Sunday Open Thread || march 26, 2017
33 minutes ago
Palestinian Ibrahim Abu Jayab, 24, is seen next to his computer, in his family house in Nusayrat refugee camp, central Gaza Strip, Tuesday, Oct. 28, 2008.
A young Palestinian in a Gaza refugee camp is doing his part to get out the vote for Barack Obama. With a little help from the Internet, 24-year-old Ibrahim Abu Jayab is cold calling random American families from his parent's home imploring them to vote Obama.
(AP Photo/Khalil Hamra)
My Date With Sean Penn
by Howard Rosenman
Excerpts from my diary: How I ended up acting opposite Penn and (a nude) James Franco on the set of Gus Van Sant’s new movie, Milk.
The Sarah Party
Posted by Robert Stacy McCain on 10.28.08 @ 8:20PM
SHIPPENSBURG, Pa. -- I've got news for the Christopher Buckleys of the world -- if Sarah Palin is enough to make you decide you're not a Republican, you're not a Republican.
I saw the Republican Party today, standing in line to see Palin at Shippensburg University. The line stretched for more than half a mile -- people waiting outside for hours on a windy 40-degree day -- and though the doors opened more than two hours before the event, security still wasn't able to get everyone through the metal detectors by the time the rally began. Let's see Buckley or Kathleen Parker or Ken Adelman draw a crowd like that.
If somehow John McCain pulls off a miracle Nov. 4, it will be in no small measure due to the excitement that Palin has brought to the ticket. Let the cynics attend a Palin event and try to imagine those crowds turning out for, inter alia, Tim Pawlenty.
And if Obama wins on Nov. 4, Palin immediately becomes the GOP front-runner for 2012. She'll be the No. 1 Republican fundraiser no matter what happens, and she'll be the star attraction at state-party events.
John McCain might have made dozens of mistakes in this campaign, but picking Sarah Palin was not one of them. If you don't like it, just go to a Palin rally and tell that to the people -- they'll tell you where to go from there.
"The HIV epidemic is caused by poverty and despair," said Jane Shull, executive director of Philadelphia FIGHT, an AIDS service group.And all this time I thought it was tainted semen -- or blood.
And Wesley Pruden's take: There's nothing ambiguous about Mr. Obama's radical views, as revealed in this interview. He clearly thinks the Constitution was a "tragedy," that the men who wrote it were not the revolutionary heroes plain Americans regard them to be, and their work must be corrected by the surviving radicals of the '60s and their progeny. Anyone who listens to this interview, available on YouTube.com, understands why Michelle Obama was never proud of her country until she thought the opportunity was at hand to destroy the country to save it, and why Barack Obama could spend 20 years comfortably listening to the Rev. Jeremiah Wright exhort God to damn America.
Wesley Pruden is editor emeritus of The Washington Times.
WFTV-Channel 9's Barbara West conducted a satellite interview with Sen. Joe Biden on Thursday. A friend says it's some of the best entertainment he's seen recently. What do you think?
West wondered about Sen. Barack Obama's comment, to Joe the Plumber, about spreading the wealth. She quoted Karl Marx and asked how Obama isn't being a Marxist with the "spreading the wealth" comment.
"Are you joking?" said Biden, who is Obama's running mate. "No," West said.
West later asked Biden about his comments that Obama could be tested early on as president. She wondered if the Delaware senator was saying America's days as the world's leading power were over.
"I don't know who's writing your questions," Biden shot back.
Biden so disliked West's line of questioning that the Obama campaign canceled a WFTV interview with Jill Biden, the candidate's wife.
"This cancellation is non-negotiable, and further opportunities for your station to interview with this campaign are unlikely, at best for the duration of the remaining days until the election," wrote Laura K. McGinnis, Central Florida communications director for the Obama campaign.
McGinnis said the Biden cancellation was "a result of her husband's experience yesterday during the satellite interview with Barbara West."
Here's a link to the interview: http://www.wftv.com/video/17790025/index.html.
WFTV news director Bob Jordan said, "When you get a shot to ask these candidates, you want to make the most of it. They usually give you five minutes."
Jordan said political campaigns in general pick and choose the stations they like. And stations often pose softball questions during the satellite interviews.
"Mr. Biden didn't like the questions," Jordan said. "We choose not to ask softball questions."
Jordan added, "I'm crying foul on this one."
At least four students from a suburban St. Louis middle school face punishment for allegedly hitting Jewish classmates during what they called "Hit a Jew Day."
The incident happened last week at Parkway West Middle School in Chesterfield.
District officials said Thursday they believe that fewer than 10 children of the district's 35 Jewish students were struck.
District spokesman Paul Tandy said that in most cases, the students were hit on the back of their shoulders but one student was slapped in the face.
It began with an unofficial "Spirit Week" among sixth-graders that started harmlessly enough with a "Hug a Friend Day." Then there was "High Five Day."
Soon, though, the days moved from friendly to silly. Next there was "Hit a Tall Person Day" and, finally, "Hit a Jew Day."
District officials believe a handful of children were directly involved. Those who actually struck classmates could face suspension and required counseling, Tandy said. Others who weren't directly involved but taunted Jewish students or egged on classmates could face lesser penalties.
"There is a mix of sadness and outrage," Tandy said. "The concern is a lot of kids knew about it and they didn't take action or say anything."
Karen Aroesty, St. Louis regional director of the Anti-Defamation League, said this was more than a case of bullying. Officials from the group will meet Friday with district leaders to discuss the matter.
A knife-wielding man robbed a McCain-Palin campaign volunteer and etched a “B” into her face after he saw a McCain bumper sticker on the woman’s car, Pittsburgh police said.
WHO IS JOHN GALT?
October 23, 2008 Posted by Scott at 6:52 AM
We've previously noted the gusher of illegal campaign contributions flowing into the Obama campaign from contributors such as "Doodad Pro" and "Good Will." More recently, incidents have been reported in which people have seen credit card charges surface suggesting they donated to Barack Obama when they did not. Matthew Mosk and Sarah Cohen noted one such incident earlier this week:
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."
Is the Obama campaign knowingly receiving illegal contributions? Yesterday one of our readers reported the results of an experiment he conducted:
I've read recent reports of the Obama campaign receiving donations from dubious names and foreign locales and it got me wondering: How is this possible?
I run a small Internet business and when I process credit cards I'm required to make sure the name on the card exactly matches the name of the customer making the purchase. Also, the purchaser's address must match that of the cardholders. If these don't match, then the payment isn't approved. Period. So how is it possible that the Obama campaign could receive donations from fictional people and places? Well, I decided to do a little experiment. 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. Also, I don't see how this could possibly happen without the collusion of the credit card companies. They simply wouldn't allow any business to process, potentially, hundreds of millions in credit card transactions where the name on the card doesn't match the purchasers name.
In short, with the system set up as it is by the Obama camp, an individual could donate unlimited amounts of money by simply making up fake names and addresses. And Obama is doing his best to facilitate this fraud. This is truly scandalous.
Our reader was not yet done. He tried the experiment on the McCain site: "I tried the exact same thing at the McCain site and it didn't allow the transaction." He then repeated the experiment at the Obama site:
I went back to the Obama site and made three additional donations using the names Osama Bin Laden, Saddam Hussein and Bill Ayers, all with different addresses. All the transactions went through using the same credit card. I saved screenshots of the transactions.
Our reader reports, incidentally, that he was using his MasterCard for the contributions. We submit this report in the spirit of inquiry and would especially appreciate hearing from readers who can illuminate how credit card procedures might (or might not) allow this to happen.
UPDATE: Readers have replicated the experiment reported in this post. We will have to revisit the issue tonight or tomorrow and appreciate any information you can provide in the meantime.
OPRAH OFFERS PRODUCTION HELP WITH OBAMA'S NETWORK SPECIAL
Tue Oct 21 2008 09:28:56 ET
Oprah Winfrey is offering to "produce" the half-hour Barack Obama advertisement set to air on Oct. 29, a top source tells the DRUDGE REPORT. The Daytime TV dynamo has even offered up her studio space in Chicago.
"She's been begging Obama to let her help," a source explaines.
O & O
It is not clear if the Obama campaign would pay Winfrey for any production services.
Requests for comment from Oprah went un-returned.
The Obama campaign strongly denies Oprah will be involved in the ad: Bill Richardson's former senior adviser, Mark Putnam is producing. Previously, Putnam produced commercials for Democratic campaigns in 44 states.
The TV finale is seen as a high risk move, designed to remove any remaining voter doubts on the first term senator.
CBS, NBC and FOX will air the info-commercial, with the start time of a potential World Series Game 6 being pushed back by eight minutes.
Mystery surrounds the production: Will it simply be Obama sitting at a desk reading TelePrompTer? Or will it incorporate multi-media elements, on the road footage, and sweeping historic images.
"I can tell you this much: Slim Shady is back. Not Marshall Mathers," he said. "Slim Shady, that jackass everybody fell in love with? Yeah, he's back."
For anyone you hate.
If James Lipton weren't bad enough -- to say nothing of that studio audience -- here we get the extendo version of Mork, in this, the most requested episode of Inside The Actors Studio. Also includes 45 (!) minutes of unseen footage showing Popeye at his most "outrageous and insightful". No I'm not including any links. Do your own work for this treasure.
In technical terms, more professional
productions than this are filmed
and cut on iMovie, by ten-year-olds,
a thousand times a day.
"The Obama-Odinga connection is fascinating, even if you're an Obama supporter who doesn't think Marxism is a bad thing (do I repeat myself? ) but is somehow not newsworthy for most of the media."
This one'll make you laugh out loud. Which of these is a good neighbor to the few brave souls strolling through Manhattan? Kinda like walking through my office every day. Ah, tolerance! Ah, diversity! Ah, Obama! Ah, hey, not sharing the same faith is no excuse to behave poorly, my friends and neighbors. What would the Messiah do? Ha.
'Branchflower report on Tasergate: Just one guy's opinion that contradicts itself and ignores the relevant facts and law'
This report changes absolutely nothing, except that it will be manipulated politically by Obama supporters and Palin haters in an attempt to drive more potential voters into taking sides with Trooper Mike Wooten — a proven child abuser (Tasered his own 10-year-old stepson on a lark) who's been conclusively determined by his own department to have also engaged in drinking and driving in his squad car and to have used a deadly firearm to violate the very fish-and-game laws he himself was assigned to enforce. "It is nearly certain," wrote Col. Julia Grimes, then then Director of the Alaska State Troopers Division of the Alaska Department of Public Safety, "that a civilian investigated under similar circumstances would have received criminal sanctions." The only real question in Tasergate remains why Trooper Mike Wooten is still not only uncharged for his confessed crimes, but carrying a badge and gun — to the continuing shame of the good and decent people of Alaska.
Stealing Pennsylvania: "Massive Fraud"
By Jeffrey Lord
Published 10/10/2008 4:09:45 PM
A retired Pennsylvania Supreme Court Justice says that she is "not confident we can get a fair election" in the state come November.
Justice Sandra Newman, accompanied by Dauphin County District Attorney Edward Marsico and Pennsylvania Republican State Chairman Robert Gleason, expressed her concerns at a Harrisburg press conference this morning. A thick document replete with photo copies of phony registrations and aerial shots of vacant lots used as "addresses" for "voters" was handed out to journalists.
Gleason was even more explicit.
"Between March 23rd and October 1st, various groups, including ACORN, submitted over 252,595 registrations to the Philadelphia County Election Board" with 57, 435 rejected for faulty information. "Most of these registrations were submitted by ACORN, and rejected due to fake social security numbers, incorrect dates of birth, clearly fraudulent signatures, addresses that do not exist, and duplicate registrations. In one case, a man was registered to vote more than 15 times since the Primary election."
"Voter fraud is no longer just a Philadelphia problem," Gleason said, with ACORN targeting key counties across the state. Counties specifically cited included:
* Delaware County: One of four key suburban counties that surround Philadelphia and are at the heart of the campaign by the forces of Senator Barack Obama to carry the state. In one instance, an ACORN employee circulating voter registration forms in Delaware County was featured on the Pennsylvania "Megan's Law" website, described as having been arrested for "aggravated indecent assault" of a child.Other ACORN circulators had prior criminal records for forgery and giving false information to a police officer, among other charges. Gleason has provided copies of complaints from actual Delaware County voters who were notified by the local election board of their "new" registration to vote. One voter wrote that he "did not complete this form because this information does not match my info at all. I have been a voter for many years. Did not recently register to vote." Said another: "I did not submit any application for voter registrationâ€¦While the spelling of my name and address is correct, the birth date and Drivers License (sic) number are incorrect." And another angrily wrote that the "personal information" on a form submitted in her name "IS NOT ME." She added: Please have the county investigate this. I feel my identity is being compromised."
* Philadelphia County: The situation in the state's largest city is so bad the Philadelphia City Commission, which supervises the registration of Philadelphia voters, voted unanimously to "voluntarily" turn over its extensive records to the United States Attorney's office for prosecution.
* Dauphin County: Dauphin County (the location of the state capital) District Attorney Marsico said the situation was so bad in Harrisburg that one ACORN worker is now being sought by authorities for submitting more than 100 fraudulent voter registration forms. The charge is 19 counts of perjury. One Harrisburg lobbyist, a voter for 30 years, had received notification she had recently filled out a registration form. The lobbyist went straight to the DA with her complaint. Marsico said that what was happening with ACORN "affects the integrity of the process" and that the volume of phony registrations made him "sure that others are going on" that have been undetected.
* Allegheny County: Pittsburgh. Here District Attorney Stephen A. Zappala Jr. and county police Superintendent Charles Moffatt have just announced, according to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, that "they are investigating and considering charges against ACORN staffers and other voter registration groups."
* Centre County: The home of Penn State, which enrolls more than 40,000 students at its home campus. Justice Newman said there was a "massive effort" to fraudulently register students, with efforts aimed at "multiple registrations."
* Erie County: The county at the northwestern tip of the state with its largest namesake city, here too students at local colleges are being targeted in "student registration drives" designed to register voters 18 and over "multiples of times." Student registrants, registered to vote in their home states, had "pending absentee ballot applications" submitted so they could vote for president both in Pennsylvania and elsewhere. The Director of Elections in Erie has reported the telltale "same handwriting" on applications, according to Newman.
Marsico added that he believed the attempted fraud was being perpetrated in smaller Pennsylvania counties as well, counties where the resources to investigate simply don't exist.
Perhaps most humorously was the role of 21st century technology in tracking down several attempted frauds. Through the wonder of Google, aerial shots displayed the following:
* 2418 Curtin Terrace in Philadelphia is -- an empty field.
* 3103 S. 24th Street in Philadelphia -- ditto.
* 4543 N. 11th Street in Philadelphia -- ditto.
And so on. And on again.
Asked whether the Pennsylvania State Democratic Party had come forward to work with the GOP on the ACORN voter fraud issue, Gleason tersely shook his head. One source did say that much of the impetus for the fraud was "an Obama effort," as opposed to the Democratic Party as an institution.
All of this brings Pennsylvania into focus as yet another key battleground state where a serious effort is being made to, bluntly put, steal the presidency in a move reminiscent of the attempts made by the 2000 Gore campaign in Florida. Just as ACORN's efforts have been directed at key electoral states such as Florida, Colorado, Missouri, New Mexico Ohio, and Wisconsin, so within Pennsylvania have its efforts been targeted at key Pennsylvania counties. For decades the internal electoral math of the state for Republicans has been to overwhelm the heavy Democratic vote in Philadelphia and Pittsburgh with strong showings in the Philadelphia suburbs, Central Pennsylvania, and western counties outside Pittsburgh.
Thus have ACORN's fraud efforts -- those at least that have been detected -- been directed at Philadelphia (where increasing the Obama total to counter less enthusiastic support from white ethnics becomes critical), Delaware County in the pro-GOP Philadelphia suburbs, Dauphin County (in the heart of Central Pennsylvania) and Erie in the Northwest.
Is it really possible that the presidency could be stolen for Obama by virtue of a massive voter fraud here in Pennsylvania? And elsewhere? ACORN seems to think so. One so-called "non-partisan" ACORN member, Gleason pointed out, has been captured on video tape saying the group's objective was to "beat McCain down." Not exactly "non-partisan" sounding, is it?
Newman, the retired Supreme Court Justice, was blunt on the evidence: "I don't want a president who does this."
ACORN clearly does. Makes you wonder: why?
Jeffrey Lord is a Reagan White House political director and author. He writes from Pennsylvania.