Monday, June 30, 2008

Tanking Stocks, Skyrocketing Oil Prices, Obstructionist Congress Require Presidential Emergency Actions

It is high time for President Bush to declare a national emergency, override objections to drilling for additional oil, invoke a workable national energy policy and stop the manipulation of petroleum supplies and prices by the Congressional Democrats.

Precedent for this action comes straight from President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, the Dems number one Icon, who took similar action to put a stop on the market free fall known as the Great Depression. You can also look to Democratic President Harry S. Truman, although he wasn't as successful as his predecessor.

Roosevelt started off by declaring that the US was in a state of emergency under the auspices of the Trading with the Enemy Act of 1917. By virtue of that law which hadn't been used since WWI, Roosevelt then took a series of actions to protect banks and prohibit the flow of gold and silver reserves out of the US.

Although the Trading With the Enemy Act of 1917 was passed during wartime it worked just fine for Roosevelt in that situation, considering that he believed he needed to make a strong statement and take action to put some form of confidence back in the country.

Granted, there are those who say Roosevelt's later policies actually extended the Great Depression, and that may be so. But this isn't about a long term fiduciary policy, this is about getting control of a runaway Congress that is deliberately damaging the United States' security in pursuit of its own illogical agenda.

Roosevelt's actions were based on emergency decrees enacted by President Abraham Lincoln at the outset of the Civil War - and later upheld by the Supreme Court - when he blockaded southern ports and appropriated funds to purchase war materials without authorization of Congress.

Truman, in his administration, took over control of the nation's steel mills, a move that ultimately was overturned, but had its desired effect, nonetheless. This was obviously a back-handed attempt to nationalize the steel industry and it went way too far.

I am not saying Bush should try to nationalize the oil industry as some Democrats in Congress have recommended. That is socialism, and it is not the oil industry that is deliberately placing restrictions on opening up new oil fields, it is Congress.

What we need now is action that will immediately reverse the soaring price of oil, which is based on the perception that demand is outstripping resources. By increasing the supply President Bush can buy some time to enact dramatic energy initiatives that will wean our country off carbon based fuels in the long term. By long term I am thinking a decade or less.

A reasonable argument could be made that if Roosevelt could put controls on the money supply during a time of severe economic crisis, even though we weren't at war, President Bush should be able to lift restrictions on drilling for oil long enough for the price per barrel to drop significantly and confidence to return to the economic sector.

This is particularly significant because we are at war and the actions of the Democrats in Congress, by restricting drilling for oil offshore, in shale deposits, and in that abysmal slab of barren, infertile wasteland known as the ANWR coastal plain - not the truly pristine sections of the reserve - certainly can be construed as helping our enemies.

Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. Photos courtesy of my friend Jim Bancroft who sent them to me via the Internet.

Gee, I just don't know how the Arctic tit mice are going to survive with a big oil rig smack in the middle of this pristine wilderness!

Did I mention the reports that say the total area the oil companies want to drill in is 2,000 acres, roughly the same size as Dulles Airport outside Washington, D.C.?

This is the layout of the area in question. You'll notice that it isn't far to the long existing Prudhoe Bay oil field. The little tiny dot on the left of the green shaded area is where the drilling would occur. Note also the previously developed areas that aren't mentioned in Congressional speeches.

By artificially driving up the price of oil through artificially controlling the supply, the Democratic Congress is deliberately weakening the US economy, thus aiding our enemies who use the cost of the war as a rallying cry on the floor of the same Congress that is undermining the economy.

Wildlife adversely affected by presence of oil rig and pipeline in wilderness.

If President Bush takes a strong stand on this he does run the risk that his actions might be declared unconstitutional by the Supreme Court, or they might naturally be extinguished in two years by legislative mandates. But I would much rather have him take firm decisive action to open up the oil supply immediately which would lighten the pressure on the futures market, drive down the price per barrel, and give the US breathing room to enact a forward-looking energy policy.

Then he could turn to the myriad alternatives that already are on the table but haven't been fully developed. Using alternative fuels such as hydrogen, natural gas and electricity instead of gasoline would not eliminate our use of petroleum products, but it certainly would put a big dent in the amount we need.

Personally, I favor getting us off of carbon based fuels completely. There are better ways to give us power, heat, and electricity and they don't pollute. But we can't do it overnight due to the massive infrastructure investment in finding, refining and delivering petroleum products. If we eliminate all the jobs associated with the gasoline industry overnight the economy would suffer greatly.

But we can do it in phases with minimal impact to the economy. The benefits would include a cleaner environment, ending our reliance on foreign oil for gasoline and power generation, and the Bush legacy would receive a major boost both immediately, and when historians are writing their analyses of his administration.
Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Are Congressional and Media Negativity Fueling PTSD 'Epidemic'?

From the dawn of humanity men have fought other men, either to protect themselves, their families and their homes, or on the other side because they were trying to take someone else's lands and homes.

Some fighters have gloried in war's unrestrained excesses while others are overwhelmed.

In the latter group there are subsets: people who temporarily are disabled by the sights, sounds, smells and mind-numbing violence; and those whose mental processes are permanently impaired.

For those who overcome the impact of the fighting, their lives initially may be dominated by their battle experiences, but ultimately they regain control and are able to function in society with little to mark them as war veterans.

For the more seriously affected, the impact of battle may never depart. They have a condition that has variously been labeled "soldier's heart," "shell shock," "battle fatigue," and since the Vietnam war, "Post Traumatic Stress Disorder."

Whatever the term used to describe it, reaction to battle has been with us forever, but lately it has become the focal point of much of the news reporting on the War on Terror, particularly regarding the fighting in Iraq.

In past generations the veterans who suffered from this malady were either ignored, left to fend for themselves, or on occasion warehoused in veterans' homes. Today the issue is far more in the public eye and both the military and Veterans Administration are applying increasing resources to diagnose and treat warriors who are suffering from the impact of combat.

But headlines carry the alarming news that PTSD cases are increasing dramatically, the military is broken, slowly decaying from within, a generation of Americans is wasting away mentally and physically, and America is doomed. This often accompanies commentary that the war in Iraq is unnecessary, unwinnable, and that members of the armed forces who died fighting terrorists - in Iraq only - lost their lives for obscure political reasons, not defending our country.

Controversy also is brewing within the military as even a hint of temporary PTSD symptoms can be seen as a career ending condition.

But just how bad is PTSD in the long term, for the majority of people, and how much of it is generated or fueled by the non-stop negativity in the media and on the floor of Congress?

Take for instance a recent trip to Iraq by Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi. While there she saw overwhelming evidence that since the upsurge in personnel last year the fighting has gone all our way. But, rather than admit she was wrong when she was advocating the Choose to Lose policy, Pelosi claimed that we really aren't winning in Iraq, it's just that the terrorists headquartered in Iran next door are allowing us to dominate!

How much impact did that comment have on the mental health of fighters who have been locked in battle for a year, many of them veterans of multiple tours? I bet it at least made them angry, as it well should have.

Now multiply that commentary from one of our country's the top political leaders - a woman lest we forget, who subjugated herself before the ruler of Syria, another country that is bent on destruction of the US - by the myriad congresspeople, newscasters, columnists and commentators who echo her sentiments, and you have the basis for an all-out psychological warfare attack on our military.

With today's instant communications you can be sure the troops are well aware of the incessant news conferences in Congress, in which our so-called leaders badmouth the military - in a roundabout manner to be sure, but that is the end result. The mainstream news media covers each utterance from each politician and the result is an atmosphere of gloom and doom that has permeated the entire country.

I have noticed over many years of watching filmed interviews with veterans of hard fought battles from the World Wars, Korea, Vietnam, through Beirut and right up to the present that there are many similarities in the reactions of those who fought and lived.

All have very strong emotions buried inside, sometimes deeply, sometimes nearer the surface. As they recall and relate the loss of friends, the viciousness of the fighting, giving all they had to win and survive, they often are overcome.

But World War II veterans have one significant difference from the veterans of the post-World War II era. Regardless of how horrible the experiences relived by the WWII vets, and how much it impacted them, there is a common conclusion to their interview ... "But we saved the world from the Nazis, (or the Japanese) so it was worth it."

That one line gave so many of those fighters the capability to shoulder the burden of their memories and carry on with their lives, rarely if ever telling those close to them of the horrors they had witnessed. This may not have been the absolute best route for them, and I am sure they had their moments when PTSD reared its head even if it wasn't recognized as such.

Yet they carried on, and were able to function in a normal society without a lifetime of counseling and especially a lifetime of prescription drugs.

But the men and women who served from Korea onward came home to an entirely different country and reception. World War II vets received tremendous support from a home front that was united in its belief that the Germans and Japanese had to be defeated.

War in that era was all out, unlike Vietnam - and the War on Terror - where enemy soldiers deliberately mixed in with the civilian population to cause civilian casualties and bring media scorn down upon our troops. In WWII the huge bomber fleets, massed artillery or naval gunfire could and did eliminate entire cities or island populations without a word of protest back home.

Vietnam vets were falsely labelled baby killers and murderers. If even one civilian dies in a firefight in Iraq, or more to the point, is murdered in the back room of a house temporarily occupied by terrorists, the media will find a way to portray our military as murderers, again, regardless of whether there is scintilla of evidence to prove the claim.

Regardless of how much damage they may be doing to individuals, their families, their military units, or the country overall, news editors and producers will run any story that criticizes our troops, and slough off the potential damage by claiming they will run a "correction" if the allegations prove untrue.

Meanwhile, politicians fall all over each other trying to be the first in front of a camera to make equally unfounded, outrageous statements about the status of the military, and the moral decline in the ranks.

If the facts don't bear out their assumptions they will work day and night to cover their rear ends and try to spin the outcome to make it appear they were simply misinformed, and then change the subject.

But the damage has already been done, and it appears to be getting worse.

Members of the armed forces are being diagnosed with PTSD if they work in the military morgue and see too many bodies, if they work in military hospitals and see too many wounded, if they work as military police officers and see violent collisions caused by roadside bombs.

But Americans work in many of the same occupations back home, and see much of the same carnage - ambulance drivers, Emergency Medical Technicians, police, fire fighters, emergency room nurses and doctors. And let's not forget morgue technicians and undertakers.

Yet, while PTSD certainly must be present in these professions, there is no massive media outcry predicting that our social services infrastructure is about to collapse, or that the nursing profession is over-extended, or nearly broken.

How is it that people can do the same job, one in the military, one in the civilian world, in virtually the same circumstances yet it is only the military that is not capable of adapting to the stress?

My belief here is two-fold. First, I believe that the military personnel can adapt, far better than many in the civilian world, but that their reaction to the stress around them can be and is exacerbated by the negativity in the media and the US Congress.

How different would their reaction to battle be if the news was full of their heroics, and the wonderful statements that Congress was issuing on their behalf back home? How different would their attitude be toward their difficult tasks if school children didn't think the war they are fighting was politically inspired instead of a necessary measure to keep terrorism at bay?

Second I believe that many PTSD symptoms are minor, and can be dealt with through counseling that can be no more than a combined sharing of experiences. But even minor symptoms can take on a larger persona when they are aggravated by a non-stop flood of negative statements and news reports.

Is it always the stress of combat that leads to PTSD symptoms, or is it also the added burden of hearing the media and people in high places repeating the Big Lie of the mentally deficient military?

I suspect that if the armed forces knew without question that our country's leaders were behind them - and not preparing to stab them in the back - the PTSD 'epidemic' would subside, or cases would be reported for what they are, mild to moderate symptoms that could and willingly would be dealt with through counseling, without relying on drugs.

That would lead to a reduced burden on both the military and VA systems to tackle a problem that certainly is a very real issue, but probably no more of an issue in this war than it was for previous generations.
Friday, June 20, 2008

Semper Means Always; And Always Means Forever

I have used that line, the headline for this post, in speeches to veterans, students, community groups, organizations and even incoming Marine recruits for decades now, but it has never held more meaning for me than in the last few days.

One point that needs to be made before I progress: This is not about politics, this is about the heart and soul of being a United States Marine, forever, from the day the term is finally earned and applied to a new class of graduates, until the day a Marine dies; in battle, of other causes, or long, long down the road, way after the wearing of the uniform is no longer required, but the plainclothes Marine continues, down in the heart, down in the soul, always in the spirit.

This week Marine Lt. Col. Jeffrey Chessani was the seventh of eight Marines who were falsely charged with murdering civilians during a day-long battle in Haditha, Iraq, in late 2005, to be cleared of those charges.

Chessani also is one of eight loyal, patriotic, front-line American military men who was falsely charged by Pennsylvania's Democratic Congressman John Murtha with the "cold blooded" killing of Iraqi civilians. Murtha made that charge on international television, before he had any evidence whatsoever to support his allegation.

Seven of eight Marines have been cleared of any wrongdoing other than fighting a war that the US Congress voted to send them into. They went into battle, standing up for our country, for our rights, our privileges and our freedoms and were falsely charged with being murderers by an organization that itself falsely claims it is a responsible news outlet, but in truth has less credibility than a typical supermarket checkout tabloid.

None of the men and women working for that libelous rag have a right to call themselves journalists.

John Murtha and the American media willfully, negligently, and with malice convicted these men with no evidence. They all should be held accountable.

Seven of the eight have been cleared. I have little doubt that the eighth will also be cleared. But their careers are over and their lives have been changed unalterably, and not for the better.

Meanwhile, John Murtha, who falsely claims he too is a United States Marine, still walks the halls of Congress, still has his position, his salary, his retirement benefits and his bombast. He, like many of his Democratic colleagues, has gone to extremes to undermine the troops who are fighting in Iraq, all for nothing other than political sound bites, in the hopes that the country will continue to elect them to the cushy positions they should have been thrown out of long ago.

Murtha is the point man for a group of liars, some of whom should be investigated for treason. His friends have helped pro-terrorist groups in this country send money and provisions to the very terrorist groups who attacked us in 2001, while our troops were locked in deadly battles against a savage enemy. Others have not hesitated for an instant to discuss strategy, tactics, weaponry and equipment in wide open news conferences that have been broadcast right into the camps of the very barbarians our troops are fighting.

They have provided aid, comfort and inside information during these world-wide broadcasts and have thumbed their noses at the US Constitution in the process. They have been aided and abetted from start to finish by the American media.

Their leader, Nancy Pelosi, was quoted in the news after a recent trip to Iraq, where it was abundantly clear to her and her accompanying minions that we are well on the way to victory, as saying that our troops really aren't winning, it's just that the leader in the terrorist headquarters across the border in Iran has decided to let them win!

But this isn't about her, or any of the other despicable, low, heinous creatures who have the audacity to inhabit the top rungs of our government structure while working to demolish the very liberties that allow such simple minded slugs to exist in this country.

This is about John Murtha having the unmitigated gall to call himself a US Marine. He is NOT. He is a liar.

There is no way he could have said what he said, and done what he did, and ever have truly been a US Marine. If the evidence had shown that our troops really committed crimes in the midst of battle, and they were so convicted, it would have been appropriate for him to comment after they had been sentenced. But not one word before.

But he didn't wait. Murtha anointed himself judge, jury, prosecutor and executioner all on his own, and took his verdict to the world media.

According to the reports I have received from people much closer to this case than I, several of these Marines were held in atrocious conditions that, if they had been replicated in Guantanamo Bay would have brought every human rights organization in the world out to denounce their treatment.

But these are not extremist muslim terrorists. They are US Marines, thus in the view of world "human rights" gas bags, and the extremists' apologists in the mainstream media, they had no rights. According to these geniuses, Marines who have a two-centuries plus history of standing up for America - and doing it successfully - have no rights compared to the scum and litter of modern society.

I have read quotes from Lt. Col. Chessani's lawyer saying his client is considering suing Murtha. I hope he does. The colonel's career has been ruined, his reputation besmirched and our country has lost the services of a man who by all accounts is among the most dedicated and capable of Marines. I hope he takes Murtha for every dime he has, his party has, his neighbors can collect, and his staff can pony up.

But before that happens I have one other suggestion.

After the Colonel body slams that windbag Congressman, I would suggest that he settle, under these conditions: the President of the United States agrees to recall Murtha to active duty for 24 hours; the Commandant of the Marine Corps agrees to hold a Special Court Martial on the spot; a panel of Chessani's peers (commanders with combat experience) hears Murtha's comments to the news media; they give him five minutes to make whatever statement he wants; they find the bastard guilty of conduct unbecoming.

Then the Commandant strips Murtha of his rank, his retirement, the phony combat medals he never deserved in the first place, and drums him out of the Corps in disgrace.

When that phase is settled the defense lawyers for the falsely charged Marines can set their sights on libel suits against the media; slander if they think the malice issue might get in the way, although I believe most American juries would convict the news media on the first ballot.

It won't change a damn thing for the Haditha Marines. But it just might send the right kind of message to propaganda outlets like the one that started all this in the first place.

We Marines are proud of our service and fond of saying "Once A Marine, Always A Marine."

But a person who claims that title when he doesn't believe in it was never a Marine in the first place, and should be prosecuted to the fullest just like any other common, non-serving poser, embellisher, wannabe or valor thief.

See also
Tuesday, June 17, 2008


(If you missed the original broadcast, you can still listen to the interview with Calling All Authors by going to the Archives tab and then selecting the interview from the list provided.)

If you aren't busy this afternoon at 5 p.m. east coast time, 4 p.m. central time, and you just happen to be sitting by your computer, check out the show CALLING ALL AUTHORS where yours truly will be the guest for an hour of scintillating discussion.

Hey, I'm not kidding about the scintillating part, I do a good interview if I do say so myself. The show is broadcast on the Internet at: and all you have to do to listen is click on the Listen Live icon in the upper right corner. Oh, and turn your speakers up.

CALLING ALL AUTHORS is a talk show designed to inform the first time writer, the aspiring author and the reading public about issues and concerns that affect books and their creation from beginning to end. This show presents a dynamic and entertaining focus on books, their creation and their marketing.

CALLING ALL AUTHORS addresses topics about writing, manuscript submission, publishing trends, marketing success and outside the box promotional techniques. It is run by Valerie Connelly who can be reached at a number of places including:

Valerie can by reached by snail mail at:
Nightengale Press
10936 N. Port Washington Road
Suite 206
Mequon WI 53092-5031
Phone 847-810-8498
Fax: 866-830-2624

For those who want the convenience of modern technology to research the show and the company, here are a couple of other sites:

Publisher's URL:
Community URL:
Artist URL:


There, that should give just about everyone a path to reach the appropriate information.

Today we'll be talking about my odyssey in writing and publishing Masters of the Art, A Fighting Marine's Memoir of Vietnam.

We'll talk about some of the little known facts of the Vietnam War that have been hidden and discarded by the American Terrorist Media, how I decided to write about Vietnam from the point of view of a proud Marine who served with people of honor and distinction, and how hard it was to get published from that point of view. We'll run from the early days of the hardcover version to the softcover that Random House released two years ago and is still selling well today.

There also is a call in number for listener calls: 1-800-773-0355 or
(Outside the USA) 1-310-328-9300.

As I mentioned above the show airs live on Tuesdays at 4PM Central Time (5pm Eastern 3pm Mountain, 2pm Pacific) so let's all get behind it.

Thank You and Semper Fi.
Monday, June 16, 2008

Obama Offers Tax Break - to Congress ; Sticks it to Nation's Most Productive Workers

Under the guise of helping out the poor downtrodden American working class that earns "only" up to $102,000 per year, and hammering the "rich" who make more than $250,000 per year, Barack Obama has suggested an income tax package that ultimately could benefit - his buddies in Congress!

If he isn't elected president and his opponent, John McCain, nonetheless says "Hey, what a great idea!" and carries through with it, Barack himself could benefit.

Isn't this a great country? And the media ate it right up, spit it back out at us and never made the point that Congress could benefit from the Obama Tax!

The news reports said, and I quote:

"Democratic Sen. Barack Obama on Friday (June 13, 2008) called for higher payroll taxes on wage-earners making more than $250,000 annually, a step that would affect the wealthiest 3 percent of Americans. The presidential candidate told senior citizens in Ohio that it is unfair for middle-class earners to pay the Social Security tax "on every dime they make," while millionaires and billionaires pay it on only "a very small percentage of their income."

The 6.2 percent payroll tax is now applied to all wages up to $102,000 a year, which covers the entire amount for most Americans. Under Obama's plan, the tax would not apply to wages between that amount and $250,000. But all annual salaries above the quarter-million-dollar amount would be taxed under his plan, Obama said."

Obama was vague about what forms of income would be affected, saying, "We should exempt anyone making under $250,000 from this increase so that the change doesn't burden middle-class Americans." Campaign aides said the additional tax, like the current one, would apply only to wages and salaries and not to other forms of income such as investments."

Let's see, who would be in that nether region between $102,000 and $250,000? Why, the entire US Congress!

How convenient. How refreshing, and how absolutely relevant to most Americans! Wage earners, those who make this country work, get hammered. And the ones who work the hardest, have the best educations and business acumen, get whacked harder than anyone else, a truly fitting reward for studying hard, working hard, and contributing so much to the American economy.

I can't wait to get back to teaching college in the fall. The A+ over-achievers will be totally depressed and turning out C+ or B- work at best. This will really be inspiring.

The truly wealthy, those who derive their income from sources other than payrolls where deductions come before the cash, aren't affected. I wonder where Barack Obama and his family get their multi-million dollar incomes - Congressional salary excluded? Just curious.

His plan also doesn't affect anyone who doesn't get hit with a Social Security deduction in the first place. Let's see, who would that cover? Why Yes! Once again, the US Congress! Have you seen the benefits that people who served in Congress receive compared to what the rest of us get from Social Security?

So Congress is covered coming and going. They don't pay into Social Security now, so they won't get hit with the Obama Tax, but just in case the American public rises up and INSISTS that Congress join the rest of us, they would fall into that exemption area too. How very, very nice for Congress.

Boy, sign me up to run right out and vote for this guy.

Barack, old buddy, patronage works like this - you give government payroll jobs to lots and lots of the people in your target demographics, paid for by the taxpayers, of course. The people who receive these - usually cushy - jobs will get out next time and beat the bushes to ensure that people vote for you, and thus they keep their jobs.

There are less than 700 Representatives and Senators combined! This won't get you very many votes. Maybe you should rethink this idea and really start working for the working man, not your "Special Interest" friends - the US Congress.

The news about the Obama Tax continued:
Obama said his plan "allows us to extend the life of Social Security" without raising the retirement age or cutting benefits.

"Imagine if your security now was tied up with the Dow Jones," he said, alluding to the recent slide in stock prices. "You wouldn't feel very confident about the security of your nest egg."

Which means, Barack Obama thinks the vast majority of Americans, particularly those of the Baby Boomer era and older are too stupid to be able to manage their own money and need the government to do it for them.

Did even one reporter ask Mr. Obama if he would feel comfortable taking a 6.2 percent hit on his income with the requirement that all of that percentage go to Social Security for his retirement? I'd love to hear the answer to that one.

Is this an idea that instills confidence in the candidate or what?

I have one word for Mr. Obama. Diversify. Look it up. I learned it from my father, when he was old, and retired, and managing his retirement accounts for fun and profit.

What is really going on with Social Security is that over the past three or four decades the Democrats so vastly overloaded it with eligible payout categories, that there isn't sufficient income from wage earners to cover all its debts. So the Social Security system is being run right out of money just as a big influx of wage earners is due to retire and tap into it.

Anyone who thinks for a minute that the US Government is going to let them off the hook for paying for its mistakes is probably smoking something illegal.

Meanwhile, Obama is criticizing Republican Presidential candidate John McCain claiming McCain is creating loopholes for his - McCain's - friends. Can we say "hypocrite?"

McCain, who also was criticized by Obama for his position on Social Security said Obama is misrepresenting his position.

"I will not privatize Social Security," he said. "But I would like for younger workers to have an opportunity to take a few of their tax dollars, and maybe put it into an account with their name on it. That's their money."

I know of at least two votes McCain got from younger workers with just that statement.
Friday, June 13, 2008

BOHICA Obama! But Don't Blame Fox or Rush Limbaugh

Oh my goodness, we have another scandal on the national political scene!

Will America be able to weather yet another storm? Will we survive this latest assault on the Republic?

And what about Michelle O'?

In case you hadn't heard, somebody said something about Michelle Obama, who you may want to note is NOT Cindy McCain, nor Bill Clinton, nor Chelsea Clinton, nor either of the Bush daughters, nor Mary Cheney, nor Laura Bush. I make that point because it is OK, in fact it is encouraged across the political spectrum, particularly by the American media, to say bad things about candidates, their spouses, their children, and anyone else remotely connected to them.

Unless your last name is Obama.

The political blogosphere has been abuzz for weeks with claims that Michelle Obama may have referred to white people as "Whitey" in one of the now infamous racist rants that regularly emanate from the Trinity United Church of Christ in Chicago made famous by the Obamas' pastor, the Rev. Jeremiah Wright.

The undercurrent was that the Hillary Clinton camp knew of the rant, had a video, and would use it at an appropriate time to knock Barack Obama out of the race. So, naturally, everyone who gets into politics in a big way has been waiting for the video to emerge with an ... tici .... pation. (Rocky Horror Picture Show.)

You see, as I wrote a while back, before the American Terrorist Media anointed Barack Obama as the Democratic nominee for president, Hillary Clinton isn't really out of the race. Obama never received sufficient pledged delegates to take the nomination at the Democratic convention in August on the first vote, unless he gets enough unpledged - Super Delegates - to add to his total.

(They can change their minds right up to the instant they vote.)

It isn't even a secret that Hillary Clinton "suspended" her campaign, not "ended" it, and she didn't concede nor release her pledged delegates to Obama or anyone else. So she still goes to the convention with nearly as many pledged delegates as he has, and a majority of the popular vote on her side.

The buzz on political circuits, that the American Terrorist Media is conveniently ignoring, is that Mrs. Clinton is hoping against hope that Obama will stumble in some way or another between now and August and she can re-enter the race making a good case for taking the nomination.

This is the genesis of the Michelle Obama rumor. And it may have a nugget of truth to it.

Then, last week, Rush Limbaugh mentioned this rumor on his daily radio broadcast. He didn't say it was true or anything, he just mentioned what virtually everyone else already knew.

So immediately the Obama camp goes all racist - again, - the American Terrorist Media which has been sitting on this story for more than a month, accuses Limbaugh and Fox News of malfeasance, and picking on poor, poor Mrs. Obama, who has shown repeatedly that she is NOT to be toyed with, nor for that matter criticized in any way, shape, or form.

The Obama campaign set up a DON'T YOU DARE PICK ON US DOT COM web site, the American Terrorist Media which across the board has run some of the most despicable stories imaginable about the families of Republican office holders, and to be fair, the Clinton's as well, went into rapture overdrive, and now suddenly it is all Rush Limbaugh's fault.

Once again. What a crock!

But, as with any cloud, this one too has a silver lining. Because it once again shows us the true nature of the presumed Democratic nominee for president. A thin-skinned, far too sensitive, quick to anger, shoot without aiming, reactionary.

I am sick to death of hearing the ATM constantly questioning "Can American elect a black man?"

Yes, stupid, we can. But not this one!

Why? Because he is not presidential material. He isn't even close.

I could name a dozen black American men and women I would vote for in a heartbeat, who I absolutely believe would do a great job as President of the United States. First on my list would be Maryland's former Lt. Gov. Michael Steele. He just happens to be a Republican, but he is first on my hit parade.

Actually, I'd vote for Juan Williams, the liberal Fox News commentator, way before I'd vote for Barack Obama. I may disagree with Mr. Williams on many of his stances, but I believe him to be an open and honest man who believes in democracy and doesn't hate America.

I'm not saying I'd run a Juan for President campaign, but I would vote for him before Obama.

America is a grown up country, despite the manner in which many America haters, like Obama, Nancy Pelosi, Dick Durbin, John Murtha, John Kerry, Ted Kennedy, Harry Reid, Howard Dean, and people of their ilk portray us. We can and will elect a qualified, competent, honest, capable man or woman regardless of race.

But so far the political system hasn't given us a good option there, probably because the nature of the system and the media discourage many people from all races and both genders from getting involved in the first place.

At the moment, we have Barack Obama who may or may not make it through the Democratic convention; Hillary Clinton, who may or may not emerge in the Democratic Convention; one of whom will run against Republican John McCain.

I am not going to vote for Barack Obama. I was open-minded about this for quite a while, but the more I learn about him, the less I believe he should be president.

And if his wife went on a racist rant in her church one day, a church that is famous for racist rants, it wouldn't surprise me in the least. As a friend of mine is fond of saying, "If you plant potatoes, you get potatoes."

Oh, one other thing. I noticed that the media was parsing the hell out of the Michelle Obama issue yesterday.

They were saying that Mr. Obama, in defending his wife against the allegations, said she never said any such thing - Whitey - "from the pulpit."

Really? Why the added caveat "from the pulpit?"

The way I first heard of it, Mrs. Obama wasn't speaking from the pulpit at all, she was just attending an event at the church, not preaching. No one was specific about where she was standing when she did or did not make her comments.

So what is Obama doing here, looking for a non-denial denial? "No sir, no way, she didn't get up in the pulpit and make those comments, not at all."

Now we have another little mystery to clear up don't we? Maybe whoever does or doesn't have that tape that may or may not exist should air it so we can decide for ourselves. Or not.
Monday, June 09, 2008

Four Cents? For Me? Oh, Thank You, Connecticut Legislature

The Connecticut Legislature in which Democrats enjoy controlling majorities in both houses, has decided at the last possible moment to forestall a four-cent increase in the state gas tax.


Please note that our ever-so-attuned-to-the-public's-wishes legislators have forestalled an increase.

Not stopped it, nor heaven forbid rolled it back. Nope. Just forestalled it until other market factors come into play and gas drops back to its halcyon price of, oh I don't know, maybe $3.56 per gallon or so.

Then, one day when our attention is focused on some other calamity of the hour, gas will quietly edge back up to $3.60 per gallon and we will attribute it to a market fluctuation. So they hope.

Boy is this a great day for us or what? Our very own state Legislators are running the risk of dropping out of the top ten states in the country, based on highest gasoline taxes, and they are doing it all for us! I am sooooooo grateful.

Let's see. I usually need about 13 gallons when I fill up, which I do twice a week. So that's 4 times 26, which comes out to just over a buck a week!

For the 10 weeks of summer vacation time that amounts to WOW! Ten Bucks! And Change!

Oh, baby, call my stock broker! We're going to show Warren Buffett a thing or two now! You bet!

What an incredible crock. What a miserable insult to the intelligence of every voter in Connecticut.

What gall!

The great Do-Nothing Legislature caps its most infamous session of thumb twiddling and toe tapping by NOT whacking us with another tax increase, and we are supposed to be all mewling and grateful about it!

I have an idea for the legislature. How about if you take that four cents and ... No, wait, sometimes kids read this column.

OK, how about if you ... no, I probably shouldn't say that either.

Well, here's an idea. How about you cut needless spending on pandering programs and start cutting taxes across the board?

How about you stop regulating business to the point that it is leaving this state like Europeans fleeing the bubonic plague?

Or, barring those miracles, how about I run this column once a week every week from now until November, just to remind people what a bunch of pandering, manipulating, arrogant elitists we have running the show in our state?

Maybe, just maybe, enough people will be mindful of what is going on in June to make some real changes in November.

I am fond of saying in this column that I learned long ago that I may not be able to influence national and international affairs, but that I can tend to business in my own back yard.

Well, this is one of those times which neatly meshes with one of those issues where if we all stand up, speak up and act up, we CAN make a difference.

There are various reasons why gas prices are so high. Two of them are that the world-wide demand has skyrocketed due to the two most populous countries, China and India, finally realizing the joys of individual freedom that come from personal motor vehicles.

And, our US Congress, also controlled by Democrats (but who is keeping track,) has for decades put such a crushing weight of regulations on exploration, drilling and refining oil that we don't do it much anymore. Explore, drill or refine that is.

So we are stuck getting much of our oil from places like Canada - #1 on our import parade; Saudi Arabia #2; and Mexico #3.

Even though our oil companies know where our oil is, and how to get it out cleanly, (you didn't hear about any environmental disasters when a series of major hurricanes swept the Gulf of Mexico offshore drilling rigs three years ago did you?) they aren't allowed to. Democrats in Congress voted again just in May, when the gas price calamity was in full swing, against drilling offshore and of course in ANWAR, the number one tourist attraction north of the Arctic Circle.

That hasn't stopped China from drilling off the tip of Florida and using modern technology to grab oil that should be ours for the taking. But what the hey, this is a global economy and if our Chinese brothers and sisters need to make things hard for us so they can recover from two generations of communist excesses, why not let them? Right?

Let's not talk about all the alternative forms of energy that haven't been developed or that hydrogen hybrids are available right this instant that could drop our national demand for refined gasoline down to the bottom of wherever in six months if the auto manufacturers were so inclined.

Let's just talk for the moment about how we got to the point where the world supply of refined petroleum products is not meeting the demand for refined petroleum products so every time some thumb-sucking futures trader gets a tad anxious the price of oil skyrockets with gasoline prices leading the way.

I meant that. Did you ever notice that gas often goes up before the price of oil? How about that for manipulating the markets?

While we're pondering those inconsistencies in the laws of supply and demand, let's keep in mind why and how we got into this predicament in the first place. Locally, right here in Connecticut, not just nationally.

Let's not forget how the people who brought us to this low station in life - the Democrats controlling Connecticut's legislature - just spent five months sitting on their rear ends in the state capitol building doing nothing except pardoning centuries old witches, letting violent criminals off the hook, voting to increase our taxes, and figuring sneakier ways to screw us to the wall.

Go Democrats!

No really I mean it.



Remember that slogan in November.
Saturday, June 07, 2008

First Amendment Doesn't Include Treason

Written For, Posted At, and Reprinted with Permission of The Talon - Eagles Up!

One of the biggest problems with the way our government has been run in recent years is that average citizens can see what is wrong, but despite their myriad efforts to convince Congress to get off its collective rear end and do something about our problems, rarely do we get any meaningful response.

That appears to be changing on at least one front that got a lot of attention recently. The whacko women of the protest group Code Pink, which appears to be a front organization for anyone who will pay attention to them, decided to target our beloved US Marine Corps earlier this year in Berzerkley, California, attempting to shut down the Officer Recruitment Office there.

Many Californians, while generally benign in their attitude toward the freak show that calls itself the Berzerkley city council, decided that enough was enough in this case, and with conservative leaders like Melanie Morgan publicizing the cause, they showed up by the hundreds to support the Marines and successfully oppose Code Pink.

Nonetheless, the Berzerkley council, which receives millions in federal tax dollars each year, still voted to demand that the Marine Corps leave their town, and even gave Code Pink a designated parking spot right in front of the recruiting office as a command center to continue their disruptions.

Many Americans who understand that we wouldn't have the freedom to be idiots occasionally without the military to guard us from our lapses, questioned why the federal government was allowing this atrocity to occur without repercussion. Incidents of this nature only fuel the outrage and the demands for a clean sweep of elected officials, starting in the halls of Congress.

Code Pink's misfits and malcontents were just the tip of the iceberg, however.

The American media is not reporting it on a national level but as the pro-troop organization Move American Forward reported earlier this spring, dozens of incidents of vandalism and assault have occurred at recruiting offices throughout the country recently. The pro-terrorism forces have adopted the tactics of the barbarians they emulate, and apparently think that by engaging in acts of treason and terrorism they will gain favor from their Islamo-fascist role models.

That, however, appears to be coming to an end.

At least one Congress member has heeded the call to stand up to the forces that would destroy our country.

House Armed Services Committee member Rep. Todd Akin (R-Mo.), has introduced legislation to outlaw what he has described as a growing number of protesters abusing their right of "free expression" by using vandalism and violence to shut down military recruiting.

His Freedom to Serve Act of 2008 (FSA) HR 6023, would make it a federal crime to interfere with military recruiting efforts by vandalism, violence or intimidation.

It's about time. I am not a big fan of excessive regulations or laws for the sake of laws. But you would have expected something like vandalizing recruiting offices or attacking recruiters with mob violence to already be illegal, locally, regionally and federally.

Rep. Akin is a former Army officer and has sons serving our country. I guess it stands to reason that it would take a man of his experience to understand the need for such a law, although frankly, any thinking member of Congress should see as he does.

Explaining to others in the Congress why he has introduced this legislation Rep. Akin cited an incident in Seattle where Army recruiters were attacked by rampaging "students," another in New Jersey, where the windows of Army and Navy recruiting stations were broken, and a third in a Kansas recruiting center where workers' car tires were slashed and bomb-proof glass had to be installed.

Nothing about Rep. Akin's proposal stifles the First Amendment. We can still protest, voice our displeasure, even support butchers and murderers such as the Islamo-fascists our troops are still fighting and defeating on numerous fronts.

But our Constitution gives us the right to peacefully assemble and protest, not to engage in acts of anarchy. There is a difference and it is high time freak show participants like the Berzerkley City Council, Code Pink and their useful idiots are reminded of this. Rep. Akin and his family have, and are, protecting America.

America should show it's support for him and his "Freedom to Serve" bill.
Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Democracy Dead; Voting Outlawed; Stalin's Ghost Chortles as AP Now Selects US Presidents

This has to be filed under the "Are You Kidding?" and "I wouldn't have believed it if I hadn't seen it with my own eyes," headings.

The news manufacturers and political power brokers at the Associated Press decided on Tuesday, June 3, 2008, that they had waited long enough for the Democratic Party to anoint Barack Hussein Obama as the next president of the United States. It didn't appear he could convince sufficient voters to give him the go ahead, so the AP czars up and did it themselves.

There is a process by which the Democratic Party votes through primaries to select its nominee at a national convention in August. In this process each state holds a primary vote, and based on how much of that vote the candidates receive, a corresponding number of both committed and uncommitted delegates are assigned to each.

But the AP leap-frogged over this process and named Obama the nominee without voter approval.

Based on delegates allotted to each state, the winning nominee this year needed at least 2119 committed - pledged - delegates to ensure victory on the first round of voting at the convention. The uncommitted delegates, or super delegates as the Democrats call them, are gravy in a sense, because even though they can vote any way they want, they usually go with the strongest candidate. So if you lock in the nomination with pledged delegates the unpledged delegates just increase your margin of victory.

But if no candidate received the 2119 committed delegates by the time the primaries were over, which in fact no one did, then the party would have to wait until the convention vote to determine the nominee. Until noon Tuesday, that appeared to be the case.

Obama was ahead of Hillary Clinton in the delegate count, but not the popular vote, and of major importance, did not receive sufficient committed or pledged delegates to automatically win the nomination at the convention. He would need the super delegates to vote for him in large enough numbers to overcome the deficit in pledged delegates. But you can't be absolutely sure of the super delegate votes until they are cast at the convention.

That was the case Tuesday morning going into the last two democratic primaries in Montana and South Dakota. That was the case Tuesday night after the two primaries. Even if he received all of the pledged delegates in both of those states it would not have given Obama the requisite number of pledged delegates. There weren't enough and he was too far from the magic number.

In addition, Hillary did receive some votes from Montana and South Dakota, roughly half of the total. She fared far better than Obama in South Dakota, but he won Montana by roughly the same margin.

So by the end of the day, neither had really improved one way or another. But that became irrelevant by 11 a.m., Tuesday, when the AP declared Obama the winner even though voting was barely underway and several hours were left until the polls closed in both states.

How did the AP decide Obama was the winner? He told them he was!

I am not kidding! Fox News began broadcasting the AP pronouncement and the accompanying story that Hillary Clinton was conceding the race, literally as fast as the AP reporters could type. One Fox broadcaster was reading the AP story line-by- line as it was coming across the wires.

But the Hillary concession crappola was dead wrong, and no sooner had the media begun broadcasting it than retractions began to follow as the Clinton camp denied its accuracy.

By late afternoon however, the media was still declaring that Obama had sufficient votes. The explanation was that 1.) He had nearly enough pledged delegates; 2.) He had public promises from unpledged super delegates that brought him even closer; and 3.) other super delegates had told him privately that they wold vote for him.

I swear to God that is what Fox News broadcast as the reason why Obama is now being hailed as the Messiah! He told them he was, and that is that!

I wonder, if I told the AP that I owned the Brooklyn Bridge, and I was going to sell it, would that organization pony up a couple million down payment? Would Fox join in the bidding?

Same principle folks.

This is beyond absurd. This smacks of election tampering and voter fraud. Who declared the AP the sole arbiter of election law in the US? Where did that organization get off declaring a winner, when in fact the real winner won't be decided until August?

That bunch of liars was saying that Hillary Clinton was going to ask to be Obama's vice presidential nominee, that she was going to concede the election, that she was out, etc. But Tuesday night, she appeared before her supporters and said the exact opposite.

I can't believe I heard one of Fox News' stable of "pundits" bitching late Wednesday afternoon that by refusing to concede an election she hasn't lost, Hillary Clinton stole Obama's moment. Oh, and whoever is advising her is "stupid." Last I heard, Terry McAuliffe was advising her and I would love to see a cage match between him and the Fox guy who called him stupid.

The fact is, Obama is not the undisputed Democratic nominee and could conceivably get knocked right out of the box between now and August if something we don't know about him surfaces. He is acting like this is all sewn up, but that isn't necessarily so.

The truth is that Obama never got the minimal number of pledged delegates to guarantee the nomination on the first ballot and even if every single unpledged delegate says today that they will vote for him in August, that is not a done deal until it occurs. A lot can happen in three months.

This is a despicable example of media manipulation and an intrusion on the democratic process. It wasn't just the AP. Every major news organization ran to this story and ran with it as though it was fact, with no one telling the truth. The headlines today on the Internet were even worse - gushing about the "whole world" is just so happy Obama has been nominated.

Why? What does the "whole world" have at stake here?

This was not news. This was propaganda. It was propaganda on a scale that Joseph Stalin used in the Soviet Union to impose communism on the populace and it was every bit as dirty.

There may be some overall grand strategy in this, but I don't care. The First Amendment exists to protect freedom of speech and the press, but the press is showing that it considers the Constitution a Get Out of Jail Free card.

Hillary Clinton is steering people to her website apparently to raise money to pay off her campaign debt while she contemplates her next move. That is her right, and considering that 18 million people voted for her, it is her duty.

Maybe she should also contemplate filing a suit against the media. She can start with an election tampering claim against the AP see what evolves from there.
Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Montana Dems - Stay Home! S. Dakota Dems -You Don't Count!

As of this moment, 11:09 a.m. East Coast time, June 3, 2008 the Associated Press, as reported by Fox News, has declared that the last two states yet to hold Democratic primaries don't count. Voting has just started out west in South Dakota and Montana, but they may as well just shut right back down because the media has declared these two primaries irrelevant.

The race is over their reports say, Hillary Clinton is out of it, and it doesn't matter what the Democratic voters in those two states do or say. Even if Barack Obama captures every single pledged delegate in those last two primaries he can not lock in the Democratic nomination, but protestations from the Clinton camp notwithstanding, the media has nonetheless declared Barack Obama the winner, so there!

He needs 40 pledged delegates to lock in. The combination of Montana and South Dakota gives him only 31 if he gets every last one of them, which he can't! But that doesn't matter. Hillary is done, the news says so, and even if this 'announcement' is several hours premature and basically calling the primary before the polls are closed, so what? This is the media. What the media says goes, and don't expect any corrections if something isn't quite right.

Their evidence? Hillary Clinton told her campaign staffers to put in their expenses and they will be paid through the 15th of this month. OK, well, the primary campaign ends today, another phase begins tomorrow and you don't need all those people hanging around with nothing to do - on salary.

Why would you keep a bunch of campaign staffers on staff when the campaign is over? Just curious, that's all.

I mean, as a Republican and a small businessman I don't hire people to do jobs that don't exist. Maybe they do that in Democratic businesses, which would explain the exploding taxes and prices what with the Dems in control of Congress and all.

Oh, and Bill Clinton said yesterday that the campaign has been long and he isn't likely to work on another one like it. Uh, yeah, the primaries end today, and no, regardless of what happens Hillary Clinton isn't likely to go through this again, nor is her husband.

That doesn't mean she is folding her tents and slinking away. It means the primaries are over and they are both at a crossroads. Man, there is some serious fortune telling going on out on the media circuit.

Can you say voter manipulation? Or tampering? How about a complaint to the federal elections commission? Might be worth doing just to put an end to this speculation that goes so far overboard and is so far off the mark.

Hillary also is expected to agree that Obama has more delegates than her, and if all the unpledged "Super" delegates side with Obama and stay with him until the vote at the convention in August, he will get the nod. Well, that has been evident from the start hasn't it?

But as some of us know, the super delegates can change their minds any time up until the actual vote, and that is three months away, and he does not and WILL NOT have enough pledged delegates.

Also, three months, as everyone has been saying lately, is many, many lifetimes in politics.

Why this has exploded into a concession on Mrs. Clinton's part escapes me, especially since her staff are saying this isn't the case. But what the hell, I've only been covering, working in, and planning strategy in the political arena for 30 years. What could I possibly know?

Can you imagine the reaction if this had been done in reverse? Man, Barack Obama's camp would have gone nuclear! I can see the quote from Rev. Wright now! Phew!

Nonetheless, the news is reporting that Obama has it locked up so obviously he has it locked up and all you folks out in South Dakota and Montana who thought your votes were going to count, well - sorry about that!

The news will report the actual results of the voting later this evening. But don't expect any big revelations. The Associated Press has anointed the king and the queen can just get back in the kitchen and bake him a pie!

See for a full explanation of that last one.

So that's it. Been fun. See you later. I'm going back to veterans' issues and the Dems can do whatever it is they do.

Oh, by the way, the Clinton camp says the AP is incorrect! But who cares, the word is out and now there is no way to bring it back. Is there?
Monday, June 02, 2008

Hillary 'Checks' Barack; Fox Moves to the Dark Side

Here is what really happened in Puerto Rico during Sunday's Democratic primary voting.

Hillary Clinton walloped Barack Obama by nearly 69 percent to just over 31 percent. She took the overwhelming bulk of the delegates and received nearly 150,000 more popular votes than he did.

She effectively blocked Obama in his quest to garner sufficient pledged delegates to guarantee his nomination as the Democrats' presidential candidate before the national convention in August. The Democrats only have two primaries left, both this week, one in Montana which has 16 delegates and one in South Dakota which has 15.

Barack Obama needs 46 or 47 pledged delegates to lock up the nomination, depending on which misrepresenting news organization you want to believe. If you can count, and if you can add, you will see that if you add 15 and 16 it totals 31, which means there is no way short of rewriting the laws of physics and mathematics that Barack Obama can lock in the nomination prior to the convention.

Yes, I am well aware that the Democrats have "Super Delegates" who are added to the total, but they aren't locked in until they actually vote on the convention floor, so that doesn't count regardless of what they say at the moment, until they actually vote, or Hillary Clinton drops out of the race leaving only Barack Obama.

Here is what the media reported.

Barack Obama edged closer to winning the nomination. Hillary got the bulk of the vote, the delegates and the bounce on Sunday, but it doesn't matter. Barack Obama is favored in the last two primaries. Hillary should quit. Hillary must quit. Hillary is going to quit!

Hillary damn well better quit or Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid are going to be really, really upset with her! Strongly worded letter to follow!

I have long been accustomed to what is referred to as the Mainstream Media either ignoring or lying about events in this country and abroad. I have been places and seen things with my own eyes and then seen the reporting on them, and it often is so bad it makes you want to rethink the First Amendment.

I gravitated to Fox News long ago, back in 2000 in fact when I was living in Florida and living through the aftermath of the presidential vote circus up close and personal. The obvious agendas and misreporting were so bad that I found, with some notable exceptions, that the only place I could even approximate objective reporting was on Fox.

Remember what I just said about Florida. I was there. I saw it first hand. I'm not going into all that in this column, but if you really want to know about Theresa Lepore, butterfly ballots, disenfranchised voters, the unreported recount by the mainstream media, and the true role of then Florida Secretary of State Catherine Harris, drop me an email and I'll send back some on-the-scene reports that may shake your beliefs.

But Florida is eight years behind us and much has changed. Lately I have had to rethink my support for Fox. For starters, media mogul Rupert Murdoch, who owns Fox and much much more, has endorsed Barack Obama, which itself is either shocking or a devious ploy. It appears now that the reporting on Fox is supposed to follow the opinion of the leader.

I was attending my daughter's piano recital Sunday afternoon when the polls closed in Puerto Rico, so the numbers were in by the time I returned to my office and tuned in for the results. It was obvious Hillary had really put a smackdown on Barack, and if you read my earlier columns on the final primaries you will see that he needed a tremendous showing there to overcome her.

He didn't get it, but you wouldn't have known that from watching Fox, at least until Geraldo Rivera came on in the evening, reporting directly from Puerto Rico.

What I was hearing was that even though Hillary got a huge chunk of the popular vote, nearly the same margin she won two weeks earlier when Kentucky and Oregon held their primaries, this time, it wasn't enough. The turnout wasn't as much as someone supposedly said it should be so therefore, regardless of how big her victory, and how many people sided with her, someone, somewhere said it wasn't that big of a deal, thus it could not possibly be that big of a deal.

I have news for you. It was a big deal. If Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama were playing chess, she just put him in check, and she can keep him there all summer long if she wishes. He can't possibly get enough pledged delegates now to automatically win the nomination!

Even as I am typing this, Fox's America's Newsroom segment is saying that after tomorrow's voting it will all be over for Hillary, and playing The Doors' "The End" in the background. I would remind the producers at Fox that The Doors wrote music to smoke dope by, not to listen to while making informed judgments.

Maybe that explains what is going on at Fox.

The crawl at the bottom of my TV screen says, and I quote, that Hillary won "a lopsided though largely symbolic victory."

How do you suppose the residents of Puerto Rico feel about being called "symbols."

OK try this for for symbolism. Barack Obama staring at the chessboard, his King surrounded by knights and bishops and even a few pawns, with the Queen safely surrounded by more of her fighters, and a long, long game ahead of him in which he hopes to eliminate the threats one by one while his opponent does nothing to counter him. Heck of a symbol isn't it?

After the voting in Montana and South Dakota, even if he gets every single vote and she gets none, he can't win the automatic nomination. So depending on what Hillary Clinton decides to do, Barack Obama will be trying to figure how he his going to convince the super delegates to stay or side with him until August.

This as his star is falling in his party and across America, his poll numbers are sinking and there is a growing realization among voters in the general population that this not the guy we want for president.

Fox claims that Hillary Clingon has only three options on the table: either endorse Obama this week; suspend her campaign; or take it to the convention.

Why not just take Hillary at her word, that she is not quitting or endorsing Obama? She says she is going to spend three months working on the super delegates to change their minds to get enough on her side to win in Denver. What are we missing?

How about she hits the ground running Wednesday morning chasing down super delegates showing them her popular vote numbers, her standing in swing states, and the polls that show Obama is on the downside of a meteoric career?

I've said it here before and I'll remind you again, I am a Republican, neither of the Democrats is my candidate, and I don't have a dog in this fight. But I expect fairness and thoroughness from the media, and if Fox or any other news outlet can take such a biased position on this race, they can do it later to my guy.

I want honesty, thoroughness and balance in my political news reporting. I already know I can't get it from the Mainstream Media, either print or electronic. It is becoming all too apparent that I can't get it from Fox either, Brit Hume and Molly Henneberg excepted.

A reader noted after my last column that the observations I made here should be common in the media but aren't. Plenty of other bloggers are noting the same thing, on all sides of the political arena. Are we becoming the last bastion of truth?

I didn't make up the rules of Democratic primaries, nor of mathematics. But I can read and understand them both, and any competent reporter, editor or producer should too.

I also still believe in the separation between the news side and the editorial sides of the media business. That goes for advertising too.

What am I to deduce from what I have seen of the reporting on the primaries? From here it looks as though there is a definite need for remedial training on Fair and Balanced.

I suggest we start with a dictionary that defines each term as simply as possible.
Sunday, June 01, 2008

"Moved Goalposts" and Renewed Vigor for Clinton Campaign

I watched the Democratic National Committee's Rules Committee hack its way through the controversy over Florida and Michigan's delegations Saturday, and came away with several impressions, most of which were favorable.

First, even though I am a Republican I was proud to see the party that usually represents my opponents showing the world how America works. Lots of debate, conflicting opinions, diverse points of view, passions and positions laid bare, but no one was dragged out of the room, imprisoned or summarily executed.

We are allowed to get intense in America, but no one goes to a gulag over it.

I also came away with a favorable opinion of one of Hillary Clinton's primary allies on the Rules Committee. Harold Ickes pretty much called the situation as it was, didn't sugar coat anything, and let the other side know that neither the fight, nor the game is over until it's really over, not just when the opposing side gets tired of fighting and wants to quit while they are ahead. Ickes catches a lot of flack from my side of the fence usually, but frankly, he is the kind of ally you want on your side.

Me being me and all, I also enjoyed it when he said "You bet your ass," several times, which made some others on the committee squirm noticeably.

The issue with Michigan and Florida is relatively simple. They voted out of turn in the primaries and were penalized because of it. The order of vote is established by the national Democratic committee and breaking the rules carries the penalty of loss of half the delegates from each state, both of which were won handily by Hillary Clinton.

Barack Obama and some of the other Democratic primary candidates also pulled their names from the ballot in Michigan which was - how shall I say this gently - stupid.

So, now that the Democratic race for the presidential nomination is hanging on a thread Obama wanted as many Michigan delegates as he could get his hands on. The Rules Committee obliged, and gave him all the delegates labelled "uncommitted" as well as four others that the Clinton camp says should have gone to her.

Interesting. That is what got Ickes all riled up. He noted that the DNC constitution has an actual "uncommitted" category and that since Obama wasn't even on the ballot in Michigan, he should not get all those votes just because he is one of two candidates still in the race. Ickes stated that the four Clinton delegates which also were given to Obama were "hijacked."

That didn't sit too well with some of the other Rules Committee members.

Ickes made it very clear when all was said and done that Hillary will be appealing to a higher authority - the Democratic National Committee's Credentials Committee, if necessary. Frankly, I think he can go even higher, straight to the American voting public which was continually referenced during the sometimes raucous proceedings Saturday.

Here is what is really interesting though. After the Kentucky and Oregon primaries in May, in which Mrs. Clinton did better than Obama by a pretty big margin overall, the media was saying that Obama needed 66 delegates to lock up the nomination before the Democratic convention in August.

Then it dropped to 65 then to 63, then to 55 then to 46 as of Saturday morning - May 31. How this happened with no other primaries is beyond me, and I never saw a single plausible explanation in any media outlet for the differences or where all these numbers came from. But, there was no way Barack Obama was going to get the 46 delegates anyway. Yes I said it.

Here's why.

55 delegates are at stake in Puerto Rico. Mrs. Clinton is ahead there. Give her 30 and give him 25. This is pure speculation on my part, and we'll know the truth later today. But let's just say Puerto Rico ends up 30 to 25 for argument's sake.

That means he needed 21 more delegates from Montana, which has 16, and South Dakota which has 15. Meaning he would have to beat her by in excess of 66 percent to 33 percent to get at least 10 delegates from each state. I don't see than happening either.

That would have given Obama the magic number of 2026 delegates to lock in the nomination.

But, as a result of the Rule's Committee's decision Saturday, the magic number has moved to 2118, which is - ya gotta love this - 66 delegates more than Obama has. Right back where it was after the Kentucky and Oregon primaries. The reason the magic number moved is that it represents one more than half, or a majority of the pledged - committed - delegates. When the total increases, as it did by adding Florida and Michigan, the number needed to attain one more than half also increases.

So, what does this all mean? It means no one can can lock up the nomination before the convention unless someone quits, which I don't expect to see from Hillary Clinton, regardless of how many pundits say she should and she will. After the Montana and South Dakota primaries this week we get into the arena of backroom political arm twisting and mud wrestling.

My money in that fight is on Mrs. Clinton.

Remember too, the Democratic Party includes "Super Delegates" who really aren't committed to any candidate until the moment they actually vote at the convention. They can say they are committed one way or another, and some, even a majority, may honor those commitments.

But they aren't bound by party rules to stay with any commitment, as the 'pledged' delegates are. So if the political winds blow from a different direction between now and August, there could be a flood of Super Delegates shifting loyalties.

It happened in Puerto Rico this past week when a former Clinton Super Delegate, who then declared for Obama, reversed himself yet again and returned to the Clinton camp.

Mathematically, neither Barack Obama nor Hillary Clinton can lock up the committed delegates with the remaining primaries and I would be the most shocked commentator this side of Harold Ickes if Mrs. Clinton threw in the towel instead of fighting this thing all the way to the convention.

So, let's wait a few hours and see what happens in Puerto Rico. Oh, did I tell you that Hillary now also has the majority of the popular vote? What was that chant from 2000 when Al Gore didn't win his or Bill Clinton's home states and thus tried to wrest the presidency from Florida voters?

Oh yes, I remember now. "Let Every Vote Count."


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