Friday, October 31, 2008

"It began...with a flugelhorn."

A review of the Wednesday's national television Obamasm from The Times:

America’s supplies of tissues must have been exhausted during Barack Obama’s 30-minute election broadcast late on Wednesday night. It had been billed as a “closing argument” by the Democrat’s seemingly unstoppable campaign. In reality, it was an all-out, no-holds-barred weepathon with a feel-bad factor pitched somewhere between the third act of Schindler’s List and the slaughter scenes in Watership Down. I emerged from my TV room sodden-eyed and legs trembling, wishing that Iran would just drop the bomb and get it all over with.

It began, as these things so often do, with a flugelhorn. Then pictures of wind-rippled cornfields. Then footage of children and old people smiling — the tape slowed down a little, to make their happiness appear somehow tragic.

When Obama, made his entrance he was wearing a sombre black suit (pictured right) and standing in what appeared to be a log cabin. You could practically smell the coffee roasting. This was Obamaland, where everything is safe and warm, where Big Brobama loves you and keeps the evil profit-doers at bay. You, too, could go to Obamaland, went the subtext, just so long as you voted for the man with the “D” next to his name. But in case Americans didn’t realise what was at stake, Obama set out to demonstrate what a God-forsaken, economically devastated shell of a nation they now live in.


There's lots more.


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New Sarah Palin Ad


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Do Tell

Barack Obama's senior advisers have drawn up plans to lower expectations for his presidency if he wins next week's election, amid concerns that many of his euphoric supporters are harboring unrealistic hopes of what he can achieve.

The sudden financial crisis and the prospect of a deep and painful recession have increased the urgency inside the Obama team to bring people down to earth, after a campaign in which his soaring rhetoric and promises of "hope" and "change" are now confronted with the reality of a stricken economy.

One senior adviser told The Times that the first few weeks of the transition, immediately after the election, were critical, "so there's not a vast mood swing from exhilaration and euphoria to despair." (more...)


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Whine Fest at Kamp Kratovil

Tough times tend to show the stuff a man is made of.  For Democrat congressional candidate Frank Kratovil, a lack of character becomes more and more apparent as Election Day becomes a stone's throw away.

Electoral politics is a rough and tumble business.  Some of us may not like it, but that's simply the way it is.  There is also a purpose to the seeming melee of campaign season.  How does candidate X react to pressure?  How does candidate Y face a series of blistering attacks?

Whether you agree with him or not, Maryland Sen. Andy Harris takes a licking and keeps on ticking.  He's straight about where he stands on issues.  He doesn't waffle.

As Harris stated at their last debate just a few days ago, "I'm a right of center guy, I'm a conservative guy".  Harris has stood firm in his support of lower taxes and a pro-economic growth policies.

Kratovil claims to be "independent".  Yet, mail is going out to households (those self-identified as liberal or "progressive") throughout the First District asking recipients to:

Support the Obama Team!
Vote for Frank Kratovil

Mail going to independent or Republican households imply that Kratovil isn't even a Democrat.  Kratovil takes one stance on an issue before one group, the opposite stance before another.

Personally, I normally wouldn't care.  It's simply part of the rough and tumble of electoral politics.  The problem is that Frank Kratovil loves to dish it out, but he can't take it.  That's evidence of a severe character flaw.

Kratovil claims that the Harris campaign "lied" in certain ads.  He's cried foul to almost every media outlet in the district and, not surprisingly, they've accommodated him.

However, when Kratovil stands before a group of citizens at a debate and claims that Harris "is supported by a Wall Street group who he received over a million dollars from in the primary"  this is perfectly OK.  This charge is patently false and Kratovil knows it.

Kratovil takes money from Big Labor - money extorted from hard working men and women - and thinks that's OK.  Andy Harris is endorsed by a grassroots group (Club for Growth) that has nothing to do with Wall Street and never gave Harris anywhere near $1 million (that would be illegal).  However, Frank Kratovil has stated time and again that CFG is a "Wall Street group".  The DCCC has made huge ad buys running a piece that states this as well.

Kratovil implies that Harris has a conflict because health insurance PAC's have donated to his campaign.  Why then, does Kratovil whine like a baby when it is pointed out that heis taking money from lawyers representing criminals Kratovil is charged with prosecuting?

I have yet to see Andy Harris whine about Kratovil's false statements.  He merely points them out, corrects them, and goes about his business.

The latest chapter in the Kratovil Whine Fest is the release of information by the Harris campaign that Frank Kratovil is taking campaign contributions from criminal defense attorneys who have clients being prosecuted by Kratovil.  The facts are simple.  Kratovil takes thousands of dollars from lawyers who defend child molesters, drug dealers, and thieves.  Kratovil later drops all, or most, of the charges.

Kratovil is whining like a child claiming that Harris is accusing him of "pay for play" (my polite term for bribery).  Nothing could be farther from the truth.

There is no question that Kratovil is taking money from lawyers who have cases pending before him.  The record is indisputable.  Harris points out that this is, at best, an apparent conflict of interest.  He has never accused Kratovil of doing anything illegal.  Why bother?  Lawyers right the rules and they make sure that they can things that the rest of us can't.

In the latest twist to this fiasco, Kratovil went begging to his fellow state's attorneys asking for cover.  Given that they probably all do the same thing, and that they are overwhelmingly Democrats, they complied.

Now we have a criminal defense attorneys who gave to Kratovil claiming that "Frank Kratovil had nothing to do with the cases we had in Queen Anne's County".  To quote Peter O'Neill, a defense attorney who not only contributed to Kratovil's campaign, he hosted a fundraiser -
"He had no involvement in it. None,"
Let's assume that O'Neill is correct.  What happened to "Frank Kratovil - Tough Prosecutor".  According to O'Neill, Kratovil doesn't even know what's going on in his own office.  I shudder to think what kind of a Congressman he would make.

Show some character Frank.  Fight your own battles.  You'll be better off in the long run.

The bottom line is a simple one.  Can we really expect Frank Kratovil to be a Congressman who represents the interests of his constituents under the constant pressure brought to bear by Nancy Pelosi, Steny Hoyer, Chris Van Hollen and an army of lobbyists when he can't handle the pressure of a campaign without whining all of time?

cross posted at Delmarva Dealings


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Thursday, October 30, 2008

Finally, A funny page on the certain liberal blog...

For the record, I did not doctor these images in any way (and have the files to prove it). But I can say that the certain liberal blog finally had something funny on their page after 11:00pm tonight and it's all thanks to Google.







Yup, that's a McCain ad.


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Food for Thought

As we look into the face of what could be the largest boom in regulation and unnecessary government intervention since the New Deal, Paul Johnson in Forbes asks "Can We Afford Liberalism now?" (H/T Instapundit):

The financial crisis, detonated by greed and recklessness on Wall Street and in the City of London, is for the West a deep, self-inflicted wound. The beneficiary won't be Russia, which, with its fragile, energy-based economy, is likely to suffer more than we shall; it will be India and China. They will move into any power vacuum left by the collapse of Western self-confidence.

If we seriously wish to repair the damage, we need to accept that this is fundamentally a moral crisis, not a financial one. It is the product of the self-indulgence and complacency born of our ultraliberal societies, which have substituted such pseudo-religions as political correctness and saving the planet for genuine distinctions between right and wrong and the cultivation of real virtues.

India and China are progress-loving yet morally old-fashioned societies. They cannot afford liberalism. Their vast populations have only recently begun to emerge from subsistence living. Their strength is in the close, hard-working family unit in which parents train their children to work diligently at school and go to university when possible so they can acquire real and useful qualifications to then go out into the world as professional men and women determined to reach the top.

Moral of this story being the same as Richard Weaver's seminal work: Ideas Have Consequences. Certainly food for thought as we consider the financial and regulatory trainwreck that will face us if Obama wins...

(Crossposted)


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I am my brother's keeper...

A belief that we are connected as one people. If there's a child on the south side of Chicago who can't read, that matters to me, even if it's not my child. If there's a senior citizen somewhere who can't pay for her prescription and has to choose between medicine and the rent, that makes my life poorer, even if it's not my grandmother. If there's an Arab American family being rounded up without benefit of an attorney or due process, that threatens my civil liberties. It's that fundamental belief — I am my brother's keeper, I am my sister's keeper — that makes this country work.

The One, Democrat Convention, 2004

As they say, money talks and bullshit walks. The truth of Obama's actions is substantially different from what he supposedly expects the rest of us to do.

Barack Obama has lived one version of the American Dream that has taken him to the steps of the White House. But a few miles from where the Democratic presidential candidate studied at Harvard, his Kenyan aunt and uncle, immigrants living in modest circumstances in Boston, have a contrasting American story.

Zeituni Onyango, the aunt so affectionately described in Mr Obama’s best-selling memoir Dreams from My Father, lives in a disabled-access flat on a rundown public housing estate in South Boston.

A second relative believed to be the long-lost “Uncle Omar” described in the book was beaten by armed robbers with a “sawed-off rifle” while working in a corner shop in the Dorchester area of the city. He was later evicted from his one-bedroom flat for failing to pay $2,324.20 (£1,488) arrears, according to the Boston Housing Court. (more)


Like we've pointed out with the actions of Obama and his campaign in their attempts to bully and intimidate opposition, the individual instances don't mean as much as the ongoing pattern of hypocrisy, corruption, and criminality. Obama has a half-brother living in similar circumstances in Kenya. Yet we, I suppose, the lumpen proletariat who pay the taxes, are expected to rise above Obama's pathetic example and heal the planet.

And there is this gem:

Speaking outside her home in Flaherty Way, South Boston, on Tuesday, Ms Onyango, 56, confirmed she was the “Auntie Zeituni” in Mr Obama’s memoir. She declined to answer most other questions about her relationship with the presidential contender until after the November 4 election. “I can’t talk about it, I just pray for him, that’s all,” she said, adding: “After the 4th, I can talk to anyone.”


She should give Joe Wurzelbacher a call if she gets second thoughts.


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Queen Anne's Democrats - With Help of Media - Run False Ad

Just the other night, at the last debate of this congressional election, Queen Anne's County States Attorney Frank Kratovil closed his remarks by calling an ad for Andy Harris "a lie".  Fair enough, even liberals like Frank have a right to their opinion.  Yet, Kratovil's OWN Democrat Central Committee has run an ad that is not only misleading, they lie about who paid for the ad.

The Kent Island Bay Times published an ad yesterday, claiming to be published by "Republicans for Obama, Eastern Shore".  The ad states that it was paid for by:
QA Cty Central Committee, Nancy Hagman, Treasurer

Any normal reader would infer that this ad was paid for by the Queen Anne's County REPUBLICAN Central Committee.  It clearly says that this ad is from REPUBLICANS for Obama.  They would be wrong.  Nancy Hagman is the Treasurer of the QA County DEMOCRAT Central Committee.

Who would know?  Do you know who the Treasurer of your county central committee is?  Only political junkies know who the members of their local central committees are.  The rest of us are more concerned about our jobs, mortgages and how to pay for the kids' college.

Chesapeake Publishing owns the Kent Island Bay Times.  When the error was pointed out to them, they refused to run a letter from the QA County Republican Central Committee explaining the error.

Should we believe that this was just "an innocent mistake"?  Not when the publisher refuses to print a response by the injured party.

It is unfortunate when the media conspires with their leftist friends to decieve the public they claim to serve.  Should we be surprised?  I wonder if Frank Kratovil will call this a lie as well.




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"well meaning" and "misinterpreted"

"well meaning" and "misinterpreted" is how maxed out Obama supporter and director of Ohio's Department of Job and Family Services describes the raid made by the bureaucrats in her department on the private and confidential personal records of Mr. Joe Wurzelbacher. Mr. Wurzelbacher, if you recall, had the temerity to exercise his right to free speech. Unfortunately for him he exercised it to point out the fine new set of class warfare clothing The One was sporting.

A state agency has revealed that its checks of computer systems for potential information on "Joe the Plumber" were more extensive than it first acknowledged.

Helen Jones-Kelley, director of the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services, disclosed today that computer inquiries on Samuel Joseph Wurzelbacher were not restricted to a child-support system.

The agency also checked Wurzelbacher in its computer systems to determine whether he was receiving welfare assistance or owed unemployment compensation taxes, she wrote.


Now I know this is a racist position because Jones-Kelley is black and she is an Obama supporter and as FSP tells us -- so it must be right -- if you criticize a black person, especially an Obama supporter, you are de facto racist. So I'll own up to it right now and save Isaac Smith from wetting himself again. But the actions of this agency under and at the direction of a major Obama contributor are illegal and unless there is evidence that they run routine checks on every private citizen in Ohio who are mentioned in the newspapers her excuse is just laughable.

As a one-off, this particular data point is not significant. But neither, necessarily, is any particular point in a racketeering indictment. When taken together with the other similar actions of the Obama campaign it paints a sordid picture of a man and a campaign who simply don't understand America and its political system, but they do understand wielding state power for the most petty of reasons.


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Wednesday, October 29, 2008

The Charismatic Senator Obama Presents an Infomercial: Information Lacking and Criticisms Unaddressed

--Richard E. Vatz


Watching Barack Obama tonight was like witnessing a microcosm of his entire campaign – slickly produced; speciously argued; and revelatory of the least grating successful national politician I have seen since Ronald Reagan.

He presented a handful of middle class Americans who were suffering from unemployment and other economic ills of our problematic economy. Some lack health insurance; some lack money for their home; and some have to put off retirement. Is Sen. Obama’s program more feasibly problem-solving and equitable and generally fair than Senator John McCain’s? We don’t know; no contrast between the two men’s health policies nor explication of Sen. Obama’s is presented. Do you think it is hard for politicians to find down-and-out Americans who invest their hopes in particular candidates?

Let’s look at how he handled some other major issues in this half-hour tribute:

Issue: Energy independence. How will Sen. Obama handle the Republican-claimed imperative of “Drill, baby drill?” We don’t know from this self-ennobling but substantively empty show. He’ll invest in new technologies; so will Sen. McCain. Will he support off-shore drilling in U.S. coastal waters or drilling in ANWAR? He doesn't address the matter.

Issue: Taxes: In this “closing of the deal” we learn that the number of Americans who will be held harmless in the Obama tax plan is now down to those who earn less than $200,000 from its original level of $250,000. Senator Joe Biden says (outside the infomercial) that he will hold harmless those who earn less than $150,000 or $100,000. It is a moving target in this soft class warfare.

Issue: Foreign policy – Sen. Obama, according to this advertisement, will “rebuild America,” face down al Qaeda, not lose sight of Russia’s tricks and get us out of Iraq. The specific proposals he forwarded last year – a timetable for withdrawal and rejection of the surge – went unaddressed. Where would the United States be, had we left when he suggested, before the surge was successful? Unaddressed in the show; unaddressed in the campaign. How about Sen. Obama’s willingness to negotiate without preconditions with Iran? Not addressed in the infomercial.

Issue: Personal Associations: National Review on-line asks, “Why is the Los Angeles Times sitting on a videotape of the 2003 farewell bash in Chicago at which Barack Obama lavished praise on the guest of honor, Rashid Khalidi — former mouthpiece for master terrorist Yasser Arafat?” Also, CNN claims that Khalidi held a fundraiser for Sen. Obama. Irrelevant? Perhaps. But why would a mainstream newspaper withhold a tape pertaining to this relationship? Why has there been no journalistic investigation of Sen. Obama’s relationships with terrorist Bill Ayers, the odious Rev. Jeremiah Wright ("God Damn America") and the criminal Tony Rezko? Well, he addressed these issues in the infomercial tonight by never alluding to them.

When the Illinois Senator ends his show tonight with “God bless the United States of America,” it doesn’t sound, as it does with many nationally prominent Democrats, forced, and it doesn’t sound fake. I am convinced that personally this is a good man, but a frightfully inexperienced politician who supports an end to much individualism in our country in favor of collectivism.


Professor Vatz teaches political communication at Towson University


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Lost in the Cacophony

Lost in the midst of reports of Democratic violence and the return of the incessantly whiny urban liberal set, there is actually, you know, an election going on. In case you forgot, the Obama campaign spent millions on a particularly milquetoast propaganda piece might have jolted you back into that reality.

What has been lost in the cacophony of whining and relatively irrelevant issues is the fact that this election next Tuesday could realistically be on of the biggest fundamental changes in the American body politic. While Obama plays make believe and runs as a centrist (or, if you watched his little movie, damn near a Republican) his campaign has been running on a platform that is possibly as far to the left, as far outside of the political mainstream as any "major" candidate for President since Henry Wallace. This is a fundamental shift in American politics, and a fundamental shift in the American ideology. Obama's campaign to date essentially boils down to the following points:

  • Government spending will increase: With all of Obama's pie-in-the-sky rhetoric about all of the new programs that he is going to implement, government would need to exponentially grow in an Obama administration. Which means....

  • Your taxes are going to go up: if you earn a paycheck, your taxes are going to go up. There is no earthly way with all of the programs and increase in government spending that tax hikes are not going to be part of the equation. You can forget a $250,000 threshold, or a $180,000 threshold ; if you make money, your taxes are going to up, as Barney Frank recently promised the Democratic congress will pass.

  • American Retreat: Precisely at the time when the U.S. needs to become more engaged in fighting international terrorism and to work to stop nuclear proliferation, an Obama administration would signal retreat, not just in Iraq but also in the international arena. That's not to say that we would be isolationist, but that Barack Obama cannot be trusted to be tough with our enemies, something that has given pause to our European allies (immature is what Nicolas Sarkozy said).
While we argue about stupid who struck John stuff, these issues that matter to American voters are still out there on the table. Those are the issues, the issues where Barack Obama falls substantially out of the mainstream, that we need to be talking about. These are the issues that are lost in the cacophony that we need to be focusing on; that fact that on the issues, Barack Obama policies will make the American people less secure and threaten to bankrupt American middle and working class families.

What else matters besides that?

(Crossposted)


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Clean, Articulate, and AWOL


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Birds of a Feather



As we all know, the LA Times is in possession of a video that shows Barack Obama at a dinner toasting Rashid Khalid, a member of the Palestinian Liberation Organization. Now toasting a member of a quasi-terrorist organization isn't illegal. Neither is a cavorting with people who tried to conduct terrorist bombings in the US and failed through their own incompetence. But it does speak to a pattern of behavior. A pattern which demonstrates either an ideological affinity for terrorist or a pattern of incredibly poor judgment.

Incredibly, the LA Times has refused to release either the video tape or a transcript on the grounds that it is confidential:

"The Los Angeles Times did not publish the videotape because it was provided to us by a confidential source who did so on the condition that we not release it," said the newspaper's editor, Russ Stanton.


That's what I do with my secret stuff. I give it to a newspaper.

There is information out now as to what is on the tape. It may not be conclusive enough for Ace to pay the $150,000 bounty but it certainly is within the realm of believability given Obama's previous statements. Doug Ross reports that a source has contacted him:

Saw a clip from the tape. Reason we can't release it is because statements Obama said to rile audience up during toast. He congratulates Khalidi for his work saying "Israel has no God-given right to occupy Palestine" plus there's been "genocide against the Palestinian people by Israelis."


Probably not a controversial point of view in Hyde Park or the PLO, but in most of America this would cause consternation.


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Goes Great With Everything


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Frank Kratovil - A Tough Prosectuor Who Takes Money From Defense Attorneys?

Frank Kratovil has based his campaign on two tag lines:

  • Tough Prosecutor
  • Independent
Given Kratovil's stands for socialized medicine, supporting Barack Obama's "spread the wealth" economic policies, allegiance to Big Labor and the fact that such "independent" stalwarts as Nancy Pelosi and Barney Frank are contributing to his campaign we know how "independent" Frank Kratovil would be if elected to Congress.

How tough a prosecutor is he?

He's certainly not very tough on child molesters.  Robert Wayne Dwyer was charged with 17 counts of child sexual offenses.  Kratovil declined to prosecute 15 of those counts (Case No. 17K07006775) and Dwyer is now free and able to troll for more victims.

How about burglars?

Donna Ann Jones was charged with 14 counts of burglary (Case No. 0M00014525).  Jones' lawyer, Richard M. Karceski donated to Kratovil's campaign in December, 2007.  In February, 2008 Kratovil dropped 12 of those counts and Jones received a slap on the wrist.  Since then, Karceski donated again to Kratovil's campaign ... and Jones has violated her parole.

Kratovil has taken over $100,000 from criminal defense attorneys.  Many of these attorneys have cases against Kratovil's office in Queen Anne's County.

When Kratovil was asked asked about his prosecutorial record at a recent debate, Kratovil's supporters simply shouted down Maryland Sen. Andy Harris and Kratovil dodged the question.
"Is this the kind of politics we want to continue folks?"



Yes Frank.  That's what elections are about; the opportunity to ask questions of candidates and expect answers.

Are you going to answer the question Frank?  The voters of Maryland's First District deserve an answer.

We want to thank "ShoreIndie" for kindly posting this video on YouTube.  While he, like his pal Frank Kratovil, may want to sweep this under the rug by claiming that it's "baseless", the record speaks for itself.

cross posted at Delmarva Dealings


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More in 30 seconds than you'll get in 30 minutes

The McCain prebuttal


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Thugs of Parade

What we're getting a foreshadowing of in the final days of this election is what we can expect to be federal policy in an Obama Administration. Any criticism will be out of bounds, and as has been on parade at FSP criticism of Obama=Racism. This is nothing more or less than an attempt by the left to do to political speech what it has already done to campus speech.

Mark Newgent points out general examples of the mob violence that seems to go as naturally with the Obama campaign as the Saying of Chairman Mao. I'd even add to the list the incident in Galax, Virginia where Obama supporters apparently heard Obama's commandment to "get in their face" as "spray them with Mace."

More disturbing is the propensity of the Obama campaign to try to pervert the judicial process into a campaign tool in a style much more reminiscent of a banana republic than one would expect in the United States. Glenn Reynolds has a pretty good round up.

This has been accentuated by what seems to be a blatant violation of the Drivers Privacy Protection Act on the part of Ohio Job and Family Services Director Helen Jones-Kelley (maxed out as a donor to Obama) in launching an investigation in whether or not Joe Wurzelbacher, who had the temerity to challenge The One in public, owed child support.

What is clear is that despite the howls of impending fascism by the left over the past eight years Isaac Smith is not in Guantanamo Bay. His personal records have not been divulged by Bush supporters. He is free to call anyone he pleases as racist. In short, the claims of a reduction of civil liberties under the Bush Administration are like so many other calumnies hurled by the left (like the "Kill him" lie that Smith still energetically flogs) utter hogwash.

On the other hand we see that the Obama campaign and his supporters actively employ violence, threats by law enforcement officials, demand letters by lawyers, and the disclosure of personal, and under law confidential, information to shut down their opponents. This is while they are out of power.


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Calm Down Take Two Carbon Offsets and Call Me In The Morning

Isaac Smith really needs to calm down. Yes, we condemn any violence or incitement to it. As if that needed to be said.

Of course, its creedal for the left that conservatives and Republicans sow seeds of anger hate and violence. In their Democrats could never ever incite anger or commit election season violence or other nastiness.

I suppose it was the libertarians who tied a mattress to Eddie Adams' truck causing it to burst into flames.

No Obama supporter tossed dog feces in the pickup of a McCain supporter because he doesn't "hate McCain."

Sandra Bernhard never said Sarah Palin would be gang raped.

Its perfectly fine to slap an "Abort Sarah Palin" bumper sticker on your car, preferably adjacent to your 1.20.09 sticker.

Then there is the oh so progressive and tolerant crowd from the upper west side, middle fingers and all.

The left never made a movie fantasizing about the assassination of George W. Bush.

Democrats never slashed tires of rented Republican vehicles in Wisconsin in 2004.

Bill Maher and HuffPo readers never expressed regret that an assassination attempt at Dick Cheney failed.

According to Isaac, only Republicans commit election fraud and Democrats never do because Isaac and ACORN say so.

No, ACORN never committed the "the worst case of voter-registration fraud in the history of the state of Washington."

Obama supporters would never use thug tactics of shouting down opponents who are digging into a past he refuses to be completely truthful about.

Missouri prosecutors and law enforcement officers who are Obama supporters never threatened to bring criminal charges against people who dare criticize Obama.

The Obama campaign never urged the Justice Department to prosecute donors to a 527 that dared to truthfully criticize him.

Since Isaac takes a dim view at the "level of discourse" here at Red Maryland. Let's examine the level of his discourse:


Well, my feelings may be hurt, but the truth is, that report concerns claims of someone yelling "Kill him!" at a McCain-Palin rally in Scranton, Pennsylvania, whereas I was thinking of this report of someone yelling "Kill him!" at a Palin rally in Clearwater, Florida, as well as this video of a McCain rally in Albuquerque, New Mexico, in which a woman appears to yell "Kill him!" about six seconds in.


Okay Isaac, well shouldn't you have written what you were thinking in the first place? That is usually the point of writing something. The report he was "thinking" of was from Dana Milbank, who, until he modestly disagreed with him was a frequent guest of the straight down-the-line even handed Keith Olbermann. Excuse me for doubting the veracity of Dana Milbank.

Isaac says that in the Albuquerque video a woman "appears" to yell kill him. The noise from the crowd is so inaudible that she/he could appear to be yelling anything. But this a Republican rally so it must be a violent incantation.


Now, I may be misinterpreting what she was yelling, but that video also has John McCain saying, "Who is the real Barack Obama?" and getting the reply,
"Terrorist!" which he seems to approve of. And that's the point I was trying to make, and which Newgent and his cohort, for all their bluster, refuse to acknowledge...
I'd say Isaac did indeed misinterpret, because its damn near impossible to ascertain what anyone in the crowd was yelling. Furthermore, how does he know what McCain "seems to approve of"? You can't tell from that clip. In fact, McCain has bent over backward to keep this kind of stuff out of his campaign, and all he's gotten for it John Lewis comparing him to George Wallace. Anyone who knows anything about McCain is that he would never approve, condone, or suborn such talk.

However, going by Isaac's own absurd standard--anytime someone boos or jeers at a campaign rally its an incitement to violence by the candidate--then Joe Biden is guilty as well.

Most likely, all of this will be lost on Isaac, and he'll once again accuse me of not arguing in good faith. Of course his definition of "good faith" is not disagreeing with him. Given the evidence, I'd say he's right in line with the philosophy of his preferred presidential candidate.

But please, do go on about our level of discourse.


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Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Oh Well, Isaac Smith

Not that Streiff needs my help, but apparently Isaac Smith does. For some reason he just can't take it when his claims have been refuted by Secret Service. Then again, this is the guy who backs down from an argument anytime he actually finds himself in one. But hey Smith is a progressive, i.e., "all good things" so he's on the side of angels and never wrong.


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Monday, October 27, 2008

On redistributive Changes that we can Hope for



Transcript via STACLU

If you look at the victories and failures of the civil rights movement and its litigation strategy in the court. I think where it succeeded was to invest formal rights in previously dispossessed people, so that now I would have the right to vote. I would now be able to sit at the lunch counter and order as long as I could pay for it I’d be o.k. But, the Supreme Court never ventured into the issues of redistribution of wealth, and of more basic issues such as political and economic justice in society. To that extent, as radical as I think people try to characterize the Warren Court, it wasn’t that radical. It didn’t break free from the essential constraints that were placed by the founding fathers in the Constitution, at least as its been interpreted and Warren Court interpreted in the same way, that generally the Constitution is a charter of negative liberties. Says what the states can’t do to you. Says what the Federal government can’t do to you, but doesn’t say what the Federal government or State government must do on your behalf, and that hasn’t shifted and one of the, I think, tragedies of the civil rights movement was, um, because the civil rights movement became so court focused I think there was a tendancy to lose track of the political and community organizing and activities on the ground that are able to put together the actual coalition of powers through which you bring about redistributive change. In some ways we still suffer from that.


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Make every vote count... at least once

From the Indianapolis Star:

Indiana's top elections officer has asked the state attorney general's office and federal prosecutors to investigate allegations that perhaps thousands of fraudulent voter registration forms have been submitted in Lake County by an advocacy group accused of fraud in other states.

In a letter to Attorney General Steve Carter, Secretary of State Todd Rokita said Friday he had received "credible evidence" of voter fraud involving the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now, or ACORN, a group that works to recruit low-income voters, who tend to lean Democratic.


It seems that everywhere this group operates it is inevitably associated with voter fraud. Just as invariably it tends to have a reliable place at the public mammary.

One of the major failings of the Bush Administration is its failure to carry a Writ of Fire and Sword to these left wing groups who have no visible means of support beyond government grants for "community organizing." After 2000 there was more than sufficient evidence apparent to if not shut these groups down to at least make their lives difficult and unprofitable.

Vote fraud is real and it is significant:

In 2001, the voter rolls in many American cities included more names than the U.S. Census listed as the total number of residents over age eighteen. Philadelphia's voter rolls, for instance, have jumped 24 percent since 1995 at the same time that the city's population has declined by 13 percent. CBS's 60 Minutes created a stir in 1999 when it found people in California using mail-in forms to register fictitious people, or pets, and then obtaining absentee ballots in their names.


One would think this would be a core idea around which both parties could agree. The idea that our voting system would not only be committed to counting votes accurately but that both parties could agree that only legal voters should have the franchise.

That day does not seem to be in sight.


More below the fold.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Guilt Saturday Night Live-style

--Richard E. Vatz

Saturday Night Live (SNL) historically has been pro-liberal and pro-Democratic in its humor –albeit with shots at both sides -- but has from time to time indicated an effort to reverse one-sidedness. When, earlier this year, the show heavy-handedly supported Hillary Clinton against Barack Obama and simultaneously implied that the media were in Barack Obama’s pocket, SNL followed up with some not-completely-positive satires of Hillary, albeit still lovingly.

SNL has -- along with other shows involving political humor -- been consistently one-sided in favor of the Barack Obama-Joe Biden ticket over the John McCain-Sarah Palin ticket

Last night either liberal guilt or fears of losing part of their audience took over, and some even-handed satire actually emerged – with one crushing embarrassing moment. The show satirized Joe Biden’s diarrhea-of-the-mouth disease. (If I believed in classic psychological syndromes, I might say Joe Biden’s unconscious self-loathing and guilt over stealing the Vice Presidential nomination from Hillary Clinton causes him to undermine through rhetorical overkill his presidential ticket. But I digress.) The opening skit referenced his ill-timed warning regarding the certainty that Sen. Obama’s election would inescapably cause an American military crisis. The same skit reminded viewers – as MSM hardly ever does -- of Sen. Obama’s referring to frightened Americans and their clinging to “guns and religion.”

A later skit depicted an overly confident Sen. Obama playing it safe in a variety hour, “palling around” with the odious and previously SNL-unsatirized Rev. Jeremiah Wright and unrepentant terrorist Bill Ayers. There had been one or two very fleeting references in past shows to Ayers.

Let’s not exculpate SNL just yet, however. The harder satire against Sen. McCain and Gov. Palin continued virtually unabated in the “Weekend Update” segment which included some soft shots at both tickets, with much more telling rips at the McCain-Palin ticket with a particularly gratuitous and offensive reference to the latter's "pregnant daughter."

Significantly, SNL had a segment within “Update” wherein they satirized robocalls, and in an incongruously quasi-serious moment had anchor Seth Meyers intoning that the relationship between Sen. Obama and Bill Ayers constituted only Sen. Obama’s “just [having] served on an education board” with Mr. Ayers.

One nice note about SNL: they had a touching, short and tasteful tribute last night to colleague Amy Poehler, who had just given birth to a baby boy. No expiation of guilt necessary \there\.



Prof. Vatz teaches Political Communication and Rhetoric at Towson University


More below the fold.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Still more Democrat Election Violence

Florida Congressional candidate Eddie Adams Jr. (R) was admitted to Tampa General Hospital Sunday suffering from severe burns on the hands and arms. He will be undergoing additional skin grafts Tuesday.

A vandal tied a mattress to the underside of Mr. Adams pick-up truck. Friction with the road, and contact with the catalytic converter combined to ignite the bedding.

...

At this point in the campaign, office workers with the Hillsborough County Sheriff have tallied 90 reports of vandalism against cars with Republican campaign bumper stickers, and 7 such incidents against cars with Democrat bumper stickers. Other incidents include the systematic and widespread vandalism or theft of Republican campaign signs. full story


And the McCain/Palin camp is simmering with violence because someone didn't yell "kill him" at one rally.


More below the fold.

What happens when you cross a race pimp with a Marxist?



"...many of the problems that Africa faces whether it is poverty or political suppression or ethnic conflict is just as prominent there and can't all be blamed on the effects of colonialism. What it can be blamed on is some of the common factors that effect Bosnia or Los Angeles or all kinds of places on this earth and that is the tendency for one group to try to suppress another group in the interest of power or greed or resources or what have you."


Bosnia or Los Angeles? I know Los Angeles is a corrupt one-party town but even me, one of the people who would be oppressed in Los Angeles under the current regime, would claim that it has much in common with even the top tier of African cities.



The only question is whether this bit of insight will make it into the next edition of "The Sayings of Chairman Barack."


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Thursday, October 23, 2008

"...get in their face"

oh, well.


More below the fold.

Michael Steele for RNC Chair?

With all due respect to our former Lt. Governor, why would we wish to have a moderate as head of our party?  Have we learned nothing from the past few years?

Let's see, Michael Steele supported a liberal over a conservative in the First District congressional primary.  Steele is more closely aligned with the same moderate party power structure that has effectively surrendered the Reagan Revolution to Bush's "big government conservatism" (an oxymoron if ever there was one).

Steele is a fine man.  I am sure that he has a bright future before him.  Does this mean that we should make him RNC Chairman?  I think that the GOP wants to go back to it's pre-Goldwater days - the party of big business and permanent minorities.

Social issues (particularly when the GOP simply panders to "values voters") will never put the GOP in the majority.  Economic issues will always be pre-eminent in the grand coalition that brings a GOP majority.

While we wish the Honorable Mr. Steele well, we do not wish to see him or any of his philosophical allies wielding the gavel at the RNC.  When the final tally of Congressional seats is announced in two weeks - you will see why.

cross posted at Delmarva Dealings


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Baltimore Sun Op-Ed: 'Parity' Through Back Door

'Parity' through back door

Controversial and costly mental health coverage mandate is slipped through on back of bailout bill

By Richard E. Vatz and Jeffrey A. Schaler
October 23, 2008

Psychiatric self-interest groups have tried for years to force insurance companies to cover the treatment of mental illness and addiction. Treating depression as well as disturbing and sometimes simple problems in living on the same level as cancer, heart disease and diabetes is the essence of what has come to be known as "parity."

Now, through political legerdemain, this government-mandated coverage has just become law as an amendment attached to the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008.

The parity amendment requires that mental health and substance use disorder benefits be "no more restrictive than the predominant financial requirements applied to substantially all medical and surgical benefits covered" by an insurance group health plan or coverage (if said plan covers mental illness). That has a reasonable sound to it. Unfortunately, though, this legislation, unless reversed - or at least modified to apply only to severe disorders - is likely to open up a Pandora's box for the American health care system.

Quietly slipping the parity requirement into the financial bailout bill legislatively resolves a half-century of contentious debate over the definition of "mental illness," whether "psychiatric disorders" are medical disorders, and the nature of addiction. What it does not resolve are the many valid objections to the whole concept of parity - objections that have never been satisfactorily answered.
The issue of coverage for mental illness, on the rise since the 1970s, became a nationally prominent concern largely through lobbying efforts by Tipper Gore, wife of former Vice President Al Gore. Her political activism, revealingly, was first motivated by her situational depression following her young son's serious injury in an accident. Does anyone really believe such upset is an indication of "illness?"

Through Mrs. Gore's encouragement, President Bill Clinton ordered federal parity coverage for psychiatric "illness," though mental illness and addiction were never adequately defined.

There are other problems with the parity argument. Consider:

•The American Psychiatric Association claims that more than 50 percent of Americans are now or will at some point be mentally ill. This estimate, a major increase from years ago, is virtually unlimited since there is no way to accurately confirm or disconfirm "mental illness."

•Supporters of parity celebrate the new law as signaling the end of "stigma," but they fail to consider that stigmatization is a marvelous negative reinforcer for undesired behavior, some of which is called "mental illness."

•Substance disorders are arguably a function of behavioral choices and in no way constitute diseases to which insurance should apply. Such self-destructive behavior is best explained by mindset, personal values and how a person copes with his or her environment. Incidence varies by cultural context, and people can clearly stop or control their addictions through an exercise of free will. Not so when it comes to bodily illness; one can no more will away cancer, heart disease or diabetes than he or she can will their onset.

•Severe conditions such as schizophrenia have been used to typify "mental illness," when it in fact constitutes no more than 1.5 percent of those labeled "mentally ill." A more prototypical mental illness, "adjustment disorder," is a name given by psychiatrists to people who have problems in living - hardly worthy of health insurance and an inducement against confronting one's problems and choices. The same could be said for "impulse-control disorders" such as gambling too much (called "pathological gambling") and other supposed mental disorders.

Unfortunately, major media outlets have often ignored these arguments in coverage of the parity issue. Major articles in The Washington Post and The New York Times, for example, include testimony only from supporters of the amendment.

Passing a measure that is objectionable in so many ways is bad enough. Even worse is the fact that such a contentious, scientifically questionable and potentially expensive piece of legislation was passed through the back door.

Richard E. Vatz, a professor at Towson University, is associate psychology editor of USA Today Magazine. His e-mail is rvatz@towson.edu. Jeffrey A. Schaler, a psychologist, is a professor of justice, law and society at American University and executive editor of Current Psychology. His e-mail is

schaler@american.edu.


More below the fold.

When Is A Lie OK? ... When Frank Kratovil Tells It

Is it ever OK to tell a lie?  If you are a liberal, it seems that lies are perfectly acceptable ... if it is liberals who are telling the lie.  This appears to be the philosophy of the self-identified "independent", "moderate" congressional candidate Frank Kratovil.

Kratovil's campaign is claiming that his opponent, Maryland Sen. Andy Harris, is unfit to serve in Congress because of his refusal to pull an ad which Kratovil claims is "blatantly dishonest".  To Kratovil's sycophantic supporters it matters not that the "evidence" that Kratovil was misquoted is based on an edited audio.

How pure is Frank Kratovil?  Well, Kratovil has run ads that are blatantly untrue.  Research performed by Michael Swartz over at MonoBlogue shows that both a TV ad AND printed material discussing Andy Harris' legislative record is "misleading", to put it kindly.  IF TV are the standard, this makes Kratovil not only a liar but a hypocrite - even if his accusations about Harris are accurate; something I'm not sure about.

One reason that the Kratovil campaign won't release the complete audio of the SU event where he claims that the Daily Times misquoted him is the simple fact that this would verify a greater example of Kratovil's truth handicap.  It was at the same event that Frank Kratovil said that he supported the trillion dollar federal bailout - while claiming that he opposed it the very next night at Cecil Community College.

Frank knows that everyone loves a flip-flopper, and this is a biggie.  No wonder that PolitickerMD is the only outlet that has covered it.  We would never expect the Baltimore Sun or the Daily Times to expend ink on a story that would harm a liberal.

What, then, is the media consensus?  A lie is perfectly OK - as long as a liberal like Frank Kratovil is the one telling it.

cross posted at Delmarva Dealings



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Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Tenured Radicals -- Prototypical Judgment Quality

Ever wonder if the craziness and anti-patriotism of some in my profession are exaggerated? Mark Newgent informs me that "The American Educational Research Association [AERA]...members recently elected [William] Ayers the head of its curriculum studies division. That means his radical brand of education philosophy has further entrenched itself into the mainstream."

"Read on...Vatzian sighted piece:


3,000 professors sign to support William Ayers



By Stephanie Bernhard
Brown Daily Herald



Editor's Note: Stephanie Bernhard is a writer for the Brown Daily Herald, the leading news source for Brown University. This article was brought to CNN.com by UWIRE, the leading provider of student-generated content. UWIRE aims to identify and promote the brightest young content creators and deliver their work to a larger audience via professional media partners such as CNN.com. Visit UWIRE.com to learn more.


Former Weather Underground member William Ayers leaves the Criminal Courts Building in Chicago in 1980.


(UWIRE) -- More than 3,000 educators nationwide, including six Brown University professors, have signed a statement supporting William Ayers -- the man Republican presidential nominee Sen. John McCain called a "washed-up terrorist" at the third presidential debate.

In recent months, the McCain campaign has criticized Democratic presidential nominee Sen. Barack Obama for his connection to Ayers. McCain and his running mate, Gov. Sarah Palin, have accused Obama of being "friends" with Ayers and claimed Obama has hidden the extent of their relationship.

Both residents of the Chicago, Illinois, area, Ayers and Obama first met in 1995 when they served on the board of the Chicago Annenberg Challenge, a school reform initiative. They also were board members of the Woods Fund, a Chicago charity, from 2000 to 2002.

Ayers, now a distinguished professor of education and senior university scholar at the University of Illinois at Chicago, was a co-founding member of the radical activist group the Weather Underground in 1969. The group's extreme tactics to end the Vietnam War included planting bombs in the Pentagon and the United States Capitol.

In response to the McCain campaign's focus on Ayers' radical acts of the 1960s and 1970s, "Friends and supporters of Bill Ayers" are circulating a statement online to vouch for the professor he has become.

"I think he's doing a lot of positive, progressive, constructive work right now," said Brown University English professor William Keach, the first member of the university's faculty to sign the statement of support. Keach was referring to Ayers's work in the field of education.

As a professor, Ayers has written more than a dozen books on his holistic approach to learning that downplays the boundaries between teacher and student. Ayers was one of the original proponents of "free schools," where students call teachers by their first names and don't receive grades on assignments.

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Constance Crawford, an adjunct lecturer in theater, speech and dance, was educated in free schools and said she disagrees with the concept, favoring a more traditional approach. But she signed the statement supporting Ayers, and said his ideas "should be combated with clarity, not with personal demonization and vilification."

Keach voiced a similar opinion regarding Ayers's involvement with the Weather Underground, saying he "disagree(s) with Ayers's tactics," but he signed the statement "without any hesitation." Keach also protested the Vietnam War in the 1960s and 1970s, and said he wanted to show "solidarity" with Ayers. He said he wished Obama could have done the same when Ayers came up during the third debate.

"He's being unnecessarily cautious," Keach said.

Ayers entered the debate in the context of a question about both sides' negative campaigning. Ayers hosted a coffee event for Obama's first office run in 1995, prompting McCain to say to Obama, "You launched your political campaign in Mr. Ayers' living room."

Obama responded, saying, "Mr. Ayers is not involved in my campaign. He has never been involved in this campaign. And he will not advise me in the White House."

Keach thinks "it's disturbing that he had to take such a dismissive approach." He added Obama could have "brought up the positive things about the person (Ayers) has become."

Crawford signed the statement supporting Ayers because she thinks it is necessary to appreciate the man's accomplishments, not just what she calls the mistakes of his past.

"It's easy to paint someone with a broad brush," she said. "It's easy to vilify, but it's harder to consider."


More below the fold.

A Well Articulated Position

I missed this yesterday by Eric Hartley, very nicely articulating the anti-incumbent position regarding the Anne Arundel County School Board Farce Retention Elections:

A win for "no" would stun the school system and send a message that people want some changes in a board that's accountable to no one - a fact readily demonstrated by some of its actions.

For example, this is the school board that recently voted in public on a move it actually made behind closed doors nearly two months ago, approving a $5,000 bonus for schools Superintendent Kevin Maxwell, which followed his $6,000 bonus last year.

This is also the board that has overseen an astonishing explosion (from 213 to 450) in the number of six-figure school system jobs.

If board members had any fear of voters, they might have thought twice about such raises and bonuses in tough economic times. They might have cared more about how it appeared. But they don't have to.

For a long time, the school board was entirely appointed, its members picked by the governor after public vetting by a "nominating convention." Now, at least, voters have a chance for an up-or-down vote after those appointments, thanks to a 2007 law.

But if voters unthinkingly approve these two appointees, the retention process will serve as only a faint imitation of democracy....

....This year, Ms. Birge was picked and Ms. Johnson was reappointed under a suspect process. Joshua Greene, the politically connected Democratic lawyer who chaired the School Board Nominating Commission, told me the deliberation and vote would be entirely public.

Yet when the time came, the commission deliberated secretly before voting on recommended candidates, from whom the governor picked two. Mr. Greene said he wanted to keep the debate open, but was outvoted by members who thought they could talk more candidly in private.

That's not how public officials should be picked in a democracy.

I'd be hard pressed to write anything better than that. The fact of the matter is that the farce we call an "election" that was thrust upon us by John Leopold and his Democratic allies does not subject either the incumbent Tricia Johnson or unregistered Democratic lobbyist Teresa Milio Birge to the rigors of a real campaign or real scrutiny by the voters. It is merely a way for Annapolis liberal insiders to retain control of the day to day operations of county school boards throw a non-public, non-accountable appointment and retention process. The decision to reward Maxwell's poor performance with a bonus is one of just a number of questionable and downright bad decisions that continually and continuously endanger the educational well-being of Anne Arundel County's children.

Eric Hartley is spot on. We need to send the Anne Arundel County School Board a message on November 4th..

(Crossposted)


More below the fold.

Vote Fraud Squad

Yeah, we know. There is no such thing as vote fraud. There are only evil Republicans depriving the underprivelged of their sacred franchise by demanding that they actually be eligible to vote.

Visit the Voter Integrity Project's Vote Fraud Squad.


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A Bit of Funny With the Sad

So the Washington Post asked the great question. Ehrlich vs. O'Malley in 2010, who would you vote for.

The result was O'Malley winning 57% to 36%.

It's the same margin pretty much that Obama is expected to carry the State as well (current projections are 57% to 38% there). Tough numbers that are made more interesting by the fact that 22% have no opinion on Ehrlich.

But here's where the funny comes in. The Washington Post withheld the question from publication in their paper for a future article. It is Question 4 at the raw data link. Apparently nobody at the Washington Post conveyed their hiding of the results to John Wagner who went ahead and published it on his Washington Post Maryland Moment blog today.

The Washington Post is notorious for getting scooped on their own stories, at least this time it was just other writers in their organization scooping them.

The reality is, despite O'Malley's tax increases, despite his incompetence, despite his lack of anything real, Marylanders are reading to reelect him. If Marylanders want to see jobs coming back to the State, if they want lower taxes, and if they want opportunity to succeed, people need to start working for it now. That big "R" next to Ehrlich's name hurts now more than ever.


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Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Obama, Kratovil, Comegys - The Triple Threat of Economic Theory

Put a Democrat in government and what do you get - socialism.  Call it what you want, but government interference in the markets is socialism;  the picking of winners and losers either directly, indirectly or by queering the markets.

Living in Wicomico County, I have the dubious honor of observing three individuals who wish to play with the free market while showing less knowledge of economics than my 17 year old.  One man wishes to be our President.  One wishes to represent us in Congress.  The last wants to be the Mayor of Salisbury.

The ONE

Barack Obama is the "ONE".  He wishes to save us all by "spreading the wealth".  How?  Obama wishes to turn America into a welfare state unrivaled in our history.  Obama claims that 95% of Americans will receive a tax cut if he is elected.  That's a pretty mean trick given that 40% of Americans pay no income tax.

Like our Lord turning water into wine, the "ONE" is somehow turning direct transfers into "tax cuts".  It is almost fortunate that Ronald Reagan is not here to see his legacy dismantled.  Reagan's "Welfare Queens" will be most of us if Obama has his way.

How will Obama do this?  Two events must take place.  One, the most productive (financially) must pay more in taxes to subsidize those of us who are not as well off.  Second, our children and grandchildren must bear the burden of an even greater national debt.  Before you go off about Bush and the Republican Congress, note that you will get no argument from me.  Few liberals have been a greater critic of either.

The fact is that if we are going to increase the tax rates on corporations and high earning citizens then we are going to provide a disincentive for them.  Corporations are already moving offshore in greater numbers because of our relatively high corporate tax rates.  While I don't expect to see waves of the wealthy relinquishing their citizenship, history has proven that they will be more reluctant to risk their capital if the government is going to take an increasing share.

While liberals like Obama claim that increased government spending is "investment", this is merely a rhetorical device to soften the blow of being labeled a "tax and spend" liberal.  Investment comes from those willing to put their capital at risk.  Granted, under the waning days of the Bush administration we are seeing government put OUR capital at risk.  Obama and his socialist brethren are literally liking their proverbial chops at the example set by a Republican party who turned the word conservatism into a synonym for "socially correct" big government.

It's the Speculators

When gas was $4.00 a gallon, Frank Kratovil opposed offshore drilling.  Refusing to acknowledge the basic laws of supply and demand, Kratovil claimed that it was the evil speculators who were responsible for escalating energy prices.

In a few short months, the price of a gallon of gas has fallen to $2.64 (locally).  Why?  Was Kratovil somehow able to wave a magic wand and abolish those horrid people on the commodity desks of New York and London?

No.  Frank has witnessed a phenomenon that has worked from the moment there were enough people to trade; a phenomenon explained since Adam Smith publish The Wealth of Nations in 1776.  It's the market Frank.

Due to a variety of factors, not the least of which was a mortgage crisis caused by government interference in the markets, the world's economy has been contracting.  A contracting economy means a reduction in the demand for oil.

A lowering of demand means a reduction in price (assuming supply stays the same).  Do you get it Frank?  Supply.  Demand.  There are basically the same number of speculators today as there were six months ago.  What happened Frank?

The market is what happened.

Bubbanomics

Salisbury Councilman Gary Comegys is our own local Nobel laureate.  To hear Comegys expound on economic theory from his perch in the Salisbury Council chambers is a thing to behold.  It's enough to make you lose whatever faith you had left in our educational system.

Comegys is what some would call a "Big Business" Democrat.  He seems to believe that the average citizen should be forced to subsidize residential developers.  A socialist by any other name is still a socialist.

The Salisbury taxpayer does this by building roads so that developers can complete their projects (and paying the developrs for the land to boot).  They reimburse developers for infrastructure (such as sewage lift stations) that only the developer will make use of.  They do this all against their will.

Comegys claims that this interference with the market is necessary to increase the revenue stream of the city.  Unfortunately, Comegys doesn't spend much time on the expense side of the ledger.  Why else would tax burden of the average Salisbury citizen be spiraling upward?

Comegys may continue to hold out hope that one day he will be called to Stockholm and rewarded for his great "Growth Pays for Growth" theory.  If that ever occurs, I will admit that I should have voted for Al Gore in 2000.

Comegys opposes impact fees.  Again, he argues that the average citizen shoudl subsidize the few.  He does so by claiming that an impact fee will raise the price of new housing.  He can only make this argument by assuming that the developers are not charging what the market will bear.  Again, for the socialist, the market does not work.

Comegys may keep clutching to this totally discredited nonsense, the balance of the citizenry knows better.  Why?  While the average man or woman does not claim any great expertise in economics, they know in their hearts that subsidy is merely corporate welfare.  Corporate welfare queers the market, just as individual transfer payments skew the individual's incentive to be a productive member of society.

Comegys, however, should be forgiven his transgressions.  Like his brethern Barack Obama and Frank Kratovil, Comegys does not accept the near a priori truth of the market.  While this is the economic equivilent of claiming that the sun is shining in Salisbury at midnight, socialists like Obama,  Kratovil and Comegys must cling to the discredited belief that markets do not work.  If they did not, the reason for their political existence would cease.

cross posted at Delmarva Dealings


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Thought of the Day: Colin Powell

OK, so former Secretary of State Colin Powell, a black republican, is endorsing Sen. Barack Obama, the democratic candidate for President. Thought of the day, what will those who for years called Powell either a Sellout or Uncle Tom say? Yes, I am asking that. We all know for years Black and Republican do not necessarily go together, and when they do, the one involved is subjected to attacks that you would expect from racists.

So I am going to ask this question, the very people who hurled these insults to Sen. Colin Powell, what will they say about him now? Will they say, he is trying to be black? OR, will they say, he finally realized that he is black? I was just thinking about that earlier today. Personally, I hope they keep their mouths shut, but that's just me. But you have to wonder, what will they say....thought of the day.


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Monday, October 20, 2008

Another Satisfied Customer

Looks like once again the Maryland Transit Administration really steps up and makes us proud of our transit apparatus here in Baltimore:

We always ride the front car, thinking that it is the safest. Much to our surprise, this time we were the only female riders and were confronted by nine men using crude terms in front of us. All of the terms were sexual in nature, and they were announced in a loud and abusive in tone of voice.

After two stops, I went to the back of the car and called 911. The 911 operator attempted to transfer me to the Maryland Transit Administration police, only to give me a nonworking number. I called 911 again and explained that I felt threatened by these riders.

It took the 911 operator some time to identify whether we were in the city or county. By that time, we had arrived at the Mount Washington stop and an MTA employee boarded the train. At that time, the abusive riders bolted off the train....

....Over the last six months, I have seen fewer police at the stations, particularly at night and more riders jumping off the train at their first sight of an MTA employee.
And the MTA wonders why that, even with the earlier rises in gasoline prices, people refuse to ride Light Rail, Transit Buses, or the Baltimore Metro.

I have been chronicling for some time the general incompetence of the MTA, but this is getting beyond ridiculous. The state of Maryland, particularly in the Baltimore region, is not serious about Mass Transit. It is just a complete impossibility for Martin O'Malley and his administration to take the problems seriously when MTA Administrator Paul Wiedefeld still has a job. The private sector would never allow an organization this incompetent, and organization that seems to find new and creative ways to alienate its customers, to operate like this without serious and significant changes.

Since my optimum choice of privatization is not likely, O'Malley and Transportation Secretary John Porcari can start to address this problem by sacking Paul Wiedefeld and the rest of the Senior Leadership over at MTA. To replace them, recruit competent leaders from the private sector to get the system back on track, back on budget, and to a situation where people can feel safe on public transit. Without a feeling of security and safety on buses and trains, there is no need to expand the system and no need to continue to develop the system.

Without massive changes, allowing MTA to operate in its current state and with its current senior leadership is throwing good money after bad. When will O'Malley and company learn that?

(Crossposted)


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The Ron Smith Show Fans Monthly Meeting

Red Maryland devotees...not to take your attention away from the important posts below, but you should be aware of the following Ron Smith Show Fans Monthly Meeting on Friday...

Richard E. Vatz



Event: The Ron Smith Show Fans Monthly Meeting
Date: October 24, 2008
Time: 5:00 - 7:00PM
Location: The Charred Rib Restaurant at 12 W. Ridgely Road in the York Ridge Shopping Center in Timonium

Your opinion matters. Hear Brian Ward [former legislative intern and TU Political Science student] talk about the workings of the Maryland General Assembly. Learn from Cindy Sharretts how to testify before the General Assembly. Then we’ll continue the informed discussion Ron brings up on the air and discuss ways to galvanize conservatism. Bring questions. Bring ideas for our newsletter. Feel free to order off the menu. Plenty of free parking available. Interested visitors are welcome to attend.
Contact: Suzanne Hill at ron_smith_fans-owner@yahoogroups.com. To learn more, visit http://groups.yahoo.com/group/ron_smith_fans .


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3 Things McCain Didn't Say That He Should Have

The race is winding down, and for once I'm agreeing with Nancy Pelosi that Obama has won this thing. While it is always easy to Monday morning quarterback, here are 3 things that I think could have worked in this election.

1) Responded to Obama's tax cut claim by pointing out that Obama considers part of his tax cut the fact that he is giving even more money to people that don't pay taxes in the first place. Is that a middle class tax cut? No, that is another handout to folks that aren't contributing to the economy. Reignite people's anger over entitlements, handouts and welfare. Even Bill Clinton supported Welfare to Work, is Obama going to push to reverse that?

2) Driver's licenses for illegal aliens. Obama strongly supports giving driver's licenses to illegal aliens and McCain should have come out and talked about how bad that would be. If you play this topic up in strong manufacturing states (what the pundits call working class) you make the concern about illegal aliens stealing American jobs. Look at what jobs illegal aliens take, they are manual labor and manufacturing jobs. Ohio, Michigan, Minnesota, Wisconsin... States where McCain is getting hit hard on outsourcing American jobs. Respond that Obama is "insourcing" American jobs. I know that McCain was hit hard because of his amnesty position, but he can "nuance" and show how much worse Obama would be on the topic.

3) Forget Bill Ayers, talk about Tony Rezko. I know Mark Newgent has a particular affinity to the Bill Ayers argument, and the whole domestic terrorist thing is pretty big... but let's talk about honesty and integrity. Tony Rezko bought the land next to Obama's house so that Obama didn't have to live next to ordinary people. Tony Rezko was indicted for bribery etc...

And Colin Powell owes McCain an apology. Anybody that saw his press conference afterwards saw where Powell said part of his endorsement was because of McCain saying Obama was a muslim terrorist. McCain has been booed by Republican crowds for correcting audience members about this... The reality is that McCain hosts town halls where he lets audience members talk, whereas Obama's road show is a tightly choreographed affair.


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Sunday, October 19, 2008

Is PolitickerMD Starting to Show Its Blue Stripes?

I like PolitickerMD.  I try to read it everyday.  I may not agree with everything I read there, but those folks provide coverage you often can't get anywhere else (online or off).  Whether I agree with their op-ed pieces or not, they are usually well written and fairly well thought out.  However, today the good folks at Observer Media Group crossed a line - a pretty big one.

In an op-ed titled "Andy Recycles, Who Knew?", author David Paulson attacks Maryland Senator Andy Harris across the board.  Sometimes he's factually correct other times he isn't.

It's an op-ed, so normally I wouldn't care.  There's just one problem.  David Paulson is the Communications Director for the Maryland Democratic Party and PolitickerMD doesn't bother to disclose the fact anywhere in the body of the article.

Some of you may simply say, "So What?".  It's actually a pretty big deal.  Op-ed writers have a POV, no question.  However, if you read a column written by a guy who works for a candidate, office holder, or political party, aren't you justifiably a tad more skeptical than you would be reading a column by George Will, Thomas Sowell, or Maureen Dowd?

The good folks at PolitickerMD can respond that Paulson's bio is linked to.  It is.  I link to it above.  However, it's not quite the same thing.  Very few people click to an author's profile.  Not putting a note at the bottom of the post stating that Paulson works for the MDDEM's is a way of making people think that this guy is somehow "objective".

Now I know that some will claim hypocrisy on my part because of the recent brooha about an Andy Harris ad.  They would be wrong.  The Harris campaign made a good faith effort to verify that the quote was valid.  The Daily Times never printed ANY correction until after the ad ran.  To date the Kratovil campaign has only made available an edited version of the audio from the event in question.  There's a big difference.

PolitickerMD, as a rule, does a great job.  While I don't always like what the man writes, Danny Reiter has done an excellent job covering the First District race along with other aspects of Maryland politics.

To maintain their reputation as an excellent source of balanced Maryland political coverage, they just need to be a little more careful.  You know the old say, "For want of a nail ...".  In this case it's, "For want of one sentence at the bottom of an op-ed ...".

cross posted at Delmarva Dealings


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Saturday, October 18, 2008

McCain's Virginia rally (and other stuff)

A good friend of mine attended John McCain's rally in Woodbridge, VA earlier today and allowed me to share her photos of the event.

Unfortunately, that's probably about as close as anyone on either ticket is going to get to Maryland during the campaign. In essence we're the flyover country of this Presidential race.

While she was in Woodbridge I was in Salisbury running the Wicomico County GOP booth at our Autumn Wine Festival. I'll have pictures tomorrow but I did jot down some thoughts about the day.

First of all, while the crowds were down somewhat from the 2007 version (understandable given the cloudy and very chilly weather for mid-October) the excitement of people visiting our booth was hard to miss.

When I stocked the items, I opted to bring about a half-dozen McCain/Palin yard signs and roughly 60 McCain/Palin bumper stickers. As it turned out, I made two trips back to our headquarters to replenish the yard sign supply and also picked up another 50 or so stickers - by 5 p.m. we had gone through everything McCain including placards. Most of my Andy Harris stuff was gone too except for maybe a dozen bumper stickers and two yard signs.

The good news is that we’ll be able to sell McCain/Palin buttons and T-shirts tomorrow and something tells me those will go like hotcakes.

Obviously with all those trips back and forth I didn’t exactly keep track of our opposite number on the local political scene; the Democrats made their every-other-year pilgrimage to the AWF (we’ve had a booth for at least the last three years straight.) What I do know is that they were gone well before the actual end of festivities but it wasn’t because they were out of items. I did see a few Obama items carried about so it wasn’t a total shutout for them; however, I believe they didn’t have nearly the interest we did.

But I had a good time and met some nice folks at the Wine Fest - tomorrow the gates open at 12:30 and we’ll have more stuff.


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Kratovil is O'Malley

I just came across a great new site:  KratovilIsOMalley.com

This site has Kratovil on O'Malley's tax increases - "Something had to be done".

On tax cuts - "Disingenuous."

Oh Yes!  The URL says it all - Frank Kratovil Is Martin O'Malley.


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Friday, October 17, 2008

Who Needs Freedom?

If you read the Baltimore Sun on a regular basis, you read a lot of editorials which are trite, juvenile, unenlightened, and asinine. But not many of those columns were as disturbing as the one in this morning's paper penned by Roy Gothie of the Maryland State Highway Administration. While Gothie makes valid points about the need to protect the health of the Bay, what he writes is a frightening vision into an O'Malleyian dystopia.

In Gothie's world, people only have property rights at the whim and call of the state:

The modern concept of property rights substantially contributes to the Chesapeake Bay's continued decline. At this point, tinkering around the edges of the issue with minor changes to laws and regulations will no longer be enough to save the bay. Only a societal decision to redefine an individual's rights regarding property can restore the bay and other critical ecosystems.

Developers, industrialists, homeowners and farmers have long assumed that the core bundle of rights attached to a piece of property exists to benefit the property owners. This is not exactly the case. Property rights are creations of the state, designed to ensure a stable, civil society and a functioning economy. Thus, any property rights a land owner possesses exist mainly to serve the greater public good.
Read that again.
Thus, any property rights a land owner possesses exist mainly to serve the greater public good.
In the warped mind of this state bureaucrat, your property rights are valid only so long as what you do with the land conforms to what the state decides is in the state's best interest. If this guy had his way, you would not be able to do anything on your property, property that you have purchased, property that you rightfully have paid for, unless the state allows you to do it in the name of the state and the name of the citizenry.

Rarely, if ever, has the Baltimore Sun ever printed such a direct and vicious assault on the American way of life than it has with this column. I am extremely disturbed by the fact that an individual who has such an anti-American, anti-freedom view of private property rights is, in fact, employed by the state as a planner. What decisions are being made by the State Highway Administration that deal with your property rights and the property rights of your neighbors? In what ways does Roy Gothie believe that the state can put your land to better use than you can? Perhaps it's time for a full and comprehensive investigation into SHA's land use activities.

Private property rights are a basic human right, one that has been a part of civilized societies for thousands of years. Unfortunately, sometimes you get delusional folks such as Roy Gothie who believe that humans can't handle our basic human rights. I think maybe the state of Maryland should ship him back to Michigan, whence he came. We can certainly use our state resources better than employing people with such radical views...

(Crossposted)


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Frank Kratovil Wants a Retraction ...

... I Don't Think So (At Least for Now)

Frank Kratovil and his minions seem to be upset about Andy Harris' latest ad:



Good!

Frank Kratovil and his acolytes want an apology. ... I don't think so!

Why?  For starters, neither Andy Harris, nor his campaign has done anything wrong.  In fact, they were quite diligent in their fact checking for this matter.

The Daily Times printed an article with a quote from Frank Kratovil - "We Solved the Crisis."  Kratovil says that he was misquoted.  Fair enough.

Kratovil's shills in the blogosphere have been claiming for a week that they had audio to disprove the quote.  Fair enough.

However, the Daily Times did not print a correction for over a week.  Suddenly, one day after Harris begins running an ad highlighting "We Solved the Crisis" the Daily Times claims that they've heard audio of the statement and they made a mistake.

Now, IF the paper had corrected the statement in a timely fashion they would have some credibility.  IF the Kratovil campaign released the ENTIRE, UNEDITED audio of the event, they might have a little credibility on this issue.

That's not what has happened.

Daily Times Executive Editor Greg Bassett has told me on several occasions that he divorces himself from any coverage of this race because of his wife Cathy's association with Rep. Wayne Gilchrest.  I have no reason to doubt him.  Therefore, all decisions regarding this matter would have been ultimately made by Managing Editor Erick Sahler.

I have no evidence that Sahler is colluding with the Kratovil campaign on this matter.  However, I don't believe in coincidence in politics. The "coincidence" of the Daily Times correcting a supposed misquote AFTER the release of the Harris ad (while correcting this "error" in a front page story rather than in the normal correction slot) is a bit much even if I did believe in coincidence.

It's a little odd that from the time of the original article (which was subsequently altered online) until yesterday, the Daily Times took the time to correct:
  • A reciped for "Soft and Tender Dinner Rolls" on 10/09
  • The amount of scholarship money to be awarded by the Community Foundation on 10/10
  • The fact that Sharon Yost works for PNC Bank on 10/11
  • along with several other relatively minor corrections ...
Yet, the management and staff of the local arm of Gannett couldn't find the time to correct what appears to be a grievous error in the most important local political race this year.  Hmmm...

Undoubtedly we'll here more hissy-fits from the Kratovil clan (and the occasional self-annointed, self-identifed pious Republican).  Go at it.  Mi server es su server.

Just give me a little evidence.  Like the COMPLETE audio rather than some short, edited snippet.

Attack me all you want.  If you want to whine about Harris, fine.  Just answer me this -

Is the opposing campaign, after taking a supposedly reputable newspaper at its word and then waiting over a week to see if they corrected this supposed error responsible for this?  If so, how?

Oh, I know.  They aren't supposed to run any ads unless Frank Kratovil personally approves them beforehand.

Sorry guys.  Your chosen candidate not only looks twelve, he behaves that way too.

PS -
I will be on the road all day today.  I probably won't be checking comments until I get back.  If you feel the need to contact me directly (for purposes of bitching ... or not) feel free to email me at delmarvadealings@gmail.com



cross posted at Delmarva Dealings


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The Importance of Roasting ACORN

It took long enough, but finally we are starting to go somewhere with the fraud being perpetrated by the folks at ACORN, with the launch of an FBI investigation on Thursday. The Examiner is suggesting using RICO on ACORN. It took a while, but finally we are moving in the right direction on this.

A lot of people on the left seem to not understand why this fraud being perpetrated by ACORN matters. But when you come down to brass tacks, the issue goes to the fundamental nature of elections in our representative government. The people of each district, the people of each state get the opportunity to vote for their representatives and government officials. One person's vote is worth no more than the vote of another. The ballot box is the ultimate equalizer in that regard.

But that equalizer only works if everybody is playing by the same set of rules. If you are registering people illegally, or registering dogs, or children, or fictional characters (all of which have been done by ACORN employees) then you are undermining the basic premise of our representative government. At the end of the day, what matters most is that the person elected to serve best represents the will of the people. When you are talking about voter fraud, the entire process gets questioned.

Don't believe it happens? Read what David Kyle has to say on the matter:

Having personally witness a car with three people going to three different polls in the 2004 election, I know it takes place. At the third polling place I went up to the Head Judge and pointed them out. Two of them saw me and frantically tried to get the third to leave the table where he was already trying to vote. Because of my challenge they made him cast a provisional ballot. There is no way of knowing how many times these people voted before being challenged. The car was registered to a person in Crofton, and there are many precincts between there and Pasadena.
And this was before Maryland Democrats jumped aboard the Early Voting Bandwagon, a mechanism that will provide even greater opportunities for perpetuating voter fraud.

Legitimate organizing groups should be encouraged to undertake legitimate voter registration drives, regardless of their political slant. The problem is that ACORN has proven time and time again to lack legitimacy in this area, particularly troubling when they are being investigated in several states, the yes they were represented by Barack Obama and received funding from his campaign.

Until we implement common sense laws such as requiring voter identification at the polling place, bad things like this are going to continue to happen. And that's why ACORN's scandalous and nefarious activities need to be exposed.

(Crossposted)


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