September 2008

From NRO Campaign Spot blog:

Pelosi has 235 members. She needed 218. She could spare 17 members and still pass the bill.

The GOP spotted her 65 members, for a bill that made most Republicans’ skin crawl in both broad outline and in terms of detail.

That meant Pelosi could afford to lose 82 Democrats.

She lost 95.

Bush and Paulson were never going to pass this bill with House Republican votes. It had to be palatable to the Democrats, and Pelosi and Frank said that it was.

We know the GOP was unhappy with the bail-out. What we didn’t know was that 43% of the Democrat house members couldn’t stand the bail-out either.

This means House members across the board were hearing from their constituents, and their constituents hated the idea that the taxpayer be saddled with a $700 billion bail-out of the financial industry.

Why wouldn’t the Democrats go along? Because they feared their constituents more than Nancy Pelosi? Or because they agree with their constituents? Either answer is bad news for the Democrat leadership, especially a month before an election.


Bill Dyer, of BeldarBlog fame, notes that Pelosi did not even try to enforce party discipline on the vote:

Ninety-five Democrats bucked their party leadership today precisely because Nancy Pelosi made it cost-free for them to do so. By refusing to make this a “party loyalty vote” — and thereby giving a clear signal to every Democratic member of the House that there would be neither carrots nor sticks applied by the House leadership — Speaker Pelosi ensured that even the mere dozen additional Democratic votes needed for passage wouldn’t be there.

The indisputable fact is that the Democratic leadership of the House consciously declined to use the tools available to them that would have ensured the passage of this bill. Period, end of paragraph, and end of the story for today. This is a matter of simple arithmetic and standard party practices. It is not a matter that can even be seriously debated. It is only a matter that Democrats like Majority Leader Hoyer can attempt to conceal, as he does in the statement quoted above, by misleading the public about how hard the Democratic leadership actually tried.


The Jawa Report has done a fantastic job of tracking down the origins of YouTube videos smearing Governor Palin. This is a must-read detective story. Here’s the executive summary:

Extensive research was conducted by the Jawa Report to determine the source of smears directed toward Republican Vice Presidential candidate Sarah Palin. Those smears included false allegations that she belonged to a secessionist political party and that she has radical anti-American views.

Our research suggests that a subdivision of one of the largest public relations firms in the world most likely started and promulgated rumors about Sarah Palin that were known to be false. These rumors were spread in a surreptitious manner to avoid exposure.

It is also likely that the PR firm was paid by outside sources to run the smear campaign. While not conclusive, evidence suggests a link to the Barack Obama campaign. Namely:

* Evidence suggests that a YouTube video with false claims about Palin was uploaded and promoted by members of a professional PR firm.

* The family that runs the PR firm has extensive ties to the Democratic Party, the netroots, and are staunch Obama supporters.

* Evidence suggests that the firm engaged in a concerted effort to distribute the video in such a way that it would appear to have gone viral on its own. Yet this effort took place on company time.

* Evidence suggests that these distribution efforts included actions by at least one employee of the firm who is unconnected with the family running the company.

* The voice-over artist used in this supposedly amateur video is a professional.

* This same voice-over artist has worked extensively with David Axelrod’s firm, which has a history of engaging in phony grassroots efforts, otherwise known as “astroturfing.”

* David Axelrod is Barack Obama’s chief media strategist.

* The same voice-over artist has worked directly for the Barack Obama campaign.

This suggests that false rumors and outright lies about Sarah Palin and John McCain being spread on the internet are being orchestrated by political partisans and are not an organic grassroots phenomenon led by the left wing fringe. Our findings follow.

Read on…

NRO Senior Editor Jay Nordlinger gets it exactly right:

the Founders wanted to protect religion from the state, not the state from religion.

Which brings me to Gibson’s interview with Governor Palin, where she catches him misquoting her. She corrects him, saying:

But the reference there is a repeat of Abraham Lincoln’s words when he said — first, he suggested never presume to know what God’s will is, and I would never presume to know God’s will or to speak God’s words.

But what Abraham Lincoln had said, and that’s a repeat in my comments, was let us not pray that God is on our side in a war or any other time, but let us pray that we are on God’s side.

As someone who doesn’t believe in God, I find Lincoln and Palin’s view of God comforting. To be on God’s side is to fight evil.

Lyn Sweet, at the Chicago Sun Times, has Obama’s fund raising schedule for September. It is a brutal schedule. Worse, a lot of the events are in New York (not in play), New Jersey (not in play), California (not in play), Illinois (not in play), and London (not in play). Obviously, he is not going to make a personal appearance at every event. Check out 9/25, for example:

9/25/08 – Santa Barbara, CA
The home of Nancy & Larry Koppelman
1453 Bonnymede Drive
11:30am – General Reception with Caroline Kennedy
1:00pm – VIP Lunch with Caroline Kennedy
Co-Host/VIP/Ticket Price: $25,000, $5,000, $1,500

9/25/08 – London, UK
One Whitehall Place
12:00pm – Host Reception with Al Gore and Paul Tewes
12:30pm – Lunch with Al Gore and Paul Tewes
Host/Ticket Price: $28,500, $10,000

9/25/08 – Brentwood, CA
The home of Helen & Theodore J. Boutrous, Jr.
Address provided upon RSVP
5:30pm – VIP Reception with Caroline Kennedy
6:30pm – General Reception with Caroline Kennedy
Co-Host/VIP/Ticket Price: $10,000, $2,300, $500

I’m going to assume he isn’t going to appear at the London event. But he is stuck in California for a day or more. Maybe he’lll get some press, but he won’t be campaigning in Ohio or Michigan, or Virginia or Florida or Pennsylvania.

He is starting to run out of time. Soren Dayton, at The Next Right looks at the news cycles through October:

So they will have between Monday the 16th and Thursday the 25th to have significant impact over the news cycle. On the 26th, the first Presidential debate will happen. But between the the 16th and the 25th, there will be:

* John [sic] Gibson interview of Sarah Palin on ABC.
* Probably a significant profile or two of Sarah Palin.
* Some sort of serious debate in Congress on energy.

One can imagine that this will suck up 3 of those 8 news cycles.

One you get into the debates, the ability to shape the story gets even harder. The next debate, the VP debate, is 6 days later on a Thursday, which is really 3 or 4 real news cycles. (Granted, one of those will be October 3rd, when the unemployment number comes out, which probably won’t be pretty)

The next debate is October 7, a mere 6 days later on a Tuesday. The Monday before is probably the only day that Obama could seriously have an impact on the news cycle.

Then you have October 15th for the final debate on a Wednesday. That’s 5 real days of news.

One of those will be occupied by the release of the Alaska legislature’s report on Sarah Palin

The MSM is besotted with Palin. But the blowback from the initial frenzy of sexist trashing of Palin will force the MSM to treat Palin with more respect. She’ll start getting some favorable coverage just when Obama needs as much of the news cycle as he can grab. But he can’t get that coverage while he is fund raising and Palin is making all the news.

Update: Seems the MSM still hasn’t learned its lesson. Gibson was condescending and overbearing but Palin handled herself well. Funny how she was questioned as if she were running at the top of the ticket.

In a must-read NRO article, Columnist Melanie Philips writes about the advance of Islam in Britain:

The government does nothing to stop the steadily rising number of Muslims coming to settle in Britain who, refusing to assimilate, are steadily changing its demographic, cultural, and political identities. It turns a blind eye to the development of parallel Sharia enclaves practicing polygamy and forced marriage. Indeed, the British state has effectively condoned polygamy by providing welfare benefits for the multiple wives of British Muslim men. But we don’t have to worry, apparently, for no lesser luminaries than the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr. Rowan Williams, and Lord Phillips, the senior Law Lord, have said the application of Sharia family law poses no problems for Britain. Thus British Muslim women are being institutionalised as second-class citizens — with official approval.

The British seem to have forgotten that their home-grown jihadists attacked the British people on 7/7. The Jihadists use the threat of violence to gain privileges for Islam, and the Muslim community takes full advantage. Who can blame them? The British people seem determined to hand over their history, their culture, their country, and the future to Islam.

God help Britain.

In two years as Governor of Alaska, she cleaned up a cesspool of corruption in her own party, took on big oil and bent it to her will, and negotiated a natural gas pipeline deal that will pipe natural gas, currently being flared off as waste, down to the lower 48.

Not bad for her first two years work.

In his lifetime in the Senate, Joe Biden has achieved nothing of significance, unless you count insulting and denigrating conservatives in Senate confirmation hearings. Clarence Thomas was one such who holds no regard for blowhard Joe. As some wit quipped, Joe Biden has had one year’s experience 36 times.

So, who would you want in an executive job? Sarah or Joe?

John Skookum, commenting on Clive Crook’s blog at, gets what Palin is about:

Sarah Palin, on the other hand, comes from a lower-middle-class family in a little hick town out in the howling wilderness. Though she was a high school basketball star, Title IX had not yet been implemented in all its bean-counting glory, so she had to enter a demeaning beauty pageant to win a scholarship for a fluff degree from a cow college. After her shotgun wedding to a union roughneck, by most people’s lights, she should have ended up a housewife or a waitress. Yet all by herself, she has blazed a path through Alaska politics that is strewn with the dead bodies of powerful and corrupt male politicians who underestimated her.

She negotiated head-to-head with the chiefs of the most powerful oil conglomerates in the world, bent them to her will, and raised their severance taxes almost 30%. She took a natural gas pipeline project across Canada that had been knocking around for 30 or 40 years without any progress, negotiated with the Canadian and US governments, oil and gas corporations, unions, Indian tribes and who can say who else, and had the deal wrapped up in red ribbon in a matter of months. That pipeline will soon be warming American homes in the winter with cheap, clean fuel produced on American soil by American union workers.

And now, after almost a week of pressure and scrutiny that would have driven most people to weeping, trembling catatonia, she delivers this tour-de-force speech that in all likelihood has single-handedly saved the faltering campaign of the old war horse John McCain.

I get the feeling that Sarah Palin is just getting warmed up and there is lot more to come. Obama must have got a sinking feeling in the pit of his stomach when he learned that her teleprompter failed halfway through the speech.

Update: Jonathan Martin’s Blog at the politico claims Palin’s teleprompter did not break.

Perhaps there were moments where it scrolled slightly past her exact point in the speech. But I was sitting in the press section next to the stage, within easy eyeshot of the Teleprompter. I frequently looked up at the machine, and there was no serious malfunction. A top convention planner confirms this morning that there were no major problems.

. One of his commenters responded:

Palin’s difficulties were corroborated here: They were further called “intermittent” here: I’m going to go on a limb and presume that you were neither reading the teleprompter over her shoulder nor watching the teleprompter exclusively, which suggests you just might have missed some of the alleged difficulties. I’m not calling you a liar or anything like that. I’m just suggesting that you may have rushed to judgment on this one a little early.

Rich Lowry at the Corner said:

I’m told by a McCain aide that the teleprompter operator mistakenly rolled through the applause lines throughout the speech. So he rolled over the first two lines of the next paragraph after applause. But she was unfazed by it.

It wouldn’t take a major malfunction to throw off a teleprompter user; just scrolling lines out of sight would be enough.Kathryn Jean Lopez responded to Lowry, saying:

re: Palin & the Teleprompter

I can vouch for that. I was trying to read along. Some of the improvising, I think, had to do with that. But she clearly knew her speech.

Personally, I did notice her look down at here notes once. At the time i wondered why, because she was using a teleprompter.