Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Major DNC Donor to Party Treasurer: Obama is a Bad Investment

The following is a letter sent to DNC Treasurer Andy Tobias telling him why, from a rational investor's point of view, Obama has not earned the author's vote. The letter was sent by one of the DNC's biggest donors, a donor who has historically maxed out to the DNC and who was a maxed out donor in both the Kerry and Clinton campaigns, in response to comments by Tobias that she could not see the forest through the trees. You decide.

Dear Andy,

So you want to know what is taking me so long to "get on board"? Let me try to answer with some discussion of what my 25 years on Wall Street and the Hedge Fund community have taught me, and what insights I can share in order to explain my stance.

As you know, anyone in our profession meets with countless management teams on a monthly, quarterly, and annual basis. The "plots" change from time to time and the cast of characters play musical chairs. After awhile, they become all too familiar. You have seen the movie before. When you spot the corrupt CFO enter the scene, it immediately casts a doubt on the rest of the management team. One or two conclusions can be drawn - either they are inept or they wanted a dishonest player. Neither answer provides any comfort, but always insight. I have been lied to by the best of them over the decades; I am sure you have had similar experiences.

After years of stepping in land mines, I learned to read people and situations. I had no choice - my listening skills were honed, my gut fine-tuned. I picked up on what was and was not said, and I always paid close attention to the cast of characters. The actions of a management team always told me more than anything they ever said. If they were bailing out, so was I. If the head of sales left unexpectedly, alarm bells went of.

In the thirteen years that I have had audited results, I lost money in only one year, and then only in single digits. I am proud that I was able repay my investors' faith and confidence in me by compounding their funds assets, net of fees, at 18% over those 13 years. I took my responsibilities seriously and when I knew I could not give it 110% of my energies, I turned it over to someone who would. My investors deserved someone who would work tirelessly on their behalf, looking under every rock in support of their interests.

The fact that I became successful was not what made me proud. It was how I did it. My soul is intact. It was the self-imposed rules and standards that I adhered to. I believed in a win, win, and still do. My investors always came first. I never screwed anyone over. I made plenty of mistakes, but I always owned them, never blaming others. I treated everyone fairly and with respect, believing everyone has something to offer. I always tried to do the right thing.

So what does this have to do with me not falling in line and supporting Obama? Well everything as you can see.

Andy, if I worked and served the people in the 13th District in Chicago, I would have known all of the players. And to win that district, would I have gamed the system to run unopposed? Tony Rezko would not have had a seat at my table. Either Obama is a fool and is blind to what should have been obvious, or someone like Tony is fine by Obama's standards. The guy is a dirtball. And a dirtball would not be part of my circle, certainly not my inner circle. I would rather not be elected than associate with someone like Rezko.

Nor for political or any other reasons would I choose Rev. Wright, Rev. Meeks, or Father Plager as my spiritual mentors. Again, he is either blind or an opportunist. Would I be hanging out with Mr. Ayers? Would you? Would you refuse to be photographed with Gavin Newsom? There is a pattern with this guy - he manipulates; the ends justify the means. He lacks character.

Getting not one bill passed in the first 6 years of his career in not inspiring. Having Emil Jones hand him the ball 26 times on the one-yard line in order to make Obama a United States Senator does not cut it either. What deals he made, he did to benefit no one but himself. He never worked long enough in either Senate to help the people who elected him. Andy, I could never imagine you taking credit for legislation someone else slaved over. Starting in his community organizing days he claimed sole responsibility for other people's accomplishments all for the purpose to boosting his career.

In terms of the campaign itself, I had the opportunity to witness his methods up close. During the primaries I was in 6 states, 2 of which had caucuses; it was not clean. El Paso was a joke with the Obama campaign stealing the caucus packets, locking supporters out - Intimidation 101, 102 and 103. Fair elections do not seem to be a priority in my birth state. No other machine exists from the days of Boss Tweed, but Chicago's. How many elected officials are in jail? They are the joke of the nation. It is called the Chicago machine for good reason.

It was clear that what I saw and experienced was not a fluke or isolated incidents, but coordinated, deliberate and arrogant. I got to see him and his organization for who he is and what it is - not inspiring, to say the least. Not something I would have, in business, endorsed in any way. In fact, I would most likely have reported them to the appropriate regulators.

Andy, I have consistently found you to be a compassionate person, but more importantly you have always put your money where your mouth is. Does it not bother you that a guy like Obama can serve a poor district and give away a paltry $1000 to charity? He only stepped up his giving when he decided to run for President and he knew his charitable giving would be made public. How could anyone see that much misery and not try to personally do something about it?

Please, show me something this guy ever did that was not done in a calculated fashion to create and advance his own personal narrative? Something selfless, perhaps, just because it was the right thing to do?

Every person I have talked to who worked at the Law Review at Harvard with him, or in the later part of his career, said the same thing: he was arrogant and self-centered. One person laughed, saying Obama wanted to be King of the World, that he was always running for something, never staying in one place long enough to amass accomplishments or be held accountable.

Do you not you find it troublesome that he has hundreds of paid bloggers, posting vicious attacks not only about the Clintons but her supporters as well? The whole purpose was to cast him as the second coming, while trashing her and quashing other points of view.

At first I thought is was just some hyped up kids, and then a pattern emerged. He paid others to do his dirty work. The most egregious sexist cracks were rampant, both on the Internet and the MSM. Yet, what did Howard and Obama say? Nothing. Obama promoted it, paid his bloggers to write it. Never once did he try to stop it. Howard, after the damage was done finally commented on it, but barely. Wink, wink. Andy, I heard remarks that still make my jaw drop.

You know I consider myself a centrist. The right wing of the Republican Party scares me, but so does the left. Ideologues of either side should not have control simultaneously of the executive, legislative, and judicial arms of the government. Absolute power corrupts, be it on the left or the right. Ha, but you will say.... the courts. If you have the legislative branch, all will be fine. McCain voted Ginsberg in, he is not a stupid man and certainly not an Ideologue, and he took heat in the primaries for refusing to have a litmus test for judges. And need I remind you that Obama thought Roberts was an acceptable appointment until some more experienced hands in the Senate told him that would not do?

Painting him as Bush 3 is a little annoying, and what's up with the MoveOn Baby Alex commercial? Give credit where credit is due. McCain went against his own party twice on immigration reform, on ethanol subsidies, and campaign finance reform. He started talking about Global warming 8 years ago. I don't agree with McCain on a number of topics, but I do believe he has principles and a backbone. He is not willing to say anything to get elected.

I can't say the same for Obama who is turning out to be more like Bush than McCain; Obama is at least as arrogant as W, just more polished. Are you not ashamed, in these past weeks, of his reckless abandon of any pretense to a moral center on issues such as FISA, separation of church and state, gun control? And what he did to one of my heroes, Wes Clark? Insulting my intelligence and my standards will not win me over.

But, in this conversation, you will say, McCain wants to be in Iraq for 100 years. No, he said that as in Japan, or Korea, we could have a presence. We have been in both of those countries for 60 years and not leaving any time soon, and the world is safer for it.

Next will be, McCain is not knowledgeable about the economy. While with Carly Fiorina, who I remember from her Lucent days, at a town meeting he turned the mic over to Carly when asked about the mortgage mess, painting her as the expert. Wow - he gave a woman a compliment, praising her knowledge, referring to her as the expert. How often have you praised Charles, or me, and everyone for that matter? Why? Because you are gracious and you know it reflects well on you.

All this might not bother me if so much if the stakes where not so high, but they are. I am an issues person, not a cult of personality devotee. Substance matters. Barack is a politician, an inexperienced one at that, pretending he is different. I just see him as arrogant and power hungry. Our country deserves better, someone I would be proud to do business with.

Andy, my country comes first, not the Democrat party. Having said that, I believe that the Democratic Party has just kicked away the best candidate and our best chance to redeem our country, Hillary Clinton, a proven centrist. Given his resume, or should I say the lack of one, he is either ineffective or hiding something, neither answer gives me the warm and fuzzies. If she is chosen in Denver, you can count on my full and enthusiastic support. Until then,


Airhead's energy plan

Inflate your tires. Tune your engines. Here's $1,000 so you won't reduce your driving. Democratic Sen. Barack Obama is the smartest script-reader in Hollywood. But when it comes to policy. Well. It's all Jimmy Carter II.

With the price of oil at $4 a gallon, Americans are cutting back on driving. This is pushing oil prices down. It's called the marketplace. It works. This should please liberals because it puts less pressure to open up areas near their vacation homes to oil exploration. Instead Obama wants to give every family $1,000 so they can drive, drive, drive and use, use, use that foreign oil, foreign oil, foreign oil. Politico quoted Obama:
"This rebate will be enough to offset the increased cost of gas for a working family over the next four months. Or, if you live in a state where it gets very cold in the winter, it will be enough to cover the entire increase in your heating bills. Or you could use the rebate for any of your other bills or even to pay down debt."

Or it could be used to pay for more air in your tires. Just what he's rebating is unclear. I think he means the extra money people will have to pay for gasoline to cover the latest "windfall tax." So people will drive more, pay more and we will be more dependent on foreign oil. There is no problem so bad that the government cannot come in and make it worse.


Obama's carelessness with the facts again

Obama released a TV spot saying McCain's campaign got $2 million from "Big Oil" while McCain proposed "another $4 billion in tax breaks" for the industry.

The truth is that McCain's campaign has received $1.33 million from individuals employed in the oil and gas industry, not $2 million. Obama himself has received nearly $400,000, according to the most authoritative figures available. We find the $2 million figure is based on a mistaken calculation.

Furthermore, McCain is not proposing new tax breaks specifically targeted to the oil industry. He's proposing a general reduction in the corporate income tax rate, which Democrats figure would benefit the five largest oil and gas companies by $3.8 billion.

More here

McCain Not First to Compare Obama to Paris Hilton

The uproar of the media, serving as adjunct PR firms in defense of their beloved Sen. Barack Obama in response to Sen. John McCain's video comparing the Illinois Senator to Paris Hilton, was deafening. The ad was described as "nasty", "childish" and "juvenile", a "strange" "nuclear attack" for having dared to compare their anointed one to the brainless celebutant hotel heiress.

Sen. McCain and his camp responded that it was all in good fun, and was made only to point out the ridiculous Tiger Beat-squealing teenage girl nature of the over-the-top, all-encompassing coverage thus far afforded Obama by his Paparazzi. But it appears that someone years ago beat Sen. McCain to the comparison punch. Would all of this overwrought press hysteria be rendered even sillier were it to turn out that Sen. McCain was in actuality quoting Sen. Obama? Methinks that it would. A February 24, 2005, Washington Post article begins:
There's nothing exotic or complicated about how phenoms are made in Washington, and, more to the point, how they are broken. "Andy Warhol said we all get our 15 minutes of fame," says Barack Obama. "I've already had an hour and a half. I mean, I'm so overexposed, I'm making Paris Hilton look like a recluse."

That is pretty much the who and the why of Sen. McCain's explanation of his ad, is it not? It turns out he wasn't mocking Sen. Obama so much as channeling him. Or making a mini-documentary out of the Post's article. Either way, it is just another example of the elite media not liking a Leftist's own words being used against him in the court of public opinion.


Under President Obama, CO2 hysteria would be a cornerstone of US policy

Obama speaks in Michigan:

We meet at a moment when this country is facing a set of challenges greater than any we've seen in generations. Right now, our brave men and women in uniform are fighting two different wars while terrorists plot their next attack. Our changing climate is placing our planet in peril. Our economy is in turmoil and our families are struggling with rising costs and falling incomes; with lost jobs and lost homes and lost faith in the American Dream. And for too long, our leaders in Washington have been unwilling or unable to do anything about it.

That is why this election could be the most important of our lifetime. When it comes to our economy, our security, and the very future of our planet, the choices we make in November and over the next few years will shape the next decade, if not the century. And central to all of these major challenges is the question of what we will do about our addiction to foreign oil.

Without a doubt, this addiction is one of the most dangerous and urgent threats this nation has ever faced - from the gas prices that are wiping out your paychecks and straining businesses to the jobs that are disappearing from this state; from the instability and terror bred in the Middle East to the rising oceans and record drought and spreading famine that could engulf our planet.

It's also a threat that goes to the very heart of who we are as a nation, and who we will be. Will we be the generation that leaves our children a planet in decline, or a world that is clean, and safe, and thriving? Will we allow ourselves to be held hostage to the whims of tyrants and dictators who control the world's oil wells? Or will we control our own energy and our own destiny? Will America watch as the clean energy jobs and industries of the future flourish in countries like Spain, Japan, or Germany? Or will we create them here, in the greatest country on Earth, with the most talented, productive workers in the world? ...

Back then, we imported about a third of our oil. Now, we import more than half. Back then, global warming was the theory of a few scientists. Now, it is a fact that is melting our glaciers and setting off dangerous weather patterns as we speak. ...

I believe we should immediately give every working family in America a $1,000 energy rebate, and we should pay for it with part of the record profits that the oil companies are making right now. ... As your wonderful Governor has said, "Any time you pick up a newspaper and see the terms `climate change' or `global warming,' just think: `jobs for Michigan.'" You are seeing the potential already. Already, there are 50,000 jobs in your clean energy sector and 300 companies. But now is the time to accelerate that growth, both here and across the nation.

If I am President, I will immediately direct the full resources of the federal government and the full energy of the private sector to a single, overarching goal - in ten years, we will eliminate the need for oil from the entire Middle East and Venezuela. To do this, we will invest $150 billion over the next ten years and leverage billions more in private capital to build a new energy economy that harnesses American energy and creates five million new American jobs...

Senator McCain would not take the steps or achieve the goals that I outlined today. His plan invests very little in renewable sources of energy and he's opposed helping the auto industry re-tool. Like George Bush and Dick Cheney before him, he sees more drilling as the answer to all of our energy problems, and like them, he's found a receptive audience in the very same oil companies that have blocked our progress for so long. In fact, he raised more than one million dollars from big oil just last month, most of which came after he announced his plan for offshore drilling in a room full of cheering oil executives. His initial reaction to the bipartisan energy compromise was to reject it because it took away tax breaks for oil companies. And even though he doesn't want to spend much on renewable energy, he's actually proposed giving $4 billion more in tax breaks to the biggest oil companies in America - including $1.2 billion to Exxon-Mobil.

... We can watch other countries create the industries and the jobs that will fuel our future, and leave our children a planet that grows more dangerous and unlivable by the day...


Another flip flop

The latest edition of our continuing series, Obama's statements and their expiration dates.

OBAMA'S STATEMENT: "The reserve should only be used in the event of an emergency, and that we shouldn't be tapping the reserve to provide a small, short-term decrease in gas prices." - August 31, 2005

EXPIRATION DATE: Today: "Democrat Barack Obama called today for tapping the nation's strategic oil reserves to help drive down gasoline prices, a shift from his previous position on the issue." All Barack Obama statements come with an expiration date. All of them. Of course, the RNC notes Obama was arguing against tapping into the strategic oil reserves a lot more recently than August 2005:
"I do not believe that we should use the strategic oil reserves at this point. I have said and, in fact, supported a congressional resolution that said that we should suspend putting more oil into the strategic oil reserve, but the strategic oil reserve, I think, has to be reserved for a genuine emergency. You have a situation, let's say, where there was a major oil facility in Saudi Arabia that was destroyed as a consequence of terrorist acts, and you suddenly had huge amounts of oil taken out of the world market, we wouldn't just be seeing $4-a-gallon oil. We could see a situation where entire sectors of the country had no oil to function at all. And that's what the strategic oil reserve has to be for." (Sen. Barack Obama, Remarks At Media Availability, St. Louis, MO, 7/7/08)



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