“Soft despotism is a term coined by Alexis de Tocqueville describing the state into which a country overrun by "a network of small complicated rules" might degrade. Soft despotism is different from despotism (also called 'hard despotism') in the sense that it is not obvious to the people."
ZOGBY: MCCAIN MOVES INTO LEAD 48-47 IN ONE DAY POLLING -Drudge Report
ZOGBY SATURDAY: Republican John McCain has pulled back within the margin of error... The three-day average holds steady, but McCain outpolled Obama 48% to 47% in Friday, one day, polling. He is beginning to cut into Obama's lead among independents, is now leading among blue collar voters, has strengthened his lead among investors and among men, and is walloping Obama among NASCAR voters.
McCain is up against some very tough tactics that go way beyond the disgraced US media active campaign to elect Obama. I am convinced that Google has also got into the act and has salted the search engines to favor Obama. Clearly something has happened at Youtube over the last few days. All the stories that are against McCain or pro Obama appear to flood out anything that supports McCain. This is happening regardless of the amount of views.
This campaign should wake up a lot of Americans to the fact that the Left has gone beyond being only an adversary. If Obama loses we will see just how ugly it is.
The Iraq 'surge' general will have to deal with the growing Islamic militant threat in a poorer and nuclear Pakistan. Yet that is only a part of his responsibility for Middle East and central Asia. The political situation in Pakistan worsens daily.
Pakistan is also stone cold broke. Pakistan needs about $15-billion to stay afloat.
Petraeus is uniquely qualified to fulfill his new role, but he will need a lot of help.
David Petraeus, the general who directed the Iraq "surge", today takes charge of US Central Command, where he will head American military operations in the Middle East and central Asia.
Petraeus has signalled his priority will be Pakistan, the first country he will visit after today's swearing-in ceremony in Tampa Bay, Florida.
Nuclear-armed Pakistan faces a growing Islamist threat, has had to ask for financial help from the International Monetary Fund, and faces impatient calls from the US to crack down on Taliban and al-Qaida militants operating from Pakistan into Afghanistan.
Petraeus, an expert on counter-insurgency, comes into his new job credited with pulling Iraq back from the brink of disintegration. During the surge, sectarian violence fell off dramatically and the US military speaks glowingly of a newly confident Iraqi army.
The general has been cautious about Iraq's prospects, insisting that the job is far from finished. He has said the war in Afghanistan is likely to prove even longer and harder.
Pakistan is shaping up to be just as difficult. Admiral Mike Mullen, the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff, has warned that any future terror attack on the US would come from Pakistan's western tribal regions, where the central government has little or no control. For US strategists, Pakistan may be considered a bigger immediate threat than either Iraq or Afghanistan.
"Dealing with Pakistan, where America's mortal foe al-Qaida is nestled alongside the Taliban, is clearly the most pressing problem we face," Bing West, a retired marine and former assistant secretary of defence, wrote in National Interest, the journal of international affairs and diplomacy.
Petraeus has acknowledged Pakistan will probably be altogether different from Iraq, where his counter-insurgency tactics succeeded. "Pakistan is going to do this on their own," he told rightwing thinktank the Heritage Foundation this month. "They have a very keen sense of sovereignty."
In an interview in Washington this week, a senior Pakistani official said his government was drawing up a more comprehensive strategy for fighting the insurgency, now regarded as the gravest threat to the government.
It would be carried out in cooperation with the US, but not on a US timetable, the official said. "We are going to run this."
There is tension between the US and Pakistan over the insurgency in tribal areas. The Bush administration has stepped up sending drone aircraft to attack targets in remote border areas inside Pakistan. Resulting civilian casualties have caused uproar among Pakistanis.
Petraeus's arrival at Central Command was not the original plan. The US secretary of defence, Robert Gates, wanted to move Petraeus from Iraq to the less demanding job of commanding US and Nato forces in Europe.
But Admiral William Fallon unexpectedly announced his retirement in February after a year at Central Command and Petraeus was named as his replacement.
A picture tells a thousand words and the sad fact is that if this is an indication of the level of US indignation over press control of the news, then we deserve Barack Obama. We are just not smart enough to do better.
The Phillies have their second World Series victory. The first was in the 1980 Series over the Kansas City Royals. The second occurred on October 29, 2008 when the Phillies defeated the Tampa Bay Rays in Game 5 for a 4-1 Series win and their second world championship.
The Phillies also made the World Series in 1915, 1950, 1983, and 1993 but lost each time.
The McCain quest for the Presidential race will end in a win or loss in Pennsylvania and be determined by the turnout in Philadelphia and three surrounding counties.
In his most polished performance yet, Barack Obama looked presidential, like a man who loves his family and country.
That's why his slick 30-minute commercial that aired on network television Wednesday (at a cost of about $4 million) is certain to have changed some minds in his favor, while reinforcing the support of those already in his camp.
Of course, there will be some voters who were turned off by the Hollywood-quality production.
And can you blame Philadelphia Phillies fans for being angry that pre-game festivities for the World Series were pre-empted?
Bottom line, though: Mr. Obama flawlessly used his 30 minutes. If he wins over only a handful of voters, it was millions of dollars well spent.
What's more, the commercial summed up the key themes of Mr. Obama's campaign: his plans to stimulate the economy, retool the auto industry, reform health care, end the war in Iraq and renew direct diplomacy with our enemies.
The passages about his mother reading to him at 4 a.m. were touching.
But even more effective were the personal stories about common Americans – most from swing states – trying to make do in a country seemingly off track.
Despite the gap in the polls, the presidential race isn't over. As John McCain has pointed out, there are valid reasons not to vote for Mr. Obama, and the partisan divide in this country will provide some Election Day drama.
On Wednesday, however, Mr. Obama provided a video portrait on why he believes he's the best choice for America.
Those who saw it may find it more engaging than any stump speech, mailer or regular television ad.
OCTOBER 30, 2008 Some Shed Their Gadgets by Turning to One: iPhone By SARA SILVER WSJ
Lower-income households are turning in force to Apple Inc.'s iPhone and may be doing so to save the cost of a separate broadband connection and music devices, according to the media measurement firm comScore Inc.
A comScore study, set to be released Thursday, shows that the fastest growth in iPhone sales over the summer months came from households that earn less than the median income. ComScore noted sales to lower-income consumers accelerated since the July appearance of the iPhone 3G, which offers high-speed Internet access.
"We see that lower-income consumers are increasingly turning to mobile devices to access the Internet, to listen to music and for email," said Mark Donovan, senior analyst at comScore. "A 'Swiss-Army knife of a device' like the iPhone offers a phone, a music player, a camera and a way to connect to the Internet, which may appeal to consumers cutting back their spending on gadgets."
Ownership of the iPhone rose 48% from June 1 to the end of August among households earning between $25,000 and $50,000 a year, compared to 21% overall, the study showed. Adoption of smart phones in this segment grew 16% over that period, ahead of the market average of 12%. Mobile-browser use grew 4.9% among lower-income consumers, versus 2.7% overall, and their mobile music-listening rose 4.7%, compared to an overall decline of 0.3%. Email use, however, slightly lagged.
The study tracked changes in comScore's monthly online survey of 33,962 mobile-phone users. There were 2.6 million U.S. users of the iPhone at the end of August, which represented just 1% of U.S. cellphone users, according to comScore. The trend of rising sales and usage among lower-income consumers emerged despite a slight decline in the number of such households, which contain a large number of retired women and consumers ages 25 to 34.
While consumers have long used cellphones to substitute for landlines, U.S. telecom operators have recently also reported sharp slowdowns in the number of households adding broadband lines to access the Internet from home. Verizon Wireless, a joint venture of Vodafone PLC and Verizon Communications Inc., on Monday said it lost 96,000 DSL subscribers in the quarter.
Already, lower-income and older consumers are less likely to subscribe to broadband than average, according to a recent report from the Pew Internet & American Life Project, and 35% of dial-up Internet users cite price as the primary reason for not upgrading.
Others believe that the surge in popularity of the iPhone among lower-income consumers is related more to the decline in price to about $200. "You had this device that inspired gadget lust suddenly put within reach," said George Calhoun, a professor and entrepreneur-in-residence at the Stevens Institute of Technology in Hoboken, N.J.
This photo of Obama is a mistake. He gains nothing by dressing like this trying to convince people that he has the right stuff to be President. He is showing a lot of confidence that he already has it wrapped up. The American voter wants to see a leader not a basketball star.
"it does not rise to the level of a hate crime. In fact, there is no crime being committed at this point,"
THE ASSOCIATED PRESS Tuesday, October 28th 2008, 2:00 PM
Francis/AP A Halloween themed effigy of Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin decorates a house in West Hollywood, Calif.
WEST HOLLYWOOD, Calif. - A Halloween themed effigy has generated several complaints because a mannequin — dressed in vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin's trademark updo, glasses and a red business suit — is hanging by the neck from a noose. Some concerned callers complained that the display was a hate crime. However, the department's hate crime unit said "it does not rise to the level of a hate crime. In fact, there is no crime being committed at this point," Los Angeles County sheriff's spokesman Steve Whitmore said.
Think anyone in the press would mind this little amusing joke?
October 28, 2008 Obama's First 100 Days By Patrick Buchanan
Undeniably, a powerful tide is running for the Democratic Party, with one week left to Election Day.
Bush's approval rating is 27 percent, just above Richard Nixon's Watergate nadir and almost down to Carter-Truman lows. After each of those presidents reached their floors -- in 1952, 1974, 1980 -- the opposition party captured the White House.
Moreover, 80 percent to 90 percent of Americans think the nation is on the wrong course, and since mid-September, when McCain was still slightly ahead, the Dow has lost 4,000 points -- $5 trillion to $6 trillion in value.
Leading now by eight points in an average of national polls, Barack Obama has other advantages.
Not a single blue state is regarded as imperiled or even a toss-up, while Obama leads in six crucial red states: Florida, North Carolina, Virginia, Ohio, Missouri and Colorado. Should McCain lose one of the six, he would have to win Pennsylvania to compensate for the lost electoral votes. But the latest Pennsylvania polls show Barack with a double-digit lead.
Lately moving into the toss-up category are Nevada, North Dakota, Montana and Indiana. All voted twice for George W. Bush.
Not only is Obama ahead in the state and national polls, he has more money, is running far more ads, has a superior organization on the ground, attracts larger crowds, and has greater enthusiasm and more media in camp. And new voter registrations heavily favor the Democrats.
Though Congress is regarded by Americans with a disdain bordering on disgust -- five of six Americans think it has done a poor job -- Democratic majorities are certain to grow. Indeed, with Democrats favored by 10 points over Republicans, Nancy Pelosi's majority could grow by 25 seats and Harry Reid could find himself with a filibuster-proof majority of 60 senators.
Democrats already have 49, plus two independents: Socialist Bernie Sanders and Independent Joe Lieberman. Their challengers are now ahead in New Hampshire, Virginia, North Carolina, New Mexico, Minnesota, Oregon and Colorado, with a chance of picking up Georgia, Alaska, Kentucky and Mississippi.
We may be looking at a reverse of 1980, when Reagan won a 10-point victory over Jimmy Carter, and Republicans took the Senate and, working with Boll Weevil Democrats, effective control of the House.
With his tax cuts, defense buildup and rollback policy against the "Evil Empire," Reagan gave us some of the best years of our lives, culminating in America's epochal victory in the Cold War.
What does the triumvirate of Obama-Pelosi-Reid offer?
Rep. Barney Frank is calling for new tax hikes on the most successful and a 25 percent across-the-board slash in national defense. Sen. John Kerry is talking up new and massive federal spending, a la FDR's New Deal. Specifically, we can almost surely expect:
Swift amnesty for 12 million to 20 million illegal aliens and a drive to make them citizens and register them, as in the Bill Clinton years. This will mean that Nevada, Colorado, New Mexico and Arizona will soon move out of reach for GOP presidential candidates, as has California.
Border security will go on the backburner, and America will have a virtual open border with a Mexico of 110 million.
Taxes will be raised on the top 5 percent of wage-earners, who now carry 60 percent of the U.S. income tax burden, and tens of millions of checks will be sent out to the 40 percent of wage-earners who pay no federal income tax. Like the man said, redistribute the wealth, spread it around.
Social Security taxes will be raised on the most successful among us, and capital gains taxes will be raised from 15 percent to 20 percent. The Bush tax cuts will be repealed, and death taxes reimposed.
Two or three more liberal activists of the Ruth Bader Ginsberg-John Paul Stevens stripe will be named to the Supreme Court. U.S. district and appellate courts will be stacked with "progressives."
Special protections for homosexuals will be written into all civil rights laws, and gays and lesbians in the military will be invited to come out of the closet. "Don't ask, don't tell" will be dead.
The homosexual marriages that state judges have forced California, Massachusetts and Connecticut to recognize, an Obama Congress or Obama court will require all 50 states to recognize.
A "Freedom of Choice Act" nullifying all state restrictions on abortions will be enacted. America will become the most pro-abortion nation on earth.
Affirmative action -- hiring and promotions based on race, sex and sexual orientation until specified quotas are reached -- will be rigorously enforced throughout the U.S. government and private sector.
Universal health insurance will be enacted, covering legal and illegal immigrants, providing another powerful magnet for the world to come to America, if necessary by breaching her borders.
A federal bailout of states and municipalities to keep state and local governments spending up could come in December or early next year.
The first trillion-dollar deficit will be run in the first year of an Obama presidency. It will be the first of many.
"Constitution is a charter of negative liberties"... wants to break free of "negative" constraints of the founding fathers...the state must do things on your behalf because "we suffer from not having redistributive change" - Barack Obama
Listen to the man's words before he was running for President. In this 2001 radio interview, while Barack Obama was a state senator, Obama states that through legislation and Court decisions, minorities have acquired the right to vote, to eat where they choose, but fell short in "economic justice." Then Obama laments that the legislation and the Court stopped short of "redistribution of wealth.“ Obama gives us an insight in to what a community organizer does and how community organization is necessary to redistribute your wealth.
He states political and economic justice cannot be helped by the US Constitution because the US "Constitution is a charter of negative liberties."
He states that we still suffer from not having redistributive change.
Obama is a socialist. He claims the courts and legistlative branch cannot do enough to make redistribution happen. Now a President is something else again is it not. Now there is a community organizer.
If you are white and own property and you believe that you owe some of your property to blacks because they do not have their fair share, then by all means vote for Barack Obama or against John McCain. He will redistribute your wealth.
Let us see just how many ignorant and how many stupid Americans fall for this dangerous charlatan.
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 vest formal rights in previously dispossessed peoples. So that I would now have the right to vote, I would now be able to sit at the lunch counter and order and as long as I could pay for it I’d be okay.
But the Supreme Court never ventured into the issues of redistribution of wealth and sort of more basic issues of political and economic justice in this society.
And to that extent as radical as people tried 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 it’s been interpreted, and the Warren court interpreted it in the same way that generally the Constitution is a charter of negative liberties. It says what the states can’t do to you, it says what the federal government can’t do to you, but it doesn’t say what the federal government or the state government must do on your behalf. And that hasn’t shifted. One of the I think tragedies of the civil rights movement was because the civil rights movement became so court focused, I think that 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 coalitions of power through which you bring about redistributed change and in some ways we still suffer from that. - Barack Obama in 2001
Some very bleak words from the Telegraph. It was a momentous calamity allowing the US home market to fall into bankruptcy and expecting a market solution of "letting them get their just desserts" as a policy. Some of us warned that the housing collapse should be contained but it wasn't and the consequences are becoming frightening. A policy of allowing bankruptcy courts to reset mortgages was sound then and probably the last line of defense now. This is a time for bold leadership without regard for public opinion, but we are reaching a point of no return.
GLG chief Emmanuel Roman warns thousands of hedge funds on brink of failure Emmanuel Roman, the co-chief executive of Europe’s biggest hedge fund GLG, has warned that thousands of hedge funds are on the brink of failure as the global economy contracts with unexpected severity.
Emmanuel Roman, of GLG Partners, said 25pc-30pc of the world’s 8,000 hedge funds would disappear "in a Darwinian process", either going bust or deciding meagre profits are not worth their efforts.
"This will go down in the history books as one of the greatest fiascos of banking in 100 years," said Mr Roman, who with Noam Gottesman, co-runs GLG, a former division of Lehman Brothers Holdings with assets of $24bn (£14.8bn). "There need to be some scapegoats, and the regulators are going to go hunt people. That will be good in the long run."
His views were echoed by Professor Nouriel Roubini, a former US Treasury and presidential adviser known for his accurate prediction of financial crises, who estimated that up to 500 hedge funds would fail within months.
Both men were speaking at the same hedge fund conference in London yesterday, and Prof Roubini said he would not be surprised if the US and other countries soon had to close their stock markets for more than a week to halt descent into "sheer panic". The economist warned that the world is heading for a protracted recession that will end the US’s financial dominance.
"It’s the beginning of the decline of the US financial empire. The Great Depression ended in a massive war. I hope that’s not going to happen but it’s pretty ugly now," Prof Roubini said.
He added that turmoil over world trade, currency markets and debt is likely to cause geopolitical tensions between the Western world and emerging superpowers such as Russia, China and "a bunch of unstable oil states".
The conference saw analysts, economists and hedge fund managers discussing the possibility that global recession could now last two years on fears that government bail-outs and nationalisations have failed to stop the markets slumping.
"We’re now paying the price for the biggest asset and credit bubble in history," Prof Roubini said, advising investors to stay clear of risky assets and keep money in cash. "The bail-outs have not worked because the markets are no longer rallying, and the policy-makers have run out of options. " The global financial meltdown accelerated this month, with the UK and US governments being forced to take stakes in some of the world’s biggest banks. Stock markets around the world have fallen sharply this month as investors’ concern switches to the impact on the wider economy.
"It’s like we’re walking blind in a minefield," said Prof Roubini. "Every situation has become risky and no one can trust each other. The banks are too big to be allowed to fail, but they’re also too big to save."
Research from Hedge Fund Intelligence (HFI) shows that despite one of the worst months on record for credit funds, US hedge funds alone still have $1.7trillion (£1trillion) in assets.
I know, you have already seen this, but it is so delicious, I am sure that you want a second slice. Bon Appétit.In one of Biden's remarks he claims that McCain was an ACORN supporter. I found this video clip where McCain spoke at a community college in Miami where he was looking for support for the failed immigration bill. No news there.
JUDGE SURRICK'S PHOTO HAS BEEN SWEPT FROM THE INTERNET
The same judiciary that finds rights and privileges and meanings and new law anywhere and everywhere in the US Constitution finds that a citizen has no right to question whether the Constitution is being followed by requiring a candidate to prove they meet the qualifications to be President.
PHILADELPHIA (AP) - A federal judge has dismissed a lawsuit challenging Barack Obama's qualifications to be president. U.S. District Judge R. Barclay Surrick on Friday night rejected the suit by attorney Philip J. Berg, who alleged that Obama was not a U.S. citizen and therefore ineligible for the presidency. Berg claimed that Obama is either a citizen of his father's native Kenya or became a citizen of Indonesia after he moved there as a boy.
Obama was born in Hawaii to an American mother and a Kenyan father. His parents divorced and his mother married an Indonesian man.
Internet-fueled conspiracy theories question whether Obama is a "natural-born citizen" as required by the Constitution for a presidential candidate and whether he lost his citizenship while living abroad. Surrick ruled that Berg lacked standing to bring the case, saying any harm from an allegedly ineligible candidate was "too vague and its effects too attenuated to confer standing on any and all voters."
"The Christians know very well armed groups belonging to some of the ruling political parties in Baghdad, are behind the 'veiled' attacks and the threats against them," wrote the bilingual newspaper. "Many, among them a great part of the Christians, are quietly pointing their accusations in the direction of the powerful Kurdish community in Mosul, who dominate the provincial council and constitute the majority of the city's armed forces. Observers say the Kurds want to show that Mosul cannot be controlled without them." AINA
Killings force 13,000 Christians to flee Mosul
• UN agency sends aid to beleaguered community • Sunni Arabs and Kurds blamed for violence ( I thought the Kurds were the good guys)
The full scale of the persecution of Christians in the northern Iraqi city of Mosul became apparent last night when the UN's refugee agency said about 13,000 had been hounded from their homes this month - more than half of the city's Christian community.
The UN high commissioner for refugees (UNHCR) said it was sending aid to thousands of Christian refugees fleeing Mosul after a three-week campaign of killing and intimidation. About a dozen Christians have reportedly been killed in the recent violence, prompting many members of the community to seek sanctuary in churches and homes in outlying villages, or in Syria. "Many left with little money and need help," said Ron Redmond, UNHCR spokesman, in a briefing from Geneva. Christian neighbourhoods had been bombarded with threatening phone calls, letters and messages pinned to doors for months, but the killing began a few weeks ago, he said.
Recounting the story of a woman named Mariam, Redmond said she left her home when she heard of a Christian who was murdered.
"We were the hard core that never wanted to leave Iraq, even with the tense environment," the woman, who fled to Syria, was quoted by UNHCR as saying.
No group has yet claimed responsibility for the attacks, but suspicion has fallen on Sunni extremists intent on turning the historic city into a stronghold.
Local Sunni officials deny the allegation, pointing the finger at Kurdish militias who, it is said, want to empty the city of Christians before upcoming local elections. The Kurdish regional government also denies the claims.
Mosul, Iraq's third biggest city after Baghdad and Basra, has remained mired in violence despite the US military surge. Al-Qaida insurgents regrouped in the city after being flushed out of neighbouring Anbar province, taking advantage of its proximity to Syria.
After a period of relative calm roadside bombs and assassinations gradually returned to Mosul, giving it the reputation as the Iraq's most dangerous city.
The province of Nineveh, which has Mosul at its heart, has been home to Assyrian and Chaldean Catholics for 2,000 years. Before the fall of Saddam Hussein Iraq's Christian population numbered about 1.2 million.
But the upsurge of violence has prompted a mass exodus, with 20% of the 1.5 million Iraqi refugees in Syria thought to be Christians.
The return of sustained religious violence will also raise fears over Iraq's fragile security and lend weight to calls for the Iraqi government to give US troops a legal mandate to maintain security for a further three years.
Meanwhile a Shia cleric, Jalaluddin al-Saghir, yesterday endorsed a draft US-Iraqi security pact. "The country is passing through a most critical stage," Saghir said. "The politicians should think about Iraq's interests. They should not seek to break the unity of Iraqi society. This is not a game." The proposed agreement has been opposed by a number of critics, including the Shia cleric Moqtada al-Sadr, who say it infringes Iraq's sovereignty.
‘I made a mistake,’ admits Greenspan By Alan Beattie and James Politi in Washington, Financial Times October 23 2008 21:26
Alan Greenspan, the former Federal Reserve chairman, said on Thursday the credit crisis had exceeded anything he had imagined and admitted he was wrong to think that banks would protect themselves from financial market chaos.
“I made a mistake in presuming that the self-interest of organisations, specifically banks and others, was such that they were best capable of protecting their own shareholders,” he said.
Powerline PrintOctober 23, 2008 Posted by Scott at 6:52 AM
We've previously noted the gusher of illegal campaign contributions flowing into the Obama campaign from contributors such as "Doodad Pro" and "Good Will." More recently, incidents have been reported in which people have seen credit card charges surface suggesting they donated to Barack Obama when they did not. Matthew Mosk and Sarah Cohen noted one such incident earlier this week:
Now comes the story of Mary T. Biskup, of Manchester, Missouri. Biskup got a call recently from the Obama campaign, which was trying to figure out why she donated $174,800 to the campaign -- well over the contribution limit of $2,300.
The answer she gave them was simple. "That's an error."
Is the Obama campaign knowingly receiving illegal contributions? Yesterday one of our readers reported the results of an experiment he conducted:
I've read recent reports of the Obama campaign receiving donations from dubious names and foreign locales and it got me wondering: How is this possible?
I run a small Internet business and when I process credit cards I'm required to make sure the name on the card exactly matches the name of the customer making the purchase. Also, the purchaser's address must match that of the cardholders. If these don't match, then the payment isn't approved. Period. So how is it possible that the Obama campaign could receive donations from fictional people and places? Well, I decided to do a little experiment. I went to the Obama campaign website and entered the following:
Name: John Galt Address: 1957 Ayn Rand Lane City: Galts Gulch State: CO Zip: 99999
Then I checked the box next to $15 and entered my actual credit card number and expiration date (it didn't ask for the 3-didgit code on the back of the card) and it took me to the next page and... "Your donation has been processed. Thank you for your generous gift."
This simply should not, and could not, happen in any business or any campaign that is honestly trying to vet it's donors. Also, I don't see how this could possibly happen without the collusion of the credit card companies. They simply wouldn't allow any business to process, potentially, hundreds of millions in credit card transactions where the name on the card doesn't match the purchasers name.
In short, with the system set up as it is by the Obama camp, an individual could donate unlimited amounts of money by simply making up fake names and addresses. And Obama is doing his best to facilitate this fraud. This is truly scandalous.
Our reader was not yet done. He tried the experiment on the McCain site: "I tried the exact same thing at the McCain site and it didn't allow the transaction." He then repeated the experiment at the Obama site:
I went back to the Obama site and made three additional donations using the names Osama Bin Laden, Saddam Hussein and Bill Ayers, all with different addresses. All the transactions went through using the same credit card. I saved screenshots of the transactions.
Our reader reports, incidentally, that he was using his MasterCard for the contributions. We submit this report in the spirit of inquiry and would especially appreciate hearing from readers who can illuminate how credit card procedures might (or might not) allow this to happen.
UPDATE: Readers have replicated the experiment reported in this post. We will have to revisit the issue tonight or tomorrow and appreciate any information you can provide in the meantime.
There was no more blatant racial preference than when Oprah Winfrey and Colin Powell rejected the obvious white candidate and selected Barack Obama. Blacks are supporting Obama by 97%.
The elite whites in the media and academia will twist and turn and to demonstrate their multi-culturalism, shuck and jive to avoid the obvious conclusion that blacks are voting black. The subtleties and refined nuances of racial sensitivities are being missed by 'lesser educated whites." Let me translate that for you. Working class whites know bullshit when they hear it, and are coming around to McCain. The MSM was sort of hoping they would not notice. They are.
ABOARD THE STRAIGHT TALK AIR — Sen. John McCain on Wednesday blasted President Bush for building a mountain of debt for future generations, failing to pay for expanding Medicare and abusing executive powers, leveling his strongest criticism to date of an administration whose unpopularity may be dragging the Republican Party to the brink of a massive electoral defeat.
"We just let things get completely out of hand," he said of his own party's rule in the past eight years.
In an interview with The Washington Times, Mr. McCain lashed out at a litany of Bush policies and issues that he said he would have handled differently as president, days after a poll showed that he began making up ground on Sen. Barack Obama since he emphatically sought to distance himself from Mr. Bush in the final debate.
Andrew Bacevich, retired army soldier, scholar and father of an army officer killed in Iraq, thinks that we are and that it will make no difference which candidate wins the election.
Nancy Bacevich, center front, mother of fallen U.S. Army First Lt. Andrew Bacevich, is escorted to his grave site by U.S. Army General William Wallace, front right, as Bacevich's father Andrew Bacevich, second from right, follows while holding a flower at the Rural Cemetery, in Walpole, Mass., Monday, May 21, 2007. Bacevich was killed May 13, 2007, when an improvised device exploded while he was on a combat patrol in the Salah Ad Din Province, in Iraq.
The grand illusion of American power By H.D.S. Greenway October 21, 2008
THE OTHER DAY I went to hear my favorite soldier-scholar, Andrew Bacevich, give a talk at Boston University, where he teaches. A retired colonel and Vietnam veteran, Bacevich's new book is called "The Limits of Power, The end of American Exceptionalism."
Bacevich has migrated from a conservative outlook to what might be called a neo-Niebuhrean position - his thinking being influenced by the theologian Reinhold Niebuhr, whom Bacevich calls "the most clear-eyed of American prophets."
Niebuhr warned against "dreams of managing history," a combination of arrogance and narcissism that posed a moral threat. That's why Niebuhr is often held in contempt by neo-conservatives for whom power is everything. Bacevich's concern is that the dream has become a physical threat that could lead to America's inevitable decline.
There is a mythical American narrative, according to Bacevich, that the United States is a nation "providentially set apart in the New World and wanting nothing more than to tend to its own affairs," only grudgingly responding to calls for global leadership "in order to preserve the possibility of freedom." In reality, the United States has sought expansion, first by pushing west until it reached the sea, then through a brief period of direct colonialism, and more recently through a ruthless if indirect imperial policy of control. It worked spectacularly. The United States became a great power replete with material abundance.
Right around the time of the Vietnam War, Bacevich argues, this began to unravel. Trade imbalances, federal deficits, "mushrooming entitlements, plummeting savings rates, and energy dependence" led us to become a debtor nation, counting on others to foot the bill. "The positive correlation between expansion, power, abundance, and freedom began to become undone . . . Further efforts at expansionism have led to the squandering of American power," according to Bacevich.
The actions of the Bush administration after 9/11 may have been designed to make the United States safe from another attack. But the chosen method was nothing less than to "assert American power throughout the Greater Middle East . . . to transform this region, to employ American power, both hard and soft, to impose order while ensuring stability, order, access, and adherence to American norms - in essence to establish unambiguous US hegemony so that the Islamic world will no longer serve as a breeding ground for terrorists who wish to kill us."
The grand illusion of American power as a transformative agent is evident in what Bush's lieutenants had to say. "We have a choice," said Donald Rumsfeld in September, 2001. Either we change the way we live, "which is unacceptable," or we "change the way they live, and we chose the latter. " Or as Douglas Feith would later put it: America's purpose was to "transform the Middle East and the broader world of Islam generally."
This grand imperial overreach never had a chance. Transforming Islam can only be done by Muslims themselves, in their own due time. The new "liberated" Iraq has not changed the Middle East. The passions of the Middle East have transformed Iraq, perhaps more stable now than a year ago but in no way destined to achieve what Bush, Rumsfeld, Condoleezza Rice, et al wanted and expected.
The net result is that much of the world now looks on the Bush administration's resurrection of Woodrow Wilson's ideals and the expansion of democracy as a cover for coercion and bare-knuckle dominance. As Bacevich says, Bush always confused strategy with ideology.
Militarily, we threw containment and deterrence out the window, banking on the "shock and awe" of preventive war. It hasn't worked. We are bogged down in two wars with an end to neither in sight.
Bacevich doesn't see the November election as necessarily producing a beneficial change. John McCain touts the stalemated Iraq war as a success, while Barack Obama calls for more effort in Afghanistan. In Bacevich's view, it is the entire doctrine of preventive war that has proved a failure. There has to be a better way than occupying Muslim countries.
Both McCain and Obama "implicitly endorse the global war on terror as the essential core of US policy," while in reality it's the entire concept that needs to be rethought.
First Lieutenant Andrew J. Bacevich , killed on May 13, 2007 by a bomb blast in Balad, Iraq.
H.D.S. Greenway's column appears regularly in the Globe.
When I first heard the Biden remarks, I was not totally surprised. I mentioned in a thread some months ago that my personal experience with Biden was that he loved to be the center of attention. Well he certainly exceeded my expectations. Now I need to say one thing to the McCain campaign:
Talk about nothing else but this, Bill Ayers and Reverend Wright.
Talk about nothing else but this, Bill Ayers and Reverend Wright.
Talk about nothing else but this, Bill Ayers and Reverend Wright.
Talk about nothing else but this, Bill Ayers and Reverend Wright.
There is no other greater block of voters. Catholics outnumber blacks 2:1 and their votes are critical in every key state. Catholics have held every political and economic office in the country and have provided more numbers to the US military than any other religious group. They have their own schools hospitals and political organizations. In sheer numbers there are more Catholics in the world than Muslims. However in their sheer numbers lies both their strength and weakness as a voting block. Catholics cover so many nationalities and is so inclusive as a religion, that they rarely vote as a block.
Also hidden in their numbers is the fact that many Catholics are nominal participants in their religion. Nancy Pelosi, Joe Biden, Ted Kennedy and John Kerry are all Catholics.
This video is a call to arms.
67 Million Catholics could decide the US Presidency. If they show up in their numbers and vote their faith and doctrine, McCain will win.
Disgusted and perhaps outraged at the false and misleading statements made by apostate Catholics Nancy Pelosi and Joseph Biden, Catholics (but not the Church itself) have responded with a request to the devout to email and circulate a video that captures both their faith -- and their belief in America.
Whether or not you agree with all the principles held dear by the faithful, it is a moving and well-presented piece.
Once upon a time political campaigns followed the same tenor; campaigners sought to inspire and draw people into a fellowship of pride. Groundswells of patriotism, not anger, were once the norm."
I confess that when I first heard about hedge funds and derivatives, I was perplexed. I could not understand them at first and when I did I was convinced that I was wrong and did not understand them because they seemed unnecessarily complicated.
I had no idea that they were both complicated and almost unregulated. They were also about money, serious money, a lethal combination just begging for abuse. Unfortunately, I was not the only one not to understand them.
On Tuesday, the failed Lehman Brothers' legacy will be determined. Hope and Pray all goes well as our Rulers and Masters stand back in stunned amazement to see how the financial witch doctors unravel the snake that is strangling the global financial system.
Markets hold breath as $360bn Lehman swaps unwind
The $54trillion credit derivatives market faces a delicate test as $360bn worth of contracts on now-defaulted derivatives on Lehman Brothers are due to be settled on Tuesday.
By Louise Armitstead and Peter Koenig 18 Oct 2008 Telegraph
Due to the opacity of the market, which is one of the most complex, least regulated and least understood in the global financial system, it is still not clear how many contracts have to be settled or which institutions will take the ultimate hits once the billions of dollars worth of contracts have been unravelled. The collapse of Lehman Brothers, is expected to trigger credit default swap (CDS) protection pay-outs of about $400bn but because the contracts were sold many times through different counterparties it is not yet known who will be liable.
One commentator said: “This will be the greatest illustration of the follies of Wall Street and how unnecessarily complicated the wild off-track betting became in the past few years.”
Five years ago Warren Buffett, the iconic American investor, warned that the chaotic profusion of derivatives used by companies and hedge funds to fund financial growth were “financial weapons of mass destruction.’’
Bankers in the City and on Wall Street are bracing for yet another round of turbulence as the contracts are unwound.
The Bank of England and the Federal Reserve in America have said they will keep their special liquidity windows open late on Tuesday night to allow the contracts to settle. “We’re in unchartered waters here and it may all prove an anti-climax,” said a senior City banker on Friday, “but everyone will be watching the situation and wondering what’s going to happen.”
An earlier auction of Lehman-related derivatives on October 10 prompted early fears that banks and investors could lose $400 billion. In the event, the discounts on the Lehman-related paper that day realised losses of only $6 billion.
At the core of Tuesday’s cash exchange between banks stands a quasi-insurance product, the credit default swaps. Investors buy CDS’s to protect themselves against the possibility of default on securities issues by firms such as Lehman. During the boom years, banks’ insurers and hedge funds created and sold CDS’s to raise what appeared to be risk-free cash in the form of premium payments.
On September 16, Lehman filed for bankruptcy, leaving them obliged to payout on CDS’s written to protect investors against the possibility of a default on Lehman paper. City bankers say that Lehman also holds a portfolio of CDS’s written to protect against other institutions defaulting and these, too, could get caught up in Tuesday’s action.
“This will arguably be the biggest cash-exchange day and somebody will fail,” one analyst warned last week.
Obama, supported by the propagandists in the MSM, has asserted that Bill Ayers was a man who happened to live in his neighborhood. At the time this photograph was taken, Obama and Ayers were serving together on the board of the Woods Fund. It was in 2001 when Ayers donated $200 to Obama's State Senate campaign fund. Well guess what?
A Blogger at Zomblog did the job MSM missed. He went into the archives of the Chicago Tribune and found an undigitized photo of an Obama review of the Ayers’ book and Obama says, “A searing and timely account of the juvenile court system, and the courageous individuals who rescue hope from despair.” Obama calls Bill Ayers a courageous individual. Zomblog
Just a few weeks before this review was published in the Chicago Tribune, Obama and Ayers appeared together on a panel about juvenile justice organized by Michelle Obama on November 20, 1997:
Children who kill are called “super predators,” “people with no conscience,” “feral pre-social beings” — and “adults.”
William Ayers, author of A Kind and Just Parent: The Children of Juvenile Court (Beacon Press, 1997), says “We should call a child a child. A 13-year-old who picks up a gun isn’t suddenly an adult. We have to ask other questions: How did he get the gun? Where did it come from?”
Ayers, who spent a year observing the Cook County Temporary Juvenile Detention Center in Chicago, is one of four panelists who will speak on juvenile justice at 6 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 20, in the C-Shop. The panel, which marks the 100th anniversary of the juvenile justice system in the United States, is part of the Community Service Center’s monthly discussion series on issues affecting the city of Chicago. The event is free and open to the public.
Ayers will be joined by Sen. Barack Obama, Senior Lecturer in the Law School, who is working to combat legislation that would put more juvenile offenders into the adult system; Randolph Stone, Director of the Mandel Legal Aid Clinic; Alex Correa, a reformed juvenile offender who spent seven years in Cook County Temporary Detention Center; Frank Tobin, a former priest and teacher at the Detention Center who helped Correa; and Willy Baldwin, who grew up in public housing and is currently a teacher at the Detention Center.
The quick and glib "CHANGE" Artist
Look at the truth about Obama and listen to slick Obama in his own words.