Friday, November 28, 2008

Afghanistan: Obama’s Failed Iraq?

Cross posted at The Next Right

One of President-elect Obama’s biggest headaches may come in an area not now regarded as a top tier problem–Afghanistan. Obama wants to send 10,000 to 20,000 more troops to Afghanistan.

Obama campaigned hard on getting Bin Laden and sending more troops into Afghanistan. His position (and that of the Democratic Party platform, p. 29) is that Afghanistan is the central battlefield in the war on terrorism.

“Obama: ‘For at least a year now, I have called for two additional brigades, perhaps three,’ he said. ‘I think it's very important that we unify command more effectively to coordinate our military activities. But military alone is not going to be enough.

“‘The Afghan government needs to do more. But we have to understand that the situation is precarious and urgent here in Afghanistan. And I believe this has to be our central focus, the central front, on our battle against terrorism.’
. . .

“Logan: ‘What would be a 'mission accomplished' for you in Afghanistan?

“Obama: ‘Well, a 'mission accomplished' would be that we had stabilized Afghanistan, that the Afghan people are experiencing rising standards of living, that we have made sure that we are disabling al-Qaeda and the Taliban so that they can longer attack Afghanistan, they can no longer engage in attacks against targets of Pakistan, and they can't target the United States or its allies.’

“Logan ‘Losing is not an option?’

“Obama: ‘Losing is not an option when it comes to al-Qaeda. And it never has been. And that's why the fact that we engaged in a war of choice when were not yet finished with that task was such a mistake.’”

In consequence, Obama has called for a surge-like strategy in Afghanistan. But, will this result in the sort of military quagmire that President Bush appears to have avoided in Iraq?

Former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld in a recent op-ed writes that the success of the surge in Iraq does not mean that the same surge strategy will work in Afghanistan.

Rumsfeld notes that the success of the surge in Iraq was the result of a number of hard years of building a solid base in Iraq for defeating the insurgents in terms of:

1. Sunnis turning against Al Qaeda
2. huge losses in Al Qaeda and Baathist leadership and manpower
3. the Iraqi government’s commitment to and increasing success in defanging sectarian militias
4. the increased capability of Iraqi security forces

But, as Rumsfeld notes, Afghanistan has a different set of needs:

1. Afghanistan is much bigger than Iraq [almost 1-1/2 times the size], but has only 1/4th the security forces
2. Afghanistan lacks the economic base that Iraq has in its oil resources
3. Afghanistan’s major industry is narcotics-based which adds drug traffickers to the Taliban, Al Qaeda insurgent mix
4. terrorist have sanctuaries in Pakistan with easy access into Afghanistan

Thus, the key may not be more American troops, at least not initially, but a significant increase in the number of well trained Afghan troops able to protect the Afghan population and fight Al Qaeda, the Taliban and narcotics traffickers.

Will President Obama have the political will to stick with a war in Afghanistan that extends 5, 6, or 7 years with few, if any, victory markers until near the end?

If Iraq maintains its precarious stability and becomes a win for President Bush, it will be especially hard for Obama to pull out of Afghanistan without some sort of win.

Anything short of a win could not only sink Obama’s presidential ratings, but also ensure Bush’s stature already bouyed by not having a second attack on American soil during his presidency and the fragile, but real, progress in Iraq.

How ironic if President Bush picked pursuing the do-able war against terrorism in going into Iraq (especially since Al Qaeda accepted his premise that Iraq was to be their center of conflict) and President Obama, even with the 20/20 hindsight of Iraq, picked pursuing the harder, maybe impossible, war.

What should conservative reaction be to President Obama's Afghanistan policy in terms of the importance of winning in Afghanistan and the likely cost in American lives and resources?

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Gov. Palin Pardons Turkey: The Real Footage

Most Popular Republican to Campaign for Chambliss

Cross posted at The Next Right

Governor Sarah Palin is set to help Sen. Saxby Chambliss win re-election in Georgia. She is scheduled to campaign at four events on December 1, the day before the election.

Former President Bill Clinton drew 2,000 when he campaigned for Chambliss' opponent Jim Martin. Former Vice President Al Gore drew 600 to a fund raiser for Martin.

How many will Gov. Palin draw for Chambliss? Hold on to your hats.

Thank you, Gov. Palin

Saturday, November 22, 2008

A Little Fun on Turkeys, Birds, and Media Turkeys

Cross posted at The Next Right

Warning: The New York Times and MSNBC Need to Avert Eyes.

This is graphic video footage of birds fighting over food. Since The New York Times editorial board and MSNBC's David Shuster were shocked by scenes of the painless slaughtering of a turkey in the background of a video interview with Gov. Palin, the psychological and physical pain the birds in this video feel from pecks and menacing gestures will probably be too gruesome for them as well as others in the mainstream media.

Mark Steyn, as usual, explains the dilemma best:

"And, while you're right that 'it would have been funny whichever pol stood there', ask yourself whether the media would even have noticed had Joe Biden done such a thing. That's what upgraded it from mildly infelicitous to side-splitting hilarious - not the footage, but the po-faced huffing of the shrieking nancies at MSNBC and the portentous plonkers at The New York Times:

'You don't have to be a huge animal lover to question why Governor Palin chose to be interviewed — while issuing a traditional seasonal pardon of a turkey — while turkeys were being executed in the background.'

"And that's Sarah Palin's real stroke of genius in these difficult times for the global economy. For, in an age when the government picks which banks to nationalize and which banks to fail, and guarantees mortgages that should never have been issued, and prepares to demand that those taxpayers with responsible and affordable pension plans prop up the lavish and unsustainable pension programs of Detroit, Governor Palin has given us a great teaching moment and a perfect snapshot of what my Brit reader would recognize as pre-Thatcher "industrial policy":

"When the government decides it can 'pick winners' and spare them from the realities of the market, everyone else gets bled to death.

"Thank you, Sarah. It's the first election ad of Campaign '12."

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Peter Schiff: You'd Be Happier If You Had Listened to Him

More on Peter Schiff

Hat tip: hedge_fund_guy comment

Senate Testimony: AARP Deceptively Selling Health Insurance to Seniors

Cross posted at The Next Right

Seniors are a key target for scammers and fraudulent sales. It turns out that AARP, the organization supposedly looking out for seniors, has been selling seniors limited benefit health insurance via deceptive marketing. Caught red-handed, AARP has now stopped marketing the plans and is “investigating” its own practices.

“After a Senate inquiry found evidence of deceptive marketing, AARP, the lobby for older Americans, has hired an outside investigator to look into sales of some of its popular health insurance products.

“AARP and UnitedHealth Group, one of the nation’s largest insurers, have voluntarily suspended sales of the policies, which pay fixed cash benefits — often much less than consumers had expected — for selected services.”

AARP which criticizes private insurers for “hard-sell tactics” has been hawking limited benefit plans which gloss over the fact that they are only effective for low-cost procedures. For example, its Medical Advantage plans only cover up to $5,000 for surgeries. AARP’s marketing touts coverage in relation to low-cost surgical procedures. This leaves policy holders high and dry when serious medical needs arise. For example, Lisa Kelly of Texas testified before that Senate Finance Committee:

that she discovered the limits of her AARP policy when she went to the M. D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston for treatment of leukemia. The hospital demanded a check for $45,000 up front, Ms. Kelly testified.

AARP’s press release on the issue omits any mention of ethical and marketing concerns and fails to mention even a single problem that has pressured it to suspend “marketing and sales of these fixed benefit indemnity products.”

Though AARP, bills itself as “a nonprofit, nonpartisan membership organization”, the New York Times notes AARP is actually:

“a huge business that offers travel services, life and homeowner’s insurance, mutual funds and credit cards. Its operating revenue last year was $1.2 billion, more than 40 percent of which came from royalties, according to its 2007 financial statement.”

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Kulongoski looking for jobs in the wrong places?

Oregon’s unemployment rate jumped almost 1% in one month--from 6.4% in September 2008 to 7.3% in October 2008.

Back in July (when Oregon’s unemployment rate was a much more reasonable 5.6%), Gov. Kulongoski was looking to green, eco-friendly jobs for Oregon’s new employment boom. He mentioned his own lessened interest in non-green jobs.

“But Kulongoski appears to have settled into his last, legacy-making push for jobs in solar, wind, biofuels and anything else that battles both unemployment and global warming.

“‘If you're asking me whether I think this is the entrance of a new economy, I think the answer is yes,’ he says.
. . .

“Kulongoski says his approach has nothing to do with symbolism but represents a dramatic change of direction for how the state recruits new jobs. In the past, he says, he and his economic development directors would go into a drop-everything mode when a business started nosing around Oregon.

“Now, he says, ‘we're being more strategic. You ask yourself, ‘What kind of jobs do you want here?’ ’

“He wants Oregon to become a national center for the renewable and alternate energy industry, for electric cars, for the new movement toward "green" construction. By way of example, he cites the discussion over building a new Interstate 5 bridge over the Columbia River.

“The $4 billion in federal and state money would provide hundreds of construction jobs. But Kulongoski hopes to make the project one of the most environmentally sound in the nation, using environmentally friendly construction materials and techniques. Inclusion of light rail would help as well, he says.”

[emphasis mine]

Unfortunately the green job strategy has some built-in problems. Even if there is a ramp up in "green" industry, energy industries don’t require lots of workers.

“Mark McMullen, who watches Oregon's job market for the investment firm Moody's, says the energy sector has its pros and cons as an economic stimulus.

“‘We're talking about high-wage jobs,’ McMullen says, ‘so that's obviously a plus. The minus is, it's not a very big industry. . . . In general, energy and resource industries don't do a whole lot of hiring. They provide a lot of value and output, but it doesn't take a lot of workers to do that.’”

It's unclear how much of Oregon’s current unemployment jump is a result of Kulongoski’s coolness to non-green businesses. But, October's unemployment rate jump is a jolt to Kulongoski's strategy of being warmly inviting and pro-business primarily for "green" businesses.

Unfortunately, Kulongoski's only pronouncement so far on the jump in unemployment regards extending unemployment benefits.

Gov. Ted Kulongoski, in Asia on a trade trip, called on Congress Monday to enact another federal stimulus package that includes a federally funded unemployment-benefits extension of another 13 weeks. Absent that, Kulongoski said, he would work with the Legislature to enact a state-funded emergency extension for benefits.

And the Democratic controlled state legislature leans to public works projects.

Legislators are preparing job-creation proposals for the upcoming session in January. Oregon Senate President Peter Courtney, D-Salem, and his aides calculate the state could create about 35,000 jobs through a bond-financed public-works program combined with capital-construction initiatives proposed by Kulongoski.

The only ones talking about business expansion are the Republicans who are in the minority of both houses in the state legislature.

"'In January, the Legislature must move quickly to give tax relief to lower-income workers and all working families -- two simple tax-reform measures that would create over 20,000 new jobs,' said House Republican Leader Bruce Hanna, R-Roseburg. 'The state can't reverse its horrible economic performance by simply expanding government and further increasing debt.'"

Elections have consequences.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Dumb Pundit Comments

Cross Posted at The Next Right

Cal Thomas on Gov. Palin: She needs to go home and reinvent herself.
(As though crowds of 20,000+ and a 91% favorable rating among Republicans are kind of below normal. Guess Cal wants her to be just as exciting and as all the other politicians.)
Comment on Fox News Watch, 11/15/08

Peggy Noonan (whose new book, Patriotic Grace, is an “an urgent, heartfelt call for all Americans to see each other anew, realize what time it is, and come together to support the next President—whoever he is. Because it is not the threats and challenges we face, but how we face them that defines us as a nation.”): Young Republicans can have a joy in being out of power now. “You get to criticize with complete abandon. This is the pleasurable side of what the donkey knows, which is that it's easier to knock over the barn than build it.”

David Brooks: "The second part of Obama’s plan is the creation of an auto czar with vague duties. Other smart people have called for such a czar to reorganize the companies and force the companies to fully embrace green technology and other good things.

"That would be great, but if Obama was such a fervent believer in the Chinese model of all-powerful technocrats, he should have mentioned it during the campaign. Are we really to believe there exists a czar omniscient, omnipotent and beneficent enough to know how to fix the Big Three? Who is this deity? Are we to believe that political influence will miraculously disappear, that the czar would have absolute power over unions, management, Congress and the White House? Please."

[emphasis mine]

Maybe Brooks was paying more attention to his knee tingling than to the campaign. As Jennifer Rubin points out:

"Perhaps Brooks missed it, but at every turn during the campaign, Obama gave us plenty of warning that he believes 'in the Chinese model of all-powerful technocrats.' Government bureaucrats are going to control lots of things in the Obama administration. They are going to decide which size of business must carry health insurance, and the type of insurance they must have. They are going to decide what type of energy is worth subsidizing, and which projects will get billions in taxpayer funding. They are going to tell the whole world the labor standards they must abide by in order to trade with us. And on it goes. It really isn’t quite fair to say we were not warned. Maybe not on this particular item. But Obama’s penchant for having the 'deity' of government command and control a great many things was hard to miss during the campaign."

Friday, November 14, 2008

Palin Gracious; Couric Needs Advice

cross posted at The Next Right

Katie Couric had some advice for Gov. Sarah Palin:

"CBS anchor Katie Couric thinks Sarah Palin has a thing or two to learn about politics before she contemplates a White House run in 2012. 'I think she should keep her head down, work really hard and learn about governing. But I'm not anyone to give advice to anyone about anything,' she told Page Six at Glamour Magazine's 2008 Women of the Year Awards dinner at the Essex House."

Gov. Palin’s response:

"I'd say thank you, Katie Couric, for your advice. And I won't reciprocate in giving her any advice, that's for sure, because I have respect for her and the profession that she is in."

But, it turns out that Couric needs advice and actually asks for it. Before Couric’s interview with the Alaska governor, Couric turned to former Democratic Senator Sam Nunn and Richard Haass for help in prep. NewsBusters reports:

“Jeff Bercovici of reported in a brief item that Couric revealed in a panel discussion that she boned up with anti-Palin foreign-policy advisors before interviewing the Alaska governor. Peter Kafka of All Things Digital featured this piece of the Bercovici report:

“‘Couric shed some light on her preparation for the interviews: Beforehand, she sought advice from former senator Sam Nunn and Council on Foreign Relations president Richard Haas [actually, it’s Haass]. They told her to draw Palin out on her geopolitical worldview and urged her to let the governor speak at length without interrupting her. Maybe she should bring them along with her when she takes over at Meet the Press?’”

Couric continues to come in third out of three in network news. CBS might think about hiring regular advisers for her. Edward R. Murrow is turning over in his grave.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

NYT: MSNBC, Carl Cameron, New Republic Fall for Anti-Palin Hoax

Cross posted at The Next Right

From the New York Times:

It was among the juicier post-election recriminations: Fox News Channel quoted an unnamed McCain campaign figure as saying that Sarah Palin did not know that Africa was a continent.

Who would say such a thing? On Monday the answer popped up on a blog and popped out of the mouth of David Shuster, an MSNBC anchor. “Turns out it was Martin Eisenstadt, a McCain policy adviser, who has come forward today to identify himself as the source of the leaks,” Mr. Shuster said.

Trouble is, Martin Eisenstadt doesn’t exist. His blog does, but it’s a put-on. The think tank where he is a senior fellow — the Harding Institute for Freedom and Democracy — is just a Web site. The TV clips of him on YouTube are fakes.

And the claim of credit for the Africa anecdote is just the latest ruse by Eisenstadt, who turns out to be a very elaborate hoax that has been going on for months. MSNBC, which quickly corrected the mistake, has plenty of company in being taken in by an Eisenstadt hoax, including The New Republic and The Los Angeles Times.

Why is the Mainstream Media so gullible? The hoaxers give their explanation:

They say the blame lies not with them but with shoddiness in the traditional news media and especially the blogosphere.

“With the 24-hour news cycle they rush into anything they can find,” said Mr. Mirvish, 40.

Mr. Gorlin, 39, argued that Eisenstadt was no more of a joke than half the bloggers or political commentators on the Internet or television.

An MSNBC spokesman, Jeremy Gaines, explained the network’s misstep by saying someone in the newsroom received the Palin item in an e-mail message from a colleague and assumed it had been checked out. “It had not been vetted,” he said. “It should not have made air.”

This post is a follow up to previous posts on the lack of credibility of Carl Cameron and Newsweek.

Hat Tip: NR Media Blog

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Thanks to Vets Who Have Defended Our Freedom

I am grateful to all those who have defended our country and freedom. Below are photos of some of the men who have defended the US in combat in the South Pacific and Europe during WWII, in Vietnam, and readiness for combat during the Cold War of the 1980's:

Sunday, November 09, 2008

Multnomah County Voters Not Energized

Multnomah County had 2,300 fewer voters registered in 2008 for the November general election than in 2004 for the general election.

Turnout for the 2008 general election was almost 5,000 voters less than for the 2004 general election.

Where were all the new energized voters? There weren’t any.

DATA UPDATED November 18, 2008.

The data as of November 17, 4:33 pm:

Total registered.................436,489........439,693............(3,204)
Total voted........................360,551.........365,530...........(4,979)
Voted for president............363,414*.......362,694..............(720)*
Voted for Dem President....271,822*.......259,585.........+19,127*
Voted for Rep President.......73,422*........98,439..........(23,534)*
Voted for 3rd party/write-in..9,568*..........4,670...........+5,127*

*271 ballots still to coun

Saturday, November 08, 2008

The Bozo-ing of the Media

The media is becoming more and more clownish. Major national media aren't even doing basic fact checking any more. That makes for ludicrous gullibility.

John McCormack gives a little help on journalistic competence to Newsweek's Daren Briscoe, Eleanor Clift, Katie Connolly, Peter Goldman, Daniel Stone, Nick Summers, and Evan Thomas in their "The Final Days" report:

Via Isaac Chotiner, Newsweek reports:

The day of the third debate, Palin refused to go onstage with New Hampshire GOP Sen. John Sununu and Jeb Bradley, a New Hampshire congressman running for the Senate, because they were pro-choice and because Bradley opposed drilling in Alaska.

The McCain campaign ordered her onstage at the next campaign stop, but she refused to acknowledge the two Republican candidates standing behind her.

So according to the hatchet man/woman who talked to Newsweek, Palin is such an ideologue about drilling in ANWR that she won't stand next to Bradley, even though John McCain has the exact same position?

And Palin is such an ideologue that she won't appear with pro-choice politicians, even though she attended events with pro-choice Clinton donor Lady Lynn Forester de Rothschild?

And we're really supposed to believe that Palin is so dumb she doesn't know Africa is a continent, but she knew about the voting records of John Sununu and Jeb Bradley in the first place?

Hmmm. I guess that might be remotely possible if it weren't for the fact that John Sununu has a 100 percent pro-life rating from the National Right to Life Committee.

Glad to see that whoever leaked this story is too dumb to come up with a plausible smear. And kudos to Newsweek for dumping this whopper without bothering to check if Sununu is in fact pro-abortion.

Oh, and by the way, Jeb Bradley isn't running for U.S. Senate, as Newsweek reports. Perhaps they might want to check out Wikipedia before publishing the next batch of Palin smears.

Rich Lowery does something the Bozo mainstream press apparently hasn't thought of--actually talks to a non-anonymous source--the McCain guy who briefed Sarah Palin on foreign policy:

I talked to Steve Biegun, the former Bush NSC aid who briefed Sarah Palin on foreign policy, and he considers the leaks against her on the international stuff "absurd."

He says there's no way she didn't know Africa was a continent, and whoever is saying she didn't must be distorting "a fumble of words." He talked to her about all manner of issues relating to Africa, from failed states to the Sudan. She was aware from the beginning of the conflict in Darfur, which is followed closely in evangelical churches, and was aware of Clinton's AIDS initiative. That basically makes it impossible that she thought all of Africa was a country.

On not knowing what countries are in NAFTA, Biegun was part of the conversation that led to that accusation and it convinces him "somebody is acting with a high degree of maliciousness." He was briefing Palin before a Univision interview, and talking to her about trade issues. He rolled through NAFTA, CAFTA, and the Colombia FTA. As he talked, people were coming in and out of the room, handing Palin things, etc. She was distracted from what Biegun was saying, and said, roughly, "Ok, who's in NAFTA, what's the deal with CAFTA, what's up the FTA?"—her way, Biegun says, of saying "rack them and stack them," begin again from the start. "Somebody is taking a conversation and twisting it maliciously," he says.

In general, according to Beigun, Palin had a steep learning curve on foreign issues, about what you would expect from a governor. But she has "great instincts and great core values," and is "an instinctive internationalist." The stories against her are being "fed by an unnamed source who is allowed by the press to make ad hominem attacks on background." Biegun, who spent dozens and dozens of hours briefing Palin on these issues, is happy to defend her, on the record, under his own name.

HT: National Review Online

Friday, November 07, 2008

Anti-Palin Republicans a Minority of 8%

cross posted at The Next Right

The latest Rasmussen poll shows that only 8% of Republicans have an unfavorable view of Gov. Palin. A whopping 91% have a favorable impression of her with only 1% undecided.

With undecideds almost negligible, anti-Palinistas are in for a tough four years.

Carl Cameron and the White Queen

Poor Carl Cameron. He starts out with a face and speaking style that don't project serious thinking. Not even a scintilla of gravitas.

Now we discover he’s the kind of guy who, upon having an interview with Ahmadinejad, would rush back with the breaking news that there was no holocaust after all.

He gleefully and uncritically reports everything that falls into his lap.

How can you start a report on a successful mayor and governor by saying that she knows nothing about state and local governmental responsibilities? And all based on anonymous sources with no specifics cited. But that’s what Cameron did on the Bill O’Reilly show regarding Gov. Palin.

Or how report that any person who has a college degree, let alone a state governor, does not know that Africa is a continent and expect to be believed? I wouldn’t believe it about my 18 year old nephew just starting college. Much less about the governor of my state. It’s the stuff of gossip magazine stories. Like the stories that Trig Palin was not Sarah and Todd’s son.

Unlike the White Queen in Through the Looking Glass I haven’t practiced believing impossible things. So, Cameron’s lack of fact checked journalism doesn’t slide down easily. It’s unbelievable gossip–like the New York Times’ infamous story on McCain’s maybe affair with a lobbyist based on several anonymous "people involved in the campaign".

I had a hard time taking Cameron seriously before because his look and speaking style were against him. But, now his look and speaking style blend seamlessly with his journalistic gullibility.

(For specifics on other problems with Carl Cameron's report see previous post.)

Who are you, and what have you done with the Associated Press?

The AP actually wrote a somewhat complimentary piece about Gov. Palin! They even quote someone of stature who praises her.

Randy Scheunemann, McCain's foreign policy adviser, called the idea of a split between the two campaigns "laughable."

"It's hard to believe these people worked for John McCain. They obviously have no loyalty to John McCain and no loyalty to his running mate," said Scheunemann, who prepared Palin for the vice presidential debae.

"I've worked in Washington for over 20 years. I have seen literally dozens of politicians, and Sarah Palin is as smart, tough and focused as any politician I've ever seen. I'm proud of the time I was able to spend with her," he said.

Apparently Barbara Walters, Oprah Winfrey, Larry King and others are dying to talk with Gov. Palin. No wonder. She not only has heart, brains and charisma, but Reagan’s ability to connect with the common man and Lincoln’s ability to put deep thoughts into few words. Like this:

It was Mother Theresa, she had once said that God has created each one of us, every human being, for a greater thing to love and to be loved and no matter our party, or our gender, or our background, our affiliations, there is a voice of humanity there, in those words of Mother Theresa, that speaks to all of us. Because every child does have something to contribute to this world if we give them a chance. And every child is beautiful before God and dear to him for their own sake. These children are not a problem. They are a priority. And I think that we are about ready to show them the good heart of America. John and I have a vision of America where innocent life counts and every child has a chance to contribute. Where every child is cherished, and it is that spirit that I want to bring to Washington.
(October 20, 2008, Loveland, Colorado)

If you would like to send Sarah Palin thanks or encouragement, Michelle Malkin has set up a petition where you can write a message to Gov. Palin.

As for this piece by the AP, either they finally scrounged up a reporter with a smidgen of integrity or the Martians have invaded and started by taking over the AP. If it is the Martians, too bad they didn’t guess that somewhat unbiased reporting would be a dead giveaway.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Looneyland at the McCain Campaign

Carl Cameron gave a “report” on the O’Reilly Factor detailing Palin trashing at the McCain campaign.

It began with Cameron's stunning revelation that McCain campaign aides thought Gov. Palin didn’t understand municipal and state governmental responsibilities. Huh? A successful mayor and a governor with 80% approval rating didn’t understand local and state governmental responsibilities?

I wouldn’t even believe that about my 44% approval rated governor, let alone the governor with the highest approval percentage in the country. The campaign aides, never having run a city or state government, are obviously the ones who didn't understand local/state governmental responsibilities.

Unfortunately the “understanding” deficit of McCain insiders keeps getting worse.

McCain aides were "taken aback" when they came to pick Palin up for a campaign appearance and she met them at the hotel room door in her robe. They found it "rather uncommon." Are these people for real? Any of you ever been late for an appointment? Especially when you have back to back appointments for two months? Any of you ever have to put on a robe to answer the door? People who are stunned by that shouldn’t be given real world responsibilities.

Another charge was that Palin didn’t know about about "American exceptionalism". Hello. The only one I heard talking about America as a “shining city on a hill” (Reagan’s version of American exceptionalism) was . . . (drum roll) . . . Sarah Palin.

Strike three.

These people are from Looneyland. The other insider tidbits had a similarly “If you believe this, I’ve got a bridge to sell you.” tone.

Carl Cameron’s credulous reporting of such obviously off the rails revelations doesn’t say much for his competence either.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

AP News Flash: Obama Untested

The Associated Press has discovered campaign talking points:

But Obama is inexperienced in foreign affairs and his approach to hard-liners in North Korea, Russia, Iran, Cuba or China is untested.

Ya think? I guess the AP didn't pick up on the talking points reply: President-elect Obama has run a campaign and been tested to the limits there. Of course, the AP helped the campaign, but, they're still there to help President Obama to spin international problems, right? Not to worry.

Here are some of the "new" problems the AP is worried about:

Nothing quite like Russian missiles to stomp on a guy's big election buzz. Before Barack Obama even got up to savor a first day as president-elect, Russia threatened to station missiles alongside U.S.-ally Poland.

And that wasn't all that greeted him:

_ The U.S. stood accused by another ally of bombing a family wedding.

_ The Palestinian militant group Hamas pounded Israel with rockets, hours after Israeli forces killed six gunmen, threatening to unravel a five-month-old truce in the powder keg Gaza Strip.

_ North Korea released a new batch of photographs of the reportedly ailing Kim Jong Il, seeking to show that the country's leader is in full command of a government that has exploded one nuclear device and is stringing out a vague promise to dump its others.

Again, AP, not to worry. Obama has already shown his mettle in running his campaign. Sure, he had a little help from you guys, but you're still there, aren't you? Aren't you?

Monday, November 03, 2008

Palin Cleared; Earlier Legislative Report Wrong, Misconstrued Evidence

From Bill Dyer quoting the Anchorage Daily News:

Both investigations found that Palin was within her rights to fire Public Safety Commissioner Walt Monegan.

But the new report says the Legislature's investigator was wrong to conclude that Palin abused her power by allowing aides and her husband, Todd, to pressure Monegan and others to dismiss her ex-brother-in-law, Trooper Mike Wooten. Palin was accused of firing Monegan after Wooten stayed on the job.

The Palins have argued that Wooten was a loose cannon who had tasered his stepson, drank beer in his patrol car, and threatened Palin's father, and that their complaints that he shouldn't be on the force were justified....

The report, released at a Monday afternoon press conference at the Hotel Captain Cook, presents the findings and recommendations of Anchorage lawyer Timothy Petumenos, hired as independent counsel for the Personnel Board to examine several complaints against Palin.

Petumenos wrote the Legislature's special counsel, former state prosecutor Steve Branchflower, used the wrong state law as the basis for his conclusions and also misconstrued the evidence.

His findings and recommendations include:

* There is no cause to believe Palin violated the state ethics law in deciding to dismiss Monegan as public safety commissioner.

* There is no cause to believe Palin violated the state ethics law in connection with Wooten.

* There is no cause to believe any other state official violated the ethics act.

* There's no basis to conduct a hearing to "address reputational harm," as requested by Monegan.

* The state needs to address the issue of using private e-mails for government work and to examine how records are kept in the governor's office. Palin used her Yahoo e-mail account for state business until it was hacked.

[emphasis mine]

Palin Cleared of Ethics Charges

Even the New York Times is carrying this:

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) - A report has cleared Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin of ethics violations in the firing of her public safety commissioner.

Released Monday, the report says there is no probable cause to believe Palin or any other state official violated the Alaska Executive Ethics Act in connection with the firing. The report was prepared by Timothy Petumenos, an independent counsel for the Alaska Personnel Board.

A separate legislative investigation recently concluded that Palin, the Republican vice presidential nominee, abused her office by allowing her husband and staffers to pressure the public safety commissioner to fire a state trooper who went through a nasty divorce from Palin's sister.

Palin says the firing had nothing to do with the trooper.

What AP and the NYT neglect to say is that the "legislative investigation" was headed by a partisan--Alaska Democratic Senator Hollis French who is supporting Obama-Biden. The investigation clearing Palin, as pointed out, was headed by an independent counsel.

But, don't expect even the muddied version to make a splash in your local paper or the mainstream media. Wouldn't want to be too fair.

Obama vs. Obama

A few more Obama "difficulties."

Obama Wants to Charge Coal Industry and Bankrupt It

The SF Chronicle thought this was not newsworthy--even in light of Sen. Biden's comment that Obama-Biden were against clean coal and the media disseminated Obama campaign denial of that.

Fortunately, we have the people's media network - YouTube.

Who you gonna believe? Media spin or your own eyes?

Saturday, November 01, 2008

Sen. Obama: $97,000 = upper class

Sen. Obama: "I will be very brief on this and because, Hillary, I've heard you say this is a trillion dollar tax cut on the middle class by adjusting the cap. Understand that only 6% of Americans make more than $97,000 a year. So 6% is not the middle class. It's the upper class. . . . But understand this is the top 6%, and that is not the middle class."
(Las Vegas debate, Nov. 15, 2007) (timecode: 1:47 - 2:08)