Friday, June 27, 2008

SCOTUS Puts Another "Weapon" In John McCain's Arsenal

Forgive the pun.

Yesterday's 5-4 (how was this not 9-0?) Heller decision by the Supreme Court to uphold the 2nd Amendment can only help John McCain (R-AZ), if he's willing to take advantage of it.

Barack Obama's (D-IL) opinions on this issue have been less than clear, but what is clear is that John McCain came out wholly in support of the decision, while Obama did not.

McCain:

McCain, the Republican presidential nominee-in-waiting, heralded the justices' action as "a landmark victory for Second Amendment freedom."

Voicing a stance that could help him woo conservatives and libertarians, McCain said, "This ruling does not mark the end of our struggle against those who seek to limit the rights of law-abiding citizens. We must always remain vigilant in defense of our freedoms."

Obama:

The statement from Obama, who has long said local governments should be able to regulate guns, did not specifically say whether Obama agreed with overturning the specific D.C. ban. But he said Thursday's ruling "will provide much-needed guidance to local jurisdictions across the country."

"I have always believed that the Second Amendment protects the right of individuals to bear arms, but I also identify with the need for crime-ravaged communities to save their children from the violence that plagues our streets through commonsense, effective safety measures," Obama said.

The fact that Obama could not come out with an unequivocal statement of support for the decision should strike terror into the hearts of any gun owner, or anyone who supports the 2nd Amendment or, frankly any of the Bill of Rights, especially given the narrowness (5-4) of the decision. What if Scalia had had a heart attack this year and been forced to step down and Bush (R-USA) had been forced to appoint someone like Stevens? This decision could've gone easily the other way.

As I said at the top, this gives John McCain another weapon in his arsenal.  Given that I don't think Iraq works for him, now matter how good it's going, and that I just don't think many people care about Obama's flip-flop on campaign financing, and that the economy is an albatross around any Republican's neck, McCain doesn't have many weapons at his disposal.  He has to use them all.  Here's what I think they are:

  1. Energy Independence -- McCain has not been a knight in shining armor here, by any means, but at least he's been heading in the right direction recently.  But he needs to go farther, by getting off the backs of the oil companies and coming out in favor of drilling in places like ANWR.  The good news is that even though I can only give him a C+ (at best) on this issue, he's light years ahead of Obama's F. McCain's ideas (in general) are in agreement with an overwhelming majority of American's. Obama is living in Obamerica.
  2. Earmarks and Government Waste -- Yes, I know government waste through earmarks is nowhere near as bad as it is in entitlement programs, but standing tough on earmarks makes for better TV, and people are tired of hearing about “bridges to nowhere”. McCain is a knight in shining armor on this one, having pledged to veto any pork-laden bill that comes across his desk  if elected President. Obama has lobbied for $740 million in earmarks for his pet projects since 2004.
  3. Guns -- See above
  4. Supreme Court Justices -- Obviously, this is important to either base, and both conservative and liberals often use this as a rallying cry. But, the narrowness of the Heller decision might finally be something that McCain can use to energize the conservative base, without whom he has no shot. Yes, I know that with a Democrat controlled Senate McCain will not be able to nominate a Scalia or Roberts, but at least anybody he appoints will have to be more appealing to conservatives than a Ginsburg or Stevens
  5. Obama’s “positions of convenience” as noted here.  Obama continues to show that he is not what he has pretended to be, a "new kind of politician". He makes choices where politically convenient. Despite many conservatives ire with McCain, this is definitely not a problem with him. McCain clearly sticks to his core beliefs. Obama just as clearly has none.

This gives John McCain 5 things to talk about in his speeches and his ads.  He needs to mention at least two of them in every speech he gives between now and election day, regardless of the main topic of the speech.  Half of his ads (preferably more) need to mention at least one of these things.

Unfortunately for him, McCain has yet to show himself as being opportunistic at exposing Obama's flaws.  He has to get better.

As an aside, you may have noticed that the first mention of all the politician's names in this article included their party and area they represent.  This is the new policy at Chris of Rights, and I'll be going back and editing my previous posts in the near future to make sure they all conform.

UPDATE: Neal Boortz makes an insightful comment:

Without the appointments made to the Supreme Court by George W. Bush this probably would have been completely different.  With Al Gore in the presidency your right to own a gun for self-defense would have been ripped away today.

Yes, it was that close. If Al Gore (D) had been elected President, this decision would've gone the other way, and even now communities across the United States would be enacting legislation to take guns away.  This is why who is elected President matters, and the Supreme Court matters.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

I Was Being Partially Facetious Before...

...but now I'm serious.  The modern Democratic Party is insane.

We face $4+ gas, the prospects of an unending War on Terror and War in Iraq, a recession, a banking crisis, a home mortgage crisis, a real estate market free fall, and what is the DNC worried about?

Fanny packs. Baseball caps. Biodegradable balloons. Colors of meals. An Official Carbon Advisor.

What am I babbling about?

The Democratic National Convention in Denver, or "The Greenest Show on Earth"

Here's some good quotes for you (from today's WSJ):

The host committee for the Democratic National Convention wanted 15,000 fanny packs for volunteers. But they had to be made of organic cotton. By unionized labor. In the USA.

Official merchandiser Bob DeMasse scoured the country. His weary conclusion: "That just doesn't exist."

Ditto for the baseball caps. "We have a union cap or an organic cap," Mr. DeMasse says. "But we don't have a union-organic offering."

And even better:

To test whether celebratory balloons advertised as biodegradable actually will decompose, Ms. Robinson buried samples in a steaming compost heap. She hired an Official Carbon Adviser, who will measure the greenhouse-gas emissions of every placard, every plane trip, every appetizer prepared and every coffee cup tossed. The Democrats hope to pay penance for those emissions by investing in renewable energy projects.

I was going to bold parts of that paragraph, but I ended up realizing I'd be putting the whole thing in bold.

This is what the DNC is concerned about?

At least in the past, I understood the left.  I didn't always agree with them, but I understood them. And I was willing to admit that there may be merit to some of their ideas. I'm not arrogant enough to believe that I'm (or the right is) always correct.

But I don't even understand this. It seems to me that there are so many bigger fish to fry than to worry about fanny packs and baseball caps.

Oh, but no fried food is allowed at the convention either. Maybe that's why they're not concerned about frying the bigger fish.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Democrats Call for Nationalizing the Oil Industry

Well, it's all over the blogosphere today.  Maurice Hinchey (D-NY) called for nationalizing the oil industry yesterday.  Video at Hot Air.

I'm not as surprised as I should be, especially since Maxine Waters (D-CA) has already threatened this, but I do hope someone out there has the courage to ask Barack Obama (D-IL) what he thinks of this?

If he comes out unequivocally opposed, I guess I'll have to take points away from him on the Marx-o-meter. I really don't see that happening though, for two reasons.

  1. No one's going to ask.
  2. If someone does, he'll hem and haw and say not really answer the question, but will continue to blame the oil companies for everything.

McCain Team Thinks They've Found a Winner

And so do I.

John McCain (R-AZ) spent yesterday campaigning on energy independence. The third straight day he's done so. This time McCain came out swinging at Barack Obama (D-IL) with nuclear reactors (we haven't built one of those in the U.S. since 1978--about the same time we stopped building refineries) calling for 45 new ones to be built in the U.S. in the next 20 years.

McCain has also called for an end to the ban on offshore drilling, a flip-flop from how he felt about it in 2000. The Obama camp ludicrously tried to attack this decision:

John McCain's plan to simply drill our way out of our energy crisis is the same misguided approach backed by President Bush that has failed our families for too long and only serves to benefit the big oil companies

Ummm...pardon me, but wouldn't the "same misguided approach" be to continue doing what we've done for the last 30 years, which is nothing?

Then Obama contradicts himself in the space of two sentences:

[O]pening our coastlines to offshore drilling would take at least a decade to produce any oil at all, and the effect on gasoline prices would be negligible at best since America only has 3% of the world’s oil. It’s another example of short-term political posturing from Washington, not the long-term leadership we need to solve our dependence on oil. Instead of giving oil executives another way to boost their record profits, I believe we should put in place a windfall profits tax

Ok, so it would take a decade to produce oil, but it's short-term thinking? And a windfall profits tax isn't? Earth to Obama, come in please. You and your fellow Democrats have been following this "same misguided approach" regarding drilling for more than a decade. Bill Clinton wouldn't allow drilling in ANWR because it would take a decade for it to produce. This was in 1995. Well, a decade has now passed. I don't know about you, but I'd certainly like to see some of that oil now. That was short-term thinking then, and it's short-term thinking now.

Can Republicans Go To the September 10th Well Again?

Andrew McCarthy and John McCain (R-AZ) seem to think so.

McCarthy wrote an incredibly scathing article calling Barack Obama (D-IL) the September 10th candidate for wanting to treat terrorists as criminals after Obama came out in support of the SCOTUS decision regarding Guantanamo Bay inmates. He talks about how well this approach has worked in the past:

The fact is that we used the criminal justice system as our principal enforcement approach, the approach Obama intends to reinstate, for eight years — from the bombing of the World Trade Center until the shocking destruction of that complex on 9/11. During that timeframe, while the enemy was growing stronger and attacking more audaciously, we managed to prosecute successfully less than three dozen terrorists (29 to be precise). And with a handful of exceptions, they were the lowest ranking of players.

Hmm...according to Terrorist Death Watch, over 20,000 terrorists have been killed in Iraq in the last 2 1/2 years. It doesn't take a math degree to see that 20,000 in 2 1/2 is a lot better than 29 in 8.

McCain's people have picked up this ball and are running with it (quote from McCain's foreign policy adviser Randy Scheunemann):

Once again we have seen that Senator Obama is a perfect manifestation of the September 10 mindset,

Jim Woolsey, former CIA director and another McCain surrogate said "This is an extremely dangerous and extremely naive approach toward terrorism."

McCarthy ends with an absolutely crushing line:

Obama would bring us back to September 10th America. And September 10th is sure to be followed by September 11th .

Certainly George W. Bush (R-USA) & Co. used this approach in 2004 with some success, but it failed miserably for Republicans in 2006. While I agree with it to some degree, I think McCain's going to have to come out with something other than this to win.

I'd suggest energy independence.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

From the "You Have Got To Be Kidding Me" Department

Betanews is reporting the AP's current plan for dealing with excerpting it's content:

Where the group had previously invoked the Digital Millennium Copyright Act and sent cease-and-desist orders to at least one blogger, seeking the removal of excerpted content (in some cases as few as 17 words in length), now the press service has attached an "Excerpt for Web Use" charge for passages as short as five words in length.

The pricing scale for excerpting AP content begins at $12.50 for 5-25 words and goes as high as $100 for 251 words and up. Nonprofit organizations and educational institutions enjoy a discounted rate.

Betanews brings up many problems to this "solution".  I'm going to stick with "you have got to be kidding me", but I recommend that you read the whole thing.

Well, if I have to pay to excerpt from an AP story, then I won't excerpt.  And if I can't excerpt then I won't link.  At first, I thought they were over-the-top,but now I think that TechCrunch has it right.

So here’s our new policy on A.P. stories: they don’t exist. We don’t see them, we don’t quote them, we don’t link to them. They’re banned until they abandon this new strategy, and I encourage others to do the same until they back down from these ridiculous attempts to stop the spread of information around the Internet.

UPDATE: Michael Silence says that the AP has earned itself a blogswarm

Actually, in some ways, the AP should be commended.  They have managed to single-handedly unite three very different poles of the blogosphere, the techies, the left, and the right.  Something that even a week ago would've seemed impossible.

Unfortunately for the AP, the blogosphere is united against them.

Newt On Gas Prices

Barack Obama's Hillary Problem

And no, it's not that Hillary Clinton (D-NY) wants the VP slot. She doesn't.

It's that over the course of her campaign, she's said a lot of things that we would expect to hear from the likes of John McCain (R-AZ). And I'm sure that McCain & Co. will be saying some of these things in the months to come.

But McCain won't have to use his own quotes. He'll be able to use Hillary's quotes for him. And they'll be much more damaging coming from someone in the Democratic party.

I have a lifetime of experience that I will bring to the White House. I know Senator McCain has a lifetime of experience that he will bring to the White House. And Senator Obama has a speech he gave in 2002.- Hillary Clinton, March 2008

Hillary is presumably referring to Barack Obama's (D-IL) anti-war speech he delivered in October, 2002 in Chicago.

When McCain and his campaign make these same statements, and use tapes of Hillary to make them it's going to resonate with those former Clinton supporters. It's also going to resonate with independents.

But, it's not just experience where Hillary has hurt Obama. The media has made things worse for him (yes, I said worse).

Look at what Katie Couric has had to say about how Hillary was treated by the media:

However you feel about her politics, I feel that Sen. Clinton received some of the most unfair, hostile coverage I've ever seen.

And what did Bill say recently?

I've never seen a candidate treated so disrespectfully

And:

Most of the media aren't for her.

Terry McCauliffe went even farther:

...every independent study has said that this is the most biased coverage they’ve ever seen in a presidential campaign.

...I have said this - FOX has been one of the most responsible in this presidential campaign.

Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell (D-PA)

...some of the other stations are just caught up with Senator Obama, who is a great guy, but Senator Obama can do no wrong, and Senator Clinton can do no right.

Just like the Hillary quote above, these are troublesome statements for Obama because they come from members of his own party. We're used to hearing Republicans complain about media bias, and we will no doubt hear more of that in the coming months from the McCain camp.

And when those statements come from McCain, once again the former Hillary supporters will hear them and think to themselves, "you know, maybe he's right. The media was certainly biased against us." and they're going to wonder what they really know about Obama and think about voting for McCain.

It would actually be good for Obama in the long run if the media would attack him for a while. Then the charges of media bias won't stick later. That doesn't seem likely, however.

UPDATE: I told you so.

McCain Seeks to End Offshore Drilling Ban

All I can say is "Woohoo!"

From today's Washington Post:

Sen. John McCain [(R-AZ)] called yesterday for an end to the federal ban on offshore oil drilling, offering an aggressive response to high gasoline prices and immediately drawing the ire of environmental groups that the presumptive Republican presidential nominee has courted for months.

And the response from Barack Obama (D-IL)?

Democratic Sen. Barack Obama joined the criticism, calling the idea of lifting the ban the wrong answer to out-of-control energy prices. "John McCain's plan to simply drill our way out of our energy crisis is the same misguided approach backed by President Bush that has failed our families for too long and only serves to benefit the big oil companies," Obama spokesman Hari Sevugan said.

Well, there you have it, folks. One candidate is for energy independence and for lowering the cost of gas. And one isn't.

The choice should now be pretty clear.

Back in 2000, I was ahead of the curve. Energy independence was my #1 issue heading into the 2000 elections. Of course, neither major candidate for President addressed it, so I was left to choose based upon other things.

In 2004, it dropped to my #2 issue behind the War On Terror (as others have noted, the issues are not totally un-related). Once again, neither major candidate addressed it, but at least there were clear differences between the candidates on terrorism.

Now, in 2008, I have moved it back up to #1, with the War On Terror now slipping to #2, taxes #3 and the economy #4 (3 and 4 are not totally unrelated either...hmmm).

McCain also backs building more nuclear power plants. Once again, I say "Woohoo!". Now if he would only stop attacking big business, he might actually become a candidate I can support with some real enthusiasm.

Drill Here. Drill Now. Pay Less. It seems so simple, doesn't it? Why can't our politicians get it?

Well, one man running for President has seen at least a glimmer of the light.

Bush Never Lied to Us About Iraq

Not a headline you expect to see in the LA Times, even in the opinion section, but there it is.

Bush never lied to us about Iraq

The administration simply got bad intelligence. Critics are wrong to assert deception.

By one James Kirchick. Looking at some of Mr. Kirchick's past articles leads me to believe that he's no friend to conservatives, so I don't think he's trying to cover up for George W. Bush (R-USA).

From the article:

In 2004, the Senate Intelligence Committee unanimously approved a report acknowledging that it "did not find any evidence that administration officials attempted to coerce, influence or pressure analysts to change their judgments." The following year, the bipartisan Robb-Silberman report similarly found "no indication that the intelligence community distorted the evidence regarding Iraq's weapons of mass destruction."

He goes on to tear apart the more recent Senate "Intelligence" Committee Report issued June 5, which I've commented on previously.

He brings into comparison George Romney and how he felt about Vietnam in the 60s. Romney originally supported the war, and later changing his mind, saying that he'd been "brainwashed" into thinking it a good thing during a trip to Vietnam. A beautiful quote follows:

A journalist who accompanied Romney on his 1965 foray to Vietnam remarked that if the governor had indeed been brainwashed, it was not because of American propaganda but because he had "brought so light a load to the laundromat." Given the similarity between Romney's explanation and the protestations of Democrats 40 years later, one wonders why the news media aren't saying the same thing today.

Before one wonders too long, one should check the party affiliations of Romney (Republican), and the latest people claiming to have been "brainwashed" (Democratic).

I've quoted a good portion of the article here. Fortunately for me, it's not an AP article.

But keep on buying those "Bush Lied, People Died" t-shirts if it makes you sleep easier. They won't be any more true, but I'm sure they're comfy to sleep in.

Monday, June 16, 2008

More On "Drill Here. Drill Now. Pay Less."

It appears that Republicans may be getting the message.

Powerline has some info from the office of Republican whip Roy Blunt (R-MO07). You can see the original here. This is a breakdown on expected cost of gas under Republican plans and Democratic plans.

Now, obviously, there's a bit of spin here. The Republican plan is not going to lower your gas prices by $2 today. Some of these things will take years to implement. However, the sooner we get started, the sooner we can finish, and the lowering of the gas prices may be even more important to us then.

It's also worth noting that some of the increase in gas prices is due to speculation, and that instituting plans to drill more in the U.S. would curtail that somewhat, which would drive prices down a bit more in the near future.

Of course, it would help Republicans if they were better about publicizing this sort of thing. I had to do a little digging to find the original PDF. It should be on the RNC's main page, and a topic for all of the Sunday morning shows.

Friday, June 13, 2008

McCain's Iraq Problem (It's Not What You Think)

The Democratic Party swept to power in 2006 based largely on using Iraq as an albatross around the necks of their Republican opponents.

Their original plans for the White House in 2008 centered around much of the same strategy. Senator John McCain (R-AZ), while in opposition to the President in many things, has been a strong supporter of the war and the "surge" from the very beginning.

The Democratic mantra of "we can't win, and in fact, we've already lost" has become so entrenched in the minds of most Americans that it's nearly impossible for them to see anything else.

And, if that were true, it would be a disaster for John McCain.

But, it's not true at all. The story in Iraq is getting amazingly better. Almost day-by-day. Al-Qaeda in Iraq has been nearly defeated, and Iraqis are largely handling the final stages themselves with Americans relegated to a supporting role.

And you'd think that would be good news for John McCain.

You'd be wrong.

In some ways, Iraq has become too much of a success story. And while the truth of that makes the Democratic party look ridiculous, no one knows. And no one's going to know. And if they do know, they're not going to care.

When was the last time you saw something significant about Iraq in the news?

That's because the only news coming out of Iraq right now is good news.

Which largely takes the issue off the table for the 2008 elections.

John McCain's strength is foreign policy and experience. His weakness is domestic policy and the economy.

With Iraq doing so well and not being in the news, it's an "out of sight, out of mind" situation for most Americans. Currently Americans are far more worried about the economy than the situation in Iraq.

Which makes things much easier for Senator Barack Obama.

McCain must find a way to make the point that he's been right about Iraq all along, and his opponent has been wrong, and that there's still plenty more to do to ensure stability there. Further, he must make it clear that it's foolish to expect someone who's been wrong on Iraq all along to suddenly get things right. Lastly, he has to make all of this evident to an American public that is far more concerned about their jobs and their wallets.

Naming Names: Who's Holding Up Drilling for U.S. Oil?

Yesterday, the House Subcommittee on Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies voted on party lines on the issue of "Drill Here. Drill Now. Pay Less." The Democratic party is against lowering gas prices for the American consumer and is against energy independence.

Here are the names. This is a House committee, so all of these folks are up for re-election.

AGAINST
Chair: Norman D. Dicks (D-WA)
James P. Moran (D-VA)
Maurice D. Hinchey (D-NY)
John W. Olver (D-MA)
Alan B. Mollohan (D-WV)
Tom Udall (D-NM)
Ben Chandler (D-KY)
Ed Pastor (D-AZ)
Dave Obey (D-WI), Ex Officio

Hat Tip: Glenn Beck

Ignoring the Supreme Court

Yes, I know all about the SCOTUS decision on Gitmo yesterday. I'm not going to comment. Everything worthwhile has already been said. Yes, I think it was wrong, but I'm not a lawyer, nor do I play one on TV.

I realize given the intent of this blog that a discussion would fit well here, but I just don't have anything interesting to say on the subject.

However, on Tammy Bruce's blog today, a poster named Maynard has a post that's at least tangential to this issue. And, while I don't think anyone's recommending that Bush follow Lincoln's lead, the parallels are interesting.

To wit, Lincoln illegally suspended habeas corpus for 2 years with regard to military detainees in spite of a SCOTUS decision against him.

Lieutenant John Merryman, leading a unit of the Maryland cavalry, destroyed a bridge vital to troop movements. Lincoln's army detained him. Held at Fort McHenry, he filed a writ of habeas corpus. The Chief Justice ruled that Merryman must be freed.

Lincoln ignored the court. The Union army marched into Baltimore and declared martial law. Mayor Brown and others were imprisoned for the duration of the war. Lincoln's unauthorized suspension of habeas corpus continued until 1863, when Congress validated his actions.

As they say, read the whole thing.

Someone asked me if George W. Bush (R-USA) could ask Congress to suspend habeas corpus for Gitmo detainees? It's unclear to me, but a better question might be, would they? Given that it's a Democratic controlled Congress and Bush is a lame duck, you'd expect the answer to be 'no'.

However, given that it's an election year, Congress might, but only if it were politically expedient.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Quote of the Day Part II

From the AP and Jonathan Martin:

[Congressman ZZZ] said Tuesday Barack Obama [(D-IL)] is "the most liberal senator" in Congress and he has no intention of endorsing him for the White House.

Who is "Congressman ZZZ"? Why, none other than Dan Boren (D-OK02).

Another beautiful quote from him:

Our nominee is not my first choice.

And about Obama:

[H]is record does not reflect working in a bipartisan fashion.

This is a Democrat talking, folks. Dean needs to get these folks in line. So much for party unity and Obama being a "uniter, not a divider". As Martin points out:

[I]t gives [John] McCain [(R-AZ)] and the GOP a handy talking point from a non-[Joe] Lieberman [(D-CN)] Dem. "Even some Democratic congressmen..." will surely go the refrain when making the case about Obama's purported liberalism.

Quotes of the Day Part I

About the budget:

I can’t support a budget, from either party, that raises taxes on the middle class. I campaigned on a platform of middle-class tax relief, and I was elected to Washington to bring about change. When asked to choose between my party and the people I represent, I will choose the families of the [my] district every single time.

And:

I voted against [the budget] because it allows tax cuts to expire in 2010, raising taxes on most American taxpayers, I promised the people of the [my district] to vote with my party when they are right, and vote against them when they are wrong. My vote today was the right vote for my constituents.

Who said these things? The first is from Congressman Bill Foster (D-IL-14), and the second is from Congressman Dan Cazayoux (D-LA-06). What do these men have in common? They're both Democrats, and they both don't want to raise taxes on the middle class. And both voted against the Democrat budget plan.

Huh. Imagine that.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Something I've Never Understood

Why, oh why, does the left hate George W. Bush (R-USA) so much? Why does "Bush Derangement Syndrome" exist?

This is a man who as President, has primarily governed from the center, or even the left. Only on three issues has he been consistently right of center: the War in Iraq, taxes, and Supreme Court Justices.

In every other issue, growth of government, No Child Left Behind, "immigration reform", just to name a few, he's come down on the left side of the aisle.

Is it because of the "stolen election" in 2000?

Is it because he says "nucular"?

Is it because of the way he talks in general?

Is it because he's made a career out of getting people to underestimate him and they have fallen into that trap several times?

If these are the reasons, it's a sad statement about the left, that they would be so petty in their dislike of a person to not even realize that he's aided their cause immensely.

At least if there's an "Barack Obama (D-IL) Derangement Syndrome", it will have a logical basis. There's nothing at all centrist about Obama.

Republicans Blame Democrats For High Cost of Gas

I blame both parties.

However, what they say here is true.

House Republican leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) called it "insane" that the Democrat-led Congress is still refusing to allow increased production of American energy.
"Today marks another dubious day for this Do-Nothing Democratic Congress. On their watch, gas prices have soared to new heights, and by refusing to schedule a vote on a plan to increase American-made energy to help lower gas prices, congressional Democrats are complicit in this unprecedented surge in fuel costs," Boehner said on Sunday.
He called it "inexcusable" that Democrats won't take "meaningful action" to reduce gasoline prices, something that would help the entire economy, he said.

Price of gas in America in January, 2001 (George W. Bush (R-USA) takes office): $1.46.

Price of gas in America in January, 2007 (Democratic Party takes Congress): $2.31.

Price of gas in America in June, 2008: $4.04.

Percent increase in first 6 years: 58%

Percent increase in last 17 months: 75%

Democrats have a commonsense plan to help bring down skyrocketing gas prices by cracking down on price gouging, rolling back the billions of dollars in taxpayer subsidies, tax breaks and royalty relief given to big oil and gas companies, and increasing production of alternative fuels - Nancy Pelosi [(D-CA-08)], April, 2006

Yeah, how's that workin' out?

Senate Investigates Iraq Pre-war Intelligence

This is, what, the 7th, investigation into Iraq pre-war intelligence now? Don't the members of our Congress have anything better to do? Like come up with sensible plans for keeping the economy out of a recession, and for lowering the price of gas?

Apparently not. Apparently, it's worthwhile to investigate Iraq pre-war intelligence one more time and come up with the same conclusions as previous investigations. As Fred Hiatt points out:

On Iraq's nuclear weapons program? The president's statements "were generally substantiated by intelligence community estimates."

On biological weapons, production capability and those infamous mobile laboratories? The president's statements "were substantiated by intelligence information."

On chemical weapons, then? "Substantiated by intelligence information."

On weapons of mass destruction overall (a separate section of the intelligence committee report)? "Generally substantiated by intelligence information." Delivery vehicles such as ballistic missiles? "Generally substantiated by available intelligence." Unmanned aerial vehicles that could be used to deliver WMDs? "Generally substantiated by intelligence information."

[S]tatements regarding Iraq's support for terrorist groups other than al-Qaeda "were substantiated by intelligence information." Statements that Iraq provided safe haven for Abu Musab al-Zarqawi and other terrorists with ties to al-Qaeda "were substantiated by the intelligence assessments," and statements regarding Iraq's contacts with al-Qaeda "were substantiated by intelligence information."

This is from the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence Report on their investigation. Remember, please, that the party in the majority writes these reports, and that Democrats control the Senate.

The dissenter (minority) view?

The dissenters assert that they were cut out of the report's preparation, allowing for a great deal of skewing and partisanship, but that even so, "the reports essentially validate what we have been saying all along: that policymakers' statements were substantiated by the intelligence."

Another statement from the dissent:

"There has been some debate over how 'imminent' a threat Iraq poses. I do believe Iraq poses an imminent threat. I also believe after September 11, that question is increasingly outdated. . . . To insist on further evidence could put some of our fellow Americans at risk. Can we afford to take that chance? I do not think we can."

Who said this in October of 2002? Was it George W. Bush (R-USA)? No, it was Senator John. D. Reckefeller IV (D-WV), at the time the vice-chairman (now chairman) of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence.

"Bush Lied, People Died"? Only in Fantasyland. Even the most partisan Democrats in Washington can find no evidence to support that claim.

Friday, June 6, 2008

Drill Here. Drill Now. Pay Less.

That's the theme of Newt Gingrich's Petition at American Solutions.

The text of the petition is short and sweet.

We, therefore, the undersigned citizens of the United States, petition the U.S. Congress to act immediately to lower gasoline prices by authorizing the exploration of proven energy reserves to reduce our dependence on foreign energy sources from unstable countries.

As I've mentioned before, I'm big into energy independence and lowering gas prices.

Right now Newt has over 300,000 signatures. Originally he was hoping for 100,000. It'd be great if he could get another digit and hit 1,000,000.

UPDATE: As of June 13, the petition now has over 650,000 signatures.

UPDATE: As of June 17, the tally is nearing 850,000. I wonder if John McCain (R-AZ) has signed? I doubt these guys have.

UPDATE: As of July 3, the tally is over 1,250,000. The goal is 3,000,000 by the conventions.

Barack Obama and Socialism/Marxism

Recently, someone called me deluded for having the temerity to suggest that Barack Obama (D-IL) has Marxist/socialistic views.

Actually, he said that I claimed he was a Marxist (which I didn't) and that delusion was putting it mildly. Unfortunately, I took the bait offered and then did call Obama a Marxist.

I'll go back now to saying that he has Marxist/socialistic views and agenda.

And I'll spend the rest of this very long post backing that up. I'm going to talk about a lot of things here, and I really should break it up into several posts, but I'm not going to.

Let's start by looking at some of his history:

  1. Obama says that the well-known Marxist, Frank Marshall Davis was a “decisive influence” on him. This is in his book and and has been documented by the Communist Party USA.
  2. Obama says, "All of my life, I carried a single image of my father, one that I .. tried to take as my own." But what do we know about his father? We know that he supported:
    1. 100% taxation
    2. communal farms / the elimination of private farming
    3. the nationalization of businesses owned by “Europeans” and “Asians”.
    4. “active” measures to bring about a classless society
  3. Obama cites as one of his mentors and friends, the now infamous Bill Ayers, well known Marxist and terrorist.
  4. Obama's (until recent) church of twenty years is the Trinity United Church of Chicago. The Trinity United Church openly teaches Black Liberation Theology. Thousands have articles have been written documenting the ties between Black Liberation Theology and Marxism. It literally has its origins there.
  5. When running for state senate in 1996, Barack Obama obtained the endorsement of the Democratic Socialists of America. In case you don’t know who they are, I’ll quote from their website: “The Democratic Socialists of America (DSA) is the largest socialist organization in the United States, and the principal U.S. affiliate of the Socialist International. DSA’s members are building progressive movements for social change while establishing an openly socialist presence in American communities and politics.” (I have originally stated that he sought this endorsement--I was confusing them with the New Party--see below). It's not as if this group just automatically supports Illinois Democrats. They only supported 4 that year.
  6. When running for state senate in 1996, Barack Obama sought and obtained the endorsement of the New Party. There are conflicting statements as to whether or not this was Barack Obama's first political party. If you don't know who the New Party is, that's because they are now defunct. But, like a phoenix, they have risen from the ashes as ACORN.

Ok, that's all guilt by association, but it makes it quite plain that many of the people in Obama's inner circle, the people that inspired Obama, and the people that have supported Obama, are Marxist or at least have Marxist leanings.

Let's look at some of Obama's statements:

  1. Well, Charlie, what I've said is that I would look at raising the capital gains tax for purposes of fairness.
    1. This is despite the empirical evidence and even statements by members of his own party, that raising the capital gains tax reduces government revenue. He doesn't care how much the government brings in as long as taxes are "fair".
  2. And it’s not surprising then they get bitter, they cling to guns or religion
    1. Compare to “Religion is the opiate of the masses”, Karl Marx, 1843
  3. Each of you will have the chance to make your own discovery in the years to come. And I say “chance” because you won’t have to take it. There’s no community service requirement in the real world; no one forcing you to care. You can take your diploma, walk off this stage, and chase only after the big house and the nice suits and all the other things that our money culture says you should by. You can choose to narrow your concerns and live your life in a way that tries to keep your story separate from America’s.

    But I hope you don’t. Not because you have an obligation to those who are less fortunate, though you do have that obligation. Not because you have a debt to all those who helped you get here, though you do have that debt.

    It’s because you have an obligation to yourself. Because our individual salvation depends on collective salvation. Because thinking only about yourself, fulfilling your immediate wants and needs, betrays a poverty of ambition. Because it’s only when you hitch your wagon to something larger than yourself that you realize your true potential and discover the role you’ll play in writing the next great chapter in America’s story.
    1. Those are pretty words, and somehow uplifting in the “it takes a village” meme of uplifting, but the translation is simple. “Put away your childish thoughts of the American Dream. Serve the larger community. Share with the larger community.” Community is a big word in socialism.
  4. Oh crap, I've lost the link, but I've read that there are at least 15 complimentary references to Che Guevara on Obama's own website. Certainly Che is no friend to capitalism (or freedom), but without a link, I suggest you decide on your own the worthiness of this statement.

Ok, there's no smoking gun statement there. You have to read between the lines. What? You are expecting him to just come out and say "I am a Marxist and I want to turn the country into a socialist state"?

First of all, I don't think he thinks of himself as a Marxist/socialist (and I've tried very hard myself not to call him that, but instead to say that has a Marxist/socialist agenda). And second, even if he did, that's clearly not the way to get elected. :)

Ok, let's now look at his "Blueprint for Change", or as I like to call it, his "Blueprint for Socialism".

Before I begin in depth, here's the Webster definition of socialism:

1: any of various economic and political theories advocating collective or governmental ownership and administration of the means of production and distribution of goods

2 a: a system of society or group living in which there is no private property b: a system or condition of society in which the means of production are owned and controlled by the state

3: a stage of society in Marxist theory transitional between capitalism and communism and distinguished by unequal distribution of goods and pay according to work done

The last definition there is interesting. Let's see what Webster has to say about capitalism:

: an economic system characterized by private or corporate ownership of capital goods, by investments that are determined by private decision, and by prices, production, and the distribution of goods that are determined mainly by competition in a free market

and communism:

1 a: a theory advocating elimination of private property b: a system in which goods are owned in common and are available to all as needed

2capitalized a: a doctrine based on revolutionary Marxian socialism and Marxism-Leninism that was the official ideology of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics b: a totalitarian system of government in which a single authoritarian party controls state-owned means of production c: a final stage of society in Marxist theory in which the state has withered away and economic goods are distributed equitably d: communist systems collectively

Also, under socialism Webster defines state socialism as:

: an economic system with limited socialist characteristics that is effected by gradual state action and typically includes public ownership of major industries and remedial measures to benefit the working class

and Marxism is defined this way:

: the political, economic, and social principles and policies advocated by Marx; especially : a theory and practice of socialism including the labor theory of value, dialectical materialism, the class struggle, and dictatorship of the proletariat until the establishment of a classless society

Hmmm, there's a lot of big words there, dialectical materialism means:

: the Marxist theory that maintains the material basis of a reality constantly changing in a dialectical process and the priority of matter over mind — compare historical materialism

And dialectical is:

: of, relating to, or in accordance with dialectic <dialectical method> b: practicing, devoted to, or employing dialectic <a dialectical philosopher>

which is no help, what's dialectic?

: the Hegelian process of change in which a concept or its realization passes over into and is preserved and fulfilled by its opposite; also : the critical investigation of this process b (1)usually plural but singular or plural in construction : development through the stages of thesis, antithesis, and synthesis in accordance with the laws of dialectical materialism (2): the investigation of this process (3): the theoretical application of this process especially in the social sciences

And what about proletariat?

1: the laboring class; especially : the class of industrial workers who lack their own means of production and hence sell their labor to live

2: the lowest social or economic class of a community

Ok, so basically, Marxism is a socialism which grants more and more power to the working class in order to achieve a classless society, and does this through the policies advocated by Marx, and socialism is an economic system that does not have private or corporate goods, does not have investments determined by private decision and does not have prices, production and distribution of goods determined by the free market. It also does have goods owned in common and available to all as needed, and included public ownership of major industries and remedial measures to benefit the working class.

And, as a reminder, the 10 Planks of the Communist Manifesto.

  1. Abolition of property in land and application of all rents of land to public purposes.
  2. A heavy progressive or graduated income tax.
  3. Abolition of all right of inheritance.
  4. Confiscation of the property of all emigrants and rebels.
  5. Centralization of credit in the hands of the State, by means of a national bank with State capital and an exclusive monopoly.
  6. Centralization of the means of communication and transport in the hands of the State.
  7. Extension of factories and instruments of production owned by the State; the bringing into cultivation of waste-lands, and the improvement of the soil generally in accordance with a common plan.
  8. Equal liability of all to labour. Establishment of industrial armies, especially for agriculture.
  9. Combination of agriculture with manufacturing industries; gradual abolition of the distinction between town and country, by a more equable distribution of the population over the country.
  10. Free education for all children in public schools. Abolition of children's factory labour in its present form. Combination of education with industrial production, &c., &c.[4]

Or, to sum up, as Marx himself did: "A sympathy for the working class or proletariat and a belief that the ultimate interests of workers best match those of humanity in general."

Where does Obama's Blueprint stack up?

  1. Abolition of private ownership of land
    I don't see anything on this, so I think Karl would give Obama a thumbs down. However, Obama has remained completely silent on the Kelo decision by the SCOTUS, and has in fact, praised the Justices on the majority side of this opinion. He's also made use of "eminent domain" in the web to take over a MySpace site devoted to him.
  2. A heavily progressive income tax:

    Obama will restore fairness to the tax code and provide 150 million workers the tax relief they need. Obama will create a new “Making Work Pay” tax credit of up to $500 per person, or $1,000 per working family. The “Making Work Pay” tax credit will completely eliminate income taxes for 10 million Americans.

    Obama will reform the Child and Dependent Care Tax Credit by making it refundable and allowing low-income families to receive up to a 50 percent credit for their child care expenses.

    Obama supports increasing the maximum amount of earnings covered by Social Security.

    Obama will eliminate all income taxation of seniors making less than $50,000 per year.

    Obama is committed to repealing the Bush tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans.

    Obama will cut income taxes by $1,000 for working families to offset the payroll tax they pay

    I'd say Obama gets a big thumbs up from Karl Marx on his tax positions. Notice especially there's a lot of of the phrases "working families" and "wealthiest Americans". Creating class envy is a first step in working towards a classless society. And I think Marx would accept "working families" in place of his "proletariat".
  3. Abolition of all rights to inheritance.
    Well, I don't see anything in his "Blueprint for Change" about this, but I also don't see anything about reducing or eliminating the inheritance tax. Karl would want Obama to go father here, but you can definitely say that Obama's not moving any farther away from Marxism on this one.

  4. Confiscation of property of emigrants and rebels
    Obama gets a big thumbs down from Karl.

  5. National Bank
    We're already there. Nothing more for Obama to do here.

  6. Centralization of communication and transport

    Obama will encourage the deployment of the most modern communications infrastructure

    Obama believes we can get broadband to every community in America through a combination of reform of the Universal Service Fund

    Obama supports the basic principle that network providers should not be allowed to charge fees to privilege the content or applications of some web sites and Internet applications over others

    Barack Obama will ensure that rural Americans have access to a modern communications infrastructure

    Obama will double the federal Jobs Access and Reverse Commute program to ensure that additional federal public transportation dollars flow to the highest-need communities

    Karl would be proud. Note that there are a lot of subtleties here. When a politician uses phrases like "will encourage", "should not be allowed", "will prevent", "will ensure", and he's talking about businesses, he's talking about more government control over business, which is exactly the opposite of letting the free market decide things and is precisely in line with moving towards a socialistic environment.
  7. Extension of state-owned factories and improvement of the soil in accordance with a common plan

    Barack Obama will prevent companies from abusing their monopoly power through unjustified price increases

    Obama is a strong supporter of a packer ban. When meatpackers own livestock they can manipulate prices and discriminate against independent farmers.

    Barack Obama will work for tougher regulations on concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs) to prevent air and water pollution

    Obama will develop domestic incentives that reward forest owners, farmers, and ranchers when they plant trees, restore grasslands, or undertake farming practices that capture carbon dioxide from the atmosphere

    Obama supports implementation of a market-based cap-and-trade system to reduce carbon emissions by the amount scientists say is necessary: 80 percent below 1990 levels by 2050. Obama’s cap-and-trade system will require all pollution credits to be auctioned

    Obama will create a Global Energy Forum that includes all G-8 members plus Brazil, China, India, Mexico and South Africa –the largest energy consuming nations from both the developed and developing world. The forum would focus exclusively on global energy and environmental issues.

    The UNFCCC process is the main international forum dedicated to addressing the climate problem and an Obama administration will
    work constructively within it.


    Obama will increase incentives for farmers and private landowners to conduct sustainable agriculture and protect wetlands, grasslands, and forests.

    Once again, the tendency here is away from the free market, and definitely moves towards improvement of the soil through a common plan. If Karl were alive today he'd be up on his feet for Obama by now.
  8. Establishment of industrial armies, especially for agriculture.

    Obama will strengthen the ability of workers to organize unions. He will fight for passage of the Employee Free Choice Act. Obama will ensure that his labor appointees support workers’ rights and will work to ban the permanent replacement of striking workers.

    Obama will ensure our farm programs help family farmers, not giant corporations.

    Obama will fight for farm programs that provide family farmers with stability and predictability.

    Obama supports guaranteeing workers seven paid sick days per year.

    Encourage Young People to Become Farmers: Obama will establish a new program to identify and train the next generation of farmers. He will also provide tax incentives to make it easier for new farmers to afford their first farm. He also will establish a small business and micro-enterprise initiative for rural America.


    There's not much that's big here, but let's face it, industrial armies have long been the goal of the Democratic party. Obama may not bring much new to the table here, but he doesn't move any farther way from Marx either.
  9. Gradual abolition of the distinction between town and country. To be honest, I'm not sure what this means, and I'm not sure that Marx would write it quite this way if he were writing today (remember all of his stuff was done before the industrial revolution) however:

    Obama will invest in rural small businesses and fight to expand high-speed Internet access. He will improve rural schools and attract more doctors to rural areas

    Barack Obama will ensure that rural Americans have access to a modern communications infrastructure. He will modernize an FCC program that supports rural phone service so that it promotes affordable broadband coverage across rural America as well.

    Rural health care providers often get less money from Medicare and Medicaid for the very same procedure performed in urban areas. Obama will work to ensure a more equitable Medicare and Medicaid reimbursement structure. He will attract providers to rural America by creating a loan forgiveness program for doctors and nurses who work in underserved rural areas. He supports increasing rural access to care by promoting health information technologies like telemedicine.

    Obama will create a Rural Revitalization Program to attract and retain young people to rural America. Obama will increase research and educational funding for Land Grant colleges.

    Obama will invest in the core infrastructure, roads, bridges, locks, dams, water systems and essential air service that rural communities need.

    I think it's safe to say that Karl would still be pleased. If we go back to our definition of socialism, we see a lot of goods being made available to all as needed.
  10. Free education for all children in public schools.

    Obama will expand the YouthBuild program, which gives disadvantaged young people the chance to complete their high school education, learn valuable skills and build affordable housing in their communities. He will grow the program so that 50,000 low-income young people a year a chance to learn construction job skills and complete high school.

    Obama believes that the goal of No Child Left Behind was the right one, but that it was written and implemented poorly and it has demoralized our educators and broken its promise to our children. Obama will fund No Child Left Behind and improve its assessments and accountability systems.

    Obama will create a new American Opportunity Tax Credit that will make tuition at the nation’s community colleges completely free


    Obama will address the dropout crisis by passing his legislation to provide funding to school districts to invest in intervention strategies in middle school

    Obama will double funding for the main federal support for afterschool programs, the 21st Century Learning Centers program, to serve one million more children.


    Obama’s “STEP UP” plan addresses the achievement gap by supporting summer learning opportunities for disadvantaged children through partnerships between local schools and community organizations.


    Obama supports outreach programs like GEAR UP, TRIO and Upward Bound to encourage more young people from low-income families to consider and prepare for college.

    There's little doubt that if Karl were alive now, he'd be standing up and cheering for Obama.

And here's some more pieces that I think obviously qualify as socialist in nature, but I can't find a place in the 10 planks where they easily fit.

Obama will make available a new national health plan so all Americans, including the self-employed and small businesses, can buy affordable health coverage that is similar to the plan available to members of Congress.

The Obama Plan will have the Following Features:

      Guaranteed Eligibility: No American will be turned away FROM ANY INSURANCE PLAN because of illness or pre-existing conditions.

      Comprehensive Benefits: The benefit package will be similar to that offered through Federal Employees Health Benefits Program (FEHBP), the plan members of Congress have. The plan will cover all essential medical services, including preventive, maternity and mental health care.

      Affordable Premiums, Co-Pays and Deductibles.

      Subsidies: Individuals and families who do not qualify for Medicaid or SCHIP but still need financial assistance will receive an income-related federal subsidy to buy into the new public plan or purchase a private health care plan.

The Obama plan will create a National Health Insurance Exchange to help individuals who wish to purchase a private insurance plan. The Exchange will act as a watchdog group and help reform the private insurance market by creating rules and standards for participating insurance plans to ensure fairness and to make individual coverage more affordable and accessible.

Employers that do not offer or make a meaningful contribution to the cost of quality health coverage for their employees will be required to contribute a percentage of payroll toward the costs of the national plan.

Obama will require that all children have health care coverage.

Obama will set a goal that all middle and high
school students do 50 hours of community service a year. He will develop national guidelines for service-learning and will give schools better tools both to develop programs and to document student experience.

Obama will establish a new American Opportunity Tax Credit that worth $4,000 a year in exchange for 100 hours of public service a year.

Obama will ensure that at least 25 percent of College Work-Study funds are used to support public service opportunities instead of jobs in dining halls and libraries.

And, as one last reminder, our earlier definitions of Marxism and socialism:

Marxism is a socialism which grants more and more power to the working class in order to achieve a classless society, and does this through the policies advocated by Marx, and socialism is an economic system that does not have private or corporate goods, does not have investments determined by private decision and does not have prices, production and distribution of goods determined by the free market. It also does have goods owned in common and available to all as needed, and included public ownership of major industries and remedial measures to benefit the working class.

All the quoted pieces above are from his PLAN sections of the Blueprint. There are even more examples of his socialistic views in his RECORD sections.

I highly suggest you read the entire document.

Your Honor, ladies and gentlemen of the jury, the prosecution rests.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Question of the Day

It's considered an axiom that "power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely".

So, why do we keep giving more and more power to the federal government and keep being surprised that it's corrupt?

Since this blog is called Chris of Rights, I should address those first ten amendments to the Constitution at some point.

We need to remind our elected officials of the forgotten amendment, the 10th:

The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the states respectively, or to the people.

Very little that our federal government does these days is Constitutional under the guidelines of the 10th Amendment. And getting them to realize this and act accordingly would go a long way to helping with that whole "culture of corruption" thing.

Yes, I know, I'm dreaming. Taking power away from an organization is much harder than giving it. Now that the federal government has claimed this power, it's not going to give it up.

The Insanity of Democrats

Albert Einstein is often quoted as having said that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.

Then the modern Democratic party is insane.

How else can we explain their obsession with Universal Health Care and other bigger and better entitlement programs.

Nothing our federal government has ever put its hand in has ever gotten cheaper or better (higher quality) for the American people.

Yet Democrats keep wanting us to believe that this time it will!  Universal Health Care is the latest policy in that long line of failures.

This time when we create a new large government program it will be different than all the other times we did.

Insanity.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Whither Now, Hillary? (When Will Hillary Drop out III)

Well, I watched most of Hillary Clinton's (D-NY) speech last night. I couldn't watch the whole thing. When the candidates start talking about Universal Health Care and Global Warming, I start to get nauseous.

But, right from the first, she made it clear that this was no concession speech. The first few minutes sounded much more like a campaign speech.

Then she started talking about party unity and working for the people to elect a President that won't ignore them, and that was sort of like a concession speech, but could also fit in the campaign speech.

She's hinted at taking the FL and MI battle to the Credentialing Committee at the convention. That seems like a Hail Mary pass to me. The lawsuits I've previously mentioned seem like better opportunities.

We keep hearing rumors that she's open to the VP slot. As I said earlier, Obama would have to be a bigger fool than John Kerry to take her up on that offer.

And, honestly, I wonder if it's a truly serious offer from Hillary. There's really no upside to it for her. The VP slot is a mostly do-nothing position, and if he wins in November, it's hard to see her as a viable candidate in 2016. She's much better off as the candidate of choice in 2012 (if he loses). Of course, that may be the reason to make that offer. She knows that Obama would be a fool to accept her, and it makes her look good to the party. Perhaps she's already campaigning for 2012.

Her best role now appears to be to take Ted Kennedy's place as the defacto Senate Democratic Leader.

But, whatever the case, she hasn't dropped out yet, so I will stick with my belief that the magic number is 2210 and not 2118.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Michelle Obama's "Whitey" Video

I've really tried hard to ignore this internet rumor. I've been hoping that it would turn out to be just that, a rumor. In case you haven't heard it's a video of Michelle at the Trinity Church with Lewis Farrakhan screaming about all the problems caused by "whitey".

More and more people are coming out as saying that they have seen the video or heard the audio now though, and apparently it's going to be released tomorrow at 9 am.

The site doing all the talking about releasing it is being slammed at the moment, as you can well imagine. Their name is No Quarter. I'm not linking to a specific post because it's hard to get through to their site, and because they now have several posts about it.

Ok, it's obvious I'm no Barack Obama (D-IL) fan, and I'm a conservative, so I should rejoice at this video, right?

Wrong.

Reading just a few of the older posts at No Quarter demonstrate that this is a site that clearly will do anything to take down Obama.

Not that I mind seeing Obama taken down. He deserves it. The press has treated him as the Messiah for far too long.

But there’s plenty of room to take down Obama on his naiveté and his socialist/Marxist ideas. And for his foolishly trying to present himself as a “different kind of politician” when he clearly is not. (As if anyone could really believe a “different kind of politician” could come out of Chicago politics anyway–how stupid does he think we are?) We don’t have to resort to this. It’s despicable.

It's sleazy and dirty politics at its worst. When Democrats talk about Republican "dirty tricks" (not that I buy into the idea that dirty tricks are exclusive to either party), this is exactly what they're talking about.

I’m truly depressed. I may stay home on November 4.

UPDATE: It's now past 9 am, and no tape has surfaced. It hasn't even been mentioned on Drudge, which is very odd, frankly. Maybe this is just a rumor after all.

UPDATE 2: After doing a little research, it's my opinion that this is a hoax. Michelle Malkin feels the same way. If it existed, it would've shown up by now. Supposedly, for a while, this video was available for download from the Trinity Church of Chicago's website. Hmmm...if that were true, I ought to be able to find it on Wayback or something. Can't. File this one under "waste of time".

UPDATE 3: Jim Lindgren does some actual "footwork" and decides that the story is false.

The Damage Done by the Trinity Church

Barack Obama's (D-IL) supporters keep claiming that leaving the Trinity Church is (was) unnecessary. They point to poll numbers showing that it wasn't a factor in many people's decision to vote against him.

But there's no denying that his rocket ship to the White House stalled when Reverend Wright appeared on the scene. He had unbelievable momentum up until that point.

His problems are twofold, and aren't improved by leaving the Church.

Why?

Ok, let's try to look at things objectively.

  1. One would be naive to assume that these controversial statements just started coming out of the church since Obama declared his candidacy for President.
  2. Obama has been a member of the Church for 20 years.
  3. One must therefore assume that Obama has heard a great many of these and similar statements before.
  4. Obama didn't leave the Church when he left them.

Why? Two options. Neither are good for Obama

  1. He heard them and didn't have a problem with them. Rightly or wrongly, a lot of people believe this and immediately brand him as a racist. This is obviously not a good thing for a Presidential candidate.
  2. He was an up-and-coming politician in Chicago. And Chicago politics, even more than most cities is all about who you know and who you're "in with". There's no doubt that Reverend Wright and the Trinity Church are "players" in Chicago politics. It's very likely that Obama ignored their controversies out of political necessity. The same political necessity that now requires Obama to leave the Church. As I've said before, for a person who has based their entire campaign on being a "different kind of politician", this is extremely bad. It turns his entire campaign message into a lie.

Obama Leaves Trinity Church - Better Late Than Never?

That's what Mark at Decision08 says. And many others as well.

Apparently, I'm in the minority viewpoint on this one as well.

I think late is worse than never.

Why?

Has the Church changed so much since he started the campaign? Doubtful.

So why should Barack Obama (D-IL) quit it? If he was proud to be a member before, then he should be now, right?

Answer? Political necessity. Perhaps because he's worried about a future bombshell, or to limit the damage from the bombs so far.

But if he's leaving out of political necessity doesn't that turn everything he's said about being a "different kind of politician" into a lie? And isn't that what his whole campaign is based upon?

Frankly, I'd have more respect for him if he'd stayed with the Church.

But it's doubtful that his campaign is worried about me. They're already aware that they're probably not getting my vote.

When Will Hillary Drop Out II

Well, this weekend the DNC's Rules and Bylaws Committee established the number as 2118. Barack Obama (D-IL) will likely reach this number tonight after expected wins in South Dakota and Montana.

So, is my earlier post crazy and wrong?

In a word, "no".

I still maintain that the decision this weekend means little. (Note that I have upgraded it to "little" instead of "nothing"). If the parties in Florida are still interested in pursuing their lawsuits, they will.

I've been told that the same law would not apply in Michigan, but I never doubt the ability of a lawyer to come up with an angle. If there's something there, they will find it.

I've also been told that such lawsuits have no chance of prevailing.

That may be correct, but that also doesn't matter.

The only thing that matters is if the interested parties can drag the legal process out until the convention. At that point, if Obama doesn't have the necessary 2210 delegates, they can inform Dean of how dangerous it would be to nominate a candidate whose legal status is still up in the air. At that point Dean caves. He has no choice but to give in to pretty much everything the Florida and Michigan delegates would demand.

However, there is one way this can all be over in the coming days.

If Hillary Clinton (D-NY) quits.

And we're hearing that she may, in fact, do that or something similar.

Personally, I never thought she would. But, maybe she's decided that Ted Kennedy's days are numbered, and she now has a chance to replace him as the Senate's Giant. I can't say.

There's another theory as to why she may sort of concede today, but I'm leaving that for another post.

GOP 2.0 - Rebooting the Republican Party

I stumbled upon a great post by Doug Ross about what Republicans need to do. Of course, it's possible that I think it's great because so much of it mirrors my statements here.

Indeed. The Republican brand has lost its way. I believe that it's time for citizens to rise up and demand a new Republican Party! I'm calling it GOP 2.0. And I'm perfectly willing to throw out those "Republicans" who are stuck on stupid -- and are stuck in the GOP 1.0 world.

His tenets include:

  • Strengthen Nation Defense
  • Gain Energy Independence
  • Secure the Borders
  • Death to Earmarks
  • Death to Corruption
  • English as a National Language
  • Implement Flat Tax or Fair Tax
  • Reduce Size of Government
  • Spur Healthcare Competition
  • Address Entitlements

And as he says:

This should not be a platform. It should be a promise -- an ironclad commitment -- to voters.

As they say, read the whole thing.

New And Noteworthy

What’s Going On?

Well, I really have missed doing my September 11 timeline. My daughters have asked about that, and I want them to understand it a little bet...

All The Best