Tuesday, September 30, 2008




WHAT exactly does a "community organizer" do? Barack Obama's rise has left many Americans asking themselves that question. Here's a big part of the answer: Community organizers intimidate banks into making high-risk loans to customers with poor credit.

In the name of fairness to minorities, community organizers occupy private offices, chant inside bank lobbies, and confront executives at their homes - and thereby force financial institutions to direct hundreds of millions of dollars in mortgages to low-credit customers.

In other words, community organizers help to undermine the US economy by pushing the banking system into a sinkhole of bad loans. And Obama has spent years training and funding the organizers who do it.

THE seeds of today's financial meltdown lie in the Commu nity Reinvestment Act - a law passed in 1977 and made riskier by unwise amendments and regulatory rulings in later decades.

CRA was meant to encourage banks to make loans to high-risk borrowers, often minorities living in unstable neighborhoods. That has provided an opening to radical groups like ACORN (the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now) to abuse the law by forcing banks to make hundreds of millions of dollars in "subprime" loans to often uncreditworthy poor and minority customers.

Any bank that wants to expand or merge with another has to show it has complied with CRA - and approval can be held up by complaints filed by groups like ACORN.

In fact, intimidation tactics, public charges of racism and threats to use CRA to block business expansion have enabled ACORN to extract hundreds of millions of dollars in loans and contributions from America's financial institutions.

Banks already overexposed by these shaky loans were pushed still further in the wrong direction when government-sponsored Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac began buying up their bad loans and offering them for sale on world markets.

Fannie and Freddie acted in response to Clinton administration pressure to boost homeownership rates among minorities and the poor. However compassionate the motive, the result of this systematic disregard for normal credit standards has been financial disaster.

ONE key pioneer of ACORN's subprime-loan shakedown racket was Madeline Talbott - an activist with extensive ties to Barack Obama. She was also in on the ground floor of the disastrous turn in Fannie Mae's mortgage policies.

Long the director of Chicago ACORN, Talbott is a specialist in "direct action" - organizers' term for their militant tactics of intimidation and disruption. Perhaps her most famous stunt was leading a group of ACORN protesters breaking into a meeting of the Chicago City Council to push for a "living wage" law, shouting in defiance as she was arrested for mob action and disorderly conduct. But her real legacy may be her drive to push banks into making risky mortgage loans.


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Monday, September 29, 2008

US elections: Barack Obama's team believes he can win by a landslide

By Tim Shipman in Washington
Last Updated: 8:18PM BST 27 Sep 2008

Barack Obama's senior aides believe he is on course for a landslide election victory over John McCain and will comfortably exceed most current predictions in the race for the White House.

Barack Obama's senior aides believe he is on course for a landslide election victory over John McCain and will comfortably exceed most current predictions in the race for the White House.

Their optimism, which is said to be shared by the Democratic candidate himself, is based on information from private polling and on faith in the powerful political organisation he has built in the key swing states.

Insiders say that Mr Obama's apparent calm through an unusually turbulent election season is because he believes that his strength among first time voters in several key states has been underestimated, both by the media and by the Republican Party.

Mr Obama has come under fire from within Democratic ranks over his message and his tactics. Critics say he has failed to connect with the blue-collar workers seen as crucial to winning the election, and too reluctant to make direct attacks on Mr McCain.

But his aides are convinced that he has a strong chance of winning no fewer than nine states won by George W.Bush in the closely contested 2000 election, including former Republican strongholds like North Carolina, Virginia and even Indiana, which have not voted Democrat for a generation.

David Axelrod, Obama's chief strategist, said last week that Obama had "a lot of opportunity" in states which Mr Bush won four years ago.

But in private briefings in Washington, a member of Mr Obama's inner circle of policy advisers went much further in spelling out why the campaign's working assumptions far exceed the expectations of independent observers.

"Public polling companies and the media have underestimated the scale of new Democratic voters registration in these states," the campaign official told a friend. "We're much stronger on the ground in Virginia and North Carolina than people realise. If we get out the vote this may not be close at all."

To win the presidency, Mr Obama must win 270 votes in the Electoral College, which awards votes to the winner of each state broadly in proportion to the size of the population.

Statewide surveys put the likely Electoral College result at a slender Obama win, 273-265. But his campaign staff believe they have a good chance of securing between 330 and 340 votes, and could win up to 364 votes, a landslide on the scale of Bill Clinton's wins.

The senior Obama advisor said that the Democratic nominee is confident of winning all the states held by John Kerry, the Democratic candidate four years ago, a total of 252 votes.

But his team believes he can also bank victories in Iowa, where he first emerged as a force in the campaign in January, and New Mexico, where Mr Kerry only lost by 20,000 votes in 2004. Those states would leave him just six votes short of outright victory.

Taking Colorado, as Mr Obama's team are very confident of doing, would put him over the top. Even winning the smaller state of Nevada, with its five electoral votes, would be enough to guarantee a 269-269 tie with Mr McCain. If that happens, the US consititution would hand the decision over to the Democrat dominated US House of Representatives, which would presumably come down in Mr Obama's favour.

Most pollsters would regard those expectations as uncontroversial. But the Obama camp is also confident of winning Ohio and Virginia, which commentators believe are "toss up" states with the two candidates chances at 50/50.

Last week Mr Obama began investing heavily in advertising in Indiana, Florida and North Carolina, which many had supposed to be a waste of time and money.

A Washington official who has discussed the electoral mathematics with one of Mr Obama's senior advisers told The Sunday Telegraph that the campaign is spending money only in states which it believes can, and indeed ought to, be won.

"Obama has many more paths to the nomination than McCain," the source said. "They think they can defend the Kerry states. Iowa is gone. That's five votes. New Mexico is in the bag. Then Obama has four or five different ways of winning. He can go Nevada or Colorado, Virginia, any of those, even Indiana.

"McCain has got to run the board, the whole Bush table. He can probably lose New Mexico and Iowa. He can't afford to lose anything else."

The official added: "The poll numbers say Florida's back in play. McCain hasn't spent a single penny there and that's Obama's calculation, that he can capitalise on that. The Republicans can't lose Florida or they're done for."

Conventional wisdom among pollsters is that Mr Obama is at risk of losing both Michigan and Pennsylvania and possibly even Wisconsin, all large Kerry states whose loss would be a damaging blow.

But the Obama camp believes that Wisconsin in safe and that he has strengthened his position in Pennsylvania with a good ground operation. Michigan, home of the Reagan Democrats, is a concern because Mr Obama did not campaign there in the primaries and race relations are raw, but they are confident they can hang on to his slender lead in the polls.

Mainstream pollsters on both sides of the aisle last week called the election as a dead heat. Mark Mellman, who was John Kerry's polling guru, said the 2008 election is "increasingly resembling the real map of 2004" and Matthew Dowd, a top strategist on Bush's re-election campaign, added: "States that were reliably red are reliably red, and states that were reliably blue are reliably blue."

But Mr Obama's campaign team reject that analysis. Their confidence that good organisation will more than compensate for latent racism will be reassuring to some Democrats, who were concerned by a poll last weekend that found Mr Obama would be six points higher in the polls if he were white.

The scale of their ambition will trouble those Democratic sceptics who consider Mr Obama's aides to be complacent and inexperienced in national campaigns.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Gore urges civil disobedience to stop coal plants

By Michelle Nichols
Wed Sep 24, 2008 3:29pm EDT

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Nobel Peace Prize winner and environmental crusader Al Gore urged young people on Wednesday to engage in civil disobedience to stop the construction of coal plants without the ability to store carbon.

The former U.S. vice president, whose climate change documentary "An Inconvenient Truth" won an Academy Award, told a philanthropic meeting in New York City that "the world has lost ground to the climate crisis."

"If you're a young person looking at the future of this planet and looking at what is being done right now, and not done, I believe we have reached the stage where it is time for civil disobedience to prevent the construction of new coal plants that do not have carbon capture and sequestration," Gore told the Clinton Global Initiative gathering to loud applause.

"I believe for a carbon company to spend money convincing the stock-buying public that the risk from the global climate crisis is not that great represents a form of stock fraud because they are misrepresenting a material fact," he said. "I hope these state attorney generals around the country will take some action on that."

The government says about 28 coal plants are under construction in the United States. Another 20 projects have permits or are near the start of construction.

Scientists say carbon gases from burning fossil fuel for power and transport are a key factor in global warming.

Carbon capture and storage could give coal power an extended lease on life by keeping power plants' greenhouse gas emissions out of the atmosphere and easing climate change.

But no commercial-scale project exists anywhere to demonstrate the technology, partly because it is expected to increase up-front capital costs by an additional 50 percent.

So-called geo-sequestration of carbon sees carbon dioxide liquefied and pumped into underground rock layers for long term storage.

(Additional reporting by Timothy Gardner; Editing by Christine Kearney and Xavier Briand)

Democratic Congressman Warns Jews, Blacks to Beware of Palin

by Stephen Clark
Thursday, September 25, 2008

Florida Rep. Alcee Hastings on Wednesday warned two minority groups to beware of Sarah Palin because “anybody toting guns and stripping moose don’t care too much about what they do with Jews and blacks.”

Hastings, who is black and a Democrat, made the comment in Florida at a panel discussion hosted by the National Jewish Democratic Council. The group recently criticized Palin’s invitation to an anti-Iran rally held during Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmedinajad’s visit to New York to speak before the U.N. General Assembly.

Hastings was explaining what he intended to tell his Jewish constituents about the presidential race.

“If Sarah Palin isn’t enough of a reason for you to get over whatever your problem is with Barack Obama, then you damn well had better pay attention,” Hastings told the audience, which burst into laughter and applause, according to individuals present.

Palin spokeswoman Maria Comella declined to comment. The Republican Jewish Coalition strongly condemned Hastings’ statements.

“Rep. Hastings stooped to the worst kind of divisive politics yesterday,” RJC Executive Director Matt Brooks said in a written statement. “Hastings’ unconscionable remarks do nothing but sow seeds of fear and divide people. There should be no place in our country for this sort of political discourse. We can constructively disagree on the issues without denigrating others.”

Other members of the panel were Tennessee Rep. Steve Cohen, who is Jewish and represents a mostly black district; Alabama congressman Artur Davis, who is black; and Peter Edelman, a law professor at Georgetown University who was a legislative assistant to Robert Kennedy.

Davis denounced Hastings’ comments.

“Alcee Hastings is a friend and I know Alcee well enough to know that he uses provocative humor to make a point. In this instance, however, I didn’t like his comments when I heard them and they don’t sound any better reading them in print,” he said in a written statement sent to FOXNews.com.

“I have repeatedly said that while Sarah Palin’s ideology and her thin resume are legitimate issues, it is a great mistake for Democrats to ridicule her cultural roots,” Davis added. “I don’t know how many Americans strip moose, but a lot of the ones I know tote guns and the Democratic Party had better win enough of those gun toters if we are to be successful.”

Hastings, a former federal judge, was impeached and removed from the bench in 1989 for perjury and corruption. Elected to Congress in 1992, he supported Hillary Clinton during the primaries until she conceded the race.

Historically, Jews have overwhelmingly voted Democratic, but the McCain campaign is vigorously courting that constituency as Obama has fought off false Internet rumors that he is a Muslim with an anti-Jewish agenda.

Obama also came under fire in April for describing small-town Americans during a closed San Francisco fundraiser as people who are “bitter” over job losses and who “cling to their guns and religion.”

Hastings’ office and the Obama campaign did not immediately respond for this story.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Michael Savage - Barack Hussein Obama Admits Being a Muslim

Scottsdale economist sees parallels to Great Depression

Phoenix Business Journal - by Mike Sunnucks

Scottsdale economist Elliott Pollack is among financial experts drawing some parallels between the current financial situation and the Great Depression.

Those include the $700 billion bailout plan backed by Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke and U.S. Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson as well as tax and economic policies put forward by presidential contender Barack Obama.

Pollack said Wednesday the Fed chairman’s view of the Depression can be seen in the bailout plan being debated by Congress. Pollack spoke at an economic forum Wednesday sponsored by the Greater Phoenix Chamber of Commerce and Cox Communications.

Pollack says Bernanke, a noted Depression historian, sees the Fed’s lack of support for the banking system among the major causes of the Depression. As a result, banks fell to public panic, the stock market crashed and money supplies were restricted.

In a 2004 speech at Washington & Lee University, Bernanke said the Fed “could have been more aggressive in lending cash to banking” and “that central banks and other governmental agencies have an important responsibility to maintain financial stability.”

The bailout plan and recent cash infusions by the Fed and other central banks are aimed at rescuing the banking and mortgage sectors and opening clogged credit streams.

“He has stood behind the banking system. He’s pumped money,” said Pollack of Bernanke.

Bernanke, Paulson, Wall Street analyst Jim Cramer and Berkshire Hathaway Chairman Warren Buffett say the bailout is needed to prevent the credit crunch from getting worse with more banks failing and businesses and consumers unable to get loans.

“The credit markets are now blocked by fear,” said Jeffrey DeBoer, president and CEO of Real Estate Roundtable, an industry group. “This fear is now causing, and will increasingly cause, pain to Main Street homeowners, small businesses and consumers of every type in every community in the nation. The Treasury rescue plan is the best solution to restore credit availability. Now is the time to take resolute action.”

Lisa Von Bargen, CEO of Phoenix-based Beyond Implementation Inc., said the credit crunch is hurting consumers and businesses, and if more banks, lenders and investment houses fail thousands of jobs could be lost.

“The move helps stabilize all financial providers as well as consumer confidence. Ultimately, (the bailout is) in the best interest of our clients and the long-term health of the economy,” said Scott Cornelius, president of Johnson Bank.

That plan faces bipartisan skepticism from Congress with Democrats also pushing for assistance to distressed homeowners and some Republicans unwilling to waiver from a policy of keeping government out of private business.

Pollack, CEO of Scottsdale-based Elliott D. Pollack & Co., said economists and historians also blame protectionist tariffs in the Smoot-Hawley Tariff Act of 1930 and federal tax increases imposed by President Herbert Hoover for magnifying the Depression. He draws some parallels between Depression-era protectionism and tax increases and some of Obama’s strategies.

Obama cites concern about U.S. jobs and foreign outsourcing in support of curtailing free trade policies. He also backs higher taxes on the wealthy, oil and gas companies and some other businesses.

The 1930 tariffs aimed to encourage the purchase of U.S. goods, but resulted in retaliation by other countries causing international trade to plummet, according to numerous analysis.

Bipartisan support for $25 billion to $50 billion in federal loans for U.S. auto makers also worries some economists who say possible provisions could impact foreign auto makers and spark a trade war.

Pollack, however, notes that the weak dollar has helped U.S. exports.

Looking back at tax policy, the federal government cut rates several times during the 1920s but raised them in 1932 under Hoover and again under Franklin Roosevelt in response to budget deficits and huge drops in revenue. Hoover raised the top personal income tax rate from 25 percent to 63 percent, according to the Cato Institute. Corporate taxes jumped from 12 percent to 24 percent and FDR added taxes on some profits.

Obama has proposed windfall profit taxes on oil companies with money going toward middle-class tax rebates. Obama also wants to raise taxes on households earning more than $250,000.

Arizona State University economist Dennis Hoffman said, however, Obama’s tax increases still are historically low with the top rate proposed to rise from 35 to 40 percent. That compares to top rates of 63 percent under Hoover, 94 percent under FDR and 40 percent under Ronald Reagan and Bill Clinton, according to the IRS.

Dollar dips on uncertainty over US bailout plan

Reuters, Thursday September 25 2008


* Uncertainty over proposed US bailout plan hits dollar
* Yen slips as Japan trade balance falls into deficit
By Rika Otsuka
TOKYO, Sept 25 (Reuters) - The dollar dipped against the euro on Thursday, hurt by lingering uncertainty over the U.S. government's proposed $700 billion bank bailout plan and worries about damage to the economy from the credit crunch.
The dollar climbed the previous day, with investor confidence in the U.S. currency somewhat restored after reports that billionaire Warren Buffett would invest $5 billion in Goldman Sachs Group Inc and that the Federal Reserve had set up currency swap lines with more central banks.
But that was offset by fears that congressional wrangling could delay or weaken the financial sector rescue plan.
The euro edged up 0.1 percent from late U.S. trade to $1.4640.
Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke on Wednesday said "extraordinary stress" in financial markets was threatening an already weak U.S. economy, urging lawmakers to support the credit bailout package.
"The sense of panic in the market is receding thanks to steps by the U.S. government, as well as private enterprises," said Tsutomu Soma, senior manager of foreign assets at Okasan Securities.
"But investors remain reluctant to buy the dollar as they are concerned about the U.S. economy," Soma said
The dollar index which tracks the U.S. currency's performance against six major currencies, was down 0.1 percent at 76.888.
The dollar fell slightly against the yen to 106.03 yen from around 106.10 in late New York Trade despite Japanese data showing the country's trade balance swung into a deficit in August for the first time since January as exports slowed and import costs rose.
Still, the data added to worries over the world's No.2 economy as it faces recession fears and financial market upheaval.
The European single currency was up 0.1 percent to 155.36 yen. (Editing by Hugh Lawson) Printable version larger | smaller Business

Barack Obama and the Muslim call to prayer

From Grand Old Partisan

On this day in 2007, Barack Obama said the Muslim call to prayer is "one of the prettiest sounds on Earth." In an interview with The New York Times, Senator Obama recited, "with a first-class [Arabic] accent," the opening lines of this prayer:

"Allah is Supreme! Allah is Supreme!
Allah is Supreme! Allah is Supreme!
I witness that there is no god but Allah
I witness that there is no god but Allah
I witness that Muhammad is his prophet... "

McCain Suspends Campaign to Help With Bailout

by FOXNews.com
Wednesday, September 24, 2008

John McCain will suspend his presidential campaign Thursday and has asked to postpone his debate Friday with Barack Obama so the two senators can return to Washington to help negotiate a Wall Street bailout, an approach that Obama promptly rejected.

“America this week faces an historic crisis in our financial system,” McCain said in mid-afternoon remarks to reporters in New York. “If we do not act, every corner of our country will be impacted. We cannot allow this to happen.”

Click here for a transcript of McCain’s announcement.

The move means running mate Sarah Palin will also suspend her campaign activities. The Republican presidential candidate asked the Presidential Debate Commission to postpone his first debate with Obama, which is scheduled to take place Friday night at the University of Mississippi in Oxford.

Obama responded by saying that such disruptive measures were unnecessary.

“Presidents are going to have to deal with more than one thing at a time,” Sen. Obama said. “It’s not necessary for us to think that we can only do one thing and suspend everything else.” He said that he and McCain have large campaign planes that can get them out of Mississippi and back to Washington quickly.

The debate commission released a statement saying it was moving forward with plans to hold the debate Friday.

Obama has since accepted an invitation from President Bush, according to his campaign, to attend a meeting Thursday in Washington, D.C., with congressional leaders. The same invitation was extended to McCain.

Obama said Wednesday he spoke earlier in the day with McCain, who suggested that they suspend the debate.

“I thought this was something that he was mulling over. Apparently this was something he was more decisive about in his own mind,” Obama said in a press conference in Florida, where he has been preparing for the debate.

Obama said the scrutiny of the bailout plan is nonpartisan and he would not allow it to become welfare for Wall Street executives or an opportunity for political ploys.

“There are times for politics and there are times to rise above them, do what is right for the country. This is one of those times,” he said.

McCain said he will leave the campaign trail after delivering an address to former President Clinton’s Global Initiative on Thursday morning. He canceled a Wednesday afternoon taping of The Late Show With David Letterman and a Thursday interview with FOX News. His campaign said he will suspend airing all ads and fundraising until Congress passes bailout legislation.

“We must pass legislation to address this crisis,” he said. “If we do not, credit will dry up, with devastating consequences for our economy. People will no longer be able to buy homes and their life savings will be at stake. Businesses will not have enough money to pay their employees.”

McCain will participate in Friday night’s debate if a bill is passed by Friday morning, his adviser Mark Salter said.

By stepping away from the first debate, McCain he is giving up an opportunity to show off his foreign policy credentials. He had negotiated strongly to make foreign policy, his strong suit, the topic of the first of the three debates. On the other hand, McCain has been criticized for being weak on the issue of economy

But McCain has fallen in recent polls — largely attributable to the economic crisis — and rival political analysts suggested McCain’s move was opportunistic and a chance to stem the free-fall.

On Wednesday, the FOX News/Opinion Dynamics poll showed Obama had taken a 45-39 percent lead over McCain, in large part because of independent voters. A Washington Post poll also showed that most voters think Obama has a better approach to dealing with the economy than McCain.

The Obama campaign initially responded to the news that McCain was suspending his campaign by saying Obama earlier had suggested issuing a joint statement on the financial crisis.

“At 8:30 this morning, Senator Obama called Senator McCain to ask him if he would join in issuing a joint statement outlining their shared principles and conditions for the Treasury proposal and urging Congress and the White House to act in a bipartisan manner to pass such a proposal,” spokesman Bill Burton said.

“At 2:30 this afternoon, Senator McCain returned Senator Obama’s call and agreed to join him in issuing such a statement. The two campaigns are currently working together on the details,” Burton continued.

But McCain’s camp said Obama never reached McCain in the morning call because McCain was meeting with economic advisers and talking to leaders in Congress. Afterward, McCain phoned Obama and expressed deep concern that the plan on the table would not pass as it currently stands. He asked Obama to join him in returning to Washington to lead a bipartisan effort to solve this problem.

Both campaigns later issued the joint statement, which urged Democrats and Republican work together, and “rise above politics for the good of the country.”

Click here to read the joint statement.

McCain adviser Nancy Pfotenhauer said McCain is just following his belief in putting the country first. She noted that he suspended the Republican National Convention when Hurricane Gustav hit the Gulf Coast and supported the unpopular troop surge in Iraq by saying he would rather win a war than win an election.

“We all watched the [Senate] hearings yesterday. … The bottom line is he did not think we would reach a conclusion and it’s absolutely imperative that we do so. This is vintage John McCain. He is going to put the country first and suspend the campaign,” Pfotenhauer told FOX News.

In his remarks to reporters, McCain said he did not think the Bush administration’s $700 billion bailout plan, being shepherded by Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson, adequately addresses the crisis at hand.

“It has become clear that no consensus has developed to support the administration’s proposal. I do not believe that the plan on the table will pass as it currently stands, and we are running out of time,” he said.

Neither McCain nor Obama has spent much time on Capitol Hill in recent months. The last vote McCain took was in April. Obama last voted in July.

In announcing McCain’s expected return, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell applauded his decision and said Republicans want to see included in the president’s bill limits on executive compensation, debt reduction, congressional oversight and taxpayer protections.

Obama’s closest confidant in the Senate, Majority Whip Dick Durbin of Illinois, took to the floor to say that Obama e-mailed him Tuesday night with the idea of talking to McCain about issuing a joint statement. Durbin said McCain and the bright lights and cameras of the campaign aren’t needed on Capitol Hill and will inject partisanship when it’s not needed. Durbin agreed all the debates should go forward, suggesting McCain was just reacting to poll numbers.

Other leading Democrats had harsh words for McCain. House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer said McCain was “injecting presidential politics” into the financial crisis.

“This notion of rushing to Washington and grandstanding — it’s silly, it’s impulsive, it’s erratic,” said Massachusetts Sen. John Kerry, the Democrats’ 2004 nominee.

McCain announced his decision shortly after the White House said President Bush will deliver an address to the nation Wednesday night. McCain called on Bush to convene a meeting of congressional leadership, in both chambers and parties, including him and Obama.

“It is time for both parties to come together to solve this problem,” he said.

“I am confident that before the markets open on Monday we can achieve consensus on legislation that will stabilize our financial markets, protect taxpayers and homeowners, and earn the confidence of the American people. All we must do to achieve this is temporarily set politics aside, and I am committed to doing so.”

“Obviously we appreciate the seriousness Senator McCain and other leaders — Senator Obama as well — are taking to this issue,” said deputy White House spokesman Tony Fratto said of McCain’s move.

FOX News’ Chad Pergram, Major Garrett and Trish Turner contributed to this report

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Obama and Ayers Pushed Radicalism On Schools


Despite having authored two autobiographies, Barack Obama has never written about his most important executive experience. From 1995 to 1999, he led an education foundation called the Chicago Annenberg Challenge (CAC), and remained on the board until 2001. The group poured more than $100 million into the hands of community organizers and radical education activists.

The CAC was the brainchild of Bill Ayers, a founder of the Weather Underground in the 1960s. Among other feats, Mr. Ayers and his cohorts bombed the Pentagon, and he has never expressed regret for his actions. Barack Obama's first run for the Illinois State Senate was launched at a 1995 gathering at Mr. Ayers's home.

The Obama campaign has struggled to downplay that association. Last April, Sen. Obama dismissed Mr. Ayers as just "a guy who lives in my neighborhood," and "not somebody who I exchange ideas with on a regular basis." Yet documents in the CAC archives make clear that Mr. Ayers and Mr. Obama were partners in the CAC. Those archives are housed in the Richard J. Daley Library at the University of Illinois at Chicago and I've recently spent days looking through them.

The Chicago Annenberg Challenge was created ostensibly to improve Chicago's public schools. The funding came from a national education initiative by Ambassador Walter Annenberg. In early 1995, Mr. Obama was appointed the first chairman of the board, which handled fiscal matters. Mr. Ayers co-chaired the foundation's other key body, the "Collaborative," which shaped education policy.

The CAC's basic functioning has long been known, because its annual reports, evaluations and some board minutes were public. But the Daley archive contains additional board minutes, the Collaborative minutes, and documentation on the groups that CAC funded and rejected. The Daley archives show that Mr. Obama and Mr. Ayers worked as a team to advance the CAC agenda.

One unsettled question is how Mr. Obama, a former community organizer fresh out of law school, could vault to the top of a new foundation? In response to my questions, the Obama campaign issued a statement saying that Mr. Ayers had nothing to do with Obama's "recruitment" to the board. The statement says Deborah Leff and Patricia Albjerg Graham (presidents of other foundations) recruited him. Yet the archives show that, along with Ms. Leff and Ms. Graham, Mr. Ayers was one of a working group of five who assembled the initial board in 1994. Mr. Ayers founded CAC and was its guiding spirit. No one would have been appointed the CAC chairman without his approval.

The CAC's agenda flowed from Mr. Ayers's educational philosophy, which called for infusing students and their parents with a radical political commitment, and which downplayed achievement tests in favor of activism. In the mid-1960s, Mr. Ayers taught at a radical alternative school, and served as a community organizer in Cleveland's ghetto.

In works like "City Kids, City Teachers" and "Teaching the Personal and the Political," Mr. Ayers wrote that teachers should be community organizers dedicated to provoking resistance to American racism and oppression. His preferred alternative? "I'm a radical, Leftist, small 'c' communist," Mr. Ayers said in an interview in Ron Chepesiuk's, "Sixties Radicals," at about the same time Mr. Ayers was forming CAC.

CAC translated Mr. Ayers's radicalism into practice. Instead of funding schools directly, it required schools to affiliate with "external partners," which actually got the money. Proposals from groups focused on math/science achievement were turned down. Instead CAC disbursed money through various far-left community organizers, such as the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (or Acorn).

Mr. Obama once conducted "leadership training" seminars with Acorn, and Acorn members also served as volunteers in Mr. Obama's early campaigns. External partners like the South Shore African Village Collaborative and the Dual Language Exchange focused more on political consciousness, Afrocentricity and bilingualism than traditional education. CAC's in-house evaluators comprehensively studied the effects of its grants on the test scores of Chicago public-school students. They found no evidence of educational improvement.

CAC also funded programs designed to promote "leadership" among parents. Ostensibly this was to enable parents to advocate on behalf of their children's education. In practice, it meant funding Mr. Obama's alma mater, the Developing Communities Project, to recruit parents to its overall political agenda. CAC records show that board member Arnold Weber was concerned that parents "organized" by community groups might be viewed by school principals "as a political threat." Mr. Obama arranged meetings with the Collaborative to smooth out Mr. Weber's objections.

The Daley documents show that Mr. Ayers sat as an ex-officio member of the board Mr. Obama chaired through CAC's first year. He also served on the board's governance committee with Mr. Obama, and worked with him to craft CAC bylaws. Mr. Ayers made presentations to board meetings chaired by Mr. Obama. Mr. Ayers spoke for the Collaborative before the board. Likewise, Mr. Obama periodically spoke for the board at meetings of the Collaborative.

The Obama campaign notes that Mr. Ayers attended only six board meetings, and stresses that the Collaborative lost its "operational role" at CAC after the first year. Yet the Collaborative was demoted to a strictly advisory role largely because of ethical concerns, since the projects of Collaborative members were receiving grants. CAC's own evaluators noted that project accountability was hampered by the board's reluctance to break away from grant decisions made in 1995. So even after Mr. Ayers's formal sway declined, the board largely adhered to the grant program he had put in place.

Mr. Ayers's defenders claim that he has redeemed himself with public-spirited education work. That claim is hard to swallow if you understand that he views his education work as an effort to stoke resistance to an oppressive American system. He likes to stress that he learned of his first teaching job while in jail for a draft-board sit-in. For Mr. Ayers, teaching and his 1960s radicalism are two sides of the same coin.

Mr. Ayers is the founder of the "small schools" movement (heavily funded by CAC), in which individual schools built around specific political themes push students to "confront issues of inequity, war, and violence." He believes teacher education programs should serve as "sites of resistance" to an oppressive system. (His teacher-training programs were also CAC funded.) The point, says Mr. Ayers in his "Teaching Toward Freedom," is to "teach against oppression," against America's history of evil and racism, thereby forcing social transformation.

The Obama campaign has cried foul when Bill Ayers comes up, claiming "guilt by association." Yet the issue here isn't guilt by association; it's guilt by participation. As CAC chairman, Mr. Obama was lending moral and financial support to Mr. Ayers and his radical circle. That is a story even if Mr. Ayers had never planted a single bomb 40 years ago.

Mr. Kurtz is a senior fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center.

Rashid Khalidi: PLO Member & Obama Mentor

By TexasDarlin

“Senator Obama is minimizing his association with Rashid Khalidi…former member of the Palestinian Liberation Organization…”

Here’s the meat of the Obama-Khalidi story, as reported in the investigative piece by Sean Hannity, which is part of his “The Real Barack Obama” series:

Obama was asked recently in a forum with Jewish voters in Florida about his relationship with Palestinian activist Rashid Khalidi. Khalidi, an outspoken critic of the US policy in Israel, was an employee of the Palestinian Liberation Organization “at a time when that was a designated terrorist organization,” according to Daniel Pipes of the Middle East Forum.

Obama responded that he knew Khalidi because they both taught at the University of Chicago and Khalidi’s kids attended the same private “lab” school as Obama’s daughters. Obama stressed that Khalidi is “not one of my foreign policy advisers.”

Doesn’t this shrug-off ring a bell? Remember how Obama insisted that unrepentant terrorist William Ayres was just a “guy who lives in the neighborhood” and how he conveniently declared that “this isn’t the Tony Rezko I knew” as soon as Rezko was convicted on 16 counts of corruption?

Obama is lying about the extent of his relationship with Khalidi. The Woods Fund, which Obama co-chaired with Weather Underground pal Bill Ayres, approved grants totaling $70,000 in 2000-2001 to Khalidi’s organization, the Arab American Action Network. And in 2000, Khalidi held a fundraiser for Obama. In Pipes’ words:

“The financial relationship between Khalidi and Obama is important because it points to their relationship not just being social and intellectual but having a deeper base, that they are people who are working together towards the same end.”

As reported in an April L.A. Times article cited by Pipes entitled Allies of Palestinians see a friend in Barack Obama the Obamas hosted a “lavish farewell dinner” for Khalidi and his wife as they headed to Columbia University in 2003:

A special tribute came from Khalidi’s friend and frequent dinner companion, the young state Sen. Barack Obama. Speaking to the crowd, Obama reminisced about meals prepared by Khalidi’s wife, Mona, and conversations that had challenged his thinking.

His many talks with the Khalidis, Obama said, had been “consistent reminders to me of my own blind spots and my own biases. . . . It’s for that reason that I’m hoping that, for many years to come, we continue that conversation — a conversation that is necessary not just around Mona and Rashid’s dinner table,” but around “this entire world.”


At Khalidi’s 2003 farewell party…a young Palestinian American recited a poem accusing the Israeli government of terrorism in its treatment of Palestinians and sharply criticizing U.S. support of Israel. If Palestinians cannot secure their own land, she said, “then you will never see a day of peace.”

(emphasis added.)

In an opinion piece called Palestine: Liberation Deferred published in The Nation in May, Khalidi referred to the “Palestinian question” as a “running sore,” a characterization which Barack Obama channeled shortly thereafter in an interview with The Atlantic, in which he responded to a question about whether “Israel is a drag on America’s reputation overseas” by saying:

“No… But what I think is that this constant wound, that this constant sore, does infect all of our foreign policy.”

Back to that synagogue in South Florida….Obama with a straight face said:

“….he’s not one of my advisers, he’s not one of my foreign policy people…his kids went to the lab school where my kids go…”

Barack has some explaining to do to the Jewish community, and to all Americans concerned about what an Obama Administration’s Middle East policy would entail. The voters are entitled to some straight answers.

Lou Dobbs discusses Obama - Ayers connection

Monday, September 22, 2008

Poll: Women Not Turned Off Over Palin's Abortion Views, Split on McCain-Obama

by Steven Ertelt
LifeNews.com Editor
September 22, 2008

Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) -- A new poll finds only a handful of women are turned off to voting for John McCain because of his running mate Sarah Palin's abortion views. The survey also finds women split on the McCain-Barack Obama contest and 23 percent of Hillary Clinton backers supporting McCain.

The press and political pundits make much of the supposed gender gap in each election, but the new Lifetime Network poll finds the Alaska governor is helping McCain run even with his pro-abortion rival.

In a dramatic reversal since late July, when the women's television network conducted its previous poll, McCain and Palin are now virtually tied with Obama and pro-abortion running mate Joe Biden.

Obama/Biden garnered 47 percent of the women's vote to McCain/Palin's 45% in the survey -- within the margin of error -- and another 7 percent are undecided.

The poll also looked at women's views on Governor Palin and found that a majority (52%) of women had a mostly positive view while 29% were mostly negative and 13 percent neutral.

Of the women who had negative views, 48 percent said it was because of the governor's position on the issues. Of that 48 percent, just 18 percent pointed to her pro-life position as the main position they opposed.

That means just 2.5 percent of all women surveyed in the poll indicated they disagree with Palin on the issues and say abortion is the reason why.

That's hardly representative of key pro-abortion groups like Planned Parenthood and NARAL, who say millions of women will oppose McCain and Palin when they learn the governor is pro-life.

In Lifetime's late July poll, Barack Obama handily beat John McCain 52% to 18% with 11% volunteering "neither" to the question of who understands women better. Just six weeks later, and with the addition of Sarah Palin to the Republican ticket, McCain/Palin has dramatically reversed those fortunes, now in a virtual tie with Obama/Biden, 44%-42%.

A majority of Senator Clinton primary supporters (57%) were upset that Obama did not pick her as his running mate, but most are not holding it against him. Nearly four in ten (38%) said that while they were upset, they will still support Obama.

Thirty-one percent of Clinton primary supporters said that they were not upset that Senator Clinton was not added to the Democratic ticket. Roughly a third (35%) of Clinton supporters said they'd be less likely to vote for McCain with Palin on the ticket, while nearly one in five (19%) said they'd be more likely to do so.

Twenty-three percent of Clinton primary voters now say they will pull the lever for McCain versus 18% when asked in July.

McCain/Palin edged out Obama/Biden by four percentage points, 47% to 43%, on which pair is better ready to lead the country.

Women also said Governor Palin is not getting a fair treatment in the media.

Women believe Senator Clinton has been treated more fairly than Governor Palin, with 56% saying coverage of Clinton was fair and 50% saying that coverage of Palin has been fair. Still, 40% maintained that Clinton had been treated unfairly, and 42% said the same about Palin.

Republican pollster Kellyanne Conway, who is pro-life, and Democratic pollster Celinda Lake, who supports abortion, combined for the LifeTime poll.

Abortion: Front And Center In This Election

By Monte Harms on September 22, 2008 5:39 AM | No Comments | No TrackBacks

Several events have occurred in the last couple of months that have made the abortion issue one of the prominent topics in the campaigns of both parties. This congruence of events should keep the abortion topic on the front burner until the election.

First of all, there couldn't have been a better display of the differences in the two candidates then when they were asked at the Saddleback Forum about when human rights begin. John McCain stated that life begins at conception, while Barack Obama gave some rambling incoherent answer which he finally said he couldn't answer because it would be above his pay grade.

Barack Obama's view of abortion takes the issue to a whole new level. With his refusal to support the Born Alive Infant Protection Act as an Illinois State Senator, it displays to the world that he is not only 100% pro-abortion, but if a baby survives an abortion, it should be left to die. Obama has tried to dispute his own vote, but the truth is there for all to see.

Another event that brought abortion to the forefront was the selection of Sarah Palin as John McCain's vice presidential running mate. This selection has pro-abortion groups fuming for two reasons. Since she's an adamant pro-life woman, it is something they just can't comprehend. It seems they believe every woman should be for women's rights, which, of course, to them means abortion on demand. Also, her decision not to abort her child with Down Syndrome has put the liberals in this country in a perplexing position. Those who believe in abortion usually agree that it can be used to destroy an unborn baby with a disability, and now the whole world can see that Palin and her family love and cherish this baby.

It seems that nearly every day there are abortion comments and stories on the news channels and talk radio from either side of the aisle. For instance, they reported the story of an interview posted on the political Web site Politico with South Carolina's Democratic Chairwoman Carol Fowler. She said Republican John McCain picked a running mate "whose primary qualification seems to be that she hasn't had an abortion." Ads are now running about Gianna Jessen's remarkable story about living through a failed abortion - something Barack Obama was opposed to. If the Republicans keep hammering home Obama's view on abortion, it can be a crucial reason that the undecided or moderates voters will choose McCain.

It is obvious, but not always stated, that abortion has an excellent chance to be the one issue that voters can't ignore in the upcoming election. This gives the pro-lifer an incredible opportunity to discuss abortion with people who rarely ever think about the issue. In the next 40 days there will be increasing dialogue at work, school, or just in social interactions about the issues of this election. The abortion topic can be easily worked into the conversation without people thinking you're trying to ram your views down their throats. Since the mainstream media has virtually ignored Obama's view on the Born Alive Infant Protection Act, the vast majority of Americans know little or nothing about it. Now is the time to educate them on this and other pro-life views.

Then the shift can be made to what people personally believe about abortion. From what I have heard lately from some, they believe abortion is wrong, but we shouldn't restrict someone from being able to have one. Or in the case of Barack Obama and other politicians, they state that everyone agrees that we need to have a reduction in abortions, but still there should be a right to choose to have one. The logical responses could be, "Why do you think it's wrong, and why should we have less abortions? So you are personally against killing of babies, but for killing of babies if someone else does it? So you are against bank robbery, murder, rape, but it's fine if someone else does it."

I believe the abortion issue in this election will continue to take a front and center position like no other time in our history. Thus, pro-lifers have a tremendous opportunity to explain to their fellow citizens the truth about abortion.

Pro-Life Chair to Congress: 'We Can't Reduce Abortions By Promoting Abortion'

WASHINGTON, Sept 22, 2008 /PRNewswire-USNewswire via COMTEX/ -- Writing to all members of Congress on September 19, Cardinal Justin Rigali warned against enactment of the proposed "Freedom of Choice Act" or "FOCA" (S. 1173, H.R. 1964).
"Despite its deceptive title," he wrote, "FOCA would deprive the American people in all 50 states of the freedom they now have to enact modest restraints and regulations on the abortion industry. FOCA would coerce all Americans into subsidizing and promoting abortion with their tax dollars. And FOCA would counteract any and all sincere efforts by government to reduce abortions in our country."
Cardinal Rigali, chairman of the U.S. bishops' Committee on Pro-Life Activities, wrote that under FOCA "abortion on demand would be a national entitlement that government must condone and promote in all public programs affecting pregnant women." While some have said the bill would simply codify the Supreme Court's 1973 decision in Roe v. Wade, he added, supporters of FOCA say it "would sweep away hundreds of anti-abortion laws [and] policies" that are now in effect because they do not conflict with Roe. These include bans on public funding of abortions as well as "modest and widely supported state laws" protecting women's safety, informed consent and parental rights.
With his letter, Cardinal Rigali enclosed a legal analysis by the bishops' Office of General Counsel documenting the extreme legal impact of FOCA.
"Members of both parties have sought to reach a consensus on ways to reduce abortions in our society," wrote Cardinal Rigali. He cited laws restricting and regulating abortion, and "bipartisan legislation providing practical support to help women carry their pregnancies to term, such as the Pregnant Women Support Act (S. 2407, H.R. 3192)," while noting evidence that programs promoting access to contraception do not generally reduce abortions.
"However," wrote Cardinal Rigali, "there is one thing absolutely everyone should be able to agree on: We can't reduce abortions by promoting abortion.... No one who sponsors or supports legislation like FOCA can credibly claim to be part of a good-faith discussion on how to reduce abortions."
Cardinal Rigali urged all members of Congress "to pledge their opposition to FOCA and other legislation designed to promote abortion," so that "we can begin a serious and sincere discussion on how to reduce the tragic incidence of abortion in our society."

Terror attack in Jerusalem, 17 wounded

At least 17 reported wounded as terrorist runs private car into pedestrian crowd at busy intersection in central Jerusalem. Paramedics say two in serious condition. Terrorist reportedly shot dead by IDF officer

Efrat Weiss Latest Update: 09.23.08, 00:17 / Israel News

A terrorist driving a black BMW ran his car into a crowd of pedestrians at a busy intersection in central Jerusalem near the Old City on Monday evening.

At least 17 people were confirmed wounded at Zahal Square, most in light-to-moderate condition. Magen David Adom paramedics evacuated those wounded to the Hadassah Ein Karem and Shaare Zedek hospitals for treatment.

Most of those wounded are reportedly soldiers belonging to the Artillery Corps who were on a 'Selichot Tour' in Jerusalem. Selichot are Jewish penitential prayers said during the High Holidays.

The terrorist, a Palestinian from east Jerusalem, was shot dead by an IDF officer holding the rank of lieutenant who was with the soldiers.

A female civilian sustained moderate-to-serious wounds.

Rescue services rushed to the scene, and police have blocked traffic in the area. Sappers examined the terrorist's body, fearing he may have been wearing a bomb belt.

The terrorist reportedly began his rampage on Shivtei Yisrael Street. Security authorities say they have been able to ascertain the identity of the terrorist, it has not yet been released for publication.

"The terrorist was in a private car, he rammed straight into a group of people touring the area," said first

responded Haim Weingreten, a ZAKA volunteer.

Police say had no alerts
Jerusalem District Commander Aharon Franco said that police officials did not have a specific warning regarding an intention to carry out an attack in Jerusalem.

"This attack could have taken place anywhere," he said. "The police are deployed in force in order to prevent such incidents.

Earlier this summer, Jerusalem was the scene of two similar attacks. In the first attack, three people were murdered after an east Jerusalem terrorist went on a rampage with his bulldozer, targeting passersby in central Jerusalem. More than 30 people sustained wounds in the attack.

Three weeks later, a terrorist who went on a similar rampage was shot to death early into his attack. As a result, he was unable to murder anyone, but 18 people were wounded in the attack. The terrorist who perpetrated the second rampage was also from east Jerusalem.

First Published: 09.22.08, 23:15

Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus: The American taxpayer

Sol Sanders writes the "Asia Investor" column weekly for East-Asia-Intel.com.

Someone from the New York Times, in some circles the presumed voice of God, told us that the new globalized world was flat. He meant there was so much competition out there that to keep up with the rest of the human race you had to recognize that the old rules didn't apply any more.

Well, as they say, something happened on the way to forum.

It turns out the world is still round. It not only turns out that most of the old rules still apply. But that, furthermore — one more cliché — the mot is in our own eye. The threat to the system and livelihoods came not from all those new industrializing economies willing to work harder and to cut corners doing it, but from the bunch on Wall Street and in The City.

They believed they could substitute the digital revolution for common sense and human judgment. That's why they thought they could bundle up a bunch of mortgages whose dubious value they had no way of knowing, "securitarize" them, then take out leveraged insurance against their eventually doing what they naturally would do — turn into worthless paper. Going under the pseudo-financial name "derivatives", megachip machines were supposed to calculate all the risks and substitute logarithms for investment experience and prudent counsel.

Meanwhile, the non-American members of the new club convinced themselves that growing "intra-Asian" trade, self-aggrandizing bureaucrats in Brussels, and Russians selling inefficiently produced hydrocarbons into and oil and gas bubble, would go on forever.

But instead of a fuse from an incredibly corrupt Chinese financial system pulling down the whole "construct", as some of us had anticipated, it started at the other end of the world economy. And suddenly all the way to Dubai the world found out how dependent it was on the American economy and its genius, however temporarily fouled by the new yuppie clan in the counting houses.

The economists will be analyzing what happened for decades, hopefully long after most of its immediate effects have been cleaned up.

But in what is, indeed, a globalized world, the Wall Street debacle is having its effect on all the other problems with which the world has been living.

The newest immediate crisis, a rapacious Putin regime in Moscow invading its southern neighbor, is facing its own debacle. However much Putin's bravado was welcomed in nationalist circles, his own tycoons didn't like it.

The half trillion dollars in foreign reserves the Russians had accumulated in the inflated hydrocarbons markets is rapidly being trimmed. Some $200 billion has had to be thrown in bucking up the ruble and the local equity markets — and that won't be the end of it. One may well ask how Ras hopes to finance his proposed 27 percent increase in a defense budget, meant to frighten the world. There has been a flight of capital to the West with investors and the Russian oligarchs themselves sending their cash after their luxury homes in London and the Mediterranean. If oil prices — with a decelerating world economy — fall below $90 a barrel, the Russians will be in even more trouble while they dig deeper to keep the fragile post-Soviet economy equilibrium.

The Chinese, already beset with a multitude of problems which must be faced in the afterglow of an expensive but only ornamental Olympics, are facing lower growth rates. It had been taken as a rule of thumb that China had to keep growing at double digit rates of gross national product if increasing demands for employment were met in a society bereft of its old Marxist-Leninist-Maoist rationale. That won't be easy even with lower imported energy costs since the 75 percent of exports generated by the multinationals — which lead the economy — will now be under all kinds of new pressures including likely depressed American and EU consumer markets. The still budding scandal of milk products adulteration, while not a major financial drain, is again more evidence that systemic corruption has reached levels of economic concern and a further system of the loss of control over an authoritarian system by the monopoly Communist Party.

Japan, caught in a quiet but decisive and confused struggle over continuing former Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi's revolutionary reform of the old 1950s regime's politics as well as its economics, now has to face new trials for an economy which might be slipping back into the decade of stagnation of the 90s. The Japanese have become increasing dependent on their and other multinationals' assembly operations in China, now its number one trading partner. But for all the talk of the growth of trade among the East Asian industrial economies, their ultimate overly heavy dependence on exports to markets in the U.S. and Europe is going to be crucial. Choosing a new prime minister in mid-September may be the smallest of the tests Tokyo faces what with a continuing declining population catastrophe, an internal debt that at least until now, has made the other industrial economies look good.

Even Australia, luxuriating in the world commodities boom with its growing exports of minerals and hydrocarbons, especially to China, suddenly feels the cold wind. Its dollar was climbing to parity with the U.S. dollar only a few weeks ago. But now the rippling effects of the Wall Street financial crisis are likely to be felt Down Under as well.

Singapore, trying to transform itself from the quintessential Nanny society into a painted lady, trying to replace its increasingly noncompetitive manufactures with tourism replete with casinos and car racing and other service industries, is going to find hard sledding into a more straightened world with tourist bucks, too, harder to come by.

How long and how difficult the adjustment to the fallout to the U.S, fiasco is going to be will depend, of course, on how quickly the Bush Administration in its dying months can put together at least a short-term fix. A trillion dollars in taxpayer supported buyouts for the decimated real estate market — what apparently at this writing in mid-September appears in the cards — may stem the atmosphere of foundering confidence and panic.

If there is any satisfaction for Americans in the perception, it is clear, again, as it has been since the end of World War II, and even more after the end of the Cold War, that the U.S. is not only the residual center of world stability. It is also clear that with all the talk of how much of the world's resources it consumes and how much the rest of the world is willing to pick up its IOUs, the American taxpayer is still the last pocket picked in fixing any world economic crisis.

Sol W. Sanders, (solsanders@cox.net), is an Asian specialist with more than 25 years in the region, and a former correspondent for Business Week, U.S. News & World Report and United Press International. He writes weekly for World Tribune.com and East-Asia-Intel.com.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Obama: "I want you to argue with them and get in their face."

From the San Francisco Chronicle:

"I need you to go out and talk to your friends and talk to your neighbors. I want you to talk to them whether they are independent or whether they are Republican. I want you to argue with them and get in their face," he said.

"And if they tell you that, 'Well, we're not sure where he stands on guns.' I want you to say, 'He believes in the Second Amendment.' If they tell you, 'Well, he's going to raise your taxes,' you say, 'No, he's not, he's going lower them.' You are my ambassadors. You guys are the ones who can make the case."


This is unacceptable from a politician. Any politician in America, no matter who it is. I'd drop John McCain like a load of bricks if this was his approach, and indeed, if I was working on his ads, I'd make Mr. Obama, Junior Senator from Illinois, famous for these words.

He lectures America about civility, then tells his supporters to get in people's faces? How dare he?

Barack Obama and his campaign have been engaging in dangerous behavior lately. In following posts, I'll outline some of the more awful things being done by his campaign and his followers.

Suffice it to say, I agree with the Washington Times.

Oh, and for the record, he's not telling you the whole truth in that quote, either. Mr. Obama believes in the Second Amendment for target shooting and hunting only. He called the Washington D.C. gun ban - which banned handguns from homes and required that rifles and shotguns be unloaded and disassembled or locked up - Constitutional. As a Constitutional lecturer, he knows full well that the Bill of Rights (don't confuse them with the purpose of all of the Amendments) were limitations on the government's powers over the people. You can read James Madison's speech arguing for the need for the Bill of Rights yourself. Target shooting and hunting have nothing to do with that. Possessing the means of rebelling against a tyrannical State does. Read it for yourself.

As I recall, the third and fourth paragraphs are kind of plodding, but it's all that kind of 18th century formal language to signify deference and politeness. The rest of it is plain English.

For more information on Mr. Obama's desire to keep Americans servile and defenseless: go here or here.

As far as Obama on taxes: no, he's not going to lower taxes. It's repeated often enough that Obama will cut taxes on the poorest Americans. The problem is the poorest Americans don't pay taxes. They get money back. Obama will take other people's money (including yours) and give it to the poor. Whatever you think the merits of that are (personally, I'd rather see more Americans do more things on our own for other Americans), it's not exactly true that he'd be lowering their taxes. You can't lower below zero. After that, it's bread and circuses.

What Obama will do is allow the Bush Tax Cuts (which actually shifted the tax burden even more in the direction of "the rich," despite the "Tax Cuts for the Rich" meme) and use the money to plow back into health vouchers. He will also allow the return of the death tax, which is a huge problem for middle-class and poor Americans, something I'll get to in another post. What Obama also plans to do is massively increase spending, which draws wealth out of the system, instead of putting it in, thereby effectively putting a huge tax on future earnings and assets for younger generations. We've had enough of that since the 70s.

Barack Obama: intimidation you can believe in.

Moving billboards of fetuses offend some

City offcials say the truck-billboards are protected free speech
By Jazmine Ulloa


Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Two delivery trucks displaying 22-by-7 feet images of aborted fetuses will be driving through Austin's downtown streets today, despite complaints from some residents that the vehicles violate city code and that the images are too graphic.

The vehicles are part of an effort to raise anti-abortion awareness by the Center for Bio-Ethical Reform, a nonprofit group based in Los Angeles.

Initiated in 2001, the "Reproductive Choice Campaign" exhibits the images on the sides of delivery trucks that travel throughout the country to "change the way people perceive abortion," according to the center's Web site.

The moving billboards hit Texas for the first time a month ago in Houston and San Antonio. They began making their way around Austin on Monday near the University of Texas.

Residents have been calling the Police Department and the City of Austin complaining that the images are too graphic.

However, the campaign falls under the protection of the First Amendment and is legal, said Veneza Aguinaga, spokeswoman for the Police Department.

Some of those opposing the signs have said the trucks are violating city code, which prohibits the use of moving billboards. Council members passed an ordinance forbidding such billboards in June to prevent traffic and air pollution problems.

When Council Member Mike Martinez first saw the campaign's trucks, he said he called the Police Department to enforce the city code. But law enforcement officials told him the ordinance only prohibited for-profit advertising, not advocacy, he said.

"That's what they are — billboards. I absolutely wanted to stop them," said Martinez, who spearheaded the move against mobile billboards. "I disagree with their message and their method."

Vehicles also aren't classified as mobile billboards if they advertise messages directly related to the vehicle owner's business, Assistant City Attorney David Lloyd said. In this case, the center owns all of its trucks and is displaying its own message, he said.

"They're in your face and in my opinion tasteless," said Steven Shaw, who works downtown. "It's not what I wanted to see when I was eating my lunch yesterday, but it's fair game (to let them keep driving)."

lulloa@statesman.com; 445-3851

Obama: Lucifer is my homeboy

World Net Daily, By Ann Coulter.

It's another election season, so that means it's time for Democrats to start uttering wild malapropisms about the Bible to pretend they believe in God!

In 2000, we had Al Gore inverting a Christian parable into something nearly satanic. Defending his nutty ideas about the Earth during one of the debates, Gore said: "In my faith tradition, it's written in the book of Matthew, where your heart is, there is your treasure also." And that, he said, is why we should treasure the environment.

First of all, people who say "faith tradition" instead of "religion" are always phony-baloney, "Christmas and Easter"-type believers.

Second, Jesus was making almost the exact opposite point, saying: "Do not store up for yourselves treasures on Earth," where there are moths, rust and thieves, but in heaven, because, Jesus said, "where your treasure is, there your heart will be also."

I guess that's the kind of mix-up that can happen when your theological adviser is Naomi Wolf.

Then in 2004, Democratic presidential candidate and future Trivial Pursuit answer Howard Dean told an interviewer that his favorite part of the New Testament was the book of Job. The reporter should have asked him if that was his favorite book in all three testaments.

And now in 2008, we have Democrats attacking Sarah Palin for being a Christian, while comparing Obama to Jesus Christ (and not in the sarcastic way the rest of us do).

Liberals have indignantly claimed that Palin thinks the Founding Fathers wrote the Pledge of Allegiance, which is Olbmermannic in the sense that a) if it were true, it's trivial, and b) it's not true.

Their claim is based on a questionnaire Palin filled out when she was running for governor of Alaska in 2006, which asked the candidates if they were "offended by the phrase 'under God' in the Pledge of Allegiance." Palin answered: "Not on your life. If it was good enough for the Founding Fathers, it's good enough for me, and I'll fight in defense of our Pledge of Allegiance."

As anyone can see, Palin was not suggesting that the Founding Fathers "wrote" the Pledge of Allegiance: She said the Founding Fathers believed this was a country "under God." Which, um, it is.

For the benefit of MSNBC viewers who aren't watching it as a joke, the whole point of the Declaration of Independence was to lay out the Founders' breathtaking new argument that rights came not from the king, but from God or, as the Declaration said, "Nature's God," the "Creator."

That summer, in 1776, Gen. George Washington – a charter member of the Founding Fathers – rallied his troops, saying: "The time is now near at hand which must probably determine whether Americans are to be freemen or slaves. ... The fate of unborn millions will now depend, under God, on the courage and conduct of the army."

So Washington not only used the phrase "under God," but gave us one of the earliest known references to the rights of the "unborn." That's right! George Washington was a "pro-life extremist," just like Sarah Palin.

There is no disputing that a nation "under God" was "good enough" for the Founding Fathers, exactly as Palin said.

Meanwhile, on the House floor last week, Democratic Rep. Steve Cohen of Tennessee compared Palin to Pontius Pilate – and Obama to Jesus. Cohen said: "Barack Obama was a community organizer like Jesus, who our minister prayed about. Pontius Pilate was a governor." Yes, who can forget the biblical account of how Jesus got the homeless Samaritan to register as a Democrat in exchange for a carton of smokes!

Rep. Cohen would be well-advised to stay away from New Testament references.

As anyone familiar with the New Testament can confirm for him, there are no parables about Jesus passing out cigarettes for votes, lobbying the Romans for less restrictive workfare rules or filing for grants under the Community Redevelopment Act. No time for soul-saving now! First, we lobby Fannie Mae to ease off those lending standards and demand a windfall profits tax on the money-changers in the temple.

David Freddoso's magnificent new book, "The Case Against Barack Obama," describes the forefather to "community organizers" like Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton – the famed Saul Alinsky.

Alinsky is sort of the George Washington of "community organizers." If there were an America-hater's Mount Rushmore, Saul Alinsky would be on it. He tried to hire Hillary to work for him right out of Wellesley. A generation later, those who had trained with Alinsky did hire Obama as a community organizer.

In Freddoso's book, he quotes from the dedication in the first edition of Alinsky's seminal book, "Rules for Radicals," where Alinsky wrote:

"Lest we forget at least an over-the-shoulder acknowledgment to the very first radical: From all our legends, mythology and history (and who is to know where mythology leaves off and history begins – or which is which), the first radical known to man who rebelled against the establishment and did it so effectively that he at least won his own kingdom – Lucifer."

I suppose it could have been worse. He could have dedicated his book to George Soros.

Even liberals eventually figured out that they shouldn't be praising Satan in public, so the Lucifer-as-inspiration paragraph was cut from later editions of Alinsky's book. (But on the bright side, MSNBC adopted as its motto: "Who is to know where mythology leaves off and history begins – or which is which.")

That's exactly what happens to most Democratic ideas – as soon as they are said out loud, normal people react with revulsion, so Democrats learn to pretend they never said them: I was NOT comparing Palin to a pig! I did not play the race card! I did not say I would meet with Ahmadinejad without preconditions!

Sarah Palin might be just the lucky break the Democrats need. As a staunch pro-lifer, Palin could give Democrats an excuse to steer away from topics they know nothing about, like the Bible, and onto a subject they know chapter and verse, like abortion.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Church to Charles Darwin: We're sorry we doubted you

Archbishop of Canterbury takes heat for 'ludicrous' apology 150 years later

Posted: September 14, 2008
3:25 am Eastern

© 2008 WorldNetDaily

Some say the Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams is making a monkey of himself with a half-baked apology to Charles Darwin for misunderstanding the author of "Origin of the Species" 126 years after his death.

Nevertheless, that's just what the Church of England plans to do today – make an act of contrition to the godfather of evolution.

Officials of the church said senior bishops wanted to atone for the vilification heaped on Darwin by their predecessors.

The church is also eager to counter the view that its teaching is incompatible with science and distance itself from fundamentalist Christians, who believe in the biblical account of the creation.

"Charles Darwin, 200 years from your birth [in 1809], the Church of England owes you an apology for misunderstanding you and, by getting our first reaction wrong, encouraging others to misunderstand you still," says the statement. "But the struggle for your reputation is not over yet, and the problem is not just your religious opponents but those who falsely claim you in support of their own interests."

The statement is written by the Rev. Dr. Malcolm Brown, the director of mission and public affairs of the Archbishops' Council, headed by Williams.

"People, and institutions, make mistakes and Christian people and churches are no exception," it continues. "When a big new idea emerges that changes the way people look at the world, it's easy to feel that every old idea, every certainty, is under attack and then to do battle against the new insights. The Church made that mistake with Galileo's astronomy and has since realized its error. Some Church people did it again in the 1860s with Charles Darwin's theory of natural selection. So it is important to think again about Darwin's impact on religious thinking, then and now."

Before the statement was even officially released it was under attack.

Former Conservative Minister Ann Widdecombe, who left the Church of England to become a Roman Catholic, told the Daily Mail: "It's absolutely ludicrous. Why don't we have the Italians apologising for Pontius Pilate? 'We've already apologized for slavery and for the Crusades. When is it all going to stop? It's insane and makes the Church of England look ridiculous."

Andrew Darwin, a great-great grandson of the eminent scientist, said he was "bemused" by the apology, which seemed "pointless."

"Why bother?" he said. "When an apology is made after 200 years, it's not so much to right a wrong, but to make the person or organization making the apology feel better."

Battle in Alaska over hospital starvation attempts

Charlie Butts - OneNewsNow - 9/16/2008 8:45:00 AM

An Alaska hospital has agreed to keep a feeding tube in place for a patient who has been unresponsive.

The Alliance Defense Fund (ADF) represented the patient's husband, who wanted his wife to have a chance at life. Attorney Joe Infranco handled the case.

"The hospital was trying to take the position that the woman was, they thought, not going to recover," Infranco explains.

But the husband wanted his wife cared for without having to fight hospital staff who wanted to starve her to death. "Our view is that the default position should be life, and it's the principle that's important -- that we want to be a society that affirms life," the attorney points out. "We don't try to weigh life against issues like convenience."

The judge ruled in favor of the husband and wife. Infranco says it reminds him of Jesse Ramirez, a Phoenix man in a similar position whose wife wanted his feeding tube removed. The court ruled in his favor as well.

"And a few months later, [Ramirez] walked out of the hospital on his own [two] legs and came to our office to thank us," he adds.

Prof tells students: 'Undermine' Palin

Metro State class assignment compares VP candidate to 'fairy tale'

Posted: September 15, 2008
9:17 pm Eastern

By Bob Unruh
© 2008 WorldNetDaily

Metro State campus is in downtown Denver

Students in an English class at Metropolitan State College in Denver have been told to assemble criticisms of GOP vice presidential candidate Gov. Sarah Palin that "undermine" her, and students say they are concerned about the apparent bias.

"This so-called 'assignment' represents indoctrination in its purist form," said Matt Barber, director of Cultural Affairs with Liberty Counsel, whose sister, Janna, is taking the class from Andrew Hallam, a new instructor at the school.

The instructor also, according to students, is harshly critical of President Bush during his classroom English presentations. He reportedly has allowed students who identify themselves as "liberal" to deride and ridicule those who identify themselves as "conservative" or Republican.

"So much for critical thinking. What's happening in that classroom represents a microcosm for what's happening with the angry left around the country," Matt Barber told WND. "The visceral and even abusive reaction Hallam and some of his students are having against Sarah Palin and Republican students in the class is occurring on a much larger scale among left-wing elitists throughout the media, academia and the larger Democratic Party."

The assignment was just one issue that several students raised. Hallam, who previously told students he expected them to be "courteous," assigned an essay about Palin's nomination acceptance speech at the Republican National Convention.

"Arguably, the entire event was designed to present Sarah Palin in an idealized – indeed, as if her life is like a fairy tale in which America could be included if she is voted into office with John McCain," he wrote in a copy of the assignment provided to WND by students. "Note her body language, facial expressions, the way she dressed, what she said and who she pointed out or talked about in her speech. How do these elements form a 'fairy tale' image about Sarah Palin as a person and as a politician that the Republican Party may wish its members and the American public to believe? How may the story 'Sleeping Beauty' and/or Tanith Lee's 'Awake' be used to compare the image of Palin with fairy tales, especially as they portray women, their behavior, and their lives?"

He said students should find commentaries that criticize Palin.

"Using clear reasoning, explain how these sources may undermine or otherwise paint a different picture of Palin as a person and as a politician than what she or the Republican Party may wish the American public to believe," he said.

There was no opening for students to find commentaries or statements supporting Palin or her positions. But Janna Barber, who is among the students who have raised concerns about the instructor, said she would do the assignment and include a number of supportive arguments as well.

There was no answer at Hallam's phone number, and a WND e-mail to him did not generate a response over four days. Cindy Carlson, the head of the Metro State English department, said she was unaware of the concerns. She said Hallam was available for two hours a week, one hour each on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

"People who irrationally lash out in such a way do so for a reason. In this case, I believe the reason is fear," Matt Barber told WND. "Sarah Palin has connected with a majority percentage of Americans and the polls reflect that connection. She poses a direct threat to Barack Obama's candidacy and they know it. She's about to upset the applecart. She's about to undo much of what they've accomplished. Imagine Sarah Palin as a role model for millions upon millions of young girls. Imagine those young girls embracing life over death on the abortion issue, embracing true feminism over radical feminism. They absolutely can't allow that to happen and will stop at nothing to destroy her. We expect liberal bias from the media and those in academia. But this time around, the bias is off the charts. It's exposed the left for who they truly are, and we have Sarah Palin to thank for it."

Matt Barber told WND his sister is one of five students who have been belittled by the teacher, and "bullied and harassed" by other students "because they support McCain-Palin."

The students had documented a series of incidents in which Hallam reportedly told his class, "Bush-bashing is one of my favorite things to do."

In another class, the students report, Hallam said he loved swearing and the f-word was his favorite word.

"He used the f-word a few more times that day," they reported.

When Hallam handed out the Palin writing assignment, the students reported "he said he would give the Republicans a chance to speak about it and asked who in the class was a Republican. Five of us raised our hands. When we did, [one other student] … said 'F*** you!' Mr. Hallam did nothing about this. At the end of the class period, after a lot of the Republicans had voiced their side of the issue, another kid said, 'They're full of s***, but we let them talk anyway.'"

As WND reported, even the Los Angeles Times has criticized ABC's Charlie Gibson for distorting Palin's statements about the Iraq war in his interview with the Alaska governor last week.

Gov. Sarah Palin and ABC's Charlie Gibson yesterday

A video shows Palin asking the congregation to pray that the nation's leaders would send troops to Iraq "on a task that is from God." But Gibson, apparently getting his information from an Associated Press story, frames the question with the assumption Palin is contending the U.S. was sending troops to Iraq on a mission from God.

"Are we fighting a holy war?" Gibson asked.

Palin disputed the characterization, pointing out she was paraphrasing Abraham Lincoln, who said, "Let us not pray that God is on our side in a war or any other time, but let us pray that we are on God’s side."

The Times said Gibson "went on to take a second part of her comments out of context. Palin had asked the group to pray 'that there is a plan, and that plan is God's plan.'"

But Gibson dropped her reference to praying, the Times said, and instead quoted Palin as saying the war was God's plan.

The McCain campaign also criticized ABC's characterization of Palin's statement.

"Gov. Palin's full statement was VERY different from the way Gibson characterized it," McCain spokesman Tucker Bounds said.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Sharia courts operating in Britain

Sharia courts have been operating in Britain to rule on disputes between Muslims for more than a year, it has emerged.

By Richard Edwards, Crime Correspondent
Last Updated: 1:32AM BST 15 Sep 2008

Five sharia courts have been set up in London, Birmingham, Bradford and Manchester and Nuneaton, Warwickshire. The government has quietly sanctioned that their rulings are enforceable with the full power of the judicial system, through the county courts or High Court. Previously, the rulings were not binding and depended on voluntary compliance among Muslims.

Lawyers have issued grave warnings about the dangers of a dual legal system and the disclosure drew criticism from Opposition leaders.

Dominic Grieve, the shadow home secretary, said: "If it is true that these tribunals are passing binding decisions in the areas of family and criminal law, I would like to know which courts are enforcing them because I would consider such action unlawful. British law is absolute and must remain so."

Douglas Murray, the director of the Centre for Social Cohesion, added: "I think it's appalling. I don't think arbitration that is done by sharia should ever be endorsed or enforced by the British state."

Muslim tribunal courts started passing sharia judgments in August 2007. They have dealt with more than 100 cases that range from Muslim divorce and inheritance to nuisance neighbours.

It has also emerged that tribunal courts have settled six cases of domestic violence between married couples, working in tandem with the police investigations.

Sheikh Faiz-ul-Aqtab Siddiqi, whose Muslim Arbitration Tribunal runs the courts, said that sharia courts are classified as arbitration tribunals under a clause in the Arbitration Act 1996.

The rulings of arbitration tribunals are binding in law, provided that both parties in the dispute agree to give it the power to rule on their case.

The disclosures come after Rowan Williams, the Archbishop of Canterbury, sparked a national debate and calls for his resignation for saying that the establishment of sharia in the future "seems unavoidable" in Britain.

In July, Lord Phillips of Worth Matravers, the Lord Chief Justice agreed that Muslims in Britain should be able to live according to Islamic law to decide financial and marital disputes.

Mr Siddiqi said he expected the courts to handle a greater number of "smaller" criminal cases in coming years as more Muslim clients approach them. Two more courts are being planned for Glasgow and Edinburgh.

"All we are doing is regulating community affairs in these cases," said Mr Siddiqi, chairman of the governing council of the tribunal.

There are concerns for women suffering under the Islamic laws, which favours men.

Mr Siddiqi said that in a recent inheritance dispute handled by the court in Nuneaton, the estate of a Midlands man was divided between three daughters and two sons.

The judges on the panel gave the sons twice as much as the daughters, in accordance with sharia. Had the family gone to a normal British court, the daughters would have got equal amounts.

In the six cases of domestic violence, Mr Siddiqi said the judges ordered the husbands to take anger management classes and mentoring from community elders. There was no further punishment.

In each case, the women subsequently withdrew the complaints they had lodged with the police and the police stopped their investigations.

Mr Siddiqi said that in the domestic violence cases, the advantage was that marriages were saved and couples given a second chance.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Iran condemns Japan as 'pro-US stooge' in battle for United Nations seat

By Philip Sherwell in New York
Last Updated: 10:21PM BST 14 Sep 2008

President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is certain to court his usual controversy on his annual visit to New York Photo: Reuters
As the UN General Assembly opens in New York, Iran is lobbying for support from other Islamic states and its anti-American allies in the Non-Aligned Movement in a contest with Japan for a seat that becomes vacant in January.

The slot, one among the council's 10 non-permanent members, is currently occupied by Indonesia and is reserved for an Asian nation.

Mohamed Khaza'e, Tehran's top envoy at the UN, was dismissive of Japan's pitch for what would be its 10th two-year stint on the council. Last week he told state-run Iranian radio that Tokyo "does not play a significant role in international and political affairs" and should step aside.

He noted that some 140 nations have either never sat on the Security Council, or have been a member just once - as Iran was under the Shah in 1955-56, more than two decades before the country's Islamic revolution.

In the increasingly bitter battle before the whole UN General Assembly votes in mid-October on the replacement for Indonesia, Iranian diplomats have been quietly briefing that Japan is merely a stooge of the US.

Iran's appeal to the Islamic world will be a powerful card. Many Muslim nations already feel under-represented on the Security Council, even before Indonesia, the world's most populous Islamic state, ends its two-year stint.

The council has five permanent nations with veto powers - the US, Britain, France, Russia and China - and 10 rotating members who do not have the right to veto. To secure a seat, a country must win the backing of two-thirds (or 128 votes) of the 192 members of the General Assembly.

Japan will support its latest candidacy by citing its status as the second-largest contributor to the UN budget, its experience on the council and its commitment to the UN's principles - a claim that Iran will struggle to make after its repeated condemnation in New York.

The US and its Western allies are expected to limit their pro-Japanese lobbying to low-profile background diplomacy in an attempt to avoid a backlash in favour of Iran.

In a similar clash between pro- and anti-US candidates in 2006 for the Latin American seat, Venezuela and Guatemala went head-to-head. Heavy American lobbying for Guatemala against its strident foe Hugo Chavez of Venezuela only deepened the divide and neither country managed to win two-thirds support in a remarkable 47 rounds of voting. Panama eventually emerged as a compromise candidate for the regional bloc on the 48th round.

As it has in recent years, Iran is certain to feature prominently in the General Assembly's calendar, even without its bid for Security Council membership.

The EU negotiating troika of Britain, France and Germany plus the other three permanent Security Council members of the US, Russia and China will meet for the latest bout of talks on Iran's nuclear programme.

And President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is certain to court his usual controversy on his annual visit to New York focussed around his address to the general assembly on Sept 23 - the same day that his bitter foe, President George W Bush, and Security General Ban Ki-moon will speak.

On Friday, the Anti-Defamation League, a predominantly Jewish group, angrily condemned five pacifist religious organisations for arranging a dinner with the Iranian leader, who has denied the Holocaust and called for Israel to be wiped off the map.

Abraham Foxman, ADL national director, said: "Their breaking bread with President Ahmadinejad is a perversion of the search for peace and an appalling betrayal of religious values."

The Mennonite Central Committee, the Quakers, the World Council of Churches, Religions for Peace and the American Friends Service Committee (AFSC) have invited Mr Ahmadinejad to break the Ramadan fast with dinner during his visit to New York.

"This is a private event, part of an ongoing series of discussions with Iran because we believe that keeping dialogue open is the best way to diffuse conflict rather than resorting to belligerent rhetoric and threats," an AFSC spokesman told The Sunday Telegraph.

Mr Ahmadinejad prompted further outrage on Friday when he vowed to keep supporting the Palestinian militant group Hamas until the "collapse" of Israel.

He told Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh that Iran views the support of the Palestinian people as part of its religious and national duty and that Iran will stand behind the Palestinian nation "until the big victory feast which is the collapse of the Zionist regime".

Saturday, September 13, 2008

McCain Flies His Campaign Past Obama

Saturday, September 13, 2008

John McCain was trained as a fighter pilot. In his selection of Sarah Palin, and in his convention and campaigning since, he has shown that he learned an important lesson from his fighter pilot days: He has gotten inside Barack Obama's OODA loop.

That term was the invention of the great fighter pilot and military strategist John Boyd. It's an acronym for Observe, Orient, Decide, Act.

"The key to victory is operating at a faster tempo than the enemy," Boyd's biographer Robert Coram writes. "The key thing to understand about Boyd's version is not the mechanical cycle itself, but rather the need to execute the cycle in such a fashion as to get inside the mind and decision cycle of the adversary."

For a fighter pilot, that means honing in above and behind the adversary so you can shoot him out of the sky. For a political candidate, it means acting in such a way that the opponent's responses again and again reinforce the points you are trying to make and undermine his own position.

The Palin selection -- and her performance at the convention and on the stump -- seems to be having that effect. Obama chief strategist David Axelrod admitted of the Palin pick: "I can honestly say we weren't prepared for that. I mean, her name wasn't on anybody's list." But it was known that McCain's VP adviser had traveled to Alaska, and anyone clicking on youtube.com could see Palin's impressive performance in political debates. The McCain campaign shrewdly kept the information that she was on the short list and that she was the choice to a half-dozen people, who didn't tell even their spouses. The Obama team failed to Observe.

Then they failed to Orient. Palin, as her convention and subsequent appearances have shown, powerfully reinforces two McCain themes: She is a maverick who has taken on the leaders of her own party (as Obama never has in Chicago), and she has a record on energy of favoring drilling and exploiting American resources. Instead of undermining these themes, they dismissed the choice as an attempt to appeal to female Hillary Clinton supporters or to religious conservatives.

Then team Obama and its many backers in the media failed to Decide correctly, so when they Acted they got it wrong. Their attacks on Palin tended to ricochet and hit Obama. Is she inexperienced? Well, what has Obama ever run (besides his now floundering campaign)? Being a small-town mayor, as Palin said, is like being a community organizer, "except that you have actual responsibilities."

Is she neglecting her family? Well, how often has Obama tucked his daughters in lately? For more than a week we've seen the No. 1 person on the Democratic ticket argue that he's better prepared than the No. 2 person on the Republican ticket. That's not a winning argument even if you win it. As veteran California Democrat Willie Brown says, "The Republicans are now on offense, and Democrats are on defense."

Perhaps the Obama campaign strategists expected their many friends in the mainstream media to do their work for them. Certainly they tried. But their efforts have misfired, and the grenades they lobbed at Palin have ricocheted back and blown up in their faces. Voters are on to their game.

Pollster Scott Rasmussen finds that 68 percent believe "most reporters try to help the candidate they want to win" and that 51 percent -- more than support McCain -- believe the press is "trying to hurt" Sarah Palin. The press and the Democratic ticket are paying the price for decades of biased mainstream media coverage.

I am not the only one to notice that John McCain and Sarah Palin have gotten inside the Obama campaign's (and mainstream media's) OODA loop. Blogger Charlie Martin sprang into pixels on www.americanthinker.com before I could spring into print with this column. But as I write, Barack Obama is in his second daily news cycle of explaining why his "lipstick on a pig" comments are not a sexist attack on the hockey mom who compared herself to a pit bull with lipstick.

Robert Coram describes what can happen when one player gets inside another's OODA loop. "If someone truly understands how to create menace and uncertainty and mistrust, then how to exploit and magnify the presence of these disconcerting elements, the loop can be vicious, a terribly destructive force, virtually unstoppable in causing panic and confusion and -- Boyd's phrase is best -- 'unraveling the competition.' ... The most amazing aspect of the OODA loop is that the losing side rarely understands what happened."

John Boyd would have been a terrific political consultant.