Tuesday, September 30, 2008

More Media In The Tank For Obama

MSNBC, the only cable station running the vicious political ad for Barack Obama against John McCain exploiting his bouts with cancer and medical records, has pulled the ad. Not only did CNN and Fox refuse to air the ad, the alphabet networks did, too. But, MSNBC is even more in the tank for Obama than the others, so no problem for them.

Any coincidence that MSNBC is consistently the lowest rated of the networks? Maybe they think only the far left watches television.

John McCain has been cancer free since 2002. He has released his medical records, unlike Barack Obama. Obama has only released a one page statement from his primary care physician. He didn't make his physician available to the press. That according to CNN back in May, 2008. Any static from the eager beaver free press in this country about unreleased records from Obama? Yeah, right.

One of the men involved in this hideous ad is Michael D. Fratkin, MD, from Eureka, California. According to NewsBusters, Fratkin published a letter on September 13, 2008 on Obama's website "calling for McCain to release his medical records, despite having already done so. Fratkin acknowledges in the post that reporters have had the opportunity to study McCain's medical records, but he fails to point out that Obama has yet to release his."

The ad ran for two days. After much protests from viewers, it stopped Friday. "The ad had not been thoroughly vetted prior to air, and has since been removed from out commercial rotation," NBC spokeswoman Allison Gollust said in an e-mail, but did not elaborate, according to AP."

And, from Media Bistro, in another Obama ad, "Tom Brokaw anchors a mock election night broadcast and Keith Olbermann's voice can be heard announcing Sen. John McCain as the next President of the United States in a new ad." On the site, VoteForChange.com, "The point of the mock election night special report warns of a McCain victory if voter turnout is low." NBC has sent a cease-and-desist letter to the Obama campaign to stop the ad.

As more and more insiders are willing to come forward, off the record, to validate claims of the msm in the tank for Obama, two examples are available here and here.

And, so it goes.

Blog Burst: Nobama08

An informed voter is not only a wise voter, he or she is probably also a good American. In this regard, the press has always been the cornerstone in the foundation of American democracy … that is, until the press became such an advocate of socialism and liberal politics that it can no longer be relied upon to convey “fair and balanced” information.

For this reason, Pondering Penguin joins with several others in a Nobama08 blog burst each Tuesday of the week until Election Day. If we cannot obtain the truth about our politicians from an unencumbered press, then we’ll form a cooperative to distribute information independently.

Stanley Kurtz is a journalist and senior fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center. Mr. Kurtz’ article in the Wall Street Journal explains why Barack Obama is untrustworthy for the office of the President of the United States. He lacks integrity … and if it is one thing we do not need in the White House, it is yet another dishonest politician.

Mr. Kurtz writes: [BEGIN QUOTE]

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.


To say Mr. Obama is not ready for the presidency is a gross understatement. It is not simply that he lacks experience … it is also that he repudiates traditional American values and culture by embracing Marxist ideology, has been an acolyte of black racist theology, cuddled up with the anarchist activism of Saul Alinski, and even worse … the man is simply and irrevocably dishonest. There is nothing about Barack Obama that may cause us to think he honors American tradition, or shares with us our time-honored values. Significantly, a man who works to undermine our education system through socialist engineering is a man who seeks to destroy America.

If the American people elect this man to the presidency, he will certainly destroy the cultural and political fabric of the United States, and when he has finished his work, none of us will recognize what he has left behind: The People’s Socialist Republic of the United States.

Cross posted at: Always on Watch And Rightly So Big Girl Pants Confessions of a Closet Republican Farmer’s Letters GeeeeeZ Has Everyone Gone Nuts? Pappa Frank Paleocon Command Center Political Yin and Yang Pondering Penguin Social Sense The Amboy TimesThe Crank Files The Jungle Hut The Merry Widow

Monday, September 29, 2008

L'shana tova

The sun is setting and that ushers in the 10 day Jewish High Holy Days. Tonight is Rosh Hashana. The Jewish New Year. Traditionally the holidays are begun with the blowing of a ram's horn - a shofar.

One of the casualties of Hurricane Ike is Three Brothers' Bakery, a renowned Houston bakery owned and operated by a now 5th generation of Jewish bakers. There will be no challah this year for the loyal patrons. The bakery suffered much damage from the storm and is currently closed for repairs. Challah, the traditional round bread - the shape to represent the circle of life - is made with or without raisins. The recipe used at Three Brothers' is 200 years old. It has been passed down through the generations. The table the soft, yellow bread on which was made was ruined. The butcher block table will have to be replaced.

Our son attended a private Jewish school for two summer's worth of classes during his high school years. I passed the bakery each way every day as I drove him back and forth. I was sad to read of the bakery's damage this morning.

The Houston Chronicle reports today that local Jewish families have to go to other sources for their challah. Whether it is local delis or other bakeries, the output will take up the slack.

Challah will be needed for Yom Kippur, the end of the High Holy Days, too. Enjoying a particular bakery's challah may seem a silly concern, but the bread is a part of the Jewish tradition of celebration and with tradition comes comfort. After feeling the effects of Hurricane Ike, many in our area still without power, it's the same comforts that can make a big difference.

Happy Rosh Hashana.

L'shana tova.

Democrats Endorse Scorched Earth Politics

We just thought that the politics of personal destruction reached a crescendo in the years of Bill and Hillary Clinton. Look what is happening this election cycle. As the Democrats have spent the time and energy of blaming everything under the sun on George W. Bush and Republicans - while claiming to be wanting of bi-partisanship, we now have a Democrat running for President who is using his legal teams across the country to squash free speech via political ads.

The latest to hit the masses is the word from the NRA that "Sen. Barack Obama's presidential campaign has sent threatening letters to news agencies in Pennsylvania and Ohio to stop airing ads exposing his anti-gun record sponsored by the National Rifle Association Political Victory Fund (NRA-PVF)."

And, this well before the ads even ran in either state.

"Barack Obama and his campaign are terrified of the truth," declared Chris W. Cox, Chairman of NRA-PVF. "Sen. Obama's statements and support for restricting access to firearms, raising taxes on guns and ammunition and voting against the use of firearms for self-defense in the home are a matter of public record. NRA-PVF will make sure that everyone knows of Obama's abysmal record on guns and hunting." Sounds like they are letting the gun-toting bitter people in more rural areas of the country know Obama's past record.

"The Obama campaign sent cease and desist letters to news outlets in Pennsylvania and Ohio, denouncing the ads and demanding their removal from the airwaves. All stations where NRA-PVF has purchased or plans to purchase ads have been provided with documented evidence of Sen. Obama's anti-gun record."

South side politics from the great city of Chicago. From the guy promising change, a new kind of politics. Unfortunately, he didn't specify the kind of change and new kind of politics.

Obama campaign goons have once again hacked the web site of Macsmind. Gateway Pundit has the story. Also featured there is an interesting video showing Obama speaking about his intentions to disarm the military and the U.S. defense programs.

"The junior senator from Illinois promised an end to divisiveness, partisanship, and "politics as usual." Recent events illustrate the emptiness of these platitudes. Since August, Team Obama has fought a covert war against their opposition and muzzled them by any means available." That from Pajamas Media.

So, as the leadership in the Congress, Democrats, continue to fail to successfully lead our country, as they try to elect Obama as President so that the party will lead the executive and legislative bodies, and as they have nothing more productive to do than to blame Republicans for their failure to lead, it is not surprising that the administration's economic bailout failed. House Whip Blount had the votes to pass it this morning. Then Speaker of the House, Pelosi, decided to show her ass and speak on the floor just before the vote. She called it all the fault of Bush's 'failed policies', of unpatriotic Republicans, and on and on. So, those teetering decided to not vote along with the Democrats. The Democrats are in the majority. They could have passed it alone. 90 Democrats didn't vote with Pelosi and the party. Speaker Pelosi has only herself and her scorched earth policies to blame.

Pelosi gave a speech talking about failure before the vote was taken. Pelosi knew that only 70 Republicans had signed on to voting for the bill. 90 Democrats didn't sign on. Pelosi rushed the vote and blamed Republicans, choosing a food fight over mature leadership.

Confidence in Congress remains at an all time low.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

ACORN and The Bailout

Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi, has a strange way of courting votes from Republicans in the House for the tentative bailout deal. Last night she called Republicans "unpatriotic" in the House when they refused to sit down and get on board without input from the original talks.

Do you remember when Republicans questioned the patriotism of defeatist Democrats doing everything in public to cause failure in Iraq for strictly partisan political objectives? All hell broke loose. How dare anyone question another American's patriotism.

Unless it is a Democrat criticizing a Republican. That's ok.

Pelosi now blames the Bush administration for all of this mess. Remember when Pelosi and Reed took over Congress in 2006 and they promised sweeping reforms and transparency? And the voters, like lemmings, parroted these promises and dutifully voted them into power. Things only got worse but that's all the administration's fault, to hear them talk. Pelosi went out of her way not to thank a single Republican for working on this tentative bailout. It took Chris Dodd, Chair of the Banking Committee and recipient of sweet deals from Countrywide Mortgage Co., to thank Minority Whip Roy Blunt and Senator Judd Gregg.

Congress favorability ratings are still at historical lows. They are still lower than this vastly unpopular president, too. We continue to see the reasons for this fact.

I think the House Republicans should let the Democrats vote on it and take the credit. If they've done it all, they should enjoy the credit. They know they can't take that political risk, though, and should be a bit more tactful in their dealing with the Republicans.

The Republicans were looking out for the taxpayer. The Democrats, as usual, took a 3 page document and turned it into a 100 page document with all kinds of goodies for everyone. All in the name of looking out for Main Street. They want to tax Wall Street firms and they want to give 20% of profits to notoriously corrupt social engineering organizations like ACORN. You may know that Barack Obama was a lawyer for ACORN back in the day and they were an early mentor for his jump into the politics of the south side of Chicago. They are continually under investigation for corrupt practices in voter registration drives - going into poor areas and 'registering' those not qualified to vote. And they have a fondness for making up names and social security numbers. They pay the 'volunteers' and quotas must be met, one way or the other. ACORN is a very large organization encompassing many states. Currently ACORN is under investigation in Milwaukee, with more than a dozen members accused of participating in corrupt voter drives. ACORN has been rewarded handsomely in the past for participation in helping the poor to acquire home ownership. Never mind that they couldn't afford these homes, it was all a part of a grander social engineering scheme.

ACORN endorsed Obama for President in February. This from a 'bi-partisan' non-profit. They certainly work actively for Obama here in Texas. Obama has been a featured speaker for their multi-state meetings convening here, as well. The Obama campaign admits to failing to report $800,000 in campaign payments to ACORN. The payments were illegally disguised as payments to "Citizens Services Inc.", a front group. Obama has trained staff in leadership seminars.

"Many may already know that ACORN (Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now) is under investigation in several states for voter fraud. They have been caught turning in hundreds of thousands of fake voter registration cards in an effort to stuff ballot boxes with fake voters and pump up Democrat vote totals. ACORN's founder also tried to cover up an embezzlement scheme his little brother perpetrated when he stole $1 million dollars fo the organization's money. This has only lately come to light." That from NewsBusters.

Groups like ACORN and La Raza have already recieved government -funded services in the housing bill signed in July. The funding mechanism of a tax on mortgages backed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac was to fund the latest social engineering handouts.

"ACORN uses taxpayer money to elect people like Barack Obama who will work to get them more taxpayer money. Democrats are willing to rip off taxpayers in a national crisis to make it happen." That from Investor's Business Daily.

Barack Obama, community organizer. Let's hope Obama is stopped this time around.

Fallen Soldier's Family Asks Obama to Stop Wearing Bracelet

Back in March, the family of fallen soldier Ryan David Jopek from Merrill, Wisconsin asked Barack Obama publicly to stop wearing the bracelet engraved with his name. Yet, as recently as the Friday night debate, Obama inserted Sgt. Jopek's name into his own political campaign. The family is not happy with Senator Obama's exploitation of their dead son.

You may remember how odd it was that Obama countered a story from Senator McCain, recalling meeting and accepting a bracelet with a soldier's name from a grieving mother on the trail, by saying in a very juvenile fashion, "I have a bracelet, too". Then he had to look down at it to remember the soldier's name. This display was not a shining moment for Obama.

According to transcripts of a radio show, "Route 51", hosted by Glenn Moberg, even with Moberg going to bat for Obama, Jopek's father who is divorced from Jopek's mother, said the soldier's mother gave the bracelet to Obama, "because she just wanted Mr. Obama to know Ryan's name." "She wasn't looking to turn it into a big media event" and "just wanted it to be something between Barack Obama and herself."

From the News Busters article, "He said that his ex-wife has refused further interviews on the matter and that she wanted Obama to stop wearing the reminder of her son's sacrifice that he keeps turning into a campaign soundbyte."

That interview was back in March. This speaks volumes of Obama's character. He uses a fallen soldier's name on a bracelet, a name he has to refresh himself with, as a prop in a Presidential campaign debate to "me, too" what his opponent said.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Obama Campaign Kills Free Speech - Again

"CBS affiliate Channel 4 TV News in St. Louis reported..."Senator Barack Obama's presidential campaign is asking Missouri law enforcement to target anyone who lies or runs a misleading television ad during the presidential campaign."

From American Thinker: "The implied threat in the Channel 4 report is that prosecutors and sheriffs across Missouri will enforce "Missouri ethics laws" and conduct criminal investigations of "anyone who lies or runs a misleading television ad" against Barack Obama. Although the report did not directly state that intent, that implied message was clearly conveyed."

"Was the St. Louis CBS affiliate complicit in the attempt, by some elected Democrat court officials in the St. Louis area, to stifle free political speech in Missouri on Senator Obama's behalf?"

The Director of Campaign Financing, Missouri Ethics Commission, said that he is "not familiar with any campaign law that applies."

This is the established pattern of the minions of the Obama campaign. Stifle and shut down opposing free speech. This is the Obama playbook, based on the tactics of his mentor, Saul Alinsky. Alinsky, the Communist 'community organizer' based in the south side of Chicago, taught his proteges to get in the face of opponents. Also, recently, Obama himself has taken to using that command to his followers. Just get in their face, he tells them.

Politics of change? No. Politics of the south side of Chicago. Again. Still.

Governor Matt Blunt released this statement about the thuggish tactics of the Obama campaign:

"St. Louis County Circuit Attorney Bob McCulloch, St. Louis City Circuit Attorney Jennifer Joyce, Jefferson County Sheriff Glenn Boyer, and Obama and the leader of his Missouri campaign Senator Claire McCaskill have attached the stench of police state tactics to the Obama-Biden campaign."

"What Senator Obama and his helpers are doing is scandalous beyond words, the party that claims to be the party of Thomas Jefferson is abusing the justice system and offices of public trust to silence political criticism with threats of prosecution and criminal punishment."

"This abuse of the law for intimidation insults the most sacred principles and ideals of Jefferson. I can think of nothing more offensive to Jefferson's thinking that using the power of the state to deprive Americans of their civil rights. The only conceivable purpose of Messrs. McCulloch, Obama and the others is to frighten people away from expressing themselves, to chill free and open debate, to suppress support and donations to conservative organizations targeted by the anti-civil rights, to strangle criticism of Mr. Obama, to suppress ads about his support of higher taxes, and to choke out criticism on television, radio, the Internet, blogs, e-mail and daily conversation about the election."

"Barack Obama needs to grow up. Leftist blogs and others in the press constantly say false things about me and my family. Usually, we ignore false and scurrilous accusations because the purveyors have no credibility. When necessary, we refute them. Enlisting Missouri law enforcement to intimidate people and kill free debate is reminiscent of the Sedition Acts - not a free society."

One would think with the underhanded tactics used in the McCaskill election to the U.S. Senate that she would be the last person to get involved in this thuggish behavior. One is left to think it is just her normal behavior.

More of the change Obama promises.

Debate Update - Kissinger Responds

As Senator McCain told the audience, Barack Obama was incorrect in his characterization of the op-ed written by the 6 former secretaries of state on the subject of talking to Iran. Obama knew he was again taking statements out of context yet pursued the same false argument. By specifically naming Henry Kissinger, and telling McCain he was one of his advisers who had a different view of the talks than articulated by McCain, Obama exposed himself and his fabrication.

Immediately after the debate, Kissinger released the following statement:

"Senator McCain is right. I would not recommend the next President of the Untied States engage in talks with Iran at the Presidential level. My views on this issue are entirely compatible with the views of my friend Senator John McCain. We do not agree on everything, but we do agree that any negotiations with Iran must be geared to reality."

Henry Kissinger is not happy.

Friday, September 26, 2008

McCain and Obama Debate #1

After the disgraceful performances of Congressional Democrats - both houses - today on Capital Hill over the financial rescue package, it is good to have a debate to take our minds off it all.

Today, Harry Reid, the Majority Leader of the Senate, revealed again why the polling numbers of the House and Senate are at all time lows. Reid blamed John McCain for the failure of the leaders to produce agreement all around. Reid was lying, of course, but that doesn't matter to most in the press. They reported Reid's statements as though they were truth. Before McCain even arrived on Capital Hill yesterday, the deal was a no-go. The House Republicans were not having it. That is the very reason Secretary Paulson asked McCain to come and help. Bringing everyone together was the idea of McCain in the first place, even by accounts coming from the White House. Paulson sent word to McCain that he needed him and coming was a good idea.

From accounts of those in the room, McCain did the heavy lifting of listening to all present. Obama went on and on like a college professor, lecturing. He blamed the House Republicans and that is when the lid blew off. Nice try by Reid.

Just a few days ago, Reid said publicly that "no one knows what to do", therefore laying the foundation of doubt on his abilities. Then he said, Tuesday, that McCain was needed to bring along the House Republicans for the proposals on the table - not a deal. There was no deal. There was nothing written on paper, other than proposal ideas. McCain said Wednesday that he would be there and all of a sudden he was injecting politics into the fray and not needed.

The dashing duo of Reid and Pelosi is a miserable failure.

Harry Reid criticized a sitting senator, still on the taxpayer's dime, for answering the call of the administration to help solve a devastating financial mess. And, Obama, also a sitting senator on the taxpayer's dime, decided to vote 'present' and issue a joint statement. He thought he looked in control by doing nothing but being updated. Funny, he's one of the first to criticize the president when he chooses that mode of action in a tough situation.

Why is Christopher Dodd still the chairman of the banking committee and leading the negotiations when he is in the thick of things with his own bad personal behavior? He was given a couple of sweet deals by Countrywide Financial Services. Why is Barney Frank still the chair of the financial services committee when he is one of the elected officials who consistently voted for no reforms to Fannie and Freddie? He has chosen to neglect oversight duties for years. John McCain has been calling for reform for years.

The Obama campaign sent out text messages telling everyone to watch the debate on CNN tonight.

I read an op-ed written by Karl Rove about the importance of the debate. He said, first, do no harm. I think both candidates achieved that objective. He said that humor is a powerful weapon. What strikes me is what a humorless human Obama is. He only smiles at these times to hide his aggravation. I think McCain was able to get under Obama's skin a bit. Obama tried to interrupt McCain at times and spoke over him.

Obama did ok on the economic questions, but so did McCain. The myth that McCain can't hold his own on economic issues it just that. A myth put out by the Obama camp when McCain was honest enough to admit it isn't his favorite subject. That didn't mean he doesn't know the issues.

Obama resorted to his usual riff about taxes. Old school class warfare. That's not change. He continues to say he'll reduce taxes for 95% of the people. That's a lie. 95% of the people don't pay federal income taxes. The poor don't pay federal income taxes. They pay state and local taxes but the President doesn't set that tax policy.

And, for infrastructure and the need for more money for that. Sure, more money is always needed. But remember that both Obama and Biden voted for the Bridge to Nowhere in Alaska by "voting to kill a Senate amendment that would have diverted federal funding for the bridge to repair a Louisiana span badly damaged by Hurricane Katrina." That's from a CNN report put up on NewsBusters.

McCain hit it out of the park on foreign policy, as was predicted. Obama was ok but not particularly good. The people of Poland may be surprised to hear Obama say they are a fledgling democracy. Also, Obama referred to President Bush as "your" (McCain) president. I thought Bush is the president of all Americans. Will Obama only consider himself president to his party members?

Good News In Iraq Is No News

Another Joe Biden gaffe comes to bite the Obama campaign - this one on the very same day. In Cincinnati, Ohio, Biden delivered a foreign policy speech. Remember that Biden was chosen as Barack Obama's running mate because he brings foreign policy knowledge and long time Congressional experience. Biden has been in Congress longer than McCain. So, when Biden was sent out to the swing state of Ohio to boost confidence in the Obama ticket, he tried to portray Obama as the better judge in matters of foreign policy. He claimed, "the surge is over, and the political reconciliation it was supposed to produce has not materialized."

The very same day, CNN broke the news that, in fact, there had indeed been "a major step toward national reconciliation." "The Iraqi Parliament in Baghdad passed a law setting guidelines for elections to select local governing bodies, Sunni legislator Salim Abdulla told CNN. The bill's passage by 191 of the 275 members of Parliament is considered a major step toward national reconciliation among Iraqi Sunni Arabs, Shiites, Kurds."

As brutal dictators like Ahmadinejad are welcomed at the U.N. and the left enjoys meetings with him, some are bragging of meetings. Take for instance, Jodie Evans and Medea Benjamin. These two women are the founders of Code Pink, the vile anti-war group that protests while attired in pink costumes. They camp out in front of Walter Reed Hospital, where wounded war veterans recover from battlefield injuries, and protest the war. They attend congressional hearings and cause commotions to capture publicity. They attend political speeches to interrupt the speech and capture publicity.

They are backed by the Communist party backers in this country. And, George Soros, the favored billionaire of the Obama left. "Calling it a "major step forward" in relations between Iran and the United States, leading activists Medea Benjamin and Jodie Evans of CODEPINK Women for Peace - along with more than 150 other U. S. peace group representatives - met Wednesday afternoon with Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad here following his appearance at the United Nations General Assembly on Tuesday." That from Ed Morrissey.

Turns out that Jodie Evans is a bundler for Barack Obama. Will Obama denounce this meeting? Will he return to her the amount of $50,000 she has pledged to raise for his campaign?

The Code Pink women support the government that funds Hezbollah and Hamas. The government that provides munitions to kill American and coalition troops in Iraq, and the government hell bent to build nukes to use against Israel. Code Pink suggests building peace parks. "The CODEPINK women proposed inviting American and Iranian artists to build a "peace park" in Tehran, a memorial dedicated to people-to-people commitment to peace and diplomacy between our two countries. They also proposed a plan to invest funds in an Iranian business, one that produces green and sustainable products, such as bicycles. This grassroots investment would be the opposite of efforts by the Bush administration and Congress to tighten sanctions, a move which CODEPINK thinks would only hurt ordinary, everyday Iranians. Such a symbolic CODEPINK investment in a green, sustainable business would challenge U.S. regulations blocking trade with Iran and would show how diplomacy and trade are preferable to war and sanctions."

And, from the Wall Street Journal, "Earlier this week, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and Armed Services Chairman Carl Levin teamed up to block a vote on a bipartisan resolution "recognizing the strategic success of the troop surge in Iraq" and thanking our men and women in uniform for their efforts." "Citing General Petraeus by name, the resolution, which is sponsored by Independent Democrat Joe Lieberman and Republican Lindsey Graham, "commends and expresses the gratitude to the men and women of the United States Armed Forces for the service, sacrifices, and the heroism that made the success of the troop surge in Iraq possible."

"The reality is that success in Iraq has confounded the political left, which placed a hug political bet on our defeat. Senator Reid famously declared the war lost in April 2007. Joe Biden introduced a resolution opposing the surge. And Hillary Clinton said the reports of progress in Iraq required "a willing suspension of disbelief." In the Democratic narrative, our troops in Iraq are victims of a lost cause, not heroes. They're allowed to get maimed and killed, but not to succeed. Thus Democrats are left to argue that success in Iraq is irrelevant because the real fight against al Qaeda is occurring in Afghanistan. Or that the reduced violence in Iraq has resulted not from the troop surge but from the Sunni Awakening and the retreat of the Sadr militias."

"The Lieberman-Graham resolution is a chance for Democrats to show that their support for the troops is more than rhetorical. It changes no policy and in that sense is only symbolic. Yet it is precisely the political symbolism of admitting they were wrong that is stopping the Democratic leadership from letting it come up for a vote before the Senate adjourns. Unfortunately, the last thing that Democrats want to discuss in this election season is success in Iraq."

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Cindy McCain Smear Leads to Apology From CBS

If you watch the CBS Early Show, which I don't, you may have heard some nasty commentary from liberal political analyst Laura Schwartz. According to NewsBusters' reporter Lyndsi Thomas, Schwartz felt entitled to make the following statement: "You know, Cindy McCain, her outfit that she wore the opening night of the convention comes in, once you tally everything up, Oscar de la Renta dress for $3,000. The watch from Chanel $4500. $11000 to $25000 worth of pearls. $600 shoes. And the diamond earrings, $280,000. So she clocks in right around $300,000...That kinda puts her over the top. That's like 1 1/2 houses."

Wow. Political analyst turned fashion critic. First, of all, who cares about wardrobe except the shallow? Second, where did Schwartz get her designer names and prices? And, third, if Cindy McCain wants to spend her own money on her own clothes and jewelry, well, what's it to Schwartz? That whole train of commentary is just bizarre. Projection?

So, Wednesday, co-host Russ Mitchell had to apologize for Schwartz's leave of sanity. "Now, a correction. Last week, the Early Show aired a segment on an outfit Cindy McCain wore during the Republican National Convention. We estimated the total cost was more than $300,000. It turns out that dress is off-the-rack and the pearl necklace is not real. We regret the error."

Schwartz should have been on the show apologizing for herself. But, that would have demanded maturity. Here's a tip for Schwartz - Barbara Bush (the mom) wears fake pearls, too. And, she wore shoes from Payless to the inauguration, too. You know, like regular people.

The party of say anything until you get caught is getting a bit tiresome.

Where was Barack Obama Monday night? Working on the financial crisis, you answer? No. He was in Chicago with some wealthy Texans for a dinner. The price of a ticket? $50,000 per guest. Wow. More than the Streisand tickets. She'll be ticked. Some swell multi-millionaire trial lawyers from Houston were there and in today's society page is a recounting of the evening. There were 30 guests all total and they each got to have some private time with their guy. Then some went on to Washington, D.C. for a Tuesday dinner with Joe Biden. Well, it beats hurricane clean up. So the next time you hear Obama brag that his money comes from all the small donations from the little people...

Representative Alcee Hastings, D-FL, an impeached, corrupt federal judge and now in Democrat leadership in the House said of Sarah Palin at a rally in Florida :"anybody toting guns and stripping moose don't care too much about what they do with Jews and blacks." "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." That before a panel discussing the shared agenda of Jewish and black Democrats Wednesday. That is from a report on CNN.

Also, at the same rally, Rep. Stephen Cohen of TN spoke. "Cohen, who recently remarked that Jesus Christ was a community organizer, took his comments about the founder of the Christian faith further Wednesday. "A lot of what Jesus talks about is wonderful, " Cohen said. "Talks about helping people and lifting them up and caring about people who are sick and all those things. He's a great Democrat." Well, now. Cohen is Jewish. Maybe he doesn't know that besides not being in the Old Testament, there is no mention of 'community organizer' in the New Testament either. To pull out bold embellishment of the Bible for his own political agenda is disrespectful. And stupid. There's another reason that Obama is losing Florida.

Reported at NewsBusters today : "John McCain got involved in the bailout negotiations after Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson told Sen. Lindsey Graham yesterday that the bailout plan would fail unless McCain came in and brought balky Republicans aboard. That's what Bob Schieffer reported on this morning's Early Show."

So much for the likes of Barney Frank and his comrades calling the whole thing a stunt. Frank, of all people, should keep his criticisms of others to himself. He blocked reform for several years as McCain led the charge for reform of Fannie and Freddie. Frank flat out said everything was working just fine. Frank didn't want any reforms, didn't want to cause any scares. He just wanted people who couldn't afford homes to have them anyway. Then when his social engineering failed he was all about pointing fingers to everyone else. It's not McCain who is late to this party.

McCain acted, again, when called to serve his country's best interests.

Country First.

Another Palin Smear De-Bunked

While the press gives a pass to the daily gaffes coming from the mouth of Democrat Vice Presidential candidate, Joe Biden, can you imagine the uproar if Gov. Sarah Palin had made some of his misstatements? How about the one that claimed FDR was President of the United States in 1929 during the collapse of Wall Street and then that FDR went on television to talk to the American people about it. Yeah. The press would be rubbing their hands together and laughing out loud about the ignorance. But, no, that's just Joe, isn't he funny, we are told.

After being in the Senate longer than John McCain, who we are told is too old and just another Washington politician, Joe Biden continues to benefit from the everyday bias of the American media. Biden is the one on the Democrat ticket who is suppose to bring heft to the ticket.

As the press continues to delight in falsely spreading every rumor possible, the more dishonest the better, about Gov. Sarah Palin, where are the filters? Where are those willing to actually think before opening their mouths to spread the ugliness while touting the candidate with even less experience than her at the top of the opposite ticket? The American public is treated each day and evening to more journalists who have simply become pundits and their latest nonsense about Palin.

The last doozy is the silliness of the sheltering of Palin. Yes, she should be more available to questions on the fly, but seriously. Those the loudest are the same who sit mutely as Obama passes through campaign stop after stop with no press availabilities. When Obama was at the U.N. in July, learning to speak with foreign leaders as Palin was doing this week, the same hacks for Obama criticizing Palin this week said nothing about the sheltering of Obama. The entitlement of the press exposes their assumption that they should call the shots in campaigns, and openly cheer for one candidate over another.

Yesterday another Palin family smear was shown the light of truth. The Palins oldest child, Track, has recently been deployed to Iraq. His mother, the governor of the state, officiated over the ceremony sending them off and then went on to do her first television prime time interview. She performed well, despite the arrogant schoolmarmish attitude of her interviewer, who also seemed to confuse some very basic answers to questions that should have been clear to someone who thought he was so smart.

The smear circulating about Track Palin was that he enlisted in the military to get out of criminal charges of vandalism of some school buses in Wasilla. Track Palin enlisted on September 11, 2007.

In 2005, four boys were involved in vandalizing school buses, with reports that brake lines were cut, mirrors were broken, and other broken glass on the buses. Schools were caused to shut down for one day, but that was the extent of the damage.

So, as the investigation into this incident was wrapping up and the smears were flying about the Palin family, newspapers with national readerships like the Washington Post were checking it out. An Anchorage talk radio station, KUDO (1080 Progressive Talk Radio) and Adventure Books in Seattle teamed up to investigate. The investigation is finished. They found no basis for these allegations. Track Palin had nothing to do with it. More than 25 people were interviewed and other sources checked, as doubts of the allegations surfaced. Then parents of boys who were involved contacted the investigators to tell the true story. The original whistleblower mistook one boy for Track Palin.

Also, none of the original damage reported was true. In reality, air was let out of tires and some of the block heaters were unplugged. School was shut down for one day. That part was true.

So, though a supermarket tabloid is set to run the false story this week to sell some of its rags, the story is another lie.

Obama, the candidate of choice of the smear machines, likes to say families are off limits. He whined as his wife, billed as "the closer" goes about the country raising money and speaking while saying outrageous quotes to booster her husband's campaign and her speech was questioned. That seems legitimate if your campaign is putting out a spouse and claiming how integral to the campaign that spouse is to success. But, this candidate is 'special' so his wife must be taken as such, too.

The Palin family, however, has been treated quite differently.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Crisis Management 101

Today, from the viewpoint of a political junkie, was fascinating. Our country is in the grips of a financial crisis and the reaction by the two candidates running for president was very telling.

This financial challenge cannot be laid at the feet of just one political party so that fact alone puts a strain on the brains in Washington. Lehman Brothers going under was bad enough. The political campaigns of Hillary and Barack reaped benefits from donations going their way from that firm. As did many in Congress. McCain's campaign manager, Rick Davis, has walked away from a business venture with Wall Street since 2006 yet even today the other side touts it like a new scandal. Both presidential campaigns employ lobbyists, former lobbyists and money bundlers. That's politics. Only the naive believe otherwise and those claiming to be above that fray are preying on the naive.

Financial gurus like Warren Buffett, Michael Bloomberg, and T. Boone Pickens all say the President's people have a plan worth supporting. That is a bi-partisan group of successful guys.

Today John McCain put his country first. He suspended his campaign to go back to Washington to help with the legislation being requested by this administration. Obama blinked. He said he'd remain in Florida, campaigning and cramming for the first debate scheduled Friday on foreign policy. He's used the financial climate in his fund raising. McCain has suspended political ads and fund raising.

Yesterday Harry Reid, Majority Leader of the Senate, said if McCain votes for the pending legislation then the Republicans would, too, and the Democrats would be victorious. Today, after learning McCain was on his way, Reid said McCain isn't needed and it would only be a photo opportunity. Last Friday, Reid and his counterpart, Nancy Pelosi, both said they had no idea what to do. One would think that Reid would welcome any help he could get. But, it's an election year with only just more than 40 days left until the votes are cast.

McCain said his wouldn't be able to do the debate scheduled Friday, if an agreement wasn't made by then. Obama said he could stay briefed via telecommunication and do the debate. We, as observers, were looking at action versus talk.

Tonight the President spoke to the country about the crisis. He did a better than usual delivery of the situation - as a Harvard trained MBA he is comfortable with economic matters - and said he has invited Obama to join in on a meeting with McCain and the leaders of both parties from Congress tomorrow. That was an idea McCain brought to the table.

Obama now realizes he does indeed need to go to Washington. He still has his day job as U.S. Senator and doesn't get to just dictate what he wants Congress to do. His fellow Senators must be wondering what he is talking about. As the figure heads of their parties now, McCain and Obama both working in Washington as this comes together was the only reasonable solution.

Now, as the legislation is said to be nearing completion, McCain and Obama will both be in on the final details. They will be able to bring both sides together, which is their responsibility. Then they can go back and have the debate Friday night in Mississippi.

Leadership is more than speeches. Leadership is more than over confidence in your role in the grand scheme of things. Leadership is rising above your own personal political ambitions and doing what is right for the country.

Today, McCain did the right thing for the country. Obama blinked. Obama thought that by calmly doing a press conference explaining that he'd stay put and wait to be briefed, he showed he was in control. Instead, the President had to call him and say, come on, come to the meeting and be involved. Good for President Bush.

Bush and McCain are used to working with both sides of the aisle. It showed today.

Country First.

Obama, Ayers and Annenburg

In American Thinker, Clarice Feldman writes of Diana Aviv. Aviv is the head of Independent Sector, "an organization which assists almost 600 nonprofit organizations around the country and the world to establish and maintain appropriate ethical standards and practices of transparency." Has Aviv remained non partisan? Not according to recent events.

She also serves on the JStreetPac's Advisory Council. The organizations states: "JStreetPAC is the first and the only federal Political Action Committee established to explicitly promote meaningful American leadership to end the Arab-Israeli and Palestinian-Israel conflicts peacefully and diplomatically." However, 31 of the 32 candidates being supported by this organization are Democrat. How did this happen? Seems the Independent Sector has been taken over by Soros money. And ardent Obama supporters.

Two new members on the members list include: The Center for Public Service at Brown University - an Annenberg Challenge site which "gave Obama and Ayers all that money to waste in Chicago in the nonsensical operation purportedly designed to improve public education in Chicago but, in fact, to aid Ayers and Obama and their friends. When I last looked the center was blocking efforts to see the records of the Chicago Annenberg Challenge in its possession." Another new member, Be the Change, "seems quite obviously another Obama front. Its board includes David Gergen, Michelle Nunn(daughter of Sam Nunn who for some time has been considered a potential Obama running mate) and John Schnur formerly of "New Leaders for New Schools" who on September 22 of this year left to join the Obama campaign."

The Bill Ayers/Barack Obama connection, if Obama was a Republican, would normally be well known to the average American voter. But, much red tape has been strewn to keep past activities out of the press. Or, the press doesn't care to look too deep into their candidate, Obama. Ayers, founder of the Weather Underground of 1960's domestic terrorist claims to fame, and Barack Obama go way back. Obama, as he is prone to do, downplayed his association with Ayers as questions were emerging. "A guy who lives in my neighborhood" and "Not somebody who I exchange ideas with on a regular basis." In The Wall Street Journal, Stanley Kurtz, senior fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center and past recipient of the Obama machine's mass efforts to block his radio interview in Chicago, writes about the attempt of the Obama/Ayers team to not reform the Chicago school system for which they received grant money from the Chicago Annenberg Challenge but to radicalize the system. More than $100 million was put into the program left in the hands of community organizers and nothing but failure occurred.

"The Chicago Annenberg Challenge (CAC) 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." Some papers have been public record. Others have been in the Daley archive and show Obama and Ayers worked "as a team to advance the CAC agenda." Ayers founded and was the guiding spirit of the CAC, according to the paper trail. That is how a "former community organizer fresh out of law school, could vault to the top of a new foundation" and the rest is history. This is the stepping stone Obama used in his political career aspirations.

The article is detailed and eye opening. "CAC translated Mr. Ayer'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 ACORN." ACORN - Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now, is notoriously corrupt and under investigation and sending organizers to jail in many cities across the country. Currently, Milwaukee is investigating and considering charging at least 19 people with corrupt voter registration actions.

"Mr. Obama once conducted "leadership training" seminars with ACORN, and ACORN members also served as volunteers in Mr. Obama's early campaigns. External partners ...focused more on political consciousness, Afrocentricity and bilingualism than traditional education." No improvement to the public school system was ever found.

They recruited parents to advocate the political agenda of the leadership. One board member voiced concerns that parents who were 'organized' by the group might be seen by school principals as "a political threat". "Mr. Obama arranged meetings with the Collaborative to smooth out Mr. Weber's objections."

"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 1960's radicalism are two sides of the same coin."

Ayers and his wife, another Weatherman alumni, were the first to host a Senate campaign kickoff fundraiser for their neighbor, Obama, in their home.

Read Mr. Kurtz's piece.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Senator Cornyn Has An Updated Web Site

Are you a Texas voter? Maybe just want to see a good web site for a common sense kind of senator? Head on over to the newly updated and improved web site for Senator John Cornyn.


I think you'll understand why I support Senator Cornyn's re-election.

Obama Descends To Scare Tactics

Sometimes a newspaper columnist who leans left - heavily - does the right thing. When Ruth Marcus wrote a column in the Washington Post titled Closing the Whopper Gap, she earned recognition for at least trying to be an honest broker of opinion. No doubt she has thoroughly perplexed her fellow Obama supporters.

Marcus writes about two ads currently running from the Obama campaign against John McCain. One, on immigration, is running on the Spanish language stations. In Spanish, the ad claims that John McCain is in alliance with the likes of Rush Limbaugh and then goes on to quote Limbaugh out of context. Also, the Obama campaign lies about McCain's plan for employer-provided insurance.

So, to scare the Spanish speaking population of voters, Obama wants to spread falsehoods about immigration reform and insurance coverage. Remember the problems John McCain got himself into with almost every Republican on the face of the earth over his bi-partisan leadership on reforming immigration and the path to citizenship of those here illegally? You would have had to have been living under a rock to have missed that. I guess Obama thinks the Hispanic population is stupid.

Remember when Obama said using scare tactics was wrong and that only Republicans did it? Remember when it was called using scare tactics to emphasis the importance of national security and the war on terrorism? I guess Obama thinks it is acceptable, however, to use scare tactics on social policy. I guess it is acceptable to Obama to use scare tactics on the elderly, too.

Obama is running behind in the state of Florida. This is not a shock to most who follow politics, but Obama thought he would not be chastised by those on his side of the aisle if he told the elderly voters in Florida that John McCain would leave them helpless with his policy on Social Security reform. FactCheck.org, a non-partisan web site keeping both sides honest, points out it is not true that McCain would cut benefits and risk Social Security in the stock market. "This is rank misrepresentation." "The Obama campaign stretches the truth beyond recognition when it says that this would cut benefits in half."

Fact checking? Defending Rush Limbaugh? John McCain doesn't want to force senior citizens into living on the streets eating cat food? Wow. That won't get Marcus invites to the swell D.C. soirees.

Marcus writes, "Obama has descended to similarly scurrilous tactics on the stump and on the air." "To Democrats who worry about whether their nominee is willing to do whatever it takes to win: You can calm down."

Indeed. Just another politician from the south side of Chicago.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Mahmoud Mobilizes Manhattan

Today there will be a rally in support of Israel in front of the United Nations, protesting the appearance of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Unfortunately, the Obama campaign and the Democrat party of New York have managed to turn an event that should be supported by all sides of the political spectrum into just another partisan attack.

The Obama campaign has developed a nasty reputation for squashing free speech. Time and time again, for example, radio talk shows in the Chicago area have been targeted by the campaign encouraging its flock to call in and jam the lines when an authors of books on the subject matter of Obama have been scheduled. The campaign even provides a script for the callers to follow. When David Freddoso was on a radio show hosted by Milt Rosenberg, Rosenberg even had on an Obama supporter, yet that didn't stop the attacks. The attack before that evening occurred on Stanley Kurtz as he was telling of his investigation into the William Ayers connection to Obama. Kurtz is a respected columnist at National Review.

Democrat radio brown shirts join in on the fun provided by the digital brown shirts hacking into Republican areas of personal privacy. This is a whole new kind of community organizing, isn't it? "Denial of free speech, intimidation, threats of criminal prosecution, the launch of a group to "investigate" critics of Barack Obama, the use of the racism card, thousands of young followers robotically responding to marching orders from the campaign..." That from an article by Ed Lasky at American Thinker.

The Conference of Presidents of Major Jewish Organizations is organizing the rally against Ahmadinejad. The rally is to protest the Iranian government's acquisition of nuclear weapons. Hillary Clinton was invited. Sarah Palin was invited. Other elected officials, mostly Democrats, were invited. Even Joe Biden was extended an invitation. Then Hillary Clinton decided not to attend. It is said she thought she was to be the star attraction but then found out that Palin had accepted the invitation and didn't want to be overshadowed by Palin's appearance. So, Palin was disinvited. That's right. Disinvited. Usually that only happens when an invited guest is found to have created a controversy or an unacceptable incidence has taken place. Palin simply accepted the invitation in good faith.

Turns out the Obama camp and liberal Jewish groups demanded the invitation be rescinded. Amazing that Biden was offered an invitation considering his gaffes against Jews.
And, Obama has work to do as he tamps down his associations with pro-Palestinian groups, not to mention his flip flop on a divided, then undivided Jerusalem. And, Obama does have a talent for finding advisers with a decided prejudice against Israel, as well as American Jews.

So, instead of Americans being allowed to unite together in support of Israel, it's turned into just another partisan battle behind the scenes. Those supporting the candidate from the south side of Chicago, who falsely promotes himself as the post partisan candidate, are showing their true colors. A campaign is more important to them than standing up for a true friend of America's. Again, it begs the question, what kind of change is to be brought by the darling of the Chicago political machine?

From the McCain press office: "Governor Palin was pleased to accept an invitation to address this rally and show her resolve on this grave national security issue, regrettably that invitation has since been withdrawn under pressure from Democratic partisans. We stand shoulder to shoulder with Republicans, Democrats and independents alike to oppose Ahmadinejad's goal of a nuclear armed Iran. Senator Obama's campaign had the opportunity to join us. Senator Obama chose politics rather than the national interest."

Country First.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Henry Paulson, Superstar

There are two remaining stand alone Wall Street investment firms - Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs. Henry Paulson, before he became Secretary of Treasury, was Chairman and CEO of Goldman Sachs with a long career in that organization. It is a gift to the country that this man is now leading us through the current financial climate.

"I hate the fact that we have to do it but it is better than the alternative." "This is not a spending program." "There are no guarantees." Those are quotes from Secretary Paulson from a Sunday show this morning. Paulson stresses the fact that we need new regulations and policies but that takes time. He submitted a regulatory blueprint some time ago but it hasn't been acted upon. There is no time now to consult egghead after egghead. Action has to be taken, in the most responsible way.

While partisans in the media, like Tom Brokaw on Meet the Press, will try to point fingers since that is what they do best, and some politicians try to blame President Bush for yet something else, this is not the time for that. To think one president, even Bush, is responsible for this is only coming from the unserious about the welfare of our country. This crisis has been a long time coming. Neither political party has a firm, complete answer. That is why a bi-partisan approach is the strongest.

If President Bush had appointed the cabinet of his second term in his first term, his Presidency would have been much smoother. The first MBA President, he knew he needed Henry Paulson to lead the economic horizon as the economy slowed. Bush has had a strong performance on leading the country to economic recovery after the devastation of 9/11. The stock market was performing at historical highs, unemployment at historic lows, interest rates very low. All good. But the regulations and reforms needed in the financial markets were lacking. In 2002, President Bush and Republicans in Congress tried to push for reform , especially with Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, but were stopped by Democrats. This has continued every year since. Though loathe to regulate a free market, some strong reforms are needed and Democrats must work with the ideas of Republicans now.

Stabilize the situation first, then reform. Henry Paulson has an MBA from Harvard and he is running into some demands by all the lawyers on Capitol Hill who think they know better than he on what else needs to be included in the legislation Paulson and the administration will ask to be passed before the recess after next week's end in Congress.

Michael Bloomberg, a billionaire to whom both parties look for sound financial advice, said, "Hank's the right guy" for the job now. While partisan hacks like Chuck Schumer want to punish greedy executives within this legislation, Paulson said that will come but first we cannot allow financial executives to turn away from support. Schumer insists another stimulus bill must be included. Senator Jon Kyl, on the panel with Schumer, said a stimulus package shouldn't be included right now. The time for political agendas is later.

Both senators said the chance of the legislation passing through Congress before the recess is more than 50/50.

I watched Brokaw interview Paulson and Bloomberg this morning. He lamely prompted Bloomberg to state the U.S. will be in an official recession soon. Bloomberg, a grown up, didn't take the bait. Bloomberg stresses more accountability and transparency is needed, as do both presidential candidates.

There is not much difference in what both presidential candidates hope will be solutions to the current financial atmosphere. Bloomberg said we have to have realistic regulations in the free market - note to Republicans, and free markets have to have capitalism and low taxes for growth - note to Democrats. John McCain called for reforms and transparency 2 years ago and he was ignored by the Bush administration and by his fellow senators - including Barack Obama. That is to McCain's credit. I know it is popular for Obama to mock McCain for being out of touch and not smart on economics but there is absolutely no evidence or history to point to that Obama is any smarter. McCain has a long history on the Senate Commerce and Technology Committee - the largest committee in the Senate and the one responsible for oversight on all commercial transactions. Obama would do well to ratchet down his arrogant ridicule of McCain. He looks small and unserious when he does that. Obama should humbly remember he couldn't define a capitol gains tax during a past debate.

This crisis needs the smart MBA's and the successful business leaders, not trial lawyers in the Senate, to guide us through. It's time for bloated egos to step aside and let the experts show what needs to be done. I think the politicians would be wise to temper their speeches and remarks in the manner of Michael Bloomberg. Bloomberg has been a declared Democrat, Republican and now a registered Independent. He has kept a cool head and offers even-handed suggestions to both parties. I hope someone is listening.

If all goes well with this bail-out, Henry Paulson will go down in the history books as one of the great Secretaries of Treasury. Let's let him do his job.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Short Takes

Lynn Forester de Rothschild, a top fundraiser for Hillary Clinton has gone over to the McCain campaign, saying "he'll lead the country in a centrist fashion" and accused Democrats of "becoming too extreme". "I believe that Barack Obama, with MoveOn.org and Nancy Pelosi and Howard Dean, has taken the Democratic Party - and they will continue to- too far to the left." She'll not switch political parties but will step down from her membership on the DNC's Platform Committee.

Michelle Obama, speaking before a forum's audience recently, said decisions on voting for candidates should "be based on our self-interests" not "because she's cute." After the audience laughed she quickly said she was referring to herself. Vote for your own self interests not the best you think to lead the country and a veiled slur to Sarah Palin. Nice.

Well, at least Charlie Rangel was more honest in his attack of Palin. According to an account online, Rangel referred to Palin as "disabled". The question posed to Rangel: "Why are the Democrats so afraid of Palin and her popularity?" Answer: "You got to be kind to the disabled."

He said he was referring to her lack of foreign policy experience.

You'd think a politician in charge of the country's tax code on Capitol Hill who has been found guilty of not reporting his own income tax liability on rental property and his island villa would not only have his chairmanship taken away but be out of office all together. Except he's a Democrat. And, Nancy Pelosi is in charge. Not only does she not reform the ethics of the House as she said she would, she has managed to drag Congress into previously unknown low polling numbers.

And, a 20 year old young man, the son of a Democrat state representative in Tennessee, is being questioned as the person who stole Sarah Palin's identity to hack into her personal e-mail account. According to this article, Mike Kernell has been in the legislature for 32 years and "has never had any job other than professional politician." He is described as "extremely left-wing." So, will Kernell be described as a failure as a parent as Palin was when her daughter's pregnancy was reported?

The attacks of the digital brown shirts continue. You'll remember when Lt. Gov. Michael Steele from Maryland ran for the open Senate seat in 2006, his personal information was stolen and published all over rabid "progressive" web sites. The information stolen were his social security number and his credit report. That person charged with the crime was working for Chuck Schumer as he was the Senator leading the election efforts for the Democrats. She served jail time over it. Michael Steele had the nerve to run as a black Republican and also was pelted with oreo cookies at rallys. Sarah Palin has the nerve to be a strong up and coming Republican woman leader who manages a family and regular life besides her political career. The horror.

Bristol Palin's cell phone number was published. Todd Palin's e-mail address was published, as was Track Palin's who is now deployed to Iraq.

Bush Derangement Syndrome is rapidly being replaced by Palin Derangement Syndrome. Remember the old days when successful women were celebrated? Unfortunately Sarah Palin is in the wrong party today.

Remember what happened to Nixon's 'plumbers'?

Obama/Biden Define Patriotism

A few days ago, at Camp Victory, Iraq, an hourlong ceremony was held as the U.S. military command in that country changed hands. General Petraeus, the author of the strategy known as the surge, is to take over command of the military's Central Command. General Ray Odierno is now in charge in Iraq. The ceremony was attended by Secretary Gates, Adm. Mike Mullen, Lt. Gen. Martin Dempsey, and senior Iraqi government and military officials. When finished, Secretary Gates traveled on to Afghanistan.

I read an interesting account in the New York Post by Amir Taheri about Obama's trip to Iraq. You'll recall Obama's foreign policy papers have been positioned around a quick withdrawal from Iraq. According to the article, "Sen. Barack Obama has tried in private to persuade Iraqi leaders to delay an agreement on a draw-down of the American military presence. According to Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari, Obama made his demand for delay a key theme of his discussions with Iraqi leaders in Baghdad in July."

"He asked why we were not prepared to delay an agreement until after the U.S. elections and the formation of a new administration in Washington," Zebari said in an interview." "Obama insisted that Congress should be involved in negotiations on the status of U.S. troops - and that it was in the interests of both sides not to have an agreement negotiated by the Bush administration in its "state of weakness and political confusion." "Though Obama claims the U.S. presence is "illegal", he suddenly remembered that American troops were in Iraq within the legal framework of an UN mandate. His advice was that, rather than reach an accord with the 'weakened Bush administration,' Iraq should seek an extension of the UN mandate."

"While in Iraq, Obama also tried to persuade the U.S.commanders, including Gen. David Petraeus, to suggest a "realistic withdrawal date." They declined." I realize it is the ploy of the Obama campaign to create the impression that Obama is already the Commander in Chief, the President, but he is not. This action borders on treason. How dare he interfere in such delicate military negotiations.

"Iraqi leaders are divided over the U.S. elections. Iraqi President Jalal Talabani sees Obama as a "man of the left"- who, once elected, might change his opposition to Iraq's liberation. Indeed, say Talabani's advisers, a President Obama might be tempted to appropriate the victory that America has already won in Iraq by claiming that his intervention transformed failure into success."

"Maliki's advisers have persuaded him that Obama will win - but the prime minister worries about the senator's "political debt to the anti-war lobby" - which is determined to transform Iraq into a disaster to prove that toppling Saddam Hussein was "the biggest strategic blunder in U.S. history."

"Other prominent Iraqi leaders, such as Vice President Adel Abdul-Mahdi and Kurdish regional President Massoud Barzani, believe that Sen. John McCain would show "a more realistic approach to Iraqi issues."

"Obama has given the Iraqis the impression that he doesn't want Iraq to appear anything like a success, let alone a victory, for America. The reason? He fears that the perception of U.S. victory there might revive the Bush Doctrine of 'pre-emeptive' war - that is, removing a threat before it strikes at America."

Just yesterday the sound bite from Team Obama - vocalized by Joe Biden - is that it is downright patriotic to pay more taxes. The 'rich' should do their patriotic duty and simply hand over their hard earned wages - and punish their success - so that those with less money will have more. By broadcasting the distinct sharp turn to socialism that Team Obama will bring to our taxpayers, the media yawned and went back to adoring their candidate. Their Chosen One.

Biden actually used the words "taking money" in his reference to his tax philosophy. How 1960's burnt out liberal of him. Tell me again how choosing a throwback to previous decades is worked within the 'change' theme? Especially a politician who has consistently been on the wrong side of history in his vision of U.S. foreign policy. He was embarrassingly wrong about dividing Iraq into three separate sections. He fought against Reagan's cold war policies. He was against the strategic air defense system. On and on. Biden is clueless. And keeps on talking.

According to Bob Owens, writing for Pajamas Media, the article in the New York Post must be accurate on Obama's secret meetings pushing his own political agenda. "Curiously, the New York Post reports that the Obama campaign has not called the editorial department to ask for a correction or retraction of the Taheri article."

"It was wrong to attempt to put American commanders at war in such a predicament, where their words could be used against their sitting commander-in-chief as a political bludgeon. Either Obama did not think of that, or he was simply untroubled by the thought of abusing the careers of American commanders for political gain.

"Longtime accusations of Obama's naked self-interest may doom an already flailing campaign."

A quote often used by the McCain campaign is that he would rather lose a campaign than lose a war. Too bad the same cannot be said of Barack Obama. The Obama/Biden team have a very strange definition of patriotism.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

After Hurricane Ike

I have lived through major hurricanes with a generator and without a generator. With a generator is better.

Hurricane Ike is the worst storm we have lived through since Hurricane Andrew in the early 1990's when we lived in Lafayette, LA. After destroying Homestead, Florida and that area of Florida, Andrew picked up steam again as it went off into the Gulf of Mexico and traveled up the Vermilion Bay. It was bad and our electricity was out for 10 days. Our son was a toddler. We had no generator.

Lessons learned are important to put into play after any major event. We knew a generator was not an extravagance after those 10 days. We bite the financial bullet and purchased a refurbished one that we haven't had to use until Hurricane Ike blew into town last Friday night.

My husband plugged in three other households of neighbors to the generator so that they could run refrigerators or freezers and whatever it is that made them comfortable. For me it was a fan placed in front of my favorite chair and then by my side of the bed at night. Also, the television. We lost cable periodically but that didn't really matter as we were on non-stop viewing of local stations anyway. And the break for the rest of the world didn't hurt either.

When the power came on this evening, we were certainly ready for it. Now we can get back to some sense of normalcy. My husband followed the service truck - filled with workers from Louisiana, I might add - and watched as they worked. He showed them the fuses that needed replacing on the power poles. He's a hands-on kind of guy, that one. And, good leadership qualities. I'm just happy he was home to do what he does.

One neighbor sent down chicken fried steaks for our dinner. They were on our generator. And, they gave my husband a bottle of wine. Another neighbor, not on the generator but gave my husband their cell phone numbers to tell them when power came back on, brought over freshly baked lemon bars as a thank you. They have a toddler themselves and went to stay with relatives with power. The people sharing the generator took turns going out and filling up gas containers to keep the thing running.

Federal, state and local authorities are working very well together. Despite the best efforts of the media, there are no big squabbles or dilemmas to report. No two storms are alike but here in Houston - the nation's 4th largest city, the Chamber of Commerce would like you to know - we learned a lot of practical lessons after Hurricane Katrina and the logistics of accepting those coming here for New Orleans. Now there are SWAT members from New Orleans in the area to help and repay our hospitality.

First responders and power line workers are here from all over the country and from Canada. Texas has helped other states in emergencies and now it is our turn for help.

Senator Kay Bailey Hutchinson said she's "never seen such a well-coordinated plan" as the one worked out by Mayor White and Harris County President Emmett. Emmett is a local judge and has a background in transportation logistics. That experience came in handy when he was needed to untie a knot of FEMA trucks carrying supplies that arrived at Reliant Stadium to be dispensed throughout the city and surrounding counties.

Senator Cornyn has been here several times. So has Secretary Chertoff. The President was here Tuesday. And, no, no one is mad he wasn't here sooner. All the officials who were responsible for requesting help did so in a timely fashion. No power struggles or inflated egos.

Galveston Island is a mess and it will survive. The mayor, Lyda Ann Thomas, is a trouper and doing a fine job. She said she "has no complaints" and is getting all that she asks for in help. Today the USS Nassau arrived bringing Marines, Sailors, earth movers and supplies. Galveston ship channel should be in operation by Wednesday next week.

TSA employees are volunteering their time when not working at the airports to distribute supplies at Points of Distributions (PODs). Houston is a city of volunteers. The Houston Rockets are pitching in. University students are everywhere helping. Faith based organizations are doing yeoman work.

My husband rescued a baby squirrel today. There are a lot of baby squirrels who were displaced by the storm. He put it in a tree in our front yard and the mama squirrel came for it. Then my husband found a bag of sunflower kernels in the pantry and placed them in a knot of the tree.

Habitat for Horses are rescuing horses on Galveston Island and the low lying areas along the coast. Cattle are being herded to dry ground and receiving donations of hay and feed. You may not realize that the coastal region of east Texas has cattle farms but it does.

And, those expecting immediate solutions to all their own personal problems are out there complaining. "Sheekesha" finally did it today - as we were just waiting for someone to blame President Bush for whatever problem they were having, Sheekesha pulled through. She wanted food stamps and didn't want to verify her income. She said Governor Perry should come to that center and resolve the problem. If not him, then "Bush" should do it. Maybe Sheekesha is related to Kenye West.

I'm again proud of my city. I'm happy to have electricity tonight. I'm sorry for those who suffered the loss of their homes or animals or a loved one. Hurricanes suck. But, so do tornadoes, earthquakes, ice storms and blizzards. It is hard to think of an area that doesn't have challenges with Mother Nature.

The good people of Houston far outnumber the Sheekeshas here.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Obama Spirals Into the Gutter

As Barack Obama continues to fall in all polling, he still doesn't get it. He is vowing to continue his spiral into the mud slinging gutter using personal attacks on John McCain further verfiying that he is an empty suit with nothing but a good speech to offer voters.

Barack Obama has now brought the teleprompter on the road with him so that he can sound as though he was educated in the Ivy Leagues, not just another affirmative action student. Without a written speech he flounders. Ah, ah, um, ... Then added to the gaffe machine that is windbag Joe Biden, it is no wonder the voters are stepping back and taking a hard, second look.

As Joe Biden tells an audience that the country should elect Obama for the fact alone that he is black - hey Joe, what about the white relatives? - I guess this is his stamp of approval for affirmative action in presidential candidates.

"On Monday's "Anderson Cooper 360," after CNN senior political analyst David Gergen said "what happened over the weekend with the economy and the bottom falling out of the financial markets...is the opportunity for Obama to seize the momentum back on his side," Crowley actually said "Just as foreclosures were showing up on B17, or n the real estate section, along comes this horrific headline out of Wall Street...I mean, this is what they wanted." That a quote from News Busters. The Chosen One wants Wall Street woes to continue on with his lies about the history of how Wall Street got there in the first place.

For someone who is bashing John McCain for being out of touch, Obama goes to Hollywood and sets records in fundraising with the celebrities desperate to support him. The fundraiser with Barbra Streisand alone was ticketed at $30,000 per guest. Just a man of the people.

He blames the Bush policies that have kept the economy moving, and slowly now as cycles go, on the Wall Street and financial crisis developing. He knows, if he is the financial genius he claims to be, that this is a lie. It is easily traced back to the Clinton financial team demanding easy loans to low income people for home mortgages. Clinton ramped up the Community Redevelopment Act that encourages minority homeownership. Though the program was developed under the failed presidency of Jimmy Carter, it was another well-intentioned program using government dollars as a social experiment. Clinton pals Franklin Raines who lead Fannie Mae and enriched himself to the tune of $100 million dollars by the time he left in 2005, and Jamie Gorelick who enjoyed $75 million in profits. You may remember Gorelick for her direct role in skewing the legal divisions between intelligence agencies which contributed heavily to the events of 9/11.

The ads circulating are at a new low. Who would have thought it possible. Deliberately mocking his physical disability when it comes to operating a keyboard is despicable. If he didn't know of the disability, and who would believe the Chosen One is ignorant of anything?, then it is just pure south side Chicago punk politics. He's a school yard bully when his thin skin is punctured with some truth telling.

Obama says McCain doesn't know how to use a computer yet in 2000 Forbes magazine hailed McCain as the most technologically savvy member among his fellow Senators. And, as the chair of the Commerce committee in the senate, the largest committee, he had oversight of all business matters in the country. He has been a strong proponent of technological research and development for years. His wife Cindy was the only member of a political campaign in 2000 to use her electronics as they are all commonly used today. And, for Obama's education - Presidents are not e-mailers. Clinton only produced 2 e-mails in office and when Bush came into office the policy was long established that a President doesn't use that form of communication - for legal purposes mostly. Can you imagine the escalated witch hunts that would produce?

McCain does read web sites, Barry. And, Cindy pitches in if necessary if computer communications are needed. Grow up, Barry.

The Obama team mocks Sarah Palin as though she is the top of the ticket. Her popularity grows. She's accused by team Obama and his cheering squad that is the media, for speaking in tongues, for banning books, for firing a State Trooper for personal reasons, all proven untruths. I thought a big promise of the Obama candidacy was that he is the one promising the change of tone in politics. He shows nothing but arrogant nastiness.

"The more the elite media wish to aid Obama, the more their bias and invective seem to turn off voters and help McCain -- and the more they in turn re-double their anger, as if more smears and furor, not fewer, are the answer. Strange to say, they don't seem to get it that they are, well, not liked or respected." That from Victor Davis Hanson's recent column at Pajamas Media.

As has been said before, Obama wears thin. His campaign is in complete chaos about the growing popularity of the McCain/Palin ticket and the cruder and shriller they get, the more the public cringes and turns away from Obama and company.

Go on and read that speech, Obama, while you try to convince the voters you have what it takes, you know, just like ordinary folks.

Noriega Missing In Action for Hurricane Recovery

As Hurricane Ike was finishing with his damage to our city, many politicians were holding press conferences and co-ordinating with local leaders about transitioning into recovery mode. The mayor and the county president held frequent press conferences with members of the congressional delegation present. Both Texas senators were visible and working on providing assistance and solutions to problems,too.

One member of the state congressional delegation missing in action was Rick Noriega, the state representative currently challenging Senator Cornyn for his Senate seat. Noriega likes to bring attention to his experience in response to Hurricane Katrina in our city - he served as Incident Commander - and even pointed out this position in a press release explaining why he wasn't in the city of Houston tending to the needs of his constituents.

Where was Noriega in the aftermath of Hurricane Ike? He was campaigning in Killeen. Noriega was at a forum hosted by a veterans advisory committee. Senator Cornyn, however, was not in attendance. Cornyn was in Austin with the Governor and he was surveying damage. Cornyn made his staff available to those in need, and doing what he could to be sure the response at the federal level was forthcoming.

Noriega likes to boost his credentials by pointing to his service in the Texas National Guard - he is a lt. colonel who was deployed to Afghanistan - yet when his experience was needed in his own district he was MIA, serving himself first. His wife, Melissa, parlayed Noriega's deployment into a political career advancement of her own. She stepped in when he deployed and filled his seat in Austin, then ran for Houston City Council as he returned. She now serves on the City Council.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Surviving Hurricane Ike

The aftermath of Hurricane Ike brought power outages to over 2 million people in our area and the hardest hit were flooded. Galveston and the area south of Houston was hardest hit. Crystal Beach, on Bolivar Peninsula, for example is no more. Residents of Galveston are being told they may not be able to go home for a month.

Brennan's Restaurant was lost to fire during the storm. NASA has roof damage in the mission control. Reliant Stadium, built to the tune of 3/4 of a billion dollars and suppose to be able to sustain 130 mph winds, has damage to the retractable roof.

We lost power at 8:45 Friday night when our neighbor's tree limb hit the power line and caused a fire. Only our side of the block lost power. The other side lost power at 3:00 Saturday morning when the really bad stuff was happening here. The wind and rain was over by noon Saturday here. Our generator was on by 1:45 and three of our neighbors were connected to it, too.

Tropical storm winds, those that follow the storm impact, must subside before any kind of recovery work can be done. The press conferences were interesting yesterday as reporters were determined to ratchet up feelings of frustration that normally follow disasters. FEMA was the initial target and then the Governor's office. The facts are that FEMA trucks were pre-positioned as reported before the storm and arrived here in Houston as soon as they could - Reliant Stadium was receiving 18 wheeler trucks of supplies last night. The POD's (points of distribution) are established and are beginning to distribute the goods.

One local reporter in particular was intent on pursuing a line of questioning without any real merit. The FEMA trucks may have been able to get here a couple of hours earlier but it would not have made an impact on distribution. The state asked FEMA to distribute the supplies, unexpectedly on the part of FEMA, and it was handled well with the large volunteer base Houston is known to have.

Just 24 hours out of a major hurricane and search and rescue missions were underway in Galveston and surrounding areas. Supplies were being brought in and Blackhawk helicopters were patrolling the skies. Everything is going as well as can be expected.

The hardships of the aftermath bring out the good and bad in humans. We love to hear the neighbor helping neighbor stories. In our case, when we were running low on gas for the generator, our neighbor went out and found more. True, she wanted an excuse to enjoy her car's air-conditioning, but still it helped. Another neighbor hooked up to our generator will bring back some more as he gets out to see how everything is at his office.

The bad side of human nature is when those always taking advantage of a miserable situation, expecting instant government relief, are seen on camera complaining that they have run out of ice or water or diapers. People are told over and over to have 3 - 4 days of supplies on hand yet in today's instant gratification society, as soon as the winds die down, people are out there yelling about how they are suffering. Maybe they are waiting for FEMA cash cards to go to buy jewelry and designer clothes at the Galleria when the power comes back on. Not going to happen this time.

No two storms are alike. Hurricane Ike is different than Katrina yet just as devastating. No amount of pre-planning will allievate problems that will pop up specific to each event. The State of Texas was as prepared as it could be. The President moved "extremely rapidly" with a pre-landfall declaration because the governor asked. That according to Secretary of Homeland Defense Chertoff.

We are fortunate that our large, old oak trees in the front yard did not uproot or snap. Our very tall, old palm tree in the back yard survived well, too. No large branches on the roof or on the cars. No broken windows. The house held up. We are thankful.

The outdoor furniture was thrown into the swimming pool as we secured the back yard. It worked just fine, just like the hotels do it.

A silver lining has been the concentration of watching only local news stations or listening to them on the radio. We've only concerned ourselves with our part of the world. No cable tv news stations and political wars. I look forward to coming back full force on all that very soon.

We're waiting for electrical power to be restored. We're getting by and trying to be civil to each other when we're hot and tired and just want a hot shower and a cool room.

This, too, will pass.