Hamilton, Madison, and Jay

This blog is devoted to a variety of topics including politics, current events, legal issues, and we even take the time to have some occasional fun. After all, blogging is about having a little fun, right?

Location: Mesa, Arizona, United States

Who are we? We're a married couple who has a passion for politics and current events. That's what this site is about. If you read us, you know what we stand for.

Sunday, August 31, 2008

And The Left Cried

John McCain's choice of Alaska Governor Sarah Palin has sent the Left into hysterics in vain attempts to attack her. The problem, as Thomas and I see it, is that there is no easy way to do that. Jeff Emmanuel @ Red State has a literal tale of the tape between Sarah Palin and Barack Obama.

If the attack is she is unprepared or inexperienced, as Tom Brokaw attempted to do this morning then that attack will fall flat.

Sarah Palin has twelve years executive experience as a mayor and a governor.

Barack Obama has none.

They cannot go after her because she is a woman because they know that such a slam would rile up not only conservative women (who are fully behind this capable and competent woman) but it will also inflame Senator Clinton's supporters who still carry a grudge from the primary fight between her and Senator Obama.

The media attempted to spin a line about her not being capable of either handling the job due to her Down syndrome son, Trig, or that she will neglect her job in having to care for him. This is not only preposterous, it goes to show haw badly the media is grasping at straws. Prior to Trig's birth in April, her and her husband were able to juggle their careers and job as parents just fine. Besides, when people here her talk about Trig, when they see her holding him, you cannot say there is not undying love for that little boy. And latching onto this attack will also infuriate the parents who have children with special needs.

There is a meme within the "Leftosphere" that she is under investigation for firing a commissioner in Alaska for his refusal to fire a state trooper. The trooper in question was married to Sarah Palin's sister years ago, and the divorce and custody fight is still raging. The claim is that Sarah fired him over this personal issue. But that is not the case. When the trooper was pulled over, in his patrol car, and was found to be drunk, this was first caused her to take note of it. Then it was discovered he had used a taser on his 11 year old son. Finally, he had threatened Sarah's father while this divorce was going on. His firing, and the removal of the commissioner were necessary, and she was perfectly within her right to do so. Even investigators are saying that, thus far, there "is not there there" when the question comes down to whether or not she overstepped her boundaries.

See this is the thing about her. She is a Beltway outsider, and she has spent her career taking on the corrupt machine in Alaska. This is what has the Left scared. She is a true, blue-collar reformer. They know she is going to appeal to the blue-collar people in this nation, and they know she is making strides with the conservative base; a base that is fed up with the same old song and dance in Washington, DC, and see it as nothing more than a "good ol' boys" cesspool of rampant corruption.

John McCain wanted to pick a vice president that was sound, good, and tenacious. Sarah Palin promises to be that, and more, and that is why the Left is scared of her, and throwing every weak attack in the book at her in an effort to rattle her, or derail her.

They fail to see that she is not rattled or threatened easily. And they would be wise to look at her record of reform in Alaska, and see the political bodies that litter the landscape.


Friday, August 29, 2008

The Obama camp responds to Sarah Palin

This didn't take long, and the response is typical, and was more than expected. From Marc Ambinder:

"Today, John McCain put the former mayor of a town of 9,000 with zero foreign policy experience a heartbeat away from the presidency. Governor Palin shares John McCain's commitment to overturning Roe v. Wade, the agenda of Big Oil and continuing George Bush's failed economic policies -- that's not the change we need, it's just more of the same," said Bill Burton, Obama Campaign Spokesman.

Going after her on the experience factor is foolhardy. Sarah Palin was a mayor and is the current governor of Alaska. She's got more experience --executive experience -- than either one of them. Captain Ed weighs in:

However, the nature of the experience couldn’t be more different. Palin spent her entire political career crusading against the political machine that rules Alaska — which exists in her own Republican party. She blew the whistle on the state GOP chair, who had abused his power on the same commission to conduct party business. Obama, in contrast, talked a great deal about reform in Chicago but never challenged the party machine, preferring to take an easy ride as a protegé of Richard Daley instead.

Palin has no formal foreign-policy experience, which puts her at a disadvantage to Joe Biden. However, in nineteen months as governor, she certainly has had more practical experience in diplomacy than Biden or Obama have ever seen. She runs the only American state bordered only by two foreign countries, one of which has increasingly grown hostile to the US again, Russia.

And let’s face it — Team Obama can hardly attack Palin for a lack of foreign-policy experience. Obama has none at all, and neither Obama or Biden have any executive experience. Palin has almost over seven years of executive experience.

Politically, this puts Obama in a very tough position. The Democrats had prepared to launch a full assault on McCain’s running mate, but having Palin as a target creates one large headache. If they go after her like they went after Hillary Clinton, Obama risks alienating women all over again. If they don’t go after her like they went after Hillary, he risks alienating Hillary supporters, who will see this as a sign of disrespect for Hillary. ...

This is change you can believe in, and not change that amounts to all talk. McCain changed the trajectory of the race today by stealing Obama’s strength and turning it against him. Obama provided that opening by picking Biden as his running mate, and McCain was smart enough to take advantage of the opening.

Welcome to the party, Barry. Your headaches are just beginning. Better stock up on the Excedrin.

Publius II

Huh? Hillary fans elated at Palin

This is one of the best advantages of Sarah Palin on the McCain ticket. Obama and his team kicked the women to the curb, and the GOP walked over, and invited them on board. Geraghty the Indispensable notes that the Hillary fans are quite taken by Sarah Palin:

Holy smokes! At this Hillary Clinton forum, called... HillaryClintonForum.net, the frustrated Hillary supporters are thrilled - almost as joyous as the glee coming from my readers. Comments include:


Leave it to the GOP to pick a woman for the ticket. Obama snubbed the most viable and experienced woman who received 18 million votes, for another MALE. I have a feeling, somewhere somehow, Hillary is snickering!

If this is true, this moves me from staying at home to voting McCain.


They may not be a representative sample of Hillary's 18 million supporters, but obviously, a certain number of those folks are elated to see a woman on a major party ticket, and are talking about donating and volunteering for the McCain-Palin ticket.

I get the feeling that this was expected, as one of my McCain guys just told me, "I think Obama will find that she's more than just a 'sweetie.'"

And now, about a week later... the Biden pick looks pretty crappy, huh? Is Obama sure he doesn't want Hillary on the ticket?

UPDATE: A reader notes, "The Democratic National Convention was a woman-palooza. Hillary's speech celebrated women's progress. Michelle's speech celebrated Hillary shattering the glass ceiling. Talk talk talk. Guess which party has a woman on the ticket."

Make no mistake, she's got her work cut out for her. She needs to be prepared for the national scene. This isn't the sticks. This is the big leagues. She'll be ready, we're sure of that, but she'd better be smart on her feet when it comes to Joe Biden. Yeah, Biden's a joke, but the guy knows quite a bit about foreign affairs. It shouldn't take her long to bone up on foreign affairs, and she's been a proponent of the surge in Iraq. Given her state's close proximity to Russia, I'm sure she was watching the Russia/Georgia row as it unfolded.

I know people like Rush Limbaugh are going to whine about appealing to Hillary voters because we're "watering down the party." Memo to Rush, they're not going to stick around and join the party. They're hopping on board out of anger at their party for treating Hillary like crap. So don't fret. After all, you can't get much more conservative than Sarah Palin. Pro-life, pro-gun, pro-drilling, pro-reform.

What's not to like?

Publius II

It's Palin

Multiple sources are claiming this is true, and that Alaska Governor Sarah Palin is John McCain's pick for vice president. CNBC was the first to call it, backed up by the Chicago Tribune, and now NBC is confirming it. John McCain should be making it official shortly. Even Mark Levin is on board and few have been as critical of John McCain than "the Great One."

Let's take a look at the pros and cons of this choice.


She is an experienced politician, but not as experienced in the chief executive role as Romney or T-Paw (Tim Pawlenty). This could kill the "Barack is inexperienced" attack that the McCain camp has cultivated. There is also a rumor of a scandal she's involved in revolving around the dismissal of a commissioner who refused to fire a state trooper that was connected to her sister, and was in the middle of a divorce from her sister. Governor Palin has repeatedly stated it had nothing to do with her sister, and given her reform minded approach, she doesn't seem to be the sort to play "Chicago Way" politics.


She's a reformer. She's done her damnedest to clean up Alaska, and the corruption that was going on in the state. (Wish she could have done something to ensure that Ted Stevens was out.) She's down to earth, and she's all for drilling. Picking her also adds speculation to John McCain mulling the idea of drilling in ANWR which Governor Palin has been wholly in favor of. She's young, at 44, and will certainly ease those conservatives who were worried about John McCain's longevity. She's a mom with five kids. She is a conservative's conservative. She will be a lightning rod for the base that it can get behind.

From Mark Levin:

Palin is by all accounts a principled conservative and government reformer who can contribute mightily to the decision-making that occurs in the White House. She has more executive experience in her two years as governor than Obama, Biden, and McCain combined. She is a mother of five in what appears to be a loving and functioning family. And she is someone Republicans, conservatives, and others can rally behind in the future.

From a purely tactical aspect, Palin would knock the legs out from under Obama's monopoly hold on "change." And attacks on her "inexperience" will only highlight one of Obama's greatest vulnerabilities — and he's at the top of the Democrat ticket. And because Hillary Clinton spent months telling women voters that they are being dissed by Obama, some percentage of women who normally would not vote for McCain will take a second look if Palin's on the ticket. There is no question that a Palin selection would cause the Obama camp headaches.

From Jonah Goldberg:

The way she talks. She has something of a native Alaskan's accent/speaking style. When I heard her speak last month, I was stunned by how parochial she sounds, not substantively, but stylistically. She refers to herself not as a mom or mother but as a "mama." If she's the pick —and it sounds like she— I think this could be both an advantage and disadvantage. The disadvantage is that the press will make fun of her for it. The folks at Slate and New York magazine will titter at the rube from the provinces. Look at what sophisticated talkers Biden and Obama are compared to this bumpkin! (You'll get a similar but more shrill line of argument from feminists who will immediately claim she's not a real woman for whatever b.s. reason). This in turn could be a great advantage for her and the ticket because she'll play well in Peoria as an authentic American woman (and man, oh, man will the Nascar crowd love her husband). The cosmopolitanism of the Democratic ticket will stand out in even starker relief. But remember: at the end of the day all of the scorn and ridicule visited upon Bush for his cowboyish way of talking probably helped him.

What about the debates? The immediate response from lots of folks is, "Can she stand up to Biden?" I think this is an open question. She will certainly have to do a lot of homework on foreign policy. However, it's entirely possible Biden would go into a debate even cockier than usual and, like Hillary Clinton in her debate with Rick Lazio, she could make things far more difficult for him than a man would. She'd have to seem very confident and know her stuff, but Biden would all of a sudden have to be very wary of seeming condescending.

Quick, and provisional bottom line: The upside: She's the best of the dark horses because she's an exciting, exotic (yet heartlandish) female pick. The base will love her. She's a true outsider and the only person in the race with serious executive experience. This will have to mean McCain's flipping on ANWR, which will make gas prices a central issue.

We know that a lot of people wanted Romney or T-Paw. We would've liked either one, but she brings a couple things to the table that they don't. The one thing she lacks that both the men brought was that they could flip some much-needed states. But she's a down-home woman that just screams "Heartland America." For more on her, I suggest this post that my lovely and talented wife put up back in June. It has the link to the Weekly Standard bio piece on her written by Fred Barnes, and her thoughts about Governor Palin. In short folks, this is one we can get behind, and this ticket is going to rock Obama's little world.

Geraghty the Indispensable weighs in with a few thoughts that are spot-on:

Five quick thoughts on Sarah Palin, probably the only pick McCain could make who could simultaneously appeal to Hillary supporters who think sexism cost her the nomination, and consolidate large swaths of the conservative base.

1. As mentioned below, Palin killed the Bridge to Nowhere. This is a reform ticket, and the "more of the same" charge looks even less plausible now. [Ed. note -- ahem, she fits perfectly with McCain's reform ideas]

2. She doesn’t just talk the pro-life line; she lives it by choosing to carry to term her child with Downs' Syndrome. Consider the social conservative base consolidated. [Ed. note -- This fulfills McCain's promise to have a pro-life ticket, and it'll kill the pro-choice idiots that have sparked an intense rebuke to Pelosi's damage control around Obama and Biden.]

3. The Democrats want to question her experience? She’s spent more time running and managing a bigger institution than anybody on their ticket has. No party ticket offered an all-experience ticket. The question is, if you think experience is important, would you rather have it as at the top of the ticket or at the bottom? [Ed. note -- The Dems have it at the bottom of the ticket in Biden. The GOP has it on both ends. Trump that, Barry.]

4. In the debate, guns will come up. Biden thought the guy who called his gun “his baby” has problems. She’s an NRA favorite. [Ed. note -- Since Heller guns have fallen off the radar. That will change as other suits are filed against Chicago and San Francisco.]

5. Do I have to be the first to say it? She’s gorgeous. Stunning. A jaw-dropping knockout. This will inevitably cause some Democrat to call her a bimbo (remember how Jeri Thompson was treated by those jerks at MSNBC). That will backfire enormously. In some places in this world, women still encounter sexism and condescension. ("Hold on a second, sweetie.") Attractive women encounter it and sometimes get it even worse, the idea that if you look good, you can't have a brain in your head. The Democrats will be playing with fire every time one of their surrogates or friendly commentators go on the cable news shows...

For what it’s worth, most of my readers are going bonkers. They love the pick.

Captain Ed has received the official word:

U.S. Senator John McCain today announced that he has selected Alaska Governor Sarah Palin to be his running mate and to serve as his vice president.

Governor Palin is a tough executive who has demonstrated during her time in office that she is ready to be president. She has brought Republicans and Democrats together within her Administration and has a record of delivering on the change and reform that we need in Washington.

Governor Palin has challenged the influence of the big oil companies while fighting for the development of new energy resources. She leads a state that matters to every one of us – Alaska has significant energy resources and she has been a leader in the fight to make America energy independent.

The energy thing is key, and that backs up the idea that McCain is definitely considering ANWR. And here's something to tickle readers -- the Left doesn't have her on their veep attack sheet. That means Team Barry is going to have to start from scratch, and given his team's ineptitude, they're going to screw up just about any attack they launch on her.

Publius II

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Obama to give acceptance speech from a Greek temple mock-up

See that? (I know the image is small, but you can see it, right?) On the fifty-yard line at Invesco field, the convention guys are busy setting up what is quite easily identifiable as some sort of Greek temple redux for Obama's acceptance speech. Captain Ed has the picture above today in his post on it and Allah picked up on it last night. From ExUrban League via Reuters:

Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama's big speech on Thursday night will be delivered from an elaborate columned stage resembling a miniature Greek temple.

The stage, similar to structures used for rock concerts, has been set up at the 50-yard-line, the midpoint of Invesco Field, the stadium where the Denver Broncos' National Football League team plays.

Some 80,000 supporters will see Obama appear from between plywood columns painted off-white, reminiscent of Washington's Capitol building or even the White House, to accept the party's nomination for president.

He will stride out to a raised platform to a podium that can be raised from beneath the floor.

Audacity of arrogance? We think so. In fact, in a way, it reminds us of the legend of Icarus who didn't heed his father's warnings, flew too close to the sun, and fell to earth as his wax wings melted. Now we're not saying that Obama is going to try anything like that, but it is an interesting allusion to how his campaign will end. His arrogance knows no bounds, and like Icarus he may have a very hefty fall to the ground.

What's truly sad about this is he's being mocked by the 'Sphere because of this audacious move. It serves him right. No cheap theatrics will help him. His speech at Invesco is a clear sign he doesn't want to be anywhere near disgruntled Hillary supporters. He wants 75,000 screaming, cheering, adoring fans, and he wants them to see him in all his grandiose style. Not exactly something the working man is really going to enjoy because it's just not going to appeal to him. It's almost as though this has been set up like a coronation. The only thing missing is the throne and the crown of olive branches.

Geez. You gotta admit the guy's got moxie, but it's going to backfire on him. What he needs is a message, and so far that's been noticeably absent at this convention.

Publius II

More Ayers; A necessary reminder

Bill Ayers is a man who should still be in jail for the terrorism he and his cronies gleefully engaged in in the seventies. But he walks free, and his is quite chummy with Barack Obama. Today at NRO's Corner, Andy McCarthy gives a much needed reminder of who Bill Ayers is, and what he stood for:

In that Fox interview that Rich linked to, Ayers preposterously claimed that he and his fellow Weather Underground terrorists did not really intend to harm any people — the fact that no one was killed in their 20 or so bombings was, he said, "by design"; they only wanted to cause property damage:

Between October 1969 and September 1973, the Weather Underground claimed credit for some twenty bombings across the country, in which no one was harmed — save the three cell members who perished in a Greenwich Village townhouse in March 1970, when one of their creations detonated prematurely. Ayers claimed the fact that no other individuals were killed as a result of the Weathermen’s actions was “by design.”

In his autobiography, Fugitive Days: A Memoir, Ayers recalled, he posed the question: “How far are you willing to take that step into what I consider the abyss of violence? And we really never did, except for that moment in the townhouse.… I actually think destroying property in the face of that kind of catastrophe is so — restrained. And I don’t see it as a big deal.


First of all, "that moment in the townhouse" he's talking about happened in 1970. Three of his confederates, including his then girlfriend Diana Oughton, were accidentally killed when the explosive they were building to Ayers specifications (Ayers was a bomb designer) went off during construction. As
noted in Ayers' Discover the Networks profile, the explosive had been a nail bomb. Back when Ayers was being more honest about his intentions, he admitted that the purpose of that bomb had been to murder United States soldiers:

That bomb had been intended for detonation at a dance that was to be attended by army soldiers at Fort Dix, New Jersey. Hundreds of lives could have been lost had the plan been successfully executed. Ayers attested that the bomb would have done serious damage, "tearing through windows and walls and, yes, people too."

In fact, Ayers was a founder of the Weatherman terror group and he defined its purpose as carrying out murder. Again, from Discover the Networks:

Characterizing Weatherman as "an American Red Army," Ayers summed up the organization's ideology as follows: "Kill all the rich people. Break up their cars and apartments. Bring the revolution home, Kill your parents."

This man was not out to just break some windows, and engage in the civil disobedience of the antiwar movement. They wanted to send a clear message to the establishment that they were under siege and the Weather Underground was behind it. They encouraged kids to commit violence in the name of "change" and "hope" (ring a bell, folks?), and to this day they haven't changed their tune. More from Mr. McCarthy:

Now he wants you to think they just wanted to break a few dishes. But in his book Fugitive Days, in which he boasts that he "participated in the bombings of New York City Police Headquarters in 1970, of the Capitol building in 1971, and the Pentagon in 1972," he says of the day that he bombed the Pentagon: "Everything was absolutely ideal. ... The sky was blue. The birds were singing. And the bastards were finally going to get what was coming to them."

And he wasn't singular. As I noted back in April in this article about Obama's motley collection of radical friends, at the Weatherman “War Council” meeting in 1969, Ayers' fellow terrorist and now-wife, Bernadine Dohrn, famously gushed over the barbaric Manson Family murders of the pregnant actress Sharon Tate, coffee heiress Abigail Folger, and three others: “Dig it! First they killed those pigs, then they ate dinner in the same room with them. They even shoved a fork into the victim’s stomach! Wild!” And as Jonah recalled yesterday, "In appreciation, her Weather Underground cell made a three-fingered 'fork' gesture its official salute." They weren't talking about scratching up the wall-paper.

A Weatherman affiliate group which called itself "the Family" colluded with the Black Liberation Army in the 1981 Brinks robbery in which two police officers and an armed guard were murdered. (Obama would like people to believe all this terrorist activity ended in 1969 when he was eight years old. In fact, it continued well into the eighties.) Afterwards, like Ayers and Dohrn, their friend and fellow terrorist Susan Rosenberg became a fugitive.

It should be noted that Obama keeps trying to make the argument that all of this happened back when he was 8 years old. Captain Ed reminds us that their reign of violence continued into the eighties. That's the problem with Obama's spin on this legitimate campaign issue. We're not attacking him because we don't like who he associates with (though that is part of it), but rather we're going after him on this because the man he calls a friend is a remorseless terrorist. That's the point of this.

He worked with this man on the Annenberg Committee. He worked with him on the Woods Foundation. He launched his political career from Ayers' home. This isn't just a passing association, like his spin regarding Tony Rezko. This was a well-known friendship. If I associated with a man who was a known and unrepentant terrorist, the other friends I had would wish me good luck in life, and walk the other direction. It's disturbing that Democrats and Obama supporters are willing to excuse this relationship as if it were nothing of significance or consequence.

No wonder why Obama has no problem sitting down with thugs. He knows one personally.

Publius II

Support for Obama sliding?

HT to Captain Ed

We've been watching the slow slide that Obama's been having over the past month. He had a commanding lead when the primaries finally ended, and it has been squandered by him in subsequent months. It really started happening when Obama decided to take his campaign circus on the road abroad. Voters were significantly turned off by the speech in Berlin and with the haughty attitude in meeting with Gordon Brown, Nicolas Sarkozy, and Angela Merkel. Likewise, people weren't pleased to hear that he snubbed the troops at Landstuhl because he couldn't make it a campaign photo-op. Today, Gallup shows that the slide, and the loss of support, is worse than they believed:

Barack Obama has been struggling to maintain his Democratic base thus far in August, and according to weekly averages of Gallup Poll Daily tracking, the problem seems to be with conservative Democrats.

Within the Democratic Party, Obama's losses are primarily evident among the relatively small group that describes its political views as conservative. The 63% of conservative Democrats supporting Obama over McCain in Aug. 18-24 polling is the lowest Obama has earned since he clinched the Democratic nomination in June. At the same time, there have been no similar drops in support for Obama in the preferences of liberal or moderate Democrats.

As a result of this, support for Obama among all Democratic registered voters fell from 81% in early August (Aug. 4-10) to 78% last week (Aug. 18-24). Obama's support from Republicans over this period also dipped from 9% to 7%, while 42% to 43% of independents have consistently supported him.

The 78% of Democrats backing Obama from Aug. 18-24 ties for the lowest seen since early June. The 7% of Republicans for Obama is the lowest to date (since the start of Gallup Poll Daily tracking of the Obama-McCain race in March).

Among Republicans, Obama has mainly seen his support eroding among moderate and liberal Republicans, from 19% to 13% during August. Already at 4% to 6% in July and early August, Obama's support from conservative Republicans could not go much lower. ...

Obama's troubles are also evident among married women. Between Aug. 4-10 and Aug. 18-24, the percentage of married women backing Obama fell from 46% to 39%, while support from unmarried women fell from 58% to 55%. At the same time, there has been no decrease in the percentage of married or unmarried men supporting Obama.

Obama held the slight upper hand in the race from early June through mid-August. His failure to maintain that last week -- averaging a tie with McCain at 45% -- can be largely explained by some defection from the conservative wing of the Democratic Party, as well as less crossover support from moderate and liberal Republicans.

Rasmussen also weighs in today with news that they're still deadlocked:

The Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential Tracking Poll for Wednesday shows Barack Obama and John McCain each attracting 44% of the vote for the second straight day. When "leaners" are included, though, McCain picked up another point since yesterday and now has a statistically insignificant one-point advantage over Obama, 47% to 46%.

This is the first time since August 9 that McCain has held any advantage over Obama. The candidates have been within two points of each other on every day but two for the past month.

Both polls reflect the weekend and the opening of the DNC in Denver. They also point out two very important things. The botching of the Biden announcement, and the lack of enthusiasm for Joe Biden has made sure that there was no bump in the polls for Obama. Also, the convention is entering it's third day tonight, and there is still no bump in the polls for him.

Michelle's speech didn't help him. The Biden pick didn't help him. Thus far the convention, as a whole, isn't helping him. And this effete, snobbish attitude that will be on display at Invesco field with the "Greek temple" motif isn't going to fly with voters either. In fact, that idea was as bad as his "original seal" idea, the "salute" idea, and it speaks to the cult of personality Obama has bought into.

Publius II

New info on Bill Ayers

HT to Hugh Hewitt

Bill Ayers is the unrepentant terrorist that was with the Weather Underground in the seventies that has been a friend and an associate of Barack Obama since 1995 when Obama launched his first political campaign from Ayers' home. FOX News highlights an interview conducted by James Rosen in 2004 with Ayers:

William Ayers, who was a founder of the 1960s and 1970s radical group the Weather Underground, told FOX News correspondent James Rosen in a candid 2004 interview that he still believed he was “on the side of justice” years after the group’s wave of attacks.

In the interview, conducted three years after the September 11 attacks, Ayers argued the U.S. government had carried out “many other acts of terror … even recently, that are comparable,” and claimed he and his bomb-planting comrades were “restrained” in their actions.

Ayers, now a professor at the University of Illinois, Chicago, served with Barack Obama on the board of the charitable Woods Fund of Chicago for three years and helped launch Obama’s political career in Illinois by hosting in his Hyde Park home an informal campaign event for the future state senator in 1995.

Ayers claimed the Weathermen were driven by “hope and love,” not despair, and said he did not think the group’s violent acts, targeting federal officials and local law enforcement officers, were “a big deal.”

Interviewed in May 2004 in connection with Rosen’s book “The Strong Man: John Mitchell and the Secrets of Watergate,” published recently by Doubleday, Ayers affirmed that 9/11 was “an act of pure terror,” one that had caused him to weep, and that terrorism is “always wrong, always evil.” But Ayers also condemned the Bush administration for using the attacks “to advance a right-wing agenda on every front: every uterus must be examined, every tree chopped down, every oil well dug. I mean, it’s absolute madness.” ...

When asked about some Palestinians who had been captured on videotape dancing in the streets after the attacks, Ayers said coverage of those individuals had been “overwrought” in the U.S. media, and added: “[E]verybody in the world knows that Americans are geographically challenged and historically challenged. We don’t have a sense of who we are or where we are. So I think every American that I know was weeping over the next several weeks, and devastated and shocked. Was that an act of pure terror? It absolutely was.

“And there are many other acts of terror carried out by our government, even recently, that, that are comparable. And there are other acts of terror that have gone on in places like Bosnia that we forgot to notice.” ...

Explaining how he became a leader of the radical 1960s antiwar group, the Weathermen (and its subsequent fugitive incarnation, the Weather Underground), Ayers was unrepentant about the group’s planting of bombs in the Capitol, the Pentagon, and other sites. “I think I was on the side of justice and ultimately it will be seen that way,” Ayers said. “I don’t think our move was so much towards violence.

He thinks he was on the right side of the issues then, and believes that history will paint him in a good light. Now we know that none of the bombings hurt anyone, save the three fools who blew themselves up in Greenwich Village. But it's the fact that they openly declared war on the United States and carried out a wave of bombings across the country.

Obama tried to deflect his ties to Ayers and failed miserably. He hasn't distanced himself from Bill Ayers. In fact, he has defended both Ayers and his wife, Bernadine Dohrn calling them "mainstream" and "respectable members of the establishment." Obama refuses to sever ties to Bill Ayers despite what Ayers and Company pulled in the 1970s. The excuse he uses (in the ad and elsewhere) is that he was eight years old at the time the bombings occurred. Go to the last link above, and listen to what Bill Ayers and his wife said at the SDS reunion last year. They still think, as with the Rosen interview, that they did what they had to do, and they were heroes to the cause.

Does this mean that Obama has a soft spot for terrorists? No it doesn't because he did call their attacks "reprehensible." That's not the point. The point is that this relationship speaks a great deal about his judgment. That was the point of the 527 ad that Obama is trying to have yanked from the air through the use of strong-arm tactics against the TV stations airing it, and urging the Justice Department to get involved in this little tiff. So instead of just letting the issue air out, as John Kerry did in 2004 with the Swift Boat ads, Obama is throwing a hissy fit.

Thank you, senator for making him a legitimate issue. Obviously there is a there there that he doesn't want people looking into. Answering the initial ad has shown just how thin-skinned he is with his relationship to a man who was a terrorist, and is completely remorseless for his past actions.

If he has no problem associating with a domestic terrorist who believes that he did the right thing, then we have no choice but to question Obama's judgment. The media shouldn't be giving him a pass on this. If John McCain had associated himself with Timothy McVeigh or Eric Rudolph the media would be shouting that from the rooftops. But Obama and Ayers? Nah. Move along. Nothing to see here. And that is an indictment of the media. They knew that this empty suit wouldn't make it to this point without them shilling for him, and covering his butt. But they won't persuade people to ignore this. Too many people know about this relationship, and a lot of them aren't happy with it.

No one likes an apologist for terrorists. And while he hasn't apologized for Ayers past, he certainly seems to have excused it, and forgiven it.

Publius II

ADDENDUM: Over at ChicagoBoyz Shannon Love adds this to the Ayers news today:

As I have noted before, the real troubling aspect of the Obama-Ayers relationship is that Obama comes from a political subculture in which Ayers is an accepted and unremarkable individual. Looking at Ayers, one is forced to ask exactly what kind of leftist extremism would be considered unacceptable by Obama and his cohorts.

Hammer. Nail. Head. Heh.

A bit of housekeeping on the starboard side

I had really hoped that it wouldn't come down to this. I had hoped that our side had more brains than what, sadly, seems to be the case. A lot of this hullabaloo that has me irked revolves around a lawsuit filed by a former Hillary supporter named Phil Berg which claims Obama isn't eligible to run for the presidency. It stems from two things: A) the supposition that Obama's birth certificate is a forgery, and B) a photo dug up of hi school registry in Indonesia. (Berg includes a number of questions, but these seem to be the two "hot topic" points that has our side constantly stuck on stupid.)

I like the friends I have online, and I like those I have in the real world. But they seem to think that they can beat Obama with boogey-man stories of him being a closet Muslim, or with rumor and innuendo about where he was born. FactCheck has debunked the "Obama's birth certificate is a forgery" meme but that doesn't seem to stop anyone from continuing to drone on about something that is patently false.

Barack Obama was born in Hawaii in 1961, two years after Hawaii was admitted to the Union. He was not born in Kenya, nor does he have citizenship in Kenya. By Kenyan law, you can't have dual-citizenship. As Obama never renounced his American citizenship, he can't have Kenyan citizenship. He is a natural born US citizen.

He isn't a Muslim, either. He was not sworn in on a Koran (that was Keith Ellison, and that was a symbolic swearing-in; he was sworn in as all other members of Congress are). Barack Obama is a Christian, just not the sort of Christian many would identify with. A lot of that comes from 20 years of black liberation theology preached by Jeremiah Wright and Michael Pfleger.

Neither one of the two above points are going to win us this election. If anything, those we are trying to persuade to our side, if they hear these rants, they'll be driven away. I know that both conservatives and liberals have their extreme, fringe, fever-swamp, but it's high time we knock off the swamp talk and start focusing on what matters to defeat Barack Obama.

Obama believes in raising our taxes. He has voted in favor of higher taxes 94 times. You can bet he'll do it as president because he has plans for this nation, and they're not going to come cheap. He fully intends to allow the tax cuts President Bush has in place sunset, which will move our taxes back to the range they were when he first took office, including capital gains at such an exorbitant level that it will likely kill the investor class in this country at a time when the stock market needs a serious shot in the arm.

In his own words we see that if he's left on his own regarding foreign policy, he will create an atmosphere much like this nation was going through in the 1990s regarding diplomacy and national security. He would meet with and talk to thugs and tyrants like Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Raul Castro, Kim Jong-Il, etc. If this nation, or any of our interests abroad are attacked, he would treat such attacks as a law enforcement issue rather than a national security issue. In short, the man would lead like Bill Clinton did, and we saw what feckless behavior gave us.

Barack Obama praises the likes of Justice Ginsburg and Justice Stevens, and he despises Justice Thomas and Justice Scalia. He voted against Justice Alito and Chief Justice Roberts. This alone shows where his judicial philosophy lies, and it is not within the confines of the Constitution. There are a number of issues that go hand in hand here. Not only is there abortion, but gun control, capital punishment, eminent domain, and religious liberty are also at issue as we have never seen before. If he wins, and he serves two terms, the man has the ability to greatly alter the high court with the possibility of SIX Supreme Court appointments. Do you want to see six more Ginsburgs up there, all of them believing in a "living, breathing" Constitution? We don't.

Some will shrug an say "Yeah, but none of these things matter. What matters is his past, and his birth certificate." Congratulations, you've fallen for the red herring. That's what the Left was hoping so they could play the "racism" card, and the "intolerance" card. I'm telling you, these two subjects need to be dropped now. They're not only irrelevant, but they're false. By continuing to push these phony memes you're not helping to defeat him. Your garnering sympathy for him.

If we stick to the issues, we can beat him. If we point out his positions, we can beat him. If we continue to show his radical ties to individuals like Wright, Pfleger, Bill Ayers, and Bernadine Dohrn, we can beat him. If we show just how inexperienced this man is, we can beat him. If we remind people how liberal his voting record is, we can beat him.

For the love of God, folks, we need to drop the unfounded and debunked character attacks on him. It's not helping our side present the argument that Barack Obama is not the right man for the job. It's got nothing to do with rumor an innuendo. It has everything to do with his record, and how radical it is; how contrary he is to what this nation believes in. Remember, this is the man who said "My friends, we live in the greatest nation in the history of the world. I hope you'll join with me as we try to change it." The change he wants to bring to this nation will do severe damage to it. That is what our argument should be, backed up by facts, and hammered home until Election Day. If we do this we can beat him, and ensure the presidency for John McCain.

Publius II

Monday, August 25, 2008

Dem convention, day one, as explained by ... Lileks? Oh dear Lord.

When the Democrats trotted to the edge of the cliff with Obama, and threatened to leap, we chuckled. "Do what you gotta do, guys."

When Obama pondered his veep choice, some of us cringed. Then he chose Joe Biden, and we haven't stopped laughing.

Today is the first day of the Democrat convention in Denver, and to keep the laughs going for us, James Lileks "volunteered" for the job. He's blogging it here so go there when you need a laugh, or some snark. Here's a taste filed under "Verboten":

Today the security check-in tent has expanded to Ringling dimensions. Same rules: remove everything metallic and electrical. You cannot even think of the concept of steel or even the lesser, more malleable metals, or you will set off the detectors; they’re calibrated to beep if you’ve listened to Iron Maiden in the last 24 hours. All electronic devices must be turned on - but of course by the time you get to your place before the Inquisitors, everything has shut itself off. You hold up the line as you struggle with your STUPID CAMERA, which has a balky button; it will turn on only when pressed for a second, but if you press it too long it turns itself off immediately. Behind you, professional camerapersons fume: rube. I made it through without alarms - or so I thought.”Got another Apple,” said the screener. I actually wondered if they were talking about the make of computer, and were all Mac fans themselves, but no. The secondary screener team plowed through my bags and came up with . . . an apple. ”Can’t bring these in,” said Officer Apple-taker. I asked why, instantly regretting it: Don’t cause a scene, idiot, just move along and accept the loss of an apple as one of those things that happens, unless you really want to wear the plastic bracelets and she said “it could be thrown.”Yes, it could be thrown; it could also be eaten. That was the plan, long ago.”I had to take a peach and a pear too,” she added. Somehow that made it better. A simple, soft, gentle peach was now considered a weapon? Arrr. No roughage, no peace! No roughage, no peace!Once inside I made my way to StarTribune HQ Central; passed Talk Radio Row, where dozens of talk show hosts in the country are seated, in hell. Talk radio is usually performed from a nice comfy booth where everyone takes pains not to make noise; here you’re talking in a hallway with people milling around laughing and talking. Blogger row is different, I imagine - and now I’m off to find it.

James sounds like he's having A LOT of fun, doesn't he? Thank God we're not there. If we were, there wouldn't be a need for plastic bracelets. We'd need straitjackets.

Publius II

Hillary and Company skipping out on the Invesco speech

HT to Captain Ed (who, BTW, has a good, live radio show/chat session at Hot Air. Check it out, folks.)

There doesn't appear to be too much unity in the Democrat party as the WaPo reports that they're not staying past Wednesday:

A number of Sen. Hillary Clinton's top advisers will not be staying in Denver long enough to hear Barack Obama accept the nomination for president, according to sources familiar with their schedules.

Clinton will deliver her speech Tuesday night. She will hold a private meeting with her top financial supporters Wednesday at noon, and will thank her delegates at an event that afternoon. Former president Bill Clinton will speak that night. Several of Hillary Clinton's supporters are then planning to leave town. Among them, Terry McAuliffe, Clinton's campaign chairman, and longtime supporters Steve Rattner and Maureen White. Another of Clinton's top New York fundraisers, Alan Patricof, did not make the trip to Denver.

So much for that unity that Obama was hoping for. Granted, both camps have supposedly issued press statements that the media is over-hyping the rift between the two camps. Undoubtedly those were done in an attempt to push the facade that they're on the same page. Based on the new McCain ad he's seeing that there is little unity in the Democrat party, and kudos to him for stoking those fires. (On a separate note, Allah dug up a new "sponsor" for Captain Ed's show which further helps point out the disunity on the port side.)

It's telling when your rivals are getting out of Dodge before you give the biggest speech of our political career. Obama's acceptance speech at Invesco is being touted as a masterpiece by some (no, that's not a quote from Chris Matthews), and while it might be full of that wonderful, feel-good rhetoric Obama is known for, the specificity is what we'll be looking for. If he lacks it, then the speech, no matter how well it is delivered, will be a bomb.

The Democrats will spin the departure of the Clintons, their advisers and fundraisers as something other than what it is. It's the simple fact that they don't like Obama. They didn't want Obama. And they don't believe Obama has what it takes to win in November. On the latter point, they're right. The rookie isn't looking good. He got no bump from the Biden pick. To make matters worse,the polls are still showing the two candidates deadlocked at 47%. For Obama to have any chance in November he has to first figure out how to get above 50%, and he has to have at least a seven-to-ten point lead going into the home stretch. Without it, he's sunk.

Publius II

Ed Rendell isn't pleased with MSNBC

Granted, he's a Hillary supporter, but that doesn't change the fact that he believes, as many of us do, that the media was clearly in the tank for Obama, especially MSNBC:

Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell was supposed to give “closing remarks” during this afternoon’s Shorenstein Center-sponsored panel discussion with all three Sunday show moderators — NBC’s Tom Brokaw, ABC’s George Stephanopoulous and CBS’s Bob Schieffer — but instead, he opened up a can of worms about bias in 2008 election coverage

"Ladies and gentleman, the coverage of Barack Obama was embarrassing," said Rendell, in the ballroom at Denver's Brown Palace Hotel. "It was embarrassing."

Rendell, an ardent Hillary Rodham Clinton supporter during the primaries, now backs Obama in the general election. Brokaw and Rendell began debating campaign coverage, including the
on-air comments by Lee Cowan, and when MSNBC came up, Rendell went after the cable network.

“MSNBC was the official network of the Obama campaign," Rendell said, who called their coverage "absolutely embarrassing."

Chris Matthews, Rendell said, "loses his impartiality when he talks about the Clintons.”

Let the Left and their media minions deny the bias that was so obviously apparent. It just won't work with us anymore. And he's spot on about Matthews. From the moment that the thrill first went up his leg he was in the tank for Obama, and heaped disdain on the Clintons. (Actually, he was probably in the tank for Obama before then, and that moment was his coming-out-of-the-closet epiphany.)

Governor Rendell is correct about the media. They have been in the Obama tank for months, and basically relegated Hillary to second-tier status. Now that doesn't make us upset because we really aren't fond of her. But the media is supposed to be fair, and it's not. This is what led to the rise of the New Media. And we can say that those of us in the New Media, especially from the center-right, has been fairer to her than the so-called professionals were. In fact, readers will recall that we were on board making the case that she was the more-qualified candidate in this race. But no one listened, and now the Democrats have themselves a child that they're going to run against a man with a ton of experience. It should also be noted that John McCain seems to have more party unity than Obama does.

Publius II

No unity here now move along

It's clear that the rift between Hillary and Obama is far from being repaired, and both sides are complaining in Denver. Bill Clinton isn't happy with the speech he has to give on Wednesday, and Hillary's supporters are vowing to make a floor fight. The Politico is on the scene, and they're reporting that there is no unity in Denver:

As Democrats arrived here Sunday for a convention intended to promote party unity, mistrust and resentments continued to boil among top associates of presumptive nominee Barack Obama and his defeated rival, Hillary Rodham Clinton.

One flashpoint is the assigned speech topic for former president Bill Clinton, who is scheduled to speak Wednesday night, when the convention theme is “Securing
America’s Future.” The night’s speakers will argue that Obama would be a more effective commander in chief than his Republican rival, Sen. John McCain (Ariz.).

The former president is disappointed, associates said, because he is eager to speak about the economy and more broadly about Democratic ideas — emphasizing the contrast between the Bush years and his own record in the 1990s.

This is an especially sore point for Bill Clinton, people close to him say, because among many grievances he has about the campaign Obama waged against his wife is a belief that the candidate poor-mouthed the political and policy successes of his two terms.

Some senior Democrats close to Obama, meanwhile, made clear in not-for-attribution comments that they were equally irked at the Clinton operation. Nearly three months after Hillary Clinton conceded defeat in the nomination contest, these Obama partisans complained, her team continues to act like she and Bill Clinton hold leverage.

Technically, they do hold leverage. Obama doesn't have the nomination, yet, and if she and her supporters can weasel a few superdelegates away, there could be a floor fight provided they can guarantee that the balloting goes beyond the first one. Saddling Bill with that speech, on a subject he's not strong on, is a mistake. In having to talk about Obama's foreign policy experience, it'll either be the shortest speech of the convention, or it'll hype up his campaign rallies in Europe and the Middle East. Remember, this is a candidate that admitted the surge worked, but that he wouldn't change his vote on it.

This is also a candidate who talked about invading Pakistan to get bin Laden. He screwed up his thoughts on the Russia/Georgia row. He said he'd meet with the tyrants of the world "without preconditions." (Of course, he's trying to make that stance more nuanced, but it's really not working well.)

He's wasting Bill's talents. No one can talk middle America and economics better than Bill can. Instead he's being forced to give a speech on a subject that he's not comfortable with, and didn't really pay all that much attention to when he occupied the White House. Instead, Obama's people thought that Arizona governor Janet Napolitano would be better off giving a speech on the economy despite the fact that she has overseen a budget deficit in the state for the last couple of years.

There is no party unity. There won't be when this farce of a convention is all said and done. And as for the post-convention bounce, don't hold your breath on a big one. We predict it'll be much like the Kerry bounce from 2004 which was virtually non-existent.

Publius II

Obviously abortion is above Pelosi's pay grade, too

This was a liar, liar pants on fire moment if I ever heard one. We didn't see this from Pelosi yesterday but we saw Captain Ed's post about it, and folks, she's a moron.

Transcript from the video:

REP. PELOSI: I would say that as an ardent, practicing Catholic, this is an issue that I have studied for a long time. And what I know is, over the centuries, the doctors of the church have not been able to make that definition. And Senator–St. Augustine said at three months. We don’t know. The point is, is that it shouldn’t have an impact on the woman’s right to choose. Roe v. Wade talks about very clear definitions of when the child–first trimester, certain considerations; second trimester; not so third trimester. There’s very clear distinctions. This isn’t about abortion on demand, it’s about a careful, careful consideration of all factors and–to–that a woman has to make with her doctor and her god. And so I don’t think anybody can tell you when life begins, human life begins. As I say, the Catholic Church for centuries has been discussing this, and there are those who’ve decided…

MR. BROKAW: The Catholic Church at the moment feels very strongly that it…

REP. PELOSI: I understand that.

MR. BROKAW: …begins at the point of conception.

REP. PELOSI: I understand. And this is like maybe 50 years or something like that. So again, over the history of the church, this is an issue of controversy. But it is, it is also true that God has given us, each of us, a free will and a responsibility to answer for our actions. And we want abortions to be safe, rare, and reduce the number of abortions. That’s why we have this fight in Congress over contraception. My Republican colleagues do not support contraception. If you want to reduce the number of abortions, and we all do, we must–it would behoove you to support family planning and, and contraception, you would think. But that is not the case. So we have to take–you know, we have to handle this as respectfully–this is sacred ground. We have to handle it very respectfully and not politicize it, as it has been–and I’m not saying Rick Warren did, because I don’t think he did, but others will try to.

The Catholic Church has been ardently against abortion for 2000 YEARS! Not fifty. The first recognized catechism mentions it, written around 70 AD:

“The second commandment of the teaching: You shall not murder. You shall not commit adultery. You shall not seduce boys. You shall not commit fornication. You shall not steal. You shall not practice magic. You shall not use potions. You shall not procure [an] abortion, nor destroy a newborn child”

It's clear to us that she was either being willingly stupid, or lying willfully. The latter makes sense, given the screw up Obama made at the Saddleback forum (hence the title of the post), and that she's running interference because of that, and the fact that pro-choice, Catholic Joe Biden is on the ticket. She knows this doesn't sit well with pro-life people (especially us Catholics) and that Obama is having a problem with us.

But lying isn't the way to go. In fact even if she tells people she was mistaken and didn't know what she was talking about, that's another no-no. That's called bearing false witness, which goes hand-in-hand with lying. Stating something that isn't true, though you think it is, makes no difference. Nancy should have gone back and had a remedial course this past Sunday rather than go on with Tom Brokaw and making a fool of herself.

Not only did she not help Obama and Biden, but she reinvigorated this debate. She also insulted a great deal of Catholics. To Hell with you Nancy. Get a clue already. Your side just screwed the pooch.

Publius II

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Reactions to the Biden pick

By now we know that the Chet Edwards was a head fake, as was the talk of Evan Bayh being Obama's running mate. Instead Obama settled on Joe Biden. Thank you God. You heard our prayers. You know we wanted this general election to be as funny as possible, and You delivered those prayers.

Why do I say that? The Politico's Ken Vogel noticed that the Biden gaffe machine is on the loose already:

Sen. Joe Biden’s gotten a lot of unsolicited advice on how to curb his gaffe habit, but he might start by practicing his running mate’s name.

Three times during his inaugural speech as Barack Obama’s vice presidential candidate Saturday, Biden butchered Obama’s name — in different ways.

Biden called Obama “Barackal Bama” and “Barack Obaman,” as well as — perhaps most bizarre — “Barack America.”

Obama, by his own admission, has a “funny name,” and Biden did get it right at least a dozen times in his speech.But the mispronunciations did not go unnoticed.

The campaign cleaned up the “Barackal” and “Obaman” slips in what it billed as a “verbatim” transcript of the speech sent out shortly after Biden wrapped up. And it replaced the “America” in “Barack America” with an ellipsis.

There was speculation in the lefty blogosphere that Biden’s “Barack America” was a purposeful attempt to portray Obama as some kind of superhero, ala the Marvel Comics’ character Captain America.

But the context makes that seem unlikely.

Biden said: “My friends, I don't have to tell you, this election year the choice is clear. One man stands ready to deliver change we desperately need. A man I’m proud to call my friend. A man who will be the next president of the United States — Barack America!”

And there’s even less doubt that the other two were unintentional.

“Barackal and," he paused and corrected himself to what sounded like "Bama and I believe, we believe with every fiber in our being that our families, our communities, as Americans — there's not a single solitary challenge we cannot face if we level with the American people.”

Later, he said “There’s something about Barack Obaman that allows him to bring people together like no one I’ve worked with and seen.”

Really? Are you sure, Joe? That doesn't seem to jive with past statements made by him about Obama:

“But — and the ‘but’ was clearly inevitable — he doubts whether American voters are going to elect ‘a one-term, a guy who has served for four years in the Senate,’ and added: ‘I don’t recall hearing a word from Barack about a plan or a tactic.’” -- From a New York Observer interview.

“The more people learn about them (Obama and Hillary) and how they handle the pressure, the more their support will evaporate.” -- from a Huffington Pos interview.

But I guess that's all down the memory hole now, right? Now that's he with Obama, all is forgiven and forgotten? Bad news Joe, we're just starting to get rolling, and we knew with you on the ticket, you'd help sink Obama. See, folks, Joe Biden doesn't bring anything to this ticket. The foreign policy credentials are shot to Hell when you consider what he thought our response to 11 September should be:

At the Tuesday-morning meeting with committee staffers, Biden launches into a stream-of-consciousness monologue about what his committee should be doing, before he finally admits the obvious: “I’m groping here.” Then he hits on an idea: America needs to show the Arab world that we’re not bent on its destruction. “Seems to me this would be a good time to send, no strings attached, a check for $200 million to Iran,” Biden declares. He surveys the table with raised eyebrows, a How do ya like that? look on his face.

::Groan:: Great pick, Barry. You've got Deleware in the bag now, and John McCain is on the run, or at least he would be if he weren't laughing his @$$ off right now. And speaking of laughing John McCain rolled out his first ad post-announcement just three short hours after Obama's late-night/early-morning text message to supporters. In it, the McCain camp uses Biden's own words against Obama, and in John McCain's favor. That's the beauty of this election, folks. The ads will virtually write themselves, and the team of "Obiden" just won't know how to deal with a candidate as smart as McCain, with people in his camp that are far more shrewd than the "Chope" campaign has.

Publius II

Friday, August 22, 2008

A head-fake, or another attempt to pander?

::YAWN:: Today is supposed to be the big day when Barack Obama announces his running mate. The idea, no doubt, is to get a bounce in the polls, and get wall-to-wall coverage over the weekend on the talking heads' shows. The rumor is that it'll be Rep. Chet Edwards. Edwards is a moderate Democrat from the same district where President Bush's ranch is located. The problem is that if Obama picks him, Edwards will have to flip-flop on a lot of positions because he seems more like the polar opposite of Obama. Geraghty the Indispensable explains:

A disastrous pick, if accurate. He may be a perfectly nice guy, but he's a complete unknown. It's very difficult to see this one guy who represents communities near Waco putting Obama over the top in Texas, and it's hard to see him having the pull and sway to put many other red states or districts in play. He's been on budget and appropriations - classic bring-home-the-pork guy, with the Pig Book listing 73 projects worth $128,414,403. The outsider bringing change to Washington is going with a guy who's been in the House since 1991.

He's named "Chet" and was a junior golf champion. Voted for the Balanced Budget Amendment and line-item veto. He supports oil drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge and for the constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage.

National Journal: "In 2002 Farley ran again and national Republicans ran ads against Edwards arguing that he had the voting record of a Northeastern liberal. Edwards argued that he supported Bush on terrorism, education, welfare, energy and the Iraq war resolution."

His ACU rating for 2006 was 68, for 2005 (a non-election year) it was 36. He voted to extend the Patriot Act, and to build a border fence. He opposed an Iraq withdrawal proposal in the 109th Congress. He supports a Constitutional amendment to ban flag-burning, and increasing fines for "indecent" broadcasting.

He voted against raising corporate average fuel economy standards.

He supports limiting attorney's fees in class action lawsuits.

See, he's not even close to Obama. So if this is his pick, the thinking is likely that he can appeal to moderates and independents because he has a moderate on his ticket. And if this is his decision, it may have something to do with the Zogby poll released this week showing that he's losing support from moderates and independents. Obama isn't stupid and he knows the base he currently has isn't going to win him the presidency. So if Edwards is his pick, this is a clear pander. Geraghty adds:

A Chet Edwards pick would make the Netroots furious, and justifiably, for once: Chris Bowers notes, "Edwards is ranked outside the top 200 most progressive members of Congress on virtually every single issue."

Of course the nutroots will be ticked. They're ticked already because he's moved to the center, and even tried to make inroads with conservatives. They didn't like it then, and if Obama chooses Edwards, Jim Geraghty is correct: It'll be a disaster for the Obama campaign.

Publius II

Chinese cheating exposed; IOC announces investigation

HT to Michelle Malkin

Michelle reports that the Times of London is reporting that the IOC is launching an investigation of Chinese gymnast He Kexin on the heels of her gold medals, and the controversy raging that she was too young to compete:

The International Olympic Committee has ordered an investigation into mounting allegations that Chinese authorities covered up the true age of their gold-medal winning gymnastics star because she was too young to compete.

An IOC official told The Times that because of "discrepancies" that have come to light about the age of He Kexin, the host nation’s darling who won gold in both team and individual events, an official inquiry has been launched that could result in the gymnast being stripped of her medals.

The investigation was triggered as a US computer expert claimed yesterday to have uncovered Chinese government documents that he says prove she is only 14 - making her ineligible to compete in the Olympics - rather than 16, as officials in Beijing insist is her age.

Mike Walker, a computer security expert, told The Times how he tracked down two documents that he says had been removed from a Chinese government website. The documents, he said, stated that He’s birth date was January 1 1994 - making her 14 - and not January 1 1992, which is printed in her passport.

The Times also takes note of a hacker who blew the lid off this cover-up:

A determined computer expert has delved into cached pages on the Internet to unearth Chinese official documents showing a gymnast who took gold, edging Britain’s Beth Tweddle into fourth place, may indeed be underage.

Controversy over whether He Kexin, gold medallist in the uneven bars, is under the minimum age of 16 has surrounded her participation in the Beijing Olympics. The latest challenge over the age of the tiny Olympian comes from the discovery through a cyberspace maze of Chinese official documents listing her date of birth.

She certainly does not look as if she has reached the minimum competing age of 16. However China says her passport, issued in February, gives her birthday on January 1, 1992, and the International Olympic Committee has said proof from her passport is good enough. ...

The latest unofficial investigation was carried out by 'Stryde', a computer security expert for the New York-based Intrepidus Group, whose site Stryde Hax revealed a detailed forensic search for Ms He’s age.

The blogger first simply tried Google, only to find that an official listing by the Chinese sports administration that had given her age could no longer be accessed. Next he tried the Google cache, only to find that Ms He’s name had been removed.

So then he tried the cache of Chinese search engine Baidu. There, he found that Baidu lists two spreadsheets in Ms He's name, both giving her date of birth as January 1, 1994 – making her 14 years and 220 days old and too young to compete at these Olympics.

The lists were compiled by the General Administration of Sport of China.

Even before anyone arrived in Beijing, American media investigations had accused China of fielding three athletes below the 16-year-old minimum age threshold. Bela Karolyi, the former US head coach, then reheated the issue by claiming that China “are using half-people” and that their flouting of the regulations was so obvious that “these people think we are stupid”.

Here is the post Stryde posted on his site that goes through his search, and what he dug up. It's pretty damn compelling. IF the IOC is serious about this investigation, and they reach the same conclusion that so many others have speculated, and that Stryde has proven, then He Kexin will be stripped of her gold medals, and the order of finish will be moved up.

It was a mistake for the IOC to award the Chinese the Olympics, and not just because they're a communist nation that has no regard for human rights. We knew they were going to cheat. They had a couple athletes disqualified from the games when they tested positive for steroids. The Chinese tried to do the same thing that Hitler did in the Berlin games. The Olympics were literally a propaganda tool for them to exhibit their supposed "superiority" to the world.

They failed, and we hope the IOC holds them accountable for their cheating ways.

Publius II

The naive rookie mistakes continue to roll out

Marcie isn't feeling too hot today so I'll take point on the site. And I'd like to address the naivete of Obama that he put on display yesterday:

Everybody's watching what's going on in Beijing right now with the Olympics , Think about the amount of money that China has spent on infrastructure. Their ports, their train systems, their airports are vastly the superior to us now, which means if you are a corporation deciding where to do business you're starting to think, "Beijing looks like a pretty good option."

What a rube. He's too naive to see beyond what China WANTS the world to see. They built everything up for the Olympics just so the world could be impressed. But they couldn't cover up their pitiful infrastructure in the wake the devastating 7.9 magnitude quake that hit China back in May. In that quake over 10,000 school children lost their lives to sub-standard building construction. This is what Marcie wrote at the time:

This is the legacy of Communism. While so many may extol the "virtues" of such a totalitarian system, when disasters like this strike the government's shoddy work is laid bare for all to see. The Chinese government was so excited to be awarded the Olympics that on the day the quake occurred, Chinese news services assured everyone that the Olympic stadium was unharmed before continuing on with the news.

The children have become the victims in this tragedy. Seven thousand schools collapsed. Four thousand children orphaned. Five million people are homeless. The shoddy workmanship is exposed for all of those in China, and around the world, which is the "best" anyone could expect from a Communist regime.

Seven thousand schools gone in the wink of an eye. That's a testament to the Chinese way of building things. No rebar, no reinforcement for buildings in an area of the world prone to earthquakes. John Taylor has a quick rundown on the shoddy workmanship in China. But that doesn't stop Obama from heaping disdain on his country, and praising a totalitarian regime. Thanks, Barry. We sure do appreciate that.

Would we like to see our businesses go abroad, especially to China? Did Obama forget that they are a totalitarian country where censorship runs rampant and where foreign journalists are arrested for covering protests. Let's not forget that the air in China is so bad that our athletes attempted to wear masks. That lasted until the the Chinese threw a hissy fit. Captain Ed notes that China isn't allowing people to download iTunes right now because of a Tibet-themed album that was just released.

And there is this from a Hugh Hewitt listener:

hundreds of millions of chinese live in the countryside WITHOUT REGULAR ACCESS TO UTILITIES, EDUCATION OR CLEAN WATER and modern farming equipment....

about half of the Chinese hover right around malnutrition and no education...

That's the china no one sees. That's the China that is the truth. It's not the glitz, glamour, and bling-bling that they've shown the world in Beijing. That is the legacy of a regime that literally controls it's populace from sun-up to sun-down, 24/7.

We have a superior infrastructure. We can also create business opportunities here in America. When we get these retarded oil-drilling bans lifted we will need a lot of workers to help build the refineries, and drill that oil. In addition to that there's the move to alternative energy, such as nuclear. Someone has to build those plants and maintain them.

But that's not good enough for Obama. He's enticed by the eye candy that the Communist Chinese has put out as propaganda. This guy is an ignorant rube that lacks even the most basic knowledge of a nation that is not our friend.

Publius II