Monthly Archives: October 2008

My Friend, Neighbor, and Colleague – the Terrorist

When liberals defend Barry’s association with terrorist Bill Ayers by noting Ayers’ warm acceptance in Chicago and his job as a “professor” at the University of Illinois, my response is to ask liberals to consider what that says about Chicago, the University of Illinois, and Barry.

When I say that I would be extremely uncomfortable living in a neighborhood with Ayers or working in a school that would have him as a member of its faculty, my liberal acquaintances don’t get it, even though not one of them would accept an unrepentant (or repentant) abortion clinic bomber in their midst. Needless to say, they would never support a candidate who had any kind of association with that kind of terrorist.

Today, the indispensable Ms. Coulter provides some startling facts, at least to me, about our universities and their love affair with terrorists:

..the fact that Ayers is a professor of education proves only one thing: He is dumber than any person without an education degree.

Ayers is such an imbecile, we ought to be amazed that he’s teaching at a university — even when you consider that it’s an ed school — except all former violent radicals end up teaching. Roughly 80 percent of former Weathermen are full college professors — 99 percent if you don’t include the ones killed in shoot-outs with the police or in prison — i.e., not yet pardoned by a Democratic president [emphasis added].

Any other profession would have banned a person like Ayers. Universities not only accept former domestic terrorists, but also move them to the front of the line. In addition to Ayers, among those once on the FBI’s most-wanted list who ended up in cushy college teaching positions are Bernardine Dohrn (Northwestern University), Mark Rudd (a junior college in New Mexico) and Angela Davis (History of Consciousness Department, University of California at Santa Cruz).

While others were hard at work on Ph.D.s, Susan Rosenberg was conspiring to kill cops and blow up buildings, and was assembling massive caches of explosives. This put her on the fast track for a teaching position at Hamilton College!

Despite having absolutely no qualifications to teach, having earned only a master’s degree in “writing” through a correspondence course, Rosenberg was offered a position at Hamilton within a few years of President Clinton pardoning her in 2001, releasing her from a 58-year prison sentence for participating in the murder of cops and possessing more than 700 pounds of explosives [emphasis added].

But Obama thinks it’s a selling point to say that Ayers is a college professor.

Hundreds of college professors have signed a letter vouching for Ayers, which would be like Lester Maddox producing a letter from George Wallace assuring us that Maddox is a respected member of the community. No, really, I’ve got the letter right here!

The media keep citing the fact that the money Obama and Ayers distributed to idiotic left-wing causes came — as The New York Times put it — “from Walter H. Annenberg, the billionaire publisher and philanthropist and President Richard M. Nixon’s ambassador to the United Kingdom.”

Great Republican though he was, Walter Annenberg died in 2002. The money came from the Annenberg Foundation, which, like all foundations, distributes money to projects that its founder would despise. John Kerry ran for president on the late John Heinz’s money. That didn’t mean Republican Heinz was endorsing Kerry.

As John O’Sullivan says, any foundation that is not explicitly right-wing will become a radical left-wing organization within a few years. It could be the Association of University Women, the American Association of Retired People, the American Rose Growers, the Foundation for the Study of Railroad Engineers or the Choral Society of Newport Beach.

Left-wing radicals swarm to free foundation money, where they can give gigantic grants to one another and they will never have to do a day’s work. That’s exactly what Obama and Ayers did with Annenberg’s money.

None of the Annenberg money went to schoolchildren. It went to Ayers’ left-wing crank friends to write moronic papers that we hope no one ever reads.

Instead of teaching students reading and writing, Ayers thinks they should be taught to rebel against America’s “imperialist” social structure. In 2006, Ayers was in Venezuela praising communist dictator Hugo Chavez, saying, “We share the belief that education is the motor-force of revolution.”

He has backed a line of schoolbooks such as one titled “Teaching Science for Social Justice.”

Forget about Ayers’ domestic terrorism when Obama “was 8 years old.” Does he agree with Ayers’ idiot ideas right now?

Bob Tyrrell on Joe Biden’s brain scan and the media cover-up of the cause of the financial crisis.

An excerpt:

…The media’s coverage of this election has been the shoddiest I ever have seen. The country has been walloped by a financial crisis almost wholly created by the Democrats’ relaxation of mortgage lending to low- and moderate-income borrowers. It is a matter of record that the Republican nominee attempted to tighten those regulations. The Democrats’ intrusion into the markets began in 1977, with their vaunted Community Reinvestment Act, which encouraged bank loans to low- and moderate-income families. In 1995, the law was expanded, leading to an 80 percent increase in such loans.

Along with this, beginning in 1992, Congress imposed on Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to purchase what we now know as subprime mortgages — that is to say, risky mortgages. In 1996, the Clinton administration’s Department of Housing and Urban Development, enthralled as ever to the Democrats’ urge for social engineering, ordered Fannie and Freddie to assist home purchases by low-income earners seeking homes in higher-income neighborhoods — more subprime mortgages! HUD expanded this project in 2000. Also in 1996, HUD began targeting the number of such mortgages, requiring that 12 percent of Fannie’s and Freddie’s mortgages assist low-income home purchasers in higher-income neighborhoods. In 2000, the number was increased to 20 percent.

The consequence of all the Democrats’ meddling with real estate markets and with established regulations was that these subprime mortgages were secreted into bundles of mortgage packages and sold all over the world. Now we see a crisis, and magically it is blamed on Sen. McCain’s party. The answer is to elect Sen. Obama and his lovable sidekick to the White House. Yet, as readers of this column read last week, the chairwoman of Sen. Obama’s finance committee, Penny Pritzker, gutted her own bank with subprime loans and has had to pay $460 million in penalties. Moreover, Wall Street abounds with Obama supporters who prospered on these subprime dealings.

What? What is this? Change the subject to Sarah Palin — you betcha!

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The Democrats' Magic Income-Redistribution Formula

The great irony of this election is that we are about to vote-in a government well to the left of those of Europe and Canada, whose citizens have always prided themselves on being much more “progressive” than Americans. I cannot imagine the cognitive dissonance that this will produce.

The coming Obama-Pelosi-Reid regime promises to take us where the Europeans have already been, while the Europeans – having seen what Obama promises the American future to be in their own countries- are now in a slow, painful process of trying to undo the damage before it’s too late. Thus far, none of the current European leaders has proven to be another Margaret Thatcher who single-handedly pulled Britain back from the abyss in the 1970’s, but at least the Europeans seem to recognize that they can’t keep going down the path they’ve been traveling since the end of World War II.

Economist Adam Lerrick, writing in the Wall Street Journal, gives us a preview of the Obama future:

What happens when the voter in the exact middle of the earning spectrum receives more in benefits from Washington than he pays in taxes? Economists Allan Meltzer and Scott Richard posed this question 27 years ago. We may soon enough know the answer.

Barack Obama is offering voters strong incentives to support higher taxes and bigger government. This could be the magic income-redistribution formula Democrats have long sought.

Sen. Obama is promising $500 and $1,000 gift-wrapped packets of money in the form of refundable tax credits. These will shift the tax demographics to the tipping point where half of all voters will receive a cash windfall from Washington and an overwhelming majority will gain from tax hikes and more government spending.

In 2006, the latest year for which we have Census data, 220 million Americans were eligible to vote and 89 million — 40% — paid no income taxes. According to the Tax Policy Center (a joint venture of the Brookings Institution and the Urban Institute), this will jump to 49% when Mr. Obama’s cash credits remove 18 million more voters from the tax rolls. What’s more, there are an additional 24 million taxpayers (11% of the electorate) who will pay a minimal amount of income taxes — less than 5% of their income and less than $1,000 annually.

In all, three out of every five voters will pay little or nothing in income taxes under Mr. Obama’s plans and gain when taxes rise on the 40% that already pays 95% of income tax revenues.

The plunder that the Democrats plan to extract from the “very rich” — the 5% that earn more than $250,000 and who already pay 60% of the federal income tax bill — will never stretch to cover the expansive programs Mr. Obama promises.

What next? A core group of Obama enthusiasts — those educated professionals who applaud the “fairness” of their candidate’s tax plans — will soon see their $100,000-$150,000 incomes targeted. As entitlements expand and a self-interested majority votes, the higher tax brackets will kick in at lower levels down the ladder, all the way to households with a $75,000 income.

Calculating how far society’s top earners can be pushed before they stop (or cut back on) producing is difficult. But the incentives are easy to see. Voters who benefit from government programs will push for higher tax rates on higher earners — at least until those who power the economy and create jobs and wealth stop working, stop investing, or move out of the country.

Other nations have tried the ideology of fairness in the place of incentives and found that reward without work is a recipe for decline. In the late 1970s and throughout the 1980s, Margaret Thatcher took on the unions and slashed taxes to restore growth and jobs in Great Britain. In Germany a few years ago, Social Democrat Gerhard Schroeder defied his party’s dogma and loosened labor’s grip on the economy to end stagnation. And more recently in France, Nicolas Sarkozy was swept to power on a platform of restoring flexibility to the economy.

The sequence is always the same. High-tax, big-spending policies force the economy to lose momentum. Then growth in government spending outstrips revenues. Fiscal and trade deficits soar. Public debt, excessive taxation and unemployment follow. The central bank tries to solve the problem by printing money. International competitiveness is lost and the currency depreciates. The system stagnates. And then a frightened electorate returns conservatives to power.

The economic tides will not stand still while Washington experiments with European-type social democracy…

Shmuel Rosner on why Jews are voting for Obama:

As was previously established by polls, Barack Obama will be the candidate for whom Jewish Americans are going to vote. While getting the majority of Jewish votes, it looks as if Obama will not nab quite as large a percentage as previous Democratic candidates have. It is still interesting to understand the reasons for these voting patterns, and a new study has some answers.

“American Jews and the 2008 Presidential Election: As Democratic and Liberal as Ever?” (released by the Berman Jewish Policy Archive at NYU Wagner) was conducted by distinguished experts. They affirm that “there is some reason to believe that this election may see a narrowing of the traditional gap between Jews and other Americans in their vote for president” – namely, Jews will not be as liberal as they were in recent years. The “gap”, though, hardly disappeared (note: the data quoted in this study is from September, so some changes should be expected):

“The Jewish tilt toward the Democratic candidate may be seen through two comparisons. First, Jews split 67-33 in favor of Obama, producing a gap of 17 percentage points with the nation. Second, and even more telling, is the contrast with non-Jewish whites. While only 37% of white respondents declared a preference for Obama, 67% of Jews did so — a gap of 30 percentage points. In short, with undecided voters eliminated from consideration, non-Jewish whites tilted heavily toward McCain, while Jews tilted even more heavily toward Obama.”

However, this study is not just about support but also about the reasons for this support. One conclusion: Israel, to say the least, is hardly a dominant issue:

“Commentators have suggested that Jews’ concern for Israel may well serve to diminish their enthusiasm for the Democratic candidate. Indeed, Jews do care about the Israel-Palestine conflict more than other Americans. Yet, with that said, the Israel issue ranked 8th out of 15 issues in importance as a presidential election consideration for Jewish respondents. Aside from the economy (a prime issue of concern for the vast majority of respondents), ahead of Israel on Jewish voters’ minds were such matters as health care, gas prices and energy, taxes, and education. Ranking just below Israel in importance for Jewish respondents were appointments to the Supreme Court and the environment. In fact, when asked to name their top three issues, just 15% of Jewish respondents chose Israel as one of the three, and these were heavily Orthodox Jews.”

So what is it that makes Jews vote Democratic, and what will make them vote for Obama?

While their political views tending in the liberal direction help explain their support for Obama, and their concern for Israel may actually pull them in the other direction, political views alone cannot explain their high levels of Democratic vote intention. Neither can the major socio-demographic variables. Rather, their vote intentions are a product of their political identities – their long-standing association with the liberal camp and the Democratic Party.

The professors responsible for this study should be commended for concluding on this bold and revealing point:

“Ironically, Jews and other highly educated voters often view other Americans as responding to instinctual, historic habits, to their political heritage, if you will. People like to think of themselves as totally rational and driven by carefully considered values.

“In fact, Jews in the upcoming election also respond to their identities. In their case, they will be reflecting their long-held, multi-generation attachment to the liberal camp in America, and to the Democratic Party.”

Of course, this doesn’t mean that they vote for the candidate with the wrong views. It just suggests that they didn’t seriously ponder the implications of their vote — and didn’t even try to entertain the other option.

A Dishonorable Man

As Willy Loman might have put it, Colin Powell comes across as an “impressive” man, but he’s probably our most overrated politician (with Joe Biden a close second).

Bret Stephens makes a good case that Powell’s record “stands for nothing” and reminds us of what is, in my view, his most egregious act of dishonorable behavior:

…What responsibility does Mr. Powell assign himself for the four-year Beltway drama that involved the leak of CIA analyst Valerie Plame’s name to columnist Robert Novak?

One result of that drama was that then-New York Times reporter Judy Miller spent 85 days in jail. Another was that Scooter Libby, Dick Cheney’s chief of staff, was convicted of perjury and sentenced to 30 months in jail. A third was that the administration as a whole suffered a huge and needless political blow.

Yet Mr. Powell knew all along that the original leaker was his own deputy, Richard Armitage, a fact the two of them didn’t publicly reveal for years. Why didn’t he lay the matter immediately to rest instead of allowing others to twist in the wind?…

I wouldn’t expect an answer (or a question from media Democrats like Tom Brokaw) anytime soon. If he gave an answer it would probably be that prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald told him to remain silent while Fitzgerald went off on a fishing expedition.

The idea that the “eminently impressive” Colin Powell had anything to fear from a twit like Fitzgerald is laughable. An honorable man would have told Fitzgerald that he would not remain silent while people were hounded and jailed when he and Fitzgerald already knew the leaker’s identity.

And William McGurn gives the best explanation I’ve read of Barry’s middle class “tax cut.”

Now even Newsweek admits that there is no evidence that anyone yelled “kill him” at a Republican rally last week, and they even note that the Obama campaign was informed of that and that Obama still mentioned the false report in the final debate.

The self-proclaimed “student of history,”Joe Biden, gives us something to think about.

The New York Post editorializes:

Joe Biden wonders whether Barack Obama is qualified to be commander-in-chief.

“Mark my words,” Biden warned Sunday at a Democratic fund-raiser. “It will not be six months [after the inauguration] before the world tests Barack Obama like they did John Kennedy.”

Then he added, “Watch. We’re going to have an international crisis, a generated crisis, to test the mettle of this guy.”

Now, here’s where it gets scary.

Obama’s “gonna need your help to use your influence within the community to stand with him. Because it’s not gonna be apparent initially, it’s not gonna be apparent that we’re right.”

He’s going to need help?

Terrific.

What’s particularly disturbing is Biden’s Kennedy analogy.

For those who don’t recall, it was a scant five months after JFK became president that Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev took his measure.

Kennedy had just bungled the 1961 Bay of Pigs invasion in Cuba, then went off to a summit in Vienna – where Khruschev determined that the rookie chief executive could be had.

Two months later, construction began on the Berlin Wall, precipitating a crisis that nearly led to a US-Soviet shooting war in Europe.

And 14 months after that came the Cuban Missile Crisis – when nuclear Armageddon was only barely averted.

Is Biden saying that America’s current enemies – sorely aware of Obama’s inexperience – plan to test a President Obama with similar crises, to see what he’s made of?

Sure seems like it.

But what if Obama is still on the wrong side of the learning curve when this major international crisis hits?

More important: What if he makes the wrong decision – as even Joe Biden suggests he might?

After all, Obama was wrong about the troop surge in Iraq.

And he was wrong in his initial response to Russia’s invasion of Georgia – when he urged the victimized nation to “show restraint.”

And he was wrong when he said he would gladly sit down unconditionally with people like Hugo Chavez and Mahmoud Ahmadinejad – the very people his own running-mate now says are planning to “test” him.

As John McCain said yesterday, “We don’t want a president who invites testing from the world . . . The next president won’t have time.”

Little wonder, then, that Biden later admitted that he “probably shouldn’t have said all this.”

But why not, Joe?

It’s doubtless all true.

And it’s much better to get it all out now – rather than wait until it’s too late to do anything about it.

OMG! Even the New York Times is calling for Christopher Dodd to come clean on his sweetheart mortgage deal.

My favorite line from last week’s Al Smith Dinner wasn’t delivered by either of the presidential candidates, but by MC Al Smith IV who said, “Chicago is a city where four out of every two voters vote Democratic.”Viagra
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Liberal Women's Rage and Loathing

Joseph Epstein on liberal women’s loathing of Sarah Palin:

The liberal women I know–and most of the women I seem to know are liberal–loathe Sarah Palin. They don’t merely dislike her, the way one tends to dislike politicians whose views are not one’s own, they actively detest her. When her name comes up–and it is they who tend to bring it up–their complexions take on a slightly purplish tinge, their eyes cross in rage. “Moron” is their most frequently used noun, though “idiot” comes up a fair number of times; “that woman” is yet another choice. A wide variety of adjectives, differing only slightly in their violence, usually precede these epithets.

Liberal men don’t show the same fervent distaste for Governor Palin. They are more likely to say she doesn’t come close to being qualified for the job of vice president and is frightening to contemplate as president. They might add that his choice of Sarah Palin is a serious sign of John McCain’s flawed judgment, or of his political opportunism. The standard phrase “a heartbeat away” may come up. But then they let it go. They don’t take Sarah Palin so personally, so passionately, as their liberal female counterparts do; the element of anger isn’t there.

…One might think that liberal women would have some admiration for Governor Palin’s appearing to have solved the working mother problem that bedevils most contemporary American women. She is very feminine yet doesn’t regard herself as a victim, and seems to be entirely at ease with men. Here is a woman raising five children who is able not only to have an active hand in the life of her community but actually win the highest political office in her state. As the governor of Alaska, moreover, she took on the corrupt elements in her own party, which requires courage of a kind liberated women especially, one would think, might admire.

Perhaps Sarah Palin’s having a pregnant teenage daughter permits these same women to feel that she hasn’t really solved the working mother problem after all. Yet teenage pregnancy is something that anyone who has a daughter or a granddaughter lives in terror of, for it can happen, as they say, in the best of families. Yet Sarah Palin seems to be handling this, too, with a measure of dignified calm and tolerance that most of us, in similar circumstances, probably couldn’t bring to it. But she gets no credit for this either, at least not from the women I know who so relentlessly condemn her.

Strongly liberal women get most agitated over the issue–though of course to them it is no issue but a long since resolved matter–of abortion. Abortion, to be sure, is the great third-rail subject in American politics. But when a male politician is against abortion, these women can write that off as the ignorance of a standard politician, if not himself a Christian fundamentalist, then another Republican cynically going after the fundamentalist vote. A woman not in favor of abortion is something quite different.

And it is all the more strikingly different when the same woman not only holds this opinion on abortion but acts on it and knowingly bears a child with Down syndrome, a child that most liberal women would have thought reason required aborting. What else, after all, is abortion for?

A few months ago Vanity Fair ran an article about the discovery that the playwright Arthur Miller, with his third wife, the photographer Inge Morath, 40 or so years ago had a Down syndrome son. Miller promptly clapped the boy into an institution–according to the article, not a first class one either–and never saw the child again. Most people would have taken this for a heartless act, one should have thought, especially on the part of a man known for excoriating the putative cruelties of capitalism and the endless barbarities of his own country’s governments, whether Democratic or Republican. Yet, so far as one can tell, Arthur Miller’s treatment of his own child has not put the least dent in his reputation, while Sarah Palin’s having, keeping, and loving her Down syndrome child is somehow, by the standard of the liberal woman of our day, not so secretly thought the act of an obviously backward and ignorant woman, an affront to womanhood. “Her greatest hypocrisy,” proclaimed Wendy Doniger, one of the leading feminist lights at the University of Chicago, “is her pretense that she is a woman.”

The daughter of a dear friend of mine used to say of her mother, “I sense her rage.” Of course when the daughter said this, my friend’s rage would only increase. Suggesting that liberal women feel rage over Sarah Palin is, similarly, likely only to enrage them all the more. But rage in their reaction to Governor Palin is emphatically what I do sense on the part of liberal women–that and delight in any attempt to humiliate her. (Tina Fey, take a bow, and, hey, let’s watch that Katie Couric YouTube interview one more time!) I wonder if the women who loathe Sarah Palin with such intensity oughtn’t perhaps to reexamine the source of their strongly illiberal feelings.

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The Coming Brave New World

In a recent conversation with a relative, I mentioned that sometime after Barry is elected, the Europeans and much of the rest of the non-Islamic world will wake up to the fact that the Americans are getting out of the defense business and that they (the rest of the Western world) will have to fend for themselves.

My relative allowed that it would be a not-altogether-bad thing for the Europeans to defend themselves. In theory it would be a good thing, but I would remind him and all like-minded liberals about the last time the Europeans were allowed to play with dangerous weapons: the first half of the 20th century which produced the carnage known as World War I; the rise of communism, fascism,and nazism; then the carnage known as World War II and the Holocaust. That’s the reason that post-war Europe (and Japan) outsourced their defense to the Americans and adopted pacifism with cradle-to-grave welfare, underwritten by the American taxpayers who picked up the defense tab.

Obamadom seeks to transform America into another European-style, pacifist welfare state (where the “wealth is spread around”). Western leftists rejoice at the thought and like to believe that Iran and the rest of the Islamists, who, according to liberal theorists, are merely motivated by the desire to defend themselves against American (and Israeli) “imperialism,” and will respond to the kinder, gentler new Age of Obama by closing down their terrorist networks and nuclear facilities.

Sounds like the 1930’s all over again, except instead of Churchill and Roosevelt, we will have Obama, Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid (with a filibuster-proof Senate majority) an Obama-smitten media, and the Eurabians.

As George Orwell once said: “People sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf.” We’re about to see a world in which the only “rough men” will be the ones trying to destroy us.

Kill Joe! Smear Cindy!

Claudia Rossett on the media savaging of Joe the Plumber:

…to squabble over Joe’s record is to miss the real point. Obama is the one running for public office, aspiring to the country’s highest position of power and public trust. Joe is not. He’s a private citizen, who had every right to ask a very good question. He wanted to know why he was being taxed “more and more for fulfilling the American dream?”

What he got from the well-heeled Senators Obama and Biden was mockery and contempt.

Most disturbing is this: If that’s how Joe the Plumber gets dealt with while Obama is still stumping for votes, then what happens to Joe, or anyone else who dares question Obama’s plans, should Obama win the White House?

Should we expect that that the answer will be targeted investigations, a public display of whatever can be dug up in the way of private laundry, and sneers from the Oval Office?

In the interest of having an informed electorate, it would be far more valuable were the media teams working less frantically to dig up dirt on Joe, and a lot harder on filling in the gaps in the record of candidate Obama. Why won’t Obama release his Columbia transcripts? What exactly was he doing during those gaps in the bio?

How are we supposed to square the lavish praise of Obama’s intellectual powers and refined sensitivities with his professed failure during years of intimate acquaintance to notice the hate-speech of Rev. Wright? What is the real story with the ties to Bill Ayers, to Tony Rezko? What does that say about his judgment in choosing friends and advisers and associates?

Would Obama appoint similar pals to high office in Washington? Would he bring similarly blinkered perceptions to the job of making policy? Would his critics receive the kind of savaging just dished out to Joe? If there’s any chance that the answer is yes, then the drubbing of Joe the Plumber is a warning to us all.

Chicago Tribune columnist John Kass also comments on the left’s flaying of Joe:

… [Joe] made three big mistakes. Mistake No. 1 was that Joe got involved in presidential politics without a license. You must have a license to do anything in this country these days. Joe didn’t know any better.

But it was mistake No. 2 that really got him. Wurzelbacher got Obama to tell him about his tax policy. The Democratic senator from Illinois confessed that if elected president, he’d institute a tax plan to “spread the wealth around.”

Those four words just about finished Joe. Joe said he was a plumber and would like to buy a plumbing business but was worried about Obama’s planned tax increases on small business owners earning more than $250,000.

“Do you believe in the American dream?” Joe asked Obama. “I’m being taxed more and more for fulfilling the American dream.”

Obama answered him patiently, calmly, saying his tax policy would not hurt most small businesses. But there was that unfortunate gaffe—not really reported as a gaffe since the media is generally weak-kneed for Barack, but a gaffe nevertheless—in which Obama said those four remarkable words:

“Spread the wealth around.” Oblivious and witless, Joe the Plumber was like those ancient Egyptian contractors who finished the secret treasure vault in the pyramids and wondered why pharaoh wanted them to precede him in the afterlife.

“Spread the wealth around” is regular Joe speak for redistributionist tax policy, in which the government takes from the Joes and keeps a fee for handling Joe’s money, then gives it out to other folks who want Joe’s money, so the other folks will love the politicians who run the government and vote for them again and again.

This is a system that works remarkably well for politicians, government workers with fat pensions and others who get Joe’s money. It doesn’t work out for the Joes, but there aren’t as many of them as there used to be. Increasingly, Joes are encouraged to get in the government soup line for what is called “their fair share.”

Anybody from Illinois understands how this works. In Illinois, it is an art form. Illinois Republican politicians do it. Illinois Democratic politicians really, really do it. Soon, perhaps, the rest of the nation will understand our way of doing it.

But let’s stick with Joe’s tale of woe and his third big mistake. That mistake, the one that was unconscionable, was to allow his conversation with Obama to be recorded on news tape, after which Republican John McCain converted Joe the Plumber to a hieroglyphic, to thwack Obama in the recent debate.

The Joes were on the verge of getting agitated, and it was clear there was only one thing to do. I’m thinking of the last scene from the great film “Being There,” about the gardener who was pushed into the White House because everyone loved his speaking style. I hope you’ll allow me to amend it some:

“Gentlemen,” one fellow says to the others. “If we are going to keep the presidency, we must destroy Joe the Plumber.”

Off with Joe’s head! “Joe the plumber’s story has some cracks” said the Chicago Tribune. “Plumber’s story springs a leak: Say it ain’t so, Joe / He’s not a licensed plumber, and he owes Ohio almost $1,200 in back taxes,” said the Sun-Times.

“McCain may stumble with focus on ‘Joe the Plumber’ ” said the Bloomberg.com headline. In newsrooms across the land, Joe’s head thunked to the floor.

The tone of most of the stories was the tone of a stern teacher lecturing the class hooligan. According to this reasoning, even though he was working for a plumber and didn’t need a license to do residential work, his lack of a license left him without credibility. And those back taxes also made him incredible.

Tax experts were consulted and said that even if Joe could afford to buy the plumbing business, he shouldn’t worry about Obama’s taxes. But I grew up in a small family business, and saw what my father went through to pay this tax and that tax and the other tax and then try to pay our bills, so listening to experts reassure small business owners that they shouldn’t worry when Democrats may control all of Washington made me want to laugh my head off.

Joe wasn’t the one who said he wanted to “spread the wealth around.” But it’s Joe’s head up there, on that pike, as the crows come down.

And the New York Times, unwilling to look into Barry’s unsavory associates, instead tries to smear Cindy McCain.

The Untiring and Unhinged Search For McCain's Racial Offenses

Charles Krauthammer on the “search for McCain’s racism”:

Let me get this straight. A couple of agitated yahoos in a rally of thousands yell something offensive and incendiary[ revealed yesterday as a reporter’s apparent fabrication] , and John McCain and Sarah Palin are not just guilty by association — with total strangers, mind you — but worse: guilty according to the New York Times of “race-baiting and xenophobia.”

But should you bring up Barack Obama’s real associations — 20 years with Jeremiah Wright, working on two foundations and distributing money with William Ayers, citing the raving Michael Pfleger as one who helps him keep his moral compass (Chicago Sun-Times, April 2004) and the long-standing relationship with the left-wing vote-fraud specialist ACORN — you have crossed the line into illegitimate guilt by association. Moreover, it is tinged with racism.

The fact that, when John McCain actually heard one of those nasty things said about Obama, he incurred the boos of his own crowd by insisting that Obama is “a decent person . . . that you do not have to be scared [of] as president” makes no difference. It surely did not stop John Lewis from comparing McCain to George Wallace.

The search for McCain’s racial offenses is untiring and often unhinged. Remember McCain’s Berlin/celebrity ad that showed a shot of Paris Hilton? An appalling attempt to exploit white hostility at the idea of black men “becoming sexually involved with white women,” fulminated New York Times columnist Bob Herbert. He took to TV to denounce McCain’s exhumation of that most vile prejudice, pointing out McCain’s gratuitous insertion in the ad of “two phallic symbols,” the Washington Monument and the Leaning Tower of Pisa.

Except that Herbert was entirely delusional. There was no Washington Monument. There was no Leaning Tower. Just photographs seen in every newspaper in the world of Barack Obama’s Berlin rally in the setting he himself had chosen, Berlin’s Victory Column.

Herbert is not the only fevered one. On Tuesday night, Rachel Maddow of MSNBC and Jonathan Alter of Newsweek fell over themselves agreeing that the “political salience” of the Republican attack on ACORN is, yes, its unstated appeal to racial prejudice.

This about an organization that is being accused of voter registration fraud in about a dozen states. In Nevada, the investigating secretary of state is a Democrat. Is he playing the race card, too?

What makes the charges against McCain especially revolting is that he has been scrupulous in eschewing the race card. He has gone far beyond what is right and necessary, refusing even to make an issue of Obama’s deep, self-declared connection with the race-baiting Rev. Wright.

In the name of racial rectitude, McCain has denied himself the use of that perfectly legitimate issue. It is simply Orwellian for him to be now so widely vilified as a stoker of racism. What makes it doubly Orwellian is that these charges are being made on behalf of the one presidential candidate who has repeatedly, and indeed quite brilliantly, deployed the race card.

How brilliantly? The reason Bill Clinton is sulking in his tent is because he feels that Obama surrogates succeeded in painting him as a racist. Clinton has many sins, but from his student days to his post-presidency, his commitment and sincerity in advancing the cause of African Americans have been undeniable. If the man Toni Morrison called the first black president can be turned into a closet racist, then anyone can.

And Obama has shown no hesitation in doing so to McCain. Weeks ago, in Springfield, Mo., and elsewhere, he warned darkly that George Bush and John McCain were going to try to frighten you by saying that, among other scary things, Obama has “a funny name” and “doesn’t look like all those other presidents on those dollar bills.”

McCain has never said that, nor anything like that. When asked at the time to produce one instance of McCain deploying race, the Obama campaign could not. Yet here was Obama firing a preemptive charge of racism against a man who had not indulged in it. An extraordinary rhetorical feat, and a dishonorable one…

Happy to know there are at least a few Jews out there who don’t worship at the temple of the Democratic Party. Burt Prelutzky writes:

…Barney Frank, who has always looked and talked like a cartoon character, has begun behaving like one. He keeps insisting that he had nothing to do with the sub-prime debacle. He bases this outlandish claim on the fact that the Democrats were in the minority on the House Finance Committee until January 31, 2007, when he became the chairman. Even if we choose to overlook the obvious fact that he did nothing to avert the disaster during the year-and-a-half he and his liberal colleagues held the reins, the truth is that the Democrats brought on the financial catastrophe by forcing the major lenders to do business with black and Hispanic deadbeats, and by intimidating the gutless Republicans on the Committee with threats of outing them as racists if they didn’t play ball.

But when it comes to lying, even Mr. Frank, formerly at the epicenter of a homosexual prostitute ring in Washington, can’t compare with Joe Biden. But, then, neither could Pinocchio or Baron von Munchhausen. When you realize that the vice-presidential debate took only 90 minutes, and that Gwen Ifill and Sarah Palin used up roughly 50 minutes with their questions and answers, Sen., Biden had a mere 40 minutes in which to cram in over a dozen lies. It’s one of those mind-boggling records, like Joe DiMaggio’s 56-game hitting streak, that may never be broken.

For openers, Biden is not in favor of clean coal as an alternate fuel. He has voted against its use every chance he’s had during his 36 years in the Senate. And while I don’t know in what cave Biden has been hiding, he must be the only person in America who didn’t hear Barack Obama state that, without any preconditions, he would sit down with Mahmud Ahmadinejad. But that was only after he informed us that Iran was a small country and in no way a dangerous one. Furthermore, instead of presuming to inform Gov. Palin that Ahmadinejad is not really Iran’s head honcho because it’s a theocracy, he should have mentioned it to his running mate, inasmuch as Obama never mentioned sitting down with the mullahs.

When Biden said that McCain, like Obama, voted against funding the troops, he lied, knowing full well that McCain only refused to vote for the funding bill so long as it was tied to a timeline for withdrawal. Leave it to the Democrats to tell the Islamic terrorists to hang tough because, come hell or high water, we’ll be gone on a certain date.

They may not know how to wage war, but they sure know how to wage defeat.

Biden also lied when he said that McCain would raise taxes on people’s health insurance, and when he announced that Gen. David McKiernan said that principles of the surge could not be employed in Afghanistan, and again when he insisted that we spend more money in three weeks fighting in Iraq than we’ve spent altogether in Afghanistan.

Finally, Biden lied when he claimed that McCain weakened the regulations on Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. But perhaps that wasn’t exactly a lie. Maybe he just confused John McCain with Barney Frank or Maxine Waters because they look so much alike.

It’s not easy determining which of the numerous lies Biden rattled off in his allotted time was the most blatant, but my vote would probably go to his claim that he didn’t vote to authorize the war in Iraq. If I remember correctly, his explanation was that he was only authorizing President Bush to continue seeking a diplomatic solution, although it would be the first time in history that a president has ever required a vote in order to conduct diplomacy. I swear I could actually see Biden’s nose growing after that one.

My biggest laugh of the night came when Biden, who lives in a very large house in a very pricey part of Delaware, suddenly tried to pass himself off as a regular guy talking about the middle-class folks in his neighborhood and his homies down at the local Home Depot. The truth is, a family of five could eat for a year on what this man has spent on hair plugs and having his teeth painted.

Kill Him!

Is another left-wing urban legend ( like the one about an epedemic of wife beatings on Super Bowl Sunday) about to bite the dust, but then live on like Dracula wherever Democrats gather? While it will remain a proved-to-the-hilt fact that someone yelled “kill him” (him,meaning Barry) at a Sarah Palin rally, the Secret Service people assigned to the rally don’t remember hearing it.

SCRANTON – The agent in charge of the Secret Service field office in Scranton said allegations that someone yelled “kill him” when presidential hopeful Barack Obama’s name was mentioned during Tuesday’s Sarah Palin rally are unfounded.

The Scranton Times-Tribune first reported the alleged incident on its Web site Tuesday and then again in its print edition Wednesday. The first story, written by reporter David Singleton, appeared with allegations that while congressional candidate Chris Hackett was addressing the crowd and mentioned Obama’s name a man in the audience shouted “kill him.”

News organizations including ABC, The Associated Press, The Washington Monthly and MSNBC’s Countdown with Keith Olbermann reported the claim, with most attributing the allegations to the Times-Tribune story.

Agent Bill Slavoski said he was in the audience, along with an undisclosed number of additional secret service agents and other law enforcement officers and not one heard the comment.

“I was baffled,” he said after reading the report in Wednesday’s Times-Tribune.

He said the agency conducted an investigation Wednesday, after seeing the story, and could not find one person to corroborate the allegation other than Singleton.

Slavoski said more than 20 non-security agents were interviewed Wednesday, from news media to ordinary citizens in attendance at the rally for the Republican vice presidential candidate held at the Riverfront Sports Complex. He said Singleton was the only one to say he heard someone yell “kill him.”

“We have yet to find someone to back up the story,” Slavoski said. “We had people all over and we have yet to find anyone who said they heard it.”

Hackett said he did not hear the remark.

Slavoski said Singleton was interviewed Wednesday and stood by his story but couldn’t give a description of the man because he didn’t see him he only heard him.

When contacted Wednesday afternoon, Singleton referred questions to Times-Tribune Metro Editor Jeff Sonderman. Sonderman said, “We stand by the story. The facts reported are true and that’s really all there is.”

Slavoski said the agents take such threats or comments seriously and immediately opened an investigation but after due diligence “as far as we’re concerned it’s closed unless someone comes forward.” He urged anyone with knowledge of the alleged incident to call him at 346-5781. “We’ll run at all leads,” he said.

On the other hand, maybe it did happen. Mmmm…where were Bill and Hillary on that day?

And they say Sarah Palin’s dumb? Joe Biden thinks J-O-B-S is a three letter word. Is he Dan Quayle’s older brother?

You really gotta love the New York Times. They don’t know nuthin about Tony Rezko, Bill Ayers, or ACORN, but when it comes to poor “Joe the Plumber,” they’re right on the case:

…Turns out that “Joe the Plumber,” as he became nationally known when Senator John McCain made him a theme at Wednesday night’s third and final presidential debate, may run a plumbing business but he is not a licensed plumber. His full name is Samuel J. Wurzelbacher. And he owes a bit in back taxes.

…An official at Local 50 of the plumber’s union, based in Toledo, said Mr. Wurzelbacher does not hold a license. He also has never served an apprenticeship and does not belong to the union. (The national plumber’s union, the United Association of Plumbers, Steamfitters, and Service Mechanics, endorsed Mr. Obama, it should be noted.)

Mr. Bipartisan Loses

As usual, Mark Steyn says it best:

One thing I liked about the Bush/Gore debates is that it was obvious both men loathed each other and they didn’t care who knew it. That liberated them, for good and ill.

By contrast, for all the characteristically ponderous huffing from Bob Schieffer about “negative campaigns”, McCain was never able to cast aside the Senatorial collegiality and really stick it to Obama. Why couldn’t he have used the s-word – “socialism”? Why couldn’t he have said that his opponent is a perfectly pleasant fellow but he has an all but blank resume so all we have to go on is his votes and his associations and both suggest a doctrinaire liberal well to the left of, say, Bill Clinton? Why couldn’t he have pointed out that Barack Obama would be the most left-wing president ever elected in the United States?

McCain lacked the killer instinct. A man who cheerfully crashes planes and survives years of torture appeared nervous that clobbering his opponent might dent his image as Mister Bipartisan. You look at the way he sneered at Romney in the primary debates and compare it with his tentativeness toward Obama. His reluctance to whack the Democrat wound up, by default, elevating Obama. When a veteran Republican who’s been on the national scene for a quarter-century and a Democrat whom nobody had heard of 20 minutes ago appear to be equal in stature, then by definition the Democrat wins…

The Filibuster Proof Senate Majority

It is now assumed that Barry will be elected president. Barry’s left-wing past, radical associations, and the liberal media’s unwillingness to probe too deeply is scary enough. But the full catastrophe would come with the election of a filibuster-proof Democratic Senate, which is entirely possible.

I doubt that many of the folks so angry at Bush realize what they are enlisting for. Ronald Reagan’s election was a sharp turn away from the liberal orthodoxy that had prevailed since FDR. But we all knew what Reagan was about. He had served two terms as California’s governor and was very clear in his speeches and writings about what he believed in. When Gingrich and Company took over the Congress, we knew what they were about, for they told us in their “Contract with America.”

But more important than Reagan and Gingrich’s honesty and transparency about their views and goals is the fact that neither had complete control of the national government. Reagan never had total command of Congress and Gingrich had to deal with a Democratic president. And Americans could depend on an extremely hostile media to keep them honest, something we can forget about if complete Obamadom comes to pass.

If what some of the more terrifying polls are predicting comes true, we will have voted-in the most left-wing government in American history. The Roosevelt and Johnson administrations wouldn’t even come close to an Obama-Pelosi-Reid government.

Yes, Roosevelt and Johnson had strong Democratic majorities in Congress, but the Democratic Party of FDR and LBJ was not the Democratic Party of Obama. That party was made up of disparate groups: pro-defense union leaders, minorities (Jews and blacks), liberal intellectuals, and rural (segregationist) Southerners. That Democratic Party had a large number of pro-defense, pro-military, anti-isolationist members who off-set the pacifist intellectual faction of the party. Democratic presidents had to keep all these disparate groups relatively happy, which had a moderating influence on their agendas. The patron saint of liberal Democrats in the 1950’s was Adlai Stevenson. I doubt that anyone remembers that his running mate in 1952 was John Sparkman – a segregationist U.S. Senator from Alabama.

The Democratic Party of today has none of the “diversity” it had during the FDR-Truman-Kennedy era. There are no longer any “moderate” Democrats like Henry Jackson and Pat Moynihan. The last pro-defense Democrat was Joe Lieberman who was drummed out over his pro-Iraq War apostasy. The result is a party uniformly pacifist, anti-business, and alienated from the values of Middle America. Obama and his media wing have played this down even when Obama says what he really thinks of ordinary Americans – to a group of San Francisco Democrats: those small town folks “cling to their guns and religion.”

A correspondent asked George Orwell shortly before his death where he got the model for his dystopian satire 1984. He said he was satirizing the leftist intellectuals he worked with at the BBC during the war. He realized after working and talking with them over a period of time that the society depicted in 1984 would be the one they would create if they ever achieved total power.

I exaggerate perhaps, but if today’s Democrats gain total control of the Senate, we will be in uncharted territory. I wonder how many Americans incensed over the economy, the war and Bush know what they are signing up for.

And Tony Blankley on Barry’s past elections:

..Obama has portrayed his political career as one extended beau geste to the ideal of American democracy, a slightly curious media would have thought to report on how he ran his previous elections. And those prior elections, far from being models of honest elections honestly fought, are redolent of Chicago politics at their most suspect.

Obama’s first election was described recently by Martin Fletcher, a foreign correspondent for NBC News, in the British newspaper The Times (not on NBC): “Mr Obama won a seat in the state senate in 1996 by the unorthodox means of having surrogates successfully challenge the hundreds of nomination signatures that candidates submit. His Democratic rivals, including Alice Palmer, the incumbent, were all disqualified.” Hmm.

Obama’s election to the U.S. Senate was even more curious, as described by Gerard Baker in the Irish Independent: “Two exquisitely timed divorces smoothed the way.

“In the Democratic primary, he was a long shot. But a month before the election, his main opponent, Blair Hull, a wealthy Chicago futures trader, was forced to publish divorce papers that revealed, among other charming details, his wife’s claim that he had once threatened to kill her.

“In the general election, lightning struck again. His opponent, the engaging Jack Ryan, had run a campaign as a different sort of Republican. But a few months before the election, his divorce papers revealed that, while he might have been a different sort of Republican, he was from precisely the same stable of Obama political opponents. He had, it turned out, once tried to force his former wife to go with him to sex clubs in Paris.”

Was Obama really the innocent beneficiary of these rare events? Anything is possible. But when a fellow deals himself two royal flushes in a row, the other players are entitled to be suspicious. Moreover, when a politician is suspected of hypocrisy, the Washington press corps usually is supercharged in its efforts to prove their suspicions. But despite the fact that these bare outlines of Obama’s elections are pregnant with the implications that he has gained every office he has sought so far by underhanded and sordid means — while posing as a Gary Cooper-like idealist in a corrupt political world — the American media have let these extraordinary events simply pass without significant comment.

During the past few weeks, as I have been traveling extensively across the country, I have yet to find anyone (including a few reporters and producers at local news stations in Florida, California and New York) who has heard of these facts. The response when I recite the facts is always about the same. More or less: “Really? Wow!”

A few days ago, a senior McCain campaign aide was reported to have said that McCain would rather lose with dignity than win by questionable means. I hope that isn’t Sen. McCain’s view because the aide has it exactly backward. If the polls are reasonably accurate, three weeks of John McCain’s campaigning is the only thing standing in the way of the American public making the most uninformed presidential decision since the invention of the telegraph.

John McCain has an unambiguous duty to the nation to force the public to at least be informed as to the nature and character of Sen. Obama. He needs to lay out all the accurate available information of Obama’s prior alliances, affiliations and conduct both for the purpose of revealing Obama’s character and Obama’s radical policy disposition.

The Obama campaign has raised to a high art the technique of politically intimidating people from commenting honestly about Obama. They play the race card dishonestly, and almost the entire deck from which they deal is filled with race cards and threats of litigation. Real racism is appalling, but the act of falsely charging racism undercuts the very causes of equality and tolerance.

As courageous as John McCain’s life has been to date, the next three weeks may be his most heroic. He must do his duty and alert the public despite the “slings and arrows of outrageous fortune” that will be shot into his back as he does so. Once he has discharged that duty — and arranged for sufficient lawyers to protect the ballot boxes from what is likely to be an unprecedented campaign of attempted voter fraud — Sen. McCain may be confident that his honor will be intact…