Sunday, August 31, 2008

Joe Biden lies about blue-collar roots

Chicago Tribune has the story.

The facts are there for anyone who wants to look at them. When Joe Biden Sr. died in 2002, his obituary in the News-Journal of Wilmington reported that when he married in 1941, "he was working as a sales representative for Amoco Oil Co. in Harrisburg."

It went on, "Biden also was an executive in a Boston-based company that supplied waterproof sealant for U.S. merchant marine ships built during World War II. After the war, he co-owned an airport and crop-dusting service on Long Island." Upon moving his family to Delaware, the News-Journal said, Biden "worked in the state first as a sales manager for auto dealerships and later in real-estate condominium sales."

Executive, co-owner and manager? Those titles identify the jobholder as solidly middle class, if not better. They fall in the category of white-collar occupations, not blue-collar.

And Biden Sr. clearly knew the difference. In his book, "Promises to Keep," Biden writes that his father was "the most elegantly dressed, perfectly manicured, perfectly tailored car sales manager Wilmington had ever seen."

Biden notes that he himself could have gone to the best public high school in Delaware. Instead, he enrolled at Archmere Academy, a Catholic prep school that made him think he had "died and gone to Yale." He took a summer job to help pay the steep tuition, which today amounts to $18,450 a year.

Joe Biden - Gaffemeister

Joe Biden lies about how his academic credentials. Claims scholarships and degrees he never had.

Safire: Obama's acceptance speech is "Hype"

Bill Safire, who is one of the few men of letters who has compiled and edited collections of speeches and is a speech expert had a little something to say about Barack Obama's 2008 DNC acceptance speech at Mile High Stadium.

The New York Times
August 31, 2008
Op-Ed Contributor
The Audacity of Hype

BY choosing the venue of a vast outdoor stadium as John Kennedy did
for his “new frontier” acceptance, and by speaking on the anniversary
of Martin Luther King’s “I have a dream” address, Barack Obama — whose
claim to fame is an ability to move audiences with his words —
deliberately invited comparison with two of the most memorable
speeches of our recent history.

What a mistake.

A speaker must first ask: what is the best setting to make close
contact with the person I want to reach? In this day and age, it is
not a huge throng wildly cheering on cue. On the contrary, the target
is the individual American voter watching a TV or computer screen at
home, accustomed to looking over the shoulders of elected
representatives, in colorful convention assembled, selecting the
party’s nominee.

Instead, Obama’s handlers offered the political version of “American
Idol” — the audacity of hype. On the 50-yard line of the football
field, at a reported cost of $6 million, they erected a plywood
Parthenon, its fake Grecian columns suggesting the White House. At the
end, not a traditional balloon drop in a contained hall — enjoyable
hoopla — but a fireworks display in the heavens over a mass of
humanity in a blizzard of confetti, all too like the collectivist
fantasy that opened and closed the Beijing Olympics.

To present what? In a speech aptly titled “The American Promise,”
Obama promised to “end this war in Iraq responsibly,” even as it is
already ending responsibly. He promised in a militant phrase not
merely to end but to “finish the fight” (meaning to win) in
Afghanistan. In one catchall sentence, Obama promised to defeat
“terrorism and nuclear proliferation; poverty and genocide; climate
change and disease.” Because the charge that he would raise taxes
obviously nettles him, he promised to “eliminate capital gains taxes
for the small businesses” run by obedient high-tech executives, and to
“cut taxes for 95 percent of all working families.”

In promising to “end our dependence on oil from the Middle East,” he
stopped pandering for a moment to oppose the majority of Americans
urging we increase supply by drilling for oil here: “Understand that
drilling is a stop-gap measure, not a long-term solution.” That is
phrased with wiggle room to let him go along with necessary drilling,
provided stockholders in oil companies are punished.

Belatedly, Obama did what he could to lower expectations for this
speech, saying it would be “workmanlike” with no high rhetoric. But
his and his writing team’s product lacked the freshness of his 2004
convention stunner, the winning modesty of his 2006 Gridiron Club
address (“Thank you for all the generous advance coverage ... when I
actually do something, we’ll let you know”) and the grace of his
gentle disassociation from his longtime pastor this summer.

His stump speech in the primaries was finely honed; the delivery of
his televised victory speeches showed a thrilling mastery of the
teleprompter. By becoming the first African-American to win a major
party’s presidential nomination, he made history, but he failed to
come up with a historic acceptance address. Having set a Stevensonian
standard for stirring eloquence, he cannot get by with workmanlike

“Don’t tell me that Democrats won’t defend this country,” he cried
angrily. “Don’t tell me that Democrats won’t keep us safe.” Who’s
telling him that? By escalating criticism, he knocked down a straw
man, the oldest speechifying trick in the book. He promised to
“restore our moral standing” (shades of Jimmy Carter) “so that America
is once more the last, best hope for” (Lincoln wrote of) “all who are
called to the cause of freedom” (shades of George W. Bush). But does
he apply that idealist “cause of freedom” to the invaded Georgians? He
didn’t say.

Goaded by increasingly worried advisers, he turned personal and mean.
“If John McCain wants to have a debate about who has the temperament,
and judgment, to serve as the next commander in chief, that’s a debate
I’m ready to have.” That use of “temperament,” accent on the “temper,”
was a throwback to the slur at Barry Goldwater as “trigger happy.” (It
worked for Lyndon Johnson.)

Then came a strange one: “John McCain likes to say that he’ll follow
bin Laden to the gates of Hell — but he won’t even go to the cave
where he lives.” What’s that supposed to mean — that McCain is a
coward, unwilling to lead a charge into the hills of Pakistan? That
Obama would? Most post-speech TV analysis, blown away by the
sky-piercing fireworks, ignored that low blow; nor was attention paid
to his replay of the charge that “naysayers” are motivated by more
than his politics: “I don’t fit the typical pedigree.”

It was only human for Obama to show his irritation with McCain’s
successful “celebrity” spot zinging his rock-star reception by the
Berlin 200,000, and Obama’s exploitation of Phil Gramm’s “nation of
whiners” gaffe was a legitimate political pop. However, treating as
serious McCain’s joking definition of “middle class” as earning $5
million a year was a bit much from a candidate who derogated
working-class Hillary Clinton supporters as “bitter,” claiming “they
cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren’t like

Supporters of John McCain and Sarah Palin (did I mention I’m one?)
were glad to hear Obama reach into the John Edwards playbook to fan
resentment that turned independent voters away from the Democratic
ticket four years ago. He could not resist his version of the old
class warfare, “two Americas” pitch. And he revealed his own promise
to tighten management of the economy from Washington as never before
with a soothing banality: “Our government should work for us, not
against us. It should help us, not hurt us.”

A poignant reminder of the Original Obama came in the speech’s moving
peroration. His evocation of Martin Luther King’s dream of
togetherness at the Lincoln Memorial was beautiful and timely.

A stern editor could have improved the 4,500-word acceptance by
cutting a thousand words of populist boilerplate and partisan-pleasing
shots that offend centrists. But the die was cast before the writing
began. The pretension of the fake Grecian temple setting clashed with
the high-decibel, rock-star format and overwhelmed the history
implicit in the event. Ancient Greeks had a word for it: hubris.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Mitt Romney is McCain's Running Mate

From his website:

Former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney has been widely recognized for his leadership and accomplishments as a public servant and in private enterprise.

Elected in 2002, Governor Romney presided over a dramatic reversal of state fortunes and a period of sustained economic expansion. Without raising taxes or increasing debt, Governor Romney balanced the budget every year of his administration, closing a $3 billion budget gap inherited when he took office. By eliminating waste, streamlining the government, and enacting comprehensive economic reforms to stimulate growth in Massachusetts, Romney got the economy moving again and transformed deficits into surpluses.

At the beginning of Governor Romney's term, Massachusetts was losing thousands of jobs every month. By the time he left office, the unemployment rate was lower, hundreds of companies had expanded or moved to Massachusetts, and in the last two years of his term, the state had added approximately 60,000 jobs.

One of Governor Romney's top priorities was reforming the education system so that young people could compete for better paying jobs in the global economy of the future. In 2004, Governor Romney established the John and Abigail Adams Scholarship Program to reward the top 25 percent of Massachusetts high school students with a four-year, tuition-free scholarship to any Massachusetts public university or college. He has also championed a package of education reforms, including merit pay, an emphasis on math and science instruction, important new intervention programs for failing schools and English immersion for foreign-speaking students.

In 2006, Governor Romney proposed and signed into law a private, market-based reform that ensures every Massachusetts citizen will have health insurance, without a government takeover and without raising taxes.

Governor Romney was elected to the Chairmanship of the Republican Governors Association by his fellow Governors for the 2006 election cycle, and raised a record $27 million for candidates running in State House contests around the country.

Romney first gained national recognition for his role in turning around the 2002 Winter Olympics. With the 2002 Games mired in controversy and facing a financial crisis, Romney left behind a successful career as an entrepreneur to take over as President and CEO of the Salt Lake Organizing Committee.

Governor Romney has said he felt compelled to assume the seemingly impossible task of rescuing the Games by both the urgings of his wife, Ann, and by the memory of his father, George Romney, who had been a successful businessman, three-term Governor of Michigan, and a tireless advocate of volunteerism in America.

In his three years at the helm in Salt Lake, Romney erased a $379 million operating deficit, organized 23,000 volunteers, galvanized community spirit and oversaw an unprecedented security mobilization just months after the September 11th attacks, leading to one of the most successful Olympics in our country's history.

Prior to his Olympic service, Mitt Romney enjoyed a successful career helping businesses grow and improve their operations. From 1978 to 1984, Mr. Romney was a Vice President at Bain & Company, Inc., a leading management consulting firm. In 1984, Romney founded Bain Capital, one of the nation's most successful venture capital and investment companies. Bain Capital helped launch hundreds of companies on a successful course, including Staples, Bright Horizons Family Solutions, Domino's Pizza, Sealy, Brookstone, and The Sports Authority. He was asked to return to Bain & Company as CEO several years later in order to lead a financial restructuring of the organization. Today, Bain & Company employs more than 2,000 people in 25 offices worldwide.

Governor Romney has been deeply involved in community and civic affairs, serving extensively in his church and numerous charities including City Year, the Boy Scouts, and the Points of Light Foundation. He was also the Republican nominee for U.S. Senate in 1994.

Governor Romney received his B.A., with Highest Honors, from Brigham Young University in 1971. In 1975, he was awarded an MBA from Harvard Business School, where he was named a Baker Scholar, and a J.D., cum laude, from Harvard Law School.

See the Aurora Beacon News coverage of the selection.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Obama's Unsavory Past

Great commercial highlighting Barack Obama's past and current ties to a terrorist movement that bombed the United States Capitol.

Check out the Waukegan News Sun.

McCain Picks Tim Pawlenty for VP Running Mate

It's a good choice. From Tim Pawlenty's website:

Governor Pawlenty grew up in South St. Paul, Minnesota. The only child in his family to graduate from college, he attended the University of Minnesota (B.A., J.D.) and practiced law in the private sector. His public service career includes serving as a city councilmember and ten-year member of the Minnesota House of Representatives, including four years as House Majority Leader.

As Governor, he has balanced Minnesota's budget three times without raising taxes, despite facing record budget deficits. Governor Pawlenty's most notable accomplishments include proposing and signing into law significant new benefits for veterans and members of the military; enacting a property tax cap, eliminating the marriage penalty and cutting taxes; toughening the state's education standards; reforming the way teachers are paid through a nation-leading performance pay plan; instituting free-market health care reforms that increase accountability and provide tax credits to encourage the use of health savings accounts; and implementing a plan to Americanize our energy sources by generating 25% of the state's electricity from renewable sources by 2025.

Read more at the Peoria Journal Star.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Obama's Arugula, Shortbread and Honest Tea

Marketwatch (and others) report that delegates to the Democratic National Convention will be welcomed with special treats:

Among the many special features and amenities awaiting guests at the 600-room hotel are shortbread cookies at turndown made from one of Mrs. Obama's favorite recipes, and bottles of "Honest Tea," a cooling beverage Senator Obama enjoys on the campaign trail.

Okay, now I enjoy shortbread as much as anybody and I'm sure Honest Tea is delicious, but are these the kind of treats enjoyed by regular Americans? Barack Obama showed how out of touch he was with America when he asked an audience of Iowa farmers, "Anybody gone into Whole Foods lately and see what they charge for arugula?”

And now Mr. Obama is offering guests to his convention shortbread and Honest Tea. Shortbread is definitely European, Scottish to be exact, and is the kind of cookie you find in gourmet stores like Dean and Deluca. It's not what you find at the local supermarket. As for Honest Tea, here's the description:

Honest Tea stands for real tea and real taste. Each Honest Tea flavor is brewed based on a recipe perfected over generations in a specific region of the world. As a result, a drink of Honest Tea becomes a cultural experience, from the genuine tastes to the distinctive international art and quotations on the labels. Honest Tea allows people to enjoy the world's second most popular drink the way hundreds of civilizations and nature intended it to be. Tea that tastes like tea -- A world of flavor freshly brewed and barely sweetened.

And no, it's not 50 cents a bottle.

I'm sure the Honest Tea and the gourmet shortbread is going to be a big hit with the wine, cheese and granola liberals that run the DNC from their conclaves in San Francisco, etc. and who are attending the convention, but this isn't going to fly so well with the middle Americans in the swing states whose votes he really needs.