Monday, June 30, 2008

The birth certificate saga continues

Is Obababy an American citizen?

A senior official in the State of Hawaii's Department of Health, Director of Communications Janice Okubo, confirms that the image published and circulated by the Obama campaign as his "birth certificate" lacks the necessary embossed seal and signature. Backing away from a quote attributed to her that the image on the campaign site was "valid," she told the St. Petersburg (Florida) Times in an article published yesterday: "I don't know that it's possible for us to even say beyond a doubt what the image on the site represents."

Barack Obama has claimed in writing to have a valid printed document: In the first chapter of his book Dreams From My Father, describing his origins, he wrote about finding a local Hawaiian newspaper article about his Kenyan father: "I discovered this article, folded away among my birth certificate and old vaccination forms, when I was in high school."

So where is that birth certificate? It got lost? The dog ate it? No matter. Barack Obama or an immediate family member can plunk down $10 ($11.50 if he orders online) and have Hawaii mail a certified document to him within a week or two. But more than two weeks have passed since the Obama campaign adopted the suspect, uncertified image of a purported birth document published by a left-wing blog Daily Kos, and nothing certified and nothing on paper has since has been forthcoming. Nor has there been any official comment about the issue from the campaign. They may cling to the hope -- however audacious -- that the one issue that could disqualify their man constitutionally from gaining the presidency will just go away.

Amy Hollyfield of the St. Petersburg Times, and a reporter for the paper's "Politifact" blog, said that she has been seeking the birth certificate "for months." She was frustrated: "Hawaii birth certificates aren't public record. Only family members can request copies, so when the campaign declined to give us one, we were stalled."

Finally, the campaign released the image (resembling the one at the top of this article). Hollyfield e-mailed it to the Hawaii Department of Health, which maintains such records, to ask if it was real. "It's a valid Hawaii state birth certificate," spokesman Janice Okubo told us. Then the firestorm started.

Israel Insider contacted Okubo several days. She could not refer to Obama's specific case, she said, because no one but an authorized family member can do so. But she did confirm that a valid "certification of live birth" would need to have an embossed seal and signature and that it can only be printed and mailed. There is no such thing as an electronic only certification.

In our previous article on this subject we published an example of a certified birth certificate of another Hawaiian citizen, Patricia DeCosta, reproduced below. The stamp and signature are reversed because the embossing is done from the back as per law, as Okubo noted is required by law.

Speaking to National Review Online, Okubo admitted that the Obama image lacked those required features but thought that perhaps the embossing was applied too lightly.

Maybe so, but all the certificates we have seen have the embossed imprint clearly visible, as well as horizontal fold marks.

We got an email yesterday from Bryan Suits who has a radio show on KFI Los Angeles. He writes:
"I have just received my State of Hawaii certified birth certificate for my 1964 debut on the planet earth. It looks....nothing like Obama's. We've scanned it at 72dpi, 300dpi. Nuthin. We can't make the emboss disappear. Also, we can't make THE FOLDS disappear!! How did FightTheSmears do it?

I got curious when I compared his (with the 2007 date bleed) to my old beat-up1986 copy. then I went online on June 13 and ordered the thing. It got here yesterday tri-folded in a state of hawaii envelope. I called the State and asked if I could get an unfolded copy. No dice.

Hollyfield brings up other issues that her readers raised, although she does not address them or explain them [bracketed comments from Israel Insider]:
Where is the embossed seal and the registrar's signature? [Required for validity]

Comparing it to other Hawaii birth certificates, the color shade is different.

Isn't the date stamp bleeding through [in reverse] the back of the document [image] "June [6] 2007?" (Odd since it was supposedly released in June 2008.)

There's no crease from being folded and mailed. [Hawaii requires printing and mailing, according to Okubo. Electronic images are never released, she assured us, nor are they valid.]

It's clearly Photoshopped and a wholesale fraud.

Hollyfield, frustrated by failing to access the required original, being refused by the Obama campaign, and finding only secondary documents from his subsequent career, asks what's "reasonable" and then claims that skeptics about Obama's published birth certificate believe that there's a conspiracy afoot:
Because if this document is forged, then they all are. If this document is forged, a U.S. senator and his presidential campaign have perpetrated a vast, long-term fraud. They have done it with conspiring officials at the Hawaii Department of Health, the Cook County (Ill.) Bureau of Vital Statistics, the Illinois Secretary of State's office, the Attorney Registration & Disciplinary Commission of the Supreme Court of Illinois and many other government agencies.

But Hollyfield is mistaken. There would be no need to invent a conspiracy among officials. All Obama needed to do would be to pass off an uncertified document as being certified. He may have done so unwittingly. Then the rest can follow without any need to conspire with any other official. They just take it on faith that the person is an American citizen.

They don't check about the embossing requirements of the State of the Hawaii. They believe Obama. Why should they doubt him, certainly after he becomes a lawyer and a state senator? The officials believe that the claimed document is authentic, and therefore issue other documents, based on the phony one, buried deep in the documentary chain. Unwitting or not, however, the high stakes for basing one's citizenship on an uncertified birth certificate must be pretty obvious to the campaign now.

Nothing else explains why Obama's campaign refused to release the original paper document, to make this distracting controversy go way. Because Hollyfield is right about one thing:

"If this document is forged, a U.S. senator and his presidential campaign have perpetrated a vast, long-term fraud."

U.S. citizens who have written to Israel Insider or have posted on the Internet are not satisfied. Ordinary people are compelled to produce certified paper birth certificates to get a passport or a driver's license. Why, people are asking, doesn't Obama needed to show one to run for President?

In a follow-up contact by Hollyfield, Janice Okubo backtracked and qualified, pointing to the main issue that Israel Insider and others have brought into focus [our comments in brackets]:
"I guess the big issue that's being raised is the lack of an embossed seal and a signature," Okubo said, pointing out that in Hawaii, both those things are on the back of the document. "Because they scanned the front -- you wouldn't see those things." [But of course, as in the DeCosta sample and others, you can see it clearly.]

Okubo says she got a copy of her own birth certificate last year and it is identical to the Obama one we received. [Well, "identical" cannot be correct. Her name is not Obama, Her certificate number was not blacked out, and her certificate had the required embossed certification. So she can only be saying that the form looked the same, as she said to the National Review Online's Jim Geraghty.]

And about the copy we e-mailed her for verification? "When we looked at that image you guys sent us, our registrar, he thought he could see pieces of the embossed image through it." [Except that she received only what was published on the Internet and circulated by email, and no "pieces of the embossed image" do come through that. We have published the highest resolution available and there is no trace of embossed seal or signature. Readers can see for themselves.]

Still, she acknowledges: "I don't know that it's possible for us "to even say beyond a doubt what the image on the site represents."

And there you have it. Okubo can't "even say beyond a doubt what the image on the site represents" because she is not allowed access to Barack Obama's personal records. State law prohibits it. Only Barack Obama (or another immediate family member) can authorize the release of the paper birth certificate, and submit it to objective analysis. He refuses to do so,


The Chicago Challenge

Barack Obama made one shrewd move this week, along with one risky one. In talking with reporters after the Supreme Court ruled that criminals who rape children may not be executed, Mr. Obama moved smartly to the political center. "I think that the rape of a small child, six or eight years old, is a heinous crime and if a state makes a decision that under narrow, limited, well-defined circumstances, the death penalty is at least potentially applicable, that does not violate our Constitution," he said, siding with conservative dissenters in the case.

Mr. Obama was on shakier ground when he insisted that none of the burgeoning scandals in Illinois politics have anything to do with him. In recent days, top Obama fundraiser Tony Rezko was convicted on influence peddling charges and Democratic Governor Rod Blagojevich is facing possible impeachment hearings in the Illinois legislature over Rezko-related scandals.

"You will recall that for my entire political career here, I was not the endorsed candidate of any political organization here," Mr. Obama told Chicago reporters. "My reputation in Springfield [as a state legislator] was as an independent. There is no doubt I had friends and continue to have friends who come out of the more traditional school of Chicago politics but that's not what launched my political career and that's not what I've ever depended on to get elected, and I would challenge any Chicago reporter to dispute that basic fact."

Throwing down a challenge to reporters might prove uncomfortable for Mr. Obama. Good government groups in Chicago have long deplored his seeming indifference to the corruption in the Daley machine that has dominated the city since 1955. Indeed, Mr. Obama's chief strategist David Axelrod is also current Mayor Richard J. Daley's top political adviser. And while Mr. Obama was not originally elected with the help of the machine, once in the legislature he became a close ally of state Senate President Emil Jones, a cog in the Daley machine who has been the chief obstacle to passing ethics reform through the state legislature.

"Obama may pretend he is Obambi when it comes to corruption," says Chicago Tribune columnist John Kass. "But the fact is that you can't come from Chicago without having your involvement with its politics scrutinized." At Mr. Obama's invitation, here's hoping enterprising reporters start digging.


Mr No-principles

During the Democratic primary season, all those eons ago, Barack Obama deployed no more powerful line against Hillary Clinton than his insistence that 'we can't just tell people what they want to hear. We need to tell them what they need to hear'. More than just a catchy couplet, the phrase was a deadly arrow into the heart of Clintonism.

Few things crippled Hillary's campaign like the belief that she would say or do anything to get elected, from supporting the Iraq War to claiming she'd dodged sniper fire at Tuzla. In Obama, Democrats seemed to have found something refreshing: a brave truth-teller unmoored to pollsters such as Mark Penn, someone who had spoken out against Iraq the war and could at last restore integrity and honesty to Washington politics.

But since Obama dispatched Clinton, he has seemed rather more attuned to what the people want to hear or perhaps he has simply traded the wants of a liberal audience for those of a more moderate one. Either way, he is treading that reliably time-worn path every nominee follows to the political centre. And the question for Democrats is whether to applaud Obama as a cunning politician who knows how to win or fret that he's given undecided voters reason to think his 'politics of hope' are just politics as usual.

First, let us count the repositionings. This past week, Obama expressed surprising disagreement with a Supreme Court ruling that outlawed the death penalty for child rapists (he had previously questioned the rationale of capital punishment). He resisted criticising another high court ruling that affirmed gun owners' rights, even though he had previously seemed to support the gun-control measure at issue.

Obama also dropped his once-stern opposition to a Congressional measure, despised on the left, that would legally shield telecommunications companies that co-operated with extra-legal US government eavesdropping. To some, even the contents of Obama's iPod, recently revealed to Rolling Stone, smacked of political calculation, combining as it did Baby Boomer classics (Stones, Springsteen, Dylan) with highbrow jazz (Coltrane, Miles Davis) mindless top 40 pop (Sheryl Crow) and edgy-but-not-too-edgy hip hop (Jay-Z, Ludacris). Perhaps this playlist should be titled 'Majority Coalition'.

In truth, Obama has been creeping towards the sanitised centre for a while. After disdaining American flag lapel pins last year, he now wears one regularly. When Jeremiah Wright, his controversial former pastor, provoked outrage in March, Obama insisted he could not 'disown' him, but proceeded to do so just a few weeks later with a public condemnation.

Obama now concedes that his sharp criticism of free trade agreements such as Nafta before industrial-area primary voters might have been 'overheated'. He's toughened his talk on Iran and in favour of Israel. He's even shaded his rhetoric on Iraq, downplaying his primary season vow to withdraw all US combat troops within 16 months for more careful talk of a gradual and 'responsible' exit.

Each of these positions has been generally consistent with the prevailing views of the swing voters Obama will need to win in November: independents, liberal Republicans and moderate Democrats whose votes are still up for grabs. After all, Obama has already locked down most core Democrats, who wouldn't think of staying home or voting for the pro-war McCain. But according to an early June Gallup poll, McCain is beating Obama among independents who don't lean toward either party.

McCain campaign operatives have welcomed these interesting new dimensions of Obama's profile. Their core argument, after all, is that Obama is a charlatan - not a harbinger of new politics but a typical pol who has never taken real risks (unlike McCain, who defied his party on campaign finance reform in the late 1990s and recent public opinion over the Iraq War). Obama, they say, is a just another unprincipled flip-flopper: 'John Kerry with a tan,' as prominent conservative activist Grover Norquist recently put it, in a formulation of questionable taste. (Never mind that McCain himself revamped core positions on issues ranging from immigration to tax cuts to secure the Republican nomination.)

That Obama is not the living incarnation of pure principle should be no shock; his vaunted political courage has always been overstated. While prescient, his famous 2002 speech opposing the Iraq War, for instance, was hardly a political risk. Obama represented Chicago's highly liberal Hyde Park area as a state senator and was counting on a similarly anti-war coalition of African-Americans and white liberals in his upcoming US Senate candidacy. And while taking on the Clintons may have been audacious, it was also opportunistic. He did not feel 'the fierce urgency of now' until after the expected challenger to Hillary's crown, former Virginia governor Mark Warner, abandoned his candidacy at the last minute. Savvy Democrats understand that there was always a certain genius to Obama's positioning, that to some degree his talk of changing politics was itself a skilful pose which turned Clinton into a reactionary foil. They will appreciate his awareness for what it takes to get elected. Democrats have long believed that their side practises politics less skilfully, less ruthlessly, than the Republicans. Hence one of Clinton's main promises to Democrats was that she could beat the Republicans at their own cynical game.

For now, they will have to hope that Obama hasn't gone too far. An ever-confounding question of politics is to know at what point a shift to a more majority position is outweighed by the disillusionment and scorn of flip-flopping. Wherever that tipping point is, however, Obama hasn't yet reached it. He is still better off with his current stances than he would be, say, explaining why he doesn't believe that child rapists deserve to die.

It's an unfortunate reality of politics that voters don't want to hear what they need to hear. We want to hear what we want to hear. Obama's recognition of that is a testament that he is, for better or worse, a shrewd, if far from pure, politician. Somewhere Hillary Clinton must be chuckling ruefully.


In Love and Hauteur: Obama and the press, sneering together

The press is in love, really in love, the kind of love that comes twice in a century. Sure, it has had crushes before - on John McCain and Bill Clinton - but those were mere infatuations, and the ardor ebbed quickly. In the cold light of day, the press is finding McCain not quite as cute as they thought him; and as for the old flame, Bill Clinton, when the going got tough and he took swipes at its new love, the press tossed him under the bus and backed over him, most notably with a particularly salacious hit piece - by the husband of one of his former assistants! - in a recent issue of Vanity Fair. That previously Clinton-loving magazine now has a passion for Barack Obama, as do Time and Newsweek, which embarrass themselves on a near-weekly basis. NBC exists mainly to ooze Obamadoration, with other news outlets not far behind.

"Many journalists are not merely observers but participants in the Obama phenomenon," write John F. Harris and Jim VandeHei of Harris thinks some of his reporters need "detox" to get over their rapture, while VandeHei adds, "There is no doubt reporters are smitten with Obama's speeches and promises to change politics." What causes this madness in rational people? Nothing too mad: similar outlooks and interests in common. The press and Obama are a match made in heaven. This isn't insanity, but the product of wholly predictable forces, coming together in an outcome that seems preordained.

Twice before, the American press has had mass crushes on national candidates, but these seem to be two different things. John F. Kennedy and Theodore Roosevelt were young - 43 and 42 - when they became president, both fit the template of American royalty, and both had a genius unmatched before or since for marketing themselves and their families for political gain. They served, in effect, as a fantasy grid for the press and the nation, a compilation of much-longed-for assets and traits.

Both men had money, but their families had not yet been softened by privilege. They were unusually literate for politicians - they read books and wrote them - but they also had combat feats to their credit: Kennedy's PT-109 and Roosevelt's inspiring charge at the battle of San Juan Hill. They showed vigor - or, in JFK's case, "vigah" - in the form of touch-football games on the lawn at the Kennedy compound at Hyannis, 50-mile hikes (which JFK inspired, but never managed to go on), and the obstacle courses at Roosevelt's Sagamore Hill, in which hikers were obliged to go through or over - never around - any roadblock that came in their way. There were beautiful women, Alice and Jackie, and adorable sons, Quentin and John Jr., each of whom would later die young in an airplane. There were the many and varied extended-family members, the summer retreats in expensive and picturesque places, and the exotic upper-class pastimes: The Roosevelts liked to go big-game hunting, often in Africa, and Jackie Kennedy, who was given a magnificent Arabian steed by Pakistan's president, enjoyed riding to hounds.


Many years later, reviving the TR and JFK ambience would make Ralph Lauren a millionaire many times over, but the stars themselves were no slouches when it came to selling their brand. "TR was far from being a spectator in the merchandising of his image," write Peter Collier and David Horowitz in their book on the Roosevelt families. "He always had reporters around, good ones like Jacob Riis and Lincoln Steffens, who allowed him to go over the heads of politicians. . . . During the Cuban campaign, he had received some of the greatest battlefield publicity in the history of warfare from friendly correspondents like Richard Harding Davis and even from more critical ones like Stephen Crane. . . . The courtship had intensified in Albany, where TR [as governor of New York] had daily informal chats with newspapermen and delivered enticing off-the-record opinions while sitting on the corner of his desk. . . . He was also the first to hold `backgrounders,' briefings at which he would present his ideas not for attribution except as an `informed source.' " He was the first to preempt a rival's move by springing something more newsworthy on him, "the first President to give out press releases on a Sunday so that he would have Monday morning's headlines to himself."

With John F. Kennedy 60 years later, it became plus la mˆme chose. Roosevelt had befriended Riis and Steffens; in Washington, Kennedy befriended Benjamin Bradlee, Charles Bartlett (who introduced him to Jackie), and Philip Graham, publisher of the Washington Post. He was so close to Joseph Alsop that he showed up on Alsop's doorstep after the final Inaugural Ball, and during the Missile Crisis in 1962 he asked Alsop's wife to host a dinner so that he could talk at length to a ranking Soviet expert without arousing suspicion. Like TR, he understood how journalists thought; according to David Halberstam, he could tell when editors went on vacation, because their publications had a different feel. He had briefly been a journalist himself near the end of World War II, after his discharge from the Navy, and he planned, when he left the White House, to publish a newspaper. His kin claim Obama is JFK's heir, but he isn't at all the same thing.

The appeal of Barack Obama is similar to that of TR and JFK, yet different: He seems less a person and more an idea. He is a few years older than the others were when they took office, but he has a rather more boyish air. He is exotic, but not very glamorous. He has money now, but he isn't from privilege. TR and JFK were embedded in their families; Obama seems like an orphan or waif. His wife is stunning (and, fashion-wise, seems to be channeling Jackie), and his children are sweet, but there has been little effort so far to market them. No one aspires to a domestic life like Obama's, as they did with Teddy Roosevelt or John Kennedy, or even with Robert F. Kennedy, whose revels at Hickory Hill were a legend. (On the other hand, neither TR nor any of the Kennedys was ever imagined as the Messiah, portrayed in posters as bathed in a halo-like light.)

To the press of their day, and to most of the public, TR and JFK had the appeal of an intense personality and an opulent lifestyle; to the press of today, and to a much smaller slice of the public, Obama has the appeal of a superior mind and character. To them, he is everything they see in themselves and look for in others: ultra-cool, ultra-refined, extremely articulate, wholly non-violent, and transnational in his instincts and biography. He has lived in Hawaii and Indonesia, but not in "middle America." He knows the slums and the faculty clubs, but not the nation's small towns. He knows nothing of business or the military and seems to hold both in muted disdain.

Obama was not born into the elite, but he has joined it by training and by inclination, and in this sense his journey mirrors that of the press, which began as a trade that drew people from all parts of the culture but has become an exclusive profession, staffed largely by upper-middle-class people who feel a strong sense of mission and an equally great self-regard. Now it shows all the signs of an institution in an advanced stage of decadence: It has built a multimillion-dollar shrine to itself in Washington, along with numerous schools and institutions study its "excellence" (which seems to decline as these studies proliferate), and it convenes endless panels to extol its importance and mission, even as scandals plague its most prominent newsrooms and its ratings and circulation figures decline.

As a result, the press becomes more and more like the academic community, Obama's electoral base, which is similarly out of touch with the larger American public. His support in the press approaches that in the college towns, where he rolled up impressive majorities. Bill Clinton came from Hope, as did Mike Huckabee, but to the press Obama has become Hope personified. Journalists are Obama's disciples; he is their prophet, the mirror in which they see themselves. And journalists spend a lot of time looking in the mirror.

More here

Obama's Global Tax

Senator Barack Obama's sponsorship of Senate Bill 2433 aligns with the emerging core theme of his general election campaign. The change he promises will bring much-needed relief, not just to America's victims of economic injustice, but to victims worldwide.

On December 7, 2007, Obama introduced the Senate version of the Global Poverty Act of 2007 (S.2433). On February 13, the bill cleared the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, on which Obama and 6 (Biden, Dodd, Feingold, Hagel, Lugar, Menendez) of the bill's 9 co-sponsors serve. The House version of the bill (H.R.1302) passed by a unanimous voice vote last September 25. Here's an abstract of the proposed legislation:
"To require the President to develop and implement a comprehensive strategy to further the United States foreign policy objective of promoting the reduction of global poverty, the elimination of extreme global poverty, and the achievement of the [U.N.] Millennium Development Goal of reducing by one-half the proportion of people worldwide, between 1990 and 2015, who live on less than $1 per day."

If enacted, how much of a financial commitment would that represent to taxpayers? One estimate is 0.7% of gross national product, or an additional $845 billion over 13 years in addition to existing foreign aid expenditures. So far, this proposal is barely on the MSM radar, but we're likely hear more about it as a full Senate vote approaches. Here's how Senator Obama's website frames the bill:
"With billions of people living on just dollars a day around the world, global poverty remains one of the greatest challenges and tragedies the international community faces," said Senator Obama. "It must be a priority of American foreign policy to commit to eliminating extreme poverty and ensuring every child has food, shelter, and clean drinking water. As we strive to rebuild America's standing in the world, this important bill will demonstrate our promise and commitment to those in the developing world. Our commitment to the global economy must extend beyond trade agreements that are more about increasing corporate profits than about helping workers and small farmers everywhere."

In other words, other nations will like us better if we give them our money. And, our trade agreements should not be about business profit, but benevolent social action.

The Global Candidate's sponsorship of the Global Poverty Act thematically aligns with the oft-told story of his life as a child of international parents, as well as with his elliptical juxtaposition of hope and change. He not only offers hope to his U.S. audiences, but to poor children, workers, and small farmers across the globe. George W. Bush's grand theme of spreading democracy globally evolved after 9/11. Obama's grand theme is to spread America's wealth to the world's poor, as the onetime community organizer from the streets of South Chicago goes global.

The species of hope that Barack Obama preaches is a first cousin of disappointment. He speaks to his followers as though they are victims, and it resonates with them because victimhood is a latent element of their collective self-image. Most of the younger ones in his audiences face historically unprecedented educational and vocational opportunities. Within the reasonable grasp of their individual initiatives is a future that is the envy of most of the world's youth. Yet they look longingly for someone from the government to offer them hope.

He says, "It's not too late to claim the American dream," and they cheer wildly, and some even cry. Don't they know that the American dream isn't a wish granted by a politician, or an entitlement from the government? Do they need a political seer to tell them what to hope for, and dream of, because they are unable to find it for themselves?

More here

Obama's Web Site Blows Disclaimer, Now Responsible for All Hate Speech

"Exercise of editorial control" makes Obama 100 percent responsible for his site's hate speech against Jews, pro-Clinton Black people, and seniors

We created our own blog at, which carries the following disclaimer: "Content on blogs in My.BarackObama represents the opinions of community members and in no way should be interpreted as endorsed or approved by the campaign." By deleting our blog and disabling our account, the Obama campaign just blew its disclaimer and can now be held 100 percent responsible for the anti-Semitic, racist, misogynist, and ageist hate speech it allowed to stand (in some cases for more than a year). "Exercise of editorial control" is the EXACT issue that forced to disable its prized Action Forum in 2006, and almost resulted in the organization's total destruction. First, it is necessary to understand the moral (and in some cases legal) meaning of "exercise of editorial control."
The general rule regarding vicarious liability for the publication of defamatory material is that "publishers" are strictly liable for defamatory content in material they publish; mere "distributors," on the other hand, cannot be liable for defamatory content unless they "knew or had reason to know" of that content. Thus, if defamatory material appears in one of my columns, for example, the American Lawyer will be held liable, on the grounds that its exercise of editorial control gives it both the opportunity to screen material prior to distribution and leads readers to conclude that it stands behind whatever it does choose to publish. .

So when Stratton moved for summary judgment on the question of Prodigy's liability, the question before Judge Stuart Ain of the New York State Supreme Court was: does Prodigy more closely resemble a bookseller, in which case Stratton's claim against it must be dismissed, or a newspaper?

The latter, Judge Ain declared: Prodigy "exercise[d] sufficient editorial control over its computer bulletin boards to render it a publisher with the same responsibilities as a newspaper."

We have just established that the Obama campaign exercised editorial control over its computer bulletin boards, thus making Obama the proud owner of material like "Zionist Thought Police," "Jewish Lobby," "House N*****s [for Clinton]," and similar hate speech. On Thursday, we created an account at under this name, with no effort to disguise ourselves as anything but an opponent of Obama. We posted several entries of the following nature, and our account was closed within forty-eight hours.
Urban Legend about "Dreams From My Father"

By Winged Hussar 1683 - Jun 26th, 2008 at 2:05 pm EDT

SMEAR EMAIL From Dreams From My Father: `I found a solace in nursing a pervasive sense of grievance and animosity against my mothers race.' We found no such statement in Dreams From My Father

The Truth:

The indicated page numbers are for the paperback edition of "Dreams From My Father," ISBN 978-1-4000-8277-3

It contradicted the morality my mother had taught me, a morality of subtle distinctions-between individuals of goodwill and those who wished me ill, between active malice and ignorance or indifference. I had a personal stake in that moral framework; I'd discovered that I couldn't escape it if I tried. And yet perhaps it was a framework that blacks in this country could no longer afford; perhaps it weakened black resolve, encouraged confusion within the ranks. Desperate times called for desperate measures, and for many blacks, times were chronically desperate. If [Black] nationalism could create a strong and effective insularity, deliver on its promise of self-respect, then the hurt it might cause well-meaning whites, or the inner turmoil it caused people like me, would be of little consequence. If nationalism could deliver. As it turned out, questions of effectiveness, and not sentiment, caused most of my quarrels with Rafiq.

"Dreams From My Father," pp. 199-200

The truth was that I understood [Joyce], her and all the other black kids who felt the way she did. In their mannerisms, their speech, their mixed-up hearts, I kept recognizing pieces of myself. And that's exactly what scared me. Their confusion made me question my own racial credentials all over again. .To avoid being mistaken for a sellout, I chose my friends carefully. The more politically active black students. The foreign students. The Chicanos. The Marxist professors and structural feminists and punk-rock performance poets.

"Dreams From My Father," pages 99-100

Within less than 48 hours, we got the following when we tried to log in.

"This account has been disabled"

Needless to say, the Obama campaign had every right to delete this hostile material and the account that went with it but, by doing so, it "exercised editorial control" over the nature of the material it allows to appear. This means that its failure to delete the entries about "Zionist Thought Police," "Jewish Lobby," "Hillary Clinton is a b****," McCain is an "old man" who should pay a "well-deserved visit to the undertaker," Clinton supporters are "house n*****s" means that they at least tacitly approved of this material. That is, the Obama campaign's action rendered meaningless the disclaimer "Content on blogs in My.BarackObama represents the opinions of community members and in no way should be interpreted as endorsed or approved by the campaign."



Sunday, June 29, 2008

The Obama Left

The American left can be divided into three distinct strands, each with its own characteristics, identifiers, and methods of operation: the wimp left, the weird left, and the hard left.

The wimp left is the largest, most amorphous, and least impressive faction. These are the people who are leftists because the neighbors are. They're the NPR listeners, the PBS watchers, the slogan repeaters. They view the left as a lifestyle choice, one that makes you a better person (as they never cease telling you). Wimp leftists usually confine their activities to bumper stickers and "trying to live a politically-correct lifestyle", but often break into sporadic bouts of activity involving recycling, marching, or posting on DU or Kos. The New York Times recently featured a story about a craze for purchasing mosquito nets for underprivileged Africans that captures the wimp left in all its faddishness, self-righteousness, and futility (the nets in question are supplied in lieu of DDT, the only effective method of preventing malaria, which means that the U.S. do-gooders are actually making things worse). Even the photo is characteristic: precocious children, prematurely dowdy woman, self-conscious emotionalism.

(Obama foreign policy advisor Richard Danzig's suggestion, that we turn to Winnie-the-Pooh for expertise on counterterrorism strategy is all of a piece with this tendency. Misplaced whimsy is a major indicator of wimp leftism. Many readers will recall the craze for giving copies of Dr. Seuss to college grads a few years ago.)

We're all familiar with these types - they appear constantly in media "person in the street" interviews, furrowing their brows and pensively staring off into the distance before intoning that "arms are for hugging", "global warming is about our grandchildren", "change is about hope", or whatever the slogan of the moment happens to be. Wimp lefties don't know much about politics, ideology, or anything else. But they know what's right -- or they will, as soon as the mass media tells them. They're very nice people. They really are. That's what makes them dangerous.

To many conservatives, the weird left -- AKA the wacko left or the loony left, is the left, the perfect representation of left-wing thinking and behavior. The wacko left can be defined as leftism as personality disorder, the contemporary expression of Orwell's "nudists, fruit-juice drinkers, and sandal wearers". They tend to be obsessive single-issue types, overwhelmed with paranoia and consumed with conspiracy theories.

9/11 Truthers are the purest current example of the weird left, as are "AIDS is a CIA plot" types, principally among blacks. These are the people most often found romping on DU and Kos. Although we might be tempted to view them as a pure liability, that in fact is not the case. While their equivalent on the right -- Birchers, McCarthyites and so on -- are usually isolated or ejected, weird lefties actually serve quite a useful purpose, acting as a conduit for ideas -- gay marriage, animal rights, Karl Rove as evil mastermind -- too grotesque to be planted in any other way. Examples of the loony left include such figures as Michael Moore and Cindy Sheehan.

The hard left is the core left, the armature without which the other factions would fall apart. They are directly descended from the communist groups (the CPUSA, Trotsyites, and so forth) of the `30s and `40s, through New Left organizations such as the SDS and the Weathermen. The hard left consists of intelligentsia and activists, people who spend their lives reading Alinsky and Gramsci and trying their damndest to put those dicta into practice. They are usually found in universities and surrounding communities, though they are also present in left-wing think tanks and lobbying outfits. Most of us will go through life without ever knowingly encountering one of them. Through their intellectual control over the much larger wimp left (who would be utterly lost without their direction), they possess influence all out of proportion to their numbers. The prototype of the American hard leftist is Tom Hayden.

Usually, a political candidate running on a left-wing platform will be associated with one strand in particular. For hard leftists we have Henry Wallace fronting for the communists in 1948, and George McGovern acting as point man for the antiwar movement in 1972. Representatives of the weird left are rarer, although we do have Dennis Kucinich. As in anything else, there is no lack of wimp leftists in presidential politics -- Kerry, Gore, Mondale... take your pick. Michael Dukakis' unwillingness to use the death penalty for a hypothetical convicted rapist/murderer of his wife is wimp leftism in chemically pure form.

The extraordinary thing about Barack Obama is that he's intimately connected to all these factions in a way that may never quite have been the case before. The wacko left is represented by Jeremiah Wright and James P. Meeks, with their AIDS conspiracies and related yarns, and ACORN, the leftist fringe group for which Obama served as attorney for many years. The hard left is represented by his Marxist mentor Frank Marshall Davis, who introduced Obama to left-wing politics at an early age, Fr. Michael Pfleger, an advocate of "liberation theology", the application of Marxism to Christianity, and former Weatherman Bill Ayers, who was contending that America could be set right by a few bombs as late as September 11, 2001.

The wimp left is, obviously enough, the Obama voter.

Never, I think, has any politician been so closely and equally intertwined with all three aspects of American leftism. It's as if Obama were out to corner the entire American left, leaving no room for anyone else. If that was the case, then he's succeeded.

Of course, it may not have been intentional at all. It may simply be the result of an entire life spent with the left since his early encounters with Davis. But intentionally or not, Obama appears to be adapting the methods of the left, the means by which sanitized, acceptable versions of left-wing ideas are introduced into American political discourse, as part of his campaign strategy.

The Gramscian tactics utilized by the American left were predicated on the internal takeover of various institutions (media, the academy, education) which could then be used to push a left-wing agenda. But there were limitations to this technique: these institutions were nowhere near as powerful in the U.S. as in Gramsci's Europe, where government monopolies and elitism are common. This limited the influence and reach of entrenched American leftists.

This is where the left's triune nature came in. The millions comprising the wimp left served as a transmission belt for ideas and practices developed by the hard leftists of the academy and the activist organizations. By this means such ideas were "laundered", appearing to emerge from sincere, befuddled "liberals", rather than the career apparatchiks, which eased their acceptance by the public at large. More bizarre concepts were presented by the wacko left (the most effective way to make something seem harmless is to arrange to have it said by a clown). If there was too much resistance, the attempt was curtailed, and the wimps, or alternately the wackballs, took the punishment. The hardcore lefties remained safely insulated.

This is an extraordinarily fruitful technique, allowing the introduction and cultivation of ideas -- gay marriage, terrorist nobility, contempt for the armed forces -- that could be introduced in no other way.

Obama appears to be doing much the same thing in his political strategy, selling himself -- or rather, his campaign persona -- in similar fashion. Through his connection to ACORN, Pfleger, and Ayers, Obama assures the hard left that he is one of them, an adherent of their tactics and goals. His connections to Black Liberation Theology imply at least some sympathy for the wacko left. But at the same time, he presents himself to the broader audience of wimps as a purely "liberal" figure, the second coming of JFK, if not the Redeemer Himself.

Every now and then, Obama will come up with a proposal derived directly from the hard-left playbook -- tax the rich, unilateral retreat from Iraq, "war crimes trials" -- couched in terms acceptable to wimp leftists. If a public backlash develops, he simply drops it and returns to soothing Volvo-and-latte platitudes, using the wimps in the same manner as the hard left -- as a shield for his actual agenda.

It's an interesting strategy. But can it work? It's based on several assumptions - that the U.S. is at base a leftist country, open to a leftist message; that the wimp left is a powerful influence; and that a tactic designed for use over the long term can work in the pressure-cooker atmosphere of a political campaign.

But the U.S. remains a center-right country. The wimp left is an object of derision (even among themselves) as much as anything else. And the disturbing results obtained by the hard leftists have come only after lengthy effort, at times stretching to decades.

It's also extremely risky. Obama's worst moments have arisen from his relationships with members of the more radical left-wing branches, Jeremiah Wright representing the loony left, Pfleger and Ayers the hard left. In no case did his elaborately contrived latte-left facade protect him from the ensuing controversy.

Clearly, this strategy comprises a weakness. Obama is figuratively leaping from stone to stone, from a hard-left position here to a "liberal" one there, always keeping on the move, never allowing himself to be cornered, never getting his feet wet. The trick is to hit him in mid-leap and assure that he gets a good dunking. Obama has gotten an easy ride in his previous campaign crises through the assumption that the offenses were personal -- that the problem lay in his relations with Wright, Pfleger and so on. But they were no such thing -- it was the ideas that were the problem.

And Obama was never seriously questioned about those ideas. Did he accept Pfleger's vision of Christ as a revolutionary? Did he share Ayers' blazing contempt for American society? He must have expressed belief in Black Liberation Theology, a doctrine of black supremacy, when joining Jeremiah Wright's church. Did he truly believe it then? Does he believe it now? If not, when did he stop believing it?

By this means, Obama can be cornered. He does not like being cornered. As the last few months make clear, he does not take it well. Corner him enough times, and his facade will crack, his image as a genial Starbucks and Whole Foods lefty will lie in tatters, and his adherence to the cold and crazed doctrines of the core left will be exposed for what it is.

It's not a complete strategy, of course. But the customary electoral strategy of GOP operatives and consultants (e.g. Tom Delay's recent accusation of Marxism won't work. If didn't work during the Cold War, so it certainly won't work today.)

Obama is a strange candidate -- how strange we have as yet no clear idea. Revealing the depths of that strangeness calls for unconventional political tactics, and the will to use them.


Obama's oil policy

We have a problem, and it's serious. It's not a particularly new problem, but it does seem to be getting noticeably worse. The problem is that, in a number of areas, our politicians, and sadly, a great number of our people, no longer seem to be able to recognize reality. They simply believe things that cannot possibly be true. The recent wrangling over oil prices, and policy responses epitomize this unhinged mindset.

I wish I could believe this irrationality was confined to energy policy, because that is one area where an inability to moor policy to reality has a long-standing tradition. I happen to work with a person who, back in the 1970s was employed in the oil fields of Kansas. At that time, we were suffering from a big oil price shock as well. One of the "solutions" the Carter Administration came up with was a regulation that said essentially the following to the oil companies:

"The price of oil is too high. We need to control it, so that consumers pay a more reasonable price for oil. So, if you have a drilling lease that produces, on average, more than 100 barrrels a day of oil per well, then you have to sell that oil at no more than $3.50 per barrel. It doesn't matter if the wells are injection or extraction wells. It doesn't matter if most of the wells are capped. At any rate of extraction that averages more than 100 barrels per day per well, you can only sell oil from that lease for $3.50 a barrel. On the other hand, the stripper price for oil, i.e., the actual market price, is significantly higher than $3.50. So, if your lease averages 100 barrels of oil per well every day or less, you can sell that oil for the stripper price, and make a reasonable profit."

What do you suppose happened?

If you are a logical thinker, you'll realize immediately that what happened was that the oil companies did everything possible to ensure that every lease produced an average of less than 100 barrels per rig per day. They capped wells. They turned other wells into injection wells. If they had to, on a 10-well lease, they capped seven, used two others for injection, and produced 99 barrels from a remaining single extraction well.

The end result, of course, was a reduction in the totals amount of available oil, and a particular shortage of price-controlled oil. How can any other result have been reasonably expected?

Now, we're seeking to repeat that same sort of mistake in a number of different ways.

For instance, that Obama supporter on the Cavuto show earlier this week. She declared, with perfect sincerity, that if the government nationalized the oil refineries, and took control of them, that the government could set prices. As if prices bore no relationship to any real-world factors. The government can disguise the price by selling it at a price lower than the cost of production-as long as the remainder of costs are recovered in some other way, i.e., through general taxation. But the cost of production is what it is, and if it isn't paid, then oil won't be produced. No one can "set" prices. It is, literally, impossibility. The price of a good must at least cover the cost of production.

Obama himself weighed in with a few gems. Opening our coastlines to offshore drilling would take at least a decade to produce any oil at all, and the effect on gasoline prices would be negligible at best since America only has 3 percent of the world's oil, Obama said in a statement that did not explicitly distinguish between oil and gas drilling.

Well, now that I've had Mr. Obama explain this to me, I've decided there's no reason to save for retirement. After all, it'll take at least 30 years for that saved money to add up to any significant amount, and by then, I could be so rich I won't even need it.

Of course, in the real world, we actually have 1.2 trillion barrels of oil sitting in oil shale under Colorado, of which about 800 billion barrels are technically recoverable today. That's enough oil to fulfill all of America's energy needs for about 40 years. And, while we're on the subject, we've got about 23 trillion ft3 of natural gas, which could motor us along for another century or so.

But why drill for it? Bit of a waste of time, apparently. But, wait, it gets better. In the same speech, he said:

We will have spent by the time this thing is over well over a trillion dollars, one trillion dollars. Think about what we could have done with a trillion dollars. Think about, think about what we could have done if we had invested even half of that even a quarter of that into research into clean energy, developing new ways of transporting people, if we had tried to look at how are we going to create a new engine that doesn't run on fossil fuels. Imagine that. Over the last five years, we could be in a position now where we could have perhaps sliced our energy consumption by a third, and if we had done that gas prices would be low because people wouldn't be using gas.

So, let's see if I got this straight. If we start drilling for oil, it won't make any difference, but if we'ed spent a quarter trillion bucks five years ago, we'd all have replicators, transporters, and the warp drive engine today?

I think someone's been sneaking into the Jeffries tube for illicit nips of Arcturan brandy a few times too often. Because it's fairly likely that we'd've poured that quarter-trillion down a black hole for no return at all.

Oh, and by the way, who is this "we" Mr. Obama is talking about here? It isn't the government. It's all of us, individually, buying gas, paying electric bills, etc. That trillion dollars didn't come out of some central fund overseen by the government. It was each of us, making voluntary purchases that spent it.

So, five years ago, there wasn't any quarter trillion dollars to be spent on antimatter and dilithium crystals, because we had another use for it, namely, driving to work, heating our homes, and cooking our food. And the only way there'll be a quarter-billion dollars available to do it in the future is if Mr. Obama hikes taxes to take it away from us by force.

I guess Mr. Obama's answer is to spend the next trillion dollars on research into warp drive, which will magically pay off in a ten years, instead of in drilling, which won't accomplish jack.

That is, quite literally, fantastic thinking. It is so divorced from reality-from the way the real world actually works-that it defies description. It is one of the stupidest intellectual positions I have ever heard.

And I have no doubt he believes it with religious fervor.

It's no different with health care, either. The same divorce from fact and reality applies there, too.

Sure, the method of providing health insurance sucks in this country. It sucks primarily because it is a system designed by government to ensure that employers, of all people, provide health insurance for employees. It has the practical effect of ensuring that the people who actually consume health care are not the people who purchase insurance. And the people who consume health care have no choice in the insurance plan they receive. That's the system designed by FDR's administration, and the fact that it works in a less than satisfactory manner is presumed to be the fault of "the market".

And what "market" would that be, precisely?

It's as if there's a determined effort to ignore the way the world actually works and substitute a fantasy for it in order to accomplish some favored political goal.

It's not just liberals who do this, of course. Right now, LA governor Bobby Jindal has a new bill sitting on his desk from the legislature that would require the teaching of Intelligent Design in the science curriculum of public schools. But, Intelligent Design, whatever else it may be-and it may even be true, for all we know-isn't science. If it isn't testable, repeatable, predictive, and falsifiable, it just isn't science, and doesn't be deserved to be taught as such. Yes, science is materialistic, but matter is the only thing we can access. Talk of the Designer, however useful it may be in other areas, has nothing whatever to do with science.

If you want to believe the Baby Jesus created the world at 9:06 am on April 21st, 4004 BC, you're perfectly free to do so. But if you can't prove it by reference to the physical world, it isn't science. Oh, while we're talking about it, maybe the Baby Jesus should've put a little more thought into how much oil we needed when he slapped the whole thing together.

This kind of resistance to reality doesn't bode well for us. It's all part and parcel of the decline of the republic, and the civilization that produced it. Whatever is, is. And no amount of wishful thinking, or policy built on fantasy will make things other than what they are. All that you can accomplish by doing so is simply to make things worse for everyone.


Obama and big corn

If Obama wants energy independence through alternative fuels, why doesn't he back imported sugar-based ethanol? This old-style politician knows it isn't grown in the Midwest and Brazil has no electoral votes

Barack Obama says he represents change. He also criticizes John McCain for trying to drill our way to energy independence to add to the profits of Big Oil. But it's Obama who's playing politics by trying to plant our way to energy independence, buying votes with alternative fuel subsidies that benefit ethanol producers such as Archer Daniels Midland.

ADM is based in Illinois, the second-largest corn-producing state. Not long after arriving in the U.S. Senate, Obama flew twice on corporate jets owned by the nation's largest ethanol producer. Imagine if McCain flew on the corporate jets of Exxon Mobil.

Corn-based ethanol gets a 51-cents-a-gallon tax subsidy that will cost taxpayers $4.5 billion this year. McCain opposes ethanol subsidies while Obama supports them. McCain opposed them even though Iowa is the first caucus state. Obama, touted by Caroline Kennedy as another JFK, was no profile in courage in Iowa.

That subsidy was cut to 45 cents a gallon in the new farm bill, but more money was pushed toward other biofuels such as switch grass. The Democrats can't wait for offshore oil or ANWR, but they can wait for switch grass. The tariff on imported ethanol was extended. Neither candidate voted on the bill, but Obama said he supported it. McCain said as president he would have vetoed it.

If Obama is sincere about alternative fuels, why does he oppose imported sugar-based ethanol from countries like Brazil? He supports not only the domestic subsidy, but a 54-cents-a-gallon tariff on imported ethanol. McCain opposes both. Corn ethanol is less energy-efficient and costs more. It generates less than two units of energy for every unit of energy used to produce it. Ethanol made from sugar cane has an energy ratio of more than 8-to-1. Production costs and land prices are cheaper in the countries that produce it.

This year, according to John Lott Jr., senior research scientist at the University of Maryland, 34% of U.S. corn - some 3.65 billion bushels - will be used for fuel. Putting this much food into our gas tanks hasn't reduced gas prices, but it has raised food prices. Farmers in vote-rich farm states plant corn for fuel, not only raising the price of corn, but also milk, eggs, meat and even bread as wheat fields are converted to corn.

Last year, as President Bush was about to sign an energy cooperation agreement with Brazil, Obama said the move would hurt "our country's drive toward energy independence." Really? The only thing it might hurt is Obama's drive to the White House.


Proof Obama Distorts Bible

Earlier this week, liberals went off their rocker defending Obama's biblical worldview against Dr. James Dobson's comments that he distorts the bible. Dobson was referring to an Obama speech two years ago, which had liberals scrambling to come up with a website defending Obama. The result was JamesDobsonDoesntSpeakForMe. Today, we learned that an Obama campaign worker was instrumental in the launch of that website.
Caldwell, who is affiliated with the website, initially told OneNewsNow that the website was operated by Matthew 25, a political action committee working with Obama supporters. However, upon investigation, it was found that the site was actually registered to Alyssa Martin, an intern in the Obama campaign's "religious affairs" department. The domain registration has since been changed to Pastor Caldwell's name.

In an earlier interview, Caldwell told OneNewsNow he did not know Alyssa Martin, but on Thursday afternoon admitted the intern had been helping him set up the website. He also reported that to his knowledge, she is no longer with the Obama campaign.

It is not surprising to learn that an Obama staffer was involved in the setup of this website. It pairs Dobson statements with Obama statements that do not correspond. It gives the appearance that Obama is responding to Dobson, when in fact, the reverse is the truth. Just as Obama plucks scriptures out of context, he has his staff painting an a false image of other Christians in an attempt to hide his wolf's clothing from the sheep.

In addition, on Father's Day, Barack Obama made a speech at the Apostolic Church of God in Chicago, Illinois, in which he said that "We need fathers to recognize that responsibility doesn't just end at conception." I am thrilled that Sen. Obama believes in the responsibility of fathers, but his voting record contradicts his own statements. He consistently has voted to end life after conception.

Tony Perkins of Family Research Council recorded a video response to this message in which he asks Senator Obama: if my responsibility as a father began at conception, isn't that when the lives of my children began?

Of course, Obama's answer will be that he personally disagrees with child-killing, but the choice should remain legal for women. This may pass as a convincing argument to a liberal, who has no absolutes, and creates values to mold to any given issue. But to a Christian, you cannot twist a moral issue into a political one without distorting the bible. The bible is very clear that murder is a sin. And since most of our Constitution was based on biblical values, the taking of innocent life is illegal. There is a biblical mandate for Christians to defend the defenseless. Obama's distorted interpretation of the bible results in a personal view and political action that contradict one another.


Obama's Academic Credentials

Obama has often invoked his academic credentials as a proxy for quality in his opinions, including why he is qualified to find certain judicial nominees unqualified or to criticize some judicial opinions. I do not dispute that he had a significant distinction teaching, as the University of Chicago recognizes. But I think most academics expect people claiming to be academics (or former ones) to have some record of scholarship.

If you enter "au(obama)" in the Westlaw "Journals and Law Reviews" database, which is the means to find articles authored by the name in parentheses, you get nothing. Zero results; no articles.

Entering "Obama" in a search of the Social Science Research Network ("SSRN"), a place where most academics place their published scholarly works, retrieves zero results. Again, no articles/no scholarship.

I really don't care much if our politicians are academics or not. But, if they do claim to be so and lack the traditional elements of serious scholarship, that is a problem.

I hope I am wrong. Obama is throwing around a credential as an academic quite often. If any reader can send me an academic article, a serious piece of legal scholarship, he has written, please do and I will retract this post.


Racism and the 2008 Election Process

So much for all the years of crying and hand wringing for a colorblind society.

A colorblind society is what racial equalist have been crying and wringing their hands over for years. It always seemed a plausible and equitable racial nirvana worthy of achievement. But, historically, when trying to legislate and force an intangible social change, it has never had the desired effect after implementing the application process--especially when there is a black candidate running for president and many of his supporters agree with nothing he represents other than the color of his skin. Obama received over 90% of the black vote in some of the primaries against Hillary Clinton. This, coming from the fair-weather black voters, who had Clinton up by 40 points at one time, and when it looked as if Obama could actually pull it off after winning a few primaries, they came skulking back, but not to Obama per se, but to the pigmentation of his skin.

Obama has accumulated a quantum of white disciples who will vote for him only 1) because of his, and their, nonsensical mantra for change for changes sake, 2) solely because of identity politics 3) they despise the Republican party so much they will vote for whomever the Democrat party presents regardless of platform. The proportion of voters who would not vote for a highly qualified black person solely because of their race is negligible in comparison to voters who would vote for a black candidate just because they are black. The United States, as a country, has achieved an admirable level of colorblindness, but it has unfortunately only been embraced, predominantly, by white America. From a racist perspective, voting for a candidate only because they are black is indiscernible from not voting for a candidate because they are black. And to vote for a black candidate, as many voters have said they would, just because it would be making history, is a malignancy to the democratic process.

Armstrong Williams is a conservative talk show host. He also happens to be black. He champions the virtues of conservatism and Christianity across the airwaves. He has also never voted for a Democrat for president. He has a recording on his website, where he drones on and on about how far to the left Obama is, how liberal he is, his platform and policy faults, and extols the qualifications of John McCain. Yet, he speaks equivocally around the fact that he will not vote for a Republican just because they are a Republican come November. There are only two candidates left, Barack Obama--the antithesis of all conservative and Christian values--and John McCain. If one is an authentic conservative and is involved in the political process, or the reporting of it, as Williams is, one knows the core differences between the two candidates. Obama does, with empirical veracity, have the most liberal voting record in the Senate. If you are black, and if you espouse conservative values, and are torn on who to vote for at this juncture-you are at best, a false prophet, and should be unceremoniously tossed from your conservative pulpit for choosing skin color over the values you purport.

Although the focus of this article was Armstrong Williams, there are many conservative blacks, including conservative black Congressmen, who have expressed the same conviction as Williams. They, by all appearances, believe that being a conservative is just a revenue or power generating, political plaything that can be discarded when a better opportunity presents itself, or a presidential candidate of the same pigmentation comes along. The black conservative turncoats enjoy chastising the Republican Party for not doing enough for blacks, when in reality, the best thing to give someone is an opportunity--but that is not good enough for them. What happened to the patriotic words of JFK: Ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country.

Whoopi Goldberg, while delving into the intellectual metaphysics of racism and politics--an area she is highly qualified to ingress--explained why she will vote for Obama solely because he is black. She responded to the statement, by a white person, of why a voter should look beyond skin color and look at a candidate's qualifications, experience, and the whole picture before picking a candidate. Goldberg glibly stated, "That's a very white way to look at it." Is Goldberg's statement a black way to look at it? Is this viewpoint commonly accepted within the black community? Is it "white" to be concerned about a candidate's qualifications?

Is Obama the great uniter? Based on his racist associations--no; based on his record as a politician, both state and federal--no; based on his personal life--no; based on his terrorist associations--no; based on his criminal associations--no; based on his "axis of evil" endorsements-no. As a leader of a country as diverse as the United States, one cannot lead a country as "one people", and focus and placate to one segment.

Obama's most recent inclusion/exclusion politics came to light this past Father's Day when he prefaced, what could have been a inspiring speech had it been inclusive of all fathers instead of focusing on black fathers, with the words, "You and I know how true this is in the African-American community." Obama called on black fathers who are "missing from too many lives and too many homes," to become active in raising their children. Not all fathers, only black fathers. Although all families suffer for the lack of a father, Obama cannot move past his presumptive racism and speak to all fathers.

The partisans, who are so blindly desperate for Obama to win the presidency, are placing an "all or nothing" bet on him. If he is elected President, conventional wisdom will dictate it was because he is black. And conversely, when he fails--and he will fail spectacularly in the capacity of President--conventional wisdom will dictate he failed because he is black. That will be the prevailing stigma a qualified black presidential candidate will have to overcome--in the not so near future, thanks to the idiocy of the voters. By nominating a black candidate of Obama's character, the Democrat Party and its voters, have put the black community in a no-win situation for future elections. Obama's eminent failure will be because he is obscenely deficient in experience, aptitude, and character to be the Commander in Chief--not because of his skin color.

Does this cast the American voter, in general, as a myopic Pollyanna ? Absolutely, especially when coupled with the fact that the Founding Fathers feared what would happen if there was a direct election for the Presidency. They feared, and rightly so, that some silver tongued mountebank would cause the plebeians and the intellectual defects to swoon and faint on command and march, in a state of catatonic stupor, to the voting booth to make good on their spellbound allegiance. To minimize the chances of this apocalyptic event occurring, the founders devised the Electoral College. Thanks to the prophetic design of the Founding Fathers, Obama could very well win the popular vote, but lose the electoral vote in the general election, and the fundamentals of democracy can, once again, stay somewhat intact, much to the chagrin of Marxists.



Saturday, June 28, 2008

How would Bambi handle another 9/11?

Charlie Black is getting rapped on the knuckles for this comment:
As would, Black concedes with startling candor after we raise the issue, another terrorist attack on U.S. soil. "Certainly it would be a big advantage to him," says Black.

Of course. There's no reason to think that after a terrorist attack, Americans would prefer the leadership of a war veteran who's spent his entire career dealing with national security issues. There's every chance that with Americans dead and more attacks possible, they would turn to the former community organizer who, when asked about his military response to terrorist attacks, gives a lengthy answer listing every action except the military response:
Williams then turned to Sen. Barack Obama, second in the polls but gaining fast on the frontrunner, Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton. "If, God forbid, a thousand times, while we were gathered here tonight, we learned that two American cities had been hit simultaneously by terrorists," Williams said, "and we further learned beyond the shadow of a doubt it had been the work of al Qaeda, how would you change the U.S. military stance overseas as a result?"

The question was specifically focused on a military response, but Obama didn't talk about the military, or any use of force at all. "Well, first thing we'd have to do is make sure that we've got an effective emergency response, something that this administration failed to do when we had a hurricane in New Orleans," Obama said. "And I think that we have to review how we operate in the event of not only a natural disaster, but also a terrorist attack."

"The second thing," Obama continued, "is to make sure that we've got good intelligence, A, to find out that we don't have other threats and attacks potentially out there; and B, to find out do we have any intelligence on who might have carried it out so that we can take potentially some action to dismantle that network."

The reference to "some action" might be interpreted as an endorsement of the use of force, but in the rest of his response, Obama softened even that notion. "But what we can't do is then alienate the world community based on faulty intelligence, based on bluster and bombast," he said. "Instead, the next thing we would have to do, in addition to talking to the American people, is making sure that we are talking to the international community. Because as has already been stated, we're not going to defeat terrorists on our own. We've got to strengthen our intelligence relationships with them, and they've got to feel a stake in our security by recognizing that we have mutual security interests at stake."

That was it. Obama's answer to a question of how, as commander-in-chief, he would change America's "military stance" in response to an attack by al Qaeda did not involve using the military.

Williams' question deserved a brief answer: "We find the perpetrators and kill them." Or, alternatively, "unleash hell." Or some variation of that.

No, of course, Black is wrong. The American people would eagerly want the guy whose foreign policy advisers contend that Osama bin Laden, if captured, should be allowed to appeal his case to U.S. civilian courts.

They'd love to have a commander in chief who erroneously claims that all of the perpetrators of the 1993 World Trade Center bombing have been brought to justice, and who praises the pre-9/11 approach to al-Qaeda terrorism, ignoring the fact that the attacks kept getting larger.


It's All About Obama

(Self-centredness is very characteristic of psychopaths)


Many candidates have measured the Oval Office drapes prematurely. But Barack Obama is the first to redesign the presidential seal before the election. His seal featured an eagle emblazoned with his logo, and included a Latin version of his campaign slogan. This was an attempt by Sen. Obama to make himself appear more presidential. But most people saw in the seal something else - chutzpah - and he's stopped using it. Such arrogance - even self-centeredness - have featured often in the Obama campaign.

Consider his treatment of Jeremiah Wright. After Rev. Wright repeated his anti-American slurs at the National Press Club, Mr. Obama said their relationship was forever changed - but not because of what he'd said about America. Instead, Mr. Obama complained, "I don't think he showed much concern for me."

Translation: Rev. Wright is an impediment to my ambitions. So, as it turns out, are some of Mr. Obama's previous pledges. For example, Mr. Obama has said he "strongly supported public financing" and pledged to take federal funds for the fall, thereby limiting his spending to roughly $84 million. Now convinced he can raise more than $84 million, he reversed course last week, ditching the federal money and its limits. But by discarding his earlier pledge so easily, he raises doubts about whether his word can be trusted.

Last month he replied "anywhere, anytime" to John McCain's invitation to have joint town hall appearances. Last week he changed his mind. Fearing 10 impromptu town halls, Mr. Obama parried the invitation by offering two such events - one the night of July 4, when every ambulatory American is watching fireworks or munching hotdogs, and another in August. His spokesman then said, "Take it or leave it." So much for "anywhere, anytime."

My former White House colleague Yuval Levin pointed out that Mr. Obama, in his first national TV ad rolled out Friday, claims credit for having "extended health care for wounded troops," citing the 2008 defense authorization. That bill passed 91-3 - but Mr. Obama was one of only six senators who didn't show up to vote. This brazen claim underscores the candidate's thin resume and, again, his chutzpah.

Mr. Obama has now also played the race card, twice suggesting in recent weeks that Republicans will draw attention to the fact that he's black. Who is unaware of that? Americans overwhelmingly find it a hopeful, optimistic sign that the country could elect an African-American president. But they rightly want to know what kind of leader he might be. They may well reject as cynical any maneuver to discourage close examination of him by suggesting any criticism is racially motivated.

The candidate's self-centeredness has been on display before. Having effectively sewed up the Democratic nomination, he could have agreed to seat the Florida and Michigan delegations (states Hillary Clinton had carried). While reducing his lead by 50 to 55 delegates, it would not have altered the outcome. But Mr. Obama supported cutting these battleground-state delegations in half. At a time when magnanimity was called for, the candidate decided he'd strut.

Mr. Obama's alpha-male attitude was evident even as he stumbled towards and over the primary finish line. First, his campaign announced in May it was talking to Patti Solis Doyle after Sen. Clinton fired her as campaign manager. This served only to pour salt in the Clintons' wounds.

Then, after the primaries ended June 3, Mr. Obama's campaign leaked word that Leon Panetta (a Clinton supporter who'd apparently angered the Clintons by persistent criticism of their performance) and Ms. Doyle would conduct its outreach to the Clinton camp. Ms. Doyle was named chief of staff to the as-yet-to-be-chosen vice presidential running mate. All this was pointless, but reveals a disposition certain to manifest itself in other ways.

Mr. McCain will be helped if he uses Mr. Obama's actions to paint his opponent as someone driven by an all-powerful instinct to look out only for himself. In a contest over who is willing to put principle above personal ambition and self-interest, John McCain, a war hero and a former POW, wins hands down. That may not be the most important issue to voters in electing a president, but it's something they will rightly take into account.


Obama's lack of ordinary modesty

In his victory speech over Hillary, Barack Obama soared rhetorically about his feelings of humility. And yet he hardly sounded humble:
generations from now,

we will be able to look back

and tell our children

(with mounting excitement)

that this was the moment

when we began to provide care for the sick,

and good jobs for the jobless.

This was the moment

when the riiiiise of the oceans began to slow,

and our planet began to heal.

Now politicians are allowed some rhetorical overkill, but this is straight into Star Wars territory. There are no real precedents for this in traditional American speechifying, and that is saying something. Obama tells his hypnotized followers that we have not been caring for the sick (false); that we have no good jobs for the jobless (false); that the rise of the oceans (which doesn't exist) will begin to slow (false); and that our planet (which is feeling just fine, thanks) will finally begin to heal. (Also false).

So this is pure drivel from the deep regions of fantasyland. But Obama's brain dead followers are marching right in lockstep. They are a million Weekend at Bernie's, with millions of flatlining Obamanites being propped up to look as if they were alive and conscious. It's the Million Man March of the brain dead. This election will pit the mind-numbed robots against sensible voters. Who is the majority? That's not clear at all at this point.

Obama deliberately plays to the lowbrow crowd; after all, half the population has an IQ of less than 100. This hardly shows Obama's modesty and humility of which he boasts in his first sentence. It is wild-eyed I Can Save the Planet grandiosity. This appears to be the real Obama; a Napoleonic Man of Destiny, with the zeal and certainty of a True Believer.

Obama's more-than-human sense of destiny may become a problem for him in the general election against down-to-earth John McCain. His vision of himself as a true revolutionary ready to save America and the world poses great risks to the Democrats, who may not be able to hide their hard-Left associations any more.

Worst of all, Obama's lack of humility may pose a danger to the United States if he should win. Otherworldly grandiosity and a sense of superhuman destiny do not make for sober judgment in a president. Any smart opponent -- Ahmadi-Nejad or Putin -- would simply play to Obama's blatant narcissism and screw the United States, but good.

Fourteen years ago Hillary Clinton closeted herself with a few allies like Ira Magaziner to redesign one-seventh of the three-trillion-dollar American economy. The health care sector is inconceivably complex, just like the climate (which only a delusional zealot like Al Gore claims to understand). No health care economist truly understands that much of the economy to the point of being able to predict supply, demand and prices for the huge range of medical products and services. Anybody who could do that could become a billionaire. Nobody has done it. It's way too complicated.

What we do know is that the health care sector works pretty well, churning out just about the best medical treatments in human history to the largest number of human beings who have ever received such care. It's the goose that lays the golden egg -- but a goose so complicated that no biologist would dare try to build a better one. And yet, Hillary Rodham Clinton never doubted for a moment that she could fashion a better health care system from the top. That is arrogance beyond the ordinary, arrogance to the point of mad grandiosity. It is not a rational state of mind.

That is Obama's brand of arrogance as well -- except that according to Michelle Obama, Barack intends to redesign no less than America as a whole, to "restore our souls." That sort of more-than-human belief in one's own higher power drove Lenin and the Soviet Politburo to create a command economy that had Russian peasants starving for decades. Over seventy years of Communist power the Soviet economy never lived up to its promises. Nearly every year the harvest fell short again, and the Politburo would come up with new excuses, new grand promises for the next Five Year Plan. That looks like the mind-set of candidate Obama.

But in addition to Obama's fanatical belief in his quasi-religion of the Left, he has a sizable chunk of personal narcissism as well. It is visible in his physical stance when he accepts the plaudits of the masses. You and I might be embarrassed by that kind of adulation. Obama bathes in it as a well-deserved tribute. His grand narcissism appears whenever he changes his mind on life-and-death questions like Iranian nukes. One day Iran is a "tiny country" (it's not) and the next day Obama claims to have a fully thought-out policy to solve the knottiest foreign policy dilemma since Jimmy Carter blundered us into it. Yes, well, maybe the mullahs could turn out be a problem after all, says Obama.

Who knows what he really believes? Well, we know what his Imperial Guard believes, and they are downright appeasers to the last man and woman. Obama has the most hard-core Leftist group of advisors, ready to take power by January 2009 and steeer the ship of state straight on the rocks.

Now Obama is a very bright man, but he way overestimates his own capacities. There are limits to human intelligence. Jimmy Carter famously tried to micromanage everything down to the tennis court schedule at the White House. Carter was also possessed of that more-than-human sense that he, of all people, knew all the answers. So did Bill Clinton. Both of them were historic failures in the most basic duty of the presidency, the duty to defend and protect the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic.

For Obama it may be partly his childhood mentoring by Frank Marshall Davis, a hard-core Stalinist, plus his Harvard elitism, and his Clintonesque cynicism in using slippery words. But a lot of it looks like Pure Obama Arrogance -- something in his character that he's possessed for a long, long time. After all, this is a man who published not just one but two autobiographies before the age of 45. They are sort of proto-biographies, saying, "Here I am, a Man of Destiny, and here is the revolutionary future I bring to all of you."

As Victor Davis Hanson pointed out, Obama spent the first eighteen years of his life outside of the continental United States. He doesn't know this country very well at all. (Hawaii is another-worldly place to grow up in, as is Indonesia, compared to Indiana or Georgia.) Then he entered the unreal Ivory Tower of American colleges, followed by twenty years of weekly indoctrination lectures by the Rev. Jeremiah Wright and his buds in the Black Liberation Theology political ideology. That's Obama's life to date. Obama's total experience at the national level of American politics comes down to two-plus years in the US Senate, most of which was spent campaigning for president.

So what Barack Obama thinks he knows about the United States comes from reading books and newspapers, and from his carefully chosen friends on the Left, including Jeremiah Wright and old-style Communist Frank Marshall Davis. Obama's immense arrogance comes paired with equally great ignorance. He does not know, nor does he respect the basic rhythms and intuitions of American life.

Now this is very weird indeed for a man running for President of these United States. There are no precedents in American history of a serious candidate for the presidency who just doesn't have much experience of everyday America.

Narcissism is defined in psychiatry as an overweening sense of grandiosity, a sense of entitlement to whatever one desires, and a dehumanizing way of manipulating other people as objects. A lot of presidential candidates have that to some degree; the Clintons are the original poster kids of narcissism. But most candidates in American politics go through a long process of getting beaten up by reality, which helps to modify their outsized egos. Obama has never done that.

Indeed, Obama has done nothing in his life that indicates any ability to deal with reality in the raw. He has never had a job that deals with reality -- farming, business, engineering, science. He is simply Hollywood come to earth. Psychologically, Obama is ET, the Extra-Terrestrial -- he is from another place, a place in the otherworldly imagination of the Left.

Obama's narcissism combined with his fundamental ignorance spells danger for the country. If he does become president -- which looks like at least a 50-50 proposition right now -- he will be the most dangerous occupant in that office ever. He doesn't know where the steering wheel and the brakes are located; but he knows where he wants to go in his fertile imagination. A more dangerous driver of the American ship of state is hard to imagine.

Like Jimmy Carter, Obama will take a significant chunk of American safety and security with him. Obama is a talented actor on the national stage, but he will need a lot more seasoning before we can feel safe having him in the most powerful office in the land.


Obama's Oil Idiocy

Why does it seem like the Democrats are doing everything in their power to actually prolong the energy crisis? Not content with hamstringing US oil exploration, they are against Iraq handing out contracts: "Senators seek to stop Iraq oil deals". Mustn't let ANYONE provide more oil! Not us, not Iraq. I'm surprised they haven' t leaned on OPEC to cut production. Ben explains:
Note the Dems are a day late and a dollar short, as usual: Total, a FRENCH corporation, just scored a deal with Iraq.

Obama's ignorance is astounding. Try applying his "We can't drill our way out of an oil shortage!" logic to any other commodity, and you get:

"More construction of new homes will NOT reduce the housing shortage!" and

"Increased farming will not ease the food shortage!"

Nothing ever misspoke by Bush has ever been so utterly stupid. It is one thing to fumble the words while processing a coherent thought. Obama is a guy who will clearly and plainly speak words of absolute idiocy.


Monsieur Obama's Tax Rates

Celebrity chef Alain Ducasse insists that his change of citizenship this week from high-tax France to no-income-tax Monaco wasn't a financial decision but an "affair of the heart." Right. But even if he's being sincere, plenty of other Frenchmen have moved abroad to escape their country's confiscatory taxes. Americans should be so lucky: Theirs is the only industrialized country that taxes its people even if they live overseas. That hasn't been a big problem as long as U.S. tax rates have been relatively low. But with Barack Obama promising to lift rates to French-like levels, this taxman-cometh policy could turn Americans into the world's foremost fiscal prisoners.

And make no mistake, taxes under a President Obama could be truly a la francaise. The top marginal tax rate, including federal, state and local levies, could approach 60% for self-employed New Yorkers and Californians. Not even France's taxes are that high now that President Nicolas Sarkozy has capped the total that high-earning Frenchmen like Mr. Ducasse can pay in income, social and wealth taxes at 50% of earnings.

Mr. Sarkozy set this "fiscal shield" because he knows that tax rates affect behavior. When he visited London this year, he observed that the British capital is now home to so many French bankers and other professionals seeking tax relief that it's the seventh-largest French city. Those expatriates choose not to use their creativity and investment capital to benefit France and its economy.

Senator Obama's plans to raise income, Social Security and capital-gains taxes amount to a belief that people don't react to punitive tax rates. If so, he needn't worry about people leaving the country and could let them pay taxes in whichever part of the globe they choose to live in. Once Americans are paying French-style tax rates, they ought to have the same freedom to move as Alain Ducasse.


Getting to Know Obama

We are barely at the beginning of the long period in which most Americans will give their first serious scrutiny to the presidential candidates and decide whether Barack Obama or John McCain will get their vote. Americans have many questions about both men. In the Post-ABC News poll last week, only half of those interviewed said they felt they knew an adequate amount about the candidates' stands on specific issues. Voters split evenly on who would be the stronger leader, and they showed great uncertainty about which, if either, would be a safe choice for the White House.

Obama leads on domestic, economic and social issues, but McCain is a strong favorite on national security and terrorism. The former POW's personal appeal looms as the strongest barrier to the Democratic victory indicated by the towering majorities that disapprove of President Bush (68 percent) and that fear the country is headed seriously on the wrong track (84 percent).

Despite those fundamental weaknesses in the Republican position, McCain trails Obama in that same poll by only six points, hardly an impossible margin to overcome. What may be crucial in the end is whether people become comfortable with the prospect of Obama as their president.

McCain benefits from a long-established reputation as a man who says what he believes. His shifts in position that have occurred in this campaign seem not to have damaged that aura. Obama is much newer to most voters, less familiar and more dependent on the impressions he is only now creating.

That is why a pair of strategy decisions made in the past two weeks could prove troublesome for him. The first was Obama's turning down McCain's invitation to join him in a series of town hall meetings where they would appear together and answer questions from real voters -- without a formal agenda, press panel or professional interviewers.

Obama's manager initially called the idea "appealing," but nine days later, when David Plouffe got around to responding, he countered with something quite different from the 10 informal discussions McCain proposed holding before the late-summer nominating conventions. Plouffe said that in addition to the three traditional debates under official sponsorship later in the fall, there could be only two others -- one on economics on July 4 and another on foreign policy in August.

The McCain side said that few Americans would sacrifice their Independence Day holiday to watch a debate and reiterated its offer to meet Obama anywhere he wanted on any of the next 10 Thursdays.

At a news briefing last week, Obama spokesman Robert Gibbs characterized that as a "take it or leave it" stance by the Republicans and suggested that discussions were finished.

At the same briefing, Gibbs and campaign counsel Bob Bauer defended Obama's decision to become the first presidential candidate since the Watergate reforms to decline public financing of his general election campaign.

Gibbs and Bauer in effect blamed McCain, saying repeatedly that he was "gaming the system" by pledging to accept public funds while saying he could not "referee" spending by outside independent groups if it occurred. In fact, McCain had been far more vocal in denouncing such groups on the GOP side than Obama was in criticizing their counterparts playing Democratic presidential politics -- even though Obama has claimed the mantle of campaign finance reformer that McCain has long enjoyed.

Obama supporters note that town halls are McCain's favorite campaign settings, so it's no surprise he prefers them to formal speeches, where Obama excels. They point out that public financing helps McCain, who has lagged all year in his private fundraising, while it would inhibit Obama, who has tapped into a rich vein of small contributors using the Internet.

But it's also the case that the multiple joint town meetings McCain proposed would be a real service to the public and that suspending the dollar chase for the duration of the campaign, as McCain but not Obama will do, would be a major step toward establishing the credibility of the election process.

By refusing to join McCain in these initiatives in order to protect his own interests, Obama raises an important question: Has he built sufficient trust so that his motives will be accepted by the voters who are only now starting to figure out what makes him tick?