Tuesday, September 30, 2008
Sure, the amounts involved are piddling, but it's the principle of the thing. It's a form of identity theft which I intend to do all I can to get to the bottom of and then, if possible, pursue legal remedies.
We're sure that Baye must be similarly outraged that more than 48,000 people have donated to Planned Parenthood in the name of Gov. Sarah Palin and Sen. John McCain, according to Amanda Carpenter for Townhall.
The donations to Planned Parenthood, as the email that solicited them notes, are tax-deductible. The contributions made in Baye's name to Sen. John Thune and Brett Guthrie are not deductible. Taxpayers actually subsidize Planned Parenthood.
In addition to the difference in tax treatment, the donations in Palin's name are much more hateful than the ideological "identity theft" that infuriated Baye. What's at issue is not just a political difference of opinion but an affront to Trig Palin's right to exist.
In theory, the donations to Planned Parenthood puport to protect a woman's right to " choose." But it's become clear that what infuriates the feminasties about Palin is her "choice"to carry Baby Trig to term -- even after learning that he has Down Syndrome.
And lest there be any doubt about where Planned Parenthood's allegiance lies in the campaign, the email suggests that if at all possible, an additional donation should be sent to the Obama campaign.
Baye noted when her own name was used for donations she did not like,
Whoever made those contributions and possibly others in my name (using The Courier-Journal's address) is breaking the law and quite possibly could make trouble for the campaigns that have accepted these donations.
And will accepting those 48,000 donations similarly "make trouble" for Planned Parenthood? Perhaps Baye can expand her investigation to look into Planned Parenthood's tax-exempt status.
Monday, September 29, 2008
As he exited the hotel for his dinner break, Biden was asked “Senator, can we get your reaction to the House bill not passing?” Biden interrupted the question with a “Hey folks,” to reporters and then said “Oh, things are going well.”
Biden’s press secretary, David Wade, sent an e-mail minutes later, saying “the senator thought you asked how prep was going” for this week’s debate with Gov. Sarah Palin.
Prior to Biden's departure, the press was moved further away from the hotel's exit, perhaps far enough away that it prevented Biden from clearly hearing the question.He may not be as smart as Palin, but at least Biden can make us laugh -- which keeps us from crying on a day like today was.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said the Senate still intends to move ahead -- although he doesn't know when.
"We're not leaving town until this is fixed," he just told reporters.
McConnell declined to point fingers over the failure of the bailout bill in the House Monday afternoon.
Instead, McConnell pleaded for quick action.
“Let’s fix the problem instead of fixing blame,” McConnell said.
McConnell said today’s record-breaking losses on Wall Street only underscore the need for immediate action.
“The reaction of the markets makes it clear if anybody had any doubts…that taking no action at all was acceptable,” he said.
When Pelosi and others are losing their heads, it is reassuring that McConnell has kept his.
Wasn't it the Democrats who just last week decried injecting "presidential politics" into the legislative debate? Well, that is exactly what Pelosi did today -- and House Republicans were understandably furious at her for trying to spin the vote even before it was taken.
So it's back to the drawing boards for the Administration and Congress to come up with Plan B. Here's one suggestion to get things started: gag the House Speaker.
If Congressman John Yarmuth is still "messaging" for Pelosi, he's got his work cut out for him. It's time for Anne Northup to run an ad hanging Pelosi around Yarmuth's neck.
Update: Make that a 777.68 point plunge.
Update: I guess Yarmuth has resigned his position on Pelosi's "messaging" team: he voted against the bill. So did Congressmen Ben Chandler, Geoff Davis and Ed Whitfield. Congressmen Ron Lewis and Harold “Hal” Rogers voted for it.
The Demo-blogs have attempted to portray Congressional inquiries about Valor as some sort of conspiracy between Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell and Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison (who asked the VA to look into Valor's treatment of Texas veterans; see previous post). The "proof" of this conspiracy is the supposed failure of Hutchison to visit the clinic in person.
Whether or not Hutchison visited the clinic is irrelevant. As a result of the complaints he received, Democratic Congressman Lampson visited one of the clinics in person late April.
According to the Democratic Caucus website, Lampson visited a Valor clinic on April 29 -- several days before Kentucky Democrats had voted Lunsford their nominee to challenge McConnell.
Such is the paranoia of the left. McConnell is so powerful that he has co-opted the Democratic Caucus to tar his opponent in advance of knowing who that opponent might be.
The Demo-blogs also boast that Lunsford's company, Valor, saved the federal government money. It's easy to see why: as the article on the Democratic Caucus website notes, "under its contract, Valor is paid $400 per patient per year regardless of how much care that patient receives." Valor had a financial incentive to enroll veterans and then not treat them.
Bottom line: veterans in other states who have no interest in Kentucky's U.S. Senate race complained well before this election that they were denied adequate care from a company over which Lunsford presided as Chair and Chief Executive Officer.
6895 Burlington Pike
Florence, KY 41042
Office: (859) 757-0650
10001 Linn Station Rd.
Louisville, KY 40223
Office: (502) 498-5191
241 Southland Dr.
Lexington, KY 40544
Office: (859) 254-3532
1815 North Dixie Ave., Ste. 4
Elizabethtown, KY 42701
Office: (270) 234-1233
410 East 10th Ave.
Bowling Green, KY 42101
Office: (270) 842-7627
RPK -- a little more notice, next time. Unless Bruce Lunsford's "women's bill or rights" childcare provision will provide us with babysitters . . . .
According to the Guradian,
a London-based start-up company has developed software for mobile phones that uses global positioning satellites to work out automatically whether you are walking, driving or flying and then calculate your impact on the environment.
So if Barry were to appoint Al Gore as "Energy Tsar," the emphasis would be on "Tsar": we could expected the enlightened despotism of, say, Ivan the Terrible.
Sunday, September 28, 2008
Ryan Alessi reports that on Thursday, Lunsford "dodged answering specific questions from reporters about his opinion of the bailout and seemed to go after McConnell by using as many clichés as possible."
Here's a Lunsford quote for the ages:
"Now the chickens have come home to roost," Lunsford said. "Now we're getting into a level that was built around a deck of cards that unfortunately we've got a gun to our head to do something."
Yeah, this guy is a first-rate orator. The U.S. Senate -- the world's greatest debating chamber -- has never seen such eloquence.
I knew that NBC, CNN, MSNBC and the like are in the tank for Obama. But I had not realized that the networks had subcontracted their reporting to Moveon.org. Newsroom budgets must be really tight, and no wonder: Fox has more viewers than CNN and MSNBC combined, including a large percentage of Democrats and Independents.
Saturday, September 27, 2008
The whole concept of a metaphorical bill of rights just for women is troubling. Conferring rights on one part of the population based on gender -- that sounds like sex discrimination, exactly what the equal protection clause prohibits. This is no doubt lost on Lunsford, who is running for U.S. Senate but proposing state "rights" for Kentucky women.
Note the mushy, subjective language of what every Kentucky woman has a "right" to:
- Feel safe in her own home
- Earn equal pay for equal work
- Pursue educational and economic opportunities
- Expect quality childcare for her children
- Receive fair treatment from government agencies and programs
- Access quality health care for herself and her family
- Know the resources available to her to help improve the lives of her and her family
- Receive life-saving preventative care, including breast and cervical cancer screenings
- Enjoy a safe and secure retirement
- Keep her children safe from online predators
If a woman is safe in her home but doesn't "feel safe," has her right been violated? If her retirement is secure but she is does not "enjoy" retirement, has that right been violated? Like Lunsford himself, his "bill of rights" is just bizarre. For instance, he says women have a right to breast and cervical cancer screenings, but apparently men have no right to prostate screenings. (Or maybe Lunsford hasn't finished drafting the "bill of rights for men.")
Granted, breast and cervical cancer screenings are very important -- which is why Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell used his seat on the Senate Appropriations Committee to support the National Breast and Cervical Treatment Program in the early 1990's, and its expansion to cover treatment in recent years.
Cervical cancer may be a woman's disease, but it is not a woman's issue. It is an issue that affects everyone who has or ever had a mother, wife, sister or daughter. The same is true for all of these "rights."Lunsford says a woman has a right to "quality health care for her children" but he is on record as opposing the Balanced Budget Act of 1997 (which created the State Children's Health Insurance Program, S-CHIP, as well as annual mammograms and expanded screenings for Medicare recipients). McConnell voted for this bill.
The supposed "right to quality childcare" is Lunsford's ultimate manifestation of the Nanny State. I'm not sure that the federal government should be in the health care business, but those who disagree will no doubt applaud McConnell for voting this year to double federal childcare funding to $5 billion.
On education, McConnell has worked with Kentucky State Treasurer Jonathan Miller to pass the SAVE Act, which gives families a way to save for their children's college education. McConnell likewise opposed the administration and voted against cuts to Kentucky's student loan program.
The reference to "equal pay for equal work" appears to be an allusion to legislation (opposed by McConnell) that would allow a woman to sue for "fair pay" up to 30 years after her alleged discrimination.
It is illegal under federal and state law to discriminate against women -- or men --on the basis of gender. That includes discrimination in the amount of pay. Those laws should be enforced, no question. McConnell agrees that they should be enforced. But again, Lunsford attempts to pander to women (and the trial lawyers) by making it easier to sue, and to sue decades after the fact. That's simply not fair to employers and business owners -- some of whom are women.
At least one woman who attended Lunsford's "bill of rights" reception has publicly recognized that McConnell has supported legislation that makes families safe in their homes. Lexington's Mayor Theresa Isaac, who attended the event, sent a thank you note to McConnell for his help in securing $20 million for the New Hope VI housing complex. Isaac's press release release noted that the project provides "modern, affordable, and attractive housing options for our citizens.” (Emphasis added.)
Women benefit from the New Hope VI project not because they are women, but because they are citizens -- in a state whose senior senator is one of the most powerful in the U.S. Senate.
As a citizen (and woman), I place more trust in the candidate who stands up for everyone's legitimate rights and doesn't pander to one gender with hollow promises to protect made-up "rights".
Valor is in the business of winning federal government contracts to provide medical care for veterans at community based outpatient clinics. It does not, at this point, operate any such clinics in Kentucky. Bruce Lunsford served as Valor's Chairman and Chief Executive Officer and according to his financial disclosure form, remains on its Board of Directors.
Veterans have complained about Valor providing substandard care at its clinics in Arkansas and Texas. In the McConnell ad, veterans, including from Vietnam and World War II, describe their first-hand experience with Valor, and as with Vencor, it's not a flattering picture of Lunsford's company.
Valor's federal contract apparently pays the company a flat rate for each veteran it enrolls, regardless of their medical needs. Consequently, the company has a strong financial incentive to do as little as possible for the veterans. Valor, in short, can (and apparently does) increase its profits by decreasing the amount of care it provides. Some of its veterans complain that Valor denied them needed treatments and medicines to save money.
All Americans should be outraged when our government fails to provide our veterans with the care they need. These soldiers have earned our respect and thanks, and a grateful country conveys that by giving them state of the art medical treatment. That's not just good policy; it's a moral imperative. It applies with full force whether the government is rendering the care or, as with Valor, the care is privatized -- contracted to a private company.
Simply put, Lunsford's company let these soldiers down.
And as with Vencor, Lunsford profited at the expense of the taxpayers. Valor gave veterans inadequate care and then billed the federal government. All of this happened on Lunsford's watch.
Texas Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison, after receiving complaints from constituents, asked the Veterans Administration to look into the allegations. On August 28, 2008, Secretary of Veterans Affairs, Dr. James B. Peake responded.
Peake told Hutchison that the VA "fully investigated" the issues at the Valor clinics. The VA "looked into the veterans' complaints and found them to be valid," Peake wrote. As a result of the "deficiencies" that the VA found, "failure to meet the performance measures has resulted in financial penalties" against Valor.
Though it is not in the financial services industry, Valor's mistreatment of veterans -- while the taxpayer pays -- epitomizes the greed and incompetence we've witnessed lately in the housing debacle. Entrepreneurs, like Lunsford, use government money to get rich and conduct their business however they want.
Lunsford's company exploited the sick and the elderly who risked their lives to protect our country. Lunsford's company ripped off the taxpayers by failing to do its job competently and honorably. Lunsford may be drawn to the letter "V" to name his companies because when it comes to his (third) run for public office, "V" does not stand for victory.
Friday, September 26, 2008
Although Sen. Barack Obama was more succinct than we've seen since Gov. Sarah Palin began giving him nightmares -- Obama didn't utter a single "uh" the whole debate-- Obama actually lost on the issue that he'd tried to hang around McCain's neck: temper. This, from the candidate who'd spent the week having his surrogates and spinmeisters suggest that McCain is "erratic," which is Obama-speak for senile and psychotic. All of the sudden, it was Obama who looked like he needed the time-out chair.
It was Obama who had the pursed lips, not McCain. Who knew that Obama, who boasted about his placid temperament to Diane Sawyer in her run-up to the debate, was the one who had a temper problem.
I'll wait for the the MSM to transcribe the debate to comment on specific answers. In terms of presence, however, Obama had more gravitas than I would have expected, though not as much as McCain. Likewise, though he'd taken more time to prepare, Obama appeared more nervous. It turns out that there is no experience like life experience.
Attire, though indistinguishable at first glance, said much about the two candidates. Obama wore a flag lapel pin -- after having eschewed such pins just months ago. McCain, the decorated war hero, wore no flag lapel. McCain clearly felt no need to wear his patriotism on his lapel, and with good reason. Obama's need to resuscitate the flag pin, in contrast, looked like a boy with big stereo speakers. (Readers who are too young to understand the metaphor, ask your parents; watch them blush.)
And McCain wore a red and white striped tie. It was patriotic (like Obama's solid red tie) but nonetheless made the point that McCain was an Republican of a different stripe. To the extent that Obama's goal was to hang George Bush around McCain's neck, Obama lost.
Critical observers should not be fooled. Shouldn't the blame really be placed on Senator Obama, who apparently was not prepared (too much time at the gym?) to address the House Republicans' concerns about the proposed bailout package? After all, it was Obama who was tasked by the Democrats at yesterday's White House meeting with tying the ribbon on the legislative package. The problem for Obama, however, was that not everyone was yet wrapped into the package -- namely, the House Republicans, who rightly felt that their concerns about the price tag and other aspects of the legislation had not been addressed.
Jake Tapper of ABC News reported this comment from Congressman John Boehner, who has led the House Republican revolt:
"I don't know what games were being played at the White House yesterday, ganging up on Boehner," said House GOP Leader John Boehner, R-Ohio "but if they thought they were rollin' me they were kidding themselves."
It appears that the Democrats tried to orchestrate yesterday's meeting so that Obama would sweep in and take all the credit for the legislation. When that did not occur because of the House Republicans' objections, then the Democrats decided to blame McCain.
But contrary to what the Democrats claim, it was not McCain who caused the impasse. As Mark Ambinder reports:
Though Sen. Chris Dodd implied that Sen. McCain sandbagged the rest of the negotiators by bringing up alternative proposals, McCain himself did not bring up those proposals, according to four independent sources briefed by four different principals inside the meeting, including two Republicans and two Democrats.
"McCain has not attacked the Paulson deal," said a third Republican who was briefed by McCain direclty. "Unlike the [Democrats] in the [White House] meeting, he didn't raise his voice or cause a ruckus. He is urging all sides to come together."
Republicans like John Boehner brought up the concerns of House GOPers and McCain acknowledged hearing about their concerns. And McCain, and staffers, did seek to gauge the level of support of the GOP working group's white paper. The Democrats were left with the impression that McCain endorsed the GOP efforts, but they concede that he did not raise them directly.
The fact is that Boehner doesn't have 100 votes from his conference -- 100 votes that Nancy Pelosi really wants. And that's not McCain's fault.
Contrary to what Reid and other Democrats claim, McCain's presence in Washington, D.C. this week has been positive for the legislative debate and negotiations. It is critical for both McCain and Obama to be active participants in the process because, after all, one of those two men is going to the president and in charge of managing everything in the legislation in just a few months. And it is important for both men to respond constructively to the House Republicans' issues rather than simply "roll them", as Obama and other Democrats apparently tried to do yesterday.
The irony is that Obama, the supposed "uniter", is trying to divide Capital Hill by not dealing with the House Republicans' concerns. McCain, in contrast, is listening and trying to work on a compromise to bring everyone -- liberals and conservatives -- together.
But obviously no good deed goes unpunished in a presidential campaign, as evidenced by Reid and other Democrats' partisan rancor against McCain.
In contrast to Reid, Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell struck precisely the right note in his remarks today, as reported by Jake Tapper of ABC News:
"We think it's extremely important not only to get the substance of the package right, but to do it quickly," said Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Kentucky, "and I think everybody is trying to go forward in good faith."
. . . .
Both [Senator Judd] Gregg and McConnell said that -- despite assertions by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., and House Financial Services Committee Chair Rep. Barney Frank, D-Mass. -- the presence of Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., in negotiations has been positive.
McCain has "been a very constructive part of this," said McConnell.
Gregg said that it was helpful for both presidential candidates to return to Washington, DC. "Senator McCain, Senator Obama coming back to the city, coming back to Washington, significantly moved the process along, because, first, it got us focused. But, secondly, more importantly, it got the American people focused on the seriousness of the issue...So I think that was constructive."
McConnell agreed, saying the presence of Obama and McCain "underscored the significance of moving forward and moving forward on a bipartisan basis and doing it quickly."
Hopefully Obama will return with McCain to the nation's capital quickly after tonight's debate and step up his activity in Washington beyond simply being "present" to "roll" the opposition. For the country's sake, Obama should work to forge a consensus with all lawmakers on the Hill, including the House Republicans, as McCain seeks to do.
This just in from Politico:
Obama, headphones, baseball hat, hitting the gym. Spotted working out this a.m. at the Washington Sports Club, near Adams Morgan/Kalorama, from 7:30a - 8:20a.
Wednesday, September 24, 2008
Note how the candidates have responded. Senator McCain believes he is relevant to solving our nation's economic problems -- especially given that, unlike Senator Obama, he warned about them two years ago. Senator Obama, in contrast, has bought into Reid's logic that the Democratic presidential candidate is expendible on the greatest regulatory change since the Great Depression.
Apparently Barry is too busy shooting hoops to be bothered with doing the job of a United States Senator.
John Cheves's article in today's Lexington Herald-Leader brought me out of hibernation because the premise of his piece is so outrageous. Cheves argues that the Financial Services Modernization Act, enacted in 1999 to repeal the Glass-Steagall Act of 1933, is the cause of Wall Street's woes and that Kentucky's congressional delegation, led by Senator Mitch McConnell, is in part to blame because they voted for the legislation.
Cheves's reasoning is strange, to say the least. Rather than contribute to the economic crisis, the repeal of Glass-Steagall in fact has helped prevent problems from getting worse. That is because, as Cheves acknowledges, "the separation and individual regulation of commercial and investment banks" was eliminated when Glass-Steagall was repealed. In other words, investment banks now may merge with commercial banks. That has allowed, for example, Merrill Lynch, an investment bank, to be acquired by Bank of America, a commercial bank, averting a Chapter 11 or government bailout.
It is also noteworthy that the commercial banks with investment banking arms created after Glass-Steagall was repealed have fared relatively better in the recent economic storm than those entities such as Merrill Lynch that remained strictly investment banking concerns.
Cheves once again appears to have allowed his partisan fervor to get in the way of a fair and accurate reporting of facts.
Tuesday, September 23, 2008
As far as we can tell, Biden beats Palin in only one category -- his propensity to make dumb statements. Take, for example, what the senior senator from Delaware (but not senior enough to have been alive during the 1929 Market Crash) had to say about FDR today, as reported by AP:
Vice presidential candidate Joe Biden says today's leaders should take a lesson from the history books and follow fellow Democrat Franklin D. Roosevelt's response to a financial crisis.
"When the stock market crashed, Franklin D. Roosevelt got on the television and didn't just talk about the, you know, the princes of greed. He said, 'Look, here's what happened,'" Barack Obama's running mate recently told the "CBS Evening News."
Except, Republican Herbert Hoover was in office when the stock market crashed in October 1929.
Oh, and Joe, it was a radio not a television that Roosevelt used to deliver those fireside chats. In case you didn't know, televisions were not mass produced until the latter half of the twentieth century, not the first half.
Biden was also suppose to be the man to deliver all those rural votes from coal mining states for Obama. Instead all he has done is emit his own noxious CO2, as Ben Smith of Politico blogged:
[On] Biden's recent Ohio swing, . . . he was asked by an anti-pollution campaigner about clean coal -- a controversial approach in Democratic circles for which Obama has voiced support, particularly during the Kentucky primary.
Biden's apparent answer: He supports clean coal for China, but not for the United States.
"No coal plants here in America," he said. "Build them, if they're going to build them, over there. Make them clean."
"We’re not supporting clean coal," he said of himself and Obama. They do, on paper, support clean coal.
The answer seems to play into John McCain's case that Obama has been saying "no" to new sources of energy.
Before Obama's people could sequester Biden, he was contradicting his running mate again by saying he was against the bailout of AIG. That inconvenient fact thwarted Obama's attempt to criticize McCain for allegedly changing his position on government intervention to save the insurer, as ABC News reported. Obama was reduced to saying that he thought "Joe should have waited" before giving his opinion on AIG. Not good to have a running mate who tries (and we emphasize, tries) to think for himself on the issues.
But the doozy of the day came when Biden criticized his and Obama's own campaign ad, discussed in earlier posts, that criticized McCain for not being able to type emails, which is the result of the Republican's war injuries. As FoxNews.net reported:
The Delaware Senator took issue with an attack ad from his own side in an interview with CBS, telling Katie Couric that the Obama hit on McCain’s ignorance of computers and technology was “terrible.” The ad paints McCain as out of touch — and all but calls him ancient — but doesn’t mention that the Arizona Senator’s war injuries actually prevent him from using computers for an extended period.
Asked whether he’s disappointed with the tone of the campaign, including the ad that Couric characterized as “making fun of John McCain’s inability to use a computer,” Biden said “I thought that was terrible by the way.
“I didn’t know we did it and if I had anything to do with it, we would have never done it”
It's time to put the gloves back on, gentlemen. Maybe you will do less harm to yourself that way.
According to MyFoxColorado.com:
An 11-year-old in Aurora says his first amendment rights are being trampled after he was suspended for wearing a homemade shirt that reads "Obama is a terrorist's best friend."
The fifth grader at Aurora Frontier K-8 School wore it on a day when students were asked to wear red, white and blue to show their patriotism.
The free speech guarantee of the First Amendment shouldn't depend on whether the political message is liberal or conservative. I guess the 11-year-old is about to teach his school administrators some constitutional law in court.
Under their original charters, Fannie and Freddie were intended to promote home ownership through the facilitation and support of a market for conventional, conforming, fixed rate loans. If they had stuck to this mission, there would be no melt down or liquidity problem in the market today. The problem was created because the government and members of a certain political party (begins with D), allowed these entities to go way off the reservation in promoting and investing in wacky subprime (read substandard!) loans to people who had absolutely no business borrowing money in the first place.
Now, of course, the government has to step in to fix their own mistake. Free market conservatives should hate the idea of a bailout, unfortunately the idea of a market meltdown is not a pretty prospect either. It is an ugly, ugly situation with no good solution. The lesson that should be learned, but probably won't be, is that government should limit itself to doing the few things that it does very well and stay out of creating or manipulating financial markets.
Monday, September 22, 2008
"I want to be done playing this lady Nov. 5. . . So if anybody can help me be done playing this lady Nov. 5, that would be good for me."
Talk about a stab to the heart for this Tina Fey fan!
Obama received heavy support from lawyers last month, taking in $3 million to McCain's $1.7 million. He also outraised McCain in New York, the nation's banking center, collecting $2.7 million to McCain's $1.3 million.
. . . .
Throughout his campaign, Obama has said that he rejects the ways of Washington insiders. But he continues to outraise McCain in the Washington-Maryland-Virginia area, with $2.88 million to McCain's $2.4 million last month, and $28.5 million to McCain's $10.5 million since the campaign began.
Friday, September 19, 2008
As Reuters reports:
Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama said on Friday he supported efforts by the U.S. Treasury and Federal Reserve to shore up confidence in the financial markets and said he would hold off from presenting his own economic recovery plan.
When it comes to his economic policies, Obama seems to be following the advice of Abraham Lincoln, who famously said that it's better to remain silent and let people think you are dumb than open your mouth and remove all doubt.
Thursday, September 18, 2008
It took a hacker 45 minutes to break into G.O.P. vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin's Yahoo email account, according to a first-person dispatch posted on 4chan.org, the bulletin board where the original emails were published.
In the post, which has since been removed, but I've posted in its entirety below, someone named "rubico" says they reset Palin's password using information publicly available on the internet, and a little bit of logic. As in, "Where did you meet your spouse?" Wasilla High, of course.
After reading Palin's email, "rubico" writes, "what I concluded was anticlimactic, there was nothing there, nothing incriminating, nothing that would derail her campaign as I had hoped, all I saw was personal stuff, some clerical stuff from when she was governor."
Already, Web sleuths have connected "rubico" to an email account belonging to a college student in from a southern state with famliy ties to state Democratic politics. Most bloggers are not naming the person or their father, because they haven't been formally charged by the authorities, though the identity can be found through some simple Googling.
Apparently when it comes to attempting to smear the opposition, the end always justifies the means for some Obama supporters. How Nixonian!
"The old boys network. In the McCain campaign that's called a staff meeting. Come on."
Obama tried to defend his feisty remarks by saying, ""I'm skinny but I'm tough." But not that funny.
To compensate for his lack of weight does Obama really need to say so many things off-teleprompter that make voters cringe?
Wednesday, September 17, 2008
Lorne Michaels and the gang at Saturday Night Live may be Barack Obama lovers at the core, but they might not be overly upset if GOP vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin is a heartbeat away from a John McCain-occupied White House. That could mean Tina Fey doing "Seer-ah Pay-linn" impressions for at least the next four years.
Thanks in large part to Fey slipping seamlessly into the psyche of near-look-alike Palin on SNL's season premiere this past Saturday, the show drew 64 per cent more viewers than it did in last year's season opener. Millions more have caught, and are still catching, the Fey bit on the Internet.
. . . .
[T]here's no denying that the five minute skit which paired Fey as Palin with SNL cast member Amy Poehler as Hillary Clinton will go down in the annals as one of the best-ever in the history of the show, which is saying something in light of the contributions made by Bill Murray, John Belushi, Steve Martin, Gilda Radner et al over SNL's 34 years.
For those who missed the skit, the Huffington Post has it here.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, asked today what new regulatory actions Congress can take, said, bluntly, "No one knows what to do. We are in new territory here. This is a different game. We're not here playing soccer, basketball or football, this is a new game and we're going to have to figure out how to do it."
In contrast to Reid's "rookie" statement, McConnell made clear that he and his fellow Republicans are ready to take the field as starters in dealing with the nation's economic concerns:
"Now more than ever is the time to rise above politics and to work together. our constituents don't want campaign speeches and hyperpartisan accusations. They want security for their homes and for their savings. They want energy security and lower costs for gas and oil, and they want protection from future tax hikes on their income. Government should be focused on bipartisan efforts to address the fundamental problems in the credit markets and must be cautious in putting taxpayer dollars at risk. and we should work together to help all Americans. "
Speaking at a campaign event in the working-class Democratic stronghold of Youngstown, Ohio, the Republican presidential nominee said Obama “talks a tough game on the financial crisis, but the facts tell a different story.
“…He put Fannie Mae’s [former] CEO, who helped create this problem in charge, of finding his vice president. That’s not change — that’s what’s broken in Washington,” said McCain.
“Talk about siding with the people, siding with the people just before he flew off to Hollywood for a fundraiser with Barbra Streisand and his celebrity friends,” he said. “Let me tell you my friends, theres no place I’d rather be than here with the working men and women of Ohio.”
CNN added that "Streisand, a staunch Democrat" was "scheduled to perform at a $28,500 a head Obama fundraiser Tuesday night in Beverly Hills, California."
Sunday, September 14, 2008
Saturday, September 13, 2008
With Ike coming ashore on Galveston Island in Texas and threatening Houston, a major oil processing center, the Democrat appeared likely to tone down a fearsome offensive against what he calls Republican John McCain's "lies."
Obama canceled a planned appearance on the cult comedy program "Saturday Night Live" as he anxiously followed the enormous storm's destructive path through the Gulf of Mexico, aides said.
In a telephone call to Houston Mayor Bill White, "Obama offered to do whatever he can to help, including using the Obama website to raise funds for relief efforts," campaign spokeswoman Linda Douglass said late Friday.
Obama had already appealed to his base of more than two million donors to contribute funds to help victims of Hurricane Gustav, which forced McCain to curtail the first day of the Republican convention on September 1.
The Democrat had been scheduled to hold a joint rally in Manchester, New Hampshire with his vice presidential running mate, Joseph Biden, on Saturday.
But aides said Biden was no longer coming, and it was probable that Obama would scale back his savage attacks on McCain of recent days to avoid a show of overt partisanship in Ike's potentially tragic trail.
Here's hoping that Obama and Biden will make the respite from their "savage attacks" a permanent change for their campaign.
RUSH: Here's Eva Longoria Parker. This is a promo for tonight's 2008 La Raza awards airing on ABC.
LONGORIA: After four years of sex and treachery in Desperate Housewives, I thought I was a perfect pick for vice president.
RUSH: So they keep putting Sarah Palin down. "After four years of sex and treachery in Desperate Housewives I thought I was the perfect pick for vice president." Let 'em go, folks, let 'em go, we could not write a better script for these people for them to say these things if we tried. They are just fit to be tied, they're discombobulated. . . .
“Fair or unfair—and I do think that it’s a more concentrated criticism that Hillary gets on so many fronts; I think that’s unfortunate. But fair or unfair, I think she does herself a disservice to even mention it, really. You have to plow through that and know what you’re getting into. I say this with all due respect to Hillary Clinton and to her experience and to her passion for changing the status quo.”
Even the mainstream media is now acknowledging that Obama went way over the line with this one. For example, the LA Times reports today:
Like many of his generation, McCain does not like to talk details a lot about his wartime experiences, certainly not about any lingering physical symptoms. To be honest, it could sound like complaining and, as he's ruefully noted, unlike many others, McCain did come home.
The former pilot does joke sometimes about flying his plane into a telephone-pole-sized North Vietnamese missile.
Last week in his speech to the Republican National Convention, McCain opened up more than usual, mentioning his two broken arms and broken leg from ejecting over Hanoi, and his 66 months of imprisonment and torture, calling it simply working him over.
But something he did not go into in that speech were....
...some of the lingering results of his poor medical treatment and brutal beatings.
Here's a passage from a lengthy Boston Globe profile on McCain that was published the last time he ran for president. It was headlined "McCain character loyal to a fault." It was written by Mary Leonard.
And it was printed more than eight years ago, on March 4, 2000.
It is available online, where Jonah Goldberg of The Corner blog at the National Review found it.
"McCain gets emotional at the mention of military families needing food stamps or veterans lacking health care. The outrage comes from inside: McCain's severe war injuries prevent him from combing his hair, typing on a keyboard, or tying his shoes. Friends marvel at McCain's encyclopedic knowledge of sports. He's an avid fan -- Ted Williams is his hero -- but he can't raise his arm above his shoulder to throw a baseball."
Obama spokesman Dan Pfeiffer denied the freshman Illinois senator's ad was making an issue of McCain's age. "It's extraordinary," he said, "that someone who wants to be our president and commander in chief doesn't know how to send an e-mail."
Obama needs to fire Dan Pfeiffer today and pull the "e-mail" ad immediately. "Lipstick on a pig" and "e-mails" -- what "winning" message will the Obama campaign waste their money on next?
In the cover essay of the June 4, 2001, issue of the Weekly Standard entitled, "The Bush Doctrine: ABM, Kyoto, and the New American Unilateralism," I suggested that the Bush administration policies of unilaterally withdrawing from the ABM treaty and rejecting the Kyoto protocol, together with others, amounted to a radical change in foreign policy that should be called the Bush doctrine.
That was the "Bush Doctrine" until September 11, 2001:
Then came 9/11, and that notion was immediately superseded by the advent of the war on terror. In his address to the joint session of Congress nine days after 9/11, President Bush declared: "Either you are with us or you are with the terrorists. From this day forward any nation that continues to harbor or support terrorism will be regarded by the United States as a hostile regime." This "with us or against us" policy regarding terror -- first deployed against Pakistan when Secretary of State Colin Powell gave President Musharraf that seven-point ultimatum to end support for the Taliban and support our attack on Afghanistan -- became the essence of the Bush doctrine.
The third "Bush Doctrine" -- the one Charles Gibson apparently was referring to in his interview with Governor Palin -- emerged with the invasion of Iraq:
. . . A year later, when the Iraq war was looming, Bush offered his major justification by enunciating a doctrine of preemptive war. This is the one Charlie Gibson thinks is the Bush doctrine.
But Gibson's definition of the "Bush Doctrine" is not the one currently being used:
[T]he third in a series . . . was superseded by the fourth and current definition of the Bush doctrine, the most sweeping formulation of the Bush approach to foreign policy and the one that most clearly and distinctively defines the Bush years: the idea that the fundamental mission of American foreign policy is to spread democracy throughout the world. It was most dramatically enunciated in Bush's second inaugural address: "The survival of liberty in our land increasingly depends on the success of liberty in other lands. The best hope for peace in our world is the expansion of freedom in all the world."
So which definition was Palin supposed to assume that Gibson meant when he asked the question: "Do you agree with the Bush doctrine?"
Cynics would say it was a trick question. I don't think that was Gibson's intent. As Krauthamer argues, and I agree, Gibson asked an ambiguous question that he didn't even know was ambiguous. He was like the kid who thought he was smarter than he was and didn't need to study for the test:
Yes, Sarah Palin didn't know what it is. But neither does Charlie Gibson. And at least she didn't pretend to know -- while he looked down his nose and over his glasses with weary disdain, sighing and "sounding like an impatient teacher," as the Times noted. In doing so, he captured perfectly the establishment snobbery and intellectual condescension that has characterized the chattering classes' reaction to the mother of five who presumes to play on their stage.
Gibson, not Palin, missed the question.
Friday, September 12, 2008
Palin has taken the most criticism from the mainstream media for asking Gibson to be more specific when he asked her what she thought about the "Bush Doctrine." Supposedly, this was Gibson's "gotcha" moment.
Palin, however, handled the question just like any attorney would instruct a witness: never guess at the questioner's meaning; if you don't understand the question, ask for clarification. It was therefore not only appropriate but wise for Palin to ask Gibson "what respect" of the Bush Doctrine he wanted her to address.
Gibson's question showed the extent to which the networks and The New York Times form their own echo chamber. Gibson forgot that the term "Bush Doctrine" came from the media elites; it's a made-up name.
And as Karl Rove -- who knows a little about the Bush Administration -- said on the O'Reilly Factor tonight, there are four different foreign policy applications that get characterized as "The Bush Doctrine." Rove observed that Gibson used iteration number two of the doctrine as the premise of his question, whereas Palin's answer seemed to refer to the fourth iteration. Bottom line: the question was unclear without defining the term "Bush Doctrine", and Palin was correct to force Gibson to be more precise.
Gibson was reasonably fair. He was more condescending the first night. Gibson's lowest moment came when he asked Palin to detail all her overseas travel for her entire life, and forced her to admit that she's never met a genuine "head of state." Implicitly, Gibson seemed to looking down at Palin for not having taken a World Tour, like Obama. Gibson was too polite to call Palin a hick, but he made clear his judgment: Obama is cosmopolitan and international; Palin is not. Gibson's elitism contrasted nicely with Palin's spunky populism.
Palin was stronger tonight on domestic issues. Her deeper knowledge of issues like energy and cutting local property taxes allowed her to relax and answer more spontaneously.
Gibson seemed ready to say "gotcha" again when the discussion turned to the federal budget, and how a McCain budget would differ from the Bush administration's budget. Palin responded in a very Reaganesque manner: cut waste, increase efficiency. Gibson pressed her on entitlements and made the bizarre assertion that agencies have nothing to do with entitlements. Palin refused to be intimidated and insisted that savings could be found in the agencies themselves. And she's right. Social Security checks don't spring from the ground; they are generated by a massive bureaucracy that undoubtedly can be streamlined.
Perhaps Palin's best moment occurred when Gibson tried to draw a wedge between her views on energy and Sen. John McCain's, particularly with respect to drilling in ANWR. It was a moment when Palin was Palin. She acknowledged that McCain opposes drilling in ANWR but said she's working on him. And the twinkle in her eye suggested that she'll be relentless on the subject -- almost pit bull-like -- until she has convinced McCain to drill.
The slip came after he aggressively linked the Republican presidential nominee to the sitting President Bush, and suggested McCain would be a reckless commander in chief.
“We live in a dangerous and unpredictable world,” Reid said in an address on the Senate floor. “Our dangerous world calls for leaders with sound judgment, not those with a temperament prone to recklessness. … Will we stick with the same failed, out-of-touch foreign policy of George Bush, Dick Cheney and John McCain, which military experts and countless authors call the worst foreign policy in our nation’s history?”
But then Reid got a bit ahead of himself, as he began to describe Obama’s foreign policy toward Al Qaeda in Pakistan.
“President McCain even called the Obama approach naive,” Reid said.
The erosion began last month, and may result from a double whammy of sorts. The Palin effect may have energized the base, but the gain among independents may be more likely the result of the Democratic punt on energy in August. Nancy Pelosi shut down Congress rather than allow a vote on expanded drilling, a huge miscalculation with an electorate favoring that policy by more than 2-1.
. . . .
If Democrats lose the House, they can look back to Pelosi’s adjournment as their tipping point. She may have singlehandedly transformed her party, which looked like it couldn’t lose this year, into a minority in the House.
So much for Congressman John Yarmuth's "messaging" on behalf of Pelosi.
Who: Republican Party of Kentucky
What: GRAND OPENING - Lexington Victory ’08 Volunteer Center
When: Saturday, Sept 13th at 3:15 p.m. ET
Where: Lexington Victory ’08 Volunteer Center
241 Southland Drive
Lexington, Ky. 40544
I know that as Republicans, we have some challenges in Jefferson County. Nonetheless, the party needs to do more than collect lipstick. Anne Northup's candidacy hangs in the balance. And if the County party is not going to step up, than Northup's campaign needs to do something other than call for money and run the occasional ad.
Anderson, 41, was recently in Toronto speaking out against the abuse of animals in Hollywood.When asked by E! News Weekend Canada about Palin, she has some choice words for the Republican hopeful.
The reporter asked Pam if she saw a recent Newsweek article, which showed a gigantic bear hide in the office of Palin’s house. “I can’t stand her,” Pam blurted out. “She can suck it!”
I'm sure that Pamela, like Obama, was referring just to policy issues and not Palin herself -- right?
Thursday, September 11, 2008
Former Rhode Island Republican Sen. Lincoln Chafee has called vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin a “cocky wacko” and said her selection as John McCain’s running mate has energized supporters of Democrat Barack Obama.
Chafee left the Republican Party last year after losing his bid for re-election and now supports Obama. He told an audience Tuesday at the New America Foundation in Washington that the Alaska governor has revived a “lackluster McCain candidacy.”
“They’ve just thrown this firestorm, this tornado, into the whole presidential election,” Chafee said in response to an audience member’s question about whether the Obama campaign should worry about Palin’s presence in the race.
He said her speech at the Republican National Convention had the unintended effect of energizing Democrats and Obama supporters.
“People were coming into my office, phone calls were flooding in, e-mails were coming in, ‘I just sent money to Obama, I couldn’t sleep last night’ — from the left. To see this cocky wacko up there,” Chafee said to laughter.
The two presidential candidates will call a truce in New York City on Thursday night for a conversation, on the seventh anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, about what their administrations would do to encourage public service.Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) and Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) are expected to shake hands onstage in between separate conversations co-moderated by Richard Stengel, managing editor of Time magazine, and Judy Woodruff, senior corresondent of PBS' "The NewsHour."
Several cable networks plan to cover the Nation of Service forum (8 p.m. Eastern), the centerpiece of a two-day ServiceNation Summit 2008, named for a non-profit group that encourages voluntary service and civic engagement. First Lady Laura Bush and Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.) will appear on Friday, along with a long list of other political luminaries that includes New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg (I), California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R) and Florida Gov. Charlie Crist (R).
However, in an ominous note, Politico adds that "[s]ome tickets to the forum have been given to Columbia University students who won a lottery, airing an unpredictable element to the event."
The Obama-Biden campaign had better hope that the Columbia students don't try to stage some sort of protest against McCain today or tomorrow. The two protesters at the RNC, before the largest television audience in history to watch a political convention, created a powerful image that the Obama-Biden ticket is supported by a bunch of leftist wackos who want to prevent Americans from hearing the McCain-Palin message. If the Columbia students who are at the events today and tomorrow -- many of whom, like the Columbia College Democrats discussed here and here, undoubtedly support Obama -- try a similar stunt, the impact on public opinion could be devastating for the Obama-Biden campaign.
Palin tried to deliver the stump speech that rolled off her tongue earlier that day in Virginia but kept interrupting herself with references to home.
In the middle of a line about her accomplishments as governor, she turned to staff members standing behind her on stage and said "I can't wait to give you guys a hug and thank you for holding down the fort and carrying the water."
She told of how excited people in Ohio, Pennsylvania, New Mexico, and Missouri were to hear about a new natural gas pipeline which will eventually link Alaska to the lower 48 states.
"Everywhere we go they are chanting drill, baby, drill," Palin said.
"People all over the country, they're hearing about it and they're saying, thank you Alaska for allowing safe, responsibility development of your resources to help secure our state, provide jobs here, but also for the betterment of our entire nation," Palin told the cheering crowd.
"Our state will have brought Americans one step closer to energy independence. That's one step closer to an America free from foreign suppliers that do not have our interests at heart."
The she interrupted herself again, saying "I feel like I'm preaching to the choir because you guys already know this."
Later today Palin will speak at her son Track's military deployment ceremony, and this evening, ABC News will broadcast the first installment of Charles Gibson's interview of her. ABC reports that Gibson is set to interview Palin beginning this afternoon.
I give thanks for those leaders who have kept us safe for seven long years.
President Bush has been reviled. We all understand how unpopular he is. History, however, will record that he did the most important thing any president can do: he kept us safe. It will be years before we know the details of the attacks that were averted. That's a good thing, because we could have not gone about our lives otherwise.
I give thanks for Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell and those others who understand, on issues like FISA, that foreign terrorists have no right to privacy to use our phone system to plot to kill us. And who understand that the best way to honor the sacrifice of our troops is to let them win the war. As a result of the surge, we are close to finishing the war -- yet another reason for gratitude. I give thanks for our troops and ask for comfort for those families who have lost loved ones, and for those soldiers who have returned injured.
I give thanks for McConnell, Sen. Joe Lieberman and those leaders who understand that there is a difference between right and wrong; they recognize that Islamofascists want to kill us and destroy our country. We cannot combat evil without first acknowledging its existence. It would be easy to succumb to moral relativism posing as tolerance, a path that McConnell and Lieberman have steadfastly resisted. Their courage, no doubt, is informed by faith. So, I give thanks for leaders who in the best tradition of George Washington and Abraham Lincoln pray for our country.
Finally, I give thanks for the lives of those who perished on September 11. Especially Barbara. Rest in peace.
Wednesday, September 10, 2008
Make no mistake about this, Hillary Clinton is as qualified or more qualified than I am to be vice president of the United States of America. Let's get that straight.
She's a truly close personal friend and she is qualified to be president of the United States of America; she's easily qualified to be vice president of the United States of America and quite frankly [she] might have been a better pick than me.
Could it be that Biden is about to walk the plank so that Hillary can be commissioned the new first mate on the U.S.S. Barack OTitanic?
McConnell is in fine shape in his bid for re-election, a new survey for his campaign finds. Though Democrats have plenty of Senate opportunities elsewhere, the Kentucky Republican doesn't look like one of them.
McConnell is viewed favorable by 52 percent of those polled, and unfavorably by 33 percent.
In comparison, check out Bruce Lunsford's numbers: 30 percent favorable, and 36 percent unfavorable. (Ouch!) More people don't like Lunsford than like him. Nor can Lunsford's high negatives be attributed to an anti-incumbent sentiment, because Lunsford, despite myriad efforts, has yet to win an election.
No wonder the guy is forced to pump his own millions into his own campaign; to know him is to dislike him.
Altogether, Lunsford has spent roughly $17 million to get himself elected to something, anything. He's not particular; he'll serve as governor or senator. Anything to plaster his mug all over our TVs. That's one pricey singles' ad.
South Carolina Democratic chairwoman Carol Fowler sharply attacked Sarah Palin today, saying John McCain had chosen a running mate " whose primary qualification seems to be that she hasn’t had an abortion.”
Update: AP reports that Fowler has now apologized for her remark.
Biden had an awkward moment during a rally in Columbia, Mo., Tuesday. At the start of his remarks, he pointed out several state lawmakers in the audience for praise. When he got to Chuck Graham, a state senator from Green Meadows, Biden urged the lawmaker to "stand up Chuck, let 'em see ya."
But Graham, who is in a wheelchair, can't stand up - a fact Biden quickly picked up on.
"God love ya, what am I talking about," Biden said. "You can tell I'm new," he quipped, asking the audience to stand up for Graham instead.
Speaking at a high school in Norfolk, Obama took a few moments to address what he calls "the made-up controversy" of the day, Amie Parnes reports.
Obama said the McCain campaign moved to "seize an innocent remark and take it out of context because they knew it's catnip for the news media."
"See, it would be funny, but the news media decided that would be the lead story yesterday. This happens every election cycle. Every four years, this is what we do. This is what they want to spend two of the last 55 days talking about...Enough!" he said.
Obama called the attacks "lies, outrage and swift boat politics."
"These are serious times and they call for a serious debate...spare me all the phony outrage. Spare me all the phony talk about change," he said.
Spare us your phony outrage to salvage your lame attempt at humor yesterday, Barry.
Freedland should heed the lyrics of another Englishman from forty years ago:
No, you can't always get what you want
You can't always get what you want
You can't always get what you want
And if you try sometime you find You get what you need.
Update: A new poll of Russians find they prefer Obama and Putin over their respective political opponents -- yet another ringing European endorsement to make the Democrats proud.
Update: Sorry, but the ad is no longer viewable at the YouTube link noted above. Ben Smith of Politico reports that "YouTube has removed a webad that casts Sarah Palin as the victim of sexism on the request of CBS, whose anchor Katie Couric was featured in the ad." Smith adds:
YouTube's page displaying the ad now tells visitors, "This video is no longer available due to a copyright claim by CBS Interactive Inc."
Couric's original commentary can be seen here. A cached version of the McCain ad is currently available here.
Tuesday, September 9, 2008
"The other side, suddenly, they're saying 'we're for change too,' " Obama told the crowd. "You can put lipstick on a pig. It's still a pig. You can wrap up an old fish in a piece of paper and call it change. It's still going to stink after eight years. We've had enough."
Let's see: Palin, a pig with lipstick, and McCain, an old fish.
What a comedian you are, Barry. And do you have to be such a crybaby about the Republicans borrowing your campaign slogan?
Quick, get Obama a teleprompter with some wit!