Saturday, September 13, 2008

Sarah's interview with Charlie Gibson of ABC News

Much commentary far and wide, of course. Below is a comment from Nick Ragone, a presidential historian and a regular contributor to Fox News and Fox Business News, as well as the Ralph Bailey radio show and Real Simple Magazine.

For the Obama camp, Sarah Palin's interview with Charlie Gibson had to be deflating. They needed her to stumble -- badly -- and she didn't. In fact, quite the opposite: she looked resolute, confident, and in command of the subject matter. It mostly focused on foreign policy -- her supposed weakness -- with a little bit of religion thrown in for good measure. Bonus points for quoting Lincoln.

Was she brilliant? no. But she didn't have to be brilliant. She simply needed to avoid a Dan Quayle moment. Her strength is on the stump, talking directly to voters, and energizing the base. Irrespective of what McCain campaign manager Rick Davis thinks, she needs to go through this one-on-one vetting process -- I think the public would be outraged if she didn't -- but it will never be her strength. But it's not Obama's strength, either. He tends to stammer and stumble when he's off script, like he did during the debates against Hillary. In that sense, he and Palin are a bit alike.

Team McCain knows that, and that's why they're carefully selecting the outlets and the formats for Palin. I'm not sure we'll see her on Meet the Press or This Week with George Stephanopoulos, but we'll probably see her do a morning show or two, and perhaps some local market interviews. If Obama wants to derail the Palin express, their only real opportunity may come during the Vice Presidential debate. And the stakes get even higher.



Running Alaska

One rap on Sarah Palin's qualifications to be Vice President is that she governs one of our least populated states, with a budget of "only" $12 billion and 16,000 full-time state employees. On the other hand, it turns out that the Governor's office in Alaska is one of the country's most powerful. For more than two decades Thad Beyle, a political scientist at the University of North Carolina, has maintained an index of "institutional powers" in state offices. He rates governorships on potential length of service, budgetary and appointment authority, veto power and other factors. Mr. Beyle's findings for 2008 rate Alaska at 4.1 on a scale of 5. The national average is 3.5.

Only four other states -- Maryland, New Jersey, New York and West Virginia -- concentrate as much power in the Governor's office as Alaska does, and only one state (Massachusetts) concentrates more. California may be the nation's most populous state, but its Governor rates as below-average (3.2) in executive authority. This may account in part for Arnold Schwarzenegger's poor legislative track record. The lowest rating goes to Vermont (2.5), where the Governor (remember Howard Dean) is a figurehead compared to Mrs. Palin.

In Alaska, the Governor has line-item veto power over the budget and can only be overridden by a three-quarters majority of the Legislature. In 1992, the year Arkansas Governor Bill Clinton was elected President, his state budget was $2 billion and among the smallest in the country. Compared to that, Sarah Palin is an executive giant.



Library lies


Sarah Palin seems like a perfectly normal person, but partisans both in and out of the media have been busily trying to depict her as some sort of religious nut. Among other things, Palin's opponents claim that as mayor of Wasilla, Alaska, she was a "book banner"--which is to say, that she sought to have books removed from the local public library. This claim has been debunked--but not before it has spread all over the Internet with the help of some in the mainstream media.

The book-banner tale seems to have originated in a widely circulated Aug. 31 email from Anne Kilkenny, who is not a "South Park" character but a Wasilla resident and harsh Palin critic:
While Sarah was Mayor of Wasilla she tried to fire our highly respected City Librarian because the Librarian refused to consider removing from the library some books that Sarah wanted removed. City residents rallied to the defense of the City Librarian and against Palin's attempt at out-and-out censorship, so Palin backed down and withdrew her termination letter. People who fought her attempt to oust the Librarian are on her enemies list to this day.

On Sept. 2, Time magazine repeated the tale, attributing it to John Stein, Palin's predecessor as mayor, whom she defeated in the 1996 election:
Stein says that as mayor, Palin continued to inject religious beliefs into her policy at times. "She asked the library how she could go about banning books," he says, because some voters thought they had inappropriate language in them. "The librarian was aghast." That woman, Mary Ellen Baker, couldn't be reached for comment, but news reports from the time show that Palin had threatened to fire Baker for not giving "full support" to the mayor.

The same day, Blogress Jessamyn West, a Vermont librarian, posted the Time story to her site,, and added that "Mary Ellen Baker resigned from her library director job in 1999."

A reader of the blog named Andrew AuCoin then posted "the list of books Palin tried to have banned"--90 of them in all. Another reader, Charlie Brown, noticed that the list actually seemed to originate at this page--where it appears under the headline "Books Banned at One Time or Another in the United States." But the phony list was already making its way around the Internet. On Sept. 6, a reader forwarded it to us, having received it from a friend, who received it from another friend, who received it from her mother, a librarian.

As it turns out, not only was the list a fake, but when the Anchorage Daily News investigated the story, it found no evidence that Palin had ever sought to remove books from the library. Baker (who was then named Emmons) did tell the local paper back in 1996 that Palin asked her, in the Daily News's words, "about possibly removing objectionable books from the library if the need arose." Emmons "flatly refused to consider any kind of censorship."

Kilkenny makes an appearance in the Daily News story, quoting Palin as asking Baker at a City Council meeting, " 'What would be your response if I asked you to remove some books from the collection?' " Baker's response was firm and negative, according to Kilkenny, who acknowledges that Palin did not cite any specific books for removal.

The chairman of the Alaska Library Association's Intellectual Freedom Committee tells the Daily News that there is no evidence in her files of any censorship at the Wasilla library. As for Baker's resignation, it appears to be unrelated to the putative censorship:
Palin told the Daily News back then the letters were just a test of loyalty as she took on the mayor's job, which she'd won from three-term mayor John Stein in a hard-fought election. Stein had hired many of the department heads. Both Emmons [i.e., Baker] and Stambaugh had publicly supported him against Palin. Emmons survived the loyalty test and a second one a few months later. She resigned in August 1999, two months before Palin was voted in for a second mayoral term.

Yet the myth that Sarah Palin is a "book banner" has taken hold, at least on the left. It shows up, for instance, in two Salon articles (here and here) today.




A good comment: "I am a 71-year-old senior citizen, still working and owner of a small business and a pro-choice Republican. Sarah Palin knocked my holy socks off! Who is this woman? I believe her. I like her. Wait a minute. I think I love her!"

Iran's Role in 9/11 Attack: "In an auspicious passage that went virtually unreported at the time, the 9/11 Commission revealed in July 2004 that they "now have evidence suggesting that 8 to 10 of the 14 Saudi `muscle' operatives traveled into or out of Iran between October 2000 and February 2001." The "muscle" operatives were the 9/11 hijackers who overpowered airline crew members, slit their throats, and terrorized passengers so the al-Qaida pilots could seize control of the airliners and fly them into their targets. The Commissioners concluded that there was "strong evidence that Iran facilitated the transit of al-Qaida members into and out of Afghanistan before 9/11, and that some of these were future 9/11 hijackers."


List of backup or "mirror" sites here or here -- for readers in China or for everyone when blogspot is "down" or failing to update. Email me here (Hotmail address). My Home Pages are here or here or here


The Big Lie of the late 20th century was that Nazism was Rightist. It was in fact typical of the Leftism of its day. It was only to the Right of Stalin's Communism. The very word "Nazi" is a German abbreviation for "National Socialist" (Nationalsozialist) and the full name of Hitler's political party (translated) was "The National Socialist German Workers' Party" (In German: Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei)


Friday, September 12, 2008

A Veep candidate like none before

Three months ago in Pennsylvania, John McCain held a town-hall meeting in Philadelphia in front of about 500 people. Yesterday, more than 10,000 turned up in rural Lancaster County, in the state's south. Some queued for more than four hours, including Annetta Good, 70. Was she here because of the Republican presidential candidate, John McCain? She looked sheepish. "No. It's Sarah Palin."

The Governor of Alaska, with staunch anti-abortion views and solid evangelical Christian credentials, has shocked even McCain with her drawing power now that she has joined the ticket as his vice-presidential nominee. No one inside the camp appears to care if she is swamping the news and overshadowing McCain....

The fire marshals at yesterday's event in Lancaster were forced to shut the doors with a couple of thousand outside. A stage was set up for McCain to come out later and address them. But it was Palin who electrified her fans inside. It was an Obama-like reception. As Palin was introduced, there were shouts of "Sarah! Sarah!"

It took 10 minutes for Palin, her husband, Todd -- along with, so the joke goes, "what's his name" -- to get to the podium. "Oh my goodness," Palin drawled in an elongated accent with echoes of a Canadian burr which has already captured the hearts of millions of Americans. "Thank you so much, it is so great to be here. This is absolutely overwhelming." Standing in high heels with her adventurer-cum-oil-worker husband by her side, Palin's star appeal is undoubted.

However, her stump speech was nothing new, other than a rendition of the greatest hits from her speech last week in St Paul, Minnesota, when she rocked the Republican Party convention with her self-confidence and her rhetorical evisceration of Obama. Again, she hammered Obama for saying one thing to working people in one place and something different elsewhere -- a swipe at the Illinois senator's comment earlier this year to a private gathering in San Francisco that working Americans were "bitter" and clinging to religion and guns. "Wherever he goes, John McCain is the same man," Palin said to a roar. "There is only one man in this election who has ever really fought for you."

McCain stood by Palin, pointing and acknowledging people in the audience, grinning broadly. He took the microphone and told the crowd: "You are convincing me more and more we will win the state of Pennsylvania." It will be a tough fight. Obama holds an advantage here but McCain is gaining. The last time a Republican won in this state was George HW Bush in 1988.

If crowd size is an indicator, it is neck-and-neck. Obama and his running mate, Joe Biden, were in Lancaster last week and drew a crowd of the same size. Biden grew up in working-class Scranton, about two hours to the north. Even so, that huge crowds are turning out for McCain and Palin shows the kind of support that narrowly carried George W.Bush to office in 2000 and 2004.

Her pro-life views swung it for many in the audience, amid doubts among conservatives -- until now at least -- about McCain's own views on abortion and religion. "He wasn't going to get my vote, until he selected Sarah Palin," said Colleen Ford, 31, holding a 13-month-old baby. "She's pro-life and she's proved it," she said, referring to Palin's decision to have a baby this year, Trig, despite knowing he would be born with Down syndrome. Anne Gjerde, 57, said she was planning to abstain from voting this year until Palin was selected.

A new Washington Post/ABC poll yesterday indicated a 20-point shift in white women to the McCain-Palin ticket -- from Obama holding an eight-point edge two weeks ago to a 12-point deficit now. But Obama's campaign manager said the poll was "wrong", and his internal polling didn't support the poll's finding.



Obamania makes way for Palinmania

Even before Governor Sarah Palin of Alaska had appeared on the stage to introduce Senator John McCain, the Republican presidential nominee, the chant went up around the hall: "We want Sarah!" A tear rolled down the cheek of a middle-aged woman volunteer who moments earlier had been barking orders to keep the exits clear. A mother clutched the hand of her 11-year-old daughter, whose face was made up like a clown with stars and the letters P-A-L-I-N painted across her face.

Outside, queues which began six hours earlier snaked around the sports hall as more than 9,000 people filed in. Hundreds would be left outside. They held home-made signs with slogans like "God, guns, lipstick" and "Read my lipstick - Palin." A vendor had run out of badges with Mrs Palin's picture and the legend: "Coldest State, Hottest Governor." One beaming woman wearing a "USA" baseball cap had scrawled a on a piece of cardboard: "A Real Woman = Governor, mom, CEO, pro-Life, God fearing, happy. GO SARAH!"

"I've never seen anything like it," said G. Edward LeFevre, a local Republican committee member. "The crowd, the enthusiasm, the upbeat feel and the emotion is unprecedented. Sarah Palin is quite a lady."

Then the 44-year-old mother of five appeared, with her husband Todd, also 44, and Mr McCain, 72, alongside her. The crowd went wild, the screaming and cheering eventually subsiding into a steady cry in unison of: "Sarah, Sarah, Sarah!" .....

Almost every woman asked about Mrs Palin used the word "real" to describe her. "We can relate to her," said Lori Ciarrocca, 40. "She's like other moms out there. She's a real person who speaks her mind and tells you how it is."

Tom Bross, 62, a Vietnam veteran who was twice wounded in combat, said that it was not just women she appealed to. "There are old rednecks who would have thrown me out of the local restaurant two weeks ago if I'd said they'd ever vote for a woman "Now Sarah Palin comes along and they're like a bunch of school kids tripping over themselves to listen to her."



'I am a liberal, but I'm blown away by Sarah Palin'

As American women are drawn to the Republican vice-presidential candidate, US writer Rebecca Johnson explains her appeal

It never really occurred to me that she might be the vice-presidential candidate. With so little time in office, even Alaskans hadn't yet made up their mind about Sarah Palin's job as governor of the state. I ran down to the beach to find my mother. A left-leaning Quaker who is president of the League of Women Voters in her Texas town, my mother is the least likely person to celebrate the election of a Republican to national office.

But as a young woman she had lived in Alaska, teaching English to natives and living on a houseboat. It was the place she had gone to escape her Southern Baptist country club-attending, bridge-playing parents and it loomed large in our family as a mythic paradise, a place where you could escape the chains of civilisation and reinvent yourself.

As soon as my mother retired from her job as a professor at a community college, we drove the Alaska-Canada highway together, revisiting the site of her early bliss. During that month-long trip, I glimpsed what she saw in the state. A whole day could go by without us seeing another soul: a solitude that complete could scrub the worst personality clean. The people we met were prickly, opinionated and original. Gore Vidal once famously said that California was so full of oddballs it was as if somebody had picked up the country and shook it so that all the loose pieces landed in the west. These days, the pieces are landing in the north.

With so few people around, conventional wisdom seems irrelevant and laws have a way of seeming arbitrary. When we were ready to sleep, we'd pull off the road and pitch a tent. But the harsh calculus of wilderness also reveals what is essential. You don't plan well, you don't make it through the winter. The wood pile outside Sarah Palin's parents' house is half a city block long for a reason. Forget New York City. If you can make it in Alaska, you can make it anywhere. When Sarah Palin says she doesn't care what we east coast liberals think about her, she means it.

"Sarah Palin is the vice-presidential candidate," I told my mother when I found her under a beach umbrella. We hugged each other joyfully. Politics be damned, Palin was a woman and she was an Alaskan! Moreover, I had been impressed with her when I interviewed her - not for her politics (I'm one of those east coast liberals she doesn't care about) but for the other things that people across the country are responding to right now:her warmth, her work ethic, her "can-do" attitude.

If life is simply a reprise of high school, Palin was the jock who attended church faithfully, ran the soup kitchen, and organised the bake sale. If her paper on the Lincoln-Douglas debate wasn't the most nuanced, so be it. Something has to give.

In my article, I wrote about how hard it is for Palin not to smile. The American media has been dismissive of that beauty-queen smile, but Palin really did enter the Miss Wasilla contest for the scholarship money. (To make extra money, her retired parents currently shoo the birds off the runway at the Anchorage airport so the birds' bodies don't muck up the engines' turbine.) Even then, Palin didn't like the pageant and was appalled when they asked her to turn around and show the judges her behind.

Once upon a time, I also would have been contemptuous of Palin's incurable optimism but, having been knocked around by life a bit, I now understand what a gift chronically happy people are given. Life hands them difficulties -a Down's syndrome baby, a 17-year-old daughter pregnant before her life as an adult has even begun, a much-needed job on the oil and gas commission that comes with too many strings - and she is not flummoxed or depressed or angry or self-pitying. She endures.

My liberal friends were outraged when rumours about Barack Obama attending a Madrassa or being a Muslim surfaced on the internet, but all week they have been gleefully trading emails of Sarah Palin distortions. There was the doctored picture of her carrying a rifle, wearing a stars-and-stripes bikini while a man in the background drank Schlitz beer. Or dopey quotes about God, creationism and moose, all of which have been subsequently debunked.

There have also been snide remarks about Wal-Mart and K-Mart, as if there is something shameful about trying to save money. The week before Palin's nomination was announced, people were talking about John McCain's inability to remember precisely how many houses he and his gazillionaire wife own. A few weeks before that, the news was Cindy McCain's $250,000 American Express bill (those lime-green shifts aren't free).

Todd Palin earns an hourly wage at his job on the North Slope oil field; Sarah Palin makes $125,000 a year as governor of Alaska. They're not poor, but Alaska, where most things have to be flown or shipped in, is an expensive state and they have five mouths to feed. Palin isn't shooting moose for sport; her family eats what she kills. If she shops at Wal-Mart for diapers, the vast majority of American women can relate.

It's no wonder the latest Washington Post poll shows an unprecedented shift of 20 points among white women towards McCain since he announced Palin as his running mate. Times are hard and getting harder. In a perfect world, people would vote based on issues. Care about a woman's right to choose her own biological destiny? Vote pro-choice. Unfortunately, life is still a lot like high school. We vote for people we like, people who make us feel comfortable and heard.

Having watched folksy George W trounce the patrician Al Gore and John Kerry, you'd think the Democrats would have learned this. Deriding Palin's modest background and lack of Ivy League credentials will only turn voters off. We should celebrate what is groundbreaking about Sarah Palin: a card-carrying member of Feminists for Life is a big step forward from Housewives for Life. And then we should talk about the issues.




Sarah scares Democrat actor Matt Damon: "The film star and Democrat activist likened the possibility of the Republican nominee for vice president becoming leader of the US to "a really bad Disney movie". "You do the actuary tables, there's a one out of three chance, if not more, that McCain doesn't survive his first term, and it'll be President Palin," Damon said during an interview at the Toronto Film Festival to promote ONEXONE, a Canadian children's charity. "It's like a really bad Disney movie, "The Hockey Mom.' Oh, I'm just a hockey mom from Alaska, and she's the president," the actor said. "She's facing down Vladimir Putin and using the folksy stuff she learned at the hockey rink. It's absurd. "I don't understand why more people aren't talking about how absurd it is. It's a really terrifying possibility. The fact that we have gotten that close to this being a reality is crazy."

Media sensationalism kills: "A teenage girl in central India killed herself on Wednesday after being traumatised by media reports that a "Big Bang" experiment in Europe could bring about the end of the world, her father said. The 16-year old girl from the state of Madhya Pradesh drank pesticide and was rushed to the hospital but later died, police said. Her father, identified on local television as Biharilal, said that his daughter, Chayya, killed herself after watching doomsday predictions made on Indian news programmes. "In the past two days, Chayya had asked me and other relatives about the world coming to an end on Sept. 10," Biharilal was quoted as saying. "We tried to divert her attention and told her she should not worry about such things, but to no avail." For the past two days, many Indian news channels held discussions airing doomsday predictions over a huge particle-smashing machine buried under the Swiss-French border."

Australian public broadcasting head praises Rupert: "Rupert Murdoch is the last, best hope for quality newspapers, ABC managing director Mark Scott has declared. Describing the Australian print media industry as a "pageant of distrust, misery and dashed hopes" in a speech to the National Press Club yesterday, Mr Scott said the growth of digital services was placing a bomb under the traditional commercial media business model. "Through all the turmoil within the Australian media industry, there is only one print mogul who has diversified his portfolio enough to offset the costs of quality journalism against profits made elsewhere in his business," said Mr Scott, a former editorial director at Fairfax. "And yes -- that last, best hope for newspapers is Rupert Murdoch."


List of backup or "mirror" sites here or here -- for readers in China or for everyone when blogspot is "down" or failing to update. Email me here (Hotmail address). My Home Pages are here or here or here


The Big Lie of the late 20th century was that Nazism was Rightist. It was in fact typical of the Leftism of its day. It was only to the Right of Stalin's Communism. The very word "Nazi" is a German abbreviation for "National Socialist" (Nationalsozialist) and the full name of Hitler's political party (translated) was "The National Socialist German Workers' Party" (In German: Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei)


Thursday, September 11, 2008

Spare a moment to remember the nearly 3,000 innocent victims of insane hate who died on this day in the year 2001. And spare a thought for the loved-ones they left behind

Sliming Palin

Summary below from Details here

We've been flooded for the past few days with queries about dubious Internet postings and mass e-mail messages making claims about McCain's running mate, Gov. Palin. We find that many are completely false, or misleading.

* Palin did not cut funding for special needs education in Alaska by 62 percent. She didn't cut it at all. In fact, she tripled per-pupil funding over just three years.

* She did not demand that books be banned from the Wasilla library. Some of the books on a widely circulated list were not even in print at the time. The librarian has said Palin asked a "What if?" question, but the librarian continued in her job through most of Palin's first term.

* She was never a member of the Alaskan Independence Party, a group that wants Alaskans to vote on whether they wish to secede from the United States. She's been registered as a Republican since May 1982.

* Palin never endorsed or supported Pat Buchanan for president. She once wore a Buchanan button as a "courtesy" when he visited Wasilla, but shortly afterward she was appointed to co-chair of the campaign of Steve Forbes in the state.

* Palin has not pushed for teaching creationism in Alaska's schools. She has said that students should be allowed to "debate both sides" of the evolution question, but she also said creationism "doesn't have to be part of the curriculum."


LOL: Palin Not Only in the Left's Heads, She Now Haunts Their Dreams

Pretty soon they'll all be having night terrors as they watch their man Obama go down in flames. Really, it's hard to believe how ridiculous these people are. You might think this is satire, but the guy is serious. Who else but a liberal nutjob would even dare publish something so absurd?
"I rarely remember my dreams, but for the past week, GOP vice-presidential nominee Sarah Palin has been haunting me. Night after night, she appears in my dreams, always as a scolding, ominous figure.

When I mentioned my Palin dreams to Slate colleagues, they volunteered their own. One Obama-supporting colleague dreamed she had urged her young son to kill Palin with a string bean. Another dreamed she was at a fashion show and Palin served her creme fruche on little scooped corn chips. A third says, "In the Sarah Palin dream I keep having, she has superhuman powers but is not really a person at all. In fact, she is more like the weather with glasses and an up-do, pushing clouds around and pitching lightning bolts."




Mike Volkin [] has produced a book called "The Accomplishments of Barack Obama", it has a table of contents and a foreword, and the rest of the book is blank. Check out the website. Mike put the book on his coffee table and had a party last weekend and says everyone thought it was hilarious. He is donating $1 of every book sold to charity.

Liberals Want to Neuter Your Cars. Yglesias: "As you've probably noticed, there's just about nowhere in the United States where you're allowed to drive faster than 80 miles per hour. And yet cars can drive much faster than this. And of course the reason you're not allowed to go super-fast is that it isn't safe. A large proportion of car accidents are related to people driving too quickly. Thus, via Ezra Klein comes Kent Sepkowitz's suggestion that we design cars so as to make it impossible for them to drive over, say, 75 miles per hour. This seems reasonably sensible to me."

Sarah Knows the media: "Sarah Palin has gotten some rough treatment from the media since John McCain announced his vice presidential pick. In her speech last week, she gave a little jab back at "all those reporters and commentators." That won't likely win her many new admirers in the Washington press corps. But Rasmussen has a new poll out that suggests that piling on Mrs. Palin may do more to harm the media's own image than hers. According to Rasmussen, fully 68% of voters believe that "most reporters try to help the candidate they want to win." And -- no surprise -- 49% of those surveyed believe reporters are backing Barack Obama, while just 14% think the media is in the tank for Sen. McCain. Meanwhile, 51% of those surveyed thought the press was "trying to hurt" Mrs. Palin with its coverage. Perhaps most troubling for the press corps, though, was this finding: "55% said media bias is a bigger problem for the electoral process than large campaign donations."

British PM triggers row with John McCain: "Gordon Brown has triggered a potential row with John McCain, the Republican presidential candidate, after apparently backing Barack Obama - breaking convention not to get involved in foreign elections. The Prime Minister heaped praise on Mr Obama and the Democrats in a magazine article, saying they were "generating the ideas to help people through more difficult times." Dealing with economic problems is the crucial battleground in the US elections and Mr Brown's comments were interpreted as backing the Democrat candidate. It sparked a flurry of activity among The Prime Minister's office and the British Embassy in Washington were last night involved in an embarrassing behind-the-scenes operation to try and limit the fallout from the incident. They were alerted after the highly influential Drudge Report website picked up the story, sparking a flurry of comment and analysis from election watchers in the US. Well-placed sources claimed that Mr Brown may not have read the article written in his name by a "junior Labour official".

Major companies fleeing Green/Left Britain: "Already struggling with an economy on the brink of recession and a record budget deficit, Britain's government is facing another problem: how to stop an exodus of British companies fleeing the local tax regime. In the past week alone, three British companies have announced plans to move their head office abroad before the end of the year, unhappy about a lack of clarity about future tax rules and eager to cut their tax bill. Henderson Group, an asset management firm, and engineering company Charter plan to move to Ireland. Regus Group, the office space provider, is leaving for Luxembourg and at least two more companies, advertising agency WPP Group and insurer Brit Insurance, said they might follow. The moves provoked hefty discussions among lawmakers and business representatives about the competitiveness of Britain's corporate tax system. The moves also came at the worst time for the government, which is already expected to lose billions of pounds in tax revenue from financial services companies burdened with losses from the credit crunch".

Britain: Mothers 'should be paid to stay home with their children': "Mothers should receive financial help of up to $12,000 a year to stay at home and care for their babies and toddlers, according to a report which says that nurseries fail to provide the one-to-one adult interaction children need. Too many parents of babies and toddlers are being forced back to work by financial pressure and government policy when they would prefer to stay at home during their offspring's earliest years, according to the research by a think-tank chaired by the former Conservative leader Iain Duncan Smith. Many of society's problems, such as knife and gun crime among teenagers, alcohol and drug abuse and poor mental health can be traced back to parental neglect when children were very young, said the Centre for Social Justice. Its recommendation was based on "compelling" research in psychology and neuroscience"


List of backup or "mirror" sites here or here -- for readers in China or for everyone when blogspot is "down" or failing to update. Email me here (Hotmail address). My Home Pages are here or here or here


The Big Lie of the late 20th century was that Nazism was Rightist. It was in fact typical of the Leftism of its day. It was only to the Right of Stalin's Communism. The very word "Nazi" is a German abbreviation for "National Socialist" (Nationalsozialist) and the full name of Hitler's political party (translated) was "The National Socialist German Workers' Party" (In German: Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei)


Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Sarah Palin feminism

Contrary to media stereotypes, evangelicals have no problem with women in the workplace

When the news came out earlier this week that the family situation of Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin is a little more complicated than had originally been disclosed, pundits immediately began speculating whether social conservatives -- not least, evangelicals -- would stick with their woman. Surely a person who allowed her 17-year-old daughter to get pregnant while she was off running a state could not be the type of mother and female politician that conservatives go for....

There are certainly a few evangelicals who will think twice about Mrs. Palin's choices. But looking at the big picture, it seems that Ms. Quinn and her colleagues in the media are operating from an outdated picture of the evangelical community and its "values."

Most American evangelicals have wholeheartedly embraced the idea of women in the workplace. A Pew survey released this summer, for instance, asked whether "women should return to their traditional roles in society." Twenty-two percent of all Americans agreed, compared with 32% of white born-again Protestants. That's not exactly a big difference. And younger evangelicals are even more likely to agree that women should have the opportunity to work outside the home.

Even 20 years ago, evangelicals showed a surprising willingness to accept new roles for women, beyond the traditional domestic ones. In 1988, James Davison Hunter, a sociologist at the University of Virginia, published a study called "Evangelicalism: The Coming Generation." He asked evangelicals whether they agree "that women should take care of running the home and leave the running of the country up to men." The media stereotype, then as well as now, would lead one to expect a very high percentage of agreeing respondents. But only 57% of older evangelicals agreed, compared with 33% of younger ones (ages 18-35). Both numbers have declined steadily ever since. In 2001, according to a UCLA survey, less than one-fifth of the freshman women at non-Catholic religious colleges -- more than half of whom said they were "born again Christian" -- agreed with this statement: "The activities of married women are best confined to the home and family."

So have evangelicals accepted the sexual revolution? Yes and no. While they generally agree that women should have careers, evangelical women and men still have some traditional social views -- that sex should be reserved for marriage, that marriage is between a man and a woman, and that the possibility of abortion on demand, far from being a key to women's happiness, is simply wrong. In other words, like most Americans, they have rejected the more radical elements of feminism. Another newsflash for the pundits, perhaps.

More here


Hating Sarah Palin

In early 2005, we wrote a short piece for The Wall Street Journal in which we argued that Hillary Clinton had a very strong advantage in a prospective 2008 presidential campaign: Republicans loathed her. This, we suggested, would make her appealing to the Democratic Party's Angry Left base; and hatred would blind Republicans, causing them to make mistakes in a general election campaign.

It's fair to say that article was subsequently overtaken by events. In fact, until 10 days ago, it looked as if there wouldn't be much hatred at all in this year's campaign. Some people find John McCain irritating; others find Barack Obama scary or contemptible. But neither man has aroused much true hatred.

McCain's vice presidential nominee, however, is arousing a lot of it. Columnist Nick Cohen of London's left-wing Observer has noticed--and he makes essentially the same argument we did about Mrs. Clinton 3« years ago:
My colleagues in the American liberal press had little to fear at the start of the week. . . . But instead of protecting their precious advantage, they succumbed to a spasm of hatred and threw the vase, the crockery, the cutlery and the kitchen sink at an obscure politician from Alaska.

For once, the postmodern theories so many of them were taught at university are a help to the rest of us. As a Christian, conservative anti-abortionist who proved her support for the Iraq War by sending her son to fight in it, Sarah Palin was "the other"--the threatening alien presence they defined themselves against. . . .

Hatred is the most powerful emotion in politics. . . . Hate can sell better than hope. When a hate campaign goes wrong, however, disaster follows.

One liberal Democrat who sees things similarly is Willie Brown, the former California Assembly speaker and San Francisco mayor. "The Democrats are in trouble," Brown writes in a column for the San Francisco Chronicle. "Sarah Palin has totally changed the dynamics of this campaign. . . . She didn't have to prove she was 'of the people.' She really is the people."

It was in Willie Brown's San Francisco that Obama made his infamous April remark about small-town voters: "It's not surprising then they get bitter, they cling to guns or religion . . ." Obama's contempt is unattractive enough. His supporters' hatred for a bitter clinger with the effrontery to think she is qualified for federal office is downright ugly. We don't think Obama is a hater, but the campaign may suffer because of his supporters' emotions, which are beyond his control.




Is McCain Too Old for President?: "The Doge (leader) of the city-state of Venice (now Italy) from 1192 to 1205 a.d. was Enrico Dandolo, who assumed the position somewhere beyond 70 years of age and led a successful military conquest of Constantinople when he was in his 90's as part of what we now call "The Crusades." Dandolo was personally present at the sacking of Constantinople and directed the military action. And he was blind when he did it. The story of Enrico Dandolo tells us a lot about age and ability to rule. Read about Dandolo here

The New York Post has enthusiastically endorsed John McCain: Thus, at least two of New York's leading newspapers, the New York Post and the New York Sun, are supporting him (I haven't seen a Sun endorsement yet but I'll eat my all-weather tires if they don't). The Post writes: "The Post today enthusiastically urges the election of Sen. John S. McCain as the 44th president of the United States. "McCain's lifelong record of service to America, his battle-tested courage, unshakeable devotion to principle and clear grasp of the dangers and opportunities now facing the nation stand in dramatic contrast to the tissue-paper-thin r‚sum‚ of his Democratic opponent..." In an article today linked to the editorial, the Post notes that "Big Mac" has gotten a "big bounce"

Hypocrisies of the Left : "Ever since Roe V. Wade made abortion legal in all 50 states the left has been bleating about the right to choose. Well, we have now seen what happens when a woman chooses against them and decides to have five children, one of which has Downs Syndrome. The anti human philosophy of the left really shows itself. Governor Palin is called a hypocrite for giving birth to a special needs child. So much for a womans right to choose."

British officialdom still losing data: "Jack Straw, the justice secretary, has called for an urgent inquiry into the latest government loss of computer data, a disk containing the personal details of 5,000 prison staff. Although the prison service was informed of the loss in July, Straw, who is the minister responsible, was only made aware of it yesterday when he was contacted by a Sunday newspaper. The hard disk containing personal details of up to 5,000 staff, including probation workers, was mislaid by a computing firm working for the Ministry of Justice more than a year ago. According to a letter sent by the firm, EDS, on July 4, the 500GB portable hard disk contained names, dates of birth, National Insurance numbers and prison service employee numbers of about 11% of the UK prison service's 45,000 workers. A copy of the letter, entitled Security Incident Interim Report, was obtained by the News of the World, which informed the justice secretary. "I am extremely concerned about this missing data," Straw said last night. "I was informed of its loss at lunchtime and have ordered an urgent inquiry into the circumstances and the implications of the data loss and the level of risk involved."

A British government bungle that would be funny if it were not so stupid: "Further flooding is feared across Britain this week as residents of the worst-hit town complained that a government-backed alternative for traditional sandbags had floated away... Some residents complained yesterday that flood defences simply floated away. They had been given packs of expanding pillows, designed like nappies, to soak up 20 litres of water. Simon Richell, 40 and wife, Gez, 38, saved their three sons, aged 11, 4 and 9 months, then tried to protect their riverside home. "We got handed these bags which expand to absorb water but they just floated off," said Mr Richell. "We ended up filling sandbags from the kids' sandpit." The "Floodsax" bags had been provided as part of a pilot scheme this year. It had been supported by John Healey, the Floods Recovery Minister, who visited Morpeth yesterday. The Environment Agency said that it was the first time that the bags had been used in the pilot zones." [How come the moronic bureaucrats did not test the things first?]


List of backup or "mirror" sites here or here -- for readers in China or for everyone when blogspot is "down" or failing to update. Email me here (Hotmail address). My Home Pages are here or here or here


The Big Lie of the late 20th century was that Nazism was Rightist. It was in fact typical of the Leftism of its day. It was only to the Right of Stalin's Communism. The very word "Nazi" is a German abbreviation for "National Socialist" (Nationalsozialist) and the full name of Hitler's political party (translated) was "The National Socialist German Workers' Party" (In German: Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei)


Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Why the Smears Won't Work

Another day another scandal. Actually they are coming faster than that. The latest Sarah Palin non-scandal has to do with a supposed affair she had with her husband's business partner and his efforts to have his divorce records sealed, but it has already been debunked (via Hot Air):
Nutcase bloggers will have to find another smear against Sarah Palin ... again. Did you hear that Todd Palin's former business partner tried to get his divorce records sealed? Conspiracy theorists immediately began speculating on line that Sarah Palin -- that vixen! -- must have had an affair and broken up the marriage. Why else would the partner suddenly act to seal his records?

As the Smoking Gun discovered, Scott Richter wanted them sealed -- to protect himself from conspiracy theorists...Isn't that an extra dollop of irony? Mr. Richter wants to protect his son from lunatics. What happens? The lunatics use that as "evidence" that Palin had an affair with Richter and descend on him to get the dirt.

If Obama's supporters have not figured it out yet, I'll give them a tip -- their scandal strategy isn't going to work. Here are a few reasons why:

1. Sympathy. They started off with a vile rumor that Palin faked the pregnancy of her fifth child, then turned it into an attack on her 17-year-old pregnant daughter. The fake pregnancy rumor was false. Not only were they shockingly nasty and vicious, they were also wrong. They lost their credibility and created sympathy for Palin in the process. Palin has shown she doesn't want or need anyone's sympathy, but she got it just the same, thanks to those who sought to destroy her.

2. Sarah Palin has connected with the American people. 37 million people heard her speak, in her own words, without interruption or editing from the Obamedia. It will be harder to make a scandal stick to someone America feels they know. Who ya gonna believe? The witty, down-to-earth straight talker with the beautiful family and the inspiring life story or the slimy rumor mongers who already tried to feed you a pack of lies?

3. People want someone to work to solve their problems. Are they going to be more likely to have a good opinion of a campaign that is addressing the problems they have or the campaign that appears to be obsessed with tearing their opponent apart?

4. The Obamedia has been exposed. Over the past year or more the media have fawned over Barack Obama. Over the past week the media have hit Sarah Palin with dozens of accusations based on little more than nutty leftwing hate site rumors. Recent polls show over 50 percent of the American public believe the media is trying to hurt Sarah Palin.

5. They just don't know how to do subtle. Instead of picking one or two really good scandals, they are throwing scores of them out there willy nilly, without fact checking or even, in some cases, bothering to read them in their entirety. One example is the list of books Palin supposedly banned -- the problem is that many of the books on the list were not even published yet when Palin supposedly banned them. Another accusation was that Palin cut funding for pregnant teens. Those circulating that one evidently were not so good at reading or at math. The document they presented as proof, actually showed an expansion of the program, but that did not keep the accusation from being reported by the Washington Post and the New York Times. Yet another accusation was that Palin cut funding for special needs children. Not true, and easily debunked in a matter of minutes with a Google search, yet it also was widely reported as fact and was even cited by Soledad O'Brien on CNN.

Some of the rumors mentioned above were repeated on television and on the front pages of some of the most respected newspapers in America. If the initial fake pregnancy rumor had not backfired so spectacularly, ensuring Sarah Palin the massive audience of 37 million, some of these other rumors reported in the MSM might have really hurt Palin. Even though they weren't true, voters would not likely learn that until they had already formed a negative opinion of Palin. Now that the public has gotten a good first impression of her, and they know that many of the rumors out there are turning out to be false, the scandals to come are likely to hurt Palin about as much as Bill Clinton's scandals hurt him.

Source (See the original for links)


Palin now greeted by 'Sarah! Sarah!'

The banners, buttons and signs say McCain-Palin, but the crowds say something else. "Sa-rah! Pa-lin!" came the chant at a Colorado Springs rally on Saturday moments before Republican nominee John McCain took the stage with Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, a woman who was virtually unknown to the nation just a week earlier. The day before, thousands screamed "Sa-rah! Sa-rah! Sa-rah!" at an amphitheater outside Detroit. "Real change with a real woman," read one sign at a Wisconsin rally. "Hurricane Sarah leaves liberals spinning," cried another.

In the short time since McCain spirited the 44-year-old first-term governor out of Alaska and onto a national stage as his running mate, Palin has become an instant celebrity. And since her speech at the Republican National Convention, watched by more than 40 million Americans, she is emerging as the main attraction for many voters at their campaign appearances. "She's the draw for a lot of people," said Marilyn Ryman, who came to see her at the Colorado rally inside an airport hangar. "The fact that she's someone new, not the old everything we've seen before."

McCain has sought to portray Palin as a bulldog who will help him "shake things up" on Capitol Hill. Washington, he said Saturday, is "going to get to know her, but I can't guarantee you they'll love her." "We do!" came a cry from the crowd.

"Colorado, it's going to be a hard-fought battle here," Palin said. As soon as she began speaking, a group of supporters interrupted her with a cheer of "Sa-rah! Sa-rah!"

More here



It looks like the Obama birth certificate controversy is not going away.

McCain 54 to 44 among likely voters: "Republican presidential candidate John McCain leads Democratic contender Barack Obama by 50 percent to 46 percent among registered voters, according to a weekend USA Today/Gallup Poll, USA Today reported. The surge in enthusiasm following the selection of McCain's running mate Sarah Palin marks a turnaround from the poll taken just before the Republican convention opened in St. Paul when he lagged by 7 percentage points, the newspaper reported. The new poll, taken Friday though Sunday, shows McCain leading Obama by 54 percent to 44 percent among people most likely to vote and was conducted among 1,022 adults, including 959 registered voters, with a margin of error of plus or minus 3 points for both samples, the newspaper said."

Another dishonest criticism of Sarah: "It is said that with five children, she has too many other obligations to take on the role of vice president. Give me a break. She can't vote in the senate when there is a tie? C'mon! This charge emanates from left-wing feminists, of course. Suppose Hillary were to have had five children the ages of Sarah's. Would the legions of her supporters be making this case with regard to Mrs. Clinton? To ask this is to answer it. In that case, Hillary's ascendency would only serve as evidence that "You can have it all." The hypocrisy of these "feminists" stinks to the high heavens. They do not support the idea of women breaking through the so-called glass ceiling. Rather, they favor left-wing socialist females being given positions of authority and responsibility. This is something very different. It is a rare occasion that these feminists have been caught with their contradictions so much in the public eye. All those sick and tired of these harridans ought to thank Sarah for this one boon alone."

Bill Kristol thanks the media for their role in boosting Sarah Palin: "The astounding (even to me, after all these years!) smugness and mean-spiritedness of so many in the media engendered not just interest in but sympathy for Palin. It allowed Palin to speak not just to conservatives but to the many Americans who are repulsed by the media's prurient interest in and adolescent snickering about her family. It allowed the McCain-Palin ticket to become the populist standard-bearer against an Obama-Media ticket that has disdain for Middle America."


List of backup or "mirror" sites here or here -- for readers in China or for everyone when blogspot is "down" or failing to update. Email me here (Hotmail address). My Home Pages are here or here or here


The Big Lie of the late 20th century was that Nazism was Rightist. It was in fact typical of the Leftism of its day. It was only to the Right of Stalin's Communism. The very word "Nazi" is a German abbreviation for "National Socialist" (Nationalsozialist) and the full name of Hitler's political party (translated) was "The National Socialist German Workers' Party" (In German: Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei)


Monday, September 08, 2008

Sarah Palin: A woman of character

Chuck Sr [her father] was the high school cross-country and athletics coach. She ran on his teams and earned the nickname "Sarah Barracuda" for her fiercely competitive nature on the basketball court. On one memorable occasion she came on with a fractured ankle to score the winning shot for the Wasilla Warriors in the state championship.

"Headstrong" is how her coach, Don Teeguarden, described her: "She knew her own mind and was generally willing to express her opinion. She didn't agree just for the sake of agreement. At the time I thought those were positive attributes and I still do."

She had an unapologetic streak of stubbornness from early childhood. Sarah's siblings were astonished by her resolve in the face of a father whose decisions were the final word in their household. "She never lost an argument and would never, no matter what, back down when she knew she was right," Chuck Jr remembers. "Not just with me or other kids, but with Mom and Dad too." "The rest of the kids, I could force them to do something," Chuck Sr said. "But with Sarah there was no way. From a young age she had a mind of her own. Once she made up her mind she didn't change it."

Later on he would enlist the help of people she respected - especially coaches and teachers - to persuade her to see things his way. Yet he concedes Sarah was persuasive in her arguments and often correct. Later, when his daughter became governor, Chuck found it immensely amusing that acquaintances asked him to sway her on particular issues. He says he lost that leverage before she was two.

Like her siblings, Sarah was baptised in the Catholic church. When her mother discovered what she saw as a more meaningful path to faith, her family followed her to a different church - the Wasilla Assembly of God. Sally Heath bundled up the kids and took them to church every Sunday morning and evening and most Wednesdays, too. As a little girl, Sarah sat through services fidgeting. When she was 12, however, she asked to be baptised. She wanted to make a public statement of faith.

With Alaska's perpetual summer sunshine glittering off the chilly waters of Beaver Lake, Pastor Paul Riley immersed her. Her siblings and her mother were also baptised that day as friends and family watched from the shore. Sarah took the commitment she made to God seriously, becoming the leader of the high school's Fellowship of Christian Athletes.

She had a boyfriend, Todd Palin, who had come to Wasilla from Dillingham, a remote community in western Alaska where his Yup'ik Eskimo grandmother, Helena "Lena" Andree, was an important influence, teaching him the value of hard work and traditional native ways. He had fished with his grandparents from a young age, eventually taking over their commercial fishing operation. "He had a car and a truck and a job. He was a lot more grown-up than most of my friends," said Sarah. She and Todd lived five miles apart. In the evenings they sat on their porches talking on two-way radios that Todd used on his fishing boat.

After high school, much to her brother's amusement, Sarah entered the Miss Wasilla pageant and won. When he asked her why she would do such a thing: "She told me matter-of-factly, `It's going to help pay my way through college'." In Sarah's home there was an expectation that if you wanted something, you earned it. "We always worked," Heather, her elder sister, said. "We never had anything handed to us. We knew on a teacher's salary that we would all have to pay our own way through college. We knew we'd have to be independent."

At college in Idaho she studied journalism. Newspapers had been a passion since early childhood. During the summers she helped Todd to fish commercially in Bristol bay. They fished from a 26ft skiff with no cabin, a boat that could carry 10,000lb of salmon in eight holding bins below deck. It was the most physically demanding and dangerous work she had ever undertaken. "Sarah has toughed out many a cold night," Todd said. "Even with 100mph winds, you don't want to be the one that turns back just to find out later how good the fishing was." "Todd is a brutal boss," Sarah said. "He shows no mercy to anyone."

Sarah and her father sometimes fished without Todd while he worked at his oilfield job on Alaska's North Slope. Chuck Sr remembers Sarah driving the boat onto the trailer in dangerous surf when no one else was willing to attempt it. When she and Todd married and started a family, they named their first child Track, after the track and field season in which he was born. Sarah's father jokingly asked what they would have named their son if he had been born during the basketball season. Without hesitation Sarah answered: "Hoop."

Their first daughter, born in 1990, was named Bristol after the ocean bay where they fished. Willow was born in 1994, named after willow ptarmigan, Alaska's state bird. Their youngest daughter, Piper Indy, came in 2001. She was named after the Piper Cub that Todd flies and the Polaris Indy snowmobile he drove in the first of his four victories in the Iron Dog snowmobile race, a gruelling 2,000-mile run from Wasilla to Fairbanks.

Between babies, Sarah worked short stints at television stations and at a utility company - and began to take an interest in local politics. The Wasilla of her childhood had grown from about 400 residents to more than 4,000 in 20 years. Many new businesses had appeared in sprawling strip malls along the city's main thoroughfare. At the same time Wasilla was becoming a bedroom community for commuters who worked in Anchorage. A member of Wasilla city council, Nick Carney - the father of one her high school friends - invited her to run for a council seat.

Campaigning as a "new face, new voice", 28-year-old Sarah won easily. But after taking office she was dumbfounded by the inner workings of the city government. Coming from a small community, she knew everyone: the mayor, John Stein, had been in her aerobics class. "Right away I saw that it was a good old boys' network," she said. "Mayor Stein and Nick Carney told me, `You'll learn quick, just listen to us'. Well, they didn't know how I was wired."

She voted against a pay raise for the mayor. Then she crossed Carney. He owned the only garbage removal service in town and had proposed an ordinance requiring all Wasilla residents to pay for garbage to be picked up from their homes. "I said no and I voted no," Sarah said. "People should have the choice about whether or not to haul their garbage to the dump." She grew increasingly impatient with politics as usual. No matter what the issue, the entanglements of political cronyism were a frustration. Too much of government was being run for the benefit of those in office. "By my second term on the council, it was apparent that things weren't going to change unless there was a change in leadership," she said.

Promising fresh ideas, she challenged the mayor in a contentious and heated campaign. Stein felt the sharp edge of Sarah's competitive drive. Wasilla voters sided with her. On October 1, 1996, she defeated him, 651-440. Seizing her mandate for change, Sarah stormed city hall, not realising how hard it would be to make changes, especially in an administration that had become entrenched. "Nick Carney told Sarah to her face that he'd do anything he could to make things difficult," said Judy Patrick, a friend who had been elected to the Wasilla council. "There were some very cantankerous people on that council."

Stein's loss was a bitter one. Many of his supporters viewed the new young mayor as a kid playing a grown-up game. Police Chief Irl Stambaugh - another of her former aerobics classmates - was fired. Department heads were told to reapply for their positions. Jobs were cut.

Watching all this in the wings was Donald Moore, the regional "borough manager" (roughly equivalent to the chief executive of a British county council). Now retired, he observed that there is an "inverse relationship between the size of the community and the ease of management". In other words, a small town can be hell to govern. Everyone knows everyone and lots of people have axes to grind. "Sarah is a very gracious woman," Moore said. "But she does not suffer fools."

More here



Oprah Winfrey is copping a lot of flak from her listeners for having Obama on her show but refusing to have Governor Palin.

Snide antisemitism coming from Andrew Sullivan -- making the absurd claim that Sarah Palin is "being safely indoctrinated by Joe Lieberman and AIPAC". Ace comments at length. I doubt that ANYONE could "indoctrinate" Sarah Palin.

The astute Caroline Glick says that having the humility to accept his own limitations was behind McCain's choice of Sarah Palin and that he showed himself a master strategist by doing that.

Small-town residents boo the media: "Hundreds of angry people in this small town outside Milwaukee taunted reporters and TV crews traveling with Sen. John McCain on Friday, chanting "Be fair!" and pointing fingers at a pack of journalists as they booed loudly. On the first leg of the "McCain Street USA" tour -- which will take the Republican presidential nominee and his running mate, Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, to small towns across the heartland -- the 30 or so reporters and crew were walking back to their buses to join the McCain motorcade when hundreds of townspeople started yelling. "Stop lying! You are all liars! Tell the truth!" one woman yelled from the front of the pack. The crowd was not menacing or threatening, but was clearly angry. "You're telling lies! Stop the lies!" one man yelled. Asked why the crowd was so angry, Linda J. Green of Mequon, Wisc., said: "I'm thinking the press is very biased"

Zogby Poll: Republicans Hold Small Post-Convention Edge: "Republicans John McCain and Sarah Palin left St. Paul, Minnesota, with a smallish bounce overall and some energy in key demographic groups, as the race for the presidency enters a key stage and voters begin to tune in to the contest, the latest Zogby Interactive poll finds. The McCain/Palin ticket wins 49.7% support, compared to 45.9% backing for the Obama/Biden ticket, this latest online survey shows. Another 4.4% either favored someone else or were unsure."


List of backup or "mirror" sites here or here -- for readers in China or for everyone when blogspot is "down" or failing to update. Email me here (Hotmail address). My Home Pages are here or here or here


The Big Lie of the late 20th century was that Nazism was Rightist. It was in fact typical of the Leftism of its day. It was only to the Right of Stalin's Communism. The very word "Nazi" is a German abbreviation for "National Socialist" (Nationalsozialist) and the full name of Hitler's political party (translated) was "The National Socialist German Workers' Party" (In German: Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei)


Sunday, September 07, 2008

McCain's acceptance speech was aimed at winning over independent voters and moderate Democrats -- so conservatives generally found it to be disappointing after the red meat of Palin's speech. From what I saw, the excerpt below is in fact one of the few conservative comments that really praised the McCain speech. The article is from Britain!

John McCain offered Republicans vision rooted in reality, not Barack Obama's empty promises

As the thousands of red, white and blue balloons, the tinsel and the tickertape descended from the rafters on the Republican convention moments after John McCain had finished addressing it, I at last worked out what had been the key difference between this event and the Democratic beano the week before.

The Democrats have a world view based (as Dr Johnson might have put it) on the triumph of hope over experience. The Republicans' is rooted firmly in reality

In Denver, speaker after speaker lauded and coddled one minority group after another and promised the largesse of the American taxpayer would alleviate their misery. In St Paul the message was about all Americans pulling together, getting government out of their lives, and making everyone richer and happier as a result.

When Mr McCain spoke, the faithful were still galvanised and awe-struck by the performance of his remarkable running-mate 24 hours earlier. In that sense anything he could say or do was bound to be an anti-climax. Yet his steady, measured, statesmanlike speech was the perfect complement to her benign but startling demagoguery.

Thus is the flavour of the next two months established. She will eat their opponents alive; he will be there to explain from the apparently limitless fount of his wisdom what will be done on the tree-strewn road ahead. It is a horrible clich‚, but of the two men aiming for the White House, Mr McCain has more of the demeanour of a president. This is nothing to do with his white hair, still less his white skin: it is everything to do with his gravitas and his record.

Some of us thought, and hoped, that he would win the nomination in 2000 over the manifestly inferior George W Bush. The qualities he had then are the same ones that give him the edge over his opponent now: a "story", to use the campaign's favourite word, of genuine heroism, service and leadership; coupled with what are now the first signs of a grasp of what it is possible to do to right America's economic wrongs without first making them considerably worse.

Mr McCain has been on Capitol Hill for 26 years. He not only knows how the system works, he actively despises it and wants to reform it. He brings immense wisdom and good judgment to the table. It is that, rather than a beauty contest based on some celebrity X-factor, that should decide the election on November 4.

In his speech to the delegates in St Paul Mr McCain dealt only in the broad brush. In this, he was rather like Mr Obama in the Broncos' stadium at Denver a week earlier. But unlike Mr Obama, Mr McCain littered his broad brush with odd moments of detail, and clear statements of vital principle. His delivery may have lacked the charisma and sonority of his opponent's, but what he delivered will have connected with tens of millions of Americans, consolidating the shock of the new imposed on them the previous evening by Sarah Palin.

The biggest gap remains his economic programme: he cannot much longer delay explaining how he is going to cut spending, cut the deficit, and provide the tax cuts he promises.

No-one deserves to get a job on Buggin's turn, or on the basis that he or she has been in the queue for it the longest; but that is not what qualifies Mr McCain for the White House. He drew attention to the most important fact about modern life: not the global economic convulsion, from which America has in the last fortnight started to show the first faint signs of recovery, but the fact that the world is a dangerous place, and getting more so. Mr Obama doesn't know where to start on this, and the claims made for his good ol' boy running mate Joe Biden being an expert on foreign policy are charitable to say the least.

In the next eight weeks Mr McCain needs to hammer home the perils to western civilisation not just of Islamic extremism but also of a new Cold War and a restless China. He made a good start yesterday, but this notoriously inward-looking country still needs more of a wake-up call. His television debates with Mr Obama, starting later this month, will be crucial in what must be his strategy of trumping charm and effortless superiority with raw experience.

The convention was a comparatively sober affair, not simply because of the shadow from Hurricane Gustav but because the revivalist hysteria that smothered the Democrats was absent here. But that, of course, is all about the connection Republicans have with reality, practicality running through their veins as idealism does through the Democrats'.

More here



Iraq victory within sight - Palin: "A US victory in Iraq is "within sight," Republican vice presidential contender Sarah Palin said today. Mrs Palin attributed the imminent success to the surge of troops sent to Iraq last year who have helped quell violence there. She praised war veteran running mate John McCain's strong support for the surge at a time when it was highly unpopular and threatened to derail his campaign for the Republican nomination. "He refused to break faith with the troops in Iraq who have now brought victory within sight," the Alaska governor told an enthusiastic crowd in Sterling Heights, Michigan. "And as a mother of one of those troops that is exactly the kind of man I want as commander in chief." Mrs Palin, whose son will deploy to Iraq next week, attacked rival Barack Obama's opposition to the surge and warned that he would not protect the United States if he were to win the November 4 election. "If the United States military had suffered defeat at the hands of al-Qaeda in Iraq our nation would have been less safe today and millions of innocent would have been left to a violent fate," Mrs Palin said. "That tragedy would have happened if Barak Obama had gotten his way and Congress had cut off funding for the surge."

McCain Camp Attacks Media for Its 'Mission to Destroy Palin': "John McCain's top campaign strategist accused the news media this week of being "on a mission to destroy" Sarah Palin by displaying "a level of viciousness and scurrilousness" in pursuing questions about her personal life. In an extraordinary and emotional interview, Steve Schmidt said his campaign feels "under siege" by wave after wave of news inquiries that have questioned whether Palin is really the mother of a 4-month-old baby, whether her amniotic fluid had been tested and whether she would submit to a DNA test to establish the child's parentage, the Washington Post reports. Arguing that the media queries are being fueled by "every rumor and smear" posted on left-wing websites, Schmidt said mainstream journalists are giving "closer scrutiny" to McCain's little-known running mate than to Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama.... Schmidt spoke on the record in denouncing as "an absolute work of fiction" a New York Times account of the process by which the McCain campaign vetted Palin"

LOL: "But while half of the Republican movement protests that Sarah Palin is being targeted or ridiculed because she is a woman, one suspects the other half, like Mark Steyn, secretly dreams of being field dressed by her."


List of backup or "mirror" sites here or here -- for readers in China or for everyone when blogspot is "down" or failing to update. Email me here (Hotmail address). My Home Pages are here or here or here


The Big Lie of the late 20th century was that Nazism was Rightist. It was in fact typical of the Leftism of its day. It was only to the Right of Stalin's Communism. The very word "Nazi" is a German abbreviation for "National Socialist" (Nationalsozialist) and the full name of Hitler's political party (translated) was "The National Socialist German Workers' Party" (In German: Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei)