Archive for August 13th, 2008

August 13, 2008

Arkansas Democratic chairman shot

LATEST (3 a.m.): Information about gunman Timothy Johnson continues to be scarce and sketchy, but KARK reports: “We heard from multiple sources that Johnson was employed at the Gwatney-family owned Chevrolet dealership in Jacksonville.” The station also reports:

Johnson was fired from his job in Conway before the shooting Wednesday.
Conway police were called to the Target just before 8 a.m. Wednesday, because of some anti-target graffiti he had written on the wall. Employees there say he was irate, but he left the scene before officers arrived.

So he got fired from Target, but several sources say that he used to work for the Gwatney family’s auto dealership.

LATEST (8 p.m.): The gunman’s death was apparently not self-inflicted, as had been speculated earlier:

After the suspect avoided spike strips and a roadblock along U.S. 167 near Sheridan, police rammed his car, spinning it, said Grant County Sheriff Lance Huey. He got out of his truck and began shooting, and state police and sheriff’s deputies fired back, striking him several times, he said.
Hastings said investigators found at least two handguns in the suspect’s truck.

The police spokesman seems to discount the disgrunted ex-employee angle:

At a late afternoon news conference, Little Rock Police Lt. Terry Hastings said Gwatney was shot multiple times in his upper body. Hastings said there is no known connection between Gwatney and the gunman and police have not commented on a possible motive.

ID on the suspect:

He has now been identified as Timothy Dale Johnson, 50, of Searcy. A sister who lives in Sheridan identified him, police said.
Johnson had no prior police record, according to the Little Rock police and a motive was still unknown. “This is one of those where we may never know,” said Police Lt. Terry Hastings.

UPDATED & BUMPED (AGAIN): Arkansas Democratic Party Chairman Bill Gwatney has died after being shot by a man who was apparently a disgruntled former employee of Gwatney’s auto dealership. The gunman was 51 and died of a gunshot wound, which may have been self-inflicted.

UPDATE II: When in doubt, blame Michelle Malkin.

UPDATE III: Bitterly clinging to guns and religion:

Moments before the Democratic headquarters shooting, a man with a gun threatened the building manager of the Arkansas State Baptist Convention headquarters seven blocks east. It wasn’t known if the incidents were related.
Dan Jordan, the denomination’s business manager, said the building manager asked the man what was wrong and that he said “I lost my job.”

UPDATE IV: The party chairman was shot three times; details of the police pursuit of the gunman:

According to police, officers chased the gunman down Interstate 530 toward Pine Bluff, until he was forced off at the Sheridan exit. They caught up with him in Sheridan and a gun battle ensued in which the gunman was captured after he was shot by police. He was taken by MedFlight air ambulance to Baptist Health Medical Center in Little Rock. Lt. Terry Hastings of the Little Rock police reported on Wednesday afternoon that the gunman had died.

UPDATE V: Disgruntled former employee of the party chairman’s auto dealership?

Sources say they are working to confirm tentative information that the suspect was a former employee of a Gwatney car dealership. News reports are identifying him as Tim Johnson, 50, of Searcy. He reportedly was a body shop worker at a Gwatney dealership in Sherwood.

Allah suggests this might be another “garden variety wacko,” rather than politically-motivated terrorism.

Very disturbing news:

A gunman entered the Arkansas Democratic Party headquarters Wednesday and shot the party chairman, who was hospitalized in critical condition, authorities said. The gunman asked to speak to the party chairman, Bill Gwatney, and fired three shots at the office near the state Capitol. . . .
The suspect was chased into Grant County, south of Little Rock, and apprehended after being shot, the police spokesman said. The suspect’s condition and motive were not known.
Sarah Lee, a sales clerk at a flower shop across street from the party headquarters, said that around noon Gwatney’s secretary ran into the shop and asked someone to call 911.
Lee said the secretary told her the man had come into the party’s office and asked to speak with Gwatney.
When the secretary said she wouldn’t allow him to meet with Gwatney, the man went into his office and shot him, Lee said.
She said the secretary described the man as in his 40s and white and drove off in a blue truck.

Will update as further details become available.

August 13, 2008

China’s gold medal tweens

Allah has a long thread about suspicions that China’s gold-medal gymnatic team includes girls under the IOC-mandated minimum age of 16. He includes this video in which NBC panelists discuss the situation:

All the panelists speak of the advantage of younger girls in gymnastics in terms of psychology, but the actual advantage is physiological. As girls mature, their pelves (sorry, but that’s the plural of “pelvis”) become wider and heavier, giving them a lower center of gravity. This makes it more difficult to perform the rapid flips, handstands, etc.

As Allah notes, the average Chinese Olympic gymnast was 3 inches shorter and 30 pounds lighter than the average member of the U.S. team, and that difference is mostly a function of age and maturation level. Of course, since the Chinese girls are under a totalitarian regime, their diet and exercise regimens might be more tightly orchestrated to control their weight.

Frankly, I think it’s idiotic to put a minimum age limit on Olympic athletes. If the Olympics is supposed to be about competition among the best athletes in the world, who cares if the world’s greatest gymnasts happen to be 14-year-old girls?

August 13, 2008

Communist Party endorses Obama

Hope, comrades!

A broad multiclass, multiracial movement is converging around Obama’s “Hope, change and unity” campaign because they see in it the thrilling opportunity to end 30 years of ultra-right rule and move our nation forward with a broadly progressive agenda. . . .
The struggle to defeat the ultra-right and turn our country on a positive path will not end with Obama’s election. But that step will shift the ground for successful struggles going forward.

(Hat tip: JWF, LGF.) A “broadly progressive agenda” isn’t exactly “death to the bourgeois oppressors,” but it’s close enough for CPUSA.

UPDATE: Dr. Melissa suggests the MSM is covering up Obama’s real-life CPUSA connection.
August 13, 2008

‘The Pelosi Premium’

The day Nancy Pelosi became Speaker of the House, the average price of gas was $2.33 a gallon. That price has since increased 74% to $4.04 a gallon. (Hat tip: Bohemian Conservative.)

Congratulations, Nancy, on your 19% approval rating.

August 13, 2008

Obama blows poll lead

Margin-of-error territory:

With less than two weeks to go before the start of the presidential nominating conventions, Barack Obama’s lead over John McCain has disappeared. Pew’s latest survey finds 46% of registered voters saying they favor or lean to the putative Democratic candidate, while 43% back his likely Republican rival. In late June, Obama held a comfortable 48%-to-40% margin over McCain, which narrowed in mid-July to 47% to 42%.

Perhaps they forgot to poll in Berlin. Obama’s very popular there, I’m told.

UPDATE: According to this poll, 28% of those who supported Hillary in the Democratic primaries aren’t supporting Obama. So 28% of 18 million is about 5 million. And 18% of Hillary’s primary voters (about 3.25 million voters) say they’ll vote for John McCain in November.

All together now: Raaaaa-cism!

UPDATE II: Ed Morrissey:

With two weeks before the convention, Obama needs a momentum reversal, and he needs it quickly.

Ed ignores the raaaaa-cism, but let me suggest something else that’s being ignored: Many Hillary primary supporters have (falsely) assumed that she would be Obama’s running mate, and haven’t paid attention since. When Obama announces his (white male) running mate, he will lose support among women.

UPDATE III: I explained this last month:

These voters quite naturally assume that, after such a close-fought contest, Hillary has earned the right to be on the ticket. They haven’t noticed Obama’s comments and furious vetting efforts that show he’s seeking an ABC (“Anyone But Clinton”) running mate, with most speculation centering on Virginia Gov. Tim Kaine. And when it is finally announced that Hillary won’t be on the ticket, it’s going to be a huge jolt, one that many will perceive as a purposeful insult to the former First Lady.

Like Cagney and the grapefruit:

August 13, 2008

Ruh-roh

Undocumented immigrant. Dead. In Denver. With “a container of what authorities initially suspect to be the deadly poison cyanide.”

His name is Saleman Abdirahman Dirie. No doubt a white supremacist encouraged to this act of hate by those “celebrity” ads.

August 13, 2008

Unmitigated idiocy

Joseph Palermo is a professor of history at Cal State-Sacramento, and is also an idiot. Palermo makes reference to objectionable material on the Council of Conservative Citizens (CCC) Web site, and says:

This kind of racism aimed at Barack Obama’s candidacy for president should not be tolerated as we approach the most intense phase of the election cycle.
This kind of white supremacy, interconnected with the Republican Party . . . should require clear and repeated denunciations from John McCain.

The CCC is not “interconnected with the Republican Party,” and does not take its marching orders from the GOP or from John McCain. (I’m sure CCC chairman Gordon Lee Baum would laugh at the very suggestion.)

Thus, Palermo is asking McCain to repudiate attacks that he never authorized or endorsed, by an organization in which he is not involved. It’s like asking Obama to repudiate every offensive remark posted in the comment fields of Democratic Underground or Daily Kos.

August 13, 2008

Peter Beinart, political hack

Having complained of the Republican hackery of National Review‘s Rich Lowry, I now note the Democratic hackery of the New Republic‘s Peter Beinart.

Beinart at least had the decency to become a “senior fellow” at a think tank before offering himself as a freelance campaign consultant for Barack Obama, but exactly what affirmative action has to do with “foreign relations” — Beinart’s area of presumed expertise — is beyond me.

Young journalists, take note: If you want to be a journalist, be a journalist. If you want to be a campaign consultant, be a campaign consultant. If you want to be a policy specialist, be a policy specialist. Beware the hubris that makes you think you can be all of the above. You’ll only make yourself look ridiculous.

August 13, 2008

Edwards: His lips are still moving

Lies, lies, lies:

And now The ENQUIRER has uncovered that Edwards’ political operatives are still paying his mistress Rielle Hunter — and she was whisked away on a private jet two days before he confessed their extramarital affair on national TV!
The ENQUIRER has also confirmed that Edwards secretly visited Rielle and their love child three separate times at the Beverly Hilton hotel in Los Angeles this year — a fact that proves he is still lying to America and his wife.

Private jets, mistresses, secret trysts at the Beverly Hilton — in which one of the two Americas does this stuff happen? Like I said, once they figure out you’re never gonna sue for libel, the tabloids can print anything.

August 13, 2008

New Orleans corruption: Name that party!

Corruption in program to rehabilitate flood-damaged housing in New Orleans — the New York Times publishes 1,067 words about it. “Democrat” is not one of those words.