Joe Biden? Yeah, he's not going to be as powerful as Cheney. That's becasue he's not nearly as smart as Cheney. It appears that Cheney knows this. Does Obama?
Vice President Cheney mocked Vice President-elect Joe Biden's grasp of the Constitution, defended former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and said President Bush "doesn't have to check with anybody" before launching a nuclear attack.
In a blunt, unapologetic interview on "FOX News Sunday," Cheney fired back at Biden for declaring in October that "Vice President Cheney has been the most dangerous vice president we've had probably in American history."
"He also said that all the powers and responsibilities of the executive branch are laid out in Article I of the Constitution," Cheney said in a interview that was conducted on Friday. "Well, they're not. Article I of the Constitution is the one on the legislative branch."
"Joe's been chairman of the Judiciary Committee, a member of the Judiciary Committee in the Senate for 36 years, teaches constitutional law back in Delaware, and can't keep straight which article of the Constitution provides for the legislature and which provides for the executive. So I think I'd write that off as campaign rhetoric. I don't take it seriously."
Cheney, who is often called the most powerful vice president in history, also challenged Biden's claim that the Bush administration has amassed too much executive authority, a trend Biden reportedly plans to reverse.
"If he wants to diminish the office of the vice president, that's obviously his call," Cheney shrugged. "President-elect Obama will decide what he wants in a vice president and apparently, from the way they're talking about it, he does not expect him to have as consequential a role as I have had during my time."
Biden bit back, however, in a dueling Sunday morning interview that aired on ABC's "This Week" in which he said he stood by his statements.
"His notion of a unitary executive, meaning that, in time of war, essentially all power, you know, goes to the executive, I think is dead wrong. I think it was mistaken. I think it caused this administration, in adopting that notion, to overstep its constitutional bounds, but, at a minimum, to weaken our standing in the world and weaken our security. I stand by that -- that judgment," Biden said..
Cheney defended the administration's aggressive prosecution of the War on Terror, which he said was a major reason the nation hasn't been attacked in seven years. He said the 1973 War Powers Act is a violation of the Constitution because Congress does not have the right by statute to alter presidential constitutional power.
"That it is an infringement on the president's authority as the commander-in-chief," Cheney said. "It has never been resolved, but I think it's a very good example of a way in which Congress has tried to limit the president's authority and, frankly, can't.
"The president of the United States now for 50 years is followed at all times, 24 hours a day, by a military aide carrying a football that contains the nuclear codes that he would use and be authorized to use in the event of a nuclear attack on the United States," Cheney said. "He could launch the kind of devastating attack the world has never seen.
"He doesn't have to check with anybody. He doesn't have to call the Congress. He doesn't have to check with the courts. He has that authority because of the nature of the world we live in."
Cheney also made clear that he had tried, in vain, to convince Bush not to fire Rumsfeld in 2006.
"I did disagree with the decision," Cheney said. "The president doesn't always take my advice."
Cheney said he supports Rumsfeld's successor, Robert Gates, "but I was a Rumsfeld man. I'd helped recruit him and I thought he did a good job for us."
Cheney also was unapologetic about using an expletive in 2004 to tell Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy what to do to himself. The incident occurred after Cheney heard that Leahy had suggested the vice president used his position in the White House to get contracts for his former firm, Halliburton.
"I thought he merited it at the time, and we've since, I think, patched over that wound and we're civil to one another now," Cheney said in the interview.
Cheney, who has low approval ratings, predicted that history would vindicate him and Bush.
"We've been here for eight years now, eventually you wear out your welcome in this business but I'm very comfortable with where we are and what we've achieved substantively," he said. "And frankly I would not want to be one of those guys who spends all his times reading the polls. I think people like that shouldn't serve in these jobs."
Sunday, December 21, 2008
Joe Biden? Yeah, he's not going to be as powerful as Cheney. That's becasue he's not nearly as smart as Cheney. It appears that Cheney knows this. Does Obama?
Posted by Falling Panda at 6:20 PM
Monday, December 15, 2008
The shoes had hardly left the hand of the Iraqi who tossed them at President Bush during the Baghdad press conference yesterday when the leftwing blogosphere began cheering him as some sort of hero. The incredible success of the Surge in Iraq has been very frustrating for the left. Along with Joe Biden they claimed that the Surge could never work. Problem was that it worked. That is why they have been so silent recently on the topic of the Iraq. The complete turnaround there has been much too embarrassing for them to mention Iraq very much...until now. The shoes tossed by that Iraqi journalist let loose a river of pent up frustration in the form of hailing the shoe tosser. Here is a sampling of the the reaction from the Daily Kos:
Is the Iraqi reporter eligible for a Pulitzer?
What will happen to this reporter? Do we need to send money for his representation in court or is he dead already? My concern is for this guy. I understand that Dana Perino got a black eye from a microfone in the melee. I'm sorry but retribution is sweet! If we could help this shoeless person I would.
We can throw 9000+ combat boots at him as he waddles to Marine 1 for the last time.
Michael Ware Was Grinning From Ear to Ear! Iraq journalist Michael Ware was shown on CNN telling Blitzer about the shoe throwing incident. He was positively gleeful.And it wouldn't surprise me if quite a few other American journalists, whether based in Iraq or not, were also grinning from ear to ear in solidarity with the Kossacks over this incident. Meanwhile the
Huffington Post comments were very similar to those of the Daily Kos:
All I can hope for is that bubble boy takes a real good look at what he has wrought. He should rot.
Find out who it was the guy deserves a medal of honor.
you go iraqi guy! wooohooo! we should all be chuckin our shoes at him! lmao!!!! the shoebomber! lmao!!!
I would love to throw something at Bush.. not a shoe though.. maybe a brick.. or cinder block.
Give that man who threw his shoes at the shrub an award...or better yet a statue built in his own likeness.
Shall we say thank you Al-Jazeera?
The next time you see Bush's motorcade rush by, don't let anyone keep you from giving him your shoe, too...
does anybody know the name and address of the man who threw the shoe? I'd like to buy him a new pair and throwing lessons.And finally, last but least, we have the input from the loons at the
F---ing shame he missed.
Too bad Shrub didn't get his teeth knocked out, that guys a true hero!
*sigh* why can't anyone ever hit their targets? is it asking too much too see Bush hit in the face with a shoe, or Coulter with a pie, or Rove with flaming poo?
I soooooo wish I could throw something at the idiot too. You can see a larger collection of the DUer rantings at the DUmmie FUnnies
Posted by Falling Panda at 10:28 PM
Taken From Michelle Malkin's Blog
What happens when liberals decide “Quotes of the Year”
By Michelle Malkin • December 15, 2008 02:28 PM
Fred R. Shapiro is a Yale historian. He compiles an annual “memorable quotes of the year” list and has publishes the “Yale Book of Quotations.”
MSM outlets love Shapiro’s lists.
Shapiro, you see, is an admitted liberal historian.
And the omissions on his authoritative list of quotes are revealing.
Topping the list are quotes from Sarah Palin and Tina Fey. John McCain made the list, too.
But out of all the gaffetastic gaffes committed by Barack Obama and Joe Biden, Professor Shapiro couldn’t find a single noteworthy quote to include on his definitive list. Because, you see, he did not find the Democrat ticket’s gaffes “memorable” or “remarkable:”
Sarah Palin lost the election, but she’s a winner to a connoisseur of quotations.
The Republican vice presidential candidate and her comedic doppelganger, Tina Fey, took the top two spots in this year’s list of most memorable quotes compiled by Fred R. Shapiro.
First place was “I can see Russia from my house!” spoken in satire of Palin’s foreign policy credentials by Fey on “Saturday Night Live.” Palin actual quote was: “They’re our next-door neighbors and you can actually see Russia from land here in Alaska, from an island in Alaska.”
Palin also made the third annual list for her inability to name newspapers she reads. When questioned by CBS anchor Katie Couric, Palin said she reads “all of them, any of them that have been in front of me over all these years.” Palin’s quotes were pivotal, said Shapiro, associate librarian and lecturer in legal research at the Yale Law School who compiles the list. “This quote helped shape the election results,” he said of the Russia quote. “As it sank in the public realized this was someone really, really inexperienced and perhaps lacking in curiosity about the world.” Shapiro issued his Yale Book of Quotations, with about 13,000 entries, two years ago after six years of research. He expects to release the next edition in about five years, but in the meantime plans to issue annual top 10 lists.
…Palin’s running mate, Sen. John McCain, also made the list twice, once for his “the fundamentals of America’s economy are strong” comment in April and again for saying “maybe 100″ when asked last January how many years U.S. troops could remain in Iraq.
Shapiro said the quotes may have been somewhat unfairly construed. “Nonetheless, these quotes cemented his image as someone who was out of touch with economic realities or indifferent to economic realities and being someone who was fanatical about prosecuting the war in Iraq,” he said.
Shapiro relies on suggestions from quote-watchers around the world, plus his own choices from songs, the news and movies, and then searches databases and the Internet to determine the popularity of the quotes.
Phil Gramm, a McCain advisor, made the list for saying “We have sort of become a nation of whiners” in July in reference to Americans concerned about the economy.
President-elect Barack Obama didn’t make the list, not even for his much-criticized remark in which he said some small-town Americans “cling to guns or religion.”
“To me it didn’t seem like a very remarkable or very foolish quote,” said Shapiro, who describes himself as a liberal Democrat. “Ultimately I decided against it, but it was a close call.”
No “Gird your loins.” No “mark my words.” No “J-O-B-S is a three-letter word.” No FDR on TV.
No “57 states.” No “states in the middle.” No “Iran doesn’t pose serious threat.”
No “typical white person.” No “not the person I knew.”
No “first time in my adult lifetime.”
And no “they get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren’t like them.”
Some gaffes, as we saw over and over again over the last year, are more equal than others
Posted by Falling Panda at 10:20 PM
Wednesday, December 10, 2008
The event was a meeting organized by several groups, all of which have web sites and principles, dedicated to the cause of bringing young conservatives together in the same efficient way that the Democrats have managed to over the last four years.
Held at the Capitol Club, nestled snugly against the Capitol building on the Hill, several things really struck me about the meeting.
First off the place was packed full of young people. There were at least two hundred of us who showed up, anxious to become involved in the movement on the ground floor.
Next, the energy in the room was incredible. There were no glum faces or pity parties being thrown by those who were near suicidal because of the incoming administration. To the contrary, these Republicans seemed incredibly optimistic and excited about having the opportunity to rebuild the party from the ground up while at the same time leaving their own unique mark on the party machinery to aid future generations.
There was no hateful rhetoric against Obama or the Democrats, no talk about how we can destroy the other guys and not a single mention of Rod Blagojevich. The talk at the meeting was limited to pro-growth ideas on how we as young people can use our energy and passion for politics to make our party competitive again in all fifty states.
Finally, what shocked me the most was the high number of young African Americans who attended the meeting. Barack Obama got nearly 70% of the youth vote, and 96% of the black vote. Basic math would lead one to believe that the number of Republicans who fit into both of those groups would be limited.
Not so. Not only was there a high percentage of African Americans in the audience, but two members of the panel were black as was the individual who organized the event, American Solution’s Princilla Smith who deserves a great big “thank you” from everyone who cares about the future of the G.O.P.
At the end of the meeting one of the events organizers, Arlington’s Kenneth Ryan James, introduced a motion, which would have sent a unanimous resolution to the RNC, asking them to add a delegation of Republicans under 40 to the group that would be voting on the next RNC chairman.
Instead of just shouting out “Yes We Can!” in unison the group thoughtfully and raised concerns and asked questions about the amendment and in the end decided to table it in order to discuss it further.
This is the kind of levelheaded pragmatism that our party needs going forward. Of course, we young Republicans have never been the type to give our unquestioning allegiance to an idea or an individual who sounds good but has little to offer in the way of substance.
So spread the word. A movement is being built.
Here are the websites that are leading the charge. These are our versions of MoveOn.org so sign up with them and keep an eye on their event listings. Next time one is happening, get of the couch and go.
I'm the guy on the right side in the middle who is staring off into space. Sphere: Related Content
Posted by Falling Panda at 2:38 PM
Tuesday, December 09, 2008
Sunday, December 07, 2008
This is the money in the freezer guy.
Anh 'Joseph' Cao beats Rep. William Jefferson in 2nd Congressional District
by Michelle Krupa and Frank Donze, The Times-Picayune
Saturday December 06, 2008, 11:40 PM
Indicted U.S. Rep. William Jefferson suffered what may be the final blow of his storied political career in the most improbable way Saturday, when an untested Republican opponent took advantage of Louisiana's new federal voting rules -- and an election delay caused by Hurricane Gustav -- to unseat the nine-term Democrat.
With the upset victory, Anh "Joseph" Cao, a eastern New Orleans attorney who fled war-ravaged Saigon as a child, becomes the first Vietnamese-American in Congress. He will represent a district that was specifically drawn to give African-Americans an electoral advantage and one in which two of every three voters are registered Democrats.
His defeat came on a day of abysmally low turnout, which political pundits had predicted could be Jefferson's undoing despite his demographic and political advantages.
Ironically, had Gustav not postponed the voting schedule one month, the general election would have been held the same ballot as last month's presidential election, when high turnout among African-American voters likely would have carried Jefferson to a 10th term.
Meanwhile, in Louisiana's 4th Congressional District, Republican John Fleming, a physician from Minden, won the seat being vacated by retiring Congressman Jim McCrery, a Republican from Shreveport.
The two races, both delayed because of Gustav, were this season's last contests for the U.S. House of Representatives. Saturday's results mean Louisiana bucked the national trend and wound up with a congressional delegation of six Republicans and a single Democrat. Three Democrats represent Louisiana in the current Congress.
Speaking to supporters Saturday night at Palace Cafe on Canal Street, Cao, 41, made reference to Jefferson's earlier victories this season -- and to the legal problems that undoubtedly contributed to his downfall.
"I know he went through two previous primaries, and that must have been hard," Cao said. "But tonight, the people of the 2nd District have spoken. We want a new direction. We want accountability, and have it."
Cao made direct reference to his improbable political ascent, seeming as astonished as anyone else.
"Never in my life did I think I could be a future congressman," he said. "The American dream is well and alive."
Though he was a relative unknown before this race, Cao was flanked Saturday night by a number of local political power brokers.
U.S. Rep. Steve Scalise, a Republican from Metairie, introduced him to screaming supporters. City Councilwomen Jackie Clarkson and Stacy Head, both Democrats, were in attendance, along with former TV news anchor Helena Moreno, who was defeated by Jefferson in the Democratic Party runoff. Several GOP party leaders, including former City Councilmen Jay Batt and Bryan Wagner, also joined the crowd.
At Cao's side was his wheelchair-bound father, who spent seven years in a North Vietnamese prison camp during that country's civil war. In his closing, Cao offered thanks to the local immigrant community, and he made a special plea for peace in the country of his birth.
"I'd like to thank my Vietnamese community," he said, "and I'd like to encourage young Vietnamese in this country to work peacefully for a free and democratic Vietnam."
Meanwhile, at an Uptown art gallery, Jefferson, 61, a Harvard-educated attorney and former state Senator who was raised amid dire poverty in Lake Providence, La., said he thought voter fatigue contributed to his loss.
"Over three elections, I think people kind of ran out a little bit at the end of, I guess, the juice it takes to keep on going," he said. "There were three very difficult elections and on Nov. 4, a lot of folks thought we already won.
"I'm sure that if we poll, somewhere out there in the 2nd District is a vast majority of people who support our campaign and who, had they voted today, would have expressed it," he said.
Speaking to about 50 supporters who gave Jefferson a standing ovation when he entered the room, Jefferson thanked his family, labor leaders, local ministers and African-American voters, whom he praised as the "bedrock" of his political base.
"I'm so very grateful to each and every one of you, folks who are here and folks who are out there, for the warm embrace that you have given me over the years," he said.
Jefferson's demise resulted in part from Louisiana's return after 30 years to a closed primary system. As the only Republican to qualify for the general election, Cao spent September and October meeting voters, honing his message and raising money.
Meanwhile, Jefferson had to fight off six well-known challengers who together raised almost $2 million in an effort to unseat him in the Democratic Party primary and runoff, which were open only to registered Democrats and unaffiliated voters.
With his name appearing for the first time on Saturday's ballot, Cao was able to reach out to voters who supported the Democratic also-rans, as well as about 50,000 voters, most of them registered Republicans, who were forced to stay on the sidelines during the Democratic Party races.
As predicted, there was a dramatic drop-off in turnout Saturday compared with the Nov. 4 election that featured Barack Obama, now president-elect.
Last month, nearly 164,000 Democrats and independents in the 2nd District cast ballots. Even with the universe of voters expanded Saturday to include all registered voters, only 66,846 showed up to the polls.
In a rare radio interview in advance of the general election, Jefferson had expressed concerns that his base of African-American supporters might assume that he had won re-election last month and stay home Saturday.
Cao, who came to the United States when he was 8, holds a bachelor's degree in physics from Baylor University and a master's degree in philosophy from Fordham University. After a stint as a Catholic seminarian, he earned a law degree from Loyola University in 2000.
Married with two daughters, he now runs a law practice in Venetian Isles specializing in immigration.
Cao took an interest in local politics after his home and office were swamped during Hurricane Katrina.
His first bid for public office last year, when he sought the open 103rd House District, was inauspicious. Running then as an independent, he finished fifth in a six-candidate field.
Cao said he began eyeing a run for the 2nd District seat shortly after a Virginia grand jury indicted Jefferson last year on charges of bribery and public corruption following revelations in 2005 that FBI agents found $90,000 in marked bills in his freezer and linked him and several relatives to a wide-ranging bribery scheme.
Counting among his backers Gov. Bobby Jindal and Jefferson Parish Sheriff Newell Normand, Cao attracted solid support from local, state and national Republican organizations. He raised almost $90,000 from a slate of party operatives, local executives and members of the Vietnamese community. He also pumped $70,000 of his money into the campaign.
Hoping to pad his war chest further, Cao joined the Republican National Committee and the state GOP last month in filing a lawsuit challenging a decades-old cap on the amount of money the groups can spend on coordinated advertising efforts. As of late last week, the suit had gone nowhere.
Cao maintained a generally cordial tone during the campaign, limiting his criticism of Jefferson to questions about the congressman's effectiveness and ethics and rarely mentioning the criminal charges.
However, as election day neared, the National Republican Congressional Committee stepped in with a series of harsh mail pieces and an automated telephone call to voters that highlighted the allegations of money laundering, racketeering and bribery and labeled Jefferson as "crooked."
Organizers of Cao's campaign denied having a hand in the attack.
On election day, the Cao campaign launched a surprise, last-minute offensive with a pair of automated phone calls urging voters to pull the lever for Cao. The messages were recorded by Moreno and former Orleans Parish District Attorney Harry Connick. It was both supporters' first foray into the general election campaign.
Though Jefferson will pack up his Capitol Hill office, he will remain in the news: Originally scheduled to begin last week, his trial is likely to start in early 2009.
Also in the cross-hairs of federal prosecutors are Jefferson siblings Betty Jefferson, the Orleans Parish 4th District Assessor, and political consultant Mose Jefferson, who were indicted last year on charges that they conspired to loot more than $600,000 in taxpayer money from three charities.
In a separate case, Mose Jefferson was indicted on charges that he bribed the former president of the Orleans Parish School Board.
Those trials are set for early next year.
Jefferson's defeat also marks the latest and most severe blow to the Progressive Democrats, the Central City-based political organization that he founded.
Among Jefferson allies who have been forced from public office since news of the FBI probe into Jefferson's dealings broke are: Renee Gill Pratt, the congressman's former legislative aide who lost her seat on the City Council; close ally Eddie Jordan, who was forced to resign as Orleans Parish district attorney; and Jefferson's daughter, then-state Rep. Jalila Jefferson-Bullock, who lost a bid last year for the state Senate.
Posted by Falling Panda at 2:56 PM
Tuesday, December 02, 2008
After posting the now widely talked about Zogby Poll and accompanying video showing ignorant Obama voters getting stuff wrong in the new film "How Obama Got Elected" there was pretty much a unanimous cry of outrage from my Obama supporting acquaintances. They told me that the poll didn't mean squat if it didn't have similar results showing how uninformed John McCain's supporters were.
So a new Wilson Research Strategies Poll was done. Here were the results:
The 12 "Zogby" questions were duplicated, one on the Keating scandal was added for extra balance. The results from Obama voters were virtually IDENTICAL in both polls.
Here are the highlights:
35 % of McCain voters got 10 or more of 13 questions correct.
18% of Obama voters got 10 or more of 13 questions correct.
McCain voters knew which party controls congress by a 63-27 margin.
Obama voters got the “congressional control” question wrong by 43-41.
Those that got "congressional control" correct voted 56-43 for McCain.
Those that got "congressional control" wrong voted 65-35 for Obama.
The poll also asked voters to name all the media sources from which they got information.
Those “exposed” to Fox News got "congressional control" correct 64-25 (+39)
Those “exposed” to CNN got “congressional control” correct 48-38 (+10)
Those “exposed” to Network news got “congressional control” correct 48-39 (+9)
Those “exposed” to print media got “congressional control” correct 52-37 (+15)
Those “exposed” to MSNBC got “congressional control” correct 55-35 (+20)
Those “exposed” to talk radio got “congressional control” correct 61-29 (+32)
Voters in the "South" had the best response rate on “congressional control” (+22)
Voters in the "Northeast" had the worst response rate on “congressional control” (+9)
Those “exposed” to Fox News voted 70-29 for McCain.
Those “exposed” to CNN voted 63-37 for Obama.
Those “exposed” to MSNBC voted 73-26 for Obama.
Those “exposed” to network newscasts voted 62-37 for Obama.
Those “exposed” to national newspapers voted 64-36 for Obama.
Those “exposed” to talk radio voted 61-38 for McCain.
Those that could associate Bill Ayers' name/story with Obama voted 52-48 for McCain (We added Ayers name to the "Zogby" question and it significantly increased the rate of correct response, indicating a very superficial grasp of the overall story).
Those that knew Obama had made negative comments about “coal power plants" voted 76-24 for McCain.
Those that knew Obama had his opponents knocked off the ballot in his first campaign voted 66-34 for McCain.
McCain voters did poorly (only 42% correct) onteh Keating question and,in general, the voters did universally worse on questions where the negative information was about their candidate
Women under 55 did worse than they might have by guessing on four of the thirteen questions, and yet 95% of them knew that Palin was the candidate with a pregnant teenage daughter. Even 95% of those in this demographic group who didn't know “congressional control” got this question correct.
Those “exposed” to MSNBC “scored” 90% correct on the three Palin questions (including an incredible 98% on the “pregnant teenage daughter” question), while those not “exposed” to MSNBC averaged 84% correct on those three questions.
Here's a link to the original Zogby poll:
And here's the original video that brought this to light. It makes me laugh and cry at the same time.
Posted by Falling Panda at 6:27 PM
Monday, December 01, 2008
I wasn’t blogging over the holiday weekend. I was eating. I assumed that you were doing the same thing so I saved my annual list of things we have to be thankful for until today.
This year, all Americans find themselves in a nervous state regarding the economy and if you’re a conservative, about the coming changes which are sure to follow President-Elect Obama’s inauguration.
However, recent events should ease our minds a bit and lead us to be grateful for our good luck and to be optimistic about our future in this ever-resilient nation of ours. So here is a partial list containing some things to be happy about in these tumultuous times.
1.Obama’s Apparent Pragmatism
Last week the President-Elect made two decisions which should give us all great confidence that he intends to put common sense over ideology. The first was his decision to keep Secretary Of Defense Robert Gates at the Pentagon. This signals that, despite his constantly evolving campaign message of failure in Iraq, Obama has finally come to terms with the fact that our recent efforts in the region have been successful and that defeat is not an option.
At around the same time as the Gates news was being floated, another balloon was released suggesting that Obama’s plan to hike taxes would be put on hold until the economic crisis was over.
Again, it would appear that, once out of campaign mode, Obama has wisely admitted what Republicans have always known: raising taxes is bad for the economy. Especially in the short term. Especially when you’re in a recession. Especially when there is so much uncertainty regarding the financial markets.
These two moves should instill great hope among those who didn’t vote for Obama that he is more pragmatic and less radical than we once thought.
It should also send a clear message to liberals that even though Obama ran against the Bush Administration, your great savior is not going to overturn two of his predecessor’s biggest policy initiatives. If he’s smart, he won’t touch the Patriot Act either.
2.We didn’t Elect/Re-Elect John Kerry
Throughout the course of this campaign, Democrats liked to hype this election as the most important in out lifetime. Four years ago Republicans dubbed 2004 with the same title. Despite which one you think was more important, everyone should be happy about the fact that John Kerry was not running for re-election this year.
Had Kerry prevailed in ’04 many events would have unfolded in the same way as they have under President Bush. New Orleans would still be under water and the financial crisis would have gone down the same way.
The difference would have been that when the situation in Iraq got really bad in 2005-06, Kerry would have packed it in. This move would have once again saddled America with the label of a weak-willed nation which doesn’t stand up to its enemies when the going gets tough. Al-Queda would then have free-rein over the world, knowing that if they shed enough blood, America would inevitably back off.
The Democrats who love Obama can be grateful that Kerry lost as well, since had he won, Obama would have at least had to wait until 2012 to run for the White House. Had Kerry lost in ’08, a likely outcome given the economic situation, Obama would have had to face an incumbent GOP president. That’s much more difficult than running against an unpopular lame duck.
3.Gay Marriage Protests
In the wake of the financial crisis and the weakening economy, our enemies and even some of our citizens have jumped at the chance to label the American experiment a failure. Some folks are saying that capitalism has failed, even as shoppers are trampled by plasma TV craving consumers at Wal-Mart.
Of course, anyone with a sense of history realizes that reports of America’s demise are greatly exaggerated. Nowhere is this more evident than in the left’s reaction to the passage of California’s Proposition 8, which banned gay marriage in that state.
The reaction among many people, especially the young folks who thought it was so important that they elect anti-gay marriage candidate Obama, was to go out and protest, and to shoot petitions around Facebook. This reaction should show us that we Americans are not so troubled by dwindling 401k’s or terror, that we don’t have time to debate relatively trivial matters such as who gets to call themselves “married” and who does not.
While many Americans shake their fist in outrage at “greedy” CEO’s and repeatedly remind us of how much the rest of the world hates us, deep down they must know that everything is going to turn out all right. If they didn’t, they wouldn’t be so riled up about this.
Now before you call for my head or say that I'm full of H8(which is an oversimplification and a cop-out, I might add), ask yourself this: if unmemployment was 25% and the Mumbai attacks had happened in Chicago, would anyone's immediate concerns dwell on gay nuptuals? I think not.
4.The State Of The Planet
Finally, there’s some good news about Global Warming. IT DOESN’T EXSIST! Seriously though, new findings by NASA and a statistics firm called Hadley-data recently released a report which stated the following:
- In every year since 1998, world temperatures have been getting colder and in 2002 Arctic ice actually increased
-There has been no warming since 1997 and no statistically significant warming since 1995.
Now, I have never jumped on the Global Warming bandwagon, but there’s really no bandwagon to jump on unless you completely accept the Al Gore vision of environmental apocalypse.
Hopefully, the election of Barack Obama will signify an end to the knee-jerk alarmism, which has come to define the left during the Bush years. That same alarmist sentiment that gave us such liberal favorites, as “We’re becoming a fascist state!” and “Our civil liberties are disappearing!”
What is needed is vigorous debate and a thorough fact-check before our nation starts throwing money at a problem that may or may not actually be a problem.
Posted by Falling Panda at 9:36 AM
Sphere: Related Content
Deepak Blames America
The media look within to explain the sick delusions of the Mumbai killers.
By DOROTHY RABINOWITZ
If the Mumbai terror assault seemed exceptional, and shocking in its targets, it was clear from the Thanksgiving Day reports that we weren't going to be deprived of the familiar, either. Namely, ruminations, hints, charges of American culpability that regularly accompany catastrophes of this kind.
APSoon enough, there was Deepak Chopra, healer, New Age philosopher and digestion guru, advocate of aromatherapy and regular enemas, holding forth on CNN on the meaning of the attacks.
How the ebullient Dr. Chopra had come to be chosen as an authority on terror remains something of a mystery, though the answer may have something to do with his emergence in the recent presidential campaign as a thinker of advanced political views. Also commending him, perhaps, is his well known capacity to cut through all sorts of complexities to make matters simple. No one can fail to grasp the wisdom of a man who has informed us that "If you have happy thoughts, then you make happy molecules."
In his CNN interview, he was no less clear. What happened in Mumbai, he told the interviewer, was a product of the U.S. war on terrorism, that "our policies, our foreign policies" had alienated the Muslim population, that we had "gone after the wrong people" and inflamed moderates. And "that inflammation then gets organized and appears as this disaster in Bombay."
All this was a bit too much, evidently, for CNN interviewer Jonathan Mann, who interrupted to note that there were other things going on -- matters like the ongoing bitter Pakistan-India struggle over Kashmir -- which had caused so much terror and so much violence. "That's not Washington's fault," he pointed out.
Given an argument, the guest, ever a conciliator, agreed: The Mumbai catastrophe was not Washington's fault, it was everybody's fault. Which didn't prevent Dr. Chopra from returning soon to his central theme -- the grave offense posed to Muslims by the United States' war on terror, a point accompanied by consistent emphatic reminders that Muslims are the world's fastest growing population -- 25% of the globe's inhabitants -- and that the U.S. had better heed that fact. In Dr. Chopra's moral universe, numbers are apparently central. It's tempting to imagine his view of offenses against a much smaller sliver of the world's inhabitants -- not so offensive, perhaps?
Two subsequent interviews with Larry King brought much of the same -- a litany of suggestions about the role the U.S. had played in fueling assaults by Muslim terrorists, reminders of the numbers of Muslims in the world and their grievances. A faithful adherent of the root-causes theory of crime -- mass murder, in the case at hand -- Dr. Chopra pointed out, quite unnecessarily, that most of the terrorism in the world came from Muslims. It was mandatory, then, to address their grievances -- "humiliation," "poverty," "lack of education." The U.S., he recommended, should undertake a Marshall Plan for Muslims.
Nowhere in this citation of the root causes of Muslim terrorism was there any mention of Islamic fundamentalism -- the religious fanaticism that has sent fevered mobs rioting, burning and killing over alleged slights to the Quran or the prophet. Not to mention the countless others enlisted to blow themselves and others up in the name of God.
Nor did we hear, in these media meditations, any particular expression of sorrow from the New Delhi-born Dr. Chopra for the anguish of Mumbai's victims: a striking lack, no doubt unintentional, but not surprising, either. For advocates of the root-causes theory of crime, the central story is, ever, the sorrows and grievances of the perpetrators. For those prone to the belief that most eruptions of evil in the world can be traced to American influence and power there is only one subject of consequence.
Jew Haters Deserve Ostracism in the West
Accustomed as we are by now to this view of the U.S., it's impossible not to marvel at its varied guises -- its capacity to emerge even in journalism ostensibly concerning the absurd beliefs about the 9/11 attacks held by so many Muslims. It's conventional wisdom in the region -- according to a New York Times dispatch from Cairo, Egypt, last fall by Michael Slackman -- that the U.S. and Israel had to have been involved in the planning, if not the actual execution of the assaults. No news there. Neither was the information that there was virtually universal belief in the area that Jews, tipped off, didn't go to work at the World Trade Center that day. Or that the U.S. had organized the plot in order to attack Arab Muslims and gain access to their oil.
The noteworthy point here was the writer's conclusion that the U.S. itself was to blame for the power of these beliefs. "It is easy for Americans to dismiss such thinking as bizarre," Mr. Slackman allowed. But that would miss the point that the persistence of these ideas represents the "first failure in the fight against terrorism." A U.S. failure? Nowhere in the extended list of root causes here was there any mention of the fanaticism and sheer mindless gullibility that is the prerequisite for the holding of such beliefs.
Its very ordinariness speaks volumes about this report. A piece written with evident serenity, the perversity of its conclusions notwithstanding, it's one emblem among many of the adversarial view of the nation that is today entrenched in the culture. So unworthy is the U.S. -- an attitude solidly established in our media culture long before the war on terror -- that only it can be held responsible for the deranged fantasies cherished in large quarters of the Arab world. So natural does it feel, now, to hold such views that their expression has become second nature.
Which is how it happens also that the U.S. is linked to the bloodletting in Mumbai, with scarcely anyone batting an eye, and Larry King -- awash perhaps, in happy molecules -- thanking guest Dr. Chopra for his extraordinary enlightenment.
Ms. Rabinowitz is a member of The Wall Street Journal's editorial board.
Posted by Falling Panda at 7:20 AM
Thursday, November 20, 2008
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The first opportunity for the GOP to re-stake its claim as the party of small government and free markets has presented itself earlier than anyone could have expected.
A major U.S. industry is on the verge of bankruptcy and despite the fears of a short-term impact on the economy, Republicans must oppose a bailout of Detroit in order to set the auto industry on a path of self-reliance in coming decades.
Barack Obama ran against Washington-as-usual and it worked. One of the things that people across the political spectrum say they hate the most about the government is special interest influence in policy making, and throughout the campaign Obama claimed that he hated it as well.
That being said, Obama relied heavily on Union support and support from the United Auto Workers union in particular, for both money and organization in both the primaries and the general election.
The proposed government bailout, which Obama supports, would provide taxpayer money to an industry that have been losing money hand over fist, quarter after quarter for years. The government cash would prevent them from having to layoff their unionized employees, keep the assembly lines running and keep their CEO’s flying in private jets until the next time they get into trouble.
A long-term solution is what is needed and for the Big Three and bankruptcy is the first step in the long rehabilitation process.
Now, bankruptcy doesn’t not mean that Ford, GM and/or Chrysler will just disappear, never to be heard from again. What it does mean is that the auto companies will be forced to change the way they do business in order to survive and once again become profitable.
Most importantly, they will have to renegotiate contracts with the unions so that they can once again compete with overseas companies like Toyota, which are currently kicking their butts all over the marketplace. In addition to this, once the bankruptcy occurs, the government can use its new leverage to give Detroit real incentives to adopt new technology in the vehicles they produce.
Even though they claim to love hybrids, most Democrats are so beholden to the unions that they would support them regardless of the long-term environmental benefits associated with forcing the car companies to restructure from the bottom up.
The GOP, however, has nothing to lose. The House GOP was adamantly opposed to the original $700 billion bailout package, but went along with it in the end, essentially out of hope of preserving John McCain’s chances in the November election.
Without the electoral albatross around their necks, the GOP can stick to their guns and put immense pressure on Democrats in swing districts to kill a handout that the American people are almost certain to oppose.
Bailing out our financial institutions is one thing. Millions of investors and businesses relied on the money that was at stake in the preservation of the gatekeepers of our nation’s private wealth.
If the Big Three fail, jobs will be lost, the market will lose more of its value and the economy in the affected regions will assuredly suffer. However, letting the companies fail and rebuild from the bottom up (which they almost certainly will, not wanting to abandon their infrastructure) will have a long-term positive impact in that it will force a 20th century industry to adapt to a 21st century world.
When the bailout comes to the desk of President Bush, I am confident that he will veto it. When the same bill comes to the same desk before President Obama, he will be forced to either hold true to his campaign rhetoric, in which he billed himself as a new kind of politician, or risk losing the support of one of the special interest groups that helped him get elected. Not a good position for a president to find himself in only weeks into his presidency.
With the abdication of political power comes the ability to return to ideological purity without the threat of electoral repercussions.
With this opportunity also comes a chance to regain typically Republican voters who abandoned John McCain and the GOP for Libertarians like Ron Paul and Bob Barr. These voters are largely young males whose votes wouldn’t have made much of a difference for John McCain at the polls. But the energy and fierce loyalty they exhibited during the long campaign is exactly what we need to counter the Obama youth’s celebrity-driven dedication to their candidate.
Either way, this is the line in the sand that we as a party need to draw in order to reinvent ourselves and for the auto industry to reinvent itself.
Posted by Falling Panda at 11:25 AM
Wednesday, November 19, 2008
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I guess it's poetic justice that the left would crucify AG Alberto Gonzales for approving the "torture" of terrorists and then not make a sound when Barack Obama nominates a man whose claim to fame is approving pardons for them. This guy isn't getting confirmed without a lotof noise from us.
Posted by Falling Panda at 7:55 PM
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
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UTICA, New York -- Just 2% of voters who supported Barack Obama on Election Day obtained perfect or near-perfect scores on a post election test which gauged their knowledge of statements and scandals associated with the presidential tickets during the campaign, a new Zogby International telephone poll shows.
Only 54% of Obama voters were able to answer at least half or more of the questions correctly.
The 12-question, multiple-choice survey found questions regarding statements linked to Republican presidential candidate John McCain and his vice-presidential running-mate Sarah Palin were far more likely to be answered correctly by Obama voters than questions about statements associated with Obama and Vice-President–Elect Joe Biden. The telephone survey of 512 Obama voters nationwide was conducted Nov. 13-15, 2008, and carries a margin of error of +/- 4.4 percentage points. The survey was commissioned by John Ziegler, author of The Death of Free Speech, producer of the recently released film "Blocking the Path to 9/11" and producer of the upcoming documentary film, Media Malpractice...How Obama Got Elected.
"We stand by the results our survey work on behalf of John Ziegler, as we stand by all of our work. We reject the notion that this was a push poll because it very simply wasn't. It was a legitimate effort to test the knowledge of voters who cast ballots for Barack Obama in the Nov. 4 election. Push polls are a malicious effort to sway public opinion one way or the other, while message and knowledge testing is quite another effort of public opinion research that is legitimate inquiry and has value in the public square. In this case, the respondents were given a full range of responses and were not pressured or influenced to respond in one way or another. This poll was not designed to hurt anyone, which is obvious as it was conducted after the election. The client is free to draw his own conclusions about the research, as are bloggers and other members of society. But Zogby International is a neutral party in this matter. We were hired to test public opinion on a particular subject and with no ax to grind, that's exactly what we did. We don't have to agree or disagree with the questions, we simply ask them and provide the client with a fair and accurate set of data reflecting public opinion." - John Zogby
"After I interviewed Obama voters on Election Day for my documentary, I had a pretty low opinion of what most of them had picked up from the media coverage of the campaign, but this poll really proves beyond any doubt the stunning level of malpractice on the part of the media in not educating the Obama portion of the voting populace," said Ziegler.
Ninety-four percent of Obama voters correctly identified Palin as the candidate with a pregnant teenage daughter, 86% correctly identified Palin as the candidate associated with a $150,000 wardrobe purchased by her political party, and 81% chose McCain as the candidate who was unable to identify the number of houses he owned. When asked which candidate said they could "see Russia from their house," 87% chose Palin, although the quote actually is attributed to Saturday Night Live's Tina Fey during her portrayal of Palin during the campaign. An answer of "none" or "Palin" was counted as a correct answer on the test, given that the statement was associated with a characterization of Palin.
Obama voters did not fare nearly as well overall when asked to answer questions about statements or stories associated with Obama or Biden -- 83% failed to correctly answer that Obama had won his first election by getting all of his opponents removed from the ballot, and 88% did not correctly associate Obama with his statement that his energy policies would likely bankrupt the coal industry. Most (56%) were also not able to correctly answer that Obama started his political career at the home of two former members of the Weather Underground.
Nearly three quarters (72%) of Obama voters did not correctly identify Biden as the candidate who had to quit a previous campaign for President because he was found to have plagiarized a speech, and nearly half (47%) did not know that Biden was the one who predicted Obama would be tested by a generated international crisis during his first six months as President.
In addition to questions regarding statements and scandals associated with the campaigns, the 12-question, multiple-choice survey also included a question asking which political party controlled both houses of Congress leading up to the election -- 57% of Obama voters were unable to correctly answer that Democrats controlled both the House and the Senate.
Posted by Falling Panda at 10:29 AM
Sunday, November 16, 2008
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Palin for president
She helped the GOP ticket more than McCain.
Sunday, November 16, 2008
By Jack Kelly, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
The week before the election, the Obama campaign ran a television commercial attacking the Republican candidate for vice president. To my knowledge, this had never been done before.
Within days of Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin's selection by John McCain to be his running mate, there was speculation in the news media that maternal neglect was the cause of baby Trig's Down Syndrome; that Trig was really daughter Bristol's baby; that Sarah was a fundamentalist who believes dinosaurs and humans coexisted; that she once belonged to a secessionist party; that as mayor of Wasilla, she tried to have popular books banned from the town library.
None of this was true, but this was how the news media introduced Ms. Palin to people in the lower 48. No vice presidential candidate has ever been subjected to such a torrent of abuse.
This was a woman with no family money and no famous name who took on a corrupt Republican governor and beat him, then swept to victory in the general election against a popular former Democratic governor. This was a reformer who in her first year as governor got through the legislature a bill her predecessors had sought unsuccessfully for 35 years -- to build a natural gas pipeline to the rest of the country -- as well as a landmark ethics reform bill. She was by far the most popular governor in America, with an approval rating in the low 80s.
A star athlete and beauty contest winner who hunts moose and worked as a commercial fisherman, Sarah Palin has a remarkable personal and political story. But it's a story the news media largely ignored in favor of spreading malicious gossip.
Given the constant portrayal of Ms. Palin as an ignorant hick, it's not surprising that only 38 percent of those who voted thought she was qualified to be president. The conventional wisdom among those who consider themselves her social superiors is that she was a drag on the ticket.
"By picking Palin, McCain simultaneously eliminated his own best argument against Sen. Obama -- the limited experience of his opponent -- while compounding his own most negative image, that of someone who is erratic and out of control," said Julian Zelizer of Newsweek.
This view is at variance with the facts. Of the 60 percent of voters who told exit pollsters Sarah Palin was an "important factor" in their decision, 56 percent voted for Mr. McCain. Those who said she was not an important factor voted for Barack Obama by a 64 percent to 33 percent margin.
In a Rasmussen poll taken the day before the election, 71 percent of Republicans said Ms. Palin was the right choice for vice president, but only 65 percent said Mr. McCain was the right choice for president.
Ms. Palin drew much larger crowds than Mr. McCain did when he campaigned alone, and much, much larger crowds than Democrat Joe Biden could attract. People left her rallies more pumped up than when they arrived.
She gave a boffo performance in her acceptance speech at the Republican National Convention and she performed better in her debate with Mr. Biden than Mr. McCain did in his first two debates with Mr. Obama.
Sarah Palin's appearance on "Saturday Night Live," where she had been lampooned mercilessly, brought that show its highest ratings in years.
"Her politics aren't my politics," said SNL's executive producer, Lorne Michaels. "But you can see that she is a very powerful, very disciplined, incredibly gracious woman. This was her first time out and she's had a huge impact. People connect to her."
Mr. McCain got 7 million votes fewer than George W. Bush did in 2004. If Sarah Palin hadn't been on the ticket, that deficit would have been much greater.
Sarah Palin is a rare political talent. I think that's why liberals have tried so hard to define her negatively before Americans could get to know her. Whether she has a national political future depends on her own wishes and Barack Obama's performance. But if she should choose to run for president in 2012, she'll have my enthusiastic support.
Posted by Falling Panda at 5:15 PM
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
I know that many of you have decided to take a nice long break from politics after the crazy presidential election ended on the day it was supposed to. But keep in mind that several key senate races have not yet been decided and one important Governor's race is just starting up. Here's the rundown:
Georgia: Saxby Chambliss didn't quite make it to the 50% mark that he needed to hit in the general in order to avoid a run off. I'm not really worried about it though. Chambliss will likely add to his margin over Jim Martin due to the fact that Obama's young foot soldiers and black supporters are unlikely to come out again for the final vote.
Alaska: It's unfortunate that a bad guy and convicted felon like Ted Stevens had to be our nominee. But he was and it looks like he will eke out a victory in his race for a 33rd term. Ironically, the reason that he will probably win is contrary to basic GOP principles. He has provided so much pork to his state that relatively everyone in the Final Frontier has benefited from the job he's done in Washington.
If he holds on, there is a very good chance that he will be expelled from the Senate leaving the door open for Governor Palin to appoint his successor.
Note To The Governor: Looking for a perfect replacement? Look in the mirror.
Minnesota: This one is really troubling because Norm Coleman is a great guy who has done a terrific job for the state. But the crazies up in the Land Of A Thousand Lakes have come very close to putting a real hater in the Senate in comedien Al Franken.
Anyone Minnesotan who voted for Barack Obama in hopes of unifying the nation and also voted for Franken is a hypocrite. Franken has said things in his career as a left-wing talk show host that would make Howard Dean blush. He is the exact opposite of what America needs at a time when political reconciliation and a change in tone are what Americans so desperately desire.
With additional votes magically appearing for Franken, it is becoming clear that someone is up to no good. We need transparency in the recount procedure so that Norm Coleman is returned to the Senate per the voters wishes.
Virginia: Finally, not only is it important that we turn Virginia red again after Obama's big win last Tuesday, but it's equally important that Democratic shill Terry McAuliffe is not installed in the governor's mansion. He has spent his entire career making money for his friends in Washington D.C. Virginia needs someone who is working for...you know...Virginians. we need to send Attorney General Bob McDonnell to Richmond in 2009. Virginia is where the second Republican Revolution will begin. Now is the time to shift our focus The Old Dominion.
Posted by Falling Panda at 3:15 PM
Thursday, November 06, 2008
Wednesday, November 05, 2008
In the first presidential election since social networking sites like Facebook and My Space came to be, it was obvious that two things were of the utmost importance to these new participants in the political process.
The first was obviously getting Barack Obama elected. The other non-stop topic of online conversation among my friends on these sites was gay marriage. So it really shocked a lot of them when the state of California voted for Obama by 24 points and still passed Prop.8, which overturned CA’s ban on gay marriage.
Now, I’ve never had much use for the issue of gay marriage at all, on either side.
One side is trying to convince people that acceptance of Gay marriage will lead to the downfall of the traditional family. There is of course no evidence to support this.
On the other side, gay rights advocates argue that gay marriage is a “civil right”. This isn’t quite true either, since gay marriage is a right that is denied to everyone, not just to some. Legally speaking, the fact that you want to do something and you legally cannot, may be unfair and make some folks unhappy, but it doesn’t make the prohibition of that thing unconstitutional.
Really the entire debate is one of semantics regarding the definition of the word “marriage”. That’s not meant to insult anyone, but with civil union and domestic partnership laws increasingly giving the same rights to same-sex couples as traditional couples, this topic remains very much an emotional one.
Either way, the argument has raged over the last few days, but the really interesting part of the Prop. 8 result was that was it was so far off, from the otherwise lopsided victory of Barack Obama in the Golden State.
What this tells me is that while Obama’s victory was significant, last night’s election was not a realignment as some have suggested.
Obama’s victory was primarily a rebuke of the Bush administration, however the reason that folks were upset with Bush had nothing to do with the basic conservative principles that the party has run and won on over the last 30 years.
The President’s unpopularity stems primarily from a mismanaged war, the response to Hurricane Katrina and an economic crisis which had nothing to do with any policy that Bush has ever signed into law or promoted. These failures were not the products of traditional Republican ideology by any means.
Prop 8’s passage as well as the passage of several other gay marriage bans across the nation, shows us that while folks are discontent with the way things are going right now, they still favor traditional values, at least when it comes to social issues.
Barack Obama would be wise to keep this in mind, since he ran as a centrist. If he moves too far to the left, especially on issues such as this, he risks losing many of the voters who supported him on Tuesday.
Fair or not, America remains center-right, and like it or not these issues have a history of pushing the voters even further in that direction.
Posted by Falling Panda at 9:55 PM
The Treatment of Bush Has Been a Disgrace
What must our enemies be thinking?
By JEFFREY SCOTT SHAPIRO
Earlier this year, 12,000 people in San Francisco signed a petition in support of a proposition on a local ballot to rename an Oceanside sewage plant after George W. Bush. The proposition is only one example of the classless disrespect many Americans have shown the president.
APAccording to recent Gallup polls, the president's average approval rating is below 30% -- down from his 90% approval in the wake of 9/11. Mr. Bush has endured relentless attacks from the left while facing abandonment from the right.
This is the price Mr. Bush is paying for trying to work with both Democrats and Republicans. During his 2004 victory speech, the president reached out to voters who supported his opponent, John Kerry, and said, "Today, I want to speak to every person who voted for my opponent. To make this nation stronger and better, I will need your support, and I will work to earn it. I will do all I can do to deserve your trust."
Those bipartisan efforts have been met with crushing resistance from both political parties.
The president's original Supreme Court choice of Harriet Miers alarmed Republicans, while his final nomination of Samuel Alito angered Democrats. His solutions to reform the immigration system alienated traditional conservatives, while his refusal to retreat in Iraq has enraged liberals who have unrealistic expectations about the challenges we face there.
It seems that no matter what Mr. Bush does, he is blamed for everything. He remains despised by the left while continuously disappointing the right.
Yet it should seem obvious that many of our country's current problems either existed long before Mr. Bush ever came to office, or are beyond his control. Perhaps if Americans stopped being so divisive, and congressional leaders came together to work with the president on some of these problems, he would actually have had a fighting chance of solving them.
Like the president said in his 2004 victory speech, "We have one country, one Constitution and one future that binds us. And when we come together and work together, there is no limit to the greatness of America."
To be sure, Mr. Bush is not completely alone. His low approval ratings put him in the good company of former Democratic President Harry S. Truman, whose own approval rating sank to 22% shortly before he left office. Despite Mr. Truman's low numbers, a 2005 Wall Street Journal poll found that he was ranked the seventh most popular president in history.
Just as Americans have gained perspective on how challenging Truman's presidency was in the wake of World War II, our country will recognize the hardship President Bush faced these past eight years -- and how extraordinary it was that he accomplished what he did in the wake of the September 11 attacks.
The treatment President Bush has received from this country is nothing less than a disgrace. The attacks launched against him have been cruel and slanderous, proving to the world what little character and resolve we have. The president is not to blame for all these problems. He never lost faith in America or her people, and has tried his hardest to continue leading our nation during a very difficult time.
Our failure to stand by the one person who continued to stand by us has not gone unnoticed by our enemies. It has shown to the world how disloyal we can be when our president needed loyalty -- a shameful display of arrogance and weakness that will haunt this nation long after Mr. Bush has left the White House.
Mr. Shapiro is an investigative reporter and lawyer who previously interned with John F. Kerry's legal team during the presidential election in 2004
Posted by Falling Panda at 10:58 AM
Tuesday, November 04, 2008
Tonight looks like it's going to be a bad one for Republicans. Here's my electoral prediction: >Electoral College Prediction Map - Predict the winner of the general election. Use the map to experiment with winning combinations of states. Save your prediction and send it to friends.
The Senate doesn't look much better. I'm guessing that the tight races will go as follows:
KY - McConnell- Hold
VA - Warner - Dem +1
NC - Dole - Hold
OR - Merkley - Dem +2
NH - Shaheen - Dem +3
MN - Coleman - Hold
NM - -Udall - Dem +4
AK - Begich - Dem +5
GA - Chambliss - Hold
CO - Udall - Dem + 6
This Senate scenario may be a bit optimistic. It's going to really difficult losing New Hampshire's John Sununu, who's one of the smartest guys in the Senate but it seems like a done deal given the states big swing towards the Democrats this year.
If Al Franken wins in MN my faith in the people of that state has officially reached 0%.
>Electoral College Prediction Map - Predict the winner of the general election. Use the map to experiment with winning combinations of states. Save your prediction and send it to friends.
Posted by Falling Panda at 1:47 PM
Monday, November 03, 2008
Sunday, November 02, 2008
In the tank for Obama
The media have done too little to explore this mystery candidate
Sunday, November 02, 2008
By Jack Kelly, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
"After all this time with him, I still can't say with certainty who he is," wrote Peter Nicholas of the Los Angeles Times Tuesday about Sen. Barack Obama, with whom he's spent roughly 18 hours a day for most of this campaign.
Mr. Obama rarely engages in banter with the reporters who travel with him, and typically is in "robo-candidate mode" on those occasions he does speak with them, Mr. Nicholas said. "Ironically, those of us who were sent out to take his measure in person can't offer much help in answering who he is, or if he is ready. The barriers set in place between us and him were just too great."
Less is known about Barack Obama than about any major party candidate for president in modern history. His public resume is thin -- eight years in the Illinois Senate, four in the U.S. Senate, with two of them spent running for president.
And no candidate for president has had more problematic associations. Barack Obama's first major financial backer was Antoin "Tony" Rezko, currently awaiting sentencing on corruption charges. For nearly 20 years Mr. Obama attended services where the Rev. Jeremiah Wright preached hatred of the United States, and of white people. The radical group ACORN has been committing voter registration fraud on a massive scale. Mr. Obama taught classes for ACORN organizers, and represented the group in a lawsuit against the state of Illinois. The most significant managerial responsibility Barack Obama has ever had was as chairman of the Chicago Annenberg Challenge, a project conceived of by unrepentant domestic terrorist William Ayers.
These associations have been less explored by the mainstream news media than has Joe the Plumber's divorce and a tax lien against him.
Mr. Nicholas' colleague at the Los Angeles Times, Peter Wallsten, wrote a story in April about a testimonial dinner Mr. Obama had attended in 2003 for Rashid Khalidi when Prof. Khalidi left the University of Chicago for Columbia University. Mr. Khalidi and his wife, Mona, had worked for WAFA, the propaganda arm of the Palestine Liberation Organization. He later co-founded the rabidly anti-Israel Arab American Action Network. Among the contributors to a book of testimonials presented to Mr. Khalidi at that dinner were Sen. Obama and Mr. Ayers.
Mr. Wallsten's account of the event was based on a videotape of it supplied by an anonymous source. That videotape could answer some relevant questions. What exactly was said at the dinner? How did Mr. Obama respond? Were Mr. Ayers and Ms. Dohrn there? But the L.A. Times -- which thought it newsworthy to put a video clip of Sarah Palin competing in the swimsuit competition in the Miss Alaska contest in 1984 on its Web site -- has refused to make the tape public.
Times Editor Russ Stanton said the paper would not make the video public because "it was provided to us by a confidential source on the condition that we not release it." That's the fourth different explanation the newspaper has offered.
Michael Malone, one of the country's leading technology writers, said he's embarrassed to admit he's a journalist because "the sheer bias in the print and television coverage of this campaign is not just bewildering, but appalling."
The problem hasn't been the tough reporting on Sen. John McCain and Gov. Sarah Palin, Mr. Malone wrote for the ABC News Web site Oct. 24. It's been the virtual absence of such reporting on the Democrats:
"Are Bill Ayers and Tony Rezko that hard to interview?" Mr. Malone asked. "All those phony voter registrations that hard to scrutinize? And why are Sen. Biden's endless gaffes almost always covered up?
"If the current polls are correct, we are about to elect as president of the United States a man who is essentially a cipher, who has left almost no paper trail, seems to have few friends (at least who will talk) and has entire years missing out of his biography," Mr. Malone said.
Posted by Falling Panda at 5:44 PM
Saturday, November 01, 2008
A few thoughts as we enter the last few difficult days of what has been a steep uphill climb for all of us in the party.
1. We need to remember history and understand that it was working against us from the very beginning. Over the last 60 years, only once has one party maintained the White House for more than 8 years.
R - Eisenhower:8
D- Kennedy /Johnson: 8
R - Nixon/Ford : 8
D - Carter: 4
R - Reagan/ Bush: 12*
D - Clinton:8
R - Bush II: 8
It would appear that the American people’s recent inclination is to give the party out of power an opportunity after two terms of GOP or Dem leadership.
If McCain comes close it would be amazing given the circumstances.
2. I’ve heard a lot of people on both sides grumbling about the lack of a clear message and deficient candidacy of Sen. McCain as he moves closer to what appears to be at least an electoral college defeat.
I disagree. John McCain knew from the beginning that he was going to have to run a very different kind of campaign and take a lot of risks if he was going to have a chance. He has remained competitive despite the fact that every single political factor is working in his opponents favor.
He has tried every angle and has found that absolutely none of them work in this climate.
A clear traditional GOP message in this election similar to the standard Democratic message that Barack Obama has run on, would never work right now due to the GOP’s unpopular standing seen in the generic polls.
3. The left has been quick to tell us that Sarah Palin has been a disaster for McCain. I don’t think that’s accurate either.
If you look at the polls, McCain is in the same position right now as he was before the Palin pick. That was also before the October Surprise of the financial crisis.
She undoubtedly botched a few questions in the interviews, but she has also been an effective rallying point for the base. The unfair smears aimed at her involving pregnancies, banning books, rape kits and creationist fear mongering on the left have hurt her among people who don’t know how to differentiate fact from fiction, and that’s a lot of folks in an election year where young college students and comedy news shows have played such a big role. Not to mention the hate filled left wing blogs like Kos and HuffPo.
Palin is anything but vapid. Being pulled out of Alaska on such short notice she didn’t have time to adequately prep for a national stage. My guess is that this will change.
She’s a gifted politician and will likely be in the U.S. Senate very soon. I’m guessing that one way or another she will end up in the seat now held by Sen. Lisa Murkowski, in 2010. This will give her a high profile spot in the party and a chance to really make her mark in American politics.
4. I was listening to the musical HAIR while in the shower this morning and the song “The Flesh Failures/Let the Sunshine In” came on. In the song the flower children sing of “facing a dying nation” and lament the imminent decline of the American empire due to Vietnam. Listening to it, I couldn’t help but think of the similar ‘sky is falling’ attitude peddled by alarmists on both sides over the last few years.
Of course those of us who understand just how amazingly well the American experiment has gone over the last half a century understand that whether the next president is Obama or McCain, the nation will survive and thrive, not because of the federal government, but because of the optimism and innovative nature of the American people. Their spirit and faith in American exceptionalism, whether they admit it or not, always wins the day.
Posted by Falling Panda at 11:57 AM
Friday, October 31, 2008
Talking about growing public opposition to his tax increases, Barack Obama had this to say about those of us who understand the economic dangers of higher taxation.
"John McCain and Sarah Palin they call this socialistic. You know I don’t know when, when they decided they wanted to make a virtue out of selfishness."
You know, this comment as well as the "Get in their face" comment from a couple of weeks ago is starting to make me wonder if this guy has the potential to be even more polarizing than Clinton or Bush II. I mean jeez! There have been a couple of moments in this campaign where Obama has come off as a real jerk.
Posted by Falling Panda at 8:34 PM
From the moment that Bill Clinton began his run for the White House in 1992, the GOP was warning voters that the man could not be trusted. For all of his charm and knowledge, he was simply an individual with a propensity for fibbing profusely in order to advance his political career and agenda. We told you. You didn’t listen. Seven years later, we were proven right in a big way.
Devastated that their president had been outed as a liar, liberals and Democrats were salivating at the prospect of catching George W. Bush lying to the American public. At this juncture, most of them have deluded themselves into thinking that they did. At some point, the American left decided that there was no difference between being wrong and intentionally misleading people. Having disposed of that inconvenient differentiation, the left has spent the last eight years calling Bush every name in the book. Moronic bookstore propaganda categorizing all of the bad intelligence that the administration cited about WMD’s,are penned labeling the mistakes as lies. It’s maddening to anyone with half a brain or any ability or desire to do real research. Once again, if anyone has real evidence that George W. Bush has lied about anything during his administration, I will send you a crisp $100 bill. That’s a promise.
Hillary Clinton became the Democratic frontrunner as soon as John Kerry flip-flopped his way back to the Senate. Like her husband, Hillary fibbed constantly, in a seemingly pathological way. It’s as if she had seen her husband do it so many times that she figured it would work for her as well. Of course Hillary doesn’t have half the charisma that Bill does, and with simple research at every blogger's fingertips these days, she didn’t have a prayer of getting away with the same sort of B.S. as the former president.
Two huge whoppers come to mind. The first was the well known “sniper-fire” lie. The incredible thing about this one was that it was a washed-up comedian who brought the lie to our attention. When Sinbad is proven to be more trustworthy than your party’s presidential frontrunner, it’s time to rethink your options, which of course the Democrats did.
However, my favorite incident highlighting Hillary’s difficulty in telling the truth was when she lied about her own name. It sounds impossible, I know, but it actually happened. At an early campaign stop, the former first lady told a crowd that she was named after Mt. Everest pioneer, Sir. Edmund Hillary. When it came out that she had actually been born several years before anyone had heard of the man, I felt sorry for the gal. Seriously, to go that long without a first name must be extremely hard for a young child.
At some point in the campaign, Bill must have decided that Hillary was stealing his thunder as fabricator-in-chief. Betting that the American people had the long-term memory of a gerbil, he told us that he had been against the Iraq war from the start. Huh?
So what about the man who would be king? With the economic crisis propelling Barack Obama to what appears will be an electoral victory, is it too late to ask if he is honest and trustworthy?
In the wake of Obama’s 30-minute, TV love fest on Tuesday, many on my side, in a fit of election week madness, tried to label Obama’s decision to go back on his promise to fund his campaign using public financing, as a lie. It really wasn’t. Unless you believe Obama knew all along that thousands of five-year olds were going to empty their piggy banks in support of him, it was probably just a greed induced broken promise. If he does a lot of that as President, we're going to have a problem, but it’s no reason to label him as a liar.
His claim that William Ayer’s was “just a guy who lived in my neighborhood” came pretty close to crossing the line and Obama's since-abandoned talking point about John McCain wanting to fight a 100 year war in Iraq, can accurately be described as an egregious and misleading misrepresentation of what McCain actually said. These half-truths, however, are par for the course during campaign season and, as an honest observer of our nation’s political discourse, I can say that I believe Obama to be an honest man.
I trust that he’s going to do what he says he’s going to do. He’s going to raise taxes. He’s going to hold talks with the Mullahs without preconditions. He’s going to renegotiate NAFTA. He’s going to do all of these really dumb things and no one is going to stop him. Why? Because “Hope”, “Change”, “George Bush”, Fist –bump.
Call me old fashioned, but I believe that character matters immensely in making a choice as to who should serve in our nation’s highest office. Barack Obama’s character flaws are big ones. He has exhibited exceedingly poor judgment when it comes to who he associates with and has put politics above doing what’s right for the country on several foreign policy issues of the utmost importance.
But a liar? I don’t believe so. Not anywhere close to the perpetually pathological duo of Bill and Hillary. In that sense, as bad as an Obama presidency may be, we probably dodged quite a bullet on the honesty front.
Posted by Falling Panda at 2:30 PM
Wednesday, October 29, 2008
Tuesday, October 28, 2008
Some are shrugging off the recent implications by John McCain and others that Barack Obama is a socialist or an individual with Marxist leanings. However, if the candidates own words are any indication, Barack Obama is clearly not the man that his starry-eyed rally-goers, believe him to be.
PRUDEN: A game-changer by Obama
Wesley Pruden (Contact)
Tuesday, October 28, 2008
If your toilet is stopped up by something really big and smells really bad, you'll probably need a plumber. Joe the Plumber, as it turns out, diagnosed the trouble, and yesterday we learned what it was. It smells really bad.
The tape recording of an interview that Barack Obama gave to Radio Station WBEZ in Chicago in 2001 surfaced, and in that interview Mr. Obama, then a law professor and a state senator, lays out how he would redistribute the wealth. He sounds like a man with a plan.
The interview explains a lot, beginning with the attempt, abetted by a mainstream media that no longer tries to hide its slavish obeisance to the Democratic campaign, to destroy Joe the Plumber and shut down discussion of the implications of what the candidate said.
Mr. Obama doesn't think much of the Constitution, or even of the Supreme Court justices who have rewritten it over the years to accommodate notions of "social justice." The Warren Court, which wrote finis to public-school segregation with its unanimous Brown v. Board of Education decision in 1954, has been decried since as radical, but it wasn't radical enough. Earl Warren only pretended to be a soldier of the revolution.
One of the "tragedies of the civil-rights movement," Mr. Obama says, is that the Supreme Court did not address redistribution of wealth, probably because of the inherent difficulty of achieving such goals through the courts. The Supreme Court did not break from the restraints of the Constitution and "we still suffer from that." Mr. Obama is not "optimistic" that the Supreme Court can achieve redistribution of wealth - of taking from the workers to give to the deadbeats - but he obviously thinks he knows how to do it. A president with a compliant Congress, which he expects to be in January, can do it through legislation and "administration."
The Barack Obama of this interview clearly does not think much of what the Founding Fathers bequeathed to us: "The Constitution reflected the enormous blind spot in this culture that carries on to this day. The framers had that same blind spot ... the fundamental flaw of this country."
Mr. Obama is a gifted politician, with the smarts to understand that this could be the "game-changer" that leaves his campaign, almost picture-perfect until now, in ruins. He understands that he has to fly under the radar for now. That's why his campaign apparatus moves swiftly to dismiss questions about the Obama paper trail, such as it is, and to crush anyone bold and foolish enough to inquire into the real Barack Obama.
Joe the Plumber learned the hard way what happens to such questioners, and when a television reporter in Florida asked Joe Biden whether his running mate is a Marxist economist, good old Joe, usually eager to talk about everything, acted as if the interviewer had accused him of serial killing or child molesting. Some things just aren't to be talked about, not now. Not Barack Obama's radical notions about redistributing the wealth - which is, after all, the essence of Marxism. Not about how he intends to replace fundamental American values with values that most Americans, if they knew about them, would regard as alien and hostile.
If John McCain wants to change the game over the next seven days, he'll have to break through the media screen to spell out, clearly, often and in detail, the implications of what Barack Obama actually means when he talks about how to redistribute the wealth. To redistribute wealth, you first have to confiscate it from those who earned it with hard work, and the way to do that is with confiscatory taxes. Then you give it to those who didn't earn it. Such explanations, made with cool detachment, once would have been the work of the newspapers and even the television networks. But not this year. Mr. McCain can expect real grief from the media when the polls tighten.
There's nothing ambiguous about Mr. Obama's radical views, as revealed in this interview. He clearly thinks the Constitution was a "tragedy," that the men who wrote it were not the revolutionary heroes plain Americans regard them to be, and their work must be corrected by the surviving radicals of the '60s and their progeny. Anyone who listens to this interview, available on YouTube.com, understands why Michelle Obama was never proud of her country until she thought the opportunity was at hand to destroy the country to save it, and why Barack Obama could spend 20 years comfortably listening to the Rev. Jeremiah Wright exhort God to damn America.
Wesley Pruden is editor emeritus of The Washington Times.
Then there's this interesting tidbit:
Posted by Falling Panda at 2:02 PM