Archive for September, 2008
30 Sep 2008

The World Watches Aghast

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Victor Davis Hanson wonders if the hour’s need will produce a man who can lead.

The stage is set for someone to play Washington, Lincoln, or Churchill. An entire generation of leadership is failing, as the world watches aghast.

30 Sep 2008

ACORN, Obama, and the Mortgage Debacle

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ACORN protester

Mona Charen highlights the special place of community organizers in the current crisis: they had a lot to do with causing it, and they may well yet still reap yet more power and money as the result.

The financial markets were teetering on the edge of an abyss last week. The secretary of the Treasury was literally on his knees begging the speaker of the House not to sabotage the bailout bill. The crash of falling banks made the earth tremble. The Republican presidential candidate suspended his campaign to deal with the crisis. And amid all this, the Democrats in Congress managed to find time to slip language into the bailout legislation that would provide a dandy little slush fund for ACORN.

ACORN stands for the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now, a busy hive of left-wing agitation and “direct action” that claims chapters in 50 cities and 100,000 dues-paying members. ACORN is where Sixties leftovers who couldn’t get tenure at universities wound up. That the bill-writing Democrats remembered their pet clients during such an emergency speaks volumes. This attempted gift to ACORN (stripped out of the bill after outraged howls from Republicans) demonstrates how little Democrats understand about what caused the mess we’re in.

ACORN does many things under the umbrella of “community organizing.” They agitate for higher minimum wages, attempt to thwart school reform, try to unionize welfare workers (that is, those welfare recipients who are obliged to work in exchange for benefits) and organize voter registration efforts (always for Democrats, of course). Because they are on the side of righteousness and justice, they aren’t especially fastidious about their methods. In 2006, for example, ACORN registered 1,800 new voters in Washington. The only trouble was, with the exception of six, all of the names submitted were fake. The secretary of state called it the “worst case of election fraud in our state’s history. …

ACORN recognized very early the opportunity presented by the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) of 1977. As Stanley Kurtz has reported, ACORN proudly touted “affirmative action” lending and pressured banks to make subprime loans. Madeline Talbott, a Chicago ACORN leader, boasted of “dragging banks kicking and screaming” into dubious loans. And, as Sol Stern reported in City Journal, ACORN also found a remunerative niche as an “advisor” to banks seeking regulatory approval. “Thus we have J.P. Morgan & Co., the legatee of the man who once symbolized for many all that was supposedly evil about American capitalism, suddenly donating hundreds of thousands of dollars to ACORN.” Is this a great country or what? As conservative community activist Robert Woodson put it, “The same corporations that pay ransom to Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton pay ransom to ACORN.”

ACORN attracted Barack Obama in his youthful community organizing days. Madeline Talbott hired him to train her staff — the very people who would later descend on Chicago’s banks as CRA shakedown artists. The Democratic nominee later funneled money to the group through the Woods Fund, on whose board he sat, and through the Chicago Annenberg Challenge, ditto. Obama was not just sympathetic — he was an ACORN fellow traveler.

Now you could make the case that before 2008, well-intentioned people were simply unaware of what their agitation on behalf of non-credit-worthy borrowers could lead to. But now? With the whole financial world and possibly the world economy trembling and cracking like a cement building in an earthquake, Democrats continue to try to fund their friends at ACORN? And, unashamed, they then trot out to the TV cameras to declare “the party is over” for Wall Street (Nancy Pelosi)? The party should be over for the Democrats who brought us to this pass. If Obama wins, it means hiring an arsonist to fight a fire.

30 Sep 2008

A Leak From the MSM

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Someone working at a major news organization writes Glenn Reynolds privately:

Off the record, every suspicion you have about MSM being in the tank for O is true. We have a team of 4 people going thru dumpsters in Alaska and 4 in arizona. Not a single one looking into Acorn, Ayers or Freddiemae. Editor refuses to publish anything that would jeopardize election for O, and betting you dollars to donuts same is true at NYT, others. People cheer when CNN or NBC run another Palin-mocking but raising any reasonable inquiry into obama is derided or flat out ignored. The fix is in, and its working.” I asked permission to reprint without attribution and it was granted.

29 Sep 2008

“Burning Down the House: What Caused Our Economic Crisis?”

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A 9:59 video look at the mortgage meltdown’s roots.

————————————–

9/29: 6:00 PM EDT:

The Obama Campaign is on the job. Warner Brothers made YouTube pull the plug for “copyright violations,” i.e., song quotations.

I would expect the video to be back (with the offending song removed) before very long.

————————————–

Back up 9:45 PM EDT:

new link

29 Sep 2008

P.J. O’Rourke Has Cancer

P.J. O’Rourke encounters the Reaper.

I looked death in the face. All right, I didn’t. I glimpsed him in a crowd. I’ve been diagnosed with cancer, of a very treatable kind. I’m told I have a 95% chance of survival. Come to think of it — as a drinking, smoking, saturated-fat hound — my chance of survival has been improved by cancer.

Read the whole thing.

Best wishes for a complete recovery.

29 Sep 2008

Obama Campaign Thuggery Continues

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MacRanger

Obama campaign supporters’ thuggish efforts to suppress criticism of Obama have progressed to the level of hacking attacks (using “sql bombs”) on prominent conservative blogs like Macsmind, published by Jack Moss, who signs his posts “MacRanger.” Moss is a journalist and lecturer, retired from a professional military career focused on Intelligence and Logistics, who writes commonly on Intelligence and Defense issues as well as politics.

Gateway Pundit has the story.

This is MacRanger of Macsmind. As you know I was hacked by operatives of the Obama Campaign last month. Well, it happened again. Basically they flooded the site with “sql bombs” according to the host that caused the shared server to stop running. Subsequently he had to disable the site. This had to do with running the “Obama wants to Disarm America” post which more than 2 million people viewed on the site. Just like the goons in Missouri, the Obama truthers can’t let the truth be known. I’ve now moved the blog back to blogspot at macsmind.blogspot.com at least temporally. Because of the hacking job I had to move to another host but unfortunately they haven’t got the server up yet to redirect the traffic to blogspot. I would appreciate a mention to your readers. I’m getting a couple of hundred emails about “what happened”, but as you can imagine it hard to get the word out by reply.

Thanks,

MacRanger

MacRanger’s temporary site is here.

MacRanger believed the hacking attacks were in response to this political ad criticizing Obama’s avowed policy of unilateral disarmament.

0:51 video

29 Sep 2008

Bad News for Obama

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Facing sentencing for his political corruption conviction, Chicago real estate developer and long-time Obama financial supporter Antoin Rezko is reported to be considering cooperating with prosecutors.

Rezko’s trial this year laid bare a culture of scams, bribes and backroom deals stretching from City Hall to the Statehouse. It even became fodder in the presidential campaign of Democratic nominee Barack Obama, whose fundraising and personal ties to Rezko go back more than a decade.

Rezko has made no deal in the wake of his June corruption conviction, sources familiar with the situation said, but has had preliminary talks with prosecutors before an October sentencing that could put him in prison for years. Still, there are indications Rezko has already provided investigators with information.

Four attorneys have told the Tribune in recent days that federal prosecutors have telephoned them and other attorneys either with news Rezko is talking, or armed with details only Rezko could know. The lawyers speculated prosecutors are using the preliminary talks with Rezko to shake loose more cooperation from other witnesses.

“I had very recent a conversation with an assistant U.S. attorney that led me to believe they were getting specific information from either Mr. Rezko or Mr. Rezko’s lawyer,” said a defense attorney who said he represents a figure in the case. None of the attorneys interviewed would agree to be quoted by name, saying they didn’t want to hurt their clients.

29 Sep 2008

Barack Obama: Community Organizer

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Why did mortgage lenders start making all those high risk loans? Stanley Kurtz explains that the radical left successfully combined agitation with official federal policy to make them do exactly that.

What exactly does a “community organizer” do? Barack Obama’s rise has left many Americans asking themselves that question. Here’s a big part of the answer: Community organizers intimidate banks into making high-risk loans to customers with poor credit.

In the name of fairness to minorities, community organizers occupy private offices, chant inside bank lobbies, and confront executives at their homes – and thereby force financial institutions to direct hundreds of millions of dollars in mortgages to low-credit customers.

In other words, community organizers help to undermine the US economy by pushing the banking system into a sinkhole of bad loans. And Obama has spent years training and funding the organizers who do it.

Read the whole thing.

28 Sep 2008

Family Told Obama Not to Wear Son’s Bracelet

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Newsbusters
:

Barack Obama played the “me too” game during the Friday debates on September 26 after Senator John McCain mentioned that he was wearing a bracelet with the name of Cpl. Matthew Stanley, a resident of New Hampshire and a soldier that lost his life in Iraq in 2006. Obama said that he too had a bracelet. After fumbling and straining to remember the name, he revealed that his had the name of Sergeant Ryan David Jopek of Merrill, Wisconsin.

Shockingly, however, Madison resident Brian Jopek, the father of Ryan Jopek, the young soldier who tragically lost his life to a roadside bomb in 2006, recently said on a Wisconsin Public Radio show that his family had asked Barack Obama to stop wearing the bracelet with his son’s name on it. Yet Obama continues to do so despite the wishes of the family.

Not hard to understand why Obama had to fumble with the bracelet to come up with the soldier’s name, is it?

2:16 video

28 Sep 2008

Ford Model T Centenary

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Popular Mechanics celebrates the 100 Anniversary of the world’s first cheap, reliable automobile, Henry Ford’s Model T, the Volkswagen Beetle of my grandfather’s day.

28 Sep 2008

Gov. Blunt Statement on Obama Campaign’s Abusive Use of Missouri Law Enforcement

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Press release:

JEFFERSON CITY – Gov. Matt Blunt today issued the following statement on news reports that have exposed plans by U.S. Senator Barack Obama to use Missouri law enforcement to threaten and intimidate his critics.

“St. Louis County Circuit Attorney Bob McCulloch, St. Louis City Circuit Attorney Jennifer Joyce, Jefferson County Sheriff Glenn Boyer, and Obama and the leader of his Missouri campaign Senator Claire McCaskill have attached the stench of police state tactics to the Obama-Biden campaign.

“What Senator Obama and his helpers are doing is scandalous beyond words, the party that claims to be the party of Thomas Jefferson is abusing the justice system and offices of public trust to silence political criticism with threats of prosecution and criminal punishment.

“This abuse of the law for intimidation insults the most sacred principles and ideals of Jefferson. I can think of nothing more offensive to Jefferson’s thinking than using the power of the state to deprive Americans of their civil rights. The only conceivable purpose of Messrs. McCulloch, Obama and the others is to frighten people away from expressing themselves, to chill free and open debate, to suppress support and donations to conservative organizations targeted by this anti-civil rights, to strangle criticism of Mr. Obama, to suppress ads about his support of higher taxes, and to choke out criticism on television, radio, the Internet, blogs, e-mail and daily conversation about the election.

“Barack Obama needs to grow up. Leftist blogs and others in the press constantly say false things about me and my family. Usually, we ignore false and scurrilous accusations because the purveyors have no credibility. When necessary, we refute them. Enlisting Missouri law enforcement to intimidate people and kill free debate is reminiscent of the Sedition Acts – not a free society.”

Hat tip to Daniel Lowenstein.

28 Sep 2008

The Subprime Primer

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A slideshow presentation by a ’07 Yale grad who recently had the job of a lifetime at Lehman.

link

Hat tip to Stormin’ Norman.

27 Sep 2008

Endangered Species: Manhattan Republicans

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The People’s Cube documents the reaction of Manhattan Upper West Siders to the passage of a McCain Campaign march through a local street fair.

The number of middle fingers in a “progressive” crowd is directly proportional to the number of PhD degrees in the ten block radius.

5:00 video

via Rusty Shackleford.

27 Sep 2008

Kissinger Rejects Obama’s Claimed Agreement

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Watchers of last night’s debate were bound to wonder if Henry Kissinger really told Barack Obama he agreed with him on presidential meetings held without preconditions with leaders of the world’s most hostile and unsavory regimes.

Stephen Hayes clears this one up.

Henry Kissinger believes Barack Obama misstated his views on diplomacy with US adversaries and is not happy about being mischaracterized. He says: “Senator McCain is right. I would not recommend the next President of the United States engage in talks with Iran at the Presidential level. My views on this issue are entirely compatible with the views of my friend Senator John McCain. We do not agree on everything, but we do agree that any negotiations with Iran must be geared to reality.”

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