"It’s A Girl!”
No, we’re not referring to Angelina Jolie’s latest adoption, rather the simple announcement found on one of the more popular 2008 presidential campaign buttons — pink in color — available through John McCain’s official campaign store, GOPTrunk.com.
The button refers to the Republican party’s first-ever woman vice presidential candidate, Sarah Palin, although it can obviously be used again and again for whenever the stork arrives.
Once upon a time, it was mostly low-and-moderate income Americans who were familiar with the grassroots organization ACORN, the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now, for which Barack Obama toiled as an organizer and lawyer during the 1990s.
Now, suddenly, the agenda of the activist group, which has chapters in some 110 cities across the U.S., has been thrust into the 2008 presidential campaign spotlight by Obama’s opponent, Republican presidential candidate John McCain.
The latter has suggested that ACORN, by its heavy hand when dealing with financial lenders, helped fuel the mortgage industry meltdown by forcing large banks to provide low-income housing loans.
“What did ACORN in Chicago engage in?” asks one official McCain ad. “Bullying banks. Intimidation tactics. Disruption of business. ACORN forced banks to issue risky home loans. The same types of loans that caused the financial crisis we’re in today.”
Legitimate charges, or more of the usual election-year hype?
This columnist was contacted Monday by Washington-area resident LaDonna Hale Curzon, who writes: “I remember many years ago, when I was an editor for Mortgage Banking Magazine at the Mortgage Bankers Association of America, a group of ACORN members stormed MBA’s reception area and staged a loud protest.
“They refused to leave when asked by a MBA staff member. The receptionist was frightened to silence. They demanded a meeting with MBA’s CEO, which eventually happened.”
It’s not John McCain, rather the African-American National Black Republican Association, that just issued the following statement:
“With Obama supporter black Democrat Congressman John Lewis leading the charge [-] comparing Sen. John McCain and Gov. Sarah Palin to the 1960’s racist Democrat George Wallace [-] the Obama camp has tossed a racial firebomb into the election, a blatant attempt to intimidate average Americans into voting for Sen. Barack Obama who is a far left-wing radical socialist, or risk being called a racist.”
We were amused by the latest White House pool report tracking President Bush’s holiday weekend bicycle outing to Rosaryville State Park in Maryland, “an unexpected change of location from his usual Sunday bike riding places,” noted Cynthia Dizikes of the Los Angeles Times.
So where did the White House plant the team of reporters that accompanied Mr. Bush in his motorcade, otherwise keeping them out-of-sight of the president’s actual bike riding?
“The pool waited in a 7-Eleven parking lot,” revealed Ms. Dizikes.
When not traversing the country as Sen. Barack Obama’s vice-presidential running mate, Democratic Sen. Joseph R. Biden Jr. is campaigning for re-election to the U.S. Senate.
Delaware law allows that if Mr. Biden should not become the next veep, he can still keep his Senate seat — granted, of course, that he defeats his 2008 Republican challenger, Christine O’Donnell, who insists that Delaware, if not the country, suffers from "Biden Fatigue."
Or do they? The two most recent polls we found, Survey USA and Fairleigh Dickinson, show Mr. Biden ahead of Ms. O’Donnell 64 to 32, and 69 to 26, respectively.
Still Not Ready?
Several of the 2008 presidential campaign battleground states are "not prepared" to meet the challenges of administering the Nov. 4 election, especially in "minority" precincts, where turnout is expected to be unprecedented.
The national voter protection organization Advancement Project obtained precinct records on allocations of voting machines and poll workers in Virginia, Florida, Michigan, Missouri, Nevada, Ohio and Pennsylvania. In certain jurisdictions, it reports, "the allocation of polling place resources is likely to have a disproportionate impact on communities of color. In other words, there will be fewer voting machines or poll workers per voter in high minority precincts than in low minority precincts."
Judith Browne-Dianis, co-director of the group, now warns, "If they do not prepare adequately for the potential turnout, what could be the greatest collective exercise in democratic participation in our nation’s history may be stained by government failure."
Make Room, Abe
Editors of the Wasilla Iron Dog Gazette were more than amused when reporters from virtually every major news organization in the country "descended en masse on tiny Wasilla, Alaska, demanding to know, who is the real Sarah Palin?"
Now, these Alaska newspapermen, who covered Mrs. Palin as a teenage basketball star, beauty queen, school board member, mayor, governor and now vice-presidential candidate, have gone and gotten themselves a big-time publisher, HarperCollins, in order to unveil a private collection of Palin family photos that the big-city reporters did not find.
Bear in mind that "Terminatrix: The Sarah Palin Chronicles," is purely a work of satire. However, its digitally altered images provide a fascinating running commentary of Mrs. Palin’s life, ending sometime in the future with her chiseled cheekbones atop Mount Rushmore.
Nix the Promises
"Unfortunately, winning is more important than governing."
That’s the conclusion of Leon Panetta, co-chairman of the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, who has sent a message to both presidential candidates — Barack Obama and John McCain — that they can forget their costly campaign promises to the American people.
The former California congressman and White House chief of staff under President Clinton added up approximately $400 billion worth of new initiatives promised by the two candidates (the majority, more than $300 billion in spending, is proposed by Mr. Obama), which Mr. Panetta said just isn’t going to happen given the country’s economic woes.
Mr. Panetta also warned that the massive federal deficit will likely get worse in the short term, and balancing the books will hinge on whether the next president and Congress exercise "discipline."
Before economic panic takes hold of every American (after all, Rep. Virginia Foxx, North Carolina Republican, said "I don’t think it is too much of a stretch to say this may be the day America died"), we call attention to former U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan’s recent pledge to the Georgetown University Law Center:
"Trust will eventually re-emerge as investors dip hesitantly back into the marketplace [and] from that point, history tells us, financial and economic revival sets in. It always has, in this society governed by that remarkable document we call the Constitution of the United States."