Posted at 10:05pm on Jul. 11, 2008 Standby . . .
Cue the new site. Less than 50 minutes to go.
Consider this your final open thread on the present site.
[UPDATE 11:00] Momentary delay. We'll be transitioned very shortly. Keep standing by. . .
[UPDATE 12:13] We ran into a slight problem with a last minute compatibility issue. One more hour now.
[UPDATE 1:22 am] Had a glitch in program that doesn't affect any of you, but does affect all the front page contributors. IT is fixing that before launching the site, because it will affect server issues. Once that is done, the site goes live. I think I'm calling it a night.
Posted in Blogosphere | RS 3.0 — Comments (46)/ Email this page » / Read More »
Posted at 7:04pm on Jul. 11, 2008 BREAKING: Bank Collapses. Feds cite Sen. Chuck Schumer as "immediate cause" of collapse
Federal regulators just seized and shut down IndyMac, a major mortgage specialist.
The Pasadena, Calif., thrift was one of the largest savings and loans in the country with about $32 billion in assets. It now joins an infamous list of collapsed banks, topped by Continental Illinois National Bank and Trust Co., which failed in 1984 with $40 billion of assets.
IndyMac specialized in Alt-A loans, a type of mortgage that can often be offered to borrowers who don't fully document their incomes or assets. The company sold most of the loans it originated but continued to hold some on its books. As defaults piled up, IndyMac's finances deteriorated.
The bank will be run by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., a federal regulator, and will reopen Monday.
Now the question is, did Senator Chuck Schumer cause IndyMac's collapse? The Office of Thrift Supervision, that regulates entities like IndyMac, says "the immediate cause" of IndyMac's collapse was Senator Chuck Schumer.
In a written statement, the Office of Thrift Supervision, which regulated IndyMac, said "the immediate cause" of the failure was statements made by Sen. Charles Schumer, a New York Democrat. Mr. Schumer in late June publicly raised concerns about the bank's solvency.
"Although this institution was already in distress, I am troubled by any interference in the regulatory process," said OTS Director John Reich.
This is huge -- that a federal regulatory agency would precisely finger a United States Senator as being responsible for a present financial disaster. And why? Because Schumer demands camera time and soapboxes to keep his power. And this time, he stepped up too high.
Now taxpayers will foot Schumer's bill.
Posted in Archived | Banking crisis | Chuck Schumer | FDIC | IndyMac | New York — Comments (14)/ Email this page » / Read More »
Posted at 6:36pm on Jul. 11, 2008 Dueling June Obama fundraising claims?
Seems like there's an easy enough way to settle this.
By Moe Lane
Meanwhile, June fund-raising for Sen. Obama appears to be falling below the expectations of some supporters. The campaign hasn't released its June numbers, but people close to the fund-raising operation say the total will likely be just over $30 million. While this isn't a poor showing, it is an underwhelming haul for a campaign that has ballooned in recent months, has promised a true, 50-state electioneering effort and has told its biggest fund-raisers that it wants to collect $300 million in general-election cash by mid-October.
The reason for the lower-than-expected numbers for Sen. Obama, fund-raisers said, was his continuing difficulty in getting former supporters of Democratic rival Hillary Clinton to open their purses for him, following a protracted, bitter primary battle. Sen. Obama has also tacked to the middle on some recent policy issues, annoying many in the left wing of the Democratic Party. These more liberal-leaning supporters make up a large proportion of his small-donor cadre. The campaign says that some 1.7 million people have given $200 or less, making up 45% of Sen. Obama's total.
A bit of an eye-opener, that. And subject to what is ostensibly a swift pushback (Read on)...
Posted in 2008 | Barack Obama | fundraising | Obamafiles — Comments (2)/ Email this page » / Read More »
Posted at 4:51pm on Jul. 11, 2008 The pushback against Democrats' attempts to limit online communication continues
Thank you to the hundreds of you who took time out of your day yesterday to sign my petition, to join my Facebook group, and/or to call Speaker Pelosi's office about Democratic attempts to limit online communication between the American people and their elected representatives. If you haven't yet, I encourage you to do so at your earliest convenience. You can also put a petition widget on your site by copying and pasting the code from the bottom of this post on my blog.
I am grateful to sites like RedState, which are keeping readers informed about this issue while keeping the heat on Congressional leaders. Several of my House Republican colleagues, including John Culberson, Thaddeus McCotter, and Minority Leader John Boehner, have also been working hard to make sure that the truth about this issue is presented to the American people.
Please read on.
Posted in Congress — Comments (13) / Email this page » / Read More »
Posted at 2:45pm on Jul. 11, 2008 Rep. Capuano's Newspeak for Censorship
As the Obama candidacy gains momentum, we should all become more accustomed to "newspeak." Out is the word "censorship" to be replaced with the phrase "freedom of speech." The former phrase "freedom of speech' will be prohibited except in classical texts until such texts can be reprinted wherein all references to actual free speech will be deleted.
That, of course, seems the natural progression from Rep. Mick Capuano (D-MA), who calls the internet a "necessary evil."
Rep. Capuano is proposing regulations that would prohibit Members of Congress from contributing content to any site that has commercial advertising. Likewise, Rep. Capuano, though he's peddling furiously away from it, has proposed Congressional approval of new technologies that Members of Congress could only embrace after Congress issues a blessing.
The same thing is happening in the Senate, though Senators are being less vocal about Senator Diane Feinstein's similar proposal.
Congressman John Boehner's office has a post up on this subject. His staff points out that under Congressman Capuano's proposal, members of the House of Representatives could be prohibited from having op-eds in newspapers because those op-eds also appear online.
This has very little to do with actually making sure congressmen are not using their office to endorse commercial advertising and everything to do with Democrats being routinely out-gamed by Republicans in floor fights that are highlighted by Republican congressman on blogs and in YouTube mocking the insanity of the Democrats' congressional track record.
America's Mother-in-Law claims Congress has a "responsibility to ensure that Members and the public understand the need to prevent the misuse of public funds, while at the same time ensuring access to emerging online means of communication." Bridges to nowhere are apparently an acceptable use of public funds while connecting with constituents via YouTube has been perverted to be a misuse of public funds.
Get used to newspeak.
Posted in Congress | Franking | Internet Censorship | John Boehner | Massachusetts | Michael Capuano | Nancy Pelosi — Comments (5)/ Email this page » / Read More »
Posted at 12:28pm on Jul. 11, 2008 What Does John McCain Believe About Barack Obama?
The Burning Question
Here's the thing I keep coming back to about this election and what it will take to win it. It's a point that Hillary Clinton grasped, albeit too late to save her. And it's an open question about our own nominee and how he will approach the next 116 days.
Most people who would consider voting Republican in this (or any) election either like McCain, grudgingly respect him, or are hard-core Republicans/conservatives who ought to be persuadable for any Republican, even McCain. But none of those groups is going to be fired up with positive enthusiasm for the guy or his platform. On the conservative side, he's got folks who need regular reminding why they should vote for a guy who has butted heads with them so many times; on the moderate side, he's got people who are OK with him but are feeling like maybe the new guy from the other party deserves a shot. McCain has the experience and the biography, he is good on some issues (your mileage may vary as to which ones), and has some good ideas (ditto), but very few people are super-enthused about the things he is promising to bring to the Oval Office. Reassured, perhaps, but not enthused.
At the same time, McCain's opponent is not Generic D but rather a left-wing extremist with no experience, horrible, tried-and-proven-failure ideas and terrible judgment in friends, supporters and staff. That ought to frighten moderates and conservatives alike when they contemplate giving him the car keys. McCain's path to victory, then, is in collecting the people who like him, the people who respect him, and the people who can force themselves to tolerate him, and persuading them that an Obama presidency would be a disaster for the nation.
But McCain can only do that consistently and effectively if he, himself, believes that Obama would be a disaster for the nation.
Posted in 2008 | Barack Obama | John McCain — Comments (31)/ Email this page » / Read More »
Posted at 12:22pm on Jul. 11, 2008 Tonight
Four years ago on July 12th, RedState turned on the lights.
In August of 2006, we turned off scoop and turned on Drupal.
Tonight, between 10 - 11 p.m., we'll be turning off Drupal and turning on something new. Our official launch of RedState 3.0 will begin Monday and we have a lot of surprises in store for you.
Right now, the new site is at http://beta.redstate.com and your account works there.
If you have a space in your user name, you'll need to use the "_" in place of the space. Your password was transferred. If you are posting a diary here today, you might want to hop on over to the new site and post there too. Tonight, http://beta.redstate.com becomes http://www.redstate.com and this site goes to a read-only archive. Anything posted at the beta site today will transfer over as part of the new site tonight.
While I'm at it, let me extend a big thanks to Neil and Robert for their tremendously hard work under difficult and aggravating circumstances to get us here. Let me also thank Josh, Ben, Mike, Clayton, and everyone else here at RedState for one heck of a great four years.
It's been fun. I hope the new site will make it even more enjoyable and productive for all of us in the RedState Community.
See you tonight at the new site and, until then, I'll be hanging around here.
Posted in Blogosphere — Comments (25)/ Email this page » / Read More »
Posted at 10:38am on Jul. 11, 2008 Barry at the Gate. He's not wanted.
Angie Merkel: "Nein!"
By Mark Kilmer
German Chancellor Angela Merkel does not want Obama to speak at the Brandenburg Gate.
Earlier, I had whined, as is my recurrent wont, about Barack Obama's strangely arrogant desire to speak at Berlin's Brandenburg Gate when he visits Europe later this year. That Gate, when it was metaphorically closed, was the scene of one of the modern world's historic speeches, when Ronald Reagan challenged Soviet General Secretary Mikhail Gorbachev to open the gate and to "tear down this wall!" Now, Barry wants to invite the requisite Reagan-comparisons by talking HopeChangeHope at a place where the world's reality changed. What a lightweight!
Well, this is apparently getting some bad air in Germany these days.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel has said she opposes the idea, referring to the highly symbolic landmark as an “inappropriate” setting for a speech linked to a domestic American political campaign.
And, as Politico.com reports in the same peace, an anonymous "American in Berlin with high-ranking diplomatic experience" describes:
“If he comes here, and does something like [speak at Brandenburg] against the wishes of the head of Germany’s government, he could be seen as somewhat arrogant, as presumptuous, that he disregarded her wishes and went ahead to do this anyway,” said another American in Berlin advising the German government on the matter.
Barry says he wants his foreign policy to be based on folding to the whims of foreign governments, though he phrases it differently. His politics of personal appeasement would be on shaky ground if he were to try to play Reagan in a TV event at the scene of one of Reagan's greatest symbolic triumphs.
Posted in 2008 | Brandenburg Gate | Merkel | Obama — Comments (46)/ Email this page » / Read More »
Posted at 9:12am on Jul. 11, 2008 Blue-on-Blue Watch: NYT versus Charlie Rangel.
Although there's a subtext, here. There usually is, with these things.
By Moe Lane
Let's say that you're a news/media organization, and you have yourself a problem. There's this guy running for President. You loved that the guy was running for President. You got totally into fact that the guy was running, to the point where you pretty much gushed and cooed and did all sorts of really, really embarrassing things on your front page in support of the guy. You did everything that you could to get the guy the Democratic nomination, and lo! - he did.
And then the guy abandoned public financing for the election.
You loved public financing. It was like a starving puppy that you found in a storm drain during a blizzard, all whimpering and scared and alone. You took public financing home and kept it alive, cleaning its sores and giving it its worm medicine, making sure that it had all its shots and got housebroken. And the guy? When he came over, he made you think that he loved public financing just as much as you did... up until the moment where he took a rock and did his level best to bash its brains in. And when you came home to discover what he had done, he shrugged at you. He actually shrugged.
So what do you do?
Well, if you're the Washington Post, you tell your editors to take off the filter that gives the guy his halo. If you're the LA Times, you let your house blogger know that it's no longer Be Kind To The Guy Millenium. If you're ABC News, hey, Jake Tapper suddenly sees himself on TV more often. But if you're the New York Times, maybe you don't have those options. Direct action is going to get squashed before it starts. The people who control your paper don't care about public financing, really. They're still entranced by the guy. So, you can't go after him directly.
But that's actually OK: he has friends.
Posted in 2008 | Charlie Rangel | Culture of Corruption | Obamafiles — Comments (10)/ Email this page » / Read More »
Posted at 7:52am on Jul. 11, 2008 Rethinking the Goals of a National Mortgage Bailout
An already-ugly problem gets worse
Front and center this week have been the ill fortunes of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the government-sponsored enterprises (GSEs) that together own trillions of dollars’ worth of US home mortgages.
At this point in time, there really is no reason to own the stock of either company. The Administration is said to be looking carefully at whether and how to do a government takeover of one or both. The grand 35-plus year experiment in semi-public support for US housing may be coming to an end.
But that’s far from the only problem in the mortgage/housing sector. In fact, it may be the easy problem. The hard problem is what to do about all the homeowners that are falling behind on their payments.
This is a time bomb that continues to tick away, and Congress has been working hard to pass a huge bailout bill (the Dodd-Frank Act). President Bush has vowed to veto it, but he’ll break that promise.
But what are the objectives (both political and economic) of this enormously costly legislation? Can it actually meet those objectives? And are they the right objectives in the first place?
Posted in Dodd-Frank Act | Economy | housing | Mortgage Bailout — Comments (45)/ Email this page » / Read More »
Posted at 12:59am on Jul. 11, 2008 Obama/... DODD?
Clearly, I am in some sort of benevolent version of the Truman Show.
By Moe Lane
It's like this entire election season was created to make me laugh like a loon on a regular basis.
Obama seeks info on Dodd in vice president search
By NEDRA PICKLER, Associated Press Writer 57 minutes ago
WASHINGTON - Barack Obama's presidential campaign has requested information from Democratic Sen. Chris Dodd as part of its search for a possible vice presidential candidate.
The former White House hopeful and Connecticut lawmaker indicated Wednesday that he has been approached by the campaign. "There's been some inquiries, yeah," Dodd said. "They ask for a lot of stuff. I'll leave it there."
Obama campaign spokesman Bill Burton and Dodd's Senate office declined comment Thursday.
Probably wise of both. Free hint to the Obama campaign: when the AP, on looking over a potential VP candidate's recent history, decides to go with the "may be implicated in mortgage kickback scandal" bit over the "sorta-kinda fought to derail the FISA bill" bit... yeah, maybe this was a bit of a time-waster for you. But don't let me stop you from picking the man. All I ask is that you wait for my air-popper to finish the latest bowl of popcorn.
Because you can't put BACON SALT* on microwave popcorn, of course.
*It's even kosher! No, really.
Posted in 2008 | Barack Obama | Chris Dodd | Obamafiles | Veepstakes — Comments (12)/ Email this page » / Read More »
Posted at 4:00pm on Jul. 10, 2008 Tell Democrats to Stop Trying to Block Communication Between Representatives and the American People [Updated with Widget]
[Update: To put this petition widget on your blog or Web site, copy and paste the following code:
Thank you again for your time, concern, and willingness to act to make your voice heard.
-Congressman Mike Conaway]
As reported yesterday here on RedState, Congressional Democratic leaders, who promised in 2006 to create a more "open" government, are now proposing a new rule that would prevent Members of Congress from using the Internet to communicate with the American people unless the Web site they are using has been "approved" by a panel responsible for creating internal House rules.
Millions of Americans, and hundreds of Representatives -- including myself -- use video-sharing Web sites like YouTube, personal blogs, and online community sites like Red State to keep track of what is going on in Congress, to provide constituents with information and insight, and to build and foster communication between elected representatives and the American people.
The Internet and the New Media have made Congress more transparent, sometimes against its will, and have better empowered Americans to hold elected officials accountable for their actions, statements, decisions, and votes. Instead of embracing and working to further this new level of openness and transparency, as they promised when they were candidates for office, Democratic leaders are fighting to close the new lines of communication between politicians and the people that the Internet has opened.
Please read on.
Posted at 3:03pm on Jul. 10, 2008 McCotter in the alley broadcasting a message America's Mother-in-Law doesn't want you to hear
Congressman McCotter has a message for you and the Democrats. Of course, he'll have to resort to this method of communication if the Democrats have their way.
Posted in Blogging | Congress | Fairness Doctrine | Michigan | Nancy Pelosi | Thaddeus McCotter — Comments (8)/ Email this page » / Read More »
Posted at 2:31pm on Jul. 10, 2008 Corrupt Democrat Watch, July 10 Edition, Part One
Crooks, Creeps, And Even A "Democrat Of The Year"
Time once again for our roundup of corrupt and misbehaving Democrats around Washington and the country at large. Miss a week and they pile up on you. Dan Spencer has already covered Obama's mortgage deal, and you know all about Chris Dodd and Kent Conrad, but as usual, there's so much more. In fact, this installment is so big that we have to break it in two parts; we'll have a second piece later today or tomorrow just to update you on the sagas of the Democratic mayors of Detroit and Baltimore.
Also, I leave it to the reader to count how many of the news reports cited below fail to mention the party affiliations of the miscreants.
Posted in Corrupt Democrat Watch | Democrats — Comments (20)/ Email this page » / Read More »
Posted at 2:24pm on Jul. 10, 2008 Breaking: McCain campaign reports 22 million raised, 94.5 million combined cash on hand. [UPDATED]
Plus 8 million more in State Victory Parties.
By Moe Lane
[Note: this information comes from a conference call conducted today by Rick Davis of the McCain campaign. - Moe Lane]
That's about 10 million more than last month, and after large amounts of spending from advertising. 26.7 million cash on hand for McCain, 67.8 million cash on hand for the RNC: it looks like a net negative 5 million for McCain (the aforementioned advertising buys) and a net plus 15 million for the RNC (I've got a call out for their raw numbers).
Obama's turn. 22 million sounds really easy to beat, Barry...
(Later after the fold...)