Sunday, April 27, 2008

Wright-washing the Reverend won't work

As I said more than a year ago, it is extremely significant that in early 2007, when Barack Obama was not the presumptive nominee, the ultra-liberal Rolling Stone magazine looked at Obama's church and left wing leanings and titled its profile, "The Radical Roots of Barack Obama."

And there is the Rev. Jeremiah Wright, a sprawling, profane bear of a preacher, a kind of black ministerial institution, with his own radio shows and guest preaching gigs across the country. Wright takes the pulpit here one Sunday and solemnly, sonorously declares that he will recite ten essential facts about the United States. "Fact number one: We've got more black men in prison than there are in college," he intones. "Fact number two: Racism is how this country was founded and how this country is still run!" There is thumping applause; Wright has a cadence and power that make Obama sound like John Kerry. Now the reverend begins to preach. "We are deeply involved in the importing of drugs, the exporting of guns and the training of professional KILLERS. . . . We believe in white supremacy and black inferiority and believe it more than we believe in God. . . . We conducted radiation experiments on our own people. . . . We care nothing about human life if the ends justify the means!" The crowd whoops and amens as Wright builds to his climax: "And. And. And! GAWD! Has GOT! To be SICK! OF THIS SHIT!"

Once the Rev. Wright videotape surfaced, Rolling Stone changed the title to protect Obama. Hugh Hewitt has obtained extended audio of Wright's sermons so Americans can judge for themselves whether the evil news media is distorting what he was saying.

When the Rolling Stone listened last year, it understood Rev. Wright perfectly.

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Obama's partial-birth abortion lie

Update: Sorry, I was brain dead when I wrote this and said parental notification when I meant partial-birth abortion. The point of the post still stands.

I caught only part of the Barack Obama interview this morning on Fox News Sunday with Chris Wallace. I regard Wallace as the best of the Sunday morning interviewers, but he missed an obvious follow-up when Obama said he was in favor of banning partial-birth abortion.

His final gaffe — and one that may make a few Republican commercials — came when Wallace challenged Obama to come up with real examples of bipartisanship and compromise on tough issues. He claimed he would have supported the partial-birth abortion ban if Congress had included an exception to protect the mother's health, which would have been used as a dodge around the ban in every instance

Democrats regularly say they are "for" a ban on partial-birth abortion as long as there's an exception for the mother's "health." Such a dodge regularly works to deceive reporters who don't understand the issue. Everybody in politics knows that such an exemption is such a massive loophole that it is no longer intellectually honest to call it a ban. Chris Wallace, I'm sure, knows this and may have been stunned that Obama so brazenly made this proclamation with a straight face.

Obama knows this as well. He knows that 70 to 80 percent of the American public favors a real ban on partial-birth abortion and he doesn't want to appear extreme. So, instead, he lies.

Here's the transcript of the interview.

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Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Obama's predecessor the real change agent

Ironically, the person most responsible for change in Illinois was Barack Obama's predecessor, former US Senator Peter Fitzgerald, a Republican.

The more the pay-to-play investigation into Gov. Rod Blagojevich's campaign/administration unfolds, the more that becomes apparent. The more evidence that emerges, the more it places Obama on the side of status quo/corruption and shows just how significant it was that Fitzgerald bucked his own party and chose U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald over its objections.

Patrick Fitzgerald dumped another bombshell on Blagojevich today in a plea agreement devastating to both Blagojevich and one of his two two fundraisers and operatives, Tony Rezko.

In a development that could have a significant impact on the federal investigation into pay-to-play politics in Blagojevich's administration, Ali D. Ata, the former executive director of the Illinois Finance Authority, pleaded guilty Tuesday afternoon to lying to federal agents about how he got his post.

Ata marks the third person to say under oath that the governor offered to trade favors in return for raising money for his campaign.

Rezko, in the midst of his corruption trial, suddenly looks like a sure bet to be convicted. That is more bad news for Obama, who, while Rezko was in the federal cross hairs, accepted his help in buying his $1.6 million mansion.

Just as significantly, Obama did exactly zero to speak out or stop the rampant corruption that has been openly percolating in his home state during his rise to power nationally. He acted like an old time pol by looking the other way. Meanwhile, Fitzgerald, a man I had the honor to work for, risked his political future by alienating his own political party when it wanted to put a safer pick in the U.S. Attorney's office. Don't be deceived by Obama's declaration that he helped pass ethics legislation in the state senate. That legislation coincided with the most corrupt period in state government history so anyone looking at results, not rhetoric, shouldn't be impressed.

The Blagojevich corruption scandal will just get worse, culminating in the indictment of the governor. Obama's chance to stand up and be counted in Illinois has long since passed. The self-proclaimed change agent can't change that sorry history.

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Monday, April 21, 2008

Another sexual harassment link to Ohio AG?

Ohio Attorney General Marc Dann is embroiled in a sordid Animal House-like sexual harassment scandal that threatens to erase gains Democrats have made in that state, as chronicled today by Tribune reporter Andrew Zajac, who used to work in that state.

Here's a hint to Ohio reporters: Dann's sexual harassment problems might not be confined to Ohio. He might have helped solicit a mysterious $50,000 contribution from an Illinois firm entangled in the biggest and most egregious sexual harassment case ever filed by the federal government in Chicago, covering a six-state Midwest region.

I wrote about this donation a few months ago. It's time for Dann to answer the question.

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Thursday, April 17, 2008

After 'trivial' debate, Obama goes on Colbert

After whining all day about the "trivial" nature of last night's Democratic presidential debate, candidate Barack Obama put the campaign back on a serious plane by appearing on the Colbert Report.

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Dems will regret nominating Obama

We've said here for months that the MSM was vastly overrating the Democratic field for president. In terms of qualifications, Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton always ranked fourth and fifth behind John McCain, Mitt Romney and Rudy Giuliani.

Now that the MSM is finally asking Obama a few pointed questions, his glaring weaknesses in the fall are becoming apparent. He's a far left liberal who is smart but intellectually lazy. His positions are a hodgepodge of illogicisms stitched together with only one theme: opposition to President Bush.

He complained about the questioning last night, saying it was trivial.

"Forty-five minutes before we heard about health care. Forty-five minutes before we heard about Iraq," he continued. "Forty-five - 45 - minutes before we heard about jobs. Forty-five minutes before we heard about gas prices."

However, when the discussion turned to substance, Obama did just as poorly as he did on the "trivia." His position on taxes is bizarre. One second he says he won't raise taxes on anyone with income under $250,000 and in the next breath he says he wants to raise capital gains taxes, which affect millions under the $250K threshold. Does he think we won't catch that whopper?

Gas prices? Barack is for investigating the oil companies for collusion, imposing a large windfall profits tax and investing more money for research. Boy, there are some original ideas. These same hackneyed bromides are trotted out every four years by Democrats. They represent politics, not an understanding of economics. Gas prices are high because of supply and demand. Impose higher taxes on the oil companies and they will do less research, not more.

Obama is not change. Obama is a disaster in the making for Democrats. He could lose big in November.

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Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Someone finally calls out Quinn

For the first time I can remember, someone in the Illinois media pointed out the stunning hypocrisy of Illinois Lt. Gov. Patrick Quinn.

This is from the lead paragraph of a David Mendell story in today's Tribune. Mendell is an excellent reporter who regularly writes a straight, tough story. He wrote the best Barack Obama book out there, From Promise to Power, which should be required reading for anyone interested in this year's presidential campaign.

When his own re-election was on the line 18 months ago, Lt. Gov. Pat Quinn steadfastly defended Gov. Rod Blagojevich even as a federal investigation swirled around the governor's administration.

These days, Quinn has reversed course dramatically, heaping criticism on Blagojevich to help spearhead an effort to give voters the option of recalling a governor from office.

For those not familiar with Quinn's history, he has been a 20-year critic of Republican corruption. When he was elected Lt. Governor alongside Blagojevich, his enthusiasm for reform was put on hold. He shut his mouth and benefitted from Blagojevich's dirty fundraising to get re-elected on his ticket in 2006. Now that Blagojevich is dead meat politically, Quinn has found his "voice" once again and is inching back into the public spotlight with criticisms of his former benefactor.

The difference between fall 2006 and today?

Quinn said that recent developments in the federal investigation of the Blagojevich administration have altered his thinking.

"I am disappointed in him over the past year," Quinn said. "After some of the things we are hearing at the trial from Mr. [Stuart] Levine, I don't think he should have ever, ever been appointed to anything. And I think the governor owes the people an apology for that."

In typical Quinn fashion, however, he is pointing the finger at Levine, not Rezko, who was one of Quinn's largest campaign contributors. Those are hollow, misplaced words. The only people who knew Levine was dirty at the time of his reappointment was the Blagojevich inner circle consisting of Rezko and indicted cohort Chris Kelly.

So again Quinn escapes the larger, more relevant question: Why did you remain silent in 2005 and 2006 when it was obvious to anyone who was paying attention that the $57.8 million Blagojevich fundraising operation was the dirtiest in Illinois history?

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AP is A-OK with BO

Barack Obama faces the wrath of the "professional press." Not really. More swooning by AP over BO.

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Monday, April 14, 2008

Elitism with a smile

Democrats who screeched with contempt over George W. Bush's winning personality as a formula for electoral victory ought to be embarrassed about now.

The only thing saving Barack Obama from political oblivion is a winning smile. It's not his lazy "intellectualism," his liberal pandering, or his sloppy wordsmithing.

If anyone else uttered this nonsense, they'd be in a political nosedive about now.

At an April 6 fund-raiser in San Francisco, this Obama explained to his non-blue-collar donors: "You go into these small towns in Pennsylvania and, like a lot of small towns in the Midwest, the jobs have been gone now for 25 years and nothing's replaced them. And they fell through the Clinton Administration, and the Bush Administration, and each successive Administration has said that somehow these communities are gonna regenerate and they have not. And it's not surprising then they get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren't like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations."

The political damage thus far is unclear. If Obama holds on and wins the Democratic primary, this statement will be a wedge issue in Middle America. It's boilerplate leftist thinking, perfectly reflective of Obama's political heritage that is being partially disguised by the MSM.

Elitist? Not someone who works out at the tony East Bank Club.

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Sunday, April 6, 2008

Year of the Indians

Below are my 2008 predictions in the Baseball Prospectus "Predictatron" contest. Two years ago, I was in the top 30 or so entries out of about 900. Last year, I was right in the middle of the pack.

I'm saying the Cleveland Indians will be World Series champs.

BP predictions, 2008.png

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Will Illinois Dems pay the price for corruption?

Illinois has entered a golden age of corruption, with scandals raging at the state and city of Chicago level. All levers of power in Illinois—Governor, Attorney General, Comptroller, Treasurer, Secretary of State, Senate and House are controlled by Democrats, as is the Mayor's office in Chicago. Yet the brand name of Democrats in this state has not suffered a great blow yet.

Part of the reason is that the scandals haven't fully blossomed. Another is that Republicans have been timid about pointing the finger at Democrats. The GOP state party is starting to change that, with press releases like this one last week, pointing out Democratic state senator Debbie Halvorson is part of the problem in Springfield. She is running for Congress in the 11th District, the seat held by the retiring Republican Jerry Weller.

While Halvorson is listed as a co-sponsor of ethics reform legislation languishing in the Senate, she is on record saying she doesn't support such reforms.

Coincidentally, Halvorson is also the chair of the Senate Rules Committee, the very committee where the package remains bottled up.

"As the Tony Rezko trial uncovers six years of pay-to-play politics oozing out of state government, Debbie Halvorson and Rod Blagojevich are intent on stonewalling real ethical reforms from ever seeing the light of day," said IL GOP Spokesperson Lance Trover. "It appears this is another instance where Senator Halvorson prefers standing up for Rod Blagojevich rather than the honest citizens of this state."

It will be interesting to see what price Democrats pay this fall for the mess its party has created.

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Thursday, April 3, 2008

Karl Rove calls out Barack

Karl Rove was smart to take that Fox News analyst gig because his genteel demeanor and stunningly astute commentary has laid waste to the Left's attempt to demonize him. By comparison, he makes Democratic "geniuses" like James Carville and Paul Begala look like cartoon characters.

He just did a long, interesting interview with GQ magazine, where he accused Barack Obama of lying about him in his book.

Well, you know, I used to have her office at the White House. And I got to know [Obama] because we have a mutual friend, Ken Mehlman, who was his law-school classmate at Harvard. And so as a result, whenever in the last three years he's been around at the White House, I've gotten to see him, and we sort of would hang around and chitchat about things. I'm actually in his book. He wrote that "people like Newt Gingrich, Tom Delay, Ralph Reed, and Karl Rove say we are a Christian nation." And I did not say that. I confronted him about it. At the White House.

Well, first he denied that I was in the book! And then he denied that it said that I said that it was a Christian nation. And then when I pulled out the thing [he had a copy of the offensive page with him] and showed it to him, he sort of blah-blah-blah-blah-blah- blah-blah. And I thought, That's who he is. I mean, look, he may claim that he's for a different kind of politics, but that was a cheap shot. And I'm not certain if any of the four said it either. But it was like, you know, Let's just strap it in there and see if it goes someplace. Another example: Him saying, "We honor John McCain for his fifty years of service" was a cheap shot. He was going out of his way to say John McCain's old.

What say you, Barack? Did you put a sloppily worded and researched partisan charge in your book about changing the tone in Washington?

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Barack's radical roots are showing

As I noted more than a year ago, when the ultraliberal magazine Rolling Stone says Barack Obama has "radical roots," that's quite a statement. Since the Rev. Jeremiah Wright controversy, magazine editors decided to give Barack an in-kind gift by replacing the title with a more benign one.

Beyond the Wright matter, it is becoming increasingly apparent that if Democrats nominate Obama, they will be selecting a far left ideologue who masks his views with a disarming presentation.

Astute Illinois conservative blogger Tom Roeser sums it up well.

But lurking outside the ivy halls is the reality that the "National Journal" marked Obama the most liberal senator of all…that he favors higher income taxes, higher Social Security taxes and higher corporate taxes. That he supports enormous hikes in domestic spending, far greater regulation by government of the economy: which remains for the public to be told…a massive increase of government control over health care. Strong opposition to the North American Free Trade Agreement: in fact he is a protectionist.

He stands supportive of infanticide by having killed the "Born Alive" bill in the Illinois legislature, meaning that a baby born alive from a botched abortion has to struggle and suffer without care because Obama fears that to render mercy to the baby would endanger abortion rights. He is just about the only U.S. Senator to take that stand because a similar bill passed with the support of Hillary Clinton, Ted Kennedy, Barbara Boxer and Diane Feinstein before Obama came to the Senate after having killed a version in Springfield.

He opposed the Supreme Court decision to uphold the ban on partial birth abortion. He wants to repeal the Defense of Marriage Act. He voted against John Roberts and Samuel Alito for the Supreme Court. In his home state he supported banning the manufacture, sale and possession of handguns. He supports giving drivers' licenses to illegal immigrants. He voted to deny legal immunity to telecom companies that have cooperated with the government in warrantless wiretapping of suspected terrorists. He wants habeas corpus rights to detained suspected terrorists and security risks at Guantanamo. He wants a full-scale withdrawal from Iraq. He has vowed in his first presidential year to meet with the leaders of Iran, Syria, Venezuela, Cuba and North Korea with no preconditions.

Seemingly everything he does stamps him as a far-left-wing radical. His insensitivity, his alienation from traditional moral values is exhibited in his ultra-crass secularistic statement the other day. He was referring to his daughters when he casually said in Johnstown, Pennsylvania: .

"If people make a mistake, I don't want them punished with a baby."

Punished with a baby. This is a very-very cold, uncompassionate and unfeeling young man whose inner-self is masked by a politician's duplicity. All by himself, he has built the record and has woven the skein that will likely strangle his campaign. You don't read about this in Carol Marin…the hard-bitten Mother Superior of Feminism, do you? You bet not.

The truth is starting to emerge. The MSM-created "dream field" was always inflated beyond belief. A fairy tale, really.

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