Saturday, November 08, 2008

The Churchill Series – Nov. 7, 2008

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

I’ve not read the book I’m about to call to your attention. What follows is an announcement, not a review.

Richard Langworth is editor of
Finest Hour, the Churchill Centre’s quarterly journal and author of a number of outstanding books including Connoisseur's Guide to the Books of Sir Winston Churchill and The Churchill Lexicon.

Now at Amazon's site there's news of Langworth’s just released annotated collection of Churchill sayings. The following is from the Product Description portion of Amazon’s order page:

“Never give in!” Winston Churchill is famous for admonishing: “This is the lesson: never give in, never give in, never, never, never, never.” What most people don’t know is that when he said this he was addressing not a nation facing the threat of invasion, but a roomful of schoolboys at his old school.

A powerful, persuasive speaker and notorious wit, Churchill is one of the twentieth century’s most oft-quoted leaders—and one frequently misquoted or quoted out of context. Yet his actual remarks were often much wiser and wittier than reported.

Churchill By Himself is the first exhaustive, attributed, and annotated collection of Churchill sayings. Edited by a longtime Churchill scholar and authorized by the Churchill estate, the quotations provide the first wholly accurate record of the esteemed statesman’s words.
Based on what Langworth and a few other historians who’ve read sections of the work in preparation have said, calling Churchill By Himself “the first wholly accurate record of the esteemed statesman’s words” is commercial hype.

This from a reviewer at Amazon sounds more like what I feel sure the book really is:
Richard Langworth has hit another grand slam with his new book,
Churchill by Himself: The Definitive Collection of Quotations. This is an extraordinary work of scholarship that documents what Churchill said and didn't say.

Like his previous work,
A Connoisseur’s Guide to
the Books of Winston Churchill
(unfortunately I lost mine in Katrina),
Richard's meticulous attention to detail sheds pure white light on
Churchill's quotations. It's about time someone cleared the air! …

I'm no longer surprised how many quotations are attributed to Churchill which he
never said or would have said. Now we can all get ground truth thanks to Richard Langworth.
While Churchill By Himself was only released last week and is sure to be a heavy seller, Amazon has discounted it.

You can learn more about the book and how to order it here.

I hope you all have a very nice weekend that includes a few minutes ordering
Churchill By Himself.

Even without reading the book, I feel certain it'll give you hours of pleasure, useful information, wisdom, and inspiration.

Friday, November 07, 2008

Possible fraud in Coleman-Franken recount

Politics in Minnesota
, which describes itself as Minnesota’s Public Affairs News Service and is staffed by veteran Minnesota journalists and political operatives reported a short while ago:

At 7:22 p.m. last night, the Secretary of State's Web site was updated (after working hours) to reflect an additional 100 voters.

The precinct reporting was Mountain Iron Precinct One.

Every one of those 100 votes was cast for U.S. Sen. Barack Obama...and DFL Senate candidate Al Franken.

Mountain Iron is in legislative District 5A.

In 2006, 5A voted 74.3% for U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and 22.6% for then-U.S. Rep. Mark Kennedy. In 2004, 5A voted 65.9% for U.S. Sen. John Kerry (D-MA) and 30.2% for President George W. Bush. In 2002, 5A voted 69.9% for Fritz Mondale and 26.4% for U.S. Sen. Norm Coleman (R-MN).

Isn't 100 new votes for Obama and Franken in Mountain Iron Precinct One statistically impossible?

[We're working on other recount stories for today's Weekly Report and we'll post at least one of them here later today.]
John Hindracker at Powerline has updated his “What’s happening in Minnesota?” post with this:
Hot off the press, the first apparent evidence of fraud.

Last night at around 7:30, a precinct in Mountain Iron, St. Louis County, mysteriously updated its vote total to add 100 new votes--all 100 for Barack Obama and Al Franken.

Mountain Iron uses optical scanning, so the Coleman campaign asked for a copy of the tape documenting the ballots cast on election night.

St. Louis County responded by providing a tape that includes the newly-added 100 votes, and is
dated November 2--the Sunday before the election. (emphasis JinC's)

St. Louis County reportedly denies being able to produce the genuine tape from election night, even though Minnesota law, as I understand it, requires that tape to be signed by the election judges and publicly displayed.
Hinderacker is a well-respected and politically savvy Minnesota attorney who blogs regularly at Powerline.

I plan to keep following the Coleman-Franken recount, including this Mountain Iron incident which is very troubling to say the least.

If any of you pick up on breaking developments in the recount process, please give me a heads up.

Hinderacker's entire post's here.

Puma want’s to believe but girds her loins

American Puma in Italy posts “I’d like to say.” Following extracts, I comment below the star line.

American Puma begins - -

Watching the Obama supporters last night, with tears streaming down their faces, their screaming, clapping, dancing and fainting, I have to admit I was a bit emotional myself. I appreciate what this means to African Americans, you could see it on their faces. Juan Williams cried through his whole commentary.

And, as opposed to an Obama presidency as I am, I still hold dear, and respect and value the Office of the Presidency, the symbolism of that office. These kinds of things make me weepy, as does the National Anthem. I can't help it.

And, although many of you might disagree, I am not bitter, or angry. I am just interested, opinionated, and involved, and I supported and voted for someone else.

But as much as I can understand what this means to his supporters, it is unfortunate that what this year meant to those who supported Hillary Clinton or John McCain and Sarah Palin, wasn't understood.

I'd like to say that I think Obama transcended race, and is truly a new kind of Politician.

But, then I remember the number of times people who opposed him were called racist.

I can't forget the Clinton's painted as racists, her supporters, then Palin, and McCain themselves, as well as their supporters. I can't forget the number of times I was called racist on my blog, or online from the very first day.

I'd like to say that as I watched Michelle on stage last night, that I felt pride that she will be our first African American First Lady.

But, I can't forget the times she said she was for the first time, proud of her country. …

I can't forget her saying that America is a mean country. I can't forget when she said that she would have to think long and hard before she would support Hillary, should she be the nominee.

I'd like to say, as I watched those adorable two girls on the stage last night, the opportunity that lies ahead of them, and all young women.

But then I couldn't help think of the attacks on the children of Sarah Palin. I couldn't help think of the attacks on her, her 17 year old daughter, and Hillary Clinton, and her female supporters.

I can't forget the public acceptance of the effigy of Sarah Palin, or the Clinton Nutcrackers, or the Sarah Palin is a cunt t-shirts, or the many, many sexist attacks.

I couldn't help remember the nasty comments coming from the left that she should have aborted Trig.

I'd like to say, as I watched the supporters, running through the streets celebrating, that they deserved it, that they worked hard, and put up an honest fair political fight. That they just wanted it more. …

I’d like to say as I watched Hillary and Bill cast their vote yesterday that I believe they supported Obama. But, I can't forget what Hillary said during the primary, questioning Obama on Rezko and Ayers, and Wright. I can't forget the constant insults from Obama about the Clinton presidency, and Hillary personally, and professionally.

I can't forget Biden, Edwards, Dodd, and more, tell the American people that Obama is not ready, and not tested.

I can't forget his refusal to release his Senate records, his college transcripts, or his passport. ….

As much as I want to welcome this idea of change … I just can't forget how we got to this day.

Will Obama live up to *the promise*? As they say, time will tell.

And as far as the DNC now controlling all three branches?

Gird your loins my friends, gird your loins.

American Puma's entire post's here.



The Dems control two branches of government and will now have even greater influence on the Judicial branch than they had the last eight years. But they won’t control it in the sense Dems will control The White House and Congress.

With that qualification, I can agree with everything American Puma says here.

It's important we remember what she’s saying.

How President-elect Obama got to the White House tells us a great deal about him.

Some of it reflects well on the man; some of it gives any thoughtful American reason to wonder and maintain a healthy skepticism.

I wish Obama well, but will certainly gird my loins.

But that isn’t particularly a reflection on Obama.

I’d also be girding my loins if the man who helped bring us McCain-Feingold and promised to have the government take over the mortgages of people not making their payments was our President-elect.

Hat tip: AC

The Churchill Series - Nov. 6, 2008

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

On the most important issues of the 20th century America and Britain stood together to the great benefit of mankind.

But there were some issues on which they disagrees. During much of the 1920s, for instance, the British government told it subjects to enjoy their pints and drams while the American government said, “Prohibition.”

As you must know or can surely guess Britain had no stronger supporter of his government’s position than Winston Churchill. And that was not just because he enjoyed champagne, whiskey and brandy on a daily basis.

As Chancellor of the Exchequer, Churchill was uniquely positioned to appreciate the importance of the tax revenues that flowed from the distilleries to His Majesty’s coffers.

Against that background on April 28, 1925 Churchill presented in the Commons his first budget as Chancellor. His presentation lasted more then two hours, in the middle of which he drew from his pocket a small flask and told the House:

"It is imperative that I should fortify the revenue and I shall now, with the permission of the Commons, proceed to do so."

There were cheers on all sides as he sipped.

But one member, Lady Nancy Astor, rose to object. She wanted Britons to pay more attention to what the Americans were doing about “liquor legislation.”

Churchill assured the House Britain had nothing to learn from the United States on that matter. Again the House cheered; and the budget was soon passed.
William Manchester, The Last Lion: Visions of Glory. (pgs. 788-789)

Thursday, November 06, 2008

“Treatment of Bush” comment & my response

Yesterday I posted Treatment of Bush a disgrace.

It’s main points as made by a WSJ op-ed contributor:

Mr. Bush has endured relentless attacks from the left while facing abandonment from the right. …

It seems that no matter what Mr. Bush does, he is blamed for everything. He remains despised by the left while continuously disappointing the right.

Yet it should seem obvious that many of our country's current problems either existed long before Mr. Bush ever came to office, or are beyond his control. …

The treatment President Bush has received from this country is nothing less than a disgrace. The attacks launched against him have been cruel and slanderous [.] …

Our failure to stand by [Mr. Bush] has shown to the world how disloyal we can be when our president needed loyalty -- a shameful display of arrogance and weakness that will haunt this nation long after Mr. Bush has left the White House. …
The post has drawn a number of comments. If you haven’t already, I encourage you to read the comment thread.

I want to post one of the comments here on the main page, say some things to the commenter, and then invite the commenter to respond with the promise I’ll post in full what he says on the main page.

From Ken in Dallas, a JinC Regular whose comments have added much to this blog:
I live in Texas so I had some knowledge of George Bush before he became President.

As much as I admire his moral character and steadfastness, I felt he was ill prepared to lead us in Washington. He thought he was still in Texas where everyone got along. And then he forgot who elected him. All he had to do was reach across the aisle for the support of the Conservative wing of the Republican party....too difficult for a "compassionate conservative" I guess.

After his signing of the McCain-Feingold bill, the prescription drug monster, the Harriett Miers fiasco and then the incoherent statements made on network television on the CIR Act, I finally threw in the towel.

I'm sorry for the man but the ridicule was self induced.

To Ken:

President Bush has certainly made mistakes; and ridicule and very sharp criticism of any President are to be expected.

But my reading of the WSJ’s op-ed is this: the attacks on President Bush went way beyond typical rough political back-and-forth.

Sure, the Miers nomination, to take an example, was ill-conceived and very poorly handled by the WH when her name went to the Senate.

Criticism from both sides of the aisle and MSM was to be expected. Most of it that I saw was within the bounds of reasonableness.

But we’ve also had the “BUSH=HITLER” bumper stickers, the assassination jokes, and Dem Rep. Pete Stark, a friend and ally of Speaker Pelosi, standing on the House floor saying the President liked to see our troops in Iraq “have their heads blown off.”

Who’s forgotten Michael Moore’s
Fahrenheit 9/11 and its theme that President Bush knew in advance of 9/11, but let it happen because of his family’s connections to Saudi oil figures, including the bin Laden family?

Or that at
Fahrenheit 9/11’s DC premiere many congressional Dems were in attendance and applauding?

Then came the Dems’ 2004 convention: Moore was seated in the Dems’ Honor Box alongside the equally “honorable” former President Jimmy Carter.

There are many more examples of disgraceful treatment of the President I could point to, but I’ll leave off doing that for now.

Ken, your past comments have indicated you’re a smart, fair person. Most people who comment here impress me that way, too.

So I’m responding to you and all others who may have read
Treatment of Bush a disgrace.

I want to be sure I’ve left no doubt what I meant was disgraceful about the treatment President Bush has received from many leading Dems, their media flunkies, and their millions of followers.

They’ve been active, loud and reckless practitioners of what I’m talking about, while some GOP have abetted that treatment with their silence or confirming “whispers” or just plain “make a buck” shilling a la Scott McClellen.

Such treatment, unrelenting these past eight years, has been grossly unfair to the President and made the reasoned working of our democracy more difficult.

By stirring the passions and paranoia of the unstable, it’s placed the President’s safety and the safety of those who protect him at greater risk than they already face.

I’m sorry to say it will very likely “haunt this nation long after Mr. Bush has left the White House.”

Now it's your turn if you care to respond, as I hope you do.



Fox and Fools

In a segment of last night’s The O’Reilly Factor, O’Reilly interviewed Fox News chief political correspondent Carl Cameron who reported criticisms by anonymous McCain staffers of Gov. Sarah Palin.

In response, Natinal Review’s White House correspondent Byron York wrote:

There are a lot of things you can do when you finish a losing campaign.

You can sleep for 30 hours straight. You can get drunk. You can reflect on what went wrong and why your side lost. Or you can immediately dump every unflattering tidbit you know — or think you know — about your colleagues to the press.

That is the route some McCain campaign staffers have decided to pursue with regard to Sarah Palin. Within hours of McCain's loss, they were dishing on everything Palin did or didn't do, everything she did or didn't know, and why they, the staffers, bore no responsibility for anything that went wrong. …
York ended by calling those McCain staffers “a bunch of losers.”

I agree.

But this post isn’t about them. It’s about O’Reilly and Cameron who teamed to produce one of the silliest, dumbest and most tawdry TV news interviews I’ve ever witnessed.

Cameron, using only anonymous sources, reported in a credulous “and you know what else” manner that McCain “insiders” told him Palin didn’t know “basic civics.”

And allegedly her geography was pretty bad,too.

Cameron told viewers he’d learned Palin thought Africa was a “country, not a continent,” and that South Africa was really the southern part of the country.

Cameron had plenty more “insider news” like that to dump.

But if he bothered to check any of it with Gov. Palin, Cameron never told us what she said. He didn't even say he'd tried to reach her.

For his part, O’Reilly didn’t ask Cameron if he’d done any fact checking.

Instead, the “no spin” man opined he thought the McCain team could have “taught her” the things Cameron was reporting.

There wasn’t a note of skepticism from O’Reilly.

O’Reilly looked most foolish when he failed to raise the important and obvious question Michelle Malkin asked in her post:
Let’s assume the rumor-mongers are telling the truth for a moment. Who does it damn more: Sarah Palin or McCain and his vetters who green-lighted her for the vice presidential nomination? Don’t need an Ivy League degree to figure that one out.
Not bothering with anything as thoughtful as Malkin asked, O’Reilly and Cameron continued in full “then you know what else” mode.

At 3:50 seconds into the news interview, Cameron began referring to “nasty and angry” things his “sources” told him Palin did; things which Cameron says reduced his sources “to tears.”

That teed up the following from Cameron which I took verbatim from the video:
One of the more infamous stories that’s now come out is there was a time when McCain staffers called to collect her at her hotel room and she had just stepped out of the shower and essentially met them wrapped in a bathrobe. They were – ah - taken aback by that. They have suggested she is a bit of a shopaholic and . ..”
The interview went on like that until O’Reilly wrapped it with what I’m sure he thought was a pithy remark: “It doesn’t sound like a good situation. I’m sure there’s a book in there for someone.” Cameron nodded and smiled.

Folks, I know we don’t blame the messengers. I can distinguish between the interviewer and reporter on the one hand, and what they're reporting on the other.

That said, O’Rielly and Cameron made fools of themselves last night because with zero skepticism and apparently no fact-checking they joined to report stuff as unbelievable as the tales the Duke hoaxer told.

What Cameron said was “one of the more infamous stories” about Palin, if true, involves her doing no more than what most of us have done many times: opening a door while in our bathrobes.

Only fools prattle about something so common and innocent being “infamous.”

I’ll end with the following story about Winston Churchill from Kay Summersby’s
Eisenhower Was My Boss:
The P. M. accompanied us to the door, coming out on the steps dressed in his bathrobe and his initialed slippers; an alert photographer caught him in this bars-down mood, in a photo I still cherish. “See you in London, Kay!” he shouted. (pgs. 115-116)
York's entire post's here; Michelle Malkin's is here.

The Churchill Series – Nov. 5, 2008

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

Regular readers of this series know I almost never tie a post to a particular current event.

Today I’m making an exception in response to one of the silliest and just plain dumb TV news report interviews I’ve ever witnessed.

It took place tonight on the Fox’s
The O’Reilly Factor. A tape of the interview in which O’Reilly questions Fox News chief political correspondent Carl Cameron discuss criticisms by anonymous McCain staffers of Gov. Sarah Palin is below. Judge for yourselves.

In a long litany of things Palin is alleged to have said and done which Cameron reports in a credulous “and then you what else” manner is this: Once, when McCain aides knocked on Palin’s hotel room door, she allegedly answered their knock wearing her bathrobe.

What would Churchill have thought of that? Like just about everyone, he opened many a door while wearing a bathrobe.

He often wore a bathrobe while painting in very public places.

There’s also a very famous photo taken Christmas Day, 1943 of Churchill with a group of senior Allied commanders assembled for lunch at, I believe, Gen. Eisenhower’s headquarters.

The officers are all in their smart uniforms. Churchill, just recovered from pneumonia and resting in bed most of the day, is wearing a broad smile and a very gaudy bathrobe.

Make something of that O’Reilly, Cameron and McCain Anon smear artists!

I’ll bet some of you are thinking: “Yes to what John is saying; and then there were all the times Churchill went hither and yon in the buff.

So let’s conclude with this item from the Churchill Centre’s
Action This Day series documenting events in Churhill’s life. From the Autumn 1912 section at which time Churchill was 38:

His cousin, "Sunny," Ninth Duke of Marlborough, wrote from France that he had purchased Winston a Christmas present, a bathrobe, because "I have been shocked at the manner in which you display your person when travelling to and from the bathroom, and I am making an effort to find you an appropriate leaf."

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Treatment of Bush a Disgrace

So says Jeffrey Shapiro in a WSJ op-ed today. Shapiro's an investigative reporter and lawyer who interned with Sen. Kerry's legal team during the 2004 campaign.

Shapiro begins - - -

Earlier this year, 12,000 people in San Francisco signed a petition in support of a proposition on a local ballot to rename an Oceanside sewage plant after George W. Bush. The proposition is only one example of the classless disrespect many Americans have shown the president. . . .

Mr. Bush has endured relentless attacks from the left while facing abandonment from the right.

This is the price Mr. Bush is paying for trying to work with both Democrats and Republicans. During his 2004 victory speech, the president reached out to voters who supported his opponent, John Kerry, and said, "Today, I want to speak to every person who voted for my opponent. To make this nation stronger and better, I will need your support, and I will work to earn it. I will do all I can do to deserve your trust."

Those bipartisan efforts have been met with crushing resistance from both political parties. . . .

It seems that no matter what Mr. Bush does, he is blamed for everything. He remains despised by the left while continuously disappointing the right.

Yet it should seem obvious that many of our country's current problems either existed long before Mr. Bush ever came to office, or are beyond his control.

Perhaps if Americans stopped being so divisive, and congressional leaders came together to work with the president on some of these problems, he would actually have had a fighting chance of solving them.

Like the president said in his 2004 victory speech, "We have one country, one Constitution and one future that binds us. And when we come together and work together, there is no limit to the greatness of America."

[President Bush’s] low approval ratings put[s] him in the good company of former Democratic President Harry S. Truman, whose own approval rating sank to 22% shortly before he left office. Despite Mr. Truman's low numbers, a 2005 Wall Street Journal poll found that he was ranked the seventh most popular president in history.

Just as Americans have gained perspective on how challenging Truman's presidency was in the wake of World War II, our country will recognize the hardship President Bush faced these past eight years -- and how extraordinary it was that he accomplished what he did in the wake of the September 11 attacks.

The treatment President Bush has received from this country is nothing less than a disgrace. The attacks launched against him have been cruel and slanderous [.] …

Our failure to stand by [Mr. Bush] has shown to the world how disloyal we can be when our president needed loyalty -- a shameful display of arrogance and weakness that will haunt this nation long after Mr. Bush has left the White House.

Shapiro’s entire op-ed’s here.

Does anyone doubt the truth of what he says?

Munger, Libertarians earn place on NC 2012 ballot

From WRAL - - -

Thanks to voters supporting a Libertarian candidate for governor and a recent change in North Carolina law, the party will retain its state ballot status through 2012.

Libertarian gubernatorial candidate Mike Munger won almost 3 percent of the vote in Tuesday's election. State law permits a third party to stay on the ballot for four years if it wins at least 2 percent of the vote in races for governor or president.

A 2006 law lowered the voter-support threshold from 10 percent. The change makes it easier for third parties to avoid costly petition drives. …

The rest of WRAL's story’s here.

Norm Coleman up; recount coming

Rep. Sen. Norm Coleman has about a 500 vote lead over Dem. challenger Al Franken with 100% of the vote counted.

Franken's expected to ask for a recount.

You can read about it here where the Minneapolis Star Tribune has just posted.

Sorry about my North Carolina call

Months ago I said Sen. McCain would carry North Carolina by 10%.

I was counting on McCain makiing the Obama-Wright friendship and working alliance a major campaign issue. He didn't.

I was also counting on McCain tagging Obama as a liberal. He didn't do that either.

When Joe the plumber finally did, McCain finally joined in. But he said both too little late, and his ham-fisted charges of "socialism" struck many voters as extreme and desperate.

They were certainly desperate and let's hope now that Sen. Obama will be President the charges of "socialism" will prove to be in fact extreme, (I'd also be happy if the "liberal" label were to prove to have been extreme, too.)

Despite McCain's silence on Wright and his failure to tag Obama with the liberal label I predicted McCain would still carry NC by about 4%.

Well, as most of you know, he didn't.

I'm sorry to have been wrong. I hope I didn't mislead any of you too badly.

I'll say more later today about McCain's campaign in North Carolina.

In the meantime, congratulations to Sen. Obama and his supporters.

The Churchill Series – Nov. 4, 2008

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

The following is from a recent column in a Canadian newspaper:

On [one] occasion, Churchill commented, "The Almighty in his infinite wisdom did not see fit to create Frenchmen in the image of Englishmen."

In Parliament, after a Member of Parliament rambled on for some time against his wartime policies, the prime minister interrupted him. Speaking of the MP, Churchill said: "I must warn him that he runs a very grave risk of falling into senility before he is overtaken by age."

Then there was Churchill's comment about civil servants -- "no longer servants, no longer civil."
The entire column’s here.

Caution: The columnist uses that above quips and one other as reference points for a thoughtful discussion of the pernicious PC attitudes and regulations that now afflict Canada as they do the States.

The other quip is the one alleges a woman told Churchill he’s drunk; he allegedly replies “Yes, and your ugly” and then reminds her on the morrow he’ll be sober but she’ll still be ugly.

I first heard that story attributed to G.B. Shaw.

I can’t recall Churchill’s official biographer Sir Martin Gilbert ever confirming Churchill was the man in the “drunk-ugly.”

If any of you know where Gilbert did, please let me know.

In the meantime, I have it filed under “Urban Legends.”

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

North Carolina will go for McCain

This is not the first time I've predicted Sen. John McCain will carry North Carolina.

Right after the Republican convention, I said McCaim would carry the state by at least 10%.

That's not likely now.

NC is a "battleground state;" and with voting about to end in a few hours, some polling organizations are calling the state for McCain while some are calling it for Sen. Obama .

But all are calling it close.

McCain failed to do in NC two things that would have given him this state handily: 1) call out Obama for his almost 20 year close relationship with the racist, anti-American Jeremiah Wright; and 2) make sure everyone here knew Obama was a liberal and what that meant.

Look tomorrow for a major post on those two matters.

Now my final call: McCain will carry the state by at least 4%.

Newspaper cites AP’s dishonesty in Palin hit piece

on Ham at Right Angles posts “Remarkably skewed, little information”

Ham begins - - -

That description could fit The Associated Press in general, not just the Sarah Palin hit piece they did on the natural gas pipeline deal Palin shepherded through a political minefield in Alaska. The Anchorage Daily News, a McClatchy paper that has tried hard to get lefty cred by endorsing the Obama-Biden ticket, at least was honest enough to remark on the AP’s dishonesty:

This report from The Associated Press is a remarkably skewed account with little new information to support the charge it implies. Presumably, readers are supposed to conclude that Palin tilted the gas line bidding toward a favored company, one that had previously employed one of her key staffers.

Here’s the truth: The pipeline terms were not “Palin’s.” They were the terms requested by the sovereign state of Alaska, as provided in the Alaska Constitution.

While Palin did indeed start by proposing very similar bid terms, all of Alaska’s key decisions about those terms and the contract award itself were made through an unusually open public process that culminated in formal and enthusiastic approval from the Alaska Legislature. ...
The rest of Ham's post's here.


If you read the AP's hit piece and the Anchorage Daily News' exposure of it's falsehoods and innuendo, I don't see how you can conclude anything other then the AP put out what it knew was a dishonest story.

What the ADN's exposure makes so clear is how available the people and facts were that would have refuted the AP's claims.

Even if you allow the AP reporters on the story - - JUSTIN PRITCHARD and GARANCE BURKE -- are incompetents, a five minute fact-checking phone call by an AP editor to an ADN editor would have shown the AP's story to be bogus.

Barone on conflicting Obama & McCain polls

About an hour ago at his eponymous blog, Michael Barone posted “National Polls Favor Obama, State Polls Trend Toward McCain”:

Looking at the latest polls on the morning of Election Day, I see two contrary trends. On the one hand, the national polls seem to be trending toward Barack Obama. On the other, polls in seven battleground states with 114 electoral votes—Colorado, Florida, Indiana, Montana, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania—seem to be trending over the last several days toward John McCain.

Possible explanation: In the past week, there has been something closer to parity between the campaigns in ad saturation compared with earlier weeks, when the Obama campaign was far outspending the McCain campaign.
Barone’s one of the best voter analysts out there, but I wish he’d said more by way of explanation for the conflicting national and state poll trends.

How does McCain’s increased spending bringing him closer to parity with Obama’s spending explain the contrary state and national poll movements?

UPDATE: Be sure to read the comment thread.

No limits now at the Raleigh N&O

The Raleigh N&O’s circulation and ad revenues are down and its parent McClatchy Company’s stock's crashed in the last 5 years from the mid-70s to below $3.00 while its bonds are now rated "junk."

All that may explain why the N&O’s Director of Newsroom Operations sent the following email to N&O staff yesterday:

From: "Susan Spring"
Date: November 3, 2008 11:46:07 AM EST
To: [Raleigh News & Observer staff]
Subject: Pizza etiquette

I want to remind you that pizza will be provided tomorrow night ONLY for
those working on elections. Please be polite. If you are working elections, you may have up to TWO slices. Thank you in advance for being considerate.

Susan Spring
Director of Newsroom Operations
The News & Observer
(919) 829-4860

Folks, if you’re thinking the email is just a cheesy joke I made up, you’re wrong.

Check Jim Romenesko at Poynter who reports Spring’s email was followed a few hours later by a message from Executive Editor John Drescher:

There will be no two-slice limit Tuesday night (although if Susan Spring chases you with a knife in her hand, you are on your own). And anyone who is here can partake.
That was nice of Drescher, especially the invitation to anyone at the newsroom to partake of the pizza.

I may drop by at dinnertime with the grandchildren.

But they’ll want to know if it’s just going to be cheese pizza or will there be toppings, too?

Romenesko needs to do a follow-up.

State Polling Roundup

The latest via U. S. News & World Report - - -

Florida Polls Show Tight Race A Rasmussen Reports automated poll of 1,000 likely Florida voters taken November 2 shows McCain leading Obama 50%-49%. A Strategic Vision (R) poll of 1,200 likely Florida voters taken October 31-November 1 shows Obama leading McCain 49%-47%. A SurveyUSA automated poll of 691 likely Florida voters taken October 31-November 3 shows Obama leading McCain 50%-47%. A C-Span/Zogby poll of 585 likely Florida voters taken October 31-November 3 shows Obama leading McCain 49%-48%.

Polls Split In Ohio A Rasmussen Reports automated poll of 1,000 likely Ohio voters taken November 2 shows Obama leading McCain 49%-45%. A Strategic Vision (R) poll of 1,200 likely Ohio voters taken October 31-November 2 shows McCain leading Obama 48%-46%. A SurveyUSA automated poll of 660 likely Ohio voters taken October 30-November 2 shows Obama leading McCain 48%-46%. A C-Span/Zogby poll of 687 likely Ohio voters taken October 31-November 3 shows Obama leading McCain 49%-47%.

Obama Up In 3 Pennsylvania Polls A Strategic Vision (R) poll of 1,200 likely Pennsylvania voters taken October 31-November 2 shows Obama leading McCain 51%-44%. A SurveyUSA automated poll of 657 likely Pennsylvania voters taken October 31-November 3 shows McCain leading Obama 52%-43%. A C-Span/Zogby poll of 682 likely Pennsylvania voters taken October 31-November 3 shows Obama leading McCain 51%-41%.

Three Polls Show Race Tied In Missouri A Rasmussen Reports automated poll of 1,000 likely Missouri voters taken November 2 shows the race tied at 49%. A SurveyUSA automated poll of 674 likely Missouri voters taken October 30-November 2 shows the race tied at 48% apiece. A C-Span/Zogby poll of 585 likely Missouri voters taken October 31-November 3 shows the race tied at 48%.

Obama Up In Three Virginia Polls A Rasmussen Reports automated poll of 1,000 likely Virginia voters taken November 2 shows Obama leading McCain 51%-47%. An American Research Group poll of 600 likely Virginia voters taken October 31-November 3 shows Obama leading McCain 51%-47%. A C-Span/Zogby poll of 690 likely Virginia voters taken October 31-November 3 shows Obama leading McCain 52%-45%.

Polls Split In North Carolina A Rasmussen Reports automated poll of 1,000 likely North Carolina voters taken November 2 shows McCain leading Obama 50%-49%. An American Research Group poll of 600 likely North Carolina voters taken October 31-November 3 shows Obama leading McCain 49%-48%. A SurveyUSA automated poll of 682 likely North Carolina voters taken October 30-November 2 shows McCain leading Obama 49%-48%. A C-Span/Zogby poll of 585 likely North Carolina voters taken October 31-November 3 shows the race tied at 49%.

Obama Up 4 In Colorado A Rasmussen Reports automated poll of 1,000 likely Colorado voters taken November 2 shows Obama leading McCain 51%-47%.

Obama Up 11 In Nevada A C-Span/Zogby poll of 586 likely Nevada voters taken October 31-November 3 shows Obama leading McCain 53%-42%.

McCain Up 5 In Indiana A C-Span/Zogby poll of 585 likely Indiana voters taken October 31-November 3 shows McCain leading Obama 50%-45%.

McCain Up In Three Georgia Polls A Strategic Vision (R) poll of 800 likely Georgia voters taken October 31-November 2 shows McCain leading Obama 50%-46%. A SurveyUSA automated poll of 683 likely Georgia voters taken October 30-November 2 shows McCain leading 52%-45%. An InsiderAdvantage poll of 512 likely voters taken November 2 shows McCain leading Obama 48%-47%.

McCain Up 11 In West Virginia An American Research Group poll of 600 likely West Virginia voters taken October 31-November 3 shows McCain leading Obama 53%-42%.

Obama Up 13 In Wisconsin A Strategic Vision (R) poll of 800 likely Wisconsin voters taken October 31-November 2 shows Obama leading McCain 53%-40%.

Obama Leads In Two Washington Polls A Strategic Vision (R) poll of 800 likely Washington State voters taken October 31-November 2 shows Obama leading McCain 55%-40%. A SurveyUSA automated poll of 663 likely Washington State voters taken October 30-November 2 shows Obama leading McCain 56%-40%.

Rove’s call: Obama 338 – McCain 200

Karl Rove’s final calls on all 50 states and DC give it to Sen. Obama.

You can view Rove’s map of the Red and Blue states and DC here.

WaPo’s political blog The Trail has a “blowout” headline followed by a more measured post. Here’s its closing paragraphs:

…According to the final 2008 polling map posted on the Rove & Co. website, Obama will take a wide swath of tossup and red states, including Indiana, Ohio, Florida, Colorado and Nevada.

The former Bush political adviser predicts McCain will hold on to North Carolina, Florida, Missouri and his home state of Arizona. Obama, according to the Rove map, will win easily by 10 points in Pennsylvania, where McCain has poured significant resources and campaign time.

Many of Obama's victories in red states will be won by 5 points or more, according to Rove's map, including Ohio (5 percent); Virginia (7 percent); Colorado (6 percent) and Nevada (7 percent).

Several of McCain's wins will be nail-biters by comparison, including Indiana (1 percent) and Missouri and North Carolina (less than 1 percent each).

As recently as mid-October, Rove had said that Obama had not yet "closed the sale" with voters.

On Fox News Sunday, Rove acknowledged that McCain has a "very steep uphill climb," but also said that "right now people are playing the game of sort of trying to settle the race before it's over."

"In the close states, the last poll that matters is the one in which everybody gets to cast their ballot and not wait for the phone solicitor," Rove said.
The WSJ has a story on Rove’s forecasts here.

The Churchill Series - Nov. 3, 2008

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

In Winston Churchill and His Inner Circle, Sir John (“Jock”) Colville, for most of WWII Churchill's private secretary and later a close personal friend of both Winston and Clementine, tells us:

Churchill trusted all who worked for and with him, and in those whom he grew to know well he was prepared to confide even his innermost thoughts.

Some of his private secretaries became his lifelong friends and all of them formed part of that secret circle to which he would often refer, glaring round the dining room at wartime meals, when he was about to launch into a confidential discussion of military operations or foreign policy.

They never let him down: there were sometimes leakages from the Cabinet, but never from the officials whose duties, on social as well as on ordinary working occasions, gave them access to views, information and items of gossip for which the press would have been willing to pay a small fortune and the enemy a vast one. (pg. 86
It's remarkable how many people Churchill trusted and confided in, and how few could be considered to have violated his trust.

What Colville means by “glaring round the dining room at wartime meals” has to do with Churchill’s practice of reminding those around the table after the meal of their secrecy oaths; and then presenting them with some critical issue to discuss.

He would sometimes assign people roles to play. So, for example, he would reveal he was going to tell Stalin there'd be no invasion of France in 1943 which would take some pressure off the Russian army. Stalin would naturally be angry.

What could Britain do to mollify him?

“You, Colville, you’re Stalin. Start thinking about what you’d demand from us when I give you the news. “Prof, (his science adviser, F.A. Lindemann), do we have the shipping to deliver more aide to Russia?” “Hastings (Gen. Hastings Ismay, his senior military aide), what sort of equipment does the Russian army most need and can we spare any if the Prof says we have the ships?”

So it would go, often for hours.

I can’t think of a single instance during the war when a member of his staff violated Churchill's trust. In fact, I can’t think of a single instance of even an unintentional leak by his staff and others he trusted, although I don’t doubt that one or more may have occurred.

Monday, November 03, 2008

You can be sure Mangum hasn't changed

In a post – Mangum’s presser: bizarre, squalid, and the “Big Three” lose - I linked to a video of the news conference at which Duke lacrosse false accuser Crystal Mangum and her handlers announced the availability of her latest swindle, The Last Dance for Grace. The post includes my comments on the event and some parody as well as links to others who commented on the presser and The Last Dance.

Mangum claims to be a victim since childhood of various people, including members of her family, and also of what “activists” who encourage swindlers like her call “social forces.” Despite all the wrongs heaped on her, Mangum says she plans to get a doctorate and open a home for children which will be supported by a foundation.

Judging by comments at this blog and others I read, very few people have been taken in by Mangum’s latest swindle.

But some people are asking how anyone can be sure Mangum hasn’t changed for the better.

How do we know Mangum isn’t the brave, smart, sober, determined, drug-free, forgiving, mature, goal-directed young woman they tried so hard at the presser and in The Last Dance to make us believe she is?

The answer’s simple and sure. JinC commenter CKS provides it on the thread of Reality Therapy for Mangum’s handlers:

Her handlers now bear a heavy responsibility having vouchsafed for Ms. Mangum's fine character. Perhaps she has changed - that somehow in the deep recesses of her soul she realizes that the life she was leading was wrong on so many levels. I would like to believe that that is the case - however, I do not think that is the case - given that she continues to insist that she was raped and that everyone conspired against her. Redemption and change only occur when one first admits the error of one's ways. This she has not done nor will she ever - even if, and this is a big if, she wanted to, those who enabled her hoax have way too much to lose to let her. (emphasis added)
As CKS reminds us, if you’re going to turn your life around, you must do two things: stop blaming others and take responsibility for yourself.

The Last Dance and its presser video make clear, Crystal Mangum’s done neither.

But if, as many of us hope, she ever does those two things, she’ll get better.

First Hillary; now Obama flips off McCain

Nice guy.

Hat tip: Drudge Report

MSM’s outtakes for “The One”

The Free Dictionary defines outtake as:

a. A section or scene, as of a movie, that is filmed but not used in the final version.

b. A complete version, as of a recording, that is dropped in favor of another version.

With the presidential campaign drawing to a close, Victor Davis Hanson examines important issues and information mainstream news organizations knew about but treated as “outtakes” when telling the story of “The One.”

Hanson begins - - -

There have always been media biases and prejudices. Everyone knew that Walter Cronkite, from his gilded throne at CBS news, helped to alter the course of the Vietnam War, when, in the post-Tet depression, he prematurely declared the war unwinnible. Dan Rather’s career imploded when he knowingly promulgated a forged document that impugned the service record of George W. Bush. …

Yet we have never quite seen anything like the current media infatuation with Barack Obama, and its collective desire not to raise key issues of concern to the American people.

Here were four areas of national interest that were largely ignored:


For years an axiom of the liberal establishment was the need for public campaign financing — and the corrosive role of private money in poisoning the election process. The most prominent Republican who crossed party lines to ensure the passage of national public campaign financing was John McCain — a maverick stance that cost him dearly among conservatives who resented bitterly federal interference in political expression.

In contrast, Barack Obama, remember, promised that he would accept both public funding and the limitations that went along with it, and would “aggressively pursue an agreement with the Republican nominee to preserve a publicly financed general election.”

Then in June 2008, Obama abruptly reneged, bowing out entirely from government financing, the first presidential nominee in the general election to do that since the system was created in 1976.

For all practical purposes, public financing of the presidential general election is now dead. No Republican will ever agree to it again. No Democrat can ever again dare to defend a system destroyed by Obama. All future worries about the dangers of big money and big politics will fall on deaf ears. ...


We know now almost all the details of Sarah Palin’s pregnancies, whether the trooper who tasered her nephew went to stun or half stun, the cost of her clothes, and her personal expenses — indeed, almost everything except how a mother of so many children gets elected councilwoman, mayor, and governor, routs an entrenched old-boy cadre, while maintaining near record levels of public support.

Yet the American public knows almost nothing of what it should about the extraordinary career of Joe Biden, the 36-year veteran of the Senate. In unprecedented fashion, Biden has simply avoided the press for most of the last two months, confident that the media instead would deconstruct almost every word of “good looking” Sarah Palin’s numerous interviews with mostly hostile interrogators. ….


In 2004, few Americans knew Barack Obama. In 2008, they may elect him. Surely his past was of more interest than his present serial denials of it. Whatever the media’s feelings about the current Barack Obama, there should have been some story that the Obama of 2008 is radically different from the Obama who was largely consistent and predictable for the prior 30 years.

Each Obama metamorphosis in itself might be attributed to the normal evolution to the middle, as a candidate shifts from the primary to the general election.

But in the case of Obama, we witnessed not a shift, but a complete transformation to an entirely new persona — in almost every imaginable sense of the word. Name an issue — FISA, NAFTA, guns, abortion, capital punishment, coal, nuclear power, drilling, Iran, Jerusalem, the surge — and Obama’s position today is not that of just a year ago. …


The eleventh-hour McCain allegations of Obama’s advocacy for a share-the-wealth socialism were generally ignored by the media, or if covered, written off as neo-McCarthyism.

Hanson’s entire article’s here. I hope you read it.


With some honorable exceptions, the MSM has treated anything that questions Obama’s fictions as outtake material to be left on the cutting room floor. So when you read or see The One, they're giving you fictions presented as news.

Hanson has it right when he ends his article with - - -

The media has succeeded in shielding Barack Obama from journalistic scrutiny. It thereby irrevocably destroyed its own reputation and forfeited the trust that generations of others had so carefully acquired. And it will never again be trusted to offer candid and nonpartisan coverage of presidential candidates.

Worse still, the suicide of both print and electronic journalism has ensured that, should Barack Obama be elected president, the public will only then learn what they should have known far earlier about their commander-in-chief — but in circumstances and from sources they may well regret.

Hat tip: Jack in Silver Springs

House Dem: Obama lacked “the political courage” to leave Wright

Senior national correspondent Jake Tapper reports at ABC News. My comments follow below the star line.

Tapper’s report begins - - -

Rep. Jerrold Nadler, D-NY, was down in Florida over the weekend, and one supposes that he thought he was helping Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., but it will ultimately be hard to make that case.

Pamela Geller at Atlas Shrugged has posted some video of Nadler at a synagogue in Boca Raton trying to explain why Obama was able to stay in Rev. Jeremiah Wright’s church for 20 years.

He starts off my saying he has no idea of what he's talking about. And then he proceeds to open mouth, insert foot.

Says Nadler: “I have no personal knowledge of what I'm about to say. What I'm about to say is my guess...”

Hoo boy.

“My guess,” Nadler said, “knowing how politics works, what I'm about to say is not particularly...”

He searches for the word. Rejects a couple suggestions.

“...not particularly complimentary towards Sen. Obama,” he says.

“Think of the history here,” says the six-term New York congressman. “You have a guy who's half-white, half-black. He goes to an Ivy League school, comes to Chicago ... to start a political career. Doesn't know anybody.

“Gets involved with community organizing -- why? Because that's how your form a base. OK. Joins the largest church in the neighborhood. About 8,000 members. ... Why did he join the church? ... Because that's how you get to know people.

“Now maybe it takes a couple years,” Nadler says, suggesting that soon Obama starts to think of Wright, “'Jesus, the guy's a nut, the guy's a lunatic.' But you don’t walk out of a church with 8,000 members in your district.”

Suggests a woman: “You don’t walk in though.”

“He didn't know it when he walked in, presumably,” said Nadler.

And then, the line that may haunt Nadler for four years or longer: “He didn't have the political courage to make the statement of walking out.

“Now, what does it tell me?” Nadler asked. “It tells me that he wasn't terribly political courageous. Does it tell me that he agreed with the reverend in any way? No. It tells me he didn't want to walk out of a church in his district.” …

The rest of Tapper’s report’s here.



Tapper provides sufficient commentary so I feel no need to say more about Nadler. Let the congressman enjoy his foot.

Two things came to mind as I read the report and looked at the video (see below) of Nadler’s bumbling:

First, McCain made a great mistake by not placing the Obama-Wright relationship front-and-center in his campaign. He should have done that no later than the RNC convention and asked the critical and legitimate questions that are still on the minds of millions of Americans.

Second, the Nadler incident is really not an ABC News story. It’s another You Tube story with a major news org playing catch up to blogger Atlas Schrugged.

It will be interesting to see how other major news orgs treat the story or even whether they cover it at all.

Hat tip: AC

A “can’t go wrong” election call

The Media Research Center’s Rich Noyes at Newsbusters today - - -

Going into Tuesday’s election, polls show Democrat Barack Obama with a modest lead over Republican John McCain, but one group whose support of Obama should not be in doubt is the national media.

Surveys of journalists conducted over the past three decades show the media elite are extremely consistent in choosing Democratic candidates on Election Day.

If only journalists were permitted to vote, we would never have had a President Reagan or a President Bush, but would have instead faced Presidents McGovern, Mondale, Dukakis and Kerry. It wouldn’t have been close.

In their 1986 book, The Media Elite, political scientists S. Robert Lichter, Stanley Rothman and Linda S. Lichter reported the results of their survey of 240 journalists at the nation’s top media outlets: ABC, CBS, NBC, PBS, the New York Times, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, Time, Newsweek and U.S. News & World Report.

When asked about their voting patterns, journalists admitted their preference for Democrats:

Of those who say they voted for major party candidates, the proportion of leading journalists who supported the Democratic candidate never drops below 80 percent. In 1972, when more than 60 percent of all voters chose Nixon, over 80 percent among the media elite voted for McGovern.

This does not appear to reflect any unique aversion to Nixon. Despite the well-publicized tensions between the press and his administration, leading journalists in 1976 preferred Carter over Ford by the same margin. In fact, in the Democratic landslide of 1964, journalists picked Johnson over Goldwater by a sixteen-to-one margin, or 94 to 6 percent.
Lichter’s team focused on journalists at the very top national news organizations. Other surveys of journalists have discovered that the whole profession shares the same liberal bent, although the media elite’s liberalism is the most extreme:[.] …

Noyes reviewed a number of surveys of journalist’s voting preferences. Here’s an example:
Journalists Picked Mondale over Reagan: In 1985, the Los Angeles Times polled news and editorial staffers at newspapers around the country, weighting the sample so that newspapers with large circulations were more heavily represented. Once again, pollsters discovered a heavy Democratic skew. When asked how they voted in the 1984 election, more than twice as many chose liberal Walter Mondale (58 percent) over the conservative incumbent Ronald Reagan (26 percent), even as the country picked Reagan in a 59 to 41 percent landslide.
Noyes closes with - - -

Taken as a whole, these polls firmly establish the press’s pattern of preferring Democrats at the voting booth. During the nine presidential elections for which data on the media’s preferences are available, each Democrat won landslide support from journalists, sometimes by four-to-one or five-to-one margins.

The percentage of reporters selecting the GOP candidate never exceeded 26 percent, even as the public chose Republicans in five of the eight elections, with margins of support ranging from a low of 38 percent (Bush in 1992) to a high of 61 percent (Nixon in 1972).

At a minimum, these statistics portray a media elite whose political thinking is to the left of most Americans.

Hosting CNN’s Reliable Sources on April 21, 1996, Washington Post media writer Howard Kurtz reacted to the Freedom Forum’s poll: “Clearly anybody looking at those numbers, if they’re even close to accurate, would conclude that there is a diversity problem in the news business, and it’s not just the kind of diversity we usually talk about, which is not getting enough minorities in the news business, but political diversity, as well. Anybody who doesn’t see that is just in denial.”

Noyes’ entire column’s here.


Here's one way of summarizing the research findings Noyes presents: MSM journalists are even more liberal than Massachusetts voters.

Like just about everything else I’ve read by Noyes, his column today is well-written and fact-based.

Like Michael Barone, Charles Krauthammer and Jeff Jacoby, Noyes does the research, lays out the facts, and then offers sound, irrefutable conclusions.

The Media Research Center and Newsbusters are “must visit” sites for all of us who don’t want to be victimized by the liberal/leftist bias that fills our newspapers and airwaves.

On the other hand, anyone who wants to go on being comfortable saying things like, “but I’m sure Katie Couric said it,” and “ I didn’t see it in the Times,” should stay away from MRC and Newsbusters.

Sunday, November 02, 2008

An Obama parody that left me LOL

Hat tip: AC

Reagan's 1964 "A Time for Choosing" speech

He'd never held public office and the pundits said he labored for a lost cause.

But Reagan's "A Time for Choosing" speech in support of Sen. Barry Goldwater 1964 campaign for the presidency touched millions of Americans, reminding them of what our country was meant to be, and what the liberal/leftists were determined to make of it.

Goldwater lost in a landslide. Most of the same pundits who ridiculed "A Time for Choosing" predicted the demise of the Republican Party.

Reagan ignored the pundits. Two years later he was elected Governor of California.

You know the rest of the story.

The full text of "A Time for Choosing" is hosted by Fordham University here.

The You Tube video below which I found at the Raleigh N&O's Editors' Blog contains some of the most stirring portions of the speech.

Reagan's wisdom and vision inspire now just as they did almost a half-century ago.

I thank God President Reagan came our way.

Obama's promise to coal industry: "bankruptcy"

It's hard to believe but give a look and listen to this 2 minute video.

Hat tip: Anon commenter.

Roy Cooper for NC Attorney General

The vote I’m most eager to cast Election Day will go to North Carolina’s Attorney General Roy Cooper.

He’s been a fair, smart, quietly tough, and outstanding Attorney General whose made the AG’s office a much more effective instrument for justice then when he entered it.

When Cooper became AG in 2001 , the State Bureau of Investigation Crime Lab he supervises had 5 DNA analysts. It now has 42.

That increase is a major reason we keep reading of cases of individuals wrongly imprisoned now going free because DNA evidence has proved their innocence. The work of those 42 analysts is also helping prevent new wrongful convictions.

During the recent spike in gas prices, Cooper was quick to first warn, and then go after suppliers violating the state’s anti-gouging laws.

While a strong respecter of individuals’ right to bear arms, Cooper’s also advocated for needed limits and checks on gun ownership.

Cooper's not afraid to take on interest groups that favor his own Democratic Party. For example, this year during the primary, the activist group Women's Voices Women Vote launched an illegal robo call program.

Some AGs might have looked the other way. Cooper’s office investigated and wound up assessing the group $100,000 in penalties.

From the Raleigh N&O:

"My office takes quick action against robo calls that don't strictly follow the law," Cooper said, adding that he believes robo callers should honor the Do Not Call Registry, which stops telemarketers, but not campaigns from calling. "If you get illegal telemarketing calls, let my office know about it."
Beginning in January 2007 Cooper’s office conducted a careful review of all evidence in the Duke lacrosse case. It included new interviews with Crystal Mangum whose self-contradicting, wildly improbable charges set in motion what we now know was a frame-up attempt.

At the conclusion of the review, Cooper held a press conference on April 11, 2007. He read a statement which brought honor to himself and his office, and a measure of justice to the framing victims and their families.

Two items conclude my endorsement. The first is a Volokh Conspiracy post by Duke Professor of Law Stuart Benjamin“On Cooper, Nifong and Actual Innocence.” Benjamin published it a few hours after Cooper’s press conference. The second item is a campaign ad Cooper’s run statewide in which he references the Duke case.

Now Professor Benjamin - - -

On Cooper, Nifong, and Actual Innocence:

The rap on Roy Cooper (the North Carolina Attorney General) among my friends who know a good bit about him is that he is overcautious — a smart guy who is too often hesitant and a bit of a plodder.

People I know who followed the investigation closely were confident that Cooper's investigators had concluded that the charges against the lacrosse players were without merit and that the lacrosse players were in fact innocent, but the betting money seemed to be that Cooper would issue a bland statement saying that there wasn't enough evidence to support a trial and leave it at that.

That, after all, is the easy way out — the path of least resistance. He could have said that there was insufficient evidence, and that he would not go beyond that characterization because no further statement about the strength of the evidence was necessary for his decision.

And I imagine that his political advisors probably told him that this would be the politically safe route to take (I can see counter-arguments, but my guess is that would have been their advice).

I find it remarkable, then, that he went so much further, saying that the accused players were in fact innocent, that there was no credible evidence against them, that the accuser's many different statements could not be rectified and that she contradicted herself, etc.

This was not a garden-variety statement about insufficient evidence but instead was about as complete a vindication as the defendants could have imagined. Indeed, I think that Cooper said just about everything that the defendants could have wanted. Cooper must have really been convinced.

One final note: A defense lawyer (or a libertarian) treating this as a cautionary tale about the awesome power of a "rogue prosecutor" to run amok is not a surprise. But an attorney general framing the case that way is more striking.

Not that Nifong didn't deserve this drubbing — just that I wasn't betting on it.

“I know more” - Obama’s self-centered immaturity

Thomas Sowell calls attention to it in his column today, after which I provide via Huffinton Post a striking example of what Sowell’s talking about.

Sowell begins - - -

After the big gamble on subprime mortgages that led to the current financial crisis, is there going to be an even bigger gamble, by putting the fate of a nation in the hands of a man whose only qualifications are ego and mouth?

Barack Obama has the kind of cocksure confidence that can only be achieved by not achieving anything else.

Anyone who has actually had to take responsibility for consequences by running any kind of enterprise-- whether economic or academic, or even just managing a sports team-- is likely at some point to be chastened by either the setbacks brought on by his own mistakes or by seeing his successes followed by negative consequences that he never anticipated.

The kind of self-righteous self-confidence that has become Obama's trademark is usually found in sophomores in Ivy League colleges-- very bright and articulate students, utterly untempered by experience in real world.

The signs of Barack Obama's self-centered immaturity are painfully obvious, though ignored by true believers who have poured their hopes into him, and by the media who just want the symbolism and the ideology that Obama represents.

The triumphal tour of world capitals and photo-op meetings with world leaders by someone who, after all, was still merely a candidate, is just one sign of this self-centered immaturity.

"This is our time!" he proclaimed. And "I will change the world." But ultimately this election is not about him, but about the fate of this nation, at a time of both domestic and international peril, with a major financial crisis still unresolved and a nuclear Iran looming on the horizon. …

The rest of Sowell’s column’s here.

Back on April 7 at Huffington Post Mayhill Fowler posted (with audio link) - Obama: No Surprise That Hard-Pressed Pennsylvanians Turn Bitter - reporting Sen. Obama’s now famous bitter small town people clinging to their guns and religion remarks made April 6 at a San Francisco fundraiser. (I believe Fowler broke the story)

Also at Huffington on April 7 Fowler put up a second post - Obama: No Need For Foreign Policy Help From V.P. (with audio) – quoting other, more detailed remarks Obama made at the same fundraiser which illustrate exactly the self-centered immaturity Sowell talks about today.

From Fowler’s post - - -

Last night at a fundraiser in San Francisco, Barack Obama took a question on what he's looking for in a running mate. "I would like somebody who knows about a bunch of stuff that I'm not as expert on," he said, and then he was off and running.

"I think a lot of people assume that might be some sort of military thing to make me look more Commander-in-Chief-like. Ironically, this is an area--foreign policy is the area where I am probably most confident that I know more and understand the world better than Senator Clinton or Senator McCain."

"It's ironic because this is supposedly the place where experience is most needed to be Commander-in-Chief. Experience in Washington is not knowledge of the world. This I know.”

“ When Senator Clinton brags 'I've met leaders from eighty countries'--I know what those trips are like! I've been on them. You go from the airport to the embassy. There's a group of children who do native dance. You meet with the CIA station chief and the embassy and they give you a briefing. You go take a tour of a plant that [with] the assistance of USAID has started something. And then--you go."

"You do that in eighty countries--you don't know those eighty countries. So when I speak about having lived in Indonesia for four years, having family that is impoverished in small villages in Africa--knowing the leaders is not important--what I know is the people. . . ."

"I traveled to Pakistan when I was in college--I knew what Sunni and Shia was [sic] before I joined the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. . . ."

"Nobody is entirely prepared for being Commander-in-Chief. The question is when the 3 AM phone call comes do you have somebody who has the judgment, the temperament to ask the right questions, to weigh the costs and benefits of military action, who insists on good intelligence, who is not going to be swayed by the short-term politics.”

“By most criteria, I've passed those tests and my two opponents have not."

Fowler’s entire post’s here.


Sen. Obama’s true believers and media flacks suggest he’s another JFK.

Can you imagine Sen. Kennedy in 1960 speaking as naively and arrogantly as Obama did at that fund-raiser?

"I traveled to Pakistan when I was in college--I knew what Sunni and Shia was [sic] before I joined the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. . . ."

That’s a line you’d expect a presidential candidate to deliver at a roast when he’s lampooning himself.

But Obama saw nothing laughable in his reference to his brief trip to Pakistan during his college days. He meant to impress his listeners with his knowledgeable and experience.

They say he’ll be surrounded by experienced foreign policy advisors.

But how do you give advice to a president who’s both arrogant and inexperienced?

Hat tip: