Recently, Hillary Clinton presciently warned that she would be the best Democrat presidential candidate because she's already been "vetted." Now, that's not necessarily a good thing for Mrs. Clinton considering her (and her husband's) checkered past. But she does have a point when it comes to Barack Obama, the new, fresh, moderate-sounding, wildly popular-and largely uninvestigated-frontrunner candidate. And, as it turns out, pro-abortion radical.
We all know Obama's style, his regal, visionary bearing, his above-the-fray persona, his inspired - and, give him his due, inspiring - performances, his "Audacity of Hope," and his hypnotic, upbeat, unifying message. He is skilled. If we were voting for a chief motivational speaker or a political "American Idol," even I'd be on the bandwagon.
But for a candidate for Chief Executive, Commander-in-Chief of the US military, and leader of the free world, we need more. We need some record or some history. His soaring rhetoric aside, it's long-past the time to ask: just who is this guy? What's at his core? Where is his moral compass? Do we share the same basic values? Is he as moderate in deed as in word? Apparently not, at least judging by his record on a key sanctity-of-life issue. It is beyond extreme; it is jarring.
Reasonable people may differ in their opinions regarding abortion and thorny questions of precisely when life begins. Jewish doctrine, with its focus on the health of the mother, may differ from Christian or other religious positions over the circumstances under which abortion may be permitted. But once a baby is born, even prematurely, there is across-the-board agreement that a new human life exists. Certainly, there is no longer any threat to the health of the mother. Abortion is no longer an option, as there is no longer a pregnancy to terminate.
So, what are we to make of Obama's votes against protecting the right to life for living babies who have survived attempted abortions? Such babies are sometimes born alive as a result of late-term induced labor abortions, often sought when babies are believed (sometimes in error) to have genetic defects such as Down syndrome.
Earlier this decade, such living, breathing, babies who survived labor were "shelved" - left to die and disposed of with other medical waste, or were "aborted" - killed outside the womb. The practice was ultimately banned by unanimous Congressional votes, as even the most pro-abortion Senate Democrats - including every defender of partial-birth abortion - recognized that killing these breathing babies is no longer abortion in any real sense. It crosses the line; it is infanticide. Yet, incredibly, Obama repeatedly worked to deny these living babies any right to life.
Jill Stanek, an Illinois nurse, testified in the US Congress in 2000 and 2001 - and before Obama's Illinois Senate Judiciary Committee - about how induced labor abortions were handled at her hospital, relating this story: "One night, a nursing co-worker was taking an aborted Down syndrome baby who was born alive to our Soiled Utility Room because his parents did not want to hold him, and she did not have the time to hold him. I couldn't bear the thought of this suffering child lying alone in a Soiled Utility Room, so I cradled and rocked him for the 45 minutes that he lived." Powerful stuff. Obama, however, was reportedly "unfazed" by her testimony.
Various state and federal attempts ensued to curb the gruesome practice, including the federal Born-Alive Infants Protection Act, passed unanimously by both the House and Senate in 2002 (It did not immediately become law.)
In essence, these acts state that, whether wanted or not, once a baby is fully born, it is recognized as fully human and is entitled to equal protection of the law under the 14th Amendment. Even pro-abortion Democrats supported the BAIPA because it contained explicit language that it would not infringe on any abortion rights. Democrat Barbara Boxer, arguably the Senate's most zealous pro-choice advocate, agreed that, with this language, the "amendment certainly does not attack Roe v. Wade."
But not Obama. In March of 2001, Obama's Illinois Judiciary Committee considered a law substantially identical to the BAIPA. It passed the Committee, with Obama voting against. In front of the full Illinois Senate, Obama was the only senator to speak against the bill, arguing that life protection extended to any (!) preterm babies (ponder that) could jeopardize abortion rights. He voted "present," tantamount to a "no" vote. In March of 2002, Obama's Committee passed the Induced Birth Liability Act, requiring medical care for babies who survive induced labor abortions - Obama again voting "present," arguing that the Act would "create one more burden on women, and I can't support that."
In 2003, the Democrats took control of the Illinois Senate, and Obama became Chairman of the Health and Human Services Committee. A Committee member sponsored an Amendment that would adopt the exact same language in Illinois's proposed BAIPA that Senator Boxer was satisfied did not curtail any abortion rights in the federal BAIPA. But as Chairman, Obama unilaterally killed the bill by never allowing a Committee vote, thereby preventing it from being voted on by the full Senate and becoming law.
Obama's position essentially boils down to this: a woman who contracts for an abortion is entitled, one way or another, to a dead baby. A dead baby must result, even if that baby had already been a distinct living being. The killing of some live babies is just part of the price we must pay in order to keep the sacred right to an abortion supreme and absolute, beyond any shadow of a doubt.
What kind of principle is this? What core value is Obama expressing? What extremist doctrine or interest is he defending? And how doctrinaire must one be to defend actual infanticide? This goes well beyond any reasonable advocacy of a woman's "right to choose;" it attacks a living baby's right to life. His position is not simply "pro-choice;" it is radically anti-life. It is, in fact, pro-death. Whatever one may make of the doctrines of his America-bashing, anti-Israel, Farrakhan-honoring pastor (or why a "uniter" would belong to his church for over 20 years), Obama professes to be a practicing Christian; so, what in the life-affirming Judeo-Christian value system could possibly give license to kill live babies?
In the coming years, the United States Supreme Court is likely to decide landmark cases dealing with life-sanctity issues of eugenics, euthanasia, and abortion. Is mainstream, centrist America ready to put Court appointments in the hands of a far-left candidate with such a radical, ghoulish record?
Perhaps most disappointing is that Obama's handling of the issue suggests he is actually just another slippery politician - more "spin" than substance. For all the supposed integrity he projects, Obama has not even shown the courage to honestly defend his votes.
In 2004, during a campaign debate, Republican US Senate candidate Alan Keyes challenged Obama on his opposition to the 2003 Illinois BAIPA. Obama replied: "At the federal level there was a similar bill that passed because it had an amendment saying this does not encroach on Roe v. Wade. I would have voted for that bill." What a marvelously Clintonian answer! As noted above, that language did not make it into the Illinois bill because Obama himself blocked It. Now that is first-rate Audacity. But it doesn't inspire much Hope.
Obama Funneled Cash to Former PLO Operative's Anti-Israel Foundation
In 2000, Rashid Khalidi, a former PLO operative who justified Palestinian terrorism as contributing to "political enlightenment," threw a fundraiser for his friend Barack Obama. Rashid Khalidi today is a professor at Columbia University and is a close associate of Barack Obama. Free Republic member No Quarter reported more on this relationship:
Khalidi has direct ties to Obama. These are not imagined. Before getting his job at Columbia University Rashid Khalidi was a Middle East professor at the University of Chicago, where he befriended none other than US presidential candidate Barack Hussein Obama. In 2000 Khalidi held a successful fundraiser for Barack. I am not saying or inferring or suggesting that Obama did anything wrong in letting Khalidi hold a fund raiser. But I am willing to bet that it will become an issue in the general election. Barack also played a role in getting funding for Khalidi's Arab American Action Network during his tenure on the board of the Woods Fund. That is another unexplored black hole.
Although he is described as a former PLO operative, via Free Republic, this is what Rashid Khalidi has to say about Palestinian terrorism against Jews:
On Palestinian violence. Khalidi glorifies anti-Israel violence as contributing to "political enlightenment"[vii] and unsurprisingly admires those who carry it out. His loyalty to Palestinian terrorist groups run so deep that he actually dedicated his 1986 valentine to the PLO, Under Siege, to "those who gave their lives . . . in defense of the cause of Palestine and independence of Lebanon."[viii] The book whitewashes PLO violence against Israelis and Lebanese, as well as the Syrian occupation.
A couple of weeks back Atlas Shrugs posted information that Obama and former Weather Underground honcho William Ayers, who sat with Obama on the board of the Woods Fund, funneled money to Khalidi's foundation:
A top official at the Pentagon during former-President George H. W. Bush's Administration and a former CIA intelligence officer maintains that Barack Obama and former Weather Underground honcho William Ayers funneled money to Professor Rashid Khalidi, a known terrorist sympathizer.
Khalidi serves on the faculty of Columbia University in New York and is best known as the professor who invited Iranian President Ahmedinejad to visit Columbia University after he finished his speech at the United Nations. According to confidential sources, Khalidi has direct ties to the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO), a group on the US State Department's list of known terrorist groups. "One source for this information was once a top military figure in the 1990s. He doesn't take making allegations lightly. If he says something happened, believe me, it happened," said syndicated radio talk show host Laurie Roth. "Another source is a former agent for the Central Intelligence Agency, who is an expert in counterterrorism," said Roth, who broke the story on her show Friday night.
World Net Daily reported that as director of the Woods Fund board in Chicago Barack Obama granted Khalidi's controversial anti-Israel group the Arab American Action Network, or AAAN, $40,000 in 2001 and $35,000 in 2002. This news seems to fit with what we are getting to know about the Illinois senator.
Obama should apologize for insulting millions of armed citizens
Democrat Barack Obama on Tuesday insulted millions of legally-armed American citizens when he told a Pennsylvania newspaper that concealed carry poses a threat to innocent people, and he should immediately apologize for that remark, the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms said today. Senator Obama, quoted by the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, admitted, "I am not in favor of concealed weapons. I think that creates a potential atmosphere where more innocent people could (get shot during) altercations."
"American citizens have been responsibly carrying concealed handguns for years in 48 states," said CCRKBA Chairman Alan Gottlieb, co-author of America Fights Back: Armed Self-Defense in a Violent Age, published by Merril Press. "These citizens go through background checks, and in some states complete required training courses. Statistically, these armed citizens are far less likely to ever be involved in a crime than average citizens. They have stopped crimes. They have sometimes aided police officers.
"Senator Obama," he continued, "should not confuse legally-armed, law-abiding Americans with inner-city thugs, gang-bangers and other criminals who carry guns illegally. Thanks to a revealing 1996 questionnaire bearing Mr. Obama's handwriting from his days as a candidate for the Illinois Senate, it's clear he has the good guys confused with the bad guys."
That controversial questionnaire, which Obama originally claimed he never saw, contained answers to questions that indicates he opposes capital punishment and criminal prosecution of juveniles as adults, is against mandatory sentencing and supports "alternative sentencing." He supported a ban on handguns and semiautomatic sport-utility rifles, and mandatory waiting periods before Americans could exercise their constitutional right to own a firearm.
"Barack Obama ignorantly believes that legally-armed Americans are as reckless and irresponsible as the criminals with whom his political sympathies evidently lay," Gottlieb said. "He has been insisting for months that he supports the Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms, but here he is now campaigning in Pennsylvania, stating essentially that he would prefer Americans not exercise that right. "Legally-armed citizens are also voters, Mr. Obama," Gottlieb stated, "and you have outrageously insulted every one of them. You owe these good citizens an apology."
Dreams from my father, lame excuses from my grandfather
By Ann Coulter
Since a Chinese graduate student at Columbia University, Minghui Yu, was killed last Friday when black youths violently set upon him, sending him running into traffic to escape, I think B. Hussein Obama ought to start referring to the mindset of the "typical Asian person." As of Wednesday, police had no motive for the attack, and witnesses said they heard no demand for money or anything else. The Associated Press reports that the assailant simply said to his friend, "Watch what I do to this guy" before punching Yu.
Meanwhile, let's revisit the story about Obama's grandmother being guilty of thinking like a "typical white person." As recounted in Obama's autobiography, the only evidence that his grandmother feared black men comes from Obama's good-for-nothing, chronically unemployed white grandfather, who accuses Grandma of racism as his third excuse not to get dressed and drive her to work.
His grandmother wanted a ride to work at 6:30 in the morning because, the day before, she had been aggressively solicited by a homeless man at the bus stop. On her account, the panhandler "was very aggressive, Barry. Very aggressive. I gave him a dollar and he kept asking. If the bus hadn't come, I think he might have hit me over the head."
Even Obama's shiftless grandfather didn't play the race card until pretty far into the argument over whether he would drive Grandma to work. First, the good-for-nothing grandfather told Obama that Grandma was just trying to guilt him into driving her, saying, "(S)he just wants me to feel bad." Next, he complained about his non-work routine being disrupted, saying: "She's been catching the bus ever since she started at the bank. ... And now, just because she gets pestered a little, she wants to change everything!"
Only after Obama had offered to drive his grandmother to work himself and it was becoming increasingly clear what a selfish lout the grandfather was, did Grandpa produce his trump card. The reason he wouldn't get his lazy butt dressed and drive Grandma to work was ... she was a racist! As Obama recounts it, on Grandpa's third try at an excuse, he told Obama: "You know why she's so scared this time? I'll tell you why. Before you came in, she told me the fella was black. That's the real reason she's bothered. And I just don't think that's right." So I guess I'll be heading back to the sack now! That makes sense. It certainly never bothers me when crazy white people harass and threaten me.
This is Obama's own account of what happened, which - as anyone can see - consisted of his slacker grandfather making a series of excuses to avoid having to drive the sole bread-earner in the family to work. But Obama says, "The words were like a fist in my stomach, and I wobbled to regain my composure." (It was as if he had been punched by an aggressive panhandler at a bus stop!) And not because his grandfather's sorry excuse reminded him that he came from a long line of callow, worthless men, both black and white. No, Obama swallowed his grandfather's pathetic excuse hook, line and sinker, leading Obama to a reverie about his grandparents: "I knew that men who might easily have been my brothers could still inspire their rawest fears." That's true - assuming his brothers and sisters were menacing people at bus stops.
How deranged would you have to be to cite this incident as evidence that your grandmother thought like a "typical white person" - as opposed to your grandfather being worthless and lazy? For those keeping score, Obama is aghast at his grandmother's alleged racism, but had no problem with Jeremiah Wright's manifest racism. If Obama is sent reeling by the mere words of an elderly white woman, how is he going to negotiate with a guy like Mahmoud Ahmadinejad? What if Ahmadinejad calls him "booger-face"? Will he run crying from the table?
Your grandmother wasn't a racist, Barack. Your grandpa was just a loser. Can we wrap up our national conversation about race now? I think we'd like to move onto questions about your stupid plan to hold talks with Iran.
Oprah ratings way down after supporting Barack Obama
Most of the attention on the O2 effect -- Obama and Oprah -- has been focused on how much the daytime TV cult leader helped her home state senator by endorsing him and appearing at all those rallies in Iowa and South Carolina with Barack and Michelle. The 54-year-old Chicago TV hostess certainly helped raise a hefty chunk of change by loaning out her estate for that Obama fundraiser last summer.
Oprah Winfrey has long enjoyed an immense popularity tied to her long-running daytime TV show, which started in 1986, and helped give her favorable ratings around 78% by 1996. So well known is she that one name will suffice, as in our headline.
In one 1999 survey of the most admired and respected 20th-century women, Oprah (26%) came in only second to Mother Teresa (33%), who didn't have her own TV show. And in 2003 a Fox News/Opinion Dynamics poll found that 60% thought Oprah was a more powerful woman than someone named Hillary Clinton, a former first lady and senator, who drew only 28%. Fourteen months ago, a Gallup/USA Today poll found 74% of Americans had a favorable view of the TV personality.
Then on May 1 last year, Oprah announced during.... the Larry King show that she was, for the first time, going to throw her considerable weight behind a political candidate -- Obama. King's suspenders nearly snapped. "I think," she told old Lar, "that my value to him, my support of him, is probably worth more than any check." Although, to be honest, her estimated $2.5 billion in wealth could buy an awful lot of TV ads in Indiana. It might even be able to purchase the Hoosier State.
But little attention has been paid to the effect of Obama on Oprah. Now along comes Costas Panagopoulos, an assistant professor of political science at New York's Fordham University, to ask and answer just that question. Writing at Politico.com, he suggests the aging empress of TV has paid a price for getting into the dirty business of politics with and for her man Barack. By August last year, a CBS poll found her favorable rating had plunged from 74% to 61%, still twice as good as the president but nearly a 20% drop.
Around Thanksgiving she announced that not only was she supporting Obama, but she would campaign with him and we'd see if her political recommendation carried as much weight as her book recommendations. Oprah's political travels produced a media feeding frenzy and a publicity bonanza with women routinely fainting in the front row. The campaign said her rallies produced 10,000 new volunteers.
Winfrey campaigned for Obama in Iowa, which he won, in South Carolina, where he won, and in New Hampshire, where he lost. We haven't heard much about Winfrey since the voting started. Did she realize something we're just getting? We heard only that she left the controversial Rev. Jeremiah Wright's Trinity United Church of Christ several years ago, reportedly over some of his more militant sermons that Obama says he never heard. But 10 days after the campaign media explosion her favorable rating had dropped further to 55% and her unfavorable ratings for the first time climbed to 1 in 3.
A December ABC/Washington Post poll of Democrats found 8% were persuaded by her Obama endorsement, 82% said it wouldn't matter either way and 10% said her recommendation had turned them off Obama. Now, Panagopoulos has discovered an AOL TV popularity survey of 1.35 million Americans that found 46% said the daytime TV host who "made their day" was Ellen DeGeneres while only 19% chose Winfrey. Forty-seven percent said they'd like to have dinner with Ellen, while only 14% chose Oprah. Apparently, neither Ellen nor Oprah were asked who they'd like to dine with.
Panagopoulos draws the conclusion that in these days of pervasive media, in reality, celebrity endorsements run the real risk of costing the celebrity more than they benefit the endorsee. So celebs may want to think twice before hitting the stump. But then how many hundred million dollars a year does an assistant professor at Fordham pull down?
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