Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Barry's Narcissistic Personality Disorder

Does Obama have NPD?

Posted: September 30, 2008
1:00 am Eastern

By Ali Sina
© 2008

The 2008 presidential election in America is the most crucial election in this country's history, not because the issues are that critical but because of Sen. Barack Obama. The Democratic presidential candidate's language, posture and demeanor suggest that he may suffer from narcissistic personality disorder, or NPD. NPD is a pervasive pattern of grandiosity, need for admiration and a lack of empathy. The following are some of the symptoms of NPD that can be seen in Sen. Obama:

He subtly misrepresents facts, opportunistically shifts positions, ignores data that conflict with his fantasy world, is overly confident and acts presidential despite commensurate merits and his modest life achievements, considers himself above the law, talks about himself in the third person, has a messianic vision of himself and his "mission," displays false modesty while often evincing haughtiness, sublimates aggression, holds grudges and behaves as an eternal adolescent. These are narcissistic traits as seen in Sen. Obama by Dr. Sam Vaknin. The author of "The Malignant Self Love," Vaknin states, "Barack Obama appears to be a narcissist."

NPD is the prime disorder experienced by all the madmen of history – from Hitler to Stalin, Mao, Kim, Pol Pot, Osama, Khomeini, Saddam and Idi Amin. These men wreaked havoc and killed millions. They looked normal. Few suspected their insanity until it was too late.

Obama shares something else with these infamous narcissists: a chaotic childhood. One determining factor in the development of NPD is childhood abuse, such as the neglecting of his or her emotional needs.

Pathological narcissism is not run-of-the-mill narcissism – someone with a hedonistic or self-centered sense of self – but rather someone with a very weak sense of self. A child who feels inferior, due to real or perceived social rejection, will try to compensate his feeling of inferiority by a subconscious neurotic mechanism, which the pioneering psychiatrist Alfred Adler coined "Superiority Complex."

Such a person compensates his devalued and injured self with puffery, pomposity and by projecting a false image of majesty and authority. He retreats into a bubble universe of fantasy, in which he is loved, respected and omnipotent. All children create such a fantasy world. Narcissists simply don't leave it. Since, due to their extreme feeling of inferiority, they don't fit in the real world, they refuge into this bubble world of fantasy and never get out. This world of pretence becomes to them as real as the real world, to the point that they can't tell the difference. When Obama acts presidential, he is simply acting out his childhood fantasy of omnipotence and grandeur. Emotionally, he is still a hurt little boy neglected and unloved, in the body and mind of a grown up man.

Narcissists have the emotional maturity of a child, or even an animal, but the intellect of a man. They feel like a beast, but think like a human. What makes narcissists dangerous is their lack of conscience, combined with their superior intelligence and their superb performance ability that fool many. They are predators that outsmart you.

To a narcissist, reality and fantasy are intertwined. He does not just pretend to be omnipotent, omniscient and superior to others; he actually believes it to be so. His delusions of grandiosity are real to him. That is why Obama acts presidential, despite his nugatory life achievements, lack of experience and complete ignorance in economic, political and military matters, as his flip-flopping shows. Obama is a cipher, but in his mind and those of his worshipers, such as Oprah Winfrey, he is "the One," the messiah who holds the key to all human sufferings.

Narcissism is not just a character flaw, but a mental disorder. Pathological narcissists are dangerous because they look normal and they are intelligent, when in reality they live in a bubble world of fantasy. It is this incoherence, this disjunction between reality and fantasy that makes them overly confident, self-assured and authoritative.

Narcissists disguise their feeling of inferiority by projecting unusual calmness, confidence, assertiveness, dominance and focus, and almost always possess superb thespian, communication and oratorical skills. These are traits that make one charismatic and attract a stampede of votaries like flies to sugar. Narcissists are needy people who crave attention. They develop these skills and act them out with regal exquisiteness to attract love, respect and admiration. They are performers, actors, slick chameleons.

Sadly, all the grace, exuberance, equanimity, charm, positive energy and magnetism that narcissists project, are pretence. They have the same function that the Styrofoam Greek columns at the Democratic National Convention had – to impress. The world of the narcissist is the magical world of smoke and mirrors. He is an illusionist.

NPD, and people's lack of understanding of it, has made it possible for many insane individuals to rise to the pinnacles of power. It is to this disorder that we owe most of the carnage of history.

When the Bible describes Satan, it gives a textbook definition of narcissism. Narcissists are charming, charismatic, intelligent, persuasive, but deceitful and ruthless. They can seduce multitudes.

When World War II ended and its horrors became known, the world said, "Never Again." "Never Again" can only work if we choose our leaders wisely. Once a madman is in power, it is already too late.

In an article entitled "Understanding Obama: The Making of a Fuhrer," I have shown many narcissistic traits that can be observed in Sen. Obama. Should the senator have NPD, all issues in this election would pale in comparison to what is at stake.

Imagine someone with the mindset of Hitler, Khomeini or Kim Jong-il in the White House, with Congress and Senate at his feet. Can you think of a more dreadful scenario?

In the case of Hitler, the only issue that really mattered was his sanity. Instead, the Germans were hoodwinked by his charisma, his oratorical skill and his vacuous promises of change. They paid a hefty price for their negligence. Shouldn't we learn from their mistakes?

It makes no sense that cops and pilots should be required to take psychiatric evaluation prior to being trusted with a gun or an aircraft, whereas there is no such requirement for those aspiring to run a country and be commander in chief, in charge of weapons of mass destruction.

It is time for the people of the world to demand that those who want to become head of any country submit to rigorous mental checkups. Millions of lives depend on the sanity of these leaders. If the physical health of presidential candidates is important, how much more important is their mental health?

There is no basis upon which to assume Obama would become a murderous tyrant, but there are a number of disturbing traits he shares with murderous world leaders that are worrisome. He can dispel our fears by submitting to a mental checkup.

In the spirit of fairness, I am asking all candidates to submit to this test. Psychiatric evaluation for leaders seeking positions of authority must become mandatory in all countries. Without it we are playing Russian roulette with war and our lives. Imagine how many millions of lives would have been spared only in the last century if aspiring leaders were screened and madmen barred from gaining power.

If you agree this is a vital issue, which transcends all other issues, whatever your political affiliation, I urge you to please sign this petition and invite others to do the same. If enough people become concerned about Sen. Obama's mental health, they may think twice before casting their votes for him.

Knowledge is Power. Power be with you.


Monday, September 29, 2008

Barry's Teleprompter Speaks Up

(Pelosi, Reid, Dodd and Frank should be run out of Washington on the rails, btw)

Sunday, September 28, 2008


They'll register dead people, felons and Dick Tracy thru Acorn in order to make "change you can wince after" happen. Vote early and vote often has always been the motto of the Chicagoland political machine. Barack learned at the feet of the masters.

To quote the fabulous movie Farmer's Daughter--"Fish For Sale!"

Barry, as floral arrangement

Winston Churchill described the fate of men and movements that momentarily stand upon the crest of a wave that is about to topple over. “He was a cut flower in a vase, fair to see, yet bound to die, and to die very soon if the water was not constantly renewed.”

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Barry's BFF , Tony

He sure knows how to pick 'em.

Rezko redux

The fed bed . . .

September 26, 2008

Tipsville: Sneed hears rumbles that convicted influence peddler Tony Rezko, whose dealings have been linked to Barack Obama and Gov. Blagojevich, is singing to the feds.

• • To wit: "I'm told by a close friend of Rezko that he's cooperating with the feds," said a Sneed source. "I don't know whether he's talking about Gov. Blagojevich or Barack Obama or anyone else," the source said.

• • The shocker: Rezko, a Wilmette businessman who was a top adviser and fund-raiser for Blago, has been locked up at the Metropolitan Correctional Center awaiting an Oct. 28 sentencing -- one week before the presidential election.

• • Background: Convicted in June of wide-ranging fraud tied to kickbacks on state deals, Rezko's involvement in real estate deals with Gov. Blago's wife, Patti, are also under federal scrutiny.

• • The backshot: Rezko's name has continually surfaced as a friend of Obama, who benefitted from a real estate deal involving Rezko -- which involved Obama's Kenwood home. Thus far, no serious paint has been splashed on Obama by the Rezko brush. But rumors abound that the feds have their eyes fixed on Blago and his wife, who firmly maintain their innocence.

• • The buckshot: Being locked up at the MCC has been known to be a sure way to break a felon's silence. Tweet. Tweet.

Barry Needs To Grow Up

It doesn't seem to be the American thing to do. Which proves, underlines, that what Barry has in line is very far from the democracy and freedom we enjoy now.These are Stalinist tactics.

Saturday, September 27, 2008
Contact: Jessica Robinson, 573-751-0290

Gov. Blunt Statement on Obama Campaign’s Abusive Use of Missouri Law Enforcement

JEFFERSON CITY - Gov. Matt Blunt today issued the following statement on news reports that have exposed plans by U.S. Senator Barack Obama to use Missouri law enforcement to threaten and intimidate his critics.

“St. Louis County Circuit Attorney Bob McCulloch, St. Louis City Circuit Attorney Jennifer Joyce, Jefferson County Sheriff Glenn Boyer, and Obama and the leader of his Missouri campaign Senator Claire McCaskill have attached the stench of police state tactics to the Obama-Biden campaign.

“What Senator Obama and his helpers are doing is scandalous beyond words, the party that claims to be the party of Thomas Jefferson is abusing the justice system and offices of public trust to silence political criticism with threats of prosecution and criminal punishment.

“This abuse of the law for intimidation insults the most sacred principles and ideals of Jefferson. I can think of nothing more offensive to Jefferson’s thinking than using the power of the state to deprive Americans of their civil rights. The only conceivable purpose of Messrs. McCulloch, Obama and the others is to frighten people away from expressing themselves, to chill free and open debate, to suppress support and donations to conservative organizations targeted by this anti-civil rights, to strangle criticism of Mr. Obama, to suppress ads about his support of higher taxes, and to choke out criticism on television, radio, the Internet, blogs, e-mail and daily conversation about the election.

“Barack Obama needs to grow up. Leftist blogs and others in the press constantly say false things about me and my family. Usually, we ignore false and scurrilous accusations because the purveyors have no credibility. When necessary, we refute them. Enlisting Missouri law enforcement to intimidate people and kill free debate is reminiscent of the Sedition Acts - not a free society.”

Thursday, September 25, 2008

This could be a first

A president takes office and is immediately under indictment.

Obama grant being probed

$100,000 DEAL | State to charity: What happened to garden money, other cash?

September 25, 2008

Obama's $100K Grant for a Garden Never Built

A $100,000 state grant for a botanic garden in Englewood that then-state Sen. Barack Obama awarded in 2001 to a group headed by a onetime campaign volunteer is now under investigation by the Illinois attorney general amid new questions, prompted by Chicago Sun-Times reports, about whether the money might have been misspent.

The garden was never built. And now state records obtained by the Sun-Times show $65,000 of the grant money went to the wife of Kenny B. Smith, the Obama 2000 congressional campaign volunteer who heads the Chicago Better Housing Association, which was in charge of the project for the blighted South Side neighborhood.

Smith wrote another $20,000 in grant-related checks to K.D. Contractors, a construction company that his wife, Karen D. Smith, created five months after work on the garden was supposed to have begun, records show. K.D. is no longer in business.

Attorney General Lisa Madigan -- a Democrat who is supporting Obama's presidential bid -- is investigating "whether this charitable organization properly used its charitable assets, including the state funds it received," Cara Smith, Madigan's deputy chief of staff, said Wednesday.

In addition to the 2001 grant that Obama directed to the housing association as a "member initiative," the not-for-profit group got a separate $20,000 state grant in 2006.

Madigan's office has notified Obama's presidential campaign of the probe, which was launched this week. But Obama's actions in awarding the money are not a focus of the investigation, Smith said.

Questions about the grant, though, come as spending on local pet projects has become an issue in Obama's campaign against John McCain.

Obama and Kenny Smith announced the "Englewood Botanic Garden Project" at a January 2000 news conference at Englewood High School. Obama was in the midst of a failed bid to oust South Side Democratic Rep. Bobby Rush for a seat in Congress. The garden -- planned near and under L tracks between 59th Place and 62nd Place -- fell outside of Obama's Illinois Senate district but within the congressional district's borders.

Obama vowed to "work tirelessly" to raise $1.1 million to help Smith's organization turn the City of Chicago-owned lot into an oasis of trees and paths. But Obama lost the congressional race, no more money was raised, and today the garden site is a mess of weeds, chunks of concrete and garbage. The only noticeable improvement is a gazebo.

In a previous interview, Smith said the state grant money was legitimately spent, mostly on underground site preparation.

But no one ever took out construction permits required for such work, city records show. And a contractor who Smith said did most of the work told a reporter all he did was cut down trees and grade the site with a Bobcat.

Citing the garden's failure to take root, NeighborSpace -- an umbrella group for dozens of community gardens citywide -- moved Sept. 9 to return the site to the city. Its action followed a July 11 Sun-Times report on the grant.

Obama spokesman Michael Ortiz said Wednesday the senator's staff in Washington will monitor the Madigan probe and an additional review under way by Gov. Blagojevich's administration to make sure "the taxpayer funds allocated for the construction of the garden are recuperated from CBHA if the agencies determine that the funds were not properly spent." Obama's goal is to ensure the site "be used in a way that benefits the community and that any taxpayer dollars allocated are spent wisely," Ortiz said.

The relationship between Smith and Obama dates to at least 1997, when Obama wrote a letter that Smith used to help the housing association win city funding for an affordable-housing development near the garden site. Plans called for more than 50 homes; a dozen ultimately were built.

Smith also has donated $550 to Obama campaign funds.

The Sun-Times learned about Karen Smith's involvement in the project through an Aug. 12 Freedom of Information Act response from a lawyer for Blagojevich¹s Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity. The department, according to the lawyer, had ³discovered² 52 pages of ³additional documents² ommitted from an initial response in May to a Sun-Times¹ Freedom of Information Act request about the grant.

Neither Smith nor his wife has been accused of any wrongdoing. Smith and his lawyer did not return repeated calls seeking comment.

In an interview in July, Smith said he was never able to raise the money needed for the garden. But the state grant awarded by Obama was spent properly, he said, on the underground work, with most of the work done by a contractor whose name Smith got wrong.

The Sun-Times tracked down the contractor, Rodolfo Marin, in Austin, Texas, where he now lives.

"What I was hired for was: Clean up the area and cut the trees -- that's all," Marin said. He said he rented a Bobcat -- a sort of small bulldozer -- for the project.

And how much did Smith pay him? "If he spent about $3,000 with me, that was too much."

Chris Fusco and Dave McKinney


Barry and the financial crisis

Did you think he wasn't involved in something this big?

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

MSM as Water Carrier

Media Campaigns Hard for Obama

By Tony Blankley

The mainstream media have gone over the line and are now straight-out propagandists for the Obama campaign.

While they have been liberal and blinkered in their worldview for decades, in 2007-08, for the first time, the major media consciously are covering for one candidate for president and consciously are knifing the other. This is no longer journalism; it is simply propaganda. (The American left-wing version of the Völkischer Beobachter cannot be far behind.)

And as a result, we are less than seven weeks away from possibly electing a president who has not been thoroughly or even halfway honestly presented to the country by our watchdogs -- the press. The image of Obama that the press has presented to the public is not a fair approximation of the real man. They consciously have ignored whole years of his life and have shown a lack of curiosity about such gaps, which bespeaks a lack of journalistic instinct.

Thus, the public image of Obama is of a "man who never was."

I take that phrase from a 1956 movie about a real-life World War II British intelligence operation to trick the Germans into thinking the Allies were going to invade Greece rather than Sicily in 1943. Operation Mincemeat involved the acquisition of a human corpse dressed as "Major William Martin, R.M.," which was put into the sea near Spain. Attached to the corpse was a briefcase containing fake letters suggesting that the Allied attack would be against Sardinia and Greece.

To make the operation credible, British intelligence concocted a fictional life for the corpse, creating a letter from a lover and tickets to a London theater -- all the details of a life, but not the actual life of the dead young man whose corpse was being used. So, too, the man the media have presented to the nation as Obama is not the real man.

The mainstream media ruthlessly and endlessly repeat any McCain gaffes while ignoring Obama gaffes. You have to go to weird little Web sites to see all the stammering and stuttering that Obama needs before getting out a sentence fragment or two. But all you see on the networks is an eventually clear sentence from Obama. You don't see Obama's ludicrous gaffe that Iran is a tiny country and no threat to us. Nor his 57 American states gaffe. Nor his forgetting, if he ever knew, that Russia has a veto in the U.N. Nor his whining and puerile "come on" when he is being challenged. This is the kind of editing one would expect from Goebbels' disciples, not Cronkite's.

More appalling, a skit on NBC's "Saturday Night Live" last weekend suggested that Gov. Palin's husband had sex with his own daughters. That show was written with the assistance of Al Franken, Democratic Party candidate in Minnesota for the U.S. Senate. Talk about incest.

But worse than all the unfair and distorted reporting and image projecting are the shocking gaps in Obama's life that are not reported at all. The major media simply have not reported on Obama's two years at New York's Columbia University, where, among other things, he lived a mere quarter-mile from former terrorist Bill Ayers. Later, they both ended up as neighbors and associates in Chicago. Obama denies more than a passing relationship with Ayers. Should the media be curious? In only two weeks, the media have focused on all the colleges Gov. Palin has attended, her husband's driving habits 20 years ago, and the close criticism of the political opponents Gov. Palin had when she was mayor of Wasilla, Alaska.

But in two years, they haven't bothered to see how close Obama was with the terrorist Ayers.

Nor have the media paid any serious attention to Obama's rise in Chicago politics. How did honest Obama rise in the famously sordid Chicago political machine with the full support of Boss Daley? Despite the great -- and unflattering -- details on Obama's Chicago years presented in David Freddoso's new book on Obama, the mainstream media continue to ignore both the facts and the book. It took a British publication, The Economist, to give Freddoso's book a review with fair comment.

The public image of Obama as an idealistic, post-race, post-partisan, well-spoken and honest young man with the wisdom and courage befitting a great national leader is a confection spun by a willing conspiracy of Obama, his publicist (David Axelrod) and most of the senior editors, producers and reporters of the national media.

Perhaps that is why the National Journal's respected correspondent Stuart Taylor wrote, "The media can no longer be trusted to provide accurate and fair campaign reporting and analysis."

That conspiracy not only has Photoshopped out all of Obama's imperfections (and dirtied up his opponent McCain's image) but also has put most of his questionable history down the memory hole.

The public will be voting based on the idealized image of the man who never was. If he wins, however, we will be governed by the sunken, cynical man Obama really is. One can only hope that the senior journalists will be judged as harshly for their professional misconduct as Wall Street's leaders currently are for their failings.

Copyright 2008, Creators Syndicate Inc.


Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Biden Bye-Bye?

And Hillary steps in??? Color me dumb but how is that possible?

Monday, September 22, 2008

Why is Barry so gutless? DUH!

Is Obama Another Dukakis?

Why is Obama so vapid, hesitant, and gutless?

By Christopher Hitchens

Last week really ought to have been the end of the McCain campaign. With the whole country feeling (and its financial class acting) as if we lived in a sweltering, bankrupt banana republic, and with this misery added to the generally Belarusian atmosphere that surrounds any American trying to board a train, catch a plane, fill a prescription, or get a public servant or private practitioner on the phone, it was surely the moment for the supposedly reform candidate to assume a commanding position. And the Republican nominee virtually volunteered to assist that outcome by making an idiot of himself several times over, moving from bovine and Panglossian serenity about the state of the many, many crippled markets to sudden bursts of pointless hyperactivity such as the irrelevant demand to sack the chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission.

And yet, and unless I am about to miss some delayed "groundswell" or mood shift, none of this has translated into any measurable advantage for the Democrat. There are three possible reasons for such a huge failure on Barack Obama's part. The first, and the most widely canvassed, is that he is too nice, too innocent, too honest, and too decent to get down in the arena and trade bloody thrusts with the right-wing enemy. (This is rapidly becoming the story line that will achieve mythic status, along with allegations of racial and religious rumor-mongering, if he actually loses in November.) The second is that crisis and difficulty, at home and abroad, sometimes make electors slightly more likely to trust the existing establishment, or some version of it, than any challenger or newcomer, however slight. The third is that Obama does not, and perhaps even cannot, represent "change" for the very simple reason that the Democrats are a status quo party.

To analyze this is to be obliged to balance some of the qualities of Obama's own personality with some of the characteristics of his party. Here's a swift test. Be honest. What sentence can you quote from his convention speech in Denver? I thought so. All right, what about his big rally speech in Berlin? Just as I guessed. OK, help me out: Surely you can manage to cite a line or two from his imperishable address on race (compared by some liberal academics to Gettysburg itself) in Philadelphia? No, not the line about his white grandmother. Some other line. Oh, dear. Now do you see what I mean?

Why is Obama so vapid and hesitant and gutless? Why, to put it another way, does he risk going into political history as a dusky Dukakis? Well, after the self-imposed Jeremiah Wright nightmare, he can't afford any more militancy, or militant-sounding stuff, even if it might be justified. His other problems are self-inflicted or party-inflicted as well. He couldn't have picked a gifted Democratic woman as his running mate, because he couldn't have chosen a female who wasn't the ever-present Sen. Clinton, and so he handed the free gift of doing so to his Republican opponent (whose own choice has set up a screech from the liberals like nothing I have heard since the nomination of Clarence Thomas). So the unquantifiable yet important "atmospherics" of politics, with all their little X factors, belong at present to the other team.

The Dukakis comparison is, of course, a cruel one, but it raises a couple more questions that must be faced. We are told by outraged Democrats that many voters still believe, thanks to some smear job, that Sen. Obama is a Muslim. Yet who is the most famous source of this supposedly appalling libel (as if an American candidate cannot be of any religion or none)? Absent any anonymous whispering campaign, the person who did most to insinuate the idea in public—"There is nothing to base that on. As far as I know"—was Obama's fellow Democrat and the junior senator from New York. It was much the same in 1988, when Al Gore brought up the Dukakis furlough program, later to be made infamous by the name Willie Horton, against the hapless governor of Massachusetts who was then his rival for the nomination.

By the end of that grueling campaign season, a lot of us had got the idea that Dukakis actually wanted to lose—or was at the very least scared of winning. Why do I sometimes get the same idea about Obama? To put it a touch more precisely, what I suspect in his case is that he had no idea of winning this time around. He was running in Iowa and New Hampshire to seed the ground for 2012, not 2008, and then the enthusiasm of his supporters (and the weird coincidence of a strong John Edwards showing in Iowa) put him at the front of the pack. Yet, having suddenly got the leadership position, he hadn't the faintest idea what to do with it or what to do about it.

Look at the record, and at Obama's replies to essential and pressing questions. The surge in Iraq? I'll answer that only if you insist. The credit crunch? Please may I be photographed with Bill Clinton's economic team? Georgia? After you, please, Sen. McCain. A vice-presidential nominee? What about a guy who, despite his various qualities, is picked because he has almost no enemies among Democratic interest groups?

I ran into a rather clever Republican operative at the airport last week, who pointed out to me that this ought by rights to be a Democratic Party year across the board, from the White House to the Congress to the gubernatorial races. But there was a crucial energy leak, and it came from the very top. More people doubted Obama's qualifications for the presidency in September than had told the pollsters they had doubted these credentials in July. "So what he ought to do," smiled this man, "is spend his time closing that gap and less time attacking McCain." Obama's party hacks, increasingly white and even green about the gills, are telling him to do the opposite. I suppose this could even mean that Sarah Palin, down the road, will end up holding the door open for Hillary Clinton. Such joy!

Christopher Hitchens is a columnist for Vanity Fair and a media fellow at the Hoover Institution.

Article URL: http://www.slate.com/id/2200587/

Democrats Did This To Us

How the Democrats Created the Financial Crisis: Kevin Hassett

Commentary by Kevin Hassett

Sept. 22 (Bloomberg) -- The financial crisis of the past year has provided a number of surprising twists and turns, and from Bear Stearns Cos. to American International Group Inc., ambiguity has been a big part of the story.

Why did Bear Stearns fail, and how does that relate to AIG? It all seems so complex.

But really, it isn't. Enough cards on this table have been turned over that the story is now clear. The economic history books will describe this episode in simple and understandable terms: Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac exploded, and many bystanders were injured in the blast, some fatally.

Fannie and Freddie did this by becoming a key enabler of the mortgage crisis. They fueled Wall Street's efforts to securitize subprime loans by becoming the primary customer of all AAA-rated subprime-mortgage pools. In addition, they held an enormous portfolio of mortgages themselves.

In the times that Fannie and Freddie couldn't make the market, they became the market. Over the years, it added up to an enormous obligation. As of last June, Fannie alone owned or guaranteed more than $388 billion in high-risk mortgage investments. Their large presence created an environment within which even mortgage-backed securities assembled by others could find a ready home.

The problem was that the trillions of dollars in play were only low-risk investments if real estate prices continued to rise. Once they began to fall, the entire house of cards came down with them.

Turning Point

Take away Fannie and Freddie, or regulate them more wisely, and it's hard to imagine how these highly liquid markets would ever have emerged. This whole mess would never have happened.

It is easy to identify the historical turning point that marked the beginning of the end.

Back in 2005, Fannie and Freddie were, after years of dominating Washington, on the ropes. They were enmeshed in accounting scandals that led to turnover at the top. At one telling moment in late 2004, captured in an article by my American Enterprise Institute colleague Peter Wallison, the Securities and Exchange Comiission's chief accountant told disgraced Fannie Mae chief Franklin Raines that Fannie's position on the relevant accounting issue was not even ``on the page'' of allowable interpretations.

Then legislative momentum emerged for an attempt to create a ``world-class regulator'' that would oversee the pair more like banks, imposing strict requirements on their ability to take excessive risks. Politicians who previously had associated themselves proudly with the two accounting miscreants were less eager to be associated with them. The time was ripe.

Greenspan's Warning

The clear gravity of the situation pushed the legislation forward. Some might say the current mess couldn't be foreseen, yet in 2005 Alan Greenspan told Congress how urgent it was for it to act in the clearest possible terms: If Fannie and Freddie ``continue to grow, continue to have the low capital that they have, continue to engage in the dynamic hedging of their portfolios, which they need to do for interest rate risk aversion, they potentially create ever-growing potential systemic risk down the road,'' he said. ``We are placing the total financial system of the future at a substantial risk.''

What happened next was extraordinary. For the first time in history, a serious Fannie and Freddie reform bill was passed by the Senate Banking Committee. The bill gave a regulator power to crack down, and would have required the companies to eliminate their investments in risky assets.

Different World

If that bill had become law, then the world today would be different. In 2005, 2006 and 2007, a blizzard of terrible mortgage paper fluttered out of the Fannie and Freddie clouds, burying many of our oldest and most venerable institutions. Without their checkbooks keeping the market liquid and buying up excess supply, the market would likely have not existed.

But the bill didn't become law, for a simple reason: Democrats opposed it on a party-line vote in the committee, signaling that this would be a partisan issue. Republicans, tied in knots by the tight Democratic opposition, couldn't even get the Senate to vote on the matter.

That such a reckless political stand could have been taken by the Democrats was obscene even then. Wallison wrote at the time: ``It is a classic case of socializing the risk while privatizing the profit. The Democrats and the few Republicans who oppose portfolio limitations could not possibly do so if their constituents understood what they were doing.''

Mounds of Materials

Now that the collapse has occurred, the roadblock built by Senate Democrats in 2005 is unforgivable. Many who opposed the bill doubtlessly did so for honorable reasons. Fannie and Freddie provided mounds of materials defending their practices. Perhaps some found their propaganda convincing.

But we now know that many of the senators who protected Fannie and Freddie, including Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton and Christopher Dodd, have received mind-boggling levels of financial support from them over the years.

Throughout his political career, Obama has gotten more than $125,000 in campaign contributions from employees and political action committees of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, second only to Dodd, the Senate Banking Committee chairman, who received more than $165,000.

Clinton, the 12th-ranked recipient of Fannie and Freddie PAC and employee contributions, has received more than $75,000 from the two enterprises and their employees. The private profit found its way back to the senators who killed the fix.

There has been a lot of talk about who is to blame for this crisis. A look back at the story of 2005 makes the answer pretty clear.

Oh, and there is one little footnote to the story that's worth keeping in mind while Democrats point fingers between now and Nov. 4: Senator John McCain was one of the three cosponsors of S.190, the bill that would have averted this mess.

(Kevin Hassett, director of economic-policy studies at the American Enterprise Institute, is a Bloomberg News columnist. He is an adviser to Republican Senator John McCain of Arizona in the 2008 presidential election. The opinions expressed are his own.)


Shackleford Ties Obama Campaign to Palin Smears

Who's surprised? Well, no one should be. And no one's surprised that the MSM didn't do this but left it to the blogosphere.

Hope, Change, & Lies: Orchestrated "Grassroots" Smear Campaigns & the People that Run Them

Extensive research was conducted by the Jawa Report to determine the source of smears directed toward Republican Vice Presidential candidate Sarah Palin. Those smears included false allegations that she belonged to a secessionist political party and that she has radical anti-American views.

Our research suggests that a subdivision of one of the largest public relations firms in the world most likely started and promulgated rumors about Sarah Palin that were known to be false. These rumors were spread in a surreptitious manner to avoid exposure.

It is also likely that the PR firm was paid by outside sources to run the smear campaign. While not conclusive, evidence suggests a link to the Barack Obama campaign. Namely:

  • Evidence suggests that a YouTube video with false claims about Palin was uploaded and promoted by members of a professional PR firm.
  • The family that runs the PR firm has extensive ties to the Democratic Party, the netroots, and are staunch Obama supporters.
  • Evidence suggests that the firm engaged in a concerted effort to distribute the video in such a way that it would appear to have gone viral on its own. Yet this effort took place on company time.
  • Evidence suggests that these distribution efforts included actions by at least one employee of the firm who is unconnected with the family running the company.
  • The voice-over artist used in this supposedly amateur video is a professional.
  • This same voice-over artist has worked extensively with David Axelrod's firm, which has a history of engaging in phony grassroots efforts, otherwise known as "astroturfing."
  • David Axelrod is Barack Obama's chief media strategist.
  • The same voice-over artist has worked directly for the Barack Obama campaign.

This suggests that false rumors and outright lies about Sarah Palin and John McCain being spread on the internet are being orchestrated by political partisans and are not an organic grassroots phenomenon led by the left wing fringe. Our findings follow.


[UPDATE: Within 1 hour of posting, "eswinner" has removed all videos from YouTube and began removing any traces of his activities. But we have the video and all relevant websites backed up.

If "eswinner" isn't Ethan Winner of the Publicis Groupe, then why did "eswinner" yank the video so quickly? Or if this was just an innocent homemade ad, then what does he have to hide? You'd think he'd want more attention for it.

I uploaded it to my YouTube acount from the original unwatermarked Google version (see below for explanation) and that is the version you now see embedded below. Here's an image that show's he had the videos in question just moments ago. Click for bigger. I'll be able to provide a backup of the original YouTube page in the morning. For now, this will have to do.]

Who is behind this video against Sarah Palin? It alleges:

Sarah Palin was a member of an Anti-American separatist organization.
It claims that Sarah Palin was a member of the Alaskan Independence Party and cites The New York Times for that source. Then it quotes the founder of that Party with some pretty outrageous statements.

But here's what FactCheck.org says about that:

[Sarah Palin] was never a member of the Alaskan Independence Party, a group that wants Alaskans to vote on whether they wish to secede from the United States. She’s been registered as a Republican since May 1982.
And The New York Times was forced to retract their earlier claim that Palin was a member of the party, blaming the error on the party's chair. That retraction was published Sept. 3rd, 8 days before the video was first made publicly available.

Sarah Palin wasn't even physically at the party's convention. The clip you see is part of Palin's videotaped welcome for the convention's opening in which she gives some general remarks about the need for party competition and then tries to draw some common ground on the need to reel in government spending. Hardly evidence of extremism or anti-American sentiment.

In our opinion the Palin smear video appears professionally produced. Especially revealing is the voice over, which has a ring of familiarity to it and which also sounds professional.

If we are correct, that means that someone paid for the ad and for the talent behind it. Yet no one identifies themselves as being behind the video.

Using techniques that we've used in the past to find the identity of online terrorist supporters, the Jawa team went to work trying to figure out who was behind what appeared, in our opinion, to be a professionally orchestrated smear campaign aimed at Sarah Palin with the ultimate goal of electing Barack Obama.


Federal election law requires that a disclaimer from those paying for campaign ads, "must appear on any "electioneering communication" and on any public communication by any person that expressly advocates the election or defeat of a clearly identified candidate or solicits funds in connection with a federal election." Even when the ad is not paid for nor coordinated with the candidates election committee, "the disclaimer notice must identify who paid for the message, state that it was not authorized by any candidate or candidate's committee and list the permanent street address, telephone number or World Wide Web address of the person who paid for the communication."

No such disclaimer appears on the ad in question. However, "General public political advertising does not include Internet ads, except for communications placed for a fee on another person’s web site." It is not clear to us whether a video is considered an "internet ad" or if the wording only meant to include banner ads or other more common forms of internet advertising.

All of the web only video ads that we could find produced by the Obama campaign carried the disclosure or some other clearly identifiable notice that they were responsible for its content.

It would appear that the ad, while professionally produced, was put on YouTube and then spread in such a way as to make it seem like amateurs had made it and spread it. We can't help but wonder if the missing disclaimer on the video was an intentional exploitation of a loophole meant to distance the people behind the ad from its outright lies?

We also can't help but wonder if maybe those who produced the ad believed that the lack of disclaimer constituted an FEC violation? Which would be an alternative explanation for why they did not wish to be connected to it.

Beyond the disclaimer, though, our reading of FEC regulations suggests that political campaign and 527 groups, such as Moveon.org, are required to report money spent on advertising opposing a candidate for public office. We can find no exception for advertising intended for web only campaigns.

We assume that if some group paid for the production of the video, that it would be reported to the FEC. Not doing so, we believe, would constitute a breach of federal campaign law.


The YouTube poster who uploaded the video did so under the account name "eswinner". He names his channel "AGroupofConcernedAmericans". The goal of his channel, says "eswinner", is:

Offering a fair and unbiased view towards life and politics...

I try to give an unbiased account of all things American.

The video was uploaded four times under the "eswinner" account, using different titles for each video. The video was also uploaded to Google Video on the same day and with the same title.

A Google search of other people using the nickname or account name “eswinner” reveals that someone very interested in yachts also goes by that name. There is, for example, a Picasa page under the account name “eswinner”. I won't link to that page because it also has pictures of his family, but I will include a screenshot here.


That Picasa page of "eswinner" is used by an "Ethan" advertising on Craig's List that he will rent out his yacht to interested parties. But "Ethan" also leaves his e-mail account: ewinner@winnr.com.

And just what is winnr.com? An alternate dns designation for Winner & Associates. A firm that employs one Ethan S. Winner.

Hundreds of pictures on the Picassa page belonging to "eswinner" show that the page belongs to the same Ethan S. Winner that is employed by the public relations firm of Winner & Associates. Other instances of an "eswinner" or "ewinner" posting on the internet are found sprinkled here and there. All of those postings seem to fit the profile of Ethan S. Winner and suggest that eswinner and Ethan Winner are one and the same.

The company he works for, Winner & Associates, is one of the largest PR firms in the country and part of an even larger international conglomerate Publicis Groupe, which is, "one the world's top 10 advertising and communications firms."

A firm that specializes in "helping companies survive and succeed" a "controversial issue such as a lawsuit, a government investigation, a political protest, a labor dispute, or a defective product or recall."

A firm that also happens to produce TV ads. And owns a number of affiliated firms which do similar work.

These people are professional guns for hire. Looking at their portfolio makes that clear. And they only work for big clients. The kind of clients that pay big bucks. The kind of people hired by Exxon to convince people that the effects of the Valdez spill were over. The kind of people hired to help push through oil fields in Chad and Cameroon or help companies respond to boycott threats over the Beijing Olympics.

The kind of people who would have an in-house attorney to handle PR for Joe Wilson and Valerie Plame. And get them a movie deal.

Also the kind of people hired by the European Union to help sell the new EU treaty. Who was the lead in that effort? Ethan S. Winner.


In other words, probably not the kind of people who make anti-Palin advertisements with professional voiceovers in their spare time. But also not the kind of people to be averse to running a seemingly grassroots Palin smear campaign .

What I am told by a friend in the business is called "cyber ambuscade" when done by corporations. Apparently it is common practice for corporations to try to plant untraceable rumors about their competitors. In other words some corporations pay professionals to slime the competitors.

While it is clear that W&A are very big guns for hire, those that run it have been strong financial supporters of Democrat candidates and have links to the leftist netroots that first championed Barack Obama.


This is Charles "Chuck" N. Winner, the President of the company.


Charles "Chuck" Winner was once described as:

A revered political consultant, Winner began his career working for California Gov. Pat Brown in 1958; he later worked for President John F. Kennedy. Winner is frequently called upon by a wide range of political groups, candidates and organizations for his unparalleled skills as an adviser, planner and strategic thinker.
Chuck owns $23,000 court-side seats for UCLA basketball. He's the type of guy who own horses that have raced at the Kentucky Derby.

He is a Barack Obama contributor. As are the rest of the Winner & Associate employees who share the family name. Chuck Winner contributed to Obama as early as February of 2007, which means he was a supporter from the beginning.

As have many of the employees of Strategy Workshop, headed by Leslie Song Winner and which once employed Ethan Winner who appears to have been in charge of their internet strategy. Leslie is Charles Winner's former wife, mother of Ethan, and the daughter of Alfred Song--who was California's first Asian-American legislator and a Democrat.

A cursory inquiry into the political contributions of the Winner clan--including Ethan-- also shows that they collectively contributed to: Max Baucus (D-Montana); John Morrison (D-Montana-ran for Senate); Claire McKaskill (D-MO); Democratic National Congressional Committee; Howard Berman (D-CA); Amy Klobuchar (D-MN); Albert Robles (D-CA); Lucille Roybal-Allard (D-CA); Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee; Sherrod Brown (D-OH); John Kerry (Pres campaign); Chris Dodd (D-CT); Wesley Clark (Presidential campaign); Diane Feinstein (D-CA); Maxine Waters (D-CA); Katrina Swett (D-NH ran against Sununu); John Dingell (D-MI)

Partner in their subsidiary of Winner & Mandabach Campaigns, Paul J. Mandabach, is an Al Franken (DFL-MN) contributor. He also contributed to Hillary, Edwards, Kerry, and Clark.

Notice a pattern here? These aren't just local Democrats, but are big name Democrats in big name races. All over the country.

But more importantly, look who else Charles Winner contributed to: ACTBLUE, "the nation's largest source of funds for Democrats" and which is "particularly favored by the netroots and left-leaning bloggers."


Can we be sure, based on the above, that Ethan S. Winner and/or Winner & Associates was involved in production and/or promotion of the ad? No, but there’s even more evidence than what we've presented so far tending to indicate that Ethan S. Winner, Winner & Associates, and/or the Winner family are connected to this video.

As of the first draft writing of this report (9/12/2008) YouTube user "eswinner" had exactly three subscribers. One of them just happened to create a YouTube account on the very day the video was uploaded: "cnwinner".


Is “cnwinner” an account created by Charles N. Winner, founder and president of Winner & Associates? If so, that would explain why the age listed by the creator of the “cnwinner” profile [68] generally matches that of published reports on the age of Charles N. Winner.

YouTube user “cnwinner” (Charles N. Winner?) appears to be directly involved in a concerted effort to add legitimacy to the video's lies about Palin. How do we know? Because during the initial draft writing of this report a number of comments --including one by me -- have been left disputing the allegations made in the video. And our "cnwinner" (Charles N. Winner?) responds:


And “eswinner” (Ethan S. Winner?) joins in the sockpuppet game with "cswinner” (his father Charles N. Winner?), pretending to be a bystander when he is the one who uploaded the video!


Other apparent early sockpuppets included "Truthiness99" & "nowaymccain" both of whom joined YouTube within a day of the original video posting and seem eager to make claims that the video has its facts straight.

The same day (9/12/2008) another apparent sockpuppet account "gocamerica" was created. It is our opinion, based on activity under this account, that this account was created solely or primarily for the purpose of helping the video spread; "gocamerica" reuploaded the video naming it "Sarah Palin ABC Interview". Gocamerica apparently has as little problem lying about the contents of the video as he has with the lies directed at Sarah Palin in the video.

Does the user name sound familiar? As in Group Of Concerned AMERICAns or "gocamerica".

And what does "gocamerica" have to say in the thread where many of the commenters laugh at the outright lies in the video?


How transparent is gocamerica's sock puppetry? He says the same thing, word for word, in the comments thread of all four versions of the video. A cut and paste job.

Apparently someone has been taking sock puppet lessons from Glenn Greenwald!

[UPDATE: The "gocamerica" account was deleted within 2 hours of publication. Confirmed: gocamerica = Ethan Winner sockpuppet. But we backed up "gocamerica's" YouTube page. Will provide backup in the morning]


Many of the comments seem to have been written during normal business hours. Which, if everything else wasn't enough evidence, indicates that they are probably doing this on company time. For instance, this reply by "gocamerica" to a comment I left:


You'll notice the message was left two hours before 5:16 pm Central time on 9/17/2008. Since it's highly likely that "gocamerica" is on Pacific time, then it follows that he left the comment sometime around 1:16 pm Pacific --- right in the middle of the work day.

On 9/19/2008 "eswinner" logged into his YouTube account sometime just before 3 PM Central -- or sometime just before 1 PM Pacific.


From the available evidence, it certainly appears that someone is spending time on the company clock boosting the video. Trying to get the video to go viral. To take a life on of its own. Seeing how many people have viewed it.

What appears, in our opinion, to be a third sockpuppet account was created on 9/16/2008. This account belongs to "grpcncrndamrcns" and has only one video -- the same video uploaded by "eswinner" and "gocamerica": Sarah Palin: A Heartbeat Away.

As further evidence that these two are sockpuppets of the owner of the "eswinner" account, the videos uploaded by "gocamerica" and "grpcncrndamrcns" do not bear the hallmark signs of one YouTube user reuploading a video he or she found at YouTube -- the double YouTube watermark. Instead, all versions of the YouTube video have a single YouTube watermark indicating that the person/persons probably uploaded an original unwatermarked version of the video.

[Update: Within 2 hours of initial post, "grpcncrndamrcns" deleted video as well. Confirmed, these accounts are all sockpuppets.]


And their efforts didn't stop there. Someone emailed the video to a forum administrator at the Democratic Underground--a message board considerably to the left and far nuttier than even the far left wing bloggers. Says "EarlG" about the video he posted on the very day after it was created (and the same day that this particular version was uploaded):

Nice independent YouTube attack ad. I don't know who made this, it arrived in my email inbox this morning from "A Group Of Concerned Americans." [emphasis added]
As previously noted "A Group of Concerned Americans" just happens to be the name of the YouTube channel created by a person who we have reason to believe is Ethan S. Winner (aka, "eswinner") of the W&A PR firm.

But getting a video to go viral would take more than the Democratic Underground, it would take many more in the netroots willing to push the video. The video appeared on the largest leftwing blog on 9/12/2008 and became lauded as the prime example of what the netroots should be doing on their own to smear the McCain campaign.

Daily Kos is the blog that really launched Obama's successful campaign. DailyKos diarist "geekesque" tells his audience of a plan to get this and other smear videos to go viral. And I mean just that: he admits that the video and others like it make false claims, but that the ends justify the means. It's pretty long but I'll post the whole thing just to show I'm not taking this out of context:

Viral attacks are where it's at in 2008. Emails, blogs, online news sources. Content flows upstream in today's media environment.

We can be the gun.

Indeed, if Barack can't or won't do the dirty work, then we have to do it for him. No excuses. No more hand-wringing.

Let's get to work.

How, you ask? Simple.

It's all about finding really damaging stuff--news stories, YouTubes, informative blog posts. And then circulating those with the intent of having them work their way up the media stream. Email it to your friends. Email it to any journalists whose email you have. Post it in diaries or blog comments.

Example, here is a devastating YouTube on Sarah Strangelove:

[The Palin smear video was inserted here]

You should email this to ten people. Or ten bloggers. Or both. Spread it far, spread it wide.

If you would like to do this on a regular basis, I've set up a couple of Google Groups to help out with that process.

One group, [group's name] is a gathering point for potentially damaging stories about the enemy. Folks who belong to that one can post whatever stories they find anonymously. Just post a link or create a page, and others will take it from there.

That brings me to the other group, [other group's name]. This group is the actual action group--the one where the most damaging stories collected by folks at the VMP. It's real simple. You log in or get an email alert, you copy and paste, and you email it to various folks--either friends and family or content-based websites like blogs and online news sources.

I am more than happy to add folks to either group or both. Just email me at:

[redacted e-mail]

and let me know which you'd like to join.

Let's go out and expose these bastards for what they are.

To the barricades.

Note: If you don't believe in scorched-earth politics, no one is forcing you to join this effort, of course. We all contribute in our own way.

How do DKos readers respond to the notion that spreading lies is acceptable behavior in getting their preferred candidate elected? Not a single negative response as of this writing. Here are some samples:
already sent the video on your diary to 300 contacts.

by rapcetera on Fri Sep 12, 2008 at 12:27:36 PM PDT ...

Let's hammer these bastards any way we can. We have to influence the media narrative ourselves.

Cotton Mouth

by Countificus on Fri Sep 12, 2008 at 11:58:45 AM PDT...

If you want to win without a dirty candidate... (5+ / 0-)

Recommended by:
slinkerwink, Geekesque, BachFan, kat68, Floande

...the candidate him/herself can't fight dirty.

When Johnson wanted a rumor spread that his opponent f*cked farm animals, he didn't stand up and make a speech to that effect. He told his campaign manager to spread the word on the sly.

Johnson? Remember that guy, back from when the Democrats actually won elections?

On s'engage, et puis, on voit. (Napoleon)

by sagesource on Fri Sep 12, 2008 at 12:06:48 PM PDT

Spreading the message seems to be a theme that is echoed by one "Justyn Winner" who shares an unusually spelled name with a W&A Vice President, General Counsel, and Valerie Plame representative. From a comment "Justyn Winner" left about Obama's race speech at noted leftwing blog Crooks and Liars:
Fantastic spech! the best thing people can do is to circulate a link of it or its segements to all friends and family. Exposure is essential
Knowing the right people to prod into action is the key ingredient in getting a "grassroots campaign" off the ground and making it seem "spontaneous" and "ground up". The netroots of dKos are the perfect people to contact if one wanted to spread the message, but do it in such a way that it would appear to be spontaneous and undirected.


But it wasn't just dKos and the DU that appear to have been contacted. Also posting the video on the very day it was created is noted gay-rights activist Pam Spaulding. Jesus' General posted it the next day.

Incidentally Jesus' General, who posted the video on his own blog without comment, thought he should leave his two cents in the video's comments. It appears that he knows the video presents outright lies as truth, but he doesn't care: the other side lies, he reasons, so why shouldn't the left?


Another person interested in helping the smear go viral is David "Ben" Burch whose White Rose Society is dedicated to "fighting the new fascism" by.... lying about a VP candidate? A dedicated fan of Cindy Sheehan, of left wing radio, and of harassing Wikipedia users who don't see eye to eye with him. Burch also doesn't appear to have a problem spreading lies about Sarah Palin. It's for the greater good, you see. Nothing fascist about that!

There's no telling how many other bloggers or activists were emailed by the sockpuppet "A Group Of Concerned Americans" who we have reason to believe is Ethan S. Winner or other employees of one of the largest PR firms on the planet.

But would the people at Winner & Associates have the kind of experience to try and organize a grassroots campaign? From the Publicis website describing what W&A does.


It appears that they do.


Even if “eswinner” is indeed Ethan S. Winner and “cnwinner” is indeed Charles N. Winner, it is possible, of course, that the attack ad on Palin is a Winner family project, unconnected to Winner and Associates and their corporate owners at the mega-PR firm of Publicis. In fact, FEC regulations carve out an exception for individuals to use their computers -- even their office computers -- to spread political messages.

There is evidence, however, from which one might reasonably surmise that the attack ad on Palin was a project of the company itself. In particular, there are indications that other employees of Winner and Associates, not members of the family, have been actively involved in dissemination of the video.

As we've already seen, "eswinner" uploaded the same Sarah Palin smear video four times giving it four separate titles. Likely seven times, really, since "gocamerica" & "grpcncrndamrcns" both appear to be just other sockpuppets; and the video was also uploaded to Google. We've already seen how someone sent the video to two prominent leftwing internet websites--the Daily Kos and the Democratic Underground--and possibly to other leftwing bloggers.

What I haven't mentioned is that a second version of the same video uploaded by "eswinner" was posted separately at the Democratic Underground on the same day as the one forum administrator "EarlG" claims it was sent to him by "A Group Of Concerned Americans."

This version was posted by DU user "stckyfngz" on Sept. 12th. Here's a screenshot:


Who is this "stckyfngz" who posted the video at The Democratic Underground the day after "eswinner" uploaded it to YouTube? There is evidence that leads us to believe that the “stckyfngz” who posted the video at DU is named Jared Liu-Klein.


Jared Liu-Klein, aka, "stckyfngz", you see works in "Public Relations". And there just happens to be a Jared Liu-Klein who donated to Barack Obama.

That would be the same Jared Liu-Klein who represented Valerie Plame for Winner & Associates.

From the Publicis website:
Associate, Winner & Associates

Jared Liu-Klein, an Associate, has almost a decade of experience in the information technology, new media, and multimedia sectors....

He is involved on the production side with several accounts, taking on roles such as conceptualization, scriptwriting, editing, and direction.

It looks like Jared does more than just represent Valerie Plame at W&A--he also helps write scripts!

Jared's mother is Carol Liu, a Democratic politician who previously served in the State Assembly & is currently running for State Senate. His father is Michael Peevey, the Gray Davis appointed President of the California Public Utilities Commission.

There was a bit of a scandal involving Jarad's parents last year when it was revealed by the L.A. Times that tens of thousands of dollars contributed to Carol Liu's campaign came from industries regulated by her husband. Businesses that also hired W&A to handle PR for them during the California Energy crisis. The crisis which would eventually lead to Gray Davis' recall.


So what do we have so far? Evidence which strongly indicates that Ethan S. Winner and Charles "Chuck" N. Winner are behind a smear campaign aimed at discouraging people from voting for McCain/Palin. The production value of the ad indicates that it was produced by a professional firm. The family that runs that company has extensive ties to the Democratic Party, the netroots, and are staunch Obama supporters.

The timing of the comments seems to indicate that the video's promotion was done on Winner & Associates company time. At least one employee, Jared Liu-Klein, appears to have been instrumental in its dissemination. A concerted effort was made to distribute the video in such a way that it would appear to have gone viral on its own. There appears to be corporate sponsorship and organization behind a new "grassroots" smear campaign.

So, the million dollar question is who, if any one, paid Winner & Associates to produce this ad?

[NOTE: The Jawa Report legal department has pleaded with me to point out that everything from this point forward is pure conjecture on my part.

That said…]


My initial money was on George Soros who has contributed to Winner run campaigns in the past, . The sheer viciousness of the attack bears all of the hallmarks of Moveon.org.

But it could be any number of 527s that Obama has now given the wink-wink-nudge-nudge to start hammering away at McCain.

Or the money could come from an untraceable source like the "charitable organization" run by Justyn Winner.

So why would any one hire a PR firm like W&R? Did I mention that they specialize in "crisis communications?" Again, from the Publicis website:


Which leaves open the possibility that Obama or the Democratic Party might also be the ones paying for the campaign. Is there anything that might be suggestive of that? Yes there is.

First there is Ethan Winner's Facebook account. Among the 27 friends Ethan has on Facebook, one of them is David Washington. Dr. David Washington is described as a senior Obama campaign adviser in California.

In and of itself, that's not much of a link. Washington is involved in hosting fundraisers for Obama in the L.A. area, and as we've already noted the Winner family has contributed to Obama's campaign. Perhaps that explains the connection. But there are more compelling links between the video which we believe was uploaded by Ethan Winner and the Barack Obama campaign.


We began this post by noting that a video uploaded to YouTube appeared to have been produced with a voice over done by a professional. As this Politico article makes clear, voice over artists are often used over and over by the same campaign. That shouldn't be shocking to any one. That when called upon to make an advertisement a producer will use people that they've worked with before.

What is surprising is that voice artists are often partisans. Not only do they work for the same producers over and over, they often only work for one side of the political aisle. For instance, Betsy Ames is one of the premier voices for Republican campaigns. Kathryn Klvana is often heard on political ads -- but only Democratic ones.

We believe that the artist in the "eswinner" Palin smear video has also worked directly for the Barack Obama campaign. What we think is her voice can be heard in Obama's "Burden" video, released on Sept. 15th -- less than a week after the "eswinner" Sarah Palin, a Heartbeat Away video.

Audio from each advertisement was ripped by Dan Riehl and spliced so that a better compare and contrast between the two voices could be made. I then equalized volume levels on the two ads, producing this video. Sorry about its poor quality, I don't have the resources of a PR firm!

Are the two voices the same? You be the judge.

We think it is.

We also believe that she worked on this Obama ad, released on Sept. 20th, and this one, from August. She may be on others, but with over 1300 videos on Obama's YouTube channel we just didn't look for any more.


We believe the voice can also be heard on these AKP&D Message and Media produced videos. In fact, all of the female voice overs showcased on the AKP&D website seem to belong to the same woman. That's right, all of them. The same voice heard in some Barack Obama ads, and which was used for the "eswinner" slime campaign.

More importantly, though, what is AKP&D? It's the Chicago based political consulting firm headed by David Axelrod. Yes, that David Axelrod. As in the David Axelrod who is Barack Obama's chief media strategist.


David Axelrod is also known as The master of "Astroturfing", which is what PR industry insiders call the practice of "manufacturing grassroots support." As Ace notes:

It tries to disguise itself as a "grassroots" phenomenon -- but it's artificial and inorganic. Hence, "Astroturf."

And David Axelrod is notorious for making extensive use of this controversial tactic -- and was notorious for it even before he begain running Barack Obama's campaign.

According to Businessweek, one of Axelrod's astroturfing campaigns stealthily spent $15 million convincing Illinois taxpayers that their power would be shut off if they didn't approve an increase in their electric bills. It wasn't until a complaint was filed with the state's regulators that it was revealed that Axelrod's "grassroots" campaign was fully funded by ComEd -- the power company which would benefit from the rate hike.

Axelrod is a "community organizer" you might say.

This does not mean that we believe that Barack Obama's campaign is behind the stealth Palin smear campaign. In fact, a preliminary analysis of Obama's campaign expenditures filed with the FEC did not find any payouts to Winner & Associates or Publicis. But our familiarity with how to search FEC expenditures is limited, and there are tens of thousands of recorded transactions.

What we do believe we have found is that David Axelrod's firm has worked with the voice over artist in the "eswinner" Palin smear video. In fact, each and every political ad showcased on Axelrod's website that has a female voice over seems to be the same voice from the Palin smear ad. That Axelrod used her over and over again in his videos going back several years.

We also believe that Axelrod has used her in several official Obama campaign videos.

We also know that David Axelrod is considered the master of orchestrating grassroots campaigns that appear spontaneous and which are difficult to trace to him.

In fact, Axelrod has a second company called ASK Public Strategies who's sole purpose seems to be running professional astroturfing campaigns. We can't help but wonder if they ever outsource any of their work?

We also can't help but ask if the Obama campaign has ever hired Publicis or Winner & Associates to do any work for them? Or the extent to which those advertising firms hired by Axelrod on behalf of the Obama campaign subcontract out to other large corporate PR firms?


We believe that the case has been made that the Palin smear video was produced by the Publicis Groupe's Winner & Associates. We believe the evidence to this effect is compelling.

We also believe that the evidence shows that W&A tried to spread the lies about Palin in such a way as to catch the attention of the left-wing netroot supporters of Barack Obama. We think it is unlikely that one of the largest PR firms in the world would do this for free. That they would pay for video production out of their own pockets, hire a well known voice actress, or that its employees would work together in their free time to help the video go viral.

So, if we're right, who paid them? As of this writing we cannot answer that question. Our initial reaction was that this campaign had all the hallmarks of the Soros funded Moveon.org, but given David Axelrod's known predilection to these type of stealth campaigns it would not surprise us in the least if the Obama campaign itself was orchestrating it.

That this is what Obama meant by "taking the gloves off". Especially given the timing of the video's release -- during the brief period when Obama trailed McCain in the polls, and when most of McCain's sudden surge was attributed to the popularity of Sarah Palin.

And if the company has been hired to stealthily spread these Palin smears, what other smears might they be paid to spread? Ones in which they more successfully covered their tracks?

The Palin smear video analyzed here fits in nicely with the post-Palin pick narrative being offered by the Obama campaign. That narrative is that John McCain may not fill out his term in office. The narrative is bolstered by questions about McCain's age, the present status of the skin cancer he once had, and by demands that his medical records be released.

The second ingredient in the narrative paints Sarah Palin -- who would take McCain's vacated Presidential office -- as not ready for the job. Obama's campaign has called her experience & intelligence into question, but there is also a "grassroots" viral campaign of deception that claims Palin is on the political fringe and is a religious lunatic.

Just in the past week, since we first began following the astroturfing of Sarah Palin, rumors have circulated that Palin was a member of the John Birch Society and that she hates rape victims. Bored with the spreading the lie that Palin thinks the Earth is 6,000 years old and that she banned books, this week the netroots are claiming that she supports witch hunts. Not metaphorical witch hunts, actual witch hunts.

Sometimes rumors and lies get spread organically with no need from direction. But sometimes what may seem to be an organic bottom up grassroots movement, may actually be led from the top and may be professionally organized.

We believe at least one such campaign to discredit Sarah Palin is currently underway. It seems highly likely that others are as well. We've done the initial work, but now it's time for the professionals to take over and ask the tough questions.

UPDATE: Within an hour of this post going up, YouTube videos implicating Ethan Winner were yanked, sockpuppet accounts deleted, and more importantly, the Wikipedia entry on David Axelrod began to edit out mentions of his well know astroturfing campaigns. Hmmm, it sounds to me like we're on to something.

Thanks to Jane & Stable Hand who did a lot of the Googling on this one, the Jawa team for input, and our legal division for extensive advice. Also thanks to Dan Riehl and Ace for input and help with drafts; and Patterico for putting together the bullet point summary.

By Dr. Rusty Shackleford at September 22, 2008 12:32 PM |