Posted: 19 Jul 2008 11:52 AM CDT
That is the question that John McCain was asked and he said he doesn't know but he points out that Obama's voting record is to the left of a self admitted socialist, who is the Independent Senator of Vermont, Bernie Sanders.
In an interview after the event, The Kansas City Star asked him to clarify the remark.
McCain was right not answer the question directly and to refer people to Sanders' and Obama's voting records, let people compare the two for themselves and decide which candidate is more of a socialist.
Here is the meaning of socialism from the dictionary:
1. a theory or system of social organization that advocates the vesting of the ownership and control of the means of production and distribution, of capital, land, etc., in the community as a whole.
So, here is Sanders' voting record and here is Obama's voting record.
There you go, everything you need to be able to make that judgment for yourself.
Posted: 19 Jul 2008 10:27 AM CDT
Top of the Ticket has a piece up about the taping of the "Late Night with Conan O'Brien" featuring John McCain. (Thanks for video Andrew)
The video above shows O'Brien discussing how comedians would like more than McCain's age to crack jokes about and Mccain pretended to fall over asleep. It is pretty funny.
Scroll down to the end of Malcolm's piece to see the other video where they show who they would get to play McCain and his vice presidential choices in a hypothetical movie.
It is funny.
Posted: 19 Jul 2008 03:19 AM CDT
Cross posted from Radarsite
From an original article in the Washington Post
Hispanic Population in Decline
Illegal Immigrant Policy Alters Pr. William on Many Levels
Nick Miroff Washington Post Staff Writer
Thursday, July 10, 2008
The family that planted corn in the front yard of their $500,000 home is gone from Carrie Oliver's street. So are the neighbors who drilled holes into the trees to string up a hammock.
Oliver's list goes on: The loud music. The beer bottles. The littered diapers. All gone. When she and her husband, Ron, went for walks in their Manassas area neighborhood, she would take a trash bag and he would carry a handgun. No more. "So much has changed," she said in a gush of relief, standing with her husband on a warm summer evening recently outside a Costco store.
A short distance away, across the river of retail commerce that is Sudley Road, Norman Gonzalez spoke of change not as renewal, but as a kind of collapse.
Business at his restaurant, Cuna del Sol, has declined 50 percent. Worse still, his extended family's slow, steady relocation from the Guatemalan town of Jutiapa to the bustling Prince William suburbs has imploded. "A year ago, I had the biggest family in all of Manassas, maybe 100 relatives," he said.
Now, Gonzalez, a legal U.S. resident, has his own list: Langley Park, Chantilly, Fairfax City. That is where his brothers have scattered, and they will not visit him. "There's too much fear here," Gonzalez said.
Since the day one year ago when Prince William County supervisors launched their crackdown on illegal immigration, the gulf between the Olivers' relief and Gonzalez's dejection has narrowed little, and possibly widened.
At least there is one thing partisans on both sides agree on: Hispanic immigrants are leaving Prince William. Whether their departure has improved the county's quality of life, or pushed its already strained economy further downward, is the new topic of contention driven largely by views of whether the presence of immigrants was a good thing in the first place.
Anecdotes of the trend outstrip hard statistical evidence, yet there are clear signs that the county's Latino population has reversed its pace of rapid growth. County officials said there are 4,000 to 7,000 vacant homes in the county. Trustee notices fill the classified section of area newspapers, chronicling the steady, staggering forfeiture of properties by homeowners with Hispanic surnames such as Mendez, Lozano, Medina and Rodriguez.
Last month, there were 776 foreclosure recordings in the Prince William County, Manassas, Manassas Park area, court records show, up from 244 in June 2007 and 19 in June 2006.
Would those homeowners have been foreclosed upon anyway, for economic reasons having nothing to do with the county's illegal immigration policies? That, too, is disputed.
"You can't attribute all of what might be negative about the economy in Prince William County to the crackdown," said economist Stephen Fuller, director of George Mason University's Center for Regional Analysis. "But it certainly hasn't helped. Neighborhoods that have been weakened because of migration of the Hispanic community out of the county have economic consequences that show up as decreases in retail spending, rental income and potential decreases in the valuation of some housing."
That decrease -- home prices in some areas have fallen by half -- is well worth the improvement in quality of life, according to the most ardent supporters of the county's get-tough approach.
"We have far less residential overcrowding, and that was driving people crazy," said Greg Letiecq, a blogger and president of Help Save Manassas. He helped write the county's policy and has been its most vocal champion. "We'd much rather live next door to a vacant house," he said, speaking for his members at a recent Help Save Manassas meeting.
"With an empty house, there's hope that the house is going to have somebody move into it that's going to be a good neighbor, rather than an overcrowded house that is a neighbor from hell," Letiecq said, adding that his Manassas area home has dropped $100,000 in value in the past year.
The numbers suggest that tensions over crowding have subsided: Complaints about residential overcrowding dropped to 30 last month from 79 in July 2007, according to the county's Neighborhood Services Division.
While some Hispanic immigrants have walked away from their homes, others have left the county in the custody of federal agents. County jail officials have turned over 757 illegal immigrant inmates to Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers in the past year through an agreement that county supervisors approved as part of the crackdown.
Police have referred more than 300 additional suspects to the immigration and customs branch since March, when the county's patrol officers began screening for residency status.
Catching illegal immigrants has made Prince William safer, said Corey A. Stewart (R-At-Large), chairman of the board of county supervisors said. Stewart also said the county's policies have led to "a plummeting of the crime rate." Police statistics show that the county's crime rate has been declining since 2004, even as the population increased.
More importantly, Stewart said, Prince William has become a model for other jurisdictions hoping to act against illegal immigration. "We've started a wildfire in terms of other localities and states adopting similar tactics," said Stewart, who discussed the county's immigration enforcement success Tuesday with the House Republican Policy Committee on Capitol Hill.
While critics say ethnic tensions in Prince William have worsened in the past year, Stewart said he believes the debate over illegal immigration has empowered residents to speak up after "stewing" in frustration for years. "It's allowed people to discuss their feelings," Stewart said, citing a new level of public interest in local government. The board's chambers have been packed with hundreds of residents on several occasions over the past year.
"It's better for people to feel free to speak out about something they care about rather than holding it inside, and in that sense, the controversy has been good for the county as well as the country," Steward said.
Paying for the crackdown has been an ongoing source of tension, and supporters have long maintained that the county would save money through a decreased need for English classes for students who speak another language at home. After years of steady increases, the percentage of students enrolled in English as a Second Language classes appears to have peaked.
In September, the number of students with limited English proficiency, not all of whom were Hispanic, was a record 13,404 in the county school system. By the end of the school year, the total had fallen 4.7 percent, to 12,775.
Then there are the many smaller, symbolic signs that the county has changed in the past year. Rodeo-themed Latino festivals at the county fairgrounds, once a summer staple, have been canceled without explanation by organizers. The El Primero Mercado supermarket on Centreville Road is now a Shoppers International store. And several county services, including drug-treatment programs and in-home care for seniors, now require proof of citizenship.
Starting this month, for example, a county-funded house-cleaning service for the elderly will make sure all recipients are legal U.S. residents.
Such restrictions may not keep illegal immigrants out of Prince William if the steep decline in housing prices eventually lures legal and illegal immigrants back to the county. And advocates said Latinos have learned "clear political lessons" in the past year.
"The community has learned that votes matter," said Mauricio Vivero, director of the Ayuda Business Coalition, which has lobbied legislators and has run commercials on CNN warning other municipalities of the economic consequences in following Prince William's lead.
Vivero said that fewer than half of the Latinos in Prince William who were registered to vote in 2004 did so. In November, he predicted, "there will be a much bigger turnout in Northern Virginia, and [Prince William's crackdown] has helped push it."
A note from Radarsite: "Stewart also said the county's policies have led to "a plummeting of the crime rate. Police statistics show that the county's crime rate has been declining since 2004, even as the population increased." Now how, I wonder, are the leftist loonies going to try to spin those glaring statistics? It seems impossible, but I'm certain that they'll find a way. They always do find a way of managing to not confront the truth (even this particular article attempts to elicit some sympathy for the plight of these poor displaced or threatened illegals).
So then, what's the point? The obvious and extremely heartening point here is that law enforcement works. We are not helpless, held hostage in our own country by twelve million angry illegals, about whom we can do nothing, about whom, we have been warned, all we can do to ameliorate the situation is to grant these ILLEGALS amnesty and give in to their demands and hope for the best.
Well, surprise, surprise, what do we discover? We are not that helpless, after all. And,despite the threatening propaganda of La Raza, despite those massive, confrontational marches through our city streets, the illegals are not omnipotent; in fact, they are beginning to look more like frightened puppies than powerful adversaries.
Granted, we still have a long road ahead. But, thanks to examples such as this from Prince William County, the road doesn't look quite as endless and formidable.
Illegals -- You are not downtrodden victims, you are simple criminals. And all the La Razas in the world, and all of your angry demonstrations and massive protests will do nothing to alter your illegal status. So, either pack up and leave quietly, or be prepared to face the consequences. You have played the victim game out, and it will no longer save you. Be forewarned: We are finally waking up. - rg
Posted: 18 Jul 2008 05:33 PM CDT
The left is up in arms about John McCain mentioning that Barack Obama's Iraq trip is this weekend, although the Wall Street Journal had already announced to the world that Obama "departs for Iraq as early as this weekend." They did that 18 hours ago!!
Already I am seeing all sorts of manufactured outrage on the left, how dare John McCain leak Obama's schedule that was already reported on? The AUDACITY!!!
Well if the WSJ knew it and published the little tidbit, then how much of a secret was it?
What a joke these clowns are.
Par for the course for them.
[Update] For the record, here were McCain's actual words. H/T to Macsmind.
"I believe that either today or tomorrow - and I'm not privy to his schedule - Sen. Obama will be landing in Iraq with some other senators" who make up a congressional delegation"
[Update] It isn't often I disagree with the excellent commentary over at Hot Air, but I do not see where saying something that has already been published could be considered "sloppy", unless he just didn't see how early the WSJ publlished their piece.
More at The Politico.
Posted: 18 Jul 2008 05:30 PM CDT
Cross posted from Radarsite
From an original article in The Jerusalem Connection
Thursday, July 17, 2008
By: Naomi Ragen
I was a new oleh when the PFLP and two Germans hijacked a plane full of Israelis to Entebbe. I remember well those nail-biting days, the moral dilemma of freeing dangerous terrorists for live hostages; the idea that negotiations would just lead to more hijackings. But what other choice did we have? After all, they were in Uganda, so far away.
We found a way.
I will never forget the morning of July 4, 1976, waking up to the news. Our soldiers had gone in, at great personal risk. They had saved almost everyone, and killed the terrorists. We were not helpless victims anymore, the Jews. No, we were clever, and resourceful and courageous. We showed the world how to behave. We led the way.
I wake up this morning of July 16, 2008 with quite another feeling. Our soldiers, kidnapped on our own land, not across any international border, are brought back to us in caskets after two years of sadistic playfulness with the hearts of their families by Hezbollah terrorists, who led us to believe they were alive. And in exchange for dead bodies, we turn over a despicable baby-killer, Sami Kuntar.
Oh, you will hear the boosters of the Israeli government sigh. What can we do? We are civilized and they are not. We care about our soldiers and their families.
No, I'm afraid you do not. If you cared, then you would have a death penalty for people like Kuntar, so that they too can be released in caskets. And if you cared, you would be intelligent enough, seeing our soldiers brought back to us dead, to have put a bullet through Kuntar and then turned him over to his friends.
Civilized is a euphemism for weak and helpless. Civilized is not a moral value, because we all know what Western civilization is capable of. Concentration camps. Civilian round-ups, the gassing of children. All this under the banner of laws and policemen and governments. On the other hand, the moral thing to do to a triedand convicted murderer like Kuntar is to spill his blood, because he has spilled the blood of others. That may not fit in with current civilized niceties, but let no one say it is immoral.
When it comes to immoral, to release Kuntar to a hero's welcome and the opportunity to murder others is on the top of the scale.
My government, the Israeli government, arranged this. They let it happen. They oversaw it and implemented it.
I am deeply ashamed to be an Israeli today. And I'm not very proud of being a Jew either, if this is how a Jewish country behaves. To lead the world in ever more despicable acts of appeasement is nothing to be proud of. The torch we always carried, the "light unto the nations" has been blown out by the hot-air of our politicians.
If we cared about our soldiers, we would not be showing our enemies that kidnapping and terrorism pay. We would not be setting the stage for the next murderous terrorist raid and hostage standoff. We would be passing laws with a mandatory death penalty for convicted terrorists with blood on their hands, as well as their accomplices. We would be making these laws retroactive. Then, we would be cutting off all water and electricity to Gaza until Gilad Shalit is released. If that didn't work, we'd begin executions within one week, increasing the number of convicted terrorists facing firing squads with each passing day until Gilad is returned to us safe and sound. And if that didn't work, we would begin daily bombings of Gaza, with the same number and frequency of attacks that our own city Sderot has suffered over the past three years from the Gazans. Not civilized? Perhaps. But moral. Extremely moral.
My fantasy is that Israelis will rise up and overturn the political system which has left them with the dregs of their nation as leaders- a bunch of self-serving crooks and syncophants who will do anything to stay in office; an electoral system in which a party like Kadima, with its collection of felons and moral imbeciles, who got only 23% of the vote, is allowed to rule us into the ground. We have Mr. Olmert, and Ms. Livni, and Mr. Peres, and Mr. Ramon (a convicted sex offender, who is now in line to take over from Olmert) and many, many others to thank, for creating this day of infamy.
May G-d redeem us from them.
A note from Radarsite. There will be no objective and well-reasoned reaction here to this superb essay. I love this article! I love the anger and the passion and the clarity. Damn. This is what it's all about. Are only our dim-witted enemies capable of fire in the belly?
"Civilized is a euphemism for weak and helpless." Precisely. This has always been the problem with 'refined' societies. They refine their natural warrior spirit out of their societal persona. They become overly self-indulgent, and at the same time, overly self-incriminating. All violence is wrong, they say. No matter what the provocation, violence is never the answer, they say.
Well, they are simply wrong. Monumentally wrong. Existentially wrong. If this was a non-violent world then perhaps we could do without the martial spirit; we could all become philosophers and poets. But, alas, our bloodthirsty adversaries will not be deterred by philosophical dissertations or plaintive poems. They will however be deterred by the prospects of sudden violent death or the promise of lifelong incarceration. They will be deterred by an unwavering strength of will and a determined resolve.
Although our author's heartfelt lament is aimed primarily at the sadly weakened State of Israel, everything said about Israel could just as easily have been said about the United States and our entire western world.
There is no known substitute for courage. And sometimes courage means the willingness to inflict violence to stave off violence. There is also no known substitute for victory.
Bravo Naomi Ragen! I applaud your passion and your righteous cause.
God save Israel and the West! - rg
Posted: 18 Jul 2008 04:02 PM CDT
The American Family Association (AFA) is a group that opposes same-sex marriages and it was reported in the Washington Post on July 4, 2008, that the AFA had launched a boycott against McDonald's saying they have refused to "stay neutral in the cultural war over homosexuality."
The AFA initiated a boycott of McDonald's because the fast-food giant joined the National Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce, placing an executive on the group's board of directors. Today they accuse McDonald's of Equating Defense of Marriage with 'Hate'
The AFA asked McDonald's to remove themselves from the National Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce (NGLCC), with the association's president, Tim Wildmon, stating, "We're saying that there are people who support AFA who don't appreciate their dollars from the hamburgers they bought being put into an organization that's going to fight against the values they believe in."
McDonald's declined to do so with their U.S. Spokesperson, Bill Whitman, saying, "Hatred has no place in our culture. That includes McDonald's, and we stand by and support our people to live and work in a society free of discrimination and harassment."
McDonald's has also made a $20,000 contribution to NGLCC.
The AFA has even gone as far as to set up a website online which includes information, petition and activist planning.
That website, called Boycott McDonald's states on it's main page:
What the boycott of McDonald's IS NOT about
That statement made by Whitman to the Washington Post has caused other conservative and religious groups to join the boycott against McDonald's, accusing them of equating the defense of traditional marriage with hatred.
Four pro-family conservative groups held a news conference in front of McDonald's corporate headquarters in Oak Brook, Illinois, where Matt Barber who is the director of cultural affairs of one of those four groups, Liberty Counsel, said, "I can't believe that McDonald's would be so short-sighted that it would allow this spokesperson to go off half-cocked and insult tens of millions of Americans who support the traditional definition of marriage."
The other two groups, besides the AFA and Liberty Counsel, that have joined the boycott are , Americans for Truth About Homosexuality and the Illinois Family Institute.
In an interview with Cybercast News Service (CNS), the president of Americans for Truth About Homosexuality, Peter LaBarbera, asserts that the Christians that are opposed to same-sex marriages do so because of moral and practical reasons and not because they "hate" homosexuals.
LaBarbera goes on to tell CNS that "Morality is not hate. Judeo-Christian beliefs are not bigotry. This is a canard that the homosexual activists have been pushing for years – that if you oppose homosexual activism you are somehow a 'bigot,' or a 'hater' or a 'homophobe.' It's a scandal to see a spokesman for a seemingly pro-family organization like McDonald's echoing the gay line like this."
McDonald's did not respond directly to questions asking if Whitman's comments were in context and if an insult was intended, but the company did provide Cybercast News Service with a statement, attributed to Pat Harris, chief diversity officer for McDonald's Corporation.
The NGLCC did not provide a spokesperson to CNS either for individual questions, but they did provide a prepared statement which said:
"The main focus of the NGLCC is to connect major corporations with LGBT-owned (Lesbian/Gay/Bisexual/Transgendered) businesses that want to ensure their diverse supply chain looks like the customer and employee bases they have, or the customer and employee bases they are trying to attract."
A company's decision to become a corporate partner doesn't reflect its entrance into the so-called 'culture wars,' as the conservative AFA suggested, but rather its commitment to diversity in the workplace and in its supplier relationships."
In response to that statement, LaBarbera notes "McDonald's paid $20,000 so that one of its top executives could have a seat on the (NGLCC's) board of directors. How is that not an endorsement of the homosexual agenda?"
Cross posted from a piece I wrote at Digital Journal.
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