Who dares wins

September 24, 2008

That’s the motto of the elite British Special Air Service. After today, I think it may be the secret motto of the McCain-Palin campaign, too.

McCain’s decision to suspend campaigning and seek a delay in his first debate with the Prophet Barack (Hope! Change! Waffles!) first left me thinking “WTF?” Then, after some reflection and reading, I’ve come to believe that, while this is a very risky move, it has just as much potential to make McCain look like a genius as it does to leave him looking like a goat. Richard Miniter has a good summary of what McCain’s gamble represents; I want to dwell on one particular aspect.

One will almost never see a move like this from a lawyer turned professional politician, especially one who, his whole career, rose through alliance with a corrupt political machine. No, this is the move of a military man, specifically one who has had to make split-second decisions in battle. Someone who trusts his instincts to know when to launch a bold stroke that changes the course of a battle. This is what the Athenians did at Marathon, when they charged full-speed into a larger Persian army and routed them. This is Alexander when he forded the Granicus against Darius III’s horde. This is Admiral Nimitz when he risked his entire carrier force at Midway to stop the Japanese fleet. This is Audie Murphy, standing alone against six German tanks and a horde of infantry.

This is John McCain, former A-4 Skyhawk pilot, seeing a chance to both serve his country and seize the initiative from his opponent, Barack Obama, just as when he selected Sarah Palin as his running-mate. What he’s done is incredibly risky, it may cost him the Presidency, but, win or lose, it is brilliant. It is glorious.

Another saying comes to mind, coined by the French revolutionary Georges Danton. Although a bloodthirsty tyrant, he had a way with words:

il nous faut de l’audace, et encore de l’audace, et toujours de l’audace

“We must be audacious, and again audacious, and forever audacious!”

John McCain is an admirer of former President Teddy Roosevelt, as am I, and I think this passage from one of TR’s most famous speeches must have motivated him:

It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.

Senator McCain has had my vote since he secured the nomination, and I’ve always admired his military service. But, after today, he has my awe.

Who dares wins.

LINKS: More at Campaign Standard.

Al Qaeda behind Islamabad Marriott bombing

September 24, 2008

To quote Gomer Pyle, “surprise, surprise, surprise!”

Looks like I don’t have to worry about apologizing.


Who plays the race card?

September 24, 2008

Why is it, whenever the so-called “race card” gets played, it always seems to come from the hand of an Obama supporter?


The last word on government bailouts

September 24, 2008


Rolling on the floor


More on Obama, Annenberg, Ayers, and the MSM

September 24, 2008

From Michael Barone:

There are two serious issues here: Mainstream media have shown an almost complete lack of interest in both of them.

One is the closeness of Obama’s relationship with an unrepentant terrorist bomber. The second is Obama’s own record at the CAC. This was one of the few executive positions Obama has held, and his record on education is undoubtedly a legitimate political issue. From what Kurtz has unearthed, the "reforms" Obama sought to advance were misguided and the CAC largely unsuccessful. I’m open to evidence that the CAC was more successful, and Obama could quite reasonably claim that he has changed the views on education he apparently held when he headed the CAC board. People can learn from experience, and we want a president willing to make changes when policies fail.

But it’s interesting that Obama, in his two autobiographies and in his campaign, has said almost nothing about the one executive position he has held and his one major effort on education. If you don’t have anything positive to say, it’s a good idea to say nothing and hope that nobody else will say anything either.

I wrote about this here.


Don’t they know Harry Reid said we’ve lost?

September 24, 2008

The Iraqi parliament has passed unanimously a law setting down procedures for provincial elections, a key "benchmark" demand of the US Congress.

This success proves again the basic thesis behind the surge strategy: that political reconciliation can only come about after the establishment of physical security. And that meant fighting and killing al Qaeda terrorists and their allies. Democrats such as Senators Obama and Clinton (and, to be fair, weak-kneed Republicans), who demanded that Iraqis reconcile politically before we would help them just didn’t get it. And it’s pretty clear they still don’t. (At least one senator did and does, however.)

What does this make, 17 out of 18 congressional demands met so far? (Fifteen, as of July.) You’d think Reid and the other Democratic leaders would have the grace to admit that Iraq is turning out to be a success, but that would require maturity and an ability to put the national interest first, something deeply lacking in the Democratic leadership. The best we can get is a grudging admission from Obama, who then goes on to say the Iraqis still haven’t done enough to take their share of the burden.

OK, I guess building an army from scratch, taking control of once-lost Anbar province, bearing the brunt of casualties, taking the lead in recapturing Basra and Sadr City, establishing a constitution and parliament, laying down budget procedures, setting rules for the sharing of oil revenues, taking on the Shiite militias, and providing for provincial elections just aren’t worth squat.

Would that our own Congress had half the record of success. Loser

LINKS: More from Ed Morrissey.

UPDATE: The New York Times refuses to acknowledge real progress, either. Why am I not surprised?


Charging victims for rape kits

September 24, 2008

To follow up on this post, let me direct you to Jim Geraghty’s examination of the charge that Sarah Palin as Mayor of Wasilla felt that rape victims should pay for the forensic kits used to investigate the crime and that she opposed having the state pick up the cost. His conclusion: a crime against the truth.


1.Wasilla was not mentioned in any of the hearings. In a conference call with reporters earlier this month, Tony Knowles (the man Palin beat in her governor’s race) claimed Wasilla was the lone town with the practice. This isn’t true, but he was far from alone in saying or implying this.


The Democratic sponsor of the legislation, Eric Croft, told USA Today recently that “the law was aimed in part at Wasilla, where now-Gov. Sarah Palin was mayor.” Yet in six committee meetings, Wasilla was never mentioned, even when the discussion turned to the specific topic of where victims were being charged. (The Matanuska-Susitna Valley, the surrounding region — the most densely populated region of the state, and roughly the size of West Virginia — is mentioned in passing.) Croft testified at the hearing where Phillips read the Juneau woman’s statement, so he must have known that it was a problem well beyond Palin’s jurisdiction, even if he chose not to tell USA Today about it.

2. The deputy commissioner of Alaska’s Department of Public Safety told the State Affairs Committee that he has never found a police agency that has billed a victim. In light of Wasilla’s low number of rapes according to available FBI statistics (one to two per year, compared to Juneau’s 30-39), and the fact that the Wasilla Finance Department cannot find any record of charging a victim for a rape kit, it is entirely possible that no victim was ever charged.


To clarify: In preparation to attend a hearing and support the bill, one of the state’s top law-enforcement officials found no case of a rape victim ever being charged. And roughly a month after 30 Democratic lawyers, investigators, and opposition researchers, not to mention reporters from every major news agency in the country, landed in Alaska, we still have no instances to consider.

3. Three times, witnesses told the committees that hospitals were responsible for passing the bill on to victims, not police agencies. If the bill went straight from the hospital to the victim, without ever being sent to the police department, this would explain why no confirming paperwork could be found in the Wasilla Finance Department. This information also fortifies Palin’s claim that she was never aware of the policy, as it is more plausible that a mayor would not be aware of a private hospitals’ billing policy than of the police department’s billing policy.

Lauree Hugonin, director of the Alaska Network on Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault, spoke at several committee meetings. She noted in response to Smith’s comment that while he had not found an instance where law enforcement has forwarded a bill, “hospitals have. It has happened in the Mat-Su Valley, on the Kenai Peninsula, and in Southeast, and that is why the bill is being brought forward.”

(Last emphasis added)

In other words, while there is no evidence that then-Mayor Palin wanted victims charged for their rape kits, it is a fact that the bill prohibiting such a practice was proposed because private hospitals were doing it. Hospitals over which the mayor’s office had no control or even knowledge of their billing policies. There is evidence, however, of a coordinated campaign to smear Palin by spreading deliberate lies about her.

With all the sliming going on, it’s a wonder that good people even bother to run for office. Sad

(hat tip: Campaign Standard)


What media bias? Surely you jest!

September 24, 2008

Via The Jawa Report. Click on the thumbnail below, which is a screen capture of a picture of John McCain that appears as part of an article at The Atlantic’s web site:

McCain Atlantic Photo

Look at the name of the picture file in the properties form on the right: "McCain Loser?"

Yep. We should just trust the mainstream media as honest brokers of the information we need to make intelligent decisions.

Care to buy a bridge? Raised Eyebrow


Obama, lies, and education

September 24, 2008

One of the vague, fuzzy areas of Barack Obama’s resume is his time on the board of the Chicago Annenberg Challenge, both as a member and as its chairman. Given the charge that Obama lacks the executive experience to be president, one would think he’d like to tout the experience he gained running a foundation that distributed over $100,000,000 to Chicago-area educational programs during his tenure.

One would be wrong.

The reason is his connection to William Ayers, a former Weather Underground terrorist and current Professor of Curriculum and Instruction at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Ayers (and his wife, fellow terrorist Bernadine Dohrn) have never renounced their radical left, anti-American beliefs. Ayers and Dohrn were also instrumental in launching Obama’s political career with a reception at their house in 1995. When his association with Ayers became a problem for Obama during the primaries, he tried to minimize his connection to the inactive terrorist, referring to him as just “a guy in my neighborhood” and glossing over their relationship at Annenberg.

That, in effect, was a lie.

Stanley Kurtz, a journalist who works regularly for National Review, went to Chicago to examine the records of the CAC on deposit at the UIC Daley library. After an initial stonewalling, he was granted access to the papers. What he has found is revealing about both the work of the Chicago Annenberg Challenge and Obama’s character.

Regarding the Obama-Ayers relationship, Kurtz writes:

The Chicago Annenberg Challenge was created ostensibly to improve Chicago’s public schools. The funding came from a national education initiative by Ambassador Walter Annenberg. In early 1995, Mr. Obama was appointed the first chairman of the board, which handled fiscal matters. Mr. Ayers co-chaired the foundation’s other key body, the “Collaborative,” which shaped education policy.

The CAC’s basic functioning has long been known, because its annual reports, evaluations and some board minutes were public. But the Daley archive contains additional board minutes, the Collaborative minutes, and documentation on the groups that CAC funded and rejected. The Daley archives show that Mr. Obama and Mr. Ayers worked as a team to advance the CAC agenda.

One unsettled question is how Mr. Obama, a former community organizer fresh out of law school, could vault to the top of a new foundation? In response to my questions, the Obama campaign issued a statement saying that Mr. Ayers had nothing to do with Obama’s “recruitment” to the board. The statement says Deborah Leff and Patricia Albjerg Graham (presidents of other foundations) recruited him. Yet the archives show that, along with Ms. Leff and Ms. Graham, Mr. Ayers was one of a working group of five who assembled the initial board in 1994. Mr. Ayers founded CAC and was its guiding spirit. No one would have been appointed the CAC chairman without his approval.

(Emphasis added)

So Ayers, a man who regrets not planting enough bombs in the 70s, was instrumental in both hiring Obama at CAC and playing a major role at the start of his political career. Sounds like more than just a “guy in my neighborhood” to me.

Sounds like Obama was trying to cover up the truth.

According to Kurtz, the records of the CAC show that Obama and Kurtz worked closely together. Just what kind of work did they do? The Chicago Annenberg Challenge ostensibly was supposed to funnel money to schools to work to improve public education. Most people, when they think “improve public education,” have in mind better test scores in reading and math, more exposure to the arts and sciences, work meant to help children lead better lives as adults.

Not at CAC under Ayers and Obama. Kurtz, again:

The CAC’s agenda flowed from Mr. Ayers’s educational philosophy, which called for infusing students and their parents with a radical political commitment, and which downplayed achievement tests in favor of activism. In the mid-1960s, Mr. Ayers taught at a radical alternative school, and served as a community organizer in Cleveland’s ghetto.

In works like “City Kids, City Teachers” and “Teaching the Personal and the Political,” Mr. Ayers wrote that teachers should be community organizers dedicated to provoking resistance to American racism and oppression. His preferred alternative? “I’m a radical, Leftist, small ‘c’ communist,” Mr. Ayers said in an interview in Ron Chepesiuk’s, “Sixties Radicals,” at about the same time Mr. Ayers was forming CAC.

CAC translated Mr. Ayers’s radicalism into practice. Instead of funding schools directly, it required schools to affiliate with “external partners,” which actually got the money. Proposals from groups focused on math/science achievement were turned down. Instead CAC disbursed money through various far-left community organizers, such as the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (or Acorn).

So, instead of teaching children how to read, the CAC under Obama and Ayers was more concerned with teaching them how to “fight oppression.” CAC’s own auditors evaluated the organization’s work and found it made no difference in the test scores of Chicago’s students. None. After spending $100,000,000.

No wonder Obama doesn’t want to talk about this.

(Side note: ACORN, which has a close relationship with Obama, is also notorious for being suspected of voter-registration fraud.)

There are two problems here. One is the work itself: not only was the CAC useless at actually improving the skill levels of Chicago’s students, it instead made them guinea pigs in a radical Left experiment that was about anything but real education. The money was wasted, those students’ time was wasted. And Barack Obama was in charge. Think about that, and then think about the federal role in education policy. The Secretary of Education is the president’s employee.

The second and, to my mind, more serious problem relates to Obama’s character. All politicians fudge their records and bend the truth to give voters what they want to hear: it’s an inescapable feature of a mass democracy — we demand it of them and shouldn’t be shocked when it happens.

But Barack Obama has done far more than fudge his relationship with William Ayers: he has been fundamentally deceptive about the nature of his relationship with an unrepentant (albeit inactive) communist terrorist, the depth of that relationship, and their work together. This goes beyond bending the truth: this is lying, and the efforts to block access to the records of the Chicago Annenberg Challenge are themselves indicative of a guilty conscience. Someone knew the truth of what those records would show and wanted them kept sealed, someone who feared voters would reject Obama if they knew the truth of his association with a terrorist and his support for that terrorist’s radical educational agenda.

Elections are about policy and character. Voters weigh each when making their choice. What the records of the Chicago Annenberg Challenge show about the policies and especially the character of Barack Obama also show that he is unfit to be President of the United States.

LINKS: More Kurtz at NRO. Pajamas Media. The Weekly Standard. Hot Air. Power Line. Sister Toldjah.

EDIT: Added WordPress tags, 9/26/2010