Wednesday, March 26, 2008

The List

Hillary's List of Lies
By Dick Morris

The USA Today/Gallup survey clearly explains why Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.) is losing. Asked whether the candidates were "honest and trustworthy," Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) won with 67 percent, with Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) right behind him at 63. Hillary scored only 44 percent, the lowest rating for any candidate for any attribute in the poll.

Hillary simply cannot tell the truth. Here's her scorecard:

Admitted Lies

• Chelsea was jogging around the Trade Center on Sept. 11, 2001. (She was in bed watching it on TV.)
• Hillary was named after Sir Edmund Hillary. (She admitted she was wrong. He climbed Mt. Everest five years after her birth.)
• She was under sniper fire in Bosnia. (A girl presented her with flowers at the foot of the ramp.)
• She learned in The Wall Street Journal how to make a killing in the futures market. (It didn't cover the market back then.)

Whoppers She Won't Confess To

• She didn't know about the FALN pardons.
• She didn't know that her brothers were being paid to get pardons that Clinton granted.
• Taking the White House gifts was a clerical error.
• She didn't know that her staff would fire the travel office staff after she told them to do so.
• She didn't know that the Peter Paul fundraiser in Hollywood in 2000 cost $700,000 more than she reported it had.
• She opposed NAFTA at the time.
• She was instrumental in the Irish peace process.
• She urged Bill to intervene in Rwanda.
• She played a role in the '90s economic recovery.
• The billing records showed up on their own.
• She thought Bill was innocent when the Monica scandal broke.
• She was always a Yankees fan.
• She had nothing to do with the New Square Hasidic pardons (after they voted for her 1,400-12 and she attended a meeting at the White House about the pardons).
• She negotiated for the release of refugees in Macedonia (who were released the day before she got there).

With a record like that, is it any wonder that we suspect her of being less than honest and straightforward?

Why has McCain jumped out to a nine-point lead over Obama and a seven-point lead over Hillary in the latest Rasmussen poll? OK, Obama has had the Rev. Wright mess on his hands. And Hillary has come in for her share of negatives, like the Richardson endorsement of Obama and the denouement of her latest lie -- that she endured sniper fire during a trip to Bosnia. But why has McCain gained so much in so short a period of time? Most polls had the general election tied two weeks ago.

McCain's virtues require a contrast in order to stand out. His strength, integrity, solidity and dependability all are essentially passive virtues, which shine only by contrast with others. Now that Obama and Hillary are offering images that are much weaker, less honest, and less solid and dependable, good old John McCain looks that much better as he tours Iraq and Israel while the Democrats rip one another apart.

It took Nixon for us to appreciate Jimmy Carter's simple honesty. It took Clinton and Monica for us to value George W. Bush's personal character. And it takes the unseemly battle among the Democrats for us to give John McCain his due.

When Obama faces McCain in the general election (not if but when) the legacy of the Wright scandal will not be to question Obama's patriotism or love of America. It will be to ask if he has the right stuff (pardon the pun).

The largest gap between McCain and Obama in the most recent USA Today/Gallup Poll was on the trait of leadership. Asked if each man was a "strong, decisive leader," 69 percent felt that the description fit McCain while only 56 percent thought it would apply to Obama. (61 percent said it of Hillary.) Obama has looked weak handling the Rev. Wright controversy. His labored explanation of why he attacks the sin but loves the sinner comes across as elegant but, at the same time, feeble. Obama's reluctance to trade punches with his opponents makes us wonder if he could trade them with bin Laden or Ahmadinejad. We have no doubt that McCain would gladly come to blows and would represent us well, but about Obama we are not so sure.

Sphere: Related Content

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Anti-War Movement Sinks Lower

George Bush Killed Jesus

As far as we know Barack Obama was not present for this service.

For more disgusting liberals, who enjoy interupting people at worship, search for The Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence on You Tube. This goofy group's sole purpose is to mock organized religion and throw their alternative agenda in the face of idividual's who just want to worship peacefully. I also think they like wearing the make-up.

These scary transvestites look like soemthing out of Star Wars.

It's Ok. I Still love you:

Sphere: Related Content

Poor Lanny Davis

To have to go on the air and make excuses, every time the Clinton's tell an obvious lie, must be so humiliating.

It's also hard to fathom that a sitting senator and a woman who wants to be President, now has less credibility than comedian Sinbad. Sometimes I wonder if this lady even knows that she's lying or if it's just a reflex.

If Hillary Clinton didn't have such a truth-telling problem as well as a tendency towards evasive answers i.e. illegal immigrant driver liscenses, she would have wrapped the Democratic nomination up, long ago.

Her problem is that she thinks that because she is a Clinton, that she can get away with anything. It worked for her husband, therefore it will inveitably work for her.

Thankfully this time the press did their job.

I wouldn't want to be a Democrat right now. That's not just partisan spin. It's coming from a guy who realizes that this isn't the best time to be a Republican.

Sphere: Related Content

Monday, March 24, 2008

Bill Kristol: The Only Reason To Purchase The New York Times

Let’s Not, and Say We Did

Published: March 24, 2008

I shuddered only once while watching Barack Obama’s speech last Tuesday.
Barack ObamaIt wasn’t when he posed the rhetorical questions: “Why associate myself with Reverend Wright in the first place, they may ask? Why not join another church?”

The real question, of course, is not why Obama joined Trinity, but why he stayed there for two decades, in the flock of a pastor who accused the U.S. government of “inventing the H.I.V. virus as a means of genocide against people of color,” and who suggested soon after 9/11 that “America’s chickens are coming home to roost.”

But orators often ask themselves the convenient questions, not the difficult ones. And Barack Obama is an accomplished orator.

Nor was I shocked when Obama compared Reverend Wright, who was using his pulpit to propagate racial resentment, with his grandmother, who may have said privately a few things that made Obama cringe, or with Geraldine Ferraro, whom “some have dismissed ... as harboring some deep-seated bias.”

After all, politicians sometimes indulge in ridiculous and unfair comparisons to make a point. And Barack Obama is an able politician.

And I didn’t shudder when Obama said he could no more disown Reverend Wright than he could disown the black community. I did think this statement was unfair to many in the black community, and especially to all those pastors who have resisted the temptation to appeal to their parishioners in the irresponsible and demagogic manner of Reverend Wright.

But ambitious men sometimes do a disservice to the best in their own communities. And Barack Obama is an ambitious man.

The only part of the speech that made me shudder was this sentence: “But race is an issue that I believe this nation cannot afford to ignore right now.”

As soon as I heard that, I knew what we’d have to endure. I knew that there would be a stampede of editorial boards, columnists and academics rushing not to ignore race. A national conversation about race! At long last!

Of course, memories are short. In 1997 President Bill Clinton announced, with great fanfare, that he intended “to lead the American people in a great and unprecedented [if he did say so himself] conversation about race.” That conversation quickly went nowhere. And just as well.

The last thing we need now is a heated national conversation about race.

What we need instead are sober, results-oriented debates about economics, social mobility, education, family policy and the like — focused especially on how to help those who are struggling. Such policy debates can lead to real change — even “change we can believe in.” “National conversations” tend to be pointless and result-less.

Or worse. Especially when they’re about race. In 1969, Pat Moynihan, then serving on Richard Nixon’s White House staff, wrote Nixon a memo explaining that “the issue of race could benefit from a period of ‘benign neglect.’ The subject has been too much talked about. ... We may need a period in which Negro progress continues and racial rhetoric fades.” Moynihan, who was reacting against the wild escalation of racial rhetoric on all sides, was unfairly pilloried when the memo was leaked in 1970. But he was right then, and his argument is right now.

Racial progress has in fact continued in America. A new national conversation about race isn’t necessary to end what Obama calls the “racial stalemate we’ve been stuck in for years” — because we’re not stuck in such a stalemate. In fact, as Obama himself suggests in the same speech, younger Americans aren’t stalemated. They come far closer than their grandparents and parents to routinely obeying Martin Luther King’s injunction to judge one another by the content of our character, not the color of our skin.

Over the last several decades, we’ve done pretty well in overcoming racial barriers and prejudice. Problems remain. But we won’t make progress if we now have to endure a din of race talk that will do more to divide us than to unite us, and more to confuse than to clarify.

Luckily, Obama isn’t really interested in getting enmeshed in a national conversation on race. He had avoided race talk before the Reverend Wright controversy erupted. And despite the speech’s catnip of a promised conversation on race tossed to eager commentators, it’s clear he’s more than willing to avoid it from now on.

This is all for the best. With respect to having a national conversation on race, my recommendation is: Let’s not, and say we did.

Sphere: Related Content

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Obama/Clinton Is A Losing Ticket

The Democrats have a big problem on their hands. Their frontrunner is in serious trouble with Independent voters, and doubts about his electability have begun to surface in party circles.

In addition to this, Democrats appear headed towards an ugly battle on the convention floor in Denver which could tear the party apart, not only between supporters of Clinton and Obama, but also along racial lines.

It’s obvious that Hillary Clinton still wants the nomination, but it would be nearly impossible for her to acquire a delegate lead at this point.

The arguments which her supporters put forward in attempts to justify a Clinton nomination without a pleged delegate lead, are extremely weak.

One such argument states that Mrs. Clinton could potentially have a lead in the popular vote by the end of the process and that Democrats should abide by the will of the people and nominate the candidate with the most votes.

Of course, even if Clinton does surpass Obama in the raw vote total, Obama has been victorious in most of the caucuses. These caucuses don’t rely on raw vote totals. Therefore, there is no way of telling how far ahead Obama would actually be in the popular vote had these states gone with a primary system.

Another issue floated by Clinton suporters is that Obama has benefited immensely from Republicans and Independents, voting in Democratic primaries. The fact that Clinton leads among registered Democrats is an issue among party loyalists who don’t care for what they see as outsiders hijacking their process. Clinton's people argue that these Democratic votes are the important ones and that she is the true choice of Democrats for the party's nomnation.

This is a very dangerous line for the Clinton people to put out there, because it allows Obama to counter by saying that he has attracted Republicans and Independents into the party with his message.

These Republicans probably cast their ballot for Obama as an anti-Hillary vote, or because the GOP nomination was sewn up early and they wanted their vote to make a difference.

Still others were likely taken in by Obama’s charm, but are now abandoning him as they realize that he doesn’t share their ideological leanings and that some of his close associates are less than reputable.

It doesn’t matter. The arguments made by Hillary's surrogates simply won't cut it.

Obama has followed all of the rules, something that Hillary can’t really say, with her campaigning and victories by default in states that she knew perfectly well weren’t supposed to be involved in the process.

Despite this, Clinton still has a lot of delegates and a ton of power. This gives her several options.

If she feels that Obama will lose in the fall, she could just let him take the nomination and get slaughtered by John McCain. She will then run in 2012, forgiving Democrats who abandoned her and easily snagging the nomination. It will be an “I told you Obama was unelectable but you didn’t listen to me” candidacy.

Another option is to use her super delegates, and float the ‘unelectablity of Obama’ concept at the convention. If this happens and the party awards her the nomination, without a pledged delegate lead, every black city in America will burn.

Blacks will not come out to vote for Clinton in the general election and no Democrat can win the white house without the black vote. Once again, the result is a John McCain presidency.

Finally, Hillary could make a deal with Obama and release her delegates to him, giving him the majority needed to clinch the nomination. In exchange Hillary could demand that she be put on the bottom of the ticket as the Vice-Presidential nominee.

While this would ensure that no devisive floor fight would occur at the convention, such a ticket would likely lead to a huge defeat for the Democrats in November.

Conventional wisdom says that the when selecting a VP, priority number one should be picking someone who doesn’t hurt your candidacy.

Mrs. Clinton has very high negatives.

These negatives go up when she talks.

She has no charisma.

Every American knows who she is and has made up their mind already as to whether they like her or not.

She does not deliver a state which the Democrats would otherwise have difficulty winning.

White men would feel snubbed by the Democrats who have decided on a black man and a woman to represent their party.

Republicans who are not enthusiastic for McCain and who were thinking about sitting '08 out, would flock to the polls in order to stop the Clintons from regaining power.

Questions would rage in regards to who would actually be in charge of the nation. Is it Barack Obama in the White House or are Bill and Hillary making the calls from the Naval Observatory? This is a concept that will be completely unappealing to independents.

Hillary Clinton is probably the worst possible person for Obama to put on the bottom of the ticket, but Obama might have to.

The Democrats really don’t have any good choices at this point.

Jerimiah Wright has severely wounded Obama. It appears that he has managed to stop the bleeding, but keep in mind that the American people really don’t know where Obama stands on the issues. They only know that he is an incredibly charismatic figure who spent God knows how many Sundays in the pulpit of a viciously Un-American, racist pastor.

I’m guessing that many evangelical Christians, who were not thrilled when McCain wrapped up the nomination, have been motivated by Wright’s angry sermons and will turn out in the fall to stop Obama. They will hold their nose and vote for McCain in high numbers. Perhaps not in the enthusiastic way that they came out for Bush in ’04, but enough to secure victories in places like Ohio and Florida.

When they add to the equation that Obama is to the left, politically of the vast majority of Americans, the Independents who stuck with him through “Pastorgate” will trickle away to the reliable, moderate, war hero.

This may be exactly what Hillary is hoping for.

- Dan Joseph

Sphere: Related Content

Yes people. There is a terror threat.

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Attorney General Michael Mukasey has been taken aback by the scope and variety of potential terrorism threats facing the United States, he told reporters Friday at an informal meeting in his office.

Attorney General Michael Mukasey receives terrorism updates during national security briefings.

"I'm surprised by how surprised I am," said Mukasey, who as a federal judge presided over terrorism-related trials in New York.

"It's surprising how varied [the threat] is, how many directions it comes from, how geographically spread out it is," he said.

Sphere: Related Content

Friday, March 21, 2008

The Faces Of America's Race Problem

Sphere: Related Content


Bill Ricardson's decision to endorse Barack Obama surprised me.

In the midst of a scandal which could turn the nomination to Clinton, Former Bill Clinton employee Richardson, endorses Obama?

Richardson should go with his heart when picking a candidate. But he is a politician and going with Hillary would have been far more beneficial to him politically. Then again, shaving would have been smart too.

In a Hillary Clinton general election campaign, Richardson would have been on the short list for the second spot on the ticket. There's no chance of that if Obama's the nominee.

In addition to this, if Obama loses in the general election, which I believe is likely, Hillary will be the frontrunner for the nomination the next time around. It wil be an "I told you so" candidacy.

Richardson's abandonment of the Clintons will be remembered.

On the other hand, Richardson could potentially land a Sec. Of State position in an Obama Admin.

This endorsement is also another sign that it would take a miracle for Clinton to come back and snag the nomination.

Something else.

NBC's Mark Murray seems to think that this week was a bad one for John McCain, ignoring his surge in the polls and the attention he recieved on the world stage. Instead he chose to focus on this:

"For McCain, it was his Shiite-Sunni gaffe, which allowed Democrats to have a field day criticizing his understanding of Iraq, as well as his commander-in-chief credentials."

The increasingly left-wing ideologues who work at NBC wish that McCain's slip of the tongue was as big of a deal as Obama's racist pastor.

Unfortunately, even the lefties at NBC know that McCain has discussed the situation in Iraq as well as the Sunni,Al Queda/Shia,Iran, issue in detail, numerous times and didn't get the names confused.

The truth is that it was a great week for McCain. As his potential general election opponant wallows in Pastorgate, he looks presidential and is building a lead which could be very difficult for Obama to overcome when and if the focus of the campaign moves from questions about Obama's pastor, to the question of who would be the best commander-in-chief.

Sphere: Related Content

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Joy To The World

I swear, I was thinking of writing out a similar paradoy of this song, but Rush beat me to it:

If only Barack had spent the last twenty years listening to Rush Limbaugh instead of Rev. Wright, perhaps he could have been a great spokesman for our party. Instead he attacks Ronald Reagan, talk radio and the big bad corporations. Booga-booga!

Oh well. At least we got a pretty funny song out of it.

Sphere: Related Content

"A Typical White Person"

So does this mean that Rev. Wright is a "typical" black person? Geez, I hope not!

Keep digging Barack. McCain's up by 10.

Sphere: Related Content

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Obama Changes His Story


"Did I know him to be an occasionally fierce critic of American domestic and foreign policy?” Obama said. “Of course. Did I ever hear him make remarks that could be considered controversial while I sat in church? Yes."


“The statements that Rev. Wright made that are the cause of this controversy were not statements I personally heard him preach while I sat in the pews of Trinity or heard him utter in private conversation. When these statements first came to my attention, it was at the beginning of my presidential campaign.”

While these two statements don't exactly contradict each other, anyone can see that Obama is trying to have it both ways.

It defies reason to believe that over a 20-year period Obama was not present for a myriad of controversial, perhaps outrageous statements by Jerimiah Wright.

I understand that an intelligent guy like Obama couldn't possibly agree with someone as nutty as Wright, but an individual as smart as Obama, especially one who has ambitions towards the nation's highest office, should have left the church at the first sign of anti-American sentiment or racial animus towards whites.

Association with this type of individual, combined with a consistent presence in the pews in order to listen to his hateful rhetoric shows incredibly poor judgment on the part of the Democratic frontrunner.

One more thing that is incredibly disturbing about this controversy is how the black community is falling all over themselves in an effort to defend Wright and Wright's statements.

What we are seeing is that a large portion of the African-American community actually buys into this craziness.

Worse still for Obama is that this story is not going away anytime soon.

Sphere: Related Content

Monday, March 17, 2008

Happy St. Patrick's Day

From your political Leprechauns, Dennis Kucinich and Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley.

Sphere: Related Content

Friday, March 14, 2008

Elliot Spitzer's Weekend

Now that Gov. Spitzer's career is over, he can spend his first free weekend going to see the movie adaptation of this classic children's book:

Sphere: Related Content

Advantage McCain

Despite being shut out of media coverage by everyone except right-wing talk radio hosts,

Despite consistent reports that the economy is quickly heading into a recession,

Despite the natural advantage which the Democrats have enjoyed on the generic presidential ballot for nearly two years now.

Despite these political realities, plus a incumbent president of his own party whom only a third of the American people support, John McCain is still not only competitive in general election match-ups, but is ahead in all of the most important states according to the Real Clear Politics Average. Check it:


Obama +0.7

McCain +1.4

McCain +1.0

McCain +9.3


Clinton +0.5

McCain +0.6

McCain +0.3

McCain +5.6

Remember: Kerry Beat Bush by 2 and a half points in Pennsylvania in 2004.

Now I realize that these polls are all within the margin of error, but still, the results are nothing short of devastating for the Democrats, considering the factors that I listed above. This is not to mention the bloody battle still to be waged between the two Democrats vying for the nomination.

But there’s more. According to an L.A. Times national poll taken last month, when asked the question who would be better suited to protect the nation from terrorism McCain leads Clinton by 27% and Obama by a whopping 38%.

Even on the issue of Iraq, largely credited for handing the Democrats Congress two years ago, McCain leads Clinton by 16% and Obama by 17%, when those polled are asked which candidate they trust more to handle the situation in Iraq.

Now take those Iraq numbers and consider the fact that polls show that American public support for the military effort in Iraq is on the rise and the situation in that country continues to improve.

I realize that these numbers are not set in stone, but I think that Obama has peaked. He has received such a glowing and care-free introduction to the American people that there is nowhere for him to go but down.

This is especially true when people begin to pay attention to his policy positions, such as his 12% tax increase on individuals making more than $97,000 a year, a plan which would be disastrous for our economy at any time, but especially right now. For more on this bad idea go here:

Or the fact that Obama has a tendency to hang out with raving bigots like Jeremiah Wright. See yesterday's post for more details on that.

At this point in 2004, I had no idea what was going to happen in the general election. All through the summer, I was a nervous wreck as polls showed a dead heat between Bush and Kerry.
This time around my political gut is telling me that things are going to turn out all right.

Sphere: Related Content

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Can I Get a God Damn America?!!

Barack Obama's got some 'splainin to do.

This carnival barker was Obama's pastor for 20 years and while it should put all of this crazy Muslim stuff to rest, it will be rather interesting to see how the candidate talks his way out of this one. Especially once all of the white folks who voted for him hear about it.

Now before you brush this off as guilt by association which Obama cannot control, keep in mind that this guy is an official part of Obama's campaign. He also married Obama and his wife.

Now, add what he has said to Michelle Obama's comments as of late.

It's all starting to add up, huh?

Sphere: Related Content

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Friday, March 07, 2008

Michelle Obama vs America

Michelle Obama has officially bought into the idea that things are terrible in this nation and that The Man is keeping her down.

This is from a profile of Michelle Obama from the far-left, New Yorker Magazine. Apparently, this is the way she sees us.

"Obama begins with a broad assessment of life in America in 2008, and life is not good: we’re a divided country, we’re a country that is “just downright mean,” we are “guided by fear,” we’re a nation of cynics, sloths, and complacents.

“We have become a nation of struggling folks who are barely making it every day,” she said, as heads bobbed in the pews.

Folks are just jammed up, and it’s gotten worse over my lifetime. And, doggone it, I’m young. Forty-four!”

From these bleak generalities, Obama moves into specific complaints. Used to be, she will say, that you could count on a decent education in the neighborhood. But now there are all these charter schools and magnet schools that you have to “finagle” to get into. (Obama herself attended a magnet school, but never mind.) Health care is out of reach (“Let me tell you, don’t get sick in America”), pensions are disappearing, college is too expensive, and even if you can figure out a way to go to college you won’t be able to recoup the cost of the degree in many of the professions for which you needed it in the first place.

“You’re looking at a young couple that’s just a few years out of debt,” Obama said.

“See, because, we went to those good schools, and we didn’t have trust funds. I’m still waiting for Barack’s trust fund. Especially after I heard that Dick Cheney was s’posed to be a relative or something. Give us something here!”

In Cheraw, Obama belittled the idea that the Clinton years were ones of opportunity and prosperity:

“The life that I’m talking about that most people are living has gotten progressively worse since I was a little girl. . . . So if you want to pretend like there was some point over the last couple of decades when your lives were easy, I want to meet you!”

When she said that she had never been proud of America until recently, Mrs. Obama wasn't talking about her pride in young people coming out and voting. That was the damage control excuse that her husband's campaign used. This woman REALLY doesn't like the country that her husband is asking the voters to put him in charge of.

This type of thinking. This idea that the government and the powers that be are keeping people down and that getting ahead in the world is simply too difficult for the average American, is common in some of our nation's poorest, most Democratic areas, but it doesn't jibe with American reality over the last 25 years.

Barack Obama transcends racial lines. This fact has lead many to mistakenly conclude that he would automatically transcend party lines as well. It appears that his wife's beliefs lean more towards those of Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton, Cynthia McKinney and others who use perpetual victimhood in order to justify their political exsistance and rally others behind them.

Her husband uses optimistic uplifting rhetoric such as "yes we can" and repeats the word "hope" ad-nauseum.

The gloomy Mrs. Obama tells me that I'm "mean".

Mrs. Obama is her husband’s closest adviser. Perhaps his proclivity to listen to her is partially responsible for his recent primary losses.

If elected, Mrs. Obama automatically becomes one of America's top diplomats to the world and while the French are going to love how awful she thinks America is, it's not exactly the type of representation that we want from a First Lady.

In order to avoid another Theresa Heinz Kerry situation, Mr. Obama would be wise to secrete his wife away for the remainder of the campaign. Being annoying is one thing, delusional pessimism and overstated class warfare concerning ones own country is a horse of a different color.

Sphere: Related Content

Thursday, March 06, 2008

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

It's Not NAFTA, It's Unions and Taxes.....Stupid.

Depending on which Obama aide or which Clinton spouse you listen to, NAFTA is either responsible for many of the economic woes in the rust belt, or one of Bill Clinton's greatest(only)accomplishments. Once again, Hill and BHO can't have it both ways.

Fred Barnes lays it out here:

Buckeye Blues
Don't blame NAFTA.
by Fred Barnes
03/04/2008 12:00:00 AM

WHEN VOTERS IN OHIO go to the polls today, they will have heard over and over again from Democratic presidential candidates Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton that their state's economic troubles are caused by the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and other trade treaties.

But there was fresh evidence last week that NAFTA has had little to do with Ohio's doldrums, its job losses in particular. When the U.S. Air Force awarded a $40 billion contract for 179 new aerial refueling tankers, Ohio wasn't in the running as a site where the aircraft might be built. Instead, they'll be built in Alabama outside Mobile.

Why? The answer is simple: Alabama's business climate is good and Ohio's isn't. When major business projects are looking for the best site, job-hungry Ohio is rarely considered. And NAFTA has little or nothing to do with it.

Surely Obama and Clinton know this. If they don't, their understanding of the economy is lacking. If they do, their attacks on free trade were aimed to please NAFTA-hating union members. In truth, NAFTA is a boon to the Ohio economy. Roughly 55 percent of Ohio's exports go to Canada and Mexico, America's NAFTA partners. That exceeds the national share of exports--35 percent--to those countries.

For Alabama, the awarding of the tanker contract was only its latest economic coup. Earlier this year, Thiessen Krupp, the German steel company, decided to build a $3.7 billion plant near Mobile. And Alabama has attracted three foreign automakers to build plants in the state: Mercedes,
Honda, and Hyundai.

Ohio was once an economic powerhouse, but now it lags behind Alabama in almost everything that might lure new business to the state. "Ohio has raced past 41 other states and now ranks 5th in state and local taxes measured as a percentage of income," David Hansen, president of the Buckeye Institute, wrote last year. Alabama, in contrast, ranks 46th in tax burden.

In economic competitiveness, Ohio has fallen to 47th in the nation, according to the American Legislative Exchange Council. Alabama is 18th. "The cost of doing business makes us very competitive," says Bob Sisson, vice president of the Mobile Chamber of Commerce. Relative to Ohio, it certainly does.

Ohio also lacks a highly educated workforce, key to bringing new business to the state. Alabama state and local officials have overcome this problem by promising to train workers for the new, high-tech manufacturing plants that agree to come.

"Although the nation has bled factory jobs in recent decades," wrote Jim Tankersley of the Chicago Tribune, "other states have surged past Ohio because they created knowledge-driven jobs and Ohio did not."

One more thing. Ohio is a highly unionized state. The Wall Street Journal called this "Ohio's most crippling handicap" in job creation. Alabama is a right-to-work state in which union organizing is difficult.

This, of course, gives Alabama an important talking point. After all, other things being equal, would a large corporation prefer to locate a new factory in a union state or a right-to-work state? Would it rather hire a union workforce or a non-union one? Those questions answer themselves

their credit, Alabama officials have packaged a set of strong incentives for business development. And especially in Mobile, local business leaders have done their part. Mobile is aggressively pro-business.

The decision on where Northrop Grumman and European Aeronautic Defence & Space Co., the parent of Airbus, would put their tanker facility was decided in 2005, contingent on winning the Air Force contract. They were offered a site at a former air force base near Mobile at no cost, plus lucrative tax incentives. Mobile also has a deep water port, a railroad hub, and two interstate highways nearby.

The Alabama model is one Ohio could emulate. But it would require, at a minimum, significant tax reductions and a more flexible labor market. A renegotiated NAFTA? Despite the noisy claims of Obama and Clinton, that would barely make a difference at all.

Fred Barnes is executive editor of THE WEEKLY STANDARD.

Sphere: Related Content

Sunday, March 02, 2008

France + Hollywood = Extra Dumb

Cotillard's 9/11 Conspiracy
By Peter Allen in Paris

Oscar-winning Marion Cotillard was facing embarrasment with her new American public last night after it emerged that she doubted the official account of the September 11 attacks.

Read the French transcript of Marion Cotillard's interview
The 32-year-old French star has swept this year's best actress awards, also receiving a Bafta, Golden Globe and a César for her performance as singer Edith Piaf in La Vie en Rose.

Marion Cotillard questioned the September 11th attacks and the moon landings
..>..> Miss Cotillard, who earned under £1 million in 2007, could expect her Oscar success to significantly increase her earning power. She is due to start filming Public Enemies with Johnny Depp.

But the actress faces a potential backlash in the US over comments she made in an interview in France. Footage which surfaced on the internet showed her questioning the New York terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, and the 1969 moon landing.

"I think we're lied to about a number of things," she said, singling out September 11.

Referring to the two passenger jets flown into the World Trade Centre, Miss Cotillard said: "We see other towers of the same kind being hit by planes, are they burned? There was a tower, I believe it was in Spain, which burned for 24 hours.

It never collapsed. None of these towers collapsed. And there [New York], in a few minutes, the whole thing collapsed."

Miss Cotillard suggested that the towers, planned in the early 1960s, were an outdated "money sucker" which would have cost so much to modernise that it was easier to destroy them.

Turning to America's space programme, she said: "Did a man really walk on the moon? I saw plenty of documentaries on it, and I really wondered. And in any case I don't believe all they tell me, that's for sure."
Miss Cotillard, who was born and brought up in Paris, made the comments on Paris Première – Paris Dernière (Paris First – Paris Last), a programme first broadcast a year ago.

They were largely ignored at the time, but appeared yesterday on a French website. Miss Cotillard's film career began in Luc Besson's 1998 film Taxi. She is an environmental activist, who once worked as a spokeswoman for Greenpeace.

News of Miss Cotillard's comments comes at a time when Franco-American relations appear to be thawing, following Paris's refusal to support the US-led invasion of Iraq in 2003.

President Nicolas Sarkozy insists that he is pro-American, supporting so-called Anglo-Saxon economic reforms and going on holiday to America.

Sphere: Related Content

Saturday, March 01, 2008