Hot Air’s been burning the midnight oil debunking the various fabrications and accusations, opinion pieces disguised as news stories, and misleading to just plain ol’ untruthful Obama campaign claims, and today was no exception. Make sure to check out the following posts:
—— Ed Morrissey wrote this morning about Obama’s criticism of McCain’s call for a bipartisan commission to study what led up to the Freddie Mac/Fannie Mae/AIG/Lehman Bros. mess and how to fix it. Obama claimed that the word “commission” was Washington-speak for “We’ll get back to ya later.” While most of us would agree that commissions are pretty much useless when it comes to resolveing anything, unfortunately for Obama, as Ed points out in his post – with video included – Obama’s been a staunch advocate for commissions on a number of occasions. But this is one of those times that when a Republican advocates it, he’s going to be against it … just because. So much for “bipartisanship” – but then again, we already knew Obama’s claims to have a special skill in that arena were and are, simply put, flat out bogus.
—– The far left have been wetting themselves today over various reports from the mainstream mediots (reports, I should note, that were no doubt inspired by agenda-driven liberal bloggers) about how McCain supposedly either “dissed” or “did not know” who Spain’s prime minister is nor where Spain was on a map while doing a radio interview on Hispanic-related issues. AllahPundit chokes the life out of the argument here, while Pajamas Media’s Soeren Kern nails the final stake through the heart of this severely crediblity-challenged story.
And as a side note, isn’t it mighty interesting that the far left jumps all over this story as an example of McCain’s alleged “cluelessness” when it comes to foreign policy, yet they appear to have no issues whatsoever with Barack Obama’s vow to meet unconditionally with, well, anyone – including the despotic “leaders” of countries like North Korea and Iran?
Today, the woman who Barry Oh! angrily declared off limits for criticism a couple of months ago was in Charlotte for a women’s “roundtable” that was similar to the “townhall meeting” she did back in the spring in the neighboring small town of Harrisburg. Local ABC news affiliate WSOCtv reports:
CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Michelle Obama spent the day talking about family values and the economy with women in North Carolina.
Obama spoke at the McGlohon Theatre in Charlotte on Thursday morning. She also spoke in Greensboro later in the day on behalf of her husband, Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama.
The Charlotte event, which wrapped up around 11:30 a.m., was an hour-long roundtable discussion in which participants shared their economic struggles and Obama shared her husband’s policy proposals. Although she spoke with a variety of women on a wide range of issues, there was a special emphasis on working mothers.
She said her husband is the only candidate to deal with women’s issues. She particularly focused on equal pay, health care, affordable college and recruiting new teachers. She also said he will cut taxes for 95 percent of Americans.
“Look for a Washington that doesn’t just talk about family values, but actually creates policies that value families” Obama said.
This is just one of those elections where folks just need to be informed,” she continued. “I can take off my wife hat and just put on my citizen hat and just say we have an obligation now to pay attention. Because we may decide to do something that is different from Barack Obama. But we should decide that based on our self-interest and what we think is best. And the only way that will happen is if people are paying attention and neighbors are talking to neighbors, and family members are talking to family members.
“People shouldn’t make a decision this time based on ‘I like that guy’ or you know, ‘she’s cute’ you know, this isn’tâ€¦”
The crowd laughed and applauded.
“And I’m talking about me,” Michelle Obama continued. “But that shouldn’t be anyone’s reason for making a judgment this time around.”
Polls indicate that voters who are determining their choice based on issues are planning on voting for Obama, while those voting based on character are opting for Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz.
Mrs. Obama also said that “folks up here aren’t asking for yachts and cruises and, you know, they’re not working on the third house…they’re talking about trying to keep –”
The crowd interrupted with applause.
“For the record, I didn’t mean that,” she said, the audience laughing. “All I’m saying: there’s nothing wrong with having a lot of houses, but some people are just trying to keep the one.”
I can see she’s got her husband’s knack for falsely claiming “but that’s not what I was talking about/meant” tactic down pat. It’s pretty obvious who she was talking about with the “she’s cute” and “three houses” cracks, respectively. It’s insulting to the intelligence of people who actually take the time to think for her to say that’s not what she meant.
Here are video snippets, courtesy of local Charlotte station WCNC:
I have no problems with forums and townhall meetings, but I do have an issue when they are used to constantly complain about how awful things supposedly are and how only government can fix them. This is how it is at the majority of stump speeches and townhall meetings that the Obamas take part in go – oh, and the usually throw in the obligatory “but I love my country” somewhere in there, too, but it doesn’t sound very sincere. Liberals tend to only fully love their country when they can get it on the fast track to socialism and selective isolationism. When it’s in the hands of the opposition, though, they stop flying flags, whine about capitalism and the free market, and b*tch about how the United States isn’t “doing more” on an international scale to help countries they think we should give aid/assistance to. It never freaking ends.
What’s so mindblogging about this is how divided this country is right now on the candidates. Do nearly half of the American people really think Barack Obama is ready to lead? WTH is wrong with people?
Update – midnight: One thing I meant to add to this post is that I think it’s high time this state gets a couple of visits from McCain-Palin. I got a little excited last week when I read about a double digit lead McCain had opened over Obama in this state but the trends aren’t bearing that out. The poll numbers are tight in some, no contest in others. I would hate for this state to be all over the news media the day after the election as one of the red states that “flipped” for Obama. If that happened, this red stater would be flipping – flipping out, that is. McCain-Palin will do well not to take it for granted that this state will stay red.
This has been a wacky election year, and just the year to have something unexpected like that happen.
There were a few comments (perhaps three?) this afternoon that were posted while the transfer was in progress that are gone now. Sorry about that. (Update: They disappeared because the posts they were responding to disappeared, too. Duh! Can you say “brain fry”? I’ve reposted the 2 original posts that went missing (thanks to Newsgator, where the posts still existed – and to GWR for letting me know!).
Hopefully now that this change has been made the site will load quicker at peak times and won’t be inaccessible so often (as it had gotten lately), as I have a lot more bandwidth and disk space now.
Up next in the (hopefully near) future? A new blog design – a kind donation from you to the tip jar on the left side column would go towards helping make that a reality
Thanks again to everyone for their patience. As always, if you experience any access/functionality issues with the site, please email me at:
If it ends up that this story is accurate and State Rep. Mike Kernell’s (D) son is responsible, will Barack Obama’s campaign finally issue a statement denouncing what happened? Heck, they should have done it already but I guess they’re too busy salivating over the possiblity that there’s something remotely incriminating in her private email to GAD.
BTW, did you know that the Associated Press refused to cooperate with the Secret Service when asked to hand over the copies of the emails they rec’d? MM has the details, including the response one of her readers rec’d from the AP when they contacted them about it.
Anyone out there still wondering why people believe the MSM are in the tank for BO shouldn’t be wondering anymore, not after this (wishful thinking, I know â€¦).
As we’d all hoped, Team McCain is hitting Obama hard today on his Fannie Mae/Freddie Mac connections, and noting McCain’s attempts to resolve these issues before they blew up like they did this week. First, here’s what Mc had to say at a campaign stop in Cedar Rapids, Iowa earlier today:
Two years ago I warned this Administration and Congress that regulations for our home loan agencies, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, needed to be fixed.
But nothing was done.
Senator Obama talks a tough game on the financial markets but the facts tell a different story. He took more money from Fannie and Freddie than any Senator but the Democratic chairman of the committee that regulates them. He put Fannie Mae’s CEO who helped create this disaster in charge of finding his Vice President. Fannie’s former General Counsel is a senior advisor to his campaign. Whose side do you think he is on? When I pushed legislation to reform Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, Senator Obama was silent. He didn’t lift a hand to avert this crisis. While the leaders of Fannie and Freddie were lining the pockets of his campaign, they were sowing the seeds of the financial crisis we see today and enriching themselves with millions of dollars in payments. That’s not change, that’s what’s broken in Washington.
Senator Obama has never made the kind tough reform we need today. His idea of reform is what his party leaders in Congress order him to do. We tried for bipartisan ethics reform and he walked away from it because his bosses didn’t want real change. I know how to make the change that Senator Obama and this Congress is afraid of. I’ve fought both parties to shake up up Washington and I’m going to do it as President.
Those same Congressional leaders who give Senator Obama his marching orders are now saying that this mess isn’t their fault and they aren’t going to take any action on this crisis until after the election. Senator Obama’s own advisers are saying that crisis will benefit him politically. My friends, that is the kind of me-first, country-second politics that are broken in Washington. My opponent sees an economic crisis as a political opportunity instead of a time to lead. Senator Obama isn’t change, he’s part of the problem with Washington.
When AIG was bailed out, I didn’t like it, but I understood it needed to be done to protect hard working Americans with insurance policies and annuities. Senator Obama didn’t take a position. On the biggest issue of the day, he didn’t know what to think. He may not realize it, but you don’t get to vote present as President of the United States.
While Senator Obama and Congressional leaders don’t know what to think about the current crisis, we know what their plans are for the economy. Today Senator Obama’s running mate said that raising taxes is patriotic. Raising taxes in a tough economy isn’t patriotic. It’s not a badge of honor. It’s just dumb policy. The billions in tax increases that Senator Obama is proposing would kill even more jobs during tough economic times. I’m not going to let that happen.
Here’s the ad they’re running called “Advice”:
The only thing missing from the ad is the information about McCain’s reform efforts on this issue. But still, all in all, it’s a pretty effective ad.
Ok, my new site host is transferring data over from my old hosting site to theirs. I’m very nervous right now! Hopefully all will go ok. If you experience any site access issues in the next hour or so, you know why.
Please use this as an open thread – I’ll be back later this afternoon.
Wall Street Journal deputy editor Daniel Henninger has a must-read today on what McCain needs to do to maximize the reform skills and experience of Gov. Palin:
Once Mr. McCain picked Mrs. Palin as his running mate, he demoted “experience” and elevated a government “reform” message. It was the right thing to do. Presidential voters are ambivalent about Beltway-marinated senators like Mr. McCain and Joe Biden. John McCain’s edge is his famous reputation as a reform maverick. So far, though, he is not casting his reform message in large enough terms.
Washington is arguably at its lowest ebb in the public mind since before World War II. Join that fact to Sarah Palin’s personally gutsy and professionally strong reform credentials, and Mr. McCain has the chance to offer voters a reform presidency in historic terms.
Yes, the Obama campaign is trying to hang the Bush presidency around his neck. Mr. McCain knows — and should give — the answer to that: Voter disgust with Washington goes far beyond George W. Bush.
In the 2006 off-year election, voters threw out the Republican bums and turned over control of Congress to the Democrats. In an odd thank-you, the Democratic Congress earned the lowest approval ratings ever recorded in opinion polls.
This decline is not part of the normal ebb and flow of politics. The fall, the malfeasance, is deeper. It’s bipartisan. It’s endemic. The most acute comment on what Washington has become — and what the American public knows it has become — was a federal judge’s Sept. 4 sentencing statement for convicted Beltway favor-meister Jack Abramoff.
Standing before federal Judge Ellen Huvelle, Abramoff said, “So much that happens in Washington stretches the envelope, skirts the spirit of the law and lives in loopholes.” Agreed, said Judge Huvelle, who hammered Abramoff with an additional 48-month sentence, more than prosecutors had asked. She said simply: “The true victims are members of the public who lost their trust in government.”
Forget the Tina Fey SNL mockery and all the marginalia being written about Sarah Palin now. She did four real things in Alaska that make her fit for anyone interested in a reform presidency.
She took on: her party’s state chairman, her party’s state attorney general, GOP Gov. Frank Murkowski’s tainted gas pipeline project, and then she supported a GOP candidate who ran against Alaska’s “untouchable” GOP congressional earmarker, Don Young.
One way or another, each episode involved severing the sleazy ties that bind public officials to grasping commercial interests, something even the Democratic left purports to favor.
It isn’t just Washington and Juneau. You could open the nozzle on the same reform fire hose to wash the public-private slime out of the capital hallways of New York, New Jersey, California, Illinois and onward.
You say Sarah Palin doesn’t have enough “experience” to run Washington? Washington is barely fit to be run.
Make sure to read the whole thing.
The conventions are over, the race is all knotted up, and it’s time to get serious and stay that way. Senator McCain’s got a lot of tools to use in his arsenal against Obama, some of them mentioned in my previous post, but – as Henninger points out – probably one of the most effective weapons McCain has to fight against OBiden is his outstanding running mate, Gov. Palin, for reasons Henninger writes about and more.
Team McCain-Palin needs to move beyond the stump speeches and start getting more specific with the American people. We poljunkies have a good grasp of what a McCain-Palin ticket can do for America, but the average Joe who doesn’t spend every waking minute with his eyes glued to news channels, websites, and blogs may not … and that’s where the ads, the talking head shows, the townhall meetings, the debates, etc will all factor in. This election shouldn’t be about 5 second soundbites but instead real solutions.
McCain-Palin have a consistent record of reform, leadership, bucking their own party when they think it’s necessary, and thinking outside of the box to come up with solutions and not just for the here and now but in an attempt to avoid bigger problems in the future. Team OBiden cannot credibly make the same claim. With six weeks to go, it’s time to drop the complaints about lipstick and start majorly hammering that message home via surrogates, spokesmen, prominent supporters and – well, the candidates themselves.
There’s been a lot of talk this election year about change, about who would be the candidate most likely to reach across the aisle in the spirit of getting things done in Washington.Â Barack Obama has talked a good talk on the issue, but when it comes to the walk, the USA Today correctly points out that John McCain has a proven track record of reaching across the aisle that Barack Obama does not:
Presidents who try to push through major policy changes without the opposing party almost always come to grief. George W. Bush’s bid to create private accounts for Social Security collapsed in 2005 when Democrats rejected it. A decade earlier, Bill Clinton’s health care overhaul died for lack of Republican input and support.
Social Security and health care remain unreformed, and whether the next president is Republican John McCain or Democrat Barack Obama, he’ll need help from members of the other party to address these and other pressing issues. So it’s reasonable to ask whether either of them — both self-styled change agents who tout their ability to cross political lines — have shown they can do this.
McCain, in Congress for 26 years to Obama’s four, has the longer record of producing bipartisan alliances on tough issues. He has bucked his party again and again to do just that — on immigration, federal judges and campaign finance, to name three on which he enraged many Republicans by defying the party position and working with Democrats. McCain-the-maverick has reverted to party orthodoxy on taxes and other issues this year, which will put him in a bind if elected: Would he stick with those new positions, or compromise with the Democratic Congress he’d likely be working with?
As McCain points out on the campaign trail, Obama has a much thinner record of bucking his own party. With the exception of tough fights for ethics reforms in the Illinois Senate and in Washington — where he angered Democratic colleagues by insisting on the disclosure of lobbyists who bundle campaign donations — Obama has rarely challenged party dogma on the sort of big, contentious issues he’d face as president. As a U.S. senator, he has taken liberal Democratic positions on most issues. Studies by Congressional Quarterly show Obama has voted with his party almost 97% of the time, vs. about 85% for McCain.
Obama’s bipartisan accomplishments in Washington have been on significant, but relatively non-controversial, efforts to secure nuclear weapons and establish a federal-spending database. What he lacks is a record of challenging his own party on divisive, difficult issues — the deficit, immigration, energy — that he’d have to reach out to Republicans on if he’s elected. Even with a Democratic majority in Congress, it takes 60 votes in the Senate to pass most major measures.
In this piece, the USA Today argues points that conservatives have been arguingÂ about McCain for years – points about McCain that sometimes infuriate conservatives because at times it’s like he’s willing to throw his own party and certain party principles under the bus in an effort to be seen as bipartisan.Â Regardless of personal conservative feelings about McCain’s actions on that front, however,Â I don’t think that many of us can disagree with the USA Today’sÂ overall assessment of his record on reaching out across the aisle.Â For better or worse, that is one of theÂ issues this election is all about, and while Barack Obama has made big speeches and big promises about wanting to make government work again by “working with” the opposition party, his thin record doesn’t back up his rhetoric.
In his response piece to the USA Today editorial,Â Obama again brings up theÂ percentageÂ of times McCain has voted with Bush as if that’s supposed to indicate that McCain has not infuriated his party on numerous occasions (surely, Obama has seen this??), and ignores the fact that he has voted with a Democratic CongressÂ that has a 9% approval rating 97% of the time and as the USA Today rightly points out, there’s very little bipartisanship to show with that 97% voting-with-the-left record, unlike McCain’s repeated gestures to reach across the aisle even with the 85% voting-with-GWB number. In fact, that number is misleading, considering what Fact Check says about a couple of years of McCain’s voting record while Bush has been president:
However, McCain’s support of President Bush’s position has been as low as 77 percent (in 2005), and his support for his party’s position has been as low as 67 percent (2001).
In Barack Obama’s 3+ years in the Senate (2 of them spent campaigning for president), he can’t come anywhere close to those numbers.Â Â Not once.
In summary, for Barack Obama to act like McCain isn’t his own man and will simply be a “third Bush term” in office is not just misleading, it’s a flat out lie.Â In this lie (and the one I wrote about last night about his Spanish languageÂ race-baiting ad attacking McCain)Â we again see another, and it’s that Barack Obama’s repeated promises to bring a “new tone” to Washington, to stop playing the “same ol’ DC political games everyone’s tired of” are, well, just words.
Semi-related 1: Team Obama’s trying a new campaign tactic now: Claiming that paying taxes is … patriotic. Hey, Joe Biden says so, so it must be true.Â Right? (Via Ed Morrissey)
Semi-related 2: Lynn Forester de Rothschild, a prominent Hillary supporter and member of Democratic National Committee’s platform committee, endorsed John McCain yesterday – and is appearing on the major nets explaining why, as she does here with a stunned Wolf Blitzer. I watched her on Fox News this morning, and she’s just the kind of Democrat the far left can’t stand – a centrist. Which makes me wonder how she and Hillary got along so well