Friday, November 14, 2008

The Churchill Series - Nov. 14, 2008

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

Readers Note: During the last two weeks a few of you have made very nice comments about the series which I failed to acknowledge. I'm sorry for not doing so before this. I read every comment and appreciated the recent ones for their detail and generous spirt.


One of the best of the recent, one volume studies of Churchill's life is Lord Jenkins',
Churchill: A Biography, published in 2002. Historian John G. Plumpton began his review of Jenkins' work thus:

"There are times," wrote the great Cambridge scholar, Sir Geoffrey Elton, "when I incline to judge all historians by their opinion of Winston Churchill - whether they can see that no matter how much better the details, often damaging, of man and career become known, he still remains, quite simply, a great man."

Sir Geoffrey would have likely judged the new Churchill biography by Roy Jenkins favourably. The octogenarian Jenkins, a biographer of Attlee, Asquith, Baldwin and Gladstone, among others, and a political colleague of Labour leaders since World War II, concludes with a startling admission: "When I started writing this book I thought that Gladstone was, by a narrow margin, the greater man...I now put Churchill, with all his idiosyncrasies, his indulgences, his occasional childishness, but also his genius, his tenacity and his persistent ability, right or wrong, successful or unsuccessful, to be larger than life, as the greatest human being ever to occupy 10 Downing Street."
Plumpton's entire review is here. (Scroll down) I think all of you would enjoy reading it.

Jenkins's biography is still in print and available at many book stores, on the Net, and in decent public libraries.

I hope you all have a good weekend and find a few minutes to read Plumpton's review.


Obama’s “neighborhood” guy now a “family friend”

I'm sure you know unrepentant terrorist Bill Ayers still cheers the killing of our military, our public safety officers and anyone else who might happens to be close to them.

But have you heard the latest?

From Thomas Lifson
at American Thinker - - -

Now that the election is over and he has a new edition of a book to peddle, Bill Ayers is comfortable telling the world that Barack Obama is a "family friend." Rex W. Huppke writes in the Chicago Tribune:

In a new afterword to his memoir, 1960s radical William Ayers describes himself as a "family friend" of President-elect Barack Obama and writes that the campaign controversy over their relationship was an effort by Obama's political enemies to "deepen a dishonest narrative" about the candidate.

Ayers describes phone threats and hate e-mail he received during the campaign, and he bemoans Obama's guilt by association.

During the campaign, Ayers' friendship with Obama was a favorite subject of conservative bloggers and talk show hosts who insisted the two were closer than the candidate was admitting. Ayers' new description of the relationship seems to contradict Obama's statements.

Obama had dismissed Ayers as "a guy who lives in my neighborhood" and "somebody who worked on education issues in Chicago that I know."
No word on whether or not the Ayers/Dohrn family dined together frequently with the Obamas, as some sources in Chicago reported during the election, or whether or not the Weathercouple baby sat for the Obamas, as others had contended.

But we do know now that Barack Obama misled Americans about the depth of his relationship with Bill Ayers, whose neighborhood the Obamas moved to, a couple of blocks away, as soon as they were able to afford it, in the wake of his bestselling book.


The last word goes to the reader who put me on to Lifson’s post:
[It looks like there were] more lies by Obama about his relationship with Ayers.

Ayers refers to Obama as a “family friend “--- Obama referred to Ayers as “a guy in the neighborhood.”

It's scary that I believe an unrepentant terrorist more than I believe the President-elect.

Responding to "AP’s latest bow to The One" comments

If you haven’t already read the thread of AP’s latest bow to The One, I hope you will.

I want to respond here to three Anon comments.

Commenters are in italics; I’m in plain.

Since the comments all reference an AP email announcement, I’m including it here for your ease of reference.


Presidential Style, Advisory


The Associated Press is adopting a universal style for referring to all heads of state, including the United States.

Effective Thursday at 3 a.m. EST, the AP will use the title and first and family names on first reference: President George W. Bush, not just President Bush; President-elect Barack Obama, not just President-elect Obama; President Nicolas Sarkozy, not just President Sarkozy.

The AP Contact:
Paul Colford
Director of Media Relations
The Associated Press
212. 621.1720

Anon @ 5:22 - --

That's ridiculous [to say the AP is making a bow to Obama]. The style also will apply retroactively to all Republican presidents and to all Republican presidents in the sufture. (sic)

Assuming the AP will do what you say, that doesn’t alter the fact the change is being made immediately after the election of the candidate it worked so hard to elect, does it?

Your comment begs two pertinent questions: 1) why didn’t the AP make this “universal style” change before now: and 2) why is it only making it now?

Anon @ 8:32 - - -

Um, wouldn't it be more logical to assume that this change has been made now that we're about to have two former President Bushes?

No. We’ve had two former President Adams for almost two centuries, two President Roosevelts for about three-quarters of a century, and two President Johnsons for almost forty-five years.

Anon @ 10:21 - - -

::shakes head::

Slow news day, John? You've made some pretty "out there" calls in the past, but this one might take the cake. How, exactly, is this "bowing" to Obama?

My answers above speaks to your “bowing” question.

Do you know Poynter Institute’s Web site is a favorite training, information and commentary site of many liberal and leftist journos?

But even Poynter wasn’t fooled by the real intent of the AP’s style change.

In my post I linked to Poynter’s post of the AP’s announcement. It was titled: AP's style will be President Barack Obama (not President Obama). (The italic emphasis “
President Barack Obama” was Poynter’s)

I'm with 8:32 - WOULDN'T that be a more logical reason?

Yes, I can see you are with Anon @ 8:32 whose question I’ve already answered.

Folks, I don't know whether the Anons' comments were serious or troll, but they were useful in allowing me to put before you information which will leave no sensible reader here in any doubt about the real reason for the AP's just announced "universal style" change.

Nifong’s Nov. ’06 election: a Duke role?

At Liestoppers Meeting there’s a very thought provoking post: “Who wanted Steve Monks?”

Attorney and then Durham County GOP chair Steve Monks, you’ll recall, was a write-in candidate in the November 2006 Durham District Attorney’s election won by the incumbent Mike Nifong who was subsequently disbarred, forced to resign his office, and jailed for one day for some of his actions related to the attempted frame-up for gang rape and other felonies of three obviously innocent Duke University students who were members of the school’s Men’s lacrosse team.

Durham County Commissioner Lewis Cheek was Nifong’s principal opponent. A Cheek victory would have forced NC’s Gov. Mike Easley to replace Nifong.

Monks was seen by most observers as doing nothing more than playing a “spoiler” role that would help elect Nifong.

The carefully organized “Who wanted Steve Monks?” post cites $7 thousand dollars in contributions given Monks campaign during a 2-day period by three people with very close and important ties to Duke. One of those was John McMahon, a former chair of Duke’s board of trustees, who died this past Oct. 30 at age 87. (Obituary here)

Seven thousand dollars is a lot of money in a Durham DA race, especially for a write-in candidate with no chance of winning.

The money was given at a time when Duke’s president, Richard Brodhead, and its board of trustees chair, Robert Steel, were principal enablers of the frame-up attempt Nifong began leading in March 2006.

The public portion of the Brodhead/Steel frame-up enablement began on March 25, 2006 when Brodhead released his first public statement following publication that morning of a Raleigh News & Observer story which, among other things, promulgated the deliberate falsehood that the members of Duke’s lacrosse team had not been cooperating with police.

Although Brodhead knew the Duke students had been extraordinarily cooperative with Durham Police, his statement made no mention of their cooperation. Instead, Duke’s president urged everyone to cooperate with police.

Neither Brodhead nor Steel has ever explained the decision to say nothing about the students’ cooperation; or why Brodhead’s statement was worded in a way that gave credence to what both men knew was a lie about the students’ refusal to cooperate.

From that first public statement right through the November ’06 election neither Duke leader said a single word critical of Nifong’s travesties that were so obvious by March 30, 2006 that the North Carolina State Bar, anticipating the filing of ethics complaints against Nifong, that day opened a file on the matter.

With Brodhead’s and Steel’s still unexplained enablement of the frame-up as background and with the large contributions to Monks’ coming in a 2-day period from a few people with close ties to Duke’s leadership, “Who wanted Steve Monks?” asks a reasonable question:
why did three people with very close ties to Duke University’s leadership make, over the course of two days, what were in terms of the amounts typically contributed to major DA candidates, extremely large contributions to a “spoiler” write-in candidate expected to take votes from Nifong’s principal opponent?

Mind you, the question is asked not rhetorically, but as a true interrogatory.

We don’t know the answer to the question. But it cries out for answering.

I encourage all of you who are following the Duke case who haven’t yet read “Who wanted Steve Monks?” and the comments in response to it to give them a read here.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

The Churchill Series - Nov. 13, 2008

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

We often read about the academic learning and performance problems Churchill had during his school days. That was certainly the case where mathematics was concerned. He twice failed the entrance exam for Sandhurst largely because of his very poor performance on the math portion of the test. He later said he only passed on his third try because his father hired England’s best math “crammer” who crammed just enough math into Churchill’s head to enable him to pass the entrance test on his third try.

But reading was another matter. In that Churchill excelled from his early school years onward.

While he appears at about age five to have had some more than typical letter and sound recognition difficulties, he quickly overcame them. By age nine he was an avid and extremely able reader who read R.L. Stevenson's Treasure Island for pleasure.

Here are the opening paragraphs of Treasure Island:

Squire Trelawney, Dr. Livesey, and the rest of these gentlemen having asked me to write down the whole particulars about Treasure Island, from the beginning to the end, keeping nothing back but the bearings of the island, and that only because there is still treasure not yet lifted, I take up my pen in the year of grace 17__ and go back to the time when my father kept the Admiral Benbow Inn and the brown old seaman with the sabre cut first took up his lodging under our roof.

I remember him as if it were yesterday, as he came plodding to the inn door, his sea-chest following behind him in a hand-barrow--a tall, strong, heavy, nut-brown man, his tarry pigtail falling over the shoulder of his soiled blue coat, his hands ragged and scarred, with black, broken nails, and the sabre cut across one cheek, a dirty, livid white.

I remember him looking round the cover and whistling to himself as he did so, and
then breaking out in that old sea-song that he sang so often afterwards:

"Fifteen men on the dead man's chest--
Yo-ho-ho, and a bottle of rum!"

in the high, old tottering voice that seemed to have been tuned and broken at the capstan bars. Then he rapped on the door with a bit of stick like a handspike that he carried, and when my father appeared, called roughly for a glass of rum. This, when it was brought to him, he drank slowly, like a connoisseur, lingering on the taste and still looking about him at the cliffs and up at our signboard.
Age nine is about the average age of a Fourth Grade student in America today.

Well, there's the post. I need add nothing except a thanks to the Gutenberg Project where I obtained the Treasure Island paragraphs.

Some unsurprising research about liberals

John Kass at tells us about the Brave Catherine Vogt Experiment - - -

Catherine Vogt, 14, is an Illinois 8th grader, the daughter of a liberal mom and a conservative dad. She wanted to conduct an experiment in political tolerance and diversity of opinion at her school in the liberal suburb of Oak Park.

She noticed that fellow students at Gwendolyn Brooks Middle School overwhelmingly supported Barack Obama for president. His campaign kept preaching "inclusion," and she decided to see how included she could be.

So just before the election, Catherine consulted with her history teacher, then bravely wore a unique T-shirt to school and recorded the comments of teachers and students in her journal. The T-shirt bore the simple yet quite subversive words drawn with a red marker:

"McCain Girl."

"I was just really curious how they'd react to something that different, because a lot of people at my school wore Obama shirts and they are big Obama supporters," Catherine told us. "I just really wanted to see what their reaction would be."

Immediately, Catherine learned she was stupid for wearing a shirt with Republican John McCain's name. Not merely stupid. Very stupid.

"People were upset. But they started saying things, calling me very stupid, telling me my shirt was stupid and I shouldn't be wearing it," Catherine said.

Then it got worse.

"One person told me to go die. It was a lot of dying. A lot of comments about how I should be killed," Catherine said, of the tolerance in Oak Park.

But students weren't the only ones surprised that she wore a shirt supporting McCain.

"In one class, I had one teacher say she will not judge me for my choice, but that she was surprised that I supported McCain," Catherine said. . . .

"Later, that teacher found out about the experiment and said she was embarrassed because she knew I was writing down what she said," Catherine said.

One student suggested that she be put up on a cross for her political beliefs.

"He said, 'You should be crucifixed.' It was kind of funny because, I was like, don't you mean 'crucified?' " Catherine said.

Other entries in her notebook involved suggestions by classmates that she be "burned with her shirt on" for "being a filthy-rich Republican."

Some said that because she supported McCain, by extension she supported a plan by deranged skinheads to kill Obama before the election.

And I thought such politicized logic was confined to American newsrooms. Yet Catherine refused to argue with her peers. She didn't want to jeopardize her experiment. …

Only a few times did anyone say anything remotely positive about her McCain shirt. One girl pulled her aside in a corner, out of earshot of other students, and whispered, "I really like your shirt."

That's when you know America is truly supportive of diversity of opinion, when children must whisper for fear of being ostracized, heckled and crucifixed.

The next day, in part 2 of The Brave Catherine Vogt Experiment, she wore another T-shirt, this one with "Obama Girl" written in blue. And an amazing thing happened.

Catherine wasn't very stupid anymore. She grew brains.

"People liked my shirt. They said things like my brain had come back, and I had put the right shirt on today," Catherine said. …

[She] turned her journal into a report for her history teacher, earning Catherine extra credit.

We asked the teacher, Norma Cassin-Pountney, whether it was ironic that Catherine would be subject to such intolerance from pro-Obama supporters in a community that prides itself on its liberal outlook.

"That's what we discussed," Cassin-Pountney said about the debate in the classroom when the experiment was revealed. "I said, here you are, promoting this person [Obama] that believes we are all equal and included, and look what you've done? The students were kind of like, 'Oh, yeah.' I think they got it."

Catherine never told us which candidate she would have voted for if she weren't an 8th grader. But she said she learned what it was like to be in the minority.

"Just being on the outside, how it felt, it was not fun at all," she said.

Don't ever feel as if you must conform, Catherine. Being on the outside isn't so bad. Trust me.

Kass’ entire column’s here.

My hat’s off to Catherine Vogt for having the guts and maturity to conduct the experiment.

I’d guess her teacher, Norma Cassin-Pountney, is due some praise also.

Cassin-Pountney would have to be pretty dense not to know in advance what the results of the experiment would be.

Or that she will very likely get some looks and behind her back sneers at the least from fellow teachers, parents and students who just don’t like it when their liberalism or that of a loved one is exposed as having an intolerant core.

Finally, a hat tip to John Kass who repeatedly takes on and exposes the Dem/ liberal/leftist self-interests groups which run Chicago.

Thanks to AC for the link to Kass

Minnesota recount head Ritchie caught lying

You’re about to see the ACORN-endorsed Minnesota Secretary of State responsible for overseeing the Coleman-Franken recount twice fire a cynical slime charge at Sen. Norm Coleman; and then shortly afterwards deny what he said.

But Ritchie’s repeated slime charge and his subsequent denial were all caught on tape.

Background from Politico which reported - - -

The Democratic Secretary of State of Minnesota, Mark Ritchie, was just on MSNBC talking about the recount in the Minnesota Senate race between Sen. Norm Coleman (R-Minn.) and Democrat Al Franken, and his comments will likely upset Coleman's campaign.

Asked about the Coleman campaign's criticism of the recanvassing process, Ritchie said: “Their goal is to win at any price. They’ve invested millions and millions of dollars. We consider this part of the normal political rhetoric,” said Ritchie. “We're used to the political rhetoric being amped up. That’s part of their job — to win at any price.” . . .

With all votes counted, Coleman leads Franken by 206 votes out of more than 2.9 million cast.

UPDATE: Coleman campaign manager Cullen Sheehan issued a statement calling on Ritchie to apologize for his comments on MSNBC.

"When the Coleman campaign raises legitimate ballot security concerns, over instances such as 32 new ballots appearing in the car of a Minneapolis city official, Mr. Ritchie goes on a national media campaign characterizing our actions as political," Sheehan said in a statement.

"His accusation today that our campaign intends to win ‘at any price’ is offensive, demands an apology and simply underscores our concerns about his ability to act as an unbiased official in this recount. His statement is not reflective of the objective, non-partisan standards Minnesotans expect and deserve, and which Mr. Ritchie as Secretary of State is sworn to uphold. And we are concerned about the pattern we are seeing.”

Here’s the entire Politico report.

Now hosted at YouTube, this revealing video:

Trust Mark Ritchie?

The New Obama Rules

We read about them at The Virginian - - -

Given the MSM’s track record as one arm of the Democrat national Committee and the official cheering section of the Obama campaign, it’s little wonder that now that “The One” has been elected bad news is good news.

Exhibit A is the headline that accompanied a recent bombing in Iraq that killed scores of people. Since the US invasion of Iraq, the Obamamedia have used violence as a metric of how badly things were going.

But now that Bush is on the way out and Obama is on the way in:

Iraq bombings show progress, challenges

It's a measure of progress that today's blasts, which killed at least 31 people in Baghdad and more elsewhere, according to the Associated Press, represented the worst day of violence since June.

Yes, believe it or not, bomb blast show how wonderful that world is now that Obama has been elected.

This is lick spittle reporting at it's finest. You can’t make this stuff up folks.

If you thought that the media would try to reclaim the mantle of objectivity, you are fooling yourself. Obama has done no wrong in the past and will do no wrong in the future. I wrote about this in Governing From The Center.

As evidence, exhibit B:

Obama Won’t Meet Everybody’s Expectations

This is Newsweek’s’ preemptive strike in anticipation of Obama failures. The rock star who received the adulation of hundred of thousand of Europe’s youth will, according to Newsweek, not get the world to love us:

America's allies got the candidate they overwhelmingly preferred, but that doesn't necessarily mean America's relationships with the globe will warm instantly. In fact, history is strewn with rock-star presidents whose first years were terrific disappointments for U.S. allies.

But we were told that Obama was the One that the world was waiting for.

What do other Presidents have to do with the global adulation he received even before he was elected? His mere presence electrified all of Europe. What could he possibly do to disappoint the world?

Newsweek goes on to list a few items that Obama promised and suggest he won’t do as he promised. But these are all within the power of a President whose party controls both houses of Congress. So what is Newsweek trying to tell us? ....

The rest of The Virginian’s excellent post is here. Give it a look.

Hat tip: Instapundit

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

The Churchill Series - Nov. 12, 2008

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

Reading The Churchill Centre’s Action This Day report for June 10, 1944, we learn a bit about what happened when Churchill and other allied leaders visited the headquarters of the Allied ground commander, General Bernard Montgomery, four days after D-Day.

On June 10th, after Montgomery announced that "we have won the battle of the beaches" Churchill, Smuts, Brooke, General Marshall and Admiral King crossed the Channel where they were met by Montgomery. After a beach welcome they drove through "our limited but fertile domain in Normandy."

[Afterwards] they lunched on the lawn at Montgomery's headquarters, looking towards the front which was only three miles away.

Churchill enquired about the chances of German - armour breaking up their lunch.

Montgomery acknowledged that the chateau had indeed taken a pounding the night before.

The Prime Minister reminded him that "anything can be done once or for a short time, but custom, repetition, prolongation, is always to be avoided when possible in war."

Montgomery moved his headquarters two days later.

My bald barber and McClatchy’s N&O

I started losing hair when I was in my late twenties.

My bald barber, who looked to be in his mid-sixties, recommended a bottle of something he said did a pretty good job of preventing baldness.

I guess he knew what I was thinking because he added: “They didn’t have this stuff when I was going bald.”

Fair enough. I bought a bottle, but as the barber later told me: “You must be one of the guys it doesn’t help.”

Now fast forward to the present.

The McClatchy Newspaper Company (MNI) has been tanking for years. From a high within the last 5 years in the mid-seventies its stock price has crashed to about $1.50 today. Its bonds have “junk” ratings.

Yesterday a commenter at The Meck Deck summed McClatchy’s situation up thus:

MNI is down to $1.52 right now. Considering that they were over $2.70 just one short week ago, I’d say they’re circling the drain (or swirling around the bowl) pretty rapidly.
Circling the drain MNI may be, but that hasn’t stopped the editors of McClatchy’s Raleigh News & Observer from offering advice on how to manage the various crises buffeting the financial markets.

For years the N&O’s been telling readers what we should and shouldn’t do with our own finances. The “should” has generally included paying more in taxes. Opposing liberals’ government spending plans has almost always been part of “the shouldn’t.”

But for all its opining about how readers, America and the world should manage and improve their situations, the N&O “forgot” about McClatchy. It’s never editorially acknowledged McClatchy’s problems or proposed how they could be solved.

The N&O’s just gone on telling everyone else how to solve their problems and plan their futures.

Maybe editorial page editor Steve Ford and his staff thought McClatchy would be “one of the guys” their editorials wouldn’t help.

AP's latest bow to The One

Here's an AP announcement to its subscriber editors followed by my comments.


Presidential Style, Advisory


The Associated Press is adopting a universal style for referring to all heads of state, including the United States.

Effective Thursday at 3 a.m. EST, the AP will use the title and first and family names on first reference: President George W. Bush, not just President Bush; President-elect Barack Obama, not just President-elect Obama; President Nicolas Sarkozy, not just President Sarkozy.

The AP Contact:
Paul Colford
Director of Media Relations
The Associated Press
212. 621.1720



At Poynter Online there are as of now just two comments responding to the AP’s “universal style” announcement. They’re identical: “Why?”

I’m guessing the commenters know why, just as you and I know why: the AP wants to leave no one doubting it respects The One.

“President Bush” on first reference was good enough for our current president, but “President Obama” would never do for our historic President-elect Obama.

Opps! I meant our historic President-elect Barack Obama.

In Minn: Franken “votes” and the ACORN counter

With the Minnesota Senate race vote recount not due to begin until next week, there are already questions about ballot security, the “discovery of votes” no one knew were lost, and the fairness with which the recount will be conducted.

A Wall Street Journal editorial today questions some of the “vote discoveries” that have enabled Democrat Al Franken to close incumbent Republican Norm Coleman’s election night lead from over 700 to just over 200 yesterday, Nov. 11.

The WSJ notes:

For example, there was Friday night's announcement by Minneapolis's director of elections that she'd forgotten to count 32 absentee ballots in her car.

The Coleman campaign scrambled to get a county judge to halt the counting of these absentees, since it was impossible to prove their integrity 72 hours after the polls closed. The judge refused on grounds that she lacked jurisdiction.

Up in Two Harbors, another liberal outpost, Mr. Franken picked up an additional 246 votes. In Partridge Township, he racked up another 100. Election officials in both places claim they initially miscommunicated the numbers. Odd, because in the Two Harbors precinct, none of the other contests recorded any changes in their vote totals.

According to conservative statistician John Lott, Mr. Franken's gains so far are 2.5 times the corrections made for Barack Obama in the state, and nearly three times the gains for Democrats across Minnesota Congressional races.

Mr. Lott notes that Mr. Franken's "new" votes equal more than all the changes for all the precincts in the entire state for the Presidential, Congressional and statehouse races combined (482 votes). …
At The Heritage Foundation’s Foundry blog Hans von Spakowsky warns:
…This entire process is being overseen by Democratic Secretary of State Mark Ritchie, who isn't exactly a nonpartisan observer.

One of Mr. Ritchie's financial supporters during his 2006 run for office was a 527 group called the Secretary of State Project, which was co-founded by James Rucker, who came from The group says it is devoted to putting Democrats in jobs where they can "protect elections."

Should we be worried that Minnesota Secretary of State Mark Ritchie is an ACORN-endorsed official who was elected in 2006 with considerable help from the Secretary of State Project, a liberal 527 organization whose goal is to control secretary of state offices throughout the nation?

Should we be worried that the SoS Project called Ritchie the most “progressive” secretary of state in the nation? Or that in 2003 he led National Voice, a voting coalition sponsored by radical organizations like, Greenpeace and the National Council of Churches?

No matter how much the final vote tally shrinks before it is certified, there will be a recount. A key factor in that recount may be Minnesota Statute 204C.22, which says that a “ballot shall not be rejected for a technical error that does not make it impossible to determine the voter’s intent.”

In other words, it seems that Ritchie and other local election officials may have the final say in determining voter “intent” on questionable ballots.

I guess it will just be a funny coincidence if those determinations all seem to follow the same incredible pattern as the “corrections” to the vote count have so far in Minnesota, i.e., the “intent” always favoring Franken in the recount.

Let’s hope they don’t, because all of us — Democrats, Republicans and independents — have an interest in a fair election process that does not allow partisan bias to change the outcome of an election as voted by the American electorate.
Powerline’s John Hinderaker was on Hannity & Colmes last night. I missed the program. Did any of you see it?

The entire WSJ editorial's here; von Spakowsky's post is here.

BTW - I was surprised to see the WSJ refer to Lott as a "conservative statistician."

If the editors thought there might be a conservative tilt to Lott's analysis, they could have had a statistician of their own choosing perform some procedures and used data generated thereby.

On the other hand, if they believed Lott's statistical work raised legitimate concerns about - as the WSJ titled its editorial "Mischief in Minnesota?" - what was the point of identifying Lott as a "conservative statistician?"

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

The Churchill Series - Nov. 11, 2008

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

It occurred to me that some of you might never have read what's come to be called The Munich Agreement. It's brief, unambiguous and still shocks.

The text copy which follows is hosted by The Avelon Project at the Lillian Goldman Law Library, Yale Law School.

Agreement concluded at Munich, September 29, 1938, between Germany, Great Britain, France and Italy

GERMANY, the United Kingdom, France and Italy, taking into consideration the agreement, which has been already reached in principle for the cession to Germany of the Sudeten German territory, have agreed on the following terms and conditions governing the said cession and the measures consequent thereon, and by this agreement they each hold themselves responsible for the steps necessary to secure its fulfilment:

(1) The evacuation will begin on 1st October.

(2) The United Kingdom, France and Italy agree that the evacuation of the territory shall be completed by the 10th October, without any existing installations having been destroyed, and that the Czechoslovak Government will be held responsible for carrying out the evacuation without damage to the said installations.

(3) The conditions governing the evacuation will be laid down in detail by an international commission composed of representatives of Germany, the United Kingdom, France, Italy and Czechoslovakia.

(4) The occupation by stages of the predominantly German territory by German troops will begin on 1st October. The four territories marked on the attached map will be occupied by German troops in the following order:

The territory marked No. I on the 1st and 2nd of October; the territory marked No. II on the 2nd and 3rd of October; the territory marked No. III on the 3rd, 4th and 5th of October; the territory marked No. IV on the 6th and 7th of October. The remaining territory of preponderantly German character will be ascertained by the aforesaid international commission forthwith and be occupied by German troops by the 10th of October.

(5) The international commission referred to in paragraph 3 will determine the territories in which a plebiscite is to be held. These territories will be occupied by international bodies until the plebiscite has been completed. The same commission will fix the conditions in which the plebiscite is to be held, taking as a basis the conditions of the Saar plebiscite. The commission will also fix a date, not later than the end of November, on which the plebiscite will be held.

(6) The final determination of the frontiers will be carried out by the international commission. The commission will also be entitled to recommend to the four Powers, Germany, the United Kingdom, France and Italy, in certain exceptional cases, minor modifications in the strictly ethnographical determination of the zones which are to be transferred without plebiscite.

(7) There will be a right of option into and out of the transferred territories, the option to be exercised within six months from the date of this agreement. A German-Czechoslovak commission shall determine the details of the option, consider ways of facilitating the transfer of population and settle questions of principle arising out of the said transfer.

(8) The Czechoslovak Government will within a period of four weeks from the date of this agreement release from their military and police forces any Sudeten Germans who may wish to be released, and the Czechoslovak Government will within the same period release Sudeten German prisoners who are serving terms of imprisonment for political offences.

Munich, September 29, 1938.


Veterans Day Tribute

This touching, inspiring tribute honors our veterans and our currently serving forces.

All gave some, some gave all. They have our deep respect and gratitude.

NYT reporter: Obama to get “same scrutiny” as Bush

NY Times’ White House correspondent Sheryl Gay Stolberg is engaging this week in Q&As at the Times Web site. Stolberg’s response to one questioner included this:

As to whether the election of an African American will inhibit my work, I would say not. It will certainly inform my coverage; it is impossible to write about Barack Obama without acknowledging that he has made history. That is part of the public’s fascination with him.

But trust me, he’ll get the same scrutiny that President Bush got, and President Clinton before him. And when he stumbles, as he invariably will, you will hear about it. (emphasis added)
For years beginning in 2000, the MSM, including the Times, whipped themselves into a frenzy trying to discover whether, for example, during 1972 then Lt. George Bush had missed 2 Air National Guard meetings he should have attended while working as a campaign aide in Alabama. (NG payroll records from the time indicate he made those meetings. See here but you have to go to the last few paragraphs of the MSNBC slime-piece to learn that. – JinC)

Who will ever forget Dan Rather and CBS’s 60 Minutes’ Sept. 2004 false TANG story based on forged documents Rather and the network claimed proved Bush hadn’t shown for a required physical in the 1970’s and had therefore been suspended from flying?

Rather and CBS assured everyone the anonymous provider of the documents was “unimpeachable,” even though they knew he was long-time Bush-hater and Democratic activist Bill Burkett. (See here)

Contrast MSM treatment of Bush with the "anything for Obama" coverage Stolberg, the NYT and almost all MSM gave their favored candidate.

In the case of Bush, just the possibility he might have missed two national guard meetings 30 years before set off a frenzy of coverage.

But the Obama MSM Tank Corps had no interest in finding out how their candidate could have sat in a church with a ranting racist, anti-American pastor for almost 20 years and not known what the pastor, his mentor and close friend, was saying; or why Obama and his wife decided to take their children to that pastor’s church for religious instruction?

If you believe Stolberg’s “trust me, he’ll get the same scrutiny that President Bush got,” then you’ll believe I’ve agreed to advance the NYT the $400 million it needs to get through its current cash crunch.

Trust me, the check is in the mail.

Anyone surprised NY Times exec picked to head NPR?


The National Public Radio Board of Directors announced today that it has named Vivian Schiller, 47, as President and Chief Executive Officer, effective January 5, 2009.

Ms. Schiller joins NPR from The New York Times Company where she is Senior Vice President and General Manager of She succeeds Dennis L. Haarsager, who has served as interim CEO since March.

Ms. Schiller has more than 20 years of experience in the media industry. During her tenure at The New York Times, she led the day-to-day operations of, the largest newspaper website on the Internet, overseeing product, technology, marketing, classifieds, strategic planning and business development. ...

The rest of the post’s here.


By all means give it a look if you care to, but it’s almost entirely puffery such as: Howard Stevenson, Board Chairman, said, "Vivian is a talented and proven leader with superb skills and broad experience in the media industry. Her roots in the news business, as well as her inclusive management style and operational expertise make her an ideal fit for NPR.”

What make’s Vivian Schiller “an ideal fit for NPR” is she share’s its liberal/leftist ideology. That was the essential qualification the NPR search committee had in mind. “No conservatives or independents need apply” wasn’t spoken, but it was understood.

Monday, November 10, 2008

The Churchill Series - Nov. 10, 2008

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

Let's smile today with an "oldie but goodie" Churchill enjoyed and used to poltical advantage.

You know about nit-pickers. You do something and get it 99% right. But there’s Nitty Picky standing before the whole town saying:

“Did you all see the 1% that fellow got wrong? You did? Well, I'll tell you about it anyway.”
Churchill had his nit-pickers, including, of course, many in the press.

He delighted during the war in telling audiences this humorous story which put the nit-pickers in their place.
A sailor jumped into the water at Plymouth to rescue a small boy from drowning.

A week later the sailor was accosted by a woman who asked, “Are you the man who picked my son out of the water the other night?"

“That is true, ma’am,” replied the sailor. “I am the man.”

“Ah,” said the woman. “You are the man I am looking for. Where is his cap?”

Cap story from John Plumpton, "Two Great Men, Two Great Themes," speech, The Churchill Centre.

Election Fraud in Minnesota?

Statistician and senior research scholar at the University of Maryland John Lott looks at the Coleman-Franken “recount” and writes at Fox News:

Minnesota is becoming to 2008 politics what Florida was in 2000 or Washington State in 2004 -- a real mess.

The outcome will determine whether Democrats get 58 members of the U.S. Senate, giving them an effective filibuster-proof vote on many issues.

When voters woke up on Wednesday morning after the election, Senator Norm Coleman led Al Franken by what seemed like a relatively comfortable 725 votes.

By Wednesday night, that lead had shrunk to 477. By Thursday night, it was down to 336. By Friday, it was 239.

Late Sunday night, the difference had gone down to just 221 -- a total change over 4 days of 504 votes.

Amazingly, this all has occurred even though there hasn’t even yet been a recount.

Just local election officials correcting claimed typos in how the numbers were reported. Counties will certify their results today[,Monday, Nov. 10], and their final results will be sent to the secretary of state by Friday.

The actual recount won’t even start until November 19.

Correcting these typos was claimed to add 435 votes to Franken and take 69 votes from Coleman. Corrections were posted in other races, but they were only a fraction of those for the Senate.

The Senate gains for Franken were 2.5 times the gain for Obama in the presidential race count, 2.9 times the total gain that Democrats got across all Minnesota congressional races, and 5 times the net loss that Democrats suffered for all state House races.

Virtually all of Franken’s new votes came from just three out of 4130 precincts, and almost half the gain (246 votes) occurred in one precinct -- Two Harbors, a small town north of Duluth along Lake Superior -- a heavily Democratic precinct where Obama received 64 percent of the vote.

None of the other races had any changes in their vote totals in that precinct.
To put this change in perspective, that single precinct’s corrections accounted for a significantly larger net swing in votes between the parties than occurred for all the precincts in the entire state for the presidential, congressional, or state house races.

The two other precincts (Mountain Iron in St. Louis county and Partridge Township in Pine county) accounted for another 100 votes each. The change in each precinct was half as large as the pickup for Obama from the corrections for the entire state.

The Minneapolis Star Tribune attributed these types of mistakes to “exhausted county officials,” and that indeed might be true, but the sizes of the errors in these three precincts are surprisingly large.

Indeed, the 504 total new votes for Franken from all the precincts is greater than adding together all the changes for all the precincts in the entire state for the presidential, congressional, and state house races combined (a sum of 482).

It was also true that precincts that gave Obama a larger percentage of the vote were statistically more likely to make a correction that helped Franken. …

Lott provides a good deal more statistical information and voter pattern history. He then ends - - -

With ACORN filing more than 43,000 registration forms this year, 75 percent of all new registrations in the state, Minnesota was facing vote fraud problems even before the election. Even a small percentage of those registrations resulting in fraudulent votes could tip this election.

To many, it just seems like too much of a coincidence that Minnesota's one tight race just happens to be the race with the most "corrected" votes by far.

But the real travesty will be to start letting election officials divine voter's intent. If you want to discourage people from voting, election fraud is one sure way of doing it.

Lott’s entire column’s here.

More tomorrow about what he’s saying.

In the meantime, visit this Powerline post which includes excerpts from Lott's column as well as comments by Minnesota attorney and Powerline blogger John Hinderaker on some of the "found" vote.

Palin on Fox's Van Susteren tonight

In less than an hour Fox will broadcast an “exclusive” it says it Gov. Sarah Palin's first post-election interview.

The network’s Greta Van Susteren flew to Alaska for what we’re told was a lengthy interview

Some of the “McCain insiders’” most unbelievable “disclosures” were peddled by Fox’s credulous, gossipy chief political correspondent Carl Cameron to Fox’s “no spin” guy Bill O’Reilly.

For sure, the “disclosures” broadcast on The O’Reilly Factor told us a lot about Bill O’ and Cameron.

But did they tell us anything much about Gov. Palin besides that fact that “McCain insiders” targeted her for a particularly vicious “dirt dump” O’Reilly, Cameron and Fox executives decided to broadcast?


That’s clear if you view the video and read what by now must be hundreds of columns and blog posts including mine: Fox and Fools and Will Fox report Dartmouth president's pajamas speech?

Going into tonight’s program, I don’t know what Gov. Palin will say.

But I’ll watch it and post on it tomorrow before noon.

In the meantime, thinking of Bill O’Reilly led me to look up definitions of “blowhard.”

They include: "a loud arrogant boaster" and "an exhaustively talkative person."

Do they fit The Bill?

I hope you look in tomorrow.

Happy Birthday, Marines

I found the following at Air Force Link, the official Web site of the U. S. Air Force ---

The Air Force salutes the Marine Corps on its 233nd birthday Nov. 10.

Originally founded on Nov. 10, 1775, the Marine Corps was composed mainly of infantrymen serving aboard Navy ships. They were primarily responsible for the security of the ship, offensive and defensive boarding parties. They also helped protect the ship's officers from mutiny.

In 1921, Marine Gen. John A. Lejeune issued Marine Corps Order No. 47, Series 1921 that directed the history, traditions and mission of the Marine Corps to be read to all Marines on Nov. 10 to honor the service's creation. And in 1925, the first formal Marine Corps Birthday Ball was held in Philadelphia.

Today, the Marines Corps is an amphibious expeditionary force that also support missions from the White House and the State Department.

Semper Fi and happy birthday.


The things Marines do best are protect and preserve our freedoms.

We owe them our deepest thanks.

God bless them and Happy Birthday, Marines

Coleman-Franken as of 11/10 @ 5:30 PM ET

The Star Tribune just posted a story which begins - - -

Al Franken's deficit just keeps on shrinking as the state adjusts the unofficial tally in the U.S. Senate election last week.

Today's latest results show the DFL challenger is now trailing Republican incumbent Norm Coleman by 206 votes. That's down from 221 over the weekend. …

The rest of the story’s here.

I’ll check later tonight to see what, if anything, Powerline’s saying.

Let me know if you hear something.

Duke this Veteran’s Day Eve

This Veteran’s Day Eve The Chronicle published the following letter - - -

A year ago on Veteran's Day, and again six months ago on Memorial Day, we joined in pointing out the University's disrespect of our classmates who served in the Armed Forces, and most particularly those who died for our nation.

We called attention to delinquency at the alumni memorial, where for more than 50 years-through wars in Korea, Vietnam, Kuwait, Iraq and Afghanistan-the University has failed to add the name of anyone who made the supreme sacrifice.

We also pointed out that two additions to the Divinity School were built as close to Duke Chapel as the architect dared, encroaching upon the memorial, leaving it in an air shaft.

We cited lack of patriotic observance on holidays. It is rather incongruous that on Sept. 11, the Alumni Department laid a wreath at the memorial that marks the deaths of six Dukies who happened to be in the World Trade Center, but for Veteran's Day, as always, the University calendar is devoid of any honor for our classmates-as well as faculty and staff-who deliberately went into harm's way.

President Richard Brodhead, Executive Vice President Tallman Trask, Vice President Michael Schoenfeld and Alumni Executive Director Sterly Wilder were given personal notice of this neglect, yet not one of them has had any substantive response to us in a full year. As surely as our classmates in uniform answered the call of duty with bravery, courage and valor, Duke's administrators uniformly bring dishonor to themselves by their dereliction.

Ed Rickards
Trinity '63
Law '66

Kristin Butler
Trinity '08

I posted on both columns Rickards and Butler reference in their letter.

Duke ignores its brave defenders (Nov. 6, 2007)

Chronicle includes an important and beautifully written column by Duke senior Kristin Butler.

She begins:

When the rest of the country pauses to honor America's military personnel (both living and dead) next Monday, Duke University won't join in. There will be no on-campus remembrances a la 9/11 or Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. Classes will proceed as normal. Even our University calendar-which advertises activities like an open house tour for the Home Depot Smart Home Nov. 12-makes no mention of the occasion. …

The rest of the post which includes a link to Kristin’s column is here.

Here's the full text of the post:
Duke classmate remembers an eternal friend (May 26, 2008)

Ed Rickards (T. '63 and Law '66) in a Chronicle Memorial Day column co-authored with Kristin Butler (T. ’08) remembers an “eternal friend:

...The Vietnam War took a classmate, next door neighbor in the dorms and eternal friend.

Charles G. Mason '64, known as Buddy, was in Naval ROTC at Duke; he wore his uniform with pride at a time when many were growing wary of the military.

At graduation he received a commission in the Marine Corps and was sent to the city of Hue in Vietnam. It's hard to fathom Buddy amid the insane violence of war, transported from the grace of our campus to slogging in a jungle.

February 24, 1967. Fellow Marines in nearby Phu Bai village were pinned down by withering fire, taking heavy casualties. The weather hampered the flow of reinforcements and ammo, but First Lieutenant Mason tried to break through in a Medivac helicopter.

To rescue the wounded. To retrieve the dead.

His copter took bullets in the fuselage, burst into flames and fell to earth in pieces. His remains are now at Arlington National Cemetery.

Buddy Mason's survivors included his wife Lynelle and their 22-month-old daughter Lois. Six months after Buddy's death, his wife gave birth to his son Charles. ...
An epitaph honoring WW II allies who made the supreme sacrifice also poignantly expresses the debt Americans owe U.S.M.C 1st. Lt. Charles G. Mason (T.'64) and his fallen comrades:
"When You Go Home, Tell Them Of Us And Say,
For Their Tomorrow, We Gave Our Today"
The entire Rickards-Butler column can be accessed here.

Most of us in the Duke community will want to thank Rickards and Butler for reminding us of the military service and sacrifices of others in the Duke community.

Sometime in the not too distant future President Brodhead ought to send a letter to the entire Duke community. He should explain why the university does so little to honor all those from the Duke community who are serving in the military or have served as well as their families who supported them and who, in some cases, carry the pain of a loved lost giving the last full measure of devotion.

WaPo’s Tom Shales on Dan Rather’s newsroom “integrity”

On Sept. 8, 200 Dan Rather and CBS’s 60 Minutes broadcast the bogus story Texas Air National Guard story based on forged documents provided by an anonymous source.

When bloggers and a few MSM journalists questioned the authenticity of the documents and asked about the source, Rather and CBS assured them and its viewers their anonymous source was “unimpeachable."

But after almost two weeks during which bloggers and a few MSM reporters questioned and exposed transparent falsehoods in the story, Rather and CBS were forced to back off their phony story.

From a Sept 21, 2004 Washington Post story:

The man CBS News touted as the "unimpeachable source" of explosive documents about President Bush's National Guard service turns out to be a former Guard officer with a history of self-described mental problems who has denounced Bush as a liar with "demonic personality shortcomings."

Over the past three years, retired Lt. Col. Bill Burkett has given dozens of newspaper and television interviews accusing the president and his aides of destroying documents and stealing elections. In e-mail messages to an Internet chat group for Texas Democrats, he has also said that the "Bush team" sent "goons" to intimidate him at his ranch in Baird, Tex. . . .

For Burkett, attacking Bush, posting Internet messages and giving media interviews have become such all-consuming passions that he has had little time to tend to his ranch. . . .

For 10 days, CBS declined to name Burkett as the person who provided the disputed Guard documents, saying only that they came from an "unimpeachable source." CBS spokeswoman Kelli Edwards said yesterday that the network was investigating a Sept. 9 statement that asserted the network had spoken with "individuals who saw the documents at the time they were written."
The entire WaPo story’s here.

You can read more on the bogus Rather/CBS story here.

Now this - - -

While researching today I came upon the following item in the Media Research Center’s June 18, 2007 Notable Quatables post:
"Even critics of Rather would have to admit he has always stood, firmly and stubbornly, for hard news over fluff and for integrity in the newsroom."

— Washington Post TV critic Tom Shales, June 13 article.
Folks, can you believe that?

Shales can write something like that because he’s confident his follow liberal/leftists journos who dominate MSM news reporting and commentary won’t call him on his bald face lie.

They’ll recognize it as an attempt to help erase a memory most MSM want the public to forget as well as an attempt to rehab one of their own.

They'll fool some people, but not most of you.

A thank you to the Media Research Center for all it does to help bring the truth to the American people.

Will Fox & O’Reilly report Dartmouth president’s pajamas speech?

Following last week’s election, Fox’s The O’Rielly Factor carried a “news segment” in which Bill and Fox’s chief political correspondent Carl Carmeron teamed to report and discuss stories Cameron reported hearing from anonymous “McCain insiders.” The “insiders’” stories targeted Gov. Sarah Palin. (See my post: Fox and Fools)

Some of the stories were as incredible as the one our President-elect tells about sitting almost 20 years in Wright’s church and - - - well, you know the rest of it.

Anyone who’s been around political campaigns surely recognized what Bill O’ and Cameron were “reporting” was nothing more than a particularly vicious “dirt dump” by the losing candidate’s staffers who were seeking to shift blame for the defeat from themselves to someone - anyone – else.

Yet without a trace of skepticism or any indication he’d checked with Gov. Palin, Cameron reported wildly improbable “McCain insider stories” such as Palin believing Africa was a county, not a continent.

To that Cameron added in an eager, “you know what else” manner that his “sources” had told him Palin actually thought South Africa was just the southern part of the country of Africa.

O’Reilly, the “no spin” guy, was as credulous as Cameron. His response was to suggest the McCain campaign “could have had her tutored.” There was no "Did you try to confirm any of this with Gov. Palin?"

Cameron went on about "hearing"Palin was “nasty” and had reduced his sources “to tears.”

Among other things she’d done, there was the time McCain aides knocked on her hotel room door and she’d opened it wearing a bathrobe.

Cameron characterized that as “one of the more infamous” things Palin had done and O'Reilly went along, never mentioning that most people have opened doors wearing a bathrobe.

That brings me to the following from a Powerline post by Scott Johnson: DARTMOUTH CELEBRATES THE ADVENT OF OBAMA:

Our Dartmouth correspondent reports from Hanover that the students appearing in the video above marched to Dartmouth President Wright's house on the evening of November 4 and screamed until he came outside in his pajamas to give a speech.
Message to Fox News: Get Cameron up to Hanover to investigate the Dartmouth president’s “infamous” election night appearance before the students. Tell Cameron to get comments from his anonymous McCain “insiders.”

Message to Bill O’Reilly:
Invite the Dartmouth president and some of the students on the show to discuss whether the president did something infamous by speaking in his pajamas.

And of course, Bill, remember to warn them they’re about to enter the “no spin zone.” (Wink!)

Sunday, November 09, 2008

NY Times’ cash crunch solutions, including mine

Here’s Henry Blodget at Silicon Alley Insider - - -

The New York Times Company's 10Q (NYT) contains more details on the company's cash crunch.

Specifically, the company must deliver $400 million to lenders in May of 2009, six months from now. The company has only $46 million of cash on hand, and its operations will likely begin consuming this meager balance this quarter or next.

The company has been shut out of the commercial paper market, but has a $366 million short-term credit line remaining that it entered into several years ago, when the industry was strong. It has not yet drawn this cash down, and given the current environment and the trends at the company, we would not take for granted that it will be able to do so.

The New York Times is in discussions with its lenders about the May payment, and management thinks it will be able to work something out ("We expect that we will be able to manage our debt and credit obligations as they mature." Note the use of the word "manage" as opposed to "meet.")

The company does not provide details as to what this managed solution might look like, so here are some possibilities.

1. Sell assets. This is a must. It is also likely to be difficult and painful in the current environment. As we noted in "New York Times Running On Fumes", the New York Times has gotten itself in a situation where it will be forced to choose among multiple bad options just to pay its bills. A fire sale of the building, the Boston Globe, the Red Sox, and/or other assets is one of them.

2. Draw down the $366 million remaining on the second credit line immediately. This option, too, unfortunately, is problematic (if it weren't, the NYT would almost certainly have already drawn this money down).

What is a "credit line"? It is a promise, on paper, that a bank will lend NYTCO money when it wants it. This promise was made several years ago, when the New York Times and the rest of the newspaper industry were undefeated heavyweight fighters in perfect physical shape.

Now, it's the 11th round, and they're battered and bloody and slumped on the ropes.

Doesn't the bank that signed that credit line have to give NYTCO the money? Not necessarily. . . .

3. Make major cash-saving cost cuts, including eliminating (or severely cutting) the dividend. This won't conjure up $400 million by May, but it might convince a lender that NYTCO understands what it is up against and is committed to taking the tough steps necessary to deal with it. It would also allow the company to keep generating cash through 2009, which would obviously help.

Can't NYTCO just borrow more money from someone else or issue some commercial paper or something? This will be tough. The reason the company has drawn down its first short-term credit line is that it got shut out of the commercial paper market. . . .


Will this cash crunch force the New York Times into bankruptcy? No. (Or at least not yet.) The company still has assets, and it is not yet burning so much cash that it can't take steps to save itself.

Those steps are likely to be unpleasant, though. And they will be taken at gunpoint.

Blodget’s entire post’s here.



With all respect to Blodget, he understates the seriousness of the Times’ credit crunch.

Anything that hurts the Times will necessarily hurt its partners, the most important being the Democratic Party.

Dems must be concerned this credit crunch could start a ripple effect which would first hurt the most vulnerable Democrats in Congress, but could soon engulf the Obama White House.

A financially weakened New York Times will have a much tougher time promoting strategic Obama White House leaks meant to cast Republicans in a bad light.

The Times will also be forced to cut back on the number and “depth” of its own bogus stories attacking Republicans.

My solution is for DNC chair Howard Dean and President-elect Barack Obama to plan a series of fund-raisers for the Times.

Given how easily Obama and the Dems raise money, $400 million for their favorite newspaper should be a snap.

Hat tip: AC

Iowahawk’s Election Analysis Parody

Liberals or leftists who think those t-shirts with President Bush’s face screened on a bullseye target are “cute” may not like Iowahawk’s parody, but most of you will.

It begins - - -

Although I have not always been the most outspoken advocate of President-Elect Barack Obama, today I would like to congratulate him and add my voice to the millions of fellow citizens who are celebrating his historic and frightening election victory.

I don't care whether you are a conservative or a liberal -- when you saw this inspiring young African-American rise to our nation's highest office I hope you felt the same sense of patriotic pride that I experienced, no matter how hard you were hyperventilating with deep existential dread.

Yes, I know there are probably other African-Americans much better qualified and prepared for the presidency. Much, much better qualified. Hundreds, easily, if not thousands, and without any troubling ties to radical lunatics and Chicago mobsters. Gary Coleman comes to mind.

But let's not let that distract us from the fact that Mr. Obama's election represents a profound, positive milestone in our country's struggle to overcome its long legacy of racial divisions and bigotry. It reminds us of how far we've come, and it's something everyone in our nation should celebrate in whatever little time we now have left.

Less than fifty years ago, African-Americans were barred from public universities, restaurants, and even drinking fountains in many parts of the country. On Tuesday we came together and transcended that shameful legacy, electing an African-American to the country's top job -- which, in fact, appears to be his first actual job.

Certainly, it doesn't mean that racism has disappeared in America, but it is an undeniable mark of progress that a majority of voters no longer consider skin color nor a dangerously gullible naivete as a barrier to the presidency.

It's also heartening to realize that as president Mr. Obama will soon be working hand-in-hand with a former Ku Klux Klan Grand Wizard like Senator Robert Byrd[.]

The rest of Iowahawk’s post is here.

Hat tip: Archer 05

Star Tribune’s Minn. Recount Story

Under the headline – "Absentee ballots spark a new battle" – with the subhead - "A Ramsey County judge has denied a bid by lawyers representing Sen. Norm Coleman's campaign to delay the opening of 32 absentee ballots from Minneapolis" -

the Minneapolis Star Tribune reports - - -

A Ramsey County judge on Saturday denied a bid by lawyers representing U.S. Sen. Norm Coleman's campaign to delay the opening of 32 absentee ballots from Minneapolis.

The request touched off a fresh war of words in a Senate race where 221 votes separate Republican Coleman and DFLer Al Franken in unofficial tallies.

The 32 Minneapolis ballots were part of the normal delivery of absentee ballots late in the polling day, according to Election Director Cindy Reichert.

She said they were retained when they couldn't be delivered because some polling places had shut down for the day. She said the ballots were kept sealed until other election duties were completed and were being counted Saturday afternoon, with results to be delivered to the state on Monday.

However, the Coleman campaign contended that the integrity of the ballots "is in serious doubt." Its argument for a temporary restraining order was dismissed on jurisdictional grounds by Kathleen Gearin, chief district court judge in Ramsey County.

The Franken campaign accused Coleman of a "Saturday morning sneak attack" intended to short-circuit the counting of ballots. But Coleman's campaign said it merely wanted to delay the opening until it could be assured in a future hearing that the ballots were in the continuous possession of election officials.



Just to be clear: Judge Gearin’s ruling on “jurisdictional grounds” means she simply ruled her court had no jurisdiction to rule on the Coleman requests. She otherwise made no ruling on Coleman’s attorney’s actions.

The AP also reported this story here.

Neither news org said anything about further legal steps Coleman might take with regard to this particular group of ballots about which he’s raised questions.

As of 12:15 PM today I can find nothing else “new” on the Coleman-Franken recount at the Strib, the AP or Powerline.

I’ll keep checking as I hope many of you will with a quick heads up to me if you find something.

The recount is a very big story for many reasons.

It’s not getting much play in the national media.

We should all worry that absent a lot of media attention to the recount, the chances of skullduggery occurring increase.

Minn. Recount Head ACORN & Soros Ally

(This was first posted on 11/8)

Matthew Vadum at Newsbusters - - -

In the Coleman-Franken Senate recount battle developing in Minnesota, almost all media accounts fail to mention that Democratic Secretary of State Mark Ritchie, who largely controls the process, is not only a liberal Democrat, but also an ally of ACORN and liberal philanthropist George Soros.

Even fewer media outlets report the fact that both Ritchie and fellow Democrat Al Franken were endorsed by ACORN. Ritchie, like so many liberals, is dismissive of electoral fraud allegations in general. He failed to investigate claims by a conservative group about voter roll irregularities. (See "SOS in Minnesota," American Spectator, Nov. 7, 2008)

The Minneapolis-St. Paul Star Tribune doesn't mention Ritchie's affiliations. Nor does an ABC News story, a story by an ABC News affiliate in Duluth, a Minneapolis-St. Paul FOX TV station's story, or a New York Post story.

An AP story mentioned Ritchie was a Democrat but left out the ties of Ritchie and Franken to ACORN.

Will there be cheating?

Who knows, but as the murderously astute Joseph Stalin once remarked, "The people who cast the votes decide nothing. The people who count the votes decide everything."



Vadum has more at Capital Research Center where he’s a senior editor.

What Vadum’s reporting should trouble us all, including those liberals who say they’re for fair elections.

Let’s raise our own voices and watch how liberals act on this one.

I’ll post again tomorrow on the Coleman-Franken events. (It’s getting hard to call it a recount.)

A big hat tip to Archer 05 who put me on to Vadum’s posting.

Coleman-Franken recount: fraud concerns

(This was first posted on 11/8)
Yesterday I posted Possible fraud in Coleman-Franken.

Since then concerns about vote fraud by supporters of Dem. Al Franken have grown.

Here's part of Scott Mirengoff's Powerline report: "What's happening in Minnesota? Part 2."

Yesterday John Hinderaker explored "What's going on in Minnesota?" with the late arriving-votes that have reduced Norm Coleman's lead over Al Franken from 726 votes with 100 percent of precincts reporting on Wednesday morning to 221 votes as of this morning.

The election seems to be in the process of being stolen, and the media are either bemused or, as in this incredibly stupid AP story by Brian Bakst, preparing the battlefield for the theft. Yesterday the Coleman campaign released a statement on what's happening in Minnesota:

As improbable and statistically dubious chunks of votes appear and disappear, overwhelmingly benefiting Al Franken, the Coleman for Senate campaign today filed a data practices request with county auditors and the Secretary of State requesting data related to Election Night results, records related to ballot security and information relating to all revisions made to the results since being reported on Election Night.

"Minnesota has a history of fair and clean elections, and we are committed to ensuring that this election is no different. That is why it is so troubling to us that instead of the normal slight changes in vote totals one would expect during this process, we are now seeing huge chunks of votes appearing and disappearing - statistically dubious and improbable shifts that are overwhelmingly accruing to the benefit of Al Franken.

And, as many of these unexplained and improbably vote swings are taking place on the Iron Range, we're asking that local and state election officials provide us with the necessary data to reassure the public that the canvassing process has not been tainted," said Cullen Sheehan, campaign manager.

It has been reported that during the night, 100 new ballots were reported to the Secretary of State's office from the Mountain Iron area. These previously unreported ballots contained 100 votes for President-elect Barack Obama and DFL candidate Al Franken.

We have received messages from knowledgeable Minnesota readers who served as election judges. Their observations are far more helpful (and troubling) than anything that has appeared in the media. In the interest of supporting a continuing inquiring into what's happening in Minnesota, even if we can't answer the questions they raise, these messages should be aired.

One reader writes:

I've been an election judge for something like four election cycles. I live in Minneapolis and am a registered Republican, which once made me a hot commodity. I think it still does if I understand the rules correctly.

This year, for the second time, I was a judge in Ward 11, Precinct 3. This precinct is managed by Democrats and is a majority Democrat precinct, as are all in Minneapolis, I think.

It's impossible to overstate the care with which our managing judge (a Democrat) constantly verified that the number of ballots cast matched those that were supposed to be cast. We had one "logged" incident that I was involved such that the "ticket" that gave the voter a ballot was faulty. It became apparent immediately and was fixed. The point is the system worked. All was constantly checked in detail. "Exhaustion" is worthless as an excuse.

The checks throughout the day, by multiple judges, guaranteed the transparency of the issue. Furthermore, voter "intent" as an issue is utter nonsense. If the machine could note discern "intent" the ballot was REJECTED! The voter was then given the opportunity to revote with a replacement ballot so "intent" would manifest, or the voter could state that it wasn't that vital, and the machine would read those races where intent was clear.

While I was there we had half a dozen rejected ballots. One lady was obviously casting her first vote in her life and had hers rejected two times before she correctly filled out a replacement ballot.

The point is there simply can't be any "ballots" to "find." If what is happening in Mountain Iron (and apparently elsewhere) is allowed to stand it will show that Minnesota is as corrupt as Chicago, Albuquerque and Boston. ...

Instapundit reader Joshua Dixon wrote Glenn Reynolds yesterday to comment on John's post:

I am a small town newspaper editor in a purplish part of Minnesota. Based on what I've read and observed, the Coleman/Franken election recount fails the smell test many times over.

With Minnesota election rules and the optical scanning system, each ballot must be checked, rechecked, accounted for and re-accounted for by a number of election judges. Each judge's tally must match the others', and with the scanning machine's tape produced the night of the election.

The machine prints out three copies of each ward's results on a single tape, which has to be signed in triplicate by the judges, and sent to the county seat. A day or so later, each town or township gets back a third of the tape it sent in on election night for canvassing at an open meeting.

According to the city clerk I talked to just a few minutes ago, the election night tape is considered public record, and anyone who wants to can walk in and ask to examine the tapes. When I asked if I could take a photo of the relevant part of this town's results of the Coleman/Franken contest, she not only allowed it, she straightened the tapes (Ward 1 and Ward 2) so I could get a better picture (attached).

The Power Line story brings up some legitimate questions. Here are a few more: How can St. Louis County deny being able to produce the genuine tape from election night? They were provided with one tape containing three copies of the results, one of which was required to be sent back to the town of Mountain Iron for canvassing.

Did they send Mountain Iron its copy of the tape for convassing at an open meeting? If so, why not just provide the town's copy of the tape instead of the county's? Were the county and city's copies of the tape treated as public record? If not, why not?

In short: the explanations for Franken's new votes just don't work. ...

There is much more to be said, but it is important that these messages see the light of day this morning while the election hangs in the balance. Minnesota Secretary of State Mark Ritichie (who is a story in himself) should know that he is being watched and will be held to account.

Pau's entire post's here.

Folks, I'm tired up with some family fun for the rest of the afternoon but I'll be back on this story tonight.

If you come upon anything related to it, please give me a heads up.