Thursday, January 31, 2008

Ann Coulter to Vote for Hillary?

Copyright - Flying Debris/Vanity Fair

Ann Coulter stated on Hannity and Colmes tonight that she will vote for Hillary Clinton instead of John McCain. This should make for an interesting few days, at the very least.

The following is from her online column this week:

The bright side of the Florida debacle is that I no longer fear Hillary Clinton. (I mean in terms of her becoming president -- on a personal level, she's still a little creepy.) I'd rather deal with President Hillary than with President McCain. With Hillary, we'll get the same ruinous liberal policies with none of the responsibility.

The above (photoshopped) photo of Ann at the final Grateful Dead concert at Soldier Field is from this post. The linked post is a must read for any Coulter fan.

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Wednesday, January 30, 2008

New Blog Dedicated to Rezko!

While checking out how people have been finding Flying Debris and discovering what they read when they get here I stumbled across somebody (from Belgium) who found this blog through a link from a blog called RezkoWatch. RezkoWatch is loaded with information about Democratic corruption, Tony Rezko, Governor Blagojevich and Barack Obama and then more Tony Rezko. It may take a few days to get through all that B Merry has posted during the first four days online but it looks like it will be well worth it just to know all the intricacies that Obama, Blago and Rezko's lawyer will attempt to spin during the coming months.

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Tuesday, January 29, 2008

In Defense of President Clinton - Politics Ain't Beanbag

Clinton campaigns in Winnetka, Fall 1996. Copyright - Flying Debris

One may reasonably ask, has the EL Rider lost it? Okay here is my problem with the Obama campaign and their surrogates in the press whining about Bill Clinton, what President Clinton said was true. Jesse Jackson won South Carolina twice, although at the time South Carolina held caucuses and the two campaigns are dissimilar, especially in potential. I do not see a problem with what President Clinton said about about the state or the results. He did not, as far as I heard say anything more. Do the Obama supporters even understand politics here in the United States? Whether it was said by late 19th and early 20th century Chicago writer Finley Peter Dunne or twentieth century Chicago 43rd Ward Alderman Paddy Bauler, it bears repeating, "Chicago politics ain't beanbag." Before Barack Obama came along the Clintons were the national purveyors of Chicago style politics, Hillary may have learned it from Saul Alinsky. Right now we are seeing two Chicagoans (ok Park Ridge) go at it and interestingly Obama is getting the better of the victim card. Kind of sad and it makes one wonder who his people would whine to under real pressure.

During his US Senate campaign of 2004 Obama's people, excuse me, the Chicago press decried the fact that Obama's opponent Jack Ryan had his campaign tape Obama's speeches. There was some talk that Obama was tailoring his speeches to his audiences, certainly not a sin or even particularly out of the ordinary but due to the press uproar the taping stopped. Once that happened it seemed that the Ryan campaign didn't have the street sense to make it their own issue, something along the lines of, "if he wants secrecy now, what would he be like after being elected to a six year United States Senate term?" They needed to recognize that Obama would play that hardball, Chicago style of politics and that the press would carry his water.

Obama got another break during that 2004 campaign when former Goldman Sachs partner and part-time inner city teacher Ryan was forced to drop his candidacy after the Tribune Corp. successfully sued in Los Angeles to have his sealed divorce files opened to the public. The Tribune of Chicago and ABC of Los Angeles had access to those private, sealed records against the wishes of all of the other parties involved including Ryan's ex, actress Jeri Ryan. Jack Ryan is a Republican so his situation was not "just about sex", despite the fact that it actually was exclusively about sex. So instead of running against a guy who got his MBA and JD from Harvard before he went to one of the most demanding firms in the world, Barack ran against Alan Keyes.

Here we go again, Barack Obama is feeling some heat for the first time after getting progressively stronger throughout his now year long campaign and the press rides to the rescue. Sure they are being joined by the Sharptons of the world but they all know their roles. I thought that Bill Clinton was talking about the poor press coverage when he inarticulately used the word fairytale and I found it to be an apt description of Obama's press coverage.

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Monday, January 28, 2008

Some "Would Personally Be Happy To Pay Higher Taxes...

...I welcome their enthusiasm, and I am pleased to report that the IRS accepts both checks and money orders."

George W. Bush Jan. 28, 2008

Nice line Mr. President.

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Teddy Sobers Up?

Some of the Kennedy clan got together and endorsed Sen. Obama (D-IL) in his quest for the Democratic Presidential nomination. This time Teddy didn't blow his lines. You kind of have to feel for Caroline, up there with Uncle "killed-a-chick-while-dui-back-in-the-day" Teddy and Cousin "drove-thru-a-capital-hill-police-barricade-dui" Patrick. Camelot it ain't.

Flying Debris previously discussed the idea of comparing Barack Obama to John F. Kennedy in Obama on Mid-East: Let Them Eat Falafels! Here is the relevant paragraph:

The Senator has announced his committee during the week of the anniversary of the inauguration of another charismatic Democratic politician, President John F. Kennedy. President Kennedy’s inaugural address was one of the great speeches of the twentieth century and one in which Kennedy threw down a moral gauntlet while stating “that we shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe, in order to assure the survival and the success of liberty.” The past forty-six years have seen the Democratic Party completely abandon that strong moral stand; whether it manifested itself in the refutation of the legacy of the late Senator Henry “Scoop” Jackson (D-Wa.) or making Congressman Zell Miller (D-Ga.) into some sort of apostate the Democratic Party will no longer stand up for the freedoms of others. This immoral stand flies in the face of centuries in which mankind has gained personal liberty in the face of tyranny, the refusal to help others is quite simply a disgrace. In his wonderful inaugural speech President Kennedy reminded us that “each generation of Americans has been summoned to give testimony to its national loyalty. The graves of young Americans who answered the call to service surround the globe.” The President was discussing the need for Americans to help others gain liberty because we have been given liberty by the actions of others. Senator Obama, like nearly all of the members of his party will not pay any price, bear any burden nor meet any hardship in order to help others gain freedom; unless the dispossessed are coming to the United States to cut their lawns.

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Sunday, January 27, 2008

Flying Debris Gets Friendly Link From MyDD?

Talk about eating your young. I was kind of surprised to see visitors coming over from MyDD so I followed the link to find out how I had teed them off and imagine my surprise when I found a woman "diarist" over there who has noticed that although the press doesn't print much of anything bad about Obama, bad stuff is out there. The "diarist" Susanhu linked to this post that features a disgusting Gianoulias/Obama campaign commercial. The same "post" is also on No Quarter. Sen Clinton's (D-NY) mistake was to zero in on Rezko, when combined with Gianoulias the Rezko matter really starts to call into question Obama's ability to judge others. I also wonder how many political nuts in the rest of the country know that Obama's home here in Chicago was purchased with some sort of untoward help from Mr. Rezko? The comments to Ms. Hu's "diary" make it appear that many people aren't fully informed on even the Reko situation. It's too bad that Ms. Hu missed this post that contains a long list of Obama posts.

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Saturday, January 26, 2008

Primary Roundup!

Sorry, you won't find it here, I spent a good chunk of the day over at Second City. However I can direct you to a great roundup by Anne at the Backyard Conservative, where there are links-a-plenty including one to the China News, I kid you not. However my favorite link is to Gina in Gulf Breeze, not to be confused with Doris from Rego Park. The Panhandle town of Gulf Breeze is out at the tip of the peninsula between East Bay, Pensacola Bay and Santa Rosa Sound, it is the town at the other end of the Pensacola Bay Bridge as you drive from Pensacola out to the barrier island Santa Rosa Island. Santa Rosa Island contains Pensacola Beach, Gulf Islands National Seashore, Navarre and Fort Pickens. I spent a lot of time out in Pensacola Beach about thirty years ago, I hear that hurricanes and development have taken their toll on what was then a beautiful and relatively compact beach town. Pensacola Beach is far enough from the mouth of the Mississippi that the sands are snow white, walking on the sand sometimes produces the same sound as walking on freshly fallen 20 degree snow and when they plow the streets after glancing blows from hurricanes the sand looks just like freshly plowed snow, all very reassuring for a Chicagoan.

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Friday, January 25, 2008

Romney Whisperer Intercepted? -Update-

I have my doubts. There is an idea that Mitt Romney received some sort of third party help to answer a question during last night's Republican debate in South Carolina. The reports note that a microphone picked up a whispered "don't raise taxes" in response to a Tim Russert question concerning Social Security and Reagan's 1983 Social Security "fix". Romney responded to Russert's question by stating that he wouldn't raise taxes. The whole idea sounds fishy to me, for starters Romney doesn't need the help, for crying out loud the guy went to Harvard and the Harvard Business School. I watched the debate on MSNBC so I did hear the whispered comment in question, in addition to hearing a number of other comments from what sounded like the same voice and another voice. I assumed that one of the voices was Chris Mathews.

Listening to the recording I must say that the voice is loud, it sounds like a stage whisper. When the "don't raise taxes" comment is heard Romney tilted his head to his right, giving the viewer the impression that the comment is being made from offstage. For starters it would be interesting to look at debate recordings to see if Romney regularly tilts his head at more challenging or loaded questions. Without doing that you have to start asking how this happened? A person doing stage whispers from just offstage sounds like something that is unlikely simply because that person would've been noticed and photographed, by an opposition cell phone if nothing else. In other words, somebody would be complaining about it. Is the voice from another wireless device bleeding over to NBC's broadcast? Well, without visual evidence of how Gov. Romney received the signal, something like an earpiece, that idea seems pretty far fetched.

When I heard the "don't raise taxes"comment I assumed that it was spoken by Chris Mathews, I assumed that many of the whispered comments that I was hearing were from some miked MSNBC commentators whose microphone channels were left partially open or were bleeding over into the broadcast audio mix. When Russert asked the question concerning Social Security he phrased it using the example of Reagan and Tip O'Neill coming to a bipartisan agreement over raising the FICA taxes. As anybody who has seen Mr. Mathews' show knows, Mathews worked for the late Speaker Tip O'Neill and rightly holds him very high regard. It sounded to me like Mathews knew that Romney would answer with a tax angle and that he was animated due to the O'Neill tie-in. I did not record the debate and did not pay much attention to the whispered bleed-ins so it would be interesting to hear what else was whispered. It is also notable that an MSNBC blogger who speculated that it was an intentional whisper directed at Romney has since removed that post, an indication that MSNBC knows that the whisper did not originate with the Romney campaign. Until more evidence is published I am going with my first assumption, the whisperer was Chris Mathews.

Hat Tip: Little Green Footballs

Update: While writing this post I decided to refrain from mentioning the likelihood that the fans and supporters of America's Crazy Uncle, Ron Paul would be all over this. Well, I shouldn't have refrained, they are all over this like a WTC conspiracy theory.

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Catholic Feast for Patron Saint of Singles

Yes we Catholics have Saints for just about everything, if Catholic Schools got every Catholic Feast off there would hardly be any school days left. Today is the Feast of Saint Dwynwen (St. Dwyn), the Catholic Patron Saint for single people. St. Dwyn's story is one of lost love and her insistance that she remain unmarried, she later founded a convent on Llanddwyn Island. So best of luck today to all of you singles, and also you married folks.

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McCain Advisor: "America Not Corrupt Enough!"

What else would one think after reading the words of McCain National Director of Hispanic Outreach Juan Hernandez. Michelle Malkin has the story about the McCain adviser who was once an adviser to failed Mexican President Vincente Fox. Hernandez ran Fox's Presidential Office for Mexicans Abroad. Mr. Hernandez called Mexico and the United States not two separate countries but "just a region." Clearly this Hernandez character believes that the United States should be more like our failed neighbor Mexico, a country mired in insider corrupt dealings. It is a failed oligarchy with nationalized industries and a population so poor that they travel thousands of miles to simply get a job. The Mexican national oil company, Pemex is notoriously corrupt and inefficient. The Mexican police are so notoriously corrupt that they are "world class" bribe-takers. Large parts of that failed nation are currently undergoing a communist-led siege, Mexico City is so dirty that the US gives our diplomats hazard pay for simply breathing the air. Machismo is such a problem in that capital city that the city has instituted women only buses due to the "groping" that has been taking place elsewhere on the bus system.

Michelle has a great rundown of the sick opinions held by the disgraceful Hernandez and it is well worth reading. No wonder every liberal loser wants the Republicans to nominate McCain. Does McCain also think that we should import the pathos of Mexico? If he claims to not desire that outcome, what the heck is he doing with this Hernandez character?

After watching last night's Republican Debate (with a couple of NBC weenies running the show) I must say that I can see why Anne over at the Backyard Conservative is so excited over the Romney campaign. Heck she even went to Iowa during a storm to work for the guy.

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Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Happy Birthday Sam Cooke

Check out this version of the Dylan folk classic Blowin' in the Wind by Sam Cooke (1931 - 1964). This Wikipedia post states that Blowin' in the Wind was a real shocker for Cooke, here was a fantastic anti-racism protest song and it was written by a white guy. The above video shows that even with an orchestra and clapping dancers Cooke could make that folk song his own, with his own pop/r&b style. Cooke also chose to answer Dylan's songcraft with his own protest song A Change is Gonna Come.

Hat Tip to Scott Johson at Powerline for the inspiration and reminder with his great How Far Am I From Canaan?

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Monday, January 21, 2008

Hillary Brings Up Rezko

 Edwards is now talking about "the children" but Hillary mentioned Rezko in the SC Dem Debate tonight. Tonight, she's her own attack dog. Here he goes on Social Security, these folks are largely debating the size of the Ponzi Scheme when it comes to Social Security.

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Sunday, January 20, 2008

Jay Grodner - Guilty

This morning's Chicago Tribune contains another one of John Kass' fantastic columns, this one is on anti-American local divorce lawyer Jay Grodner, the guy who keyed the car of a local Marine, Sgt. Michael McNulty. McNulty was then preparing to report for a second tour of duty in Iraq. Flying Debris discussed Chicago lawyer Grodner here and here, Grodner keyed McNulty's car when he noticed the Marine themed Illinois licence plates on the car. As an adult American who has richly benefited from the protections given him by members of the United States Armed Forces Jay Grodner should be ashamed of his actions. He is not.

Mr. Grodner had his day in court last Friday over at Belmont and Western and the proceedings were well covered by the Trib's Kass who noted that the prosecutor and the Judge were both former Marines and that the Judge gave the following lecture to Mr. Grodner after asking the lawyer whether or not he knew why the court was packed with former members of the US Marine Corps:

"That's because there is a little principle that the Marine Corps has had since 1775," the judge continued. "When they fought and lost their lives so that people like you could enjoy the freedom of this country. It is a little proverb that we follow: No Marine is left behind."

"So Sgt. McNulty couldn't be here. But other Marines showed up in his stead. Take him away,"

And Mr. Grodner was taken away due to the fact that the judge had issued a warrant for his arrest for repeatedly being late for his hearings. Mr. Grodner plead guilty, after much hemming hawing and some stern questioning from the judge. His fine was $600 that will go to a Marine charity and if Mr. Grodner doesn't pay up within a month he will wind up in an Illinois jail for a year. Grodner told Kass that he is a "radical liberal" and that his local business is probably lost and that he would have to move. An adult who vandalizes has some issues beyond the whole "radical liberal" thing but it is interesting how the Internet made Chicago into a small town for Mr. Grodner, now we all know his business.

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Saturday, January 19, 2008

Obama Still Allied With Granny Grifter - Part II

According to Michael Sneed's Friday Chicago Sun Times column Barack Obama is continuing to use Illinois State Treasurer Alexi Gianoulias in his Presidential campaign. As Flying Debris has pointed out here, here, here, here, here, here and here, that as a private citizen Mr. Gianoulias was involved as a bank loan officer in a $1 million scam that could ultimately defraud an 87 year-old woman of her home near the edge of Chicago's Greek Town. Mr. Gianoulias was working for his family bank, the Broadway Bank of Chicago when the bank made the $1 million loan to a woman who could not afford to repay the loan (as Alexi admitted under cross examination), could not fill out the loan forms and who had felons as co-signers, including one convicted of bank fraud. The felons ended up taking the money and now the Gianoulias family bank is suing the woman to take her home.

Apparently the Gianoulias family bank had a previous relationship with one of the co-signers, Michael "Jaws" Giorango, including the mortgage they held on the Miami hotel that he used as part of a nation wide prostitution ring. Here's what the Sun Times found last year:

Earlier, Giannoulias also had tried to distance himself from the loans, saying they occurred in the 1990s, when he was not a full- time employee at the bank. But subsequent reports revealed that Giannoulias had overseen $11.8 million in loans to a firm run by Giorango and Stavropoulos last year when Giannoulias was senior loan officer. Some of that money was used to buy a riverboat casino marina in Myrtle Beach, S.C.

When the Broadway Bank sued the victim of the mortgage fraud and tried to take her home Alexi Gianoulias claimed in court that he did not remember most of the specifics of the loan in question. That is despite the fact that the loan involved an 83 year-old woman who could not fill out the forms and a couple of felons including a man convicted of bank fraud, one would hope that an arrangement like that is unusual enough to remember. Considering the millions of dollars involved it strikes me that there is a lot more here than we currently know.

Last month Alexi spent the better part of a week at the Obama Chicago Volunteer Headquarters doing some "phonebanking". Well Alexi has been trying to find a gym in Las Vegas so that he and Barack can play basketball before the Caucus Saturday morning. Here is what Sneed wrote Friday:

$$$: State Treasurer Alexi Giannoulias was last spotted trying to set up a Saturday morning basketball game in Las Vegas so Barack Obama could loosen up on primary day.

Of course Alexi should help Barack, they're friends and Alexi owes his current position to Obama and his very strong "rock star" support for the Gianoulias candidacy while many of the specifics surrounding the fraudulent bank loan were publicly known. Flying Debris featured an Obama/Gianoulias commercial from 2006 in this post. This is another example of the caliber of the people around Obama, it is also an example of poor reporting by the press.

Obama Still Allied With Granny Grifter Part I.

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Friday, January 18, 2008

Barack Obama's Church

In this morning's Chicago Sun Times there is a ridiculous article from Sun Times Editorial Board member Deborah Douglas that takes to task those who dare question the church attended by Sen. Barack Obama (D-IL) and his family, the Trinity United Church of Christ. Ms. Douglas wrote, "(s)o when people stoop so low as to criticize and deconstruct Trinity United Church of Christ, Obama's South Side church, all that's left in their tired analysis on the cultural relevance and style of worship is a bunch of nothing." That strikes me as strange because the only criticism that I have noticed has taken the church and it's pastor, Rev. Jeremiah Wright to task using the words and actions of the church itself and the words of Rev. Wright himself. Thus rather than "deconstructing" anything the detractors who I have noticed have simply brought words to daylight.

The press around these parts have been in the bag for Obama since before the Chicago Tribune sued to obtain the sealed divorce records of his Republican opponent during the 2004 Senate race. So that type of poor commentary is to be expected but Ms. Douglas inadvertently points out the failings of local journalists, they told us that Barack Obama attended a "mainstream Christian church". They told us that the pastor who Barack Obama described as being "inspirational" was just another "mainstream Christian" pastor. I witnessed an interview with Rev. Wright on the Hannity and Colmes Show last winter and was shocked at the man, he struck me as a religious bully. Rev. Wright also stated that his and his church's religious practices were based on "Liberation Theology", he also said that his theology has been inspired by the Sandinista group from Nicaragua. Liberation Theology is a strange mixture of Christianity and Socialism, that is not what would be considered "mainstream Christian", at least not here in Chicago. Many blogs have also noted that just last year Obama's church magazine gave it's annual award to Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan. The blogs that I read noted that Sen. Obama had nothing to do with selecting the award recipient but it does call the Senator's judgement into question. His pastor has been a strong influence on Senator Obama, it is only fair that the American public get an unvarnished look at what that strong influence is.

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Thursday, January 17, 2008

Obama on Mid-East: Let Them Eat Falafels!

This was originally posted on January 19, 2007 in reaction to local journalists and their slavering coverage of Sen Barack Obama (D-IL) and his then impending announcement of a White House run. The Tribune's Eric Zorn has continued that ignorant comparison between the great Emancipator and the Senator who would leave the Arab world under the thumb of tyranny in this silly article in this morning's Trib.

Obama on Mid-East: Let Them Eat Falafels!

Since he announced an “exploratory committee” for the Democratic Presidential nomination our local journalists have been pushing the theme that Senator Obama will officially announce his candidacy in Springfield, Illinois just days before Lincoln’s birthday in order to tie Obama to the legacy of Abraham Lincoln. President Lincoln has long been known as the “Great Emancipator” due to his dogged determination to end slavery in the United States. Senator Obama on the other hand has had ample chance to stand up for the freedoms and liberties of others; instead of grabbing that chance or simply demurring on the issue Senator Obama has chosen to stand steadfastly against any chance for the people of the Mid-East to experience the thrill of liberty. Obama’s supporters have even bragged that the Senator’s “let them eat falafels” moment came while he was still an Illinois State Senator.

The Senator has announced his committee during the week of the anniversary of the inauguration of another charismatic Democratic politician, President John F. Kennedy. President Kennedy’s inaugural address was one of the great speeches of the twentieth century and one in which Kennedy threw down a moral gauntlet while stating “that we shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe, in order to assure the survival and the success of liberty.” The past forty-six years have seen the Democratic Party completely abandon that strong moral stand; whether it manifested itself in the refutation of the legacy of the late Senator Henry “Scoop” Jackson (D-Wa.) or making Congressman Zell Miller (D-Ga.) into some sort of apostate, the Democratic Party will no longer stand up for the freedoms of others. This immoral stand flies in the face of centuries in which mankind has gained personal liberty in the face of tyranny, the refusal to help others is quite simply a disgrace. In his wonderful inaugural speech President Kennedy reminded us that “each generation of Americans has been summoned to give testimony to its national loyalty. The graves of young Americans who answered the call to service surround the globe.” The President was discussing the need for Americans to help others gain liberty because we have been given liberty by the actions of others. Senator Obama, like nearly all of the members of his party will not pay any price, bear any burden nor meet any hardship in order to help others gain freedom; unless the dispossessed are coming to the United States to cut their lawns. In short any comparisons of Senator Obama and President Lincoln are hysterical in all senses of the word.

Big Hat Tip: to Anne of the Backyard Conservative for inspiring me to re-post this piece, I had been waiting for an opportune time to re-post it and this is one of those moments.

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Monday, January 14, 2008

Sidney "Sid Viscous" Blumenthal Joins DAMM

Noted propagandist, senior Clinton adviser, all around dishonest guy and former Chicagoan Sidney "Sid Viscous" Blumenthal was arrested for "aggravated " DWI ("aggravated" due to his high rate of speed) early last Monday morning, hours before the New Hampshire primary. Before today Mr. Blumenthal is probably most famous for telling reporters that Monica Lewinski was a stalker and for lying to the press about his testimony to the grand jury investigating the Clinton/Lewinski mess. The grand jury forewoman told Mr. Blumenthal the following in response to his earlier public statements on the steps of the courthouse that they were then in: “We’re very concerned about the fact that during your last visit that an inaccurate representation of the events that happened was retold on the steps of the courthouse.”

So old Sid went out, got a buzz on and drove back to his hotel at 70 mph in the middle of the night; well we all know from the first eight Clinton years that the Clintons and those around them do everything "for the children", so I guess that Sid has up and joined Drunks Against Mad Mothers. Let's face it, 70 mph drunk in a rental car in the dark and in a strange place is bare minimum Drunks Against Grown Trees.

Hat Tip: Drudge

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Sunday, January 13, 2008

Code Pinko Still Doesn't Get It

Medea Benjamin planned a pro-Chavez protest in Miami's Little Havana neighborhood and shock of shocks those who had lived under the boot heal of communism ran the spoiled children of Code Pink out of their neighborhood. These quotes from Benjamin are great "We're not in Cuba. We're supposed to have free speech," "This is indicative of how a small group of Cuban-Americans are holding the rest of the community hostage." This from a woman who once moved to Cuba but left after several years because she thought that the Cuban government was restricting her right to free speech. Silly woman, she was in Cuba, where there is no such thing as free speech or free association for that matter.

Hat Tip: Little Green Footballs

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Thursday, January 10, 2008

Phil Agee Dead

My late father's college roommate has passed away, Phil Agee, Notre Dame Class of 1956 died in Cuba Monday night. Mr. Agee worked for the CIA after his graduation from Notre Dame until 1968, in 1975 his notorious book Inside the Company: CIA Diary was published. The book named names and was certainly responsible for harming American intelligence operations directly and indirectly. He was also likely responsible for the deaths of Americans. My father and another friend who sits (sat) on the Federal bench were part of his legal talent in the United States during the times when Mr. Agee was essentially persona non grata here. The linked Reuters article notes that Mr. Agee had his United States passport revoked in 1979 and while that is true it leaves the reader with the impression that the reason for the revocation was his CIA turncoat activities, it was not. Mr. Agee had his passport revoked by the Carter State Department because he injected himself into negotiations during the American Embassy hostage crisis in Iran. American citizens cannot negotiate for the United States Government, something that Senator Kerry and Jesse Jackson may want to take note of.

For years I lived in Wrigleyville and it was always an interesting place as far as political diversity goes. Twenty years ago if you wanted to talk to a Trotskyite, well he used to live down the street. How a bout a Maoist or Marxist or a Free-Range Vegan Stalinist Wiccan? Yep, had them too. We even had the international headquarters of the Woblies, the International Workers of the World union (each time I hit the link for IWW I found Obama as the page sponsor) in the neighborhood. Well to feed all of the craziness in the neighborhood there was Revolution Books, a place in the basement of an apartment building at the corner of Sheffield and Cornelia that had 7 foot ceilings and was loaded with communist paperbacks, leaflets and Che posters. I Googled Revolution Books and came up with a place on Ashland, good grief. Well one day I was walking by Revolution Books while the proprietor was sitting outside in front of two tables of leftist books, walking by I stopped short spying a copy of Inside the Company on one of the tables. I picked it up, leafed through it and saw that he wanted $2 for the hardcover. Here was a book that had sat on a shelf in our home while I was growing up, I started the book once or twice and could never finish the thing, it was too dull. Here was that book that I told myself that I would finish someday knowing full well that it would be a chore. I gave the man two bucks.

The revolutionary proprietor asked me why I stopped for one book and such a then obscure book at that, so I told the guy the story about how Agee had been my dad's roommate at Notre Dame and how Dad still kept in touch with him. Actually Agee often contacted the Americans due to the nearly stateless limbo that he lived in until he moved to Cuba in the '80s. Well the revolutionary proprietor loved the story and told me to stop by again, which I did on occasion. When I wanted read some of the nonsense of Marx, Engels or their ilk; if you are having problems sleeping try Marx on property. Cheap paperbacks was the guys specialty and whenever I wanted to read the treatises of Marxists that were thrilling some of my neighbors, the Agee story always got me a better deal. Capitalism, you just have to love it.

Hat Tip: Little Green Footballs

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Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Chicago Sun Times Editors - In Favor of Vote Fraud

The Chicago Sun Times editorial board came out four-square in favor of vote fraud this morning. In an editorial in this morning's Sun Times they have come up with the usual nonsense in order to continue the status quo in this corrupt city. The US Supreme Court is hearing a case involving an Indiana requirement to have some sort of ID to cast a ballot. John Fund in this morning's Wall Street Journal (subscription required) pointed out that the first test of this law was in the recent mayoral election in Indianapolis.

Indiana, like other states provides the indigent with free state IDs in place of a drivers license. Federal law also requires the use of provisional ballots and 32 of those ballots were used in that city election, the voter using a provisional ballot is required to certify his or her identification within 10 days, only 2 people chose to do so. Now there can be many reasons that those 30 people chose not to certify their ballots and one of them is fraud.

The Sun Times also stated that there has been no evidence of "widespread" poll fraud, I guess that it all depends on the meaning of the word "widespread". The whole thing would be funny if it weren't so serious; apparently the, ahem, journalists, are not familiar with ACORN and their recent involvement in vote fraud in Missouri with 35,000 possible fraudulent registrations nor are they familiar with the problems in Washington State. Maybe they even forgot that in 1996 Al Gore led a drive that illegally registered thousands of illegal aliens in California, many of whom later voted to elect Loretta Sanchez (D-Ca).

It is also very notable that Chicago civic lore has long basked in the glory of various stolen elections, most notably the 1960 Presidential ballot that elected John F. Kennedy. All of that bragging ended early Wednesday morning November 8, 2000. It would after all look pretty bad to be bragging about stealing elections here in Chicago while the mayor's brother was down in Florida attempting to steal an election. The examples of ballot fraud may not be legion because the crime is so tough to investigate, however Mr. Fund has numerous examples in his WSJ piece.

What the Democratic supporters of "free-for-all" balloting refuse to admit is that every time a fraudulent voter casts a ballot that ballot negates the ballot of a legitimate, legal voter. In fact for years local Democrats acted as if every time they stole a vote an angel in heaven rang a bell. We constantly hear from Democrats that Republicans are regularly attempting to disenfranchise minority voters; what the Democrats in this town and others have done is to disenfranchise legal voters, all of us.

Beyond the obvious problem of vote fraud the Sun Times is showing that they feel that they are above everybody else, not a very good thing for a newspaper that positions itself as being the paper for the regular working person. They have essentially labeled themselves as elite by demanding that people be allowed to vote multiple times under Lord knows how many alias' while refusing to allow anybody into the Sun Times own offices without showing a legal ID. Do as I say, not as I do.

The Backyard Conservative wrote on this issue while I was working and she points out that Barack Obama once worked for that bastion of vote fraud ACORN.

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Obama, Simply Wrong on Iraq

We keep hearing from the Obama people that Barack has always been right on the war, yet now that he is under a larger microscope and has more chances to put his foot in his mouth we are getting a better idea how a President Obama would look at the world strategically. No wonder those who have sometimes desired a weaker America are now rooting for Obama.

Here is what Chicago lawyer Barack Obama had to say about a possible increase in American troop strength in Iraq just fourteen months ago while speaking before the Chicago Council on Global Affairs, "(w)hile some have proposed escalating this war by adding thousands of more troops, there is little reason to believe that this will achieve [victory]," After the Senator gave a vague description of his plan for withdrawal Senator Obama stated "(o)nly through this phased redeployment can we send a clear message to the Iraqi factions that the U.S. is not going to hold together this country indefinitely -- that it will be up to them to form a viable government that can effectively run and secure Iraq,"

Okay, a little over a year later what we have seen is that Senator Obama was completely wrong, I will not question him over his lack of superpowers that would enable the Senator to peer into the future, I will however question why he is today acting as if his words were at all prescient. Just this week the Senator said of the Iraq Sunnis that "after the Democrats were elected in 2006, you know what, the Americans may be leaving soon, and we are going to be left very vulnerable to the Shi'as." If that is Obama's reading of the past fourteen months then he probably shouldn't sit on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

The incredible turnaround in our fortunes in Iraq came about after the Iraqi people and especially tribal leaders saw that America was not taking the defeatist advice of the world's Obamas but was in fact doubling down. To the tribal leaders our actions showed them things that they understand, power, money and guts. There is really no doubt that their cooperation, something that even Obama says is important, was secured after they understood that America was sticking around and stepping it up. Senator Obama on the other hand has been calling for America's near immediate withdrawal for years.

The Democrats have also been chanting the mantra that you can't only have a military solution as if there has been such a demand. What that plea seems to ignore is the likelihood that military "solutions" can force unreasonable parties to be politically reasonable whereas there is little reason to believe that simple political solutions can make meaningful lasting change to violent conflicts. That's just human nature at work on both sides of such a conflict.

Other Flying Debris takes on the Junior Senator from Illinois:

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Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Happy Birthday Elvis

He may not be working at a Burger King in Kalamazoo but it is his birthday.


Monday, January 07, 2008

Bush Downtown - Nuts on Display

c Flying Debris
Chicago Police in front of the Monadnock Building and the Union League Club of Chicago (center) while Bush is inside of the Union League.

c Flying Debris
Oh yeh, and he's a Cub fan too. Give me a break, I think that we can invoke Godwin's Law on this guy.

c Flying Debris
One Million. I guess that would be the once notorious "new math".

Well I decided to take the State Sreet Subway line (Red Line) this afternoon rather than the Ravenswood Elevated line (Brown Line) so I walked into a protest right down the street! President Bush was at the Union League Club on Jackson Blvd. talking about the economy, No Child Left Behind and the 2016 Olympics. Well as you can see from the above photos, a few nuts have Mondays off, or as former Chicago Cub manager Lee Elia once said about the fans at Wrigley Field (see middle photo) "(e)ighty-five percent of the f*ckin' world is working. The other fifteen percent come out here!"

Thanks to Dr. Sanity for inclusion in her Carnival of Insanities again this week. Go read her blog!

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Sunday, January 06, 2008

Dollar Bottom?

The Tigerhawk asks the question and points to a New York Times Business Section article that quotes Ed Yardeni of Yardeni Associates, Mr. Yardeni has probably seen it all in the currency and interest rate markets. I will first stress that I am not a currency trader and that although I once clerked for a currency trader that was the year that the Bears won the Super Bowl, so like Tigerhawk my prediction may have all of the probability of a coin toss. However I have to confess that I have been wondering the same thing for the last several months. My comments to others have been something along the lines of "I think that we are close time-wise but I have no idea price-wise." Attempting to pick tops or bottoms in markets has always been dangerous, one of the great old-timer's sayings that remind against hubris is "Confucius say, he who pick bottom get stinky finger." Crude, yes but then again you won't forget it anytime soon. The same sentiment should be remembered when one is trying to pick the top of a market. There can always be dramatic revaluations in markets.

The odds are against dramatic revaluations although we certainly see those regularly amongst the world's currencies, the US Dollar against the Japanese Yen (until about '95) comes to mind. An utter loss of confidence in the Dollar would be a serious problem partially because of it's use as an official reserve currency by governments around the world but also to a lesser extent due to the fact that so many physical hundred dollar bills are in circulation in the world that the Fed largely ignores the uncountable hordes of dollars outside of our borders.

The loss of value of the dollar has been most dramatic in relation to the European currencies, as measured against the continental currencies of the Euro and the Swiss Franc and of course the granddaddy of modern currencies, the British Pound. Currency markets tend to make long, wide swings and their trends often last for years. Strategies like the currency carry trade can keep those trends going for years as the profits roll in, however when the merry-go-round stops the participants in the carry trade just add to the ugliness. Recent headlines have screamed that the British Pound is at it's highest price in relation to the dollar since 1981, what they don't tell you is that whereas the Pound exceeded $2.05 last November it was trading near $2.40 during the 1st quarter of 1981. The Swiss Franc shows a different story, the historic link to gold (a requirement of 40% reserve held in gold) was ended in 2000 and the Franc is at it's high price of at least the past several decades.

Public sentiment is something that traders always try to be keenly aware of and we have a tendency to want to be on the other side of whatever is the overwhelming sentiment of market participants at extremes, for the simple reason that once all of the people who want to buy something at a certain price have bought then there is nobody else left to pay those prices and prices will sag. The reverse is true for sellers in down markets. It also must be said that the world of modern communications has changed this dynamic, certain web sites aside the world is simply better informed and informed more quickly than years ago. With all of that said there has been quite a bit of dollar-defeatism in the media and the popular culture, combine that with conversations that I had over the holidays concerning exchange rates with otherwise well educated people who really had no background to understand what they were trying to say makes me feel that we may seeing a bottom. Stay tuned to the CME.

This is in no way an endorsement of any trading strategy.

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Obama: Iraqis "Just Sitting Around Waiting to Get Blown Up" Before Dems Won Mid-Terms

 Sure it sounds crazy but that is essentially what the man said last night. Many reports on last night's Democratic debate have noted Sen. Barack Obama's (D-IL) assessment of the Surge and the reason for the recent turnaround of our fortunes in Iraq. Of course the Senator spoke with so much gravitas and he looked so deadly serious while saying it that one may forget the underlying premise, that before last January the people of Iraq were perfectly happy getting blown up , indiscriminately murdered, tortured, beheaded, etc. etc. Then the Democrats threatened to abandon the Iraqi people to the wolves that were already preying on them. The Iraqi people were allegedly inspired by the Democrats insistence that the Iraq War was already lost

 I think that any reasonable observer would have to agree that the Iraqi people were not living in high cotton before last year so the implication that they were simply too lazy to get their collective acts together until some "looming" threat of American withdrawal came to pass seems fanciful. If that was the collective thinking of Iraqi society one has to wonder why they didn't simply sit on their duffs and await their fate under their next tyrant? I wonder if he looked at Chicagoans that way while he was an "activist"?

 It is also notable that the Arab world has been bombarded with information surrounding the last time that the Democrats forced America to cut and run in Vietnam. Here is just one of those reminders, from Al Qaeda's number two guy less than one month before what Senator Obama has deemed some sort of world-view shattering election. It is also notable that the Surge had been working for months before the Democratic party turned to Senator "Let "Em Eat Falafels" in Iowa.

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Saturday, January 05, 2008

The Root of A Lot of Evil...

Dutch filmmaker Theo Van Gogh, above, spoke truth to Islam with the film below.

The above 11 minute film is the one that got Theo Van Gogh murdered. Van Gogh, the great-grandson of Vincent Van Gogh's brother Theo, created the short film Submission from a script written by Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Submission is the English translation of the Arabic word Islam. Mr. Van Gogh was murdered in Amsterdam (a city whose flag features three St. Andrew's Crosses) by an Islamic jihadist who shot Van Gogh eight times, slit his throat (nearly decapitating him) and stabbed him twice, leaving the knives to pin a five page anti-western missive attached to his body.

The film is about the violence towards women that is such a major part of some strains of Islam. Supported by the Koran the subject of the film is beaten by her husband and raped by her uncle, the later being an honor thing I guess. The film is representative of a problem faced by many strains of Islam, half the members of nearly every family is enslaved. Here in the West we have seen the problems of people who grow up in dysfunctional modern families, we now have to deal with a large portion of the world in which that dysfunction is institutionalized by religion while those societies attempt to deal with modernity. Lord help us.

Thanks to Little Green Football's new Saturday Morning Linkage for the reminder that Submission is on YouTube.

Many Thanks to the wonderful Dr. Sanity for inclusion in her Carnival of Insanities again this week. Go Read Her Blog!

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Friday, January 04, 2008

Death of a Mil-Blogger - Andy Olmsted, RIP

Major Andrew Olmsted of Fort Collins, Co., a blogger at the Rocky Mountain News was killed in Iraq. He left a last post to be put up in the event of his death, the piece is here. My prayers to him, his family and friends.


Thursday, January 03, 2008

$100 Crude Trade a "High Ball"

 The much publicized $100 per barrel crude oil trade on the NYMEX yesterday was a classic "high ball". A high ball is a trade that makes a new high price and is done for the unspoken but express intent to find the world's reaction to that price level. I see nothing at all wrong with it, a market's job is to explore as many price levels as it can.

 This article implies that the trader who bought the single futures contract did it for vanity reasons. I say how about the guy who sold the 1000 barrel contract; it's one thing to have been the first person to buy oil for $100 a barrel, its a whole different thing to have been the first person to have ever sold a barrel of oil for $100. Both of those trading cards will be framed and put on office walls.

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Thoughts on Iowa

 Well it looks like Huckabee on the Republican side and FOX is showing Obama ahead with 46% reported. That's tough for Romney but I think that Huckabee will have problems in New Hampshire and elsewhere (Michigan comes to mind). It also seems that without Obama running away with Iowa the Democratic race is still too close to call  but it does help Clinton, big. However if Obama extends his lead tonight, Clinton will start to find herself in trouble in places that didn't have to live with John Edwards for the past 18 months.


Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Local Blogger Goes to Iowa

Anne of the Backyard Conservative has up and joined the Romney Circus. Very cool. As a political nut who will be going to work tomorrow (on an admittedly warm trading floor) I will admit some pretty big envy. Oh yeh, she has pictures too.

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Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Jay Grodner Censured for Vote Fraud Before Allegedly Keying Marine's Car

Local Democratic lawyer Jay Grodner who allegedly keyed the car of a deploying Marine here in Chicago last month was censured by the Illinois Supreme Court in 1984 for "roundtabling" signatures for electoral petitions. TA of Team America's Tenth District Blog and his mystery sleuths have seen this activity before. They discovered that the head of the Lake County Democrats, Terry Link had done the same thing on his petitions. Mr. Grodner's vote fraud incedent came as a young State's Attorney working to promote a ballot question to help former Republican Governor James Thompson. The Illinois State Supreme Court described local attorney Jay Grodner's actions as "roundtabling" and that "this term connotes a group of people gathered at a table who circulate petitions to one another. Each person signs a name obtained from a phonebook or voter registration list and then passes the petition on to the person sitting next to him, who does the same."

Big Hat Tip: to Bill Hennessy, a St. Louis blogger and technologist whose post was linked to earlier.

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