Monday, September 29, 2008

Barney's Fanny Mae Hold The Answer

Barney Frank is up to his ass in the $300 billion Fannie Mae deal. Or maybe up in someone else's? There are sooooo many places one can go with this...

Barney Frank's former buttmate lover was an executive at Fannie Mae. At one time Frank even referred to Herb Moses as his spouse. Herb Moses and Frank were together for thirteen years according to this article:

Rep. Frank and his companion Herb Moses have been together for over 13 years. Frank often refers to his relationship with Herb and the strength of their family in floor debates.

Frank was thought to have helped Fannie Mae "cook the books" in order to help his boyfriend.

While the relationship reportedly ended 10 years ago, Frank was serving on the House Banking Committee the entire 10 years they were together. The committee is the primary House body which along with the Office of Federal Housing Enterprise Oversight (OFHEO) has jurisdiction over the government-sponsored enterprises.

He has served on the committee since becoming a congressman in 1981 and became the ranking Democrat on the committee in 2003. He became chairman of the committee, now called the House Financial Services Committee, in 2007.

Moses was the assistant director for product initiatives at Fannie Mae and had been at the forefront of relaxing lending restrictions at the company for rural customers, according to the Feb. 23, 1998, issue of National Mortgage News (NMN).

“Herb Moses, who helped develop many of Fannie Mae’s affordable housing and home improvement lending programs, has left the mortgage industry,” Darryl Hicks wrote for NMN. “Mr. Moses - whose last day was Feb. 13 - spent the past seven years at
Fannie Mae, most recently as director of housing initiatives.

Over the course of time, he played an instrumental role in developing the company’s Title One and 203(k) home improvement lending programs.”

Frank and Herb are no longer an item.

Of course Frank refuses to refer to a former boyfriend, Steve Gobie, who turned Frank's apartment into a homosexual whorehouse. Ain't this precious? Steve is on the right.

What's the purpose behind this post? Simply this:

If a straight Republican had pulled this same nonsense with a sexy blonde Fannie Mae executive, the media would be all over him screaming for his head on a platter.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Arrest All These Sons Of Bitches

While working for a law firm in 1994, Barack Obama, as reported in the Chicago Sun Times, sued CitiBank for not issuing enough subprime loans.

Look at this (Jawa Report). It's ten minutes long but it moves fast. Everyone should study it carefully as it builds up a case against the Democrats and their corrupt handling of the subprime mortgage industry. Bush (in 2003) and McCain (in 2005) seem to be the only ones who tried to head this off.

UPDATE: 9/29/08
YouTube has pulled this video.It was an incredibly effective anti-Obama piece and the free speech people at You Tube couldn't deal with it.

What Are You Paying For The Bail Out?

The following is available from the Internal Revenue Service Data Book 2007, Publication 55B, Washington, DC, issued March 2008.

In 2007 the US government collected 2.4 TRILLION dollars in taxes.

That's $2,396,290,997,000 - look here and select table #1. Look at the net collections after $295 billion in refunds.

Of the $2.4 trillion:
a) $368.5 billion came from income tax paid by corporations - 15.4%
b) $1.17 trillion came from income tax paid by individuals - 46.6%
c) $838 billion came from employment taxes (payroll tax such as FICA) - 35%
d) $26 billion came from estate (death) and gift taxes - 1.1%
e) $46 billion came from excise (gasoline, etc.) taxes - 2.0%

So let's figure that half of the $700 billion Wall Street Bail out is going to be funded by us, individual tax payers.

Last year 138.9 million individuals filed income tax (Table #2). Of course many of these were joint returns for married couples. This translates to the average income tax paid per return was $17,252.66. Of course that's doesn't mean anything; I paid nothing close to that and you the reader probably didn't either. If you did, well God bless you!

Using the IRS Table 1.1 for 2007 returns we can see just what our income tax burden was based on Adjusted Gross Income groupings. For there then it is possible to extrapolate what percentage of the $700 billion bail out you will pay based on what range your Adjusted Gross Income (AGI) falls into.

Directions: under the section "All Returns: Selected Income and Tax Items" select Tax Years: and pick 2006 - this is the latest year available and will lead you to the spreadsheet named 06in11si. You can do the math too because, quite frankly, I don't trust myself after the per capita bomb in my previous post. I almost never make mistakes like that.

We'll use the 46.6% of all income tax collected from individual tax returns as our bench mark. That percentage (46.6%) of $700 billion is $326.2 billion.

The total 2006 individual income tax after credits was $1.023 trillion ($1,023,916,399,000 - this is a bit different than what the IRS says it collected in 2007 but it probably involves other things such as interest, fines, etc.).

Based on those numbers, the following spreadsheet is posted using Zoho which allows you to import and embed Excel type spreadsheets in blogs. What is really exciting is that this is an interactive spreadsheet - it allows you to input changes.

What I have done is produce a spreadsheet that allows you to see approximately what the GREAT WALL STREET BAILOUT OF 2008 will cost you depending on how what your Adjusted Gross Income (AGI) is.

This is how it works. I have taken the 2006 IRS figures for AGI for the number of returns, amount of income taxes paid and what each AGI grouping will pay depending on their percentage of total income taxes paid. Then I divided that by the number of returns for each AGI grouping to arrive at how much each individual in that grouping will pay (Average Cost of Bail Out Per Individual Return).

If the cost of the Wall Street Bail Out changes to, say, $1 Trillion, and the percentage to 50% , just enter those values into the top ranges, cells B2 and B3. The Average Cost Per Individual Return will also change (rows 56 to 74), indicating how much it will cost you based on your AGI. Remember to input percentage changes as a decimal equivalent, i.e .48 (point 48) instead of just 48, or else you will get the wrong percentages.

This is probably a little too simplistic but it should serve as an indicator as to just how far the politicians are going to ram this bail out up your ass.

If anyone has a better idea on how this should work, by all means try it out yourself and let me know.

Note: One problem with this is that I cannot figure out how people reporting zero AGI still paid $57.7 million in income tax - unless these are penalties, fines or other forms of income that fall into a different category. Perhaps these are people financed by George Soros who have to figure out a way to account for all the money they have donated to Obama.

Friday, September 26, 2008

I'm Really Really Ticked

The more I think about it the more pissed off I get.

Those sons of bitches in Congress want to give away $700 billion as a reward to gross incompetence, greed, and probably every other evil even slightly related to ineptitude and we're supposed to go along with the program.

For the first time in my adulthood I got pissed enough to send emails to everybody, even to retiring Rep. Jim Walsh and the two Democratic senators of this State - Schumer and Clinton - yelling at them at how pissed I am and dontyoudaregiveacenttothosecrooks.

I yelled at them for shoving their thumbs up their asses while this pot was boiling for the past few years.

I am so sick of the current crop of politicians running around like Chicken Little screaming "Wall Street Is Falling!" Wall Street is not the entire US economy. There are banks right here where I live that are doing just fine because they don't get involved in high risk investments.

And it is high risk investments that have soured that is the cause of this mess.

I have spent most of my adult life trying to avoid debt. My wife and I scrimped and saved and just plain did without for the first twenty years of our marriage - living on a cop's salary and whatever I did on the side wasn't easy but we did it.

Our home mortgage was paid off in sixteen years. I helped my kids through college with cash - no loans - by busting my ass. The only debt we owe right now is two car loans. We have no oustanding debt for plastic - if it can't be paid for at the end of the month we don't buy it.


I do not live like a high roller Wall Street financier. We stay strictly within our means. Right now I am afraid to call my financial advisor to see what happened to our 401k's.

And the politicians want me to pay for this bullshit.

I normally avoid all cussing, but I am beside myself...

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Give The Taxpayers The $$$

I stopped by Texas Fred's earlier this evening and read his post from Pat at A Day In The Life - "My Personal Economy Recovery Plan."

Basically, the plan is this - why give those slobs in the AIG counting house $85 billion as a reward for greed, poor judgement and piss poor performance? Give us the money! Ourselves, the taxpayers, We Da Peephole!

Look at it this way, according to the 2008 Census abstrat, there are 214,692,000 people over the age of 19 in the US.

Divy up the 85 large and every adult 20 and over pockets $395,915.22 for doing nothing but breathing.

And if Congress is so eager to fork over $700 billion for all those bad mortgages, why not just give those same 214 million adults a cool three and a quarter million bucks each?

Let the financial institutions choke on those mortgages.

I also sent this to my congressman.

D0h - I'm an idiot. If I used the British notion of billion (a million million) instead of our thousand million I would have been okay. Instead of living "Lifestyles of the Rich & Famous" the best you'll do is a so so down payment on a new car, about $3,200. Thanks to Draven for picking this up.

Al Gore Wants To Be King

Jerome J. Schmitt at the American Thinker has a great blurb on the global warming scam and how other scientists are finally getting the guts to call it for what the scam really is: a blatant, hostile incursion in the sciences by militant liberals who want to control this country. If Al Gore can't be President, then he'll be King. One way or the other we'll be forced to pay the price for his greed and foolishness.

Outsiders familiar with the proper workings of science have long known that modern Climate Science is dysfunctional. Now a prominent insider, MIT Meteorology Professor Richard S. Lindzen, confirms how Al Gore and his minions used Stalinist tactics to subvert, suborn and corrupt a whole branch of science, citing chapter and verse in his report entitled "Climate Science: Is it currently designed to answer questions?" His answer: A resounding "NO!"

Detailing the corruption, he names a series of names. Until reading this I did not know that "For example, the primary spokesman for the American Meteorological Society in Washington is Anthony Socci who is neither an elected official of the AMS nor a contributor to climate science. Rather, he is a former staffer for Al Gore." Page 5

This 35 page report titled: "Climate Science: Is it currently designed to answer questions?" is written by Richard S. Lindzen who is the is the Alfred P. Sloan Professor of Meteorology, in the Department of Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences at M.I.T.

Doing through the report, Schmitt highlights that scientists are coerced:

"to ignore or amend measurements that undermine the theory of Anthropogenic Global Warming. Scientists are literally forced to include sentences in their papers that indicate their support of AGW, even if these sentences are non-sequiturs, or even if they conflict with the overall thrust of the paper. In this way, Al Gore's uneducated political commissars are able to deliver the "consensus" he so craves."

As many scientists in this country are from other countries, they are easily intimidated into following the leader on global warming. Schmitt goes on to say that:

Many scientists are naturalized citizens from Asia and Eastern Europe, unfamiliar and intimidated by American politics and government, to which they are dependent upon for visas and grant support. Although all stereotypes are unfair to individuals, there is some truth to the one of the shy, retiring, absent-minded professor. His or her absent-mindedness is most likely due to intense cogitation on a difficult scientific problem. Their dealings with one another are only possible by maintaining extreme standards of honesty, integrity and open-mindedness to scholarly debate in search of the truth. The very qualities that make them good scientists and scholars thus leave them ill-equipped to deal with the raucous, underhanded, disrespectful, politically-motivated radicals unleashed upon them by Al Gore and his fifth column for a "hostile takeover" of their scientific institutions.

The report itself is very mindful of this. In his report, Dr. Lindzen states that:

[...]even universities are hierarchical structures where positions and policies are determined by small executive councils or even single individuals. This greatly facilitates any conscious effort to politicize science via influence in such bodies where a handful of individuals (often not even scientists) speak on behalf of organizations that include thousands of scientists, and even enforce specific scientific positions and agendas. The temptation to politicize science is overwhelming and longstanding. Public trust in science has always been high, and political organizations have long sought to improve their own credibility by associating their goals with ‘science’ – even if this involves misrepresenting the science.

As scientific research grew more and more dependant on the government, the professional agencies representing the various scientific societies started to more closer and closer to the source of the "blood" (research grants) - Washington, D.C.

Professional societies represent a somewhat special case. Originally created to provide a means for communication within professions – organizing meetings and publishing journals – they also provided, in some instances, professional certification, and public outreach. The central offices of such societies were scattered throughout the US, and rarely located in Washington. Increasingly, however, such societies require impressive presences in Washington where they engage in interactions with the federal government. Of course, the nominal interaction involves lobbying for special advantage, but increasingly, the interaction consists in issuing policy and scientific statements on behalf of the society.

Once the central office of the society is established, it is just a matter of time before just a few radicals infiltrate and start to make things difficult for everyone else:

[...]a more common form of infiltration consists in simply getting a couple of seats on the council of an organization (or on the advisory panels of government agencies). This is sufficient to veto any statements or decisions that they are opposed to. Eventually, this enables the production of statements supporting their position – if only as a quid pro quo for permitting other business to get done. Sometimes, as in the production of the 1993 report of the NAS, Policy Implications of Global Warming, the environmental activists, having largely gotten their way in the preparation of the report where they were strongly represented as ‘stake holders,’ decided, nonetheless, to issue a minority statement suggesting that the NAS report had not gone ‘far enough.’ The influence of the environmental movement has effectively made support for global warming, not only a core element of political correctness, but also a requirement for the numerous prizes and awards given to scientists. That said, when it comes to professional societies, there is often no need at all for overt infiltration since issues like global warming have become a part of both political correctness and (in the US) partisan politics, and there will usually be council members who are committed in this manner.

This is how the global warming scam grew to such prominence. Once these "societies" start to pressure the government into funding more and more bogus research (that their associates control), pretty soon all you hear is a slew of Al Gore clones droning on and on incessantly about the dangers of carbon dioxide. And there are other avenues for thee pseudo-scientific quacks to pursue.

It is, of course, possible to corrupt science without specifically corrupting institutions. For example, the environmental movement often cloaks its propaganda in scientific garb without the aid of any existing scientific body. One technique is simply to give a name to an environmental advocacy group that will suggest to the public, that the group is a scientific rather than an environmental group. Two obvious examples are the Union of Concerned Scientists and the Woods Hole Research Center.

Of course the liberal media will not bring these advocacy issues to the forefront so that media consumers can make a rational decision for themselves. We're just not smart enough to make these decisions for ourselves, we might get hurt. But even better, have them co-opt one of the most corrupt governmental entities on the face of the planet, the UN.

Perhaps the most impressive exploitation of climate science for political purposes has been the creation of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) by two UN agencies, UNEP (United Nations Environmental Program) and WMO (World Meteorological Organization), and the agreement of all major countries at the 1992 Rio Conference to accept the IPCC as authoritative.

This is what you'll find in only the first nine pages of the report. There's more - alot more.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Pigs Run Amok

Does this sound familiar?

A pig has turned on a woman who tried to look after it, effectively holding her hostage on a property in northern New South Wales.

Sixty-three-year old Caroline Hayes says she has been unable to leave her Uki house to use the farm's outdoor toilet at times because the white pig is aggressive towards her.

Ms Hayes says the animal came from a home two kilometres away, but its owners could not handle it and let it loose in the rain forest.

She says she and her neighbours began feeding the pig, who they named 'Bruce', after it first showed up at their homes 10 days ago.

"When I found it, it had 15 ticks in its eyes which I actually took out," she said.

"One of its eyes it couldn't see out of, so I put cream in it and I fixed its back up, but apparently it's actually claimed my land and claimed my place."

Ms Hayes says the pig became aggressive when it wanted more food, recently biting her on the leg when she tried to go to the toilet.

"It started getting very pushy, started pushing me around, so I started to get a bit frightened, until the stage that it started knocking on my door at 4 o'clock in the morning, actually head-butting my door," she said.

She says she locked herself into her house yesterday afternoon and was too afraid to get out until late this morning.

"This morning, I wanted to go to my toilet, which is outside. I opened up the door and the pig pushed me that hard, it pushed me back into my room, where I fell over," she said.

"I picked up a broom and poked him out with it and he snapped it in half with his

Two words of advice for Ms. Hayes that would solve all her problems: Barbecue sauce.

"The rangers came out to my house yesterday with a dog cage and this pig is that big, it's like trying to put an elephant in a dog cage," Ms Hayes said.

"They tried for a little while and they couldn't do it. They got him halfway in and he just backed off and went back to my dam, where he was having a lovely time in the water."

She says Bruce is also causing mayhem in her yard.

"He's pulled a big king-size mattress out of my garage and he's ripped it up all around the yard," she said.

"And then he's come up again and I've got a mat outside my door, which he's actually rolled up.

"[He] put his nose underneath it and actually rolled it up into a perfect roll."

Rangers will try to capture the pig today but Ms Hayes says she does not want to know what they plan to do with it.

"I haven't stopped crying because I'm a major animal lover and a vegetarian," she said.

Pork - it's the other white meat.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

33 Days And A Wake Up

Just got off the phone with our daughter at Ft. Leonard Wood.


Courtney's brother is alive. He has been wounded and is in Germany right now. Three vehicles had gotten separated from a convoy and were attacked; he was wounded but I have no information as to the nature of his injuries but it involves one or both of his arms. His last name is Burd, and I believe that he is from Oswego County just north of us.

We are flying down to Ft. Leonard Wood for our daughter's graduation from boot camp. We can't wait to see her. In her own words, just "33 days and a wake up" and we'll be with her for a few hours anyway.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Gimme A Hook

It's too bad the Republicans can't call a tow operator and get Charlie Rangel's ass towed out of Congress. In the New York Post, Daphne Retter reports:

WASHINGTON - Embattled Rep. Charles Rangel's Mercedes-Benz was towed yesterday from the House of Representatives parking space he had been using for years in violation of congressional rules. As a tow truck pulled away the 1972 silver sedan under the watchful eyes of five Capitol police officers, House Republicans voted almost unanimously to oust the Harlem Democrat from his chairmanship of the powerful Ways and Means Committee in the midst of several ethics scandals.

The measure, however, failed.

Rangel refused to answer questions about the car, whose registration expired in 2004 and which has sat in the House garage, covered with a tarp and bearing no plates.

And the media is more concerned about Todd Palin telling them to go piss up a rope than this lying, conniving politician who cheats on his taxes while making the rest of us pay to support his Mercedes. Now he owes taxes on about $5,000 worth of free parking. Hook his ass outta there.

A "hook" is cop talk for a tow truck.

This guy has gotta be wrestling with dementia or something. It's like his crazy ass broke loose in a storm and is careening about the deck, scattering panicked sailors, smashing into the masts and generally just raising all kind of hell on the main deck.

Already under fire for his tax troubles, Manhattan Congressman Charles Rangel really put his foot in his mouth on Friday. In a CBS 2 HD exclusive interview Rep. Rangel called Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin "disabled." The question was simple. Why are the Democrats so afraid of Palin and her popularity.

The answer was astonishing. "You got to be kind to the disabled," Rangel said.

That's right. The chairman of the powerful House Ways & Means Committee called Palin disabled -- even when CBS 2 HD called him on it.

CBS 2 HD: "You got to be kind to the disabled?

Rangel: "Yes."

CBS 2 HD: "She's disabled?"

Rangel: "There's no question about it politically. It's a nightmare to think that a person's foreign policy is based on their ability to look at Russia from where they live.

Republicans think Rangel's comments are insulting as well as shocking.

"Charlie Rangel's comments are clearly disgraceful," Rep. Peter King, R-Long Island, said. "This is just another liberal Democrat who can't accept an independent woman running for president."

It's getting to the point where I no longer want to even open up my laptop - this crazy crap comes flying out from these idiots' mouths like June bugs on a Georgia county road.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

My Precioussssssssssssss

I went looking at new cars last week, not really expecting to buy anything. My Impala was eight years old and was still running fine, but I was thinking about replacing it because I knew things were starting to go - power steering was leaking, noise from the rear end, rust is starting to grab hold of the sheet metal, etc.

I had been looking at cars in the classifieds and researching them on the web for the past three months. So the wife, my youngest girl and I took a trip. I have owned nothing but Chevys for the past fifteen years but I got tired of the so-so quality and that Chevy can not seem make a vehicle with decent windows. All three of my last Chevys have had problems with the windows.

We test drove Fords. First the Edge, but I didn't like the ride; it over steers, the head rest forces your head forward unnaturally and the brakes felt like crap. And that was just what many reviews said about it. I really liked its looks so I wanted to see for myself. They were right - but it is still a fine looking crossover. Too bad.

Then we drove an Escape and I really liked the ride, but I wanted something bigger so we can pack all our gear when we go to summer camp.

Then I test drove the 2007 Explorer. Yep, that's the one. This is my first 4X4 vehicle. I have owed several pick ups and an old Chevy Suburban in the past but nothing quite like this.

It's in the driveway now. It has satellite radio, Advance Track RSC and 4X4 transmission (auto, high and low), third row seats and overdrive. There's a lot more options that the Explorers could have had but I am not one for a lot of bells and whistles. This suits me just fine and the price was extremely affordable. The combined city/highway mileage is just 2 or 3 miles per gallon less than what the Impala was getting - the Explorer is getting about 16 - 17 mpg. A round trip to work is only 14 miles for me.

Now I can't wait for the Upstate NY winter to kick in. Come on snow!

Monday, September 15, 2008

How Low Have We Sunk?

This post is precipitated by my viewing almost every episode of the HBO miniseries "John Adams;" just one more to go and the wife and I will watch that tonight. I bought the boxed set two weeks ago and I have not been disappointed. Paul Giamatti does a credible job portraying Adams and Laura Linney is fabulous as Abigail Adams. The nation's Founding Fathers were not saints to be sure, but they forthrightly represented the most selfless and principled men of their time. Many of the signers of the Declaration of Independence came to miserable ends, in captivity, poverty or an early death.

And I wonder, how did we manage to sink so far that we get to the obscene behavior of the current leaders of the Democratic Party for whom no moral crevice is deep enough, no scurrilous conduct depraved enough and no political advantage so minor that would preclude the lies and deceit that seem to accompany their every action?

I refer to the latest revelation of Barack Obama's attempt to influence the course of the war on terror in Iraq. As reported in the NY Post, Obama allegedly tried to persuade the Iraq government to delay a US troop withdrawal agreement spoke to General Petraeus regarding a "realistic withdrawal date." This delay would push back any troops withdrawals back to 2010, thereby, if elected, giving an Obama administration the credit for the return of US troops. Of course Obama denies these allegations, inferring that everyone else involved is either a liar or in the throes of dementia.

This is what happens in a value neutral environment where there are no absolutes, only shades of gray. We lived through this with the Clintons and we are getting the same fare again.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

A Closer Perspective

The following is the gist of what the chairman of Iraq’s Democratic Party, Mithal al-Alusi, had to say about the state of Iraqi security, Iran, and what the US needs to do. These words were uttered during an anti-terrorism conference held in Tel Aviv this past week.

First of all, he said, “In Iraq, there is no occupation—there is liberation.” Alusi acknowledged that mistakes have been made, as is the case in any war. But for the first time in Iraq’s history, he said, “There is such a thing as democratic elections.”

And as for the terrorists that have fled Iraq in order to fight on another front in Afghanistan—as if miraculously beamed from one country to the next—Alusi urged the audience to get a map and locate the massive territorial divide these terrorists have miraculously hopped over on their way to Afghanistan.

“Iran is at the center of all the troubles in our region,” he said. And just as they meddled in Iraq’s affairs, they are now complicating the situation on the ground in Afghanistan in order to provide themselves with cover, he explained. They need time to finish developing their nuclear arsenal, he said.

After his remarks, Mr. Alusi was approached by the columnist for additional clarification.

“It’s very clear this is a liberation,” he told me. “People on the left in America have a problem with this. We in Iraq don’t have a problem with it. We call it a liberation because we know this is a liberation.”

Later, Alusi said, “I would like to say to the American people, thank you—not only because Saddam is gone—thank you for the change on the street and for the change in [our hearts].”

When asked about the controversial timetable for the withdrawal of U.S. troops, Alusi pleaded, “This is not the time to give up.” Later, he said, “Please, the time you are working for us is over. Now we are your partner. We are facing now Iran. And Iran is not an Iraqi problem. Iran, in the reality, is an international problem.”

Alusi resents the fact that in America, Iraq is being turned into a political issue. “This is not fair to the Iraqi people,” he said. “This is not fair to the American soldiers. We know the price they paid. We paid the same price. We have lost families and children.”

Three years ago Alusi lost two sons to terrorists. They were gunned down right in front of him. He anticipates and accepts the same fate.

Obama Is Careless

Obama is running scared and this helps to reveal his basic nature. So often we are treated to the superficial public persona of a politician, or any celebrity or person of note for that matter, that is carefully crafted by his or her managers. It is only when stress is applied that the cracks in the fascia appear and we are treated to what lies beneath. This is what is happening to Obama.

The relentless pressure of presidential politics shows something about him - Obama is careless and will engage in risky ventures if he perceives a short term goal. He does not think things through. We need only look at his latest jab at McCain's "computer illiteracy."

I wonder how much longer this clip will be available once the RNC finishes savaging Obama for his thoughtlessness. Many sites have already responded.
National Review:

Yep. The day after 9/11, as part of its "get tough" makeover, the Obama campaign is mocking John McCain for not using a computer, without caring why he doesn't use a computer. From the AP story about the computer illiterate ad:

"Our economy wouldn't survive without the Internet, and cyber-security continues to represent one our most serious national security threats," [Obama spokesman Dan] Pfeiffer said. "It's extraordinary that someone who wants to be our president and our commander in
chief doesn't know how to send an e-mail."

Well, I guess it depends on what you mean by "extraordinary." The reason he doesn't send email is that he can't use a keyboard because of the relentless beatings he received from the Viet Cong in service to our country. From the Boston Globe (March 4, 2000):

McCain gets emotional at the mention of military families needing food
stamps or veterans lacking health care. The outrage comes from inside: McCain's severe war injuries prevent him from combing his hair, typing on a keyboard, or tying his shoes. Friends marvel at McCain's encyclopedic knowledge of sports. He's an avid fan - Ted Williams is his hero - but he can't raise his arm above his shoulder to throw a baseball.

In a similar vein I guess it's an outrage that the blind governor of New York David Paterson doesn't know how to drive a car. After all, transportation issues are pretty important. How dare he serve as governor while being ignorant of what it's like to navigate New York's highways.

Some of my work involves computer support for prosecutors who are preparing cases against some of the worst felons imaginable. In no instance have I ever criticized someone because they lack knowledge within a specific field outside of their expertise. Prosecutors will get a little embarrassed when I fix a "serious" problem with a few keystrokes. All I say is that I don't prosecute cases so don't ask me how; they weren't hired because they know how to manage macros in Word or to map a network drive. And in the same vein, we are not hiring a president based on his knowledge of computer technology but on his integrity, experience and sound judgement.

Using the same faulty reasoning should we preclude Obama as Commander-in-Chief because he probably never fired a rifle?

Obama's people are running scared now. Look for more of this nonsense as the campaign wears on and the dems become more desperate.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Pagans For Obama

Victory for Obama is assured. The McCain/Palin ticket will crumble in defeat once the Wiccan Wave starts tonight.
From the American Thinker we read that a group calling itself Pagans for Obama are organizing a healing ceremony for, well, I'm not quite sure.

The Pagans for Obama Group is planning a magickal working tomorrow (FRIDAY) night.

We're going to perform a "Rolling Circle" Healing Ceremony for the election. That means that are sisters and brothers in the East will begin and then those in each successive time zone will join half an hour later.

This ceremony was the result of a discussion among us about Palin's authorization of aerial hunting of wolves and bears and the horrendous lies and distortions being propelled from the campaign in order to damage Barack.

After much discussion and wise counsel, we are united in creating this ceremony to HEAL the right instead of attack them. The following is an outline of what we will be doing and we invite everyone interested in healing our nation during this election to join us! Please share with anyone who may wish to participate in this landmark magickal work! We can reclaim our nation for the good.

Whatever it is, it's calling a Healing Circle and will follow the rising of the sun or some crap like that similar to a "wave" at Lambeau Field. Except that they won't be in a stadium and they aren't Packer Cheeseheads and they might be bare assed or decked out in beads and tattoos or covered in raccoons. These people are pagans or Wiccans - in other words - witches, devil worshippers, warlocks and congressmen.
The ceremony itself is described here:

We are NOT attacking the individuals, we are attacking the lies using our power animals. I do practice a shamanic path (Faile Gleidhte), and Caroline's comment is exactly right.

As you are doing this work, instead of attacking in anger or malice, you should be hunting for illness. Your power animal will do what SHE/HE does best, so you want to focus your intent to match their abilities or vice versa.

I find that once you are immersed in the work, the animal spirit will take over if you are doing this in a shamanic manner. I know Wiccans usually direct the energy, but I would urge you to become one with your animal spirit and allow HER/HIM to guide the work, that way you probably will not run into the pitfalls of attacking negatively.

In shamanic healing traditions, the "Healer" normally consumes the illness in order to destroy it. I think in this case, we should be performing a healing ceremony. I think we should focus on healing the illness of Lying, Greed (for power, wealth, etc.), and the illness of Stealing (as in the election). We should attempt to heal with Compassion, a desire to Serve the People, and Honesty. Remember that these individuals were once innocent children and are sacred members of All That Is, just that they are currently sick.

If you allow your animal spirit to stalk, capture, and eat the illnesses, then the universe can properly dispose of it and convert it to the good.

Beaver and others who have different skills can act as connections for those of us who will be feasting and be our anchors and circle holders so to speak. They will be unifying all of our work and performing the vital function of building the framework within which each of us will be working. These peacemaker spirits will also insure that our work is protected from outer workings (i.e., forces working against us-and yes, I believe they are out there praying their little butts off) as well as keeping us from straying into personal attacks.

So, I would divide our work into two categories:

Peacemakers: those who will build and sustain the energy work and keep us focused on consuming/healing/destroying the diseases of lying, stealing, and greed for power. These are all illnesses that shamans typically cure.

Hunters/Eaters: those will seek out the above illnesses and see them as the natural food of our power spirits. Once we find them, we will feast on them. Please remember to share with the Peacemakers before you're done with your work!

For instance, I'll be working with Mother Bear primarily, and will be looking for fat, yummy, spawning, salmon-shaped lies, greed, and thieving energies. It is after all, that time of year! My mouth is watering already, and I can feel HER tugging me to go to the river.

Above all, remember to eat and drink after this working to ground your energy and to digest the poisons. Our work won't actually be finished until we have had our morning constitutional *grin*, so just be aware that you might want to give yourself plenty of space for meditation and rest without a lot of stress or distraction so that the toxic residue of our work doesn't affect you.

This is reminiscent of "The Green Mile" where resident evil within a person is gobbled up by John Coffey (portrayed by Michael Clarke Duncan) and then later spewed out like Gnats From Hell. So remember to take a nap after gouging yourself on Satan's Salmon and sleep with a swatter.
I think there are several different belief systems at work here. Perhaps we are dealing with a coalition of loons, a Singularity of Silliness or a Confluence of Hysterical Flatulance that has come together to work for the election of the Chosen One, His Barackness.
In any event, Power Animals are not Power Rangers; it's like some kind of weird transformation where, for example, you strap a raccoon to your ass and dance around a tree, releasing the energy and characteristics peculiar to that animal.
If indeed your Power Animal is a Raccoon, then you will develop a strong affinity for ripping the lids off garbage cans and foraging therein. And for the amazingly low price of $28, plus shipping and handling, you can get a Raccoon Energy Stone!

"I have personally performed an energy-transfer ceremony on each Power Animal Energy Stone.

It holds the vibrant energy of the power animal to refill and refresh your own." ~Carrie Hart

Ms. Hart has testified that she did a personal energy transfer on each Energy Stone (which hopefully did not also involve the transfer of personal DNA). I'm sold! Once the rock is empty you must dispose of it in accordance with applicable Federal, State and local laws.
But where do you find a Power Animal and it's associated Energy Stone?
Why, in the Enchanted Forest of course!
And of course there is an Energy Stone for every Power Animal! You too can share the power of the Bear, Buck, Buffalo, Butterfly, Camel, Cougar, Doe, Dolphin, Eagle, Elephant, Fox, Giraffe, Gorilla, Horse, Koala, Leopard, Lion, Lioness, Orca, Owl, Panther, Peacock, Polar Bear, Rhinoceros, Seagull, Squirrel (I'll bet there are a LOT of these in the Wiccan repertoire), Swan, Tiger, Tortoise, Unicorn, Wolf and Zebra.
Collect all 32 Energy Stones. Share them with your friends. Transfer energy between Brother Camel and Brother Panther. Howl at the moon or whinny at your flat panel TV. And whatever you do, please don't forget your incantations!

Power Animal Invocations

Each Power Animal Invocation has been developed specifically to maximize the energy of the power animal within you. It clears your energy field, invites (invokes) the spirit of your power animal to fill you and then joins you together.

Listen to it each morning, while holding your Power Animal Energy Stone. Load it into your iPOD and listen to it just before that challenging event. Let it move you ever closer to the vibrant energy of your power animals.

You may download it immediately from a link on the "Thank You" page after your
purchase; you will also receive an email with the link to the MP3 download.

It's like buying a Chatty Cathy or Dora the Explorer doll. Maybe more like a Pet Rock with a string that you pull.
If you swallow the stone you will invoke the supernatural colon cleansing properties inherent in every Energy Stone. In extreme cases you should also swallow the Energy Stone of Brother Goose. Whatever you do, when "recovering" the Stone, do not use a porcelain receptacle as the recovery vehicle.
IMHO McCain and Palin should start picking out curtains for the White House and the Naval Observatory.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Sara's Got Stones

Sara seems to have found what Obama seems to have lost.

A pair.

In her first of three interviews with ABC News' Charles Gibson and the only interview since being picked by Sen. John McCain as his Republican vice presidential nominee, Palin categorized the Russian invasion of Georgia as "unacceptable" and warned of the threats from Islamic terrorists and a nuclear Iran.

The governor advocated for the admittance of Georgia and Ukraine into NATO.

When Gibson said if under the NATO treaty, the United States would have to go to war if Russia again invaded Georgia, Palin responded: "Perhaps so. I mean, that is the agreement when you are a NATO ally, is if another country is attacked, you're going to be expected to be called upon and help.

"And we've got to keep an eye on Russia. For Russia to have exerted such pressure in terms of invading a smaller democratic country, unprovoked, is unacceptable," she told Gibson.

She is also commenting on a scenario for which she may have to face personal consequences.

It was also the day that Palin, the mother of five, attended a deployment ceremony for her oldest son, Track, an Army infantryman whose Stryker unit is being shipped off to Iraq later this month.

Obama's kids are practicing being bitter.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Now He Did It

From Politico:

Obama poked fun of McCain and Palin's new "change" mantra."You can put lipstick on a pig," he said as the crowd cheered. "It's still a pig."

"You can wrap an old fish in a piece of paper called change. It's still gonna stink."

"We've had enough of the same old thing."

The crowd apparently took the "lipstick" line as a reference to Palin, who described the difference between a hockey mom and a pit bull in a single word: "lipstick."

Mark my words: she will make him cry.

Michelle, open your purse and give your man back his testicles. He's gonna need both of them to offer as sacrifice to appease the Alaskan Hockey Goddess - Saraswati - 'cause she's gonna swat his balls into 2012.

Monday, September 08, 2008

Courtney's Brother Is MIA

When my daughter enlisted in the Army last month there was an 18 yr old girl who also enlisted and stood right next to her when the oath was administered. Her name is Courtney and she is a stand up gal. She and my daughter are in Fort Leonard Wood together in the same training platoon and until recently were "battle buddies." They did everything together and helped their platoon become one of the best so far in the battalion. They were split up last week because two other girls are having a difficult time and they are using Courtney and my daughter as their battle buddies in an effort to get these two girls through basic.

When she called Sunday she was a little upset about this change. Her new "buddy" is a bit of a whiner and a slacker, well, maybe more than a bit; a lot more - and she misses Courtney. I counseled her that God is using her to help assist someone who needs help. God is "stretching" her in a difficult situation so that she can be of more use in His service later on. That's how we grow.

We just got a letter today from Ft. Leonard Wood. Courtney's brother is in the Air Force and is stationed in Iraq. This is not good:

"his vehicle somehow separated from the convoy he was with and is missing. Three other vehicles that were also missing from the same convoy were blown up and I think no survivors. She's a little trooper here but she's worried sick. I just found out Sunday after we made our phone calls and I told her we'd be praying for her."

I do not know the young man's name nor am I certain how accurate this information is. But please pray for this soldier's safe return and for any other GI's with him.

Anyone reading this, please consider passing this on.

Thanks much. Will keep you appraised as I hear more.

Give 0bama A Break!

What is wrong with everyone? People freaking out over Zer0bama's little verbal mishap?

I do it all the time!

My wife is constantly correcting me when I tell everyone I'm queer or when I say I'm a Buddhist or when I say I had my nipples pierced...

Patton Rides Writes Again

Palin Should Come Out Swinging in Debate

By Doug Patton

September 8, 2008

On the night of Thursday, October 2nd, first-term Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin will face off against six-term U.S. Sen. Joe Biden of Delaware in their only scheduled debate of this campaign season. The conventional wisdom says that Biden, while being careful not to appear mean or condescending toward Gov. Palin, must simply display the fruits of his 35 years of experience in Washington in order to hold his own. But as is so often the case, conventional wisdom fails to take into account how wrong Biden has been on almost everything over the years.

While John McCain was still being tortured in the Hanoi Hilton, Joe Biden, like every flippant Democrat of that time, came to the U.S. Senate opposing the Vietnam War. Once elected, he voted to cut off funds to the South Vietnamese government, thereby ensuring a Communist victory.

In the 1980s, when President Ronald Reagan was facing down the Soviet Union’s “evil empire,” Joe Biden favored the utopian notion of a nuclear freeze and opposed the development of the Strategic Defense Initiative, saying, “The president’s continued adherence to SDI constitutes one of the most reckless and irresponsible acts in the history of modern statecraft.”

Biden supported Nicaraguan dictator Daniel Ortega and fought Reagan’s attempts to support the Contras opposing him. He also opposed many other necessary weapons systems, such as the Trident submarine, the B-2 bomber and the Pershing ballistic missile.

When Saddam Hussein invaded Kuwait in 1990, the whole world rose up to support the coalition led by President George H.W. Bush. Not Joe Biden. He opposed the use of U.S. forces in the Persian Gulf War, thereby voting to allow Saddam Hussein to continue raping and pillaging a neighboring country, stealing their oil and threatening the nearby Saudi Arabian oil fields.

When America again found it necessary to take on Saddam Hussein in 2003, Joe Biden thought it would be a bright idea to split the country into three ethnic states: Sunistan, Shiastan and Kurdistan. Then, last year, when John McCain was urging the Bush administration to implement the surge in Iraq, Joe Biden voted ‘no.’

And those are just some of Joe Biden’s foreign policy misjudgments. His judgment on domestic policy is just as bad. He claims to be Catholic and yet supports abortion, and his votes on judicial appointments prove it. As chairman or ranking member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, he opposed some of the best Supreme Court nominees of our time: Robert Bork, Clarence Thomas, John Roberts and Samuel Alito. He voted for Antonin Scalia but later said he regretted it.

A believer in gun control, Biden receives an ‘F’ from the National Rifle Association. He supported lawsuits against gun manufacturers for gun violence, but voted ‘no’ on more penalties for gun and drug violations. So, to review, he wants the victim of a gun crime to be able to sue the manufacturer of the gun, but he wants no additional penalties imposed upon the perpetrator of that crime. Sounds like typical liberal thinking to me. A lifetime NRA member, Sarah Palin could have a field day with that one.

Biden also wants to raise taxes, just as Obama does. He not only favors allowing the Bush tax cuts to expire, he wants to raise new ones as well.

Sarah Palin should embrace the Ronald Reagan debate philosophy: be yourself and trust your conservative political instincts, knowing that while you will not win over every voter, enough of the American people share your values that you will prevail over the class warfare, international appeasement and emotional gibberish of the Left. In fact, Palin should perhaps quote Reagan on the silliness that is liberalism. One of my favorites from the Gipper was when he said, “It’s not that liberals don’t know anything; it’s just that so much of what they know just isn’t so.”

Yes, Joe Biden is knowledgeable in the ways of Washington. His inside-the-beltway experience is extensive. But he has been on the wrong side of history for 35 years, and Sarah Palin should come out swinging and point out that fact at every opportunity.


© Copyright 2008 by Doug Patton


Doug Patton is a freelance columnist who has served as a political speechwriter and public policy advisor. His weekly columns are published in newspapers across the country and on selected Internet web sites, including Human Events Online, and, where he is a senior writer and state editor. Readers may e-mail him at

Sunday, September 07, 2008

No Introduction Is Necessary

Just watch this.

I am not a fan of John McCain. But this young man's service and sacrifice speaks to what I believe. My wife cried when I showed this to her.

Saturday, September 06, 2008

Why The DNC Waves The Flag

The Denver Post reports that the DNC has trashed over 10,000 American flags used in their recent convention.

This morning, Republicans tell me that a worker at Invesco Field in Denver saved thousands of unused flags from the Democratic National Convention that were headed for the garbage. Guerrilla campaigning. They will use these flags at their own event today in Colorado Springs with John McCain and Sarah Palin.

Before McCain speaks today, veterans will haul these garbage bags filled with flags out onto the stage — with dramatic effect, no doubt — and tell the story.

“What you see in the picture I sent you is less than half of total flags,” a Republican official emailed. “We estimate the total number to be around 12,000 small flags and one full size 3×5 flag.

”I’m not sure what the DNC was supposed to do with unused hand-flags, frankly. But the Republicans are obviously questioning someone’s patriotism here.

The leaders and organizers of the Democratic National Party wave the American flag only as long as it suits them. Once they have assured themselves that they have assuaged suspicions about their patriotism, they treat the flags just like they treat aborted babies who are born alive...

Why didn't the convention delegates take the flags home as souvenirs?

Friday, September 05, 2008

What's In A Number?

The latest unemployment figures are in:

The unemployment rate rose from 5.7 to 6.1 percent in August, and non-farm payroll employment continued to trend down (-84,000), the Bureau of Labor Statistics of the U.S. Department of Labor reported today. In August, employment fell in manufacturing and employment services, while mining and health care continued to add jobs. Average hourly earnings rose by 7 cents, or 0.4 percent, over the month.

The data sheet lools like this. There are a few things going on:

1) The civilian labor force in JUL 08 was 154,603,000 .
2) The civilian labor force in AUG 08 was 154,853,000. This is an increase of 250,000 workers or 0.2%.

3) The number of unemployed workers in JUL 08 was 8,784,000.
4) The number of unemployed workers in AUG 08 was 9,376,000. This is an increase of 342,000 or 6.7%.

5) The number of employed workers in JUL 08 was 145,819,000.
6) The number of employed workers in AUG 08 was 145,477,000. This is a decrease of 342,000 or 0.2%.

The last time the unemployment rate was this high (6%) was in 2003 when there were:
8,774,000 unemployed
137,736,000 employed
146,510,000 in the civilian labor force

This means that in the past five years (raw data):
The number of unemployed increased by 6.9% (+602,000)
The number of employed increased by 5.6% (+7,741,000)
The civilian work force increased by 5.7% (+8,843,000)

Of course if you are one of the recently unemployed this means nothing to you. But some, if not much of this may be due to the housing speculation bubble bursting because of sub-primes. Home construction is down as per this:

• Developments in financial markets in the second half of 2007 and early months of 2008 have undermined rather than contributed to recovery in the housing sector. Housing sector activity has been depressed by an additional 30 percent due to the credit market crisis.

• Single family housing starts are down 63 percent from peak levels of production during the housing boom with some of the most troubled markets down 80 percent or more.

• The toxic combination of lax lending standards and stagnant or declining house prices in many markets creates the potential for downward spirals with resetting mortgage terms and declining prices forcing foreclosures that depress prices further forcing additional foreclosures.

• The most troubled markets are in Florida and California, and include Las Vegas and Phoenix, AZ, but the twin problems of inflated house prices and questionable mortgage lending are not isolated.

• Housing markets across the country will experience another difficult year in 2008 before recovering in 2009. Recovery will be uneven with some of the most troubled markets declining through 2009.

• Markets in the Northeast and South, with the notable exception of Florida, will recover ahead of markets in the Midwest. The industrial states are at greater risk of continued weakness than the farm belt, and the Western markets in Las Vegas, Phoenix and California will be the slowest to recover.

Mortgage companies that provided loans to under qualified or over extended home buyers was a real bad mistake. You cannot loan billions of dollars to people who are at risk of defaulting on those loans. Also responsible are the investors, borrowers and the rating companies - everyone got greedy.

As a result of this, employment in the construction industry is down by 28,000 jobs in the last three months alone (June to August) this year. In comparison, government jobs increased by 23,000. What sense does that make?

Still Not Sure About McCain

The more I read about Sarah Palin, the more I like her. I wish I could say the same about the top of the Republican ticket.

The first thing that bothers me is the cavelier way he dumped his first wife after 20 years of marriage and a month later marries a woman 17 years his junior after carrying on an adulterous affair with her.

I can understand and perhaps even sympathize to some degree with youthful transgressions, but McCain wasn't a hot blooded young buck; he was in his early forties when this happened.

His reputation as a maverick ( -a lone dissenter, as an intellectual, an artist, or a politician, who takes an independent stand apart from his or her associates) may not be exactly what we can expect from him. There is perhaps another explanation for his behavior over the years ... he may just do whatever the hell he pleases. This can be paraphrased as "doing what is right in his own eyes".

An expression almost exactly the dam as this can be found in Judges 17:6 - "In those days there was no king in Israel, but every man did that which was right in his own eyes."

When there is no authority or when you have no respect for authority, you do whatever you feel is right. While this may explain some of his actions, I am positive that McCain is not an amoral sociopath. But it appears that his foul mouthed temper is legendary.

I certainly can (and will) applaud McCain's efforts during his imprisonment and savage treatment at the hands of the communists. I doubt that I could have survived the ordeal with as much grace and toughness as he did.

Obscuring McCain's character analysis allegations that John McCain:
1) collaborated with the enemy;
2) hampered efforts to identify Viet Nam prisoners of war who were not freed by North Viet Nam under Operation Homecoming;
3) he is a serial philanderer.

The first item is answered to my satisfaction at this site. It is a "truther" type bogus accusation - why would the commies maim a man who is cooperating with them?

The second and third allegations I cannot say one way or the other, but I find it hard to believe that as a former POW, McCain would do anything of the sort.

Former Congressman Hendon and John LeBoutillier do not find it hard to believe as they co-authored a book about the POW betrayal in 2007. The philandering allegations will work themselves one way or another out prior to the election.

It took me a while to finish this as I got sidetracked by fart videos on YouTube. Have no idea how I ended up there. Anyway, in the final analysis, there really is no other alternative to McCain. I just want to know where all the warts are on my bride before I climb in the sack with her.

Thursday, September 04, 2008


The last hour of the convention had to leave a mark. Obama and company have spur marks on their cheeks after Hizzoner Guiliani and the Moosinator got through riding their asses all over the networks.

My favorite phrase of the night:

"Change is not a destination ... and Hope is not a strategy."

Adolph gave the Germans a change; Lenin and Stalin did the same for the Russians. Chairman Mao, Ho Chi Minh and Pol Pot were also quite the instruments of change.

In fact, between all six of these Grand Masters of Change about 100 million people experienced life changing change themselves - they were murdered by their own government. Throw in Obama's good buddy Bill Ayers and his unrepentant penchant for "change" and we'd better hope that the lipstick on McCain's Alaskan Pitbull is hiding a fearsome pair of fangs.

It would seem so.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

So Far I Like It

For the past two nights I've been watching the RNC convention on television. I kinda like it.
I liked Fred last night.
Romney did okay, made some good points.
Huckabee wasn't too bad but really didn't do much for me.
Gov. Lingle gave me a tingle.
I am waiting to hear what Guiliani has to say.
I want Sarah to come out and bitch slap Obama & Company.

Monday, September 01, 2008

Friendly Like - Just Ask Him

VP Cheney will visit former Soviet states in an attempt to – I don’t know - there ain’t a thing we can do at this point to stop Putin from taking whatever he wants short of nuclear war. Putin is on a roll right now and could ask for Michelle Obama and probably get her.

If we’re lucky, Cheney will detour to Moscow and invite Putin out for some quail hunting. But Dick will have to be careful. Putin may invite him out for some tiger watching.

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Vice President Dick Cheney, one of Moscow's harshest critics, will go to Georgia and other former Soviet states this week to reinforce U.S. support for allies in Russia's backyard.

Cheney leaves on Tuesday for Azerbaijan, Georgia and Ukraine, his first visit to those countries as vice president. He then ends his weeklong trip in Italy. The aim, analysts said, is to build morale and offer reassurance of U.S. commitment to the region after Russia crushed Georgia's military and declared two of its rebel regions as independent states.

"From the perspective of sending a signal to Moscow, yes, they want to send the hard-liner out to the region," said Daniel Benjamin, director of the Center on the United States and Europe at the Brookings Institution.

Benjamin said the Bush administration wants to ensure "no one goes weak in the knees in the region."

Tensions flared when Georgia tried on August 7-8 to retake the pro-Russian province of South Ossetia by force, prompting an overwhelming counter-attack from Moscow. Russian forces went into South Ossetia and a second separatist area, Abkhazia, and then moved into Georgia proper.

Relations between the United States and Russia have since deteriorated to a low not seen since the Cold War. Moscow has ignored threats and calls from the West to withdraw.

Russia also has grievances, including outrage at U.S. plans to build a missile defense system in eastern Europe and concerns about NATO expansion close to its borders.

Georgia and Ukraine, both on Cheney's tour, want to join the security alliance.

Georgia and others in the region need to know "that we are not going anywhere and that we're going to continue to build our relationships with these countries," a senior U.S. administration official said.

Cheney's trip comes as the United States considers what few options it has to influence Russian behavior.

The Bush administration may scrap a civil nuclear deal agreed upon with Moscow and implement sanctions, but the U.S. business community, with a multibillion-dollar link to Russia, has urged caution.

The vice president will visit Tbilisi as the U.S. military studies how to rebuild Georgia's military without provoking a Russian response. The last senior Bush administration official to visit Georgia was Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice more than two weeks ago, when military hostilities were active and a French-brokered ceasefire agreement was being hammered out.

Cheney's harsh rhetoric on Russia has resurfaced during this crisis. Last week he called Moscow's actions in Georgia an "unjustified assault" and during the first days of the conflict told Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili: "Russian aggression must not go unanswered."

In a 2006 speech in Vilnius, Cheney created a stir by sharply criticizing Russia as
backsliding on democracy and using its energy supplies as "tools of intimidation
or blackmail" against its neighbors.

"Mr. Cheney has certainly been associated with the people who are hardest on the Russians," said James Collins, a former U.S. ambassador to Russia and now director of the Russia and Eurasia Program at Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.

Energy will be on the agenda again, with Azerbaijan and Georgia important to Western energy strategies as part of a transportation route from the Caspian Sea to Europe that bypasses Russia. Russia, the world's second largest oil producer, has seen its economic fortunes rise with the rising price of oil, which has reinvigorated its identity as a major world power.

Hearts And Minds

I guess we are winning hearts and minds. But in Iraq, not in the liberal Democratic enclaves of our own country.

WASHINGTON - President Bush hailed as a major achievement Monday the turnover of control Iraq's Anbar province to Iraqi forces, saying the once-violent region had been "transformed and reclaimed by the Iraqi people." "Iraqi forces will now take the lead in security operations in Anbar, with American troops moving into an overwatch role," Bush said in a statement released by the White House.

"Not long ago, Anbar was one of the most dangerous provinces in Iraq" and al-Qaida leaders "intended to turn Anbar province into a safe haven from which to plan and launch further attacks against Iraqis and others in the region, as well as here at home."

Bush said that while al-Qaida and Iranian-backed militants remain a threat in the region, scene of some of the bloodiest battles since the 2003 invasion, the U.S. and multinational forces "continue to stand with the Iraqis as they work to defeat these enemies and build a democracy in the heart of the Middle East. The success of Iraq will make the American people more secure and help yield the peace we all desire."

Bush said that Anbar has now been "transformed and reclaimed by the Iraqi people. This achievement is a credit to the courage of our troops, the Iraqi security forces, and the brave tribes and other civilians from Anbar who worked alongside them."

The Right Reverend Herpes

It seems that the Barack Obama campaign has an infection that just won't go away. As a matter of fact, it is suffering another outbreak right now - a recent eruption of Political Herpes reported by Geoff Earle in the New York Post.

TOLEDO, Ohio - The Rev. Jeremiah Wright, Barack Obama's fiery ex-pastor, re-emerged yesterday with a crude reference about race and sex in the White House. "This ordinary boy [Obama] just might be the first president in the history of the United States to have a black woman sleeping at 1600 Pennsylvania legally," Wright said, referring to Michelle Obama, in a sermon at the Wheeler Avenue Baptist Church in Houston.

As in many other infections, Political Herpes breaks out when least convenient and is frequently characterized by annoying verbal sores, weeping media blisters and nonsensical analogies.

It was unclear whether Wright was making a reference to prostitution, to old miscegenation laws, or to the history of illicit interracial sex under slavery.

The more severe outbreaks are also often accompanied by unclear discharges that fly out from the anal cavity causing great distress to the suffering political supplicant. This can also be attended by great swelling discourse that accomplishes nothing.

As Obama's longtime minister, Wright married Barack and Michelle, and the couple worshiped at Wright's Trinity United Church of Christ in Chicago until Wright's controversial sermons became public knowledge during the campaign.

After first becoming infected with Political Herpes, most campaigns develop symptoms within 2 to 12 days, but it can take days, weeks, months, or even years for any symptoms to appear. The disease can lay dormant for long periods of time until exposed to political ambition. At that point the disease, which inhabits the lower regions of the electorate, will seek media outlets which develop the characteristic oozing verbal sores.

Wright gave an over-the-top press conference that ultimately prompted Obama to leave the church this spring, after Wright blamed the United States for concocting the HIV virus and railed against US imperialism.

Once infected, isolation has not been proven effective in preventing further outbreaks.

The first Political Herpes infection usually lasts for 2 to 3 weeks, but polls can be affected for 1 to 6 weeks. The weeping media blisters eventually dry out and crust over although a tingling sensation may persist amoung the most partisan. When the crusts fall off, the area is usually still extremely partisan and very resistant to non-ideological therapy. There is evidence that many media outlets have low levels of the disease present even when they do not display symptoms.

In recent weeks, Obama has worshipped at various churches in towns on his campaign schedule, as he did at a Lutheran church in Lima, Ohio, yesterday. In sermons that caused the initial uproar when they emerged on video, Wright blamed the United States for the 9/11 attacks and boomed, "God damn America."

The disease is remarkably well adapted for travel and in some political environments it is very contagious. The virus is communicated by long term social intercourse with an infected party.

A vigorous regimen of soothing conservative ointments and balms applied to the affected member is effective in relieving the discomfort of Political Herpes.