Saturday, October 18, 2008

Raleigh N&O gives Joe “the lax treatment”

The McClatchy Company’s Raleigh News & Observer launched the public part of the Duke hoax and led the media pack which did so much to enable the frame-up attempt.

The N&O did so with a series of error-filled, biased and racially inflammatory stories, columns and editorials portraying the black false accuser Crystal Mangum as “the victim” of a group of racist, law-breaking white Duke lacrosse players who included three men who’d brutally gang-raped, strangled, beat and robbed Mangum after which their teammates covered-up for them by refusing to cooperate with the DA and Durham Police.

There was no slime or falsehood the N&O wouldn’t fire at the Duke laxers as it shamelessly pitched its coverage to race, class and gender prejudices.

Now the N&O is giving Joe the plumber “the lax treatment” after he made remarks critical of tax increases proposed by Sen. Obama whom the N&O’s working hard to elect president.

We’ve never seen in the N&O a story examining, for example, Rev. Jeremiah Wright’s repeated claim the American government deliberately spread the AIDs virus as a means of killing blacks in order to hold down the number of blacks in America.

For Wright, the N&O has little or no interest in reporting his virulent racism, misogyny and anti-Americanism or determining why Obama formed a close friendship with such a man, supported him with generous personal financial contributions and used his influence to send public money Wright's way as well.

But Joe the plumber? He's different. White like the lacrosse players, "in the headlines" like the laxers and no fan of Obama.

If you know that and know the N&O you also know the N&O's going to give him "the lax treatment."

So on Oct. 17 we find on the N&O’s front page a lede “Joe The Plumber’s Fame Bites Back” which directs readers to pg. 3A where we find a large photo and these headlines spread across five columns:

America gets to know Joe

(Unlicensed) plumber of presidential debate fame already owes back taxes<
The N&O's story's here.

Full disclosure: The Raleigh N&O describes itself as a paper that reports the news fairly and accurately.

It’s editors object very strongly when readers suggest the paper’s news columns make clear its liberal/leftist bias. They say its presidential election coverage has been fair. Editors continue to say they're proud of the N&O’s Duke lacrosse coverage.

Responding to "Obama mocks McCain and a Joe the plumber"

Here, in italics, are part or all of comments on the thread of Obama mocks McCain and a Joe the plumber with my responses in plain.

From Archer 05 - - -

The [liberal media] are vetting Joe the plumber more than they did Obama. The fact that the sludge brigade are sifting through a man’s life because he asked a simple question is beyond belief. Where does this all end? Hopefully regular people see through the information suppression and outright thuggery that is in play for this election.

I’m struck by how many people don’t or refuse to see what’s happening. Thuggery is not too strong a word for what so much of MSM is now doing to Joe the plumber.

My “anything for Obama” Raleigh N & O reported yesterday in a five-column spread Joe “owed” back taxes for a quarter. They gave that story more attention then they gave Democrat Representative Charlie Rangel’s tax delinquencies over many year that included failure to report certain income he owed the government.

From Tarheel Hawkeye - - -

Don't forget, these are the very same MSM sleuths who can't be bothered to make inquiries into the background of a man who may very well become the next president. They now know much more about Joe The Plumber than they do about Barack Hussein Obama.

As you know, TH, with your background in law enforcement and criminal investigation there is in law something called "willful blindness." It means, if I've got it right, people with a duty to look at something don't because they pretty much know what they're going to find, and want to be in a position to later say, "I never knew."

The refusal of all but a handful of journalists and news orgs to look at Sen. Obama’s background in anything but a cursory way that allows for “nothing to see here, folks” reporting is, IMO, “willful blindness.”

MSM has a very good idea of what it’s not looking at and reporting.

They also know if it did, Obama wouldn’t be elected.

Anon @ 9:36 - - -

Let's be honest about the media. It's not like they don't know the background on Obama, they are just okay with. He represents their thoughts and interests better than any candidate in recent times. That's why they are in the tank for him. To anyone who subscribes to the liberal fascist ideology Joe the plumber is as bad as a black conservative. He's a traitor to his "class" and must be destroyed.

Well said, Anon @ 9:36

And thanks to each of you for commenting.

The Churchill Series – Oct. 17, 2008

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

You may know of John “Jock” Colville. He was one of Churchill’s Private Secretaries during WW II, except for a time when he served with distinction as an RAF pilot. Colville again served as Private Secretary during Churchill’s second premiership. He remained a close friend and advisor to both Winston and Clementine for the rest to their lives.

In the course of his service Colville had a chance to learn not only about Churchill "close up" but also President Roosevelt. In FDR's case, the learning didn't have much to do with face-to-face contact, but with Colvilles work studying the communications between Churchill and Roosevelt, and often preparing and discussing draft responses on Churchill's behalf to Roosevelt.

Winston Churchill and His Inner Circle Colville uses a philosophical metaphor to tell us something of assessment of the two men:

In nature most of the impurities cleave to the lower ground. The hilltops are bare of undergrowth; the tall trees stretch above the creepers.

Human beings obey another law. The higher they climb, the grosser the temptations they meet. Few who reach the summit can be acquitted of vanity or conceit, whatever other vices they are strong enough to resist.

I make a distinction between the two. Vanity is an infection suffered by those who care too much what others think of them. Conceit is self-satisfaction, the mark of people sufficiently sure of themselves to hold the opinion of others as of little account except insofar as it favors or impedes their progress.

Both vanity and conceit are defects, but neither need be destructive of personal charm or of zeal to serve the community. They are seldom fatal infections and they do not necessarily strangle virtues. They are more exasperating in some than in others.

Roosevelt was vain; Churchill was conceited. (pgs. 132-133)
I hope you all have a nice weekend and are back for Monday’s post.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Two “kill him” reports: one misreported; the other unfounded

Tracking the truth regarding those “kill him” claims we’re heard so much about this week reveals how much bungling, lazy and biased MSM “reporting” there is out there, along with some careful, truth-seeking, fact-based journalism.

Via AMac I learned of Patterico’s post: Nobody Yelled “Kill Him” About Obama at a McCain or Palin Rally

Here’s part of what he posted Tuesday, Oct. 14 - - -

Everyone in the country seems to think someone yelled “Kill him!” at a McCain/Palin rally, about Barack Obama. It’s just not true.

The “Kill him!” phrase was originally reported by the Washingon Post — and it was clearly yelled about William Ayers and not Barack Obama.

I quoted the relevant language in this post:

“And, according to the New York Times, he [referring to Ayers -- P] was a domestic terrorist and part of a group that, quote, ‘launched a campaign of bombings that would target the Pentagon and our U.S. Capitol,’” [Palin] continued.

“Boooo!” the crowd repeated.

“Kill him!” proposed one man in the audience.

That is unambiguously a call to kill Ayers, not Obama. As TNR writer Michael Crowley said in a comment to this post of his (h/t L.N. Smithee):

I took “kill him” to mean Ayers–not Obama. It’s just a far, far likelier explanation given the context. That’s still an ugly thing to shout–but on the other hand Ayers probably would have gotten the death penalty had his bombs actually taken a life. If I thought people were actually yelling that about Obama I would feel very differently.

Indeed. [UPDATE: Dana Milbank, who originally reported this, agreed. According to a Politico blog entry: "Milbank said that his impression was that the man meant Ayers, not Obama." Thanks to "no one you know."]

And yet outlets across the country are reporting that the man yelled “Kill him!” about Obama. For example, the New York Times reported:

Crowds in Wisconsin and Pennsylvania have repeatedly booed Mr. Obama and yelled “off with his head,” and at a rally in Florida where Ms. Palin appeared without Mr. McCain, The Washington Post reported that a man yelled out “kill him. …

The rest of Patterico’s posts here.

Folks, I checked Patterico’s links including Millbank’s WaPo report. It reads exactly as Patterico reported it. So do his other links.

So much for the Florida misreported “kill him” claim.

Now to Scranton, Pennsylvania where on Oct. 14 a “kill him” claim the Secret Service says is unfounded surfaced at The Scranton Times-Tribune.

According to Times-Tribune reporter David Singleton:

There were no incendiary outbursts from the crowd about Mr. Obama during Mrs. Palin's speech, as there have been during other recent McCain-Palin rallies.

However, someone did shout out, "Kill him!" during Republican congressional candidate Chris Hackett's remarks before Mrs. Palin took the stage.
Although none of the Secret Service agents at the rally, many public safety officers or anyone in the crowd heard the remark, reporter Singleton and the Scranton Times are standing by the story.

The Wilkes- Barre Times Leader did some follow-up reporting. Yesterday, Oct. 16, in a story headlined - Secret Service says "Kill him" allegation unfoundedthe paper reported (all emphases added):

The agent in charge of the Secret Service field office in Scranton said allegations that someone yelled “kill him” when presidential hopeful Barack Obama’s name was mentioned during Tuesday’s Sarah Palin rally are unfounded.

The Scranton Times-Tribune first reported the alleged incident on its Web site Tuesday and then again in its print edition Wednesday. The first story, written by reporter David Singleton, appeared with allegations that while congressional candidate Chris Hackett was addressing the crowd and mentioned Obama’s name a man in the audience shouted “kill him." …

Agent Bill Slavoski said he was in the audience, along with an undisclosed number of additional secret service agents and other law enforcement officers and not one heard the comment.

“I was baffled,” he said after reading the report in Wednesday’s Times-Tribune.

He said the agency conducted an investigation Wednesday, after seeing the story, and could not find one person to corroborate the allegation other than Singleton.

Slavoski said more than 20 non-security agents were interviewed Wednesday, from news media to ordinary citizens in attendance at the rally for the Republican vice presidential candidate held at the Riverfront Sports Complex. He said Singleton was the only one to say he heard someone yell “kill him.”

“We have yet to find someone to back up the story,” Slavoski said. “We had people all over and we have yet to find anyone who said they heard it.”

Hackett said he did not hear the remark.

Slavoski said Singleton was interviewed Wednesday and stood by his story but couldn’t give a description of the man because he didn’t see him he only heard him.

When contacted Wednesday afternoon, Singleton referred questions to Times-Tribune Metro Editor Jeff Sonderman. Sonderman said, “We stand by the story. The facts reported are true and that’s really all there is.” …

The Wilkes-Barre Times Leader story included this - - -

News organizations including ABC, The Associated Press, The Washington Monthly and MSNBC’s Countdown with Keith Olbermann reported the claim, with most attributing the allegations to the Times-Tribune story.

Folks, if you’ve seen any of those news orgs issue prominent corrections/clarifications concerning the Scranton Times-Leader’s unfounded story or even tiny ones they favor on those all too rare times they’re willing to admit errors, please let me know.

In the meantime, hats off to Times Leader for careful, truth-seeking, fact-based journalism.

I’ll post again tomorrow on this story.

The Scranton Times' story's here; the Wilkes-Barre Times Leader's story's here.

Krauthammer and Wright refute Obama’s “post racial" claim

Excerpts from Charles Krauthammer's column today followed by my comments below the star line.

From Krauthammer - - -

… The reason Bill Clinton is sulking in his tent is because he feels that Obama surrogates succeeded in painting him as a racist. Clinton has many sins, but from his student days to his post-presidency, his commitment and sincerity in advancing the cause of African-Americans have been undeniable. If the man Toni Morrison called the first black president can be turned into a closet racist, then anyone can.

And Obama has shown no hesitation in doing so to McCain. Just weeks ago, in Springfield, Mo., and elsewhere, he warned darkly that George Bush and John McCain were going to try to frighten you by saying that, among other scary things, Obama has "a funny name" and "doesn't look like all those other presidents on those dollar bills."

McCain has never said that, nor anything like that. When asked at the time to produce one instance of McCain deploying race, the Obama campaign could not.

Yet here was Obama firing a pre-emptive charge of racism against a man who had not indulged in it. An extraordinary rhetorical feat, and a dishonorable one.

What makes this all the more dismaying is that it comes from Barack Obama, who has consistently presented himself as a healer, a man of a new generation above and beyond race, the man who would turn the page on the guilt-tripping grievance politics of Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton.

I once believed him.

Krauthammer’s entire column’s here.


I took a “wait and see with finger’s crossed” position in early 2007 when I first heard Obama saying he wanted to be the “post racial” candidate all about “healing.”

But then I started learning about his relationship with the racist Rev. Wright whom he admired and supported financially.

Racial healing? Supporting Wright all those years was like giving matches and gasoline to an arsonist and then asking people to endorse you for Fire Commissioner.

No thanks.

Any sensible person should have realized by March 18, 2008 that Obama is not really seeking a “post racial” society.

That was the day Obama said in his Philadelphia speech the so excited his MSM Tank Corps that he couldn’t disown Wright.

Well, if you can’t disown a guy who’s been preaching the worse kind of racial calumnies including accusing the American government of deliberately spreading the AIDS virus among blacks to hold down the black population, you’re not serious about being a “port racial” healer even if the NY Times and NPR tell people you are.

Yes, Obama some weeks later did disown Wright.

But that only happened after Wright said publicly at the Washington Press Club Obama's “just a typical politician” who doesn’t believe a lot of what he says.

THEN Obama loudly and angrily disowned his mentor, close friend and pastor of nearly 20 years.

Obama at Al Smith Dinner - funny, funny and a grace note

Here are the videos of Sen. Obama's very humorous remarks and a graceful salute to Sen. McCain's military service last night at the Al Smith Dinner.

Like McCain's remarks, Obama's last about 15 minutes and will leave most of you ROFLOL.

Hat tips: Archer 05 and Drudge

McCain at Al Smith Dinner - funny, funny, and a grace note

You'll be ROFLOL. Also, I think most of you will be touched to by a graceful note Sen. McCain includes regarding Sen. Obama and what he's accomplished.

Together the two Mc Cain videos last about 16 minutes.

I'll have the Obama video up in a short while.

Hat tips: Archer 05 and Drudge.

Michelle Malkin "spirit-lifter." Palin as her haters don't want you to see her

This is outstanding and revealing.

Hat tip: Old friend

Obama mocks McCain and a Joe the plumber

Senator Obama mocks Senator McCain and Joe the plumber at a campaign rally as the crowd laughs.

"A plumber who's he's fighting for."

Too bad Obama won't give plumbers the kind of respect he gives trial lawyers, ACORN, Charlie Rangel, Chris Dodd, and unrepentant terrorist Bill Ayers.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

The Churchill Series – Oct. 16, 2008

So much is happening, I'm just racing around today.

So here's a rerun of an "oldie."


Most people know horses were an important part of Churchill's life. He rode ponies as a child; trained in horsemanship at Sandhurst; was commissioned as a cavalry officer; rode as a lancer in the famous charge at Omdurman; played polo into his fifties; and kept and bred horses at Chartwell and other properties.

But most people don't know that for many years Churchill owned a racing stable. And he wasn't one of those celebrity owners who preen and eye the cameras while putting their feet in - oops - the wrong places. As with everything else he cared about, Churchill the race horse owner was informed and "hands on."

Churchill's most successful horse was a grey, Colonist II. He bought him against the advice of many racing experts. Churchill thought he saw something - a special determination - in Colonist that would make the horse "a winner."

Colonist proved Churchill right. "This tough and indomitable grey horse has performed miracles," said one racing writer in 1950. "No horse in living memory has put up such a sequence of wins in good-class races in one season." Among the prestigious races Colonist won were The Winston Churchill Stakes and The Jockey Club Stakes.

As Colonist's racing days came to a close, his trainer reminded Churchill that Colonist would be very valuable as a stud horse. The trainer offered to arrange matters.

Churchill pondered a moment, then laughed and replied,

"To stud? And have it said that the Prime Minister of Great Britain is living on the immoral earnings of a horse?"
Churchill's official biographer, Martin Gilbert, does not say what ultimately happened to Colonist. We can wish the horse had a green old age.

I wasn't able to learn what Churchill’s racing colors were. Can anyone help with that?

[Update 12-26-06: Churchill's father had owned race horses. Lord Randolph's colors were pink and chocolate and pink; and Churchill selected those as his own.]
Martin Gilbert, Never Despair. (pgs. 488, 522, 524, 528, 563)

A little Joe the plumber satire at Obama & Rangel's expense

a comment on althouse, regarding a tax lien on JTP for missing a quarterly tax payment:

I notice that JtP owes less in back taxes than Charlie Rangel.

Wait, Rangel's black, a congressman, and a friend of Obama's.

Sorry, I apologize for the racism.

By the way, how much more in back taxes would Rangel owe under Obama's tax plan?


Caution to AC and the althouse commenter - -

Your question about back taxes may also be racist.

Why don't you check with Harry Reid, Jack Murtha, Nancy Pelosi, Jesse Jackson, Frank Rich, Kwame Kilpatrick, Al Franken and of course The One.

Even if they all give you a race pass, check with Michelle Obama just to be sure your question isn't "downright mean spirited."

Understanding The One

When Sen. Obama clinched his party’s presidential nomination he said it was at that “moment when the rise of the oceans began to slow and our planet began to heal”

Then House Speaker Nancy Pelosi called him "a leader that God has blessed us with at this time."

And in a comment here, Tarheel Hawkeye, who’s lived in Obama’s home city of Chicago tells us its quite common on Election Day for the dead to come back to life and vote.

Well, now we can all understand why The One has – you know - a Messiah complex.

I'm so-so on this McCain ad

I've never been a fan of those "whisper" attack ads, but a number of friends think this ad is very effective not least because it includes President Clinton acknowledging the Dems should have done more to prevent Fannie/Freddie.

So here it is.

Murtha now slimes Pa. voters

You may recall Pennsylvania Democratic Representative Jack Murtha’s reckless and false charge that U. S. Marines “killed innocent civilians in cold blood” at Haditha.

The killing charge by Murtha and anti-American elements at home and in the Middle East has been thoroughly disproved. But Murtha has refused to apologize for his calumny which inflamed sentiment against Marines serving in Iraq, thereby making their already very dangerous service even more dangerous.

Yet he remains a good friend and ally of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who’s never criticized Murtha or asked him to apologize for his false accusations against the Marines who fought and risked their lives at Haditha.

Yesterday we read this via the AP:

U.S. Rep. John Murtha says his home base of western Pennsylvania is racist and that could reduce Barack Obama's victory margin in the state by 4 percentage points.

The 17-term Democratic congressman tells the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette in a story posted Wednesday on its Web site that, as he put it: "There is no question that western Pennsylvania is a racist area."

He says it's taken time for many Pennsylvania voters to come around to liking Obama, but he should still win the state, though not in a runaway.

In a separate interview posted Wednesday on the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review's Web site, Murtha says Obama has a problem with the race issue in western Pennsylvania that could shave 4 points off his lead in the state.
Today via CNN we read:
Rep. John Murtha, a supported (sic) of Barack Obama’s presidential bid, apologized Thursday for calling western Pennsylvania “a racist area.”
The entire AP story’s here; CNN’s is here.


Murtha plays a race card and then “apologizes” for it. Who's fooled?

He knew what he was doing in the first place: Trying to guilt people into voting for Obama while sliming those who won’t as racists.

Then, one news cycle later, Murtha distances himself from what he did with a self-serving “apology.”

It’s an old political slime game he’s playing. It goes like this:

Yesterday – “I was glad to have a serious, sober debate last night with my opponent.”

Today – “Gee, if anyone thought I was pushing those rumors my opponent has a drinking problem, I apologize."

John Murtha is one of the most shameless, self-serving members of Congress; and that's saying a lot when you consider the competition.

Hat tip: BN

Commenters/"editors" come through on the Greeley post

I've just posted the following at the head of Our public leaders safety:questions for Andrew Greeley.

(Readers alert)

Commenters have noted there was no Secret Service confirmation of a shout of “Kill him” referring to Sen. Obama at the time Andrew Greeley’s op-ed was published yesterday. I should have noted that in my email to him.

I thank the commenters for “getting the story right.”

Other than treating Greeley’s “Kill him” charge as unconfirmed, I wouldn’t change anything else in my email.

I’ll be posting later today on claims “Kill him” was shouted at McCain-Palin rallies in Pennsylvania and Florida. The Secret Service has said the Pennsylvania claim, which came from a single reporter, is unfounded.

The Florida claim came from WaPo Obama reporter-supporter Dana Millbank who says the shout was not directed at Obama, but at Will Ayers.

Look for more later today in a post titled:“Two “kill him” reports: one's unfounded; the other's misreported.


I've said it before, but it bears repeating: JinC, for all its shortcomings, has some of the best "editors" in the blogoshpere.

Their smarts and care led to the alert above and the post this afternoon reporting more of the story about shouts at McCain-Palin rallies.

Joe the plumber says "McCain did better" - video

Joe Wurzelbacher a/k/a Joe the plumber is interviewed after the debate and has plenty to say.

If you think people should be responsible for their actions, families should help their members and you're concerned about the growing sense of entitlement in this country, you'll agree with what Joe says.

Hat tip: AC

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

The Churchill Series - Oct. 15, 2008

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

The following passage is found in the section headed "Political career before 1939" near the beginning of the
Encyclopaedia Britannica Online’s Churchill biographical entry:

A self-assurance redeemed from arrogance only by a kind of boyish charm made Churchill from the first a notable House of Commons figure, but a speech defect, which he never wholly lost, combined with a certain psychological inhibition to prevent him from immediately becoming a master of debate. He excelled in the set speech, on which he always spent enormous pains, rather than in the impromptu; Lord Balfour, the Conservative leader, said of him that he carried “heavy but not very mobile guns.”
Balfour’s metaphor is wonderful, isn’t it?

The entire Britannica Online entry's here. The Web page hosts, besides a fine text summary of Churchill's career, photos and audios. I think you'd all enjoy a look around, if you haven't been there already.

The final debate: first thoughts

Neither candidate made a “major gaffe.”

That said, fact-checkers on both sides will no doubt find “errors” concerning legislative votes, etc. by the other side’s candidates.

My sense is Sen. Obama made more of those errors.

We’ll see when the “final counts” are in.

But for sure neither candidate made a game-changer factual error.

After the first debate, I mentioned Sen. McCain’s failure to look at Obama; and said it was an unforced error.

McCain did some looking at the camera tonight, but not as much as Obama.

Points for Obama on that.

Joe the plumber was big tonight.

You would have thought McCain was his oldest and best friend.

I thought McCain was clinging desperately to Joe as his “campaign-saver.”

Obama demonstrated a reasonable degree of care for Joe at the same time he put across some of his economic plans.

I give lots of points to Obama for the way he deflected McCain’s response to the Ayers question moderator Bob Schieffer laid in McCain’s lap.

McCain bungled the question.

He offered nothing that would IMO persuade an undecided voter the Obama-Ayers relationship was important and should trouble us.

If anything, McCain seemed apologetic for even having to discuss Ayers.

Obama responded to McCain’s inept thrusts with seeming effortlessness that must have left many viewers wondering what all the Obama-Ayers fuss has been about.

Wright, of course, was never mentioned.

“I’m John McCain and I approve never mentioning Rev. Wright.”

Do any of you need a snap poll to tell you this was a very good night for Obama?

Mind you, I’m not in Obama’s camp; just sharing with you my first thoughts.

I’ll say more tomorrow.

What did you think?

If Obama’s President, ACORN will “shop”

Dick Morris says the corrupt, vote fraud hustling ACORN is an election liability for Sen. Obama.

I’m not sure about that.

ACORN may provide Obama with many more “votes” then he loses because at least some of the public’s caught on his many important “connections” to it, including shoveling lots of public money and campaign money ACORN’s way.

Here’s some of what Morris said today in The Hill followed by my comments - - -

… ACORN, the radical community group, is becoming an embarrassment for Obama. It is not as if its shenanigans are likely to tip the result, with the Democrats so far ahead, but as they are raided by the FBI in state after state (11 so far) they are becoming identified as the electoral equivalent of Greenpeace -- extremists who will stop at nothing to get their way.

What makes ACORN particularly embarrassing for Obama is that he used to be one of them.

He served as general counsel for ACORN in Illinois, channeled millions to the organization from the Chicago Annenberg Challenge (whose funds he distributed), and has lately spent $800,000 of his campaign money to subsidize the group's activities.

For this emolument, ACORN has registered voters 15 times over, canvassed the graveyards for votes and prepared to commit electoral fraud on a massive scale.

With friends like this, Obama doesn't need enemies. As their radical activities make headlines every day, Obama's intimate involvement with these radicals becomes more and more of a political liability. …

Morris’ entire column’s here.


As I said, I’m not sure ACORN will hurt Obama as far as vote counting is concerned.

Let’s hope justice prevails on elections day and vote fraud doesn’t decide the election, despite all the efforts of ACORN and other Chicago-style political orgs. to steal it.

In any case if Sen. Obama wins The White House, will ACORN be seen as a political liability for President Obama?

The same MSM flacks who've covered up for Obama on Wright et all will surely be covering up or mellowing for ACORN.

So ACORN will be able to say to Obama: “Here’s our latest "shopping list." Reid and Pelosi will sign off on it; and we’ll do even more for you in the 2010 congressionals than in the presidential election.”

That thought should trouble every American concerned for this country’s future.

Rasmussen on “the persuadables”

Scott Rasmussen today - - -

As the candidates prepare for their final debate, the Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential Tracking Poll for Wednesday once again shows Barack Obama attracting 50% of the vote while John McCain earns 45%. That’s the fourth straight day with identical numbers and the twentieth straight day that Obama’s support has stayed in the narrow range from 50% to 52% while McCain has been at 44% of 45% (see trends).

Two percent (2%) of voters say they will vote for “some other candidate” and 3% remain undecided.

Tracking Poll results are released every day at 9:30 a.m. Eastern and a FREE daily e-mail update is available.

While the surface numbers have remained the same, there are details beneath the surface that could offer encouragement for both campaigns.

For Obama, 53% of voters now reject the notion that he’s too inexperienced to be President. That’s up five percentage points over the past two weeks and matches the response immediately following the Democratic National Convention.

For McCain, the encouraging news comes from core supporters—those who are certain how they will vote and that they will not change their mind. Just 42% are certain they will vote for Obama while 40% say the same about McCain. That two-point gap is much closer than the overall numbers. It’s also much closer than the 45% to 38% advantage among core supporters enjoyed by Obama heading into the second Presidential Debate last week.

Overall, 12% of voters remain persuadables who favor one candidate or the other but could change their mind. Those, plus the 3% who remain undecided, are the target audience for both candidates in tonight’s debate.

Fifty percent (50%) of these target voters say the economy is the top issue of Election 2008. That is similar to the overall perceptions of voters. However, while national security matters are second on the list for all voters, the persuadables have less interest in that topic--13% say that cultural issues are their highest priority, 13% name fiscal issues as number one and 11% see national security as most important. Only 5% of persuadables are most interested in domestic issues such as health care and social security. ...

Rasmussen's full report's here.


Those "persuadables" sound like they're just the sort of voters McCain can appeal to.

Note especailly the 13% citing "cultural issues" as their highest priority.

I think they may be those "bitter people who cling to guns and religion."

They're more likely to break for McCain IMO.

Our public leaders’ safety: questions for Andrew Greeley

(Readers alert)

Commenters have noted there was no Secret Service confirmation of a shout of “Kill him” referring to Sen. Obama at the time Andrew Greeley’s op-ed was published yesterday. I should have noted that in my email to him.

I thank the commenters for “getting the story right.”

Other than treating Greeley’s “Kill him” charge as unconfirmed, I wouldn’t change anything else in my email.

I’ll be posting later today on claims “Kill him” was shouted at McCain-Palin rallies in Pennsylvania and Florida. The Secret Service has said the Pennsylvania claim, which came from a single reporter, is unfounded.

The Florida claim came from WaPo Obama reporter-supporter Dana Millbank who says the shout was not directed at Obama, but at Will Ayers.

Look for more later today in a post titled:“Two “kill him” reports: one's unfounded; the other's misreported.


Here’s the first paragraph from novelist Andrew Greeley’s op-ed in today’s Chicago Sun Times, followed by an email I just sent Greeley.

Greeley began:

“South Pacific" is a morality play for our time. Sarah Palin is the Ensign Nellie Forbush -- an All-American girl as racist, this time a racist with her eye on the White House. She can stir up crowds to shout "Kill him!" at the mention of the presidential candidate of the other party a couple of weeks before the national election.
The rest of Greeley’s column’s here.

My email response:

Dear Father Greeley:

All decent people deplore shouts of “Kill him” at political rallies.

Why didn’t you mention Sen. McCain, Gov. Palin and their campaign have gone out of their way to deplore them and to call down the very few at their rallies who’ve made such shouts?

Doing so would have been only fair to McCain-Palin. It would also have helped your op-ed seem less a partisan swipe at McCain-Palin and more like what you wanted readers to see it as: a high-minded condemnation of ugly forces that often find expression in politics.

Speaking of which - - -

For the last 8 years President Bush has been viciously vilified. How many times have we both heard the “Kill Bush” chanting at what MSM terms “peace rallies?”

“Bush is a mass murderer” has been a common utterance by the kind of people who drive cars with “Bush = Hitler” bumper stickers.

You’ve heard Bush assassination jokes, right?

And there are those theater pieces which present his assassination as a positive act.

I’ll bet we’re both seen on college campuses, at “peace” rallies and while watching TV footage of them, the t-shirts with the President’s face superimposed on a bulls-eye target.

If somehow you’ve missed what I’ve just described and some things even worse targeting President Bush, you’ll find them documented here in this Michelle Malkin post.

But I’ve not been able to find anything by Googling that documents and links you to any criticism of the kinds of noxious speech and other actions directed against President Bush.

Is your concern for Sen. Obama’s safety, a concern I share, something particular to him?

Or is it an expression of a larger and longstanding concern for the safety of our public leaders?

Have you spoken out when President Bush has been targeted so often as you have now in the instance you cite where Sen. Obama was the target of noxious speech?

If you’ll provide citations to publications in which you've spoken out in the case of Bush, I’ll post them at my blog.

I assume we agree the noxious speech and acts discussed in your op-ed and here would be judged constitutionally protected speech, the right to express which we both respect.

I also assume we agree people are nevertheless right to criticize such speech because it's inflammatory and suggests violent criminal acts rather than lawful means as “resolutions” of our political differences?

Finally, I believe those who express criticism of noxious speech by “the other side” while ignoring or even justifying it by their side are much like those on the far left and far right in Weimar Germany who each condemned the extreme speech and other provocations by those on other side while ignoring or justifying it when done by their side.

Do we agree about that?

I look forward to your reply, which I'll publish in full at my blog.


John in Carolina

Barone: "The coming Obama thugacracy"

Here's Michael Barone - - -

"I need you to go out and talk to your friends and talk to your neighbors," Barack Obama told a crowd in Elko, Nev. "I want you to talk to them whether they are independent or whether they are Republican. I want you to argue with them and get in their face." Actually, Obama supporters are doing a lot more than getting into people's faces. They seem determined to shut people up.

That's what Obama supporters, alerted by campaign emails, did when conservative Stanley Kurtz appeared on Milt Rosenberg's WGN radio program in Chicago.

Kurtz had been researching Obama's relationship with unrepentant Weather Underground terrorist William Ayers in Chicago Annenberg Challenge papers in the Richard J. Daley Library in Chicago -- papers that were closed off to him for some days, apparently at the behest of Obama supporters.

Obama fans jammed WGN's phone lines and sent in hundreds of protest emails. The message was clear to anyone who would follow Rosenberg's example. We will make trouble for you if you let anyone make the case against The One.

Other Obama supporters have threatened critics with criminal prosecution. In September, St. Louis County Circuit Attorney Bob McCulloch and St. Louis City Circuit Attorney Jennifer Joyce warned citizens that they would bring criminal libel prosecutions against anyone who made statements against Obama that were "false."

I had been under the impression that the Alien and Sedition Acts had gone out of existence in 1801-02. Not so, apparently, in metropolitan St. Louis. Similarly, the Obama campaign called for a criminal investigation of the American Issues Project when it ran ads highlighting Obama's ties to Ayers. ...

The rest of Barone's column's here.

I hope you pass it on to friends before Election Day.

Americans should know about what Barone, one of the smartest pundits around, is telling us.

Hat tip: BN

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

The Churchill Series – Oct. 14, 2006

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

Folks, it's just fun today in the form of this "oldie" from Dec. 2006

In 1944 Fitzroy MacLean, a British diplomat, was serving behind German lines in Yugoslavia as a liaison with Tito and his partisans. At one point MacLean was pulled out of Yugoslavia and brought to Algiers for intelligence debriefing.

While there, he spoke by phone with Churchill. MacLean recalled:

In the spring of 1944 the military situation in Bosnia made it feasible to land an aircraft by night in a secluded valley, and I was once again brought out to report. When I reached Algiers I received a message inviting me to call the Prime Minister in London by radio telephone via Washington.

For this purpose I was taken to an underground room in Allied headquarters and handed over to a pretty American WAC sergeant. Before putting us through, she explained that our conversation would be scrambled, and that we could speak freely without fear of being overheard by the enemy.

What was my surprise, therefore, on hearing Mr. Churchill's well-known voice come booming over the ether and [on] announcing my own identity as instructed …being told by the Prime Minister to shut up! He then asked me whether I had spoken to "Pumpkin."

Disconcerted, I asked him what he meant. "Why that great big General of mine," he said in a stage whisper. "And what," he went on, "have you done with Pippin?"

Clearly one of us was off his head!

I hoped it wasn't me, but how much worse if it was the Prime Minister. In despair, I told him I had no idea of what he was talking about or how all these fruits and vegetables came in to it.

There was a pause, interrupted only by the inhuman wailing and crackling of the ether. Then, projected over the air, first of all across the Atlantic, from Downing Street to Washington, and then back to North Africa, came quite distinctly an exclamation of horror and disgust. "Good God," I heard him say, "they haven't got the code."

At this point, not a moment too soon, the technicians took over, arguing among themselves about whether we needed to use a code or not.

A few minutes later the Prime Minister was back on the air. "Shall we scramble?" he asked gaily. I replied that I thought I was scrambled. There was a rumbling noise, followed by silence, and Mr. Churchill's voice came through again. "So am I," he said.

After which, much to my relief, we were able to talk normally and very sensibly and to arrange for my onward journey to London. …

[The call ended. I] laid down the receiver with relief after this unnerving experience. I started up the stairs of our dugout but then turned back to collect something I'd forgotten. As I opened the door, I was startled to hear my own voice coming through it. "Pumpkin, Prime Minister?," I was saying, "I'm afraid I don't understand what you mean."

I looked in. The pretty American sergeant was playing our conversation back to herself, rocking with laughter. “And an English accent, too," I heard her say.
You can read more of what MacLean had to say about Churchill at a Churchill Centre page here.

Help for dumb parents

Are you one of those parents who's sure - or at least pretty sure - you're teenager' s smarter than you are?

Then this ad's for you.

It answers your "Who to vote for?" question.

Hat tip: Cassy Fiano at Wizbang. Be sure to read her commentary.

Do you know "the real" McCain? - a parody video

All intelligent viewers "regardless of party" will quickly realize this video's a parody.

The "parody alert" is for those Obama supporters who won't.

If the dead vote for Obama,

will that be Change You Can Believe In?

Still more Obama-ACORN connections

The CNN report below lays them out. The audio "breaks" often. Sorry about that. If you have a better link, please let me know.

Meanwhile - - -

How've the NYT, NPR, WaPo, PBS and the three networks all missed so many of Sen. Obama's ACORN connections?

When CNN leads the way, you have to wonder.

It's enough to get reasonable people asking whether the NYT and the rest are suppressing news to help elect Obama.

But they promise they don't do that, right?


Take a look at what CNN is reporting and decide for yourself.

Hat tip: Instapundit

Obama's Ayers ads

Ben Smith at Politico – - -

Here's the audio of Obama's new radio spot responding to attacks on his relationship to Bill Ayers. It's a version of his television spot accusing McCain of using "smears" to avoid talking about the economy, but — unlike the TV spot — mentions Ayers by name and discusses him at some length:

"Bill Ayers is a professor of education who once served with Obama on a school reform board, a board funded by conservative Republicans tied to McCain," says the ad's narrator.

"When Ayers committed crimes in the '60s, Obama was 8 years old. Obama condemned those despicable acts. Ayers has had no role in Obama's campaign, and will have no role in his administration."

"And John McCain? With no plan to fix our economy, smears are all he has left," says the narrator.

The ad is airing in Wisconsin, Colorado, and likely other states.
At Blake Dvorak provides an update - - -

The RNC sends out this response to the ad:
According to Barack Obama's new ad, Bill Ayers is a 'professor of education who once served with Obama on a school reform board.' What Obama doesn't tell voters is that he made an independent judgment to befriend an unrepentant terrorist who headed an organization that killed Americans, and targeted men and women in uniform. Barack Obama's failed judgment led him to put his career before our country and it disqualifies him as a reasonable or serious candidate for the presidency.

I think McCain made a huge blunder by not raising questions starting last March about Sen. Obama’s close, almost 20-year relationship with his racist, misogynist, anti-American mentor Jeremiah Wright.

The very troubling concerns raised by the extent and depth of Obama’s relationship with Wright are much more troubling and revealing than those raised by Obama's association with the unrepentant terrorist Bill Ayers.

Obama and his wife can take their children for religious instruction to any church they wish even Wright's.

But voters should ask why Obama took his children to church where the pastor preaches “God damn America” and “KKK – America?”

Obama: "when I'm president"

On Fox News just now talking about government actions he feels are needed, Sen. Obama said that if they weren't implemented during a special session of Congress following the election, then he'd take the lead in implementing them "when I'm president."

Hypocritical pundits who make things worse

From Boston Globe columnist Derrick Jackson - - -

Even though Obama long ago volunteered youthful cocaine use in his memoirs, McCain campaign cochairman Frank Keating, the former governor of Oklahoma, said this week: "He ought to admit, 'You know, I've got to be honest with you. I was a guy of the street. I was way to the left. I used cocaine.' "

McCain's brother, Joe, momentarily turned himself into Joe McCarthy. Seeing that Obama is poised to win northern Virginia, Joe McCain declared the suburbs of Arlington and Alexandria to be "communist country." …

Jackson’s column’s here.


Frank Keating and Joe McCain are wrong to engage in such politics.

I wish politics like that and worse weren't played by either Sen. McCain's or Sen. Obama's supporters.

I also wish I could go on to commend Jackson for calling out Keating and Joe McCain; and for his condemnation of other kinds of unfair and ugly political expression.

But I can't because for many years Jackson’s been silent in the face of the “Kill Bush” shouts we’ve heard at what MSM calls “peace rallies.”

I also don't recall Jackson ever speaking out about the “Bush = Hitler” bumper stickers or those tee shirts with President Bush’s face superimposed on a bulls-eye target.

We’ve heard racism, misogyny and anti-Americanism from Obama’s long-time allies Jeremiah Wright, Will Ayers and John Pflager.

All Jackson’s done is minimize, distort and excuse what they preach.

Now today he presents himself as shocked and outraged that someone shouted “Kill him” at a McCain rally, possibly with Obama in mind. (Jackson says the secret service is not sure.)

Look, folks, I condemn people who shout “Kill him” at political rallies whoever they mean.

I spoke out criticizing people who wore those Bush bulls-eye tee shirt even though folks on the left said wearing such tee shirts was an “outlet,” “understandable,” and “protected speech.”

I’ll criticize people who wear such tee shirts with Obama’s face superimposed on the target.

But I have nothing but disdain for people who are OK with such “protected speech” when the face of someone they don’t support is on the target and then scream about "assassination" whenever their guy is criticized.

A lot of pundits now expressing “outrage” that some people are going over the line in their criticisms of Obama remained silent or outright encouraged the shouts of “Kill Bush” and worse.

The double standard of such pundits is shameless and encourages at both ends of the political spectrum the behaviors the pundits condemn only when directed at their candidates.

McClatchy’s Raleigh N&O distorts for Obama

Sen. McCain held a rally in Wilmington, NC yesterday.

The liberal/leftist Raleigh News & Observer’s report of the event included this:

Among McCain's supporters, there were clearly doubts about Obama's personal associations.

Celeste Avery, a 33-year-old Democrat who supported Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton in the Democratic primary, is backing McCain because she doesn't trust Obama.

"There are too many crooked ties," said Avery, a small-business owner from Wilmington. "I don't want a president who's tied to Ayers, Farrakhan and Wright."
So far so good.

But what follows is the N&O covering up for Obama disguised as telling readers what Celeste Avery meant when she said she didn’t want a president “who's tied to Ayers, Farrakhan and Wright."
Avery was referring to William Ayers, a 1960s anti-war radical turned professor who hosted a campaign event for Obama early in his political career and with whom Obama later served on an charity board; Black Muslim leader Louis Farrakhan, whose anti-Semitic comments Obama has denounced; and the Rev. Jeremiah Wright, Obama's former pastor, whose racial provocations Obama has disavowed.
Ayers is an unrepentant terrorist who believes he didn’t do enough to bomb government buildings and kill members of our military and police officers. Farrakhan is a loud anti-Semite and anti-American. Wright is anti-white and anti-American.

Obama allied himself with those three for many years and only publicly “disavowed” them recently when his many ties to them threatened his election chances.

But the “anything for Obama” N&O doesn’t want to remind readers of that. So it distorts by minimization and mislabeling Obama’s true relationships with Ayers, Farrakhan and Wright; and leads readers to believe it's distortion is what Celeste Avery meant.

Part of the reason McCain is not doing better in North Carolina has to do with the shameless covering up for Obama the N&O engaged in for months.

The entire N&O reports here.

MSM’s “see” and “don’t see” Obama

With a relative handful of exceptions, MSM news orgs are not reporting the presidential election campaign; they’re cheerleading for Sen. Obama.

So Obama’s anti-white, misogynist, anti-American friend and mentor Rev. Jeremiah Wright is barely mentioned and when he is we’re told he’s merely “controversial.”

Obama’s MSM tankers don’t want us to see the real Wright. Instead, they want us to see the “brilliant” community organizer who, we’re told, did a little “charity work” with a “60s radical” to “improve Chicago’s public schools.”

Thomas Sowell tells us something about the Obama MSM wants us to see and a lot about the Obama his media cheerleaders don’t want us to see - - -

… Barack Obama gives speeches that sound so moderate, so nuanced and so lofty that even some conservative Republicans go for them. How could anyone believe that such a man is the very opposite of what he claims to be— unless they check out the record of what he has actually done?

In words, Obama is a uniter instead of a divider. In deeds, he has spent years promoting polarization.

That is what a "community organizer" does, creating a sense of grievance, envy and resentment, in order to mobilize political action to get more of the taxpayers' money or to force banks to lend to people they don't consider good risks, as the community organizing group ACORN did.

After Barack Obama moved beyond the role of a community organizer, he promoted the same polarization in his other roles.

That is what he did when he spent the money of the Woods Fund bankrolling programs to spread the politics of grievance and resentment into the schools. That is what he did when he spent the taxpayers' money bankrolling the grievance and resentment ideology of Michael Pfleger.

When Barack Obama donated $20,000 to Jeremiah Wright, does anyone imagine that he was unaware that Wright was the epitome of grievance, envy and resentment hype? Or were Wright's sermons too subtle for Obama to pick up that message?

How subtle is "G-d damn America!"?

Yet those in the media who deplore "negative advertising" regard it as unseemly to dig up ugly facts instead of sticking to the beautiful rhetoric of an election year. The oft-repeated mantra is that we should trick to the "real issues."

What are called "the real issues" are election-year talking points, while the actual track record of the candidates is treated as a distraction— and somehow an unworthy distraction.

Sowell entire column's here.


Obama’s MSM tankers don’t want the public to see the real Obama. They know if the public really understood the extent to which Obama has allied with and enabled Wright, Pfager, ACORN, Rezko, Ayers and so many others, they wouldn’t elect him president.

We are now getting the same kind of "straight reporting" from most MSM that we got from Dan Rather and CBS with their faked Texas Air National Guard story.

It's just plain dishonest.

Hat tip: BN

Obama-Acorn ties and voter fraud video

This video pulls together documentation of Sen. Obama's longstanding ties to Acorn and recent examples of Acorn's vote fraud activities.

You may have seen some of what's in the video, but it contains some documentation of very recent voter registration fraud in Lake County, Indiana which was new to me and shocking as to how extensive and brazen it is.

I hope you give the video a look.

Monday, October 13, 2008

The Churchill Series – Oct. 13, 2008

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

If you read Series posts often, you know Sir Martin Gilbert is Churchill’s official biographer whose eight-volume life of the great man other historians have termed “magisterial.” Gilbert’s also written acclaimed histories of the Holocaust, both WW I and II, and Israel.

Gilbert’s a very decent person skilled in the art of clear, but sensitive, correction.

You'll see that as you read excerpts from a review of Gilbert’s one-volume Churchill: A Life, followed by Gilbert’s corrections of the review.

From Noel Taylor’s review first published in the Ottawa Review and hosted now at the Churchill Centre's Web site here - - -

In the expanded attic room of Martin Gilbert’s Victorian house in London there is a desk, 30 feet long and U-shaped, which has held in its working career much of the life of Winston Churchill.

Gilbert, a cheerful academic on a sabbatical from his Oxford college which started 20 years ago and has never finished, rides round the desk’s rim on an office chair with wheels, sifting the evidence, saving what he conservatively estimates at 10 per cent for future reference.

The desk is spread at different times with archives, official and personal, and some of the 5,000 letters which Winston wrote to his beloved wife, Clementine. …

Gilbert himself did not have an official assistant for years — "I couldn’t afford one" — until enough money was sprung loose for a graduate researcher on a three months’ trial. He married her.

"We both read all the documents (most of which are photo-copied because of the risk of loss). I write my next chapter and [Suzie] reads it and points out anything I may have left out. Sometimes she suggests re-writing." The eighth volume is dedicated to her; the new book, to his two children. …

Gilbert muses on what Churchill would have made of such technology. "He was infatuated by everything technological" — and that included the work of the Wright Brothers and the introduction of the tank in the First World War." …

Now Gilbert’s comments - - -

"While it would be churlish to cavil at such a nice review, may I point out that (1) the room is on my first floor (USA 2nd floor), not in my attic; (2) my chair is firmly rooted to the floor; (3) Suzie was my third, but obviously my best, research assistant; (4) our three children, Natalie, David and Joshua, will be happy to know that the new book is dedicated to all of them; (5) I think it would be more correct to say that Churchill was ‘fascinated’ rather than "infatuated" with technology. None of which takes away from Mr. Taylor’s many kind remarks."

Did the Raleigh N&O fake “a police report?”

Readers Note: If you’re not familiar with the McClatchy News Co.’s Raleigh News & Observer’s Mar. 2006 role in launching the vicious witch hunt and the public part of a criminal frame-up attempt targeting members of the Duke Men’s lacrosse team, please read The Raleigh N&O without its mask (Post 2).

That post provides background to the email below which I’m sending to the N&O’s public editor, Ted Vaden.


Dear Ted:

For your reference and that of JinC readers the N&O on Mar. 25, 2006 on its front page, above the fold headlined:

Dancer gives details of ordeal

A woman hired to dance for the Duke lacrosse team describes a night of racial slurs, growing fear and, finally, sexual violence
The story began:
The woman who says she was raped last week by three members of the Duke University lacrosse team thought she would be dancing for five men at a bachelor party, she said Friday. But when she arrived that night, she found herself surrounded by more than 40.

Just moments after she and another exotic dancer started to perform, she said, men in the house started barking racial slurs.

The two women, both black, stopped dancing.

"We started to cry," she said. "We were so scared." ...
Readers immediately challenged the story on grounds it was inaccurate, grossly unfair to the lacrosse players and as racially inflammatory as anything that ran back in the days of Josephus Daniels.

You responded to readers in your Arp. 2, 2006 column. Here’s part of what you told us:
But let's talk more about the anonymous interview. Williams said editors and the reporter discussed the fairness issue at length before interviewing the woman and publishing the story. The governing decision, she said, was to print only information from the interview that conformed with the police reports. "We limited for publication the statements from the woman that were in line with what she said in the police report," Williams said. (all emphases in this post added) …

In my view, the interview is at odds with The N&O's own policy on anonymous sources, which discourages their use except when the information can be obtained no other way.

In this case, as Williams pointed out, the story used only information from the interview that corroborated the public record, so it didn't add new facts. The added matter was the emotional content -- the crying mother of two -- that gave a human dimension to the police reports.
In her Arp. 3 post at the Editors’ Blog, the executive editor for news Melanie Sill assured readers:
We took care in editing the [Mar. 25] story not to introduce new accusations -- the basics were the same as in police reports, which had already been made public.
Police reports are public records that often include unverified and contradictory statements.

That said, what police report or police reports were you, Williams and Sill referring to that included the racially charged “men in the house started barking racial slurs” accusation.

What such police report had "already been made public?"

In the more than two and a half years since you published claiming false accuser Crystal Mangum’s “barking racial slurs” charge was in a “police report,” no such police report has surfaced.

No one besides Mangum in the house during the time Mangum claimed they occurred says they did.

No defense attorney has said such a police report exists to support the N&O’s story.

After a thorough examination of the entire case file, the NC attorney general’s office found no such police report.

Subsequent to the N&O’s Mar. 25 story, the now disbarred former DA Mike Nifong played the race card, but in that and all his other lying he never cited any such police report as you claim the N&O used for a story as discredited and dishonorable as Rather's and 60 Minutes' Texas Air National Guard lies about President Bush.

I can’t find any place where current executive editor John Drescher, who, as you know, was managing editor during Spring 2006 has said there is such a police report.

Most telling of all, I can’t find any instance where you, Williams or Sill have cited such a police report as so many N&O readers and others have been asking you to do now for over two and a half years.

I’ll wait a few more days out of courtesy, but absent any response from you by this Thursday citing the public record police report the N&O relied on for its “barking racial slurs” report, I’ll call “FALSE” on you, Williams and Sill.

As always, I’ll publish your response, if any, in full at JinC.


John in Carolina

The Obama-Ayers ads are now

doing a better job of explaining why Sen. Obama's alliances with unrepentant terrorist Bill Ayers are important.

This, just out from the RNC, is one of the best explanations I've seen.

What's your reaction?

Hat tiip: AC

Sunday, October 12, 2008

The mortgage mess: links worth exploring

AMac commented in response to "The mortgage mess: a few thoughts."

This is a complicated issue, so it is good to see a variety of opinions. I'll offer two links (one old, one new) that might be worth exploring.

Chart of the Day: Fixed vs Variable Subprime Default Rates dates from 7/18/07. Felix Salmon offers a fascinating chart and an explanation: the popularization of subprime variable-rate mortgages with an initial period without payment of principal promoted speculation, in a way that the lenders did not anticipate or account for.

Last Friday, Steve Sailer published "The Diversity Recession;" lead-in here.

Sailer’s thesis: increased lending to higher-risk minority groups did not, per se, cause the housing bubble.

However, the ever-more-lax standards that were designed to promote increased minority homeownership--and did--also promoted increasingly risky behavior on the part of non-minorities.

Since political correctness prevented critical examination of either the foundation of these policies or their developing effects, promotion of the bubble lasted all the way until... the collapse.

Sailer's summary: "Ideas have consequences."



If you give those two links a look, I hope you comment.

And thanks, AMac, for the links and their “main points.”

MSM won’t blame Bush

From Reuters - - -

… The national average price for self-serve, regular unleaded gas fell 35.03 cents to $3.3079 a gallon on October 10 from $3.6582 two weeks earlier, according to the nationwide Lundberg Survey.

It was the lowest national average price since March 21, 2008. Since peaking at $4.1124 on July 11, the average cost of a gallon of gas has receded by 80.45 cents. Diesel fuel fell 21 cents to $3.95 a gallon, the first time since March that it has been below $4.00 a gallon.

"Plummeting oil prices and caving gasoline demand have combined to bring the biggest retail gasoline price cut in the history of the market," Trilby Lundberg, who compiles the survey, said in an interview. "We've been doing this 58 years. This is truly the biggest price drop." …

Advice to Team McCain: Make the point we can get energy prices a lot lower by developing more domestic energy – renewable and fossil both.

Remind Americans that when they pay less for gas, home energy, etc. the money stays in their pockets.

It doesn’t go to Washington as taxes which Sens. Obama and Dodd and Reps. Frank and Rangel can then do with as they please, including paying huge bonuses to Jim Johnson, Franklin Raines and Jamie Goreleck.

The Reuters story's here.

Ad cites Obama’s Fannie, Freddie ties

At there’s a very effective video ad titled “Part of the Problem.” (click on woman in upper left hand panel)

Here’s the text.

Senator Obama, the papers say that you are benefiting politically from the financial crisis.

But if America knew the facts, I don’t know how they could vote for you.

John McCain tried to blow the whistle on Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac over two years ago. In 2006, he told the Senate, “For years, I have been concerned about the regulatory structure that governs Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac…. The GSEs need to be reformed without delay.”

No wonder he didn’t get their political contributions. And who opposed the reforms John McCain was calling for? Barack Obama, Christopher Dodd, and John Kerry.

WOMAN: Wait, it gets better. Guess who received campaign contributions from the people who drove Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae into the ground? Barack Obama, Christopher Dodd and John Kerry.

MAN: John McCain saw this coming. You, Senator Obama, have been part of the problem.

What happens when we elect a Senator who’s part of the biggest financial crisis in U.S. history? Please, America, let’s never find out.

Paid for by Let Freedom Ring, which is responsible for the content of this ad.

Hat tip: AC

An Obama promise that will make ACORN happy

Raleigh N&O editor terms Ayers “wackily idealistic”

The McClatchy Company’s liberal/leftist Raleigh News & Observer is the newspaper which first told the public about “the victim” who’d endured a night of “sexual violence” at the Duke lacrosse party. It also promulgated what it knew was a lie: that the lacrosse players refused to cooperate with police.

The N&O “reported” all that
before the now disbarred Mike Nifong began speaking publicly about the case.

That was March 2006. What’s the N&O doing now?

All it can on the news and editorial pages to help make Sen. Barack Obama our next president.

So it’s no surprise editorial page editor Steve Ford devoted his column today to misleading readers about Obama’s relationship with unrepentant terrorist Will Ayers; or that Ford grossly misrepresented what the McCain camp is saying about the Obama-Ayers relationship and why it should concern Americans.

Still, allowing that Ford is in the tank for Obama, I was surprised he strayed as far from the truth as he did in his closing paragraph:

“The McCain camp asks with a sinister twist, who's the real Barack Obama? It's a loaded question meant to impugn his mixed heritage, his rapid and unusual rise and his emergence from a cutthroat, big-city political environment. But surely the answer is not to be found in his relationship, such as it was, with the once criminally deluded and perhaps still wackily idealistic Bill Ayers.”
Ayers tries to bomb the Capital and Pentagon; he encourages and helps train others to bomb government buildings and kill our military and public safety officers; he praises those who do; he boasts he got away with it all (“guilty as hell, free as a bird”); he says at the time of Sept. 11 he didn’t do enough terrorism; and he’s never repented any of it.

At the N&O, all that makes him “idealistic,” albeit “wackily” so.

The N&O and Steve Ford have come a long way from the days when Duke lacrosse players cited for underage drinking or peeing on the side of a building had, the N&O said, “criminal backgrounds” and their names and citations published on its March 28, 2006 front page.

Ford’s entire column’s here.

With smart readers, what's a blogger to do?

If you haven't already done so, I hope you read the thread of The mortgage mess: a few thoughts where you’ll find civil, very informed comments on the current mortgage mess and turmoil in the financial markets. The comments include criticisms of some things I’ve said.

If you’re a regular reader here, you know I’ve often admitted that, judging by comments, many of you readers are smarter than I am.

The comments at
The mortgage mess: a few thoughts and on other post threads leave no doubt about that.

Sigh. What’s a blogger in my situation to do?

I blog on but with renewed appreciation for readers whose professional training, expertise and experience is often greater than mine and whom I’d be foolish to engage point by point.

But I’ll offer a few observations about home ownership, mortgages and the government’s involvement in both and welcome further comment.

The observations are meant to suggest why I think government’s involvement in home mortgages has historically been beneficial using 1930 as a start date.

At that time it was common for home buyers to have to put as much as 50% of the sale price up in cash.

Mortgages at 50% of the home’s selling price were also common; and usually much like what we today call a “balloon mortgage.”

After a certain number of years the mortgage principal became due. At that point the mortgage holder and mortgagor could renegotiate the mortgage terms or the mortgagor could demand full payment of the principal.

If the mortgagor couldn’t make the full principal payment, the mortgagee could take back possession on the house and the mortgagor was “out on the street.”

In the circumstances of the 1930s those mortgages we now call “balloons” could be pretty deadly, which is why back then they were called “bullet mortgages.”

IMO the federal government has done enormous good for the country be helping create over the last 80 years a much more stable home mortgage market than we’d had before 1930; and one that’s made home ownership available and beneficial to tens of millions of people.

There were some essential keys to the government’s success.

Good credit and satisfactory employment history were two of the most important ones. So were construction/home inspections to make sure the properties were built to a certain standard. There was also the matter of conservative appraisals of the property’s market value.

One other key to sound Fannie and Freddie mortgage lending: the mortgage principal amounts they would accept to package and back had to be less than certain amounts which were set to allow the purchase of “starter” and “average” homes, but avoid lending on “dream” homes which are often the most risky.

Those lending keys I’ve just cited have all been abused; and that abuse, much of it encouraged, really insisted on, by Fannie and Freddie in recent years explain a lot of the mortgage delinquency problems today.

In sum, I think the government can be and has been a force for good in the housing market, but it can be the opposite as well.

Private banks and other forms of business can be the same way.

I go with the notion that it’s the kind of government we have that can either help or hurt the housing market and everything else.

I believe in capitalism, but government has a role, too.

I’ll be back this evening posting on the role I see charity playing in the housing market.

Now that’s enough from me.

It’s time we all had a chance to hear again from the smart people who comment here.

No to Dodd, Raines, Frank and Obama; yes to Volcker

The first four are great at cutting deals for themselves, playing race cards and other such activities that help themselves.

But what about the rest of us?

One person I’m looking to for understanding and advice during the current market turmoil is former Federal Reserve Chairman Paul Volcker.

From Market Watch this - - -

The United States has the tools to turn the financial tide and restore confidence in the market, says Paul Volcker, former Chairman of the Federal Reserve from 1979 to 1987.

Writing in The Wall Street Journal, Volcker says financial authorities in the United States and elsewhere are now in a position to take “needed and convincing action to stabilize markets and to restore trust.”

A recession appears inevitable now, Volcker writes.

However, "there is now a clear recognition that the problem is international and international coordination and cooperation is both necessary and under way."

The coordinated global cut in central bank interest rates is one sign of this commitment.

"More important ... is the clear determination of our Treasury, of European finance ministers, and of central banks to support and defend the stability of major international banks," Volcker says.

Adding to the U.S. effort at bolster the market, Volcker points out, are the higher limits on deposit insurance and the recent bailout legislation authorizing the purchase of troubled debt, including mortgages. …

Two items follow - - -

The first is the full text of Volcker’s WSJ op-ed yesterday. Then below the star line I give the last word to a person experienced in business whom I respect for many reasons, including his concern for America and his appreciation of how important a capitalist system is to our well-being.

Here’s Volcker on 10/10/08 - - -

Today, the financial crisis has reached a critical point. The sharp decline in the stock market and its volatility dramatically make the point. More important if less visible, the flow of credit through the banking system and the financial markets is seriously impaired -- even in part frozen.

For months, the real economy, apart from housing, had not been much affected by the developing crisis. Now, a full-scale recession appears unavoidable. Important state and local governments face deficits they may be unable to finance. Recessionary forces are apparent in other important countries and exchange rates are unstable.

Those are facts.

They are the culmination of economic imbalances, a succession of financial bubbles and financial crises that have been building for years. It's no wonder that confidence in markets, banks, and financial management has been badly eroded.

Without effective action, fear might take hold, threatening orderly recovery.

Fortunately, there is also good reason to believe that the means are now available to turn the tide. Financial authorities, in the United States and elsewhere, are now in a position to take needed and convincing action to stabilize markets and to restore trust.

First of all, there is now clear recognition that the problem is international, and international coordination and cooperation is both necessary and underway. The days of finger pointing and schadenfreude are over. The concerted reduction in central bank interest rates is one concrete manifestation of that fact.

More important in existing circumstances is the clear determination of our Treasury, of European finance ministries, and of central banks to support and defend the stability of major international banks.

That approach extends to providing fresh capital to supplement private funds if necessary.

In the U.S., with higher limits of deposit insurance in place, the FDIC has demonstrated its ability to protect depositors, to arrange mergers, and to provide capital for troubled banks. Most other countries now have a comparable capacity.

Recent U.S. legislation has provided authority for large-scale direct intervention by the Treasury in the mortgage and other troubled markets. Along with increased purchases by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, now under government control, means of restoring needed liquidity are at hand.

Other key sectors of financial markets are now protected or supported by either the Treasury or Federal Reserve, specifically by temporary insurance of money-market funds and by direct purchase of commercial paper.

Active efforts are underway to develop stronger netting, clearing and settlement arrangements for certain derivatives, in particular the notional trillions of credit default swaps, the absence of which has contributed to uncertainty and large demands for scarce collateral.

None of that is easy. Some of it poses risks for the taxpayer. All of it is decidedly unattractive in the sense of large official intervention in what should be private markets able to stand on their own feet.

Unattractive or not in normal circumstances, the point is the needed tools to restore and maintain functioning markets are there. Now is the time to use them.

To that end, the immediate and critical need is determined, forceful and persistent leadership -- extending across administrations and Congresses. Both the public and private sectors must be involved.

The inevitable recession can be moderated.

The groundwork can be laid for reconstructing the financial system and the regulatory and supervisory arrangements from the bottom up.

The extraordinary interventions by the government (and taxpayer) should be ended as soon as reasonably feasible.

That rebuilding will be the job of another day -- of a new administration here in the U.S., of finance ministries and central banks working together.

It must draw upon the strength of the now chastened private sector.

It will require more understanding of the risks embedded in so-called financial engineering and of the perverse compensation incentives that have exalted risk over prudence.

There is, and must be, recognition of the essential role that free and competitive financial markets play in a vigorous, innovative economic system.

There needs to be understanding, in that context, that financial ups and downs -- and financial crises -- will be inevitable, even with responsible economic policies and sensible regulation.

But never again should so much economic damage be risked by a financial structure so fragile, so overextended, so opaque as that of recent years.


Now the last word to that “person experienced in business whom I respect for many reasons."

Volcker is very smart and experienced - he chaired the Fed and helped get us out of the economic mess that Carter and the Democrat Congress presided over during the late 1970's. …

What Volcker is saying sounds reasonable. Basically he is calling for appropriate government intervention for a temporary period and then govt. getting out --- I guess you could call it temporary socialism.

I still believe that a free market economy is our best chance for growth and prosperity. However, we are in extraordinarily difficult economic times which may call for extraordinary measures, i.e. big govt. intervention.

Hopefully this socialistic approach will , as Mr. Volcker suggests, be temporary. If big govt. involvement is permanent, I fear our economic problems will be also.