Sunday, August 31, 2008

Todd Palin - Thoroughly Modern Husband

(front left to right) Former First Ladies Susan Knowles, Ermalee Hickel, Neva Egan, Bella Hammond and Nancy Murkowski stand with current First Gentleman Todd Palin in the Governor’s mansion ballroom on August 2, 2008 after a luncheon.

Hats off to Alaska's First Gentleman, Todd Palin, the champion snowmobiler, fisherman, and union steelworker who supports his wife, Sarah Palin, as Alaska's governor and as John McCain's pick for Vice-President. Palin not only quit his job to avoid a conflict of interest with her administration, he's also helping out with the kids. Well, maybe that's be raising the kids; whatever the case may be, he is a thoroughly modern husband.

With all those questions about what do husbands of Vice-Presidents or Presidents do, clearly they put on a nice suit and show up to welcome the former first ladies (above, those of of Alaska) to lunch. This picture was taken earlier this month, long before Sarah Palin was chosen by John McCain as his running mate. There are a lot of women out there who are really going to like this photo!

Saturday, August 30, 2008

The Energy of Sarah Palin

After yesterday's surprise vice-president announcement by John McCain, Sarah Palin isn't the only one who will need to be a fast study. We will also have to get up to speed about Sarah Palin! The September 8, 2008 issue of the Weekly Standard has a number of articles about the Governor of Alaska, including How Palin Got Picked and Fred Barnes' Providential Palin: She may be the one conservatives have been waiting for. As Barnes notes: "And just to be clear about her conservatism: Palin is pro-life, pro-gun, pro-military, pro-Iraq war, pro-spending cuts, pro-tax cuts, pro-drilling for oil everywhere (including ANWR), pro-family, and pro-religion."

Was McCain's choice smart? Consider this: by 10 PM last night McCain had raised $4 million online, six times his previous one-day online record. The Pailin pick is, among the party faithful, an unqualified success. There are a lot of people out there bitterly clingling to their guns and religion, as Sen. Obama put it.

Obama's troops are tired. They have made contributions over and over again. They have travelled from state to state working for victory. Even Obama himself is beginning to look haggard, and he comes across as angry, losing both his enthusiasm and his message in the process. McCain has energized his base. These conservatives haven't yet begun to give--or fight. Rested and ready or tired troops--who would your money be on? It promises to be a very interesing fall, indeed.

Friday, August 29, 2008

It's McCain-Palin - How Exciting is That?

All our female family members are really excited about the choice of Sarah Palin for vice-president by John McCain. We didn't ask the men, but they are solid for McCain. Somehow Sarah Palin makes the Democrats seem tired and worn out. I don't think the Obama Democrats like her, but that's okay with me.

Alaska's Official Website Overwhelmed in Wake of Palin VP Speculation

Following CNN's reporting of a private plane from Alaska that has landed in Ohio, and a headline by Drudge, the speculation is rampant that Alaska Governor, Sarah Palin, is John McCain's running mate. The intense interest has taken down the official website for the State of Alaska!

UPDATE: The Official leak confirms that the vice-president pick IS Sarah Palin, a thoroughly modern Conservative woman whose folks were out on a moose hunt when Sarah's husband, Tim, called to advise them to stand-by the radio.

Obama's Acceptance: Chicago Politics Are the Politics of the Future . . . Good Lord, I Need a Beer

"Election not about Barack it's about you. Enough of the politics of the past, Chicago Politics Are the Politics of the Future. Change Happens because we Demand it, a new politics, from Chicago. The Change is coming, he saw it in Illinois? Good Lord, I need a beer. "

The other night, El Rider of Flying Debris live-blogged Hillary's convention speech in a stream-of-consciousness style. That post was such a masterpiece I begged him to live-blog Barack Obama's acceptance speech. We are in luck; he did just that. Do read the post; it will make your day.

Then, if you haven't gotten enough of politics, go read Charles Krauthammer's excellent piece, "The Perfect Stranger," which notes that "[e]erily missing at the Democratic convention this year were people of stature who were seriously involved at some point in Obama's life standing up to say: I know Barack Obama. I've been with Barack Obama. We've toiled/endured together. You can trust him. I do.'

I watched the convention last night, and Al Gore's speech was better than Obama's. Seriously. Perhaps Barack needs to take another vacation, as last night all I got from him was that he was angry, really angry. This guy looked as if he were going to explode.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Barack Obama: Will it be "Toga toga toga" in Denver?

Will they be chanting "To-ga! tog-ga! to-ga!" in Denver tonight? Is this what Barack Obama will be wearing as he makes his acceptance speech on a set designed by Britney Spears' set designer and made to look like a Greek temple?

Sometimes a candidate just should say "No!" to his people and handlers and this is one of those times. I certainly hope Barack Obama won't be arriving via some kind of pulley contraption as if he were descending from the heavens like a Greek god. Some people have said that the set is going to resemble something in Germany, in say, the late 1930's.

All-in-all, this Greek temple thing sounds like one really, really bad idea.

UPDATE: Well "the temple" looks okay, but it looks as if Barack Obama is giving his speech in front of a Japanese screen. I think Barack is going to give me a free new car and a tax break, and even reopen the US Steel South Works plant. Only one problem: Obama looks so incredibly angry and is screaming so loudly I am worried that he might forget about all my free goodies and kill me first. Or maybe he just wants to kill John McCain.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Watching the Democrat Convention

They're chanting a slow "0-BAH-MAH" down on the floor of the Democrat Convention in Denver. It sounds as if they are filming a cult meeting in a bad sci fi flick. A series of speakers are telling their stories as to why they support Barack Obama for President. Oddest is a women who speaks about green energy (she runs a company) and how investors are lining up to put their money into it. She says that Barack Obama would ensure that the government got into this, bigtime, and with the big bucks. I am perplexed as to why government subsidies are necessary when investors are "lining up." Perhaps that's why I am a Republican?

In fact, as the series of speakers tell their stories, chosen for heart-rending, Democrat oriented content, I am left pretty cold. I feel badly for the lady from South Carolina who lost her job in the textile mill, especially because she says most of her co-workers could barely read or write. She was surprised that government didn't have a plan to give her either a permanent job or a paycheck when the mill shut down. She knows that this will never happen again if Barack Obama is elected President.

There is a theme tonight. It is the job of the government to ensure the well-being and lifestyle of every citizen regardless of economic realities. I find myself feeling sorry for these people who, from all evidence, either refuse to take responsibility for their own lives or who simply don't believe they are able. I begin to wonder about whatever happened to "Yes we can!"?

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Ready for Obama and Denver?

"And wouldn't you know it, they [the Americans] insist on looking this gift thoroughbred in the mouth. Who'd have thought it? You present them with the man who deigns to deliver them from their plight and they want to sit around and ask hard questions about who he is and what he believes and where he might actually take the country. The ingrates!" -Times Online

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Joe Biden: Smart Choice

Perhaps Joe Biden might also convince Barack Obama that major announcements via text message are a little juvenile.

President Biden?

Barack America?

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Obama Blows His Nose!

Congratulations to Blogger Bilaji, who posted this 1,001st blog post today on the My Thoughts blog. Balaji, captured the above screen shot from CNN. "I found it [the above picture and caption from CNN] plain annoying," said Balaji in an online interview, "How can you portray yourself as a serious news channel? This is something a tabloid should be publishing!"

I think the picture is great. When Obama blows his nose the world listens!

Barack Øbama, Caroline Kennedy Schlossberg, Emil Jones, and Change You Can Bank On

Before Barack Øbama even officially wins the nod of his party for President, apparently he has named Caroline Kennedy Schlossberg as the Ambassador to the Court of St. James (that's Ambassador to Great Britain) in grateful appreciation for her good work on behalf of his quest for President. This plum appointment is this considered a #1 ambassadorial job, but will not be effective until Barack Øbama is sworn in. A national election will also take place in the interim. The post was also held by Kennedy-Schlossberg's grandfather under Franklin Roosevelt, and it could fast-track Caroline Kennedy's entry into high-level politics should she be so inclined. The promise of a job long before an election is standard in Chicago politics (where only the primary matters), so Øbama is sticking close to his roots in motivating his workers (including Caroline) to get out the vote.

News of the Kennedy appointment closely follows the announcement by Øbama's mentor, Illinois Senate President Emil Jones, that he will be retiring and his son should be appointed to his senate seat. Chicago politicians have been working hard across-the-board to institute a birth-based political aristocracy in Illinois, lest voters grow confused as who to choose. Emil Jones' choice closely follows the appointment of Todd Stroger to the head of the Cook County Board as his father's dying request.

In other news, Barack Øbama has spent more on his campaign in one month (July) than John McCain has spent in his entire election, leading to the conclusion that the consumer-based economy is doing quite well indeed. That's change you can bank on, and no small change at that.
Don't get behind the curve! Keep up with America's future by boning-up on Chicago politics now!

When it comes to family, Chicago's Mayor Daley invokes his dad, Mayor Daley, and one more father-son duo, when commenting on why researchers have been denied access to papers detailing the relationship between Barack Øbama and a terrorist. Read this, then this.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Obama's Audacity of Resume Padding

Like 48% of the rest of the electorate, I am on Obama overload, tired already of his campaign. While I have blogged extensively about my belief that Barack Obama is not ready to be president, I have never touched on much substantive, feeling that the evidence doesn't require that deep an analysis.

Nevertheless, there is a newpaper article, The Audacity of Resume Padding, that summarizes Barack Obama's real lack of experience that is well worth reading.

"Look at his record: he's now completed over half of a Senate term; yet, is there
even one signature issue he has taken hold of, other than his own presidential run? Similarly, as the New York Times recently pointed out, Obama spent twelve years on the University of Chicago Law School faculty--singularly famous for its intellectual ferment and incubator of scholarship--and produced not even a single scholarly paper. He was President of Harvard Law Review, but wrote nothing himself. Even as a state legislator for seven years-or community organizer for three years, there is little that shows his imprint. OK, to be fair, he did write two books. About himself."

Come to think of it, if you are an Obama fan, I would skip the article entirely.

Hat tip to reader VM, via email.

Musharraf Resigns Amid More Questions than Answers

Following months of speculation, President Musharraf of Pakistan has resigned, a Nixonian type move to avoid articles of impeachment complete with an address to the nation. There appears to be no vice-president or any particular order of succession, his replacement apparently left to the governing parties and a new election. In the meantime, the Chairman of the Senate, Mohammadmian Soomro, becomes the acting president under the Pakistani Constitution. There are few if any clues as to who will be the next president or what that will mean to the US.

Questions remain whether Musharraf was anti-terrorist or in bed in with the Taliban; even his countrymen cannot agree. There is strong belief in Pakistan that the emergency he declared late last year was solely for the purpose of insuring his re-election to the office, and he has been unable to achieve much since that point. There is a Prime Minister, so perhaps an orderly transition is not terribly important.

Politically active Pakistanis have made repeated calls for Musharraf's impeachment and/or resignation and/or charging him with crimes, their substance recounted in this online petition. Inside Pakistan, many viewed him as an American puppet and corrupt.

It is doubtful that President's Musharraf's exit will end the intrigue that seems to surround every facet of Pakistani politics, though there is great hope, amid cynicism, that the judiciary that existed prior to the declaration of emergency will be restored.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Russia-Georgia War Continues Despite Cease-Fire Agreement

In addition to the on-the-ground war with Russia in the Country of Georgia, there is also a propaganda war. The above pro-Georgian video was produced in the last day, and as you can see, the anti-Russian sentiment is very strong.

Meantime, even though the official Georgian websites have been moved to the US state of Georgia, the cyber attacks against them from Russia continue. News from Georgia is still being gathered together by the Georgian government at its blogspot blog, and includes information received by them by SMS cellphone text message as well as other ways of communication.

Despite the agreement reached yesterday for a cease-fire, it appears that the war continues.

McCain: "Today we are all Georgians."

Monday, August 11, 2008

Country of Georgia Turns to Blog to Communicate with World

UDATED! Scroll Down
Russia and Georgia are at war, and the war includes Russia's hacking and/or taking down Georgia's official government websites. In one of the most unusual and creative uses of blogger, the Google blogging platform that hosts this blog and perhaps one million more, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Government of Georgia is using blogspot as its method of communicating with the world. You can click here to see the government blog, which is available at There is a complete list of the military actions taken by Russia. Some of the earlier information also appears on the English version of the website of the President of Poland at the request of the President of Georgia.

While the official websites are in Russian, the blog is in English. Although very troubling, the information is fascinating, with complete details of the Russian attacks. Georgia's military resources are very limited compared to those of Russia, and there is hope that the International community can help end this conflict.

Hat tip to Drudge, who linked this story with the details of the cyber war.

UPDATE: The AP is reporting that the President of the Country of Georgia has moved its website to a hosting facility located in the State of Georgia, USA, and that cyber attacks from Moscow and St. Petersburg are continuing. Computerworld has further information.

UPDATE 2: For the tech savvy, there is further information about the cyber attacks at ZDNet and Shadowserver.

UPDATE 3: At 6:20 PM Georgian Time on August 12, 2008, Georgian Public Broadcasting on its English language websiteis reporting that France (who has been helping Georgia) and Russia have reached an accord that may end the current hostilities.

Saturday, August 09, 2008

George McGovern and the Perils of the EFCA

No one can ever say that former Democratic Senator and presidential candidate George McGovern hasn't spent his life being a left-wing, pro-labor, anti-war progressive. He has always been a man of principle, the only problem being that his principles have been so contrary to much of mainstream America and the conservative viewpoint. For that reason, I was surprised this morning to read an op-ed written by McGovern speaking against a piece of legislation that Barack Obama and most Democrats back completely, the Employee Free Choice Act (EFCA), which has not yet become law. Seen as a way to boost union rolls by hundreds of thousands of new members, this bill is this year's top election issue for organized labor.

The proposed ECFA strips away the workers' right to an election to choose whether or not they want to unionize their workplaces, substituting cards those workers have signed indicating that they want to join with a specific labor union. At the moment, these cards begin a union organizing process. If enough signatures are collected there is a secret ballot election. Over the years these cards have also been used to certify a union without the requirement for an election where management has engaged in unfair labor practices in an egregious manner. To certify a union on cards alone is ugly, essentially saying that management is so inherently unfair that it cannot be trusted in the union organizing process.

Mr. McGovern states, "There are many documented cases where workers have been pressured, harassed, tricked and intimidated into signing cards that have led to mandatory payment of dues, " and "Under EFCA, workers could lose the freedom to express their will in private, the right to make a decision without anyone peering over their shoulder, free from fear of reprisal."

This piece of legislation is an important and troubling issue in both the Presidential and Congressional elections. I urge you to read Mr. McGovern's article; it is excellent.

Friday, August 08, 2008

I Travel to New Engand and See Barack Obama's Plane

Just as Obama fatigue sets in, Barack takes off for Hawaii. On Monday, returning home from my summer vacation, I saw his plane arrive at Boston Airport, taxiing down the runway like any ordinary jet. It was bright and sunny in Boston, but Chicago was in the midst of summer storms. I was lucky that after a good deal of flight delay and cancellations, I made it back to Chicago in time to go to bed. My luggage arrived a little later--12:30 on Thursday morning to be exact. While I was happy to have my suitcase, I think they could have brought it at a more reasonable hour.

Somehow I didn't think that the Obama family would take that huge plane that I saw in Boston to vacation--I don't know why I envisioned the Obama family flying commercial, but somehow I did--that's why this picture of Barack Obama going up the stairs to his private plane on the way to Hawaii surprised me.

With the exception of the ocean and the many harbors I saw on my trip, the New England states mostly looked like Illinois or Indiana; even the Green Mountains in Vermont didn't look very different from home. It was sort-of like being caught in an endless loop of traveling through Winnetka and Harms Woods, with most of the scenery being trees and white wood houses, and I was a little disappointed. Nevertheless, it was good to return to some places I had seen before and finally seeing all the New England states.

On the last couple of days of my trip I was suffering with a cold, and after I got home I spent all Tuesday in bed. No matter how well the oceans are doing after the appearance of Barack Obama on the scene, (and a new special Obama salute that Barack's team has adopted directly following his trip to Germany) I thought it might be my duty to report that my Obama sighting did not heal me, not even one little bit.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Dan Seals Partnering with Rangel, Chicago's First Ward for North Shore Run

Thanks to the New York Daily News, we have a copy of the invitation to tonight’s Charlie Rangel Birthday Gala, pictured above (click on it for a larger image) though what Charlie Rangel has in common with Illinois' 10th Congressional District is a mystery to me. Nevertheless, Dan Seals, who has been running a three year campaign for this seat from the 9th Congressional District, stands to be a big beneficiary of the event through the Rangel Victory Fund. After the first thousand bucks to Rangel, Dan and a number of other candidates split the rest. The Rangel Victory Fund, a joint venture between Rangel, Seals, and several other congressional candidates, have been seeking donations between $200. and $5,000. from New Yorkers to attend the party. Less than one week ago a resolution was introduced in Congress to censure Rangel for conduct contrary to House rules.

In addition, according to Team America, there is another out-of-district fundraiser tonight for Seals in Chicago’s First Ward. TA speculates that in light of Rangel's problems, Seals wants to distance himself from Rangel, although I can't think seeking First Ward support would be a particularly better choice.

With all this out-of-district fundraising, could it be that area Democrats--a well-heeled lot--are rejecting this second bid from Seals? We would note that Seals is still carrying a Tribune endorsement left over from the primary on the main page of his campaign website, misleading the casual visitor, although the Tribune won't be endorsing any candidates for the general election until October.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Paris Hilton Throws Her Hat into the Presidental Ring

I am pretty sure everyone will have seen the "Paris Hilton for President" ad by noon Wednesday, but in the event you haven't seen it yet, better have a look! We are great fans of John McCain here, and great fans of political humor, too.

Candidate McCain's take on the ad? According to the Washington Times, he found it "hilarious"!

Applying New Trier Standards to Chicago Public Schools

I am thinking that it might be a good idea for Chicago Public School teachers, whose students take the first day off for a field trip to Winnetka to "enroll" at New Trier High School might try applying New Trier standards to those children who wish to attend New Trier.

First of all, every teacher should assign homework on the first day of school, but maybe not too much, only a half hour or 45 minutes or so per class. When the students go to school on the second day of school, they will obtain the assignment and will then have 24 hours to make up their missing homework. In addition, they will also have to do their second day of school's homework, but since it is earlier in the semester, a half hour or 45 minutes per class is plenty.

Also they will have to serve an in school detention for failing to show up the first day, or maybe 2 months of breakfast club, a really early morning study hall, or maybe even Saturday school.

This is what New Trier students do routinely. Oh yes, those nice books at New Trier? You have to pay for them yourself, the school generally does not provide them, and you have to go buy them before school begins.

Note: New Trier begins its year August 21, and the students who want to enroll aren't showing up until September 2? They would never be able to catch up.