Tuesday, September 30, 2008

How Does Patrick Murphy Top This?

This is simply the best campaign ad of the year.

Singing Their Little Hearts Out for Dear Leader

Some people are finding this downright creepy.

Spencerblog tends to agree.

UPDATE: This video has been removed from circulation out of what appears to be the belief that politically indoctrinating children by making them sing creepy We Love Obama songs looks bad.

A Father, A Son, A Debate

Adm. James Stockdale was an American military hero who became an object of ridicule, mostly by the cultural and political left, when he agreed to run as Ross Perot's VP candidate in 1992.

He died in 2005.

His son, Taylor, remembers his dad and what he put himself through for his country. And reminds us that debating skills aren't the true measure of any man... or woman.

The Leadership of Nancy Pelosi

We all know Karl Rove is a lying, satanic genius, but his analysis of the vote on the bail-out package is pretty darn strong. (Listen to the whole thing.)

Nancy Pelosi gave a pass on this vote to dozens of Democrats who were up for re-election, and committee chairs who owe their positions directly to her.

And John Gibson points out that if Barney Frank wanted to talk extraordinarily nice to a dozen "no" voters on the bill doesn't he have better contacts and more influence with Democrats than Republicans?

The bill is, after all, a much more bitter bill for conservatives to swallow than for liberals who generally approve of government intervention into all sectors of the American economy. It was Democrats who encouraged and allowed Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to be completely irresponsible -- and even criminal -- in its actions.

Not only don't the Democrats accept ANY responsibility for the crisis, they (Pelosi, Frank, et al.) lay the blame completely at the feet of the GOP for its free market principles. All this while the lending market itself was being corrupted by a Democrat-led government-protection racket. Some protection.

And then yesterday, Pelosi goes into partisan overdrive BEFORE the vote.

Either she was intentionally trying to hurt the bill's chances or she was being amazingly stupid and inept.

Voters hate the bill because A. They don't fully understand it (neither do the politicians who voted for and against it.) and B. They don't think it's right that people who have made terrible decisions (lenders and borrowers) should be rewarded for their irresponsible behavior.

While that may not be an accurate portrayal of what the bill does, it is an accurate portrayal of the public perception of it.

Where do we go from here? Well, Congress goes home for a vacation. The stock market lost $1 trillion in value yesterday. And Congress takes a vacation. Well, they're understandably tired from all their hard, if ineffective, work.

Last I looked, Congress' approval rating was 17 percent. Question: Who ARE those people? Visiting foreign terrorists waiting for their chance to destroy America? Just sit tight guys, you don't have to do a thing to attack the institutions of the West. We're doing a terrific job of committing economic suicide ourselves.

UPDATE: The WSJ weighs in.

Monday, September 29, 2008

The NYT Used to Get It

There was a time when the NYT seemed to understand the Fannie and Freddie's risky loan buying and lending posed a significant threat to the economy.

That was then (1999)... and this, well, is a bad time to bring all that up.

The Palin Smears Don't Stick

The Palin v. Alaska Special Olympics lie is put to rest here.

Spencerblog got it right here.

Palin's veto wasn't a cut, it was her declining to more than double the amount of funding.

UPDATE: The charging for the rape kits myth also bites the dust.

An Organized Crime

"WHAT exactly does a "community organizer" do? Barack Obama's rise has left many Americans asking themselves that question. Here's a big part of the answer: Community organizers intimidate banks into making high-risk loans to customers with poor credit."

Stanley Kurtz explains it greater depth.

What Lies Beneath: A Democratic Horror Story

Here's a pretty good video that shows how Democrats protected a corrupt and cancerous Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and the Democrats that ran it.

Even Bill Clinton weighs in and blames his fellow Dems for preventing his administration's and Republican calls for stricter oversight.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Frankly Speaking

The Globe's Jeff Jacoby lays blame where blame belongs for the subprime mortgage mess.

We're Almost Number One!

Hey, did you know that with a combined total of 41.5 percent, Pennsylvania has the second highest corporate tax rate IN THE WORLD? (Just keep scrolling down.)

We're only one-tenth of a percent behind Iowa. (Ireland's is 12.5 percent. No wonder its economy is booming. And Pennyslvania's is, well... not.)

Before he leaves office Ed Rendell should do all he can to make the Keystone State Number 1.

SE Delco vs. Rich Joseph

Part one and two of my columns on educator Rich Joseph and the nutty charges he is facing in Southeast Delco.

What a nightmare.

Obama's Bracelet

If this is true, this is an amazingly bone-headed thing for Obama to have done.

UPDATE: More here from ABC's Jake Tapper. Apparently, it IS true.

After giving Obama the bracelet, the soldier's mother asked Obama not to wear it or use his name in campaign events. Asked after the debate, the mother claimed to be "ecstatic" that Obama, against her stated wishes, did it anyway. The soldier's father, a reservist, is less pleased.

Even with the mother bailing him out, pretty bone-headed.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

So, What Happened?

I left when Arlen left.

Hey Arlen, Down In Front!

Phillies are winning 2-0. Jamie Moyer just walked. Did you see Sen. Arlen Specter behind home plate? How come he isn't in Washington, D.C. helping to figure out this financial meltdown mess?

UPDATE: What the hell. It's good to see a pol whose got his priorities straight.

UPDATE ii: Hey, wait a minute, you don't think he's rooting for the Nats, do ya'?

Butch, Fast Eddie, Hud, Henry, Luke R.I.P.

Paul Newman dies.

Dahlia Lithwick does a nice job remembering the kindnesses he showed to sick kids.

UPDATE: And how could we forget John "Because I can cut it, lady" Russell from Hombre and Frank Galvin from The Verdict.

Murtha Sued

Rep. John Murtha sued by Marine for Haditha remarks.

Murtha had no comment. About time he learned to keep his mouth shut.

The Sick and The Healthy

Thoughts on the financial sector "rescue plan" from a "Healthy Bank."

Sounds right.

A banker friend of ours says his bank (and many others) have done a good job of managing risk and are in very decent shape despite the mortgage meltdown. Of course, his bank wasn't big into sub-prime and no-doc lending.

As has been said before, the mess can be traced back to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac which bought, sold and guaranteed such stupid loans. And they did so at the behest of liberals and liberal groups who wanted to see home ownership made "more affordable" to minorities and lower middle class. Of course, home building associations and groups also pushed for the same thing.

With backing of these two quasi-government giants, Fannie and Freddie, a cheap-mortgage industry sprang up that encouraged people to take out loans they couldn't afford and wouldn't pay back.

Now, those same liberals, like Rep. Barney Frank, Sen. Chris Dodd and Barack Obama (who fought for the "right" of minorities in Chicago to be granted mortgages despite bad credit histories, etc.) refuse to accept any of the responsbility for the disastrous consequence of their hard-fought-for policies in action. Fiscally liberal and irresponsible Republicans also fell for the same claptrap.

The Lipstick Jungle

If you have a teenage daughter getting ready to go to college in the near future, read this.

And then get her to read it too.

Friday, September 26, 2008

BaRock n Roll

And now that the debate is over, let's dance.

The McCain-Obama Debate

Well how about that?

UPDATE: Spencerblog's scorecard: Obama did fine but McCain won on points. McCain obviously has a better and deeper grasp on foreign policy and world events. But Obama hung in there and never got knocked out. He did fine early. Then McCain nailed him on his having not been to Iraq until very late in the game and never having gone to Afghanistan and refusing to acknowledge that the surge in Iraq actually worked.

All that said, Obama was credible, smooth and agreed with McCain where he should have agreed with him. Disagreed where his own supporters would have disagreed and gave the undecideds no reason to think he would be a complete screwball as president.

McCain reminded those same undecideds that experience and knowledge matters. On foreign policy, McCain has and maintained his edge on Obama.

As Negotiations Continue...

What a fair deal would look like.

But will it work?

McCain-Obama Debate...

Game on.

Goodbye, Columbus

Inviting voter fraud in Ohio.

The Lost Boy

Joe Biden gets four Pinocchios from the Washington Post for his misrepresentations of the McCain healthcare plan.

"Don't tell me what you value. Show me your budget and I'll tell you what you value." - Joe Biden.

Can Biden even read a budget?

Racist? Nasty? Moi?

Someone named Terrence McGovern from Springfield has accused me of sending a "nasty, racist message" in my print column of two Sundays ago.

The column was about a woman named Cindy, a mother of three from Morton, who told me about an incident at the local K-Mart that involved her, a black woman, a shopping cart, a racial insult, a threat of physical violence, and then a bizarre shout of "Go Obama."

In a letter to the editor which can be found here, Mr. McGovern makes obvious his dripping contempt for a person I found to be a rather humble mother-of-three.

Readers can judge for themselves the tone of the column and whether it is "nasty" and "racist."

I will say such contempt for people like Cindy is becoming an unattractive hallmark of the left.

It is also becoming routine for many Obama supporters to accuse their candidate's detractors of being "racist." This is not helping their candidate. But it, apparently, makes them feel morally superior to people with whom they differ politically. And they won't give that feeling up for any mere political candidate.

Barney Chortles, While America Burns

Negotiations on the bailout deal have broken down. Democrats are blaming a split between conservative and more moderate Republicans.

There are principled reasons to be against any bailout. And no doubt Democrats want to lard any bill with "help to poor homeowners," like giving judges the power to reduce their mortgage payments if they find they can't pay them. (Passing such laws will make it even harder for middle class people will be able to get mortgages.)

The breakdown is said to be hurting John McCain's presidential chances. Tough.

Some Republicans appear to be more interested in getting the bailout right than who is the next president. Well, they should be.

Like McCain said, I'd rather lose an election than lose a war. Some Republicans should rather lose the White House than blow $700 billion.

Democrats, like Barney Frank, however, are less admirable. Frank is chortling over Republican dissention. This is unseemly for a man who was one of the great protectors of the crooked operators at Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

In 2003, he claimed there was no reason to "reform" the two lending giants or place more regulatory oversight over them, which is what the Bush Administration wanted to do. The same again in 2006, when McCain and other Republicans pushed for new regulations over the two.

Frank, as a powerful member of the House Financial Services Committee, bears as much responsibility as any politician in Washington for this mess.

But he's showing even less shame about it than when his boyfriend, Steve Gobie, got caught running a gay prostitution ring out of his Washington D.C. apartment 20 years ago.

Back then Frank excused his behavior as naive. He said he was just trying to help Gobie.

"I thought I was going to be a liberal who got involved directly with an individual who needed help, that I had an individual who was going to get help and he took me."

No doubt when you answer an ad from a gay newspaper that says: "Exceptionally good-looking, personable, muscular athlete is available. Hot bottom plus large endowment equals a good time," you're looking to "HELP" someone.

Right. That story is 20 years old. And Barney Frank has changed. He's gotten even MORE shameless.

No wonder the word "liberal" has become an epithet.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Spencerblog Announcement III

Spencerblog will be at the Locust Crest Tavern in Middletown tomorrow around 6 p.m.

As discussed, regular readers and posters to this blog are invited to stop in for a cold one.

Rain or shine.

Paulson to McCain: I Need Your Help

Those who are saying that McCain suspended his campaign as a political stunt, probably don't know this:

According to CBS' Bob Shieffer, Henry Paulson privately called McCain and urgently told him he needed his help in Washington to convince his fellow Republicans to support the bailout.

Many conservatives are against it, some on principled grounds while others Hate it, after hearing from their constituents who HATE it. For those in the middle, they need political cover, and they are hoping McCain can give it to them.

No word yet, on whether Paulson called Obama as well but it doesn't appear so.

In any case, Obama has been invited to be part of the bi-partisan solution.

Looking On the Bright Side...

... Andy Kessler says the Paulson proposal could be a great deal for taxpayers.

Blame Where the Blame Belongs

As far back as 2003, the Bush Administration pushed to tougher regulations over Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. At least, if the New York Times can be believed.

Money Qs:

The Bush administration today recommended the most significant regulatory overhaul in the housing finance industry since the savings and loan crisis a decade ago.
Under the plan, disclosed at a Congressional hearing today, a new agency would be created within the Treasury Department to assume supervision of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the government-sponsored companies that are the two largest players in the mortgage lending industry.

The new agency would have the authority, which now rests with Congress, to set one of the two capital-reserve requirements for the companies. It would exercise authority over any new lines of business. And it would determine whether the two are adequately managing the risks of their ballooning portfolios.
The plan is an acknowledgment by the administration that oversight of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac -- which together have issued more than $1.5 trillion in outstanding debt -- is broken. A report by outside investigators in July concluded that Freddie Mac manipulated its accounting to mislead investors, and critics have said Fannie Mae does not adequately hedge against rising interest rates. ...

The proposal is the opening act in one of the biggest and most significant lobbying battles of the Congressional session. ...

''The current regulator does not have the tools, or the mandate, to adequately regulate these enterprises,'' Mr. Oxley said at the hearing. ''We have seen in recent months that mismanagement and questionable accounting practices went largely unnoticed by the Office of Federal Housing Enterprise Oversight,'' the independent agency that now regulates the companies. ...

Significant details must still be worked out before Congress can approve a bill. Among the groups denouncing the proposal today were the National Association of Home Builders and Congressional Democrats who fear that tighter regulation of the companies could sharply reduce their commitment to financing low-income and affordable housing."

(Then the financial sage from the great state of Massachusetts weighed in)

''These two entities -- Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac -- are not facing any kind of financial crisis,'' said Representative Barney Frank of Massachusetts, the ranking Democrat on the Financial Services Committee. ''The more people exaggerate these problems, the more pressure there is on these companies, the less we will see in terms of affordable housing."

It was mostly the Democrats like Frank concerned about "low-income families" not being able to "buy" houses they couldn't afford that got us into this mess. Without Fannie Mae and Freddy Mac's willingness to buy up these bundled bad mortgages the greedheads would have had no one to whom to sell them.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

McCain Suspends Campaign...

... to go back to Washington to deal with the financial markets meltdown. He invites Obama to do the same to help bring a bipartisan consensus to what needs to be done.

Sounds almost presidential.

On The Inside Rail, Here Comes Obama

Citing financial markets crisis, WaPo reports Obama takes lead on McCain in poll.

Excitable Ed Markey

Tim Noah reports that on Black Monday, 1987, Democratic congressman Ed Markey exclaimed to him, "Isn't this exciting?"

If Markey got such an enormous kick out of Black Monday, he must be really enjoying himself this week.

That's Washington, Noah says.

Government involvement in the economy is going to be bigger and better than ever. Well, bigger anyway.

One For You, Two For Me

It sounds like George Will is against the government (elected and unelected officials) being so involved in the allocation of the nation's economic resources.

That horse has left the barn.

Just Joe Being Joe! Not that Joe, the Other One!

Spencerblog has heard of golden parachutes, but golden umbrellas?

Congressman Joe Sestak:

"We cannot let these executives go at all. They get no more than any other employees. No more golden umbrellas."

Newtown Square & BPG Working It Out

It appears the Newtown Square town center will eventually get built. The ridiculous delays and costs imposed on the project have benefitted no one, least of all the residents of community.

This deal should have been done at least a year ago, probably two and maybe even three.


The Wasting of Palin

Dan Henninger says it's time for McCain to let that gasket blow.

McCain should:

"Promise to spend the first two years on this historic political reform effort, and if a Democratic Congress laughs, promise to barnstorm in 2010 for a Congress willing to act, from any party.

"One hears talk of John McCain's temper. My guess is voters want someone to lose it with Washington, big time. Oh, and he should ask what's the difference between a reformist pit bull and a six-term senator. It isn't lipstick."

UPDATE: Link is good now.

So Long Fannie, Goodbye Freddie

Crony capitalism is the root cause of the subprime mortgage crisis.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Butch Biden and The Sundance Kid

You just keep on talkin' Joe, that's what you're good at.

Off With His Head

George Will wonders whether John McCain is fit for the presidency.

It doesn't sound like he's wondering.

Monday, September 22, 2008

McCain-Palin Will Pack 'Em In

We know the Media courthouse provides a nice backdrop, but if the GOP wanted even more people to show up for McCain-Palin, they should have had this shindig at Rose Tree Park, Linvilla Orchard, or the football stadium at Villanova

Palin drew 60,000 people in Florida.

Veterans Square is too small for the throng they're expecting.

Worst of all, it's going to screw up Italian Night at the Towne House.

Live From New York: Incest Jokes

We guess this is supposed to be funny but if you're a member of the Palin family it's probably not.

Spencerblog sarcastically suggested weeks ago, some left-wing bloggers might try to play the incest card, but NBC? As a joke, even on the New York Times it falls a little flat.

Saturday Night Live is also admitting this week it allowed Al Franken to contribute a skit idea skewering John McCain. Franken is an SNL alum and is angrily running the U.S. Senate in Minnesota.

Tina Fey did a great send up of Palin. Since then, SNL not so funny.

God, Caesar on Joe's Side?

Sunday, September 21, 2008

The Amityville Horror: A New New Deal

A history lesson from Amity Schlaes. The New Deal didn't help economic recovery in the 30s, it postponed it.

The Silly Season

FACTCHECK.org says Obama ad claiming McCain would cut social security benefits in half is FALSE.

Can't we just all agree that political campaigns routinely misrepresent the other side stop pretending that one side is morally superior than the other. If LIES are being told, they are being told by both sides to frighten and scare voters in the middle away from the other candidate.

Some ads will be worse - that is, more mendacious - than others and i'ts right to point out the falsehoods but let's not kid ourselves about what all politicians and they're handlers do.

It's No Way To Go Through Life

Suspected tax cheat Charles Rangel calls Sarah Palin "Disabled."

Palin doesn't call Rangel "fat, stupid and ethically challenged."

McCain Kristolized

A bad week for McCain.

Sometimes keeping your mouth shut is the smartest thing to do.

Showing What He Values

Joe Biden says "Don't tell me what you value. Show me your budget and I'll tell you what you value."

Or your tax returns.

Biden's show there is one thing he doesn't value: Charity.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Copycat Dump Biden Movement

HuffPo advocates Obama dump Biden for Hillary.

Spencerblog says imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.

Be Patriotic, Or Else!

Joe Klein agrees with Joe Biden: They call it "patriotic" for the wealthy to pay more taxes.

This is a wonderful formulation. Suddenly patriotism becomes compulsory.

After all, taxes aren't something we "ask" the wealthy, or anyone else to pay. It is demanded of them and us by law. Whatever the tax rate is, that is what citizens are required to pay.

Anyone who cares to is free to pay the government more than is required. That could be legitimately considered patriotic. Dumb but patriotic.

But voting to raise other peoples tax rates? Not so much.

Its kind of like compulsory volunteerism. Once you've coerced it, it ain't volunteering. What Klein and Biden are talking about isn't patriotism. It's subjugation.

Sex Ed for Dummies and 5 Year Olds

Some people are still claiming the McCain ad criticizing Barack Obama's support for comprehensive sex education for children as young as 5-years old is "a lie."

From the bill:

"Each class or course in comprehensive sex education offered in any of grades K through 12 shall include instruction on the prevention of sexually transmitted infections, including the prevention, transmission and spread of HIV AIDS. Nothing in this Section prohibits instruction in sanitation, hygiene or traditional courses in biology."

Later, it says all instruction and content will be "age appropriate" and parents can opt their kids out of it.

OK, if "each class" in which comprehensive sex ed if offered -- that is, kindergarten through 12th --, "shall" include instruction," (not may, not can, not could - SHALL include instruction) on prevention of sexually transmitted infection, AIDS etc. will someone please show us how that will be made "age-appropriate" for 5 and 6-year-olds. Puppets? Cartoon characters?

UPDATE: Sure, Obama tried to characterize his support for this bill in the most innocuous way possible and he's certainly entitled to do so. But the bill says what it says. What Obama voted for was "comprehensive sex education" all the way down to kindergarteners. And his supporters are the ones who are obfuscating if they say that he didn't.

A Commission? How Ridiculous!

Obama mocks McCain for considering the appointment of a "commission" to investigate the financial markets fiasco.

Hmmm. It appears Obama was for commissions before he was mocking them.

Obama Ad Fact-Checked, Fails

Can it be true? Saint Obama, dare we say, "lying" in a campaign ad about John McCain? We'll settle for saying the ad is misleading, unfair, and untrue. Other than that, it's fine.

UPDATE: Jonah Goldberg catches the Obama team screwing up another ad.

Money Q:

First, the ad is dishonest. McCain has been one of the Senate's leading authorities on telecom and the Internet.

In 2000, Forbes magazine called him the "Senate's savviest technologist." That same year, Slate's Jacob Weisberg gushed that McCain was the most "cybersavvy" of all the presidential candidates that year, a crop that included none other than Al Gore. Being chairman of the Senate Commerce Committee, Weisberg explained, "forced him to learn about the Internet early on, and young Web entrepreneurs such as Jerry Yang and Jeff Bezos fascinate him."

Weisberg, an Obama booster, now disingenuously mocks McCain as "flummoxed by that newfangled doodad, the personal computer."

"One reason McCain is not versed in the mechanical details of sending e-mail and typing on a keyboard is that the North Vietnamese broke his fingers and shattered both of his arms. As Forbes, Slate and the Boston Globe reported in 2000, McCain's injuries make using a keyboard painfully laborious. He mostly relies on his wife and staff to show him e-mails and websites, though he says he's getting up to speed."

What's happened to the Obama campaign? These are rookie mistakes. Their candidate's a rookie but his handlers aren't supposed to be.

UPDATE II: WaPo says this one is bad too.

"> this one is bad too.

If I've Lost Drew, I've Lost... Well, Not Much

During the Vietnam War Lyndon Johnson famously said, "If I've lost Cronkite, I've lost middle America."

Well Johnson lost Cronkite. And John McCain just lost... Elizabeth Drew.

Who? you ask.

She's the author of "Citizen McCain." She used to like him (when he was a loser) now, not so much. Funny, how that is with some people. As long a Republican loses nominations and elections, he's a great guy. Now that McCain has won one, and is in danger of winning another, he's "not a principled man."

Baloney. Agree or disagree with McCain he is more principled than MOST politicians.

When it comes to principles, Barack Obama -- and his record of sucking up to the Democratic machine in Chicago, a racist pastor for street cred, and an unrepentant domestic terrorist for a job handing out a $100 million for a failed education reform program -- is no Mahatma Ghandi.

Maybe Ms. Drew will turn to one of the lesser more principled candidates: Bob Barr or Ron Paul. She could even write-in Dennis Kucinich. He's principled. Crazy, but principled.

Show Us Your Pen!

George Will says John McCain should "show the country his veto pen."

It sounds dirty but he might be right.

There is much to be said for "divided government." It helps curb the excesses in each party because compromises have to be made to get things done.

And this is interesting, in periods of divided government, spending increases (on average) of 1.73 percent. When either Democrats or Republicans have both houses and the White House spending has gone up over 5.26 percent.

Dems control the house and senate and still will after this election. If Obama wins government spending will soar. Just remember where they get the money.

Palin's Title IX Flub

At a McCain-Palin campaign townhall get together:

"When asked by a former Hillary Clinton supporter to give details and examples of her "strategies and plan for economic empowerment for women," Palin provided few specifics.

"Now, I was a product of Title IX where legislation allowed that equal opportunity. Now if we have to still keep going down that road to create more legislation, to get with it in the 21st century, to make sure that women do have equality especially in the work place, then we're there because we understand that in this age we have all got to be working together," Palin said. "But yup, equality for women, for all, that's going to be part of the agenda and I thank you for that question."

Title IX has evolved into a quota system for gender parity in college varsity sports. When Palin was a kid, it wasn't. But it is now. She should know better.

All In The Family?

Ooh, this isn't good for Obama.

Here we have the head of Fannie Mae calling him and his colleagues in the Congressional Black Caucus "family."

CEO Daniel Mudd:

"At your behest, we loaned a lot of money to poor people who, being poor, can't pay it back, to buy homes they couldn't afford. But that's the American Dream and we're proud to have played a big part in making their dreams a nightmare, ruining their credit, forcing them into bankruptcy, and handing the bill to the American taxpayer, while my colleagues - some of whom are minorities - made hundreds of millions of dollars. Thanks a lot guys, you're the best."

We paraphrase but you get the picture.

Barney's Rubbish

The real culprit (one of them anyway) behind the Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac debacles.

McArdle Knows Twaddle

The Atlantic's Megan McArdle explains why Obama and other Bush critics are wrong to blame his administration for the meltdown of our financial markets.

Not having an MBA from the University of Chicago, Spencerblog doesn't understand half of what McArdle is talking about.

Be we can say this with confidence: Megan McArdle is smart. Very smart. Smart enough to be Vice President of the United States. If only she could field dress a moose.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Jesus=Barack=Adolph? Nah!

Uh, Jesus was NOT a community organizer, any more than Barack Obama is Adolph Hitler.

Still, you gotta admit Adolph as Barack is pretty funny.

Obama Took the Money and Kept Quiet

Ed Morrissey points out that while John McCain proposed reform for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac back in 2006, Barack Obama was accepting thousands of dollars from their lobbyists... and kept his mouth shut.

Oh yeah, and Obama doesn't even know what AIG stands for.

Read it all.

UPDATE: The "Jamie Gurilli" mentioned is a transcription error. It is actually the famous Jamie Gorelick, who wrote the famous Justice Department memo putting a wall between the intelligence services of the CIA and FBI. Gorelick's edict has been cited as one of the main reasons the 9/11 attacks were able to succeed so spectacularly.

After her service in the Clinton Administration she joined the board of yes, that's right, Fannie Mae where she played the part of crony capitalist ($26 million worth) amazingly well. Doug Ross has more on Jamie.

UPDATE II: And Mark Hemingway has a little more on McCain's efforts to reign in Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

Spencerblog Announcement II

Spencerblog has decided it is high time that main commenters on this blog get together to discuss their opinions, differences and the issues of the day - in PERSON.

Over beer!

Invited are:

David Diano, Randall, Steve McDonald, Bob, Jonas, and Pro-Gun Pro Christ.

We're thinking the Locust Crest Tavern, Friday evening, Sept. 26.

Who's in?

Greedy To A Fault

Samuelson on the market meltdown: Greed and recklessness, a bad combination

Rangel Angle III

The New York Post is now calling for Charlie Rangel to step down as the nation's top tax-writing offical.

Money Q:

"Charlie Rangel must be a centipede - given how many shoes have been dropping regarding his personal finances."

When the editorial pages of the New York Times and the Post agree on something we're all in trouble. But Rangel more so.

Spencerblog Announcement

For posters interested, go to the comments section.

Dems Look For Cover on Drilling

John Shadegg exposes the Democratic vote on off-shore drilling for what it is: a sham to provide political cover before the election while doing the bidding of anti-drilling environmentalists.

7th District Congressional Candidate Craig Williams is trying to hammer this as well.

"This bill is nothing more than a sham designed to provide political
cover for endangered Democrats like Joe Sestak," said Williams, in a press release. "This bill does little to increase access to
domestic energy resources while locking away access to the most
promising areas of oil recovery off our coasts. It locks away forever
access to 97 percent of the oil resources off the coast of California -
more than 10 billion barrels of oil. It also blocks access to drilling
of the coast of Alaska, fertile grounds for oil recovery that has never
before been restricted."

For What It's Worth...

Consider the source, but a well-known county Republican official tells Spencerblog that in speaking to one local union heavyweight, that while all the union PAC money is all going to Obama, his guys are going to vote for McCain.


Joe Does Delco

My print column on Biden's visit is up.

A taste:

"With the comet that is Sarah Palin soaring across the media sky, you practically need a nuclear telescope to see the collapsing star that is Joe Biden. Unless you come to see him in person yourself."

He was "fine."

Clinton Fundraiser Calls Obama "Arrogant"

Not good news for Obama. But it's not like he needs HER money, when he has HER money. And her friends'.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Shut Up, They Explained

It is one thing not to make a vice presidential candidate available to the press, it is quite something else to attempt to silence and smear authors just because you don't like what they have to say or because you've been ordered to do so by your preferred candidate.

McCain-Palin Imitates Art

It is becoming increasingly clear that before selecting Sarah Palin to be his running mate John McCain read Supreme Courtship the new comic novel by Christopher Buckley.

Spencerblog is reading it now and enjoying thoroughly for lines like this one:

"... the United States Congress, whose members understand their main job, their highest calling, their truest democratic function, is to take money from other states and funnel it to their own. What greater homage to the Founding Fathers and the men who froze at Valley Forge could there be than a civic center in Tulsa paid for by the taxpayers of Massachussetts?"

As for TV Judge Pepper Cartwright, President Donald P. Vanderdamp asks his steward at breakfast if he is familiar with her court TV reality show.

"Watch it every chance I get, sir."
"What do you think of the judge - Judge Pepper?"
"Oh," Jackson smiles, not servant to president, but man to man, "I like her a whole lot sir. She's a smart lady. She hands it out good. And she's awful..."
"Go ahead, Jackson."
Jackson grinned. "Awful easy on the eyes."

After having two highly qualified Supreme Court nominess torpedoed by a Bidenesque ideologue, Vanderdamp nominates Judge Cartwright and hilarity ensues.

Spencerblog bets McCain calls Palin "Pepper" in private.

Laughing Past the Gas Pump

Here's a pic of the Spencerblog scooter on steroids.

Obama DID Support Bill Commanding Sex Ed for Kindergarteners

Byron York looks at the Obama claim that a McCain ad "lies" about Obama's support for comprehensive sex ed right down to kindergarteners.

Turns out the McCain ad is correct.

Read it all.

Equal Pay for Equal Work?

Hey, check this out. When it comes to women's pay, Obama and Biden talk a good game but when it comes to what THEY pay women on their staffs... And then there's McCain.

Worm Man on Trial

There may be some people who might be wondering why an alleged pervert like Thomas Worman decided to go on trial for raping children and babies, instead of trying to cut a deal for a slightly lighter sentence.

After all, the evidence against him is mountainous. It includes videos of him actually commiting these brutal crimes. Videos he allegedly made himself. How does he expect to beat the rap?

Well, he doesn't. Odds are, given all the evidence they have against him, he wasn't offered much of a deal by the prosecution.

And going on trial gives him one last opportunity to get a rush, hearing his alleged crimes described.

Most criminals don't videotape themselves in the commission of their felonies. But sexual deviants are a different breed. Some of them, especially some pedophiles, get such a psychological charge recalling their crimes, they keep tangible trophies. And nothing recalls like videotape.

Pedophiles come in all psychological shapes and sizes, from the controlled and non-violent to the most out-of-control and brutal.

There are more than a few pedophiles walking around this country who admirably control, if not their impulses and attractions, at least their behavior. They do so out of a combination of fear, shame, and even the understanding that such behavior is evil.

Others don't. These are the predators who must be caught and put away forever.

Their crimes used to merit the death penalty but, the Supreme Court has recently ruled, such punishement is no longer justified or constitutional. Past such decisions have cited "evolving standards of decency."

Yes, you only have to look at our culture and you quickly notice how lighter prison sentences for monsters have contributed to the upswing in decency rampant across the country.

Anyway, Worman's trial continues, providing a window into the very soul of depravity.

An Entertaining Loss

Cowboys 41, Eagles 37. Oh, you already know that? Sorry for the reminder. Still, what a game, eh? And the Phillies tonight.

Rangel Angle II

JammieWearingFool comes up with the same idea as Spencerblog for a Republican ad blitz against Rangel for his tax problems (which are now up to $10,000.)

On this one - it's the photo, stupid.

Monday, September 15, 2008

A Fearless Hollywood Conservative

Came across this five-part interview with novelist Andrew Klavan. It's well worth the watch.

It got me interested in his writing and I found this piece in City Journal from last year.

Money Q:

"The thing I like best about being a conservative is that I don’t have to lie. I don’t have to pretend that men and women are the same. I don’t have to declare that failed or oppressive cultures are as good as mine. I don’t have to say that everyone’s special or that the rich cause poverty or that all religions are a path to God. I don’t have to claim that a bad writer like Alice Walker is a good one or that a good writer like Toni Morrison is a great one. I don’t have to pretend that Islam means peace."

A kindred spirit and wonderful writer. His new novel is "Empire of Lies." They were out of it at Barnes & Noble. Borders, here I come.

Doom and Gloom at CBS

CBS: "Sarah Palin Phenomenon is Doomed!"

According to CBS, the media will get bored with her and move on to something else.

Translation: They tried to take her down and failed. Time to admit defeat and depart the field.

Next up: The Joe Biden Phenomenon.

Obama and Ayers Sittin' in a Tree

More on the Obama-Ayers connection.

Ayers maybe the king of the left-wing nut jobs and no matter how much Obama tries to distance himself from him today, he owes Ayers, the unrepentant terrorist, for his start in Chicago politics.

You can't say Hillary didn't try to warn Democrats about this.

Doug Ross sums it up:

While the New York Times crack investigative staff is busily pursuing a 4-H pal of Sarah Palin's, they seem to have missed the biggest story of this election cycle.

Camera Tricks II

Atlantic Monthly now says it isn't going to pay the left-wing kook photographer who claimed she intentionally took unflattering photos of John McCain for its cover story to make him look bad.

Hey, they used the photo. They should pay her for it. Just because she's embarassed them doesn't obviate the Atlantic from paying her for what she provided.

According to Atlantic editor James Bennett:

“She has violated the terms of our agreement with her, of our contract with her so we’re taking steps. So we’re looking into what steps we can see to do something about that."

That must be some contract.

"That's MY Shopping Cart!"

My Sunday print column is up (belatedly).

Meet Cindy, white, mother of three, and humble non-voter.

Brain Shrink

Does This explain this?"

This, but not this.

Not So Fast!

Obama tried to SLOW troop withdrawls from Iraq? How odd!

The Rangel Angle

The NYT is calling for Charlie Rangel's gavel - but not his head - over his failure to pay some $5,000 in taxes on a vacation property he owns in the Dominican Republic.

From the editorial:

"Mounting embarrassment for taxpayers and Congress makes it imperative that Representative Charles Rangel step aside as chairman of the Ways and Means Committee while his ethical problems are investigated...

"Committee posts are not bestowed by voters. They are partisan privileges granted by leaders in Congress, and Ms. Pelosi must not cut slack for an ally. If Mr. Rangel refuses a temporary hiatus from his chairmanship, Ms. Pelosi should remove him permanently."

Temporary for the Times probably means until AFTER the November elections.

Rangel has also come under fire for taking advantage of New York City's rent control laws to acquire apartments and combine them in a particularly nice apartment building.

Both charges are very small potatoes.

But fully expect Republicans to use this photo of Rangel and copy like: "This is the guy who is in charge of writing our tax laws and he can't even keep his own taxes straight."

No wonder the NYT wants him gone, at least temporarily.

But one thing, why does the Times think "taxpayers" should be embarassed?

Camera Tricks

Hey, look how big Charlie Gibson is.

Spencerblog would say big deal, but then there's this bit of hijinks over at the Atlantic.

At least, the mag's embarrassed editor is condemning it. By way of explanation James Bennett said, "We don't vet our photographers by their politics."

Maybe some sort of ethics or mental health test would now be appropriate.

Hunting Palin

Al Hunt says the McCain Campaign is adopting a cynical strategy in bashing the press to protect Sarah Palin and her record from scrutiny.

Scrutiny, Mr. Hunt suggests, such as:

"Her decision to have a Down syndrome child this year and pledge to be an advocate for families with special-needs kids was inspiring for any family with such children. Why then did she veto a bill passed by the Alaska legislature increasing funding for the Special Olympics?"

Maybe because she thought Special Olympics already got enough state funding in Alaska?

Is there any law that requires elected officials to automatically increase funding for a program just because it might be seen to benefit one of their family members?

At least, Hunt characterizes her veto of this budget item as not increasing funding. Others in the media have claimed that she "slashed" and "cut in half" funding for Special Olympics in Alaska. For now I'm having trouble finding out. But it is not uncommon for interested parties to characterize the refusal of a proposed budget increase as a "cut."

Then there is this from the Los Angeles Times:

"In the budget she signed into law earlier this year, Palin approved a dramatic raise in spending on children who have what Alaska officials call “intensive needs,” including children who need nurses full time or cannot breathe without ventilators.

"When Palin took office, the state was spending $27,000 a year on each such child. The budget she signed this year raises funding to $49,000 per child. In three years, the amount will rise to $74,000, roughly equal to the $75,000 a year cost of educating such children."

Anyway, the media will continue to do its job scrutinizing Palin, not matter what the McCain campaign says. It should do so objectively and fairly and -- in the news pages -- with as little spin as possible.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

The Flip-Out Party

At HuffPo, Obama-fan Adam McKay says "We're Gonna Frickin' Lose This Thing."

Asked about whether Democrats are in panic mode, thoughtful liberal and excellent analyst Mara Liasson said you bet.

When the going gets tough... "Republicans," Mara said, "tend to hunker down and continue walking into the wind and Democrats tend to flip out!


Spencerblog Takes the Pundit Quiz

Having watched the media's reaction to Sarah Palin, Blogger Meryl Yourish has "a few questions" for the pundits out there "just to test their general knowledge of things" she's been reading about lately.

Since Spencerblog semi-qualifies as a pundit in his day job, we are happy to answer Meryl's questions.

Q: How do you field dress a moose? Please be specific and tell me what kind of equipment is generally used, and why you would do so in the first place.

Spencerblog: I have no idea how to field dress a moose but I'm betting it doesn't involve bonnets or overalls. If I ever find myself in a situation where this skill is necessary I sure hope Sarah Palin is around to help me.

Q: What is the Bush doctrine? Name the dates and times it was enunciated, and who was the first to describe it as such.

Spencerblog: It's George W. Bush's evolving approach to deal with threat of foreign terrorists and the countries that support them. It was first enunciated in 2002 and it continued to evolve right through 2005. It was pundit Charles Krauthammer who first coined the term. (Full disclosure: I read up on it again after left-wing media pundits made such a big deal of Sarah Palin not seeming to have a strong grasp on what it was.)

Q: How old were you when you got your first passport? If you weren’t a reporter, do you think you would have gotten one? Be honest.

Spencerblog: I was 43. I got it to go to Helsinki, Finland to play in an age-appropriate world basketball tournament. Being a reporter had nothing to do with it.

Q: Do you go to church, synagogue, or any other house of religion on a regular basis?

Spencerblog: No.

Q: If your teenaged daughter got pregnant, would you mind if your colleagues in the media investigated the story and threatened to leak it to the public? (This is mostly for nationally-known reporters; reporters from small towns can skip this question and move onto the next.)

Spencerblog: I'm not nationally known but I'll answer the question: Yes, I would mind.

Q: Do you think all feminists must be pro-choice or they are not “really” feminists?

Spencerblog: No. There's a group called Feminists for Life. They say they're feminists and I have no reason to doubt them.

Q: Are you a registered member of either party? If yes, which one?

Spencer: No.

Q: Whom did you vote for in the past four (if applicable) presidential elections?

Spencerblog: The Republican.

Q: Did you contribute any money to a presidential campaign? If so, which one?

Spencerblog: No.

Q: True or false: If you’re not voting for Obama in November, you’re a racist.

Spencerblog: False.

Q: True or false: If you don’t think Sarah Palin is a good vice-presidential candidate, you’re a sexist.

Spencerblog: False.

Palin in Comparison on SNL

Tina Fey was very funny as Sarah Palin on SNL last night. She captured the Democratic/media caricature of Palin as a ridiculously stupid, vapid and inept ditz perfectly.

Meanwhile, The New York Times reports that Palin is every bit the sharp, tough, vindictive pol we've come to expect to run for national office. (Blogger Tom Smith is horrified to learn such things.)

Prediction: Palin will appear on SNL herself soon to show that she too has a pretty good sense of humor.

UPDATE: The prospect of a Palin Presidency has NYT's former theater critic Frank Rich soiling himself along with his paper's OP-ED page.

UPDATE II: New link to the SNL video above.

We're ALL GONNA DIE!... Well, Eventually

The super-collider and the earth-eating black hole hysteria, Prof. Kaku explains why there is no need for worry.

Media in Palin Quagmire

Bill Kristol points out several media howlers in their efforts to embarrass Sarah Palin.

He concludes:

Sarah Palin is quickly proving to be more than a match for the mad, mad media. Having foolishly started a war with her that they can't win, the liberal media would be well advised, for once, to implement their own favorite war-fighting strategy: cut and run.

Good advice.

UPDATE: Meanwhile, the Washington Post admits there are different versions of the "Bush Doctrine." So maybe Palin isn't as stupid as "one of the finest political journalists of his generation" claims.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

The Palin Effect

New Hampshire Republican Sen. John Sununu is in a tough race to retain his senate seat but it's looking better and better for him since John McCain chose Sarah Palin to be his runningmate. Not only for him but polls show Republicans all over the country are polling better and closing gaps with their Democratic opponents.

Call her "Rising Tide" Palin because she lifts all Republican boats.

A former businessman, Sununu reports one of his biggest applause lines on the stump is: "I am NOT a lawyer."

McCain and Palin ought to use the line too. Neither is a lawyer, nor beholding to the ambulance-chasing trial bar.

The Democratic ticket on the other hand... is Lawyers Squared. (I'm not sure that mathematically correct but it sounds good.)

Get A CLU!

The ACLU has its underwear in a bunch over new FBI surveillance rules.

Let's hear what the presidential candidates and their VPs have to say about them.

Bob Herbert, In the New York Times, With the Candlestick

New York Times Columnist Bob Herbert declares Sarah Palin to be not only "clueless" but "absolutely clueless."

Not only didn't she know what the "Bush Doctrine" was, claims the clueful Herbert, she's all confused about who we're fighting in Iraq and why.

He writes:

"I feel for Ms. Palin’s son who has been shipped off to the war in Iraq. But at his deployment ceremony, which was on the same day as the Charlie Gibson interview, Sept. 11, she told the audience of soldiers that they would be fighting “the enemies who planned and carried out and rejoiced in the death of thousands of Americans.”

"Was she deliberately falsifying history, or does she still not know that Iraq and Saddam Hussein had nothing to do with the Sept. 11 attacks?"

But it isn't Palin who's being clueless here, it's Herbert.

You would expect a man who has risen to be an OP-ED columnist at the New York Times would have heard of al Qaeda in Iraq. Al Qaeda, the very terrorist organization responsible for the Sept. 11 attacks declared Iraq its central front in its war against the United States. Does Herbert think al Qaeda in Iraq has nothing do with Osama bin Laden's larger terrorist network?

Perhaps his own newspaper confused him by referring to al Qaeda in Iraq as al Qaeda in Mesopotamia for so many years. But he must know that al Qaeda was responsible for the 9/11 attacks. Right?

Perhaps Herbert was confused by a Washington Post Sept. 11 story that mistakenly asserted the same thing.

According to the Post's Anne Kornblut's story:

FORT WAINWRIGHT, Alaska, Sept. 11 -- Gov. Sarah Palin linked the war in Iraq with the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, telling an Iraq-bound brigade of soldiers that included her son that they would "defend the innocent from the enemies who planned and carried out and rejoiced in the death of thousands of Americans."

(The Post has since rewritten part of the story for its web site but has shamefully not issued a correction.)

Anyway, there is nothing "clueless" about telling outgoing troops to Iraq that they are going to defend the innocent from enemies who planned and cheered the deaths of thousands of Americans.

Al Qaeda in Iraq has been severely crippled and is on the run. But it still has agents there who love to kill Iraqi civilians who have chosen to ally themselves with us over them.

Which raises the question: Is Herbert deliberately distorting Mrs. Palin's comments to the troops or is he just being stubbornly ignorant?

A Woman, A Cab Driver and A Conversation

This just slayed me.

UPDATE: The "woman" is Amy Finnerty, a New York journalist, and I so liked her writing in the above piece I looked for others. The first one I came across was a year-old interview with British novelist Martin Amis.

In the interview, Amis brings a very discerning (and decidedly English) eye to George W. Bush.

A taste:

Mr. Amis, famous son of a famous writer, now talks about Mr. Bush, son of a president, as one might a literary character: "I'm very interested in how his whole persona has changed. Do you remember around 2002 and 2003, his body language was that of someone looking for a fight? Even his walk was very drunk with power. . . . Now his upper lip has stopped working. He can't smile. I'm glad to see it. Think of the difference between Lincoln at the start of the Civil War and Lincoln at the end: this beautiful man, emaciated by war, by the distress and pain of it. And Bush is showing it, in his sinews and his glands. It's taking a very heavy toll on him. And so it should."

... In a deeper deconstruction of the president's soul, however, Mr. Amis gives him credit for exceptional social courage. "In one veteran's hospital alone . . . Bush has made 35 visits to severely injured troops, and that's a lot. If I were president I'd try to keep it down to three, or perhaps two, or maybe one. Or maybe not visit at all. I mean, it's so impossibly painful. Some people have said to me that they think . . . it's very emotional and that he's addicted to that. But I'd give him the benefit of the doubt and say, that's brave to do that, to go and confront the results of your policies."

Good stuff.

Hitler Was A Community Organizer?

I even dare Democrats to say THIS isn't pretty funny.

UPDATE: Hitler hasn't been this mad since the Cowboys lost to the Giants. (Warning: Hitler uses bad words.)

McClellans v. Bush and his Grant

Bill McGurn on Bob Woodward's new book, "The War Within" and the play-not-to-get-hurt incompetence of the generals in charge in Iraq until Bush found David Petraeus.

Money Q:

"When Abraham Lincoln famously sent word to Gen. George McClellan that he'd like to "borrow" the army if the general wasn't planning on using it, the commander of Union forces likely did not take it kindly. McClellan, after all, was a man whose letters home referred to Lincoln as an "idiot," "a well-meaning baboon" and other colorful language."

Read the whole thing.

Spencerblog's own favorite Lincoln line concerning his generals during the civil war came in response to being informed Ulysses S. Grant was a drunk.

"...Find out what brand of whiskey Grant drinks," Lincoln replied, "... because I want to send a barrel of it to each one of my generals."

McClellan went home to run for president as the Democratic nominee against Lincoln in 1864. He lost.)

Grant and Sherman went on to win the war.

Bottoms up!

UPDATE: For a nice and generous review of a new book by Daniel Mark Epstein about The Lincolns and their marriage click here."

A New Entry for the DSM IV

Howie Carr recognizes a new psychiatric disorder and some of its sufferers.

Money Q:

"It’s America’s newest disease - only diagnosed by some in the media a few days ago - but it is spreading among the nation’s Beautiful People at an alarming rate.

"You know it by its initials - PDS. Palin Derangement Syndrome.

"You can watch the victims of PDS on TV every night, frothing at the mouth in front of Obama banners, repeating scurrilous lies lifted from left-wing blogs or just making up new whoppers as they go along. It’s an epidemic - Palin Derangement Syndrome swept through MSNBC studios this week and claimed two anchors, who are survived by dozens of viewers."

Carr is kind enough to withhold the last names of some of the Beautiful People so as not to embarass them. Still, you might be able to figure out who they are.

Beep Beep!

Wile E. Reporter (Gotchas Gibsonius?) attempts to fry up Sarah Palin (Hockimomus Alaskus) for dinner.

He's got to catch her first.

Things go wrong.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Sarah Palin is Stupid, Says Smarty Pants Dick Polman

Political genius Dick Polman scoffs at Sarah Palin's performance during in her interview with ABC Newsman Charles Gibson.

And Polman has the credentials to do it. As his bio reads:

"Cited by the Columbia Journalism Review as one of the nation's top political reporters, and lauded by the ABC News political website as "one of the finest political journalists of his generation," Dick Polman is a national political columnist at the Philadelphia Inquirer. He is on the full-time faculty at the University of Pennsylvania, as "writer in residence..." and completely full of himself. Oh sorry, the bio leaves that last part out.

Here's Polman:

But the highlight of the interview was the exchange that began when Charlie Gibson simply asked, "Do you agree with the Bush doctrine?"

And she froze. One second passed, two seconds...Then this reply: "In what respect, Charlie?"

Clearly, she had no idea what he was talking about. This person is supposedly ready to assume the presidency on a moment's notice, yet she had no clue about the signature foreign policy doctrine of the Bush era, as enunciated in a 2002 speech, and subsequently in the 2002 National Security Strategy, declaring that the United States reserves the right to launch preventive wars against potentially hostile regimes - or, as the document put it, against "emerging threats before they are fully formed."

Actually, the "Bush Doctrine," such as it is, has evolved somewhat over the past several years so that even the most seasoned pol might be a little taken aback by the question.

According to Wikipedia:

"The Bush Doctrine is a term used to describe various related foreign policy principles of United States president George W. Bush, enunciated in the wake of the September 11, 2001 attacks.

"The phrase initially described the policy that the United States had the right to treat countries that harbor or give aid to terrorist groups as terrorists themselves, which was used to justify the invasion of Afghanistan.[1]

"Later it came to include additional elements, including the controversial policy of preventive war, which held that the United States should depose foreign regimes that represented a supposed threat to the security of the United States, even if that threat was not immediate (used to justify the invasion of Iraq), a policy of supporting democracy around the world, especially in the Middle East, as a strategy for combating the spread of terrorism, and a willingness to pursue U.S. military interests in a unilateral way.[2][3][4]

Still later, "Another part of the intellectual underpinning of the Bush Doctrine was the 2004 book The Case for Democracy, written by Natan Sharansky and Ron Dermer, which Bush has cited as influential in his thinking.[16] The book argues that replacing dictatorships with democratic governments is both morally justified, since it leads to greater freedom for the citizens of such countries, and strategically wise, since democratic countries are more peaceful, and breed less terrorism, than dictatorial ones."

All that is to say is that Gibson's question was hardly as simple as Polman makes it out. Given the various definitions, her asking "In what respect, Charlie?" is perfectly reasonable.

But Polman can't help himself.

"Apparently her tutors had neglected to provide that particular index card.

"The torture continued. Gibson, asked again about the doctrine: "The Bush - well, what would you interpret it to be?"

"Now she was really lost, so she hazarded a guess: "His world view?"

"It was like hearing an English teacher ask a student for her interpretation of Nathaniel Hawthorne's The Scarlett Letter, and the student, not having read the novel, responding, "Human nature?"

Actually, it was nothing like that. It was nothing like that at all.

It was a lot more like a TV journalist trying to play the old gotcha' game in front of a national TV audience and... failing. By posing a question that not even he fully understood, Gibson looks far more ridiculous, in retrospect, than she did.

For more on this check this out.

Oh, and something "one of the finest journalists of his generation" failed to mention about Gibson's interview was his awful misquoting of Palin in an attempt to characterize her as some sort of religious nut.

Jim Lindgren explains it very well over at the Volokh Conspiracy.

As for Polman, it is just this sort of heavy-handed, left-leaning, condescending slam jobs some "top political reporters" try to pass off as objective analysis that is helping to drive independent voters over to the McCain-Palin ticket in droves.

UPDATE: For a fairer and more insightful analysis of the Gibson Palin interview try UPI.com's Martin Sieff.

A McCain Cameo

Reason number 45,234 to vote for John McCain: He appeared in "Wedding Crashers," which Spencerblog happens to be watching right now on TNT.

Sarah Palin: Moderate Governor

USA Today discovers that Palin isn't the right-wing ideologue and kook, many left-wing bloggers and some in the MSM see in their nightmares and fever swamps.

Senator Gaffe

Gaffe-prone Joe Biden "sometimes his mouth gets ahead of his brain."

UPDATE: John Fund picks up on Biden's Hillary problem - and his gums, which flap at about the same rate as a hummingbird's wings.

Trig Palin: Target/Blessing

James Taranto calls the targeting of 4-month-old Trig Palin what it is, "depraved" and explains why.

Meanwhile, Michael Franc writes a touching letter to the Palin kids explaining their luck in having Trig for a brother.

Why Obama is in Trouble: His Words Don't Match His Deeds

Gerard Baker explains to his fellow Europeans when the American presidential race is too close for comfort.

Money Q:

"They look upon John McCain and Sarah Palin and see something out of hag-ridden history: the wizened old warrior, obsessed with finding enemies in every corner of the globe, marching in lockstep with the crackpot, mooseburger-chomping mother from the wilds of Alaska, rifle in one hand, Bible in the other, smiting caribou and conventional science as she goes."

.... and yet. Read the whole thing.

Constitutional Scholar Whoopi Goldberg

The View's Whoopi Goldberg asks John McCain if she has to worry about "becoming a slave again" if he becomes president.

Justin McCarthy explains why she needn't be too concerned, it's something having to do with the 13th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

That McCain refrained from calling her a lunatic and lied instead, saying she had made an "excellent point" shows he has achieved the presidential temperment needed to suffer fools gladly.

Katha Pollitt: Palin Hater

Below find a rant by angry feminist Katha Pollitt on Sarah Palin along my comments in parenthesis.

"John McCain chose the supremely under-qualified Sarah Palin as his running mate partly because she is a woman. If you have a problem with that, you're a sexist."

(Or you might say, The Democratic Party chose the supremely under-qualified Barack Obama as their presidential candidate partly because he is partly black. If you have a problem with that, you're a racist.)

"She talks incessantly about being a mother of five..."

(Incessantly? Really? Incessantly?)

"... and uses her newborn, Trig, who has Down syndrome, as a campaign prop."

(Unlike Obama whose cute daughters have never been so used because he really loves them, you know because they're perfect and NOT handicapped.)

"If you wonder how she'll handle all those kids and the Veep job too, you're a super-sexist."

(As opposed to Obama who only has two kids, a much more sustainable number and a Ivy-League trained wife to "handle" them, which isn't sexist, it's just the natural order of things.)

"When do they ever ask a man that question?" charges that fiery feminist Rudy Giuliani. Indeed, Palin, who went back to work when Trig was three days old, gets nothing but praise from Phyllis Schlafly, James Dobson and the folks at National Review, who usually blame all the ills of modern America on those neurotic, harried, selfish, frustrated, child-neglecting, husband-castrating working mothers."

(So the answer to the question: when do they ever ask a man that question? is... Schlafly, Dobson and those National Review guys are jerks. So says a real and caring working mom.)

"Even stranger, her five-months-pregnant 17-year-old, Bristol, gets nothing but compassion and respect from Bill O'Reilly, Rush Limbaugh and others who have spent their careers slut-shaming teens for having sex--and blaming their parents for letting it happen."

(She's got us there.)

"If there were an Olympics for hypocrisy, the Republican Party would have more gold medals than Michael Phelps."

(As opposed to the Democratic party and its feminist leaders who pushed stronger and tougher anti-sexual harassment laws and then had nothing but compassion and respect for Bill "Kiss It" Clinton when he lied under oath during a sexual harassment lawsuit. For gold medals in hypocrisy, think China.)

"And Palin would be wearing quite a few of them. It takes chutzpah for a mother to thrust her pregnant teen into the world's harshest spotlight and then demand the world respect the girl's privacy."

(She asked the world to respect her daughter's privacy. The journalists, bloggers, commentators and campaign strategists in that world can "respect" it or not. The voters will draw its own conclusions and decide who THEY respect more.)

"But then it takes chutzpah to support criminalizing abortion and then praise Bristol's "decision" to have the baby."

(Seems totally consistent to me. As of now -- and probably forever -- abortion is perfectly legal. Bristol Palin decided to have her child based on her own family's "values," despite the sneering ridicule of angry feminists like Pollitt.)

"The right to decide, and privacy, after all, are two of the things Palin wants to deny every other woman, and every other family, in America."

(Well maybe. When it comes to "rights," Sarah Palin sides more with an unborn baby's unconstitutional -- but maybe God-given -- right to life than its mother's manufactured constitutional right to kill it. And if she wanted to deny every woman in America their abortion rights why, when pro-lifers pushed her to help further restrict abortions in her home state, did she decline.)

"Palin's even said she would "choose life" if her daughter was pregnant from rape."

(Does Pollitt believe rape victims shouldn't be allowed to "choose" life?)

"Can't you just hear Bristol groaning, "Mo-om...!"

(Actually, no. But I can hear Katha groaning, "I can't belieeeeeeve Obama's actually gonna' lose this thing.")

"The Republicans bashed Barack Obama as a "celebrity," but now they've got a star of their own, so naturally the rules have changed. "

(Naturally, welcome to the hypocritical world of politics.)

"Nothing would suit them better than for the media to spend the next two months spellbound by the wacky carnival on ice that is the Palin family: "

(Please, Please Katha, continue to serve as the left-wing media's hatchet gal/ringleader)

"Todd, aka the First Dude, (sneer) the kids, (too many) Levi the hunky bad-boy dad-to-be--well, maybe not him so much after his expletive-adorned MySpace page briefly came to light ("I'm a f------ redneck"; "I don't want kids"--whoops). The snowmobiles, (double sneer) the moose burgers, (triple sneer) the guns, (horrified sneer) the hair, (jealous much?) the glasses that are flying off America's shelves - starting at $375 a pair, and she has seven."

"Fretting over the work/family issue alone should take up enough column inches to employ all the female journalists in America from now to next Mother's Day."

(You go, girls.)

"And don't forget that op-ed staple, What Does This Mean for Feminism?

"Well, I'm not playing."


I don't care about Sarah Palin's family.

(Huh? You don't? You sound like you care. A lot, in a contemptuous, sneery sort of way.)

I don't care if she's a good mother.

(But, she's not right. I mean, how could she be serving up all those hairy moose-burger and non-terminated pregnancies? Spending all that money on eye glasses when it could have been better more economically spend on, let's see, about five abortions.)

"I don't care if she's happily married, or who shops and who vacuums, or who takes care of the kids while both parents are at work..."

(OK, but it seems millions of other American women and men are kind of interested.)

"... I don't want her recipe for caribou hot dogs, either."

(Can't you just see little Kathy Pollitt sitting in a high school lunch room with her best -- and maybe only -- friend saying, "See that girl over there. No that one, in the oh-so-cute skirt and all her adoring friends? I hate her guts!")

Now excuse me while I google Sarah Palin's caribou hot dog recipe. There's more but I'm hungry.

There Goes the PETA Vote

Oh no. Pamela Anderson can't stand Sarah Palin.

All is lost.

Obama's Drag on the Dems

Oops! A new poll.

It's 3 a.m., "Hillary! Hillary, are you there? Can I come over?"

Calling Tom Petty

Chucky the K explains Obama in free fall.

Live by celebrity, die by celebrity.

Community Disorganized

Spencerblog is coming late to the "community organizer" party but we just read this story by USA Today's Jill Lawrence.

'Community Organizer' Slams Attract Support for Obama.

Lawrence writes:

ST. PAUL — Some of the loudest roars at the Republican convention this week came when vice presidential pick Sarah Palin and former New York mayor Rudy Giuliani made fun of Democrat Barack Obama's experience as a community organizer. Hours later, the Obama campaign started raising money off the jokes.

"They insulted the very idea that ordinary people have a role to play in our political process," campaign manager David Plouffe wrote Thursday in an early-morning fundraising e-mail. "Let's clarify something for them right now. Community organizing is how ordinary people respond to out-of-touch politicians and their failed policies."

It is also how the likes of the Rev. Al Sharpton and groups like ACORN attempt to shake down "the man" for their share of the political pie.

There are community organizers and then there are community exploiters, poverty pimps, political agitators and race hustlers.

ACORN, one of the biggest organizations of "community organizers" in the country, is well-known for its cavalier attitude toward election laws. Its voter registration drives are infamous for including phony names, dead people, and the like. "Getting Democrats Elected By Any Means Necessary" could be their motto.

At the GOP convention Rudy Guiliani and Sarah Palin mocked and attempted to include Barack Obama as among their ilk.

Certainly, he has moved on to bigger and better gigs, while Rev. Al, Jesse Jackson and other less famous and more selfless COs stayed in their communities to do God's work.

Lawrence gives leaders of the CO movement plenty of room to describe their good and important deeds. But the idea of a backlash hurting the McCain-Palin ticket is left-wing wishful thinking.

It is the Obama campaign and its supporters that went after and mocked Palin for being nothing but a small town mayor (conveniently ignoring that she is the very popular governor of one of the biggest states in the union.)

When Palin and the Republicans hit back, they caught Obama flush on the chin.

The political fact is the constituency that Obama must win over to win the election is white, middle-class women. And they are among the groups not impressed with the work that "community organizers" have done in America's cities mainly because urban communities look more dysfunctional and disorganized than ever.

The problems in America's cities aren't caused because communities are being unfairly deprived of social programs and other people's money. The problems (crime, addiction, one-parent and no-parent families, gangs) are cultural and there is nothing harder than changing a dysfunctional culture. Guys like Bill Cosby get it. Guys like Al Sharpton and Jeremiah Wright don't.

There are many inner-city community servants, who truly do the daily work of trying to help the addicted and comfort the afflicted. Others try to educate kids in God-awful public schools that teachers union refuse to allow to be reformed. And still others help their less-able neighbors shop, pay bills, and try to protect them from the predators that lurk their streets.

But we have seen too many ambitious self-promoting frauds and shake-down artists come out of the CO tradition to be impressed by seeing that on anybody's resume.

Obama isn't attracting more support because of Palin and Guiliani's bashing of (for want of a better term) the community organizer community, he already had that support in droves.

The Republican counter-attack against the Obama campaign and its clumsy, condescending mockery of small-town America has been nothing short of brilliant.

Obama in 08th of an Ounce?

Local heroin dealers are using the name and image of Barack Obama to hawk their product.

"We've seen Jesus, stars, spiders, all kinds of stuff, but not very detailed. They look more like a little kid's rubber stamp," said city Narcotics Capt. Alan Davis.

He said the (OBAMA) stamp signifies a specific dealer, or a group working together.

Hmmm. Could it be that Delaware County GOP to cleverly remind people of the Democratic nominee's youthful drug use?

Nah, probably not. They're sinister and clever. But not that clever.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Obama/Clinton 08?

Imagine this:

Obama continues his slide in the polls against John McCain. Traditionally, there is a lag and there is every reason to believe things are going to get worse for Obama before they get better.

Woman are flocking to Palin, digging her and her story. Even though she is not a liberal Democrat, she is a strong, attractive, empowering female political presence.

Obama and the Democrats realize (in fact, many have already realized) their candidate made a terrific blunder in not selecting Hillary Clinton as his running mate.

So... a reason is found for Joe Biden to leave the ticket. Some minor illness is discovered. Something. And suddenly Obama can offer the vice presidency to Hillary Clinton again.

Would that help his prospects on Election Day? A pretty clever friend of mine thinks it would. And given the Democrats desperation to control all three branches of government, he would not be surprised if it actually happens.

Considering what the Dems pulled in New Jersey a few years back when they had a mortally wounded Senate candidate in Robert Torricelli, it might.

Facing corruption charges Torricelli dropped out of the race and the Dems replaced him with Frank Lautenberg despite the fact that it violated state election laws, which the liberal State Supreme court ignored.

There would be nothing illegal about forcing Biden out and replacing him with Hillary. The only question is would she take it. And how bad would it make Obama look.

Watch the polls. And maybe we'll see.

My friend thinks if the Dems pulled this, they'd win. I don't. But I think it would make the race a lot closer.

UPDATE: Democrats on the hill are getting jittery.

Live: From the Gates of Hell

Weak and unable to launch any significant terrorist attacks in years, Al Qaeda decides to commemorate 9/11 with a video.

Oooooh. Scary!

Lott's of Good Palin Stuff

The former Democratic governor of Alaska Mike Gravel is asked about Sarah Palin by the left-wing ideologues and so-called journos at Pacifica Radio. His answers are surprisingly pro-Palin.

Prof. John Lott (formerly of Swarthmore) found the audio and put it on his website.

(Lott's son, by the way, goes to Strath Haven High and made his way into one of my print columns when Obama was in town.)

Lipstick on a Pig

Spencerblog doesn't know this guy but he's dead on about the "pig wearing lipstick" story.

It is so lame of Republicans to start crying sexism and pretending to be all offended by Obama's remarks. Pretending the media is sexist just won't wash either.

In general, journalists are just trying to find out who Sarah Palin is.

So far, so fair.

Whining is for Democrats. Sarah's a big girl. She can take it and if she can't she should take a hike back to Wasilla.

The GOP isn't doing its brand any favors by acting like a bunch of defensive crybabies.

UPDATE: Not that some on the hard left haven't gone completely round the bend, as Roger Simon notes.

Punch Plagiarizing Politicians

Tom Smith takes a wrecking ball to Jeffrey Rosen's sycophantic puff piece on the constitutional-scholar ticket of Biden and Obama.

But something jumped out at me from Rosen's piece. He quotes Biden from Biden's own autobiography and offers commentary.

From Rosen's piece:

""The one thing my mother could not stand was meanness," Biden writes. "She once shipped my brother off with instructions to bloody the nose of a kid who was picking on smaller kids. ... Religious figures and authority figures got no exemption. They abuse their power, you bloody their nose..."

"This visceral distaste for abuses of power has undergirded his passionate defense of the right to privacy. Call it the blue-collar view of civil liberties: You defend the little guy against the bullying intrusions of government."

What is so interesting about this is that Biden in his acceptence speech said that it was HE who his mother sent out to bloody the nose of the bullies.

"Joey, go bloody their nose so that you can walk down the street." Biden quoted his mother.

Odd isn't it that in his own autobiography, Biden said that "once" his mother sent his "brother" off to fight the bullies, but didn't mention her sending HIM.

Spencerblog didn't read Biden's book so maybe Rosen left out the part about Joey Biden punching the bullies in their noses but that would be odd.

Is this another case of Joe Biden appropriating biographical material from another person's life to puff himself up?

Sure sounds like it.

Biden may have a visceral distaste for the bullying intrusions of government. But he obviously doesn't have a visceral distaste for plagiarism. And still doesn't.

She's Just Too Good To Be True!

Karl Rove has some excellent advice for Barack Obama: Forget Palin!

But he just can't seem to get her out of his head!

Spencerblog is Back...

... after a Mrs. Spencerblog arranged 5-day cruise to Bermuda.

We celebrated September 11 by seeing the New York City skyline and passing the Statue of Liberty at dawn.

What an awesome and inspiring sight!

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Obama "Organizes" Barakistan

In reponse to Sarah Palin's devasting mockery, the Obama campaign's David Plouffe explains the important work of a "community organizer" to the amusement of WSJ's James Taranto:

Plouffe: Community organizing is how ordinary people respond to out-of-touch politicians and their failed policies.
And it's no surprise that, after eight years of George Bush, millions of people have found that by coming together in their local communities they can change the course of history. That promise is what our campaign has been about from the beginning.

Taranto: That's right--community organizing consists of helping elect Barack Obama president! This fits right in with Obama's claim, noted here yesterday, that he is more qualified to be president than Palin is to be vice president because, whereas she has run a mere town, he has run a campaign for himself.

The community Barack Obama has organized is, in Plouffe's own telling, the community of those who admire Barack Obama. He is mayor of Obamaville and aspires to be president of Barackistan. At the center of it all is a man who, like Hans Christian Andersen's naked emperor, may or may not believe that his veneer of accomplishment is real.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Palin = Thomas

NRO's Rich Lowry captures much about why the left hates Sarah Palin.

"It’s her misfortune to be a pioneer with the wrong ideology. So much bile was directed at Clarence Thomas because he was the “wrong” kind of black man. Pro-life, pro-gun and a down-the-line, if populist, conservative, Palin is a traitor to her gender and thus encounters the sort of fury always directed at apostates."

UPDATE: Byron York on "Why The Palin Story Matters" and why the pro-choice left just doesn't get it. Not being able to listen to an evangelical Christian without sneering is going to help Democrats in this election.

The Spotless Sunshine of the Eternal Mind

Is this why the August weather has been so pleasant?

What did WE do to cause this? Al Gore call your office.

She Says "Potato" and He Says "Po-TAA-to"

Gerard Baker compares the political and life experiences of Barack Obama and Sarah Palin.

UPDATE: A fair cop from David Brooks.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Northern Exposure

Nice piece over at Time about the Palin family, the people from their home town and common decency. It's all over the place up there.

UPDATE: The WJS covers it pretty darn well: 17 and Pregnant.

She Ought To Be In Pictures

Hey, they ought to make a movie out of Bristol Palin's situation and call it "Juneau."

Anyway, here's the WaPo story on it.

UPDATE: Just googled our clever little joke to see if anyone came up with it before us and (sigh!) someone at the Dallas Morning News did.

Obama Classier Than Some Supporters

Obama comes out hard against the anti-Palin rumors being spread by his supporters.

"I have said before and I will repeat again: People's families are off limits," Obama said. "And people's children are especially off-limits. This shouldn't be part of our politics. It has no relevance to Gov. Palin's performance as a governor or her potential performance as a vice president. So I would strongly urge people to back off these kinds of stories. You know my mother had me when she was 18 and how a family deals with issues and teenage children, that shouldn’t be a topic of our politics."

Good for him.