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Friday, June 27, 2008

Keep Your Guns

The opinions on yesterday's Supreme Court ruling in the Heller case are all over the map. Politicians are freaking out, especially on the local level in places like Chicago, where Mayor Daley went on a rant about the ruling. Mostly because it will probably lead to a challenge, and dismissal of Chicago's own handgun ban.

Liberal columnist Eugene Robinson from the Washington Post hates the idea that he believes the court got it right. His convoluted logic on the law that was struck down is laughable though;

"...Given all the handgun killings in the city, was the ban really having any beneficial impact?

But come on, it's not as if the law was making gun violence in the city any worse -- and it's not as if striking down the law, and perhaps adding hundreds or thousands of weapons to the city, will make things any better. The law was flawed, but it was a lot better than nothing."

Unknowingly, Eugene got to the heart of the problem with the gun law. The thugs, gangbangers, pimps and crooks have been ignoring it for years. As the court pointed out, the only people disarmed by the law are those who follow the law. They become defenseless against those who don't follow the law.

If you ask a politician who is in favor of such bans as Chicago, San Fransciso or DC's the question "what percentage of gun crime is committed by lawful gun owners?" they'll dodge you like a deer in the road. The don't want to answer that question because the percentage is so horribly low.

Instead, they point to the convoluted logic of 'Johnny buys a gun, leaves it at home, and his house is robbed while he's on vacation, and the robber gets the gun. Then the robber uses it to commit another crime. Therefore, we should restrict legal gun purchases to keep them from being stolen and used illegally'.

Considering that there are more people killed by drunk drivers than guns every year, and over 100 times as many injured by autos, maybe we should apply that logic to the purchase of a new car. If we don't let folks buy cars, they can't drink and drive, right?

Here's a novel idea. Instead of abridging the rights of the law abiding, to reduce the temptation for criminals, build bigger jails, and keep the criminals locked up. It's much harder to steal a gun and kill someone while you are in prison.

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Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Gore's Huge Feet

Al Gore must have huge feet. He must. There is no way to have a carbon footprint the size of his without huge feet to leave them, right?

Gore is using enough energy per month to power over 19 "average" households, and according to the Tennessee Center for Policy Research, his footprint has gotten bigger, not smaller, since the "green renovations" caused by his last public shaming happened.

The hypocracy of Gore, and others who live in huge mansions, fly all over the place in private planes, and then tell me to get rid of my vehicle of choice kills me. Evidently it's us minions who are the problem, not the fat cat Oscar winners.

I'm sure Al probably bought (from his company) a huge number of carbon offsetting credits to mitigate his use.

Al, until you can live with the amount of electricity I use per month, quit telling me to not drive my SUV or pickup, and not to burn my charcoal grill.

BTW, I smoked pork chops on that grill last night, 5+ lbs of coal and wood chips all releasing CO2 with a wonderful pork aroma as they burned! Saturday I plan a long evening campfire, probably started with some petroleum based product so I don't have to waste so much time gathering kindling.
H/T to Charlie Sykes for pointing this out.

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McCain's Flip-Flop on Drilling

John McCain finally came to his senses (flip-flopped) on the issue of off shore drilling on the continental shelf for oil. Maybe gas at $4 bucks a gallon finally got him to realize that no matter how much we claim we want to be environmentally friendly, oil will still be running our economy for 50 or so years. Maybe he realized, finally that energy independence won't consist of the sun, and wind alone, and that producing our own oil AND developing alternatives aren't mutually exclusive.

Barack Obama, on the other hand, is sticking to the same, very old, line from the environmentalists "that oil won't reach the market for 5 years"; last week it was 10 years. Maybe he should acknowledge that if we'd been drilling since the first moratorium on shelf drilling was passed 27 years ago, we would have stopped hundreds of millions of barrels of oil per year from be bought from tyrants, despots, and unstable countries.

Will the McCain, (or Bush) plan for the shelf bring pump relief immediately? No, it won't. But it will show up sooner than 5 years. Simply put oil is sky high based on speculation that supplies are going to get tighter and tighter. If you open up reserves holding 20-30 billion barrels of oil, (a 1960's estimate), suddenly that supply doesn't look as tight as it did. The market starts seeing more supply being available, and suddenly the futures position on oil isn't as tempting as it was.

For those who say "but we need to develop alternatives" consider the best alternative most folks site is hydrogen. To get enough hydrogen to replace oil, cost effectively and as a net energy gain, the only way to do it is cracking natural gas. We are currently a net importer of that resource also. (Thanks Congress!!!)

The Eastern Continental Shelf reserve holds hundreds of TRILLIONS of cubic feet of natural gas, which also could be used in cleaner burning electric generation, to reduce the use of heating oil in the North east, etc. But unless we drill there, we don't get to use it. We get to buy it from Canada, Trinidad, and Egypt.

Consider a few other thing about getting off of oil. Aircraft aren't going to fly on solar power or fuel cells anytime soon. Trains aren't going to run on either efficiently, nor are large trucks. Steel isn't going to be produced (cost effectively) using electricity as the sole heater of the metals. And thousands of daily items from sandwich and garbage bags to baby bottles require petroleum products to produce. In other words, Oil is going to stick around for a long time. The question is where do we get it, here, or from Hugo Chavez?

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Monday, June 16, 2008

Obama and the Detainees

Jack Tapper has a good piece up at Political Punch about Barack Obama's support for terrorist detainees rights to petition US Courts.

In case he didn't figure it out, this isn't a winner for Obama. You can toss out all the facts about previous wars, military tribunals, etc. Just the constant swirling rumors of his closet Islamic leanings should make Obama nervous about standing on the side that defends radical islamic terrorists and jihadists right to petition US courts about their detention.

While I don't believe the rumors, that's beside the point. I still get many of them e-mailed to me every week, warning why Obama is dangerous because of his background. That means that there are more than a few folks out there who do believe them. Those folks will continue to make hay with his latest stand about detainees.

Tapper does a nice job of equating the difference between Obama and McCain on this issue to the scene from "A Few Good Men", where Tom Cruise and Jack Nicholson go at it about who we want "on that wall". While he points out McCain isn't a whack job like Col. Jessup, when people put it into the context of, is it the pretty boy lawyer, or the tough as nails Marine they want defending them the answer is pretty obvious; at least to anyone not carrying an ACLU membership card.

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Friday, June 13, 2008

At Least He's Honest, About Taxes

Barack Obama has to be given credit for being honest about raising taxes, since he makes no bones about it.

In Wisconsin this week he brought up his idea to put a "hole" in the Social Security payroll tax, and keep the 102,000 limit, then kick it back in at $250k. I don't totally disagree with this idea, IF the formula for payments is kept the same, and there is some kind of cap on what income level you quit paying the tax at.

Currently the more you pay in, the more you get back. If with his new plan he wants to hoist a huge tax hike on a bunch of people, then "means test" it and not give them more in benefits for paying more in taxes, he should means test the whole Social Security program. He should require that any retirement income, pensions, 401 investments, etc, be counted against what anyone gets from Social Security.

On a historic note, he might want to look back to the 1980's and see what happened to Congressmen who suggested such an idea for Medicare.

He also took shots at John McCain over wanting private accounts for Social Security, claiming the stock market is too volatile for such investment. Then why does the government basically force it's employees to pick from stock plans with their retirement funds? Why don't they ban unions from investing in anything but T-Bills with their pension funds? Because the stock market is where those pension funds get their biggest returns.

Here's why politicians, like Obama, don't like the idea of you controlling any of your Social Security money. If you control it, they can't spend it. Right now that's exactly what they do. If you took McCain's plan, and put a quarter of your Payroll Tax into the market, that would be a huge; like hundreds of billions a year huge; chunk of money congress couldn't fritter away.

As far as his "safety" concerns, if the good Senator could show me a 10, 20, 30 or 40 year period where the special government bonds (actually, IOU's) the Social Security surplus is invested have outperformed the market, I'll gladly concede to his idea. He knows he can't, because it's never happened.

Keep in mind the next time Barack Obama tells you John McCain is for the "status quo" that his ideas for social security are exactly the status quo. It's just keeping the money as a piggy bank for Congress.

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The Court Gets It Wrong

Left leaning tree huggers, ACLU activists and peaceniks in general are all happy today. They've "preserved the rights" of folks trying to kill Americans overseas so they can get their day in US civil courts.

Thank GOD these morons weren't around in WWI, WWII, Korea or Viet Nam. We'd have had the country sued out of existence by foreign nationals, trying to kill us on battlefields, then in our courts.

As a reminder to Kennedy, Souter, Ginsberg, Jones and Breyer, here is the preamble to our Constitution:

We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

In case you five have forgotten, and I believe you have, the Constitution is the Constitution of the United States. In fact, I think that your decision yesterday goes against most of that preamble. Giving terrorists rights in our courts insures tranquility how? How does it provide for the Common Defense, when it undercuts the defense of the country, how does it promote the general welfare, when folks now have to worry about terrorists having the same rights as them?
How does it secure the Blessings of Liberty, when you've just given equal rights to those who want to destroy us, and remove our liberty? Kennedy made sure to say in his opinion how they'd upheld the constitution's vision of liberty, for the terrorists. Thanks.

Colonel Morris Davis, former Chief Prosecutor at Gitmo summed it up in an AP interview, "I believe the drafters of the Constitution would be turning over in their graves to find out that people intent on destroying our society have constitutional rights."

Since these folks now have rights, and many will probably be released. I'd like to suggest that we find out the towns that the five justices families reside in. Set up half way houses in those towns for the detainees, and see how comfortable the Justices are with their decisions then.

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Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Dear Senator Obama

Dear Readers, there is some rather rough language in the article below, sorry, but I'm a working class guy, from a working class family. I grew up learning early, and often, that when someone is full of shit, you call them on it. I'm calling Senator Obama on that fact.

Dear Senator Obama,

Out of curiosity, I thought I'd write this and ask; in all seriousness; has anyone ever told you that you are full of shit? Not in a joking, two guys in the bar telling stories sort of way, but instead in a serious, you can't believe that I'd believe that crap sort of way.

First, you want us to believe that those questionnaires, with your notes on them from your Illinois Senate days don't mean anything, because your staffers answered them for you. Come on, you've got to be full of shit if you think any sane person believes that.

Reverend Wright, who married you, baptized your children, and was proclaimed your spiritual mentor in one of your books turns out to be a flaming bigot. First, you say in 20 years in the pews you never heard anything like what was on You Tube. Oprah did, she left the church. Then, when cornered again by his ranting, you make a speech where you contradict yourself and say you did, in fact hear him say such things, and were appalled. Hello.... Didn't you listen to yourself when you said you hadn't heard it? Again, to believe anything you'd say on the subject of Reverend Wright, I'd have to have fallen off of a turnip truck, recently.

The Tony Rezko who was recently convicted of trying to buy the state government isn't the guy you knew who threw parties for you and had dinner with you. There was nothing goofy about the real estate deals, and at that time, you didn't "really know him" that well. The dinner parties, etc. didn't come out until the trial got into full swing. Again, either you think everyone who votes is an idiot, or you'd have to be one. I'm not sure which would be sadder.

Father Pfleger got up in your church, mocked Hillary Clinton, (who needs it occasionally, but not like that) and goes on a tirade about "whitey". Suddenly, the Priest in charge of your Catholic outreach, whom you've gotten hundreds of thousands of dollars in earmarks for isn't the guy you knew? I've only lived in the Chicago area nine years, but when I heard Father Pfleger was speaking at Trinity, I knew what would come out of his mouth. You've been here much longer, and to claim you were shocked would once again show how full of shit you must be.

Finally, this Jim Johnson fiasco. I'm glad he resigned from the job he didn't have with you to find a Vice Presidential nominee. How exactly does that work, when someone is telling you who should and shouldn't be on the short list, but doesn't work for you? BULLSHIT!

If George Bush tried to make such a claim you'd be on him like cold on ice, like white on rice, and like stink on shit. The media would laugh him out of the Oval Office. Yet we're supposed to not only believe such crap from you, but just quit asking questions?

Senator, sorry, but I don't buy any of your lines of crap. You are, at best, a 3rd rate hack of a Chicago politician, who's done nothing of consequence in your life, not just your political career. Your career was handed to you by Emil Jones and the Chicago Tribune, not by your actual accomplishments. If the papers hadn't sued to get divorce records opened, and Jones hadn't handed you the work of others to claim as your own, you'd still be rotting in Springfield.

Yet you think we should make you president? How about writing some real legislation, get some real nads and disagree with Harry Reid once or twice, publicly, and actually do something other than miss votes. Then come talk to us about being President. Until then, just shut up and go away.

Zion, IL

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Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Good for the GOP

The Republicans in the US Senate today blocked the Democrat's windfall profits gimmick, oops, tax from getting a vote on the floor. The bill needed 60 votes to get past a GOP filibuster, and only got 51, signalling it's death, for now.

While Barack Obama and others have claimed the GOP sold out the working class, that's simply class warfare rhetoric that wouldn't pass a basic economics test. How exactly does increasing taxes on oil companies help the working class? For those who failed to take, or just plain failed Econ in their sophomore year of High School, here's a hint, it wouldn't lower prices, it would raise them. Raising costs on producers has never lowered prices to consumers.

Some features of the bill sounded good, as campaign year sound bites but also fail the basic econ test. For instance, the idea that part of that tax could be abated by investing the money in refinery expansion. The problem, there is nothing in the bill to reduce the regulatory and legal hurdles that keep refinery expansion from happening quickly. It takes years to get approval, and past the judges, to do such expansion. Since the taxes aren't abated until the money is spent, it doesn't seem like a "win win" for the refiners.

Second, the idea that congress can somehow help lower the price of oil by "curbing speculation" is a folly. The solution was to require more collateral for oil trading on the market, and regulating US investments in energy in foreign mercantile exchanges. The first would just drive trading out of the US. The second would likely lead to a pull of foreign money from our markets, as other countries "regulated" their people trading across borders. Then suddenly this wouldn't look like such a good idea.

The final folly of the bill was the reduction of tax breaks to oil companies. Now, I'm not necessarily in favor of them. But let's think about this logically. The 10 billion or so they are talking about are tax breaks given to oil companies who invest in domestic production, and alternative fuels. Congress would like to take those breaks back, and give them to other people to............ find ways to produce more domestic energy, and look at alternative fuels! ARGHHHH!

Here's a few things to keep in mind about the profits of energy companies. The numbers are big, but the percentage isn't that great. For example, Exxon Mobile and Chevron had profit margins of 10.85% and 8.61% respectively according to Capital IQ. Bank of America on the other hand, had a 21.03% margin, Baxter Health Care, 15.12%, Apple Computer 15.13%, Yahoo!, 14.89%.
Will Congress decide that the profit margins of Apple and Yahoo, being 33% higher than Exxon have to have a "windfall" tax on them, also?

Good for the GOP, it takes balls to stand up in an election year, with high fuel prices, to the demagoguery of the Democrats. If you are one of the (evidently) millions of stooges who think anything in Congress's bill would have actually lowered your price at the pump, I've got a Lake in Central Wisconsin for sale, come see me.

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Sorry For The Absence

Sorry about the absence. Last week got a little crazy with work and family obligations. So, for a nice relaxing weekend we went to the trailer in the woods, to enjoy a little quiet, a charity event, and just unwind. Unfortunately the winds twisted things up. They ended up ending the auction early and getting everyone to shelter due to storms and tornado warnings. Flooding actually destroyed one of the lakes in the area.

To top it off, since we've been having a little rain lately (6 or 7 inches), my basement flooded, and I spent 30 solid hours with 2 submersible pumps and a shop vac trying to dry it out. In over 8 years here we've never had so much water that the shop vac and a mop wouldn't clean it up. Luckily it never got over about 3 inches deep, but that still wrecks stuff.

Saturday I'll be spending quality time with a wheel barrow and 20 yard dumpster cleaning out what can't be salvaged. No, not enough in the basement to fill the dumpster, but since it's here, I've got some stuff in the yard that could go, and the shed. I'd rather have one too big than have to pay for a second trip.

I'll write something witty tonight about Barack Obama or John McCain.

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Tuesday, June 03, 2008

On the Democratic Nominee

William J. Bennett, who's been a member of both political parties, held cabinet level posts in the Reagan and H.W. Bush White Houses' and is now a political pundit, and author had this to say today in Nation Review Online's "The Corner":

My Old Party

This is an astounding moment in American politics. You cannot credibly say the Clintons are a political dynasty the way, say, the Kennedys or Bushs are. But I think one has to say the Clinton rule of the Democratic party has been dynastic. Bill Clinton is the only Democrat to have served two terms as president in two generations, the only Democrat to twice beat Republican nominees for president and his wife is a two term U.S. senator who will likely be in the Senate for years to come. Bill Clinton has been rated one of — if not THE — most popular person in the world, and yet Clinton rule in American politics ends tonight. Whatever it was the Republicans and so many independents did not like about the Clintons, we’ve learned the Democrats have had enough as well.

And thus the Democratic party is about to nominate a far left candidate in the tradition of George McGovern, albeit without McGovern’s military and political record. The Democratic party is about to nominate a far-left candidate in the tradition of Michael Dukakis, albeit without Dukakis’s executive experience as governor. The Democratic party is about to nominate a far left candidate in the tradition of John Kerry, albeit without Kerry’s record of years of service in the Senate. The Democratic party is about to nominate an unvetted candidate in the tradition of Jimmy Carter, albeit without Jimmy Carter’s religious integrity as he spoke about it in 1976. Questions about all these attributes (from foreign policy expertise to executive experience to senatorial experience to judgment about foreign leaders to the instructors he has had in his cultural values) surround Barack Obama. And the Democratic party has chosen him.

Most of the main reasons for Hillary staying in this race this long are listed there by Bennett. Like it or not, (and many of his supporters don't) Barack Obama is probably the least vetted candidate for President either party has tossed out there since Carter.

For those not from Illinois, who think that Obama took the state by storm when he won his Senate race a few years ago, the truth is he was getting kicked like a lame dog until the Chicago Tribune and a few others rescued him, twice.

In the primaries in 2004 he was all but sure to lose, until the papers and a few other folks started filing tons of court requests to unseal Blair Hull's divorce record. Messy divorce, and Hull is out of the primary.

Jump to the general election, when, again, Obama was getting ready to go down to a guy with a real story of helping in the inner city. A millionaire trader and partner at Goldman Sach's, who quit trading and started teaching high school. Again, the Tribune and others got Jack Ryan's divorce (From uber-hottie Jeri Ryan) unsealed, and it seems Jack had some skeletons. And BOOM! You get Obama as a Senator.

Thomas Sowell, also writing at NRO, urges voters to get past the election year rhetoric of Barack Obama, and look at his actual legislative record. Again, his handlers will tell you things like "he didn't read the questionaire", or "you're misinterpretting what he meant", to get around the fact that he has the most liberal record in the Senate.

Sowell is correct, you have to look at the record as a whole, not the promises made in an election year. I've urged people for years to get rid of the one issue mentality, and to get away from buying politicians from used car salesmen. Yet, you discover while reading what people write in defense of Obama and his record, that many people are driving used cars. In fact, it seems the entire leadership of the Democratic Party is happy as hell with that 81 Cutlass they got for a steal.

Finally, over at "The Page" Mark Halperin writes about What Obama and Clinton underestimate
and points out a number of things that he doesn't feel Obama is ready for. The main one's being how unready Obama is for the media focus he will get, and how ready the GOP is to help sharpen that focus.

While many in Democratic circles have fretted over the long, drawn out primary season, the truth is, it will be nothing compared to what happens in the next five months. While there were a few unladylike outbursts from Hillary, the truth is Obama's record will now get the vetting she refused to give it, but warned was coming.

While Hillary stayed off the Tony Rezko and Bill Ayers connetions (for the most part) the GOP won't. Expect to see ads about Obama's connection to unrepentent domestic terrorists, convicted (soon) political sleeze, and racist ministers of multiple colors and faiths regularly for the next few months.

Hillary didn't bring up Obama's views on partial birth abortion (doesn't see the problem), gun laws (we shouldn't have guns, then we wouldn't need laws), taxes, Iran, etc. The GOP, McCain, and their surrogates will, loudly.

One of the things that general elections do that primaries don't, since you generally don't trash your own party too badly in them, is focus on what you've done. McCain has a long list he can point to, and even use to move across party lines. Yes, some of it has angered Republicans, but the truth is, he can say he's always done what he thought was best. Not always a trait you find in politicians.

Obama, on the other hand, has a thin record at best, and little of it appeals to anyone who considers themselves a centerist, or slightly right leaning person. While "Hope and Change" sound great, so would an answer to the question "What have you done in the Senate?".

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Climate Security Act, Part Deux

Last week I wrote about the impending disaster that is the Climate Security Act as introduced by Joe Lieberman and John Warner.

Two editorials on the subject were recently written, one in the Chicago Tribune, one in the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel. Both beat the drum for passage of the legislation, though at least the Trib is realistic in it's assessment that it won't pass this year. The Journal-Sentinel chose the title "The consequences are too dire to remain a bystander ", which should give you an idea of the slant of the writing.

Neither of the two papers editorial boards spelled out fully the EPA concerns over the amount of tax hiking the bill contains, or the warnings on GDP consequences. To the Trib's credit, they mentioned the tax hikes, and gave some idea where they should go. The Journal, on the other hand, chose to use cherry picked data to back up their title.

The Journal also points to a new federal report that lists the dire consequences. One of the notable, and to them noble, parts of the report is (as they put it) "Scientists produced the report by analyzing research from more than 1,000 publications, rather than conducting new research."

They evidently don't realize that's one of the reports biggest short comings. More, new research is needed, instead of a report that cherry picks evidence from old information. The problem is, new research would show what's been reported, by dozens of climatologists (and ignored by the environmental movement) over the last few years; the world hasn't gotten warmer in the last six years. That data can't be included in report on the "dire consequences" of global warming, because it shoots to hell the theory that CO2 and other greenhouse gases are turning the earth into an ever hotter oven.

If the Gore/IPCC theories on warming are right, six years of steady temperatures can't happen. Yet, they have, and the government report chose to ignore that fact.

While the Tribune was honest in the fact that the EPA calculated a 1.2 trillion dollar tax increase, they forgot the part about the .9-3.8% drop in GDP over the same period. Anyone who's looked at an economics course, even in passing, knows that raising taxes and dropping productivity is a great recipe for creating a recession. The Journal Sentinel, in parrotting the alarmist mantra, ignores any economic consequences of the legislation. Damn the economy, cure the planet's fever!!

To read the Journal's editorial, you would be convinced that if this legislation doesn't pass in the next 20 minutes, it may well be too late. I doubt it. The Tribune is a little more realistic, knowing it won't pass this year, and even if it does, the majority won't be big enough to override the certain veto.

Next year, as they put it, it has a better chance. That would be assuming that Barack Obama can win the election, and drag enough Democrats along to get 61 seats in the Senate. While McCain supports parts of the bill, I'm not convinced he'd sign it. I'm sure that if he signaled he would, that the fillibuster to keep it from his desk would be nearly historic.

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Monday, June 02, 2008

Outing McClellan

Scott McClellan's book "What Happened: Inside the Bush White House and Washington's Culture of Deception." has been all the rage in liberal circles for the last week or so. They are eating up the fact that McClellan spent lots of words on the Valerie Plame case, and wishing Karl Rove had been fired over it.

They guy who printed Plame's name, Robert Novak, has his take on the book in today's column, and calls out McClellan for his lack of facts about the Plame affair.

Novak points out the inconsistencies between the former White House Press Secretary's book, and the reality of the leak, and the Grand Jury investigation into it.

While at the White House podium, McClellan never knew the facts about the CIA leak, and his memoir reads as though he has tried to maintain his ignorance. He omits the fact that Armitage identified Mrs. Wilson to The Post's Bob Woodward weeks before he talked to me. He does not mention that Armitage turned himself in to the Justice Department even before Patrick Fitzgerald was named as special prosecutor.

In case the liberals out there have forgotten, Rove, and Scooter Libby, weren't the leakers of Plame's name. It was Richard Armitage, a guy who didn't like the Iraq war or Dick Cheney. Novak also points out another fact McClellan omits, no one was convicted of outing Plame, even though the Justice Department had a confession from Armitage that he'd been the guy to mention her name.

When you start reading the facts; instead of McClellan, and his publisher's wishful thinking; you realize more and more that the book wasn't a "tell all" about the White House, but instead a smear job without much basis in reality, written by a disgruntled guy who was fired.

It becomes more clear when you follow the trail of the publisher, who McClellan told Ari Fleischer (his predecessor) had "tweaked" the book. The publishing house, Public Affairs Books, is largely owned by Democratic activist George Soros!

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Sunday, June 01, 2008

Obama Jumps Church

So, Senator and Presidential wannabe Barack Obama has decided to leave the Trinity United Church of Christ. He's clarified remarks about it, and decided it wasn't "a political manuever". Sure, and the 465 foot shot Russel Branyan hit in Milwaukee last night wasn't a home run.

Over at the Chicago Tribune, The Seeker blog asked the question "What do you think? Can a political figure join a congregation without putting it and its spiritual leader under the microscope?"

The answer of course, is yes. It happens all the time. In fact, Dick Cheney, one of the most despised politicians in the country goes to church regularly, can anyone name his pastor? How about George Bush's? Hillary Clinton?

The problem with "The Seeker" question was that it should have been "Can Obama pick a pastor that won't put himself under the microscope." Keep in mind, Oprah Winfrey left that church years ago because of Rev. Wright. So it's not like he just recently went off the deep end.

The Swamp has more insight from Obama on his decision, but the more he talks, the more it appears that he made a calculated political decision. While he says that he doesn't want the church coming under more scrutiny because of his candidacy, I think that the opposite is true, he's tiring of the scrutiny he's receiving for his choice in associates.

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The Problem of Identity Politics

One of the biggest problems with the big tent of the Democratic party is that everyone wants what's best for their group. This year, they have battling groups, women and minorities.

This lady wasn't too happy with the fact that the party big wigs decided that Michigan and Florida will only get 1/2 of their delegations seated. She was unhappier that the rules committee tossed her (and many others) out of the room.

When you play identity politics, as the Democrats have for decades, you can't help but run into problems when the identities clash. Truthfully, this should have been banner year for the Democrats, hoisting the identity of the first black nominee with a chance onto their mantle. The problem is that eight months ago the party thought it would be a banner year when they did that with the first serious female nominee.

Now the women are pissed off at the black guy, the black guys are pissed off at the woman, and the party of unity is a fractured group of individuals, pissed that their identity isn't the one being recognized.

Here's an idea for their party to try in 2012, run on ideas, not identities, and see if it works out better.

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