Friday, March 13, 2009

The Churchill Series - Mar. 13, 2009

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

The Conservatives swept the 1924 General Election. Shortly thereafter Churchill was invited to meet with Stanley Baldwin, who would serve as Prime Minister in the new government.

The invitation surprised Churchill who knew it could only mean Baldwin was planning to offer him a post in the new government. Since he had only recently been a member of the Liberal Party, had run in the election as an independent candidate (although with tacit Conservative support), and had not even yet rejoined the Conservative Party, Churchill thought whatever post he’d be offered would be a minor one.

Many of Churchill’s friends urged him to accept whatever post he was offered, however minor it might be. They reasoned it could only help revive his political career, then at a low point.

When they met, Baldwin asked Churchill if he’d be willing to serve as Chancellor of the Exchequer, then as now the second most important Cabinet post.

Churchill later recorded he told Baldwin:

This fulfills my ambition. I still have my father’s robe as Chancellor. I shall be proud to serve you in this splendid Office.
But Churchill added that he only spoke that way because it was “a formal and important conversation.” What he'd really wanted to say was:
Will a bloody duck swim?
Among the many congratulatory letters Churchill received was one from George Lambert, a former Liberal Party chairman who'd served with Churchill in the Admiralty from 1911 to 1915:
Winston dear boy, I have got a fair instinct for politics. I think I shall live to see you as Prime Minister.
Lambert, who entered Parliament in 1891, lived to see his prediction fulfilled.

In July 1940, two months after Churchill assumed the premiership, Lambert called his leadership “incomparably the most brilliant that I can remember, save perhaps that of Mr. Gladstone."
All material for this post can be found on pages 464-65 in Martin Gilbert’s
Churchill: A Life, except Lambert’s July, 1940 assessment which can be found on page 696 in Gilbert’s Finest Hour: 1939-1941.

Obama’s “Limbaugh Strategy” Is Failing

Remember “Hope and Change?"

Remember the candidate our liberal/leftist MSM said would be a new kind of “post-partisan President?”

So we elected President Barack Obama.

Now how are things working out in the new, “post-partisan” Obama world?

Here's RCP's Tom Bevan - - -

Last week Jon Martin of Politico reported that Democrats had launched a concerted effort to paint Rush Limbaugh as the face and leader of the Republican Party.

The plan, originally hatched by former Clinton operatives James Carville and Paul Begala, quickly expanded to include current White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel and was "explicitly authorized" by Senior Advisor to the President David Axelrod, according to a report in Monday's New York Times.

Mr. Carville praised the Democrats' "Limbaugh strategy" as "great for us, great for him, great for the press," adding, "The only people he's not good for are the actual Republicans in Congress." (
BTW – - James Carville and the rest of Team Obama would want me to say they put the country’s welfare ahead of the Democratic Party’s welfare. Yes, really. - - JinC)

So far, the only thing we know for certain is that the strategy has indeed been great for El Rushbo.

On Wednesday's program, Mr. Limbaugh announced that revenue for his nationally syndicated radio program in the first quarter of this year was up 13.5% versus the same time period a year ago. That's no small accomplishment given the current state of the economy. . . .

"Over the years," Mr. Limbaugh declared, "every effort to divide me from you, my audience, has only strengthened the bond."

For their part, Democrats feel the strategy is paying dividends as well.

Mr. Carville's polling firm, Democracy Corps, released a new survey this week suggesting Mr. Limbaugh is exceedingly unpopular among all but the most conservative voters and that his image "weighs down heavily on an already weakened Republican Party." …

I would not hold my breath waiting for that to happen. Congressional Republicans are betting that by the time voters go to the polls next November, they'll be more concerned with what President Obama and the Democrats have done (or failed to do) than with what Rush Limbaugh has done or said. …

Tom Bevan’s entire column’s here.

More Questions About Angelo’s Sweetheart Dealer Dodd

David Patten at Newsmax begins - - -

Already under investigation for suspiciously favorable [sweetheart] mortgage terms received from Countrywide Financial [when Angelo Mozilo ran it for himself and “friends” while sticking taxpayers with Countrywide’s debt], Connecticut Sen. Christopher Dodd is also being called to task for a series of real estate deals and disclosures related to a cottage he owns on Galway Bay, Ireland.

Mr. Dodd is busy these days blaming everyone else for the real-estate bubble and financial meltdown, a Wall Street Journal editorial declared Thursday.

But he owes constituents and the Senate an honest accounting of his Galway property over the past 15 years.

Christopher Healy, chairman of the Connecticut GOP, told the Hartford Courant on Tuesday: There’s a body of activity here that raises questions about Dodd that so far he hasn’t really given reasonable answers to.

One reason the cottage is drawing attention: The man who witnessed the transfer of the property, Edward R. Downe Jr., was convicted of insider trading in 1993.

Downe pleaded guilty to securities fraud and insider trading, and agreed to a $11 million SEC civil settlement.

The Dodd-Downe relationship dates back at least to 1986, when they purchased a Washington [condo] together for $159,800. The Courant reports Dodd later bought out Downe’s share, and in 1999 sold the condominium for $310,000.

On former President Bill Clinton’s final day in office he issued, at Dodd’s request, a last-minute pardon of Downe’s felony convictions -- without going through the normal Justice Department vetting process.

None of which stopped Dodd from teaming up with Downe’s business partner, Missouri businessman William Kessinger, to purchase the Irish cottage.

According to Hartford Courant columnist Kevin Rennie, the saga of Dodd’s mysterious Irish land dealings date back to 1994.

Patten’s column continues here.

As for Dodd’s scandals, is there no end to them?

Hat tip: Instapundit

Obama's Poll Numbers Fall

Doug Schoen, who once polled for former President Bill Clinton, and Scott Rasmussen of the independent Rasmussen Reports are two of the fairest and most reliable pollsters working the “political fields.”

Today they team at WSJ to produce an op-ed that’s really a very informed report in which they say (excerpts):

It is simply wrong for commentators to continue to focus on President Barack Obama's high levels of popularity, and to conclude that these are indicative of high levels of public confidence in the work of his administration.

Indeed, a detailed look at recent survey data shows that the opposite is most likely true.

The American people are coming to express increasingly significant doubts about his initiatives, and most likely support a different agenda and different policies from those that the Obama administration has advanced.

Polling data show that Mr. Obama's approval rating is dropping and is below where George W. Bush was in an analogous period in 2001. (We haven’t heard that from MSM, have we? - - JinC)

Rasmussen Reports data shows that Mr. Obama's net presidential approval rating -- which is calculated by subtracting the number who strongly disapprove from the number who strongly approve -- is just six, his lowest rating to date.

Overall, Rasmussen Reports shows a 56%-43% approval, with a third strongly disapproving of the president's performance.

This is a substantial degree of polarization so early in the administration. Mr. Obama has lost virtually all of his Republican support and a good part of his Independent support, and the trend is decidedly negative. …

Schoen and Rasmussen provide a great deal more polling information from a variety of sources and discuss a broad range of public issues and preferences before they close with - - -

Despite the economic stimulus that Congress just passed and the budget and financial and mortgage bailouts that Congress is now debating, just 19% of voters believe that Congress has passed any significant legislation to improve their lives.

While Congress's approval has increased, it still stands at only 18%.

Over two-thirds of voters believe members of Congress are more interested in helping their own careers than in helping the American people.

When it comes to the nation's economic issues, two-thirds of voters have more confidence in their own judgment than they do in the average member of Congress. (I’ll bet most of those saying they have more confidence in Congress are liberals who vote for people like Sens. Reid, Durbin and Dodd and Reps. Frank, Rangel and Waters; and, of course, Speaker Pelosi.)

Finally, what probably accounts for a good measure of the confidence and support the Obama administration has enjoyed is the fact that they are not Republicans.

Virtually all Americans, more than eight in 10, blame Republicans for the current economic woes, and the only two leaders with lower approval ratings than Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi are Republican leaders Mitch McConnell and John Boehner.

All of this is not just a subject for pollsters and analysts to debate. It shows fundamentally that public confidence in government remains low and is slipping.

We face the possibility of substantial gridlock along with an absolute absence of public confidence that could come to mirror the lack of confidence in the American economy that the Dow and the S&P are currently showing.

Schoen and Rasmussen’s entire report/commentary’s here.

I hope you all give it a look.

The Churchill Series - Mar. 12, 2009

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

On October 12, 1941, Elizabeth Layton, one of Churchill's secretaries, wrote her parents. Excerpts from her letter:

Presently, after having dictated something he found I'd put "Somehow I think it right (which was what I thought he'd said). So, fairly patient, he said "no, no, I said now the time is right" (with accents like that).

So I did it again. Gave it back. There was a roar of rage. "God's teeth, girl, can’t you even do it right the second time. I said
ripe, ripe, ripe - P P P."

I should, perhaps, have realized, but he hadn't mentioned that "right" was wrong. However, he forgave me and was very amiable for the rest of the day.
Churchill biographer Martin Gilbert says:
All those who worked for Churchill at closest quarters saw his sternest moods, born of fearsome problems. They also saw the character that lay beneath those moods. "I can't help feeling rather fond of him," Elizabeth Layton wrote, "he is a loveable person, in spite of his impatience."
Martin Gilbert,
Finest Hour: 1939 - 1941. (pgs. 1214-1215)

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Liberals Count On Obama Lying To Them

Here’s some of what Karl Rove says in today’s WSJ - -

…[President] Obama's fiscal house is built on gimmicks. For example, it assumes the cost of the surge in Iraq will extend for a decade.

This brazenly dishonest trick was done to create phony savings down the line.

Mr. Obama's budget downplays some programs' true cost. For example, his vaunted new college access program is funded for five years and then disappears (on paper); the children's health insurance program drops (on paper) from $12.4 billion in 2013 to $700 million the next year.

Neither will happen; the costs of both will be much higher and so will the deficits.

Mr. Obama's budget also assumes the economy declines 41% less this year and grows 52% more next year and 38% more the year after than is estimated by the Blue Chip consensus (a collection of estimates by leading economists traditionally used by federal budget crunchers).

If Mr. Obama used the consensus forecasts for growth rather than his own rosy scenarios, his budget would be $758 billion more in the red over the next five years.

Then there's discretionary domestic spending, which grows over the next two years by $238 billion, the fastest increase ever recorded.

Mr. Obama pledges it will then be cut in real terms for the next nine years. That's simply not credible.

Then there's his omnibus spending bill to fund the government for the next six months, laden with 8,500 earmarks and tens of billions in additional spending above the current budget. What happened to pledges for earmark reform and making "meaningful cuts?"

In the face of our enormous economic challenges, top White House aides decided to pee on Mr. Limbaugh's leg. This is a political luxury the country cannot afford, and which Mr. Obama would be wise to forbid.

Or did he not mean it when he ran promising to "turn the page" on the "old" politics?

Rove’s entire column’s here.

My Comments:

Rove’s right. President Obama’s budget projections are not credible.

Obama’s liberal supporters are counting on the fact that he’s lying to us.

Liberals would be hysterical if they really thought the “college access program” funding will disappear in five years while “the children's health insurance program drops in actual spending cost from $12.4 billion in 2013 to $700 million the next year.

N&O's “Lipstick” On Obama’s Earmarks Signing

McClatchy’s liberal/leftist Raleigh News & Observer went heavy on the “lipstick” when reporting President Obama’s signing of the latest pork-laden deficit spending bill passed by the Dem-controlled Congress.

Obama: No earmarks, after this

He says the spending bill, which includes thousands of them, is too important to wait.

“Too important to wait?” Yes, isn’t everything the Obama administration wants to d “too important to wait.”

The headlines are so Obama-supportive they parrot precisly what Team Obama said to justify his breaking a promise he’d made many times.

The story by McClatchy reporters Steven Thomma and David Lightman begins - - -
As a candidate, Barack Obama once said that a president has to be able to do more than one thing at a time. Wednesday he proved it, though not in the way he had in mind.

He criticized pork-barrel spending in the form of "earmarks," urging changes in the way that Congress adopts the spending proposals. Then he signed a spending bill that contains nearly 9,000 of them, some that members of his own staff shoved in last year when they were still members of Congress.

"Let there be no doubt, this piece of legislation must mark an end to the old way of doing business, and the beginning of a new era of responsibility and accountability," Obama said.

He said, however, that it was crucial for him to sign the $410 billion bill as soon as it arrived at the White House from Congress because it's needed to finance much of the government for the rest of this fiscal year. It was largely written last year but was held back while Republican George W. Bush was president because he opposed it.

The rest of the story’s here.

A few things worth noting:

The story doesn’t mention that earmarks Obama as Senator had put in the bill were stripped out so as not to embarrass him.

The story devoted only one paragraph near the end to criticism of the bill by a taxpayer advocate group.

The story included only one paragraph in which only one Republican is quoted criticizing the bill.

The story doesn’t mention until the last paragraph that one of the principal earmark "porkers" who stuffed his into the bill last year when it was being put together was then Senator Joe Biden.

At the Anything for Obama N&O it’s “Hope and Change” and heavy on the "lipstick."

WaPo:“The Real Question” About Obama’s Top Intel Pick

The lead editorial in today’s Washington Post begins - - -

Former ambassador Charles W. Freeman Jr. looked like a poor choice to chair the Obama administration's National Intelligence Council.

A former envoy to Saudi Arabia and China, he suffered from an extreme case of
clientitis on both accounts. In addition to chiding Beijing for not crushing the Tiananmen Square democracy protests sooner and offering sycophantic paeans to Saudi King "Abdullah the Great," Mr. Freeman headed a Saudi-funded Middle East advocacy group in Washington and served on the advisory board of a state-owned Chinese oil company.

It was only reasonable to ask -- as numerous members of Congress had begun to do -- whether such an actor was the right person to oversee the preparation of National Intelligence Estimates.

It wasn't until Mr. Freeman withdrew from consideration for the job, however, that it became clear just how bad a selection Director of National Intelligence Dennis C. Blair had made.

Mr. Freeman issued a two-page screed on Tuesday in which he described himself as the victim of a shadowy and sinister "Lobby" whose "tactics plumb the depths of dishonor and indecency" and which is "intent on enforcing adherence to the policies of a foreign government."

Yes, Mr. Freeman was referring to Americans who support Israel -- and his statement was a grotesque libel. …

He describes "an inability of the American public to discuss, or the government to consider, any option for U.S. policies in the Middle East opposed by the ruling faction in Israeli politics."

That will certainly be news to Israel's "ruling faction," which in the past few years alone has seen the U.S. government promote a Palestinian election that it opposed; refuse it weapons it might have used for an attack on Iran's nuclear facilities; and adopt a policy of direct negotiations with a regime that denies the Holocaust and that promises to wipe Israel off the map.

Two Israeli governments have been forced from office since the early 1990s after open clashes with Washington over matters such as settlement construction in the occupied territories.

What's striking about the charges by Mr. Freeman and like-minded conspiracy theorists is their blatant disregard for such established facts. Mr. Freeman darkly claims that "it is not permitted for anyone in the United States" to describe Israel's nefarious influence.

But several of his allies have made themselves famous (and advanced their careers) by making such charges -- and no doubt Mr. Freeman himself will now win plenty of admiring attention.

Crackpot tirades such as his have always had an eager audience here and around the world.

The real question is why an administration that says it aims to depoliticize U.S. intelligence estimates would have chosen such a man to oversee them.

WaPo’s entire editorial’s here.

My comments:

It’s an outstanding editorial.

As for “the real question” of why Freeman was nominated, the answer’s obvious: President Obama and most of those in his administration who control intelligence gathering and formulating wanted Freeman in the vital National Intelligence Council chair.

Freeman’s their kind of guy. They could count on him to work to produce the sort of national intelligence estimate reports Obama and his “reset” crowd want.

Reports they can use to justify “playing nice” with Iran, Hamas and “the Muslim world” while stiffing the Israelis, the Poles, the Czechs, the Brits, the Aussies, and other US allies.

I feel sure at least most of the WaPo editorial board know that but – reasonably enough – think it may be too soon to come right out and say it.

But their editorial today left no doubt how dangerously unfit for the job they know Freeman was.

And yet Obama picked him.

Who’ll sleep easy tonight?

Paragon RAF WW II cup & saucer

Many of you may be saying, “Now that’s an odd title for a JinC post.”

Yes, it is. Here’s the explanation:

A JinC Regular sent the following email(excerpted)- - -

I have acquired a collectible teacup and saucer that is part of the "Patriotic Series produced during the War of Britain" by Paragon in London. It is in mint condition with no chips, scratches, or other damage.

The full series honors every one of the British Commonwealth nations who sent pilots and aircraft to defend England from the Luftwaffe. My set honors the Royal Canadian Air Force and has the old Canadian blue flag with the Union Jack in the corner.

Since the inscription uses the term "War of Britain" rather than "Battle of Britain" I believe this series was produced very early in the war.

I've tried to find an appraiser, but so far have been unsuccessful. I thought perhaps you might have a suggestion. ...


Folks, the post title is meant to draw comments and help from those who know about Paragon items.

It’s a use of open sourcing on the Net. Let’s see what happens.

In the meantime - - -

There is The Paragon International Collectors’ Club which says: “ Members of the Club will try and help but please remember that the worth is in the eye and pocket of the collector, so valuations are not usually given!”

RAF Museums in London (on its outskirt & quite a journey from Central London) and Cosford offer research help from their own archives or by referring a questioner on to others.

Finally at 11 AM ET today at e-Bay I found for sale (photos accompany) - - -

A very interesting Cup & Saucer Set from World War II. Made in England by "Paragon by Appointment to H.M.The Queen & H.M. Queen Mary. Produced during the War of Britain". The inscription on the Saucer says "Never Was So Much Owed By So Many To So Few".

The clear picture inside the Cup shows a Spitfire Airplane of the R.A.F. The condition of both pieces is excellent with no chips, cracks, crazing scratches, stains, or loss of gold rim trim. A truly beautiful and rare collectible. Free shipping in the U.S.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

The Churchill Series - Mar. 11, 2009

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

Sunday, September 6, 1941

The Prime Minister journeys to Buckinghamshire where he enters a gated and heavily guarded area in the center of which sits a Victorian mansion surrounded by many smaller, recently constructed buildings.

Before the war the mansion and grounds were known as Bletchley Park; now the government owns them and the place is called Station X.

It holds secrets. Even John Martin, one of Churchill's principal aides who accompanies him that day, doesn't know it's here at Station X that a most unusual group which includes mathematicians, champion chess players, crossword specialists, linguists fluent in languages ancient and modern, debutantes, and even an actress has broken German codes.

Its success enables Churchill and a select few to read in almost real time many of the enemy's communications. Years after the war the world will learn about Station X, the heart of the Enigma Project.

As Churchill tours Station X he meets many people we'd call "unusual.” Some stare silently as he approaches and introduces himself. They're mentally calculating extraordinarily complex math problems and can't allow an interruption. Another was once so engrossed in explaining something to a colleague that he reached without looking for tobacco to fill his pipe and instead packed it with some of his lunch: tuna salad.

Some ways through the tour, Churchill turns and says to the officer who'd recruited most of the staff: "I know I told you to leave no stone unturned to get staff, but I didn't expect you to take me literally."

Later in the day Churchill addresses the staff and expresses his profound appreciation for their work.

He's very sincere in that. As the principal consumer of their intelligence, Churchill knows better than anyone the enormously important contribution the codebreakers are making to the war America will enter three months and one day following his visit to Station X.
Michael Smith's
Station X: Decoding Nazi Secrets (pgs. 106-107) contains all of the material found in this post except that concerning John Martin. That reference is found in Martin Gilbert, Finest Hour: 1939-1941. (pg. 1189)

Top Obama Intel Pick Withdraws; Blames Jews

The NYT Co. owned and oh so Obama-friendly International Herald Tribune reports:

Charles Freeman Jr., President Barack Obama's choice for a major intelligence post, has withdrawn his name and blamed pro-Israel lobbying groups for his decision, saying they had distorted his record and campaigned against him.

Freeman had come under sharp criticism for his past statements about Israel as well as his association with the Saudi and Chinese governments.

Freeman's withdrawal Tuesday from consideration as chairman of the National Intelligence Council came just hours after Dennis Blair, director of national intelligence, vigorously defended him and said his comments had been taken out of context.

In a message to colleagues and friends, first posted Tuesday evening on Foreign Policy magazine's Web site, Freeman blamed pro-Israel groups for the controversy, saying the "tactics of the Israel Lobby plumb the depths of dishonor and indecency and include character assassination, selective misquotation, the willful distortion of the record, the fabrication of falsehoods, and an utter disregard for the truth."

Joshua Block, a spokesman for the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, a lobbying group, said Tuesday that his organization had not taken a formal position on Freeman's selection and had not lobbied Congress members to oppose it.

A former ambassador to Saudi Arabia, Freeman had in recent years questioned Washington's steadfast support for Israel. He had also been deputy chief of mission at the U.S. Embassy in Beijing. His critics unearthed past statements that seemed to indicate at least partial support for the crackdown on pro-democracy demonstrators in Tiananmen Square in 1989.

Critics in Congress also questioned Freeman's financial ties to China because he had served for four years on the board of the China National Offshore Oil Corp., a state-owned company.

He also led the Middle East Policy Council, a Washington-based group that receives financial support from the Saudi government.

In the intelligence post, Freeman would have been in charge of producing all U.S. intelligence estimates, documents that represent the consensus judgment of the government's 16 intelligence agencies.

Opposition to Freeman's appointment had been building on Capitol Hill, and several lawmakers said they had been lobbying the White House to withdraw its support for Freeman.

Senator Charles Schumer, Democrat of New York, said Freeman's "statements against Israel were way over the top and severely out of step with the administration."


Folks, those of us who care about America’s security can be thankful Freeman has withdrawn his nomination despite support from President Obama and the many Soros and CAIR flacks close to the President.

But what evidence is there to support Sen. Schumer’s claim Freeman’s “statements against Israel were way over the top and severely out of step with the administration?"


More tomorrow about Obama, Freeman and their critics.

Why Aren't "Victims' Rights Advocates" Liable?

Readers Note: As first published this post's title was: Why Aren't "Victims Rights Advocates" Libel?

That drew this email from one of JinC's many outstanding "editors:" Shouldn't your Title be:

Why Aren't "Victims' Rights Advocates" Liable

Of course. I apologize for my error and thank the "editor" for the correction.



At MSNBC today - - -

For 11 years, a North Carolina woman slept comfortably, secure in the knowledge that she had put the man who raped her in prison for life. And for 11 years, that man endured the endless days of confinement praying that someday, somehow, his innocence would be proved.

On Tuesday, Jennifer Thompson-Cannino and the man she mistakenly put in prison, Ronald Cotton, shared a couch on the TODAY show as they told co-host Meredith Vieira a tale about pain and redemption — and the tricks that memory can play on people with the best intentions. …

The rest of the story’s here.

What a tragedy for Ronald Cotton!

And what a reminder of the false and dangerous claims “victims’ rights advocates” often make.

When was the last time you heard one them say “rape victims” often lie as Crystal Mangum did in the Duke/Durham case when she claimed 20, 5, 3, 4 Duke lacrosse players raped her?

When was the last time one of those "advocates" admitted in the midst of a page one rape investigation that women who are raped often ID the wrong man and send him to prison?

When was the last time you heard a newspaper or politician say “victims’ rights advocates” should be licensed and subject to malpractice suits just as physicians, nurses, mental health professions, attorneys and others are?

It’s Not About Lacrosse

Joan Foster is one of those outstanding people who’ve been called “lacrosse hooligans.”

Since Spring 2006 Joan and the other “hooligans” have spoken out in opposition to the lies of Crystal Mangum, Mike Nifong and many others at Duke, in Durham and media who worked - sometimes wittingly, sometimes unwittingly – to frame three transparently innocent Duke students for gang rape and other felonies and are now working to cover-up what they did.

Yesterday, Joan posted a request at Liestoppers Meeting. It follows in full, after which I respond below the star line.

Joan began - - -

I've been invited to give a program at a women's club. In the past, I have droned on about some poet which was well received. When asked THIS time, I indicated I wanted to speak about the Duke Lacrosse case.

There were a few deep breaths and then the comment was made. "Well, that's been OVER for so long. There isn't anything more to KNOW." I assured them that there was a LOT they did not know...precisely why I wanted to speak on the topic.

Well, they were fairly desperate and I was pretty Duke Lacrosse it is. I doubt anyone in this group was following every nuance of this case...but I want to surprise, shock them. I want them to understand the magnitude of this debacle.

My theme is "Ten things you DON'T know about the Duke Lacrosse Debacle."

Number one, of was a cold blooded Frame.

I want to address Elmo's trial....and, yes, I have my own temporary list.

But I value your opinions and know that many of you have a grasp on this case that is awe-inspiring. Will you give me your "selections in outrage."

What do we want to be sure the general public understands?

What shall I tell the ladies at lunch?


Dear Joan,

Start off with something like: “Weren’t the ice cream and strawberries delicious? But did you notice the chicken salad had an odd taste? I passed on it.”

Now seriously:

I’m going to work on the assumption you have 20 or so minutes to speak after lunch with a 10 or so minute Q&A following.

If I’m right about that, I think you should cut the “10 things” to 5 and change your title to something like: “Five important things I’ve learned about what’s called ‘the Duke lacrosse case.’”

Baldo suggested you begin with a reference to NC AG Roy Cooper’s public comments of April 11, 2007.

I agree and suggest you have a copy of it in hand and highlighted.

Set up for referencing Cooper’s comments by very briefly noting Nifong had to turn the case over to Cooper’s office once it was revealed in open court he’d withheld evidence exculpatory for the falsely accused and indicted Duke students; and when once again Crystal Mangum changed her story, this time saying she wasn’t sure she’d been raped, with the result Nifong dropped the rape charge while he kept in place the two other bogus felony charges of sexual assault and kidnapping.

With that explained, read these portions of Cooper’s April 11, 2007 comments:

During the past 12 weeks, our lawyers and investigators have reviewed the remaining allegations of sexual assault and kidnapping that resulted from a party on March 13, 2006, in Durham, N.C.

We have carefully reviewed the evidence collected by the Durham County prosecutor's office and the Durham Police Department.

We have also conducted our own interviews and evidence gathering. Our attorneys and SBI (State Bureau of Investigation) agents have interviewed numerous people who were at the party, DNA and other experts, the Durham County district attorney, Durham police officers, defense attorneys and the accusing witness on several occasions....

The result of our review and investigation shows clearly that there is insufficient evidence to proceed on any of the charges. …

We believe that these cases were the result of a tragic rush to accuse and a failure to verify serious allegations.

Based on the significant inconsistencies between the evidence and the various accounts given by the accusing witness, we believe these three individuals are innocent of these charges.

We approached this case with the understanding that rape and sexual assault victims often have some inconsistencies in their accounts of a traumatic event.

However, in this case, the inconsistencies were so significant and so contrary to the evidence that we have no credible evidence that an attack occurred in that house that night. …

In this case, with the weight of the state behind him, the Durham district attorney pushed forward unchecked....

And in the rush to condemn, a community and a state lost the ability to see clearly....

Today, we need to learn from this and keep it from happening again to anybody.
Joan, at this point give a “we all know” nod to your audience and ask rhetorically, “AG Cooper didn’t mention the word “lacrosse” in any of the excerpts I’ve just read, did he?”

Then add that nowhere else in his entire statement did Cooper use the word “lacrosse.”

Mention that media referenced Cooper’s comments much the way WTVD Raleigh did: “Statement from North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper on the Duke University lacrosse rape case.”

Tell your listeners they can see that at WTVD’s Web site where it hosts Cooper’s statement.

But let your listeners know Cooper himself
did not refer to his comments that way.

At his official Web site your listeners can view a copy of Cooper’s statement
which bears the heading:
Comments by Attorney General Roy Cooper
State vs. Finnerty, Evans, Seligmann
April 11, 2007
As you know so well, Joan, and as Cooper understood and make clear, the case, still ongoing, is not about lacrosse.

It’s about “a tragic rush to accuse and a failure to verify serious allegations.”

It’s about police and a prosecutor's office falsely accusing and indicting three young Americans and working very hard to send them to prison for decades when there was “no credible evidence” of a crime.

It’s about many in "a community and a state [and the nation losing]the ability to see clearly."

All that and more happened because many of us failed to keep before us and treasure the great gifts bequeathed to us in The Constitution, while others among us simply care more for their personal agendas and conceits than for justice and a system based on respect for law.

Joan, that’s the most important message you can share with your listeners. It's why the case is important for all Americans and not about lacrosse.

I won't say I hope I don’t sound like I’m telling you what to say because that's just what I'm doing.

But you know best; and you know I respect that.

I’ve some other thoughts about what I think are important matters you should mention.

But I’ll wait to hear from you before going forward.

I often think back with appreciation and respect to the “old days” when you and others took the lead at The Editors’ Blog in exposing and skewering the N&O’s disgraceful Duke/Durham hoax, frame attempt and cover-up case “coverage.”

You’re probably one of the few people who
now could name any of the many outright lies some editors told to justify the N&O’s coverage which included its withholding for 13 months critical information exculpatory for the players.

Or that the N&O didn’t publish that information until April 12, 2007, a day the N&O knew its disgraceful news suppression in support of the frame-up would get little attention because Cooper’s exoneration of the students was the major story that day.

All Good Wishes,


Tuesday, March 10, 2009

The Churchill Series - Mar. 10, 2009

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

Churchill had his critics. One was Field Marshal Alan Brooke (later Lord Alanbrooke), Chief of the Imperial General Staff for most of WW II.

Brooke kept a diary during the war. Here are some of historian Christopher Harmon's comments on aspects of it concerning the Churchill-Alanbrooke relationship.

Another reason for (his) criticism of Churchill is high-minded and strategic, if not necessarily correct. Alanbrooke felt that this admittedly-great man had no strategy; as late as December 1941, when Alanbrooke became C.I.G.S., he remained "appalled" by the "lack of a definite policy....Planned strategy was not Winston's strong card. He preferred to work by intuition and impulse."

Proving he does possess a sense of humor, Alanbrooke twice formulates the problem as antithesis: "God knows where we would be without him, but God knows where we shall go with him," says an entry for 1941. Three years hence he writes: "Without him England was lost for a certainty, with him England has been on the verge of disaster time and again." […]

What Alanbrooke never adds to such accounts of conference room combat is that Churchill would never overrule the Chiefs of Staff when they agreed among themselves. Arguing, testing and debating were part of proper civilian oversight. Alanbrooke missed the point. He thought he was saving Britain from wild variants of hare-brained strategies.

Alanbrooke's diaries are remarkably silent about most of the many things these two war horses agreed about. Both believed Germany must be defeated before Japan. Both emphasized Mediterranean operations, where British and Allied troops retook North Africa, Sicily, and southern Italy.

Both felt in 1943 and 1944 that Alexander's army in Italy was neglected and condemned to fighting without real offensive power by various Pacific ventures and the unnecessary plan to invade southern France (Dragoon). Both believed in what is today called "joint warfare," and pushed air power.[…]
Alanbrooke, by the way, was an avid birder and photographer. Shortly after he returned to England from the Casablanca Conference he called a staff officer into his office. The officer was expecting to hear of war plans; instead he was shown photo of a bird which Alanbrooke said was "quite rare really. I was very lucky."
Christopher Harmon,
"Churchill and Alanbrooke." Finest Hour (No. 112)

Where Are Obama's Friends?

The Hill reports - - -

President Obama’s budget doesn’t have enough support from lawmakers to pass, the Senate Budget Committee chairman said Tuesday.

Sen. Kent Conrad (D-N.D.) said he has spoken to enough colleagues about several different provisions in the budget to make him think Congress won’t pass it.

The entire Hill story's here.

Why aren't President Obama's friends helping him stick taxpayers with trillions in new debt?

Where are Tony Rezko, Angelo Mosilo, Jim Johnson, Franklin Raines and Duke's Jamie ("I only made $26 million.") Gorelick?

Where's Dem Sen. Chris ("Sweetheart") Dodd?

Conrad and Dodd have shoved billions of special interest costs down the taxpayers' throats while they hustled sweetheart mortgage loans for themselves.

Why can't they round up fellow Dem Sens. Chuck ("The public doesn't care.") Schumer, Carl Levin, Dick Durbin, Jay Rockefeller and John ("Do you know who I am?") Kerry and pass the budget.

All those liberal Dems have spent years sticking debt on the backs of working people and pulling pork for themselves and their special interest, maga-buck contributor friends.

Speaker Pelosi, Reps. Rangel and Frank, and the NY Times editorial board all think that's OK.

Why aren't Obama's hustling friends lining up one more time?

Is it the tea parties?

Rangel’s Latest Outrage

Michelle Malkin reports it in a post that begins:

Our intrepid Hot Air TV special correspondent Jason Mattera is back on Capitol Hill! You’ve watched him corner smear merchants Jack Murtha and John Kerry, ask William “Cold Cash” Jefferson for bribe-freezing tips, and roam the Democrat National Convention in an orange Gitmo suit exposing far Left insanity. This time he catches tax cheat Charlie Rangel and confronts him about his mounting ethical and financial scandals.
Malkin’s entire post’s here. Be sure to watch the YouTube of scoundrel Rangel's “public be damned” swearing.

Only a Dem could get away with what Rangel gets away with.

From Instapundit comes "Botchmen"

Folks, if you don't have cash for the price of admission at a theater near you, that's no problem.

Just use food stamps or provide a letter from your mortgage lender that says you're behind on your payments.

And remember to keep your eye out for Bailout IV soon to be released by Congressional Dems Unlimited.

Monday, March 09, 2009

The Churchill Series - Mar. 9, 2009

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

Here’s an amusing Churchill anecdote, the authenticity of which I can't confirm.

In 1900 Churchill, then 26, was in Washington, D.C., to deliver a lecture after which he was a guest at a reception where has met a very well-endowed woman.

The woman let Churchill know she was from the South and wished the Confederacy had won the Civil War.

"Mr. Churchill, you see before you a rebel who has not been Reconstructed."

"Madam," he is supposed to have replied, "in your case reconstruction would be blasphemy."

Did Churchill really say that or something like it?

I’ve looked through Martin Gilbert’s
Churchill and America and can’t find it there.

I've found it in some of the "Churchill’s wit” books, but it’s always been unsourced.

I’d love to confirm the remark which sure sounds like Churchill.

Can anyone help?

If someone finds a confirming source, I'll reconstruct this post.

TIME spins for Angelo’s friend Chris Dodd

Yes, the Dems control The White House and Congress.

That should mean these are “happy days” at TIME, one of many news mags that favor the Dems.

But they’re not. And that's not just because TIME's been bleeding subscriptions and ad revenue since well before the recession started.

TIME right now can’t totally ignore all the scandals involving Obama administration biggies and Congressional Dems.

Which brings us to a TIME story today about Senate Banking chair Chris Dodd’s sweetheart mortgage loans from Countrywide’s Angelo Mozilo who’s at the heart of the sub-prime scandal along with Dodd.

There’s growing citizen outrage in Connecticut directed at the dodgy Dodd, up for reelection in 2010.

And TIME is forced to report it.

But TIME spins as hard as it can for Dodd.

Here are excerpts from TIME’s story with my comments interspersed in italics.

TIME begins - -

In many respects, Senator Chris Dodd is more powerful than ever on Capitol Hill these days. After enduring eight years in the political wilderness, the Connecticut Democrat is one of his ascendant party's senior statesmen, someone who endorsed Barack Obama early on in the presidential campaign and who hails from a solidly blue state.

(Political wilderness? Good heavens! The guy’s been in the Senate since 1981, he’s a former chairman of the DNC, a mega-buck party fundraiser and since Jan. 2007 chair of the Senate Banking Committee. TIME is starting off with a pretense to hide how powerful Dodd’s really been like in 2003 and 04 when he got sweetheart mortgages from Angelo and Countrywide.)

As chairman of the Senate Banking Committee, Dodd has played a central role in shepherding much of Obama's economic agenda, from the second half of the bank bailout to the coming overhaul of regulations governing Wall Street.

(Notice TIME doesn’t say that as Banking Committee chair since 2007 Dodd gave a green light to Fannie and Fredie until their shenanigans became public knowledge and a financial crisis.)

At the same time, Dodd is looking increasingly vulnerable. The silver-haired father of two young girls is facing his toughest re-election fight ever, and he doesn't even have an opponent yet. (CNBC pundit Larry Kudlow and former GOP Representative Rob Simmons have both expressed interest in running.)

(“The silver-haired father of two young girls . . . facing his toughest re-election fight ever.”

What a nice way for TIME to avoid saying: “The scandal-plagued Dodd, one of Clinton’s chief apologists during the Lewinsky scandals, now finds himself facing voters outraged following public disclosures of his previously secret “friends of Angelo” dealings.) …

Much of Dodd's current woes stem from a pair of mortgages that he must wish he had never gotten. His reputation has not recovered from the revelation last year that he received a sweetheart deal on his mortgage, saving upwards of $75,000 courtesy of Countrywide, one of the biggest pushers of the subprime mortgages that have landed the U.S. economy in such dire straits.

( "Current woes?" It's a currant SCANDAL!

"Must wish he had never gotten?" TIME’s giving its readers baloney. Dodd just wishes his sweetheart mortgages had never become public knowledge. There's a big difference there.)

The entire TIME story’s here and the DEM TIME's spin only gets worse as its story goes along.

Agenda Journalism Now & In The Reagan Years

A few days ago I posted Gearino’s Informed Look At An N&O Story.

The short of it: Blogger G. D. Gearino, former N&O business editor and columnist, posted on a story in which he first presented the essentials of what N&O reporter Barbara Barrett and her editors told readers about a couple who couldn’t make their mortgage payments.

Gearino followed that with questions the N&O didn’t ask that the readers should have known about.

I want here to share with you an Anon’s comment in response to my post.

Anon’s in italics; my responses are in plain.

This reminds me of the "homelessness" epidemic of the early 1980's. There had been homelessness before Reagan took office but, for the mass (hysteria) media, it was important to make it look like the Gipper had brought back the Great Depression.

The Holy Grail of journalism was to find homeless white families and the search was relentless (in the same manner as they now use Muslims as "bait" to see if they get attacked at NASCAR events).

The homeless were victims, of course. [And} none had substance abuse problems or mental illness. Their lives were perfect during the halcyon days of the Carter administration but instantly turned to kaka in January, 1981.

I remember exactly what Anon’s describing. Not only did MSM “discover an epidemic of homelessness,” but Reagan was “heartless” about it.

Sometimes bad stuff happens to good people. But Gearino is right that there is probably more to this story. With regard to the current mortgage mess, I would guess that a large majority of the "victims" are the architects of their own misery.

When you have a $229K mortgage on a house [the N&O reported the couple bought in 1994 for $150,000], you have done something wrong. The principal is supposed to decline over time. Your house is not a cookie jar to raid.

The couple may have refinanced after their original purchase to add to the house or just cash out a big hunk of money that really wasn’t their’s but owed to the bank.

Interestedly, there was a much more balanced story about some homeless guy in yesterday's (3/8/09) N&O. It did a fair job of explaining the difficulty of getting homeless people to CHOOSE to reintegrate into society.

The truth of the matter is that do-gooders often are frustrated in their attempts to convince the homeless to stop being homeless. Often, hundreds of thousands of dollars are spent to get one individual off the streets.

If people want to be urban campers, the do-gooders should simply give them a gift card from REI so they can buy some high quality gear that will keep them warm and sheltered.

I have a friend who says he’s never seen a social or economic problem liberals can’t make worse.

I don’t entirely agree. Civil rights, safer roads, a safe drinking water supply available in almost the entire country are of few of America’s accomplishments in the last century for which liberals deserve great credit.

But they and their leaders – Speaker Pelosi, Reps. Frank, Rangel, Waxman, Sens. Kennedy, Reid, and Dodd – to name just a few – have sure made things worse for most people who pay their bills. And I don’t believe they’ve made things better for the growing millions who live primarily on government “entitlements.”

Folks, if you’re wondering why I didn’t list President Obama among the liberals, it’s because I’m not sure whether he’s a liberal or worse, a leftist or what some in Western Europe call a “soft Marxist.”

Thank you Anon for your comment.

Brit Pundit: Obama & Brown Relying On Marxism

Excerpts from Janet Daley’s column in the Daily Telegraph today:

. . . [Both] Gordon Brown and Barack Obama have taken to using [“opportunity”] to describe the current economic apocalypse.

In Gordon Brown's fantasy, this is an "opportunity" to exercise control over the whole world. Not just stricter regulation by national governments of their own economic institutions, but a wondrous new level of international regulation by supranational functionaries – to be appointed by whom?

A World Government agency accountable to no electorate and with no democratic mandate from the populations over whom it will wield such power?

Trotskyists used to say that Stalinist Russia had failed to achieve Utopia because it had embraced "socialism in one country" rather than going for "world revolution". Now, we are being told that Labour's market-led social justice programme failed because it opted for "regulation in one country" instead of understanding the need for "world regulation". …

In the more overheated renditions of the Brown theme, there is talk of a "global vision for fairness", in which the very poverty that is being visited upon all the developed economies will somehow make it possible to redistribute wealth to the developing world.

Is he quite mad? Does he actually believe that the economic failure of rich countries will do anything but impoverish poor countries even further?

Or that the moral righteousness of the intention to cure world poverty will, in itself, constitute some kind of cure for the banking collapse?

Meanwhile, Mr Obama – who gives the impression of being considerably out of his depth in the economic maelstrom – talks of an "opportunity" to "reorganise our priorities".

He gave a major speech last week in which he actually seemed to suggest that the present crisis had been caused by America's failure to develop a universal health care system and to attend to the impending environmental disaster of global warming ("we made the wrong choices"), and that by focusing on these matters a way can be found out of the country's economic problems.

Is he quite mad? Does he really believe that the banking crisis and the recession were some kind of divine retribution for the absence of universal health care, and excessive carbon emissions? Or is he suggesting that a practical solution lies in spending money on health care and the development of alternative energy sources?

If it is the latter, then he is making a pitch for old-fashioned Roosevelt-style government-expenditure programmes which take money out of the productive part of the economy and bring state intervention into play in new dimensions of national life.
It did not work for Roosevelt and it will not work now. . . .

Daley’s entire column’s here.


My Comments:

I wish Daley was wrong but she has both PM Brown and President Obama pegged.

The Bible says where there is no vision the people perish.

And where leaders of nations have Marxist visions favoring government control of people’s lives, freedom suffers and the economies tank.

Sunday, March 08, 2009

“Don’t Pork Pee Down Our Legs”

That’s what protesters in Lafayette, La, yesterday told President Barack Obama and his Dem friends of Angelo, Speaker Pelosi, the networks and Tony Rezko; all of them eager to strap trillions in debt on the backs of the minority of Americans who now actually pay income taxes.

Take at look a photos of the protest here.

Those pictures and the accompanying text speak for millions of Americans who work for a living and pay income taxes.

Why aren’t the NY Times and McClatchy papers reporting the protests in Lafayette with anything near the coverage they gave The Jena 6?

Yes, it turned out the NYT, McClatchy and almost all of MSM had the Jena 6 story wrong.

And no, the Jena 6 young black "victims" weren’t anything like what the Revs Jackson and Sharpton said they were.

But that’s no excuse for the NYT, McClatchy and the rest ignoring the Lafayette protest yesterday.

The protest story's here.

Hat Tip: Instapundit

Hillary’s About ME; This Dad Was About US

This morning I posted What's Important For Secretary Clinton.

The short of it: Reuters reported Secretary of State Hillary Clinton went on a Turkish TV interview program and talked, not about policy issues, but about herself. Her life, her loves, etc.

Why? Hillary believes if Turks and others in the world can just know her, that will be wonderful for the US.

With Hillary - as with her husband - it’s always about ME.

I suggested the Reuters story could've been headlined: HILLARY DOES AN OPRAH.

An Anon commenting on my post linked to a 2006 Sippican Cottege post - My Dad Asks For Nothing – which now includes a brief update from Mar. 3, 2009.

My Father Asks For Nothing began - - -

My father asks me for nothing, really. Every three months or so, I take him to his doctor, who pokes about him wondering what keeps him animated, and that's about it. He's grown frail, and has discovered the joys of "Not Going."

It takes a lot to get him to leave the comfort and safety of his house. I was really surprised when he called me on Saturday, because he asked me to take him somewhere.

My father was a ball gunner on a B-24J Liberator bomber in the Pacific during WW2.

He rarely spoke about that. My father and his confreres considered themselves part of a thing greater than the sum of their parts in it --or so it seems to me -- and more or less did what was expected of them as a sort of unpleasant chore, kept themselves safe as much as was practicable, amused themselves when possible, and got back to being regular people as soon as they could.

As far as how practicable it was to keep safe hanging below a plane filled with four hundred pound bombs with nothing but the ocean beneath you to bore you and Japanese Zeros shooting at you to keep you interested in the trip, you can draw your own conclusions.

My father said that the last B-24 in flying condition was going to be at a little air show nearby, and he wanted to go see it. Would I take him?

As I said, my father is very frail. His heart is big but not useful. His mind is sharp but not overused now. It takes quite a bit of effort for him to get down the hall and into a car. And there was nothing I could do to keep him from trying to climb in that plane when we got there.

I didn't try, actually; I just was sort of amazed, and wondered how I could help him. You entered the plane … (continued here)

What's Important For Secretary Clinton

With the headline - - Hillary Clinton Opens Up in Interview – a Reuters report from Ankara begins - - -

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, in a sideshow to diplomacy, lamented on Saturday her fashion sense, divulged when she fell in love and shared how she dealt with personal struggles.

Appearing on a popular Turkish television chat show, Hadi Gel Bizimle (Come and Join Us), Clinton tackled a few diplomatic questions but the main focus was on her personal life, such as when she "last" fell in love.

"It was so long ago, with my husband," she told the studio audience, adding that she first met former President Bill Clinton in the spring of 1971 when they were at law school.

"We have been talking to each other and enjoying our life together ever since," she said.

The appearance on the show, with four female interviewers, is part of Clinton's strategy to reach out to ordinary people through public diplomacy efforts. - - -

The entire story’s here.


My comments:

Reuters shouldn’t have described the interview as “a sideshow.”

For Secretary Clinton talking and thinking about herself - - what she wears, her press coverage, who’s adulating her, who’s funding her career, is her power growing or shrinking, and who are her enemies in what she’s called “a fast right wing conspiracy” --- are the most important things in the world.

Here’s a better headline for the story:
Secretary Clinton Ignores Issues To Talk About Herself.

Or this for a tabloid headline:

London Times "Hillary Rolls Out The Carpet" Cartoon

VP Biden, SoS Clinton, Sens. Reid and Kerry, Speaker Polosi, their flacks at the NY Times and in most of MSM keep telling us how "smart" America now looks to our European allies since we adopted President Obama's approach to world affairs.

And then there's this Gerald Scarfe cartoon in today's London Times - - -

Gerald Scarfe cartoon: March 8 2009

McClatchy, The Councilperson & Supermarket Ads

Last Sunday I posted McClatchy’s Bee Execs Didn’t Need The Latest Indignity.

The short of it: Davis, CA councilperson Sue Greenwald had some advice for the execs at McClatchy’s floundering Sacramento Bee. Here’s part of what she told them:

Newspapers and businesses have to learn how to advertise on the internet. There is no reason why on-line advertising, and hence revenues, should not be as effective as hard copy advertising.

I have been really missing the Safeway weekly specials and the Macy's sale ads since I went all-electronic.
Greenwald’s presumption she knows best and the Sacbee execs are dummies must have hurt since they justify their positions in part by touting their acumen in growing Internet traffic and ad revenue.

Drew commented on the post. I want to share some of what he said (italics) and offer some comments in response to him. (plain)

Drew began - - -

Ms. Greenwald's comments about the SacBee are interesting, if only to point out the hubris of many elected officials. She says that all the SacBee needs to do is get more advertising on their on-line site. Sure....why not? That's easy!

Of course, the steps involved in actually monetizing the advertisements is just a minor detail to politicians like Ms. Greenwald - who is going to pay the SacBee to put up advertising that they could put up on the very same internet by themselves? (emphasis added)

I'm sure that Safeway has a website, at which their coupons could be placed, and probably at a far smaller cost per customer than at the SacBee site.

Most supermarket chains I’m familiar have started doing something much like what the airlines did in the 90s when they were able to cut back on costly newspaper advertising by getting the public to use their internet sites and other travel sites to search for schedules and fares, especially sale fares.

Harris Teeter is a chain located in some Southern and Border states. For many years its had something called a VIC (Very Important Customer) program, You’re VIC card entitles you to sale specials and other benefits.

Last year HT started e-VIC. In exchange for letting HT email you once a week with the specials it also puts in the weekly ad insert in McClatchy’s Raleigh N&O, you can now get all the benefits of being a VIC member plus some benefits only available to e-VIC members.

Example: There’s a promotion on now. VIC members who for 14 of 16 weeks purchase $40 or more dollars in goods (beer and wine excepted) get a card worth $25 in gas at some local stations.

The offer is the same for e-VIC members except they get a card worth $50.

I’m sure even Councilperson Greenwald will in time come to understand what HT and other supermarkets are doing and why they won't need to do their online advertising at newspaper sites. The Sacbee execs surely do.

BTW – As Drew suggests, there is each week a special sale coupon available only to e-VIC members.

Take a look at HT’s e-VIC site here.

Drew continues - - -

But, to the elected officials, the actual means of making a profit off the web are just details.

To them, it's all the concept, not the practice. When the actual practice doesn't quite work out, you blame it on some other administration, or the other party, or Washington, or something else. In the interim, to the politicians, there's always more money to be had, since raising taxes is in fact a simpler detail than monetizing supermarket ads on the internet.

Thank you, Drew. You’re right about the supermarkets and the pols.

And thank you to McClatchy Watch where I first learned of Greenwald's ill-informed comments.

Obama and The Churchill Bust

First, thanks to all of you who called to my attention President Obama’s decision to remove the Churchill bust from the Oval Office and return it to the Brits.

I held off commenting on the story until now for a number of reasons I’ll discuss after first posting the following excerpts from a Feb. 14 Daily Telegraph story. If you’re familiar with the Telegraph’s story, you can skip down to below the star line where my comments begin.

From the Telegraph - - -

A bust of the former prime minister once voted the greatest Briton in history, which was loaned to George W Bush from the Government's art collection after the September 11 attacks, has now been formally handed back.

The bronze by Sir Jacob Epstein, worth hundreds of thousands of pounds if it were ever sold on the open market, enjoyed pride of place in the Oval Office during President Bush's tenure.

But when British officials offered to let Mr Obama to hang onto the bust for a further four years, the White House said: "Thanks, but no thanks."

Diplomats were at first reluctant to discuss the whereabouts of the Churchill bronze, after its ejection from the seat of American power. But the British Embassy in Washington has now confirmed that it sits in the palatial residence of ambassador Sir Nigel Sheinwald, just down the road from Vice President Joe Biden's official residence. It is not clear whether the ambassador plans to keep it in Washington or send it back to London.

American politicians have made quoting Churchill, whose mother was American, something of an art form, but not Mr Obama, who prefers to cite the words and works of his hero Abraham Lincoln. Indeed a bust of Mr Lincoln now sits in the Oval Office where Epstein's Churchill once ruled the roost.

Churchill has less happy connotations for Mr Obama than those American politicians who celebrate his wartime leadership. It was during Churchill's second premiership that Britain suppressed Kenya's Mau Mau rebellion. Among Kenyans allegedly tortured by the colonial regime included one Hussein Onyango Obama, the President's grandfather.

The rejection of the bust has left some British officials nervously reading the runes to see how much influence the UK can wield with the new regime in Washington.

Now it is likely that Gordon Brown will offer a alternative symbol of Anglo-American fealty when he visits Washington to meet Mr Obama for the first time since he became President. Diplomats are still working to finalise a date for the visit which is expected in the final week of this month or early in March. ….

The rest of the story’s here.


My Comments:

Americans understand that each President’s personal preferences govern to a large extent what items are displayed in the Oval Office. FDR surrounded himself with naval prints, paintings and ship models. So, to a lesser extent, did JFK. Ike favored paintings and prints reflecting themes from the American West. W favored art works from Texas.

So I have no problem with President Obama deciding he didn’t want the Churchill bust in the Oval Office.

But did he and his staff have to return it to the British in such a clumsy – here, take back your bust – way?

Of course not!

But even after acting in a clumsy manner, there was still an opportunity for Obama to redeem the situation.

And that’s why I didn’t comment at first.

Folks, I was hoping that between Team Obama’s clumsy return of the Churchill bust in early Feb. and PM Brown’s visit to The White House this past week, the two leaders and their staffs would arrange something that would eliminate concerns in reasonable minds that Obama meant to snub our closest and most important ally.

I was wishing for a graceful resolution of the matter in a way that would remind us all of the Anglo-American alliance’s paramount importance in maintaining freedom in the world.

Something like Obama asking Brown whether the British people (the Epstein bust is part of the national art collection) would consider making a permanent loan of the bust to the American people on condition that it be displayed in a prominent place in The White House as a symbol of the enduring friendship and alliance between our two peoples.

While Churchill reportedly didn’t like the Epstein bust, he'd have understood the symbolic value of placing the bust on display in one of The White House public rooms or perhaps the entry foyer used by heads of other nations and guests at state dinners.

If such a permanent loan of the bust could have been arranged, that would've been reason to hold a brief ceremony in The White House at which Brown and Obama could have spoken of the extraordinary symbolism of the event.

Epstein was British by adoption. He was born and grew up in New York City just a few miles from where the World Trade Center was attacked on 9/11. Examples of his work are here.

Churchill’s mother was born in Brooklyn; he was always proud of his American heritage.

Churchill was only the second person to be granted honorary American citizenship (Lafayette was the first). Although age prevented him from attending, a ceremony was held at The White House in 1963 at which President Kennedy spoke and made the citizenship presentation to Churchill’s son, Randolph, and grandson, Winston.

It’s often hard to correct mistakes. But in the case of the Churchill bust it would have been easy to get past Obama’s clumsiness and suggestion of snubbing to an act of grace reflecting appreciation for the best in the histories of Britain and the US.

But that didn’t happen; and you have to wonder why not.

During the later part of December 1941 and into January of 1942 Churchill, President Roosevelt and many of their top aides worked in Washington on a joint Anglo-American war strategy to defeat the Axis powers.

During that time Churchill stayed at The White House which he left on the morning of Dec. 26, 1941 to address a joint session of Congress. Here are the closing words of that address:

It is not given to us to peer into the mysteries of the future. Still, I avow my hope and faith, sure and inviolate, that in the days to come the British and American peoples will for their own safety and for the good of all walk together side by side in majesty, in justice and in peace.