Thursday, August 21, 2008

More on the Obaliar and abortion

Obama and his staffers are attempting to cloud the issue of his past stand on abortion so there may be some need to put the facts as simply as possible. I think Pat Buchanan does a clear and succinct summary of the track record of the Obaliar on the abortion issue:
As David Freddoso reports in his new best-seller, "The Case Against Barack Obama," the Illinois senator goes further than any U.S. senator has dared go in defending what John Paul II called the "culture of death." Thrice in the Illinois legislature, Obama helped block a bill that was designed solely to protect the life of infants already born, and outside the womb, who had miraculously survived the attempt to kill them during an abortion. Thrice, Obama voted to let doctors and nurses allow these tiny human beings die of neglect and be tossed out with the medical waste. How can a man who purports to be a Christian justify this?

If, as its advocates contend, abortion has to remain legal to protect the life and health, mental and physical, of the mother, how is a mother's life or health in the least threatened by a baby no longer inside her -- but lying on a table or in a pan fighting for life and breath? How is it essential for the life or health of a woman that her baby, who somehow survived the horrible ordeal of abortion, be left to die or put to death? Yet, that is what Obama voted for, thrice, in the Illinois Senate.

When a bill almost identical to the one Barack fought in Illinois, the Born Alive Infants Protection Act, came to the floor of the U.S. Senate in 2001, the vote was 98 to 0 in favor. Barbara Boxer, the most pro-abortion member of the Senate before Barack came, spoke out on its behalf: "Of course, we believe everyone should deserve the protection of this bill. ... Who could be more vulnerable than a newborn baby? So, of course, we agree with that. ... We join with an 'aye' vote on this. I hope it will, in fact, be unanimous."

Obama says he opposed the Born Alive Infants Protection Act because he feared it might imperil Roe v. Wade. But if Roe v. Wade did allow infanticide or murder, which is what letting a tiny baby die of neglect or killing it outright amounts to, why would he not want that court decision reviewed and amended to outlaw infanticide?

Is the right to an abortion so sacrosanct to Obama that killing by neglect or snuffing out of the life of tiny babies outside the womb must be protected if necessary to preserve that right? Obama is an abortion absolutist. "I could find no instance in his entire career," writes Freddoso, "in which he voted for any regulation or restriction on the practice of abortion."

In 2007, Barack pledged that, in his first act as president, he will sign the Freedom of Choice Act, which would cancel every federal, state or local regulation or restriction on abortion. The National Organization for Women says it would abolish all restrictions on government funding of abortion. What we once called God's Country would become the nation on earth most zealously committed to an unrestricted right of abortion from conception to birth.

Square that with this:
The presumptive Democratic nominee responded sharply in an interview Saturday night with the Christian Broadcast Network, saying anti-abortion groups were "lying" about his record.

"They have not been telling the truth," Mr. Obama said. "And I hate to say that people are lying, but here's a situation where folks are lying."

He added that it was "ridiculous" to suggest he had ever supported withholding lifesaving treatment for an infant. "It defies common sense and it defies imagination, and for people to keep on pushing this is offensive," he said in the CBN interview.

The link above gives more detail of the matter and reports how Obama staffers are trying to wriggle out of it but I think it is now perfectly clear who is the liar and that the Obama campaign is just one big attempted con-job. The guy couldn't lie straight in bed.

More on Obama's changes of story here

The un-American Obama

This is a torturous month of what-ifs for Hillary Clinton and her still substantial number of followers. First, they have to wonder if the Democrat-friendly media that helped her for so long may have doomed her by refusing to follow a John Edwards adultery story that could have given her the Iowa win that Barack Obama used as his nomination springboard. Instead, Hillary and her followers will have to make do with a Tuesday night convention speech the week after next. But she could have accepted the nomination that Thursday night if only she had followed the instincts of discarded communications director Mark Penn, cast aside for a lobbying controversy no one cared about.

What she and her handlers should have cared about was the wisdom of his advice, laid bare in an upcoming issue of The Atlantic Monthly. It details numerous e-mails that reveal the depth of the internal squabbling that stalled the Clinton campaign. But a larger question looms: What if she had followed Mr. Penn's inclination to focus strongly on voter unease with Barack Obama's far-flung upbringing and resulting lack of mainstream American values? "His roots to basic American culture and values are at best limited," Mr. Penn wrote in March 2007. "I cannot imagine America electing a president at a time of war who is not at his center fundamentally American in his thinking and values."

(And they say Democrats and Republicans can't agree on anything.) He continues: "Let's explicitly own 'American' in our programs, the speeches and the values ... he doesn't."

Predictably, those now tasked with paving the way for an Obama ascendancy are awash in contrived indignation. "It's an appeal to prejudice. I think it's ugly," frowns Democratic consultant Bob Shrum. "If Hillary Clinton had done that, she would permanently besmirch her reputation, her legacy and her place in American politics." Or she might have been delivering a Thursday night convention speech.

In state after state, primary voters who like their presidents to cleave to their country's roots and culture gave Mrs. Clinton victories that almost allowed her to rally. Had she been more aggressive in this regard, I believe she would have won. Now, her torment will be complete, as John McCain uses exactly that strategy to reveal Mr. Obama as insufficiently woven into the tapestry of the nation he seeks to lead. And it will work.

Along the way, there will be more of the same prattling that such criticism is unfair, even racist. But after candidates tell you their views on health care or oil prices - every word changeable with the wind - you arrive at the vital questions: What kind of person is this candidate? Does he cherish the things I cherish? In which ways is he like me? Or not?

One of the ways Mr. Obama differs from most Americans is his breezy indifference for the nation, which may extend, at times, to active distaste. The flag pin as Kryptonite, failing to place his hand over his heart for the national anthem in Iowa - these are symbolic, but symbolism means something. They reveal a man who gladly tolerated two decades of America-bashing in his church and even worse among his friends and associates. It is, in fact, more relevant than any position paper you might find at his Web site. Even when he attempts to praise America, it is in terms of his magical ability to lift it from a mediocrity imposed by less lofty predecessors.

John McCain will use such observations to beat Barack Obama in November. If Hillary Clinton had summoned the nerve to do the same, she would be addressing the convention crowd 15 days from now instead of 13.


Obama Played by Chicago Rules

Democrats don't like it when you say that Barack Obama won his first election in 1996 by throwing all of his opponents off the ballot on technicalities. By clearing out the incumbent and the others in his first Democratic primary for state Senate, Mr. Obama did something that was neither illegal nor even uncommon. But Mr. Obama claims to represent something different from old-style politics -- especially old-style Chicago politics. And the senator is embarrassed enough by what he did that he misrepresents it in the prologue of his political memoir, "The Audacity of Hope."

In that book, Mr. Obama paints a portrait of himself as a genuine reformer and change agent, just as he has in this presidential campaign. He attributes his 1996 victory to his message of hope, and his exhortations that Chicagoans drop their justifiable cynicism about politics.

When voters complained of all the broken promises politicians had made in the past, Mr. Obama writes that he "would usually smile and nod, and say that I understood the skepticism, but that there was -- and always had been -- another tradition to politics, a tradition based on the simple idea that we have a stake in one another, and that what binds us together is greater than what drives us apart, and that if enough people believe in the truth of that proposition and act on it, then we might not solve every problem, but we can get something meaningful done."

Mr. Obama writes that even if the voters were not impressed by this speech, "enough of them appreciated my earnestness and youthful swagger that I made it to the Illinois legislature."

In real life, it did not matter what Mr. Obama said on the stump or whether South Side voters were impressed. What mattered was that, beginning on Jan. 2, 1996, his campaigners began challenging thousands of petition signatures the other candidates in the race had submitted in order to appear on the ballot. Thus would Mr. Obama win his state Senate seat, months before a single vote was cast.

According to the Chicago Tribune, Mr. Obama's petition challengers reported to him nightly on their progress as they disqualified his opponents' signatures on various technical grounds -- all legitimate from the perspective of law. One local newspaper, Chicago Weekend, reported that "[s]ome of the problems include printing registered voters name [sic] instead of writing, a female voter got married after she registered to vote and signed her maiden name, registered voters signed the petitions but don't live in the 13th district."

One of the candidates would speculate that his signature-gatherers, working at a per-signature pay rate, may have cheated him by signing many of the petitions themselves, making them easy to disqualify.

In the end, Mr. Obama disqualified all four opponents -- including the incumbent state senator, Alice Palmer, and three minor candidates. Ms. Palmer, a former ally of Mr. Obama, had gathered 1,580 signatures, more than twice the 757 required to appear on the ballot. A minor, perennial candidate had gathered 1,899 signatures, suggesting the Obama team invested much time working even against him.

The act of throwing an incumbent off the ballot in such a fashion does not fit neatly into the narrative of a public-spirited reformer who seeks to make people less cynical about politics.

But Mr. Obama's offenses against the idea of a "new politics" are many, and go well beyond hardball election tactics. It is telling that, when asked at the Saddleback Forum last weekend to name an instance in which he had worked against his own party or his own political interests, he didn't have a good answer. He claimed to have worked with his current opponent, John McCain, on ethics reform. In fact, no such thing happened. The two men had agreed to work together, for all of one day, in February 2006, and then promptly had a well-documented falling-out. They even exchanged angry letters over this incident.

The most dramatic examples of Mr. Obama's commitment to old-style politics are his repeated endorsements of Chicago's machine politicians, which came in opposition to what people of all ideological stripes viewed as the common good.

In the 2006 election, reformers from both parties attempted to end the corruption in Chicago's Cook County government. They probably would have succeeded, too, had Mr. Obama taken their side. Liberals and conservatives came together and nearly ousted Cook County Board President John Stroger, the machine boss whom court papers credibly accuse of illegally using the county payroll to maintain his own standing army of political cronies, contributors and campaigners.

The since-deceased Stroger's self-serving mismanagement of county government is still the subject of federal investigations and arbitration claims. Stroger was known for trying repeatedly to raise taxes to fund his political machine, even as basic government services were neglected in favor of high-paying county jobs for his political soldiers.

When liberals and conservatives worked together to clean up Cook County's government, they were displaying precisely the postpartisan interest in the common good that Mr. Obama extols today. And Mr. Obama, by working against them, helped keep Chicago politics dirty. He refused to endorse the progressive reformer, Forrest Claypool, who came within seven points of defeating Stroger in the primary.

After the primary, when Stroger's son Todd replaced him on the ballot under controversial circumstances, a good-government Republican named Tony Peraica attracted the same kind of bipartisan support from reformers in the November election. But Mr. Obama endorsed the young heir to the machine, calling him -- to the absolute horror of Chicago liberals -- a "good, progressive Democrat."

Mayor Richard M. Daley -- who would receive Mr. Obama's endorsement in 2007 shortly after several of his top aides and appointees had received prison sentences for their corrupt operation of Chicago's city government -- was invested in the Stroger machine's survival. So was every alderman and county commissioner who uses the county payroll to support political hangers-on. So was Mr. Obama's friend and donor, Tony Rezko, who is now in federal prison awaiting sentencing after being convicted in June of 16 felony corruption charges. Rezko had served as John Stroger's finance chairman and raised $150,000 for him (Stroger put Rezko's wife on the county payroll).

Mr. Obama has never stood up against Chicago's corruption problem because his donors and allies are Chicago's corruption problem. Mr. Obama is not the reformer he now claims to be. The real man is the one they know in Chicago -- the one who won his first election by depriving voters of a choice.


Distorting McCain's Remarks

More dishonesty. An Obama ad uses dated and out of context quotes to portray McCain as clueless on the economy


Obama's campaign is running a TV ad in Indiana that asks the question: "How can John McCain fix the economy, when he doesn't think it's broken?" But the ad uses quotes from McCain that are old and taken out of context:

* The ad shows McCain saying, "I don't believe we're headed into a recession." But McCain said that in January, and he also acknowledged at the time that the American economy was in "a rough patch."

* The ad then shows McCain saying in April, "[T]here's been great progress economically." But the quote is lifted from a much longer response; McCain went on to say that the "progress" made during Bush's tenure still wouldn't console American families who are facing "tremendous economic challenges."

* The third quote from McCain, "[W]e have had a pretty good prosperous time, with low unemployment," also comes from January. In his full response, McCain went on to say "things are tough right now."


Sen. Barack Obama's campaign is running an ad in Indiana that tries to paint Sen. John McCain as being out of touch with Americans' concerns about the economy. It contrasts remarks from McCain with comments from residents of Indiana, Kentucky and Ohio. Obama's ad, however, used dated remarks from McCain and takes his words out of context.

The ad opens with video of McCain saying, "I don't believe we're headed into a recession." But the clip comes from a response to a question at a Republican primary debate in South Carolina back in January. The date is shown in the ad, in the lower-right hand corner. McCain's quote is followed by a clip of a man from Ohio saying, "I think we're absolutely in a recession." While that man and others shown in the ad are talking about economic conditions now, this quote from McCain and another in the ad are from seven months ago, a fact that may not be apparent to viewers if they miss the fine print. Here's more of what McCain said in January:
McCain, Jan. 10: ... And by the way, I don't believe we're headed into a recession. I believe the fundamentals of this economy are strong, and I believe they will remain strong. This is a rough patch, but I think America's greatness lies ahead of us.

While McCain clearly said the country wasn't headed into a recession, he also acknowledged that the U.S. was in "a rough patch." At the time, unemployment was 5.0 percent, and it has since climbed to 5.7 percent, as of July. McCain's comments on the economy, in fact, have been more critical of late. In an August 1 speech before the National Urban League, McCain said the economy is "struggling" and "troubled."

The second and third quotes the Obama campaign uses from McCain are more misleading. The ad shows McCain saying: "[T]here's been great progress economically." The quote comes from an interview McCain did with Peter Cook at Bloomberg Television in April. But the Obama campaign's selective use of McCain's words leaves out what the Republican had to say about families' economic hardships:
Cook, April 17: I'm going to ask you a version of the Ronald Reagan question. You think if Americans were asked, are you better off today than you were before George Bush took office more than seven years ago, what answer would they give?

McCain: Certainly, in this time, we are in very challenging times. We all recognize that. Families are sitting around the kitchen table this evening and figuring out whether they're going to be able to keep their home or not. They're figuring out whether they're - why it is that suddenly and recently someone in their family or their neighbor has lost their job. There's no doubt that we are in enormous difficulties.

I think if you look at the overall record and millions of jobs have been created, et cetera, et cetera, you could make an argument that there's been great progress economically over that period of time. But that's no comfort. That's no comfort to families now that are facing these tremendous economic challenges.

McCain was making a case for what he believed were positive economic developments during Bush's time in office. However, the fuller quote shows McCain was saying that whatever progress had been made, it wouldn't be enough to comfort families "facing these tremendous economic challenges." His comments overall are pessimistic; he cites "challenging times" and "enormous difficulties." The Obama campaign distorts his views by using just a snippet of his remarks.

In the third quote in the ad, the Obama camp also uses something positive McCain said about Bush's tenure but leaves out his not-so-rosy comments about the economy. The video is of McCain at a CNN Republican debate in late January saying: "[W]e have had a pretty good prosperous time, with low unemployment." But that's not all he said:
CNN's Anderson Cooper, Jan. 30: Senator McCain, are Americans better off than they were eight years ago?

McCain: I think you could argue that Americans overall are better off, because we have had a pretty good prosperous time, with low unemployment and low inflation and a lot of good things have happened. A lot of jobs have been created.

But let's have some straight talk. Things are tough right now. Americans are uncertain about this housing crisis. Americans are uncertain about the economy, as we see the stock market bounce up and down, but more importantly, the economy particularly in some parts of the country, state of Michigan, Governor Romney and I campaigned, not to my success, I might add, and other parts of the country are probably better off.

But I think what we're trying to do to fix this economy is important. We've got to address the housing, subprime housing problem. We need to, obviously, have this package go through the Congress as quickly as possible.

Following McCain's response, Cooper responded: "It sounds like that we're not better off is what you're saying." To which McCain replied: "I think we are better off overall if you look at the entire eight-year period, when you look at the millions of jobs that have been created, the improvement in the economy, et cetera." McCain added, "What I'm trying to emphasize, Anderson, that we are in a very serious challenge right now, with a lot of Americans very uncertain about their future, and we've got to give them some comfort."

As for McCain's comment that there was low unemployment at the time, he was technically right. The 5.0 percent unemployment rate in December 2007 was still below the 5.6 percent average for all months since the late 1940s. The rate has since climbed to just above that average. McCain was wrong about inflation, however: Two weeks before McCain spoke the Bureau of Labor Statistics announced that the Consumer Price Index had risen 4.1 percent in 2007 alone; it was the fastest increase in prices since 1990.


Barack Obama Is Not a Radical??

Last night on one of the talking head shows Dick Morris casually stated that Obama is not a radical. Perhaps not. But consider that according to recent polling, Obama's positions on the following issues are opposed by a median of 76% of respondents:

* Obama supports giving driver's licenses to illegal immigrants

* Obama supports racial preferences in public employment, contracting and school admissions

* Obama opposes a ban on partial birth abortions

*Obama would cut funding for research and development of "unproven" missile defense systems

* Obama opposes making English the official language for doing business with the U.S. government

* Obama opposes the Supreme Court decisions prohibiting racial assignments of grade school children

* Obama opposes parental notification for minors obtaining abortions

Moreover, Obama

would talk without precondition with the leaders of state sponsors of terror

is the only U.S. senator to vote against the language of the Born Alive Infant Protection Act

supports giving foreign terrorists habeas rights

contends William Ayers is a mainstream member of the community

for twenty years belonged to a church whose pastor, Obama's mentor, was prone to making, well, somewhat radical statements

plans to raise payroll, income, capital gains and estate taxes

despite recent rhetoric, never opposed a gun ban

has received the following ratings:

NARAL - 100%


ACORN - 100%

Planned Parenthood - 100%

National Taxpayers Union - F

Family Research Council - 0%

Citizens Against Government Waste - 13%


Obama may not be a radical, but the National Journal's assessment that he's the most liberal member of the U.S. senate is well-deserved. Nonetheless, I'd like to know how Morris defines "radical."



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