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FrontPageMagazine.com | Monday, September 01, 2008


By Ed Morrissey

John McCain went to the vault from the Democratic primaries and found a treasure trove of comments from Democrats on the unreadiness of Barack Obama to lead the nation. It includes the comments we’ve seen before from Hillary Clinton and Joe Biden, but adds Chris Dodd and others — including perhaps the most effective spokesman:

You know, I am a believer in … in knowing what you’re doing when you apply for a job. Uh, and I think that … if I were seriously to consider running on a national ticket, I would essentially have to start now, before having served a day in the Senate. Now there may be some people who are comfortable doing that, but I am not one of those people. — Barack Obama, 2004

This spot thus far is only a web video, but I would expect to see more of that last clip featured in McCain ads in the general campaign.  They want to make the case that Obama isn’t just asking himself to leave his comfort zone, but the entire nation.  He did end up beginning his run for the White House very early in his first year in the Senate, before he had an idea how to do the job he had just won for himself, let alone learn anything about military strategy and tactics, foreign policy, or executive leadership.

Presidential candidates get lots of criticism about policy stances during primaries that can be replayed as negative ads by their opponents.  This, however, is different.  It underscores Obama’s unreadiness, his unqualified status to assume the highest office in the country — and Obama himself makes that case.


By Ed Morrissey

Phill Gramm may have worded his assertion in an impolitic manner, but the latest economic data proves him correct.  The US economy grew at an annual rate of 3.3% in the second quarter, almost twice as much as first predicted.   Exports led the way, followed by an increase in personal spending:

Real gross domestic product — the output of goods and services produced by labor and property located in the United States — increased at an annual rate of 3.3 percent in the second quarter of 2008, (that is, from the first quarter to the second quarter), according to preliminary estimates released by the Bureau of Economic Analysis.  In the first quarter, real GDP increased 0.9 percent.

The GDP estimates released today are based on more complete source data than were available for the advance estimates issued last month.  In the advance estimates, the increase in real GDP was 1.9 percent (see “Revisions” on page 3). …

The acceleration in real GDP growth in the second quarter primarily reflected a larger decrease in imports, an acceleration in exports, an acceleration in PCE, a smaller decrease in residential fixed investment, and an upturn in state and local government spending that were partly offset by a larger decrease in inventory investment.

Does this cut out the legs from the Democrats in their non-stop themes of complaint regarding the economy?  It should, but it probably won’t.  A growth rate of 3.3% is a good, solid number, one that shows real substance in the economy.  It remains weak in some areas as does the dollar, but fundamentally strong.

The Democrats have tried to make the current economy as bad as the Depression, but in fact it hasn’t even gotten near the Clinton recession that began in his last year in office.  They have been hammering themes of economic mismanagement, but the real weaknesses in the economy have bipartisan fingerprints all over them.  Chris Dodd’s sweetheart deals with lenders while chairing the Banking Committee certainly looks very suspicious, as did Barack Obama’s own selection of VP vetter Jim Johnson, a major player in the credit-market failure while raking in millions in unreported income at Fannie Mae.

In the end, the scare mongering may still have some resonance, as job growth is a lagging and not leading indicator of recovery.  That tactic worked well for Bill Clinton in 1992 when George H. W. Bush couldn’t explain clearly enough that the recovery from the 1991 recession had already begun.  In this case, John McCain and the GOP need to point out that Obama intends to attack the incentives for investment needed to continue the growth and create new jobs.  They’ll have plenty of time to do that next week, while Democrats continue to insist that the sky is falling when clearly no disaster has occured.

Update: Earlier, I mentioned that the numbers exceeded inflation, but real GDP already accounts for inflation.  The 3.3% annual growth is above inflation already.




By Chuck Asay

Political Cartoons by Chuck Asay




By Michelle Malkin

First, they came for TV stations daring to air an independent ad about Barack Obama and unrepentant Weather Underground terrorist Bill Ayers.

Next, they came for GOP donors.

Now, they are shamelessly attacking National Review investigative journalist Stanley Kurtz — one of conservatism’s most thoughtful and penetrating writers on academic and educational affairs. Kurtz has been at the forefront probing Obama’s relationships with left-wing ideologues. It was his public information request and public call for help that led to the University of Illinois - Chicago finally releasing tons of files that shed light on the Obama/Ayers working relationship. The Obama camp is condemning Kurtz in harsher terms than it ever condemned the terrorist Ayers. Kurtz has been attacked now as a “right-wing hatchet man” and “slimy character assassin.”

Here are the Kurtz-smearing talking points the Obama campaign sent to its worshipers.

It was “non-stop.” And: “Surreal, amusing, and chilling.”

As I reported yesterday, Kurtz spent two hours on legendary radio talk show host Milt Rosenberg’s Chicago program on WGN last night detailing his initial findings. The Obama campaign went ballistic — and in typical Chicago mafia-style, smeared Kurtz and tried to shut down the show.

Milt Rosenberg’s producer, Zack Christenson, wrote early this morning:

Thanks to everyone for the attention, the show lit up the phone lines and the blogs. Here’s a link to our podcast (the full 2 hour show) which you can download: Link

It’s interesting to see what lengths the Obama campaign is willing to reach to stifle dissenting voices. Kurtz said it best at the end of the show- If a respected conservative who writes for mainstream conservative publications like the Weekly Standard and National Review can’t speak his mind, then what dissenting opinion can be voiced? Did we see a preview of the fairness doctrine tonight?

Yes, indeed. Feel the chill?

Reader Jeff in Chicago e-mailed me while listening in:

I’m listening to Stanley Kurtz on the Milt Rosenberg Show. Milt announced that in his 30 yrs of doing his show, he’s never had “the firestorm” (as he puts it) on his switchboard as he’s having tonight. His call screener found the root of the flood: An pro-Obama website that claims that Kurtz is trying to smear Obama and that the campaign won’t allow the “swiftboating” that happened to Kerry, so they gave the show info (call-in number, time, etc) and suggested that people flood the switchboard with negative calls. The callers claimed that everything Kurtz is stating is fabricated, so Kurtz then read verbatim from the documents! He read one of the staff presentation agendas where the agenda stated that Obama would welcome the guests with Ayers then briefing them on the update so clearly they were together more than casually (and these docs are just the tip of the iceberg).

In addition, Stanley read an example of what organization received money and which one’s were turned down. In the case he mentioned, $200K was given to an African-American South Side School for a celebration of Juneteenth (see here for explanation, http://www.cinnamonhearts.com/junteenth.htm ) whereas a school program focusing in Algebra expertise was turned down.

As this exploration unfolds it should get very interesting indeed……..

Andy McCarthy also gave some play-by-play last night:

In the last few minutes, two called to scald Milt for having Stanley on without having an Obama rep on to give the counterpoint. Milt explains, repeatedly, that he contacted the Obama campaign (he gave the name of the campaign official his producer spoke with) and the campaign — the HQ of which is about a quarter mile from the studio where the show airs — declined to come on. They were offered the opportunity to have someone there with Stanley for the entire two hours, and they said no.

Another pro-Obama woman called and, after accusing Stanley of slander but of course not citing anything he said that was slanderous, stated, “We want it to stop.” Milt asked what she wanted stopped, and she replied, “It’s just not what we believe as Americans.” Milt tried again, asking what she didn’t believe. She responded that it was someone saying bad things about Barack Obama and, again, we just want it to stop.

Very compelling.

Earth to Obama supporters: no one is claiming guilt by association — though willful association with an admitted terrorist would be worthy of noting in a presidential candidate. Obama and Bill Ayers had a working relationship. Yet, Obama claimed Ayers was just “a guy who lives in my neighborhood,” and has otherwise minimized the relationship. Aside from the fact that Obama is not telling the truth, which itself is important, the details of the relationship are important. If the press was doing its job, we’d have those details already. Finally, the media’s job is being done … by Stanley. He should be saluted, not smeared.

Who’s next?  Thursday, August 28, 2008




By Ed Morrissey

Cuyahoga County officials have accused ACORN, the GOTV organization employed by Barack Obama’s campaign, of voter registration fraud — again.  The Board of Elections has begun a criminal investigation into the submission of fraudulent registration cards, with an eye to prosecuting ACORN officials (via Bizzyblog):

A national organization that conducts voter registration drives for low-income people has curtailed its push in Cuyahoga County after the Board of Elections accused its workers of submitting fraudulent registration cards.

The board is investigating the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now[.] Results of the inquiry could be turned over to the county prosecutor.

Board employees said ACORN workers often handed in the same name on a number of voter registration cards, but showing that person living at different addresses. Other times, cards had the same name listed, but a different date of birth. Still another sign of possible fraud showed a number of people living at an address that turned out to be a restaurant.

ACORN has a long history of alleged fraud in their registration drives.  All of their improprieties have gone to the benefit of Democrats, and Democrats have not stinted on their appreciation.  Here in Minnesota, failed gubernatorial candidate Mike Hatch diverted thousands of dollars to ACORN from a lawsuit settlement as Attorney General.  Democrats in Congress sent millions to ACORN as part of the economic stimulus plan in February and in the housing bailout bill in April.

What did Democrats subsidize with these gifts to ACORN?  A rap sheet years long, including in Ohio:

2007: A man in Reynoldsburg was indicted on two felony counts of illegal voting and false registration, after being registered by ACORN to vote in two separate counties.

2004: A grand jury indicted a Columbus ACORN worker for submitting a false signature and false voter registration form. In Franklin County, two ACORN workers submitted what the director of the board of election supervisors called “blatantly false” forms. In Cuyahoga County, ACORN and its affiliate Project Vote submitted registration cards that had the highest rate of errors for any voter registration group.

In examining the record, one has to wonder why Congress hasn’t demanded a RICO investigation of ACORN instead of trying to find ways to fund its pattern of fraud.  The Democratic majority apparently feels that they need ACORN to conduct fraud on a massive scale in order to cement their grip on power.  And, since their presidential candidate just had to amend his campaign finance records to show an $800,000 contract with ACORN, it seems Barack Obama’s supposed “reform” rests on the same kind of fraud.  Thursday, August 28, 2008




By Jerry Holbert

Political Cartoons by Jerry Holbert




By Richard Fernandez

With Iraq fast vanishing from the headlines, Georgia has become a political issue.  It’s outbreak has implicilty helped John McCain because it highlighted Barack Obama’s lack of foreign policy experience, as shown for example, by this ad.  Putin, perhaps realizing this, is now trying to blame the Republicans. One of the great traditions established by Vietnam is that foreign dictators get to take sides in US electoral politics.  CNN reports:

“Putin told CNN his defense officials had told him it was done to benefit a presidential candidate — Republican John McCain and Democrat Barack Obama are competing to succeed George W. Bush — although he presented no evidence to back it up.”

Putin’s opinion isn’t shared by everyone. The WSJ, for example has its own assessment of who started the war in Georgia. But Russian attempts to enter the domestic US political fray were offset by disappointment from the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, through which Beijing partly pursues its Central Asian policy. The AP reports that “China and several Central Asian nations rebuffed Russia’s hopes of international support for its actions in Georgia, issuing a statement Thursday denouncing the use of force and calling for respect for every country’s territorial integrity.” While the UN has been paralyzed and gridlocked by the Georgia crisis,  more specific international alliances like NATO and the Shanghai Cooperation Council have been able to act, at least in some way.  Obama’s August 2007 threat to unilaterally send military forces into Pakistan (which was referred to in the McCain ad) would probably draw a reaction from China (if only because Pakistan is an observer in the Shanghai Cooperation Council).  Politics no longer stops at the water’s edge.  Foreign leaders now routinely calculate their impact on US domestic politics. While the loss of complete political autonomy is probably a consequence of America’s global role, Obama’s own peroration in Berlin has come as close as anything to recognizing foreign constituencies in the calculation of domestic political issues.

This development is not confined to America. Just now the Guardian reports that Hugo Chavez has hired former London Mayor “Red” Ken Livingstone to act as his consultant on urban affairs.  First Post (ht Fausta) quotes Livingstone as saying:

“I believe that Caracas will become a first-world city in 20 years,” Livingstone told reporters on a surprise visit to Venezuela. “I have a very extensive network of contacts both domestically and internationally which I will be calling on to assist in this.”

And former German Chanceller Gerhard Schroeder was hired as a consultant to Gazprom in 2005. The Wapo said at the time,

Opposition politicians denounced the appointment as a conflict of interest. “It stinks,” said Reinhard Buetikofer, co-chairman of Germany’s Greens, who were a coalition partner in Schroeder’s Social Democrat-led government, the Associated Press reported.

But if politicians are supposed to represent “the world” and the “tapestry” of humanity then such arrangements will become increasingly common. Fausta has more hereThursday, August 28, 2008



The security situation in northwestern Pakistan continues to deteriorate as Taliban and government forces clashed in South Waziristan and Bajaur. The Taliban also conducted a successful attack on a police van in Bannu.

More than 70 Taliban and 11 police and soldiers were killed during the fighting, although the government has not reported casualties in Bajaur, where the fighting was the heaviest.


The Taliban conducted a successful strike against a police convoy moving across a bridge in Bannu. Six police and three civilians were killed after their vehicle struck a remote detonated improvised explosive device on the Kurram Bridge. Thirteen others were reported wounded, some seriously.

The bombing is the latest major strike against military, governmental, and civilian targets in Pakistan. There have been eight major attacks since Aug. 12. Taliban bombers have struck in Islamabad, Karachi, Lahore, Peshawar, Wah, Dera Ismail Khan, Swat, and Bannu, killing more than 165 Pakistanis and wounding more than 220, according to numbers compiled by The Long War Journal.

South Waziristan

After a relative period of quiet in South Waziristan, the Taliban have reinitiated attacks against Pakistani security forces in the area. The Taliban had observed a cease-fire but have threatened to discard the agreement in light of the fighting in Swat and Bajaur.

The Taliban reportedly lost 11 fighters during a company-sized assault on the Tiarza Fort and the Tiarza Bridge Checkpost just outside of Wana.

Additional fighting was reported in South Waziristan yesterday. Twelve more Taliban were reported killed after attacking a military convoy inside Wana. Two soldiers were killed and seven were wounded during heavy fighting.

A spokesman for Taliban leaders Hafiz Gul Bahadar and Maulvi Nazir denied their forces were involved in the attacks and placed the blame on Baitullah Mehsud’s fighters. Nazir and Bahadar joined forces to create a separate movement outside of Baitullah Mehsud's Movement of the Taliban in Pakistan.


Heavy fighting has been reported in the Bajaur tribal agency, where the government launched an offensive to drive back the Taliban weeks ago. The government claimed more than 50 Taliban fighters were killed in separate clashes. The casualties could not be confirmed, and the military did not report taking any casualties during the fighting.

An estimated 30 Taliban fighters were reported killed after the military pounded a health center occupied by the Taliban with artillery. “Security forces killed 25-30 militants, including some important commanders and foreigners in Bajaur’s Raghan region,” a security official told AFP. The military claimed it intercepted Taliban communications confirming the casualties. Bajaur is an al Qaeda safe haven, and the region is used as al Qaeda’s command and control center for attacks against Coalition and Afghan forces in northeastern Afghanistan.

The military claimed an additional eight Taliban were killed and 12 wounded during artillery and airstrikes in the Khar and Salarzai subdistricts. The Taliban control much of Khar after Frontier Corps retreated from the Loisam region after taking heavy casualties during an ambush on a convoy on Aug. 10. Another eight Taliban were killed and 10 wounded after government forces ambushed a Taliban convoy.  Thursday, August 28, 2008


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