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Heavy-Handed Politics

"€œGod willing, with the force of God behind it, we shall soon experience a world
without the United States and Zionism."€ -- Iran President Ahmadi-Nejad

Friday, August 08, 2008

The Iranian Threat

Two more US aircraft carriers headed for Gulf
Two additional United States naval aircraft carriers are heading to the Gulf and the Red Sea, according to the Kuwaiti newspaper Kuwait Times.

Kuwait began finalizing its "emergency war plan" on being told the vessels were bound for the region.

The ship movements coincide with the latest downturn
in relations between Washington and Teheran. The US and Iran are at
odds over Iran's nuclear program, which the Bush administration claims
is aimed at producing material for nuclear weapons; however, Teheran
argues it is only for power generation.

Former Presidential Candidate Urges Crowd to Stalk Federal Prosecutor
Former Democratic presidential candidate Mike Gravel was caught on tape last week telling a crowd in Washington, D.C., that they should harass a federal prosecutor who helped bring criminal contempt charges against a Palestinian activist.

In the tape, Gravel can be heard telling people to pressure Gordon Kromberg, an assistant U.S. attorney in the eastern district of Virginia, to drop the charges against Sami Al-Arian.

“Find out where he lives, find out where his kids go to school...."

From The Atlantic:
Edwards statement: 'I made a serious error in judgment.'

'I started to believe that I was special and became increasingly egocentric and narcissistic.'

[emphasis mine - HH]

"Started to..."? Just when did this process begin? When you entered law school?

When you graduated from law school?

When you became a successful big-time trial lawyer?

When you became a successful Senator?

Oh wait. You served only one term.

Homeschooling OK – even in California

Reversed: Ruling that parents had no right to teach children
The long-awaited case resolves many of the questions that had developed in......

“When World War II ended, the United States had the only undamaged industrial power in the world. Our military might was at its peak, and we alone had the ultimate weapon, the nuclear weapon, with the unquestioned ability to deliver it anywhere in the world. If we had sought world domination then, who could have opposed us? But the United States followed a different course, one unique in all the history of mankind. We used our power and wealth to rebuild the war-ravished economies of the world, including those of the nations who had been our enemies. May I say, there is absolutely no substance to charges that the United States is guilty of imperialism or attempts to impose its will on other countries, by use of force.”
—Ronald Reagan


“Capitalism is the greatest system ever created for alleviating general human misery, and yet it breeds ingratitude. People ask, ‘Why is there poverty in the world?’ It’s a silly question. Poverty is the default human condition... The interesting question isn’t ‘Why is there poverty?’ It’s ‘Why is there wealth?’ Or: ‘Why is there prosperity here but not there?’ At the end of the day, the first answer is capitalism, rightly understood. That is to say: free markets, private property, the spirit of entrepreneurialism and the conviction that the fruits of your labors are your own... In large measure our wealth isn’t the product of capitalism, it is capitalism. And yet we hate it. Leaving religion out of it, no idea has given more to humanity. The average working-class person today is richer, in real terms, than the average prince or potentate of 300 years ago. His food is better, his life longer, his health better, his menu of entertainments vastly more diverse, his toilette infinitely more civilized. And yet we constantly hear how cruel capitalism is while this collectivism or that is more loving because, unlike capitalism, collectivism is about the group, not the individual... Meanwhile, billions have ridden capitalism out of poverty. And yet the children of capitalism still whine.”

—Jonah Goldberg

“The prosperity of commerce is now perceived and acknowledged by all enlightened statesmen to be the most useful as well as the most productive source of national wealth.”
—Alexander Hamilton

Gauging Obama's Energy Policy
by A.W.R. Hawkins

Barack Obama recently announced that if elected President, he would implement a "windfall profits tax" on oil companies to force them to "contribute a reasonable share" of their profits to American families burdened by high energy costs. The money would come to families via rebates, or "stimulus checks," from the federal government. And while he was obviously proud of his big idea, Obama did not bother mentioning that the Democrat practice of putting socialism first, the environment second, and the American people third, is what brought us to the brink we now face over energy costs in the first place. He also remains mute on the fact that the rebates really aren't rebates at all, and will result in higher prices at the pump once they are issued.

A Revealing Look at Britain's Muslim Students
—David Aikman

Many people have argued that Islamist extremism is the result of economic and social grievances among the poor and disadvantaged of the Muslim world. A glance at the high education attainments of most of the 9/11 Arab hijackers ought to have put that misconception to rest.

But now a recent poll in Britain of Muslim university students has confirmed it. One third approved of killing in the name of religion and wanted a worldwide caliphate, and one quarter didn't think men and women were equal in God's eyes. Yet 94 percent of non-Muslim students thought killing for religious reasons was always wrong.

There's either something wrong with British higher education or something profoundly wrong with British Muslims if Muslim students hold those attitudes.

“When one side sees their own country as the problem, and the other side sees their own country as the solution, somebody tell me where you compromise with that?” —Rush Limbaugh

Oily Hypocrisy
The American

Strong Productivity Defies Trend and Gives Fed Room to Maneuver
The Wall Street Journal

GDP accelerates to 1.9% pace in second quarter

Oil War: The Media Crusade

There’s a super villain in the news and it’s not The Joker. Reporters on the broadcast networks and CNN battle the oil industry day after day for profits, price “manipulation,” and even muddling the global warming debate. Read the commentary here.

The Last Frontier

"Ted Stevens, the recently indicted senior senator from the Last Frontier, has been shipping anything not nailed down in Washington back home for years. Citizens Against Government Waste calculates that between 1995 and 2008, Stevens alone brought home some $3.4 billion in pork barrel projects.

Stevens has a worthwhile protègè in Don Young, famed champion of the Bridge to Nowhere. Talk to Alaskans and they’ll explain that the difference between Ted Stevens and Don Young is that Young is a dimwitted, corrupt, belligerent, bullying, vindictive taxpayer goody-grabber; Stevens isn’t dimwitted." -- JONAH GOLDBERG

Ouch! What a ringing endorsement.

Read Goldberg's column "McCain’s Last Frontier" here.

Thursday, August 07, 2008

"To know nothing of what happened before you were born is to remain ever a child."
- Cicero -

"As the old proverb says 'Like readily consorts with like.' "
- Cicero -

"The wise are instructed by reason; ordinary minds by experience; the stupid, by necessity; and brutes by instinct."
- Cicero -

"Any man can make mistakes, but only an idiot persists in his error."
- Cicero -

"No poet or orator has ever existed who believed there was any better than himself."
- Cicero -

"Nothing is more unreliable than the populace, nothing more obscure than human intentions, nothing more deceptive than the whole electoral system."
- Cicero -

The budget should be balanced. Public debt should be reduced. The arrogance of officialdom should be tempered, and assistance to foreign lands should be curtailed, lest Rome become bankrupt.
- Cicero -

"To spare the guilty is to injure the innocent."
- Publilius Syrus, 85-42 B.C. -
Roman (Syrian-born), slave & poet

"Anyone can hold the helm when the sea is calm."
- Publilius Syrus -

"Necessity knows no law except to conquer."
- Publilius Syrus -

"No man is happy who does not think himself so."
- Publilius Syrus -

"Do not despise the bottom rungs in the ascent to greatness."
- Publilius Syrus -

Dems call on Edwards to address affair rumors

By Mark Johnson, Charlotte Observer

RALEIGH - Former Sen. John Edwards might have to move quickly to save his spot on the national stage.

With two weeks before their national convention, several prominent Democrats are saying Edwards must publicly address anonymously sourced National Enquirer stories that claim he had an affair with a campaign worker and fathered her baby. [more]

Is street crime a Federal problem? Or is it something that needs to be fought at the state and local levels?

In Phila., mayors urge action on crime
Something is missing from the presidential campaign, according to many of the nation's mayors and police chiefs: a substantive debate about crime and how best to fight it.

This is so wrong.

Drug Smuggler Gets Less Prison Time Than Border Agents
The Mexican drug smuggler who testified against the two Border Patrol agents who shot him was sentenced Wednesday to nine and a half years in federal prison. That’s a shorter sentence than either of the agents received.

Obama’s ‘Civilian Security Force’ Prompts Questions
Advocates of limited government are concerned about comments by Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) regarding his national service plans and his views on the “burden of global citizenship.” “We’re going to grow our Foreign Service, open consulates that have been shuttered and double the size of the Peace Corps by 2011 to renew our diplomacy,” Obama told a Colorado audience earlier this month.

Obama's New Muslim Adviser Resigns
Sen. Barack Obama's director of Muslim outreach has resigned amid controversy, just a few weeks after joining Obama's presidential campaign. Asbahi resigned amid questions about his connection to a Chicago-area imam linked to people who allegedly raised funds for Hamas.

McCain, Obama Should Return to DC to Push Oil-Drilling Vote, Gingrich Says
“If (Sens. John McCain and Barack Obama) want to show real leadership, then they should come back here,” former House Speaker Newt Gingrich said on Wednesday outside the House chamber. Gingrich joined House Republicans in calling for Congress to reconvene and pass a comprehensive energy bill that would allow new offshore drilling for oil.


Columnist Jack Kelly:

"Barack Hussein Obama's efforts to explain his energy policy indicate why his campaign has emphasized celebrity over issues. The liberal San Francisco Chronicle says he is offering 'more flip-flops than a Lake Tahoe souvenir stand.'

In a speech in Lansing, Michigan Monday (8/04), Mr. Obama called for release of 70 million barrels of oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve. As the AP's Tom Raum noted in his lead, this was a reversal of a position he had taken less than a month before.

"The strategic oil reserve, I think, has to be reserved for a genuine emergency," Sen. Obama said in a press availability in St. Louis July 7:

"You have a situation, let's say, where there was a major oil facility in Saudi Arabia that was destroyed as a consequence of terrorist acts, and you suddenly had huge amounts of oil taken out of the world market, we wouldn't just be seeing $4 a gallon oil. We could see a situation where entire sectors of the country had no oil to function at all. And that's what the strategic oil reserve has to be for."

Now, apparently, a drop in the opinion polls is reason enough to tap the strategic petroleum reserve."


"Ronald Reagan first condemned the Soviet Union as an "evil empire" in a speech to the National Association of Evangelicals in Orlando Florida on March 8, 1983.

Publicly naming the explicit nature of Soviet imperialism provided the necessary focus for those of us working on a strategy to rid the world of it - a strategy the press called the Reagan Doctrine. Less than eight years after President Reagan spoke those immortal words, the Soviet Union was no more.

Ex-KGB agent Vladimir Putin is determined to resurrect this evil empire with oil billions, gangster capitalism, and Russian thuggery. But Russia is dying demographically and by 2015 half the Russian Army will be Moslem. By 2020 or maybe before, the eastern half of Russian Siberia will be Chinese Siberia.

Russia has no future beyond ephemerally high oil prices. Once they crash, so does Russia.

So is there an heir to the title of Evil Empire in this new century? Yes. It is China.

One principal reason is that the internal structure of the former Soviet Union and China are the same. One benefit of the Beijing Olympics is to make that blindingly clear. "

- Dr. Jack Wheeler

Interview with David Freddoso, Author of 'The Case Against Barack Obama'

In this HUMAN EVENTS Exclusive, David Freddoso, author of 'The Case Against Barack Obama' tells interviewer Michelle Oddis that the main lesson to be learned from his book is that "Barack Obama’s record, throughout his career, demonstrates conclusively that he has never been a reformer, that this image of 'change and hope' that he projects is really a great lie. In fact there’s never been a single time in Senator Obama’s political career where he did something that was difficult and would cost him politically for the sake of needed reforms and change."

Go read the rest here.


I have some strong concerns as to whether or not China is up to the task of putting on a safe Olympic show. Anyone else share these concerns with me? The following is an article from the STRATFOR Terrorism Intelligence Report:

China and the Enduring Uighurs
By Rodger Baker

On Aug. 4, four days before the start of the Beijing Olympics, two ethnic Uighurs drove a stolen dump truck into a group of some 70 Chinese border police in the town of Kashi in Xinjiang, killing at least 16 of the officers. The attackers carried knives and home-made explosive devices and had also written manifestos in which they expressed their commitment to jihad in Xinjiang. The incident occurred just days after a group calling itself the Turkistan Islamic Party (TIP) claimed responsibility for a series of recent attacks and security incidents in China and warned of further attacks targeting the Olympics.

Chinese authorities linked the Aug. 4 attack to transnational jihadists, suggesting the involvement of the East Turkistan Islamic Movement (ETIM), which Beijing has warned is the biggest terrorist threat to China and the Olympics. Despite the Chinese warnings and TIP claims and the intensified focus on the Uighurs because of the Aug. 4 attack, there is still much confusion over just who these Uighur or Turkistani militants are.

The Uighurs, a predominately Muslim Turkic ethnic group largely centered in China’s northwestern Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region, have their own culture, language and written script distinct from their Han Chinese counterparts. Uighur ethnic nationalists and Islamist separatists have risen several times to challenge Chinese control over Xinjiang, but the Uighur independence movement remains fractured and frequently at odds with itself. However, recent evolutions within the Islamist militant Uighur movement, including growing links with transnational jihadist groups in Central and Southwest Asia, may represent a renewed threat to security in China.

Origins in Xinjiang

Uighur nationalism traces its origins back to a broader Turkistan, stretching through much of modern day Xinjiang (so-called “East Turkistan”) and into Central Asia. East Turkistan was conquered by the Manchus in the mid-1700s and, after decades of struggle, the territory was annexed by China, which later renamed it Xinjiang, or “New Territories.” A modern nation-state calling itself East Turkistan arose in Xinjiang in the chaotic transition from imperial China to Communist China, lasting for two brief periods from 1933 to 1934 and from 1944 to 1949. Since that time, “East Turkistan” has been, more or less, an integral part of the People’s Republic of China.

The evolution of militant Uighur separatism — and particularly Islamist-based separatism — has been shaped over time by both domestic and foreign developments. In 1940, Hizbul Islam Li-Turkistan (Islamic Party of Turkistan or Turkistan Islamic Movement ) emerged in Xinjiang, spearheading a series of unsuccessful uprisings from the 1940s through 1952, first against local warlords and later against the Communist Chinese.

In 1956, as the “Hundred Flowers” was blooming in China’s eastern cities, and intellectuals were (very briefly) allowed to air their complaints and suggestions for China’s political and social development, a new leadership emerged among the Uighur Islamist nationalists, changing the focus from “Turkistan” to the more specific “East Turkistan,” or Xinjiang. Following another failed uprising, the Islamist Uighur movement faded away for several decades, with only minor sparks flaring during the chaos of the Cultural Revolution.

In 1979, as Deng Xiaoping was launching China’s economic opening and reform, there was a coinciding period of Islamic and ethnic revival in Xinjiang, reflecting the relative openness of China at the time. During this time, one of the original founders of Hizbul Islam Li-Turkistan, Abdul Hakeem, was released from prison and set up underground religious schools. Among his pupils in the 1980s was Hasan Mahsum, who would go on to found ETIM.

The 1980s were a chaotic period in Xinjiang, with ethnic and religious revivalism, a growing student movement, and public opposition to China’s nuclear testing at Lop Nor. Uighur student protests were more a reflection of the growing student activism in China as a whole (culminating in the 1989 Tiananmen Square incident) than a resurgence of Uighur separatism, but they coincided with a general movement in Xinjiang to promote literacy and to refocus on religious and ethnic heritage. Amid this revival, several Uighur separatist or Islamist militant movements emerged.

A critical moment occurred in April 1990, when an offshoot of the Uighur Islamist militant movement was discovered plotting an uprising in Xinjiang. The April 5 so-called “Baren Incident” (named for the city where militants and their supporters faced off against Chinese security forces) led Beijing to launch dragnet operations in the region, arresting known, suspected or potential troublemakers — a pattern that would be repeated through the “Strike Hard” campaigns of the 1990s. Many of the Uighurs caught up in these security campaigns, including Mahsum, began to share, refine and shape their ideology in prisons, taking on more radical tendencies and creating networks of relations that could be called upon later. From 1995 to 1997, the struggle in Xinjiang reached its peak, with increasingly frequent attacks by militants in Xinjiang and equally intensified security countermeasures by Beijing.

It was also at this time that China formed the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), enlisting Central Asian assistance in cracking down on Uighur militants, many of whom had fled China. In some ways this plan backfired, as it provided common cause between the Uighurs and Central Asian militants, and forced some Uighur Islamist militants further west, to Pakistan and Afghanistan, where they would link up with the Taliban, al Qaeda, and the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan (IMU), among others.

Among those leaving China was Mahsum, who tried to rally support from the Uighur diaspora in Saudi Arabia, Pakistan and Turkey but was rebuffed. Mahsum and a small group of followers headed to Central Asia and ultimately Afghanistan, where he established ETIM as a direct successor to his former teacher’s Hizbul Islam Li-Turkistan. By 1998, Kabul-based ETIM began recruiting and training Uighur militants while expanding ties with the emerging jihadist movement in the region, dropping the “East” from its name to reflect these deepening ties. Until the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan in 2001, ETIM focused on recruiting and training Uighur militants at a camp run by Mahsum and Abdul Haq, who is cited by TIP now as its spiritual leader.

With the U.S. attack on Afghanistan in October 2001, ETIM was routed and its remnants fled to Central Asia and Pakistan. In January 2002, Mahsum tried to distance ETIM from al Qaeda in an attempt to avoid having the Uighur movement come under U.S. guns. It did not work. In September 2002, the United States declared ETIM a terrorist organization at the behest of China. A year later, ETIM experienced what seemed to be its last gasps, with a joint U.S.-Pakistani operation in South Waziristan in October 2003 killing Hasan Mahsum.

A Movement Reborn?

Following Mahsum’s death, a leaderless ETIM continued to interact with the Taliban and various Central Asian militants, particularly Uzbeks, and slowly reformed into a more coherent core in the Pakistan/Afghanistan frontier. In 2005, there were stirrings of this new Uighur Islamist militant group, the Turkistan Islamic Party (TIP), which established a robust presence on the Internet, posting histories of the Uighur/Turkistan people in western China and Central Asia and inspirational videos featuring Mahsum. In 2006, a new video surfaced calling for jihad in Xinjiang, and later that year there were reports that remnants of ETIM had begun re-forming and moving back into far western Xinjiang.

It was also around this time that Beijing began raising the specter of ETIM targeting the Olympics — a move seen at the time as primarily an excuse for stricter security controls. In early January 2007, Beijing raided a camp of suspected ETIM militants near the Xinjiang border with Tajikistan, and a year later raided another suspected camp in Urumchi, uncovering a plot to carry out attacks during the Olympics. This was followed in March by a reported attempt by Uighur militants to down a Chinese airliner with gasoline smuggled aboard in soda cans.

Publicly, the Uighur militant issue was quickly swept aside by the Tibetan uprising in March, leaving nearly unnoticed an anti-government protest in Hotan and a series of counterterrorism raids by Chinese security forces in late March and early April that reportedly found evidence of more specific plots to attack Beijing and Shanghai during the Olympics.

In the midst of this security campaign, TIP released a video, not disseminated widely until late June, in which spokesman Commander Seyfullah laid out a list of grievances against Beijing and cited Abdul Haq as calling on Uighur Islamist militants to begin strikes against China. The video also complained that the “U.S.-led Western countries listed the Turkistan Islamic Party as one of the international terrorist organizations,” an apparent reference to the United States’ 2002 listing of the ETIM on the terrorist exclusion list.

In addition to linking the TIP to the ETIM, the April video also revealed some elements of the movement’s evolution since the death of Mahsum. Rather than the typical rhetoric of groups closely linked to the Wahabi ideology of al Qaeda, TIP listed its grievances against Beijing in an almost lawyer-like fashion, following more closely the pattern of Hizb al-Tahrir (HT), a movement active in Central Asia advocating nonviolent struggle against corrupt regimes and promoting the return of Islamic rule. Although HT officially renounces violence as a tool of political change, it has provided an abundance of zealous and impatient idealists who are often recruited by more active militant organizations.

The blending of the HT ideologies with the underlying principles of Turkistan independence reflects the melding of the Uighur Islamist militancy with wider Central Asian Islamist movements. Fractures in HT, emerging in 2005 and expanding thereafter, may also have contributed to the evolution of TIP’s ideology; breakaway elements of HT argued that the nonviolent methods espoused by HT were no longer effective.

What appears to be emerging is a Turkistan Islamist movement with links in Central Asia, stretching back to Afghanistan and Pakistan, blending Taliban training, transnational jihadist experiential learning, HT frameworks and recruiting, and Central Asian ties for support and shelter. This is a very different entity than China has faced in the past. If the TIP follows the examples set by the global jihadist movement, it will become an entity with a small core leadership based far from its primary field of operations guiding (ideologically but not necessarily operationally) a number of small grassroots militant cells.

The network will be diffuse, with cells operating relatively independently with minimal knowledge or communication among them and focused on localized goals based on their training, skills and commitment. This would make the TIP less of a strategic threat, since it would be unable to rally large numbers of fighters in a single or sustained operation, but it would also be more difficult to fight, since Beijing would be unable to use information from raiding one cell to find another.

This appears to be exactly what we are seeing now. The central TIP core uses the Internet and videos as psychological tools to trigger a reaction from Beijing and inspire militants without exposing itself to detection or capture. On July 25, TIP released a video claiming responsibility for a series of attacks in China, including bus bombings in Kunming, a bus fire in Shanghai and a tractor bombing in Wenzhou. While these claims were almost certainly exaggerated, the Aug. 4 attack in Xinjiang suddenly refocused attention on the TIP and its earlier threats.

Further complicating things for Beijing are the transnational linkages ETIM forged and TIP has maintained. The Turkistan movement includes not only China’s Uighurs but also crosses into Uzbekistan, parts of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan and spreads back through Central Asia all the way to Turkey. These linkages may have been the focus of quiet security warnings beginning around March that Afghan, Middle Eastern and Central Asian migrants and tourists were spotted carrying out surveillance of schools, hotels and government buildings in Beijing and Shanghai — possibly part of an attack cycle.

The alleged activities seem to fit a pattern within the international jihadist movement of paying more attention to China. Islamists have considered China something less imperialistic, and thus less threatening, than the United States and European powers, but this began changing with the launch of the SCO, and the trend has been accelerating with China’s expanded involvement in Africa and Central Asia and its continued support for Pakistan’s government. China’s rising profile among Islamists has coincided with the rebirth of the Uighur Islamist militant movement just as Beijing embarks on one of its most significant security events: the Summer Olympics.

Whatever name it may go by today — be it Hizbul Islam Li-Turkistan, the East Turkistan Islamic Movement or the Turkistan Islamic Party — the Uighur Islamist militant movement remains a security threat to Beijing. And in its current incarnation, drawing on internationalist resources and experiences and sporting a more diffuse structure, the Uighur militancy may well be getting a second wind.


3 States to Consider Affirmative Action Ban
By Chris Kahn, Associated Press

Phoenix (AP) - With one brief criticism of affirmative action, John McCain has brought new attention to ballot issues aimed at dismantling preferential treatment programs for women and minorities. [more]

Voter Responses to Fuel Costs

By Paul Weyrich
When Congress returns after Labor Day the Republican Whip, Representative Roy Blunt (R-MO), will introduce the American Energy Act. He means it to be the definitive program his party should pursue as it faces the general election in a couple of months. The measure has three distinctive parts.

For the past couple of years voters have paid little attention to anything the Republicans have said. The view has been that the GOP had its chance for a dozen years and Republicans blew it. Voters pointed to a major Democratic victory this fall. Then along came the energy issue. The Democrats are on the wrong side of energy issues and voters are listening to the Republicans again. Blunt wants the contrast between the parties to be clear.
Read more about the American Energy Act here.

With Unemployment Going Up, What's The Answer? More Foreighn Workers Of Course.

With Jobs Disappearing, Congress Determined to Admit More Foreign Workers
By Ira Mehlman
Congress adjourned for a month-long recess on Aug. 1, the same day that the Bureau of Labor Statistics released distressing news about unemployment. The July economic news was not good. The official unemployment rate hit a four-year high of 5.7 percent, as the economy shed 51,000 jobs last month, bringing the total of lost jobs for 2008 to 463,000. [full column]

Pelosi Reacts to GOP House Protest

By Amanda Carpenter
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D.-Calif.) issued a curt retort to House Republicans staging a week-long protest against her decision to unceremoniously adjourn the House last week. [full story]

Obama Supporters for $10 Gas

By Amanda Carpenter
A Washington-based anti-tax advocacy videotaped supporters of Barack Obama’s presidential campaign who support $10 per gallon gas during a protest stand-off Tuesday. [full story]

Washington Post Blows Front Page Story

By Amanda Carpenter
The Washington Post was forced to issue a substantive correction to a front page story that stated GOP presidential candidate John McCain received “unlikely” campaign contributions through an unscrupulous bundler after Townhall questioned the facts of the article. [full story]

Bad Economy May Hurt Obama

By Dick Morris and Eileen McGann
The conventional wisdom has it down pat: A bad economy works against the candidate from the party in power as voters take out their rage and fear on the president's party and back the challenger. [full column]

Hillary's Growing Shadow

By Victor Davis Hanson
Everyone is puzzled why the Democratic candidate isn't at least 10 points ahead. It seems the more Americans get used to Barack Obama, the less they want him as president -- and the more Democrats will soon regret not nominating Hillary Clinton. [full column]

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Ants & Grasshoppers

Two Similar Stories!
Two Different Morals!

OLD VERSION: The ant works hard in the withering heat all summer
long, building his house and laying up supplies for the winter.

The grasshopper thinks the ant is a fool and laughs and dances and
plays the summer away. Come winter, the ant is warm and well fed.

The grasshopper has no food or shelter, so he dies out in the cold.

MORAL OF THE STORY: Be responsible for yourself!

The ant works hard in the withering heat all summer long, building his house and laying up supplies for the winter.

The grasshopper thinks the ant is a fool and laughs and dances and plays the summer away.

Come winter, the shivering grasshopper calls a press confere nce and demands to know why the ant should be allowed to be warm and well
fed while others are cold and starving.

CBS, NBC, PBS, CNN, and ABC show up to provide pictures of the shivering grasshopper next to a video of the ant in his comfortable
home with a table filled with food. America is stunned by the sharp contrast.

How can this be, that in a country of such wealth, this poor grasshopper is allowed to suffer so?

Kermit the Frog appears on Oprah with the grasshopper, and everybody cries when they sing, 'It's Not Easy Being Green.'

Jesse Jackson stages a demonstration in front of the ant's house where the news stations film the group singing, 'We shall overcome.'
Jesse then has the group kneel down t o pray to God for the grasshopper's sake.

Nancy Pelosi & Obama exclaim in an interview with Larry King that the ant has gotten rich off the back of the grasshopper, and both call
for an immediate tax hike on the ant to make him pay his fair share.

Finally, the EEOC drafts the Economic Equity & Anti-Grasshopper Act retroactive to the beginning of the summer.

The ant is fined for failing to hire a proportionate number of green bugs and, having nothing left to pay his retroactive taxes, his home is
confiscated by the government.
Hillary gets her old law firm to represent the grasshopper in a defamation suit against the ant, and the case is tried before a panel of federal
judges that Bill Clinton appointed from a list of single-parent welfare recipients.

The ant loses the case.

The story ends as we see the grasshopper finishing u p the last bits of the ant's food while the government house he is in, which just happens to be
the ant's old house, crumbles around him because he doesn't maintain it.

The ant has disappeared in the snow.

The grasshopper is found dead in a drug related incident and the house, now abandoned, is taken over by a gang of spiders who terrorize the
once peaceful neighborhood.

MORAL OF THE STORY: Be careful how you vote in 2008!

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

US Arctic Oil May be LOST to the UN
By Alan Caruba

At a time when nationalized foreign oil companies control more than 70% of the world’s energy resources, private enterprise is the only answer to our national energy security. The largest transfer of wealth in history is occurring and it bodes ill for the United States. We dare not compound this travesty by failing to take steps to ensure access to the Arctic Commons vast reserves.

U.S. Future Threatend by Cost of Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security
Michael D. Tanner

Peter Orszag is no conservative ideologue. The head of the Congressional Budget Office was a scholar at the liberal Brookings Institution before being picked for his current position by Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid. Yet, Mr. Orszag recently warned that the rising cost of federal entitlement programs, particularly Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security, poses a grave threat to America's economic future. According to Mr. Orszag, without dramatic reform, the cost of those three programs alone will rise from 18 percent of GDP today to 28 percent by the middle of this century and as much as 35 percent soon thereafter. The impact on workers, businesses and the economy at large would be catastrophic.

Stall that Slide to the ’70s
By Ed Feulner

High gasoline prices are back. Petroleum-producing nations (such as Venezuela, Iran and Saudi Arabia) again hold us hostage -- this time for petro-dollars, even as the value of our currency slides. And polls show both the president and Congress have their lowest approval ratings in decades. With so much discontent, who would want to go back to the policies of the 1970s? None other than the self-professed presidential candidate of “change,” Barack Obama.

Venezuela's Chavez Makes More Anti-Democracy Moves
Caracas, Venezuela (AP) - Venezuela President Hugo Chavez plans to set up neighborhood-based militias, move toward a socialist economy, and increase state control over agriculture under a package of laws enacted by presidential decree.

Changes in areas from the military to small business loans were pushed through by the president in.....

NW Pakistan ‘On the Brink of Civil War’
Peshawar, Pakistan
– Pakistan’s military claims to have killed at least 94 Taliban militants in stepped-up operations in the North West Frontier Province’s Swat valley, following the collapse of a truce. Army Brig. Zia Anjum Bodla told reporters in Swat that the Taliban had repeatedly violated a peace agreement signed last May with the NWFP government. The military action would continue until the area was cleared of insurgents.


U.S. Headed Toward Bankruptcy, Says Top Budget Committee Republican
The ranking Republican on the House Budget Committee said the U.S. government is headed toward bankruptcy if it stays on its current fiscal course. “We know that for a fact,” Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) told CNSNews.com in a video interview. “All the actuaries, all the objective scorekeepers of the federal government, are predicting this.”

Poll Shows Slight McCain Advantage
Two polls show the presidential race in a dead heat, but one of those show Republican John McCain with an advantage over Barack Obama for the first time since June. A Rasmussen poll released Monday showed the race for the White House is tied at 44 percent for Obama and McCain. However, among “leaners,” McCain leads 47-46 percent. A Gallup poll released Sunday showed Obama with a one point lead, 45 percent to 44 percent. Both polls surveyed about 1,000 voters and have a two percent margin of error.

GOP Wants Dems to Return from ‘Recess’
Congress recessed for the summer on Friday, but that didn’t stop Republicans from returning to the House floor on Monday to demand that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) reconvene lawmakers to pass energy legislation, including lifting the ban on offshore drilling. “It was simply wrong for Congress to take a five-week paid vacation without ever taking a vote on giving the American people more access to American oil,” Rep. Mike Pence (R-Ind.) said of the unprecedented gathering.

Pelosi: GOP’s Oil Drilling Plan Is A ‘Hoax’
A Republican plan to open more public land to oil exploration and drilling is “unworthy of serious debate,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said on Monday.

Solzhenitsyn and the Struggle for Russia's Soul

Geopolitical Intelligence Report
By George Friedman

There are many people who write history. There are very few who make history through their writings. Alexander Solzhenitsyn, who died this week at the age of 89, was one of them. In many ways, Solzhenitsyn laid the intellectual foundations for the fall of Soviet communism. That is well known. But Solzhenitsyn also laid the intellectual foundation for the Russia that is now emerging. That is less well known, and in some ways more important.

Solzhenitsyn’s role in the Soviet Union was simple. His writings, and in particular his book “One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich,” laid bare the nature of the Soviet regime. The book described a day in the life of a prisoner in a Soviet concentration camp, where the guilty and innocent alike were sent to have their lives squeezed out of them in endless and hopeless labor. It was a topic Solzhenitsyn knew well, having been a prisoner in such a camp following service in World War II.

The book was published in the Soviet Union during the reign of Nikita Khrushchev. Khrushchev had turned on his patron, Joseph Stalin, after taking control of the Communist Party apparatus following Stalin’s death. In a famous secret speech delivered to the leadership of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, Khrushchev denounced Stalin for his murderous ways. Allowing Solzhenitsyn’s book to be published suited Khrushchev. Khrushchev wanted to detail Stalin’s crimes graphically, and Solzhenitsyn’s portrayal of life in a labor camp served his purposes.

It also served a dramatic purpose in the West when it was translated and distributed there. Ever since its founding, the Soviet Union had been mythologized. This was particularly true among Western intellectuals, who had been taken by not only the romance of socialism, but also by the image of intellectuals staging a revolution. Vladimir Lenin, after all, had been the author of works such as “Materialism and Empirio-Criticism.” The vision of intellectuals as revolutionaries gripped many European and American intellectuals.

These intellectuals had missed not only that the Soviet Union was a social catastrophe, but that, far from being ruled by intellectuals, it was being ruled by thugs. For an extraordinarily long time, in spite of ample testimony by emigres from the Soviet regime, Western intellectuals simply denied this reality. When Western intellectuals wrote that they had “seen the future and it worked,” they were writing at a time when the Soviet terror was already well under way. They simply couldn’t see it.

One of the most important things about “One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich” was not only that it was so powerful, but that it had been released under the aegis of the Soviet state, meaning it could not simply be ignored. Solzhenitsyn was critical in breaking the intellectual and moral logjam among intellectuals in the West. You had to be extraordinarily dense or dishonest to continue denying the obvious, which was that the state that Lenin and Stalin had created was a moral monstrosity.

Khrushchev’s intentions were not Solzhenitsyn’s. Khrushchev wanted to demonstrate the evils of Stalinism while demonstrating that the regime could reform itself and, more important, that communism was not invalidated by Stalin’s crimes. Solzhenitsyn, on the other hand, held the view that the labor camps were not incidental to communism, but at its heart. He argued in his “Gulag Archipelago” that the systemic exploitation of labor was essential to the regime not only because it provided a pool of free labor, but because it imposed a systematic terror on those not in the gulag that stabilized the regime. His most telling point was that while Khrushchev had condemned Stalin, he did not dismantle the gulag; the gulag remained in operation until the end.

Though Solzhenitsyn served the regime’s purposes in the 1960s, his usefulness had waned by the 1970s. By then, Solzhenitsyn was properly perceived by the Soviet regime as a threat. In the West, he was seen as a hero by all parties. Conservatives saw him as an enemy of communism. Liberals saw him as a champion of human rights. Each invented Solzhenitsyn in their own image. He was given the Noble Prize for Literature, which immunized him against arrest and certified him as a great writer. Instead of arresting him, the Soviets expelled him, sending him into exile in the United States.

When he reached Vermont, the reality of who Solzhenitsyn was slowly sank in. Conservatives realized that while he certainly was an enemy of communism and despised Western liberals who made apologies for the Soviets, he also despised Western capitalism just as much. Liberals realized that Solzhenitsyn hated Soviet oppression, but that he also despised their obsession with individual rights, such as the right to unlimited free expression. Solzhenitsyn was nothing like anyone had thought, and he went from being the heroic intellectual to a tiresome crank in no time. Solzhenitsyn attacked the idea that the alternative to communism had to be secular, individualist humanism. He had a much different alternative in mind.

Solzhenitsyn saw the basic problem that humanity faced as being rooted in the French Enlightenment and modern science. Both identify the world with nature, and nature with matter. If humans are part of nature, they themselves are material. If humans are material, then what is the realm of God and of spirit? And if there is no room for God and spirituality, then what keeps humans from sinking into bestiality? For Solzhenitsyn, Stalin was impossible without Lenin’s praise of materialism, and Lenin was impossible without the Enlightenment.

From Solzhenitsyn’s point of view, Western capitalism and liberalism are in their own way as horrible as Stalinism. Adam Smith saw man as primarily pursuing economic ends. Economic man seeks to maximize his wealth. Solzhenitsyn tried to make the case that this is the most pointless life conceivable. He was not objecting to either property or wealth, but to the idea that the pursuit of wealth is the primary purpose of a human being, and that the purpose of society is to free humans to this end.

Solzhenitsyn made the case — hardly unique to him — that the pursuit of wealth as an end in itself left humans empty shells. He once noted Blaise Pascal’s aphorism that humans are so endlessly busy so that they can forget that they are going to die — the point being that we all die, and that how we die is determined by how we live. For Solzhenitsyn, the American pursuit of economic well being was a disease destroying the Western soul.

He viewed freedom of expression in the same way. For Americans, the right to express oneself transcends the content of the expression. That you speak matters more than what you say. To Solzhenitsyn, the same principle that turned humans into obsessive pursuers of wealth turned them into vapid purveyors of shallow ideas. Materialism led to individualism, and individualism led to a culture devoid of spirit. The freedom of the West, according to Solzhenitsyn, produced a horrifying culture of intellectual self-indulgence, licentiousness and spiritual poverty. In a contemporary context, the hedge fund coupled with The Daily Show constituted the bankruptcy of the West.

To have been present when he once addressed a Harvard commencement! On the one side, Harvard Law and Business School graduates — the embodiment of economic man. On the other side, the School of Arts and Sciences, the embodiment of free expression. Both greeted their heroic resister, only to have him reveal himself to be religious, patriotic and totally contemptuous of the Vatican of self-esteem, Harvard.

Solzhenitsyn had no real home in the United States, and with the fall of the Soviets, he could return to Russia — where he witnessed what was undoubtedly the ultimate nightmare for him: thugs not only running the country, but running it as if they were Americans. Now, Russians were pursuing wealth as an end in itself and pleasure as a natural right. In all of this, Solzhenitsyn had not changed at all.

Solzhenitsyn believed there was an authentic Russia that would emerge from this disaster. It would be a Russia that first and foremost celebrated the motherland, a Russia that accepted and enjoyed its uniqueness. This Russia would take its bearings from no one else. At the heart of this Russia would be the Russian Orthodox Church, with not only its spirituality, but its traditions, rituals and art.

The state’s mission would be to defend the motherland, create the conditions for cultural renaissance, and — not unimportantly — assure a decent economic life for its citizens. Russia would be built on two pillars: the state and the church. It was within this context that Russians would make a living. The goal would not be to create the wealthiest state in the world, nor radical equality. Nor would it be a place where anyone could say whatever they wanted, not because they would be arrested necessarily, but because they would be socially ostracized for saying certain things.

Most important, it would be a state not ruled by the market, but a market ruled by a state. Economic strength was not trivial to Solzhenitsyn, either for individuals or for societies, but it was never to be an end in itself and must always be tempered by other considerations. As for foreigners, Russia must always guard itself, as any nation must, against foreigners seeking its wealth or wanting to invade. Solzhenitsyn wrote a book called “August 1914,” in which he argues that the czarist regime had failed the nation by not being prepared for war.

Think now of the Russia that Prime Minister Vladimir Putin and President Dmitri Medvedev are shaping. The Russian Orthodox Church is undergoing a massive resurgence, the market is submitting to the state, free expression is being tempered and so on. We doubt Putin was reading Solzhenitsyn when reshaping Russia. But we do believe that Solzhenitsyn had an understanding of Russia that towered over most of his contemporaries. And we believe that the traditional Russia that Solzhenitsyn celebrated is emerging, more from its own force than by political decisions.

Solzhenitsyn served Western purposes when he undermined the Soviet state. But that was not his purpose. His purpose was to destroy the Soviet state so that his vision of Russia could re-emerge. When his interests and the West’s coincided, he won the Noble Prize. When they diverged, he became a joke. But Solzhenitsyn never really cared what Americans or the French thought of him and his ideas. He wasn’t speaking to them and had no interest or hope of remaking them. Solzhenitsyn was totally alien to American culture. He was speaking to Russia and the vision he had was a resurrection of Mother Russia, if not with the czar, then certainly with the church and state. That did not mean liberalism; Mother Russia was dramatically oppressive. But it was neither a country of mass murder nor of vulgar materialism.

It must also be remembered that when Solzhenitsyn spoke of Russia, he meant imperial Russia at its height, and imperial Russia’s borders at its height looked more like the Soviet Union than they looked like Russia today. “August 1914” is a book that addresses geopolitics. Russian greatness did not have to express itself via empire, but logically it should — something to which Solzhenitsyn would not have objected.

Solzhenitsyn could not teach Americans, whose intellectual genes were incompatible with his. But it is hard to think of anyone who spoke to the Russian soul as deeply as he did. He first ripped Russia apart with his indictment. He was later ignored by a Russia out of control under former President Boris Yeltsin. But today’s Russia is very slowly moving in the direction that Solzhenitsyn wanted. And that could make Russia extraordinarily powerful. Imagine a Soviet Union not ruled by thugs and incompetents. Imagine Russia ruled by people resembling Solzhenitsyn’s vision of a decent man.

Solzhenitsyn was far more prophetic about the future of the Soviet Union than almost all of the Ph.D.s in Russian studies. Entertain the possibility that the rest of Solzhenitsyn’s vision will come to pass. It is an idea that ought to cause the world to be very thoughtful.


White House says no to special session of Congress

By Jackie Kucinich and Jared Allen

The White House has rejected calls from House Republicans that it convene a special session of Congress on energy, saying it wouldn’t make a difference.

“We don't have plans to call Congress into session -- it won't make a difference if Democratic leaders are unwilling to bring up a bill for an up-down vote,” said White House spokesman Tony Fratto. [Read more]

Congress probably works too hard to expect them to come back from vacation to resolve something so unimportant as coming up with meaningful energy policy.

Sunday, August 03, 2008

Jesus and the Case for War
By Frank Turek

A Nightmare Vision for Education
By Michael Medved

The new head of the national teacher's union describes a dream for education that sounds more like a socialist nightmare.

Randi Weingarten, incoming president of the American Federation of Teachers, wants schools to become community centers for medical care and social services as well as classes. She called for a "federal law" promoting "schools that are open all day and offer after-school and evening recreational activities, child care and preschool, tutoring and homework assistance" plus "medical dental and counseling clinics."

In other words, she sees schools as big city versions of all-encompassing collective farms, with students their prize crop. Maybe such schools should also offer barracks for the kids, eliminating any need at all for parents or home. Ms. Weingarten forgot to mention that her vision involved a huge expansion of government and a crushing burden for taxpayers.

Obama and the Racism Card

By Rich Lowry
Jesse Jackson must have been forgiven by the Obama campaign and welcomed into its inner circle. Because it sure seems as if he's giving the campaign advice.
Read on.

Drilling and Blissful Ignorance

By Charles Krauthammer
WASHINGTON -- House Speaker Nancy Pelosi opposes lifting the moratorium on drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge and on the Outer Continental Shelf. She won't even allow it to come to a vote. With $4 gas having massively shifted public opinion in favor of domestic production, she wants to protect her Democratic members from having to cast an anti-drilling election-year vote. Moreover, given the public mood, she might even lose. This cannot be permitted. Why? Because as she explained to Politico: "I'm trying to save the planet; I'm trying to save the planet." Read more.


In typical fashion, despite having an expected $482 billion budget deficit for next year, and trying to blame it entirely on the Republicans and Pres. Bush (and they are partly to blame - but the Dems have done nothing to curtail spending), Majority Leader (D) Harry Reid tried to slide through an omnibus earmark package totaling another $10 billion of spending. Earmarks that had previously been thwarted.

Fortunately, Republican Senator Tom Colburn of Oklahoma led the way to prevent it from going through. Our government just cannot have enough of our money.

“How can limited government and fiscal restraint be equated with lack of compassion for the poor? How can a tax break that puts a little more money in the weekly paychecks of working people be seen as an attack on the needy? Since when do we in America believe that our society is made up of two diametrically opposed classes—one rich, one poor—both in a permanent state of conflict and neither able to get ahead except at the expense of the other? Since when do we in America accept this alien and discredited theory of social and class warfare? Since when do we in America endorse the politics of envy and division?”

—Ronald Reagan

Son of top Hamas leader converts to Christianity

'I hope my father and family open their eyes to Jesus and the Kingdom of God'

Syria close to peace deal with Israel

Could lead to withdrawal of IDF troops from Golan Heights
--London Sunday Times

Al Qaeda: Explosives Expert Among 4 Afghanistan Leaders Killed

CAIRO, Egypt — Al Qaeda confirmed in a Web statement Sunday the death of a senior commander known as a top explosives and poisons expert, who is believed to have been killed in a U.S. airstrike in Pakistan last week. Read more.


Report says attack may have killed al-Zawahiri
Predator airstrike hits Pakistani location, confirmation of targets awaited

An online report says U.S. government sources are trying to confirm that an airstrike in northwestern Pakistan has killed al-Qaida's deputy leader, Ayman al-Zawahiri.
Read more.
Time will tell whether or not the U.S. military got al-Zawahiri or not. But in the meantime, Pakistani Taliban say the claim is wrong and are they are denying the death report, saying we have made claims of killing him several times before and we are once again wrong in citing his possible demise.

Tyson replaces Labor Day with Muslim Eid al-Fitr

Chicken company: Workers wanted Islamic religious event recognized
A Labor Day parade from the early 1900s

Food workers at the Shelbyville, Tenn., plant for Tyson Foods, which boasts on its corporate website that it strives "to honor God," will have time off for Eid al-Fitr, the Muslim holiday closing the month of Ramadan, instead of the American tradition Labor Day.

Officials with the company told WND the labor union representing the 1,200 plant workers, including about 700 immigrants from Somalia who largely are Muslim, sought the holiday change in the new five-year contract, and the company agreed.
Read more.

Obama Contemplates Socialism

Obama plans to grab oil company profits
Would turn dollars over to states, green energy projects, families

Sen. Barack Obama announced today an "emergency economic plan" he wants enacted by this fall that would use oil profits to give every "middle-class" American family $1,000.

The full text of the plan is highlighted with subheads that read, "Take a Portion of the Windfall Profits from Big Oil and Put $1,000 in the Pockets of Working Families" and "Forcing big oil companies to take a reasonable share of their record breaking windfall profits and use it to help struggling families with direct relief." Read more.

Facing questions, John 'Pretty Boy' Edwards evades reporters

‘Ahead-of-the Curve’ Liberal Handpicked Obama as Her Successor
By Fred Lucas

While working as editor of the Black Press Review in 1986, Alice Palmer traveled to the Soviet Union to report on the 27th Congress of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union. According to the official newspaper of the Communist Party USA, she had nothing but praise for what she saw. Read on.

The Destroyer of Worlds
by Tony Blankley
Reading Obama's Berlin speech, I see dangerous suggestions that he doesn't share that happy view of American prosperity. As he said, while he came to Berlin as "a proud citizen of the United States," he also came to Berlin as "a fellow citizen of the world." Putting aside the thought that a rally in Berlin in front of a quarter-million glistening-eyed, bosom-clenching, swooning Germans is a historically awkward spot for a leader to proclaim his worldwide goals for tomorrow, his actual words are disconcerting enough — even if they had been delivered in peaceful Switzerland.

He said: "The walls between the countries with the most and those with the least cannot stand.
The walls between … natives and immigrants … cannot stand. These now are the walls we must tear down. We know that these walls have fallen before. After centuries of strife, the people of Europe have formed a union of promise and prosperity."

That last sentence would suggest that Obama is not terribly keen about nation-states. It suggests that he believes that nation-states have outgrown their practical and moral utility. That is why, presumably, he says that we must tear down the walls between the countries "with the most" — that would be the United States — and those with the least. That is why he calls for tearing down walls between "natives and (illegal?) immigrants." That is why he is for strict reductions in carbon emissions for the United States, even if it reduces our prosperity more than it does poorer countries. Read more.

Written by Dr. Jack Wheeler
To The Point News

A miracle took place on Capitol Hill yesterday, July 31, 2008. Democrats and Republicans in the House united on a vote of 419-1 to explicitly and in itemized detail condemn the Chicom government of China.

The single lone Congressman to vote No was Ron Paul (R-TX) - demonstrating once again that his total incapacity to defend America against its foreign enemies is why his presidential campaign failed.

House Resolution 1370 is the most pro-American statement of Congress in modern times. For it is China that is and will be the greatest national security threat to America for the foreseeable future. Far more than Islamic crazies running around chanting allahallahallah, and believing that blowing themselves up will somehow force the world back into the 7th century.

Predictably and laughably, the Chicoms exploded in rage. Foreign Ministry spokesman Liu Jianchao called the vote "a disgusting action of a small group of anti-Chinese lawmakers," and called the resolution "blasphemous" and "against the will of people all over the world."

That over-the-top fulmination meant the resolution hit the bulls-eye. It is the most rare of events when To The Point salutes the entire House of Representatives, Democrats and Republicans together, but we are happy to do so now. Such a vote provides real hope that there is the courage to defend our country on both sides of Congress' aisle. Read the full article.

August is the Time To Take Obama Down

By Dick Morris and Eileen McGann
When is the McCain campaign going to get serious? It seems to be marking time with softball ads, more appropriate to the soundbites campaign media spokespeople exchange with one another than to strategic paid media hits. One ad talks about how the media loves Obama. Another mocks him as a celebrity. Each throws pitty-pat punches, far short of the kind of knockout blows one would expect from a presidential campaign. Were I a donor to McCain's campaign, paying for these pathetic spots, I would demand a refund. Or sue for malpractice.

Yet despite this softball nonsense, Obama remains vulnerable, no better than two points ahead despite the bounce from his overseas trip.

Are the McCain people waiting for September to get serious? If so, they are making a big mistake and missing an .......

A New Word Is Born In 2008

Electile Dysfunction : The inability to become aroused over

any of the choices for President put forth by either party in

the 2008 election year.