"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, August 4, 2008

Obama's Craftiness

American Thinker
August 04, 2008
Ed Lasky

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

Obamanomics Flunks The Test

IBD Editorials ^ 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.


Phony 'Emergency'

IBD Editorials ^ August 1, 2008

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!


Must see TV ad -- hear Obama's own words:


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!