Monday, August 4, 2008
August 04, 2008
Barack Obama is one crafty fellow, reaping political success out of career that got precious little done. He has accomplished very little legislatively in his entire career; his vaunted accomplishments in the Illinois Senate were more the result of the handicraft of his political ally and mentor State Democratic head Emil Jones (who tacked Obama's name on legislation to bolster his career) than his own work on the issues .
Obama has done virtually nothing at the Senate level -- he has not even seen fit to call a meeting of the Committee he heads, the Senate Subcommittee on European Affairs. Despite its name, Obama's subcommittee has some oversight over Afghanistan. While he now says on the campaign trail that Afghanistan requires more focus and attention , he overlooked his own jurisdictional responsibilities in that theatre for the entire time he has served in the US Senate. He refuses to take time off his victory tour to call his subcommittee to order to provide such oversight.
Even worse, Obama has a record of taking credit often for work he has not done -- one of the last refuges of a poseur. During his campaign against Hillary, even his fellow Democrats swatted down the presumptuousness of his ploy to gain credit for the work of others. Once he claimed credit for an immigration bill when a camera team was in the vicinity .
Now that Obama is the presumptive Democratic nominee, his gall often is overlooked when he claims credit for the work of others, or when he claims to have played a role in the actions of, and membership on, the Senate Banking Committee.
Obama is skilled in certain types of legislative maneuvering though. He learned in Illinois statehouse politics how to place poison pill amendments in legislation, or how to sneak regulatory requirements in otherwise innocuous-seeming legislation. While still serving in the Illinois State Senate, he proposed federal legislation that would cripple people's ability to exercise their Second Amendment right to bear arms. Obama wanted to see a federal law against licensed firearm dealers operating within five miles of a school or state park. Experts have wonder if this proposal, given the numerous parks and schools that dot our landscape, would all but foreclose the ability of gun dealers to operate, except in the most remote locations.
As a presidential candidate, however, he now claims to believe in the Second Amendment. Constitutional law lecturer or not, he certainly got the law wrong when it came to the Washington, D.C. handgun ban. And he has supported a wide variety of proposals that would all but eviscerate the practical exercise of that right . He might say he supports the right of Americans to own guns, but he has supported actions that would all but deny them that right.
Barack Obama has also proclaimed his support for nuclear energy (his campaign manager David Axelrod has had one very important client besides Obama: Exelon, a major nuclear power utility player. Axelrod planned and executed an Astroturf maneuver -- a fake, corporate sponsored ostensibly "grassroots" campaign, in this case, to compel Illinois to grant the utility the power to raise rates.
Obama has touted his environmental credentials. With global warming scare, nuclear power has become one of the formerly verboten energy sources some environmentalists have warmed to. Yet he has worked to kill the chances of nuclear power becoming an important power source for Americans. Along with the Majority Leader, Nevada Senator Harry Reid, Obama has supported all foreclosing the possibility of using Yucca Mountain (located far away from any people) as a nuclear waste repository. He even advocated the abandonment of the entire project. This despite the fact that billions have been spent developing this critically needed site. This opposition comes despite the fact that America is running out of places to store nuclear waste (right now it is done on-site). This opposition despite studies that show Yucca to be a safe way to store the relatively small amount of nuclear waste generated by our power plants.
Paul Mirengoff of Powerline caught Obama in another legislative sleight of hand . The candidate has long opposed off-shore drilling, following the views of many other liberal interest groups. Obama has now flip-flopped again and made a feint towards supporting offshore drilling. Yet Obama, according to Mirengoff, "has also led a one-man crusade to keep the American people ignorant about what is at stake in the debate over off-shore drilling".
In 2005, he voted to kill legislation that would have measured our offshore reserves. That effort failed and a preliminary inventory report was produced in February 2006. But Mirengoff writes:
Obama, though, did not give up in his efforts to keep the public ignorant. In January 2007, he proposed legislation to eliminate the authorization to conduct the inventory, as established in the 2005 law. Obama's bill is S. 115. The key provision is section 101(a)(5). It provides that "Section 357 (42 U.S.C. 15912) (relating to comprehensive inventory of OCS oil and natural gas resources)" is "repealed as of the date of enactment of this act." It's my understanding that Obama is the only sponsor of this legislation.
Ironically, Obama called his legislation "The Oil SENSE Act." How audacious a label for an act that would deprive the public of key information relevant to deciding whether off-shore drilling makes sense. As far as I know, Obama's legislation is still pending.
His effort is understandable, politically, if not in terms of the national interest. Barack Obama would face even more political problems if the vastness of our offshore energy resources became more widely known. Because there is no way to produce oil, nobody has bothered to explore the extent of the oil which might be found using modern technology. We have been pumping oil in the Gulf of Mexico for many years. California is our fourth largest oil producing state and we know that it has vast oil reserves offshore because it was producing great amounts of oil offshore until political pressure from the Santa Barbara oil spill all but killed offshore prospects. Our oil and gas technology has vastly improved since then, though Democrats prefer to remain oblivious when it comes to oil and gas technological strides. It is getting downright embarrassing that Cuba has granted offshore drilling rights to Chinese companies that abut Florida's offshore boundaries. Barack Obama knows we cannot have a serious informed debate over offshore oil reserves until we have the facts in hand, and he has worked to make these facts unavailable to fellow Americans. Barack Obama would rather keep us in the dark -- figuratively now, and perhaps literally in the years to come.
What else has he kept us in the dark about? Well, he has not been touting his "Global Poverty Act" lately (S.2433)-though earlier he promised to make passage of this bill a "priority" -- This pleasant sounding bill has provisions buried within its language that would impose many billions of dollars of foreign aid obligations on America (up to $845 billion in the next 13 years over and above what we already give in foreign aid). Some believe that this would grant the United Nations the power to bind America in a wide variety of other areas, as well. Barack Obama is a global citizen, after all.
Barack Obama's pattern of legislative behavior should concern all Americans. He has tried to have his cake and eat it, too. He may broadly "support" a wide variety of politically popular causes (the right to bear arms, nuclear power, and now offshore oil drilling) but engage in legislative sleight of hand to foreclose the chances of these goals ever being achieved. This is merely the legislative version of the double-dealing that Barack Obama has displayed over the years.
On the campaign trail, he can talk a good game about post-racial politics, but for twenty years he was an acolyte of a man who preached the absolute opposite. He can claim he supports bipartisanship but has the most liberal record in the Senate. He can pander in front of one audience and then change his position the very next day ("Undivided Jerusalem"). Outside the halls of Congress, he can support this or that proposal, but then try to kill it through smoke and mirrors within the halls of Congress.
For a man who promotes transparency, he sure has a funny way of showing it. His political principle, such as it is, may be "Do As I Say, Not as I Do". It may not sound as pleasant as "Change you can believe in," but it has a track record you can believe in.
Ed Lasky is news editor of American Thinker.
Friday, August 1, 2008
Election '08: Barack Obama the lawyer-organizer could use a crash course in economics. His economic plan's assumptions, based on long-discredited Marxist theories, are wildly wrongheaded.
In arguing for a heavier mix of government, he assumes that capitalism unfairly favors the rich, almost exclusively so, and fails to spread prosperity.
"The rich in America have little to complain about," he carps. "The distribution of wealth is skewed, and levels of inequality are now higher than at any time since the Gilded Age."
Obama cites data showing a yawning gap between the income of the average worker and the wealthiest 1%. He thinks it's government's job to step in and close it — "for purposes of fairness" — by soaking the rich, among other leftist nostrums.
"Between 1971 and 2001," he complains, "while the median wage and salary income of the average worker showed literally no gain, the income of the top hundredth of a percent went up almost 500%."
But such a snapshot comparison would be meaningful only if America were a caste society, in which the people making up one income group remained static over time.
Of course that's not the case. The composition of the rich and poor in this country is in constant flux, as the income distribution changes dramatically over relatively short periods. Few are "stuck" in poverty, or have a "lock" on wealth.
Read more at ibdeditorials.com ...
NOTE: Obama who lives in a home worth well over $1M gave very little to charity until he decided to run for President. His wife tells college students they need to go in nursing and teaching and not worry about going into business to make money while she had a $300,000 plus job with the University of Chicago. What is this? Take from the rich and give to poor? Why would anyone want to strive to make more money if the Dems like Obama want to take it away and give to people who don't make as much or those that don't want to work.
All you have to do is look at South Chicago which has been run by the Daley machine of which his wife was a member to see that Chicago has done NOTHING for the poor of S. Chicago except toss money occasionally at them. Where was Obama when Chicago erupted into killings earlier this year? Obama wants to tell successful people how to spend their money. Is he going to want them to take care of the rest of the world next through the UN? A vote for Obama is a vote to take from the rich to give to the poor including those that won't work in Chicago.
Visit Chicago and be approached by panhandlers who want you to give money for a meal. In fact, outside a Subway was a panhandler that all he wanted was a free sandwich because he was starving. After the sixth free sandwich which he sold to others, the person running Subway started warning people. Not to mention the fact there was a soup kitchen down the street. Some of these people make a lot off of tourist who feel sorry for them and all the money goes unreported.
Welcome to Chicago, the home of Obama where the Daley machine still exists to make sure the poor remain poor and stay committed to voting for the Dems who promise to help every time but never deliver.
Stimulus: Barack Obama's newly unveiled "Emergency Economic Plan" is quite a document, sounding more like the rantings of an extremist fringe candidate than a serious contender for the presidency.
The six-page package is a doozy, replete with populist ideas that will wreck the economy and leave us poorer. The only real emergency we should worry about is the debacle that would follow its passage.
It's shocking that a mainstream candidate, with so many supposedly well-regarded economists advising him, would produce such a shoddy, poorly thought-out plan.
Take his proposal to send every family a check for $1,000. Don't worry, he assures us, we won't have to pay for it. "Windfall profits from Big Oil" will pick up the tab — in this case.
Sen. Obama seems to be trying to take advantage of reports that Exxon Mobil reported record second-quarter income — indeed, the highest quarterly profit for any corporation ever.
But the reality is that as Obama and his equally unknowing friends push windfall taxes, Exxon Mobil has already given the U.S. a massive windfall. As economist Mark Perry has noted, Exxon Mobil will pay more taxes this year to the U.S. Treasury than the bottom 50% of all taxpayers — combined.
In the first half, Exxon Mobil's after-tax income rose 15% to $22.6 billion. A lot of money, to be sure, until you consider that Exxon Mobil paid $61.7 billion in taxes — also a record.
(Excerpt) Read more at ibdeditorials.com ...
NOTE: If the marginal wells in Oklahoma and Texas were reopened (closed by Executive Order), according to Sen Inhofe there is more crude then what we import from Saudi Arabia. Drill NOW and reopen wells if you want the price to go down. No new refineries in over 30 years thanks to regulations and cost. For the first time oil companies are seeing light and the Feds are getting rich off the profits and yet the oil companies get blamed. Shame on the Dems in Congress who went home and refused to take up the drill for oil bills. Want to blame someone for high prices, blame the 'NO DRILL' Democrats!
This ad points at the arrogance of Obama which transcends any other politician in years or maybe ever. That he would actually say these words is stunning. The Senator with little to no experience who didn't have the time to hold hearings for his Foreign Affairs Subcomittee is unqualified to be President IMHO. Just who is behind Obama is what so many of us are asking because it is obvious off the teleprompter that he is not a fluent speaker. He is trained on the teleprompter but not on impromptu speaking!
He tried to bring up race concerning his remarks about the dollar bill and then blame it on McCain by saying he didn't mean race yesterday but today he said he did mean race.
You want someone like this to be President? No Way! Hillary had the popular vote in the primary but you hear nothing about that now. Amazing!
Thursday, July 31, 2008
Stars and Stripes ^ Friday, August 1, 2008 Steve Mraz
LANDSTUHL, Germany – Although news outlets have reported charges that Sen. Barack Obama canceled his trip to Landstuhl Regional Medical Center in Germany because the media weren’t allowed to cover the event, U.S. European Command officials say plans were in place to allow limited press coverage.
All media, including local press and the more than 40 journalists accompanying the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee on his eight-day international trip last week, would have been able to photograph the Illinois senator entering and leaving the hospital, said Air Force Lt. Col. John Dorrian, a U.S. European Command spokesman.
Defense Department public affairs policy guidance on media coverage of candidates visiting military installations states "under no circumstances may a candidate receive approval to make a campaign or election-related statement or to respond to a campaign or election-related media query."
The guidance also states that "the candidate may appear on camera and in photographs as an official participant and may make a statement or answer questions about the official business being conducted."
Obama’s canceled July 25 visit to Landstuhl sparked a strong and lingering reaction from presumptive Republican presidential nominee Sen. John McCain over allegations that Obama canceled the trip because media could not cover the event. The McCain campaign has since aired a TV commercial blasting Obama for his no-show at Landstuhl.
An ongoing back-and-forth has ensued, with McCain accusing Obama of canceling the hospital trip because he wasn’t allowed to bring reporters.
Obama responded on Saturday, telling reporters he nixed the hospital visit because it would have been perceived as political since he sought to have a campaign staffer accompany him to Landstuhl, according to The Washington Post.
Defense Department policy guidance states that candidates cannot use military facilities for political campaign or election events.
Obama’s visit would have been unique because he would have been the first U.S. Congress member to visit the hospital alone this year.
In 2008, Landstuhl has hosted eight congressional delegations, and each of those delegations was composed of three to eight Congress members, Dorrian said.
McCain last visited Landstuhl on April 5, 2007, as part of a congressional delegation.
McCain’s visit was closed to the press.
Note: Thanks to Kristinn of FR for keeping after the truth on the lack of visit to the military hospital at Landstuhl, Germany, by Obama and his major general he had with him who didn't like to be excluded even though he is part of the Obama political team.
Wednesday, July 30, 2008
Posted at 8:40 pm on July 30, 2008 by Allahpundit
In the unlikely event that you don’t see what he’s getting at, revisit Ed’s post from last month, when Obama made this charge much more explicitly. Simply the perfect ironic counterpoint to his complaints that McCain has been unfair, culminating in an ad entitled, I kid you not, “Low Road.”
“He’s spending an awful lot of time talking about me. You notice that?” Obama asked a crowd of just over one thousand seated in a university gym. “I haven’t seen an ad yet where he talks about what he’s going to do. And the reason is because those folks know they don’t have any good answers, they know they’ve had their turn over the last eight years and made a mess of things.”
“They know that you’re not real happy with them and so the only way they figure they’re going to win this election is if they make you scared of me,” Obama continued, repeating an attack from earlier in the day. “What they’re saying is ‘Well, we know we’re not very good but you can’t risk electing Obama. You know, he’s new, he doesn’t look like the other presidents on the currency, he’s a got a funny name.’”
Mind you, this comes on a day when not only does conventional wisdom have it that the GOP is running the same campaign they ran four years ago against the spectacularly white John Kerry, but the great boogeyman to whom Obama is being compared is … Paris Hilton. This isn’t the first time either that the left has gotten impatient with the lack of racial attacks from McCain and demagogued him anyway just to defibrillate the narrative (as they also did with Hillary), but it’s unusual to see the Messiah himself stoop to making the charge instead of outsourcing it to an aide or waiting around for one of his slimier fans to do it for him. Which leads us back, inevitably, to TNR’s piece from February on how Team Barry played the race card on the Clinton machine. Read it if you neglected to do so the previous thousand times I linked it since it’s a playbook for what’s ahead.
Exit question: Was Mark Hemingway being ironic at the Corner when he said of Josh Marshall’s latest consultation with his secret racial decoder ring, he’s “usually above this sort of thing”? Hey, Mark? Define “usually,” please.
Note: Excuse me but the reason most of us don't like or trust Obama has nothing to do with the color of his skin (50% white; 12% black, and 38% Arab) -- it has to do with his liberal policies, his lies, his dissing of American wounded soldiers, and the company he keeps from Rev Wright, to a known Communist, to Renzko the convicted felon, the rapper, for starters. If you are judged by the company you keep, Obama fails IMO. Playing the race card is not going to get him elected because Sen McCain is anything but a bigot. Guess Obama forgets about Sen McCain's adopted daughter. Don't vote for a candidate because of the color of his skin -- vote for a candidate because I agree with them philosophically. This looks like one of those Obama can attack and have his surrogates attack and Sen McCain is supposed to sit and take it. That is Bravo Sierra! Sam
In a strange development, supporters of Barack Obama’s childhood mentor, Frank Marshall Davis, are openly debating the nature and depth of Davis’s commitment to the Communist Party and his relationship with the Democrat candidate. The debate has gotten heated.
This unusual debate, which is taking place on Obama’s official website, raises the question once again as to why Obama has not been asked by the major media about this relationship. Davis was identified as a Communist Party member by various investigative committees and acknowledged his party membership in a private letter obtained by John Edgar Tidwell, who was sympathetic to Davis and edited his books.
On one side of this debate is somebody claiming to be the son of Davis. On the other side is Alan Maki, a political activist and union organizer with a long history of involvement in left-wing causes. Indeed, Maki confirms that he has been a member of the Communist Party USA (CPUSA) and was a communist decades ago when he was in the Students for a Democratic Society (SDS).
Although he doesn’t support Obama because of his ties to Big Business, Maki wrote a blog on the Obama website stating that he was grateful to Obama for bringing Davis to his attention, and that he, Maki, regarded Davis as his mentor, too. Maki announced establishment of a “Frank Marshall Davis Roundtable for Change” and invited Obama supporters to join it.
Maki did his homework, which is more than most of our own media have done, and he obtained Davis’s books. It is absolutely clear, Maki stated, that Davis was a communist.
In his 1995 book, Dreams From My Father, Obama cites “Frank” as someone who gave him advice on various matters, including race, American values, and college, and read poems to him during his high-school years in Hawaii. One of Davis’s poems was a tribute to the Soviet Red Army. Another mocked the work of Christian missionaries.
New Zealand blogger Trevor Loudon was the first to alert people to the fact that “Frank” was identified as Frank Marshall Davis, a controversial black writer and poet, by Gerald Horne, a writer for a CPUSA publication. Davis’s influence over Obama could help explain why the candidate associated with communists, socialists and anti-American figures through college and his political life in Chicago.
Maki says his intention is to use Davis’s writings “to advance the unity of working people to be a voice to be reckoned with by the Obama Administration, which to me, at this point, looks like will be an overwhelming landslide victory over the Republicans.”
Into the picture comes the person claiming to be the son of Frank Marshall Davis, who posted some comments on the Obama website in which he expresses the view that Maki and I are somehow in cahoots because Maki agreed to talk to me about his views on communism and Obama.
While Maki doesn’t personally like my conservative views, he was honest and forthright about his own political beliefs. Maki posts his telephone number, is easy to reach, and doesn’t hide his political affiliation. And since I reported the results of these conversations, the person calling himself Mark Davis says Maki and I have become “strange bedfellows” and involved in some kind of alliance against Obama.
This would be amusing were it not for the fact that this Mark Davis figure seems determined to obscure the truth and tries to publish this information on various Internet sites. Mark Davis has even posted comments on the misnamed “Intellectual Conservative” website, after somebody named Bob Stapler claimed it was a “delusion” on my part to think that a communist named Frank Marshall Davis had any impact on Obama. Stapler, who claims to be a conservative, refused to correct the record after several requests and appeals for him to examine the factual evidence in the Davis matter.
Sounding authoritative, this Mark Davis character has declared that Frank Marshall Davis “was not a communist,” was not Obama’s “mentor,” and that his influence over Obama has been “exaggerated.” However, he does contend that Obama did have “respect for Davis’s social insight” and showed “good will” toward him.Coming from someone claiming to be Davis’s son, these assertions might appear to hold some weight.
It is important to note that there is no denial that “Frank” was Frank Marshall Davis. The main question, it seems, is how much influence he exerted over Obama, and how much of a card-carrying communist he actually was.
Lately, this same “Mark” has gone further, appearing to embrace suggestions that it is somehow “defamation” to accuse Davis of being a communist, even though reports from various committees and investigations identified him as such and Davis admitted it in the private letter cited by Tidwell. This is apparently a tactic to try to prevent people from delving too deeply into the Obama-Davis relationship.
More investigations must and will be done, not only in regard to Davis but also those in Hawaii and elsewhere who continue to cover up for him. Indeed, the attacks on AIM for publicizing the Obama-Davis link appear designed to protect associates of Davis from scrutiny. If this is the intention, the tactic has backfired.
AIM is vowing to publish more information about Davis and his supporters.
Tell the Truth
Clearly, there is an effort underway to sanitize or play down the Obama-Davis relationship and try to intimidate the major media into not covering it. But it is unusual, to say the least, that some of this effort is occurring on the official Obama website. The reaction, which makes the controversy even more newsworthy and significant, suggests that the truth is seeping out through other means, mostly in the alternative media, and increasing the pressure at least on Obama’s supporters to deal with the matter.
In another strange twist, Mark Davis claims some of his comments have been taken off the Obama website, but some freely remain (see comment 37) on the AIM website, which is open to a variety of views in the form of comments on posted columns. Some Davis comments were apparently deleted from the Obama website on the ground that they were “part of a racist, anti-Semitic hate campaign” against Maki. Davis insists they were not of that nature.
Eventually, if this controversy about Frank Marshall Davis continues to build, Obama could be personally forced by the media to respond, in the same way that former Democrat vice presidential candidate Geraldine Ferraro had to hold a full-blown press conference to answer questions about her husband’s alleged Mob connections.
Maki thinks it admirable that Davis was a communist, but the odds are that few Americans would agree with him.
It is a problem not only for Obama and his campaign, but for those who associated with and covered up for Davis.
If Mark Davis is truly Davis’s son, one would think he would know the truth and have inside information about his father. His thin “profile” on the Obama website claims he is an Obama supporter but not registered to vote. It’s difficult, of course, to determine a true identity based on the limited information available about this person on the Internet. But it is Obama’s website and should be taken somewhat seriously. Maki has reported that he got a telephone call from the “real” Mark Davis, suggesting the one posting comments supposedly in defense of Davis is somebody else.
In any case, Maki is rightly perplexed by the claims that Davis was not a communist, noting that Davis’s own books frankly explore his communist views.
Remainder of article!
Tuesday, July 29, 2008
Obama on the surge, November 2006: No Hope for the Iraqis
posted at 6:01 pm on July 29, 2008 by Ed Morrissey
Earlier today, Jake Tapper did some fact-checking on Barack Obama’s assertion that he always said that an additional 20,000 troops in Iraq would have some positive effect on security. Tapper couldn’t find any evidence to support that assertion, especially in the time frame of the Congressional debate over the plan. William Amos found a speech from November 2006 that makes clear Obama’s faulty judgment on what more troops and new strategies and tactics could accomplish:
Dreams of democracy and hopes for a perfect government are now just that – dreams and hopes. We must instead turn our focus to those concrete objectives that are possible to attain – namely, preventing Iraq from becoming what Afghanistan once was, maintaining our influence in the Middle East, and forging a political settlement to stop the sectarian violence so that our troops can come home.
There is no reason to believe that more of the same will achieve these objectives in Iraq. And, while some have proposed escalating this war by adding thousands of more troops, there is little reason to believe that this will achieve these results either. It’s not clear that these troop levels are sustainable for a significant period of time, and according to our commanders on the ground, adding American forces will only relieve the Iraqis from doing more on their own. Moreover, without a coherent strategy or better cooperation from the Iraqis, we would only be putting more of our soldiers in the crossfire of a civil war.
Let me underscore this point. The American soldiers I met when I traveled to Iraq this year were performing their duties with bravery, with brilliance, and without question. They are doing so today. They have battled insurgents, secured cities, and maintained some semblance of order in Iraq. But even as they have carried out their responsibilities with excellence and valor, they have also told me that there is no military solution to this war. Our troops can help suppress the violence, but they cannot solve its root causes. And all the troops in the world won’t be able to force Shia, Sunni, and Kurd to sit down at a table, resolve their differences, and forge a lasting peace.
I have long said that the only solution in Iraq is a political one. To reach such a solution, we must communicate clearly and effectively to the factions in Iraq that the days of asking, urging, and waiting for them to take control of their own country are coming to an end.
How wrong can Obama get in such a short segment of a speech? Let’s count the ways:
Dreams and hopes of a perfect government are always just that — dreams and hopes. We don’t have perfect government here in the US, either. However, with the renewed commitment of American military strength, Nouri al-Maliki forged closer ties to Sunnis and Shi’ites and rejected Moqtada al-Sadr, and within eighteen months of that speech had established Iraqi sovereignty throughout most of the country — the sovereignty of a freely-elected central government.
“And, while some have proposed escalating this war by adding thousands of more troops, there is little reason to believe that this will achieve these results either.” Actually, that was just part of the surge strategy. The extra troops were needed to hold areas after having them cleared, but the main part of the surge was the adoption of counterinsurgency strategies and tactics. And, it’s worth pointing out yet again, Obama wants to do in Afghanistan exactly what he rejects in this November 2006 speech.
“ [T]here is no military solution to this war.” No one ever claimed that the war had a purely military solution. What war does? The Bush administration, John McCain, and General Petraeus knew that the eventual political solution would require security and stability to implement, though, and that a retreat in the spring of 2007 — which Obama proposed in this speech — would have eliminated any hope of either security or stability. That required a stronger ground force and smarter strategy.
“To reach such a solution, we must communicate clearly and effectively to the factions in Iraq that the days of asking, urging, and waiting for them to take control of their own country are coming to an end.” This is the most absurd point of all. The Iraqis didn’t have enough trained and seasoned security forces to bring stability. Retreat would not have forced them to work together — it would have forced the factions to arm themselves and go to war to protect themselves. The central government needed more time to develop the means to “take control of their own country”, and in 2008 we have seen the results.
The speech has more examples of Obama’s military genius. As I noted above, he demanded a “phased redeployment” to begin no later than early 2007, and suggested the Murtha plan of creating an “over-the-horizon force” that would get based in Northern Iraq or elsewhere in the region. Perhaps General Obama forgot to mention how we would maintain the lines of communication to an American force in the landlocked northern regions without maintaining bases of operation all the way from Umm Qasr through Baghdad. He certainly didn’t specify any other options, nor how we would move this rapid-response force back into the rest of Iraq without that kind of logistical support.
Obama also insisted that the reduction be accomplished with or without the approval of the Iraqi government:
The President should announce to the Iraqi people that our policy will include a gradual and substantial reduction in U.S. forces. He should then work with our military commanders to map out the best plan for such a redeployment and determine precise levels and dates. When possible, this should be done in consultation with the Iraqi government – but it should not depend on Iraqi approval.
That’s what makes the hubbub over Maliki’s supposed agreement with Obama on timetables so laughable, even if it hadn’t been misreported. Obama made clear in 2006 that he didn’t care whether Maliki agreed with him or not on his withdrawal plan. And even the reduced force would not remain if Maliki and his government didn’t meet the Congressional benchmarks that later got applied, as if the American forces were a gift to the Iraqis and not there as part of our national interest in securing Iraq and providing a stable, democratic partner in the region.
This speech makes Obama’s position on the surge quite plain, and on Iraq in general. Not only did he get it wrong, but he outlined a strategy that would have turned Iraq into a failed state and allowed terrorists to build themselves a stronghold with enough oil revenue to hold the world hostage. He presented America with the same defeatist vision that Harry Reid and Jack Murtha tried so hard to sell, and which was proven spectacularly wrong over the next eighteen months. And had it not been for John McCain and George Bush, Barack Obama wouldn’t have dared visit Iraq last week.
Follow the link to see the video at: http://www.blogger.com/post-create.g?blogID=3784561315774230886
July 28, 2008
Israel Insider staff
What initially seemed to be a journalistic scoop of dubious moral propriety now seems to be a case of an Israeli paper being played by the Barack Obama campaign. Maariv, the second most popular newspaper in Israel, was roundly criticized for publishing the note Obama left in the Kotel. But now a Maariv spokesperson says that publication of the note was pre-approved for international publication by the Obama campaign, leading to the conclusion that the "private" prayer was intentionally leaked for public consumption.
At around 5am last Thursday, Obama arrived at the Kotel, or Western Wall, abutting the holiest site in Judaism, the Temple Mount. Accompanied by the Rabbi in charge of the site, Shmuel Rabinovich, he reportedly heard Psalm 122, which contains a prayer for the peace of Jerusalem, touched the wall briefly and then deposited a note of prayer into a crack between the ancient stones, in keeping with the tradition of visitors to the site. On his way out, he was briefly heckled, with one man calling out that "Jerusalem is not for sale" and "Remember what you see here." Trying to drown out the critics, a few supporters chanted his name.
Subsequently, it was reported that a yeshiva student filched the note that Obama placed in the wall and then Maariv published it in the next day's newspaper.
For that "scoop" the paper has come under fire. Yediot Aharonot, the country's most popular daily, published an article Friday saying it had also obtained the note but decided not to publish it, to respect Obama's privacy. Other Israeli media outlets initially ignored the story, or picked it up only after the initial publication had triggered a controversy.
(Excerpt) Read more at web.israelinsider.com ...
The senior thesis that Michelle Obama (or as she then was, Michelle LaVaughn Robinson) submitted to Princeton University in 1985 for completion of her bachelor’s degree in Sociology, has been made available to the public on Politico.com (part one, part two, part three and part four) and other websites. There are two things that are of public interest about this thesis: a) the fact that public access to it was restricted for some six-eight weeks during the Presidential campaign; and b) its contents.
The following are the facts about Michelle Obama’s, and the Barack Obama campaign’s, efforts to prevent public access to her thesis, as best as I have been able to reconstruct them from reliable media organs and web sites. Jonah Goldberg’s blog on National Review Online for February 19th of this year reported “that a reader in the know informs me that Michelle Obama's thesis, "Princeton-Educated Blacks and the Black Community," is unavailable until November 5, 2008 at the Princeton library. I wonder why?”A more detailed report was published by Politico.com a few days later, which stated that the thesis “has been ‘temporarily withdrawn’ until after this year’s presidential election in November” (Numerous other web reporters have confirmed that November 5th, one day after the Presidential election, had been listed on the Mudd Library web site as the date on which public access to the thesis would be restored.).
According to Politico.com, “Attempts to retrieve the document through Princeton proved unsuccessful, with school librarians having been pestered so much for access to the thesis that they have resorted to reading from a script when callers inquire about it. Media officers at the prestigious university were similarly unhelpful, claiming it is ‘not unusual’ for a thesis to be restricted and refusing to discuss ‘the academic work of alumni.’ Politico.com also reported on February 23rd that “the Obama campaign, however, quickly responded to a request for the thesis by Politico,” which placed it on its web site. It is still there in PDF format, and has been placed on other sites as well. However, Princeton University did not resume making copies of the thesis available to the public again until March 25th, a month after the Politico web posting. I have still not been able to determine when the block was placed on the thesis in the first place by Princeton.
When I called Princeton University on June 23rd and again on June 25th to inquire about the availability of the thesis, and the previous restrictions on it, I found that even after the passage of more than four months ”media officers at the prestigious university” were just as “similarly unhelpful” as they had been four months earlier. I was told by “Communications” officer Emily Aronson, to whom Princeton’s Mudd Library referred me, that the block on public access to the thesis had been placed “for a credible reason,” which she declined to give, and for “a limited period of time,” which she declined to specify. She also declined to say whether or not the ban had originally been placed with a termination date immediately after the November election. Ms. Aronson said that the block on public access to the thesis had been requested by “the Obama campaign,” but declined to answer whether or not it had been requested by Michele Obama herself (another Princeton employee, however. told me that restrictions on public access to a Princeton theses can normally be placed only by the author of the thesis, or someone legally authorized to act on his/her behalf). She directed me to Michelle Obama’s spokesperson, Ms. Katie McCormick Lelyveld, for any further information. In short, this “Communications” officer was singularly uncommunicative.
Ms. McCormick Lelyveld proved equally unhelpful. She also refused to say when the block had been placed or when it had been withdrawn, and whether or not November 5th was the day to which the block originally was to have continued. She would say only that the block had been in place “for a very short period of time.” She attributed the block to a joint decision of the Obama campaign and Princeton, but like the Princeton “Communications” office declined to say what Michelle Obama’s role had been in this decision. She said that the reason for the block placed on the thesis was the desire of both the Obama campaign and Princeton to “sort out” and “filter” the large number of requests for it. She gave no indication as to which requests the Obama camp wished to “filter” or “sort”, nor any explanation as to why this process would need to take until precisely November 5, 2008! Ms. McCormick Lelyveld complained that the story was “old news,” asked why I had not inquired with her about it in January “when the story broke,” and asked why I considered it news at all.
To answer Ms. McCormick-Lelyveld’s question: obviously, a ban on public access set to expire immediately after the presidential election could only have one purpose - to prevent information that Michelle Obama and or others in the Obama campaign thought could lose their candidate votes. The attempt to prevent the public from reading Ms. Robinson-Obama’s thesis is also significant to the extent that it indicates that the Obama campaign has no scruples about hiding documents that it considers unhelpful to his candidacy, even those normally available to the public such as college senior theses. So much for the transparency and openness of the Obama campaign.
But the contents of the paper are of greater interest. They shed some light on the ideological background of the woman who may soon be the principal advisor to the next President of the United States.
Michelle LaVaughn Robinson’s thesis is obsessed with the distinction between “Blacks” and “Whites.” The words ““American” and “Americans” appear rarely in it, - seven times by my count; the expression “U.S.A.” occurs once, and “ U.S. ” once. The word “America ” does not appear in it at all. But the words “Black” and “White,” always capitalized, and always referring to racial groups, appear by my count 475 times and 181 times, respectively - in every case, judging from the context, referring to Blacks and Whites in the United States. There are no references at all to Hispanic, Asian or Amerindian Americans! It would be hard to find a more dramatic way for the author to indicate that her feeling that the United States consists of two nations, not one, and that the 20-30 million Americans who are not a part of either the “Black” or the “White” nation do not exist at all.
The thesis paper consists of 64 pages in the main body of the text, plus seven pages of prefatory material and an appendix of 27 pages. Despite occasional grammatical lapses and ambiguous language, for the most part the composition shows an impressive command both of the English language and of sociological terminology for a college senior. The thesis is organized around a questionnaire that Michelle Robinson sent to 400 Black graduates of Princeton, of whom 89 sent replies (no Whites or other non-Blacks were polled), and Robinson’s analysis of the results. Its stated goal is to discover the correlation between the “time” that the graduates “spent” with other Blacks “as opposed” (and the word “opposed” is used), to the time they spent with Whites, as well as the “ideology” of the graduates on the one hand, and their commitment to “benefit the Black community”, and “help the Black lower class” on the other. Her initial “hypothesis,” was that Blacks who spent more time with other Blacks than with Whites, and who adhered to a “separatist/pluralist” ideology, would be more eager to benefit the Black community and help the Black lower class than those who spent more time with Whites and supported an “integrationist/assimilations” philosophy. Not surprisingly, her analysis of her poll data results confirms her initial hypothesis.
The thesis implies that Black college graduates who wish to “benefit the Black community” and to help the Black “lower class” should spend more time with Blacks than with Whites, whether in their professional work, family life or recreational activities, and adhere to a “separatist/pluralist” ideology as opposed to an “integrationist/assimilations” philosophy. This amounts to a rationale for Black separatism.
Michelle Robinson-Obama argues that when Black people “spend time” with Whites, they lose their commitment to “benefiting” the Black community and “lower class Blacks.” She describes Blacks who have integrated into the larger society as “ignorant” of and “unmotivated” to help the Black underclass. Ironically, the only evidence from her survey of Black Princeton graduates that she cites to support her conclusion that “integrationist/assimilations” Blacks lack motivation to help the Black lower class is that they reported feeling less “helpless” about the plight of this group of Black Americans than did Black separationists!
Even the involvement of Black Princeton graduates with their professions is seen as detracting from their commitment to the black community. The author posits a zero sum game - any time spent with Whites means less time spent with, and hence less commitment to help, Blacks. The commitment of some Princeton graduates to benefit “the American community at large” is mentioned only once in the thesis, and is promptly dismissed with the remark,” which is, of course predominantly White.” The author by implication rejects the idea that Black Princeton graduates have any obligation to help “the American community at large,” and even implies that such a commitment amounts to a sell-out to Whites.
The future Mrs. Obama does not present any evidence to support her claims that “Predominantly White universities like Princeton are socially and academically designed to cater to the needs of the White students comprising the bulk of their enrollments,” and “Activities organized by University groups such as Student Government rarely, if ever, take into account the diverse interests which exist at a University that is not 100% White.” She immediately undercuts her own complaint that “there is only one major University recognized organization on campus designed specifically for the intellectual interests of Black and other Third World students.” (a heavily qualified “only”) by referring in the next paragraph to four other Black organizations that were active on campus - at least one of which, the “Princeton University Thoughts Table,” certainly seems to have been aimed specifically at addressing the “intellectual needs” of Black students (Were these organizations “recognized” [whatever that means by this word] by Princeton or not? The author does not tell us). She complains that “presently Blacks comprise only about 10% of total enrollment,” at Princeton, without mentioning that this is “about” the percentage of Black Americans in the American population as a whole!
Since Princeton and other major American Universities, at the time that the thesis was written (1985) were making energetic efforts to recruit Black students, and were admitting large numbers of Black students who did not meet the academic standards required for admission of White students (Robinson-Obama herself was one such student), her complaints of discrimination against Black students at Princeton and other “Ivy League” colleges don’t ring true. Rather, they sound like the fashionable whining of a privileged young woman.
Robinson-Obama asserts that “there is a distinctive Black culture very different from White culture. Elements of Black culture which make it unique from White culture such as its music, its language, the struggles and a ‘consciousness’ shared by its people may be attributed to the injustices and oppressions suffered by this race of people which are not comparable to the experiences of any other race of people through this country’s history [not even American Indians?]. However, with the increasing integration of Blacks into the mainstream society, many ‘integrated Blacks’ have lost touch with Black culture in their attempts to become adjusted and comfortable in their new culture - the White culture. Some of these Blacks are no longer able to enjoy the qualities which make Black culture so unique or are unable to openly share their culture with other Blacks because they have become so far removed from these experiences and, in some instances, ashamed of them as a result of their integration [p54].” Surely, she exaggerates the cultural differences separating Americans. After all, White Americans have enthusiastically embraced numerous musical styles that originated in the Black American community - spirituals, gospel, the blues, ragtime, jazz, big band, rock and hip-hop, to name only a few. The active participation of White musicians in some of these styles, most notably jazz and rock, has also greatly narrowed the cultural gap between these two American communities. For the most part, Black and White Americans eat the same foods (even allowing for Black ethnic specialties), watch the same movies and television shows, and play the same music videos and computer games. And they speak the same English language - albeit sometimes with different accents. A distinctively American culture that comprises, Whites, Blacks, Hispanics, Asians, American Indians and members of other groups does exist. And there is no evidence at all that Black Americans who successfully integrate into the larger society lose their interest in Black culture or are ashamed of it. For that matter, millions of White Americans enjoy the cultural productions of Black Americans, and feel no shame in doing so.
Robinson Obama’s thesis was written 23 years ago, and of course the views of a 21-year-old college senior are not necessarily those of a 44-year-old professional such as Michelle Obama is today. However, there are disturbing indications that her view of the United States and Black-White relations in our country has not changed all that much in 23 years. Her remark during a campaign speech as recently as February 2008 that “… for the first time in my adult life I am proud of my country because it feels like hope is finally making a comeback,” suggests underlying negative feelings about American society that have remained unchanged since her “adult life” began. And is it a pure coincidence that this “adult life” began around 1985, when her senior thesis was written?
There are also indications that Barack as well as Michelle Obama have continued to adhere to the two-American-nations-and-peoples doctrine of Michelle’s thesis until quite recently, if not until the present moment. Jeremiah Wright, who was Barack Obama’s pastor for 20 years, and Michelle Obama’s for at least 15, and who married the couple in October 1992, has on numerous occasions expressed views similar to those found in the Robinson-Obama thesis. Barack Obama has praised Wright and described him as his “spiritual advisor” on numerous occasions, and even borrowed the title of his book The Audacity of Hope from one of Wright’s sermons; he only disassociated himself from Wright in May 2008, under enormous pressure from the media.
The Trinity United Church of Christ, of which Wright was the pastor for 37 years, has published an advertising video that describes it as a “Black church,” (implicitly discouraging Whites, Hispanics and other non-Blacks from joining), and that identifies the “country” of its members as “Africa,” not America. Barack and Michelle Obama did not resign as members of the church, “with some sadness,” until May 31, 2008 - two months after Wright stepped down as its pastor.
Instead of dismissing the Princeton thesis as “old news’” while saying nothing of its contents, Michelle and Barack Obama should candidly discuss these contents with the American people, and explain just how their present views differ from those Michelle expressed in 1985. I see no reason why Barack Obama should be entrusted with the most powerful office in the United States if he and his “ears” (as her spokesperson Ms.McCormick-Lelyveld characterizes Michelle Obama) are unwilling to do so.
A First Lady who believes, to paraphrase Rudyard Kipling, that Black is Black and White is White, and never the twain shall meet, does not bode well for America’s future.
John Landau contributed to this article.
Family Security Matters Contributing Editor Rachel Neuwirth is an internationally recognized political commentator and analyst. She specializes in Middle Eastern Affairs with particular emphasis on Militant Islam and Israeli foreign policy. She is president of Middle East Solutions.
Barack Obama, the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee has touted himself as a friend to the oppressed, as a politician who stands up for justice and human rights.
This is a cornerstone of his campaign to the American people. It’s easy enough, however, to define oneself in whatever way one wants; especially when no one in the media challenges you on it.
The real test of moral courage is how one acts—not just talks—in real-life situations. And in the one concrete instance when the Illinois senator was called upon to stand up for justice, he was nowhere to be seen.
In fact, Barack Obama demonstrated a level of moral cowardice unmatched by anyone in either the US House or Senate.
The case in point should be familiar to Canada Free Press readers by now: the case of Muslim Zionist Salah Uddin Shoaib Choudhury. When I began fighting to free Shoaib from imprisonment and torture, it was clear that success would be elusive unless I garnered support from only both sides of the political divide. And it seemed like a good bet. Shoaib was in prison, being tortured, and risking his life by exposing the rise of Islamist radicals in Bangladesh, urging relations with US ally Israel, and advocating genuine interfaith dialogue based on religious equality. Moreover, he was a pro-US voice in a part of the world where we sorely need one. Clearly this was a matter of human rights, of basic American principles, and everyone with an ounce of human decency should support us.
And, thankfully, things have turned out that way. Shoaib Choudhury’s support on Capitol Hill has been a celebration of bi-partisan cooperation. When the Bangladeshi paramilitary force, Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) kidnapped Shoaib recently, I called four members of Congress—two Republicans, two Democrats. All four lawmakers had previously been outspoken in their support for Shoaib, and they came through again. Not only did all of them call the Bangladeshi government, but they also had other lawmakers do the same, which enabled us to secure Shoaib’s release before it was too late.
Last March, Congress passed House Resolution 64, authored by Rep. Mark Kirk (R-IL) and co-sponsored by Rep. Nita Lowey (D-NY). The vote was 409-1, Ron Paul being the lone dissenter. I was present for the debate on the Resolution. After a pantheon of Democratic and Republican lawmakers offered impassioned speeches on Shoaib’s behalf—and not incidentally in praise of Rep. Kirk—the Republican and Democratic floor leaders (Gary Ackerman of New York and John Boozman of Arkansas respectively) both commented on the bi-partisan nature and strong solidarity of the afternoon. Boozman called it “a very bipartisan effort.” Ackerman said he hoped “we might bring this kind of approach and dedication” to all issues before the Congress.
A really telling incident occurred not long before the 2006 election when I approached two senators at about the same time: Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL), about as far on the left as a Senator goes; and then Senator Rick Santorum (R-PA), equally far on the right. Yet, both men responded with identical support, which included a letter of protest to the Bangladeshi government. I later suggested to Santorum that it might have been the only time that he and Durbin agreed on anything because this is simply a matter of human decency. In fact, I approached about 15 percent of the House and a handful of Senators: Democratic, Republican, left, right, moderate; you name it. And every one of them reacted with support; every one of them, that is, except one. Who was the one lawmaker that took a pass on saving the life of an imprisoned US ally and opponent of Islamist extremism? That’s right, my own Illinois Senator Barack Hussein Obama.
I first met with his staff in April 2005 in his DC office, the same week that Rep. Mark Kirk (R-IL) spent hours learning about the case and then well after “working hours” engaged in a very long and often difficult meeting with the Bangladeshi ambassador and me to secure Shoaib’s release. I brought Obama’s staff extensive documentation of the injustice, as well as other evidence of Shoaib’s activities. Most significantly, I told them how Shoaib was one of those rare and courageous Muslims who publicly opposed the Islamist radicals while refusing to leave his home inside the Muslim world. He proudly proclaims himself a Muslim Zionist and pro-US. I told Obama’s staff all of that, as we spoke for quite a long time, but they never called back. In fact, they ignored all my subsequent follow-up contacts. But it was, after all soon after his election; perhaps early disorganization was to blame. I even spoke with Obama personally 13 months later at a meeting he and Durbin hosted. To my delight, when my name was mentioned, Durbin responded immediately with praise and support, saying that it was “an important human rights case,” and asked to see me privately about the matter. I spoke with both he and Obama, who at his best moments looked quizzical and confused. While Durbin remained on top of the case and later sent a formal protest to the Bangladeshis, Obama never responded; nor again did he or his staff reply to my subsequent entreaties—not even a form letter.
I spoke with Obama one other time about Shoaib’s case, less than six months later. It was a chance meeting, and I reminded him of our last encounter. I updated him on the case and suggested several ways in which he could support the besieged journalist. He hesitated a moment then held out his hand and said in a used-car-salesman kind of way, “Well, we’re sure happy for all the work you are doing.” Propriety prevents me from verbalizing what I was thinking then. I offered to send him more information, which he asked me to do. And, not surprisingly, I never heard back despite the reams of evidence I did send. Another Illinois resident wrote Obama about the case and asked for help, but he, in fact, got that perfunctory form letter. It stated that the Senator was “aware of the case” and would forward the information to the State Department. The fact is, however, if he really was aware of the case he would have known that the State Department has been involved rather extensively for months.
Obama-pologists might be forgiven if they attribute all of this ire to “a vast right wing conspiracy” but he is the only one out of dozens of lawmakers I contacted from both parties who failed to act. The fact that support was never contingent on ideology speaks volumes about his real commitment to justice, as opposed to his empty and disingenuous rhetoric. I often wondered if his refusal to act was strategic, ignorant, or simple cowardice. No matter, the impact on Shoaib Choudhury was the same, as it would be on any freedom fighter. Of equal importance, it is clear freedom fighters and human rights victims worldwide will be unable to count on Obama standing by them. What sort of signal does that send to Muslims around the world who might be thinking of opposing the terrorists? It tells them that they are on their own, indicating that Obama has already surrendered in this most crucial battle in the war against Islamist radicals.
Having observed Obama punt when a life hung in the balance, potential voters should consider this question. If Barack Obama does not have the ability to stand up against injustice in Bangladesh, where is he going to find the moral courage to stand up to Iran, North Korea, or China?
Dr. Richard L. Benkin secured the release of Bangladeshi journalist Salah Uddin Shoaib Choudhury in 2005. The two continue working together to fight Islamist radicals and their allies in South Asia and elsewhere.
(From Hillary Clinton forum today)
The following is a letter sent to DNC Treasurer Andy Tobias telling him why, from a rational investor's point of view, Obama has not earned the author's vote. The letter was sent by one of the DNC's biggest donors, a donor who has historically maxed out to the DNC and who was a maxed out donor in both the Kerry and Clinton campaigns, in response to comments by Tobias that she could not see the forest through the trees.
So you want to know what is taking me so long to "get on board"? Let me try to answer with some discussion of what my 25 years on Wall Street and the Hedge Fund community have taught me, and what insights I can share in order to explain my stance.
As you know, anyone in our profession meets with countless management teams on a monthly, quarterly, and annual basis. The "plots" change from time to time and the cast of characters play musical chairs. After awhile, they become all too familiar. You have seen the movie before. When you spot the corrupt CFO enter the scene, it immediately casts a doubt on the rest of the management team. One or two conclusions can be drawn - either they are inept or they wanted a dishonest player. Neither answer provides any comfort, but always insight. I have been lied to by the best of them over the decades; I am sure you have had similar experiences.
After years of stepping in land mines, I learned to read people and situations. I had no choice - my listening skills were honed, my gut fine-tuned. I picked up on what was and was not said, and I always paid close attention to the cast of characters. The actions of a management team always told me more than anything they ever said. If they were bailing out, so was I. If the head of sales left unexpectedly, alarm bells went of.
In the thirteen years that I have had audited results, I lost money in only one year, and then only in single digits. I am proud that I was able repay my investors' faith and confidence in me by compounding their funds assets, net of fees, at 18% over those 13 years. I took my responsibilities seriously and when I knew I could not give it 110% of my energies, I turned it over to someone who would. My investors deserved someone who would work tirelessly on their behalf, looking under every rock in support of their interests.
The fact that I became successful was not what made me proud. It was how I did it. My soul is intact. It was the self-imposed rules and standards that I adhered to. I believed in a win, win, and still do. My investors always came first. I never screwed anyone over. I made plenty of mistakes, but I always owned them, never blaming others. I treated everyone fairly and with respect, believing everyone has something to offer. I always tried to do the right thing.
So what does this have to do with me not falling in line and supporting Obama? Well everything as you can see.
Andy, if I worked and served the people in the 13th District in Chicago, I would have known all of the players. And to win that district, would I have gamed the system to run unopposed? Tony Rezko would not have had a seat at my table. Either Obama is a fool and is blind to what should have been obvious, or someone like Tony is fine by Obama's standards. The guy is a dirtball. And a dirtball would not be part of my circle, certainly not my inner circle. I would rather not be elected than associate with someone like Rezko.
Nor for political or any other reasons would I choose Rev. Wright, Rev. Meeks, or Father Plager as my spiritual mentors. Again, he is either blind or an opportunist. Would I be hanging out with Mr. Ayers? Would you? Would you refuse to be photographed with Gavin Newsom? There is a pattern with this guy - he manipulates; the ends justify the means. He lacks character.
Getting not one bill passed in the first 6 years of his career in not inspiring. Having Emil Jones hand him the ball 26 times on the one-yard line in order to make Obama a United States Senator does not cut it either. What deals he made, he did to benefit no one but himself. He never worked long enough in either Senate to help the people who elected him. Andy, I could never imagine you taking credit for legislation someone else slaved over. Starting in his community organizing days he claimed sole responsibility for other people's accomplishments all for the purpose to boosting his career.
In terms of the campaign itself, I had the opportunity to witness his methods up close. During the primaries I was in 6 states, 2 of which had caucuses; it was not clean. El Paso was a joke with the Obama campaign stealing the caucus packets, locking supporters out - Intimidation 101, 102 and 103. Fair elections do not seem to be a priority in my birth state. No other machine exists from the days of Boss Tweed, but Chicago's. How many elected officials are in jail?They are the joke of the nation. It is called the Chicago machine for good reason.
It was clear that what I saw and experienced was not a fluke or isolated incidents, but coordinated, deliberate and arrogant. I got to see him and his organization for who he is and what it is - not inspiring, to say the least. Not something I would have, in business, endorsed in any way. In fact, I would most likely have reported them to the appropriate regulators.
Andy, I have consistently found you to be a compassionate person, but more importantly you have always put your money where your mouth is. Does it not bother you that a guy like Obama can serve a poor district and give away a paltry $1000 to charity? He only stepped up his giving when he decided to run for President and he knew his charitable giving would be made public. How could anyone see that much misery and not try to personally do something about it?
Please, show me something this guy ever did that was not done in a calculated fashion to create and advance his own personal narrative? Something selfless, perhaps, just because it was the right thing to do?
Every person I have talked to who worked at the Law Review at Harvard with him, or in the later part of his career, said the same thing: he was arrogant and self-centered. One person laughed, saying Obama wanted to be King of the World, that he was always running for something, never staying in one place long enough to amass accomplishments or be held accountable.
Do you not you find it troublesome that he has hundreds of paid bloggers, posting vicious attacks not only about the Clintons but her supporters as well? The whole purpose was to cast him as the second coming, while trashing her and quashing other points of view.
At first I thought is was just some hyped up kids, and then a pattern emerged. He paid others to do his dirty work. The most egregious sexist cracks were rampant, both on the Internet and the MSM. Yet, what did Howard and Obama say? Nothing. Obama promoted it, paid his bloggers to write it. Never once did he try to stop it. Howard, after the damage was done finally commented on it, but barely. Wink, wink.
Andy, I heard remarks that still make my jaw drop.
You know I consider myself a centrist. The right wing of the Republican Party scares me, but so does the left. Ideologues of either side should not have control simultaneously of the executive, legislative, and judicial arms of the government. Absolute power corrupts, be it on the left or the right. Ha, but you will say.... the courts. If you have the legislative branch, all will be fine. McCain voted Ginsberg in, he is not a stupid man and certainly not an Ideologue, and he took heat in the primaries for refusing to have a litmus test for judges. And need I remind you that Obama thought Roberts was an acceptable appointment until some more experienced hands in the Senate told him that would not do?
Painting him as Bush 3 is a little annoying, and what's up with the MoveOn Baby Alex commercial? Give credit where credit is due. McCain went against his own party twice on immigration reform, on ethanol subsidies, and campaign finance reform. He started talking about Global warming 8 years ago. I don't agree with McCain on a number of topics, but I do believe he has principals and a backbone. He is not willing to say anything to get elected.
I can't say the same for Obama who is turning out to be more like Bush than McCain; Obama is at least as arrogant as W, just more polished. Are you not ashamed, in these past weeks, of his reckless abandon of any pretense to a moral center on issues such as FISA, separation of church and state, gun control? And what he did to one of my heroes, Wes Clark? Insulting my intelligence and my standards will not win me over.
But, in this conversation, you will say, McCain wants to be in Iraq for 100 years. No, he said that as in Japan, or Korea, we could have a presence. We have been in both of those countries for 60 years and not leaving any time soon, and the world is safer for it.
Next will be, McCain is not knowledgeable about the economy. While with Carly Fiorina, who I remember from her Lucent days, at a town meeting he turned the mic over to Carly when asked about the mortgage mess, painting her as the expert. Wow - he gave a woman a compliment, praising her knowledge, referring to her as the expert. How often have you praised Charles, or me, and everyone for that matter? Why? Because you are gracious and you know it reflects well on you.
All this might not bother me if so much if the stakes where not so high, but they are. I am an issues person, not a cult of personality devotee. Substance matters. Barack is a politician, an inexperienced one at that, pretending he is different. I just see him as arrogant and power hungry. Our country deserves better, someone I would be proud to do business with.
Andy, my country comes first, not the Democrat party. Having said that, I believe that the Democratic Party has just kicked away the best candidate and our best chance to redeem our country, Hillary Clinton, a proven centrist. Given his resume, or should I say the lack of one, he is either ineffective or hiding something, neither answer gives me the warm and fuzzies. If she is chosen in Denver, you can count on my full and enthusiastic support. Until then,
I own my vote.
Greg Craig, senior foreign policy adviser to the Obama campaign, went on MSNBC this afternoon to defend his candidate's decision to skip a visit with wounded U.S. troops in Germany. The key exchange:
Andrea Mitchell: You were facing the Pentagon saying this can't be political, you can't bring aides, you can't bring General Gration, who is a retired military officer, why not just have him go and make it clear you weren't bringing all the others?
Greg Craig: The Pentagon said they were treating it as a campaign event, that this was politically sponsored, and the Pentagon told us that that was the fact of the matter, that he was engaged in a political event. So, to avoid putting the troops in the middle of a political situation, Senator Obama said "I'd rather take them out of it, rather than be seen as exploiting them. Let's not politicize the troops." And what has happened is, that ad and what Senator McCain has said has done precisely that. They are using the troops in a political fashion. It's disgraceful.
Craig should know disgraceful when he sees it, having personally represented an assassin (John Hinckley), a dictator (Fidel Castro), and foreign officials accused of war crimes (former Bolivian Defense Minister Carlos Sánchez-Berzaín). When not advising Senator Obama on matters of foreign policy, Craig remains a partner at the D.C. law firm Williams & Connolly. There he currently represents, among others, Pedro Miguel González, the president of Panama's legislature and a fugitive from justice in the United States. González is under federal indictment for the murder of U.S. Army Sgt. Zak Hernández Laporte.
Of course, Obama deserves the best representation money can buy.
Posted by John McCormack
NOTE: As somone who has spent over 30 years around the military and was at Wright-Patterson AFB when the POWs came home, I find Obama and all his and his staff's explanations worthless. Was Obama afraid to visit the wounded soldiers by himself which the Pentagon said he could do. Looks to me after talking with some military people that Major General Cration got his nose out of joint when the military wouldn't let him go marching up to the front door of the hospital with Obama so the visit was called off. Cration served at Ramstein so he knew full well the rules -- no politics on a military installation. Sure shows how little Obama cares about our wounded and the rest of our military. He would rather party from all accounts and hang out with a retired Air Force two-star General who also put his ego ahead of the wounded troops.
To better understand Sen. Barack Obama, his speech before 200,000 Germans in Berlin is one good place to start. As we shall see, however, it does not leave one secure as to the senator's understanding of history, of America's role in the world, and what to do about evil, among other important issues.
Obama: "At the height of the Cold War, my father decided, like so many others in the forgotten corners of the world, that his yearning -- his dream -- required the freedom and opportunity promised by the West."
Promised by the West? Or promised by America? It wasn't "the West" that Obama's father went to; it was America. During the Cold War, it wasn't "the West" that led the fight to preserve Western freedom; it was America. Obama concedes this point in his next sentence: "And so he wrote letter after letter to universities all across America until somebody, somewhere answered his prayer for a better life."
Obama's speech was a paean to the West and especially to Germany in fighting for freedom during the Cold War. Throughout his speech he equated the German contribution to defeating Communism with that of America (you have got to be kidding)
Obama: "And you know that the only reason we stand here tonight is because men and women from both of our nations came together to work, and struggle, and sacrifice for that better life."
It is understandable and even expected that an American speaking in Germany will praise Germans. But even so, it is quite an exaggeration to state that the "only reason" he and they are standing in a free Berlin is because men and women from both countries sacrificed for that better life. Americans sacrificed far more than Germans. The sad truth is that, with some heroic exceptions, Germans on the right supported Hitler, and during the Cold War, Germans on the left fought the Unites States more than they fought the Soviet Union. When Ronald Reagan came to Berlin, tens of thousands of Germans -- many of them, one would surmise, of a similar mindset to those who came to hear Barack Obama -- protested his visit.
Obama: "The size of our forces was no match for the much larger Soviet Army. And yet retreat would have allowed Communism to march across Europe."
Isn't this exactly where we are regarding the retreat from Iraq that Obama and the Democrats have advocated? Wouldn't retreat from Iraq allow militant Islam to march across the Middle East and beyond?
How is one to explain this? I have long believed that many liberals recognize evils only after the evil has been vanquished. Today, Democrats like Obama in his speech, regularly revile Communism. But from the late 1960s until the end of the Cold War they rarely judged Communism. They judged anti-Communists. Liberal Democrats routinely call Communism evil today, but when it was actually a threat, they reviled those who called Communism evil. Again, recall Ronald Reagan and the virtually universal liberal condemnation of his calling the Soviet Union an "evil empire."
So, too, now, regarding today's greatest evil, to cite but one example, not one Democrat in any of their party's presidential primary debates used the term "Islamic terrorism."
Obama: "Where the last war had ended, another World War could have easily begun. All that stood in the way was Berlin."
In his attempt to exaggerate the role of Berlin before his large Berlin audience, Obama made a claim that simply makes no sense. "Berlin stood in the way" of another World War beginning? How? If anything, Berlin was the flash point of East-West tension and therefore could have triggered a war.
Obama: "People of the world -- look at Berlin! Look at Berlin, where Germans and Americans learned to work together and trust each other less than three years after facing each other on the field of battle."
Germans and Americans "learned to work together and trust each other" only thanks to the fact that America and its allies vanquished Germany, overthrew its Nazi leadership, imposed democracy and freedom on Germans, and kept plenty of soldiers in Germany. Why does Obama not apply this lesson to Iraq? If Americans and Iraqis learn to work together and trust each other, it will also be thanks to America and its allies vanquishing the Islamic terrorists, overthrowing the Nazi-like regime of Saddam Hussein, imposing democracy and freedom on Iraqis, and keeping soldiers in Iraq for as long as needed.
Obama: "Look at Berlin … where a victory over tyranny gave rise to NATO, the greatest alliance ever formed to defend our common security."
Obama did not want to offend his hosts by inserting an element of reality here: Many of America's NATO partners have been largely worthless in confronting evils from Communism to al-Qaida to the Taliban. A few weeks ago, leading German newsweekly Der Spiegel reported that German forces in Afghanistan are under strict orders not to shoot any Taliban forces unless shot at first. As a result, they refused to shoot a major Taliban murderer whom they had in their sights because his forces had not shot at the Germans and therefore allowed him to escape.
Obama: "People of the world -- look at Berlin, where a wall came down, a continent came together, and history proved that there is no challenge too great for a world that stands as one."
The wall came down because America stood strong, not because the world stood as one. What he said here is John Lennon-like fantasy, the opposite of reality, and as such, coming from the man who may well be the next president of the United States, a bit frightening.
Obama: "While the 20th century taught us that we share a common destiny, the 21st has revealed a world more intertwined than at any time in human history."
Of all the lessons taught by the 20th century, that we share a common destiny is not among the top 10. It is not even among the top 100. It is actually untrue and meaningless. Just to cite one obvious example, did those who lived under Communism and those who lived under democratic capitalism "share a common destiny"? What is he talking about?
If the 20th century did teach something, it taught that evil must always be fought.
The speech reveals a man who has good will and noble desires, but who may be dangerously naive regarding the lessons of history and what to do about evil.
Note: Finally someone gets that the speech made little sense in a lot of areas. The bold and italics are mine. Sam
Monday, June 2, 2008
When is Obama going to donate his large home to charity worth well over a million and his wife quit her job at over $300,000 for the University of Chicago to live the American dream they want recent college graduates to do? Looks to me like he is talking about his 'selfish' family if living in a big home is being 'selfish' -- this man needs defeated! This is a Republic not a dictatorship something Obama cannot seem to comprehend. When you demand someone volunteers, then it should no longer be called volunteer. Sam
Living On Obama's Collective Farm
By INVESTOR'S BUSINESS DAILY Posted Monday, June 02, 2008 4:20 PM PT
Decision '08: In a commencement speech at Wesleyan University, Barack Obama advised graduates not to pursue the American dream of success. Ivy League graduates who live in big homes can be selfish, you know.
President Kennedy once spoke of a rising tide that would lift all boats. Obama wants us to pull into shore and tie them to a dock.
Worse than that, a disturbing pattern of rhetoric indicates he will not only counsel a draconian lifestyle, but also mandate it.
The man who made over $4 million last year, who lives in a $1.65 million house and who probably doesn't get his great suits off the rack, advised graduates: "You can take your diploma, walk off this stage and chase only after the big house and the nice suits and all the other things that our money culture says you should. But I hope you don't." I got mine.
He hopes you don't walk off the job and do something greedy like finding a way to economically retrieve the 2 trillion barrels of oil locked up in North American shale, lowering fuel and transportation costs, and helping America achieve energy independence.
Don't be another Bill Gates and amass a fortune making people more productive and, uh, successful in their daily lives and giving your countrymen a standard of living the world will envy. Exchange your cap and gown for sackcloth and ashes. Leave your possessions behind and come follow Obama.
"Fulfilling your immediate wants and needs betrays a poverty of ambition," he opined.
Shame on us for being selfish and buying that SUV built by an autoworker trying to fulfill his family's immediate wants and needs. "Our collective service can shape the destiny of this generation," he said. "Individual salvation depends on collective salvation."
So far, Obama's idea of hope and change sounds an awful lot like the Marxian vision of taking from each according to his ability and giving to each according to his needs. Though we're already the most charitable and giving nation in history, Obama doesn't seem to think volunteerism is part of it.
In a speech in California, wife Michelle, who has made a small fortune in the "helping industry," said: "Barack Obama will require you to work. He is going to demand that you shed your cynicism. That you come out of your isolation, that you move out of your comfort zone. . . . Barack Obama will never allow you to go back to your lives as usual — uninvolved, uninformed."
Frankly, we like our comfort zone, even if Barack Obama doesn't. Campaigning in Oregon, he said: "We can't drive our SUVs and eat as much as we want and keep our homes on 72 degrees at all times . . . and then just expect that other countries are going to say OK.
"That's not leadership," Obama added. "That's not going to happen."
Not going to happen? Require? Demand? Never allow? If you detect an ominous tone of authoritarianism, so do we. It's almost enough to make one cling bitterly to one's guns and Bible. Heck, we write conservative opinion and watch Fox News. We're uninformed and uninvolved. Obama will make us see the light.
And if your idea of service is to join the military and keep others alive and free, forget about it. Obama has no place for those like Pat Tillman who are willing to abandon fame and fortune to lay down their lives for their friends.
"At a time of war," Obama said, "we need you to work for peace." That's what our troops are doing, Barack. They're working for peace — and freedom.
Those pulling the wagon with their taxes are already doing enough to "serve" the wagon riders.
Barack wants to raise their taxes by letting the Bush tax cuts expire and eliminating the earnings cap on Social Security taxes. But if you don't want to enlist in the Obama army of change, you will be drafted.
They have ways to make you volunteer.
Friday, May 30, 2008
Herbert Romerstein, an author and investigative journalist, served as an investigator for the much-feared U. S. House Committee on Un-American Activities, the House Committee on Internal Security, and the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence. He was head of the Office to Counter Soviet Disinformation for the United States Information Agency. One of his recent books is the acclaimed THE VENONA SECRETS: EXPOSING SOVIET ESPIONAGE AND AMERICA'S TRAITORS.
Cliff Kincaid is an investigative journalist who specializes in analyzing the effects of communist and terrorist influence on the U.S. media. He is founder and president of America's Survival, Inc., and editor of Accuracy in Media's AIM Report. He is the author or coauthor of nine books, including WHY YOU CAN'T TRUST THE NEWS, and was instrumental in denying access to the U.S. media market to the Islamic terrorist Al-Jazeera television channel.Major findings include:
Barack Obama has been influenced, surrounded and backed by communists, socialists, and those sympathetic to the Arab/Palestinian cause in the Middle East.
Obama has been in the middle of two international communist networks – one in Hawaii and one in Chicago.
The Hawaii network included communists Frank Marshall Davis, who was Obama’s personal mentor; actor/singer Paul Robeson; and labor leader Harry Bridges. The network was judged a security threat to the United States and the subject of a congressional hearing on the “Scope of Soviet Activity in the United States.”
The Hawaii communist network was organized directly by and from Moscow.
Obama covered up the true identity of Frank Marshall Davis in his book, Dreams From My Father.
The Chicago network included identified communists and socialists, was committed to a communist victory in the Vietnam War, and took instructions from the communist Castro regime in Cuba.
In addition to communist terrorists Bill Ayers and Bernardine Dohrn, who were members of the Weather Underground, the Chicago network includes many veterans of the communist Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) who now proclaim themselves “Progressives for Obama.”
One of the leaders of “Progressives for Obama” is former SDS leader Tom Hayden, who wrote a letter to a communist Vietnamese official during the Vietnam War hoping for a “victory” over the U.S.
Several SDS officials and the SDS itself had connections to the Communist Party USA.
The SDS openly promoted communism, the regimes in Hanoi and Havana, and condemned alleged U.S. “imperialism.”
There is evidence that Obama backer Bernardine Dohrn, who traveled to Cuba to meet with communist officials, was involved in a bombing that killed a policeman.
Ayers, who helped launch Obama’s political career, has traveled to Venezuela on several occasions and is an enthusiastic backer of the brand of communism being practiced and promoted by Hugo Chavez.
Ayers’ university office door and wall are plastered with communist, anti-Israel, and pro-Hugo Chavez propaganda.
Bernardine Dohrn has participated in two events organized by the Open Society Institute of Obama backer and billionaire leftist George Soros.
The Democratic Socialists of America (DSA), a group that included a convicted espionage agent for communist East Germany, backed and promoted Obama’s political career.
Obama spoke at a memorial service on behalf of a leading Chicago socialist activist.
It appears that Obama actually worked for Ayers in a Chicago educational reform program that dispensed millions of dollars of grants.
Illinois State Senator Alice Palmer, who picked Obama as her successor, has a record of involvement in communist front activities.
Obama campaign strategist David Axelrod, as well as Obama himself, have not explained why Ayers, Dohrn, then-State Senator Alice Palmer, and Dr. Quentin Young came together at the Ayers/Dohrn home to launch Obama’s political career.
Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley, a client of Axelrod, issued a controversial and misleading statement defending Obama’s relationship with communist terrorist Bill Ayers.
Illinois Lt. Governor Pat Quinn, another Axelrod client, designated “Quentin Young Day” in the state, in honor of an Obama supporter once questioned about his involvement in backing SDS activities and who was accused of being a CPUSA member. (Young refused to deny he was a CPUSA member before a congressional committee but during an informal interview said he had never joined the CPUSA).
Note: If a candidate is judged by the friends they have, then one has to wonder why anyone would be supporting Obama, the most liberal Senator in the US Senate. What has he accomplished in his time in office? He missed voting on controversial bills in the Illinois Senate. He considers himself an 'expert' on Iraq but how many times has he been to Iraq? Obama is beginning to look more like an empty suit who sounds great with a teleprompter but when you look deeper, you start asking the question, "Is Obama the George Soros puppet to destroy America?" Food for thought!