September 30, 2008
Before the suspension of the McCain campaign last week, there were four Republicans on record supporting the language in the bill as it was. Senator McCain went back to Washington, got the House Republicans a seat at the negotiating table over the weekend, and their input in the bill for Monday's vote got sixty more Republicans to commit, far more than Pelosi should have needed to get the bill passed.
Senator Obama, on the other hand, showed up to the White House only when invited, spoke in platitudes, left, got beat in the debate Friday night, spent the weekend speaking in more platitudes, and did not lift a finger to dial the phone of any of his Democratic colleagues in the House to try and persuade them to consider supporting a bill Obama was half-heartedly on board with for the good of the country....
Barack Obama has done what he's done throughout his entire career, which is vote present, not offer any leadership. We don't even know what part of the plan he supports or doesn't support. John McCain delivered sixty Republican votes. When he went to Washington last week, only four Republicans in the House were in favor of this. They ended up with 64. There were enough Republican votes for the Democrats to get this done, but a third of the Democrats abandoned Nancy Pelosi. I have a feeling that if Barack Obama were at the table rolling up his sleeves, taking the same risk that John McCain took, they could have gotten that other twenty or thirty Democratic votes.
If it's a real crisis, then we see how each candidate will focus on a crisis. If it is not a real crisis, then Senator Obama is lying by saying it is. Actions speak louder than words.
September 29, 2008
A READER AT A MAJOR NEWSROOM EMAILS: "Off the record, every suspicion you have about MSM being in the tank for O is true. We have a team of 4 people going thru dumpsters in Alaska and 4 in arizona. Not a single one looking into Acorn, Ayers or Freddiemae. Editor refuses to publish anything that would jeopardize election for O, and betting you dollars to donuts same is true at NYT, others. People cheer when CNN or NBC run another Palin-mocking but raising any reasonable inquiry into obama is derided or flat out ignored. The fix is in, and its working." I asked permission to reprint without attribution and it was granted.
Many believe the "new media" can balance the books, but that would take a set of candidates willing to ignore, boycott and ridicule the demands of the old media. Instead, Senator McCain and Governor Palin go on ABC, CBS, the View, etc. and let their words and selves be twisted into caricatures of the people they are.
To the extent any Republican voted against the bill because of Pelosi's speech, it may not be a question of them being offended by her partisanship, but the perspective that if Pelosi thinks that the situation calls for partisanship, it must not be a serious emergency, because leaders simply don't engage in such antics when a true emergency is at hand. For that matter, if I were a Democrat skeptical of the bill, Pelosi's speech may have discouraged me from voting for it for the same reason.
Could it be that she couldn't deliver her side of the votes? Or could it be that she'd rather keep the crisis on the table to help her party?
Watch for yourself, does it appear to be speech measured to maximize votes for the package? Remember, she's the third most powerful person in the country, third in line for the presidency, the Speaker of the House just before the big vote.
Update: Responsibility falls on the Speaker:
Responsibility falls on Speaker Pelosi not just because of her specific actions in this matter (which were deplorable), but because elections have consequences, and the consequence in 2006 was to give her more than ample institutional power to swing at least another 12 members of her party to produce the opposite outcome on this vote.Speaker Pelosi and Barney Frank, etc. are out blaming the Republicans, of course, despite the fact that the Republicans are the minority party and despite the fact that the Democrats were too fearful to pass the bill themselves.
September 28, 2008
It's hard enough to keep lifelong friends who disagree politically with you... throwing religion into the mix as well can only lead to more conflict. I don't think Churches should be afraid to lose their tax-free status, they should stand up for what they believe in, but why not keep the focus on principles and not candidates.
Or here if the above is too busy.
A tense standoff has developed in waters off Somalia over an Iranian merchant ship laden with a mysterious cargo that was hijacked by pirates.
Somali pirates suffered skin burns, lost hair and fell gravely ill "within days" of boarding the MV Iran Deyanat. Some of them died.Andrew Mwangura, the director of the East African Seafarers' Assistance Programme, told the Sunday Times: "We don't know exactly how many, but the information that I am getting is that some of them had died. There is something very wrong about that ship."
If it turns out that the Pirates hijacked an Iranian vessel with Uranium on board... man, what a smoking gun -- and talk about luck! Not that the pirates were lucky, mind you...
Barney Frank is on C-Span this morning, blaming Republicans, blaming Greenspan, blaming CEO's and private institutions, blaming everyone but his own blameless, sinless self... even though he's in charge of the House Finance Committee that should have been overseeing the institutions (Freddie and Fannie) that caused this whole thing.
Read about it in the Boston Globe
Time and time again, Frank insisted that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were in good shape. Five years ago, for example, when the Bush administration proposed much tighter regulation of the two companies, Frank was adamant that "these two entities, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, are not facing any kind of financial crisis." When the White House warned of "systemic risk for our financial system" unless the mortgage giants were curbed, Frank complained that the administration was more concerned about financial safety than about housing.
Now that the bubble has burst and the "systemic risk" is apparent to all, Frank blithely declares: "The private sector got us into this mess." Well, give the congressman points for gall. Wall Street and private lenders have plenty to answer for, but it was Washington and the political class that derailed this train. If Frank is looking for a culprit to blame, he'll find one suspect in the nearest mirror.
September 27, 2008
Are Republicans any better? This crew in the house seems to have learned a lesson when they lost their majority for just that kind of backroom greed and selfishness with others money.
It's as if they want us to believe they are powerless. Where was Bush's press conference when his legislation was blocked, why didn't he go on National TV and explain the problem and ask people to call their Congressmen to fight to get it passed? Where was McCain's press conference, why didn't he buy some commercial time on the air and call out those who were allowing this crisis to build? And what did Obama do besides send a letter to try to cover his own failure to do anything. Do they think everybody watches their daily yammering on C-SPAN, where they all start out each comment saying they reserve the right to "revise and extend their remarks" -- the right to change whatever they're about to say before they even say it?
Yeah, yeah... they all saw it coming and all these rich, powerful politicians who have had the world's ear for the last two years as they travel the country and the world displaying their qualifications and plans just happened to forget to make a point of telling us the sky falling.
According to a source in the Obama campaign, Sen. Obama was provided with advance notice of an alternative financial rescue package being crafted by House Republicans through a campaign fundraiser and current employee of Goldman Sachs, Treasure Secretary Hank Paulson's former employer. Obama was also made privy to Secretary Paulson's concerns about the Republican plan. Republicans no doubt intended to present the plan at the White House meeting, which was billed as a negotiation. But Democrats opened their presentation by turning the floor over to Sen. Obama, who proceeded to attack the Republicans at the table using Paulson's notes on the Republican plan, foreclosing on any possibility of constructive negotiations being conducted.
Sen. McCain, on the other hand, did not take a high profile role at the White House meeting. He did not take a position on either the Administration's proposal, or the House Republicans' alternative. Rather, he listened to all sides, and spent the remainder of the evening in shuttle diplomacy between House and Senate Republicans, searching for a way to find common ground in their positions.
September 26, 2008
Things that rubbed me the wrong way:
1) Senator Obama said that no American soldier ever dies in vain because they are performing the mission of their commander and chief. I think over 58,000 American soldiers died in vain in Vietnam. We threw men into a horrible war, we won nearly every battle we were allowed to fight and then we left and let the country dissolve into killing fields. What a waste.
2) Senator Obama said that young people the world over no longer like or want to come to America -- that's just downright false. People are dying to come here and nobody who's here seems to want to leave for better prospects elsewhere. Immigration into America is huge and non-stop.
“The next president of the United States is not going to have to decide whether
we should have gone into Iraq. He’ll have to decide how we leave, when we leave
and what we leave behind …”
Update: Here's a Hugh Hewitt Scorecard
Also, when I read articles saying McCain won big (like David Yepsin and Roger Simon) they seem to discuss what happened during the debate, while those who say that Obama won -- actually very few say he won and most end up saying he tied (like Joe Klein) seem to carry Senator Obama's water for him, explaining to their readers that Obama didn't really say in the past what he said in the past and bringing their own preference for Obama into play, prefering Obama's policies thus saying he won by having those policies.
Example from Klein:
"The problem with McCain's aggressiveness was that it almost always involved misstating Obama's positions—on offshore drilling, nuclear power, talking to our enemies, raising taxes on the middle class, attacking Pakistan ... the same list of untruths McCain has stuck with throughout the campaign. Or he'd try to make petty distinctions, like whether Obama's initial statements on Georgia were tough enough. When Obama chose to criticize McCain it was on big things—supporting the war in Iraq, opposing alternative energy, standing by the Republican trickle-down philosophy of taxation. In this way, too, Obama was strategic and McCain tactical."
Thus does Klein make every victory point for McCain petty or dishonest (using Obama's past statements against him unfairly?) while every punch Obama threw was artful and meaningful -- the difference is more about Klein's policy preferences and less about anything that happened in the debate.
Update 2: "The Moment"
September 23, 2008
Here is NASA's press release
September 22, 2008
If only the current folks in charge on both sides of the aisle could be swept from office, perhaps a novice group might once again try to work with each other. Washington's going to fundamentally change how America's finances are handled, but it's Term Limits that will solve our major problems.
September 21, 2008
Noah Patten lofted a 20-yard touchdown pass to Jeremy McGrew with 0:00.2 left to lift the Knights to a 34-32 win over New Haven.
McGrew's catch capped an almost unbelievable comeback that saw the Knights rally from a 32-21 deficit in the final 1:16.
September 19, 2008
How could the Sun possibly affect the weather on Earth? Tune in Tuesday and find out.
We still have many great journalists, but I no longer trust the major newspapers or television networks to provide consistently accurate and fair reporting and analysis of all the charges and countercharges. This in an era when the noise produced by highly partisan TV hosts and blogs creates a crying need for at least one newspaper that we can count on to play it straight.Indeed, one reason that candidates get away with dishonest campaign ads and speeches may be that it is so hard for undecided voters like me to discern which charges are true, which are exaggerated, and which are false. Most people can't spend hours every day cross-checking diverse sources of information to verify the accuracy of slanted stories and broadcasts
Read the whole thing, it shows more than ever that our nation's colleges need to set up a two or four year program to obtain a "Fair Witness" degree.
4) I do not work at Lehman or A.I.G. and do not own much stock; why should I care?
The concern for the man on Main Street is not the bankruptcy of Lehman, per se. Rather, it is the collective inability of major financial institutions to find funding.
As their own funding dries up, the remaining financial firms will be much more cautious in extending credit to normal firms and individuals. So even for people whose own circumstances have not much changed, the cost of the credit is going to rise. For an individual or business that falls behind on payments or needs an increase in short-term credit because of the slowing economy, credit will be much harder to obtain than in recent years.This is going to slow growth.
September 18, 2008
"...solar panels with his 3D cells would provide 500 times more light absorption than commercially-available solar cells and nine times more than cutting-edge 3D solar cells."
September 16, 2008
Norwell's Kaylee Imel continues to bring golf courses, and opponents, to their knees.
Imel threw a 38 at the field at Timber Ridge on Monday, six strokes better than runner-up Sara Dusman of Canterbury, and the Knights beat the Cavaliers and South Adams. Hilary Robertson added a 47 for Canterbury, but it wasn't enough as Norwell came in at 187 to Canterbury's 196 and South Adams' 218.
Way to go!
September 15, 2008
It has been years since groups such as the Montana Militia, the Posse Comitatus and the Sagebrush Rebels, and individuals such as Terry Nichols and Ted Kaczynski have made us wonder why so many "angry white men" populated our rural regions. Many of us have forgotten the threat once posed by domestic terrorists and instead have turned our attention to foreign terrorists. But we should never forget that in the late 20th century, ultra-Christian, antistatist and white-supremacist groups flourished in the states of the Pacific Northwest - called by many the "Great White Northwest" - the very region that Sarah Palin and her family call home.OK, there you go... Sarah Palin is from the same stock as mass murderers, white supremicists and various other whackos because she lives in the Northwest (do you consider Alaska as the Northwest? I don't, it's a totally different locale.) I'm sure Ms. McNicol's next article will deal with mob-crime in Illinois over the years and how Senator Obama is not on record decrying Al Capone and his ilk.
Some simply hated the federal government, like Randy Weaver of Ruby Ridge, Idaho, a survivalist whose wife and child died when their compound was fired upon by FBI agents attempting to arrest him on gun charges. "Whether we live or whether we die," Weaver said, "we will not obey this lawless government."
Other groups, like the Aryan Nation, with headquarters in Hayden Lake, Idaho, actively planned to rid the United States of African Americans, Jews, and other "non-Aryan" peoples. A few carried out their plans, murdering Jewish radio host Alan Berg in Denver, the Goldmark family in Seattle, an African American state trooper in Arkansas, Fish and Wildlife officials and FBI agents in Wyoming, North Dakota and Montana, and more than 160 federal employees and their children in Oklahoma City.
Rulings issued by a network of five sharia courts are enforceable with the full power of the judicial system, through the county courts or High Court.
Previously, the rulings of sharia courts in Britain could not be enforced, and depended on voluntary compliance among Muslims.
It has now emerged that sharia courts with these powers have been set up in London, Birmingham, Bradford and Manchester with the network's headquarters in Nuneaton, Warwickshire. Two more courts are being planned for Glasgow and Edinburgh.
What of the non-Muslims living in those areas? How long before they can be punished under sharia laws? Also, can a Muslim, in a sharia court, opt out just by saying he (or she) is a Christian?
September 14, 2008
September 12, 2008
The surge, not the category, is the story! This is because of the sheer volume of water Ike is pushing across the Gulf, as I discussed at length yesterday. And that water is already in motion, inexorably bearing down on the gently sloping Texas coast. If coastal residents are taking this storm less seriously than they might because it's "only" a Category 2, they are making a serious mistake.
September 11, 2008
They apparently never learned about the boy who cried, "wolf!" Even if their intentions are good, they are gambling with making the next evacuation more difficult.
GIBSON: Senator, I'm curious about your feelings last night. It was an historic moment. Has it sunk in yet?
GIBSON: Public moments are not your own. There's a million people pulling you in a million different directions, but when everybody clears out, the staff is gone, you're in your hotel room at night and you're alone -- do you say to yourself: "Son of a gun, I've done this?"
GIBSON: (inaudible) when you announced, did you truly, in your gut, think that a black man could win the nomination of a major party to be president of the United States?
Geez... give me a break. Compare that to Gibson's condescending, earplug fueled questions to Governor Palin this evening:
Question 1: Charles Gibson, the interviewer, asked her if she didn’t hesitate and question whether she was experienced enough. (and then he said she displayed hubris (pride) by being confident in herself and her abilities).
Her also asked her questions about whether Georgia and Ukraine should be allowed into NATO on fear that we'd have to protect them by treaty. Now, Obama believes the same as McCain, that Georgia and Ukraine should be allowed to be members -- where was that question for Obama?
Gibson asked her about "The Bush Doctrine" which was the doctrine Bush laid out in his first state of the union address after 9/11 (you know, the one where Tom Daschle and all the Democrats rushed in afterward to give Bush hugs).
Gibson moves on to ask her about her religion, misquoting her prayer in her church to make it seem like she's saying we're in a holy war and maintaining that he didn't misquote her when she calls him on it. The things on youtube for crying out loud, everyone's seen it and he misquotes her badly.
There wasn't one question (so far) anywhere near the fawning examples he served up to Senator Obama... perhaps we should be happy of that, in the long run.
And the media doesn't understand why people think they're biased. Gibson made a mistake tonight in not leading with at least one "soft" question recognizing the first nomination of a female VP for the Republicans... by not leading with such a question he shows his failure to recognize quite a large part of his audience.
September 10, 2008
September 7, 2008
Question: Are they going to give Biden the questions before the debate, too?
September 6, 2008
CEDARBURG, Wisc. -- Hundreds of angry people in this small town outside Milwaukee taunted reporters and TV crews traveling with Sen. John McCain on Friday, chanting "Be fair!" and pointing fingers at a pack of journalists as they booed loudly.
On the first leg of the "McCain Street USA" tour -- which will take the Republican presidential nominee and his running mate, Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, to small towns across the heartland -- the 30 or so reporters and crew were walking back to their buses to join the McCain motorcade when hundreds of townspeople started yelling.
"Stop lying! You are all liars! Tell the truth!" one woman yelled from the front of the pack.
The crowd was not menacing or threatening, but was clearly angry."You're telling lies! Stop the lies!" one man yelled.
Read the whole thing...
September 3, 2008
I have always tended to think that conservative complaints about the media are a little exaggerated. There are occasionally obvious instances of bias and clear examples of a double standard, but most reporters don't want to fall into those and some conservatives are surely too sensitive to them. But this week has changed my view. I have never seen, and I admit that I could never have imagined, such shameful, out-of-control, frenzied, angry, condescending, and pathetic journalistic malpractice. The ignorant assault on Palin's accomplishments and experience, the breathless careless airing of deranged rumors about her private life, the staggeringly indecent mistreatment of her teenage daughter in a difficult time, the ill-informed piling on about the vetting process, the self-intensifying circle of tisking nodding heads utterly detached from a straightforward political event, have been amazing and eye-opening.
Facing her former team, Norwell girls' volleyball coach Melissa Northrop picked up a comeback 3-1 victory Tuesday night over Fort Wayne Wayne at Norwell. Norwell battled back to win in four games 19-25, 25-18, 25-21, 25-18.Check out all those Sevens family members (bolded). Way to go! And Congratulations.
Lauren Klansek and Amanda McAfee led the Lady Knights in hitting with eight kills apiece. Andrea Vogel followed with seven. Kelsey Kline added five, while Haley Chaney and Mallory Bushee each had four. Rachelle Rodenbeck and Elizabeth Ault both had three. Bushee also had 20 assists, one ace serve and nine digs. Ault also had three aces and 15 digs. McAfee chipped in with nine digs, while Lindsey Stronczek had eight and Rodenbeck seven. Chaney also had three blocks and four block assists. Vogel had six block assists, Klansek five and McAfee three.
September 2, 2008
In the past 1000 years, three previous such events -- the Dalton, Maunder, and Spörer Minimums, have all led to rapid cooling. One was large enough to be called a "mini ice age". For a society dependent on agriculture, cold is more damaging than heat. The growing season shortens, yields drop, and the occurrence of crop-destroying frosts increases.
Notice in the above chart, also, how the Modern Maximum in sunspot activity matches so well the high temperatures of the last decade of the twentieth century and how it also seems to match the last decades downturn in temperatures despite the increasing CO2 in the atmosphere.
September 1, 2008
I, for one, have had enough, "ENOUGH!!" As Obama said in his speech the other night. I'm out. My political thought henceforth are my own and I won't be reading or writing about the election anymore. I am innoculating myself and moving back to those days when polite people wouldn't discuss politics or religion.