Friday, October 10, 2008

G*d D#mn Amerikka!

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Black Muslim lawyer Khalid Abdullah Tariq al-Mansour recently made news when it was revealed that he was a patron of Barack Obama and recommended him for admission to Harvard Law School in 1988. Back in the 1960s, al-Mansour, whose “slave name” was then Don Warden, was deeply involved in Bay Area racial politics as founder of a group called the African American Association. A close personal adviser to Huey Newton and Bobby Seale, al-Mansour helped the pair establish the Black Panther Party but later broke with them when they entered coalitions with white radical groups.
And why is it that black racists such as al-Mansour constitute a significant proportion of these hate mongers? In large part, it is because blacks have been specifically and aggressively targeted for recruitment by leaders of the worldwide jihad, just as they were targeted for recruitment by the Communist Party USA in the 1920s.

Quite Low?

From the mailbag:

Hi Peter,
Another reason why Siglitz might not be the best Nobel Prize to rely on, for now, is that when he worked for Fannie Mae he flunked big time ...

The reader includes a link to this 2002 study, "Implications of the New Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac Risk-Based Capital Standard," which was co-authored by none other than Joseph Stiglitz.  The study's conclusion?  "[T]he exposure of the government to the risk that the GSEs [that is, Fannie and Freddie] will become insolvent appears quite low."

And Now For Some Real Entertainment

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Plaintiffs filed their class action lawsuit on July 6, 1994, alleging that Citibank had engaged in redlining practices in the Chicago metropolitan area in violation of the Equal Credit Opportunity Act (ECOA), 15 U.S.C. 1691; the Fair Housing Act, 42 U.S.C. 3601-3619; the Thirteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution; and 42 U.S.C. 1981, 1982. Plaintiffs alleged that the Defendant-bank rejected loan applications of minority applicants while approving loan applications filed by white applicants with similar financial characteristics and credit histories. Plaintiffs sought injunctive relief, actual damages, and punitive damages.

Obama, Barack H. (Illinois)

Obama, Acorn and the Roots Of Crisis

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Thursday, October 09, 2008

The Memory Hole

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"The months passed at a breathless pace, with constant reminders of all the things left undone. We worked with a citywide coalition in support of school reform."

The ABCs Coalition was formed in March 1988 (p. 20) and was coordinated by Bill Ayers (photo).

Yet Obama never met the fellow coordinating this 1988 coalition. And years later, after all his hard work in creating the Chicago Annenberg Challenge Bill Ayers graciously assented to Obama becoming chairman even though the two men had never met, Obama had no background in education, and no one had reviewed Obama's qualifications with Bill Ayers. Uh huh. Well, that is Obama's current story - let's see if they stick to that through the election.
Hmmm. So many questions left unanswered.

I'm OK...

Obviously, the success of the bailout can't be judged on a couple of weeks in the stock market. Still, the rationale for ramrodding the bailout through Congress with essentially no debate over alternatives was that it was urgently necessary to do something immediately lest financial markets collapse. At the moment, that rationale isn't looking too persuasive.

Wow. That would be me that got landed on.


The British Government estimates the cumulative carbon saving from all its
plans at somewhere between 950 and 1,100 million tonnes of CO2 by 2030.

Computer modelling - using DICE (dynamic integrated model of climate and the
economy) - shows that the net effect of the UK renewables effort is
impossibly tiny. The temperature increase by 2100 without Mr Brown's plan
would have been 2.4536181C. With the best-case scenario the huge UK effort
means that the temperature at the end of the century would be 2.4532342C.
The effect is a difference of about 0.00038C - or about one three-thousandth
of a degree in a hundred years. This is the equivalent of delaying the
temperature increase by the end of the century by a little less than a week.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008


I suggested in yesterday's article that Obama and Ayers probably met when Obama was at Columbia and Ayers was at the nearby Bank Street College.  (They had Edward Said as a common connection.)  Even if my hypothesis is not right, Obama and Ayers were both involved in a hotly contested education reform controversy in Chicago in 1987-88.  And as Ed Whelan has noted, from 1984-88, Ayers wife, Bernadine Dohrn, was an intern at the Sidley Austin law firm, where Michelle Obama was an intern in 1987 and became an associate in 1988

Obama was given very weighty responsibility in 1995 over what was a $150M+ education reform project that Ayers masterminded.  At the time, Obama was only a third-year associate at a small law firm, with no executive experience.  It is highly, highly unlikely that Ayers would have permitted such an arrangement unless he knew and trusted Obama.  Given the common places and people in their past, it is a virtual certainty that they met before 1995.

Europe: What Would We Do Without It?

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But wait, there's more:
Russia has also mended fences with Germany, concluding a new bilateral energy deal and winning assurances from Angela Merkel, the chancellor, that Berlin would not support granting Georgia or Ukraine Nato candidate status when the alliance meets in December.
Europe - what would we do without it?

And This One

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Obama trained ACORN activists. A 1995 Chicago Reader article on Obama stated “Obama continues his work largely through classes for future leaders identified by ACORN and the Centers for New Horizons.” Obama also ran Project Vote, known for widespread voter fraud, which Time magazine called “a non-partisan arm” of ACORN. In a speech to ACORN in 2007, cited by Newsmax, Obama gushed “I have been fighting alongside ACORN on issues you care about my entire career. Even before I was an elected official, when I ran Project Vote voter registration drive in Illinois. ACORN was smack dab in the middle of it and we appreciate your work.”
I'm sure he does - especially their work in the key battle-ground states for this election.

Why That One Of Course

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And who has been an advocate for, worked with and trained members of ACORN?

Why "that one" of course. Brad O'Leary puts it all in context for you:
Following the DNC Convention, Saul Alinsky’s son, L. David Alinsky, wrote a letter to the Boston Globe. “Barack Obama’s training in Chicago by the great community organizers is showing his effectiveness,” the son wrote. “I am proud to see that my father’s model for organizing is being applied successfully beyond local community organizing to affect the Democratic campaign in 2008. It’s a fine tribute to Saul Alinsky as we approach his 100th birthday.”

The great community organizing Obama did was through the radical Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN). ACORN is notoriously known for its radical, and often illegal, practices and adherence to the radical philosophy of Saul Alinsky.

1000 Sundays

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Not The Same Thing

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Second, wisdom and blue-chip college educations are not quite the same thing.
The fools in Washington and New York who blew up Wall Street had degrees from
our finest professional schools.

The most chilling example, at the very beginning of this ongoing mess, came
in 2003 during the House Financial Services Committee's hearing on Fannie and
Freddie. At one point, Harvard Law School graduate Rep. Barney Frank, D-Mass.,
asked Fannie Mae CEO and fellow Harvard Law School graduate Franklin Rains --
who took millions in bonuses even as he helped bankrupt the once-hallowed
institution -- whether he felt the mortgage giant had been "under-regulated."
Raines answered him under oath, "No, sir." Then overseer Frank announced, "OK.
Then I am not entirely sure why we are here."

ACORN, The New Party And The O

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In 1995, the New Ground, the newsletter of the Chicago Chapter of Democratic
Socialists of America, noted, “In Chicago, the New Party's biggest asset and
biggest liability is ACORN.

“Like most organizations, ACORN is a mixed bag. On one hand, in Chicago,
ACORN is a group that attempts to organize some of the most depressed
communities in the city. Chicago organizers for ACORN and organizers for SEIU
Local 880 have been given modest monthly recruitment quotas for new New Party
members. On the other hand, like most groups that depend on canvassing for
fundraising, it's easy enough to find burned out and disgruntled former

Naturally, Barack Obama was an active part of ACORN at the time, helping it legally in court and helping it organize voters.  By 1996, ACORN and the New Party were essentially the same body.  Along with the Democratic Socialists of America, the New Party endorsed Barack Obama in his State Senate bid.

What's Going To Give?

This may be a case of the irresistible force meeting the immovable object.
The political, cultural and social establishments are determined to elect the
pro-status quo, anti-change candidate, Barack Obama, as President. The power and
money arrayed behind Obama seem unbeatable. At the same time, it is
inconceivable that the American people would elect a socialist President. So, if
this report is correct, something's got to give.

In June sources released information that during his campaign for
the State Senate in Illinois, Barack Obama was endorsed by an organization known
as the Chicago "New Party". The 'New Party' was a political party established by
the Democratic Socialists of America (the DSA) to push forth the socialist
principles of the DSA by focusing on winnable elections at a local level and
spreading the Socialist movement upwards. ...

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Where The Jews Are Republican

"We respect war heroes in Israel, especially those like McCain who were POWs," notes Mitchell Barak, managing director of the Jerusalem-based Keevoon Research, Strategy & Communications. "We see Obama fantasizing about how he wants to sit down and talk to the terrorists, and he loses a lot of Israelis right there. He comes off as unrealistic and insensitive to the existential challenges facing the Jewish state, and as naïve."

Naïve, indeed. It's a theme that popped up frequently when I mentioned Obama's name. Obama lacks experience. Obama doesn't understand how to deal with terrorists in general, and radical Islamic terrorists in particular.
Most Israelis, who live daily with the threat of terrorism, simply don't trust Obama. Take the residents of Sderot, a smallish Israeli city perched half a mile from the Gaza Strip. Since 2001, 7,000-8,000 rockets have rained down on Sderot from Gaza. Fifteen Israelis have died in these attacks and more than 600 have been wounded.

Not Confused By The Facts

Barack Obama's being the first serious black candidate for President of the United States is what most people consider remarkable but how he got there is at least equally surprising.

The story of Obama's political career is not a pretty story. He won his first political victory by being the only candidate on the ballot-- after hiring someone skilled at disqualifying the signers of opposing candidates' petitions, on whatever technicality he could come up with.

Despite his words today about "change" and "cleaning up the mess in Washington," Obama was not on the side of reformers who were trying to change the status quo of corrupt, machine politics in Chicago and clean up the mess there. Obama came out in favor of the Daley machine and against reform candidates.

Senator Obama is running on an image that is directly the opposite of what he has been doing for two decades. His escapes from his past have been as remarkable as the great escapes of Houdini.

Blowing Up The Dam

Here is how John Cochrane, Myron S. Scholes Professor of Finance in the
University of Chicago, characterized the bailout, in an interview with Fox News:
"The legislation is like this: some boats are sinking, so rather than bailing
those boats out, you blow up the dam and drain the whole lake."

comment, and many like it, was offered even before "sweeteners" were added, that
would in themselves roll any economist's eyeballs.

It is worth adding
that not one of the politicians voting on the 450-odd-page bill can possibly
have read the whole thing, let alone deeply considered the implications of its
parts. Few of them have an understanding of the crisis they are legislating for.
The blind are leading the blind.

A New Meaning For "Financial Armageddon"

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Pakistan's foreign exchange reserves are so low that the country can
only afford one month of imports and faces possible bankruptcy.

Officially, the central bank holds $8.14 billion (£4.65 billion) of
foreign currency, but if forward liabilities are included, the real reserves may
be only $3 billion - enough to buy about 30 days of imports like oil and

Nine months ago, Pakistan had $16 bn in the coffers.

government is engulfed by crises left behind by Pervez Musharraf, the military
ruler who resigned the presidency in August. High oil prices have combined with
endemic corruption and mismanagement to inflict huge damage on the
The price-tag to rescue them? About 100 billion.

mentioned, Pakistan is a critical ally in the war against the Taliban and al
Qaeda in Afghanistan. It is also has nuclear weapons and a rather large
population of radical Islamists who would love nothing better than to get their
hands on them.

Got It

McCain: Of course we would come to their aid without waiting for the UN.
Obama: We would use "all our tools" and "sanctions" and "cost-benefit
analysis." So let me get this straight: Obama wants to preemptively attack
a country without provocation in Pakistan, but refuses to commit to use military
force to defend an ally after THEY have been invaded. 


Got it. 

The Short Summary

BROKAW KEEPS TELLING THEM TO STICK TO THE TIME BUDGET: If they can't stick to the time budget, why believe 'em on the federal budget? . . .

An Extra Helping Of Depression

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The full economists’ statement on Barack Obama’s
economic proposals and a complete list of economists who support it

Barack Obama argues that his proposals to raise
tax rates and halt international trade agreements would benefit the American
economy. They would do nothing of the sort. Economic analysis and historical
experience show that they would do the opposite. They would reduce economic
growth and decrease the number of jobs in America. Moreover, with the credit
crunch, the housing slump, and high energy prices weakening the U.S. economy,
his proposals run a high risk of throwing the economy into a deep recession. It
was exactly such misguided tax hikes and protectionism, enacted when the U.S.
economy was weak in the early 1930s, that greatly increased the severity of the
Great Depression.

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Eh Tu Europe?

As European stock markets tank, the Irish government guarantees bank deposits, the Benelux countries nationalize Fortis bank, Germany bails out Hypo Real Estate Holdings, and Denmark also guarantees bank deposits and dismally so forth, the question arises: Who knew that Europe, of all places, was so under-regulated? Or maybe de-regulation is not the chief cause for the outbreak of financial chaos? Just wondering.

When the answer to "what to do?" is always "regulate more," the answer to "what went wrong?" must always be "not enough regulation."

Megan McArdle has related thoughts: "Europe's ongoing disaster is starting to match ours. This not only seriously challenges the idea that the main problem is American bank regulation--everyone is having the same problem, despite different regulatory regimes--but also puts us in much deeper jeopardy." Yes, just over a week ago, Europeans were gloating at American problems.

Fugitive Dreams

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“I picture the street coming alive, awakening from the fury of winter, stirred from the chilly spring night by cold glimmers of sunlight angling through the city.” Bill Ayers, Fugitive Days.


“Night now fell in midafternoon, especially when the snowstorms rolled in, boundless prairie storms that set the sky close to the ground, the city lights reflected against the clouds.” Barack Obama, Dreams From My Father.

Prior to 1990, when Barack Obama contracted to write Dreams From My Father, he had written very close to nothing.

As an undergraduate, Obama had written what he justifiably calls some “very bad poetry.” He published nothing under his own name in The Harvard Law Review, where he served as an editor and as president. And after leaving Harvard, he published nothing in its review or in any law journal.

Then, in 1995, this untested 33 year-old produced what Time Magazine has called--with a straight face-- “the best-written memoir ever produced by an American politician.”

Epic Leadership Fail (Part 26,825)

BRENDAN LOY ON TONIGHT'S DEBATE: "This is presidential politics in America -- fundamentally unserious, at a time of grave peril for the nation." And it's hard to argue with this: "It isn't just that McCain and Obama are flawed candidates; it's that there aren't really any better alternatives. Who would you rather see up there? Hillary Clinton? Mitt Romney? John Edwards? Mike Huckabee? Joe Biden? Sarah Palin? Nancy Pelosi? John Boehner? Harry Reid? Mitch McConnell? George W. Bush? John Kerry? Dick Cheney? Al Gore? Please. Our political class is totally failing us, almost as much as we're failing ourselves."

Yes, the political class isn't attracting the best talent in the nation. It's not even attracting the second-best.

I think the Sarah Palin nomination just showed us why we're not getting talent. As I've said for a long time: If you're smart enough to be president, you're smart enough not to want to be president.

For instance, why would you want to have your family and reputation assassinated by ruthless idiots as we have watched with Sarah. You could be Jesus Christ himself and the same would happen. ESPECIALLY if you were Jesus Christ in fact.

But even worse, there is now a complete "impedance mismatch" between the economy and the government. Due to the complexity generated by (even just what there is left of) the free market, the government can't understand all the unintended consequences that it has on the market even if it had the best of intentions -- which of course it doesn't.

Monday, October 06, 2008

So Much For Europe

It's always seemed that in a time of crisis, national loyalties would likely reassert themselves. Today, that happened, as Europe's biggest economies were unable to organize a coordinated response to the world-wide credit crisis. It was Europe's biggest and most powerful country, Germany, that served notice on the others that "union" goes only so far:

Germany's Finance Minister Peer Steinbrueck made clear his government's opposition to the idea that the euro zone's single largest economy should put up money to prop up institutions outside his country.

He said Monday that he and Chancellor Angela Merkel were considering creating a "shield" that would protect the country's entire financial sector, and that a Europe-wide shield or bailout was out of the question. "The chancellor and I reject a European shield because we as Germans do not want to pay into a big pot where we do not have control and do not know where German money might be used," he said in a separate interview with WDR 2

Epic Fraud

Obama’s obfuscation regarding Ayers is, in a sense, the homage that vice pays to virtue - a tacit acknowledgment of the fact that the political culture of Chicago, and especially of Hyde Park, is more accommodating than perhaps it should be to a morally dubious figure like Ayers, and that having accommodated himself to those accommodations Obama now recognizes the need to behave as if he didn’t.

But this is true of Obama’s entire circle of comrades and associates, of course. He didn’t know who they were, or wasn’t all that close to them, or never happened to be there when their life-long habit of excoriating evil America was demonstrated. It is all of a piece.

But more than hypocrisy is at work here. It is not just far Left, American-hating radicals he now disowns. You get the sense that he believes everyone can be played.

There is no end to it — everyone gets the version of Obama that perfectly fits his own world view. It is not hypocrisy. It’s fraud.
And it ends:

But one thing has been consistent. He has never, ever attacked political corruption, whether in Chicago or Washington. To the contrary, at the Woods Fund, the Annenberg Challenge and the U.S. Senate he’s laddled out earmarks and goodies to a long list of friends and associates — Wright, Pfleger, Will County ( home of FBI target Larry Walsh), Allison S. Davis, ACORN, etc. The one consistency has been his fidelity to political supporters. Everyone else and every political position were disposable.

Now is precisely the time for firm convictions, strict ethical propriety and the firmness to turn away those who put private interests above the public good. We may be on the verge of electing a candidate who lacks any of these traits.

Down The Memory Hole

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Imagine Jim Dobson or Rick Warren endorsing Barack Obama. Imagine the headlines and news stories which would derive from such an endorsement.

Now imagine a major Democratic operative, who is heads one of the largest chapters of the National Organization for Women endorsing John McCain and Sarah Palin, primarily due to Sarah Palin’s place on the ticket.

Both would be big news, right?

A Town Hall Question

The global financial markets are in crisis, we're fighting wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, North Korea is resuming nuclear weapons programs, Russia is becoming more aggressive, and Iran wants to destroy Israel and is on the verge of having nukes. What experiences have you had in your life that have prepared you for dealing with the crises you'll face as president?


  • My career was not launched with the assistance of an unrepentant terrorist.

  • My pastor has never said "God damn America."

  • I don't think our troops are "just air-raiding villages and killing civilians."

  • My spouse doesn't think America is a "downright mean country."

  • I've never sat on a board with an unrepentant terrorist.

  • I've never directed millions of dollars to radical organizations.

  • I've never opposed requiring medical care for babies who are born alive.

  • I bought my home without assistance from a convicted felon.

  • I've never taken my kids to a church whose pastor thinks AIDS was created by the government.

If Obama's mainstream, most Americans are extremists.

Comment Of The Day: WMD II

"The facts that Warren Buffet called exotic derivatives "financial weapons of mass destruction" and state regulators were trying urgently to get reckless mortgage lending under control were just random noise in the system. Uh, huh."

Before we put another halo on Warren Buffett, it's worth remembering that he was and remains the largest shareholder of Moody's (via Berkshire Hathaway), and Moody's was slapping triple-A ratings on plenty of exotic derivative securities, including CDOs full of sketchy mortgage-backed securities. As long as Moody's was using its oligopolistic position to rake in high profits, Buffett doesn't seem to have cared much about how it was earning them.

Sunday, October 05, 2008

Convenient Resignations

the Obamas paid a lot of money for law degrees and yet they no longer have licenses. That is kind of strange. Let us start with Barack and see if we can trace the demise of his law career.

Obama relinquished his Illinois law license in early 2007. Why would Obama give up something that provided his primary source of income and something he spent so much time and energy obtaining? Andy Martin filed a complaint in IL on March 13, 2007 stating that Obama had lied on his IL bar application. Obama had 17 outstanding traffic violations that he had failed to take care of. Mr. Martin discovered that Obama would not be prosecuted because he no longer had his law license. I contacted Andy Martin and this was his response:

"Nothing. Obama had already resigned as a lawyer and so they had no jurisdiction over him."

"Not if they have lost jurisdiction over the individual. They can't punish someone who has resigned, which is why so many corrupt lawyers in Illinois resign before they are disbarred."

Disparate Impact

Want to understand what happened?

Ace has a very terse and cogent explanation:

If the federal government were guaranteeing a trillion new dollars for no-money down car purchases with no credit checks or proof of employment or income, what do you think would happen to the price of cars?

They'd triple. For a while.

As to what caused the push for no-money down home sales with no credit checks or proof of employment or income, it's easy. I've lost track of the number of posts I've written about it.

Ace singles out Barney Frank for especially harsh treatment, and while Frank is an insufferable fool, he's as replaceable as a piston ring. (As are "Chris Dodd, ACORN, Franklin Raines, Penny Pritzker, Jim Johnson, and of course Barack Hussein Obama.")

The problem is the relentless push for socialism (a word few will use), which has done enormous damage to the economy by the simple misuse of a two word phrase:

"Disparate impact."

CAC: How Acorn Fit

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CAC translated Mr. Ayers's radicalism into practice. Instead of funding schools directly, it required schools to affiliate with "external partners," which actually got the money. Proposals from groups focused on math/science achievement were turned down. Instead CAC disbursed money through various far-left community organizers, such as the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (or Acorn).

Mr. Obama once conducted "leadership training" seminars with Acorn, and Acorn members also served as volunteers in Mr. Obama's early campaigns. External partners like the South Shore African Village Collaborative and the Dual Language Exchange focused more on political consciousness, Afrocentricity and bilingualism than traditional education. CAC's in-house evaluators comprehensively studied the effects of its grants on the test scores of Chicago public-school students. They found no evidence of educational improvement.

CAC: Ayers And "Small c" Communism

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The CAC's agenda flowed from Mr. Ayers's educational philosophy, which called for infusing students and their parents with a radical political commitment, and which downplayed achievement tests in favor of activism. In the mid-1960s, Mr. Ayers taught at a radical alternative school, and served as a community organizer in Cleveland's ghetto.

In works like "City Kids, City Teachers" and "Teaching the Personal and the Political," Mr. Ayers wrote that teachers should be community organizers dedicated to provoking resistance to American racism and oppression. His preferred alternative? "I'm a radical, Leftist, small 'c' communist," Mr. Ayers said in an interview in Ron Chepesiuk's, "Sixties Radicals," at about the same time Mr. Ayers was forming CAC.

CAC: How Obama Got There

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One unsettled question is how Mr. Obama, a former community organizer fresh out of law school, could vault to the top of a new foundation? In response to my questions, the Obama campaign issued a statement saying that Mr. Ayers had nothing to do with Obama's "recruitment" to the board. The statement says Deborah Leff and Patricia Albjerg Graham (presidents of other foundations) recruited him. Yet the archives show that, along with Ms. Leff and Ms. Graham, Mr. Ayers was one of a working group of five who assembled the initial board in 1994. Mr. Ayers founded CAC and was its guiding spirit. No one would have been appointed the CAC chairman without his approval.

Dig It

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The REAL ugly Americans...


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Chicago’s political elite love to give speeches about the importance of public education, but not for their children. Mayor Daley sent his children to private schools. Deborah Lynch, the former head of the Chicago Teacher’s Union, sent her kids to private schools. America’s newest political superstar, Barack Obama, sends his kids to private schools. With the exodus of the rich from Chicago’s public schools, 69 percent of the children in the Chicago Public School system are poor.

Chicago’s political system is inefficient and costly. There are no term limits
in Chicago. The Democratic Party has controlled the Mayor’s office since 1931(a
big city record). There’s no opposition: Democrat’s control 49 out of 50 seats
on the city council. Corruption is everywhere. Barely a month can go by without
a major scandal. The FBI has the largest public corruption squad in the United
States located in Chicago . Chicago voters don’t seem to care.
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What's Under The Bus

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Even more ridiculously, Power’s ultimate aim is to send a massive American or
Western force into Israel to stop what Power apparently sees as an Israeli
genocide against the Palestinians.  She specifically states that the force
has to be “massive”, not like a Srebrenica- or Bosnia-sized force.  Why
would it need to be so large?  In order to neutralize the Israeli Defense
Force, and protect the forces of Fatah and Hamas.

Had Barack Obama kicked her off of his advisory panel (rumored to number 300)
after making remarks like this, it could have assuaged fears about his
intentions towards Israel.  Instead, he invited Power to advise him
after making these remarks.  She resigned only after calling
Hillary a monster and after insinuating that Obama may not retreat from Iraq in
16 months if the ground situation changed — which Obama later adopted as his own
position after the primaries.