Saturday, October 18, 2008

The Price Of Freedom In The House Of Corruption

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Bush has been rightly excoriated by conservatives for his failure to veto,
and for the social spending built in to “compassionate conservative.” At the
same time, however — and even though I’ve been willing to pile on W about
increasing government spending — I’ve had the nagging sense, which I’ve
mentioned here on a few occasions, that Bush’s nearly singular focus has
been what he sees as an existential battle between the west with its freedoms
and those theocracies and authoritarian rules trying to launch a campaign aimed
at re-establishing medievalist social contracts and fundamentalist religious

If this feeling I have is correct, Bush’s tunnel-vision — which has to this
point kept us safe (recall the feeling in the air after 911: when would the
other shoe drop?) — came at a political cost: Dems and some Republicans
problematized the war(s) against radical Islam to create leverage for getting
what they wanted in exchange for their ultimate support for the war on

In What Kind Of Nation?

In “href="">their
rabid character assassination
” as Ed Morrissey puts it, of Joe the Plumber,
“a man who did nothing more than ask a question,” Obama supporters and
their allies in the media remind us (yet again) of the tactics of all too many
on the left.  Instead of challenging their conservative, independent or
just plain non-orthodox leftists critics on the plain of ideas, they dredge up
whatever they can find in an attempt to destroy our credibility.

They just get upset with anything which upsets their narrative.

They href="">don’t want
to investigate Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac
because such an investigation might
undermine their narrative that deregulation and Wall Street greed prompted the
mortgage meltdown.  When conservative suggest that government programs
might have precipitated the mess, for example, one leading Democrat href="">accused
such heretics to the media narrative of racism

In what kind of nation, do the media investigate critics more than candidates?
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Friday, October 17, 2008

Good Friends

Until he threw them under the bus. And people were stupid enough to believe it.
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After all, in a 2004 interview he bragged that he went to Wright’s Trinity
every Sunday (even on THE SUNDAY?) and had some rather inspirational mentors (GG
is the Chicago Sun-Times interviewer):

GG: Do you still attend Trinity?

OBAMA:Yep. Every week. 11 oclock service.


GG: Do you have people in your life that you look to for guidance?

OBAMA:Well, my pastor [Wright] is certainly someone who I have an enormous
amount of respect for. I have a number of friends who are ministers. Reverend
Meeks is a close friend and colleague of mine in the state Senate. Father
Michael Pfleger is a dear friend, and somebody I interact with closely.

GG:Those two will keep you on your toes.

OBAMA: And they’re good friends. Because both of them are in the public eye,
there are ways we can all reflect on what’s happening to each of us in ways that
are useful. I think they can help me, they can appreciate certain specific
challenges that I go through as a public figure.

 blog it

The "People's Ticket"

The "people's ticket" ordered a little snack from room
service at the Waldorf, as the N.Y. Post's page Six reports:

While he was at a meeting at the Waldorf-Astoria at 4 p.m. Wednesday,
Michelle Obama called room service and ordered lobster hors
d'oeuvres, two whole steamed lobsters, Iranian caviar and champagne, a tipster
told Page Six.

I'd guess the bill for that snack came in at around $350. Iranian
caviar ain't cheap — even if you negotiate for it yourself. What the hell .
. . Your campaign contributions (soon to be your tax dollars) at work.

She hated her country before she loved it. And let's fund the Iranian nutjobs while we're at it also...

Welfare As "Tax Cuts"

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HEMPSTEAD. N.Y. -- "We are going to cut taxes for 95 percent of Americans,"
Barack Obama's campaign manager, David Plouffe, said in the spin room here at
Hofstra University following the final debate of the 2008 presidential

Plouffe was repeating one of the boldest claims made by the
Obama campaign. It's a claim that the Wall Street Journal editorial
board href="">dubbed
"Obama's 95% Illusion," noting that more than a third of Americans don't pay any
income taxes, and that what Obama's plan does do is offer a raft of subsidies
and government payments to individuals and families that he redefines as "tax
cuts." His proposal looks more like a redistribution scheme than an honest
effort to reduce taxes -- as he href="">revealed
on Monday when he told a now famous Ohio plumber that his plan aimed to "spread
the wealth around."
If Barack Obama can effectively claim that his plan cuts taxes on 95 percent of
Americans, then the term "tax cut" has no meaning.

Joe (Menchu) The Plumber

For those on the left who think that this whole story is about Joe's personal
background, let me put in in terms they should understand. Think of Joe as a
symbolic construct whose situation is "fake but accurate." The left always seems
to like that sort of approach to what they regard as underlying truths. Think of
him as the left thought of href="">Rigoberta Menchu, the Guatemalan
writer who won the Nobel Prize for literature with her autobiography of how, as
an indigenous Mayan, she and her family had suffered at the hands of the
Guatemalan army. Except it turns out that many of the details in her
autobiography were fabrications. That didn't matter to the left or the Nobel
Prize Committee because they regarded her story, true or not, as an essential
expression of suffering that could have been true.

Thursday, October 16, 2008


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Is the real Obama the deeds of yesterday, or the more soothing words of today, when he distances himself from so many of his old friends?

I don't actually pretend to know whether Barack Obama shares the beliefs of Bill Ayers; I only know that he was content to send millions of dollars Ayers' way to "educate" the children of Chicago and give a glowing review to Ayers' book. I don't actually pretend to know whether Barack Obama shares the beliefs of Rev. Wright; I only know that he was content to sit in Wright's pews for two decades, bring his young daughters to have their heads filled with Wright's ravings, donate to Wright's church, declare Wright to be his spiritual mentor and name his best-selling book after one of Wright's incendiary sermons. I don't actually pretend to know whether Barack Obama shares the beliefs of the New Party; I only know that he was content to put his name on their party line and sign a contract to support their platform.

Barack The Plumber


And yet, for that Joe is being pilloried, every
aspect of his private and professional life being sorted through and exposed. To
prove ... what? What does that have to do with Obama's answer? What does Joe's
situation have to do with Obama's philosophical answer — that he wants to
"spread the wealth"? Obama's answer goes down the memory hole while the nation
concentrates its fire on obliterating Joe the Plumber.

It's sickening, it's maddening and it's downright

Sorry for the length. But I am just SEETHING.


I could care less about Joe's background, whether
he's legit, or whether he is a McCain operative. What I do care about is that I
could be attacked like a public figure simply for asking a question, like Joe. I
am chilled. No longer undecided either.

Joe Shall Not Question The One

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He asked a question.  He stood on a rope line, and Obama
picked him to ask it.  The Tanning-Bed Media seems to feel that
they have a duty to expose every last part of Wurzelbacher’s life, but that
asking Obama to explain his political partnerships with Tony Rezko and William
Ayers, and his long friendship and financial support of rabid demagogues
Jeremiah Wright and Michael Pfleger, are not just out of bounds but downright

So what have we learned from this episode?

  1. Thou shalt not offend The One by asking him a question.  Of
    any kind.
  2. Anyone who questions The One will have to undergo a public pillorying of a
    kind unseen since the Red Scare, or perhaps the Inquisition.
  3. The Tanning-Bed Media will happily participate in any inquisition, as long
    as it keeps them from investigating irrelevant issues like Obama’s ties
    to the Chicago Machine, William Ayers, ACORN, or his record on protecting

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

The Miracle Is That Scores Did Not Decline

It is not surprising, therefore that prominent members of the "Afrocentric," rites of passage movement spoke at Wright's church during the late 1980s and 1990s. Obama missed church on these occasions, no doubt.

But Obama was right in the middle of the process through which tens of thousands of dollars were funneled by CAC into SVACC teacher training programs. In 1995, the year Obama assumed control of CAC, he publicly rejected "the unrealistic politics of integrationist assimilation," thereby embracing the Afrocentirc educational philosophy of the SVACC, Wright, and Ayers. And according to Kurtz, it is clear from the documents that Obama reviewed and commented on proposals to fund the training programs of SVACC, including the African rites of passage based programs.

We've noted in the past that CAC's own evaluators found that Annenberg-aided schools showed no improvement in achievement scores. The miracle is that scores did not decline.

The Diversity Recession

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 As I've
, the Bush
Administration wanted to turn
into Republican voters

making them homeowners through easy credit.
George W.
Bush and
Karl Rove
don't deserve all the blame, however. Their

lax mortgage policies
were largely a continuation of
trends to boost minority and low income mortgage access that
well under way in the Clinton Administration
—as I
pointed out in my June article on
Diversity Recession
These lax mortgage policies
also had the secondary effect of encouraging residential
real estate speculation—“flipping”—by
minorities and non-minorities alike.
Right now, the elite
consensus (as in the 1930s) is that the free market failed.
The truth, to which we blinded ourselves in an orgy of
political correctness, is that the America of 2008
doesn't have the human capital to justify the valuations of
wealth it thought it had.

Mothers Of Meltdown

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Why did the mortgage market melt down so badly? Why were there so many defaults when the economy was not particularly weak? Why were the securities based upon these mortgages not considered anywhere as risky as they actually turned out to be?

This report concludes that, in an attempt to increase home ownership, particularly by minorities and the less affluent, virtually every branch of the government undertook an attack on underwriting standards starting in the early 1990s. Regulators, academic specialists, GSEs, and housing activists universally praised the decline in mortgage-underwriting standards as an “innovation” in mortgage lending. This weakening of underwriting standards succeeded in increasing home ownership and also the price of housing, helping to lead to a housing price bubble. The price bubble, along with relaxed lending standards, allowed speculators to purchase homes without putting their own money at risk.

Protecting Acorn

In her latest column Marinka discovered that Barack Obama co-sponsored
legislation to protect ACORN from criminal prosecution for harassing banks to
approve loans for individuals who could not afford them. These practices helped
push our country into its current economic crisis. But, thanks to Barack Obama,
ACORN will not have to worry about facing any consequences for its dubious
href="">The Canada
Free Press

Not only did Barack Obama's presidential campaign pay more than U.S.
$800,000 to a front of the Association of Community Organizations for Reform,
Now, ACORN, currently under investigation in a dozen States for voter
registration fraud and bribery schemes, for “get-out-the-vote-efforts”;
Obama co-sponsored legislation called the “Helping Families
Save their Homes in Bankruptcy Act of 2007”-- that was supported by
ACORN and protects them.

It's All He Really Knows

But there are at least six reasons to fear that Obama will govern from the
far left.

First, it’s all he really knows. Obama grew up in a left-wing household,
attended elite left-wing dominated universities, and spent the remainder of his
formative years as a community organizer alongside the likes of Wright and

Second, it’s how he votes. In 2007, according to the National Journal,
Obama’s voting record was the most liberal of any senator.

Third, it’s what he falls back on. Obama is scripted to be “post-partisan.”
But when off-script he’s liable to blurt out that those who resist the leftist
agenda bitterly “cling to guns or religion or antipathy to those who aren’t like
them.” And when his wife said that, as an adult, she has never been proud of
America, Obama defended her statement as applied to American politics. This is
“god damn America” lite.

Monday, October 13, 2008


A lot of people are noting this exchange between Barack Obama and a plumber who has figured out that under an Obama administration, his taxes will be increased. Obama explains that he has nothing against the plumber personally, but wants to "spread the wealth around:"

Obama's "tax" plan would in effect undo the greatest accomplishment of the Republican Congress, welfare reform. It would reinstate the federal welfare system that we thought was gone for good with the repeal of AFDC. Not only a welfare system: a welfare system that would rapidly grow from more than a half trillion to over a trillion dollars a year.

That plumber is right to be nervous. I wonder, though, how many voters know that Barack Obama proposes to put the federal government back in the welfare business to the tune of hundreds of billions of dollars.

This Is The Acorn...

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... Obama worked for.

Economists Petition Against O

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Hundreds of economists (including Nobel Prize winners Gary Becker, James Buchanan, Robert Mundell, Edward Prescott, and Vernon Smith) have signed letters opposing Barack Obama's economic and tax plans (here, here, and here):

We are equally concerned with his proposals to increase tax rates on labor income and investment. His dividend and capital gains tax increases would reduce investment and cut into the savings of millions of Americans. His proposals to increase income and payroll tax rates would discourage the formation and expansion of small businesses and reduce employment and take-home pay, as would his mandates on firms to provide expensive health insurance.

After hearing such economic criticism of his proposals, Barack Obama has apparently suggested to some people that he might postpone his tax increases, perhaps to 2010. But it is a mistake to think that postponing such tax increases would prevent their harmful effect on the economy today.

Welcome To The New O, Same As The Old O

We wrote here about Barack Obama's ties to the New Party during the 1990s. The New Party was a far-left organization founded by members of the Democratic Socialists of America and other extremists. It not only endorsed Obama in his 1996 state Senate race, but, when Obama won, wrote that he was an "NP member." To my knowledge, no mainstream reporter or news outlet has asked Obama whether he was, as the New Party wrote, a member of that organization, or whether he subscribed to the New Party's far left--it's fair to say "socialist"--platform.

This is from the Spring 1996 edition of New Party News:

New Party members won three other primaries this Spring in Chicago: Barack Obama (State Senate), Michael Chandler (Democratic Party Committee) and Patricia Martin (Cook County Judiciary)..."these victories prove that small 'd' democracy can work" said Obama.

This photo was on the front page of that issue of New Party News:

The Golden Goose

As ACORN ran its campaigns against local banks, it quickly hit a roadblock.
Banks would tell ACORN they could afford to reduce their credit standards by
only a little - since Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the federal mortgage giants,
refused to buy up those risky loans for sale on the "secondary market."

That is, the CRA wasn't enough. Unless Fannie and Freddie were willing to
relax their credit standards as well, local banks would never make home loans to
customers with bad credit histories or with too little money for a

So ACORN's Democratic friends in Congress moved to force Fannie Mae and
Freddie Mac to dispense with normal credit standards. Throughout the early '90s,
they imposed ever-increasing subprime-lending quotas on Fannie and Freddie.

But then the Republicans won control of Congress - and Rep. Roukema scheduled
her hearing. ACORN went into action to protect its golden goose. ...