Friday, October 31, 2008

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

On the Street in North Branford

I received a link to this essay today. It's a good read, looking at what people on the street there think about the looming election.

You can read it here.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Biden Interview, Angry Liberals

As the election draws near, I thought I would post some videos ....



And after you watch that video, read about the fallout from the interview, in a story from the Orlando Sentinel:

Obama campaign cuts off WFTV after interview with Joe Biden

WFTV-Channel 9's Barbara West conducted a satellite interview with Sen. Joe Biden on Thursday. A friend says it's some of the best entertainment he's seen recently. What do you think?

West wondered about Sen. Barack Obama's comment, to Joe the Plumber, about spreading the wealth. She quoted Karl Marx and asked how Obama isn't being a Marxist with the "spreading the wealth" comment.

"Are you joking?" said Biden, who is Obama's running mate. "No," West said.

West later asked Biden about his comments that Obama could be tested early on as president. She wondered if the Delaware senator was saying America's days as the world's leading power were over.

"I don't know who's writing your questions," Biden shot back.

Biden so disliked West's line of questioning that the Obama campaign canceled a WFTV interview with Jill Biden, the candidate's wife.

"This cancellation is non-negotiable, and further opportunities for your station to interview with this campaign are unlikely, at best for the duration of the remaining days until the election," wrote Laura K. McGinnis, Central Florida communications director for the Obama campaign.

McGinnis said the Biden cancellation was "a result of her husband's experience yesterday during the satellite interview with Barbara West."

Here's a link to the interview: http://www.wftv.com/video/17790025/index.html.

WFTV news director Bob Jordan said, "When you get a shot to ask these candidates, you want to make the most of it. They usually give you five minutes."

Jordan said political campaigns in general pick and choose the stations they like. And stations often pose softball questions during the satellite interviews.

"Mr. Biden didn't like the questions," Jordan said. "We choose not to ask softball questions."

Jordan added, "I'm crying foul on this one."

--------------------------------

Hm. Some folks seem real friendly until you ask them about things they don't want to talk about.

Spooky, Very Spooky

Here, read this:

Halloween Palin Prop Sparks Controversy

WEST HOLLYWOOD, Calif. (AP) ― A Halloween decoration showing a mannequin dressed as vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin hanging by a noose from the roof of a West Hollywood home is drawing giggles from some passers-by and gasps of outrage from others.

The mannequin is dressed in brunet wig, glasses and a red business suit. Another mannequin dressed as John McCain emerges from a flaming chimney.

Chad Michael Morisette, who lives in the house, told CBS 2 News that drivers and bus passengers have been stopping to snap pictures of the macabre scene.

Morisette says the effigy would be out of bounds at any other time of year, but it's within the spirit of Halloween.

He says "it should be seen as art, and as within the month of October. It's Halloween, it's time to be scary it's time to be spooky."

--------------------------------------------

So, outside of the fact that this display is not really appropriate -- come on, hanging an actual person in effigy is a little much; how would you feel if it was made to look like you -- is it odd that the guy who made this anti-Republican display is named 'Chad' ... ?

Friday, October 24, 2008

Some Election Reading

Here are some interesting stories coming across the Net:

Monday, October 20, 2008

The Fairness Doctrine

Updated

I've been interested in the Fairness Doctrine for a long time -- because it's simply such a bad idea.

It would mandate that broadcasters offer time to opposing viewpoints to any controversial issues it may air, or face the FCC.

It was taken out of commission during the Reagan administration, but, over the past several years, it has gotten support from many lawmakers, mostly on the left, especially from Nancy Pelosi.

It's a good idea, in theory. In practice, it would be virtually impossible to regulate the regulators.

You see, while it requires equal representation of opposing views, I can't seem to find out for certain whether there was discretion on the part of the FCC to determine if enough time had been devoted to the opposing views.

Note: There is an "equal time" mandate, but that applies to political campaigns -- if a broadcaster gives time to one candidate, it has to offer the same time to other candidates.

I'm trying to find the actual text of the mandate, but it seems all I can find are summaries and commentaries, so all I've been able to find so far are vague references to the representation -- I've found summaries that state "equal time" and others that say the alternate views can be presented in different formats than the original (e.g., a station could run 2 hours of one view in a news show, and then 5 minutes of opposition in an editorial), but without specifically mentioning actual time requirements.

And that's where it starts to become a bad idea.

Without really concrete, detailed requirements, there are elements of "fairness" that are quite subjective. So, depending on who's evaluating the fairness of something could easily manipulate the system.

Here's where it gets politically ugly.

Consider this:

The calls for implementing the Fairness Doctrine on talk radio is coming from the left.

Right-wing talk radio is very successful, while left-wing talk radio is not. Radio stations that carry conservative talk radio make a lot of money from it.

If a station that plays conservative talk radio is forced, by law, to play something that has proven unsuccessful, they would be being forced to do something that goes completely opposite the concept of market demand.

They might stand for it and do it to a point, if there is no time requirement -- so they could play 4 hours of conservative talk and then 20 minutes of money-losing liberal radio and just accept it. But, if there is no specific time requirement, then whoever is deciding whether it's fair or not could just say, "No, that's not enough," and fine the station until it plays what that evaluator considers fair.

The fear is that a station, if faced with having to play 4 hours of conservative and then 4 hours of liberal and knowing that that means they make money for 4 hours and then lose money for 4 hours, the station would just opt to play something completely different and make money for all 8 hours, thereby shutting down successful, popular talk conservative talk radio.

Even if there are detailed specific rules so there could be no room for interpretation, those rules have to put the power on the side of the station, because they are the business end -- if they are going to be forced to play money-losing programming, they should be able to decide when and how much to play. Even then, some stations may put profit before principal and just drop political talk radio anyway, just to spare themselves the headache.

And it's not a far-fetched fear, when you consider that the left constantly refers to Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Laura Ingraham, Bill O'Reilly, Larry Elder and Mike Savage as racist haters that should not be allowed to taint the airwaves. If they saw a legal opportunity to silence those people without having to actually compete against them, can you honestly say they wouldn't do it?

You know they would. And I can be objective enough to say that I know the GOP would do the same damn thing if the roles were reversed. That's why it's a bad idea, because it can -- and would be -- corrupted by whoever is in power.

Here are some links with more information about this, and the equal time rule:

http://www.museum.tv/archives/etv/E/htmlE/equaltimeru/equaltimeru.htm
http://www.ims.ccsu.edu/Radio.htm
http://www4.law.cornell.edu/uscode/47/315.notes.html
http://www.museum.tv/archives/etv/F/htmlF/fairnessdoct/fairnessdoct.htm

The Most Convincing Argument For Obama So Far

Up until a few minutes ago, I had not yet heard anything that really made me think about voting for Obama next month.

Then I came across this interview, with Bernard-Henri Lévy, and I really liked much of what he had to say.

He looks at the race in an interesting way. To me, he explains how the good ideas of the Democratic Party have gone too far, to a point that has become dangerous and unappealing to people that may have liked the original idea.

I feel that way very often.

So, read the interview, it's really good.

Friday, October 17, 2008

From WSJ: The Liberal Supermajority

From WSJ:

A Liberal Supermajority

Get ready for 'change' we haven't seen since 1965, or 1933.

If the current polls hold, Barack Obama will win the White House on November 4 and Democrats will consolidate their Congressional majorities, probably with a filibuster-proof Senate or very close to it. Without the ability to filibuster, the Senate would become like the House, able to pass whatever the majority wants.

Though we doubt most Americans realize it, this would be one of the most profound political and ideological shifts in U.S. history. Liberals would dominate the entire government in a way they haven't since 1965, or 1933. In other words, the election would mark the restoration of the activist government that fell out of public favor in the 1970s. If the U.S. really is entering a period of unchecked left-wing ascendancy, Americans at least ought to understand what they will be getting, especially with the media cheering it all on.

[Review & Outlook]

The nearby table shows the major bills that passed the House this year or last before being stopped by the Senate minority. Keep in mind that the most important power of the filibuster is to shape legislation, not merely to block it. The threat of 41 committed Senators can cause the House to modify its desires even before legislation comes to a vote. Without that restraining power, all of the following have very good chances of becoming law in 2009 or 2010.

- Medicare for all. When HillaryCare cratered in 1994, the Democrats concluded they had overreached, so they carved up the old agenda into smaller incremental steps, such as Schip for children. A strongly Democratic Congress is now likely to lay the final flagstones on the path to government-run health insurance from cradle to grave.

Mr. Obama wants to build a public insurance program, modeled after Medicare and open to everyone of any income. According to the Lewin Group, the gold standard of health policy analysis, the Obama plan would shift between 32 million and 52 million from private coverage to the huge new entitlement. Like Medicare or the Canadian system, this would never be repealed.

The commitments would start slow, so as not to cause immediate alarm. But as U.S. health-care spending flowed into the default government options, taxes would have to rise or services would be rationed, or both. Single payer is the inevitable next step, as Mr. Obama has already said is his ultimate ideal.

- The business climate. "We have some harsh decisions to make," Speaker Nancy Pelosi warned recently, speaking about retribution for the financial panic. Look for a replay of the Pecora hearings of the 1930s, with Henry Waxman, John Conyers and Ed Markey sponsoring ritual hangings to further their agenda to control more of the private economy. The financial industry will get an overhaul in any case, but telecom, biotech and drug makers, among many others, can expect to be investigated and face new, more onerous rules. See the "Issues and Legislation" tab on Mr. Waxman's Web site for a not-so-brief target list.

The danger is that Democrats could cause the economic downturn to last longer than it otherwise will by enacting regulatory overkill like Sarbanes-Oxley. Something more punitive is likely as well, for instance a windfall profits tax on oil, and maybe other industries.

- Union supremacy. One program certain to be given right of way is "card check." Unions have been in decline for decades, now claiming only 7.4% of the private-sector work force, so Big Labor wants to trash the secret-ballot elections that have been in place since the 1930s. The "Employee Free Choice Act" would convert workplaces into union shops merely by gathering signatures from a majority of employees, which means organizers could strongarm those who opposed such a petition.

The bill also imposes a compulsory arbitration regime that results in an automatic two-year union "contract" after 130 days of failed negotiation. The point is to force businesses to recognize a union whether the workers support it or not. This would be the biggest pro-union shift in the balance of labor-management power since the Wagner Act of 1935.

- Taxes. Taxes will rise substantially, the only question being how high. Mr. Obama would raise the top income, dividend and capital-gains rates for "the rich," substantially increasing the cost of new investment in the U.S. More radically, he wants to lift or eliminate the cap on income subject to payroll taxes that fund Medicare and Social Security. This would convert what was meant to be a pension insurance program into an overt income redistribution program. It would also impose a probably unrepealable increase in marginal tax rates, and a permanent shift upward in the federal tax share of GDP.

- The green revolution. A tax-and-regulation scheme in the name of climate change is a top left-wing priority. Cap and trade would hand Congress trillions of dollars in new spending from the auction of carbon credits, which it would use to pick winners and losers in the energy business and across the economy. Huge chunks of GDP and millions of jobs would be at the mercy of Congress and a vast new global-warming bureaucracy. Without the GOP votes to help stage a filibuster, Senators from carbon-intensive states would have less ability to temper coastal liberals who answer to the green elites.

- Free speech and voting rights. A liberal supermajority would move quickly to impose procedural advantages that could cement Democratic rule for years to come. One early effort would be national, election-day voter registration. This is a long-time goal of Acorn and others on the "community organizer" left and would make it far easier to stack the voter rolls. The District of Columbia would also get votes in Congress -- Democratic, naturally.

Felons may also get the right to vote nationwide, while the Fairness Doctrine is likely to be reimposed either by Congress or the Obama FCC. A major goal of the supermajority left would be to shut down talk radio and other voices of political opposition.

- Special-interest potpourri. Look for the watering down of No Child Left Behind testing standards, as a favor to the National Education Association. The tort bar's ship would also come in, including limits on arbitration to settle disputes and watering down the 1995 law limiting strike suits. New causes of legal action would be sprinkled throughout most legislation. The anti-antiterror lobby would be rewarded with the end of Guantanamo and military commissions, which probably means trying terrorists in civilian courts. Google and MoveOn.org would get "net neutrality" rules, subjecting the Internet to intrusive regulation for the first time.

It's always possible that events -- such as a recession -- would temper some of these ambitions. Republicans also feared the worst in 1993 when Democrats ran the entire government, but it didn't turn out that way. On the other hand, Bob Dole then had 43 GOP Senators to support a filibuster, and the entire Democratic Party has since moved sharply to the left. Mr. Obama's agenda is far more liberal than Bill Clinton's was in 1992, and the Southern Democrats who killed Al Gore's BTU tax and modified liberal ambitions are long gone.

In both 1933 and 1965, liberal majorities imposed vast expansions of government that have never been repealed, and the current financial panic may give today's left another pretext to return to those heydays of welfare-state liberalism. Americans voting for "change" should know they may get far more than they ever imagined.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

The Truth About Gun Control

Here's a video that will explain the truth about gun control once and for all ....


video

Cultural Differences Lead to Jail Time

Here's an interesting story about a couple of Brits who wound up getting 3 months in prison for having sex on a public beach in Dubai.

Because Dubai has such a reliance on tourism, it was felt that a "lenient" sentence was called for.

Here's a quote from the story, from another British woman:

"Before I came here I read up on the dos and don'ts. I wouldn't dream of kissing my friend out on the street. This is an Islamic country. We have to respect their traditions. We expect the same in our country. You should dress and behave appropriately when you are somebody's guest."

Now that's interesting.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Murtha: Only Racists Don't Vote Obama

I knew it was coming, I just didn't know for sure when it would start.

The Dems are going to start the major race issue now, as in, "If you don't vote for Obama then your are a racist."

Here's the story. If you go to the site, read the comments afterward, they're fun.

PITTSBURGH (AP) - U.S. Rep. John Murtha says his home base of western
Pennsylvania is racist and that could reduce Barack Obama's victory margin in
the state by 4 percentage points.
The 17-term Democratic congressman tells
the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette in a story posted Wednesday on its Web site that, as
he put it: "There is no question that western Pennsylvania is a racist area."
He says it's taken time for many Pennsylvania voters to come around to
liking Obama, but he should still win the state, though not in a runaway.
In a separate interview posted Wednesday on the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review's Web site, Murtha says Obama has a problem with the race issue in western
Pennsylvania that could shave 4 points off his lead in the state.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Political Thoughts From E-Mail

Just a couple of thoughts I received in various e-mails the past few days.

------------------------------------

Barack Obama put out an ad telling us how the simple-minded John McCain cannot use a computer.

The ad neglects to mention that Barack Obama cannot land a jet plane on an aircraft carrier at night!

------------------------------------


-------------------------------------------------

Neat video ....


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nxJ7t3U3TDg

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Friday, October 10, 2008

Important 'Bailout' Reading

Here are two very important items concerning the so-called bailout plan. The first is a series of "60 Minutes" clips; the 2nd item is a brief concerning some more appalling behavior by AIG executives.

http://60minutes.yahoo.com/segment/197/credit_default_swaps

and

http://www.politico.com/blogs/thecrypt/1008/Waxman_probes_AIGs_postbailout_retreat.html

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

More Media Bias

Funny -- I see multiple stories about everything Sarah Palin says, picking it apart to show that she's "dumb," as wealthy actor Tim Robbins implied in an appearance Monday on The Daily Show.

But, when Biden just spouts off things that are incorrect, or outright falsehoods, it takes Google to find a mention.

So here's a story from National Review. It's pretty funny how much Biden just says whatever sounds good, and people eat it up like it's got gravy on it.

I Didn't Know Kenya Was Full of Liberals

Here's an interesting read about author Jerome Corsi -- he wrote a book, "The Obama Nation," where he looks at Obama in a light differently than the mainstream media.

It seems he was going to give a presentation about some of the things he found while investigating Obama, but magically, Kenyan authorities detained him and tossed him out of the country before he could do so.

Oh well. Obama's pretty popular, so I guess we should all get used to not being allowed to voice dissent. You should probably hide your guns, too, and anything religious in your house ... oh, and all your money.

Cindy Sheehan STILL around

Here's the latest on Cindy Sheehan and her run for Nancy Pelosi's House seat.

There are 3 things in this story that caught my eye:

1. "You know, it's not easy having most of the country hate you," Sheehan said. "I know ..."

Yes, you may know, but you obviously don't comprehend it. If most of the country thinks you're a whackaloon, except for a small circle of other whackaloons ... then maybe it's you that's screwed up.

2.
Her office, lined with photos of her children, all in their 20s, and her 4-month-old grandson, Jonah, is full of awards for speaking out against the war when it was unpopular to do so.

Wow! I didn't realize that you could win awards for calling a sitting president a "bastard" and a "nazi" and "Hitler." I also didn't realize that it was unpopular to speak out against the war, seeing as every time someone speaks out against the war, the liberal media immediately gives them superstar status, they get TV time and, well, the power to run for the House of Representatives.

3.
"I think it's OK to enjoy life again. My grandson has made me realize that."

Well, if anyone can talk sense into Cindy Sheehan, it's a 4-month-old, seeing as they're pretty much the same mental age.

Rounding Up The Sheep

Here's a neat little story about a group called Vote Today Ohio.

Volunteers supporting Barack Obama picked up hundreds of people at homeless shelters, soup kitchens and drug-rehab centers and drove them to a polling place yesterday on the last day that Ohioans could register and vote on the same day, almost no questions asked.

The huge effort by a pro-Obama group, Vote Today Ohio, takes advantage of a quirk in the state's elections laws that allows people to register and cast ballots at the same time without having to prove residency.

Isn't that wonderful?

See, that's why libs love the dregs of society -- if you keep people down in the dirt, you know where to find them when you need them.

I'm sure these 'voters' were told all about how Republican policy has caused their homelessness, drug addiction and such, and how the messiah Obama will turn them into millionaires and successful community citizens.

Which, for many of them, is something they could have done on their own, if they wanted to actually work for it. But this way, all they have to do is pull a certain lever, or mark a certain box on a ballot.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Barney Frank and the Housing Mess

This is interesting ...

WASHINGTON — Unqualified home buyers were not the only ones who benefitted from Massachusetts Rep. Barney Frank’s efforts to deregulate Fannie Mae throughout the 1990s.

So did Frank’s partner, a Fannie Mae executive at the forefront of the agency’s push to relax lending restrictions.

Now that Fannie Mae is at the epicenter of a financial meltdown that threatens the U.S. economy, some are raising new questions about Frank's relationship with Herb Moses, who was Fannie’s assistant director for product initiatives. Moses worked at the government-sponsored enterprise from 1991 to 1998, while Frank was on the House Banking Committee, which had jurisdiction over Fannie.

Both Frank and Moses assured the Wall Street Journal in 1992 that they took pains to avoid any conflicts of interest. Critics, however, remain skeptical.

"It’s absolutely a conflict," said Dan Gainor, vice president of the Business & Media Institute. "He was voting on Fannie Mae at a time when he was involved with a Fannie Mae executive. How is that not germane?

"If this had been his ex-wife and he was Republican, I would bet every penny I have - or at least what’s not in the stock market - that this would be considered germane," added Gainor, a T. Boone Pickens Fellow. "But everybody wants to avoid it because he’s gay. It’s the quintessential double standard."

A top GOP House aide agreed.

"C’mon, he writes housing and banking laws and his boyfriend is a top exec at a firm that stands to gain from those laws?" the aide told FOX News. "No media ever takes note? Imagine what would happen if Frank’s political affiliation was R instead of D? Imagine what the media would say if [GOP former] Chairman [Mike] Oxley’s wife or [GOP presidential nominee John] McCain’s wife was a top exec at Fannie for a decade while they wrote the nation’s housing and banking laws."

Frank’s office did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Frank met Moses in 1987, the same year he became the first openly gay member of Congress.

"I am the only member of the congressional gay spouse caucus," Moses wrote in the Washington Post in 1991. "On Capitol Hill, Barney always introduces me as his lover."

The two lived together in a Washington home until they broke up in 1998, a few months after Moses ended his seven-year tenure at Fannie Mae, where he was the assistant director of product initiatives. According to National Mortgage News, Moses "helped develop many of Fannie Mae’s affordable housing and home improvement lending programs."

Critics say such programs led to the mortgage meltdown that prompted last month’s government takeover of Fannie Mae and its financial cousin, Freddie Mac. The giant firms are blamed for spreading bad mortgages throughout the private financial sector.

Although Frank now blames Republicans for the failure of Fannie and Freddie, he spent years blocking GOP lawmakers from imposing tougher regulations on the mortgage giants. In 1991, the year Moses was hired by Fannie, the Boston Globe reported that Frank pushed the agency to loosen regulations on mortgages for two- and three-family homes, even though they were defaulting at twice and five times the rate of single homes, respectively.

Three years later, President Clinton’s Department of Housing and Urban Development tried to impose a new regulation on Fannie, but was thwarted by Frank. Clinton now blames such Democrats for planting the seeds of today’s economic crisis.

"I think the responsibility that the Democrats have may rest more in resisting any efforts by Republicans in the Congress or by me when I was president, to put some standards and tighten up a little on Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac," Clinton said recently.

Seems odd, doesn't it?

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Sandra Bernhard 'Jokes' About Palin, Gang Rape

This is interesting:
BOSTON - A women's shelter on Wednesday cut headliner Sandra Bernhard from its annual benefit after she said Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin
would be gang-raped if she ever visited New York.

Bernhard's made the remarks last month during her one-woman show in Washington before Palin visited New York to campaign. Bernhard said Palin would be "gang-raped by my big black brothers" during a diatribe in which she also criticized Palin for opposing abortion rights.

Many guests at Rosie's Place, a Boston shelter, have been victims of violence, public relations director Leemarie Mosca said. "In light of our mission, we don't think violence against women is a laughing matter," she said.

So ... first off, I commendRosie's Place for having sense.

Second, if Sarah Berhard is the only person on stage, how can that be called a "one-woman show"? Wouldn't there need to be a woman there?

I'm all for political discourse, but (a) I do not like rape, and (b) I do not like when people try to make political points through stupidity, because it only hampers debate.

But, I don't expect Bernhard to understand that, because she never really came across as all that intelligent -- it seems her big claim to fame was being nothing more than an absolutely hideous "woman" who used lots of dirty words.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Pelosi Family Enjoys the System

Here's an interesting article about Nancy Pelosi paying her husband with money from one of her PACs.

It's something that politicians from both sides of the aisle have done, and have been chastised for; However, according to this article, Pelosi last year supported legislation that would have banned such payments.

I'm telling you, all these people are thieves and liars.

Something to Look Out For

Here's a story about the moderator for tomorrow's vice presidential debate, Gwen Ifill.

The story talks about how Ifill has a book coming out about black politicians and the changing face of politics.

From some of the quotes in the story, at least, Ifill doesn't sound really partisan; I'm sure she has her own opinions, but she doesn't come across as biased in terms of reporting.

She said she is concerned only about getting straight answers from candidates.

"You do your best to get candidates to answer your question. But I also trust the viewers to understand when questions are not answered and reach their own conclusions," Ifill told BlackAmericaWeb.

"Four years ago, when neither John Edwards nor Dick Cheney proved capable of answering a question about the domestic epidemic of AIDS among African-American women, viewers flooded me with reaction," she said.

So, while I don't think it's anything that would taint a debate, it's still something to look out for while you're watching.