Saturday, September 13, 2008

Ike photos

Nasa Road One at El Lago

Entrance to El Lago

Clear Lake, corner of Nasa Road One and Space Center

Hilton on Nasa Road One

Ron's backyard, Ben in tree

Front of Ron's house

Neighborhood photos

Friday, September 12, 2008

Alaska isn't like the other 49

Alaska has no state income tax. A huge chunk of the state's money comes from taxes on oil/gas. Here's the 2007 Revenue Sources Book from the Alaska Dept of Revenue.

From The Boston Globe:

She may have fired the governor's chef and sold the state jet, but Governor Sarah Palin of Alaska has also presided over a dramatic increase in state spending in the last two years.

Still, she can accurately claim that her state is in good fiscal health, thanks to an explosion of revenues from state taxes on oil industry profits.

Indeed, in her 20 months in office, Palin's toughest financial decisions involved dickering with the Legislature on creative ways to spend and salt away the billions of dollars in oil revenues pouring into the state treasury.

At times, Palin has been more economic populist than small-government conservative, partly because of Alaska's unique government financing system.

With no statewide income or sales tax, Alaska funds about 90 percent of the state budget from royalties and taxes on oil producers. Soaring oil prices and a higher windfall oil profits tax - an increase pushed through by Palin, now the Republican vice presidential nominee - have state coffers overflowing with petrodollars. The Alaska oil industry calculates that its annual payments to the state doubled in a single year to $10.2 billion.

Until a few years ago, the state government struggled financially for years because of low oil prices. But that's all changed. In the first two budget years under Palin, the state government has stashed almost $6 billion of surplus revenues in various reserve and savings accounts in anticipation of future drops in the price of oil. And the state has allocated another $4 billion over two years for a laundry list of new capital projects, mostly small grants initiated in budget requests by legislators for their districts.

And Alaska residents are getting their cut. Starting this week, every Alaskan who has lived in the state more than a year will receive $1,200 from the state, a total of about $756 million in rebates to offset high energy costs in the 49th state. That's on top of the perennial check each will receive from the state's oil revenue-endowed Permanent Fund, this year a record $2,069 per resident. The large Palin family is eligible to receive more than $19,000 from the combined payments.

So my question to Michael was, how do you know she's a fiscal conservative, given the odd nature of Alaska's economy (or more precisely it's government revenue structure) What economic policies can she translate to the national level?

A further thought about Palin and the interview

As I said earlier, I don't begrudge Palin spouting memorized, campaign-provided answers to Gibson's questions, because I understand how the VP candidate's message has to jive with the presidential candidate's positions. The problem with Palin doing this, though, is that there was no period of years during which we got to hear what she really thinks about the issues, prior to her vice presidential run. Maybe this sounds like what I've said before, but I think it's a slightly different take. Do you Palin fans really not have any concerns about this? or are you optimistic that McCain will stay healthy long enough for Palin to learn her way around some foreign policy?

Re: Alinski

Michael was right to acknowledge that RFR is Sen. Obama's playbook.

What would be different if McCain...

had been elected 8 years ago?

What is the Bush Doctrine?

Who first espoused it? The only definition I've read is in N. Podhoretz's WWIV. I doubt seriously GW could articulate it (and I acknowledge the potential humor here).

H/t: Dennis Prager (audio).

the mail alerts for the posts and comments...

Is it just me? I seem to be getting a lot more email notifications than there are actual comments to the posts?

Saul Alinski

Did anybody but me have to read Rules for Radicals in college?

Jesus and Pilate

I know, I know. They are just the lame talking points floating about out there so I'll not ascribe them to Sen. Obama.

Having said that, the best retort I've heard so far is that by voting "present" [and I acknowledge the political strategery of at least some of those votes] > 100 times, Sen. Obama similarly "washed his hands" on some votes.

Not for kids to see

Palin's interview

I'm not inclined to take too much meaning out of much of anything she said. Lots of people are all over her for repeating the "second guess" line about Israel over and over and about whether Georgia really should be part of NATO. These things don't worry me too much. I realize she's required to walk a very fine line, for her answers to comply with the messages the campaign wants to put out. Even if she knew lots about the issues, she'd be trying to keep her answers limited to the memorized blurbs provided by the campaign.

But her obvious failure to know what The Bush Doctrine is does worry me, and it confirms my suspicion from the beginning. She's never had much interest in national or international issues. Any one who's been paying even the slightest attention to the U.S. foreign policy over the past eight years knows what The Bush Doctrine is, maybe not with precision (there's some room for varying interpretations of what exactly it is), but enough to not be completely adrift at the question.

[Update: McCain himself makes my point:

Ike blogging

If anyone is interested, I'll use this post to live-blog Ike. Updates will appear below.

10:38 Dr. Frank (can't get embed to work):

10:31 The Chronic is reporting 15 foot surge in Galveston so Fran's house ought to be OK.

10:18 am Lost power last night at 11pm. Blogging by generator. Lots of wind and rain but no flooding, some tree limbs and fences down but that appears to be the worst of it. T and B out now on golfcart to assess neighborhood. Todd reports that the big oak in the backyard is down.

10:18 Yes the Hilton seems to have lost it's skin. Weird, but the worst thing that will happen tonight. Bah.

10:15 Bah. We haven't lost power and we won't.

6:40 I'm calling it now. Complete dud.

6:22 I'm now convinced we're looking at a real time Capricorn One. Just heard a report that people needed rescuing in Seabrook and the rescuers couldn't get to them. Seabrook is no more than 10 miles from here and nothing is happening. The rest of the party took off to see how high the bayous and Lake are. Bah.

4:47 Everyone thinks I'm crazy but I'm saying this is a big dud. Eye is bigger than Mama Cass and pressure is rising. Made three bets with three neighbors that we won't lose power. Earlier forecasts (10am) said we'd have 35 mph winds by noon. Didn't happen. Yes, Galveston and the bay are getting storm surge but it doesn't mean anything to us unless it approaches 25 feet, which isn't happening. Bah.

TBA [Dr. Neil video but youtube is being very slow in processing it]

2:03 So far? Most boring hurricane ever.

1:57 You know the difference between Wayne Dolcefino and a troll? Me neither.

Seawall video:

12:53 Just got back from checking on Fran's house in Nassau Bay. Water is over the dock at the Hilton on Clear Lake (see here for fun fact) and about 5 feet above normal on Clear Creek.

11:13 Water turned off in most of Galveston to prevent saltwater contamination.

10:41 Lost 2 persons and a cat, CPCM: 3 humans, 3 dogs, 1 cat, 1 rodent.

10:12 Hurricane video! Behold the cruelty of Mother Nature!

7:52 am Intrepid reporters (blame Dan Rather, more on that sometime later) are showing me that waves are breaking over the west end of the seawall in Galveston, which is about 15 feet high. uh oh. Partly cloudy and calm here.

Galveston is under mandatory evacuation as are we (zip code 77059). We didn't think Ike would get much over a Cat 2 and it looks like that is right. 110-120 mph winds as it hits the coast. I drove around the neighborhood on my new golfcart yesterday afternoon, and it appears that 20% of the neighborhood is staying.

8:09 Current population chez Michael: 5 humans, 3 dogs, 2 cats. Oh, and 1 piggy (did you remember that he is named PJ?).

8:58 video test

Thursday, September 11, 2008

The interview

Early transcripts show that Charlie is taking talking points from a dishonest AP report. Josh and Steph still crying fraud?

Last on ad

It's a political ad. It's not designed to give equal time to both sides of the argument in an impartial manner. It is designed to persuade within the bounds of being factual. Everything the ad says is within those bounds. If Barry thinks more should be said let him run an ad. If he does, I'll bet you a dollar it doesn't contain a single word from the actual bill. As I've pointed out in the comments, what Barry has said the bill was supposed to do is found nowhere in the actual bill. So who's lying now?

This is pernicious nonsense

Steph writes about the McCain sex ed ad: "And I'm confident that one of the purposes of the ad is to tap into racist attitudes about the hypersexualization of black people. We'll see more of this, I predict."

As I said when she said the same thing in a comment to her post: "You absolutely must be kidding. You've gone way way over the edge if you really think that."

Reading racist code language in everything McCain says or does is a symptom of something, but I'm not sure what.

More bridge

if you can stand it. Pretty straightforward timeline that shows that Palin did in fact "stop" the bridge.

Link to sex ed bill

Let's include a link to the sex ed bill in question.

Re sex ed ad

Geraghty looks at the details and says McCain has it right.

"I’m sure it’s a lot easier to scream that McCain is a shameless liar and that those who deemed the ad valid are hacks than to concede that one’s preferred candidate backed a bill with an unwise provision."

Comments? Still outraged?

UPDATE: Having read the bill, I think I see a possible "innocent" explanantion. They were revising a statute that dealt with sex ed for grades 6 through 12. When they revised it and extended it to Kindergarten, they neglected to take into account that all the explicit language about transmission of STDs and avoiding pregnancy also now applied to Kindergarten. It is possible that this was inadvertant, but with many eyes looking at this you would think someone would have caught it if that wasn't their intent.

UPDATE 2: Geraghty updates his post with the following : "Okay, I think McCain's ad is wrong in one respect. As the bill never passed, it's wrong to call it an Obama 'accomplishment.'"

The sex ed ad

Seriously, does this not sicken you? How can anyone vote for these people?

[McCain's] sex education ad referred to legislation Obama voted for -- but did not sponsor -- in the Illinois Senate that allowed school boards to develop "age-appropriate" sex education courses at all levels. Kindergarten teachers were given the approval to teach about appropriate and inappropriate touching to combat molestation.

The McCain advertisement calls it "Obama's one accomplishment" in education: "legislation to teach comprehensive sex education to kindergartners."

"Learning about sex before learning to read? Barack Obama, wrong on education, wrong for your family," the ad concludes.

[Update: And if this doesn't lose your vote, then what would? Are they really such staunch defenders of free market principles and fiscal responsibility that you're willing to overlook this despicable garbage?]

[Update II: I'm modulating my outrage down one notch, from a 5-out-of-5 to a 4, since the statute doesn't explicitly limit topics for kindergartners to inappropriate touch. But the ad is inaccurate and conveys a false impression by using the phrase "comprehensive sex education" without mentioning the requirement that info be "age appropriate". And I'm confident that one of the purposes of the ad is to tap into racist attitudes about the hypersexualization of black people. We'll see more of this, I predict.

The extent to which schools should be responsible for teaching sex ed is something about which reasonable people can disagree and it would be completely appropriate to run an ad that accurately characterizes Obama's position: that age-appropriate sex ed belongs in the schools starting with kindergarten. But that's not what the ad does.

It's appropriate for Obama's campaign to point out that one reason to be in favor of this bill would be that it would get info into the hands of kindergartners about inappropriate touch. I'm looking at an ABC news story from 2007 that won't allow copy/paste that shows Obama isn't pretending the ONLY thing the bill did w/r/t kindergarten was to teach inappropriate touch.
But pointing out this benefit of the legislation and this reason to be in favor of it is not the same thing as denying that the bill provides for age-appropriate sex ed for kindergartners. If he denies that, shame on him.]

Drudge Watch

I saw Letterman. This is a misrepresentation of what he said. He said first that he'd been talking about McCain's policies, that you can call them "change" (i.e put lipstick on them) but they're still the same as Bush. Then later he said, if I HAD been using this saying to reference Palin (which he'd just explained he wasn't), she would have been the lipstick and McCain's policies would have been the pig. So Drudge makes this a headline.


is going to get us.

Whistling in the dark

Read Gail Collins. This will be much discussed today.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

On the RealClearPolitics

electoral map, if you move Florida and Colorado from toss-up to McCain, McCain wins 225-217. Heck, moving just Florida makes it 217-216 Obama.

UPDATE: Boy, I'd like to delete this. I of course was not even thinking about the total needed (270) or the effect of the other toss-ups. I just got excited when I moved two states and McCain's number was bigger than Barry's and didn't think beyond that. Sheesh.


on Barry's decline. Very interesting.

Voter perceptions from the FNC poll

Not good for Team Obama.

Memo to Slow Joe

If I were you? I'd stay away from the whole my-aircraft-was-forced-down thing.

S. Weasel

Troubled bridge over water

From Josh:

Actually, Congress put the kibosh on the Bridge to Nowhere back in November 2005. Since Sen. Ted Stevens (R-AK) was then head of the Senate Appropriations Committee he was able to force a compromise in which the earmark for the bridge was killed but Alaska got to hold on to the money -- some $442 million of federal tax dollars.

Fast forward to November 2006. That's when Sarah Palin was running as a staunch supporter of the Bridge to Nowhere -- that is, after the feds had themselves already said 'No Thanks.'

In 2006, the Democrats took over both houses of Congress. So by the time Palin got into office it was clear that not only was the first Bridge earmark killed but that Congress was not going to be ponying up any more money. That meant that Alaska was going to have to pick up the tab all on its own. So since she couldn't pay for it with the federal pork barrel, in September 2007, Palin officially halted the project which was then a state project since Congress had said 'Thanks. But no thanks' two years earlier.

She couldn't say 'No Thanks' because Congress had already said 'Forget It'.

Jet fuel

More on the jet story:
Moreover, because of the unique purchasing terms of the aircraft -- which required the state to make payments amounting to $20,000 per month even if the jet wasn't in use -- the decision not to hire a broker to help sell the property appears in hindsight to have been a costly mistake....By the time she was elected, there were many state items being offered on eBay. As the Anchorage Daily News reported on December 13, 2006, nine days after Palin took office and the day she announced the jet posting, the state was "auctioning 38 items on the site, including three aircraft -- two Super Cubs and a Cessna... Other items for sale included two sets of used helicopter floats ($300) and King Air exhaust stacks ($500)."

Back in 2003, the state sold an old ferry, The Bartlett, for $389,500. As Jones noted in a Daily News article at that time, "it [was] not usual for Alaska to sell big-ticket items on eBay because the site is cheap and has a big audience."

The state jet, in contrast, was not a good fit for eBay. Palin never actually sold the aircraft online (though, unlike John McCain, she never claimed that to be the case). But more important, while the jet sat unsold, Alaska was on the hook to pay $62,492.79 every three months as part of the initial purchasing deal.

Does the Democrat ticket have two plagiarists?

Sure seems so. [Corner]

Drudge Watch

Before we let Barry completely off the hook

is there any doubt he gave Hill the finger in this clip?

More bridge

This appears to be an intelligent and even-handed analysis.

Re: More Pig

I've just seen the entire clip of the Obama (on both Fox News and CNN) "lipstick/pig" statement. He was talking about McCain and his policies and his agreement with Bush. No one in their right mind could say he was calling Palin a pig. What I got from it was that he was calling McCain/his ideas ala change a pig and that you can add lipstick (Palin) to that (McCain), but you still get the same thing (McCain). All the hoopla is the media and political talking heads trying to make something out of nothing. Now McCain has a new ad (shown on Fox News of course) talking about it. That sure didn't take long.

Very much ado about nothing

RE: Oh my goodness

Here's another one in Salon that has to be read to be believed. See Ace for more.

Supreme Court poll

As I write this our poll is 4-0 in favor of strict construction. I took the wording directly from the Rasmussen poll earlier this week.

Fun campaign fact:

"While 82% of voters who support McCain believe the justices should rule on what is in the Constitution, just 29% of Barack Obama’s supporters agree. Just 11% of McCain supporters say judges should rule based on the judge’s sense of fairness, while nearly half (49%) of Obama supporters agree."

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

More pig

McCain is overreacting. I agree with this: "The McCain campaign has little respect for Obama, but they don't think he is stupid. And the only way one can conclude that Obama meant to refer to Gov. Sarah Palin as a pig is to have concluded that Obama is as dumb as a doornail."

See also at the link Barry's and McCain's use of that phrase previously. [Corner]

Re: CO Peaches

They are very proud of their peaches those Coloradans of the Western Slope. Apparently the cool nights and afternoon sun are really perfect for them.

Oh no

Lipstick on a pig comment was a mistake.

Slow Joe

tells a guy in a wheelchair to stand up. Really.

Oh no

This isn't good. Maybe she IS the worst person on the face on the Earth.

The Myths of Palin: Bridge and Jet

In response to Michael's question about what she's saying that isn't true: The WSJ:
But Gov. Palin's claim comes with a serious caveat. She endorsed the multimillion dollar project during her gubernatorial race in 2006. And while she did take part in stopping the project after it became a national scandal, she did not return the federal money. She just allocated it elsewhere.

Regarding the jet sale: eventually someone (it wasn't Palin) brokered a deal for the sale of the jet. But it did not sell on eBay. In fact, I submit that putting it on eBay was a publicity stunt. How many $2.5 million jets sell on eBay, as opposed to more conventional channels. It wasn't a horrible idea she had; in fact, it was common practice for the State of Alaska to sell surplus stuff on eBay. But it didn't actually yield any result, so I give her no credit for this. She may be being careful about her language on the stump ("I put it on eBay"), but McCain keeps saying she sold it on eBay. It's myth-making.

[Update: link to jet story, though I find it hard to believe we haven't all read this.]

[Update II: She didn't tell Congress "Thanks, but no thanks." She told Congress "Thanks. I'll buy what I want to with this money."]

I know there's at least one Josh Marshall fan here

but really: "On the stump, not a single word that comes out of her mouth -- or not a single word that the McCain folks put in her mouth -- is anything but a lie."

Just a bit over the top, isn't it? And I thought he was one of the saner lefties.

That didn't take long

Slow Joe on Palin and stem cell research here. Initial take down here and you can be sure there will be more.

UPDATE: Allah: "All this does is push that fact back in front of voters. But beyond that, his question is simply stupid and easily answered: She doesn’t support ESCR because she believes in life at conception and isn’t willing to sacrifice it even to help her own son. Unlike Joe Biden, of course, who also claims to believe in life at conception and yet seems willing to sacrifice it at every opportunity.
Exit question: How happy do you think the infanticide candidate is to have this issue suddenly back on the table?"

Oh my goodness

the lefties are in a lather. And not just the nuts at DU, Kos, Huffpo, et al. Here are two articles in Salon that have to be read to be believed. Via Corner and somewhere else.
When you're getting a lot of flak, you must be over the target. Via someone.
UPDATE: Ha! She's haunting their dreams! [Hotair]


Our grocery stores are selling Colorado peaches that are spectacular right now. You might walk past them because they're smaller and lighter-colored than the lion's share of peaches we see.


The old SWC rivalry continues this Saturday in Austin. This was, and is, a MUCH bigger game for the Razorbacks than for the hated longhorns. Last time these 2 teams met in Austin (Sept 2003) C and I were there to witness and celebrate the glorious victory of the Hogs. While we'll be there again this weekend, the outcome (sadly) will probably be much different.

In honor of BEAT TEXAS week, I am refusing to speak or respond directly to the resident T-sippers, Michael and Scooter.

Forget the US election and Palin-mania...

this is the story that has my attention. Body doubles, voice print analysis, surgically altered people. You can't dream this stuff up. I'm heading to Barnes and Noble tomorrow to pick up the new Woodward book - while I'm there, I'll check to see if there is an English language version of the book referenced in the article.

UPDATE 9/9: The MSM is all over this story today as it seems "The Dear Leader" did not make an appearance at the parade celebrating the 60th anniversary of North Korea.


"For the first time in generations, one party's ticket has no military experience. It does, however, have two lawyers. And neither of the Republican nominees is a lawyer. These facts are not coincidental."

If we're going to start a Palin gaffe-watch

we might as well start one for Biden, plus a lie-watch: “I’m encouraged because they’re doing the things I suggested . . . That’s why it is moving toward some mild possibility of a resolution.” Why should Slow Joe get a pass on this crap when Palin's every verb tense is scrutinized?

Let's not forget

that Stanley Kurtz is going through the CAC documents. I'm predicting ugly revelations about The One and his BFF Ayers and the money they controlled.

Palin's experience

This is In response to Anonymous' comment about why there wasn't outrage about RFK's lack of experience.

The concerns I have with Palin springing from Juneau to the VP job are:
1) she has no experience dealing with national or international issues; it's possible she hasn't even had any interest in national issues. There is no evidence that she has. We don't have any idea what thoughts she has on these issues. She's gungho about exploiting/ "developing" Alaska's national resources. That's it. That's all we know about what's in her head.
2) Her experience as governor is useful but there hasn't been enough of it to know whether she's doing a good job or to know what the consequences of her actions will be.
3) She hasn't been on the national scene long enough for people to be able to evaluate her. We'll have about 6 weeks from the time she does the Charlie Gibson farce-of-an-interview until election day, with early voting starting in some places in early October. You can't expect people to be comfortable with this woman being a heartbeat away.
4) She's perfectly qualified to do some version of the VP job. But that's not the issue to me; she needs to be ready to be President from the get-go. Every VP candidate should be, but it's all the more important when the Presidential candidate is so old.

RFK had held jobs in federal government and worked on national issues from the very early 1950's until his presidential run in 1968. Further, he was on the national scene that whole time; people were able to observe his high profile career.

Obama's resume is thin. But he's been on display for all to see and poke and kick for 19 months, his every move and word revealed. He's written a book on his thoughts on some of the big national issues. He taught U.S. Constitutional law for 12 years. He was interested enough in national issues to run for Senate. He served as a Senator for two years before Palin even became a governor. He's interested enough in national issues to run and run and run for President. Oh, and his undergrad degree from Columbia was in political science with emphasis in foreign affairs. We can safely conclude that he's spent gazillions of hours pondering national and international issues and has had conversations with oodles of experts on these topics while formulating policy plans.

I know, I know that mayors and governors have to make decisions and exercise executive authority in a way that Obama hasn't done in his legislative jobs. But it's possible to do that really really badly. I don't know enough yet about Palin to know whether she did a good job at these activities. I see signs it may not have gone so well. There's the sports complex that's mired in real estate litigation, there's potential abuse of power in firing people willy-nilly and spending state money to attend church events, there's questions about whether the pipeline deal is a good one.

Monday, September 08, 2008


I haven't lived there since the eve of the new millennium, but my gut tells me it is a big fat R in November. OTOH, my gut is often, if not usually, wrong.


In my humble (I have no children and have never served) opinion, the reason why the arguments that Gov. Palin should be at home are all wrong is this:

When one is called to "serve," then sacrifices are demanded of both the individual and the family.

Whether a call to arms, a call to ministry or a call to political service (especially high office), then one is required to serve to the detriment of the immediate family for the good of the nation. This is different from a person who decides on a career that deprives family for the sake of the dollar though I certainly have no understanding of Gov. Palin's motives...they could be ill indeed.

I mean this whatever one's political persuasion (to the extent any of my right- sided brethren have denounced men or women for the same, shame on them).

I am so naive

Certain details altered to protect the guilty.

Had a meeting with client today on a real estate litigation issue. Talking about the property client said, "I'm not going to take less than $1.9M for the property because it's at 19th Street and Drake Boulevard [me: it's a great location]. I know it's not 19th Street anymore but to me it will always be 19th Street." The client said it with a smile and a wink. Client looked at me knowingly for confirmation but I had no idea what client meant. I moved on.

Later I realized. 19th Street isn't 19th Street anymore and hasn't been since at least when I first moved here in 1979. For at least 29 years 19th Street has been...

Martin Luther King Boulevard.

For a guy who was so pleased to see so many Sen. Obama signs behind the "Pine Curtain" in my mom's east Texas town of Athens, I am deflated.

Drudge Watch

Drudge is STILL pimping Obama's "my Muslim faith" as a slip. It's been up for at least 24 hours. He still, though, has no entry for Palin's Fannie/Freddie gaffe:
McCain's running mate, Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, speaking in Colorado Springs, Colo., said Fannie and Freddie had "gotten too big and too expensive to the taxpayers." The companies, however, aren't taxpayer funded but operate as private companies. The takeover may result in a taxpayer bailout during reorganization.

Sunday, September 07, 2008

I don't know how many houses I own

Looks like the Fannie/Freddie bailout provides for the U.S. Treasury to buy stock.
The Treasury can purchase up to $100 billion of a special class of stock in each company as needed to maintain a positive net worth.
So now we'll all own more houses than we can count!

Re: Sunday News Shows

I saw parts of the shows too.

Tom Brokaw IS too old. That was not pretty.

I have to note that Obama did indeed name three areas of disagreement with the Dems: 1) wants to enlarge the military; 2) in favor of merit policies for teachers; and 3) wants to reduce litigation costs in the healthcare arena. This begins at about the -6:00 minute mark of the second segment for the video of This Week that you can see here for the moment. (Sorry I can't get a more precise and permanent link.) I don't really know where the majority of Dems are on these points, so I don't know if he's actually bucking the party or would find plenty of agreement; maybe that's what LJ meant by saying he didn't name three areas of disagreement.

Obama handed the right some juicy video with that "my Muslim faith" snippet and some will go to town with it. But no honest person can make hay about this. It's clear that he meant that McCain hadn't ever made the claim that Obama is Muslim. You can judge for yourself at -2:49 in the third segment. Update: Due credit to Hot Air and Ace who called off the dogs. Update II: Washington Times makes hay. Update III: Drudge is more in-the-tank for Palin than for anyone else I've ever noticed:

It is surely painful to watch him dance around the surge success issue. It's not 100% clear to me that it was increased numbers of troops rather than changed tactics (fruits of Petraeus' counter-insurgency strategy) that had the greatest effect on quelling violence, but I'm willing to buy the proposition that the surge was beneficial. We'll never know whether anything other than the surge would have done the job.

Sunday News Programs

I can't believe that I'm actually watching the ABC, CBS and NBC news programs this morning. Not sure what I'm expecting to hear, but since 3 of the 4 top candidates are on them (hmm, wonder which one wasn't), to compare and contrast might be the reason. My observations:

1) Tom Brokaw is either unprepared or too old. Stammering while trying to get questions out to Biden. I'm not a Biden fan really (he's a blowhard and loves to hear himself talk) but I liked his response to the abortion question. Basically, he doesn't think he should impose his personal faith views on others, nor does he think the gov't should impose any view on the public.

2) Obama on ABC, being interviewed by George S. He does his usual dance around the surge question (it's all about semantics) and actally makes a slip when answering questions about his faith by saying..."questions about my Muslim faith...". George corrected him..."you mean my Christian faith...". Obama...."uh, yes, my Christian faith...". He claims that he will offer positions different than those of most Democrats and especially, Reid and Pelosi. When asked to name 3, he wouldn't; when asked to name one, he mentioned education (positions different than what the Teachers Union wants/supports).

3) McCain on CBS. Claims that Palin will come on Schaeffer's program first. Somehow I doubt that; if true, Fox News might revolt. McCain supports the Fannie Mae/Freddie Mac bailout (again, I thought the whole Republican/Conservative economic policy was based on "free market" letting businesses succeed or fail on their own). But what I'm hearing lately is that some businesses are too important to let fail - that the gov't (i.e. me/taxpayers) should pay the price. So far that list includes the 2 FM's, Bear-Stearns, certain airlines and from what I'm hearing, the big 3 auto makers. My question would be, what aren't the shareholders being asked to bail them out. They get the profits. And why aren't the CEO's/Board of Directors being held accountable?

But I digress....McCain responds to the question about the lack of minority delegates at the RNC (something like 43 out of 2,500) by saying that Republicans have to let minorities know that they are the party of Lincoln,...."the party of LINCOLN...", he exclaimed. Abe wouldn't recognize "his" party these days.

I've had enough. The only person who made an impression on me was Biden. Not quite as long-winded as usual (but then again, network TV has commercial breaks) and was as concise (as he can be) when answering questions.