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The debate last night was not a blowout but frankly, McCain never came close. He made a couple of good points about education, scored best with his pointed questions (that Obama never answered) about Ayers and ACORN, and had a couple of other nice moments. (I am not sure that McCain gained any support with his eye rolling, sneering, head shaking, and unmanly giggles. Those things matter to many people and I believe we might see over the next 24 hours that voters were turned off by his reactions.)

But it was hopeless from the start for McCain. This race is pretty much on cruise control now with Obama comfortably (not decisively) ahead. As long as Obama didn’t show up drunk, he accomplished what he had to accomplish at the debate.

McCain needed Obama to show up drunk. He didn’t.

Last May, when it appeared that Obama had the nomination wrapped up, I wrote a post predicting how the race in the fall would unfold:”Party Like it’s 1980 All Over Again” wasn’t breaking any new ground nor was it necessarily prescient. Democratic strategists had been predicting for months that the mood of the country and the trends were all breaking their way and that the November election had an excellent chance of being a “change” election.

But what really resonated with me back then and what recalled similar feelings from 1980 was the nature of the matchup between McCain and Obama; untested and relative unknown versus incumbent (experience). The way the 1980 race developed, people were unsure of the unknown commodity until after the one debate held between Carter and Reagan. When Reagan showed himself to be a reasonable alternative to the status quo, the floodgates opened and he won going away.

I believed then and believe now that Obama’s comfortable 6-8 point lead will mushroom in the next 3 weeks and make election day a holy living hell for the GOP with a landslide in both the popular vote and electoral college for Obama and a sweeping away of many Republican stalwarts in the House and Senate. It will be an historic repudiation of Republicans and will place the party in a position where it will probably spend a decade or more in the wilderness.

Can this scenario be avoided? McCain must find a way to keep it close enough that he doesn’t drag 2-3 additional senate candidates down with him thus handing the Democrats a filibuster proof majority in the senate. I am at a loss as to how he might do this except my sense of the moment is telling me (and the polls somewhat confirm) that most of his attacks on Obama have backfired and he has lost support because of them. Would a “take the high road” campaign where he spends the last three weeks as a wise man/Cassandra, warning of the dangers of “Creeping Socialism” and an abandonment of classic American values work? No one knows but it’s something he hasn’t tried so perhaps it is worth looking into.

If McCain is a lost cause, it is time for the Republicans to perhaps look to salvaging what they can from the disaster. And that means fighting like hell for the filibuster in the senate. It is potentially the only brake on Obama and the Democrats and given how the far left is licking its chops at the prospect of radically changing the economic and social landscape of America, it might have come to the point that we start thinking about shifting focus from the presidency to the senate.

Many of those races are extremely close but the GOP has one advantage in many of them; incumbency. If McCain really goes off the deep end, there’s nothing much that can be done. But if he can keep the presidential race about where it is now, Republicans will lose 5-7 seats and the filibuster will be safe.

Despite what Karl Rove is saying,, it appears to me that Obama has indeed “closed the sale” and is writing up the order. It is at this point that many salesmen have additional temptations to offer the customer. A car salesman might inquire whether the customer wants rustproofing or an extended warranty? A shoe salesman will ask if the customer wants shoe polish or a shoe tree.

Obama will be asking the voter from here on out whether they wish a 60 seat majority in the senate. And it could be that only John McCain is in a position to help the voter turn Obama down.


First, apologies for the slow loading. It should clear up in a few minutes.

Second, I apologize to those of you who came here expecting to read Republican boilerplate or GOP cheerleading. I am a conservative and nominal Republican. But first and foremost, I consider myself a writer. As such, my goal is giving an honest appraisal of what I believe based on 30 years of watching, reading, and writing about politics as well as working on a few campaigns.

You may disagree with my analysis based on other facts and a different reading of history. That’s fine and wonderful. But if you are going to take me to task for “not helping” McCain or “being too pessimistic” I am sorry but you made a wrong turn somewhere. Might I suggest that you visit the RNC website,, or perhaps The Corner? There you will get all the spin you could possibly hope for and all the cheerleading your heart desires.

If you want my honest opinion, then thank you for reading. If you think this blog exists to shill for Republicans or for any other reason than an outlet for my take on the news and world events, then I am sorry to disabuse you of that notion.

By: Rick Moran at 8:15 am | Permalink | Comments & Trackbacks (73)


Pardon the slow loading of the page. My little hosting company got overwhelmed by the Instalanche and Hot Air explosion.

Do you want to know why the race card—or at least the 21st century manifestation of it—is the most powerful, most effective political weapon in America?

There is no response possible. There is no answer to an African-American’s charge that what you are saying, or hinting, or thinking, or wishing, or unconsciously dreaming is racist.

Any attempt to defend yourself gives credence to the charge. Ignoring the smear is tantamount to an acknowledgement of guilt.

One may ask why all of a sudden Obama himself, his campaign, his surrogates, and his sycophants in the press are throwing the race card around with such abandon? Why the speeches, statements, editorials, op-eds, columns, and blog posts taking McCain to task for “allowing” or “enabling” or “causing” or “encouraging” racism to rear its ugly head at political rallies?

The answer is simple; use it or lose it when it comes to the race card. Short on specific charges of mass hate being whipped up at McCain political events while long on scurrilous, baseless, smears, Black legislators, columnists, and luminaries have taken up the tactics of the Night Rider in order to terrorize people into keeping their mouths shut while casting nauseating aspersions on the GOP candidate for president and his supporters.

Yeah, I know exactly what I’m saying. And the people I’m saying it to royally deserve it. I am fully aware of the history involved. I am using the term “Night Rider” deliberately and for full, unmitigated effect. For if we cannot call out these besmirches of the democratic process and put them in their place (another loaded phrase that I am fully cognizant of its history and meaning and am using deliberately), then they will have been allowed to get away with a smear so calumnious in its form and implication that the very nature of American elections will be altered and free speech as we know it and understand it will be gone.

I am not going to let that happen without a fight. And if I have to throw political correctness to the winds and compare the tactics of African Americans who play the race card with those of their mortal enemies, then so be it.

Congressman John Lewis – perhaps at the behest of Obama himself – donned the white robes and hood in order to let loose this, the most vicious and unprincipled attack on an American politician I have seen in quite a while:

“George Wallace never threw a bomb. He never fired a gun, but he created the climate and the conditions that encouraged vicious attacks against innocent Americans who were simply trying to exercise their constitutional rights,” said Lewis, who is black. “Because of this atmosphere of hate, four little girls were killed on Sunday morning when a church was bombed in Birmingham, Alabama.”

At bottom, it is not credible to believe that John Lewis thinks for one second that John McCain’s tactics ape those of George Wallace and could lead to the deaths of innocents. If he does, then he makes himself out to be an idiot. And John Lewis is no fool. He is not only a man who fought for civil rights (and has the physical scars to prove it) but he was a savvy enough pol to advance the cause in the face of the most stringent and violent opposition.

Since Lewis can no more believe that McCain is using the tactics of Wallace than I believe in a flat earth, that makes his “critique” of the McCain campaign a lie – a deliberate, careful, decision by Lewis to bear false witness. And he has done it knowing full well the effect it will have on decent people everywhere.

Even Obama found Lewis’s lies too much and distanced himself – slightly- from the implication that McCain was the reincarnation of Wallace. In effect, Obama embraced Lewis’s lie while separating himself from the Wallace implication. He did it by agreeing with Lewis’s critique but piously giving McCain the benefit of the doubt that he was not possessed by the spirit of George Wallace.

“Sen. Obama does not believe that John McCain or his policy criticism is in any way comparable to George Wallace or his segregationist policies,” said the campaign statement.”

“John Lewis was right to condemn some of the hateful rhetoric that John McCain himself personally rebuked just last night.”

Right? Wrong? Which is it Obama? It certainly appears that Obama wants the benefits accrued by Lewis smearing McCain and his supporters without the baggage associated with its more problematic implications.

Lewis himself backtracked slightly from his original statement but still lied through his teeth:

“My statement was a reminder to all Americans that toxic language can lead to destructive behavior,” he said. “I am glad that Sen. McCain has taken some steps to correct divisive speech at his rallies. I believe we need to return to civil discourse in this election about the pressing economic issues that are affecting our nation.”

I guess there’s “toxic language” and then there’s the race card. No double standard there, Congressman.

If it were only Lewis advancing this meme of McCain and his supporters being racist pigs, one might conclude that the Congressman was some kind of loose cannon, firing off on his own accord and not part of any concerted effort to outrageously brand the Democrat’s political opponents as Kluxers.

Ah, but the sheets that terrorize need not only be hiding white faces. Here’s Adam Sewrer writing in The American Prospect, equating calling Obama a “socialist” with racism:

The hysterical accusations of socialism from conservatives echo similar accusations leveled at black leaders in the past, as though the quest for racial parity were simply a left-wing plot. Obama may not actually be a socialist or communist, but his election would strike another powerful blow to the informal racial hierarchy that has existed in America since the 1960s, when it ceased being enforced by law. This hierarchy, which holds that whiteness is synonymous with American-ness, is one conservatives are now instinctively trying to preserve. Like black civil-rights activists of the 1960s, Obama symbolizes the destruction of a social order they see as fundamentally American, which is why terms like “socialism” are used to describe the threat.

This phenomenon extends beyond Obama’s candidacy. The conservative explanation for the mortgage crisis falls neatly into this narrative, too; the country is at risk because Democrats allowed minorities to disrupt the natural social order by becoming homeowners. Never mind that this defies all data, logic, and history, the narrative resonates because it allows Obama, a living symbol of black folks rising above “their station,” to become a focus for conservative economic anxieties.

At least this guy comes by his blithering ignorance honestly. Unlike Lewis whose calculated smear was meant to damage the McCain campaign with moderates and more conservative Democrats, Sewrer’s twisted, tortured analysis starts from the bogus premise that “hysterical” accusations of socialism against Obama are rooted in a historical narrative that has white people denigrating “the otherness” of Blacks who dare to seek power and influence and that when the crowds shout “socialist” they really mean “n***er!”

I have made it clear that I do not believe Obama is a socialist. Others, either because they don’t understand the term or because they see Obama’s far left redistributive ideas and efforts at reform as “creeping socialism” disagree with me.

Whatever epithets hurled at Malcolm X or Dr. King in the past—however people viewed their problematic associations with individuals who were committed to overthrowing the government of the United States—have nothing to do with Republicans today trying to keep America “white.” It is a baseless, thoughtless, ignorant charge made by someone so intellectually besotted with identity politics that history itself gets turned on its head in service to this false and capricious theme. Did Mr. Sewrer ever dream for one moment that people might actually be sincere in their belief that Obama’s stated policies (not to mention his past and present associations with true radicals and communists) are a indicative of a form of “stealth socialism?”

People of good faith – an animal rare indeed in this race – can argue the merits of such a position. But Sewrer isn’t interested in good faith, he is interested in advancing his racialist worldview where nothing else matters save a reading of history and our present politics through the broken kaleidoscope of his own black bigotry. It is probably emotionally satisfying but as a talisman of truth, it hardly stands up to rigorous scrutiny.

The thought that there are some people who might actually believe Obama is a socialist never crossed his mind because in his narrow, intellectual construct there is race, and then there is race, and if you run out of those, you always have race to fall back on. There is no history, only race. There is no American narrative that doesn’t place race front and center. This is where our obsession with identity politics has led us: A skewing of history and politics so profound that playing the race card becomes an easy shortcut to silencing one’s opponents no matter what argument they advance.

If you can’t beat ‘em, gag ‘em.

So when Mr. Sewrer plays the race card – as he does in his article – he does it with a clear conscience. Put simply, the fool doesn’t know any better. But there are fools, and then there are coldly calculating bigots who take more pleasure than people like Lewis in throwing race in our faces (Lewis, after all, was only playing dirty politics) while gleefully setting crosses afire all across the political landscape.

There is no other way to describe this Les Payne column in Newsday except political terrorism:

Palin’s bland ferocity lends itself easily to vitriol of the type that inflames half-wits. A bald-pated Florida sheriff, one Mike Scott, got carried away under the swoon last week in Estero, Fla., in introducing Palin. Stressing Obama’s middle name, Sheriff Scott paced the stage, in violation of police rules, while inciting the crowd in his full uniform adorned with colorful patches, stars and medals befitting a grand wizard of some mystic order of white knights.

At Clearwater, Gov. Palin lathered up the crowd herself. “You’re going to have to hang on to your hats,” Palin told the rally, according to The Washington Post, “because from now until Election Day it may get kind of rough.” Linking Sen. Obama to a reformed radical of the ‘60s, Palin shrieked her signature smut line, “he’s palling around with terrorists who would target their own country.”

“Kill him!” a man in the crowd reportedly responded to Palin’s rabble-rousing. Her related attacks on the media had already whipped a frenzy among the crowd of about 3,000. Tempers rose to a boil when she blamed Katie Couric’s questions for tripping her up as a seeming dimwit. The Post wrote, “Palin supporters turned on reporters … waving thunder sticks and shouting abuse. ... One Palin supporter shouted a racial epithet at an African-American sound man for a network and told him, “Sit down, boy.”

I have written twice about the incredibly exaggerated reports of “rage” at McCain campaign events. Payne goes a step further by equating a sheriff uttering the sacrilege of Obama’s middle name with a Kluxer.

Who’s the ignoramus here? A sheriff (who was fully within his rights to be at a political rally dressed as he was despite what Payne infers) who dared mention The Messiah’s middle name while introducing Palin to the crowd? I’ve seen the video of this event and the use of “Hussein” got a roar from those assembled. But was it because he used the candidate’s middle name or was it because of the context he used it in?

After saying that “there were three kinds of people in the world; those who make things happen, those who watch things happen, and those who wonder what happen, Sheriff Scott threw the crowd a piece of raw meat when he said “On election day, let’s leave Barack Hussein Obama wondering what happened.”

Was the crowd roaring because of the use of “Hussein” or was it due to the punchline – a pretty damned effective one if you ask me.? Only your psychic knows for sure. If the crowd roared because of Scott’s allusion to victory on election day, it destroys Payne’s entire narrative of the event – including Scott as another Republican closet Kluxer. (What an extraordinary personal smear by Payne).

No matter. Never stop a bigot when they’re on a roll. Scott’s use of “Hussein” was out of line because John McCain believes that saying Obama’s real name is wrong. I agree.

But the implication is that he is Muslim not that he is black so how Payne and his racialist cohorts can twist what is clearly a tweak at Obama’s father and the idea that Obama is a closet Muslim is a mystery. Except that when you are playing the race card, even giving a weather report can be construed as racist.

I think it a smear to use Obama’s middle name and I wish Scott and other McCain supporters would realize it and stop it. It is questionable hardball politics not racial bigotry. And Payne mindlessly repeats the false notion that the crowd at the event and other McCain/Palin rallies was “angry” or hateful. Payne was obviously too lazy to watch the videos himself. They were happy. They were excited. And for people like Payne to take out of context the mouthings of one or two idiots at a rally attended by thousands is absolute lunacy.

I see absolutely no difference at Obama rallies when he or Biden tosses the rhetorical red meat out into the crowd. The roar becomes deafening. People are laughing and whooping it up. When Bush or McCain is mentioned, they are booed. This is politics. And anyone who would deliberately construe malice or unreasonable emotions by referring to Bush/Palin gatherings as “angry mobs” or intimate anything unusual at all is a liar – or a simple minded fool.

These hooded riders of the night might obscure their false, misleading, and vile calumnious rhetoric with pious words designed to horrify decent Americans and equate voting for John McCain with voting for a racist. But they are trying to terrorize voters into supporting Obama by smearing his opponent with the most nauseating, the stickiest label one can slap on to a candidate in American politics.

Take off your hoods and look in the mirror, those of you – all of you – who are shamelessly and so easily playing the race card. It is all of you who are playing with fire, not McCain. By your words, you are stifling free expression by trying to intimidate people you disagree with through a false and wholly misleading narrative.

And I submit that this is infinitely more dangerous than your fantasies and lies about McCain whipping up a racist mob.

By: Rick Moran at 8:47 am | Permalink | Comments & Trackbacks (34)


It is the very early morning of November 5, 2008. Despite all the predictions and polls, John McCain and Barack Obama are locked in an extremely close race for President of the United States. McCain made a furious comeback over the previous 3 weeks following the last debate where Obama fumbled several answers while looking tired.

McCain’s momentum propelled him back into the race and in a furious last minute charge that involved spending more than $25 million in combined campaign and Republican National Committee ad money that last weekend surged to within just a few points of Obama by election day.

Now, at 6:00 AM the following day, the race hangs on the results in just one state; Ohio. McCain leads by nearly 50,000 votes but suddenly, Ohio’s Democratic Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner announces that several thousand McCain absentee ballots have been disqualified while additional thousands of votes in Cuyahoga county were “discovered” to have not been counted. After several more hours of confusion – which included the discovery of more uncounted votes in heavily Democratic counties by the Secretary of State – McCain’s lead is gone and Obama is declared the winner of Ohio and the election.

Of course, this scenario is not credible, is it? No Secretary of State would act so brazenly, right?

Meet Jennifer Brunner, Ohio’s real life Secretary of State whose actions in the lead up to this election have been so shamefully partisan – violating both federal and state law in the process – that it is doubtful any result on election day from Ohio is going to be accepted as credible.

Coupled with the outrageously illegal registration activity of ACORN and the shockingly illegal actions of the Obama campaign itself and what you have is an effort to not only “count every vote” but also steal as many votes as will be necessary for Obama to win the state on election day.

Strong stuff. But here’s former Ohio Secretary of State Ken Blackwell and Ken Klukowski writing in the New York Post:

A perfect example is Ohio. Last Monday the Ohio Supreme Court, in a 4-3 decision, interpreted Ohio law to allow for people to register to vote and cast an absentee ballot on the same day.

(As the three dissenters noted, this directly contradicts Ohio’s Constitution, which requires that a person register to vote 30 days in advance of actually casting that vote. But the Ohio Supreme Court is the last word on Ohio state law.)

So now the Obama campaign is using buses to take tens of thousands of people to go register and cast same-day votes. Some media reports say that the Obama camp hopes to get hundreds of thousands of votes this way.

Secretary Brunner, incredibly, got around the provision that one had to be registered 30 days before being able to vote with the following bit of Orwellian doublespeak.

Soren Dayton:

The first thing she did was issue an advisory opinion allowing people to register and vote on the same day, during the “overlap” between the beginning of early voting (35 days out) and the end of registration (30 days out). This was a reversal of the 2006 precedent. Republicans asked how someone could register and vote on the same day when Ohio statute says that you have to be registered 30 days before voting. She answered that when you vote by no-fault absentee you aren’t voting. Your vote occurs on election day when it is counted, not on the day you cast it.

Dayton links to a conservative student organization site – Palestra – that has been following this early voting in Ohio. Correspondent Shelby Holiday’s revelations are pretty shocking:
One of the biggest issues? These voters didn’t need to show ID or proof of residency in order to cast their ballot.

We witnessed dozens of homeless people being driven to the polls, and none of them had to prove that they were Ohio residents. In fact, one man I spoke with was about to hop on a Greyhound bus to go back to Chicago.

We have been trying for a week now to get a comment from the Secretary of State to see how she plans on verifying the residency and identification of all these early voters. Despite numerous phone calls and emails, we have yet to be granted even just a ten minute interview.

Who I did speak with was the Director of the Franklin County Board of Elections. When I asked him what would prevent the homeless man from voting in Illinois just weeks after he cast a ballot in Ohio, he told me that their voter checks are “just county-to-county, we do not do state by state.”

One “voter” reportedly said he was voting for Obama because of his “thug thizzle.” This was just before he boarded a Greyhound bus back to Chicago.

In addition to this invitation to fraud invented by Brunnner, she also – once again in violation of state law – prevented Republicans from monitoring this early voting.

Dayton again:

The second thing she did was to issue an advisory opinion advising county election officials that Ohio law does not require that partisan election observers be allowed to observe registration and voting. This is contrary to the practice on election day and a reversal of the 2006 precedent. Two of the largest counties, Montgomery (containing Dayton) and Franklin (containing Columbus), did not allow Republican election observers to enter the polling place. Media, however, were allowed.

Liberals especially cheered this ruling, believing that GOP election monitors “intimidate” minorities and young people in order to keep them from voting. Given the problems with out of state voters and other irregularities that occurred during this 6 day “Golden” period where people can register and vote on the same day, anyone halfway concerned with free and fair elections just might have welcomed election monitors in order to prevent obvious fraud. But Democrats do not appear to care very much about the “fair” part in elections and instead wish to be “free” to violate the law with impunity.

Another insult to the integrity of our election system was Brunner’s attempt to prevent thousands of McCain absentee ballots from counting.

Dayton again:

Brunner also tried to throw out absentee ballot applications sent out by the McCain campaign because the campaign added an extra check-box to the application. This time, the GOP won in court. Clearly Brunner was not protecting everyone’s right to vote. If that was her interest, she would have applied the same lax standards to the McCain campaign’s applications that she applies to absentee voting.

Thank the Lord for small favors. And it appeared very briefly that Republicans had won a stunning court victory on Thursday when a US District Judge ruled that Brunner must verify the registrations by checking them against the motor vehicle and social security databases. She was also ordered to share the information on how to verify registrations with Ohio’s 88 county registrars.

But a federal appeals court struck down the district judge’s ruling:

Brunner argued that it would take two to three days to create the necessary computer programs, and that nothing in the Help America Vote Act required her to do what the district court ordered. The appeals court agreed in a split decision.

“With less than a month until the election, and less than two weeks until the beginning of counting absentee ballots, the secretary cannot be required to undertake the extensive reprogramming and other changes to the election mechanics without complete disruption of the electoral process in Ohio,” the majority said in its opinion. “The irreparable harm to the voting public caused by the district court’s order is equally clear.”

No word on the “irreparable harm” done to the integrity of the election process by Brunner, Obama, and the rest of the Democrats in Ohio.

Then, of course, there are the vastly more entertaining antics of ACORN in Ohio. One must give credit where credit is due. ACORN should win some kind of award for its spectacular creativity in finding new ways to game the system and flood it with false, forged, and illegal voter registration applications.

First, it is important to recall that the Obama campaign funneled more than $800,000 to ACORN and then tried to hide it by designating it as payment to “Citizens Services, Inc.” for work such as $310,000 for “Stage, Sound, and Lighting.” Michelle Malkin looked deeper into this fraud and found some startling facts:

For your information: The New Orleans building that houses CSI also houses multiple chapters of ACORN and the SEIU– as well as the 527 group Communities Voting Together.

And for your information: A tipster points to shady business by CSI -detected by Maryland Democrat Al Wynn, of all people. His team, which filed an FEC complaint over the matter, linked several suspicious outfits used by his primary opponent to one address: 1024 Elysian Fields in New Orleans. That’s the address of CSI and ACORN.

As we’ve seen in Ohio, the Obama campaign apparently bussed in people to register and vote illegally during Ohio’s early voting period. The close connection between the Obama campaign and ACORN begs the question of whether activities like this coupled with ACORN’s registration shenanigans are a coordinated effort to set the stage on election day for the most massive fraud in the history of the United States – fraud that would make any 19th century election where votes were bought and sold look on the up and up.

Some of the outrageous actions of ACORN in Ohio were detailed in this Cleveland Plain Dealer article:

Yesterday two Ohio voters came forth and claimed that although they had made it clear they were already registered to vote, ACORN canvassers encouraged them to sign up several times. One of those was Christopher Barkley of Cleveland, who estimates that he registered to vote “10 to 15” times after ACORN relentlessly pursued him.

“I kept getting approached by folks who asked me to register,” Barkley said. “They’d ask me if I was registered. I’d say yes, and they’d ask me to do it [register] again. Some of them were getting paid to collect names. That was their sob story, and I bought it,” he said.

The Cuyahoga County Board of Elections has thus far subpoenaed at least three people as part of a wider inquiry into potential voter fraud by ACORN. The community organization looks to register low-income voters, that tend to overwhelmingly vote Democratic.

Lateala Goins, who was subpoeaned along with Barkley and others, said, “You can tell them you’re registered as many times as you want – they do not care. They will follow you to the buses, they will follow you home, it does not matter.”

Also subpoenaed was Freddie Johnson, who filled out voter registration cards a total of 72 times over the course of 18 months..

The ACORN spokesman in Ohio insists “that his group has collected 100,000 voter registration cards, and only about 50 were questionable.” How this is possible when one poor guy was harassed to sign up 72 by times by ACORN makes one wonder what other lies and frauds the far left Democratic partisan group is capable of.

There is much more. And the sad fact is nobody – not ACORN (who wouldn’t care anyway), Ohio election officials at every level, Republicans, non-partisan observers – knows just how many false, forged, or illegal registrations were dumped into Ohio Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner’s lap. No one knows how many early voters voted illegally. No one knows how many Republicans were discouraged from voting by absentee ballot thanks to Brunner’s original ruling on the matter. No one knows the extent of cooperation between the Obama campaign and ACORN in Ohio. And no one knows if any of this will affect the outcome of Ohio’s presidential election.

There are other states where ACORN and the Democrats have been playing fast and loose with registration and early voting. Over the next weeks and until the election, American Thinker will look at many of these states and detail the attempts to hijack the democratic process in service to Barack Obama’s presidential ambitions.

No doubt we will hear much from authorities in the coming weeks who finally appear to be aroused to the threat ACORN poses to the integrity of the election and are carrying out numerous investigations in 11 states across the country.

This article originally appears in The American Thinker

By: Rick Moran at 4:36 am | Permalink | Comments & Trackbacks (12)


Pardon the slow loading site. My little hosting company is trying to deal with the Instalanche and Hot Air explosion as well as links from the rest of you.  

Glenn Reynolds received an email yesterday that he termed “depressing.” Upon reading it, I agree with him.

The correspondent starts by identifying himself as a libertarian who supported George Bush until “Bush fatigue” set in recently. But what depressed Reynolds (and what should concern all of us) is how this gentleman would react to an Obama presidency:

This is surely small of me, but if Obama wins, I plan on giving him as much of a chance as the Democrats gave George Bush. I will gleefully forward every paranoid anti-Obama rumor that I see, along with YouTube footage of his verbal missteps. I will laugh and email heinous anti-Obama photoshop jobs, and maybe even learn photoshop myself to create some. I’ll buy anti-Obama books, and maybe even a “Not My President” t-shirt. I’m sure that the mainstream bookstores won’t carry them, but I’ll be on the lookout for anti-Obama calendars and stuff like that. I will not wish America harm, and if the country is hurt (economically, militarily, or diplomatically) I will truly mourn. But i will also take some solace that it occurred under Obama’s watch, and will find every reason to blame him personally and fan the flames.

Obama’s thuggish behavior thus far in this election cycle – squashing free speech, declaring any criticism of his policies to be “racist” (a word that happily carries little weight with sensible people these days), associating with the likes of Ayers, Wright, and ACORN - suggests that I won’t have to scrape for reasons to really viscerally dislike Obama and his administration. And even if he wins, his campaign’s “get out the vote fraud” activities are enough to provide people like me with a large degree of “plausible deniability” as to whether he is actually legitimately the president.

I’ve seen a President that I am generally-inclined to like get crapped on for eight years, and I’ve seen McCain and Palin (honorable people both, despite policy differences I may have with them) get crapped on through this election season. If the Democrats think that a President Obama is going to get some sort of honeymoon from the folks who didn’t vote for him, as a wise man once said: heh.

Civics 101 people; the guy who gets the most votes, wins.

You can talk about “voter fraud” and “stealing elections” all you want but the fact remains that if Obama is certified by the electoral college and the House of Representatives as President of the United States, that ends the discussion in our republic. There is no more important aspect of democracy than the minority accepting the will of the majority. The constitution gives the minority certain protections against getting steamrolled by the majority. But it doesn’t give the minority the right to torpedo the legitimacy of the winner.

This is more than a question of “fair play” or being a “sore loser.” The Constitution says we have only one president at a time. Given the importance of that office, it is stark raving lunacy to seek to destroy the man occupying it.

The fact that the Democrats and the left have acted like 2 year olds the last 8 years doesn’t mean that if Obama is elected we should throw the same infantile tantrums and look for ghosts in the machine – or accuse the opposition of foul play without a shred of physical proof, only the paranoid imaginings whipped up by people who knew exactly what they were doing – undermining the legitimacy of the elected leader of the United States government.

I can certainly understand the desire given voice by Reynolds correspondent. There would be something hugely satisfying in giving back to the left in spades what they have done to Bush and the Republicans for the last 8 years. But think about it for a minute. Our country is in a helluva fix – the worst since I’ve been alive and probably the worst since the eve of the great depression. The only comparable crisis in my lifetime is the one faced by Reagan when he came into office.

Reagan’s challenge was more a crisis of confidence than anything really systemically wrong. He restored that confidence. And he did it with the help of loyal, patriotic Democrats. Not just the 70 or so “Boll Weevils” who actually voted with Reagan on occasion in order to get his program through Congress. Speaker Tip O’Neil could have thrown a huge monkey wrench into the early efforts of Reagan to cut taxes and reduce spending. But he didn’t. To his eternal credit, O’Neil chose to fight for his principles while giving Reagan’s program a chance in Congress.

The two adversaries fought tooth and nail for every vote in the House (the GOP controlled the Senate at the time). The played hardball politics with a zest that seems to be missing in these days of obstructionism and spiteful rhetoric. In the end, despite O’Neil’s best efforts, he lost fair and square – a point he deliberately made in his televised call of congratulations to Reagan in the aftermath of the vote.

The very liberal O’Neil – as tough a political brawler as you’ll find anywhere – was also an American first and a Democrat second. He was a politician from the old school who accepted Reagan’s election as a matter of course. It never occurred to him to try and delegitimize the only president he had. The two men liked each other personally but despised each other’s politics. And yet, they were able to work together to bring America back from a deep, dark place that threatened our future.

This is how it should be. And whether Obama wins – if he wins – by one vote or millions shouldn’t matter. It doesn’t matter if you believe the reason he won was because the press was in the tank for him, or ACORN cheated, or McCain didn’t get a fair shake, or any other legitimate or illegitimate reason you can think of. At the very least, Barack Obama will deserve our acknowledgement that he is the legitimate elected president of the United States.

That doesn’t mean we have to slavishly follow him or join his cult like groupies. What it means is that where what he proposes to do is reasonable and doesn’t conflict with our principles, he should expect our support. It means that we don’t have to delegitimize his presidency to oppose him either. People of good will and good conscience can disagree without tearing each other and the country apart. And in this day and age, such an outcome would be unbearable.

An Obama election will mean changes – not all of them for the better. So be it. We will fight like hell against what we believe to be wrong. But we not do it by trying to delegitimize the elected president. Get personal, sure. Satirize and make fun of him, absolutely. Argue on the merits, most definitely.

But when push comes to shove and crisis erupts somewhere in the world involving American interests – and no president in recent memory has escaped such a challenge – I plan on backing my president’s play. I may give voice to skepticism about the path he chooses. This is our right and duty.

But I will not wish that he fail nor will I work to see that he does. The fact that I even have to mention this shows how foreign an idea this is to both the right and the left. The unbalanced hatred on the right directed against President Clinton was followed up by the even kookier and dangerous rage by the left against Bush. Perhaps its time for all of us to grow up a little and start acting like adults where the survival of our republic depends on the two sides not trying to eye-gouge their way to dominance.

This may not be self-evident to some of you younger readers but this was the America I grew up in and which existed until about 20 years ago. Politics was just as raucous a game then. There was no pussyfooting. It was a game played for keeps and played to the hilt. There was little love lost personally or professionally between the two sides.

But there was also a recognition that the will of the majority was, in the end, respected and granted legitimacy. This included recognizing that there was only one president and that even if we disagreed with him, that didn’t mean he was an impostor. The fact that the 2000 election was so close (and the results confirmed by a consortium of independent media who took the time to recount the Florida votes several different ways proving that Bush did indeed win the state) no doubt was frustrating for the losers. But the idea that after 8 years the left could never get over the results and indeed, showed a derangement toward the president even after a still close but decisive win in 2004 proves that it is up to us on the right to bring our politics back to a rough equilibrium so that we can work together in these perilous times.

I plan on doing just that – while still skewering my political opponents with as much zest and glee as I can muster.

By: Rick Moran at 10:23 am | Permalink | Comments & Trackbacks (346)


It’s good to see some other bloggers questioning the latest prevarications from the media about McCain campaign audiences being “mad” or “out of control” or “racist” – all based on the comments or statements of a few idiotic audience members out of the thousands attending. (See my post from Friday on this here.)

Ann Althouse on the latest liberal attack on GOP crowds:

The video shows that Ana Marie Cox did not transcribe the quote correctly. It’s not: “I’m scared of Barack Obama… he’s an Arab terrorist…” It’s: “I can’t trust Obama. I have read about him, and he’s not he’s not he’s a uh he’s an Arab.” “Terrorist” is simply not there. The McCain quote is a bit off too. He says: “He’s a decent family man citizen that I just happen to have some disagreements with on fundamental issues.” Don’t pin “terrorist” on the little old lady in the audience, and don’t pin “whom” on the presidential candidate.

AND: Note that Time’s Cox (or whoever did the transcription) not only added “terrorist” but also substituted “scared” for “can’t trust.” What does that say about the mind of the transcriber? It suggests the press is looking for evidence of fear and fear mongering. I think we’re seeing a grasping for more evidence to justify blaming the campaign for deranging the minds of McCain’s supporters. But if this woman’s concern is that Obama is an Arab and that you can’t trust him because of that, then it has nothing much to do with the Ayers connection that the McCain campaign promoted this week. So spike the quote with “terrorism” and “scared.”

Josh Marshall continues his descent into madness with 360 words on why the woman in the crowd really did say “Arab terrorist” and not just “Arab.” His headline for this hilariously off kilter post is “Darker and Darker” – a perfect metaphor for Marshall’s own obsession with minutia as he desperately seeks to paint GOP crowds at McCain rallies as drooling, apelike, tobacco spitting, bible thumping, racist, ignorant red necks who must be stopped before they…well, Marshall’s limited imagination can’t quite conceive of the horrors these hillbillies would be capable of but he knows it would be no good!

When I wrote about this transparent attempt to dampen enthusiasm at GOP rallies not to mention drive moderates and Democratic conservatives away from McCain, I got the usual gentle ribbing from my liberal friends (no, it is not anatomically possible to do what they suggest I do with my head). They pointed out that McCain himself had become “concerned” about the tone at these rallies and tried to tamp down some of the more idiotic notions about Obama; that he is a Muslim, a “terrorist,” “an Arab,” or “terrorist lover” to name a few.

This, I blame on some conservative bloggers and a few unhinged conservative talk radio folks who will write or say any old hogwash about Obama – the worse sounding, the better. Lies and smears perpetrated against a candidate always backfire in the end because it turns off reasonable people to your cause while enabling the real nuts who exist on the fringes of both parties.

We have seen this the last 8 years with Bush Derangement Syndrome. Glenn Reynolds explains:

So we’ve had nearly 8 years of lefty assassination fantasies about George W. Bush, and Bill Ayers’ bombing campaign is explained away as a consequence of him having just felt so strongly about social justice, but a few people yell things at McCain rallies and suddenly it’s a sign that anger is out of control in American politics? It’s nice of McCain to try to tamp that down, and James Taranto sounds a proper cautionary note—but, please, can we also note the staggering level of hypocrisy here? (And that’s before we get to the Obama campaign’s thuggish tactics aimed at silencing critics.)

The Angry Left has gotten away with all sorts of beyond-the-pale behavior throughout the Bush Administration. The double standards involved—particularly on the part of the press—are what are feeding this anger. (Indeed, as Ann Althouse and John Leo have noted, the reporting on this very issue is dubious). So while asking for McCain supporters to chill a bit, can we also ask the press to start doing its job rather than openly shilling for a Democratic victory? Self-control is for everybody, if it’s for anybody. . . .

I would disagree with Glenn that the crowds are even that angry. Yes, there are angry individuals and there seems to be some resentment directed solely at the press. But there is also a good deal of enthusiasm and patriotic fervor. If you watch the video of the fellow in Wisconsin saying that he was “mad – really mad,” you would be forced to note that after he had decried Obama’s “socialism,” and asked McCain to “fight for us,” the crowd did not call for lynching Obama but instead erupted into chants of “USA, USA.”

These are Republican crowds who want McCain to throw them red meat about Obama. They want to boo his name. They want to hiss at his radical associations. They want to shout “NO!” when McCain lists his more cockamamie plans for the economy.

Chanting “NOBAMA!” does not make these crowds “an angry mob” any more than Democrats chanting “McSame” at Obama rallies is proof that they want to kill John McCain.

McCain – who was obviously stung by press criticism that the few nincompoops at his rallies who mindlessly repeated slurs about Obama’s heritage or talked of being “scared” at the prospect of an Obama presidency – was evidently cowed enough to feel he had to make the point about Obama being a “decent” man and an honorable candidate. This is fine, except he is assisting the press in perpetrating the lie that his campaign events have degenerated into lynch mobs. And I was extremely disappointed to see that Representative John Lewis (a true patriot and courageous fighter for civil rights his entire life) had shamed himself (and the memory of Dr. King) by giving the most outrageous statement to the press, shamelessly playing the race card to the hilt:

Today, Lewis castigated McCain in the harshest of terms. “George Wallace never threw a bomb,” Lewis noted. “He never fired a gun, but he created the climate and the conditions that encouraged vicious attacks against innocent Americans who were simply trying to exercise their constitutional rights. Because of this atmosphere of hate, four little girls were killed on Sunday morning when a church was bombed in Birmingham, Alabama.”

This may be the most vicious, unprincipled attack on a Republican candidate since Ted Kennedy said that Ronald Reagan wanted poor children to die and old people to be thrown out of their homes. It is astounding that Lewis – a man who bears the physical scars of the fight for racial justice – would so cavalierly invoke George Wallace and the victims of the Birmingham church bombing in a wildly inappropriate and logically flawed comparison between good and decent Americans exercising their first amendment rights at a political event and the flagrant, nauseating racism that led to the murder of innocents.

There is no connection whatsoever. It was Lewis throwing political sh*t against the wall to see if it would stick – something that is so below him that it makes me wonder if Obama put him up to it just so that he could appear reasonable in criticizing Lewis while allowing the false theme of “hateful” speech (read criticism of Obama for his relationship with at domestic terrorist) to continue.

For in truth, Obama – statesmanlike – refused to endorse the Wallace comparison of Lewis’ but embraced the rest of his message; GOP crowds are racist and getting out of control:

Senator Obama does not believe that John McCain or his policy criticism is in any way comparable to George Wallace or his segregationist policies,” said Obama spokesman Bill Burton. “But John Lewis was right to condemn some of the hateful rhetoric that John McCain himself personally rebuked just last night, as well as the baseless and profoundly irresponsible charges from his own running mate that the Democratic nominee for President of the United States ‘pals around with terrorists.’

“As Barack Obama has said himself, the last thing we need from either party is the kind of angry, divisive rhetoric that tears us apart at a time of crisis when we desperately need to come together. That is the kind of campaign Senator Obama will continue to run in the weeks ahead.”

Oh Jesus, spare me. This is the same campaign that has savaged McCain in the most personal terms imaginable while preaching this pious crap to his adoring masses. The dripping hypocrisy coming from these people is astonishing. Obama would have us believe that any personal attack on McCain – on his war wounds, his age, his wife’s wealth, – is the kind of rhetoric that will help us “come together” but McCain talking about all the radicals in Obama’s life is “angry” and divisive.”

The naive fools who have flocked to Obama believing that politics should be some kind of encounter session or New Age tribal gathering ought to be educated a bit. The “Can’t we all get along” crap being fed these ignoramuses is the kind of stuff totalitarians are very good at – where dissent and argument is seen as unhealthy or “not in the public interest.” We’ve had enough of that crap from the Bushies with their attitude toward war protestors.

But at least Bush wasn’t in charge of a party that is so eager to stifle the voices of their opponents that they would re-institute the Fairness Doctrine. Nor is McCain in charge of a campaign that openly uses thug tactics to silence points of view that criticize their messiah. Bush may have used patriotism as a shield against war protests but the Obama campaign makes him look like a piker by comparison. They want to stifle all dissent and criticism of Obama everywhere. And they are willing to use their mindless minions to shout down opposing views, intimidate those who would pay for ads that criticize the Democratic candidate, even using the old Nixonian threat of pulling broadcast licenses of those media outlets who dare run these ads.

And of course, as Lewis shows, they are willing to play the race card to the hilt in order to not just shame critics but smear them as well.

Nice operation you’ve got their, Mr. Obama.

McCain, to his credit, came out swinging against the Lewis smear:

“The notion that legitimate criticism of Sen. Obama’s record and positions could be compared to Gov. George Wallace, his segregationist policies and the violence he provoked is unacceptable and has no place in this campaign,” McCain said in the statement. “I am saddened that John Lewis, a man I’ve always admired, would make such a brazen and baseless attack on my character and the character of the thousands of hardworking Americans who come to our events to cheer for the kind of reform that will put America on the right track.

McCain also put the onus on Obama to distance himself from the remarks: “I call on Sen. Obama to immediately and personally repudiate these outrageous and divisive comments that are so clearly designed to shut down debate 24 days before the election. Our country must return to the important debate about the path forward for America.”

Fat chance when it was probably Obama who asked Lewis to make the attack in the first place. And as we’ve seen, Obama did not distance himself very much at all from Lewis’ baseless smear.

I wish McCain had taken on the rest of the meme – that all of this “concern” over the GOP “mobs” is in fact, manufactured by the Democrats and the media; that one or two dummies shouting out some idiocy about Obama at a McCain rally does not make the crowds themselves “angry” – or at least any angrier than Democratic crowds (such as the mob that booed Palin and her six year old kid last night at a Philadelphia Flyers hockey game).

Barely three weeks to go and if Obama and his campaign had their way, there would only be one voice and one message going out over the airwaves between now and then. Welcome to Hope and Change. Here’s hoping that Obama’s changes won’t mean the death of free speech in America.


If I were the left, I’d give up on this transparent attempt to smear GOP partisans and look to their own house instead.

Michelle Malkin has at least 2 dozen examples of the kind of out of control rage that the left is weeping about with regards to Republicans at McCain rallies.

Out. Of. Control.

Not a peep from the media. Not a word from the Josh Marshalls of the leftysphere who are so intent on finding the mote in their opponent’s eye that they’ve missed the Redwood tree sticking out of their own.

It won’t deter them of course. Don’t try to stop them – they’re on a roll. While Josh Marshall examines the phone video of a woman at a McCain rally trying to determine if she was calling Obama an “Arab terrorist” or just an “Arab,” liberals are trying to incite violence and murder against both McCain and Palin in the most obvious and deliberate manner.

By: Rick Moran at 9:23 am | Permalink | Comments & Trackbacks (67)

The Pink Flamingo linked with Obama Cool Bullies & McCain's Hot-headed Racists...
Sister Toldjah linked with Which party is the party of rage?...
Pirate's Cove linked with Sorta Blogless Sunday Pinup...

The news out of Chicago is not good for Governor Rod Blagojevich. Convicted Chicago political operator Antoin “Tony” Rezko is talking to prosecutors about what he knows as far as corruption in Illinois and Chicago politics.

Believe me, it’s plenty.

Jailed political fundraiser Antoin “Tony” Rezko, the Chicago real estate developer who helped launch Barack Obama on his political career, is whispering secrets to federal prosecutors about corruption in Illinois and the political fallout could be explosive.

Democratic Gov. Rod Blagojevich, whose administration faces multiple federal investigations over how it handed out jobs and money with advice from Rezko, is considered the most vulnerable.

Rezko also was friendly with Obama — offering him a job when he finished law school, funding his earliest political campaigns and purchasing a lot next to his house. But based on the known facts, charges so far and testimony at Rezko’s trial, there’s no indication there’ll be an October surprise that could hurt the Democratic presidential nominee — even though Rezko says prosecutors are pressing him for dirt about Obama.

“I think this strikes fear into the Blagojevich administration and the Statehouse Democrats but not into the Obama campaign,” says state Sen. Kirk Dillard, R-Westmont, a John McCain delegate to the GOP convention but an old friend of Obama.

Should Obama be worried? Not about Rezko. The real estate deal between the two that allowed Obama to purchase his mansion (Rezko bought an adjacent vacant lot saving Obama hundreds of thousands of dollars) and then have Obama do Rezko a favor by purchasing a small strip of that lot for an above market price was borderline legal, certainly unethical, but probably nothing Chicago prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald would want to drag the next president (or sitting president) into court about.

There are other Rezko-Obama dealings such as Obama’s steering state contracts to Rezko’s businesses in exchange for fundraising assistance and campaign contributions. But that kind of thing is done all the time and you’d probably have to arrest just about every member of the House of Representatives and the Senate if a prosecutor would go after lawmakers who greased the palms of cronies and fundraisers with contracts.

So in order to understand why Obama may be sweating, I will have to give you a quick primer on the nature of Chicago politics.

There is a triad in the city that rules in all matters political and most matters economic. The first leg of the triad is the “legitimate” businessman. In order to start a business or expand one, you obviously need a bunch of licenses, permissions, and approvals from several city departments. You also need a little “juice” (used to be called “clout”). Nothing gets done in Chicago without greasing the palms of the right people either by gifts, promises of future considerations, or outright bribes.

This is where the second triad of the Chicago power structure comes into play. Well connected operators like Tony Rezko will, for a piece of the action or a kickback (“pay for play”) grease the wheels of government and get the job done allowing the legitimate businessman to operate.

The third leg of the triad is the politician. Connected to both the legitimate business world and the shady, half underground world of the Tony Rezkos in the city, the politician steers business his way or to his ward thus enriching himself and bringing home the bacon for his constituents.The politicians also staff the numerous bureaucracies at City Hall through complicated patronage schemes. This ensures a rock solid loyalty to the man who rides herd on all of it from above; Mayor Richard Daley.

But then there is a sub-strata that supports the entire rotten edifice. “The outfit” we call it here. It is the remnant of the original Al Capone gang that never left the city – updated and vastly more organized, disciplined, and improved – and has its fingers in so many legitimate pies that it is impossible sometimes to separate the politician from the businessman from the mobster. The outfit has a lot of cash that both the politician and the businessman can tap into. The Rezko’s of the city move easily in and out of the legitimate and illegitimate world, acting as a bridge when necessary in order to keep both the businessman and the politician’s hands clean.

They all mingle, intertwine, do each other favors, muscle out those who don’t play the game, and steal as much taxpayer money as they believe they can get away with.

I am sorry if that was a little longer than a “short primer” but there really is no easy way to paint a picture of the spider’s web of connections that now may entrap Obama.

One strand of that web holds interest for prosecutor Fitzgerald. It is the Giannoulias family and their ownership of The Broadway Bank. Specifically, the bank’s vice president and chief loan officer Alexi Giannoulias who has, to put it mildly, a rather checkered history:

A man who has long been dogged by charges that the bank his family owns helped finance a Chicago crime figure will host a Windy City fund-raiser tonight for Sen. Barack Obama.

Alexi Giannoulias, who became Illinois state treasurer last year after Obama vouched for him, has pledged to raise $100,000 for the senator’s Oval Office bid.

Before he promised to raise funds for Obama, Giannoulias bankrolled Michael “Jaws” Giorango, a Chicagoan twice convicted of bookmaking and promoting prostitution.

Giannoulias is so tainted by reputed mob links that several top Illinois Dems, including the state’s speaker of the House and party chairman, refused to endorse him even after he won the Democratic nomination with Obama’s help.

Giannoulias was the bank’s vice president and chief loan officer for most of the more than $15 million in loans.

He was not charged with breaking any laws. The Obama campaign disputed any suggestion that Obama is tarnished by the association.

“Barack Obama has a long record of fighting for ethics reform from his days as a state senator,” a campaign rep said.

Alexi also approved millions in loans for Rezko’s various real estate projects. Obama used Broadway Bank for both his personal business and for his Senate campaign fund.

At this point, a reasonable observer would say that I am just touting another “guilt by association” meme. Au contraire, mon ami. Read on, McDuff:

(4) The Giannoulias family was involved with Obama as far back as his first state senate campaign in 1996. It has been long rumored here in Chicago that Obama obtained a sweetheart deal on his first town home here in Chicago — which he could not have afforded otherwise — and guess who the financing came from for that house? We’ve been told it was Broadway Bank, the Giannoulias bank. Now, this sets up a scenario where the Giannoulias family helps Obama with his campaign finances and gets him deeper in their pocket with his sweetheart mortgage deal (for the first home he owned that he could not afford) – all in exchange for quid pro quo to be determined later.

(5) One favor political Chicago claims Obama did for the Giannoulias family was in 2006 when, out of the blue, 29 year old Alexi Giannoulias, with no experience, and without ever having voted before, decides to run for State Treasurer of Illinois. Also out of the blue, Barack Obama endorses Alexi Giannoulias for State Treasurer. This was a SHOCK to everyone in Chicago — and Giannoulias would have never become State Treasurer without Obama’s help. In political circles here, it has always been believed that this endorsement was bought years ago with that sweetheart mortgage deal Broadway Bank arranged for Obama to buy his town house.

(6) So, the Tony Rezko sweetheart deal was not the first magic home loan Obama ever received to buy a house he could not afford.

There’s more to this that looks like it will break soon. We were STUNNED when we read Sneed’s column because we never in a million years believed Fitz would actually be able to take down Obama.

The Sneed column referenced contains this cryptic entry:
Sneed hears rumbles political fund-raiser/fixer Tony Rezko, who is now singing sweetly to the feds from his cell at the Metropolitan Correctional Center, has been talking about his “dealings” with a Chicago bank, which has political connections.

Clearly, Obama’s legal Achilles heel is not directly related to Rezko but rather his dealings with the Giannoulis family and Broadway Bank. And if Fitzy can turn young Alexi – now Illinois State Treasurer – Lord knows what will spill out and complicate an Obama presidency.

For in truth, there is no chance this will come out before the election. Fitzgerald has proven himself to be a very careful prosecutor – especially when aiming high – and will no doubt seek to build his case slowly. He may end up not even indicting Obama, seeing the enormous problems in trying to bring Obama to trial. But you can bet that Obama will be interviewed several times by the prosecutor and will himself, be on tenterhooks as to his fate.

Obama was simply caught up in business as usual Chicago politics – where there are times you can’t tell the difference between the businessman, the politician, and the mobster. It is from this political culture our next president will have sprung.

Kind of makes you wish for the good old days of Al Capone. At least you knew who the crooks were.


Welcome Instapundit readers.

For the record, my inclusion of the Chicago political primer was so that the Obama-Rezko-Giannoulis connection could be seen in context. Why would Obama endorse a mob banker for State Treasurer, going against the expressed wishes of the leader of his party in the statehouse? The same reason Rezko approached the Broadway bank for a $13 million loan for his real estate projects. In Chicago, it’s not who you are but what you can do for me. The payoff for Obama was Giannoulis raising a ton of money for him in his presidential campaign. This was set up by Obama’s endorsement of Giannoulis for treasurer which in turn was set up by almost certainly a generous loan arrangement on Obama’s first townhome run through Broadway.

Interestingly, Rezko was also indicted in a check bouncing matter after having written almost a half million dollars in bad checks in Vegas. While there has been speculation in the Chicago press that Broadway Bank kept Rezko’s head above water with low cost loans for much of the last 3 years when his businesses were bankrupt, the fact that those checks were drawn on an account at Broadway Bank probably means that the Giannoulis family cut Rezko loose, seeing him as a liability.

How badly do you think Tony wants to get back at the Giannoulis family?


Barack Obama was booed at a McCain Town Hall in Waukesha, Wisconsin yesterday.

That’s right. I’m not joking. A crowd of Republicans actually had the audacity, the temerity, the gumption to show their displeasure when the name of The Messiah was uttered.

And according to this breathless, fearful account published in the Washington Post this morning, that’s not all they did:

There were shouts of “Nobama” and “Socialist” at the mention of the Democratic presidential nominee. There were boos, middle fingers turned up and thumbs turned down as a media caravan moved through the crowd Thursday for a midday town hall gathering featuring John McCain and Sarah Palin.

I weep for America. In God’s name, what are we coming to? To actually show disdain and unhappiness at the mention of The One? And what’s this about giving the finger to our friends in the press? Don’t they know that a free press is vital to our democracy? How dare they make such a vulgar display in the direction of those who toil so unselfishly in service to the republic.

Gee – you’d think the crowd believed the press was the enemy or something.

I regret to inform my readers that, in fact, there is more disturbing news to report from recent rallies featuring John McCain. Apparently, according to unnamed sources, the people attending these rallies are angry.

In recent days, a campaign that embraced the mantra of “Country First” but is flagging in the polls and scrambling for a way to close the gap as the nation’s economy slides into shambles has found itself at the center of an outpouring of raw emotion rare in a presidential race.

“There’s 26 days and people are looking at the very serious possibility that there’s a chance that Obama might get in, and they don’t like that,” said Ian Eltrich, 28, as he filed out of the crowded sports complex.

“I’m mad! I’m really mad!” another man said, taking the microphone and refusing to surrender it easily, even when McCain tried to agree with him.

I fear for this country. An ordinary citizen – a McCain supporter – is “really mad.” And what makes this even more outrageous, more frightening (if that’s possible) is that John McCain and Sarah Palin just stood there like statues and did nothing when the crowd booed Barack Obama’s name. They showed no remorse whatsoever.

I would like to digress here and thank the Washington Post for bringing this to our attention. Clearly, this is unheard of in American politics and deserves scrutiny. I mean really now, would partisans at a Democratic rally boo the very mention of George Bush’s name?

sarcasm off/ (finally)

I can’t tell you how much contempt I have for the Post and other media outlets who have been pushing this meme – that it is somehow dangerous, or racist, or indicative of something horribly ugly in the mindset of GOP supporters to show strong emotion at the mention of Obama. Not when similiar outbursts happen at Democratic rallies. Not when Democratic party partisans on the internet and elsewhere have whipped up a frenzy of hate against John McCain.

Has there ever been someone who screamed out about McCain “Kill him!” at an Obama rally? We don’t know because the idea that the press would report what one, lone, idiot shouts out at a rally of thousands is ludicrous – except if it is a McCain rally and then it becomes front page news.

And evidently, it has become verboten to even take the name of Obama in vain – his middle name, that is:

Seems like almost every day now there’s a McCain-Palin rally where the campaign has the candidates introduced by someone who hits on “Barack Hussein Obama”. Just happened again in Bethlehem, PA. After the fifth or sixth time you pretty much know on the orders of the campaign. It is obviously with tacit approval (to believe anything else is to be a dupe at this point); and quite probably on the campaign’s specific instructions.

Given the regularity of the cries of “treason” and “terrorist” and the like, and the frequency with which the screamers seem in oddly convenient proximity to the mics, we should probably be considering the possibly that these folks are campaign plants. It happens all the time. It’s just that usually they don’t scream out accusations of capital crimes.

Late Update: A thought. At what point do they start burning Obama in effigy at the Palin rallies?

“A thought” by Josh Marshall? Well, at least that’s an improvement over what we’ve seen recently from the former web journalist turned lying, hyper partisan hack. I thought that Marshall’s last electroencephalogram revealed no brain activity at all. At least this is progress.

But not much judging by his cockamamie notion that Republicans would do to Obama what Democrats and liberals have been doing to Bush for the last 8 years.


(Courtesy of Zombietime)

Perhaps Republicans could get a few tips from Democrats on the proper way to burn someone in effigy. Maybe Marshall could publish them on his website.

As for taking the middle name of our Lord in vain, I would simply say that those who are inclined to believe the idiocy that Obama is a Muslim will not be swayed by anything John McCain would say. Or Sarah Palin for that matter. The idea that speaking Obama’s middle name is in and of itself racist or bigoted presupposes that making the charge gives the accuser insight into another’s soul – nice job if you can get it but something that liberals do on a regular basis so they have a lot of practice. All liberals are mind readers and psychics.

The question is it done deliberately in order to inspire feelings of fear and revulsion against Obama I would have to answer almost certainly yes. But this is a political campaign not a society ball. Raising the specter of fear if McCain is elected is part and parcel of the Obama campaign as well. It’s how elections have been conducted since Jeffersonians warned the re-election of Adams would lead to the establishment of a monarchy.

Denying this singular fact of life in political campaigns only shows liberals to be naive and ignorant. For 4 years, the left has been screaming at their own candidates to get tough on Republicans. Well congratulations, you’ve found your man in Obama. Schooled as he was in the rough and tumble, corrupt Machine politics of Chicago where you don’t defeat your opponent, you bury them, Obama needs little urging to hint at McCain’s advanced years, mock his war injuries, bring up past questionable associations, level charges of personal malfeasance – all the while piously insisting that he is staying above the fray. That kind of hypocrisy is enabled by his partisans and syncophants in the party and the press who never seem to find the time, the space, or the guts to call Obama out for his descent into the politics of personal destruction.

So get over it and get on with it.

Speaking of getting on with it, many of us were wondering when the race card, heretofore used only sparingly would become more prominently used by the Obama campaign.

We needn’t have wondered:

As the McCain campaign ratchets up the intensity of its attacks on Barack Obama, some black elected officials are calling the tactics desperate, unseemly and racist.

“They are trying to throw out these codes,” said Representative Gregory Meeks, a Democrat from New York.

“He’s ‘not one of us?’” Mr. Meeks said, referring to a comment Sarah Palin made at a campaign rally on Oct. 6 in Florida. “That’s racial. That’s fear. They know they can’t win on the issues, so the last resort they have is race and fear.”

“Racism is alive and well in this country, and McCain and Palin are trying to appeal to that and it’s unfortunate,” said Representative Ed Towns, also from New York.

In recent days, as polls have shown a steady lead for the Democratic ticket, Mr. McCain and Ms. Palin have used reports of Mr. Obama’s loose association with Bill Ayers, a former member of the ’60s radical group the Weather Underground, as evidence that he is different from them.

“Our opponent,” Ms. Palin told donors in Englewood, Colo., “is someone who sees America, it seems, as being so imperfect, imperfect enough, that he’s palling around with terrorists who would target their own country.”

She added, “This is not a man who sees America like you and I see America,” she said. “We see America as a force of good in this world. We see an America of exceptionalism.”

An Associated Press analysis characterized those remarks as “unsubstantiated” and carrying “a racially tinged subtext.”

Actually, if we are to believe Obama, he too sees America as a “force for good” in the world. The question asked is can we take him at his word? Given his numerous, unbelievable prevarications involving people who don’t see America as a force for good in the world – Ayers, Wright, Meeks to a name a few – it is eminently practical and logical to ask if he is telling the truth when he says it. This goes to the heart of the reason his associations with radicals is so problematic. We all have friends and associates we disagree with on politics. But the level of hatred of America espoused by people like Wright and Ayers begs the question of why Obama has had such long term associations with these nutcases.

I have answered that question to my own satisfaction – Obama does indeed love America and he is not a radical in the sense that he shares most of the views of Ayers-Wright. But is it legitimate to ask if Obama’s idea of America is the same as mine and most Americans? This is a perfectly reasonable question to be answered by each of us individually based on what we see and hear from each candidate.

It is not racist to ask this question nor is it a personal attack. We are about to elect a president who is going to take charge amidst economic carnage the likes of which haven’t been seen since the Great Depression. It would be immensely helpful if voters had a good sense of what kind of America each man would like to see emerge from the wreckage. We will be a different country, of that I have no doubt. My own concerns center on whether the next president will seek to save the free market or throw it out with the rest of the bad paper that must have its way with us economically before an upturn in our fortunes can begin.

So how each candidate sees America is vitally important. And by playing the race card, the Obama campaign only causes us to ask more questions along those lines. I can’t believe people will be shamed into voting for our next president – not with what’s at stake. I can’t imagine voters being fearful of being called racist for failing to vote for Obama – a fear deliberately fostered by Obama playing the race card. In our current situation, it is understandable why Obama would do so, the race card being an extremely potent weapon. But will it play with the voter? I would hope that the voter has other criteria by which to judge the candidates.

“Angry” GOP crowds notwithstanding, all Americans are upset and fearful of the future. It is a fact of life that politicians would seek to capitalize on this fear. Both sides are trying to do it and both have done it in the past. Many voters no doubt will give in to this fear. Perhaps many more will not and it is among those voters that the election will be decided.


My boss, Tom Lifson,  at American Thinker writes about proof that there are Democratic plants at McCain rallies holding signs and shouting stuff about Obama.

And I just watched the video of the guy getting up and saying he was “mad – really mad” and let me tell you something friends. Any rational, objective observer watching the crowd in that video would violently disagree that they were an “angry mob.”

This is really pathetic. Transparent and stupid. And we have got to make sure that the American people don’t fall for it.

By: Rick Moran at 8:08 am | Permalink | Comments & Trackbacks (47)

The Anchoress linked with ACORN, Media & the Angry Right...
Sierra Faith linked with Hypocrites of the Left Laughing...

I received close to a dozen emails this morning linking to this article that breathlessly breaks the news that Obama was a member of “The New Party” – a “fusion” party made up of hard line Maoists, Communists, American socialists, and far left liberal Democrats in Chicago.

Readers of this site may recall that I wrote about this connection back in late May. The blogsite Yid With a Lid did all the legwork as far as I can determine. Eric Ericson and Warner Todd Houston  then fleshed out the connection at RedState and added some great analysis.

I have written frequently about Obama’s connection with the New Party including  here and here as well as several posts at The American Thinker. (See also Tom Lifson’s excellent post today.) The point being, there is absolutely nothing new here – even the archived links to The New Party website have been floating around the web for 6 months.  David Freddoso included information in his book The Case Against Barack Obama and Stanley Kurtz at NRO has mentioned the fact that ACORN members staffed Obama’s campaign in his first run for state senate. ACORN was a prominent member of The New Party coalition.

Does this make Obama a Marxist? A socialist?

I may be going over old ground here for daily readers but this is such an important aspect of Obama’s political personae that it bears repeating. Barack Obama’s political beliefs are secondary to his using anyone and everyone – from corrupt Machine politicians to wild eyed radical Maoists – to further his political career. All of the radical associations in his past (and present) represent nothing more than stepping stones to aid him in his political advancement. As early as 1987 he told Jeremiah Wright that he had his eye on the Governor’s mansion in Illinois (no doubt his sights were set higher). The arc of his career has always been headed toward high political office. Of this, there is no doubt.

Besides using these radicals to get ahead and making common cause with groups like ACORN and The New Party, it is a legitimate question to ask if Obama shared their ideology. The answer is almost certainly no. I believe that there is something about these radicals that attracted Obama. Perhaps it was their utter certainty and belief that they are in the moral right. Or maybe it was that their personalities are so driven and single minded. Given Obama’s own doubts about his place in the world as a young man as well as his apparent aimlessness early on, it stands to reason that people who believed so strongly in something and seemed to know where they were going in life would be able to interest the young, ambitious politician.

Calling Obama a “socialist” simply isn’t logical. He doesn’t share the belief that industries should be nationalized by the government or even taken over by the workers as many American Marxists espouse. He may not be as wedded to the free market as a conservative but he doesn’t want to get rid of it. He wants to regulate it. He wants “capitalism with a human face.” He wants to mitigate some of the effects of the market when people lose. This is boilerplate Democratic party liberalism not radical socialism.

I detest conservatives throwing around the words “socialism” and “Marxism” when it comes to Obama as much as I get angry when idiot liberals toss around the word “fascist” when describing conservatives. I’m sorry but this is ignorant. It bespeaks a lack of knowledge of what socialism and communism represent as well as an ignorance of simple definitions. Obama will not set up a government agency to plan the economy. He will not as president, require businesses to meet targets for production. He will not outlaw profit. He will not put workers in charge of companies (unless it is negotiated between unions and management. It is not unheard of in this country and the practice may become more common in these perilous economic times.).

An Obama presidency will have more regulation, more “oversight,” more interference from government agencies, more paperwork for business, less business creation, fewer jobs, fewer opportunities. It will be friendlier to unions, more protectionist, and will require higher taxes from corporations (who then will simply pass the tax bill on to us, their customers). But government won’t run the economy. And calling Obama a “socialist” simply ignores all of the above and substitutes irrationalism (or ignorance) for the reality of what an Obama presidency actually represents; a lurch to the left that will be detrimental to the economy, bad for business, but basically allow market forces to continue to dominate our economy.

Obama’s friendship with Ayers, Rezko, Wright, Pfleger, Meeks, Khalidi, as well as his working with Richard Daley’s Chicago Machine was the result of his overweening ambition and not due to any ideological affinity or strain of corruption in his makeup. He may have taken a scholarly interest in some of the ideas put forth by Ayers and he might have seen working to approve some of Ayers’ radical ideas as good politics (Ayers was an ally of Daley in the School wars of the 1990’s).

But frankly, Obama is someone who impresses me as having no real ideology save that which can get him elected. His campaign has shown him to pander to whatever audience he is addressing at the moment. His contradictory positions on issues is simply dismissed as his words “being taken out of context” or the candidate himself “misstated” his position. The press gives him a pass and its off to the next audience where he tells them exactly what they want to hear.

This is not a man with a radical ideology. It is a man with no ideology at all, no set beliefs in anything save his own supreme abilities. It is this more than anything else that will cause him to fail if he is elected president. When the political winds are blowing the strongest, he will have no set of beliefs he can cling to in order to ride out the storm. His efforts to “reform” Washington will come a cropper because of this and in the end, his empty rhetoric will be all that is remembered of him.

By: Rick Moran at 10:00 am | Permalink | Comments & Trackbacks (68)

locomotivebreath ( a rose by any other name) 1901 linked with Obama: The Stealth Candidate?...
Public Secrets linked with The Prophet Barack has some explaining to do -- Updated!...
CATEGORY: PJ Media, Politics

My latest column is up on PJ Media. In it, I look at the Gallup poll that shows 91% of Americans are not satisfied with the way things are going in the US. What about that 9% that thinks otherwise – 16 million adults?

A sample:

Really now, who are these 16 million optimists?

I didn’t have far to go to find some. They are all over the blogosphere commenting on what they really believe is going on in America. To a few of us, this isn’t just a manufactured crisis; it’s a plot — a dastardly plan to torpedo John McCain’s candidacy. The media is in cahoots with the Democrats to suppress all the good news, not to mention burying the polls showing McCain far ahead and George Bush beloved of our countrymen. The economy really isn’t all that bad, Iraq is virtually a paradise of peace and tranquility, who needs health insurance when we’ve got emergency rooms that won’t turn anyone away, and Republicans are going to take back the House and Senate.

I wish I could say that I made all that up but I didn’t. Such comments have appeared on this site from time to time and if you peruse the comment sections on other blogs, you know I write the truth (the bit about health insurance was actually uttered by a GOP House candidate in my district). Denial ain’t just a river in Egypt. And reality these days can be tough to accept, especially if you’re a partisan Republican.

So I would guess that the overwhelming majority of that 9% of us who are satisfied with how things are going in America simply don’t want to accept that we have bitten into a gigantic crap sandwich and we’ll be on a steady diet of crapola for the foreseeable future.

Read the whole thing.

By: Rick Moran at 11:34 am | Permalink | Comments & Trackbacks (23)


You won’t want to miss tonight’s Rick Moran Show,, one of the most popular conservative talk shows on Blog Talk Radio.

Tonight, Jazz Shaw of The Moderate Voice and Midstream Radio is multi-tasking, moderating the comments over at Hot Air while joining me in the second chair to take a look at the upcoming Townhall and talk about why this is probably McCain’s Gettysburg.

The show will air from 7:00 – 8:00 PM Central time. You can access the live stream here. A podcast will be available for streaming or download shortly after the end of the broadcast.

Click on the stream below and join in on what one wag called a “Wayne’s World for adults.”

The Chat Room will open around 15 minutes before the show opens,

Also, if you’d like to call in and put your two cents in, you can dial (718) 664-9764.

Listen to The Rick Moran Show on internet talk radio

By: Rick Moran at 6:49 pm | Permalink | Comments & Trackbacks (2)