Friday, June 27, 2008

Obama's anti-smear site relies on a phony document

For some time now Just One Minute's commenter jmh, Polarik at Townhall and others have examined the "birth certificate" for Obama published on the Daily Kos site as well as the site Obama has established to respond to the "smears" against him. The documents are not identical and seem obviously phony. Israeli Insider confirms their suspicions:
It is now a certainty that the "birth certificate" claimed by the Barack Obama campaign as authentic is a photoshopped fake.....

Some of these oddities surfaced in Israel Insider's previous article on the subject, but new comparative documentary evidence presented below, and official verification obtained by Israel Insider from a senior Hawaiian official, provides the strongest confirmation yet....

Janice Okubo, Director of Communications of the State of Hawaii Department of Health, told Israel Insider: "At this time there are no circumstances in which the State of Hawaii Department of Health would issue a birth certification or certification of live birth only electronically." And, she added, "In the State of Hawaii all certified copies of certificates of live birth have the embossed seal and registrar signature on the back of the document."

Why would Obama's anti-smear site itself rely on a phoney birth certificate? I can't imagine . Some have suggested it's to hide the fact that he was not a "natural born" U.S. citizen and is, therefore, ineligible to run. Maybe.


Obama embraces the failed policies of the past

High oil prices, like a walk under the summer moon, can drive normally rational people to do foolish things they later regret. For Barack Obama, it is a fling with a windfall profits tax on American oil companies -- one of the most thoroughly discredited economic policies of the past few decades. A 2006 Congressional Research Service report found that Jimmy Carter's version of the tax generated less than one-fourth of expected government revenue while depressing domestic oil output between 1.2 percent and 8 percent and increasing dependence on imported oil between 3 percent and 13 percent.

It is typical of a tired economic liberalism to look at the global energy crisis and see American companies as the problem -- even if punishing them leads to greater dependence on foreign oil. But it is also naive to believe this dependence will be addressed by the normal working of energy markets.

Those markets are producing what one economist calls the "greatest wealth transfer the world has ever known." In a single year, the revenue of oil- and natural gas-producing Persian Gulf states have nearly doubled -- giving nations in the region hundreds of billions of surplus dollars to play with. Recent Saudi promises to increase oil production may help ease prices. It is also the profitable accommodation of an addiction....

His embrace of the discredited windfall profit tax is like his embrace of higher taxes on capital gains even though it reduces revenue. Obama has to be the most economic and history challenged presidential candidate in recent memory. He looks at the tax code as an opportunity to punish achievement so that he can use the proceeds to reward failure. He in effect doubles up the wrong side of encouraging progress and prosperity.

He is also willing to continue the wealth transfer to the Middle East rather than encourage domestic production. It idiocy of his energy policy is blatant enough that voters should be able to see it and reject it if they can get over their anger about Bush being right about the surge.


On Iran, Obama Is to the Left of UN, Libya, and European Diplomats

For Obama, it's still a question of debate whether Iran is trying to build a nuclear weapon. His web site observes only that "Iran has sought nuclear weapons." Obama isn't even willing to go out a limb and say there is no peaceful reason the country with the second or third largest oil reserve in the world would want nuclear power.

While Obama continues to call for "economic pressure," what kind of pressure can possibly be exerted in light of Iran's recent move to transfer all of its funds to non-European bank accounts where they won't be frozen? Sanctions were the right decision five years ago, but the time for them to work has long since passed. The same is true of diplomacy. For several years, the Bush administration has taken part in a multilateral effort to engage Iran with Britain, France, Germany, and several other countries including Libya. Only one condition has ever been proposed: Iran had to suspend its enrichment program for the duration of negotiations. Now Obama would eliminate even this condition, putting him to the left of Libya and sparking reservations among girly-boy European diplomats.

Mohamed El Baradei, head of the U.N. International Atomic Energy Agency, said yesterday Iran is six months away from having a nuclear weapon. The choice increasingly looks like one between military action and resigning ourselves to nuclear blackmail. What do you think the candidate who isn't willing to say Iran has an active nuclear weapons program is going to do?


Nader: Obama trying to 'talk white'

Independent presidential candidate Ralph Nader accused Sen. Barack Obama, the presumed Democratic Party nominee, of downplaying poverty issues, trying to "talk white" and appealing to "white guilt" during his run for the White House.

Nader, a thorn in the Democratic Party's side since the 2000 presidential election, has taken various shots at Obama in recent days while ramping up his latest independent run for president. In a wide-ranging interview with the Rocky Mountain News on Monday, he said he is running because he believes Democrats, like Republicans, are too closely aligned with corporate interests.

Nader was asked if Obama is any different than Democrats he has criticized in the past, considering Obama's pledge to reject campaign contributions from registered lobbyists. "There's only one thing different about Barack Obama when it comes to being a Democratic presidential candidate. He's half African-American," Nader said. "Whether that will make any difference, I don't know. I haven't heard him have a strong crackdown on economic exploitation in the ghettos. Payday loans, predatory lending, asbestos, lead. What's keeping him from doing that? Is it because he wants to talk white? He doesn't want to appear like Jesse Jackson? We'll see all that play out in the next few months and if he gets elected afterwards."

The Obama campaign had only a brief response, calling the remarks disappointing.

Asked to clarify whether he thought Obama does try to "talk white," Nader said: "Of course. "I mean, first of all, the number one thing that a black American politician aspiring to the presidency should be is to candidly describe the plight of the poor, especially in the inner cities and the rural areas, and have a very detailed platform about how the poor is going to be defended by the law, is going to be protected by the law, and is going to be liberated by the law," Nader said. "Haven't heard a thing."

"We are obviously disappointed with these very backward-looking remarks," Obama campaign spokeswoman Shannon Gilson said.

Nader said he plans to travel to Denver during this summer's Democratic National Convention, hoping to highlight an alternative agenda that he thinks the party should pursue. His appearance in the city is sure to anger some Democrats who believe his presence on the ballot during the contested 2000 election cost Al Gore votes, helping Republican George Bush win the disputed election. Nader rejects that blame, saying Democrats "scapegoated" him instead of looking at other factors that contributed to the defeat.

Nader said he is not impressed with Obama and that he does not see him campaigning often enough in low-income, predominantly minority communities where there is a "shocking" amount of economic exploitation. He pointed to issues like predatory lending, shortages of health care and municipal resources, environmental issues and others.

"He wants to show that he is not a threatening . . . another politically threatening African-American politician," Nader said. "He wants to appeal to white guilt. You appeal to white guilt not by coming on as black is beautiful, black is powerful. Basically he's coming on as someone who is not going to threaten the white power structure, whether it's corporate or whether it's simply oligarchic. And they love it. Whites just eat it up."


Obama's money comes from the little guy?

Last week Senator Barack Obama announced that he is opting out of the public financing system and spending limits and instead relying on private donations. He gave a litany of phony reasons and mischaracterizations of the financial picture on both sides. In a video to his supporters and the rest of world, Obama said:
"It's not an easy decision, and especially because I support a robust system of public financing of elections. But the public financing of presidential elections as it exists today is broken, and we face opponents who've become masters at gaming this broken system. John McCain's campaign and the Republican National Committee are fueled by contributions from Washington lobbyists and special interest PACs. And we've already seen that he's not going to stop the smears and attacks from his allies running so-called 527 groups, who will spend millions and millions of dollars in unlimited donations."

Unfortunately, that fuel won't get Republicans very far. notes that the Republican National Committee actually trailed the Democratic National Committee in PAC money for the 2004 presidential campaign. The Democrats took in 10% of their total from PACs, while Republicans took in 1%. Obama has pledged not to accept PAC or lobbyist money, a pledge that is more smoke than substance.

According to OpenSecrets, "For mega-fundraiser Obama, eschewing PAC and lobbyist money has been a politically smart policy but hasn't entailed a significant financial hit. PAC contributions typically amount to only 1 percent of the giving in a presidential campaign, and lobbyists aren't as generous or numerous as, say, lawyers or Wall Street executives or even college professors."

On the issue of 527s in this election, it's unlikely that they'll have the same impact as they did during the 2004 campaign. McCain himself said 527s "are distorting the entire political process and they need to be outlawed." Politico's Jonathan Martin notes that the conservative organizations that had an impact on the last election -- Freedom's Watch, Progress for America, Swift Boat Veterans for Truth -- are now defunct or sitting this race out. Martin writes, "Obama's alarmist prophecy -- a bit of typical campaign rhetoric meant to scare his own donors into reaching for their credit cards -- is wildly at odds with the flatlined state of conservative third-party efforts."

On the far-left, will labor on through November spending more than $35 million despite dumping their 527 entity. Their website states "Obama locked up the nomination. Now he needs our help to win."

On several occasions during the primary season, Obama said he would "aggressively pursue" a public financing system if the Republican candidate also agreed to do so. In his 2006 book, "The Audacity of Hope," Obama wrote of the importance of embracing the changes of a publicly financed campaign system. "But none of these changes can happen of their own accord," he wrote, "Each would require a change in attitude among those in power. Each would require from men and women a willingness to risk what they already have."

Gambling away the Obama campaign's nearly $300 million raised is a big risk. A change in action was made based on what benefited him, not on "reforming a broken system." In short, joining the public financing system is change Obama can't afford.

Regarding his small-dollar donor base, Obama said they "will have as much access and influence over the course of our campaign" as that "traditionally reserved for the wealthy and the powerful." This week on "Meet the Press," Sen. Joe Biden explained that Obama didn't want to be beholden to large donors. Biden touted Obama's 1.5 million donors, many of whom have given $200 or less, and scoffed at any of those donors' influence over Obama. "How much influence do [small donors] have on him?" asked Biden. Do you hear that Obama donors? Biden says you have no influence.

The notion that the Obama campaign is bought and paid for by small donors is a canard. In fact, the number of large donations to both Obama and McCain's campaigns has increased since the 2004 election. The Washington Post's Jay Mandle wrote, "[F]or most of his campaign, big donors have been Obama's mainstay. Employees of investment bank Goldman Sachs, for example, have contributed more than $570,000 to his campaign." Mandle also notes that those considered "small dollar donors" still tend to be upper middle class and not the "working-class families" touted by the campaign.

In "The Audacity of Hope," Obama wrote that during his Senate campaign, wealthy donors became increasingly sympathetic to his cause. In July of 2003, the Chicago Defender reported his successes in "Fund-raising Gives Obama Momentum." It's unlikely that Obama thought this well of support would dry up when he entered the presidential race. The question then becomes did Obama go back on his promise or make a promise that he had no intention of keeping?

Despite Obama's altruistic rhetoric and phony reasons for opting out of the public financing system, the truth is that it was only a promise he was willing to keep if it gave him an edge in the campaign. Since McCain's fundraising hasn't come close to matching Obama's, McCain was certainly willing to participate in the public system. If Obama did in fact plan to participate, why continue collecting from donors who, by his account, are working-class? Surely that money could be more useful to their families. The rest of the country may be facing tough economic times, but it's an economic boom in Obamaland.


Obama goes for the moron vote

The 2008 race for the Democratic nomination for the presidency looks like a classic pursuit of the Moron Vote. This seems crude to say, so perhaps we should call it the "mentally challenged vote" or the "clueless vote".

Why do I term it so? Consider where the winning Democratic candidate, Barak Obama, stands on issues most Americans care about. In numerous cases he takes positions that seem based on the assumption that voters are idiots, or else those positions show a serious lack of understanding on his part. On second thought - and in the interest of striking a blow at political correctness - let's stick with the title as-is. The simplest, most direct words are always the best.

Gas, oil, energy and quality of life. As I write this, oil has hit $137 a barrel on world markets. Mr. Obama has joined other lawmakers in bashing oil companies for "obscene" profits. He wants to tax their "windfall profits" and spend the money on "alternative energy sources". Yet he is opposed (as most Democrats are) to using nuclear power or coal (of which we have hundreds of years' supply) to generate power. He will not allow oil recovery from shale, which experts believe might contain some 800 billion barrels of oil. And he is unalterably opposed to drilling in either the Arctic National Wildlife Reserve (where some 10 billion barrels of oil can be tapped) or off our coasts (where experts believe potential reserves of at least 18 billion barrels lie).

Mr. Obama's positions and oppositions will not produce a drop of new oil, or lower the price by a farthing, or produce the reasonably priced power Americans need. Yet millions of voters - not to mention legions of enthralled reporters - think he walks on water. One is left to infer that his followers either (1) want higher gas prices or (2) are too stupid to realize that their "messiah's" policies will do nothing about either energy supply or price - two of Americans' biggest worries.

Mr. Obama has gone on record saying that we can't expect to keep driving SUVs, eat as much as we want and set our thermostats at 72 degrees, and have the rest of the world say, "OK." Does he think Americans won't notice these declarations? Or is he so convinced of his own infallibility that he believes voters will swarm to his camp anyway? Color me perplexed. Other observers are more definite in their opposition, like the blogger Patstand who wrote, "Wake up people! Scary stuff coming out of the mouth of Barack Hussein Obama. Who is HE to tell us what we can drive and what we can eat?" It's a good question to which I have no answer.

What I do know is that scarce, high-priced gas and promises of a diminished quality of life have knocked two presidents out of the box in the last 1/3 century. Richard Nixon was the first. The conventional story is that Watergate brought him down, but that's too thin. The real issue was gas. (For your car - not the kind Congress produces.) The Watergate burglary happened in mid-1972. Nobody cared much about it until 1974, after oil tripled and gas doubled in price. Congressional Democrats used the Watergate break-in as a springboard, and Mr. Nixon was toast.

Gas in 1979 was as expensive as now, adjusted for inflation. Jimmy Carter said we should turn out the lights, turn down the heat, and put up with high gas prices - and he told us to quit whining about it. He scolded us - something voters don't appreciate. In 1980 they gave Mr. Carter the boot and elected the candidate of optimism, Ronald Reagan. After the feds stopped trying to allocate gas supplies and control prices, supplies stabilized and gas prices dropped.

The Economy... is where Mr. Obama is most clearly going after the Moron Vote. He is smart to do it because it won for Bill Clinton in 1992. Coming out of the 1990-'91 Gulf War, our economy had hit a downturn. Unemployment was 7.3%. Things were not good, but not really terrible in historic terms.

Mr. Clinton brought voters' niggling dissatisfaction to a boil by repeating the preposterous charge that we were in the "worst economy since the Great Depression" - knowing that a large faction of the public would not know this was complete nonsense. President Bush declined to dispute it, thinking the voters could not possibly believe so silly a statement. But he was wrong. The strategy drew the Moron Vote in droves and was a winner. With some help from Ross Perot, Mr. Clinton sneaked in with just 43% of the popular vote. Soon after he took office, the media began to report that (surprise!) the economy wasn't as bad as we thought it was.

Today, Mr. Obama is selling the same snake oil to voters who wouldn't know the Great Depression from the Great Gatsby. They resonate with Mr. Obama's mantra of "change" without having any idea what change he would bring, what it would cost, or how it would affect them. I'm not the first commentator to note that Mr. Obama wants to take us not forward, but backward - back to the New Deal, higher taxes, less economic freedom, a managed economy and the Fairness Doctrine. Millions of voters evidently think that sounds super. (The Moron Vote rises again.)

Mr. Obama distrusts private business, and has what columnist Cal Thomas calls a "can't do" attitude about the future. He believes the ordinary person simply cannot make it without big government's help. Actually, Mr. Obama distrusts not only business: he distrusts the American people. Are we the indomitable people who built the greatest nation and the wealthiest, most robust economy in history? No! We are pitiable, wretched victims of a failed government and a "broken" system who need his "ministry" in order to avoid ruin.

Another aspect of Mr. Obama's appeal to the Moron Vote is his opposition to the North American Free Trade Agreement. Labor unions claim it has drained jobs from old-line industries. In fact, NAFTA has opened numerous markets to American goods - thus creating thousands of new American jobs. Mr. Obama is pandering to unions whose support he must have in order to do well in the general election. Since NAFTA has the force of law, only political dunces could buy his promise to "renegotiate" NAFTA in order to protect union jobs from the competition of imports.

Democrats like to characterize American society as divided between winners and losers in "the lottery of life". Those who have worked hard and succeeded in making good livings and accumulating some wealth must "give back" - i.e., subsidize those who didn't work as hard, didn't get educated, and didn't make wise choices in their lives. Liberals sweep inconvenient facts about personal responsibility under the rug by claiming that these "victims" rolled snake-eyes in the great, cosmic crapshoot.

The irony is that Mr. Obama's policies would not empower the down-and-out, but would permanently prevent them from improving their status. Creation of wealth - not envy-taxes, income-transfer or welfare - enables economic advancement. This seems beyond the ken of Mr. Obama's followers. Indeed, it seems beyond Mr. Obama, himself.

National security. Barak Obama has fashioned a successful campaign around the "novel" idea of negotiating away our differences with such thugs as Hugo Chavez (Venezuela), Mahmoud Ahmadinejad (Iran) and Osama Bin Laden (Al Qaida). Except for the serious risk it represents to the country, it would be fascinating to see how long his commitment to palaver with our enemies would last, should he actually gain the office.

Experience shows that no outrage exceeds that of a committed "negotiator" whose overtures to peace and comity have been rudely rebuffed with actual violence. My guess is that Mr. Obama would turn into an "avenging angel" - far beyond anything Mr. Bush has done - once the scales fell from his eyes. Only the danger of actually letting Mr. Obama into the Oval Office restrains me from saying, "let's vote him in as a social experiment."

Mr. Obama's high-minded insistence that negotiation is a novel idea that has not been tried appeals to the Moron Vote. Only the clueless and the appallingly ignorant would buy this line. Negotiating with one's enemies is, in fact, an old idea that has been repeatedly tried and found wanting. Its limitation is the honesty (or lack thereof) of the people one negotiates with.

Japanese ambassadors were in actual talks with Secretary of State Cordell Hull at the very moment when Japanese torpedo planes struck our Pacific fleet at Pearl Harbor, on December 7, 1941. His promises notwithstanding, Hitler had no intention of granting "peace in our time" (or any other time) to the British and French at Munich (October 1938). He later contemptuously called them "worms". Hitler promptly broke his word and took over the rest of Czechoslovakia (March 1939), launching World War II just six months later. "That man lied to me," Neville Chamberlain famously complained after Hitler annexed the part of Czechoslovakia he had sworn to "protect".

Of a piece with Mr. Obama's claims that his brilliant new negotiating skills will obviate the need for war is his oft-stated intention to recall our troops from Iraq without delay, whether the job is done or not. The far left loves this, and the Moron Vote sits reverently at his feet while he spins his Sermon on the Mount yarns about no more war. But, as Lincoln famously said, calling a tail a leg doesn't make it one. Just so, saying we won't need to fight any more doesn't make it so - unless we plan on unilateral surrender.

Unfortunately for Mr. Obama, this is the weakest part of his entire messianic presentation. Americans have never developed a taste for surrender. They clearly don't have patience with long wars - much to their credit - but they dislike defeat even more than they dislike long wars. From cab-drivers to construction workers to housewives, Americans must be asking, "Are you kidding me?" when they hear Mr. Obama's rapturous calls to link arms and sing "Kum ba ya" with those loveable fuzz-balls who behead innocent people, strap bombs to children and crash planes into buildings. You don't have to be a war-lover to view this dangerous naivet‚ with a jaundiced eye.

It's a wicked world, and it's a wicked man (or an idiot) who tries to convince large numbers of people that it isn't. Americans need to ask themselves Dirty Harry's famous question: "Do I feel lucky?" The Moron Vote says, "Yes." What about the rest of us?



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