Thursday, September 4, 2008

Some of Sarah Palin's remarks during her acceptance speech were pure stand-up comedy, and might even go down in political commentator's lore, like Lloyd Benson's comment to Dan Quayle during their debate...“I knew John Kennedy, John Kennedy was a friend of mine, and you Senator, are no John Kennedy”.

Her's may well be "I guess a small-town mayor is sort of like a "community organizer," except that you have actual responsibilities."

The 'Community Organizer's' New Clothes

September 4, 2008 Wall Street Journal

ST. PAUL, Minn.--"Community organizer" is to Barack Obama what "war hero" was to John Kerry.
To be sure, the analogy is imprecise. After all, Americans know what a war hero is, and the question in 2004 was whether Kerry really was one. It also was awkward for Republicans to address Kerry's war-hero claims directly, because on paper his military record was more impressive than that of President Bush, who only served stateside.
By contrast, it is a mystery exactly what a "community organizer" does, as wewrote Friday, after John McCain chose Alaska's Gov. Sarah Palin as his running mate:
Obama spokesman Bill Burton quickly denounced McCain for proposing to put "the former mayor of a town of 9,000 with zero foreign policy experience a heartbeat away from the presidency." This took a degree of chutzpah, since the Democrats have just spent four days touting Obama's experience as a "community organizer" as a central qualification to put him no heartbeats away. Even after listening to those speeches, we're still not sure what a "community organizer" is.
Are we supposed to cast our eyes on the slums of Chicago, behold how well organized they are, and exclaim in wonder, "Wow, Barack Obama didthat!"?
Unlike with Kerry, Republicans (who coincidentally have a real war hero atop the ticket this year) have no reason to hold back the mockery. And mock they did. Sarah Palin slammed Obama in the course of describing her days as mayor:
Before I became governor of the great state of Alaska, I was mayor of my hometown.
And since our opponents in this presidential election seem to look down on that experience, let me explain to them what the job involves.
I guess a small-town mayor is sort of like a "community organizer," except that you have actual responsibilities.
It's a good line, but it still doesn't explain what a "community organizer" does. Take away the "actual responsibilities" of a small-town mayor, and you have . . . nothing. Oh wait, that's her point, isn't it?  MORE

What Mrs. P Could Learn From Mrs. T

September 5, 2008  Wall Street Journal

The glummest face Wednesday night might have been, if only we could have seen it, that of Hillary Clinton.
[Margaret Thatcher]
Margaret Thatcher was a 49-year-old mother of two when she became Conservative Party leader in 1974.
Imagine watching Sarah Palin, the gun-toting, lifelong member of the NRA, the PTA mom with teased hair and hips half the size of Hillary's, who went ... omigod ... to the University of Idaho and studied journalism. Mrs. Palin with her five kids and one of them still virtually suckling age, going wham through that cement ceiling put there exclusively for good-looking right-wing/populist conservative females by not-so-good-looking left-wing ones (Gloria Steinem excepting). There, pending some terrible goof or revelation, stood the woman most likely to get into the Oval Office as its official occupant rather than as an intern.............

Sarah Palin has put the flim-flam nature of America feminism sharply into focus, revealing the not-so-secret hypocrisy of its code and, whatever her future, this alone is an accomplishment. As she emerged into the nation's consciousness, a shudder went through the feminist left—a political movement not restricted to females. She is a mother refusing to stay at home (good) who had made a success out in the workplace (excellent) whose marriage nevertheless is a rip-roaring success and whose views are unspeakable—those of a red-blooded, right-wing principled pragmatist.
The metaphorical hair stood up on the back of every licensed member of the feminist movement who could immediately see she was a monster out of a nightmare landscape by Hieronymus Bosch. Pro-life. Pro-oil exploration in Alaska, home of the nation's polar bears for heaven's sake. Smaller government. Lower taxes. 
And that family of hers: Next to the Clintons with their dysfunctional marriage, her fertility and sexually robust life could only emphasize the shriveled nature of the one-child family of the former Queen Bee of political female accomplishments........MORE

It's too late at night to effectively comment about the following article pointing out the lack of Black's and Hispanic's in the Republican Party.  I do have some thoughts on this that'd I'd like to expound on, but the most significant element may be that the Republican ethos attracts people oriented to individual action and achievement, while the Democrat's attract those who are more comfortable with group, or block politics; unions, minorities (in previous times, Irish, Polish, Italian; now Blacks, and Hispanics).  There probably are many actions that can be taken to attract Black's and Hispanics, but if it means abandoning your principles, it would seem not worthwhile.

Republicans Falter in Outreach to Blacks, Hispanics

Few Minorities Serve as Delegates At GOP Convention
September 5, 2008

ST. PAUL, Minn. -- Blacks are scarce here at the Republican National Convention.
Of the more than 2,300 Republican delegates who gathered this week, just 36 -- or 1.5% -- were black, the lowest portion in 40 years, according to a study by the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies, a Washington think tank that focuses on black issues.
That is substantially below the figure in 2004, when a record-setting 6.8% of Republican delegates were black.
The number of black Republican candidates running for federal office also has fallen sharply, to about seven from a high of 24 in 1996, according to the study. On an organizational level, just one of the more than 160 members of the Republican National Committee is black, the joint center says.
Officials and delegates here said the figures seem accurate. The Republican National Committee said 13% of registered delegates have identified themselves as belonging to an ethnic minority group, which would include Asians, Hispanics and others, along with blacks. About 24% of the delegates to the Democratic convention last week were black, a record, according to the study. The Democrats have policies to ensure that their delegates reflect the "diversity" of the party, a Democratic representative said.
"It's embarrassing," said Michael Steele, a Republican who is the former lieutenant governor of Maryland and is African-American. "It's been a failure in strategy and a failure in communication. The party wasn't doing what it was supposed to do." ............
[Delegation members at the Republican National Convention.]
Getty Images
Delegation members at the Republican National Convention.
This year, no nationally prominent black Republican will speak at the Republican convention, though Mr. Williams and Mr. Steele spoke Wednesday night.
Republicans say their outreach was hurt by the Bush administration's bungled response to Hurricane Katrina three years ago, which angered many African-Americans.
Sen. McCain comes from a state with a small percentage of blacks and has no major advisers who are black. Some Republicans say the party is failing to reach out to blacks.
"I haven't heard from the party of Abraham Lincoln about urban economic issues, unemployment and housing, the state of African-American marriage," said Jack Kemp, a former Republican vice-presidential candidate and a longtime advocate of Republicans' reaching out to black voters. "We seem to be silent about these issues."  MORE....

Charge, Counter-Charge

There will undoubtedly be many charges, counter-charges, and real information stories in the next two months regarding all four Republican and Democrat candidates.  We'll attempt to present both sides of the arguments.

Here's the latest...........

First, from CBS News....

I thought Palin's speech was quite good: well-written, well delivered. And, as I said earlier, I think she's a genuinely engaging person, and comes across very well. There were just a couple of problems. One, which I have seen people notice, but which I suspect won't be a big deal for a lot of voters, is that it had very little substance. The other, which the commenters I saw on TV for some reason neglected to mention, was that she told a lot of lies. A few that stood out for me, or that I spotted in my quick run-through of some blogs:
Palin: "To the families of special-needs children all across this country, I have a message: For years, you sought to make America a more welcoming place for your sons and daughters. I pledge to you that if we are elected, you will have a friend and advocate in the White House."

Sarah Palin might have changed her mind on this one recently. However, a comment here notes that Palin actually slashed funding for schools for special needs kids by 62%. Budgets: FY 2007 (pre-Palin), 20082009 (all pdfs).

Then an update from a viewer.......

Newest Palin Smear: She Cut Special Needs Budget

I just watched CNN's Soledad O'Brien sandbag former White House Communications Director Nicole Wallace by asking her how Sarah Palin can claim to be a defender of special needs children when she cut the budget for that Alaska office by 62 percent. Wallace wasn't familiar with the charge -- which isn't surprising, since it's only being made on DailyKos and another liberal site. (Tip for Ms. O'Brien: DailyKos is not a reliable news site.)
This charge is based on looking at the budget for Alaska's Special Education Service Agency for 2007-2009. In fact, the December 2006 budget document that they cite would have been prepared by the outgoing administration -- that of Republican Frank Murkowski, whom Palin defeated.
What's gone unmentioned is that the Palin signed into law a dramatic reform of the state's education financing system that equalizes aid to rural and urban districts, while significantly increasing funding for special needs students. MORE...
Reality: Palin increased special-needs education funding by 175%

Now, here's the video confrontation between Meghan Kelly (FOX) and Bradley Jacobs (US Magazine) about the cover and story about Sarah Palin in US Magazine
No DUI in crash that killed Biden's 1st wife, but he's implied otherwise
By RACHEL KIPP The News Journal

Since his vice presidential nomination, Joe Biden's 2007 statement that a "guy who allegedly ... drank his lunch" and drove the truck that struck and killed his first wife and daughter has gained national media traction.
Alcohol didn't play a role in the 1972 crash, investigators found. But as recently as last week, the syndicated TV show Inside Edition aired a clip from 2001 of Biden describing the accident to an audience at the University of Delaware and saying the truck driver "stopped to drink instead of drive."

The senator's statements don't jibe with news and law enforcement reports from the time, which cleared driver Curtis C. Dunn, who died in 1999, of wrongdoing.

"To see it coming from [Biden's] mouth, I just burst into tears," Dunn's daughter, Glasgow resident Pamela Hamill, 44, said Wednesday. "My dad was always there for us. Now we feel like we should be there for him because he's not here to defend himself."
Biden spokesman David Wade said Wednesday that the senator "fully accepts the Dunn family's word that these rumors were false."  MORE...

Firm Lobbies Senator Biden Although Son Does Not

The son of Barack Obama's vice presidential pick, Sen. Joe Biden, is a top partner at a Washington law firm that has lobbied his father's office, a family tie that could prove embarrassing for a campaign that has positioned itself as fighting lobbyists and special interests in Washington.

In the first six months of this year R. Hunter Biden, a founding partner of Oldaker, Biden & Belair, has worked on accounts that brought it $470,000 from nine clients, according to lobbying disclosure records.

Although firm members say Biden, 38, does not lobby his father, this kind of family tie, said Ellen Miller, executive director of the Sunlight Foundation, "raises the potential of a conflict of interest."  MORE...

Obama Decries Lobbyist Cash; Biden Has Reaped It In

August 23, 2008 12:58 PM ABC News
The Center for Responsive Politics has a thorough analysisof Sen. Joe Biden's campaign cash intake now that Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., has selected him as his running mate.
The industry that has given Biden the most cash has been lawyers/law firms ($6,567,404) followed by real estate ($1,297,690). Pro-Israel groups are the 8th biggest contributing industry.
Obama may decry lobbyist cash (or at least federal lobbyist cash), but Biden has taken $344,400 from lobbyists since 1997 -- making lobbyists the 10th biggest contributing industry.
That seems a direct contradiction of the Obama message.  MORE...
A new study shows that intellectual activity affects your glucose levels in such a way that you tend to eat more after flexing your brain. Probably why we’ve gained twenty pounds since we started blogging.  
Food for thought: Intellectual activities make people eat more than when just resting, according to a study that sheds new light on brain food.
This finding might also help explain the obesity epidemic of an increasingly sedentary society in which people still have to think now and then........ MORE

She's like a moose going after a cabbage !

'She's like a moose going after a cabbage'
Still wearing his blue Postal Service uniform after a long shift, David Parcha, 47, told The Times: "I've seen this coming for four years, man. When she was inaugurated as governor of Alaska, I told my teenage sons, 'go to the ceremony, this is going to be historic.'"  Meanwhile, at a table directly underneath one of the TVs, Lu Sackett, 70, wearing a T-shirt emblazoned with the image of a grizzly bear and a floppy hat decorated with flag pins waved his burger in appreciation when Palin laid into the Democrats' tax plans.  "She's like a moose going after a cabbage," he marvelled.
This from the Timesonline UK..... MORE


Sarah Palin. Click image to expand.
Drill, baby, drill. Sarah Palin was relentless in her speech Wednesday night. She drilled Barack Obama, elites, San Francisco, the press, and civil libertarians. She even went after Michelle Obama. And she did it all with a smile and a little mischief. Republicans have been flummoxed because Obama seems untouchable, but Palin may have found an effective way to criticize him—while becoming an elusive target in her own right. Want to call her shrill? Go ahead. There are a lot of women like her who vote and who might be listening............It was clear Palin was having fun, and it's hard to have fun if you're scared or a lightweight. She had command, the same quality people attributed to Obama in 2004. Yes, she had speechwriters and she knows how to read a teleprompter. But there are plenty of politicians who've had great speeches and years of practice and still need lots of help. (One of them, actually, is Palin's running mate.)
The biggest target of Palin's succession of happy little kicks in the groin, of course, was Barack Obama. She painted him as a vapid, self-obsessed fog machine of words. He was on a "journey of personal discovery," whereas McCain was running for office to serve. She made fun of his presidential seal, his two memoirs, and, most pointedly, his remarks at a San Francisco fundraiser. "In small towns, we don't quite know what to make of a candidate who lavishes praise on working people when they are listening, and then talks about how bitterly they cling to their religion and guns when those people aren't listening."
The message was clear: Who is this guy? When she said that people in small towns are "always proud of America," it was clear she was referring to Michelle Obama's claim that for the first time she was proud of her country. (Laura Bush let Michelle Obama off the hook, but Palin won't. That's the difference between first ladies and Iron Ladies, I suppose.)   MORE....
Thursday, September 4th 2008, 4:00 AM  NY Daily News
Seldom has a candidate more jolted a political campaign than Sarah Palin has - simply by joining John McCain's ticket.
She has energized the Republican base, as is electrifyingly clear from the rapturous reception she got at the GOP convention.
She has ignited a heated debate over gender roles, family values and readiness for presidential service, as basically everyone in Americaknows.
And Wednesday night she made a dynamite debut before a national audience, at once a folksy voice of small-town America, a skewering, humorous critic of Barack Obama and an engaging cheerleader for McCain.
Palin moved seamlessly from laugh lines ("You know the difference between a hockey mom and a pit bull - lipstick.") to talking about the perils of relying for oil onIranVenezuela and Russia to zinging Obama.
"Al Qaeda terrorists still plot to inflict catastrophic harm on America ... he's worried that someone won't read them their rights," she asked.
Count this the real how-do-you-do from a woman who burst onto the scene less than a week ago as the hockey mom who became Alaska's governor. And she pulled it off big time.
Until then, everyone had gotten way too up-close-and-personal with the growing Palin family.
The rush to judgment about all things Palin, including the pregnancy of 17-year-oldBristol, has been more revealing about the state of American political debate than about the candidate who triggered the frenzy.
Rousing cheer: How great to have a woman as a vice presidential candidate - one who comes from real America where people pay real bills!  MORE....

Sarah Palin rises above the feeding frenzy

By Boston Herald editorial staff
Thursday, September 4, 2008 -
Sure, American politics is a full-contact sport. But rarely has a candidate been subjected to such a barrage of exposure and vitriol as has Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, who had the difficult job last night of reintroducing herself to voters as the Republican party’s vice presidential nominee.
In less than a week, since John McCain introduced this mother of five to the nation, her life, her record, her family - and their every transgression - has been put on the public record, exposed, examined and dissected. No lab specimen has ever been put under the microscope that Sarah Palin has been subjected to.
That she is a gun-toting pro-lifer has raised the ante for liberal Democrats (their brief experiment with a “Big Tent” began and ended with the Denver appearance of pro-life Sen. Robert Casey Jr. of Pennsylvania). Her political career has been denigrated as too dreadfully small town to be of any merit. (So how many people do you suppose Barack Obama represented in the Illinois state legislature a mere four years ago?) And, of course, as a governor she lacks foreign policy experience (not unlike a former governor from Arkansas). That she has dealt with multibillion dollar budgets and the myriad issues and problems of any governor still put her light years ahead of a member of the U.S. Senate who has done what? Been recorded among the “ayes” or “nays.”  MORE...

Sarah Palin's Address to the RNC
Biden on Palin's speech:

Obama Had Close Ties to Top Saudi Adviser at Early Age

Obama Had Close Ties to Top Saudi Adviser at Early Age

Wednesday, September 3, 2008 5:58 PM

By: Kenneth R. Timmerman

New evidence has emerged that Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama was closely associated as early as age 25 to a key adviser to a Saudi billionaire who had mentored the founding members of the Black Panthers.

In a videotaped interview this year on New York’s all news cable channel NY1, a prominent African-American businessman and political figure made the curious disclosures about Obama. (See Video Clip Below)

Percy Sutton, the former borough president of Manhattan, off-handedly revealed the unusual circumstances about his first encounter with the young Obama.

“I was introduced to (Obama) by a friend who was raising money for him,” Sutton told NY1 city hall reporter Dominic Carter.

“The friend’s name is Dr. Khalid al-Mansour, from Texas,” Sutton said. “He is the principal adviser to one of the world’s richest men. He told me about Obama.”

Sutton, the founder of Inner City Broadcasting, said al-Mansour contacted him to ask a favor: Would Sutton write a letter in support of Obama’s application to Harvard Law School?

“He wrote to me about him,” Sutton recalled. “And his introduction was there is a young man that has applied to Harvard. I know that you have a few friends up there because you used to go up there to speak. Would you please write a letter in support of him?”

Sutton said he acted on his friend al-Mansour’s advice........

The details of Obama’s academic performance are well known: At Harvard, Obama rose to academic distinction becoming the editor of the Harvard Law Review and graduating magna cum laude.

Less known are the reasons al-Mansour, an activist African-American Muslim, would be a key backer for a young man from Hawaii seeking to attend the most Ivy of the Ivy League law schools. Continued....

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