October 29, 2008

Web Reconnaissance for 10/29/2008

A short recon of what’s out there that might draw your attention, updated throughout the day...so check back often.

In the News: (Registration may be required to read some stories)
IMF French Kiss - The International Monetary Fund sure was eager to forget about its managing director's dangerous liaison. A mere week after the investigation into Dominique Strauss-Kahn's relationship with a female employee went public, the Fund's board held a Saturday evening press conference to clear the former French finance minister of any wrongdoing. Case closed. (READ MORE)

Hitting Syria, Five Years Late - After five years and six months during which Syria has been an active accomplice to the insurgency in Iraq, the U.S. has finally struck back. Historians will be left to ponder how the course of the Iraq war might have changed if President Bush had acted sooner. (READ MORE)

Sic Transit Ted - Senator Ted Stevens, a legislative architect of the Bridge to Nowhere, was found guilty yesterday by a District of Columbia jury of taking illegal cash and gifts from an Alaskan oil executive. One would be hard put to identify anyone other than the senior Senator from Alaska -- perhaps Tom DeLay -- who did more to drive the Republican Party into the political wilderness waiting for it at the far end of that nowhere bridge. (READ MORE)

The Election Choice: Energy - Discounting election-year hyperbole, Barack Obama and John McCain are broadly like-minded in their approach to energy and the environment. Though important policy differences exist, both support "energy independence" and a large-scale reorganization of the U.S. economy in the name of climate change. The candidates, in other words, come in different shades of green. (READ MORE)

Central Banks Slashing Rates As Investors Flee - Central banks around the world are moving to further slash interest rates as they seek to contain the damage from the bursting of the biggest credit bubble in history. (READ MORE)

In Senate Battlegrounds, Fusillades of TV Ads - Television viewers in North Carolina have befriended two codgers sitting in rocking chairs on the front porch of an old country store. They rock and swap insults about Elizabeth Dole, 72, the state's senior senator: (READ MORE)

U.S. Calls Raid a Warning to Syria - U.S. troops in helicopters flew four miles into Syrian territory over the weekend to target the leader of a network that channels foreign fighters from Syria into Iraq, killing or wounding him and shooting dead several armed men, U.S. officials said Monday. (READ MORE)

Barack Wrote a Letter - At the October 7 Presidential debate, John McCain said that Barack Obama had encouraged Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to make risky loans, and that Mr. Obama was the second largest recipient of campaign cash from the government mortgage giants. (READ MORE)

Pharma Sells the Rope - With a liberal supermajority in Washington increasingly possible, business is trying to buy up protection, in the hope that Democrats will go easier on them. Henry Waxman is no doubt grateful for this offer of the rope with which he will hang them. (READ MORE)

Biden's Tax Truth - Well, will families making less than $250,000 get a tax cut under President Obama, or not? Senator Obama has been saying this for months, but on Monday Joe Biden put the tax-cut income threshold at $150,000 in an interview with a TV station in his beloved Scranton, Pennsylvania. The Biden campaign later clarified -- or at least tried to clarify -- the matter by saying that anyone making between $150,000 and $250,000 wouldn't get a tax cut but also wouldn't pay higher taxes. (READ MORE)

Blessed Are the Persecuted - Historically speaking, conservatism is a movement organized and funded by society's most powerful members; politically speaking, it lusts for tax cuts and government rollbacks that will benefit those same fortunate folks at the top. (READ MORE)

On the Web:
James Taranto: Not Ready for Prime Time - Now we know where the guys at "Saturday Night Live" get their ideas. Last week items in our Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday columns were devoted to puzzling out Joe Biden's warning that a President Obama would face a major international crisis, to which he would respond in an unpopular way that would ultimately be proved correct. On Saturday, "SNL" devoted its lead sketch to the same subject (along with Rep. John Murtha's disparaging remarks about his constituents, which we noted Wednesday as well). In the sketch, Jason Sudeikis as Biden elaborates on the real Biden's warning: “I'm going to say something else now, and I want you to mark well the words that I say! The words that I say--and remember that I said them here today. In the second year of the presidency of Barack Obama, a young child shall come from out of the North, from a city of steel! And this child shall rule for a time! But the child shall rule falsely! In deceit! By the trident of Neptune! What I have spoken is the truth!” (READ MORE)

Bret Stephens: Will Obama Gut Defense? Capitol Hill Democrats want to target the Pentagon. - Barney Frank will not soon be named secretary of defense or, insha'Allah, chairman of the House Armed Services Committee. So there's really no reason to fear that his recent call to cut defense spending by 25% is a harbinger of what to expect in an Obama administration. Then again, maybe there is. When it comes to defense, there are two Barack Obamas in this race. There is the candidate who insists, as he did last year in an article in Foreign Affairs, that "a strong military is, more than anything, necessary to sustain peace"; pledges to increase the size of our ground forces by 65,000 soldiers and 27,000 Marines while providing them with "first-rate equipment, armor, incentives and training"; and seems to be as gung-ho for a surge in Afghanistan as he was opposed to the one in Iraq. And then there is the candidate who early this year recorded an ad for Caucus for Priorities: (READ MORE)

Mark Mix: Labor Unions Prolonged the Depression - Obama wants a new Wagner Act - By the mid-1930s, the U.S. economy appeared to be climbing out of the Great Depression. The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA), which had bottomed out at 41 in 1932, was advancing. It increased 73% from the beginning of 1935 through the end of 1936, when it hit 180. The number of unemployed, 13 million in 1933, dropped to 9.5 million in 1935 and 7.6 million in 1936. Then, in 1937, the DJIA plunged 33% in what is often called "a depression within a depression." Joblessness skyrocketed. A principal factor in the meltdown that year was the U.S. Supreme Court's surprise 5-4 decision in early April to uphold the constitutionality of the Wagner Act, which had passed two years earlier. This measure, which is still the basis of our labor relations regime, authorized union officials to seek and obtain the power to act as the "exclusive" bargaining agent over all the front-line employees, including union nonmembers as well as members, in a unionized workplace. (READ MORE)

L. Gordon Crovitz: Credit Panic: Stages of Grief Uncertainty about Washington will slow the recovery. - Wall Street is working its way through the cycle of grief that starts with shock and denial, progresses to accepting responsibility and eventually gets to the stage of learning from mistakes. In contrast, Washington remains stuck in the denial phase, with political leaders refusing to admit that their actions have any responsibility for the credit panic. This matters because regulatory denial is suppressing confidence in markets, especially now that the country's financial capital is in Washington, not in New York. Last week's congressional hearings included important mea culpas. Former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan focused on the information gap in the banking industry that he, and others, failed to see. "The best insights of mathematicians and finance experts, supported by major advances in computer and communications technology" had a fatal flaw. (READ MORE)

William McGurn: Palin Shows How to Transcend the Culture Wars - "So this is the little lady who made this big war." The words are said to be Abe Lincoln's upon meeting Harriet Beecher Stowe, author of "Uncle Tom's Cabin." But they nicely capture the received wisdom about Sarah Palin and what is called the "culture war." Under the prevailing orthodoxy, of course, liberal politicians never provoke culture wars -- only conservatives do. This logic is reflected in the headlines. Newsweek: "Palin Reignites the Culture War." U.S. News & World Report: "Sarah Palin Sparks Revival of the Culture War." Salon.com: "The Culture War: It's Back!" The Nation: "Culture War Battle Stations." The Christian Science Monitor: "The Palin Factor in the Culture Wars." And so on. Barack Obama likes to present himself as the candidate who would move us beyond these wars. He hasn't had to work very hard at it, largely because of a national press corps that has been as accommodating to him as it has been hostile to Mrs. Palin. (READ MORE)

Steven G. Calabresi: Obama's 'Redistribution' Constitution - One of the great unappreciated stories of the past eight years is how thoroughly Senate Democrats thwarted efforts by President Bush to appoint judges to the lower federal courts. Consider the most important lower federal court in the country: the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. In his two terms as president, Ronald Reagan appointed eight judges, an average of one a year, to this court. They included Robert Bork, Antonin Scalia, Kenneth Starr, Larry Silberman, Stephen Williams, James Buckley, Douglas Ginsburg and David Sentelle. In his two terms, George W. Bush was able to name only four: John Roberts, Janice Rogers Brown, Thomas Griffith and Brett Kavanaugh. Although two seats on this court are vacant, Bush nominee Peter Keisler has been denied even a committee vote for two years. If Barack Obama wins the presidency, he will almost certainly fill those two vacant seats... (READ MORE)

Thomas Sowell: Obama and the Law - One of the biggest and most long-lasting "change" to expect if Barack Obama becomes President of the United States is in the kinds of federal judges he appoints. These include Supreme Court justices, as well as other federal justices all across the country, all of whom will have lifetime tenure. Senator Obama has stated very clearly what kinds of Supreme Court justices he wants-- those with "the empathy to understand what it's like to be poor, or African-American, or gay, or disabled, or old." Like so many things that Obama says, it may sound nice if you don't stop and think-- and chilling if you do stop and think. Do we really want judges who decide cases based on who you are, rather than on the facts and the law? If the case involves a white man versus a black woman, should the judge decide that case differently than if both litigants are of the same race or sex? (READ MORE)

Amanda Carpenter: ACORN Owes Millions in Taxes - An intrepid researcher has discovered more than 200 tax liens totaling more than $3.7 million have been filed by the government against the Association of Community Organizers for Reform Now for unpaid taxes since the late eighties. A tax lien is issued when a person or organization fails to pay taxes and that tax debt is considered seriously delinquent. A lien is only issued after the government makes several unsuccessful attempts to collect the debt. The conservative-leaning Capital Research Center’s Matthew Vadum found a staggering number of liens listed against ACORN’s national headquarters at 1024 Elysian Fields Avenue in New Orleans, Louisiana while conducting an exhaustive investigation of ACORN's history and current activities. “I took that address and plugged it into Nexis and did a public records search for tax liens,” Vadum said. “At least 230 tax liens corresponded to ACORN’s address and they were all from ACORN’s shadowy network of affiliates.” (READ MORE)

Dennis Prager: Why the Left Wants to Change America - If you ask most supporters of Sen. Barack Obama why they so fervently want him to be elected president, they will tell you about their deep yearning for "change." And that, of course, has been the theme of the Obama campaign from its inception -- "change." It is the word found on nearly all the placards at Obama rallies. It is the word most often cited by the candidate himself. But for all its ubiquity and for all the passion of its advocates, what this change is about is not entirely clear. Of course, Obama himself often has spoken about the overriding need for change from eight years of President George W. Bush's policies. But this is not what he or most of his supporters really mean when they talk about change. In fact, it cannot be. This is easy to show: All candidates for president run on a platform of change from the party in power. If they don't stand for change, why vote for them? (READ MORE)

Neal Boortz: Decoding Barack - The election is now eight days way. If you've made up your mind for Obama; or if you're trying to noodle through some of the things he's been saying on the campaign trail, this should help. And if you’re voting for Obama, clearly you need help. I've taken four statements that The Chosen One repeats at almost every campaign rally. Now these statements are pretty powerful ... if unchallenged ... and we know that the MoveOn Media isn't exactly what we would call "eager" to challenge God's Candidate on any of these issues. So, here we go again .. this simple talk show host (right wing, hate-filled shock jock, I believe they call us) is going to use some basic logic and the ability to actually read newspapers to catch you up to speed on just what the Big BO is saying here. Now if you're educated in our wonderful government schools you may find this challenging. Stick with it. (READ MORE)

David Limbaugh: Obama: Fundamental Change? Count on It - I am sincerely worried that if Obama wins, the checks and balances incorporated into our Constitution may not be enough to prevent a radical and irreversible diminution of our individual liberties because a confluence of factors has emerged to create a climate conducive to fundamental change. These factors are: a shockingly unknown candidate, whose mysterious past and numerous shady alliances are deliberately left unexplored by a corrupt, supportive media; the candidate's charismatic qualities that inspire a cultish loyalty; his intellectual trappings that create a fascination and allure among the intellectual elite, including some hypnotized conservatives; a major financial crisis that exacerbates the people's fears and uncertainties; a largely manufactured cloud of negativity placed over America by the media and a grossly partisan Democratic Party that places its self-interest above the national interest: (READ MORE)

Cal Thomas: Alan Greenspan: Never Mind - Fans of the original cast of "Saturday Night Live," will recall Emily Litella, a character played by the late Gilda Radner on the "Weekend Update" segment, hosted by Chevy Chase. Radner, as Litella, delivered the weekly "editorial," during which she opined about some outrage or injustice. In the middle of her rant, Chevy Chase would lean over and whisper the truth in her ear, after which Radner would turn to the camera and sheepishly say, "never mind." Alan Greenspan played Emily Litella last week when he testified before the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, a name that invokes George Orwell at his best. Oversight and reform are "Newspeak" for what this committee has failed to offer, especially when it comes to the behavior that led to the current financial meltdown. "I made a mistake," said Greenspan, four words that almost never cross the lips of anyone while serving in office. (READ MORE)

Chuck Norris: I'm Voting for Those Not Yet Born - My, how the landscape of elections has changed. Remember when the issue of abortion used to matter to conservatives in political races? Today presidential nominees can get away with murder, literally. They can smoke, toke and hang out with terrorists who do. What were once considered legitimate leadership litmus tests are now regarded as off-limit character assassinations and hate language. Recently, some nonprofit organizations have been threatened with the withdrawal of their tax-exempt statuses because their leaders merely voiced opposition to what they consider a moral issue: abortion. Some people think after 35 years of ceaseless controversy since the Supreme Court's ruling in Roe v. Wade that abortion is an "old" issue better dropped. I disagree. I do believe the economy is an important issue in this election, but it's certainly not the only issue. We can't just be concerned about our finances. (READ MORE)

Matt Barber: Obama's Agenda is So "Gay" - If Bill Clinton was the first black president, Barack Obama, if elected, will be the first "gay" president. No, I don't mean he'll personally decorate the West Wing, open a bathhouse in the Rose Garden or take up with Barney Frank. I mean he'll be the most radically pro-homosexual, anti-family president in history. He's very quietly pledged as much to the homosexual "Human Rights Campaign" and other fawning members of his homofascist fan club. In the wake of the current economic crisis, neither presidential candidate is talking much about social issues. But in the months and years preceding this election cycle, Obama did plenty of talking. Unfortunately, most people have no idea what he's said. If the mainstream media would do its job, quit shilling for their ideological messiah and objectively report on Obama's unwavering fidelity to extremist homosexual pressure groups, many of his unsuspecting supporters might kick him to the curb. Hence – radio silence. (READ MORE)

Holman W. Jenkins, Jr.: The Age of Obama The 'Decade of Greed,' etc., R.I.P. - Nineteen eighty-two was a lucky time (as your columnist can attest) to be leaving college. Whatever faults various authorities find in the "decade of greed," which was followed by another decade of greed, it marked the start of 25 years of exceptional prosperity and opportunity. Freer trade and the epochal joining of a couple billion Chinese and others into the global division of labor played a role. The ideas of Reagan and Thatcher, bringing the private sector back to a place of honor, played a role. Is the age of Obama the beginning of a less golden age? We cast no aspersion on the man or his program. Mr. Obama, in his short career, has not strongly associated himself with any policy idea. His relation to his own proposals during the campaign has been pleasantly noncommittal, if generally liberal (as voters and the media are only now getting around to noticing). His rise offers little insight either. (READ MORE)

Andrew P. Napolitano: Most Presidents Ignore the Constitution - In a radio interview in 2001, then-Illinois State Sen. Barack Obama noted -- somewhat ruefully -- that the same Supreme Court that ordered political and educational equality in the 1960s and 1970s did not bring about economic equality as well. Although Mr. Obama said he could come up with arguments for the constitutionality of such action, the plain meaning of the Constitution quite obviously prohibits it. Mr. Obama is hardly alone in his expansive view of legitimate government. During the past month, Sen. John McCain (who, like Sen. Obama, voted in favor of the $700 billion bank bailout) has been advocating that $300 billion be spent to pay the monthly mortgage payments of those in danger of foreclosure. The federal government is legally powerless to do that, as well. When Franklin Delano Roosevelt first proposed legislation that authorized the secretary of agriculture to engage in Soviet-style central planning: (READ MORE)

Andrew Caplin, et al: We Can Keep People in Their Homes - The world's turned upside down. For generations of Americans, family homes were assets to be bequeathed to our children. Today, instead, we are proposing to leave them billions of dollars in long-term debt issued by the federal government to prop up a housing market gone bad. This is unfair. Moreover, while the rescue plan may help the balance sheets of financial institutions, it does nothing to help the balance sheets of households. Their problems must be addressed. The way to do so is through the shared appreciation mortgage, or SAM. The concept is simple: Homeowners are offered the chance to write down a portion of their mortgage debt, but at the same time, they are required to share future appreciation gains with those who helped them out. Let's take stock of the dead end into which we are currently careening. Today, as home prices plummet, a growing number of families are defaulting on their mortgages and being kicked out of their homes. (READ MORE)

Thomas Sowell: Taxing Times - Chief Justice John Marshall said it all in one sentence: "The power to tax is the power to destroy." It is not the money that is taxed away that is destroyed. What is destroyed is the wealth that does not get produced in the first place, because high taxes make its production not worthwhile. Those who are receptive to Senator Barack Obama's plan to increase taxes on "the rich" seem not to understand that the issue is the nation's loss of wealth. Today, wealth can leave the country when heavy taxes threaten it-- instantly, in an age of electronic financial transfers-- and create jobs and economic growth overseas, instead of at home. The two months between the time of a presidential election and the time when the new president takes office is an eternity in terms of how much money can be transferred out of the country electronically before any new high-tax laws can be enacted. (READ MORE)

Michelle Malkin: Notorious Obamedia Moments of 2008 - To paraphrase Queen Elizabeth II, 2008 is not a year on which honest journalists shall look back with undiluted pleasure. This has turned out to be even more of an annus horribilis than 2004, when Dan Rather's fake Bush/National Guard memo fiasco redefined the "BS" in CBS News. There were so many mainstream journalists swimming in the Democratic tank this year, the nation's newsrooms looked more like overcrowded aquariums at PetSmart. In less than a week, the campaign season will be over. But the Obamedia's most shameful biases and notorious blunders shall not be forgotten. Here are my Top Five, by no means comprehensive and in no particular order: 1. The Los Angeles Times and the suppressed Obama/Jew-bash videotape. In April, L.A. Times reporter Peter Wallsten reported on a 2003 farewell party for Rashid Khalidi, a radical Palestinian Liberation Organization spokesman/adviser turned Ivy League professor. (READ MORE)

Douglas MacKinnon: Does the United States of America Still Exist? - For the dwindling number of people in this country who actually believe in traditional values, it’s time to ask yourselves a question. That being, does the United States of America even exist anymore? Our Founding Fathers envisioned a great deal when they crafted the documents that set forth the laws and boundaries that would help to govern our fledgling nation, but a mainstream media that would be almost one hundred percent controlled by the left was clearly something beyond their imagination. Should Barack Obama win this election, the socialist and draconian measures pushed by him, Nancy Pelosi, Joe Biden and Harry Reid, will surely threaten the integrity and intent of our founding documents. One of the first steps the socialist-four will take will be to censor and ultimately silence Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Mark Levin, Laura Ingraham and all of conservative radio. (READ MORE)

Michael Medved: Will the Return of Values Voters Bring Another Election Day Surprise? - The most startling factor in the Presidential election of 2004 could deliver an even bigger shock in the battle for the White House in 2008, if the nation witnesses the possible repeat of the decisive impact of “values voters”. Four years ago, the media largely ignored the significance of moral and family issues until Election Day exit polls revealed their crucial role in the GOP victory. In the same way, seasoned political observers – especially those who consider an Obama victory a foregone conclusion – have ignored the very real chance that social conservatives may bring about a stunning upset on November 4th. Four years ago, when asked “what mattered most in deciding how you voted for president,” more voters cited “moral values” than any other factor. According to the authoritative Edison-Mitofsky exit poll, 22% named “moral values” compared to 20% indicating “the economy and jobs:” (READ MORE)

John Stossel: A Duty Not To Vote? - I keep hearing how important it is for everyone to vote. Let me be politically incorrect and say that maybe some people shouldn't vote. I know I'm swimming against the tide. Get-out the-vote groups now register young people at rock concerts. HeadCount cofounder Andy Bernstein told me: "We registered over a 100,000 people. It is so imperative that this generation's voice is heard." But wait. Is that really a good idea? Many kids don't know much. At a HeadCount concert, "20/20" asked some future voters, "How many senators are there?" One said 12, another 16, and another 64. One girl guessed, "50 per state." Most kids didn't know what Roe v. Wade was about. "Roe vs. Wayne?" asked one. "Segregation, maybe?" "Where we declared bankruptcy?" Headcount's Marc Brownstein concedes, "there's a lot of uninformed voters out there." But he argued: "Democracy is not about taking the most educated portion of the society and having them decide who's going to run the entire society. (READ MORE)

Donald Lambro: Joe Biden's History Lesson - WASHINGTON -- The Democratic nominee for vice president uttered a rare bit of campaign candor the other day when he told us what we should expect in the first six months of Barack Obama's presidency -- an international crisis. Specifically, Biden seemed to suggest, this crisis will be born out of how Obama will likely be perceived by our enemies abroad: as an untested and sorely inexperienced freshman lawmaker who has made strategic errors in judgment in foreign-policy crises before. It's hard to conceive that the Delaware Democrat, famous for putting his foot in his mouth, meant it the way it came out. It's harder, still, to think that Obama was thrilled with what his running mate was suggesting -- that his tissue-thin experience in international statecraft would result in serious unintended consequences for our country and our allies. "Mark my words," Biden said at a Seattle, Wash., fundraiser. (READ MORE)

Jack Kemp: The Treats to Our Markets - Are Barack Obama's proposed tax increases adversely affecting our financial markets? We say yes, unambiguously. The senator has done a masterful job distracting attention from his tax increases with his $500-per-worker tax credit supposedly for 95 percent of Americans. Obama has also set forth more than half a dozen additional refundable income tax credits targeted to low- and moderate-income workers for child care, education, housing, welfare, retirement, health care and other social purposes. These tax credits are devised to phase out based on income, which will ultimately increase marginal income tax rates for middle-class workers. In other words, as you earn more, you suffer a penalty in the phase-out of these credits, which has the exact effect of a marginal tax rate increase. That harms rather than improves the economy. With the bottom 40 percent of income earners in America not paying any federal income taxes... (READ MORE)

James Taranto: Paper Trail - Ho hum, last week the New York Times endorsed Barack Obama for president. Accompanying the endorsement, however, was an online feature of interest to anyone fascinated by the history of presidents or newspapers: "New York Times Endorsement Through the Ages," a compilation of every Times general-election presidential endorsement starting in 1860. The Times has been a Democratic paper for longer than we had realized. Although the paper's first six endorsements all went to Republicans, between 1884 and 1936 it gave the nod to every Democratic nominee except the populist William Jennings Bryan. Bryan was nominated three times, occasioning two Republican endorsements, for McKinley in 1900 and Taft in 1908. In 1896 the Times endorsed John Palmer, a Democrat who favored the gold standard and ran under the banner of the National Democratic Party. Palmer got just under 1% nationwide and a whopping 1.33% in New York state, which is why you've probably never heard of him. (READ MORE)

Dafydd: My "Two Elections" Thesis in a Nuthouse - Nothing could more perfectly illustrate my point -- that we have two completely different elections, depending on which pollster you ask -- than a pair of polls released today: First, we have the Gallup tracking poll with its traditional test for likely voters, in which Barack H. Obama's lead over John S. McCain has shrunk to 2%... well within the margin of error (not even counting general biases in favor of Democrats, particularly with most of the poll conducted over the weekend). And on the same day, covering nearly the same period, we have the Pew poll... which finds Obama's lead over McCain ticking up to fifteen points! The poll by Pew Research would lead to Obama winning somewhere north of 400 electoral votes... essentially winning every single toss-up state, plus every state that is currently shown as leaning towards McCain (pale red) on the Real Clear Politics electoral map; that would give Obama 411 electoral votes to McCain's 127. (READ MORE)

Crazy Politico: Scarier than Redistribution - After listening over and over again to the recording of Barack Obama on Public Radio in 2001 discussing the fact the courts didn't go far enough with civil rights, by redistributing wealth, I found what scared me more in his statements. “And to that extent as radical as people tried to characterize the Warren court, it wasn’t that radical. It didn’t break free from the essential constraints that were placed by the founding fathers in the Constitution, at least as it’s been interpreted, and the Warren court interpreted it in the same way that generally the Constitution is a charter of negative liberties. It says what the states can’t do to you, it says what the federal government can’t do to you, but it doesn’t say what the federal government or the state government must do on your behalf.” Keep in mind, this is at a time he was a senior lecturing law professor. One would think he's have read some Constitutional history to understand the roots of the document. Evidently that wasn't required reading when he went to Columbia. (READ MORE)

Confederate Yankee: Obama Praised Terrorist Spokesman - That, of course, isn't news. What is news is that the terrorist mouthpiece he supports, for once, isn't a domestic terrorist. Nope. this time, it's an alleged PLO spokesman: “According an LA Times article written by Peter Wallsten in April, Obama was a ‘friend and frequent dinner companion’ of Rashid Khalidi, who from 1976 to 1982 was reportedly a director of the official Palestinian press agency, WAFA, which was operating in exile from Beirut with the PLO. In the article -- based on the videotape obtained by the Times -- Wallsten said Obama addressed an audience during a 2003 farewell dinner for Khalidi, who was Obama's colleague at the University of Chicago, before his departure for Columbia University in New York. Obama said his many talks with Khalidi and his wife Mona stood as ‘consistent reminders to me of my own blind spots and my own biases.’” Khalidi, of course, has ties to—you guessed it—Bill Ayers, as well as Obama. (READ MORE)

Baron Bodissey: Still Enemies After All These Years - Every time the Palestinians get into a tight spot, they draw Israel into “peace” negotiations by making a new batch of promises. This normally occurs after some industrial-strength arm-twisting by whatever American administration is in power at the time. The Israelis are particularly vulnerable at the end of every eight-year presidential cycle, when a lame duck president is groping around for a “legacy”. The Palestinians, of course, make promises which they invariably fail to keep. If there is a single condition to which they have solemnly agreed and then adhered to, I am unaware of it. Israel has delivered territory, money, diplomatic accommodation, arms for Palestinian “police forces”, and any number of other concessions. But Yasir Arafat and his successors have reciprocated with… nothing. Nada. Rien. Zilch. Bupkes. Zip. Empty words, unkept promises, inspiring rhetoric. And continued anti-Semitic bellicosity (in Arabic) for a domestic audience. (READ MORE)

GayPatriotWest: An interesting irony of this election: Hillary supporter links Rush Limbaugh - In a post this morning, I noted the irony that those voting for Obama as a “change” from the last eight years will really get more (much more) of the same on domestic policy should their man win. For like the Republican incumbent, the Democratic nominee favors ever higher levels of federal spending. Another irony of this election is the number of people supporting their ideological adversaries. We read regularly of conservatives backing Obama, perhaps the most liberal Democratic nominee ever. But, the MSM are less wont to cover the numerous left-of-center feminists backing McCain-Palin. Shelly Mandell, the president of the LA chapter of the left-wing National Organization for Women (NOW), has endorsed the Republican ticket, largely because of the party’s vice presidential nominee: (READ MORE)

Quid Nimis: Why Are We Finding This NOW? - The Supreme Court never ventured into the issues of redistribution of wealth, and of more basic issues such as political and economic justice in society. To that extent, as radical as I think people try to characterize the Warren Court, it wasn’t that radical. It didn’t break free from the essential constraints that were placed by the founding fathers in the Constitution, at least as its been interpreted and Warren Court interpreted in the same way, that generally the Constitution is a charter of negative liberties. Says what the states can’t do to you. Says what the Federal government can’t do to you, but doesn’t say what the Federal government or State government must do on your behalf. It was obvious from "Dreams from My Father" that BO never spent any time with ANYONE who challenged his Marxist worldview. In fact, he went to great lengths to marinate in the ultra-left echo chambers of the University environments and the streets of Chicago: (READ MORE)

Jules Crittenden: Dictator! - Jeff Jacoby, the Boston Globe’s token rightwing warmonger, has fun with the idea of Bush as one … Dictator, that is. Rightwing warmonger? The argument can be made. But: “Bush as a ruthless autocrat? It would be easier to take the idea seriously if it weren’t for the omnipresent clamor of voices denouncing the man. Tyrants have a way of squelching public dissent and intimidating their critics. Whatever else may be said about the Bush administration, it has never cowed its opponents into silence. If anything, the past eight years have set new records in vilifying a sitting president: ‘Bush = Hitler’ signs at protest rallies; Crude ‘Buck Fush’ bumper stickers; a 2006 movie depicting Bush’s assassination; The New Republic’s cover story on ‘The Case for Bush Hatred.’ The denunciation has been unending and often unhinged, yet Bush has never tried to censor it.” And compares that to the Obama camp’s track record before actually achieving any statuatory power … (READ MORE)

Ed Morrissey: Politico: We would have released the Khalidi tape - Last night, in their report about the McCain campaign’s demand that the Los Angeles Times release a key videotape, Politico’s Ben Smith noted that his organization would have released it long ago. The LA Times spokesperson told Smith when he inquired about the tape that any news organization would have left the story after its reporting concluded, and insisted that they saw no extra news value in a tape that reportedly features Barack Obama praising former Yasser Arafat toady Rashid Khalidi at a 2003 going-away party. Smith responds by noting that Politico trusts its readers to make that determination: “The paper hasn’t explained its unwillingness to release the video, and Peter Wallsten, who found the tape and wrote about it, declined to discuss it with me last night. He forwarded an e-mail that the paper has sent readers who have complained as conservative blogs raise the issue. ‘Over six months ago the Los Angeles Times published a detailed account of the events shown on the videotape. The Times is not suppressing anything. Just the opposite — the L.A. Times brought the matter to light,’ wrote the readers’ representative, Jamie Gold.” (READ MORE)

Phyllis Chesler: Our Brothers Keepers? - Listen carefully to what they are telling us. In their countries, if they speak out for women’s rights, they will be imprisoned for twenty years–something that just happened to a young male journalism student in Afghanistan. The Afghan mullahs have accused the judge of being “anti-Islam.” They wanted the young man, Parwez Kambakhsh, hung. Those Muslim and Arab dissidents who live in exile in the West do not understand why their western counterparts refuse to respect the freedom they enjoy in their own western countries but, on the contrary, blame the West for the crimes of Egypt and Syria. Muslim tyrants usually imprison and torture their dissidents. In Iran, the country that once held Americans hostage for 444 days and which is now threatening to visit a nuclear holocaust upon Israel, peaceful student activists, feminists, and dissidents are arrested and, if they’re lucky, are not hung or shot but are “only” raped, flogged, put into solitary confinement... (READ MORE)

Amy Proctor: Sarkozy Views Obama Position on Iran as 'Utterly Immature' - French President Nicolas Sarkozy is apparently quite critical of Barack Obama’s stance on Iran: “Sarkozy has made his criticisms only in closed forums in France. But according to a senior Israeli government source, the reports reaching Israel indicate that Sarkozy views the Democratic candidate’s stance on Iran as ‘utterly immature’ and comprised of ‘formulations empty of all content.’ Following their July meeting, Sarkozy repeatedly expressed disappointment with Obama’s positions on Iran, concluding that they were ‘not crystallized, and therefore many issues remain open,’ the Israeli source said. Advisors to the French president who held separate meetings with Obama’s advisors came away with similar impressions and expressed similar disappointment.” (READ MORE)

Michael J. Totten: Lebanon's Enemy Within - Israel is floating the idea of a non-aggression pact with Lebanon. It isn't at all likely to work. The odds are minuscule that Syria, Iran, and Hezbollah will go along. But Lebanon will hold an election in a couple of months, and the offer of a non-aggression pact should play well with Lebanese voters who are uncomfortable with or hostile toward Hezbollah's vision of perpetual war with the “Zionist entity.” Negotiating with implacable and inflexible enemies is foolish. No sensible person suggests that the United States negotiate with Al Qaeda, for instance. Peace talks with Damascus won't get Israelis anywhere either. Syria's tyrant Bashar Assad needs a state of cold war with Israel to justify the oppressive policies against his country's own citizens, and bad-faith negotiations yield him some measure of international legitimacy he doesn't deserve. Hezbollah is “moderate” compared with the worst jihadist groups out there: (READ MORE)

neo-neocon: Back when they weren’t afraid to say Obama was a radical - It’s instructive to go back in time and see what was being said about Obama when he was starting out his Presidential race but hadn’t fully invented himself as a moderate yet. It’s especially interesting to look at periodicals with a readership that wouldn’t be afraid of the designation “radical.” Rolling Stone’s February 2007 profile of Obama is an excellent example. It contains the usual descriptions of the man as both charismatic and somewhat of a soothing blank state onto which voters could project whatever they might want to see. But looking at Obama’s record, Rolling Stone had this to say: “[Obama] came to the [US] Capitol equipped with his own, swelling celebrity; the Senate was not a perfect fit. Beyond his considerable charm, Obama can be righteous and cocky. He came to Washington pushing the hope that politics could be better—but now he can give the impression that he’d rather be just about anywhere other than in Washington…” (READ MORE)

William Teach: Washington Post Takes On Barry’s Credit Card Donation Issues - Woah! How did this end up not only in one of the main U.S. papers, but, on page A2? Obama Accepting Untraceable Donations. Rather innocuous headline, but, the story basically says Obama is playing games which, as has been said across the right-o-sphere many, many times, are allowing him to rake in millions and millions without any checks on the front to make sure the donations are real, are authorized, are from real people, and are from U.S. citizens: “Sen. Barack Obama’s presidential campaign is allowing donors to use largely untraceable prepaid credit cards that could potentially be used to evade limits on how much an individual is legally allowed to give or to mask a contributor’s identity, campaign officials confirmed. Faced with a huge influx of donations over the Internet, the campaign has also chosen not to use basic security measures to prevent potentially illegal or anonymous contributions from flowing into its accounts, aides acknowledged. Instead, the campaign is scrutinizing its books for improper donations after the money has been deposited.” (READ MORE)

McQ: A question of "when", not "if"? - Another highlight, or lowlight, depending on your view, of an "all Democrats, all the time" government would most likely be some sort of legislative move to rein in the radio talk show media which is dominated by conservative talkers. It will most likely be updated to somehow put a crimp in cable news, specifically Fox and right leaning bloggers. How they'd accomplish the last two is anyone's guess (hate speech laws?), and nothing may come of it, but there certainly is a history for going after talk radio. “Major Democratic congressional leaders like Senate Majority Whip Richard Durbin of Illinois, 2004 presidential nominee Sen. John Kerry of Massachusetts and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi want the reinstitution of the outdated, pre-Internet ‘Fairness Doctrine.’ They want to counter the news revolution in which blogs and talk radio have taken on the Big Three TV networks. The Obama campaign claims Obama opposes a new Fairness Doctrine, but City Journal editor Brian C. Anderson doesn't think a President Obama would veto such a bill. Moreover, Obama and most Democrats want to impose more ‘local accountability’ on broadcasters, ‘setting up community boards to make their demands known when station licenses come up for renewal,’ as Anderson notes.” (READ MORE)

ShrinkWrapped: The Danger of Certainty - "The future is hard to predict because it hasn't happened yet." In today's New York Times David Brooks reports on an astonishing finding, at least astonishing to those who have not been reading this blog and others that seek to illuminate the unconscious roots of behavior: “The Behavioral Revolution - Roughly speaking, there are four steps to every decision. First, you perceive a situation. Then you think of possible courses of action. Then you calculate which course is in your best interest. Then you take the action. Over the past few centuries, public policy analysts have assumed that step three is the most important. Economic models and entire social science disciplines are premised on the assumption that people are mostly engaged in rationally calculating and maximizing their self-interest.” The not-so-astonishing finding is that people do not make decisions based on rational calculations, although they usually assume that they do. (READ MORE)

Melanie Phillips: Coming soon: the ACORN Constitution - With the tape that has come to light of Obama’s 2001 interview on constitutional matters (and the patently inadequate gloss provided by Camp Obama), we can at last hear in his own words how genuinely radical he is. All his radical associations, dismissed as ‘guilt by association’ by those swept up in this madness, are here finally explained and justified by this piece of the jigsaw. In this interview, Obama laments the fact that the Supreme Court has never waded into areas of ‘economic justice’ and the ‘redistribution of wealth’. But the really important bit is this: “To that extent, as radical as I think people try to characterize the Warren Court, it wasn’t that radical. It didn’t break free from the essential constraints that were placed by the founding fathers in the Constitution, at least as its been interpreted and Warren Court interpreted in the same way, that generally the Constitution is a charter of negative liberties. Says what the states can’t do to you.” (READ MORE)

Mark Steyn: JOE THE PLUMBER VS JOE THE HAIR-PLUGGER - Give a man enough rope line and he'll hang himself. There was His Serene Majesty President-designate Barack the Healer working the crowd at some or other hick burg, and halfway down the rope up pops a plumber to express misgivings about the incoming regime's tax plans. Supposedly, under the Obama tax plan, 95 per cent of the American people will get a tax cut. You'd think that at this point the natural skepticism of any sentient being other than six-week-old puppies might kick in, but apparently not. If you're wondering why Obama didn't simply announce that under his plan 112 per cent of the American people will get a tax cut, well, they ran it past the focus groups who said that that was all very generous but they'd really like it if he could find a way to stick it to Dick Cheney, Rush Limbaugh, Karl Rove and whatnot. So 95 per cent it is. (READ MORE)

The Sundries Shack: Another Reporter Does Her Job; Another Obama Tool Gets Angry About It - Thank goodness for reporters like Megyn Kelly, who come into an interview prepared and who can, because of their preparation, bat aside flimsy talking points like dandelion fluff. Watch how she perturbs Obama spokestwit Bill Burton with the persistent use of pesky facts and leaves him. Notice also how angry he gets when it’s apparent to him that he’s going to have to do more than real off his guy’s Daily Talking Point Script for a few minutes. It’s particularly interesting to me that he pointedly avoided answering Kelly’s questions about Obama’s 2001 “Our Flawed Constitution” interview. Think that’s producing a few gallons of sweat at Obama Campaign HQ? (READ MORE)

Jay Fraser: Entering a New Era - While the next election nears and the transition of power will occur as seamlessly as it has in all of American history, we may well be entering a new era of the 21st Century. Fearfully, the question is if complacency may have crept into our future foreign and domestic security policy at a time when our first post-September 11th President takes office. The implications of this complacency could lead to decisions relating to appropriations and spending priorities. With all of the effort made by both Presidential candidates to distance themselves from the policies of President Bush, the reality is that the World and its conflicts remain, and will remain and possibly expand, regardless of the results of this coming election. The concern is to what degree will some or any of the security initiatives established by President Bush in the aftermath of September 11th will be changed, reduced or outright abandoned and leave this country more, rather than less vulnerable: (READ MORE)

The Wide Awake Cafe: America: Going Like a Lamb to the Slaughter? - In 1981, as Lady Diana Spencer excitedly prepared for her wedding of the century to Prince Charles there were some warning bells going off in her mind. She’d discovered the secret gift of cuff links Camilla Parker Bowles had given to Charles and when she confided her worries to her sister that practical lady said, “Too late, Dutch (Diana’s family nickname), your face is already on all the tea towels.” It’s a crying shame that that lovely woman never found love or even kindly companionship within her marriage and instead, tragically lost her life with playboy, Dodi Al-Fayed in a Paris tunnel. Warning bells unlistened to. And bad choices made all around. Now in 2008 on the other side of the pond, 232 years after we declared our Independence from Great Britain because of their egregious policy of taxation without representation the United States of America teeters on the edge of the clift. The warning bells are ringing. (READ MORE)

Ron Winter: Is "The Messiah's" Trip to Hawaii to Answer a Subpoena; Or to Find a Birth Certificate? - I enjoyed Rush Limbaugh's appearance on Fox and Friends this morning when he jumped right into the election fray by referring to the Democrat candidate as "The Messiah," and then ripped into the false opinion polls now being pushed by the media. For instance, it does absolutely no good to have Real Clear Politics tell us what the "average" is of a bunch of the polls they have surveyed, when that "average" already is skewed by horrendously out-of-sync polls such as the one commissioned by the New York Times and CBS news. That poll shows The Chosen One as Rush also refers to the Democrat, ahead by double digits. It is widely discredited since it involved interviews with a grossly over-represented sampling of Democrats and didn't determine by actual records checks whether the respondents are likely voters. (READ MORE)

Daniel's Big Trip: Rome is falling... - Ok, a few things Io think most people just don’t seem to get… Politics is not a reality show, it’s not a popularity contest, and it’s not “progressive” just to vote for someone because they are “different”. It’s not racist to vote for the white person if that’s who you agree with, though it IS racist to vote for the black person, just because they’re black. That is no different from voting for the white person JUST because they’re white. Not everyone in the USA deserves equal everything, and not every system out there is better than what we have now. That all said, today’s issue with me is… POLITICS! I’d LOVE to say that I avoid these topics, but I don’t. Nope. So I’m SURE this will offend someone, somewhere. Good. Maybe you’ll think a little harder!! Now, I’m not a huge fan of EITHER major political candidate for president right now, but I’m less of a fan of Obama. You’ll notice I DIDN’T refer to him as “President Obama” like a number of media outlets have. (READ MORE)

CJ: Springboro Mayor Fakes Military Heroism - I love telling stories about guys like SPC Ruske. The kind of heroism that is pervasive in our military should be saluted and honored with all our might, mind, and strength. These young people are putting their lives on the line daily to bring freedom, security, and prosperity to this country and others. It's unfortunate that some politicians have to try and fake that sort of heroism to feel good about themselves: “SPRINGBORO — Mayor John Agenbroad is accused of falsely claiming a Silver Star among his military honors in a report published by the Chicago Tribune. The basis of the accusation against Agenbroad, a Vietnam War veteran, is an entry in Marquis Who's Who and his comments to a correspondent for The Tribune in a story about veterans lying about their medals.” Agenbroad says he was misquoted, but that's a pretty difficult thing to do. You see, I was actually included in the database myself. (READ MORE)

Pam @ Iraq War Today: My Two Cents: The End is Nigh? - So here we are, less than a week from an election that could quite literally mean the end of the United States of America as we know her. Paranoia? Perhaps. I never would have believed that my nation could truly be on the verge of voting itself out of existence. But here we are. The golden child of this presidential election has deep, obvious cracks in his hallowed facade. There are signs that few could miss if they actually look - signs that indicate severe issues. Besides his associations with radicals and terrorists, there are scores of trouble markers. He appears not to care who supports him. His website does not utilize credit card matching for donations; a test using the names Osama bin Laden, John Galt, and Saddam Hussein to make donations with the same credit card revealed that all the donations went through. (READ MORE)

Have an interesting post or know of a "must read?" Then send a trackback here and let us all know about it. Or you can send me an email with a link to the post and I'll update the Recon.

No comments: