.

Raleigh N&O editor’s blatantly partisan email (updated)

Error Alert: N&O Executive Editor John Drescher is not the author of the email discussed below. Senior Editor Linda Williams is.

I'll say more this evening. Right now I just want to correct as quickly as possible.

I regret my error which was based on information given to me by people who have been reliable in the past.

I'll be sending a note to Drescher acknowledging and apologizing for my error.


Readers who complain to the McClatchy Company’s Raleigh News & Observer about the paper’s blatant liberal/leftist Anything for Obama bias usually get a quick dismissal.

The staff's default response to criticism is "The N&O's fair and accurate.” (That’s also the promotional slogans the N&O uses when drumming up advertising contracts.)

Sometimes an editor or reporter will go so far as to tell readers, “It’s you who have the bias.” I know that first hand.

With that as background, let’s turn to G. D. Gearino’s eponymous blog. Gearino’s a career journalists and prize-winning author who some years back worked at the N&O as a business editor and columnist. He has many friends at the paper.

Here’s part of a recent Gearino post - "The curtain pulled aside" - with my comments below the star line.

From Gearino - - -

… It’s common for a top editor at the N&O to send out an inter-office note most days celebrating the high points of that morning’s paper (as well as occasionally pointing out a lapse).

Among the staff, those notes prompt a daily exercise in something very close to Kremlinology, as they are pondered and studied for clues as to which way the management wind blows.

Below is [executive editor John Drescher's] note that was distributed to the staff yesterday, reprinted here as I received it. I will make no comment, lest I sway your judgment on what it reveals about the people who oversee the most influential newspaper in the state. But feel free to share your thoughts.:

A few comments on some good work in today’s paper:

–A lively front page that gave our readers plenty to talk about.

Has the political right truly turned the corner and will cease to demonize opponents on so-called moral issues, or are we witnessing the boldest, most cynical, most hypocritical political spin in modern history?

What is one to make of John McCain’s greeting at the Twin Cities airport yesterday of America’s most famous baby mama with a warm hug, and the apparent attaboy pat on the shoulder for the self-described “f***ing redneck” baby daddy?

Are we now celebrating teenagers’ raging hormones?

The claims department feature (see 8a) is a great reader service. I would like to see more scrutiny of the “facts” in Sarah Palin’s speech last night.

Now to our local politicians….Is Kenn Gardner just an inept liar or a man so greedy that he doesn’t care whether we think he’s an inept liar as long as he gets paid?

–A newsy and entertaining Triangle&Co. front.

I’d bet that Barry Saunders is hearing a lot of amens this morning as well as feeling a lot of hate. Good. A columnist should stir ‘em up.

Much of America may have forgotten, but the black community has a very long memory of Republicans demonizing black unwed moms. The black wire–radio and a growing black blogesphere–is crackling this morning with wicked “Juno” jokes.

In general, black bloggers ( A warning to the easily offended, the name is a big clue) are having a great time with the GOP show in Minneapolis.

–Lots of interesting people stories in the sports section about college athletes and the pros. For those following tennis’ sibling rivalry, Serena has gained a slight lead by beating older sister Venus in the U.S. Open quarterfinals.

–Good, timely story–and an inviting headline (Life over breasts)– on the Life, etc. cover.
Gearino's entire post is here.



You can read the Barry Saunders column to which Drescher refers here.

I've left the following comment (tweaked here for context clarity) on the thread of "The curtain pulled aside"

I’m in general agreement with the commenter above who says:

“This editor’s e-mail reveals what many N&O and general media critics say; that they are nothing more than left wing mudslingers. When an editor of the paper is comfortable enough sending a condescending, clearly slanted viewpoint to the organization, it is not a difficult leap to suspect that same slant and attitude will influence the content of the paper.”

Sure, there are no doubt N&O reporters and editors who do their best to steer clear of “left wing mudsling[ing],” but an executive editor sets the tone for a newsroom.

Drescher’s email reads like something would circulate as the day’s talking points; and I think it’s fair to say most people at the N&O will want to go with the bosses “talking points.”

Drescher asks rhetorically: “What is one to make of John McCain’s greeting at the Twin Cities airport yesterday of America’s most famous baby mama with a warm hug, and the apparent attaboy pat on the shoulder for the self-described “f***ing redneck” baby daddy? Are we now celebrating teenagers’ raging hormones?”

I would ask Drescher and other journalists: “What is one to make of the N&O’s decision to withhold from its Mar. 25, 2006 front page story it said, with no suggestion of doubt, was about a woman’s “ordeal” which ended “in sexual violence,” the news it had of the Duke lacrosse players' extensive cooperation with police; and instead promulgate what it knew was the “wall of solidarity” lie which almost immediately morphed into the “wall of silence” lie?

What is one to make of Ruth Sheehan’s Mar. 27, 2006 “Team’s silence is sickening” McCarthyite screed hyping the “wall of silence” lie? [Disclosure: Some months later Sheehan apologized to the players for the column. In “It’s Not About the Truth,” pub. in Apr. 2007 she’s quoted extensively explaining how Mike Nifong served as the anonymous source for her Mar. 27 column with the N&O newsroom having passed on to her from Nifong the false information on which she based her column. No one at the N&O has denied what Sheehan’s quoted as saying. Publisher Orage Quarles emailed me saying only that the N&O doesn’t talk about it anonymous sources.]

I thank G. D. Gearino for putting Drescher’s disturbing email out there.

I wish Drescher would come on the thread, explain it and answer questions.

Thank you.

John in Carolina

An N&O reader left a comment at the N&O's Editors' blog but its received no response.

That's nothing new.

I'll continue working this story.

What do you folks think?

Sunday, September 07, 2008

Welcome Sarah Palin Sexism Watch blog

It's not here before we need it.

The Sarah Palin Sexism Watch's moderator says:

I am a female professional who lives in Wisconsin. I created this blog to monitor, and round up, the sexist treatment given to Republican VP nominee, Sarah Palin.

This blog will focus on sexist reactions to the Palin nomination by the media and politicians. Please email me tips at:
If ever a blog was needed, it's this one.

I've visited it three times today and yesterday.

I think Far Left Feminists, Andrew Sullivan and MSM journalists like him won't care for SPSW blog. It's already shining too much light on their sexism.

But if, regardless of party, you're an intelligent, fair-minded person; and you don't want the MSMers who brought us the bogus Texas Air National Guard story and the Duke lacrosse hoax and frame-up attempt lies "filtering" the news for you, you're going to appreciate SPSW.

It puts the sexist stories out there with links so you can judge them for yourself.

I'm sending SPSW's moderator the following email at

Dear Moderator:

One blogger to another: my hat's off to you.

You ask for item tips. Here's one:

Scroll half-way down this LAT page and look at the right-hand column as you face the monitor:
Sarah Palin: Politics of Fashion

You have a great blog and are performing an important public service.

That said, have you considered interspersing with the sexism posts some “Why they fear Palin” posts?

Example: This brief post links to a 14-minute CNBC video of an interview with Gov. Palin some few days before Sen. McCain announced her selection as his running mate.

In it Palin discusses both fossil and renewable energy retrieval, distribution and use consistent with respect for the environment, all with the goals of making America as energy clean and independent as possible.

I’ve never heard a political leader of either party speak so knowingly and easily about those subjects.

The interview gives the lie to claims Palin is a lightweight.

It leaves no doubt “Why they fear Palin.”

I hope you give it a look here where you’ll find the link to the video.

Again, congrats and thanks for the great job you're doing.

I’ll be visiting and linking often.



Hat tip: Anon commenter who clued me to SPSW.