The Obama Push Back: "Ayers and Dohrn Are Members Of The Establishment"
I am reading through the Obama push-back on the Corsi book to get ready for an appearance on Hannity and Colmes tonight, and the shoddy work product put out by Obama could well throw fuel on the fire. Corsi's certainly got errors in his book, but Obama's team is trying too hard when they assert about unrepentant terrorists Bill Ayers and Bernadine Dohrn in response to Corsi that "AYERS AND DOHRN ARE MEMBERS OF THE ESTABLISHMENT WITH TIES TO THE MAYOR" (p. 16 of the Obama document) or that with regard to Alice Palmer --the Illinois State Senator that Obama's team had removed from the ballot in his first race for state office, that "PALMER PULLED HER OWN PLUG." (p. 18.)
On page 9, Obama's defense brief asserts: OBAMA HAS MADE CLEAR REPEATEDLY THAT HE STOPPED USING MARIJUANA IN COLLEGE, WHICH PEERS HAVE AFFIRMED." But the Corsi assertion being responded to here also pointed out that Obama has yet to answer questions of whether he ever dealt drugs, and the single assertion about quitting that Obama's team cites is from an interview in '03, which is hardly "repeatedly."
I am just getting started, but Obama seems to have made a huge mistake in attempting to spin many of these charges. Most of them are matters of opinion --such as the interpretation of Michelle Obama's "not been proud of America" comment or whether Hamas endorsed Obama. By throwing this much fuel on the fire, the fire gets bigger and all of these stories/charges./assertions get more attention. Corsi is the happiest man in the world tonight because Obama's team not only gave him a few million dollars of publicity, they also failed to discredit him completely.
But the key error is that now Obama will have to do the same thing forDavid Freddoso's extremely well-researched and documented book. Looking forward to that "push-back" as well.
UPDATE: Yuval Levin shares my instinct that the Obama camp has blown this response. It may be a case of believing too much in the myth of the "Swift-boating of John Kerry." Kerry's credibility took a hit because he indeed had not been in Cambodia on Christmas Eve --one of the central charges of the Swift Boat Veterans. By believing in the myth that nothing the SBVT put out was true, the Obama people have stumbled into a response that asserts nothing damaging from Corsi could be true when it fact lots of it is.
And the response to Freddoso's book comes when?
The Audacity of Nope; Obama's oil policy
To plan a long and challenging journey, would you reject Mapquest and GPS and only consult an atlas from the 1970s? Unlikely. But to pinpoint America's offshore oil deposits, Congressional Democrats, starting with Senator Barack Obama, love disco-era maps. Despite his conditional, latter-day support for limited offshore drilling, Obama is the sole sponsor of legislation that would block geological research to locate offshore oil.
Federal officials currently employ estimates based primarily on two-dimensional, black-and-white maps that oil-industry surveyors produced in the 1970s and furnished to the Interior Department. Since 1981, Congressional appropriations amendments effectively have barred Interior from financing or permitting survey expeditions - particularly and precisely in the 85 percent of the Outer Continental Shelf where oil production and exploration are verboten.
In 2005, Congress mandated new, quintennial inventories, then gave Interior six months and $0.00 to assess how much oil and natural gas undergird the 1.76 billion-acre Outer Continental Shelf - a laughably impossible task. "They couldn't even board a research vessel," explains a congressional staffer who studies these issues. Interior's "paper inventory," the aide adds, "examined Canadian and West African coastal data, imagined where those sediments pooled before the Continental Drift, then extrapolated to guesstimate what's off our Atlantic coast today."
The resulting document states: "Resource estimates are highly dependent on the current knowledge base, which has not been updated in 20 to 40 years for areas under congressional moratorium. . . . " Translation: "We have no idea what's really out there."
Obama's "Oil SENSE Act" would repeal the 2005 Energy Policy Act's authorization of these inventories. Introduced in January 2007, S.115 would leave decision makers with Carter Administration maps drawn with pre-PC technology. This is like engineering a Space Shuttle mission with slide rules.
Obama's bill would prohibit expanded use of 3-D, color seismic techniques that locate and measure underwater oil deposits - even though those tools are in wide use where offshore drilling is allowed, such as the western Gulf of Mexico. In October 1999, President Clinton's Energy Department evaluated the environmental quality of 1970s' 2-D equipment against last decade's 3-D technology. With the latter, Energy concluded, "Overall impacts of exploration and production are reduced because fewer wells are required to develop the same amount of reserves." In 1970, 17 percent of offshore wells struck oil. By 1997, that figure was 48 percent.
Obama's Don't Ask, Don't Drill policy spurns these marvels and embraces outdated information gathered with obsolete instruments. This is the audacity of ignorance. Adults should not make decisions in willful obliviousness. Democrats like Obama prefer not to know what riches rest off America's coasts - since, from their perspective, only bad things can arise politically from finding good things scientifically. They resemble kindergartners who cover their ears and hum loudly to muffle their parents' unwelcome words.
Meanwhile, Americans struggle to fuel planes, trains, and automobiles. Despite this national nightmare, Congressional Democrats fled on a five-week summer vacation, rather than vote on Republican amendments to extend offshore drilling. Democrats chose suntan oil over oil production.
Instead of voting on Republican energy proposals, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D., California) dispatched her colleagues to build sandcastles. Nevertheless, GOP representatives unofficially are pleading their case to tourists inside the House chamber.
Moreover, ten Republican senators wrote President Bush on August 1 to request an executive order for an onshore seismic survey of the hydrocarbon resources beneath the Alaskan National Wildlife Refuge's 1.5 million acres. "The last seismic survey of the area is 25 years old (winter of 1983-84), and the United States government is operating with outdated information of America's energy inventory," the letter states. "This would be purely informational and environmentally non-intrusive," it continues (emphasis in the original). "Modern seismic testing . . . is roughly equivalent to photography in terms of its environmental impact on land."
This letter was signed by Ted Stevens and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, Kay Bailey Hutchison and John Cornyn of Texas, and six other GOP senators, including ranking Republicans of four committees. According to Jim Guirard - president of Washington, D.C.'s TrueSpeak Institute and former chief of staff to the late Senator Russell Long (D., Louisiana) - who encouraged senators to send this letter, other senators were eager to sign on, but ran out of time to do so as Congress' careened toward adjournment.
Senate Democrats favor doubling gasoline prices rather than considering further fuel-supply development, as Human Events' Jed Babbin has observed. Senate GOP leader Mitch McConnell (R., Kentucky) asked to debate pro-energy legislation. Senator Ken Salazar (D., Colorado), representing majority Democrats, objected. And if gasoline reached $5.00-per-gallon? Salazar said no. $7.50? McConnell wondered. Salazar: Nyet. McConnell continued, "I would renew my request with the modification that the trigger be $10 a gallon at the pump." Salazar replied: "I object."
Late last month, Senator Charles Schumer (D., New York) complained, "It's Christmas in July" as he denounced oil-industry earnings, even though that sector's 8.3 percent margin for 2007 lagged the chemical and electronics industries' 12.7 and 14.5 percent respective returns. "Big Oil is plowing these profits into stock buybacks instead of increasing production," Schumer huffed.
Naturally, it's hard for Big Oil to generate more petroleum when it cannot open new refineries, develop the Alaskan National Wildlife Refuge, broaden offshore production, nor even modernize its underwater maps. This is like screaming at Mom because dinner is late - while blocking the kitchen door.
For all their supposed sophistication, Obama, Pelosi, Salazar, Schumer, and their caucus-mates are anti-intellectual eco-Luddites. Democratic bullheadedness deserves the republic's scorn.
It's a Tough Cycle to Run Young/Fresh Face' Against 'Trusted and Tested.'
Steven Stark, over at RCP:
History shows that the Democrats are up against an experienced, steady Republican candidate who is unlikely to make major mistakes. And their nominee, after a brilliant start in January and February to launch his candidacy and cement his base, hasn't had a terrific six months. Obama continues to show few signs of extending his support to the demographics that are likely to decide the election - principally the working-class voters concentrated in industrial states such as Ohio, Michigan, and Pennsylvania.
This ties into a conversation with Mrs. CampaignSpot last night.
If you had to pick two words most often used to promote modern Republican nominees - Nixon, Ford, Reagan, Bush, Dole, Bush, McCain - they would be "trusted" and "tested." The only one on that list who comes close to being a "fresh face" on that list is George W. Bush, and he began the 2000 election cycle with extremely high name recognition and the Bush family Rolodex. People felt like they knew him already from his father.
By comparison, the Democrats are much more inclined to go with the fresh face/dark horse:. McGovern, Carter, Mondale, Dukakis, Clinton, Gore, Kerry, Obama. The only old political veterans on that list are Mondale, Gore, and Kerry, and the party flirted with Hart in 1984 and Dean in 2004. (McGovern was 50 when he ran in 1972, but he was associated with the young anti-establishment, "amnesty, abortion and acid", etc.)
If Obama loses, many of his fans will take it as ipso facto evidence of deep and pervasive racism in America. But it is more likely to be that this wasn't the cycle to run "young/fresh face" against "trusted and tested."
We may be on the verge of winning in Iraq, but Afghanistan is getting tougher. Pakistan is still an unstable cauldron of extremism where America has limited options. Iran is seeking nukes and the Israelis have an itchy trigger finger. The Russian bear is in the woods again, stomping on Georgia. China is rising and showcasing authoritarian capitalism as an alternative to Western-style democracy. If the FBI is right, one guy with no state or group backing managed to terrorize Americans in fall 2001 by slipping poisons in envelopes. Gas prices are dropping, but Americans won't quickly forget $4 a gallon prices, nor the recognition that faraway pipelines and Nigerian political stability can suddenly affect them at the pump. Fannie Mae and Freddy Mac ran aground, the housing bubble burst, the border's not secure...
Maybe 1992, and perhaps 2000 were good cycles to run "young/fresh face" against "trusted and tested." But this isn't 1992 or 2000.
McCain's Boots Defeat Obama's Suits
A man, they say, can be judged by his friends. If that's the case, then Barack Obama can surely be judged by George Clooney. The UK Daily Mail reported this week that the "Ocean's Eleven" actor regularly speaks with and text messages the presumptive Democratic nominee, advising him on everything from fashion to foreign policy. "George has been giving him advice on things such as presentation, public speaking and body language and he also emails him constantly about policy, especially the Middle East," stated a Democratic Party insider. "George is pushing him to be more 'balanced' on issues such as U.S. relations with Israel. George is pro-Palestinian. And he is also urging Barack to withdraw unconditionally from Iraq if he wins."
In my last book, "Project President: Bad Hair and Botox on the Road to the White House," I highlighted perhaps the chief deciding factor for voters in presidential elections: suits versus boots. I explained that Americans always prefer the cowboy candidate -- the boots candidate -- to the glitzy, arrogant urban type -- the suits candidate. Americans like tough guys. We don't like candidates who consult with actors on foreign policy.
Americans prefer boots to suits for one simple reason: Americans prefer action to rhetoric. Arrogant bombast -- the traditional preserve of the big city lawyers -- is not our style. We like determined policy-making. We like candidates who take no crap rather than candidates who spout bull-crap.
If the McCain campaign can highlight the fact that Barack Obama is the suit-iest man ever to run for president, Obama will lose the 2008 election. And it will not be close.
When John Kerry ran for president in 2004, I thought he was the biggest suit the nation had ever seen on the presidential stage. Barack Obama surpasses him exponentially. Obama is a former law professor and "community organizer" (i.e., a rabble-rousing grievance-monger). Obama thrills to the cheers of Berliners but shuns visiting wounded troops if he cannot be accompanied by campaign staff and cameras. He hangs out with terrorists-cum-professors, racial radicals-cum-pastors and actors-cum-politicians, but he demeans rural voters as simpletons who "cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren't like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations." He recommends that hard-working Americans fight high gas prices with tire gauges, but complains about the price of arugula. He proclaims himself "a symbol of the possibility of America returning to our best traditions," creates his own presidential seal and labels his chair on his campaign airplane "President," but says that America is no longer "what it could be, what it once was."
John McCain, by contrast, is a boots candidate in the tradition of Teddy Roosevelt. He spent over five years as a prisoner of war in Vietnam, refusing a ticket home if it meant leaving his men behind. He has a long tradition of voting the way he believes, even if it means ticking off his own base. He hails from Arizona, owns a ranch and doesn't look uncomfortable donning a Stetson.
The biggest contrast between the suity Obama and the booty McCain isn't image, though -- it's substance. When the chips are down, Obama plays rhetorical games. McCain shoots from the hip, and he shoots straight.
Last week, in the mold of Hitler's Czechoslovakian annexation, Vladimir Putin claimed that a breakaway province of Georgia required Russian protection. He then sent Russian troops into Georgia in an attempt to take control of Georgian oil pipelines.
Barack Obama responded by recommending a UN Security Council resolution condemning Russian aggression, as well insertion of a UN peacekeeping force -- a ridiculous suggestion, considering that Russia has a permanent seat on the Security Council and can veto any such resolution. His campaign stated, in Neville Chamberlain-esque fashion, that the situation in Georgia is "both sides' fault -- both have been somewhat provocative with each other." Obama called for restraint from both sides.
McCain, by contrast, demonstrated the moral clarity of the maverick. Russia, he said, needed to immediately withdraw from Georgia. Georgia, he said, should be admitted to NATO forthwith, which would force NATO to intervene in order to maintain Georgia's borders. "Today," McCain said, "we are all Georgians."
There is a reason Americans prefer boots to suits. We don't want George Clooney advising on foreign policy. We don't want a president who sees every international conflict as an exercise in moral equivalence. We don't believe in politicians who see talk as the be-all, end-all.
We DO want a president who will stand up to the Hitlers, the Stalins and yes, the Putins. We want a president who understands that talk is cheap and action is valuable. We want a boots president. John McCain will be that president.
Obama supports "Special interests"
We take it for granted that a vote means a secret ballot but it was not always that way. Moreover, it will not remain that way for workers who vote on whether or not they want a labor union, if legislation sponsored by Congressional Democrats and endorsed by Senator Barack Obama becomes law. Before there were secret ballots, voters dared not express their true preferences if those who watched them vote could retaliate-- whether by firing them, beating them up or in other ways. Anyone who is serious about people being free to express themselves with their votes wants a secret ballot.
The problem for labor unions is that workers in the private sector increasingly vote against being represented by unions. The proportion of workers in the private sector who are represented by unions has fallen below 10 percent.
Since unions are losing the game under the current rules, their obvious answer is to change the rules. Specifically, they want to do away with secret ballots when the government conducts elections to determine whether the workers in a particular company or industry want to be represented by a union.
With labor unions being major supporters of the Democratic Party-- spending hundreds of millions of dollars in this year's election campaign-- it is hardly surprising that Congressional Democrats have lined up solidly behind legislation to let union organizers simply collect signed cards from a majority of workers, in order to be certified as the officially recognized union for those workers.
Of course, the union organizers will then know who did and who did not vote for them. And they may have long memories or short fuses, or both. Moreover, the workers themselves know that, so they may find it prudent to sign up for a union, whether they want one or not.
This legislation passed the House of Representatives last year but did not make it through the Senate. "I will make it the law of the land when I'm President of the United States," Barack Obama has said to the AFL-CIO.
Senator Obama has also said many times that he is against "special interests." But, like most politicians who say that, he means that he is against other politicians' special interests. His own special interests are never called special interests.
Neither are the environmental extremists who support the Democrats called special interests. But the green zealots who have for decades blocked the country from using oil within our own borders-- more oil than in Saudi Arabia, by the way-- are also among the special interests with a big voice in the Democratic Party.
They are also a major factor in shutting down the democratic voting process-- in this case, in the House of Representatives, where Speaker Nancy Pelosi refuses to allow a vote on drilling for oil in places where the green zealots don't want drilling.
The Congressional Democrats could of course vote to continue forbidding drilling in those places. But voters paying $4 a gallon for gas are not likely to agree with the green zealots-- and recent polls show that they do not.
Rather than lose votes in the November elections by voting with the green zealots, or lose the money that the green zealots contribute to the Democratic Party coffers, Nancy Pelosi simply shut down the House of Representatives, so that there could be no votes, and turned off the lights so that C-SPAN could not broadcast Republicans' speeches protesting what happened.
After all, what is democracy compared to support from the green zealots?
It is the same story when it comes to the teachers' unions, the biggest special interest of all in the Democratic Party. They not only contribute money, they can contribute people who walk the precincts on election nights, rounding up the faithful to go vote.
Even the Congressional Black Caucus dares not vote for vouchers or any other form of school choice that the teachers' unions oppose. Better to let a whole generation of black children be trapped in failing schools that employ union teachers.
But special interests? Not at all.
Is the undead Hillary a threat to Obama?
It seems like just yesterday that our beloved Bambi was all dressed up like a kid on the first day of school, jaunting off to strange places with names even funnier than his. And although wet behind the ears, he wowed `em wherever he went. There he was, marching smartly beside Afghan president Karzai, smiling that winningly goofy smile of his, and every media outlet I saw said that he was "polishing his foreign-policy credentials." It was like that scene in Evita where Evita sails off to Europe to show Franco and Mussolini that she's not just some cheap tart, but the high-flying, adored First Lady of Argentina on a rainbow high!
There he was again, patting Nouri al-Maliki on the back at the presidential palace in Baghdad and gesturing to the Iraqi leader to sit down, like al-Maliki was visiting the Obamas at their mansion in Hyde Park or something. I mean, the man looked very comfortable ordering Bush's stooge - excuse me, the brave Iraqi leader who's enthusiastically endorsed the Obama Peace Plan - around. Downright presidential, in fact.
Sure, he shot hoops instead of visiting the jackbooted thugs - excuse me, the maimed and wounded victims of Bush's misguided foreign-policy blunder - in that military hospital, but he made up for it by cozying up to Sarkozy in France and trying on No. 10 Downing St. for size while in London.
The trip all culminated, of course, in the great speech at the Siegess„ule in Berlin (which poor New York Times columnist Bob Herbert mistook for both the Washington Monument and the Leaning Tower of Pisa), which sent 200,000 Germans into paroxysms of ecstasy not seen since Leni Riefenstahl was toting a camera. Nobody feels more like a citizen of the world than the Germans, especially when they're hungry and don't have time to phone ahead to Paris or Rome for reservations.
And yet. where was the bounce? Obama's statistically insignificant lead over that wrinkly old white dude, what's his name, barely budged. And then the usual Rethuglican Smear Machine critics starting carping that the former Barry Soetero didn't have what it takes, wasn't a closer, blah blah blah. Luckily, the major media took Che's suggestion from the Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice's musical, when Evita comes a cropper before her London visit: "You'd better get out the flags and fix a parade. Some kind of coming home in triumph is expected."
[cue music from Jaws]
So it was three cheers for BO Jr., and then it was off to Hawaii, where he could revisit the scenes of his youth as a poor half-black sharecropper, or a pampered half-white kid attending the tony Punahou School, or some combination of both, while a leggy Paris Hilton in a bikini was making goo-goo eyes at John McCain and proposing the most perfectly sensible energy policy anyone ever heard. Do both? Now that's bipartisanship.
[Jaws music gets louder]
I get back from frisking and frolicking with the caribou in Alaska - who, by the way, totally agree with Harry Reid that no way we should drill there - to learn that Hillary is actually going to have her name put in nomination at the Denver convention. Worse, Obama has agreed. When even Maureen Dowd can see at a glance that this is not a good idea, brother Obi-wan - you've got a problem!
I mean, my goodness, has the man never seen one of my movies? Has he never seen any horror movie? This may well turn out to be the dumbest move since the president of Georgia double-dog dared the old KGB goon, Vlad "the Impaler" Putin, to do something about South Ossetia while George Bush was fanny-patting the American women's beach volleyball team in Beijing.
Yes, my friends, the lady senator from the great state of New York, Eliot Spitzer, Governor - excuse me, I mean what's his name, no, not McGreevey, the other guy, you know who I'm talking about - will be formally nominated as one of the two Democrat candidates for president of these United States.
On paper she has no chance. But the Clintons, like the Yankees, don't play the games on paper. They play them for real and they play them for keeps. Bill Clinton didn't grow up at the feet of the greatest gangster of the Prohibition era, Owney Madden, hanging out at the Southern Club & Grill down there in the delightfully corrupt little city of Hot Springs, Ark., and not learn a thing or two about how to mug a fellow and yet maintain plausible deniability.
And while Barack Hussein Obama II Barry Soetero Barack Hussein Obama Jr., may in fact be a card-carrying Chicago/Daley-machine hack - did you notice how he dredged up an Irish ancestor the other day? - he's got nothing on the former Goldwater Girl with an accent flatter than the real place in Kansas where Barry's mom, Stanley, grew up.
Sure, Hillary's fat and waddly and screechy and gives pantsuits a bad name. Sure, she's the kind of gal my dad's generation knew back in college in the Sixties, the one who wore granny dresses and never shaved her legs and slept with the poetry professor and had a "War is Harmful to Children and Other Living Things" poster on her dorm room wall and gave the Black Power salute to the other white kids and worshipped Saul Alinsky and Herbert Marcuse and always argued in class that communism had never really been given a proper try, so why not here and why not now?
But that generation was pretty tough. O.K., they lost Vietnam to a bunch of guys in pajamas but they took to the streets in Hillary's hometown of Chicago and bloodied the pigs pretty good. They blew up buildings - Bambi's mentor, Bill Ayers, comes to mind - and even killed some people. Charlie Manson gave the whole movement a bad name and the Rolling Stones didn't help when that black guy got murdered at Altamont, but you see what I'm driving at: Hillary's minions know how to party.
[Jaws music is deafening now. We may or may not glimpse a Great White Shark swimming menacingly toward the camera.]
So that's why I'm not going to Denver. Not only do I already know the ending of this movie - Gidget Goes Hawaiian vs. Predator - but I'm already back to work on a new picture.
For, sure enough, no sooner was I back home in my palatial pad in Echo Park when the phone rang and what do you know it was my agent, asking whether I could get right to work on a new picture: The Morning After the Morning After the Night of the Return of the Living Undead: This Time, It's Personal.
(For more postings from me, see DISSECTING LEFTISM, TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, GREENIE WATCH, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, GUN WATCH, SOCIALIZED MEDICINE, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, IMMIGRATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, EYE ON BRITAIN and Paralipomena . My Home Pages are here or here or here. Email me (John Ray) here.)