Saturday, September 27, 2008
The Crimson Tide ran up a 31-0 halftime lead, but Georgia apparently made some adjustments at halftime, shutting down Alabama's running game and uncorking a strong passing game with quarterback Matthew Stafford.
Alabama's future opponents will study video of this game and try to emulate what the Bulldogs did in the second half. Georgia's defeat at home in Sanford Stadium -- combined with Ole Miss beating No. 4-ranked Florida 31-30 -- showed why there's never really an off-week in SEC football.
The Crimson Tide, ranked No. 8 going into tonight's game, will now move up in the rankings and may rate as high as No. 5 going into next week's home game against undefeated Kentucky. Let's hope Alabama doesn't take this one for granted.
Isaiah Poole at Firedoglake:
The assertion that a $700 billion Wall Street bailout became necessary, even in part, because financial institutions were catering to black people is deeply offensive and profoundly false. Yet it is not just the blather of an insensitive, right-wing cable talk host. It is part of a systematic campaign on the part of the right and the financial services industry to get out from under one of the few laws on the books that addresses discrimination in lending.Look, there is no question at all -- none whatsoever -- that the current crisis was caused by subprime lending. What is "subprime lending"? Loans to people rated as higher credit risks. (People with good credit are rated "prime," thus "subprime" to denote loans to riskier clients.)
The 1977 Community Reinvestment Act, whose purpose was to abolish "redlining" and thereby to make credit more available to minorities, was hijacked by the Clinton administration, which pressured banks to increase their share of loans to minorities without regard to credit risk. That is to say, the feds didn't care what the default rates were, so long as the banks were making more loans to minorities. Economist Jim Haughey wrote in February:
To generate more mortgage paper and hence more commissions, mortgage brokers and banks progressively lowered underwriting standards with the tacit approval of CRA auditors and community groups. This spawned no downpayment and no income documentation loans. It was sufficient that an applicant with a poor credit record and income too low or too insecure was taking a credit counseling course.Stephen Schwarzman explained last week how the policy that began under Clinton actually expanded under the Bush administration:
It started with Congress encouraging lending to lower-income people. You went from subprime loans being 2% of total loans in 2002 to 30% of total loans in 2006. That kind of enormous increase swept into the net people who shouldn’t have been borrowing.This is not some recent, radical, racist accusation. This has been explained by Investors Business Daily. As early as 2000, Howard Husock warned about the potential problems in City Journal.
Contrary to Isaiah Poole's assertion that this was entirely about "financial institutions catering to black people," in fact many areas with the highest mortage default rates are in areas with large Hispanic populations.
Why does this matter? Why even discuss it? Because the Left wants to blame the crisis on greedy capitalists and evil Republicans, and to ensure the continuation of the same policies that caused the this crisis. But the lending market can't recover if lenders aren't required to judge credit-worthiness by neutral, objective financial standards. It was the abandonment of those standards due to CRA that is at the root of this problem, and accusing Neil Cavuto of racism won't solve the problem.
UPDATE: Guess the Left can go ahead and add House Minority Leader John Boehner to their list of racists:
[T]he American people are taking note of a left-wing giveaway Democrats are pushing to force taxpayers to bankroll a slush fund for a discredited ally of the Democratic Party. . . . Democrats want to first reward their radical allies at ACORN for their help – often illegal help – in getting Democrats elected to office.If you oppose giving money to ACORN so they can commit more vote fraud for Democrats, you're a racist.
UPDATE II: Let me address an argument by our friendly liberal commenter Young 4-Eyes, who says that Cavuto has branded all minorities high credit risks. Cavuto is a TV host, trying to address in abbreviated form what is admittedly a complex problem.
People with good credit ratings didn't need any special programs or policies to qualify for home loans, and these people -- whether white, black, Hispanic, Asian or whatever -- were not subprime borrowers targeted by the CRA-on-steroids policies aimed at increasing minority homeownership.
Homeowners who continue to make their mortgage payments are not the problem, whatever their ethnicity. But in an eagerness increase minority homeownership, federal policies encouraged or allowed lending institutions to overlook bad credit ratings of minority mortgage applicants, creating a distinct class of minority homeowners whose subprime mortgages went into default. Since they were supposedly backed by the quasi-government agencies Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae, these bad mortgages were re-sold to financial institutions as AAA-rated securities.
For Cavuto to shorthand this is natural to the TV medium, which is not suited for complex essays. But no one is asserting, or could assert, that all minority borrowers are bad credit risks. What is asserted is that federal policy promoted lending to minorities (and whites, for that matter) with bad credit histories, and that the predictable default of these loans is at the root of the current crisis.
9/26: Arnold Kling on the bailout
9/26: Ace going soft on Paulson plan?
9/26: ACORN bailout?
9/26: What caused the crisis?
9/26: No bailout, no debate?
9/25: Porking up the bailout bill
9/18: How Clinton caused the current crisis
9/17: Feeling the pain he helped cause
9/16: Jamie Gorelick & Fannie Mae
I've removed the original post of a little time ago because after listening to the clip about two dozen times, what sounded like McCain saying "horse***" actually comes through as having a hard "c" at the front of it. My husband insists that McCain said "Course not." I think now my hubby's right, although it's very muffled.(Emphasis added)His use of "hubby" just struck me hilarious.
I’m giving it to McCain — and you know I’m a tough grader on him.McCain was definitely stronger in the last 45 minutes than he was at the start. But this misses the point: What did Obama have to do to "win" the debate? He had to look and sound "presidential," and I think he cleared that hurdle with ease. Michelle cites a few gaffes by Obama, but he didn't say anything as stupidly tone-deaf as Mike Dukakis's infamous answer to Bernie Shaw.
He was slow out of the gate — a broken record on earmarks and spending — but Obama failed to turn the bailout debacle against him. McCain hit his stride in the second half, schooling Obama on counterinsurgency, Iraq, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iran, and Russia.
McCain looked and sounded like a tired 72-year-old man. He simply is not able to speak spontaneously about economic affairs in a convincing manner. Obama's economic answers may be completely wrong, but they are delivered confidently. That makes a difference to the undecided voters out there and undecided voters are the coin of the realm at this point.
However, it was Friday night -- high-school football night all over the country, and I doubt very much that very many undecided voters stayed home on a Friday night to watch the debate. What they will remember is the soundbites from the debate, and this one may get stuck in their heads:
Friday, September 26, 2008
UPDATE II: "A despicable bid to boost traffic to his blog," says Gordon Durand. I'll take that as a compliment.
The Denver police union is selling T-shirts that poke fun at protesters at last month's Democratic National Convention, but the main target isn't laughing. The back of the shirts reads, "We get up early to beat the crowds" and "2008 DNC," and has a caricature of a police officer holding a baton.
The front has the number 68 with a slash through it, a reference to the Recreate 68 Coalition, which organized several demonstrations during the convention.
For those who can't make the party, they'll be video live-streaming it at 9 p.m.
-- Hunter S. Thompson, Fear and Loathing: On the Campaign Trail '72 There was a time -- and it was only a couple of months ago, when I measured the success of this blog by the number of days per month with over 1,000 visits. Now? My worst day of September, I had 3,648 visits. Adrenalin jolts . . .
Documents . . . expose hypocritical lending recommendations tied to ACORN Housing Corporation’s agreements with major banks—agreements that end up harming consumers.Important background on ACORN. Lots of interest in this subject today.
PREVIOUSLY: Michelle Malkin reports that Chris Dodd's counterproposal to the Paulson plan includes $100 million in "funding for the left-wing housing entitlement thugs." The proposed legislation is here, with the "Housing Trust Fund" and the "Capital Magnet Fund" being the giveaways to the aforesaid thugs.
If Pelosi has her entire caucus in line to support the Paulson plan, then she has the vote to pass it. Some estimates have as many as 50 Republicans ready to support the plan in defiance of Boehner. If that’s true, Pelosi could lose all of her Blue-Dog Democrats and still pass the bill. . . .Or, as I explained earlier this morning:
McCain’s going to take the blame if they can’t pass it. Pelosi doesn’t need votes, she needs political cover; Maverick can’t give her the former but, as the GOP’s nominee, he can singlehandedly give her the latter by endorsing the deal. If he doesn’t, the consequences will be laid at his feet.
Barney [Frank] knows the bailout will be unpopular, and he doesn't want to give Republicans an issue in their campaign against the most unpopular Congress in history.This is why genuinely wretched legislation usually gets passed by bipartisan consensus -- nobody will pass a bad bill if his opponents can make political hay of it.
UPDATE: Now, Maverick is saying, "We need a deal," and Hugh Hewitt's counseling surrender. But, look: Tell Barney Frank and Nancy Pelosi to bring their bill to the floor and put it to a vote. The Democrats have the majority, so let them pass some legislation. Let GOP members vote their conscience and see what happens.
You know what? I don't think Nancy has the votes, and that's why the House Republicans are getting the arm-twisting treatment. Screw this "bipartisan compromise" crap -- let's put this sucker to a roll-call vote.
Oh, and the debate is ON for tonight! Repeat: The debate is ON!
- Poll: Don't delay debate
- NO MAVERICK? NO DEBATE!
- Team Obama: Debate's on!
- Bill Kristol: Now what?
- Barney Frank slams Maverick
- Team Maverick: Back to campaign Saturday
- David Brooks: Maverick rules!
- John Judis: Maverick drools!
- Paulson: Begs Pelosi on one knee.
- Hot Air: Big roundup, lots of links
Becky's longtime boyfriend, Allen Brindle, just gave her a 1.5-carat(!) engagement ring, and a wedding is planned for next fall.
You may remember Becky from this Hot Air video talking about the SFL campus conference and her favorite pundit:
When that was posted, Hot Air commenter "funky chicken" responded: "trout pout and kinda fugly." Which prompted this response:
UPDATE: Barney Frank is blaming House Republicans for blocking the bailout (via Instapundit), even though House Republicans are a minority and everybody else in Washington is in favor of the bailout.
Translation: Barney knows the bailout will be unpopular, and he doesn't want to give Republicans an issue in their campaign against the most unpopular Congress in history.
When Sen. Barack Obama was given the floor to speak during White House negotiations, according to White House aides, he did so raising concerns about a House Republican alternative to the Paulson/Bernanke $700 billion bailout. But those concerns weren't necessarily his, as he was not aware of the GOP plan before reviewing notes provided him by Paulson loyalists in Treasury prior to entering the meeting.Hope: A stooge for Corporate AmeriKKKa! PREVIOUSLY:
According to an Obama campaign source, the notes were passed to Obama via senior aides traveling with him, who had been emailed the document via a current Goldman Sachs employee and Wall Street fundraiser for the Obama campaign.
McCain appears to be siding with conservatives and House Republicans who question the bailout and its costs to taxpayers as well as government rescuing private lenders and perhaps taking ownership stakes in rescued banks.The Paulson plan is an "insider" deal, and I don't care what Mr. Frankypants says, a "serious recession and very hard times" is preferable to Swedenizing the economy. As I wrote yesterday at AmSpecBlog:
The alternative plan allocates less public money and relies more on tax breaks, lifting regulatory barriers and using less bailout-oriented mechanisms to free up capital and credit. It also seeks to create a privately funded mechanism to ensure mortgages and mortgage-backed securities.
The threatened "collapse" would not return the U.S. economy to 1929 levels. Financial institutions are currently holding assets that are not worth what theyNobody ever said capitalism was pain-free, and injecting Novacaine into the markets won't cure the disease, namely taxpayer-subsidized financial idiocy.
paid for them, but the assets are not worth zero. . . .
Even in the doomsday "collapse" scenario, the ordinary supply-and-demand mechanism remains in place, and the reset point is not zero. Real people would lose real money, unemployment would increase, but these would be relatively short-term phenomena, and the economy would eventually -- in 6 months, 12 months, 18 months -- absorb the losses and then begin to grow again.
- O'Day was appearing at an event for "Declare Yourself," a youth-voter registration project; and
- Sometimes even I get bored with politics.
It's a cry for help. These politicians need to get their acts together and start doing something truly interesting, otherwise I might have to link some photos of Kelly Carrington, another one of those famous-for-being-
UPDATE: Speaking of hotties, I just turned on "Fox & Friends" and saw Kirsten Powers say of McCain's skip-the-debate ploy, "It's gimmicky ... but he might get away with it." Unfortunately, Kirsten wasn't half-dressed and holding a poodle when she said that, so it's still boring.
UDATE II: At Conservative Grapevine, Justin Hawkins links bikini babe Jillian Beyor. But she's got super-obvious breast implants, which is a total deal-killer with me. Actual breasts are not gravity-defying spheres, and silicone is not sexy. Ladies: Make the best of what God gave you, buy a Wonderbra or something, but please please please don't get those implants.
The lyrics are here. She shot the video Wednesday in L.A., reportedly costumed as a waitress and doing lots of slutty stuff:
One witness tells Usmagazine.com it features plenty of "erotic" choreography. . . .Yeah, waitresses can't resist a guy in a business suit. This happens to me all the time at Waffle House. Wear a coat and tie into a Waffle House, the waitresses get all scattered, smothered and covered. It's frightening. My wife's starting to get suspicious, checking my breath for the telltale aroma of hashbrowns when I come home.
In one scene, Spears (who wears tight, black leather pants and fake tattoos on her arms in the video) lies on a kitchen counter and later straddles and makes out with a man dressed in business suit.
Meanwhile, it's reported that Britney and Fed-Ex are in "couples counseling." That's crazy. Look, Britney: You're a redneck girl from Louisiana. You need to handle your breakups in a culturally appropriate way, like keying Kevin's car and slashing his tires. Nothing says "closure" quite like a restraining order. It's the redneck way to go.
Levin characterizes O'Reilly's arguments for the bailout -- like O'Reilly's previous bashing of "Big Oil" -- as "populism.," which is rather unfair to populists. As much as I hate to bring religion into this, I think O'Reilly is another of those Catholics who can't get over Rerum Novarum and Quadragesimo Anno.
A distrust of raw capitalism runs deep in Catholic social teaching, and it is not unusual to meet Catholics who are profoundly conservative on issues like abortion and homosexuality but who, when the discussion turns to economics, are staunch defenders of statist interventionism.
The only cure for this ailment is large doses of Mises, Hayek, and Sowell. Christian socialism is still socialism, and government is not a charitable endeavor.
UPDATED: Via Liberal Conspiracy, here is O'Reilly ranting about "right-wing liars": Sounds like O'Reilly doing a bad Michael Savage imitation.
A high-stakes White House meeting that was supposed to seal an agreement on a $700 billion plan to avert financial disaster on Wall Street unexpectedly dissolved into a heated argument over an alternate proposal by conservative Republicans, leading congressional leaders to clash over a deal that had suddenly turned sour.But Democrats are the real obstacle:
"This is deteriorating," President Bush declared as the meeting grew more heated, according to one of the participants.
Minutes later, Senator Richard Shelby, an Alabama Republican and ranking member of the Senate Banking Committe, emerged from the White House and declared that earlier reports of an agreement were premature. The agreement, he told reporters, "is no agreement," adding that Bush's rescue plan was "flawed from the beginning."
Angry Democrats later accused Republican presidential nominee John McCain of throwing the deal off track, trying to upstage the negotiations in an effort to help his campaign.Dodd, of course, is No. 1 in Congress in campaign contributions from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Obama is No. 2 on that list.
Senate Banking Committee chairman Chris Dodd of Connecticut - who earlier in the day announced that a bipartisan deal had been reached - said after the White House meeting that McCain was engaged in "political theater" for injecting himself into the negotiations between Congress and the White House.
"This looked to me like it was a rescue plan for John McCain," Dodd said on CNN.
The fast-moving turn of events left in doubt whether McCain and Barack Obama, his Democratic rival, would engage in tonight's scheduled presidential debate in Mississippi.
Well, they can scrap the bailout, as far as I'm concerned, but the debate should go on. I'm invited to a debate party tonight, and I'm going to be angry if it gets canceled.
UPDATE: The Republican Study Committee plan -- which I mentioned yesterday -- was apparently brought up in last night's meeting by John McCain, and shot down by Henry Paulson:
Towards the end, McCain finally spoke up, mentioning a counter-proposal that had been offered by some conservative House Republicans, which would suspend the capital gains tax for two years and provide tax incentives to encourage firms that buy up bad debt. McCain did not discuss specifics of the plan, though, and was non-committal about supporting it.Via Hot Air, which also links Baseball Crank's observation that "even his own Democratic colleagues recognize that Barack Obama is completely irrelevant to the process." Ah, but with a deal like this, being irrelevant may be a good thing.
Paulson, however, argued directly against the conservative proposal. "He said that he did not think it would work," according to the source.
UPDATE II: If McCain doesn't want to debate, Bob Barr says he'll be happy to step in. Cynthia McKinney, too.
Thursday, September 25, 2008
The cost of the $700 billion bailout bill . . . is rising. . . . Now, there will be foreclosure "relief" at taxpayer expense. The government is going to use its role "as the biggest mortgage holder in town" to give special breaks to borrowers who are behind on their mortgage payments, rather than to stem the financial crisis.(Via Michelle Malkin.) John Berlau describes a free-market alternative to the Paulson plan:
The RSC plan is chock-full of measures to remove barriers to economic growth and market-distorting subsidies. It would suspend capital gains taxes to put trillions of dollars of capital in the economy, and set Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, which as CEI has documented were at the root of this crisis, on the road to full privatization.Liberals would scream about cutting capital-gains taxes to free up private capital to ease the crisis, and yet don't hesitate to stick taxpayers with a $700 billion tab for a bailout that may not even work.
Most importantly for the crisis at hand, the RSC plan would make regulatory agencies suspend the mark-to-market accounting rules that a range of experts agree are spreading the contagion by forcing solvent banks’ to "write down" their assets, based on the last fire sale of a highly leveraged bank. As Gary Gorton, finance professor at Yale and member of the National Bureau of Economic Research has written, "With no liquidity and no market prices, the accounting practice of 'marking-to-market' became highly problematic and resulted in massive write-downs based on fire-sale prices and estimates."
Tycoon Hugh Hefner has been advised to cut back on staff at his multi-million dollar glamour empire as it struggles to cope during the global economic turmoil.
The 83-year-old has been told to lay off some of his staff at his Los Angeles and New York offices as soon as this month or go bankrupt. . . .
The news will be another blow to Hefner who recently discovered that two of his "bunnies" may have been cheating on him.
Natalie Portman and her folk-rocker boyfriend Devendra Banhart have broken up, a source confirms to PEOPLE.This is important news because The Other McCain has gotten a good bit of traffic in recent months from the "Natalie Portman on a slim pretext" post. Like many other social conservatives, I am profoundly outraged by Hollywood hotties with wardrobe malfunctions. I'm also outraged that she would associate with a scummy folk-rocker dude. He doesn't deserve you, Natalie.
Portman, 27, began dating Banhart, also 27, after starring in his "Carmensita" video, which was shot last March. A short time later, they took their romance public when they were spott[ed] kissing on the streets of New York and over a sushi dinner at Jewel Bako.
If the bank gave loans to white people like my wife with no credit, or bad credit, the bank would later look bad if it was sued for discrimination, even if it was innocent. If a "fair-housing" group later sued the bank accusing it of discrimination . . . the bank could end up having to explain, at great expense, why it loaned money to my wife, but not to many minority borrowers who also had no credit or bad credit. . . .(Via Michelle Malkin.) Which is to say that "equality" requires inequality. Achieving equality of outcomes means that different applicants are judged by different standards.
It's affirmative-action economics. Because it is justified under a "civil rights" rationale, no one in the banking industry could complain about it without creating evidence of bad faith that might later be used as evidence of discriminatory intent. If a bank were sued for discrimination by one of these (taxpayer subsidized) activist groups, and if it were then discovered that the bank's executives had complained about being forced to make high-risk mortgages to minorities, those complaints would constitute evidence of bias.
Enthusiastic cheerleading for "diversity" practices is now a basic qualification for management positions in corporate America, because companies are so vulnerable to discrimination complaints. The same principle is true, for example, within academia. Yes, a tenured professor is free to complain about the "diversity" charade, but that means he's never going to become department chairman or dean or university president. Larry Summers discovered this the hard way.
This is one of the reasons that so many people who aren't prejudiced against gay people nevertheless oppose measures that would make "sexual orientation" a protected civil-rights category. Having seen how civil-rights protection has so often become a weapon unfairly wielded to hurt and harm others -- and to silence criticism -- many Americans can easily imagine what abuses would arise under a gay-rights regime.
Scandal, crime, politics -- the story had nearly all the makings of a blockbuster, a surefire Drudge link, no less. So why did it seem that nobody in big-time journalism wanted to report it? . . .That's from my article at Russ Smith's SpliceToday, and you should read the whole thing.
The initial flood of coverage of the Palin email saga soon slowed to a trickle, however, even as new and shocking information about the case was revealed. Why? Instead of revelations about a Republican scandal, the story’s focus quickly shifted to a federal crime investigation with a Democratic suspect. The major media’s interest evaporated just as quickly.
- 9/23: David Kernell lawyers up
- 9/22: News? What news?
- 9/21: Search warrant for 'Rubico10'?
- 9/19: Hey, an online lynching!
- 9/19: FBI surveilling David Kernell?
- 9/19: Pray for the Kernell family
- 9/18: David Kernell under investigation
- 9/18: Palin hacker ID'd?
- 9/17: Left-wingers hack Sarah Palin's personal e-mail account
We should also put in place a temporary moratorium on foreclosures and freeze rate hikes in adjustable-rate mortgages. We've got to stem the tide of failing mortgages and give the markets time to recover. . . .
If we do not take action to address the crisis facing borrowers, we'll never solve the crisis facing lenders.
Currently these assets are temporarily worthless as no one will buy them.Except Uncle Sam. How come when I'm temporarily worthless, I can't get the government to bail me out?
"Hello, Mr. President? We're in the midst of a crisis that threatens the collapse of the market economy as we know it. I'm behind on my car payment, as well as my cable bill, and if I don't pay up ... well, sir, obviously this could be the first domino that tips the entire global financial structure into a complete meltdown. So what I need is about $700 billion . . . Hello? hello?"Some institutions are "too big to fail." On the other hand, I'm "too small to succeed."
". . . anxiety . . . worry . . . frustration. . . . uncertainty . . ."America sounds like a 19-year-old girl trying to decide whether to break up with her two-timing boyfriend. We're all going to eat a quart of Hagen-Daas and listen to emo.
"First, how did our economy reach this point?"Ann Coulter explains this pretty well. See, there was this guy named Bill Clinton and this other guy named Barney Frank. Also, Andrew Cuomo, Jim Johnson and Franklin Raines -- none of whose names were mentioned in last night's speech.
Optimism about housing values also led to a boom in home construction. Eventually the number of new houses exceeded the number of people willing to buy them. And with supply exceeding demand, housing prices fell.Yeah, well, not every illegal alien could arrange a home loan. Michelle Malkin explains that part. Then we come to the part that Malkin dubbed the "laugh line of the day":
I'm a strong believer in free enterprise.Really, he means "free" as in, "Let's give free houses to people who can't afford them."
The government's top economic experts warn that without immediate action by Congress, America could slip into a financial panic, and a distressing scenario would unfold.Is there anybody you trust less than "the government's top economic experts"? Me neither. Well, so much for shooting fish in a barrel. We're totally screwed, however this turns out.
PREVIOUSLY: I'm not persuaded. I am reminded of Calvin Coolidge's response when France and England complained about repaying their World War I debts: "They hired the money, didn't they?"
A correction is long overdue. When governments attempt to outsmart the market, the "solution" is always worse than the problem. Why should we, the people, become the buyer of last resort because people took out mortgages they couldn't pay? Why should we bail out banks that loaned money to shady "flippers"?
UPDATE: One commenter at Hot Air: "Stock up on Vaseline." Also, there's word that the Democrats are already on board for this gang rape of the American taxpayer.
UPDATED II: Chump:
The senator's top aides said planning for the announcement began late Tuesday night, as McCain began to receive word that Bush's rescue plan was faltering in Congress, and as Democrats began to demand leadership from McCain.Doesn't he understand? As soon as McCain endorses the plan, Harry Reid will find some excuse to oppose the plan, Obama will then come out against the plan, and then all the liberal media will jump McCain for supporting the "Bush big-business bailout." It's a trap, Maverick.
"We got a good sense last night, even more so this morning," one top aide said. "Got in a position where Democrats were warily circling McCain -- not going to commit to a deal unless McCain does. It was just a time for leadership. So he just stepped up."
Wednesday, September 24, 2008
ABC News has learned that President Bush called Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., this evening and invited him to participate in a meeting about the Wall Street bailout bill tomorrow afternoon in Washington, DC, with other congressional leaders, including Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz.Via Michelle Malkin.
Obama accepted the president’s invitation, a source tells ABC News.
This is insane:
Republican John McCain says he's directing his staff to work with Barack Obama's campaign and the debate commission to delay Friday's debate because of the economic crisis.Now you know why I call him Crazy Cousin John.
In a statement, McCain says he will stop campaigning after addressing former President Bill Clinton's Global Initiative session on Thursday and return to Washington to focus on the nation's financial problems.
UPDATE: Michelle's got a poll, but this "latest bizarre move in a really erratic week" (to quote Philip Klein) has sure made me happy I called dibs on the franchise for those "Don't Blame Me, I Voted for Bob Barr" T-shirts.
UPDATE II: Obama says no to canceling the debate. I'm checking the reaction at Hot Air and Ace and seeing some are spinning this as a call-Obama's-bluff move. But the MSM will spin it as "REPUBLICAN DESPERATION MOVE," and I can't see the benefit, either in terms of policy or politics. And since Maverick is pro-bailout -- which is the un-conservative position -- there's no way this move serves to rally the base against the Democrats.
So, what's the idea? Two options:
- McCain sincerely (and wrongly) believes the bailout is a necessary measure; or
- Steve Schmidt suspects Team Obama will inevitably blunder when presented with a real curveball, just as the Sarah Palin pick threw Team Obama off-stride for two weeks.
It's a stunt, and I'm having a hard time seeing how it works to the GOP's advantage, but maybe I'm reading this all wrong.
Burdett is a former brother-in-law of Hanson’s estranged wife Carolyn's brother, Craig Batton, and still speaks with many family members.So, my if my brother's ex-wife's former brother-in-law signs an affidavit about something I supposedly did in 1996, the National Enquirer rushes to print with a WORLD EXCLUSIVE. Wow, and when you think that the Enquirer pays its sources . . .
Quicker than you can say "shortwave radio," Greenwald and the BDS-infected Chomskyites see a secret plot to subvert posse comitatus. Thus:
- Deploy the Army to Iraq =
Cheney/Bush/Halliburton neocon imperialism.
- Bring the troops home =
Cheney/Bush/Halliburton neocon imperialism.
Worried that welfare costs are rising as the number of taxpayers declines, state Rep. John LaBruzzo, R-Metairie, said Tuesday he is studying a plan to pay poor women $1,000 to have their Fallopian tubes tied. . . .I've got a solution: Freedom. If government aid is the problem, eliminate government aid. I'm opposed to taxpayer-subsidized bastardy, but since bastardy can't be eliminated, let's eliminate the subsidy. If LaBruzzo proposes zeroing out Louisana's state housing budget, I'd applaud. But forcing taxpayers to provide free birth control? No way.
LaBruzzo said he worries that people receiving government aid such as food stamps and publicly subsidized housing are reproducing at a faster rate than more affluent, better-educated people who presumably pay more tax revenue to the government. He said he is gathering statistics now. . . .
"The hard part is to sit down and think of some solutions."
And if the problem is that "more affluent, better-educated people" aren't having enough kids -- hey, I'm a father of six. What's your problem, Mr. 38-Year-Old Father of One?
OK, as I said Monday at the American Spectator, the recent poll-driven panic among Republicans makes no more sense than the earlier poll-driven panic among Democrats. Currently, we're looking at either a tie or a slight edge for Obama -- and a definite trend toward Obama since Sept. 9 -- but it's generally close enough to say that it's still up for grabs.
Nobody at this point can predict the result on Nov. 4, and events between now and then will ultimately determine the outcome. Friday's debate will likely have a huge impact one way or the other. So let's look at the numbers with that in mind.
NATIONAL POLLS: The two-week trend toward Obama in national polling is clear. If you look at the RCP listing, Obama led every poll from May until late July, when a few polls started to show McCain pulling the occasional narrow lead. Then, after Sarah Palin was announced and the GOP held its convention, there was a definite shift: McCain led nearly every poll taken Sept. 5-11.
Then the momentum shifted back to Obama. The trend is clearest in looking at the Gallup daily tracking poll: In the results reported Sept. 4, it was Obama +7, but by Sept. 9, it was McCain +5, a lead he held for three consecutive days -- thus causing the Democratic panic. Then the trend shifted the other direction and, as of yesterday's report, Gallup had Obama +3.
Gallup and some other polls survey registered voters, where Democrats usually overperform, rather than likely voters, where Republicans have the advantage. Yet Rasmussen, which samples likely voters, also shows Obama ahead.
It would be folly for Republicans to scoff at polls, or to try to cherrypick the results, simply because they don't like the current trend. It is a reasonable conclusion that Obama is definitely ahead in terms of the nationwide popular vote at this point. (Let's ignore the so-called "Bradley effect," since that's never been tested at this level.)
BATTLEGROUND STATES: Of course, presidential elections aren't a national plebescite, but are decided by the Electoral College, so let's look at the state-by-state poll results in the battlegrounds.
The good news for Republicans is that Team Obama's "map-changer" plans (the so-called "50-state strategy") appears to have been a flop. The Democrat has already pulled out of North Dakota and may be pulling out of Georgia as well. Montana remains safely GOP, and polls show Maverick with a steady, if not large, lead in Missouri.
OK, marking those off the map, let's run down the recent results in the real swing states:
- INDIANA -- Looked pretty safe for McCain throughout the summer, but one recent poll showed Obama +3, and it might be close.
- PENNSYLVANIA -- A bitter blue state won by Hillary where McCain has managed to keep it close. If the GOP can flip Pennsylvania's 21 EVs, that might be the end for Obama.
- MICHIGAN -- Another bitter blue state, where an unpopular Democratic governor and the scandal of Detroit's ex-mayor have hurt Obama. Probably still safe for the Democrats, but Obama can't take it for granted.
- NORTH CAROLINA -- Polls show this state surprisingly close, but I just don't see any Democrat winning in Helms Country. If McCain loses North Carolina, the situation is simply hopeless for Republicans. My money says a double-digit win for McCain Nov. 4.
- IOWA -- The one sure red-to-blue conversion for Obama, who's capitalized on his 18-month caucus organizing effort.
- NEW HAMPSHIRE -- Very close here. The state went for Kerry by a 7,000-vote margin in 2004, but Obama's not from Massachusetts. Hillary won this primary and, barring a Maverick meltdown (which can't really be ruled out), New Hampshire should return to Republican red in November.
- FLORIDA -- Obama's made a bit of a push lately, but I don't think it will be enough. McCain wins the geezer vote, and the geezer vote's the decisive factor in God's Waiting Room.
- OHIO -- McCain's continued strong performance in the Buckeye State is one of the real bright spots for Republicans so far. It looks close, and some polls show Obama leading, but Ohio is a state full of small towns, and the urban vote in Cleveland, Cincinnati and Columbus doesn't offset the small-town Ohio love for Sarah Palin, which I've seen first-hand. If I were to pick one state to bet where the GOP would outperform its 2004 result, Ohio would be it. (Oh, yeah: Hillary won the primary here.)
- MINNESOTA -- A blue state that Republicans really, really want to turn red. Remember, Minnesota once sent Hubert Humphrey and Walter Mondale to national leadership in the Democratic Party. Those old loyalties die hard, and the embarrassment of the Bush administration hasn't helped the GOP here. But Al Franken's Senate campaign may be enough of a drag on the Democrats to flip this one red.
- WISCONSIN -- OK, if Obama's "competitive" in North Carolina, then McCain's "competitive" in Wisconsin. I don't believe it. If I'm wrong, I'm wrong, but unless Obama completely melts down, Wisconsin stays blue on Nov. 4.
- NEW MEXICO -- At this point, looks hopeless for McCain or any Republican in the near future. Bill Richardson has turned this state into a Democratic bastion. Fortunately, the bastion has only 5 EVs.
- NEVADA -- This one looked bad before the Palin pick, but at this point, it appears that the GOP will keep this one.
- COLORADO -- Big trouble for Team Maverick here. When I was in Denver for the convention, I talked to a liberal lady who'd moved to Colorado from Marin County, Calif. Colorado is being overrun by liberals fleeing the naturally disastrous results of liberal policies in California, but they haven't learned anything by the experience.
- VIRGINIA -- This is the really toughie for '08. As I've said, Virginia is the new Ohio. The polls are very mixed, and no one can say for sure what the trend is. But Obama can count on the Fairfax/Loudon/Arlington yuppie vote, and that's going to make it a real fight here.
UPDATE: Ace offers his own poll update, and mentions the pro-Obama media's influence. What I think no one is taking into consideration is the backlash potential of Obamamania in the press, which I described seven weeks ago:
The elite MSM geniuses . . . know the outcome already, they've already composed in their minds the "Triumph of Hope" ledes they'll file as soon as the polls close on Nov. 4, and they're getting angry and peevish because John McCain and the GOP won't roll over and play dead. . . .Watch for that backlash phenomenon if Obama underperforms in the debates.
The MSM geniuses are about to start getting angry at Obama for not living up to their imagined scenarios of how he'd crush those evil Republicans like so many grapes beneath the feet of a Sicilian vintner's daughter.
If Obama starts sliding in the polls, he's going to be like a guy at the steering wheel of a vanload of backseat drivers, with the MSM geniuses endlessly second-guessing his every move, and the likes of Keith Olbermann and David Gregory wondering aloud what the hell is wrong with his campaign. There is nothing more beautiful to behold than the sight of Conventional Wisdom crumbling at its first collision with reality.
"Part of what a leader does is to instill confidence and demonstrate that he or she knows what they're talking about . . ." Great leadership, Joe! (Via Hot Air, and just in case there are idiot liberals reading this: 1. Franklin Roosevelt wasn't president in 1929; 2. TV wasn't invented until 1939 and didn't become widely available until the late 1940s.)
This morning, "Fox & Friends" did a thing about Joe Biden's gaffe-a-day campaign and showed the "stand up, Chuck" line, but didn't explain it. My wife hadn't heard about that, so I explained to her that Chuck --Missouri State Sen. Chuck Graham -- is in a wheelchair.
- a payback plan for taxpayers if the bailout succeeds;
- a bipartisan board to oversee the bailout;
- limits on any federal money going to compensate Wall Street executives;
- and aid to homeowners who are struggling to pay their mortgages.
Seriously . . . At this point, I say pull the plug. Liberals are always talking about "death with dignity." The housing market slipped into a coma months ago. So let it die a natural death, rather than trying to keep it hooked up to a bunch of tubes and wires and pumps.
As any reader of Amity Shlaes' The Forgotten Man knows, one of the reasons the Great Depression was so bad was because of the repeated efforts of government to "fix" the problem. What Obama and the Democrats are demanding is just that kind of phony-baloney "fix."
So pull the plug. The fallout will be harsh. A lot of retirement funds will get trashed, we'll have a sharp contraction and a recession that might last six quarters, and . . . so what? You think capitalism is a game where there are never any losers? Should markets always go in only one direction? Do you know enough Latin to get the meaning of caveat emptor?
You buy the ticket, you take the ride. Pull the plug.
UPDATE: Mary Katharine Ham has a rundown of who said what yesterday about the bailout, including this quote from Sen. Richard Shelby:
"What troubles me most is that we have been given no credible assurances that this plan will work. We could very well spend $700 billion and not resolve the crisis."Exactly. As Michelle Malkin said last week, this bailout would mean privatizing profits and socializing losses. Pull the plug, I say.
UPDATE II: Great minds, etc.:
It's no coincidence that most of the areas hardest hit by the foreclosure wave -- Loudon County, Virginia, California’s Inland Empire, Stockton, San Joaquin Valley, Las Vegas, and Phoenix, for starters -- also happen to be some of the nation's largest illegal alien sanctuaries. Half of the mortgages to Hispanics are subprime (the accursed species of loan to borrowers with the shadiest credit histories). A quarter of all those subprime loans are in default and foreclosure. . . .Pull the freaking plug.
For the last five years, I've reported on the rapidly expanding illegal alien home loan racket. The top banks clamoring for their handouts as their profits plummet, led by Wachovia and Bank of America, launched aggressive campaigns to woo illegal alien homebuyers.
UPDATE III: When she's hot, she's hot, and now Michelle catches this latest from Sen. Richard Shelby:
"I think we’re going down the road of France now," Mr. Shelby told one television interviewer Tuesday. . . .NOTE: Just wanted to mention that The Other McCain was Website of the Day yesterday at Conservative Grapevine. I'm grateful for the honor.
Today, Bill Sammon was on "Fox & Friends" and, instead of being introduced as White House correspondent for the Examiner, was listed as Washington deputy managing editor for Fox News. (Apparently, Sammon departed the Examiner last month.) So that's two of the big names gone.
The Examiner is the Bermuda Triangle of Washington journalism. The paper simply isn't read and doesn't have any impact. It's a tabloid, but the editors have never seemed to understand that a tabloid is not a broadsheet. The layout is wrong -- if you want to see what a tabloid is supposed to look at, grab the NY Post or the Daily News -- and the Examiner has never had that aggressive, sex/crime/celebrity/scandal approach to news that tabloid readers want.
Tuesday, September 23, 2008
It was Barney Frank, Chris Dodd, ACORN, Franklin Raines, Penny Pritzker, Jim Johnson, and of course Barack Hussein Obama who actually [caused the mortage crisis]. . . .There are nationally syndicate columnists, bestselling authors, and about two dozen TV talking heads who will never say anything as truthful as that in their entire f---ing careers. He's like Hayek or Mises, if Hayek and Mises had been sarcastic a--holes who said f--- a lot. And had comment fields full of equally sarcastic a--holes.
Even now, the lisping marble-mouthed shufferin'-shucatash socialist moron Barney Frank is still fighting to federally guarantee the zero-money-down "seller financed" down payment mortgages that got us into this mess.
Because he's f---ing stupid. As are most Democrats. They have no idea how money is made or how services and goods are exchanged. All they know is they want to distribute those services and goods more "fairly."
He doesn't agree with the basic idea that People who don't have enough money to afford a house shouldn't have one. He honestly believes that idea is "unfair."
Everyone should have a house. People who can't afford them most of all.
And if you tell him doing so will cost the government another 1-2 trillion in ten years, and will put the economy in crisis again, he'd say, "Fine." It's a fair trade as far as he's concerned.
Because who's paying that 1-2 trillion? People who have money. If provoking a crisis is the only manner to get the wealth distribution he craves, that's fine by him.
This is astonishing! I'm flabbergasted! At a complete lose for words! I haven't been shocked like this since Rosie O'Donnell came out of the closet (wow, I just never guessed).
First Liberace, then Elton John, now Clay Aiken -- why is it that all of these machismo role models turn out to be homosexual?
- Lt. Col. Allen West, U.S. Army, retired -- Challenging first-term Democrat Rep. Ron Klein in Florida's 22nd District.
- Dr. Deborah Honeycutt, family physician -- Challenging incumbent Democrat Rep. David Scott in Georgia's 13th District.
- Antoine Members, Chicago Policeman -- Challenging incumbent Democrat Rep. Bobby Rush in Illinois' 1st District.
DEAR AMERICAN:Can you guess who's signature is on it?
I NEED TO ASK YOU TO SUPPORT AN URGENT SECRET BUSINESS RELATIONSHIP WITH A TRANSFER OF FUNDS OF GREAT MAGNITUDE.
I AM MINISTRY OF THE TREASURY OF THE REPUBLIC OF AMERICA. MY COUNTRY HAS HAD CRISIS THAT HAS CAUSED THE NEED FOR LARGE TRANSFER OF FUNDS OF 800 BILLION DOLLARS US. IF YOU WOULD ASSIST ME IN THIS TRANSFER, IT WOULD BE MOST PROFITABLE TO YOU. . .
Gee, I remember when Democrats marched around demanding that every hanging chad in Broward County had to be counted or else it was the end of representative government as we know it. Times sure do change.
Considering that I've already logged 254,000 visitors for September -- with seven days remaining in the month -- this means I should be hauling somewhere in the vicinity of $18,000 ad revenue for the month.
LOL and STFU, as we say in the blogosphere.
If I were a liberal, I'd say this shows how I'm getting ripped off by Corporate AmeriKKKa. But since I'm conservative, I'll blame it on (a) the idiot media that doesn't know what they're talking about, and (b) my lack of diligence in seeking ways to monetize my traffic.
Idiot media, lazy me. It's not nearly as self-validating as the Getting Oppressed By The Man narrative, but it's probably a heckuva lot closer to the truth.
At any rate, if any of you greedy fascist capitalist oppressors want to help with that "monetizing my traffic" thing, you can buy a T-shirt, buy a book or hit the tip jar.
UPDATED & BUMPED 1 p.m. ET: Man, it's hard to believe how the national media are managing to ignore this huge story:
A Grand Jury in Chattanooga on Tuesday morning heard testimony into the alleged hacking of the personal e-mail of Vice Presidential candidate Sarah Palin.UPDATE: Somehow I missed this yesterday:
Three young college-age people declined to comment as they entered the Federal Courthouse around 9 a.m.
Security officers notified members of the media at 10:30 a.m. that the trio had exited the courthouse by another door.
The three, including two males and a female, are apparently friends of a University of Tennessee student who is under investigation for the hacking. David Kernell is a UT student who is the son of a Democratic state legislator from Memphis.
Devon Holbrook is a UT student from Memphis who grew up with Kernell. He was shocked to hear from mutual friends that David was in some serious trouble. "I went on Google, and the first thing I saw is David's picture and articles talking about what had happened," Holbrook said. "I immediately started freaking out." . . .Via CanadaGuy.
Holbrook says Kernell loves chess, economics, and talking about politics.
"I would definitely say he's more to the left in terms of politics, but he's never really been active as far as political groups or anything like that," Holbrook added. . . .
Kernell's political views are all over several websites.
"He goes by the name Rubico," Holbrook said.
UPDATE 4:45 p.m.: The Joe Friday "just the facts ma'am" version at AmSpecBlog got linked at Drudge and Hot Air. Meanwhile, I get the Ace-o-Lanche headline. (Hey, where's my $75,000?)
EARLIER: Knoxville News-Sentinel:
David Kernell and his father, state Rep. Mike Kernell, D-Memphis, met with their attorney, Wade V. Davies, at his downtown law office. . . .Where are these "Internet blog sites" who have made "suggestions" that this was a conspiracy involving Mike Kernell (D-Memphis)? No one that I'm aware of.
Davies issued a statement: "The Kernell family wants to do the right thing, and they want what is best for their son. We are confident that the truth will emerge as we go through the process. David is a decent and intelligent young man, and I look forward to assisting him during this difficult period." . . .
Rep. Kernell disputed suggestions on some Internet blog sites that he and his son were part of a Democratic conspiracy to embarrass Palin.
"Did I take part in a conspiracy? No. I was informed of this situation Thursday morning for the first time. I was in (a legislative) committee and got a call from a blogger friend who told me it had broken that morning," Kernell said.
However, "rubico10" said he hacked Sarah Palin's e-mail looking for something "incriminating . . . that would derail her campaign." And on his Facebook page, David Kernell called himself an "Obamacrat." So it is fair and accurate to say this:
"David Kernell, an Obama supporter and son of a Tennessee Democrat, is under investigation by the FBI in connection with the politically-motivated hacking of Palin's e-mail account."No need for conspiracy theories. Oh, and he's lawyered up. I love the sound of that phrase, "lawyered up." That's what they alway say 50 minutes into the "NYPD Blue" episode, just before Andy Sipowicz goes in and beats a confession out of the creep.
SIPOWICZ: Is he talking?That's what the FBI needs here, a Sipowicz.
KELLY: No, he's lawyered up.
SIPOWICZ: Give me five minutes.
9/22: News? What news?
9/21: Search warrant for 'Rubico10'?
9/19: Hey, an online lynching!
9/19: FBI surveilling David Kernell?
9/19: Pray for the Kernell family
9/18: David Kernell under investigation
9/18: Palin hacker ID'd?
9/17: Left-wingers hack Sarah Palin's personal e-mail account