Thursday, December 18, 2008

Hope, Change and Rubes

Seeing that Glenn has provided the roundup (see especially Right Wing News where the real roundup is) of the reaction on the left to Obama selecting Pastor Rick Warren to deliver the inauguration invocation, we’ll make note of the inclusion of his oft-asked question, “who are the rubes?”

And in an effort to be helpful, let us just point out the following:

  • You cannot spell “OBAMA HAS PISSED ME OFF” without H-O-P-E
  • You cannot spell “OBAMA WILL HAVE TO FACE MY ANGER” without C-H-A-N-G-E
  • You cannot spell “I AM OUTRAGED AT OBAMA” without R-U-B-E
  • It might just come in handy in the future.

    Oh, and one more thing:

  • You cannot spell “OBAMA’S PROMISES TO BRING YOU HOPE AND CHANGE ARE BULLSHIT” without    I   T-O-L-D   Y-O-U   S-O
  • Again, just to be helpful.

    Wednesday, December 17, 2008

    We Were Robbed!

    So…Time Person of the Year.

    Barack Obama

    No brainer, right? Obvious. Yawn. Everyone knew it would be him. No one can disagree that it should be him. Right?

    Wrong! I disagree! It should not have been Obama.

    Two years ago Time gave the award to "You".

    Shouldn't this year they give it to "We"?

    "We are the ones we've been waiting for"

    "We are the change that we seek"

    And…of course...who can forget:

    For when we have faced down impossible odds, when we've been told we're not ready or that we shouldn't try or that we can't, generations of Americans have responded with a simple creed that sums up the spirit of a people: Yes, we can. Yes, we can. Yes, we can.

    It was a creed written into the founding documents that declared the destiny of a nation.

    Yes we can.

    It was whispered by slaves and abolitionists as they blazed a trail toward freedom.

    Yes we can.

    It was sung by immigrants as they struck out from distant shores and pioneers who pushed westward against an unforgiving wilderness.

    Yes we can.

    It was the call of workers who organized; women who reached for the ballots; a President who chose the moon as our new frontier; and a King who took us to the mountaintop and pointed the way to the Promised Land.

    Yes we can to justice and equality.

    Yes we can to opportunity and prosperity.

    Yes we can heal this nation.

    Yes we can repair this world.

    Yes we can.

    Obama as Time's Person of the Year? That's divisive!

    We were robbed.

    Monday, December 15, 2008

    Obama As Transformationalist Figure: Transformationally Transforms Figures of Speech

    Obama is a transformational figure. Even before assuming the Presidency, Obama's election has transformed some of the most foundational tenets of American politics during the Bush administration oh, wait in this century no, no, the entire millennia!

    Well, ok, that might be a slight bit of hyperbole.

    Whatever. Obama has at least had a transformational effect on widely used figures of speech.

    OUT: Dissent is the Highest Form of Patriotism

    IN: Assent is the Highest Form of Patriotism

    CHRIS MATTHEWS: Yeah, well, you know what? I want to do everything I can to make this thing work, this new presidency work, and I think that --

    JOE SCARBOROUGH: Is that your job? You just talked about being a journalist!

    MATTHEWS: Yeah, it is my job. My job is to help this country.

    SCARBOROUGH: Your job is the make this presidency work?

    MATTHEWS: To make this work successfully. This country needs a successful presidency.

    OUT: Speak Truth to Power!

    IN: Talk to the Hand

    President-elect Barack Obama’s Transition today launched “Open for Questions,” a Digg-style feature allowing citizens to submit questions, and to vote on one another’s questions, bringing favored inquiries to the top of the list.

    It was suggested when it launched that the tool would bring uncomfortable questions to the fore, but the results so far are the opposite: Obama’s supporters appear to be using — and abusing — a tool allowing them to “flag” questions as “inappropriate” to remove all questions mentioning Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich from the main pages of Obama’s website.

    The Blagojevich questions — many of them polite and reasonable — can be found only by searching words in them, like “Blagojevich,” which produces 35 questions missing from the main page of the site.

    And although we tread lightly and hesitate in going too far out on a limb in predictions, we will make an exception in this case predict this boldly: the absence of Obama in the White House, whether in 2013 or 2017, should a Republican be elected to replace him, will, by the very nature of his absence, untransform these tenets to their previous state.

    Wednesday, December 10, 2008

    Did Obama Speak With Blagojevich About His Senate Seat?

    I don’t think Obama was directly involved in any improper way with Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich’s attempt to sell Obama’s Senate seat. But Team Obama isn’t making life easy for themselves in helping establish Obama’s alibi.

    Let’s use Jake Tapper’s report for the quotes…

    David Axelrod on November 23:

    While insisting that the President-elect had not expressed a favorite to replace him, and his inclination was to avoid being a "kingmaker," Axelrod said, "I know he's talked to the governor and there are a whole range of names many of which have surfaced, and I think he has a fondness for a lot of them."

    Obama yesterday:

    “I had no contact with the governor or his office, and so we were not — I was not aware of what was happening.”

    Prompting the necessary Axelrod follow up later:

    “I was mistaken when I told an interviewer last month that the President-elect has spoken directly to Governor Blagojevich about the Senate vacancy. They did not then or at any time discuss the subject.”

    Well. We all know what’s coming next, don’t we? Because this leaves us with one more statement to come, does it not?

    OBAMA: “I did not have oral relations with that man, Mr. Blagojevich.”

    Saturday, December 6, 2008

    Windfall Profits Tax, Revisited

    Jim Geraghty:

    Liberals are lamenting Obama's withdrawn proposal of a windfall profits tax on oil companies, asking whether it is his first broken promise of his presidency. The answer, as Jen Rubin notes, is of course not; he broke lots and lots of promises before even being elected.

    But all is not lost, my liberal friends. Allow me to propose the institution of a windfall profits tax on presidential campaigns.

    Why didn't I think of that?

    Oh, right, I did!

    The difference, of course, is that I wanted to provide voters with a tax rebate, whereas Geraghty apparently wants to subsidize puppies.

    Puppies sure are nice and cuddly.

    Friday, December 5, 2008

    "I want a blue truck and my daddy"


    Sergeant's Return Home Surprises 2-Year-Old Daughter
    Daughter Asked Santa To Bring Her Daddy Home For Christmas

    PILOT MOUNTAIN, N.C. -- A woman and 2-year-old daughter welcomed home a sergeant Thursday night who had been serving in Afghanistan since March.

    Kensley Penney said she promises this year she has been a good girl. She said she does just what grandma asks and kisses her special doll with her father's picture every night.

    "When we go to bed, we say prayers and ask Jesus to keep him safe," Kensley's grandmother, Patty Childress, said.

    Kensley is hoping these good deeds will be enough for Santa Claus to give her the two special requests she has this Christmas.

    "I asked her if she wanted a new doll or a stroller, and she said, 'I don't know,' and then a week later she said, 'I want a blue truck and my daddy,'" Childress said.

    Her father, Sgt. Scottie Penney, has been serving in Afghanistan since March.

    Penney's wife, April, said it's been hard for her, but that it's been especially tough on Kensley.

    Scottie Penney's family worked very hard to keep him in his daughter's life, even though he was thousands of miles away from home.

    "There are pictures all over the house, and like I said, she has our daddy doll," Childress said. "When she can, she gets on the Web cam with him and makes funny faces. She knows who daddy is."

    In fact, Kensley sleeps cuddled up with her father every night. His picture is on a special doll that her family said she takes everywhere.

    Thursday night, Penney walked into Pine Hills Church in Pilot Mountain to surprise his daughter.

    The moment was caught on camera.

    Kensley waited patiently in her grandmother's arms to tell Santa Claus her special Christmas wish Thursday night.

    "I want my daddy," Kensley told Santa.

    Kensley even practiced a song for Santa Claus, hoping it will help get her wish granted.

    Kensley's constant singing must have paid off, because the Pine Hills Church Santa delivered her Christmas wish right in time for the holidays.

    "It was pretty nice," Scottie Penney said. "We have been planning this for some time. I had mixed emotions about how (Kensley) would react."

    The rest of the room burst out in tears when Kensley and her father reunited.

    Scottie Penney said it was also a surprise for him and his wife to see the community supporting them.

    "It was very emotional," he said. "I didn't see anyone who had a dry eye. It was so great to see the love and support of our community and people who care."

    Welcome home, Sgt. Penney. And Merry Christmas, Kensely!

    (also embedded on the web page linked above)

    AND: YouTube video here

    MORE: Follow up video with the Penney's here.

    Tuesday, November 18, 2008

    A cup of heh

    I totally missed this last week.

    That’s me in that there Instapundit post:

    SO I GUESS THE OBAMA VICTORY WASN’T A TRIUMPH FOR LATTE LIBERALISM AFTER ALL: Starbucks 4th-quarter profit falls 97 percent.

    UPDATE: Reader Jeff Dobbs writes:

    Yes, that’s obvious in hindsight. All the latte-liberals cut their Stabucks intake to send that money to Obama.

    The real question is, will Obama let them go back to spending money at Starbucks — or, once in office, will he continue to ask them to donate to His Cause, never again to return to, what is, let’s face it, just the transient trappings of capitalist self-indulgence.

    “Just remember that if you purchase that cup of coffee, the taste will be bitter as you consider what that money could have done to help Barack Obama change the world.”


    Wednesday, November 12, 2008

    Two Things...

    ONE: While I'm not completely walking away from this blog -- post-eleection there will be a dramatically noticable lack of posting.

    [VIMH: On to bigger and better things, huh?]
    Eh, other and different things, mostly. When something strikes my fancy, I'll wander back. But I have no idea how often that will be.

    [VIMH: And?]
    And what?

    [VIMH: Did you forget?]
    Forget what?

    [VIMH: You said there were two things.]
    Oh, right.

    TWO: I really, really don't like long good-byes.


    Friday, November 7, 2008

    Election Postmortem II

    Of course, we all know that the Obama campaign was built upon the theme of Hope and Change. The Audacity of Hope, the Change We Can Believe In.

    Worked like catnip amongst Democratic primary voters.

    But once out of the primaries, Hope and Change were put on notice.

    Whether it was nominating Jim Johnson to head his VP selection committee that signaled his departure from Change (not to mention the assinine VP selection himself, the consumate unchanging Washington insider of consummate assininity), or the entire atmosphere at the Democratic National Convention in Denver that showed his abandonment of Hope, Obama made clear that his primary strategy of Hope and Change in the primaries would take a secondary role in the general election based on Politics as Usual.

    But. Now Obama has won. Whatever we may have made of his strategy, it is his strategy that has prevailed.

    But whatever happened to the Hope and Change from the early Obama campaign?


    Obama Buries Hope and Change

    RIP, Hope and Change

    Not that many Obama supporters mind, really. Being lied to in the name of electing Obama is a small price to pay, Hope and Change be damned.

    Thanks to the incomparable Ann from the JustOneMinute comments community for the pic!

    Wednesday, November 5, 2008

    Election Postmortem

    I don't think I've ever seen such a look of misery and dejection on the face of my daughter as I just did when Fox News called Ohio for Obama. She just couldn't understand why the voters would elect someone like Obama, when so many things are wrong in this country. "Don’t voters care about our country anymore?" she asked pitifully.

    I sat down with her on the sofa and (as calmly as I could) tried to explain to her why the voters seem to be abandoning the principles on which our country was founded. "Honey, I am afraid that we have come to the point in our nation’s history when a majority of her people has become fat, lazy and stupid…exploited by the Democrats out to gain power and enrich themselves as the country rots from within.”

    I tried to keep my voice steady, but it became increasingly difficult - the rage and feelings of helplessness were just too much. I think my daughter could tell something was wrong. I found myself at such a loss for words - nothing made any sense; nothing makes sense anymore. I finally had to admit, "Honey, I just don't know - I don't know what's going on in this country anymore..."

    When I finished her lower lip started to tremble and her eyes began to fill with tears, "Daddy" she said, "why are the Democrats doing this to the country?" Well, that was it for me: I finally fell apart. She just fell into my arms and we both began sobbing for several minutes.

    For once she had to comfort me and get me back on my feet. Sometimes I just think it's too much, but seeing the strength in my young daughter's voice helped me to get through.

    TOO CUTE BY HALF (update 11/07): Well, perhaps CheChe isn’t as well known or widely remembered as I had thought. For those who may not remember, let’s point to some reminders of the mini-celebrity from 2006.

    Back then CheChe was parodying the left’s reaction to political setback. But it wasn’t clear at first that it was the work of a parodist. Because it rang true. Because people on both the left and the right knew that such a reaction was in line with what one could expect from the blogospheric left.

    I hope no one thought that I so completely fell to pieces that I was relying on my five year old daughter for strength because I couldn’t hold it together. That’s not me, and I hope no one believes that is a reaction that rings true of the larger blogospheric right. It certainly does not in the places I traverse.

    My post, which may have been too oblique for its own good, is intended in the same spirit as Jim Treacher’s:


    You're not them.

    (Thanks to Jim who reminded me that not everybody may remember CheChe)

    We get defeated and it hurts. I didn't necessarily shed a tear, but I definitely got that "punch in the gut" feeling. But the pain doesn’t debilitate us, it motivates us. We do not rely upon the strength of children to help us keep it together, even if we do look to them for inspiration in our efforts, hoping to pass on to them a nation that is strong and prosperous and free.

    We get up, get to work, and – since I committed a Biden in this post by seemingly attributing the words of another to myself, I will use him too in this point – we gird our loins for the inevitable battles that the results of this election ensure that we will face.

    Our strength is not diminished even when our political power has been. Let’s get to work.

    Tuesday, November 4, 2008

    Election Day

    Want to follow election results in North Carolina?

    Here is the state board of elections results website.

    Election returns won’t come out until after the polls close this evening. But we will hear about exit polls before that.

    Don’t pay attention. Or if you do, cast a very suspicious eye toward them -- Trust Exit Polls at Your Peril.

    And above all else, VOTE.

    Yes, it is likely going to be a long night.

    UPDATE (12:56 AM 11/05): We've held on as long as we could -- trying to wait until North Carolina is called. It's close. Obama was up early, at one point by 8 points, even before Mecklenberg, Wake and Durham counties were reporting. Then McCain came back and took the lead, no more than 1-2 points for a very long time. And just recently, Obama retook the lead, by a fraction of a point. 99% of precincts in -- but no one is calling the race. Razor thin.

    AND: Congratulations to now President-elect Barack Obama. We don't like him. We don't support many of his positions. But we respect the fact that he won. We respect the office to which he has been elected. We will oppose him vigorously in the policies he says he will pursue. But when inaugurated, he will be the President. Our opposition will be respectful of the office, of the president -- and, we hope, respectable in the way we conduct it.

    Sunday, November 2, 2008

    Subprime Disaster's High-Value Targets: The Deck

    Card twelve.

    This is our final card. While Obama may not have the same high visibility direct links that others in the deck have, like Franklin Raines and James Johnson, Chris Dodd and Barney Frank, the breadth of Obama's presence in the varying aspects of the subprime meltdown is disasterously impressive.

    Let's return to Stanley Kurtz's NY Post article for his ties to ACORN.

    WHAT exactly does a "community organizer" do? Barack Obama's rise has left many Americans asking themselves that question. Here's a big part of the answer: Community organizers intimidate banks into making high-risk loans to customers with poor credit. ...

    IN short, to understand the roots of the subprime-mort gage crisis, look to ACORN's Madeline Talbott. And to see how Talbott was able to work her mischief, look to Barack Obama.

    Then you'll truly know what community organizers do.

    We'll again admonish anyone who hasn't already read the meat of that article to do so.

    For another close link between Obama and subprime lending, how about his national campaign finance chair, Penny Pritzker:

    White House hopeful Barack Obama talks a lot on the campaign trail about how failing banks have used subprime loans to victimize customers.

    "Part of the reason we got a current mortgage crisis has to do with the fact that people got suckered in to loans that they could not pay," he told a crowd in Reading, Pa., last week. "There were a lot of predatory loans that were given out, a lot of teaser rates. Banks and financial institutions making these loans were making money hand over fist."

    One of the banks that went under after making a lot of subprime loans -- leaving 1,400 of its customers without part of their savings -- was Chicago's Superior Bank.

    At the helm of Superior Bank at least some of the time was Obama's national finance chairwoman, Penny Pritzker, an heiress to the Pritzker fortune.

    And if that's not enough, let's judge Obama on his judgement in selecting former CEO of Fannie Mae, James Johnson, to head his VP selection committee.

    And finally, let's note that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the epicenter of the subprime disaster, found in Barack Obama a politician worth spending lots of money on. Obama has received over $126,000 from Fannie and Freddie in his not quite four years in the US Senate. To put that into perspective, only Senator Chris Dodd has received more money from Fannie and Freddie than Obama among congressmen -- and the money Dodd has received has come over a period from 1989 to today.

    Barack Obama and the subprime disaster? His fingerprints are everywhere.

    Card one: Ace of Clubs, Christopher Dodd
    Card two: King of Clubs, Charles Schumer
    Card three: Queen of Clubs, Jamie Gorelick
    Card four: Jack of Clubs, Kent Conrad
    Card five: Queen of Hearts, Madeline Talbott
    Card six: Jack of Hearts, Gregory Meeks
    Card seven: King of Hearts, James Johnson
    Card eight: Queen of Diamonds, Maxine Waters
    Card nine: King of Spades, Harry Reid
    Card ten: Ace of Diamonds, Barney Frank
    Card eleven: King of Diamonds, Franklin Raines

    Saturday, November 1, 2008

    Trust Exit Polls at Your Peril

    Jim Geraghty posted this yesterday:

    McCain Voters Less Likely To Respond To Exit Pollsters

    Obviously, it's tough to measure the attitudes of those who refuse to talk to pollsters, but this question in Fox News' latest survey confirms a long-held suspicion [...]

    Now, I'll tell you now - polls close first in Kentucky, Indiana, Georgia and Virginia at 7 p.m. eastern Tuesday . I find it extremely likely that Indiana and Virginia will be called for Obama immediately after the polls close by at least one network, based on these exit polls that have fewer pro-McCain respondents.

    The ingredients are there for a rerun of 2004, when the exit polls indicated a Kerry victory and deviated signficantly from the actual results.

    Most interesting. Let's put this in the context of a piece Rick Ballard wrote at American Thinker:

    It is my belief that the story from Marion County will become the equivalent of the early call of Florida for Gore in the 2000 election. I expect to see early stories of "massive and unexpected turnout in Indianapolis" all day long with a very early call (like 6:01) of Marion County for Obama, followed by "if McCain is doing this poorly in Indiana, it's all over". The whole purpose of such a story will be to suppress Republican turnout in states where the polls are still open, particularly in Colorado, New Mexico and Nevada.

    There is no question that this election is going to be tight. There is also no question that it will be the Republican Get Out The Vote effort which will make or break John McCain's chance of winning. There is no question that Obama, Axelrod and the media will be working hand in glove all day Tuesday to generate as much positive noise about the inevitability of an Obama win as possible. There is a solution to the problem: "Now get out there and vote, dammit"

    Yes, Florida in 2000, and the election of 2004, let's just say there's a pattern. Speaking of 2004, when the first exit polls came out, we were subjected to reports that John Kerry was up big in key states. Liberals and Democats were ecstatic, Conservatives and Repulicans were despondent. Both swallowed what the poll data was selling. The Kerry campaign began its premature victory dance:

    Kerry spokesman Mike McCurry said Friday that on election day, as Kerry was conducting four hours of local television interviews aimed at increasing last-minute turnout, McCurry and top aides John Sasso and Bob Schrum were receiving wildly positive reports from their state directors and encouraging exit polls on their Blackberrys.

    McCurry said they didn't dare tell Kerry the good news, for fear he might stop the interviews, but Schrum could not contain his optimism the moment the candidate had finished.

    "Let me be the first to call you Mr. President,'' Schrum said to Kerry.

    (and proving that he does not learn from history, Shrum wanted to be the first to call Obama Mr. President, too)

    Bob Shrum was not only the first person to call John Kerry "Mr. President", he was the last -- apart from those deluded or those making jokes at his expense.

    But listen. We're in for it again on Tuesday. Mark my words. Gird your loins. Trying to sift through innacurate exit'll be like cleaning the Augean stables, man.

    Rest assured, we will hear stories of Obama winning, and winning big, in exit polls. And as Mr. Ballard mentions, it will be used in a manner to help write the narrative that an Obama win is upon us, inevitable, imminent, that there is no need to vote, McCain supporters out west might as well stay home.

    But raw exit poll data is seriously flawed for the reason that Geraghty points out. Let's take a look at the numbers. I went to the Fox survey so I could get the break downs for Very likely, Somewhat likely, Not very likely and Not likely at all categories for both candidates in terms of responding to exit pollsters.

    Very likely = 46%
    Somewhat likely = 31%
    Not very likely = 9%
    Not likely at all = 11%

    Very likely = 35%
    Somewhat likely = 29%
    Not very likely = 16%
    Not likely at all = 16%

    Next, let's assign an assumed response rate to each category to represent the percentage of those who would actually participate in an exit poll...

    Very likely = 87.5%
    Somewhat likely = 62.5%
    Not very likely = 37.5%
    Not likely at all = 12.5%

    NOW...applying the value for the percentage of Obama and McCain supporters who say they are in each category to the response rate of each category, you can estimate the number of voters who would actually participate in an exit poll.

    Exit Polling: Who Responds

    That is, if you asked 100 Obama voters to participate in an exit poll, you would get the following totals…

    Very likely = 40.3
    (out of 100 Obama voters polled, 46 of them would be in this category and 87.5% of them would agree to participate)
    Somewhat likely = 19.4
    Not very likely = 3.4
    Not likely at all = 1.4
    TOTAL = 64.4

    Out of 100 actual Obama voters, 64.4 would agree to participate in the exit poll.

    And if you asked 100 McCain voters…

    Very likely = 30.6
    Somewhat likely = 18.1
    Not very likely = 6.0
    Not likely at all = 2.0
    TOTAL = 56.8

    Out of 100 actual McCain voters, 56.8 would agree to participate in the exit poll.

    Out of 200 actual voters asked, 121.2 would agree to participate in the exit poll.

    NOW…let's say you were to ask 1,000,000 people to participate in an exit poll in an election where the vote was split exactly 50/50…

    Exit Polling: 50-50 Scenario

    Obama -- 53.1%

    McCain -- 46.9 %

    Obama would have a lead of 6.2% in the exit poll when the vote was actually 50/50.

    Or if you reverse the process…and had the same situation -- but the election itself was McCain 53.1% and Obama 46.9%...the exit polls would show 50/50!!!

    Exit Polling: 53-47 Scenario

    Watch those exit poll numbers as they come out Tuesday evening. In the hands of competent and objective analysts, who account for the likelihood that Obama voters will participate more than McCain supporters, there can be some great information about who is winning.

    In the hands of an Obamaphilic media eager to write the narrative that Obama is winning in order to suppress votes?

    Be prepared to endure a great amount of disinformation.

    And no matter anything else, let's return to Mr. Ballard's admonition:

    "Now get out there and vote, dammit"

    Friday, October 31, 2008

    I Voted

    And thanks to Obama's successful efforts to bring me to a complete distrust, disgust, distaste for him, I didn't even have to get drunk to proudly vote for McCain-Palin. And not only did I pull the lever touch the screen for McCain-Palin...

    I Voted Today

    ...I found a down-ballot, uncontested race and wrote in Joe the Plumber.

    Wednesday, October 29, 2008

    Subprime Disaster's High-Value Targets: The Deck

    Card ten.

    Ace asked for it:

    He's holding out on Frank because it's such a sweet card, but I think he should post it tonight.

    OK, so here you go, our attempt to flatter Barney Frank because he's gay.

    And sweet? Hey, Ace said it, not me.

    Go see the Ace post for the rest of the details. Go to Hot Air for the Frank video.

    Card one: Ace of Clubs, Christopher Dodd
    Card two: King of Clubs, Charles Schumer
    Card three: Queen of Clubs, Jamie Gorelick
    Card four: Jack of Clubs, Kent Conrad
    Card five: Queen of Hearts, Madeline Talbott
    Card six: Jack of Hearts, Gregory Meeks
    Card seven: King of Hearts, James Johnson
    Card eight: Queen of Diamonds, Maxine Waters
    Card nine: King of Spades, Harry Reid

    Subprime Disaster's High-Value Targets: The Deck

    Card Nine.

    Harry Reid, as usual, was a little slow out of the blocks in the execution of the Democrats' role in the subprime mess. So he decided to chip in late in the game with his effort to tank beleagured insurance stocks by predicting a big name was going to fail. Unlike Charles Schumer, he didn't name the name -- but he made sure to state that he knew the name, and that we all did too.

    Together, of course, they are the Reid-Schumer Cabal.

    Card one: Ace of Clubs, Christopher Dodd
    Card two: King of Clubs, Charles Schumer
    Card three: Queen of Clubs, Jamie Gorelick
    Card four: Jack of Clubs, Kent Conrad
    Card five: Queen of Hearts, Madeline Talbott
    Card six: Jack of Hearts, Gregory Meeks
    Card seven: King of Hearts, James Johnson
    Card eight: Queen of Diamonds, Maxine Waters

    Tuesday, October 28, 2008

    Goldman Sachs Loves Obama

    [UPDATE 10/6/2011: Well whaddya Instalanche! One interesting note - Sharyl Attkisson who filed the report for CBS quoted below from October of 2008 is the CBS reporter who recently came under fire from the Obama administration for her reporting on Fast and Furious in which officials at the White House and DOJ screamed and yelled at her (I unintentionally misspelled her name as Cheryl Atkisson at the time because I was transcribing the video, but have now fixed it). Let's just say that Attkisson has been doing good work for years against the tide of the media in general - I have seen some blogs and commenters suggest that a willingness to report something negative about Obama must be something new to her. It's not.]

    And Obama loves them back.

    Hot Air points us to a CBS report on Obama's fundraising. Ed Morrissey notes:

    However, they did a good job in reporting the fact that Obama likes to rail about Wall Street greed but uses bundlers right out of Goldman Sachs. The disparity in fundraising between McCain and Obama with these well-connected Wall Street firms is eye-opening.


    Let's go to the effort to do a little transcription work on that CBS video at Hot Air:

    Sharyl Attkisson, CBS Correspondent: Like McCain, Obama's corporate donor list reads like a who's who of the Wall Street collapse, only some are giving more to Obama. Lots more.

    Sheila Krumholz, Center for Responsive Politics: The Obama campaign has just vacuumed up the money in this cycle. Specifically from Goldman Sachs, Obama has received over $740,000 as compared to McCain's $220,000.

    Attkisson: Not to mention that the former head of Goldman Sachs, Robert Rubin, is Obama's chief economic adviser, and two current executives are bundling for him. Bundlers are mega-fundraisers who critics say get special access.

    Well. Here we are again. First we had Obama railing about McCain being in the pocket of Big Oil -- and then found out about Obama taking in more campaign donations from Exxon employees than McCain. So we made the logo.

    You know where this is heading, right?

    Of course you do. It's not a trick question.

    Goldman Sachs Loves Obama

    Obama has been a model of transparency.

    He's transparently phony.

    Subprime Disaster's High-Value Targets: The Deck

    Card eight.


    Card one: Ace of Clubs, Christopher Dodd
    Card two: King of Clubs, Charles Schumer

    Card three: Queen of Clubs, Jamie Gorelick

    Card four: Jack of Clubs, Kent Conrad

    Card five: Queen of Hearts, Madeline Talbott

    Card six: Jack of Hearts, Gregory Meeks

    Card seven: King of Hearts, James Johnson

    Monday, October 27, 2008

    Dean Barnett

    Bill Kristol at the Weekly Standard:

    Dean Barnett, 1967-2008

    It's my sad duty to report that our good friend and valued contributor Dean Barnett passed away today. He was a remarkable man--principled, witty, and to all of us, a model of grace and courage. We mourn his passing and cherish his memory.

    --William Kristol

    This world could use so many more Deans, yet now has lost its only one.

    There really are no words here that will do. Only tears.

    And then prayers for Dean's family.

    Friday, October 24, 2008

    Subprime Disaster's High-Value Targets: The Deck

    Card six.

    Card one: Ace of Clubs, Christopher Dodd
    Card two: King of Clubs, Charles Schumer
    Card three: Queen of Clubs, Jamie Gorelick
    Card four: Jack of Clubs, Kent Conrad
    Card five: Queen of Hearts, Madeline Talbott

    President Bush is a Community Organizer

    And what’s the difference between Bush the Community Organizer and Obama the Community Organizer?


    Bush inspires hope … AND … helps realize dreams:

    I'm here today to recognize the sick that have been healed, the hungry that have been fed, the livelihoods that have improved, the hopes that have been inspired, and the dreams that have been realized because of President Bush's leadership.

    -- Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, President of Liberia

    Obama inspires hope … THEN … heads off for the next big job:

    Obama’s professional colleagues, people like Jerry Kellman, believe his lasting accomplishment was to build an organization, the Developing Communities Project, that survived his departure. ...

    Has any of that brought about the change Obama spoke of back in 1985? Not in any large sense. But if Obama doesn’t have much to show for his years as an organizer, it’s fair to say that many of the people he touched revere him deeply. Remember what Loretta Augustine-Herron said: Obama had such a powerful presence that he made her believe he could do the job, even though there was little in his résumé to suggest he could. Does that sound familiar to anyone who has watched the Obama campaign? When hope is the product, Obama can sell it with the best of them.

    When he left for law school, Obama wondered what he had accomplished as an organizer. He certainly had some achievements, but he did not — perhaps could not — concede that there might be something wrong with his approach to Chicago’s problems. Instead of questioning his own premises, he concluded that he simply needed more power to get the job done. So he made plans to run for political office. And in each successive office, he has concluded that he did not have enough power to get the job done, so now he is running for the most powerful office in the land.

    And what if he gets it? He’ll be the biggest, strongest organizer in the world. He’ll dazzle the country with his message of hope and possibility. But we shouldn’t expect much to actually get done.

    It is certainly politically fashionable to run against President Bush in this election. And certainly politically wise.

    That’s a shame.

    For while the Democratic nominee to be the next President has talked a big game about helping “the least of these” and being his “brother’s keeper”, he has loved the sound of his own voice and the trajectory of his own career more than the people he has been talking about. Contrariwise, the current President quietly went about the business of actually doing it.

    Standing up for President Bush may not be popular these days – may not be fashionable.

    But it’s the right thing to do.

    Thursday, October 23, 2008

    Subprime Disaster's High-Value Targets: The Deck

    Card five.

    Madeline Talbott may be the least known person in the deck. So let's get a fairly extensive quote from this Stanley Kurtz article in the NY Post, though you must read the whole thing:

    WHAT exactly does a "community organizer" do? Barack Obama's rise has left many Americans asking themselves that question. Here's a big part of the answer: Community organizers intimidate banks into making high-risk loans to customers with poor credit.

    In the name of fairness to minorities, community organizers occupy private offices, chant inside bank lobbies, and confront executives at their homes - and thereby force financial institutions to direct hundreds of millions of dollars in mortgages to low-credit customers.

    In other words, community organizers help to undermine the US economy by pushing the banking system into a sinkhole of bad loans. And Obama has spent years training and funding the organizers who do it. ...

    ONE key pioneer of ACORN's subprime-loan shakedown racket was Madeline Talbott - an activist with extensive ties to Barack Obama. She was also in on the ground floor of the disastrous turn in Fannie Mae's mortgage policies.

    Long the director of Chicago ACORN, Talbott is a specialist in "direct action" - organizers' term for their militant tactics of intimidation and disruption. Perhaps her most famous stunt was leading a group of ACORN protesters breaking into a meeting of the Chicago City Council to push for a "living wage" law, shouting in defiance as she was arrested for mob action and disorderly conduct. But her real legacy may be her drive to push banks into making risky mortgage loans. ...

    IT would be tough to find an "on the ground" community organizer more closely tied to the subprime-mortgage fiasco than Madeline Talbott. And no one has been more supportive of Madeline Talbott than Barack Obama. ...

    IN short, to understand the roots of the subprime mortgage crisis, look to ACORN's Madeline Talbott. And to see how Talbott was able to work her mischief, look to Barack Obama.

    Then you'll truly know what community organizers do.


    Card one: Ace of Clubs, Christopher Dodd
    Card two: King of Clubs, Charles Schumer
    Card three: Queen of Clubs, Jamie Gorelick
    Card four: Jack of Clubs, Kent Conrad

    Wednesday, October 22, 2008

    Subprime Disaster's High-Value Targets: The Deck

    Card four.

    Countrywide was at the center of the subprime meltdown. And Senator Conrad was at the center of enabling them in that role.

    Conde Nast ran an investigation of Countrywide "Friends of Angelo" loans, and of Senator Conrad (and Dodd) they concluded:

    Perhaps countrywide’s most troubling V.I.P. loans went to Democratic Senators Dodd and Conrad. As chairman of the Senate Banking Committee, Dodd is at the forefront of efforts to remedy the housing crisis. In May, he introduced a foreclosure-rescue bill that would extend up to $300 billion in government-backed loans to struggling borrowers if lenders forgave a portion of their debt. Conrad chairs the taxation subcommittee of the Senate Finance Committee, which often considers proposals affecting Countrywide, such as tax credits for first-time or low-income homebuyers.

    They also gave some of the details:

    Senator Conrad borrowed $1.07 million in 2004 to refinance his vacation home with a balcony and large porch in Bethany Beach, Delaware, a block from the ocean. Mozilo instructed a subordinate to “take off 1 point,” or $10,700, according to a March 17, 2004, email.Later that year, Conrad refinanced an eight-unit apartment building that he and his brothers owned in Bismarck, North Dakota. According to the former employee, the loan violated Countrywide’s normal policy of providing loans for buildings of four units or fewer. In an April 23, 2004, email, Mozilo encouraged an employee to “make an exception due to the fact that the borrower is a senator.”

    The Wall Street Journal article linked above makes it clear that Conrad personally asked Mozilo for the sweetheart deal over the phone:

    Take Senator Kent Conrad, the North Dakota Democrat whose office issued a Friday statement saying that "I never met Angelo Mozilo." What he did not say then but admitted under later questioning by a Journal reporter is that, although he may not have had a face-to-face meeting with the Countrywide CEO, Mr. Conrad had called Mr. Mozilo and asked for a loan. The result was a discounted loan on his million-dollar beach house and a separate commercial loan of a type that residential lender Countrywide did not even offer to other customers, regardless of the rate.

    Finally, as only he can, Ed Morrissey sums it up this way:

    For those who wonder how Countrywide got away with its mismanagement and its bad lending practices to the point of collapse, all we can say is that they had Friends in high places — or in low places, depending on how you look at it. The most ethical Congress ever put the foxes in charge of the henhouse, and it’s the homeowners who will suffer the consequences.

    Thanks, Senator.


    Card one: Ace of Clubs, Christopher Dodd
    Card two: King of Clubs, Charles Schumer
    Card three: Queen of Clubs, Jamie Gorelick

    Tuesday, October 21, 2008

    Subprime Disaster's High-Value Targets: The Deck

    Card three.

    (source for quotes one and two)

    Jamie Gorelick is tied to the subprime meltdown because of her executive role at Fannie Mae, especially given her specific responsibilities. And beyond the personal enrichment that Gorelick enjoyed as a result, the presence of high powered Democratic appointees to Fannie Mae's board was used to help fend off efforts at oversight that could have earlier detected the problems at the company. Gorelick was one of many (and yes, we will get to them as well), but she was one of high visibility and stature.

    ALSO: Gorelick's role at Fannie is certainly not the only source of her infamy. Jim Lindgren notes:

    This is the same Jamie Gorelick who was Deputy Attorney General in the mid 1990s and was reported to have been the author of the Clinton Administration’s WALL against sharing intelligence data between foreign and domestic agencies. Without the policies instituted by Gorelick still in place in 2001, officials might have learned more about the 9/11 attacks before the planes hit the buildings.


    Card one: Ace of Clubs, Christopher Dodd

    Card two: King of Clubs, Charles Schumer

    Monday, October 20, 2008

    Subprime Disaster's High-Value Targets: The Deck

    Card two.

    Tomorrow's card, today. But remember, keep up with the deck at Ace's.

    MORE: Let's go ahead and link a story about the Schumer IndyMac fiasco for background.

    And this:

    John D. Hawke, the U.S. comptroller of the currency (regulator of national banks) from 1998 to 2004, had more pointed words for Schumer in a story in the American Banker newspaper today.
    "If Schumer continues to go public with letters raising questions about the condition of individual institutions, he will cause havoc in the banking system," Hawke said.

    "Leaking his IndyMac letter to the press was reckless and grossly irresponsible. I don't see how he can be trusted with confidential information in the future. What this incredibly stupid conduct does is put at risk the willingness of regulators to share any information with the [congressional] oversight committees. After this, you'd be crazy to share information with Schumer."

    Subprime Disaster's High-Value Targets: The Deck

    Card one.

    Thanks to Ace of Spades for the link.

    Are you looking for tomorrow's card today?

    It's coming.

    MORE: Some more on Dodd? OK, how about this:

    As recently as last summer, when housing prices had clearly peaked and the mortgage market had started to seize up, Dodd called on Bush to "immediately reconsider his ill-advised" reform proposals. Frank, now chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, said that the president's suggestion for a strong, independent regulator of Fannie and Freddie was "inane."

    No. No need for a strong, independent regulator. Not when Fannie and Freddie are "fundamentally strong", as Dodd was saying just this past July:

    WASHINGTON (MarketWatch) -- Embattled mortgage finance giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are "fundamentally strong" and questions about their capital are unwarranted, a top U.S. Senate Democrat said Friday afternoon.

    "This is not a time to be panicking about this. These are viable, strong institutions," Sen. Christopher Dodd, D-Conn., said at a Capitol Hill press conference.

    The comments came as the two government-sponsored enterprises continued to be the focus of growing fears they could be insolvent or could face a capital crunch. ...

    "The economics are fine in these institutions and people need to know that," Dodd said. There's no reason "to talk about failure," he added.

    Sunday, October 19, 2008

    Obama-Biden: Flip Flops Sold Separately

    Remember this billboard? We posted it a couple of weeks ago:

    Obama-Biden Billboard

    We did you a disservice, dear reader, by by not giving you the full context:

    Obama-Biden: Flip Flops We Can't Afford

    The man of hope and change rhetoric in the primaries was a doctrinaire liberal. Well, Obama did change. Obama became the man of politics as usual in the general election having flip flopped to the center on a number of issues. It's quite a feat, actually, when you think about it.

    But who is the real Obama? When elected, how will he govern and what will he do? Do we look at his completely liberal record, or his completely malleable rhetoric?

    Obama is most certainly selling his flip flops.

    Dan McLaughlin had some ideas about Obama's flip flops back in August.

    Friday, October 17, 2008

    Dean Barnett Update

    UPDATE (10/28): Google seems to be sending a fair number of people looking for Dean Barnett news to this older post -- so let me point anyone interested to my post responding to the news that Dean has passed away. It's not much more than a copy of Bill Kristol's announcement and acknowledgement of what a loss it is. But there it is if you're interested.

    I hate just relying upon and copying Ed Morrissey for this, but it's all I've got.

    I’ve received an update on Dean Barnett and his struggle through a life-threatening attack of his cystic fibrosis. It’s a mix of good and bad:

    Dean is still in the ICU, sedated and in critical condition and hooked into the ventilator for breathing. His kidneys have begun failing (due to the powerful antibiotics), so they’re starting dialysis to support the kidneys in order to continue the drugs that we hope will address the lung infection. So, while he declined over the course of this week, there are some hopeful signs — there are some very slight indications that the latest drug combinations (which they have been changing on a near daily basis) are beginning to work on the lungs. He has hung on – with the help of everyone’s prayers and through sheer will and toughness – and I really believe that if he can just hold on a little longer, we’ll see stronger signs of a turnaround.

    Though he is heavily sedated, believe me, I made him aware of last night’s unexpected come-from-way-behind Red Sox win. I think he heard me and I have to think that will help as well.

    Thanks again for your prayers and support. Dean is going to make it, I’m sure of it. Many would not under these circumstances, but Dean will.

    Keep the Barnetts in your prayers. They could use all of the support we can give them.

    Thanks, for updating all of us Ed.

    And Dean, we will not stop praying for you.

    Parking the Free Market

    We have studiously avoided much comment on the economic crisis on the principle of Proverbs 17:28, “Even a fool is thought wise if he keeps silent, and discerning if he holds his tongue.”

    Well. Perhaps closer to the truth is the popular saying, “Better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak and remove all doubt”.

    So. A quote and a picture is about all we are going to offer, in an attempt to preserve whatever doubt you may still harbor regarding our foolishness.

    From the Wall Street Journal:

    The government's rescue plan moved into a new phase Monday night with the announcement that Treasury is injecting $125 billion into the country's nine largest banks. This amount -- as much as $25 billion each for the biggest -- seems to have stopped the financial panic for now by easing fears of insolvency. Another $125 billion is on the table for other banks that need capital on the same terms offered to the big boys.

    The good news here is that Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson has at last moved from promises to action, and credit markets have responded positively. But this is also a very dangerous moment. The government has taken ownership stakes in the largest banks in the land. This extraordinary intervention is perilous -- not least to the banks themselves -- unless it is limited in scope and time. Mr. Paulson called the capital injection "distasteful" but unavoidable, and we can't disagree. The trick is to ensure that neither he nor his successors develop a taste for politically directed credit. ...

    For those of us who believe in free markets, these interventions are unpleasant. These drastic steps might have been avoided had Treasury and the FDIC acted sooner, yet now they are necessary given the panic that threatens the larger economy. The goal should be to rebuild the financial system so Americans can once again trust their banks enough that government can then recede to its normal supervisory role. We are under no illusions that government will cede its new powers easily, but if it doesn't the economic damage will be far greater than anything we've seen so far.

    The intervention is distasteful but unavoidable (Paulson); unpleasant but necessary (the Wall Street Journal).

    Perhaps this photo, of a sign on our commute, is illustrative of where we are:

    Free Market Parking Ahead
    Free Market Parking Ahead

    We certainly are in no position to argue against the necessity of the actions being taken. But we will register our worry now – that we are setting into motion the Principle of Government Intervention Inertia: government intervention once set into motion tends to stay in motion and limited government involvement once parked tends to stay parked.

    Because asking the federal government to give away power it has gained – no matter how temporary it was supposed to have gained it – is like trying to stop the earth from rotating.

    OK, now back to the wisdom of Proverbs...or rather, to observe the wisdom of Ecclesiastes 6:11, "The more the words, the less the meaning, and how does that profit anyone?"

    Thursday, October 16, 2008

    McCain-Obama Presidential Debate: Word Up

    OK, stats and graphics from last night's final Presidential debate between Obama and McCain at Hofstra University, using this transcript.

    We'll roughly follow the same format as we did for the VP debate.

    So, how many words did each candidate speak in the debate?

    Barack Obama: 7,356
    John McCain: 6,642

    So it wasn't just our imagination. Obama kept going on and on and on and on. If only we loved the sound of Obama's voice as much as he did.

    And how was their speaking level?

    Flesch Reading Ease: 71.73
    Flesch-Kincaid Grade Level: 6.00

    Flesch Reading Ease: 75.10
    Flesch-Kincaid Grade Level: 5.00

    Well. If we look back at these scores in the VP debate things are very clear (that post also has a discussion of the Flesch Reading Ease and the Flesch-Kincaid Grade Level scores).

    Palin clearly speaks at the highest level, Obama-Biden are mired in mediocrity, and McCain speaks at the level best understood by the electorate. At least that's our spin and we're sticking to it.

    Finally, here are word clouds created from the transcript for Obama and McCain.


    Obama Debate Word Cloud


    McCain Debate Word Cloud

    You can click on either image to enlarge. Word clouds created with Wordle

    First early voting returns are in

    Obama is winning the early vote here in Greensboro, North Carolina, according to our local newspaper.

    In fact, according to the evidence presented in the article, Obama is up by 5%!

    That is, Obama is at 5% to McCain’s 0% -- in buttons, t-shirts and signs at the polls.

    GREENSBORO — If they counted votes as they went, it's probably safe to say that Barack Obama is leading the presidential balloting in Guilford County.

    Obama supporters — as measured by signs, buttons and T-shirts, anyway — showed up in force at the old Guilford County Courthouse this morning, the first day of early voting in North Carolina.

    When the polls opened at 8 a.m., about 200 people waited to vote in a line that doubled back on itself inside a first-floor hallway and stretched out a side door. ...

    Roughly one out of 20 had a button or T-shirt that showed their support for the Democratic candidate for president. Several more wore buttons supporting Teresa Sue Bratton, who is challenging Republican Howard Coble for the 6th District seat in the U.S. House.

    Outside the courthouse, about 20 people waved "Teamsters for Obama/Biden" and "Carolina is Obama Country" signs at the traffic heading downtown on West Market. A few drivers honked back.

    There was no evidence of any organized presence from John McCain's campaign either inside or outside the courthouse.

    So, roughly 1 out of 20 – or 10 people out of 200 – had some type of Obama paraphernalia in line to vote, therefore it is safe to say that Obama is leading if they counted the votes?

    Actually, it would not be surprising that of those who voted at the old Guilford County Courthouse downtown this morning, Obama is leading. But on this evidence? Please.

    And besides, John McCain supporters are headed 20 miles east for the Sarah Palin rally in Elon, NC today -- and waiting for the additional 11 polling sites that will open on Sunday to vote a little closer to home.

    But today, Obama is on track to win the election for Merchandiser-in-Chief down at the old courthouse.

    Wednesday, October 15, 2008

    Whatever it takes?

    Would Harry Reid and Chuck Schumer be willing to do whatever it takes to win an election?

    Whatever it takes?

    Whatever, they certanly make a mendacious, ruthless, vile and heartless team.

    Plan A: Lose Iraq, Blame Republicans:

    Friday, April 13, 2007:

    "We're going to pick up Senate seats as a result of this war," Senate Majority Leader Harry M. Reid (Nev.) told reporters yesterday. "Senator Schumer has shown me numbers that are compelling and astounding."

    The worse Iraq became, the better the Democrats' electoral prospects became.

    Which is the reason for the Reid sabotage offensive shortly thereafter:

    Thursday, April 19, 2007:

    "I believe ... that this war is lost, and this surge is not accomplishing anything"

    Tuesday, April 24, 2007:

    CNN Interviewer: "General Petraeus is going to come to the Hill...and make it clear to you that there is progress going on in Iraq...will you believe him?"

    Reid: "No. I won't believe him because it isn't happening."

    Reid was doing his best to undermine the surge. Unfortunately for Democratic electoral hopes, and most fortunately for our national security interests, defeat in Iraq was thwarted and the US is on the course of victory in Iraq -- thanks to the steadfastness of President Bush and thanks to the brilliance of General Petraeus and the troops.

    The Democrats' Plan A was rendered inoperative, so whatever could the Reid-Schumer cabal do?

    Plan B, of course. There is always a Plan B.

    Plan B: Tank the Economy, Blame Republicans:

    Thursday, June 26, 2008:

    Schumer, a senior member of the Senate Banking Committee, who used his position of authority to communicate to the OTS and the FDIC that he was "concerned that IndyMac's financial deterioration poses significant risks to both taxpayers and borrowers," and that IndyMac "could face a failure if prescriptive measures are not taken quickly."

    Everything might have been fine had Schumer stopped there, but Schumer (being Schumer) took the additional step of releasing the letter to the press.

    Friday, July 11, 2008:

    IndyMac Regulator, the Office of Thrift Supervision: "The OTS has determined that the current institution, IndyMac Bank, is unlikely to be able to meet continued depositors’ demands in the normal course of business and is therefore in an unsafe and unsound condition. The immediate cause of the closing was a deposit run that began and continued after the public release of a June 26 letter to the OTS and the FDIC from Senator Charles Schumer of New York. The letter expressed concerns about IndyMac’s viability. In the following 11 business days, depositors withdrew more than $1.3 billion from their accounts.”

    Wednesday, October 1, 2008:

    Senator Reid: "a major insurance company -- one with a name that everyone knows -- that's on the verge of going bankrupt,"

    Thursday, October 2, 2008:

    But with investors already on high alert after the Federal Reserve's rescue of insurance titan American International Group Inc. on Sept. 16, and with the credit crunch still making funding difficult for even the largest U.S. financial companies, Reid's comments were the equivalent of pouring gasoline on a grease fire. MetLife plunged $7.19, or 15%, to $40.96; Hartford dived $12.20, or 32%, to $25.91; and Prudential slid $7.15, or 11%, to $57.65.

    So, would Reid and Schumer rather lose a war and tank the economy than lose an election?

    Or is it incompetence that pushes them to push for policies that would lose a war and push out statements that tank the economy?

    Or both.

    Tuesday, October 14, 2008

    She's Back!

    We missed Sarah Palin’s visit to Greenville last week. Apparently she missed us too, so she’s coming back to North Carolina.

    Palin will make a campaign stop for a rally in Elon.

    Sarah Palin, the Republican vice presidential candidate, will hold a rally Thursday at Elon University.

    The rally will include music by country star hank Williams Jr. The event will be held at Latham Park, the university's baseball stadium.

    Doors open at noon. The event is free but tickets are required.

    Tickets are available at GOP Victory offices beginning today at noon. Looks like we have lunch plans today!

    Elon is just up the road from here, much closer than Greenville. Thank you, Sarah. See you in a couple of days. You too, Hank.

    Hopefully we'll be able to snap a few pics and maybe get some video to post here late Thursday or Friday. Stay tuned!

    HEARTBREAK: We won’t be able to attend after all. We think we might cry. Sorry, Sarah.