August 28, 2008

‘The Hill’ Notes Obama-Biden Wiki Wackiness; Dems ‘Not Returning Calls’

Filed under: Scams,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 2:30 pm

WikiBidenObama0808.jpgIn a “Leading the News” story primarily about Democratic Vice Presidential nominee Joe Biden’s prior praise of John McCain, Susan Crabtree at The Hill noted previous posts made by yours truly about the alterations made to Biden’s Wikipedia entries shortly before and after he was named by Barack Obama.

Those posts showed that at least these changes were made since I downloaded — and kept — Biden’s main Wiki entry on Friday:

  • (at NewsBusters; at BizzyBlog) The details of Biden’s undergraduate grades went away, and other text in the related paragraph was worked over.
  • (at NewsBusters; at BizzyBlog) The section relating to 2004 under “Presidential Campaigns” was deleted, and most of the text that had been contained there moved to a section before the 1988 campaign. It was if the idea that Biden campaigned for the presidency was true before Obama selected him, and not true after that.
  • (at NewsBusters; at BizzyBlog) The footnote relating to the original entry’s claim that Biden had only plagiarized British politican Neil Kinnock one time, which never related to that claim anyway, was removed. Further, no Wiki entries relating to Biden — before or after — adequately described the full extent of his 1987 plagiarism, which included Kinnock at least one and probably several other times, and other plagiarizing of John F. Kennedy, Robert F. Kennedy, and Hubert Humphrey.

What Ms. Crabtree wrote follows. It includes some follow-up she did, which is in bold:

Two conservative blogs, newsbusters.org and bizzyblog.com, have run items about changes made to Biden’s Wikipedia entry Friday night as news of his veep selection was leaking out.

The blogs point out that someone wiped out the year 2004 from the presidential campaigns section of the bio. That heading contained a reference to an MSNBC article about Biden urging then-Democratic presidential nominee John Kerry to pick McCain over himself for the No. 2 spot on the ticket.

MSNBC’s story, dated May 16, 2004, reported that Biden told the late NBC “Meet the Press” host Tim Russert that Kerry should select McCain as a way to help heal the “vicious rift” dividing the U.S.

Newsbusters.org reported that the details of Biden’s undergraduate grades (generally C’s and D’s, with two A’s in phys-ed and an F in ROTC) as well as other details about the plagiarism allegations that caused him to drop out of the 1988 Democratic presidential primary “strangely” disappeared from his Wikipedia entry between Friday and Saturday.

Opponents on both sides of the aisle often alter Wikipedia entries of political figures, but the timing of the changes raises questions about whether anyone at the Obama campaign or the Democratic National Committee (DNC) had anything to do with it.

Obama’s campaign and the DNC did not return several calls seeking comment about the changes to the Wikipedia entry as well as the positive comments Biden has made about McCain over the years.

Ms. Crabtree didn’t note that the posts are largely mirrored at the two blogs, but got the substance of what she did write correct. However, a little more detail on the full extent of the 1987 plagiarism would, in my opinion, have greatly benefited inquiring readers.

Cross-posted at NewsBusters.org.

Despite Sharp Upward 2Q GDP Revision, Media, and Some Experts,’ Won’t Let Go of ‘Recession’ Claim

BeaLogoIn case traditional news outlets “forget” to tell you, Uncle Sam announced this morning that second-quarter Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth was revised sharply upward to 3.3% from the late July’s advance estimate of 1.9%.

Dude, where’s my recession?

Y’know, the recession that Barack Obama claimed we “almost certainly in” back in mid-July?

Believe it or not, there are supposedly legitimate economists out there who, despite today’s news, still insist that we are in a recession — right now! — and have been for some time. And of course, reporters are finding them, and quoting them.

Earlier this week, when it was clear that a significant upward GDP revision was in the works, “journalists” at MarketWatch and CNNMoney.com, with the help of their “experts,” did everything they could to downplay its impending significance. One even called it a “mirage.”

On Sunday, MarketWatch’s Rex Nutting took his shots. Based on previous posts on his work, and past direct correspondence yours truly has had with him, Mr. Nutting seems to be a guy who would have a hard time finding the sun on a cloudless day.

Here is some of his dismal dirge:

Big revision in GDP won’t mean much
Housing, consumer spending expected to weaken further

The economic optimists will get a cheer from some of the economic data in the coming week, but on the whole, the data should point to an economy that’s still mighty troubled.

….. GDP growth is likely to be revised up to 2.7% annual growth from an estimate of 1.9%, according to our weekly survey of economists.

Growth that strong would normally be greeted with hosannas, but this one should come with an asterisk. The growth is mostly outside the United States, not in it.

The upward revision will be almost entirely due to stronger exports (in part due to a weaker dollar) and to much weaker imports. Net exports are contributing more to U.S. growth than at any time in nearly three decades.

Meanwhile, domestic demand is very weak and likely to get weaker in coming quarters.

….. With no more federal stimulus on the way, personal consumption should increasingly reflect the weak fundamentals,” wrote Meny Grauman of CIBC. Third-quarter spending “is looking increasingly grim.”

Predictions that consumer spending will tank have been made, and generally not materialized, for at least the past four years.

Nutting does point to housing as a legitimate concern. But that sector has been in the doldrums for at least a year, and the economy grew nicely in the second quarter in spite of its continued troubles.

Chris Isidore at CNNMoney.com updated his report for today’s GDP announcement, but, with the help of some stunning statements from certain economists, stuck to his “Pay no attention to that GDP report in the corner” guns (bolds are mine):

The economic growth mirage

Sure, the economy grew at a decent clip in the second quarter. But economists say the gain may be temporary and warn of tougher times ahead.

Despite all the talk about the U.S. economy falling on hard times this year, the economy grew at a more solid pace during the second quarter.

….. But that doesn’t mean that the United States has avoided a recession, some economists say. In fact, there are growing concerns that weakness will extend through the rest of this year and even into 2009.

“My feeling is that the recession started in the fourth quarter of 2007,” said David Wyss, chief economist with Standard & Poor’s. “I think the worst quarter will be the first quarter of 2009, which would make it a long recession.”

….. “Mostly what this report will say is, when you give somebody an $1,800 check, he spends it,” said Wyss, referring to the tax rebate received by many families.

….. several economists say they are certain the United States is in recession, and that no one should be fooled into thinking otherwise by a strong second-quarter GDP report.

That’s because it will be hard for the economy to rebound until the housing, banks and credit markets start to recover from the upheaval of the past year.

Here we have claims by economists that we can be in the third quarter of a recession while growth is registering over 3%! What in the world are these guys putting into their coffee? (I know, Democratic kool-aid.)

Both Nutting and Isidore failed to mention the two arguably biggest economic challenges we face, both of them originating from the left: The Pelosi-Obama-Reid Economy’s hammerlock on sensible energy policy, and current consumer spending restraint tied to the likelihood of punishing tax increases if there is an Obama victory in November.

Oh, and as to the jobs situation: With 1.3 million illegal immigrants having left the country in the past year, maybe the “mirage” is in the employment numbers. This year’s seasonally adjusted jobs loss of 450,000 may reflect 750,000 or so illegal workers leaving — and 300,000 citizen workers taking their place.

Cross-posted at NewsBusters.org.

2nd Quarter GDP Revised Upward to 3.3%!

Filed under: Economy,MSM Biz/Other Ignorance,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 8:45 am

Would those who have been screaming “Recession, Recession!” please raise their white flags?

C’mon now, nice and high.

Raining on the economic gloom and doom parade in Denver, to be capped off by tonight’s Greco-Roman Oration from “The One,” there’s this from Uncle Sam’s Bureau of Economic Analysis (bold is mine):

Real gross domestic product — the output of goods and services produced by labor and property located in the United States — increased at an annual rate of 3.3 percent in the second quarter of 2008, (that is, from the first quarter to the second quarter), according to preliminary estimates released by the Bureau of Economic Analysis.  In the first quarter, real GDP increased 0.9 percent.

That’s revised from the advance estimate for the second quarter of 1.9% last month.

As noted in last night’s post about unchanged income inequality during the Bush 43 Administration’s seven years thus far, analysts and economists across the board were predicting that the revision would come in at 2.7%.

Reminder: The white-flag group would include “The One” I refer to as “Mr. BOOHOO-OUCH” (Barack O-bomba Overseas HusseinObambiObama – Objectively Unfit Coddler of Haters), who said in mid-July that “there’s little doubt we’ve moved into recession.”

Justified Gloater of the Day: Brian Wesbury, who predicted before the initial release in late July that second quarter GDP would come in at 3%, and surely caught a lot of grief, including a bit from me, after that first reading of 1.9%.

ACORN Again, This Time in Cuyahoga County; Shut Them Down

Filed under: MSM Biz/Other Bias,Scams,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 8:23 am

Hot off the keyboards in Cleveland (bolds are mine; HT to an e-mailer):

A national organization that conducts voter registration drives for low-income people has curtailed its push in Cuyahoga County after the Board of Elections accused its workers of submitting fraudulent registration cards.

The board is investigating the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now. Results of the inquiry could be turned over to the county prosecutor.

Board employees said ACORN workers often handed in the same name on a number of voter registration cards, but showing that person living at different addresses. Other times, cards had the same name listed, but a different date of birth. Still another sign of possible fraud showed a number people living at an address that turned out to be a restaurant.

“I’m obviously very concerned,” Board Chairman Jeff Hastings said. “This goes to the essence of our democracy.”

ACORN had a part-time staff of 30 who worked five days a week to find unregistered people. The workers made $8 an hour and were required to sign up 20 voters in each five-hour shift.

The elections board’s registration department said in a report that ACORN’s quota contributed to the possible fraud.

ACORN stopped the registration efforts of the part-timers on Aug. 15. Three salaried employees continue the drive to sign up voters.

Kristopher Harsh, head organizer for the agency’s Cleveland office, said it is unlikely a full-fledged movement will resume before the Nov. 4 election.

ACORN has submitted about 75,000 voter registration cards to the Cuyahoga board this year.

Board employees are unsure how many of the cards are fraudulent. But the voter registration department received so many suspicious cards that it began compiling a binder with evidence. The binder grew to be an inch-thick.

….. Elections board member Sandy McNair said it was doubtful the agency deliberately defrauded voters.

“You had a badly run operation that was not paying sufficient attention,” he said.

Horsecrap.

It gets worse — a lot worse.

In November 2006, the Cleveland Plain Dealer reported that “Cuyahoga County has 1.05 million registered voters, which tops the number of adults in the county by 200,000, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.” Also in November 2006, a Cleveland TV station reported several specific instances where “votes ….. (were) cast by citizens who are dead.”

How can anyone possibly believe that ACORN was able to find another 75,000 eligible voters to register in Cuyahoga County?

Time and time again, in cities around the country (the linked article notes previous problems in Ohio’s Franklin and Summit Counties, whose county seats are Columbus and Akron), ACORN has engaged in tactics virtually identical to those described above. Then when caught, it has rolled out “dog ate my homework” garbage about poor training, bad management, dishonest low-level employees, blah blah blah.

Stop it already. This is an organization that is rotten at its core.

I don’t have time right now to chronicle the pervasive corruption this group has engaged in for years — and it is by no means limited to voter-registration fraud. This is the same ACORN Michelle Malkin has been writing up over its Barack Obama connections (here, here, here, and here).  This BizzyBlog search on ACORN, plus this one at Gateway Pundit, who has been all over this for years, will provide readers plenty of past evidence.

Yet ACORN continues to get free passes, and even praise, from naive media types, while getting the hero treatment from Democratic party bigwigs.

Two years ago, I wrote that “ACORN should be prohibited from engaging in any voter-registration drives again, PERIOD.” Given what has been learned about the organization’s other problems since, that’s more obvious than ever.

When are prosecutors and attorneys general going to figure out that this corrupt, renegade group needs to be summarily shut down and (thanks to Bill in comment 1 for the nudge) its head honchos prosecuted?

______________________________________________________

UPDATE: Ed at Hot Air:

In examining the record, one has to wonder why Congress hasn’t demanded a RICO investigation of ACORN instead of trying to find ways to fund its pattern of fraud.  The Democratic majority apparently feels that they need ACORN to conduct fraud on a massive scale in order to cement their grip on power.  And, since their presidential candidate just had to amend his campaign finance records to show an $800,000 contract with ACORN, it seems Barack Obama’s supposed “reform” rests on the same kind of fraud.

An HA commenter writes:

This is not a voter registration organization, it is a crime syndicate targeting our electoral system, and supported exclusively by Democrats.

Positivity: Search party finds missing boy

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 5:59 am

From Laramie, Wyoming:

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

LARAMIE — The 3-year-old son of the director of a dude ranch in the rocky, sagebrush foothills west of Wheatland was found unharmed at dawn Tuesday after wandering off from the ranch house at about 8 p.m. the night before.

Whip Longwell, son of the Flying X Ranch’s new director Ame Longwell, was spotted in a hayfield about three-fourths of a mile from the headquarters, according to the owner of Cold Nose Investigators, a Centennial search dog company, who participated in the search for most of the night.

The boy “was scratched and dirty but otherwise OK,” Curt Orde said.

Ranch hands and others searched for the boy for about 90 minutes before calling authorities Monday.

Albany County Sheriff’s Lt. Michael Garcia coordinated the search, which continued all night. The ranch is located off of Halleck Canyon Road which runs west from the Sybille Canyon highway.

Orde brought his search dog “Moose” to the area at about midnight and the dog worked for four hours, locating scents indicating that the boy “had wandered from the yard into a corral area and then onto a road about a half mile from the ranch house. Moose helped the search by determining the boy had not gone into tack rooms, horse stalls, grain storage areas and had not gone down to the stream through the ranch.”

Toward morning Moose stepped on a cactus, Orde said, and was taken back to the house to get the spines out and rest. When dawn broke, he said, sheriff’s deputies or other searchers went up on some higher points and soon spotted the boy in the hayfield.

“Lt. Garcia turned to the boy’s mom and said, ‘We found your little boy,’” Orde said. “She was taken to the boy’s location, and she brought him home. Everybody gave him a round of applause, and the lieutenant gave him a special deputy sheriff’s badge.”

Orde said an Australian shepherd stayed with the boy during the night. “At one point during the night the searchers saw a dog pass by, but it disappeared into the darkness and they lost him. The dog apparently returned to where the boy was and must have recognized the boy was in trouble.”

This is the second child search and rescue operation in which Moose has participated in just over a year. In July 2007, Curt’s wife, Cathy, was called to a location in the Sierra Madre Mountains west of Encampment where a 2-year-old toddler disappeared from his parents’ trailer in the forested area.

Searchers had not located the boy for 4-1/2 hours when Cathy and Moose arrived on the scene. “Nobody knew which way the boy had gone,” Cathy said Tuesday after she was contacted by telephone in Tennessee doing training with one of the company’s other retrievers.

Moose quickly picked up the boy’s scent, she said, and for 35 minutes he led her over ridges and across a creek about a mile away before pulling very hard to go down one slope.

“I removed the leash, and he plunged down and came out with a camouflage baseball cap that he dropped at my feet,” she said. “He then took me down to the boy. I told the boy I was going to take him back to his mommy, and he hugged me tight around the neck.”

The 8-year-old retriever won an award from the U.S. Police Canine Association for that rescue, Cathy said. …..

Go here for the rest of the story.