Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Trouble for the Auto Industry Bailout

Reports indicate that there is less confidence that the auto indusrty bailout will be passed. Many Republicans and some Democrats question whether the bailout bill will use taxpayer's dollars effectively. The Bloomberg article Democrats Back Off Prediction of Automaker Bailout Approval describes the latest version of the bill.
The Democratic proposal would let the president appoint a so-called car czar to oversee industry restructuring, and give taxpayers stock warrants equal to 20 percent of the loans. It would prohibit the automakers from paying dividends and owning or leasing corporate jets, and pay and bonuses would be limited.

This, however, does not address the inherent problems with these businesses. Preventing the "paying dividends and owning or leasing corporate jets, and pay and bonuses" addresses none of the major problems with these companies. A limit on excesses misses the basic fact that these are failed companies, who can't garner loans from anyone other than Congress. The only check or change that this bill implements is 'a car czar'; the powers of which Chairman Barney Frank tried to explain...

Frank told reporters today the bill would give the car czar “a great deal of head-knocking ability” with “a lot of the powers that you would get in bankruptcy.”

The official would have the power to veto participating automakers’ plans to invest abroad, Frank said. Lawmakers want to ensure the companies don’t “take American taxpayer dollars and expand in other countries rather than here, or shut down a plant in America while expanding a plant elsewhere,” he said.

Because Bush and President-elect Barack Obama are unlikely to agree on a czar, Obama will likely replace Bush’s pick as soon as he takes office, Frank said. The Bush administration has said the official should come from the Commerce Department.

So this 'car czar' a likely member of the Commerce Department will be apparently appointed by President Bush then replaced by the future President Obama, and he shall be granted 'head knocking abilities'.

Chairman Frank went on to state that the auto industry will likely need to be granted more money in the future, something Speaker Pelosi has also stated. This does not instill confidence that this bailout will be anything but a waste of money.

A few basic questions for lawmakers...

How will this money fix the failed business policies of the auto industry?

How many bailouts and/or how much money will be paid to the automakers total?

What's wrong with bankruptcy?

What are the requirements for being granted a government bailout?

This is still not an rational solution. Ask your representatives not to support this bailout bill, and make them at least answer the basic question, 'how will this money fix the problems that the auto industry faces?'

Contact Your Senator

Contact Your Congressman

Continued Problems with the Automaker Bailout

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Websites and Blogs

I started blogging this election cycle as a way to support Senator McCain for President. Now that race has ended, I'm interested in blogging at different sites for different purposes. I will continue my original site Broad Side of the Barn as a light hearted site with some useful resources, however, it is in serious need of updating. Blog topics typically will fall under the heading of internet or politics, but other topics will be addressed as well. Some of these sites are derivatives of ones set up during the election, many of them still need significant work. Here are the blogs I plan on posting to and developing at this time. Thank you for visiting.

Experimental Blogging Trial and Error Site
StatesLocal Theme
Surround the Web Random
Purple People Vote The old version Purple People Vote
Divied Up Random
Cracked Back Random
Linked the Web Random
Web Driven Web Topics
U.S. Independent Politics - Independent
Circle the Web Random
Blog Gobbers Fun / Random
Practical 1 PoliticsPolitics
More PolsPolitics
Independent VotersPolitics
Local Republican RacesPolitics...only if contributors want it to continue
Indie-Site Politics / Independent
McCain Blogger Resources Internet? - Form? - Maybe?
Battleground States 08Politics
Web InquiryInternet
Independent VotersPolitics / Independent
Who Do I Vote For?Politics
Round FourRandom
Broad Side of the Barn StoreInternet / Sales - Affiliate Programs
Change Candidates Politics
Scienceless Tech and Science Interest
Fiscally Conservative Socially Moderate Independents Politics / Independent
BroadSideoftheBa... Humor Random
The Online VolunteerPhilanthropy
Blue Collar VotersPolitics
Independent Voter ResourcePolitics / Independent
Rambling WebPhilanthropy
In New HampshireNH Local

Here are a variety of other sites of interest. The Maine Tool Room, Dr. Dog Health Care, Blogs for Victory,, Network for Good, The Red Cross, The Smithsonian, Zannel, AARA News Service, Real Clear Politics, Joe Lieberman, Righty Blogs

No Bailout Please

Yesterday's article Oppose the Auto Bailout was not intended to be anti-union or anti-auto company, it's simply the opinion of an old fashion cheapskate. If the government is going to spend taxpayer dollars they need to ensure that those funds are not being wasted. There has been little effort to explain why pumping money into failed businesses will fix that failed business model. Voters should contact their lawmakers and let them know they will hold them responsible if they give automakers billions of taxpayer dollars only to see those business collapse in the future.

Contact Your Senator

Contact Your Congressman

Similar sentiments we're expressed by Senator Mitch McConnell (R - KY).
U.S. Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell made the following remarks on the Senate floor Tuesday regarding proposed auto legislation:

“The auto industry is vitally important to our nation’s economy and it is vitally important to my home state of Kentucky. This is not in dispute. The question before us is how to reverse the decline of some of these auto manufacturers after decades of complicity between management and labor.

“I understand congressional Democrats sent a revised proposal to the White House late last night. We will reserve our judgment until we see the latest text. But the proposal we saw yesterday afternoon fails to achieve our goal of securing the long-term viability of ailing auto companies.

“I want to support a bill that revives this industry. But I will not support a bill that revives the patient with taxpayer dollars yet doesn’t secure a commitment that the patient will change its ways so future help isn’t needed.

“To do so would be a betrayal of the millions of hardworking taxpayers who are not at fault for the troubles in the auto industry. And it would be unfair to the millions of Americans who depend on these companies.

No Auto Bailout Part 2

Monday, December 8, 2008

Tell Lawmakers No Bailouts has posted a couple pieces on opposing the government bailout of the auto industry. The first by Representative Michele Bachmann opposes not just the auto bailout, but the concept that Washington should be spending tax payer money to prop up failed businesses. The second article by Francis Cianfrocca discusses how contract renegotiations with the United Auto Workers union need to be included any proposed bailout as failure to so will result in the eventual failure of those companies with or without a bailout. Excerpts below.

One main reason the auto bailout is facing such opposition is that there has been no attempt to explain why pumping money into a failed business will fix that business. If these company continue on their current path this bailout will simply prolong the time before before failure, and will result in simply wasting a huge sum of tax payer dollars.

For those who oppose bailing out the auto industry, folllow the links below to contact your Senators and Congressmen to let them know that you do not support this bill, and that you will hold them responsible for wasting your money.

Contact Your Senator

Contact Your Congressman

No More Bailouts by Rep. Michele Bachmann
Washington needs to stop handing out your money like its Monopoly money. Each dollar is hard-earned and the men and woman who worked so hard for it deserve more respect from their government than to be treated like an ATM. Our economy grew strong on the backs of Main Street; from the ideas and sheer sweat of innovators and entrepreneurs flush with the American spirit. Risk-taking is part of that adventure. But when government guarantees against failure, risk and reward becomes meaningless. Eventually, that will crush our economy- and that eventually may not be that far down the road.

The Critical Missing Piece in the Automaker Bailout by Francis Cianfrocca
There will be no significant cost-cutting or pain imposed on the UAW in the restructuring of the domestic auto industry, unless it happens right now, this week.

The UAW must agree to a labor-cost structure that, in Sen. Corker’s words, is no higher than that faced by foreign (“transplant”) automakers who assemble vehicles in the United States. The union must agree to very painful concessions on wages, healthcare, work rules, and retiree benefits.

Gettelfinger, playing to the galleries, has assured lawmakers that he will indeed be open to doing whatever he can to seal the deal. Among other things, he’s signaled willingness to end the so-called “job bank.” You know, that’s where an automaker closes a production facility that no longer makes sense, but continues to pay the workers full wages and benefits to play video games all day, for years into the future.

But what Gettelfinger has pointedly not said, is that he’s willing to re-negotiate the contract that the UAW currently has with the automakers. In short, he’s not preparing to compromise at all, or to ask his people to take any real pain.

Oppose the Auto Bailout

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Crack Pipes Being Sold in Convenience Stores

There are several reports of 'glass roses' which are used as crack pipes being sold in convenience stores around the country. The following report comes from Georgia Georgia Police Chief Suggests Ban on Glass ‘Rose’ Pipes
"Police Chief Dennis Bell of Arcade, Georgia, is asking lawmakers to ban the three-inch glass pipes with a fake rose inside, the Associated Press reports. Bell says the novelty items, sold in many convenience stores, masquerade as crack pipes.

Known as “The Rose,” the pipe has a piece of cork on one end with a flower in the center. Bell said he is hoping the other police chiefs in Jackson County and the local sheriff will join him in seeking legislation to outlaw the pipes, the newswire reports."

On the VH1 reality show 'Celebrity Rehab' they show former patient Seth Binzer going to the 'Corner Mini Mart' in Pasadena, California and buying a 'glass rose' for drug purposes. This is seen in the following clip...

The store in this clip is
Corner Market
342 E Orange Grove Blvd.
Pasadena, CA
(626) 792-5256

Crack Pipes Being Sold in Convenience Stores

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Shades of Gray

Seeing a campaign up close this past election was an excellent learning experience. However, one of my biggest disappointments in viewing our current two party system is that there is little tolerance for anyone who breaks with the party line, and that appears to be the case for both parties. In real life it's fairly rare to come across people who wholly subscribe to one party's platform. However, in political circles it seems rare to find people who break with the party line. This is one of the major hang ups in making the government truly representative.

In each party's defense, it's the ideologues who participate and volunteer; so it makes sense that their views would be the most prevalent. However, there are a myriad of issues that are simply not black and white. In my case, I opposed the death penalty up until the Oklahoma City bombing. While I still would not categorize myself as pro-death penalty, that tragedy made me believe that there may be some circumstances where the death penalty is appropriate. I give this example, because I don't see this as a particularly abnormal or radical view, but it is one that is not represented by either party. Instead of issues receiving a full hearing, party politics often result in viewing issues as either black or white, when shades of gray often exist.

Shades of Gray

Friday, October 31, 2008

McCain Kudlow Interview - Keep Taxes Low Help the Economy

Excerpt from An Interview with Senator McCain by Larry Kudlow
McCain: Well, I try to talk about them more often. A lot of the people that come, frankly, are people that are having trouble staying in their homes, keeping their jobs, etcetera. But I think it goes back to all this business of Sen. Obama’s view of “fairness.” When Charlie Gibson said, why would you want to raise capital-gains taxes when you know it will decrease revenue? And he said in “fairness.” And he told Joe the Plumber — Joe the Plumber got the message through better, what we’ve been trying to do this whole campaign. [Obama] wants to “spread the wealth around.” That takes from the investor class. That takes money from one group of Americans and gives it to another.

Now that signal has been very clear. And I think people ought to pay attention to it, because it’s been tried before in other countries, and policies of other left-liberal administrations. It doesn’t work, and it’s bad for America. We want to encourage the investor class, and that means capital-gains and dividend taxes are low.

Kudlow: You’ve just unveiled a new tax cut on capital gains. Can you tell us about that? Because in some sense, that’s probably the most important investor class tax.

McCain: It’s the most important in many respects, Larry, and we want it low and we want it lowered. Every time — there’s one tax that there’s no argument about, that every time it’s been lowered since Jack Kennedy, we have seen an increase in revenues. Now, why anybody would argue, as Sen. Obama does, that we need to raise it, even if it’s — of course, the amount needed to raise it is varied with whatever poll he’s taken — but the point is that we want to lower it and keep it low and encourage investment, especially now in America in these difficult times.

Kudlow: But senator, what is — the current law rate is 15 percent.

McCain: Yeah, yeah.

Kudlow: You’re taking the cap-gains rate down to what?

McCain: First down to 10 percent, I would like to see it, and gradually even make it lower. Look, why should we tax people’s gains twice? Why should we tax them twice, okay? They make an investment, they should be able to get their returns on their investment. And capital gains is obviously — low capital-gains tax is probably the greatest incentive for investment that we have in America today. And so, look, I’ll be glad to listen to smart people like you, Larry, but the worst thing we can do is tell people we’re going to raise it, and that, obviously, would chill investment in America, right?

Promises of Redistribution and Spread the Wealth

David Harsanyi's article If It Redistributes Like a Duck... looks at Obama's plans to change the fundamental structure of the American economy by focusing tax codes on redistribution of wealth.
Obama is the first major presidential candidate in memory to assert that taxation's principal purpose should be redistribution.

The proposition that government should take one group's lawfully earned profits and hand them to another group -- not a collection of destitute or impaired Americans, mind you, but a still-vibrant middle class -- is the foundational premise of Obama's fiscal policy.

It was Joe Biden who said (not long ago, when he still was permitted to speak in public), "We want to take money and put it back in the pocket of middle-class people." The only entity that "takes" money from the middle class -- or any class for that matter -- is the Internal Revenue Service. Other than that, there is nothing to give back.

And who knew we needed such a drastic renovation of an economic philosophy we've adhered to these past 25 years (yes, counting Bill Clinton's comparatively fiscally conservative record)? Despite a recent downturn and with all the serious tribulations we face, Americans have just lived through perhaps the most prosperous and peaceful era human beings ever have enjoyed.

From 1982 until now, every arrow on nearly every economic growth chart -- every health care chart, every chart that matters -- points in one general direction, and that's up.

Obama, who, it seems, is running not only for president but also for national baby sitter/accountant/daddy/icon, ignores this success and claims he can "invest" (will that euphemism ever go away?) and disperse your money more efficiently, smartly and fairly than you can. How could any American accept the absurdity of that position?

Promises of Redistribution and Spread the Wealth

Media's Bias At Unprecedented Levels

Diane West of writes in her article Media's O-Colored Glasses Blank Out Leftist Truth about a very disturbing element of this election cycle. The media has abandoned its responsibility to vet candidates, and have instead ignored a myriad of radical associates of Senator Obama's and dubbed them 'off limits' or 'dirty tricks'. The reality is that if an average person had the associations that Senator Obama has they would be classified as a security threat, and likely wouldn't even be able to attend events like the Democratic convention. It has been noted elsewhere that Senator Obama couldn't even be cleared to be his own Secret Service agent because of these associations. However, the media doesn't care, they are campaigning for their favorite candidate and these issues are dubbed off limits by the most biased media coverage in modern US history.

At the beginning of Obama's life, for example, there was "Frank," Obama's boyhood mentor who appears in his 1995 memoir "Dreams from My Father." Accuracy In Media's Cliff Kincaid has identified "Frank" as Frank Marshall Davis, a known Stalinist in a Soviet-sponsored communist network in Hawaii. But Obama obscures Frank's identity in his book, even, as Sean Hannity has reported, going so far as to drop passages about "Frank" from the more recent, recorded version of the book. Why? The media never asked.

Later in Obama's life there was Mike Klonsky, an unreconstructed Marxist and erstwhile leader of an honest-to-goodness Maoist splinter group in the United States. Klonsky, like his buddy, ex-Weatherman William Ayers, spreads Marxism through education "reform." As the National Review Online's Andrew C. McCarthy reported, Obama directed nearly 2 million foundation dollars to fund Klonsky's ideas in the 1990s. More recently, Klonsky wrote a "social justice education" blog on the official Obama campaign Web site -- at least until a blog named Global Labor and Politics pointed this fact out. Klonsky's musings were summarily scrubbed from the campaign Web site in June. Why? The media never asked.

And so it goes. The assorted radicals -- from ACORN to Ayers, from anti-white Jeremiah Wright to Saudi-adviser Khalid al-Mansour to former PLO associate Rashid Khalidi -- who have peopled Obama's ideological passage from rising leftist to post-ideological cipher, have been lost in the blur to a media focused solely on their own prize: Obama in the White House.

Such focus has created a drastically blinkered journalism, particularly in these final weeks. Take the fact that the supposedly "post-racial" Obama once funded Afrocentric, race-focused education programs supported by Jeremiah "G -- - D -- - America" Wright. That was a juicy blend of hypocrisy and extremism (dug up by Stanley Kurtz), but the media just averted their eyes.

Or how about good, ol' William "America Makes Me Want to Puke" Ayers, whose own relationship with Klonsky (the Maoist mentioned above) goes back to the days of the SDS (Students for a Democratic Society)? Obama worked closely with Ayers to fund radical programs (such as Klonsky's) in Chicago, endorsed Ayers' work, and launched his political career in Ayers' home. This is the ideological and literal bomb-thrower Obama brushed off as just "a guy in my neighborhood." But the media saw nothing to it -- not even a piece of Obama's questionable pattern of collaboration with a series of people best described as unregenerate leftists.
Media's Bias At Unprecedented Levels

Democrats Take Aim At Investments and Savings

US News and World Report is reports in their article Why Democrats Will Target the Investor Class in 2009
that a Democrat run government will target a government take over of
savings and investments for political expediency. It should be noted
that the 'investor class' includes people who put thier savings in
IRA's and 401K's. This isn't the super wealthy, this is most often
responsible middle class Americans that save for retirement and other
needs. This not only threatens people's savings it is more evidence
that a government fully controlled by the Democrats will result in a
dramatic lurch to the left as thes are plans for more big government
1) Hike Investment Taxes. Obama wants to raise capital gains taxes
even though he has kinda, sorta admitted that it might be bad for the
economy and might actually decrease tax revenue to the government. For
now, he's talking about raising the highest cap gains rate by one third
to 20 percent, though earlier in the campaign, he floated pushing it as
high as 28 percent, a near doubling. (Recall that Democratic
presidential contender John Edwards wanted to raise it as high as 40
percent, a move that was applauded by liberals who want investment
income to be taxed as onerously as labor income.) With the next
administration facing a trillion dollar budget deficit—maybe more—there
will certainly be pressure to raise taxes to higher levels than now
being suggested.

2) Eliminate 401(k)'s, IRAs, and other retirement plans.
Democrats in the House are now talking openly about the longtime
liberal dream of repealing the tax advantages of putting money into a
401(k) plan or other tax-advantaged retirement account. "The savings
rate isn't going up for the investment of $80 billion [in 401(k) tax
breaks], we have to start to think about whether or not we want to
continue to invest that $80 billion for a policy that's not generating
what we now say it should," said Rep. Jim McDermott, a Democrat from
Washington at a recent hearing, according to an industry trade paper.

House Democrats recently invited Teresa Ghilarducci, a professor at the
New School of Social Research, to testify before a subcommittee on her
idea to eliminate the preferential tax treatment of the popular
retirement plans. In place of 401(k) plans, she would have workers
transfer their dough into government-created "guaranteed retirement
accounts" with a 3 percent real return.

Not only would removing
the preferential tax treatment of these vehicles raise investment taxes
by $100 billion a year and affect Americans making less than $100,000,
it would surely prompt many Americans, already shell-shocked by the
market's recent losses, to flee stocks. All this ignores the fact that
there are trillions of dollars in American retirement accounts, and
abandoning the higher-returning stock market at a probable bottom is
classic financial foolishness. If you believe long term in the American
economy, then you have to believe in the stock market. If you don't,
then you have to admit the government won't be able to afford its
promises anyway.

3) Replace private capital with public capital.
But wouldn't a weak stock market hurt the economy by making it tougher
to raise investment capital and lessen the return on risk? Surely, it
would. But Obama is planning hundreds of billions of dollars of
government "investment" in cutting-edge technology, particularly in the
energy and healthcare sectors. One specific example: Obama wants to
create something called a "Clean Technologies Venture Capital Fund" and
invest $10 billion a year in emerging energy technologies. Now, the
private VC industry is already pouring billions into alternative
energy, but Obama thinks that's not enough and wants Uncle Sam to get
in on the action at taxpayer expense. Interestingly, a new study
by the University of British Columbia looked at the performance of the
Canadian government's venture capital efforts. It found that government
venture capital isn't nearly as successful as private venture capital.

Democrats Take Aim At Investments and Savings

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Democrats Discuss Taking Over People's 401K's

If you don't think an Obama, Pelosi, Reid run government would result in a dramatic swing to the left, read US News and World Reports article on congress' discussion of takng over people's 401K's. 401K's are not 'rich people' savings plans they are middle America's retirement and savings plans, and Dems are looking to make them into 'government created' accounts. Would Obama, Dems Kill 401(k) Plans?
I hate to use the "S" word, but the American government would never do something as, well, socialist as seize private pension funds, right? This is exactly what cash-strapped Argentina just did in the name of protecting workers' retirement accounts (Efharisto, Fausta's Blog). Now, even Uncle Sam isn't that stupid, but some Democrats might try something almost as loopy: kill 401(k) plans.

House Democrats recently invited Teresa Ghilarducci, a professor at the New School of Social Research, to testify before a subcommittee on her idea to eliminate the preferential tax treatment of the popular retirement plans. In place of 401(k) plans, she would have workers transfer their dough into government-created "guaranteed retirement accounts" for every worker. The government would deposit $600 (inflation indexed) every year into the GRAs. Each worker would also have to save 5 percent of pay into the accounts, to which the government would pay a measly 3 percent return. Rep. Jim McDermott, a Democrat from Washington and chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee's Subcommittee on Income Security and Family Support, said that since "the savings rate isn't going up for the investment of $80 billion [in 401(k) tax breaks], we have to start to think about whether or not we want to continue to invest that $80 billion for a policy that's not generating what we now say it should."

Hat Tip to Smart Girl Politics original article Kiss Your 401k Goodbye!

Democrats Discuss Taking Over People's 401K's

Obama's Tax Plan and Income Redistribution Hurts the Economy and the Middle Class

Senator Obama's tax plan is packaged as tax cuts for the middle class when in reality there are numerous tax increases on the middle class and on small business owners. Senator Obama's tax policies are similar to those of Herbert Hoover who raised taxes, implement isolationist policies, and drove the American economy into a massive depression. Senator Obama claims that his tax policies that give a government check to people not paying anything in income taxes are done in the name of fairness. However, the economic depression that his policies would likely trigger is fair to no one. Investor's Business Daily lays out the problems with the Obama 'spread the wealth' tax plan in their article Investors Flee From 'Change' Obama Hypes
These tax credits are devised to phase-out based on income, which will ultimately increase marginal income tax rates for middle-class workers. In other words, as you earn more, you suffer a penalty in the phase-out of these credits, which has the exact effect of a marginal tax rate increase. That harms, rather than improves, the economy.

With the bottom 40% of income earners not paying any federal income taxes, such tax credits would not reduce any tax liability for these workers. Instead, since they're refundable, they would involve new checks from the federal government.

These are not tax cuts as Obama is promising. They are new government spending programs buried in the tax code and estimated to cost $1.3 trillion over 10 years.

Obama argues that while these workers do not pay income taxes, they do pay payroll taxes. True, but his planned credits do not involve cuts in payroll taxes. They are refundable income tax credits designed to redistribute income and "spread the wealth."

Meantime, Obama has proposed effective tax increases of 20% or more in the two top income-tax rates, phasing out the personal exemptions and all itemized deductions for top earners, as well as raising their tax rates.

He wants a 33% increase in the tax rates on capital gains and dividends, an increase of 16% to 32% in the top payroll tax rate, reinstatement of the death tax with a 45% top rate, and a new payroll tax on employers estimated at 7% to help finance his health insurance plan. He's also contending for higher tariffs under his protectionist policies.

Finally, he would increase corporate taxes by 25%, though American businesses already face the second-highest marginal tax rates in the industrialized world, thus directly harming manufacturing and job creation while weakening demand for the dollar.

Obama argues disingenuously that his tax increases would only affect higher-income workers and "corporate fat cats." But it is precisely these top marginal tax rates that control incentives for savings, investment, entrepreneurship, business expansion, jobs and economic growth. While he wants to tax the rich, the burden will fall on the poor and the middle class.

Obama's Tax Plan and Income Redistribution Hurts the Economy and the Middle Class

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Obama A History of Socialist Policies/Beliefs

From Fox News - Obama, in 2001 Interview, Lamented Failure of Civil Rights Movement to Redistribute Wealth
A 7-year-old radio interview in which Barack Obama discussed the failure of the Supreme Court to rule on redistributing wealth in its civil rights rulings has given fresh ammunition to critics who say the Democratic presidential candidate has a socialist agenda.

The interview -- conducted by Chicago Public Radio in 2001, while Obama was an Illinois state senator and a law professor at the University of Chicago -- delves into whether the civil rights movement should have gone further than it did, so that when "dispossessed peoples" appealed to the high court on the right to sit at the lunch counter, they should have also appealed for the right to have someone else pay for the meal.

In the interview, Obama said the civil rights movement was victorious in some regards, but failed to create a "redistributive change" in its appeals to the Supreme Court, led at the time by Chief Justice Earl Warren. He suggested that such change should occur at the state legislature level, since the courts did not interpret the U.S. Constitution to permit such change.

"The Supreme Court never ventured into the issues of redistribution of wealth and sort of basic issues of political and economic justice in this society, and to that extent as radical as people try to characterize the Warren Court, it wasn't that radical," Obama said in the interview, a recording of which surfaced on the Internet over the weekend.

"It didn't break free from the essential constraints that were placed by the founding fathers in the Constitution, at least as it has been interpreted.

"And the Warren court interpreted it generally in the same way -- that the Constitution is a document of negative liberties, says what the states can't do to you, says what the federal government can't do to you, but it doesn't say what the federal government or state government must do on your behalf, and that hasn't shifted.

"And I think one of the tragedies of the civil rights movement was that the civil rights movement became so court-focused, I think there was a tendency to lose track of the political and organizing activities on the ground that are able to bring about the coalitions of power through which you bring about redistributive change, and in some ways we still suffer from that," Obama said.

Obama A History of Socialist Policies/Beliefs

IBD: Barack Obama's Stealth Socialism

Investor's Business Daily's article Barack Obama's Stealth Socialism is definitely worth a read. An exerpt follows...

During his NAACP speech earlier this month, Sen. Obama repeated the term at least four times. "I've been working my entire adult life to help build an America where economic justice is being served," he said at the group's 99th annual convention in Cincinnati.

And as president, "we'll ensure that economic justice is served," he asserted. "That's what this election is about." Obama never spelled out the meaning of the term, but he didn't have to. His audience knew what he meant, judging from its thumping approval.

It's the rest of the public that remains in the dark, which is why we're launching this special educational series.

"Economic justice" simply means punishing the successful and redistributing their wealth by government fiat. It's a euphemism for socialism.

In the past, such rhetoric was just that — rhetoric. But Obama's positioning himself with alarming stealth to put that rhetoric into action on a scale not seen since the birth of the welfare state.

IBD: Barack Obama's Stealth SocialismIBD: Barack Obama's Stealth Socialism

McCain the King of the Comeback

As the media tries to call this race over, it's worth noting that not only is this not the first time that the media has declared the McCain campaign dead. It is also worth noting that Senator McCain's underdog role is nothing new to him, and he has a penchant for pulling off upsets just as he's being counted out. In fact his odds in this race are remarkably good compared to other challenges he has faced in his life...

Now, as he presses against the strongest political headwinds in many, many years, he’s trying to follow his own advice. Looking back to the early days of the campaign, John Weaver told me that McCain, politically, was “facing a Category 1 hurricane” when he began his race. Now, Weaver says, “it’s a Category 5.”

Despite it all, McCain pushes on, propelled by a drive most people just don’t have. I remember traveling to Iowa in the fall of 2007, after McCain’s campaign meltdown had left him in dreadful financial straits. We were going to the farthest reaches of northwest Iowa, near the Minnesota border. McCain was staying in a Holiday Inn Express in the middle of nowhere — when you walked out the door, the smell of fertilizer got your attention pretty quickly — and he was traveling around in a minivan because his bus had broken down. He spent his days talking to small groups — sometimes really small groups — in diners and pizza joints.

He was 71 years old at the time, wealthy, with a safe and senior spot in the Senate and a career that few, if any, public servants could match. On top of that, his campaign had blown up in an explosion of mismanagement and bad feelings that had many political insiders and journalists writing its obituary. And yet there he was, plugging away, every day, animated by something that is unique to his character.

And why shouldn’t he feel that he can overcome just about anything? This is a man who has dodged death — real death, not political death — many times. There’s more to the story than his enduring five and a half years as a prisoner of war — just look at the fuzzy old black-and-white film of McCain on July 29, 1967, leaping off the refueling probe of his jet after it had been struck by a missile on the deck of the USS Forrestal. It was one of the worst disasters in Navy history, killing 132 men. McCain, miraculously, walked away from it. On one of those trips around Iowa, sitting in the back of his bus — after his campaign found one that worked — McCain described the days after the Forrestal fire. He was at a meeting in which the commanding officer asked if anyone would like to volunteer to transfer to another carrier, the USS Oriskany, which had itself undergone a fire, although a less serious one. Describing himself as if he had been an outside observer, McCain said that he saw his hand go up to volunteer when he could have sought out a less dangerous assignment; on that day in Iowa, 40 years later, he still seemed a little surprised by what he had done. But off he went, and it was from the Oriskany that he took off on the mission that led to his capture and imprisonment, events that would inform so much of his subsequent political career.

The lesson is that McCain is always searching for something new to overcome. Of course he would rather not be facing quite so many political adversities at once, but he is a man who, if he makes it out of one scrape, puts himself in position for another.

And now, he’s doing it again. “How many times, my friends, have the pundits written off the McCain campaign?” he asked a crowd in Wisconsin on October 10. “We’re gonna fool ‘em again. We’re gonna fool ‘em one more time.” A few days later, in Virginia, McCain described the forces arrayed against him and declared, “My friends, we’ve got them just where we want them.” People in the audience laughed. But in some sense, deep inside, McCain meant it.

From National Review John McCain Against the Wind

McCain the King of the Comeback

Obama A History of Socialist Policies/Beliefs

From Fox News - Obama, in 2001 Interview, Lamented Failure of Civil Rights Movement to Redistribute Wealth

A 7-year-old radio interview in which Barack Obama discussed the failure of the Supreme Court to rule on redistributing wealth in its civil rights rulings has given fresh ammunition to critics who say the Democratic presidential candidate has a socialist agenda.

The interview -- conducted by Chicago Public Radio in 2001, while Obama was an Illinois state senator and a law professor at the University of Chicago -- delves into whether the civil rights movement should have gone further than it did, so that when "dispossessed peoples" appealed to the high court on the right to sit at the lunch counter, they should have also appealed for the right to have someone else pay for the meal.

In the interview, Obama said the civil rights movement was victorious in some regards, but failed to create a "redistributive change" in its appeals to the Supreme Court, led at the time by Chief Justice Earl Warren. He suggested that such change should occur at the state legislature level, since the courts did not interpret the U.S. Constitution to permit such change.

"The Supreme Court never ventured into the issues of redistribution of wealth and sort of basic issues of political and economic justice in this society, and to that extent as radical as people try to characterize the Warren Court, it wasn't that radical," Obama said in the interview, a recording of which surfaced on the Internet over the weekend.

"It didn't break free from the essential constraints that were placed by the founding fathers in the Constitution, at least as it has been interpreted.

"And the Warren court interpreted it generally in the same way -- that the Constitution is a document of negative liberties, says what the states can't do to you, says what the federal government can't do to you, but it doesn't say what the federal government or state government must do on your behalf, and that hasn't shifted.

"And I think one of the tragedies of the civil rights movement was that the civil rights movement became so court-focused, I think there was a tendency to lose track of the political and organizing activities on the ground that are able to bring about the coalitions of power through which you bring about redistributive change, and in some ways we still suffer from that," Obama said.

Obama A History of Socialist Policies/Beliefs

Friday, October 24, 2008

McCain Good for Business and Good for the Economy

Often times pro business even pro small business policies are looked upon with disdain as can be seen in Senator Obama recently comments criticizing Senator McCain for caring more about Wall Street than Main Street. However, this is a myopic view of the economy. Pro business policies create jobs, pro business policies help grow the economy. Putting the breaks on an already sagging economy with increased taxes does nothing for the American worker exept make life harder. CNBC notes that small business owners recognize that McCain Understands Small Business Owners
The following is a statement from American Small Business League (ASBL) President Lloyd Chapman: One look at Senator John McCain's website will tell you, this is a man that knows and cares about America's 27 million small businesses. He knows 56 percent of all Americans work for small businesses. John McCain is a small business guy through and through.

Time also reported on the 300+ professional economists that back McCain. Conversely the Union Leader disusses how Senator Obama's tax plan does not add up in their article It doesn't compute: Obama's tax plan a ruse.
Numerous organizations, including the Associated Press, have noted that Obama's proposals spend hundreds of millions of dollars more than his tax hikes raise. What is less well known is that Obama's tax plan itself sends out of Washington far more than it brings in. Obama's campaign twice admits that in the wording of the tax plan.

According to the plan, "his tax relief for middle-class families is larger than the revenue raised by his tax changes for families over $250,000." That sounds like he's giving a net tax cut. But much of what he calls "tax cuts" are actually cash payments to low- and middle-income Americans. Ultimately, he sends out of Washington hundreds of billions of dollars more than it takes in.

In other words, Obama promises more in benefits to low- and middle-income Americans than his plan can finance with his tax hikes on "families" making more than $250,000 a year. And note the word, "families." Even though Obama says that no "family" making less than $250,000 a year will see a tax increase, in fact his plan raises taxes on individuals making $200,000 a year or more.

The bottom line is that Obama is not being honest about his tax and spending plans. It is impossible -- impossible! -- for him to finance his giveaways by taxing only those making $250,000 or more. He will have to raise taxes substantially on people making much, much less than that.

Senator Obama's plans to "spread the wealth" are anti-growth measures done in the name of fairness. However, there is nothing fair about halting economic growth. There is also nothing fair about punishing success.
McCain Good for Business and Good for the Economy

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Are These the McCain/Palin Supporters That The Media Is So Scared Of?

During the last debate Senator McCain stuck up for his supporters who attend his rallies and town halls. It struck me as sweet, but unnecessary. If McCain supporters are discouraged by being talked down to, or called names by the media or others we'd all be a fetal position by now. However, having attended a McCain rally and a Palin rally in the last two weeks, it is evident that the media has done a hatchet job in describing these crowds. First, any threat or vile language is inappropriate particularly at event of this size; and I heard none at either. In fact quite the opposite was true. People were extremely friendly courteous and well-behaved. In line at the Palin rally a fellow said, "I think this must be the nicest line I've ever been in."

Yet two incidents in particular stand out as possibly why Senator McCain felt compelled to stick up for his supporters. First, at the Palin rally the crowd chanted on and off 'Sa-rah, Sa-rah' for close to an hour prior to Governor Palin arriving. After one of these chants had stopped a little girl maybe five or six years who likely has autism or down syndrome was standing by a partition started quietly chanting on her own 'Sa-rah, Sa-rah' bringing a big smile to everyone within earshot.

At the McCain rally some volunteers who had made a number of calls or knocked on a number doors the prior weekend were allowed to go backstage and meet Senator McCain as he came off stage. As we stood in a line a cute little curly haired girl standing with her mother, who had been carrying a teddy bear backpack around, lit up as Senator McCain approached. After taking a group picture Senator McCain said, "there's my girl" and the little girl ran up to him and threw her arms around him as he bent down to give her a hug. After talking to him and giving him another hug, the little girl had tears in her eyes she was so happy to see him. It didn't dawn on me till later, but I believe this little girl during the primaries had saved up her allowance for several weeks to give to the campaign because she had heard they needed money.

Now I don't expect the media to report on cute kids that attend McCain/Palin rallies, and I don't expect reports on good behavior, but it would be nice if the media didn't paint everyone with the same brush. Bad behavior is bad behavior, and there is no excuse for shouting inappropriate remarks particularly in a crowed arena. However, assuming that all crowds at all McCain/Palin events either think or act as a very few actually do is misleading and inappropriate. It is also another example of the media campaigning for their favorite candidate by essentially denouncing McCain supporters as a hostile and angry mob. They have cameras at these events, and they know what they are reporting is false.

Are These the McCain/Palin Supporters That The Media Is So Scared Of?

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Biden Says Obama Will Be Tested With A ‘Major International Crisis’

Barack Obama will need help in a crisis, says Joe Biden from Times Online UK...
Joe Biden, the Democratic vice-presidential nominee, has told Americans to expect a “major international crisis” that will present an early test of a Barack Obama administration.

His comments were seized upon by the Republican campaign yesterday to raise fresh doubts about the prepared-ness of Mr Obama to be commander-in-chief.

Speaking at a fundraiser in Seattle on Sunday night, Mr Biden said: “Mark my words, it will not be six months before the world tests Barack Obama like they did John Kennedy. The world is looking. We’re about to elect a brilliant 47-year-old senator president of the United States of America. Remember I said it standing here . . . we’re gonna have an international crisis, a generated crisis, to test the mettle of this guy.”

He cited Russia and the Middle East as possible places that may cause problems, as well as the border between Afghanistan and Pakistan – “crawling with al-Qaeda” – as being of particular concern.

Mr Obama would need help and support, Mr Biden suggested, “because it’s not gonna be apparent, initially, that we’re right.” He then spotted the media in the room, “I probably shouldn’t have said all this because it dawned on me that the press is here.”

Now why would anyone vote for Barack Obama when his own VP states that a vote for Obama is a vote for an international crisis? Why would anyone want to be a part of a ticket that one believes will lead the country to crisis? What an unbelievable statement. The only time a time camera falls on Senator Biden at this point is when he is trying to pull his foot out of his mouth. However, this is beyond a gaffe; this is disturbing. It appears Senator Biden sees Senator Obama as weak. It appears that Senator Biden, is not confident in Senator Obama's ability to handle a crisis, and it appears that Senator Biden would prefer a "major international crisis" that a Republican president.

Biden Says Obama Will Be Tested With A ‘Major International Crisis’

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Obama's Plan to Spread the Wealth

Despite the Obama campaign's and media's attempt to discredit 'Joe the Plumber', a fellow who simply asked Senator Obama a question at a campaign event, his question remains valid, and Obama's response proves insightful. Obama's $250,000 a year tax increase provides a barrier to success for the middle class, particularly for entrepreneurs and small business owners. For these people on the bubble there is a penalty for growth. Consequently, this puts the brakes on the growth of many small businesses, which are responsible for a large percentage of new jobs. Raising taxes in a struggling economy on any economic bracket is a terrible idea. Tax increases slow economic growth, and that hurts people across the board. If jobs dry up, it's not the $250,000 plus crowd that will be hurt the most, it will be the middle class.

Senator Obama's response to Joe is interesting. 'Spreading the wealth' is a principle of socialism. This combined with Senator Obama's plan to reduce taxes for 95% of the people, when 30-40% of the people don't pay federal income tax has all the hallmarks of a socialist policy. Senator Obama has never addressed whether people who don't pay taxes would receive a government check. Either his numbers are off or he is creating a welfare class is his plan. Subsidizing low income is the perfect way of encouraging people not to achieve. Why work harder if the government will pay you not to. Why start a new business if the government will penalize you for your success. This is the perfect plan to deaden the economy; penalize success, reward mediocrity, and limit the growth of new/small businesses.

Obama's Plan to Spread the Wealth

Friday, October 17, 2008

Heeeere's Johnny...

Who can make both Senator Clinton and Senator Obama roll with laughter? ...John McCain at the Albert E. Smith Dinner.

Video picks up at 2:38

Oh please, please, please, let this be a sign that McCain will be McCain in the last three weeks of this election.

Here's Johnny...

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

You Don't Have to Love McCain

I'm obviously a big fan of Senator McCain; have been since fairly early in the primaries. At a closed door meeting for supporters in NH with no media in attendance Senator McCain, having just come off a Republican debate where the candidates had all taken a number of shots at Senator Clinton, opened the meeting by stating that he respects Senator Clinton and would not attack her personally. Then he said, "you have to remember this is all about love," and I nearly fell off my chair. He got a big ovation, and it points to one of the reasons I am such a big fan of the Senator. It isn't always good for his campaign, but he has a good heart; and even if one disagrees with him on issues they can be comforted by the fact that he will listen to and respect those who disagree with him.

Part of what I like about Senator McCain is what many conservatives don't like about him. He does break with his party, he's not an ideologue, he is uncomfortable in launching political attacks. So the argument to many, whether they are to the left or to the right of Senator McCain, is not about loving him him or his policies, but it's about respecting him and recognizing him as qualified. He is what he is, and he has a long record that he can be judged on.

The alternative would swing the country dramatically to the left. The alternative has a cloudy record at best, and a radically leftist record at worst. Associations with people like Wright, Ayers, Rezko, Johnson, Reins, and Khalidi, leave serious questions about the judgment and philosophy of the Democratic nominee.

In an article by Mona Charen Is This the End of Conservatism?, which also should be titled 'Is this The End of Moderation and Balance?', describes some of the plans Democrats are putting together to not only to move the country to the left, but to change the rules so that Democrats will always have an advantage. While this may sound good to some Democrats, stacking the deck is not an appropriate or Democratic way of implementing policy changes.
In the first place, the Democrats can, with a super-majority, change the rules of the game. They can make the District of Columbia the 51st state with two new senators (guaranteed to be Democrats in perpetuity). They can reinstitute the so-called Fairness Doctrine that required radio stations to provide equal time to all political viewpoints. While the doctrine was enforced by the Federal Communications Commission, radio stations shied away from politics altogether. With the demise of the doctrine, conservative talk radio flourished. Liberal talk radio has never found much of an audience. Reviving the doctrine would kill one of the principal irritants to liberals and Democrats -- to say nothing of disemboweling the First Amendment.

To elect a super-majority of Democrats at a time of economic dislocation is to flirt with depression. Nearly all economists agree that two moves by the Hoover administration deepened and prolonged the panic of 1929 and turned it into the Great Depression. One was raising taxes and the other was imposing protectionist trade policies. Senator Obama proposes to do both of those things. Obama's smooth reassurance that only the top 5 percent of earners in America will see their taxes rise is a) almost certainly false, and b) besides the point. If the most productive members of society -- those who create the majority of jobs -- are taxed we will have fewer jobs. It's the old rule that if you tax something you get less of it. While Obama is killing jobs by taxing the productive, he proposes to "renegotiate" NAFTA and other trade deals thus putting the one bright corner of our economy, the export sector, in his crosshairs.

Obama has a million schemes to redistribute the wealth of the top 5 percent, (who by the way, already pay more than 50 percent of the taxes in our steeply progressive system). He wants to provide college for "anyone who wants to go and agrees to perform community service," and community development block grants, and childcare, and universal pre-school, and housing, and retirement and on and on. He seems determined that more people will ride in the wagon than pull it.

"Well," you may say, "if the Democrats drive the country into a deep recession, so much the worse for them. The Republicans will come back strong -- even with two senators from DC!" Perhaps. But in hard times people tend to ask for more government, not less, and this tumble started while George W. Bush was in the White House. Franklin Roosevelt continued to invoke the boogey man of Herbert Hoover long after the Depression was his own. In fact, Democrats used Hoover successfully for 40 more years!

Finally, there is a one-way ratchet in public policy. Liberal reforms are never undone. How hard have conservatives tried to eliminate the Department of Education or subsidies to public television? Would they have more success uncreating a new nationalized health care system?

An Obama/Pelosi/Reid regime -- if it were to get a filibuster-proof majority -- will certainly be able to shift the country's direction sharply to the left. The only question is -- would the shift be permanent?

You Don't Have to Love McCain

Friday, October 10, 2008

Obama Ayers Money Ties

Some may wonder why bring up William Ayers now? Hasn't this already been addressed? No, it hasn't. Last week Stanley Kurtz of the National Review wrote an article entitled Obama's Challenge that details Senator Obama's connection to William Ayers as much more than a passing aquaintance. Obama was essentially William Ayer's money man on his foundation Chicago Annenberg Foundation. The full article is definitely worth a read, and below are excerpts.

The partnership between Ayers and Obama is about much more than the number of occasions on which the two were recorded together in the same room. As CAC board chair, Obama was essentially authorizing the funding of Ayers’s own educational projects, and the projects of Ayers’s radical allies. And especially in CAC’s first year, Ayers was largely in charge of the process. One of CAC’s own evaluations notes that during 1995, CAC was a “Founder-Led Foundation.” That is, Ayers was not merely an ex officio board member that year, but as the key founder and guiding spirit of CAC, he was effectively running the show...

...So when CAC’s own evaluators call 1995 the period of the “Founder-Led Foundation,” they are essentially saying that, in 1995, Ayers was the most powerful individual at CAC. The Obama campaign treats that suggestion as “absurd,” yet it is effectively made by CAC’s own evaluators. This needs to be kept in mind when considering the Obama campaign’s minimization of the Ayers-Obama connection that year...

...While the appearance of self-dealing receded after CAC’s first year, the reality may still have been in place. Evaluators, both internal and external, have criticized CAC for over-committing its funds in 1995, and also for doing far too little to demand accountability from grant recipients, very much including the initial batch. Many of the initial grantees continued to receive funds for years. Evaluators consistently note the lack of flexibility in grants, and complain that the huge 1995 commitments, with relatively few changes in follow-on years, significantly undercut CAC’s impact and effectiveness...

...The Chicago Annenberg Challenge stands as Barack Obama’s most important executive experience to date. By its own account, CAC was a largely a failure. And a series of critical evaluations point to reasons for that failure, including a poor strategy, to which the foundation over-committed in 1995, and over-reliance on community organizers with insufficient education expertise. The failure of CAC thus raises entirely legitimate questions, both about Obama’s competence, his alliances with radical community organizers, and about Ayers’s continuing influence over CAC and its board, headed by Obama. Above all, by continuing to fund Ayers’s personal projects, and those of his political-educational allies, Obama was lending moral and material support to Ayers’s profoundly radical efforts. Ayers’s terrorist history aside, that makes the Ayers-Obama relationship a perfectly legitimate issue in this campaign.

The radicalism Ayers wanted in the classroom is also discussed in the article The Bomber as School Reformer

As I have shown in previous articles in City Journal, Ayers’s school reform agenda focuses almost exclusively on the idea of teaching for “social justice” in the classroom. This has nothing to do with the social-justice ideals of the Sermon on the Mount or Martin Luther King’s “I Have a Dream” speech. Rather, Ayers and his education school comrades are explicit about the need to indoctrinate public school children with the belief that America is a racist, militarist country and that the capitalist system is inherently unfair and oppressive. As a leader of this growing “reform” movement, Ayers was recently elected vice president for curriculum of the American Education Research Association, the nation’s largest organization of ed school professors and researchers.

Obama was Ayer's Money Man

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Obama,, Ayers, and the Annenburg Foundation

There is a disturbing link between Barack Obama,, and William Ayers. National Review reports that William Ayers and Barack Obama both served as co-chairs of the Chicago Annenburg Challenge. Obama called for an $3.5 million dollar earmark for the Annenburg Foundation that sponsors Several FactCheck articles have been viewed as promoting the Obama campaign line instead of truly acting as a fact checkers. Controlling the ‘facts’ is a hallmark of a totalitarian regime, and this is a truly unsettling connection.

Mission statement from
The Annenberg Political Fact Check is a project of the Annenberg Public Policy Center of the University of Pennsylvania. The APPC was established by publisher and philanthropist Walter Annenberg in 1994 to create a community of scholars within the University of Pennsylvania that would address public policy issues at the local, state and federal levels.
The APPC accepts NO funding from business corporations, labor unions, political parties, lobbying organizations or individuals. It is funded primarily by the Annenberg Foundation.

Requested Annenberg Earmark from Barack Obama - Citation from
Obama Requested $3.5 Million For The USC Annenberg Research Network. In 2005, Obama requested $3.5 million for the USC Annenberg Research Network on International Communication, in partnership with the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, to support the deployment of pervasive broadband for education and economic development.Funding was for the construction of a large-scale broadband wireless systems in two communities—one in South Los Angeles and the other in small-town Illinois. In each community, broadband network coverage will be provided over a minimum of about a half-square mile area, utilizing leading edge wireless technologies. In Los Angeles, this will include the five schools in USC’s immediate neighborhood, with about 8,000 K-12 students. USC also will provide wireless equipment and access to every family with a student entering the first grade of a new Science Center School, and in Illinois, a similar group of students will be selected to receive wireless equipment and access within the coverage area. The impact of these technologies on the students and their families will be tracked. [Obama Request Letter to the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, HHS, Education, 6/7/05]

Obama’s Challenge from the National Review
Let’s first review CAC’s [Chicago Annenburg Challenge] initial setup. In the first year, 1995, Obama headed the board, which made fiscal decisions, and Ayers co-chaired the Collaborative, which set education policy. During that first year, Obama’s formal responsibilities mandated close cooperation and coordination with the Collaborative. As board chair and president of the CAC corporation, Obama was authorized to “delegate to the Collaborative the development of collaborative projects and programs . . . to obtain assistance of the Collaborative in the development of requests for proposals . . . and to seek advice from the Collaborative regarding the programmatic aspects of grant proposals.” All this clearly involves significant consultation between the board, headed by Obama, and the Collaborative, co-chaired by Ayers.

Hat Tip to Death by 1000 Papercuts for first reporting this in their article Obama, Bill Ayers, and FactCheck.Org: All Have Ties To Annenberg Foundation

Clarification: The connection between Obama and Ayers is through
the Chicago Annenberg Challenge that received money from the Annenburg
Foundation, but the Chicago Annenburg Challenge Challenge and the
Annenburg Foundation are not directly connected philosophically.  The
earmark Senator Obama requested was for the Annenburg Foundation, which
funded the Chicago Annenburg Challenge and also funds 
Obama is tied to both groups one via earmark, the other via direct
participation, however, Ayers is not directly connected to

Obama Controlling the Facts

Monday, October 6, 2008

Obama Funding Complaints

As mentioned in the previous post Reports of Obama Fundraising Fraud (below) there have been questions about the manner in which the Obama campaign has raised such large sums of money. Newsweek has also taken notice of the problems with small donors in its article Obama’s ‘Good Will’ Hunting, and has noted that the McCain campaign has made all of its small donor information public while the Obama campaign has refused.
"Good Will" listed his employer as "Loving" and his occupation as "You," while supplying as his address 1015 Norwood Park Boulevard, which is shared by the Austin nonprofit Goodwill Industries. Suzanha Burmeister, marketing director for Goodwill, said the group had "no clue" who the donor was. She added, however, that the group had received five puzzling thank-you letters from the Obama campaign this year, prompting it to send the campaign an e-mail in September pointing out the apparent fraudulent use of its name.
...(In a similar case earlier this year, the campaign returned $33,000 to two Palestinian brothers in the Gaza Strip who had bought T shirts in bulk from the campaign's online store. They had listed their address as "Ga.," which the campaign took to mean Georgia rather than Gaza.) "While no organization is completely protected from Internet fraud, we will continue to review our fund-raising procedures," LaBolt said. Some critics say the campaign hasn't done enough. This summer, watchdog groups asked both campaigns to share more information about its small donors. The McCain campaign agreed; the Obama campaign did not. "They could've done themselves a service" by heeding the suggestions, said Massie Ritsch of the Center for Responsive Politics.

The American Spectator in its article Obama's Fishy $200 Million reports that an unnamed auditor for the Federal Elections Commission is being prevented investigating questionable fundraising techniques by the Obama campaign.
The Obama campaign has already had to deal with several FEC complaints about fraudulent donors and illegal foreign contributions, and the FEC says it has no record that those complaints have been resolved or closed. As well, the Obama campaign has been cagey at times about the means by which it has made its historic fundraising hauls, which now total almost $500 million for the election cycle. The Hillary Clinton campaign raised questions about the huge amount of e-retail sales the Obama campaign was making for such things as t-shirts and other campaign paraphernalia, and how such sales were being tracked and used for fundraising purposes. While the profits of those items counted against the $2,300 personal donation limit, there have always been lingering questions about the e-retail system...

...The FEC analyst says that Obama's filings indicate he has received large, bundled sums of donations from overseas, sometimes exceeding a quarter millions dollars. "It's suspicious, but it's the small donations made by credit card that need to be examined. We've raised red flags on many of these and the Obama campaign just ignores us. After this election, after we've sifted through everything -- if we're allowed to sift through everything -- I am confident that we are looking at perhaps the largest fine every leveled against a national campaign entity."

Similarly Newsmax reports in their article Secret, Foreign Money Floods Into Obama Campaign that online fund raising combine with no requirement to report donors who contribute less than $200 has lead to serious questions about Obama contributors.
Under campaign finance laws, an individual can donate $2,300 to a candidate for federal office in both the primary and general election, for a total of $4,600. If a donor has topped the limit in the primary, the campaign can 'redesignate' the contribution to the general election on its books.

In a letter dated June 25, 2008, the FEC asked the Obama campaign to verify a series of $25 donations from a contributor identified as 'Will, Good' from Austin, Texas.

Mr. Good Will listed his employer as 'Loving' and his profession as 'You.'

A Newsmax analysis of the 1.4 million individual contributions in the latest master file for the Obama campaign discovered 1,000 separate entries for Mr. Good Will, most of them for $25.

In total, Mr. Good Will gave $17,375.

Following this and subsequent FEC requests, campaign records show that 330 contributions from Mr. Good Will were credited back to a credit card. But the most recent report, filed on Sept. 20, showed a net cumulative balance of $8,950 still well over the $4,600 limit.

There can be no doubt that the Obama campaign noticed these contributions, since Obama's Sept. 20 report specified that Good Will's cumulative contributions since the beginning of the campaign were $9,375.

In an e-mailed response to a query from Newsmax, Obama campaign spokesman Ben LaBolt pledged that the campaign would return the donations. But given the slowness with which the campaign has responded to earlier FEC queries, there's no guarantee that the money will be returned before the Nov. 4 election.

Similarly, a donor identified as 'Pro, Doodad,' from 'Nando, NY,' gave $19,500 in 786 separate donations, most of them for $25. For most of these donations, Mr. Doodad Pro listed his employer as 'Loving' and his profession as 'You,' just as Good Will had done.

Foreign contributions are particularly suspect.
Until recently, the Obama Web site allowed a contributor to select the country where he resided from the entire membership of the United Nations, including such friendly places as North Korea and the Islamic Republic of Iran.

Unlike McCain's or Sen. Hillary Clinton's online donation pages, the Obama site did not ask for proof of citizenship until just recently. Clinton's presidential campaign required U.S. citizens living abroad to actually fax a copy of their passport before a donation would be accepted.

With such lax vetting of foreign contributions, the Obama campaign may have indirectly contributed to questionable fundraising by foreigners.

The National Review is also reporting on "Sen. Obama's eye-popping fundraising operation" in their article Obama's Funny Money, or Who's "Loving" "You," Barry?

At TD Blog the article Whistleblower Ignored by DOJ, FEC, FBI: $200 Million in Fishy Obama Donations! they are asking readers to contact the authorities and request that they investigate these allegations.
DOJ, Office of Inspector General
hotline: (contact information in English and Spanish): (800) 869-4499

FEC Office of Complaints Examination & Legal Administration Division

FBI Tip Hotline

Update: Washington Post reports RNC to File FEC Complaint on Obama Fundraising Practices
The RNC is alleging that the Obama campaign was so hungry for donations it "looked the other way" as contributions piled up from suspicious, and possibly even illegal foreign donors.

"We believe that the American people should know first and foremost if foreign money is pouring into a presidential election," said RNC Chief Counsel Sean Cairncross.

Cairncross alleged there was mounting evidence of this, and cited a report in the current issue of Newsweek magazine that documents a handful of instances where donors made repeated small donations using fake names, such as "Good Will" and "Doodad Pro."

Funny Funding for Obama

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Are You Purple?

The McCain campaign has focussed on Independents and Democrats with their Citizens for McCain group. They have even set up an online phone bank specifically for Independents and Democrats. If you are Independent or Democrat McCain supporter this is a great way to help the campaign. Phone calls are instrumental in bringing in votes and getting supporters out to polls. Just a few (or more) a day can have an impact.

Daytime Calls Phone Bank 10:00AM -6:00PM (EST):

Evening and Weekend Calls Phone Bank 6:00PM -9:00PM (EST):

If you aren't an Independent, but still want to make phone calls from home -

Are You Purple?

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Republicans Democrats Fannie Mae Freddie Mac

Volunteer for McCain Palin

It's coming down to the last weeks of the election. The best way to help the McCain/Palin ticket is to volunteer. Contact your local McCain Victory Office or make calls to battleground states from your home with the Online Phone Bank. This is the time that matters most. For Senator McCain to win the White House his campaign needs volunteers making phone calls and knocking on doors. Please take the time to make even just a few phone calls a day. From home or from a Victory Office please volunteer, and be a part of history.

Economic and ACORN Links

With the first draft of the Democrat's economic bill including give aways to groups like ACORN, a combination of public outrage and confusion has lead to numerous questions about the bill, ACORN, and Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Here are some links to articles on these topics...


Acorn's Sentaor

CRL: ACORN Will Still Reap Windfall from Financial Crisis

Rescuing ACORN

O's Dangerous Pal's

Econ Bill

ACORN Outrage Removes Affordable Housing Provision

ACORN Issue Fueling Bailout Opposition

ACORN, Obama, and the mortgage mess


Fannie Freddie

How the Democrats Created the Financial Crisis: Kevin Hassett

Where Was Sen. Dodd?

Where was Dodd during the Fannie Mae collapse?

Wrecks, Lies and Barney Frank

Fannie, Freddie, Obama, Economic Crisis

Obama's Ties To Acorn

Obama's Ties To Acorn

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

More Problems with ACORN and Obama's Ties to ACORN

Ken Blackwell the former Secretary of State of Ohio wrote an article for National Review entitled An ACORN Falls from the Tree. He addresses why ACORN is now garnering attention, as it was to be a recipient of 'Housing Trust Fund' money earmarked by Democrats in the first version of the economic bill. He goes on to note his own experiences with this radical organization.
As the weekend progressed, reports were constantly emerging of the sticking points preventing a final agreement. One of these reputed points of contention was whether 20 percent of the profit proceedings for asset sales in the future would go to what is called the Housing Trust Fund, subsidizing certain groups for ostensibly nonpartisan activity. One of these groups that this trust supports is ACORN.

ACORN has often been in the news since 2004. Officially, they work to register voters and support housing. In reality, everyone in public life knows that they are hardcore supporters for the Democratic Party, and employ bare-knuckle tactics. Their organization is plagued by repeated investigations of voter fraud and other crimes.

In Ohio, where as secretary of state I oversaw elections for eight years, ACORN has been busy. One ACORN man in Reynoldsburg was indicted on two felony counts of voter fraud, and another was indicted in Columbus. Other such problems surfaced in Cuyahoga County, where criminal investigations are ongoing.

The New York Post notes in their article The Meltdown's Acorn that Obama is directly connected to ACORN and he said so himself as recently as last November.
"I've been fighting alongside ACORN on issues you care about my entire career," he [Obama] told the group last November.

Indeed, in the early '90s, Obama was recruited by Talbott herself to run training sessions for ACORN activists.

ACORN also got funding from two charities, the Woods Fund and the Joyce Foundation, when Obama served on their boards, and from the Chicago Annenberg Challenge - the radical "education reform" outfit Obama ran from '95 to '99.

Ironically, the group stood to be a key beneficiary of the goodies Democrats were loading into Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson's rescue plan - including one demand that 20 percent of any profits the feds make from reselling mortgage securities go to fund groups like ACORN.

Stanley Kurtz of National Review article Inside Obama's Acorn details the aggressive methods of intimidation used by ACORN, as well as a shrewd tactical strategy that has kept them below the radar nationally. Thus ACORN's radicalism and often illegal behavior garners much less attention than groups like MoveOn or Code Pink who seek the spotlight and in many ways are less radical. Kurtz refers to Sol Stern's explanation of ACORN and a reply to his explanation by John Atlas and Peter Dreier.
Do Atlas and Dreier dismiss Stern’s catalogue of Acorn’s disruptive and intentionally intimidating tactics as a set of regrettable exceptions to Acorn’s rule of civility? Not a chance. Atlas and Dreier are at pains to point out that intimidation works. They proudly reel off the increased memberships that follow in the wake of high-profile disruptions, and clearly imply that the same public officials who object most vociferously to intimidation are the ones most likely to cave as a result. What really upsets Atlas and Dreier is that Stern misses the subtle national hand directing Acorn’s various local campaigns. This is radicalism unashamed.

But don’t let the disruptive tactics fool you. Acorn is a savvy and exceedingly effective political player. Stern says that Acorn’s key postNew Left innovation is its determination to take over the system from within, rather than futilely try to overthrow it from without. Stern calls this strategy a political version of Invasion of the Body Snatchers. Take Atlas and Dreier at their word: Acorn has an openly aggressive and intimidating side, but a sophisticated inside game, as well. Chicago’s Acorn leader, for example, won a seat on the Board of Aldermen as the candidate of a leftist “New Party.”

This is a definitively radical organization and Mr. Blackwell correctly states that, "Mr. Obama needs to explain his involvement with them."

More Problems with ACORN and Obama's Ties to ACORN