"A wise and frugal government which shall restrain men
from injuring one another, which shall leave them otherwise free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement, and shall not take from the mouth of labor the bread it has earned. This is the sum of good government."
(Thomas Jefferson)

Monday, April 14, 2008

The Mask Slips

The New York Times
April 14, 2008
Op-Ed Columnist

I haven’t read much Karl Marx since the early 1980s, when I taught political philosophy at the University of Pennsylvania. Still, it didn’t take me long this weekend to find my copy of “The Marx-Engels Reader,” edited by Robert C. Tucker — a book that was assigned in thousands of college courses in the 1970s and 80s, and that now must lie, unopened and un-remarked upon, on an awful lot of rec-room bookshelves.

My occasion for spending a little time once again with the old Communist was Barack Obama’s now-famous comment at an April 6 San Francisco fund-raiser. Obama was explaining his trouble winning over small-town, working-class voters: “It’s not surprising then that they get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren’t like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations.”

This sent me to Marx’s famous statement about religion in the introduction to his “Contribution to the Critique of Hegel’s Philosophy of Right”:

“Religious suffering is at the same time an expression of real suffering and a protest against real suffering. Religion is the sigh of the oppressed creature, the sentiment of a heartless world, and the soul of a soulless condition. It is the opium of the people.”

Or, more succinctly, and in the original German in which Marx somehow always sounds better: “Die Religion ... ist das Opium des Volkes.”

Now, this is a point of view with a long intellectual pedigree prior to Marx, and many vocal adherents continuing into the 21st century. I don’t believe the claim is true, but it’s certainly worth considering, in college classrooms and beyond.

But it’s one thing for a German thinker to assert that “religion is the sigh of the oppressed creature.” It’s another thing for an American presidential candidate to claim that we “cling to ... religion” out of economic frustration.

And it’s a particularly odd claim for Barack Obama to make. After all, in his speech at the 2004 Democratic convention, he emphasized with pride that blue-state Americans, too, “worship an awesome God.”

What’s more, he’s written eloquently in his memoir, “Dreams From My Father,” of his own religious awakening upon hearing the Rev. Jeremiah Wright’s “Audacity of Hope” sermon, and of the complexity of his religious commitment. You’d think he’d do other believers the courtesy of assuming they’ve also thought about their religious beliefs.

But Obama in San Francisco does no courtesy to his fellow Americans. Look at the other claims he makes about those small-town voters.Obama ascribes their anti-trade sentiment to economic frustration — as if there are no respectable arguments against more free-trade agreements. This is particularly cynical, since he himself has been making those arguments, exploiting and fanning this sentiment that he decries.

Aren’t we then entitled to assume Obama’s opposition to Nafta and the Colombian trade pact is merely cynical pandering to frustrated Americans?

Then there’s what Obama calls “anti-immigrant sentiment.” Has Obama done anything to address it? It was John McCain, not Obama, who took political risks to try to resolve the issue of illegal immigration by putting his weight behind an attempt at immigration reform.

Furthermore, some concerns about unchecked and unmonitored illegal immigration are surely legitimate. Obama voted in 2006 (to take just one example) for the Secure Fence Act, which was intended to control the Mexican border through various means, including hundreds of miles of border fence. Was Obama then just accommodating bigotry?

As for small-town Americans’ alleged “antipathy to people who aren’t like them”: During what Obama considers the terrible Clinton-Bush years of economic frustration, by any measurement of public opinion polling or observed behavior, Americans have become far more tolerant and respectful of minorities who are not “like them.” Surely Obama knows this. Was he simply flattering his wealthy San Francisco donors by casting aspersions on the idiocy of small-town life?

That leaves us with guns. Gun ownership has been around for an awfully long time. And people may have good reasons to, and in any case have a constitutional right to, own guns — as Obama himself has been acknowledging on the campaign trail, when he presents himself as more sympathetic to gun owners than a typical Democrat.

What does this mean for Obama’s presidential prospects? He’s disdainful of small-town America — one might say, of bourgeois America. He’s usually good at disguising this. But in San Francisco the mask slipped. And it’s not so easy to get elected by a citizenry you patronize.

And what are the grounds for his supercilious disdain? If he were a war hero, if he had a career of remarkable civic achievement or public service — then he could perhaps be excused an unattractive but in a sense understandable hauteur. But what has Barack Obama accomplished that entitles him to look down on his fellow Americans?


Friday, April 11, 2008

Barack Obama may lose support in Philadelphia over 'street money'

From the Los Angeles Times

Candidates traditionally get out the money to get out the vote. That sets up a culture clash for the April 22 primary.

By Peter Nicholas
Los Angeles Times Staff Writer
April 11, 2008

Fourteen months into a campaign that has the feel of a movement, Sen. Barack Obama has collided with the gritty political traditions of Philadelphia, where ward bosses love their candidates, but also expect them to pay up.

The dispute centers on the dispensing of "street money," a long-standing Philadelphia ritual in which candidates deliver cash to the city's Democratic operatives in return for getting out the vote.Flush with payments from well-funded campaigns, the ward leaders and Democratic Party bosses typically spread out the cash in the days before the election, handing $10, $20 and $50 bills to the foot soldiers and loyalists who make up the party's workforce.It is all legal -- but Obama's people are telling the local bosses he won't pay.

That sets up a culture clash, pitting a candidate who promises to transform American politics against the realities of a local political system important to his presidential hopes. Pennsylvania holds its primary April 22.Obama's posture confounds neighborhood political leaders sympathetic to his cause. They caution that if the senator from Illinois withholds money that gubernatorial, mayoral and presidential candidates have willingly paid out for decades, there could be defections to Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton of New York.

And the Clinton campaign, in contrast, will oblige in forking over the money, these ward leaders predict."We've heard directly from the Obama organizer who organizes our ward, and he told us it's an entirely volunteer organization and that I should not expect to see anything from the Obama campaign other than ads on TV and the support that volunteers are giving us," said Greg Paulmier, a ward leader in the northwest part of the city.

Neither the Clinton nor the Obama campaign would say publicly whether it would comply with Philadelphia's street money customs. But an Obama aide said Thursday that it had never been the campaign's practice to make such payments. Rather, the campaign's focus is to recruit new people drawn to Obama's message, the aide said.

The field operation "hasn't been about tapping long-standing political machinery," the aide said.Carol Ann Campbell, a ward leader and Democratic superdelegate who supports Obama, estimated that the amount of street money Obama would need to lay out for election day is $400,000 to $500,000.

"This is a machine city, and ward leaders have to pay their committee people," Campbell said. "Barack Obama's campaign doesn't pay workers, and I guarantee you if they don't put up some money for those street workers, those leaders will most likely take Clinton money. It won't stop him from winning Philadelphia, but he won't come out with the numbers that he needs" to win the state.

A neutral observer, state Rep. Dwight Evans, whose district is in northwest Philadelphia, said there might be a racial subtext to the dispute. Ward leaders, he said, see Obama airing millions of dollars worth of television ads in the city -- money that benefits largely white station owners, feeding resentment. People wonder why Obama isn't sharing the largesse with the largely African American field workers trying to get him elected, Evans said.

"They view it that the white people are getting all the money for TV," said Evans, an African American and former ward leader.

"And they're the ones who are the foot soldiers on the street. They're predominantly African Americans, and they're not the ones who are getting that TV money.

"Hardscrabble neighborhoods across the city have come to depend on street money as a welcome payday for knocking on doors, handing out leaflets and speaking to voters as they arrive at polling places.

Peter Wilson, a ward leader from West Philadelphia, said: "Most of the ward leaders, we live in a very poor area, and people look forward to election days. . . . People are astute. They know the Obama campaign has raised millions of dollars."Street money is an enduring political practice in Philadelphia and cities including Chicago, Baltimore, Newark and Los Angeles.In Jon Corzine's successful race in 2000 for the U.S. Senate, people from out of state poured into New Jersey to be part of a huge get-out-the-vote operation. Some were paid $75 apiece in street money, as part of the well-funded Corzine campaign's election day efforts.

In the 2004 presidential race, John F. Kerry's campaign paid out hundreds of thousands of dollars in street money to Philadelphia's Democratic apparatus, according to city party veterans.A famous scene played out at a Democratic committee meeting during the 1980 presidential primary. Vice President Walter F. Mondale came to Philadelphia hoping to boost support for President Carter, then in a tough nomination fight with Sen. Edward M. Kennedy.

Mondale made his pitch, touting Carter's record on human rights and the economy.In an interview Thursday, Mondale picked up the story from there:"I finished my remarks, and the first person who stood up said: 'Where's the money?' And I think he was talking about street money."

Dryly, Mondale added: "That was not the subject of my talk."Before the 2002 state elections, a reporter watched two practitioners of the street-money arts in action: Campbell and U.S. Rep. Robert A. Brady, a ward leader and chair of Philadelphia's Democratic committee.

Brady was sitting in his campaign office with two of his political lieutenants. He reached into a desk drawer at one point and pulled out a $50 bill -- street money. Brady tore it in two and gave each man a half. Then the men made a bet: Whoever pulled in the most Democratic votes that day from his precincts would get both halves.

The night before that vote, Campbell, sitting at a kitchen table in a retirement community in West Philadelphia, spent hours passing out street money to various Democratic committee people. She kept receipts, working with stacks of cash. Campbell would give $10 to local teenagers assigned to put leaflets in doorways. And she paid out $100 to each of the committee people in her jurisdiction.

Ward leaders say such payments defray expenses such as food and gasoline, and compensate people for a grueling election day.

It is unclear to what extent Obama may suffer at the polls if any part of the city's Democratic apparatus jumps to Clinton.Obama's strategy in Pennsylvania depends on a strong turnout in the city's black precincts. That way, he can cut into the advantage Clinton has among older and blue-collar voters elsewhere in the state.Campbell said she could not in good conscience ask people to work for Obama for free.

"I'm not going to do that," said Campbell, who heads a coalition of black ward leaders. "There are a lot of poor people here.

"Paulmier said that of his ward's 48 committee people, the vast majority supported Obama. Though he doesn't expect a wholesale exodus to the Clinton campaign if no street money is paid, a handful of those key people might bolt, he said."If word gets out that the Clinton campaign is going to make . . . more support available to committee people, maybe five of the 48 might defect," he said.

With a week and a half left before the election, political leaders hope that Obama will relent.

Garry Williams, a ward leader based in north-central Philadelphia, said that he had not heard directly that the Obama campaign was withholding money. But he said payment would be needed. Workers who are in the field for Obama on April 22 will put in days stretching from 12 to 16 hours, he said.

"It's our tradition," Williams said. "You don't come to someone's house and change the rules of someone's house. That's just respect."


Obama's billionaire backing


Dem hopeful's record-breaking fundraising machine isn't entirely grassroots
By Matthew Mosk and Alec MacGillis
The Washington Post
updated 5:04 a.m. ET, Fri., April. 11, 2008

WASHINGTON - Sen. Barack Obama credits his presidential campaign with creating a "parallel public financing system" built on a wave of modest donations from homemakers and high school teachers. Small givers, he said at a fundraiser this week, "will have as much access and influence over the course and direction of our campaign that has traditionally been reserved for the wealthy and the powerful."

But those with wealth and power also have played a critical role in creating Obama's record-breaking fundraising machine, and their generosity has earned them a prominent voice in shaping his campaign. Seventy-nine "bundlers," five of them billionaires, have tapped their personal networks to raise at least $200,000 each. They have helped the campaign recruit more than 27,000 donors to write checks for $2,300, the maximum allowed. Donors who have given more than $200 account for about half of Obama's total haul, which stands at nearly $240 million.

Obama's success in assembling bundlers offers another perspective on a campaign that promotes itself as a grass-roots effort. While the senator from Illinois has had unprecedented success generating small donations, many made online, the work of bundlers first signaled the seriousness of his candidacy a year ago and will be crucial as he heads into the final Democratic primaries with a lead against Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (N.Y.).

The bundler list also sheds light on those who might seek to influence an Obama White House. It includes traditional Democratic givers — Hollywood, trial lawyers and Wall Street — and newcomers such as young hedge fund executives, Silicon Valley entrepreneurs, Chicago-based developers and members of the black business elite. One-third had never contributed to a presidential campaign, much less raised money.

California cash

The list includes partners from 18 top law firms, 21 Wall Street executives and power brokers from Fortune 500 companies. California is the top source, with 19 bundlers. Both Illinois and Washington, D.C., have six, and five hail from New York.

Among the group are businessmen such as Kenneth Griffin, a famously private 39-year-old billionaire who threw his support behind Obama's presidential campaign just as he hired a team of lobbyists to urge Congress to preserve a lucrative tax loophole.

A year ago, Griffin invited Obama to speak to employees of his Chicago hedge fund, Citadel Investment Group, and in subsequent months, employees and their families gave the candidate nearly $200,000. Griffin had previously backed Republicans, including Obama's initial U.S. Senate opponent.

Obama resisted Citadel's lobbying push, but a hedge fund executive who knows Griffin said he suspects Griffin's continued support owes to more than a desire to sway the senator on the tax issue. "Ken's a smart guy, and I guess he's done the math and decided that Barack is the best candidate," said Daniel Loeb, the chief executive of Third Point Management in New York.
Casino developer donatesSeveral on Obama's list at least appear to have interests in conflict with his platform. There is the billionaire casino developer who plans to put a slot parlor in Philadelphia; Obama has decried gambling for its steep "moral and social cost." And there is the director of General Dynamics, the military supplier that has seen profits soar since the onset of the Iraq war and that has benefited from at least one Obama earmark.

The use of bundlers was perfected by George W. Bush, who in 2000 and 2004 set some fundraising records that Obama has shattered. Bush established a competitive hierarchy of "Rangers" and "Pioneers," with tracking numbers to monitor fundraisers' progress and silver cuff links and belt buckles for high achievers.

Obama's bundlers help make up a more loosely defined "national finance committee," whose members are made to feel part of the campaign's inner workings through weekly conference calls and quarterly meetings at which they quiz the candidate or his strategists. At one meeting, bundlers urged the campaign to link Iraq war costs with the faltering economy. And they got an advance copy of Obama's Philadelphia speech in which he addressed the incendiary remarks of his longtime pastor.

Obama policy advisers also meet with bundlers and other top givers. Anthony Lake, who served as President Bill Clinton's national security adviser, has met with so many Obama contributors that, in an unusual move, the campaign credits him for funds raised when he conducts the meetings. He's on the top bundler list. "This is the first time I've ever gotten involved in this kind of work in a campaign," Lake said.

Patronage appointments?

Bush bundlers openly discussed the system's transactional nature — more than 100 of the 246 Pioneers in 2000 received an administration job or appointment, and 23 became ambassadors. Obama's fundraisers say they see their work more selflessly.

Boston financier Alan Solomont, who leads Obama's Northeast fundraising, said many are rallying to the candidate because they expect that he will break with old traditions, such as rewarding big fundraisers. "There's nobody with their hand out," Solomont said. "People are doing this because they believe in this candidate."

The campaign maintains that its fundraising success among average Americans has lessened its reliance on big donors. Donations of less than $200 account for nearly half of Obama's contributions, compared with a third of Clinton's and a quarter of Sen. John McCain's, according to the Campaign Finance Institute. More than 1 million people have given money to Obama's campaign.

"In this campaign, outsized influence is given to the small donors," Obama spokesman Bill Burton said.

Still, Obama wants to hold his own against Clinton in attracting big donors. He began assembling his bundlers well before announcing his bid in February 2007. Chairing his national finance committee was Penny Pritzker, heiress of Chicago's Hyatt hotel fortune, who raised money for his 2004 Senate campaign. Running day-to-day fundraising was North Carolina native Julianna Smoot, who had raised money for the national trial lawyers association and the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee.

Smoot put together a list of wealthy Democrats, and Obama, with only two years in Washington under his belt, deftly courted them. On Feb. 5, 2007, for example, Florida investment manager Mark Gilbert flew to Washington to meet with Obama but got only a short evening meeting before the candidate broke off for another engagement.

'Very impressed'Obama did not realize that Gilbert had come just to see him, and when he found out, he quickly made amends. Gilbert got a call that night at his hotel. "It was the senator," he said. "He said he didn't realize he was going to have so little time," and he invited Gilbert to breakfast. "I was very impressed that someone trying to build a national team would reach out like that," he said.

The bundlers grew to include perennial Democratic money men, including Louis B. Susman, the Citigroup executive who headed fundraising for Sen. John F. Kerry (Mass.) in 2004. Kirk Wager, a Florida trial lawyer and Kerry fundraiser, had planned to sit out this election before Obama persuaded him to come on board.

"Barack called me and said, 'I really need your help.' He said, 'No, Kirk, I really mean it. I literally know less than five people in the state of Florida,' " Wager said.

But because Clinton had already enlisted many reliable party backers, Obama also had to appeal to newcomers, said James L. Hudson, a D.C. developer and Obama bundler. "It required some stretching," he said.

New faces included Scott Blake Harris, a Washington telecommunications lawyer whose son worked as an intern in Obama's Senate office. Harris avoided Obama's ban on accepting money from federal lobbyists by cutting off his work for such companies as Microsoft, Cisco and Sprint-Nextel at the end of 2006.

"I had never raised a nickel for anybody," Harris said. "But I just found him to be totally captivating and moving."

Chicago offered more opportunities. Obama knew he could count on longtime supporters in the African American business community, such as his wife's friend, Desiree Rogers, head of the Peoples Gas utility. Her ex-husband, John W. Rogers, the head of Ariel Capital Management, is also a bundler.

'Uncanny ability'A $1,000-a-person fundraiser that Desiree Rogers hosted in January attracted 600 people and spilled over to a neighbor's apartment. Obama repeated his pitch three times, she said."He listens intently to . . . questions, and he answers them in as long and personable way as he can. He has an uncanny ability to remember names and the subject area someone is interested in," Rogers said.

The Chicago contingent also includes James Crown, a director of General Dynamics, the military contractor in which his family holds a large stake. The company has been the beneficiary of at least one Obama earmark, a request to spend $8 million on a high-explosive technology program for the Army's Bradley Fighting Vehicle. The program got $1.3 million.

The descendants of Henry Crown, architect of a great American fortune, James Crown and his family donated more than $128,000 to Obama's U.S. Senate race in 2004. Crown was among the first people Obama approached as he contemplated a White House run.

Crown said he and Obama never discussed General Dynamics, which, with its focus on Army programs, is a defense contractor that has benefited directly from the Iraq war. Obama's opposition to the war never meant that he wanted the armed forces to be poorly equipped, Crown said.

"I stand in agreement with what he has said [about the Iraq war.] Those who work in the defense industry are extremely focused on the national defense," he said. "That doesn't mean we want to be fighting wars."

The Chicago finance elite has been a major hub of Obama's fundraising, led by Pritzker. Another major figure is billionaire Neil G. Bluhm, a hotel and office building developer. But Bluhm has posed a symbolic problem for Obama in Pennsylvania, site of an April 22 primary, because his latest endeavor is a push to open a controversial casino along the Philadelphia waterfront.
Bluhm's path crossed Obama's in 2003, when Bluhm pursued a gaming license for a Chicago riverboat. That June, he gave the first $1,000 of what would become more than $78,000 in contributions from him and his family.

Gambling licensesIn 2006, Pennsylvania awarded Bluhm one of two coveted Philadelphia gambling licenses. Last year, his partners in the project, called SugarHouse, made $2,300 donations to Obama, including nearly $50,000 from the Philadelphia law firm Cozen O'Connor, which represents him in the deal.

Bluhm said that the gaming project "has got nothing to do with" his support for Obama and that the two have never discussed it. "My interest in him is, I think he's inspirational, I think he will enormously improve our economy and our relations with other countries," he said.
The Obama-Bluhm connection startled members of Philadelphia's anti-casino groups who knew that the senator had resisted efforts to legalize gambling. It was "really surprising to find [Bluhm] in Obama's corner," said Debbie King, who helped start Mothers Against SugarHouse. "I was inclined to vote for Hillary. But when I heard Obama's criticism about gambling, I thought about changing my vote. Now I'm not sure what to do."

Then there is Griffin, the hedge fund executive. Of his $230,000 in contributions since 2003, slightly more has gone to Republicans than to Democrats, including $2,000 to President Bush's reelection campaign. When Obama ran for Senate, Griffin backed Jack Ryan, Obama's original GOP opponent.

But Obama's presidential campaign launched just as Griffin's Citadel sought to go public, and the investment group moved to enlarge its Washington presence, vastly increasing its lobbying spending to $790,000 last year. Its focus: fighting a proposal to apply the higher corporate tax rate to private equity firms and hedge funds that go public.

In July, Griffin told the New York Times that his initiative would be diminished if his tax rates went up. "I am proud to be an American," he said. "But if the tax became too high, as a matter of principle I would not be working this hard.''


That month, Obama came out for closing the loophole, and he later decried the legislation's collapse in October, after opposition by Citadel and others. "If there was ever a doubt that Washington lobbyists don't actually represent real Americans, it's the fact that they stopped leaders of both parties from requiring elite investment firms to pay their fair share of taxes," he said.

A Citadel spokeswoman declined to comment. Stephen Brown, a finance professor at New York University, said it is hard not to discern self-interest. Hedge funds "have a strong interest in becoming involved in the political process, and that is really the whole story behind their support of Obama," he said. "In their analysis — and they have good analysts — Obama is likely to be successful, so it is very much in their advantage to have a strong voice with him."

Database editor Sarah Cohen and staff researchers Lucy Shackelford, Alice Crites and Madonna Lebling contributed to this report.
So much for a campaign financed by small donors. Brings into question, how many of the small donors are real people or has ACORN had a hand in donations or Moveon.org. Inquiring minds would like to know. Sam

My bold and highlighted.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Obama Coddles Evil

by Ben Shapiro
April 09, 2008 12:10 AM EST

On Tuesday morning, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad declared that Iran was busily installing 6,000 new centrifuges for development of nuclear material. Further, Ahmadinejad stated, Iran would begin testing a new type of centrifuge that works five times faster than ordinary centrifuges.

On Tuesday afternoon, Democratic presidential front-runner Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., declared that the U.S. should engage in a "diplomatic surge" in Iraq. In particular, he said, America should embrace talks with Iran. "I do not believe we are going to be able to stabilize the situation without that," Obama told Gen. David Petraeus and U.S. Ambassador Ryan Crocker. "I continue to believe that the original decision to go into Iraq was a massive strategic blunder, that the two problems you pointed out -- al-Qaida in Iraq and increased Iranian influence in the region -- are a direct result of that original decision."

Never mind the unbelievable arrogance of a foreign policy boob like Barack Obama, lecturing the two most knowledgeable on-the-ground figures in Iraq on the best military strategy for Iraq.

Barack Obama's scariest characteristic isn't his ego, though its sheer size threatens to shift the globe out of orbit.

Obama's scariest characteristic is his puerile belief that everything can be solved by talking with dictators.

He seems to believe there's nothing to be lost by sitting across the table from murderers, thugs, Holocaust deniers and genocidal maniacs. "I will meet not just with our friends but with our enemies, not just with those we agree with but those we don't," he blustered in February.

Obama, more than any politician of the past fifty years, should understand the power of words and gestures -- his entire campaign is based on them. Yet, he doesn't seem to understand the simple truth that America's enemies see negotiation as a sign of weakness.

Evil leaders always see negotiations without preconditions as surrender. Neville Chamberlain's shilly-shallying at Munich emboldened Hitler. Yitzhak Rabin's agreement to the Oslo Accords encouraged Yasser Arafat. April Glaspie's statement to Saddam Hussein that "We have no opinion on the Arab-Arab conflicts, like your border disagreement with Kuwait" gave Hussein the green light to touch off the first Gulf War.

Obama likes to compare himself to Ronald Reagan. Reagan, Obama says, negotiated with the USSR. Naturally, Obama neglects to mention that Reagan only negotiated with the USSR after placing missiles in Europe, funding Star Wars, joking about bombing the Soviets and calling the USSR an "evil empire." Obama's meetings would be more like an Oprah interview than a Reagan negotiation.

It's not surprising Obama is willing to have coffee with those who hate America. After all, he allowed an America-hater to preside over his wedding. He sat in the pews while his spiritual mentor railed against Israel. He's used to Ahmadinejad-like rhetoric -- he went to a church full of it for two decades.

Obama has no problem chatting with the world's bloodiest butchers or sitting in racist churches because he "understands" everyone. Back in November, I wrote that Obama was running as "The Man Who (SET ITAL) Understands (END ITAL)."

"I know, I have seen, the desperation and disorder of the powerless," he writes in "Dreams From My Father." That understanding leads him to excuse Islamic terrorism as a function of poverty; it leads him to compare black teens on the South Side of Chicago to jihadis in Indonesia. It leads him to excuse scumbag preachers and to kowtow to sadistic tyrants.

There's clearly one thing Barack Obama doesn't understand: the nature of evil. That's why he continues to coddle evil men in both his personal life and his politics.


Ben Shapiro, 23, is a graduate of UCLA and Harvard Law School. He is the author of the new book "Project President: Bad Hair and Botox on the Road to the White House," as well as the national bestseller "Brainwashed: How Universities Indoctrinate America's Youth."

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Obama favors an unholly alliance between Marxism and Islam

Ted Belman - 4/5/2008

In "Obama’s Muslim connection"I wrote, that Obama’s foreign policy favours accommodation to Islam. Here's more information about the Democrats' likely nominee:

1 He surrounded himself with advisers who believe that US foreign policy is controlled by Jews and this must end.
2. Obama plans to organize a Muslim summit
3. Obama Defends Columbia’s Ahmadinejad Invite
4. Obama; I Would Still Meet With Ahmadinejad
5. Obama: Don’t Stay in Iraq Over Genocide
6. Barack Obama Would Let Shoaib Choudhury Die
7. “I will stand with the Muslims should the political winds change in an ugly direction”. BARACK OBAMA from The Audacity Of Hope which is titled in Indonesia “Assualt Hope: From Jakarta To The Whitehouse”?. It is arguable that “Assault Hope” means “Jihad”.
8. Obama’s Nation of Islam Staffers
9. Obama Served On Board That Funded Pro-Palestinian Group
10. Obama - Rezko - Auchi - Saddam Hussein?
11. Obama’s Church Gives Platform to Hamas Terrorists, Questions Israel’s Legitimacy
12. Obama absented himself from the Senate when Senate names Iran’s army “terrorist organization“ but later said he was opposed.
13. Obama’s Iraq War
14. “Bomb Pakistan”

Apparently he wants to get out of the war in Iraq and increase the war in Afghanistan. Maybe I missed the point. He wants to kill al Qaeda in Pakistan but leave them to take over in Iraq? Maybe I still don’t get it. Maybe he wants to bomb with much “collateral damage” rather than invade and occupy. He did say last summer, something to the effect that the United States cannot use its military to solve humanitarian problems and that preventing a potential genocide in Iraq isn’t a good enough reason to keep U.S. forces there.

What have we to make of his overall foreign policy goals. To understand where he wants to lead the US and with what principles, we must look to his chief foreign policy adviser, Zbigniew Brzezinski.

Prof. Paul Eidelberg, Foundation for Constitutional Democracy, asks in Brzesinsky/Obama Axis

I. Who is Zbigniew Brzezinski?It was reported in the New York Sun on February 15 that Barack Hussain Obama has chosen Zbigniew Brzezinski to advise him on Middle East policy.

One does not have to read Carter’s Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid to know that Carter is an anti-Semite . Brzezinski has earned the same reputation.
Not only has Brzezinski publicly defended the anti-Semitic canard that the relationship between America and Israel is the result of Jewish pressure, but he also signed a letter demanding dialogue with Hamas, whose charter calls for Israel’s destruction. It behooves us to understand the mentality of Obama’s Middle East adviser—and more deeply than our so-called experts.

[..] Not only did Brzezinski reject the “black-and-white” image of the American and Soviet forms of government, he rejects the very notion of good and bad regimes! If you are shocked by Brzezinski’s moral relativism, ponder Prime Minister Ariel Sharon’s confession in an interview with Ha’aretz in 2002 that his son Omri taught him “not to think in terms of black and white”—a statement uttered while suicide bombers were reducing Jews to body parts.

The influence of political scientists like Brzezinski is wide and deep. His moral relativism or neutrality prompts politicians to negotiate with and appease terrorist regimes. Mr. Obama may not be a moral relativist, but with Brzezinski as his adviser, he will be more disposed than other presidential candidates to appease Iran. Nor is this all.

With Brzezinski advising him, Obama’s chant about CHANGE may be more serious and insidious than Hillary’s silly utterances. He may have in mind changing the fundamental character of the American regime. That would fit well with the designs of one of his backers, billionaire George Soros, a globalist committed to the termination of the nation-state and the ascendancy of world government.
Since Brzezinski is a moral or historical relativism, he denies the existence of objective or trans-historical standards for determining whether the way of life of one nation, group, or individual is morally superior to that of another.
Brzezinski views history through the lens of Marxism, which, despite its atheism, has much in common with Islam. Both Communism and Islam are universalistic ideologies that reject the idea of the nation-state. Both do not regard adherence to treaties between nations as obligatory. Both Communism and Islam are militaristic and expansionist creeds that do not recognize international borders. Brzezinski’s globalism has become evident in Jimmy Carter. Under Brzezinski’s influence, Carter lowered the defense budget and pursued a soft line toward the Soviet Union. We can expect an Obama White House to pursue a very soft line toward Islam.

II. Iran’s Vision: A World Without Israel and the United States

With Zbigniew Brzezinski as his national security adviser, it was Jimmy Carter who facilitated the return of Ayatollah Khomeini to Iran. The Carter-Brzezinski axis is very much responsible for the Islamic revolution—the most dangerous revolution that has occurred in human history, a revolution that threatens the existence of every nation-state.

As a crypto-Marxist, Brzezinski deplores the nation-state . His book Between Two Ages: America’s Role in the Technetronic Era, declares that “With the splitting and eclipse of Christianity man began to worship a new deity: the nation . The nation became a mystical object claiming man’s love and loyalty. The nation-state along with the doctrine of national sovereignty fragmented humanity . It could not provide a rational framework within which the relations between nations could develop.” Brzezinski sees the nation-state as having only partly increased man’s social consciousness and only partially alleviated the human condition.

“That is why Marxism,” he contends, “represents a further vital and creative stage in the maturing and man’s universal vision.” Marxism, he says, “was the most powerful doctrine for generating a universal and secular human consciousness.” Embodied in the Soviet Union, however, Communism became the dogma of a party and, under Stalin, “was wedded to Russian nationalism. ”

Although Brzezinski poses as a humanist, he makes a most inhumane statement by saying that: “although Stalinism may have been a needless tragedy, for both the Russian people and Communism as an ideal, there is the intellectually tantalizing possibility that for the world at large it was … a blessing in disguise. ” Ponder this shocking statement about Islam or of Islamic imperialism . Yes, it slaughtered more than 200 million people, but Islam brought hundreds of Christian, Jewish, Zoroastrian, Hindu, and Buddhist communities under a single universal vision, that of the Quran.

Brzezinski, a self-professed secularist, is an internationalist whose moral relativism contradicts the moral law or natural rights doctrine of America’s Declaration of Independence. His relativism and internationalism contradict the teachings of the America’s Founding Fathers, who endowed the United States with a national identity and character, the same that animated Abraham Lincoln and Theodore Roosevelt. To put it more bluntly: Brzezinski’s mode of thought or political mentality — like that of countless other American academics — is anti-American. An Obama-Brzezinski axis has revolutionary significance. It might accelerate the de-Americanization and decline of the United States.

This development has its parallel in the de-Judaizing of Israel’s Third Commonwealth. Israel’s ruling elites, beginning with President Shimon Peres, Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, Foreign Minister Tzipi Livini, Education Minister Yuli Tamir—and let’s not forget Israel’s erstwhile and still influential Supreme Court president Aaron Barak—have the same basic mentality as Brzezinski. The mere fact that they are multiculturalists committed to transforming Israel into “a state of its citizens” means that they are only nominal Jews, that just as Brzezinski is, in principle, anti-American, so they are, in principle, anti-Israel or anti-Jewish!
But let us not be misled by the term “multiculturalism.” Multiculturalism means nothing less then the end of the nation-state system that has prevailed for almost four centuries. The nation-state obtained a monopoly of political power. Power abhors a vacuum. Terminate the nation-state and you are heading for world government. But a world government must also have a monopoly of power. Its agents must be everywhere, to make sure that no opposition group in any country secretly develops weapons of mass destruction. A world government must have the equivalent of the KGB in every country. A world government would be the greatest tyranny in human history.

Israel is the target of all those who oppose the nation-state if only because the Bible of Israel not only prescribes a multiplicity of nations, but a moral code that contradicts the moral relativism of the Brzezinskis and of Israel’s ruling elites.
Will Israel be the target of CHANGE — the mantra of the Democratic Party chanted most ominously by Barack Hussain Obama?

It is important to note that when Carter had Brzezinski as his foreign policy adviser, he undermined the Shah paved the way for the Islamic Revolution in Iran, al Qaeda was created to fight the Soviets and Islamist terrorists were supported to destroy Yugoslavia which was a Russian ally. These plans involved Britain, Saudia Arabia and Germany.

Sultan Knish offers us a taste of things to come in his article Zbignew Brezezinksi, Barack Obama and America as the Headless Chicken,
Zbigniew Brzezinski’s plan was to counter the rise of pro-Soviet left wing regimes with a string of Islamic regimes, countering Marxism with Islamism finally culminating in an Islamic overthrow of the USSR (replacing one monstrous regime with another monstrous regime). His dabbling in Afghanistan would eventually give birth to Taliban rule and Osama Bin Laden and September 11th, something he blames Israel and Neo-Cons for. In Iran, Zbigniew Brzezinski backed a policy that would support the Ayatollah Khomeni as America’s new ally.

To show its affinity for the Mullahs, the Carter Administration had lifted a 1978 ban on arms sales to Tehran. The exiled Shah was barred from entering the United States to seek medical treatment. The United States even promised to defend Iran against the Soviet Union. Zbigniew Brzezinski met with the Ayatollah Khomeni’s Prime Minister Mehdi Bazargan and offered the new regime a strategic relationship with the United States. It took five months before a rescue attempt was made and when Zbigniew Brzezinski planned out the disastrous Operation Eagle Claw it was sabotaged from the start by the chains placed on the operation from the Carter White House.
This is an indication of the change Obama wants.

This is the unity he hopes to achieve.

Ted Belman also writes for Israpundit.com


Friday, April 4, 2008

Obama Supporters

Have you ever wondered just who is supporting Obama? Below you will find some of the names with the links to who they are. As time goes by, we are sure more will be added. If you can tell a person by the company he keeps then you might want to think twice about Obama who has attracted the extreme far left radicals of the political spectrum. As the truth keeps coming out, some early supporters are going to be asking themselves why they never knew were told the facts on Obama and people who support him. Maybe the MSM would like to answer their question.

Just a few of Barack Obama’s Supporters

Nation of Islam Minister Louis Farrakhan:



Jane Fonda:









Joan Baez:





Chaka Fattah:



Black Panthers: