Monday, September 8, 2008

Obama believes he can do miracles

The ignoramus thinks he can come up with a law that will keep guns out of the hands of criminals! He mustn't know that the States have been legislating to achieve that for decades -- without success. How come he doesn't know that? Too busy writing multiple autobiographies about his non-achievements, I guess. He really is an empty vessel

Barack Obama wanted to talk about the economy Friday as he campaigned in Pennsylvania, especially in light of that morning's government report showing unemployment increasing to 6.1% in August. But at least one person wanted to talk instead about gun rights -- an issue Obama can't seem to avoid in the Keystone State. It was an issue that plagued him during the primaries because of his comment about "bitter" small-town Americans who "cling" to guns.

And campaigning Friday near Scranton, the Democrat was asked whether -- as some foes keep insisting -- he would take guns away if elected president. The Times' Noam Levey was on the scene at a factory in Duryea, and he reported that Obama fiercely denied any such intention, and then explained his position:

"Here's what I believe: that the 2nd Amendment is an individual right and it means something; that people have a right to bear arms." But Obama had some choice words for the National Rifle Assn., which plans to unleash a major ad campaign opposing him this fall: "Their general attitude is . . . if you even breathe the word gun control or gun safety, then you must want to take away everybody's guns. Well, that's just not true.

"But what we have to understand is that there are two realities about guns in this country. There's the reality of people who are lawfully and safely using guns for hunting and skeet shooting and protecting their families. And you've got illegal handguns being dumped in Philadelphia, in the hands of teenage gang-bangers and drug dealers who are wreaking havoc and killing people. And surely we can come up with a system that protects lawful gun owners but at the same time tries to do something about kids getting shot."

Many have thought so in the past. But so far, as Obama well knows, that's proved a challenge.


Dear Mr Obama

An important message for the empty vessel below:

Nobody is saying they are unpatriotic...

The modern-day Left only pretend at patriotism. They just have not got that instinct of respect for their country and its symbols

Actions do speak louder than words. Democrats tossed 12,000 American flags in the garbage following their convention. This sort of thing takes the breath away. How much do you have to hate America to do such a thing? Have they never heard of the fine people of the VFW and American Legion who proudly help dispose of worn and otherwise useless flags with dignity? David Harsanyi of the Denver Post caught wind of the story:
This morning, Republicans tell me that a worker at Invesco Field in Denver saved thousands of unused flags from the Democratic National Convention that were headed for the garbage. Guerrilla campaigning. They will use these flags at their own event today in Colorado Springs with John McCain and Sarah Palin.

(Lots of pics of the trashed flags here)

As well they should. All Americans need to understand the kind of people running the Democratic Party.

The callous, disrespectful disposal of some 12,000 handheld American flags left behind at Invesco Field following the Barackopolis speech is being skillfully manipulated by the McCain campaign, which rescued them before they could be dumped at a landfill and is now in the process of redistributing them to attendees at a McCain/Palin rally in Colorado Springs.

There are federal rules for the disposal of flags, rules which do not include hauling 12,000 of them off to a landfill in plastic garbage bags. But then, isn't that just so Liberal, waving thousands of flags for the network cameras then tossing them as soon as the lights go down?

One thing to be alert for here is how Barack Obama will respond to this colossal blunder. If history is any guide, Obama will try to divert responsibility to his staff, but then wasn't it Barry who just this week has been reminding the world that he is the executive responsible for running his giant campaign organization?

Update: The Democrats' response, and more, via Fox News:
"The vendor supposedly found trash bags full of flags in and near garbage bins, and turned them over to the McCain campaign. "Boy Scouts were sorting through 84 bags of flags in Colorado on Saturday, before a McCain supporter had veterans distribute them to the audience. "Damon Jones, spokesman for the Democratic National Convention Committee, released a statement saying McCain should applaud the fact that thousands of American flags were 'proudly waved' at their convention. "'But instead his supporters wrongfully took leftover bundles of our flags from the stadium to play out a cheap political stunt calling into question our patriotism,' he said."

Right. To paraphrase Monty Python: Those flags weren't in garbage bags because they were garbage. They were just resting..."


Obama behind in funding

His decision to refuse Federal funding now looks as foolish as his VP pick. When has he made a good decision?

In three posts here, here, and here, I raised questions about the fundraising totals reported by the Obama campaign for June and July, pointing out that IMO, while the numbers were impressive, they were not enough to fund the vast campaign apparatus they were creating. I argued that McCain acceptance of public financing, which would be available to him the first day of the general election campaign - today - combined with the fundraising advantage the RNC had over the DNC, would put McCain in a seriously advantageous position at the start of the campaign.

This Bloomberg article today says the McCain campaign, with its $84 million in public financing, along with the RNC and its $120 million in cash, start the general election cycle with $200 million, and hopes to raise another $100 million before election day - hopes that were buoyed by the enthusiastic embrace of Palin as the VP pick. That gives the GOP side $300 million to spend over the next 60 days, only $100 million of which it needs to raise during that time. That is a spending clip of $150 million a month.

Obama, on the other hand, reported having $68 million in cash at the beginning of August, having raised $52 million in contributions in July. But he spent $57 million in July so he actually had less money in August than he had in June. It's certain he enjoyed a bump in his fundraising in August connected to the Convention, but he would have had increased expenses as well - and his campaign has been burning through large amounts of cash on a large organization for months. So let's give him a generous $75 million in donations in August and $65 million in expenditures. That would leave him with about $80 million in cash to start the general election campaign.

Though the DNC did better in its fundraising in July than it had all year, it still lagged far behind the GOP in money-on-hand, reporting only about $28.5 million in cash-on-hand to start August. Assuming it also raised big money at the Democratic convention - yet with big expenses to go along with staging it - let's say the DNC has twice as much cash at the end of August as it had at the beginning - $60 million.

Combining Obama's $80 million with the DNC's $60 million, they would be $60 million behind the McCain/RNC total of $200 million - a 30% funding disadvantage. If Obama hope to merely match the McCain/RNC spending over the next 60 days, he needs to raise $160 million in that time frame - $80 million a month. But even if he matched the GOP, a much larger share of his expenses merely goes toward feeding the campaign monster they have created and not for things like GOTV and paid advertising.

McCain and the GOP will have much more flexibility because less of their money will be tied up in hard costs of running a campaign - office space, staff salaries, equipment leases, automobiles, etc. Unless a candidate shuts down those kinds of campaign operations, the money budgeted for those expenses can't be quickly shifted to other priorities.

And I wonder just how effective Obama will be able to raise money in the context of a Fall campaign, where a candidate on a campaign plane might make 6-8 campaign stops in any given day, mostly at smaller events in towns dotted across the maps of Virginia, Penn, Ohio, Michigan, Wisc, Minn, Iowa, Missouri, Colorado, New Mexico and Nevada. It's not like the Spring primary where only 2-3 states needed to be tended to at a time with elections spread out over several weeks, leaving lots of time to attend fundraisers at night and on the weekends.

In one of Obama's first decisions as the presumptive nominee of the Democratic party, he drank his own Kool-Aid and decided that his fundraising well was bottomless. That may be the decision that, in the end, gets him beat.


Obama's training program described as 'Big Brother'

Critic says plan would herd 'American youth into government-funded re-education camps'

The tax-funded Chicago organization cited as a probable model for programs to integrate youth into the social and political world under an Obama tenure in the White House is the epitome of "Big Brother" that shovels impressionable youth through a course of brainwashing, according to critics. The organization is called Public Allies and Democratic presidential nominee Sen. Barack Obama was a founding member of the board of directors in 1992. He later resigned and his wife became executive director of the group.

According to an editorial in Investor's Business Daily, Obama plans to use the non-profit, which is funded partly by the federal government and is featured on Obama's campaign website, as the model for a national service corps, called the "Universal Voluntary Public Service."

WND reported earlier when Obama asserted in a Colorado Springs speech that the U.S. needs a "civilian national security force" that would be as powerful, strong and well-funded as the half-trillion dollar Army, Marines, Navy and Air Force. In the July 2 speech in Colorado Springs, Obama insisted the U.S. "cannot continue to rely on our military in order to achieve the national security objectives we've set." He continued, "We've got to have a civilian national security force that's just as powerful, just as strong, just as well-funded."

"Big Brother had nothing on the Obamas," said IBD. "They plan to herd American youth into government-funded re-education camps where they'll be brainwashed into thinking America is a racist, oppressive place in need of 'social change.'" The organization itself doesn't seem that alarming. It describes itself as serving communities "while developing better leaders for tomorrow." Young adults are placed in "community leadership" posts with various agencies and given weekly "training." They get $1,800 plus health and child care.

But IBD warns the real mission is something else. That, the editorial said, "is to radicalize American youth and use them to bring about 'social change' through threats, pressure, tensions and confrontation - the tactics used by the father of community organizing, Saul 'The Red' Alinsky."

Dr. Jerome Corsi, a WND columnist and the author of the No. 1 New York Times best-seller "The Obama Nation," agreed. He said the overall intent of the program is much the same as the goals of William Ayers, an Obama acquaintance who spent the 1970s and 1980s as an unrepentant radical, during his various programs regarding public education. "Remember, Obama has followed Saul Alinsky's ultimate advice," Corsi explained. "Saul Alinsky said radicals like Jerry Rubin and Abbie Hoffman could not organize a picnic. Alinsky told his radicals to cut their hair, buy business suits and run for public office," he said.

"Ayers and Obama are both aimed at producing radical socialist change from within - working today to radicalize our institutions, instead of bombing them. Alinsky considered this approach to be much smarter because it was more likely to produce lasting 'change' and less likely to produce a backlash. In other words, the Alinsky-trained radical could apply more easily the Machiavellian technique of lying by denying they were pursuing radical goals if they appeared to be members in good standing of the establishment they were trying merely to 'change,'" he said.

IBD cited statistics from Public Allies itself, in which it boasted, "our alumni are more than twice as likely as 18-34 year olds to . engage in protest activities." The organization explains it already has dispatched 2,200 community organizers to agitate for "justice" and "equality" in Chicago, Cincinnati, Los Angeles and other cities. "I get to practice being an activist," and get paid for it, Cincinnati recruit Amy Vincent said, according to IBD.

The organization boasts more than two-thirds of its recruits are "people of color," and 15 percent of "LGBT." When they're not out protesting, IBD said, "they're staffing AIDS clinics, handing out condoms, bailing criminals out of jail and helping illegal aliens and the homeless obtain food stamps and other welfare." The Allies' own website confirms it has volunteers working for Planned Parenthood, LGBT centers and Boys & Girls Clubs.

Obama has encouraged individuals to shun the "money culture." "If you commit to serving your community," he pledged in Denver while accepting the Democratic nomination for president, "we will make sure you can afford a college education."

The IBD said the sales pitch is finding supportive listeners among today's youth. "I may spend the rest of my life trying to create social movement," it quotes Brian Coovert, of the Cincinnati Allies chapter saying. "There is always going to be work to do. Until we have a perfect country, I'll have a job."

IBD said taxpayers already fund half of Public Allies' expenses through President Clinton's AmeriCorps, and Obama wants to fully fund it and expand it into a national program that some see costing $500 billion.

The organization notes that it is a non-partisan organization so it does not endorse candidates. However, it has a lengthy description of the involvement by the Obamas with the organization. "Under Michelle's leadership, Public Allies Chicago pioneered many elements of Public Allies' program model. To identify and develop the next generation of Chicago leaders, she recruited young people from housing projects and youth centers as well colleges and universities. Her emphasis on indigenous leadership and belief that all people have potential to lead became a core value of our leadership philosophy. When she left, Public Allies Chicago had a cash reserve, a committed board, a talented young staff, and a network of diverse, talented young leaders in Chicago who continue to serve the community today. Michelle was also a pioneer in the social entrepreneur movement -leaders who create new approaches and organizations to provide new solutions to social problems," the organization said.

"Michelle was an amazing leader and role model for all of us. As a very young staff in the early years, we all emulated Michelle's incredible combination of professionalism, compassion, critical thinking and commitment to her community. For all of her immense talents, she was also one of the most down-to-earth, inclusive, and authentic leaders I've ever worked with. She really did believe that everyone could contribute to their communities and that leaders come from all backgrounds and all parts of the community. The Chicago program she pioneered really created the template we all work from today. We are proud of our colleague and wish her well," wrote Paul Schmitz, CEO of Public Allies.


Obama finally realizes that he needs Hillary

It seems only yesterday that Hillary Clinton was battling against Barack Obama for the Democratic presidential nomination. But when she hits the campaign trail in Florida tomorrow Clinton's target will be Sarah Palin, a new threat to her ambition to be the first woman elected to the White House. Clinton lost no time, attacking Palin moments after John McCain delivered his presidential acceptance speech in St Paul, Minnesota, last week. Reporters' BlackBerrys buzzed with her verdict. "No way, no how, no McCain-Palin," she said.

Officially, Clinton will not go head-to-head with Palin, a self-proclaimed hockey mom and "pitbull in lipstick". The Obama camp wants to keep the focus on McCain's supposed continuation of the Bush years and his skimpy policies for reviving the economy and improving healthcare, rather than on his running mate.

Nor does Clinton want to appear ungenerous to the Republicans' first female vice-presidential candidate, even if she does resent Palin's startling emergence. A Clinton insider, said: "We're not going to be anybody's attack dog against Sarah Palin." The New York senator, 60, knows, however, that Palin represents the biggest obstacle to Democratic victory in November.

A prominent Democratic strategist, Tad Devine, said: "The strategic imperative right now is to do something about Palin and prevent her cutting through the race. She is practising the same slash and burn politics of division of the Bush years. Hillary Clinton can make the charge that Governor Palin represents the far right."

Palin has taken aim squarely at the 18m voters who preferred Clinton to Obama during the primary campaign. It is a delicate mission for the New York senator to persuade them, after all her harsh words, that Obama is the right candidate for president.

But attacking Palin represents an even more slippery challenge for Obama. At a fundraiser where diners paid $30,800 (œ17,400) per plate at the house of the rock star Jon Bon Jovi on Friday - not the best place to compete with a frontier woman - he said: "We won't be bullied, we're not going to be smeared, we're not going to be lied about. I don't believe in coming second." For that he needs Clinton's help more than he ever thought possible. Just before Palin's selection, David Plouffe, Obama's astute campaign manager, looked at the electoral map of America and declared the national polls less important than the 18 battleground states where Obama had the ground troops, enthusiasm and money to win.

Palin's emergence has upset those calculations and forced the Obama campaign for the first time to reexamine its extraordinarily successful campaign tactics. Obama now has a great need to drive up voter turnout among black people and the young, while staunching defections to McCain from blue-collar workers and women. Clinton has been asked to concentrate on the working-class districts of Ohio, Pennsylvania and Michigan, where Palin will be competing fiercely for votes, and Florida, where women and Jewish voters may reject the Alaska governor's Christian, conservative, anti-abortion message.

Clinton, who has lived through the women's movement, intends to frame the race in terms of a double-barrelled McCain-Palin threat to issues that women care about such as the right to an abortion, equal pay and universal healthcare, according to the Florida congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz. As such, she will be joining the roster of prominent women deployed by Obama to such good effect against Clinton herself during the primary campaign. Politicians such as Kathleen Sebelius, the governor of Kansas, Claire McCaskill, the Missouri senator, and Janet Napolitano, the governor of Arizona, have made the case that women could in good conscience vote for Obama rather than Clinton.

Now they are using the same tactics against Palin. Sebelius regards herself as every bit as authentically all-American as the governor of Alaska. "I live in the American heartland. I don't know of any mayor in any small town in Kansas who hires a lobbyist and goes after earmarks [congressional funding for projects] the way Sarah Palin did," she said. If Clinton is uncertain about going for Palin's jugular, she may like to recall the words of a woman delegate at the Republican convention who described Palin as "more of a woman than Hillary and more of a man than Hillary".

If Clinton fails to stop her now, she could get trampled.


(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 . For readers in China or for when is playing up, there is a mirror of this site here. My Home Pages are here or here or here. Email me (John Ray) here.)

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