Saturday, August 16, 2008

TESTING, 1, 2, 3

Columnist Doug Patton thinks voters should be able to pass a basic American civics test before being allowed into the voting booth, a rather entertaining idea. Here are the test questions Patton suggests.

1.) Name the three branches of the federal government.
2.) Name the current president and vice president of the United States.
3.) How long have they served?
4.) How long are the president and vice president allowed to serve?
5.) How many members are there in the U.S. House of Representatives?
6.) How are House Members chosen?
7.) How long is their term in office?
8.) How long are they allowed to serve?
9.) Name the current speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives.
10.) Which party currently holds the majority in the U.S. House of Representatives?
11.) How many members are there in the U.S. Senate?
12.) How are U.S. Senators normally chosen?
13.) How long is a U.S. Senator's term in office?
14.) How long are they allowed to serve?
15.) Name the current majority leader of the U.S. Senate.
16.) Which party currently holds the majority in the U.S. Senate?
17.) How many individuals currently sit on the United States Supreme Court?
18.) Name three of them.
19.) How are members of the U.S. Supreme Court selected?
20.) How long can Supreme Court Justices serve?
21.) What is an electoral vote?
22.) How many electoral votes are currently required in order to elect the president and vice president?
23.) How is the president selected if he/she fails to receive the required number of electoral votes?
24.) How is the vice president selected if he/she fails to receive the required number of electoral votes?
25.) What is an executive order?
26.) How is an amendment to the U.S. Constitution passed?
27.) How many constitutional conventions has the United States had?

Here are the answers.

Wow...I didn't do as well as I think I should have done. I wasn't sure just what the heck an executive order was, and I didn't know how the VP was selected (I thought it was the same as for the President - hint: it's not!). The electoral college has always confused me (and I don't think the answer given really answered the question). I could name six members of the Supreme Court (you'd think I could remember Kennedy as that was my mother's maiden name!) And finally, I had no idea how many constitutional conventions have been held.

The rest of my answers were pretty well on point. How did you do?

I don't think a Civics test of some sort would be out of line. After all, we have to pass a test to drive a car, shouldn't we have to prove we know something about our government and the way it works to be able to vote? Maybe just a test of current events? Just to show the potential voter is at least aware of the world around him or her? Perhaps a test just asking who is the President, VP, and who their governor, senators, and House representative are? (Please don't make who the lieutenant governor of Florida is one of the questions!)

On second thought, maybe we should leave well enough alone. There are a lot of people who couldn't pass even such a simple test, and others who wouldn't vote if they had to take the test. Voter turnout is usually pretty poor as it is.

Speaking of which. I've already voted in the Florida primary. I requested, and received, an absentee/early voting ballot. I will be working on election day and requested a ballot for each of the elections for the next two years. I start work before the polls open and, while I could probably make it to the polls to vote, I'm not sure I'd be able to thoughtfully cast my vote. So, since I had that option, I took it. It was very easy to request. Just go to or call your county elections office, or go to the website and follow the prompts.

I'd love to see someway that voting could be done via the Internet, I think there would be a lot of people vote that way, but I see why there is objection to that method. Maybe if someone could come up with a hack-proof program with a paper trail it could gain a following. The person who could write such a program would be hailed a genius and make a ton of money. Not me, I'm not that smart. I'm logical, but programming requires a logic that I don't come close to! I took a programming course in Basic years ago. I doubt most programmers even remember Basic. Compared to the programming languages used today, it was very, well, basic.

And, I've found out (thank goodness for Google! gotta love it!) that Jeff Kottkamp is the Florida Lt. Governor. (Jeff who?)

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Where Have all the Leaders Gone?

I received the following in email and verified through that this does indeed contain excerps from Iacocca's book. I think there's information that we all need to hear:

Remember Lee Iacocca, the man who rescued Chrysler Corporation from it's death throes? He's now 82 years old and has a new book, Where Have All the Leaders Gone and here are some excerpts.

Lee Iacocca Says:

Am I the only guy in this country who's fed up with what's happening? Where the hell is our outrage? We should be screaming bloody murder. We've got a gang of clueless bozos steering our ship of state right over a cliff, we've got corporate gangsters stealing us blind, and we can't even clean up after a hurricane much less build a hybrid car.

But instead of getting mad, everyone sits around and nods their heads when the politicians say, "Stay the course".

Stay the course? You've got to be kidding. This is America, not the damned "Titanic". I'll give you a sound bite: "Throw all the bums out!"

You might think I'm getting senile, that I've gone off my rocker, and maybe I have. But someone has to speak up. I hardly recognize this country anymore. The most famous business leaders are not the innovators but the guys in handcuffs. While we're fiddling in Iraq, the Middle East is burning and nobody seems to know what to do. And the press is waving "pom-poms" instead of asking hard questions. That's not the promise of the "America" my parents and yours traveled across the ocean for. I've had enough. How about you?

I'll go a step further. You can't call yourself a patriot if you're not outraged. This is a fight I'm ready and willing to have. The Biggest "C" is Crisis! (Iacocca elaborates on nine Cs of leadership, crisis being the first.)

Leaders are made, not born. Leadership is forged in times of crisis. It's easy to sit there with your feet up on the desk and talk theory. Or send someone else's kids off to war when you've never seen a battlefield yourself. It's another thing to lead when your world comes tumbling down.

On September 11, 2001, we needed a strong leader more than any other time in our history. We needed a steady hand to guide us out of the ashes. A Hell of a Mess. So here's where we stand. We're immersed in a bloody war with no plan for winning and no plan for leaving. We're running the biggest deficit in the history of the country. We're losing the manufacturing edge to Asia, while our once-great companies are getting slaughtered by health care costs. Gas prices are skyrocketing, and nobody in power has a coherent energy policy. Our schools are in trouble. Our borders are like sieves. The middle class is being squeezed every which way These are times that cry out for leadership.

But when you look around, you've got to ask: "Where have all the leaders gone?" Where are the curious, creative communicators? Where are the people of character, courage, conviction, omnipotence, and common sense?

I may be a sucker for alliteration, but I think you get the point.

Name me a leader who has a better idea for homeland security than making us take off our shoes in airports and throw away our shampoo? We've spent billions of dollars building a huge new bureaucracy, and all we know how to do is react to things that have already happened.

Name me one leader who emerged from the crisis of Hurricane Katrina. Congress has yet to spend a single day evaluating the response to the hurricane,or demanding accountability for the decisions that were made in the crucial hours after the storm.

Everyone's hunkering down, fingers crossed, hoping it doesn't happen again. Now, that's just crazy. Storms happen. Deal with it. Make a plan. Figure out what you're going to do the next time.

Name me an industry leader wh o is thinking creatively about how we can restore our competitive edge in manufacturing. Who would have believed that there could ever be a time when "The Big Three" referred to Japanese car companies?

How did this happen, and more important, what are we going to do about it?

Name me a government leader who can articulate a plan for paying down the debit, or solving the energy crisis, or managing the health care problem. The silence is deafening. But these are the crises that are eating away at our country and milking the middle class dry.

I have news for the gang in Congress. We didn't elect you to sit on your asses and do nothing and remain silent while our democracy is being hijacked and our greatness is being replaced with mediocrity. What is everybody so afraid of? That some bonehead on Fox News will call them a name? Give me a break. Why don't you guys show some spine for a change?

Had Enough?

Hey, I'm not trying to be the voice of gloom and doom here. I'm trying to light a fire. I'm speaking out because I have hope I believe in America. In my lifetime I've had the privilege of living through some of America's greatest moments. I've also experienced some of our worst crises: the "Great Depression", "World War II", the "Korean War", the "Kennedy Assassination", the "Vietnam War", the 1970s oil crisis, and the struggles of recent years culminating with 9/11. If I've learned one thing, it's this: "You don't get anywhere by standing on the sidelines waiting for somebody else to take action." Whether it's building a better car or building a better future for our children, we all have a role to play. That's the challenge I'm raising in this book. It's a call to "Action" for people who, like me, believe in America. It's not too late, but it's getting pretty close. So let's shake off the crap and go to work. Let's tell 'em all we've had "enough".
Tabloid Publications: Do They Present News or Gossip?

The short answer is, yes.

For many years, The Enquirer presented sensational stories. Stories so sensational and outrageous that they couldn't be believed. Their sources were less than stellar and many times their witnesses were less than creditable.

The National Enquirer, while still considered to be just a tabloid, a gossip rag, has been proving itself to be somewhat better than that. While I can't remember just what stories have been proven to be true, they are doing better as journalists than given credit for.The latest of course, is the John Edwards affair. Edwards kept denying the
affair that The Enquirer was writing about. As it turned out, The Enquirer was on point. Edwards finally admitted to the affair. The Enquirer is insisting that Rielle Hunter's baby is his, which he denies.

While I'm not ready to believe everything I read in The Enquirer, I'll have to at least give some credence to what they publish. Am I admitting I read The Enquirer? Well, not for some years, but I do look at the headlines while I'm checking out at the grocery store. And I have bookmarked The Enquirer for future reference.

The Enquirer has come a long way, but it's still one of those guilty secrets that so many of us have. Maybe one day The Enquirer won't be the magazine that we hide in our grocery bags so that our credibility doesn't take a hit.
It Was A Mistake, Bad Judgement

I just read the transcript of the interview John Edwards gave to Bob Woodruff of ABC's Nightline program. I found it interesting that while he admits to having an affair, he never uses that word. It's always :a mistake", a "huge mistake", an "error in judgement", "bad judgement", but never an "affair". So while he implied that he was admitting to an affair, he never really said it. Can one really admit to something without actually saying the word?

I'm curious as to why he can't bring himself to say the word. Maybe because he's embarrassed? Maybe because he knows there is more to it than just an affair? Perhaps if he admits to a mistake, and using bad judgement he doesn't have to admit to himself that he had an affair that may have resulted in the birth of a baby? I guess that's for philosophical discussion. I'm not here to judge anyone. That's not my role in life and I try really hard to not make judgements about people. But I can and will, make observations about people in the news.

Let's remember that there's more than one person at fault here. Rielle Hunter made the same mistakes that John Edwards did. Although John went one step further and cheated on his cancer-stricken wife, and it's my understanding that Ms. Hunter is divorced. So while societial standards were broken, John is the one who hurt and embarrassed his wife and family. John is also the one who ran for office based on a platform of family values. He hurt that cause and the people who believed in him.

Ms. Hunter may have "lost face" with family and friends, but it's momentary, and will be mostly forgotten before long. Edwards lost far more. Aside from any rift this placed between John and Elizabeth and John and his kids, his affair has left any hopes of a political career in shambles. He says in the Nightline interview that he didn't know whether he wanted to continue in politics anyway. I sort of feel it's sour grapes - it's pretty much over, so he doesn't want it anyway.

The cornerstone of his political platform was family values. Who would feel comfortable supporting him when he himself violated his own core beliefs? There will probably be a Federal investigation into whether political funds were used to support Ms. Hunter. There is talk that Ms. Hunter was given $15000 a month, and that Edwards not only knew the funds came from a political fund, but orchestrated the plan. It's possible that Edwards will be looking at Federal charges and, if convicted, Federal time for misuse of political funds. Whether an investigation is forthcoming remains to be seen. I think it will happen eventually. If there is a Federal investigation into misuse of political funds, and Edwards is indicted and convicted, he will lose his license to practice law.

Ms. Hunter has been reported to be critical of Ms. Edwards. Of course she is, she wants Elizabeth's husband. At this point in time, even if Elizabeth were to succum to her cancer, I have doubts that John Edwards will ever marry Ms. Hunter. Even if the baby is his. I just don't see it happening.
Oh, Come On!

More on the Caylee Anthony mystery that I am just not getting. Maybe someone can explain it to me?

Mom Cindy (Casey's mother) says that Casey is sitting in jail, saying nothing, to protect Caylee. Casey says that Caylee is in danger and Casey can't tell anything she might know for fear of endangering Caylee's life even further.

Dad George (Casey's father) says that he doesn't know where his granddaughter is, but that they know who has the child and that they "are being watched". At one time he says "they" don't know "they" are being watched, but they are. Another time, he says "they" know "they" are being watched.

Casey is reported to be sitting in jail, saying nothing to protect Caylee because she believes Caylee is in danger. Casey has refused visits with her family. Some lawyers on various talk shows I watch have said her lawyer has probably told her not to see her family as the visitations are recorded and released to the public (under Florida law, these recordings are released to the press on request. Visits with her lawyer are privileged and are not recorded). I think there may be something to that; but I also believe that Casey is quite capable of refusing to see her family as retaliation or a manipulation device.

In the meantime, Mom Cindy is in front of the cameras every chance she gets to keep Caylee in the news. And George is driving all over Florida in a rolling billboard hoping that whoever had Caylee will see the billboard and say, "This is the missing child! We've got to return her to her family!"

Now, don't get me wrong, I think Cindy and George are doing what they have to do. If they don't keep Caylee's name in front of the public, the story will get lost among all the other news of the day. As far as I know, George and Cindy have been nothing other than completely forthcoming with telling what they know to detectives. Complete honesty is what's needed at this time.

What I don't understand is if Cindy and George believe what Casey is telling them, that Caylee is in danger, aren't their actions doing just what Casey doesn't want? Especially George announcing on TV that "we know who has Caylee and they are being watched."

I am just very confused by all the mixed messages being sent by this family. I can only say that if I had a child who I believed had been kidnapped, I would have teleported myself to the nearest police department - nut just moved as fast as I could - the very second I had even an inkling that my child was missing. I would have told the detectives everything I knew, no matter what light it put me in. My first and only thought would be to get my child back.

The grandparents are acting in a way which I understand, even if they are making statements that confuse me. It's the mother, Casey, that I have to look askance at. Was she involved in something that she shouldn't have been? Did she witness something that she shouldn't have seen? Did she do something that she shouldn't have done?

Casey reportedly has a violent temper. Did she lash out in anger at Caylee? Not meaning to harm her, but doing so? Did she panic after finding Caylee drowned in the pool in the parents backyard?

Casey's very silence is the thing that most people don't understand. They are looking at the situation from my own point of view: getting Caylee back is paramount and they will do anything and tell the police whatever they need to know to get the child back. With Casey not reporting the disappearance for something like 30 days, then not telling anyone the truth, in fact, lying to everyone, and sitting silent in jail, the public can't help but look at her as a suspect in the child's disappearance.

Casey, being the parent and caretaker, would naturally be the first person looked at by the detectives. At this point in time, considering the lack of information provided by Casey and the lies that she blatantly told detectives, there is just no one else to look at. At this point in time, Casey is the only one who could have done something to cause Caylee's disappearance.

At some point in time, Casey is going to start to point fingers. Knowing what Casey's personality is, she's going to point those fingers at everyone but herself. I think she's sitting in jail, feeling sorry for herself and thinking about who is to blame. I'm concerned that she's going to be pointing fingers at George in particular, perhaps her boyfriend Tony, and maybe at brother Lee.

Tony has talked to the detectives. I have heard that he's a former police officer, so would know that being the boyfriend, he would be the next person in line to be a suspect. He's reported to have been forthcoming and answered all their questions and is not now a "person of interest".

So, a few words of advise to George, Cindy, and Casey:

George, not even in your frustration should you make partial statements to the press about something you know, but can't say more. Tell the detectives what you know and let the people who are trained to go and get her. Yes, you're a former cop yourself, and you may have that training. This is a situation where you can't be objective. Tell the cops what you know and let them deal with it.

Casey, spill your guts. Tell the detectives everything and be truthful. Whatever happens, is better than putting your parents through this nightmare. Be an adult, tell what you know, and take whatever punishment you're facing like an adult and not act like a spoiled brat.

Cindy, I think you're doing everything mostly right. But the time has come to be honest with yourself about your daughter. She's not sitting in jail to protect her daughter, she's protecting herself. She's a spoiled manipulative brat who is trying to control the family through intimidation tactics.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Caylee Anthony Still Missing

Unless you've been under a rock for the past month, you've heard of the missing three year old from Orlando, Caylee Anthony.

I have no idea what really happened to the child. My gut is telling me that an accident occurred and Mom Casey is responsible. As I said, that's just my opinion, I have no idea.

I have a feeling that Casey, who is only 22, was jealous of Caylee, who was now getting the attention that Casey used to get from her parents. Casey was now expected to behave like a responsible adult and mother. She may not have even realized that she was jealous of her daughter, and was happy with the attention that she received as the mother of Caylee.

It might be that Caylee drowned in the pool outside her grandparents house. It could be that Casey had a moment of rage and lashed out at Caylee. It might even be that Caylee is alive and well, but Casey refuses to tell where she is. It might be something else altogether. I wasn't there, so I don't have that knowledge.

Here's what I do believe about Casey. I think she probably has a history of manipulating her family. We know she has a history and reputation for lying. Her family may not even realize that's what Casey has been doing. Casey may not even realize it. I have a feeling that as Casey was growing up, what Casey wanted, Casey got. What she is doing now is manipulating her family by refusing to answer questions, and by refusing to see them.

Something else about Casey that is a part of the whole, is that Casey craves attention. This story isn't about Caylee being missing. It's about Casey. It's Casey's daughter who's missing. In Casey's mind, it's all about Casey; it's always about Casey. If Casey tells what she knows about her daughter, then the attention is diverted from Casey and it isn't about Casey or Casey's daughter. It's then about Caylee.

Casey was expected to be a responsible adult and mother. But Casey is only 22 and wants to party and have fun, but she can't because of Caylee. So something happens to Caylee and Casey is free to live her life. When Mom Cindy asks about Caylee, Casey says her daughter is with "the babysitter" or "nanny" or whoever. That works until Casey isn't so responsible and runs out of gas, her car is towed, and her parents find out. They retrieve the car and start asking questions.

If Caylee is with someone else, Casey doesn't want to be a bad parent by telling her mother that she gave Caylee to someone (for whatever reason, for however long) or that there was an accident. So she says Caylee has been kidnapped and that she's been looking for her (she must have attended the OJ Simpson School of Detecting). Casey thinks that makes her look like a responsible parent: her child has been kidnapped and she's the heroine for looking for her.

But Mom Cindy calls the police and reports that Caylee is missing. Casey, who remember has a history or lying, starts lying to the police. The detectives realize very quickly what she's doing and Casey puts herself in their sights as the one responsible for Caylee's disappearance. By refusing to answer questions truthfully, she's obstructing the search for Caylee. So in the course of events, Casey is arrested for child neglect, among other charges.

She attempts to manipulate everyone: her family, her attorney, detectives, the press, the public, the judge. Casey does nothing to aid in the search for her daughter, saying now that Caylee is in danger and she can't say anything. The detectives are still looking for Caylee, but are also starting to build a case against Casey in the event they find Caylee's body and can charge Casey with homicide. Everything Casey does only points to her as the perpetrator of Caylee's disappearance - whether she had anything to do with it or not.

I don't have kids, but if I even thought my child was in danger, I would have been running to the police the minute my child went missing. I'd be telling the detectives everything they wanted to know and things they probably didn't want to know. I can't imagine that any parent who wasn't involved in their child's disappearance wouldn't do the same.

What it boils down to is that consciously or unconsciously, Casey doesn't want Caylee found. As long as Casey's daughter is missing, the attention, in Casey's mind, is on Casey. She's getting the attention she wants. When her family begins to stray from the way she wants them to think, she says or does something to bring them back into line. When Mom Cindy starts to ask questions when Casey is in jail, Casey cuts her off asking for a telephone number. When Mom Cindy and Brother Lee have to cancel visitations, she retaliates by refusing to see them at the rescheduled visitation. Lee makes excuses saying that Casey wasn't feeling well. I wonder if "not feeling well" is something she has used in the past. It's another type of attention getting device. I'd bet that she's used not talking to her parents when she was mad at them and that refusing to see them is another form of this.

Casey is a manipulative, attention seeking, immature 22-year old. I could go on and on about what she's done to manipulate and get attention, but I don't have the time or space. I believe the girl needs psychiatric help desperately. Caylee might not be missing now if Casey had the help I think she's needed for a long time.

I can only hope and pray I'm wrong about everything.
McCain says he'd push Congress to vote on energy
Associated Press
August 7, 2008

JACKSON, Ohio (AP) -- Republican candidate John McCain on Wednesday called on Congress to return from its summer recess to address immediately the U.S. energy crisis, though he missed numerous energy-related votes in the Senate last year.

McCain, campaigning on energy and economic issues in southern Ohio, said that as president he would tell members of Congress "not to leave town, not to take their vacation or pay raise" until they passed legislation to ease the burden of high energy prices on consumers.

The idea of forcing Congress to deal with energy issues could open the Arizona senator to charges of hypocrisy. The liberal-leaning League of Conservation Voters gave McCain a "zero" rating for 2007, saying he had missed all 11 votes related to such critical energy topics as automobile fuel economy, offshore Virginia drilling, refinery construction, renewable electricity mandates, energy efficiency, liquefied coal, support for biofuels.

Last weekend, the House and the Senate adjourned amid calls from House Republicans for a vote on an energy bill that would expand more domestic oil drilling. In the Senate, a debate was pending on a proposal by a bipartisan group of 10 to boost taxes on oil companies while allowing an expansion of offshore oil drilling.

Both McCain and Democratic rival Barack Obama have signaled an openness to such a compromise, but they have said they need to review details of the proposal.

Touring Merillat Industries, a cabinet manufacturer known in the industry for its efforts to improve energy efficiency, McCain repeated his support for more offshore drilling and criticized Obama for not fully embracing nuclear power as part of a comprehensive energy plan.

"He's out of touch," McCain said.

Obama has never ruled out the use of nuclear energy but has cautioned against expanding it until concerns about proliferation and the storage of nuclear waste can be addressed.

McCain also called for a crackdown on the credit market in light of the housing crisis. The Merillat company, which employs about 5,100 people in eight plants in the U.S., has been hit hard by the slowing housing market.

"Companies like Merillat and families across Ohio face challenges in business and across the kitchen table," he said.

McCain released a new TV ad questioning Obama's readiness to help American families. The ad played off a theme the Arizona senator has been pushing since Obama's tour of Europe: Obama is a worldwide celebrity but not a leader ready to be president.

In the ad, an announcer poses the question, "Is the biggest celebrity in the world ready to help your family?" The ad goes on to criticize Obama as promoting higher taxes and more government spending, both leading to fewer jobs.

The ad touts McCain on energy, jobs and the economy as a whole.

McCain released an ad on Tuesday that seeks to distance him from unpopular President Bush


I had a thought about Congress running from Washington for their summer break. If they go on their annual summer break as usual, by the time they return, gas prices may be down to "acceptable" levels and the "crisis" may be over. Of course, that depends on your definition of "acceptable". And gas prices have been coming down over the last week or so.

I remember when gas broke $2 a gallon. There were still a few stations in my area charging just under $2 and I just refused to pay that much for a gallon of gas, so looked for the lower-priced stations. How time changes your perspective! I'd happily pay $2 now, after paying $4 plus for a gallon of gas.

When my Dad was a teenager, he pumped gas at a local gas station. I seem to recall he said that gas was somewhere in the neighborhood of $.15 to $.30 cents at the time. Although, since I remember paying $.50 a gallon, it may have been even cheaper in his time.

In any case, Congress not voting now leaves it to when they return in September. That will be within 60 days of the election, and they can either vote, and make the Democratic led Congress look really good, or not vote and blame it on the Republicans who have been stalling and refusing to work across the aisle. If prices are down to some level of "acceptable" (meaning the public isn't screaming for Congressional heads), then Congress can deal with the oil problem later. It really comes down to the fact that they aren't thinking about the people who voted for them. They aren't thinking about doing what's right. All they are thinking about is their jobs and what they need to do to keep them.

It's too bad. This should be a bi-partisan issue. Everyone should be working together to get relief for the citizens they represent, not looking toward what makes a person or a party look good.

Obama's Scandal Is Bigger Than Edwards'
By Cliff Kincaid
August 11, 2008

ABC News "chief investigative correspondent" Brian Ross has been reporting on John Edwards' adultery, but seven months ago Ross was telling the American people that the story of Edwards' cheating was a campaign "dirty trick" by sinister and unknown forces.

By including it in a January ABC story (
web site) on political "dirty tricks," Ross was saying that he believed Edwards had been unfairly targeted and accused. Ross, who is well-respected in the business and has broken some important stories, has egg all over his face on this one.

The Brian Ross story about the Edwards allegations being a political "dirty trick" may help explain why so many reporters in the mainstream media shied away from it. After all, if Brian Ross wasn't going to take it seriously, why should they?

Edwards, who endorsed Barack Obama for president after dropping out of the race, covered up the affair for two years, even while appearing as a family man on the campaign trail. This reflected confidence on his part that the affair could be concealed with the help of the major media. The National Enquirer, which broke the story last year, cornered Edwards at a hotel in July before a secret meeting with his mistress. It then published (
web site) a "spy photo" of him holding his alleged "love child." This forced Edwards to admit at least some of the truth.

With Edwards now admitting the affair, reporters and commentators in the mainstream media are acknowledging that they were deceived and blew it. But why is it that they always seem to miss big scandals involving Democrats? In this context, why haven't they yet reported on the relationship that Obama had with a Communist Party USA (CPUSA) member by the name of Frank Marshall Davis, a subject of an FBI investigation and several official inquiries into Soviet-sponsored activities in the U.S.? Davis was so deeply involved in the CPUSA that he recruited members for the Moscow-funded and controlled party and had personal connections to other top party members such as Harry Bridges and Paul Robeson.

The John Edwards affair is a chilling reminder that Democratic cover-ups can succeed, with the help of the media, and that even the most sophisticated "investigative" reporters are prepared to overlook potential Democratic scandals. Edwards is out of the race, but Obama is running ahead in most polls for the highest office in the land and seems confident that the media will not blow the whistle on his Marxist associate.

Obama's Cover-up

The implication of the Edwards scandal is that, if ABC News's top investigative reporter could take Edwards' side, without any serious checking of the facts, then other candidates may be concealing scandals and hoping and planning to get away with it. That is certainly the case with Obama, who is far more of a media favorite than Edwards ever was and has, with the help of the influential Associated Press (AP), carefully concealed his relationship with an identified CPUSA member.

Obama's communist connection, which he failed to disclose in his 1995 book, Dreams From My Father, by referring to Davis only as "Frank" and ignoring his communist affiliation, is a far more serious scandal than an Edwards "love child."

As I commented to Michael Savage on the Savage Nation radio program last week, this is the key to understanding Obama because Davis's influence over him during his high-school years in Hawaii helps explain why he would later associate with terrorists, communists and socialists.

Controversy over the Obama-Davis relationship is growing, at least in the conservative-oriented media. Rush Limbaugh, who last Thursday commented on our exposure of the dishonest Associated Press story about Davis, put a link to the AIM column (
web site) on this matter on his website.

Also heavily drawing on our material, Investor's Business Daily published an August 5 editorial, "Young Obama's Red Mentor." (
web site) The paper noted that the "cryptic references" in Obama's book to this communist mentor "were - and still are - designed to protect Obama's background from the scrutiny it deserves."

This is a point that AIM has been making since February, when we broke open (
web site) the story by confirming the identity of Davis with two different sources and following up with an AIM Report entitled, "Is Barack Obama a Marxist Mole?" It was New Zealand blogger Trevor Loudon who had originally discovered a communist source of information on the Obama-Davis relationship.

Two recently published books, The Obama Nation by Jerome Corsi and The Case Against Barack Obama by David Freddoso, also include information about the Frank Marshall Davis story. But only Corsi, an experienced investigative reporter for WorldNetDaily, gives us the proper credit for uncovering this scandal. I provided material to both authors in order to get the truth out.

If the major media do not follow-up, perhaps the Enquirer ought to do so. At least this would give the Frank Marshall Davis story some needed national attention. But any such story from the Enquirer might be dismissed, as were the Edwards allegations, as coming from a supermarket tabloid and being, therefore, inherently unreliable and unbelievable.

But, in the wake of the Edwards' admissions, the Enquirer has proven itself, once again, to be both reliable and believable. Indeed, it looks like ABC may want to replace Brian Ross with someone from the National Enquirer, which broke the Edwards story (
web site) last October and published a follow-up story (web site) on December 12, 2007. This demonstrates how long the rest of the media were twiddling their thumbs. It looks like they didn't want to know if the story was true.

More Lies?

Edwards told ABC that he knew the child was not his because of "the timing" of the pregnancy and the affair. And he claims that he didn't know that a campaign aide was paying his mistress to live with her child in a mansion.

Edwards' 2008 national finance chairman Fred Baron has acknowledged providing "assistance" to the mistress, Rielle Hunter, and others. But if it's not Edwards' kid, then why is Baron paying for these other unnamed "individuals?"

The Dallas Morning News reports that Baron, who is based in Dallas, is now raising money for Barack Obama.

Brian Ross should get to the bottom of all of this. But he should first apologize for putting his trust in Edwards.

In addition to clearing up the Edwards mess, Ross should subject Obama to the scrutiny he deserves and bring the Frank Marshall Davis connection to national attention. Otherwise, his title of "chief investigative correspondent" will become nothing more than a joke.


Cliff Kincaid is the Editor of Accuracy in Media, and can be contacted at


Note -- The opinions expressed in this column are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions, views, and/or philosophy of GOPUSA.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

He Is Who He Is
By Tony Blankley
August 6, 2008

It's getting tricky to know how to refer to he who presumes to be the next president. It was made clear several months ago that mentioning his middle name is a forbidden act. (Pass out more eggshells.) Then, having nothing honorable to say, Obama warned his followers last week that Sen. McCain would try to scare voters by pointing to Obama's "funny name" and the fact that "he doesn't look like all the presidents on the dollar bills."

Now, putting aside for the moment the racial component of His warning, what are we to make of the "funny name" reference? Many people have "funny" names. Some people think my last name -- being very close in spelling to the adverbial form for the absence of content -- is funny. Certainly, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee's name is funny. Many on the left have had great fun with President Bush's last name. But we all have found our names perfectly serviceable and would expect people to call us by the names by which we identify ourselves.

But He has made it clear that the mere use of His name would be freighted with coded innuendoes of something too horrible to say straightforwardly. One has to go back to Exodus 3:13-14 to find such strict instructions concerning the use of a name. Moses explained: "Indeed, when I come to the children of Israel and say to them, 'The God of your fathers has sent me to you,' and they say to me, 'What is His name?' what shall I say to them?" And God said to Moses, "I Am Who I Am." And He said, "Thus you shall say to the children of Israel, 'I Am has sent me to you.'"

So perhaps we can call Him, for short, Sen. I Am (full code name: I Am who you have been waiting for).

Another aspect of the now-infamous dollar-bill incident that has gone unmentioned is Sen. I Am's choice of the dollar-bill reference itself. He could have just said He doesn't look like other presidents. Even that is a little too cute for the nasty little point He slyly was trying to make, but at least He would be identifying Himself merely with the universe of American presidents. But His overweening pride found such company too base and demeaning for Him. So He needed to include Himself in the grander company of George Washington, Abe Lincoln, Jefferson and perhaps Andy Jackson. (I doubt He had in mind Woodrow Wilson on the $100,000 bill or Grover Cleveland on the $1,000.)

Perhaps I shouldn't dwell on these matters, but the more I watch this man the more stunned I am at His overconfidence and towering pride. I have known a number of great and powerful men (and read biographies of many more), and they surely don't lack confidence or ego. But who among the great would have answered the question posed to the junior senator from Illinois a few weeks ago as He did? Asked whether He had any doubts, He said "never." Is He so foolish as to think He has the world figured out to the last detail, or is He so proud of His intelligence that He cannot confess to ever having any doubt? Either explanation renders His judgment of dubious presidential caliber.

Here is a man who talked almost contemptuously of Gen. Petraeus. Explaining His differences with the general, He said that His "job is to think about the national security interest as a whole; (the generals') job is just to get their job done (in Iraq)." Of course, right at the moment, the junior senator from Illinois doesn't yet have "His" job, while Gen. Petraeus, as confirmed Centcom commander, has direct responsibility for both Afghanistan and Iraq and everything in between and around them. But in the mind of Sen. I Am, He already is, while He thinks the man who is perhaps our greatest general in two generations is just another flunky carrying out routine orders. It is repulsive to see such a mentality in a man who would be president.

All of us have our shortcomings, of course. But there is none so dangerous both to a man and to those for whom he has responsibility than the sin of pride. In the sixth century, Pope Gregory the Great recognized that pride breeds all the other sins and is therefore the most serious offense. St. Thomas Aquinas reaffirmed that pride is rebellion against the very authority of God.

Let me quote a private e-mail correspondent, who states the case better than I could: "Pride indeed is the cardinal vice -- it swings open the door to most of the other theological vices, and undermines the classical virtues of prudence, courage and justice. It thrives, not on what one has, but on what others do not have. And even when one has diligently practiced the most admirable virtues, there always lurks the danger that at some moment one will look in the mirror and say: 'Oh my! What a wonderful person I am!' Thus does the vice lunge from its hiding-place."

For a man, his personality is his destiny. If he becomes president, his flaws become the nation's dangers. The voters must judge carefully both the personalities and the ideas of those who would be president.


Tony Blankley is executive vice president of Edelman public relations in Washington. E-mail him at



Note -- The opinions expressed in this column are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions, views, and/or philosophy of
Dick Morris: Obama Will Create A "Mammoth Depression"

Here's what Morris has to say about that and more:

The Second American Revolution

I don't agree with everything said, but there is a alot of sense in this video.