Topic: Election 2008

Opposition research on Mitt Romney

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The document below the fold is purportedly John McCain's opposition research report on Mitt Romney from the 2008 presidential campaign.

Easier asked than answered. There are a bajillion of them floating in limbo in the Congressional Record, including the most recent casualty, which failed to pass the House today (thank Heaven).

If you want to see a proposed BBA that harnesses human greed for productive use and restrains lawyers' attempts to twist the plain meaning of words, then I've got what you need.

debt tsunami

Obama is ACORN is SEIU is Project Vote is Citizens Service Inc is SorosDo you remember Project Vote's efforts on behalf of Barack Obama's presidential campaign? Do you remember the $832,598.29 "oopsie" of a payment from Obama's campaign to ACORN affiliate Citizens Services, Inc.? Did you know that although Barack Obama lies about having worked for ACORN, he admits that he used to run Project Vote? Did you know that Karyn Gillette was the Development Director of Project Vote during Obama's presidential campaign, and that she was involved in those shady deals that helped Obama win? Want more proof? Here's all the documentation you could ever want.

Keep all of this in mind as more ACORN scandals hit the news this week.

Oh, those wacky Black Panthers! Gosh, they sure do the darnedest things. I'm sure a little talking-to is all that's needed to make them straighten up and fly right.

I guess it's only racism if Whitey does it.

H/T: Ace

Update: Please read the affidavit of a civil rights titan who knows voter intimidation when he sees it.

The effort to nail ACORN through the RICO statute continues:

The Buckeye Institute, a Columbus-based think tank, Friday filed objections to a federal Magistrate's conclusion that individual voters lack standing to protect their voting rights from groups like the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN) and Project Vote.


The Buckeye Institute's objections are the latest turn in a case seeking to designate ACORN as enterprise engaged in organized crime and revoke its license to engage in unlawful [sic] voter registration in Ohio. The objection cites to federal cases from the civil rights-era, where courts found that citizens had standing to protect their civil rights from Ku Klux Klan intimidation.

"The right to cast a vote in an election that is not perpetually threatened with dilution by unlawful votes is a fundamental right, and if Ohio voters like Ms. Miller and Ms. Grant cannot enforce that right, the right itself is eviscerated," Maurice Thompson, Director of the Buckeye Institute's 1851 Center for Constitutional Law said.

...

The Magistrate's recommendations come on the heels of the Nevada Attorney General's decision to indict ACORN for crimes similar to those alleged in the Buckeye Institute's Complaint.

Keep up the good work, Buckeye Institute!

What a shock ... the New York Times covered Obama's butt during the 2008 election, preventing an unfavorable October surprise:

A lawyer involved with legal action against Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN) told a House Judiciary subcommittee on March 19 The New York Times had killed a story in October that would have shown a close link between ACORN, Project Vote and the Obama campaign because it would have been a "a game changer."


Heather Heidelbaugh, who represented the Pennsylvania Republican State Committee in the lawsuit against the group, recounted for the ommittee what she had been told by a former ACORN worker who had worked in the group's Washington, D.C. office. The former worker, Anita Moncrief, told Ms. Heidelbaugh last October, during the state committee's litigation against ACORN, she had been a "confidential informant for several months to The New York Times reporter, Stephanie Strom."

Ms. Moncrief had been providing Ms. Strom with information about ACORN's election activities. Ms. Strom had written several stories based on information Ms. Moncrief had given her.

During the March 19th hearing, Heidelbaugh testified (emphasis mine):

The New York Times articles stopped when Ms. Moncrief, who is a Democrat and a supporter of the President, revealed that the Obama Presidential Campaign had sent its maxed out donor list to Karen Gillette of the Washington, DC ACORN office and asked Gillette and Ms. Moncrief to reach out to the maxed out donors and solicit donations from them for Get Out the Vote efforts to be run by ACORN. Upon learning this information and receiving the list of donors from the Obama Campaign, Ms. Strom reported to Ms. Moncrief that her editors at the New York Times wanted her to kill the story because, and I quote, "it was a game changer". That's when Ms. Moncrief telephoned me on October 21, 2008. Ms. Strom never wrote another article about ACORN for the New York Times for the remainder of the period before Election Day, i.e. November 4, 2008.

Can you say "illegal coordination"? I knew you could.

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12:10 AM Update: NixGuy has more.

Obama's post-primary strategy, diagrammed

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If a chart like this looks complicated ...

Obama's post-primary strategy

... the explanation helps (a bit). It's interesting, but it's only a start. We need to throw several monkey wrenches into the Left's works, and quickly.

Congratulations, Obama supporters

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Obama's zombies

The reins are in your hands now. Kindest regards, et cetera.

It's all here, fully documented.

H/T: Connect The Dots 2006

Watching the fraudulent activities of ACORN here in Ohio has left me wondering how they've been getting away with it. It sure seemed plain to me that our Secretary of State, the über-partisan Jennifer Brunner, has a soft spot in her heart for this merry band of fraudsters. I couldn't point to any blatantly obvious connection between Brunner and ACORN (other than shameless Obama-worship), but I had a hunch there was more than meets the eye.

Thank God for Maggie Thurber:

Gillette is identified on Jennifer Brunner's 2006 campaign website as a consultant. A blog entry by Brunner's husband Rick talks about that relationship, saying: "our candidate had gone earlier in the day to have some meetings and work out of Karyn Gillette's office." He also describes Gillette as "very helpful to the campaign."


According to campaign finance reports that were filed, Gillette was paid $21,250 by Brunner's campaign. She has a longtime history of serving as a fundraising consultant to Ohio Democrats.

...

But that's not all. Gillette is not Brunner's only tie to ACORN. Members of the group's voter registration arm, Project Vote, regularly advise Brunner on election strategy, previously serving on her Voter Rights Institute and even recently issuing a news release claiming credit for Brunner's directive banning challenges to suspected fraudulent voter registrations.

So our Secretary of State shares a campaign advisor with ACORN, takes direction from ACORN's voter registration arm, and refuses to verify over 200,000 mismatched registrations while claiming there is no voter fraud going on in Ohio...and that attention to such frivolous issues distracts her from doing her job.

Let's see Brunner try to wriggle out of this.

A great quote from this past Friday

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Rather than pursue the American Dream, [Barack Obama] insists that the American Dream has arbitrary limits, limits Obama would set for the rest of us -- today it's $250,000 for businesses and even less for individuals. If the individual dares to succeed beyond the limits set by Obama, he is punished for he's now officially "rich." The value of his physical and intellectual labor must be confiscated in greater amounts for the good of the proletariat (the middle class). And so it is that the middle class, the birth-child of capitalism, is both celebrated and enslaved -- for its own good and the greater good. The "hope" Obama represents, therefore, is not hope at all. It is the misery of his utopianism imposed on the individual.


Unlike past Democrat presidential candidates, Obama is a hardened ideologue. He's not interested in playing around the edges. He seeks "fundamental change," i.e., to remake society. And if the Democrats control Congress with super-majorities led by Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid, he will get much of what he demands.

The question is whether enough Americans understand what's at stake in this election and, if they do, whether they care. Is the allure of a charismatic demagogue so strong that the usually sober American people are willing to risk an Obama presidency? After all, it ensnared Adelman, Kmiec, Powell, Fried, and numerous others. And while America will certainly survive, it will do so, in many respects, as a different place.

Joe the Plumber wasn't the first to catch Barack Obama talking about spreading the wealth:

Here's the transcript:

If you look at the victories and failures of the civil rights movement and its litigation strategy in the court. I think where it succeeded was to invest formal rights in previously dispossessed people, so that now I would have the right to vote. I would now be able to sit at the lunch counter and order as long as I could pay for it I'd be o.k.


But, the Supreme Court never ventured into the issues of redistribution of wealth, and of more basic issues such as political and economic justice in society. To that extent, as radical as I think people try to characterize the Warren Court, it wasn't that radical.

It didn't break free from the essential constraints that were placed by the founding fathers in the Constitution, at least as its been interpreted and Warren Court interpreted in the same way, that generally the Constitution is a charter of negative liberties. Says what the states can't do to you. Says what the Federal government can't do to you, but doesn't say what the Federal government or State government must do on your behalf, and that hasn't shifted and one of the, I think, tragedies of the civil rights movement was, um, because the civil rights movement became so court focused I think there was a tendency to lose track of the political and community organizing and activities on the ground that are able to put together the actual coalition of powers through which you bring about redistributive change. In some ways we still suffer from that.

...

I'm not optimistic about bringing about major redistributive change through the courts. You know, the institution just isn't structured that way.

State Senator Obama didn't think it was feasible to change the federal courts to a Marxism-friendly system, but a President Obama can easily make it happen, especially with a liberal Democratic supermajority in the U.S. Senate. Don't take my word for it; listen to him say it. Here's the entire interview.

Do you think it's the federal government's job to decide how much success is too much for you to achieve? Is it up to the federal courts to pick winners and losers based on the philosophy of "from each according to his abilities, to each according to his needs" ... that is, Marxism? Does Barack Obama know better than you when it comes to deciding who deserves your hard-earned money? If this is what you want, then vote for Barack Obama.

If you don't like that Barack Obama intends to radically change America for the worse, then do something about it.

The basic allegation is that Barack Obama had an affair with a staffer from his 2004 campaign named Vera Baker, Michelle Obama found out, and she had Baker shipped off to Martinique. I'm not clear when the alleged affair was supposed to have happened. I offer the interview between two contributors at BLACKFIVE for your consideration:

Background at BLACKFIVE, JammieWearingFool, Ace of Spades, Confederate Yankee, and HillBuzz.

October 27th, 2008 Update: Pictures of Vera Baker, plus a follow up interview with the tipster.

Does McCain actually want my vote?

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I have my doubts, and so does John Hawkins.

Focus, John! You've got to defeat this slick, socialist Chicago punk!

Obama's other genocidal friend

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No, not Raila Odinga. That's old news to the mainstream media. I'm talking about William Ayers, genocidal thug.

If you don't believe Larry Grathwohl's statements above, and you don't believe he foiled two of Ayers' attempts at mass murder, then believe Ayers' own words. He laid out his darkest goals in his 1974 book Prairie Fire, a manifesto of violent communist revolution.

But of course Barack Obama was innocently unaware of this deviant swine's beliefs. Riiiiight.

To quote the blogger who goes by "Zombie":

Ayers and Obama worked together for years on a school reform program called the Chicago Annenberg Challenge.


Ayers and Obama also served together on the board of the Woods Fund of Chicago, a separate charity organization.

Obama had his political coming-out party in William Ayers' home.

Ayers mentions Obama by name in a book he wrote in 1997, and mentions that the two are very close neighbors.

Obama gave a short glowing review of that same Ayers book for the Chicago Tribune.

Obama and Ayers were both presenters together on a panel about juvenile justice (organized by Michelle Obama).

Both Obama and Ayers were close friends with the same person, Rashid Kalidi.

There are also several unverified rumors swirling around that have not been documented: That Ayers may have helped to write part (or all) of Obama's autobiography; that Obama and Ayers shared an office space together for three years, on the same floor of the same building in Chicago; and that Ayers and Obama may have known each other as far back as 1981.

Nope. Nothing to see here.

Hear no evil, see no evil, speak no evil

Good thing big brother's looking out for us, especially if we're deployed with the military right now.

A group of half-wits in Fairfax County, VA decided to invent a new rule applied to Federal Write-In Absentee Ballots that stretches beyond the related state and military guidelines. To make matters worse, these requirements only apply to those ballots most widely used by members of the U.S. military and their families -- this rule does not apply to any other type of absentee ballot.

We better make sure that civilians and those not currently deployed (also known as 'folk who don't see the most pressing military needs') decide who will be the next Commander in Chief.

Just imagine the bumper sticker often touted : "I support the troops not the war."

Ace form of support in this grand piece of legislation.

My new sticker: "Keep the care packages and the ballots. -- Fairfax County Registrar"

Obama's campaign removed the safeguards that prevent fraudulent online campaign donations that exceed federal limits, come from overseas, or come from false addresses ... and they've just been caught red-handed. I wonder how much of Obama's war chest consists of illegal donations?

ACORN must be proud.

By the way, the McCain web site has these security features enabled, so it rejects fraudulent donations.

Barack Obama, socialist

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Trevor Loudon of the blog New Zeal has more details on Barack Obama's membership in The New Party, a socialist political party in Chicago.

This post is for journalists who care about the future of their country more than their careers.


I have previously posted about Barack Obama's involvement in the socialist led Illinois New Party here, here and here.

Below are scans from New Party News Spring 1996.

They prove that Barack Obama was a member of the Illinois New Party and was endorsed by them in his 1996 Illinois State Senate race.

Here's the first of several screenshots from the New Party News. Click to enlarge:

Read the rest and ask yourself why the American media continues to avert their eyes from this relevant background information about Barack Obama, the socialist.

To understand the New Party's "fusion" strategy, and their connection to ACORN, read Stanley Kurtz.

H/T: Power Line

His tricks, their treats

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Barack Obama's socialism illustrated:

His tricks, their treats

Foolish peasant. The Obamessiah knows how to spend your money better than you do.

What follows is a re-post of Matt Hurley's original piece.



Rough Transcript:
Senator Obama, you are Number One.

Your 2007 voting record makes you the most liberal member of the US Senate. Left of Hilary Clinton, Left of Ted Kennedy, and even Left of your running mate, Joe Biden -- Barely. He was Number Three. You, Senator Obama, are Number One.

What happens when we elect America's most liberal Senator to the White House? Please America, let's never find out.

Paid for by Let Freedom Ring, which is responsible for the content of this ad.
HOPE-ON ProjectIt is actually worse than the ad makes it sound. Obama isn't just a liberal, he's to the left of the only declared socialist in the US Senate!

Last week, Ohio Senator George Voinovich was quoted saying that Barack Obama was to the left of Ted Kennedy and that Obama was, in fact, a socialist. Governor Mitt Romney, an actual McCain-Palin surrogate, might have a problem with that (see clip) but I think that the evidence exists to make a pretty strong case that Obama is a socialist.

What shall we use as a measuring stick? How about a politician who is a declared socialist? There is one in the United States Senate and his name is Bernie Sanders. The National Journal has Sanders ranked #4 in 2007. Barack Obama was top of the class. But it might interest you to know who else was "to the left" of the socialist. Barack Obama chose him to be his running mate: Joe Biden finished third. Even George Voinovich gets this one:
"There's a guy in the senate, Bernie Sanders" said Voinovich, "who brags about being a socialist. And if you compare Barack Obama's record with Bernie Sanders' record, they're not too far apart."
Obama's response to Joe the Plumber's question about why Obama wanted to punish him if he were to achieve the American Dream and achieve success was that he wanted to "spread the wealth around." If that isn't a restatement of the socialist doctrine of redistribution of wealth, I don't know what is.

Let's not find out, America...

Let's Never Find Out: Part 3 -- Punished

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What follows is a re-post of Jay Anderson's original piece.

NOTE: This is the third of what will be 13 daily posts from various members of the State of Ohio Blogger Alliance (SOB Alliance) on why Barack Obama is a dangerous, objectionable, and objectively unfit candidate to be president of the United States. Parts 1 and 2 of this series are linked below.

Let's Never Find Out: Part 1 -- The Mortgage Meltdown and Obama

Let's Never Find Out: Part 2 -- Drill, Baby, Drill

The daily videos involved will be from
NeverFindOut.org, a project of Let Freedom Ring.

This post is part of the HOPE ON Project (Help Ohio Prevent Electing Obama Now).

__________________________________________________________

Video -- "Punished with a Baby" (direct YouTube link is here):




Transcript:

Punished

WOMAN:
Senator Obama, I'm afraid. In March, you told America:

OBAMA: "I've got two daughters. If they make a mistake, I don't want them punished with a baby."

WOMAN: Punished. I'm afraid because I'm a mother and I can't imagine what this country would become if its President could look upon a baby as a punishment. And I'm afraid, because those children that you spoke of as a punishment would be your very own grandchildren.

ANNOUNCER: What happens when we elect a President who has disregard for human life? Please, America, let's never find out.
__________________________________________________________

HOPE-ON ProjectMy Comments:
I've been pointing out on a regular basis (almost daily, sometimes with several posts per day on the topic) that Sen. Obama is an unfit candidate for the presidency from a pro-life perspective. But, without a doubt, the most comprehensive critique of Sen. Obama's record on life has come from Princeton Professor Robert P. George. As the Catholic Archbishop of Denver, Charles J. Chaput, recently put it:

Anyone interested in Senator Obama's record on abortion and related issues should simply read Prof. Robert P. George's Public Discourse essay from earlier this week, ''Obama's Abortion Extremism,'' and his follow-up article, ''Obama and Infanticide.'' They say everything that needs to be said.
In a nutshell, Professor George points out that

  • Sen. Obama supports legislation that would repeal the Hyde Amendment, which protects pro-life citizens from having to pay for abortions, and which has been credited with saving over a million lives.

  • Sen. Obama has promised that "the first thing I'd do as President is sign the Freedom of Choice Act", which would create a federally guaranteed "fundamental right" to abortion through all nine months of pregnancy, including "a right to abort a fully developed child in the final weeks for undefined 'health' reasons", and would abolish virtually every existing state and federal limitation on abortion, including parental consent and notification laws for minors, state and federal funding restrictions on abortion, and conscience protections for pro-life citizens working in the health-care industry.

  • Sen. Obama, unlike even many "pro-choice" legislators, opposed the ban on partial-birth abortions when he served in the Illinois legislature and condemned the Supreme Court decision that upheld legislation banning this heinous practice.

  • Sen. Obama has referred to a baby conceived inadvertently by a young woman as a "punishment" that she should not endure.

  • Sen. Obama has stated that women's equality requires access to abortion on demand.

  • Sen. Obama wishes to strip federal funding from pro-life crisis pregnancy centers that provide alternatives to abortion for pregnant women in need.

  • Sen. Obama, despite the urging of pro-life members of his own party, has not endorsed or offered support for the Pregnant Women Support Act, the signature bill of Democrats for Life, meant to reduce abortions by providing assistance for women facing crisis pregnancies.

  • Sen. Obama, as an Illinois state senator, opposed legislation to protect children who are born alive, either as a result of an abortionist's unsuccessful effort to kill them in the womb, or by the deliberate delivery of the baby prior to viability. The Obama campaign lied about his vote until critics produced documentary proof of what he had done. In fact, Sen. Obama continues to lie about his inhuman voting record in regard to the Illinois Born-Alive Infants Protection Act, even stooping so low as to run a disgusting television ad attacking the disabled survivor of a botched abortion.


  • As Professor George notes, "You may be thinking, it can't get worse than that. But it does." Just keep reading.

    And Professor George is, of course, 100% correct in concluding that "Barack Obama is the most extreme pro-abortion candidate ever to seek the office of President of the United States." Let's not provide Sen. Obama the opportunity to put his anti-life principles into practice. Let's never find out what it's like to live in an America with such a man at the helm who deems the least of these our brethren to be an inconvenient "punishment".


    What follows is a re-post of Dave Stacy's original piece.

    Part of a series:

    Let’s Never Find Out: Part 1 - The Mortgage Meltdown and Obama


    Here’s Part 2:


    __________________________________________________________



    Transcript:


    WOMAN: Senator Obama, you say that punitive taxes on oil companies will solve our energy problems. But economists say windfall taxes will only raise the price of gasoline. You say you're against offshore drilling. But experts say we need to maximize oil supply while we develop alternative energy. Senator, you are running for President, not us. Why do we need to explain this to you?


    ANNOUNCER: What happens when we elect a Senator who doesn’t understand supply and demand? Please, America, let's never find out.

    On energy the choice couldn’t be more clear. Here’s Barack Obama:

    On one side we have a liberal who is beholden to the environmentalist lobby. He would rather we keep sending our cash to the Middle East rather than keep it here. And on the other side we have an bonafide energy expert, Sarah Palin, who has successfully managed Alaska’s natural resources (at least in the areas where the Federal government so graciously allows Alaskans to use their own land)

    Kudlow: How long would it take? How long would it take? I hear so many, Senator Obama says this, and a lot of Democrats say this, some Republicans, how long will it take Governor? What's your estimate on this? To start lifting out of ANWR?

    Palin: It's going to take at least five years. You know, and there are other areas in Alaska too, that have the reserves that need to be tapped, certainly offshore. There's trillions of cubic feet of natural gas, and billions of barrels of oil there too that need to be tapped. We also have a natural gas pipeline that is underway now, a process to get that constructed, where we can build infrastructure and allow known reserves of natural gas up on our North Slope - it's already there, it's already proven - to be tapped and flow through a natural gas pipeline. Our legislature is dealing with that issue right now, getting ready to license a company to build that gas line. Again, to feed these hungry markets.

    and more of Sarah Palin doing her thing here:

    HOPE-ON ProjectIf you are at all concerned that energy costs might skyrocket out of control again, or about the fact that we are trading billions of dollars to the Middle East where it distorts the influence of those countries on us and our foreign policy, then you vote McCain/Palin

    Obama’s energy policy: solar, electric cars and miracle fuels (Same Stuff Jimmy Carter did to no avail), campaign conversions on coal and a very late campaign “conversion” on offshore drilling.

    McCain/Palin: solar energy, electric cars, efficiency, nuclear energy, clean coal, offshore drilling + Energy expert Governor Palin.

    Not even a close choice. Jobs and cheap energy: McCain/Palin

    More good stuff from Alfonzo Rachel

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    A brief explanation of why he is what he is:

    What follows is a re-post of Tom Blumer's original piece.

    HOPE-ON Project

    Note: This is the first of what will be 13 posts on why Barack Obama is a dangerous, objectionable, and objectively unfit candidate to be president of the United States (while many of the other candidates are not).


    The daily videos involved will be from NeverFindOut.org, a project of Let Freedom Ring (donation link is here).


    This post is part of the fledgling HOPE ON Project (Help Ohio Prevent Electing Obama Now). Other SOB participants today include these (will update as time allows) Maggie Thurber, Buckeye RINO, NixGuy, Freedom’s Right.

    ________________________________________________

    Video — “Part of the Problem“:

    Transcript:

    Part of the Problem

    WOMAN: Senator Obama, the papers say that you are benefiting politically from the financial crisis.

    MAN: But if America knew the facts, I don't know how they could vote for you.

    WOMAN: John McCain tried to blow the whistle on Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac over two years ago. In 2006, he told the Senate, "For years, I have been concerned about the regulatory structure that governs Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.... The GSEs (government-sponsored enterprises) need to be reformed without delay."

    MAN: No wonder he didn't get their political contributions. And who opposed the reforms John McCain was calling for? Barack Obama, Christopher Dodd, and John Kerry.

    WOMAN: Wait, it gets better. Guess who received campaign contributions from the people who drove Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae into the ground? Barack Obama, Christopher Dodd and John Kerry.

    MAN: John McCain saw this coming. You, Senator Obama, have been part of the problem.

    ANNOUNCER: What happens when we elect a Senator who's part of the biggest financial crisis in U.S. history? Please, America, let's never find out.

    Additional Commentary:

    This could be a book (and should be), but here is a chronology of what happened:

    The Jimmy Carter-”inspired,” Bill Clinton-”enhanced” Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) intimidated banks and the GSE into lending money to people who were unreasonable credit risks.

    The GSEs facilitated the extension of risky credit by buying risky mortgage loans the banks originated. They did so by reducing the credit-score approval thresholds built into their credit analysis software programs (Desktop Underwriter at Fannie Mae, Loan Prospector at Freddie Mac) for both conventional and subprime (i.e., very risky) loans.

    GSE executive management was heavily populated by Democrats who had been in government service (e.g., Franklin Raines, who is, incredibly, a current Obama adviser). Managements at both companies cooked the books and let accounting chaos reign. Both companies paid out wildly excessive bonuses based on fictitious earnings.

    Attempts like McCain’s to reform the two GSEs were met with cries of “racism” by Democrats in Congress who thought lending money to people who had a high likelihood of not paying it back, thereby ruining their credit, was a good idea.

    The high default rates on loans purchased by the two GSEs led both companies into receivership, and shook the mortgage lending industry to its foundations, and lead to the most serious declines in real estate values in generations.

    The collapses at the two GSEs created contributed to problems that were so far-reaching that the government felt compelled to formulate a “bailout” plan that could very cost future generations hundreds of billions of dollars.

    The financial-sector problems that can be laid at the feet of the GSEs are negatively affecting the rest of the economy. After 6 years of virtually uninterrupted growth, a recession could occur.

    Barack Obama’s role in all of this was one of contributing to the problem as a young lawyer/”activist” (suing a banking giant to intimidate it into making irresponsible loans), and failure to act to prevent the GSE train wreck while a US senator.

    This is not “Judgment to Lead.” Electing someone so beholden to so many who are so corrupt is more like a recipe for calamity.

    Barack the Plumber

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    Barack the Plumber

    Sucks to be you, Joe.

    Oh, really? It took me five minutes to find these.

     

     

     

    Fantastic new ads by Let Freedom Ring

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    These are political guided missiles. Given enough airplay, they'll punch through the static of election season to make a lasting impression on undecided voters and moderates torn between Obama and McCain.

       

       

    There are nine more where these came from. Spread the word.

    H/T: Gateway Pundit

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    Update: I told you so:

    ACORN voter fraud 101

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    Jim Hoft has put together a comprehensive guide to ACORN voter fraud. It's an essential read.

    RICO suit filed against ACORN

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    The Buckeye Institute has targeted ACORN and Project Vote in Ohio:

    COLUMBUS - The Buckeye Institute, a Columbus-based think tank, today filed a state RICO action against the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN) on behalf of two Warren County voters. The action filed in Warren County Court of Common Pleas alleges ACORN has engaged in a pattern of corrupt activity that amounts to organized crime. It seeks ACORN's dissolution as a legal entity, the revocation of any licenses in Ohio, and an injunction against fraudulent voter registration and other illegal activities.


    Plaintiffs Jennifer Miller of Mason, Ohio and Kimberly Grant of Loveland, allege that ACORN's actions deprive them of the right to participate in an honest and effective elections process. They allege fraudulent voter registrations submitted by ACORN dilute the votes of legally registered voters.

    "The right to cast a vote that is not diluted by fraudulent votes is a fundamental individual right," Buckeye Institute President David Hansen said.

    "ACORN appears to be recklessly disregarding Ohio laws and adding thousands of fraudulent voters to the state's roles in the process," Maurice Thompson, Director of the Buckeye Institute's 1851 Center for Constitutional Law said. "Such voter fraud erodes the value of legally cast votes," he added.

    In the complaint, Thompson cites an accumulation of evidence showing numerous instances of admitted fraud by ACORN employees, as well as individuals solicited by ACORN.

    "In light of its hiring, training and compensation practices, ACORN should have known its conduct would cause fraud," Thompson said. "It also should know that its conduct will cause fraud in the future."

    Here's a copy of the filing. What are they asking for?

    (1) The dissolution of Defendant ACORN, pursuant to R.C. 2923.34(C)(3).12


    (2) The revocation of any license or permit that allows Defendant ACORN to carry on its business in the State of Ohio, pursuant to R.C. 2923.34(C)(4).

    (3) The imposition of restrictions upon Defendant ACORN's future political and elections-related activities, including restrictions that prohibit the Defendants from engaging in the same type of activity that has produced the pattern of corrupt activity articulated in this Complaint, pursuant to R.C. 2923.34(C)(2).

    (4) The imposition of a restriction prohibiting ACORN from circumventing such a court order through the use of third-party operations or sham organizations.

    (5) The awarding of attorneys fees to Plaintiffs, pursuant to R.C. 2923.34(G).

    (6) The awarding such other and further relief as the court shall deem just and equitable.

    Bravo! Nail their asses to the wall.

    Incidentally, this recent letter from the director of Cleveland ACORN is good for a laugh.

    Update 1: When you hear ACORN claim that it's a non-partisan organization, just read this e-mail from ACORN soliciting paid canvassers for Obama.

    Update 2: In order to dissolve ACORN or revoke its licenses, Ohio law [O.R.C. 2923.34(C)] requires the Ohio Attorney General to intervene (legalese for "join") in the Buckeye Institute's suit:

    Relief pursuant to division (B)(3), (4), or (5) of this section shall not be granted in any civil proceeding instituted by an injured person unless the attorney general intervenes in the civil action pursuant to this division.


    Upon the filing of a civil proceeding for relief under division (B)(3), (4), or (5) of this section by an allegedly injured person other than a prosecuting attorney, the allegedly injured person immediately shall notify the attorney general of the filing. The attorney general, upon timely application, may intervene in any civil proceeding for relief under division (B)(3), (4), or (5) if the attorney general certifies that, in the attorney general's opinion, the proceeding is of general public interest. In any proceeding brought by an injured person under division (B)(3), (4), or (5) of this section, the attorney general is entitled to the same relief as if the attorney general instituted the proceeding.

    Fortunately, Ohio's Attorney General isn't corrupt Democrat Marc Dann anymore; he was impeached and resigned in disgrace.

    Unfortunately, the interim AG is Democrat Nancy Rogers, who isn't staying in the post. Since she doesn't want to keep the AG job, she has no incentive to intervene in the RICO suit. She has nothing to lose by ignoring Ohio voters' anger over ACORN.

    Don't hold your breath waiting for the Ohio Attorney General to take any action against ACORN.

    Update 3: What a kind thing to say!

    Idiot voters

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    These idiots are going to help choose our next President. Here's reason #5,832 why I don't want to encourage every eligible citizen to register to vote.

    I wish these geniuses would just stay home on Election Day.

    H/T: Red State

    Those are not "Obama flags" behind the Obamessiah; they're official Ohio flags.

    Obama in front of Ohio flags

    This is the Obama flag:

    ACORN fraud in Lake County, Indiana

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    ACORN submitted roughly 5,000 new voter registrations to officials in Lake County, Indiana. Of the first 2,100 registrations reviewed so far, the running total of fraudulent registrations is: 2,100.

    ACORN only admits to making a few bad hires, and mainly blames election officials who supposedly are "not doing their jobs."

    Riiiiiight.

    These ACORN crooks are Barack Obama's allies.

    H/T: Ace of Spades

    Vote Obama or be branded a racist

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    Righty blogs aren't the only ones pointing out this scuzzy meme. I hope most voting Ohioans react appropriately on Election Day.

    A registered independent voter and professional filmmaker by the name of Molotov Mitchell has put together an 11-minute video that summarizes a brewing controversy about Barack Obama's eligibility to be President. A lifelong Democrat named Philip Berg is suing Obama to force him to prove that he satisfies the Constitution's minimum eligibility requirements for the highest office in the land.

    Here's the relevant citation from Article II:

    No person except a natural born citizen, or a citizen of the United States, at the time of the adoption of this Constitution, shall be eligible to the office of President; neither shall any person be eligible to that office who shall not have attained to the age of thirty five years, and been fourteen Years a resident within the United States.

    Mitchell's video frames the dispute and asks Berg to explain the situation. As you watch it, focus on one key question: if Barack Obama can instantly defeat Berg's lawsuit by handing the judge his original Hawaiian birth certificate, why doesn't he do so?

    If Barack Obama is a natural born U.S. citizen, why is he acting like he can't prove it? What is he hiding?

    --

    Update: A rebuttal

    CNN notices ACORN

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    It's no longer just a news item for conservative talk radio, righty blogs, and Fox News. CNN has been forced to cover the fraudulent activities of ACORN, the group of community organizers that Barack Obama once worked for.

    ACORN has been very busy in Pennsylvania lately, not to mention in Ohio. What does Obama know about ACORN's voter fraud schemes?

    H/T: Hot Air

    From Alfonzo Rachel's mouth ...

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    ... to God's ears.

    H/T: Neptunus Lex

    Update: More from Alfonzo Rachel.

    Update 2: And from Barack Obama's mouth ...

    Video: The Obama National Anthem

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    Note the tune and the Cyrillic subtitles.

    Absolutely fricken' priceless! Glenn Beck knocked this one out of the park.

    Don't forget this clever ad, and this snarky scripture.

    Obama worked for ACORN

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    Though he may deny it, Barack Obama worked for ACORN, the fraud-riddled left-wing community organizers' association. His former employer, Project Vote, is a front group created and run by ACORN.

    More ACORN voter fraud in Ohio

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    ACORN submitted fraudulent voter registrations in Cuyahoga County? Say it ain't so:

    Cuyahoga County Election Board members grilled representatives of a community group Tuesday about their links to suspicious voter registration cards.


    In one case, a Cleveland resident was registered to vote three times in a single day, listing two different addresses.

    The man's registration was submitted to the Board of Elections by ACORN.

    The board discussed several other cases of multiple registrations at their meeting. ACORN was involved in each case, although not for all entries by the same individuals.

    ...

    Election officials subpoenaed three voters to appear before the Board next week to explain their mulitple registrations.

    The list includes a Cuyahoga County resident whose name appears on 22 registration cards submitted in six months.

    I'm as surprised by ACORN's fraud as I am by each morning's sunrise. C'mon, it's what they do.

    ACORN fraud revealed in Las Vegas

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    Barack Obama's favorite community organizers are at it again:

    The secretary of state's office launched an investigation after noticing that names did not match addresses and that most members of the Dallas Cowboys appeared to be registering in Nevada to vote in November's general election.


    "Some of these (forms) were facially fraudulent; we basically had the starting lineup for the Dallas Cowboys," Secretary of State Ross Miller said. "Tony Romo is not registered to vote in Nevada. Anyone trying to pose as Terrell Owens won't be able to cast a ballot."

    Agents with the secretary of state and state attorney general offices served a search warrant on the headquarters of the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now, or ACORN, at 953 E. Sahara Ave. shortly after 9 a.m. They seized voter registration forms and computer databases to determine how many fake forms were submitted and identify employees who were responsible.

    What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas ... especially when it's "lazy crack-heads" helping Obama get elected.

    More here and here.

    Anti-ACORN and anti-Obama graphics

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    Feel free to use these on your own blog. All I ask is that you save your own copy of each image, and don't hotlink to the image on my web site. If you hotlink, it will drive up my bandwidth costs.

     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     

    Oh, and here's one for that bailout bill:

    Enjoy.

    Remember Jeremiah Wright? This is the man who Barack Obama chose to be his mentor, chose to be his friend, chose to conduct his marriage, chose to baptize his daughters, chose to guide him in his faith, chose to support financially, chose to listen to for 20+ years ...

    ... and only when it became politically expedient did Obama distance himself. Obama hopes you'll swallow the lie that he was surprised and shocked at Jeremiah Wright's hateful anti-American beliefs, and that you'll believe him when he says he doesn't share Jeremiah Wright's views.

    Don't you believe it. Even Jeremiah Wright knows better.

    BILL MOYERS: Here is a man who came to see you 20 years ago. Wanted to know about the neighborhood. Barack Obama was a skeptic when it came to religion. He sought you out because he knew you knew about the community. You led him to the faith.


    You performed his wedding ceremony. You baptized his two children. You were, for 20 years, his spiritual counsel. He has said that. And, yet, he, in that speech at Philadelphia, had to say some hard things about you. How did those words...how did it go down with you when you heard Barack Obama say those things?

    REVEREND WRIGHT:
    It went down very simply. He's a politician, I'm a pastor. We speak to two different audiences. And he says what he has to say as a politician. I say what I have to say as a pastor. But they're two different worlds.

    I do what I do. He does what politicians do. So that what happened in Philadelphia where he had to respond to the sound bytes, he responded as a politician.

    The emphasis is mine, but the plain message is Wright's: Obama only abandoned him to keep his political career alive.

    And when Obama protests any mention of Jeremiah Wright, just remember that Obama himself declared it "fair game."

    McCain blew it last night

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    Andy McCarthy sums it up nicely:

    We have a disaster here -- which is what you should expect when you delegate a non-conservative to make the conservative (nay, the American) case. We can parse it eight ways to Sunday, but I think the commentary is missing the big picture.


    Here's what Obama needed to do tonight: Convince the country that he was an utterly safe, conventional, centrist politician who may have leftward leanings but will do the right thing when the crunch comes.

    Now, as the night went along, did you get the impression that Obama comes from the radical Left? Did you sense that he funded Leftist causes to the tune of tens of millions of dollars? Would you have guessed that he's pals with a guy who brags about bombing the Pentagon? Would you have guessed that he helped underwrite raging anti-Semites? Would you come away thinking, "Gee, he's proposing to transfer nearly a trillion dollars of wealth to third-world dictators through the UN"?

    Nope. McCain didn't want to go there. So Obama comes off as just your average Center-Left politician. Gonna raise your taxes a little, gonna negotiate reasonably with America's enemies; gonna rely on our very talented federal courts to fight terrorists and solve most of America's problems; gonna legalize millions of hard-working illegal immigrants.

    McCain? He comes off as Center-Right .. or maybe Center-Left ... but, either way, deeply respectful of Obama despite their policy quibbles.

    Great. Memo to McCain Campaign: Someone is either a terrorist sympathizer or he isn't; someone is either disqualified as a terrorist sympathizer or he's qualified for public office. You helped portray Obama as a clealy qualified presidential candidate who would fight terrorists.

    If that's what the public thinks, good luck trying to win this thing.

    With due respect, I think tonight was a disaster for our side. I'm dumbfounded that no one else seems to think so. Obama did everything he needed to do, McCain did nothing he needed to do. What am I missing?

    Does McCain even have a prayer anymore? I have serious doubts.

    The playlist below contains the full video "Obama & Friends - History Of Radicalism", aired just this past weekend on Hannity's America. As each segment ends, the next one should start automatically. If there's a hitch between segments, just click the big arrow that will appear at the right side of the box and you'll manually fast forward to the next segment.

    Barack Obama's defenders accuse arguments like this one of irrelevance or unfairness. Assigning guilt by association can certainly be unfair to someone with an unsavory friend or two, especially if the target of the accusation clearly doesn't share the lowlife's beliefs or actions. Every nationally-known politician has a lot of friends and associates, so it stands to reason that some of those people will be less than stellar examples of moral uprightness. The law of averages plays a part in the makeup of any large group of people.

    But some politicians surround themselves with crowds of bad people. Consider Richard Nixon, the former Republican President who resigned in disgrace to avoid impeachment. He selected the advisors and political operatives who helped him climb the political ladder all the way to the top. These surrogates were masters of dirty politics, who committed the Watergate break-in that brought down Nixon's administration.

    When Nixon uttered his famous "I am not a crook" line, nobody took him seriously. While he didn't personally break into the Democratic Party offices at the Watergate Hotel, he surrounded himself with the crooks and scumbags who did. He knew exactly how immoral and un-American his friends and associates were, so he delegated the dirty tricks to them. He hoped to keep his own hands clean by claiming he had nothing to do with a few overzealous bad apples, but Washington Post journalists Woodward and Bernstein exposed the truth: Nixon's friends and associates were a barrel full of bad apples.

    There were far too many shady characters around him for Nixon to claim it was all happenstance. Either he was incredibly naive and stupid when it came to his executive responsibility to select and lead his subordinates, or he craved the power of the presidency so much that he would do anything to maintain it. Either way, Nixon was unfit to remain in office.

    A president's character is reflected by the character of his friends and associates. Keep that in mind as you watch the video above. What does the character of Barack Obama's friends and associates say about his character?

    Let's apply the same standards to everyone seeking the presidency.

    A Democrat recession

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    Here's your answer.

    Guess who took $105,849 from Fannie Mae? Look who's at #3 on the list of pigs at Fannie's trough: Barack Obama.

    Obama took hush money from the people who crippled the home mortgage market through fraud, and he did nothing to regulate them. His friends enriched themselves while running Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae into the ground, and as a result we're now stuck with that obscene $800+ billion dollar taxpayer-funded bailout bill. Worse still, three of Fannie Mae's wealthy scammers advise Obama on everything from running mate selection to the details of housing policy.

    That's right; Obama seeks critical economic and political advice from the very people who ruined the mortgage market and caused the current financial crisis.

       

    Why in the world would anyone trust Barack Obama to fix this financial mess, when he and his friends are the ones who caused this economic crisis in the first place?

    If you want a ten-minute primer on how this mess happened, here you go:

    Leaked: Gwen Ifill's question list

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    Jim Treacher has somehow gotten a copy of some of the questions on Gwen Ifill's list for moderating tomorrow's VP debate.

    Here's the brief interview from yesterday's broadcast.

    Just like clockwork, and just like the Ohio Republican Party warned would happen, the corrupt community organizers of ACORN have begun their effort to elect Barack Obama by committing massive voter registration fraud.

    The full story should wake you up, if you're still asleep.

    --

    Update: More on ACORN fraud in Ohio here and here.

    The facts behind the current economic crisis

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    If you've asked yourself "What caused the bank crisis?" or "Who is responsible for this financial mess?" ... here's the answer.

    This is a prime example of what happens when Barack Obama's core beliefs are enacted as economic policy. In the name of "affordable housing for all", Washington liberals ruined the mortgage market with foolish regulations, caused countless home foreclosures, and stuffed their own pockets with money in the process.

    Children sing to Obama and Kim Jong-Il

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    Children sing to their respective Dear Leaders:

       

    Elect Obama and we'll all live in happy socialist comradeship under the wise guidance of The One! After all, North Korea is a workers' paradise, and we can start down that road too. To borrow a phrase: "Yes! We can!"

    Obama's Kool-Aid

    Drink the Hopenchange Kool-Aid, Comrades.

    To get a bailout bill passed, the Treasury Department needed a big, scary figure ... so they made one up. Tom Blumer has the details.

    The Obama Effect: unemployment and recession

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    An e-mail to Jay Nordlinger shows what will happen to small businesses if Obama is elected:

    Just thought I'd send some thoughts from small-business America. My husband's business is a canary in the coalmine. When tax policies are favorable to business, he hires more guys, buys more goods, etc. When he is taxed more heavily, he fires people, doesn't buy anything new, etc. Well, duh. So, at the mere thought of a President Obama, he has paid off his debt, canceled new spending, and jotted a list of whom to "let go."


    The first of the guys will get the news tomorrow. And these are not minimum-wage earners. These are "rich" guys, making between $200,000 and $250,000 a year.

    My husband will make sure that we're okay, money-wise, but he won't give himself a paycheck that will just be sent to Washington. He'll make sure that he's not in "rich guy" tax territory. So, he will not spend his money, not show a profit, and scale his workforce down to the bare minimum.

    Multiply this scenario across the country and you'll see the Obama effect: unemployment, recession, etc. No business owner will vote for this man, but many a "middle-class worker" will vote himself out of a job. Sad the Republican can't articulate this.

    Very sad. Don't be surprised if things get worse, thanks to ignorance about capitalism versus socialism.

    A message for my Catholic friends

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    Some things are more important than others. Please remember that when you vote.

    That was fast.

    Debate live blog and chat

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    Ed Morrissey's all over it at Hot Air.

    A volunteer for Congressional candidate Ashwin Madia (D-MN) picked a very bad time to use a favorite liberal campaign tactic. A researcher for opposing candidate Eric Paulsen (R-MN) caught her on film in the act of stealing Paulsen signs from supporters' lawns.

    To quote Ed Morrissey: "What's dumber than stealing lawn signs? Getting caught stealing lawn signs. What's even dumber than that? Using a campaign official's car as your get-away vehicle."

    First, watch this.

    Where did this scummy lie-filled ad come from? Rusty Shackleford dug around:

    Extensive research was conducted by the Jawa Report to determine the source of smears directed toward Republican Vice Presidential candidate Sarah Palin. Those smears included false allegations that she belonged to a secessionist political party and that she has radical anti-American views.

    Our research suggests that a subdivision of one of the largest public relations firms in the world most likely started and promulgated rumors about Sarah Palin that were known to be false. These rumors were spread in a surreptitious manner to avoid exposure.

    It is also likely that the PR firm was paid by outside sources to run the smear campaign. While not conclusive, evidence suggests a link to the Barack Obama campaign. Namely:

    • Evidence suggests that a YouTube video with false claims about Palin was uploaded and promoted by members of a professional PR firm.
    • The family that runs the PR firm has extensive ties to the Democratic Party, the netroots, and are staunch Obama supporters.
    • Evidence suggests that the firm engaged in a concerted effort to distribute the video in such a way that it would appear to have gone viral on its own. Yet this effort took place on company time.
    • Evidence suggests that these distribution efforts included actions by at least one employee of the firm who is unconnected with the family running the company.
    • The voice-over artist used in this supposedly amateur video is a professional.
    • This same voice-over artist has worked extensively with David Axelrod's firm, which has a history of engaging in phony grassroots efforts, otherwise known as "astroturfing."
    • David Axelrod is Barack Obama's chief media strategist.
    • The same voice-over artist has worked directly for the Barack Obama campaign.

    This suggests that false rumors and outright lies about Sarah Palin and John McCain being spread on the internet are being orchestrated by political partisans and are not an organic grassroots phenomenon led by the left wing fringe. Our findings follow.

    Innnnnnteresting.

    --

    11:50 AM Update: A very revealing response!

    McCain radio ad on stem cell research

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    This radio ad is too vague. What kind of stem cell research is McCain advocating? It matters a whole lot to me and to other pro-lifers. Specifics, please.

    I'm not the only one asking.

    Video: Dear Mr. Obama

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    A veteran explains his upcoming vote in November:

    Thank you, Joe.

    Bill Whittle on the GOP

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    My all-time favorite online essayist, Bill Whittle, has a knack for conveying my own impressions better than I ever could:

    Sarah Palin has done more than unify and electrify the base. She's done something I would not have thought possible, were it not happening in front of my nose: Sarah Palin has stolen Barack Obama's glamour. She's stolen his excitement, robbed his electricity, burgled his charisma, purloined his star power, and taken his Hope and Change mantra, woven it into a cold-weather fashion accessory, and wrapped it around her neck.

    A candidate who is young, funny, well-spoken, intelligent, charming, drop-dead gorgeous -- and one of ours? Is this actually happening?

    I have personally seen hundreds of crusty, old-school paleocons who despised McCain now saying "He finally listened to us." By picking Palin -- instead of Lieberman, who we all know he wanted -- he has told conservatives that he gets it. They're not holding their noses and voting any more. They want yard signs and bumper stickers -- they can't wait to vote GOP. And the proof of the pudding is in the tasting, folks: they are writing checks.

    I've seen post after post on Hillary forums about how much they love Sarah, how they are energized and lifted out of depression by her (and the sight of an actual Roll Call made some of them weep). They gush about how she reminds them of their hero, how tough and savvy and unafraid she is. And I have seen these women, hard-core, feminist Democrats for 30 years and more, sit in slack-jawed amazement at Palin and at how fiercely Republicans -- Republicans! -- are defending her, backing her, and cheering her to the rafters. These Clinton supporters say they don't know what to think any more: The Republicans are behaving like Democrats and the Democrats are behaving like Republicans!

    If you think that's an insult, you've got it exactly backwards. That is not only a huge compliment from these abandoned, centrist Democrats who bemoan the loss of their party to the radicals, it is an early rumbling of a tectonic shift in American politics which we are only dimly beginning to grasp. Who are the real feminists? A significant portion of our former hard-core opposition is now rethinking in a fundamental way who it is that actually does what their former allies only talk about.

    The Democrat leadership just doesn't get it. When Sarah's sworn in as Vice President, they'll redouble their venomous vein-popping Bush-hating fury and aim it all at her. Sad.

    All the latest, juiciest Sarah Palin rumors

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    Have at it, liberal mouthbreathers.

    Video: Sarah Palin's speech

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    Talk about bringing a tank to a gunfight ...

    Kudos to Lee Stranahan

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    Liberal blogger Lee Stranahan delivers a breath of fresh air ... at The Huffington Post, of all places.

    Hat tip: Josh Gillespie

    How dare a lowly conservative columnist unearth public records about the Obamessiah's friendship and work history with an unrepentant terrorist? Stanley Kurtz had the gall to speak about the Anointed One's ties to Bill Ayers in a radio interview, and he will be punished.

    From: Obama Action Wire

    Date: Wed, Aug 27, 2008

    Subject: Chicago: CALL TONIGHT to fight the latest smear

    [Name] --

    In the next few hours, we have a crucial opportunity to fight one of the most cynical and offensive smears ever launched against Barack.

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

    Tell WGN that by providing Kurtz with airtime, they are legitimizing baseless attacks from a smear-merchant and lowering the standards of political discourse.

    ...

    It is absolutely unacceptable that WGN would give a slimy character assassin like Kurtz time for his divisive, destructive ranting on our public airwaves. At the very least, they should offer sane, honest rebuttal to every one of Kurtz's lies.

    Kurtz is scheduled to appear from 9:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m. in the Chicago market.

    Calling will only take a minute, and it will make a huge difference if we nip this smear in the bud. Confront Kurtz tonight before this goes any further:

    The candidate doth protest too much, methinks.

    Hat tip: Byron York

    --

    Update: Andy McCarthy reacts during and after the interview. The Obama cultists didn't exactly shine.

    Here's the ad the Obama campaign doesn't want you to see:

    This TV spot by The American Issues Project hit a very raw nerve, because here's how the Obama team reacted:

    1. They released a "response" ad that refutes nothing.
    2. They threatened TV stations not to air the AIP ad.
    3. They asked the U.S. Department of Justice to investigate and prosecute AIP, its officers, its board of directors, and its donors.

    That's not how a politician responds to a lie. Rather, it's how a politician tries to bury the truth.

    All hail the Obamessiah

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    Enjoy the discussion.

    Obama's hubris

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    Ten bucks says this assessment of Obama's arrogance gets mentioned on Rush Limbaugh's show today.

    During the Obamessiah's pilgrimage to Europe, he had made plans to visit wounded U.S. troops at the Landstuhl Regional Medical Center in Germany. But shortly before he was to arrive, he changed his mind and went shopping.

    Despite his campaign's numerous (and conflicting) excuses, the real reason Obama blew off the troops was the prohibition on cameras inside the military hospital. For a cut-and-run appeasement junkie like Saint Barack, there's no point in slumming with the warmongers if you can't score cheap political points by doing so.

    This makes the decision track very clear. Obama and his team set up the visits to military installations before going overseas. After seeing how the media got excluded in Iraq and Afghanistan, they decided it wasn’t worth traveling to Ramstein and Landstuhl to visit the severely wounded troops because they couldn’t bring the campaign and get the photo ops they wanted. Instead, Obama went shopping in Berlin.

    I hear there are some wicked deals on Che Guevara t-shirts to be found in Berlin.

    The coming of the Obamessiah

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    From the Book of Obama, Chapter 1:

    And it came to pass, in the eighth year of the reign of the evil Bush the Younger (The Ignorant), when the whole land from the Arabian desert to the shores of the Great Lakes had been laid barren, that a Child appeared in the wilderness.


    The Child was blessed in looks and intellect. Scion of a simple family, offspring of a miraculous union, grandson of a typical white person and an African peasant. And yea, as he grew, the Child walked in the path of righteousness, with only the occasional detour into the odd weed and a little blow.

    When he was twelve years old, they found him in the temple in the City of Chicago, arguing the finer points of community organisation with the Prophet Jeremiah and the Elders. And the Elders were astonished at what they heard and said among themselves: "Verily, who is this Child that he opens our hearts and minds to the audacity of hope?"

    Go ye forth, and read.

    He does if you're a member of the mainstream media.

    When will an interviewer or a reporter ask Barack Obama whether he believes in Black Liberation Theology? It's definitely not orthodox Christianity.

    Imagine that I'm a leading Republican candidate for President, and I've been a member of the Westboro Baptist Church for 20 years, and donated tens of thousands of dollars to the ministry. I've also called the Reverend Fred Phelps my friend and spiritual mentor for years. Furthermore, he presided over my marriage and baptized my two daughters.

    Now when embarrassing video clips of Fred Phelps' sermons surface during my campaign, I start distancing myself from the specific offensive statements in the specific videos. I also play down my association with Phelps by likening him to a crazy uncle and claiming "Gosh, he never said stuff like that when I was in the pews; the few times I attended it was all about Jesus and love and faith and family."

    My supporters claim the media cherry-picked quotes to serve their own agenda, that people are afraid of me, and that my accusers don't understand the "context" of the rhetoric used in churches that focus primarily on homosexuals.

    Would anybody believe a single word I said? Of course not. They'd all call B.S.

    So why in the world do the Obamassiah's followers expect me to swallow his line of bull?

    --

    Update: Spin, baby, spin.

    Barack Obama's core beliefs

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    Are you ready for an eye-opening look at the kind of racist bilge that's taught by the church that Obama chose to support and attend for the last twenty years? Make sure you're sitting down first, because this is black liberation theology in its unvarnished ugliness.

    10/01/2008 Update: There's much more to learn about Barack Obama's beliefs here.

    Whoopsie:

    Contrary to Senator Barack Obama's claim that he never heard his pastor Jeremiah A. Wright, Jr. preach hatred of America, Obama was in the pews last July 22 when the minister blamed the "white arrogance" of America's Caucasian majority for the world's suffering, especially the oppression of blacks.

    ...

    In fact, Obama was present in the South Side Chicago church on July 22 last year when Jim Davis, a freelance correspondent for Newsmax, attended services along with Obama. [See: "Obama's Church: Cauldron of Division."]

    How many of these sermons did Obama attend? More importantly, if he lied about his supposed ignorance of Wright's hateful rhetoric, why should we believe Obama when he "condemns" those sermons?

    More analysis at Hot Air.

    From Barack Obama's initial stab at damage control over his anti-American racist pastor, Jeremiah Wright:

    Most importantly, Rev. Wright preached the gospel of Jesus, a gospel on which I base my life. In other words, he has never been my political advisor; he's been my pastor. And the sermons I heard him preach always related to our obligation to love God and one another, to work on behalf of the poor, and to seek justice at every turn.

    Pray tell, what is the Gospel that forms the basis of Obama's life and beliefs? Not being one to stick to what's actually in the Bible, Pastor Wright apparently teaches another gospel:

    Concerning his pastor, Obama said last week that Wright "has said some things that are considered controversial because he's considered that part of his social gospel."

    When Obama says "social gospel" he means Black Liberation Theology (as Pastor Wright confirmed on March 1st, 2007). Does Obama share his pastor's belief in the Marxist principles of Kawaida? A candidate's worldview is fair game for detailed examination; Americans deserve to have enough information to make an educated decision in the voting booth. It would be nice to know if this potential President is a devotee of a kooky anti-American pseudo-religion, or whether he'll base his decisions on something resembling actual Christianity. Heck, I'd prefer a pro-American atheist as President to Jeremiah Wright's brand of wild eyed nutcase.

    So far, there hasn't been much in the way of a coherent explanation from the Obamassiah.

    One of the stories from Ohio’s primary yesterday that is really bothering me was a report of 21 precincts in Cuyahoga County ordered to remain open by a Federal Judge’s decree until 9:00pm due to “voting improprieties.” Specifically, the Obama campaign sued the Ohio Secretary of State about a shortage of ballots and heavy winter weather supposedly preventing voters from being able to get in line to vote before the 7:30pm deadline. Here’s why this bothers me so much. Within the documents presented, there were no witness statements or evidence collaborating the charges (normally a requirement), and more importantly the 21 precincts appear to have been “cherry picked” due to their racial demographics (i.e. mostly African-American).

    I’ve been wondering for a while how fair the rules are governing who gets a state’s delegates for the democrats. I feel a little disenfranchised right now, because there is no reasonable way for me to have a say in who is selected from my home state (Wyoming). As a military family, because Wyoming is a “Caucus” state for all intents and purposes we don’t count. My wife is an ardent Hillary Clinton supporter, and at least in the primaries my loyalties follow the same path (though in the general right now my preference is for McCain). It bothers me a little bit that she cannot make her opinion known because she is currently deployed to Iraq, and that the only way I could participate would be to buy two very expensive plane tickets to our home state, then arrange for a babysitter for my four year old daughter while I go stand in a gym someplace waiting to very publicly (vs. a secret ballot) make my selection known.

    Because I couldn’t sleep, I decided to take a look at a couple of figures related to how the candidates in this election are selected. An interesting contrast is created when you look at a couple of “what if” scenarios involving the way democratic delegates are awarded. What if the states were awarded like the general election, namely “winner-take-all” vs. the current allocation. If this were the case, the numbers would be Clinton in the lead with 1738 to Obama’s 1559 (at the time I am writing this, Texas Caucus results are unknown, though the primary in Texas has been called for Clinton). My assumption here is that Texas would be awarded solely to Clinton due to the Primary. If you factor in Florida and Michigan (which Clinton won, but don’t count due to moving their primaries up) the numbers would jump to 2051 vs. 1559. In other words, the contest would be over, and Clinton would be the nominee.

    I never thought this day would come

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    You've probably heard of "broken glass voters." Well, I just rolled my manual wheelchair through wind-driven sleet and two inches of bat-guano-slick slush to vote in Ohio's primary election. I'm not alone in braving the crud to go vote either.

    The turnout according to the poll workers had topped 630 voters as I arrived 15 minutes from poll-closing time. Typical turnout for presidential primaries here runs about 400-450 voters. More interesting yet, the sign-in desk had almost used up its allotted stack of change-your-party-affiliation forms. With ~20 pages in the stack and 5 signature blocks on each form, that means that close to 100 voters in this suburban Cleveland area district changed their party affiliation.

    With John McCain having the GOP nomination all but sewn up already, I'll give you three guesses which party's members were flocking to vote for the other side's nominee ... and your first two guesses don't count.

    I'll be keeping an eye out for airborne swine, because it's been that kind of day.

    Why is the question of John McCain’s citizenship being brought up now? Not meaning to sound like a conspiracy theorist, but it sure seems like the NY Times has suddenly made it their mission to bring up the most asinine of charges against the presumptive Republican nominee. Here is the article McCain’s Canal Zone Birth Prompts Queries About Whether That Rules Him Out.

    This issue hits a little close to home for me. My daughter was born overseas, specifically in the US Military Hospital in Wuerzburg, Germany while my wife was assigned there as a member of the US Army. If you follow the argument set out by the NY Times (and now floating around the blogs), she would be ineligible to become the President of this country, while the child of an illegal immigrant born in an Arizona hospital could someday become the Commander-in-Chief. Now I’m not a Constitutional Scholar, but I believe that the common sense definition needs to come into play.

    Why was John McCain born in Panama? His father was a career US Navy Officer, stationed at the US Military Base in Panama at the time he was born. By pushing this argument, it means that the child of any military member, ambassador, embassy worker, or citizen serving their country outside the US borders born overseas is ineligible for this nation’s highest office. This is just flat out stupid.

    What's a busy Democrat to do?

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    When you're a Democrat running for president, you have to woo superdelegates to your side. But who's got any time in their busy campaign schedule to meet with them all to persuade them? It's so much easier to just buy them outright with campaign contributions.

    H/T: Bearing Drift Ohio

    How do you solve a problem like McCain?

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    Brad Smith at RedState crystallizes the concerns rattling around in my mind over the nomination of John McCain in a clear-eyed and unemotional post. He looks at all the possibilities that worry conservatives and comes to a fairly bleak conclusion.

    Atrocious policies? Check. Stubbornness and temperament? Check. The critical importance of winning the war against jihadists? Check. Judicial nominations? Check. The Democrats' likely actions if elected? Check. Division in the Republican Party throughout a McCain administration? Check. Most importantly, McCain's almost certain inability to shift his stance to conservative orthodoxy and have any hope of presiding effectively (assuming he can even win the election)? Oh, yes indeed ... check-o-rama.

    Here's Smith's take on the dilemma McCain faces because of his repeated slanders of our motives:

    For example, it is not just that Senator McCain opposes opening ANWR for oil drilling, but that he implies that those who support drilling in ANWR (the bulk of his party) would favor drilling in the Grand Canyon, something not remotely comparable and something no conservative wants to do. It is not just that he promoted restrictions on political speech, but he felt it necessary to call fellow Republican senators “corrupt.” It is not only that he was less than enthusiastic about the agenda of many evangelicals, but that he felt it necessary to call them, “agents of intolerance.” It was not enough for him to oppose President Bush’s tax cuts in 2001 and 2003 – he felt the need to denounce them as “tax cuts for the rich” in leftist lingo that left most Democrats in the dust. The list could go on and on.

    ...

    Moreover, if Senator McCain is truly a “straight-talker” who tells people “things they don’t want to hear,” then we must take these types of comments – many of them repeated several times, some of them part of set piece speeches – as his true beliefs. In that case, it appears that Senator McCain really hopes to lead into battle a group of people he considers to be boorish, stupid, yahoos. It is understandable if this doesn't inspire the troops. If he is merely scoring political points, well, the “straight talking” image goes by the boards.

    Which is it? Is he the leader of the boorish, stupid yahoos? Or is he not a straight talker after all? Don't expect a clarification anytime soon from candidate McCain.

    Speaking personally, I'll hold my nose and vote for John McCain in November if he can do just two things.



    1. Convince me that he clearly understands the nature and aims of our jihadist enemies, and that he has a coherent long-term strategy for crushing them.

    2. Convince me that he will nominate judges like John Roberts and Samuel Alito without insisting on a pro-campaign-finance-reform litmus test ... and push them through a Democrat-controlled Senate.


    If he can do that I'll vote for him. Otherwise, he can forget it. Convince me, Senator.

    Delivered down the hall from the official CPAC room.

    Red meat.

    Video: McCain is surprisingly liberal

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    A very well-thought-out ad.

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    Update: A dossier on McCain (PDF document), courtesy of the same folks who made the ad above:

    Executive Summary


    For the past year, Senator John McCain, Republican of Arizona, has been vigorously attempting to convince conservative leaders and primary and caucus voters, whose support is critical in the Republican presidential nominating process, that he is the "right" choice.

    He indeed boasts an impressive resume. He is a war hero. He is a distinguished United States senator in his fourth term—re-elected in 2004 with 77% of the vote. His media appeal is the envy of politicians on both sides of the aisle.

    But throughout his Capitol Hill career, John McCain has loudly and proudly opposed a myriad of bedrock conservative principles. His record is replete with glaring examples of why conservatives should not support his presidential candidacy. On issues like abortion, campaign finance, global warming, gun control, illegal immigration, judicial appointments, same sex marriage, stem cell research, tax relief, and terrorist interrogation methods, McCain has staked out positions that are anathema to conservatism.

    Consider campaign finance regulations, which is McCain’s signature issue and thus epitomizes his political worldview. As even the senator himself has conceded, banning political speech in the run-up to an election violates the First Amendment. Yet McCain believes there is a higher good than the Constitution—the purported purity of the political process—to be enforced by that instrument of incorruptibility: government itself. Never mind that McCain has taken millions of dollars from the corrupting "special interests" that he decries. It seems voters are just supposed to trust that John McCain, rather than we the people, knows what’s best.

    McCain’s views and votes aren’t his only problems. News reports confirm that he has considered changing his party affiliation, and during the 2000 presidential primary campaign he actually ran against the Christian conservative base. The result speaks for itself: George W. Bush stood strong with conservatives—and won both the Republican nomination and the presidency. Conservatives understand that John McCain is pandering to us, in the hope that we will minimize his past apostasy. But the apostasy isn’t just in the past—it’s in the very fiber of his character. Conservatives deserve a standard-bearer who is completely committed to a conservative agenda, not one who just mouths its slogans. In other words, we want an heir to Ronald Reagan.

    John McCain is decidedly not that person.

    He dropped out. What a shame.

    Stick a fork in Fred Thompson

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    He just dropped out. If he endorses McCain, I'll puke.

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    Update: Did Fred only want the Vice Presidency to begin with? Fox News Channel's reporter Carl Cameron says VP was Fred's real goal all along. If that's true, I'm pretty annoyed at being played. (Hat tip: Ace)

    Absolution for disappointed FredHeads is available by clicking below.

    Oh how enjoyable it is to see Democrats cat fighting, yet how sad it is that the Democratic base seems to leave these squabbles unnoticed! Some tears and Hillary wins primaries! Democrats can pull the race card anytime but Republicans are damned for the same antics (Heil Hillary!).

    Media pundits will forgive any candidate's sins so long as the campaign keeps sacred the holy writ of infanticide - er - choice. Case in point: John McCain.

    Video: Comedian-In-Chief Mike Huckabee

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    Mike Huckabee made another pilgrimage to The Colbert Report a few days back.


    Huckabee likes to hit the late night talk shows right before a primary election, and it might well appeal to twenty-somethings who are surprised to find that he's funny (for a politician) and can act like a regular guy. I suppose that's a nice thing, but we'd better hope this isn't the kind of venue our candidates start frequenting in a quest for the elusive "youth vote." If a candidate hopes to convince the Republican base that he's thoughtful and serious about fighting Islamic jihadists or keeping Washington from wrecking the economy, he'd better not run for Comedian-In-Chief.

    These are serious times. I have more confidence in Jeri Thompson than in Mike Huckabee.

    This video play list ought to appeal to my co-blogger The Spider Slayer. I can imagine her chuckling with glee even now.

    My other co-blogger probably won't be very impressed, but such is life.

    Rasmussen's latest:

    724 LV
    (12/16/07)
    882 LV
    (1/7/08)
    785 LV
    (1/9/08)
    911 LV
    (1/14/08)
    McCain12%21%27%28%
    Huckabee23%28%24%19%
    Romney23%15%16%17%
    Thompson12%11%12%16%
    Giuliani11%10%6%5%
    Paul5%4%5%5%
    other2%2%2%2%


    If you're a Huckabee or Thompson backer, you're wincing tonight. I mean, c'mon: McCain? Are you kidding me?

    Check out the RCP Averages too.

    What will the Republican Party look like after the South Carolina primary on Saturday? Will it split apart to look like this?

    Conservative trio (false)

     

    Or will it still reflect the Reagan Coalition and look like this?

    Conservative trio (true)

    I pray it's the latter. But if Mike Huckabee's blatant populism or John McCain's war record carries the day, I suspect the party is headed for the former.

    New Thompson ad running in South Carolina

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    Greg Alterton examines Mike Huckabee's "vote-for-me-because-I'm-a-Christian" strategy at Race42008.com:

    Despite what Huckabee has suggested, I don’t think we evangelicals are welcomed in the party as long as we keep our place. I think we’re welcomed in the party as long as we add something of substance to the conservative foundation of the Republican Party, and as long as we approach politics pragmatically, maturely, and are determined to be part of a diverse coalition aimed at winning elections, which is required for political success and the advancement of our principles in the politics and policies of the nation.


    ...

    A number of years ago, I was asked to speak to a group of students from a number of private Christian high schools who had come to Sacramento for a week-long Model Legislature. I was asked to talk about the role of Christians in politics and government. What I told them is that the role of Christians in government is the same as the role of Christians who are lawyers, teachers, doctors, engineers, or greeters at WalMart – to reflect the fruit of the Spirit and the character of Christ; to treat people with respect and deference; to conduct oneself with civility, honesty, and integrity; to approach one’s profession with the spirit and attitude of a servant; to bless one’s enemies and not curse them. If Christians do that, they will have a far greater impact for good in this country, and for the advancement of Christ’s kingdom, than they will in pushing any particular political agenda.

    My observation is that many of my socially conservative brethren, particularly those who love being pandered to by candidates for the presidency, have lost sight of this.

    One reason for my frequent criticism of Huckabee's positions is that I'm a committed evangelical Christian and a serious conservative. If people like me don't criticize Huckabee, his supporters could very easily misinterpret all criticism from non-evangelicals as nothing more than thinly-veiled bias against evangelicals.

    Is Mike Huckabee a liberal?

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    Joe Carter wants to know. My contributions to the debate:

    Joe Carter was the research director for Mike Huckabee's campaign until a few weeks ago. Here's hoping he responds to the charges before South Carolina Republican primary voters run out of time to base their votes on something more than emotional warmth toward a fellow Christian.

    On January 2nd, Hugh Hewitt posted a message from Arkansas resident David Thompson, who offers seven detailed arguments against any conservative Christian supporting Mike Huckabee as the Republican nominee for president.

    I've reproduced the text in full below, in the hope that my fellow conservative Christians in South Carolina and elsewhere will think twice before voting for Mike Huckabee.

    A Plea from Arkansas: Christian Conservatives Need to Take a Closer Look at Mike Huckabee's Record as Governor

    by David Thompson

    As a conservative, evangelical, politically-active father of four in Arkansas I believe it is imperative for like-minded voters to become more familiar with the Mike Huckabee that just completed 10 years as our governor. I realize it’s sometimes hard to know what to believe during a campaign, so I've tried to include links to published stories, with most coming from years past when the events noted were taking place.

    For those who don't know much about me, I attend a very conservative evangelical church in Central Arkansas that includes some other politically active members (past/present elected officials, lobbyists, candidates, etc), and our family currently homeschools our young children. Since 1996, I have been heavily involved in numerous Republican campaigns in Arkansas at all levels (even managing a few). I have also served as vice chairman of the Republican committee in Arkansas' largest county. Yet I don't know of a single person in these circles who is supporting Huckabee for President - although I do know many that are definitely not supporting him. Of course, this is anecdotal evidence, but consider that Huckabee just finished serving 10 years as our governor (and I am sure there are many Republicans in Arkansas who are supporting him - I just don't know them). The truth is, most conservatives in Arkansas had written him off long before his Presidential bid.

    That said, here are 7 key reasons I cannot in good conscience support Mike Huckabee as the Republican nominee for President. This is based on his record here and is not a personal attack - I cannot speak for his or anybody's motives. This list is not the result of intense research - it's based on what I know and have experienced first-hand as a politically-active conservative Arkansan. It's a list I could have given you 6 months or even 2 years ago. And I am not attempting to echo or give validity to any criticism he is now receiving nationally (and I don’t think ALL of it is fair). This is the Mike Huckabee we know.

    1) Governor Huckabee did lasting damage to the Republican Party and conservative movement in Arkansas.

    It's hard to go after Democrats with a conservative message when your Republican Governor is out front releasing violent criminals, providing state benefits to illegals, pushing tax increases, expanding government spending and programs, and constantly walking an ethical tight-rope (more on each of these items to follow). This tied our party's hands - many conservatives got frustrated, apathy set in, and some quit the fight. In addition:

    • Huckabee insisted on having "his people" controlling the Republican Party campaign organizations that are set up in Arkansas each election cycle. He also insisted that his guy remain as state party chairman when party leaders planned to make a change. The mismanagement and ineptness that followed was so great that the Republican Party plunged into debt and the Federal Election Commission levied the the largest fine ever against a state political party following an investigation of the 2000 and 2002 election cycles. Obviously, this set back the Republican Party of Arkansas for years.
    • When Huckabee started his first full term in 1998, Arkansas had just elected a Republican Governor, Lt. Governor, U.S. Senator, and 2 Republican Congressmen. Upon his leaving office in 2007, Republicans now hold no statewide offices, have no Republicans in the U.S.Senate, and only one Republican Congressman remains.
    • It was often said during Huckabee's term that Arkansas had 3 parties: Republican Party, Democrat Party, and the Huckabee Party.

    "He destroyed the conservative movement in Arkansas, and left the Republican Party in shambles." - Phyllis Schlafly, president of the national Eagle Forum

    "His support for taxes split the Republican Party, and damaged our name brand." – Former Arkansas State Representative Randy Minton (R)

    "I think if they knew [his record] it would totally de-energize them . . . his policies are just wrong." – Former Arkansas State Senator Jim Holt’s (R) warning for conservatives around the country who think they have found their candidate in Mike Huckabee.


    2) Governor Huckabee's non-stop clemencies continually hindered the work of criminal prosecutors and miffed Republicans. The numbers are staggering - over 1,000 clemencies and commutations of criminals as governor. Most people now are familiar with his push to parole convicted rapist Wayne Dumond, who went on to rape and murder a Missouri woman less than a year after his release. But there are many more troubling facts regarding Huckabee’s pattern of releasing violent criminals. While I cannot speak for Huckabee’s motives, it seems clear that he used poor judgment and was reckless with this executive power.

    • Huckabee released more criminals than the combined total of every border state to Arkansas (made up of Texas, Oklahoma, Missouri, Tennessee, Mississippi, and Louisiana) - even though the combined population of these states is 16 times higher than Arkansas'. He also issued more than double the clemencies of his three predecessors combined.
    • In many cases, Huckabee's actions set loose savage criminals convicted of grisly murders over the passionate objections of prosecutors and victims' families. This American Spectator story details some of these violent cases and explains the resulting difficulties they presented prosecutors working with other victims and their families.
    • Huckabee and his appointees ignored the laws on the books, including the requirement to notify victims' families and explain the reasons for those clemencies. He said to fully explain his reasoning would cost millions of dollars and "take money away from education and Medicaid and other things."
    • A 2004 investigative article by the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette found that prisoners had a better chance of being granted clemency by Huckabee if they had a mutual acquaintance, labored at the governor's mansion under a prisoner work program, or a minister intervened on their behalf. Prosecutors say Huckabee was more inclined to release or reduce the sentences of prisoners if he had direct contact with them or was lobbied by those close to him.
    • He often refused to learn the facts of the cases (sometimes not even reading the murderer's own confession), made no attempt to get the police/prosecutor's case files, or even get input from the victims' families before making his decision.
    • The clemency granted to one multiple DUI offender was likely tied to large political contributions from the offender's family, including a soft money political organization run by Huckabee's people.
    • Good summary article

    "Last January, after Mississippi Gov. Ronnie Musgrove, a Democrat, lost his re-election bid, he issued 16 clemencies, and there was a huge outcry. That's how many Huckabee averages per month."Arkansas Leader, (August 11, 2004)

    "He seems to believe that granting clemency to murderers, rapists, drunk drivers and other convicted criminals is a part of the everyday affairs of the governor's office rather than something that he should approach cautiously and selectively." – Robert Herzfeld, Saline County Prosecuting Attorney during Huckabee’s tenure

    "I know some of the people that Huckabee let loose have reoffended. Some of them we've caught and some of them we haven't caught......I used to be able to tell the families of victims, in all good faith and candor, that it was a rare event when a governor commuted a sentence and let a murderer back out, or a rapist back out or a child molester back out. But I can't do that anymore." - Larry Jegley, longtime Pulaski County Prosecuting Attorney

    "I felt like Huckabee had more compassion for the murderers than he ever did for the victims." - Elaine Colclasure, co-leader of the Central Arkansas chapter of Parents of Murdered Children.

    3) Governor Huckabee's pattern was to ignore immigration laws, often in the name of Christianity.

    Huckabee opposed immigration enforcement as governor on a number of fronts. Immigration enforcement groups call Huckabee’s record on immigration "a disaster" and reference him as they guy who "scares the heck" out of them.

    • In 2001, Huckabee’s human services liaison Robert Trevino pushed for legislation to provide driver’s licenses for illegals. It was understood by legislators that he acted with Huckabee's blessing.
    • In 2001, Huckabee opposed a measure to require proof of citizenship to vote.
    • In 2005, Huckabee supported a bill that offered illegal immigrants in-state tuition rates and made them eligible for the same merit-based scholarships to Arkansas state colleges and universities as legal citizens. The bill would have violated federal law and was not enacted by the legislature.
    • In 2005, he opposed a bill that denied some state benefits to illegals and required proof of citizenship to vote (patterned after Arizona’s Prop 200 that has been successful in curtailing illegal immigration in that state). In this story, Huckabee called the measure "un-American….inflammatory….race-baiting and demagoguery." He added that the bill "inflames those who are racist and bigots and makes them think there’s a real problem. But there’s not." He then singled out State Senator Jim Holt, also an openly professing Christian, saying, "I drink a different kind of Jesus juice."
    • In 2005, Huckabee criticized federal agents for a recent crackdown on illegals, saying that it wasn’t fair to the innocent family members of those targeted in the operation. (No word on whether he also opposes raids on other law-breakers who might also have innocent family members affected by the fruits of their illegal activity.)
    • In 2005, Huckabee promoted an "open door" policy on immigration as he addressed the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) national convention in Little Rock. LULAC is a left-leaning group that opposes virtually all measures of immigration enforcement.

    "He was an absolute disaster on immigration as governor. Every time there was any enforcement in his state, he took the side of the illegal aliens." - Roy Beck, president of NumbersUSA, a group that played a major role in rallying the phone calls that helped defeat this year's Senate immigration bill.

    "I would hope he could be trusted to secure the borders, but given his track record in Arkansas, I don't see the conservative he has portrayed himself to be in Iowa." - Jake Files, a former Arkansas state representative and current chairman of the Sebastian County Republican Party

    4) Governor Huckabee was no friend to fiscal conservatives in Arkansas.

    Huckabee’s record on taxes, government spending, and growing government programs was miserable. Basically, when the economy got tough, Huckabee expected families like mine to tighten our budgets in order to help state government meet its spending whims.

    • In 2003, Huckabee called a special session of the legislature to push for a tax increase to make up for spending shortfalls. This led to his signing HB1039, an across the board income tax and tobacco tax increase. Huckabee even refused to consider a Republican proposal to cut spending and use general improvement funds (i.e., legislative pork) to make up for the budget shortfall. Ironically, the same day Huckabee was practically begging the Arkansas legislature to raise taxes (here’s the video), President Bush was also in Little Rock to push for his tax cut plan. (Note: When asked about this video recently, Huckabee gave a misleading response to Fox News, blaming his tax increase plea on a court order. This prompted State Representative Johnny Key, the current Republican Leader in the Arkansas House, to send out a letter correcting the accuracy of Huckabee's statement.)
    • If that weren't enough, Huckabee called a 2nd special legislative session in 2003 to pass a nearly one-cent state sales tax increase. The measure also expanded the sales tax to include previously exempted services (for more information and context, see reason #6 below).
    • During Huckabee’s term, Arkansas showed a net tax increase of $505 million, and the average Arkansan’s tax burden grew from $1,969 to $2,902. Governor Huckabee raised more taxes in 10 years in office than Bill Clinton did in his 12 years.
    • During Huckabee’s 10 years as governor, state spending more than doubled (from $6.6 billion to $16.1 billion), higher education and public schools got big increases, as did social services. Meanwhile, the state added about 8,000 full-time workers to its payroll during that period, a 19% increase (according to the Bureau of Legislative Research).
    • The conservative Cato Institute gave Huckabee an "F" for his final term as governor on its Fiscal Policy Report Card, saying, "Huckabee’s leadership has left taxpayers in Arkansas much worse off." His grade was lower than 15 of the 21 Democrat Governors. His overall grade as governor was a D.

    "The main reason for the drop was his insistence on raising taxes at almost every turn throughout his final term." – Cato Institute explaining why Huckabee had dropped from a "D" to an "F" on their Fiscal Policy Report Card.

    "[Huckabee] says he’s pro-family. If you’re raising taxes on the families of Arkansas, causing wives to go out and get jobs to make ends meet, that’s not pro-family." - Former Arkansas State Representative Randy Minton (R)

    "In the past, he blamed Democrats for raising taxes...We voted for them, but he proposed them." - Arkansas State Senator John Paul Capps, a Democrat

    5) Huckabee left a long trail of ethics questions while Governor of Arkansas

    This is an area where I think Huckabee does receive some unfair criticism. Some of the ethics charges against him were frivolous and politically motivated. However, it has been concerning for some time just how much the governor accepted in gifts and how he was seemingly always pushing ethical limits.

    • During his tenure, Huckabee accepted 314 gifts valued overall at more than $150,000, according to documents filed with the Arkansas' Secretary of State office.
    • The Huckabees set up wedding registries at local department stores as Mike was leaving office – even though they had been married for 30 years. State ethics laws prohibited Huckabee from receiving gifts of more than $100……but there was an exception for wedding gifts.
    • Judicial Watch, a non-partisan group dedicted to fighting government corruption, listed Huckabee among their Ten Most Wanted Corrupt Politicians of 2007. Huckabee was one of only three Republican politicians to make the list.

    6) Huckabee's education record shows him to be an advocate of the "status quo"

    The New Hampshire chapter of the National Education Association (NEA) has endorsed Hillary Clinton and Mike Huckabee for the upcoming Primary elections. This is the first time in memory that they have recommended a Republican (in 2004 they endorsed Howard Dean). They likely chose Huckabee because:

    • Huckabee has consistently opposed virtually all proposals for education reform, including school choice vouchers.
    • The former president of Eagle Forum of Arkansas said Huckabee "continued the Hillary Clinton education plan" as our governor.
    • When the Arkansas Supreme Court ruled that Arkansas’ public school funding was "inequitable," Huckabee took the ruling as a mandate to raise taxes in order to once again increase school funding...which he did. (To his credit, however, he also used the opportunity to consolidate some of the school districts in the state - although rural legislators severely watered down the proposal.)

    7) Huckabee has very little support for his Presidential bid here in Arkansas

    For the most part those in his party who know him best are not supporting him.

    • In October, a University of Arkansas poll showed that, among all Presidential candidates in both parties, only 8% of Arkansans said they were supporting Mike Huckabee.
    • That same week, the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reported that only one-third of Republicans in the Arkansas Legislature said they were supporting their former governor's Presidential bid.
    • After this story, the Huckabee campaign published a list of supporters in his home state. The Arkansas News Bureau then reported that as some of the names on Huckabee's Arkansas endorsement list were used without permission and had to be removed.
    • This is purely anecdotal, but despite my involvement in Republican politics, I am unaware of any of my Republican friends who are supporting Huckabee. I have seen maybe 3 Huckabee for President bumper stickers – and I live in Republican west Little Rock and work 2 miles from the state capitol where Huckabee just completed over 10 years as Governor (my wife says she saw her first sticker today…..guess he's picking up steam here!).

    "...if Huckabee didn't have things sewn up with Republicans back home, what kind of message did that send?....The truth is that Huckabee hasn't had that much support from former and current Republican legislators." - David Sanders, conservative columnist for Arkansas News Bureau (November 11, 2007)

    Conclusion:

    I realize the Republican Presidential field does not leave true conservatives with much to get excited about. However, it is unlikely I will support Huckabee over any of the Republican frontrunners because of his liberal record, his questionable judgment, and his reckless use of power while Governor. Now is not the time for Republicans to compromise on core conservative values. More importantly, we need a leader with a history of using strong judgment as our nation continues to lead the world in the War on Terror.

    Two final questions:

    1) Given the many vulnerabilities in his record, what is the likelihood that Huckabee would win in a general election? Democrat National Committee officials have already been quoted as saying that they see Huckabee as "easy kill" and refer to him as "the glass jaw -- and they're just waiting to break it." The DNC has issued over 200 attack press releases on Republican candidates - only 4 on Huckabee, the last one coming 10 months ago.

    2) Does his record as governor represent someone who should be given greater power and responsibility? Is he Commander and Chief material? Leader of the free world? National Review recently expressed concern, and Huckabee raised eyebrows with recent comments critical of U.S. Foreign policy and our role in the world - he was essentially repeating the Democrat talking points!

    Feel free to pass this letter on or contact me if you have any questions about anything stated here. I have tried very carefully to be fair, accurate, and to stick to facts from Huckabee's record. But it's certainly possible I made a mistake somewhere or worded something poorly. I would be more than happy to further dialogue on any of these issues.

    Sincerely,

    David Thompson

    Little Rock, Arkansas

    Be careful with your vote, folks.

    Hillary in New Hampshire

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    Despite how ill I feel about Hillary's victory in NH (then again, the idea of any sort of democrat victory makes me ill) I have to say, she does know how to work her constituency. She knows the #1 liberal law: no one deserves to get anywhere professionally without some sort of personal suffering. Her sham marriage aside, Hillary's tears moved voters to recognizing how sad her life is and gave her a pity vote. Wow.

    --

    Alo adds: I couldn't resist tacking this cartoon onto your post.

    Live Free or Cry

    Michelle Malkin solicits questions for tonight's GOP debate on Fox News. Here are a few off the top of my head.

    • Senator McCain, will you pledge not to accept federal matching funds for your campaign?
    • Senator McCain, if you fail to win the nomination, will you support the party's nominee?
    • Governor Huckabee, three years ago you delivered a pro-immigration speech to the League of United Latin American Citizens. Do you still support the aims of LULAC?
    • Governor Huckabee, the pro-illegal immigration group Arkansas Friendship Coalition has ties to Tyson Foods, ACORN, and the ACLU. Among other things, the group opposes state enforcement of federal immigration laws. Do you now or have you ever supported the same goals as the Arkansas Friendship Coalition?
    • Governor Huckabee, why did you oppose a bill in the Arkansas Senate (Senate Bill 206) that would have required proof of citizenship to register to vote and would have also forced agencies to report suspected cases of people living in the country illegally? You called it "un-Christian, un-American, irresponsible and anti-life" back then. Why the sudden change in your stance?
    • Governor Huckabee, why did you campaign for Democrats in statewide elections four years ago?

    Mike Huckabee has a lot of explaining to do if he hopes to account for his very recent flip-flops on illegal immigration.

    --

    1/12 Update: Former Huckabee research director Joe Carter asks for evidence that Mike Huckabee is liberal. I offer the information above as fodder for the conversation.

    Yesterday I gave fifty bucks to Fred Thompson's campaign. Today I'll go one better.

    I just ordered a wire transfer of fifty bucks into my Intrade account. At the moment, the Intrade prediction market has Fred Thompson's chance of winning the South Carolina primary at 2%. I have absolute confidence that Fred's going to shock everybody in South Carolina, especially after his performance in tonight's debate begins to make an impact. I hereby pledge that when my fifty bucks' worth of shares in "Fred-to-win-SC" jumps from 2% to over 10%, I'll cash 'em out and donate the proceeds to Fred's campaign. That's $250 to help him fill up his red truck, so to speak.

    Who's with me?

    Is John McCain a conservative?

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    You be the judge.

    Reasons to oppose McCain

    It's funny because it's true.

    Note: This post will stay at the top o' the blog for the next week.

    In the interest of full disclosure, I have so far given $500 to Fred during the primary cycle, and unfortunately I sent $50 to Mike Huckabee before I understood what Huck really stands for. Obviously Fred's my favorite candidate (here's why). If you're curious about what he's up to this week, and you're willing to peruse a fundraising pitch, read on.

    --

    1/12 Update: Former Huckabee research director Joe Carter asks for evidence that Mike Huckabee is liberal. I offer the information above as fodder for the conversation.

    I used to think of Ron Paul as a flighty "Republican Dennis Kucinich" with better fundraising skills. But it turns out that he's just a run-of-the-mill loathsome racist turd.

    You can read excerpts from his creepy newsletters, if you feel the need.

    Hillary's Big Mistake

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    Who can blame Hilary for her public display of emotion yesterday? If I stayed married to sweet Bill after all of his nonsense to get me into the presidency only to fail the race and end up in a place where I'd owe him alimony, I'd cry too.

    Warning: do not underestimate Obama

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    Kyle-Anne Shriver's post at The American Thinker today looks beyond the frenzy over Barack Obama and examines his past. If you think Bill Clinton's the most opportunistic and amoral schemer in recent history to run for president, you're in for a shock.

    These personal qualities are not the sole reason he is where he is, and I suspect the wily Mrs. Clinton knows this full well. I suspect it must bother her that Obama also appears to have mastered the playbook used by her own political teacher, the legendary amoral guru of left wing activism, Saul Alinksy.


    Hillary has met not only her match in Alinsky tactics, she has met the master of bloodless socialist revolution, in my opinion.

    ...

    Barack Obama had just graduated from Columbia and was looking for a job. Some white leftists were looking for someone who could recruit in a black neighborhood in the south side of Chicago.

    Obama answered a help-wanted ad for a position as a community organizer for the Developing Communities Project (DCP) of the Calumet Community Religious Conference (CCRC) in Chicago. Obama was 24 years old, unmarried, very accustomed to a vagabond existence, and according to his memoir, searching for a genuine African-American community.

    Both the CCRC and the DCP were built on the Alinsky model of community agitation, wherein paid organizers learned how to "rub raw the sores of discontent," in Alinsky's words.

    One of Obama's early mentors in the Alinsky method was Mike Kruglik, who had this to say to an interviewer of The New Republic, about Obama:

    "He was a natural, the undisputed master of agitation, who could engage a room full of recruiting targets in a rapid-fire Socratic dialogue, nudging them to admit that they were not living up to their own standards. As with the panhandler, he could be aggressive and confrontational. With probing, sometimes personal questions, he would pinpoint the source of pain in their lives, tearing down their egos just enough before dangling a carrot of hope that they could make things better."

    The agitator's job, according to Alinsky, is first to bring folks to the "realization" that they are indeed miserable, that their misery is the fault of unresponsive governments or greedy corporations, then help them to bond together to demand what they deserve, and to make such an almighty stink that the dastardly governments and corporations will see imminent "self-interest" in granting whatever it is that will cause the harassment to cease.

    In these methods, euphemistically labeled "community organizing," Obama had a four-year education, which he often says was the best education he ever got anywhere.

    Is it any wonder, then, that Obama's Alinsky Jujitsu is making mincemeat of the woman who merely interviewed Alinsky, wrote about him, and spent the next 30 years in corporate law and in the lap of taxpayer-funded luxury in government mansions?

    Read the whole thing and let the implications soak in. This guy's no amateur, and he plays hardball. Our nominee's going to face the fight of his political life this year.

    We conservatives would also be wise to reacquaint ourselves with the political tactics of Saul Alinsky, a true leftist revolutionary.

    Rasmussen's latest:

    South Carolina GOP Primary
    724 Likely GOP Voters (12/16/07)882 Likely GOP Voters (1/7/08)
    Mike Huckabee23%28%
    John McCain12%21%
    Mitt Romney23%15%
    Fred Thompson12%11%
    Rudy Giuliani11%10%
    Ron Paul5%4%
    Some other candidate2%2%


    If you're a Romney backer, you're wincing tonight.

    Check out the RCP Averages too.

    Enough with the empty chants of "change"

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    Watching the GOP forum on Fox News tonight I noticed an aggravating verbal tic in the responses of a few candidates. Judging from Romney's, McCain's, and Huckabee's responses, they seem convinced that uttering the word "change" repeatedly will transform Republican voters into McHuckaRom zombies. It's not like the word "change" has magical powers, guys.

    It's a focus-grouped word that a flexible politician chants when he's afraid to give a straight answer and would rather obscure the facts.

    smoke screen of change

    Feh. I'm with Fred:

    Well, you know, we’re all talking about change now, we had a– some folks vote in Iowa and everybody came out of there talking about change. Change has been a part of every election since the dawn of elections, if you weren’t an incumbent. I think that what is more important is leadership and what is more important, as a part of leadership is telling the American people the truth and having the courage to do that. ... Let’s do what generations have done in times past, come together and do the right thing and that’s the change that we need. I wish we could change to that.

    That makes two of us, Senator.

    NH Democrats boo Hillary

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    The Glacier's reception at the 100 Club's dinner in Milford, NH bodes ill for her chances. Ah, schadenfreude.

    Video: Fred's post-caucus speech

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    Senator Thompson sounds pretty energized to me. I just sent him another donation.


    Fred fireball

    Here's how I think it'll end up tonight.

    Republicans


    1. Huckabee: 20% (34%)

    2. Romney: 22% (25%)

    3. Thompson: 17% (13.39%)

    4. McCain: ??? (13.16)

    Democrats


    1. Obama: 36% (37.57%)

    2. Edwards: 34% (29.76%)

    3. Clinton: 30% (29.46%)

    Let the silliness begin.

    --

    Update: Good grief, even I'm not this optimistic.

    Update 2: Dems are all in, GOP's got 87% reporting. Well, now. That was interesting.

    USA Today's Jill Lawrence misrepresented Fred Thompson's answer to a question about the extent of his desire to be president. Fred responded in person on the RedState blog, and included a transcript of what he actually said.

    This isn't the first time a reporter has twisted Thompson's words.

    Fred Thompson's final pitch to Iowa voters

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    At just under seventeen minutes, it would cost too much to put this talk on TV as an advertisement, but it's worth careful consideration nonetheless.


    I don't know about you, but it's easy for me to picture Fred Thompson delivering speeches like that from behind the desk in the Oval Office. Hopefully if you're in Iowa you'll find yourself persuaded to vote for Fred. He isn't as pretty and pliable as Mitt Romney is, he doesn't cloak his liberalism with his faith like Mike Huckabee does, and he doesn't rely on a decade-long love affair with the mainstream media like John McCain does. Even more importantly he doesn't lust after the power of the presidency with every fiber of his being ... unlike Hillary Clinton, John Edwards and Barack Obama.

    Fred08Rather, Fred's a cool-headed and principled man who understands that his skills, experience, and temperament uniquely qualify him to serve as the next President of the United States.

    America doesn't need a stereotypically slick politician in the Oval Office. America deserves a president with a spine, who won't tolerate hostility from our enemies, and who will unabashedly support our allies.

    We need a president who will care more about blunt honesty than political posturing, and who recognizes that the American people create the nation's wealth and are entitled to keep more of what they earn.

    We need a president who will encourage legal immigration, refuse to grant amnesty to illegal aliens, enforce existing immigration laws, and remove the financial incentives that draw illegals to America.

    We need a president who recognizes that fundamental individual rights are inalienable, a president who will appoint judges who understand that the U.S. Constitution means what it says, a president who will oppose arrogant federal judges who impose their own social policies because they think they know what's best for the rest of us.

    We need a pro-life federalist president who understands the relationship between individual liberty, personal responsibility, a limited federal government and the rule of law.

    We need Fred Thompson.

    If you want a president who's flashy, loud, pushy, power-hungry, hot-tempered, morally flexible, or with a pretty head of hair, then Fred's not your candidate. But if instead you want a fearless, steady, serious and humble wartime president ... you know who to support.

    --

    11:45 Update: Amen to Miss Beth.

    Huckaboom crests, begins receding

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    Looks like the swoon is fading.

    Huckaboom begins receding

    Remember, the InTrade prediction market differs from opinion polls in a key way. The users are putting their own money at risk.

    Get some sleep, Hillary

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    Hillary Clinton looking old, tired and very wrinkled

    Dec 15, 2007 (AP Photo/Jim Cole)

    Fred Thompson on Fox & Friends

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    I no longer buy the "Fred has no fire in the belly" meme. He just refuses to pander.

    Fred Thompson apologizes to Mike Huckabee

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    Secular conservatives' circular firing squad

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    Dave at NixGuy.com tipped me to a timely post by Erick Erickson at RedState.

    The gist of it is a lament over secular conservatives' increasingly harsh criticism of Mike Huckabee apparently for his faith rather than for his muddled thinking on policy matters. Some quotes:

    You know the most damnably aggravating thing about this campaign season for me? I continue to feel compelled to defend Mike Huckabee and I'm still convinced he'd hurt the party were he the nominee. And as I continue to defend Huckabee, some have decided I'm an anti-Mormon bigot, some have decided I must be a Huckabee supporter, and some have decided I've just lost my mind.


    Here I go again defending the guy who I have no intention of voting for.

    ...

    I tend to think it is this class of people ["Metropolitan Conservatives"] who should let the rest of us go after Huckabee. They should go silent. The more they speak in their condescending manner toward those who are, in reality, the bulk of the GOP base, the more they give away the game that they want us in the party -- they just wish we'd all shut the hell up and take orders instead.

    ...

    The New York-Washington Corridor of Conservative Intelligentsia™ bristles at the idea that a back water social conservative from Arkansas has excited the base in a way the others haven't. We were, after all, suppose to go for Romney or Rudy. They told us so.

    I don't want to defend Mike Huckabee. He's not my candidate. I don't yet see any major reasons to trust him on fiscal issues (though he did say he wants to kill the corporate income tax). But it's a sad day in the conservative movement when the conservative intelligentsia has sustained harsher words for a socially conservative Governor than a serial adulterer who has said this year that the government should provide assistance to poor women wanting abortions.

    There are attacks to be made on Huckabee. But I think most of those who are making them are only helping Huckabee because the snideness of their tone overshadows the accuracy of their attacks.

    Erick's post captures my own misgivings. Since I'm one of those "Jesus freaks from flyover country", I bristle at the condescension from our supposed betters among metropolitan conservatives.

    Shooting yourself in the footHuck's not my choice by any stretch, but he's a fellow Christian. In a sense, when the upper-crusters dump on him for his beliefs, they're dumping on me too. Now I expect to catch flak from the secular leftists, but it's harder to take from fellow Republicans.


    We socially conservative Christians tend to be fiscally conservative too, and we're foreign policy hawks more often than not. We're not anti-science; we see the universe as an amazing creation that runs under scientific principles put in place by a rational God. We simply refuse to ignore the evidence of God's work out of some misguided and mechanistic worldview that rigs the philosophical debate against the possibility of the supernatural. The secular conservatives disagree, which is fine. I can tolerate that, in the truly classical sense of the term.

    But let's be blunt: there are a lot more of us conservative "Jesus freaks" than there are metropolitan secular conservatives. If they persist in flinging poo at their own allies, we'll politely take the hint and leave them to their lonely fits of pique atop their ivory towers. Of course, they'll have no luck with advancing our shared values of smaller government and a strong national defense. Ronald Reagan understood this. Fred Thompson and Mitt Romney seem to get it. But for some reason far too many Rudy McRomney backers have either forgotten that lesson or perhaps never learned it to begin with.

    We conservative Christians have much more in common with secular conservatives than we do with any other major group. We don't make a habit of insisting that they become exactly like us, and we've dutifully pulled our share of the load since the 1980s. We can tolerate a lot of quiet disdain and open disagreement, but thumping on a prominent Christian simply because he's a Christian is beyond the pale.

    If they've got two brain cells between them, the leaders of secular conservatism ought to re-evaluate who their natural allies are, and refrain from unnecessarily antagonizing them.

    Sheesh. And they call us narrow-minded?

    Curt at Flopping Aces scans the media and finds lots of positive responses to Fred Thompson's performance at the Iowa debate. I'd add the Associated Press to the roster of those who noticed how Fred stole the spotlight.

    It's telling that none of the other Republican candidates had the spine to do this.

    Bravo, Fred!

    --

    Update: A revealing freeze frame showing Romney, Huckabee, Giuliani and McCain's responses to the man-made global warming question, courtesy of FredStates.com:

    A show of hands on global warming

    I wonder what Fred might have said about global warming if he'd had a minute to speak. Hmmm ...

    Fred dings Huckabee on Iran

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    Fred takes aim at Huckabee's ignorance about the latest National Intelligence Estimate regarding Iran. I wonder why?

    Oh.

    I especially like the part where Fred explains the differences between principles and issues.

    Mormonism, Christianity, and bigotry

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    Since Hugh Hewitt's gotten into the habit of calling people "bigots" when they raise objections to Mitt Romney's religious beliefs, and since Governor Romney will soon deliver a speech about his Mormon faith and its relevance to his candidacy, it's time to look a little more closely at Mormonism, Christianity, and how they relate to presidential politics.

    Mitt RomneyPlenty can be said about Mormons. They tend to be friendly, hard-working, honest, sober, thrifty, and kind. You'd be hard pressed to find better neighbors. Most Mormons I've met do a better job of living an upright life than I do.

    What can't be said about Mormonism, unfortunately, is that it is essentially a Christian belief system. It's not. The two faiths overlap to some extent, but they differ on far too many essential points to mistake either one for a variety of the other.

    Take a moment to read a side-by-side comparison of Christianity and Mormonism.

    With so many mutually exclusive doctrines to differentiate the two faiths, Mormonism cannot logically be a form of Christianity. Christianity might be correct. Mormonism might be correct. Maybe they're both wrong. But let's not have any more silly claims that "Mormons are Christians." That claim ranks right up there with "squares are circles."

    I'm a theologically conservative Christian, and I'm convinced that Mormonism is a cult, albeit a non-violent one. That said, I still trust Mitt Romney to faithfully and effectively serve as President if he wins the election. I have more confidence in him than I do in Mike Huckabee, a Baptist minister whose theology closely parallels my own. I don't for one nanosecond extend any such trust to my (allegedly) Christian co-believer Hillary Clinton or any of her fellow Democratic candidates.

    Examining a presidential candidate's core beliefs makes good sense. At the same time, we must exercise caution lest we Christians find ourselves in the hot seat:

    If Romney is targeted for his Mormon theology, you can bet Christian candidates will become the regular victims of such interrogation. This is where theology and politics should not mix. Christianity, as we all know, is being pushed from the public square by secularists. Prominent voices claim Christianity actually poisons the political process (Hitchens, Harris, Sullivan) and more intimate examination of Christian candidate's theology will only marginalize them.


    If Christians don't object strongly to the way this Mormon is treated now, we'll find next time around the political climate has changed. And next time there won't be a cultist in the race; Christians will be on the theology hot seat. Defending the Mormon now means defending the ligitimacy of Christian candidates to run in the future without a theological examination.

    Hugh Hewitt means well when he defends Mitt Romney. I share the same outlook. All I ask is that Hugh cool it down a bit. In his zeal to prevent secularists from shoving both Mormons and Christians out of politics, he's attacking friendly forces by slapping the "bigot" label on any Christian who voices honest doubts about Romney's Mormonism and its influence on his thinking.

    Save the ammo for the real opposition, Hugh.

    A Hugh Hewitt flip-flop on Romney

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    What a difference four years make.

    In a column published six hours ago, The Wall Street Journal's Kimberly Strassel critiques Fred Thompson's unwillingness to flog his ideas:

    There's plenty here to get conservative voters and bloggers and pundits engaged in some healthy, even lively, debate. That is, if they'd heard any of this. Most haven't, and for that Mr. Thompson has mostly himself to blame.


    While it isn't clear who set the "rules" for this manic election, they're set. Voters may only pay attention at the end, but having an infrastructure to make sure those voters hear you in the final months is the work of years. By sitting back, Mr. Thompson allowed his rivals to scoop up the well-connected policy wonks, committed state activists and aggressive fund-raisers that oil a campaign. His own refusal to "do" the media and public-event circus has muzzled his message, as the failure of his tax-plan announcement shows.

    ...

    Mr. Thompson's inertia has meant his campaign is no longer in control of its destiny. His best shot now is that Mr. Huckabee and Mr. Romney go nuclear, leaving him with a ticket out of Iowa and some hope. He still ranks second behind Mr. Giuliani in national polls. But putting himself in a position to build off any lucky outcomes will involve trying to play the game he so detests. If he believes his ideas are as important for the country as he says they are, he will.

    Strassel's exactly right. I've only included a snippet of her arguments to illustrate her theme; she makes several points and they're all valid. Read her whole column to get the full effect.

    Two days ago the Thompson campaign fired off a press release highlighting a positive WSJ editorial that was published earlier that same morning. Will the Thompson camp react to Strassel's criticism as quickly? Will they react at all?

    --

    12:00 Update: Uh, what?

    An odd response, indeed

    Down for maintenance in the middle of a weekday? Not encouraging, Fred. Not at all.

    A perfect opportunity for Fred Thompson

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    Jump on this, Fred. With both feet. Hard.


    Why? Because you need every advantage you can dig up, and time's running out.

    Fred's chances according to InTrade

    Hat tip: Hot Air

    ... the mainstream media would be in high dudgeon, spluttering with outrage. But when CNN lets Democrat plants ask questions of the candidates at a Republican debate?

    Eh, not so much.

    --

    Update: Fox News has the story on its home page. Meanwhile, CNN nibbles at the edges.

    ... Mitt Romney.

    What? You're not shocked?

    In color and on cam, courtesy of Michelle Malkin, Bryan Preston, and maybe even Allah over at Hot Air.

    Or you can just go listen to Fred Thompson's bunch.

    --

    Update: Vote on who won.

    If you thought the snowman was foolish, you ain't seen nothin' yet.

    Listen to Hugh Hewitt's pointed interview of Steve Grove, YouTube director of news and politics. Very, very revealing.

    New Fred Thompson commercials

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    These are effective ads. Although they don't address illegal immigration or the war on islamism, they hit several very important points that we in the Republican base care deeply about.

     


    As a reminder, here's Fred's ad on illegal immigration from last week.

    Praise for Fred Thompson's tax relief plan

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    Fred Thompson proposes a drastically different (and much simpler) federal tax structure that offers major tax relief:

    1. Permanently Extend the 2001 and 2003 Tax Cuts
    2. Permanently Repeal the Death Tax
    3. Repeal the Alternative Minimum Tax
    4. Reduce the Corporate Tax Rate
    5. Permanently Extend Small Business Expensing
    6. Update and Simplify Depreciation Schedules
    7. Expand Taxpayer Choice

    The reaction? A round of applause from The Wall Street Journal:

    Fred Thompson's Presidential campaign has been struggling, in part because of a sense that he lacks passion and an agenda. But late last week he unveiled a tax reform that is more ambitious than anything we've seen so far from the rest of the GOP field.


    Fred08Mr. Thompson wants to abolish the death tax and the Alternative Minimum Tax and cut the corporate income tax rate to 27% from 35%. But his really big idea is a voluntary flat tax that would give every American the option of ditching the current code in favor of filing a simple tax return with two tax rates of 10% and 25%.

    ...

    [T]he idea of a voluntary flat tax -- introduced on these pages a dozen years ago -- makes political sense. The Thompson plan would allow taxpayers to keep their mortgage and charitable deductions if they prefer, by adhering to the current tax code and rates. But it would also allow the option to abandon those credits and deductions except for a single allowance based on family size ($39,000 for a family of four). Most taxpayers would pay a 10% rate on income above that allowance, with a 25% rate kicking in at $100,000 for a couple. There would only be five lines on the tax form and most taxpayers could fill it out in minutes.

    Liberals are already objecting that the plan is not "paid for," by which they mean it doesn't raise taxes the way they hope the next President will. But Mr. Thompson is right in refusing to play by the "static revenue" scoring game that demands that one dollar in estimated tax cuts be offset by one dollar in estimated tax increases somewhere else. "The experts always overrate the revenue losses from tax cuts," Mr. Thompson says, and history supports him going back to the Mellon reductions of the 1920s, the Kennedy tax cuts of the 1960s, the Gipper's in the 1980s, and this decade's success with President Bush's reductions.

    That criticism from tax-loving liberals sounds familiar to me. Where have I heard that before? Something about "the rich" benefiting too much ...

    Ah yes.

    It's entertaining to have a semi-liberal co-blogger. There are so many opportunities to educate him.

    Video: Fred Thompson on Fox News Sunday

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    Draw your own conclusions, but I like his specificity.

    I'm not alone, either.

    Fred Thompson's stock has tanked on the InTrade prediction market, where traders put real money on predictions of future events. Rudy Giuliani, Mitt Romney, and to a lesser extent Mike Huckabee have taken away Fred's supporters in the last sixty days. The picture painted by public opinion polls doesn't look this dire yet, but the trends are heading downward for Fred (especially in do-or-die South Carolina).

    Click on any image below for InTrade's estimation of a nominee's chances to win the GOP nomination:

    chart119304504018058296.png

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    chart119304504018058302.png

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    Being something of a FredHead, I'm disappointed. But neither am I surprised.

    McCain's answer isn't the funny part. It's the question.

    If the shoe fits ...

    This looks pretty damning, and reinforces my deep reservations about Huckabee.

    To be fair, I'd like to see a bit more context here. Where's the transcript of the speech? Why was he asking for a tax hike? Did he have any choice in the matter?

    UPDATE (11/21): Fox News Channel provides context ...

    --

    1/12 Update: Former Huckabee research director Joe Carter asks for evidence that Mike Huckabee is liberal. I offer the information above as fodder for the conversation.

    Hillary stands for things. Kind of. Sometimes.


    I love the blue-on-blue sniping. I hope the eventual Republican nominee hits her even harder. Of course, that will require ...

    brass balls

    ... but then, Hillary's got 'em too. Let it rip!

    I'm so tired of sordid Arkansas political drama. Two terms of Clintonian slime are enough. That's why I'm glad that Quin Hillyer has gutted Mike Huckabee:

    National media folks like David Brooks, dealing in surface appearances only, rave about what a nice guy Huckabee is, and a moral exemplar to boot. If they only did a little homework, they would discover a guy with a thin skin, a nasty vindictive streak, and a long history of imbroglios about questionable ethics.


    Once, Gov. Huckabee even had the gall to file suit against the state ethics commission. He lost.

    Fourteen times, the ethics commission -- a respected body, not a partisan witch-hunt group -- investigated claims against Huckabee. Five of those times, it officially reprimanded him. And, as only MSNBC among the big national media has reported at any real length, there were lots of other mini-scandals and embarrassments along the way.

    He used public money for family restaurant meals, boat expenses, and other personal uses. He tried to claim as his own some $70,000 of furniture donated to the governor's mansion. He repeatedly, and obstinately, against the pleadings even from conservative columnists and editorials, refused to divulge the names of donors to a "charitable" organization he set up while lieutenant governor -- an outfit whose main charitable purpose seemed to be to pay Huckabee to make speeches. Then, as a kicker, he misreported the income itself from the suspicious "charity."

    Huckabee has been criticized, reasonably so, for misusing the state airplane for personal reasons. And he and his wife, Janet, actually set up a "wedding gift registry" (they had already been married for years) to which people could donate as the Huckabees left the governorship, in order to furnish their new $525,000 home.

    There's plenty more in Hillyer's piece. The Huckabee campaign sent a testy reply, to which Hillyer responds: "I find it interesting that the letter from the Huckabee campaign doesn't actually accuse me of mis-stating facts, but instead finds ways to change the subject. The fact remains that the Ethics Committee did indeed reprimand Huckabee on five separate counts. And for all the other allegations, I provided links to original source material. As for his fiscal record, I think the conservative Club for Growth's reports critical of Huckabee speak for themselves."

    This time it's Pat Toomey who points out the inconvenient facts:

    During Huckabee's tenure as governor, the average Arkansan's tax burden increased 47 percent, according to the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. A dyed-in-blue tax hiker, Huckabee supported raising sales taxes, gas taxes, grocery taxes, even nursing home bed taxes. He virulently opposed a congressional moratorium on taxing Internet access, and sat on the sidelines while his Democratic legislature pushed the largest tax hike in Arkansas history into law. What's more, on his watch, and frequently at his behest, state spending increased by 50 percent, more than double the rate of inflation, and the number of state government workers rose by 20 percent. Yes, as a presidential candidate, Huckabee has signed on as a supporter of the Fair Tax and pledged against raising taxes, but when a candidate's long and clear record flies in the face of his election-year symbolism, you can chalk it up to politics every time.

    ...

    In frontrunners Rudy Giuliani, Fred Thompson, and Mitt Romney, the GOP is well on its way to nominating a candidate for president with a strong fiscal record. Each of them would provide a great opportunity for the GOP to reestablish its vitally important brand as the party of pro-growth tax policy and smaller and more affordable government. But no Republican presidential candidate can effectively claim that mantle with Mike Huckabee standing by his side.

    Ouch.

    --

    1/12 Update: Former Huckabee research director Joe Carter asks for evidence that Mike Huckabee is liberal. I offer the information above as fodder for the conversation.

    Mike Huckabee's troubling record

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    John Fund paints a familiar picture of a charming governor from Hope, Arkansas who wants to be president:

    Betsy Hagan, Arkansas director of the conservative Eagle Forum and a key backer of his early runs for office, was once "his No. 1 fan." She was bitterly disappointed with his record. "He was pro-life and pro-gun, but otherwise a liberal," she says. "Just like Bill Clinton he will charm you, but don't be surprised if he takes a completely different turn in office."


    Mike Huckabee and Bill ClintonPhyllis Schlafly, president of the national Eagle Forum, is even more blunt. "He destroyed the conservative movement in Arkansas, and left the Republican Party a shambles," she says. "Yet some of the same evangelicals who sold us on George W. Bush as a 'compassionate conservative' are now trying to sell us on Mike Huckabee."

    The business community in Arkansas is split. Some praise Mr. Huckabee's efforts to raise taxes to repair roads and work with an overwhelmingly Democratic legislature. Free-market advocates are skeptical. "He has zero intellectual underpinnings in the conservative movement," says Blant Hurt, a former part owner of, and columnist for, Arkansas Business magazine. "He's hostile to free trade, hiked sales and grocery taxes, backed sales taxes on Internet purchases, and presided over state spending going up more than twice the inflation rate."

    ...

    Many Huckabee supporters have told me their man should be judged by what he's saying on the campaign trail today. Fair enough. Mr. Huckabee was the only GOP candidate to refuse to endorse President Bush's veto of the Democrats' bill to vastly expand the Schip health-care program. Only he and John McCain have endorsed the discredited cap-and-trade system to limit global-warming emissions that has proved a fiasco in Europe.

    "It goes to the moral issue," he told an admiring group of environmentalists this month. Alan Greenspan blasts cap-and-trade in his new book as not feasible, noting that "jobs will be lost and real incomes of workers constrained." Mr. Huckabee defends his plan as an "innovative" way to attain complete energy independence from foreign oil by 2013.

    During a visit to the Journal last spring, Mr. Huckabee joked that one of his biggest challenges is that "like Bill Clinton I hail from Hope, Arkansas, and not every Republican wants to take a chance like that again." But it's Mr. Huckabee who is creating the doubts. "He's just like Bill Clinton in that he practices management by news cycle," a former top Huckabee aide told me. "As with Clinton there was no long-term planning, just putting out fires on a daily basis. One thing I'll guarantee is that won't lead to competent conservative governance."

    If this is accurate, Huckabee doesn't sound like the best guy to face down the islamists, much less rein in Washington's profligate spending. It's not the first doubt I've had about Huckabee.

    For an opposing view, read why former Fred Thompson backer Joe Carter of Evangelical Outpost now endorses Huckabee.

    I'm still a Fred Head.

    Fred08

    Fred Thompson's immigration plan

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    Fred finally offers some red meat that fleshes out the bones of his general principles. Specifically, he's published his plan to address illegal immigration (broken down into seven parts):

    1. No Amnesty
    2. Attrition through Enforcement
    3. Enforce Existing Federal Laws
    4. Reduce the Jobs Incentive
    5. Bolster Border Security
    6. Increased Prosecution
    7. Rigorous Entry/Exit Tracking

    Fred also details his six point companion plan to improve the legal immigration process. Go read the Thompson immigration plan. As Dave from NixGuy says, the plan is pitch perfect.

    Keep your eye on Hillary Clinton's amended 3rd quarter fundraising report to the Federal Election Commission. Former candidate Tom Vilsack returned $4,300 to Norman Hsu and pals, and today's the deadline for filing amended Q3 campaign finance reports. If Hillary gives back any dirty money, it should turn up on her report.

    Let's see how much she'll admit to taking from straw donors.

    --

    Update: Holy cow!

    Can someone explain to me why Hillary Clinton still gets away with this stuff? Why aren't the Republican candidates hammering her? We're talking about felonies here.

    Hat tip: Hot Air

    A great ad from Mitt Romney's campaign

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    I'm still backing Fred Thompson, but this is exactly what America needs to be reminded of:

    Ballsy clarity, Mitt. Right up there with these:

    Looks like Fred's stock is slipping on the InTrade prediction market, where traders put real money on predictions of future events. Rudy Giuliani and Mitt Romney have been eating into Fred's support since late September.

    Click on any image below for InTrade's estimation of a nominee's chances to win the GOP nomination:

    Fred Thompson as GOP nominee
    Rudy Giuliani as GOP nominee
    Mitt Romney as GOP nominee

    And just for the sheer schadenfreude of it, here's Don Quixote:

    John McCain as GOP nominee

    It'll only work if she lies ...

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    ... and only if her audience is stupid.

    HillaryCare

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    Now that HillaryCare is published, I hope all Americans will clue into how ridiculous her plan is.  This might be fun for American Health Choices Plan proponents: an 'apple to apple comparison': HillaryCare to Wal-Mart: BIG COMPANY (big companies are good, right libs? oh, wait government doesn't qualify as a government), AVAILABLE (they will both be everywhere with long lines), AFFORDABLE, RELIABLE (consistently low prices, and lousy quality).  But then again, we all know how much liberals love Wal-Mart, so I'll have to think of a new comparison...

    Socialized medicine totters in Canada, UK

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    John Stossel explains why "universal health care" is neither free nor an improvement:

    HillaryCare is coming One basic problem with nationalized health care is that it makes medical services seem free. That pushes demand beyond supply. Governments deal with that by limiting what's available.

    That's why the British National Health Service recently made the pathetic promise to reduce wait times for hospital care to four months.

    The wait to see dentists is so long that some Brits pull their own teeth. Dental tools: pliers and vodka.

    One hospital tried to save money by not changing bed sheets every day. British papers report that instead of washing them, nurses were encouraged to just turn them over.

    Government rationing of health care in Canada is why when Karen Jepp was about to give birth to quadruplets last month, she was told that all the neonatal units she could go to in Canada were too crowded. She flew to Montana to have the babies.

    ...

    Most Canadians like their free health care, but Canadian doctors tell us the system is cracking. More than a million Canadians cannot find a regular family doctor. One town holds a lottery. Once a week the town clerk gets a box out of the closet. Everyone who wants to have a family doctor puts his or her name in it. The clerk pulls out one slip to determine the winner. Others in town have to wait.

    But never fear, dear American voter. HillaryCare would be, um, different. Somehow. Yeah. That's the ticket.

    Nice move by Rudy

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    When a presidential candidate wants to convey the message that he's ready for the big leagues, it's hard to top an invitation to No. 10 Downing Street.

    Well played, sir.

    Hat tip: Pattrick Ruffini

    Republican CNN/YouTube Debate questions

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    If you thought the snowman was foolish, you ain't seen nothin' yet.

    This appears to be genuine.

    $1000 reward for reporting a felon's donation to Hillary Clinton

    I love the New Media. And since we're talking about Hillary ...

    Saturday morning Fred

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    Fred Thompson's working on his stump speech.

    It'll take awhile to hone and polish it, but he'll get there soon enough.

    In the meantime, what's holding up the expansion of the "Principles" section of Fred08.com? So far the only principle listed is a belief in federalism. He ought to at least lay out his principles in the areas of national defense, judicial appointments, immigration, tax cuts, spending cuts, and defending the unborn.

    OH-13 GOP primary: the clock is ticking

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    The Ohio Republican Party doesn't have forever to pick someone to challenge U.S. Representative Betty Sutton (D-OH) for her seat in the 13th District. The primary election's on March 4th, 2008. That means potential candidates must file paperwork declaring their candidacy with Ohio's Secretary of State by December 1st (75 days before the primary).

    Who's going to challenge the freshman incumbent? She's beatable.

    Imagine nine straight years of torture

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    Here's a sample of the jaw-grinding agony we face from listening to the voice of a President Hillary Clinton.

    Beautiful Hillary

    If Shrillary wins, you get to bathe in the sweet melody of these dulcet tones. For. Nine. More. Years.

    The newest Fred Thompson Fact

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    Google has updated its top result for the answer to life, the universe, and everything.

    Previously: Random Fred Thompson fact

    Fred Thompson announcement video

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    And so it begins.


     

    Gird 'em up, Fred.

    Random Fred Thompson fact

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    Since Fred's officially jumping into the presidential race next Thursday, it's time to commit the following nugget of priceless information to memory.


    Just refresh your browser to see another amazing Fred Thompson Fact.

    Enough dawdling, Fred

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    Get on with it already.

    8/31 Update: You hafta chuckle.

    thomhitgroun.jpg

    2008 GOP Straw Poll: August 2007

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    Mike Huckabee, Nanny Statist

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    Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee couldn't resist pandering to the crowd at Lance Armstrong's recent "War on Cancer" get-together:

    Huckabee committed to sign a nationwide smoking ban in public places, should such a measure win approval in Congress.

    ...

    Huckabee described feelings of horror and helplessness when doctors diagnosed his wife several decades ago. She was diagnosed in 1975 with a spinal tumor doctors said were inoperable. She survived, but Huckabee said the experience left him "scared to death" of cancer.

    What scares me to death is the prospect of the federal government becoming even more of a nanny state. I'm perfectly capable of deciding whether to smoke on my own, thankyouverymuch. If I want to fire up a celebratory cigar on the patio at the local watering hole some fine evening, the last thing I need to hear is a huffy "tut-tut" from some mincing bureaucrat in DC, followed by the sensation of my wallet getting lighter. I'm a big boy. Leave me be.

    I take back what I said
    about possibly supporting Huckabee.

    --

    Update: Mary Katharine Ham sees things like I do. Sheesh.

    Update 2: Oh, for goodness' sake. The event was videotaped, and you can see that Huckabee wore a Livestrong bracelet ... and made a point of flashing it. Sound the Pander Alert.

    1/12 Update: Former Huckabee research director Joe Carter asks for evidence that Mike Huckabee is liberal. I offer the information above as fodder for the conversation.

    Jim Geraghty poses a hypothetical:

    Suppose you're an undecided Republican voter, with mixed feelings about the big-name Republican presidential candidates. You respect John McCain, but he doesn't look like a viable option -- which is just as well since he bugged you with his crusade for speech-limiting campaign finance reform, and lost you with the immigration deal with Ted Kennedy.

    Mitt Romney's wowed you in the debates, but you can't forget that while you agree with all his positions, he had strikingly different ones not too long ago. And you would prefer a nominee who has won more than just one political race in his life.

    You love Rudy Giuliani's crime-fighting record and 9/11 leadership, but the thought of a non-pro-life Republican nominee gives you pause, and the messy home life troubles you a bit.

    You were very excited about Fred Thompson, and nearly fainted with anticipation when you saw his smackdown of Michael Moore. But lately you feel like you're playing a character in Waiting for Godot, and you're wondering if he got lost somewhere on the way to the announcement.

    Those still shopping for a candidate could do a lot worse than former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee, who with the second-place finish in Ames is not merely now a "top tier" candidate, as Newt Gingrich recently declared, but arguably belongs in the middle of that first tier.

    That describes me to a tee.

    Huckabee's record on taxes gives me cause for concern, yet he seems to be on solid ground when addressing national defense and The Long War. He's unabashedly pro-life, and he's an ordained Baptist minister. Thanks to his solid performances in recent debates and in several interviews (like today's with Michael Medved), and also due to his second place finish in the Iowa Straw Pool, I'm giving him a second look.

    I'm eager to see whether Huckabee does well in the Texas GOP Straw Poll, especially if Fred Thompson jumps into the race and they go head-to-head. Some say Huckabee's already stolen Thompson's thunder. I suspect that Fred still has time to win the nomination, but he can't wait much longer.

    Fred or Mike? Mike or Fred? Hmmmm ...

    Texas GOP Straw Poll

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    The Texas Republican Party will conduct a straw poll on Labor Day Weekend with the help of the conservative folks at TownHall.com. That's supposedly the weekend when Fred Thompson will officially declare his candidacy. What a great opportunity for Fred to make a big splash!

    One thing's certain: if Fred keeps delaying his entry, I'm going to switch my allegiance to Mike Huckabee (who just got $50 from me yesterday).

    Here's the latest clip of Fred Thompson on YouTube. He sent this video greeting to the National Right to Life Convention:

    Fellow pro-lifers, don't dismiss any candidate solely because he was once wishy-washy on life ... or was even pro-abortion.

    I too was once in favor of abortion rights, back when I didn't think about issues nearly as much as I simply emoted about them. After I graduated from college, some intelligent and persuasive pro-lifers confronted my ignorance in a friendly way, offering lots of facts and logic, and I realized that I had been wrong all along.

    Since then I've become an amateur pro-life apologist by reading voraciously, hosting debates, volunteering with local pro-life organizations, sitting on the board of a crisis pregnancy center, studying for an M.A. in Bioethics while simultaneously earning my law degree, publishing a pro-life legal note against embryonic stem cell research, and blogging here on bioethics.

    Yet I once supported abortion rights. Does that make me a flip-flopper? According to some narrow definitions I've been hearing lately the answer is yes (good discussions here and here and here). That's ridiculous. The mere fact that I've had a change of mind and heart doesn't justify the flip-flopper label. I've given money to, volunteered for, and argued on behalf of the pro-life movement since my switch. If I had done nothing (or worse, if I'd switched back to being pro-abortion to gain some kind of advantage or benefit like Dennis Kucinich did) then I'd be vulnerable to charges of flip-floppery or a lack of seriousness.

    Fred Thompson used to be mushy on abortion. He doesn't deny it. I suspect that his former stance came from his strong federalist tendencies and a lack of serious reflection on whether the unborn is actually a person like us in every morally relevant way. Since those days, Fred's voting record in the Senate and his public writings and speeches have been solidly pro-life. The man gives every indication that he now believes human beings have a right to life from the moment of conception, and that the federal courts overstep their authority when they support a constitutional "right" to abortion.

    Becoming a serious pro-lifer is a good thing. We pro-lifers know this because we try to persuade as many people we can to join us, and we heap praise on those who do. I understand the emotional appeal of feeling suspicious every time we hear a politician claim to be on our side. Resist the urge to emote; think instead. Look at the declared pro-life politician's record before you dismiss him out of hand. Some of them really are on our side.

    Rudy Giuliani keeps repeating variations of this nonsensical statement:

    "I'm against abortion. I hate it. I wish there never was an abortion and I would counsel a woman to have an adoption instead of an abortion ... But ultimately I believe it is an individual right, and the woman can make that choice."

    I want to know why he hates abortion, but nobody ever asks him that question. No matter how he responds, he'll make no sense.

    • If he hates abortion because it kills a human being, then he's arguing that although he hates it, women should still have the right to kill human beings. I'd love to hear him try to untwist that logical knot.
    • If he hates abortion because it ends a "potential life", then how can he justify any restrictions on abortion at all? A "potential life" by definition cannot be an actual (sacred?) human life, so why the objection? He also has to explain what that aborted thing actually is, if it's not a life. Calling it a "potential something" isn't enough. It has to already be something, because it's not nothing. So what is it?
    • If he doesn't actually hate abortion and just wants to preserve the legal status quo, then he's just another liar who'll say anything to fool the conservative base into voting for him. I would bet a lot of money that this is where Rudy actually stands, but I'd also bet a lot of money that he'll never admit it.

    If there's any way to make logical sense of Rudy Giuliani's abortion stance without unmasking him as a liar, I'd love to hear it.

    --

    4/13 Update: Hugh Hewitt blew a golden opportunity today.

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