Zogby Poll No Longer Tightening...
Now it's widening. Only now McCain's on top.
Or so implies Drudge, with the headline:
ZOGBY: MCCAIN MOVES INTO LEAD 48-47 IN ONE DAY POLLING
So by "widening" I mean that if you interpolate continuously between Friday's 7-point Obama lead and Saturday's 1-point McCain lead, at some point it would've been tied.
And if you extrapolate based on the current momentum, McCain should be up by 25 points by Tuesday.
The republic is saved!
Update: JZ clarifies:
Pollster John Zogby: "Is McCain making a move? The three-day average holds steady, but McCain outpolled Obama today, 48% to 47%. He is beginning to cut into Obama's lead among independents, is now leading among blue collar voters, has strengthened his lead among investors and among men, and is walloping Obama among NASCAR voters. Joe the Plumber may get his license after all. "Obama's lead among women declined, and it looks like it is occurring because McCain is solidifying the support of conservative women, which is something we saw last time McCain picked up in the polls. If McCain has a good day tomorrow, we will eliminate Obama's good day three days ago, and we could really see some tightening in this rolling average. But for now, hold on."
The 3-day average is 49-44 for Obama.
Get Off My Plane!
That sounds about right.
Reporters from three newspapers that endorsed John McCain have reportedly been told that they can't travel aboard Barack Obama's plane in the final days leading before Election Day.
The Washington Times reported Friday that it was notified of the Obama campaign's decision Thursday evening -- even though the paper has covered Obama from the start.
Executive Editor John Solomon told FOXNews.com that the Obama campaign said it didn't have enough seats on the plane, but "I don't think the explanation makes sense to us."
The New York Post and Dallas Morning News also have been kicked off Obama's plane, according to the Web site The Drudge Report. It said the three reporters were told to find alternative transportation by Sunday so that the plane could accommodate "network bigwigs" and reporters from two black magazines, Essence and Jet.
Ask Biden an uncomfortable question? You're out. Don't endorse Obama? You're out.
An odd mix of authoritarianism and fragility on display here.
CNBC Portfolio Challenge
This is the archive for the summer 2008 Portfolio Challenge.
If you're looking for the November 2008 Portfolio Challenge, click here.
Red S.E. Cupp
You should go pay her a visit.
Neither Protest Nor Petition Nor Bribe Nor Barrage Of Email Stays These Journalists From the Swift Suppression of Newsworthy Material
That seems to be the L.A. Times' new creed.
Michelle Malkin offers a digest of the latest citizen-led initiatives to coerce or shame the newspaper into doing its job.
The Economy Was In the Pool. IT WAS IN THE POOL!
Even so, the shrinkage was less than expected.
Wall Street was feeling more upbeat Thursday after a government report showed the economy contracted in the third quarter by less than expected and after the Federal Reserve's second interest rate cut in a month. The major stock indexes jumped more than 1.5 percent, including the Dow Jones industrials, which rose 150 points.
The Commerce Department reported that the nation's economic output was the weakest since the third quarter of 2001, but it wasn't as bad a showing as Wall Street had feared. The department said the gross domestic product, the measure of all goods and services produced within the U.S., fell at a 0.3 percent annual rate in the July-September quarter, rather than 0.5 percent as expected.
Rasmussen: McCain More Trusted On Economy, Taxes
More confirmation that revelations of Obama's socialist leanings are sinking in nationwide and that Americans are gradually waking from their Hopenchange hypnosis.
After several weeks of John McCain’s campaign attacks on Barack Obama’s tax plan and idea of “spreading the wealth around”, the latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds voters trust McCain more than Obama on taxes, 47% to 45%.
Two weeks ago, Obama had a one point-advantage on the issue of taxes and a month ago, he had a three-point edge.
The swing on the economy question is even more dramatic.
McCain also has gained ground as the candidate to trust on economic issues. Forty-eight percent (48%) now trust the Republican hopeful more than the Democrat while 47% hold the opposite view. This is the first time McCain has led on the issue that has hurt his campaign since September 17. One month ago, Obama held a nine-point advantage when it came to economic issues.
(HT: HA Headlines)
Bounty On Obama/Khalidi Tape Up to $200,000 (Or Maybe $230,000)
Harry adds the $25,000 in pledges Ace has collected to his $175,000 already announced. He's got another $30,000 pledged, but those benefactors are squeamish in light of the possibility of receiving the Joe the Plumber treatment (i.e. Obama's political allies abusing their positions of power to investigate you if you question His magnificence).
Can't say I blame them.
Bad News, Good News In Florida Early Voting
Democrats are beaming that their party is outperforming the Republicans in early voting, releasing numbers Wednesday that show registrants of their party ahead 54 percent to 30 percent among the 1.4 million voters who have gone to the polls early.
But party breakdowns for turnout aren't the same as final tallies, and at least one poll offered a different view for the campaign of Republican John McCain.
A Los Angeles Times/Bloomberg poll gave McCain a 49-45 lead over Democrat Barack Obama among Floridians who have already voted.
And Republicans continued to show a traditional strength, leading 50 percent to the Democrats' 30 percent in the 1.2 million absentee ballots already returned.
Whoops. That wasn't supposed to happen. Yes, Democrats are outvoting Republicans in the early goings. The only problem is they're voting for John McCain.
The Obama Infomercial
As expected, it's crammed full of anecdotes (the most compelling arguments are always anecdotal). Betilda the 104-year-old single mother and mill worker who eats cat food because of George Bush, etc.
And the constant sappy lute and synthesizer muzak in the background is a particularly neuron-deadening touch.
I can scarcely wait for the live stage act portion. Special guests are rumored to include Bubba himself, Jack Benny, and Paul Lynde!
Update: Wow - not a single appearance (live or taped) from either Clinton. Wasn't expecting that.
I enjoyed Obama's inclusion of his I am my brother's keeper, I am my sister's keeper speech, especially on the day that his aunt Zeituni Onyango (the identity of whom was confirmed by Obama's half-brother George from his dollar-a-month hut in Nairobi) was found dwelling in a Boston slum.
It's mildly curious that Obama the Collectivist hasn't seen fit to spread a bit of his own wealth around to help lift his close family members out of abject poverty.
For Senator Obama, "Present" May Be a Stretch
$150,000 $175,000 Bounty For Obama-Khalidi Tape
Dirty Harry's Place publishes a sizable bid by one Aston Grimaldi for a copy of the video of Barack Obama toasting anti-Israel "scholar" and former PLO adviser Rashid Khalidi at his Jew-bashing going away party in 2003. The L.A. Times is resisting a whole lot of pressure (and any semblance of integrity or objectivity) in refusing to release the tape, but perhaps this wad of cash will manage to pry it loose. Maybe a staff member who's beginning to suspect he won't have a job much longer anyway decides it's time to look out for himself. Or maybe the original source opts to cash in by duping another copy for Mr. Grimaldi.
Something tells me this is going to work. It's a shame that the media needs to be bribed into doing its job, but to be fair, they do really like this guy.
Update: Newt Gingrich also thinks this is the way to get it done.
Update: Dirty Harry reports the total bounty is now $175,000.
Dow's 2nd Biggest Jump In History
Gallup Shows Bulk Of Obama Lead Disappearing Overnight, Notices "Slight Narrowing"
Gallup's latest daily poll of traditional likely voters gives Barack Obama a 2-point lead over John McCain (49-47). The gap has shrunk from 5 yesterday and 7 on Friday. The headline of the poll: "Presidential Race Narrows Slightly."
Only the 3rd and final day of the latest polling window followed the discovery of Obama's 2001 tragedy of non-redistribution interview, so the actual swing over the last couple days may be larger than the rolling average currently lets on.
Fox News Rowdydow: Kelly vs. Burton
This was a good one.
At issue was the newly uncovered audio tape of Obama waxing redistributive and campaign spokesman Bill Burton's statement that,"This is a fake news controversy drummed up by the all too common alliance of Fox News, the Drudge Report and John McCain."
Burton was on Fox a couple hours earlier receiving a similar browbeating from Neil Cavuto (who'd done his homework on the Obama economic plan and shown that - even granting all of the campaign's dubious assumptions - their own math doesn't add up, unless they introduce additional taxes above and beyond what they've already copped to).
Maybe Burton figured he could vent some of his frustration following that round by talking over Megyn Kelly about how unfair Fox is. Cathartic? Maybe. Effective? Eh... not so much.
(HT: Hot Air)
New Home Sales Jump Unexpectedly In September
A portion of the month predates the credit freeze, but this is a welcome surprise nonetheless.
Purchases increased 2.7 percent in September to an annual rate of 464,000 from 452,000 the prior month that was less than previously estimated, the Commerce Department said today in Washington. The median sales price decreased to a four-year low.
Analysts were expecting sales to edge lower to 450,000.
Ted Stevens Guilty on 7/7 Counts
He'll be sentenced on February 25th, when he could get up to five years.
Sen. Ted Stevens (R-Alaska) was convicted today on seven counts of failing to report more than $250,000 in improper gifts he received from 1999 to 2006, a stunning blow to a political career that has lasted more than 40 years and marked Alaska’s entire history as a part of the United States.
Stevens, 84, now faces a question over whether he will resign, and if he does not, whether he can win reelection Nov. 4 in an already tough race.
The heart of the government’s case against Stevens centered on the nearly total overhaul of Stevens’ home in Girdwood, Alaska, during 2000-2001. Bill Allen, a close Stevens’ friend and former CEO of VECO Corp., an Alaska oil-field services company, paid for much of the renovation work and used VECO employees to carry it out. That work cost more than $180,000, and Stevens never paid for it or reported it on his annual financial disclosure forms.
Stevens, in particular, was argumentative and crotchety when questioned by prosecutors, and his testimony failed to convince the jury that he was an innocent man.
Obama-Biden Locks Out Another Media Outlet That Deigns Not To Worship
This is becoming a bad habit.
CNBC Million Dollar Portfolio Challenge Is Back
Trading begins November 17 and registration begins today at 4:00 pm.
Just like last time, we'll be posting daily trading strategies, stock picks, contest commentary, and answers to the 6 daily Bonus Bucks trivia questions. All contest-related posts will be archived here. (Posts related to the previous contest are archived here.)
Last year, we managed to help one of our readers walk away with a 3rd prize share of the million dollars and many others finished in the top 100 (out of about a quarter million traders), including yours truly who squeaked into double-digits at #98. This year, we won't be satisfied with anything shy of one of our readers taking the grand prize.
To sign up for additional updates, send us a note with "Sign me up for contest updates" in the subject header.
We'll get into the rules changes and other nitty gritty in future posts before trading begins, but here's the scoop in brief:
1st prize is $500,000 and a 10-hour Marquis Jet card. 2nd and 3rd place win $200,000 and $100,000, respectively. There are also 10 weekly prizes (mainly trips to big-ticket sporting events, home theater equipment, and more Marquis Jet cards). New this year, each week's 100 best performers will also win a free FX Power Course from FXCM (CNBC's currency trading partner) and each week's 10 best currency performers will win a $300 mini-account with FXCM.
Once again, it's a 10-week contest for which you can register up to 5 portfolios under a single account. Your portfolio is allocated $900,000 in equities and $100,000 in currencies (and you can't transfer between the two). Trade execution among equities still takes place just once a day, pricing at the market close. Currency trades, on the other hand, are processed continuously (let's hope this doesn't cause the massive tech problems it did last year). Your currency account gives you 10:1 leverage, so it essentially has $1,000,000 of buying power. As in the past, you can't short equities, but you can now trade ETFs.
Each week's largest percentage gainer will win that week's weekly prize. Unlike last year, the overall winners are not determined solely by your 10-week performance. They're reverting to the system they used in the 2007 contest, in which each weekly winner AND the 10 overall percentage gainers will compete (with reset portfolios) in a 2-week final round.
In my view, this is a little silly, since it skews the optimal risk-tolerance and encourages traders to trade less rationally (i.e. shoot the moon each week, since you only need to have one superlative week to put you at parity with the 19 other finalists at the end of the regular season). In any event, them's the rules, so we may as well use them to our advantage.
The full rules are available here.
Don't forget to register after 4 pm today (and don't try to register multiple times; even if you succeed, they'll discover it during the vetting process if you win one of the prizes and we'll all laugh at you).
See related posts in the Summer 2008 - CNBC Portfolio Challenge archive.
AUDIO: Obama's Redistributionist Roots
Barack Obama's revealing statement to Joe Wurzelbacher was no impromptu slip of the tongue. His latent Marxism is as long-standing and considered as you suspect.
Gateway Pundit points out this audio discovery made by Naked Emperor News of a 2001 radio interview during which State Senator and Constitutional law
professor instructor Obama bemoans the fact that the Warren Court never got around to foisting socialism on us.
But don't despair. He's a lot more optimistic that "radical" "redistributive" change can be achieved legislatively.
If you look at the victories and failures of the civil rights movement and its litigation strategy in the court. I think where it succeeded was to invest formal rights in previously dispossessed people, so that now I would have the right to vote. I would now be able to sit at the lunch counter and order as long as I could pay for it I’d be o.k.
But, the Supreme Court never ventured into the issues of redistribution of wealth, and of more basic issues such as political and economic justice in society. To that extent, as radical as I think people try to characterize the Warren Court, it wasn’t that radical.
It didn’t break free from the essential constraints that were placed by the founding fathers in the Constitution, at least as its been interpreted and Warren Court interpreted in the same way, that generally the Constitution is a charter of negative liberties. Says what the states can’t do to you. Says what the Federal government can’t do to you, but doesn’t say what the Federal government or State government must do on your behalf, and that hasn’t shifted and one of the, I think, tragedies of the civil rights movement was, um, because the civil rights movement became so court focused I think there was a tendency to lose track of the political and community organizing and activities on the ground that are able to put together the actual coalition of powers through which you bring about redistributive change. In some ways we still suffer from that.
This shouldn't have shocked his Chicago constituents back in 2001, since he was an active member of a socialist party when they elected him in 1996.
Since hitting the national stage, Obama has largely succeeded in closeting his socialist leanings (run-ins with impudent plumbers notwithstanding). The full measure of his redistributionist ideology is coming to light very late in the game, but there's still time to save ourselves from such an eager advocate of this most quintessentially unAmerican ideology.
Update: Not surprisingly, this is turning into one of those wildfire clips. Also playing at:
Update: And now it's hit Drudge, so with the ensuing traffic flood at YouTube, it should only be a matter of time before users flag it as hate speech. I've ripped a local copy in case it disappears.
Update: Here's Obama's spin:
"In this interview back in 2001, Obama was talking about the civil rights movement – and the kind of work that has to be done on the ground to make sure that everyone can live out the promise of equality," Obama campaign spokesman Bill Burton says. "Make no mistake, this has nothing to do with Obama’s economic plan or his plan to give the middle class a tax cut. It’s just another distraction from an increasingly desperate McCain campaign."
Burton continues: "In the interview, Obama went into extensive detail to explain why the courts should not get into that business of 'redistributing' wealth. Obama’s point – and what he called a tragedy – was that legal victories in the Civil Rights led too many people to rely on the courts to change society for the better. That view is shared by conservative judges and legal scholars across the country.
"As Obama has said before and written about, he believes that change comes from the bottom up – not from the corridors of Washington," Burton says. "He worked in struggling communities to improve the economic situation of people on the South Side of Chicago, who lost their jobs when the steel plants closed. And he’s worked as a legislator to provide tax relief and health care to middle-class families. And so Obama’s point was simply that if we want to improve economic conditions for people in this country, we should do so by bringing people together at the community level and getting everyone involved in our democratic process."
Note the failure to even attempt to refute the idea that Obama does indeed support "redistributive change" through legislative means (or other "coalitions of power"), given that the Supreme Court is unlikely ever to be sufficiently radicalized to "break free from the essential constraints that were placed by the founding fathers in the Constitution."
Suddenly It All Makes Sense
Ashley Todd is a Paulnut.
In March, Ms. Todd was asked to leave a grass-roots group of Ron Paul supporters in Brazos County, Texas, group leader Dustan Costine said. He said Ms. Todd posed as a supporter of former Arkansas governor and presidential candidate Mike Huckabee and called the local Republican committee seeking information about its campaign strategies.
“She would call the opposing campaign and pretend she was on their campaign to get information,” Mr. Costine said last night. “We had to remove her because of the tactics she displayed. After that we had nothing to do with her.”
About a month earlier, he said, Ms. Todd sent an e-mail to the Ron Paul group saying her tires were slashed and that campaign paraphernalia had been stolen from her car because she supported Mr. Paul.
Ashley Todd Made It All Up
Unbelievable. Please lock this idiot up.
Police say a campaign volunteer confessed to making up a story that a mugger attacked her and cut the letter B in her face after seeing her McCain bumper sticker.
At a news conference this afternoon, offiicals said they believe that Ashley Todd's injuries were self-inflicted.
Todd, 20, of Texas, is now facing charges for filing a false report to police.
I guess she was dumb enough to carve the letter backward in the mirror after all.
Obama Reaffirms Intent To "Spread the Wealth"
Interviewer: "Any regrets ... that you said 'spread the wealth'?"
Obama: "Not at all."
Increasingly Feckless OPEC Tries In Vain To Prop Up Oil Prices
The cartel held an "emergency" meeting in Vienna today, at which they agreed to lower their collective production quota by 1.5 million barrels/day.
Even so, crude futures are off another $3 and change, leaving the price per barrel below $65 for the first time in 16 months. Since the mid-summer peak, oil prices have now plunged some 56%. That's certainly unwelcome news for petroleum exporting countries, but their latest attempt to manipulate prices by artificially constraining supply is only showcasing their inability to do so.
The problem of course is that there's no honor among thieves, when it comes to OPEC. Try as they might to collude against net oil importers to their collective advantage, immutable free-market pressure to maximize profits leads to the member countries regularly cheating on quotas.
This is all very good news for those of us on the net consumption end of oil (and food, and retail goods, and services). It may seem like a thousand years ago in terms of economic concerns, but you may recall that just a couple months ago, the stratospheric rise in oil prices was an enormous problem. It was stoking inflation, choking off consumer spending, reducing corporate earnings, and threatening to kneecap the airline industry and perhaps the transportation sector generally. Prices had doubled in less than a year and quadrupled in less than four years.
In stark contrast, prices today are just 18% higher than they were four years ago. Adjusting for inflation, that's virtually flat.
Our condolences, OPEC. Try not to let this ruin the rest of your Vienna boondoggle.
Arthur Branch Makes Closing Argument Against Obama
Hunker down for 12 minutes of Fred.
Krauthammer Endorses, Lays Out Case For McCain
Charles Krauthammer on "contrarian" conservatism.
O'Reilly Ambushes Bill Ayers
I generally don't have a whole lot of use for the Factor, but I'll be tuning in Friday night. Based on the promo, it looks like one of Bill O'Reilly's field correspondents simply follows Ayers around for a while and fruitlessly asks questions about his relationship with Obama and his lack of repentance for his terrorist ways.
Even so, if it's good enough for a man who dared to ask Obama an uncomfortable question when the candidate darkened his doorstep, then a bit of mild harassment is probably good enough for a proud Marxist bomber.
Palin Guarantees Pennsylvania Win
“Now, Joe Namath is probably a little bit before your time,” Palin said to the high school students in the crowd. “But do you remember, though, in the biggest game of his life, all the experts had Joe Namath and the Jets written off to defeat? They were up against the elite team that had all the money, and they were held in awe by the media. And Broadway Joe replied, 'we’re gonna win the game, I guarantee it.' And they won.
“And I hope Joe won’t mind if I paraphrase him some in this state, his home state, Pennsylvania, with your help, we’re going to win this state. I guarantee it,” Palin said to wild applause.
If she's right, she and McCain can lose Ohio and Virginia and still put up a win with no other changes from 2004.
(HT: HA Headlines)
Drudge: Assailant Carves Letter "B" Into Face Of Female McCain Volunteer
You stay classy, presumed Obama supporter.
Pittsburgh police spokeswoman Diane Richard tells Channel 4 Action News that the victim was robbed at knifepoint on Wednesday night outside of a Citizens Bank near Liberty Avenue and Pearl Street just before 9 p.m.
Richard said the robber took $60 from the woman, then became angry when he saw a McCain bumper sticker on the victim's car. The attacker then punched and kicked the victim, before using the knife to scratch the letter "B" into her face, Richard said.
Update: It does appear to be a "B", but you have to turn your monitor upside down.
I'm not convinced the "backwards B" (some are suggesting she could've carved it herself and didn't think to accomodate for the mirror's mirror effect) is terribly meaningful, for a few reasons. 1) If she were on the ground and the assailant were above her, it'd be easy enough for him to be oriented such that this was a proper B from his perspective. 2) This is a digital image; it could've been flipped somewhere along the line. 3) She didn't seek medical help, so she could've taken this picture of herself in a mirror (camera chest-high, from several feet away, then cropped just the face). 4) If her account is accurate, the assailant was pretty clearly deranged. It's not a huge mental leap to assume a deranged man, capatable of carving into another person's face, might draw a letter backward.
That said, there are a couple of other weird details that Michelle and Ace point out (including the fact that she didn't seek medical help), but this story is plenty weird one way or another, so who knows.
Finding the Threshold Of the Obama Campaign's Anti-Fraud Measures
If it exists at all, one has to plumb pretty deep to find it.
I went to the Obama campaign website and entered the following:
Name: John Galt
Address: 1957 Ayn Rand Lane
City: Galts Gulch
Then I checked the box next to $15 and entered my actual credit card number and expiration date (it didn't ask for the 3-didgit code on the back of the card) and it took me to the next page and... "Your donation has been processed. Thank you for your generous gift."
This simply should not, and could not, happen in any business or any campaign that is honestly trying to vet it's donors.
The same ["John Galt"] claims to have tried to donate the same way on McCain’s website and had his card rejected.
Reader “Dale in Atlanta” says he tried it with a fake name and the transaction showed up on his credit card immediately — but marked “pending.” We’ll find out later today if it clears.
Further to my post below about the Obama campaign intentionally disabling security checks for their credit card donations, several readers have wandered over to the site to test it out. One was accepted with the following details:
Name: JarackBoe BOamabiden
Address: 2345 Fak Addrss Lane
The only query he got back was to ask him if he didn't want to give more money.
You'd think a diligent New York Times reporter might want to check out this thing. After all, most of them have already been over there to make their own donations, so it's not like they don't know the URL.
[UPDATE: And another - a $15 donation from:
Name: Della Ware
Address: 12345 No Way
Far Far Away, DE 78954
Employer: Americans Against Obama
Frankly, its easier than I'd believe to do this. Courtesy of my (real) CC number and expiration date, the Obama campaign has just received a $19.45 donation from mister Adolf Hitler, whose occupation is "Dictator" at the company "National Socialist Party of Ger" (I got cut off). I captured screenshots to prove this.
No verification required. The listed address wasn't even close to my real address.
And finally, me, just now, with the following data:
Name: Nodda Realperson
Address: 1000 This Is a Bogus Street
City/State: Neighborhood of Makebelieve, CA
Employer: Barack Obama
Occupation: Cow-Eyed Disciple
The debit transaction (of $5) processed at my account within 90 seconds.
What robust security! Aren't you reassured knowing that Obama's $250 million or so in small-dollar donations that will never see the light of FEC disclosure are so painstakingly vetted?
To clarify, via an AoS commenter, this appears to be deliberate:
"Having worked for companies that process credit cards online, it is necessary to go through and manually disable the safeguards that they put in place to verify a person's address and zip code with the cardholder's bank."
Update: At 1:47 pm, Steyn posted an update:
NR reader "Borat Oblama" writes:
I tried to donate $5 in the name of "Borat Oblama" from "Madeuptown, USA", using a legit credit card number, and got a screen saying the card didn't match the address.
Apparently they've been shamed into reinstating the security checks.
Pity we didn't figure this out in August
My glaringly fake transaction went through more than 15 minutes after that update, so security is most assuredly not reinstated.
Update: Patrick Ruffini (having also just contributed $5) has more on the very standard security measures Obama had to eschew in order to make his site so porous to excessive, foreign, and otherwise fraudulent contributions.
The issue centers around the Address Verification Service (or AVS) that credit card processors use to sniff out phony transactions. I was able to contribute money using an address other than the one on file with my bank account (I used an address I control, just not the one on my account), showing that the Obama campaign deliberately disabled AVS for its online donors.
AVS is generally the first line of defense against credit card fraud online. AVS ensures that not only is your credit card number accurate, but the street address you've submitted with a transaction matches the one on file with your bank.
Authorize.net, the largest credit card gateway provider in the country, lists AVS as a "Standard Transaction Security Setting," recommends merchants use it, and turns it on by default. So, in order for AVS to be turned off, it has to be intentional, at least with Authorize.net.
Small-Dollar Campaign Finance Fraud Is So Last Quarter
Sure, it's easy enough to fraudulently fill the campaign coffers using sub-$200 credit card donations, far from the prying eyes of the pesky FEC. But after the first $30 million or so, the data entry is bound to get tedious.
There have been a smattering of incidents reported in which people have seen credit card charges surface suggesting they donated to Barack Obama when they did not.
Now comes the story of Mary T. Biskup, of Manchester, Missouri. Biskup got a call recently from the Obama campaign, which was trying to figure out why she donated $174,800 to the campaign -- well over the contribution limit of $2,300.
The answer she gave them was simple. "That's an error."
Biskup, a retired insurance manager who occasionally submits recipes to the local paper, says someone used a credit card to donate the money in her name. No charges ever showed up on her credit card statement.
Good on the Obama campaign for noticing a contribution that exceeded federal limits by 7,500% (exactly 7,500%, oddly), especially since noticing glaring irregularities hasn't been their strongest suit thus far.
Better yet, it gives us an excuse to haul this out for the second time today:
(HT: Amanda Carpenter)
Obama Turns Blind Eye To Ongoing Credit Card Fraud Lining His Pockets
Have You Contributed To Obama? Are You Sure?
New Details On RNC's FEC Complaint Over Obama's Misbegotten Millions
RNC Filing FEC Complaint Over Obama's Excessive, Secret, and Foreign Campaign Cash [Update: $34 Million In Particularly Filthy Lucre]
Good Will Funneling
Inconceivable: Oliver Stone's W. So Bad Not Even the Critics Like It
If ever there were a movie guaranteed to win gushing plaudits from the critics, it was a biopic critical of a sitting Republican President, directed by American cinema's most celebrated political dramatist and starring the progeny of certified anti-Republican royalty in the role of the titular antagonist.
And yet "W." couldn't quite swing it.
Some representative samples:
- "W. is a scattershot attempt at stylized portraiture that plays like a half-baked editorial cartoon."
- "Bush haters will love it; Bush lovers will hate it; and those in between will be bored to death."
- "Hee-Haw meets Dr. Strangelove."
Managing to screw this up was no small feat. The entire film could've consisted of a 90-minute title card that read "Bush sucks" and still done better than 37%.
By comparison, "Beverly Hills Chihuahua" won over 50% of those top critics.
And it's not a problem of Stone's stock among the opinionistas. Kooky conspiracy fugue "JFK" scored 86% fresh among top critics and even the slightly-less-exciting-than-a-medically-induced-coma "Nixon" managed to woo 65%.
"W." was a ready made, paint-by-numbers shoe in for multiple Oscar nominations (and in all likelihood, multiple wins) for best actor, best picture, best director, etc. All it had to do was not be laughably horrible and it would've seen the kind of rave critical reviews (if not box office success) that similarly opinioned movies invariably enjoy.
I haven't seen it myself and I have no intention to do so, but I'm highly confident - based on the unbelievably unworshipful response from the critics - in my declaration that "W." is an uncommonly atrocious film.
Any folks out there who subjected themselves to the experience and want to weigh in?
Obama Coins a New Term To Replace "Kinsleyian Gaffe"
Democratic vice presidential candidate Joe Biden predicted "an international, a generated crisis to test the mettle" of his running mate to supporters in Seattle on Sunday evening.
"Joe sometimes engages in rhetorical flourishes," Obama said this morning during a press conference in Richmond, Virginia.
That he does.
Assuming this new term of art applies only to true Kinsley gaffes (wherein Senator Biden inadvertently opens his mental kimono), we can't retroactively reclassify all of his greatest hits.
While this one would certainly qualify...
- "Hillary Clinton is as qualified or more qualified than I am to be vice president of the United States of America. Quite frankly, it might have been a better pick than me."
Most are mere stupidity gaffes...
- "When the stock market crashed, Franklin Roosevelt got on the television..."
- "Chuck, stand up. Let 'em see ya."
- "A three-letter word: jobs. J-O-B-S."
Can You Repeat That? I Think I Had Something Crazy In My Ear.
Did Barack Obama just say, "Throughout this campaign, I have argued for more troops and more resources in Iraq"?
Opposing the surge and supplemental troop funding is arguing "for" more troops and more resources?
Obama Turns Blind Eye To Ongoing Credit Card Fraud Lining His Pockets
What do Bart Simpson, Family Guy, Daffy Duck, King Kong, O.J. Simpson, and Raela Odinga have in common?
All are celebrities; and with the exception of Odinga and O.J. Simpson, they also are fictional characters. And yet, all of them gave money earlier this month to the campaign of Barack Obama, without any apparent effort by the campaign to screen them out as suspect donors.
The Obama fundraising machine may owe its sensational success in part to a relaxation of standard online merchant security practices, which has allowed illegal donations from foreign donors and from unknown individuals using anonymous “gift” cards, industry analysts and a confidential informant tell Newsmax
The Obama campaign has turned a blind eye to the possibility of donor fraud. Reportedly, during the heated primary battle with Hillary Clinton, the Obama campaign “turned off” many of the security features on its online donor page, allowing any person with a valid credit card number to donate using any name or address.
Have You Contributed To Obama? Are You Sure?
New Details On RNC's FEC Complaint Over Obama's Misbegotten Millions
RNC Filing FEC Complaint Over Obama's Excessive, Secret, and Foreign Campaign Cash [Update: $34 Million In Particularly Filthy Lucre]
Good Will Funneling
Jackie Mason In Blackface?
Oh, that's a fine rant.
(HT: Stop the ACLU)
McCain Gains 12 Points In a Week In Battleground Poll
A week ago, the GWU Battleground poll (pdf) showed Obama with a 13-point lead over McCain (53-40). Today, after a week of steady narrowing, that lead is down to one point (48-47).
If the undecided 6% breaks toward McCain (as the cable news heads assure us they will), and/or if Obama's young-skewing constituency can be trusted to show up in fewer numbers than McCain's older electorate, and/or if the Bradley effect on display throughout the Democratic primary exists at all (or - for the racially sensitive - let's say "if Obama continues to systematically overpoll, for whatever reason, compared with his actual vote share"), and/or if the trend is ongoing, then this is a very McCain-friendly data point.
The poll's survey window is 7 days wide, so even if the trend has recently stopped, this latest reading wouldn't yet capture the entirety of McCain's gains.
The Comprehensive Argument Against Barack Obama
A Bloodthirsty and Unapologetic Terrorist
This amatuer web ad will certainly never see the light of day, under an official McCain or RNC banner.
And that's too bad, because it's highly relevant to any undecided voters or Obama leaners who are succumbing to His HopeyChangey candidacy, and who have thus far glossed over his troublingly close connections to the worst of the worst that America has to offer. (Scroll down if you want to skip to the ad, because I've got a rant that needs ranting.)
The notion that connecting Barack Obama to Bill Ayers is "dirty" politics or some kind of illegitimate "guilt by association" is simply false. Obama simply is connected to Ayers, in very meaningful ways - socially, professionally, and politically. If the inference from that association is damaging to Obama, so be it.
Despite demonstrably false, explicit campaign assertions to the contrary, it's well established that the two shared an office. Despite demonstrably false, explicit campaign assertions to the contrary, Obama blurbed Ayers' book. And, as the campaign concedes, the two served on the boards of two non-profits for several years.
Furthermore, despite the campaign's attempts to cast Ayers as simply a "guy from the neighborhood", this terrorist and his terrorist wife hosted Obama's political coming out party during his first political campaign and (very likely, according to as yet unnamed sources) have served as his kids' babysitter in the years since. There's also strong circumstantial evidence that suggests that Ayers ghost-wrote Obama's first memoir (which Obama explicitly claims he wrote without assistance).
Given the proven extent of the relationship between this would-be President and a proud domestic terrorist and the candidate's unwillingness to acknowledge these connections (not to mention the likely, but as yet unproven, more damning connections that would illustrate ongoing bald-faced lies and an even more troublingly close association with such scum), is it possible that these relations run much deeper? If so, is it possible that revelations of such might prove troubling to the country in coming years?
For those with a sense of history, let's consider a similar historical question. In 1992, when the world had learned of just a few of Governor Clinton's extra-marital activities, what were the odds that during his Presidency, we'd learn of such filth, habitual abuse of power, and willingness to lie to the American people, that we'd witness the first-ever impeachment of an elected President?
Clinton's weakness was a combination of access to young girls, a perceived invulnerability, and a lack of respect for the truth.
Obama has clearly illustrated he shares the latter 2 of those 3. While he hasn't shown a weakness for interns, he has well and truly lain bare a fondness for a much more dangerous sort.
Revelation Of Obama's Socialist New Party Membership Goes (Sort of) Mainstream
Stanley Kurtz weighs in at NRO.
Ace wonders if this is sufficiently legitimizing for McCain to incorporate it into his stump narrative or campaign ads. One hopes. The spread-the-wealth flap arising from the Joe the Plumber encounter seemed to be enough to prompt Americans to stroke their collective chin and wonder whether Obama might indeed have socialist leanings that place him well left of the mainstream left. His active membership in a socialist party during his first run for political office just 12 years ago likely has some capacity to confirm the suspicion.
September Home Sales Rocket 65% In Southen California
Wasn't necessarily expecting that...
A real estate tracking firm says Southern California home sales jumped 65 percent in September from a year ago, as price cuts lured more buyers.
Figures released today by MDA DataQuick show foreclosure resales amounted to half of all transactions.
The high level of foreclosure resales helped push the median sale price in the six-county down to $308,500 in September, the lowest since it was $305,000 in May 2003.
So prices are still trending down, year-over-year, driven by the foreclosure-led glut in supply. But the oft-cited prerequisite for a housing recovery (which remains the linchpin to a broad economic recovery) is that the market first "work off the excess inventory." If this data point of representative of things to come nationwide, that could finally be coming into view.
Hateful Republicans Now Reportedly Firing On Obama Campaign Bus
I wonder why this isn't getting any media attention.
Oh, wait. I think I may have mixed up the details...
We learned at this morning’s Stop Obama Rally here that the McCain/Palin Straight Talk Express came through town yesterday. It arrived with a window shattered by a .22 caliber weapon. It had also been hit by an unknown number of paint balls from a paint ball gun or guns. There were reportedly no injuries and neither candidate was on board. One local man who saw the damage and spoke with the McCain/Palin staffers said the attack(s) had occured in southern New Mexico that same day.
That makes more sense.
Palin On SNL
The long-awaited appearance finally came to pass, in all of its widely expected mediocrity. Amy Poehler's rap was amusing, but overall, the show has somehow found its way back to the comedic depths plumbed during that horrendous 1994-95 season with Janeane Garofalo, Chris Eliot, Michael McKean, et al.
I don't understand it. The talent roster's doing fine (Hader, Samberg, Wiig, Poehler), but the writing is just painful. Fart face? Fall foliage? Are these even jokes? Did Fey get all the decent writers to decamp to "30 Rock"?
Until some new talent can be scared up for what Bucky calls the "Jew room", just have Hader and Samberg do impressions for 90 minutes from now on.
Storming Off the Set 101
Lesson 1: Remove the earpiece first.
Quote Of the Week (Runner-Up)
CHRIS MATTHEWS: "Can you give me a case where Barack Obama has reached across the aisle and cut a deal and gotten something done for the country? One example."
GOVERNOR PATERSON: "Well, Senator Obama has been there two years and I can’t cite an example right now..."
Who is this anchor and in whose basement is he keeping Chris Matthews?
(For the record, Obama's been there for nearly four years, not two.)
(HT: Riehl World View)
Quote Of the Week
"He is left of Teddy Kennedy. With all due respect, the man is a socialist."
This is just silly. It's common knowledge that the Senate's only true socialist (the only one to admit it proudly, anyway) is Bernie Sanders of Vermont.
Yes, Obama was an active member of a socialist party when he ran for State Senate. And yes, Obama did campaign for Sanders in 2006 and yes, he's established a more liberal voting record than Sanders. But does that really make Barack "Spread the Wealth" Obama a socialist?
If we're going to start labeling as socialists all Senators with more liberal voting records than their confessed socialist colleague, then there'd be as many as two other Senators we'd be forced to classify as such.
Yes, two. Multiple.
I don't want to ruin the surprise for you... Highlight the white space below to reveal Obama's two fellow sub-Sanders pseudo-socialists.
In 2007, Obama's composite liberal score of 95.5 was the highest in the Senate. Rounding out the top five most liberal senators last year were Sens. Sheldon Whitehouse, D-R.I., with a composite liberal score of 94.3; Joseph Biden, D-Del., with a 94.2; Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., with a 93.7; and Robert Menendez, D-N.J., with a 92.8.
ACORN, Flush With Cash From Taxpayers and Obama Campaign, Helps Raise Albuquerque's Fraudulent Vote Share To 30%
The Associated Press reported Friday that the New Mexico GOP found 28 people who voted fraudulently in Albuquerque during the June Democratic primary by absentee ballot. One of the ballots was cast from someone named "Duran-Duran"
The GOP's review was conducted in House District 13 and only included 92 ballots. That means roughly a third of the ballots examined were fraudulent.
“This is a bombshell. We now have undeniable proof that a significant number of fraudulent voters were cast in Democrat primary races for the New Mexico state legislature as a result of ACORN’s voter registration fraud,” said State Representative Justine Fox Young (R.-Albuquerque). “No longer can ACORN argue that their phony voter registration forms don’t translate into fraudulent votes. They do and today we can prove it.”
Information from House Minority Leader John Boehner's (R.-Ohio) office shows that Albuquerque's ACORN branch has received $349,253 in federal tax dollars since 1998.
Good thing the Supreme Court has just ruled that Ohio Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner doesn't need to reconcile the 200,000 mismatched registrations that she had been hiding. Obama paid $800,000 in good money for ACORN's Ohio services and even went to the trouble of concealing it from the FEC. It would be a slap in the face not to allow those tireless fraudulent registration efforts to blossom into fraudulent votes, especially now that New Mexico has shown beyond a doubt that it can work.
A glorious day for community organizing!
Off-the-Charts Genius Can't Count To Four
Joe the Dumber:
Flashback: "I probably have a much higher IQ than you do."
The Other Joe the Plumber
How much accidental traffic is this guy getting, all of a sudden?
Debate 3: Mac's Last Stand
How many minutes into the proceedings will McCain first bring up Bill Ayers? I'm guessing 15.
In addition to hammering Obama's on his circle of terrorist buddies, McCain - as has been endlessly opined - needs to make his economic case. He's got plenty of ammunition (particularly with regard to investment income taxes and windfall profit taxes), as Obama's plans to punish capital represents the surest parth to devaluing stocks and killing jobs. If the economic theory eludes McCain, he can point to Obama's closest historical analog, our 39th President, and remind Americans how well this worked last time.
Whether McCain elects to finally fire those bullets is another story.
Reminding people that Obama and his Democratic colleagues were the ones who thwarted the attempts of McCain and other Republicans to rein in Fannie and Freddie is also important, but McCain's already proven willing to make this point (and likely will again tonight), so I don't expect this to be a source of major annoyance this evening. The expected infuriations involve 1) McCain letting Obama get away with his whopper that 95% of Americans won't be hurt by his tax increases and 2) kid gloves remaining on during the Ayers exchange.
Ideally, I'd like to see McCain ask Obama why, if he believes "spreading the wealth around" helps everybody, he hasn't simply been cutting an extra check to the IRS each year to bring his own effective tax rate up to the "fair share" he'd like to see imposed on high income earners.
It doesn't matter how bad a year this is for Republicans. A terrorist-sympathizing candidate with strong socialist leanings (and former socialist party membership) shouldn't even be polling in the double-digits. McCain can still put him away, but he needs to get in the fight tonight in a way he hasn't even approached in earlier rounds.
100 million eyeballs will tune in again tonight, but after this the election goes on auto-pilot, save a true October bombshell.
Update: Significantly better than expected. A solid B- for McCain, possibly bumped up to a B for his Herbert Hoover zinger. Not enough pushback on Obama's minimization of his Ayers relationships, nor on the 95%-of-taxpayers baloney. Not a knock-out by any means, but a pleasant surprise nonetheless.
Obama called on people to put down their video games, but as a McCain staffer e-mails: “But he advertises on them? Disingenuousness.”
What Obama actually said was that he was going to take away our video games.
Update: Joe the plumber weighs in on the debate that featured him some 20 times.
In Ohio on Sunday, Obama was approached by one man who said, "Your new tax plan's going to tax me more."
A video clip caught by Fox News shows Obama replying, "It's not that I want to punish your success. I just want to make sure that everybody who is behind you, that they've got a chance at success, too. And I think that when we spread the wealth around, it's good for everybody."
McCain referred repeatedly to that voter, Joe Wurzelbacher, a plumber from Toledo, Ohio.
Wurzelbacher watched Wednesday night's debate and said he still thinks Obama's plan would keep him from buying the small business that employs him.
About McCain: "He's got it right as far as I go."