Monday, September 29, 2008

Who caused “the biggest financial crisis since the Great Depression?”

The Root Cause

* According to Senator Chris Dodd (D. CT) the “root cause” of the problem is “the housing foreclosure crisis.”

Not 100% accurate, perhaps–it’s really a credit crisis–but close enough for government work, especially from someone who has just happens to chair the Senate Banking Committee and who, completely coincidentally, has been such a conspicuous beneficiary of preferential mortgages and who, also coincidentally, leads the list of those who have received campaign contributions from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. (Guess who comes in 2nd and 3rd?)

* But what caused the housing crisis to which Senator Dodd alludes? The housing “bubble.”

* And what caused the housing bubble? “Sub-prime,” i.e., risky, mortgages; that is, mortgages made to people who, in the normal course of things would have to pay a premium in order to obtain a mortgage (if they could obtain one at all) because

a) they had bad or non-existent credit

b) their income was insufficient or

c) both.

Packaging the American Dream

A home of your own. It’s part of the American dream. Work hard, save up for a down payment, pay your bills on time and, presto, you, too, can buy a home.

For decades the government has done things to help Americans to realize the dream, e.g., graciously allowing citizens to keep some of their own money to help pay for the interest on a mortgage (the official term for this is a “tax deduction,” but I prefer my locution since it emphasizes the fact that it is YOUR MONEY we are talking about).

But what about people who do not work hard (if they work at all)? What about people who have not saved up for a down payment? What about people who do not pay their bills on time (if they pay them at all)? Why shouldn’t they get to live the American dream?

That was the question that led to

”The Community Reinvestment Act” (see here for more).

* The original Community Reinvestment Act was signed into law in 1977 by Jimmy Carter. Its purpose, in a nutshell, was to require banks to provide credit to “under-served populations,” i.e., those with poor credit.

The buzz word was “affordable mortgages,” e.g., mortgages with low teaser-rates, which required the borrower to put no money down, which required the borrower to pay only the interest for a set number of years, etc.

* In 1995, Bill Clinton’s administration made various changes to the CRA, increasing “access to mortgage credit for inner city and distressed rural communities,” i.e., it provided for the securitization, i.e. public underwriting, of what everyone now calls “sub-prime mortgages.”

Bottom line? It forced banks to issue $1 trillion in sub-prime mortgages.

$1 trillion, i.e., a thousand billion dollars in sub-prime,i.e., risky, mortgages, in order to push this latest example of social engineering.

But wait: how did it force banks to do this? Easy. Introduce a federal requirement that banks make the loans or face penalties. As Howard Husock, writing in City Journal way back in 2000 observed: “Bank examiners would use federal home-loan data, broken down by neighborhood, income group, and race, to rate banks on performance. There would be no more A’s for effort. Only results—specific loans, specific levels of service—would count.” Way back in 1994, for example, Barack Obama sued Citibank on behalf of a client who charged that the bank “systematically denied mortgages to African-American applicants and others from minority neighborhoods.”

* In 1997, Bear Stearns–O firm of blessed memory–was the first to get onto the sub-prime gravy train.

* Fannie Mae & Freddy Mac–were there near the beginning, too.

Anatomy of a bubble

Step 1. The intoxication: “My house is worth millions!” From 1995 - 2005, the number of sub-prime mortgages skyrocket. So did the house prices.

Step 2. The hangover: “Oh my God, my house isn’t selling. What went wrong?”

Why didn’t someone try to stop it?

Someone did: “The Bush administration today recommended the most significant regulatory overhaul in the housing finance industry since the savings and loan crisis a decade ago,” The New York Times, September 11, 2003.

But someone intervened to stymie the Bush administration. Who? The New York Times reports:

Supporters of the companies said efforts to regulate the lenders tightly under those agencies might diminish their ability to finance loans for lower-income families. . . . “These two entities — Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac — are not facing any kind of financial crisis,” said Representative Barney Frank of Massachusetts, the ranking Democrat on the Financial Services Committee. “The more people exaggerate these problems, the more pressure there is on these companies, the less we will see in terms of affordable housing.”

Why didn’t someone else ring the alarm?

Someone else did. In 2005, John McCain co-sponsored the “Federal Housing Enterprise Regulatory Reform Act,” which among other things provided for more oversight of Freddie & Fannie. The bill didn’t pass. Guess who blocked it?

The bill was reintroduced in 2007. But again, no luck. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac had friends in the Senate:

* Chris Dodd, a recipient of “sweetheart” loans from a Freddie and Fannie backed company.

* The junior senator from Illinois, i.e., Barack Obama, who turned to Jim Johnson, former head (1991-1998) of Fannie Mae, to help advise him on whom to pick for the vice-presidential slot on his ticket. From 1985 to 1990, incidentally, Johnson was managing director of Lehman Brothers. Remember them?

* You might also want to check out one of Barack Obama’s other advisors: Franklin Raines, former CEO of Freddie Mac: see here , for example, or here , or here.

Towards the end of the video, we read this salutary observation: “Everyone deserves a home, not a house of cards.”

Who gave us the house of cards? Watch the whole thing here (original link was here). And then pass it along to everyone you know.

(My, my, now isn't that interesting?? VN8)

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Are you jealous?

Try this quiz and be honest with yourself. It's very revealing. VN8

Cool Hand Luke - RIP

My first crush, Paul Newman has passed away. Thank you for a lifetime of philanthropy! May he rest in eternal peace.

“We are such spendthrifts with our lives,” Mr. Newman once told a reporter. “The trick of living is to slip on and off the planet with the least fuss you can muster. I’m not running for sainthood. I just happen to think that in life we need to be a little like the farmer, who puts back into the soil what he takes out.”
Paul Leonard Newman/January 26, 1925 - September 26, 2008

Friday, September 26, 2008

Say What?: Joe Biden, FDR & the TV

Poor old Senator Biden, I think he's suffering from senility. VN8

In response to our post about Sarah Palin’s interview with Katie Couric, several readers have asked why we have not posted a clip of Joe Biden’s recent gaffe about FDR.

Now, by popular demand . . .

In his own interview with Ms. Couric, Mr. Biden said: “When the stock market crashed, Franklin D. Roosevelt got on the television and didn’t just talk about the, you know, the princes of greed. He said, ‘Look, here’s what happened.’”

There are, of course, a few historical inaccuracies there. First, Herbert Hoover was president when the stock market crashed, in 1929. Roosevelt did not take office until March of 1933.

When he did, Roosevelt communicated to the people over radio — not television.

Mr. Biden has more than his share of gaffes, but they are of the sort that most politicians make at some time. Mr. Biden has shown in decades of public life, and countless interviews, press conferences, and unscripted public statements, a depth of understanding of foreign and domestic issues. That is something Gov. Palin has yet to demonstrate.

On the same page? Well maybe the same picture!

Senator Pelosi to President Bush's right and Senator Reid to his left, wow and Senator McCain the farthest away from Senator Obama! Amazing, let's see how much those Dem's are willing to reach across the great divide we call the "aisle"!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Marine Sues Congressman for Slander Over Haditha Comments


September 25, 2008

A former U.S. Marine sued a congressman for slander on Thursday, saying he damaged his reputation by saying he and his comrades killed women and children "in cold blood" in Haditha, Iraq, in November 2005.

Former Lance Cpl. Justin Sharratt filed the federal lawsuit against Rep. John Murtha in Pittsburgh. Sharratt claims the comments by the high-ranking Pennsylvania Democrat made on news shows in May 2006 also violated his constitutional rights to due process and presumption of innocence.

Sharratt, 24, was initially charged with three counts of premeditated murder but was exonerated after a full investigation and a hearing. He was honorably discharged last year.

"Sharratt, in being labeled repeatedly by Murtha as a 'cold-blooded murderer,' and by Murtha outrageously claiming that the Haditha incident was comparable to the infamous (My Lai) massacre of Vietnam, has suffered permanent, irreversible damage to his reputation," the lawsuit states.

Military prosecutors have said two dozen Iraqis, including women and children, were killed in Haditha on Nov. 19, 2005, after one Marine died and two others were wounded by a roadside bomb. Murtha, a former Marine and decorated Vietnam War veteran, spoke out about the killings, saying that troops in Iraq were being put under too much pressure.

Sharratt said he has received hate e-mails and been called a "baby killer" when he goes out in his hometown in suburban Pittsburgh.

Murtha's office said the congressman had no comment on the lawsuit.

Sharratt is the second Marine to sue Murtha over his comments about Haditha. Staff Sgt. Frank Wuterich, the only person still facing charges in the Haditha case, sued Murtha for defamation in 2006. That lawsuit is pending.

In his lawsuit, Sharratt accuses Murtha of repeatedly saying on CNN, NBC and other outlets that Sharratt and his fellow Marines "overreacted because of the pressure on them and killed innocent civilians in cold blood."

Murtha said the Haditha killings were comparable to the March 1968 My Lai massacre, when American servicemen killed as many as 504 Vietnamese villagers, Geary said in a statement.

Sharratt and Geary denied any civilians were killed on purpose, and Sharratt said he didn't witness any civilian deaths. Sharratt and his father, Darryl, said that he killed three insurgents, two armed with assault rifles and a third about to retrieve a rifle.

Murtha didn't name Sharratt, but media members were able to identify him from the congressman's comments and other information, said Sharratt's attorney, Noah Geary, at a news conference Thursday afternoon.

Four enlisted Marines, including Sharratt, were originally charged for their roles in the killings and four officers were charged in connection to the investigation. One officer was acquitted and charges have since been dropped against everyone else except Wuterich, whose case is pending.

Wuterich has pleaded not guilty to charges of voluntary manslaughter. He is accused of ordering his men to clear several houses with grenades and gunfire, leading to the deaths of women and children.

A veteran congressman, Murtha was hawkish on war issues for decades but has come to believe the U.S. should leave Iraq as soon as possible. He is known for bringing money and jobs, especially in the defense industries, to his district in rural Pennsylvania.

He faces Republican William T. Russell, a career Army member who left the service two years short of retirement, in the November election. Russell has run campaign ads criticizing Murtha for his comments about Haditha.

(Amen and Amen! Semper Fidelis Brother! Keep the faith, stand strong! VN8)

"You Have To Be Kidding Me?"

Democratic Congressman Warns Jews, Blacks to Beware of Palin
by Stephen Clark
Thursday, September 25, 2008

Florida Rep. Alcee Hastings on Wednesday warned two minority groups to beware of Sarah Palin because “anybody toting guns and stripping moose don’t care too much about what they do with Jews and blacks.”

Hastings, who is black and a Democrat, made the comment in Florida at a panel discussion hosted by the National Jewish Democratic Council. The group recently criticized Palin’s invitation to an anti-Iran rally held during Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmedinajad’s visit to New York to speak before the U.N. General Assembly.

Hastings was explaining what he intended to tell his Jewish constituents about the presidential race.

“If Sarah Palin isn’t enough of a reason for you to get over whatever your problem is with Barack Obama, then you damn well had better pay attention,” Hastings told the audience, which burst into laughter and applause, according to individuals present.

Palin spokeswoman Maria Comella declined to comment. The Republican Jewish Coalition strongly condemned Hastings’ statements.

“Rep. Hastings stooped to the worst kind of divisive politics yesterday,” RJC Executive Director Matt Brooks said in a written statement. “Hastings’ unconscionable remarks do nothing but sow seeds of fear and divide people. There should be no place in our country for this sort of political discourse. We can constructively disagree on the issues without denigrating others.”

Other members of the panel were Tennessee Rep. Steve Cohen, who is Jewish and represents a mostly black district; Alabama congressman Artur Davis, who is black; and Peter Edelman, a law professor at Georgetown University who was a legislative assistant to Robert Kennedy.

Davis denounced Hastings’ comments.

“Alcee Hastings is a friend and I know Alcee well enough to know that he uses provocative humor to make a point. In this instance, however, I didn’t like his comments when I heard them and they don’t sound any better reading them in print,” he said in a written statement sent to

“I have repeatedly said that while Sarah Palin’s ideology and her thin resume are legitimate issues, it is a great mistake for Democrats to ridicule her cultural roots,” Davis added. “I don’t know how many Americans strip moose, but a lot of the ones I know tote guns and the Democratic Party had better win enough of those gun toters if we are to be successful.”

Hastings, a former federal judge, was impeached and removed from the bench in 1989 for perjury and corruption. Elected to Congress in 1992, he supported Hillary Clinton during the primaries until she conceded the race.

Historically, Jews have overwhelmingly voted Democratic, but the McCain campaign is vigorously courting that constituency as Obama has fought off false Internet rumors that he is a Muslim with an anti-Jewish agenda.

Obama also came under fire in April for describing small-town Americans during a closed San Francisco fundraiser as people who are “bitter” over job losses and who “cling to their guns and religion.”

Hastings’ office and the Obama campaign did not immediately respond for this story.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Obama and Ayers Pushed Radicalism On Schools

Bill Ayers

September 23, 2008

Despite having authored two autobiographies, Barack Obama has never written about his most important executive experience. From 1995 to 1999, he led an education foundation called the Chicago Annenberg Challenge (CAC), and remained on the board until 2001. The group poured more than $100 million into the hands of community organizers and radical education activists.

The CAC was the brainchild of Bill Ayers, a founder of the Weather Underground in the 1960s. Among other feats, Mr. Ayers and his cohorts bombed the Pentagon, and he has never expressed regret for his actions. Barack Obama's first run for the Illinois State Senate was launched at a 1995 gathering at Mr. Ayers's home.

The Obama campaign has struggled to downplay that association. Last April, Sen. Obama dismissed Mr. Ayers as just "a guy who lives in my neighborhood," and "not somebody who I exchange ideas with on a regular basis." Yet documents in the CAC archives make clear that Mr. Ayers and Mr. Obama were partners in the CAC. Those archives are housed in the Richard J. Daley Library at the University of Illinois at Chicago and I've recently spent days looking through them.

The Chicago Annenberg Challenge was created ostensibly to improve Chicago's public schools. The funding came from a national education initiative by Ambassador Walter Annenberg. In early 1995, Mr. Obama was appointed the first chairman of the board, which handled fiscal matters. Mr. Ayers co-chaired the foundation's other key body, the "Collaborative," which shaped education policy.

The CAC's basic functioning has long been known, because its annual reports, evaluations and some board minutes were public. But the Daley archive contains additional board minutes, the Collaborative minutes, and documentation on the groups that CAC funded and rejected. The Daley archives show that Mr. Obama and Mr. Ayers worked as a team to advance the CAC agenda.

One unsettled question is how Mr. Obama, a former community organizer fresh out of law school, could vault to the top of a new foundation? In response to my questions, the Obama campaign issued a statement saying that Mr. Ayers had nothing to do with Obama's "recruitment" to the board. The statement says Deborah Leff and Patricia Albjerg Graham (presidents of other foundations) recruited him. Yet the archives show that, along with Ms. Leff and Ms. Graham, Mr. Ayers was one of a working group of five who assembled the initial board in 1994. Mr. Ayers founded CAC and was its guiding spirit. No one would have been appointed the CAC chairman without his approval.

The CAC's agenda flowed from Mr. Ayers's educational philosophy, which called for infusing students and their parents with a radical political commitment, and which downplayed achievement tests in favor of activism. In the mid-1960s, Mr. Ayers taught at a radical alternative school, and served as a community organizer in Cleveland's ghetto.

In works like "City Kids, City Teachers" and "Teaching the Personal and the Political," Mr. Ayers wrote that teachers should be community organizers dedicated to provoking resistance to American racism and oppression. His preferred alternative? "I'm a radical, Leftist, small 'c' communist," Mr. Ayers said in an interview in Ron Chepesiuk's, "Sixties Radicals," at about the same time Mr. Ayers was forming CAC.

CAC translated Mr. Ayers's radicalism into practice. Instead of funding schools directly, it required schools to affiliate with "external partners," which actually got the money. Proposals from groups focused on math/science achievement were turned down. Instead CAC disbursed money through various far-left community organizers, such as the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (or Acorn).

Mr. Obama once conducted "leadership training" seminars with Acorn, and Acorn members also served as volunteers in Mr. Obama's early campaigns. External partners like the South Shore African Village Collaborative and the Dual Language Exchange focused more on political consciousness, Afrocentricity and bilingualism than traditional education. CAC's in-house evaluators comprehensively studied the effects of its grants on the test scores of Chicago public-school students. They found no evidence of educational improvement.

CAC also funded programs designed to promote "leadership" among parents. Ostensibly this was to enable parents to advocate on behalf of their children's education. In practice, it meant funding Mr. Obama's alma mater, the Developing Communities Project, to recruit parents to its overall political agenda. CAC records show that board member Arnold Weber was concerned that parents "organized" by community groups might be viewed by school principals "as a political threat." Mr. Obama arranged meetings with the Collaborative to smooth out Mr. Weber's objections.

The Daley documents show that Mr. Ayers sat as an ex-officio member of the board Mr. Obama chaired through CAC's first year. He also served on the board's governance committee with Mr. Obama, and worked with him to craft CAC bylaws. Mr. Ayers made presentations to board meetings chaired by Mr. Obama. Mr. Ayers spoke for the Collaborative before the board. Likewise, Mr. Obama periodically spoke for the board at meetings of the Collaborative.

The Obama campaign notes that Mr. Ayers attended only six board meetings, and stresses that the Collaborative lost its "operational role" at CAC after the first year. Yet the Collaborative was demoted to a strictly advisory role largely because of ethical concerns, since the projects of Collaborative members were receiving grants. CAC's own evaluators noted that project accountability was hampered by the board's reluctance to break away from grant decisions made in 1995. So even after Mr. Ayers's formal sway declined, the board largely adhered to the grant program he had put in place.

Mr. Ayers's defenders claim that he has redeemed himself with public-spirited education work. That claim is hard to swallow if you understand that he views his education work as an effort to stoke resistance to an oppressive American system. He likes to stress that he learned of his first teaching job while in jail for a draft-board sit-in. For Mr. Ayers, teaching and his 1960s radicalism are two sides of the same coin.

Mr. Ayers is the founder of the "small schools" movement (heavily funded by CAC), in which individual schools built around specific political themes push students to "confront issues of inequity, war, and violence." He believes teacher education programs should serve as "sites of resistance" to an oppressive system. (His teacher-training programs were also CAC funded.) The point, says Mr. Ayers in his "Teaching Toward Freedom," is to "teach against oppression," against America's history of evil and racism, thereby forcing social transformation.

The Obama campaign has cried foul when Bill Ayers comes up, claiming "guilt by association." Yet the issue here isn't guilt by association; it's guilt by participation. As CAC chairman, Mr. Obama was lending moral and financial support to Mr. Ayers and his radical circle. That is a story even if Mr. Ayers had never planted a single bomb 40 years ago.

Mr. Kurtz is a senior fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center.

(VN8 has been very busy and will return with a vengeance ASAP.)

Thursday, September 18, 2008


by Ann Coulter
September 17, 2008

It's another election season, so that means it's time for Democrats to start uttering wild malapropisms about the Bible"" to pretend they believe in God!

In 2000, we had Al Gore inverting a Christian parable into something nearly satanic. Defending his nutty ideas about the Earth during one of the debates, Gore said: "In my faith tradition, it's written in the book of Matthew, where your heart is, there is your treasure also." And that, he said, is why we should treasure the environment.

First of all, people who say "faith tradition" instead of "religion" are always phony-baloney, "Christmas and Easter"-type believers.

Second, Jesus was making almost the exact opposite point, saying: "Do not store up for yourselves treasures on Earth," where there are moths, rust and thieves, but in heaven, because, Jesus said, "where your treasure is, there your heart will be also."

I guess that's the kind of mix-up that can happen when your theological adviser is Naomi Wolf.

Then in 2004, Democratic presidential candidate and future Trivial Pursuit answer Howard Dean told an interviewer that his favorite part of the New Testament was the Book of Job. The reporter should have asked him if that was his favorite book in all three testaments.

And now in 2008, we have Democrats attacking Sarah Palin for being a Christian, while comparing Obama to Jesus Christ. (And not in the sarcastic way the rest of us do.)

Liberals have indignantly claimed that Palin thinks the founding fathers wrote the Pledge of Allegiance, which is Olbermannic in the sense that (a) if it were true, it's trivial, and (b) it's not true.

Their claim is based on a questionnaire Palin filled out when she was running for governor of Alaska in 2006, which asked the candidates if they were "offended by the phrase 'under God' in the Pledge of Allegiance." Palin answered: "Not on your life. If it was good enough for the founding fathers, it's good enough for me, and I'll fight in defense of our Pledge of Allegiance."

As anyone can see, Palin was not suggesting that the founding fathers "wrote" the Pledge of Allegiance: She said the founding fathers believed this was a country "under God." Which, um, it is.

For the benefit of MSNBC viewers who aren't watching it as a joke, the whole point of the Declaration of Independence was to lay out the founders' breathtaking new argument that rights came not from the king, but from God or, as the Declaration said, "Nature's God," the "Creator."

That summer, in 1776, Gen. George Washington -- a charter member of the founding fathers -- rallied his troops, saying: "The time is now near at hand which must probably determine whether Americans are to be freemen or slaves. ... The fate of unborn millions will now depend, under God, on the courage and conduct of the army."

So Washington not only used the phrase "under God," but gave us one of the earliest known references to the rights of the "unborn." That's right! George Washington was a "pro-life extremist," just like Sarah Palin.

There is no disputing that a nation "under God" was "good enough" for the founding fathers, exactly as Palin said.

Meanwhile, on the House floor last week, Democratic Rep. Steve Cohen of Tennessee compared Palin to Pontius Pilate -- and Obama to Jesus. Cohen said: "Barack Obama was a community organizer like Jesus, who our minister prayed about. Pontius Pilate was a governor." Yes, who can forget the Biblical account of how Jesus got the homeless Samaritan to register as a Democrat in exchange for a carton of smokes!

Rep. Cohen would be well-advised to stay away from New Testament references.

As anyone familiar with the New Testament can confirm for him, there are no parables about Jesus passing out cigarettes for votes, lobbying the Romans for less restrictive workfare rules or filing for grants under the Community Redevelopment Act. No time for soul-saving now! First, we lobby Fannie Mae to ease off those lending standards and demand a windfall profits tax on the money-changers in the temple.

David Freddoso's magnificent new book, The Case Against Barack Obama"" describes the forefather to "community organizers" like Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton -- the famed Saul Alinsky.

Alinsky is sort of the George Washington of "community organizers." If there were an America-hater's Mount Rushmore, Saul Alinsky would be on it. He tried to hire Hillary to work for him right out of Wellesley. A generation later, those who had trained with Alinsky did hire Obama as a community organizer.

In Freddoso's book"", he quotes from the dedication in the first edition of Alinsky's seminal book, "Rules for Radicals," where Alinsky wrote:

"Lest we forget at least an over-the-shoulder acknowledgment to the very first radical: From all our legends, mythology and history (and who is to know where mythology leaves off and history begins -- or which is which), the first radical known to man who rebelled against the establishment and did it so effectively that he at least won his own kingdom -- Lucifer."

I suppose it could have been worse. He could have dedicated his book to George Soros.

Even liberals eventually figured out that they shouldn't be praising Satan in public, so the Lucifer-as-inspiration paragraph was cut from later editions of Alinsky's book. (But on the bright side, MSNBC adopted as its motto: "Who is to know where mythology leaves off and history begins -- or which is which.")

That's exactly what happens to most Democratic ideas -- as soon as they are said out loud, normal people react with revulsion, so Democrats learn to pretend they never said them: I was NOT comparing Palin to a pig! I did not play the race card! I did not say I would meet with Ahmadinejad without preconditions!

Sarah Palin might be just the lucky break the Democrats need. As a staunch pro-lifer, Palin could give Democrats an excuse to steer away from topics they know nothing about, like the Bible"", and onto a subject they know chapter and verse, like abortion.

Top Clinton fundraiser backs McCain over Obama


WASHINGTON (AP) — A top Hillary Rodham Clinton fundraiser threw her support behind Republican John McCain on Wednesday, saying he will lead the country in a centrist fashion and accusing the Democrats of becoming too extreme.

"I believe that Barack Obama, with and Nancy Pelosi and Howard Dean, has taken the Democratic Party — and they will continue to — too far to the left," Lynn Forester de Rothschild said. "I'm not comfortable there."

Rothschild is also a member of the Democratic National Committee's Platform Committee. She said she would be stepping down from her position on the committee but will not switch political parties.

Clinton spokeswoman Kathleen Strand said in an e-mail that the New York senator disagrees with Rothschild's decision to endorse McCain.

"Senator Clinton has been criss-crossing the country and doing whatever she can to make the very clear case that the Obama-Biden ticket represents the new ideas and positive change we need right now, and the McCain-Palin ticket does not," Strand said in the e-mail.

Rothschild said she was excited by the prospect of a woman being in the White House, even though she and Republican vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin disagree on issues. The Alaska governor opposes abortion except in the case of a threat to the mother's life. Rothschild said she supports abortion rights.

"I believe that the McCain-Palin government will be a centrist government," Rothschild said. "It's not going to be an ideological government."

Rothschild is a member of the DNC's Democrats Abroad chapter and splits her time living in London and New York. She was one of Clinton's top fundraisers, bringing in more than $100,000 for her presidential campaign. She built a multimillion-dollar telecommunications company before marrying international banker Sir Evelyn de Rothschild.

Rothschild said she has not discussed her support for McCain with Clinton.

"I'm sure she is not pleased with what I'm doing today," she said. "But you know what? I have to do what I believe in."

The Sky Is Falling

a Bulrovian fairy tale

adapted by Rick Walton

Once upon a time there was a tiny, tiny chicken named Chicken Little. One day Chicken Little was scratching in the garden when something fell on her head.

"Oh," cried Chicken Little, "the sky is falling. I must go tell the king."

So Chicken Little ran and ran, and she met Henny Penny.

"Where do you travel so fast, Chicken Little?" asked Henny Penny.

"Ah, Henny Penny," said Chicken Little, "the sky is falling, and I must go and tell the king."

"How do you know that the sky is falling, Chicken Little?" asked Henny Penny.

"I saw it with my eyes, I heard it with my ears, and a bit of it fell on my head," said Chicken Little.

"I will go with you to the king," said Henny Penny.

So they ran along together, and they met Ducky Daddles.

"Where do you travel so fast?" asked Ducky Daddles.

"Ah, Ducky Daddles," said Chicken Little, "the sky is falling, and Henny Penny and I go to tell the king."

"How do you know that the sky is falling, Chicken Little?" asked Ducky Daddles.

"I saw it with my eyes, I heard it with my ears, and a bit of it fell on my head," said Chicken Little.

"I will go with you to the king," said Ducky Daddles.

So they ran along together, and they met Goosey Loosey.

"Where do you travel so fast, Chicken Little?" asked Goosey Loosey.

"Ah, Goosey Loosey," said Chicken Little, "the sky is falling. Henny Penny and Ducky Daddles and I go to tell the king."

"How do you know that the sky is falling, Chicken Little?" asked Goosey Loosey.

"I saw it with my eyes, I heard it with my ears, and a bit of it fell on my head," said Chicken Little.

"I will go with you," said Goosey Loosey.

So they ran along together, and they met Turkey Lurkey.

"Where do you travel so fast, Chicken Little?" asked Turkey Lurkey.

"Ah, Turkey Lurkey," said Chicken Little, "the sky is falling, and Henny Penny and Ducky Daddles and Goosey Loosey and I go to tell the king."

"How do you know that the sky is falling?" asked Turkey Lurkey.

"I saw it with my eyes, I heard it with my ears, and a bit of it fell on my head," said Chicken Little.

"I will go with you to the king," said Turkey Lurkey.

So they ran along together, and they met Foxy Loxy.

"Where do you travel so fast, Chicken Little?" asked Foxy Loxy.

"Ah, Foxy Loxy," said Chicken Little, "the sky is falling, and we go to tell the king."

"Do you know the way to the king's house?" asked Foxy Loxy.

"No," said Chicken Little.

"No," said Henny Penny.

"No," said Ducky Daddles.

"No," said Goosey Loosey.

"No," said Turkey Lurkey.

"Then come with me and I will show you," said Foxy Loxy.

And just as he was about to lead them into his den to eat them...

...the sky fell on him.

"Oh dear," said Chicken Little.

"We're too late," said Henny Penny.

"Poor Foxy Loxy," said Ducky Daddles.

"No sense in going to the king," said Goosey Loosey.

"Nothing to do now but go home," said Turkey Lurkey.

And they did.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Thursday, September 11, 2008


Neal Boortz
September 11, 2008

Barack Obama wants to make the highest income earners in this country return to the 39% tax bracket. And the reason, according to Barack Obama, is because those people "can afford that." In exchange, because he is such a nice guy, Obama says he is going to cut taxes for 95% of Americans ... an act which he declares is not class warfare.

Two points: First, when Obama talks about raising taxes on the evil, disgusting, putrid, rancid, stinking rich because they can afford it, he's merely going back to his Marxist roots. Remember "From each according to their ability, to each according to their needs?" Straight from the Communist Manifesto .. just reworded slightly by The
Chosen One. Second; Let's put this nonsense about tax cuts for 95% of Americans to rest. The bottom 50% of income earners don't even pay income taxes, so how is Our Savior going to give them a tax break? What Obama is really talking about is tax credits. Here's how his plan will work. He'll come up with some fancy new tax credit to reward his minions for some type of acceptable behavior – like voting Democrat. Let's say the tax credit is $2000. But ... these people don't owe any taxes! So what good is a tax credit to them? Well, this is a new type of credit called a "refundable" tax credit. If you're eligible for the $2000 credit, and you don't owe any income taxes, you just get a check form the federal government for $2000. Just a very simple wealth redistribution plan. Remember, Obama and the Democrats think that wealth in the United States is not earned, it's distributed. It's the government's job to re-work that distribution to make it more "fair."

But now we have something new in the mix. Obama has come up with a new excuse for wealth and income redistribution. He has a new excuse – reason, if you will – to implement the Marxist "from each according to their ability" doctrine.

The new excuse? Neighborliness.

Yes, I kid you not. This is what is fueling Barack Obama's tax plan. Neighborliness. You know ... because it would be the nice thing to do. He explains, "If I am sitting pretty, and you've got a waitress who is making minimum wage plus tips, and I can afford it and she can't -- what's the big deal for me to say, 'I'm going to pay a little bit more.' That is neighborliness."

"What's the big deal?" Obama says? You're kidding me, right? The big deal that the government is using its exclusive right to use deadly force to accomplish its goals by forcing you to be neighborly at the point of a gun. If you decide that you need the money you have worked for and earned for your own family – and that you don't particularly want to give it away to someone who somehow can't earn more than the minimum wage – then the government simply sticks you up at gunpoint? If the poor, poor pathetic minimum wage waitress did this she would be arrested. No problem though. Barack Obama will just do it for her. Lord how we need this guy.

Here's a little more from Obama: "What I believe is, is that there are certain things we have to do. We've got to help people who are having tough times affording college, so they can benefit like we benefited from this great country. People who are having a tough time -- they don't have health care; people who are trying to figure out how they are going to pay the bills..."

Remember .. most of these people who, as Obama says, are having a "tough time," created their own tough time. "Having a tough time" is another way of saying "living with the consequences of your decisions."

What would life be like in an ObamaNation? There's the government sitting there watching you – watching you work – watching you go the extra mile. The government takes note of the fact that you pursued an advanced education. Then the government observes you working 50, 60 maybe 80 hours a week trying to start a business. The government watches your income as it rises. Finally at some point the government says "Enough! You now have more than you need! There are people out there who did not pursue an education like you did. There are people out there who did not work as hard and as long as you did. There are people out there who did not make the careful choices and take the risks you did. Now you have to be a good neighbor. So we're going to take some of that money you don't need and 'spread the wealth', so to speak."

Do you really want a government that can decide when you have enough .. and take the excess away? Then vote for Obama.

When told that his tax plan is just a fancy way of saying "income redistribution," which is a tenant of socialism, Obama's response was, "Teddy Roosevelt supported a progressive income tax." That's it. That's his excuse.

So now we have Teddy Roosevelt and neighborliness. How wonderful.

Rep. Cohen Compares Obama to Jesus, Palin To Pontius Pilate

(What's up with that hair? VN8)

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Conflict with Islamic Terrorist Nothing New to the US

By Nelson Price

The first terrorist raid on the U.S. was not the one on Sept. 11, 2001.

In 1776, John Adams and Thomas Jefferson met with Arab diplomats from Tunis. These were radical extremist Islamists, the Barbary Pirates, from the Barbary Coast of North Africa. They had been raiding American and ships of other countries. A major battle with them is referenced in the line "to the shores of Tripoli," from the Marine Corps Hymn.

Launched in 1799, the USS Constitution ("Old Ironsides") and the USS Constellation were designed to battle these pirates. Our Marines eventually destroyed the pirate headquarters at Derna. There were so many acts of heroism that it established the U.S. Navy as a significant power. It freed the Mediterranean area from Wahhabi-type terrorists and resulted in a peace treaty between the United States and the Islamic bloc that lasted nearly 200 years, until 9/11.

Before going further I am pleased to acknowledge not all Islamists are extremists. I have many friends among them who are not. However, it must be conceded there are some who are.

President Thomas Jefferson had no CIA to investigate foreign involvement, so he studied the Koran to better understand the Islamic mentality regarding conflict.

On March 28, 1786, Jefferson and Adams summarized for the Continental Congress their dialogue with Arab Ambassador Adja:

"We took the liberty to make some inquiries concerning the grounds of their presentations to make war upon a nation who had done them no injury, and observed that we considered all mankind as our friends who had done us no wrong, nor had given us any provocation.

"The ambassador answered us that it was founded on the laws of their prophet, that it was written in their Koran, that all nations who should not have acknowledged their authority were sinners, that it was their right and duty to make war upon them wherever they could be found, and to make slaves of all they could take as prisoners, and that every musselman who should be slain in battle was sure to go to paradise."

U.S. Consul William Eaton wrote the Secretary of State in 1799, "Too many concessions have been made to Algiers. There is but one language which can be held to these people, and this is terror."

At a time when our national revenue totaled only $7 million a year, America paid $990,000 in blackmail in an effort to appease these Algerian Islamists. European states whose ships had been attacked and citizens taken as slaves had been trying to buy them off for years. Jefferson referred to such perpetrators as terrorists. He proposed addressing the issue with military force.

These blackmailing terrorists justified their ruthless actions by hiding behind a self-serving interpretation of select passages in the Koran while ignoring others.

Is the picture becoming clearer? Is there a modern-day parallel? Our problems with extremist Islamists are not unprecedented nor their threats atypical.

Westerners have a tendency to engage in self-flagellation regarding the flawed crusades. They like all wars had excesses on both sides. Many actions by Christians (noun) were not Christian (adjective). We forget or never knew they were a reaction to Islamic incursion into Eastern Europe, Spain and France.

Our government and those of Europe have a challenge in trying to deal peacefully and constructively with Islamists desiring to coexist peacefully while confronting radical Islamists. As individuals we to must be discerning regarding the difference in relating personally to individual Muslims.

There have been periods in the history of Islam when the peace loving members were successful in controlling extremists.

The Rev. Dr. Nelson L. Price is pastor emeritus of Roswell Street Baptist Church. His Web address is

Quote of the day . . .

"Ann Coulter to me is someone who says things that I say all the time, but I say them at three in the morning when I’m drunk as a monkey. She says them at three in the afternoon stone sober in bright daylight."

— P. J. O’Rourke

Friday, September 5, 2008

Texas Man Kills Home Intruder With His Own Gun

Friday , September 05, 2008

When two gunmen smashed through the glass front door of her suburban Fort Worth home, Kellie Hoehn didn't think twice.

The 34-year-old mother of two grabbed a shotgun that had been pointed at her face early Wednesday, starting a struggle that ended with one intruder killed with his own weapon and another in the hospital.

"I wasn't going to let them get to my babies," she said, recalling the moment when she pushed up the muzzle of the shotgun, pointing it away from her children's rooms.

Although the intruders told her to keep quiet, she screamed for her husband. She told her 12-year-old son, who was awakened by the sound of the shattering glass front door, to get his 5-year-old sister and hide.

"It was like a horror movie," her husband, 32-year-old Keith Hoehn, told the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. "I thought I was a dead man. We're fighting for our lives."

With Kellie Hoehn clinging to the weapon's muzzle, her husband tackled the man who held the shotgun. She knocked the intruder in the head with a jar candle, giving her husband a chance to wrest the shotgun.

By then the tussle had spilled out onto the front lawn. Keith Hoehn shot one of the men who had a pistol, police said. Wounded, that man ran away.

Then the intruder who initially had the shotgun charged Keith Hoehn.

Kellie Hoehn told The Dallas Morning News that she screamed at her husband, "Shoot him, shoot him, shoot him."

Her husband fired the shotgun and the man fell to the ground. Then the shot man lunged a second time.

"Well, I shot him again, and I guess that was it," Keith Hoehn said.

Dakota Scott Benoit, 20, of Richland Hills, was pronounced dead at a hospital. John Garland Pierson, 25, of Haltom City, was in critical condition and in police custody at the hospital.

"I am not happy that someone is dead," Kellie Hoehn said. "But I am glad that my family is alive."

Police said Pierson was shot in the left arm and the bullet pierced his diaphragm and other organs but his condition was improving. He will face charges of burglary of habitation with intent to commit another felony, police said.

Investigators say the couple were just defending their family and probably won't be charged.

(IMHO, the SOB is lucky he's not dead! Poor young guys, I'm sure they probably didn't have a father figure or some poor luck on their part and didn't know the difference from right and wrong! VN8)

Special GOP Convention Issue: The Happiest Convention By Newt Gingrich

September 5th, 2008

This was the happiest convention I have attended.

In seven conventions going back to 1984, I have never seen delegates as happy.

I have seen them eager, energized, committed, determined but the underlying mood last night was sheer joy.

There was joy that Senator McCain had had the courage to pick Governor Palin.

There was joy that she and her family had come through the week of attacks smiling and eager to campaign.

There was joy that Governor Palin's Wednesday night speech completely vindicated Senator McCain's choice.

There was joy that 37 million Americans had seen her speech. That is almost as many as watched Senator Obama's acceptance speech (39 million).

There was deep inspiration from Cindy McCains story of adopting a child from Bangladesh and her commitment to the poor and the weak around the world.

There was awe at the film about Senator McCain's service to country and inspiration from the personal parts of his speech.

There was joy at Roberta McCain saying "he's a momma's boy" and admiration for her energy and enthusiasm at 96 (sort of knocks down the age issue).

Finally there was joy that we had nominated two real people of great authenticity to take on the poseurs on the other ticket.

It was appropriate in St. Paul, the city of F. Scott Fitzgerald, that the modern Great Gatsby found himself facing a ticket with a real war hero and a real governor.

Obama's long voyage of self discovery and posturing may be about to collide with a team that can't be intimidated and is not afraid to tell the truth.

Now that is a cause for joy.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Palin shows us how it's done

in St Paul, Minnesota
WHY, why, why can’t WE have a Sarah Palin?

That was the question churning in my mind as I witnessed this astonishing American presidential race.

A week ago few in Britain had heard of Palin.

Today, the moose-huntin’ mom is the most talked-about woman in the world.

And with good reason.

Her sensational performance at the Republican convention may turn out to be the moment the White House slipped from Barack Obama’s grasp.

She was an electrifying mix of passion, energy, optimism and plain speaking. The exact opposite of the slippery, two-faced, depressing bunch of third-raters who parade on our Westminster stage.

In Palin and the Democrats’ Barack Obama, America has two hugely charismatic people offering distinctly different roads.

Palin is sidekick to Vietnam war hero John McCain. He isn’t short of fame and glory either. But as I look closer to home, which giant British personalities are making news on the Westminster scene today? Er — Charles Clarke. A lumbering, grumbling tub of resentment, Big Ears snipes at Gordon Brown while lacking the courage to do anything about it.

Then there’s Alan Johnson, the gutless former postman who has failed to deliver for the Labour Party by running away from a leadership challenge.

Sixth-former David Miliband is hiding behind the bike sheds threatening to put Russian tyrant Vladimir Putin in detention.

What about the ladies?

There’s Hazel Blears, a clockwork orange of mediocrity.She couldn’t cause any excitement if she was fired out of a rocket from the top of Blackpool Tower.

Then there is that boot-faced robot of political correctness Harriet Harperson.

Somehow I can’t see any of this gang of miseries doing a Palin and thrilling a continent with a speech of intelligence, wit, fire and vision.

And, sorry Dave, but the Tories also have their share of ocean-going deadbeats.

Theresa May has been in the Tory high command since Noah boarded the Ark, but all she’s known for is flashing a tarty pair of heels.

Where is someone with the X-Factor mass appeal of Palin and Obama?

It’s grim. And sad, too, because I have seen here how exciting a political battle can be when slugged out by huge characters before an enthralled nation.

Democrats and their Lefty media backers had been sneering that Palin is a small-town nobody, a hick from Alaska put into a job way beyond an inexperienced woman.

Believe me, you will not be hearing that again.

Full of self-assurance and aggression, super Sarah popped Barack’s balloon big-time.

From the moment she walked on stage in this cavernous bear pit, smart in cream jacket, trim black skirt and black heels, she proved that McCain knew exactly what he was doing when he picked her as running mate.

The first thought was that here was America’s youthful Maggie Thatcher, minus the swinging handbag. Hair piled into a slight beehive — more Sarah White House than Amy Winehouse — she blinked and smiled behind her geeky specs as the vast crowd went ballistic.

She is popular with voters for the very reason America’s snooty political establishment despises her: She isn’t one of the Washington gang.

She’s a mum of five from icy Alaska with a sledge-load of problems behind her own front door that workaday Americans can relate to.

A child with special needs. A daughter of 17 pregnant. A constant juggle between family and career. Compared to the career politicians dominating both parties here she seemed fresh, natural — one of us and not one of them.

She revelled in being an outsider.

She spoke to America as one working mum to another. She cracked good jokes.

Showing steel beneath her magnolia jacket, she slaughtered Obama’s lack of experience, his vanity, his emptiness beneath the windy waffle.

It was the most powerful demolition of the Democrat hero I have heard in two weeks on the US election trail.

The wagons have been drawn up and the Republicans are ready for battle.

The McCain-Palin ticket now looks in exciting shape. A war hero and a heroic mum. Experience and optimism.

And when McCain joined the Palin gang — babies and boyfriends and all — on stage after her speech, there was a sense of cheeky fun absent from Obama’s solemn coronation.

How the Democrats must be regretting Hillary isn’t running with Obama. Barack’s sidekick, Joe Biden, looks a dull old dog compared with the ball of fire that is Palin.

And consider this: If Obama loses, Hillary Clinton will run for the Democrats in 2012. Opposing her is sure to be Sarah Palin. That would guarantee America its first woman President.

And my fistful of dollars, having seen both in action here, would be on Palin.

Most of all, though, the Palin sensation makes our own Westminster politics look as grey and dull as the leaden September skies. It’s dire.

We need a moose loose in our Hoose.

This is a RIOT!

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

A Negotiator Without Preconditions

By James P. Lucier
September 3, 2008

Would you trust Sarah Palin to negotiate with Mahmoud Ahmadinejad without preconditions?

Well, why not?

Today BP, the former Anglo-Iranian, is the third largest global energy corporation. It now claims to be privatized, and it is estimated that 70 percent of the shares are owned by British investors. At one time the Kuwait Investment Office held over 21 percent of the shares. It tried, and failed, to merge the two companies, but was blocked by a British government inquiry. Under Prime Minister Thatcher, the company went private and on a spending spree. BP bought up Standard Oil of Ohio (Sohio), Standard Oil of Indiana (Amoco) and Atlantic Richfield (Arco). BP became a major player in the U.S. petroleum industry, including Prudhoe Bay and the Alaska Pipeline. And despite its advertising campaign trying to suggest that BP means "Beyond Petroleum," the company has one of the worst environmental records in the United States with its refineries blowing up and its pipelines bursting, the result -- as testimony showed -- of parsimonious budgets for maintenance. It is a formidable corporation.

So enter the PTA community organizer from Wasilla. Without preconditions she took on a company that has a market cap of $205 billion and annual revenues of $291 billion in worldwide operations. Its budget is larger than that those of most sovereign countries, yet she won on her terms. If she can outsmart BP, the company that started the Middle East conflict, she can easily outsmart Ahmadinejad, if need be.

Read more here . . .

If . . .

Governor Sarah Palin was a Democrat and if Governor Sarah Palin had terminated her pregnancy when she and her husband discovered that there unborn child would be born with downs syndrome the Democrats and the National Organization for Women would be throwing a baby shower for Gov. Palin's unwed 17 year old daughter, Bristol Palin. NOW and the Dems would be suggesting that Bristol forgo a marriage and remain single and allow the government to support she and her unborn child because after all, Democrats know that the age of seventeen she doesn't know what is best for herself or her unborn child. She can't possibly at the age of seventeen make these types of life changing decisions herself.

But let's turn the page, Governor Palin is pro-life, she chose to see her pregnancy as a blessing, just as all her other children have been, she raised a 17 year old daughter who made a choice that she will have to live with the rest of her life and Bristol also chose life. I ask you, why would Democrats and the feminists of this country not be supporting a woman who seems to be juggling quite a lot of "balls" successfully and is paving the way as did Geraldine Ferraro?

We will see if women as a whole support Governor Sarah Palin or if some of them continue to bash the fact that they are suggesting that a mother of five who is running as a Vice Presidential candidate on a National ticket is incapable of of working and being a mother. After all the years we as women have fought for the right to be respected for all of our capabilities, are we going to turn back the pages of time? I for one, believe as a woman that we can DO it ALL. VN8

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

"Country Matters More Than Party"

"John McCain is the best man to lead this country forward," Senator Joseph Lieberman.

"Govenor Palin like McCain is a reformer, the truth is she is a leader we can count on to help John shake up Washington, that's why I sincerely believe that the real ticket for change this year is the McCain/Palin ticket."

(Strong words for someone reaching across the aisle. VN8)

Senator Fred Thompson Rocks the RNC

Slamming the "Democratic press", ex actor and presidential candidate Fred Thompson chastised the "liberal media" as a bunch of alarmist pansies who don't like the "red meat" vice presidential pick Sarah Palin represents.

The Weekly Standard reports that Fred Thompson will lay it all out tonight in a speech Republicans are characterizing as "red meat."

Panic is what Thompson labels the reaction to the Palin teenage baby drama from the "Democrat-friendly mainstream media."

"What a breath of fresh air Governor Sarah Palin is. She is from a small town, with small town values, but that's not good enough for those folks who are attacking her and her family. Let's be clear, the selection of Governor Palin has the other side and their friends in the media in a state of panic. She is a courageous, successful, reformer, who is not afraid to take on the establishment."

The Weekly Standard notes that Barack Obama's stand on abortion will be picked apart in his speech as well.

Thompson is quoted saying: "We need a President, and Vice President, who will take the federal bureaucracy by the scruff of the neck and give it a good shaking. And we need a President who doesn't think that the protection of the unborn or a newly born baby is above his pay grade."

No word yet on whether Thompson will address the pressing issues of American life, such as the health care crisis, education crisis, energy crisis, and erosion of the middle class which is rendering the United States into a land of the haves and have nots.

(Tell it like it is Fred! You rocked the house tonight! Amen brother, never be afraid to speak the truth! VN8)