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« September 2008 | Main | November 2008 »

October 31, 2008

Great New Political Cartoon

A great new political cartoon by my friend John Carothers, who really has the talent - the skill and the political awareness - to be a published political cartoonist. And he's available! I hope someone likes this enough to get in touch with him (just use my e-mail). Enjoy:

Johnc103108

Big Al Qaeda Kill - Terrorist Was Planning US Attacks

Brian Ross of ABC News has a very important story - that will probably be overlooked by the rest of the media before the election - on the killing by U.S. forces of a major Al Qaeda figure in Pakistan two weeks ago, US Sigh of Relief; Attack Plotter Dead:

The al Qaeda figure believed to be organizing a new terror attack against the United States is dead, a senior U.S. official tells ABCNews.com.

The official says the U.S. now has evidence that Khalid Habib was killed in an unmanned air strike two weeks ago in the South Waziristan region of Pakistan. Until now, there had been no official confirmation of reports of Habib's death from local militants in the area.

"He was the person responsible for planning and organizing attacks in the Pakistan and overseas, including the U.S.," the senior official said. "This was a really big deal that has not received much attention."

Considered the number four leader of al Qaeda, Habib was a long-time associate close to both Osama bin Laden and Dr. Ayman al-Zawahiri.

Habib had been reported killed by Pakistani officials several times over the last few years, only to re-emerge at the center of what U.S. official say is the al Qaeda operational command.


This is the equivalent of killing Khalid Sheikh Mohammed shortly before 9-11. Excellent...

Proof the Obama Has Been Illegally Accepting Foreign Campaign Contributions

Not that that the drive-by media will report on this until after the election (if then), but investigators have discovered millions in illegal campaign donations accepted by Barack Obama. From the article by Kenneth R. Timmerman, Ex-CIA Expert: Obama Took Millions in Illegal Foreign Donations:

A Newsmax investigation of Obama/Biden campaign contributors, undertaken in conjunction with a private investigative firm headed by a former CIA operations officer, has identified 118 donors who appear to lack U.S. citizenship.

Some of these “red flag” donors work for foreign governments; others have made public statements declaring that they are citizens of Cameroun, Nigeria, Pakistan, Canada, and other countries.

A Newsmax sampling of about 3,400 donors also found hundreds more who showed “yellow flags” such as not having used a Social Security number or a known U.S. address. Most U.S.-born citizens are issued Social Security numbers at birth or by the time they enter kindergarten.


Now they found this just by sampling 3400 donors at random. Can you imagine what would happen if they looked at the entire database? How much more they would find? The article gets even more disturbing:

In addition to the donations the campaign has disclosed, however, it has taken an unprecedented $218 million from donors whose names it is keeping secret, according to FEC spokesman Robert Biersack.

That money came from individuals who in theory never passed the threshold of $200, the limit the FEC set for public disclosure of a donor’s name and place of residence, so there is no way of knowing how much foreign money could be included in that amount.

For example, hidden away amidst the unprecedented $150 million Obama claims to have raised from individual donors in September was more than $42 million raised from secret donors. These donations appear in the records as a single entry under the heading, “Donors, Unitemized.

The qualifications of the people doing the investigation, and the methodology used?

Newsmax retained the services of former CIA operations officer Frederick W. Rustmann Jr. and a team of international forensic accounting experts to comb through Obama’s donor list to identify those who apparently aren’t U.S. citizens or residents. Rustmann, a 24 year veteran field officer, operates CTC International Group Ltd., a West Palm Beach, Fla., firm that provides business intelligence services and analysis.

Using sophisticated Internet search tools, fee-based data bases, and other public records, CTC attempted to identify Social Security numbers and U.S. addresses connected to the Obama donors. Most of these donors gave obvious overseas addresses when they made their donations, but the Obama campaign had no security screen to detect them.


Can Obama use the excuse that "everyone was doing it"?

“Hillary and McCain demanded proof of citizenship of all their donors,” Rustmann said. “Obama did not, so he benefited by receiving an enormous amount of money from foreign donors who wanted to influence the U.S. election process.”

Read the whole thing. The article goes on to document some of the more egregious examples. Why wasn't the media looking into this two months ago?

Obama's Infomercial Gets a Bit Better Audience Than Normal Programming

Normal Wednesday night programming on the stations that carried Barack Obama's infomercial bring in an average of 30.3 million viewers. Obama brought in 33.5 million. From the Wall Street Journal:

More than 33.5 million people watched Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama's half-hour prime-time political ad Wednesday night, according to Nielsen Media Research.

That number includes viewers who watched the ad, which aired at 8 p.m., on CBS, Fox, NBC, Univision, BET, MSNBC and TV One. The Obama special out-rated those networks' regularly scheduled programs, which have drawn a combined average audience of 30.3 million in the 8 p.m. Wednesday time slot this fall. By comparison, the first -- and lowest-rated -- debate between Sen. Obama and Republican presidential nominee John McCain attracted 52.4 million viewers.

The special wove together stories of struggling families with Sen. Obama's policy proposals and personal history, and included a live appearance by the candidate at a rally in Florida. The audience was ethnically diverse, comprising around 23.97 million white viewers, 5.65 million black viewers and 4.91 million Hispanic viewers.

Of all the networks, NBC drew the largest audience, with 9.78 million viewers tuning in. That is 43% higher than NBC's typical rating in that time period, where it airs episodes of "Knight Rider," a remake of the 1980s hit. CBS, which broadcasts the sitcom "The New Adventures of Old Christine" in that time period, improved 10% over a typical week.

In 1992, third-party candidate Ross Perot purchased 15 separate blocks of television air time. In 1996, he bought different time periods on the top three broadcast networks on the night before the presidential election, drawing a combined audience of 22.68 million people.


Overall, that's not very impressive. But it's good to know that Obama slaughtered Knight Rider...

October 30, 2008

Hey Obama, When the AP Complains About the Lies in Your "Infomercial"

It looks like the in-house news agency of the Democratic Party, the Associated Press, wasn't too impressed with Barack Obama's 30 minute infomercial last night, Obama's prime-time ad skips over budget realities:

WASHINGTON (AP) - Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama was less than upfront in his half-hour commercial Wednesday night about the costs of his programs and the crushing budget pressures he would face in office.


Read it all. They rip Obama's ad apart piece by piece.

When the Associated Press, of all organizations, turns on you...

Holy $#%&: Fox News/Opinion Dynamics Has Obama 47% - McCain 44%

This is a bit surprising. Last week, Fox News' poll had Barack Obama at 49% and John McCain at 40% among likely voters. This week it's Obama at 47% and McCain at 44%.

The race has tightened in part because of changes in a couple of important swing voting groups. Independents back Obama by 5 percentage points today, down from a 9-point edge last week. Similarly, among white Catholics, Obama held an 11-point edge over McCain last week and today they split 46-46.

"Independent voters have long been regarded as one of the keys to this race and these results may foreshadow a tightening in the battleground states where independents carry disproportionate weight," says Ernie Paicopolos, a principal of Opinion Dynamics Corporation.

Another reason the numbers have tightened is that McCain has also improved his position among his party faithful, and the number of voters identifying themselves as Republicans has seen an up-tick as well. Fully 88 percent of Republicans back McCain, up from 83 percent last week. For Obama, 89 percent of Democrats support him, up slightly from 88 percent.


Interesting. The methodology shows that the respondent breakdown is 41% Democrat, 39% Republican, and 16% Independent. That's very similar to last week's respondent pool. So the shift towards McCain seems to be a real one.

McCain's probably going to go into Election Day behind Obama by about 3 points, unless something major happens over the weekend. With the margin of error for likely voters at 3 points, that means the race will be essentially tied. Then it's all about turnout.

As for the naysayers who would target Fox News polls? They had Kerry by 5 in 2004 at the end. Fox News/Opinion Dynamics does the GOP no favors, believe me.


Gotta Love Those Killers at the Huffington Post...

Normally, I wouldn't write about something as sordid as this. But the stupidity of the beginning of the official statement from the Huffington Post about this murderer 'made me do it'.

Apparently, some of the 'staff' at the Huffington Post are as unhinged as the writing that appears on the site: Police: Huffington Post Writer Stabbed Ex-Lover 220 Times With Screwdriver.

A Huffington Post writer stabbed her former lover more than 200 times with a screwdriver and then tried to conceal the slaying, PalmBeachPost.com reported.

After committing the gruesome crime, Carol Anne Berger, an election correspondent for the Huffington Post, reported her former flame missing, then fatally shot herself a day later, police told the Web site.

Lt. Gary Chapman said Jessica Kalish, 56, a software executive, was found in the backseat of her BMW on Oct. 23, the Web site reported.

Kalish had been stabbed with a Phillips-head screwdriver 220 times, he said, with wounds concentrated in the back of her head, back, arms and face. A blow to Kalish's neck likely killed her, Chapman told the Web site.

Berger and Kalish recently had hired an attorney to sell their house and split the revenue. Kalish had met another woman and spent hours absorbed in cyber-dates with her new companion, PalmBeachPost.com reported.

"We are all very lucky to have Carol Anne be part of the Off the Bus family," a Huffington Post statement read, referring to the Web site's special election section. "Our thoughts and prayers go out to the families and friends of Carol Anne Berger and Jessica Kalish."


"We are all very lucky to have Carol Anne be part of the Off the Bus family"? Probably not the way you want to start off a statement about a homicidal maniac. 220 stab wounds with a screwdriver is not an accident, nor is it the action of a stable person. As was proven when she committed suicide like a coward, rather than face punishment for what she had done.

But perhaps it is the type of person that's attracted to the Huffingtion Post...

October 29, 2008

Quotes From The Obama Tape Suppressed By the LA Times

Apparently there's a pretty important video in the Los Angeles Times' possession that shows Barack Obama, during a 2003 appearance at a party attended by Bill Ayers and Bernardine Dohrn, toasting a good friend of his - Rashid Khalidi, a full fledged member of the PLO when it was a designated terrorist entity. Who is Rashid Khalidi? I'll let Democrat, Hillary Clinton supporter, and former CIA employee Larry Johnson explain:

Mr. Stern is wrong in insisting Dr. Khalidi is not an “activist” and has never been part of the PLO. Dr. Khalidi was a director of the official PLO press agency WAFA in Beirut from 1976 to 1982. During this time the US State Department considered the PLO a terrorist organization and the PLO was involved with terrorist attacks. WAFA was not an independent, unaffiliated news organization. While it is true that the PLO has moderated over time and moved in the mainstream of Palestinian politics, that is not the point. What we are talking about is perception. Dr. Khalidi, notwithstanding his current work, cannot pretend he was some outsider with no ties to the policies and practices of the PLO in the late 70s. That point will be seized on by Republican strategists. I am not saying this is right or fair, but it is reality. So deal with it.


The McCain campaign has (rightly) complained about the fact that the LA Times is willing to admit that they have possession of the tape, but refuse to release either the tape itself or a transcript. What are they hiding?

Today, we are getting word of why the LA Times is acting this way. If released, the statements made by Barack Obama on the tape would be a game changer, and could possibly cost him the election. Via Doug Ross's blog, here's a quote from someone who has seen clips of the tape. From the way the person describes him or her self ("we" - although "they" is also used), it seems that this informant either works for or is associated in some way with the Los Angeles Times:

Saw a clip from the tape. Reason we can't release it is because statements Obama said to rile audience up during toast. He congratulates Khalidi for his work saying "Israel has no God-given right to occupy Palestine" plus there's been "genocide against the Palestinian people by Israelis."

It would be really controversial if it got out. Tha's why they will not even let a transcript get out.


Oh that's really nice. Spread this as far, as wide, and as quickly as you can. If this is true, Obama's media protected facade has finally been pierced. If untrue, it's important that this slander stop.

The outcome of the 2008 Presidential Election is now in the Los Angeles Times' hands. Feel good now?

Today's Tracking Polls: Gallup - Obama by 3, Rasmussen - Obama by 3

Today's Gallup Likely has Barack Obama at 49% and John McCain at 46%.

Today's Rasmussen has Barack Obama at 50% and John McCain at 47%, and notes the following:

The Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential Tracking Poll for Wednesday shows Barack Obama attracting 50% of the vote nationwide while John McCain earns 47%. This is the first time McCain has been within three points of Obama in more than a month and the first time his support has topped 46% since September 24 (see trends). One percent (1%) of voters prefer a third-party option and 2% are undecided.

Among those who “always” vote in general elections, Obama leads by just a single point. Obama does better among more casual voters. However, among those with a high degree of interest in this year’s campaign, Obama leads by four. Among those who say they are following the race closely on a daily basis, Obama leads by five.

Among those who have already voted, it’s Obama 54% McCain 45% with other candidates picking up a single percentage point.

As for those who have not yet voted but are “certain” they will do so, the race is tied at 48%. Two percent (2%) of these “certain” voters plan to vote for a third party option while 2% say they are undecided.

Obama has a five-point advantage among those who plan to vote but say that something might come up. Hispanic voters are more likely than others to say that something might come up to prevent them from voting.

Prior to today’s update, Obama had been ahead by four-to-eight points every single day for 33 straight days. During that 33-day stretch, Obama’s voter support had stayed between 50% and 52% every day while McCain was in the 44% to 46% range. It will take another day or so to determine whether today’s numbers reflect a lasting change or statistical noise. Two of the last three nights of polling show a closer race than was found in the previous month.


It's all going to come down to turnout...

The Military Tribunals Are a Joke and an Embarrassment

USA Today has a troubling post up on a ruling during a military tribunal involving an alleged terrorist. The military judge, Army Col. Stephen Henley, has just thrown out the suspect's confession since it was obtained by the Afghanistan military and police using a technique that he didn't like, and therefore determined was torture, even though Henley admits that no physical or mental harm was done to the defendant.

Here's an excerpt from the ruling:

During the interrogation, someone told the Accused, “You will be killed if you do not confess to the grenade attack,” and, “We will arrest your family and kill them if you do not confess,” or words to that effect. The speaker meant what he said; it was a credible threat. The Accused subsequently admitted to throwing a grenade into the vehicle, he was happy if it caused the Americans to die and he would do it again. Several hours later, the Accused was turned over to U.S. military custody and eventually transferred to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, on or about February 6, 2003.

The Accused now moves this Military Commission to suppress all statements he made to Afghan government authorities on December 17, 2002 because they were obtained by the use of torture, as that term is defined in the Military Commission Rules of Evidence (MCRE).

A statement obtained by the use of torture shall not be admitted into evidence. “Torture” includes statements obtained by use of death threats to the speaker or his family; the actual infliction of physical or mental injury is not required. Instead, the relevant inquiry is whether the threat was specifically intended to inflict severe physical or mental pain or suffering upon another person within the interrogator’s custody or control. In this case, the Afghan government and police authorities told the Accused he and his family would be killed if he did not confess to throwing the grenade. The interrogators were armed. There is no evidence the threats were made in jest or intended as a joke. Given the Accused’s age and the then reputation of the Afghan police as corrupt and violent, the Commission specifically finds these threats credible.

Evidence that someone died or suffered severe injury is not required for the Commission to determine that the threat to kill the Accused and his family was intended to inflict severe physical or mental pain or suffering. On this point, the Commission can not envision a situation where a credible threat to kill someone unless they confess would not satisfy the “act specifically intended to inflict severe physical or mental pain or suffering” requirement in the MCRE definition of torture.

While the torture threshold is admittedly high, it is met in this case.


Pretty soon, speaking harshly to a suspect will be considered torture. Shameful...

As I've said repeatedly, it makes no sense whatsoever to capture these guys (and occasional gal). Just kill them on the battlefield and leave their bodies there to rot as a lesson to other terrorists. Otherwise, we have seen that they will come back and attack us again.

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