Archive for August, 2008

Postponing the convention

Saturday, August 30th, 2008

UPDATE # 2: Here are some photos of Sarah visiting the Alaska NG in Kuwait.

UPDATE: An excellent comparison of the records of the two least experienced candidates is posted for your education.

John McCain has been quoted, in a program taped to be delivered tomorrow, that he might postpone the GOP convention. Actually, that might be an interesting idea. We know who the candidates are and Governor Jindal is not going to be able to give a speech if his state is coping with a hurricane. Maybe they should simply hold the nominee speeches Monday and devote the rest of the week to the hurricane. They could hold a telethon and maybe even have the candidates deliver food packages or other aid to the damaged areas. These are non-typical candidates both of them.

Of course, Michael Moore is handling the tasteless remarks.

The New York Times has a pretty even handed article about the campaign today (8/31). In the last paragraph but one they have an interesting juxtaposition.

And Mrs. Clinton is likely to play an even more active role on behalf of Mr. Obama in the fall campaign, her aides said, because of Ms. Palin. She is expected to participate in television appearances, fund-raisers and conference calls with reporters to rebut efforts by the McCain campaign to court her supporters.

Why would the Times call Hillary Clinton “Mrs” but Sarah Palin “Ms” ? Both are married to the husband they have been married to for many years. Both have had only one marriage. Both are mothers. I can only conclude that te distinction is that Hillary got where she is by dint of marrying Bill while Sarah got where she is on her own. Any other suggestions ?

The Palin “Troopergate” scandal

Saturday, August 30th, 2008

UPDATE #2: Here is a list of all the left’s attacks on Sarah along with appropriate rebuttals. They have gone nuts.

UPDATE: This is my favorite comment about Sarah Palin so far:

Gov. Sarah Palin (soon to be VPOTUS) is known to hunt, kill, gut and eat her prey -GO Sarah!!!

Look out, Joe !

The left is frantic to find a handle on Sarah Palin, especially since her nomination has proved to be wildly popular. Expect to hear a lot about this story. Excerpts:

1. The brother-in-law trooper was out of control and threatening family members BEFORE Sarah Palin was governor. The investigation also began before she was governor. He was suspended but the union got the suspension reduced to five days.

2. Palin appointed Monegan, the Public Safety Commissioner, AFTER the Wooten story began.

First, the video accusation is that the Governor’s office has questionable reasons (meaning removing Wooten from the AST) for firing Public Safety Commissioner, Walt Monegan in July 2008. As we know, documented complaints from Palin about Wooten started prior to Monegan’s appointment… which Monegan may, or may not have been aware.
Yet Monegan was appointed by Palin. She is certainly within her rights to fire him. And if complaints were already lodged about Wooten to the immediate superior, Col. Julia Grimes, why did she need to pressure him to fire Wooten? Afterall, if Palin was going to “abuse” her power to get Wooten fired, why not direct that power over Grimes as the superior of the Troopers?

And if getting Wooten fired was her quest, why did she not take steps to do that in 2005 during the complaint period, instead of specifically stating under deposition she was staying silent in order not to put his job at risk? Not to mention the gap in time… why would it take her two and a half years to fire Monegan because of Wooten?

3. The reasons Palin fired Monegan were unrelated to the Wooten story.

Andrew Halcro, who was defeated by Palin in the gubernatorial primary, lists the reasons why Monegan was fired.

When Walt Monegan was appointed, he realized the deep problems at DPS including low morale, understaffed detachments and the lack of a funding commitment to a long term vision.

He also recognized, that along with the strategic plan his department developed and introduced just months ago, there needed to be a commitment of resources to follow through on the public safety needs for Alaskans.

“We want out employees to know that help is on the way; that we are planning to grow our staff to provide both the needed services for this vast state, and the appropriate training necessary to do it”, Monegan wrote in his 2008-17 Strategic Plan.

But the Palin administration wanted Monegan to go in another direction. They wanted him to cut corners on a budget that had already fallen behind over the last decade. Under Former Governor Murkwoski there was significant investment made to try and catch up with growing costs but Palin’s budgets have again started to starve the agency.

To make matters worse, the change to the state’s retirement benefit program adopted by the legislature in 2004 has had a negative effect on the departments ability to recruit new Troopers.

OK. You have to read between the lines here. This guy is the one who filed the complaint against Palin yet he lists the reasons for the firing and Wooten wasn’t one of them. Murkowski, the former governor and mired in scandal, is his hero. That gives a clue.

Monegan was fired because he refused to take another job in the administration once Palin realized he was not solving the problems of the Public Safety office. She offered to make him head of the Alcoholic Beverage Commission, in a job she felt he was better suited for. He refused.

The problem for Palin was that Monegan was vocal about his concerns about the growing problems in rural Alaska due to alcohol and drug abuse and recognized that the state needed to invest more in protecting the public.

She recognized that he was better suited for that problem but he turned it down. I have never seen a police agency that thought it had enough money.

This story will run for a while but the summary provided by Flopping Aces is the best source. Once again the blogosphere beats the MSM.

Of course, the left thinks it has a scoop. They should keep crooning these lullabies to themselves. Right up to the debate.


Friday, August 29th, 2008

UPDATE # 4: I can’t improve upon this explanation of how she was chosen.

UPDATE # 3: The Times of London has a good piece with a great line. Camille Pagla, who convinced Al Gore to wear “earth tone suits” in 2000, says:

“We may be seeing the first woman president. As a Democrat, I am reeling,” said Camille Paglia, the cultural critic. “That was the best political speech I have ever seen delivered by an American woman politician. Palin is as tough as nails.”

UPDATE #2 Here is a profile from last December on her first year as Governor. Note the prescient prediction.

Palin has dismissed speculation she might leave Juneau for higher office before her term expires in 2010, saying, “My role as governor is where I can be most helpful right now unless something drastic happens, and I don’t anticipate that right now.”

Nevertheless, John J. Pitney Jr., a political scientist with Claremont McKenna College in California and former analyst for congressional Republicans, said Palin could be an ideal presidential running mate next year.

“What separates her from others is that at a time when Republicans have suffered from the taint of corruption, she represents clean politics,” Pitney said.

“The public stereotype of Republican is a wrinkled old guy taking cash under the table,” he said. “One way for Republicans to break the stereotype is with a female reformer.”


UPDATE: Here is a biography from The Anchorage Daily News. I’ve been to Wasilla and it would be the capitol of Alaska but for jealousy by Fairbanks.

I have been a fan of Alaska governor Sarah Palin for some time now. This morning, John McCain announced (or soon will-his campaign has confirmed it) that Sarah Palin will be his VP. For more info on her go here, or here.

A bit of her history:

She resigned in January 2004 as head of the Alaska Oil and Gas Conservation Commission after complaining to the office of Governor Frank Murkowski and to state Attorney General Gregg Renkes about ethical violations by another commissioner, Randy Ruedrich, who was also Republican state chairman.

State law barred Palin from speaking out publicly about ethical violations and corruption. But she was vindicated later in 2004 when Ruedrich, who’d been reconfirmed as state chairman, agreed to pay a $12,000 fine for breaking state ethics laws. She became a hero in the eyes of the public and the press, and the bane of Republican leaders.

Then, after more examples of Alaska government nepotism and corruption,

In 2006, she didn’t hesitate. She ran against Gov. Murkowski, who was seeking a second term despite sagging poll ratings, in the Republican primary. In a three-way race, Palin captured 51 percent and won in a landslide. She defeated former Democratic governor Tony Knowles in the general election, 49 percent to 41 percent. She was one of the few Republicans anywhere in the country to perform above expectations in 2006, an overwhelmingly Democratic year. Palin is unabashedly pro life.

She is called “Sarah Barracuda” in Alaska;

In the roughly three years since she quit as the state’s chief regulator of the oil industry, Palin has crushed the Republican hierarchy (virtually all male) and nearly every other foe or critic. Political analysts in Alaska refer to the “body count” of Palin’s rivals. “The landscape is littered with the bodies of those who crossed Sarah,” says pollster Dave Dittman, who worked for her gubernatorial campaign. It includes Ruedrich, Renkes, Murkowski, gubernatorial contenders John Binkley and Andrew Halcro, the three big oil companies in Alaska, and a section of the Daily News called “Voice of the Times,” which was highly critical of Palin and is now defunct.

Look out out Joe Biden ! She is just the sort of person to appeal to McCain and to give fits to ethically challenged folks like Biden.

Even the LA Times has a positive profile on her.

Here is a more realistic view of her from the left by someone who knows about her story.

In short, Palin can legitimately claim the maverick reformist credentials that McCain himself has long since lost. Her pro-life record helps McCain with the Republican base, her gender might lure away a few Hillary bitter-enders, and her youth goes a little way towards compensating one of McCain’s major weaknesses. Palin also manages the Obama-esque feat of commanding a great deal of popularity among people who don’t really know what she stands for–Dave Dittman, an Anchorage-based pollster, who has done a lot of polling and thinking about this, pointed out to me several months ago that Palin was maintaining a 85 percent approval rating among Alaskan voters even when her policies (particularly a natural gas line deal that has been a signature ambition of her administration) polled far short of that, and even when voters had trouble accurately describing her political leanings. She also pretty much guarantees a McCain victory in her home state, where Obama has been polling astoundingly well (Alaska hasn’t gone for a Democrat since Lyndon Johnson).

Then, of course, there are the moonbat comments:

Interesting choice, but the commentary seems to be mixed on this. So, let’s see what the imagination brings to this:

1. Does she have any Rovian connections? It would seem odd to me that McSame would toe the Rove line on every issue to this point and then side step on the first “big” decision. Her narrative making the rounds is that she is a more reliable maverick than the trademarked one, having served up some party officials to investigations. The question I see arising from that is: in a party that values loyalty above all else as the Rovian GOP does, can the party establishment and the party $$$ get behind Palin without holding something back? I don’t think so.

2. My feeling for some time now is that the VP pick will determine what the GOP does. Palin’s “not ready to lead” target on her back means she will have to show clear skills in judgment, which seem to be problematic when she gets someone fired [yes, it is under investigation] because that man was divorcing her sister in the frequently ugly fashion. So, my prediction is that the GOP is NOT going to run either McSame or Palin in November, but a Manchurian candidate who will be sprung on the electorate in October complete with the full blessing of Rove and Cheney.

3. Remember, Palin has no detectable Rovian ties and has bucked the party. Cheney, W, Rove and the rest of the cabal can tolerate NO REAL INVESTIGATION of their activities for the last eight years, which means no Obama presidency, which will be forced by the blogosphere to dig even if the DLC lets it go. It also means no one on the GOP side can be selected who is off the reservation [Palin, McSame has been co-opted] because the political point scoring is too easy when Rove meets the bus.

4. It is not out of the realm of possibilities that the election is delayed ( = cancelled) for “national security” concerns, which will be stage managed by Rovian operatives. The event will probably not be instigated by Rove’s crew, but given the world volatility, I’m sure someone will do something stupid to give Rove a reason. The delay will last as long as it takes to keep everyone out of jail, which may be a very long time.

Posted by: rugger0

Well, to know them is to love them.

It’s 1968 all over again.

Wednesday, August 27th, 2008

Watch this video and see how chilling the use of police to suppress the news can be. This is outrageous and, I’m sure, if these were Republicans, it would be front page story in the NY Times.

DENVER–Police in Denver arrested an ABC News producer today as he and a camera crew were attempting to take pictures on a public sidewalk of Democratic Senators and VIP donors leaving a private meeting at the Brown Palace Hotel.

Police on the scene refused to tell ABC lawyers the charges against the producer, Asa Eslocker, who works with the ABC News investigative unit. . . .

A police official later told lawyers for ABC News that Eslocker is being charged with trespass, interference, and failure to follow a lawful order. He also said the arrest followed a signed complaint from the Brown Palace Hotel.

Russian lies

Wednesday, August 27th, 2008

The Russian invasion of Georgia has been presented to the press as a story of Georgia invading the breakaway territory of South Ossetia. This is a lie. Michael Totten has the true story.

“The warfare began Aug. 7 when Georgia launched a barrage targeting South Ossetia,” the Associated Press reported over the weekend in typical fashion.

Virtually everyone is wrong. Georgia didn’t start it on August 7, nor on any other date. The South Ossetian militia started it on August 6 when its fighters fired on Georgian peacekeepers and Georgian villages with weapons banned by the agreement hammered out between the two sides in 1994. At the same time, the Russian military sent its invasion force bearing down on Georgia from the north side of the Caucasus Mountains on the Russian side of the border through the Roki tunnel and into Georgia. This happened before Saakashvili sent additional troops to South Ossetia and allegedly started the war.

The Russians have been stirring up trouble among ethnic minorities since the USSR collapsed. In fact, this was the technique the USSR used to keep its ethnic groups in line.

Who are the Ossetians and where do they live? This is the question that has been lost in all of the static from this story. This autonomy [South Ossetia] is an autonomous district, as opposed to an autonomous republic, with about 60,000 people max. So, where are the rest of the Ossetians? Guess where they live? Tbilisi. Here. There. Everywhere. There are more Ossetians – take a look around this lobby. You will find Ossetians here. Of those Ossetians who are theoretically citizens of the Republic of Georgia, 60,000 live there and around 40,000 live here.”

“What do they think about all this?” I said.

“They’re scared as shit,” Goltz said.

“Are they on the side of those who live in South Ossetia?” I said.

“No,” he said. “One of them is Georgia’s Minister of Defense. Georgia is a multi-ethnic republic. And the whole point of the Ossetian ethnic question is this: South Ossetia is part of Georgia.”

“Are reporters receptive to what you’re saying?” I said to Worms.

“Everyone is receptive,” he said. “Everyone, regardless of nationality, even those who love Georgia, genuinely thought Saakashvili started it.”

“That’s what I thought,” I said. “That’s what everyone has been writing.”

Read the whole thing. The site was overloaded yesterday because Instapundit linked to it. Lots of people are learning for the first time what happened.

A catastrophic decision.

Monday, August 25th, 2008

Every once in a while, someone, in this case a candidate, makes a catastrophic decision, an “unforced error.” This seems to be one such occasion.

The ad is here. It says, “Barack Obama denounced William Ayres crimes.” The trouble is that he didn’t. Mayor Daley says Bill Ayres is a member of the “mainstream community.” In fact, he was Citizen of the Year in Chicago.

Ayers is still looking for that new symbol of hope to replace his old flags and signs. He could do a lot worse than to start with a photograph of him taken in 1997. It shows Ayers accepting Chicago’s Citizen of the Year award after securing the city a $49.2 million Annenberg Award for school reform.

“Makes you Citizen of the Year just like that,” Ayers says of the hefty grant, laughing. Shaking his hand in the photo is Mayor Daley — the new one, whose dad’s police treated Ayers so inhospitably all those years ago.

What did Bill Ayres’ father, a powerful and rich Democrat with connections to the Daley regime, want?

Of course, Tom Ayers was never going to run for mayor himself and clearly that was not possible for his son Bill. But what about the young charismatic Barack Obama? As I have suggested in earlier posts here it is possible that Tom Ayers served as a mentor to the young Obama as far back as the time Obama spent as a community organizer on the south side of Chicago not far from Tom Ayers’ home in Hyde Park. Obama biographer David Mendell writes that Obama “had returned to Chicago from Harvard Law with an eye on the mayor’s office after witnessing Harold Washington’s historic tenure at city hall.”

Tomorrow is the day that Steve Diamond and Stanley Kurtz find out what is in the Chicago Annenberg Challenge records.

For Obama to have opened this door for the MSM on the Ayres issue was an unforced eror and maybe a catastrophe.

The 9/11 Memorial

Monday, August 25th, 2008

The New York City Fire Department is being forced to go to Shanksville, PA to put up a memorial. The cross is made from steel beams salvaged from the World Trade Center.

It seems fitting that the memorial will be where Americans first fought back and defeated the terrorists. New York City has chosen a meaningless and politically correct park at the site.

Obama and his VP choice

Monday, August 25th, 2008

The Biden choice for VP nominee is two days old and already there is a question about Obama’s feelings toward his guy. What is the sign thing ?

At least Biden gets better treatment than Obama’s brother. Maybe McCain should adopt him.

Obama/Ayres is all coming out now.

Friday, August 22nd, 2008

First, we need to know why Ayres was an Education professor. Now we know. At least we know part of it.

Ayers’s spectacular second act began when he enrolled at Columbia University’s Teachers College in 1984. Then 40, he planned to stay just to get a teaching credential. (He had taught in a “Freedom School” during his pre-underground student radical days.) But he experienced an epiphany in a course taught by Maxine Greene, a leading light of the “critical pedagogy” movement. As Ayers wrote later, he took fire from Greene’s lectures on how the “oppressive hegemony” of the capitalist social order “reproduces” itself through the traditional practice of public schooling—critical pedagogy’s fancy way of saying that the evil corporations exercise thought control through the schools.

What is the purpose of his Education career ? His position as a Professor of Education?

Future teachers signing up for Ayers’s course “On Urban Education” can read these exhortations from the course description on the professor’s website:

“Homelessness, crime, racism, oppression—we have the resources and knowledge to fight and overcome these things.”

“We need to look beyond our isolated situations, to define our problems globally. We cannot be child advocates . . . in Chicago or New York and ignore the web that links us with the children of India or Palestine.”

“In a truly just society there would be a greater sharing of the burden, a fairer distribution of material and human resources.”

For another course, titled “Improving Learning Environments,” Ayers proposes that teachers “be aware of the social and moral universe we inhabit and . . . be a teacher capable of hope and struggle, outrage and action, a teacher teaching for social justice and liberation.”

For students who might get bored with the purely pedagogic approach to liberation, Ayers also offers a course on the real thing, called “Social Conflicts of the 1960’s.” For this class Ayers also posts his introduction to the soon-to-be-published collection of Weather Underground agitprop that he edited with Dohrn—called, with no intended parody, Sing a Battle Song: The Revolutionary Poetry, Statements and Communiqués of the Weather Underground, 1970-1974. “Once things were connected,” Ayers’s introduction recollects, “we saw a system at work, we were radicalized, we named that system—imperialism—and forged an idea of how to overthrow it. We were influenced by Marx, but we were formed more closely and precisely by Che, Ho, Malcolm X, Amílcar Cabral, Mandela—the Third World revolutionaries—and we called ourselves small ‘c’ communists to indicate our rejection of what had become of Marx in the Soviet Block [sic]. . . . We were anti-authoritarian, anti-orthodoxy, communist street fighters.”

How long after Obama’s inauguration do you think it would be before Ayres is named Secretary of Education ?

No wonder the SAT scores have been falling.

How should teachers teach science, for example? According to one of the books, Ayers and Greene approved for publishing,

“The marriages between capitalism and education and capitalism and science have created a foundation for science education that emphasizes corporate values at the expense of social justice and human dignity.” The alternative? “Science pedagogy framed around social justice concerns can become a medium to transform individuals, schools, communities, the environment, and science itself, in ways that promote equity and social justice. Creating a science education that is transformative implies not only how science is a political activity but also the ways in which students might see and use science and science education in ways transformative of the institutional and interpersonal power structures that play a role in their lives.”

And we thought that science was still safe !

Well. don’t lose hope. Next week, the CAC records are supposed to be available.

We”ll see.


Friday, August 22nd, 2008

What is going on in Afghanistan ? Ten French soldiers were killed this week in an ambush. Is that a sign the Taliban is gaining ? Probably not. The Taliban are religious school students from Pakistan. They may be able to hire experienced fighters in the tribal culture of Afghanistan but they, themselves, are not much good except as suicide bombers. Suicide bombers are always outsiders, not Afghans. Attacking NATO troops is a strategy to affect the European press , which will raise a howl about any casualties. The funding is largely from heroin sales as Afghanistan’s cash crop is poppies. Robert Kaplan, in his 2005 book, Imperial Grunts, quotes Special Forces officers on the foolishness of trying to eradicate poppies in Afghanistan. Better we should just buy the crop and either destroy it or use the morphine for legal medical uses. It would be cheaper and would probably be a bargain.