Sunday, September 21, 2008

Change You Can Believe in?

With a theme of "Change", I guess that we should have expected this....
Slate magazine (not a Republican leaning media outlet) has published an interesting observation of Sen. Obama's web site:

This week the Obama campaign modified his position on a sensitive issue: Social Security. Compare the current "Seniors & Social Security" page with the previous version. Now, tell me why, oh why, would the Obama campaign decide to delete the following sentence: "[Obama] does not believe it is necessary or fair to hardworking seniors to raise the retirement age." Is he trying to stoke anxiety about his position on Social Security?
Screen capture. Click image to expand.

The new page includes some reassuring language about "work[ing] with members of Congress from both parties to strengthen Social Security and prevent privatization while protecting middle class families from tax increases or benefit cuts." Still, for those who pay attention to such things, what the new page leaves out is as important as what it puts in.
A move to the center post-convention is a well-worn path. Here are some other changes to the Obama Web site:
  • On education, now Obama apparently expects those who qualify for college tax credits to join jailbirds picking up trash for 100 hours on the freeway (or whatever else "community service" entails these days). Meanwhile, his position on charter schools has gotten both more pro and more con: Under the section headlined (in bold) "Close Low-Performing Charter Schools," it notes that he wants to double federal funding for them.
  • On the rural-issues page, he has removed the mention of pollution from industrial agriculture.
  • His technology page sees a drastic edit of his position on Internet privacy. He still wants to "protect the openness of the Internet," just not in such detail.
  • On family issues, the detail that Obama "strongly opposed" the 2005 bankruptcy bill has been removed. But there's still a lot of language in there about the "dangerous and sometimes unscrupulous business practices" of the subprime mortgage industry!
Somehow, I don't think that this is the type of change voters were thinking about when they first heard the slogan.

Birds Of A Feather

"Show me your friends, I'll show you your future"....

I've said previously that my parents and many others used well-worn phrases such as "birds of a feather flock together" in order to point out that certain companions were to be avoided, if we wanted to avoid their known, and undesirable fate.  The expression also was a way for them to tell us that they thought that I might be guilty of the same unscrupulous deeds that my 'companions' had been found guilty of committing, or attempting to frighten me into a change of behavior in order to avoid the similar fate that some friends may have experienced.

They were usually right.

Barack Obama has made much of his community organizer role, but neither he, nor others, have fleshed out the role that he actually played, and who he was associated with during that period.  If that history was detailed to the American electorate, I'm sure that the recent comments about the difference between a mayor and a community organizer would invoke a more significant response from the public, and it would not serve Sen. Obama well.

Here's the latest on the birds that Sen. Obama used to flock with......

From Little ACORNs Grow Big Scandals
A community organization, with longstanding ties to Barack Obama, has, according to numerous reports, repeatedly run afoul of voter registration laws both locally and nationally.
Mr. Obama worked for the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now's Project Vote voter-registration campaign in 1992 after graduating from Harvard Law School. He directed a successful voter-registration campaign, credited with electing Carol Moseley-Braun to the U.S. Senate. Primarily targeting African-Americans, Mr. Obama's efforts added an estimated 125,000 voters to the rolls.
He also participated on a team of attorneys working on behalf of ACORN. They filed a 1995 lawsuit, which required the state of Illinois to implement the federal "motor-voter" bill. He still maintains a relationship with the organization. Mr. Obama's campaign had to file amended federal election reports in August. They paid more than $800,000 to Citizens Services Inc. (CSI), an ACORN subsidiary, to turn out for the campaign during the primaries. However, the campaign listed CSI's activities as polling, advance work and staging major events.
ACORN has a checkered past - and present. It is a grassroots political organization founded by Wade Rathke and George Wiley, both of whom were community organizers for the National Welfare Rights Organization (NWRO).
That checkered past also has turned up locally.
Philadelphia election officials recently accused ACORN, of filing multiple fraudulent voter registrations during the 2008 Pennsylvania primary. The case has been referred to the U.S. Attorney's office, according to Philadelphia Deputy Election Commissioner Fred Voight.
Delaware County election officials have made similar allegations against the group, and criminal indictments are pending.
This past July 24, Dauphin County detectives offered a $2,000 reward for information about the whereabouts of Luis R. Torres-Serrano, an ACORN worker, who was accused of submitting more than 100 fraudulent voter registrations.
ACORN's legal problems with their voter registration efforts stretch beyond state boundaries.
The Milwaukee district attorney is investigating 39 ACORN employees for criminal violations, including offering gifts to sign up voters and falsifying driver's license numbers, Social Security numbers or other information on voter registration cards.
Five ACORN employees were convicted and imprisoned in Washington state, in 2007, for what was described by Washington's Secretary of State Sam Reed, as, "was the worst case of election fraud in our state's history. It was an outrage."
"(ACORN) Workers ... said they were under pressure from the community-organizing group that hired them to sign up more voters," The Seattle Times reported . "Workers told investigators they went to the Seattle public library and filled out the voter registration forms, by using contrived names, addresses and Social Security numbers and in some cases plucked names from the phone book."
Numerous ACORN-related indictments and, or convictions, have been seeded across the country in recent years.
Four part-time ACORN employees were indicted in Kansas City, Mo., for voter registration fraud in November 2006. Two Colorado ACORN workers were sentenced to community service, in January 2005, for submitting false voter registrations.
During the 2004 election, ACORN, and its sister group Project Vote, ran a nationwide voter mobilization drive that was rife with allegations of voter fraud. A worker for one ACORN affiliate in Ohio was allegedly given crack cocaine in exchange for fraudulent registrations that included underage voters, dead voters and voters named Mary Poppins, Dick Tracy and Jive Turkey. Four Ohio ACORN employees were indicted by a federal grand jury for submitting false voter registration forms.
Messrs. Rathke and Wiley formed ACORN in the early 1970s, expanding their involvement beyond welfare recipients to all issues touching low-income and working-class people. According to, they enlisted civil rights workers and trained them in a program at Syracuse University patterned after the Saul Alinsky school of activist tactics in Chicago.

Today, ACORN is the largest community organization of low- and moderate-income people in America, with over 400,000 member families organized into more than 1,200 neighborhood chapters in 110 cities across the country.
ACORN founded the Working Families Party in New York in 1998. They endorsed Hillary Clinton for her Senate campaign that year. Canvassers from ACORN and its sister groups launched a statewide voter-mobilization drive that proved influential in Mrs. Clinton's victory.
Yet, opponents say ACORN has violated its own mission not to mention numerous laws meant to protect poor and working class citizens and voters.
The New York Times reported in July 2008 that a whistleblower forced the organization to publicly disclose an embezzlement of almost $1 million in 1999 and 2000, involving Dale Rathke, the brother of the organization's founder Wade Rathke.
Some ACORN executives kept the information from board members and did not tell law enforcement. Meanwhile, Dale Rathke remained on the payroll until June 2008, when disclosure of his theft forced the organization to dismiss him.
"We thought it best at the time to protect the organization, as well as to get the funds back into the organization, to deal with it in-house," said ACORN President Maude Hurd. "It was a judgment call at the time, and looking back, people can agree or disagree with it, but we did what we thought was right."
The Consumers Rights League spokesman Jim Terry said, "ACORN has a long and sordid history of employing convoluted Enron-style accounting to illegally use taxpayer funds for their own political gain. Now it looks like ACORN is using the same type of convoluted accounting scheme for Obama's political gain." 
ACORN did not respond to requests for a statement. However, they did refer to a statement by Ms. Hurd, in a Sept. 12 press release, saying, "ACORN has NEVER been indicted for voter fraud, violating elections laws or encouraging ineligible citizens to vote."

Europe gloating over US' struggle

Europe (and the World) demonstrates it's jealousy of the US
Take note, and never forget.

Despite what the Liberals would want you to believe, there's nothing that a Barack Obama, or any other American critic of the US' policies, wealth, strength, freedom, capabilities, history, and political, racial, and economic freedom could do to change the comments of those who are outside, with noses are pressed against the window of the US,  say about us.  It will always be negative!  They can never acknowledge any superior capabilities of the US, because it would diminish them, and they are too fragile to deal with the contrast.

Despite the almost century of US generosity  towards the rest of the world, like any reluctant child, resent our help, success, and independence of their support.

The latest news out Europe demonstrates their uncontainable glee at our struggle.  This, despite the fact that unless we configure the solution to the financial market chaos, they will perish.

Those who wring their hands at Europe's critique of us should take note.  Attempting to appease Euorpe's
perpetual pique at playing second, or even third, fiddle to the US' solo, is a Sisyphean task.

Here's the latest glee over our struggle to devise a solution to the financial market crisis.


Europeans on left and right ridicule U.S. money meltdown

Fears Grow For Economy As Shares Continue To Plunge

A street scene near London's financial center. Among Europe’s economies, Britain’s most resembles America’s in its vulnerability. Europeans cited Alan Greenspan and greed as culprits in the Wall Street meltdown.
They list greed and Greenspan among the culprits, and there are comparisons to . . . Albania. But amid the gloating, there is fear for financial systems in Britain, Spain, Italy and elsewhere.
By Sebastian Rotella and Janet Stobart, Los Angeles Times Staff Writers
September 20, 2008
LONDON -- It's a rare day when finance officials, leftist intellectuals and ordinary salespeople can agree on something. But the economic meltdown that wrought its wrath from Rome to Madrid to Berlin this week brought Europeans together in a harsh chorus of condemnation of the excess and disarray on Wall Street.

The finance minister of Italy's conservative and pro-U.S. government warned of nothing less than a systemic breakdown. Giulio Tremonti excoriated the "voracious selfishness" of speculators and "stupid sluggishness" of regulators. And he singled out Alan Greenspan, the former chairman of the U.S. Federal Reserve, with startling scorn.
 "Greenspan was considered a master," Tremonti declared. "Now we must ask ourselves whether he is not, after [Osama] bin Laden, the man who hurt America the most. . . . It is clear that what is happening is a disease. It is not the failure of a bank, but the failure of a system. Until a few days ago, very few were willing to realize the intensity and the dramatic nature of the crisis."
In an interview Thursday in the Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera, Tremonti drew a comparison to corruption-ridden Albania in 1997, when a nationwide pyramid scheme cost hundreds of thousands of people their savings and ignited anarchic civil conflict.
"The system is collapsing, exactly like the Albanian pyramids collapsed," Tremonti said. "The idea is gaining ground that the way out of the crisis is mainly with large public investments. . . . The return of rules is accompanied by a return of the public sector."
On the other end of the political spectrum, among leftists who have long predicted calamity for what they call the "savage neoliberal capitalism" of Wall Street, there were gleeful allusions to the stock market crash of 1929.
"Between the dread of a world in the midst of collapsing and the shiver of pleasure that finally something serious is happening to the kingdom of liberalism, how to orient oneself?" Eric Aeschimann wrote Thursday in the newspaper Liberation, a voice of French intellectuals whose disdain for capitalism persists in the 21st century. Expressing nostalgia for "the good old days when bankers jumped out of windows," Aeschimann condemned as "extortion" the rescue of U.S. corporate giants by the very state that free-marketeers resent.
The spectacle across the ocean has left a lasting impression on many Europeans. Hanna Evers of Berlin, a cellphone retailer interviewed in the shopping district of Wilmersdorfer Street, said she was angry about the amount of money that had been "burned" in recent days.
"And I'm furious when I see the pictures of Americans who thought they were on the sunny side of life and now have lost their homes and have to live in their cars," Evers said. "I definitely do not feel sorry for the bankers who lost their jobs in the last couple of days. I can't believe that a country like the U.S.A. could have been so careless on a money issue!"
"I was taught that the U.S.A. is the motherland of moneymaking," she added. "And now all I can see is a herd of headless chickens running around on Wall Street."
Rotella reported from Madrid and Stobart from London.  MORE....

Don't Go Out In The Woods!

"She's A Moose Shoot'n Mama"  
by Pat Garrett

We could use some entertainment in this election race right about now......

Here's a link to a Fox News video interview with him and a live performance of his song. (Tip of the hat to Dr. Morgan for this story)

Video Of The Week

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