Friday, October 31, 2008

Obama and the Politics of Crowds

By FOUAD AJAMI, Wall Street Journal, October 30, 2008

There is something odd -- and dare I say novel -- in American politics about the crowds that have been greeting Barack Obama on his campaign trail. Hitherto, crowds have not been a prominent feature of American politics. We associate them with the temper of Third World societies. We think of places like Argentina and Egypt and Iran, of multitudes brought together by their zeal for a Peron or a Nasser or a Khomeini. In these kinds of societies, the crowd comes forth to affirm its faith in a redeemer: a man who would set the world right. (link)

Comment

The author of this article analyzes the Obama phenomenon better than any thing I have read.

I am not concerned that Obama is the "anti-Christ" or intents to turn American into a one party dictatorship, yet the unquestioning outpouring of affection and enthusiasm for Obama is disturbing. I have never observed anything like this before in America in my lifetime and don't think we have ever experienced anything like it before in the history of our country. John F. Kennedy was certainly charismatic and drew enthusiastic crowds and FDR and Ronald Reagan were loved by many, but the followers of Obama seem to be almost cult-like in their adoration. The public response to Obama is more like that of the response of fans to a rock star than a political candidate.

While this is the first time we may have observed this kind of unquestioning outpouring of support for a politician in America, it is not unknown in much of the world. The response we are seeing to Obama is more like that that was observed in the German's love of Hitler, or the Cuban's early adoration of Castro, or the Chinese love for Chairman Mao. There is almost a group hypnosis going on, as if people are wrapped up in an irrational frenzy of group-think.

Certainly Obama is an attractive candidate and can make a good speech, however, he has a very thin resume and has never sponsored a major piece of legislation or championed a particular cause. He is undistinguished and has shown no leadership or legislative skills. His blemishes are just ignored by his mass of followers. If any other candidate had had the close relationship with a terrorist such as Ayers, a demigod such as Reverend Wright, or a crook such as Resco, that would tarnish their image; yet, it has not seemed hurt Obama.

If you accept that many liberals are not too concerned with Obama's association with a communist terrorist from another era, you would still think that those who profess a love for the poor and a belief in social justice would be concerned about Obama's relationship with Resco. Resco was the worst of predators who victimized the poor to enrich himself and yet Obama served him faithfully for many years. Obama's followers do not seem to be bothered by this association.

Normally the good-government types would pounce on a candidate who backtracked on a pledge to accept pubic funding for their campaign. Support for public funding of elections and a belief that money is a corrupting influence in campaigns has been a liberal article of faith ever since Watergate, yet Obama can raise unprecedented sums of money from foreign and other undisclosed sources and his liberal good-government followers do not seem to mind.

The author of this piece concludes: "The morning after the election, the disappointment will begin to settle upon the Obama crowd. Defeat -- by now unthinkable to the devotees -- will bring heartbreak. Victory will steadily deliver the sobering verdict that our troubles won't be solved by a leader's magic."

If I did not also share the author's conclusion, I would be more concerned about what I observe.

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More Happy Halloween!


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Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Happy Halloween!


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Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Facing the Trade off between Economic Security and Economic Freedom

I am concerned about the economic policy that an Obama presidency with a super majority in Congress may pursue. Assuming Obama is elected, it is my hope that he governs as the centrist he has portrayed himself to be; however, Obama's stated goal of "spreading the wealth around" concerns me.

There is a reason that the U.S. has led the world as the economic superpower ever since the industrial revolution. It is not simply that we are blessed with natural resources. It is not that we are naturally smarter than the people of every other country. The U.S. has had a political and economic climate that rewarded the risk taker and encouraged investment and there has been an American “can do” spirit and American optimism. Americans believed anything was possible.

Most American’s have always thought that their children would be better off than they were. American’s never accepted that some people were better, just because they were better off. Americans wanted to become better off themselves. We did not accept that we were born to a certain station in life. Whereas in much of the world, the non-rich resent the rich, in America many hope to some day become rich. It has only rarely been popular to hate the rich in this country. America has been more concerned with growing the economy and upward mobility than redistributing the wealth.

Our bureaucratic burden has been relatively light. In some third world countries it may take months, if not years, to do something as simple as get the permits to open a new business, whereas in a matter of days one can do so in most American cities. You do not have to present a market study to a bureaucrat and show the need for the new business. You don’t have to put up a huge bond. We have thought it was our right to follow our dream and take risk.

In America, while we have labor laws protecting the health and safety of workers and some laws protecting workers from discrimination in the workplace, for the most part, we have a mobile work place. The workforce can expand and contract as needed. If you recall, in France a couple years ago thousands of students took to the streets and rioted expressing their outrage at a law that would allow employers to dismiss any newly hired employee under the age of 26 within the first two years of employment. Despite France having a youth unemployment rate of over 20%, the French preferred job security to job growth. Americans have never expected security and have embraced risk. We have had the attitude that no one owes us anything; we have to earn it.

What has distinguished the US is that we have had, relatively speaking, a non-intrusive government, less regulation and lower taxation. Maybe the American Spirit is the reason we have non-intrusive government and lower taxes, or maybe it is those things that allowed the American Spirit to flourish.

Within democratic countries, there is a scale along which at one end there is relatively unregulated capitalism and opportunities for wealth creation, however there is little economic security and a lot of risk of failure. At the other end of the scale is a stagnant economy where few business decisions can be made without the approval of government and where success is punished, but there is less chaos and more “fairness.” There is trade off between economic security and economic freedom.

I hope that Obama’s economic policy is only a slight adjustment leftward along that scale and not a wholesale embracing of European-style social democracy. It would be ashamed to kill the goose that has laid all the golden eggs for all these many years. I hope the American dream and the American spirit has not been traded for the security of mediocrity. I would miss the America that was.

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Sunday, October 26, 2008

Fearing and Loathing an Obama Presidency

I belong to several chat groups and read lots of other blogs and I am amazed at some of what I read. Many writers express their fears about the prospects of the election of Barack Obama in apocalyptic terms.

Don’t get me wrong. I think Obama will lead the country in the wrong direction. Under an Obama Presidency the US will move more toward a European-style social democracy. I think Democratic economic and tax policy will be detrimental for wealth creation and our standard of living. I expect a more intrusive burdensome government from an Obama presidency. I do not think liberals have the same respect for property rights or freedom of speech, as do conservatives and that concerns me. I think an Obama election and especially a Democratic undivided government will be bad for the future of our nation. However, I do not think the election of Barack Obama will be the end of the world or our freedom. To see what I expect from an Obama Presidency see my recent post on the topic (link). I think the Fred Thompson video posted below is an accurate evaluation of what to fear from an Obama presidency.

So, I am not saying that it does not matter who is elected or that Obama will not be bad for our nation. However, some of the hysteria over the prospects of an Obama presidency is just over the top. I do not think Obama is a Muslim Manchurian Candidate or the Anti Christ. If Obama is elected, as much as I may not like it, he will be my President. After the election, assuming Obama is elected, the Republicans need to be the loyal opposition but try to work with Democrats for the good of the nation. I think there is a danger in poisoning the atmosphere with irrational doomsday fears of an Obama election. It may cause some nut to assassinate the guy. But, also it poisons the atmosphere for working together. If you think your political opponents are the epitome of evil, or if the people you represent think the other party is evil, it makes compromise difficult. I know some Democrats. Unfortunately, most of my siblings are Democrats. They are not evil people; they are just wrong. I think they are naive and suffer from too much idealism and too little logic; but they are not evil.

I don’t know what the ethics are of reposting comments from a chat group. Chat group are for members only and people may not want their comments spread beyond the group. I am reposting what one writer wrote on one of the chat groups I belong to, to offer an example of what people are saying. I am not listing the group name and am only listing initials of the discussion participants. This post is not from anyone of any importance, and would not be important at all if it were not so typical of a lot of what I am reading. Stuff like this is all over the Internet and this is typical also of some unsolicited emails I have received.

M…

I am going to make a few predictions here. Now understanding that I have never been wrong before should add credibility to these guesses. These are based on the premise that Obama gets into office.

1. This blogger site and others like it will no longer exist...they will be considered anti-government.
2. Talk shows, conservative ones that is, will no longer be allowed and go off the air as anti-government.
3. Guns will be taken away from the citizenry and the National Guard as well.
4. Children everywhere will be indoctrinated to the socialist/communist ideology.
5. Christians and Jews will be persecuted as anti-government and eventually
forbidden to practice their religion.
6. All corporations will be operated by the state and employees paid from the state as a measure to protect us.
7. Homosexuality, kiddy porn and other filthy things will be allowed and fostered.
8. Traveling between states will require a passport with a reason for the travel.
9. Many new laws will be put into place which will curb our freedoms immensely.
10. Curfews will exist and political prisoners will be taken and jailed for long periods of time.

Care to add your own here? Not very pretty is it? Wonderful future for our children.

B….
Let us take a look at this.

On item 1, I see no basis for believing the election of Democrats will bring about Internet censorship and a closing down of Internet conservative chat rooms. I do believe many liberals would like to shut down conservative voices but to impose censorship on the Internet would create a huge backlash. There are a lot of left-wing voices also on the Internet who would oppose censorship. A lot of good liberals really do respect freedom of speech.

Unfortunately I think item two is a realistic fear. Up until 1985 the “Fairness Doctrine” required radio stations to provide balanced coverage of controversial issues, so radio simply avoided controversy. Under the fairness doctrine, a station that did not provide “fairness” could lose their license. There is no equivalent to a Rush Limbaugh on the left. Talk radio is a conservative phenomenon. I think many liberals would like to shut down talk radio and would gladly reimpose the fairness doctrine. The public ownership of the airways and the argument for “fairness” gives liberals the cover they need to do it. If the Democrats get a super majority it very well may happen.

Item number 3: This will not happen. This is an unfounded fear. I know many liberals would like to ban all guns, but they do not have the authority. The Supreme Court ruled in a 5 to 4 decision recently that the right to bear arms is an individual right. The court will probably not revisit the issue for a very long time, if ever. With another liberal on the court, the recent decision could possibly be reversed, but even a more liberal court would probably not overturn the recent decision but may whittle away at the second amendment around the edges. In any event, there is doubt that Obama will have the opportunity to replace a conservative jurist. The conservative on the Court are fairly young, as Supreme Court justices go, and in good health.

Regarding item 4, this is based on legitimate fears but is overstated. Given Obama’s support for the Ayers education program in Chicago, there is reason to believe Obama would like to have leftist ideology taught in the classroom. [Read this New York Post story, Obama's Education Idiocy.] But, while Obama might like to turn schools into indoctrination center, he would not be in a position to do that. A Presidents power is limited. Education is still largely a state and local matter. It is possible that some federal laws could mandate some curriculum changes with ideological content, but to believe that “Children everywhere will be indoctrinated to the socialist/communist ideology,” is paranoia.

On the remaining items, this is just garbage. Why would one think we would have to have passports to travel between states under an Obama Presidency? If anything, the conservatives, with their anti illegal immigrant passions and War on Terror concerns, may be more inclined to impose travel restrictions and require everyone to carry documents than would Democrats.

On the charge that “homosexuality, kiddy porn and other filthy things will be allowed and fostered;” government does not dictate sexual mores. Society has become more tolerant of homosexuality and other alternative lifestyles over the years. I think being more accepting and tolerant of others' choices is a good thing. What you do in your bedroom and whom you do it with is none of my business. We may see an increase in the push for gay marriage or civil unions. We may see homosexuals gain the same protected victim class status as minorities and disabled people. I would oppose that, but I think any impact in this area will be minimal. There is no reason to believe kiddy porn will be more prevalent under a Democratic president than a Republican president.

For the good of the nation and our future; get real people and get a grip!

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Saturday, October 25, 2008

Fred Thompson on an Obama Presidency

This is a great video! Fred Thompson talks for over twelve minutes about what a Barack Obama presidency would mean for America and the world. Unfortunately few Americans will probably have the opportunity to view it.

Thompson talks about the danger of the Democrats controlling all three branches of government. Things we will probably see under an Obama presidency include a curtailment of First Amendment rights as the Democrats reinstate the so-called Fairness doctrine. We will also probably see the end to the secrete ballot in the workplace, giving unions the power to impose unionization against the will of workers.

Most importantly, we will see a curtailment of economic liberty and an imposition of higher capital gains taxes which will destroy the economic engine of growth. I wish everyone could see this short video and consider the issues Thompson raises.

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[Objects found on the Internet;creators unknown.]

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Monday, October 20, 2008

Illegal Immigrants Flood Across Border

MANITOBA HERALD, October 2o, 2008


The flood of American liberals sneaking across the border into Canada has intensified in the past week, sparking calls for increased patrols to stop the illegal immigration. The possibility of a McCain/Palin election is prompting the exodus among left-leaning citizens who fear they'll soon be required to hunt, pray, and agree with Bill O'Reilly.


Canadian border farmers say it's not uncommon to see dozens of sociology professors, animal rights activists and Unitarians crossing their fields at night. "I went out to milk the cows the other day, and there was a Hollywood producer huddled in the barn," said Manitoba farmer Red Greenfield, whose acreage borders North Dakota . "He was cold, exhausted and hungry. He asked me if I could spare a latte and some free-range chicken."


In an effort to stop the illegal aliens, Greenfield erected higher fences, but the liberals scaled them. So he tried installing speakers that blare Rush Limbaugh across the fields. "Not real effective", he said. "The liberals still got through, and Rush annoyed the cows so much they wouldn't give milk."


Officials are particularly concerned about smugglers who meet liberals near the Canadian border, pack them into Volvo station wagons, drive them across the border and leave them to fend for themselves. "A lot of these people are not prepared for rugged conditions," an Ontario border patrolman said. "I found one carload without a drop of drinking water." They did have a nice little Napa Valley Cabernet, though."

When liberals are caught, they're sent back across the border, often wailing loudly that they fear retribution from conservatives. Rumors have been circulating about the McCain administration will be establishing re-education camps in which liberals will be forced to shoot wolves from airplanes, deny evolution, and act out drills preparing them for the Rapture.

In recent days, liberals have turned to sometimes-ingenious ways of crossing the border. Some have taken to posing as senior citizens on bus trips to buy cheap Canadian prescription drugs. After catching a half-dozen young vegans disguised in powdered wigs, Canadian immigration authorities began stopping buses and quizzing the supposed senior-citizen passengers on Perry Como and Rosemary Clooney hits to prove they were alive in the '50s. "If they can't identify the accordion player on The Lawrence Welk Show, we get suspicious about their age," an official said.

Canadian citizens have complained that the illegal immigrants are creating an organic-broccoli shortage and renting all the good Susan Sarandon movies. "I feel sorry for American liberals, but the Canadian economy just can't support them," an Ottawa resident said. "How many art history and English majors does one country need?'
[Author Unknown]

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Sunday, October 19, 2008

What to expect from an Obama Presidency?

I have not given up all hope that John McCain can somehow still win this election; I just gave the RNC another campaign contribution on Thursday. Realistically, however, a look at the polls and electoral map and with only days to go before the election and the state of the economy overriding all other issues; unless something like a miracles happens, we can assume Barack Obama will be The One. We might as well get used to it. Not only does it look like Obama will be President but for the first time since 1938, both houses of Congress and the Presidency will be in Democratic hands.

What can we expect? I know that during campaigns, it is the mission of all politically motivated people to magnify the differences between the candidates and picture your candidate as having all the right answers and the other candidate has having all the wrong answers. Let us be honest: neither candidate would take the country in a radically different direction. An Obama Presidency will not spell the end of this great nation. There will be another election in four years and we will probably be no worse off than we are today. Our position in the world may actually be improved and our economy may be stabilized no matter who is elected. The difference between the two candidates is not the difference between light and dark but the difference between shades of gray.

Below are several issues and how I see them playing out under an Obama Presidency and Democratic Congress:

General Foreign Policy:
I really do not see that the world will be much different under an Obama Presidency than under a McCain Presidency. One of the major criticisms of Obama is that he pledged to meet with any foreign leader without preconditions. Much has been made of that, but that is much to do about little and Obama has since modified that remark. I suspect Obama’s foreign policy positions will be moderated by the professionals in the State Department and Joe Biden. We must admit that George Bush has lowered America’s stature in the world and resulted in America not being very well liked or respected. Obama could be a fresh beginning and restore America’s image in the world. On North Korea, Iran, Darfur and other world hot spots, I don’t think either candidate would radically depart from current US policy. I would be more comfortable with McCain at the helm, but do not expect Obama to make a terrible mess of things.

The War:
Obama has set a timeline for withdrawal but has given himself wiggle room to back off of that if conditions worsen. In any event, given the success of the surge, it looks like 16 months is a fairly reasonable time line. I agree in principle with the McCain position of being guided by conditions on the ground, however the practical impact of the two positions is not that different. Obama was never as irresponsible as Richardson or Kucinish or some of the other Democrats in promising an immediate withdrawal regardless of the consequences. I do not think Obama would want to see the region dominated by Iran or a resurgent Al Qaeda in Iraq. I am not too concerned.

Afghanistan:
I actually think Obama is wise to see that we need to pay more attention to Afghanistan. So, I look for good things. I agree with Obama that we should have stayed and fixed Afghanistan rather than invading Iraq. Obama will put more attention back on Afghanistan were we are losing a war.

Pakistan:
I think Obama was foolish to publicly say we would invade Pakistan to pursue Al Qaeda, although I think that is what we need to do. However we should do it while telling Pakistan in secret and in advance that we are doing it and while publicly denying we are doing it, or allow Pakistan to publicly condemn us for doing it and after we have achieved our objective, withdraw and let Pakistan save face. Obama’s policy is not wrong; he is wrong to publicly announce it as a policy. Once elected, I think again, the professionals at State and Joe Biden will moderate Obama. Obama is young and inexperienced and naive; he will learn. I suspect he will learn fairly quickly.

Cuba:
I actually think Obama has the better policy and will end the senseless and counterproductive isolation of Cuba. One of the last two remaining Communist countries in the world will rapidly modernize and become Communist in name only.

Health Care:
Health care is one area where I think the John McCain position is vastly superior. However, Obama has not presented a vision of universal, single-payer healthcare. Under Obama, all health care will not be nationalized. For some individuals who do not have health care, they will have it under Obama, but nothing will be done to transform the health care system. We will simply go just a little further down the wrong road, but I expect no major change.

Government Growth, Government Spending, taxes, the Economy, and Trade:
I do not expect a major advancement of socialism under Obama as many Republican pundits fear. The President is Commander in Chief of the military but not the economy and actually has limited influence. With the Congress having just spent $850 billion on a government rescue plan for the economy and our nation having record deficits, there is nothing left to feed the beast.

Republicans in power became big spenders; out of power Republicans may regain their principled opposition to intrusive government and devotion to fiscal responsibility. Unfortunately, it looks like Republicans may be so reduced in number in the Congress that they cannot prevent the Democrats from cutting off debate and passing any program they like. However, there are a significant number of so-called Blue dog Democrats who believe in Pay-as-you-go and in fiscal responsibility. The Republicans and the Blue dogs and the reality of a broke government without deep pockets, I suspect, will curtail government expansion. Attention will be focused on getting markets moving again rather than new initiatives.

New free trade expansions and globalization may be curtailed under Obama, but maybe not. There seem to be as many protectionists and economic nationalist among the Republican rank and file as among Democrats so the advancement of free trade may not be that much different regardless of which party is in office. I think the leadership of both parties believes in free trade, but neither party can get too far ahead of the public. I am not sure the Democrats will be anymore likely to cave to protectionist sentiments than the Republicans.

On taxes, I think Obama’s plan to soak the rich and redistribute wealth will inhibit investment; however, all other factors do not remain constant. I doubt that Obama’s tax plan will be that detrimental if other fiscal and monetary policies are correctly formulated.

Global Warming and energy policy:
I was glad to see we had candidates of both parties who accept the science of global warming. It has been an embarrassment to me that the Republican Party has been the flat-earth party on this issue. In a time of economic meltdown and war, very little was said in the campaign about global warming.

My worst fear is that in order to “do something” the Democrats may pass a program similar to the cap and trade bill that was proposed last year. That would be damaging to the economy and do nothing to curtail growth of harmful CO2 emissions. Also, it would give the public a feeling that we had done something and would forestale really doing something. Given the state of the worldwide economy, I think Democrats will be more rational and responsible than they were when the previous cap and trade bill was presented and I do not expect them to pass anything that resembles that bill. But, maybe I just have too much faith in people’s common sense. I don’t know.

So, while I do not expect President Obama and Congress to do something really stupid, unfortunately, I don’t think they will do much that addresses the problem. Unless we put a price on carbon emission and make clean energy comparatively cheaper, I do not expect much curtailment of carbon emission. So while I don’t expect any significant reduction in greenhouse gases under Obama, I really didn’t expect it under McCain either. I believe addressing global warming should be a priority; I was prepared to be disappointed no matter who was elected.

On energy policy, I expect the US to be marginally more dependent on imported oil under Obama than it would have been under McCain. I think McCain’s policy of offshore drilling and development of new nuclear power plants was the correct path. We may see a marginal but insignificant increase in alternative fuels under Obama, but I do not expect any major reduction of oil imports. We will limp along without much change.

Abortion and Roe v. Wade:
I am pro life, but think that abortion is here to stay. We are not going to pass a right to life amendment to the constitution, ever. Even if McCain had been elected and we had gotten another conservative on the Supreme Court, I did not expect Roe v. wade to be overturned. Conservative jurist believe in the doctrine of stare decisis and precedent and would probably be reluctant to revisit the original right to privacy doctrine on which the Roe v. Wade decision was based. The most we could hope for under a more conservative court is a nibbling away at the edges. In any event, an overturn of Roe v. Wade would do very little to reduce abortions. An overturn would simply throw the issue back to the states where state courts and state legislatures would deal with it. While I would hope that would happen, I hope it would happen because I believe in a strict interpretation of the Constitution and federalism. I think it would have minimal impact on the number of abortions, however. I simply do not see this issue as all that important anymore.

The Supreme Court:
While a McCain win could have moved the Court in a more conservative direction, an Obama win will probably not move it in a more liberal direction. The most likely court retirees are Stevens, Souter, or Ginsburg, all members of the liberal wing. So, one liberal jurist will be replaced by another liberal jurist and the country will not be any worse off.

Poverty.
I have no clue what to expect under Obama. Given his association with ACORN and his general liberal voting record, we may see an increase in programs that condemn people to government dependency and institutional poverty. However, their was very little discussion of these issues in the campaign so I don’t think we have reason to think that expansion of the welfare state will be an Obama priority. I have been disappointed that under eight years of Republican rule, there was no meaningful effort to extend the welfare reform initiated during the Presidency of Bill Clinton.

I think that even most liberals have come to realize that making a segment of the population permanently dependent on government handouts was a failed policy, so I doubt we will see a return to the Great Society-type welfare programs. Obama may initiate programs designed to help lift people out of poverty. I hope so.

Education:
I expect a marginally worsening of the quality of American education, due to the Democratic Party’s debt to the teachers union, which opposes almost all innovation and accountability. On the other hand, educational improvement may come from state experimentation and ideas may spread state to state rather than coming from the top down. While I supported No- Child, I was always conflicted because I think education should be a state and local responsibility rather than a federal responsibility.

Immigration:
This was not talked about much in the election but I suspect that either Obama or McCain would pursue a policy of comprehensive immigration reform similar to what was proposed by President Bush. My fear is that Republicans, out of office, will pander to the public’s anti-immigrant mood rather than moderate their stance, as they would have if McCain had been elected. I do not expect any meaningful immigration reform under Obama, but neither did I expect it under McCain.

Assuming Obama is elected, I will be disappointed but I will wish him well and hope for the best. I will be more fearful about the future of our nation and the world under an Obama Presidency, but only marginally so. Obama may rise to the occasion and actually make a good President. Regardless of which candidate is elected, I don’t really think it would have changed my life much or the course of history. There will be other elections, and the pendulum will swing back. Our country will be fine.

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Friday, October 17, 2008

Senator McCain Speaks at the Alfred E. Smith Memorial Dinner

This is good. McCain is really funny as he lampoons Senator Obama. McCain's humor and cleverness and basic decency shines through.

I really like John McCain. I want McCain to be elected, not just because I think Obama is wrong for America and not just because I prefer McCain's policies, but because I think McCain is a good person. I respect and look up to John McCain. I think McCain is an admirable, honest, principled, thoughtful person who has a deep love for his country and a commitment to do the right thing.

Anyone who can read the polls can see that unless something unexpected happens McCain will not be elected President, so at this point I am not expecting a McCain victory and that makes me a little sad. I think if McCain should get elected, we would be blessed to have him as our President. I think he has those qualities, much like Reagan, that make for a great leader. I wish more people saw it that way.

Enjoy the video.

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Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Hank Jr. sings "McCain-Palin Tradition"

This is a great song! Makes we want to drink a beer and get rowdy and stop being polite.

Set the the tune of "Family Tradition", Hank Williams Jr. blast Obama and praises John McCain and Sarah Palin. This song hits all the hot buttons.

John N' Sarah tell ya just what they think. And they’re not gonna blink.

They don't have terrorist friends, to whom their careers are linked.

Yes, John is his own man. And Sarah fixed Alaska's broken condition.

They're gonna do just fine. We're headed for better times.

It's a -- McCain-Palin tradition.

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Tuesday, October 14, 2008

ACORN Registers More Obama Voters

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ACORN Voter Registration

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START EACH DAY WITH A POSITIVE OUTLOOK

1. Open a new file in your computer.
2. Name it 'Barack Obama'.
3. Send it to the Recycle Bin.
4. Empty the Recycle Bin.
5. Your PC will ask you: 'Do you really want to get rid of 'Barack Obama?'
6. Firmly Click 'Yes.'
7. Feel better?

GOOD! - Tomorrow we'll do Nancy Pelosi!

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Sunday, October 12, 2008

Obama Leads Among Dead People



County rejects large number of invalid voter registrations

North West Indiana Times . BY BILL DOLAN, Thursday, October 02, 2008. CROWN POINT

Lake County Republican Chairman John Curley wants a federal investigation into hundreds of voter registrations bearing fictitious signatures or the names of dead and underage people."Fraudulent applications are the workings of ACORN groups operating from Milwaukee and Chicago who are getting out the vote for Obama. I'm Republican, but I want everyone who should vote to vote. But I want a clean election," Curley said at a Wednesday news conference.Lake County elections officials acknowledged they have found problems and had to reject a large portion of the 5,000 registration forms turned in recently by the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now, or ACORN, an activist group that conducted registration drives across the county this summer. (Read More)

NUTS!

By JEANE MacINTOSH, New York Post Correspondent,October 9, 2008 --

CLEVELAND - Two Ohio voters, including Domino's pizza worker Christopher Barkley , claimed yesterday that they were hounded by the community-activist group ACORN to register to vote several times, even though they made it clear they'd already signed up.

Barkley estimated he'd registered to vote "10 to 15" times after canvassers for ACORN, whose political wing has endorsed Barack Obama, relentlessly pursued him and others. (Read More)

Voter-fraud task force raids office backing Obama

The Washington Times, Wednesday, October 8, 2008 by S.A. Miller

A Nevada voter-fraud task force Tuesday raided the state headquarters of a Democrat-allied organization that works to get low-income people to vote, setting off a skirmish over efforts to expand the electorate on behalf of Sen. Barack Obama.

Authorities searched the Las Vegas office of the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now, or ACORN, which is accused of submitting multiple voter registrations with duplicate and false names, including names of former Dallas Cowboys players. (Read More)

Commentary

We are witnessing an historic election. We are witnessing something unprecedented in American history. I am not talking about the potential election of a Black man to the nations highest office, but unprecedented voter fraud. America has had voter fraud before, but is was localized. Memphis’s Ed Crump machine and Chicago’s Richard Daley machine may have been masters at voter fraud, but now we are seeing that same level of fraud on a national scale, conducted by Obama’s pals at ACORN. News story after news story are reporting the same thing. All across the nation thousands upon thousands of fraudulent voter registrations are being submitted. Hopefully it can be stopped before election day and we can be confident that the election is not stolen, but the attempt to steal this elections is brazen. Dead people are registering to vote, fictional people are registering to vote, and some people are registering as many as fifty times! If Obama wins this elections by a slim margin in several states we can always assume the election was stolen.

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Saturday, October 11, 2008

What is ACORN?

The Washington Times, Editorial, Friday, October 10, 2008 - The Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now, better known as ACORN, is under investigation by state and federal authorities for its voter registration drives. Allegations are that ACORN's get-out-the-vote efforts have produced thousands of fraudulent registrations. The probes are encouraging; America wouldn't be in position to criticize other nations of ballot-stuffing if it permits the same at home. What's most encouraging, though, is that House Minority Leader John Boehner of Ohio is calling for ACORN to be defunded. "The latest allegations of voter registration fraud by ACORN are further evidence that this group cannot be trusted with another dollar of the taxpayers' money," he said.

ACORN helped make the term "affordable housing" a Washington staple. So as the roots of the financial crisis are laid bare, take a hard look at ACORN. (Read More)

Comment
ACORN members should be aggressively prosecuted for the massive fraudulent voter registrations they have conducted and all federal funding for the organization should immediately be suspended. The IRS should investigate the organization to determine if they have violated the terms of their tax except status. They should be investigated to see if they violated the RICO Act. This organization is a threat to our democracy and the concept of fair and honest elections. Obama's ties to this corrupt organization is alarming.

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Cnn's Report: ACORN and Massive Voter Fraud

Comment:

Please view the above news report from CNN. This is unreal. We are witnessing massive, massive voter fraud conducted by ACORN on behalf of Obama. This election may very well be stolen.

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Friday, October 10, 2008

CNN's Report: Obama is lying about William Ayers Relationship

When challenged about his relationship with unrepentant American terrorist Bill Ayers, Obama dismissed Ayers as “a guy in the neighborhood” and someone he served on the board of a charitable organizations with.

In this CNN report, Anderson Cooper fact-checks Barack Obama’s claim to have barely known William Ayers and calls it dishonest.

Bill Ayers fought to bring a 50 million dollar education project to Chicago and recruited Obama to chair the project. For seven years Ayers and Obama worked together on this project. The Annenberg Challenge which Obama chaired, instead of giving money directly to schools, funded “external partners” which were often radical community groups that promoted “alternative” schools. Among the groups Obama funded was Ayers's Small Schools Project that provided hundreds of thousands of dollars to fund schools with an ideological curriculum.

Obama and Ayers also served together on a second charitable foundation, The Woods Fund, which funded Jeremiah Wrights church and a community center where Michelle Obama worked. In 1995, Obama’s political career was launched at a political coming out party at the home of Bill Ayers and Benadine Dohrn.

Ayers and Obama’s relationship was certainly deeper than a casual acquaintance with “some guy in the neighborhood.”

It is beyond me to see how anyone could support for President of the United States someone who has a close relationship with an unrepentant terrorist.

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Thursday, October 9, 2008

Who is financing Obama's campaign?

Obama money from abroad could total $3.3 million

Tue Oct 7, 9:13 PM ET WASHINGTON - Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama has raised about $3.3 million from contributors who did not list a home state....(link)

Secret, Foreign Money Floods Into Obama Campaign

Monday, September 29, 2008 9:23 PMBy: Kenneth R. Timmerman - More than half of the whopping $426.9 million Barack Obama has raised has come from small donors whose names the Obama campaign won't disclose. And questions have arisen about millions more in foreign donations the Obama campaign has received that apparently have not been vetted as legitimate. (link)

Comment

Is Obama bought and paid for? If so, by whom? Where is the transparency? It is scary to think that the man who may be our next President financed his campaign with over $200 million from unknown donors. $200 million dollars is a lot money! We have no idea who is contributing to his campaign or why. We do know that many of those donors were most likely foreign nationals.

Public financing of campaigns used to be favored by liberals, yet Obama refused to a accept public funding and the restrictions that go along with it. There is an argument to be made that restrictions on campaign giving and spending is a restriction on our first amendment free speech rights, yet all should agree that transparency is important. All of us should be concerned if foreign interest are financing a candidates presidential campaign. The public should know where the money is coming from. We should expect full disclosure. Why will Obama not disclose who is financing his campaign?

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Do Democrats want to destroy our democracy?

“We oppose laws that require identification in order to vote or register to vote.
2008 Democratic Party Platform, page 56, read it here.

This above link is to the official Democratic Web site. Check it out! I am not making this up. I am not taking this out of context. This is unbelievable!

What are Decorates thinking? How could this plank make it into the party’s platform? This may be the most radical plank ever in any major party’s platform. What would happen it there were no laws requiring identification to register to vote or to cast a vote? Dead people would vote. Illegal aliens would vote. Underage people would vote. Some people would go from polling place to polling place and vote again and again and again. With early voting, the same individual could vote literally dozens, if not hundreds, of times. Caravan of voter would travel from “safe” states to go to battleground states to vote. Massive numbers of people would be bussed from states with few electoral votes to states with large numbers of electoral votes to cast their vote. This would spell the end of our democracy. Do Democrats want to destroy our democracy?

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Monday, October 6, 2008

Obama and his Slumlord Patron

April 23, 2007, BY TIM NOVAK Staff Reporter, Chicago Suntimes

For more than five weeks during the brutal winter of 1997, tenants shivered without heat in a government-subsidized apartment building on Chicago's South Side.

It was just four years after the landlords -- Antoin "Tony'' Rezko and his partner Daniel Mahru -- had rehabbed the 31-unit building in Englewood with a loan from Chicago taxpayers. (read more)

Comment

I do not understand why the press is letting Obama get by with portraying himself as a champion of the poor and downtrodden when in fact Obama served as the lawyer representing the corrupt slumlord Tony Rezko who victimized the poorest of the poor.

The press has lightly reported on the sweetheart real estate deal between Rezko and Obama, but the relationship between Obama and Rezko go far beyond the real estate transaction that allowed Obama to purchase his mansion at a favorable price. The more important story is how Rezko enriched himself at the expense of the poor of Chicago while Obama served as an attorney representing this despicable piece of human waste. While Rezko could not find the money to turn the heat on in his apartment buildings, Rezko gave $1000 in a campaign contribution to Obama and raised thousands more.

The 17 year friendship between Rezko and Obama is worthy of being a campaign issue. Not only did Rezko leave his tenants shivering in the cold of the windy city but he defrauded the tax payers out of millions of dollars. This story needs to be told.

Is this the kind of change Obama will bring to Washington? Is the the kind of change we can believe in?

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Sunday, October 5, 2008

Victory for Music Row Entrepreneur Joy Ford In Nashville Eminent Domain Dispute

Ford Keeps Her Building & Gets More Land, Conflict Settled through Private Negotiation, Not Government Force

Institute for Justice, October 1, 2008

Eminent domain will not be used against Nashville music entrepreneur Joy Ford in a hotly contested battle about the abuse of government for a developer’s private gain. In an agreement signed Tuesday night, September 30, Ford, who has fought eminent domain since June of this year, keeps both her building and obtains more land adjacent to her building along Nashville’s storied Music Row while agreeing to give up land behind her office. (link)

Landowner Ford stays put as Music Row standoff ends

By CHAS SISK Staff Writer, The Tennessean, October 2, 2008

A $70 million Music Row project has cleared a major obstacle after the developer and city officials reached a high-profile compromise with landowner Joy Ford on Wednesday that saves her business from the bulldozer.

"I'm so elated this is over," Ford said. "This is not about money and material things. If you spend a day or a hundred years of creating something that rightfully belongs to you, it's wrong for somebody to take it." (link)

Music Row holdout saves her memories

By GAIL KERR, The Tennessean, October 2, 2008

They said she was an obstructionist. Greedy. Stubborn. Stupid. And yes, even the "b" word.
But Joy Ford would not budge. Not because she is any of those things, but because Country International Records, humble and dated as some may see it, is hers.

The saga of big and powerful people trying to take Joy's land is over. The two sides forged a compromise with a simple land trade.

That is good for the developers, good for Music Row and good for Joy Ford. But developers and city officials who help them should walk away from this with a lesson learned: Some people can't be bought. (link)

Comment

Finally this story has come to an end. Joy Ford stays put. Standing up to the city's closing of an alley which made it difficult for tour buses to park behind her building, facing the threat of condemnation, and rejecting large offers of money, Joy Ford refused to budge.

Joy had a lot of help in her David-versus-Goliath battle. Local radio conservative talk show host Phil Valentine took up her cause. The Tennessean, which usually can be counted upon to take a liberal position on any issue, came to the defense of Joy Ford with sympathetic news stories and pro Ford opinion pieces by Gail Kerr. Bloggers and chatters took up her cause. While there was never a public demonstration, if this case would have gone on, I believe a lot of people would have turned out to demonstrate on her behalf. I know, I would have. One organization that received little public mention but that fought her legal battles was The Institute for Justice.

Although this case is over, we should not allow this to happen to anyone else. The right of condemnation should be restricted to a true public purpose. Simply because a property is in the way of a redevelopment plan, the city should not be able to take the land through condemnation. The state legislature needs to redefine what constitutes "blight." In any normal use of the term, Joy Ford's property was not blighted. The Metro Council needs to take away from the Metro Development and Housing Agency the right to exercise eminent domain and all eminent domain condemnations should have to be voted on by the Council.
Ford achieved her victory but is not giving up the fight. She has pledging to work with other property owners and Metro and state legislators to stop eminent domain abuse saying, “I will not rest until eminent domain is stopped being used on behalf of private interests.”

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Saturday, October 4, 2008

Pork-laden Bailout Bill is Very Bitter Pill

I was relieved to see the House swallow hard and pass the bailout. The bailout is a bitter pill, but unfortunately it is necessary medicine to keep our ailing economy from dying. (See my post: Congress Should Pass the Palson Plan)

What disgust me in this whole mess, is that the bailout did not pass until it was sweetened with billions in pork. (I’m not mixing my metaphors; this is some very sweet pork.) It is disgusting that some in Congress had to get their favorite project included before they would support it. These congressmen would not pass it because it was the right thing to do but because they were bought.

Consider the following amendment to the bailout bill:


Sec. 503. Exemption from excise tax for certain wooden arrows designed for use by children.

Current law places an excise tax of 39 cents on the first sale by the manufacturer, producer, or importer of any shaft of a type used to produce certain types of arrows. This proposal would exempt from the excise tax any shaft consisting of all natural wood with no laminations or artificial means to enhance the spine of the shaft used in the manufacture of an arrow that measures 5/16 of an inch or less and is unsuited for use with a bow with a peak draw weight of 30 pounds or more. The proposal is effective for shafts first sold after the date of enactment. The estimated cost of the proposal is $2 million over ten years, according to the Joint Committee on Taxation.
According to Taxpayers for Common Sense, Oregon’s senators were the sponsors of the above provision which is a $200,000 benefit to a single company, Rose City Archery in Myrtle Point, Oregon. (read more)

Other sweeteners in the bill according to an article in the San Francisco Chronicle (link), included the following:

Racetracks: Earmark would allow auto racetrack owners to depreciate their facilities over seven years, saving the industry $100 million over two years.

Rum: Offers rum producers in Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands a rebate on excise taxes worth $192 million over two years.

Wool: Reduces tariffs for U.S. makers of wool fabric that use imported yarn, worth $148 million over five years. The measure was pushed by Reps. Louise Slaughter, D-N.Y., and Melissa Bean, D-Ill.

Exxon Valdez: Plaintiffs in the suit over the 1989 oil spill could spread their tax payments on punitive damages over three years, cutting their tax bill by $49 million. The measure was backed by Rep. Don Young, R-Alaska.

American Samoa: Allows certain corporations to reduce their tax liability on income earned in American Samoa, at a cost of $33 million over two years.

Even Hollywood got something out of the Senate bill: renewal of a tax incentive worth nearly $48 million a year for film and TV producers who produce their work in the United States.

At a time when I did not think my contempt for Congress could get any lower, it just did. John McCain says he will change the culture of Washington and curtail pork barrel spending. I think it is possible to curtail it, but difficult. Congress needs a basic change in their operating rocedures to make pork barrel spending more transparent. One should not have to load a deserving bill with goodies, like hanging ornaments on a Christmas tree, in order to get it passed.

I served eleven years in the Metro Council of Nashville and years ago I served as a student intern with the State legislature for about three months. In both the State Senate and the Metro Council, one could not have a bill that was broader than the caption. That was a rule. That is not to say that there is not wasteful spending by both the Metro Council and the State government, but a bill could not be amended to include spending for a project totally unrelated to the topic of the bill. On a bill to authorize the issuance of tax increment financing bonds for the construction of a sports arena, one could not include funding for new sidewalks in Woodbine.

There was still wastful spending and deals were still make, but this rule made it more diffilcut to do than it would have been without the rule. Sometimes we need rules to keep us honest. Currently, the way Congress operates, holding a bill hostage and loading it with pork is encouraged. I believe that If Congress would adopt a rule that the body of a bill could not be broader than the caption of the bill, we would see a drastic decrease in spending such as was included in the bailout bill.

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Friday, October 3, 2008

The Crowds

On television today a Democratic operative pointed out that when Obama holds a rally 25-30,000 people show up, whereas when McCain holds one he only draws 10-15,000.

The Republican spokesman replied, "That's because McCain's supporters are at work."

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The Biden-Palin Debate

SARAH WAS GREAT!

She was charming, articulate, knowlegable, sharp-witted, folksy, and quick. No deer-in-the-headlight look, no awkward pauses, no wrong answers. The only criticism I would have of her is that she had a tendency to answer the question she wished she had been asked rather than what was asked. However, I don't think that did her any harm. I had some anxiety about her ability prior to this debate. She held her own. No, she did better than that: She won.

I also was concerned that Gwen Ifill may not be a fair moderator due to her financial interest in an Obama victory and her stated admiration for Obama. She was fair.

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Thursday, October 2, 2008

HOPE for Homeowners

BUSH ADMINISTRATION LAUNCHES “HOPE FOR HOMEOWNERS” PROGRAM TO HELP MORE STRUGGLING FAMILIES KEEP THEIR HOMES
Detailed Program Eligibility Requirements Announced

WASHINGTON – The Bush Administration today unveiled additional mortgage assistance for homeowners at risk of foreclosure. The HOPE for Homeowners program will refinance mortgages for borrowers who are having difficulty making their payments, but can afford a new loan insured by HUD’s Federal Housing Administration (FHA).

“For families struggling to keep up with their mortgage payments, this program will be another resource to refinance into a loan they can afford,” said HUD Secretary Steve Preston. “FHA remains a safe and affordable alternative to the high-priced mortgage loans that threaten homeowners’ ability to retain their homes. We strongly encourage borrowers to work with their lenders to determine if HOPE for Homeowners is the right program for them.” (read more)

Comment
This program just became available today. This is one more tool to help people avoid foreclosure. If you are behind on your house payment or in danger of falling behind on your house payment, please do not allow your home to foreclose without getting help. If you live in the middle Tennessee area call me at 850-3453 and I will help you. I am Director of Housing Services for the Woodbine Community Organization, a HUD-approved housing counseling agency.

If you live elsewhere, call a local HUD-approved housing counseling agency, or if there is no local HUD-approved agency in your area, call the HOPE hotline at 1-888-995-HOPE.

I am amazed at the number of people who loose their home when they could avoid doing so, if they would only seek help and be proactive. Many, many people let their hope get foreclosed when tools are available right now that could help them keep their home. Believe it or not, mortgage companies want to work with you; they do not want to foreclose. However, often the homeowner does not know how to approach the mortgage company and present their case. Also, mortgage company representatives may not know all of the options available. A trained counselor, will evaluate your situation and look at all the options for keeping your house or if keeping the home is not possible or is not in your best interest, help you get out of the house while avoiding foreclosure.

If you know of anyone who may be in danger of losing their home, tell them there is help available. Daily, I negotiate workout plans with mortgage companies on behave of my clients. I have kept about 100 people from losing their home this year. Some of the workouts were easy and some of them were difficult to achieve. Some of the clients who did lose their home could have saved their home if they would have followed up and followed the Action Plan we developed. If someone just sits by and lets their home get foreclosed without fighting to save it and without seeking help, they have no one to blame but themselves.

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Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Sara Palin is Qualified

Fred Thompson, Tuesday, September 30, 2008

When John McCain selected Governor Sarah Palin, as his running mate, the Democrats and their far-left constituency let out a primal scream that could be heard from sea to shining sea. How dare he choose someone that they and their pals in the media had not had a chance to vet (i.e. libel, slander, and otherwise and otherwise eviscerate). Ah, but it was not too late. These seekers of “a new kind of politics” poured torrents of malicious abuse upon her and her family. ...Read more.


Comment
More comment to follow, maybe. This is some quick thoughts: I am having anxiety about tom morrow's debate. Joe Biden may think that TV's were widely in use in American Homes in 1929 and may not know who was President when the 1929 stock market crash occurred, but he is probably a walking encyclopedia of foreign affairs. He probably knows who is the leaders of most of the worlds countries and heads of the opposition parties. He can probably tell you the details of every important treaty for the last 25 years. I have seen Biden on C-span. No doubt about it, he is informed and sharp.


On the other hand, Biden can be a smart-ass. I remember during the confirmation hearing of John Roberts, he kept addressing Roberts as "Judge." While that is OK, I guess, Biden seemed disrespectful and almost like he was trying to get Roberts to loose his cool and debate with him. In those hearing Biden struck be as somewhat of a jerk. However, I have seen Biden in other hearing where I thought he was just a plain spoken, no BS kind of guy who was trying to get honest answers from equivocating bureaucrats. So, while Biden is knowledgeable if he comes across as condescending and a bully, Palin may win.


If I was giving advice to Palin it would be, don't be afraid to say, "I don't know." Don't try to fake it. If you don't know the GNP of Azerbaijan, I want hold it against you. If you get asked a complex question I think you can say, "I would ask somebody in the state department to brief me and then do I would do the right thing." Or, you may say, "I have not been keeping up with all the details of that issue, and would have to learn more details and give it thoughtful consideration before responding." Don't just blurt out an answer.


The format should favor Palin. There is no time for Biden's long rambling answers. Watch for bias on the part of Quin Ifill. She is not an objective journalist. In a book she wrote, she exposed herself as a fawning fan of Barack Obama. On the other hand, she may bend over backwards to be fair to compensate for her bias.

The above article is by Fred Thompson, a man I admire and respect and who I would like to see become President. He give thoughtful consideration to the issues of Palin's qualifications and concludes she is qualified.

In a recent post I wrote that "I was seduced by Sarah Palin." If I was seduced, I guess I am still seduced. I like her. I saw her parents interviewed on a news program. I like her parents. She seems level-headed, smart, and energetic. I have been a little embarrasedembarrassed by some of her answers in interviews, however, I think she has the skills, principles and values we need. The experience and knowledge will come. Plus, I just like watching her. I feel good when she speaks. Irrational as that may be, I like to "connect" with a person. I really hope she does well in the debates.

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