Oct 04 2008

Obama, friend of terrorists… really, no kidding

Category: election 2008,McCain,media,Obama,politics,racism,terrorismharmonicminer @ 7:16 pm

Continuing to demonstrate the inability to just give the news without editorializing, Yahoo news leads with this.

Republican vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin accused Democratic candidate Barack Obama on Saturday of “palling around with terrorists,” in the latest sign the campaign is turning increasingly nasty.

Just a question: if Obama has actually “paled around with terrorists”, is it a sign the campaign is “turning increasingly nasty” to point that out?

Not until the sixth paragraph do we get anything about the nature of Obama’s relationship to the terrorist Bill Ayers: (the earlier ones are all devoted to he said/she said type reporting)

Palin cited a New York Times story on Saturday that examined Obama’s relationship with Bill Ayers, a former member of the Vietnam-era militant Weather Underground organization who is now a professor at the University of Illinois at Chicago. The Times concluded they were not close.

Ah, the NYTimes, that bastion of Olympian fairness, has decided Obama is not “close” to Ayers, a self-admitted terrorist and bomber. Apparently, the NYTimes thinks you aren’t “close” to someone unless you share a toothbrush or something.

Just a question, for the reader: do YOU even know someone who knows someone who knows a terrorist?

I didn’t think so.  Here’s paragraph NINE of the story:

Obama served with Ayers on the board of a foundation in Chicago, and has said he was only eight-years-old when the Weather Underground committed its best-known bombing. He has also noted that former President Bill Clinton pardoned two members of the group during the last days of his presidency.

Clinton also pardoned some Puerto Rican terrorists and Marc Rich. This is a recommendation?

This is not simple “guilt by association”. It isn’t like they both went to Denny’s at the same time and happened to be placed at adjacent tables. Obama and Ayers served on boards together, were associates who worked together for “education initiatives” in Chicago, etc. Obama chose to continue his association with Ayers, and the first campaign kickoff for Obama was at Ayers’ house.

In the following video, Obama wants us to believe that Clinton is worse for having pardoned Weather Underground terrorists than Obama is for having associated with Ayers, one of the terrorists who WASN’T pardoned, but got off on a technicality because the FBI botched the investigation.  Ayers: “Guilty as sin and free as a bird.”

Try to understand this.  Even Obama admits knowing Ayers was a terrorist, an unrepentant one, and tries to pass off his relationship as “being on a board together”, and minimizes Ayers’ evil behavior as “something that happened 40 years ago”, as if evil done 40 years ago and not repented for is less evil, and his association with the perpetrator less suspect.  In fact, they worked closely on that board, and in other organizations, and Ayers was a prime supporter launching his political career.

The “40 years ago” approach is masking something that is revealed by changing a couple of details, in a sort of thought experiment.  What if Ayers had been a virulent racist, enthusiastic member of the KKK, burning crosses on lawns of black people, beating them when possible, encouraging lynchings, and the like?  What if he was now unrepentant about it, and said, “We didn’t do enough.”?  Would Obama pass it off as “something that happened 40 years ago” and essentially ignore it?

You know the answer, and so do I.  The only reason the “40 year ago” excuse works in his mind is because he doesn’t think having been a terrorist bomber and killer of police is all that bad.  So since it happened way back there somewhere, we can just sort of ignore it.

Except that we can’t.  And if you can….  well, I have some words for your judgment that I can’t really commit to print right now.

As for the quality of reporting in the article referenced above, it’s just more evidence that the media is morally blind, dumb and deaf, and totally in the tank for Obama.  Imagine if McCain had that racist friend just suggested in the “thought experiment” above.  Would the NYTimes conclude “they weren’t that close”?


UPDATE:  To no one’s particular surprise, Stanley Kurz has done an excellent job covering this entire matter, and gives his analysis of the NYTimes “reporting” here.

UPDATE:  In the meantime, Tom Brokaw wants us to believe that unrepentant terrorist Ayers, who recently said, “We didn’t do enough,” is really just a “school reformer”.   Maybe Brokaw means that Ayers should be in “reform school for terrorists”, but somehow I doubt it.

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Oct 01 2008

When aliens or other life forms attack

Category: appeasement,election 2008,McCain,Obama,politicsharmonicminer @ 9:02 am

In the movie, Independence Day, the aliens want the earth.  They don’t want to negotiate, they can’t be bargained with, and they are deadly in capabilities and intentions.  A lot like Islamic extremists, among other threats to international amity.

There is an arresting scene in the movie, taking place on a rooftop just beneath the levitating alien spacecraft, upon which stand all the wide-eyed innocents who think the universe is a friendly place, despite pleny of hints that the aliens are up to no good.  We are treated to a view of the welcoming throng, looking upward with shining faces, waiting to make the acquaintance of the aliens, in a manner somewhat reminiscent of scenes from Close Encounters of the Third Kind.

Independence Day revelers

Peace on Earth isn’t exactly what the aliens have in mind.

White House destroyed

Now, look a little more closely at the people on the roof.  Do you see the guy on the left, with the open mouth?  Now look at the snappy, elegant patent leather shoe, just visible past the mouth breather’s left shoulder.  Look familiar?  Well, as we all know, Obama has lots of friends in the Hollywood Left (that being most of Hollywood, of course).    I can now reveal that Obama has appeared in movies for years, in extra roles (probably hoping that by being an actor he could become President).  The problem, of course, is that actors have to actually memorize their lines, and can’t just read them from teleprompters.  So, Obama’s roles have all been non-speaking walk-ons.  Yes, friends, that is Obamas LEFT FOOT in the classy shoe.  (It figures….)

Obama famously said he would negotiate without preconditions with pretty much anyone at all, regardless of their stated ill intent towards us or our allies.  When Russia attacked Georgia, he responded,

“I strongly condemn the outbreak of violence in Georgia, and urge an immediate end to armed conflict,” Obama said in a statement. “Now is the time for Georgia and Russia to show restraint, and to avoid an escalation to full-scale war. Georgia’s territorial integrity must be respected.”

This is lovely.  So, when Nazi Germany invaded Poland, Obama would have “condemned the outbreak of violence in Poland”?  Called for German and Polish restraint?  Oy vey, others parsed this, but it’s still frightening to think the free world’s leader may be so feckless.  Obama is the very master of passive voice.  Reading his comments, you can’t tell who invaded whom.

Let’s hope this is one time when life does not imitate art.   When the USA is threatened (a guaranteed fact of life for the coming decades), let’s hope Obama is not the one with whom we are stuck for protection, wisdom and general courage in the face of adversity.

I don’t think he’ll be able to negotiate with the Borg.

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Sep 27 2008

Pretending objectivity: we aren’t fooled

Category: election 2008,McCain,media,Obama,politicsharmonicminer @ 10:38 pm

In this, uh, objective piece of journalism, Mark Halperin grades the candidates’ performances in the debate. Obama, A-; McCain, B-.

There is, of course, no mention of any of Halperin’s previous political perspectives and stances. He is pretending to be the objective journalist here. Google him, or read the wikipedia article on him.

When will the media stop presenting mere left leaning opinion as objective journalism? Answer: probably never.

When will the public learn to just ignore them? Answer: they already are learning to do just that. Not as fast as we might like… but it’s happening, as every left-leaning newspaper knows,  from its circulation numbers.

It’s laughably sad when all you have to know about someone is that they work for ABC and Time, and that’s all you need to know about their likely perspectives.

It is so undisguised here.  There isn’t even an attempt to be “objective”, nor is there any mention of the political perspective of the writer (Olympian that he is), and no center-right analyst is given the opportunity to provide balance.

It’s just an Obama campaign commercial masquerading as news.

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Sep 21 2008

When your enemy likes your leaders….

Category: election 2008,Hamas,Israel,McCain,middle east,Obama,politicsharmonicminer @ 9:35 am

Yoni, former Israeli special forces operator, makes this cogent comment.

When your enemy supports the election of a candidate then you should be afraid, no you should be very afraid.

He is saying this in reference to the recent election of Livni to replace the corrupt Olmert, but it might just as well apply to the possible election of Obama, who is endorsed by all the wrong people.

I doubt that either Hamas or Al Qaeda (or Iran or Russia, for that matter) is happy about the possible election of McCain. Now, that’s a recommendation.

Sep 20 2008

Obama should have taken the chance to practice

Category: election 2008,McCain,media,Obama,politics,White Househarmonicminer @ 11:31 pm

Which Obama will show up for presidential debates? – Yahoo! News

Which Barack Obama will show up for the first presidential debate?

It could be the tone-deaf debater who condescendingly told Hillary Rodham Clinton during a Democratic debate that she was “likable enough.”

Or perhaps the confident candidate who absorbed a jab from Clinton about using her husband’s former advisers and responded with a devastating one-liner of his own: “Hillary, I’m looking forward to you advising me as well.”

For a man known as a powerful speaker, Obama has rarely wowed people in political debates. He can come across as lifeless, aloof and windy.

But Obama didn’t make any serious mistakes in the many debates during the Democratic primary, or when he was running for the U.S. Senate in Illinois. He sometimes showed flashes of wit and charm. And, with a couple of exceptions, he got better with time.

“A year ago, he was not nearly as polished,” said Timothy O’Donnell, a professor at the University of Mary Washington and chairman of the collegiate National Debate Tournament. “He equivocates less. He’s quicker with examples.”

Continue reading “Obama should have taken the chance to practice”

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Sep 17 2008

McCain’s main blind spot

Category: McCainharmonicminer @ 7:53 pm

I like much about John McCain’s positions on various issues, and those that I disagree with categorize very neatly: they are the issues where McCain’s position denies the basic truth that nearly everyone acts in what they perceive as their own best interest, nearly all the time.  Essentially, I think McCain fails to appreciate the incentives to do wrong that are created by some of his programs and proposals, even though he means them to do right.

On “campaign finance reform”, new incentives for all kinds of skullduggery were created (and fulfilled) by the George Soroses of the world.    And the media who were given even MORE power by the muzzling of free speech were, of course, effusive in their praise of the idea.

For “comprehensive immigration reform”, McCain simply didn’t grasp that its approval would be a green light for many million more illegals to enter the country clandestinely, unless the fence was built FIRST, and enforcement radically ramped up, well before any regularization of existing illegals was even contemplated.

Now McCain is talking about the greed of Wall Street zillionaires who are fleecing America.  While that may sometimes be true, the real fleecing has been done by a corrupt partnership of government regulators and business, in “government/private sphere” partnerships like Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, which were supposed to be supervised by government, but in practice were in collusion with it instead.  I don’t mind if McCain bashes crooks, as long as he identifies all their accomplices in the regulatory apparatus.

Continue reading “McCain’s main blind spot”


Sep 16 2008

Defending Sarah Palin

Category: election 2008,McCain,media,Obama,Palin,politicsharmonicminer @ 9:21 am

The Bidinotto Blog has a nice summary of the failure of the mud-slinging by the Left at Sarah Palin.

A sure sign that the pro-Obama camp’s quiver has run out of arrows is that its partisans are desperately stooping to pick up mud.

It’s worth a read, and has links you can follow up, if you doubt the accuracy of his presentation.

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Sep 15 2008

If only reporters understood economics

Category: economy,election 2008,McCain,media,Obama,Palin,politics,taxesharmonicminer @ 3:57 pm

Sarah Palin criticizes Obama’s tax plans, and the AP seems to think it has corrected her, by stating an irrelevant piece of data. (not to mention a largely wrong one)

Campaigning on her own, the Alaska governor also said Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama “wants to raise income taxes and raise payroll taxes and raise investment income taxes and raise business taxes and raise the death tax.

“But John McCain and I know that’s not the way you grow the economy,” she added.

In fact, independent groups such as the Tax Policy Center have concluded that four out of five U.S. households would receive tax cuts under Obama’s proposal, which include higher income and payroll taxes only for the wealthiest wage-earners.

Note that Palin did not say that Obama was going to raise everyone‘s taxes.  But the AP responds with a “fact check” from the Tax Policy Center that implies she did.  Surely this is simple failure to understand plain English. 

Speaking of plain English, four out of five U.S. households cannot receive income tax cuts, because two out of five U.S. households pay no income tax at all.  The last time I looked, two plus four does not equal five, a fact that apparently escapes both the AP and the Tax Policy Center.  Giving “tax cuts” in the guise of “refunds” to people who would not pay tax anyway is not a tax cut, it’s welfare, plain and simple.  It’s old fashioned socialistic confiscation/redistribution.

Speaking of the “independent” Tax Policy Center, while it is not directly affiliated with either party, it is most assuredly Left leaning, and usually favors Democratic policies.  They are sometimes subtle about it (although not in this case, calling a give-away a “tax cut”), but they are not possessed of Olympian detachment.

It would be more impressive (as journalism goes) to match the perspective of the Tax Policy Center with one from the Club for Growth, or the CATO Institute.  Both of these are also “independent” and “nonpartisan”, but simply more likely to lean Right. 

You can form your own opinion about why the AP would not seek their input in interpreting Palin’s statements.  I have mine.

In the meantime, what Palin said, quite clearly, is that if all of Obama’s tax plans are carried out, regardless of whether low-tax payers and non-tax payers get a short term “tax cut”, the economy is far less likely to grow vigorously than under McCain’s plan.  That economic growth would provide much more benefit to low- and non-tax payers than a single short term check, whether “tax cut” or “welfare”.

Go back and read her quote.  The APs rejoinder, masked as input from an “independent” think tank, is completely irrelevant to the point.

Embarrassingly, the AP seems not to know that.

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Sep 15 2008

Why the Left is flummoxed by Sarah Palin

Category: election 2008,McCain,Obama,Palin,politicsharmonicminer @ 9:25 am

Essentially, the Left thought it had a “magic candidate” in Obama.  He would be beyond normal criticism.  He would be both person and symbol.  He would speak with such power and transcendence that normal considerations of logic and rhetorical connection would not apply.  His mystical relationship with the message of the future of mankind would resonate in each person of good will without having to be explained in detail.  We would all just know that he was “the one” to change everything.  Indeed, he seemed untouchable: though there were scandals and questionable relationships in his background, it seemed not to matter to the electorate, surely another sign that he was blessed.  What other presidential candidate could have gotten away with being friends with terrorists and America haters?  Surely it must have been because people could see through these surface things to the soul beyond, and were moved by its purity and grace.  (After all, Jesus associated with publicans and sinners, and elevated them by His presence.)  His meager background was almost a plus, proving his uniquity and special annointing.  He was untouchable.

And then came Sarah.  She was, in most ways, the exact opposite of Obama.  She spoke simply, and clearly.  She seemed to get away with just being herself (unlike Obama, she was the same on home video as on stage before tens of thousands).  She did not appear to self-consciously cultivate an image or presence: she simply was.  She did not seem to need a script.  Shooting from the hip (literally and figuratively) she was on target.  People simply responded to her.  And despite the best the a scandal mongering media could throw at her, she simply sailed above it all, and let her acolytes defend her.  There were pleny of acolytes.

Obama was supposed to be special.  He would not have to make sense according to the normal rules of logic and evidence, because to know him created a faith that transcended the merely rational.

Yet, here was Sarah, actually making sense, very simple, unassailable sense, artlessly appealing to the perceptions of the people as the outsider who was the real agent of change, the unknown, waiting in the wings, whose time had come.  She, too, was the symbol of longings held by many.

Suddenly, Obama was not the only transcendant figure in the race.  He knew how to fight people who merely used logic and facts.  He appealed to the higher sense of personhood in his listeners.  But what could he do against someone who had as much mystical magnetism as he did, and also made simple, logical sense?

It was a pretty problem.  Someone would have to be destroyed for the other to prevail.  And Obama was determined that it would not be him.  His minions would see to that.

There are plenty of minions, in and out of his campaign.

The contest rages, for now, but it is no longer one of rationality against spirituality, because now both can be found on one side.  And the real game changer was not Sarah Palin…  it was John McCain, who selected her as his running mate, proving a defter hand than anyone suspected at crafting his image and staying true to his own often stated values at the same time.  And McCain is showing something else: he doesn’t care that Sarah Palin polls higher than he does, because all that matters is success in the election so he can do the work that needs doing, with her help.

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Sep 13 2008

Foreign travel, foreign policy “experience” and judgment

Category: election 2008,Iraq,McCain,media,middle east,Obama,Palin,politics,White Househarmonicminer @ 11:19 pm

As usual, the Obama campaign is still playing catchup to Sarah Palin. Now the big question is whether she actually crossed the border into Iraq by a half-mile, or stayed at the border.   Obama camp suggests lies over Palin visit to Iraq – Yahoo! News

The question of whether Sarah Palin has ever been to Iraq pushed Obama aides Saturday to accuse the McCain campaign of outright lies, distortions and distractions to the American people.

Since Republican presidential nominee John McCain tapped the Alaska governor to be his running mate on Aug. 29, questions about her experience have been fueled by her relatively brief tenure in office, as well as a dearth of foreign travel.

What matters isn’t how many countries she’s visited, or even how many heads of state she knows on a first name basis.  What matters is the judgment and values of the candidate.

When Russia invaded Georgia, Obama’s first response was to hope that both sides would exercise restraint, in a perfect-pitch-for-the-left rendition of moral equivalence, the natural born instinct of leftists everywhere.  That tells us what we need to know about Obama’s judgment and values.  Obama’s warm reception during his grand international P.R. tour doesn’t change who he is, a person who can’t quite define evil, and isn’t quite sure what we should do about it….  in his own nuanced way, of course.

I doubt an academic study can be found to demonstrate that shaking hands and chatting about inconsequentials with foreign leaders (the usual meaning of “getting to know them”) has produced better decisions than are reached by simply considering the facts at hand.  Roosevelt “met” with Stalin, and still gave away half of Europe.  Bush met with Putin and “saw into his soul”, and still didn’t understand, it would seem, what a fascist Putin would turn out to be.  Kennedy “met” with Kruschiev, and that resulted in the Cuban missile crisis when the Communist dictator decided that Kennedy could be rolled.

It’s decisions based on evidence that matter, not face time.  And tourism is not a pre-requisite for the Presidency or vice-Presidency, much as the Left might wish it was.

In the meantime, whether Palin made it 2500 feet into Iraq, or stayed at the border, matters not a whit.  The Obama campaign must really be spooked by this lady.  They should be…  she is something beyond their experience, a genuine person who simply says what she means.

OH, and the lead sentence to the quoted article is truly hilarious:  Imagine, the Obama campaign was “pushed” into calling the McCain campaign liars.  Gee…  you mean they just couldn’t help themselves?

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