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August 17, 2008


Rick Ballard

NRO Reviews on Saddleback:




I'll take York. I don't wade in the lefty fever swamps so if anyone sees something of interest (other than the substitution of "nuance" for "slow") I would appreciate a link.


No doubt this has been discussed here, but I just saw this from Tim Blair--Obama explaining back in 2004 why he would not run for president.

"I am a believer in knowing what you're doing when you apply for a job...."

Yet another thing he appears to have changed his mind about.


I'll take York too. Lopez points out how transparently political Obama's answers were, (and therefore quite offensive to someone with different politics) and Lowry certainly had a different take on the whole thing than I did.

While listening to Obama I kept thinking how skilled he was at not giving straight answers - everything we think about lifetime politicians is embodied in his skinny frame. Then came McCain who at 10 million years old was like a breath of fresh air. He came across as a leader rather than a politician. McCain - change we can believe in.

bio mom

The presidency is not an affirmative action position. Vote McCain!

Charlie (Colorado)

Some of Obama's performance, at least, seems pretty easy to explain. The hesitations and stammers are pretty characteristic of someone with a big active vocabulary (takes longer to search for the right word among more words). The nuanced style of speaking isn't unusual in someone who had a tough childhood, especially one where the child suffered a lot of bullying and emotional abuse --- and Obama, with multiple major dislocations, repeatedly abandoned by both parents, and growing up mixed-race in the 60's nd 70's has more than enough claim on a tough and abusive childhood.

I can sympathize --- I do the same things, although I've trained myself to simply think, instead of thinking out loud and stammering to make time while I figure out what I want to say.

The problem is that he doesn't seem to have gotten beyond it. He can't seem to make a definite statement, and he can't admit to being wrong or changing his mind on any particular as far as I can see. (What did he pick as a time he'd changed his mind? Welfare reform? What are the odds he'd say the same thing if they had the same arrangement, with questions and audience provided by Rev. Wright?)


I like the viewpoint over at Atlas Shrugs.


That says it all folks. When Obama was asked on Pastor Rick Warren's Saddleback Political Forum, who Obama would not have nominated for Supreme Court Justice, Obama said "Clarence Thomas". He then goes on to denigrate Thomas's intellect ("not a strong enough legal thinker or intellect"). Wow. By G-d this man has hubris. Have you read Clarence Thomas's, "My Grandfather's Son"? And then have you read Obama's Dreams from My Father: A Story of Race and Inheritance (pulp white hating trash).

I find Obama's racism against Thomas (he calls everyone against him a racist so why can't I do the same?) appalling. The audience applauded (was that racist? I'm confused.) John Bolton, the intellectual's intellectual, has called Clarence Thomas "an outstanding Supreme Court Justice".

And Scalia? Only the greatest living justice on the bench. lolSaddleback_debates_2

So Obama applauds terrorists rights, eminent domain for private enterprise and leniency for child rapists. Good luck with that America.

When the Pastor asked about his no vote on John Roberts, Obama stood behind it. I kid you not."



Does anyone really think McCain was in some kind of 'Cone of Silence' during Obams'
Q&A? I mean, his quickness could not be explained unless the questions were hand-picked to his Talking-Points, could it?

Meanwhile our Turkish allies are stone-walling Bush's flaccid humanitarian response to Russian Goons.

Everyone (Rice, Gates) keep talking about
how Russia has been seriously damaged
in their quest for worldwide acceptance.
Are their any G8 countries that don't know Russia is being governed by the Oligarchs?
You know, Russian Mafia and the KGB?

'Now you've done it, Vlad. George Bush is angry with us.'

JM Hanes

Does anyone really think McCain was in some kind of 'Cone of Silence' during Obams' Q&A


I mean, his quickness could not be explained unless the questions were hand-picked to his Talking-Points, could it?

Si, se puede.


Does anyone really think McCain was in some kind of 'Cone of Silence' during Obams'

Cleo--Are you accusing the good pastor of "cooking the books" in favor of McCain over BHO?

That is such a laugher!

Go on over to Althouse and check out the first comments after the forum aired. Even the liberal end had to admit Obama did not do well at all versus McCain.


You missed my suggestion, Semi, that you are all so sick with BDS that you don't believe someone can perform without a radio receiver in a box in his back. Someone else has already pointed out that these were moral questions, answers to which come readily to a man who has spent Sundays the last twenty years in church, absorbing its lessons. Oh, wait a minute.

Rick Ballard


Mastery of The Importance of Being Janus requires the application of a level of nuance which involves real rather than simulated intelligence. Obama has thoughtfully provided us with two books from which his devotion to obscurantism (the precise word for what the political press is describing as nuance) may be deduced.

It takes a peculiar type of political jackal to spout Matthew 25 and vote to leave babies to die in linen closets. Now there's some true political "nuance". He's not as nearly as gifted a liar as Bubba and it really shows in his inability to lie convincingly without a script.



To draw a parallelism, Obama's agreeing to appear before an ORANGE COUNTY PASTOR AND FACE HIS QUESTIONS FOR 60 MINUTES (vs the resplendent courage of McCain's appearance)
is kinda' unlike the courage you display by commenting @ JOM, isn't it?


'Cleo, since Obama dodged the townhalls he kind of had to agree to something. He is trying to become President, after all. I do hope that appearing before an ORANGE COUNTY PASTOR AND FACING HIS QUESTIONS FOR 60 MINUTES isn't the scariest thing he thinks will ever come his way in this Big Journey of his.


I am no fan of McCain but it is refreshing to just have straightforward, easily understandable answers to questions instead of uh-uh-uh labored verbose exercises uh-uh-uh in nuance and uh-uh-uh hair splitting semantics.

glenda waggoner

Wait..Did I see Obama biting his lip while preparing to answer uh uh uh, em em em, o,o,o..but but? Has Bubba been coaching him in private, therefore can't be on the road

Oh, and Hit--I'll be praying "Fay" avoids the lovely NC and it's citizens, even silky pony.


I think Obama's slam of Thomas hurts him, and is the kind of statement that plays ONLY to the far left base. Many black americans admire Justice Thomas despite his politics. Most independent voters feel the same way. For those voters for whom maintaining strict constitutional adherence in SCOTUS, Thomas is a winner. Obama lost voters on this one statement.


"Q&A? I mean, his quickness could not be explained unless the questions were hand-picked to his Talking-Points, could it?"

My dear Septic,you must simply accept that there are those whose mental processes are faster than the somewhat pedestrian maunderings that laughingly pass for thought inside your dense skull.


To draw a parallelism, Obama's agreeing to appear before an ORANGE COUNTY PASTOR AND FACE HIS QUESTIONS FOR 60 MINUTES

And Cleo--BHO liked that forum so much he thinks there should be more just like 'em.

Wonder how long that idea's gonna last:-)



Gallup tied at 45%. They have the headline "McCain, Obama Remain Tied" even though they were not in fact tied yesterday - Obama had a 1 point lead, 45-44.

Biggest news here IMHO is that McCain has broken 45% for the first time in Gallup's tracking.

JM Hanes


...kinda' unlike the courage you display by commenting @ JOM, isn't it?

That's just so silly. I'm clearly not alone in posting elsewhere on the web, and the number of folks who report having been banned from lefty sites suggests that the open door policy @JOM is less than courageously embraced on the other side of the apparent divide.

JM Hanes


I agree with your assessment on the whole. Back when we were moving around between New England, the Midwest and the South, the social dislocation was more dramatic than it would be today. I grew up needing to fit myself in whatever the circumstances and I was essentially taught that it was my responsibility to make other people feel comfortable -- which pretty much precluded expressing strong opinions along with using passionate argument or confrontation as a tool for getting things done or as a basis for change.

That's a big part of why the web proved so seductive. Here, at last, was a venue for frank, even forceful, expression without any awkward social consequences (a release which means very different things to different people!) and which afforded access to the thinking of folks outside of my own necessarily limited sphere. If I had a political future at stake, my interactions would likely be considerably different, which might, or might not, be a good thing.


It's typical, JMH, Semi always gets petty when he's got nuthin'. He's much more entrancing that the drivebys, I must say.


I stole this from a great fella at a local blog in just the first few months I was on: The internet is a place where arguments don't have to degenerate into fisticuffs, or, worse yet, agreement.


From American Thinker:
“Ed Lasky
The Compassionate Leader Fourm that Barack Obama (and John McCain) will be appearing in front of at Rick Warren's Saddleback Church will formualte questions developed by a group called Faith in Public Life. Among the members of this group are Jim Winkler and Jim Wallis:

Their bios:
*Jim Winkler, General Secretary of the United Methodist Church's General Board of Church and Society, who also sits on the board (with Communist Party USA leader Judith LeBlanc) of the US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation.

*Jim Wallis is also a member. He, too, has problematic views towards Israel and a pre-existing and warm relationship with Barack Obama”

Jim Wallis is also the Editor-in-Chief and CEO of Sojourners, a very liberal Christian magazine. Anyone who thinks questions developed by Jim Wallis would favor John McCain knows nothing about him.


Obama has to face questioning by Michelle every day,why should an Orange County pastor faze him?


No big new posts on Georgia?


Beldar has an excellent piece up comparing the early years of McCain and Obama, riffing off an essay by Peggy Noonan. Definitely worth the read. Addresses some of the things to which JMH & Charlie were referring.

Placelessness, Faith and Dreams


I woke this morning with this thought that explains why I am miffed at Democrats:

In the name of what you call progress, you are willing, one brick at a time, to dismantle what other people have built for themselves that, as an added benefit, has over time given more shelter to the least among us than anything you, yourself, have ever put together.


On Meet the Press Today, NBC/MSNBC the official campaign HQ for Team Obama, Andrea Mitchell had this to say:
MS. ANDREA MITCHELL: Oh, absolutely. And, you know, there was the crisp, immediate, forceful response by John McCain, clearly in a comfort zone because he was with his base. And Barack Obama, taking a risk in going there but seeing an opportunity. And a much more nuanced approach. The Obama people must feel that he didn't do quite as well as they might have wanted to in that context, because that -- what they're putting out privately is that McCain may not have been in the cone of silence and may have had some ability to overhear what the questions were to Obama.

I guess internal polling indicates that McCain did great and Obama not so great. Surrogate Mitchell carrying the water for Obambi by claiming McCain cheated. Too funny!



For updates from Georgia, try The Tbilisi Times.



Tina: go to Newsbusters. It seems commentors of the lefty sites are even saying that JMc wiped up the floor with Obama

JM Hanes


John McCain's joke about trying to listen through the wall must have stimulated the Democrats' most powerful, reflexive, article of faith: A Republican wins, ergo he cheated.



Surrogate Mitchell carrying the water for Obambi by claiming McCain cheated. Too funny!

The Obama and McCain campaigns probably focus grouped the event in various states to look for weaknesses and gaffs. It was a great forum to develop sharp issue ads.

A note about the crowd cheering when Obama kicked Thomas-both campaigns were allowed to bring people to the event. It might not have been Obama's best audience but it wasn't as uniformly hostile as say McCain going to the NAACP or Urban League.


Mitchell: "The Obama people must feel that he didn't do quite as well as they might have wanted to in that context, because that -- what they're putting out privately..."

I doubt the "Obama people" are pleased that Michell reported where the rumors were originating and why.


Ah, yes. Andrea Mitchell! While idiots such as she continue with the "nuance" theme, many of the lefty commenters are starting to focus on the ums, ehs, ers, that we on the right have noticed.

Actually, the one quotable from Obama is usually, "um, uh, um."


McCain was able to hear because President Bush loaned him the transmitter he used to get answers from his staff during the 2004 debates with Senator Kerry.


Mitchell has no doubt.

Her position has to be correct because it is,... well, ... her position. If the data is at odds with her position, then the data is wrong.

It's interesting to read that, according to Joseph Ellis, Jefferson, FDR's manufactured patriarch of the Democratic Party, compartmentalized inconsistent facts, too.


Someone should ask Obama how he would change his answers now that he knows the questions.


Along that line, Charlie, at the convention ask your interviewees if they can recall an instance when Obama was wrong. How about any other Democratic party official -- Pelosi or Ried? A past Democratic President, perhaps?

They don't have the habit to admit to it.


If,God forbid,Obama became president,at some point he will have to face Vladimir Putin across the table.As ex KGB Putin will have garnered as much intelligence concerning the stance,modus operandi,shoe size and inside leg measurement of his protagonist.
The Obambis should grow up and realise the real world is a tough place.Can anyone imagine Obama at Yalta?

JM Hanes


It looks to me like they did have the questions in advance, and just agreed that the whoever went second would not be privy to the other's answers. The preliminary transcript has Warren saying to McCain (all caps per the original): "YOU GOT ALL MY QUESTIONS, GOOD." Not having watched the interviews myself though, I don't know how it sounded in context.

Oddly enough, while the Obama camp is busy insinuating that McCain managed to escape the "cone of silence" (with the connivance of his host, one presumes) to eavesdrop on Obama, it's actually Obama, responding to the orphan question, who confesses:


I think Obama's attempt to deliver what was supposed to look like a thoughtful, off the cuff, performance, is ironically what made him seem rather awkwardly unprepared instead. It does strike me as entirely emblematic that Obama admits to paying special attention to his host's pet project! It also makes his answers on wise voices and the Supremes look like unforced errors.

As a pro-choice Republican, I thought his answer on the abortion question was a lot better than you're likely to get from most confirmed pro-choicers on the left, but I think any conceivable inroads he might have hoped to make were dwarfed by the outright gift he delivered to the right with "ABOVE MY PAY GRADE." I can almost see that little turn of phrase doing for Obama what "I was for it...." did for Kerry.


PUK: Not Yalta. But talking into a megaphone to a bunch of loons like, say, George about McGovern did in Chicago about this time 40 years ago.


PUK: I'd imagine a face-to-face with Putin would go like the one JFK had with Kruschev


..and guess what happened next.

Charlie (Colorado)

Does anyone really think McCain was in some kind of 'Cone of Silence' during Obams'
Q&A? I mean, his quickness could not be explained unless the questions were hand-picked to his Talking-Points, could it?

Leo, did you realize we'd already predicted this wouold be the response, down on a previous thread?

Here's a hint, sweetie: there's no particular mystery what the questions would have to be, whether you knew them ahead of time or not. If you actually know what you think, and have been talking about these questions for the last ten or twenty years, it's easy to respond quickly.

The real difference is that McCain was prepared with answers, and Obama wasn't. That's Obama's failing, not McCain's.



Well if that's true it highlights a bunch of things, not the least of which is Obama's empty suit-ness. If that's the best he can do with preparation time, he's a joke.

As for the abortion question. I think lots of people will think it's great that Obama is leaving it up to God, which I assume was his point. It's a pretty hard question, one I've asked myself more than once. What struck me about the "above the pay grade" response was once again, Obama's unwillingness to trust the American public with what he really believes. I guess it might interfere with all that hopeychangyness.

I thought the difference between the two was striking at the least. McCain came off as someone ready and able to be president and Obama came off as a likeable smart dude.

Charlie (Colorado)

They have the headline "McCain, Obama Remain Tied" even though they were not in fact tied yesterday - Obama had a 1 point lead, 45-44.

porchlight, the error bars on that number are around 3 percent; if it was 45-44 yesterday and 44-44 today, they are in fact tied today and were tied yesterday. The question to ask would be if yesterday they reported "McCain-Obama tied".

Charlie (Colorado)


Aha. So Obama was unprepared because, unlike McCain, he didn't do his homework and expected to bullshit his way through.


Anyone who thinks Obama isn't radically pro-abortion and a blatant liar should read David Freddoso's piece that someone here posted earlier today.


Charlie, thanks. Yes, they did report them tied yesterday, though it went up much later than usual (after 6 pm EDT IIRC) and I missed it. I understood the margin of error meant they were statistically tied, I just didn't think they'd put it in the headline that way.

Rick Ballard

How stupid is Paul Krugman? This article on the popping Oil Bubble explores one small aspect of his ineptitude.

Princeton economist Paul Krugman argued (convincing this columnist) that it could not be a speculative bubble, as there had been no build-up of inventory.

"If the price is above the level at which the demand from end-users is equal to production, there's an excess supply and that supply has to be going into inventories. End of story. If oil isn't building up in inventories, there can't be a bubble in the spot price," he says.

The piece ends with this explication of the depth of Krugman's ignorance (see, I can be charitable):

IEA figures released last week put world demand for oil this year at 86.8 million barrels a day, against supplies of 87.8 million. Evans estimates that if OPEC keeps its current production level, the surplus would rise to 2.1 million barrels a day by mid-2009.

I hope that Krugman was fully invested in oil - I find the idea of him dressing each day in an empty oil barrel to be comforting.

BTW - total US storage capacity equals about 300 million barrels. The 2.1 mbd surplus would top it off, were it empty, in less than five months. The cotango sharpies have a little problem on their hands.


I seem to remember it being reported that the candidates would have the questions ahead of time when the Saddleback forum was first announced. The "cone of silence" was not to prevent McCain from hearing the questions, but from hearing Obama's answers. I thought it was quite evident from his responses that McCain knew the questions. Has anyone actually asked Obama if he knew them, too?


Of course Krugman is carp,if he were any good he would be picking multi-million bonuse in Wall Street.



Where in the transcripts is that quote?


"Has anyone actually asked Obama if he knew them, too?"

Or the questions.


oh I find it. I'm with you, I can't figure it out for sure.

hit and run

Oh, and Hit--I'll be praying "Fay" avoids the lovely NC and it's citizens, even silky pony.

Thanks! The storms that come up through the gulf are almost always welcome rather than dangerous for us here, being far enough inland for the storms to weaken to the point of just giving us rain -- and we need the rain.

But I do hope those further south do not face the wrath of a destructive storm!


For those who still wonder about some of the fund raising for Obama:

"Would it surprise anyone to know that Africans for Obama 2008—which is headquartered in Nigeria—plans to send a delegation to the DNC convention in Denver?

Would it surprise anyone to know that in July 2008 efforts were made “to secure more tickets to enable more Nigerians [to] attend the Democratic Party convention”?

Would it surprise anyone to know that Eric Wright, reportedly a South African who is Obama’s policy maker for Africa, was not only present at an Africans for Obama 2008 fund-raising dinner held on Obama’s behalf on Monday, August 11, 2008, at the Shell Hall Muson in Lagos, Nigeria, but purposely flew in from South Africa in order to attend it?

"The AfO has scheduled a series of fund-raising dinners and concerts. The first in the series, held last Monday, reportedly raked in the princely sum of over N100 million (over US$800,000) into their coffers! A Corporate Table (Platinum) cost N2.5million (over US$21,000), Corporate Table (Gold) N2million (over US$17,000), Individual (Platinum) N325,000 (over US$2,800) and Individual (Gold) N275,000 (over US$2,300)."

Someone might wonder how many of the seats at the DNC are reserved for foreigners who are not legally allowed to vote in the US?


JM Hanes


I could be wrong, but I don't think foreign nationals are legally allowed to contribute either!


There is no doubt in my mind that foreign nationals are not allowed to contribute to US elections. The question raised in the article is what is happening to the funds being raised and why is a known Obama fundraiser involved.
Africa is not the only place this has came up either.

"Instead, the news media was left to pick up and disseminate how one of Barack Obama's presidential campaign bundlers is Jodie Evans – a political ally to Venezuelan dictator, Hugo Chavez, and an advocate for Islamic militants."



Rock on, Pagar! Keep em' coming!


Pagar, who's the red head being jerked around on Melanie's site?


JMH: I believe that Pagar has been trumpting the evidence thats being documented on Atlas Shrugs about and incredible volume of campaign monet coming in from enemies of the US and our allies. Pamella Gellar has gone ting back to her reporting root and using the simple tools that are available to everyone to unmasked our enemies efforts terto subvert our election. Foreign support is illegal, and Atlas Shrugs has the goods. When will MSM follow suit?



BobS, that Redhead being escorted out is Jodie Evans (as I understand the story/picture).


I see...hmmmmmmmm.


Geez, Pagar, how way bitchin' cool would it be if San Fran Nan weren't lefty enough and voters went for She She?


I think that would make the upcoming sessions worth watching just to see how long it would be before She got thrown out.


what great prime time TV or maybe for the CSPAN geeks


Rick -

I hate to admit being so dense, but would you be willing to further explain your Krugman comments?

I think you linked to this Cato piece recently, which I fully comprehended, however, slow brain today.

Rick Ballard


Krugman makes a very fundamental error in his assertion that "If oil isn't building up in inventories, there can't be a bubble in the spot price," he says."

Inventory wrt oil held in above ground storage is absolutely meaningless. Consider a 100KBL storage tank sitting next to an oil well pumping from a 100MBL proven reserve. Krugman is saying that unless that well is shut down due to the tank being full, there can't be a bubble. If the well shuts down for unexpected maintenance and oil cannot be delivered then the production "shortage" may cause the contract purchasor to have to buy oil on the spot market at a higher than contract price until the well begins producing again.

That scenario occurred over a wide market area in 2006, giving rise to the speculative surge that became a true "bubble" because the true inventory (field reserves) was never in declining balance for even a moment.

The current production surplus, which is going to set the world awash in oil once again, was fully anticipated. The new production projects coming on line have been under construction for at least five years. They serve proven reserves - everything to do with the production is "known". The elasticity in demand which is occurring worldwide was not. The CATO piece deals with the demand surprise but does not go quite far enough. The dearth of tanker fixings for the ME-Asia route indicates that China is turning off the tap more firmly than anyone anticipated.

It will be interesting to see if oil can hold $80 over the next few months. Russia may have to actually bomb that BTC pipeline after all.

I would hesitate to allow Paul Krugman to shine my shoes for fear that I would never be able to wear them afterwards.

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