Shots Across the Bow

A Reality Based Blog

Monday, September 15, 2008

The Chicago Annenberg Challenge: Obama’s Claim to Fame

This is not a Bill Ayers post. This is a post about Obama and his effectiveness as a leader while acting as a director for the Chicago Annenberg Challenge. The facts here come from the 1996 annual report and a 1999 assessment by The Consortium on Chicago School Research. These reports were written to detail the success of the program, both as a report to donors, and as an ad for new donors. As such, we can expect only the most glowing reports possible, emphasizing success and minimizing failures.

Let's see what we find, starting with the 1996 report.

  • On page 3, the report notes 70 grants given to support Local School Council elections, 21 grants for implementing changes, and 48 grants for planning.
    Only 21 grants out of 139 are actually spent on improving schools. The rest are for electing cronies and planning changes. 85% of grants in the first two years were not directly related to improving schools.

  • On page 4, the report breaks down the budget, indicating that the authorized 1996 award level was $11.5 million less $1.2 million to run the Challenge.
    That works out to 10.4% of the funds available. Of the $10.3 million available for calendar year 1996, the CAC actually granted only $2.84 million or 27.6%.

  • On Page 9, the report is summarized: "The Chicago Annenberg Challenge has had a busy year. Much of its activity and reflection has helped focus it as well as expand the definition of itself as a school reform effort for Chicago's public schools.

I'm very curious about the dollar amounts given for actually doing something vs talking about it, or supporting a candidate for the LSC. It's hard to tell since the campaign contributions are lumped in with the implementation grants.

On to 1999 report.
  • On Page 3, we read: The Challenge as a foundation is both secure and supported; however, it yet fully developed. In the process of securing its identity, the Challenge has seen its institutional resources broaden, even as its potential to evoke change in the school system has faced increasing impediments.
    Short version, they've raised a lot of money, but they aren't having a real impact on the schools yet.

  • On Page 4: "To gain an understanding of the Challenge's role amid the wide range of Chicago school reform efforts of the past decade, a sample of city leaders were asked-in the summer and fall of 1997-how they viewed the Challenge and its prospects for success. Their answers revealed a substantial lack of knowledge about the Challenge. About half of the business and government leaders wouldn't even speculate on its goals or strategy."
    Spending up to $20 to $30 million dollars a year on Chicago Schools and fewer than half the community leaders even heard of the challenge. Wow.

Reading through this review made one thing abundantly clear. This was not Barack Obama's show. He's not even mentioned once. Early on, the Board of Directors is described as "responsible for fiscal operations, developing a procedure for securing matching funds, and making grants and hiring an executive director. That director was Ken Rolling and by all appearances, he ran the show.

So, what did Chicago schools get for $49 million, plus another $60 million in matching funds?

According to the research arm of the CAC, not much.
Results suggest that among the schools it supported, the Challenge had little impact on school improvement and student outcomes, with no statistically significant differences between Annenberg and non-Annenberg schools in rates of achievement gain, classroom behavior, student self-efficacy, and social competence.

This is Obama's leadership experience folks. This is the big enchilada. He helped raise $60 million in 5 years (the goals was $98 million since the grant required a 2 to 1 match), spent $100 million and achieved...nothing.

Maybe that's why he leaves it off of his campaign resume.

Posted by Rich
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Do As I Say I’ll Do, Not As I Actually Do

That would be the Obamantra of this election cycle.

Obama, while railing against lobbyists, and corporate influence on the political process, has accepted more money than any other politician with the sole exception of Chris Dodd from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

Obama campaigns against lobbyists in about the same way Al Gore campaigns against global warming.

Posted by Rich
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Jill Greenberg

Here's the story.

A photographer is hired by a magazine to take a cover portrait of John McCain. In the process of shooting the portrait, she takes an extra picture, without telling McCain why, and doctors it up in photoshop in several disgusting ways. She posts the results on her website, and brags about what she did on another website.

The magazine is humiliated and outraged.

She thinks its funny.

I think I'm doing the right thing by making sure people like her do not win.

Posted by Rich
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Times Hit Piece on Palin

Here's their piece
Here's the rebuttal, also known as the truth.

And finally, via GayPatriot, a fact you won't find in the NYT; Palin has a 75% approval rating among Alaskan Democrats. For a comparison, check Nancy Pelosi's approval rating. Nancy garners a strong 37% approval rating among Democrats.

Yep, that's right, Palin is more popular among Alaska Democrats than Pelosi is among all Democrats.

Maybe it's the glasses...

Posted by Rich
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The Obama Energy Plan: The Long Term Solution Part 2: The Bait and Switch of Cap and Trade

Last time, I covered the goal of Obama's Energy energy plan, to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to 1931 levels over the next 42 years. Today, we're going to start to talk about his plan for achieving that goal, the Cap and Trade program. Here's what he says:
Barack Obama supports implementation of an economy-wide cap-and-trade system to reduce carbon emissions by the amount scientists say is necessary: 80 percent below 1990 levels by 2050. This market mechanism has worked before and will give all American consumers and businesses the incentives to use their ingenuity to develop economically effective solutions to climate change. Obama's cap-and-trade policy will require all pollution credits to be auctioned. A 100 percent auction ensures that all industries pay for every ton of emissions they release, rather than giving these valuable emission rights away to companies on the basis of their past pollution.

Let's start be defining what a Cap and Trade is. Basically, the government will set a cap on the total amount of a pollutant that they will allow an industry or group of industries to emit. The government then issues credits or allowances equal to the cap. These allowances are then distributed among the emitters either through grandfathering or an auction. Emitters can then trade these allowances so that emitters who can easily meet their cap can trade any excess allowance to those who can't. The idea is to harness market forces to reduce pollution in the most cost effective way possible.

When the Obama campaign mentions that this approach has worked before, they are referring to the 1990 Clean Air Act, which included a cap and trade program for sulfur dioxide, the primary pollutant causing acid rain. The program has been declared a success, as sulfur dioxide levels have dropped by 40% over 20 years, and for a far smaller amount of money than expected.

There's a problem with this comparison; it's not very accurate. Consider the following differences.
  • The Clean Air act targeted one pollutant. Global Warming initiatives usually list 5 or 6. Obama hasn't made clear whether his program targets only CO2 or multiple chemicals

  • The Clean Air Act targeted only one industry, coal fired power plants. Obama's plan is a total emissions cap covering all industries, including transportation.

  • The Clean Air Act benefited tremendously from falling prices for low sulfur coal, which made it easy for power plants to stay beneath their allotments. There's no equivalent waiting in the wings for global warming.

  • The first phase of the Clean Air Act was targeted, affecting only the worst polluters. Obama's plan would place a universal cap over all emitters, resulting in a monstrously large bureaucracy from the first day.

  • The Clean Air Act based the initial allotments on past emissions. Companies were charged for exceeding their allotment. Obama's plan is to charge every emitter for every pound of greenhouse gas emitted via the universal auction.

It is this last factor that absolutely dooms the Obama energy plan and the American economy. By auctioning off the allowances Obama destroys the part of the Cap and Trade program that encourages innovation and efficiency, not to mention places an enormous financial burden on every emitter at the precise time they'll need money for upgrading their operations. Let's look at this in more detail, because its very important to understand the Obama plan.

The Cap and Trade provision under the Clean Air Act worked for a couple of reasons. First there was the increasing availability of low sulfur coal, but that's one of the things the Cap and Trade program was built to take advantage of. By setting a cap, but not setting requirements on how the cap is met, the regulation gives the emitter the ability to find their own solutions, and to take advantage of changing conditions. The second factor, and the bigger piece of the puzzle, was that the trade part of the program gave smaller emitters an incentive to reduce their emissions to far below the cap. They could then trade their excess allowances for cash.

This is the part of the Cap and Trade program that created the efficiencies that led to the tremendous success of the Clean Air Act. Unfortunately this is also the part of the program that is handicapped in the Obama Plan. In the Clean Air Act, the allowances were grandfathered, power plants were given the allowances based on a percentage of past emissions. This grandfathering created an opportunity and an incentive for trading. If a power plant needed more allowances, it could buy them from power plants who were able to get under their allowances. This is a win-win situation that rewards innovation while meeting the cap. It allows smaller, more efficient power companies to see a financial gain in meeting reduction goals, allowing them to do more research, and improve their product.

The Obama Plan, on the other hand, removes that opportunity and incentive by forcing all emitters to compete for the allowances at an auction. So if you're an emitter, (and who isn't?) are you going to buy all the credits you need for the upcoming year, or are you going to buy most of them, and hope you can find some on the market later, when other companies achieve reductions? And if you buy all you need up front, who will buy the credits from the emitters who don't use all of theirs? As should be plainly obvious, the financial incentive to reduce is gone.

An unintended consequence of the Obama plan is that larger companies will be able to pay higher prices for emissions credits, and at an absolute auction, will be able to purchase all that they need. This will create a terrible situation for smaller companies, who won't be able to pay the high prices, and will be left out of the auction. The burden on small businesses will be intolerable, as all of their excess capital will be tied up in emissions credits, and whatever is left will be erased by fines for failing to remain underneath their cap. In essense, Obama has created a terribly regressive tax on all businesses that favors the big companies at the expense of the smaller ones.

A second unintended consequence of the auction process will be to suck up all the available capital out of companies that will desperately need it to fund research and development of ways to reduce emissions. Ironically, at the very time they are forced to be innovative and research alternative technologies, their ability to do so will be eliminated.

That's what happens when a non-business man tries to regulate business.

So why would Obama rip the heart out of a proven successful program? Why fix something that isn't broken? I'll answer that in detail in the next segment, but I'll give you a hint. Just like his short term solution, he wants to buy your vote.

PS: There's an interesting quote buried away in the passage I quoted at the beginning of this post:
This market mechanism has worked before and will give all American consumers and businesses the incentives to use their ingenuity to develop economically effective solutions to climate change.

American consumers? You'd better be paying attention when that auction comes along my friends. Your ability to light and heat your home may be at risk, not to mention your ability to take that trip to Grandma's come next Christmas, because it sure sounds to me like that economy wide cap is going to apply to us as well.

Posted by Rich
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Sunday, September 14, 2008

Randi Rhodes Is A Man, Baby!

Hey, it's about as accurate as what (s)he said about Palin...

Posted by Rich
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Saturday, September 13, 2008

Keeping it Classy: The Latest Obamination

You know, there are some people out there who are getting angry with me for my continuing attacks on Obama and his supporters. They say I'm being mean, and I'm not helping, and I need to explore the issues of substance, and leave the smearing to those folks on the fringe of either party that we'd all like to ignore anyway.

I guess Obama has just joined that fringe we'd like to ignore. His latest campaign ad claims that John McCain is unfit for the Presidency because he can't send an email, or go online. because you know, surfing the web is one of the primary duties of our President right?

As it turns out, the reason McCain doesn't spend much time on a computer, besides the fact that he actually has a life, is that his injuries from being a POW make it almost impossible for him to use a keyboard.

Way to go there, Obama. You just made fun of a man based on his disability. Is this the leadership you meant when you said that running a Presidential campaign prepared you to be President?

Maybe you ought to rethink that strategy there, Sparky.

And for those of you who think I'm being too mean and sarcastic, at least I don't make fun of people's disabilities.

Incidentally Mr. Obama, if McCain not sending email makes him incapable of understanding cyber-security and other issues, doesn't it follow that not joining the military makes you incapable of understanding defense related issues?

Obama promised he'd get tough; I didn't realize he'd get stupid as well.

Posted by Rich
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Friday, September 12, 2008

Why Are They Attacking Palin?

Check out the chart here.

For the first time since May, McCain not only leads Obama in the electoral college vote, he has enough votes to win the election. That's one heck of a bounce.

What really intrigues me is how Obama's support is falling off in states that were once solidly blue. If you look at the second chart, you can see that Obama's support in stats that were formerly solidly behind him has fallen off sharply. That's why he's on the attack. That's why his supporters are throwing all the mud and slime they can find. That's why so many Obama supporters are whining like spoiled cranky toddlers.

And that's why Palin was a brilliant pick for McCain.

Of course, there's a long way to go yet, but if the Democrats don't stop whining and start running a real campaign again, this one could be over early.

Maybe Obama should play saxaphone for MTV or something.

Posted by Rich
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The Obama Energy Plan: The Long Term Solution Part 1:  The Goal Examined

Last time, I discussed Obama's short term solutions to our energy situation. To review, there were three pieces to his approach:
  1. Add a 26% tax on the profits of oil companies for 5 years and use it to fund a one time Emergency Energy Rebate to American voters.

  2. Enact legislation to curb excessive speculation, in the vain hope that prices will come down.

  3. Release about 500,000 barrels of oil from the Strategic Reserve

As I demonstrated, these ideas will result in almost no change at the pump, and might even bring about an increase, particularly if oil prices are driven more by supply and demand than speculation, as seems the case.

Today, we're going to talk about the heart of Obama's long term strategy, the Cap and Trade Program. There's a lot going on under the hood of this monster, so we probably won't finish today, but we'll get a good start.

Before we get into the details, let's look at the overall goal of this ambitious program.
Implement Cap and Trade Program to Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions. Barack Obama supports implementation of an economy‐wide cap‐and‐trade system to reduce carbon emissions by the amount scientists say is necessary: 80 percent below 1990 levels by 2050.

So what does this mean in real terms? Once again, since Obama is reluctant to provide them, we take to the trusty internets.

In 1990, the US emitted 5011.6 million metric tons of CO2. Obama wants us to get down to 80% less than that. An easier approach is to say that he wants to reduce our emissions to 20% of the 1990 levels, or 1002 million metric tons per year. For comparison, in 1949, the earliest year we have data for, the US emitted 2183.9 million metric tons of CO2. I did a linear regression using the range of data from 1949 to 2006, and according to the trend, the US emitted roughly 1000 million metric tons of CO2 in 1931.

That's Obama's target folks. In 2007, the US emitted roughly 5985 million metric tons of CO2. To meet Obama's target we would have to reduce our emissions by 83% over 40 years.

"But that's just over 2% a year! How tough could that be?"

Check your math sparky. Unless you set the current year as a baseline and figure tonnage from that, you're going to have to account for diminishing returns. As you emit less, a 2% reduction is lesss than the year before. In order to achieve the full 83% reduction, you need to reduce emissions by about 4% annually.

"That still doesn't sound so tough! We can do that?"

Oh really! Well, let me ask you a question. Suppose I told you that I was going to reduce your salary by just 4% a year for 40 years. How long could you handle that? If you started out at $65k today, in 2050, you'd be making $13.5k. Now that really brings the point home, doesn't it?

So this is the goal. To reduce our CO2 emissions to a level equivalent to 1931, without wrecking our economy or productivity and maintaining a stabil economic growth over the next 50 years.

No wonder he thinks he can walk on water.

Posted by Rich
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Thursday, September 11, 2008

The Obama Energy Plan: The Short Term Solution

Since the attack chihuahuas of the Obama campaign appear to be taking a couple of days off, we have time to actually explore one of the Senator's key campaign planks, his energy plan. Before I get started, all quotes and numbers are taken directly from the above link, unless otherwise noted. Be advised however that in the past, the Obama campaign has been known to "revise" some of these campaign planks as polls and focus groups indicate. Errors can then safely be assumed to be due to the campaign changing the document.

With that disclaimer out of the way, let's take a look at what Obama proposes. First thing out of the gate is a Emergency Energy Rebate that will be paid for by a windfall profits tax on energy companies.

Barack Obama will require oil companies to
take a reasonable share of their record‐breaking windfall profits and use it to provide direct relief
worth $500 for an individual and $1,000 for a married couple. The relief would be delivered as
quickly as possible to help families cope with the rising price of gasoline, food and other
necessities. The rebates would be fully paid for with five years of a windfall profits tax on record
oil company profits.

Let's run some numbers on this one. 53 million people filed jointly for 2006, based on IRS data. That means we have a cost of $53 billion for the rebate to married couples. 2.5 million filed married filing separately, 20.7 million filed head of household, and 61.8 million filed single, for a total of $42.5 billion. So the total cost of Obama's rebate will be roughly $95 billion dollars. For comparison, the big three oil companies, Exxon, Chevron and Conoco, showed a total profit of $72 billion.

Now, Obama wants to pay for his rebate with 5 years of tax money from the oil companies. So, 95 billion divided by 5 is $19 billion dollars a year. $19 billion in taxes on $72 billion in profits works out to a 26.4% tax on profits that Obama wants to lay onto the oil companies, and that's on top of what they already pay.


Speaking of windfall profits, in the year 2006, so we can keep comparing apples to apples, Exxon had total revenues of $377 billion. Profit accounted for $39.5 billion of that, which means Exxon invested $337.5 billion. That gives them an annual return on investment of 11.7%. The federal government subsidizes big oil directly by about $6billion a year and gets a return on their investment of 18.4 cents per gallon. The US uses about 390 million gallons per day, which makes for an annual usage of 142 billion gallons, which means the federal government gets $26 billion for a net profit of $20 billion, or an annual return of 333%.

Let's review. Big oil gets a return on their investment of 11.7% The US government gets a return of 333% on theirs.

Now that is a windfall profit!

Looking at the numbers, I noticed something significant. Obama wants to pay for his rebate by charging the oil companies $19 billion per year, but the Federal government is making $20 billion per year from the gas tax. Why not wipe out the middleman and reduce the tax on a gallon of gas from 18.4 cents to 4.2 cents? The fed will still get back their $6 billion, and the people will keep more money in their pockets.

Of course, it's hard to buy votes by letting people keep their money, which is really what this first phase is all about.

The second prong of his attack is to limit excessive energy speculation.

Current loopholes in Commodity Futures Trading Commission regulations have contributed to the skyrocketing price of oil on world
markets. Barack Obama will enact simple legislation to close these loopholes and increase
transparency on the market to help bring oil prices down and prevent traders from unfairly lining
their pockets at the expense of the American people.

Oddly, there is no discussion of exactly what the loopholes are, and absolutely no indication of how much of the recent price increase was fueled by speculation. Thank goodness Al Gore invented the internet! After first finding astounding claims that up to 60% of the cost of a barrel of oil is due to speculation, I went looking for articles that relied a little less heavily on shadowy cabals and speculation. This article is typical of the more well reasoned articles I found. So which one is right? Is speculation driving the price of oil, or is it supply and demand? It's hard to say, but once again, let's look at the numbers.

Global oil supply has gone from 83.1 million barrels per day in 2004 to 84.44 million barrels per day in 2007. Over the same time period, oil demand has gone from 82.4 to 85.75. If you look closely, you'll notice that we are now consuming more oil that we are producing on a global basis.

Once again, supply and demand appear to be the clear winners in this debate, which means that any law regulating speculation will have no impact on oil prices.


Obama is living up to his initial, going 0 for 2. What's his third short term strategy?

Swap Light and Heavy Crude, Release Oil from Strategic Petroleum Reserve to Cut Prices. The
United States’ Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR) is there for a purpose: to help Americans in
times of crisis. Barack Obama believes the doubling of oil prices in the past year is a crisis for
millions of Americans and the transfer of wealth to oil producing countries, many of them hostile
to our interests, is a threat to our national security. With the goal of bringing down prices at the
pump, he supports releasing light oil from the SPR now and replacing it later with heavier crude
more suited to our long‐term needs.

Once again, he's light on the details. How much will he release? At what price? For how long? What movement in the price of a gallon of gas does he expect? For a guy who says he's accounted for every dime, he sure is stingy on the numbers. I guess we little people don't need to know, do we? Once again, using the internet, we can get some idea of what it will take. The US uses about 20 million barrels a day of oil. Most calls for pulling oil from the Strategic reserve hover around 500,000 barrels a day. This amount to an increase in the US oil supply of 2.5%. Unfortunately, that oil wouldn't get sold just in the US but traded on the global markets where we are currently experiencing a 1.3 million barrels a day shortage. This will significantly limit the price impact of a release.

Analysts who favor the release are basing their estimates on a price drop on the existence of an oil bubble driven by speculators. As we saw above, that bubble isn't very big. So how much will the release affect gas prices? Nobody, not even Obama himself is saying.

That doesn't sound very promising does it?

Guess what kids? That's it. That's the sum total of his short term strategy for energy.
  1. Tax the oil companies and give you money

  2. End "excessive speculation."

  3. Release some oil from the Strategic Reserve.

Wow. This plan is breathtaking in its lameness. The first proposal will raise the price you pay at the pump, and the second and third will do nothing.

No wonder Obama thinks inflating your tires is your best strategy for managing your fuel expenses.

With a plan like this, it is.

Next time: Obama's Long Term Energy Strategy: Stop Global Warming!

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Matt Damon Weighs In

Noted political analyst and action movie star Matt Damon gives us his take on Palin.

I have a couple of questions for Mr. Damon.

1. Exactly what does the era of dinosaurs have to do with the nuclear trigger? Are you afraid that Palin might accidentally push the button while ducking a low flying pteradactyl?

2. Why don't you know anything about her, and why don't you think you'll know anything about her in eight weeks? Is it because you know the MSM will be too concerned with her youngest daughter's report card to actually look at Palin's politics? Or is it because your mind is incapable is so incapable of learning that you can only perform in action movies where the script is limited to "Bourne silently looks determined as he jumps out the window." Or is it because you just don't want to know anything about her, and would rather use your ignorance to condemn her?

3. How is her experience as governor of a state less relevant than Obama's experience as a Senator? After all, she didn't miss 200+ votes over the last couple of years like Obama, or vote "Present" as mayor.

4. How is a "hockey mom from Alaska" less worthy than a "community organizer from Chicago?" Isn't it more relevant to discuss her experience as mayor and governor vs Obama's experience as Senator? Or is that comparison not very favorable for your candidate?

5. I hate to repeat myself, but what the frak does her religious beliefs have to do with the nuclear codes? Shall we compare religious ideologies between Palin and Obama? I'd be happy to discuss Rev. Wright's Black Liberation Theology with you and see how scary that is...

What a pathetic performance. Go make another Bourne movie.

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Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Top Sign the Mainstream Media is in Barak’s Corner

I know more about the Palin family's personal life than I do about Sarah Palin's politics.


Posted by Rich
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Lipstick on a Pig Revisited

Once again, Oba'ma did not call Sarah Palin a pig, but he sure did imply it pretty strongly, knowing that his lipstick comment would be linked with hers. Not that I blame him much. After all, he gave the speech of his life at the Convention, and the last puff of smoke from Olbermann's post orgasmic cigarette was still circling in the air when Obama was dumped from press coverage for the Palin story. And then her speech rivaled his for coverage, ratings, and popularity. He had to try something to take get the spotlight back on him.

Oba'ma is not an idiot. Let's just start with that. When he gave the lipstick line, he paused, giving his audience time to react, as he knew they would. He went on to directly compare McCain to Bush and a dead fish.

So who was he referring to with the lipstick response if not Palin?

Look, if he didn't mean it to refer to Palin, then as soon as he realized how many people, both left and right, believed he did mean it, he would have retracted the remark or apologized.

He didn't; instead, he went on the attack, accusing McCain and the Republicans of deliberately misinterpreting his remark. Oddly, he did not criticize the cheering throngs of his own party who also "misinterpreted" his remark.

So we have two clear choices. Either Oba'ma is so politically tone deaf that he could not anticipate the reaction to his lipstick remark, or he is so politically astute that he knew what would happen, and planned to take advantage of the reaction.

This was no slip of the tongue; it was not a poor choice of words. It was a deliberate tactic, used by Oba'ma to arouse his base, and provoke a reaction from the right, a reaction he could then use to attack the right and show them as being petty, in an attempt to hide how petty the Democrats have been acting for the last week or so.

It's an almost Clintonian tactic, (What is Carville up to these days?) smearing the opposition while maintaining deniability, and at least with his base, it's working. Unfortunately, it's not carrying over to the independent and moderate voters where he's lost the most ground. Most of them are cynical enough to spot an obvious manipulation like this one, and aren't falling for his outraged protestations of innocence.

I do agree with him on one point though. It is time to talk about the issues, and in detail. I look forward to him releasing those details. For example, in his acceptance speech, he claimed that every dime of new spending was accounted for in his plans. Oddly, that accounting is the one piece missing on his website.

I'm sure that's just an oversight and he'll be posting the numbers any day now.


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Why the Big Uproar?

I think I've figured out why the left is so upset about Palin, and it has nothing to do with her. It's all about entitlement.

When Sosa and McGwire were chasing each other and history, every pitcher that went up against them was asked the same question by every reporter.

"Are you going to take it easy on them so they can break the record?"

Think about the mindset behind that question. In the reporter's mind, it seemed reasonable that everyone, including players on the other team, would all work together to help McGwire break the record. At least to some degree, they felt that McGwire was so close to the record, that he deserved to break it.

He was entitled to it.

Of course, every pitcher responded with, "Not only no, but hell no! If he wants that record, he's going to have to earn it!"

This presidential race has been very much like that home run race. For many on the left, Oba'ma is the dream candidate. He's bright, articulate, and clean. (No, I"m not going to let that die. If Oba'ma wanted that little quote to die, he probably shouldn't have chosen Biden as his running mate.) He has a tremendous amount of charisma, and a first class political machine that is propelling him to the Presidency 4 years before even he thought he'd be ready. From his campaign rhetoric, and the reaction of his faithful fans, it's almost as if destiny is at work, and he's so close, that he should win.

He's entitled to it.

But by picking Sarah Palin, John McCain said, "If he wants to win it, he's going to have to earn it!"

McCain is making a real race of it, and that just pisses off the folks who wanted Oba'ma ordained instead of elected. Because he's having to fight, Oba'ma seems a little less golden, less invulnerable, more man than myth, and the fanboys in the Democratic Party are taking that personally. Viewed from this perspective, it seems clear that the last week has been nothing but one long temper tantrum from a fairly large portion of the left. They're mad because McCain isn't running a by the numbers campaign, like Bob Dole did against Clinton. He may be beat on paper, but McCain intends to make Oba'ma run the race instead of just going through the motions.

Posted by Rich
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Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Oba’ma Gets His Hands Dirty

Here's the quote:
"You can put lipstick on a pig," he said as the crowd cheered. "It's still a pig."

"You can wrap an old fish in a piece of paper called change. It's still gonna stink."

My daddy had a similar saying, although today it would be politically incorrect to use it.

Here's my take. Did Oba'ma* call Gov. Palin a pig?


Did he intentionally play on one of her best lines of the acceptance speech?


Is he disappointed that some folks are getting the reference and seeing it as a not so subtle dig at the person who single-handedl;y turned this election into a real race?

If he didn't want it to be taken that way, he wouldn't have said it that way. The outraged protestations of innocence coming from his camp once again reveal his low estimate of his constituent's intelligence.

*Oba'ma is how his father and the rest of his family spell it. It is every bit as correct as Oba'ma's pronunciation of Pakistan as pockiston, which causes the very liberal left to swoon at his deep and detailed knowledge of foreign affairs. It is a spoof on their shallow thinking, not an attempt to indicate that Oba'ma is anything less than 100% American.

Posted by Rich
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