Sunday, March 30, 2008

Al Sadr Orders Mahdi Army Cease Fire

By now most people have heard of the renewed fighting between Al Sadr's Mahdi Army and Iraqi government forces (backed up by U.S. forces). The truce he called for at the time of the surge had been called off and the Shiite-led, Iranian-backed terrorist group had been fighting in Baghdad and Basra.

Well today, the NYT is reporting that Al Sadr has issued some conditions for a new truce.

The Shiite cleric Moktada al-Sadr on Sunday took a step toward ending six days of intense combat between his militia allies and Iraqi and American forces in Basra and Baghdad, saying in a statement that his followers would lay down their arms providing the Iraqi government met a series of demands.

Interesting wording here, especially when you consider the NYT owns the IHT, and the IHT is offering a different wording (which they credit to Reuters and the AP):

The Shiite cleric Moktada al-Sadr said Sunday that he was pulling his fighters off the streets of Iraq and called on the government to stop raids against his followers and to free those it had arrested.

"Because of religious responsibility and to stop Iraqi blood being shed," Sadr said in a nine-point statement given to journalists in the holy Shiite city of Najaf, "we call for an end to armed appearances in Basra and all other provinces."

This all comes as an interesting twist.

Last week we were hearing President Bush saying things like this was a "defining moment" in Iraqi history, which is precisely why this report of a new truce is makes it even more puzzling. The way things were sounding, the Iraqis (with whatever assistance we needed to provide) were taking charge of the lion's share of their own security. On the surface, it appeared that the final push was on to eliminate all measurable enemies of the new Iraqi state.

Trying to make sense of this is even more difficult, if a person doesn't know the backdrop to this.

From Time Magazine comes this article.

For much of the past three years, the Iraqi government has had little influence over Basra. As British troops have steadily withdrawn from the city, it has fallen into the control of three major Shi'ite militias — Moqtada al'Sadr's Mahdi Army, the Iran-backed Badr Brigades and a local group associated with the Fadila Party. The three have recently fought turf battles over large swaths of the city, claiming hundreds of lives.

As the article goes on to say, there are still about 4,000 (or so) British forces stationed outside of Basra that have not been fully engaged in this operation. In fact, the implication here is, as British troops draw down, struggles between these three groups are beginning to form. Basra police have been unable to handle this form of urban gang warfare, because they were not adequately trained, nor were they appropriately armed to take on these better trained and armed gangs of thugs.

So by the orders of the Iraqi PM, enter the Iraqi forces to make some headway into this. It had been reported to be a little more difficult than first thought. No doubt some were thinking that it would fail, with others undoubtedly thinking it wouldn't. Who you believe would depend on which view you already subscribe to, the "we cannot win this war" crowd or the ones that believe we can.

With the Sunni supported insurgency and Al Qaida severely crippled in Iraq, it is now important that those in the Shiite factions be disarmed, if Iraq is to have a chance to survive after any form of U.S. withdrawal. But as of this writing, this still hasn't happened.

But what happened? Why has Al Sadr seemingly reversed course, when late last week he seemed so sure he could fight back this response from the government?

The Long War Journal may provide some understanding, in this article.

With the fifth day of fighting in Baghdad, Basrah and the South completed, the Mahdi Army has suffered major losses over the past 36 hours. The Mahdi Army has not fared well over the past five days of fighting, losing an estimated two percent of its combat power, using the best case estimate for the size of the militia.

A look at the open source press reports from the US and Iraqi military and the established newspapers indicates 145 Mahdi Army fighters were killed, 81 were wounded, 98 were captured, and 30 surrendered during the past 36 hours.

Since the fighting began on Tuesday 358 Mahdi Army fighters were killed, 531 were wounded, 343 were captured, and 30 surrendered. The US and Iraqi security forces have killed 125 Mahdi Army fighters in Baghdad alone, while Iraqi security forces have killed 140 Mahdi fighters in Basra.

While the size of the Mahdi Army is a constant source of debate, media accounts often put the Mahdi Army at anywhere from 40,000 to 60,000 fighters. With an estimated 1,000 Mahdi fighters killed, captured, wounded and surrendered, the Mahdi Army has taken an attrition rate of 1.5 to 2.5 percent over the past five days.

I think Al Sadr has seen the writing on the wall. He has come to the conclusion that his resistance will not succeed at this point in time, especially when there are rival groups competing for the same disaffected Shiites, with the same stated objectives. If he is to ever wield any influence or power in the new Iraq, he cannot afford to engage the U.S.-backed Iraqi forces at this time. If he does, he could lose a lot more of his followers, rendering him virtually impotent in bargaining chips.

So, what's he do? Why, he does what every great Middle Eastern wannabe does when this happens. He calls for a truce or cease-fire so he can re-arm, readjust, and rethink his strategy. And like a fool, Maliki lets him off of the hook (just like we did, when we had him holed up in a mosque with a significant lesser following).

Some lessons to learn from this are:

1. Withdrawal before Iraq is able to sustain their own security, will guarantee the same reaction nationwide, as what has occurred in Basra after the British turned it over. just think of what is happening in Basra, as a microcosm of the entire nation, if we withdraw our forces prematurely.

2. Making deals with Al Sadr are only temporary, he cannot be trusted to fulfill long term agreements. He is young and has time to wait things out. Leaving his militia alone will only serve as a temporary solution. Either fight them now, or fight them later. But understand that they will need to be fought, if Iraq is to ever be stabilized enough to withdraw the vast majority of U.S forces.

3. Electing Obama or Hillary will screw things up worse than it is now, if they make good on their claim to begin immediate withdrawals after taking office. In effect, Iraq will be turned over to Iran and the proxy groups that are already doing their dirty work, groups like the Mahdi Army.

Vacillating Obama (What The Media Ignores)

One of the signature talking points of Barack Obama has been his claim that he (above all in the presidential race) is the only one that has stood against the Iraq War, from the very beginning. And as you may have surmised by now, the anti-war crowd has eaten it up, swallowing it whole.

But if we read this essay from Commentary Magazine, we can see that it may be an inaccurate claim the Senator is making.

Throughout his dramatic campaign to win his party’s nomination for the presidency, Senator Barack Obama has tended to ignore the specifics of policy in favor of the generalities of emotion, centering his appeal to voters on vague promises of “change” and “unity.” But on one issue, above all others, Obama has remained fixated from the campaign’s first moment, and that is the war in Iraq. By Obama’s own account, the consistency of his stand on this war demonstrates more than anything else that he, a one-term United States Senator who arrived in Washington in 2005 with no foreign-policy experience, after an uneventful eight-year stint in the Illinois state senate, possesses the wisdom, the clear-sightedness, and the judgment to assume the responsibilities of the nation’s commander-in-chief.

What follows is a lengthy but thorough article, as it chronicles the vacillating positions Obama has communicated on the war. It's what the enamored and mesmerized media types will not press him on. It's what the hypnotized inexperienced youth that eat up his every word do not want to read or hear.

Decision making is based on the information you have at the time. Sometimes, it's a crap shoot. It's certainly easy for any "Johnny come lately" to say: "If I would have been there, I would have voted no." It's easy to use hindsight as your basis of dissent, especially when their is no official public record of your stances. And Obama is getting away with doing this right now. He has a free pass to make his claim, without fear of being challenged.

But all of that is about to change, once he secures the nomination and must take on experienced people that know far more than him. It will come to a screeching halt when those that have a deeper understanding of the conditions in the world, get him onto specifics and off of the tired hope and change message.

Read this essay, if you are capable of making decisions for yourself (based on careful thought and deliberation). If you already have your mind made up, don't bother. You will be wasting your time.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Another Blast From The Past

In honor of the two Democratic candidates, this week's themes will be in line with the candidates, their followers, and their fellow Democratic party members.

Ladies first. But I have to say that my good friend AC, at Fore Left, beat me to the song I was going to use for this particular segment. Normally, I have my musical post up before he does on Saturday. So due to my sloth, I have lost the moment of opportunity and have been forced to select another. Here is a tribute song to Hillary Clinton. It's from Fleetwood Mac and it's called Little Lies:

Next up comes a tribute song for the spellbinding oratory power of one Barack H. Obama. His speeches have had such a mesmerizing effect on the youth of America (and a few oldsters that should know better), it is only fitting we go to another Fleetwood Mac song, called Hypnotized:

And finally, for the Democrats in general, we have a prophetic look into the future. After he or she has been chosen to represent the party in the 2008 General Election, the party will be virtually wrecked. So it's only fitting that we feature a little song by Rockpile. It's called Crawling From The Wreckage:


March Madness

Now, we are down to the regional finals. Here are my predictions on the games that will decide who goes to San Antonio, for the Final Four:

North Carolina - Louisville

This is a tough one. Normally, I would not bat an eye on this one. But Louisville is playing well right now and they certainly handled Tennessee, fairly easily. I think I am going out on a limb here, I am going with Louisville in an upset.

UCLA - Xavier

Another mild surprise in the tournament (besides Louisville) is the Xavier Musketeers. They have certainly gone further than I expected. But UCLA is just too good on defense. I'll go with UCLA on this one.

Memphis - Texas

I have Texas picked to go to the Final Four on my bracket. Memphis certainly looked unstoppable against Michigan State, but I think Texas is a far better team that the Spartans. My apologies to my good friend AC, but I have to go with Texas on this one.

Kansas - Davidson

The big surprise in the tourney is the Davidson Wildcats. They have really been on a run and have surpassed everyone's predictions. But, just as the hype for Villanova was just, well.... hype. Davidson will likely meet the same demise against the stronger Jayhawks. So, I am going with Kansas to end Davidson's cinderella season.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Obama Vs. Hillary: The Unseen Struggle

Hillary is determined. In her heart, she feels like she has a chance. Many in the Democratic party do not think so and when it gets down to it, they are outright calling for her to quit.

If you ever wonder what makes this woman tick, all you have to do is study her (and hubby), for a little while.

The truth is, she really wants this bad. Bill promised it to her. You know how cheaters are. They cheat and then promise to make it up to you. Well, he did. And now he's trying. Together, they are looking at themselves and thinking that it's owed to them and they are not giving up.

Bill thought that he'd be able to use his former presidency as leverage in wielding party influence, propelling her to an easy walk to the nomination. And Hillary? Well, she believed him and bought into this thinking (lock, stock, and barrel).

She thought that his power, influence, and his generally overplaying the rock star card, would make her nomination certain; she thought it was guaranteed. Although she has long dreamed of this opportunity, there was an element of miscalculation here. Just when she thought this was going to be a cakewalk, here comes some greenhorn senator that hasn't even served a full term yet, amassing a cult following (through the financing of George Soros and the likes).

She sees him taking what is rightfully promised to her. And it makes her quite mad.
So what do you think she wants to do?

I know what I think.

I think she will run as hard and far as she can. If she comes up short, it isn't going to be by much; and it doesn't seem to unreasonable to suggest that she may be trying to damage Obama in the general election, on the chance she cannot pull off a super-delegate coup.

Why? Because there's a very likely chance that John McCain will win against Obama and if that's the case, there's a strong likelihood that McCain will only serve one term. And if Obama were to win, there's little to no chance that she will be able to run ever again.

Right now, she still thinks it's a crap shoot. She still may think she can sway the super-delegates, if she finishes strong in the delegate count. But I seriously doubt she hasn't thought about the "what ifs", by now. She knows that being the veep won't get it. So, she won't be interested in it.

(This could be why Richardson endorsed Obama at this juncture. I think it goes without saying that Richardson can attract more Hispanic support, which is why I think he will be picked, if Obama wins the nod.)

I know what some of you may thinking. You may have drawn a conclusion by now that I may be wrong. (And that's always a possibility) You may have even heard the sound bite I heard of her today, pleading with Democrats to not vote for McCain. But, as you consider these things, do not forget another.

This is the woman that tells a lie, when the truth would have done just fine. The embellishment about the sniper fire was enough of an exaggeration to warrant "lying" status. If you have a candidate that you know you cannot trust (versus one that you might be able to snow the people into believing he is trustworthy), which one would they choose? I think this may have done her in, in the end.

But let's not lose sight of the fact that the longer this goes on, the more damage gets done to Obama. The longer it goes on, the more damaged his candidacy becomes and the Democrats know it. They know it and they are quite worried about it.

What some of them may not know is, Obama represents the Deaniac and Soros wing of the Democratic party. In reality, Obama is being used as a pawn to bring down the Clintons and assert control of the party. It's not a policy thing, it's a personality thing. It's one of those "battle for the heart and soul things" on the surface, but a personal one under.

As I say, even though Dean has been a major player in the"so-called" redefinition of the party, there is little difference in Dean or Hill/Bill's vision. Both are advocating the stark move toward the socialist style of government. Both despise George Bush. It's not either of those things that make the difference here. It's just that Hillary knows to sacrifice Obama in this election, it will get rid of Dean.

With Dean and company backing Obama and Bill backing Hillary, the real war is on. Meanwhile, John McCain and Romney are gallivanting around looking like President and Vice-President.

Hannity Defends Obama

Many people trash Sean Hannity merely because they disagree with his views. But in this video, he defends Obama against a Harlem pastor that is not a fan of Obama, and uses harsh rhetoric to communicate that dislike.

Policy differences, questions about Obama's record (or lack thereof), and his ties to a pastor that hates America and preaches separatism, is one thing. But calling him trash is another.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

More Al Gore Errors

Over at Fore Left, AC has a post that covers the recent report that Antarctica is cracking up due to global warming. The report can be found here at one of the usual biased outlets, CNN.

Notably missing is information that is highly contradictory, which can be found at Ice

As I perused around the Ice Cap site, I happened across ten distinct errors that the administrator of the site has found in Al Gore's weak and faulty claims.

Those that worship in the First Church of the Global Warming Junk Science Theory will not believe it. They have made their minds up despite the scientific evidence that speaks otherwise.

No, they will still believe Bro. Al and his choir of sycophants, no matter what the facts may say. But despite the fact that there is credible evidence refuting (or at very least casting some reasonable doubt on) his last best effort at creating a credible banner issue, the promoters of the Leftist political agenda will continue to put forth erroneous information, and gullible people will buy into it until the day they die.

(Many thanks to AC, for a stellar find)

March Madness Predictions


NC over Wash. St.

TN over Louisville (but that's a tough one to call)


KS over Villanova

WI over Davidson


Memphis over Mich St. (Mich St. should have been gone long ago)

TX over Stanford


UCLA over W. Kentucky

Xavier over W. VA (Another tough one, but Xavier has been proving me wrong)

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

More Polling Data On Divided Democrats

Recently, we got a look at this Franklin and Marshall College poll that indicated supporters of one Democratic candidate would not the support the other, if their candidate was not the nominee.

That poll was taken Pennsylvania. But today, we can see Gallup's national results showing pretty much the same thing. The findings of the Gallup poll are as follows:

Clinton supporters that would vote for McCain over Obama - 28%

Obama supporters that would vote for McCain over Clinton - 19%

The other poll that backs up what I have been saying is this Rasmussen poll.

Twenty-two percent (22%) of Democratic voters nationwide say that Hillary Clinton should drop out of the race for the Democratic Presidential nomination. However, the latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey found that an identical number—22%--say that Barack Obama should drop out.

A solid majority of Democrats, 62%, aren’t ready for either candidate to leave the race. Nationally, Clinton and Obama are running essentially even among Likely Democratic Primary Voters in the Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential Tracking Poll.

I rarely toot my own horn by saying I told you so, but I have to say that I said this was brewing over a year ago. I don't know who thought I was in need of serious psychotropics at that point in time, but read this snippet from that post and see for yourself:

..despite what many may believe, there is a storm brewing in the Democratic Party. This was supposed to be Hillary's moment in the sun. And then, here comes this bright young man that defies stereotypes and myths, has an certain outsider status, can raise money, and has a following already in place just by making an announcement. Sure, she is leading him by a goodly amount. But on the other hand, he's on her heels and she doesn't like it one bit. For this reason, one must expect there will be some animosity developing, as evidenced from some of the tactics being used.

Today, it is percolating at full steam. Today, the future of the Democratic party is in jeopardy. This will undoubtedly force the Democratic leadership to re-evaluate itself, and its overall vision (to include its affinity for promoting special interests, far above American interests).

An Elitist And His Money Are Rarely Parted

For the proper effect of this post, click on the video and listen while you read this post.

Barack and Michelle Obama have released their tax returns and according to Bloomberg, they gave less than one percent of their income to charity, from 2000-04.

Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama and his wife Michelle gave $10,772 of the $1.2 million they earned from 2000 through 2004 to charities, or less than 1 percent, according to tax returns for those years released today by his campaign.

I find this particularly hypocritical when they are such advocates for the government helping the poor and oppressed citizenry of the United States. If they are so concerned about the tired and poor huddled, homeless masses, why did they not give more? Why do they want to tax all of us to do the job that was in the power of their hands, to do themselves?

From the Obama Website comes this description of the problem:

Poverty Rising: There are nearly 37 million poor Americans. Most Americans living in poverty work, but still cannot afford to make ends meet.

Minimum Wage is Not Enough: Even when a parent works full-time earning minimum wage and EITC and food stamps are factored into their income, families are still $1,550 below the federal poverty line because of the flat-lined minimum wage.

I have to ask, why isn't Obama doing more on a personal level? I bet Rev. Wright wants to know why he didn't even pay his proper amount of tithes.

Division And Despair

Democrats are getting nervous, and rightly so. Both of their remaining candidates are seeking a place of destiny and destroying the party, to get there. Even prominent Democrats and left leaning media types are seeing this, and they are willing to state this publicly:

Bob Beckel

Phil Bredesen (Governor of Tennessee)

Noam Scheiber of TNR (Yes. Another one named, Noam)

E.J. Dionne

Some bloggers think Hillary is destroying it.

Others think it is Obama.

I suspect some are saying much more privately, but that's not all. Some Dems aren't saying anything. But their actions (or in this case, inactions) are. Dems that are challenging in other races across the country appear to be afraid to endorse either candidate, especially Obama.

Despite Sen. Barack Obama’s (D-Ill.) promises, many Democratic congressional candidates in conservative districts remain unconvinced that he can redraw the general election map by competing in red states.

While Obama is popular among some challengers seeking an edge in contested primaries, other non-incumbents have shied away from endorsing him. Most are staying out of the fray, endorsing neither Obama nor Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.).

I say they have no political courage. Waiting for the nominee to become known is comparable with the usual finger in the wind approach, we have become accustomed to from the majority of Democrats. The end result may be a double digit victory in the popular vote and an electoral landslide for McCain. (SEE: 1968 and 1972.)

Lies And Damned Lies

First up is a real whopper:

Hillary Clinton - March 17, 2008:

"I remember landing under sniper fire. There was supposed to be some kind of a greeting ceremony at the airport, but instead we just ran with our heads down to get into the vehicles to get to our base."

CBS Report - March 24, 2008

My thoughts on this can be found here, in a post from yesterday.

Then we have this gem:

Sen. Barack Obama - March 14, 2008:

"The statements that Rev. Wright made that are the cause of this controversy were not statements I personally heard him preach while I sat in the pews of Trinity or heard him utter in private conversation."

Sen. Barack Obama - March 18, 2008

"I have already condemned, in unequivocal terms, the statements of Reverend Wright that have caused such controversy. For some, nagging questions remain. Did I know him to be an occasionally fierce critic of American domestic and foreign policy? Of course. Did I ever hear him make remarks that could be considered controversial while I sat in church? Yes."

For those that worship in the cult of Obama and have had a field day with Hillary Clinton being caught in a lie, consider these statements. Neither candidate's lies are praiseworthy, neither should be a source of pride, but which is worse?

Meanwhile, the bleeding continues. The latest Rasmussen poll shows McCain's stock trending up against Obama.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

The Chavez Endorsement

Last week, we were all waiting to hear the official Bill Richardson endorsement and everyone was sitting on pins and needles. But this week, we can put the mystery of the Hugo Chavez endorsement behind us, early in the week.

CARACAS (Reuters) - Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, a socialist and fierce U.S. critic, warned on Tuesday that relations with Washington could worsen if Republican candidate John McCain wins this year's presidential election.

By default, it pretty much goes to anyone that runs against McCain.

That tells me all I need to know.

The Embellishing Ego Of Hillary Clinton

There's something always true about a pathological liar: They cannot be trusted.

Those that lie a lot (and often) will many times begin to start believing their own lies. Now, I cannot say that Hillary believes her lies, or not. But one will have a very difficult time convincing me that she simply misspoke in this Bosnia story. She made up the Sir Edmund Hilary story (whom she said she was named for) and she embellished this thing, for the specific purpose of padding her resume. She cannot help but lie.

The thing that puzzles me is, why she thought she needed to exaggerate. Obama was bleeding from the Rev. Wright story and all she had to do is coast for awhile. When the truth would have done just fine, she chose to lie when it was anything but necessary. And, she got caught.

This simple truth says much about the character of Mrs. Clinton. It also says that Americans cannot trust her. this is important because, if she will lie on unimportant issues when it's not necessary and can be found out, you know she will lie on important matters that cannot be found out.

When we think about what drives a person to do something like this, we can only deduce the obvious. A person that is blind in their ambition and is so hungry for power, will say and do anything to get themselves elected.

Ego is a dangerous thing sometimes. Sometimes it causes a person to shoot themselves in the foot.

Just another day, where it is not good to be a Democrat.

A Picture Is Worth A Thousand Words

Many people want to tell us how bad many have it in America. But as Americans, we often take some things for granted. How well we eat, compared to many others in the world, is one of those things.

If you want to see a visual comparison of the differences, take a trip over to the Hill Chronicles and take a look at what I am saying.

News In Brief (And The Usual Opinionated Commentary)

The news shows have been saturated with Obama and Hillary destroying each other (and the Democratic Party), while John McCain has been traveling the world (looking Presidential, staying out of the crossfire). As a result, there hasn't been much else to focus on.

But here are a couple of things that have less to do with the race for the White House, and more to do with the issues that the candidates will likely face should they get there:

Scientists Question Use Of Biofuels

Gordon Brown is preparing for a battle with the European Union over biofuels after one of the government's leading scientists warned they could exacerbate climate change rather than combat it.

In an outspoken attack on a policy which comes into force next week, Professor Bob Watson, the chief scientific adviser at the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, said it would be wrong to introduce compulsory quotas for the use of biofuels in petrol and diesel before their effects had been properly assessed.

"If one started to use biofuels ... and in reality that policy led to an increase in greenhouse gases rather than a decrease, that would obviously be insane," Watson said. "It would certainly be a perverse outcome."

Slowly, information about the earth cooling has been coming out and yet, I find it quite ironic that this story comes out under the pretense that warming is still a consensus. During the advancement of this junk science theory, we have found the push for biofuels, especially in areas which produce the crops that go into the making of these fuels. Indiana has led the push, because Indiana farmers stand to make a fortune off of them.

Very little attention has been given to the fact that this transition toward biofuels is not a good idea (for so many reasons). Now we have scientists that are rethinking this strategy, albeit for the wrong reasons. Never mind the sound reasoning that people like John Stossel, Mustang, and myself have put forth, these guys are backtracking because they believe that it will increase warming (despite the fact that this is still not a proven theory).

Whatever the rationales put forth by Professor Watson, the fact remains that the production of ethanol is leading to a rise in food prices across the board. Not only is there less corn for you and I to eat, there is less for livestock. Not only is the price of corn itself going up, the price of beef and pork is going up. If this (alone) is not enough for the junk scientists, maybe a faulty theory about a faulty theory will dissuade the world from jumping on this bandwagon.

China Continues Crackdown On Tibet Protests

Paramilitary police opened fire on hundreds of monks, nuns and Tibetans who tried to march on a local government office in western China yesterday to demand the return of the Dalai Lama.

Residents of Luhuo said that a monk and a farmer appeared to have been killed and about a dozen people wounded in the latest violence in Tibetan areas of China. Xinhua, the official Chinese news agency, said that one officer was killed when police confronted a “lawless mob” in Luhuo.

With China on the world stage through the hosting of the Olympics in Beijing this year, the movement for Tibetan independence has flared up. And from the looks of their response, China doesn't intend to allow them the opportunity to share a part of that stage. But China may be shooting themselves in the foot, as the EU is already debating a boycott of the opening ceremony.

If China continues on this bloody path, it may be that the idea of an all-out boycott will be brought up and implemented soon. If this ends up being the case, China could be left holding the bill, for which they will not be able to recover.

Recommended Blogs

I have some blogs to plug. I have been remiss in this area lately, so I do apologize for not getting around to this sooner.

There is a link you will find on the PYY blogroll that leads to an excellent blog aggregate, published by Salon Magazine. The Blog Report is one of the best references for political blog commentary, in the blogosphere. It is a balanced presentation, managed by Steve Benen. It covers both liberal and conservative blogs, which says much for the integrity. Despite the fact that he probably disagrees with many of the views expressed here, he has been good to PYY and given it a plug now and then (under the Alternative View heading in the lower left of the homepage).

Many PYY readers come through as a result of a search from a university. Most of it probably stems from a last-minute frantic search for a paper or project. If this is the case, TBR is an excellent resource. And even if you are not a student or are a regular reader and/or commenter, it is a good source of links to most of the major sites, left and right.

I wish there were more blogs like Steve's personal blog, The Carpetbagger Report. When I want to read a Democratic blog, his is the one I go to. If you have noticed, it has been displayed on the PYY blogroll for awhile now. Now, I don't agree with him on a lot of things, but he's not always wrong either. But the thing I find most special about his site is, I can read dissenting opinion pieces on specific issues that are well-written in a most professional manner, without feeling like I have been insulted because I disagree.

Take a look at these sites, when you get time. I don't think you will be disappointed.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Is This The Death Of The Democratic Party?

Here is a lengthy article from The New Republic.

It seems to driven from a genuine concern that the Democrats are in a position to destroy their own party (or at very least, lose the election), well before the convention rolls around. As the article reminds us, this is a repeat of what happened in 1980:

When Democrats contemplate the apocalypse these days, they have visions of Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton slugging it out à la Ted Kennedy and Jimmy Carter at the 1980 convention. The campaign's current trajectory is, in fact, alarmingly similar to the one that produced that disastrous affair. Back then, Carter had built up a delegate lead with early wins in Iowa, New Hampshire, and several Southern states. But, as the primary season dragged on, Kennedy began pocketing big states and gaining momentum. Once all the voting ended and Kennedy came up short, he eyed the New York convention as a kind of Hail Mary.

Any candidate trailing at the convention must employ divisive tactics, almost by definition. For example, much of the bitterness in 1980 arose from the floor votes Kennedy engineered to drive a wedge between Carter and his delegates. At one point, Kennedy forced a vote on whether each state's delegation should be split equally between men and women. Carter counted many feminists among his delegates, but the campaign initially opposed the measure so as to deny Kennedy a victory. "You had women who were with Jimmy Carter who were crying on the floor," recalls Joe Trippi, then a young Kennedy organizer.

Fast forward to today:

With little chance that either candidate this time around can clinch the nomination at the polls, it's not inconceivable that Democrats will re-enact this spectacle in Denver this August. (One direct link: Clinton operative Harold Ickes oversaw Kennedy's convention effort in 1980 and would likely oversee Hillary's.) The sequel could be even more damaging. It's true that the ideological gulf separating Kennedy and Carter doesn't divide Obama and Clinton. But, precisely because the substantive differences are so small, the temptation to court delegates along racial and gender lines would be even greater. And the sense of alienation among the losers would be overwhelming. Says former Al Gore campaign manager (and undecided superdelegate) Donna Brazile: "I don't have the 1980 experience, but that was two white men. This is a woman and a black. What's different about this fight is that, when they attack each other, supporters feel like they're attacking them personally." Remember the recent firestorm over Geraldine Ferraro's comment that, "If Obama was a white man, he would not be in this position"? Well, imagine that flap playing out continuously over four days among hundreds of people with no other news to displace it, and you begin to see the problem.

Competing special interests are never a good thing, especially when the foundation of your party is built on them. Favor one, and you stand a good chance of alienating another. If you have any doubts on this, you might want to consider this poll.

The lengthy Democratic primary contest bodes well for Republican chances of holding the White House, a new poll suggests.

As Democratic Senators Barack Obama of Illinois and Hillary Clinton of New York slug it out for the nomination, many of their supporters -- at least in Pennsylvania, site of the next major primary -- aren't committed to the party's ticket in November, according to a Franklin & Marshall College Poll.

Among Obama supporters, 20 percent said they would vote for Sen. John McCain of Arizona, the Republican nominee, if Clinton beats their candidate for the nomination. Among Clinton supporters, 19 percent said they would support McCain in November if Obama is the Democratic nominee.

This poll took place in Pennsylvania, but still could be a valuable indicator nationwide. If this does happen, Obama supporters will say that Hillary destroyed the party for not bowing out and allowing a clear path for Obama to be the first black nominee. Equally, Hillary's supporters will say it was Obama that failed to understand she was entitled and was time for a woman to head the ticket. But in the end, it will be apparent that both were equally guilty. Both are power hungry politicians that know very little about the greater good, despite what they say in their speeches.

Blacks historically have shown they know how to stay home on Election Day, if they are disenchanted with their choices. Scorned women may have some stay home and some register a protest vote for McCain or an insignificant third party candidate that has no chance.

Either way it shows that at this juncture, the Democrats are in real trouble. Consider that in the end, it will be the super-delegates that decide the nomination. If Obama falters in the late stages due to Pastorgate and it is apparent that Hillary's numbers look better than Obama's when stacked against McCain's, they will have to make some hard choices if they want to win back the White House.

Personally, I think it's six one way, a half dozen another. Will they want to rest their cases on Obama despite his new negatives? (I don't care what image the MSM creates about Obama, he has some huge negatives among people that can think for themselves.) Or will they rest them on Hillary with the negatives she has been tagged with, for years?

Obama: Don't Call Me Liberal

From the IHT comes this report.

At the core of Senator Barack Obama's presidential campaign is a promise that he can transcend the starkly red-and-blue politics of the last 15 years, end the partisan and ideological wars, and build a new governing majority.

To achieve the change the country wants, he says, "we need a leader who can finally move beyond the divisive politics of Washington and bring Democrats, independents and Republicans together to get things done."

Sounds good to the ear. Looks good on paper too. But the article foes on to pose the question of the day:

But this promise leads, inevitably, to a question: Can such a majority be built and led by Obama, whose voting record was, by one ranking, the most liberal in the Senate last year?

Answer: It can't.

It's difficult to reconcile that Republicans are so disaffected that they would vote for someone that has the most liberal voting record (when he votes), when the bulk of what Sen. Obama stands for goes against their core beliefs. In fact, it's just not possible.

Granted, there are many disaffected Republicans, but they are not disaffected for the same reasons that Democrats are. Democrats hate George Bush, so anything he does is a GOP thing and worthy of castigation (even if he has shelled out more money to Africa for AIDS treatment). But Republicans aren't pleased, because George Bush is (in some cases) too liberal. He has spent money like a drunken sailor, consistent with the liberal code. There are even some that are mad because he didn't listen to McCain and employ the surge, at the outset.

This being the case, why would disaffected Republicans seek to seat a candidate that is even more liberal than George Bush and one that would pull the the plug on the surge, leaving the Iraqi nation vulnerable to Al-Qaida and Iran? Answer: They wouldn't.

Obama, in an interview, said that "a lot of these old labels don't apply anymore."

Well, if an animal is a duck, don't you call it a duck? Politics is no different. Sure, politics is more complicated than zoology, most of the time; but one that votes with other liberals is, (well, uh) liberal.

I don't mind people having their own beliefs, even if they are different than mine. But please, do not try to insult my intelligence by making me think that my displeasure with the President is cause to support someone that is counter to what I believe to be true. That's what Obama and his supporters are trying to do. In short, they want me to come over to their side and think like they do, because I think Bush hasn't handled things they way I think he should have.

Look folks, even before the Jeremiah Wright story and the "typical white woman" comment, Obama was weak on the issues and inexperienced. Now he wants to continue to push the rhetoric back to his homogeneous message, which is basically hope, change, and unity. He wants us to believe that if he's the only one who, if elected, has the ability to unite the country under one happy banner.

He's not considering that I do not want a President that will openly court those that are now threatening us, through unconditional talks. He isn't thinking about how people will react to higher taxes to fund more entitlement programs, to go with ones that already aren't working. He doesn't want to talk about the things that are rough, we wants to prophesy smooth things, through deceit. And he damned sure doesn't realize that many like me do not want race-baiting trouble makers like Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton to have any more of a role or influence, than the media gives them now.

So I ask you, how's he going to unite this nation, when so many disagree with him on so many issues?

Answer: He isn't, he won't and he can't.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

The PYY Bracket Brag

The NCAA Tourney Bracket is forming up. The first weekend of the annual ritual known as March Madness is over. Usually by this time, my brackets are decimated by now. But for some reason (probably because there isn't a lot of money on this one), they aren't looking so bad.

I had 22 left in after the first round. After the second round finished up today, I have 10 left.

Duke got the boot already, Georgetown is gone. I didn't have Duke going past West Virginia, but had The Hoyas going up against Kansas in the Elite Eight.

My biggest disappointment was Pitt. I had them going to the EE. I watched them win a very physical game against Georgetown in the Big East Tourney and thought sure they'd get past a mediocre Big Ten team, in Michigan State. Georgia let me down too. Every year there's one team with double digit losses that gets on a run and does some major damage in brackets everywhere, I thought that because they got on such a run in the SEC Tourney, they'd be the one. I miscalculated.

How about that Western Kentucky team? They are the team that can do some damage. I thought Drake would be still be in it, but WKU took care of that part of the bracket. The real sticky situation was not picking Butler to win today. I wanted them to, but I have seen Tennessee beat Memphis in the regular season and I figured they'd have enough to send the Bulldogs back to Indy empty.

Louisville looked good against Oklahoma, as did North Carolina against an extremely out-manned Arkansas. Stanford hasn't disappointed me, nor has UCLA ( I still have both playing). I still have TX, KS, Louisville, TN, Memphis, NC, WI, UCLA, WV, and Stanford in it.

Of the teams that are still in it, there are several that can win this thing. The consensus is NC will win it all, at least with Vitale and Company it is. I am not so sure, I don't think the Tar Heels can handle UCLA's relentless defensive pressure (and I also think Kansas and Texas have a good shot at beating them too).

At this point, anything can still happen. The NCAA Tourney is a funny thing, you cannot always go with the conventional wisdom, when picking winners.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Another Blast From The Past

When I was but a young lad, say the name Blondie and the comic strip came to mind. But today if you utter this name in public, visual images of a new wave band featuring a sexy blond chick named Deborah Harry will come to mind.

In the late 70s, I was introduced to this band at a time when I had not yet accepted the new wave/punk genre. as a valid art form. But as I listened to my roommate blast the tunes from the Plastic Letters LP, I got hooked. They weren't nearly as obnoxious as many of the punk bands of that time and I got to hear a lot of them when I was in Europe, where they were very popular.

I found them to have a very distinct sound and influenced heavily by pop music from the late 50s and early 60s. They also were very instrumental in bringing back a dance-able form of rock and roll, after the disco period had fizzled.

Here are a few of my favorite Blondie tunes, that can be found on You Tube.

From the Plastic Letters LP, here is the live version of (I Am Always Touched By Your) Presence, Dear:

Next up is a cut from the 1978 Parallel Lines release, Picture This:

Here is a three for one, Denis, Dreaming, and Union City Blue:

Also from the Parallel Lines LP comes my favorite Blondie song. Here is Sunday Girl:

As an added bonus, here a tune that Deborah Harry released solo, after the band broke up. It's called, I Want That Man:


Friday, March 21, 2008

Recommended Reading

To get some understanding about how many feel about the race card, I recommend reading Mustang's latest post.

I know of many people (black and white) that recognize it, when it's being played. Blacks that have worked hard to teach their children certain moral lessons are especially appalled, when they read how someone effectively used it to escape consequences. Equally, they are usually dismayed by the victim mentality that is promoted by the lucrative race-baiting industry, especially after they have worked so hard to achieve success (independent of government assistance, brought on by white-guilt).

I once knew of a dean of boys (high school) that was harder on black kids, than he ever was on the white kids. I pitied the black kid that tried to gain special favor from him, simply because they were of the same race. They got to hear a long lecture, mostly on how the white man didn't give him a thing and not to expect them to get anything, either. His thinking was such a simple thing. Once you earn something (i.e. education), it's yours to keep and no one can take it from you.

Jeremiah Wright Eating Breakfast With A "Dirty Rider"

Jeremiah Wright:

“Hillary is married to Bill, and Bill has been good to us. No he ain’t! Bill did us, just like he did Monica Lewinsky. He was riding dirty.”

Now, comes this picture, complete with the story behind it.

During one of the most difficult periods in the presidency of Bill Clinton, he addressed a group of clerics at an annual prayer breakfast in September 1998 just as the Starr report outlining his dalliance with Monica Lewinsky was about to be published.

Among those in attendance, was the Rev. Jeremiah Wright Jr., who is seen shaking hands with Mr. Clinton in a photograph provided today by the Obama campaign. Mr. Wright’s relationship with Senator Barack Obama, as his longtime pastor, has been the subject of considerable controversy in recent days because of incendiary excerpts of sermons Mr. Wright gave at their church, Trinity United Church of Christ, in Chicago.

In my view, there's nothing worse than a minister who hears a confession (sincere or not) from someone that has chosen to confide in them, and then preach about and make judgments on that person, from the pulpit (after the fact). Granted, it is not a written law in the Protestant world. But it one of the worst ethical lapses, a clergy can have and is definitely a sign of the worst kind of hypocrisy.

Obama trusted this man and exposed his family and children to him. So much for sound judgment.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Obama's Malady: The Bleeding Continues

Once again, obama needs to explain some things. Oh, he's trying. But he is not doing very well, of late. Here's what started the latest round of tap dancing, from Obama's Monday speech found on his website.

Speaking of Jeremiah Wright, he said:

I can no more disown him than I can my white grandmother – a woman who helped raise me, a woman who sacrificed again and again for me, a woman who loves me as much as she loves anything in this world, but a woman who once confessed her fear of black men who passed by her on the street, and who on more than one occasion has uttered racial or ethnic stereotypes that made me cringe.

I have no reason to doubt this is accurate, I know people that feel this way.

Most of them are older people that feel vulnerable, if for no other reason than they are old. But with the saturation by the media of all things negative, they really do not understand that it is not the race, but the socio-economic and psychological demographics, which are far more telling of the story. And believe you me, stereotypes are very hard to change, once they have been internalized.

For this, we can give a significant amount of credit and/or responsibility to the media. one that glorifies this kind of lifestyle to make money. In my opinion, shows that promote this kind image are not helping the problem. I am not for censorship, but common sense would dictate that better judgment should be shown in how race is presented.

Be that as it may, there are instances where we simply must pay attention. There are times when extra vigilance can be justified. Let's not forget what Jesse Jackson said some years ago, about being relieved to see he was being followed by a white person, because of the high rate of "black on black" crime.

So after some criticism, you could expect he would be asked about some things and Obama was asked to clarify. Here's what he said (emphasis is mine):

"The point I was making was not that my grandmother harbors any racial animosity, but that she is a typical white person. If she sees somebody on the street that she doesn't know - there's a reaction in her that's been bred into our experiences that don't go away and sometimes come out in the wrong way and that's just the nature of race in our society. We have to break through it. What makes me optimistic is you see each generation feeling less like that. And that's pretty powerful stuff"

It seems to me, by by trying to explain his earlier statement, he is getting deeper in the mire that is starting to look more and more like quicksand. Maybe, he's a bit uncomfortable being pressed, I don't know. But the larger point in this issue is as plain as the noses we have on our faces. Whites are instantly labeled racist or with "having racist attitudes and opinions", if they use the phrase " "typical black person". If it applies in that case, we must really apply it here.

There are many white people that aren't afraid of black people, because they are socially aware enough to understand that the images portrayed on TV are only accurate in certain socio-economic and psychological demographics. There are some racist white people and there those that aren't. The point is, the white community is no more homogeneous, than the black community. There are no "typical" anythings.

If he wasn't in enough turmoil, he is now going to be forced to explain the explanation. Meanwhile, his credibility is further eroding. He gets deeper and deeper, and the backtracking gets gets even more attention. So as you may guess, the Obama camp needs an event that will divert attention from an issue he is clearly not prepared to handle appropriately.

Presto, change-o, abracadabra and "poof", we have one.

Two state department contract workers have been fired, for accessing Obama's passport information.

Two State Department employees were fired recently and a third disciplined for improperly accessing electronic personal data on Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Barack Obama, Bush administration officials said today.

The officials, all contract workers, used their authorized computer network access to look up files within the department's consular affairs section, which processes and stores passport information, and read Mr. Obama's passport application and other records, in violation of department privacy rules, State Department spokesman Sean McCormack said.

Clearly this wasn't the right thing to do, no matter what the motive was. It is private information. Those that determined to be responsible have been fired or disciplined. Sounds like they have it under control, to me.

Hoping to capitalize, we have the first Obama campaign response:

The Obama campaign denounced the accessing as "an outrageous breach of security and privacy, even from an Administration that has shown little regard for either over the last eight years."

Spokesman Bill Burton said "our government’s duty is to protect the private information of the American people, not use it for political purposes. This is a serious matter that merits a complete investigation, and we demand to know who looked at Senator Obama’s passport file, for what purpose, and why it took so long for them to reveal this security breach."

Sounds pretty standard, but my question is, what possibly could be learned from the information that isn't already known? What kind of real damage can be done, politically, with the information? Most of the data, should already be known, unless it is of an extreme personal nature. It's not a bank account we are talking about here, nor is it a medical record.

The only reason we will see the outrage from the Obama camp is to deflect valid criticism from valid issues that Obama is failing to address, at this time. We need to have this discussion, but not with Obama and certainly not with those that he surrounds himself with.

And the bleeding continues. Stay tuned for vital signs and EKG interpretation.

(NRO and AC McCloud are covering these things too.)

Hillary In The Hoosier State

Barack Obama was in Plainfield (a suburb of Indianapolis) this past Saturday, Bill Clinton was in the state Tuesday. And today, Hillary started her rounds beginning with a visit to Terre Haute, a longtime den of Democratic politics and birthplace of Eugene V. Debs.

The Indianapolis Star covered this event.

Sen. Hillary Clinton began the first Indiana sweep of her presidential campaign this morning with a visit to a crowded diner in the hometown of Sen. Evan Bayh, one of the state’s most popular political figures and someone frequently mentioned as a possible running mate.

Bayh introduced Clinton, saying it had been about 40 years since Indiana had had a meaningful presidential campaign.

"It's about time," he said.

Very true. Indiana has its primaries in May, well after the nominations of both parties are usually decided. But this time around, the Democratic party is pretty evenly divided over who the best candidate should be in November and the state is in play.

Bayh said he wanted Clinton's trip to start in Terre Haute both because this is where he grew up and because the city, like Indiana, has both challenges and blessings.

The challenges include a struggling economy. Terre Haute’s unemployment rate is 6 percent, well above state and national levels.

The spirit of Eugene V. Debs is still alive and well and has been a huge obstacle to the economic growth of Terre Haute, for years. I can remember a picket line at a drug store chain when I lived there in the 80s, because the company successfully thwarted an attempt to unionize store clerks. (Yes, you read this correctly, a drug store.)

Today, there is still a large sector of the population that believes jobs should just fall into their laps.

Clinton said she is optimistic the nation can make needed changes.

However, she added, "It won't be easy."

To her credit, she at least understands (and communicates that understanding) that change doesn't come magically.

I do not agree with the majority of her views on how to effect change, mainly because I do not believe that the majority of Americans believe her brand of change is what is indicated. The idea that government should meet more of our needs is not what made this country so successful, over the years.
But, try telling this to the communities that think they have gotten a raw deal in the area of job losses, over the past two decades.

No company wants to move into an area that lost jobs, due to labor woes created by dealing with unreasonable unions.

News In Brief (And The Usual Opinionated Commentary)

Remember OBL?

With all of the fallout from the Rev. Jeremiah Wright's inflammatory racist and anti-American comments, there is a name that has been overlooked as of late. In this statement, he threatens Europe for the cartoons depicting the Muslim prophet Mohammed. And the Euros thought the lion would eat them last.

A New Twist

Rev. Wright is not the only one capable of inflammatory rhetoric from the pulpit. This would be considered very racist, if it were a white pastor. Warning: Very Incendiary

Another Obama Critic Surfaces

This is a bit more appropriate criticism of Obama and his use of white racism, as a weak excuse for Rev. Wrong's maladaptive coping mechanisms. The pastor that penned these words is also black, but he is not supporting Obama for some very different reasons than Rev. Manning.

McCain Lead Widens

The Wright controversy has done some damage to Obama, as is evidenced by this latest poll from Rasmussen. Mainstream voters are now beginning to see that Obama is not all he has been portrayed in the adoring MSM.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Ask LA

Dear LA,

I had this peculiar dream the other night. I dreamed that I was talking to Ted Kennedy about implementing the fair tax. He did engage me a little, but kept looking at his watch and looked as if he had something more important to do, other than talking to me about a concern I had.

What do you think it meant?

Dreaming in Mass.

Dear Dreaming,

It means he didn't give a damn about you or what you thought. It was all about him and what he wanted, as was evidenced by his lack of interest. He could have been looking at his watch to see if it was getting close to happy hour at the local cocktail lounge. You would do well to go to counseling and try to understand why you and millions of others in your state keep insisting on re-electing this embarrassing drunk, to the Senate.



Monday, March 17, 2008

Defending Racism 101

Those that cry racism at the drop of a hat, yet are guilty of the same thing in reverse, are (in my opinion) the most hypocritical people of all. These are they that can say whatever they want because of the so-called oppression put upon them by white people, throughout the course of history. Slavery was ended years ago, but there are some members of a radical element that will not let it go.

Take the wrongful Rev. Jeremiah Wright's hateful and bigoted statements that have been under much scrutiny, for instance. There is no excusing them, there is no spinning them, there is no explanation that will make them anything but: Racist, hateful, and divisive. Yet, this past Sunday, the new pastor of the Trinity United Church of Christ has found cause to spend a Sunday sermon justifying and defending, the unjust and indefensible.

Let's examine some of what the new spiritual leader to Barack Obama, Rev. Otis Moss III, had to say yesterday:

Nearly three weeks before the 40th commemorative anniversary of the murder of the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., the Reverend Dr. Jeremiah A. Wright Jr.’s character is being assassinated in the public sphere because he has preached a social gospel on behalf of oppressed women, children and men in America and around the globe.

Invoking Martin Luther King's name is usually a given here. But having lived thought the King era, I cannot remember Dr. King ever using such inflammatory rhetoric, nor could I imagine him taking a page out of the speech book from Louis Farrakhan. Dr. King had a dream, not an indictment on the government (or the white man, in general). He had a stated objective of equality, not empowerment for the specific purpose of making the white man pay.

You can read the rest of the sermon as it is printed. But the most disturbing part of the article linked is where Rev. Moss told his congregation to not give any interviews to the reporters, who were present at the service.

But Moss was well aware that he was hosting some guests. At least a dozen reporters sat in the pews, taking notes on the services. Moss asked them to be respectful and his congregants not to grant any interviews.

"Some people, looking for their 20 minutes of fame," Moss teased his flock, "No interviews."

One must ask the question, why not? If the media has it all wrong about this congregation and its leadership, why wouldn't the members themselves be able to effectively communicate this? This kind of no contact policy is consistent with cults.

No folks, the bottom line here is this: Jeremiah Wright, Otis Moss III, and countless others that preach divisive religion, all have the right to do so. It is a free country and they have the right to free speech, as any of us do. But we, as citizens, also have the right to refute this kind of hateful prose and expose it for what it truly is.

And to those grace this blog from time to time that think that the white man has not been made to pay for his crimes of over a hundred years ago, let me offer you this. How about we dig up the rotted corpses of all of the slave owners throughout history, and put them all on trial. If convicted, they can face life imprisonment or lethal injection. Would that make you feel better?

I never owned slaves, I have never adhered to the racist doctrine of separatism, and I have nothing to fear. I have treated people from all races and nationalities with the utmost respect they deserve, until they do something stupid enough to lose that respect. And I must say that I am tired of the invocation of the old slavery arguments.

Even more important is Obama's choice to remain a member of this kind of organization for 20 years and the audacity he has shown in telling us, he never heard Wright make inflammatory statements. Sugar coat it how ever you want, It is what it is, and you will be hard pressed to convince intelligent people to believe otherwise.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

As The Blogosphere Goes....

Here are a few interesting things to note in the blogosphere this fine Sunday morning:

Clinton Supporters Boycott Daily Kos

Obama wants a civil discourse within the Democratic party and the nation. But as we have seen from his supporters, there is anything but going on. It is now common knowledge that Obama's pastor, Rev. Jeremiah Wright, is a man of hate and and hostile rhetoric. Now, we are seeing the blogs that support Obama, like the Daily Kos, alienating more people.

Wright Leaves Obama Campaign

Obama's racist minister has left the African American Religious Leadership Committee in the campaign. Wright's presence is one thing. But I wonder, how many past candidates have utilized such a committee?

Obama Attempts To Distance Himself From Wright

Nice try, but is it a little too late for mainstream America?

From Obama's statement comes this area worth some scrutiny:

The statements that Rev. Wright made that are the cause of this controversy were not statements I personally heard him preach while I sat in the pews of Trinity or heard him utter in private conversation.

Sounds good, if you are naive or a hypocritical spinster. But that's not exactly true. In fact, let's take a look at what Rich Lowry has found from Obama's book.

China Crushing Tibetan Protests

China should walk gingerly here. If they crack down with brutal force, there may be a huge boycott of the Olympics, a la the 1980 Moscow games. It would be a shame to waste all that money and have rich nations that can boost an economy, stay home.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Another Blast From The Past

This weekend, I am in the midst of a vast home improvement scheme that was drawn up by Mrs. Sunsett. As result of this, there is no real theme and very little commentary.

Here a few songs from the past, hopefully there will be something for everyone.

Frank Sinatra - That's Life

Connie Francis - Who's Sorry Now

The Association - Everything That Touches You

The Fifth Dimension - Age Of Aquarius


Thursday, March 13, 2008

Recommended Reading

Andrew Greeley has written some concerns about the Democratic Party and its current location, which is lodged somewhere between a rock and a hard place.

Once again the Democrats seem determined to steal defeat from the jaws of victory.

Reading on, you will find his reasoning to be with some (if not much) merit. When special interest is pitted against another special interest or a traditional minority against another, one of them will lose. Neither one will be happy and may simply take their ball and go home.

The NY Times has a way of stirring the pot these days, as is evidenced by their further wedging of the race issue in the Democratic race.

The recent performance by the Times is well-known as they struggle for some kind of relevance, in a market that is watching them destroy what little reputation they have left. First, there was an attack on John McCain that was unsubstantiated. Now, there is the exploitation of Geraldine Ferraro and the spin on her recent comments about Barack Obama.

The Democrats, with help from the media, are headed for certain disaster; and they are going to need a miracle to unite this party after the convention, if they don't stop playing the cards they are currently playing.

Once again, Victor Davis Hanson has another column that resonates truth, logic, and rational thought. Be sure to give it a read when you get a moment.

As an aside, I will be doing some home improvement projects the next few days, so posting may be light. But do check in, as I will do what I can, with what time I will have. And as always, many thanks to all that read this blog.