Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Obama misrepresents his past -- to make it seem more successful and prestigious than it was

Typical psychopathic lies

It has been noted by Charles Krauthammer and others that very few people have stepped forward to vouch for Barack Obama. Indeed, there would seem to be an especially conspicuous absence of witnesses to the years after graduated from Columbia and before he moved to Chicago to work as a community organizer.

Well, it turns out that one of his co-workers has in fact written about Mr. Obama during those days. And while he is an admitted fan of Obama’s, he claims that he has inflated his resume considerably. Others who worked with Obama at Business International have subsequently chimed in.

First, Mr. Obama’s version as presented in from Dreams From My Father, pp 55-6:


… And so, in the months leading up to graduation, I wrote to every civil rights organization I could think of, to any black elected official in the country with a progressive agenda, to neighborhood councils and tenant rights groups. When no one wrote back, I wasn't discouraged. I decided to find more conventional work for a year, to pay off my student loans and maybe even save a little bit. I would need the money later, I told myself. Organizers didn't make any money; their poverty was proof of their integrity.

Eventually a consulting house to multinational corporations agreed to hire me as a research assistant. Like a spy behind enemy lines, I arrived every day at my mid-Manhattan office and sat at my computer terminal, checking the Reuters machine that blinked bright emerald messages from across the globe. As far as I could tell I was the only black man in the company, a source of shame for me but a source of considerable pride for the company's secretarial pool. They treated me like a son, those black ladies; they told me how they expected me to run the company one day…

Nevertheless, as the months passed, I felt the idea of becoming an organizer slipping away from me. The company promoted me to the position of financial writer. I had my own office, my own secretary, money in the bank. Sometimes, coming out of an interview with Japanese financiers or German bond traders, I would catch my reflection in the elevator doors-see myself in a suit and tie, a briefcase in my hand-and for a split second I would imagine myself as a captain of industry, barking out orders, closing the deal, before I remembered who it was that I had told myself I wanted to be and felt pangs of guilt for my lack of resolve.

Then one day, as I sat down at my computer to write an article on interest-rate swaps, something unexpected happened. Auma called. I had never met this half sister; we had written only intermittently… [A] few months after Auma called, I turned in my resignation at the consulting firm and began looking in earnest for an organizing job…

We are supposed to believe that “something happened” and the rest is history. Here, however, is a somewhat different perspective on Obama’s halcyon days as a “spy behind enemy lines,” from a site called Analyze This:

Barack Obama Embellishes His Resume

July 9th, 2005
Dan Armstrong

Don't get me wrong - I'm a big fan of Barack Obama, the Illinois freshman senator and hot young Democratic Party star. But after reading his autobiography, I have to say that Barack engages in some serious exaggeration when he describes a job that he held in the mid-1980s. I know because I sat down the hall from him, in the same department, and worked closely with his boss. I can't say I was particularly close to Barack - he was reserved and distant towards all of his co-workers - but I was probably as close to him as anyone. I certainly know what he did there, and it bears only a loose resemblance to what he wrote in his book. Here's Barack's account:

Eventually a consulting house to multinational corporations agreed to hire me as a research assistant. Like a spy behind enemy lines, I arrived every day at my mid-Manhattan office and sat at my computer terminal, checking the Reuters machine that blinked bright emerald messages from across the globe. As far as I could tell I was the only black man in the company, a source of shame for me but a source of considerable pride for the company's secretarial pool.

First, it wasn't a consulting house; it was a small company that published newsletters on international business. Like most newsletter publishers, it was a bit of a sweatshop. I'm sure we all wished that we were high-priced consultants to multinational corporations. But we also enjoyed coming in at ten, wearing jeans to work, flirting with our co-workers, partying when we stayed late, and bonding over the low salaries and heavy workload.

Barack worked on one of the company's reference publications. Each month customers got a new set of pages on business conditions in a particular country, punched to fit into a three-ring binder. Barack's job was to get copy from the country correspondents and edit it so that it fit into a standard outline. There was probably some research involved as well, since correspondents usually don't send exactly what you ask for, and you can't always decipher their copy. But essentially the job was copyediting.

It's also not true that Barack was the only black man in the company. He was the only black professional man. Fred was an African-American who worked in the mailroom with his son. My boss and I used to join them on Friday afternoons to drink beer behind the stacks of office supplies. That's not the kind of thing that Barack would do. Like I said, he was somewhat aloof.

. as the months passed, I felt the idea of becoming an organizer slipping away from me. The company promoted me to the position of financial writer. I had my own office, my own secretary; money in the bank. Sometimes, coming out of an interview with Japanese financiers or German bond traders, I would catch my reflection in the elevator doors-see myself in a suit and tie, a briefcase in my hand-and for a split second I would imagine myself as a captain of industry, barking out orders, closing the deal, before I remembered who it was that I had told myself I wanted to be and felt pangs of guilt for my lack of resolve.

If Barack was promoted, his new job responsibilities were more of the same - rewriting other people's copy. As far as I know, he always had a small office, and the idea that he had a secretary is laughable. Only the company president had a secretary. Barack never left the office, never wore a tie, and had neither reason nor opportunity to interview Japanese financiers or German bond traders.

Then one day, as I sat down at my computer to write an article on interest-rate swaps, something unexpected happened…. I had never met this half sister; we had written only intermittently. .[several pages on his suffering half-sister] .a few months after Auma called, I turned in my resignation at the consulting firm and began looking in earnest for an organizing job.

What Barack means here is that he got copy from a correspondent who didn't understand interest rate swaps, and he was trying to make sense out of it.

All of Barack's embellishment serves a larger narrative purpose: to retell the story of the Christ's temptation. The young, idealistic, would-be community organizer gets a nice suit, joins a consulting house, starts hanging out with investment bankers, and barely escapes moving into the big mansion with the white folks. Luckily, an angel calls, awakens his conscience, and helps him choose instead to fight for the people.

Like I said, I'm a fan. His famous keynote speech at the Democratic National Convention moved me to tears. The Democrats - not to mention America - need a mixed-race spokesperson who can connect to both urban blacks and rural whites, who has the credibility to challenge the status quo on issues ranging from misogynistic rap to unfair school funding.

And yet I'm disappointed. Barack's story may be true, but many of the facts are not. His larger narrative purpose requires him to embellish his role. I don't buy it. Just as I can't be inspired by Steve Jobs now that I know how dishonest he is, I can't listen uncritically to Barack Obama now that I know he's willing to bend the facts to his purpose.

Once, when I applied for a marketing job at a big accounting firm, my then-supervisor called HR to say that I had exaggerated something on my resume. I didn't agree, but I also didn't get the job. But when Barack Obama invents facts in a book ranked No. 8 on the NY Times nonfiction list, it not only fails to be noticed but it helps elevate him into the national political pantheon.

As Mr. Armstrong suggests, if Obama would exaggerate about such things as this, what else has he exaggerated or made up out of whole cloth? The comments to this post are also quite intriguing:

Comment from Bill Millar

Time: October 30, 2007, 8:17 am
Cathy Lazere [another commentor] calls Barack self-assured? That's putting a nice spin on it. I found him arrogant and condescending. The thing is, I worked next to Barack nearly every day he was at Business International-on many days angling for possession of the best Wang word processing terminal. I had MANY discussions with Barack. I can tell you this: even though I was an assistant editor (big doings at this "consulting firm") and he was, well, he was doing something there, he certainly treated me like something less than an equal.

Funny thing. A journalism/political science major. Writing about finance. Pretending in his book to be an expert on interest rate swaps. I remember trying to explain the nuance of these instruments to him in the cramped three Wang terminal space we called the bull pen. In contrast to his his liberal arts background, I had a degree in finance and Wall Street experience, so I knew what I was talking about.

But rather than learn from a City College kid, the Ivy Leaguer just sort of rolled his eyes. Condescendingly. I'll never forget it. God forbid he leave the impression that a mere editor like myself knew more about something than did Barack. He was like that.

But know what? I can forgive him for being immature-which is probably all that was at the time. Don't we all believe we know everything at just around that age?

That said.he was a lot older when he wrote his book. Mature enough by this time to realize that his account of his time at Business International could be described as embellishment…

By the way, there should be no doubt as to Mr. Armstrong’s bona fides on this subject. Even the New York Times has cited him as an authority for an article on this period of Mr. Obama’s storied life.

More here

Michigan: Obama's old firm deep into voter fraud again

One of Obama's first jobs out of college as a "communitay organizer" was for ......... ACORN!

Several municipal clerks across the state are reporting fraudulent and duplicate voter registration applications, most of them from a nationwide community activist group working to help low- and moderate-income families. The majority of the problem applications are coming from the group ACORN, Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now, which has a large voter registration program among its many social service programs. ACORN's Michigan branch, based in Detroit, has enrolled 200,000 voters statewide in recent months, mostly with the use of paid, part-time employees.

"There appears to be a sizeable number of duplicate and fraudulent applications," said Kelly Chesney, spokeswoman for the Michigan Secretary of State's Office. "And it appears to be widespread." Chesney said her office has had discussions with ACORN officials after local clerks reported the questionable applications to the state. Chesney said some of the applications are duplicates and some appear to be names that have been made up. The Secretary of State's Office has turned over several of the applications to the U.S. Attorney's Office. The U.S. Attorney's Office on Friday declined to confirm whether an investigation was taking place.

In recent years, ACORN's voter registration programs have come under investigation in Ohio, Colorado, Missouri and Washington, with some employees convicted of voter fraud. ACORN officials said they were looking into the problem. "We'll do an investigation to see what's happening," said David Lagstein, a spokesman for the Detroit office. "If it's really as many as that, it warrants further investigation."

In Pontiac, where several thousand applications have been submitted by ACORN in the last few weeks for the November election, the clerk's office is finding that numerous applications are sometimes filed under one name. "What it causes is a slowdown of our operations," said Pontiac City Clerk Yvette Talley. "They're steadily coming in, and we are finding a huge number of duplications." Talley said she could not provide an exact number.

Clerks are required to check their records against a statewide database of all registered voters within their jurisdiction, so it would be unlikely that duplications would allow voters to cast their votes more than once, Talley said. "We catch them all, but it's taking up a lot of our time," she said.

In Oak Park, clerk Sandra Gadd said they have been seeing "lots of duplication" from ACORN in recent months but were reassured by ACORN officials that the group was working to correct the problem. "They've been very cooperative," Gadd said. "I spoke with them this week. They called me, and they're willing to go door-to-door to do whatever they have to do to take care of this."

ACORN is the nation's largest community organization for low- and moderate-income families. Created more than 30 years ago, it has branches in 100 cities and claims 350,000 families as members. It works to help create affordable housing and health care, and to improve job conditions and neighborhood schools.

Lagstein said ACORN's Detroit office has hired dozens of employees for the voter registration program and that any problems likely stem from sloppiness or incompetence -- not an intent to let people vote more than once. "We're proud of our efforts to increase voter registration, and we have aggressive training for our staff to make sure the cards are filled out appropriately," he said. ACORN has a method to track the workers who filled out individual registration cards, which will allow investigators to question the workers, Lagstein said. "We certainly do our best to keep the duplications as low as possible, so we'll have to evaluate what's happening here," he said.

Source. (ACORN regularly use the "rogue employee" excuse)

Stasi tactics from Camp Obama

Andrew Bolt in Australia's HeraldSun entertainingly fisks the media's attempt to destroy Sarah Palin by pouncing upon her first TV interview on foreign affairs to find out whether she knows who Putin is. As Bolt shows, the joke however is on them.

As James Taranto writes on the WSJ blog, the Obamasphere is descending from hysteria to depravity by using Palin's decision actually to give birth to her son Trig as apparent proof of her unfitness for office. When they look at Trig, they don't see a small and vulnerable human being; they don't see the power of love triumphing over adversity; all they see is a handicapped thing that should never have been allowed to live.

Offensive and disgusting, indeed - and how revealing about the `liberal' conscience -- but what it also shows is that the chattering classes have understood that this election might just call a halt to the agenda of social and moral nihilism that masquerades as progressive politics. Hence the weeping and wailing and rending of garments, in between firing the poisoned darts at Sarah Palin, on both sides of the Atlantic. And that's why social conservatives everywhere - aka people who prefer truth over lies, right over wrong, morality over anarchy and the continuation of western civilisation over the forces of totalitarianism that threaten it - have suddenly raised their heads above the sandbags and seen a sign they never thought they'd see: that civilisation might just be fighting back.

Meanwhile Camp Obama, it seems, is in imminent danger of having a collective nervous breakdown. They've totally forgotten that The One is actually running against John McCain and have allowed themselves to become fixated instead by his running-mate. Obama looks and sounds rattled and knocked off his stride, a fact which in itself is deeply damaging: if he falls to pieces on account of a hockey mom from Alaska, what the hell would he be like faced with Ahmadinejad? Is Obama a man or a moose?

Apparently Camp Obama has parachuted dozens of operatives into Alaska to find the skeletons in the Palin closet that it just knows must exist. Unable to process the fact that the left might not come into its rightful inheritance of power, which as we all know is the natural order of the universe, it is behaving like an American Stasi.

And the more it behaves in this grotesque manner, the more counter-productive it all is. Palin is a kind of barium meal for the US body politic: as she is ingested deeper into the system, the nastiness and sheer malevolence of the Democratic party and its bullying cheerleaders in the media are being sickeningly illuminated all around her. As a result, the media and the Democrats are merely doing untold damage to themselves, particularly since the blogosphere is shredding the smears being hurled at Palin as fast as they are being produced.

But hey - this is the only way left-wingers know of dealing with `the right'. They characteristically flinch from engaging in proper argument with their political opponents by debating the issues. No, what they invariably do instead is to reach for the insult and the smear, the character assassination, the career-ending labels of `racist', `sexist', `homophobe', `Islamophobe', 'hard right', `fundamentalist' and all the rest of it. Because their aim is not to discuss but to destroy their opponent altogether and thus to shut down the argument before it can get going.

What does that tell us? That the totalitarian left is terrified of argument because it knows itself to be on very weak ground. It does not have the confidence of its own supposed convictions. For sure, it is fearful that its opponents might win the electoral battle; but much more urgently, it is absolutely terrified that they might be right. That's really why the left never wants to have the argument - in case it exposes the vacuity of its own position to itself.

A vital part of leftist thinking is the assumption that to be on the left is the only sensible/decent/principled position to hold and therefore cannot ever be wrong; and that is because to differ from the left is to be of `the right', and the right is irredeemably evil. (The idea that to be opposed to the left is not necessarily to be on `the right' or indeed to take any position other than to oppose ideology and its brutal effects is something that the left simply cannot get its head round). And so the true nightmare is that if `the right' turns out to be actually right on anything and the left to be wrong, by accepting this fact the left-winger will by his own definition turn into an evil right-winger. His entire moral and political identity will crumble and he will grow horns and a tail. So to prevent any possibility of this catastrophe occurring, the opponent has to be eliminated.

That is what is being done to Sarah Palin. That is why her interview is at this very moment being misreported and distorted even though millions of people watched and heard it. That is why she is being attacked with a fresh smear every second minute. That is why her entire family is being turned over while the media is totally silent on the genuinely disturbing questions about Obama's connections and views. This is fast becoming an election about the gross abuse of power. McCain should take this issue and run with it as loudly and as furiously as he can.



By Jeff Jacoby

All through the spring and summer, opinion polls tracked a growing confidence that Barack Obama could handle the economy better than John McCain. Just before the Democratic convention in August, Gallup had Obama leading McCain on the economy, 54-38 -- a 16-point margin. But now Obama's lead has nearly vanished. Gallup's latest numbers, released Sept. 10, show the candidates nearly tied. Just 48 percent say Obama would be more adept at superintending the economy; 45 percent choose McCain.

Looks like voters have started paying attention to Obama's economics. On Sept. 8, Fox News broadcast an interview between Obama and Bill O'Reilly that focused on taxation and the economy. Obama repeated his pledge to cut taxes for 95 percent of Americans, while raising taxes on the tiny fraction who earn more than $250,000. "That's class warfare," O'Reilly objected. "You're taking the wealthy in America, the big earners . . . you're taking money away from them and you're giving it to people who don't. That's called income redistribution. It's a socialist tenet. Come on, you know that."

"Bill, Bill, Bill, Bill," Obama replied. "Teddy Roosevelt supported a progressive income tax." He acknowledged that he doesn't enjoy paying taxes either -- "you think I like writing the check?" -- but that "there are certain things we've got to do." His tax proposal, he explained, was really a matter of . civility: "If I am sitting pretty and you've got a waitress who is making minimum wage plus tips, and I can afford it and she can't, what's the big deal for me to say, I'm going to pay a little bit more? That's neighborliness."

If that is Obama's rationale for making the tax code even more steeply progressive than it already is, it's no wonder voters are having second thoughts about his economic aptitude.

"Neighborliness." Perhaps that word has a nonstandard meaning to someone whose home adjoined the property of convicted swindler Tony Rezko, but extracting money by force from someone who earned it in order to give it to someone who didn't is not usually spoken of as *neighborly.* If Citizen Obama, "sitting pretty," reaches into his own pocket and helps out the waitress with a large tip, he has shown a neighborly spirit. But there is nothing neighborly about using the tax code to compel someone else to pay the waitress that tip. Taxation is not generosity, it is confiscation at gunpoint. Does Obama not understand the difference?

Perhaps he doesn't. Eager though he may be to compel "neighborliness" in others, he has not been nearly so avid about demonstrating it himself. Barack and Michelle Obama's tax returns show that from 2000 through 2004, when their adjusted gross income averaged nearly a quarter of a million dollars a year, their annual charitable donations amounted to just $2,154 -- less than nine-tenths of 1 percent. Not until he entered the US Senate in 2005 and began to be spoken of as a presidential possibility did the Obamas' "neighborliness" become more evident. (In 2005-2007, they gave 5.5 percent of their income to charity.)

Obama claims his proposal would lower taxes for 95 percent of Americans, but well over 43 million tax returns, one-third of all those filed, already reflect an income tax liability of zero. In fact, Obama says, his plan would eliminate income taxes for an additional 10 million taxpayers. What he is really proposing, therefore, is not tax relief but a bald transfer of cash -- $1,000 per family, he pledges -- from the wealthiest Americans to everyone else. In 1972, George McGovern advocated something similar -- a $1,000 "demogrant" for every US citizen. Just last year, Hillary Clinton suggested that the government start off every new baby with a $5,000 savings account. Voters didn't take the bait when McGovern and Clinton offered it. Here's betting they won't take it now.

Why not? Because you don't have to be rich to be skeptical when a candidate argues that the top 1 percent of taxpayers, who earn 22 percent of the income in this country but pay 40 percent of the income taxes, aren't being taxed enough. Nor do you have to be an economist to wonder about the grasp of a nominee who tells 95 percent of the public that they can have something for nothing. Obamanomics may look pretty at first glance. But voters are focusing more closely now, and they can see beyond the lipstick.


Tax Cuts, Real and Imaginary: Obama's spending programs in disguise

by Newt Gingrich & Peter Ferrara

Thirty years of Republican tax policy have now completely eliminated federal income taxes on the poor and lower middle-income Americans, and almost eliminated them on middle America.

The latest data from the Congressional Budget Office and the Internal Revenue Service show that the lowest 40 percent of income earners as a group actually receive net payments from the federal income tax system. (They get 3.8 percent of total federal income tax revenues instead of paying any income taxes.) The middle 20 percent of income earners pay 4.4 percent of federal income taxes. Thus the bottom 60 percent of income earners together, on net, pay less than 1 percent of all federal income taxes. (These workers earn 26 percent of national income.)

The data show that the top 1 percent of income earners now pay 40 percent of all federal income taxes, which is almost double their share of the national income. The top 10 percent pay 71 percent of federal income taxes, though they earn just 39 percent of the nation's pretax income.

This is a result of the across the board income tax rate cuts adopted by Ronald Reagan and the current President Bush, plus the Earned Income Tax Credit first proposed by Reagan in the 1970s, and the child tax credit enacted into law as part of the 1994 Contract With America.

Barack Obama claims to be proposing income tax cuts for low and moderate income and middle class workers, but Reagan Republicans have already eliminated most of their income tax liability. What

Obama is calling tax cuts for the middle class is really a slew of refundable federal income tax credits that would primarily go to those who are paying little or no federal income taxes now. Such credits would primarily not reduce tax liability, but instead be checks from the federal government for child care, education, housing, retirement, health care, even outright giveaways. These are not tax cuts. They are new federal spending programs hidden in the tax code.

When Obama says that he will cut taxes for 95 percent of Americans, he is talking about his proposal for a $500 refundable income tax credit for all but the top 5 percent of income earners. For the bottom 40 percent of income earners, this will be just another check from the federal government rather than a reduction in tax liability. It is another sharp increase in government spending rather than any sort of tax cut. An arbitrary cash grant does not, moreover, do anything to improve the economy or incentivize productive business. That only comes from cutting tax rates. What Obama is proposing here is really quite similar to George McGovern's 1972 plan to send everyone a $1,000 check, which voters rightly saw as a crass vote-buying scheme rather than serious policy.

Obama also proposes to increase the top marginal tax rates for virtually every major federal tax. These increases would not come remotely close to financing the trillion dollars of increased direct federal spending Obama is promising--including a new national health insurance entitlement that would be bigger than any of the massive entitlement programs we already have and already have trouble paying for. Indeed, if the tax rate increases cause a serious enough economic decline, they will lose revenue on net.

More here

Obama losing the independents

Independent voters - the largest and fastest-growing segment of the American electorate - were always going to determine the winner of this election. And in contrast to past contests like 2004, where independents viewed the choice between President Bush and Sen. John F. Kerry as a vote for the candidate they disliked least, independents had a dream campaign in `08: two compelling nominees who ran against the polarizing establishments of their own parties with explicitly post-partisan appeals. It was a year in which Karl Rove's play-to-the-base politics seemed to be on the ash heap of history.

In the wake of Sarah Palin, John McCain has opened up a 15-point lead among independents, according to a new Gallup Poll - and Barack Obama has a real problem.

Since the GOP convention and his selection of the Alaska governor as his running mate, McCain has changed a months-long tie among independents into a 52 to 37 percent advantage. Support for McCain among self-described "conservative Democrats" has jumped 10 points, to 25 percent, signaling the shift among swing voters to McCain.

The candidate's surge tracks the script the campaign had written for the party convention. Joe Lieberman's sleepy but substantively centrist speech was the preamble to McCain reframing the Republican Party around national security, fiscal conservatism and corruption reform. The result: he elevation of the independent maverick.

This is more good news for McCain, but you would think it would result in a larger lead, which is now hovering around three to four points. I think the problem is that the polls are still reflecting part identification numbers that are out of sync with the current alignment which has been moving toward the GOP ever since the convention. That is why the likely voter totals give McCain a larger lead.


(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 blogger.com 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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