Sunday, August 31, 2008

The Real Story On Palin's 'Negatives'

It's increasingly obvious that the Left is scared witless of Sarah Palin, and the attacks have already begun.

Here are some of the Left's hurriedly marshalled talking points - and the truth.

"She's totally inexperienced, especially in international affairs and this reflects on McCain's judgment, putting somebody like that a heart beat from the presidency."

I mean, how experienced is the Democrat top half of the ticket? And what kind of judgment does nominating him show? Aside from that neat turn around, the fact is that Sarah Palin has more executive experience than anyone on either ticket.She's run her own commercial fishing business, spent two terms as mayor of Wasilla, served on Alaska's Oil and Gas board, commanded Alaska's National Guard and served as Alaska's governor for two years. And during that time, she's done more than just serve - she's balanced budgets, cut taxes and government spending, engaged in ethics reform, tangled with Big Oil to get it to rebate more money to the state, overseen spending on infrastructure and negotiations with the Canadian government over a $40M gas pipeline, among other things.

John McCain has at least run a naval squadron, served with distinction in our military ( where leadership has a lot more life and death implications than most political posts), served two terms in the House and has been in the forefront of the senate during his tenure.

Obama's only accomplishments are as follows: editor of the Harvard Law Review, for which he did not write a single article; his time as a 'community organizer' which essentially means he worked at helping people like Tony Rezco bilk the government out of money to build dysfunctional slums that are currently falling apart because of the shoddy construction and planning; a stint as a college professor where he and his colleague Bill Ayers worked together on an 'education' project that wasted over $100 million of taxpayer dollars without any tangible result; two terms in the Illinois legislature where he accomplished nothing of substance and even had bills created by others attributed to him to fatten his thin resume; and his single term in the US senate, where he started running for the presidency almost from day one and in which he's established a record for voting 'present' more than any other senator in US history. And oh yes, he's written two books and delivered a few speeches.

Biden likewise has never run anything in his life. Aside from a brief stint as an attorney, he's spent all his life as a senator. And while he's had a lot of experience dealing with foreign policy, in Biden's case experience doesn't necessarily equal expertise. If Joe Biden had his way, Saddam Hussein would not only still be in power but would be controlling Iraq and Kuwait's oil and be in a position to threaten the Emirates and shut down the oil flow through the Persian Gulf.Biden was also a major supporter of the decisions we made regarding Kossovo,starting withe the Clinton Administration and the fallout of that decision has only now become evident.

"She's anti-Israel, and she endorsed Pat Buchanan for president."

This horse manure is being peddled by the National Jewish Democratic Committee and especially by Obama's foul little shill Robert Wexler (d-his mother-in-laws' couch)who called Palin's nomination 'an insult to Jews.'

The truth? Palin's 'endorsement' consisted of telling someone that she'd be willing to wear a Buchanan for president button 'just out of politeness' when he visited Wasilla while she was mayor during the campaign!

People who vouch for Palin's pro-Israel leanings include Israeli Foreign Ministry official David Akov, who served as Israel's Consul General for the Pacific Northwest Region, the head of Chabad in Anchorage Rabbi Yosef Greenberg, Alaskan Republican Jewish Coalition member Terry Gorlick, who knows Palin well and has worked with her on several issues, Alaska's AIPAC chairman David Gottstein, and Anne Lieberman from Boker Tov Boulder.

On the other hand, Obama's endorsement by known Jew haters and his consorting with them is pretty well known. As are a number of his questionable views on Israel...not to mention advisers on foreign affairs to his campaign like Susan Rice, Dan Kurzer, Robert Malley and Zbigniew Brezhinski.

"Sarah Palin's latest kid isn't hers...she's covering up for an out-of-wedlock birth for her teenage daughter."

This whopper comes from the fine people at places like Daily Kos and Democratic Underground.The sole basis of it is the fact that the daughter in question spent a couple of months out of school because she contracted mono, and the fact that Governor Palin's pregnancy didn't leave her looking especially large and that she was back at her desk a matter of days after giving birth.

Aside from the fact that there are plenty of pictures of the governor where she's obviously pregnant if not especially large (frequently the case with athletic women), the hospital records and the fact that she's breastfeeding, there's the fact that the odds of a forty plus woman giving birth to a Down's Syndrome baby as opposed to a teenage girl is over fifty times greater.

"She's under investigation for an ethics violation and abuse of power."

One of our readers, 61northak sent me a number of links on this one, and as always, I preferred to check this story out rather than simply putting unvetted links on the site.

Here's the real deal, courtesy of Mataharley over at Flopping Aces.

What the 'ethics violation' concerns is whether Governor Palin improperly fired Public Safety Commissioner Walt Monegan because he refused yield to pressure to fire state trooper Mike Wooten, who was involved in a messy divorce and custody battle with her sister.

Wooten's a real beaut. In addition to tasering his own 11-year-old stepson son, being involved in domestic violence and being caught driving drunk in his patrol car, he also threatened the Palins and especially Palin's father, who Wooten said would "eat an f**king lead bullet" if he tried to get his daughter a lawyer for the divorce case.

He was also found guilty, in a subsequent investigation, of being involved in a bar fight, making racist remarks about Native Alaskans ( Palin's husband Todd is half Yupik) abuse of state resources ( use of gas credit cards), and illegal hunting activities, a serious offense in Alaska and one of the laws Wooten was sworn to enforce.For these activities, he was sentenced, believe it or not, to a mere five days suspension after the union protested.

What we have here, obviously, is a loose cannon who would have been fired in most jurisdictions and not allowed to run amok with a badge and gun.

The Palins made a number of documented complaints about Wooten, back when the death threats and the other incidents occurred, back in 2005, before Palin was elected governor.

Here's where the so-called abuse of power angle comes in. Todd Palin was apparently ordered to talk to Monegan about Wooten by no less than Special Agent Bob Cockrell, head of the governor's security detail to discuss Wooten with Walt Monegan, as Cockrell felt Wooten presented a credible threat to Governor Palin’s safety. And Cockrell, now protecting his sixth Alaskan governor has com eout openly and called Monegan's allegations false.

Monegan further says that others around Palin `applied pressure' but admits Palin herself never said a word to him on the subject. The only other person so far that's surfaced as applying anything like the kind of pressure Monegan is talking about is director of boards and commissions Frank Bailey..who mentioned the subject to not to Monegan but to Ketchikan-based Lieutenant Rodney Dial, and in no way intimated he would be fired if he didn't get rid of Wooten. And Bailey admits that he made the call on his own.

According to Palin, Monegan, a cabinet official who served at the pleasure of the governor and was appointed by Palin was fired for problems in his complying with a budget cut for the troopers, department morale, failure to meet recruiting goals, and problems with bootlegging enforcement. She had every right to fire him. And here's another morsel as to how trumped up this nonsense is..if Palin wanted to get Wooten fired, why didn't she push for that back in 2005 when the original complaints surfaced?

And since complaints were already filed and being investigated by Wootren's immediate superior, Colonel Julia Grimes, why would even need to pressure Monegan over firing Wooten? Why not go directly to Grimes? And if getting Wooten fired was what she wanted why the two-and-a-half-year time lag before firing Monegan?

What this is is a vendetta by a disgruntled political appointee, aided and abetted by a man Palin beat out for the governor's race in the primary, Andrew Halcro.

Expect to hear more of it as the Left magnifies it out of all proportion, but compared with a certain presidential candidate's associations with people like Tony Rezco and Mazen Asbahi , it's not even worth mentioning.

If that's the best the Angry Left attack dogs can come up with, I wouldn't worry.

The truth will set you free...selah.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Classy - Dems Pray For Hurricane To Hit During GOP Convention

First, we have the former National Chairman of the Democratic National Committee Don Fowler and Congressman John Spratt of South Carolina ranking on Sarah Palin and joking that the hurricane is a sign from G-d against the Republicans...

And then of course we have Michael Moore and Keith Olbermann, saying the Hurricane Coming During GOP Convention is 'Proof There Is a God in Heaven'...

Ho ho...what a joke...New Orleans getting hit with another hurricane.

These foul cockroaches and others like them were perfectly happy to use the Katrina disaster - exacerbated and magnified by Democrat Mayor Ray Nagin and Democrat Governor Kathleen Bianco's malfeasance - for political weaponry and leverage. Then, as now, they could care less about the human toll as long as the all-important Agenda is served.

Remember that when you vote in November.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Ice Skating Chimps!!!

You absolutely won't believe this!!

Have a great weekend...

Hat Tip, ace

Sarah Palin's Acceptance Speech..And She's On Fire

And McCain's intro isn't bad either....

Watcher's council Results, 08/29/08

The Council has spoken! A complete rundown of the voting tallies is here.

This week's winners are:

Among the Council members, the winner was The Razor - Russia - The New Cold War a well written post who's central premise I didn't quite agree with.

In second place was Wolf Howling - What Does Joe Biden Offer To Obama? an indepth analysis of th eDemocrat's VP choice.

Also getting votes were Soccer Dad - Charm city charm offensive and Bookworm Room - The AP shows surprising honesty when it comes to Joe Biden

In the Non-Council category, the winner Michael Totten/Middle East Journal - The Truth About Russia In Georgia Winner a post that was 180 degrees away from the Council winner in its central thesis!

In second place was my nominee, Seraphic Secret - The Terrorist is Still Dead a superb piece that I recommend to anyoine who wants a true understanding of what Zionism feels like inside.

As always, congratulations not only to the winners, but to all the participants.

Why Sarah Palin Was A Stunningly Good Choice

John McCain just picked the absolutely best possible choice as his running mate, and the Democrats and their allies in the dinosaur media are still reeling in shock.

It has all but knocked the Chosen One's speech at the Invesco Field Temple, put together by Britanny Spear's staging company off the front pages.

Who is this woman?

Sarah Palin is a no-holds-barred small government conservative. As governor of Alaska, she took on the political establishment of her own party to run on a reform and fiscal responsibility platform, first for mayor of Wasilla and later to capture the governor's chair from Frank Murkowski.

Once in she slashed spending, cut taxes and passed a landmark ethics reform bill. Among other things, she vetoed Ted Steven's famous 'bridge to nowhere' that would have cost taxpayers $400 million dollars and sold the governor's jet on E-Bay, cliaming it was wasteful.

Currently, she's one of the most popular governors in America, with an approval rating of over 80%.

She's also an expert on energy policy. In 2003, before she was governor,she was appointed to the Alaska Oil and Gas Conservation Commission and within a year forced the resignation of a fellow commissioner on an ethics violation. That commissioner just also happened to be chairman of Alaska's Republican Party.

And she was also commander of Alaska's National Guard.

She supports the idea of America using it's oil resources, including drilling in ANWR, and this is probably a signal that McCain has finally come around on that issue.

She describes herself as a 'hockey mom', has five kids - one of whom will be serving in Iraq next month - is an unabashed patriot and a crack shot and lifetime member of the NRA who grew up hunting moose with her father.Among her other accomplishments, she led her high school basketball team to a state championship, where she go t her nickname 'Sarah Barracuda' because of her aggressive play.

She a staunch pro-lifer who lives her principles. When told during her last pregnancy that her child was likely to be born with Down's Syndrome, she refused to have an abortion and after the child's birth said "When I look into his eyes, I see perfection."

She's married to Todd Palin, who's part Yu'pik, spent his life working in Alaska's oil fields and fisheries and is also famous in his own right in Alaska for winning this year's Tesoro Iron Dog, the longest, roughest snowmobile race in the world.

What we have here is a no nonsense, intelligent woman from small town roots with solid conservative principles who's absolutely not afraid to get in people's faces and champion her views, as Larry Kudlow discovered when he interviewed her.

No wonder the Democrats are petrified....I think we have the makings of an American Margaret Thatcher here.

It's Sarah Palin!

John McCain has picked his running mate...and as I hoped, it's Alaska governor Sarah Palin.

More on this later

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Running On Empty -The Speech

I just finished listening to Obama at the Parthenon in Invesco Field.

Aside from the ridiculous Greek Temple setting, my first impression was - is that all there is?

What we heard from Elmer Gantry with a tan is the same old stuff...hope and change and lot of pie in the sky by and least, once the coronation happens. Mixed of course,with a number of out and out prevarications and untruths.

Even worse was that for all the hype and frenzy, the speech wasn't the sort to bring a tingle to anyone's leg but the already converted. Maybe it was the stadium setting, but it lacked the soaring quality of some of the Chosen One's earlier utterances.

Or maybe we're all just simply getting wise to the game.

A transcript is here, for those of you with too much time on your hands, but I'll merely address some of the more obvious nonsense so you don't have to put on big boots and wade through it.

The speech starts out with the usual salutations then goes right into Obama's standard meme...America's broken and only government can fix it:

We meet at one of those defining moments - a moment when our nation is at war, our economy is in turmoil, and the American promise has been threatened once more.

Tonight, more Americans are out of work and more are working harder for less. More of you have lost your homes and even more are watching your home values plummet. More of you have cars you can't afford to drive, credit card bills you can't afford to pay, and tuition that's beyond your reach.

These challenges are not all of government's making. But the failure to respond is a direct result of a broken politics in Washington and the failed policies of George W. Bush.{...} week, in Minnesota, the same party that brought you two terms of George Bush and Dick Cheney will ask this country for a third. And we are here because we love this country too much to let the next four years look like the last eight. On November 4th, we must stand up and say: "Eight is enough."

I can't imagine how we survive with an economy that actually grew in real terms during the first two quarters of this year. And as for that tuition the Chosen one suggesting that colleges lower their tuitions by perhaps reducing the hefty salaries and perks paid to administrators and professors and cutting back on certain frivolous majors like ethnic studies and the so-called peace and justice studies? Some how, I don't think so. And the bit about cars they can't afford to drive - would that have anything to do with the Democrat's opposition to domestic drilling or building gasoline refineries here in America?

Now, I don't believe that Senator McCain doesn't care what's going on in the lives of Americans. I just think he doesn't know. Why else would he define middle-class as someone making under five million dollars a year? How else could he propose hundreds of billions in tax breaks for big corporations and oil companies but not one penny of tax relief to more than one hundred million Americans? How else could he offer a health care plan that would actually tax people's benefits, or an education plan that would do nothing to help families pay for college, or a plan that would privatize Social Security and gamble your retirement?

Let's see, where should I start? With Obama's silly deliberate misreading of McCain's '$5 million a year' quote from Saddleback? Or with Obama's trembling rage of over tax breaks for corporations, something he himself proposes to do later on in The Speech, while ignoring McCain's endorsement of further tax cuts? Or perhaps I should comment on Obama's characterization of McCain's dislike to turn America's health care into England's National Health where people wait years for an operation?

The deliberate lies on education and social security are absolutely stunning.Again, is Obama talking about colleges and universities cutting costs so they can lower tuitions? And what about school choice,so working class Americans can afford to send their kids to the same kind of fancy private schools he and his bitter half do? No, that's not what Obama has in mind...because it would mean going against one of his core constituencies,the teacher's unions and the educrats.

As for Social Security, it has been Obama and his fellow Democrats that have kept any sort of meaningful reform from happening,insuring that as the boomers retire and the crunch comes,the medicine needed will be a lot harsher to take.

Unlike John McCain, I will stop giving tax breaks to corporations that ship jobs overseas, and I will start giving them to companies that create good jobs right here in America.

I will eliminate capital gains taxes for the small businesses and the start-ups that will create the high-wage, high-tech jobs of tomorrow.

I will cut taxes - cut taxes - for 95% of all working families. Because in an economy like this, the last thing we should do is raise taxes on the middle-class.

And for the sake of our economy, our security, and the future of our planet, I will set a clear goal as President: in ten years, we will finally end our dependence on oil from the Middle East.

Washington's been talking about our oil addiction for the last thirty years, and John McCain has been there for twenty-six of them. In that time, he's said no to higher fuel-efficiency standards for cars, no to investments in renewable energy, no to renewable fuels. And today, we import triple the amount of oil as the day that Senator McCain took office.

Now is the time to end this addiction, and to understand that drilling is a stop-gap measure, not a long-term solution. Not even close.

As President, I will tap our natural gas reserves, invest in clean coal technology, and find ways to safely harness nuclear power. I'll help our auto companies re-tool, so that the fuel-efficient cars of the future are built right here in America. I'll make it easier for the American people to afford these new cars. And I'll invest 150 billion dollars over the next decade in affordable, renewable sources of energy - wind power and solar power and the next generation of biofuels; an investment that will lead to new industries and five million new jobs that pay well and can't ever be outsourced.

Hmmm...protectionism, anyone? Unless the Chosen One is planning to magically conjure money out of the air to rebuild factories here in America that pay American style wages while somehow bypassing the high taxes,red tape and environmental regs that have businesses shifting there manufacturing overseas, he's blowing smoke. And by the way, let's remember that that 5% he's talking about pay the vast majority of the taxes and not only is taxing them out of existence unlikely to lead to creating those great jobs Obama is yammering about, but it will cost jobs, thus leading to even less revenue for the gimmees the Chosen One is promising.

Not only that, but taxing 'the rich' out of existence isn't going to generate enough money to pay for the spending Obama has in mind. So that '5%' , along with the definition of who is 'rich'is likely to grow substantially.

As for his remarks on energy, we once again see Obama promising a magic bean to eliminate fossil fuels, except natural gas...which is a lot more volatile to transport than crude oil. As for biofuels, they're already responsible for markedly higher food prices. So much for Obama's concern with the lifestyle of everyday Americans!

I also wonder how he could tout energy self-sufficiency and nuclear power with a straight face, when it is he and his party that have prevented any progress on either.

On the foreign policy front, Obama made the journey from the merely farcical to high comedy, invoking JFK and FDR as proof that `Democrats know how to defend this country.'

John Kennedy's record on foreign policy is fairly mixed, from the botched Bay of Pigs invasion and being the first president to allow a breach in the Monroe Doctrine as low points and the Alliance For Progress and Berlin as high points. And Franklin Roosevelt's actions to make the country secure after Pearl Harbor make George Bush's policies for domestic security after 9/11 - the ones today's Democrats routinely denounce as 'fascism'- look positively benign by comparison.

Neither man would be welcome in todays Democrat party - just ask Zell Miller or Joe Lieberman.

Obama also parrots the usual line that Iraq made us 'take our eyes off the real war in Afghanistan' if al-Qaeda are the only ones we're fighting, and as if occupying Afghanistan in force while ignoring the global jihad elsewhere is going to do anything to win this war.

And I particularly liked this line, coming from someone who refused to condemn MoveOn's 'General Betray Us' ad and who voted every time - when he voted at all- to sabotage our men and women under fire by trying to starve them of funds needed to
supply them in the field:

As Commander-in-Chief, I will never hesitate to defend this nation, but I will only send our troops into harm's way with a clear mission and a sacred commitment to give them the equipment they need in battle and the care and benefits they deserve when they come home.

Simply the height of cynicism and dissembling...but then, that could be said about most of the speech.

The Latest McCain Ad...Simply Devastating

This one runs after the Obamassiah finishes his Greek Temple rites tonight.

Short Takes: Worth Noting, 08/27/08

Short takes is my semi-daily way of cramming a lot into a small space for you..kind of like the young gentleman above is doing! Here's a rundown of some of today's items of interest for Joshua's Army:

*Obama Needs to Take a Stand on Race - Juan Williams in the Wall Street Journal writes another superb column on the Chosen One's lack of candor. He really is going to have to watch it if he doesn't want his dinosaur media membership card revoked!

*China's Uncertain Future - Heritage Foundation - Is China the new number one? Dazzled by the Olympics, the leftards at the Guardian and our own domestic variety like the odious NYT columnist Tom Friedman, write that it's game over and the US had better get used to being a second class nation and liking it.

The Heritage Foundation, as usual, provides some sanity in the mix and includes some boring things like statistics and facts to show that Friedman and his ilk may have missed a few things, no matter how many Chinese drum and move in unison.

* The Swiss Government has taken an official positon against an initiative banning the construction of Islamic minarets in Switzerland. The initiative goes to a referendum vote in two months, and is backed by the Swiss People's Party, which does not sit as part of the government but is the strongest in the country in terms of seats.

*The new ’moderate’ Turkey -Robert Ellis in The IHT reports on how the Islamist Erdogan government in Turkey is gradually stifling opposition and free speech.

*John McCain is apparently preparing a rebuttal ad to be aired in response to Barack Obama's acceptance speech tonight...this could get interesting. Will he announce his running mate?

* Speaking of the GOP Fox is reporting that Hurricane Gustav may delay the GOP Convention Plans if it hits the Gulf States with any force. McCain’s campaign suggested that the Republicans could postpone their upcoming national convention in St. Paul if Gustav makes landfall over the weekend. Wise decision.

Obama Campaign Threatens Talk Radio Station

The latest target in the sites of Team Obama is award winning journalist Stanley Kurtz as the campaign threatened a talk radio station in an attempt to keep a so-called 'right-wing hatchet man' off the air. Kurtz, as you'll remember, just happens to be the journalist investigating the ties between Obama and Leftist ex-terrorist Bill Ayers though the Annenburg Challenge program by going through the archives at the University of Chicago. Just a coincidence...or more evidence that there's something there Obama really doesn't want the American people finding out. Hmmmm...over $100M of the taxpayer's money spent with no accounting and no discernable improvement in the Chicago public schools...there might just be a story there.

"WGN radio is giving right-wing hatchet man Stanley Kurtz a forum to air his baseless, fear-mongering terrorist smears," Obama's campaign wrote in an e-mail to supporters. "He's currently scheduled to spend a solid two-hour block from 9:00 to 11:00 p.m. pushing lies, distortions, and manipulations about Barack and University of Illinois professor William Ayers."

Oh,by the way, you can listen to the interview with Kurtz here: WGN Radio - Extension 720 Unabridged - 720 WGN - 8-27-08. Th eObama campaign was invited to have a spokesperson appear on the show and declined, but it's obvious the campaign mustered a lot of Obama-ites to call in and they're most entertaining...if a little incoherent at times .

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Weekend Monkey - Dems Officially nominate Obama And Hillary Gets Her Face Rubbed In It

Hideyho, Primates! Hoo, was it a stinker today....I wouldn't have believed it if I hadn't seen it with my own eyes.

My Democrats officially nominated Barack Obama as their leader today, following the traditional roll call of the states...which was as untraditional as they could make it, complete with a nasty twist of the knife for Hillary.

Normally, the roll calls go something like this: "The State of Ohio casts 55 votes for Senator Hillary Clinton and 20 votes for Barack Obama!"

This time, they stopped the roll call at New Mexico ( avoiding big states like New York, Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Ohio that went bigtime for Hillary) and New Mexico yielded to Illinois without voting. Then Mayor Daley of Chicago yielded to New York...where they gave Hillary the job of moving to nominate Obama 'by acclamation.'

I mean, talk about twisting the knife! I actually felt sorry for her...for a minute or two.

Things must be pretty bleak in the Obama camp if they were too worried to risk at least one full roll call. And Hillary's people ain't gonna be pleased..the whole reason for this charade is that they were supposed to have their voices heard..instead, they've just been dissed big time, and so has she, an dI think that's gonna end up being a big mistake for Obama Yo' Mama later on.

Mr. Bill speaks later tonight. He's already pissed off because they shoved him outta prime time,in between my ex-pal John Kerry and Bill Richardson, who the Clintons really hate, because he jumped ship to shill for Obama. Plus Biden debuts as the Donkey pitbull tonight.

This could get interesting...

UPDATE #1 - Just finished listening to Mr.Bill. Damn good speech, actually. Went over the Good Old Days of the Clinton years, and came out pretty strongly for Obama, made a point of saying he's ready to be president. I wonder,what were the Clintons offered? Or are they just positioning themselves for 2012? I betcha both of them end up voting for McCain on election day out of spite.

Update #2-My ex-pal, that loser John Kerry was just on. Really ripping McCain, accusing him of flip flopping,being dishonest, part of the past....the sheeples here are loving it,but I remember they weren't so fond of Kerry after they found out he squirreled away $15M out of the campaign funds for his own PAC in a close election...

UPDATE#3 - Biden's up...I can't believe how labored he sounds.Yakking about his blue collar roots, class warfare stuff, a little massaging of the he's going on about how John McCain is more of the same,poor judgment compared to Obama on foreign policy, lotsa drivel about the future.He's getting the big 'O',but this is lame. This is supposed to be the new Democratic pitbull? Jeesh!Even Kerry was better at savaging McCain..

Watcher's Council Nominations, 8/27/08

Once again,it's time for a tasty slice of some of the best of the blogosphere, the Watcher's Council.

Every week, the Watcher's Council members nominate two posts each, one of their own and one from outside the group for consideration by the whole Council.

As you know, our infamous leader,the Watcher of Weasels retired and is now our leader emeritus, but our brand spankin' new site is up, courtesy of our new Watcher,Terry Trippany and a full list of entries, including the non-Council ones can be found here.

And remember, Please change your bookmarks.

So..let's see what we've got this week:

1.Joshua Pundit - Biden Off More Than He Can Chew- I have to admit it..I found Barack Obama's pick of Joe Biden as a running mate absolutely delicious!If nothing else,we're in for som eabsolutely side splitting ads and gaffes.

As I demonstrate, the idea that Biden will help with foreign policy gravitas, Catholics or white blue collar voters is ludicrous,but I also analyze what the choice of Biden actually means in terms of the campaign.

2.The Glittering Eye - The 2008 Beijing Olympics- This week Dave Schuler looks at the Beijing Olympics..the real and the unreal, and draws his conclusions on whether China achieved its goals.

3.Soccer Dad - Charm city charm offensive - The Obama campaign is devoting a lot of energy towards trying to keep as much of the Jewish vote as possible this election on the Democrat plantation- the denial of the podium at the convention to ex-president and anti-Semite Jimmy Carter was one example. However, there are a number of reasons why Jews (or anyone else) who regards themselves as pro-Israel ought to be very wary of voting for Obama this November, and Soccer Dad recounts many of them here.

4.Bookworm Room - The AP shows surprising honesty when it comes to Joe Biden Ms. Bookworm likewise reflects on the choice of Joe Biden as the Democratic Vice Presidential Nominee,expressing surprise at a number of AP articles that stray off the dinosaur media plantation to create accurate profiles of the candidate

In passing, I would mention that one of the writers Ms. Bookworm cites, Ron Fournier is now being routinely referred to as a 'Republican mole' at places like HuffPost and Daily Kos, among the more polite terms used. In reality, he's been a reliably liberal political writer for the AP for over twenty years.

5.The Razor - Russia - The New Cold War Scott has an interesting post this week about the possibility of a new Cold War with Russia and the possible reasons for Russia's actions in Georgia.

6.Wolf Howling - What Does Joe Biden Offer To Obama? - GW attempts to answer the question by analyzing Biden's record with his usual detail and fine analysis.

7.Colossus of Rhodey - NBC’s Andrea Mitchell Thinks Joe Biden is ‘Not Part of Washington’ Hube takes exception to a couple of dinosaur media talking heads contention that Biden isn't part of the DC establishment.

8.Rhymes With Right - Not Every POW Supports McCain Greg found one, Phillip Butler...and proceeds to deconstruct Butler's arguments against a McCain presidency.

9.Cheat-Seeking Missiles - North Coast - Day 5: Bookworm Revealed! Laer gives us a charming bit of travelogue..enlivened with a full frontal shot of Ms. Bookworm!!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Weekend Monkey At The DNC - Hillary's Big Night

Hideyho, primates...this has been an interesting night , it pretty much all belongs to Hillary and her big speech.

Mark Warner did the keynote, and called this "a race for the future', but he was pretty low key about attacking McCain. After all, he's running for Senate in Virginia, where there's a ton of military families.

He's about the only one who did. Almost everybody else tonight concentrated on McCain attacks, but in a weird way...the stuff seemed mainly geared towards quickie soundbites, rather than anything serious, almost as if people like Karen Sebelius were reading scripted lines, doing their bit and moving on rather than trying to actually make a real impact like up and coming pols normally do when they speak at the convention.

I think that was deliberate,to pave the way for the main event.The Obama people wanted everything focused on Hillary tonight.

Finally Chelsea came on, to introduce another of those Hollywood-type videos on her mom...I think they called it 'Homage to Hillary' or something. About what you'd expect.

And then the Big Girl made her entrance.

She did what was expected of her, almost like it was a duty...and it's pretty obvious that her speech was vetted by the Obama campaign pretty thoroughly.

She made a huge pitch for party unity, and got off the best soundbite of the night saying, "No way. No How. No McCain."

That had to have come directly from Obama's campaign gorillas, and I guarantee it will be a campaign spot.

It was a good speech, and I'm sure the Obama people are mucho happy with it, but in a weird way it was kinda unbalanced and unnatural.This was her audience tonight and they wanted to hear her, but it seemed like she wanted nothing more than to deliver the lines,take the bow and get it over with.No dramatic pauses, no banter with the crowd, no nuthin'..she even stepped on a few applause lines and in a couple of places she even kept yakking right through the applause, she was in that much of a hurry to get the thing over with.

Like I said though, she did what was expected of her tonight, calling for party unity and telling her fans that she was supporting Obama.

I dunno. The words were right but the music wasn't, if you get my drift, and my feeling is that Hillary is going to soldier on and do the minimum for Obama she can get away with and still be considered a party loyalist.

The final diss to her is going to be having to sit there while Obama makes his big acceptance speech at the stadium...and she'll pretty much be alone. Mr. Bill and most of the top Clintonistas are giving it a miss.

Tomorrow night is the big roll call and Mr. Bill's speech and both items ought to be interesting. There's apparently a backstage argument going on as to whether Hillary's votes in the roll call are going to be announced as well as Obama's or whether they're just going to announce Obama's to give it more of an air of unity, and then nominate him by acclimation. Hey, no sense leaving anything to chance hmmm?

And Mr. Bill's far,everything anybody has said onstage has been throughly controlled and vetted by the Obama campaign, and Clinton was apparently ticked off when they tried to tell him what to say. I wonder if he's planning on going off the reservation and pulling something?

We'll find out tomorrow. Right now, this Monkey craves a little refreshment...see you later.

Canadians Hit TheTaliban Hard

It's not as well known as it should be, but the Canadians have been by our side kicking ass in Afghanistan for a long time as opposed to some of our European allies.

Last week they took out a huge Taliban base during operation Op Timis Preem, conducted in the Zhari district of Kandahar province last Thursday, Friday and Saturday:

{Lt. Colonel Dave} Corbould said the operation's objective was to strike at the Taliban's command and control infrastructure and take away their ability to conduct operations against Afghan and coalition forces.

The mission's key goal was to reduce the Taliban's ability to build improvised explosive devices (IEDs), which they routinely plant along Highway Number One -- the main national highway that crosses Kandahar province.

Corbould said the operation has served "a huge blow to the enemy's ability to plant major IEDs."

"It's thrown them off balance and we'll continue to maintain the momentum to keep them off balance in that specific area," said Corbould.

Well done, guys....

North Korea Ends Its Nuclear Disarment

Yet another of US Secretary of State Condi Rice's diplomacy toy balloons seems to have popped, as North Korea says it has halted it's nuclear reactor disablementat it's facility at Yongbyon.

Just two months ago, the US State Department was trumpeting a new agreement withthese people when the North Koreans blew up the cooling tower as a symbolic act to show their acceptance of the agreement to dismantle their nuclear program in exchange for economic aid and being removed from the US terrorism watch list.

The agreement hit the same snags as every other agreement does with these people...verification that they're actually keeping up their end of the deal.
It was problems with the verification process that led to North Korea not being removed from the list, which is North Korea's alibi for ending the process of dismantling their nukes.

At this point, they're threatening to simply resume where they left off.

Obama Terrorizes TV Stations Over Ayers Ad.

The truth shall set ye free...unless it's not the truth we want out there, Bubba.

In a move redolent of the Kerry campaign's attempt to stifle the swift boat ads, Barack Obama is literally terrorizing a few TV stations over the above ad put out by a non-profit 501C group ( not a 527, as some have reported) called The American Issues Project. And he's even trying to sic the Department of Justice on them.

One of the amusing characteristics lately of the Obama campaign has been their knee jerk attacks on matters they would have been much better to let go by.

A good example is their 'McCain's houses' meme..which gave rise to the response that it was, after all, Obama who bought his multimillion dollar Chicago mansion in a shady deal with a convicted felon named Tony Rezco.

The most recent example is Obama's outrage over any questions about his ties to Weatherman terrorist Bill Ayers, who was released due to a legal technicality..

When questions about this originally came up, Obama simply characterized Ayers as 'just a friend from the neighborhood.'

Of course, more facts about the relationship between Obama and Ayers Obama sought out to ingratiate himself with Ayers, a member of a politically well connected Chicago family, how Obama launched his political career from the living room of Ayer's home, and their close work together on the ultra Left Annenberg Challenge,and on the Chicago School Reform Collaborative.

The fuss the Obama-ites are making in trying to bury all this isn't helping them in the least.

Journalist Stanley Kurtz was suddenly denied access to the records of the Chicago Annenberg Challenge by the Richard J. Daley Library at the University of Chicago after he been granted access and given an index...until the fit hit the shan and the University felt compelled to open up the records again, probably after disposing of anything inconvenient.

The problem with the ad isn't that it says anything false in doesn't. It's that it highlights a part of Obama that the campaign wants to keep hidden at all costs, for reasons we can only guess at. And that's going to make the c=scrutiny more intense.

When you put the kind of muscle out to try and suppress something like this,people can't help but wonder why.

The Obama campaign would have done much better to leave well enough alone and not call attention to this.

Obama Gets a Negative Convention Bounce

According to Rasmussen The Chosen One is getting a bounce out of the convention so far..but the numbers are headed south:

The Democratic National Convention has begun and the poll numbers are bouncing, but not in the direction that most people anticipated.{...}

Obama’s support has declined in each of the last three individual nights of polling. This may be either statistical noise or a reaction to the selection of Biden. If it’s the latter, it probably has less to do with Biden than Hillary Clinton. Forty-seven percent (47%) of Democratic women say Clinton should have been picked and 21% of them say they’ll vote for McCain.


Weekend Monkey: Partying At The Revolution

There's not all that much to do in Denver on a hot August's not like Vegas or Manhattan or East St. Louis. So there I was about 1 AM, walking the streets and trying to get my brains together when I saw her.

She was wearing one of those chic 'Defend Denver' army green shirts with the AK47 on it over a pink top and bandanna and some worn jeans with a `f*ck Bush' patch in a strategic place,and both of us did a double take.

"Omigod, Weekend Monkey!" she squealed. "Are you here for the convention too?"

"Wait a minute",I said,processing..."Allison,right? From the campaign?"


Talk about yer coincidences..she'd been one of the area reps for the Weekend Monkey For President campaign. "The last time I saw you was in Des Moines", I said. "What brings you here?"

"The same as you,Monkey,the convention," she said with a cute little grin. "After the campaign folded, I was still interested in the politics of working for change, so here I am."

"So, I guess you're an anarchist now huh? Y'know, I bet a lot of people are watching you guys on TV and wondering what that's about."

"Well, Monkey, a lot of it is a social scene, believe it or not. It's like the Obama thing, only more intense. You go to rallies, get high,hook have no idea what a rush it is to get chased by cops and then wind up hiding out somewhere with some cute's like, romantic or something. And trashing things for the sheer hell of it is like too much fun...didn't you ever toss a firecracker or break a window just to hear the noise?"

She beckoned to me, "C'mon Monkey...come and meet some of my friends."

We walked around a corner into the park and ran into a whole group of anarchist kids hanging out, smoking dope, drinking cheap wine and recounting the days' fun. I was immediately noticed by a couple of sentries.

"Who the f*ck are you?" The questioner was a large kid, maybe 19 in a Che tee.

"It's cool, Tino", said Allison. "He's with me."

As we walked through the group, I realized Allison was was a social scene, almost like a weekend house party. The signs were put away. People were drinking,smoking and flirting with each other and the only ones still really talking hard core politics were the ones who weren't getting high and who you knew weren't going to get laid no way, no how.

We sat down in the middle of one of the groups.

"Hey everybody, this is Weekend Monkey. He ran for president this year", Allison chimed.

"Are you one of those fascist pigs here for the convention, man? Allison, why did you bring this creep here?" The questioner was a kind of heavy set girl with a Palestinian kefiya scarf and a red 'impeach now' sweatshirt, and her little query bought me glares from the entire collective.

"Actually", I said "I'm more of an anarcho-syndicalist using the Hegellian dynamic to practice Kruputnick's doctrine of destroying the system from within."

That little bit of dialectic was all it took to bring smiles and approval from the group. Let no one say that this monkey can't think on his feet!

"Oh wow..wanna smoke a joint?" said the heavy set girl,who's name I later found out was Lara.

"Sure,why's been a pretty intense day. What have you guys got planned for tomorrow?"

"Uh,the usual stuff man," piped up a kid in a black rockn'roll tee with a pierced labret. "Trash stuff, tie up traffic, play tag with the cops and hope to get on TV!"

Everybody had a good chuckle at that one.

As I sucked the dope into my lungs and everybody got looser, I realized that a lot of the anarchists had some stuff in common, especially the younger ones. Plenty of them seemed to not have a whole lot in the way of family ties or stuff like jobs and careers,the stuff that most of us use to keep grounded.Instead,they'd found a family and a job of sorts here, at Ground Zero in the Beeg Revolution.

I looked at Allison, who's baby blues were slightly unfocused by now.

"You were right, Ally....this is fun. You planning on sticking around here after the convention?"

"Probably not. When this is over, I'll probably go back to Iowa, she murmured, leaning against me slightly. "Politics is kinda fun, but I can't imagine doing it all the time."

Well, sweetie, we all have our addictions, don't we? Politics...the art of the possible.

See you later,comrade primates.All power to the Revolution!

Monday, August 25, 2008

Olmert Releases 200 Palestinian Terrorists As 'Goodwill Gesture'

Ehud Olmert released 200 Palestinian terrorists from Israeli custody today as a so-called goodwill gesture to bolster PA President Mahmoud Abbas...and not coincidentally, to put a smile on Condi Rice's face as she arrived in Israel today to try and arm twist more concessions out of Olmert 'for peace'.

This particular group included killers Israel defined as 'having blood on their hands', an israeli term signifying that these particular murderers had been convicted in Israeli courts of having direct responsibility for killing Israeli civilians. Of course,since Olmert blurred that line by trading a very live child killer Samir Kuntar to Hezbollah for the mutilated remains of two captured Israeli soldiers, the Olmert government appears to be willing to let these scum go regardless of what they might have done.

Two of this particular group bear special mention as an example of the kind of people Olmert is releasing to a hero's welcome among the Palestinians. Muhammad Abu Ali murdered two people. In 1980, he killed Yehoshua Saloma (Hy"d) in Hebron, a young Yeshiva student studying in the Kiryat Arba Yeshiva. Saloma, a new immigrant from Sweden, walked into Hebron from Kiryat Arba to buy some dried fruits for the upcoming Tu B’Shvat holiday. While he was shopping, he was brutally ambushed from behind.Ali later murdered a fellow prisoner while he was in jail.

Said Al-Ataba masterminded an attack on the Petach Tivka market in 1977 that wounded dozens and took the life of an Israeli woman, Tzila Galili, (Hy"d).

Both of them are now free to kill again. And that's not merely a figure of speech.At least 180 Israelis and counting have been murdered by terrorists who had been released from Israeli jails, and that doesn't take into account those that were arrested or killed in an attempt.

Condi, of course, thinks that releasing these people was just wonderful,and wants more of the same."It's something that Abu Mazen brings up each time we meet," Rice told reporters on her plane about today's release, using Abbas's informal name. "It's something that matters a lot to the Palestinian people."

No mention of course on whether it might matter a lot to the Israelis to keep these killers behind bars.I doubt that matter penetrates her consciousness.

Nor does it matter to Mahmoud Abbas, who referred to the released terrorists as 'heroes' and made a point of saying that no peace agreement with Israel was possible until all of the terrorists are released.Nor did eithr he or Condaleeza Rice have the common decency to mention a single word about Gilad Shalit, who's still being held incommunicado in the Gaza Strip.

Israel at one time had a significant deterrent factor in the Arabs knowledge that they would not deal with terrorists and could be expected to hit back hard at those who murdered their citizens. Ariel Sharon's deal with Hezbollah to trade prisoners for bodies and an Israeli drug dealer with connections to his son Omri and Ehud Olmert's execrable conduct during the entire two and a half years he's been in power have done much to undermine that.

Weekend Monkey At The DNC, 8/25/08

Whooo, Hideyho, Primates! Here's the latest from the Donkey Convention, live from Pepsi Center.

The high point of the evening so far has been Teddy Kennedy telling my Democrats "to change America, to restore its future, to rise to our best ideals and to elect Barack Obama president of the United States."

Originally,I heard Teddy was just supposed to wave from the stage after they showed the video on him, but I guess he was feeling up to yakking a little bit. They drove him up to the stage at Pepsi in a little golf cart. Kind of a moment, I guess, sorta like he was passing the torch on to Obama Yo Mama.Hardly a dry eye in the house.

I coulda done without Caroline Kennedy yakking it up about how Obama inspired the Kennedys just like JFK.I mean, I realize she's in the Obama camp bigtime, but I personally don't think her father would recognize today's Democratic party...things have changed since 1960.

From what I hear, every speech throughout the entire convention had to be okayed by the Obama campaign, and they're all sticking to two basic themes:McCain is an evil, senile fool who is BushHitler II, and Barack Hussein Obama is just a working class type family man who is just yer average mainstream all-American regular guy.

It was pretty wild was the way everybody from Pelosi on down spent that much time trashing McCain. I mean, a certain amount of that is to be expected, but this was almost overkill!

Still,it makes political sense...this is their moment and they know people are watching, so they're going for the jugular...and that's what the campaign is going to be like from now on. I think they would have been better off concentrating on exactly what the Democrats are planning to change in Washington, but maybe they'll get to that later.

The main act in the circus, of course, is gonna be Michelle O.We'll see what she says..right now, Weekend Monkey's thirsty and the hospitality table beckons...booyah!

Just saw the Michelle O extravaganza. Her job's try to tell yer average American that she and Barack are just your normal everyday couple....ri-ight.

Things started out with a video narrated by her mom about her tortured life an dall the supposed obstacles she's had to overcome, then she came on the stage.

They softened up her image considerably:

See..not a scowl or a furrowed brow to be seen...

Her speech was all sweetness and light, about treating people with dignity and respect regardless of whether they agreed with you or not,which is pretty funny considering the treatment McCain got tonight! They even got the Obama's two kids involved in tonight's performance,shouting 'Hi Daddy' and 'I love you Daddy' at a giant video screen relaying the One's speech and visage from wherever he's sequestered.


She stayed out of policy mostly, and only mentioned race in terms of the stuff I already mentioned about dignity and respect for everyone. I'm sure she learned that from Rev. Wright over at Trinity.

See you tomorrow, primates!

The Latest McCain Ad - With A Hillary Supporter...

Weekend Monkey Live At The DNC In Denver!!

Hideyho, Primates! This week,the Real Banana comes to you live from Denver as I report from the Democratic National Convention, where myDonkeys have gathered to put their seal of approval on Obama Yo' Mama and Jo-Jo Biden as our official standard bearers.

And oh yeah, Shrillery's here too.

The festivities start tonight,and I'll be giving you the inside poop with exclusive coverage and interviews nobody else will have....I'm here and I'm all yours, peeples!

Denver can be kind of a weird town. For one thing, the altitude can make you crazy if you're drinking or indulging in any controlled substances...their effect is intensified so you can be bombed before you know it.

I dunno if anybody warned Teddy...hope so.

Anyway, I've been wandering around downtown,and to tell you the truth it looks like this part of town is under martial law or something.

Whole areas have been fenced and chained off, and there's a crazy police presence here all around the area of the Pepsi Center, where the big scene opens up tonight with ex-president Jimmy Carter, Nancy Pelosi, Teddy and Obama's bitter half,Michelle...I bet that speech is tightly scripted..and they may even have a plan to cut her microphone off if things get out of hand.

What's going on right now is that there is literally a banana boat load of protesters all around the downtown area. And all of the stars of protest are here..I've seen Ward Churchill, Cindy Sheehan and Cynthia McKinney, the Green Party candidate..she was a hoot, yakking about how global warming is a 'Zionist plot.'

There's a lot of pot smoke in the air as well, so the whole scene is #!!#! surreal.

Earlier today, the peace protesters roughed up a FOX news guy..he was claiming Cindy Sheehan came to his rescue,which is pretty funny in itself.I mean,imagine admitting that on national TV!

There's all sorts of weird rumors floating around...stuff like the protesters have a whole house stocked with urine to spray on the convention crowds,that there's going to be bomb threats, power outages, street blockades....I guess we'll see!

You never saw it on TV, but back in '04, Boston's Fleet Center set up an 'alternative convention' where these people could vent to their heart's content, and that was where the assorted commies and anarchists burned effigies, flags and did their thing. Denver tried the same thing this year,with a 47,000-square foot cage near the parking lot of the Pepsi Center with metal fences and concrete barriers surrounding it, but so far the protesters haven't been exactly availing themselves of the facilities, if you know what I mean.

Aside from the antics of the primate protesters, most of which will laundered by the networks so as not to embarrass my Democrats, another kool thing about this and every convention is the neat freebies you can this John McCain condom:

And hey,hee hee hee, this one's lubricated...I dunno if it's ribbed or has any funny ticklers and stuff, since I haven't opened it yet. Ain't it great what Planned Parenthood does with your tax dollars, primates?

Anywhoo, I'm gonna wander around a bit, have a bite to eat and see what kind of shenanigans I can get into between now and the evenings' festivities. And keep checking back, because I have some exclusive interviews and other stuff planned..smell ya later, primates!

Pakistan's Coalition Government Has Collapsed

Pakistan's fragile coalition government has collapsed as ex-prime Minister Nawaz Sharif pulled his party, The Pakistan Muslim League-N(PML-N) out of the five-month-old coalition government with the Pakistan People's Party (PPP)less thanone week after ex-president Pervez Musharraf resigned. At a news conference Sharif cited 'broken promises' by Asif Ali Zardari, the leader of the PPP and its candidate for Musharraf's old spot as the president.

"We have been forced to leave the coalition," Sharif said . "We joined the coalition with full sincerity for the restoration of democracy. Unfortunately all the promises were not honored."

The promises Sharif is talking about involve a disagreement over restoring 60 judges to the bench that Musharraf fired, including ex-chief justice Iftikhar Chaudhry.

Sharif released to the press an accord signed by he and Zardari back on August 7th, back when they were maneuvering to get Musharraf out of office.Not only did Zardari agree to reinstate judges, including Chaudhry, but he also agreed that he and Sharif would agree on a presidential candidate.

Instead, the PPP stalled on the judges - a political crony of Zardari now holods Chaudhry's office, and the PPP wants to pick and choose which judges get reinstated and which don't. And according to Sharif, Zardari went ahead to run for the presidency and arranged for the election to be held on September 6 without consulting him.

There's always been little love lost anyway between the Pakistan Peoples Party, which could best be described as Leftist/Kleptocrat and the Pakistan Muslim League-N, which is a conservative Islamist party.Aside from the issues inherent in that odd pairing,there are personal issues between Sharif and Zardari,Benazhir Bhutto's widow.The only thing both sides agreed on was Musharraf's ouster...and I have a feeling that a lot of people in Pakistan, watching what's going on currently may be having second thoughts about the jubilation they expressed when he resigned.

This probably not going to result in new elections. The PPP can probably make enough deals with the smaller parties to stay in power, and get Zardari into the president's spot.

It remains to be seen what Sharif and the PML-N will do. They can stay in the least until Zardari becomes president, when I wouldn't be surprised to see the old corruption charges leveled against Sharif to force him back into exile.

Or they can seek an alliance with the even more Islamist elements in Pakistan, which wouldn't surprise me in the least.

This situation is not likely to calm down in the least, and I smell another Iran in the making.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Pakistan's Government Is On The Brink Of Collapse

I've reported before on these pages about the conflict between the two ruling parties in Pakistan's coalition government now that they've gotten the one thing they agreed on - Musharraf's ouster.

The conflict between the two sides has intensified if anything over the core issues of reinstating judges fired by Musharraf and picking Musharraf's successor to the presidency, with ex-Pakistani PM Nawak Sharif threatening to pull his Pakistan Muslim League(PML-N) out of the government.

Back in March, when the PPP and the PML-n formed their coalition government, the two parties both promised to restore the 60 judges, including chief justice Iftikhar Chaudhry within one month, and it was a major campaign issue.

Nawaz Sharif, and his conservative Islamist Pakistan Muslim League-N, want them all restored immediately. The PPP, which has a slight majority (although not enough to govern by itself)wants a constitutional mechanism which would allow them to pick and choose which judges were reinstated and which were removed. Part of that has to do with the PPP's leader, Asif Zardari, because Chaudhry opposed the legislation Musharraf forced through at our State Department's insistence granting Zardari and his wife Benazhir Bhutto amnesty on pending corruption charges and paved the way for their return to Pakistan. The last thing Zardari wants is Chaudhry back on the bench...he might just try to undo the amnesty.

Actually, both Zardari and Sharif are suspected of stealing millions while they were in office.

Another problem with reinstating Chaudhry is the fact that the job of chief justice is now held by Abdul Hamid Dogar, a political crony of Zardari who comes as from Sindh Province, which is the political base of Zardari and the PPP.

The contest for the presidency is another problem issue - both Sharif and the PPP's de facto party head Asif Ali Zardari want the job, and the PPP has already endorsed Zardari for the office.

Nawak Sharif will meet with his Muslim League -N Party tomorrow to decide whether to leave the government.

From an American standpoint,neither Sharif of Zardari, who's orientation could best be described as Lefist-Kleptocrat are very likely to be what the current occupant of the White House would term as 'strong allies in the war on terror.'

Our main concern is obviously who's minding the store on Pakistan's nuclear arsenal while the country falls apart. On that score Musharraf was dependable at least.

One Reason Showing Off Is Not A Good Idea..

Hat Tip and a Commendation to Joshua's Army member Louie Louie

Things Are Not Starting Off Well For Biden...

Talk about yer insecurities!

Biden Off More Than He Can Chew

"America needs to show the Arab world that we're not bent on its destruction. Seems to me this would be a good time to send, no strings attached, a check for $200 million to Iran." -Senator Joe Biden

By this time,the whole world knows that the Chosen One has picked Joe Biden as his running mate.

It definitely made me smile.

Among other things, we're in for some sidesplitting ads. Biden has any number of soundbites on tape talking about how unqualified Barack Obama is for the Oval Office and how great a president John McCain would make, and the fun should really start once Biden's well known tendency towards gaffes gets started under the pressure of the campaign trail.

The dinosaur media is loyally trying to step into the breach and put a positive spin on this,but even some of them are having problems shilling for the Emperor's New Clothes.

The media line is that Biden is a 'scrapper', who adds foreign policy 'expertise' to the ticket, moderates concerns about Obama's inexperience and will help Obama with working class whites and Catholics.They couldn't be more wrong.

Biden,the consummate Washington insider has been inured in the Senate for even longer than John McCain. He's been running for president off and on since 1987, but both of his two actual campaigns, in 1988 and 2008 ended in abject failure, which says something about his scrappy campaigning skills and appeals to Catholics and the working class. In`08, he ended up with about 3% of the vote.

And of course, there's another problem with the idea that Catholics are going to line up behind a ticket where the presidential candidate supported what amounts to infanticide.The media may be doing its best ignore this,but I guarantee you it's going to come out, especially as it percolates up from the blogosphere and the McCain camp starts publicizing this as the campaign rolls on.

As for that foreign policy experience, Biden certainly has it. He's a long-time member and current chairman of the U.S. Senate Committee on Foreign Relations. The question, of course, is whether experience translates into expertise, as the above quote shows us. (Here's a hint, Senator..Iran is not an Arab country...)

Another problem the Obama campaign is going to have to deal with is Biden's tendencies towards putting people to sleep with long, drawn out speeches and a predilection towards shooting himself in the foot with his own mouth.

The choice of Biden reveals a number of things about Obama and the current state of his campaign.

-The Chosen one was probably literally agonizing over having to make an actual choice that could have an effect beyond mere rhethoric, which is why he released the news late Friday night at the start of the the weekend, rather than on a Monday, when it would have the full length of the news cycle.

- Both the candidate and the campaign are running scared. They realize they have no counter to charges of inexperience and naivete leveled by the McCain campaign, so he went for a beltway insider, rather than risking a candidate who appeared to be outside the system and more in tune with Hope And Change like Governor Tim Kaine of Virginia or Governor Kathleen Sebelius of Kansas.Unfortunately, the choice of someone like Biden highlights Obama's lack of resume rather than enhances it, the way I see it.

-Obama has made a decision to go more negative in his campaign.Biden was hired on to be the Obama campaign's attack dog, something that could become problematical if Biden goes off the leash and says something he shouldn't. A lot of Obama's image is tied up in the idea that he somehow represents the new politics that goes beyond partisan attacks, but he has apparently decided to put that behind him for expediency's sake. In other words, Obama is willing and happy to risk what got him this far if it gets him into the Oval office.

-Obama apparently decided that his grudge against the Clintons is more important than any nonsense about party unity. It's widely known that Hillary didn't even make Obama's short list of VP propects. It will be interesting to see how this little soap opera plays out in Denver next week.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Choosing Vice President Who?

Vice President Who??

With the nominations for the Democrat and Republican presidential sweepstakes all but a done deal, there's been a certain amount of speculation of who Barack Hussein Obama and John McCain will pick as running mates.

Does it really matter? And if so, how much?

Normally, a vice presidential candidate is chosen with several factors in mind; to heal a breach in the party, to 'balance' the ticket ideologically or geographically, to address the concerns of a select group of influential voters, to try and capture the electoral votes of a state or region, or to balance out a perceived weakness in a candidate's resume or experience.

A good example of the last one was the Bush-Cheney ticket, teaming up a presidential candidate with a limited resume on foreign policy and international relations with a man who had extensive experience in both areas.

So, who's likely to be on the list, in my view?

Let's take Obama first.

With his poll numbers tanking, The Chosen One has a number of areas where he's going to need an assist.

His National Security and military cred is severely lacking, and Joe Biden or Wesley Clark might be a decent attempt to shore up that particular weakness..Jim Webb, senator from Virginia, decorated Vietnam veteran and an ex-Secretary of the Navy under Reagan would probably have helped Obama more, except like a great many other prominent Donkeys he chose to opt out.

The biggest problem with Biden from Obama's standpoint is Biden's ego and his tendency to shoot himself in the foot with his own mouth. The Chosen One not only would have difficulty sharing the stage with Biden, but there are a whole slew of statements out of Biden's own mouth deriding Obama for his lack of resume and praising John McCain! If Biden gets the nod, we can look forward to some absolutely side splitting ads from the GOP campaign.Another problem with Biden is the fact that Delaware's three electoral votes are already in the bag for the Democrats..and Biden adds nothing there.However, given the Chosen One's need for foreign policy back up, Biden has a decent shot.

Tim Kaine and Mark Warner from Virginia are two other names that have come up, for the same reason..they just might create the possibility of the Democrats carrying Virginia.Both are young, southern and personable...except Kaine is simply not the sharpest tool in the shed and Warner wants to take a shot at replacing a retiring GOP senator in a race he's likely to win. And at any rate, Warner is likely too moderate for Obama's taste.

The same is probably true of Evan Bayh of Indiana and Congressman Chet Edwards of Texas. Bayh comes from an old Indiana political dynasty and is popular there, but mostly because he's fairly conservative for a Democrat. Hitching himself to Obama wouldn't do much for him at home, and he lacks the attack dog persona the One is going to need to get some traction between now and November.Edwards is the chairman of the Military Construction and Veterans Affairs Appropriations Subcommittee and a nine-term very conservative Democrat representing a GOP-leaning Texas district that includes President Bush's ranch in Crawford. He's pretty much an unknown which likely suits Obama's ego, but he doesn't bring much to the table politically.

Could Obama pick a woman? The two possibilities are Hillary (a real remote possibility) and Kansas governor Karen Sibelius.

There no question that in terms of sheer politics, Hillary helps Obama the most. It's estimated that at least 25% of her supporters are not at all enamored of the Chosen One, and let's face it..she did win the popular vote and only lost because a relatively small number of superdelegates broke for Obama for obvious reasons.

I call it remote because there's little love lost between the two and because it would suit Hillary much better to see Obama go down the tubes in `08, paving the way for her to pick up the pieces and run in 2012.Not only that, but Obama caving in to the Clintons would pretty much infuriate the nutroots on the extreme Left of the party.

Sibelius is another matter. Politically, she's well to the left of Hillary and to someone like Obama who thinks in terms of group entitlement she might seem like the person to bring Hillary's supporters back onto the plantation because of her gender.Politically, she brings nothing else to the table, but Obama may figure that being a woman is plenty.

Another area Obama is likely to need help with is with Hispanics. The black-brown divide in America is by no means a myth, particularly in a political party where identity politics is the name of the game. Obama has lost the Hispanic vote in every state in the primaries where that vote has been a factor by at least 2 to 1.

Someone like Bill Richardson could help him here. Aside from his being Hispanic and a bi-lingual campaigner, Richardson also has the advantage of not being particularly bright an thus unlikely to upstage Barack Obama. Plus, he could possibly tip New Mexico to the Democrats...only 5 electoral votes, but it could end up being important. Bush won the state in 2004 by a razor thin margin.

If I had to bet, I'd say Biden with Sibelius or Edwards as dark horse picks.

McCain has weaknesses of a different sort.

For one thing, his age almost mandates that he will be a one term president, and that his vice presidential pick assumes more than the usual importance.

Originally, his candidacy seemed to alienate two key GOP constituencies, ideological conservatives and evangelicals. In both cases, McCain has made significant strides in gathering these groups in, especially the evangelicals - The Faith Forum at Saddleback Church helped him a great deal with the evangelicals and pro life groups while the Russian invasion of Georgia and his response to it reminded conservatives of his national security credentials. Both groups seem to be coalescing around McCain as Obama's real nature becomes evident.

McCain doesn't have the motivation Obama does to see that someone doesn't outshine a matter of fact, a strong vice presidential candidate could eliminate any remaining angst about his age and shore up the gains he's already made.

Tim Pawlenty is a popular governor of Minnesota, a state that has been trending more and more Republican each election. He's relatively conservative, young (48), and a long time McCain booster. In a close election, Minnesota's 10 electoral votes could make the difference between victory and defeat.

Another running mate that could help McCain would be Rudy Giuliani, especially if McCain is not worried about a conservative defection. Rudy is smart, has experience on the national scene, impeccable national security credentials and a history of accomplishment in every position he's held. His management expertise in turning the relatively bankrupt city of New York around could be helpful to a candidate who admits economics isn't his strong point.He's a great speaker (Giuliani will be the keynote speaker at the GOP convention) and 'retail' campaigner and debater even if he's a lousy campaign strategist, will help McCain with the Jewish vote and actually brings New York and New Jersey into play. His drawbacks include his complicated personal life, an unfortunate tendency to mention 9/11 far too often and his perceived (if misrepresented) position on abortion,.

Another wild card McCain pick for vice president would be his long time friend, Joe Lieberman. Lieberman is that rare commodity, a relatively sensible liberal with firm views on national security. Because of that, he was run out of the Democratic party, but remains a symbol to Democrats, especially older ones who are uneasy with the far Left direction the party has taken. Like Giuliani, Lieberman has experience on the national stage, enjoys a fair amount of respect nationally and could symbolize the bi-partisan consensus McCain appears to be seeking. Lieberman is also speaking at the GOP convention in support of his friend McCain in spite of threats from the DNC to strip him of his committee chairmanship, a courageous act that undoubtedly appeals to McCain.

Choosing Lieberman might anger a fair amount of conservatives, but again, McCain may very well be figuring that enough of them will end up holding their noses and pulling the lever for him in November that it isn't a significant downside.

Another interesting possibility for McCain would Tom Ridge, the well liked ex-governor of Pennsylvania. Like McCain, Ridge is a highly decorated Vietnam veteran. He's also a fiscal conservative with a solid track record of astute financial management. His career in public service includes a stint as an Assistant District Attorney, six terms in Congress, and two terms as a popular Republican governor in Pennsylvania, where Democrats outnumber Republicans by almost 500,000. He was also the head of the Department of Homeland Security after 9/11.

Ridge won re-election as governor by better than 57%, and naming him to the ticket definitely puts Pennsylvania in play for the GOP. And Pennsylvania is not a state Barack Obama did particularly well in...even now, the polls only show him ahead by 3-5 points. Ridge's main drawbacks are his association with the Bush Administration and his pro-choice position on abortion, something Ridge could probably finesse if he had to.

Two other names on McCain's short list are Virginia Congressman Eric Cantor and Alaska Governor Sarah Palin, both of whom are real possibilities.

Eric Cantor not only comes from Virginia, but he's a popular congressman from the Richmond area, a key to holding the state for the GOP this November. He was Chairman of the Congressional Task Force on Terrorism and Unconventional Warfare until 2006 when the Democrats took over. He has also served on the House Financial Services Committee and on the House International Relations Committee and the very powerful House Ways and Means Committee. Since his second term, he has served as chief deputy Republican whip, the highest appointed position in the Republican caucus.

Aside from his economic and national security credentials, Cantor is a religious Jew and could be depended on to make inroads into the Jewish and pro-Israel vote,a key constituency in November that's already a bit leery of Obama and with good cause. A five point change in favor of the GOP could mean a great deal in places like Ohio, Michigan and Florida.

Sarah Palin, is an impressive and charismatic speaker who knows a lot about a key issue in this she or New Mexico Republican Heather Wilson would make dogmeat out of anyone Obama is likely to select in a debate.

Mitt Romney? I just don't think so. Very high negatives and not enough clout when it comes to bringing in electoral votes, but a distinct possibility for Treasury.

Over all, I'd have to give the edge to Ridge or Pawlenty, with Palin, Lieberman an Cantor as strong dark horses.

Your thoughts?