Thursday, March 27, 2008

Obama the fantasist: What he says cannot be relied upon

The lies and exaggerations noted below are typical of what psychopaths do. Nice of the Clinton campaign to put together the documentation below

Once again, the Obama campaign is getting caught saying one thing while doing another. They are personally attacking Hillary even though Sen. Obama has been found mispeaking and embellishing facts about himself more than ten times in recent months. Senator Obama's campaign is based on words -not a record of deeds - and if those words aren't backed up by facts, there's not much else left.

"Senator Obama has called himself a constitutional professor, claimed credit for passing legislation that never left committee, and apparently inflated his role as a community organizer among other issues. When it comes to his record, just words won't do. Senator Obama will have to use facts as well," Clinton spokesman Phil Singer said.

Sen. Obama consistently and falsely claims that he was a law professor. The Sun-Times reported that, "Several direct-mail pieces issued for Obama's primary [Senate] campaign said he was a law professor at the University of Chicago. He is not. He is a senior lecturer (now on leave) at the school. In academia, there is a vast difference between the two titles. Details matter." In academia, there's a significant difference: professors have tenure while lecturers do not. [Hotline Blog, 4/9/07; Chicago Sun-Times, 8/8/04]

Obama claimed credit for nuclear leak legislation that never passed. "Obama scolded Exelon and federal regulators for inaction and introduced a bill to require all plant owners to notify state and local authorities immediately of even small leaks. He has boasted of it on the campaign trail, telling a crowd in Iowa in December that it was `the only nuclear legislation that I've passed.' `I just did that last year,' he said, to murmurs of approval. A close look at the path his legislation took tells a very different story. While he initially fought to advance his bill, even holding up a presidential nomination to try to force a hearing on it, Mr. Obama eventually rewrote it to reflect changes sought by Senate Republicans, Exelon and nuclear regulators. The new bill removed language mandating prompt reporting and simply offered guidance to regulators, whom it charged with addressing the issue of unreported leaks. Those revisions propelled the bill through a crucial committee. But, contrary to Mr. Obama's comments in Iowa, it ultimately died amid parliamentary wrangling in the full Senate." [New York Times, 2/2/08]

Obama misspoke about his being conceived because of Selma. "Mr. Obama relayed a story of how his Kenyan father and his Kansan mother fell in love because of the tumult of Selma, but he was born in 1961, four years before the confrontation at Selma took place. When asked later, Mr. Obama clarified himself, saying: `I meant the whole civil rights movement.'" [New York Times, 3/5/07]

LA Times: Fellow organizers say Sen. Obama took too much credit for his community organizing efforts. "As the 24-year-old mentor to public housing residents, Obama says he initiated and led efforts that thrust Altgeld's asbestos problem into the headlines, pushing city officials to call hearings and a reluctant housing authority to start a cleanup. But others tell the story much differently. They say Obama did not play the singular role in the asbestos episode that he portrays in the best-selling memoir `Dreams From My Father: A Story of Race and Inheritance.' Credit for pushing officials to deal with the cancer-causing substance, according to interviews and news accounts from that period, also goes to a well-known preexisting group at Altgeld Gardens and to a local newspaper called the Chicago Reporter. Obama does not mention either one in his book." [Los Angeles Times, 2/19/07]

Chicago Tribune: Obama's assertion that nobody had indications Rezko was engaging in wrongdoing 'strains credulity.' ".Obama has been too self-exculpatory. His assertion in network TV interviews last week that nobody had indications Rezko was engaging in wrongdoing strains credulity: Tribune stories linked Rezko to questionable fundraising for Gov. Rod Blagojevich in 2004 - more than a year before the adjacent home and property purchases by the Obamas and the Rezkos." [Chicago Tribune editorial, 1/27/08]

Obama was forced to revise his assertion that lobbyists `won't work in my White House.' "White House hopeful Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) was forced to revise a critical stump line of his on Saturday - a flat declaration that lobbyists `won't work in my White House' after it turned out his own written plan says they could, with some restrictions. After being challenged on the accuracy of what he has been saying - in contrast to his written pledge - at a news conference Saturday in Waterloo, Obama immediately softened what had been his hard line in his next stump speech." [Chicago Sun-Times, 12/16/07] `Selective, embellished and out-of-context quotes from newspapers pump up Obama's health plan.' "Obama's ad touting his health care plan quotes phrases from newspaper articles and an editorial, but makes them sound more laudatory and authoritative than they actually are. It attributes to The Washington Post a line saying Obama's plan would save families about $2,500. But the Post was citing the estimate of the Obama campaign and didn't analyze the purported savings independently. It claims that "experts" say Obama's plan is "the best." "Experts" turn out to be editorial writers at the Iowa City Press-Citizen - who, for all their talents, aren't actual experts in the field. It quotes yet another newspaper saying Obama's plan "guarantees coverage for all Americans," neglecting to mention that, as the article makes clear, it's only Clinton's and Edwards' plans that would require coverage for everyone, while Obama's would allow individuals to buy in if they wanted to." [, 1/3/08]

Sen. Obama said `I passed a law that put Illinois on a path to universal coverage,' but Obama health care legislation merely set up a task force. "As a state senator, I brought Republicans and Democrats together to pass legislation insuring 20,000 more children. And 65,000 more adults received health care.And I passed a law that put Illinois on a path to universal coverage." The State Journal-Register reported in 2004 that "The [Illinois State] Senate squeaked out a controversial bill along party lines Wednesday to create a task force to study health-care reform in Illinois. [.] In its original form, the bill required the state to offer universal health care by 2007. That put a `cloud' over the legislation, said Sen. Dale Righter, R-Mattoon. Under the latest version, the 29-member task force would hold at least five public hearings next year." [Obama Health Care speech, 5/29/07; State Journal-Register, 5/20/04]

ABC News: `Obama.seemed to exaggerate the legislative progress he made' on ethics reform. "ABC News' Teddy Davis Reports: During Monday's Democratic presidential debate, Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., seemed to exaggerate the legislative progress he has made on disclosure of "bundlers," those individuals who aggregate their influence with the candidate they support by collecting $2,300 checks from a wide network of wealthy friends and associates. When former Alaska Sen. Mike Gravel alleged that Obama had 134 bundlers, Obama responded by telling Gravel that the reason he knows how many bundlers he has raising money for him is "because I helped push through a law this past session to disclose that." Earlier this year, Obama sponsored an amendment [sic] in the Senate requiring lobbyists to disclose the candidates for whom they bundle. Obama's amendment would not, however, require candidates to release the names of their bundlers. What's more, although Obama's amendment was agreed to in the Senate by unanimous consent, the measure never became law as Obama seemed to suggest. Gravel and the rest of the public know how many bundlers Obama has not because of a `law' that the Illinois Democrat has `pushed through' but because Obama voluntarily discloses that information." [ABC News, 7/23/07]

Obama drastically overstated Kansas tornado deaths during campaign appearance. "When Sen. Barack Obama exaggerated the death toll of the tornado in Greensburg, Kan, during his visit to Richmond yesterday, The Associated Press headline rapidly evolved from `Obama visits former Confederate capital for fundraiser' to `Obama rips Bush on Iraq war at Richmond fundraiser' to `Weary Obama criticizes Bush on Iraq, drastically overstates Kansas tornado death toll' to `Obama drastically overstates Kansas tornado deaths during campaign appearance.' Drudge made it a banner, ensuring no reporter would miss it. [, 5/9/07]


Obama the Messiah

He presents as a fairly nice-looking guy with a slightly dorky quality (I think it's the Bing Crosby ears); who is a smooth, albeit soporific, speaker; who boasts an Ivy League background sullied by the suspicion that he benefited as much from affirmative action as from his own virtues; and who demonstrates a sound grasp of shady Chicago style politics, including, during a remarkably short and generally undistinguished career, some pretty vicious and opportunistic conduct. I am talking, of course, about Barack Obama, a man who has shot from relative obscurity to the forefront of American politics.

To those who worship at his shrine, though, there is nothing ordinary about him. To them, he is the embodiment of all virtues. If you are doodling around with Google and type in the phrase "Obama articulate," you'll get about 277,000 results. It's even more fun to type in "Obama handsome." Then you get about 330,000 results.

That's just word play, though. The real fawning comes in the way people describe their emotional reactions to this former unknown from Illinois. Take the example of Chris Matthews, an MSNBC talking head whom one might naively credit with a little bit of professional objectivity. After hearing one of Obama's speeches, Matthews giddily said "My, I felt this thrill going up my leg. I mean, I don't have that too often." One is afraid to ask what other experiences have occasioned Matthews' exciting little leg vibration.

And then there's the fainting: At speech after speech, it seems, ladies swoon merely from being in his presence. There hasn't been this orgy of public fainting since Frank Sinatra or, perhaps, the Beatles. The fact that this whole thing may be the work of one or two determined fans, doesn't seem to affect some people's belief that it is right and appropriate that women are literally knocked flat on their butts by his aura.

One might dismiss all of this as the ravings of a celebrity culture, trained to become hysterical in the presence of fame, were it not for the vaguely religious note that keeps appearing when political commentators start writing about him. Andrew Sullivan, a devout Obama supporter, after admitting that Obama has little going for him in terms of such practical matters as experience or knowledge, nevertheless describes the meaning of his candidacy in shamanistic tones.

Sullivan notes that timing is everything, with Obama coming along at a time when people are sick and tired of the old Baby Boomer politics and weary of the culture wars. It is in this context, says Sullivan, that "Obama's candidacy in this sense is a potentially transformational one." In other words, despite his admittedly tired old Leftist politics, Obama, just by being himself, will miraculously bind us all together.

Sullivan is not alone. Last week, when Bill Richardson ditched his former pal Hillary to endorse Obama, he used almost precisely the same idea to describe Obama's candidacy. Richardson stepped to the podium and boldly announced that Obama is: "the kind of once-in-a-lifetime leader that can bring our nation together and restore America's moral leadership in the world."

Richardson's stated reason for believing Obama holds this power lies, not in what Obama has done (which is pretty much nothing), but in the fact, says Richardson, that he is a "new generation" who "touched" Richardson with his speech on race. (More on that speech later.) I assume that, for the average Obama groupie, those two concepts sound like good reasons to elect a political neophyte as President during a time of war and economic uncertainty. It's the "Wow!" factor.

This kind of soft, worshipful rhetoric is typical for those endorsing Obama. Deprived of a candidate who has actual done anything or even stood for anything, they fall back on emotion-laden platitudes that place Obama on a level above that of ordinary mortals. Already a year ago David Ehrenstein was assuring all of us that Obama can be seen as the "magic negro," capable of functioning as a benign black figure who will make whites feel good about themselves.

Given how rich white liberals have flocked to Obama's banner, it's clear that Ehrenstein was on to something there. It's too bad that Obama's benignity was shot to pieces with the revelation that his "spiritual mentor," long-term pastor and political advisor, Jeremiah Wright, was a racist crackpot, whom Obama revered, ignored or tolerated, depending on which version of the truth Obama feels like spreading around on any given day.

More here

The Audacity of Rhetoric

By Thomas Sowell

It is painful to watch defenders of Barack Obama tying themselves into knots trying to evade the obvious. Some are saying that Senator Obama cannot be held responsible for what his pastor, Jeremiah Wright, said. In their version of events, Barack Obama just happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time -- and a bunch of mean-spirited people are trying to make something out of it. It makes a good story, but it won't stand up under scrutiny.

Barack Obama's own account of his life shows that he consciously sought out people on the far left fringe. In college, "I chose my friends carefully," he said in his first book, "Dreams From My Father." These friends included "Marxist professors and structural feminists and punk rock performance poets" -- in Obama's own words -- as well as the "more politically active black students." He later visited a former member of the terrorist Weatherman underground, who endorsed him when he ran for state senator. Obama didn't just happen to encounter Jeremiah Wright, who just happened to say some way out things. Jeremiah Wright is in the same mold as the kinds of people Barack Obama began seeking out in college -- members of the left, anti-American counter-culture.

In Shelby Steele's brilliantly insightful book about Barack Obama -- "A Bound Man" -- it is painfully clear that Obama was one of those people seeking a racial identity that he had never really experienced in growing up in a white world. He was trying to become a convert to blackness, as it were -- and, like many converts, he went overboard. Nor has Obama changed in recent years. His voting record in the U.S. Senate is the furthest left of any Senator. There is a remarkable consistency in what Barack Obama has done over the years, despite inconsistencies in what he says.

The irony is that Obama's sudden rise politically to the level of being the leading contender for his party's presidential nomination has required him to project an entirely different persona, that of a post-racial leader who can heal divisiveness and bring us all together. The ease with which he has accomplished this chameleon-like change, and entranced both white and black Democrats, is a tribute to the man's talent and a warning about his reliability.

There is no evidence that Obama ever sought to educate himself on the views of people on the other end of the political spectrum, much less reach out to them. He reached out from the left to the far left. That's bringing us all together? Is "divisiveness" defined as disagreeing with the agenda of the left? Who on the left was ever called divisive by Obama before that became politically necessary in order to respond to revelations about Jeremiah Wright?

One sign of Obama's verbal virtuosity was his equating a passing comment by his grandmother -- "a typical white person," he says -- with an organized campaign of public vilification of America in general and white America in particular, by Jeremiah Wright. Since all things are the same, except for the differences, and different except for the similarities, it is always possible to make things look similar verbally, however different they are in the real world.

Among the many desperate gambits by defenders of Senator Obama and Jeremiah Wright is to say that Wright's words have a "resonance" in the black community. There was a time when the Ku Klux Klan's words had a resonance among whites, not only in the South but in other states. Some people joined the KKK in order to advance their political careers. Did that make it OK? Is it all just a matter of whose ox is gored?

While many whites may be annoyed by Jeremiah Wright's words, a year from now most of them will probably have forgotten about him. But many blacks who absorb his toxic message can still be paying for it, big-time, for decades to come. Why should young blacks be expected to work to meet educational standards, or even behavioral standards, if they believe the message that all their problems are caused by whites, that the deck is stacked against them? That is ultimately a message of hopelessness, however much audacity it may have.


Hillary supporter rightly compares Pastor Wrong to David Duke

The Wright Stuff is coming fast and furious from Hillary and her supporters. First Hillary criticized Obama today for not sufficiently distancing himself from the controversial pastor.

I've now learned that a member of Hillary's finance committee and a longtime ally of the Clintons has made some very explicit statements about Barack Obama's ties to his controversial minister, Jeremiah Wright, saying that it's "legitimate" to raise questions about those ties, comparing Wright to David Duke, and claiming that Obama has "used race where it suited him."

The finance committee member, Niall O'Dowd, made the comments on Saturday in an unnoticed interview with RTE Radio in Ireland. The Wright issue has been raised by Hillary surrogates Lanny Davis and Joe Wilson, making O'Dowd the third Hillaryite (or fourth, if you include Hillary herself) to hit Obama over Wright.

The interview is worth a listen, because it's another example of supporters of the candidates (see Power, Samantha) getting themselves in potential trouble by saying things abroad in settings where more candor is possible, and indeed expected, than here in America...

The comments from O'Dowd -- who's long been close to both Clintons, having served as a key adviser on Irish affairs to Bill Clinton and hosting a big fundraiser for Hillary last year -- go farther on Wright than Hillary and her supporters have thus far.

O'Dowd said that the Wright comments raised "a legitimate question" and observed that "it's interesting that Barack Obama sat in the pews while all this was going on, and never once in any of his books or anything else" did he denounce Wright, adding: "He worshipped this man."

O'Dowd also compared Wright to Duke and inadvertently said that the Hillary campaign is actively making an issue of the Wright controversy, something the campaign (Hillary's comments today notwithstanding) has been careful to avoid doing. O'Dowd said:

"I think the issue that the Clinton campaign has seized on is that Barack Obama, you know, never once raised his voice to his pastor and said, `I think your language is quite extreme here, and I think you language is probably wrong.' Because let's turn this around. If this was David Duke and he was preaching on behalf of, and Hillary Clinton was in the pew, there would be outrage about this. And there can't be this double standard. Barack Obama has used race where it suited him, but when it doesn't suit him he backs away from it."


Obama's general criticizes the "New York money people" too

Where do Democrats get these antisemitic generals? I guess that if you have Leftist sympathies, antisemitism just comes with the territory these days. Gen. Wesley Clark is of the same ilk as the guy below. For any non-American readers: New York and Florida have substantial Jewish populations and General Clark's phrase "New York money people" means rich Jews

In the wake of comments by Obama adviser Gen. Tony McPeak the other day, Robert Goldberg pulled some quotes out of the McPeak memory hole in a piece for the American Spectator:
In a 2003 interview with the Oregonian, McPeak complained of that the "lack of playbook for getting Israelis and Palestinians together at...something other than a peace process....We need to get it fixed and only we have the authority with both sides to move them towards that. Everybody knows that." The interviewer asked McPeak: "So where's the problem? State? White House?" McPeak replied: "New York City. Miami. We have a large vote -- vote, here in favor of Israel. And no politician wants to run against it."

McPeak also questions whether some aren't more concerned with "the security of Israel as opposed to a purely American self-interest." It's been a while since a presidential adviser flat-out questioned the loyalty of American Jews, and yet Obama seems to surround himself with people who have crackpot views of "the Israel Lobby."

Obama's got a pastor who draws a straight line between Zionism and racism--and he would no more disown him than he would his own grandmother. His pastor preaches that Israel is a "dirty word" and Obama denies that he attends a "crackpot church." And now he's got a military adviser who thinks America's Middle East policies are controlled by New York City and Miami voters (read Jews) with divided loyalties.

A McCainiac writes us in response to the Goldberg piece: "I guess if it weren't for those pesky Jews in New York and Miami, those radical neo-cons and crazy Rapturist Christains, we could get on with a McPeak (Obama?) Middle East policy that promotes American interests by undermining Israel. Is this Obama's view or is this another adviser whose views are different from those of the candidate?" It's a fair question.