Thursday, 21 August 2008

Wake up America

Wake up America

McCain, Obama Issue Joint Statement Regarding Agreement For Presidential Debates

Posted: 21 Aug 2008 12:09 PM CDT

John McCain and Barack Obama have issued a joint statement on an agreement the two campaigns have come to about three presidential debates and one vice presidential debate, naming dates, locations and term agreements.
The debates will be sponsored by the Commission on Presidential Debates and both the Obama campaign and the McCain campaign have agreed to the terms and framework to be applied to each of the debates.

The John McCain website offers the joint statement which states, "The Barack Obama and John McCain campaigns have agreed to hold three presidential debates and one vice presidential debate in September and October sponsored by the Commission on Presidential Debates. The campaigns have come to the earliest agreement on presidential debates reached in any general election in recent history. This announcement reflects the presidential campaigns' agreement on dates, locations, and the formats for the fall debates. Campaign-appointed debate negotiators House Democratic Caucus Chairman Rahm Emanuel (D-IL) and Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) said they were pleased to have reached an early agreement to provide the American people with the opportunity to see and hear the candidates debate the critical issues facing the country. The two campaigns have accepted sponsorship of the debates by the Commission on Presidential Debates, subject to the debates being conducted under the terms of their agreement."

All the debates will last 90 minutes.

The first of the Presidential debates will be held on September 26, 2008, at the University of Mississippi and the topic of the debate will be "Foreign Policy & National Security".

It will be a podium debate and the moderator will be Jim Lehrer.

This first debate will broken into nine-minute segments, with the Lehrer introducing the topic and each candidate will have two minutes to comment. Then the moderator will open a 5 minute discussion, making sure each candidate gets equal time to comment.

The second Presidential debate will be held on October 7, 2008, at Belmont University.

It will be a town-hall style debate and the moderator will be Tom Brokaw.

The agreed framework for that debate will have the moderator calling on the audience to ask questions, some questions will come from the Internet as well, each candidate will have two minutes to answer the questions, then the candidates will each have one minute to respond to each of the answers given, assuring equal time be given to both candidates.

The third debate will be on October 15, 2008, at Hofstra University, and the topic will be "Domestic and Economic policy."

The candidates will be seated at a table for that debate and the moderator will be Bob Schieffer.

The framework agreed upon for that debate will be the same as for the first debate with the exception of both candidates having 90 seconds at the end for closing statements.

The fourth debate agreed to will be for the not as yet named vice presidential running mates and will be held on October 2, 2008, at Washington University in St. Louis.

The moderator for that debate will Gwen Ifill and the framework for that debate is to be determined after both presidential candidates have been chosen.

All four debates will begin at 9pm ET.

After the candidate's performances at Saddleback, I think John Mccain will do better at these debates because they will not have a teleprompter to read from and especially the town-hall style debate where the candidates have to answer questions from the audience.

These are the types of settings that John McCain does very well in and that Barack Obama doesn't.


H/T The Swamp.

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Rice in Baghdad: Security Agreement Drafted

Posted: 21 Aug 2008 11:15 AM CDT

Cross-posted by Maggie at Maggie's Notebook



Iraq and America near the conclusion of the long-awaited security agreement between the two countries with U.S. troop withdrawal and military "immunity" at the top of the list. U.S. Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice arrived in Baghdad today to tie-up lose ends.

On Wednesday night, American and Iraqi officials confirmed that negotiators from the U.S. and Iraq had finalized a draft agreement. Rice cautioned that her visit should not signal that a final agreement is ready, but rather that the negotiations "...have moved forward in a positive way." This agreement will be ready when it's ready," she said.

The historic pact is tasked with sobering details, including the withdrawal of American troops, an ongoing presence of U.S. troops in the country, "immunity" for American military, immunity for independent contractors, Iraq's troops taking a greater lead in combat missions, Iraq's role in America's military "authority" within the country, and measures to soothe the fears of surrounding Arab nations:

The International Herald Tribune says that Iraq's Prime Minister Hoshyar Zebari declined to confirm an actual timeline for U.S. troop withdrawal, but quotes Zebari as saying:

"Both sides have reached the conclusion that there is no need for any further negotiations," he said. "A draft agreement is there. It is now a political decision."

In contrast, according to MSNBC, the draft agreement includes "the withdrawal of American forces from Iraq's cities by next June 30 [2009]"

In addition to spelling out that U.S. troops would move out of Iraqi cities by next summer, the Iraqi government has pushed for a specific date — most likely the end of 2011 — by which all U.S. forces would depart the country. In the meantime, the U.S. troops would be positioned on bases in other parts of the country to make them less visible while still being able to assist Iraqi forces as needed.
Zebari was asked about the reactions of nearby countries to the agreement. Speaking in Arabic, he said:
...this decision (agreement) is a sovereign one and Iran and other neighboring countries have the right to ask for clarifications. ... There are clear articles (that) say that Iraq will not be used as a launching pad for any aggressive acts against neighboring countries and we already did clarify this.
Moqtada al-Sadr a controversial and militant cleric, railed against the pact, saying that Washington was trying to "twist Baghdad's arm to sign it."
Today, Condoleezza Rice, the occupation foreign secretary, arrived in Iraq to try to put pressure on the government of Iraq to accept terms dictated by the occupation to sign this ominous treaty," said a statement read out by Sadr political adviser Liwa Smeism at the cleric's office in Najaf.
Secretary Rice will also attempt to get Iraq's failed election law back on track to allow an October 1st "provincial vote. The legislation stalled over how to "run the oil-rich northern city of Kirkuk."

John McCain: Lobbyists are 'Birds Of Prey'

Posted: 21 Aug 2008 09:46 AM CDT

John McCain sat down with a The Politico reporter for a half hour after his town-hall style meeting and spoke about a variety of issues, one being lobbyist and earmarks, something he had been a longtime critic of. He called them "birds of prey".
A lobbyist is a person who tries to influence legislation on behalf of special interests. An earmark is legislation which provide funds to a specific special interest, usually that interest is in the home state of the politician which has been lobbied and has inserted the earmark into a bill.

John McCain has been a longtime critic of lobbyists and earmarks and in his career, first in U.S. House of Representatives where he served two terms, then in the U.S. Senate which he was elected as Senator of Arizona in 1986, easily winning reelection in 1992, 1998 and 2004.

In those years of his career, McCain has never met an earmark he liked and is one of the few politicians in Washington who has never earmarked what is called a pork-barrel project.

When he sat down with The Politico reporter, after a town-hall style meeting in New Mexico, right off the bat he made it clear he would not discuss his vice presidential pick and they describe him as clearly weary of the question.

What he did discuss was lobbyists and earmarks, making the comparison between himself and Barack Obama, pointing to the amount of money for earmarks Obama has asked for in his career, stating, "Senator Obama has asked for nearly a billion dollars in earmarked pork-barrel projects. And he rails against lobbyists? I've never taken a single one."

He also referred to lobbyists as "birds of prey".

McCain was asked about the lobbyists working for him and he asserts that anyone working in his administration would not be allowed to go back to lobbying and they would have to make a pledge agreeing to it.

He pointed to his own example to which he says, "I point out what my record is, which is one that has not won me Miss Congeniality over the years. People want change in America — we all know that — and very legitimately so."

The senator went so far as to say: "Lobbyists don't come to my office. Because they know they're not going to be an earmark. They know they're not going to get a pork-barrel project. Senator Obama's gotten lots of 'em.:"

McCain's plan for the strict admonition on future lobbying by White House aides is part of a policy he imposed on his campaign staff this spring after questions were raised about their past clients.


McCain maintains there are too many lobbyists in Washington and goes on to say they are "they are the symptom of a disease", declaring, "As long as you have earmarking and pork-barrel spending and bridges to nowhere and money for DNA of bears in Montana and museums and all that, then you're going to have lobbyists.

"So it's kind of entertaining to me to attack the lobbyists rather than the source of the problem, which is the earmark. They'd all be out of business – most of 'em would be out of business if we stopped pork-barrel and earmark spending."


Despite the daily rhetoric from both campaigns, The Politico article mentions lobbying and the Russia/Georgia conflict were the rare times in the interview that McCain mentioned Obama.

On the topic of Russia and Georgia and Obama's response to the situation when it occurred, McCain draws other comparisons and he states he doesn't question Obama's patriotism but he does question his judgment. McCain's states for the record, "I have, and continue to question his judgment, whether it be his initial reaction to the Russian invasion of Georgia, or whether it be his failure to acknowledge that the surge has succeeded, or his opposition to nuclear power, among others. So I question the judgment. I don't question the patriotism."


Another topic he spoke about was the recent book "Obama Nation" which hit number 1 on the New York Times' best seller list, and has unsubstantiated personal attacks against Barack Obama and questions his ties to Islam, with McCain saying he was not comfortable with that type of attack helping his campaign. He also points out that he had previously condemned similar lines of attack.

He was referring to the commercials used in other campaigns which invoked Obama's longtime Pastor Jeremiah Wright after video emerged of him making controversial comments in his sermons, which McCain denounced at the time.

John McCain did admit that he has not read the "Obama Nation" book, so he could not comment directly to the content nor denounce the book outright.

The Politico report states that McCain "Punted on several opportunities to whack Obama".

They refer to when he was asked if Hillary Clinton would make a better president than Obama, to which he answered, "I don't know, " and when asked if he felt the United States would be more vulnerable to a terrorist attack under a President Obama than it would be under a President McCain, he responded with, "I'm sure that if Senator Obama were president of the United States, if the American people chose him to be their president, that he would act as a president who would get my full and complete support."

Commentary:

John McCain did a good job in this interview as The Politico did. He is right, lobbyists are like vultures but if they did not have vulnerable and waek politicians that felt the need to bribe their constituents with special interest funding for their home states, then lobbyists wouldn't be what they are or be capable of what they do.

It is the corrupt politicians and the earmarks that are the problem. Politicians use those earmarks to buy their reelections and lobbyists simply lobby them because they understand that weakness and the corrupt nature of Washington.

I am glad McCain pointed out the massive amount of spending Obama has asked for in earmarks. For a man chanting the word "change" he seems more than willing to continue a practice that costs this country billions of dollars for pork that is generally inserted into must-pass bills.

McCain has walked the walk, for decades, on the high road on this topic and it is a point people need to be aware of.

I would disagree strongly with his not making it clear that we would be more vulnerable to terrorist attacks if Obama was elected because enemies seize on weakness and inexperience, which is all Obama has to offer.

I would also go as far as to say if the choices were only Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama, Clinton would be better equipped and stronger to protect this country than Obama is or ever could be.

The Democrats have chosen their weakest candidate, which is something it looks like the rest of the country is finally catching on to, if the recent variety of polls are any indicator.

McCain seems to be on his game now and people are starting to sit up and take notice.

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Hillary Clinton Will Have Her Own 'Whip Team' To Stop Any Anti-Obama Protests At DNCC

Posted: 20 Aug 2008 06:31 PM CDT

Hillary Clinton's staff has been assigned to create a "whip team" for the Democratic National Committee Convention later this month, The team is being created to stop any floor protests from Clinton supporters against Barack Obama.
In a very unusual move, Clinton's staff, organized by longtime Clinton staffer Craig Smith, has been asked to create a 40-member "whip team" to work along with Obama convention floor workers to prevent any "embarrassing" anti- Obama demonstrations during the time that Hillary Clinton will be on stage or during the state by state roll call vote which her name has been placed in nomination for.

As reported by The Politico's, The Crypt, a person involved with the planning says, "If people get down there on the floor and want to start blowing kazoos and making a scene we want to make sure we've got people who stand in front of them with Obama signs."

That person goes on to state, "Is it typical for a losing candidate to have their own whip team? No. But it's also not usual for a losing candidate to get 18 million votes either."

It was also reported that some Clinton staffers baulked at the idea of being forced to police their own supporters, but they wanted a floor pass which was hard to come by for Clinton supporters at a convention run by Barack Obama.

Kathleen Strand, a Clinton spokesperson asserts that the whip team will not be trying to convince anyone to vote for Hillary Clinton, but they would offer Hillary signs to those that ask.

This news along with the recent speculation about Clinton supporters and/or Clinton herself planning some sort of coup, certainly promises much entertainment if things do not go exactly as planned and if the diehard Clinton supporters have their way.

.One has to wonder if the news saying Obama wants to diminish the role and reduce the power of superdelegates by the 2012 election as Washington Post's, The Trail is reporting, he might have wanted to announce that after the convention when he no longer needs these superdelegates to vote for him.

Just saying.

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Part #2- Patterns, Trends and Polls: Obama Taking a Big Hit

Posted: 20 Aug 2008 06:01 PM CDT

There was a bit I didn't mention in the part one of this piece, namely the Politico piece and the Reuters piece, so consider this part #2 and Part #1 can be found here.

Polls are but a snapshot in time, but when a variety of polls start showing a trend, it begins to outline a pattern and Reuters reports the most recent poll while The Politico tracks the pattern of multiple polls, all showing Obama's declining numbers.
The Politico reports their findings as they track recent polls and finds Barack Obama taking a serious hit in a variety of polls from multiple polling organizations for a number of different reasons.

They start off by saying "John McCain has overtaken Barack Obama in the presidential race, according to a Reuters/Zogby poll released Wednesday morning."

The most recent Reuters/Zogby poll can be found here and the results are called a dramatic reversal over a previous poll conducted in July.

The previous July poll showed Barack Obama held a 7 percentage point lead over McCain and when Ralph Nader and Libertarian Bob Barr were added in, Obama held a ten point lead over McCain.

The August Reuters/Zogby Poll shows Obama has not only lost his 7 point lead over McCain individually, but has lost the 10 point lead in the four way race.

The August poll brings good tidings for John McCain, he now leads Obama by 5 points and keeps the same five point lead over Obama in the four way race with Nader and Barr included, which is a 12 point swing against Barack Obama when individually matched up with McCain and a 15 point swing against Obama in a four way race.

Between July and August Obama has lost 9 percentage points among Democrats, lost 8 points among women, lost 11 points among catholics, lost 12 points from people over 35, lost 11 points from college graduates, lost 11 points from those living in cities, lost 7 points from those with an income over $50,000 and lost 11 points from Southerners.

Reuters calls this a "sharp turnaround" and highlights the issue that most concerns likely voters is the economy and "McCain now has a 9-point edge, 49 percent to 40 percent, over Obama on the critical question of who would be the best manager of the economy."

The July poll had Obama up by four points last July on the same question about the economy.

"There is no doubt the campaign to discredit Obama is paying off for McCain right now," pollster John Zogby said. "This is a significant ebb for Obama."


The Politico takes it a step further and tracks other recent polls for a variety of polling organizations, which shows in some polls Obama still holds a slight lead, within the margin of error, but when compared with the same organization's previous polls on the same topic, Obama is showing a decline in numbers and support.

They point to a poll released yesterday, the Los Angeles Times/Bloomberg poll , which had Obama up, within the margin of error, by 2 percentage points, 45 percent to 43 percent and show the same poll in mid-June has Obama ahead by 12 points. A net loss of 10 points.

A more tepid shift was measured in another national poll taken Aug. 12-17 by Quinnipiac University. That survey had Obama leading 47 percent to 42 percent. However, the same poll in mid-July had Obama leading McCain 50 percent to 41 percent.

The Pew Research Center for the People & the Press found, in a poll taken July 31-Aug. 10, Obama was besting McCain by narrow lead of only 46 percent to 43 percent. Pew's mid-July polling had Obama ahead by 5 points. In late June, Pew had Obama ahead by 8 points, 48 percent to 40 percent.


In looking around I found other polls, such as CNN's polling of polls, which was written before the latest Reuters/Zogby Poll was released today, which showed Obama ahead by three, which they say has seen his lead cut in half in just one week.

According to Real Clear Politics state by state polling page, which lists the latest polls from multiple organizations for individual states, the same type pattern is emerging. Obama has gone from being well ahead of McCain to it being a neck-and-neck race to the finish line.

The good news for Obama is with him due to announce his presidential candidate within days and the Democratic convention being held next week, it is expected he should see some sort of "bounce" in the polls as the coverage focuses on the Democrats that week.

The bad news is reports say John McCain will announce his vice presidential pick on the 29th of August which is the day after the Democratic convention ends, which is the weekend before the Republican convention starts where McCain will then be expected to get the same type of "bounce".

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Does The Republican National Convention Lineup Of Speakers Give Hint To McCain's Veep Choice?

Posted: 20 Aug 2008 03:51 PM CDT

The speaker lineup is out and although there may be additional speakers it does help eliminate some of those names that have been floated and speculated on as John McCain's VP choice.

For example the first speaker on the first night of the Republican National Convention will be Joseph Lieberman, hence, it can be loosely assumed that Lieberman will not be the VP choice for McCain.

For his loyalty to McCain I could see Lieberman being offered a cabinet seat in a McCain administration.

The first night's speakers will be:

Monday, Sept. 1
Service

"Love of country, my friends, is another way of saying love of your fellow countryman."
--Sen. John McCain

John McCain's commitment to his fellow Americans, a commitment forged in service to his country, is one of the defining hallmarks of his life. Monday's events will highlight John McCain's record of service and sacrifice and reflect his commitment to serving a cause greater than one's own self-interest.
Speakers will include:

* U.S. Sen. Joseph Lieberman (Conn.)
* Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (Calif.)
* Vice President Richard B. Cheney
* First Lady Laura Bush
* President George W. Bush



So far so good, that should cause a sigh of relief from people that were concerned about McCain picking a pro-choice running mate.

Yesterday Fox News assured everyone that according to the RNC, the other pro-choice candidate that was being speculated about, Tom Ridge, was also out of the picture.

This seems to be confirmed by the second night's roster of speakers, where Ridge is slated to speak after Rudolph W. Giuliani and Mike Huckabee.

Generally those speaking on the second night are not called upon to be the running mate, although nothing is written in stone and McCain does like to be unpredictable.

Tuesday, Sept. 2
Reform

"If you find faults with our country, make it a better one. If you are disappointed with the mistakes of government, join its ranks and correct them."
--Sen. John McCain

John McCain's life is a testament to the fundamental truth that every American can be a force for change. A restless reformer who has dedicated his career to taking on special interests and the status quo, John McCain will deliver the right kind of change and reform to meet the great challenges of our time. On Tuesday, the convention program will underscore his vision of a government that is transparent, principled and worthy of the American people it serves.
Speakers will include:

* Former New York City Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani
* Former Gov. Mike Huckabee (Ark.)
* Former Gov. Tom Ridge (Pa.)
* Gov. Sarah Palin (Alaska)
* Gov. Jon Huntsman (Utah)
* Rosario Marin, California Secretary of the State and Consumer Services Agency and former Treasurer of the United States
* Former U.S. Sen. Fred Thompson (Tenn.)
* Gov. Linda Lingle (Hawaii)
* Former Lt. Gov. Michael Steele (Md.)



Which brings us to other names that have been floated, Mitt Romney, Carly Fiorina and Bobby Jindal...all for which are slated to speak on the third night.

Wednesday, Sept. 3
Prosperity

"America's best days are still to come."
--Sen. John McCain

The American story is one of perseverance. Even in the face of tough times, the ingenuity and spirit of the American people has ushered in a new era of prosperity. Wednesday's program will focus on John McCain's plans to get our economy back on track and continue our long tradition of meeting the challenges we face and using our prosperity to help others. The day will conclude with an address by the vice presidential nominee.
Speakers will include:

* U.S. Sen. Norm Coleman (Minn.)
* Meg Whitman, National Co-Chair for McCain 2008 and former President and CEO of eBay
* Carly Fiorina, Victory '08 Chairman for the Republican National Committee and former Chairman and CEO of Hewlett-Packard Co.
* Former Gov. Mitt Romney (Mass.)
* Mrs. Cindy McCain
* Gov. Bobby Jindal (La.)
* Republican Party's Vice Presidential Nominee



Which leaves the fourth and final night, the night where John McCain will give his acceptance speech and where you would expect the VP choice to be on the list somewhere......hmmmm..... maybe as the first speaker of the fourth night?

Which happens to be.....Gov. Tim Pawlenty (Minn.)

Does this mean Pawlenty is the choice...no...but he sure could be.

Fourth night's line up is:

Thursday, Sept. 4
Peace

"Our next president will have a mandate to build an enduring global peace on the foundations of freedom, security, opportunity, prosperity, and hope."
--Sen. John McCain

John McCain understands the challenges that America faces in the world and the sacrifice necessary to defend our freedom in a way that few others can fathom. Thursday's events will reflect his vision of an America in pursuit of peace and seen as a beacon of goodwill and hope throughout the world. The evening will close with John McCain accepting the Republican Party's nomination for the Presidency of the United States.
Speakers will include:

* Gov. Tim Pawlenty (Minn.)
* Gov. Charlie Crist (Fla.)
* U.S. Sen. Sam Brownback (Kan.)
* U.S. Sen. Mel Martinez (Fla.)
* John McCain



Would they start night four with the vice presidential pick and end it with the presidential pick?

Maybe, maybe not... but it bears noting that some wonder about names not on the isn't, such as Rob Portman and as the American Spectator points out, Portman happens to live close to the Dayton, Ohio rally at which McCain is expected to announce his choice next Friday. They also float two other names, which are Fred Smith and Eric Cantor.

Names will still be added, the RNC announcement made that clear.

It is starting to look like it is between Pawlenty and Portman, then again, it could all be a mind game to keep the speculation running high.

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No comments:

Conflict: The Power of Propaganda trailer

If Mr. Carter had stuck to Habitat for Humanity instead of Inaccurate Boloney, we could admire him and I did. He has lost all credibility due to his ignorance of the truth in the Middle East. What a sad legacy to leave! Some have said that he has consumed too many bad peanuts and it has affected his brain making him nuttier in his old age.

Blacks Held Back - Dr. Walter E Williams

THE NEW GAME: POWER CLING !!!

Obama learned his lesson well


"Obama learned his lesson well. I am proud to see that my father's model for organizing is being applied successfully beyond local community organizing to affect the Democratic campaign in 2008. It is a fine tribute to Saul Alinsky as we approach his 100th birthday." --Letter from L. DAVID ALINSKY, son of Neo-Marxist Saul Alinsky


Hillary, Obama and the Cult of Alinsky: "True revolutionaries do not flaunt their radicalism, Alinsky taught. They cut their hair, put on suits and infiltrate the system from within. Alinsky viewed revolution as a slow, patient process. The trick was to penetrate existing institutions such as churches, unions and political parties....

"One Alinsky benefactor was Wall Street investment banker Eugene Meyer, who served as Chairman of the Federal Reserve from 1930 to 1933. Meyer and his wife Agnes co-owned The Washington Post. They used their newspaper to promote Alinsky....Her series, called 'The Orderly Revolution', made Alinsky famous....

"Alinsky’s crowning achievement was his recruitment of a young high school student named Hillary Rodham. She met Alinsky through a radical church group. Hillary wrote an analysis of Alinsky’s methods for her senior thesis at Wellesley College. ...

"Many leftists view Hillary as a sell-out because she claims to hold moderate views on some issues. However, Hillary is simply following Alinsky’s counsel to do and say whatever it takes to gain power.

"Barack Obama is also an Alinskyite.... Obama spent years teaching workshops on the Alinsky method. In 1985 he began a four-year stint as a community organizer in Chicago, working for an Alinskyite group called the Developing Communities Project.... Camouflage is key to Alinsky-style organizing. While trying to build coalitions of black churches in Chicago, Obama caught flak for not attending church himself. He became an instant churchgoer." [by Richard Poe, 11-27-07] See also Community Oriented Policing


Quote from Saul Alinsky's Book "Rules for Radicals"

In this book we are concerned with how to create mass organizations to seize power and give it to the people; to realize the democratic dream of equality, justice, peace.... "Better to die on your feet than to live on your knees.' This means revolution." p.3

"Radicals must be resilient, adaptable to shifting political circumstances, and sensitive enough to the process of action and reaction to avoid being trapped by their own tactics and forced to travel a road not of their choosing." p.6

"A Marxist begins with his prime truth that all evils are caused by the exploitation of the proletariat by the capitalists. From this he logically proceeds to the revolution to end capitalism, then into the third stage of reorganization into a new social order of the dictatorship of the proletariat, and finally the last stage -- the political paradise of communism." p.10

The one thing he did not learn is the passion of FREE people to be free! - Press4TRuth

Saul Alinsky - Mentor of Obama

WorldNetDaily

War on Gaza. Whoops!

What Obama DOES NOT Know Can Hurt Us


The Financial Post today carried the following article by Alex Epstein that pretty well sums up the problem with a president with NO economic or business experience.

Obama doesn’t get roots of crisis
Posted: April 07, 2009, 7:04 PM by NP Editor
By Alex Epstein

Barack Obama rightly stresses that we first must understand how today’s problems emerged. It is “only by understanding how we arrived at this moment that we’ll be able to lift ourselves out of this predicament.”
Unfortunately, Obama (along with most of the Washington establishment) has created only misunderstanding. In calling for a massive increase in government control over the economy, he has evaded the mountain of evidence implicating the government. For example, Obama’s core explanation of all the destructive behaviour leading up to today’s crisis is that the market was too free. But the market that led to today’s crisis was systematically manipulated by government.
Fact This decade saw drastic attempts by the government to control the housing and financial markets — via a Federal Reserve that cut interest rates to all-time lows and via a gigantic increase in Fannie Mae’s and Freddie Mac’s size and influence.
Fact Through these entities, the government sought to “stimulate the economy” and promote home ownership (sound familiar?) by artificially extending cheap credit to home-buyers.
Fact Most of the (very few) economists who actually predicted the financial crisis blame Fed policy or housing policy for inflating a bubble that was bound to collapse.
How does all this evidence factor into Obama’s understanding of “how we arrived at this moment”? It doesn’t. Not once, during the solemn 52 minutes and 5,902 words of his speech to Congress did he mention the Fed, Fannie or Freddie. Not once did he suggest that government manipulation of markets could have any possible role in the present crisis. He just went full steam ahead and called for more spending, more intervention and more government housing programs as the solution.
A genuine explanation of the financial crisis must take into account all the facts. What role did the Fed play? What about Fannie and Freddie? To be sure, some companies and CEOs seem to have made irrational business decisions. Was the primary cause “greed,” as so many claim — and what does this even mean? Or was the primary cause government intervention — like artificially low interest rates, which distorted economic decision-making and encouraged less competent and more reckless companies and CEOs while marginalizing and paralyzing the more competent ones?
Entertaining such questions would also mean considering the idea that the fundamental solution to our problems is to disentangle the government from the markets to prevent future manipulation. It would mean considering pro-free-market remedies such as letting banks foreclose, letting prices reach market levels, letting bad banks fail, dismantling Fannie and Freddie, ending bailout promises and getting rid of the Fed’s power to manipulate interest rates.
But it is not genuine understanding the administration seeks. For it, the wisdom and necessity of previous government intervention is self-evident; no matter the contrary evidence, the crisis can only have been caused by insufficient government intervention. Besides, the administration is too busy following Obama’s chief of staff’s dictum, “Never let a serious crisis go to waste,” by proposing a virtual takeover of not only financial markets but also the problem-riddled energy and health-care markets — which, they conveniently ignore, are also already among the most government-controlled in the economy.
While Obama has not sought a real explanation of today’s economic problems, the public should. Otherwise, we will simply swallow “solutions” that dogmatically assume the free market got us here — namely, Obama’s plans to swamp this country in an ocean of government debt, government controls and government make-work projects.
Alternative, free-market explanations for the crisis do exist — ones that consider the inconvenient facts Washington ignores — and everyone should seek to understand them. Those who do will likely end up telling our leaders to stop saying “Yes, we can” to each new proposal for expanding government power, and start saying “Yes, you can” to those who seek to exercise their right to produce and trade on a free market.
Financial Post
Alex Epstein is an analyst at the Ayn Rand Center for Individual Rights.

Deciphering Obama in Cairo


Deciphering Obama in Cairo

Center for Security Policy | Jun 05, 2009
By Frank Gaffney, Jr.

By and large, President Obama's address yesterday in Cairo has been well received in both the so-called "Muslim world" and by other audiences. Nobody may be happier with it, though, than the Muslim Brotherhood - the global organization that seeks to impose authoritative Islam's theo-political-legal program known as "Shariah" through stealthy means where violence ones are not practicable. Egyptian Muslim Brothers were prominent among the guests in the audience at Cairo University and Brotherhood-associated organizations in America, like the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR), have rapturously endorsed the speech.

The Brotherhood has ample reason for its delight. Accordingly, Americans who love freedom - whether or not they recognize the threat Shariah represents to it - have abundant cause for concern about "The Speech," and what it portends for U.S. policy and interests.

Right out of the box, Mr. Obama mischaracterized what is causing a "time of tension between the United States and Muslims around the world." He attributed the problem first and foremost to "violent extremists [who] have exploited these tensions in a small but potent minority of Muslims." The President never mentioned - not even once - a central reality: The minority in question, including the Muslim Brotherhood, subscribes to the authoritative writings, teachings, traditions and institutions of their faith, namely Shariah. It is the fact that their practice is thus grounded that makes them, whatever their numbers (the exact percentage is a matter of considerable debate), to use Mr. Obama euphemistic term, "potent."

Instead, the President's address characterized the problem as a "cycle of suspicion and discord," a turn of phrase redolent of the moral equivalence so evident in the Mideast peace process with it "cycle of violence." There was not one reference to terrorism, let alone Islamic terrorism. Indeed, any connection between the two is treated as evidence of some popular delusion. "The attacks of September 11, 2001 and the continued efforts of these extremists to engage in violence against civilians has led some in my country to view Islam as inevitably hostile not only to America and Western countries, but also to human rights. This has bred more fear and mistrust."

Then there was this uplifting, but ultimately meaningless, blather: "So long as our relationship is defined by our differences, we will empower those who sow hatred rather than peace, and who promote conflict rather than the cooperation that can help all of our people achieve justice and prosperity."

More often than not, the President portrayed Muslims as the Brotherhood always does: as victims of crimes perpetrated by the West against them - from colonialism to manipulation by Cold War superpowers to the menace of "modernity and globalization that led many Muslims to view the West as hostile to the traditions of Islam." Again, no mention of the hostility towards the infidel West ingrained in "the traditions of Islam." This fits with the meme of the Shariah-adherent, but not the facts.

Here's the irony: Even as President Obama professed his determination to "speak the truth," he perpetrated a fraud. He falsely portrayed what amounts to authoritative Islam, namely Shariah Islam, as something that is "not exclusive," that "overlaps" and "need not be in competition" with "America. Actually, Shariah is, by its very nature, a program that obliges its adherents to demand submission of all others, Muslims (especially secular and apostate ones) and non-Muslims, alike.

This exclusiveness (read, Islamic supremacism) applies most especially with respect to democratic nations like America, nations founded in the alternative and highly competitive belief that men, not God, should make laws. Ditto nations that stand in the way of the establishment of the Caliphate, the global theocracy that Shariah dictates must impose its medieval agenda worldwide. In practice, Shariah is the very antithesis of Mr. Obama's stated goal of "progress; tolerance and the dignity of all human beings." Its "justice" can only be considered by civilized societies to be a kind of codified barbarism.

At least as troubling are what amount to instances of presidential dawa, the Arabic term for Islamic proselytization. For example, Mr. Obama referred four times in his speech to "the Holy Koran." It seems unimaginable that he ever would ever use the adjective to describe the Bible or the Book of Mormon.

Then, the man now happy to call himself Barack Hussein Obama (in contrast to his attitude during the campaign) boasts of having "known Islam on three continents before coming to the region where it was first revealed." An interesting choice of words that, "first revealed." Not "established," "founded" or "invented." The President is, after all, a careful writer, so he must have deliberately eschewed verbs that reflect man's role, in favor of the theological version of events promoted by Islam. Thus, Mr. Obama has gone beyond the kind of "respectful language" he has pledged to use towards Islam. He is employing what amounts to code - bespeaking the kind of submissive attitude Islam demands of all, believers and non-believers alike.

Elsewhere in the speech, Mr. Obama actually declared that "I consider it part of my responsibility as President of the United States to fight against negative stereotypes of Islam wherever they appear." Note that, although he referred in the context of the Israeli-Palestinian-Arab conflict to "vile stereotypes" of Jews, he did not describe it as "part of his responsibility as President" to counter anti-Semitic representations.

Unremarked was the fact that such incitement is daily fare served up by the state media controlled by his host in Egypt, President Hosni Mubarak, by the Palestinian Authority's Mahmoud Abbas and by every other despot in the region with whom Mr. Obama seeks to "engage." Worse yet, no mention was made of the fact that some of those "vile stereotypes" - notably, that Jews are "descendants of apes and pigs" - are to be found in "the Holy Koran," itself.

Perhaps the most stunning bit of dawa of all was a phrase the President employed that, on its face, denies the divinity of Jesus - something surprising from a self-described committed Christian. In connection with his discussion of the "situation between Israelis, Palestinians and Arabs," Mr. Obama said, "...When Jerusalem is a secure and lasting home for Jews and Christians and Muslims, and a place for all of the children of Abraham to mingle peacefully together as in the story of Isra, when Moses, Jesus, and Mohammed (peace be upon them) joined in prayer."

Muslims use the term "peace be upon them" to ask for blessings on deceased holy men. In other words, its use construes all three in the way Islam does - as dead prophets - a treatment wholly at odds with the teachings of Christianity which, of course, holds Jesus as the immortal Son of God.

If Mr. Obama were genuinely ignorant about Islam, such a statement might be ascribed to nothing more than a sop to "interfaith dialogue." For a man who now pridefully boasts of his intimate familiarity with Muslims and their faith, it raises troubling questions about his own religious beliefs. At the very least, it conveys a strongly discordant message to "the Muslim world" about a fundamental tenet of the faith he professes.

Finally, what are we to make of Mr. Obama statements about America and Islam? Since he took office, the President has engaged repeatedly in the sort of hyping of Muslims and their role in the United States that is standard Muslim Brotherhood fare. In his inaugural address, he described our nation as one of "Christians, Muslims and Jews." Shortly thereafter, he further reversed the demographic ordering of these populations by size in his first broadcast interview (with the Saudi-owned al-Arabiya network), calling America a country of "Muslims, Christians and Jews."

Yesterday in Cairo, the President declared that "Islam has always been a part of America's story." Now, to be sure, Muslims, like peoples of other faiths, have made contributions to U.S. history. But they have generally done so in the same way others have, namely as Americans - not as some separate community, but as part of the "E pluribus unum" (out of many, one) that Mr. Obama properly extolled in The Speech.

Unfortunately, a pattern is being established whereby President Obama routinely exaggerates the Muslim character of America. For example, at Cairo University, he claimed there are nearly seven million Muslims in this country - a falsehood promoted by the Muslim Brotherhood and its friends - when the actual number is well-less than half that. Shortly before The Speech, in an interview with a French network, Mr. Obama said, "If you actually took the number of Muslims Americans, we'd be one of the largest Muslim countries in the world."

Incredible as these statements may seem, even more astounding is their implication for those who adhere to Shariah. The President's remarks about America as a Muslim nation would give rise to its treatment by them as part of dar al-Islam, the world of Islam, as opposed to dar al-harb (i.e., the non-Muslim world).

Were the former to be the case, Shariah requires faithful Muslims to rid the United States of infidel control or occupation. And we know from last year's successful prosecution of the Holy Land Foundation - a so-called "charity" engaged in money-laundering for one of the Muslim Brotherhood's terrorist operations, Hamas - that such an agenda tracks precisely with the Brothers' mission here: "To destroy Western civilization from within America, by its own miserable hand."

This reality makes one of Mr. Obama's promises in Cairo especially chilling. Near the end of his address, the President expressed concern that religious freedom in the United States was being impinged by "rules on charitable giving [that] have made it harder for Muslims to fulfill their religious obligation." He went on to pledge: "That is why I am committed to working with American Muslims to ensure that they can fulfill zakat."

Let us be clear: Muslim charities have run into difficulty with "the rules" because they have been convicted in federal court of using the Muslim obligation to perform zakat (tithing to charity) to funnel money to terrorists. At this writing, it is unclear precisely what Mr. Obama has in mind with respect to this commitment to "ensure [Muslims] can fulfill zakat." But you can bet that the Brotherhood will try to translate it into the release of their imprisoned operatives and new latitude to raise money for their Shariah-promoting, and therefore seditious, activities in America.

I could go on, but you get the point. The Speech contained a number of statements about the laudable qualities of America, the need for freedom in the Muslim world, about women's rights and the desirability of peace. But its preponderant and much more important message was one that could have been crafted by the Muslim Brotherhood: America has a president who is, wittingly or not, advancing the Brotherhood's agenda of masking the true nature of Shariah and encouraging the West's submission to it.

Frank J. Gaffney, Jr. is President of the Center for Security Policy in Washington. An abbreviated version of this article appeared in Newsmax, June 5, 2009.

OBAMA for CHANGE ??? A Stimulating Thought !!!

[As you will see below, even Jackie Mason doesn't think this is funny!] Rahm Emanuel's statement in November, "Never let a serious crisis go to waste. What I mean by that is it's an opportunity to do things you couldn't do before."

Well now we have the proof. I said it before Mr. Obama was elected. The ONLY change that Obama expects to bring to Washington is him in the white house!

Now we have the proof. This "STIMULUS" bill is anything BUT stimulating! Apparently hundreds of phone calls against the bill are coming into government offices. But the government of the people, by the people and for the people has now become the government OVER the people, right by the people and FOR the democratic party in government!

Didn't Mr. Obama say that he wanted to CHANGE the way Washington worked? Ha, well now we know how.

So Mr. Obama has brought CHANGE TO AMERICA... yes CHANGE AS TO WHO GETS THE PORK. - His soundbytes about there being NO PORK in the bill are absolute blatant lies.

The letters and calls to the congress were 100:1 AGAINST this package but that did not thwart the courageous congress from paying back all their supporters AGAINST the will of the people!

However it was that unofficial third party in the U.S. called the left-wing socialist media combined with the fairy-tale elite in Hollywood. who actually elected Mr. Obama.

The so-called "stimulus" bill just passed in the U.S. will stimulate that famous employer, the National Association for the Endowment for the Arts, build Milwaukee schools when 15 are empty with declining enrolment and so on.

It is complete PORK. There may be a few million of the billions here and there which might actually do a little but the stock market tells all as they have been in freefall as the "package" made it's way through the congress.

Yes is it payback time as the hog trough package goes out to all the supporters which the Democrats did not have the power to reward previously.

What Mr. Obama came to the Whitehouse to change was ONE THING ... WHO GET'S THE PORK?

The bill is full of nothing but spending to reward those who elected Mr. Obama and his "Democratic" presidential guards and very little to help the average worker at all.

It is a sad time when telling blatant lies and rewarding those who support you are more important than actually helping people cope with this deep recession.

So much for the country of Abraham Lincoln and a country which was "of the people, by the people, for the people". Unless of course those people are Democratic suckies.

If even comedian Jackie Mason sees this, there perhaps is hope for the American people somewhere.

Obama's Plan for Change

Research Suggests That GOVERNMENT STIMULUS SPENDING May Worsen Situation

Terence Corcoran reports in the National Post on Friday, January 16, 2009 that the STIMULUS everyone is yelling for may only work over a short period and may actually MAKE THE ECONOMY WORSE over longer periods.

See original article here.


WHO SAYS A STIMULUS ACTUALLY STIMULATES?

or is it simply temporary VIAGRA for the ECONOMY?

POINTS from article above ...

-"Except for one problem: What if it's not true? What if, as a wide and growing school of economists now suspect, the government spending and stimulus theory is a crock that is shovel-ready to be heaved out into the barnyard of economic waste?

- "What if, as a wide and growing school of economists now suspect, the government spending and stimulus theory is a crock that is shovel-ready to be heaved out into the barnyard of economic waste?"

- Even disciples of Keynes, such as Harvard's Greg Mankiw, recently highlighted economic studies that show government spending binges -- shocks, they are sometimes called -- don't seem to help the economy grow. They might even make it worse.

-One of the studies cited by Mr. Mankiw was by two European economists (Andrew Mountford and Harald Uhlig), titled "What are the Effects of Fiscal Shocks?" It looked at big deficit-financed spending increases and found that they stimulate the economy for the first year, but "only weakly" compared with a deficit financed tax cut. The overriding problem is that the deficits crowd out private investment and, over the long run, may make the economy worse. "The resulting higher debt burdens may have long-term consequences which are far worse than the short-term increase in GDP."

-A paper by two economists, including the current chief economist at the International Monetary Fund, Olivier Blanchard, concluded that increased taxes and "increases in government spending have a strong negative effect on private investment spending."

-Roberto Perotti, an Italian economist with links to Columbia University, in "Estimating the Effects of Fiscal Policy in OECD Countries," found nothing but bad news for Keynesians. Economic growth is little changed after big increases in government spending, but there are signs of weakening private investment.

- What we all might logically intuit to be true -- spend government money, especially borrowed money, and you stimulate growth -- has long been thought to be a fallacy by some economists. That thought is now spreading. British economist William Buiter said the massive Obama fiscal stimulus proposals "are afflicted by the Keynesian fallacy on steroids."

Except for one problem: What if it's not true? What if, as a wide and growing school of economists now suspect, the government spending and stimulus theory is a crock that is shovel-ready to be heaved out into the barnyard of economic waste?

The Prime Minister, in his comments on Friday, seemed to be riding right into the barnyard. He said the government would be simply "borrowing money that is not being used" and "that business is afraid to invest." By borrowing that money, and turning it over to all the groups and interests looking for part of the stimulus spending, he would be jump-starting activity while the private sector got its legs back.

Even disciples of Keynes, such as Harvard's Greg Mankiw, recently highlighted economic studies that show government spending binges -- shocks, they are sometimes called -- don't seem to help the economy grow. They might even make it worse.

One of the studies cited by Mr. Mankiw was by two European economists (Andrew Mountford and Harald Uhlig), titled "What are the Effects of Fiscal Shocks?" It looked at big deficit-financed spending increases and found that they stimulate the economy for the first year, but "only weakly" compared with a deficit financed tax cut. The overriding problem is that the deficits crowd out private investment and, over the long run, may make the economy worse. "The resulting higher debt burdens may have long-term consequences which are far worse than the short-term increase in GDP."

Two other studies point in the same direction. A paper by two economists, including the current chief economist at the International Monetary Fund, Olivier Blanchard, concluded that increased taxes and "increases in government spending have a strong negative effect on private investment spending."

Roberto Perotti, an Italian economist with links to Columbia University, in "Estimating the Effects of Fiscal Policy in OECD Countries," found nothing but bad news for Keynesians. Economic growth is little changed after big increases in government spending, but there are signs of weakening private investment.

What we all might logically intuit to be true -- spend government money, especially borrowed money, and you stimulate growth -- has long been thought to be a fallacy by some economists. That thought is now spreading. British economist William Buiter said the massive Obama fiscal stimulus proposals "are afflicted by the Keynesian fallacy on steroids."

Over at Stimulus Canada, Mr. Harper's plan looks somewhat more modest and Canada is not in the same fiscal fix as the United States. But Ottawa and the provinces are clearly ready to borrow big wads of money from the future to stimulate the economy today. It's money that is supposedly sitting out there in the timid hands of investors who will be repaid with tax dollars later.

But if that stimulus spending does not generate much fresh economic growth, and the borrowing chews up money that private investors could invest in the future, the shovel-ready brigades who get the cash today will produce only short term gains at the expense of the long term health of the economy.

[Doesn't it make you wonder when nobody seems to know what to do but some of the advice of the best researchers suggests that a STIMULUS may actually HARM the economy? Some economic researchers point to FDR and the Great Depression and suggest that FDR actually INCREASED the length of the depression. He was obviously and encourager and inspired hope which is an important factor as we see when the markets fall like bricks. But did his fiscal policy actually make it longer?]

The Stimulus Package

FDR POLICIES Prolonged Depression

FDR's policies prolonged Depression by 7 years, UCLA economists calculate

Two UCLA economists say they have figured out why the Great Depression dragged on for almost 15 years, and they blame a suspect previously thought to be beyond reproach: President Franklin D. Roosevelt.

After scrutinizing Roosevelt's record for four years, Harold L. Cole and Lee E. Ohanian conclude in a new study that New Deal policies signed into law 71 years ago thwarted economic recovery for seven long years.

"Why the Great Depression lasted so long has always been a great mystery, and because we never really knew the reason, we have always worried whether we would have another 10- to 15-year economic slump," said Ohanian, vice chair of UCLA's Department of Economics. "We found that a relapse isn't likely unless lawmakers gum up a recovery with ill-conceived stimulus policies."

In an article in the August issue of the Journal of Political Economy, Ohanian and Cole blame specific anti-competition and pro-labor measures that Roosevelt promoted and signed into law June 16, 1933.

"President Roosevelt believed that excessive competition was responsible for the Depression by reducing prices and wages, and by extension reducing employment and demand for goods and services," said Cole, also a UCLA professor of economics. "So he came up with a recovery package that would be unimaginable today, allowing businesses in every industry to collude without the threat of antitrust prosecution and workers to demand salaries about 25 percent above where they ought to have been, given market forces. The economy was poised for a beautiful recovery, but that recovery was stalled by these misguided policies."

Using data collected in 1929 by the Conference Board and the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Cole and Ohanian were able to establish average wages and prices across a range of industries just prior to the Depression. By adjusting for annual increases in productivity, they were able to use the 1929 benchmark to figure out what prices and wages would have been during every year of the Depression had Roosevelt's policies not gone into effect. They then compared those figures with actual prices and wages as reflected in the Conference Board data.

In the three years following the implementation of Roosevelt's policies, wages in 11 key industries averaged 25 percent higher than they otherwise would have done, the economists calculate. But unemployment was also 25 percent higher than it should have been, given gains in productivity.

Meanwhile, prices across 19 industries averaged 23 percent above where they should have been, given the state of the economy. With goods and services that much harder for consumers to afford, demand stalled and the gross national product floundered at 27 percent below where it otherwise might have been.

"High wages and high prices in an economic slump run contrary to everything we know about market forces in economic downturns," Ohanian said. "As we've seen in the past several years, salaries and prices fall when unemployment is high. By artificially inflating both, the New Deal policies short-circuited the market's self-correcting forces."

The policies were contained in the National Industrial Recovery Act (NIRA), which exempted industries from antitrust prosecution if they agreed to enter into collective bargaining agreements that significantly raised wages. Because protection from antitrust prosecution all but ensured higher prices for goods and services, a wide range of industries took the bait, Cole and Ohanian found. By 1934 more than 500 industries, which accounted for nearly 80 percent of private, non-agricultural employment, had entered into the collective bargaining agreements called for under NIRA.

Cole and Ohanian calculate that NIRA and its aftermath account for 60 percent of the weak recovery. Without the policies, they contend that the Depression would have ended in 1936 instead of the year when they believe the slump actually ended: 1943.

Roosevelt's role in lifting the nation out of the Great Depression has been so revered that Time magazine readers cited it in 1999 when naming him the 20th century's second-most influential figure.

"This is exciting and valuable research," said Robert E. Lucas Jr., the 1995 Nobel Laureate in economics, and the John Dewey Distinguished Service Professor of Economics at the University of Chicago. "The prevention and cure of depressions is a central mission of macroeconomics, and if we can't understand what happened in the 1930s, how can we be sure it won't happen again?"

NIRA's role in prolonging the Depression has not been more closely scrutinized because the Supreme Court declared the act unconstitutional within two years of its passage.

"Historians have assumed that the policies didn't have an impact because they were too short-lived, but the proof is in the pudding," Ohanian said. "We show that they really did artificially inflate wages and prices."

Even after being deemed unconstitutional, Roosevelt's anti-competition policies persisted — albeit under a different guise, the scholars found. Ohanian and Cole painstakingly documented the extent to which the Roosevelt administration looked the other way as industries once protected by NIRA continued to engage in price-fixing practices for four more years.

The number of antitrust cases brought by the Department of Justice fell from an average of 12.5 cases per year during the 1920s to an average of 6.5 cases per year from 1935 to 1938, the scholars found. Collusion had become so widespread that one Department of Interior official complained of receiving identical bids from a protected industry (steel) on 257 different occasions between mid-1935 and mid-1936. The bids were not only identical but also 50 percent higher than foreign steel prices. Without competition, wholesale prices remained inflated, averaging 14 percent higher than they would have been without the troublesome practices, the UCLA economists calculate.

NIRA's labor provisions, meanwhile, were strengthened in the National Relations Act, signed into law in 1935. As union membership doubled, so did labor's bargaining power, rising from 14 million strike days in 1936 to about 28 million in 1937. By 1939 wages in protected industries remained 24 percent to 33 percent above where they should have been, based on 1929 figures, Cole and Ohanian calculate. Unemployment persisted. By 1939 the U.S. unemployment rate was 17.2 percent, down somewhat from its 1933 peak of 24.9 percent but still remarkably high. By comparison, in May 2003, the unemployment rate of 6.1 percent was the highest in nine years.

Recovery came only after the Department of Justice dramatically stepped enforcement of antitrust cases nearly four-fold and organized labor suffered a string of setbacks, the economists found.

"The fact that the Depression dragged on for years convinced generations of economists and policy-makers that capitalism could not be trusted to recover from depressions and that significant government intervention was required to achieve good outcomes," Cole said. "Ironically, our work shows that the recovery would have been very rapid had the government not intervened."

-UCLA-

http://newsroom.ucla.edu/portal/ucla/FDR-s-Policies-Prolonged-Depression-5409.aspx?RelNum=5409

LSMS368


AIG & Taxes & Free Enterprise

Mr Obama: Please Prove You ARE Non-Partisan

Mr. Obama will now have to prove he is non-partisan.

Editor: If he makes the mistake of believing that he is only the President of the 52% of the population that elected him and of the far-left liberal democrats, and tries to enact laws which the 46% who voted for McCain vehementally oppose, he will create more partisanship than has ever occurred before.

Now is his test. Will he leave failed socialistic policies like the War on Poverty and the Great Society behind, or will he make the same mistakes as his liberal precessors?

So now is the time for Mr. Obama to shine, but shine on the right as well as the left. Shine on the almost half the United States which are part of red states and red counties in blue states. He will become president of both and to be inclusive as an agent of change, he must govern in the best interests of middle America.

This article from the NP reflects some of that concern:

Sharing wealth will drain it

Obamanomics a drag on growth

Jacqueline Thorpe, National Post Published: Thursday, November 06, 2008

As the fervour fades, the world will have to get used to a new word: Obamanomics.

It means tax hikes for the rich, tax cuts for the poor and middle class, a promise to renegotiate NAFTA, greater union power, windfall taxes on oil and gas profits, higher taxes on capital gains and corporate dividends and more comprehensive health care coverage.

Barack Obama's economic plan may deliver the greater income equality Americans have apparently been craving, but also slower growth. Despite the vast tax hikes, it will cost a vast sum and U. S. federal finances, already ravaged by bailouts and recession, will slide deeper into the red.

The plan is not market-friendly but that does not mean the markets will not like an Obama presidency. If he can give the U. S. back its confidence, restore its reputation and sense of optimism, markets will take the bait as they have done with Democratic presidents so often in the past.

If he can become a Clintonstyle pragmatist, resist caving to every whim of a deeply left Congress, and not meddle with the bailouts that seem to be gingerly gaining traction, markets might even run with his presidency. The year from hell for investors could then be nearing an end.

Obamanomics is essentially about taking more money from the rich and giving it to the poor, plain old-fashioned "neighbourliness" as Mr. Obama has described it.

-

Or, as others have remarked, taking money from those who earn it and giving it to those who don't.

Under his income tax plan, Mr. Obama says he will provide tax cuts for 95% of Americans. He will do this by repealing Bush tax cuts -- set to expire in 2010 -- and bumping the top rates back to 36% from 33% and to 39.6% from 35%. Individuals earning over US$200,000 and families over US$250,000 will see sizable tax increases. This includes sole proprietors of businesses such as lawyers, accountants or plumbers called Joe.

Since 38% of Americans currently do not pay federal income taxes, Mr. Obama will provide them with refundable tax credits. Under his plan, 48% of Americans will pay no income tax.

"For the people that don't pay taxes, he is simply going to write them a cheque," says Andy Busch, global foreign exchange strategist at BMO Capital Markets. "That is income redistribution at its worst and produces very little value."

Other plans include raising taxes on capital gains and dividends to 20% from 15% for families earning more than US$250,000. He plans to leave the corporate tax rate at 35%, which in a world of rapidly falling rates, looks positively anti-business. He will introduce windfall taxes on oil and gas companies but offer US$4-billion in credits to U. S. auto-makers to retool to greener cars.

Much has been made of Mr. Obama's plan to renegotiate NAFTA to make it more labour-friendly, though no one seems to believe he will actually make it more protectionist.

The bottom line is this: Obama's economic plan is likely to be a drag on growth and it will cost money. The nonpartisan Tax Policy Center estimates Obama's program would add US$3.5-trillion to U. S. debt over the next 10 years, including interest. His plans for health care-- which may be delayed by financial necessity -- would tack on another US$1.6-trillion.

Read more here.

Obama - Who Are You?

Obama Sued by Democrat to Produce Birth Certificate Obama's Birth Certificate MUST SEE VIDEO Philip Berg, a DEMOCRAT is the man who is suing Barack Obama to hand over his Birth Certificate. The video below gives his Credentials and the Mr. Berg lays out his case in Berg v. Obama, and explains why it is important for the case to be resolved quickly. In his argumentation, Mr. Berg points out that Senator Obama could settle the lawsuit immediately by producing the proper documents to prove Obama is a natural-born citizen as required by our constitution. It is A MUST SEE..MUST PASS AROUND VIDEO!

NOW LA PRESIDENT SUPPORTS SARAH PALIN

Veteran Accuses Senator Obama of Being Wrong

OBAMA'S ECONOMIC PLAN

WHY IT IS WRONG TO CALL IRAQ A MISTAKE

OBAMA Comment by AltMuslim.com

This is an interesting comment by the website AltMuslim.com.
[Editor:Just because his middle name is Hussain does NOT mean he's a Muslim. Just because his church gave Lewis Farakhan last year a Lifetime Achievement award does

NOT mean he is a Muslim. Just because he wore traditional Muslim dress when visiting in Sudan does NOT mean he is a Muslim. So what does it mean? Read what they say for yourself.]
=================================

Friday, April 18, 2008

Obama's Problem with the Truth [David Freddoso]

First the "hundred years" controversy, and now this. Is the man a liar, or are his speechwriters and advisors just that willing to leave him vulnerable to attack?

Obama's Problem
February 07, 2008 01:00 PM EST

The Peculiar Theology of Black Liberation

Spengler, Asia Times (Hong Kong), March 18, 2008

Senator Barack Obama is not a Muslim, contrary to invidious rumors. But he belongs to a Christian church whose doctrine casts Jesus Christ as a “black messiah” and blacks as “the chosen people”. At best, this is a radically different kind of Christianity than most Americans acknowledge; at worst it is an ethnocentric heresy.

What played out last week on America’s television screens was a clash of two irreconcilable cultures, the posture of “black liberation theology” and the mainstream American understanding of Christianity. Obama, who presented himself as a unifying figure, now seems rather the living embodiment of the clash.

One of the strangest dialogues in American political history ensued on March 15 when Fox News interviewed Obama’s pastor, the Reverend Jeremiah Wright, of Chicago’s Trinity Church. Wright asserted the authority of the “black liberation” theologians James Cone and Dwight Hopkins:

Wright: How many of Cone’s books have you read? How many of Cone’s book have you read?

Sean Hannity: Reverend, Reverend?

(crosstalk)

Wright: How many books of Cone’s have you head?

Hannity: I’m going to ask you this question . . .

Wright: How many books of Dwight Hopkins have you read?

Hannity: You’re very angry and defensive. I’m just trying to ask a question here.

Wright: You haven’t answered—you haven’t answered my question.

Hopkins is a full professor at the University of Chicago’s Divinity School; Cone is now distinguished professor at New York’s Union Theological Seminary. They promote a “black power” reading of Christianity, to which liberal academic establishment condescends.

Obama referred to this when he asserted in a March 14 statement, “I knew Reverend Wright as someone who served this nation with honor as a United States Marine, as a respected biblical scholar, and as someone who taught or lectured at seminaries across the country, from Union Theological Seminary to the University of Chicago.” But the fact the liberal academy condescends to sponsor black liberation theology does not make it less peculiar to mainstream American Christians. Obama wants to talk about what Wright is, rather than what he says. But that way lies apolitical quicksand.

Since Christianity taught the concept of divine election to the Gentiles, every recalcitrant tribe in Christendom has rebelled against Christian universalism, insisting that it is the “Chosen People” of God—French, English, Russian, Germans and even (through the peculiar doctrine of Mormonism) certain Americans. America remains the only really Christian country in the industrial world, precisely because it transcends ethnicity. One finds ethnocentricity only in odd corners of its religious life; one of these is African-American.

During the black-power heyday of the late 1960s, after the murder of the Reverend Martin Luther King Jr, the mentors of Wright decided that blacks were the Chosen People. James Cone, the most prominent theologian in the “black liberation” school, teaches that Jesus Christ himself is black. As he explains:

Christ is black therefore not because of some cultural or psychological need of black people, but because and only because Christ really enters into our world where the poor were despised and the black are, disclosing that he is with them enduring humiliation and pain and transforming oppressed slaves into liberating servants.

Theologically, Cone’s argument is as silly as the “Aryan Christianity” popular in Nazi Germany, which claimed that Jesus was not a Jew at all but an Aryan Galilean, and that the Aryan race was the “chosen people”. Cone, Hopkins and Wright do not propose, of course, to put non-blacks in concentration camps or to conquer the world, but racially-based theology nonetheless is a greased chute to the nether regions.

Biblical theology teaches that even the most terrible events to befall Israel, such as the Babylonian destruction of Jerusalem in 586 BCE, embody the workings of divine justice, even if humankind cannot see God’s purpose. James Cone sees the matter very differently. Either God must do what we want him to do, or we must reject him, Cone maintains:

Black theology refuses to accept a God who is not identified totally with the goals of the black community. If God is not for us and against white people, then he is a murderer, and we had better kill him. The task of black theology is to kill Gods who do not belong to the black community. . . . Black theology will accept only the love of God which participates in the destruction of the white enemy. What we need is the divine love as expressed in Black Power, which is the power of black people to destroy their oppressors here and now by any means at their disposal. Unless God is participating in this holy activity, we must reject his love. [1]

In the black liberation theology taught by Wright, Cone and Hopkins, Jesus Christ is not for all men, but only for the oppressed:

In the New Testament, Jesus is not for all, but for the oppressed, the poor and unwanted of society, and against oppressors. . . . Either God is for black people in their fight for liberation and against the white oppressors, or he is not [Cone].

In this respect black liberation theology is identical in content to all the ethnocentric heresies that preceded it. Christianity has no use for the nations, a “drop of the bucket” and “dust on the scales”, in the words of Isaiah. It requires that individuals turn their back on their ethnicity to be reborn into Israel in the spirit. That is much easier for Americans than for the citizens of other nations, for Americans have no ethnicity. But the tribes of the world do not want to abandon their Gentile nature and as individuals join the New Israel. Instead they demand eternal life in their own Gentile flesh, that is, to be the “Chosen People”.

That is the “biblical scholarship” to which Obama referred in his March 14 defense of Wright and his academic prominence. In his response to Hannity, Wright genuinely seemed to believe that the authority of Cone and Hopkins, who now hold important posts at liberal theological seminaries, was sufficient to make the issue go away. His faith in the white establishment is touching; he honestly cannot understand why the white reporters at Fox News are bothering him when the University of Chicago and the Union Theological Seminary have put their stamp of approval on black liberation theology.

Many things that the liberal academy has adopted, though, will horrify most Americans, and not only “black liberation theology” (Queer Studies comes to mind, among other things). It cannot be in Obama’s best interests to appeal to the authority of Cone, whose unapologetic racism must be repugnant to the great majority of Americans, including the majority of black Americans, who for the most part belong to Christian churches that preach mainstream Christian doctrine. Christianity teaches unconditional love for a God whose love for humankind is absolute; it does not teach the repudiation of a God who does not destroy our enemies on the spot.

Whether Obama takes seriously the doctrines that Wright preaches is another matter. It is possible that Obama does not believe a word of what Wright, Cone and Hopkins teach. Perhaps he merely used the Trinity United Church of Christ as a political stepping-stone. African-American political life is centered around churches, and his election to the Illinois State Senate with the support of Chicago’s black political machine required church membership. Trinity United happens to be Chicago’s largest and most politically active black church.

Obama views Wright rather at arm’s length: as the New York Times reported on April 30, 2007:

Reverend Wright is a child of the 60s, and he often expresses himself in that language of concern with institutional racism and the struggles the African-American community has gone through,” Mr Obama said. “He analyzes public events in the context of race. I tend to look at them through the context of social justice and inequality.

Obama holds his own views close. But it seems unlikely that he would identify with the ideological fits of the black-power movement of the 1960s. Obama does not come to the matter with the perspective of an American black, but of the child of a left-wing anthropologist raised in the Third World, as I wrote elsewhere (Obama’s women reveal his secret , Asia Times Online, February 26, 2008). It is possible that because of the Wright affair Obama will suffer for what he pretended to be, rather than for what he really is.

Note

1. See William R Jones, “Divine Racism: The Unacknowledged Threshold Issue for Black Theology”, in African-American Religious Thought: An Anthology, ed Cornel West and Eddie Glaube (Westminster John Knox Press).

Original article

(Posted on March 17, 2008)


Comments

I have mixed feelings about the whole Jeremiah Wright ordeal. On one hand, I understand his feelings. As a white man, I choose to stand with my race just as he chooses to stand with his. Thus, I can’t fault him for his views. On the other hand, I also recognize that Rev. Wright would never attempt to understand my feelings or concerns so why should I try to understand his? The fact is, people like Wright are not intellectually consistent with their beliefs; they preach ethno-centrism and border-line hatred of other races yet would accuse a white man of being “racist” for the slightest perceived insult.

Posted by Conrad R. at 6:03 PM on March 17


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Jeremiah Wright, Obama's Former Pastor - Christian in Name but what???

March 26, 2008

How the Leftist Churches Set a Time Bomb for the Democrats

By James Lewis
Until the Rev. Jeremiah Wright, Senator Obama's spiritual mentor in Black Liberation Theology, popped out of the woodwork, I didn't even know about BLT -- Black Liberation Theology. But the doctrines of Black Liberation have been preached since 1966 in black churches, with the enthusiastic support of white churches of the Left, notably the United Church of Christ. The Rev. Wright runs an official UCC church.

Though I am not a professional theologian, I daresay that Jesus would not, repeat not, approve of BLT. Because Black Liberation Theology seems to go straight against every single word in the Sermon on the Mount. Odd that the UCC has never noticed that over the last fifty years.

In fact, the liberal churches have bestowed great influence and prestige on the inventor of Black Liberation Theology, a Dr. James Hal Cone. Writes Dr. Cone, among other things,


* "Black theology refuses to accept a God who is not identified totally with the goals of the black community. If God is not for us and against white people, then he is a murderer, and we had better kill him."

* "All white men are responsible for white oppression."

* "While it is true that blacks do hate whites, black hatred is not racism."

* "Theologically, Malcolm X was not far wrong when he called the white man "the devil.""

* "The black theologian must reject any conception of God which stifles black self-determination by picturing God as a God of all peoples."

* "We have had too much of white love, the love that tells blacks to turn the other cheek and go the second mile. What we need is the divine love as expressed in black power, which is the power of blacks to destroy their oppressors, here and now, by any means at their disposal."

Apparently liberal religious authorities like those at the United Church of Christ love this preaching so much that they have made Dr. Cone a professor at the Union Theological Seminary, the "Charles Augustus Briggs Distinguished Professor of Systematic Theology." It is a stamp of official approval for a peddler of race hatred.

What would Jesus say? Well, we may never know that, but in a month we'll know what Pennsylvania Democrats will say. And if they turn thumbs down on that grandchild of Black Liberation Theology, Senator Barack Obama, the Democrats will have no one to blame but themselves. Including the Churches of the Left, which have reveled in rage-mongering radical chic since the Sixties.

If you've ever wondered why black people in America have had such a hard time rising in society, even after slavery ended in 1865, even after the Civil Rights Acts of the 1960s, even after affirmative action tilted the playing field in their favor, the answer has to be found in the doctrines that have been preached to blacks by their most powerful leaders. If Black Liberation Theology is to be believed, blacks can never make it on their own. They have to rely on a separatist, rage-filled ideology, supported whole-heartedly by white Leftist churches.

The Left has a long, long habit of shafting the very people is purports to love. Instead, the Left only empowers Leftist elites. Look at the history of the Soviet Union, of Maoist China, of Fidel Castro. Who profited from those regimes except the elites, dining on caviar while ordinary people starved? Today Hugo Chavez is squandering Venezuela's oil wealth on his personal ego trips. It is the poor who suffer from Chavez' caudillismo.

What the Church of the Left have done to poor blacks is just like that. Instead of supporting messages of hope and strength, they celebrated the rage demagogues who keep people in thrall. "Black Liberation" is an enslavement of the mind. If you keep black people popping with anger at whites, half a century after the end of Jim Crow, you are not helping them. You are hurting them.

For the Democrats, who have knowingly supported this corruption of the poor for decades, the churches of Left have set a time bomb. Next month we'll see if it explodes.

Maybe it's Divine justice.

James Lewis blogs at dangeroustimes.wordpress.com/

Page Printed from: http://www.americanthinker.com/2008/03/how_the_leftist_churches_set_a.html at March 30, 2008 - 11:06:16 PM EDT

Why is Obama Ducking the Questions? Only One Possible Reason!

[excerpted from http://proteinwisdom.com/?p=11541]

March 21, 2008
Dems 2008: McClatchy discovers Black Liberation Theology [Karl]

Given the chain’s general leftward slant, it is all the more notable that McClatchy is perhaps the first establishment media outlet to report some of the specifics of the Black Liberation Theology that is the vision of Trinity United Church of Christ in Chicago, Barack Obama’s church — and to note (as already noted here) that Obama dodged the larger issue:

Obama’s speech Tuesday on race in America was hailed as a masterful handling of the controversy over divisive sermons by the longtime pastor of Trinity United, the recently retired Rev. Jeremiah A. Wright Jr.

But in repudiating and putting in context Wright’s inflammatory lines about whites and U.S. foreign policy, the Democratic presidential front-runner didn’t address other potentially controversial facts about his church and its ties.

McClatchy’s Margaret Talev went so far as to interview Dr. James H. Cone, who first presented Black Liberation Theology as a system of thought in the late 1960s. Dr. Cone reaffirmed his prior view that Trinity most embodies his message and opined that he thought the Rev. Wright’s successor, the Rev. Otis Moss III, would continue the tradition. (It does seem likely so far.)

Unfortunately, the piece quotes only Dr. Cone and Dwight Hopkins, a Trinity member and liberation theology professor at the University of Chicago’s divinity school. Apparently, McClatchy could not be bothered to contact neutral theologians or critics of Black Liberation Theology. As a result, Cone and Hopkins get away with softening the harder edges of their theology.

Nevertheless, McClatchy has now done more than most of the establishment media (and certainly more than TIME magazine’s new puff piece or the ignorant and inane ramblings of E.J. Dionne, Jr.) on the underlying issue, even as it hypothesizes Obama’s church membership is one of political convenience rather than reading Obama’s writings on the subject, which are consistent with the theology.

Most important, McClatchy sought answers from the Obama campaign on the issue:

It isn’t clear where Obama’s beliefs and the church’s diverge. Through aides, Obama declined requests for an interview or to respond to written questions about his thoughts on Jesus, Cone or liberation theology.

That is the standard response of the Obama campaign to any controversy, as anyone trying to report on Obama’s relationship with Tony Rezko will tell you. Obama will not answer press inquiries until the establishment media turns up the heat to the point where he feels compelled to do so. That pattern should trouble people far beyond those concerned about the degree to which Obama susbscribes to Black Liberation Theology.

(h/t Gateway Pundit.)

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