Democratic Platform Committee member stumps for McCain in PA, MI

This October 7th article in the (Wilkes-Barre) Times-Leader follows up Shelly Mandell’s endorsement of McCain-Palin.

Dem group backing McCain
Prominent Hillary Clinton supporter helps open Democrats for McCain headquarters in Scranton.
BILL O ’ BOYLE
SCRANTON – A major supporter of Hillary Clinton and member of the Democratic National Committee’s
Platform Committee, on Monday said the Democratic Party has nominated “the worst candidate” while
Republicans have nominated the best.
Lynn Forester de Rothschild helped open the Democrats for McCain headquarters on Main Avenue in West Scranton. About 30 supporters turned out to welcome de Rothschild and speak out for the Republican ticket.

Although I read the about the de Rothchild endorsement of McCain, I didn’t post about it at the time. What surprised me was this statement:

One organization – PUMA, which stands for Party Unity My Ass – has more than 5 million members across the country, she said. Jamie Brazil, a longtime friend of the Clintons and the Rodham family, is serving as national director of Citizens for McCain. Brazil accompanied de Rothschild on her Scranton visit.

Five. Million. Members.
Despite the size of this group and these high profile Clinton-Democratic defections, today’s Wall Street Journal minimizes this movement, even as it briefly mentions de Rothschild.
de Rothschild also spoke to veterans in Fenton, MI regarding her support for McCain. What is striking to me is where de Rothschild is going. These are small venues and small media markets, which indicates to me that her support is sincere and strong.

Presidential debate – Mortgages, taxes and Israel

Differences on many issues were clear in the debate tonight.
The three issues which stood out to me involved McCain’s plan to directly assist troubled mortgage holders, tax policy and Israel.
Question 13 on Israel was striking to me. If Israel was attacked, would the candidate commit troops to support Israel? McCain was clear that we would defend Israel. I am not sure what Obama would do based on his answer; he said he would not options off the table but he would also sit down with the Iranian president.
For readers who are keen on how the candidates stand toward Israel, I am interested in your reactions. I was surprised when Obama said this:

Now, it is true, though, that I believe that we should have direct talks — not just with our friends, but also with our enemies — to deliver a tough, direct message to Iran that, if you don’t change your behavior, then there will be dire consequences. If you do change your behavior, then it is possible for you to re-join the community of nations. Now, it may not work. But one of the things we’ve learned is, is that when we take that approach, whether it’s in North Korea or in Iran, then we have a better chance at better outcomes.

In the context of the question of whether Israel could count on US support, I think this answer might raise concerns that an Obama administration would not be a ready ally in the face of aggression toward Israel.

CNN report on the Barack Obama – William Ayers relationship

As always, I am very interested in hearing from readers about why this does or doesn’t matter. The CNN report makes it clear that Obama wants to minimize the actual relationship. I think this mostly goes away if Obama said somthing like, I made a mistake in hitching my wagon to this guy and moved away from him when I realized what he did and what he stood for. However, as documented by this report, his campaign has fudged a bit on the extent of the connection. Roll the tape:

I think this information is relevant, not because I think Obama is a closet terrorist, but because an analysis of his record reveals something of his political philosophy now. Some of the people who advise him today are those who have advised him since those days (e.g., Penny Pritzker, who advises him on finance but also is on the board of the Chicago Public Education Fund. The CPEF is the successor to the Annenberg Challenge which was initiated by Bill Ayers and chaired by Obama). The Ayers connection does not mean Obama supports revolution but it might say something about the types of reforms and education policies he might promote as President.
UPDATE: The Obama campaign is now denying that Obama launched his political career in Ayers home. This may be parsing words (what does “begin” mean?). However, the CNN report places him there and indicates that witnesses characterized it as his “coming out party.”

Obamanomics and the subprime lending crisis

Researching Barack Obama’s philosophical influences, I came across an article called Obamanomics by David Moberg and published in the left-leaning, In These Times.
The March, 2008 article is worth a read in light of the current economic troubles. Moberg predicts the current crisis and discusses Obama’s position regarding the financial industry at that time:

Subprime plans
When it comes to many of the larger issues hounding the economy, Obama hasn’t done much to distinguish himself. He has not been a visionary on the subprime crisis, and his adviser Goolsbee indicated in a New York Times column that the only problem is the rampant fraud that was an integral part of subprime lending. In his proposal to deal with the subprime mortgage debacle, Obama does not support the foreclosure moratorium and interest rate freeze that Clinton and many citizen and labor groups advocate.
But Dean Baker, co-director of the Center on Economic and Policy Research and an early forecaster of housing bubble problems, argues that Obama’s plan is admirable because it is less of a bank bailout than Clinton’s. The problem now, he points out, is not so much the interest rates that are resetting at a higher level, but that the value of people’s houses has declined to less than what they initially paid. Baker advocates guaranteeing people facing foreclosure an option to rent their homes at fair market value. This would avoid many evictions and pressure banks to work out more favorable mortgage agreements.
Obama’s main flaw seems to be excessive caution, not favoritism to the financial services industry, which has contributed almost as much to him as it has to Clinton. But Obama is not beyond influence.
Obama’s national finance chair is Penny Pritzker. Chicago’s wealthy Pritzker family owned half of Superior Bank, a pioneer in subprime lending. When the bank failed in 2001, the family signed a sweetheart deal with federal regulators that let it off with a profit while many depositors lost money. (But Penny’s brother, J.B. Pritzker, is a major Clinton supporter.)
And for years, executives of Exelon, the Illinois-based nuclear utility, have been among Obama’s biggest contributors. (Obama insists nuclear power should not be ruled out as a potential energy source, even if he also promotes alternatives.)

There are many culprits in the current financial melt-down. However, I am puzzled that Obama is viewed by the general public as better able to handle the economy than McCain.
The Pritzker connection seems troubling. Given her experience with subprime lending, I wonder why she was not sounding the alarm.

Another Black Monday – Dow down 800

I remember the 1987 Black Monday; this one isn’t quite as black in percentage terms but we may not be finished.
Wow, glad we passed that bailout rescue plan.
I am not actually sure how I mean that. One could say if the rescue plan was still in doubt then the bloodletting would be worse. But then one might say the rescue plan is inadequate to address the serious fear which appears to infiltrate the financial markets.
Chime in…

Shelly Mandell, head of LA chapter of National Organization for Women endorses McCain-Palin

Imagine Jim Dobson or Rick Warren endorsing Barack Obama. Imagine the headlines and news stories which would derive from such an endorsement.
Now imagine a major Democratic operative, who is heads one of the largest chapters of the National Organization for Women endorsing John McCain and Sarah Palin, primarily due to Sarah Palin’s place on the ticket.
Both would be big news, right?
One would think either scenario would be reported widely. However, when Ms. Shelly Mandell endorsed Sarah Palin in Carson CA, on Saturday October 4, it was not reported widely. Thus far, the stunning news has garnered one story that I can find in the mainstream press (two if you include Greta Van Susteren’s blog post).
The news that has been of interest to mainstream reporters is Palin’s comments about Barack Obama and William Ayers, and her quote of Madelyn Albright. You would think an endorsement from a major feminist leader would get a sentence or two.
You can watch the speech by Ms. Mandell here:

Mandell says she disagrees with Palin on some issues, probably life, but she believes Palin cares about fairness to women and will shake things up in Washington. Mandell is a former supporter of Hillary Clinton.
Why would mainstream media not report this?
UPDATE: Because I did not have the proper spelling of Ms. Mandell’s name, I missed some references, including this one in the LA Times blog. However, the only reporting I can find on this story is the MSNBC post and the local Southern California press. More interest has been given to Sarah Palin’s slight misquote of Madeleine Albright.

International Healing Foundation looking for new leader

In his Fall, 2008 newsletter, Richard Cohen says that he is looking for a new Director of the International Healing Foundation. On page 3, Cohen announces:

PASSING THE TORCH OF TRUTH AND LOVE
Now that these three landmark healing protocols are completed, it’s time to raise up the next generation of healers. Therefore, I would like to announce that we are seeking a new director for the International Healing Foundation (IHF). We are looking for a committed person with a background in counseling who has a passion to help those with unwanted SSA and their loved ones, as well as a desire to spread this message of hope and healing throughout the world. If you are interested or know of anyone you who might be a good fit, please contact our office and apply for this position.
It will take time to train the new director, who would set up residence in the Washington, D.C., metro area in order to develop a fulltime clientele. This person would be supervised and trained to take over the post of director. In this way, we wish to build a strong future for the next generation, bringing great love, light, and truth into the world. Our motto is: Changing the world one life at a time. And as you see, our newsletter, after 21 years of publication, has a new name: Change Is Possible!

I emailed Richard to ask him what he planned to do once a new director is hired and trained but I have not heard back from him. He seems to feel completed now that he has authored three new training resources which he says provide “the answers.”

WE HAVE THE ANSWERS
I am proud to announce that I have completed 21 years in public service and ministry. God called me in June 1987 to reach out and help those with unwanted SSA and their loved ones, and to spread the truth throughout the world that no one is born this way, no one chooses to have SSA, and that change is possible. I have been faithful and even more so, successful in helping thousands change their orientation and parents reconcile with their SSA loved ones. Furthermore, I have trained and educated thousands of professionals, equipping them with a systematic approach to helping SSA strugglers and their families.
The International Healing Foundation (IHF) is the first organization in the world to create three landmark proven successful protocols:
Coming Out Straight–book and CD/MP3 series
Gay Children, Straight Parents–book and CD/MP3 series
Counselor Training Program–manual and CD/MP3 series
These are our three Olympic Gold Medals to help heal the world! I spent a lifetime preparing and training for this moment. I fought my way out of homosexuality. Against all odds I came out straight! That was indeed a miracle of God. And then, after obtaining my masters degree in counseling psychology, I set up the International Healing Foundation and counseled hundreds of men and women, helping them achieve their heterosexual goals. The fruit of these experiences is a four-stage protocol leading individuals from a homosexual to heterosexual orientation detailed in Coming Out Straight.
Simultaneously, I assisted hundreds of parents to set love in order, helping their children come out of SSA. Again, more miracles occurred. As a result of helping these family members and friends, came a twelve-step protocol, a strategic plan to bring radical healing in all family relationships, described in Gay Children, Straight Parents. And finally, as a result of training hundreds of therapists, coaches, clergy and ministry leaders, teaching them how to assist both the strugglers and their family members, came our Counselor Training Program.
Each of these three proven successful protocols has been recorded on CD/MP3 in a professional studio. The ComingOut Straight teaching series describes how to heal from unwanted SSA; the Gay Children, Straight Parents teaching series describes how to assist SSA loved ones in reclaiming their true gender identity and fulfill their heterosexual potential; and the Counselor Training Program teaching series describes how to coach/counsel/mentor the strugglers and their loved ones. Please see the three ads in the pages that follow for a detailed description of each CD/MP3 series. These breakthrough protocols will help promote healing in the world. Now is the time for change!

So now that Richard has the answers needed to heal the world, he apparently feels it is time to move on to something else, although he is vague about what.
It has always puzzled me that Richard claims that God called him in 1987 to start IHF. In 1987, he was involved in the Unification church which has a very different view of God than orthodox Christianity. See the IHF page for more information on this aspect of the history of IHF.

Obama Junior Fraternity Regiment

I do not know if Obama knows about this or had anything to do with it, but I would like to find out.

This You Tube page has some information that I cannot verify at this time but you can read it there. This is the organization which the poster of the You Tube video says is responsible: URBAN COMMUNITY LEADERSHIP ACADEMY, 1524 PASEO BLVD, 18th & Vine District, Kansas City, MO.
And then there is this video making the rounds. I am a McCain supporter but my kids are not going to sing worship songs about him.
We’re gonna change the world…
UPDATE: The teacher responsible for this video has been located and suspended from his teaching job at the school listed above. More local coverage