Friday, October 31, 2008
By Thomas Sowell
Chief Justice John Marshall said it all in one sentence: "The power to tax is the power to destroy."
It is not the money that is taxed away that is destroyed. What is destroyed is the wealth that does not get produced in the first place, because high taxes make its production not worthwhile.
Those who are receptive to Senator Barack Obama's plan to increase taxes on "the rich" seem not to understand that the issue is the nation's loss of wealth. Today, wealth can leave the country when heavy taxes threaten it— instantly, in an age of electronic financial transfers— and create jobs and economic growth overseas, instead of at home.
The two months between the time of a presidential election and the time when the new president takes office is an eternity in terms of how much money can be transferred out of the country electronically before any new high-tax laws can be enacted.
Like so much that is said glibly by Barack Obama, raising taxes on "the rich" has serious— and potentially disastrous— implications for the whole country that have been ignored amid the political euphoria.
Moreover, like so much that is proposed under the magic mantra of "change," it is something that has been tried before in many countries and failed before in many countries.
Much wealth from Third World countries flows out to richer countries like Switzerland or the United States, where it is safer from confiscation. Jack up the capital gains tax rate in the United States and more Americans can be expected to send their capital elsewhere.
That means sending jobs elsewhere, so that even people with no capital to invest lose employment opportunities.
Economists have trouble determining how many people are affected by a tax increase because those affected extend far beyond those who write the checks to pay the government.
Taxes on businesses can get passed along to consumers, in whole or in part, even though it is only the business that writes the check to the government.
Payroll taxes or government-mandated employee benefits may be paid for directly by the employer, but these costs reduce the value of an employee to the employer. If these costs add up to $10,000, for example, employers bidding for labor may bid $10,000 less in salary than they would have otherwise.
As in other cases, who writes the checks does not tell you who really pays the costs, since the worker is now $10,000 worse off. The idea that you can single out one segment of society to be taxed or mandated, for the benefit of the rest of society, is reminiscent of a San Francisco automobile dealer's sign: "We cheat the other guy and pass the savings on to you."
The economy is not a zero-sum game where someone gains what others lose. The whole economy can lose when ill-considered policies gain political popularity and stifle economic growth.
People who do not own a single share of corporate stock can still lose big time when capital gains taxes are raised— not only because jobs can follow capital out of the country, but also because millions of working people's pension plans own corporate stock, and those people's retirement incomes will depend on the value of those stocks, which is reduced by capital gains taxes.
One of the biggest taxes is one that is not even called a tax — inflation. When the government spends money that it creates, it is transferring part of the value of your money to themselves. It is quiet taxation but often heavy taxation, falling on everyone, no matter how low their incomes might be.
By the end of the 20th century, a $100 bill would not buy as much as a $20 bill would buy in the middle of that century. For people who saved cash, inflation amounted to an 80 percent tax. For others, it was an 80 percent tax minus whatever cumulative interest or dividends they received on the money they invested.
Given the staggering cost of the government's financial bailouts, there is no way that Barack Obama's grandiose spending plans can be carried out without inflation.
When politicians start talking about taxing "the rich," remember the old saying: "Send not to know for whom the bell tolls. It tolls for thee."
A perfect storm
By Thomas Sowell
Some elections are routine, some are important and some are historic. If Senator John McCain wins this election, it will probably go down in history as routine. But if Senator Barack Obama wins, it is more likely to be historic— and catastrophic.
Once the election is over, the glittering generalities of rhetoric and style will mean nothing. Everything will depend on performance in facing huge challenges, domestic and foreign.
Performance is where Barack Obama has nothing to show for his political career, either in Illinois or in Washington.
Policies that he proposes under the banner of "change" are almost all policies that have been tried repeatedly in other countries— and failed repeatedly in other countries.
Politicians telling businesses how to operate? That's been tried in countries around the world, especially during the second half of the 20th century. It has failed so often and so badly that even socialist and communist governments were freeing up their markets by the end of the century.
The economies of China and India began their take-off into high rates of growth when they got rid of precisely the kinds of policies that Obama is advocating for the United States under the magic mantra of "change."
Putting restrictions on international trade in order to save jobs at home? That was tried here with the Hawley-Smoot tariff during the Great Depression.
Unemployment was 9 percent when that tariff was passed to save jobs, but unemployment went up instead of down, and reached 25 percent before the decade was over.
Higher taxes to "spread the well around," as Obama puts it? The idea of redistributing wealth has turned into the reality of redistributing poverty, in countries where wealth has fled and the production of new wealth has been stifled by a lack of incentives.
Economic disasters, however, may pale by comparison with the catastrophe of Iran with nuclear weapons. Glib rhetoric about Iran being "a small country," as Obama called it, will be a bitter irony for Americans who will have to live in the shadow of a nuclear threat that cannot be deterred, as that of the Soviet Union could be, by the threat of a nuclear counter-attack.
Suicidal fanatics cannot be deterred. If they are willing to die and we are not, then we are at their mercy— and they have no mercy. Moreover, once they get nuclear weapons, that is a situation which cannot be reversed, either in this generation or in generations to come.
Is this the legacy we wish to leave our children and grandchildren, by voting on the basis of style and symbolism, rather than substance?
If Barack Obama thinks that such a catastrophe can be avoided by sitting down and talking with the leaders of Iran, then he is repeating a fallacy that helped bring on World War II.
In a nuclear age, one country does not have to send troops to occupy another country in order to conquer it. A country is conquered if another country can dictate who rules it, as the Mongols once did with Russia, and as Osama bin Laden tried to do when he threatened retaliation against places in the United States that voted for George W. Bush. But he didn't have nuclear weapons to back up that threat— yet.
America has never been a conquered country, so it may be very hard for most Americans even to conceive what that can mean. After France was conquered in 1940, it was reduced to turning over some of its own innocent citizens to the Nazis to kill, just because those citizens were Jewish.
Do you think our leaders wouldn't do that? Not even if the alternative was to see New York and Los Angeles go up in mushroom clouds? If I were Jewish, I wouldn't bet my life on that.
What the Middle East fanatics want is not just our resources or even our lives, but our humiliation first, in whatever sadistic ways they can think of. Their lust for humiliation has already been repeatedly demonstrated in their videotaped beheadings that find such an eager market in the Middle East.
None of this can be prevented by glib talk, but only by character, courage and decisive actions— none of which Barack Obama has ever demonstrated.
By Thomas Sowell
Although Senator Barack Obama has been allied with a succession of far left individuals over the years, that is only half the story. There are, after all, some honest and decent people on the left. But these have not been the ones that Obama has been allied with — allied, not merely "associated" with.
ACORN is not just an organization on the left. In addition to the voter frauds that ACORN has been involved in over the years, it is an organization with a history of thuggery, including going to bankers' homes to harass them and their families, in order to force banks to lend to people with low credit ratings.
Nor was Barack Obama's relationship with ACORN just a matter of once being their attorney long ago. More recently, he has directed hundreds of thousands of dollars their way. Money talks — and what it says is more important than a politician's rhetoric in an election year.
Jeremiah Wright and Michael Pfleger are not just people with left-wing opinions. They are reckless demagogues preaching hatred of the lowest sort — and both are recipients of money from Obama.
Bill Ayers is not just "an education professor" who has some left-wing views. He is a confessed and unrepentant terrorist, who more recently has put his message of resentment into the schools — an effort using money from a foundation that Obama headed.
Nor has the help all been one way. During the last debate between John McCain and Barack Obama, Senator McCain mentioned that Senator Obama's political campaign began in Bill Ayers' home. Obama immediately denied it and McCain had no real follow-up.
It was not this year's political campaign that Obama began in Bill Ayers' home but an earlier campaign for the Illinois state legislature. Barack Obama can match Bill Clinton in slickness at parsing words to evade accusations.
That is one way to get to the White House. But slickness with words is not going to help a president deal with either domestic economic crises or the looming dangers of a nuclear Iran.
People who think that talking points on this or that problem constitute "the real issues" that we should be talking about, instead of Obama's track record, ignore a very fundamental fact about representative government.
Representative government exists, in the first place, because we the voters cannot possibly have all the information necessary to make rational decisions on all the things that the government does. We cannot rule through polls or referendums. We must trust someone to represent us, especially as President of the United States.
Once we recognize this basic fact of representative government, then the question of how trustworthy a candidate is becomes a more urgent question than any of the so-called "real issues."
A candidate who spends two decades promoting polarization and then runs as a healer and uniter, rather than a divider, forfeits all trust by that fact alone.
If Ronald Reagan had attempted to run for President of the United States as a liberal, the media would have been all over him. His support for Barry Goldwater would have been in the headlines and in editorial denunciations across the country.
No way would he have been able to get away with using soothing words to suggest that he and Barry Goldwater were like ships that passed in the night.
If Barack Obama had run as what he has always been, rather than as what he has never been, then we could simply cast our votes based on whether or not we agree with what he has always stood for.
Some people take solace from the fact that Senator Obama has verbally shifted position on some issues, like drilling for oil or gun control, since this is supposed to show that he is "pragmatic" rather than ideological.
But political zig-zags show no such moderation as some seem to assume. Lenin zig-zagged and so did Hitler. Zig-zags may show no more than that someone is playing the public for fools.
Some people who see the fraud in what Obama is saying are amazed that others do not. But Obama knows what con men have long known, that their job is not to convince skeptics but to enable the gullible to continue to believe what they want to believe. He does that very well
Wednesday, October 29, 2008
from the wapo:
Sen. Barack Obama's presidential campaign is allowing donors to use largely untraceable prepaid credit cards that could potentially be used to evade limits on how much an individual is legally allowed to give or to mask a contributor's identity, campaign officials confirmed.
Faced with a huge influx of donations over the Internet, the campaign has also chosen not to use basic security measures to prevent potentially illegal or anonymous contributions from flowing into its accounts, aides acknowledged. Instead, the campaign is scrutinizing its books for improper donations after the money has been deposited.
The Obama organization said its extensive review has ensured that the campaign has refunded any improper contributions, and noted that Federal Election Commission rules do not require front-end screening of donations.
In recent weeks, questionable contributions have created headaches for Obama's accounting team as it has tried to explain why campaign finance filings have included itemized donations from individuals using fake names, such as Es Esh or Doodad Pro. Those revelations prompted conservative bloggers to further test Obama's finance vetting by giving money using the kind of prepaid cards that can be bought at a drugstore and cannot be traced to a donor.
The problem with such cards, campaign finance lawyers said, is that they make it impossible to tell whether foreign nationals, donors who have exceeded the limits, government contractors or others who are barred from giving to a federal campaign are making contributions.
"They have opened the floodgates to all this money coming in," said Sean Cairncross, chief counsel to the Republican National Committee. "I think they've made the determination that whatever money they have to refund on the back end doesn't outweigh the benefit of taking all this money upfront."
The Obama campaign has shattered presidential fundraising records, in part by capitalizing on the ease of online giving. Of the $150 million the senator from Illinois raised in September, nearly $100 million came in over the Internet.
Lawyers for the Obama operation said yesterday that their "extensive back-end review" has carefully scrubbed contributions to prevent illegal money from entering the operation's war chest. "I'm pretty sure if I took my error rate and matched it against any other campaign or comparable nonprofit, you'd find we're doing very well," said Robert Bauer, a lawyer for the campaign. "I have not seen the McCain compliance staff ascending to heaven on a cloud."
The Obama team's disclosures came in response to questions from The Washington Post about the case of Mary T. Biskup, a retired insurance manager from Manchester, Mo., who turned up on Obama's FEC reports as having donated $174,800 to the campaign. Contributors are limited to giving $2,300 for the general election.
Biskup, who had scores of Obama contributions attributed to her, said in an interview that she never donated to the candidate. "That's an error," she said. Moreover, she added, her credit card was never billed for the donations, meaning someone appropriated her name and made the contributions with another card.
When asked whether the campaign takes steps to verify whether a donor's name matches the name on the credit card used to make a payment, Obama's campaign replied in an e-mail: "Name-matching is not a standard check conducted or made available in the credit card processing industry. We believe Visa and MasterCard do not even have the ability to do this.
"Instead, the campaign does a rigorous comprehensive analysis of online contributions on the back end of the transaction to determine whether a contribution is legitimate."
Juan Proaño, whose technology firm handled online contributions for John Edwards's presidential primary campaign, and for John F. Kerry's presidential campaign and the Democratic National Committee in 2004, said it is possible to require donors' names and addresses to match those on their credit card accounts. But, he said, some campaigns are reluctant to impose that extra layer of security.
"Honestly, you want to have the least amount of hurdles in processing contributions quickly," Proaño said.
Sen. John McCain's campaign has also had questionable donations slip through.
Dan Pfeiffer, Obama's communication's director, said that "no organization can fully insulate itself from these problems. The McCain campaign has accepted contributions from fraudulent contributors like 'A for You,' 'Adorable Manabat,' 'The Gun Shop,' and 'Jesus II' and hundreds of anonymous donors."
But R. Rebecca Donatelli, who handles online contributions for the McCain operation and the RNC, said security measures have been standard in the GOP nominee's fundraising efforts throughout the campaign. She said she was "flabbergasted" to learn that the Obama campaign accepts prepaid cards.
"Yes, a gift card would go through the same process as a regular credit card and be subject to our same back-end review," the Obama campaign said in its response to questions about the use of such cards.
Campaign finance lawyers said there is a long history of debate within the FEC about how to ensure that donors use their own credit cards.
Election lawyer Brett Kappel said the FEC has never grappled with the question of cash cards. "The whole system is set up for them to accept the payment, then determine whether it is legal or not. And if it's not, send it back. That's what the statute requires," he said.
and now this from CNN - i can't really believe they are calling the obamessiah out, but they are. calling him out for lying. calling him out for being a hypocrite.
Report: Hijacked Iranian Ship Contained 'Dirty Bomb' for Israel
(IsraelNN.com) Web blogs all over the Internet are continuing to buzz about an Iranian ship that was hijacked last August by Somali pirates and which Russian sources warned contained a dirty bomb intended for Israel.
The hijacking passed largely unnoticed in the mainstream media, save a brief mention in the news on August 22 that reported that three vessels – Iranian, Japanese and German – and their 57 crew members were hijacked by pirates in the Gulf of Aden near Somalia. Several pirates died after they forced open part of the cargo.
The waterway connects the Red Sea and the Indian Ocean. Somalia, host to the longest coastline in Africa (1,880 miles), is an international piracy and terrorist hotspot. Foreign vessels are often seized by pirates in the area, who hold the ships and their crews for ransom.
According to its manifest, the MV Iran Devant had departed Nanjing, China on July 28 and was headed to Rotterdam to deliver 42,500 tons of iron ore and "industrial products" to an unidentified "German client." But the Iranian bulk carrier with 29 crew members, owned and operated by the U.S.-sanctioned Islamic Republic of Iran Shipping Lines (IRISL), was apparently transporting cargo considerably more significant than the average contraband.
The 40 pirates, armed with AK-47s and rocket-propelled grenades (RPGs) brought the ship to Eyl, a fishing village in northeastern Somalia, according to numerous bloggers. There a larger contingent of pirates took control of the vessel – 50 on board and 50 patrolling on the beach.
Initial attempts to inspect the ship's seven cargo containers failed. The pirates could not break into the holds and the crew swore they did not have access codes to the locks. The captain and engineer of the vessel evaded answering questions about the contents of the holds, despite threats by the pirates to blow up the ship. They first said the containers held crude oil, but then changed the story to say there were "minerals" in the holds.
When at last the pirates succeeded in opening one of the containers, they allegedly discovered packets of what they later reported to be "a powdery fine sandy soil." The pirates who had any exposure to the powder were reportedly struck down by illness and within days began to exhibit strange symptoms, including skin burns and hair loss. Sixteen of them died. Andrew Mwangura, director of the East African Seafarers' Assistance Program, was quoted by the South Africa Sunday Times in a September 28 interview, "There is something very wrong about that ship."
The vessel was released by the pirates on October 10, announced the IRISL public relations office, "after seven weeks of negotiations with Somali pirates." All 29 members of the crew were reported safe. Iran criticized world powers for its indifference toward the lack of security in international waters. IRISL, which is run by the Iranian Revolutionary Guard, added in its statement that the vessel was sailing towards international waters and it is not clear where the ship has gone since the report.
Russian Intelligence: Ship Was a Dirty Bomb Sent to Israel
U.S. and Israeli intelligence officials maintained a tight-lipped silence on the alleged incident. However, Russian intelligence sources reportedly said the ship was "an enormous floating dirty bomb, intending to detonate after exiting the Suez Canal at the eastern end of the Mediterranean and in proximity to the coastal cities of Israel.
"The entire cargo of radioactive sand," said the Russian sources, " [was] obtained by Iran from China (the latter buys desperately needed oil from the former) and sealed in containers which, when the charges on the ship are set off after the crew took to the boats, will be blasted high into the air where prevailing winds will push the highly dangerous and radioactive cloud ashore."
Several military web blogs have noted that had the ship's crew succeeded in reaching Israel's coastal waters with their deadly cargo, it would have been quite easy to escape the vessel in small boats and then detonate explosives on the vessel. The radioactive powder, which would have been blown into the air, would have been carried by the wind straight to Israel.
'Logically Not Reliable, But Nothing Impossible in the Middle East'
Dr. Ephraim Kam, deputy director of the Institute for National Security Studies (INSS), told Israel National News that the entire incident could easily have been a fiction -- or not. "Nothing is impossible in this region," said Kam, an IDF Colonel (res.) and former deputy director of the Research Division in the IDF's Military Intelligence, "but logically [the report] doesn't seem to be very reliable."
The reason, he said, is that such an attack on Israel would cost the Iranians dearly -- and he said they know it.
"First of all, because it could fail, and this would be the worst thing for them. I think that if at all, the timing is very bad for them, while they are trying to acquire their own nuclear weapons, when there is international pressure on them on that issue… It could give Israel the best excuse to attack their nuclear facilities.
"Also, if such an operation is successful, the outcome could be an Israeli strategic attack against the Iranians, which could be very costly for the Islamic Republic. Since the Iranians believe that Israel does have a nuclear arsenal, they have to take into account that Israel would respond by nuclear attack," he pointed out.
"If it is true, this incident could give Israel the best pretext to attack an Iranian nuclear site," said Kam. "Rationally, I tend to think it is no more than a good story."
Israeli government officials could not be reached for comment.
Diplomats in Vienna said Tuesday, Oct. 28, that freshly evaluated soil and air samples provide enough evidence to warrant a follow-up probe by the UN nuclear watchdog at the suspected Syrian nuclear site at El Kibar bombed by Israel in September 2007.
IAEA experts want to revisit the site and also follow up on US, Israeli and other intelligence allegations that North Korea had been helping Syria build a plutonium reactor there.
Damascus has denied running a covert program.
DEBKAfile’s military sources reported exclusively on Oct. 4 that Syria had resumed its nuclear program at installations scattered across the country and that North Korean nuclear experts were back.
For this article click HERE
According to recent American reports, a Syrian military delegation visited Pyongyang to find out whether their arms deals and nuclear collaboration were at risk as a result of Kim Jong-il’s ill health.
Our sources also disclosed that IAEA director Dr. Mohamed ElBaradei and his deputy Dr. Olli Heinonen have been at odds for months over whether the UN watchdog should push ahead with its probe against Syria.
ElBaradai argued there was no evidence to support US and Israel claims that Syria had been building a reactor, but Heinonen, who led an agency inspection in Syria last June differed and wants to go on with the investigation. According to our sources, Heinonen as demanded access to the west bank of the Euphrates River opposite the El Kibar site, where Syria is believed to have cleared the ground of the debris left by the Israeli bombardment.
He also wants to question named army officers, engineers and technicians alleged to have been engaged in the program. Heinonen submitted to the government in Damascus a list of Syrian officials with dates on which they are suspected of having met secretly with North Korean nuclear physicists. He has asked for clarifications on the subject of those encounters.
On Oct. 3, Damascus offered to continue to cooperate with the IAEA but stated that no more inspections would be allowed because the locations requested were restricted military areas.
The deputy director’s dossier will be submitted to the agency’s board meeting next month. If further probes are recommended and Syria stalls, the way will be opened for a complaint to the UN Security Council and possible sanctions against Damascus.
Statisticians love balls and urns. A typical Stats 101 midterm, for example, usually includes a question along these lines:
"You take a simple random sample of 1000 balls from an urn containing 120,000,000 red and blue balls, and your sample shows 450 red balls and 550 blue balls. Construct a 95% confidence interval for the true proportion of blue balls in the urn."
After choking back a giggle about "blue balls," you whip out your calculator and text your frat brother who has a copy of last semester's midterm. He instantly recognizes the correct formula is
95% confidence interval for P = p +/- 1.96 * sqrt( p*(1-p) / n) * FPC
where P = the real, true, actual, honest-to-god proportion of blue balls in that great big f'ing urn
p = the sample proportion of blue balls, or 0.55
n = the sample size = 1000
FPC = the "finite population correction" = sqrt((N-n)/(N-1)) where N=120,000,000
and the 1.96 has something to do with the 95% probability area under a standard normal distribution
That second part, after the "+/-", is what you know as the "margin of error." Your frat brother texts you back and reminds you that since the population is very large, the FPC is very close to 1 and can be dropped. He also reminds you to uses the conservative estimate of p = 0.5 in the margin of error calculation, since you don't know the true value of p, only the sample estimate. So the whole formula simplifies to
p +/- 1.96 * sqrt( .25 / n)
=p +/- 0.98 / sqrt( n)
Assuming you still have juice in your calculator batteries and you're not hungover from the Sig Eps kegger last night, you should get
0.55 +/- 0.031
Tuesday, October 28, 2008
Barack Obama shrugs off charges of socialism, but noted in his own memoir that he carefully chose Marxist professors as friends in college.
Barack Obama laughs off charges of socialism. Joe Biden scoffs at references to Marxism. Both men shrug off accusations of liberalism.
But Obama himself acknowledges that he was drawn to socialists and even Marxists as a college student. He continued to associate with Marxists later in life, even choosing to launch his political career in the living room of a self-described Marxist, William Ayers, in 1995, when Obama was 34.
Obama's affinity for Marxists began when he attended Occidental College in Los Angeles.
"To avoid being mistaken for a sellout, I chose my friends carefully," the Democratic presidential candidate wrote in his memoir, "Dreams From My Father." "The more politically active black students. The foreign students. The Chicanos. The Marxist professors and structural feminists."
Obama's interest in leftist politics continued after he transferred to Columbia University in New York. He lived on Manhattan's Upper East Side, venturing to the East Village for what he called "the socialist conferences I sometimes attended at Cooper Union."
After graduating from Columbia in 1983, Obama spent a year working for a consulting firm and then went to work for what he described as "a Ralph Nader offshoot" in Harlem.
"In search of some inspiration, I went to hear Kwame Toure, formerly Stokely Carmichael of ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â¦Black Panther fame, speak at Columbia," Obama wrote in "Dreams," which he published in 1995. "At the entrance to the auditorium, two women, one black, one Asian, were selling Marxist literature."
Obama supporters point out that plenty of Americans flirt with radical ideologies in college, only to join the political mainstream later in life. But Obama, who made a point of noting how "carefully" he chose his friends in college, also chose to launch his political career in the Chicago living room of Ayers, a domestic terrorist who in 2002 proclaimed: "I am a Marxist."
Also present at that meeting was Ayers' wife, fellow terrorist Bernardine Dohrn, who once gave a speech extolling socialism, communism and "Marxism-Leninism."
Obama has been widely criticized for choosing the Rev. Jeremiah Wright, an anti-American firebrand, as his pastor. Wright is a purveyor of black liberation theology, which analysts say is based in part on Marxist ideas.
Few political observers go so far as to accuse Obama, the Democratic presidential nominee, of being a Marxist. But Republican John McCain has been accusing Obama of espousing socialism ever since the Democrat told an Ohio plumber named Joe earlier this month that he wanted to "spread the wealth around."
Obama's running mate, Biden, recently contradicted his boss, saying: "He is not spreading the wealth around." The remark came as Biden was answering a question from a TV anchor who asked: "How is Senator Obama not being a Marxist if he intends to spread the wealth around?"
"Are you joking? Is this a joke? Or is that a real question?" an incredulous Biden shot back. "It's a ridiculous comparison."
But the debate intensified Monday with the surfacing of a 2001 radio interview in which Obama lamented the Supreme Court's inability to enact "redistribution of wealth" -- a key tenet of socialism. On Tuesday, McCain said Obama aspires to become "Redistributionist-in-Chief."
Obama has managed to cultivate the image of a political moderate in spite of his consistently liberal voting record. In 2006, he published a second memoir, "The Audacity of Hope," that leaves little doubt about his adherence to the left.
"The arguments of liberals are more often grounded in reason and fact," Obama wrote in "Audacity." "Much of what I absorbed from the sixties was filtered through my mother, who to the end of her life would proudly proclaim herself an unreconstructed liberal."
National Journal magazine ranked Obama as the most liberal member of the Senate. The publication is far from conservative, employing such journalists as Linda Douglass, who resigned in May to become Obama's traveling press secretary.
The Columbus Dispatch reports that at least one culprit has emerged from the misuse of public information to attack Joe Wurzelbacher — and to no one’s surprise, she’s a Democrat and a big Barack Obama supporter. Helen Jones-Kelly decided to check on Wurzelbacher as soon as he became an issue in the third presidential debate. But this maxed-out donor to Obama swears that she had no political reasons for her sudden curiosity about Wurzelbacher:
Ohio’s inspector general is investigating why a state agency director approved checking the state child-support computer system for information on “Joe the Plumber.”
Helen Jones-Kelly, director of the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services, confirmed today that she OK’d the check on Samuel Joseph Wurzelbacher following the Oct. 15 presidential debate.
She said there were no political reasons for the check on the sudden presidential campaign fixture though the Support Enforcement Tracking System.
Amid questions from the media and others about “Joe the Plumber,” Jones-Kelley said she approved a check to determine if he was current on any ordered child-support payments.
Those records are supposed to be checked only when some probable cause exists to do so. What was Jones-Kelley’s probable cause? She claims that sudden public notoriety is enough to generate an investigation of someone’s status. I can’t wait to hear what the ACLU makes of that explanation.
The more likely explanation comes from Ace:
Yes, Helen Jones-Kelley (two e’s in Kelley) just happens to be a maximum $2300 contributor to Barack Obama.
What a [expletive] shock, huh?
But she provides this sort of illegal intrusion into personal records for anyone who “comes into the public light.” It’s a public service, you see.
Here’s an even bigger shock:
Democrat Gov. Ted Strickland is satisfied that there are no political overtures to the check on Wurzelbacher, a spokesman said. “Based on what we know to this point, we don’t have any reason to believe the information was improperly accessed or disclosed by a state employee,” said Keith Dailey, Strickland’s press secretary.
No reason to believe that Wurzelbacher got politically vetted for dirt? What reason existed to look up his information at that particular point in time? Had someone filed a complaint against Joe? The act of opening his court records by a public agency has to have some motivation, and if no reason for a legitimate investigation exists, then by deduction the reasons were illegitimate — and almost certainly a Dumpster Dive for Dirt.
Change You Can Believe In — The State Will Own You. You’d better believe it.
hope and change..
Monday, October 27, 2008
OCTOBER 27--Two white supremacists who plotted a "killing spree" targeting African Americans that was to culminate with the murder of Senator Barack Obama have been arrested on a variety of federal charges. According to a court affidavit sworn out by a Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives agent, Daniel Cowart, 20, and Paul Schlesselman, 18, began discussing the murder plot after meeting online about a month ago. In the ATF affidavit, a copy of which you'll find below, Cowart and Schlesselman "discussed the killing spree to include targeting a predominately African-American school, going state to state while robbing individuals and continuing to kill people." The pair's "final act of violence" would be an attempt to kill Obama, the Democratic presidential nominee. In separate interviews with investigators, the men said that they planned to speed their vehicle toward Obama while "shooting at him from the windows." Apparently befitting the historic assault, Cowart and Schlesselman "stated they would dress in all white tuxedos and wear top hats during the assassination attempt." Cowart and Schlesselman were arrested last Wednesday night by Tennessee sheriff's deputies soon after the pair used chalk to write "numerous racially motivated words and symbols," including a swastika, on the exterior of Cowart's automobile. The wannabe assassins were named in a three-count federal felony complaint, a copy of which you'll find here.
Let’s try a thought experiment. Say John McCain attended a party at which known racists and terror mongers were in attendance. Say testimonials were given, including a glowing one by McCain for the benefit of the guest of honor ... who happened to be a top apologist for terrorists. Say McCain not only gave a speech but stood by, in tacit approval and solidarity, while other racists and terror mongers gave speeches that reeked of hatred for an American ally and rationalizations of terror attacks.
Now let’s say the Los Angeles Times obtained a videotape of the party.
Question: Is there any chance — any chance — the Times would not release the tape and publish front-page story after story about the gory details, with the usual accompanying chorus of sanctimony from the oped commentariat? Is there any chance, if the Times was the least bit reluctant about publishing (remember, we’re pretending here), that the rest of the mainstream media (y’know, the guys who drove Trent Lott out of his leadership position over a birthday-party toast) would not be screaming for the release of the tape?
Do we really have to ask?
if you don't vote for obama, 'i'm not going to help you with text messaging or tivo'
there is nothing better than misinformed kids trying to convince the people who raised them and cared for them to vote for obama... 'if you vote, maybe you won't have to buy me a sweater for Christmas...'
you have to be kidding me...
this is funny isn't it?? Sarah Palin hanging... funny? imagine if that represented barack obama instead.... can you imagine the outrage?? but this? this is just being funny.
Sunday, October 26, 2008
Thursday, October 23, 2008
are you one of the 25 million? i probably am.
Most Dangerous Block In U.S.? Mail Delivery Halted
Post Office Requests Police Escort After Violence Stops Service For Two Weeks
Dana Kozlov HARVEY, Ill. (CBS) ― Dozens of mailboxes remain empty after the post office suspends service in one south suburban neighborhood. Some people get angry when their mail is late. But in Harvey, people have been waiting for days and days. They're not getting any mail at all. CBS 2's Dana Kozlov reports that one mail carrier in Harvey feels threatened.
The U.S. Post Office seems to think that this is one of the most dangerous blocks in the country. People who live on it say they haven't gotten any mail delivered to their homes in almost two weeks.
Venus Jones is one of them.
"Between robberies and shootings and delayed police response, several things going on, that would make it unsafe," said Harvey resident Venus Jones.
One of those shootings on the morning of October 10th reportedly happened yards away from the mail carrier. That's when the mail stopped on Marshfield between 151st and 152nd streets, but the post office didn't tell anyone.
"Some of the people didn't even know that it was being held at the post office," Jones said.
Now Jones, who says her own home has been broken into three times in 30 days is talking to her neighbors about the mail problem and what should happen next.
Jones says someone from the post office told her they were going to put a cluster box for mail at the corner of 152nd and Marshfield. But she says that's not a good idea.
"We have a lot of elderly people, a lot of older people that's working, and for us to have to go to that corner to pick up our mail, that's unsafe for us," Jones said.
But Harvey spokesperson Sandra Alvarado says just today the postal service requested a police officer meet a mail carrier tomorrow. But lots of residents say the bigger issue here is a lax police department.
"It's something that we will look into. We take every complaint very seriously," Alvarado said. "We want to make sure that our residents feel safe."
Seriously. There is no one that thinks this is a good idea other than the democratic party. The consequences of actions like this are dire.
Powerful House Democrats are eyeing proposals to overhaul the nation’s $3 trillion 401(k) system, including the elimination of most of the $80 billion in annual tax breaks that 401(k) investors receive.
House Education and Labor Committee Chairman George Miller, D-California, and Rep. Jim McDermott, D-Washington, chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee’s Subcommittee on Income Security and Family Support, are looking at redirecting those tax breaks to a new system of guaranteed retirement accounts to which all workers would be obliged to contribute.
A plan by Teresa Ghilarducci, professor of economic-policy analysis at the New School for Social Research in New York, contains elements that are being considered. She testified last week before Miller’s Education and Labor Committee on her proposal. …
Under Ghilarducci’s plan, all workers would receive a $600 annual inflation-adjusted subsidy from the U.S. government but would be required to invest 5 percent of their pay into a guaranteed retirement account administered by the Social Security Administration. The money in turn would be invested in special government bonds that would pay 3 percent a year, adjusted for inflation.
The current system of providing tax breaks on 401(k) contributions and earnings would be eliminated.
Wednesday, October 22, 2008
Tuesday, October 21, 2008
the most compelling case yet showing obama's ties to islam...
With Colin Powell now repeating the lie that Barack Obama has "always been a Christian," despite new information further confirming Obama's Muslim childhood (such as the Indonesian school registration listing him as Muslim), one watches with dismay as the Democratic candidate manages to hide the truth on this issue.
Instead, then, let us review a related subject – Obama's connections and even indebtedness, throughout his career, to extremist Islam. Specifically, he has longstanding, if indirect ties to two institutions, the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), listed by the U.S. government in 2007 as an unindicted co-conspirator in a Hamas-funding trial; and the Nation of Islam (NoI), condemned by the Anti-Defamation League for its "consistent record of racism and anti-Semitism."
First, Obama's ties to Islamists:
The Khalid al-Mansour connection: According to former Manhattan Borough president Percy Sutton, Al-Mansour "was raising money for" Obama's expenses at Harvard Law School. Al-Mansour, a black American (né Don Warden), became advisor to Saudi prince Al-Walid bin Talal, CAIR's largest individual donor. Al-Mansour holds standard Islamist views: he absolves the Islamist government in Sudan of sponsoring slavery, he denies a Jewish tie to Jerusalem, and he wrote a booklet titled "Americans Beware! The Zionist Plot Against S. Arabia." (Both Obama and al-Mansour deny Sutton's account.)
Kenny Gamble, or Luqman Abdul-Haqq, "amir" of the United Muslim Movement.The Kenny Gamble (also known as Luqman Abdul-Haqq) connection: Gamble, a once-prominent pop music producer, cut the ribbon to the Obama campaign headquarters housed in a south Philadelphia building he owns. Gamble is an Islamist who buys large swaths of real estate in Philadelphia to create a Muslim-only residential area. Also, as the self-styled "amir" of the United Muslim Movement, he has many links to Islamist organizations, including CAIR and the Muslim Alliance in North America. (MANA's "amir" is Siraj Wahhaj, an unindicted co-conspirator in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing.)
The Mazen Asbahi connection: The Obama campaign's first Muslim outreach coordinator resigned after it came to light that he had served on the board of a subsidiary of the Saudi-sponsored North American Islamic Trust, with Jamal Said, another unindicted co-conspirator in the 2007 Hamas funding trial. Asbahi has ties to CAIR's Chicago and Detroit offices, to the Islamic Society of North America, yet another unindicted co-conspirator in the Hamas funding trial, and to other Islamist organizations.
The Minha Husaini connection: The campaign's second Muslim outreach coordinator has an Islamist background, having served as an intern in the Muslim Public Service Network. Immediately upon her appointment by Obama, she met with a group of about thirty Muslims including such notorious figures as CAIR's Nihad Awad; the Muslim American Society's Mahdi Bray, who has publicly supported the Hamas and Hezbollah terrorist groups; and Johari Abdul Malik of the Dar Al-Hijrah Mosque in Falls Church, Va., who has advised American Muslims: "You can blow up bridges, but you cannot kill people who are innocent on their way to work."
Second, Obama's ties to the Nation of Islam:
Louis Farrakhan, who calls Obama "the Messiah."Obama's long-time donor and ally Antoin "Tony" Rezko partnered for nearly three decades with Jabir Herbert Muhammad, a son of NoI leader Elijah Muhammad, and says he gave Jabir and his family "millions of dollars over the years." Rezko also served as executive director of the Muhammad Ali Foundation, a rogue organization that, without Ali's permission, exploited the name of this CAIR awardee.
Jeremiah Wright, Obama's esteemed pastor for twenty years, came out of a Nation background, recently he accepted protection from an NoI security detail, and has praised Louis Farrakhan, the NoI's leader, as one of the "giants of the African American religious experience." Wright's church celebrated Farrakhan for his having "truly epitomized greatness."
That Obama's biography touches so frequently on such unsavory organizations as CAIR and the Nation of Islam should give pause. How many of politicians have a single tie to either group, much less seven of them? John McCain charitably calls Obama "a person you do not have to be scared [of] as president of the United States," but Obama's multiple links to anti-Americans and subversives mean he would fail the standard security clearance process for Federal employees.
Islamic aggression represents America's strategic enemy; Obama's many insalubrious connections raise grave doubts about his fitness to serve as America's commander-in-chief.
The information prompted the assertion by Democratic vice presidential nominee Joseph Biden in Seattle Sunday, Oct. 19: “It will not be six months before the world tests Barack Obama like they did John Kennedy.”
DEBKAfile’s military sources cite the new US timeline: By late January, 2009, Iran will have accumulated enough low-grade enriched uranium (up to 5%) for its “break-out” to weapons grade (90%) material within a short time. For this, the Iranians have achieved the necessary technology. In February, they can move on to start building their first nuclear bomb.
US intelligence believes Tehran has the personnel, plans and diagrams for a bomb and has been running experiments to this end for the past two years. The UN International Atomic Energy Agency in Vienna last week asked Tehran to clarify recent complex experiments they conducted in detonating nuclear materials for a weapon, but received no answer.
The same US evaluation adds that the Iranian leadership is holding off its go-ahead to start building the bomb until the last minute so as to ward off international pressure to stop at the red line.
This development together with the galloping global economic crisis will force the incoming US president to go straight into decision-making without pause on Day One in the Oval Office. He will have to determine which urgent measures can serve best for keeping a nuclear bomb out of the Islamic republic’s hands - diplomatic or military – and how to proceed if those measures fail.
His knowledge of the challenge colored Sen. Biden’s additional words in Seattle: “Remember I said it standing here if you don’t remember anything else I said. Watch, we’re gonna have an international crisis, a generated crisis, to test the mettle of this guy.”
Israel’s political and military leaders also face a tough dilemma that can no longer be put off of whether to strike Iran’s nuclear installations militarily in the next three months between US presidencies before the last window closes, or take a chance on coordination with the next president.
Waiting for the “international community” to do the job of stopping Iran, as urged by governments headed by Ariel Sharon and Ehud Olmert - and strongly advocated Tzipi Livni, foreign minister and would-be prime minister - has been a washout. Iran stands defiantly on the threshold of a nuclear weapon.
Some conservative activists, despairing (prematurely) about the chances for victory on November 4th, argue that an Obama win could be a blessing in disguise. According to this logic, The One would occupy the White House for only One term and whatever big government, liberal programs he managed to enact could be swiftly repealed by some future "true conservative" champion.
Yes, it’s true that some changes by liberal presidents can be erased by future conservatives – for instance, George W. Bush cut the top marginal tax rate to 35%, after it had risen to 39.6% under Clinton (it’s sure to go back up to the Clinton rate – or higher – under Obama). Yes, the President and Congress tinker endlessly with details of the tax system or the levels of appropriation or regulation so that the growth in government and spending under President Obama could be adjusted after his departure, if not reversed.
But conservatives need to face the fact that Barack Obama has promised profound systemic changes that will be irreversible—absolutely permanent alterations of our economy and government where there is no chance at all that Republican office-holders of the future could in any way repair the damage.
For instance, consider two sweeping new entitlements that Obama plans to offer for all Americans – universal (but, he insists, “voluntary”) federally-funded pre-school for all children starting at age three, and a low-cost, heavily subsidized federal health insurance plan for every low or middle income American who wants it.
A President Obama would no doubt promote such proposals in his first year in office and a compliant, heavily-Democratic Congress would approve them promptly—perhaps making the benefits even more generous. This means that before the next election, tens of millions (probably hundreds of millions) of American families will take advantage of “free” pre-kindergarten education (and day care), as well as cheap, subsidized (to the tune of at least $160 billion per year) health insurance. The chances of ever taking away such goodies are nil --- Presidents may come and go, but entitlements are forever. New government give-aways may accomplish nothing constructive but they’re all but impossible to eliminate once they’re up and running.
Consider Jimmy Carter’s horribly misguided establishment of two vast new cabinet level departments --- the Department of Education and the Department of Energy. When the indignant public swept out of office the worst president of modern times, Reagan took the White House with talk of eliminating one or both of these two wasteful bureaucracies. Even the Great Gipper failed in this endeavor, and the Departments of Energy and Education continue to soak up hundreds of billions of tax dollars and to employ tens of thousands, despite their abject failure at improving either public education or our energy supplies.
Obama’s new entitlements will similarly survive all attempts to eliminate them. If he becomes President we’ll be permanently stuck not just with federal pre-school and a subsidized health insurance guarantee (Obama described it as a “right” in the last debate), but with a $4,000 annual check (a so-called “refundable tax credit”) to all “non-wealthy” college students, a doubling of the Peace Corps, vast increases in AmeriCorps, new billions for “National Service,” a tripling of the foreign aid budget (a specific Obama promise) and much, much more. For those who believe it’s easy to reduce or erase such spending in future administrations, consider the example of Bill Clinton’s cherished “service program” AmeriCorps (which pays its “volunteers” close to $30,000 a year). Gingrich, George W. Bush and countless other conservatives recognize that this is a wasteful, crooked, outrageous effort to use taxpayer money to fund leftist activism, but even when the GOP controlled all levers of government they made no progress in slaughtering the monster.
Or think about Lyndon Johnson’s federal initiative for a “National Endowment for the Arts” in 1967. By now, this appalling program has wasted many billions of taxpayer dollars to fund the ugliest and most puerile sorts of artistic expression. No one can make a serious case that the NEA has accomplished anything worthwhile in uplifting or enriching our culture (in which more than 98% of all cultural spending comes from private sources--- donations, opera tickets, sales of paintings, museum admissions, or corporate grants, rather than government initiatives at the federal, state or local level). Despite the endlessly demonstrated uselessness and insipidity of the National Endowment, it continues to flourish – and even won increased appropriations in recent years.
Aside from the ongoing growth of government and the waste of public money, other changes brought about by President Obama will prove to be unalterable and devastating: in his first year, he will authorize gays serving openly in the military, and hasten the national imposition of homosexual marriage (he’s pledged to repeal the Defense of Marriage Act).
He will also get the chance to appoint at least two, and perhaps as many as four new justices to the Supreme Court of the United States. All legal observers expect Obama’s nominees to embrace an even more activist, leftist view of the Constitution and legal system than Clinton’s appointees, Breyer and Ginzburg. The damage from the remaking of the court could prove incalculable. There is also no chancesof impeaching any Supreme Court Justice (short of a credible murder or rape charge) even if Republicans re-take control in some future Congress. The GOP (led by Jerry Ford as House Minority Leader) tried to gain traction for impeachment efforts to counteract the wildly destructive excesses of the Warren Court but got absolutely nowhere and managed, mostly, to embarrass themselves.
Finally, and perhaps most fatally, a President Obama will radically revamp our already broken immigration system and permanently remake the country, politically and demographically.
Most conservatives passionately opposed the sweeping immigration reform promoted in 2007 by President Bush, Senator McCain (and, it must be noted, a majority of Republican members of the US Senate) because it granted a complicated path to legalization for some of the millions of illegal immigrants who are already here. Those concerned citizens who celebrated “victory” last year with the collapse of the immigration compromise should prepare themselves for a much more liberal, forgiving reform under Obama (and his supportive Congress) that will make legalization far easier, and will include far more of the illegals as future voters and citizens.
Of course the Democrats will push such changes, knowing that they can thereby claim sole “credit” for welcoming millions of new citizens to the voting roles, and with the expectation that such freshly minted Americans will vote Democratic for the rest of their lives. The Democrats will also cut back immediately on the workplace immigration raids and enhanced border security that has enabled the Bush administration to sharply cut back on illegal entries in the last year --- Obama has specifically condemned these efforts and might even halt or slow ongoing work on the border fence.
In any event, we’ve been down this road before: the Republicans claimed credit for the restrictive Immigration Act of 1924, all but eliminating the flow of humanity from Eastern and Southern Europe, and as a result vast numbers of ethnic voters (Italians, Poles, Jews, Greeks and more) became loyal Democrats for a generation or more.
This shift in immigrant voters played a huge role in the establishment of the New Deal Coalition that won five Presidential elections in a row (1932 through 1948) and totally dominated Congress for an appalling fifty years (1930-1980).
As Amity Shlaes shows in her necessary new book “The Forgotten Man,” FDR failed miserably at turning around the US economy (the Depression lingered until the beginning of World War II) but succeeded brilliantly in achieving long-term power for the Democratic Party. The innumerable government programs launched by the New Deal may have done nothing to advance the overall interests of the nation of the economic system, but they performed magnificently at creating dependent interest groups who voted reliably Democratic for decades. If the government hands out goodies to various constituencies, those segments of the population will continue to support the idea of enriching themselves with other people’s money.
That’s the biggest threat of an Obama presidency: the creation of vast new groups of dependent Americans who will comprise an unassailable new coalition that will enjoy iron control of our politics for a generation or more. If you start with newly legalized immigrant voters (with as many as 10 million new Democrats totally beholden to Obama and company) and then add the beneficiaries of government pre-school, the new nursery school teachers, the recipients and administrators of federal health insurance, federal college grants, the businesses who’ll enjoy the $150 billion in promised subsidies for “alternative energy,” the companies and employees of the vast increases in “infra-structure” spending (lots more bridges to nowhere), the non-tax payers who will suddenly receive a $1,000 per household check (under the guise of “refundable tax credit,” and many, many more.
In his first years in office, a President Obama could easily succeed in buying so many interest groups and constituencies with expensive new governmental favors, that conservative dreams of rebuilding a small government majority will go absolutely nowhere.
The conservative movement, and the survival of a viable small-government faction in American politics, depends upon a McCain victory in November. A triumph for Barack Obama, combined with Democratic gains in both House and Senate, could easily usher in a dark new era with decades of corrupt, welfare-state, bureaucratic leftist rule.
Friday, October 17, 2008
As Thomas Sowell says, "When you want to help people, you tell them the truth. When you want to help yourself, you tell them what they want to hear."
From PJ Media:
Polls show most African-American voters will be casting their ballots for Barack Obama on November 4. The first opportunity to elect a black person as president is tempting. But black Americans will be paying a price, and Obama’s record gives a clear indication of what that price will be. Obama and his cronies have a long record of profiting from funds intended to aid black people. The intended beneficiaries have nothing to show for it other than Obama’s political ascent.
The Boston Globe on June 27 exposed the thousands of so-called affordable housing units built cheaply in Chicago by developers backed by Illinois and federal tax subsidies championed by Barack Obama. Sewage flows through many units; others are burned out with roofs caving in. Due to neglect by owners tied to the Obama campaign, many have been slated for demolition.
Dual U.S.-Syrian citizen Tony Rezko — an early-money fundraiser who bundled as much as $200,000 for Obama’s campaigns — rehabbed hundreds of “affordable” housing units in and around Obama’s State Senate district and then refused to manage them. Rezko is now facing sentencing on several federal felony counts of soliciting bribes, fraud, and money laundering. His units now face demolition.
Valerie Jarrett is a senior adviser to Obama’s presidential campaign and a member of his finance committee. Jarrett is also CEO of Habitat Co. — managers of two large Chicago affordable housing developments, including 504 units at Grove Parc in Obama’s district. Both properties have been seized by the federal government and are so run-down that they may face demolition. The Globe identifies four other developers tied to the Obama campaign who profited from state and federal subsidies and then allowed the rehabbed buildings to rapidly decay leaving residents to fend off mice and wade through sewage.
According to the Globe:
Some of the residents of Grove Parc say they are angry that Obama did not notice their plight. . . . Many of the tenants have been his constituents for more than a decade. “No one should have to live like this, and no one did anything about it,” said Cynthia Ashley, who has lived at Grove Parc since 1994. . . .
As a state senator, the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee coauthored an Illinois law creating a new pool of tax credits for developers. As a U.S. senator, he pressed for increased federal subsidies. And as a presidential candidate, he has campaigned on a promise to create an Affordable Housing Trust Fund that could give developers an estimated $500 million a year.
The six developers personally contributed over $175,000 to Obama’s various campaigns and bundled much more.
Rezko also stole affirmative action benefits. Arab American Media Services reports:
In 1997, Panda Express won the right to open a lucrative concession at O’Hare International Airport under the city’s minority set-aside program which directs large contracts to companies owned by women, African-Americans, or Hispanics. The city awarded a 10-year contract for O’Hare Airport to Crucial Inc. in 1999, which the city believed was owned by an African-American, Jabir Herbert Muhammad, the son of the late Elijah Mohammad.
Elijah Mohammad led the Nation of Islam until his death in 1975. Jabir Herbert Muhammad was sued in 1999 by boxer Muhammad Ali for unauthorized use of his name in connection with the Muhammad Ali Foundation. Rezko served as executive director of the foundation.
Michele Obama is also in on the game. Her $317,000-per-year public relations job involves making the University of Chicago Hospital look good in the media. But Michelle didn’t stop there. She spearheaded an effort to steer poor black patients away from her fancy hospital and into local clinics.
According to the Washington Post on August 21:
Primary-care doctors opposed [Michelle Obama's plan] as a break with the center’s commitment to the community. Opinion research showed that a small but passionate group of people already considered the hospital to be elitist, arrogant, and lacking in “cultural empathy” for the surrounding economically depressed South Side neighborhood, according to a draft report obtained by the Washington Post. Some doctors in focus groups dismissed local health clinics as “wholly inadequate.” . . .
Quentin Young, the South Side physician, described the medical center’s level of charity spending [on indigent care] as “ludicrous.” Young, known in Chicago for having been the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.’s personal physician, is chairman of the Health and Medicine Policy Research Group, a Chicago-based nonprofit that advocates health care reform. Young considered himself an ally of Barack Obama while he was a state legislator.
“That’s shameful,” Young said of the percentages. “They are arguably, if not defrauding, then at least taking advantage of a public subsidy. We would like to see them give more than the minimum. The need is there.”
Also advising the hospital on how to keep out poor black people — David Axelrod, Obama’s chief campaign strategist. The medical center’s chairwoman? Slum property manager Valerie Jarrett.
Barack Obama’s one and only example of executive experience is the Chicago Annenberg Challenge. Bill Ayers co-wrote the grant request which netted $150 million from the Annenberg Foundation. Barack Obama was selected as chairman of the board. Together they doled out $150 million for education-related projects from 1995 to 1999. The money went to dozens of activists who are very skilled at pointing to the conditions of life in black communities and using those conditions as a justification to receive grant money. Mike Klonsky, formerly general secretary of the pro-Beijing Communist Party (Marxist-Leninist), got several large grants for his Small Schools Workshop, an Ayers project.
Investigative journalist Stanley Kurtz explains on September 23:
Mr. Ayers is the founder of the “small schools” movement (heavily funded by CAC), in which individual schools built around specific political themes push students to “confront issues of inequity, war, and violence.” He believes teacher education programs should serve as “sites of resistance” to an oppressive system. (His teacher-training programs were also CAC-funded.) The point, says Mr. Ayers in his Teaching Toward Freedom, is to “teach against oppression,” against America’s history of evil and racism, thereby forcing social transformation.
Assessments by the Annenberg Foundation and an outside agency concluded that the Challenge was largely a failure at improving student achievement. But it was a huge success at disbursing funds to Ayers’ and Klonsky’s radical cronies.
Ayers’ is not the only radical leftist getting rich at the expense of the public. Chicago Tribune columnist John Kass on October 11 describes how Obama mentor Richard Daley is supporting 60s radicals “the Chicago way.” Marilyn Katz, the SDS’s “chief of security” (i.e. operations) during the 1968 DNC riots, is now a PR maven for Obama’s campaign. Katz, already fat and happy with lots of city business, just landed $5 million in new PR contracts with the city of Chicago — even as Mayor Daley lays off 1,000 city workers, many of them black.
Many point to Obama’s roots as a Saul Alinsky organizer. But less recognized are the Alinsky organizing methods which form the basis for the Daley Machine. The Daley-Alinsky connection was described by Hillary Clinton in her 1969 senior thesis (p. 22).
Activists screaming “racism” actually played a key role in victimizing black would-be homeowners in the subprime mortgage scam. The left once protested against so-called “predatory lenders” exploiting financially unsophisticated inner-city homeowners. But when ACORN — at Obama’s behest — intervened at regulatory reviews of banks, they switched sides and began using their leverage to pressure the bankers to lend money to borrowers who had no ability to repay.
The push at the bottom was matched at the top. The Congressional Black Caucus and key Obama advisers — including former Fannie Mae CEO Franklin Raines and Fannie Mae Chairman Jim Johnson — all used carrots and sticks to force banks to steer more and more subprime loans to borrowers unable to repay. The LA Times reports on September 9 that Obama is the top recipient of political donations from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac executives.
The result: housing prices were artificially inflated and many black people who were conned into borrowing to pay the inflated prices are now losing their homes. Others conned into taking out unnecessary mortgages could lose homes they once owned free and clear. Now many black neighborhoods are full of abandoned repos. The foreclosed former homeowners will have credit ratings even worse than before and their jobs may be at risk as the effects of the housing crisis shake Wall Street and Main Street alike.
Hard-hit by abandoned repo houses, the city of Cleveland, Ohio, in July filed suit (pdf) against many of the key players in the subprime crisis. According to PBS’s Bill Moyers, “The city contends that Cleveland’s high foreclosure rate was ‘the only possible result of flooding the local market with subprime mortgages.’”
Most rising political stars like to point to their achievements while making the case for higher office. Obama is silent on the treatment of residents of his home district but his record speaks volumes. Obama’s system is designed to reward activists directly at the expense of those they pretend to represent. While the residents of Obama’s former State Senate District 13 wade through sewage and chase away rats, Obama’s tony Hyde Park neighborhood is a comfy nest for Ayers and many other beneficiaries of Obama’s system. The current financial crisis hints at the price which will be paid by African-Americans and all Americans if Obama’s system is adopted on a national scale.
Mentally challenged man says his vote wasn't right
ALBANY, GA (WALB) - There are allegations of voter fraud, as a Dougherty County family claims the vote of a mentally challenged relative was stolen.
They say the adult day rehab program where Jack Justice attends took him to vote, without the family's permission. What's worse is Justice says the person helping him wouldn't cast the ballot for his choice for President.
Jack Justice has been voting since he turned 18. Typically his family takes him to their neighborhood precinct. This time Primus Industries, his adult day rehab program, took him to vote. His family was shocked, but what shocked them more was that Jack claims that his aide commandeered his vote.
"They told me to vote for Obama, I said no I wanted to vote for McCain," said Jack Justice, a voter.
Jack Justice says the person helping him, selected Obama's name. His sister says the family is often asked to sign a permission slips for trips, but for this they were never notified.
"No permission slips, no nothing, he just came home and said he had gone," said Nancy Justice, Jack's sister.
We questioned election officials about the procedure, who say they recall the group coming in to vote and an aide was helping the individuals, but they must sign an oath that they'll cast the ballot however the voter prefers.
"So it plainly says the person should tell the person how they want to vote and then they help them mark it," said Carolyn Hatcher, Dougherty County Elections Supervisor.
Election officials say they can't follow people into the booth to see what happens. We contacted the Albany Area Community Service Board who oversees Primus Industries. They say they do their best to protect the safety, treatment, and care of the individuals in their programs. They also said they'll look into the allegations and conduct an internal investigation if necessary. Nancy Justice is just upset the incident happened.
"For me it was kind of pushing it to the limit there to get him to vote for someone in particular who they wanted him to vote for," said Nancy Justice.
Election officials say the family's only option is to file a challenge to the election results. The Justice's are considering their options.
Advance voting will begin this Monday at the Riverfront Resource Center on Pine Avenue. Advance voted will run through October 31st. No one will be able to vote the Monday prior to election day.
from the WSJ:
A Liberal Supermajority
Get ready for 'change' we haven't seen since 1965, or 1933.
If the current polls hold, Barack Obama will win the White House on November 4 and Democrats will consolidate their Congressional majorities, probably with a filibuster-proof Senate or very close to it. Without the ability to filibuster, the Senate would become like the House, able to pass whatever the majority wants.
Though we doubt most Americans realize it, this would be one of the most profound political and ideological shifts in U.S. history. Liberals would dominate the entire government in a way they haven't since 1965, or 1933. In other words, the election would mark the restoration of the activist government that fell out of public favor in the 1970s. If the U.S. really is entering a period of unchecked left-wing ascendancy, Americans at least ought to understand what they will be getting, especially with the media cheering it all on.
The nearby table shows the major bills that passed the House this year or last before being stopped by the Senate minority. Keep in mind that the most important power of the filibuster is to shape legislation, not merely to block it. The threat of 41 committed Senators can cause the House to modify its desires even before legislation comes to a vote. Without that restraining power, all of the following have very good chances of becoming law in 2009 or 2010.
Medicare for all. When HillaryCare cratered in 1994, the Democrats concluded they had overreached, so they carved up the old agenda into smaller incremental steps, such as Schip for children. A strongly Democratic Congress is now likely to lay the final flagstones on the path to government-run health insurance from cradle to grave.
Mr. Obama wants to build a public insurance program, modeled after Medicare and open to everyone of any income. According to the Lewin Group, the gold standard of health policy analysis, the Obama plan would shift between 32 million and 52 million from private coverage to the huge new entitlement. Like Medicare or the Canadian system, this would never be repealed.
The commitments would start slow, so as not to cause immediate alarm. But as U.S. health-care spending flowed into the default government options, taxes would have to rise or services would be rationed, or both. Single payer is the inevitable next step, as Mr. Obama has already said is his ultimate ideal.
- The business climate. "We have some harsh decisions to make," Speaker Nancy Pelosi warned recently, speaking about retribution for the financial panic. Look for a replay of the Pecora hearings of the 1930s, with Henry Waxman, John Conyers and Ed Markey sponsoring ritual hangings to further their agenda to control more of the private economy. The financial industry will get an overhaul in any case, but telecom, biotech and drug makers, among many others, can expect to be investigated and face new, more onerous rules. See the "Issues and Legislation" tab on Mr. Waxman's Web site for a not-so-brief target list.
The danger is that Democrats could cause the economic downturn to last longer than it otherwise will by enacting regulatory overkill like Sarbanes-Oxley. Something more punitive is likely as well, for instance a windfall profits tax on oil, and maybe other industries.
- Union supremacy. One program certain to be given right of way is "card check." Unions have been in decline for decades, now claiming only 7.4% of the private-sector work force, so Big Labor wants to trash the secret-ballot elections that have been in place since the 1930s. The "Employee Free Choice Act" would convert workplaces into union shops merely by gathering signatures from a majority of employees, which means organizers could strongarm those who opposed such a petition.
The bill also imposes a compulsory arbitration regime that results in an automatic two-year union "contract" after 130 days of failed negotiation. The point is to force businesses to recognize a union whether the workers support it or not. This would be the biggest pro-union shift in the balance of labor-management power since the Wagner Act of 1935.
- Taxes. Taxes will rise substantially, the only question being how high. Mr. Obama would raise the top income, dividend and capital-gains rates for "the rich," substantially increasing the cost of new investment in the U.S. More radically, he wants to lift or eliminate the cap on income subject to payroll taxes that fund Medicare and Social Security. This would convert what was meant to be a pension insurance program into an overt income redistribution program. It would also impose a probably unrepealable increase in marginal tax rates, and a permanent shift upward in the federal tax share of GDP.
- The green revolution. A tax-and-regulation scheme in the name of climate change is a top left-wing priority. Cap and trade would hand Congress trillions of dollars in new spending from the auction of carbon credits, which it would use to pick winners and losers in the energy business and across the economy. Huge chunks of GDP and millions of jobs would be at the mercy of Congress and a vast new global-warming bureaucracy. Without the GOP votes to help stage a filibuster, Senators from carbon-intensive states would have less ability to temper coastal liberals who answer to the green elites.
- Free speech and voting rights. A liberal supermajority would move quickly to impose procedural advantages that could cement Democratic rule for years to come. One early effort would be national, election-day voter registration. This is a long-time goal of Acorn and others on the "community organizer" left and would make it far easier to stack the voter rolls. The District of Columbia would also get votes in Congress -- Democratic, naturally.
Felons may also get the right to vote nationwide, while the Fairness Doctrine is likely to be reimposed either by Congress or the Obama FCC. A major goal of the supermajority left would be to shut down talk radio and other voices of political opposition.
- Special-interest potpourri. Look for the watering down of No Child Left Behind testing standards, as a favor to the National Education Association. The tort bar's ship would also come in, including limits on arbitration to settle disputes and watering down the 1995 law limiting strike suits. New causes of legal action would be sprinkled throughout most legislation. The anti-antiterror lobby would be rewarded with the end of Guantanamo and military commissions, which probably means trying terrorists in civilian courts. Google and MoveOn.org would get "net neutrality" rules, subjecting the Internet to intrusive regulation for the first time.
It's always possible that events -- such as a recession -- would temper some of these ambitions. Republicans also feared the worst in 1993 when Democrats ran the entire government, but it didn't turn out that way. On the other hand, Bob Dole then had 43 GOP Senators to support a filibuster, and the entire Democratic Party has since moved sharply to the left. Mr. Obama's agenda is far more liberal than Bill Clinton's was in 1992, and the Southern Democrats who killed Al Gore's BTU tax and modified liberal ambitions are long gone.
In both 1933 and 1965, liberal majorities imposed vast expansions of government that have never been repealed, and the current financial panic may give today's left another pretext to return to those heydays of welfare-state liberalism. Americans voting for "change" should know they may get far more than they ever imagined.
Thursday, October 16, 2008
8th grade textbook has Barack Obama chapter in Racine, Wis.
FROM ASSOCIATED PRESS
MADISON, Wis. — The Wisconsin Republican Party is complaining about the Racine School District’s use of an eighth grade textbook that includes a chapter on Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama.
A parent complained about a book that includes a chapter on Obama called ‘‘Dreams from My Father.’’ The book does not contain a section on Republican presidential candidate John McCain.
The school district says it is reviewing its policies regarding the use of the book in a literature class. The district began using the book last school year and says it is widely used nationwide.
The district says it has received no complaints about the book. The parent’s complaint was first reported on an Internet blog.