Saturday, October 25, 2008

1995 Obama Race Baiting Video Discovered

It sounds like those first 10 years with Rev. Jeremiah Wright rubbed off on him... Barack Obama slams "white executives" living out in the suburbs who do not want to pay taxes to inner city children in a 1995 interview:

Obama talks redistribution and salvation:
Obama admits his Redistribution of Wealth is to SAVE the African American community SO HE CAN ENSURE HIS OWN SALVATION! (and Our Countries Salvation) He compares the plight of African Americas to the ethic genocide's of Bosnia and Africa. He blames all of African American's problems on "ONE GROUP" who suppresses them. And He says WHITE people don't want their taxes to help black children.

Obviously, Obama's plans to redistribute wealth is not something he just thought up. Funny- This is the same millionaire who won't send his brother living in a slum hut 20 bucks.


Obama getting funding from Wall St

The money raised and spent to elect a new US president and members of Congress is likely to surpass a colossal $5.3 billion next week, shattering previous records, with Wall Street firms dominating the donor list of the most expensive White House race in history. As Americans fret about the economic crisis and the billions of dollars being poured into the stricken banking sector, a report released yesterday revealed a scale of political fund-raising and expenditure that exceeds even the wildest predictions earlier this year. The presidential race alone is costing a record $2.4 billion.

The report by the Centre for Responsive Politics, a nonpartisan watchdog, adds up the money raised and spent for the entire presidential and congressional election cycle by the candidates, the parties and outside groups. "In terms of political finance, these numbers are staggering," said Sheila Krumholz, the centre's executive director.

Since the presidential campaigning began in January 2007, White House candidates from both parties have raised $1.5 billion, double the amount collected in 2004 and triple the figure in 2000. It is the first time that presidential hopefuls have raised and spent $1 billion, a figure that few considered possible to surpass when the contest began last year.

Despite the financial crisis, Wall Street firms make the lion's share of donations, along with real estate and insurance companies. Between them they gave $370 million and the top corporate donor was Goldman Sachs. The investment bank's employees and political action committee have donated $5 million to this year's campaigns.

The greatest beneficiary has been Barack Obama, who has raised more than $600 million since he announced his candidacy in February 2007, including a record-breaking $150 million last month alone. It has given him a huge advantage over John McCain, allowing the Democrat to saturate the airwaves. He is outspending his Republican rival on television advertising nationally by a ratio of four to one, and in some battleground states by eight to one. He can even afford to buy an unprecedented 30-minute, primetime speaking slot on three networks on October 29, six days before the election.

After the Democrat held a rally in Indiana yesterday - a state won by President Bush in 2004 by 21 points but where a new poll put Mr Obama ahead - he left for Hawaii to visit his ill grandmother, a move that takes him off the campaign trail for two days. In an early morning interview Mr Obama said that one of the primary reasons he was leaving the campaign trail was because he failed to get to his mother's bedside in time before she died of cancer in 1995 at the age of 53, and he did not want "to make the same mistake twice". He said on Wednesday that his grandmother might not "be around" for the election on November 4. His maternal grandmother Madelyn Dunham, 85, whom he calls "Toots", brought him up during his teenage years with Mr Obama's grandfather, who is now dead.

"My grandmother's the last one left," Mr Obama said of the people who raised him. "She has really been the rock of the family, the foundation of the family. Whatever strength, discipline I have, it comes from her."

His decision to suspend his campaign for 48 hours has left many Democrats - a superstitious breed who have seen defeat snatched from the jaws of victory many times before - feeling a deep sense of nervousness, amid bouts of growing optimism. His campaign events for the next two days will be taken over by his wife Michelle, who has grown in confidence since the race began nearly two years ago, but has also given Mr Obama's aides heartburn on several occasions.

A string of new polls - including a survey of the critical Midwest region - have given Mr Obama significant leads. Yet an Associated Press survey gave Mr Obama only a one-point lead over Mr McCain. Mr McCain, meanwhile, barn-stormed central Florida, a state where a new poll shows the race tightening.


In Defense of Negative Campaigning

Obama and his supporters have decried McCain's "negativity" and "hateful rhetoric". We are told that we should stick to the issues and not attack a candidate's personality or competence. These complaints are wrong. Questions about a candidate's character and competence are absolutely relevant. And "negativity", which I suppose means pointing out a candidate's disqualifications, is a valid and honorable way of demonstrating unsuitability for office. Let me try to explain, in words so simple that even a MSM journalist can understand them.

Character and competence matter

A political platform is like a three-legged stool. It is based on issues, character, and competence. If any one of those legs is rotten, the whole structure collapses, no matter how sturdy the other two legs are.

If a candidate is honest and competent but has views on major issues that we think are dangerous, then however much we like him, we won't vote for him. (I felt that way about Hubert Humphrey.) But that's not the only reason for rejecting someone.

A candidate may be open and honest and have sound views on foreign and domestic policy, but if he is incompetent, his administration will be a disaster. One thinks of Warren Harding and (if charitably inclined) of Jimmy Carter.

A candidate may be clever and competent, but if he is a liar and a scoundrel, the soundness of his statements about issues is irrelevant -- he is probably lying about them. In particular, if he says different things to different voting groups solely to get more votes, then we are compelled to suspect that his professed positions on issues are mere poses. If he is what I call a level 5 flip-flopper, using lies and concealment to hide his changes of position, then he can't be trusted at all. So any one of the three legs of the stool is a valid area for examination and criticism.

Disqualifications matter

Negativity is often a wise and just strategy: When awarding grants or picking the right applicant for a job, one invariably starts by weeding out all the applicants with major disqualifications. When federal agencies review proposals, they first throw out all applications that fail to conform to the submission guidelines. In selecting job applicants, the usual strategy is to first weed out all the candidates that are woefully inexperienced, or who have lied in there resumes, thereby leaving the remaining un-disqualified candidates for further study. As Lucky Jim's future employer tells him:
"It's not that you've got the qualifications....but there are plenty who have. You haven't got the disqualifications, though, and that's much rarer."

The same principle applies to voting. More often than not, we decide to vote against the candidate we don't like rather than for one that we do like.

Drawing the line

The question is how big a flaw in viewpoint, character, or competence must be to be considered a disqualification. Lets use the issue of abortion as an example.

With regard to issues, the degree of conflict will depend on the comparison between the stated positions of the candidate and the priorities of the voter. Thus, any sincere Catholic voter will regard abortion as a grave matter and will reject any pro-choice candidate, regardless of his stands on other issues. On the0 other hand, a skin-deep Catholic, who is more concerned about prosperity than religious matters, will shut his eyes to the abortion issue and vote for or against a candidate on the basis of his economic proposals. Therefore, an issue-based disqualification is fundamentally subjective and its importance will vary drastically from one voter to another. In a sense, shared views on what is or isn't a disqualification are the basis of formation of political groups and parties.

In contrast, disqualification on the basis of competence is usually objective. The questions are simply "has he had experience and responsibilities commensurate with the post he's seeking?" and "if so, how well did he do?" However, there is usually plenty of room for disagreement about the degree of relevance of past successes or failures.

Character-based disqualifications are at least partly objective. A candidate who is a casual or fallen-away Catholic cannot be character-disqualified for being pro-choice; there is no moral conflict. But a pro-choice candidate who professes to be a devout Catholic must be either a fool, a hypocrite, or (as the babblings of Nancy Pelosi seem to suggest) a bizarre combination of both. Regardless of a voter's views on abortion, he would be well advised to reject such a person as unfit for public office. Similarly, most voters would agree that, while a single past dishonesty or unsavory association is in most cases not a serious disqualification, a persistent pattern of such deeds, lies, or associations indicates a dishonest character and is a major disqualification.

Therefore, although accusations about Obama's association with Ayers may not of themselves indicate a serious disqualification, the cumulative effect of all of the accusations against Obama---such as of dishonest flip-flopping, of deceitful campaign tactics, of mendacious concealment of past deeds, and of long term associations with crooked individuals and groups -- are in aggregate an ample body of evidence of a deceitful and dishonest personality. They therefore constitute proof of a serious character disqualification that should convince any rational voter that Obama is unfit for public office.


The Obama Enigma: Change . . . from what to what?

By Victor Davis Hanson

Lame-duck Republican President Bush's dismal poll ratings have descended to those of Harry Truman's when he left office. The Democratic majority in Congress will probably widen after the election. Republican nominee John McCain has not run a dynamic campaign. Gen. Colin Powell, George Bush's former secretary of state, has now enthusiastically endorsed Barack Obama.

The country is in two unpopular wars - amid the worst financial panic of the last 80 years. Not since prophet of change and newcomer Jimmy Carter ran against Gerald Ford (post Watergate and the lost Vietnam war) have voters been so eager for a shake-up.

Why then is the charismatic Barack Obama not quite yet a shoo-in?
Easy. Voters apparently still don't know who Obama is, or what he wants to do - and so are still not altogether sure that Obama is the proper antidote to George W. Bush. After more than a year of campaigning, he still remains an enigma.

Obama promised to be the post-racial candidate who would bring us together. But when asked in March 2004 whether he attended regularly Rev. Jeremiah Wright's Trinity United Church of Christ, Obama boasted, "Yep. Every week. 11 o'clock service."

The healer Obama further characterized the racist Wright as "certainly someone who I have an enormous amount of respect for." And Obama described the even more venomous father Michael Pfleger as "a dear friend, and somebody I interact with closely."

Obama can dismiss his past associations with Bill Ayers as perfunctory and now irrelevant. But why then did an Obama campaign spokesman say Obama hadn't e-mailed with or spoken by phone to Ayers since January 2005, suggesting more than three years of communications - in a post-9/11 climate - after Ayers said publicly he had not done enough bombing?

Obama's campaign shrugged when legal doubts were raised about the sloppy voter registration practices of ACORN - an organization that Obama himself has both helped and praised.

Yet Obama once was a stickler for proper voter documents. In 1996, he had all of his Democratic rivals removed from the ballot in an Illinois state primary election on the basis of sloppy voter petitions.

Many of Obama's surrogates - from congressional leaders like Rep. John Lewis to his running mate, Sen. Joe Biden - have suggested that the McCain and Palin candidacies have heightened racial tensions. Do such preemptory warnings mean that one cannot worry about Obama's 20-year relationship with Rev. Wright or long association with Father Pfleger?

It's also unclear exactly what Obama's message of "hope" and "change" means. The hope part turned a little weird when Obama, in prophetic fashion, proclaimed, "We are the ones we've been waiting for," and later put up Greek-temple backdrops for his speech at the Democratic convention.

If we didn't get that supernatural message, Obama also promised of his election that it would be the "moment when the rise of the oceans began to slow and our planet began to heal."

And change? Obama himself has changed positions on FISA, NAFTA, public campaign financing, town-hall meetings with McCain, offshore drilling, nuclear and coal power, capital punishment and gun control, his characterization of Iran, the surge in Iraq, and the future of Jerusalem. So change from what to what?

Under Sen. Obama's tax plan, nearly half of all income earners wouldn't pay federal income taxes. He also offers billions in cash payments to millions of those people. And he promises to pay for that loss in revenue by upping taxes on those in the highest income brackets, who already pay the majority of existing income taxes - and who could also be subject to proposed higher payroll, estate, and capital-gains taxes.

Is that a tax-cut policy or more a redistribution of wealth in search of forced equality - what Obama himself apparently calls to "spread the wealth around" or what Biden once suggested was "patriotic"?

A Martian who reviewed Obama's past elections in Illinois, the various associations he once cultivated, his brief voting record in the Senate, and the positions he originally outlined when he announced his presidential campaign might objectively conclude that America could elect either the most far left or the most unknown presidential candidate in its history.

I just hope that it is still not racist or McCarthy-like - or blasphemous - simply to suggest that.


A Personality Profile of Barack Obama's Leadership

Obama will not lose his bid for the presidency because of his connections to Ayers, ACORN or socialist politics. In fact, he won't lose it because of his stand on any issue. The coup de grace for Obama's presidential election downfall will come only through convincing the American public of his lack of decisive leadership under pressure. I'm not just talking about facing rogue nations or terrorist thugs. I'm referring to making major choices in conflict. Indecisiveness is his greatest weakness, and it's one this country cannot afford at this time in its history.

Interestingly, a while back, the Unit for the Study of Personality in Politics, at St. John's University and the College of St. Benedict, did a professional personality profile "for anticipating Obama's likely leadership style as chief executive, thereby providing a basis for inferring the character and tenor of a prospective Obama presidency." The study concluded:

"The combination of Ambitious, Accommodating, and Outgoing patterns in Obama's profile suggests a confident conciliator personality composite. Leaders with this personality prototype, though self-assured and ambitious, are characteristically gracious, considerate, and benevolent. They are energetic, charming, and agreeable, with a special knack for settling differences, favoring mediation and compromise over force or coercion as a strategy for resolving conflict. They are driven primarily by a need for achievement and also have strong affiliation needs, but a low need for power."

While most might laud Obama's personality as a needed polar opposite to George W. Bush's, I pose to you that Obama's "accommodating-conciliator-favoring-compromise" personality pendulum swing is way too far to the other side. Even Obama's voting record proves that. His own Democratic colleagues have a difficult time understanding why, when he was an Illinois state senator, he voted "present" (instead of "yes" or "no") 129 times, including a number of noncommittal tallies on issues such as gun rights and abortion.

You also have heard that Obama doesn't have any executive experience, whether it be running a government or a business. I would pose to you the reason is simply that he's not comfortable making executive decisions. An "executive conciliator" overly depends upon others, at times compromising judgment and needed action in order to appease the masses. Proof of that was seen in how Obama handled his and our "emergency" economic decisions.

A few months ago, Obama did not turn to Warren Buffett for counsel on the housing crisis. As The Washington Post reported July 16, he turned to Franklin Raines, the former Fannie Mae chief executive officer and six-year money manipulator. The Post said Raines took "calls from Barack Obama's presidential campaign seeking his advice on mortgage and housing policy matters."

And consider Obama's handling of the "emergency" bailout crisis. During the first go-round of the bailout, while McCain was certain of his stand, Obama wouldn't say where he stood because he was afraid it would be a wrong or unpopular stand. Only after most of his political cronies were bribed in favor of the bailout did Obama give it his stamp of approval. If he cannot take decisive action as a senator in the greatest nation on earth, how in the world is he going to make critical and emergency decisions as the president?

Obama's inability to draw and hold hard lines is the primary reason he repeatedly struggles with -- and caves and morphs into -- the polls or people in front of him. More than any other politician in history, he has flip-flopped on a host of critical issues: Iraq, Iran, gay rights, NAFTA, abortion, race, religion, gun control, etc. It's one thing to be political, but it's quite another to be a chronic people pleaser under pressure. Swaying based on political expediency is not a leadership quality we need in tough times. Sooner or later, that character flaw will bite Obama big-time -- and us if we elect him president.

I'm not saying Obama has no continued future in politics. He just needs more experience in life to weed out those character deficiencies. That's why I'm asking Americans to look afresh at these questions: Is Obama crisis-leadership qualified? Will he truly be ready Jan. 20 to assume the helm of our country?

Actually, those leadership questions have been answered already by three leading Democrats (before they could taste the perks from their alignment with the Democratic presidential nominee). Obama's own running mate, Sen. Joe Biden, replied only months ago about whether Obama is ready for the presidency: "Right now I don't believe he is. The presidency is not something that lends itself to on-the-job training." Then he later told George Stephanopoulos, "I stand by the statement." Biden was right.

Before Obama was her party's choice, Hillary Clinton repeatedly proved him to be an indecisive waffler who couldn't or wouldn't be pinned down on any issues. Hillary was right. Even former President Bill Clinton dodged having to give an affirmative answer to an ABC correspondent when asked whether Obama is ready to be president by saying, "You can argue that no one is ready to be president." Another smooth answer, Bill. The fact is he totally understands that Obama is not ready.

America is in one of its toughest hours -- a market meltdown, the worst fiscal environment since the Great Depression -- an economic 9/11, if you will. Do we really believe we can be delivered by an indecisive people pleaser as our country's CEO?


An Obamanomics Preview

Tax and spend, but not in that order

"I think at this point there needs to be a focus on an immediate increase in spending and I think this is a time when deficit fear has to take a second seat . . . I believe later on there should be tax increases. Speaking personally, I think there are a lot of very rich people out there whom we can tax at a point down the road and recover some of the money."
-- Barney Frank, October 20, 2008

The election is still two weeks away, but we are already living in the world of Obamanomics. In fact, on fiscal policy we've been living in that world at least since February when the Bush Administration conceded to the Congressional priority of Keynesian fiscal "stimulus." That didn't work very well, but no matter. Spurred on by Barack Obama, Democrats in Congress are preparing Round Two, this time in the form of $150 billion to $300 billion in new spending.

If we may borrow a phrase, this is the triumph of hope over experience. The one thing Washington hasn't failed to do in recent years is spend, yet the economy doesn't seem to have improved on the event. Brian Riedl, a budget expert at the Heritage Foundation, has calculated that in 2008 Congress enacted $332 billion of "emergency" supplemental spending bills, only half of which was for the Iraq war. Do you feel stimulated?

The nearby chart shows the arc of tax policy and economic growth across the Bush years. After the dot-com bust, President Bush compromised with Senate Democrats and delayed his marginal-rate income tax cuts in return for immediate tax rebates. The rebates goosed spending for a while but provided no increase in incentives to invest. Only after 2003, when the marginal-rate cuts took effect immediately, combined with cuts in dividend and capital gains rates, did robust growth return. The expansion was healthy until it was overtaken by the housing bust and even resisted recession into this year. Mr. Bush and Congress returned to the rebate formula in February, but a blip in second-quarter growth has now ended as the economy heads into recession. The Dow plunged again yesterday with a 514-point drop.

The latest plan is even worse than the spring round of $100 billion or so in tax rebate checks. At least rebates allowed taxpayers to spend their own money. Under this stimulus the government will tax or borrow $150 billion to $300 billion in order to spend the money on social and pork-barrel programs. The latest draft would direct dollars to food stamps, another expansion in unemployment insurance, home heating subsidies, more aid to states and cities, and "infrastructure" like roads, bridges and public transit. Because of Davis-Bacon wage requirements on these brick and mortar projects, a portion of the dollars would coincidentally flow to the Democrats' biggest campaign contributors: unions. Call it a political "rebate" check.

On Tuesday Senator Obama said this spending would create millions of new jobs by closing a federal "investment deficit." Over the past eight years the federal budget has exploded by more than $1.1 trillion, much of it for the very programs that Democrats want to spend more on. Let's start with infrastructure. Three years ago Congress passed a transportation bill of more than $286 billion. The transportation budget is up 22% after inflation in the past eight years. Roads and bridges can help economic growth if they increase productivity by more than the amount they cost in higher taxes or borrowing. But not if they are bridges to nowhere as so many of these projects are.

How about aid to local communities? That spending has soared by 91% after inflation in eight years. The education budget is up 57%. Welfare programs are up 30%. Only two years ago Democrats were calling the Tom DeLay Republicans spendthrift. Now they say there's an "investment deficit."

Federal budget deficits are not something we obsess about, but eventually this new spending has to be paid for, and Barney Frank's comments only underscore that big tax increases are coming. The prospect of these tax increases is now hanging over the economy like a pall, as investors and businesses wonder where and how heavily an Obama Administration and Congress would strike. The pall is likely to continue well into 2009, as millions of Americans delay their investment decisions until they know how much their after-tax returns are likely to fall.t given the condition of the economy he won't raise taxes at all. Meanwhile, all of us are getting a preview of Obamanomics in action.


(For more postings from me, see DISSECTING LEFTISM, TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, GREENIE WATCH, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, GUN WATCH, SOCIALIZED MEDICINE, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, IMMIGRATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, EYE ON BRITAIN and Paralipomena . For readers in China or for when is playing up, there is a mirror of this site here. My Home Pages are here or here or here. Email me (John Ray) here.)

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