Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Iran – Supplying Hardware and Now Software to Hammas to Attack Isreal - Where’s the outrage?

It is a fact that Iran has, in the past, supplied Hamas with
rockets and “militants” that were trained in Iran.
Some analysts refer to this “supply” of weapons to Hamas as a “proxy” war being waged by Iran and Syria. The world view, is that somehow, Israel must be to blame, regardless of the rhetoric from Iran’s leader, which suggests that Israel should not exist and apparently Iran will do anything possible to see that happen.

Understanding that the economic crisis is global, it is no wonder then, that Iran's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, is now seeking, suicide bombers, to get the job done? The Boston Globe picked up this intel from the AP. From the AP report, it appears that the Top Theologian has influenced student groups to call for suicide assists in Gaza. Iran’s quirky President, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, has not issued a statement on this revelation, no doubt, preferring the use of more accurate weaponry to that of unreliable, but non-the-less, terrifying “human bombs”.

It continues to boggle the mind that these types of incidents are either ignored or excused by many in defense of those living in “Palestine”. If those pundits and world leaders were truly concerned about the “Palestinian’s”, they would move mountains in order to protect them from these types of “assists”, instead, offering education (a career as a suicide bomber is not desirable, for instance), and possibly some old fashioned “shop” or “cooking” classes, while blasting and condemning those who would use innocents from another “nation” in order to pull off a hare-brained military objective (Iran). Instead, the world continues to “protest” against Israel . Is it possible for so many to be collectively ignorant? Or, are they merely misinformed by anti-Semitic sentiment rising from the world press, the United Nations and bodies of that ilk?

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

GOP So-Called “Social Conservatives”, Led by Current Chair Duncan - Undermine Steele’s Bid for RNC Chair

The Washington Times , in an exclusive report, outlined the machinations of current North Dakota chair, Gary Emineth to force current GOP party chair Duncan, to hold a special meeting of the entire 168 member committee, prior to the regular meeting on January 28th, to coincide with a meeting of select “social conservatives”.

The Emineth-led members wanted the special meeting of the full membership to be held on the same day that a rump group of about 86 self-described conservative members of the committee, styled as the Conservative Steering Committee, had scheduled a meeting.

The petition to Mr. Duncan was quite explicit: "In order to afford an opportunity for all members of the Republican National Committee to participate in an official closed meeting of the Republican National Committee for the expressed purpose to hear presentations from all persons seeking election as officers of the Republican National Committee, petitioners hereby request that the Chairman issue a call, today, for a special meeting of the Republican National Committee on Jan. 6, 2009."

The Steering Committee said its purpose was to interview all six candidates for national chairman and decided which of them are acceptably conservative.

The haggling over dates ensued; Duncan chose the 7th “out of consideration for the committee members”, while Emineth protested vehemently.
The crux of the matter is that, Duncan chose a date, allowing for an early meeting of a select group of self-styled Republican stalwarts to meet privately to choose who might best be chair. Michael Steele, who is running for Party Chair, and most obvious choice to lead the RNC into the 21st century has been criticized by these members are being a bit too moderate for their tastes. The crime - Steele has met with those Republican organizations that are both pro-choice and pro-homosexual rights. He also is the GOPAC chair, a rousing public speaker and just the ticket to get the party back to basics. Steele, not unlike Mike Huckabee, whose political aspirations were undermined by alleged “conservatives” because he was endorsed by a teacher’s union, or worse, allowed for one voter-approved tax increase while Governor (for 10 plus years) of Arkansas, is now facing the same old guard that just won’t let go.

It has more to do with power than any actual convictions on the part of these “Republican’s”, and should they succeed, it will ultimately lead to a greater division between Grassroots Conservatives and the GOP Leadership, and a loss of the base which will paralyze the Party. The individual members of this body must realize that the old game plan has not worked out as well as they had hoped, and qualified candidates, whether they are running the party or running for office, are few and far between.
Those who have the power to vote, in all Republican’s names, should carefully weigh whether they are voting in their own self-interest (maintaining power for the Beltway), or in the interest of the party and their constituents (Saving the Party).

The six candidates for Party Chair will participate in an American’s for Tax Reform sponsored debate on January 5th on C-SPAN – If the meeting is held on the 6th, all members will be present, and however, if it is held on the 7th, as Duncan has proposed (self-servingly), then only that “select group” will meet. The full-member committee would be more disposed to Michael Steele’s bid, and the smaller “ad hoc” committee would favor yet another “typical Washington” player.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Israel Retaliates - Once Again the World’s Pariah

One has to wonder at the “chutzpah” of “world leaders”, when it comes to Israel’s defense of its own sovereign territory. When Hammas, which is tied to Iran, begins to lob rockets into Israel’s back yard, there is barely a peep of condemnation nationally , yet when Israel defends itself – all bets are off. Immediately following September 11, 2001 Al Qaeda attacks on the United States, one could easily sympathize with the Israeli people ; after all, did they not go through the same thing, day in and day out, year after year – all due to Islamic militants, fueled by the UN and other “interested parties”, into consistent attacks on Israel?

Who are the Palestinian’s? Historically, Jerusalem is at the center of the present day conflict, initially settled by the Jews, overtaken by the Romans; developing into a Judeo-Christian-Pagan territory until the Muslim’s attacked in the 600’s (see Crusades). In the 1700’s Napoleon entered Jerusalem followed by the Turks (Ottoman Empire) – Arabs fled to neighboring states. After World War I, Britain and France divided the Empire and in 1917, Britain produced the Balfour Declaration effectively establishing a Jewish State. There was incessant rioting by Arabs through the following decades, and in 1947 the United Nations involved itself by a Resolution Partitioning the State of Israel and creating an Arab State – which was soundly rejected by - the Palestinians.

The rest, as they say, is more history, with consistent attacks on Israel, by “Palestinians”, in other words, a religious and territorial war, with no end in sight. The conflict would be resolved, should someone (anyone) can get the Palestinian Leadership (fueled by radical Clerics from Iran, who would prefer to see “Israel Wiped of the Map”) to play nice. The only other viable option is for Israel to defend itself, thumb its nose at “world opinion”, cruise through and over the created “Palestinian State”, and establish order.

One would think that the Palestinians would like to live in peace, with the increased opportunity to better themselves, instead of living in virtual ignorance and squalor (What the Hammas Leadership prefers). In keeping the populace brainwashed, by training them to hate the Jewish State and to become suicide bombers at an early age, the only rational way to stop this insanity is to close those schools, remove those who would continue this poisonous doctrine and finally bring an end to the insanity. There has, to date, been little outcry regarding the abuse of Palestinian children – no condemnation by the United Nations, with one exception: Israel!

Therefore, as the world bodies, presidents, dictators, are so removed from the conflict that they cannot offer a viable solution, they should keep out of it and/or actually support Israel when they are fired upon first. In addition propose the re-education of the Palestinian people, world history, perhaps instated of suicide bombing should be part of any school and early childhood education curriculum. Once that happens, peace may be a prospect, (sans any crazy Ayatollahs), industry and commerce can once again be built up and the bans and restrictions on Palestinian goods, imposed by Israel in self-defense, would bring prosperity to the Palestinians. In the end, the only two-nations (or states) that can ultimately decide this are Israel and “Palestine”, not the United Nations, Iran, Europe or the United States.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Harry Reid in the Hot Seat – 2010 Election – Shades of Tom Daschle - Maybe

Harry Reid (D-NV), current Senate Majority Leader, is concerned that the RNC may actually try to dethrone him in 2010. In a recent Las Vegas Review Journal article, Reid noted he is trying to raise a paltry $50,000 by midnight,December 31 – he currently has $2,750,000 in elections funds, most of the money coming from the gaming industry. This amount of cash on hand is a small sum to wage a “war” should the RNC launch a serious attack. Compared to John Kerry (D-MA), who recently won re-election, and is in “safe” state for Democrats - he has a decent $4,260,597 on hand with top donors: University of California, Harvard, Goldman Sachs and Citigroup.

Kerry and Reid are powerful Democrats, however, Kerry enjoys the “myth of Massachusetts”, whereby the RNC believes that the state is a lost cause (without taking into account the 51% of voters who identify themselves as unenrolled.) Although the DNC is singing a similar song in Nevada, (they have a 100,000 voter registration lead), it is still a “swing” state, (as Massachusetts could be if given the right attention).

According to the Nevada Secretary of State’s office : 2008 Nevada Active Voter Registration tables show the Democrats with a total of 537,642 enrolled, versus 435,068 Republican’s enrolled – there are 1,222,249 registered voters, of which, 186,021 are “Non-Partisan” with the balance Green, Independent, Libertarian, Natural Law or “other”. It will be the effective “courting” of those 186,000 non-partisan voters that will make or break Nevada and Harry Reid. (The same way Republican’s manage to get into the Governor’s office in Massachusetts.)

Ried is concerned that he raise these funds, because with the deadline for political contributions closing on Dec. 31st, and the FEC report that follows may be used as a quide by some who would harm Harry - it’s all about appearances. In the Review Journal Reid Stated: "Republicans and the media, both in Washington and Nevada, will use this number to gauge the strength of my campaign,". Reid is fighting back: he has set up a website: Giveem , and according to the Mercury News Reid has started his 2010 campaign by soliciting donations using “I’m the Republican’s number one target”. as an incentive for donors.

The question remains, can Harry Reid, who’s overall popularity in the State of Nevada is at a 51% disapproval rating stave off a possibly active state GOP? Harry Reid's seat, not unlike John Kerry in MA, who had a 56% “replacement rating” according to a Suffolk University Poll, (Add to that: 51% of the state’s electorate unenrolled.) looked as if it were in jeopardy - yet the RNC walked away from Massachusetts. Apparently - this media driven “heavily Democratic state” and John Kerry’s “war chest” weighed in more than possibly picking up a badly needed Senate Seat with the 51% of unenrolled who put Mitt Romney in the Governors’ Mansion (Granted, on his own dime.) The RNC looked the other way and John Kerry’s easily won re-election.

Therefore, Harry Reid should look to Kerry, Massachusetts and the national RNC - if there is a sign that the RNC will put up a fight, of if they field a candidate who has Romney like funds; Harry Reid will be nothing more than a footnote in DNC History.

Friday, December 26, 2008

NY Governor Paterson Concerned about Gossip over Clintons Replacement?

The AP is reporting that NY Governor Patterson would like less gossip regarding his selection of a replacement for Senator Hillary Clinton’s senate seat. Apparently, the Governor does not understand that politician’s are now in the same spotlight as Hollywood Celebs, possibly more so. The fact that Caroline Kennedy is actively seeking the spot has generated news and controversy since her name was mentioned - Kennedy, (the name alone is synonymous with gossip) the daughter of Jack Kennedy, Manhattan socialite and author, has keep a fairly low profile, (outside of the occasional mention in the tabloids or the press (Google articles date to 1961 forward) is a social celebrity in her own right, add dynastic political ambitions and one has a Super Celebrity – Social Celebrity plus Political Celebrity.

Apparently, Paterson missed the phenomena of Barack Obama and Sarah Palin in the past general election. Obama appeared clad in a bathing suit early in the campaign, while paparazzi recently chased him to Hawaii where one managed to get a “'Pec-tacular' Obama Shot” according to the Washington Post.

Meanwhile, Sarah Palin, the GOP’s Rock Star, continues to receive high Google searches (up to 49,200,000!), and stories regarding her daughters future mother-in-law is fodder for the tabloids and the Associated Press (which had the class to carry the story).

Suddenly politicians have adoring fans, and are front page news on both Tabloids and more “normal” news outlets. The publics insatiable desire to learn more about their favorite “star” is driving this phenomena – blame reality television, or the dummying down of America (the Teachers Union), and the politician’s themselves who court and are courted by daytime talk shows and the nighttime comedy – whatever combination of the aforementioned is responsible, the fact that dignity and competence are no longer a criteria for high office is becoming clear. Although politicians may use these mediums to communicate with the “Masses”, it is not without a price – Oprah and (pick a View Member) are more interested in what they are wearing, or where they are vacationing, than what they might intend to do once elected. The political message is lost as the popular culture cries out for more “beefcake shots” of the President-elect and more “scandalous” stories about his rivals. Caroline Kennedy will amass more speculation and Enquirer front page stories than Obama, and she most certainly must have been aware of the consequences, even if the Governor has been living under a rock.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Massachusetts Tax (Penalty Fee) for Uninsured to rise in 2009

Under the current Massachusetts Universal Health Care initiative, those who decline to carry health insurance are currently assessed a “fee” of $76 dollars per month, will be paying a slightly higher fee in 2009: $89 per month. This fee is based on the premise that an individual earning $31,212 or a family of 3 earning $52,812 are capable of carrying “affordable” health insurance. According to the State, an affordable premium based on a family plan in Western Massachusetts, with a mean age between 45 and 49, is $820 per month. , or $9,840 annually. Alhtough there are subsidies in place for those families earning less than $61, 956, circumstances may make it less expensive for some families to pony up the $912 Tax to the State than to carry “affordable health insurance”. Should they not be able to afford the Tax, it is a surety that Massachusetts will assess additional "fees".

Massachusetts has consistently lost population - with each new tax, fee, or regulation causing individuals and businesses to relocate. Learn more about Massachusetts Mandated Health Care and supporting legislation at
Commonwealth Care, the State-Run Health Insurance Agency.

Barney Frank – Unhinged – Spends Week Blasting Obama

Barney Frank (D-MA) is certainly garnering a great deal of press this week. He’s been busy trying to recast Freddie and Fannie, an agency which he helped to destroy. (From the Boston Globe “Franks Fingerprints Are All Over the Financial Fiasco”). He also feels that he need not wait for the President Elect (or head of his Party), in order to take control of dispersing Bailout billions:


Barney Frank, chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, said Monday he is preparing legislation to require that some of the bailout money be spent for specific purposes, such as stemming foreclosures and reducing mortgage rates. Frank is pushing to get the second half of the $700 billion rescue fund released next month, before President-elect Barack Obama is inaugurated.
Frank's bill would impose tighter restrictions on the second $350 billion, such as requiring banks to report on their new lending every quarter and toughening limits on executive compensation. Many U.S. banks have received federal capital in an effort to stimulate lending.
"I don't want to wait until Obama," the Massachusetts Democrat said in a phone interview. "I think we can do it now."

Reminder: This is the very same Barney Frank who felt there was no need for Transparency in how the Bailout Billions were dispersed by the Fed:

In an interview Nov. 6, House Financial Services Committee Chairman Barney Frank said the Fed's disclosure is sufficient and that the risk the central bank is taking on is appropriate in the current economic climate. Frank said he has discussed the program with Timothy F. Geithner, president and chief executive officer of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York and a possible candidate to succeed Paulson as Treasury secretary.
``I talk to Geithner and he was pretty sure that they're OK,'' said Frank, a Massachusetts Democrat. ``If the risk is that the Fed takes a little bit of a haircut, well that's regrettable.'' Such losses would be acceptable, he said, if the program helps revive the economy.

Barney Frank is always Pretty Sure – He is never 100 percent positive unless of course, he’s writing glowing letters to his buddy George Soros (PDF download available from Canada Free Press!) or involved in his latest hobby: Trashing the President-Elect.

Apparently, Barney, is already duking it out with the new Republican Majority Whip Eric Cantor over the auto bailout. Cantor indicated that the Republican’s would be willing to work with Obama, putting Frank’s proverbial panties in yet another bunch.

Frank has been after the President Elect for a variety of issues, and none more pressing than the selection of Pastor Rick Warren inauguration invocation, which is a personal affront to Frank. Warren, as a Christians leader, does not support Gay Marriage, neither does President Elect Obama – one has to wonder who Frank would have Obama choose to deliver an invocation (prayer).

Now that the President Elect has stood up to Frank and his minions, Frank is spouting to anyone who’ll listen “Obama overestimates his Charm”. From She Frank complains that Obama, in choosing Warren, did so only to strengthen relations with the “other side of the aisle”, and that he would not be able to work with Republicans, due to their extreme partisanship.

Seriously, Barney needs to keep his interviews straight; the Republican’s are willing to work with Obama, its Frank that’s not willing to work with anyone. Furthermore, he had little to do with Obama’s election or campaign, for that matter; so, one could assume that the President Elect owes Frank nothing.

It is the article of from “The Hill entitled “Rep. Frank: Obama 'Overestimates' Ability to Unify' (See article from She, or more specifically, the comments, that give insight into how Rep. Barney Frank is viewed by most.

Frank, although recently reelected (one could surmise on Obama’s coattails), has not had stiff competition from any party. Although he did face a Republican opponent, in Earl Sholley, the Press was most favorable to Barney Frank (go figure), and Sholley had no name recognition or branding behind him which would have given Frank, this time, a run for his money. Those in Massachusetts who would like some dignity and accountability in a politician, may feel compelled to actually mount a serious campaign next time around.

In the meantime, Obama is gaining respect from those independent conservatives for sticking to his guns about Warren, despite Barney Frank and Co’s, incessant whining, as well as his move to the center. One can imagine a day might come, when like King Carlos to Chavez, President Barack Obama will tell Barney Frank to “Shut Up”.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Incredible - The New York Times Blames Bush Philosophy for Mortgage Crisis

In a six page article under the Times Business Section,
(web published Dec. 20th), the Times outlines how President Bush might be to blame for the Mortgage Crisis, citing his philosophy of increased home ownership as the main cause, coupled with a desire to de-regulate. They do talk about his concern over Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae, but fail to mention the root cause of that failure, Barney Frank and Chris Dodd, both Democrats, who continued to confirm the solvency of the Government Run mortgage giant.

Several points made in the article are incredulous:

“He pushed hard to expand homeownership, especially among minorities, an initiative that dovetailed with his ambition to expand the Republican tent — and with the business interests of some of his biggest donors. But his housing policies and hands-off approach to regulation encouraged lax lending standards.”

The Times has apparently forgotten that those lax lending standards were in place before President Bush took office, instituted under President Carter, The Community Reinvestment Act. This bit of legislation put lenders under fire for failing to grant loans to individuals due to lack of credit - banks and mortgage companies had no recourse but to loan to those without a solid credit history. This “philosophy” was further pushed by ACORN, a non-profit that is not known to be in the back pocket of your average Republican.

When President Bush called for more home-ownership, some lenders responded by introducing the variable rate mortgage to those who had zero credit or the ability to pay that mortgage once the interest rate ballooned. In other words, although the lending practices might be considered a bit shady, the individuals signing the mortgage might have understood that at some point, they would not be able to afford their home. Somehow, this becomes President Bush’s fault:

It was June 17, 2002, a day Mr. West recalls as “the highlight of my life.” Mr. Bush, in Atlanta to unveil a plan to increase the number of minority homeowners by 5.5 million, was touring Park Place South, a development of starter homes in a neighborhood once marked by blight and crime.
Mr. West had patrolled there as a police officer, and now he was the proud owner of a $130,000 town house, bought with an adjustable-rate mortgage and a $20,000 government loan as his down payment — just the sort of creative public-private financing Mr. Bush was promoting.
“Part of economic security,” Mr. Bush declared that day, “is owning your own home.”
A lot has changed since then. Mr. West, beset by personal problems, left Atlanta. Unable to sell his home for what he owed, he said, he gave it back to the bank last year. Like other communities across America, Park Place South has been hit with a foreclosure crisis affecting at least 10 percent of its 232 homes, according to Masharn Wilson, a developer who led Mr. Bush’s tour.

Somehow, Bush is to blame for Mr. West's dilemma.

Other notes of interest in this particular article:

Further, Bush requested that Congress help first time home owners with closing costs, which he saw as a barrier to some - Congress complied. No kidding.

A host of Bush advisers have come “out of the closet”, citing instances where Bush may have been responsible, and the President, of course, declined an interview with the Times.

A favorite revelation in this astonishing article comes on page three of six:

And he pushed to allow first-time buyers to qualify for federally insured mortgages with no money down. Republican Congressional leaders and some housing advocates balked, arguing that homeowners with no stake in their investments would be more prone to walk away, as Mr. West did. Many economic experts, including some in the White House, now share that view.

Republican Congressional Leaders, and conservatives, had often called into question the President acting a tad more liberal than conservative. This truism seems to have escaped the Times, who has painted the President as a strict conservative at all times, someone whose policies and actions are so far-right they must be feared. Suddenly, they find that he might be a bit more moderate.

The rest of the piece is devoted to drawing a conclusion by way of the donations made to the Republican Party; donors which are tied to the Banking and Mortgage industry. One would be hard pressed to find an article during the 2008 presidential campaign, that did not find the Times or other like-minded editorial newspapers, blasting the McCain campaign for bringing up names like Ayers, or Wright, or, for that matter, the fact that the Obama campaign gave a hefty sum to a group mentioned in this article, ACORN, in an effort to “get out the vote”.

Now that the election is over, the Times has taken it upon themselves to make sure that the financial crisis America faces falls on the shoulders of one administration, and that no blame be placed elsewhere. The fact remains, that both parties are to blame for the present situation, and that the President, for all the power that the press believes that office has, must first go through the Congress - that the President, although the “leader of the Country, is merely, the “Titular Head of his/or her (ever hopeful), respective Political Party.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Rick Warren and Barack Obama - Los Angles Times Parses Words or “How the Press Turns”

With all the brouhaha surrounding Obama’s choice of Rick Warren to give the inaugural invocation, especially from gay activists and those who opposed California’s Proposition 8, it is curious that those who decry intolerance are themselves intolerant – especially when it comes to opposing viewpoints. What is interesting is that Obama’s choice of spiritual leaders is being dissected by the press, more than his association with Reverend Wright. The problem that Gay Activists and the left have with Warren is that he opposes Gay Marriage, and defines Marriage as that between one man and one women (additionally he is an evangelical Christian Leader – strike one, so to speak), a sentiment that is shared by the President-Elect.. However, theses detractors assumed that since the President Elect was in favor of gay rights, his opinion would transfer to the issue of marriage – there is a difference between civil unions (which offer all the benefits of marriage, and is an option that most American’s would approve) and traditional Marriage (which has religious connotations).

The basis of an article posted yesterday was an article from the LA Times, which closed as follows;
Earlier this month, in an interview with reporters from the Los Angeles Times, Obama answered a question about his current spiritual advisor by telling reporters he had found inspiration in a "prayer circle" of supportive clergy leaders who include Bishop T.D. Jakes of the Dallas-based mega-church the Potter's House, the Rev. Joseph Lowery of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, and Warren.

From that article, one would surmise that Mr. Obama specifically chose three clergy to be his spiritual advisors. This is not the case. From a transcript of the L.A. Times original interview one understands that Obama is not specifically choosing these three men as his advisors, rather, they are part of a larger group of spiritual leaders who have “prayed for him”.

Q: Do you have a spiritual advisor now? Many presidents have had them.

O: You know, one of the wonderful things that we did during the campaign was to set up sort of a prayer circle across the country, of pastors who, from all denominations, all religious faiths, who would every morning, a few of them would get on the phone and pray for me.

Sometimes I'd get on the phone. And, you know, they're made up of people as diverse as, you know, T.D. Jakes, Rick Warren, Joseph Lowery, just a wonderful collection of people and, by the way, across the political spectrum. I'm not even sure that all of them voted for me.

But they were willing to pray for me. And that's something that was wonderful.

The Times, whether intentionally or not, changed the entire meaning of the first interview, giving an impression (isn’t that always the way), of something more “dubious” in Obama’s choice of “Warren” (additionally they chose not to use the Pastors first name, dismissively.)

Now, as the “Warren Controversy” is being played out on every Network and Newspaper, Blog or otherwise across the country, it is important to put into context the following: Obama had stated from the beginning that he was a Christian, his choice of Reverend Wright aside, (as well as his views on abortion), never wavered. When the “Wright” controversy exploded, Obama, as a candidate was in no haste to name a new spiritual advisor, being human, it is a personal choice that takes time. Additionally, should he have chosen Jakes, Lowery or Warren, for that matter, it would be his personal choice, one that is a guarantee of the Constitution.

Therefore, those that feel they have “bought into” the Presidency by way of support (whether financial or by the pen), feel they are owed some sort of allegiance from the President, and somehow have the ability to affect the choices he will make. They are not disillusioned, they are delusional. As the President Elect has made additional choices that have angered left leaning activists (including your local daily paper’s editorial board), prior to his inaugural, it is apparent that should he continue on this centrist path, the romance that once was, will become an assault. The only possible good that could come from this is job security for those employed by a media who has, up until this point, been losing readers and viewership faster than residents are leaving California and Massachusetts. (Those states can’t blame the Internet) Perhaps the 50 percent of the country who are consistently incensed by the editorial content within the main news of the aforementioned, and have cancelled subscriptions or tuned out, will have a change of heart. It is certainly not fair to Barack Obama, nor was it fair to “name the Republican”, that said – Prediction: Shocking Headline 2010: “New York Times Now Accepting Applications!”

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Obama’s Choice of Pastors and the Angry Left.

Pastor Rick Warren of the Saddleback Church will deliver the invocation at President-Elect Obama’s inaugural, which is not sitting well with gay and lesbian activists and those who opposed California’s Proposition 8 (Defining Marriage as being between a man and a woman) (The Teachers Union comes to mind). In an article today, The Los Angeles Times , noted that the anger arises because Warren endorsed Proposition 8.

“Goff Kors, executive director of Equality California, a gay rights organization that worked against Proposition 8, called the decision to include Warren in the inauguration ceremony a "slap in the face to millions of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people who donated for, worked for and helped elect Barack Obama president."

Was Mr. Kors not paying attention when Barack Obama noted that he was a Christian? (Understandably, there are different brands of Christianity, but those that have developed a quasi-acceptance of non-Biblical practices, from a Catholic-Evangelical point of view, cannot seriously be considered “Christian”) It is traditional that an invocation occurs at the Presidents inaugurations; - also the stance of the majority of Christian Church Leaders against Gay Marriage and Abortion (we’ll address that shortly) is also known. Therefore, the President-Elect would be hard-pressed to find one that did support Marriage defined as anything but between a man and a woman. (He did) Additionally, lending support to a campaign does not automatically mean that every single left (or right for that matter) group will be allowed to foist their agenda on that elected official.

All that aside, what is most interesting in this article is the closing, where the Times talks about an earlier interview with Mr. Obama, where he was asked about his current spiritual leaders:

“Obama answered a question about his current spiritual advisor by telling reporters he had found inspiration in a "prayer circle" of supportive clergy leaders who include Bishop T.D. Jakes of the Dallas-based mega-church the Potter's House, the Rev. Joseph Lowery of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, and Warren.”

T.D. Jakes,, who supports gay marriage, Rev. Joseph Lowery (who co-founded the Christian Leadership Conference with Martin Luther King and will also pray at the Inauguration and supports Gay rights and finally Rick Warren who is one of the most celebrated American Christian Leaders and takes a hard line on both Marriage and Abortion. (T.D. Jakes, abortion support undefined, Lowery, pro-abortion. Therefore, as long as Obama associates with Pastors that approve of both Gay Marriage and abortion, the left is happy. Obama’s inclusion of Warren has sent them into a spasm (never mind his Cabinet choices!) and Obama’s choice of Warren to lead the invocation may speak volumes. Obama could easily have given that post to either of the aforementioned “spiritual advisors”, yet, he chose Warren. It will be interesting, indeed, to watch the development of the relationship between Mr. Obama and these three men over the course of the next four years.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Obama and Arne Duncan – It’s a Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood ?

Barack Obama chose friend and neighbor, Arne Duncan to fill the post of Education Secretary yesterday - to mixed reviews. Duncan, a reformer, is receiving raves from the right and cautious “acceptance from the teachers unions”.. His philosophy on managing the Chicago schools is similar to that of Mike Huckabee. Huckabee, in his 10plus years of Governor of the state of Arkansas, introduced sweeping reforms in education:

Arkansas' ACTAAP system is widely hailed as one of the nation's best school accountability programs. Huckabee has pushed through reforms in Arkansas that have significantly expanded the availability of college scholarships, increased the number of charter schools and established new approaches to workforce education.

It goes without saying that Huckabee had his share of problems with the Teachers Union, and so has Duncan:
from “Substance News”, an organization defining itself as “Defending The Public Schools for over 30 years”:

Duncan attacks union schools, Stewart signs “solidarity” letter to Duncan

The most dramatic weakening of the union became evident in December 2007. Immediately prior to the December Chicago Board of Education meeting, Chief Executive Officer Arne Duncan announced that he was going to close or reorganize somewhere between 147 and 175 schools because of what he called “underutilization.”

Despite widespread demands to know both the criteria for “underutilization” and the names of the schools, Duncan ignored the facts, kept the lists secret, and allowed the system’s 48,000 workers to go into the Christmas holidays with huge questions about their futures. For four weeks, speculation in the schools and on blogs that discussed CPS business ran wild. More than 100 separate bloggers posted to the largest CPS blog ( between the day of the Board of Education meeting and the beginning of the new year. But while teachers and other staff working in the schools were left to wonder whether their holiday presents would include the loss of their jobs, as had taken place when the school financial crisis had been declared in November and December 1979, the leaders of the CTU were mired in what even their own supporters have called “massive office politics.” During the Christmas holidays of 2007, union members across Chicago were worrying about whether their schools would be closed. They didn’t hear from their union, but Arne Duncan did. Marilyn Stewart was very busy. She was securing her position as “Chief Executive Officer” of the Chicago Teachers Union, beginning a purge of her own ranks, writing an unprecedented letter to the chief of the school system —completely ignoring the looming attack on the union’s 31,000 members embodied in the “underutilization” claims of Arne Duncan. In December 2007, Stewart issued two remarkable documents (both reprinted in this issue of Substance). Neither of them dealt with the crisis approaching for the union’s members. One was dramatically friendly to CEO Arne Duncan, the boss who was planning to destroy the jobs and careers of hundreds of CTU members this school year and more in years to come, while even more dramatically hostile to one of the elected leaders of her own union. The other revealed more between the lines than it admitted in print. One came out the week before Christmas, the second the day after Christmas. Neither has been publicly acknowledged by the union itself, but the authenticity of both have been verified to Substance by union officials and to blog leader. On December 17, Stewart circulated a memo to union staff entitled “Changes in Day-to-Day Operations of the Administrative Office.” A complete copy of that memo is reprinted on Page Eight of this Substance.

That said, Duncan’s coming out of Chicago as a reformer, which, given the history of Chicago in general, that’s one serious accomplishment.

It is no wonder then, that some on the right are applauding Obama’s latest cabinet choice. For many, the role of educator has been defined for the past forty years as Union member first, educator second. A case in point from the recent article at Aaron Proctor’s blog:” 25 Wrongs Don’t Make A Right”. Proctor minces no words when describing the state of the Philadelphia School System and 25 teachers who recently participated in the “Call Out Gay” day to protest California’s proposition 8, (which was heavily supported by the teachers unions to the tune of $1,000,000) - thereby placing the union’s agenda above the needs of their students. Again, that is just one story, in one school district, in one state – however, similar stories, different issues and different agenda’s, can be found across the country – It is not the public school system per se, that needs reform, it is that the teacher’s union needs to take a more active role in education, rather than political agenda’s.

This is the second cabinet choice that has made this moderate conservative feel more secure with the incoming administration. (Clinton as Secretary of State was the first – she had a stellar national defense record in her tenure in the Senate). So much for neighborhood associations - for all intents and purpose, Duncan appears to be Ayers polar opposite. Great call on the part of Mr. Obama – one has to give credit where credit is due.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Caroline Kennedy – The Socialite and the Senate and Sexism

Caroline Kennedy has announced her intention to actively campaign for Hillary Clinton’s senate seat – based on her qualifications as an Upper East Side (Manhattan), author of children’s books, who spent three years in the White House when she was a child, and has a close friendship with Barack Obama. The UK’s, Guardian’s article title “On the Road to Restoring Camelot” is in itself interesting, although a reasonable biography of Ms. Kennedy, one which highlights her qualifications (some noted above), and her life as a Kennedy (fraught with family tragedy), the concept of “American Royalty”, is clearly the point. Based solely on her relatives, Kennedy is assumed to be capable of performing the duties of a U.S. Senator – from a British Perspective, she is a "Princess".

The American Press appears to be of like-mind – from the LA Times article, speaking on behalf of “dynasties”, to the The New York Times, article outlining her political connections, and most importantly her ability to hire the best men to help her suceed in her quest:
”Ms. Kennedy has also retained Knickerbocker SKD, a well-connected political consulting firm founded by Josh Isay, a former chief of staff to Mr. Schumer. The firm counts among its clients Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, Ms. Quinn, and Mr. Brown, and enjoys close ties with some of New York’s powerful labor unions.”

Our neighbors to the north, who have taken a more conservative turn in recent years, has a different take on the process: An article in the National Post, One of Canada’s leading daily’s, is less inclined to be enamored of the Kennedy charade. Kelly McParland, ponders the question: “Is Al Sharpton the best Caroline Kennedy can do?”, in response to Ms. Kennedy’s calls to all major players in the DNC who can help her achieve her “rightful” place in the senate. Another, in the same publication, by Steven Edwards quips” America's aristocracy lines up for senate vacancies “>, where he outlines all the “political dynasties” and closes with: “So it all comes down to this: America fought a revolution for what? “ (Author’s Note: Buy Canadian!)

There reactions from New Yorkers is mixed, according to a YouTube Video, posted below, however, those “interviews” were conducted in Manhattan, which does not represent the majority of the State of New York.

There are those “upstate”, who would see a more competitive bid for this seat, the Elmira Star Gazette article, includes the fact that “Two other women - Reps. Carolyn Maloney of Manhattan and Kirsten Gillibrand of Hudson - still are being mentioned as possible appointees here” and comments below the article are telling – they are in concert with Canadian Press, vis a vis, any so-called American “aristocracy”.

In the final analysis, is it more than likely Kennedy will get what she wants; she may not have the experience, or the qualifications, for that matter, but her connections to the big money and political players, and for no other reason? She is a woman, who is, for all intents and purposes “fluff”. What this appointment does is take away the opportunity for qualified women, to vie for a Senate Seat, while making a mockery of the entire process. (See Elmira Star Gazette). It is that women, in general, are treated as objects by the press, dependent of course, upon political affiliation, or who one might be running against. The blatant sexism that greeted the highly qualified Hillary Clinton (who Kennedy feels entitled to replace), was disgusting, however, what is most galling is the treatment of Gov. Sarah Palin, who, with greater qualifications that Ms. Kennedy, was subject to a never-ending stream of sexist commentary from the American Press, while Caroline Kennedy is treated as “the Princess” (object). (And that beat goes on).

Monday, December 15, 2008

McCain – True to Form - Critical of the Republican National Committee, Defends Mr. Obama and Dumps Palin

The old adage, “A Leopard Doesn’t Change His Spots”, is appropriate when analyzing the Senator from Arizona, and weak 2008 Republican Presidential Candidate, John McCain. With all due respect to his service to the nation, McCain, a moderate-left “Republican”, was, without doubt, the worst possible candidate in the primary vis a vis conservative principals. Although he attempted to make a sharp turn to the right (fiscal and social conservatism), during the campaign, it was clumsy and transparent. Many conservatives, “held their nose”, to vote for McCain, simply because he “was not Obama”. The strategy that McCain would appeal to the independent and moderate voter was insane – the man had no chance what-so-ever (and to be fair, it is without doubt had Reagan been reborn, he would have struggled in this past election) - he faced an alienated base, a mantra from the press and DNC that he was “Bush-lite” and a Republican National Committee that could not effectively get out a message, unless it was a fast drive by on the opponent. (The need for improved leadership at the helm of the RNC National Committee became glaringly apparent this cycle.)

This week McCain was able to go back to being McCain, the “Republican” that Democrats and the Press most respect. On ABC’s, This Week, with George Stephanopoulos, McCain came back in spades. Transcripts from the interview follow:
On the corruption within the Illinois Democrat Party, McCain went out of his way to defend Obama against questions raised by the Republican National Committee, as well as others, (Savannah Morning News>) who want the President-Elect to be a bit more forthcoming vis a vis Blagojevich:
ABC News

STEPHANOPOULOS: Absolutely. And there's so much to talk to you about since the campaign, but let's begin with the news of the week. You saw that joke about Governor Blagojevich in Illinois. Fifty Democrats in the Senate have called on him to resign. Do you think he should resign?
MCCAIN: Oh, I'm sure that he should have. President-elect Obama also called for that. He should. You know, there's a lot of corruption amongst Republicans and Democrats, and this kind of thing doesn't help in these kinds of difficult economic times. So I would hope that he would resign, but we also look -- ought to look at systems that breed this kind of corruption, and unfortunately, it isn't confined to one city or one state.
STEPHANOPOULOS: The chairman of the Republican National Committee, Mike Duncan, has been highly critical of the way President- elect Obama has dealt with this. He's had a statement every single day, saying that the Obama team should reveal all contacts they've had with Governor Blagojevich. He says that Obama's promise of transparency to the American people is now being tested. Do you agree with that?
MCCAIN: I think that the Obama campaign should and will give all information necessary. You know, in all due respect to the Republican National Committee and anybody -- right now, I think we should try to be working constructively together, not only on an issue such as this, but on the economy stimulus package, reforms that are necessary. And so, I don't know all the details of the relationship between President-elect Obama's campaign or his people and the governor of Illinois, but I have some confidence that all the information will come out. It always does, it seems to me.

McCain on Obama’s team, and noted it was a team he would have picked. In reviewing voting patterns of Senators since 2004, there is no wonder, McCain would admire Clinton, they voted in kind, and this writer shares the same admiration for Clinton, however, McCain extended this flattery to the entire team and to Obama.

STEPHANOPOULOS: This team that President-elect Obama has picked -- you had kind words...
STEPHANOPOULOS: ... for Senator Clinton as secretary of state.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Jim Jones, General Jim Jones...
STEPHANOPOULOS: ... as national security adviser. Bob Gates as secretary of defense.
MCCAIN: And Geithner, Treasury secretary, is also a very good choices, yes.
STEPHANOPOULOS: You look at the national security team; this is a team you could have picked.
MCCAIN: Sure, sure. Absolutely.
STEPHANOPOULOS: And what does that tell you about the president- elect?
MCCAIN: Tells me that the president-elect is going to address national security issues with people who he thinks the American people can trust, and that he can place trust and confidence in.
MCCAIN: Again, I'm not playing Paul Revere, OK? But I am saying that there are enormous challenges throughout the world. We have the situation in Afghanistan. The situation in Iraq is still dangerous. There are efforts by Al Qaida to continue to cause difficulties and launch attacks in different areas of the world. So -- the Israeli situation is certainly unsettled, as they go through a new election period of uncertainty. So there is -- there's incredible national security challenges, which mandates -- doesn't argue for but mandates that we all work together as much as possible.
STEPHANOPOULOS: A bipartisan...
MCCAIN: Where we have been -- the North Korean talks apparently just broke down. So we should work together. Now, that does not mean, in any way, that we will agree on every issue.
STEPHANOPOULOS: But it sounds like you agree on Afghanistan now...

On Guantanamo – McCain’s is the McCain we all knew in 2000, redux – rendering most sane conservatives – speechless:

STEPHANOPOULOS: You and the president-elect also Guantanamo, closing down Guantanamo.
STEPHANOPOULOS: And you signed on to a very harsh report, out of the Senate Armed Services Committee, this week, on the torture of detainees across the military prison system. And you said this wasn't just the work of a few bad apples. In fact, you laid direct responsibility of Secretary of Defense -- former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld. Listen to this: "Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld's authorization of aggressive interrogation techniques for use at Guantanamo Bay was a direct cause of detainee abuse there. It conveyed the message that physical pressures and degradation were appropriate treatment for detainees in U.S. military custody. What followed was an erosion in standards dictating that detainees be treated humanely."
His spokesman called these allegations "unfounded." How do you respond to that, first of all? And, number two, how should the secretary of defense be held accountable for this?
MCCAIN: I don't know. I think history, obviously, will render very harsh judgment about this whole detainee treatment situation, whether additional action is called for. I think, as a member of the -- ranking member of the Armed Services Committee, that we've done our job. Let me just tell you a brief story. Not that long ago, a year and a half ago, Senator Lindsey Graham and I were in Iraq. We were in the prison. The general, our U.S. general in charge of prison had us in a secluded area and met a former high-ranking member of Al Qaida, one of the toughest guys I've ever seen. I said, how did you succeed so well after the initial American victory? He said, "Two things" -- he said, "One" -- he said, "there was no control by your troops. It was total lawlessness. There was rape, looting, pillage, murder, settling of old scores. So there was lawlessness." "Second, the greatest recruiting tool we had -- we were able to recruit thousands of young men," he said, "was Abu Ghraib." So you can't underestimate the damage that our treatment of prisoners, both at Abu Ghraib and other...
STEPHANOPOULOS: But some look at that and say...
MCCAIN: ... harmed our national security interests.
STEPHANOPOULOS: Some look at that and say, because of that, there should be a special prosecutor looking into all the crimes that were committed, and no one should be exempted from that.
MCCAIN: Well, look, that's not my job. If overwhelming evidence indicates indicates that, that's fine. But the point is, I thought, and Senator Levin did, that we should carry out our responsibilities in the Senate Armed Services Committee and do a thorough and complete investigation. I'm not that interested in looking back. What I am interested in and committed to is making sure we don't do it again. We're in this long twilight struggle here, and so America's prestige and image, as we all know, was damaged by these stories of mistreatment. And we've got to make sure the world knows that that's not the United States of America that they knew and appreciated for centuries.

Finally, McCain turns his back on the only person who made real sacrifices on the part of the GOP in 2008, Gov. Sarah Palin. Without Palin, McCain would not have enjoyed the crowds, or the support of the base, and beyond that Palin brought back into the fold. What one finds most appalling is that the man that called himself a “maverick”, apparently is nothing more or less than a business as usual politician pandering to whomever will throw him the next gig – regardless of party affiliation. Palin, to her credit, remained true to who she was, never shifting a position - she remains wildly popular.

MCCAIN: Oh, no. Listen, I have the greatest appreciation for Governor Palin and her family, and it was a great joy to know them. She invigorated our campaign. She was just down in Georgia and invigorated their campaign. But I can't say something like that. We've got some great other young governors. I think you're going to see the governors assume a greater leadership role in our Republican Party. Pawlenty, Huntsman...
STEPHANOPOULOS: But why not? (inaudible) she was the best person...
MCCAIN: Sure. Yes.
STEPHANOPOULOS: ... to succeed you if something had happened to you?
MCCAIN: But now we're in a whole election cycle. Have no doubt of my admiration and respect for her and my view of her viability, but at this stage, again...
MCCAIN: ... my corpse is still warm, you know?

In a word: Despicable.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Michael Steele and the RNC Chair - Leadership without Compromise

There are several candidates for the RNC Chair, all with hefty resumes and conservative credentials; however, the choice should be made with an eye towards leading the Party forward, rather than focus on the “moderate”, or worse, trying to recapture a bygone era. From an intellectual perspective, the GOP losses in the past two elections were the result of the natural course of history, magnified by a seeming loss of identity. Over the past 6 years, there appeared to be little in the way of either social or fiscal conservatism coming from the Party leadership. Therefore a “business as usual”, chair candidate, will not bring the “change” necessary to attract the “base” as well as those all-important independents fence-sitters who are crucial to state and national elections.

The traditional GOP model was a party of inclusion, Abraham Lincoln aside, the platform of the Party has remained consistent, yet, the Party is viewed by the uninformed as a group of angry old wealthy white men, propped up by a base made up of religious nuts. This view has been fostered by the Democrats (who are actually a party made up of wealthy old white men, propped up by a base that is comprised of the “haves” (Hollywood, The Union Leadership, NARAL, Editors) and the “have nots” (Name the minority). The Democrats get better press and the Republican Leadership remains silent. Both parties have their share of “base” negatives, it is a question of producing an “image” that will appeal to those “independents” – if the DNC can downplay Ayers, Wright and the entire Chicago Political Machine, surely someone within the GOP would be capable of “normalizing” their base, which happens to be the normal aspect of the party – Social Conservatives, specifically those who are religious.

The choice of the RNC chair, therefore, should be carefully weighed towards an individual who is both socially and fiscally conservative, has a track record of inclusion of the various factions that make up the GOP, is media savvy and has the understanding of technology in order to counter the left, and actually grow the base. Michael Steele, former Lt. Governor of Maryland, FOX news contributor, and current GOPAC chair, meets that criteria.

In a recent interview with the Baltimore Examiner, Steele talked about his desire to “tear up the old playbook” and “move the party forward”,

That's going to start with building a ground game of fresh new faces and new voices that reflect a modern GOP. That's what I've tried to do at GOPAC [the candidate-training organization he chairs]. It doesn't mean that we're less conservative; it doesn't mean that those founding principles on which we have stood and are time-tested are no longer relevant. In fact, they are, maybe even more so. But how we speak to them and how we express them to voters without ticking them off or making them feel we're sitting in judgment of their lives and communities will make the difference.

Bingo – Steel knows what is at stake, and understands the need not to abandon GOP principals, but to effectively communicate. What sells this social conservative? The man understands the GOP’s biggest problem and he addresses it a phrase that should be practiced by every GOP candidate, from the local dogcatcher to the Senate to the White House : ”I don't need to be Democrat Lite to win.”

To learn more about Michael Steele and his Candidacy for the RNC Chair: visit Steele for RNC Chairman

Friday, December 12, 2008

Auto Bailout Fails – Common Sense Prevails

The bill before the Senate to bail Detroit failed yesterday in a vote of 52 to 35, with 12 “not voting”. Of those 35 Nay’s, 4 Democrats broke ranks and voted with the Conservative Republicans. The 12 who did not vote were a mixed bag of well-known Democrats and Republicans including, Biden (D-DE), Graham (R-SC), Hagel (R-NE), Kennedy (D-MA), Kerry (D-MA), and Sununu (R-NH). (Source: US Senate)

The Bill, supported by Barney Frank, Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid, President George Bush and President-Elect Barrack Obama, was defeated over two sticking points that, for all intents and purposes, seem reasonable, considering it would be the people paying for several generations for an industry that has consistently failed to become competitive. The stumbling block – Republicans called for pay and benefit cuts slated for the Auto Workers Union in 2009. One has to understand that a machinist belonging to the Detroit Auto Makers Union makes an hourly wages that is disproportionate to others performing the same functions in any other industry in the United States. The average machinist can expect to earn approximately $18 to $22 per hour, while the UAW worker can anticipate an average of $73 per hour (which includes rich benefits and pensions.) Additionally, those that have been laid off, fall under this bail-out umbrella, and would continue to receive an average of $31 per hour. There are, articles aplenty, regarding the “myth” of the $73 UAW worker, referencing sources such as The New York Times and the UAW, which, may not be entirely subjective when the auto-industry is ready to feed off the public trough.

Needless to say, The New York Times is blaming those pesky Republicans for dashing the dreams of Detroit. However, where was the Bay State’s Junior Senator, John F. Kerry, Obama’s biggest pre-election cheerleader, in all of this? Surely his extra vote could have helped out Obama and Reid? Perhaps he could have persuaded those four Democrats who voted “Nay” to go along with Reid and Company. Or perhaps Kerry decided to sit this one out as the bailout was not popular in the Bay State. Most likely, he was absent with better things to do.

All this aside, the idea was simply reprehensible to the American Pubic. Constant bailouts of industry, with an eye towards partial state ownership, rankles conservatives, libertarians and anyone who takes a common sense approach to the ups and downs of business and its exclusion from government. Our economy has been, as far as anyone can tell, capitalist – which seems to have worked out fairly well to date. It appeared this concept came into contempt beginning in 2006 when the Democrats gained control of the House and Senate, and now the idea of Government Owned everything runs the Hill. That said, the worst case: Detroit will fall into bankruptcy, have to retool, perhaps along the lines of Toyota,Honda and Nissan USA, whose employees earn on average $48.00 per hour, and who, are economically sound. Recovery may be slow, but it is sure, and it is also tax-free.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Daily Newspapers Slump - Missing the Obvious – Alternative News Outlets vs. Ideology

John Gapper, at the Financial Times ponders the question: “Who will Mourn Local Newspapers?” - and in yesterdays article laid out the case against “bad journalism” produced by blogs and talk radio. He also bemoaned the fact that journalist feel the general public is not as well served by these new outlets. He closed his article with the hope that the demise of the local daily papers will “strengthen the editorial position of the remaining elite: The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg, the Financial Times etc.”

Therein lays the problem that continues to be overlooked by those “elites” who would guide the populace rather than report the news. One has to look to ratings in terms of right vs. left, over a period of time, to understand that the rise of “alternative news”. Twenty years ago, the daily newspapers and network broadcast news enjoyed a virtual monopoly; there simply were no other sources available. Today, conservative talk radio and the Fox News Network dominate their respective rankings. Rush Limbaugh, for example, enjoys a week cume (equivalent to a newspapers circulation) of 14.25 million, compared to the top ranked NBC evening news of 8.34 million. Comparing apples to apples, conservative talk radio is enjoying relative prosperity while more left leaning radio networks like Air America and
are either clawing out of bankruptcy or facing layoffs.

It would behoove those “elites” who feel that the Internet and conservative talk radio are to blame, to get a grip on reality. In another financial times blog, Gideon Rachman is adamant that the problem lies with ”Internet slime” and those “gun-toting…..bit of the United States” (Conservatives). This situation has now dissolved into intense denial and anger. The crux of the matter is simple. Ideology has no place in journalism with the exception of an editorial page in a newspaper (or a segment on the nightly news, etc.). The last four general elections have shown a country that is deeply divided – right vs. left. When a news outlet, be it a newspaper, broadcast news network, cable news network or radio talk show, caters to one segment of the population only (or candidate as was the case in the last election), they are bound to lose circulation, “cume”, and viewership to those outlets that offer another “editorial” point of view. Should, by some miracle, what has become known as the Mainstream Media, wake up from its stupor and begin to report, while defining editorial (be it conservative or liberal) as such, confining it to a specific segment, they just might stand a chance of winning back a share of that audience.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

L.A. Times – Headline: “It’s The Democrats Turn to Cope with Scandals” – They Can’t Be Serious!

The Los Angles Times, Janet Hook, has come to a startling revelation with the arrest of Illinois Governor Rod R. Blagojevich – there may be corruption in the ranks of the Democrat Party. The article opens with the notion that a “series of scandals” have come from the Blue side of the aisle since the party won a majority on the theme that it would put a halt to the “culture of corruption” that existed under GOP leadership. The problem that faces the nation, vis a vis, two strong national parties, with literally no opposition besides on another, is that both parties have been subject to “bouts” of scandal - however, it is the depth of the scandal and how the particular political party handles the offending member, that should be examined.

Had the Democrat Illinois Governor been a member of Congress, it is more likely that he would be holding onto his seat and undergoing internal “ethics” investigations, until he had served out his 10th term. Unlike the Red side of the aisle, where, once the media turns on its spotlight, no matter the “crime”, that member is pushed out of office and forced to resign – post-haste. In some instances, it appears that the Republicans react more with horror and dismay at the hint of a scandal – than the existence of an actual deed. Case in point – Trent Lott, former Speaker of the House, resigned in 2002 after remarks made at a birthday party for Strom Thurmond . Lott, who was toasting the aged Thurmond, who, like Robert Byrd, Democrat, were segregationist in the 1940’s, stated that the he have voted for Thurmond when he ran for president and the country would have been better off – a nicety, toasting the life of a man who had served his country for many years, and as Lott explained when a media storm ensued, offering apologies to anyone that would be offended. If all were fair between the media and both Political Party’s, or had Lott been Barney Frank saying the same of Robert Byrd, that would have been the end of it”. Lott remark was looked upon as a scandal so heinous that there was nothing left to do but resign. Foley and Craig ring any bells? Compared these men to that news hound, Barney Frank and one starts to wonder about these newly found Democrat scandals.

Hook, to be fair, does list a few of the more prominent scandals that have faced the Democrats in the past two years – mentioning newly retired Jefferson of LA (retired by the people), who stuffed cash in his freezer, Gov. Spitzer of NY, involvement with call-girls, and Rep. Rangel (NY), ongoing problems with the IRS. Jefferson remained in his seat, during the investigation, Spitzer, outside the hallowed halls of Pelosi and Reid's legislature, succumbed to the law, and Rangle, is still being protected by “internal investigations”.

Now, the Democrats believe that the Republican’s will make something of the latest Chicago “politics as usual” mess – and, rightly so, investigations into the entire brouhaha have been requested by the GOP. However, that does not mean that anything will take place outside of the halls of Congress – internal investigations are the likely route, and there will be zero mention of these latest Democrat criminal shenanigans two weeks or less from now in the press.

Ms. Hook should cross the country and spend some time in Chicago, Michigan and Massachusetts to understand how deep the scandals run and just how many take place in the Party that heralds the Kennedy’s, the Pelosi’s, the Kerry’s, the Reid’s, and of course, the Barney Franks. These are not, of course, all national figures, yet high ranking elected state officials, who continue to earn the title of “felon.” Barney Frank, received a reprimand from his fellow legislators, for fixing parking tickets for a prostitute, and in the past months, former Mass Senator Wilkerson, was busted for stuffing bribes in her bra, Boston City Councilor Chuck Turner arrested for accepting a bribe, and of course, Former Speaker of the Mass. House, Finneran, who is now a talk show host on Boston’s WRKO.

Suffice it to say, that for the most part, Republican’s say darndest things (or act like their Blue counterparts) and get hauled off, investigated and hounded by the media into resignation, while Democrats appear to enjoy stocking up on large sums of cash, normally by stuffing it into a freezer, down a bra, or in the case of those in charge of Fannie and Freddie, Lord knows where, and they either are investigated by their own party, or if actually charged, end up with a radio gig. It is the inequity of press coverage, and the “protection of the House”, that keeps those that might otherwise do time for a crime, in high-profile, national and state positions. The Republican Leadership can call for investigations, however, it is more than likely that little will come out of this whole “boondoggle” (business as usual) in Chicago.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Obama – No Need to “Stock-up” on Gun Sales - The Populace and The Sudden Focus on the Second Amendment

The Sun Times in an article Dec. 8th, noted the President-elects reaction to the unusual spike in gun-sales across the county since his election:

As gun sales shoot up around the country, President-elect Barack Obama said Sunday that gun-owning Americans do not need to rush out and stock up before he is sworn in next month.
"I believe in common-sense gun safety laws, and I believe in the second amendment," Obama said at a news conference. "Lawful gun owners have nothing to fear. I said that throughout the campaign. I haven't indicated anything different during the transition. I think people can take me at my word."

The article also indicates that the National Rifle Association is not buying Obama’s enthusiasm for the Second Amendment, citing his voting record as proof that he is less than inspired by citizen gun-ownership.

Why then, is there a huge spike in gun sales and how is that tied to the Second Amendment? One would think that Hunting would play a large part, and it does, but there is a larger implication in play, and that is the actual wording in the Amendment itself.

“A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a Free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”
Taking the following: Militia (civilian military), necessary to the security of a free State (the State as it was intended to remain under the Constitution), the right to bear and keep arms (as pertains to both the Militia and the State), it can be argued, that the intent was not to provide arms solely for the purpose of procuring food and entertainment, but rather, to protect the government from itself.
An excellent treatise on the subject can be found at Mitchell Langbert’s blog: from the Federalist Papers, #8, Hamilton is concerned with the ability of the citizens to protect themselves from our government – in other words a change in the nature of the established government, against the will of the people, the inclusion of the second amendment gives the people the ability to re-establish rule – or the original Constitution – in the face of subversion of that government.

Mike Huckabee, in his latest book, “Do The Right Thing”, also discusses the Federalist Papers and the original intent of the founders to mean the same.
Is it no wonder then, that those who believe that our nation is headed towards a path to socialism would want to insure that they might be able to protect the very foundation upon which our government was formed? The President-elects unfortunate associations with committed socialists and ‘progressive” democrats, gave rise to the speculation that should he attain the Presidency, then he would, in certainly, socialize everything from healthcare to a personal police force. ( Rahm Emmanuel discuses mandatory civil service).

That said, the path to socialized government has already been set in play, with the bailout of financial institutions and the current bill backing the Auto-Makers, however, one must keep in mind that the President-Elect has not played a significant role in either and more-to-the point, has chosen moderate centrists to fill key cabinet positions. Additionally, although Obama has not been an avid supporter of Second Amendment rights in his past political career, he is now in no position to swing too far left or right, understanding that the stability of the nation rests in focusing on the economy. One also must understand that the President is, in essence, the titular head of a political party – a party which now holds control over the legislature; however, there remains a system of checks and balances, as they were unable to achieve the super-majority necessary to affect harm. Meanwhile, one might consider purchasing stock in Smith & Wesson.

Sunday, December 07, 2008

Caroline Kennedy – Entitled to Clinton's NY Senate Seat - The American Class System and the Kennedy “Dynasty”

Caroline Kennedy and Barack Obama -

Caroline Kennedy’s is best known for being the daughter of President John F. Kennedy, and most recently, one of the people responsible for helping Barack Obama pick his vice-presidential nominee. Other than that, her resume leaves little to indicate that she is qualified for the office of Senator, other than the title: “Relative”. It goes without saying that the founders of this Republic did not intend our government to be a monarchy, (or a government run by a “ruling class”),rather a democracy where citizens are elected based on worth - not bloodlines.

The question then arises: “Do we have a “class system” in the United States?” The answer, according to progressive professors, is “yes”. In Robert E. Weir’s, “Class In America , the so-called American Class system is discussed in detail – from the First Estate (Mayflower Decedents, regardless of wealth) to the Second Estate (the Robber Barons’), families that garnered great wealth and influence in the United States during the late 18th and 19th century (Included: familiar names such as Roosevelt, Carnegie and Kennedy), followed by the Upper Middle Class (the elite who have amassed large sums of money), the Middle Class (those who hold a 4 year college degree and therefore, can consider themselves to be “elite”), the Lower Middle Class (those who do not hold a four-year degree – and are considered “blue collar workers”), the Lower Class (those with no discernible education and/or skills). The later two often referred to as “the masses”. Outside of the halls of “higher education”, this is not discussed in detail, or brought up at all. (The "masses" could not "handle the knowledge") The “fact” that this nonsense of a "ruling class”, made up of individuals such as the Kennedy’s, is preached at a Colleges and Universities across the nation by those Progressive professors who are wedded the theories of Karl Marx and company, boggles the mind. It follows, therefore, that this “theory” allows for a certain sense of “entitlement” from those who are members of an “upper class”, and the certainty of those “newly minted elite” who have been taught (and bought into the bunk) that this nonsense of class systems is “acceptable”.

Therefore, Caroline Kennedy, by virtue of nothing more than being part of the “ruling” class, is considered an acceptable substitute by those “elite” who would see the “dynasty” continue. (CNN) . That said, Comments posted to a recent Boston Herald article on the possibility of another Kennedy in the Senate are not favorable. Comments to the Western Massachusetts, Springfield Republican’s Politics forum (thread #77455) show like minded disgust at the thought of a political appointment based on nothing more than a family connection. The same is true ofDaily Kos commentors, who are disconcerted about the concept of an “inherited” legislative post. It is interesting to note that the negative comments are being made by those who would, in all likelihood, believe that our Constitution does not contain any reference to a particular brand of “class” that would govern, rather, that the government belongs to the populace.

It is a fact that New York State laws guiding the replacement of elected officials, offer nothing to prevent Caroline Kennedy from working with Governor Paterson to give her Senate Seat, however, it remains to be seen if he will make such an appointment.. Should Caroline Kennedy be chosen as the replacement for Hillary Clinton, in the Senate she will be required to campaign for re-election in 2010, likewise Paterson. Those who are in the position to ultimately decide both Kennedy’s and Paterson’s political futures are the New York state electorate. Therefore, regardless of entitlement, or any “perceived” progressive class system, the Republic of the United States and our system of democracy will continue to be the deciding factor in political contests.

Friday, December 05, 2008

Sarah Palin Shocker - No to Oprah Appearance!

From Hillbuzz:

Oprah refused to allow Sarah Palin on her daily yawnfest during the campaign, but wants her on the show now. Palin, apparently, told her to stuff it.

You betcha!

We like Sarah Palin more and more each day.

2012 can’t get here soon enough.

Funnily enough, Oprah will be off the air by then!

Could not have said it better myself. Ms. Winfrey displayed ridiculous partisanship, campaigning for Obama vis a vis her television "show". During that time she publicly refused to invite Palin on her show - and if memory serves, Palin did not comment on this major faux pas at the time. Palin might have refused then, as she has now - when she received an after-the-fact invitation. Oprah, a former beauty contest contestant herself, should have known better. A professional would have been more concerned with ratings, rather than petty partisanship. Palin, is granting interviews to every press outlet but Oprah, and now Oprah whining. What's not to like about Palin?

Barney Frank(D-MA) Has the Nerve to Chastise Obama in the Press.

Barney Frank (D-MA), is disappointed in President-Elect Obama’s “lack of assertiveness” in dealing with the current economic crisis as well as his intention to be “post-partisan”. In a recent AP article, Frank, along with Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac cohort Chris Dodd (D-CT), whine that Obama has done little to address the current financial crisis. This crisis, a result of the boondoggle over at Freddie and Fannie, can be laid at the doorstep of both of those blowhards. Frank, who has received a pass from the media on his involvement in this mess from the beginning, is now calling on Obama to play a more significant role in "fixing" the economy – prior to his inauguration. One has to give the President-Elect credit – he’s playing by the rules – apparently this has Frank and Dodd’s panties in a proverbial bunch. Their solution – take it to the press.

Dodd, who is under “investigation’ by a Senate Ethics Committee for a ”sweetheart deal” of a mortgage he and his wife received from Countrywide Financial, complains that there is no need to wait until Obama takes office –

“The Obama team has to step up," Sen. Christopher Dodd, chairman of the Senate Banking Committee and one of the lead negotiators, said Nov. 21 in Hartford, Conn. "In the minds of the people, this is the Obama administration. I don't think we can wait until January 20." (AP) He has got to be kidding.

Meanwhile, Frank, as usual, is deflecting blame by pointing fingers at the “other side of the aisle’. Obama’s plan to be post-partisan is not setting well with Frank:

"It is a grave mistake to assume that parties are irrelevant to this process," he said. "My one difference with the president-elect, about whom I am very enthusiastic, is when he talks about being post-partisan.

"Having lived with this very right wing Republican group that runs the House most of the time, the notion of trying to deal with them as if we could be post-partisan gives me post-partisan depression," Frank said. (AP)

Frank, ever the clown, went so far as to suggest that legislation aimed at preventing abuses in subprime mortgages might have a better chance of passing next year when the Democrats have an even larger majority. Frank must have been paying attention to a recent “documentary” by John Ziegler entitled “How Obama Got Elected”. The video, available on You Tube here - and shown below, is based on “civic knowledge” exit polls taken November 4th - there is a shocking disconnect with Obama voters and facts regarding who actually ran Congress for the past two years! Additionally, these voters had no clue who Barney Frank is!

Perhaps Barney feels all voters are as fuzzy on the facts, which might account for his increasing and ridiculous outbursts. Obama, who has put together a team that is moderate to centrist - post-partisan if you will, most likely holds no such delusions. One has to have a bit of sympathy for the President-Elect – he will have to govern this nation through a financial crisis created, in greater part, by members of his own party, threats of terrorism both at home and abroad and constant complaints from the angry left due to his moderate appointments. If conservatives think that this is going to be a long four years, there is comfort in the fact that this will be a longer four years for the President Elect - he has Barney Frank and Chris Dodd, those stand-up (comedian) Democrat institutions with which to contend.

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Catholic Priests Opposition to Pro-Abortion Candidates Intensifies

A Catholic Priest in Modesto California has urged his parishioners who voted for Obama to take confession – a Catholic sacrament of admission of sin. The priest did note that those who knew Obama was pro-abortion and still voted for him were in need of this sacrament. The Bishop in control of that particular parish cried foul – stating parishioners were under no such obligation. This most likely came after the usual hue and cry went out from those who feel that the Catholic Church (rich in Democrat voters) is off limits when it comes to Christian denominations decrying pro-abortion candidates. They draw on the question of “separation of church and state” as applied to the Constitution – which is ludicrous to say the least. However, the Church has every right, under the same clause, to follow its own doctrine, and as such, denounce political candidates who would uphold practices contrary to the Church.

The problem arises when the leadership within the Church (in the United States), has strong affiliations with politicians, most notably Democrats. This results in the chastisement of priests who are merely following established doctrine, by those Bishops who are choosing a political party over the pulpit. In November, at a semi-annual Bishops meeting, Frances George of Chicago noted:

"If the election is misinterpreted ideologically as a referendum on abortion," said Cardinal Francis George of Chicago, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, "the unity desired by President-elect Obama and all Americans at this moment of crisis would be impossible to achieve."

"Aggressively pro-abortion policies, legislation and executive orders will permanently alienate tens of millions of Americans, and would be seen by many as an attack on the free exercise of their religion," George said.

These statements may be seen as unusual considering the Catholic Church has, for years, been supported by and supporters of Democrat Candidates (Massachusetts: Notrious Cardinal Law received support from Ted Kennedy (D-MA) when petitioned to step down after the child molestation scandal hit the US Catholic Churches )

Why the sudden change of heart towards the tie-in between pro-abortion Catholic candidates and their role in the church? Perhaps it comes to rest on the media itself – with the last two elections (2006 and 2008), high-profile Democrats such as Nancy Pelosi and Joe Biden, were touted by the media as “Catholics”, they campaigned as “Catholics”, and yet are decidedly following anti-Catholic doctrine. This “advertising of religious affiliations” which is, by the way, OK for some politicians’, but not for others (Sarah Palin, Mike Huckabee, to name but two), woke the Church from a long apathetic sleep. Therefore, kudos should go to those priests that will stand up to the Bishops - as well as those Bishops who will support the doctrine and follow their religion before politics, practicing their rights under the First Amendment.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Giving Credit Where Due – Palin Inspires Georgia GOP - Hollywood Envisions 2012 Clinton-Palin Match up.

The state of Georgia received a great deal of media attention in the past few weeks, due to the all important run-off election between incumbent Republican Senator Chambliss and his Democrat opponent, Jim Martin. The media hype surrounding the ability of various political stars to turn the election fueled many debates in both the press and cable news, especially regarding the ability of Palin to either help or hurt Chambliss – with the majority of articles being somewhat negative. Chambliss won the run-off handily – Palin who was in Georgia on Monday, crisscrossed the state holding rally’s to get out the vote. Martin campaigned with the rapper “Ludicrous” on Monday. The question now remains: Will Palin be given the credit for helping get out the vote for Chambliss in a big way? Most likely, if she is acknowledged in the media, it will be reported that she appealed to the “base” – a term used exclusively for Republicans in the media – defined as “right-wing, Christian, etc.” – or, better put, an attempt to marginalize the Governor’s general appeal and denigrate a segment of society that has not conformed to elite dogma. There may even be a few remarks thrown in about the Governor’s feminine side for good measure – in order to downplay the fact that “as a woman”, she is somehow not capable of standing on experience or merit, rather must use her femininity to achieve a goal. These assumptions are based upon the past so-called “new articles” mentioning Sarah Palin.

Palin’s ability to continue to take center stage may be part of the media’s angst. At the Governor’s conference with President-Elect Obama on Tuesday, the Dallas Morning News reported that “Mr. Obama made a beeline for the GOP vice presidential nominee, shaking her hand before those of 47 others, sharing a friendly chat..” One can read into that greeting several different scenario’s, however, the most likely being Obama greeted Palin first, out of respect for her ability on the campaign trail, and secondly her ability to effectively Govern the most important energy producing State. Of course, there may be another (although unlikely at this point) reason entirely – that Palin poses a threat to Obama as a candidate in 2012. Considering the effect that Hollywood believes itself to have on the majority of the populace when it comes to issues of government, Hollywood Today’s, article is a warning that the gloves are off Obama and 2012 is now in play. “The Future is Here, Hillary vs. Palin”, envisions the 2012 race with both top-of-the-ticket candidates as women – the choice of Clinton and Palin is explained in clear, and honest terms, giving credit where credit is due. This may be a sign of early “buyer’s remorse”, or most likely, the fact that many are looking forward to 2012 – requiring a political high if you will. Regardless of the reason, it is heartening to think that the nation will not have to wait another 24 years (Woman as V.P. nominee Timeline: Ferraro to Palin) before seeing women compete for the nations top job.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Sarah Palin - Continues to Take Heat (Sexism) from Press and Partisans

Sarah Palin, Republican Governor of the State of Alaska and former vice-presidential candidate continues to be in the “limelight” and is the most scrutinized, and marginalized political figure by both the press and party partisans. Why all the hoopla over this rising political “star”? Simply put, the Governor is a forceful figure, she appeals to both the cultural conservative base as well as those who lean Republican, she is a favorite to be on the 2012 Republican ticket, and she is a woman. The fact that Palin is a woman who retains her femininity, is pro-life, pro-second amendment, earned a degree the hard way, does not hide her Christianity, and does not speak New York, Los Angeles or Washington D.C. language appears to be the problem(s).

During the 2006- 2008 (longest primary season on record), fist Hillary Clinton, then Palin, we’re viciously attacked by the press and those within their own and opposing political parties, not for policy, rather because they were women. Clinton was never allowed to stand on her own merits: it was either her husband, Former President Bill Clinton, that was brought into article after article as “baggage”, her fashion sense, and her physical attributes, including her laugh that we’re included in most press reports. Once it was clear that Clinton was dispatched from the Democrat contest, the heat came off, (somewhat). It was difficult to determine, during that entire period, what was most insulting to Clinton, however, as married women understand, to be compared to and demeaned because of a spouse, is perhaps most frustrating and denigrating. The fact that the media had not risen above the sexist rhetoric, was surprising – however, the picked a battle, racism versus sexism to support a candidate and in schoolyard fashion, threw every they could muster at Clinton.

Enter Sarah Palin, a Governor of the State that half the population can’t find on a map, a woman on the Republican ticket, and one who for many women gendered excitement, including those who were not in the media’s “Palin demographic”, because she was not the typical politician, she was married, she had children and she managed her job; not unlike the “rest of us”. Although the general school of media thought was that Palin was a poor substitute for Clinton, and would never have been chosen had Clinton been on the top of the ticket – this argument is fallacious. Women, in politics are, to be sure, scarce, however, that said, women are the largest demographic. It is not inconceivable that two women, both with positions in government, could be chosen to run for a higher office, in the same general election – unless of course, the school of thought remains that “the quota has been met.” That seems to be the case.
Palin’s additional problem, besides being a women, is that she is a social conservative with all the markings of a feminist, with the exception of her pro-life stance.

Additionally, Palin continues to generate press, as she goes about the business of her State and her Party. On December 1st, Palin was in Georgia, campaigning for Senator Chambliss – in an article by Jay Bookman of the Atlanta Journal Constitution, he complains that “Sarah Palin is reportedly drawing decent but not great crowds in her sweep through Georgia on behalf of Saxby Chambliss.” And then admits: “The turnout is certainly a lot better than any other political figure this side of Barack Obama or Hillary Clinton could attract.” Palin, who was in Georgia campaigning for Chambliss, because she is adept at rallying the base, is then demonized:
“The Saxby Chambliss signs are plentiful, but it’s clear even before you walk in that this is a Sarah Palin for President event, four years ahead of its time,” reports Jim Galloway from the Gwinnett Center.
The enthusiasm and turnout reflect Palin’s appeal to the party base and should be helpful to Chambliss in his re-election effort. But polls say that the same traits that endear Palin to the hard-core GOP are turnoffs to independents and moderates.
“Palin’s image, being the way it is for independents, puts her at a distinct disadvantage from a general election standpoint,” Tony Fabrizio, a veteran GOP strategist, told Politico. “But it wouldn’t be the first time the hard-core base ran off the cliff.””
The idea that Palin could be campaigning early for 2012 is, in itself ridiculous, and should she, in 2010 make a stronger appearance in the most traditional places (Iowa, New Hampshire), and then one might be able to conclude that she might be running for a higher office. The remarks about her “image”, vis a vis independents is not necessarily accurate given that recent polling indicates that republican leaning independents favor Palin and the left, does not. It is as it should be, at this point in the game, just a month past the general election. Should Palin continue to be the popular governor from the State of Alaska (which, due to her rise in politics, more people can find on the map, with a positive net gain for the State in tourism), and continue to connect with the base as well as those who lean Republican, she will present a viable threat to the left in 2012. This is understood all too well. In Alaska, KTUU Anchorage, reported that the Chairwoman for the Alaskan Democrat Party has a few complaints regarding Palin’s travels outside of the state. Palin, who has been absent from the State for a period of 5 days out of 27, should, according to this “party hack” be attending to state business. Palin, who must defend herself consistently, while the governors, both Democrat and Republican, the lower 48, attend the same conferences, take time off for book tours (Massachusetts, Deval Patrick (D), or campaign for members of their own party, do not come under the same scrutiny nor are the subject to this intense criticism. Therefore, should Palin continue to grow, and be seen and recognized by those who both love her or love to hate her, over the next four years, she will become a greater threat to those who would not see any woman as President or Vice President. Palin is doing a service not only to her country, but to her gender, by proving that a woman can govern and be a central figure in a political party, and perhaps in 2012, through her efforts now, perhaps other women will be inclined to seek office, including the office of the Presidency.

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