ARC's 1st Law: As a "progressive" online discussion grows longer, the probability of a nefarious reference to Karl Rove approaches one

Saturday, September 06, 2008

The Failure of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac

From The Wall Street Journal web site this morning.

This is going to be huge.

Your Co-Conspirator,
ARC: MontereyJohn

Friday, September 05, 2008

VDH on Palin

As I watched Sally Quinn say on CNN this morning that there's a "tipping point" to when a woman should stay at home, barefoot, cooking & cleaning for her kids (and apparently, while Quinn was referring to Palin's Down syndrome 5th child, in reality the actual tipping point she was referring to is political ideology), I saw this column in National Review by my favorite Democrat, Victor Davis Hanson:

Sarah Palin and Her Discontents
Sneering power-women and the foul whiff of aristocratic disdain.

By Victor Davis Hanson

There is something ignoble about these elite, affluent, and well-connected observers in smug fashion savaging Palin, when — especially in the case of the sneering power-women — we should all at least grant that Palin is intrinsically bright, energetic, savvy, and independent to have come this far at all, given the slanted and insider rules of the game she’s in.
When we consider, in contrast, the latticed background of careers of successful contemporary female role-model politicians, such as a Diane Feinstein, Nancy Pelosi, Mary Landrieu, or Hillary Clinton — or pundits like Sally Quinn, Eleanor Clift, Andrea Mitchell, Campbell Brown, Gail Collins (the list is depressingly endless, in which marriage or lineage provides either the necessary capital, contacts, or insider influence — or sometimes all three) — then surely, whatever one’s politics, there should be some concession that what outsider Palin has accomplished, given where she began, is nothing short of remarkable.

In short, Sarah Palin is the emblem of what feminism was supposed to be all about: an unafraid, independent, audacious woman, who soared on her own merits without the aid of a patriarchal jumpstart, high-brow matrimonial tutelage and capital, and old-boy liaisons and networking.

Instead this entire sorry episode of personal invective against, and jealousy toward, Sarah Palin is surreal. Given the rising backlash, Palin Derangement Syndrome may prove to be the one thing, fairly or not, that sinks Barack Obama.
Despite what the insiders of both political stripes may say, Palin was the right pick for McCain as she has the ability to connect with the small town, Wal-Mart Republicans that could put them over the top.

Your Co-Conspirator,
ARC: St Wendeler

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Mark Steyn on Palin and the MSM

Steyn nails it at The Corner on NRO:

Credit where it's due [Mark Steyn]

I would like to thank the US media for doing such a grand job this last week of lowering expectations by portraying Governor Palin - whoops, I mean Hick-Burg Mayor Palin - as a hillbilly know-nothing permapregnant ditz, half of whose 27 kids are the spawn of a stump-toothed uncle who hasn't worked since he was an extra in Deliverance.

How's that narrative holding up, geniuses? Almost as good as your "devoted husband John Edwards" routine?

I trust even now Maureen Dowd is working on a hilarious new column mocking proposed names for the Governor's first grandchild. Perhaps Richard Cohen can just take the week off and they can rerun his insightful analysis comparing the Palin nomination to Caligula making his horse a consul. Whereas we sophisticates all know that if McCain were as smart as Obama he'd have nominated a dead horse to be his consul. No wait...

09/04 08:17 AM

Your Co-Conspirator,
ARC: MontereyJohn

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

A Positive Palin Story - Via the WayBack Machine

If only the MSM would be consistent in their coverage of Palin. Here's how Howard Fineman's Newsweak covered Sarah Palin just 11 months ago:

Now This Is Woman’s Work

There are more female governors in office than ever before, and they are making their mark with a pragmatic, postpartisan approach to solving state problems.

In Alaska, Palin is challenging the dominant, sometimes corrupting, role of oil companies in the state's political culture. "The public has put a lot of faith in us," says Palin during a meeting with lawmakers in her downtown Anchorage office, where—as if to drive the point home—the giant letters on the side of the ConocoPhillips skyscraper fill an entire wall of windows. "They're saying, 'Here's your shot, clean it up'." For Palin, that has meant tackling the cozy relationship between the state's political elite and the energy industry that provides 85 percent of Alaska's tax revenues—and distancing herself from fellow Republicans, including the state's senior U.S. senator, Ted Stevens, whose home was recently searched by FBI agents looking for evidence in an ongoing corruption investigation. (Stevens has denied any wrongdoing.) But even as she tackles Big Oil's power, Palin has transformed her own family's connections to the industry into a political advantage. Her husband, Todd, is a longtime employee of BP, but, as Palin points out, the "First Dude" is a blue-collar "sloper," a fieldworker on the North Slope, a cherished occupation in the state. "He's not in London making the decisions whether to build a gas line."

In an interview with NEWSWEEK, Palin said it's time for Alaska to "grow up" and end its reliance on pork-barrel spending. Shortly after taking office, Palin canceled funding for the "Bridge to Nowhere," a $330 million project that Stevens helped champion in Congress. The bridge, which would have linked the town of Ketchikan to an island airport, had come to symbolize Alaska's dependence on federal handouts. Rather than relying on such largesse, says Palin, she wants to prove Alaska can pay its own way, developing its huge energy wealth in ways that are "politically and environmentally clean."
Although she has been in office less than a year, Palin, too, earns high marks from lawmakers on the other side of the aisle. During a debate earlier this year over a natural-gas bill, State Senate Minority Leader Beth Kerttula was astounded when she and another Democrat went to see the new governor to lay out their objections. "Not only did we get right in to see her," says Kerttula, "but she asked us back twice—we saw her three times in 10 hours, until we came up with a solution." Next week in Juneau, Alaska lawmakers will meet to overhaul the state's system for taxing oil companies—a task Palin says was tainted last year by an oil-industry lobbyist who pleaded guilty to bribing lawmakers. Kerttula doesn't expect to agree with the freshman governor on every step of the complex undertaking. But the minority leader looks forward to exploiting one backroom advantage she's long waited for. "I finally get to go to the restroom and talk business with the governor," she says. "The guys have been doing this for centuries." And who says that's not progress?

This is exactly the kind of hope and changiness that Obama is promising, but can't deliver. You see, with his background in the backrooms of sleeze-ball Chicago politics and Joe Biden's history of pay-to-play, it's the politically connected that will benefit from an Obama-Biden administration. They're the ones who have benefitted from Obama's short tenure in the Illinois and US Senate.

Of course, the MSM will tell us that now that Palin is a Vice Presidential candidate (which is apparently of more import than the Presidency itself given the amount of scrutiny Palin is receiving when compared to Barry "Blow" Obama), all of her previous attributes are really her negatives...

She should really just stay home in Alaska and take care of that poor little baby that she had the gall to bring into this world. Such a burden...




We're the Media and we're here to tell you what to think.

Your Co-Conspirator,
ARC: St Wendeler

On the VP Vetting Process

This story in the Washington Post is being used by political operatives and the Obama-worshipping media to call into question McCain's judgment in selecting Sarah Palin. When reading the story, you get the typical story structure of a newspaper, with facts and timelines intermingled throughout which confuse the reader as to the actual process that was used. Is this simply the way journalists write (with their "big facts" in the first few paragraphs and the "lesser facts" at the bottom)? Probably. Or it could be intended to give an impression that the vetting of Sarah Palin was inconsistent with the vetting process normally given to Vice Presidential candidates.

Here are the facts provided in the story, organized into a more coherent fashion:

Candidate Filtering
Original list of 20, slimmed down to 6 (Palin, Pawlenty, Lieberman, Ridge, Romney, Jindal) through public record search.

The list of 6 was put through a more extensive vetting process (see below) resulting in two finalists (Pawlenty & Palin).

Palin was selected by McCain after phone, questionnaire, and personal interviews with Culvahouse and McCain.

The Palin Timeline
February 2008 - McCain meets with Palin
Spring 2008 - Palin is on the list of 20
Summer 2008 - Palin on the shortlist of 6
mid-August 2008 - Palin / Pawlenty
Sunday (8/27) - Phone interview with McCain
Wednesday (8/27) - Meeting with Culvarhouse
Wed night (8/27) - Met with Steve Schmidt & Mark Salter in Flagstaff
Thurs AM (8/28) - In person interview with Palin in Sedona, AZ
Thurs PM (8/28) Palin selected

While McCain had personally met with some of the other potential candidates (ie, Romney, Pawlenty, Lieberman) in the past, the plan was that the finalist would not meet extensively with McCain in Arizona until that person appeared to be the likely choice. (Which makes sense - why bother to fly all 20 potential candidates to Arizona until they've been through the interview process and appear to be possible candidates?)

The Vetting Process
All 20 candidates had a background book (~ 40 pages for each) based on a search of public records.

Final 6 were subjected to an additional, lengthy background investigation, including review of tax returns, credit check, 70-item questionnaire addressing "nannies and household employees, infidelity, payment for sex, treatment for drug/alcohol abuse, and other personally intrusive subjects."

FBI did not do a background check on any of the 20, because they don't perform such checks for political parties:

"One U.S. law enforcement official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the issue, said the FBI does not conduct any kind of background checks or criminal history searches on behalf of political candidates or parties."
The MSM is using this fact as some sort of attack on McCain, which makes no sense at all.

In addition to the questionnaire, Culvahouse also asked other questions, such as how the potential candidate might respond to situation involving Osama bin Laden, who might appear with Howard Dean to unveil damaging information at a press conference, etc.

Here are the nuggets that were unveiled during the vetting process of Sarah:
  1. Trooper issue
  2. Her husband had a DUI 20+ years ago. Campaign decided this wasn't a big deal (probably due to the fact that the Democratic Presidential nominee had admitted to doing "blow" during the same time period).
  3. Bristol pregnant - disclosed to McCain's team on Wednesday and determined to be irrelevant since it's the VP candidates daughter.
I hope that helps. This Washington Times article is also helpful, also mention that Rick Davis had multiple conversations with Palin throughout the process.

It's unfortunate that some journalists have such trouble providing information in a clear manner.

Your Co-Conspirator,
ARC: St Wendeler

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

McCain Responds to Attacks from the Paper that Endorsed Him

The McCain campaign has this excellent response to the New York Times article by Elisabeth Bumiller, who apparently specializes in fiction.

Posted at 11:13 AM on 9/2/2008 by Michael Goldfarb
Bumiller Writes Her Own Story

While the press scrambles to report on the process by which Governor Palin was offered the second spot on the Republican ticket, New York Times reporter Elisabeth Bumiller has opted instead to make up her own version of events. As the AP reports, "Sarah Palin voluntarily told John McCain's campaign about her pregnant teenage daughter and her husband's 2-decade-old DUI arrest during questioning as part of the Republican's vice presidential search, the lawyer who conducted the background review said." Yet according to Bumiller, yesterday's disclosures "called into question" how thoroughly Governor Palin had been vetted. Why the discrepancy? It seems one reporter actually reported the story, while Bumiller made up her own.

The AP quotes Steve Schmidt saying the campaign was prepared to send a "jump team" to the home state of whoever was selected for the second spot. But Bumiller has her own version: "A Republican with ties to the campaign said the team assigned to vet Ms. Palin in Alaska had not arrived there until Thursday, a day before Mr. McCain stunned the political world with his vice-presidential choice." A Republican with ties to the campaign? How about a Republican on the campaign? It's not as though the leadership of this campaign was unwilling or unable to talk to the New York Times, in fact, they were already on the record answering these questions.

And Bumiller writes that Governor Palin "was a member for two years in the 1990s of the Alaska Independence Party." Not true, and unsourced. Governor Palin has been a registered Republican since 1982.

Ms. Bumiller, if you'd like to try reporting instead of writing fiction, here's a link to our press line.

Some day they'll get it.

Your Co-Conspirator,
ARC: St Wendeler

Jonah on Palin

McCain's Palin pick is a game changer and only time will tell whether it's the meister-stroke or whether it will doom the campaign.

By the way, whatever happened to Obama's historic speech?

Anyway, Jonah Goldberg provides this excellent analysis in a his LA Times column today. Here's an excerpt:

Jonah Goldberg
Sarah Palin: the new life of the Grand Old Party

ST. PAUL, MINN. -- While Republican National Convention planners obsessed about the course of Hurricane Gustav, the only subject delegates and conservatives in general could discuss during the weekend's pre-convention activities (i.e. drinking) was the potential beam of sunshine, Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin.

This is my sixth RNC, and I've never seen anything remotely like the excitement Palin has unleashed. Some compare it to the enthusiasm for Ronald Reagan in 1976 or 1980. Even among the GOP's cynics, there's a kind of giddiness over John McCain's tactical daring in selecting the little-known Alaskan.
The experience theme was not going to carry McCain to victory. This is a change election. Hillary Clinton, after all, ran on experience and got beat by Obama, a former community organizer and state senator. McCain weakened Obama with the "not ready to lead" line, but to win he needed to promise change -- i.e. "reform" -- too.

But the reform message would have sounded implausible with almost any other VP pick, save perhaps Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal or Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty. Moreover, although the GOP base generally agrees with McCain's fiscal conservatism, they don't get excited by his reformer shtick. Palin reinforces the reform theme but, at the same time, she reassures the base enough that McCain has the maneuvering room to woo moderates and independents.

Not surprisingly, the bulk of attention so far has been on the fact that she is a woman (though few have noted that the party's enthusiasm for her runs counter to the caricature of conservatives as irredeemably sexist) and on the supposed effort to sway Clinton voters. That's been oversold. As much as anything, the Palin pick is a response to the Democrats' effort to cast themselves as change agents and friends of the middle class.

Last Wednesday in Denver, Obama's running mate, Joe Biden, gave his stemwinder about families huddled around their kitchen tables trying to make ends meet. The next day, McCain settled on Palin, who can actually claim to be part of such a family. Her husband is a member of the United Steelworkers. She got her start as a PTA activist and "hockey mom" who took on the corrupt Alaskan political machine. Unlike Obama, who played ball with the notorious Chicago machine, Palin took dead aim at the bosses of her own party.

The Obama campaign smugly -- and foolishly -- ridicules her work as a small-town mayor. But who can better empathize with the plight of working families: Biden, a trial-lawyer friendly senator since the Jurassic era, or a woman with five kids (including a son in the Army and a young daughter, we've just learned, who is pregnant) and a blue-collar spouse? Obama performed badly with working-class rural voters in the primaries. Joe "the Pride of Scranton" Biden is supposed to help on that front. Ridiculing small towns might not help the cause.

So, if you're Obama, do you continue to attack Palin? Not likely. But his nutroots that have been his champion during the primaries think that they can win the election by making wild-eyed accusations about Palin and get them picked up by the MSM.

Even Obama understands that such attacks will likely hurt his chances.

Your Co-Conspirator,
ARC: St Wendeler

Monday, September 01, 2008

Moonbats - Privacy Only Applies to the Left

Politics trumps privacy for the Moonbats.

Kossack Inky99 started the ridiculous assertion that Trig was not Sarah Palin's baby, but Bristols (an assertion that Andrew Sullivan still is clinging to, in the hopes of getting his hands on Sarah Palin's medical records).

Inky99 then asks the Kossack commenters to answer a poll about whether to pursue the story:

I'm not quite sure what to think of this. Seeing as how she opposes abortion even in cases of rape and incest maybe she's actually not a hypocrite.

Normally I'd say this is a totally private issue for them, but seeing as how she's quite willing to butt into the private lives of every other American woman, I think it's fair game.


Okay, 11 comments in and already some people are crying out to delete this. So I'm adding a poll:

Here's a screen capture of the poll as of today:

It's good to know that when it comes to private family matters, all that will keep the Moonbats out of your business is if you bow down to the progressive ideology.

Of course, we now know that Bristol couldn't have been Trig's mother, since she's already several months pregnant. However, Andrew Sullivan is still asking for medical records - apparently he's unfamiliar with how the female body works. (No word on whether Andrew will release his records anytime soon.)

Protein Wisdom has great analysis of the idiocy on display over the weekend.


Your Co-Conspirator,
ARC: St Wendeler