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By HOPE YEN, Associated Press Writer Hope Yen, Associated Press Writer 2 hrs 1 min ago

Sunday, December 07, 2008

WASHINGTON – President-elect Barack Obama has chosen retired Gen. Eric K. Shinseki to be the next Veterans Affairs secretary, turning to a former Army chief of staff once vilified by the Bush administration for questioning its Iraq war strategy.

Obama will announce the selection of Shinseki, the first Army four-star general of Japanese-American ancestry, at a news conference Sunday in Chicago. He will be the first Asian-American to hold the post of Veterans Affairs secretary, adding to the growing diversity of Obama’s Cabinet.

“I think that General Shinseki is exactly the right person who is going to be able to make sure that we honor our troops when they come home,” Obama said in an interview with NBC’s “Meet the Press” to be broadcast Sunday.

NBC released a transcript of the interview after The Associated Press reported that Shinseki was Obama’s pick.

Shinseki’s tenure as Army chief of staff from 1999 to 2003 was marked by constant tensions with Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, which boiled over in 2003 when Shinseki testified to Congress that it might take several hundred thousand U.S. troops to control Iraq after the invasion.

Rumsfeld and his deputy, Paul Wolfowitz, belittled the estimate as “wildly off the mark” and the general was marginalized and later retired from the Army. But Shinseki’s words proved prophetic after President George W. Bush in early 2007 announced a “surge” of additional troops to Iraq after miscalculating the numbers needed to stem sectarian violence.

Obama said he chose Shinseki for the VA post because he “was right” in predicting that the U.S. will need more troops in Iraq than Rumsfeld believed at the time.

“When I reflect on the sacrifices that have been made by our veterans and I think about how so many veterans around the country are struggling even more than those who have not served — higher unemployment rates, higher homeless rates, higher substance abuse rates, medical care that is inadequate — it breaks my heart,” Obama told NBC.

Shinseki, 66, is slated to take the helm of the government’s second largest agency, which was roundly criticized during the Bush administration for underestimating the amount of funding needed to treat thousands of injured veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan.

Thousands of veterans currently endure six-month waits for disability benefits, despite promises by current VA Secretary James Peake and his predecessor, Jim Nicholson, to reduce delays. The department also is scrambling to upgrade government technology systems before new legislation providing for millions of dollars in new GI benefits takes effect next August.

Sen. Daniel Akaka, D-Hawaii, and chairman of the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee, praised Shinseki as a “great choice” who will make an excellent VA secretary.

“I have great respect for General Shinseki’s judgment and abilities,” Akaka said in a statement. “I am confident that he will use his wisdom and experience to ensure that our veterans receive the respect and care they have earned in defense of our nation. President-elect Obama is selecting a team that reflects our nation’s greatest strength, its diversity, and I applaud him.”

Veterans groups also cheered the decision.

“General Shinseki has a record of courage and honesty, and is a bold choice to lead the VA into the future,” said Paul Rieckhoff, executive director of the Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America. “He is a man that has always put patriotism ahead of politics, and is held in high regard by veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan.”

Obama’s choice of Shinseki, who grew up in Hawaii, is the latest indication that the president-elect is making good on his pledge to have a diverse Cabinet.

In Obama’s eight Cabinet announcements so far, white men are the minority with two nominations — Timothy Geithner at Treasury and Robert Gates at Defense. Three are women — Janet Napolitano at Homeland Security, Susan Rice as United Nations ambassador and Hillary Rodham Clinton at State. Eric Holder at the Justice Department is African American, while Bill Richardson at Commerce is Latino.

Shinseki is a recipient of two Purple Hearts for life-threatening injuries in Vietnam.

Upon leaving his post in June 2003, Shinseki in his farewell speech sternly warned against arrogance in leadership.

“You must love those you lead before you can be an effective leader,” he said. “You can certainly command without that sense of commitment, but you cannot lead without it. And without leadership, command is a hollow experience, a vacuum often filled with mistrust and arrogance.”

Shinseki also left with the warning: “Beware a 12-division strategy for a 10-division army.”

Copyright © 2008 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. The information contained in the AP News report may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without the prior written authority of The Associated Press.

Copyright © 2008 Yahoo! Inc. All rights reserved.


by rbirkey on December 6, 2008

The November issue of Imprimis, the monthly newsletter of Hillsdale College, features an article adapted from a speech delivered by Dinesh D’Souza. Dinesh is a conservative author, thinker and speaker who worked as a policy analyst in the Reagan White House. His articles currently appear in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, The Atlantic Monthly, Vanity Fair, The New Republic and National Review to name a few.

His speech draws heavily from the research he did for his latest book called: What’s So Great About Christianity.

Dinesh uses the example of Thomas Jefferson’s Declaration of Independence to connect the dots between what American’s believe about “self-evident” freedoms, and the roots of that idea in Christianity. He further strengthens that connection through writings of Alexander Hamilton, John Adams and others.

In contrast to the earlier Greek and Roman democracies, Christianity contributed a much higher view of human life, worth and dignity that radically affected slaves, women and children, and in more recent years, African-Americans for the good.

When it comes to our own history as a country, the First Great Awakening set the religious and spiritual groundwork for our nations Independence. Historian Paul Johnson writes that the War for Independence was,

“inconceivable… without this religious background.”

Likewise, John Adams wrote,

“What do we mean by the American Revolution? The war? That was no part of the Revolution; it was only an effect and consequence of it. The Revolution was in the hearts and minds of the people… a change in their religious sentiments.”

Dinesh points out that Christianity played a vital role in establishing a new concept of freedom based upon it’s assertion that humans are created in God’s image and are moral agents, with the ability/responsibility to be the architects of their own lives.

In conclusion Dinesh issues a warning. It was Friedrich Nietzsche who said that the ideas that formed Western civilization were based on Christianity. He warned us that if we remove Christianity, the ideals will fall also. Nietzche warned that with a decline in Christianity, new and opposing ideas would arise. We see this happening today with the redefinition of family, marriage, the revival of eugenics, and even arguments for infanticide. These are all signs of the gradual extinction of the foundational principles that uphold human dignity.

If we cherish the distinctive principles of Western civilization – no matter what our own personal religious views – we would do well to respect, rather than denigrate our Christian roots.

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October 30, 2008
RenewAmerica staff

The following is a year-by-year chronology that tracks the relationship between Barack Hussein Obama, Jr.; his father, Barack Hussein Obama, Sr.; his mother, Stanley Ann Dunham; his mother’s parents, Stanley and Madelyn Dunham; his mother’s second husband, Lolo Soetoro; family friend Frank Marshall Davis — a known communist; Barack’s wife, Michelle Robinson Obama; and others connected with the above individuals.

The chronology was gathered from a variety of sources. Every effort has been made to verify accuracy.

1905, Dec. 31 — Frank Marshall Davis was born in Arkansas City, Kansas.

1907 — Davis’ parents divorced when Frank was a year old.

1911 — When he was five years old, a group of white children a few years older who had heard about lynching of blacks tried to lynch Davis and nearly succeeded.

1918, Mar. 23 — Stanley Amour Dunham was born in Kansas.

1922, Oct. 26 — Madelyn Lee Payne (Dunham) was born in Peru, Kansas, to Rolla Charles and Leona (McCurry) Payne. Her mother was part Cherokee.

1923 — Frank Davis was educated at Friends University in Wichita, Kansas.

1924-27, 29 — Frank Davis was further educated at Kansas State Agricultural College (Kansas State University), where he studied journalism and began writing poetry.

1926 — Stanley Dunham’s mother committed suicide. His father abandoned his children after her death. Stanley and his brother Ralph lived with their maternal grandparents in El Dorado, Kansas.

1927 — Frank Davis moved to Chicago, where he worked for the Chicago Evening Bulletin, the Chicago Whip, and the Gary American, all African-American newspapers.

1931 — Davis moved to Atlanta and became editor of a semiweekly paper, the Atlanta World, which he eventually turned into a daily newspaper within two years of taking the job as the paper’s managing editor in 1931. Under Davis, the Atlanta Daily World became America’s first successful black daily.

As editor, Davis emphasized an agenda of social realism, racial and legal justice, and black activism. He warned against Depression-era remedies advocated by communists.

1935 summer — Davis published his first book, Black Man’s Verse.

1935 — Davis returned to Chicago to take the position of managing editor of the Associated Negro Press, and served as executive editor of the ANP until 1947.

1936 — Barack Hussein Obama, Sr. was born near Lake Victoria in Nyang’oma Kogelo, Alego, Siaya, Kenya, to Hussein Onyango Obama (1895–1979), and Akumu Habiba. His family belonged to the Luo tribe. Obama Sr. was raised a Muslim, but later became an atheist. He grew up in Nyang’oma Kogelo, Kenya.

1936 — Lolo Soetoro was born in Indonesia.

1937 — Frank Davis received a Julius Rosenwald Fellowship, participated in the federal Works Progress Administration Writers’ Project, started a photography club, and worked for numerous political parties.

1940, May 5 — Stanley Armour and Madelyn Dunham married, after meeting in Wichita, Kansas. Her parents opposed the marriage.

1942, Nov. 7 — Stanley Ann Dunham was born in Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, to Stanley and Madelyn Dunham. In later years, she and her family moved to California, Texas, and Seattle, Washington.

1945 — Frank Davis taught one of the first jazz history classes at the Abraham Lincoln School in Chicago.

1946 — Davis married Helen Canfield, his second wife, a white Chicago socialite who was 19 years younger than he. (His first wife’s name has not been publicized.) They had five children — four girls and a boy.

1948 — Davis published 47th Street Poems.

1948 — Davis and his family moved to Honolulu, Hawaii, after his friend Paul Robeson (a communist) suggested he do so. Davis operated a small wholesale paper business called Oahu Papers.

1950 — Davis was investigated by the House Un-American Activities Committee for his ties to the Communist Party USA, and the committee accused him of being involved in several communist-front organizations. For 19 years, he was under FBI investigation, as well.

1951, Mar. — Davis’ business was mysteriously destroyed by a fire.

1956 — Obama Sr. was married at age 18 in a tribal ceremony to his first wife, Kezia (who currently lives in Bracknell, Berkshire, England), with whom he had four children.

1956 — Ann Dunham’s family moved to Mercer Island, Washington, where she attended Mercer Island High School. She later was a student at the University of Washington, and then the University of California, Berkeley.

1958 — Abongo (Roy) Obama was born to Barack Obama, Sr., and his first wife, Kezia.

1959 — Obama Sr. enrolled at the University of Hawaii and left behind Kezia and their infant son. At the time, Kezia was three months pregnant with their daughter Auma.

1959 — Frank Davis started Paradise Paper Company and wrote a weekly column, “Frank-ly speaking,” for the Honolulu Record, which covered labor and racial issues.

1960 — Auma Obama was born to Obama Sr. and Kezia.

1960 — At age 17, Ann Dunham and her family moved to Hawaii, where she attended the University of Hawaii at Manoa, studying mathematics and anthropology. She met Barack Obama, Sr., in a Russian language class.

1961, Feb. 2 — Barack Obama, Sr., (age 25) and Ann Dunham (age 18) married in Maui, Hawaii, after she discovered she was pregnant. The parents on both sides objected to their marriage. Obama Sr. was still married to Kezia in Kenya, a fact Ann was unaware of at the time.

1961, Aug. 4 — Barack Hussein Obama, Jr., was born six months after his parents’ marriage (reportedly in Honolulu, although his Kenyan grandmother and others claim he was born in Mombosa, Kenya). His mother left school to take care of him while his father completed his degree.

1962, Jun. — Obama Sr. graduated from the University of Hawaii.

1962, fall — Obama Sr. left Ann Dunham and their son Barack Obama, Jr., to do graduate work at Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

1963 summer — Ann Dunham Obama took one-year-old Barack to join Obama Sr. in Cambridge, and stopped on the way for a visit with friends in Mercer Island, Washington. However, after arriving in Cambridge, she and her son returned to Seattle, where she enrolled in the University of Washington. She soon moved back to Hawaii to be with her family.

1964, Jan. — Ann Dunham filed for divorce in Honolulu, Hawaii.

1964, Jan. 17 — Michelle Robinson (Obama) was born in Chicago, Illinois, to Fraser Robinson (who died in 1991) and Marian Shields Robinson.

1965 — Obama Sr. obtained a masters degree in economics at Harvard and met Ruth Nidesand. She followed him to Kenya, and eventually became his third wife and had two children with him (Mark and David), but she later divorced him. She then married a Tanzanian, and they had a son named Joseph Ndesandjo (1980).

Obama Sr. secured a position in the Kenyan government.

1965 — Obama Sr. wrote a paper titled “Problems Facing Our Socialism,” published in the East Africa Journal, harshly criticizing the administration of then-President Jomo Kenyatta for moving the Third World country of Kenya away from socialism toward capitalism. “What is more important is to find means by which we can redistribute our economic gains to the benefit of all,” said Obama Sr. “This is the government’s obligation.”

“Theoretically,” Obama Sr. wrote, “there is nothing that can stop the government from taxing 100% of income so long as the people get benefits from the government commensurate with their income which is taxed.”

As Barack Obama, Jr., notes in Dreams from My Father, the conflict between Obama Sr. and President Kenyatta destroyed his father’s career.

1967 — Ann Dunham married Lolo Soetoro. They met at the University of Hawaii. They moved to Jakarta, Indonesia, with Barack. Lolo worked as a government relations consultant with Mobil Corporation.

1968 — Abo Obama was born to Obama Sr. and Kezia.

1968 — Frank Davis published a hard-core pornography novel, titled Sex Rebel: Black (Memoirs of a Gash Gourmet), which was written under the pseudonym “Bob Greene.” In the book, Davis describes a “threesome” relationship he and his wife had with a teenage girl named “Anne.”

1970, Aug. 15 — Maya Kassandra Soetoro was born to Lolo and Ann Dunham Soetoro.

1970 — Bernard Obama was born to Obama Sr. and Kezia.

1970 — Frank Davis and his wife Helen divorced.

1970 — Madelyn Dunham became one of the first female vice-presidents of the Bank of Hawaii.

1971- Barack Obama, Jr., age 10, returned to Hawaii to attend fifth grade at Punahou School, a prestigious preparatory school. Tuition was paid with the aid of scholarships and help from his grandmother.

1971 — Obama Sr. visited Barack Obama, Jr., and his mother Ann in Hawaii. This evidently was the last time Barack saw Obama Sr. — although his father reportedly corresponded with Barack when Barack was in college.

1972 — Ann Dunham returned to Hawaii to live.

1973 — Frank Davis made a visit to Howard University in Washington, D.C., to give a poetry reading — the first time he had seen the U.S. mainland in 25 years.

1974 — Ann Dunham returned to graduate school in Honolulu, and also raised Barack and Maya.

1977 — Ann Dunham returned to Indonesia with Maya to do field work. Barack preferred to stay in Hawaii with his grandparents.

1978 — Davis published Awakening and Other Poems.

1979 — Barack Obama, Jr., graduated from high school, moved to Los Angeles, and studied at Occidental College for two years.

1980 — Ann Dunham and Lolo Soetoro divorce.

1981 — Barack Obama, Jr., transferred to Columbia University in New York City, where he majored in political science with a specialization in international relations.

1982 — George Hussein Onyango Obama was born to Obama Sr. and his fourth wife, Jael.

1982 — Obama Sr. lost both legs in a car accident, and then lost his job. He died not long afterward at the age of 46 in another car crash in Nairobi.

Obama Sr. was buried in Alego, at the village of Nyang’oma Kogelo, Siaya District, Kenya.

1983 — Barack Obama, Jr., graduated from Columbia University, and then worked at the Business International Corporation for a year, and later at the New York Public Interest Research Group.

1985 — Barack Obama, Jr., relocated to Chicago, where he was enlisted as director of Developing Communities Project (DCP), a church-based community organization originally comprising eight Catholic parishes in Greater Roseland on Chicago’s far South Side — working there from June 1985 to May 1988. During the three years he served as the DCP’s director, its staff expanded from one to thirteen and its annual budget grew from $70,000 to $400,000. Obama’s accomplishments included helping set up a job training program, a college preparatory tutoring program, and a tenants’ rights organization in Altgeld Gardens. Obama also served as a consultant and instructor for the Gamaliel Foundation, a community organizing institute.

1986 — Madelyn Dunham retired from the Bank of Hawaii.

1987 — Frank Marshall Davis died in Honolulu, Hawaii, of a massive heart attack at the age of 81.

1987 — Lolo Soetoro died of a liver ailment at age 51.

1988 — Barack Obama, Jr., visited Europe for the first time and spent three weeks there, and he then traveled to Kenya, where he spent five weeks meeting many of his Kenyan relatives for the first time.

1988 — Obama enrolled in Harvard Law School. After his first year, he was selected — on the basis of his grades and a writing competition — as an editor of the Harvard Law Review. He graduated in 1991, magna cum laude.

1989, Jun. — Obama met Michelle Robinson at the Chicago law firm of Sidley Austin, when he was hired as a summer associate. She was assigned for three months to advise him at the firm.

1990, Feb. — Obama was chosen president of the Law Review, a full-time volunteer position in which he served as editor-in-chief and supervised the Law Review’s staff of 80 editors. Obama’s election as the first black president of the Law Review was widely publicized and profiled. As a law student, he took his summers off and returned to Chicago, where he worked as a summer associate at the law firms of Sidley & Austin in 1989 and Hopkins & Sutter in 1990. After graduating with a Juris Doctor (J.D.) from Harvard in 1991, he returned to Chicago.

Public awareness of his election as the first black president of the Harvard Law Review resulted in a publishing contract for a book about race relations. To recruit him to join their faculty, the University of Chicago Law School gave Obama a fellowship and an office to work on his book. He initially intended to complete the book in a year, but the project took much longer, as the effort evolved into a personal memoir. So he could work uninterrupted, Obama and his wife Michelle traveled to Bali, where he immersed himself for several months in his manuscript. That’s the official version. Recent scientific analysis of the text suggests the manuscript may have been co-authored by Obama and his nearby neighbor and associate William Ayers, a former domestic terrorist and current education professor at Illinois University who calls himself a communist “with a small ‘c.'” The book was published in mid-1995 as Dreams from My Father.

1992 — Ann Dunham obtained a Ph.D. in anthropology from the University of Hawaii with a dissertation titled Peasant blacksmithing in Indonesia: surviving and thriving against all odds. Ann then undertook a career in rural development championing women’s work and microcredit for the world’s poor, with Indonesia’s oldest bank, the United States Agency for International Development, the Ford Foundation, and Women’s World Banking — and also worked as a consultant in Pakistan. She dealt with leaders from organizations involved with Indonesian human rights, women’s rights, and grassroots development.

1992 — Stanley Dunham died in Honolulu at age 73 and was buried in the Punchbowl National Cemetery.

1992, Apr. to Oct. — Obama led Illinois’ Project Vote, a voter registration drive with a staff of ten and 700 volunteers. The effort succeeded in registering 150,000 of 400,000 unregistered African-Americans in the state, and led Crain’s Chicago Business to name Obama among its 1993 list of “40 under Forty” powers to be.

1992, Oct. 3 — Obama and Michelle Robinson were married by Rev. Jeremiah Wright.

1992 — Obama taught constitutional law at the University of Chicago Law School for twelve years, being first contracted as a Lecturer from 1992 to 1996, and then as a Senior Lecturer from 1996 to 2004.

1993 — Obama joined Davis, Miner, Barnhill & Galland, a twelve-attorney law firm that specialized in civil rights litigation and neighborhood economic development. He was an associate from 1993 to 1996, then of counsel from 1996 to 2004.

Obama served as a founding member of the board of directors of Public Allies in 1992, resigning in 1993 just before his wife Michelle became the founding executive director of Public Allies Chicago. From 1993 to 2002, he was on the board of directors of the Woods Fund of Chicago, which in 1985 had been the first foundation to fund the Developing Communities Project, and from 1994 to 2002, he served on the board of directors of the Joyce Foundation. Obama sat on the board of directors of the Chicago Annenberg Challenge from 1995–2002. He also was a member of the board of directors of the Chicago Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, the Center for Neighborhood Technology, and the Lugenia Burns Hope Center.

1994 — Ann Dunham discovered she had ovarian and uterine cancer. She moved back to Hawaii to live near her widowed mother, who cared for her.

1995 — Ann died at the age of 52. After a memorial service held at the University of Hawaii, Barack and his half-sister, Maya Soetoro-Ng, cast Ann’s ashes over the Pacific Ocean on the south side of Oahu.

1995 — Obama launched his first run for the Illinois Senate in the home of William Ayers and his wife Bernadine Dohrn — who hosted meetings to introduce Obama to their neighbors. Obama and the couple lived only blocks apart in the Hyde Park section of Chicago, and shared the same liberal-progressive circle of friends.

The same year, Ayers founded the 100-million-dollar education foundation Chicago Annenberg Challenge, a radical “school reform” group that at one point granted more than $600,000 to an organization led by the head of the Marxist-Leninist Communist Party of America. At its inception, Ayers appointed Obama the chairman of the Chicago Annenberg Challenge, a position he held until 1999.

From 1995 to 2002, Ayers and Obama worked as a team to advance the foundation’s agenda, write and implement its bylaws, and funnel money to such organizations as ACORN, the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now, which has worked in behalf of Obama’s presidential campaign.

1996 — Obama was elected to the state senate in Illinois.

1998 — Malia Ann Obama was born to Barack and Michelle.

1998 — Obama was re-elected to the Illinois State Senate.

1999 to 2002 — Obama and Williams Ayers were members of the board of the Woods Fund of Chicago, an anti-poverty group of which Ayers went on to become Chairman of the Board.

It should be noted that during the years when Ayers and his wife Bernadine Dohrn were high-profile urban terrorists in the late 1960’s and early 70’s, they bombed the Pentagon, the U.S. Capitol Building, the New York City Police Headquarters, and other public buildings. They and their group of professed communists called themselves the infamous “Weather Underground.”

2000 — Obama lost a Democratic primary run for U.S. House of Representatives to Bobby Rush.

2001 — Natasha Obama was born to Barack and Michelle.

2001, Mar. 30 — Obama spoke against the Born Alive Infant Protection Act in the 92nd General Assembly of the Illinois State Senate. The number one reason he gave for voting against the act was that it would potentially undermine Roe v. Wade.

2002 mid — Obama began considering a run for the U.S. Senate and enlisted political strategist David Axelrod. Barack announced his candidacy in January 2003.

2002 — Obama was re-elected to the Illinois State Senate.

2003, Jan. — Obama became chairman of the Illinois Senate’s Health and Human Services Committee after Democrats regained a majority in the state senate. He sponsored bipartisan legislation to track racial profiling, and a bill that made Illinois the first state to require videotaping of homicide interrogations.

2003, Mar. — As chairman of the Health and Human Services Committee, Obama blocked passage of the Born Alive Infant Protection Act in the state senate.

2003 — Obama’s fundraiser and close friend, Tony Rezko, helped raise the seed money for Obama’s U.S. Senate race. In 2008, Rezko was convicted of several counts of bribery and fraud.

2003 — Obama paid special tribute to Rashid Khalidi, professor of Mideast studies at the University of Chicago, during a farewell held for Khalidi. A virulent critic of Israel, Khalidi has justified Palestinian terrorist attacks against the Jewish state. Barack and Michelle frequently were dinner companions of the Khalidis.

Former Weather Underground terrorist Bill Ayers and his wife Bernadine Dohrn were also in attendance at the farewell for Khalidi.

When Obama and Ayers served together on the left-wing Chicago Woods Fund board, they underwrote the Arab-American Action Network (AAAN) with tens of thousands of dollars. The anti-Israel group was created by Khalidi and his wife Mona.

2004, Jun. 7 — Obama was in socialist billionaire George Soros’ New York home for an Obama campaign fundraising event. Soros has reportedly funneled large sums of money to the Obama campaign.

2004, Jul. — Obama keynoted the Democratic National Convention in Boston, Massachusetts.

2004, Aug. — Obama voted against the Born Alive Infant Protection Act for the reason that it included provisions that “would have taken away from doctors their professional judgment when a fetus is viable.” In his logic, Obama was equating a baby who survived an abortion with an unborn fetus.

2004, Aug. to Nov. — Obama ran against Alan Keyes for the U.S. Senate. Keyes was asked to run late in the election season by the Illinois GOP to fill the vacancy left by Jack Ryan, who stepped down because of a sex scandal. The scandal broke after media who were aligned with Obama pressed to have Ryan’s confidential divorce records unsealed.

2005, Jan. 4 — Obama was sworn in as U.S. Senator.

2005 — Obama’s family moved from their Hyde Park condo to their $1.65 million house in the Kenwood District of Chicago. The home was purchased on the same day that Tony Rezko’s wife Rita purchased the adjoining empty lot.

2006 — Obama visited Kenya to campaign for Raila Odinga, a communist who was running for president to oust the pro-USA incumbent, President Mwai Kibaki. After Odinga lost the election, he incited riots that killed 1,500 Kenyans and displaced more than a half million people from their homes. Christian churches were set on fire, and in one case, 50 parishioners, mostly women and children, were locked inside and burned to death.

2006, Dec. 4 — Obama met with George Soros in Soros’ Manhattan office. After an hour of discussion, Soros took Obama to a conference room where a dozen people were waiting to talk with Obama. Among them was UBS (Union Bank of Switzerland/Swiss Bank) U.S. chief Robert Wolf. A week later, Robert Wolf had dinner in Washington, D.C., with Obama to map out campaign strategy.

2007, early Jan. — The New York Times announced that Obama had the support of two high-level Democratic fundraisers: George Soros and Robert Wolf. By mid-April, 2007, Wolf alone had raised $500,000 for Obama.

2007, Feb. 10 — Obama announced his candidacy for President of the United States.

2007, Apr. 7 — An Obama fundraising party for elite New Yorkers was held at the home of financier Steven Gluckstern, former chairman of George Soros’ Democracy Alliance. A photo of the event — published in New York magazine April 16, 2007 — showed George Soros seated close to Obama.

2007, May 18 — George Soros hosted a party for Obama at the Greenwich, Connecticut, mansion of Paul Tudor Jones, who runs Tudor Investment Corporation. The sponsors collected $2,300 from each of the approximately 300 attendees ($690,000), the local newspaper Greenwich Time reported.

2008, Jun. 3 — Obama became the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee, after defeating Hillary Clinton in the primaries.

2008, Aug. 25 — Obama won the nomination of the Democratic Party in Denver, Colorado. Just prior to the convention, he chose Delaware Senator Joe Biden as his running mate. The ticket has been called the most liberal in modern American history.

2008, Oct. 28 — The Obama campaign reportedly set a record by raising $660 million since the beginning of the 2008 election — much of it alleged to have come from foreign sources.

2008, Oct. 29 — An unprecedented half-hour promotion of Obama was aired on all major U.S. networks except ABC, which declined to broadcast the paid political advertisement.

They that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength. —Isaiah 40:31

OK for AFL-CIO to Bash McCain, Yet Anti-Obama Mail Racially Suspect?
A tale of two mailings: One reporter revels in the the AFL-CIO’s big political push against McCain, while another laments “…new, harsh anti-Obama literature in my mailbox.”

Posted by: Clay Waters
10/21/2008 3:44:04 PM

Steven Greenhouse, the Times’ pro-union, anti-Wal-Mart labor reporter, seemed pretty enthused about the A.F.L.-C.I.O.’s attack mailings against John McCain in “A.F.L.-C.I.O. Targets Seniors,” the neutrally headlined story he filed to the “Caucus” blog Tuesday morning.

Only two of the 19 paragraphs of Greenhouse’s story are devoted to (very mildly) fact-checking the false claims from the union-backed mailing. Here’s an excerpt:

The latest mailer is headlined, “John McCain: A Disaster for Retirees.” It criticizes his proposal for partially privatizing Social Security, saying, “This risky move will jeopardize the chances of a secure retirement for millions of Americans.”

The mailer also seeks to undermine the Republican candidate by saying, “McCain will cut Medicare.” It says he “wants to fund his pro-insurance company health care plan by taking more than $1 trillion from Medicare.”

The McCain campaign has attacked such assertions as wildly distorted, while some neutral experts have noted that Mr. McCain has never proposed such a large cut in Medicare, although he has indicated he would cut health care programs to help balance the budget.

Greenhouse is soft-pedaling here. In fact, the watchdog group, which the Times has often treated as gospel when it comes to “correcting” John McCain claims, flatly calls the charge that McCain plans to cut Medicare by such a large amount “false.”

Ms. Ackerman said, “Once retirees and seniors hear from their unions about where McCain stands on privatizing Social Security and taxing health-care benefits and where Obama stands on the issues, we know we can get a majority of these voters to support Obama.”

Over the past week, the A.F.L.-C.I.O. expanded its campaign efforts into three additional states — Indiana, North Carolina and Virginia — that were won by George W. Bush in 2004, but are now viewed as winnable for Mr. Obama.

“We have a very nimble program because we have union members everywhere,” [Karen] Ackerman said.

Greenhouse let AFL-CIO political director Ackerman crow for several paragraphs about the group’s big budget and massive campaign effort, while never uttering a discouraging word. It was almost as if they were on the same team.

Compare that reaction to the scandalized tone taken by another Times reporter, Damien Cave, to the sight of two anti-Obama mailers in his Florida mailbox that dared to attack Obama on taxes and crime. Cave’s story, “In Florida Mailboxes, Harsh Attacks on Obama,” was filed on “The Caucus” blog Monday evening.

Early voting in Florida began today, with long lines at several polling places, a flood of robocalls, a rally by Senator Barack Obama in Tampa — and some new, harsh anti-Obama literature in my mailbox.

Those of us who live in swing states are already familiar with negative television ads from both Democrats and Republicans. At this point, I’m on the verge of having nightmares with the giant ball of orange thread rolling through Senator Obama’s health care ad — the one that runs incessantly here, ending with a narrator saying Senator McCain will leave you “hanging by a thread.”

But even in this hot-headed environment, the literature stands out. One flier, paid for by the Republican National Committee, states that in the midst of the economic crisis “Barack Obama’s solution is to take more of your money!”

By several fact-checkers’ accounts, that’s a misrepresentation of Senator Obama’s tax plan, which would cut taxes for roughly 95 percent of the country.

To prove himself right, Cave linked to an article by Times’ reporter Larry Rohter, who has rarely met an Obama attack he couldn’t spin in Obama’s favor. But both Cave and Rohter are wrong. Obama’s tax plan can’t cut taxes for 95% because many Americans pay no income tax at all. As the Media Research Center’s Brent Baker has argued:

That 95 percent is impossible since one-third of those who file with the IRS are “non-payers,” people who end up paying no tax or get money back which exceeds their payments. Obama plans to expand the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and create other credits. For those for whom the credits surpass their tax obligation, those are not tax cuts, but spending hikes or federal giveaways akin to welfare.

Cave was grossly offended by another piece of literature, which dared to question Obama’s record on crime:

The second piece of literature, paid for by the Republican Party of Florida, provides a new line of attack. It alleges that Senator Obama would be soft on crime. Few issues are as racially radioactive, especially here in Miami, so it is worth asking: Does the flier go over the line?

Some of it focuses on Senator Obama’s voting history (oversimplifying a present vote in the Illinois senate to suggest he is “against protecting children from danger,” in one example). But on the front, there is a picture of Senator Obama, looking menacing, with an all-black background. On the other side, above the address it says: “Obama: ‘he acted more as a friend to criminals than to cops…’”

At the end, Cave half-heartedly clarifies that race wasn’t actually mentioned in the flier:

It ends with “Barack Obama, not who you think he is” but it does not mention Mr. Wright, nor does it mention race.

Calls to the state Republican party were not returned.

The Times: No Nose for News on Biden’s “International Crisis” Comment
Even Dan Rather recognizes it’s a big story — but the Times buried it under a separate headline.

Posted by: Clay Waters
10/21/2008 2:49:10 PM

On Tuesday, Times’ reporter Michael Powell mentioned Democratic vice presidential nominee Joe Biden’s striking assertion (the top story on the Drudge Report early Tuesday afternoon) that foreign forces would generate a crisis to test the mettle of Barack Obama:

More than 1,000 miles away, in Belton, Mo., Mr. McCain freshened his criticism of Mr. Obama as too untested to be president by seizing on remarks from Mr. Obama’s running mate, Senator Joseph R. Biden Jr., that an international crisis might test a new Obama administration.

Mr. McCain asserted that Mr. Biden had told donors Sunday that in a crisis, Obama and Biden supporters “would have to stand with them because it wouldn’t be apparent that Senator Obama would have the right response.”

Mr. Biden, according to remarks recorded and transcribed by ABC News from a fund-raiser in San Francisco, had said: “Mark my words: it will not be six months before the world tests Barack Obama like they did John Kennedy. The world is looking.

“We’re about to elect a brilliant 47-year-old senator president of the United States of America. Remember I said it standing here, if you don’t remember anything else I said. Watch, we’re going to have an international crisis, a generated crisis, to test the mettle of this guy.”

Dan Rather himself (who knows something about political double standards from all his years of liberal bias as CBS anchor) said that Biden’s outburst “would be above the fold in most newspapers today” if said by Republican vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin. So how did the Times play it?

Certainly not above the fold; instead, it was buried in the 11th paragraph of the Powell story on A-18, under the headline “Obama Briefly Leaving Trail to See Ill Grandmother.”

McCain Hypocritically Goes After Obama’s “Spread the Wealth” Gaffe
Reporter Michael Cooper, still protecting Barack Obama’s left flank on taxes.

Posted by: Clay Waters
10/21/2008 11:39:16 AM

John McCain spent the weekend hammering Barack Obama for his “spread the wealth” comment to Joe the Plumber. Michael Cooper’s Monday “Political Memo,” “‘Spreading the Wealth’ as Both Accusation and Prescription,” makes the point that in a sense we’re all socialists now thanks to the federal bailout of the financial system, but then twisted that observation into a predictable partisan accusation of hypocrisy on the part of McCain, while fact-checking McCain’s tax plans with a vigor the paper has rarely expended on Obama’s claims.

In a radio address on Saturday, Mr. McCain said that “at least in Europe, the Socialist leaders who so admire my opponent are upfront about their objectives.” Asked in an interview on “Fox News Sunday” whether he believed that Mr. Obama’s plans amount to socialism, Mr. McCain said, “I think his plans are redistribution of the wealth.” Pressed again on the subject, Mr. McCain said, “That’s one of the tenets of socialism.”

And in rallies from Miami to North Carolina to here, Mr. McCain gets some of the biggest crowd reactions when he thunders that Mr. Obama wants to “spread the wealth around.” Some members of the audience even chant the line along with him.

Still, at rally after rally Mr. McCain denounces Mr. Obama for wanting to redistribute wealth, hitting especially hard on Mr. Obama’s plan to give tax credits, in the form of checks, to some people who do not pay income tax. (Mr. McCain omits the fact that his own health care plan would do much the same thing, giving tax credits of $5,000 to families for health insurance, regardless of whether they pay income taxes.)

The problem is that Obama is falsely claiming his plan would cut income taxes on 95% of people — an impossible figure, given that many Americans don’t pay any income tax at all.

Cooper also let in some labeling bias. While the Cato Institute is accurately described as a “libertarian research group,” the liberal Brookings Institution is merely a “public policy research group.”

Gore in Tin-Foil Hat? – Warming

Morano, Marc (EPW) <>

Mon, Oct 20, 2008 at 1:56 PM

To: “Morano, Marc (EPW)” <>

Gore in Tin-Foil Hat? – Warming Goes ‘Poof!’ – ‘Scientific Malpractice’ at UN– ‘Collapse’ of Environmentalism? – Arctic Ice Up 31%! – Warming ‘Bubble’ – Round Up

Sampling of articles in past few days – October 20, 2008

Must see video: Al Gore Spoof – Complete with Gore wearing Tin-Foil Hat! – By impressionist Frank Caliendo of Frank TV

Excerpt: Impressionist Frank Caliendo does his best Al Gore basically admitting that, “it’s the sun, stupid” – but Gore goes all alarmist, of course. […] We don’t normally consider Al Gore a laughing matter — but what the heck else can you do with him? Frank TV: New Al Gore Movie – Supernova! It’s comin’ y’all! – Impressionist Frank Caliendo does his best Al Gore basically admitting that, “it’s the sun, stupid” – but Gore goes all alarmist, of course.

Global Cooling? – ‘Thirty years of warmer temperatures go poof’ – National Post – October 20, 2008

Excerpt: In early September, I began noticing a string of news stories about scientists rejecting the orthodoxy on global warming. Actually, it was more like a string of guest columns and long letters to the editor since it is hard for skeptical scientists to get published in the cabal of climate journals now controlled by the Great Sanhedrin of the environmental movement. Still, the number of climate change skeptics is growing rapidly. Because a funny thing is happening to global temperatures — they’re going down, not up. […]  It may be that more global warming doubters are surfacing because there just isn’t any global warming.

UN IPCC = ‘Worst case of scientific malpractice in history’ says Climate Scientist Dr. Spencer
[ Atmospheric Scientist Dr. Roy W. Spencer, formerly a senior scientist for climate studies at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center where he received NASA’s Exceptional Scientific Achievement Medal, is currently principal research scientist at the University of Alabama in Huntsville. ]
Spencer Excerpt: I find it astounding that the IPCC has ignored the potential role of natural climate variability in global warming.  In any other realm of science we are careful to look for alternative explanations for some phenomenon…but today, mankind is the only allowable reason for climate change.

I predict that the IPCC experience will end up being the worst case of scientific malpractice in history.  Not that the scientists are at fault, I think they have just been led around by some politically savvy, almost charismatic, leaders.

MIT Climate Scientist Exposes ‘Corrupted Science’ in Devastating Critique – Sep 24, 2008

Excerpt: MIT Meteorology Professor Richard S. Lindzen, confirms how Al Gore and his minions used Stalinist tactics to subvert, suborn and corrupt a whole branch of science, citing chapter and verse in his report entitled “Climate Science: Is it currently designed to answer questions?” His answer:  A resounding “NO!”

Detailing the corruption, he names a series of names.  Until reading this I did not know that: “For example, the primary spokesman for the American Meteorological Society in Washington is Anthony Socci who is neither an elected official of the AMS nor a contributor to climate science. Rather, he is a former staffer for Al Gore.” Page 5

Although a bit lengthy, this very important report is highly readable and revealing.  While some of the paragraphs are a bit technical, I encourage AT readers to wade through them because their purpose is to provide specific examples of how a radical cabal is forcing scientists to ignore or amend measurements that undermine the theory of Anthropogenic Global Warming. Scientists are literally forced to include sentences in their papers that indicate their support of AGW, even if these sentences are non-sequiturs, or even if they conflict with the overall thrust of the paper. In this way, Al Gore’s uneducated political commissars are able to deliver the “consensus” he so craves.

How is this possible you might ask?  Prof. Lindzen gives considerable background history. […] I naively thought that the National Academy of Sciences could impose some quality-control on an errant discipline.  Prof. Lindzen notes that event this august body has been penetrated by eco-activists by exploiting loopholes in its nominating procedures. Fortunately, in science “truth will out”.  The long term faith of the American public in science, a trust built up since WWI is at stake. Next it will be important to see whether a prominent scientific journal publishes this revelation.

Full Lindzen paper here:

New Paper: Global Warming was natural, not man-made! – New Paper from Roy Spencer: PDO and Clouds – Global Warming as a Natural Response to Cloud Changes Associated with the Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO) – October 19, 2008

Key Quote: “New evidence that most of the warming could actually be the result of a natural cycle in cloud cover”

[ By Atmospheric Scientist Dr. Roy W. Spencer, formerly a senior scientist for climate studies at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center where he received NASA’s Exceptional Scientific Achievement Medal, is currently principal research scientist at the University of Alabama in Huntsville. ]

Excerpt: For those who have followed my writings and publications in the last 18 months (e.g. Spencer et al., 2007), you know that we are finding satellite evidence that the climate system could be much less sensitive to greenhouse gas emissions than the U.N.’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC, 2007) climate models suggest. To show that we are not the only researchers who have documented evidence contradicting the IPCC models, I made the following figure to contrast the IPCC-projected warming from a doubling of atmospheric carbon dioxide with the warming that would result if the climate sensitivity is as low as implied by various kinds of observational evidence. The dashed line represents our recent apples-to-apples comparison between satellite-based feedback estimates and IPCC model-diagnosed feedbacks, all computed from 5-year periods (Spencer and Braswell, 2008a): The discrepancy between the models and observations seen in Fig. 1 is stark. If the sensitivity of the climate system is as low as some of these observational results suggest, then the IPCC models are grossly in error, and we have little to fear from manmade global warming. But an insensitive climate system would ALSO mean that the warming we have seen in the last 100 years can not be explained by increasing CO2 alone. This is because the radiative forcing from the extra CO2 would simply be too weak to cause the ~0.7 deg. C warming between 1900 and 2000… there must be some natural warming process going on as well. Here I present new evidence that most of the warming could actually be the result of a natural cycle in cloud cover forced by a well-known mode of natural climate variability: the Pacific Decadal Oscillation.

Update: Ice Reality Check: Arctic Ice Now 31.3% Over Last Year, plus Scientists Counter Latest Arctic ‘Record’ Warmth Claims as ‘Pseudoscience’ – 10-18-08

Excerpt: 10/17/2007 5,663,125 square kilometers – 10/17/2008 7,436,406 square kilometers – Δice = 1,773,281 sqkm or 31.3% more than last year – Source data here: (Excel file)

Scientists Counter Latest Arctic ‘Record’ Warmth Claims as ‘Pseudoscience’ – Comprehensive Arctic Data Round Up – October 17, 2008

Excerpt: Arctic Reality Check: Why isn’t the cooling Antarctic considered ‘an indicator of what might happen to the rest of the world?’

By Climate Scientist Dr. Ben Herman.

Herman Excerpt: First of all, the Arctic sea ice is at its minimum in September, not October or November as the scientists in the McClatchy article states. As Arctic ice experts, they certainly should have known this. Another point is that the Arctic temperatures do not “naturally peak in October or November”. They peak in mid Aug ust generally. Also the article states that since the world’s climates are interconnected, what happens in the Arctic may be an indicator of what will happen in the rest of the world. How about what happens in the Antarctic then? Since its ice area has been increasing, is this also an indicator of what might happen in the rest of the world?

Flashback: Alert: National Ice Center says satellites interpreting Arctic ice as open water! – By Andrew Revkin – NY Times Dot Earth Blog – September 6, 2008

Excerpt: And one of the groups focusing most closely on possible Arctic shipping lanes, the National Ice Center operated by the Navy and Commerce Department, says flatly that the satellites are misreading conditions in many spots and that there is too much ice in a critical spot along the Russian coast (highlighted in the smaller image above) to allow anything but ice-hardened ships to get through. In an e-mail message Wednesday, Sean R. Helfrich, a scientist at the ice center, said that ponds of meltwater pooling on sea ice could fool certain satellite-borne instruments into interpreting ice as open water, “suggesting areas that have substantial ice cover as being sea-ice free.” The highlighted area is probably still impassible ice, including large amounts of thick old floes, he said. I sent the note to an array of sea-ice experts, and many, including Mark Serreze at the National Snow and Ice Data Center, concurred.

OBAMA’S CARBON ULTIMATUM: “Would-be President intends to blackmail — or rather, greenmail — Congress into falling in line with his climate agenda.”

Excerpt: The coming offer you won’t be able to refuse. Liberals pretend that only President Bush is preventing the U.S. from adopting some global warming “solution.” But occasionally their mask slips. As Barack Obama’s energy adviser has now made clear, the would-be President intends to blackmail — or rather, greenmail — Congress into falling in line with his climate agenda. […] Normally a democracy reaches consensus through political debate and persuasion, but apparently for Mr. Obama that option is merely a nuisance. It’s another example of “change” you’ll be given no choice but to believe in.

Paper: ‘The next commodity to collapse will be mass-marketed environmentalism’ – National Post – October 17, 2008

Excerpt: The next commodity to collapse will be mass-marketed environmentalism, which will come to be disdained – Stock market indexes have plummeted from their inflated peaks. Oil and other commodities have likewise plummeted. The next commodity to tumble from unsustainable peak levels: environmentalism. In part, I am making this prediction because, in my 30 years as an environmentalist, I have never seen so many governments and so many corporations so profusely espousing so many environmental causes. Where promoting environmentalism was once seen as daring and counter-cultural, today it has become banal, no longer the exclusive preserve of a Body Shop chain, but of every retailer down to Wal-Mart. For the same reason that clothes go out of fashion after the masses embrace them, mass-marketed environmentalism will come to be disdained. […] A third reason for my prediction that environmentalism has peaked is the instinct for self-preservation among the political leadership. Thinking they could raise revenues while appearing green, opportunistic politicians have been promoting environmental taxes without having a credible case to make. The result, increasingly, is political ruin.

Global Warming Bubble? Investment guru ‘sees a bubble forming around global warming’ – By Self-described “Internet tycoon” and venture capitalist Bob Metcalfe

Excerpt: In energy, government mandates favored the production of corn ethanol, which has created a food versus fuel debate that has brought criticism of biofuels. “When you muck with fuel markets, you are mucking with feeds and fuels also, we just found out,” he said. With the influx of venture capital going to fund clean, or green, tech start-ups, many people are concerned that there is an investment bubble. Metcalfe sees a bubble forming around global warming, where there is a movement of consumers and businesses to address the problem. But bubbles are a good thing, Metcalfe said. “From Internet history, we know that bubbles are normal. Bubbles are an accelerator of technology progress. Bubbles go against the status quo. We should encourage bubbles,” he said.

Brazilian Meteorologist Scoffs at Notion Mankind impacts climate more than Sun and Oceans

Excerpt: On the same day (Sept. 5) that areas of southern Brazil were recording one of their latest winter snowfalls ever and entering what turned out to be their coldest September in a century, Brazilian meteorologist Eugenio Hackbart explained that extreme cold or snowfall events in his country have always been tied to “a negative PDO” or Pacific Decadal Oscillation. Positive PDOs — El Ninos — produce above-average temperatures in South America while negative ones — La Ninas — produce below average ones. Dr. Hackbart also pointed out that periods of solar inactivity known as “solar minimums” magnify cold spells on his continent. So, given that August was the first month since 1913 in which no sunspot activity was recorded — none — and during which solar winds were at a 50-year low, he was not surprised that Brazilians were suffering (for them) a brutal cold snap. “This is no coincidence,” he said as he scoffed at the notion that manmade carbon emissions had more impact than the sun and oceans on global climate.

UK Scientist: – ‘Climate change is governed by hundreds of factors, or variables’ Not Just CO2!

By UK Professor Emeritus of Biogeography Philip Stott of the University of London

Excerpt: As I have said, over and over again, the fundamental point has always been this: climate change is governed by hundreds of factors, or variables, and the very idea that we can manage climate change predictably by understanding and manipulating at the margins one politically-selected factor is as misguided as it gets. I wonder if we are witnessing the beginning of the end of the ‘global warming’ nonsense? I really do hope so, although I could do without a cold phase to prove it.

Oops! Propagandists at  Let Truth Slip Out! – ‘The actual temperature rise is an emergent property resulting from interactions among hundreds of factors’ – September 20, 2008

Excerpt: The Physics of Global Warming is Complicated: Physicist and historian, Spencer R. Weart, recently penned an article for the popular blog in which he explained: “Physics is rich in phenomena that are simple in appearance but cannot be calculated in simple terms. Global warming is like that. People may yearn for a short, clear way to predict how much warming we are likely to face. Alas, no such simple calculation exists. The actual temperature rise is an emergent property resulting from interactions among hundreds of factors. People who refuse to acknowledge that complexity should not be surprised when their demands for an easy calculation go unanswered.” This is an admission that we are nowhere near a scientifically proven result with regard to the effect of CO2 on our climate.

MIT Scientist’s study finds: Data may be ‘insufficient to compute mean sea level trends’ – Decadal Trends in Sea Level Patterns: 1993-2004 – By Dr. Carl Wunsch, MIT et al. in Journal of Climate – October 12, 2008

Excerpt: Conclusion: At best, the determination and attribution of global mean sea level change lies at the very edge of knowledge and technology. The most urgent job would appear to be the accurate determination of the smallest temperature and salinity changes that can be determined with statistical significance, given the realities of both the observation base and modeling approximations. Both systematic and random errors are of concern, the former particularly, because of the changes in technology and sampling methods over the many decades, the latter from the very great spatial and temporal variability. It remains possible that the database is insufficient to compute mean sea level trends with the accuracy necessary to discuss the impact of global warming – as disappointing as this conclusion may be. The priority has to be to make such calculations possible in the future.

Scientist shows Medieval Warm Period ‘warmer than 20th-century temperatures’

Excerpt: Also in September, American Craig Loehle, a scientist who conducts computer modelling on global climate change, confirmed his earlier findings that the so-called Medieval Warm Period (MWP) of about 1,000 years ago did in fact exist and was even warmer than 20th-century temperatures. Prior to the past decade of climate hysteria and Kyoto hype, the MWP was a given in the scientific community. Several hundred studies of tree rings, lake and ocean floor sediment, ice cores and early written records of weather — even harvest totals and censuses –confirmed that the period from 800 AD to 1300 AD was unusually warm, particularly in Northern Europe. But in order to prove the climate scaremongers’ claim that 20th-century warming had been dangerous and unprecedented — a result of human, not natural factors — the MWP had to be made to disappear. So studies such as Michael Mann’s “hockey stick,” in which there is no MWP and global temperatures rise gradually until they jump up in the industrial age, have been adopted by the UN as proof that recent climate change necessitates a reordering of human economies and societies. Dr. Loehle’s work helps end this deception.

Prominent Geologist: ‘It’s practically a slam dunk that we are in for about 30 years of global cooling’

Excerpt: Dr. Don Easterbrook, a geologist at Western Washington University, says, “It’s practically a slam dunk that we are in for about 30 years of global cooling,” as the sun enters a particularly inactive phase. His examination of warming and cooling trends over the past four centuries shows an “almost exact correlation” between climate fluctuations and solar energy received on Earth, while showing almost “no correlation at all with CO2.” An analytical chemist who works in spectroscopy and atmospheric sensing, Michael J. Myers of Hilton Head, S. C., declared, “Man-made global warming is junk science,” explaining that worldwide manmade CO2 emission each year “equals about 0.0168% of the atmosphere’s CO2 concentration … This results in a 0.00064% increase in the absorption of the sun’s radiation. This is an insignificantly small number.” Other international scientists have called the manmade warming theory a “hoax,” a “fraud” and simply “not credible.”

Prominent Climate Scientists: ‘Variations in global temperatures since 1978 … cannot be attributed to carbon dioxide’

Excerpt: While not stooping to such name-calling, weather-satellite scientists David Douglass of the University of Rochester and John Christy of the University of Alabama at Huntsville nonetheless dealt the True Believers a devastating blow last month. For nearly 30 years, Professor Christy has been in charge of NASA’s eight weather satellites that take more than 300,000 temperature readings daily around the globe. In a paper co-written with Dr. Douglass, he concludes that while manmade emissions may be having a slight impact, “variations in global temperatures since 1978 … cannot be attributed to carbon dioxide.” Moreover, while the chart above was not produced by Douglass and Christy, it was produced using their data and it clearly shows that in the past four years — the period corresponding to reduced solar activity — all of the rise in global temperatures since 1979 has disappeared.

EU climate change push in disarray – Countries rebel against costly plans

Excerpt: Europe’s commitment to ambitious green goals became the latest victim of the global financial crisis yesterday when a growing number of EU countries rebelled, claiming that the plans were now too expensive. Plans for binding European legislation by December were dropped as the EU watered down the carbon dioxide blueprint that it had announced with a fanfare 18 months ago. The revolt by eight countries, led by Italy and Poland, left the EU’s self-proclaimed mission to shape a global, postKyoto agreement on greenhouse gases in disarray. President Sarkozy of France, which holds the rotating EU presidency, led the way in appealing to all 27 countries to stick to their targets. But tempers flared at the quarterly European Council in Brussels, with Silvio Berlusconi, the Italian Prime Minister, clearly furious at the pressure being applied. During a stand-up row behind the scenes, he told Mr Sarkozy that the targets would crucify Italian industry. “Our businesses are in absolutely no position at the moment to absorb the costs of the regulations that have been proposed,” Mr Berlusconi said later.

Global warming leads India tigers to village attacks

Excerpt: KOLKATA (Reuters) – The number of tiger attacks on people is growing in India’s Sundarban islands as habitat loss and dwindling prey caused by climate change drives them to prowl into villages for food, experts said on Monday. Wildlife experts say endangered tigers in the world’s largest reserve are turning on humans because rising sea levels and coastal erosion are steadily shrinking the tigers’ natural habitat.

LCV’s ‘Environmental Scorecard’ Marred by Partisan Politics, Inhofe Says – October 17, 2008

Excerpt: .S. Senator James Inhofe (R-Okla.), Ranking Member of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, today commented on the League of Conservation Voters (LCV) 2008 National Environmental Scorecard. “The LCV is one of the most liberal partisan special-interest groups that make up the Democratic Party,” Senator Inhofe said. “It should come as no surprise that I and many fellow Republicans have never received high marks from this Washington, D.C., liberal special-interest group. LCV simply measures the greenness of politicians by how many federal laws they impose on the American people.

Russia skeptical that carbon trading will slow climate change – Greenwire – October 20, 2008

Excerpt: Russia doubts carbon trading will solve global climate woes because recent swings in stocks and commodities markets show the volatility of global markets amid the current financial crisis, according to an official Russian document. The document, outlining views on a new U.N. climate pact to be adopted in December 2009, also expressed skepticism at the tough international targets for greenhouse gas emissions reductions, saying any deal should not punish violators.[…] “The latest events in the global stock market or food market show that we have not entered yet an era when the global market can become a reliable regulative mechanism of the international efforts in answering global challenges of … mankind.” Many industrialized nations are having second thoughts about costly commitments to fight climate change amid the global financial crisis. Many countries view carbon trading as a cornerstone to a future treaty. (subscription required)

Another Dissenter: Ecologist says CO2 revealing ‘close to zero correlation with temperature’ – October 18, 2008

By Dr John R Etherington, formerly Reader in Ecology at the University of Wales.  B.Sc., A.R.C.S., Ph.D., D.I.C.

Excerpt: Ian Baxter cites the Nasa temperature record in accusing me of propagating a myth of no recent global temperature increase. (Letters October 15).

The Meteorological Office’s Hadley Centre data show that from 2002 to 2007, the annual anomaly versus the long-term average has been about plus 0.4C with no statistical trend. This is only a few years and no conclusion could be drawn about temperature trend, but what Mr Baxter ignores is that carbon dioxide, supposedly the major driver of man-made climatic warming, has inexorably and uniformly risen in concentration for every one of these years, with close to zero correlation with temperature. The previous three years 1998-2000 also show no temperature correlation with change, but 1998 was an atypically warm El Niño year. We are making some of the most expensive global decisions ever, on the basis of what atmospheric physicist James Peden has described as “computerized tinker toys with which one can construct any outcome he chooses”.

Cold Reality: ‘Warm mongers are rapidly losing credibility’ – Investor’s Business Daily – October 17, 2008

Excerpt: But unlike climate projection models, which are often wrong but endlessly thrown in our faces as examples of hard science, they are real world events wholly contrary to the story the alarmists have been spreading. Global warm mongers are rapidly losing credibility. Mainstream journalists will still believe them because climate change fits the narrative they’ve so carefully nurtured. But eventually the error will have to admitted. It won’t happen publicly, though, because by the time they come to their senses, the issue will have been long forgotten by the public.

‘We still have a blank sun’ – – October 20, 2008

Excerpt: We still have a blank sun. Image from earlier today, courtesy of SOHO. As you can see from the image above, the sun remains very inactive in terms of sunspot activity. This has been a common image of the sun for quite some time now. The chart below shows the individual years over the past century with the highest total of spotless days. This particular chart was dated in late September, so 2008 in now solidly in fifth place all by itself.

UK Climate Researcher Lord Monckton urges candidate to abandon ‘scientifically discredited’ global warming views – American Thinker – October 18, 2008

Excerpt: At both Poles, it was warmer only half a century ago than it is today. For temperatures in the Arctic, see Soon et al. (2004). For the Antarctic, see Doran et al. (2002). During the Maunder Minimum, a period of more than half a century ending in 1700 when there were no sunspots on20the surface of our Sun, a Little Ice Age occurred all over the world (Hathaway, 2004). In 1700 there began a recovery in solar activity that has continued ever since, culminating in the 70-year Solar Grand Maximum that seems recently to have ended. During the Grand Maximum, the Sun was more active, and for longer, than during almost any previous similar period in the past 11,400 years (Solanki et al., 2005; and see Usoskin et al., 2003; and Hathaway, 2004). A symposium of the International Astronomical Union [2004] concluded that it is the Sun that was chiefly responsible for the warming of the late 20th century.

Danish Alarmist asked to apologize for using incorrectly using Greenland glacier as “proof” of global warming – October 17, 2008

Excerpt: Connie Hedegaard (Danish Climate minister) was asked to apologise to the 21 world leaders she “tricked” into believing that the gletcher retreat was caused by AGW, but she says she will carry on showing the “effects of global warming”. From Nature.Com Published online: 28 September 2008: Acceleration of Jakobshavn Isbræ triggered by warm subsurface ocean waters by David M. Holland1, Robert H. Thomas2, Brad de Young3, Mads H. Ribergaard4 & Bjarne Lyberth5 Observations over the past decades show a rapid acceleration of several outlet glaciers in Greenland and Antarctica1. One of the largest changes is a sudden switch of Jakobshavn Isbræ, a large outlet glacier feeding a deep-ocean fjord on Greenland’s west coast, from slow thickening to rapid thinning2 in 1997, associated with a doubling in glacier velocity3………..Here we present hydrographic data that show a sudden increase in subsurface ocean temperature in 1997 along the entire west coast of Greenland, suggesting that the changes in Jakobshavn Isbræ were instead triggered by the arrival of relatively warm water originating from the Irminger Sea near Iceland.

Solar activity the primary driver of global temperature rise – By Dr. Kelvin Kemm, formerly a scientist at South Africa’s Atomic Energy Corporation – October 17, 2008

Excerpt: The period of global warming that we have experienced on our planet over the last century, which has seen a rise in temperature of some 0,6 oC, does not correlate at all with a rise in the concentration of atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2), but is does correlate with solar activity. Indications are that solar activity is the primary driver of the variation in global temperature. Even more compelling is the fact that there exists a well-documented Roman Warm period from the time of the Roman Caesars, and a Medieval Warm Period, both of which correlate with solar activity, but certainly can have nothing whatever to do with CO2 produced by any human industrial activities.

Church of Global Warming: Hydro-climatologist accuses scientists of making ‘spectacular leaps of faith’ for ‘doctrine of climate change’ – Hydro-climatologist Stewart – September 12, 2008

By Hydro-climatologist Stewart Franks, an Associate Professor of Environmental Engineering at the University of Newcastle in Australia whose research has focused flood and drought risk and seasonal climate prediction. Franks is president-elect of the International Commission on the Coupled Land – Atmosphere System. Franks is featured in the U.S. Senate report of over 400 – now over 500 and growing dissenting scientists – More than 10 times number of UN IPCC scientists who worked on Summary for Policy Makers – See: ]

Excerpt: Numerous politicians, environmentalists and especially scientists have made spectacular leaps of faith in their adherence to the doctrine of climate change over recent years, too many to document here. However, the most literally fantastic claim on climate change must go to Kevin Rudd, who has guaranteed that rainfall will decline over coming decades; one can only assume he’s based his view on deficient climate models and bad advice. […]  Given the uncertainty of El Nino and La Nina behaviour, one clearly cannot predict the future. There is no direct evidence of CO2 impacts on the drought, nor is there any rational basis for predicting rainfall in 30 years time. One just hopes that sensible and sustainable management from our leaders will enable struggling rural communities to weather the vagaries of climatic and political extremes.,25197,24331854-7583,00.html


Excerpt: AUSTRALIAN CLIMATE SCIENCE COALITION LAUNCHES Announcing the official launch of the Australian Climate Science Coalition (ACSC). Over the weekend, guests at the Australian Environment Foundation’s (AEF’s) third Annual Conference were among the first to be introduced to the newly formed coalition.

With its mission to promote open scientific debate on the causes of climate change, the ACSC has been formed by a group of professional people interested in encouraging continued scientific research into the world’s climate and, in particular, into the effects of increased concentrations of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.

R.I.P. carbon tax, a bad idea badly sold – The Hill Times, October 20th, 2008
Excerpt: Carbon tax anyone? It was a bad idea and badly sold – Yet newsroom enthusiasts promoted the carbon tax with platitudes plucked from campaign literature. As backdrop there was global warming and ‘catastrophic predictions from a sometimes hysterical mass media,’ as The Mennonite Brethren Herald put it. Displaying start of article containing 959 words – R.I.P. carbon tax, a bad idea badly sold. It is in the graveyard of doomed political schemes alongside national daycare (died in 2006), Senate reform (1993) and tax-deductible mortgages (1980). With Stéphane Dion as its spokesman it never had a chance. “The man has the charisma of Jell-O,” sighed The Chatham Daily News.

Seattle to Fund Climate Change Art – October 20, 2008

Excerpt: What a waste of cash.  I hope all the residents of Seattle call your mayor about this one.  The city of Seattle’s Office of Arts & Cultural Affairs, in conjunction with Seattle Public Utilities, is hosting a competition for artists in Washington state to submit art to bring attention to global warming and its effects on water supply and drainage utilities.  From the Seattle Office of Arts & Cultural Affairs web page: “in 2007, the city invested nearly $1.7 million to support 243 artists and cultural organizations.”  So the city would rather spent your tax money on starving artists to create scenes of doom-and-gloom instead of spending the cash on something that may solve the problem if it even exists?  That, my friends, is a government that has stretched its tentacles too far into your lives.

Carbon Dioxide Regulation Under the Clean Air Act – Heartland Institute

Excerpt: At time when the financial markets are crashing and a downturn in the economy looms, this plan will end free enterprise as we know it. It is bad for American taxpayers and a blow to democracy.

Mind-Reader Morano [Edward John Craig] – Monday, October 20, 2008 – National Review’s – Planet Gore

Excerpt: I was just about to post another National Post item — this one, from Lorne Gunter — when it popped in from Marc Morano. An excerpt below . . . […]Don Easterbrook, a geologist at Western Washington University, says, “It’s practically a slam dunk that we are in for about 30 years of global cooling,” as the sun enters a particularly inactive phase. His examination of warming and cooling trends over the past four centuries shows an “almost exact correlation” between climate fluctuations and solar energy received on Earth, while showing almost “no correlation at all with CO2.”

Our Orwellian Future? –  Meteorologist Art Horn on Icecap.US

Excerpt: Barack Obama has let it be known that he will allow the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to regulate carbon Dioxide as a dangerous pollutant if elected president. Last years supreme court ruling makes this possible. The court ruled that the EPA may use the Clear Air Act of 1990 to regulate carbon dioxide as “pollution”. This was of course a terrible ruling. Carbon dioxide is essential for life on earth as we know it. If carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere fall below about 200 parts per million trees stop growing and agriculture grinds to a halt. Carbon dioxide is plant food. If you own a greenhouse and you want your plants to glow faster you pump in three times as much carbon dioxide as exists in the air, up to 1000 parts per million. Something in the air that brings life to the world is not pollution.

Advocacy Journalism! – Green Journalism At Society of Environmental Journalists Conventions

Excerpt: The Society of Environmental Journalists conducts its annual conference this week in Roanoke, Va., and the best thing that can be said about it is that this bunch won’t be on the beat somewhere trying to report something — especially about global warming. But then again these journalists couldn’t call it that since the planet’s mean surface temperature has not increased over the last eleven years. Instead they’ve adopted the catchall identifier used by their fellow alarmism activists: “climate change.” It’s all over SEJ’s web page for members, which they call “A guide to the information and disinformation.” This is allegedly where they tell their members how to do a fair and balanced job.

More Skeptics Speaking Out Almost Daily – Officials Should Look Deeper At Climate Change – October 17, 2008

Excerpt: Number of Dissenting Scientists Rapidly Increases As Earth Fails To Warm! For sampling of recent views of man-made global warming dissenters also see this October 2008 report: More Skeptics Speaking Out Almost Daily –

1) Another Prominent Dissenter: ‘Earth has Cooled Since 1998’ – ‘in defiance of the predictions by the UN-IPCC’ – October 14, 2008 (Climatologist Dr. Richard  Keen) (LINK)

2) Another Dissenter: Finnish Scientist who was former Greenpeace member says ‘no proof’ CO2 is driving global temps! – October 10, 2008 &

3) Another Dissenter: Chemist declares himself ‘skeptic’ – ‘No uncontrolled, runaway greenhouse effect has occurred in the last half billion years’ – June 2008

Chemist Dr. Kenneth Rundt, a bio-molecule researcher and formerly a research assistant and teacher at Abo Akademi University in Finland

4) Another Dissenter: We ‘do not know enough about the atmospheric changes’ to ‘draw any conclusions about global warming’ says Prof. Hocking

[ University of Western Ontario physics professor Wayne Hocking heads the Atmospheric Dynamics Group and co-editor of the 1990 book “The Earth’s Middle Atmosphere”

5) Scientist: Climate fear promoters ‘woefully misinformed’ – September 27, 2008

[ Walter Starck is one of the pioneers in the scientific investigation of coral reefs. He grew up in the Florida Keys and received a PhD in marine science from the University of Miami in 1964

6) New Study: Algerian Scientist: ‘We think that natural climatic oscillations contribute more to earth climatic disturbances’ – Presented July 2008 at the Global Conference On Global Warming, July 6-10, 2008 in Istanbul, Turkey – By Prof. Ahmed Boucenna of the Physics Department and Science Faculty at Ferhat Abbas University in Setif, Algeria

7) Another Dissenter: Atmospheric Scientist says’It does not follow logically that CO2 emissions drive a warming trend’ – October 6, 2008

Charles Clough is an atmospheric scientist and was Chief of the Atmospheric Effects Team with the Department of the Army at Aberdeen Proving Ground from 1982 until 2006. Air Force serving as a meteorologist. He retired from the position as Chief of the Aberdeen Test Center Meteorology Team

For a full report on the growing dissent see 2007/2008 U.S. Senate Report on over 400 (now 500 and growing) skeptics. See: ]



October 7, 2008 (uploaded to ICSC site 20/10/08): Hear ICSC Executive Director Tom Harris’ presentation at the 13th Annual Arkansas Governor’s Conference on Waterborne Transportation (read excerpts from program).  View slides shown during the talk.

Scientist develops software to understand aliens from outer space! – October 20, 2008

Excerpt: Alien Life Form is a software package that compares alien language sounds with those of 60 human languages in the hope that there is a common thread. John Elliott of Leeds Metropolitan University said his software will decipher the structure of their language and be the first step in understanding what any space creatures are saying.His theory is that even an alien language far removed from any on Earth is likely to have recognizable patterns that could help reveal how intelligent the life forms are.

# # #

Marc Morano

Communications Director

Senate Environment and Public Works Committee (EPW) Inhofe Staff


202-224-5167 (fax)

UPDATED: Obama Sued Citibank Under CRA to Force it to Make Bad Loans

Posted on 03 October 2008

Do­ yo­u r­em­em­ber­ h­o­w we to­l­d yo­u th­at th­e Dem­o­c­r­ats­ and gr­o­ups­ as­s­o­c­iated with­ th­em­ l­eaned o­n banks­ and even s­ued to­ get th­em­ to­ m­ake bad l­o­ans­ under­ th­e C­o­m­m­unity R­einves­tm­ent Ac­t wh­ic­h­ was­ a f­ac­to­r­ in c­aus­ing th­e ec­o­no­m­ic­ c­r­is­is­ (s­ee H­E­R­E­ ) … we­l­l­ l­ook a­t­ wha­t­ som­­e­ fe­l­l­ow bl­og­g­e­rs ha­v­e­ dug­ up­ whil­e­ re­se­a­rching­ Oba­m­­a­’s l­e­g­a­l­ ca­re­e­r. L­ooks l­ike­ a­ t­y­p­ica­l­ A­CORN l­a­wsuit­ t­o g­e­t­ ba­nks t­o ha­nd out­ ba­d l­oa­ns.

In­ the­s­e­ l­aws­uits­, ACORN­ m­ake­s­ a b­og­us­ cl­aim­ of Re­dl­in­in­g­ (de­n­yin­g­ poor pe­opl­e­ l­oan­s­ b­e­caus­e­ of the­ir e­thn­ic he­ritag­e­). The­y prote­s­t an­d g­e­t the­ l­ocal­ m­e­dia to rais­e­ a b­ig­ s­tin­k. This­ s­tin­k m­e­an­s­ that the­ b­an­k face­s­ thous­an­ds­ of pe­opl­e­ cl­os­in­g­ the­ir accoun­ts­ an­d g­e­t l­ocal­ pol­itician­s­ to l­ob­b­y to s­top the­ b­an­k from­ doin­g­ s­om­e­ future­ b­us­in­e­s­s­, e­xpan­s­ion­s­ an­d m­e­rg­e­rs­. If the­ b­an­k g­oe­s­ to court, the­y wil­l­ win­, b­ut the­ dam­ag­e­ is­ al­re­ady don­e­ b­e­caus­e­ who is­ g­oin­g­ to l­aun­ch a b­ig­ cam­paig­n­ to g­e­t the­ b­an­k’s­ re­putation­ b­ack?

I­t i­s­ i­m­­por­tant to und­er­s­tand­ the natur­e of thes­e laws­ui­ts­ and­ what thei­r­ pur­pos­e i­s­. ACOR­N fi­led­ tons­ of thes­e laws­ui­ts­ and­ ALL of them­­ allege r­aci­s­m­­.

Thank­s to the­ IUSB Visio­n Webl­o­g f­or provi­di­ng addi­t­i­onal det­ai­ls of­ t­hi­s st­ory­.

We­ pulle­d the­ dock­e­t­ down­­, but­ h­ere’s a­ brief­ f­or y­our summa­ry­:

Case Nam­e
Buy­c­ks-Ro­­berso­­n v. C­i­t­i­bank Fed­. Sav. Bank Fai­r Ho­­usi­ng/Lend­i­ng/I­nsuranc­e
D­o­­c­ket­ / C­o­­urt­ 94 C­ 4094 ( N.D­. I­ll. ) FH-I­L-0011
St­at­e/T­erri­t­o­­ry­ I­lli­no­­i­s
C­ase­ Su­m­m­ary
Pl­aintiffs­ fil­ed­ their­ cl­as­s­ action l­aws­uit on Jul­y 6, 1994, al­l­eg­ing­ that Citib­ank had­ eng­ag­ed­ in r­ed­l­ining­ pr­actices­ in the Chicag­o m­­etr­opol­itan ar­ea in viol­ation of the Equal­ Cr­ed­it Oppor­tunity Act (ECOA), 15 U.S­.C. 1691; the Fair­ Hous­ing­ Act, 42 U.S­.C. 3601-3619; the Thir­teenth Am­­end­m­­ent to the U.S­. Cons­titution; and­ 42 U.S­.C. 1981, 1982. Pl­aintiffs­ al­l­eg­ed­ that the D­efend­ant-b­ank r­ejected­ l­oan appl­ications­ of m­­inor­ity appl­icants­ whil­e appr­oving­ l­oan appl­ications­ fil­ed­ b­y white appl­icants­ with s­im­­il­ar­ financial­ char­acter­is­tics­ and­ cr­ed­it his­tor­ies­. Pl­aintiffs­ s­oug­ht injunctive r­el­ief, actual­ d­am­­ag­es­, and­ punitive d­am­­ag­es­.

U­.S. Distric­t C­o­u­rt Ju­dge Ru­ben C­astillo­ c­ertif­ied th­e P­laintif­f­s’ su­it as a c­lass ac­tio­n o­n Ju­ne 30, 1995. Bu­y­c­k­s-Ro­berso­n v. C­itibank­ F­ed. Sav. Bank­, 162 F­.R.D. 322 (N.D. Ill. 1995). Also­ o­n Ju­ne 30, Ju­dge C­astillo­ granted P­laintif­f­s’ m­o­tio­n to­ c­o­m­p­el disc­o­very­ o­f­ a sam­p­le o­f­ Def­endant-bank­’s lo­an ap­p­lic­atio­n f­iles. Bu­y­c­k­s-Ro­berso­n v. C­itibank­ F­ed. Sav. Bank­, 162 F­.R.D. 338 (N.D. Ill. 1995).

The par­ties vo­lu­n­tar­ily­ dismissed the case o­n­ May­ 12, 1998, pu­r­su­an­t to­ a settlemen­t ag­r­eemen­t.
Plain­tif­f­’s Law­y­er­s Alexis, Hilar­y­ I. (Illin­o­is)
F­H-IL-0011-7500 | F­H-IL-0011-7501 | F­H-IL-0011-9000
Childer­s, Michael Allen­ (Illin­o­is)
F­H-IL-0011-7500 | F­H-IL-0011-7501 | F­H-IL-0011-9000
Clay­to­n­, F­ay­ (Illin­o­is)
F­H-IL-0011-7500 | F­H-IL-0011-7501 | F­H-IL-0011-9000
Cu­mmin­g­s, Jef­f­r­ey­ Ir­vin­e (Illin­o­is)
F­H-IL-0011-7500 | F­H-IL-0011-7501 | F­H-IL-0011-9000
Lo­ve, Sar­a N­o­r­r­is (Vir­g­in­ia)
Min­er­, Ju­dso­n­ Hir­sch (Illin­o­is)
F­H-IL-0011-7500 | F­H-IL-0011-9000
O­b­am­a, B­arack H­. (Il­l­ino­is)
FH-IL­-0011-7500 | FH-IL­-0011-7501 | FH-IL­-0011-9000
Wic­kert, Jo­hn­ Hen­ry­ (Il­l­in­o­is­)

UP­DATE­ :  Ho­t­ai­r.c­o­m c­o­mmen­t­s o­n­ t­hi­s st­o­ry­ H­E­RE­ .

New­ Y­o­rk­ Po­st­ Art­i­c­le HE­RE­ :

TH­E s­eeds­ of­ toda­y­’s­ f­in­­a­n­­cia­l meltdown­­ lie in­­ th­e Commun­­ity­ Rein­­v­es­tmen­­t A­ct – a­ la­w pa­s­s­ed in­­ 1977 a­n­­d ma­de ris­k­ier by­ un­­wis­e a­men­­dmen­­ts­ a­n­­d regula­tory­ rulin­­gs­ in­­ la­ter deca­des­.

CRA­ wa­s­ mea­n­­t to en­­coura­ge ba­n­­k­s­ to ma­k­e loa­n­­s­ to h­igh­-ris­k­ borrowers­, of­ten­­ min­­orities­ liv­in­­g in­­ un­­s­ta­ble n­­eigh­borh­oods­. Th­a­t h­a­s­ prov­ided a­n­­ open­­in­­g to ra­dica­l groups­ lik­e A­CORN­­ (th­e A­s­s­ocia­tion­­ of­ Commun­­ity­ Orga­n­­iza­tion­­s­ f­or Ref­orm N­­ow) to a­bus­e th­e la­w by­ f­orcin­­g ba­n­­k­s­ to ma­k­e h­un­­dreds­ of­ million­­s­ of­ dolla­rs­ in­­ “s­ubprime” loa­n­­s­ to of­ten­­ un­­creditworth­y­ poor a­n­­d min­­ority­ cus­tomers­.

A­n­­y­ ba­n­­k­ th­a­t wa­n­­ts­ to expa­n­­d or merge with­ a­n­­oth­er h­a­s­ to s­h­ow it h­a­s­ complied with­ CRA­ – a­n­­d a­pprov­a­l ca­n­­ be h­eld up by­ compla­in­­ts­ f­iled by­ groups­ lik­e A­CORN­­.

In­­ f­a­ct, in­­timid­ation­­ tactics­, pub­lic ch­arges­ of racis­m an­­d­ th­reats­ to us­e CRA to b­lock b­us­in­­es­s­ expan­­s­ion­­ h­ave en­­ab­led­ ACORN­­ to extract h­un­­d­red­s­ of million­­s­ of d­ollars­ in­­ loan­­s­ an­­d­ con­­trib­ution­­s­ from America’s­ fin­­an­­cial in­­s­titution­­s­ .

T­he W­ood­s Fun­d­ r­epor­t­ m­akes it­ cl­ear­ Ob­am­a w­as ful­l­y­ aw­ar­e of t­he in­t­im­id­at­ion­ t­act­ics used­ b­y­ ACOR­N­’s M­ad­el­in­e T­al­b­ot­t­ in­ her­ pion­eer­in­g­ effor­t­s t­o for­ce b­an­ks t­o suspen­d­ t­heir­ usual­ cr­ed­it­ st­an­d­ar­d­s. Yet he su­ppo­r­ted Tal­b­o­tt in­ ever­y co­n­ceivab­l­e way. He tr­ain­ed her­ per­so­n­al­ staf­f­ an­d o­ther­ aspir­in­g­ ACO­R­N­ l­eader­s, he co­n­su­l­ted with her­ ex­ten­sivel­y, an­d he ar­r­an­g­ed a majo­r­ b­o­o­st in­ f­o­u­n­datio­n­ f­u­n­din­g­ f­o­r­ her­ ef­f­o­r­ts.

An­d, as the l­eader­ o­f­ an­o­ther­ char­ity, the Chicag­o­ An­n­en­b­er­g­ Chal­l­en­g­e, O­b­ama chan­n­el­ed m­or­e­ fun­d­in­g Talb­ott’s­ w­ay – os­ten­s­ib­ly for­ ed­ucation­ pr­ojects­ b­ut s­ur­ely s­uppor­tive of ACOR­N­’s­ over­all effor­ts­.

ABC’s investigative unit

A small silver lining amid the dark clouds looming over the House GOP.

Recall it was ABC that broke the news in the fall of 2006 about Mark Foley.

Now that same seat may flip back:

West Palm Beach Congressman Tim Mahoney (D-FL), whose predecessor resigned in the wake of a sex scandal, agreed to a $121,000 payment to a former mistress who worked on his staff and was threatening to sue him, according to current and former members of his staff who have been briefed on the settlement, which involved Mahoney and his campaign committee.

Mahoney, who is married, also promised the woman, Patricia Allen, a $50,000 a year job for two years at the agency that handles his campaign advertising, the staffers said.

A Mahoney spokesperson would not answer questions about the alleged affair or the settlement, but said Allen resigned of her own accord and “has not received any special payment from campaign funds.”

Senior Democratic leaders in the House of Representatives, including Rep. Rahm Emanuel (D-IL), the chair of the Democratic Caucus, have been working with Mahoney to keep the matter from hurting his re-election campaign, the Mahoney staffers said.

By Jonathan Martin 12:48 PM

The Importance Of Age And Experience: A Clinton Catalog Of Missed Opportunity

By INVESTOR’S BUSINESS DAILY | Posted Thursday, September 11, 2008 4:20 PM PT

Another of our youngest presidents, Bill Clinton, was 46 when sworn in and became the first Democrat since FDR to serve two terms.

IBD Series: The Importance Of Age And Experience

Born in Arkansas, educated at Georgetown University and a graduate of Yale Law School, he was also a Rhodes Scholar at Oxford. He had weaknesses as well as strengths but was popular with the average man and woman, and especially with minorities.

He was a smart politician and a great salesman whose way with words earned him the nickname of Slick Willie when he was governor of Arkansas.

The economy was strong during Clinton’s term, benefiting in no small part from the collapse of the Soviet Union. It occurred during the Reagan-Bush years but paid a “peace dividend” in the ’90s in the form of huge defense cuts that helped achieve a balanced budget.

After Republicans gained control of Congress in 1994, Clinton wisely moved to the center and agreed over liberal objections to what turned out to be a successful restructuring of the welfare system. But an unrealistic attempt by Clinton and his wife Hillary to have the federal government take over and run the entire medical and health care system failed.

The late ’90s saw the dawning of the Internet, a bounty of biotech start-ups and the rise to leadership of young, entrepreneurial companies such as Microsoft, Amgen, Dell, Adobe, Oracle, Cisco, Qualcomm, America Online and EMC, plus innovators like Home Depot and Charles Schwab. All had come public since 1982 during the low-tax Reagan-Bush incentive period. Stocks of these companies rocketed 25,000% to 90,000% from their offering prices.

It was a wild, anything-goes era much like the late 1920s. From September 1998 to March 2000, the NASDAQ composite index advanced 203%, or two and a half times the climax run in the Dow industrials from 1928 to the 1929.

Both markets blew up due to excessive speculation. Under Clinton’s watch from March 2000 to January 2001, the NASDAQ market that had led the run-up plummeted ____%, the sharpest decline since 1929. But the boom was great while it lasted.

Arguments about who or what is best for the economy go on and on. But since World War II, the United States has done pretty well in every cycle regardless of the person or party in power. Our free-market economy, after all, is driven not so much by government as by entrepreneurs, innovators and inventors who start new businesses, create new products and generate new jobs for all who are willing and able to work.

But when it comes to national defense and foreign relations, the age, experience and judgment of the person occupying the Oval Office become absolutely critical.

History teaches that no matter how attractive younger, less-experienced presidents may be, they simply exercise more bad judgment and make the kinds of mistakes that take years to correct and sometimes put our country in danger.

Take, for example, the threat to our national security posed by Osama bin Laden and the terrorists of al-Qaida:

• It was only a month into his first term that President Clinton was tested by al-Qaida. On Feb. 26, 1993, terrorists bombed the World Trade Center in New York, killing six and injuring 1,000. Some of the terrorists were trained at the Khalden terrorist camp in Afghanistan. They had hoped to kill 250,000. But this was treated as a local police matter.

• In October of that year, Somali warlords with al-Qaida trainers and weapons shot down two Black Hawk helicopters. Seventy-three Americans were wounded and 18 were killed, some of them shown on TV as they were dragged through the streets of Mogadishu. But Clinton retreated and withdrew all U.S. forces. Said bin Laden later: “They planned for a long struggle, but the U.S. rushed out in shame.”

• In January 1995, Philippine police discovered that Ramzi Yousef, mastermind of the Trade Center bombing, had another plan to blow up a dozen U.S. airliners over the ocean and crash a plane into CIA headquarters. Clinton’s government was made aware of the plot.

• In November 1995, a car bomb exploded at a joint Saudi-U.S. facility, killing five Americans.

• In June 1996, 19 Americans were killed and 372 wounded in a bombing at a housing complex in Khobar, Saudi Arabia, where U.S. forces were stationed. The attack was carried out by Saudi Hezbollah, with help from Iran and al-Qaida.

• In July 1996, the U.S. received from senior-level al-Qaida defectors intelligence on the creation, character, direction and intentions of al-Qaida.

• In February 1998, bin Laden and Ayman al-Zawahiri issue a fatwa declaring “war on America” and making the murder of any American on earth the “individual duty” of every Muslim.

• In May 29, 1998, after a series of deadly bombings stretching back six years, and with bin Laden urging attacks on the U.S., Clinton’s CIA created a plan to raid and capture bin Laden at his Tarnak Farms compound in Afghanistan.

After months of planning and full rehearsals that went well, the raid was called off by CIA Director George Tenet and others who were worried about possible collateral damage and second-guessing and recriminations if bin Laden didn’t survive.

• On Aug. 7, 1998, al-Qaida blew up U.S. embassies in Nairobi, Kenya and Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, killing 200 and injuring 5,000. Clinton’s team decided to fire Tomahawk missiles at bin Laden’s training camp and a Sudan aspirin factory.

But they gave a 48-hour heads-up to Pakistan’s army chief of staff so that India wouldn’t think missiles were aimed at them. Forewarned, bin Laden and other leaders left, no terrorists were killed, and U.S. incompetence and ineffectiveness were on full display.

• On Dec. 20, 1998, intelligence learned that bin Laden would be at the Haii house in Kandahar, Afghanistan. But the U.S. passed on this opportunity, too, again fearing collateral damage and risk of failure. Clinton approved a plan by his national security advisor, Sandy Berger, to use tribals to capture bin Laden. But nothing happened.

• Next, the Pentagon created a plan to use a more precise HC130 gunship against bin Laden’s headquarters, but the plan was later shelved. Lt. General William Boykin later told the 9/11 Commission that “opportunities were missed due to an unwillingness to take risks, and a lack of vision and understanding.”

• On Feb. 10, 1999, CIA found out that bin Laden would be at a desert hunting camp the next morning. The military failed to act, however, because a United Arab Emirates aircraft was there and it was feared an Emirate prince or official might be killed.

• In May 1999, the CIA learned from several sources that bin Laden would be in Kandahar for five days. All agreed this would be the best chance to get him, but word came to stand down. It was believed Tenet and Clinton were still concerned about civilian collateral damage. A key project chief angrily said three opportunities were missed in 36 hours.

• In October 2000, the USS Cole was bombed, killing 17 U.S. sailors. No action was taken due to concerns expressed by Secretary of State Madeleine Albright.

All told, the Clinton administration had at least 10 chances to get bin Laden but repeatedly could not make the decision to act. Too many departments were involved, creating too much confusion, and no leader was strong enough to make the tough call. All were timid and overly concerned about repercussions if they failed.

The Clinton administration also allowed the selling of vital defense technology and secrets to China. Now the Chinese have silent submarines we can’t track.

Contrast this unwillingness to confront an enemy to the willingness of a more experienced, 62-year-old Harry Truman to defend Greece, beat the Soviet Union’s Berlin blockade and stop North Korea from taking over South Korea. Or to the resolve of Ronald Reagan, who in his 70s defeated the Soviet Union and freed 20 countries and 240 million people.

Based on what these more seasoned presidents achieved, we rate Reagan as our fifth-best president, Harry Truman seventh-best and Dwight Eisenhower our ninth-best. Eisenhower entered office in 1953 when he was 62 and served two terms as a popular and productive chief executive until age 70.

Our three youngest post-war presidents — Kennedy, Carter and Clinton — were all intelligent and well-educated. But they were also inexperienced in matters of national defense and security and far from successful in dealing with America’s hardened enemies. In some cases, they also failed to place competent people in Cabinet or advisory positions.

So, who would you rather have deal with and stand up to Putin’s Russia, Iran’s nukes, China’s emerging power and al-Qaida’s radical Islamic terrorists — someone in his 40s with little understanding of the military or someone in his 60s or 70s with sounder experience and judgment?

This concludes a five-part series that is available in its entirety at


Lawsuit filed against new DC gun regulations

WASHINGTON (AP) — The plaintiff in the Supreme Court case that struck down Washington’s 32-year-old handgun ban filed a new federal lawsuit Monday, alleging the city’s new gun regulations still violate an individual’s right to own a gun for self-defense.

Dick Heller and two other plaintiffs argue that the city’s regulations are “highly unusual and unreasonable” in the complaint filed in U.S. District Court.

The lawsuit claims the District of Columbia continues to violate the intent of the Supreme Court’s June 26 decision by prohibiting the ownership of most semiautomatic weapons, requiring an “arbitrary” fee to register a firearm and establishing rules that make it all but impossible for residents to keep a gun in the home for immediate self-defense.

The D.C. Council was immediately criticized by gun rights advocates when it unanimously passed emergency gun legislation July 15. The law will remain in effect for 90 days, and the council expects to begin work in September on permanent legislation.

The regulations maintain the city’s ban of machine guns, defined in the law as weapons that shoot more than 12 rounds without reloading. That definition applies to most semiautomatic firearms.

Handguns, as well as other legal firearms such as rifles and shotguns, also must be kept unloaded and disassembled, or equipped with trigger locks in the home unless there is a “reasonably perceived threat of immediate harm.”

“A robber basically has to make an appointment” for a resident to be able to prepare the weapon for use, Heller’s attorney, Stephen Halbrook, said Monday. Halbrook also called the city’s definition of machine guns “bizarre.”

“The District’s ban on semiautomatic handguns amounts to a prohibition of an entire class of arms that is overwhelmingly chosen by American society for the lawful purpose of self defense in the home,” the lawsuit alleges.

D.C. interim Attorney General Peter Nickles said the suit came as no surprise and that he expects a long legal fight as the issue makes it way through the courts.

“I think there’s a fundamental disagreement with the intent of the Supreme Court’s decision,” said Nickles, noting that the Supreme Court’s ruling did not give officials much guidance with respect to regulating firearms.

“I feel comfortable with what the city has done,” Nickles said.

After the Supreme Court narrowly struck down Washington’s handgun ban last month in a narrow 5-4 decision, the D.C. Council quickly moved to comply with the ruling, and residents were allowed to begin applying for handguns July 17 for the first time since 1976.

Monday’s lawsuit alleges that Heller initially tried to register a semiautomatic Colt pistol, but was denied because D.C. police considered the weapon to be a machine gun.

Besides Heller, the other plaintiffs are Absalom Jordan, whose application to register a .22-caliber pistol was denied, and Amy McVey, who must return to D.C. police headquarters two more times to register her weapon after being photographed and fingerprinted and undergoing a background check, according to the lawsuit.

Washington’s gun ban essentially outlawed private ownership of handguns in a city struggling with violence. But what impact the ban has had on crime has long been debated, particularly after homicides more than doubled during a crack epidemic in the late 1980s and early ’90s.

The city’s gun regulations remain among the strictest in the country under the new regulations, according to the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence.

July 30, 2008 Posted by ragamuffin08 | GUN RIGHTS, THE BILL OF RIGHTS | | No Comments | Edit