06/14/2008 - 5:37pm
Funny, I thought the simple election of Barack Obama would fix all of our ills. Not according to Gore Vidal.
Madrid - It will take the United States a century to recover from the damage wreaked by President George. W Bush, US writer Gore Vidal said in an interview published on Saturday.
Bush would have been impeached, says Vidal, except for what?
"The president behaved like a virtual criminal but we didn't have the courage to sack him for fear of violating the American constitution," Vidal told the El Mundo newspaper.
Ah, Gore, you can impeach the president for just about anything you consider to be a "high crime or misdemeanor." But Vidal doesn't seem all that familiar with the constitution.
"We live in a dictatorship. We have a fascist government ...which controls the media," he said.
These liberals - they run to Europe, tell people how awful America is, then come home and complain that America's image overseas has never been worse.
Vidal also said presidential aspirant Barack Obama was "intelligent" adding that it would be a "novelty" to have an "intelligent" person in the White House.
This overestimation of the importance of intelligence is part of the lust that liberals feel for Barack. But the presidents we're told are really smart can be disasters - Jimmy Carter, Richard Nixon, Bill Clinton - and the ones they tell us don't have the brain power - Harry Truman, Gerald Ford, Ronald Reagan, George W. - they're the ones that history looks kindly upon.
06/14/2008 - 1:26pm
The numskulls who run Northwestern University had planned to bestow an honorary degree on Reverend Jeremiah Wright. This was before his unique brand of racial divisiveness, well known locally, went national in mid-March.
Earlier this year, the faculty at Northwestern University recommended that Wright receive an honorary Doctorate of Sacred Theology. Wright accepted the invitation from Northwestern President Henry Bienen.
Once Wright became infamous, Bienen had a change of heart.
In light of the controversy surrounding statements made by you that have recently been publicized, the celebratory character of Northwestern's commencement would be affected by our conferring of this honorary degree. Thus I am withdrawing the offer of an honorary degree previously extended to you.
But if Barack's other friend and fundraiser, Bill Ayers, can be a Distinguished Professor of Education and Senior University Scholar at the University of Illinois at Chicago, then why shouldn't Northwestern get to give an honorary degree to Rev. Wright? It seems only fair. Bill Ayers, the Distinguished Professor,
also spent the 1970s as a fugitive from justice, as a member of the Weather Underground, after the domestic terrorist group, preparing to attack an Army base, accidentally exploded a Greenwich Village townhouse killing three of their own members. Ayres later married feather Weather Underground member Bernardine Dohrn, then on the FBI's 10 Most Wanted List.

''I don't regret setting bombs,'' Ayres told the New York Times in 2001 upon publication of his memoir about that era, "Fugitive Days." ''I feel we didn't do enough.''
And Wright can't appear at graduation to receive a little old honorary degree? The black alumni association is understandably verklempt. The requisite petition is being circulated.
The undersigned, including the black alumni community, the black undergraduate community, and the larger community of intellectuals and concerned citizens are outraged at the University's unilateral and unprecedented action to rescind the award of a degree offered to and accepted by Reverend Jeremiah Wright.
I love that phrase about "the larger community of intellectuals," don't you? The people who are voting for hope? Who are falling head over heals for the "Together We Can" marketing package? The people who don't bat an eyelash over Barack lying to them about ending the war in Iraq? Who don't mind Tony Rezko, Jeremiah Wright, Reverend Pfleger, et al? Yup, those intellectuals. They can't stand the "intellectual" dishonesty of it all!
Reverend Jeremiah Wright has dedicated his life's work to serving those that society has left unequal and excluded. After a review of his life's work, and a vote of the appropriate faculty committee, Reverend Wright's service with distinction to his community merited reward with an honorary degree in Sacred Theology from Northwestern. After the degree was approved by the faculty, and approved by the Board of Trustees, the degree was rescinded. This decision is not in the spirit of the academic tradition, is embarrassing for a university of Northwestern's stature, and is unprecedented.
It's true. The university has never before rescinded an offer of an honorary degree made to a racist and bigot. It wouldn't be appropriate to start now, especially when the reason given is not that the school disagrees with Reverend Wright (after all, they knew what his game was long before we did), but rather, it is concerned that his appearance on the stage might cause a ruckus.
Don't expect the petition to lead to a change of heart and for Reverend Wright to be at graduation on the 20th. The radicals who control education in this country are understandably nervous when their backsides are showing, and they can't afford to be honoring racist, America hating preachers when people are looking.

Better to wait til next year.
06/14/2008 - 10:37am
The media has been questioning for some months now whether John McCain would be able to pull the GOP base together.
Evangelicals have been indispensable to Republican presidential candidates since Ronald Reagan in 1980 and were key to George W. Bush’s White House wins.
While it's not clear if McCain can pull the religious right under the tent, the party has found someone who can.
But many are lukewarm about John McCain, who denounced religious right leaders in 2000 and has struggled to win evangelical support this year.
They've found someone powerful and inspiring enough to get them to support the eclectic and unpredictable McCain.

In the audience (at the Texas Republican Party Convention), Kenneth Kidd mulled his party’s prospects in November.

“We’re going to support McCain,” he said with a distinct lack of enthusiasm. “He may not have been all of our first choice, but he is our choice.”

That man is Barack Obama.
“I’m going to support McCain and try to help people see the reality of the total picture and how dangerous Barack Obama is,” said state Sen. Dan Patrick, a conservative talk-radio host with a strong evangelical following. “There is no other choice.”
06/14/2008 - 7:28am
Being honest isn't good for business when you're a Democrat.
The Wisconsin Democratic Party moved Friday to strip a woman of her position as a delegate to the Democratic National Convention after she told a newspaper she would vote for Republican Sen. John McCain for president in November.
Didn't she win the right to be a delegate fair and square?
Bartoshevich, of Waterford, supported Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton's campaign and was elected a Clinton delegate from the 1st Congressional District. She was certified as a national delegate by the party last month.
How does her personal vote affect her ability to do her job as a Clinton delegate?
But Bartoshevich told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, as reported on its Web site Friday, that Clinton was treated unfairly by the party and she has deep reservations about Obama's experience, so she'll vote for McCain.
How can she have reservations about Barack's experience when he doesn't have any?
"It's extremely important that we send a message that Democrats in the state of Wisconsin will never support somebody who supports John McCain for president," state party chairman Joe Wineke said to cheers among the hundreds of party activists.

He said he was furious that Bartoshevich had given Republicans an opening to embarrass the Democrats.
Imagine that? Democrats finding diversity and free speech embarrassing?
She said she got a call from McCain's campaign after she signed up with "Citizens for McCain," encouraged by her sister who has served in Iraq. The Journal Sentinel said the McCain campaign gave her name to a reporter.
Those military families sure do get bitter.
06/14/2008 - 4:20am
In case you were wondering if it mattered, here's proof of the value of having young people drawn into politics by Barack Obama.
There's another first in the Barack Obama campaign, and it came from UCLA students. Hundreds of UCLA men and women donned designer underwear with Barack Obama's picture on the front, and dashed across campus early Thursday.
While some argue that Barack is a weak candidate because his experience is so skimpy, the college kids worship at the altar of skimpy.
The briefs were the creation of designer Andrew Christian. A silhouette of Obama was on the front, and "08" on the back. Christian said the Obama underwear run were a perfect vehicle for him to premiere his campaign-themed garments.
Despite all the lip service, they don't believe much in diversity.
There won't be any John McCain underwear, since Christian is a Democrat.
Unless, of course, diversity joins the ticket.
He might consider a Hillary Clinton bra, if she makes the ticket as vice-president.
06/13/2008 - 10:46pm
I'm shocked about Tim Russert's death, as I suspect you are. 58 is too young to go, in general, but Tim was full of life and passion for his work and his family.
WASHINGTON - Tim Russert, NBC News’ Washington bureau chief and the moderator of “Meet the Press,” died Friday after being stricken at the bureau, NBC News said Friday. He was 58.

Russert was recording voiceovers for Sunday’s “Meet the Press” broadcast when he collapsed, the network said.

I met him only once, but was around him several times, and always had a nice impression of him.
Russert was best known as host of “Meet the Press,” which he took over in December 1991. Now in its 60th year, “Meet the Press” is the longest-running program in the history of television.
His writing about his family leaves a nice legacy for his son Luke, who co-hosts a sports show on satellite radio with James Carville.
He had recently returned from Italy, where his family was celebrating the graduation of Russert’s son, Luke, from Boston College.

Brian Williams and Andrea Mitchell reflect.

06/13/2008 - 7:55pm
One of the fascinating things about the irrational exuberance over Barack's candidacy is the magnitude of the ills expected to be cured simply by handing him the keys to the White House. The radical media in this country is gleefully reporting from around the world a shared desire for Barack to be President. The world will love us again, racial tensions will be cured, a new era of peace and prosperity is sure to follow.
The annual global survey of attitudes by the independent Pew Research Centre shows that the Democratic nominee for the US presidency has won the confidence of people in Europe, Asia, Africa and Australia — and is strongly preferred over his Republican rival, John McCain.
The world is simply gagga! Here's Tom Friedman's story from Egypt.
"While Mr. Obama, who was raised a Christian, is constantly assuring Americans that he is not a Muslim, Egyptians are amazed, excited and agog that America might elect a black man whose father's family was of Muslim heritage," the New York Times columnist writes.
Like Americans in love with Barack, we can assume that those in the international community are more superficial in their analysis than even liberals.
"They don't really understand Mr. Obama's family tree, but what they do know is that if America – despite being attacked by Muslim militants on 9/11 – were to elect as its president some guy with the middle name 'Hussein,' it would mark a sea change in America-Muslim world relations. ...
The obvious response to this is never uttered. If, indeed, the solution to all these perceived dilemmas is as simple as electing someone new, then how real are the problems? If so many can believe so deeply that an unqualified candidate with no track record (except for a willingness to align himself with bigots, bombers and thieves) simply because he is 1) young, 2) eloquent, 3) black, or 4) in possession of a Muslim name, then the tensions within the U.S. and between us and the rest of the world must be pretty superficial, wouldn't you say?
"It would not be an exaggeration to say that the Democrats' nomination of Mr. Obama ... has done more to improve America's image abroad ... than the entire Bush public diplomacy effort for seven years."
Of course, if the job of the president was simply to improve America's image worldwide, I could recommend some very good PR firms.

The point that liberals really have is that Bush is so unpopular that the very fact of his departure will please the world to no end. Which means that virtually anyone, particularly someone with the experience and wisdom of John McCain, would please folks just fine - there's no need to throw the baby out with the bath water. And, of course, credit for this goes to George W. He's taking the heat so that his successor looks like a good guy just for breathing.
06/13/2008 - 4:24pm
Is Barack just another liberal, or if given the presidency would he actually try to move his party, responsible for so much that is wrong in America today, toward some new and successful policies. David Brooks explores the question in the Times today.
That question is surprisingly hard to answer. When you listen to his best speeches, you see a person who really could herald a new political era. But when you look into his actual policies, you often find a list of orthodox liberal programs that no centrist or moderate conservative would have any reason to support.
Brooks examines Barack's education positions to see whether he is a reformer or, instead, part of the vast majority of Democrats who work to make sure that education is locked forever in failure through loyalty to the teachers unions.
The status quo camp issued a statement organized by the Economic Policy Institute. This report argues that poverty and broad social factors drive high dropout rates and other bad outcomes. Schools alone can’t combat that, so more money should go to health care programs, anti-poverty initiatives and after-school and pre-K programs. When it comes to improving schools, the essential message is that we need to spend more on what we’re already doing: smaller class sizes, better instruction, better teacher training.
This is the model for the party - it's the money sieve approach - all of our policies would work fine if only we had endless amounts of money to spend.
The reformists also support after-school and pre-K initiatives. But they insist school reform alone can make a big difference, so they emphasize things the status quo camp doesn’t: rigorous accountability and changing the fundamental structure of school systems.
These ideas, vital to education reform, are DOA with Democrats. Their partnership with the unions simply won't allow policies to improve education to take hold. As proof, take a look at this examination of Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick, who, a couple of years ago, was an education candidate for Governor, and now is just another sold out Democrat. Writes Scot Lehigh in the Boston Globe today:
DURING THE 2006 gubernatorial campaign, Deval Patrick said he favored raising the cap on charter schools once the funding formula was reworked to ease tensions between traditional schools and charters...
Did he follow through? Of course not. Teachers unions hate education reform.
A governor with a true sense of urgency would at least call for lifting the charter cap in those cities where kids are stuck in repeatedly failing schools. Certainly if the state's first African-American governor were to advocate that, his would be a powerful and important statement. Instead, Patrick has left the field before the first real shot in the battle over the charter cap has even been fired.
What's the big deal, you ask, if the Governor of Massachusetts is guilty of mass child abuse and institutional racism like all Democrats? Deval is different - he is Barack's political soul mate - a guy who is Harvard educated, black, charismatic and inspiring, who got elected on the same Hooey of Hope that has propelled Barack from grade school to grad school without doing the years in between. Deval selling out minorities and the poor is, thus, significant, as he is the only precedent we have for Barack, and his record is one of inexperience promising hope but delivering failure.

So, which side is Barack on - the bad guys (mainstream democrats), or the good guys (education reformers)?

His advisers run the gamut, and the answer depends in part on what month it is. Back in October 2005, Obama gave a phenomenal education speech in which he seemed to ally with the reformers. Then, as the campaign heated up, he shifted over to pure union orthodoxy, ripping into accountability and testing in a speech in New Hampshire in a way that essentially gutted the reformist case. Then, on May 28 in Colorado, he delivered another major education speech in which he shifted back in a more ambiguous direction.
The conclusion? Hope.

He’s politically astute — giving everybody the impression he’s on their side — but substantively vague. Change just isn’t that easy.... In Washington, Mayor Adrian Fenty has taken big risks in supporting a tenacious reformer like (Washington School Chief Michelle) Rhee. Would President Obama likewise take on a key Democratic interest group in order to promote real reform? We can hope. But so far, hope is all we can be sure of.

The reality is, Democrats will continue to leave urban and rural minorities, a primary base, stuck in horrible, violent schools because to do otherwise would mean losing teacher union support, and thus, elections. The party of Compassion just isn't prepared to do what's right, so they leave society's powerless in schools that assure their permanent dependence on handouts. Which also plays to the Democrats strength.

Whether intended or not, it's an evil construct that goes largely unnoticed by voters.
06/13/2008 - 10:57am
How is Barack's attempt to link McCain to George W. going? Here are some numbers from a new Hotline poll.

Far from being seen as "McBush", the AZ GOPer outperforms 'generic' GOPers across the board. Obama has a 6-pt lead on the question of who'd best handle the economy, but it's nowhere near the 26-pt lead the Dems have over GOPers on the issue.

How about on the war?

Same goes for Iraq. Voters see Dems as best able to handle the war, by 12 pts, but McCain leads Obama on the issue by 8 pts.

How come you don't hear about this is the news?

And what about those ubiquitous (say it with us now) white working-class voters? They too are siding w/ McCain, giving him 51% of their votes. Obama draws just half that number.

06/13/2008 - 4:30am
Barack isn't the only one facing members of Congress uncertain about how closely they wish to align themselves with their party's nominee.

At least 14 Republican members of Congress have refused to endorse or publicly support Sen. John McCain for president, and more than a dozen others declined to answer whether they back the Arizona senator.

Many of the recalcitrant GOP members declined to detail their reasons for withholding support, but Rep. John Peterson (R-Pa.) expressed major concerns about McCain’s energy policies and Rep. Walter Jones (R-N.C.) cited the Iraq war.
You say endorse, I say support.
A handful of other Republicans on Capitol Hill made the distinction between “endorsing” and “supporting,” adding that while they have not endorsed, they do support McCain.
In recent weeks, much of the discussion and debate about party unity has been on the Democrats’ side, amid their protracted presidential primary. Yet achieving harmony is a concern on both sides of the aisle this year.
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