Iowahawk strikes again:
A READER AT A MAJOR NEWSROOM EMAILS: “Off the record, every suspicion you have about MSM being in the tank for O is true. We have a team of 4 people going thru dumpsters in Alaska and 4 in arizona. Not a single one looking into Acorn, Ayers or Freddiemae. Editor refuses to publish anything that would jeopardize election for O, and betting you dollars to donuts same is true at NYT, others. People cheer when CNN or NBC run another Palin-mocking but raising any reasonable inquiry into obama is derided or flat out ignored. The fix is in, and its working.” I asked permission to reprint without attribution and it was granted.
Despite my antipathy for the media, it’s a spectacle I never thought I’d see: A candidate so vulnerable on so many substantial and ethical issues, with no experience to speak of, who accuses all his critics of lying, is nevertheless the darling of the media, who give him a pass on nearly everything while savaging his opponent, mostly dishonestly. I’ve complained about the media in the past, but it’s nothing like what we’re seeing today. They are determined to drag Obama across the finish line, and it looks like they will succeed.
I’m glad these bastards are going out of business.
I’m trying to cheer myself up, so here’s a positive take on the bailout failure.
This is horrifying. The consequences will probably be worse than an Obama victory.
The best-case scenario now is the Democrats come back and pass a new bill without GOP support. That bill won’t be remotely as good as the one the House just rejected. Goodbye insurance plan; hello ACORN slush fund, mortgage cramdowns, bank nationalization.
The worst-case scenario is the economy completely melts down and President Obama institutes a New Deal 2.0. (This is Vin Weber’s nightmare scenario.)
My Congressman, a Republican, voted against the bill. Idiot. I’m going to think about voting for his opponent; there has to be a consequence for stupidity of this magnitude.
UPDATE: Doesn’t it sting when Barney Frank urges you to behave like a grown-up?!
UPDATE (10/3): Thankfully, things worked out better than I feared. The final bill, with its $110 billion in pork, was worse than the one the House voted down, but not by as much as I expected.
Fox News reports that tainted Chinese milk, which has killed four babies and sickened tens of thousands in China, has found its way into some Cadbury chocolate.
A New York Times editorial promotes the myth that Sarah Palin’s Wasilla charged rape victims for rape kits. It’s not true. Slate has the latest debunking, but it appears that nothing can stop this smear. The editorial contains quite a few errors/lies, and the facts are simple:
The DC Examiner:
The root cause of the present crisis is the federal government’s insistence beginning with passage of the 1977 Community Reinvestment Act that private sector lenders loosen their credit rules in order to give mortgages to buyers who could not repay them. Then in the 1990s and thereafter, an ill-advised government policy was transformed into a financial toxin as Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac used their status as government-backed corporations to backstop millions of such sub-prime loans and to encourage their packaging in mortgage-backed securities as investment tools. Wall Street knew better than to build on such an economic house-of-cards, but did it anyway. The bottom-line remains that well-intentioned but ill-advised government policies are at the heart of the immediate economic crisis.
One member of the “Barack Obama truth squad,” prosecutor Jennifer Joyce, now denies that they plan to prosecute anyone. But, as far as I can tell, she hasn’t explained what the truth squad actually is, or why KMOV reported the opposite. Also, she doesn’t appear to deny that the Obama campaign is behind the operation.
When are dead pirates a bad thing? When those pirates died mysteriously after capturing an Iranian ship bound for Somalia:
A tense standoff has developed in waters off Somalia over an Iranian merchant ship laden with a mysterious cargo that was hijacked by pirates.
Somali pirates suffered skin burns, lost hair and fell gravely ill “within days” of boarding the MV Iran Deyanat. Some of them died.
Andrew Mwangura, the director of the East African Seafarers’ Assistance Programme, told the Sunday Times: “We don’t know exactly how many, but the information that I am getting is that some of them had died. There is something very wrong about that ship.”
The vessel’s declared cargo consists of “minerals” and “industrial products”. But officials involved in negotiations over the ship are convinced that it was sailing for Eritrea to deliver small arms and chemical weapons to Somalia’s Islamist rebels. . .
The ship is owned and operated by the Islamic Republic of Iran Shipping Lines, or IRISL, a state-owned company run by the Iranian military.
Long War Journal adds:
The MV Iran Deyanat was brought to Eyl, a sleepy fishing village in northeastern Somalia, and was secured by a larger gang of pirates – 50 onboard and 50 onshore. Within days, pirates who had boarded the ship developed strange health complications, skin burns and loss of hair. Independent sources tell The Long War Journal that a number of pirates have also died.
The good news, such as it is, a correspondent of Rand Simberg’s writes that it probably wasn’t radiation.
This story will go nowhere, because the media won’t pursue it, and it’s far too dangerous for McCain to touch. It probably shouldn’t go anywhere, either. Jopek’s family just wants to be left alone. But rest assured, if this were McCain (or Palin especially), there would be news trucks on the family’s front lawn.
Newsbusters has found another 1999 article praising the Clinton administration policies that led to the subprime meltdown, this time in the New York Times. It’s not quite as explicit as the LA Times article; it doesn’t mention (as the LA Times article did) how the Clinton administration, through Fannie and Freddie, pushed for securitization of mortgages. But, it still mentions how they pushed lenders to make loans that we can now see were irresponsible:
Fannie Mae, the nation’s biggest underwriter of home mortgages, has been under increasing pressure from the Clinton Administration to expand mortgage loans among low and moderate income people and felt pressure from stock holders to maintain its phenomenal growth in profits.
In addition, banks, thrift institutions and mortgage companies have been pressing Fannie Mae to help them make more loans to so-called subprime borrowers. These borrowers whose incomes, credit ratings and savings are not good enough to qualify for conventional loans, can only get loans from finance companies that charge much higher interest rates — anywhere from three to four percentage points higher than conventional loans.
”Fannie Mae has expanded home ownership for millions of families in the 1990′s by reducing down payment requirements,” said Franklin D. Raines, Fannie Mae’s chairman and chief executive officer.
(Yes, that’s the same Franklin Raines that later faced legal difficulties, and still later was reported to have advised Barack Obama on economics.)
Note that, like the LA Times article, this is not a retroactive attempt to pin blame. Both articles were published long before any problems were visible, and, more importantly, both articles are positive portrayals of Clinton Administration policy.
The two articles put paid to the idea that our current woes are the result of Republican deregulation policies. Our current woes are the result of Bill Clinton’s housing policy, which pushed for lenders to make irresponsible loans, and pushed for those loans to be securitized and traded. Then in 2004 and 2005, there were efforts to rein in Fannie and Freddie, but those efforts were successfully blocked by Democrats.
Even when the subprime market melted down, and mortgage-backed securities began to fail, the Democrats still didn’t learn. When Fannie and Freddie were already in freefall, just two days before their bailout was announced, Christopher Dodd (D-CT) pronounced “They’ll be fine,” adding they were “fundamentally sound and strong.” That’s the same Dodd who was the #1 recipient of Fannie and Freddie campaign contributions. (The others incidentally, were the Democrats’ actual and presumed presidential candidates of 2004 and 2008: Kerry, Obama, and Hillary Clinton.) And that same economic genius was chosen to lead the negotiations for the current bailout.
UPDATE: “Barney Frank’s fingerprints are all over the financial fiasco.” (Via the Corner.)
UPDATE: Had the LA Times confused with the Washington Post. Fixed.
Not only were the Democrats standing against regulation (the opposite of their usual stance), they literally were angry at the very proposal. Now they have the audacity to pin the fault on Republicans.
The left is always attacking Republicans for allegedly questioning their patriotism, when no one is actually doing so. On the other hand, the Democrats come right out and explicitly call Republicans unpatriotic.
The latest is Nancy Pelosi, who says House Republicans were “very unpatriotic” not to participate in bailout negotiations. (ASIDE: I also don’t know what Pelosi is talking about. A Washington Post story makes it clear that House Republicans were being squeezed out until John McCain intervened to force their inclusion. But that’s beside the point.)
(Via the Corner.)
The Washington Post has a very interesting story on the bailout negotiations, and in particular on McCain’s role in those negotiations. There’s a lot there, but the main point is that McCain was instrumental in getting the negotiations to take House Republicans seriously:
It is unclear whether the day’s events will prove to be historically significant or a mere political sideshow. If the administration and lawmakers forge an agreement largely along the lines of the deal they had reached before McCain’s arrival Thursday, the tumult will have been a momentary speed bump. If the deal collapses, the recriminations spawned that day will be fierce.
But if a final deal incorporates House Republican principles while leaning most heavily on the accord between the administration, House Democrats and Senate Republicans, all sides will be able to claim some credit — even if the legislation is not popular with voters.
“If there is a deal with the House involved, it’s because of John McCain,” Graham, one of the Arizonan’s closest friends in the Senate, said yesterday.
If the rumors are true, things are moving in the direction of that optimistic third possibility. That will make for a much better bill, and McCain will be responsible for the improvement.
As for the politics, it’s interesting that both Democrats actually seem to be telling the truth about McCain’s role, at least from their own perspective. When Harry Reid blasted McCain for screwing up the negotiations, that wasn’t merely campaign-season blather. Reid was happy with the direction things were going, and when McCain step in, he forced everyone to back up and include House Republicans, thereby taking things in a somewhat more conservative direction. From Reid’s perspective, the negotiations had been screwed up.
I don’t know who will win the election, but John McCain has already done America a great service.
(Via Hot Air.)
AFTERTHOUGHT: Obviously we have to withhold judgement until we see the final result, but the political process actually seems to be working. I don’t care about the acrimony; that’s as old as the Republic, and we pay our representatives to deal with it. What matters is what the process produces. James Madison was right; the process of compromise between the President and four caucuses is making for a better bill. It makes me proud to be an American.
UPDATE (9/30): Never mind.
A press release from Governor Blunt:
JEFFERSON CITY – Gov. Matt Blunt today issued the following statement on news reports that have exposed plans by U.S. Senator Barack Obama to use Missouri law enforcement to threaten and intimidate his critics.
“St. Louis County Circuit Attorney Bob McCulloch, St. Louis City Circuit Attorney Jennifer Joyce, Jefferson County Sheriff Glenn Boyer, and Obama and the leader of his Missouri campaign Senator Claire McCaskill have attached the stench of police state tactics to the Obama-Biden campaign.
“What Senator Obama and his helpers are doing is scandalous beyond words, the party that claims to be the party of Thomas Jefferson is abusing the justice system and offices of public trust to silence political criticism with threats of prosecution and criminal punishment.
“This abuse of the law for intimidation insults the most sacred principles and ideals of Jefferson. I can think of nothing more offensive to Jefferson’s thinking than using the power of the state to deprive Americans of their civil rights. The only conceivable purpose of Messrs. McCulloch, Obama and the others is to frighten people away from expressing themselves, to chill free and open debate, to suppress support and donations to conservative organizations targeted by this anti-civil rights, to strangle criticism of Mr. Obama, to suppress ads about his support of higher taxes, and to choke out criticism on television, radio, the Internet, blogs, e-mail and daily conversation about the election.
“Barack Obama needs to grow up. Leftist blogs and others in the press constantly say false things about me and my family. Usually, we ignore false and scurrilous accusations because the purveyors have no credibility. When necessary, we refute them. Enlisting Missouri law enforcement to intimidate people and kill free debate is reminiscent of the Sedition Acts – not a free society.”
I hope Republicans don’t go after Obama too hard for his flip-flop on missile defense. There are so many areas where Obama is vulnerable, they shouldn’t attack him on the one issue where he’s moved to a sensible position.
NBC reports (cue to 2:05):
Today Democrats showed up at scheduled bipartisan talks, but said they forgot to invite the Republicans.
(Via the Corner.)
The Democrats have a choice; they can pass a plan on their own (and accept responsibility for it), or they can work with Republicans on a bipartisan plan. But the notion that Republicans, particularly in the House, will simply to accede to a Democratic plan (particularly one with unacceptable add-ons like a slush fund for the ACORN voter fraud machine) in nonsense. As long as they don’t take Republicans seriously, they’re simply wasting time.
The Weekly Standard has a statement from Kissinger:
Henry Kissinger believes Barack Obama misstated his views on diplomacy with US adversaries and is not happy about being mischaracterized. He says: “Senator McCain is right. I would not recommend the next President of the United States engage in talks with Iran at the Presidential level. My views on this issue are entirely compatible with the views of my friend Senator John McCain. We do not agree on everything, but we do agree that any negotiations with Iran must be geared to reality.”
(Via the Corner.)
Joe Biden claims that John McCain will impose the largest tax increase in US history by making health benefits taxable. The Washington Post fact checker calls Biden’s claim a “whopper” (they give it four Pinocchios, the worst score). They point out that McCain’s plan includes a tax credit for health care, which would more than compensate for taxing benefits, and actually put taxpayers ahead. But what’s the difference between a massive tax hike and a tax cut between friends, anyway?
It strikes me that this is not only a lie, but a stupid one. People know what Democrats and Republicans are. Are they really going to believe that McCain will raise taxes more than Obama? I doubt it.
So the debate is back on. What will be the political impact of McCain’s intervention in the bailout negotiations? I can’t predict what the political impact of the negotiations themselves will be, but I do have three thoughts about its impact on the debate.
One is the effect on the expectations game. Having spent a few days appearing to dodge the debate will have been much more effective at lowering expectations than any of the usual talk would. This should help McCain marginally.
On the other hand, McCain has not been spending the last few days preparing for the debate, as candidates usually do and Obama surely has. This could hurt him.
Finally, what McCain ought to do is change the topic of the debate from foreign policy to economics. With all that’s happened in the last week, Obama could hardly argue against such a change. But it would render Obama’s debate prep largely useless, and Obama really needs that prep, as is clear from his performance whenever separated from his teleprompter. I don’t know if McCain is smart enough to do this though. We’ll see in the next hour or so.
UPDATE: So much for my prediction. As it turned out, Obama was better prepared on economics than foreign policy.
I think my internet connection is broken, because I’m reading articles that can’t possibly exist: a new story in the New York Times is highlighting several dishonest Obama ads.
The article makes some mistakes, such as toeing the Democratic line that McCain’s ads are somehow dishonest (they mention only three explicitly — sex education for kindergartners, lipstick-on-a-pig, and celebrity — which are all accurate, or at worst matters of interpretation). But, that attack is already priced in, and I don’t think that repeating it has much of an impact at this point. It also inaccurately states that Sarah Palin opposes stem cell research (she opposes embryonic stem cell research), but that also is probably priced in.
What could have an impact is the NYT pointing out that, despite all his high supposed principles (“I’m not going to start making up lies about John McCain.”), Obama is willing to lie. Of course Obama has been lying for a long time (just read this blog), but this may be the first time the NYT’s readers will have heard of it. Many, like Democratic strategists Joe Trippi and Chris Lehane, quoted in the article, will simply shrug, but the NYT doubtless has a few readers who will be bothered. And, if nothing else, it gives McCain material to use in his own ads.
(Via Hot Air.)
UPDATE: Urg. Under the Democratic plan, the bailout doesn’t even need to make a profit to channel “profits” to ACORN.
Obama for America wrote the following letter (pdf) to TV stations airing an NRA ad:
September 23, 2008
Re: NRA Advertisement
Dear Station Manager
As General Counsel to Obama for America, I write about an advertisement sponsored by the National Rifle Association (“NRA”) that may be airing on your station. The text of the advertisement, and a thorough explanation of its falsity, is attached.
This advertisement knowingly misleads your viewing audience about Senator Obama’s position on the Second Amendment. In an article published today, the Washington Post fact-checks this advertisement and awards it three “Pinocchios,” meaning: “Significant factual errors and/or obvious contradictions.” For the same of both FCC licensing requirements and the public interest, your station should refuse to continue to air this advertisement.
As is his practice, Obama cries “liar” whenever he is criticized. The letter goes on the discuss the “inarguable falsities” of the NRA ad. In fact, the falsities are indeed arguable. To the contrary, David Kopel argues that the ad is entirely accurate. But that’s not the main point.
The point is that Barack Obama, who wants to be President of the United States, is threatening to shut down TV stations that accept advertising that criticize him.
Forget the business about whether the ad is true or not. There’s no way to police politics for truth, since a big part of politics is people don’t agree on the truth. (No ad was ever more dishonest than the DNC’s 100-year-war anti-McCain ad, but somehow the DNC stood by it.) Stripped of the noise, this letter is a brazen effort to intimidate a TV station, not through boycotts or other legitimate means, but by threats of government action. Free speech is fine, as long as it doesn’t criticize Barack Obama.
It’s also amazing to contemplate Obama’s thin skin. Obama has managed to tame the media so much that, not only will they rarely utter any criticism of him, but when his opponent criticizes him, they will repudiate their own reporting on which that criticism is based. But it’s not enough for Obama to be spared by the press; when his opponents spend their own money to criticize him, he tries to shut them down.
Senator Barack Obama’s presidential campaign is asking Missouri law enforcement to target anyone who lies or runs a misleading television ad during the presidential campaign.
This should be shocking to anyone who believes in free speech.
Again, let’s not have any nonsense about how only liars need fear prosecution. The story mentions two specific items they don’t want anyone to contradict: (1) Barack Obama is a Christian, and (2) he wants to cut taxes for anyone making less than $250k a year. I hereby contradict them. Barack Obama is not a Christian. (No, he’s not a Muslim, as some have alleged, but neither is he a Christian.) Barack Obama will probably not cut taxes at all, and will certainly not cut taxes on everyone making less than $250k. If I lived in Missouri, would I be facing the law now?
A willingness to engage in legal harassment of his critics should be an immediate disqualification for any office of public trust, especially the presidency. I cannot believe that America is contemplating electing this man.
UPDATE: Another instance I’d forgotten.
UPDATE (11/10/2009): Updated the Gateway Pundit link. The WMOV video seems to be gone now, but I transcribed the above lede myself. Gateway Pundit notes that WMOV later silently edited their story to soften it, but I can’t find any indication that they ever retracted their original reporting. Moreover, if this wasn’t an effort to intimidate critics of Barack Obama, why recruit only law enforcement?
UPDATE: The WMOV story is posted on YouTube:
Stanley Kurtz, who has been trying to investigate Barack Obama ties to unrepentant terrorist Bill Ayers and the Chicago Annenberg Challenge, was denied access to the Challenge’s public records (housed at the University of Illinois — Chicago) for several days. We have no way of knowing what happened to the collection during that time, although it doesn’t seem likely that Kurtz was put off for no reason.
However, we do know more about the circumstances of the delay, thanks to a Freedom of Information Act request that Kurtz filed:
In “Chicago Annenberg Challenge Shutdown?” I tell the story of how UIC’s Richard J. Daley Library reversed its initial decision to allow me access to the records of the Chicago Annenberg Challenge. The Chicago Tribune has since revealed that I was barred from the collection following an August 11 call to UIC from former CAC executive director, Ken Rolling. In the Tribune story, Rolling appears to claim that contact with UIC came at his own initiative. Steve Diamond questioned Tribune reporters further on this issue, and was told that Rolling claimed to have unilaterally contacted UIC library on August 11, after seeing reports about CAC on the Internet at about that time.
Yet August 11 happens to be the day I first contacted UIC’s Daley Library requesting to see the CAC archive. How likely is it that Rolling called UIC requesting that the documents be restricted on the same day, purely by coincidence? It seems far more likely that some as-yet-unidentified person at UIC tipped Rolling off to my request, prompting his demand that the records be embargoed.
In any case, we know that on August 11, the same day I asked to see the CAC records, Rolling quietly called on the library to close them to the public.
(Emphasis mine.) An official cover-up of possibly damaging documents relating to Barack Obama’s past. Isn’t that the sort of thing the media is supposed to be interested in?
In November of last year, researchers in Wisconsin and Japan announced that they had successfully transformed regular adult cells into the equivalent of embryonic stem cells without the need for embryos. The advance (involving so-called induced pluripotent stem cells or iPS cells) pointed to a potential path around the moral and political debate over embryonic stem cell research, but some advocates argued that because the technique relied on retroviruses, which might be connected to some risks of cancer, they might not be safe for clinical use.
Today in the journal Science, a group of Harvard researchers reports successfully reprogramming adult cells into the equivalent of embryonic stem cells without the need for such retroviruses, and so without the cancer risk.
Recall that a technique for reprogramming adult cells without using any stem cells at all was also recently published. This makes two entirely plausible strategies for regenerative medicine that do not require the destruction of embryos. President Bush’s decision to take an ethical stand is looking better and better.
A letter to the Washington Post:
While witnessing, but not participating in, the home real estate frenzy in 2005 and 2006, I kept asking: Who is the idiot buying up all these mortgages issued on inflated home prices to all these people who have neither the capacity nor the intention to repay the loans?
Now I learn it was me.
Democrats want to blame deregulation for the market meltdown, but the policies that led to the meltdown were anything but laissez-faire. Ed Morrissey highlights a fascinating, anti-prophetic article from the LA Times in 1999. The article touts the great “successes” of Bill Clinton’s interventionist housing policies, including:
Does any of this sound familiar?
CBS’s Bob Schieffer reports that McCain became involved with the bailout negotiations at Secretary Paulson’s request, who asked McCain to help bring Republicans on board:
BOB SCHIEFFER: I am told, Maggie, that the way McCain got involved in this in the first place, the Treasury Secretary was briefing Republicans in the House yesterday, the Republican conference, asked how many were ready to support the bailout plan. Only four of them held up their hands. Paulson then called, according to my sources, Senator Lindsey Graham, who is very close to John McCain, and told him: you’ve got to get the people in the McCain campaign, you’ve got to convince John McCain to give these Republicans some political cover. If you don’t do that, this whole bailout plan is going to fail. So that’s how, McCain, apparently, became involved.
(Via the Corner.)
UPDATE: More on Reid. The day before telling McCain not to come to Washington, he was demanding McCain’s help. One might be forgiven for concluding that Reid just isn’t honest.
UPDATE and BUMP: Reid reverses again:
With the economic news only getting worse each day, I call on the President, Senator McCain and Congressional Republicans to join us to quickly get this done for American families.
But wait, that’s not his last reversal:
Senate Democratic leaders accused John McCain on Thursday of interfering with progress on a Wall Street bailout, saying the Republican presidential candidate is parachuting into the debate at the last minute.
Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) said McCain has played an insignificant role on banking issues and is now trying to capitalize on the situation when it is nearly concluded — a point echoed by other Democratic leaders.
That’s four positions in three days, which is impressive even for a politician.
It’s a difficult line for Democrats to walk: they need to do something, which means they need someone (McCain) to whip up Republican votes, but they need to deny McCain any credit for fear of helping his campaign. Yuval Levin summarizes:
The consensus yesterday (well expressed here) seemed to be that a bailout couldn’t pass if McCain wasn’t on board. The Democrats would fear a trap, and Republicans would lack cover. Yesterday’s signal from McCain was loud and clear: it drove the Democrats to move quickly (so something could be hatched by the time of the White House meeting and McCain would not get credit too explicitly) and it will probably get most (surely not all) Republicans to agree. Obama, though, has been essentially irrelevant.
The Hill reports the findings of the House panel created to investigate the scandalous falsification of a House floor vote in August 2007:
The House’s Aug. 2, 2007, “Stolen Vote” committee released its findings on Thursday, concluding that the result of controversial roll call vote 814, which the Democrats won, was incorrect.
And while the report, which the panel adopted 6-0, found a great deal of fault to go around, it fell short of admonishing any individual members, including Rep. Michael McNulty (D-N.Y.), who was presiding over the House during the vote, and Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.), who had admitted in testimony to the committee that it was “certainly possible” that he helped create an atmosphere in which McNulty felt pressure to close the vote sooner than he might have otherwise.
The report dodged the question of who was ultimately responsible for the calling of the vote on the motion to recommit the Agriculture appropriations bill at 212-216, handing the Democrats a victory. . . The committee agreed that McNulty failed to follow proper procedures of waiting for the “tally sheet” from the clerks, and concurred with Hoyer’s admission that he may have brought undue pressure onto the situation. But it called for no punitive action for any member.
The panel did reach the unanimous conclusion, however, that the 212-216 vote was incorrect.
“There may be a disagreement about what should be the final vote tally, but one fact is indisputable: The vote tally of 212 yeas and 216 nays that was finally announced is incorrect,” the report read. “It is either 215 yeas and 213 nays, which would have reflected the tally at the time the chair prematurely announced the statement of result, or 211 yeas and 217 nays, which would have reflected the tally had [Minority Leader John] Boehner’s [R-Ohio] well card been processed.”
As expected, this is a whitewash. There’s no question about the correct result; the public tally showed that the motion was leading as McNulty gaveled the vote closed. The Democratic leadership refused to honor the result, and prevailed on several members to change their vote overnight after the vote was over. House majority leader Hoyer went so far as to lecture the protesting parliamentarian, “We control this house, not the parliamentarian.”
Also, the article doesn’t report anything about why the voting system was turned off after the vote and its electronic results erased. Was that even investigated?
The Guardian reports that those who pride themselves on green lifestyles are also the most likely to engage in carbon-emitting long haul flights:
People who believe they have the greenest lifestyles can be seen as some of the main culprits behind global warming, says a team of researchers, who claim that many ideas about sustainable living are a myth.
According to the researchers, people who regularly recycle rubbish and save energy at home are also the most likely to take frequent long-haul flights abroad. The carbon emissions from such flights can swamp the green savings made at home, the researchers claim.
Stewart Barr, of Exeter University, who led the research, said: “Green living is largely something of a myth. There is this middle class environmentalism where being green is part of the desired image. But another part of the desired image is to fly off skiing twice a year. And the carbon savings they make by not driving their kids to school will be obliterated by the pollution from their flights.”
Some people even said they deserved such flights as a reward for their green efforts, he added.
Only a very small number of citizens matched their eco-friendly behaviour at home by refusing to fly abroad, Barr told a climate change conference at Exeter University yesterday.
The research team questioned 200 people on their environmental attitudes and split them into three groups, based on a commitment to green living.
They found the longest and the most frequent flights were taken by those who were most aware of environmental issues, including the threat posed by climate change. . .
Barr said “green” lifestyles at home and frequent flying were linked to income, with wealthier people more likely to be engaged in both activities.
Of course, these people’s behavior is perfectly sensible from an economic perspective. Their green efforts, like their flights abroad, give them utility, and the green efforts are probably very cost effective in that regard. Also, they are helping the environment when compared with the most likely alternative, which would be flights abroad and no green efforts. Delete the sanctimony and I have no problem with them at all.
Aaron Burns observes:
One face-off between Biden and the facts that, once again, the facts seem to have won.
Criticizing McCain for opposing negotiations with Iran, Biden said even the Bush administration now favors such talks — which Obama has long supported.
“After seven years, in which our senior diplomatic personnel were not allowed to make a single contact with Iranians, the Bush administration realized the absurdity of its own policy and sent our leading diplomat to Iran,” he said. “The Assistant Secretary of State as he went to Tehran, sat down at the instruction of the President of the United States.”
It sounds great for Obama and Biden that the president came around to something so close to their position on talks with Iran; trouble is, the event Biden described never actually happened.
There’s been a lot of talk recently about party identification, and the impact it has on polling. Presidential polls adjust their results to fit a target figure for what party people say they identify with. Recent shifts in the polls have resulted almost entirely from changes in the target figure, rather than any great changes in the responses of those polled.
For example, a week ago DJ Drummond showed that Obama had risen in the Gallup tracking poll despite losing ground or staying even in every category, due to a shift in Gallup’s weights. (Via Instapundit.) If you were to fix the weights to match historical voting patterns, McCain actually had a six point lead (as of September 18).
What is the appropriate weight for pollsters to use? I certainly don’t know. Clearly, no one thinks that the historical norms are appropriate (assuming Drummond is doing the math properly, which I cannot check), but why not, exactly? This Politico story, saying that the GOP brand is making a comeback, seems relevant. (Via Instapundit.)
In fact, a better question is: why weight by party at all? It makes sense to adjust to fit target figures that we can measure accurately, like race or gender, but why adjust to fit a figure that is pure guesswork like party identification? Certainly, you could determine a party-identification figure by polling, but then there’s no real difference from simply not weighting. I don’t get it.
The McCain campaign released a statement this morning:
Today the New York Times launched its latest attack on this campaign in its capacity as an Obama advocacy organization. Let us be clear about what this story alleges: The New York Times charges that McCain-Palin 2008 campaign manager Rick Davis was paid by Freddie Mac until last month, contrary to previous reporting, as well as statements by this campaign and by Mr. Davis himself.
In fact, the allegation is demonstrably false. As has been previously reported, Mr. Davis separated from his consulting firm, Davis Manafort, in 2006. As has been previously reported, Mr. Davis has seen no income from Davis Manafort since 2006. Zero. Mr. Davis has received no salary or compensation since 2006. Mr. Davis has received no profit or partner distributions from that firm on any basis — weekly, bi-weekly, monthly, bi-monthly, quarterly, semi-annual or annual — since 2006. Again, zero. Neither has Mr. Davis received any equity in the firm based on profits derived since his financial separation from Davis Manafort in 2006.
Further, and missing from the Times’ reporting, Mr. Davis has never — never — been a lobbyist for either Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac. Mr. Davis has not served as a registered lobbyist since 2005.
Though these facts are a matter of public record, the New York Times, in what can only be explained as a willful disregard of the truth, failed to research this story or present any semblance of a fairminded treatment of the facts closely at hand. The paper did manage to report one interesting but irrelevant fact: Mr. Davis did participate in a roundtable discussion on the political scene with…Paul Begala.
Again, let us be clear: The New York Times — in the absence of any supporting evidence — has insinuated some kind of impropriety on the part of Senator McCain and Rick Davis. But entirely missing from the story is any significant mention of Senator McCain’s long advocacy for, and co-sponsorship of legislation to enact, stricter oversight and regulation of both Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac — dating back to 2006. Please see the attached floor statement on this issue by Senator McCain from 2006.
To the central point our campaign has made in the last 48 hours: The New York Times has never published a single investigative piece, factually correct or otherwise, examining the relationship between Obama campaign chief strategist David Axelrod, his consulting and lobbying clients, and Senator Obama. Likewise, the New York Times never published an investigative report, factually correct or otherwise, examining the relationship between Former Fannie Mae CEO Jim Johnson and Senator Obama, who appointed Johnson head of his VP search committee, until the writing was on the wall and Johnson was under fire following reports from actual news organizations that he had received preferential loans from predatory mortgage lender Countrywide.
Therefore this “report” from the New York Times must be evaluated in the context of its intent and purpose. It is a partisan attack falsely labeled as objective news. And its most serious allegations are based entirely on the claims of anonymous sources, a familiar yet regretful tactic for the paper.
We all understand that partisan attacks are part of the political process in this country. The debate that stems from these grand and sometimes unruly conversations is what makes this country so exceptional. Indeed, our nation has a long and proud tradition of news organizations that are ideological and partisan in nature, the Huffington Post and the New York Times being two such publications. We celebrate their contribution to the political fabric of America. But while the Huffington Post is utterly transparent, the New York Times obscures its true intentions — to undermine the candidacy of John McCain and boost the candidacy of Barack Obama — under the cloak of objective journalism.
The New York Times is trying to fill an ideological niche. It is a business decision, and one made under economic duress, as the New York Times is a failing business. But the paper’s reporting on Senator McCain, his campaign, and his staff should be clearly understood by the American people for what it is: a partisan assault aimed at promoting that paper’s preferred candidate, Barack Obama.
In fact, if Fannie and Freddie were somehow indirectly supporting McCain, they sure didn’t get anything for their investment. McCain cosponsored the bill to rein in Fannie and Freddie, but was stymied in that effort by Democrats, who overtly accepted huge sums from Fannie and Freddie. The rest is history.
As for the idea that the NYT is an advocacy organization determined to boost Obama, that is too obvious to discuss. But, I don’t think that it’s a business decision, at least not a good one. By becoming openly partisan, Sulzberger is sacrificing his company’s most valuable asset.
Politico reports on a brief conversation in which Biden was asked about clean coal:
Biden’s apparent answer: He supports clean coal for China, but not for the United States.
“No coal plants here in America,” he said. “Build them, if they’re going to build them, over there. Make them clean.”
“We’re not supporting clean coal,” he said of himself and Obama. They do, on paper, support clean coal.
The answer seems to play into John McCain’s case that Obama has been saying “no” to new sources of energy. . .
“I don’t think there’s much of a role for clean coal in energy independence, but I do think there’s a significant role for clean coal in the bigger picture of climate change,” he told Grist last year. “Clean-coal technology is not the route to go in the United States, because we have other, cleaner alternatives,” he said, but added that America should push for a “fundamental change in technology” to clean up China’s plants.
What exactly those alternatives are, when you’ve eliminated every cost-effective energy source, is unclear. I suppose he has a secret plan he’ll reveal after the election.
What comes next should be familiar. McCain attacked Biden’s remark, and Obama called him a liar.
Today, Senator John McCain pounced on Biden’s remarks.
“I am going to put in place the priorities and policies that will create jobs in Ohio. One important way that we are going to create jobs here is with the development of additional nuclear plants and through investments in clean coal technology,” he said. “[Obama's] running mate here in Ohio recently said that they weren’t supporting clean coal.”
Biden spokesman David Wade responded by calling McCain’s statement “yet another false attack from a dishonorable campaign.”
He continued: “Senator McCain knows that Senator Obama and Senator Biden support clean coal technology. Senator Biden’s point is that China is building coal plants with outdated technology every day, and the United States needs to lead by developing clean coal technologies.”
But the error here does seem to be Biden’s, and his remarks, and his apparent return to his primary position Tuesday, were striking because just three days ago, he praised the possibilities of coal to a crowd at the United Mine Workers of America annual fish fry in Castlewood, Va.
Whenever Obama is attacked using for his own words or actions, he always accuses his critic of lying. Somehow he gets away with it. Despite Obama’s flagrant dishonesty in cases just such as this, the media has decided that McCain is the dishonest one. Doubtless he’ll get away with this too.