Sunday, June 8, 2008

Obama and Corruption

It appears Barack Obama has finally dragged himself across the finish line for the Democratic presidential nomination, with Hillary Clinton wrapped tightly around his ankles. It is amazing that Senator Obama beat back the corrupt Clinton machine to claim his historic victory. Unfortunately, there are signs that Obama has a whiff of Clintonism about him. Now that Barack Obama is the presumptive nominee, let's review what we've learned so far about his ethical record.

* In echoes of Whitewater, Obama was involved in a questionable real estate deal with Antoin "Tony" Rezko, a political fundraiser who was just convicted Wednesday on fraud and money laundering charges. (Rezko now faces up to 20 years in prison.) The long and the short of it is that Obama approached Rezko with the idea to simultaneously purchase adjoining lots in Southside Chicago. Rezko obliged. Obama obtained his lot for a reduced price. Rezko later sold a portion of his property to Obama (at a highly inflated price). All of this took place while Rezko was the subject of corruption investigations.

* Obama was indirectly referenced in court documents involving the Illinois senator's "bagman," Antoin "Tony" Rezko and his suspicious relationship with corrupt Iraqi businessman Nadhmi Auchi. Rezko, a key fundraiser for Obama, allegedly received a $3.5 million payout from Auchi's company.

* Obama was subsequently forced to give to charity $150,000 in Rezko-tainted donations.

* According to the New York Times, "Less than two months after ascending to the United States Senate, Barack Obama bought more than $50,000 worth of stock in two speculative companies which had as major investors some of his biggest political donors. One of the companies was a biotech concern that was starting to develop a drug to treat avian flu. In March 2005, two weeks after buying about $5,000 of its shares, Mr. Obama took the lead in a legislative push for more federal spending to battle the disease."

* Obama either never kept or he destroyed documents from his days as an Illinois State Senator, leaving no paper trail of his work there. When questioned about it by the press, Obama couldn't get his story straight. A Judicial Watch investigation continues.

It was also disturbing to see that Obama is drawing from a stable of Clintonites to advise him on important matters. Eric Holder, a former top Clinton Justice Department official, was named this week to Obama's vice-presidential search team. Holder has quite the record, to put it charitably, and it includes pushing along the corrupt Marc Rich pardon in the final days of the Clinton administration. Also on the search committee is Jim Johnson, who is associated with the Fannie Mae accounting scandal (a scandal that makes Enron seem like tiddlywinks.)

To get a feel for how the mainstream liberal media will treat questions about Obama's ethical judgment, note the lack of media interest in the conviction of Obama's political godfather and real estate partner, Rezko.


Socialism, Surrender, and Sleaze

One really has to hand it to the Democrats. Out of a bad field they picked the worst one possible. Not only did they pick the one with the least amount of experience, they also picked the most radical left winger in the bunch. Considering Senator Clintons strong finish( Senator Obama only won three primaries after the Reverend Wright controversies and his comments in San Francisco) it makes you think that the Democrats are suffering from buyers remorse. Would the people who so enthusiastically supported him early on support him now?

Regardless, Obama is now the nominee. For the first time since 1960 we're going to have a President that came in directly from the US Senate, and neither one with any real executive experience. It's not only Obamas inexperience that makes him unqualified, but what he intends to do to this country. If the Democratic party of the late 19th century stood for "Rum, Romanism, and Rebellion" the Democratic party of today stands for "Socialism, Surrender, and Sleaze"

Obama's own speeches reveal this, when they actually say anything at all. Talks of taxes on excessive profits, Maxine Waters enthusiastic proclamations of socializing the energy industry, their stout refusal to allow for drilling in ANWR, off the coast, constructing more refineries, using nuclear power of making gasoline out of our huge coal supplies, only shows that the Democrats don't think we're paying enough at the pump. Their masters in the environmental movement have long proclaimed that four or five dollars a gallon is not enough, they want us to be paying nine or ten dollars. They believe the automobile is the most dangerous thing ever invented, and Obama and his fellow Democrats are going to see to it that the American people pay more. They will restrict supply as much as they can thus raising the cost.

Not that McCain is much better on this. Oil companies might make good scapegoats but blaming them for all of our energy woes doesn't do us any good. It's a matter of supply and demand, but the economic illiterates who run this country don't recognize that, and don't want to.

Of course they don't plan on stopping socialism with just the energy industry. Americans are almost certainly going to have to deal with socialized medicine. (stock up on cyanide tablets now America) Sadly, gullible politicians in both parties, in a zeal to "do something", do the worst thing possible. They get the government involved. If socialized medicine is so great why do Canadians come to America when they need serious medical treatment. If you want to see what a mess it makes in America look to Massachusetts where former Governor Romney instituted socialized medicine, though no one in the state has the nerve to actually call it that.

Socialism will be packaged as "free". Well, there ain't no such thing as a free lunch. The only way the Democrats can pay for this(and they won't be able to pay for it at all, the price tag will keep getting bigger) is to raise taxes through the roof. It's another thing Democrats are in love with. They live by the golden rule- he who has the gold makes the rules. It's another form of control for them, as socialists they believe that people can't be allowed to have their money.

As bad as socialism is it's just the beginning of what the Democrats want to do. Obama has been proclaiming, long and loud, that he's bringing the troops home. This is where surrender comes in. We've got Al-Qaida and their allies on the ropes and Senator Obama can only think about throwing in the towel. It would be like if, after the bloody battle for Okinawa FDR had just surrendered to the Japanese. Or after successfully storming the beaches of Normandy we give up to the Nazis. If Obama becomes commander in chief we can only expect Iraq and Afghanistan to be at the mercy of jihadists. These jihadists will think they got a gift from allah, when all they got was a gullible Obama in office. Their recruiting will skyrocket, America will probably suffer more terrorist attacks, and democrats in the muslim world will suffer greatly. Yes sir, running away from victory is the Democratic way to keep America safe.

Democrats cozy affair with the left coast notwithstanding, the Democrats have been for every amoral social movement they can think of. A man can be judged by the company he keeps. William Ayers, Jeremiah Wright and a host of other violent, stupid radicals make up the Obama inner circle. His attempts to distance himself from these people is merely a political move. How can a man who votes pure left wing, and keeps company with such men be a man who wants to be a uniter and bipartisan?

America is risking too much to allow this man to be president. If you want to be the target of terrorists, the government to reduce you to serfdom then Obama is your man. If you think terrorists ought to be sent on the express to the afterlife, and a government that couldn't handle a hurricane can't handle large portions of the US economy, then Obama is certainly not for you.


Left presses Obama to cut defense

Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.), who wrapped his party's presidential nomination just this week, is already besieged by liberal constituencies demanding that he cut military spending to boost social programs.

Two influential liberal groups have sent the presumptive Democratic nominee a letter pressing him to support cuts to defense programs to pay for universal preschool, relief for Americans facing foreclosure on their homes and expanded benefits for military veterans.

The demands carry weight because the groups, the Black Leadership Forum and the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC), represent two constituencies that are important to Obama's political strategy: blacks and Hispanics. Their calls for defense cuts have drawn the support of leading House liberals, many of whom gave Obama crucial support early in his contest against Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.).

The groups have also called on presumptive Republican nominee Sen. John McCain (Ariz.) to support the cuts. There is less pressure on McCain, however, because fellow Republicans have kept quiet on the issue. McCain also expects little support from black voters. But McCain could feel some discomfort because his campaign views Hispanics as a crucial voting bloc. His support for shifting emphasis from defense to social programs could help him appeal to that group.

The calls of liberal groups and lawmakers come at a particularly awkward time for Obama. Since clinching the party's nomination on Tuesday, Obama has already tacked to the right on security issues in preparation for the general election. During a speech to the American Israel Public Affairs Committee Wednesday, Obama proposed sanctions on Iran that analysts viewed as far tougher than what he suggested before. Now Obama must balance tough talk on national security with the desires of many Democrats to slim American military power.

Liberal groups and lawmakers have targeted the Department of Defense's largest acquisition program: the Joint Strike Fighter program, which will provide more than 2,000 aircraft to the Navy, Marines and Air Force. The Black Leadership Forum and LULAC wrote that cutting the program "would free up $1 trillion in the federal budget." "America could fund years of universal healthcare at $120 [billion] a year; we could fund universal preschool with $35 billion."

Rep. Barbara Lee (D-Calif.), co-chairwoman of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, said the rapid growth of defense spending compared to domestic spending in recent years is "outrageous." She wants to slim defense programs and boost education and healthcare funding. Lee and other House liberals would like to see about $60 billion in defense spending cuts. Specifically, they want to steer money away from what they call "Cold War-era" weapons systems, such as the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter. Liberals have also called for cuts to the ballistic missile defense program, the F/A-22 Raptor, the V-22 Osprey and the DDG 1000 Zumwalt Class Destroyer. "This is one of many issues the caucus will be talking about to him," Lee said of plans to press Obama on defense budget cuts. "I'm definitely going to present this."


Wavering about Jerusalem

Jerusalem will remain the capital of Israel, and it must remain undivided," Obama declared Wednesday, to rousing applause from the 7,000-plus attendees at the American Israel Public Affairs Committee policy conference.

But a campaign adviser clarified Thursday that Obama believes "Jerusalem is a final status issue, which means it has to be negotiated between the two parties" as part of "an agreement that they both can live with." "Two principles should apply to any outcome," which the adviser gave as: "Jerusalem remains Israel's capital and it's not going to be divided by barbed wire and checkpoints as it was in 1948-1967."

He refused, however, to rule out other configurations, such as the city also serving as the capital of a Palestinian state or Palestinian sovereignty over Arab neighborhoods. "Beyond those principles, all other aspects are for the two parties to agree at final status negotiations," the Obama adviser said.

Many on the right of the political spectrum among America's Jews welcomed Obama's remarks at AIPAC, but the clarification of his position left several cold. Jerusalem," said Nathan Diament, director of public policy for the Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations. He had sent out a release Wednesday applauding Obama's Jerusalem remarks in front of AIPAC. "In the current context, everyone understands that saying 'Jerusalem.. . must remain undivided' means that the holy city must remain unified under Israeli rule, as it has been since 1967," Diament explained. "If Senator Obama intended his remarks at AIPAC to be understood in this way, he said nothing that would reasonably lead to such a different interpretation."

Morton Klein, president of the Zionist Organization of America and another Jewish activist who had originally lauded Obama's statement, now called the candidate's words "troubling." "It means he used the term inappropriately, possibly to mislead strong supporters of Israel that he supports something he doesn't really believe," Klein charged.


Messiah In Our Midst: The One, the Anointed

By Jonah Goldberg

Is Barack Obama the Messiah? Before we answer that question, let me vent for a moment. In 2000 I was cruelly denied the Pulitzer despite being the only columnist in America to ask the pressing question: Is Al Gore an alien? The evidence was there for all to see. He was born nine months after the mysterious alien sighting at Roswell, N.M. His weird syntax and verbal rhythms are otherworldly. He often refers to "earth" or "this planet" as if he's just passing through, and he once angrily complained to the Washington Post that it had printed a picture of the earth from outer space "upside down."

There is no "upside down" in space - unless Gore had his childhood view in mind.

At least I'm not in the wilderness this time. Lots of people have pondered the possibility that Barack is our Divine Redeemer. There are websites dedicated to the question "Is Barack Obama the Messiah?" Google that question and you'll get more than 35,000 hits. (Enter just the words "Messiah" and "Obama" and you'll get nearly 10 times that.)

But there's more concrete evidence. Since Obama declared his candidacy, there have been remarkably few biblical plagues. And lions and lambs seem open to bilateral negotiations.

Obama's apostles are hard to dismiss. Oprah simply calls him "The One," because "we need politicians who know how to be the truth." (Jesus says in John 14:6 "I am the way, the truth ...") Oprah goes on to say Obama will help us "evolve to a higher plane," which would put Obama in the role of our Intelligent Designer.

According to the New York Times, Obama's volunteers are taught to eschew discussions of the issues and instead "testify" about how they "came to Obama."

For many, he's no retro-redeemer, but a 21st-century savior, a Matrix-messiah and Neo for our modern-day Nineveh. Self-help guru Deepak Chopra dubs Obama "a quantum leap in American consciousness," while prominent "leadership coach" Eve Konstantine assures us that, "He's our product out of the all-knowing quantum field of intelligence." Obama willing, I will never be stuck next to these people on a plane.

Michelle Obama is arguably Obamanity's greatest evangelist, even though she has a streak of Old Testament smiting and wrath to her. She insists her husband has redeemed the entire nation (hence her newfound pride in America). She proclaims her husband is the sort of leader who will fix our broken souls. But don't hope for grace on the cheap. "The change Barack is talking about is hard," she insists, "so don't get too excited, because Barack is going to demand that you, too, be different." Those of you who thought we had a Second Amendment to keep government from fixing your soul are so 20th century. Evolve already.

And then there's the Gospel according to Obama himself. In January, he told Dartmouth students that they will know to vote for him because "... a light will shine through that window, a beam of light will come down upon you, you will experience an epiphany, and you will suddenly realize that you must go to the polls and vote for Barack."

When asked in an interview what sin is, Obama defined it as "Being out of alignment with my values." Apparently, the editor failed to capitalize the "M" in "My."

But such mistakes can be forgiven, for Hillary has been cast out and the nomination is nigh. So we can get cracking on fixing America - and ourselves. "I am absolutely certain," Obama proclaimed in his victory speech, "that generations from now, we will be able to look back and tell our children that this was the moment when we began to provide care for the sick and good jobs for the jobless; this was the moment when the rise of the oceans began to slow and our planet began to heal. This was the moment - this was the time - when we came together to remake this great nation ..."

Now, if you're under the mistaken impression that sick people had some care, or that a few jobs were to be found prior to June 2008, or that maybe - just maybe - the oceans don't rise and fall with the election returns, or that America itself doesn't need "remaking," you're not one of the "ones we've been waiting for."

But you might be one of the ones Al Gore has been waiting for. You'd understand if you realized "Earth in the Balance" is a cookbook.


Obama the black redeemer

Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.) was about to enter his Capitol Hill office on Wednesday afternoon when a tourist from Miami rushed up to him. "I was watching Barack last night, and I just kept thinking, `What would Dr. King think?'" the tourist, Larry Ellery, told Lewis expectantly. As the only living person to have spoken at the lectern the day the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. gave his "I Have a Dream" speech, Lewis was perhaps the best person to answer a question that occupied the minds of many Americans.

Lewis touched Ellery's arm and paused. "He would have been very, very pleased," Lewis said. "He probably would have said, `Hallelujah!'"

On Capitol Hill, as across the country Wednesday, African-Americans reflected on Illinois Democratic Sen. Barack Obama's historic rise as the first black presidential nominee to lead a major political party. They noted that only a few decades ago, African-Americans were fighting across large swaths of the South for basic human rights, hardly pondering the possibility that one of them might soon lead the country.

Many black lawmakers said they were elated at Obama's victory. Many said they never thought such a day would come. Many cried.

"If someone had told me this would be happening now, I would have told them they were crazy, out of their mind, they didn't know what they were talking about," said Lewis, who was president of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee when he stood with King on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in 1963. "I just wish the others were around to see this day. ... To the people who were beaten, put in jail, were asked questions they could never answer to register to vote, it's amazing."

Rep. Jim Clyburn (D-S.C.), who grew up in segregated South Carolina and rose to the majority whip position last year, said he was so overcome with emotion Tuesday night that he left a victory party and had to watch Obama's speech alone. "I thought this day would come, but I didn't think I'd live to see it," Clyburn said. "I got home, and I was so emotional I couldn't feel myself. I was numb." He poured himself a Jack Daniels and Diet Coke and watched Obama speak.

Throughout the day Wednesday, African-Americans offered up historical yardsticks to measure what is happening now: 40 years since King's assassination; 43 years since the passage of the Voting Rights Act; 60 years since the late Sen. Strom Thurmond left the Democratic Party over the issue of race, which began the Democrats' transformation from the party of Jim Crow to the party of Barack Obama.....

Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. (D-Ill.), son of the one-time presidential contender, said Obama's victory overwhelmed him. "I cried all night. I'm going to be crying for the next four years," he said. "What Barack Obama has accomplished is the single most extraordinary event that has occurred in the 232 years of the nation's political history. ... The event itself is so extraordinary that another chapter could be added to the Bible to chronicle its significance."...

Despite Obama's singular position in American political history, his backers said his race would not be a focus in his campaign.

[That last sentence above must be one of the most remarkable non sequiturs of all time]

More here


No comments: