Tuesday, 23 September 2008

ANOTHER BIDENISM

Ken Berwitz

Here is another hilarious gaffe from Joe Biden --- you know, the VP candidate whose gaffes are not covered by mainstream media.  This comes to us from Ben Smith of www.politico.com, via National Review's www.corner.nationalreview.com:

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Biden The Election Wouldn't Be the Same without Him   [Kathryn Jean Lopez]

This one, just for a chuckle, from Ben Smith:

Joe Biden's denunciation of his own campaign's ad to Katie Couric got so much attention last night that another odd note in the interview slipped by.

He was speaking about the role of the White House in a financial crisis.

"When the stock market crashed, Franklin Roosevelt got on the television and didn't just talk about the princes of greed," Biden told Couric. "He said, 'Look, here's what happened.'"

As Reason's Jesse Walker footnotes it: "And if you owned an experimental TV set in 1929, you would have seen him. And you would have said to yourself, 'Who is that guy? What happened to President Hoover?'"

Do you read the New York Times?  Try and find this in today's edition. 

But listen to them squeal like stuck pigs if you call them biased (the way Steve Schmidt so accurately did yesterday).

One other thing:  Sarah Palin has never spent a day in the Senate.  Joe Biden has been there for 36 years.  But I would bet body parts she doesn't think FDR was President in 1929.  Make of that what you will.


BARACK OBAMA'S DEEP TIES TO WILLIAM AYERS

Ken Berwitz

Stanley Kurtz is a scholar and a senior fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center.  He is also a regular contributor to National Review - which, in the eyes of the media elite, apparently obliterates everything else.

Only because of Mr. Kurtz' efforts, the University of Chicago was forced to stop hiding the records of The Annenberg Challenge, which Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama and terrorist william ayers worked closely together on for four years.

Let's stop there for a second and reflect.  Why was Stanley Kurtz one of the only voices demanding that this information be made public?  Why weren't mainstream media flocking to the U. of Chicago in droves to demand this information as well? 

Barack Obama is a major-party presidential nominee.  The Annenberg Challenge was what he was doing for four years .  And he was doing it with a man he claimed he barely knew, "just a guy from the neighborhood" - which meant that BARACK OBAMA WAS LYING TO OUR FACES about the nature and scope of his association with ayers.  And most of our wonderful "neutral" media couldn't care less.

Can you come up with any reason other than that media did not want to uncover embarrassing information about Barack Obama which could hurt him in this election?  If so I would greatly appreciate that alternative reason, because I can't come up with even one.

The same media that are scouring Alaska looking for dirt on Sarah Palin and jumping all over her firing of the Public Safety Commission because he may have refused to get rid of a trooper once married to Palin's sister, are entirely uninterested and detached from Barack Obama's four year association with an unrepentant terrorist, which he clearly lied about. 

People who cannot see the media bias here are beyond hope and reason.  For your sake, I hope you are not one of them.

In any event, Mr. Kurtz, having sifted through a lot of the Annenberg Challenge records (a relatively lonely task, as noted above) has written an article about what he found -- with more to come, I'm sure.  Here it is -- the bold print is mine:

Obama and Ayers
Pushed Radicalism
On Schools

Despite having authored two autobiographies, Barack Obama has never written about his most important executive experience. From 1995 to 1999, he led an education foundation called the Chicago Annenberg Challenge (CAC), and remained on the board until 2001. The group poured more than $100 million into the hands of community organizers and radical education activists.

[Obama and Ayers] AP

Bill Ayers.

The CAC was the brainchild of Bill Ayers, a founder of the Weather Underground in the 1960s. Among other feats, Mr. Ayers and his cohorts bombed the Pentagon, and he has never expressed regret for his actions. Barack Obama's first run for the Illinois State Senate was launched at a 1995 gathering at Mr. Ayers's home.

The Obama campaign has struggled to downplay that association. Last April, Sen. Obama dismissed Mr. Ayers as just "a guy who lives in my neighborhood," and "not somebody who I exchange ideas with on a regular basis." Yet documents in the CAC archives make clear that Mr. Ayers and Mr. Obama were partners in the CAC. Those archives are housed in the Richard J. Daley Library at the University of Illinois at Chicago and I've recently spent days looking through them.

The Chicago Annenberg Challenge was created ostensibly to improve Chicago's public schools. The funding came from a national education initiative by Ambassador Walter Annenberg. In early 1995, Mr. Obama was appointed the first chairman of the board, which handled fiscal matters. Mr. Ayers co-chaired the foundation's other key body, the "Collaborative," which shaped education policy.

The CAC's basic functioning has long been known, because its annual reports, evaluations and some board minutes were public. But the Daley archive contains additional board minutes, the Collaborative minutes, and documentation on the groups that CAC funded and rejected. The Daley archives show that Mr. Obama and Mr. Ayers worked as a team to advance the CAC agenda.

One unsettled question is how Mr. Obama, a former community organizer fresh out of law school, could vault to the top of a new foundation? In response to my questions, the Obama campaign issued a statement saying that Mr. Ayers had nothing to do with Obama's "recruitment" to the board. The statement says Deborah Leff and Patricia Albjerg Graham (presidents of other foundations) recruited him. Yet the archives show that, along with Ms. Leff and Ms. Graham, Mr. Ayers was one of a working group of five who assembled the initial board in 1994. Mr. Ayers founded CAC and was its guiding spirit. No one would have been appointed the CAC chairman without his approval.

The CAC's agenda flowed from Mr. Ayers's educational philosophy, which called for infusing students and their parents with a radical political commitment, and which downplayed achievement tests in favor of activism. In the mid-1960s, Mr. Ayers taught at a radical alternative school, and served as a community organizer in Cleveland's ghetto.

In works like "City Kids, City Teachers" and "Teaching the Personal and the Political," Mr. Ayers wrote that teachers should be community organizers dedicated to provoking resistance to American racism and oppression. His preferred alternative? "I'm a radical, Leftist, small 'c' communist," Mr. Ayers said in an interview in Ron Chepesiuk's, "Sixties Radicals," at about the same time Mr. Ayers was forming CAC.

CAC translated Mr. Ayers's radicalism into practice. Instead of funding schools directly, it required schools to affiliate with "external partners," which actually got the money. Proposals from groups focused on math/science achievement were turned down. Instead CAC disbursed money through various far-left community organizers, such as the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (or Acorn).

Mr. Obama once conducted "leadership training" seminars with Acorn, and Acorn members also served as volunteers in Mr. Obama's early campaigns. External partners like the South Shore African Village Collaborative and the Dual Language Exchange focused more on political consciousness, Afrocentricity and bilingualism than traditional education. CAC's in-house evaluators comprehensively studied the effects of its grants on the test scores of Chicago public-school students. They found no evidence of educational improvement.

CAC also funded programs designed to promote "leadership" among parents. Ostensibly this was to enable parents to advocate on behalf of their children's education. In practice, it meant funding Mr. Obama's alma mater, the Developing Communities Project, to recruit parents to its overall political agenda. CAC records show that board member Arnold Weber was concerned that parents "organized" by community groups might be viewed by school principals "as a political threat." Mr. Obama arranged meetings with the Collaborative to smooth out Mr. Weber's objections.

The Daley documents show that Mr. Ayers sat as an ex-officio member of the board Mr. Obama chaired through CAC's first year. He also served on the board's governance committee with Mr. Obama, and worked with him to craft CAC bylaws. Mr. Ayers made presentations to board meetings chaired by Mr. Obama. Mr. Ayers spoke for the Collaborative before the board. Likewise, Mr. Obama periodically spoke for the board at meetings of the Collaborative.

The Obama campaign notes that Mr. Ayers attended only six board meetings, and stresses that the Collaborative lost its "operational role" at CAC after the first year. Yet the Collaborative was demoted to a strictly advisory role largely because of ethical concerns, since the projects of Collaborative members were receiving grants. CAC's own evaluators noted that project accountability was hampered by the board's reluctance to break away from grant decisions made in 1995. So even after Mr. Ayers's formal sway declined, the board largely adhered to the grant program he had put in place.

Mr. Ayers's defenders claim that he has redeemed himself with public-spirited education work. That claim is hard to swallow if you understand that he views his education work as an effort to stoke resistance to an oppressive American system. He likes to stress that he learned of his first teaching job while in jail for a draft-board sit-in. For Mr. Ayers, teaching and his 1960s radicalism are two sides of the same coin.

Mr. Ayers is the founder of the "small schools" movement (heavily funded by CAC), in which individual schools built around specific political themes push students to "confront issues of inequity, war, and violence." He believes teacher education programs should serve as "sites of resistance" to an oppressive system. (His teacher-training programs were also CAC funded.) The point, says Mr. Ayers in his "Teaching Toward Freedom," is to "teach against oppression," against America's history of evil and racism, thereby forcing social transformation.

The Obama campaign has cried foul when Bill Ayers comes up, claiming "guilt by association." Yet the issue here isn't guilt by association; it's guilt by participation. As CAC chairman, Mr. Obama was lending moral and financial support to Mr. Ayers and his radical circle. That is a story even if Mr. Ayers had never planted a single bomb 40 years ago.

A truly neutral media would have had countless investigative reporters sifting through every document associated with The Annenberg Challenge. 

A truly neutral media that didn't do so, would read the information supplied by Mr. Kurtz and demand that Barack Obama explain why he lied about his association with the terrorist william ayers, and why so much of the Annenberg Challenge money was spent on radical leftist programs.

But most of our media appear not to be interested in doing any of this. 

Then they wonder why we call them biased?  Then they wonder why internet news sources are so rapidly displacing them as informational venues for intelligent people?  Unbelievable.

The bottom line is that Barack Obama is a liar.  He was deeply associated with a radical leftist terrorist bomber - not 40 years ago, but at the launching of his political career and for years afterwards.

I want to know EXACTLY what he did there and why that money was spent on the groups which received it.  And I want our media - kicking and screaming if necessary - dragged back into neutral journalism to demand those answers along with me.


BIDEN'S BIG MOUTH: DID IT JUST LOSE PENNSYLVANIA?

Ken Berwitz

If there is one thing you have to know about Joe Biden, it is that he has a loose cannon of a mouth that continually gets him in trouble.  I don't know of any other Senator who winds up having to explain/apologize/rationalize more for stupid off-the-cuff statements than Mr. Biden.

There are a lot of good reasons to question Barack Obama's judgment in selecting Joe Biden as his running mate -- and this may be paramount among them.

With the above in mind, let me post Ben Smith's latest blog, which quotes Mr. Biden on his attitudes about coal (if you have trouble with the video, just click on the link above):

 September 23, 2008
Categories:
 
Joe Biden

Biden: 'No coal plants here in America'

Some great rope line video from Joe Biden's recent Ohio swing, where he was asked by an anti-pollution campaigner about clean coal -- a controversial approach in Democratic circles for which Obama has voiced support, particularly during the Kentucky primary.

Biden's apparent answer: He supports clean coal for China, but not for the United States.

"No coal plants here in America," he said. "Build them, if they're going to build them, over there. Make them clean."

"Were not supporting clean coal," he said of himself and Obama. They do, on paper, support clean coal.

The answer seems to play into John McCain's case that Obama has been saying "no" to new sources of energy.

In the primary, Biden opposed Obama's push for clean coal, which is seen as a way of maintaining or expanding America's coal-burning power plants -- many of which are in rust belt swing states.

"I don't think there's much of a role for clean coal in energy independence, but I do think there's a significant role for clean coal in the bigger picture of climate change," he told Grist last year. "Clean-coal technology is not the route to go in the United States, because we have other, cleaner alternatives," he said, but added that America should push for a "fundamental change in technology" to clean up China's plants.

Biden also was not shy on his own clean energy credentials.

"The first guy to introduce a global warming bill was me 22 years ago. The first guy to support solar energy was me 20 years ago," he said, apparently referring to the 1986 Global Climate Protection.

Think Progress has some more context, and Jake Tapper reports that Obama this morning rebuked Biden on a separate issue, his quick opposition to a federal bailout.

Pennsylvania has two major pockets of Democratic support;  Philadelphia and Pittsburgh.  The rest of the state is Republican.  In recent times, the vast Democratic majority in these two cities has been enough to carry the state for Democratic presidential nominees - though usually not by very much.

But, in considering the effect of Joe Biden's comments, let's remember that a) western Pennsylvania is coal mining country and b) all of Pennsylvania benefits from coal mining revenues. 

Will Joe Biden's uncontrollably big mouth lose enough votes to hand the state to John McCain? 

I don't know the answer.  But I do know that Biden has materially damaged the Obama effort in Pennsylvania. 

One of the primary reasons Mr. Obama selected Joe Biden was that he was born in Pennsylvania and lived there for 10 years.  In other words, he was supposed to solidify the state for Obama.  Wouldn't it be ironic if, instead, his anti-coal remarks gave it over to Mr. McCain? 

Let's keep an eye on the next few state polls and see what damage, if any, Biden's big mouth has caused.  While you're waiting, I recommend that you link to Jake Tapper's blog (the link is found at the bottom of Ben's piece) and read about the other big-mouth problem Biden caused in the last few days - this one relating to the federal bailout of AIG.

Great judgment in your VP selection, Mr. Obama.  Can we count on similarly great judgment if you become President?


BARNEY FRANK'S RESPONSIBILITY FOR THE FINANCIAL MELTDOWN

Ken Berwitz

The Caine Mutiny was a terrific movie.  Humphrey Bogart was never better.  Van Johnson and Fred MacMurray were great.  But the guy who stole the show was Jose Ferrr, playing the military lawyer, Barney Greenwald. 

Remember that scene when he crashes the crew's victory party and makes them ashamed of what they had done?  The climax was when he turned to Fred MacMurray, said something like "And now we come to the REAL architect of the Caine Mutiny", and showed him up for what he really was.  It doesn't get more dramatic than that.

Well, we are in the middle of a dramatic financial meltdown.  A meltdown that will require unprecedented amounts of money to bail out of.  And while a lot of blame has been pushed around, going as far back as jimmy carter and Bill Clinton (both of whom contributed to this mess) we haven't quite gotten to its real architect, the guy whose actions brought it to the level we are trying to deal with. 

But now we have.

With thanks to Michael Graham, writing for the Boston Herald, here is the "Fred MacMurray" of the financial meltdown:

Better not bank on Barney Frank
He brought the (fiscal) house down

By Michael Graham  |   Tuesday, September 23, 2008  |
 
I want [Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae] to help with affordable housing, to help low-income families get loans and to help clean up this subprime mess. Otherwise, why should they exist?

- Rep. Barney Frank, earlier this month.

The Subprime Panic of 08 and its $1 trillion (and rising!) price tag is too big to blame on any one man. But if we had to, it would be Newtons own Rep. Barney Frank.

As Winston Churchill might have put it, never before has one man done so much that was so wrong, or shafted so many on behalf of so few.

Entire business sections of newspapers, including this one, have been dedicated to explaining how we got into this mess, and still the typical taxpayer is asking So what happened?

The answer is actually quite simple: Freddie and Fannie happened. And they couldnt have without the ferocious support of Barney Frank.

Freddie and Fannie were supposed to be safe suppliers of mortgage money for relatively low-risk loans. If you could qualify for a loan, F&F would make sure the banks had access to the money to make that loan, cheap money because it was backed by the American taxpayers.

But liberals like Barney Frank wanted more. They wanted the low cost of low-risk loans to be extended to higher-risk borrowers with lower incomes, fewer assets or less-solid credit. Barney and friends used the regulations of the Community Reinvestment Act to threaten lenders into making these loans. And banks, trying to meet Franks demands, expanded riskier lending schemes like subprime mortgages.

Thats when Freddie and Fannie stepped in. As Kevin Hassett of the American Enterprise Institute put it: They fueled Wall Streets efforts to securitize subprime loans by becoming the primary customer of all AAA-rated subprime-mortgage pools.

Lenders asked themselves, why should I care how shaky these borrowers are or risky the loans if a government-backed body is going to buy them up anyway?

The loans were made, the housing market bubbled, contributions from F&F flowed to Democrats like Chris Dodd and Barack Obama, and everyone was happy. Until they werent.

Without Freddie and Fannies reckless expansion, the housing bubble doesnt happen. Without the implied promise behind F&Fs money, investment banks dont dive into the derivatives market.

Instead, we did it Barneys way.

Not only has Frank spent his career stopping any real reform of Fannie and Freddie, he repeatedly insisted they werent backed by the taxpayers. There is no federal liability whatsoever, Frank said in 2000.

But two weeks ago, we had to bail them out with $200 billion in our tax dollars.

Alan Greenspan, John McCain and others warned that F&F were taking on too much risk, but Frank dismissed these overblown fears as ideological attacks against his favorite cash cow. Even after Franklin Raines and Joe Johnson were caught red-handed mismanaging these institutions, Frank still insisted we are not facing any kind of crisis.

Just how deep in the Fannie/Freddie tank was he? As The Wall Street Journal reports: Mr. Frank was publicly arguing for an increase in the size of their combined $1.4 trillion portfolios right up to the day they were bailed out. Even now . . . he opposes Treasurys planned reduction in the size of the portfolios starting in 2010.

Our markets have collapsed, were paying through the nose, and Barney Frank is still fighting to keep Fannie and Freddie on the dole.

Why? Because in his mind, the point of Fannie/Freddie is taxpayer-subsidized housing for low-income borrowers - no matter how bad their credit or how high the cost.

Otherwise, he asks, why should they exist?

And what about us, the responsible borrowers and hard-working taxpayers stuck with the trillion-dollar tab? In Barneys world, thats the only reason we exist. He spends. We pay.

This truly is Barney Franks bailout.

Thank you, Michael, for saying it. 

Shame on you, most of the rest of mainstream media, for hiding it and/or trying to pin it on Bush and McCain -- both of whom tried to prevent this impending disaster years ago and were stopped by Democrats, with Barney Frank leading the opposition.

And to everyone who just read Michael's article, please REMEMBER These facts on election day.  Remember who tried to prevent it from happening and who worked overtime to thwart them.  Most of all remember which party would control the entire government if Barack Obama wins.


DID SARAH PALIN MAKE RAPE VICTIMS PAY FOR THEIR RAPE KITS?

Ken Berwitz

When am I going to learn?  When am I not going to take the word of mainstream media when they dutifully barf out their Democratic masters' commands?

For weeks I have accepted on faith that when Sarah Palin was mayor of Wasilla, Alaska, women who were raped had to pay the city for the rape kits necessary to establish that the rape took place.  I accepted on faith that while Palin did not implement the policy she did not act to end it.  I considered that a truly ugly part of her political background.

But is it true? 

I now have good reason - very good reason - to believe it is not.  The facts come from Jim Geraghty of National Review, who did what mainstream media did not.  He actually CHECKED to find out what the truth was. 

Here are his conclusions in their entirety:

Wasilla Debunking Kit
Crimes on truth.

By Jim Geraghty

Liberal bloggers have cited the story of Wasilla charging victims for rape kits as evidence that as mayor, Sarah Palin backed cruel and insensitive policies. But just about everything we know from initial accounts of this controversy is wrong.

When the practice came to light, the state passed a law banning it, and the minutes from the state-legislature committees reveal several missing details. Among them:

1.Wasilla was not mentioned in any of the hearings. In a conference call with reporters earlier this month, Tony Knowles (the man Palin beat in her governors race) claimed Wasilla was the lone town with the practice. This isnt true, but he was far from alone in saying or implying this.

Part of the blame goes to the controversy-launching
article from the Mat-Su Valley Frontiersman, which declares, While the Alaska State Troopers and most municipal police agencies have covered the cost of exams, which cost between $300 to $1,200 apiece, the Wasilla police department does charge the victims of sexual assault for the tests.

It makes sense for a local paper to focus on the storys local angle, but this falsely implies Wasilla was an outlier. In fact, at a Finance Committee hearing, Representative Gail Phillips (R., Homer) read for the record, a statement from a woman in Juneau who had experienced the charges as indicated. Compare Juneau (population 30,711 in 2000) to Wasilla (population 5,469).

The Democratic sponsor of the legislation, Eric Croft, told USA Today recently that the law was aimed in part at Wasilla, where now-Gov. Sarah Palin was mayor. Yet in six committee meetings, Wasilla was never mentioned, even when the discussion turned to the specific topic of where victims were being charged. (The Matanuska-Susitna Valley, the surrounding region the most densely populated region of the state, and roughly the size of West Virginia is mentioned in passing.) Croft testified at the hearing where Phillips read the Juneau womans statement, so he must have known that it was a problem well beyond Palins jurisdiction, even if he chose not to tell USA Today about it.

2. The deputy commissioner of Alaskas Department of Public Safety told the State Affairs Committee that he has never found a police agency that has billed a victim. In light of Wasillas low number of rapes according to available FBI statistics (one to two per year, compared to Juneaus 30-39), and the fact that the Wasilla Finance Department cannot find any record of charging a victim for a rape kit, it is entirely possible that no victim was ever charged.

Del Smith, the states deputy commissioner at the Department of Public Safety, testified in support of the rape-kit-charging-ban legislation during multiple hearings. During one, state representative Jeannette James asked if she understood correctly that Mr. Smith is saying that the department has never billed a victim for exams.

Smith replied that the department might have been billed, but he has not found any police agency that has ever billed a victim.
 
To clarify: In preparation to attend a hearing and support the bill, one of the states top law-enforcement officials found no case of a rape victim ever being charged. And roughly a month after 30 Democratic lawyers, investigators, and opposition researchers, not to mention reporters from every major news agency in the country,
landed in Alaska, we still have no instances to consider.

The allegation against Palin in the nations most widely distributed paper a couple weeks ago An aide to a Democratic state legislator tells USA Today that women in Wasilla did pay out of pocket for their rape kits is clearly not sufficient, considering the gravity of the charge, the obvious motive to paint Palin badly, and the lack of any corroborating evidence.

3. Three times, witnesses told the committees that hospitals were responsible for passing the bill on to victims, not police agencies. If the bill went straight from the hospital to the victim, without ever being sent to the police department, this would explain why no confirming paperwork could be found in the Wasilla Finance Department. This information also fortifies Palins claim that she was never aware of the policy, as it is more plausible that a mayor would not be aware of a private hospitals billing policy than of the police departments billing policy.


Lauree Hugonin, director of the Alaska Network on Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault, spoke at several committee meetings. She noted in response to Smiths comment that while he had not found an instance where law enforcement has forwarded a bill, hospitals have. It has happened in the Mat-Su Valley, on the Kenai Peninsula, and in Southeast, and that is why the bill is being brought forward.

At another hearing, Hugonin said, these charges occur as a result of hospital accounting procedures. The range of costs can be from between $300 and $1,000. The direct charges usually result from the accounting procedures at the hospitals and not the law enforcement agencies. She noted that there has been some difficulty in Mat-Su, Anchorage, Kenai and Sitka, and possibly in Bethel.

Also at one of the meetings, Trisha Gentile, executive director of the Council on Domestic Violence & Sexual Assault, said some Alaska hospitals have chosen to separate some of the costs of sexual-assault exams. Hospitals are adding sexually-transmitted-disease (STD) and blood tests to the cost of sexual-assault exams, and the hospital makes a choice to bill the victim for those charges. Police departments are willing to pay for sexual assault exams, but it is an internal decision on the part of the hospital as to who pays the hospital bill.

From the beginning, the story didnt seem to add up. Nothing in Sarah Palins background suggested a callousness to rape victims; it seemed particularly unlikely that a female mayor would support such a bad policy. Palin spokeswoman Maria Comella told USA Today in an e-mail that the governor does not believe, nor has she ever believed, that rape victims should have to pay for an evidence-gathering test.

In recent days, some conservative bloggers have noted the strange coincidence of the same anti-Palin smears showing up on liberal blogs at the same time, suggesting some sort of coordination and have wondered if it reflected the work of a p.r. firm connected to Obamas chief strategist, David Axelrod. On Monday, a p.r. executive who has worked with Democratic campaigns in the past
admitted he had created videos that included false charges against Palin, but claimed the Obama campaign had no official or unofficial role in the creation of the video.

Whomever they are, those who spread the lie that Wasilla alone had the rape-kit policy, and the Obama campaign itself, owe Palin an apology.

Like I said, when am I going to learn?

But, then again, what's the difference if this was an untrue charge against Palin anyway?  It's been out there for weeks.  By now, everyone "knows" it's true even if it isn't.  

And if you're waiting for the network news, or the New York Times, or the Today show, or that openminded gang over at MSNBC to give this side of the story, you better get plenty of popcorn and a cushion for your backside, because it is going to be one long wait.

I leave you with this question:  If the same charge had been leveled against either Barack Obama or Joe Biden, do you think mainstream media would not have checked and double checked before reporting it?  We both know the answer.

Just put an R instead of a D after the name.  Then there's no need to check at all.


CAMPUS BIAS FOR OBAMA

Ken Berwitz

No commentary necessary for this article from today's Boston Herald..  This one speaks for itself.

UMass chaplain fails in effort to boost Barack Obamas chances

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

University of Massachusetts officials yesterday quashed efforts by an Amherst campus chaplain to offer two college credits to any student willing to campaign in New Hampshire this fall for Democrat Barack Obama.

Chaplain Ken Higgins told students in a Sept. 18 e-mail, If youre scared about the prospects for this election, youre not alone. The most important way to make a difference in the outcome is to activate yourself. It would be just fine with McCain if Obama supporters just think about helping, then sleep in and stay home between now and Election Day.

Higgins added that an unnamed sponsor in the universitys History Department would offer a two-credit independent study for students willing to canvass or volunteer on behalf of the Democratic nominee.

"It is relatively (easy) to do late add-ons, Higgins wrote.

But university officials disavowed themselves of the effort after inquiries yesterday by the Associated Press. They said it could run afoul of state ethics laws banning on-the-job political activity, as well as university policy.

There is no independent study for credit in the History Department that involves partisan political work, and no such activity has ever been approved, said a statement issued by UMass-Amherst spokesman Ed Blaguszewski.

Higgins refused to identify the History Department sponsor and referred all further questions to university officials.

Blaguszewski said Higgins is one of about a dozen chaplains from different faiths working in Amherst, the flagship campus among the universitys five schools.


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