Wednesday, December 17, 2008

NoMoreHacks in Illinois

The Illinois Republican Party has done a great job applying public pressure on Illinois Democrats in the wake of the arrest of Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich. They have started a website,, and are running the TV ad below. Here's what liberal Chicago Sun-Times columnist Mark Brown said about the party.

Showing themselves more nimble than I can remember in many years, state Republicans are milking this for all it's worth.

Since Monday, the Illinois Republican Party has been airing a stinging ad on cable television across the state, criticizing the prospect of Lt. Gov. Pat Quinn, a Democrat, making the appointment if he ascends to the governor's office.

"The people of Illinois deserve better than another political power grab. You deserve to be heard. You deserve a special election," the Republicans say.

In order to sustain the effort, the party needs grassroots help from across America. Over at RedState, diarist Mark W. Johnson at IL GOP Network has started a drive titled NoMoreHacks urging a special election now in Illinois for Barack Obama's senate seat. He is pointing people and donors to the state party so it can continue its TV and web barrage.

Let's jump on board and stop Illinois' corrupt Democrats in their tracks.

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Tuesday, December 16, 2008

In 2006, Dems ignored Blago "5-alarm fire"

Illinois Democrats are laughingly trying to say they didn't know Governor Rod Blagojevich was under intense federal scrutiny in 2006 when they lined up behind him during his re-election bid. At the time, the Chicago Tribune called the corruption probe "a five-alarm fire."

Speaker of the House Mike Madigan said this yesterday: "I can't say I knew he was under intense scrutiny at the time." Lt. Gov. Pat Quinn has ducked the question as best he could and suggested there was not a problem in 2006. Madigan was Blago's campaign co-chairman and Quinn ran on his ticket and called him honest and someone who always does the right thing. Both are not telling the truth. Here are what newspaper editorials said during that campaign:

CRAIN'S CHICAGO BUSINESS – "Now a trail of indictments is working its way toward the governor's office, forcing him into the last refuge of the political scoundrel: claiming ignorance of what goes on in his own administration.

In sum, Gov. Blagojevich has disgraced himself and the state. Nothing he may have accomplished in office can erase that taint or entitle him to another term. Voters must send a strong message that Illinois will no longer tolerate the corruption his regime has fostered."

CHICAGO TRIBUNE -- "The scent of scandal constitutes more than smoke. It's a five-alarm fire."

CHAMPAIGN NEWS GAZETTE – "On top of that mismanagement, the Blagojevich administration is the target of at least two federal investigations, one of which has already resulted in the indictment of a top Blagojevich fundraiser. And the head of the FBI in Chicago says that investigation remains hot."

DAILY HERALD – "His 2002 pledge to end "business as usual" in state government has gone up in flames: The U.S. Justice Department has issued subpoenas to no fewer than six state departments; his top fundraiser faces federal charges of cooking up a shakedown-and-kickback scheme of massive proportions; his administration is under federal investigation for hiring practices; and reporters have extensively documented the governor's record of handing contracts and appointments to campaign donors."

BELLEVILLE NEWS DEMOCRAT – "The guy has let down the people of Illinois in every way imaginable. Instead of the ethical government he promised, his administration is the subject of a sweeping federal corruption investigation."

QUAD CITY TIMES – "Illinois voters should run, not walk, away from a candidate that close to corruption."

The campaign ads also tell the story. Illinois Democrats can't escape their past. They had a choice in 2006 to dump Blagojevich and they chose corruption.

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Saturday, December 13, 2008

RNC blasts Obama for non-answers

Barack Obama's transition: A (not-so-well-oiled) machine.

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Captain Disaster

Has anyone asked David Wilhelm about this quote?

Blagojevich's campaign chair, David Wilhelm thinks the new administration will be up to the task of fulfilling the needs of state citizens fed up with tainted state politicians. "Rod realizes that he is being elected as a reformer. People in this state are fed up with corruption and broken promises. The Blagojevich administration will be one of honesty," he said. Wilhelm engineered Mayor Daley's first two mayoral victories and later ran Bill Clinton's 1992 national presidential campaign. Some observers believe that he has brought credibility and stability to the Blagojevich campaign.

Thanks for the scandals, David.

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Obama negotiates with known crook

A nuance being lost in the national coverage of the Rod Blagojevich arrest is the state of knowledge in Illinois. Prior to Tuesday's hand-cuffing of the Illinois governor, it was known with virtual certainty that he was soon to be indicted. Considering this, it is gob-smacking stupid that Obama's transition team was having any contact with the Blago administration beyond something in writing.

This is not Monday morning quarterbacking. I was stunned when I first heard about the contacts.

If Obama had a preference for his replacement, he simply could have written a letter to Blagojevich and released it to the public. Period. Any contacts beyond that amount to a negotiation. And Obama should have known better to negotiate with a man about to be indicted. It also should have dawned on Obama's camp that he was about to take control of the Justice Department and that a key witness in the Blagojevich Operation Board Games investigation (Tony Rezko) was also a close friend of the President-Elect's. A further entanglement is an Operation Board Games subpoena on the joint house-land sale Obama and Rezko undertook.

If Obama can't sniff trouble in the above circumstances, we are in big trouble when he sizes up foreign adversaries.

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Wednesday, December 10, 2008

A video history of Blagojevich corruption

These campaign commercials from 2002 and 2006 attacking Il. Gov. Rod Blagojevich for corruption pinpoint what was known in Illinois at crucial junctures.

The 2006 ads are first and show the mature nature of the federal investigations against Blagojevich. Despite this, many Illinois Democrats endorsed him, including President-Elect Barack Obama. They will have to answer for putting their party before the citizens of Illinois.

All the ads were produced by one of the top Republican ad makers in the country, Rick Reed. The 2006 ads were for Republican Judy Baar Topinka, and the last two ads, from 2002, were made for Republican Jim Ryan.

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On Rod Blagojevich's birthday, Illinois regroups

As readers of this blog know, I have written often over the past several years about Rod Blagojevich. I was convinced he would be indicted someday and said so. From my days as a spokesman for former Il. Attorney General Jim Ryan—who Blago defeated in the Il. governor's race in 2002—it was apparent that Rod was an oddly constituted politician who would say absolutely anything, at any time, to advance his political career. It was also apparent he had no moral compass or interest in governing.

Many other reasons to doubt Blagojevich's fitness as a public servant were outlined in these posts, and, rather unceremoniously on this blog.


There's no excuse for being "stunned". I got over that five years ago when the brazen criminality of Rod Blagojevich became so painfully obvious simply from reading the paper. Since this blog started, I've written about four hundred posts on Blago's corruption and incompetence, pretty much shouting into the darkness, even while partisan Democrats still tried to assert that Blagojevich was merely a "victim" of the "right-wing smear machine".

Some observations going forward:

1. Most of the federal case against Blagojevich has yet to be revealed. What emerged yesterday were schemes hatched in the last several months. The core of the case against the governor, including other shakedown allegations and income tax avoidance, has yet to be made public.

2. Many Il. Democrats have much to worry about, legally. Subjects and targets of the investigation will be cashing in what's left of their leverage by talking to the feds. To get consideration, they will need to produce new allegations of value. Expect other names to become ensnared in U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald's net.

3. Barack Obama, despite the MSM coverage, is not out of the woods. It is already known that Fitzgerald subpoenaed records related to the joint Tony Rezko-Obama house/lot sale. We also know that Rezko is not done talking. There are a number of other common donors and consultants between Blagojevich and Obama. The splatter could be considerable when full recordings and other court filings are made public.

4. Il. Democrats have considerable political exposure enabling Blagojevich's re-election in 2006. Obama and much of the Democratic establishment in Illinois endorsed his re-election two years ago knowing about the federal investigations, which had already reached high into the governor's office. To those same Dems who criticized Republicans for supporting George Ryan in 1998 while he was under federal investigation I have a news flash: The Blago investigation was much more apparent and advanced in 2006. Lt. Gov. Pat Quinn vouched for Blagojevich's honesty and got re-elected because of the governor's dirty fundraising.

5. Blagojevich is unlikely to step down soon. He probably is nearly broke and stepping down would cut off his only source of income, his salary. A sane person would plead quickly and keep his wife from exposure. That's the deal allegedly on the table from the feds. Rod, however, is far from sane so predictions are difficult.

6. Happy birthday, governor! Today, he is 52. Some people must have been confused on the date because I heard from many of them as they celebrated yesterday.

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Monday, December 1, 2008

Ordinary speeches, great voice

An Abraham Lincoln author and Barack Obama admirer says as a writer, Obama is no Lincoln.

Kaplan said Lincoln had to make language work harder than Obama, "who has a mellifluent voice and makes a terrific visual impression but has yet to write a speech that is, word by word, both memorable and powerful.

Somebody tell MSNBC's Chris Matthews, who has already swooned over many of Obama's speeches with over-the-top praise.

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Sunday, November 30, 2008

Who will hold Daley accountable for O'Hare?

When will Mayor Daley, dozens of other Illinois politicians and the Chicago media establishment pay a price for the O'Hare International Airport expansion plan, a public policy blunder of epic proportions.

Just as former U.S. Senator Peter Fitzgerald and a few others said years ago, the plan eventually would collapse because it was economically and operationally unfeasible. The prophecy was brought into focus recently when the Chicago Tribune found letters that showed airlines have no intention of funding the second and largest phase of the $20 billion project because it makes no economic sense.

In short, there never was adequate space to make a workable expansion work at O'Hare. But Mayor Daley and corporate chieftans in Chicago had no intention of driving to the south suburbs for a new airport where it belonged. So they spent hundreds of millions of dollars for public relations, planning, and land acquisition ramrodding the ill-conceived O'Hare plan forward. The Tribune was particularly helpful to the "cause" by, in Fitzgerald's words, "going on a jihad" against all those who dared oppose the expansion.

Besides the enormous expenditures, which total at least $2 billion to date, there was a tragic human cost. This was chronicled by Dennis Byrne, a longtime critic of the expansion, who makes the point that victims were the working families that Democrats unfailingly claim they represent.

What Daley and his greedy cronies did to Bensenville, a community that had minded its own business for more than 100 years, borders on the criminal. Daley and airport planners knew that they did not need to destroy hundreds of Bensenville homes for years, until later phases of O'Hare expansion were scheduled. Yet, they launched an unprecedented political, economic and government attack that exceeded bounds of decency.

The expansion plan is not dead yet. Mayor Daley and other politicians won't backtrack. They have too much invested in a plan that has paid them hundreds of thousands in campaign contributions from myriad O'Hare consultants and contractors. There's always a chance, with a President Barack Obama and a Democratic Congress, that taxpayers will bail out this monstrous misjudgment.

If there was a functioning news media in Chicago, it would spend months untangling the runaway public policy steamroller that was artificially created to prop up this mega-boondoggle. It should be yet another reminder that when the establishment and the media lock arms in favor of a narrative or a plan, citizens should be very wary.

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Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Right needs new online news outlet

Patrick Ruffini is doing a great job framing the Right's challenges for the future. He's the Republican's preeminent new media tactician. He nailed it in a recent column that pointed out the difference between conservative and liberal online sites and blogs.

Another problem is that conservative bloggers are there to provide you with their opinion. The new pillars of left-wing media are there to provide you with information, such as that on the U.S. attorney firings. Recognizing that page A1 of any newspaper usually trumps the op-ed page in setting the agenda, these outlets have fashioned themselves as dispensers of information — information usually helpful to the Left and its candidates.

This is because TPM, ThinkProgress, and the Huffington Post are all full-time operations employing reporters, whereas conservative blogs usually run the work of amateur or part-time writers. When conservative bloggers are full-time, they are generally commentators and not reporters.

The Left's work over the past six years showed itself in 2008. It tipped the balance of power. In 2004, the MSM tried to blockade the Swift Boat issue and the Right responded with a 527 counterpunch that perplexed the Left and resonated with the electorate.

This time, the MSM media doubled down on its blockade of negative narratives about Barack Obama and the Left was ready to do battle with emerging 527s and other independent expenditure groups. The Obama group attacked the groups in court and the Left online presence, buttressed by millions in donations by wealthy liberals, helped knock down any attacks on Obama. Thus, the Right was left only with talk radio, conservative blogs and Fox News. That wasn't enough to get traction with the electorate.

The problem, as Ruffini pointed out, was content. The legitimate criticisms on Obama were stuffed and the Right had no mechanism to further explore them. There was a desperate need for new content. For example, we all know that Obama and Bill Ayers were lying about the true nature of their relationship but nobody found new facts to rebut the lies. Others narratives were left on the table, such as the Tony Rezko-Obama house sale and Obama's participation in a slum scheme that enriched his top donors and screwed his low-income constituents.

New information matters in a campaign. Hillary Clinton would be president today if her researchers had found the Rev. Jeremiah Wright videos a couple of months before ABC News found them.

What the Right needs is a new online news entity. It should be sufficiently funded to hire at least half a dozen seasoned investigators/journalists to get to the bottom of news narratives the MSM refuses to explore. We need to stop complaining about MSM bias and start making it irrelevant.

Of course we need much more in terms of good candidates, good ideas and a reworked online infrastructure. But we can't ignore that the Left created a massive shield that allowed a largely unexplored and untested poser to get elected president. We know the same shield will be employed in future elections. Let's not get blocked again.

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Thursday, November 13, 2008

Family friend=babysitter

Who do you trust to baby-sit your kids? Why, a "family friend" of course.

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Don't ever believe a MSM "fact-check" again

All those MSM "fact-checks" that said Barack Obama barely knew unrepentant domestic terrorist Bill Ayers? They were lies. Today, Ayers said in a forward to a new book he is hawking, that he and Obama are "family friends."

Here's what one of those esteemed fact checks said a few weeks ago. There were many others just like this one.

What we object to are the McCain-Palin campaign's attempts to sway voters – in ads and on the stump – with false and misleading statements about the relationship, which was never very close. Obama never "lied" about this, just as he never bragged about it.

Remember, these "fact-checks" were quoted by the Obama campaign as proof that Republicans were barking up the wrong tree on Ayers. So the MSM refused to cover the issue and then produced false fact-checks to cover Obama's tracks. Dishonest is the only polite word that comes to mind.

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Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Paglia on Palin

Liberal writer Camille Paglia smacks down her ideological soulmates for their mindless trashing of Sarah Palin. Paglia is a gifted wordsmith who consistently has defended the Alaska governor.

Liberal Democrats are going to wake up from their sadomasochistic, anti-Palin orgy with a very big hangover. The evil genie released during this sorry episode will not so easily go back into its bottle. A shocking level of irrational emotionalism and at times infantile rage was exposed at the heart of current Democratic ideology -- contradicting Democratic core principles of compassion, tolerance and independent thought. One would have to look back to the Eisenhower 1950s for parallels to this grotesque lock-step parade of bourgeois provincialism, shallow groupthink and blind prejudice.

I like Sarah Palin, and I've heartily enjoyed her arrival on the national stage. As a career classroom teacher, I can see how smart she is -- and quite frankly, I think the people who don't see it are the stupid ones, wrapped in the fuzzy mummy-gauze of their own worn-out partisan dogma. So she doesn't speak the King's English -- big whoop! There is a powerful clarity of consciousness in her eyes. She uses language with the jumps, breaks and rippling momentum of a be-bop saxophonist. I stand on what I said (as a staunch pro-choice advocate) in my last two columns -- that Palin as a pro-life wife, mother and ambitious professional represents the next big shift in feminism. Pro-life women will save feminism by expanding it, particularly into the more traditional Third World.

As for the Democrats who sneered and howled that Palin was unprepared to be a vice-presidential nominee -- what navel-gazing hypocrisy! What protests were raised in the party or mainstream media when John Edwards, with vastly less political experience than Palin, got John Kerry's nod for veep four years ago? And Gov. Kathleen Sebelius of Kansas, for whom I lobbied to be Obama's pick and who was on everyone's short list for months, has a record indistinguishable from Palin's. Whatever knowledge deficit Palin has about the federal bureaucracy or international affairs (outside the normal purview of governors) will hopefully be remedied during the next eight years of the Obama presidencies.

Despite this dress-down, expect the liberal thought robots to continue snide commentary regarding Palin. They will continue their attempt to destroy her so she doesn't destroy them in 2012.

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Thursday, November 6, 2008

The biggest blunder of the campaign—by far

When the history of this campaign is written, it should include a massive mistake by the Hillary Clinton team that probably cost her the presidency: Her negative research team failed to find the Rev. Jeremiah Wright tape.

ABC News was first to air the infamous tape of parts of Wright's sermons on March 12—after the Iowa caucuses, New Hampshire primary, Super Tuesday primaries and caucuses and several other key contests. By then, Barack Obama had a strong hold on the nomination. Once the tape aired, Obama's poll numbers dropped and he struggled the rest of the primary season, barely limping home the nominee.

Had the Clinton team found the tape and dropped it at a strategic point during those early contests, Obama would have been toast. There's really not much question of this.

The haunting part of this from the Clinton perspective is that the sermon tapes were available online and at Wright's church. A basic job of negative research would have found them.

An ABC News review of dozens of Rev. Wright's sermons, offered for sale by the church, found repeated denunciations of the U.S. based on what he described as his reading of the Gospels and the treatment of black Americans.

In the negative research business, this is malpractice. The Obama campaign also screwed up by not finding the tape in advance and removing it from the church and internet.

This was the unpublicized turning point of the campaign.

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Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Reaching across the aisle—with a steak knife

John Ruberry found this passage about Rahm Emanuel, President-Elect Barack Obama's rumored choice as chief of staff. This is bi-partisanship we can believe in.

That night, on the northwest side, Rahm Emanuel was elected to Congress. A former Clinton whiz kid who'd gotten his start as a fundraiser for Mayor Richard M. Daley, Emanuel was connected -- in the three years after leaving the White House (where he'd helped push through NAFTA), he earned $16 million putting together Wall Street mergers. He was also zealously partisan. He had once owned a consulting business devoted to finding skeletons in Republican closets. At a Clinton victory dinner in Little Rock in 1992, Emanuel celebrated by reciting a hoped-for necrology of Democrats who had "f*cked" the president-elect. After every name, he stabbed a steak knife into a table and screamed, "Dead man!"

Who will be his press secretary, Keith Olbermann?

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McCain's "negativity" was a smear

A historian says the MSM/Obama narrative that John McCain was waging a dirty campaign was false.

Finally, the protectiveness that Obama elicited from others also explains why McCain's fall campaigning was reviewed so harshly. Throughout the year, Obama was often spared the task of defending himself because others with prominent media platforms did it for him. As the campaign progressed, a whole slate of possible criticisms—including legitimate concerns about his record or his foreign-policy chops—were deemed, as if by cultural consensus, beyond the pale. Indeed, it's worth recalling that October's hyperbolic claims about McCain's negativity echo similar (and similarly unfounded) claims about Clinton's campaigning back in the spring. Does Obama somehow invite historically unprecedented negativity? Or are his enthusiasts just unusually quick to perceive it? In any event, Obama benefited more from labeling his rivals as uniquely sleazy than he suffered from whatever sleaziness they displayed.
Obama fully deserved to defeat McCain on Tuesday. But he deserved to win because his party and his program presented the better hope for a better America, and not because he is purer of heart than other politicians—or any less able to throw a punch when his political future demands it. Like all good politicians, Obama appears to understand this important distinction. The rest of us should, too.

Expect to see more outbursts of truthfulness when the Obama savants come out of their trances.

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President-Elect Obama

America's greatness is never more evident than during our transfers of power. Our longest campaign for president is over and Barack Obama is the winner. As the architect of a well-run campaign, he deserves great credit.

As someone who strongly disagrees with his policies, I will hope that America prospers and is safe during his presidency. I will resist the urge to oppose his every move, as the Left did shortly after George W. Bush took office. The Left figured that to win the presidency back, they had to vigorously and viciously oppose him, no matter the issue. That strategy fell short in 2004 but finally the weight of the Bush attacks gave Obama the playing field for victory in 2008.

The Right has no chance if it follows that strategy. For one, it will not have the MSM as an ally in attacking Obama. At all big moments, the press will tend to defend Obama because in part they helped create his historic presidency. The Right will have to choose an unflinching leader who will apply conservative values to a modern world. A leader who understands how to intelligently take on and work through a hostile press. It will take some time to sort it out.

I will not engage in John McCain bashing. He is an American hero. He ran the best campaign he could in an impossible climate for a Republican. His age was an unspoken hindrance, rightly or wrongly. Another lesson is that it's impossible to be elected president without strong support from the base of your party. My initial read of the yesterday's results indicates that the Republican base underperformed. It's far more effective to consolidate your base and reach out than vice versa—in either party. Sarah Palin helped McCain with his base but in the end, a vice presidential selection can only marginally affect the presidential race.

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Monday, November 3, 2008

Why this race is not over....

The experts are idiots. Keep that in mind. They are often wrong. Polls are often wrong. Just a few months ago, the polls were 10.9 points off in New Hampshire. Several other states were also called wrong.

RealClearPolitics - Election 2008 - New Hampshire Democratic Primary.jpg

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Sunday, November 2, 2008

A lump of coal for Obama's hopes?

Is this the November surprise to tip the "bitter clingers" in Pennsylvania, Ohio, Colorado, and Virginia to swing to John McCain in the eleventh hour?

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McCain has a shot at Pennsylvania

Columnist Selena Zito of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review believes John McCain can win Pennsylvania. Polls have showed him inching to within several percentage points of Barack Obama.

"This race is still not a slam-dunk for Barack Obama," says Pennsylvania Democrat Mark Singel, a former lieutenant governor and acting governor.

Pennsylvania voters move pretty dramatically in the very last days of the campaign, he says.

I'm surprised Obama is not here on Sunday. Instead, he's in Ohio. If there's a late tightening in the race, McCain will win Ohio. But Pennsylvania is tougher for Republicans. Without it, McCain probably can't be president.

"In an odd way, many liberals are tone-deaf about normal people, who worship God, country, sports and their communities and don't care all that much about politics," says former Villanova political scientist Bob Maranto.

Maranto says what's causing Pennsylvania voters to give Obama a second look goes beyond Obama's "share the wealth" notion: "They are suspicious of him and his Ivy League buddies who have never run anything in their lives (but) that now want to run the country."

He adds that "it is all in the arrogance."

That exactly describes the Reagan Democrats I grew up with in Missouri. They are not voting against Obama because they are racist. They are voting against him because of his elitism and arrogance.

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"Send price signals"=raise taxes

More video of Barack Obama's left-wing economic philosophy that the news media failed to highlight during the campaign.

And listen here about Obama's plan to bankrupt the coal industry.

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Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Zell: "...24/7 content and information provider"

Here's what Tribune Corporation (Owner of L.A. Times) chieftan Sam Zell said about his newspaper business:

"We are a 24/7 content and information provider that prints once a day for the record."

Except, apparently, when the content could be harmful to a favored presidential candidate. Why, when everyone, including Zell, has recognized that online content is the paper's only hope for the future, would the L.A. Times refuse to release a videotape that would generate huge web traffic?

The L.A. Times belated excuse that it is protecting a source isn't believable.

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Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Murtha is on road to defeat

Democratic Congressman John Murtha of Pennsylvania is in deep trouble. He pandered to the liberal media just as John Kerry did after Vietnam. Both made false charges against troops. This ad is devastating.

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Land of Lincoln degraded again

Barack Obama's Illinois: Even the head of the Abe Lincoln library and museum is a crook.

Gov. Rod Blagojevich fired the head of the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum today following revelations that the executive director shoplifted in Springfield.

Rick Beard, 61, has not worked in his $150,000-a-year job running the Lincoln complex since last week, when word emerged of police cases against him, said David Blanchette, a museum spokesman.

Security guards at a Springfield Target store claimed Beard tried to steal a $39.99 DVD box set of Season 4 of the TV series "House."

It's not easy to get fired by soon-to-be indicted Blagojevich, who carries a heady 13 percent approval rating including relatives.

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McCain gets to the point

John McCain's new TV ad. Simple and effective. As a tool of persuasion, one of his best.

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Monday, October 27, 2008

Who's the dope?

Certain liberal journalists have preened in print about Sarah Palin's alleged lack of intelligence. One called her a "Grade A Dope." Others have been even harsher. None, of course, have stood toe-to-toe with a veteran U.S. Senator and held their own in a debate, or flawlessly delivered a brilliant convention speech. Here's what the former editor-in-chief of Ms. magazine, who has spent hours with Palin recently, said about her:

Now by "smart," I don't refer to a person who is wily or calculating or nimble in the way of certain talented athletes who we admire but suspect don't really have serious brains in their skulls. I mean, instead, a mind that is thoughtful, curious, with a discernable pattern of associative thinking and insight. Palin asks questions, and probes linkages and logic that bring to mind a quirky law professor I once had. Palin is more than a "quick study"; I'd heard rumors around the campaign of her photographic memory and, frankly, I watched it in action. She sees. She processes. She questions, and only then, she acts. What is often called her "confidence" is actually a rarity in national politics: I saw a woman who knows exactly who she is.

She went even further.

For all those old enough to remember Senator Sam Ervin, the brilliant strict constitutional constructionist and chairman of the Senate Watergate Committee whose patois included "I'm just a country lawyer"… Yup, Palin is that smart.

Palin will be a formidable force in national politics for years to come, if she chooses to pursue that path.

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Gifted writer passes away

Dean Barnett died today of cystic fibrosis at the age of 41. He was one of the best writers on the internet. I discovered him a couple of years ago and exchanged emails a few times. He wrote with an amazing clarity and optimistic introspection about his illness and joyfully about politics and baseball. I'd recommend perusing those writings at his original blog, Soxblog. He later wrote for Hugh Hewitt's blog and for the Weekly Standard. May he rest in peace.

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Sunday, October 26, 2008

Why I think Bill Ayers baby-sat Barack's kids

This rumor has been floating around the internet and I'm going to wade in because I have direct knowledge of this one. A credible person was told this directly by unrepentant terrorist Bill Ayers in late 2006, a few months before Barack Obama announced his candidacy for president.

Ayers bragged about how close he was to the Obamas and said he even baby-sat their children.

At least three major media outlets know about this and two that I know of have talked to the person. He is declining to go public because he wants to protect his family. He wants no part of the Joe the Plumber treatment Obama's lapdog protectors in the press gave him. So, in this case, Obama's thugs have won because like mobsters or terrorists they have chilled honest people from coming forward.

I've talked to one of the major media reporters and he said he absolutely believes the man's tale. But, he said his organization will not go forward unless the person goes on the record or other corroboration can be found.

Of course, the truth is that media organizations, particularly in Chicago, are not trying at all to advance the Ayers story. They probably could corroborate this in half a day. If indeed Ayers and or his co-terrorist wife Bernardine Dohrn baby-sat the Obama children, there's bound to be people in the neighborhood who know this.

Why does it matter? Because it would prove that Obama's characterization of his relationship with Ayers is a lie. A lie that a man who might be eight days from being elected president told repeatedly to the American people.

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The Obama stories you aren't seeing

The provocative stories the media is sitting on, according to one blog.

Of course this is just the tip of the iceberg. There are plenty of other stories the press has decided we don't need to know about this election cycle. Barney Frank's Boyfriend at Fannie Mae comes to mind. Or how about the PR firm that created an astroturf campaign against Sarah Palin. Turns out they had direct connections to David Axelrod, Obama's campaign manager and, coincidentally, the king of astroturfing. Non-story.

He forgot the federal criminal grand jury subpoena related to Barack Obama's house purchase.

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"A baboon-like level of discourse"

The Palin smear factory continues working overtime, notes Power Line.

I don't think there is any precedent in our history for the shameful manner in which the Left has treated Sarah Palin. Left-winger Andrew Sullivan gleefully posted a particularly disgusting example of the phenomenon today; it's a YouTube video titled "Red, White and MILF." Watch it only if you have a strong stomach. If you don't know what "MILF" means--I'm sure most of our readers don't--Google it.

I can remember when Sullivan was a respected journalist, not a gutter smear merchant and borderline pornographer. His descent exemplifies the Left's decline in recent years to a baboon-like level of discourse. The vileness of much of what passes for political "argument" on the Left has to be seen to be believed. The worst impulses of human nature have been not just unleashed, but rewarded. If you haven't looked at web sites like Democratic Underground, Daily Kos, the Huffington Post and Andrew Sullivan's Daily Dish, you have no idea what the phrase "gutter politics" really means.

Nowhere has the vileness of the Left been more sickening than in its treatment of Governor Palin. It is interesting to contemplate what a semi-pornographic video about Barack Obama, playing on the same sort of prejudices and stereotypes that are so disgustingly on display in Sullivan's video, would look like. Frankly, I can't imagine such a video being made, let alone featured on the web site of the once-proud Atlantic magazine. But on the Left, anything goes--the more slimy and disgusting, the better.

The sad part is that much of the MSM picks up its news tips from Sullivan.

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Malpractice by Chicago newspapers

Newsweek today reported that a new lawsuit reveals for the first time that U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald is interested in the same day house and lot purchase by Barack Obama and convicted felon Tony Rezko.

A recent lawsuit filed by Kenneth J. Conner, a former real estate analyst, against Mutual Bank of Harvey, Ill., for wrongful termination, includes an exhibit indicating for the first time that loan records of the Rezkos' purchase of the vacant lot next door to Obama has come up in Fitzgerald's investigation. The exhibit is an Oct. 19, 2006, e-mail distributed among bank executives referring to a "grand jury subpoena" for "Rita Rezko's loan" for the property at 5050 S. Greenwood Avenue—the lot adjacent to the Obamas

This is a highly newsworthy revelation that neither the Chicago Tribune or Chicago Sun-Times has seen fit to publish in its newspapers. Would those newspapers fail to note the existence of a federal criminal grand jury subpoena in Alaska if it was directly related to Sarah Palin's house purchase?

Here's the McCain campaign's latest web video on the subject.

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Saturday, October 25, 2008

Obama's multi-million dollar fraud machine

Here's another blockbuster the MSM (D-Obama) is ignoring. Apparently, the Barack Obama online campaign fundraising operation is accepting tens of millions from small donors—many of them illegally!

The Obama campaign has turned off address verification features on its online donation form—meaning it will accept money from anyone, foreigners, maxed out donors, convicted felons. The McCain campaign screens these donations and kicks back those whose credit card number do not match the correct address.

Recently, across the blogosphere, conservatives are proving this is true by putting in fake donations in the name of Tony Rezko, Bill Ayers, Osama bin Laden, Saddam Hussein, etc. The donations were processed, accepted and debited against the card number provided.

This means, theoretically, that al Qaeda could be flooding Obama's coffers with small donations and the American public wouldn't know about it.

A good explanation here.

Vote fraud, donation fraud, Bill Ayers, Tony Rezko, Rashid Khalidi. Is there any anti-Obama story the MSM will cover?

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Ayers calls the cops

Unrepentant domestic terrorist Bill Ayers, whose radical organization bombed a police station and was involved in a New York robbery where law enforcement officers were killed, calls the cops on a cable TV stalker.

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One honest journalist comes forward

An journalist has a scathing takedown of the blatant bias of his profession during this election. He says, "I'm deeply ashamed right now to be called a journalist."

Now, don't get me wrong.  I'm not one of those people who think the media has been too hard on, say, Gov. Palin, by rushing reportorial SWAT teams to Alaska to rifle through her garbage.  This is the Big Leagues, and if she wants to suit up and take the field, then Gov. Palin better be ready to play.  The few instances where I think the press has gone too far - such as the Times reporter talking to Cindy McCain's daughter's MySpace friends - can easily be solved with a few newsroom smackdowns and temporary repostings to the Omaha Bureau.

No, what I object to (and I think most other Americans do as well) is the lack of equivalent hardball coverage of the other side - or worse, actively serving as attack dogs for Senators Obama and Biden.  If the current polls are correct, we are about to elect as President of the United States a man who is essentially a cipher, who has left almost no paper trail, seems to have few friends (that at least will talk) and has entire years missing out of his biography.  That isn't Sen. Obama's fault:  his job is to put his best face forward.  No, it is the traditional media's fault, for it alone (unlike the alternative media) has had the resources to cover this story properly, and has systematically refused to do so.

Why, for example to quote McCain's lawyer, haven't we seen an interview with Sen. Obama's grad school drug dealer - when we know all about Mrs. McCain's addiction?  Are Bill Ayers and Tony Rezko that hard to interview?  All those phony voter registrations that hard to scrutinize?  And why are Senator Biden's endless gaffes almost always covered up, or rationalized, by the traditional media?

This is a must read. I wonder if any other journalists are honest enough to see what this person sees.

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Obama campaign stunned by real questions

This is hilarious. Joe Biden was being interviewed by an Orlando, Florida TV reporter and got the same type of tough questions John McCain and Sarah Palin get every day from network anchors.

He didn't like it. And the Obama campaign afterwards canceled an interview with Jill Biden and put out a crazy statement, filled with the trademark Obama red herring arguments.

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Friday, October 24, 2008

Obama ranted about 'Christian right' in 1995

More contempt from Barack Obama for the religious heartland, this from a 1995 interview in the Chicago Reader, an ultraliberal free publication.

The right wing, the Christian right, has done a good job of building these organizations of accountability, much better than the left or progressive forces have. But it's always easier to organize around intolerance, narrow-mindedness, and false nostalgia.

Clinging to their guns and religion. I'm sure this quote will play well in western Pennsylvania.

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Thursday, October 23, 2008

LA Times holding back damaging Obama video

The Tribune Corp. (L.A. Times) is refusing to release a 2003 video showing Barack Obama toasting a man widely disliked in the Jewish community, former PLO spokesman Rashid Khalidi.

And in Chicago, the Tribune Corp. is helping Obama by refusing to report on Khalidi's close friend, unrepentant domestic terrorist Bill Ayers.

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Pravda in America

Newt Gingrich unloads on the news media:

NEWT GINGRICH (R), FORMER SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: Well, I think the elite media's attack on Governor Palin again and again has been factually wrong, intellectually dishonest, totally biased, worthy of the Polish state news media attacking Lech Walesa back in the 1980s. I mean, this is a kind of deliberate, vicious, dishonest, total distortion of who Governor Palin is, including, by the way, the "Saturday Night Live" skits, some of which I think were slander and were worthy of a lawsuit.

And I think that the American people should realize that the elite media on the left is so desperate to elect Barack Obama that the view they're giving you of Governor Palin is fundamentally a falsehood. And the one you saw from CNN is so outrageous that they owe her an absolute apology. But frankly, Katie Couric misquoted Henry Kissinger. Earlier than that, ABC News misquoted the Bush doctrine. Again and again, you've seen elite reporters do things that were false in order to try to make Governor Palin look bad.

While the MSM lies, the public is noticing.

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25 million more reasons to vote McCain

Just another fella from the hood.

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Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Time for conservatives to start own media

UPDATE--Wow. MSNBC is teaming up with ACORN and an all-star lineup of left-wing groups on election day. Why stop there? Might as well have staffers drive people to the polls for Obama.

A new Pew study of stories from the conventions through the debates:

Percent negative:
Barack Obama—29 percent
John McCain—57 percent.

There is no longer any doubt the MSM is trying to drag Obama across the finish line. The solution for conservatives? John Hinderaker has an idea.

But the mainstream media--which is to say, most reporters and editors who work for "mainstream" news organizations--have no honor and are not interested in truth. They are, as Card says, "the public relations machine of the Democratic Party." It's time to accept that fact and move on. Our existing news organizations--the New York Times, the Associated Press, NBC, CNN, CBS, and so on--can't be reformed, they can only be ignored. It is time for conservatives, libertarians, moderates, and normal citizens who are interested in straightforward reporting of the news to build their own news organizations in competition with the corrupt ones that now exist.

I think he's right.

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AP and its transparent priorities

Associated Press, which refuses to even mention that the Rezko-Obama house sale is under federal scrutiny, devoted massive resources to this "blockbuster."

Who says journalists don't investigate any more?  The AP is getting to the bottom of Sarah Palin's children traveling with her on state business.  No news yet on Barack Obama's dealings with Rezko or Ayers, or how his wife nearly tripled her six figure income  at a hospital when became a US Senator and then got earmarks for it.  But first things first, I'm sure.

The AP report has three names in the byline: Brett J. Blackledge, Adam Goldman and Matt Apuzzo.  From the story's timeline, the AP had requested her expense reports prior to August 6.  Brett, Adam and Matt must have been part of that army of lawyers and journalists who descended on Wasilla within days of McCain announcing Sarah as his VP pick.

Their story is comprehensive, if you go by word count.  My computer says its over 1,400 words.  If you can wade through the article, they seem to describe every single trip any of Sarah's kids took with her -- juicy stuff.  In all, we're talking $21,012.  Twenty one thousand dollars!  Michelle Obama would have to do community outreach for three or four weeks to haul in that much cash.

Here are the resources AP expended to get a story that alleges spending that almost certainly is legal.

Let's see, their investigation started before August 6. Their story ran October 21. Three reporters, 11 weeks? That's over 1300 man-hours plus air-fare, lodging and per diem, if they were full time on that. How much did that cost? Over $21,012? (I easily estimate three times that, but maybe they weren't all full time.)

And now that AP is done with that big probe?

In the meantime, it's nice to know that Brett, Adam and Matt are now getting freed up from that intensive dive into the darkest secrets of Sarah's past so they can get back to the Rezko, Ayers, wife's job investigations thingies they must have been pulled from temporarily.

I'm sure that's coming next. As in next year or next decade.

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Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Obama Nation

A glimpse of the future?

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Don't trust the polls?

Something is fishy about the polls. Most are showing Barack Obama with a lead of 5 to 10 points. The respected Battleground poll, however, shows the lead at 1 point.

Another interesting dynamic is that John McCain is spending lots of time in Pennsylvania, where some of the polls show a double-digit Obama lead. Yet an Obama internal poll reportedly shows the margin at 2 points.

The polling organizations traditionally overestimate Democratic support in presidential elections. This year, they are using inflated turnout and party ID models that might be too inflated. This conservative blogger with a good track record on analyzing polls thinks so.

I'm not sure one way or another. The polls I trust the most generally have the smaller margins. McCain may be a lot closer to Obama than is believed and a late surge could prove decisive.

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Feds subpoena Rezko-Obama house records

That's the headline you'll never see in your Chicago newspapers—or any other for that matter. But that's exactly what was revealed in this Chicago Tribune Friday evening blog dump, a story that never graced the print edition.

There's no excuse for this blackout. It is inarguably a news story: Never before has the press revealed that the feds subpoenaed records related to the same day house and lot purchase in 2005 by Barack Obama and convicted felon Tony Rezko.

In my days as a reporter it was always news when a new subpoena was discovered in a high profile criminal investigation. And add in that the Chicago-based presidential candidate participated in the joint purchase, it is malpractice not to highly publicize this revelation.

I discussed the blackout this week with a top Chicago reporter. He offered feeble arguments against publishing the story—it's only two weeks until the election, there's no evidence that Obama is a target of the feds, etc. All are points that could be pointed out in the story to provide context.

But to not publish? This election has deeply eroded the news media's credibility. The scorn on the campaign trail for MSM outlets is richly deserved.

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Monday, October 20, 2008

Matt Lauer's idea of an interview

The Matt Lauer interview of Barack Obama this morning. To call this a puffball interview would be insulting puffballs. This is how the MSM "vettes" Obama.

MATT LAUER: Now to "Today on the Trail," and an exclusive interview with Barack Obama. On Sunday I caught up with him in the battleground state of North Carolina and I started by asking him about Colin Powell's endorsement and if the General had any advice or given him any advance notice.

LAUER: Do you then say, "Secretary Powell it would be great to see you out on the campaign trail over these next 16 days?"

LAUER: Did you ask him?

LAUER: He told Tim Russert back in 2007 he really didn't have any intention of getting back into politics, at least in, for an elected office.

LAUER: But he said, "I've always got my ear open-

LAUER: -for the call to serve."

LAUER: Which also begs the question would you like to find a role for him if you're lucky enough to be elected?

LAUER: Let me ask you about another recent endorsement. The Washington Post in endorsing you, they were very tough on John McCain saying, "Anyone who talks about national security and says he feels as deeply about it couldn't have chosen Sarah Palin as someone who is a heartbeat away from the presidency." And I know you've been asked it, but Senator I've never heard you come right out and say, is she qualified to be president today?

LAUER: Even the Chicago Tribune, historically a very conservative paper from your hometown-

LAUER: -in endorsing you-

LAUER: -was critical of McCain, saying, "Sarah Palin is not ready."

LAUER: Let's talk about Iraq. Iraqi officials and U.S. officials are negotiating a deal, and they're pretty close apparently, where U.S. troops would be withdrawn from Iraq at the end of 2011.

LAUER: You've already said you want 2010-

LAUER: -as a date. So does that piece of paper, if it's formalized, become meaningless if there's a Barack Obama presidency?

LAUER: The Washington Post, again, in endorsing you, did say that your call for defined time lines to get the troops out was, perhaps, a critical flaw. And, and that it could cost us the security that has been hard fought over this last year.

LAUER: When you and the smart people in your campaign get together on the plane or wherever and you crunch the numbers and you look not only at the national polls but state-by-state in the battleground states, do you see a path to victory for John McCain?

LAUER TO OBAMA ON ESCALATOR: There are political strategists out there who say, "You know what you should be doing right now? You should get on a bus, you should go across the country, simply waving out the window. You should avoid interviews with guys like me. You should avoid any spontaneous interaction-

LAUER OFF-SCREEN: With just over two weeks until Election Day, on the trail, Senator Obama says his campaign is still making it's case to voters and hasn't forgotten a lesson from the primaries.

LAUER: Senator Barack Obama on the campaign trail in North Carolina. We're gonna have more of that interview in our next half-hour, including what kind of sacrifices Americans will have to make if and when he's elected.

LAUER TEASING SEGMENT: Coming up I'm gonna ask Senator Obama what sacrifice, specific sacrifice he might ask the American people to make if he's elected based on these tough economic times. Plus he'll talk about his emotional state, just two weeks now, before the nation chooses the next president.

MATT LAUER: But first let's have more of this exclusive interview with Barack Obama. On Sunday I sat down with the Democratic nominee on the campaign trail in North Carolina and with the nation caught in an economic tailspin and in fighting wars in Iraq and Afghanistan I asked the senator what he would expect of all Americans if he's elected. Could you give me one concrete sacrifice, that as president, you would look to the American people and say, "you must make this sacrifice."

LAUER: You declared you're running for President, February 10th, 2007. Since then, Senator, the country and the world have changed dramatically. Perhaps Iraq is, is the best news. But Afghanistan is less stable. The economy is in disastrous straits. You've got housing problems, energy problems, unemployment problems. Pakistan, Iran. A resurgent Russia. Is this still the same job that you signed on for?

LAUER: This idea that you are, "The One," Oprah's words.

LAUER: Yeah, yeah "That one," John McCain's words. People have called you "The Savior," "The Messiah," "The Messenger of Change." The expectations have been raised to such a level. Some people say you're partly responsible because of your confident attitude. If you are, as you just say, lucky enough to be elected the next president are you going to have to consciously manage expectations, during the first several months of your administration?

LAUER: Right now with two weeks to go, where are you emotionally?

LAUER: He says when he lies in bed at night he allows himself to daydream about both possible outcomes - winning and losing.

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Powell on Ayers

Colin Powell's endorsement of Barack Obama tells us something about the homestretch of the election. These endorsements are an opportunity for Obama's people to give Powell talking points. Interestingly, Powell chose to talk about unrepentant terrorist Bill Ayers, calling the topic not appropriate in this campaign.

Translation: Obama's camp remains worried about Ayers. And, do you really believe Powell is that blase about a man who bombed a building (Pentagon) he used to work in?

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Vallas blasts Obama, Ayers

Because the Chicago newspapers have gone to sleep on covering Barack Obama, we'll have to rely on a New York paper to perform basic reporting tasks.

The Chicago Tribune didn't even know or care that Obama's only executive experience was at the helm of the Chicago Annenberg Challenge, a "school reform" foundation founded by unrepetentant terrorist Bill Ayers.

The New York Post contacted Paul Vallas about the foundation and he blistered the Obama-Ayers led group.

"There was a total lack of accountability. If you went back and asked, you'd be hard-pressed to find out how the money was spent," said Paul Vallas, the city's school superintendent when Obama chaired the Chicago Annenberg Foundation from 1995 to 1999.

Annenberg spent $49.5 million, mostly on grants to 211 public schools that partnered with community-based groups. But despite collecting millions, those schools performed no better than other public schools, a study found.

Ayers, a professor of education at the University of Illinois and an ex-Weather Underground bomber, wrote the grant that won the Windy City funding from the national Annenberg Challenge. He was a key adviser to the Chicago Annenberg board.

He also said Obama and company were trying to roll back academic reforms.

Most frustrating, Vallas said, was that Annenberg under Obama and Ayers funded groups that fought his mission, under Mayor Richard Daley, to impose uniform standards and stricter accountability in low-performing schools.

Many of Vallas' goals were later adopted by Mayor Bloomberg in Big Apple schools.

"Many of the school-reform groups viewed greater accountability as an infringement of local control. Some opposed ending social promotion and grade retention," Vallas said.

Either the Tribune or Sun-Times could have picked up the phone and got the same story if they weren't in Obama's pocket.

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