Friday, October 03, 2008

The Churchill Series – Oct. 3, 2008

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

In March 1991 Sir Martin Gilbert, Churchill’s official biographer, spoke at the International Churchill Societies' meeting in London. He offered his listeners “a biographer’s reflections,” referencing in particular his classic one-volume Churchill: A Life.

Here’s part of Gilbert’s reflections:

Churchill was always at the front of new ideas and radical ideas. I found a very interesting letter, which [his daughter]Lady [Mary] Soames helped me decipher, which Churchill wrote to Clementine while he was at a shooting weekend near York in 1910, and surrounded by all the action of the shoot: "I expect I will have a headache tomorrow night after firing so many cartridges. All the glitter and excitement of the world appeals to me but not, thank God, in comparison with serious things."

This was the period when serious things with which Churchill was concerned included the two great pieces of legislation - the Mines Bill, which established decent conditions in the mines, including for the first time pit-head baths which had henceforth to be provided by the owners; and also the Shops Bill, every clause of which, save one, was destroyed by a hostile Parliament, but every clause of which in due course entered the Statute Book, to the benefit of hundreds of thousands of working people.

The one element Churchill was able to bring in then, in 1911, was the compulsory meal breaks for all people working on the shop floor. So he was the creator, not only of pit-head baths, but of the British tea break. Incidentally, he was enormously proud, and rightly so, when as Chancellor of the Exchequer in 1927, he abolished the tax on tea which had existed since the reign of the first Queen Elizabeth.
Almost all of you reading this are Americans. I don’t doubt that you’re saying to yourselves something like:
”Of course he’d want to get rid of the tea tax. That feeling came to him from his American mother.”
Gilbert’s entire reflections are here. I hope you all find time this weekend to give them a look. You’ll be well rewarded.

My thanks go to the Churchill Centre for hosting Sir Martin's reflections.

I hope you all have a very nice Fall weekend.



WaPo's Biden cropping and makeover

Extreme Mortman alerted us to WaPo's photo cropping of Sen. Biden's finger pointing last evening. Now there's more Obama's WaPo has done to "mellow out" Biden's finger pointing as you'll learn below the star line.

First, Extreme Mortman's suburb catch clear, full and in color - - -

Here’s the Palin/Biden debate picture featured top of the Washington Post front page this morning…

Palin Biden Washington Post

And here’s how the photo looks right now on the Post website …

Palin Biden Washington Post 2

Any guesses why they’d look different?


I'm guessing WaPo will tell us the cropping has nothing to do with favoring the Obama-Biden ticket over McCain-Palin.

Journalism ethics forbids taking sides in a political campaign as Dan Rather often reminds us.

That said, you'll be interested in WaPo's move from the cropping Extreme Mortman noted to what WaPo's Style Section would refer to as "a complete makeover."

At 7:30 PM ET WaPo's online front page doesn't even carry the cropped photo.
It instead contains only a postage stamp size photo of the pre-debate Biden-Palin handshake.

Check it out for yourself here.

And don't forget to give Extreme Mortman a look here.

Hat tip: AC and PDQ

Biden's "clean coal" misstatement

The video clips prove Sen. Biden misstated during last night's debate what he actually said on the rope line in Ohio about "clean coal."

Take a look and see for yourself.

Hat tip: AC

MSM Big V-P Debate Loser

An Anon last evening made the point MSM was a big loser last night.

Roger Simon agrees
- - -

Tonight, Sarah Palin drove another stake in the heart of those fuddy-duddy reactionaries that constitute our mainstream media.

Going toe-to-toe with a senator with decades of experience, she more than held her own, giving lie to the media constructed narrative that she was an inexperienced hick from nowheresville Alaska.

It demonstrates once again why the media is held in such contempt. For economic and ego reasons, they consider themselves to be our gatekeepers, but frankly they are not that smart. They are not rocket scientists – figuratively or literally. They are certainly no smarter than Sarah Palin.

I would be willing to bet that in a free debate with Katie Couric, Palin would come out the victor. (Frank Luntz’s focus group saw her winning literally by acclamation over Biden.)

I actually had some sympathy for Joe Biden tonight (who we all know thinks John McCain is better than Obama anyway – he’s said so, as Palin was correct to point out). He was an aging fellow (like me) forced to debate a young and much more charismatic woman who was easily his equal. You could see in his body language that he knew it.

But if McCain-Palin actually pull this one out, it is the MSM that will be the big losers here. They have put heart and soul behind Obama without really knowing him. For shame.



For shame!

If only Obama's MSM Tanks Corps had some.

And gatekeepers?

Why should MSM political partisans control our news flow?

Some Biden “wrongs” last night

Jack in Silver Springs called attention to a listing at NRO of some of the statements Sen. Biden made last night that were wrong.

Mind you, there’s no claim Biden lied, just that he got them wrong.

Items from the list:

THE CONSTITUTION: Biden: "Vice President Cheney's been the most dangerous vice president we've had probably in American history. He has — he has — the idea he doesn't realize that Article I of the Constitution defines the role of the vice president of the United States, that's the executive — he works in the executive branch. He should understand that. Everyone should understand that."

As noted by the McCain Camp, Article I of the Constitution does not, in fact, define the role of the Vice President of the United States. It defines the role of the legislative branch, otherwise known as the branch in which Joe Biden has served for the last 36 years.

[A reader writes in noting that Article I does mention the veep at one point — "The Vice President of the United States shall be President of the Senate, but shall have no Vote, unless they be equally divided." However, by describing the veep's role in the legislature, it doesn't really help Biden's claim that it "defines the role, that's the executive, he works in the executive branch."]

IRAQ-AFGHANISTAN SPENDING: Biden said that the U.S. spends more in Iraq in one month than it has in Afghanistan in six or seven years.

That figure is off by 2000 percent.

‘KICKED HEZBOLLAH OUT OF LEBANON’: Biden: When we kicked — along with France, we kicked Hezbollah out of Lebanon, I said, and Barack said, ‘Move NATO forces in there. Fill the vacuum, because if you don’t know — if you don’t, Hezbollah will control it.”

Reuters thinks he meant to refer to Syria, but I still don't think it would be accurate to say the U.S. kicked Syria out of Lebanon. The Lebanese kicked Syria out of Lebanon.

RESTAURANT: "Look, all you have to do is go down Union Street with me in Wilmington or go to Katie's Restaurant or walk into Home Depot with me where I spend a lot of time and you ask anybody in there whether or not the economic and foreign policy of this administration has made them better off in the last eight years."

According to this Delaware site, Katie's Restaurant is no longer in business; locals remember it on Union Street 25 to 30 years ago.

Give the NRO site and list a look. The list of Biden “wrongs” is growing.

Thank you, Jack in Silver Springs

Bad night for MSM's credibility

Regarding Thursday evening's Biden-Palin debate an Anon commenter says some things I think tens of millions who watched the debate are thinking.

Thanks to Anon and what do you think?

Anon begins - - -

I would be curious as to how many people tuned in.

57 million watched the first Prez debate last weekend. I would expect even more watched tonight.

This stuff is bad for the MSM because people know what they saw and can form their own opinions. That's tens of millions of people beyond the dishonest influence of agenda setters. In fact, people who saw the debate and have, to date, been getting impressions of Palin from the MSM will wonder what the heck the media have been talking about.

But, how much lower can the credibility of the MSM fall. My guess is that the MSM is sub-Bush and down in Congress territory.

I think some of the pundits are overstating how well she did but, at the same time, the MSMers who have been systemically trying to destroy her have nothing to work with after tonight.

Thursday, October 02, 2008

The Churchill Series – Oct. 2, 2008

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

Today the second post in the two-post series within the Series.

Yesterday’s post introduced us to what was both a serious and amusing problem Churchill’s staff and others in Government dealt with: protecting “the Old Man” from Nazi agents who might try to kill him by sending poisoned cigars allegedly from admiring individuals and organizations.

Our story as told by Churchill scholar Allan Packwood continues - - -

In the spring of 1941 Churchill was offered two large consignments of cigars from Cuba, one set from the pro-British paper called "Bohemia" and the other, complete with a decorative cabinet (which now adorns the painting studio at Chartwell), from the Cuban National Tobacco Commission.

This clearly caused some consternation among his own staff, and led to the following minute of 22 April from [Private Secretary] John Colville to [Principal Private Secretary] Eric Seal:

"When these arrive, I think it will be very difficult to do as Mr Bracken suggested and suppress them! The Prime Minister is quite likely to ask what has become of them and in any case they represent a gift of considerable value. Would it not be best for you to ask Mr. Bracken and Mrs. Churchill to represent strongly to the Prime Minister that they should not be smoked?"
Eric Seal was worried enough to raise the matter the following day with Professor Lindemann, Churchill's close friend and adviser in all things scientific. In a hand-written note to the professor he concludes: "In short, is there any watertight examination by means of which we could make sure the cigars are OK?"

Professor Lindemann's, response was to contact Lord Rothschild at M.I.5.

Rothschild agreed that "some security measures ought to be laid on" and offered to make the necessary enquiries without anyone knowing as he imagined that "this is the sort of thing which the Prime Minister would not like very much if he knew about it."

We know from Jock Colville's diary that a conference to discuss this matter then took place in Desmond Morton's room at Downing Street on 29 May with both Lindemann and Rothschild in attendance.

First contact with the security services had been established, and on 2 June Colville wrote to Rothschild asking whether in future, it would be desirable for small boxes of cigars and chocolates "and other things of the same kind" to be sent to M.I.5 instead of Scotland Yard.

Colville wryly observed that "we might stand a better chance of getting them back if they were innocuous!" …

The cabinet of cigars from the National Tobacco Commission of Cuba did not arrive until late September. In the meantime, Colville had sent three minutes to the Prime Minister, on 22 April, 18 June and 23 September, all warning him about the potential risk of poisoning from such gifts and advising him not to smoke anything. M.I.5 finally took possession of one cigar from each box on 24 September and proceeded to examine them for bacteriological and toxicological contamination. …

The conclusion was that the sample was innocuous. Although, as Lord Rothschild observed in a letter of 9 October to Churchill's office, nicotine was itself "very poisonous indeed and there are few things which the smoking end of a cigar could be treated with which might be more harmful". The report may have been reassuring, but it was not conclusive.

Only a small percentage of the Cuban cigars had been tested and M.I.5 now recommended that all those remaining should be visually examined for puncture marks and stains.

Churchill's trusty bodyguard Inspector Thomson agreed to perform this time-consuming task.

Lord Rothschild returned the tested cigars to Downing Street with the technical report as an exhibit to prove that he had not just smoked them, "after the number of jokes that Colville and I had about Special Branch eating No.10's chocolates".

The supreme irony in all of this is that there is evidence that Churchill, ignoring Colville's anxious minutes, had already smoked some of the cigars before they had even been received by M.I.5.

Lord Balfour of Inchcrye wrote an article for The Times in September 1965, quoted by Martin Gilbert in the official biography, describing a meeting of the Defence Committee on 19 September 1941. According to Balfour, who was then an Under-Secretary of State at the Air Ministry, Churchill took all the committee members to see his new Cuban cigar cabinet:
"Turning to the waiting Ministers, he addressed us thus: 'Gentlemen, I am now going to try an experiment. Maybe it will result in joy. Maybe it will end in grief. I am about to give you each one of these magnificent cigars.' He paused. He continued with Churchillian rolling of sound and digestive enjoyment of the spoken word. 'It may well be that these each contain some deadly poison.'"...

There’s more to this story. You can find it in this account at the Churchill Centre’s site by Allan Packwood, archivist of the Churchill Archives Centre, Cambridge.

Drudge V-P debate poll & NYT's headlines

Archer 05 calls attention to a “who won the V-P debate" poll here at Drudge.

A O5 also guesses at Sen. Obama’s NY Times' post debate headlines:

Biden wins debate; Obama leading in all 57 states

The V-P debate: first thoughts

It's just over. I’ll have more tomorrow, but right now this - - -

The MSM Obama Tank Corps that spent the debate waiting for Palin to blunder and/or give them their “deer in the headlights moment” to lead with are still waiting.

They’re going to have to concede she at least did well or make something up to smear her performance tonight.

I’m betting they’ll search for a smear. They’ll have to look hard, though I don’t doubt they’ll find something.

A good bet: tomorrow Obama's MSM will start again hustleing the Troopergate slimes.

Meanwhile, the McCain-Palin supporters are going to be high-fiving.

Palin and Biden both did well, but Palin did better than Biden in circumstances in which she was expected to do worse.

She was the clear winner though both candidates were informed and articulate.

I think their supporters will be pleased: each candidate made the points that pre-debate they were expected to make.

Biden showed himself extremely well-informed on foreign policy. He did a good job of touting Sen. Obama’s record and proposals. He repeatedly hit McCain’s voting record.

But he also fluffed and got some things wrong that McCain's team can hit him with. His statement on clean coal and China is one example. Biden presented his position as the opposite of what he's actually said.

And what he said is on tape.

What about Palin?

I’ve said for weeks she knows energy development and policy. She showed it tonight.

Biden was more formal, even distant, and seemed often to be holding in some anger.

Palin was relaxed and did a superb job of presenting her background and experience without seeming me-me.

I’d like to hear what you think.

More tomorrow.

VP debate at 10:00 PM

This last half-hour Biden has done better, but Palin is holding her own.

Bidan's superior foreign policy knowledge is serving him well.

But Palin's doing a good job countering.

Biden continues to seem serious/borderline angry; Palin continues to look at the camera and seem at ease.

Let's see what happens in the last half-hour.

I'll be back after the debate.

VP debate at 9:30 ET

IMO Palin's doing awfully well.

Bid is now responding to Palin on tax and talking about Scranton and Exxon.

He's into the class warfare argument.

We're all going to be paying more taxes because big business is getting too many breaks.

Biden is looking serious. His voice tone suggests he suppressing anger.

The "easy, friendly Joe" MSM-Dem operatives love doesn't seem to have showed tonight.

Palin looks at ease. She's smiles a lot. And looks at the camera.

I score the first 30 minutes for Palin.

I may or may not be back on line tonight.

Sen. Coburn: Congress won't "threat the cancer"

Oklahoma's Sen. Tom Coburn offers somethng different from the fixes people like Barney Frank, Chuck Schumer, Nancy Pelosi, and Maxime Waters want to foist off on us.

I hope you give a look and listen to what Coburn says.

Thanks to the Anon commenter who sent it.

Journalists as political operatives

National Journal posts a Q&A with Tom Rosenstiel, director of the Pew Center’s Project for Excellence in Journalism.

Here’s one of the Q&As followed by my comments ---

Q: What would you say the problems of press coverage are, then?

Rosenstiel: The fact the press has given over too much of its air time to campaign operatives who they label as analysts, media people. It's the naming of Paul Begala, and Karl Rove, and Dick Morris, and a countless litany of other people who are essentially not journalists but who play them on TV, and who really are doing talking points. That's one fundamental problem.

Another is an excess of focus on strategy, tactics and horse race, which we've seen for generations now in the coverage. Another is a kind of short attention span, almost kind of amnesic quality, in which the coverage and the narrative of the campaign sort of bounces from one episode to another, but there's no consistent coverage of what the country's problems are, or where the country is going.

I think the coverage of Obama has been insufficient. We don't know enough about him. There's a risk there. We didn't know enough about George [W.] Bush, and the day he took office I think we didn't have a sufficient understanding of how he might govern, and I think we have a risk of that with Obama. These are fundamental flaws. Can I point to examples of sexist coverage? Yes. Can I point to examples of racist coverage? Yes. But those are not the major issues that I see in the coverage this year.



Folks, what’s the difference between “campaign operatives” and “journalists?”

So many of the “news stories” I’ve read and heard lately are just like what you’d expect a political operative to produce. Do you read the NYT and AP stories; do you tune in to NPR, MSNBC and the networks? Then you most know what I mean.

And this from the last presidential campaign - - -

At the time Dan Rather reported the bogus 60 Minutes Texas Air National Guard story everyone agreed Rather was as a journalist. In fact, we were told he was a model for and hero to other journalists.

But was Rather a journalist when he pushed the bogus TANG story – including arranging for the source of the faked documents, Bush-hater and Democratic operative Bill Burkett, to speak by phone with top Kerry campaign operative Joe Lockhart, President Bill Clinton’s former press secretary?

Was Rather practicing journalism when, during the almost two weeks the public didn’t know Burkett was the document source, Rather assured the public his anonymous source was “unimpeachable?”

And was CBS acting like a news organization engaged in journalism when it let Rather dissemble and tried to cover-up what he and his team of journalists had done?

Weren’t Rather and the other journalists at CBS really acting like dishonest campaign operatives? And wasn't CBS acting just like a dishonest campaign operation?

There are very many times when “journalist” and “campaign operative” are distinctions without much functional difference except for where the paycheck comes from.

I respect honest journalists and honest campaign operatives (there are some of each; it’s been my good fortune to know well individuals from both groups.)

But most journalists are so biased and eager to be part of the Dem/Left base which dominates MSM that they function more like political operatives than truth seeking and telling journalists.

Rather and CBS are no isolated examples. Just consider the Boston Globe’s editorial board’s decision to take the disproven Palin rape-kit charge story and pass it on to Globe readers as fact. See here and here.

Or ask yourself how many of the literally thousands of journalists covering the presidential campaign are reporting on the working relationship over many years between Sen. Obama and “the guy in the neighborhood,” terrorist Bill Ayers.

Barney Frank Exposed

America’s mostly Dem-dominated news organizations have done a very good job covering up Rep. Barney Frank’s consistent support for Freddie and Fannie’s high risk loan policies. They’ve also covered up his refusal to support reforms which could have prevented or at least lessened the current disaster which will stick taxpayers with a bill running into the hundreds of billions.

Because so much of media cover for him, Frank, one of those most responsible for the current financial mess, is able to stride from news conference to news conference saying such things as: “The private sector got us into this mess. The government has to get us out of it." Frank proclaims he's "working on a solution to the current problems."

Boston Globe columnist Jeff Jacoby will have none of Barney’s baloney. You’ll see that in his column which follows. It’s classic Jacoby: carefully researched, grounded in reason, tough-spoken but not overstated, and irrefutable.

Of everything I’ve read on the mortgage mess, Jacoby’s column is both the best exposure of Frank’s shameless falsehoods and posturing and the best news story or column account of how the current mortgage mess developed.

Read Jacoby’s column and let me know what you think. I’ll wait a few days and then send him a link to this post and your comments.

Here’s Jacoby - - -

“The private sector got us into this mess. The government has to get us out of it."

That's Barney Frank's story, and he's sticking to it. As the Massachusetts Democrat has explained it in recent days, the current financial crisis is the spawn of the free market run amok, with the political class guilty only of failing to rein the capitalists in. The Wall Street meltdown was caused by "bad decisions that were made by people in the private sector," Frank said; the country is in dire straits today "thanks to a conservative philosophy that says the market knows best."

And that philosophy goes "back to Ronald Reagan, when at his inauguration he said, 'Government is not the answer to our problems; government is the problem.' "

In fact, that isn't what Reagan said. His actual words were: "In this present crisis, government is not the solution to our problem; government is the problem." Were he president today, he would be saying much the same thing.

Because while the mortgage crisis convulsing Wall Street has its share of private-sector culprits -- many of whom have been learning lately just how pitiless the private sector’s discipline can be -- they weren't the ones who "got us into this mess."

Barney Frank's talking points notwithstanding, mortgage lenders didn't wake up one fine day deciding to junk long-held standards of creditworthiness in order to make ill-advised loans to unqualified borrowers. It would be closer to the truth to say they woke up to find the government twisting their arms and demanding that they do so - or else.

The roots of this crisis go back to the Carter administration. That was when government officials, egged on by left-wing activists, began accusing mortgage lenders of racism and "redlining" because urban blacks were being denied mortgages at a higher rate than suburban whites.

The pressure to make more loans to minorities (read: to borrowers with weak credit histories) became relentless. Congress passed the Community Reinvestment Act, empowering regulators to punish banks that failed to "meet the credit needs" of "low-income, minority, and distressed neighborhoods."

Lenders responded by loosening their underwriting standards and making increasingly shoddy loans. The two government-chartered mortgage finance firms, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, encouraged this "subprime" lending by authorizing ever more "flexible" criteria by which high-risk borrowers could be qualified for home loans, and then buying up the questionable mortgages that ensued.

All this was justified as a means of increasing homeownership among minorities and the poor. Affirmative-action policies trumped sound business practices. A manual issued by the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston advised mortgage lenders to disregard financial common sense.

"Lack of credit history should not be seen as a negative factor," the Fed's guidelines instructed. Lenders were directed to accept welfare payments and unemployment benefits as "valid income sources" to qualify for a mortgage. Failure to comply could mean a lawsuit.

As long as housing prices kept rising, the illusion that all this was good public policy could be sustained. But it didn't take a financial whiz to recognize that a day of reckoning would come. "What does it mean when Boston banks start making many more loans to minorities?" I asked in this space in 1995. "Most likely, that they are knowingly approving risky loans in order to get the feds and the activists off their backs . . . When the coming wave of foreclosures rolls through the inner city, which of today's self-congratulating bankers, politicians, and regulators plans to take the credit?"

Frank doesn't. But his fingerprints are all over this fiasco. Time and time again, Frank insisted that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were in good shape.

Five years ago, for example, when the Bush administration proposed much tighter regulation of the two companies, Frank was adamant that "these two entities, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, are not facing any kind of financial crisis."

When the White House warned of "systemic risk for our financial system" unless the mortgage giants were curbed, Frank complained that the administration was more concerned about financial safety than about housing.

Now that the bubble has burst and the "systemic risk" is apparent to all, Frank blithely declares: "The private sector got us into this mess." Well, give the congressman points for gall. Wall Street and private lenders have plenty to answer for, but it was Washington and the political class that derailed this train.

If Frank is looking for a culprit to blame, he can find one suspect in the nearest mirror.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

The Churchill Series – Oct. 1, 2008

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

Today we start a two-post series within the Series with the following by a noted Churchill scholar - - -

The recent revelations from the Public Record Office about British plots to assassinate Hitler in 1944 raise intriguing questions about the possibility of similar German plots to assassinate Winston Churchill. The following correspondence relating to the testing of Winston Churchill's cigars survives among his papers at the Churchill Archives Centre in Cambridge, England.

Churchill's penchant for cigars and fine drink was known throughout the world. His private office was regularly being offered gifts of alcohol and tobacco. Clearly there was a risk of poisoning that had to be taken seriously.

In the early part of the war such gifts appear to have been intercepted and passed to Scotland Yard for testing and safekeeping. In January 1941 the Maceo Society of Camaguey in Cuba presented the British Legation in Havana with two boxes of cigars for the Prime Minister.

These were sent by the Foreign Office to Scotland Yard, who in turn passed them to the senior official analyst at the Home Office, one Roche Lynch, an expert in poisons working at the Department of Chemical Pathology at St Mary's Hospital in London.

Lynch offered to perform his routine tests but observed that, " is impossible for me to test the cigars for every known poison especially when it is possible that they could have been treated with some tropical poison not seen in this country."

Lynch further added that, "If an attempt on the life of anyone is to be made with cigars, I would suggest that the poison is not likely to be inhaled in the smoke as the heat of combustion would destroy nearly all the poison."

However, a poisoner could achieve his goal by incorporating poison into the mouth end of the cigar, which would come directly into contact with the intended victim. He pointed out that a number of poisons have a fatal dose of less than one grain, and that "From photographs of the P.M., I should say that he probably chews the end of the cigar which would make this possibility more easy."

In his report Lynch confirmed that he could detect no signs of tampering and had found nothing of a "noxious nature". He had also smoked a single cigar from each box "with no untoward effects". . . .

(to be continued tomorrow. In the meantime, can we agree Roche Lynch was a scientist of some courage and perhaps, like the P. M., favored fine cigars? )

At trial, Ifill "challenged for cause." Here's why.

A post this morning - Ifill's Obama-tanking no surprise - included this:

Fox’s Greta Van Susteren, who’s attorney, reports - -
I confirmed for us here on GretaWire: the McCain campaign did NOT know about Gwen Ifill’s book (I think I told them when I made my efforts - emails about midnight - to find out!) I am stunned….the campaign (actually both) should have been told before the campaign agreed to have her moderate. It simply is not fair - in law, this would create a mistrial. (second bold added by JinC)

In an email Ex -Prosecutor adds - - -

If this were a trial, Palin v. Biden, Gwen Ifill would be challenged for cause, namely that she has a financial stake in seeing that Senator Obama wins, in addition to her personal relationship with him. No way she could be on a jury, and this even would be with 11 others to temper her.

If the situation was reversed, and Ifill's book were about Sarah Palin, the first female vice-president, the Democrats would be screaming.

Netwworks' news viewership continues to decline

Tom Blumer at has the numbers and some analysis. I add a few comments below the star line.

Blumer begins - - -

You might think that a presidential election year might give the Big Three networks’ evening newscasts a shot in the arm.

You would be wrong.

Full-year figures released last week and available MediaBistro’s TVNewser showed yet another audience decline.

The comparisons that follow are of the 2007-2008 ratings year just ended (each ratings year begins of fall season premieres) to 2006-2007: [Blumer posted tables I can't recopy. - - JinC]


NBC’s small pickup is more than wiped out by the audience losses at ABC and CBS.

The first week of the new ratings year was better than the previous week, but the overall downward trend clearly continues [.]


Viewership should be strongest right now, but it isn’t. NBC’s decline is especially steep, and makes you wonder if the fever-swamp nuttiness of MSNBC is hurting the parent brand. …

Tom Blumer’s entire post’s here. Give it a look. He has statisical tables and concise, smart commentary.



I did some quick math on the year-over-year viewer numbers.

Rounding to the ten-thousand column and allowing that all of NBC’s 06/07 to 07/08 viewer gain came from people “migrating” from the other two networks leaves 540,000 viewers who during the year measured just stopped watching the evening network news.

The networks long viewer decline reminds me of something that’s happened over the past 30 or so years.

In 1975 people would say, “This is an important document (or package) that has to be there tomorrow. So I’ve got to us the U. S. Postal’s overnight service.”

Who’d say that now? It’s mostly U. P. S. and Fed Ex.

The networks are heading the way of U. S. Postal and for the same reason it’s no longer thought of when delivering something’s important: they’re unreliable.

I’d like to see recent data on the average age of network news viewers.

I be its continuing to rise.

Hat tips to Blumer for a nice post and Instapundit and Newsbusters for pointing me to his post

Does NBC News have Obama cheerleader outfits?

Here’s JamieWearingFool today - - -

As anyone with a pulse knows, NBC News has tilted so far to the left this election season they've done everything but dress up their on-air news "talent" in cheerleader outfits with an Obama logo on them.

Now comes word that with the current economic crisis, a couple more glaring conflicts are causing concern.

NBC is under fire for having correspondent Andrea Mitchell cover the economic crisis because she's married to former Federal Reserve chief Alan Greenspan - but some people are also wondering about David Gregory, who has a show, "Race for the White House" on MSNBC. Gregory is married to Beth Wilkinson - who until a month ago was general counsel, executive vice president and corporate secretary for mortgage giant Fannie Mae, which is now being investigated by the FBI. ...
The rest of the post’s here. JWF notes other conflicts at NBC. Take a look.


Isn’t there some kind of conflict of interest dispensation for MSM journalists, news anchors, editors and publishers serving in Obama's Tank Corps?

Ifill’s Obama-tanking’s no surprise

World Net Daily reports - - -

The moderator of Thursday's vice-presidential debate is writing a book to come out about the time the next president takes the oath of office that aims to "shed new light" on Democratic candidate Barack Obama and other "emerging young African American politicians" who are "forging a bold new path to political power."

Gwen Ifill of the Public Broadcasting Service program "Washington Week" is promoting "The Breakthrough," in which she argues the "black political structure" of the civil rights movement is giving way to men and women who have benefited from the struggles over racial equality.

Ifill declined to return a WND telephone message asking for a comment about her book project and whether its success would be expected should Obama lose. But she has faced criticism previously for not treating candidates of both major parties the same. …

Fox’s Greta Van Susteren, who’s attorney, reports - -

I confirmed for us here on GretaWire: the McCain campaign did NOT know about Gwen Ifill’s book (I think I told them when I made my efforts - emails about midnight - to find out!) I am stunned….the campaign (actually both) should have been told before the campaign agreed to have her moderate. It simply is not fair - in law, this would create a mistrial. (second bold added by JinC)

In law it would be a disqualifying conflict. But the way most of our news organizations now operate, Gwen Ifill’s just another partisan doing tank work for Obama. It’s the sort of thing that happens all the time.

Team McCain was taken by surprise?

They shouldn’t have been. Ifill’s liberal/left leanings have been known for years; and its been an open secret in Washington for months that she’s as admiring and in the tank for Sen. Obama as Oprah, the NY Times, NPR and Chris Matthews.

This transcript excerpt from a Mar. 17, 2008 PBS interview she conducted with Obama makes that clear. Rev. Jeremiah Wright’s anti-white, anti-American sermons were then front page news. Obama was preparing to deliver the next day a major speech in Philadelphia designed to limit the political damage Wright’s blatant racism and anti-Americanism was causing Obama because of his close friendship with Wright, his pastor for almost 20 years.

The transcript excerpt covers that portion of the interview in which Ifill asks her candidate about Wright and the political fallout concerning him. By Mar. 17 Obama had already dissembled that he’d “never heard” any of Wright’s anti-white, anti-American preaching.

You’ll see Ifill never asks Obama how he could not have known what Wright was saying. (“Even if you didn’t hear it, Senator, didn’t Ms. Obama or someone else in the congregation tell you?”) She also doesn’t ask why he and his wife brought their children to Wright’s church for religious instruction. Ifill doesn’t ask any of the tough, pertinent questions Obama had ducked until then and has ducked since.

Instead, Ifill tosses out softball questions about how Obama’s campaign’s being impacted and the like.

The excerpt follows with the full transcript here.

MS. IFILL: Anybody watching this campaign for the last week to 10 days would think it was all about gender and race between what Geraldine Ferraro said and what your former pastor, Jeremiah Wright, said. Do you look at this and think that maybe with a woman and a black man running against each other that this was going to be an inevitable conversation?

SEN. OBAMA: You know, I’m not sure if it was inevitable. I think that there’s no doubt that race and gender are powerful forces in our society. They always have been. And I think it would have been na├»ve for me to think that I could run and end up with quasi-frontrunner status in a presidential election as potentially the first African-American president that issues, race wouldn’t come up any more than Senator Clinton could expect that gender issues might not come up.

But, ultimately, I don’t think it’s useful. I think we’ve got to talk about it. I think we’ve got to process it. But we’ve got to remind ourselves that what we have in common is far more important than what’s different and that if we’re going to solve any of these problems, we’ve got to come together and bridge our differences in ways that we just have not bridged them before.

MS. IFILL: Is that the speech you’ll be giving tomorrow in Philadelphia?

SEN. OBAMA: That will be a major focus of it.

MS. IFILL: You have also cast this as a generational distinction of the sort of things that Reverend Wright said being the baggage of a fiercely intelligent African-American man of his generation and Geraldine Ferraro’s as well. When does one person’s baggage become another person’s memory/history?

SEN. OBAMA: Well, you know, look, there’s a continuum. But I think that, you know, when you look at somebody like a Reverend Wright who grew up in the ’50s or ’60s, his experience of race in this country is very different than mine in the same way that Geraldine’s experience being an intelligent, ambitious woman, you know, is very different than a young woman who’s coming up today and potentially has a different set of opportunities.

Now, we benefit from that past. We benefit from the difficult battles that were taken place. But I’m not sure that we benefit from continuing to perpetuate the anger and the bitterness that I think, at this point, serves to divide rather than bring us together. And that’s part of what this campaign has been about, is to say, let’s acknowledge a difficult history, but let’s move forward in a practical way to get things done.

MS. IFILL: Has this been damaging to your campaign?

SEN. OBAMA: You know, the – I would say that it has been a distraction from the core message of our campaign. I think part of what has always been the essence of my politics, not just this campaign, but my life is the idea that we’ve got to bring people together. Now, part of that is biographical as somebody who comes from a diverse background with a white mother and an African-American father growing up in Hawaii and Asia. You know, it’s in my DNA to believe that all of us have something fundamental in common.

And that’s part of what makes America so special. And so, to the extent that, you know, the conversation over the last couple of days has been dominated by some stupid statements that were made by Reverend Wright, but also caricatures of Reverend Wright and Trinity United Church of Christ – which, by the way, is part of a denomination that is overwhelmingly white – you know, I think that that has distracted us from the possibilities of moving beyond some of these arguments.

MS. IFILL: When Senator Clinton sat down with my colleague Judy Woodruff for a conversation like this, she said that her election would be shattering the highest and hardest glass ceiling. Would yours be doing the same?

SEN. OBAMA: Oh, you know, I would say, you know, it would be pretty significant – (chuckles) – if we had an African-American president. You know, I don’t want to get into a contest in terms of which would be more significant. I think that either one would be significant. So, ultimately, the question for the American people is, who do they think is best equipped to actually solve the problems that we face right now? And if you as a voter, regardless of your race or gender, decide that it’s Senator Clinton, then you should vote for Senator Clinton. If it’s me, you should vote for me. And if it’s John McCain, you should vote for John McCain. ….

Hat tip: Drudge and BN

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

The Churchill Series – Oct. 1, 2008

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

Churchill’s bodyguard during WW II, Scotland Yard’s detective-inspector Walter Thompson, tells us about a night during The Blitz when Our Man keep the letter of his promise but certainly not its substance.

I think you’ll know where the story’s heading before we get to its end. But I found it amusing anyway and hope you do as well.

As Thompson tells it in his Beside the Bulldog: The Intimate Memoirs of Churchill’s Bodyguard (Appolo republication, 2003):

[During raids Winston] went below . . . with the greatest reluctance and much preferred to continue working through the air raids at ground level. This worried Mrs. Churchill and members of the Cabinet.

One evening Mrs. Churchill, before she left him, extracted a promise that he would go below if a raid took place. She informed me that she hoped I would unsure that he did so.

As soon as news that a raid was pending arrived, I informed the Prime Minister. He gathered up his papers and proceeded to the basement in an exemplary manner. I was mystified by this unusual docility and what apprehensive when I noticed the mysterious smile on his face.

He got into bed, and as I left the room, I made to turn out the light.

“Leave it on, Thompson,” said the Old Man.

I sat in my room and within a few minutes the bell rang.

When I went to the Prime Minister’s room, I found him out of bed in his dressing gown, with a stack of papers under his arm. I looked at him in surprise, and a mischievous grin spread all over his face.

“Well, Thompson,” said he. “I have kept my word. I came downstairs to go to bed. Now I am going upstairs to work.” (pgs. 90-91)

I think Thompson knew what the game was from the start, don't you?

Until his very last years, Churchill’s sense of humor never deserted him; and there was always something of the pranksterish little boy within him.

They’re two of the things we love about him.

Fox looks at Biden’s “shot at” tale; Dem/MSM buries it.

Do you believe Sen. Obama when he claims he never heard his close friend and pastor’s anti-white, anti-American sermons?

If you said “Yes,” you most likely believe Dem V-P candidate Sen. Joe Biden’s tale about being “shot at” in Iraq.

But Fox News has raised questions about Biden’s war story as well as Obama’s MSM Tank Corps’ failure to question it. (I’m betting the failure’s because Obama hasn’t given Katie, Charlie and the rest of the corps a “Go” to cross the “start line.” - - JinC)

But Fox News isn’t one of Obama’s MSM tankers, so today we read - - -

When Hillary Clinton told a tall tale about "landing under sniper fire" in Bosnia, she was accused of "inflating her war experience" by rival Democrat Barack Obama's campaign.

But the campaign has been silent about Obama's running mate, Joe Biden, telling his own questionable story about being "shot at" in Iraq.

"Let's start telling the truth," Biden said during a presidential primary debate sponsored by YouTube last year. "Number one, you take all the troops out - you better have helicopters ready to take those 3,000 civilians inside the Green Zone, where I have been seven times and shot at. You better make sure you have protection for them, or let them die."

But when questioned about the episode afterward by the Hill newspaper, Biden backpedaled from his claim of being "shot at" and instead allowed: "I was near where a shot landed."

The senior senator from Delaware went on to say that some sort of projectile "landed" outside a building in the Green Zone where he and another senator had spent the night during a visit in December 2005.

The lawmakers were shaving in the morning when they felt the building shake, Biden said.

"No one got up and ran from the room-it wasn't that kind of thing," he told the Hill. "It's not like I had someone holding a gun to my head." (Imagine what Democrats such as Katie Couric, Barney Frank, Charlie Gibson, Nancy Pelosi, and Charlie Rangel would say if Gov. Palin gave such responses. - - JinC)

The rest of the press ignored the flap at the time because Biden was viewed as having little chance of ending up on the Democratic presidential ticket.

But even after Biden was selected to be Obama's running mate last month, his claim to have been "shot at" drew no scrutiny from the same reporters who had savaged Clinton for making a similar claim that turned out to be false.

FOX News has been asking the Obama campaign for details of the alleged shooting in Iraq ever since Biden was tapped to be vice president.

Biden campaign spokesman David Wade promised an answer last week, but failed to provide one.

Meanwhile, the gaffe-prone Biden has again raised eyebrows with another story about his exploits in war zones - this time in Afghanistan. …

The rest of the Fox News story’s here.



Folks, most of you who comment here impress me as being smart and often very smart.

I’m betting you folks don’t need me to say why Obama’s MSM Tank Corps didn’t give Katie, Charlie and the rest permission to cross the “start line.”

NC's AG Cooper said "Innocent." And Sen. Dole said what?

KC Johnson posts "Cooper ad."

It begins - - -

Few political leaders distinguished themselves in the lacrosse case, but one of the heroes of the affair was Attorney General Roy Cooper. His office conducted an impartial investigation, free from political pressure, and allowed the facts to dictate the outcome. He was, in short, the model of a "minister of justice." . . .

KC's post includes a link to where you can contribute to Cooper's campaign.

KC's post reminded me I need to contact U. S. Senator Elizabeth Dole's office and her opponents.

I want to find out what, if anything, they did when police state tactics were used by Durham's DA's office and some in its Police Department to first, trash and libel the Duke 2006 Men's lacrosse team, and than to frame three of its members for gang-rape and other felonies.

If you know anything about what the various Senate candidates said and did then, and what they are saying and doing now, please let me know.

I'll be contacting Sen. Dole and the other candidates to learn what I can.

Let's keep each other posted.

BTW - Did you know Sen. Dole is a Duke alum and former trustee?

Here's Cooper's ad:

And they complain about the religious right

Here's Roger Simon’s post: “Amazing (dis)Grace: Obama children video”

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.

You could say, as some have, that this is much like what happens with children in churches and synagogues across America, but this is about a political figure - one of two current presidential candidates and the one leading in the polls.

The Drudge headline references the “Dear Leader.” Quite apt. Here for you edification are the words of the people who saw fit to put this together:

Sing for Change chronicles a recent Sunday afternoon, when 22 children, ages 5-12, gathered to sing original songs in the belief that their singing would lift up our communities for the coming election. Light, hope, courage and love shine through these nonvoting children who believe that their very best contribution to the Obama campaign is to sing
And they complain about the religious right - can you imagine the reaction to a similar group of kids singing about McCain under the tutelage of an evangelical minister?

Important mortgage mess info and links

Amac is another of those “great bloggers who don’t blog.” He’s sent along two electronic letters bearing on the mortgage mess. Excerpts from them follow in plain text with a few of my comments interspersed in italics.

Amac has my thanks for pulling important information and links together and sharing them with us.



The C-SPAN video linked below is the same one I posted yesterday. I’ve watched it three times. I learn more each time I view it.There's no doubt that every Dem on in the video was just fine with Freddie and Fannie and only upset with the oversight official who was telling them there were serious problems at both. I’m disgusted more each time I see the House Dems play race politics, attack a white government official whose doing a good job , and then pander to and praise Fannie Mae chief Franklin Raines who there’s ample evidence deserves to be hauled before a grand jury, placed under oath and asked questions about his very possibly criminal activities while head of Fannie.

This video has clips from a subcommittee hearing held on Oct. 6, 2004. "THE OFHEO REPORT: ALLEGATIONS OF ACCOUNTING AND
Committee on Financial Services -- Subcommittee on Capital Markets, Insurance, and Government Sponsored Enterprises.

Clips of CSPAN video of the hearing

The following article Amac provides is a perfect follow-up to the C-SPAN video.

Armando Falcon Director, Office of Fed. Housing Enterprise Oversight

Top Regulator of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to Depart

NYT, April 6, 2005 - Armando Falcon Jr., the top regulator of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the two mortgage finance giants that have struggled through accounting scandals, announced on Tuesday that he would step down next month after a tumultuous tenure of nearly six years.

Mr. Falcon was a little-known Washington lawyer and former Congressional aide when he was appointed by President Bill Clinton in 1999 to head a small agency, the Office of Federal Housing Enterprise Oversight, known as Ofheo. He and his agency were often the target of political attacks by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and were ridiculed by lawmakers who viewed the office as ill-equipped to oversee such large companies.

Perhaps the lowest point in his tenure came in 2003, when his agency declared that Freddie Mac had effective auditing and internal controls shortly before the company disclosed that shortcomings in its accounting had caused it to misstate earnings by billions of dollars over several years.

But Mr. Falcon was ultimately vindicated, first by his aggressive handling of the problems at Freddie Mac that resulted in a major management shake-up and other institutional changes, and then last December, when the Securities and Exchange Commission agreed with his central conclusion that Fannie Mae had violated accounting rules.

In the months leading up to the S.E.C.'s decision, Mr. Falcon steadily steered Ofheo through a thicket of criticism, much of it orchestrated by Fannie Mae. The decision by the chief accountant of the commission prompted the resignations of Fannie Mae's two top executives, Franklin D. Raines and J. Timothy Howard, and in recent weeks the company has acquiesced to every demand of its regulator.

Mr. Falcon, a 44-year-old native of Texas, was a top aide to Representative Henry B. Gonzalez, a Texas Democrat, when Mr. Gonzalez headed the House Banking Committee. In a letter to President Bush, Mr. Falcon said that he was proud of his agency's achievements and that he would step down on May 20, "absent extraordinary circumstances."

Amac’s link to OpenSecrets, a site sponsored by the Center for Responsive Politics, will lead you to all sorts of interesting information as Amac demos with his list of top recipients of Freddie and Frannie money.

OpenSecrets: All Recipients of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac Campaign Contributions, 1989-2008

Richard Baker R-La -- not listed
Ed Royce R-Ca -- #48, $28,600
Christopher Shays R-Ct -- way down, $2,500
Don Manzullo, R-Il -- way down, $250
Maxine Waters D-Ca -- #80, $17,800
Gregory Meeks D-NY-- #104, $14,000
(William) Lacy Clay D-Mo -- #127, $10,250
Artur Davis D-Al -- #111, $11,750
Barney Frank D-Ma -- #26, $42,350

The dirty hands at the top of this list make for interesting, somewhat bipartisan reading. Obmama is #2 at $126,350, By contrast, McCain comes in at #62, $21,550, and Biden way down at $3,300.

Obama, ACORN, and the mortgage mess

Mona Charon reminds us today of what most MSM won’t: Sen. Obama’s close ties to ACORN, an organization with a history of vote fraud activities and pushing taxpayer support for high risk loans to people with weak or outright bad credit history

Charon begins - - -

The financial markets were teetering on the edge of an abyss last week. The secretary of the Treasury was literally on his knees begging the speaker of the House not to sabotage the bailout bill. The crash of falling banks made the earth tremble. The Republican presidential candidate suspended his campaign to deal with the crisis.

And amid all this, the Democrats in Congress managed to find time to slip language into the bailout legislation that would provide a dandy little slush fund for ACORN. ( I posted about that here. - - JinC)

ACORN stands for the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now, a busy hive of left-wing agitation and "direct action" that claims chapters in 50 cities and 100,000 dues-paying members.

ACORN is where Sixties leftovers who couldn't get tenure at universities wound up. That the bill-writing Democrats remembered their pet clients during such an emergency speaks volumes.

This attempted gift to ACORN (stripped out of the bill after outraged howls from Republicans) demonstrates how little Democrats understand about what caused the mess we're in.

ACORN does many things under the umbrella of "community organizing." They agitate for higher minimum wages, attempt to thwart school reform, try to unionize welfare workers (that is, those welfare recipients who are obliged to work in exchange for benefits) and organize voter registration efforts (always for Democrats, of course).

Because they are on the side of righteousness and justice, they aren't especially fastidious about their methods. In 2006, for example, ACORN registered 1,800 new voters in Washington. The only trouble was, with the exception of six, all of the names submitted were fake. The secretary of state called it the "worst case of election fraud in our state's history."

As Fox News reported:

"The ACORN workers told state investigators that they went to the Seattle public library, sat at a table and filled out the voter registration forms. They made up names, addresses, and Social Security numbers and in some cases plucked names from the phone book. One worker said it was a lot of hard work making up all those names and another said he would sit at home, smoke marijuana and fill out the forms."
ACORN explained that this was an "isolated" incident, yet similar stories have been reported in Missouri, Michigan, Ohio, and Colorado -- all swing states, by the way. ACORN members have been prosecuted for voter fraud in a number of states. (See

Their philosophy seems to be that everyone deserves the right to vote, whether legal or illegal, living or dead.

ACORN recognized very early the opportunity presented by the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) of 1977. As Stanley Kurtz has reported, ACORN proudly touted "affirmative action" lending and pressured banks to make subprime loans. Madeline Talbott, a Chicago ACORN leader, boasted of "dragging banks kicking and screaming" into dubious loans. …

ACORN attracted Barack Obama in his youthful community organizing days. Madeline Talbott hired him to train her staff -- the very people who would later descend on Chicago's banks as CRA shakedown artists. The Democratic nominee later funneled money to the group through the Woods Fund, on whose board he sat, and through the Chicago Annenberg Challenge, ditto.

Obama was not just sympathetic -- he was an ACORN fellow traveler. …

Charon’s entire column’s here.



Sen. Obama’s involvement with ACORN is even more extensive than Charon reports. He was, for example, its general counsel for three years.

We keep reading and hearing of MSM inquiries regarding Sen. McCain and Gov. Palin (the AP reported the other day she’d gotten a free facial while Mayor of Wasilla. Wow! I guess the AP thought that was an example of in your face abuse of the public trust.)

But we don’t read or hear very much from MSM about why Obama linked up with ACORN in the first place and what he did with and for ACORN since then.

I think MSM is afraid if people find out about Obama’s ACORN connections they’ll wonder whose interests he’ll serve if he becomes President.

With people like Madeline Talbott and Barney (“Fannie Mae is fine”) Frank supporting him, I think we know.

Monday, September 29, 2008

The Churchill Series – Sept. 29, 2008

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

A recent post included my thoughts regarding awarding POW and Geneva Convention rights to terrorists. I noted that by what has been until recently the accepted interpretation of the Convention, soldiers out of uniform caught on the battlefield or within enemy lines were denied the Convention’s protections and almost always treated as spies subject to summary court martial and execution.

That post brought to mind an episode in Churchill’s life when he was in South Africa serving in Boer War. In his autobiographical My Early Life, Churchill recounts the day he was carrying intelligence dispatches from the General commanding one British force to the Commander-in-Chief of a second force seeking to coordinate with the other force.

No means of communication existed between the two forces. Johannesburg was still in the hands of the enemy, and to go back southward by the way we had come meant a detour of nearly eighty miles round rough hill ranges.

A more speedy means of communication with the Commander-in-Chief was at that juncture extremely important. Civilians who came out of the city and entered our lines gave conflicting accounts of the conditions inside. The Boers were clearing out, but they were still three.

A young Frenchman who seemed extremely well-informed assured me that it would be quite easy to bicycle through the city in plains clothes. The chances against being stopped and questioned in the closing hours of an evacuation were remote. He offered to land me a bicycle and guide me himself. I decided to make the attempt. …

We started in the afternoon and bicycled straight down the main road into the city.
As we passed our furthest outpost lines I experienced a distinct sensation of adventure.

We were soon in the streets of Johannesburg. Darkness was already falling. But numbers of people were about, and at once I saw among them armed and mounted Boers. They were still in possession of the city, and we were inside their lines.

According to all the laws of war my situation, if arrested, would have been disagreeable. I was an officer holding a commission in the South African Light Horse, disguised in plain clothes and secretly within the enemy’s lines. No court martial that ever sat in Europe would have had much difficulty in disposing of such a case. …

The excerpt above can be found on pg. 347 of Churchill’s My Early Life. (Touchstone republication with Manchester Introduction, 1996)

House bailout vote: what really happened

Most of MSM are "deep in the hole" for Dems.

So they're telling you the Pelosi/Obama lie that Republicans in the House "defeated the rescue package today."

If you want to keep believing that, don't listen to this tape of Karl Rove ID'ing how many leading House Dems voted.

Rove names names, as they say. He also notes their House committee positions.

Rove provides fact-based news you can fact check for yourself.

Give him a listen:

Chronicle ignored NC Gov candidate & prof Munger's debate participation

In a letter today Hirsh Sandesara (T ’06, Med. ’12) chides The Chronicle [excerpts] - - - -

I was surprised to see no coverage in The Chronicle of the Sept. 24 gubernatorial debate between Republican candidate for governor Pat McCrory and Libertarian candidate [and Political Science department chair] Mike Munger.

While difficult editorial decisions are made every night in the Flowers building, I had hoped that The Chronicle would inform students about this historic and democratic event.

For the first time ever, a third-party N.C. gubernatorial candidate was included in a televised debate.

Although we can differ on the merits of voting for a third-party candidate, Munger is the only one offering several positions that may be surprisingly popular among students.

These include criticizing offshore drilling, ending the death penalty, fighting for marriage equality and limiting tax incentives to relocating corporations.

This race will be one of the closest in the nation this fall; a viable candidate with engaging positions deserves commentary.

This is also a compelling campus story. Our own local boy made good, Munger, the chair of the political science department, has a real chance of impacting this fall's election. His name is included in almost all polls and he has run radio ads.

And yet his own campus newspaper won't cover the most momentous event of his campaign so far. …

Sandesara’s entire letter’s here.


Sandesara deserves thanks for calling the Duke community’s attention to TC’s decision not to report what was for students, the Duke/Durham community, our state and others a very important news story – a third party North Carolina gubernatorial candidate debating one-on-one on statewide television with the candidate recent polls say is the front-runner.

It was indeed an historic night for North Carolina and a proud night for Duke.

So why did The Chronicle editors decide to ignore such an important story?

I don’t know.

The Chronicle needs to tell us.

Let’s hope it does so soon.

Happy Rosh Hashannah

and Best Wishes.

This video has the four candidates for national office phoning good wishes to each other.

It's not a side-splitter but its cute.


Pelosi lied repeatedly

Anyone familiar with how we came to today's $700 billion bailout vote in the House who listens to Speaker Pelosi's self-serving rant just before the House voted know's she lied repeatedly.

And I'm not talking about the usual kind of falsehoods Congressional leaders often fob off on us.

I'm talking deliberate, malicious lies about the Bush administration and Congressional Republicans that are as shameful as any Sen. Joe McCarthy told in the 50s or Barney Frank told when his solicitation of a male prostitute who Frank "employed" on a full-time basis and invited to move into his apartment was exposed.

I try to avoid calling anyone a liar. I'm sure Regulars here have noticed how often I use terms such as "falsehood" and "not true" in circumstances where many would use the word "lie."

I use "falsehood" and "not true" because they don't of themselves mean the person engaging in the falsehood is doing it with deliberateness and knowledge that it's false, the necessary conditions for something to be a lie.

I try to avoid using lie because I want to keep discourse as civil and cool as possible. Telling someone his or her statement is false carries enough heat. Why make things hotter by using lie?

Well, there are some times when no other word but lie is proper.

Today is one of those times. When the Speaker of the United States House of Representatives takes the floor of the House in the moments just before a critical vote and delivers a partisan rant she knows is filled with falsehoods, the proper thing to do is call her a liar.

How sad for the United States that Nancy Pelosi is House Speaker.

Here's the video:

Bailout bill loses in House

The AP's just reported - - -

The House has defeated the $700 billion bail-out legislation for the financial industry.

More than enough members of the House had cast votes to defeat the Bush administration-pushed bill, but the vote was held open for a while, apparently as efforts were under way to persuade people to change their vote.

On Wall Street, stocks plummeted as investors followed the developments in Congress.


I'm not certain where things will go from here. Back to the drawing board and more conferencing is most likely.

I’ve got some advice for Sen. McCain and congressional Rs: Stay in front of those cameras and keep telling the public President Bush and many House and Senate Republicans were warning about Freddie and Fannie problems more than 5 years ago.

Let the public know the Dems kept saying: “Freddie and Fannie are great. We’ve no problems with how they keep their books or the bonuses they pay top executives. We’re just so glad they’re making home ownership affordable for people the banks used to turn down.”

The RNC should blanket the country with ads using video clips from House hearings and Dem leadership statements of the kind I’ve been posting here for the last few weeks.

It will be a good thing for the country if in the next few weeks most Americans learn, for instance, that Barney Frank, Chuck Schumer, and Chris Dodd were until a few weeks ago praising Freddie and Fannie.

I pick those three because they’ve taken the lead for the Dems in blaming the current mess on Republicans.

It's a shame we have such an overwhelmingly Democratic media that hasn't been telling us much about the lead role the Dems have had the past few decades putting in place the legislation and ignoring the warning signs that led up to the mess we're in today.

This made me smile

An NPR headline:

Rabbi Describes Finding Religious Identity in Judaism
In Judaism? Of course! It makes perfect sense now that I think about it.

McCain going forward

The LA Times Bob Drogin says:

Republican presidential nominee John McCain returns to the trail today after a dramatic but rocky four-day detour that upended his campaign, upset supporters and gave new ammunition to critics who question his judgment.

McCain will appear at a rally in Columbus, Ohio, in hopes of regaining the momentum he lost when he abruptly canceled campaign events and returned here Thursday to try to broker a $700-billion bailout of the crippled financial industry.

The Arizona senator's unilateral cease-fire carried a clear cost, aides now concede, acknowledging that polls show Democratic nominee Barack Obama with a widening lead. Pulling most of McCain's TV ads off the air for several days also left him "naked" to Obama's broadsides, the aides said.

Some McCain supporters question why he made his own campaign hostage to a highly charged legislative process that he did not control. He does not sit on a Senate committee that is directly involved with the crisis, and he became inextricably linked to a Wall Street bailout that is unpopular with many voters.

Worse, McCain's campaign assumed an air of barely controlled chaos for four days as frustrated staffers tore up schedules, scrapped speeches and rallies, and scrambled to make contingency plans that seemed to change hour by hour.
Drogin’s LA Times story doesn’t say anything about what McCain needs to do going forward. But the NYT’s Bill Kristol does in his column today. Here are excerpts from the column with my comments below the star line

Kristol begins - - -

John McCain is on course to lose the presidential election to Barack Obama. Can he turn it around, and surge to victory?

He has a chance. But only if he overrules those of his aides who are trapped by conventional wisdom, huddled in a defensive crouch and overcome by ideological timidity.

The conventional wisdom is that it was a mistake for McCain to go back to Washington last week to engage in the attempt to craft the financial rescue legislation, and that McCain has to move on to a new topic as quickly as possible. As one McCain adviser told The Washington Post, “you’ve got to get it [the financial crisis] over with and start having a normal campaign.”


McCain’s impetuous decision to return to Washington was right. The agreement announced early Sunday morning is better than Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson’s original proposal, and better than the deal the Democrats claimed was close on Thursday. Assuming the legislation passes soon, and assuming it reassures financial markets, McCain will be able to take some credit.

But the goal shouldn’t be to return to “a normal campaign.” For these aren’t normal times.

We face a real financial crisis. Usually the candidate of the incumbent’s party minimizes the severity of the nation’s problems. McCain should break the mold and acknowledge, even emphasize the crisis. He can explain that dealing with it requires candor and leadership of the sort he’s shown in his career. McCain can tell voters we’re almost certainly in a recession, and things will likely get worse before they get better.

And McCain can note that the financial crisis isn’t going to be solved by any one piece of legislation.

There are serious economists, for example, who think we could be on the verge of a huge bank run. Congress may have to act to authorize the F.D.I.C. to provide far greater deposit insurance, and the secretary of the Treasury to protect money market funds. McCain can call for Congress to stand ready to pass such legislation.

He can say more generally that in the tough times ahead, we’ll need a tough president willing to make tough decisions. ...

The core case against Obama is pretty simple: he’s too liberal. A few months ago I asked one of McCain’s aides what aspect of Obama’s liberalism they thought they could most effectively exploit. He looked at me as if I were a simpleton, and patiently explained that talking about “conservatism” and “liberalism” was so old-fashioned.

Maybe. But the fact is the only Democrats to win the presidency in the past 40 years — Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton — distanced themselves from liberal orthodoxy. Obama is, by contrast, a garden-variety liberal. He also has radical associates in his past.

The most famous of these is the Rev. Jeremiah Wright, and I wonder if Obama may have inadvertently set the stage for the McCain team to reintroduce him to the American public.

On Saturday, Obama criticized McCain for never using in the debate Friday night the words “middle class.” The Obama campaign even released an advertisement trumpeting McCain’s omission.

The McCain campaign might consider responding by calling attention to Chapter 14 of Obama’s eloquent memoir, “Dreams From My Father.” There Obama quotes from the brochure of Reverend Wright’s church — a passage entitled “A Disavowal of the Pursuit of Middleclassness.”

So when Biden goes on about the middle class on Thursday, Palin might ask Biden when Obama flip-flopped on Middleclassness. ….

The LAT’s story’s here; Kristol’s column’s here.



As to what he should do going forward, here are items on my “Advice to McCain” list.

1 - - - Tag Sen. Obama as what he is – a liberal. Hammer that every day so that by Election Day it’s one of the first things that comes to peoples’ minds when they think “Obama.”

2 - - - Raise the Rezko, Ayers, Wright questions. You and your surrogates should give most of your attention to Wright’s anti-white, anti-American preaching and Obama’s long, close, and admiring relationship with him.

Wright gets #1 attention because: 1) people can easily understand Obama had to know what Wright was preaching, so therefore his “I never heard any of that” is a lie; and 2) most Americans don’t want a President who was tight for almost 20 years with a preacher ranting “KKK-America,” “God damn America,” etc.

3 - - - Announce tomorrow: “The center piece of my plan to provide economic stimulus is adopting policies which will bring the price of gas down by at least $1.00 per gallon. When that happens every time you fill a tank with 15 gallons, you save $15.00 over what you’re paying now. You get to keep that money and use it as you decide.”

4 - - - Every day talk about specific projects to develop renewable and non-renewable energy here in America and legislation needed to support those projects. Keep reminding people more energy sources here means less foreign dependence, greater supplies and lower energy costs, including gas $1.00 a gallon less than it is now.

5 - - - Talk more about the 95+ percent of people who are paying their mortgages on time. Make yourself their advocate. Remind them they’re proof of the fundamental soundness of our economy, but that you and they must guard against politicians and community organizers who promote the issuance of high risk mortgages that endanger a sound economy and threaten the value of their homes.

Promise you’ll appoint a commission which will identify how and why bad mortgage loans were made and what the government should do to see it doesn’t happen again.

When you talk about the commission, say: “I promise you I’ll do everything I can to make sure the members of Congress who’ve been telling us Freddie and Fannie were in great shape won’t be members of the commission, but they'll be asked to testify before it.”


Folks, there’s more I’d like to say to McCain, but I’ll save it for another day.

What are your thoughts?

Hat tip: BN