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August 05, 2008

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Sue

Just passing through

Must have been something he ate.

Ranger

I've heard it said several times that there are two kinds of people who run for president, those who want to be somebody, and those who want to accomplish something. The great presidents are of the latter group. Obama is, at least to me, of the former: He is running because he wants to be president. What truely concerns me is that once he is there, he will get bored with the job just like he has gotten bored with every other significant position he has held.

sbw

TM: ... what are the core principles for which [one] would fight without surrender?

The essential question of society -- defined as the minimal requirements where any two individuals or cultures meet. The only two core principles I have found are doubt (known as humility) and reciprocity (respect for others with humility).

Anyone can deduce these from their own personal experience, and deduce a functional framework for behavior independent of moral relativism.


Peter

Can I really be the first to post? Hey, Jim O'Sullivan, enjoy your vacation

kim

What a high-falutin' way to say the suit is empty.
=============================

bio mom

As the Brooks column shows, Obama has truly accomplished absolutely nothing of worth. Editor of the Harvard Law Review who published nothing. Law school "professor" who published nothing. In those two jobs it is the usual requirement that people publish scholarly work. Also, does it not seem strange that someone in his early 40s would write two autobiographies about himself? Who does that?? 60s, 70s, and older I can see. Maybe 50s if you are running for president already. But 40s?? Seems so egotistical.

The presidency is not an affirmative action position. Vote McCain

Chris

"Also, does it not seem strange that someone in his early 40s would write two autobiographies about himself?"

Why, yes, it does. Even stranger that the first one was written in his early 30's. Guess we're just cynics.

centralcal

"Just passing through on his way to the White House."

What makes anyone think that if he reaches the White House he won't just be "passing through" that as well?

Daddy

"What are the core principles for which one would fight without surrender?"

Excellent question. Of Obama I can't think of any that come to mind. But in order to be fair and to offer contrast, the question also needs to be asked of McCain.

In McCain's case, I'll simply start with a fundamental one from his Viet Nam war experience: That one does not accept early release from a Prisoner of War camp ahead of those who have been there longer than you have, because such would be a propaganda victory for the enemy and a surrender to both one's self and one's fellow prisoners. I see nothing in Obama that comes within a hundred miles of this tough example of principal which young John McCain lived by, each and every day, for more than half a decade.

Michael J. Myers

Bill Clinton had the same problem; he had wanted to be POTUSA from his high school days posing for a photo in the Rose Garden with JFK. He knew he wanted the job--but he sure as heck didn't have a clue as to what he wanted to do with the position once he got there. I've seen the same phenomenon with some corporate CEOs. They spent their careers climbing the corporate ladder reaching for the next rung. Once they got to the top, they didn't know how to do the job they had--they had spent a lifetime preparing for the next job or the job after that. In a word, they were flippin' disasters. And so it will be with the Obamessiah.

ben

"What makes anyone think that if he reaches the White House he won't just be "passing through" that as well?"

As citizen of the world his ultimate ambition is probably "World President", a position the U.N. will create just for him.

Nenicho

All of this is well and good, but who and what is behind him. I don't think he's smart enough to have master-minded the progression from mere mortal to Messiah. Surely he's not like Forrest Gump who just propelled his way through life with stupidity. Although I think he is stupid and egotistical at the same time.

Barney Frank

He did finally rouse himself to denounce Jeremiah Wright after Wright questioned Obama's credibility, so at least we can expect Obama to fight for his own reputation if nothing else.

Well, I'm not sure this is a plus. When the only thing one will fight for is oneself you're dealing with some pretty strong pathologies.

sbw

Prior to the 1960s the question "What are the core principles?" need not have been asked because there were adequate substitutes -- an education that translated classics of Cicero and Tacitus, a strong religious equivalent that explained what to do (if not a reasoned explanation why), and peripheral organizations like scouting that had their own codes.

But the 1960s fractured the framework by asking "Why?" and, although there were good reasons for acting a certain way, our institutions did not have an adequate answer to substitute for "Because I said so!" backed up by a ruler or a hand to the seat of the pants.

A cadre of teachers and journalists are at work now who were taught by the no-reason-why generation that was cast adrift in the 1960s into an angry sea of moral relativity. A second generation is now getting lost in the first generation's fog.

There is a way out, but we do not teach it. -- In fact, we cannot teach it so much as pose the questions that let an intellect stumble over good answers in passing.


bad

There is a sense that because of his unique background and temperament, Obama lives apart.

If you recall the interview with the Sun-Times some years back (maybe 2004?) he talked of being a born again Christian but holding himself apart from God.

I'll find that article and link to it when I get a chance.

centralcal

Speaking of Obama's "core," Alex Castellanos at the Huffington Posts calls it the "molten core."

An excerpt:

"He has been called distant, aloof and somewhat unapproachable, perhaps because we cannot approach what he does not have, a solid core. His soul seems to be molten and made up of dreams, which is at once breathtakingly inspiring and forbiddingly indeterminate. When this young man with the flowing, passionate core, when this candidate without the solid-center changes positions and transforms himself as we watch, it leaves Americans much more in doubt about who he is and how he would lead us. It also reveals an Obama of unapproachable arrogance and inestimable self-regard: He appears confident voters will appreciate his superiority regardless of where he journeys or what he becomes to meet his political ambitions. "

LUN (Link under name)

DrJ

Law school "professor" who published nothing. In [that] job it is the usual requirement that people publish scholarly work.

Not to pick nits, but a lecturer (either full-time or part-time as Obama was) is not required nor expected to publish anything. They are hired to teach classes and nothing more.

bio mom

I was being facetious using "professor". That is the term touted by his campaign. He is a law school professor according to them.

DrJ

Their claim indeed is terribly disingenuous (I called it bald-faced lie in an earlier thread). I personally prefer to hold them accountable for that lie, rather than a lack of publication when holding a position from which none is expected.

I do grant that the distinction between professor and lecturer is lost on most people.

Another question to follow on is, "when was he granted tenure?" Yes, I've heard about the putative offer, but it was declined.

RichatUF

Humm, the same themes are popping up in print and online-looks like an Axelrod rebranding attempt with a new batch of talking points.

Jane

That really is a great question. Obviously McCain would fight for his country, for freedom, for the American way - seems he has devoted a lifetime already to that cause.

Perhaps Obama would fight to change the American way - to make it more "fair" AKA less competitive.

For years I've believed that democrat ideals are based on a change in human nature. Maybe that's what Obama is trying to accomplish.

glasater

Another question to follow on is, "when was he granted tenure?" Yes, I've heard about the putative offer, but it was declined.

BHO is lazy and cheap--unbecoming qualities in anyone.

Rick Ballard

DrJ,

Would tenured (or tenure track) faculty have any more than cursory interest in a lecturer's opinion concerning matters of department or school governance? He had no standing, why would anyone be more than polite to him in the first place?

DrJ

Would tenured (or tenure track) faculty have any more than cursory interest in a lecturer's opinion concerning matters of department or school governance?

No. Most departments or schools do not even allow lecturers to attend these sorts of meetings, let alone vote.

He had no standing, why would anyone be more than polite to him in the first place?

No reason whatsoever. Faculty do appreciate lecturers, because it allows them to lessen their teaching loads. They may also be nice or interesting people. But their opinions have never held in much weight in my experience.

The only caveat is that my experience is with the physical and biological science and engineering departments. I would be much surprised if it is any different in law schools.

MayBee

For years I've believed that democrat ideals are based on a change in human nature. Maybe that's what Obama is trying to accomplish.

Yes, I absolutely agree with that.
I think Obama is from the Barney or Rainbow Fish school of interpersonal behavior.
Which is fine when you are trying to get children to share their toys and there's an adult moderating the playroom. Not so realistic in dealing with citizens of a country.
On a world wide scale, it is naive or dangerous. In everything he says about international relations, he indicates that if the US was just nicer, would just share more, we would all get along.

RattlerGator

He was in Trinity United Church of Christ, but not of it, not sharing the liberation theology that energized Jeremiah Wright Jr.

Says who?

What is it about white people that makes them blink time and again on this one question? You simply cannot be a member of that church and have a deep relationship with the head of that church and *NOT* believe in black liberation theology.

Quit blinking, people. Ask the damn question and demand a reasonable response.

sbw

I'd like to learn what Obama understands about liberty and its interaction with enforced equality.

I'd like to learn from him why legitimate power is anything you can get away with. Then he can explain why any dollar I earn belongs to the powerful. Then he can explain what "fair" means.

centralcal

RattlerGator: I agree with you. Nearly everyone I know (not talking about the people who post here) thinks Barack and Michelle stronly hold the views of BLT.

I have never believed that this was their church just for political expediency reasons (Chicago politics, not national politics).

I think a few people have tried to "ask the damn(ed) question and demand a reasonable response," but not nearly enough -- beginning with the media.

SWarren

Law school "professor" who published nothing. In [that] job it is the usual requirement that people publish scholarly work.

I read somewhwere recently that Obama was recommended to UC by a Judge and was given a fellowship and an office. He was writing 'Dreams of My Father' and asked permission for that to be his required writing.

MayBee

I'd like to learn from him why legitimate power is anything you can get away with. Then he can explain why any dollar I earn belongs to the powerful. Then he can explain what "fair" means

sbw- yesterday on NPR, I heard an interview with Rick Warren about a forum he will hold with Obama and McCain (appearing back-to-back, not side-by-side). He said he intends to ask them questions he never hears asked, such as what is each candidate's understanding of the Constitution.

I don't know if it will be ridiculous or beneficial, but if he asks what he says he will, we may actually learn some things. I have my doubts, and think it will end up in religious pandering of some sort.

Pofarmer

I did just a few minutes research on Evan Bayh last night. It seems he's one that has been saying that "Bush lied us into war" while at the same time not disclosing that he sat on the Senate Select Committee for intelligence, the same as John Kerry. Are these Folks that incurious and stupid, or are they just that dishonest? I'm disgusted with Dimocrat politics right now.

Appalled

David Brooks is a little high-falutin on this topic for my taste. The question on Obama is -- What specific policy thing has he done, that had any kind of high profile? When has he taken his principles into action, even at the risk of popularity, or in defiance of the then present popular wisdom?

The only place he seemed to have done that is Iraq. With that having much less salience of an issue, one's left scratching one's head about this.

DrJ

SWarren,

I've not seen that, but it would be consistent with the way academia works. Odd way to fulfill a writing requirement, if that was a fellowship requirement.

Danube of Thought

The guy's a weirdo, and the people of this country will not elect him as their president.

anduril

On the previous thread, Cecil and I were discussing the anthrax case. As I said, I have no dog in that fight. I am not insisting that Ivins is the perp, but I'm willing to weigh the FBI's claims to have gotten it right this time. There are a number of articles out this morning and here are some links.

The first is from the WSJ and is written by the fella who was cited in the WaPo article that Cecil linked:

Bruce Ivins Wasn't the Anthrax Culprit

By RICHARD SPERTZEL

Next, Gabe Schoenfeld weighs in in the LATimes:

Not the FBI's proudest moment

The anthrax case may be the latest botched investigation by the bureau.

There are also two subsriber only articles in the WSJ, which go to the mounting pressure on the Government to release the details (in light of the Hatfill fiasco):

According to the WSJ's Law Blog, A Rift Between DOJ and FBI Over Whether to Release Ivins Evidence? the rift is based on DOJ's wish to go slow and the FBI's desire to release the evidence because they thing their case is secure (this time). The Law Blog also links to these two articles which discuss some of the technical details that may be the basis for the case, as well as investigative tactics:

Pressure Grows for F.B.I.’s Anthrax Evidence

The investigative tactics were sometimes brutal. The scientific evidence is beyond me, but this appears to be the core:

F.B.I. officials say they do know a great deal about what happened and will make it public, possibly as early as Wednesday. They say the core of their case will be the science, which produced the giant step from a globe of possible suspects to a single lab and a single flask.

Faced with the scientific mystery of the powder, government and outside scientists first looked at chemical isotopes in the attack strain for clues as to when and where the bacteria had been grown. Analyzing traces of the beef broth used to grow the anthrax, scientists measured carbon-14 left from nuclear weapons tests in the 1950s, whose quantity diminishes every year.

By calculating the ratio of carbon-14 to the normal kind in residue of plants eaten by the cow from which the broth was made, investigators learned by June 2002 that the anthrax had been grown within the last two years.

A second clue was developed from the new ability to sequence, or decode, the chemical letters of DNA. Scientists at the Institute for Genomic Research, a pioneer in genome sequencing, sequenced the full genome of the anthrax recovered from the blood of Robert Stevens, the first victim of the attacks.

The genome of various stocks of the Ames strain of anthrax used in the attacks were almost identical in all the 5 million chemical letters of their DNA. But researchers found enough differences in the attack strain to provide a reasonable chance of identifying its source.

The chief difference was that a stretch of DNA was flipped head to tail in some bacteria in the attack strain, but not in any other samples.

Further, the attack strain contained bacteria with both the flipped and the unflipped DNA, showing that it was a mixture of two strains, which analysts later found reflected a mix of origins — 85 percent from the Dugway Proving Ground of the Army in Utah and 15 percent added at Fort Detrick, according to one person close to the investigation.

To make sure the case for the distinctive features of the attack anthrax could hold up in court, agents collected thousands of samples of Ames strain anthrax from labs around the world, said scientists familiar with the F.B.I.’s thinking. “This is the step that took so long,” one scientist said.

Decoding the genome of a bacterium like anthrax may have cost around $500,000 in 2002, and even the F.B.I.’s budget would have been strained to decode thousands of genomes. A new generation of sequencing machines can now sequence bacterial genomes for around $500. But those machines did not become available until about 2005, which may have been another reason for the delay.

Despite speculation that the anthrax had a special coating to make it more deadly, an F.B.I. scientist, Douglas Beecher, published an article in 2006 saying no such sophisticated additives had been found. That finding broadened the number of scientists and technicians who could have made the anthrax, another obstacle to a quick resolution.

Richard Ebright, a Rutgers University biochemist and an opponent of the rapid expansion of biodefense research since 2001, said the F.B.I. should long ago have released some of its scientific conclusions.

“The finding that the attack material could be traced definitively to a U.S. bioweapons research lab could, and should, have been released as soon is it was obtained,” Dr. Ebright said, noting that the finding could raise questions about the wisdom of proliferating stocks of anthrax and other pathogens.

Note that the FBI scientist's conclusion appears to factually contradict a major part of the basis for Spertzler's defense of Ivins.

The WaPo article also addresses some of the questions of feasibility, as well as the problems of identifying a single perp:

Anthrax Dryer a Key To Probe

Suspect Borrowed Device From Lab

Bruce E. Ivins, the government's leading suspect in the 2001 anthrax killings, borrowed from a bioweapons lab that fall freeze-drying equipment that allows scientists to quickly convert wet germ cultures into dry spores, according to sources briefed on the case.

Ivins's possession of the drying device, known as a lyopholizer, could help investigators explain how he might have been able to send letters containing deadly anthrax spores to U.S. senators and news organizations.

The device was not commonly used by researchers at the Army's sprawling biodefense complex at Fort Detrick, Md., where Ivins worked as a scientist, employees at the base said. Instead, sources said, Ivins had to go through a formal process to check out the lyopholizer, creating a record on which authorities are now relying. He did at least one project for the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency that would have given him reason to use the drying equipment, according to a former colleague in his lab.

...

Scientific analysis helped researchers pinpoint the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases as the likely source of the powder, which was the Ames strain of anthrax bacteria used in various projects at Fort Detrick. Further testing allowed them to narrow down the age of the substance, concluding that it had been cultivated no more than two years before the attacks.

Eventually, through more elaborate DNA testing of the power and tissue cultures from the victims, they determined that the powder probably came from supplies made by Ivins, to which about 10 other people had access. Authorities last week cited "new and sophisticated scientific tools" that helped advance the investigation.

...

Ivins was not charged before his death July 29. Paul F. Kemp, his attorney, has repeatedly asserted Ivins's innocence, and colleagues and friends say government officials fixed on the wrong man in a race to close a seven-year investigation rife with dead ends and missteps. They also note that other U.S. scientists had access to some of the same material and equipment that authorities apparently used to focus on Ivins.

The lyopholizer Ivins used in the fall of 2001 is commonly employed by pharmaceutical companies and laboratories, as well as food processors, to freeze a liquid broth of bacteria and quickly transform it into a dry solid without a thawing stage.

Scientists and biodefense experts familiar with USAMRIID's procedures say that Ivins's department rarely used such freeze-dryers, because the researchers there worked with anthrax bacteria in a liquid form.

"Dry anthrax is much harder to work with," said one scientist familiar with Ivins's lab. A lyopholizer would fit inside the ventilated "biosafety cabinet" at the lab and could have been used without drawing notice, the scientist said. The machine could have processed a few small batches of anthrax liquid in less than a day, he said.

Other biodefense experts noted that the drying step could have been carried out with equipment no more complicated than a kitchen oven. "It is the simplest . . . but it is the least reproducible," said Sergei Popov, a former Soviet bioweapons scientist who now specializes in biodefense at George Mason University. "If you go too fast you get 'sand,' " he said, referring to the coarser anthrax powder used in the first attacks, in September 2001.

The second batch of letters contained a much finer powder. "To me, it all indicates that the person experimented with the ways to dry the spores and produced small batches -- some of them not so successfully -- he later used to fill up different envelopes," Popov said. "The spores are naturally clumpy. As I understand, he just overbaked the first batches."

glenda waggoner

To God's ears, DoT....
I've always been an optimist about this, because when you add up the bureaucrats, the powerseekers and sheep, it will never equal the informed "folks" (responsible& educated by life who love God & their country).
And fight for it.
And vote.

SWarren

This was from Jodi Kantor at NY Times:
Mr. Obama arrived at the law school in 1991 thanks to Michael W. McConnell, a conservative scholar who is now a federal appellate judge. As president of The Harvard Law Review, Mr. Obama had impressed Mr. McConnell with editing suggestions on an article; on little more than that, the law school gave him a fellowship, which amounted to an office and a computer, which he used to write his memoir, “Dreams From My Father.”

But I remember reading somewhere that his time was running out and he asked his professor to consider his memoir as fulfilling the requirement. I'll keep looking.

Ann

Pofarmer,

Evan Bayh was also one of the few that voted against Condi Rice for Secretary of State in 2005.

ajacksonian

Hmmm... perhaps he is just vague and vagrant:
Source: Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary (1913)

Vague \Vague\ (v[=a]g), a. [Compar. Vaguer (v[=a]g"[~e]r);
superl. Vaguest.] [F. vague, or L. vagus. See Vague, v.
i.]
1. Wandering; vagrant; vagabond. [Archaic] ``To set upon the
vague villains.'' --Hayward.

She danced along with vague, regardless eyes.
--Keats.

2. Unsettled; unfixed; undetermined; indefinite; ambiguous;
as, a vague idea; a vague proposition.

This faith is neither a mere fantasy of future
glory, nor a vague ebullition of feeling. --I.
Taylor.

The poet turned away, and gave himself up to a sort
of vague revery, which he called thought.
--Hawthorne.

3. Proceeding from no known authority; unauthenticated;
uncertain; flying; as, a vague report.

Some legend strange and vague. --Longfellow.

anduril

Brooks and Castellanos make good points, and I agree with the bottom line: if McCain wins it will likely be because of Obama, not because of McCain.

However, I disagree with this Brooks statement:

There is a sense that because of his unique background and temperament, Obama lives apart.

I would maintain that what causes Obama's apartness is not something unique in his background--by which I understand Brooks to be alluding to Obama's mixed race background. For starters, in America, that's not all that unique. But what really caused Obama's apartness, his sense of not belonging, is also something that is not terribly unusual in America: it is the fact of his being raised without a father. Obama himself in his autobiographies doesn't hide this factor: his life has been characterized by estrangement from his mother and a search to belong that has been focused on finding a father figure--a search that has led to disappointing results for him. Ultimately, his sense of belonging has been supplied by an ideological alignment. But for real flesh, blood and spirit human beings a sense of belonging to an ideology--a collection of ideas--is a poor substitute for real family ties. I think most of us in our lives have at one time or another encountered people like that, whose primary loyalty is to ideas, and I think most of us have found such people to be one dimensional and ultimately empty.

Barney Frank

The guy's a weirdo, and the people of this country will not elect him as their president.

I applaud the sentiment DOT but the names Clinton, Carter and Nixon, just to go back forty years or so, suggest it is not an axiom.

Elliott

Part seven is now available.

anduril

I haven't read the entire articles here by Thomas Sowell:

Bankrupt "Exploiters"

Bankrupt "Exploiters": Part II

but I was attracted by the first line of the second part:

We don't look to arsonists to help put out fires but we do look to politicians to help solve financial crises that they played a major role in creating.
PaulL

Anduril, thanks for all the anthrax articles. I find Spertzel's column to be utterly unconvincing, and its headline is way too much for its content.

The drying device angle is fascinating, as is the fact that the first letters contained grosser anthrax spores--because they'd been overcooked.

Probably the most ridiculous aspect of this case is the defense of Ivins based on him seeming like a nice guy, church goer, sports lover, et cetera. He just didn't look like your normal anthrax killer!

DrJ

I remember reading somewhere that his time was running out and he asked his professor to consider his memoir as fulfilling the requirement. I'll keep looking.

It is a minor detail, but interesting. Usually fellowships are awarded so that something specific can be done (such as work with professor XYZ on this or that research topic). Usually students/postdocs/whatever use the time to do something that will further their career, but along the lines of the fellowship goals. That does not include writing a biography.

That he would obtain such a fellowship on a judge's recommendation does not strike me as unusual -- this sort of thing happens all the time. It depends of course on the nature of the fellowship, but every department, school and University has discretionary funds that can be used to support promising candidates at any level if they hold promise for doing something that refects well on the University, its fund raising, its scholarship, or some such.

What is odd is that he used that fellowship to write an autobiography. I've not heard of such a thing, but again I don't know how law schools in general, or Chicago law in particular, work.

PapayaSF

RattlerGator: Indeed. Nobody sits in a church which has a theology that distinct, for years, without agreeing with most of it.

Regarding the vagueness, it seems increasingly clear to me that Obama is on the far left ideologically, and yet wants to be a politician on the national stage. The problem is, nobody gets elected President while singing the virtues of Alinsky, Fanon, and socialism. So Obama has to somehow reconcile the contradiction of being true to his beliefs and energizing his leftist base while not seeming like a leftist to the majority of voters. So we get lots of vague hopiness and changitude and attacks on opponents, plus a lot of pandering to the center. Unfortunately this undercuts his reformer and above-it-all image, and even his core supporters are starting to notice.

anduril

PaulL, you're very welcome. I understand that the anthrax investigation is OT, but I had the sense that a lot of people are interested and I do consider it important.

On a slightly different topic, here's the free preview of another WSJ article:

MIT Graduate Seen as 'Fixer' For al Qaeda Is Charged in Attack
Associated Press
Word Count: 509

NEW YORK -- An MIT-educated Pakistani woman once identified as a possible al Qaeda associate has been brought to New York to face charges she tried to kill U.S. agents and military officers during an interrogation in Afghanistan, federal prosecutors said.

Aafia Siddiqui, who was shot and wounded last month during the confrontation, was expected to be arraigned Tuesday in federal court in Manhattan on charges of attempted murder and assault, U.S. Attorney Michael Garcia said in a statement. A lawyer for her family said the allegations are false.

Ms. Siddiqui, 36 years old, was stopped by Afghan police on ...

narciso

Elliot, you know Col. Ichikawa is a reference from the cyber punk anime
"Ghost in the Shell" right. That's from
part 6.

So where did he get the Dugway strain; how did he get it to Ft. Dietrich, and how did he get to Princeton, from which he mailed
the letters from; this story makes not too much sense.

DrJ

The anthrax postings are interesting. The two key points to me are the presence (or lack thereof) of the silica coating on the spores, and the particle size of the final powder. Silica coating is easy enough to do, but it does take some experimentation to get it right. The particle size is critical, though. The spores were exactly in the right size range to ensure that they would go deep into the lung. If they were larger or smaller, they would be retained on the way down by two different physical mechanisms. The minimum removal efficiency centers on 1 micron. This person knew what they were doing.

The emphasis on the lyophilizer may be a red herring. One could easily enough freeze a sample in liquid nitrogen (to keep the final particle size down), put it in a cold chamber slightly below freezing, and then suck on it with a vacuum pump. Nearly every lab has a dissicator, a refrigerator and a vacuum pump. Even mine does. Not as convenient, but easy enough to cobble together.

The DNA sequence information is pretty compelling.

Sara

Well, if he sat in that church all those years and did not believe in BLT, then why did he subject his children to their propaganda? He should be charged with child endangerment and contributing and child abuse. Schooling your children in hate, when you yourself don't believe is not just weird, it is pathological.

StrawmanCometh

T Boone Pickett was on the Larry King show last nite. A caller asked him a good question (pasted from the transcript):
CALLER: Yes, Democrats say it would take ten years for drilling today to have an impact at the pump. Wouldn't we see an immediate affect if markets priced in the future supply growth.

KING: If markets what, sir?

CALLER: Markets priced in the future supply growth?

KING: Markets priced in the future supply growth.

PICKENS: I don't think markets will price it in. I think it's a supply-demand situation. You won't get any credit for the future.
One thing about it, I started talking about this three weeks ago, and we've had a pretty good drop in the price of oil, which is good.
--end transcript--
Now TBP is smarter than I am, and I like his plan, but here he doesn't seem to understand how markets work (or I don't). Political pressure to increase the oil supply (dropping exec. offshore drilling ban and GOP efforts to drop cong. ODB) - no effect. But TBP yakking up a pie-in-the-sky (at this point) plan - big effect.
LUN

Sara

Via Reliapundit:

From City Data:

1. Occidental College records — Not released
2. Columbia College records — Not released
3. Columbia Thesis paper — “not available”
4. Harvard College records — Not released
5. Selective Service Registration — Not released
6. Medical records — Not released
7. Illinois State Senate schedule — “not available”
8. Law practice client list — Not released
9. Certified Copy of original Birth certificate — Not released
10. Embossed, signed paper Certification of Live Birth — Not released
11. Harvard Law Review articles published — None
12. University of Chicago scholarly articles — None

Barney Frank

I don't think markets will price it in. I think it's a supply-demand situation. You won't get any credit for the future.

Guess we'll have to stop calling them futures contracts then.

GMax

TBP is usually about making money, despite having his pockets bulging and he does have lots of natural gas holdings so surprise! Anything which increases natural gas usage, means TBP is making another few tons of coinage. We now return you to your regular programming.

Sara

Survey USA has the latest numbers from Florida.

Florida, Three Months Out -- Sun Shines on McCain: In an election in critical swing-state Florida for President of the United States today, 08/04/2008, Republican John McCain defeats Democrat Barack Obama, 50% to 44%, according to this latest SurveyUSA poll pre-election poll conducted exclusively for WFLA-TV Tampa and WKRG-TV Pensacola. Obama leads by 9 points in Southeastern Florida, where he takes 52% of the vote; McCain takes 52% of the vote in Central Florida, 53% in Southwestern Florida, 55% in the northeastern Florida, and 59% in Northwestern Florida.
Sara

This is so way OT, it is out the door, but next to TM here at JOM, Jim at Gateway Pundit is my favorite blogger and he has this posted:

Around 6:45 AM CST I was hit by a semi tractor on Highway 70 near the depressed section by the St. Louis Arch.

The semi tractor pushed my trunk up into my back seat and forced me into the car ahead of me. The semi tractor then smashed me again and busted out the passenger side windows of the car.
My car was totaled in the accident. The St. Louis emergency medical team strapped me on a backboard and took me to a local hospital where I was checked out and checked out.

sbw

[OT] To NPR after their Obama interview a few days ago:

Obama wants to return some of Exxon's record 11.7 billion profit to consumers who are hurting. Michelle should have asked, if consumers are hurting, why doesnt Obama press to return some of the 32.4 billion in taxes collected -- three time more taxes than profits. Its a useful yardstick that Exxon is likely to pay more in taxes than the bottom 50% of taxpayers. [See:http://mjperry.blogspot.com/]

Emily's considered boilerplate response:
Thank you for contacting NPR's All Things Considered.

We are grateful for your comments to NPR News, and appreciate your input on our recent story. Your feedback is important to us, and your thoughts have been noted.

NPR is always delighted to hear from listeners.

Thank you for listening to All Things Considered, and for your continued support of public broadcasting. ...

Why do I keep trying? [/OT]

Jim

KING: How about that T. Boone? Can we really drill our way out of this mess?

PICKINS: No, Larry, and that's why my plan calls for...

KING: Tomorrow night! Suzanne Sommers of Three's Company fame! Alright, let's go to Spokane, WA. Spokane!

CALLER: Larry? Oh, I heard these guys think we can just drill our way out....

KING: T. Boone? Drill our way out?

PICKINS: Larry...

KING: Muncie, IN! Hello, caller!

(Hat tip to Rob Long.)

Mars vs Hollywood

what are the core principles for which Obama would fight without surrender?

The right to eat his waffle, damn it.

SWarren

DrJ
What is odd is that he used that fellowship to write an autobiography.

That is exactly what I questioned. I understand the nature of fellowships, my husband was a professor (Economics, Statistics, Finance) and that was why I saw this as special treatment for Obama. I know he was paid $60,000 as a lecturer, but it is implied that this fellowship was awarded according to McConnell being impressed with Obama’s “editing suggestions on an article”. Therefore, I would have expected him to be assisting a law professor in researching/writing for a scholarly legal publication. I guess the Law School was just happy to have the messiah in their midst.

Danube of Thought

I didn't mean to suggest that no weirdo can get elected--Nixon was indeed as weird a man as ever walked the planet. I'm simply saying that this weirdo ain't gonna make it.

I'd love to see a series of ads centered around the theme of "Who is this guy?"

DrJ

I know he was paid $60,000 as a lecturer

That's a damned good deal. The going rate at public schools in science and engineering is about $40K per year for a full-time lecturer, and about $5K per course for part-time hires. Law schools pay more, as do top private schools, but this seems very high.

it is implied that this fellowship was awarded according to McConnell being impressed with Obama’s “editing suggestions on an article”. Therefore, I would have expected him to be assisting a law professor in researching/writing for a scholarly legal publication.

Agreed. This sounds like Chicago machine politics to me, but that is just speculation.

SWarren

TM
Just passing through on his way to the White House.

The Back Story on Obama’s Books

Senator Obama understands as well as any politician the power of a well-told story. He has risen in politics less on his track record than on his telling of his life story - a tale he has packaged into two hugely successful books.

~snip~

Barack Obama long recognized the power of the written word, since just the promise of a well-told story had gotten him far early in his career. As such, Obama correctly concluded that the road to his ultimate goal -- the Presidency -- would be easier if it were paved with books rather than accomplishments. From the article, it's unclear how much time the Senator actually spent on the affairs of government after being elected to the U.S. Senate from Illinois in 2004. In the first 18 months of his first Senate term he was also writing his second book, The Audacity of Hope. Immediately after finishing that, he built up support for his upcoming Presidential campaign by campaigning for other Democrats in 2006, took part in a book tour, made a few appearances on entertainment shows, and began his campaign for the presidency. Not much time for doing what he was elected to the Senate to do, representing the people of Illinois.

LUN

LindaK

To get back to the question of why BO has failed to leave a tangible legacy at any of the institutions the "One" has graced. The one trail I picked up on is that his meager accomplishments have ALL been efforts that furthered his career or image. Hence, the first autobiography written while at Chicago, the second autobiography written as he began is US Senate career. The trail in the IL Senate is even more interesting. According to the Boston Globe, the legislation he pushed was stuff that awarded loans, subsidies and grants to his friends who were involved in low-come housing. The principal beneficiaries of this were Valerie Jarrett, now a senior campaign advisor and FOM (Friend of Michelle), Allison Davis, lead partner at BO's former law firm, and Antoin Rezko. The first two were involved in the creation and management of Grove Parc, a now decrepit project. They all were big capaign contributors to BO. So the guy who plans to "heal the sick" and "stop the oceans from rising" has in fact performed nothing close to miracles that helped anyone. Everything this "public servant" has done on the job has directly benefited himself. This explains the lack of connection to his colleagues at UC, his boredom in the IL Senate and his failure to perform the most basic legislative efforts in the US Senate. If it doesn't help BO it's off limits, a distraction.

RichatUF

Jim-

TBP believes that Nat Gas is going to get cartelized like OPEC in the near future-which would put upward pressure on prices. His "windmill" plan is a beard for what he wants to do-drill for nat gas and get the easements necessary for pipelines and powerlines. The additional benefit with the windmills is that GE (ie NBC) would reap a subsidy windfall and Pickens gets free advertisment (and probably a healthy subsidy as well).

Pofarmer

PICKENS: I don't think markets will price it in. I think it's a supply-demand situation. You won't get any credit for the future.

Obviously T. Boone ain't been watching the corn and bean markets lately. We are a loooong way from having this crop in the bin, and it's down about 2.50 in 3 weeks. Somehow, I think he has an agenda.

Rick Ballard

"Who is this guy?"

The hero of When Antonio Met Saul, the touching story of the intentional creation of a perfect empty set from birth through Gramscian selection and nurturing to become an Alinsky Acolyte who then returns for another March Through The Institutions from Harvard to UC.

He's the clearest exemplar of the marriage of Gramsci and Alinsky that I've ever seen. I wonder if he sent flowers to Antonio's grave upon signing that $60K for one course contract at UC?

Not unless Uncle Tony paid for them would be my guess.

BobS

Sara: Thanks for those Florida numbers. I live in NW Florida and I think McCain will parallel what Bush did in 2004 and get over 60% of the vote here. Recall that it was the media discounting the NW Florida vote in 2000 prior to calling the state for Gore almost 90 minutes before our central time zone polls closed. Lines were long at the end of the day and when word came that media outlets had called it for Gore many folks went home before voting. The margin of victory for Bush may have been higher if folks hadnt thought their vote wouldnt matter

section9

Hang down your head, Tom Deweeey,
Hang down your head and cryyyyy....

section9

T Boone's mama didn't raise no fool!

BobS

Nice, section9

Pofarmer

I fired off an e-mail to Clair McCaskill. I'm sure it will just get deleted, but it made me fell better.

Dear Senator McCaskill.

Please get off this evil oil company schtick. Socializing the oil companies isn't the answer to this countries energy problems. The government needs to shut up, get out of the way, and let these companies do their jobs. The Market will sort it out if the govt will let it. Quit restricting these companies from exploring and drilling. If you want to make meaningful changes to the mileage cars and trucks are getting, I would suggest that you look at what the various EPA emmissions regulations are costing us in terms of fuel economy. There is no good reason why an engine of similar displacement is getting worse mileage now than it was 10 years ago. I would urge you to check it out. Less government interference is the answer, not more.

BobS

Pofarmer: It shows how convoluted Dem ideas are. If they take over the oil industry they won't be able to tax themselves anymore

Elliott

you know Col. Ichikawa is a reference from the cyber punk anime
"Ghost in the Shell" right

I didn't. It's quite amazing the things you learn here.

Neo
Important though it is to Obama, the crime issue runs a distant second to his deepest passion: social welfare legislation. "Big government liberal," "redistributionist"-call him what you like, Obama's fondest hope is to lead America into another war on poverty.

Read the whole thing as there is too much there.

Rick Ballard

"Obama's fondest hope is to lead America into another war on poverty"

Yup. Poverty will never find a better general, either - he understands progressive immiseration and knows how to implement it on a broad scale.

bgates

Boy, I wish the Standard would phrase things more carefully. How about, "Obama's fondest hope is to lead America into a repeat of Lyndon Johnson's failed War on Poverty"?

If I were on Obama's staff, I'd pick up the Standard's line for a commercial -
Voiceover: "What Barack Obama wants to do more than anything else is to fight to reduce or eliminate poverty. But don't take our word for it. Here's what the conservative Weekly Standard had to say:"
Text and female voice: "Obama's fondest hope is to lead America into another war on poverty."

M. Simon

I can't get the NYTs to come up.

I get:

Http/1.1 Service Unavailable

M. Simon

NYTs works now. Maybe they had an instalanche JOM melt down.

Patrick R. Sullivan
We have no idea who this guy is or what he believes. Let's elect him quick so we can find out!

I heard a caller to Michael Medved say just that. Medved asked him what single accomplishment most qualified Obama to be Prez. The answer, 'Michael, he doesn't have any.' It was a feature, not a bug.

Pofarmer

Ya know, Obama not coming up with a legitimate COLB, when there has been so many questions about the one put up, is kind of creeping me out. Is this guy qualified or isn't he? Nobodies sayin. Everybody is just assuming that he is.

Rocco

From the LA Times

As a co-inventor of a new anthrax vaccine, Ivins was among those in line to collect patent royalties if the product had come to market, according to an executive familiar with the matter.
kim

Right, PoF. I just posted at Texas Darlin' that even if this COLB is a 'poisoned pawn' device, the use of it as such would qualify for the adjective 'tricky'. No matter how this shakes out, it damages Obama, now.
===========================================

kim

I'm actually getting convinced enough about it that I hope it stays under the radar until after the convention. There is a bigtime disinformation war going on out there about something.
===================================

kim

I particularly like that the war is internecine. Whether she likes it or not, or whether she intended it or not, Hillary is now the proud owner of a new party, the PUMA's.
====================================

Pofarmer

I'm actually getting convinced enough about it that I hope it stays under the radar until after the convention. There is a bigtime disinformation war going on out there about something.

I'm with you on that one, but I'd sure like it to get vetted after the convention, and their ain't a lot of time between then and election day. Let's hope McCain is just keeping his powder dry.

centralcal

Changing the subject only slightly, were you all aware of Confederate Yankee's post on Jeremiah Wright in a Skirt:

"As noted in more detail in a New York Times profile, Daughtry is Howard Dean's Chief of Staff and is running the Democratic National Convention in Denver.

The part-time pastor preaches in a church with a call for slave reparations posted in the sanctuary, on a banner reading, "They Owe Us"

Apparently, she is another BLT and Cone believer. Jeez! And, she's Howard Dean's Chief of Staff?!! Cone hated whites (even liberals) - has anyone told Howard that?

LUN

Lesley

What will Obama do during his presidency? Lead another war on poverty?

I expect he'll spend it writing Volume III of his autobiography. "Obama - My!O Presidency, the Years of Further Self-Aggrandizement - or How I Suffered Through the Distractions of Being Leader of the Free World (and the all carp they made me read from the teleprompter) While Really Wanting to Gaze at My Attractive Navel and Endlessly Contemplate My Personal Issues."

centralcal

RattlerGator: Are you lurking out there? Do you know anything about this Daughtry woman?

centralcal

OMG! Paris Hilton fires back with her own campaign ad and she has a more intelligent energy plan than Obama!

For an air-head celebrity, I gotta say she has spunk!

LUN (link under name)

Sue

C-cal,

Jay Leno had a great line last night. After McCain used Paris in his video ad, her parents finally decide to get upset about her being in a video. Reference to her sex tape and their lack of concern.

PeterUK

At first I thought Obama was a butterfly,but latterly he sems more like The Man Who Never Was.

Sara

My 11 year old grandson, visiting right now from INDIANA, asked me this morning if I like Obama. We had some discussion and then he told me, "I don't mind that he is black, but I'm afraid of him." Afraid? I asked him why and he said, "he will want to make me a slave."

Yikes!

And Obama wants Bayh from Indiana.

What are they teaching back there?

Jenny

Okay, NOT Mel Brooks in "The Producers". Zero Mostel, in "The Producers". Brooks wrote and directed, but didn't play the part.
That said, Obama's an empty suit. It's a darn nice suit, but I'd like it better with a non-shape-shifting human inside of it.

Porchlight

Speaking of Bayh, where is that VP announcement? I heard a rumor, damnit! May turn out to be Bayh Bayh Birdie after all. But this one did sound credible.

bad

From The Audacity of Hope, page 206:

The Christians with whom I worked [as a community organizer] recognized themselves in me; they saw that I knew their Book and shared their values and sang their songs. But they sensed that a part of me remained removed, detached, an observer among them. I came to realize that without a vessel for my beliefs, without an unequivocal commitment to a particular community of faith, I would be consigned at some level to always remain apart, free in the way that my mother was, but also alone in the same ways that she was ultimately alone.

There are worse things than such freedom.

Obama's own words buttress Brook's argument of Obama's "apartness."

I suspect he has to live apart or lose his lightworker license.

centralcal

Porchlight: I read somewhere this afternoon that he is gonna wait to announce his VP until he returns from his Hawaiian vacation.

centralcal

Sue: Good for Leno, he always has a zinger. I think it was clever of Paris to come out with her own "Ad." And her lead in with the Golden Girls was priceless! Can't wait to see if there is any "coded" racism alleged by Herbert/Robinson et. al, but there was a brief phallic symbol with a quick clip in reference to O's German throngs.

bad

Here is Obama's interview with the Chicago Sun-Times in 2004. Definitely worth a look again now that we know more of Obama.

LUN

ParseThis

I see John McCain is showing some leadership on change. This week he's back to being the Original Maverick, apparently risking popularity with the conservative base like he risked the first time he became the Maverick. Risking popularity by changing appearances is just the Maverick doing what mavericks do. People who say the man is a chameleon don't know the Maverick. Welcome back, Maverick.

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Wilson/Plame