Monthly Archives: August 2008

The lady is not for burning — by Biden

Drill, drill, drill, says the lady Veep (to be?), in this CNBC interview “days before” McC picked her, in which she notes that Biden voted against the trans-Alaska pipeline 30 years ago (about halfway thru interview) and calls him and Obama “naive” in saying or implying that “renewable” alternate energy supplies can make a short-term difference.

I think the O-B campaign should pay close attention to this interview, which reminded me of the champ’s handlers urging him to pay attention to the TV shot of challenger Rocky pounding at a frozen meat carcass in a packing-plant icebox. 

“You’re breakin’ the ribs. You do that to Apollo Creed, they’ll put us in jail for murder,”

his friend Paulie told him.

The overconfident Apollo ignored them, to his hurt.

Quibble here: Palin is sharp and quick and cogent in reply (to admittedly sympathetic interviewer) but might consider her reference to our being “in a world of hurt” if such and such happens as one to be tightly rationed in interviews and in the Coming Debate — once per interview is enough.

Later:  Pittsburgh Post-Gazette’s Jack Kelly, who promoted Palin in June, looks ahead to her campaigning:

if I were Joe Biden, I’d be worried. A former journalist, Sarah Palin is careful about what she says and says it well, qualities for which Mr. Biden is not renowned. Mr. Obama picked Mr. Biden in part because of his reputed skill as a hatchet man. But if Mr. Biden comes on too hard in the vice presidential debate, he’ll look like a bully. And Alaska is littered with the bodies of those who tried to bully Sarah Palin and failed.

Do we cast Obama as Apollo Creed?

On the other hand O-Creed has his influential friends, says Palin and media skeptic Scott at PowerLine Blog:

The experience question — implicit in Kelly’s concern about Palin’s campaign performance — remains a kind of trap door on her candidacy. Obama’s endless parade of ignorant gaffes are walled off by a bodyguard of media fans. Governor Palin will have no such margin for error.

In other words, like the tree falling in the forest primeval, will voters not hear of O– and B-gaffes?  Or will they hear of P-ripostes that hit the mark?  Put another way, what have we heard more of, O’s Rezko house or McC’s seven?

All politics is what?!

In Alaska, Sarah Palin shot down her homegrown “good old boy network”:

[She] put her political career on the line by challenging the corrupt, old Alaskan Republican bulls on their sleazy pay-for-play politics and their use of the public trust to fill the pockets of their friends.

That’s John Kass today.

She didn’t merely talk about abstract change in Washington. She challenged corruption at home, challenged her own party bosses—some of whom are already in prison—at great risk to her political future.

Change we can believe in where all politics is located, according to Boston pol Tip O’Neill.

It is something I’ve begged and begged Obama to do with the ham-fisted pols in Chicago and Illinois—to not merely talk about change far away, but to take a principled stand even if that stand runs counter to his political interests at home; to challenge the thugs [italics added] of his own party, to give us a reason to believe he’s the man he says he is. He has politely declined.

Of course he has.  He owes everything to Chicago’s ham-fisted pols, with whom he has played ball into extra innings, with more to come.

Can you imagine what’s in it for connected people in Chicago for O. to win?  The corruption prosecutions that will fall by the wayside?  The prosecutor Fitzgerald who will be reassigned?  The contracts that will dry up?  The entire sense of ease and comfort that comes from having one-of-us in the White House?

And by the way, we had another Fitzgerald, another senator, did we not, who went after ham-fisted pols in Illinois — Sen. Peter, who also laid his career on line, settling for one term after giving them fits, if you’ll pardon the (I swear) accidental pun.

Catalyst for same-old, same-old

Linda Lenz’s Catalyst Chicago, mentioned below, looks like a Democrat front organization.  Consider this from a January ‘08 posting (a “web extra” about “electing an education president”), which embodies its implied hostility to major conservative issues.

Like McCain and Romney, Huckabee is a big supporter of school choice, charter schools and homeschooling. Also like his chief competitors, Huckabee’s Web site is short of details about how much his proposal would cost or how he would pay for them after abolishing personal, corporate, gift, estate, capital gains, alternative minimum, Social Security, Medicare and self-employment taxes and replacing them with a national sales tax—a key campaign promise.

The publication apparently buys into the major Obama misconception about tax cuts, that they take from tax revenues.  This apart from the basically statist, teacher-union (hence Dem party) philosophy here contained.

One of this item’s readers took exception:

You didn’t mention vouchers. John McCain is a big voucher supporter. Also, why no mention of candidates’ positions on NCLB and related testing issues?

He is Mike Klonsky, who is named as a major Chicago Annenberg Challenge beneficiary, he and William Ayers picking up a bundle — $175,000 –– for “small school workshops.” 

This is from a blog called Global Labor and Politics by Steve Diamond, a law professor and political scientist at Santa Clara U., in California.  He cites  Revolution in the Air: Sixties Radicals turn to Lenin, Mao and Che, by Max Elbaum, whom Diamond describes as “a first hand participant whose sympathy for the maoism of the period does not get in the way of an excellent account of these idiot savants of the left.”

One of the idiot savants was Klonsky, writes Diamond,

one of the most destructive hardline maoists in the SDS in the late 60’s who emerged from SDS to form a pro-Chinese sect called the October League that later became the Beijing-recognized Communist Party (Marxist-Leninist). 

As chairman of the party, Klonsky travelled to Beijing itself in 1977 and, literally, toasted the Chinese stalinist leadership who, in turn, “hailed the formation of the CP(ML) as ‘reflecting the aspirations of the proletariat and working people,’ effectively recognizing the group as the all-but-official US Maoist party.” (Elbaum, Revolution in the Air, 228).

Klonsky was a “red-diaper baby,” son of a Communist Party USA founder, writes Elbaum (p. 102).  He’s a type, in other words, one who ate and drank Marxism but in later years, being no dummy, saw that there was no future in communism, so turned to radicalism — as in public school systems, the bigger the better.  In Chicago, if not sooner, he found Ayers, who found Obama, who at best has been a useful idiot.

Obama also knows there no future in explicit radicalism, but instead games the system.  At this time he does all he can to douse the connection with Ayers.  It will be bad for us all if he gets away with it.

Later, from Dick Cutler:

Most of these rants on “Education” can be traced back to the Teachers’ Union(s).  All of them reflect a consistent Union view — urging the input of more money, showing total hostility to Private Schools, criticizing any plan for standards (especially for teacher competence) and being pro-tax and pro-government programming straight down the line.  Any opportunity to criticize many of their points of view should be qickly seized.

I will be sifting through Catalyst to verify to what extent what Dick says is the case.

The lady protests selectively

Three things wrong with Linda Lenz’s spirited defense in this morning’s Sun-Times of Annenberg Challenge, Obama, and William Ayers (p. 14, Sports Final, Commentary, “Other Thoughts,” not online, would be here) [Later, thanks to Nicholas Stix in his comment below, it’s here]:

1. She does not address why Obama did not come clean about his extensive working relationship with Ayers,

2. She inaccurately dismisses the writer who sought access to the U. of Ill. library records as “a blogger for National Review.”

3. She hurts the cause of her magazine Catalyst Chicago in her careless attitude toward an Ayers connection.

As for the first, she writes as if the Obama refusal to acknowledge Ayers as more than a neighbor says nothing about him and his candidacy.  She’s an experienced reporter.  Why does she ignore this?

As for the second, she writes, presumably in ignorance, of “the blogger” — a writer online and off for National Review and other publications and, for what it’s worth, a doctorate-holder in anthropology.

As for the third, she bespeaks a reaction to the best-known unrepentant ex-terrorist bomber in the nation that leads one to wonder what position she takes in her publication and what else goes on in the precincts of its sponsor, the Community Renewal Society.

Bill Clinton speaks of Chicago’s thuggish culture.  Is the Renewal Society part of it?

Pundit hits home run — three months ago

Jack Kelly had this in RealClearPolitics last June:

There is one potential running mate who has virtually no down side. . . . .
At 44, Sarah Louise Heath Palin is both the youngest and the first female governor in Alaska’s relatively brief history as a state. She’s also the most popular governor in America, with an approval rating that has bounced around 90 percent.

This is due partly to her personal qualities. When she was leading her underdog Wasilla high school basketball team to the state championship in 1982, her teammates called her “Sarah Barracuda” because of her fierce competitiveness.

Two years later, when she won the “Miss Wasilla” beauty pageant, she was also voted “Miss Congeniality” by the other contestants.

Sarah Barracuda. Miss Congeniality. Fire and nice. A happily married mother of five who is still drop dead gorgeous. And smart to boot.

But it’s mostly because she’s been a crackerjack governor, a strong fiscal conservative and a ferocious fighter of corruption, especially in her own party.

Ms. Palin touches other conservative bases, some of which Sen. McCain has been accused of rounding. Track, her eldest son, enlisted in the Army last Sept. 11. She’s a lifetime member of the National Rifle Association who hunts, fishes and runs marathons. A regular churchgoer, she’s staunchly pro-life.

One question: Whom does Kelly pick for the World Series?

Veep lady

Handsome is as handsome does, but she’s off to a very good start:


I love her.

Would O. buy a used car from this man?

Putin to CNN yesterday:

SOCHI, Russia (CNN) — Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin has accused the United States of orchestrating the conflict in Georgia to benefit one of its presidential election candidates.

Russian PM Vladimir Putin has accused the U.S. of orchestrating the conflict in Georgia.

. . . .  Putin said the U.S. had encouraged Georgia to attack the autonomous region of South Ossetia.

Putin said his defense officials had told him it was done to benefit a presidential candidate . . . . although he presented no evidence to back it up.  [Still checking, he said.]

“U.S. citizens were indeed in the area in conflict,” Putin said. “They were acting in implementing those orders doing as they were ordered, and the only one who can give such orders is their leader.” 

Not David Axelrod, we presume.  Who?

He said

the resulting “hurrah-patriotism” would “unify the nation around certain political forces,” adding: “I’m surprised that what I’m telling you surprises you. It’s all on the surface, actually.”

Obama said last night:

You can’t truly stand up for Georgia when you’ve strained our oldest alliances. If John McCain wants to follow George Bush with more tough talk and bad strategy, that is his choice – but it is not the change we need.  . . . .

But I will also renew the tough, direct diplomacy that can prevent Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons and curb Russian aggression.

Tough guy?  Or just confused?  Confusing either way.

The poet and the junior high struggle

Here’s to an American winner:

If Henry Wadsworth Longfellow were alive today, he’d be 201 years old and on his 13th knee replacement. He isn’t, having died in 1882 at 75, young by today’s standards. His bust was placed in Poets’ Corner in Westminster Abbey after his death. It’s the only American bust there.

“Like T. S. Eliot after him, he spoke with authority on the whole of European literature. He wrote six language textbooks, and was fluent in German, French, Italian and Spanish,” said reviewer Jay Parini in 2001. Translator of Dante, Ovid, Virgil, Goethe, and Heine among others, if there had been Nobel prizes, he would have gotten one.

In addition, he had an Oak Park school named after him, posthumously. 

 There’s more more more . . . .

Denver, we hardly knew ye

The seamy side of Mile High:

During the arrest, one of the officers can be heard saying to Eslocker, “You’re lucky I didn’t knock the f..k out of you.”

One can only wonder how this would be covered if those were Republicans hobnobbing with lobbyists.

Another thing: Isn’t Barack supposed to do away with this sort of lobbyist stuff?

Yet another, moving somewhat in another direction: In a society so full of government regulation as ours, why shouldn’t people do what they can to get a fair shake? 

In Chicago, Mike Royko used to say, restrictions were multiplied to such an extent that the bar owner could be gotten for something any time the cops or alderman wanted.  Mike’s father ran a bar, and he knew from his childhood about this. 

Solution?  Keep cops and alderman on your side.  This is how Dems do it.  Not only they, but they do it best.


James Carville grinds at least two axes these days, his Clinton affiliation and his professional rivalry, but is he right about the dum-dum Dem convention, failing to score, and is it a sign (not the first) of David Axelrod being in over his head once he goes national and general, as opposed to Chicago and primary elections?

This is not Second City for nothing, after all.  Its newspapers limp, its Celebrated Citizens are not articulate — Obama excepted, we have Joe Biden’s word on it — its politics are so far from either the liberal or the conservative ideal — liberal because it’s corrupt, conservative because it’s corrupt and liberal — as to make us nowhere from which a president should come.

Bill Clinton said O. has the instincts of a Chicago thug.  And O’s campaign is stuck on Dem-primary generalization and, when specific, on gross tax-and-spend and enemy-coddling philosophy.  Campaign is stuck and going nowhere.  David Axelroad is in over his head?

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