Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Neighborhood Terror in UK

This is what they planned to do:
Officers described how a gang from his home town was allegedly plotting to abduct the soldier, aged in his 20s, and then force him on film to “apologise” for what he had done in Iraq.

After this propaganda coup, the gang intended to video themselves executing their hostage. His murder would be seen worldwide on the internet as a warning to other British Muslims regarded by the kidnappers as “traitors”.
This is who planned it:
The raids included eight residential properties, a corner shop, two Islamic bookshops and an internet cafĂ©. A ninth suspect was picked up on a motorway in Birmingham soon before 3pm. There was a sense of shock in the Pakistani and Kashmiri community as word spread that one of those arrested was Amjad Mahmood, 29, a well-known figure behind the counter of his grocery on the corner of Jackson Road in the Alum Rock district. A second man was understood to be the 38-year-old owner of a pizza takeaway whose family arrived from Kashmir two decades ago. Police raided Mr Mahmood’s terraced home only yards from Khan’s general store.
A little terror in the neighborhood.

Edwards' Own Piece of America

More on two-time presidential candidate John Edwards (remember him, most recently standing in the ruins of New Orleans?). He's built a new house, he of the class envy speech on "Two Americas". According to Dean Barnett, it's not just a McMansion, it's A Mansion, a nice-sized piece of America.

And in case you're nostalgic for the video of him combing his hair with care, there's the link for that too.

Along with the other Dem underdog candidates, (well at least Joe Biden) he is starting to get nasty early, implying Hillary is immoral and Obama is childish. He is to the left of both on the war, though he initially voted for it just as Hillary did. But get this, he is going to run as the most authentic candidate! Roger Simon interview in The Politico, via RCP:
Finally, Edwards is trying to establish a specific campaign posture: authenticity. Many Democrats believe that after eight years of a president who they believe was packaged and sold to the American people by clever handlers, Americans will now want an authentic candidate.

But how do voters discern that? (As the old campaign joke goes: "The people want authenticity? I can fake that.")

One way to demonstrate authenticity is to take a stand that is not popular, that is not politically expedient.

And Edwards has decided to sell America on sacrifice.

"I am totally comfortable with the word sacrifice, with asking people to sacrifice for their country," he said.

We all get to pay more for the good of the country, and presumably consume less. Apparently it is sauce for the Big Goverment goose, not sauce for the gander at Edwards' Own Piece of America.

Economic Success Story

As we know, during a Republican administration the economy is always reported by the MSM as practically the worst since the Great Depression, regardless of what is actually going on---7 million new jobs, higher after tax income per person than during the Clinton administration, etc.

Very well presented info at Powerline, linking to the administration report on the state of the economy.

Making a Statement

Via Drudge, Mary Ann Akers blog post "No Harm, No Fowl:
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (Calif.) returned from a four-day trip to Iraq and Afghanistan Monday night to a bizarre, Hitchcock-ian scene -- a beady-eyed, black bird flying around her posh Georgetown apartment.
No news whether her bust of Pallas sustained any damage. Presumably when Nancy gazes on Pallas she views the goddess. Other descriptions of Pallas are an "epithet for Athena". You choose. Maybe the bird was making a statement.

It Never Ends

All these investigations are starting to unravel a few things, officially or unofficially. The people who hired "Pattycake, Pattycake" Patti Blagojevich to supposedly handle a couple of real estate deals, also had a state contract. They are now being investigated for billing the state for services never performed. As you may recall, the principles of the firm involved have also played banker to Tony Rezko (recently noted in the news on another relationship). Who did an earlier real estate deal with Patti.

It never ends.

Details at Capitol Fax.

Stonehenge Village

This is cool. Washington Post:
A village of small houses that may have sheltered the builders of the mysterious Stonehenge, or people attending festivals there, has been found by archaeologists studying the stone circle in England. Eight of the houses, with central hearths, have been excavated, and there may be as many as 25 of them, Mike Parker Pearson said Tuesday at a briefing organized by the National Geographic Society.
National Geographic here, with more photos.

Obama "The Thinker"

Andrew Ferguson on Obama and his bestseller, via RCP:
The book is filled with passages that follow the same pattern: belaboring the obvious on the assumption that no one has ever had dared speak such bromides before, and then concluding the discussion with a rear-guard blast at those cynical politicians who ``refuse to make the tough choices.''

Rather than make his own tough choices, the 45-year-old Democrat prefers to float on a high level of abstraction. This, indeed, is how he is able to appeal to all segments of his party as well as large numbers of independents and even many conservatives and Republicans.

One of my political friends said a few months ago Obama reminded her of Ross Perot. I had to think about that for a while. When I got beyond the ears I could see what she meant about the third way appeal. At least Perot had the sense to say the devil was in the details, even though he didn't provide them either.

It's a strange mix, but I've thought for a while that Obama is both naive and slick. He's grown up cushioned in a liberal milieu and doesn't realize it. It's like he's never really had his ideas challenged, and has never chosen to take on real governing challenges that would test them. Presumably he doesn't want to risk his political future by taking real risks, and when he's had a choice to back a reformer locally he's chosen the safe route. But what passes for business as usual in Chicago may look slick to the rest of the country. And some of us in Illinois have noticed the hypocrisy of Obama's chiding Africans about corruption while failing the smell test here.

So I would say that adds up to Obama being a pedestrian candidate whose race and personality lift him above the pack, but for all his intelligence he's a conventional wisdom liberal essentially stuck in an ivory tower.

He wants to start putting his ideas to the test for the first time as president. He wants us to elect him to the toughest job in the world as a guy who has trouble making tough choices. At the toughest time our country has faced in a generation.

And it may come as news to Obama, but much of the country has seen these liberal ideas in action and they have failed miserably---30 years ago.

So I think the country would be better off if in the end Obama stayed in the Senate, along with his fellow blowhard Dems, and shine by comparison with them as "The Thinker".

UPDATE: And here's Tom Bevan, RCP blog, on Obama, going for the glory in the Senate on the war.

Previous post: Ask Them Why, Barack

Dems: Blow-dried and Blowhards

Great Higgins cartoon today on Hillary. And here's Sen. Joe Biden, who I normally don't quote as a voice of authority, but in this case I'm prepared to be generous. The New York Observer reporter meets Joe in a diner in Delaware (you get the feeling Biden fears the Clintons' goons are lurking about, even in his home territory):
Addressing Mrs. Clinton’s latest proposal to cap American troops and to threaten Iraqi leaders with cuts in funding, Mr. Biden lowered his voice and leaned in close over the table.

“From the part of Hillary’s proposal, the part that really baffles me is, ‘We’re going to teach the Iraqis a lesson.’ We’re not going to equip them? O.K. Cap our troops and withdraw support from the Iraqis? That’s a real good idea.” The result of Mrs. Clinton’s position on Iraq, Mr. Biden says, would be “nothing but disaster.”
“Everyone in the world knows her,” he said. “Her husband has used every single legitimate tool in his behalf to lock people in, shut people down. Legitimate. And she can’t break out of 30 percent for a choice for Democrats? Where do you want to be? Do you want to be in a place where 100 percent of the Democrats know you? They’ve looked at you for the last three years. And four out of 10 is the max you can get?”

Biden describes Obama as offering "charming but insubstantial fluff" and Edwards "doesn't know what he's talking about". I concur with all of that. He also refers to the party's past two nominees as "perfect blow-dried candidates" who couldn't connect. The reporter has a little fun:
The targets of Mr. Biden’s criticism, whether out of shock, indifference or a calculation that it would be unwise in this case to meet fire with fire, declined to respond in kind.
Biden's one of the Senate's blowhards, has no chance to win the presidency, but he nails his Democrat colleagues.

(Link in previous post to Bret Stephens on Biden's plan.)

Takedown in Evanston

As an Olympic preview in Evanston, women wrestlers compete on the mat. (Also men in separate duels.) Sun Times:
As part of an effort to show Olympic officials that Chicago can successfully host amateur athletes in its bid to win the 2016 Games, dozens of top wrestlers will battle in Evanston next week. Though billed as the No. 1 male team in the world -- Russia -- against the best men of the United States, the match also includes American women wrestling females from Canada.
One of the women, Mary Kelly, is from Illinois and has wrestled since childhood. Kelly vs. the Canucks. Feb. 6th at Northwestern. Tickets are free.

NCLB offers Charter Reform

The NCLB law is up for renewal and offers the opportunity for further reform, dragging some recalcitrant "educators" kicking and screaming into doing something useful to help kids who need it. Under the proposed reform, the federal law would push local districts to establish new charter schools to replace failed schools. And make no mistake, Illinois currently lags the country. Chicago has used 29 of the 30 charter schools allowed under the cap, yet has 185 schools which have failed to meet testing targets for five years. There are a 45 more chronically low-performing schools around the state. Sun Times:
At those schools, Bush wants major staff changes or a new governance structure, such as a charter conversion. He's also pushing private school vouchers, an idea largely opposed by Democrats. Now, schools can adopt more modest changes.

"When schools are chronically failing for five or six years, more serious interventions have to occur,"Spellings said while visiting Noble Street Charter High School, one of the city's top-performing high schools.
Illinois has one of the lowest charter caps nationally, according to the Illinois Network of Charter Schools. Michigan's cap is 250. In New York, it's 150. Charters have more freedom over curriculum, budgeting and scheduling than traditional public schools.
"Schools like Noble have wait lists of over 1,000," schools CEO Arne Duncan said during a tour of Noble, which has three campuses and plans for two more. "They are doing something parents and students are looking for."
The president is also once again proposing vouchers to be part of the bill to give poor children and their parents even more choice and accountability.

UPDATE: More good commentary and downstate and Missouri perspective from ResPublica. Also here.

Related posts: Power of Parents, Schools and Salaries

Poverty is not Charming

PC--- the politically correct---Poverty is Charming. No. It's not.

Hamnation on Mine Your Own Business.

The Eco-Imperialists say to those in developing countries---let them eat cake.

They are taking food out of people's mouths. And feeling virtuous while they are doing it.

Useless idiots.

Previous post: Idylls of the Eco-Kings

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

We Support You

Listen to our troops. HotAir. Also, incisive analysis on Iraq by Bret Stephens and Fouad Ajami, WSJ.

And in case you missed this, one of our recovering brave ones braved the "peace" protests.

Ask Them Why, Barack

The Tribune headline today "Obama blasts Bush administration on Katrina recovery".

New Orleans is emblematic of the failures of the welfare state, so it is fitting that Sen. Barack Obama, who espouses the same kind of dead-end policies, is campaigning there for president. Ah yes, it's always someone else's fault, whether it be an Act of God, or a failed levy.

Louisiana should be paradise on earth, run by Democrats for a century, a place where they had free rein to employ their policies. Instead the whole country saw the disproportionate number of single moms trapped in the city. Contrary to the MSM template, poor whites were more harmed than poor blacks---4 out of the 5 parishes hit by flooding in New Orleans were majority white---in a majority black city. It's a place that's indiscriminately corrupt. The whole country saw entire neighborhoods built in the shadow of levies their own Democrat politicians undermined by corrupt practices, siphoning off money meant for repairs, awarding contracts based on the good old boy network.

You may recall, or you may not, that Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans a glancing blow. The main brunt of the storm slammed into the Mississippi Gulf Coast and swept up through the entire state. New Orleans' levies should have held for the level of the storm they incurred. But they didn't, because their construction and maintenance was substandard, betrayed by the same corruption and incompetence that slows New Orleans' recovery. New Orleans has the same mayor who left school buses in their lots, rather than evacuate his needy people. Louisiana has the same governor who wrung her hands and didn't call in the National Guard until days of suffering had passed.

In truth, most of New Orleans should not be rebuilt. After Grand Forks, North Dakota suffered major flooding the city turned low-lying areas into parks, and helped residents resettle. But common sense seems in short supply in New Orleans. The mold-infested Lower 9th ward should be razed as unfit for human habitation. New Orleans has been sinking for years, (cooler colors indicate lower elevations) and the loss of barrier islands has made major reconstruction in many places untenable. Also here. Much of it should be left to regenerate naturally to protect inhabited areas further inland. Safeguards against corruption (WSJ, In Katrina's Wake, 1/27) before doling out major monies are only sensible---why would anyone ever want anything like this to happen again?

And yet Democrat politicians like Sen. Barack Obama would rather posture amid the ruins of New Orleans than repudiate the failed Democrat policies of the past that created it, and move on to workable solutions. Many of New Orleans' inhabitants have left for good, voting with their feet. Rather than making cliched speeches Sen. Obama would do better to ask them why.

UPDATE: Here's The Onion's take on New Orleans.

Previous post: Hollywood Loves Obama, State of our Union

Hillary's Unholy Alliance

NY Post on Hillary's response to a question about whether she had the experience to deal with evil men. WSJ here.

Well, now we know who Hillary thinks is worse than George Bush and ranks in there with Osama---her still husband Bill, a menace to the planet. How strange. This "joke" might resonate with aging feminists in Iowa and elsewhere, but most people think it's just plain weird.

Is this why she's running? Payback time for all the times she sucked it up and smiled to support his political career?

Well, no, we know Hillary probably wanted to be president since she was born, but this illustrates further what a passive aggressive approach she's taken, once again using Bill to advance her own career. Granted, he deserves it, but you'd think she would have had the decency to dump him before she scored points off of him. She describes herself as a woman and as a mom, but not as a wife. Yet it's the unholy alliance of Bill and Hill.

And once again, we see it's all about them. America is just the means to their end. Can we afford this kind of soap opera at such a critical time?

Hillary was asked a legitimate, serious question, and she evaded it.

UPDATE: More on Hillary's odd politics as personal. John Podhoretz, via RCP.

Related posts: Hillary Tries in Iowa, Hollywood Loves Obama, State of our Union, Those Candidate Generals.

Monday, January 29, 2007

The New Alchemy

I thought most of the president's speech was sensible, but I had to blink in disbelief at his energy proposal vis a vis ethanol. Ethanol has been the supposed energy solution of the future for the past 30 years, primarily useful to politicians currying favor with Midwest farmers and Iowa primary voters. Now Americans are to believe in a new alchemy---an attempt to turn golden corn into energy gold. WSJ:
Ostensibly, the great virtue of ethanol is that it represents a "sustainable," environmentally friendly source of energy--a source that is literally homegrown rather than imported from such unstable places as Nigeria or Iran.

That's one reason why, as Jerry Taylor and Peter Van Doren note in the Milken Institute Review, federal and state subsidies for ethanol ran to about $6 billion last year, equivalent to roughly half its wholesale market price. Ethanol gets a 51-cent a gallon domestic subsidy, and there's another 54-cent a gallon tariff applied at the border against imported ethanol. Without those subsidies, hardly anyone would make the stuff, much less buy it--despite recent high oil prices.

That's also why the percentage of the U.S. corn crop devoted to ethanol has risen to 20% from 3% in just five years, or about 8.6 million acres of farmland. Reaching the President's target of 35 billion gallons of renewable and alternative fuels by 2017 would, at present corn yields, require the entire U.S. corn harvest.

There've been recent stories in the local press about the price of corn tortillas going up, a hardship for some families.

And as the Journal points out, ethanol causes smog, a bit of an issue in urban areas, especially humid ones like Chicago, which has been associated with breathing problems for some.

Then there's the pesky issue of the energy usage that goes into making the fertilizer that contributes to the high yield of corn---basically consuming more energy that ethanol yields.

And you can't use pipelines, because the alcohol eats the seals.

More from the Cato Institute in an oped piece in the Sun Times, pointing out the reason Chicago has among the highest gas prices in the country (aside from local taxes):
Lie No. 3: Ethanol reduces gasoline prices. If you lived in urban areas that used reformulated gasoline last summer -- that's the environmentally "clean" gasoline required for areas with air pollution problems -- you might have paid up to 60 cents a gallon more for gasoline than you would have otherwise. That's because the federal government required oil refineries to use 4 billion gallons of ethanol in 2006 regardless of price.
So sorry, corn is not the answer to our energy needs. So let's not waste even more money on subsidies and let the market come up with real solutions.

Cut the Patronage Pit

Set priorities within the $3 billion budget to run Cook County. Good editorial from the Sun Times encouraging commissioners to stick to their no new taxes pledge:
Their job would be easier if employers and taxpayers now dreading the arrival of new property tax bills were as vocal in demanding a leaner Cook County as are all the people who want taxes to rise. It's the latter group that hopes to own this budget debate: Public hearings for all citizens are being hijacked by county employees giving noble testament to how indispensable they are. Read the news coverage: Stroger and several reformers on the board stand almost alone. Where are the business groups and fed-up citizens who can't take one more Cook County tax increase?
Holding off on new car purchases sounds like a no brainer. And we've seen the pictures of picketers outside some health facilities, but the Sun Times point out this:
The most controversial cuts are proposed at what's long been the county's most slovenly patronage pit, its Bureau of Health.

Our bet is that few of the critics have taken a close look at the overhaul proposed by Dr. Robert Simon, who heads the bureau. Simon was asked for cost cuts yet also delivered what looks like a smart re-engineering of a budget he wishes could be far larger. Example: The organization chart Simon inherited had 24 administrative categories at the county's clinic system. His new chart has 10.
Cut the patronage pit and take this rare opportunity to focus and streamline services, so that they are worth it, where they are most needed.

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Hillary Tries in Iowa

Is the Goldwater Girl in there somewhere? Park Ridge still beats in Hillary's heart?
She can't sing, but she tried. I give her credit.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Tangle of Pine

Boomer Nation

BoomerGirl mention on MSNBC. Video blurb here. They've got a special report on Boomers with lots of links.

And in case you missed it, my BoomerGirl RedSkirt piece on Obama, with BlueSkirt on the other side.

Nuke-grade Uranium for Sale

Republic of Georgia authorities, aided by the CIA, set up a sting operation last summer that led to the arrest of a Russian man who tried to sell a small amount of nuclear-bomb grade uranium....
Sound like a plot right out of 24?

It happened. The Tribune put it on the front page of the print edition. Also link to The Georgian Times.
Not surprisingly, Putin's Russia is not cooperating with the investigation. They are also not cooperating with that other investigation.

The IAEA is also upset. As you may know, they have been thrown out of Iran the Terror State, which is developing nukes. (And Russia just supplied them with missile defense systems.)

Sunny Conservatives

Arthur C. Brooks recently made waves by documenting that conservatives are more generous by far than liberals in charitable giving, in his book, "Who Really Cares: The Surprising Truth About Compassionate Conservatism". In yesterday's WSJ Brooks commented on the minimum wage debate--- liberals like to raise it, conservatives say it costs entry-level jobs. But part of the liberal argument is to even out income levels (you know, reminiscent of the old Soviet model, where everyone is equally miserable.):
And while 84% of liberals think the government should do more to reduce inequality, only 25% of conservatives agree.

This is empirical substantiation for the old cliché that conservatives just don't care about the poor, right? Wrong. In fact, the data do not tell us that conservatives are uncaring; they actually tell us that conservatives are optimists. Conservatives are relatively untroubled by inequality, and unsupportive of government income redistribution, because they believe the American economy provides private opportunities to succeed. Liberals are far more pessimistic than conservatives about the possibility of a better future for Americans of modest means.

Consider the evidence. While 92% of conservatives believe that hard work and perseverance can help a person overcome disadvantage, only 65% of liberals think so. This difference of opinion, contrary to the convention, is not because conservatives earn more money. In fact, lower-income conservatives are about twice as likely as upper-income liberals to say they think there's "a lot" of upward mobility in America. If a liberal and a conservative are exactly identical in income, education, sex, family situation, and race, the conservative will be 20 percentage points more likely than the liberal to say that hard work leads to success among the disadvantaged.

So not only are conservatives more compassionate, we are sunnier too. (You need only to look at this liberal face for illustration. ) And remember Ronald Reagan.

As a postscript, while it's a feel-good measure, the minimum wage increase will disproportionately cost minorities their first rung on the jobs ladder. It also has other unintended consequences, like raising the dropout rate among high school students, as work becomes more attractive.

Litigious Lisa

Lisa Madigan, Illinois Attorney General and presumed leading Democrat gubernatorial candidate in the next cycle, has been named among the WORST attorneys general in the country by the Competitive Enterprise Institute. (Hat tip Capitol Fax). The Madison County Record:
"Madigan... is an enthusiastic proponent of dragging out-of-state businesses into Illinois courts over lawful business practices that occur outside her state's boundaries," the report says. The report ranks the attorneys general who have held office since 1998, when the Tobacco Master Settlement Agreement was reached. Madigan, who took office in 2003, is criticized for giving preferential treatment to campaign contributors and using the office to set policy.
Well, where have we heard that before? And this:
It also cites Madigan urging the Supreme Court to grant state attorneys general immunity from suit in the courts of every state but their own. "Madigan's attitude could be summed up as, 'immunity from suit for me, but not for thee,'" Bader wrote.
Litigious Lisa ranks just ahead of Wisconsin's former AG as one of the worst:
Former Wisconsin AG Peg Lautenschlager is ninth. The report cites an incident where she drunkenly drove a state car into a ditch after misappropriating it for her own personal use. "While busy bringing meritless suits against out-of-state businesses, she allowed the backlog at the Wisconsin state crime lab to triple to well over 1,000 cases, leading to a delay in apprehending a rapist who went on to murder a Wisconsin State Department of Justice Agent," the report says.
CEI report here in full. No prizes for guessing the Democrat trial lawyers lobby is driving the litigation, driving jobs out of Illinois, and raising costs for all of us.

Glenview Parking Lot the Spot

Another Blagojevich-related story. Sun Times:
Frank Schmidt -- an in-law of Gov. Blagojevich who sparked the governor's infamous feud with Ald. Dick Mell (33rd) -- is now at the center of a domestic violence dispute.

Schmidt, 36, is accused of biting his fiancee's right shoulder and left hand, and pulling out a chunk of her hair on Dec. 28, according to court records. Schmidt allegedly tried to "bite the [engagement] ring off" her finger, one court document states.

Both Schmidt and his fiancee said Wednesday that the incident, which happened in a parking lot in Glenview, stemmed from a misunderstanding.

She said it was partly her fault, her finger got "caught up in his mouth". He said he was on pain meds, "a walking dead man".

Tipples and Tributes

I wondered why WFMT was playing Scottish music this morning.

Well, most of my folk came from Ireland, but one or two hailed from Scotland (or possibly beyond, as there's some Viking blonde sprinkled through the generations). In any event, today is the 248th anniversary of the birth of the bard Robert Burns. And it's an occasion to celebrate in the dark of winter.

It's Burns Night, where the tipples and tributes flow. The closest I've gotten to haggis is my mom's best friend's Scottish terrier who bore the name, but tonight would be the night to try it I imagine. (Pix of a fictional one next to a real one.)

And here's a little music set to Burns' Tippie Dunbar.

The Scots are working on a museum of the birthplace of Robert Burns, in time for his 250th anniversary in two years. And birth and death certificates, some of which go back 450 years, are now online for geneological searches at (may have to try when it's less busy.)

UPDATE: And in related news, a Scottish girl terrier angles for a date with First Dog, Barney. (My little spaniel started barking in response to the video:), my old beagle just slept on thankfully.) Brought to us by Diane of ResPublica. Kenzie, sleepless in Seattle.

Ground the Fleet

Sun Times reports on Auditor General William Holland's finding that officials taking IDOT flights pay only 14% of the true cost of the flights and that it would be cheaper to take existing commercial flights:
The Legislative Audit Commission ordered the audit in August 2005 in response to an Associated Press analysis of air fleet use in the first 2½ years of the Blagojevich administration. That analysis found Blagojevich's administration had taken more than 3,000 more flights than were taken in the same period under his predecessor.
Gee, I wonder if it has anything to do with this place being empty, an underutilized state asset?

Or the fact that Chicago dominates state government as never before.

At the very least, it's an abuse. I say ground the fleet. Take commercial like the taxpayers.

UPDATE: More abuse revealed in the Blagojevich administration. Tribune:
DeFraties, the former personnel chief at the Department of Central Management Services, and Casey, her former assistant, have cooperated with federal investigators in an ongoing probe of alleged hiring irregularities involving the Blagojevich administration.

The documents DeFraties and Casey filed with the Civil Service Commission to buttress their case for reinstatement include several e-mails between Blagojevich's office, the Office of Intergovernmental Affairs, and Central Management Services personnel officials. In the correspondence, the governor's office requests personnel officials to expedite the hiring process or provide updates on the status of some job seekers. In some of the e-mails, the personnel officials resist the requests and tell the governor's office to keep its hands off the hiring process.
Sun Times story with this:
Casey responded that Caro lacked "credible experience or [a] related degree."

Three weeks later, Caro was hired as a public service administrator in the state agency and now makes $48,600 a year. In May 2004, he donated another $500 to the governor.

Reached by phone, Caro said he did not know whether his campaign contributions factored into his hiring -- something Ottenhoff denied. Pressed whether he knew his lack of qualifications for the job was an issue, Caro said, "Can you hold on one second?" He never returned to the line and did not answer subsequent calls.

The story cites an additional example as well.

There is School

Despite a small fire at 5:45 am at New Trier High School, there is school today. We got a robo-call from principal Linda Yonke a little after 7.

It was contained in the basement, the sprinkler system had gone on, there was no damage to classrooms, and there is no lingering smoke.

Hollywood Loves Obama

Hollywood loves Obama, their leading man. But will the rest of the country?
For $2,300 a person and $4600 a couple, they can meet the candidate at a reception at the Beverly Hilton Hotel, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Those who commit to raising $46,000 (10 couples/20 tickets) for the evening will be invited to a private dinner at Geffen's Malibu, Calif., home.
And they are dumping Hillary as unelectable. (Hill is not Bill to them.) As she leads in Dem polls. Gotta love this. Plot twists and twisted plots.

Censorship at Brandeis

Follow up on the Jimmy Carter "debate" on his hateful book. Censorship of attendance at Brandeis, Phi Beta Cons on NRO, via Instapundit.

Previous post here.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

It's Educational!

She said, giggling, it's educational.

I suppose they will be showing this movie in school soon. Just a sequel to Charlotte's Web.

I think it's sick.

And I think this young girl's parents are abusive.

No, I haven't seen the movie and I'm not going to.

They set the rape back in time and in the South. But the rape should be set in Hollywood, or among the glitterati at the Sundance Festival. Right now. A 12 year old girl.

They are the rapists. They are the child abusers. They are the ones sexualizing children. For profit. And they say it's for art. They say it's educational.

Well, if your eyes haven't been opened yet to the moral bankruptcy and depravity of liberals, in Hollywood and other elite enclaves, consider yourself educated.

Ah yes, I suppose they will say it's all for the children somehow. After all, the Democrats are the Mommy Party.

Small Favors

Thank God for small favors. Sen. Kerry is officially out. Apparently even his most diehard supporters had abandoned him, as I noticed yesterday this lonely sign was no longer around.

I will let you know if something else pops up.

Snakes on the Air

Are those snakes in her hair?

A fury or Medusa take your pick. Rosie wants to impeach the president. Video at HotAir.

I'd back her against President Ahmadinejad, though, maybe she'd like to take him on and do something useful for a change.

International Celebrity

Alderman "Eat Crow, Joe" Moore, international celebrity. Story at Rogers Park Bench.

An Intolerable Threat

A nuclear North Korea helps Iran with nuclear testing, in defiance of the world community which seeks to limit nuclear proliferation. Iran ratchets up the rhetoric:
Israel and the United States will soon be destroyed, Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said Tuesday during a meeting with Syria's foreign minister, the Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting (IRIB) website said in a report.

"Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad… assured that the United States and the Zionist regime of Israel will soon come to the end of their lives," the Iranian president was quoted as saying.

And from an observer writing about Iran's denial of the Holocaust in the International Herald Tribune, hardly a rightist rag (owned by the NY Times---do you think they read it?):

In Germany, the Holocaust denial issue goes to the deepest vein of self- respect in the national psyche. In announcing that the Merkel government would propose a law in the European Parliament creating penalties for negationism, Brigitte Zypries, the justice minister, said flatly: "There are limits to freedom of expression. It must not be possible in Europe to consider the Holocaust a myth and say that six million Jews were never killed."

But in this moment's onstage political discourse, it just isn't part of the acceptable vocabulary to say that in lying about the existence of the Holocaust, in calling for the destruction of another UN member state and in running from the apparent truth of your own nuclear weapons ambitions, Ahmadinejad's Iran has joined these three facts together into an inescapable, menacing reality.

Merkel avoids this explicit triple- connection; Chirac, thinking of Iran's role in Lebanon, seems conflicted by it, while Tony Blair comes the closest to saying unmistakably that Iran is an intolerable threat.

Meanwhile Russia, a member of the UN Security Council, is selling missile defense systems to Iran. Iran, the terror state. Want to take a bet on any sanctions with teeth coming out of that body?

Axis of Evil with nukes---an intolerable threat. If we fail in Iraq, who will deal with Iran?

Chicago 2016

Chicago has unveiled its plans for its Olympic bid, one of two US cities to compete. Sun Times on the design.

The mayor plans to build the South Side lakefront condos that would comprise the Olympic village regardless. The website of the organizing committee, Chicago 2016, offers more detail.

Accident at Park

Just happened past an accident at Wilmette and Park, on the way back from the school run. Doesn't look like anyone was hurt, but messy with 3 squad cars there, so avoid it if you can.

It's one of the intersections that will be affected by the new 5 story condos and parking garage.

State of our Union

President Bush was very gracious, as usual, in congratulating the first Madam Speaker. Say what you want about the president, he has restored honor and dignity to the White House, as he promised.

I liked the nod to our robust economy up front---the 7 million jobs created in the wake of Sept. 11th. And Sen. McCain grinned when the president next agreed with the need for earmark reform.

I am not sure how workable is the goal to reduce gas consumption. Comprehensive immigration reform is a good idea and hopefully will be enacted with strong bipartisan support. Sensible health care and social security reform are not likely with a Democrat majority. Most likely they will be, once again, defining presidential campaign issues between the parties.

I thought the president was frank and eloquent on the war, our single biggest challenge, and one we must meet. This is the passage that hit me the hardest:
Every success against the terrorists is a reminder of the shoreless ambitions of this enemy. The evil that inspired and rejoiced in 9/11 is still at work in the world. And so long as that's the case, America is still a nation at war.

In the mind of the terrorist, this war began well before September the 11th, and will not end until their radical vision is fulfilled. And these past five years have given us a much clearer view of the nature of this enemy. Al Qaeda and its followers are Sunni extremists, possessed by hatred and commanded by a harsh and narrow ideology. Take almost any principle of civilization, and their goal is the opposite. They preach with threats, instruct with bullets and bombs, and promise paradise for the murder of the innocent.

And as America's mayor, Rudy Guiliani said in post-speech comments on FoxNews, we have an enemy in the war on terror, and they will still be there, win or lose in Iraq. Guiliani supports the surge as a way to win. The president asked for our support, to give this last, best hope a chance.

On a lighter note, I noticed Hillary was sitting right behind Obama. (Pix from Yahoo, photo 73.) She was wearing pink and pearls and a smirk. It seemed like Obama was ducking the whole time. And who could blame him?

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Those Candidate Generals

Liz Cheney, "Retreat Isn't an Option" points out unasked questions in the polls, and this:
Retreat from Iraq hurts us in the broader war. We are fighting the war on terrorism with allies across the globe, leaders such as Hamid Karzai in Afghanistan and Pervez Musharraf in Pakistan. Brave activists are also standing with us, fighting for freedom of speech, freedom of religion, the empowerment of women. They risk their lives every day to defeat the forces of terrorism. They can't win without us, and many of them won't continue to fight if they believe we're abandoning them. Politicians urging America to quit in Iraq should explain how we win the war on terrorism once we've scared all of our allies away.
And how do we save Darfur? How do we prevent the next holocaust? How do we make the world safe for our children and children around the world? And what about Iran?

For politicians to say they support our troops but not their mission reeks of the convenient lie, of rank political expediency:
American troops will win if we show even one-tenth the courage here at home that they show every day on the battlefield. And by the way, you cannot wish failure on our soldiers' mission and claim, at the same time, to be supporting the troops.
General Hillary and General Barack might bear that in mind.

Cartoons from Iran

Not the kind of cartoons you'd want your kids to watch, but in Iran kids probably are. Latest Iranian anti-Semitic propaganda at HotAir.

Ultimate Irony

In the ultimate irony, a nonprofit organization established by the Midwest-based Islamic Society of North America to help victims of domestic violence has been exposed as a shell organization, presumably fundraising for other purposes involving violence.

A blogger, Atlas Shrugged, blew the lid on this. Hat tip Marathon Pundit. If you look at their website, they tell you to click in crisis and refer you to other unrelated organizations. I called their hotline 888 number and got someone who just said hello, and confirmed that they have no shelter, just refer women to other unrelated groups. According to their website, they started working on this in 2002---4 years later, still no shelter.

How appropriate the nonexistent shelter and shell charity was set up in the HQ of LalaLand, San Francisco, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's home district.

Related posts: This is Sharia, They Call Me Infidel

In No Way Related!

What do you know, the head of IHDA has resigned for NO APPARENT REASON. Hat tip Capitol Fax, Pantagraph:
A top Blagojevich administration official with ties to the governor's indicted former fundraiser has quietly left her state post.

Kelly King Dibble resigned Thursday from her job as head of the Illinois Housing Development Authority, which provides financing for the construction of low-income housing.

She has been replaced by DeShana Forney, the governor's director of public safety. Forney's salary is set at $140,000.

Prior to joining the administration in 2003, Dibble served as a vice president with Rezmar Inc., a Chicago development company owned by Antoin "Tony" Rezko.

Her departure comes three months after Rezko was charged by federal prosecutors for allegedly demanding payments from firms wanting to do business with the state.

Housing Development Authority spokeswoman Man Yee Lee said Dibble's leaving is not linked to Rezko's legal woes.

"Her departure was in no way related," said Lee.
Well, maybe he meant Dibble is not a relative.

If she's lucky, maybe she can quietly get a job on the Obama campaign, after all, she's not related to him either.

Previous posts: Civics Chicago Style, Follow the Money

Carter vs. Dershowitz

Former President Jimmy Carter will speak at Brandeis TODAY on the subject of his disgusting book Palestine:Peace, not Apartheid. He will field some pre-submitted questions and will be followed in rebuttal by the formidable Harvard Law professor, Alan Dershowitz.

The entire sequence will be livestreamed on the net via Brandeis starting at 3:30 Central time.

Unfortunately, though not surprisingly, Carter did not agree to a direct debate with Dershowitz. Follow-up tomorrow on the blogosphere:
The faculty and student committee that is planning the event has fielded and is assessing some 100 questions that it has received directly from university community members, with no preconditions on content. A representative sampling of those questions will be chosen by the committee for the event. All submitted questions will be posted on a blog,, which will become active on Wednesday, January 24. Bloggers will be able to engage in discussion based on the submitted questions and President Carter's answers.
For info on a recent related and actual debate, held in London between "Red" Ken Livingstone, the mayor, and Dr. Daniel Pipes, head of MEMRI, Little Green Footballs has some good links.

UPDATE: Debate in Bangladesh as evidenced in the trial of a Muslim journalist and friend of Israel. The trial yesterday was postponed for a month, due in part to international pressure. In the House, Republican Rep. Mark Kirk of the Illinois 10th has co-sponsored a resolution with Democrat Rep. Nita Lowey of NY, asking that the charges be dropped. The resolution is pending, let your representative hear from you. Via Bill Baar. Previous post here.

Enforcing the Law

Two wrongs have been righted in Illinois. Attorney General Lisa Madigan enforces the law on parental notification of a minor's abortion, and free speech for pro-lifers is protected by the courts (though Trib's headline is unfortunately tendentious).

It's a couple of steps in the right direction. And perhaps Lisa is thinking 4 years ahead.

PS: And as far as the argument that Nazi groups will demand their own license plates, I think we can dispense with that one. Are there 850 people in Illinois who will wish to identify themselves as Nazis? Usually people like that are cowards and slither around anonymously.

Innocent Until Proven Guilty

Some accusations of illegal activity by North Shore residents (no, we're not talking Tony Rezko this time) Sun Times:
The accusations came as the trial for Amir Hosseini and Hossein Obaei began in federal court. The men's dealerships -- Amer Leasing Sales, American Car Exchange and SHO Auto Credit -- were shuttered by authorities in 2005 and more than 100 vehicles, including Jaguars, BMWs, Cadillacs and tricked-out SUVs, were seized.

Hosseini, of Winnetka, and Obaei, of Northbrook, are accused of using their businesses as a haven for drug runners and gang-bangers, laundering millions of dollars. They allegedly helped drug dealers conceal their large cash payments for vehicles and also put liens on paid-off cars.

The cars came across the Mexican border.

Hot Talk and the Skeptics

The global warming debate continues to heat up, and power politics spills over into the world of scientific research. Houston Chronicle:
"I can understand how a scientist without tenure can feel the community pressures," says environmental scientist Roger Pielke Jr., a colleague of Vranes' at the University of Colorado.

Pielke says he has felt pressure from his peers: A prominent scientist angrily accused him of being a skeptic, and a scientific journal editor asked him to "dampen" the message of a peer-reviewed paper to derail skeptics and business interests.

Scientists can't be skeptical anymore? I thought that the essence of a good scientist?

And interestingly enough, it's some of the younger scientists who are most skeptical. Perhaps that's because they have been force-fed the eco-religion in school from their earliest years and have found reason to question the supposed consensus. Or maybe they're just smarter these days.

Amid all the back and forth on this, I am certainly not opposed to looking at alternative energy sources, assuming the cost-benefit analysis is truly market based. Advances in research and technology may make geothermal, for example, a much more attractive possibility. By the same token, those opposed to nuclear power and oil drilling here in Alaska and offshore should grant that those technologies too are much safer and less intrusive to the environment than earlier iterations. National security considerations make the debate more urgent.

The AEI offers an interesting discussion:
With additional resources, there could also be opportunities for innovative engagement with the private sector. Environmental advocates think of President John F. Kennedy’s challenge to put a man on the moon as a model for the sort of federal climate program they would like to see--a well-funded government-led enterprise--but history offers another model worth considering: In 1714, the British government offered a £20,000 prize (a vast fortune at the time) as an inducement for inventors to create a device that would allow ships to accurately determine their longitude, and consequently, to reliably navigate across vast ocean distances. It took John Harrison, a carpenter and amateur clockmaker, almost fifty years to win the prize, having invented the first marine chronometer. This is precisely the sort of long-term research effort that federal climate scientists need to undertake now. While much of that research will be done in federal energy labs, there is no reason why comparable prizes could not be offered to private companies as an inducement for the development of specific clean energy or climate-related technologies.
They also suggest the possibility of a carbon tax (which would exempt clean nuclear power) coupled with a reduction in other taxes.

The Kyoto approach is wrongheaded, exempting some of the worst offenders and would be ruinously expensive with little to show for it, and while there are still major questions on whether global warming is a major or minor problem.

What I am opposed to is politicized science, and the stifling regulation advanced by the greenies who would wreck our economy, impinge on individual property rights and liberty at the drop of a hat, and push ridiculous, posturing, ultimately empty measures at great expense on an unsuspecting public without using any common sense. The greenies should not overplay their hand because it breeds cynicism in the public.

Some of the same people who are pushing hard on global warming were pushing the overpopulation myth in the 70's, and advocating the same kind of draconian measures, based on flawed models they thought could predict the future.

The alarmist gloom and doom of the Leftie 70's enviro-kooks turned me into the skeptic I am today.

UPDATE: Related story in the Tribune on the population BUST in China, due to their draconian one child policy, aborting girls or leaving them to die at birth in dying rooms. And as we know, with the exception of the US, most of the Western developed countries have a population bust as well, with all the implications for the future of their societies and the welfare of their elderly, who may experience dying rooms of their own.

Previous posts: Gore-Invented Polar Bears; Sister Cities, Kyoto-Wilmette

Condos and Consequences

Last week the village board voted down a higher
structure at the old Kohl Children's Museum
property, but approved a 5-story building at
the old Ford dealership, one side of which
faces Green Bay Rd. On the other side there
will be a 3-story parking garage, if the
library board discussion is accurate,in full
view of the single family residents across
the street on Park.

This from a Wilmette resident, a reader of
this blog:
I was listening to the rerun of the Library Bd meeting,
and they were discussing how the three level
parking deck will be "hidden" by the 5 floor condo
building approved for the Ford site. Hidden only
from EAST Wilmette,not the rest of us.

Wilmette is becoming a very expensive place to live.
First, we have to pay for low income housing,
and soon we will have to fund the new parking deck.
According to the Library Bd, the success of retail
& food operations depend on the deck. They spoke
of Green Bay Road as a "destination" for shopping.
Build it and they will come?
Well, maybe, but left out of this discussion
is, of course, the impact on our
congested streets around there, with train
crossings and school crossings
even now
pushing traffic into the neighborhoods.
Many residents already avoid the
center because of the existing traffic.
Just another unintended consequence
of the
actions of the visionaries on the village

But the other outrage is
underground parking garage has apparently
morphed into a 3 story garage
above ground.
I don't know if this has been discussed
at a village board meeting
or not, (no
mention in the paper when the condos were
approved) but if it hasn't, it should be.
Because this is the old switcheroo.
was always vague talk of an
underground garage being a bit expensive,
but it was
never spelled out before this
5 story building was approved. As we know
discussions in Winnetka, underground
parking runs about $50,000 a space. So I

suppose the "trustees" are going to suggest
they are saving the taxpayers dollars
building it above ground. But of course,
if we are paying for all of it and not the

developers, that's not a savings, is it?
And what kind of a value do you put on

the view of those houses on Park, looking
at a hulking garage, rather than a simple

parking lot with trees?

Cut off Kim

The new head of the UN may be turning over a new leaf for the corrupt organization, in response to a story by the WSJ on North Korean dictator Kim Jong Il's siphoning off funds destined for his starving people, presumably to build nukes or top up his personal cognac supply. WSJ:
U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki Moon has been on the job for less than a month, but with a 26-word announcement Friday he did more to reform that international body than anything ever attempted by predecessor Kofi Annan."The Secretary-General will call for an urgent, system wide and external inquiry into all activities done around the globe by the U.N. funds and programs."
One UN functionary who oversaw the questionable program was Mark Malloch Brown. Remember him?

We welcome an investigation and Congressional moves to cut off funding to North Korea pending a FULL inquiry.

Monday, January 22, 2007

Questions for Hillary

Hat tip Instapundit, Sen. Frist's questions for his fellow Senator, Hillary, on his blog :
Hillary Clinton entered the 2008 presidential race over the weekend with a video announcement on her website. Tonight, tomorrow and Wednesday she plans to host a series of webcast discussions with voters. As a voter, here is my list of questions that I hope she will answer:

Do you favor personal savings accounts as a voluntary part of Social Security Reform?

Do you favor an increase in retirement age as part of Medicare reform?

Should Medicare have an element of means testing?

Do you favor opening up Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to oil and gas exploration?
How do you propose expanding Health Savings Accounts?

Do you favor giving citizenship to those who are in this country illegally?

Should the United States send troops to stop the genocide in Darfur?

Will you make the Presidents tax cuts permanent?

Would you favor elimination of the death tax?

Would you support a flat tax?

Do you support President Bush's plan for Iraq?

Will you seek to meet with the leaders of Syria or North Korea or Iran?

Should the United States end the embargo of Cuba?
I can't make myself watch her sessions, sorry. These are good questions for anyone running. I especially like the Darfur question for the Democrats, though.

Counting Bodies

The Left likes to count bodies...except these.

And here's this.

Porkbusters Prevail Again!

At RedState, follow-up on the earmark bill, (see previous post Durbin Flips on Earmarks), with commentary by Sen. Jim DeMint. Read the whole thing, but I of course especially enjoyed this part:
It was not until five days later that we were able to work this matter out in the Senate. But what happened over those five days had a direct impact on how the issue was resolved. Bloggers, liberal and conservative, led the charge for reform. Their numerous postings piqued the interest of the mainstream press and a multitude of editorial boards. Their message was all the same: reform now. A chastened Senator Durbin proposed some minor tweaks to my amendment which I accepted. To Durbin’s credit, rather than weakening my amendment, he made it stronger. It would be fair to say that the outcry from the blogosphere created the best possible scenario in the Senate: a bidding war on reform in which both parties wanted to outdo the other. That is a climate that I was happy to see develop and one that we need to continue.
Porkbusters Prevail Again! Next needed bipartisan reform on the table, a proposal for line-item rescission.

Obama, Man of the People Magazine

(This was written by me late last week, and appears this morning on as RedSkirt, along with Blue Skirt's response.)

Barack Obama, Man of the People Magazine, darling of the media and the Hollywood set. Quite the photo on the beaches of Hawaii, one of the many places Barack Obama calls home.

The man’s a living embodiment of multiculti chic. Well, granted his gut is a little firmer than many his age, but will this photo-op campaign be enough? It worked really well for John "Wetsuit" Kerry and Al "Torrid Staged Kiss" Gore (we won't mention the enhanced Rolling Stone cover), not to mention Michael "Tank" Dukakis.

I’m not sure he's an alpha male even by the Dem standards of "carefully cultivated masculinity" (my view here) , but that may not matter to his legions of fans. He’s a hero of our time, a celebrity candidate who draws crowds wherever he goes, and an otherwise sensible (for a liberal) woman reporter writes about wanting to follow him into the locker room.

Obama announces he's in the 2008 race for president the day after we commemorated Martin Luther King, and will formally announce a couple of days before Lincoln's birthday. Quite the political calculus---I'm not in their league but I am. It's quite a stretch for someone whose parents are both Ph.D.s and is second generation Harvard, who as a child attended a private school with the Hawaiian royal family. He may not be the Man from Hope, but his already written best-selling biography is called The Audacity of Hope. He’s giving Hillary some serious competition, with a charisma rivaling her husband’s, but you have to wonder if all this doesn’t seem like name-dropping in a big way. He speaks loftily in interviews of "moments in American history". Doesn’t it seem a little too wannabe, not enough there there?

Obama portrays himself as an outsider, non-partisan, even post partisan. But after all, he does work in Washington D.C. Can he pull it off? At some point voters need a little substance. I mean, where's the beefcake? uh, the beef?

Time for, pardon me, a gutcheck.

Obama may really believe that Americans are "hungry" for change, and that "meaningful change begins at the grass roots", but what does this really mean?

Obama may talk comfortable-centrist, but his record in the Illinois legislature and in Congress is very liberal.He may suggest he offers something new, as one of the next generation, that Hillary is over the hill with the rest of us Boomers, but his policies are recycled from the '70s, all pain no gain. His record is left in Illinois and in Congress he is one of its most liberal members, voting with his party nearly 95 percent of the time.

Obama may talk about meaningful change at the grass roots, (video) but when he had his chance to make an impact on reform at home in Cook County and Illinois he stuck with business as usual.

Obama may write a biography at the beginning of his political career comparing himself to some of the greats of our time, but what did he do with the proceeds of his book but buy a multimillion dollar mansion, trading up for more land by tapping a political fixer, now indicted. Obama himself may be just a little bit too hungry a politician, wanting too much too soon.

He's looking to make his formal announcement just before Honest Abe's birthday, but Abraham Lincoln's home in Springfield is too small, too modest a setting. A Chicago columnist compares Obama to Lincoln who supposedly didn't have much experience either. Apparently Obama's still pushing this theme, first introduced a couple of years ago when he suggested he was an even greater figure than Lincoln. As Peggy Noonan put it then, Obama's resume is a "log cabin free zone. So far it also is a greatness-free zone. If he keeps talking about himself like this it always will be."

If we wanted to vote for someone very personable with a pretty face, little political experience and a good bio, why not support Oprah herself as our first black President? At least her rise is more substance than symbolism. Do we really want a President-in-training? It's the toughest job in the world.

And remember, Obama may come from a populous state, but Illinois right now is virtually a one party state where Republicans are essentially powerless and pathetically eager for a few kind words from the other side of the aisle. Illinois does not provide a tough training ground for national office, if you’ve never had significant opposition. His Senate election was a fluke, with both of his major opponents sidelined by sex scandals. Obama is a Hyde Park liberal, elected from an area with a lot of University of Chicago students, and while he may have bumped John Kerry off the burger menu in Harvard Square, it’s still an open question whether he’s even ready for a national campaign, not to mention the presidency. He himself has suggested that running a national campaign will be much like running the country. (!)

His campaign will be headquartered in Chicago, which is the natural choice. But while he has been in favor of earmark reform on Capitol Hill, he has fumbled on ethics reform, an area where Illinois has an especially bad reputation. Dead voters on the rolls come to mind. Machine politics. Numerous active federal investigations. And Obama has drawn unwelcome attention to himself by his association with the indicted Rezko, backing the corrupt machine choice for Cook County President, and most recently, celebrating Martin Luther King Day with a mayor under investigation for destroying evidence in a criminal case.

And while Barack may be able to berate NY Times columnist Maureen Dowd, I don’t think the bullies of the world will be impressed. Being an anti-war candidate is not enough, you have to come up with a better alternative. Obama is neither true celebrity, nor true statesman, neither fish nor fowl. At least not yet.

So maybe America will, in the end, stick with People Magazine for pure entertainment, and set their sights on someone else for President.

UPDATE: I would just mention to Blue Skirt Condi Rice, Colin Powell as prominent AND ABLE members of the Bush administration, chosen on MERIT, as well as prominent practitioners of other faiths as ambassador to Iraq and head of the RNC to name a few, so I think the White Christian assertion is unfounded. And I don't object to Obama as black, or as a person of faith, I object to him as a liberal. I would further say that for him, being black is an asset, perhaps his only political asset---if he were white, he'd be just another liberal son of privilege who went to Harvard Law, and did a little community organizing while filling in the time before admission.

UPDATE: Latest polling here. Also Rich Miller, Capitol Fax, via RCP on Obama's rock star aura, bringing to mind JFK.