Tuesday, March 31, 2009
"Hyperinflation," where people go to Wal-Mart with a wheelbarrow full of low-value "dollars" to buy staples is an extremely important concept. The way the Fed is "solving" the economic problem by printing tens of thousands of tons of greenbacks will lead inevitably to very high inflation, which tends to feed on itself. This is one of the nasty little "surprises" that the Obama policies will produce.
Another key term is "stagflation," which the Carter Administration excelled at. Of coruse, the way to deal with hyperinflation is to jack interest rates up to Carter-like levels (17% mortgage rates), which of course produces economic stagnation, which is back where we are now. The goal of the Obama Administration is not to 'fix" the economy, but rather to produce the illusion of better days around the time of the next election. Pray for America.
Bye Bye U.S. Dollar....
UN backs new new global currency reserve (The Sunday Telegraph, U.K.)
"A UNITED Nations panel of economists has proposed a new global currency reserve that would take over the US dollar-based system used for decades by international banks. The proposal follows the controversial call by China's central bank governor, Zhou Xiaochuan, to create a new world currency reserve to replace the greenback as part of an overhaul of global finance. China and many developing countries blame the global crisis on US mishandling of over-extended mortgage loans and investments in them.
"With the US also borrowing trillions of dollars, it risks hyperinflation, which would considerably weaken the dollar. An independently administered reserve currency could operate without conflicts posed by the US dollar and keep commodity prices more stable."
Monday, March 30, 2009
Some of her critics have portrayed Palin as rejecting "free money" that would benefit the people of Alaska. Those critics are shortsighted. There is no such thing as "free money." Palin is rejecting money she believes will aggravate the financial crisis rather than ameliorate it.
On my other blog, I'm writing a related piece about "What Caused the Financial Crisis?" Gov. Palin knows what caused the crisis: over-borrowing, over-spending, and over-lending. Barack Obama probably knows -- even though economics is not his strong suit -- but has chosen to act like a politician rather than a President.
Companies, including banks and other financial institutions, borrowed too much (and had too little capital). Individuals, companies, and, especially, governments spent too much. Individuals, companies, and governments borrowed too much, more than they would able to repay in a time of economic downturn.
The aforementioned paragraphs outline what happened. They will tell you more than you'll hear in the millions of words emanating from the TV networks and the national publications. They rely too much on long-winded "experts" and impenetrable financial jargon (e.g., "credit default swaps," "derivatives," and "subprime mortgages").
I won't join the "Blame America First" crowd. However, in the 1990s and the new century, our country struck a "deal with the Devil," China, a subject I'll write more about this week. Essentially, we said to China, "Look, we'll buy all the good you can manufacture or assemble . . . as long as you buy our burgeoning debt at relatively low interest rates." Essentially, China lent us huge amounts of money that we used essentially to pay for the goods we bought from them.
Domestically, the government did everything it could to encourage the purchase of homes, including purchases by people who were poor credit risks. Meanwhile, equities, stocks bought and sold on Wall Street, kept surging upward.
What were the assumptions underlying all this? They were that home prices and stock prices would continue to go up . . . essentially forever. However, what if house prices started to go down sharply -- as they did? And what if stock prices went into a steep decline -- as they did?
The answer is that our whole financial house-of-cards -- for individuals, business, and government -- would collapse, as it has. Unfortunately, the Obama Administration is regathering the cards -- and rejiggering some of the players -- to rebuild the "House" all over again. We need a newer -- saner -- financial model, but we're getting the old, unworkable one.
What is Obama's "solution" to the financial crisis, one caused by over-spending, over-borrowing, and over-lending? Unfortunately, he proposes a "hair of the dog" answer -- to spend, borrow, and lend more. In short, he's proposing a solution of appearance rather than reality. He's trying to postpone the crisis rather than solve it.
(More tomorrow on the financial crisis -- and some contrasts between Sarah Palin and Barack Obama.)
Sunday, March 29, 2009
Oops, the BBC just called, and I will be on NEXT WEEK (and not today). I gave them the name of a British contact, Brad Setser, who is the man, along with American expert Nouriel Roubini, predicted exactly what would happen in the financial crisis. That prediction was made (in a beautifully written article) in 2005 in the magazine Foreign Affairs. I really urge everyone to read the piece, which you can find at: http://www.foreignaffairs.com/articles/60840/brad-setser-et-al/how-scary-is-the-deficit
If you don't have the time, here's the Wikipedia short form of the Setser-Roubini piece. They are brilliant, but not obnoxiously so, and their prediction outlines everything that came to pass:
"If the US does not take policy steps [in 2005] to reduce its need for external financing [i.e., from foreign central banks, particulary China's] before it exhausts the world's central banks willingness to keep adding to their dollar reserves - and if the rest of the world does not take steps to reduce its dependence on an unsustainable expansion in US domestic demand to support its own growth - the risk of a hard landing for the US and global economy will grow. The basic outlines of a hard landing are easy to envision: a sharp fall in the value of the US dollar, a rapid increase in US long-term interest rates and a sharp fall in the price of a range of risk assets including equities and housing. The asset price adjustment would lead to a severe slowdown in the US, and the fall in US imports associated with the US slowdown and the dollar's fall would lead to a global severe economic slowdown, if not an outright recession." [from Messrs. Setser and Roubini, Foreign Affairs, 2005]
The financial problem the world faces was caused by over-borrowing, over-lending, and over-spending. The Obama/Geithner solution is to borrow more, to have foreign central banks increase their lending, and for government to accelerate its own spending. If that sounds as if we're trying to solve the problem by doing more of what caused it, well, you've hit the nail on the head.
Additionally, we're bailing out failure and submerging success. Just call it "The Obama Depression." He's repeating all of Roosevelt's mistakes, while remaining blind to FDR's successes.
Right now, Obama is tripling the national debt, while pledging -- eventually -- to cut it in half. If that sounds like the math of a professional swindler, well, then you've been paying attention.
Remember, Obama is a Chicago Machine Politician, nothing more, nothing less. He, Geithner, and Bernanke are preparing to pay off (part of) the massive debt with inflation-cheapened dollars, but it's highly unlikely foreign bankers are going to want to play that game for long.
Friday, March 27, 2009
Sarah Palin was a great vice-presidential candidate whose efforts were undermined by a disloyal and incompetent campaign staff, one extremely unhelpful either to Sarah or to John McCain.
[Scroll down to read about new book on Sarah Palin being "poised for the presidency."]
Karen Allen (http://www.annieoakley.org/) , who'd be a great staffer in a future Palin campaign, mentioned the story below (in smaller print) supposedly citing former members of the McCain campaign staff who worked with Gov. Palin for two months-plus in September/October. Read the story carefully please. Gov. Palin is criticized (as is her Alaska staff) for her "extreme candor." I guess extreme candor is not in this year.
Also, the people supposedly criticizing Sarah Palin are those characterized as ones "who showed extreme loyalty to Palin, continually getting thrown under the bus or slapped in the face . . ."
Somehow, I don't see these people as exactly showing "extreme loyalty" to anyone but themselves. Their post-campaign actions don't exactly mirror those of, say, John Ziegler or Bill Kristol. In general, the McCain Campaign staff was awful, serving as punching bag for Obama's far superior stafff.
On Sarah's staff, where in "H" was Adam Brickley, the political whiz who almost single-handedly got Sarah the v-p nomination? Adam's site (http://palinforvp.blogspot.com) has been recognized by the Library of Congress, which made it part of the permanent collection. He should have had a top position on the Palin staff. (Adam now blogs at: http://thebrickyard.blogspot.com/)
Where was the first-rate speechwriter? I've written speeches for CEOs of ten of the world's largest companies, and I would have worked for her for free. The BBC in London is asking me to speak on Obama and the G-20 summit in London -- the tenth time I will have spoken on the BBC. They know I exist, which is more than I can say for the McCain Staff.
Where was the take-no-prisoners media person? She needed Dana Perino, and she got The Invisible Man (Tucker Bounds).
My guess is that Sarah looked at the people around her as one she needed more to pray FOR than pray WITH. Here's the story:below:
Some of Sarah Palin's former campaign aides are frustrated with the Alaska governor for remarking in a lengthy, freewheeling speech that she had refused to pray with them before last October's vice presidential debate.Palin told the story in a speech to a GOP dinner in Alaska last Friday."So I'm looking around for somebody to pray with, I just need maybe a little help, maybe a little extra," she said of the moments before the debate. "And the McCain campaign, love 'em, you know, they're a lot of people around me, but nobody I could find that I wanted to hold hands with and pray." In this Feb. 11, 2009 file photo, Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin listens to a question during a news conference, in Juneau, Alaska. Palin reinforced her conservative credentials when she announced she would not accept nearly one-third of the federal stimulus money offered to the state, but a day later, was fending off critics who said it will hurt Alaskans. - AP Photo As the audience laughed, Palin noted that she meant no disrespect to the McCain campaign and that ended up saying a prayer with her daughter Piper.A handful of the McCain campaign staffers who traveled with the former vice presidential nominee nearly every day for two months caught wind of Palin's remarks on Thursday morning — and they aren't thrilled with her quip."We all talked this A.M.," said one former Palin aide in an e-mail. "This set off a nerve for sure with a lot of people.""It's yet another example of the few staff still loyal to Palin questioning their loyalty and ardent defense of her over the several months since the campaign," said the aide, who was granted anonymity to speak candidly about campaign colleagues.Since election day, Palin has publicly griped about the way she was handled by the McCain team and pushed back against some of the campaign advisers who attacked her anonymously in the press.But another former staffer said that in doing so, Palin is failing to distinguish between the strategists at McCain headquarters and the people who were at her side every day from late August through election day."It's about us people who were on the plane, who showed extreme loyalty to Palin, continually getting thrown under the bus or slapped in the face by her comments, whether she means it or not," the staffer said, adding that Palin's remarks "cause you to question not only your loyalty but her judgment as a leader."The former aides said they place part of the blame for Palin's post-campaign candor on the governor's staff in Alaska. Several have reached out individually to offer advice or assistance to the governor, but "have gotten only pleasantries in response," said one aide."Who is the one making the decision that she needs to be out there saying these things?," the second staffer asked. "Someone needs to be telling her, 'Listen, let's not talk the campaign any more.' We need to talk about what's relevant and thinking about her influence as a voice in the Republican Party.""The people that she has, either working at her PAC or advisers in Alaska, aren't exactly making the best decisions for her," the staffer said.Palin's office in Alaska did not respond to a request for comment.
Sarah Palin became the Republican vice presidential nominee, few Americans knew much about this young governor of Alaska. During the campaign, the media attacked her, as did her detractors from within and outside of the Republican Party. But Americans saw a tenacious political warrior who would not acquiesce in a male-dominated political battle. The purpose of this work is to introduce Americans to a young woman who has the character, the qualifications, and the unprecedented historical opportunity to become the leader of the greatest nation on earth. So, who is Sarah Palin? What was her journey like from a concerned hockey-mom to becoming governor of Alaska? How and why was she chosen to become the Republican vice presidential nominee? What is her future in the Republican Party and her opportunity for national, political office? You are likely to find some answers within the covers of this book.
Available at Amazon.com
GWB was and is a good man, an American patriot. His wife was one of the greatest of First Ladies.
But he was a lousy salesman. (Today, Obama did a very poor job of "selling" the Afghan War, because he failed to make it personally meaningful to Americans.) Republican Presidents have a very small margin of error, because of media hostility, and somehow I never got the impression that GWB was having searching discussions of how best to "sell" the war or his handling of Katrina.
On somebody like Harriet Miers, the question is not whether she's an outstanding person, but rather: "How do I sell her as a credible nominee for the Supreme Court?' Yes, some conservatives stabbed her -- and GWB -- in the back, but that's the world we live in.
Compare the nomination of John Roberts, a bullet-proof candidate, versus that of Harriet, who never had a chance. The Gonzalez appointment turned out to be a disaster. Yes, he was loyal, but he wasn't much more than that.
He needed people around him who would say: "Mr. President, NO! It won't work." He didn't have such people.
Frankly, GWB's desire to have "friendly" relations with the White House Press corps showed a truly amazing naivete. Those people inhabit a culture that sees Bush's views and his religious faith as toxic.
His little "teasing" comments to journalists were seen as embarrassing and phony. They are not his friends; they will never be his friends.
Does he understand that? No, but Sarah Palin does.
Yes, Soros types and the Dems did everything they could to undermine GWB's presidency. What was his plan for counteracting that? Potentially, the POTUS is a thousand times more powerful than George Soros. It didn't work out that way. Soros lied -- and [the] Bush [presiency] died.
I don't want Sarah Palin in 2020 to be complaining that "Soros, Pelosi, Reid, and the media ruined my presidency." Instead, I want her saying, "I crushed Soros and all those associated with him and his kind." As Gen. MacArthur said, "There is no substitute for victory."
Thursday, March 26, 2009
Wednesday, March 25, 2009
On the gravitas issue, Sarah already has a lot more of it than Barack Hussein Obama, with his giggling and "punch drunk: manner, not to mention the "March Madness" idiocy, as well as his crude statement on Special Olympics, and his use of a TelePrompter on all occasions, which has led to a web site of and by . . . Barack's TelePrompter. The YouTube of him using a TelePrompter to get the notoriously sour Michelle "in the mood" is not far off the mark.
Sarah is a friendly, open person who relies more on naturalness (to her advantage) than on some assumed persona. What we see with Sarah is what we get.
The "intellectual Presidents" we had included Jimmy Carter, Richard Nixon, and (to a degree) Bill Clinton. None of them was a raging success. The notion that Obama is abnormally bright is laughable. What he knows is what he reads on the aforesaid TelePrompter.
In the campaign, Joe Biden made one false statement after another. He also misrepresented consistently the circumstances of his wife's and daughter's death in an auto accident. (He claimed for years that the truck driver involved, Mr. Hamill, was drunk.) CBS News (Katie the Rodent) made the same claim. CBS retracted this week its repetition of the Biden story, as Mr. Hamill's daughter informed me.
See the following link for the true story: http://newsgroups.derkeiler.com/Archive/Misc/misc.transport.trucking/2008-09/msg00683.html
But Joe, with his fake silver hair and garrulous nonsense, has "gravitas."
I don't believe Sarah wants to be -- or will be -- anything but what she is, a normal American who has great leadership qualities. She's average in some ways, but way above-average in the things that count. Her appeal is to mid-Americans who identify with her as a wife, a mother, a hunter, an athlete, an advocate for special needs children, and a rock of integrity.
In short, just what America needs. That has to be enough.
We can't allow the Tea Parties -- the Second American Revolution -- to be one-and-done events. They must be a beginning -- and not an end. As the old saying goes, "Don't just get mad; instead, get even.
1. Contact as many family, friends, and political allies as possible and ask them to go as a group to the local Tea Party – tell them exactly where and when it will be, and offer transportation if you can;
2. Promote the event widely by calling into talk radio, sending letters-to-the-editors of local papers, and notifying local political organizations;
3. Take a half-day’s vacation (if necessary) and ask that sympathetic co-workers do the same;
4. Invite local political and community leaders (although they shouldn’t dominate the event, which should be a true grassroots undertaking);
5. Dress up to make the event as festive as possible – perhaps an Uncle Sam (or Aunt Sam) outfit, or wearing a barrel, or donning a “Lady Liberty” hat;
6. Make up (several) handmade signs, which will capture the attention of the local media;
7. Bring your children if possible and have them carry age-appropriate signs (such as the one that said, “Keep your hands off my piggy bank”);
8. Have card tables and sign-up sheets where people can put their names, addresses, and e-mail addresses, so it will be easier to build crowds for future actions;
9. Enable people to sign up to support their favorite pro-Tea-Party candidates (e.g., Gov. Sarah Palin);
10. Make sure as many people as possible can speak at the event by keeping remarks short and to the point (two-three minutes maximum);
11. Acquaint the people with organizations they can join, such as: TeamSarah.org, Wam08.org, Americac2C.org, and others.
Overall, make the tea party fun, productive, and the foundation for future actions.
Tuesday, March 24, 2009
Here's how an important Sarah backer, Ron Devito (and three cheers for him) of Team Sarah, responded to Ms. Coil:
Team Sarah is for friends and supporters of Sarah Palin, not her enemies. You have this paper [The Alaska Dispatch], ADN [Anchorage Daily News], and multiple Obama-supporting blogs to post your hatred of Governor Palin. This hatred -- from you and others in the tank for Barack HUSSEIN Obama spews like a steady stream of vomit on on a daily basis in all these venues.
Team Sarah and other pro-Sarah sites are not intended for "reporters"to troll. then post hateful material. A reporter covers news - a reporter does not interject opinion into the news.
Are you a reporter or a columnist? Which is is it? You can't be both. I have a journalism degree; I was in the field for two years. I know what is going on with the message boards, with the paid bloggers and how the mainstream press is specifically targeting Governor Palin. Journalism is dead -- and people like you -- are part of the reason why.
I run several blogs documenting the Governor's accomplishments and "anti-Sarah"material would be shot down faster than a hostile airliner on a September morning on any blog I operate. Freedom of the press belongs to the owner of the press. Team Sarah owns their press; I own mine. If you don't like it, too bad.
No one is stopping you from publishing your hatred here on your turf, on the blogs where your opinionated reporting is welcome, or on a blog of your own -- you have the same Internet, we all have -- but you are not going to come to any of our houses (that would be our websites) and use them as a means to aid your poison pen against Governor Palin. Team Sarah was correct in their action. And if you don't like my opinion, you're welcome to ban me from here. One way or the other it will be published some place."
Below is the plaintive bleep from the eternally bleeping Amanda Coil that Ron responded to in his comments. [Note: The Alaska Dispatch regularly "bans" people whom they regard as insufficiently service to their bogus journalism.]
Guess Teamsarah.org, Palin's biggest support group,is banning reporters now.The first message came in an inbox, from someone named Bill Collier. Anybody know him? If you do, you might want to remind him that Gov. Sarah Palin's platform is transparency.
"Amanda, I am temporarily suspending your account's access privileges pending a verification of your membership. Please provide your name, location, and either an email that we can verify from a paid account or your ISP or a verifiable phone number. Thank you, TS
Notice the first person there? Amanda, as in Amanda Coyne, who [note Ms. Coil means "whom"] Team Sarah nicknamed "Anaconda Coil." A link on the email led to this message:
"You have been banned from Team Sarah. Sorry, Amanda, you can not access Team Sarah as you have been banned. If you think you've been banned in error, you can contact the administrator."
Amanda concludes, "It's hard to imagine conservatives4palin.com doing anything like this, the other big grassroots, pro-Palin site."
Monday, March 23, 2009
Is this man capable of calling Sarah Palin names? Actually, he's the one who threw his own grandmother under the bus, absurdly comparing her to Rev. Jeremiah Wright.
Barack Hussein Obama hates Sarah Heath Palin because she poses the greatest threat to his winning a second term (and third-term, apparently) as President of the U.S. When John McCain named Sarah as his running mate, the McCain-Palin team surged to the lead in the national polls. They stayed ahead until the economy began collapsing on September 15.
When Sarah Palin surfaced on the national scene, Obama sent an army of lawyers to Alaska. Their mission was summed up by one blogger: "Democrats Desperately Trying to Dig Up Dirt to Destroy Palin." At the same time, Obama and his minions began slinging mud and hurling slurs at Gov. Palin.
Someone recently questioned my claim that Barack Hussein Obama had called Sarah Heath Palin "a pig." I cite two news outlets below -- I could have cited 50 -- who believe Obama was referring to Gov. Palin when he made his "you can put lipstick on a pig" comment. (Google: "Barack Obama" + "lipstick on a pig" to see exactly who was the target of his reference.)
When Obama made the statement, no person in America was more associated with "lipstick" than Gov. Palin. In the same way, when Obama was speaking about primary opponent Hilary Clinton and made an obscene gesture with his middle finger, he wasn't merely exercising his digit.
How did Obama's audience react when he made the lipstick=pig reference? According to a NY Post reporter in attendance: "Many in the Obama crowd leaped to their feet in delight - apparently taking the 'pig' comment as a direct slam at Palin."
How was the slur interpreted overseas? The Telegraph in the U.K. had the following headline: "Barack Obama's 'lipstick on a pig' remark prompted by Sarah Palin?" [See: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/northamerica/usa/barackobama/2779438/Barack-Obamas-lipstick-on-a-pig-remark-prompted-by-Sarah-Palin.html
The Telegraph added, "Perhaps Barack Obama's "lipstick on a pig" remark tumbled out of his mouth prompted by Sarah Palin's own remark about lipstick distinguishing a hockey mom from a pit-bull."
As illustrated by his comments and gestures in regard to both Hillary Clinton and Sarah Palin, Obama is a certifiable sleazebag. Maybe it comes from being a long-time Chicago politician and a lifelong misogynist.
Is Obama the worst President? He's off to a "good start." Is he the sleaziest? No contest. He might end up making Richard Nixon look like George Washington.
Following is the NY Post story on Obama's remark and how his supporters interpreted it.http://b.casalemedia.com/V2/62428/114222/index.html?g=Af////8=&r=www.nypost.com/seven/09092008/news/politics/obama__put_lipstick_on_a_pig__its_still__128280.htm:By
GEOFF EARLE, Post Correspondent, Sept. 9, 2008
WASHINGTON - Barack Obama stuck his foot in his mouth today when he said "you can put lipstick on a pig, but it's still a pig" - which the angry McCain campaign immediately charged was an out-of-bounds attack on running mate Sarah Palin.
Obama delivered the line while campaigning in Lebanon, Va., tearing into his rivals for not representing real change.
"You know, you can put lipstick on a pig," Obama said, "but it's still a pig."
Many in the Obama crowd leaped to their feet in delight - apparently taking the "pig" comment as a direct slam at Palin.
Saturday, March 21, 2009
March 20, 2009, Juneau, Alaska –
Governor Sarah Palin responded to remarks made [Thursday] night by President Obama related to the Special Olympics on “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno.”“I was shocked to learn of the comment made by President Obama about Special Olympics,” Governor Palin said. “This was a degrading remark about our world’s most precious and unique people, coming from the most powerful position in the world.
“These athletes overcome more challenges, discrimination and adversity than most of us ever will. By the way, these athletes can outperform many of us and we should be proud of them. I hope President Obama’s comments do not reflect how he truly feels about the special needs community.”
March 19, 2009
"Palin in Retrospect: The Mainstream Media Went Insane Last Year
"These are confusing times. Print journalism is dying" – so said Victor Davis Hanson last September. Now that the hysteria of the campaign is over, we can see in retrospect that this claim had more than enough credence to it, and nowhere was this more evident than in the mainstream media's visceral reaction to Gov. Sarah Palin.
Rewind six months: if an uninterested observer in September picked up a newspaper, read the Associated Press, scanned through the New York Times, or turned on ABC, NBC, CBS, MSNBC, or CNN, they would have likely walked away with the impression that Sen. McCain's selection for vice president was not the most popular governor in the United States, who oversaw much of the country's energy reserves, while challenging bureaucracy, her own party, and reforming Alaskan government.
Richard Cohen of the Washington Post called Gov. Sarah Palin a "sitcom" candidate. She has been described as an "empty pantsuit" and "almost absent qualifications for the job." Joe Biden dismissed her as "obviously a backward step for women," before adding "she's good looking" (Michelle Obama's opinion: "she's cute").
Cintra Wilson of Salon referred to Palin as the "Carmella Soprano of the GOP," a "Republican blow-up doll," and a "White House bunny" with "Playmate-style bunny ears, big, stupid eyes and her mouth hanging open like someone just punched her." The ever-brilliant Juan Cole, also of Salon, compared her to Islamic Jihadists and the Guardianship Council of the Iranian dictatorship, rhetorically asking "What's the difference between Palin and Muslim fundamentalists? Lipstick."
Carol Fowler, Democratic chairwoman in South Carolina, asserted Palin's "primary qualification seems to be that she hasn't had an abortion." The National Organization for Women claimed Palin was "more a conservative man than she is a woman on women's issues." In direct reference to Palin's governorship, Rep. Steve Cohen (D-Tenn.), visibly proud of his wittiness, said "Barack Obama was a community organizer like Jesus… Pontius Pilate was a governor."
Sally Quinn of the Washington Post, David Letterman, HBO's Bill Maher, John Roberts of CNN, and MSNBC's headlines all wondered aloud if Palin is a poor mother. How can she work and take care of her kids, after all?Garry Wills of the New York Times demanded Palin "withdraw her nomination" to minimize her "own humiliation." Maureen Dowd, also from the Times, thought Palin was "forcing her own daughter into a loveless marriage to a teenage hood."
Mary Mitchell from the Chicago Sun-Times called Palin a "laughingstock," adding "Sarah Palin makes me sick." Keith Boykin of The Daily Voice said Palin made a fool of herself by referring to "Talabani" (she was talking about Jalal Talabani, the president of Iraq, not the Taliban in Afghanistan). The raspy-voiced Rep. Charlie Rangel called Palin "disabled." Wendy Doniger wrote in the Washington Post, "Her greatest hypocrisy is in her pretense that she is a woman."
Saturday Night Live did a skit implying Palin's husband, Todd, engaged in incest with his daughters. When it was announced Gov. Palin would be traveling to the UN building in New York to meet foreign heads-of-state, Sandra Bernhard issued a warning to Palin not to enter Manhattan or else she would be "gang-raped by my big black brothers."
Kate Zernike of the New York Times characterized her UN trip a little less crudely, but just as unprofessionally, when she called her meetings with the leaders of Georgia, Ukraine, Iraq, and Pakistan foreign policy "tutorials," where Palin and her foreign dignitaries engaged in "small talk about her looks and New York City."Funny, isn't it?
When Barack Obama went on his international magical mystery tour last summer, I do not recall the press characterizing his meetings with heads-of-state as "tutorials."Just what is it about this woman – who had initially been received well by the majority of the country – that stirred up so much hatred and vitriol from a particular clique in the media and increasingly visceral Democrat circles?
Palin is a gifted politician, whose views are not ambiguous. You either agree with her or you disagree with her, and that is understandable. But the "love her or hate her" attitude that pervaded most Beltway circles, perpetuated by the media, was entirely irrational.
Once she was nominated by John McCain, the mainstream media forwarded "stories" and "reports," asserting that Sarah Palin a) wanted to ban library books in Alaska; b) believes in teaching creationism-only in schools; c) is actually the grandmother of her baby son and is lying us; d) is a member of a fringe-extremist Alaskan party that wants to secede from the United States; e) is responsible for her son's Down syndrome because she flew on a plane while pregnant; f) did not practice adequate prenatal care; g) is anti-Semitic and supports "Nazi-sympathizing," ultra-right-wing politicians; h) feels the Iraq war is a task from God; i) cheated on her husband; j) opposes teaching about contraception in sex-education class; k) opposes abortion even if the life of the mother is in jeopardy; l) believes, and claims, that Saddam Hussein was involved in the 9/11 attacks; m) used the phrase "Sambo" in reference to Barack Obama; n) is a "global warming denier" – God forbid; o) has a brother in jail; p) was willingly indoctrinated by AIPAC; q) cut state funding for unwed mothers; r) cut funding for the Special Olympics in Alaska; s) stops talking to people when she realizes they're black – amongst many other claims.
All of which is false, of course. Entirely false.So what was the deal? In the past, the news media reported stories which could be independently verified. Analysis would be objective. Investigative journalism would require actual transparent investigation. But today, with the advent of the "blog," any-old Joe Schmo can write whatever he or she wishes on websites like DailyKos.com and MoveOn.org, thereby – in the never ending race to be first – prompting anchormen on cable news and editorialists from mainstream papers to pick up and run with a blog rumor as a "story."
And if the "story" turns out to be false or a non-story – like the examples listed above – then that becomes the story and a small retraction is issued at the bottom of the last page. Last year's coverage of Palin exemplified this phenomenon.
With television ratings and newspaper sales lower than ever, it is becoming increasingly evident that Americans can now find their news from alternate sources like the Internet and talk radio. We no longer have to turn on the television and watch old has-beens like Charlie Gibson stare down his interview guests – like Sarah Palin – emotionlessly peering at her over his thin glasses rested at the bottom of his nose, like a University Dean about to reprimand and discipline an out-of-control sorority girl.
That McCain's selection of Palin was a total surprise for many – for Republicans, for Barack Obama, for the press, etc. – only enhanced the likelihood that the press would, leech-like, cling on to any story which was even remotely juicy. After a no-name blogger posted some year-old photos of the Palin family, and forwarded the notion that Palin looked a little too good to be pregnant and Palin's 17-year old daughter, Bristol, had a little "baby fat," the mainstream media ran with the story.
What story? The story that there was a rumor. And what rumor? That Bristol Palin is really the mother of Palin's newborn son Trig, and Palin the grandmother.The rumor was proven untrue, obviously, but to prove its invalidity the Palin family was forced to reveal the very private and personal fact that Bristol was, in fact, five months pregnant with a baby of her own. Then that became the new smear.
Think about the grotesque nature of it all. Some 50-something DailyKos creep was sitting there, probably in his mother's basement, analyzing the astute nuances of Bristol Palin's lower abdomen. After visually scoping her up and down, he concluded that Bristol, a legal minor, was a little too chunky for his liking – therefore obviously pregnant – and posted the Palin family photos and his "journalistic analysis" all over the Internet.
Then, even more bizarrely, the lead editorialists of the country's major newspapers, and the chief executives of the largest news shows on television, decided to report this as objective news.At the time, Michael Moore, the infamous liberal political critic and movie director, summed up his feelings regarding this episode rather nicely:
Knocking Bush for being a C student only endeared him to the nation of C students. Knock Palin for having kids, for having a kid who's having a baby, for anything that is part of her normalness – a normalness that looks very familiar to so many millions of Americans – well, you do this at your own peril.
So why would the media behave in this manner? Jonah Goldberg of the National Review explained:Cockroaches scatter when shocked by a flipped light switch. Grizzly bears attack when startled. And when caught napping by big news, the press corps floods the zone. Editors scream at underlings who missed the story. Networks fret they'll be scooped. And all of a sudden, the norms and standards become a blur in the race to be first.
In the case of Palin, the press vaulted over every principle and standard they'd established about what is and isn't fair game… it required the Jaws of Life to pry news of John Edwards' affair out of the mainstream press. But when it came to the personal drama of Palin's 17-year old daughter, the press clawed for morsels like they were golden tickets from Wonka Bars.
People in the press would say they were just doing their job. The perpetually angry and now-demoted Chris Matthews of MSNBC – who, I never fail to remind my readers, claimed he gets a tingling sensation up his leg whenever he hears Barack Obama speak – responded with indignation. His general attitude was, "How dare you question me and the media for holding the possible vice president's feet to the fire?"
Touché, Chris. Now how about doing that with the President Obama, as well?
Nobody is suggesting we should have exempted Gov. Palin from examination. The public deserved to know Gov. Palin's record, which means cataloging and reporting her actual record. Funny business from the New York Times warning that Palin's mayoralty and governorship suggests she is "secretive," evident in that she brought in her own cabinet team (the horror!) – as if every executive on the planet doesn't do that as well – is not analyzing her record; it is an opinion, and a dumb one at that.
Snobbery from Charlie Gibson, quoting Palin out of context then flatly stating "Exact words" when Palin objects, is not analysis of her record; its unprofessional journalism and a bad interview. When Gibson snidely snickers he got "lost in a blizzard of words" after Palin articulately responds to his ridiculous questions, that's not holding her feet to the fire; that's just rude. When he asserts that it takes "hubris" for Palin to think she should be elected, that's not objectivity; that's just being a jerk.
In the world of information, the elite media is in its last throes. Mark Penn, a prominent Clinton strategist, now asserts that the press has lost its credibility. Lanny Davis, Terry McAuliffe of the DNC, and Gov. Ed Rendell – famous surrogates of Hillary Clinton – all echo that same theme.
In sending hit-squads to tiny Wasilla, not reporting Gov. Palin's record but pillaging matters of privacy, hacking into her e-mail account, and forwarding private e-mails to the press, the mainstream media behaved in a manner that they would all collectively describe as Orwellian and fascist if Ashcroft's Justice Department were to act this way to an al Qaida suspect. They proved they were everything they claimed Dick Cheney to be.
The media was fearful because Palin's political character exposed the extreme far-left for what it is: an ideology whose existence is rooted in parasitically paying lip service to, but never genuinely supporting, movements of authentic liberation. Their feminism is the type that doesn't care whether or not women play on an equal field, and advance accordingly, but whether or not women en masse will be co-opted to support their social and cultural beliefs in the hope that someone is speaking for them.
Just as prominent African-American conservatives like Clarence Thomas, Colin Powell, Condi Rice et. al. were castigated as "sell-outs" and "Uncle Toms," so too Sarah Palin proved a woman can hunt, dress a moose, raise five kids, run the largest state in the country, and excel on her own merit alone, without familial ties or matrimony to powerful men – unlike a Barbara Boxer, Nancy Pelosi, Hillary Clinton, or Diane Feinstein – without "mastery" in Ivy League "oppression studies," rabid support for all forms of abortion, or a general off-putting attitude that suggests all men are evil and somehow stand in their way. Palin's success essentially said to girls, "If you want, there's another route you can travel."
Before Barack Obama's election, only two Democrats had been elected to the White House since 1968 (Carter and Clinton). Both were from the South and at least portrayed themselves as centrist moderates at the time of their election. Neither of them would have reached the presidency without an unusual variable (Watergate for Carter, Ross Perot's third candidacy for Clinton).
Democrats in 2008 were aware of this. They knew they have had a poor showing during the last four decades. And at least demographically, they still know they need to rely on a few core "blocs" to ever get elected again – namely, minorities and women. In their view, Gov. Palin threatened not just Obama's chances in 2008, but she threatened the Democrat Party as a whole, as an institution. All of this had led to a feeling of extreme unease.
Their answer? To forgo all standards of media objective analysis and attack Sarah Palin and her family in any way, shape, or form. Years from now, journalism classes will look back at this and marvel.
Paraphrasing Goldberg, yet again: there were legitimate criticisms to make of Gov. Palin. But that is not the same thing as saying all of the criticisms were valid or that the intensity and magnitude of the criticism was warranted.FamilySecurityMatters.org Contributing Editor Nicholas Guariglia is a polemic and essayist who writes on Islam and Middle Eastern geopolitics. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
You can find this online at: http://www.familysecuritymatters.org/publications/id.2786/pub_detail.aspCOPYRIGHT 2009 FAMILY SECURITY MATTERS INC.
Friday, March 20, 2009
Thursday, March 19, 2009
“We are not requesting funds intended to just grow government. We are not requesting more money for normal day-to-day operations of government as part of this economic stimulus package. In essence we say no to operating funds for more positions in government,” Palin said.
Palin said she’ll work with the Legislature if it decides that it wants to go ahead and accept the money (although she didn’t rule out vetoes). But the deadline for the Legislature to decide could be April 3. Legislators from both parties said, if that is the deadline, it doesn’t leave them much time to sort through it all.
Reaction among lawmakers was mixed. Members of the all-Republican state Senate minority said Palin is taking a wise course and it’s important not to accept federal money that could end up costing the state in the long run.
Anchorage Democratic Rep. Les Gara suggested Palin could be pandering to voters outside Alaska and said it’s hurting the state's education, public safety and quality of life.
“I’m worried the governor is taking this sort of national political stance which is that she’s going to be the opposite of Barack Obama on everything,” he said.
U.S. Sen. Mark Begich quickly issued a written statement today calling for lawmakers to accept the remainder of the stimulus money.
“I trust the legislature will do the right thing and take Alaska’s share of the money for education in the economic recovery package,” the statement quotes Begich as saying. “We owe it to our children to give them the most opportunities possible, and this is money fairly allocated to Alaska in this stimulus package.”
Is this the toughest elected official in the U.S.? You betcha.
This column is from a new site developed by Cindy Reidhead (of ThePinkFlamingoblog.com) and me. It's based on an important statement by Ronald Reagan: "The person who agrees with you 80 percent of the time is a friend and an ally - not a 20 percent traitor." (http://the80percentsolution.typepad.com)
The new site will be pro-Sarah Palin but will not be "anti" other possible Republican candidates. It will solicit columns from bloggers who agree generally with the "80% Solution," as well as from some national writers, such as Elaine Lafferty, Tammy Bruce, and others. The site will take a dim view of those who practice "single-issue" politics or demand ideological rigidity from candidates.
People who advocate "circular firing squads," including those who use the destructive term "RINO," will not feel comfortable at "80%." The site will have pieces from people who identify themselves as conservative, moderate, or liberal, as well as pro-choice and pro-life.
People who are pro-Obama should stay away. We regard Obama as an individual who engages in unconstitutional and unethical practices for political gain.
So what's the link between "80%" and Sarah, founded by two of her earliest and strongest supporters (Cindy and me)? It will focus on getting Republicans (including of course Sarah) a great deal more support from critical groups: (1) women (especially pro-choice single women and all women living in large urban and suburban areas); (2) young people -- those below 30 -- a group McCain lost 71% to 29%; (3) Hispanics (especially women); (4) former Hillary Supporters, four million of whom voted for McCain-Palin; and, (5) gays and lesbians. (a group whose support in FL in 2000 was critical to George W. Bush's carrying that state -- by 600 votes -- and winning the presidency).
We'll continue to support Gov. Palin for President. However, Cindy has recommended that Sarah consider holding off on a run for the presidency until 2016. Obama is proving to be an awful President, but he is a terrific campaigner.
I also believe,that Gov. Palin should think very hard about the damage done to her and the Palin family by the ceaseless hate campaigns by Obama and the media. Frankly, is the end, running for the presidency, worth the harm done to the family, especially the children?
Moreover, she needs to examine carefully whether some of her "friends," particularly the single-issue folks, are going to do her more harm than good. In politics, one's enemies are "reliable" in that at least they're consistent; however, when "friends" are unreliable, they're basically worthless.
Cindy and I hope you will return often to "80% Solution."
On "The 80% Solution," our primary goal will be to support candidates of integrity and help them win elections. If we don't win a lot of them, we will have little if any say in how our country is governed.
CRITICAL LINKS FOR POLITICAL ACTIVISTS
Dear Friends: Cindy Reidhead, a TS member, and I have developed a new blog site dedicated to Ronald Reagan's proposition that anyone who was with him 80% of the time was "a friend and ally." Cindy was one of the most effective advocates for Gov. Palin in the "old days," when we were pushing Sarah as the V-P choice. The new site is: http://the80percentsolution.typepad.com.
I hope you'll visit. And I hope you'll pass on this entire message to as many people as possible.
Also, I'm focusing a great deal on Jim Tedisco's race for the vacant House seat in New York's 20th congressional district. Jim, an outstanding Republican assemblyman in NY, is running against the usual Democrat mega-millionaire (and far-leftist) opponent. If you have a blog -- or know someone who does -- or if you have regular online contacts -- please ask them to use and distribute the following link to Tedisco's site: https://www.icontribute.us/jimtedisco/initiative/lipstick.
The online coordinator of Jim's campaign is my political friend, Ali, who has been a major force in advocating Sarah Palin.
Another person who played a major role in the McCain-Palin online campaign is Kathy Morrison, a tech wizard from New Hampshire. She's written a book on the media and politics. She sent me the following information:
Hi Steve, The following is a video Senate Republicans put out about the Tea Parties; not sure if it's been passed around yet, so I thought I'd forward it to you. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0M0ZOMXPzQ0
Also, wanted to let you know I've written a book about the campaign process, and hope to have it published and ready for the stores in about a month. It's a fairly light look at the election, combined with some analysis. If you'd be willing to bring it up to people you're in contact with I'd be really grateful. Here's the preview... http://www.broadsideofthebarn.com
(It's critical of the media) -- Kathy
Tuesday, March 17, 2009
Even though I hear Sarah Palin has some issues with Lorenzo Benet's book about her ("Trail Blazer"), it gives great insight into her early life and her parents' examples. They lived in Skagway, 100 miles north of Juneau. It was a very isolated community -- children there thought bananas had black skins because that was the way they were when they saw them on rare occasions.
[Hey all, come visit the new blog I've launched with Cindy Reidhead of ThePinkFlamingo blog fame. See it at: http://the80percentsolution.typepad.com.]
Sarah's father taught her (at ages 4 & 5) how to box, and she used to box against her older brother, Chuck (a future football star), among others. The kind of rugged idividualism she learned and still practices is foreign to most of us in the "lower-48."
If for some reason the grocery store in our town closed, we'd probably starve to death. In Skagway, there really wasn't any food store as we know them. If they wanted meat or fish, they had to shoot or catch it.
We Repulbicans know the job of the liberal Democrats is easier than ours. Their motto seems to be: "Open your mouth real wide, little bird, and we'll put a worm in it." The notion that ultimately we're responsible for ourselves and our families (to the degree we're able) is foreign to the Left.
The problem is that socialist societies (France, Great Britain, Germany) have low economic growth, high unemployment, and relatively limited opportunities. On the other hand, they supposedly have "great unemployment benefits." They need them.
How conservative is Sarah Palin? Not conservative enough for some conservatives. She has conservative values but governs from the center.
I've said of John McCain, who has known some tough guys in his life, that Sarah is probably the toughest, most fearless person he's ever met. She doesn't sleep very much, getting up just about every morning at 4 a.m., checking the Internet, making sure the younger children are okay, and then heading off to the office at 7 a.m. She's one tough lady.
I believe Sarah mystifies John McCain. A spoiled child like Meghan McCain has no understanding of unspoiled Sarah. My impression: the better the American people get to know Gov. Palin, the more they're going to like her.
If we send a message to voters that we want to be "the morality police," they're going to proclaim, "No thanks!" They don't want us to be intrusive forces in their lives. (In the column below, you can read about a new site, "The 80% Solution," designed to help us -- Republicans -- put ourselves more in line with what 21st century voters want from their government. Please take a quick trip to our new web site: http://the80percentsolution.typepad.com/the_80_solution/ Comments there are always welcome.
[Note: On Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday, I'll have additional columns here regarding Gov. Palin's inexorable drive to become the nation's first female President.]
Last weekend on my other site I offered a partial solution (an achievable one) the health care crisis. My approach on healthcare ultimately will cost trillions of dollars less than Obama's. It will also lead to better treatment for patients.
On my blogs, I avoid the "outrage of the day" approach favored by many web sites. Instead, my focus is on what's really going on in American politics. In other words, I concentrate on substance -- on viable ideas -- rather than rumors, fluff, and warmed over "headlines." My solution on health care is not something stolen from the WSJ or USA TODAY.
Overall, I want to offer you something on these blogs that you won't find anywhere else. (Tomorrow -- Wednesday -- on http://stevemaloneygop.blogspot.com/, I'll be offering solutions to the "education crisis." Sadly, Obama's solution is to spend lots more money without producing better outcomes. My solution is to spend less money but to produce striking, positive results. Please come back.)
About a new blog site: Those people who think that winning elections somehow displays a lack of "principle" will be agitated by an important new blog site: "The 80% Solution." Groups that consistently lose elections soon find their principles have become politically irrelevant.
If you scroll down, you'll find a short excerpt from the first column, which I hope you'll visit often.
Monday, March 16, 2009
Cindy Reidhead, this site's developer, and I will be sending out some information this week about our new web site called "The 80% Solution." It's based on an important statement by Ronald Reagan: "The person who agrees with you 80 percent of the time is a friend and an ally - not a 20 percent traitor."
It will be pro-Sarah Palin but will not be "anti" other possible Republican candidates. It will solicit columns from bloggers who agree generally with the "80% Solution," as well as from some national writers, such as Elaine Lafferty, Tammy Bruce, and others. The site will take a dim view of those who practice "single-issue" politics or demand ideological rigidity from candidates. People who advocate "circular firing squads," including those enamored of the destructive term "RINO," will not feel comfortable at "80%."
The site will have pieces from people who identify themselves as conservative, moderate, or liberal, as well as pro-choice and pro-life.
People who are pro-Obama should stay away
Here's the link:http://the80percentsolution.typepad.com/the_80_solution/2009/03/80-solution-propalin-groups.html
Chairs Announce Gov. Palin to Keynote Senate-House Dinner
Monday, March 16, 2009
NRSC Press Office
WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Senator John Cornyn (R-TX), Chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC), and U.S. Representative Pete Sessions(R-TX), Chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC), announced that Alaska Governor Sarah Palin will deliver the keynote address at the annual Senate-House Dinner to be held on June 8th at the Washington Convention Center:
“Governor Palin has quickly emerged as one of the most popular and recognizable faces in the Republican Party, and we are honored to have her deliver the keynote address at the Senate-House dinner. As a proven leader in her home-state of Alaska, Governor Palin represents a breath of fresh air from the business-as-usual crowd in Washington, and is one of our Party’sup-and-coming young governors who will play a critical role in our re-buildingefforts in the years to come. Last fall, she electrified and energized crowds across the country, and we expect she will generate a similar amount of enthusiasm at this spring’s dinner.” – NRSC Chairman John Cornyn
“On behalf of Congressional Republicans, it is a pleasure to announce one of the brightest rising stars in the Republican Party, Sarah Palin, will deliver the keynote address at this year’s Senate-House dinner. Gov. Palin’s conservative values, commendable achievements in Alaska and the sheer energy she personifies make her one of the most compelling visionaries of our Party. With respect, admiration and enthusiasm, I look forward to welcoming her to Washington and await the inspirational address our Party needs, as it rebuilds and prepares for a victorious election cycle.” – NRCC Chairman Pete Sessions
Saturday, March 14, 2009
Ever since she came on the national stage (on August 29, 2008, in Dayton, Ohio, when John McCain named her as his running mate), Sarah has been subject to a torrent of vitriol from Obama/Aexlrod and their media cronies. She does not need -- nor does she merit -- additional criticism from people claiming to be her friends and admirers.
During the presidential campaign (and after), Sarah was surrounded by McCain staffers who ranged from incompetent to disloyal. I've revealed recently that one of the people spreading false rumors about Sarah was Meghan McCain, the Senator's thoroughly pathetic daughter.
Having to work with people she couldn't trust made it hard at times for Sarah to campaign effectively. When John McCain failed to defend Sarah adequately that must have been disheartening for her, as she had been the Senator's most faithful cheerleader between August 29 and the election on Nov. 4.
In politics, the people you sometimes need to worry about most are your supposed "friends" -- not your enemies, whose behavior is predictable. The smears Sarah and her family have been subjected to have inflicted some damage on the famously tough and close-knit Palins. Realizing the challenges she faces, Sarah demands absolute loyalty from her staff. She's entirely right to do so. Disloyal staffers -- and, frankly, disloyal "supporters" -- are useless.
The critics that must dishearten Sarah the most are those on the right -- particularly "single-issue" conservatives. Understand that single-issue people inhabit a political universe the size of a broom-closet.
For example, Sarah was recently criticized for selecting a distinguished female jurist, Morgan Chretien, to serve on the Alaska Supreme Court. To the single-issue people, Ms. Chretien has committed the unforgivable sin: she is -- or may be -- pro-choice. In the fever swamps of the extreme Right, Chretien's views on a thousand or so other issues don't matter.
Critics of "Sarah's choice" ignore an important reality: Under the Alaska system, a judicial board selects the candidates (two in this instance), and the Governor chooses among them. A spokesperson for Sarah's political action committee (sarahPAC) explained it this way: the Governor had a choice between a liberal and a moderate -- and she chose "the moderate."
Sarah's critics on the right say she should have taken the entire matter of the Supreme Court appointment . . . to the Supreme Court. She should have, they say, fought the system for selecting judges to the highest court. They ignore the fact that a prior governor, Frank Murkowski, did just that . . . and had his lawsuit tossed back in his face.
Of course, Obama's perpetual campaign has seized upon the conservative criticism of Sarah and is running with it. They're using it to try to drive a wedge between Sarah and the small but passionate pro-life community.
Frankly, Sarah's sometimes unreliable friends on the political right have hatched an image of her that resembles a cartoon-character rather than a real human being. Through glazed eyes, they apparently see her a pure ideologue. "Wind her up, and she spouts an endless stream of right-wing propaganda."
Strangely enough, Sarah's liberal supporters -- and she has millions of them -- seem to understand her better than many conservatives. Consider Elaine Lafferty, a feminist and former editor of Ms. Magazine. She worked as a speechwriter with Sarah during the campaign and wrote a famous article describing the Alaska governor as a "brainiac" and a "feminist." (Lafferty also co-authored a book with Sarah's most consistent admirer on the media, Greta van Susteren.)
Here's what Lafferty said about Sarah's appointment of Judge Chretien (only the second female ever appointed to the Alaska Supreme Court): "Of course Sarah Palin is not pro-choice. But she is now, as governor of Alaska, what she was before the presidential campaign: a pragmatic conservative politician who largely governs from the center. She is opposed to abortion, but it does not inform every decision she makes.
Lafferty adds, "Done with playing the good soldier for McCain’s right wing on the campaign trail, she [Sarah] is back to being who she is."
Trust me, Elaine Lafferty understands Sarah Palin much better than, say, Phyllis Schlafly. Elaine grasps Sarah's human gravity and complexity. If Gov. Palin never makes it to the presidency, it won't be the fault of Elaine Lafferty and others like her.
I have a lot more to say about Gov. Palin's future, including the issue of whether she should seek either re-election as Alaska's governor or go after the Republican nomination for President. Right now, I'm leaning against her doing either -- a major reversal of position for me. Come back on Sunday and Monday to find out why.