Friday, October 24, 2008
Who do you want answering that phone at 3 a.m.? A man who’s been cramming on these issues for the last year, who’s never had to make an executive decision affecting so much as a city, let alone the world? A foreign policy novice instinctively inclined to the flabbiest, most vaporous multilateralism (e.g., the Berlin Wall came down because of “a world that stands as one"), and who refers to the most deliberate act of war since Pearl Harbor as “the tragedy of 9/11,” a term more appropriate for a bus accident?
Good point! If the world “stood as one” then why was there any conflict? Who was on the other side of the wall?
Or do you want a man who is the most prepared, most knowledgeable, most serious foreign policy thinker in the United States Senate? A man who not only has the best instincts, but has the honor and the courage to, yes, put country first, as when he carried the lonely fight for the surge that turned Iraq from catastrophic defeat into achievable strategic victory?
Obama was against the war in Iraq, even though he has said he would take action in Darfur to stop genocide, though he has never made a distinction as to what actions he would take unilaterally and how they would be any different from what Bush did in Iraq, other than there would be no strategic interest of the United States involved in an incursion into Darfur!
There’s just no comparison. Obama’s own running mate warned this week that Obama’s youth and inexperience will invite a crisis—indeed a crisis “generated” precisely to test him. Can you be serious about national security and vote on Nov. 4 to invite that test?
And how will he pass it? Well, how has he fared on the only two significant foreign policy tests he has faced since he’s been in the Senate? The first was the surge. Obama failed spectacularly. He not only opposed it. He tried to denigrate it, stop it and, finally, deny its success.
The second test was Georgia, to which Obama responded instinctively with evenhanded moral equivalence, urging restraint on both sides. McCain did not have to consult his advisers to instantly identify the aggressor.
Well, after McCain made his statement, Obama did say “Me, too!” That counts in global high stakes diplomacy, yes? Krauthammer concludes:
Today’s economic crisis, like every other in our history, will in time pass. But the barbarians will still be at the gates. Whom do you want on the parapet? I’m for the guy who can tell the lion from the lamb.
I have opinions on this. I submit the article for your consideration. Then you tell me. Does God want you Rich or Poor?
Poverty (of sorts) is suddenly in fashion. Politicians and commentators blame the financial crisis on greed, not only by malefactors on Wall Street but also by all the denizens of Main Street who live beyond their means, accumulate useless possessions and despoil the environment. It is not quite clear what a nongreedy Wall Street would look like. But for the rest of us, after due repentance, the solution to our financial woes is held to be a more ascetic life. If it is voluntary, rather than compelled by circumstance, it has the glow of moral superiority. "Green is good," says a latter-day Gandhi as he goes to work by bicycle. But if you are really poor, asceticism does not mean giving up your SUV -- it means eating just one meal a day because it is all you can afford.
Far more attractive to poor people, who are a majority of its adherents, is the "prosperity gospel," a version of Christianity asserting that material benefits will come to those who have faith, live a morally upright life and, not so incidentally, give money to the church. Broadly speaking, this is what Max Weber called the Protestant Ethic, but with much less emphasis on self-denial and more on hard work, planning for the future, family loyalty and educating one's children.
The prosperity gospel probably originated among the poorer elements of the evangelical community in America. It is now a global phenomenon, especially among the rapidly spreading Pentecostal churches in Africa, Latin America and Asia.
Virtually all outside commentary on the prosperity gospel, both by theologians and by people in the lay media, has been very negative, holding that it is a distortion of Christianity pushed by rogue preachers who enrich themselves by exploiting the poor. There is some validity to these criticisms. It is certainly true that Christianity is not a recipe for acquiring wealth. But in that respect the prosperity gospel -- usually seen as being on the Christian right -- closely resembles the "liberation theology" of the Christian left, except that the latter's enrichment program is collective rather than individual. Liberation theology defined Christianity as essentially being a struggle of poor oppressed people against capitalism and imperialism. And while it is obvious that some preachers of the prosperity gospel are simply motivated by self-interest, one must suppose that, given human nature, some left-leaning clergy are too.
Leaving aside theology and moral philosophy, sociology provides a rather different perspective. A few months ago, I visited a Pentecostal megachurch in a suburb of Johannesburg. The congregation of some 7,000 South Africans, black and white, created enough noise to give me a headache for hours. This was hardly a congenial form of worship for me. But I did hear the sermon, delivered by a highly charismatic preacher. There were two simple but powerful messages. One, "God does not want you to be poor!" And, two, "You can do something about it!" The New Testament strongly suggests that Jesus had a particular concern for the poor, but there is no suggestion that he wanted people to remain poor. As for the idea that God will bestow material blessings on those who remain faithful to him, there are some passages in the Old Testament, often cited by the prosperity preachers, that imply just that.
As I left the church, I asked myself: Would I really want to quarrel with these messages? There is no sentimentality about poverty in the prosperity gospel. There is an appeal to people not as victims but as responsible actors. There is also the confidence that generally people know what is best for themselves, better than any well-meaning outsiders. It is no wonder, then, that research data, from South Africa for instance, show that Pentecostals have an unusual degree of self-confidence and optimism about the future.
In 1968 a conference of Latin American bishops meeting in Medellin, Colombia, proclaimed a "preferential option for the poor," which since then has become an important ingredient of Catholic social teaching and has influenced mainline Protestantism. Liberation theologians interpreted the "preferential option" as an option for socialism. But it is helpful to pay attention to the syntax. The option is for the poor. That is, it is an option to be taken by those who are not poor.
The proposition is well-intentioned. But it is not surprising that many of the poor are opting for a less patronizing message. They do not think of themselves as dependent on the compassion of the rich. I have no idea how the current mess in the financial markets is to be fixed. But I am convinced that capitalism provides the only reliable mechanism for lifting large numbers of people out of poverty. In other words, if one is concerned for the poor, one will adopt a preferential option for capitalism. A Mexican bishop returning from the Medellin conference said "No hay otra salida!" -- "There is no other way!" He meant socialism. He was wrong.
Weber believed that the economic consequences of Protestantism were unintentional. The prosperity gospel intends these consequences -- material betterment for individuals, economic growth in the aggregate. It promises poor people that these goals are attainable. It is a promise likely to be kept. It seems to me that this empirical reality must be taken into account in any evaluation of the prosperity gospel -- even by theologians and moral philosophers.
Mr. Berger is director of the Institute on Culture, Religion and World Affairs at Boston University.
Now if we can just get a conservative government in the USA.
One can only hope.
A newcomer to national politics, he claimed to transcend partisan labels. He moved to the center during the campaign, at a time when the Democrats held large congressional majorities. In a troubled economy, he told voters he would keep taxes down for most Americans, limit spending, and balance the budget, all while implementing ambitious social programs. He planned to cut military spending to free money for other purposes, but assured moderates and conservatives that when it came to America’s enemies, he would be tougher than the Republicans. The media, droves of moderates, and some conservatives believed him, having pegged him as a man of character.
His name was Jimmy Carter, the year was 1976, and he won. His presidency helps us predict the likely results of an Obama victory in 2008.
Read the whole thing................
Small business owners out there are preparing for life under a Barack Obama presidency. Here are some of the new rules for small businesses based on Obama’s ideals of change and fairness:
As of November 5, 2008, when President Obama officially becomes president-elect, companies will instill a few new policies which are in keeping with his new, inspiring issues of change and fairness:
1. All salespeople will be pooling their sales and bonuses into a common pool that will be divided equally between all of them. This will serve to give those who are under-achieving a “fair shake”.
2. All low level workers will be pooling their wages, including overtime, into a common pool, dividing it equally amongst all employees. This will help those who are “too busy for overtime” to reap the rewards from those who have more spare time and can work extra hours.
3. All top management will now be referred to as “the government.” They will not participate in this “pooling” experience because the law doesn’t apply to them.
4. The “government” will give eloquent speeches to all employees every week, encouraging its workers to continue to work hard “for the good of all”.
5. The employees will be thrilled with these new policies because it’s “good to spread the wealth around”. Those who have underachieved will finally get an opportunity; those who have worked hard and had success will feel more “patriotic”.
6. The last few people hired should clean out their desks. Don’t feel bad, though, because President Obama will give you free healthcare, free handouts, free oil for heating your home, free food stamps, and he’ll let you stay in your home for as long as you want even if you can’t pay your mortgage.
If you appeal directly to our democratic congress, you might even get a free flat screen TV and a coupon for free haircuts (shouldn’t all Americans be entitled to nice looking hair?)!!!
If for any reason you are not happy with the new policies, you may want to rethink your vote on November 4th.
These are people who have let bad news get them down, who are listening to the prognosis which they accept as truth and have no more hope.
They need faith. Faith in something. Faith in medicine. Faith in Doctors. Faith in anything.
So, doctors prescribe faith pills. Placebos. Something to believe in.
The crime is, if people had faith in God, if they had faith in his power to heal, they would be well. It would be real, not some phony pill.
It costs real money to go to a doctor. It costs real money to fill that placebo prescription.
It costs NOTHING to come to God with Faith. He rewards those who seek him. Rewards them with health and peace.
I have pagan atheistic friends who deny God and believe that Doctors know better. In this case they are right. Faith has made these sick people whole, it's just faith in the wrong thing.
A saving Faith in Jesus takes care of all kinds of things. I have learned to believe in God first, and then the Doctor, in that order.
If I'm sick, I'm more likely to call on another man or woman of faith to agree with me and lay hands on me for healing way before I'll go to a Doctor. I sometimes might even do the biblical thing and call on the Elders of the Church assuming they have faith. Mostly, church elders do not. Sadly.
I have a friend, Jerry, who had terminal cancer. The Doctor told him he would be dead in a six months. He went to the elders and pastors of the church both of us were attending at that time. There were perhaps a dozen pastors and elders in the room. He closed the door, and said, "I have been told I am going to die. Unless God will combine my faith and yours for my healing in belief without doubt, I will die. IF ANY of you have doubt at any level in God's healing power to cure cancer in my body, I want you to leave this room now before we pray for faith and then these men lay hands on me for healing." He then went quiet. Half the men in the room got up, one at a time and left. They didn't' want to be responsible for the death of Jerry.
That left a half dozen men. They then began to pray, violently, loudly, passionately, with faith, believing. They laid hands on him and came against the demon of cancer.
That was 20 years ago. He is still alive. He operates one of the largest Media Ministries in the Chicagoland area. He doesn't tell this story as much as he should. He told it to me. It says bad things about the level of faith shortage in Churches today for healing.
Jerry is cancer free to this day. No treatment. No chemo. No radiation. Just God, and that's enough.
That's why when I had a recent scare, I waited and trusted God.
Placebos are false receptacles of faith. Faith in God is real, not a placebo. If people understood this truth they would be far better off, financially and physically.
The Chicago Tribune has become a left wing newspaper as well. So, this week I said goodbye to it. It no longer is readable. All pictures, graphs, big headlines, badly written charts, summaries and incomplete stories. It is far less informative the big life magazine sized children's publication I used to get when I was a kid.
SO, the Chicago Tribune is a goner in the Redlin House.
Sam Zell bought it and tried to turn it around. He didn't. Bu Bye.
Verizon Wireless. You know the commercial. The network. The Geek like guy and his posse. But, it seems like there must be too many of them to go a lot of places I do. My dad always said that if a product or a company has a weakness, they advertise it more to offset the weakness. It's true. Verizon's weakest link is it's network. They don't much care that I couldn't drive down I-39 and lose signal several times, that I could drive down IL 47 and have it drop off the edge of the earth, that driving one mile from my home in St Charles have no signal, and that in my own basement have no signal at all. I guess that bunch of network guys and the geek don't follow me into the basement.
I complained to Verizon. Kept telling them that the system was weak. They denied it and insisted I was wrong. Mistaken. Cranky. Yet other people with other services didn't seem to have my problem. Calling the Verizon help line only led to people trying to sign me up for an additional two years. That what I needed was a new phone.
So, I have said goodbye to Verizon after 13 years. I had a huge phone when I started. Brick.
I have "Upgraded" several times. But this was too much. The system just doesn't work any more. They told me at Verizon that the reason I was losing calls is too many people were using the network. Traffic.
I'm tired of Verizon hosing me so I switched to US Cellular. I have had it for a week. Not ONE dropped call. Not ONE blank spot.
So, Bu Bye Verizon.
Some products, even though I have used them for a long time, just don't work anymore.
Thursday, October 23, 2008
Top 10 Predictions No Matter Who Wins the Election
1. There will still be room at the Cross.
2. Jesus will still save the lost when they come to Him.
3. Jesus will still love you.
4. The Bible will still have all the answers.
5. There will still be faithful Bible teachers.
6. The Holy Spirit will still fill and control believers.
7. Prayer will still work.
8. There will still be singing of praise to God.
9. God will still pour out grace & blessings upon His people.
10. Jesus Christ will still control history!
AND GOD APPROVES THIS MESSAGE!
ISN’T IT GREAT TO KNOW WHO IS REALLY IN CHARGE?
This is the world you will be leaving to your children and your children's children.
Don't believe the Pundits who say Obama will govern from the Middle. He won't. He's a radical socialist with pure liberalism running in his blood.
I challenge anyone to refute any of the claims made by the LETTER FROM 2012.
You have to read the whole thing and if you vote for Obama and all this comes to pass, you were warned.
This is a horror show and you are in it. This is exactly what will happen in an Obama and Supermajority Governance.
In that Obama fits the bill.
This kind of mass deception hasn't been seen since Adolph Hitler came to power 75 years ago.
The parallels are disturbing. Obama won't use military power, but suppression, attack, assassination (see Bachmann Post), control, socialism that promises anything, pretending to be on the workers side while building a kingdom, using hero worship and empty vague promises that no one can define to swoon a populace.
No one really knows what Obama is for. Just Change. Just better.
I've seen this movie before. It doesn't come out well.
Adolf Hitler (20 April 1889 – 30 April 1945) was an Austrian-born politician who led the National Socialist German Workers Party (Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei NSDAP), the Nazi Party. He was Chancellor of Germany (1933–1945) and Führer und Reichskanzler of Germany (1934–1945).
Hitler was a decorated veteran of World War I who led the Nazi Party in Weimar Germany. Following his imprisonment after a 1923 failed coup, he gained support by promoting nationalism, antisemitism and anti-communism with charismatic oratory and propaganda. The Nazis executed or assassinated many of their opponents, restructured the state economy, rearmed the armed forces and established a totalitarian and fascist dictatorship. Hitler pursued a foreign policy with the declared goal of seizing Lebensraum ("living space"). The German invasion of Poland in 1939 caused the British and French Empires to declare war on Germany, leading to the outbreak of World War II in Europe.
The Axis powers occupied most of continental Europe and parts of Asia and Africa until defeated by the Allies. By 1945, Germany was in ruins. Hitler's bid for territorial conquest and racial subjugation caused the deaths of 43 million people, including the systematic genocide of an estimated six million Jews as well as various additional "undesirable" populations in what is known as the Holocaust.
I'm not so sure that in a world of Pagan Liberals a conservative christian isn't in the "undesirable population" category. We have nothing to fear but fear itself (and authoritarian pagan liberal leaders)
Then read the comments.
Here's whats wrong
- Evil Spoken
- Big Money and Power used to control
- Non Sense Thinking
- Witch hunting
- Incompetence over Centering (have you met Mr Tinkelberg?)
If you know my politics and you read this you will see what I mean. What has happened to Michelle Bachmann is exactly what's wrong with our electorate.
They are mindless sheep led by evil media liberals.
With GM and Ford bankrupt, there will be no US automakers. High tariffs on imported cars will virtually eliminate new cars. Gasoline stations will continue to disappear. US will become a land of used cars, seldom used cars.
We will all be proud that jobs are not exported; that we hardly use any foreign oil. $10.00/gal gasoline helps, so do import restrictions. People are encouraged to walk instead of drive. Walking = patriotism (provided you don’t wear leather shoes or shoes made from oil). Processed foods will have disappeared from grocery stores; indeed supermarkets will have disappeared because cars are scarce.
Roe V Wade has been extended. Since a person is a foetus because he or she is unable to live outside the womb (ie without constant care), the Supremes rule that anyone who is unable to support himself without constant care is a foetus. Foetuses (young and old) may be aborted in the privacy of a family planning clinic. Suddenly the SS and Medicare crisis is solved. Patriotism = family planning.
Liberals are very patriotic. Liberalism defines patriotism.
Wednesday, October 22, 2008
Now, I have a great piece here by Tony Blankley that appears today at Creators Syndicate, and it's entitled: "The Birth of the Me-Too Conservative." His theory about what's going to happen is there will be a brand-new conservative movement that will have to be born if Obama wins because the conservative movement as it exists today is rudderless. You know the names, and I sometimes am hesitant to mention the names because I don't have anything personal here, but you know there are a bunch of people off our reservation in the conservative media and just lately the names being bandied about are Peggy Noonan, David Frum, David Brooks.
I don't know to what extent these people ever really were on our side, to tell you the truth. Christopher Buckley. He's never been a doctrinaire conservative like his father was. He set out to distance himself from his father like all sons do. And Kathleen Parker. Now, these names may not be household names to you, but they are pseudo-conservative writers, and now they're all requested on television all the time 'cause they're ripping Sarah Palin, they're ripping the conservative movement. They've got this new idea of what conservatism ought to be and they're trying to redefine it.
This is the crowd saying the era of Reagan is over. These are the people who are embarrassed by Sarah Palin 'cause she's not an intellectual and she didn't go to Harvard or have a college degree from approved universities and she drops her g's from words like morning and says mornin'. She embarrassing, and I think something else really bothering these people is that they believe that she may become one of the key leaders of the conservative movement beyond 2008 if she and McCain lose this. I've been trying to analyze what's happening to the conservative movement on our intellectual side. By the way, and I don't consider myself on the intellectual side at all; neither do they. Intellectuals are people that have what they think is an IQ and an educational commonality. Of course I'm disqualified from any of that, thankfully so, because I don't have a college degree, I eschewed college to pursue my dreams. But they're all over the place and the realignment here on the conservative side that's taking place is on the basis of so-called intellect.
That's why some of these people are drifting to Obama, he sounds smart, sick and tired of Republican leaders who can't communicate and they don't think McCain can communicate, they don't like the fact that Bush couldn't, and the reason this is happening, people say, "How come the conservative movement is fracturing,?" when there's a blueprint for winning it, 1980, there's a blueprint. McCain is not the blueprint for how Republicans win landslides. Going after moderates, independents, and all these yokels is not the blueprint. The blueprint's there, 1994, taking back the House, the blueprint's there. Why are these people ignoring it?
So why all of these "defections," if you will, to Obama from people that you've always thought were conservative? Well, again, these are conservative elites, conservative intellectuals. And they simply are embarrassed that McCain can't speak, in their minds; that Bush hasn't been able to talk; and that Sarah Palin's a hick. They're just embarrassed. So they align on the basis of style, not substance. These people are not associating or drifting to Obama because of his substance. It's not that they've abandoned conservatism; it's that they like the style. They're fed up with no style. Now, would this be happening if there were a strong elected Republican conservative who were showing the way? It would not.
Since there is not a strong elected conservative anywhere, then conservatism right now is sort of like wandering in the distance with every conservative thinking that they're the smartest person in the room trying to show the way to the light. The way to the light is plainly visible. But everybody wants to be considered the smartest people in the room, so they come up with all these new things like "the era of Reagan is over." One of the most recent things going on in the conservative movement is to figure out how we, too, can become distributists... redistributists... redis... redistribute... How we, too, can become smaller. I can't say the word! I just bugs me to say it. We've got people on our side trying to figure out how they, too, can make our party one that wants to re... re... redistribute it! But "smarter," but better. These are people who think the Republican Party has lost the Wal-Mart class because we don't care enough.
We're seen as not caring, so the way to show that we care is to also redistribute wealth, but smarter and better. This would never be happening -- this would never be happening -- if there were an elected genuine conservative who were showing the way. So we're in a vacuum right now. Tony Blankley writes about this today. "The Birth of the Me-Too Conservative." Quote: "Until the election of President Reagan five decades later, these me-too Republicans supported, rather than opposed, Democratic Party policies but claimed they would administer them better. Of course, this led to a half-century of Democratic dominance of American government and politics." Here are the last two paragraphs.
"I suspect that the conservative movement we start rebuilding on the ashes of Nov. 4 (even if McCain wins) will have little use for overwritten, over-delicate commentary. The new movement will be plain-spoken and socially networked up from the Interneted streets, suburbs and small towns of America. It certainly will not listen very attentively to those conservatives who idolatrize Obama and collaborate in heralding his arrival. ... The new conservative movement will be facing a political opponent that will reveal itself soon to be both multiculturalist and Eurosocialist.
We will be engaged in a struggle to the political death for the soul of the country. As I did at the beginning of and throughout the Buckley/Goldwater/Reagan/Gingrich conservative movement, I will try to lend my hand. I certainly will do what I can to make it a big-tent conservative movement. But just as it does in every great cause, one question has to be answered correctly: Whose side are you on, comrade?"
So this is what I mean. One step at a time. We're going to drag McCain across the finish line then we start rebuilding the conservative movement. It's going to happen whether he wins or loses but especially if he wins.
The only threat to the world view I embrace in sight for me is Barack Hussein Obama.
So, I come after him with all I can everywhere I can as often as I can and will intensify up to and including the very day of the Election.
I have more readers by the automatic counter than you may think and I am doing my level best to dissuade those dissaudeable and discourage those discourageble and encourage the rest.
On the other side, there are the perfunctory attacks on John McCain, but only because he is running to be interim President. They have to focus on him. He's a good target and doesn't bite back. The real target of every innuendo, every accusation, every false charge, every denigration, every snide remark of Liberals and the Media in the bag for Obama is WHO?
Yep. The only genuine Feminist in anyone's spotlight right now. Sarah Palin. She is in the cross hairs because the lefties know that if she were in the white house, even if she had a Liberal Dominated Congress, she would effectively use the bully pulpit and kick the snot out of them. She is as much of a threat to their distorted world view as Obama is to mine. This is a battle of world views straight and clear.
So, when people attack her, come up with silly accusations, it's part of the deal. She is the REAL threat to them. I believe she will be to this generation a Theodore Roosevelt. It's important to note that Teddy left office on Jan 20, 1909, exactly 100 years before interim President McCain would take office. He was almost the same exact age as Sarah Palin when he became president as VP upon the death of President McKinley. History has a way of repeating itself. George Santyana said something about all that.
He was a threat to the world view status quo of his day. Sarah Palin is a threat to the status quo Liberalism of this day. A Real Threat. For that I am glad.
But meanwhile the drumbeat of truth must march on against the liberal Marxist running for President and a legitimate attempt to use this media as a forum for truth. It's all I have.
The other side has ABC, CNN, MSNBC, CBS, NBC, CNN, NYT, WAPO, CHI TRIB, and thousands of blogs from those fine gentlemen and ladies named the Kos Kids and Huffington. Of course for a real time feed Associated Press Obama is always on the case.
So, you have nothing to fear from little old me. I'll just keep up my efforts. That's no REAL threat, Is It? I mean, let's see, Obama has all the news services in the bag, most of the celeb media, a hundred fifty million dollars, every sycophant in the country lined up so he's ahead, what, 30-40 points in the polls? What's wrong with this picture? Why is he fumbling the ball?
OH, he has his presumptive news conference to look all presidential and all. But, still, there's a sick feeling that this is all a Truman Show we are being treated to. And he is Truman.
An older woman is conversing with a friend in New York City. She is holding a McCain Sign. Suddenly a passing Minion of Obama in true thuggery so typical of Obama supporters rips the sign out of her hand, busts it up, takes the stick, beats the woman with it, breaks her glasses, knocks her back.
Didn't hear about this in the Media? Wonder why?
We are in serious trouble. These are not good people. They are gangsters for Obama.
I guess it's really not the Muslim way. It's more like the Chicago way.
I was sent this nightmare. It's what it might be like if the Obama thugocracy, the brotherhood of Mugabe in America, is elected.
You remember how that went. If you supported Mugabe's opponent in Zimbabwe you could count on being beaten or killed. Raped. Murdered.
How far are we from this here and now?
Obama's supporters are very close to this kind of rule by terror.
Tuesday, October 21, 2008
I no longer expect that facts and argument will sway anyone. If you are undecided at this point, you are lost.
Obama is a lost soul in a sea of Media adulation and left wing worship. When this all comes down there will be a terrible thud. This is a man with NOTHING going for him other than raising a lot of money from questionable sources and winning a questionable primary by the skin of his teeth. He is not an honorable man and if there were a fragment of common sense left in the world would be soundly defeated. Since those who support him are void of common sense or the capacity to reason, I offer this only to true believers. Those who already oppose this immature jr achiever who never has done anything in his life to indicate he has anything to offer this nation. To those who think this is all hate, I have offered enough to make any thinking person question the opinion that he has credibility. He does not. So, we may well elect a dummy with good stage presence. That won't save us when it gets tough. Ask Joe Biden.
The comprehensive argument against Barack Obama
CLOSING THE DEAL
A Roadmap for Campaign 2008’s Homestretch
By Guy Benson (www.guybensonshow.com) and Mary Katharine Ham (www.weeklystandard.com)
Editor and Contributor, Ed Morrissey
WHO ARE WE?
Allow us to put our cards on the table at the outset: We are two young conservative journalists—both in our 20s. Unlike many of our peers, we are not swept up in Obamamania and would prefer John McCain to win the election. We’ve teamed up with seasoned blogger extraordinaire, Ed Morrissey, whose careful and thoughtful pursuit of the truth—even when it benefits his political opponents—is respected across the blogosphere. In that spirit, we are not at all interested in perpetuating lies, rumors, and innuendo about Barack Obama. Promoting such information does America a disservice, allows Obama’s supporters to justifiably cry “smear,” and damages our own credibility.
What follows is by no means comprehensive, but it does shed some much-needed light on a number of Obama’s positions, statements, and associations about which he has been less than honest. We’ve attempted to boil each issue down to a succinct explanation with an accompanying, brief video clip—often starring Barack Obama in his own words. Before pulling the lever for someone who hopes voters will ignore his paper-thin resume, unsavory associations, and hard-left voting record, each citizen has a duty to do his due diligence.
In short, we hope this “closing argument” is compelling and clear, and we encourage you to share this essay with undecided or wavering family members, friends, and co-workers.
If recent polls are to believed, freshman Senator Barack Obama has a better than average chance of becoming America’s 44th President, the Commander-in-Chief of the planet’s most powerful military, and the proverbial leader of the free world. It’s worth mentioning that just four years ago as President Bush and Senator John Kerry were vying for the White House, Obama was still a part-time State Senator representing a liberal district in Chicago. Before that he was an attorney and, famously, a community organizer. In 2008, Obama has positioned himself as a post-partisan, thoughtful moderate with the superior judgment required to lead the country. These are lofty promises from a man with precious little executive experience, and a Senate career that lasted exactly 143 legislative days before he launched yet another campaign for higher office. No one can deny his ambition. In fact, if Obama wins on November 4th—and serves one full term in the Oval Office—the Presidency of the United States would be the longest consecutively held full-time job he has ever held without seeking another.
Barack Obama promises “change,” which is an appealing concept to an American public weary of a beleaguered administration and worried about the future. They are faced with a candidate who promises them everything: Tax cuts for 95% of Americans, universal healthcare, peace, saving the planet, and—according to his wife—the “healing” of Americans’ souls. As the saying goes, if something sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Questions abound: Is this man prepared to be president? Does he hold mainstream values and policy preferences? Who has influenced his thinking, and where does he want to take the country? Has he been honest with the people from whom he seeks votes?
Barack Obama is out of the political mainstream on abortion. Don’t take our word for it, just listen to Sen. Obama’s own statements. In his final debate with John McCain, Obama asserted that “nobody is pro-abortion.” If you don’t have the time to read Princeton University professor Robert P. George’s detailed argument that Obama may actually fit that description, consider the candidate’s own record. In the clips below, you will hear Obama say three things.
First, he tells an audience that if his own daughters experienced an unexpected teen pregnancy, he wouldn’t want them “punished with a baby.”
Second, he pledges to a Planned Parenthood gathering that the very first thing he’d do as president is sign the Freedom Of Choice Act, which—according to the bill’s own supporters — would abolish bans on partial-birth abortion and parental notification laws nationwide while implementing tax-payer funded abortions. All three positions are wildly unpopular with the vast majority of Americans, yet they are Obama’s top priorities—just ask him:
Finally, Obama argues against the Born Alive Infant Protection Act as an Illinois Senator in 2002. Despite Obama’s protestations otherwise, he voted three separate times against this legislation, which was designed to require life-saving care for infants who survive botched abortions. This is a matter of record. Not only did an identical bill pass Congress without a single dissenting vote, the explanation Obama has offered for years to defend these votes has been exposed as a lie. This is what the results of that VOTE really are. Furthermore, Hot Air has a long list of supporting posts on this very subject:
- Infanticide, revisited
- Yes, we can … elect a guy who votes for infanticide
- There are a lot of things above Obama’s “pay grade”
- Team Obama acknowledges infanticide lie
- Obama camp: He only voted against that born-alive abortion bill because it might actually have an effect
- Obama’s support for infanticide breaks into mainstream media
- Obama: Bill unnecessarily burdened doctors with … babies; Update: AOL Hot Seat poll added
- McCarthy: Obama’s moral failing on infanticide
- Obama’s ad lies about infanticide vote
Listen to Obama complain that providing care to these accidentally-born infants would place an undue burden on the woman and her abortionist:
Americans of good faith are divided on this issue. Many are pro-life, and many are pro-choice. Obama’s extreme record should horrify the former group, and should even give significant pause to the latter. Ask yourself, are babies “punishment”? Would you vote for the Freedom of Choice Act and against the Born Alive Infant Protection Act…three times?
As a skilled rhetorical magician, Obama presents himself as a tax-cutter. Even though he’s voted dozens of times to raise taxes, he assures Americans that 95% of us will have our taxes slashed under his plan. The Wall Street Journal isn’t buying it. Once again, though, the best way to assess someone’s positions is to listen to his own language. Note the two telling exchanges that follow:
First, Obama tells newly-minted national celebrity “Joe the Plumber” that his tax hikes on the so-called rich are designed to “spread the wealth around,” which Obama explains is “good for everybody.” Does that sound like a genuine tax-cutter to you?
Second, Obama is challenged by ABC News anchor Charlie Gibson at a primary debate in Pennsylvania. Gibson asks Obama why he insists on raising capital gains taxes (which affect millions of American investors) even after history has proven that raising said taxes actually decreases government revenues from the taxes, and cutting capital gains taxes actually brings more revenue into federal coffers. Obama has no answer, other than to blow off all the evidence, and say that raising taxes is the fair thing to do—practical consequences be damned.
Someone so obsessed with the concept of “fairness” is unlikely to be a friend to taxpayers. Obama’s record over his brief legislative career confirms his tax-and-spend impulses.
FILE: RADICAL ASSOCIATIONS
Barack Obama does not want anyone talking about his radical associations. He’s even sought criminal prosecutions against those who have dared to speak out on issues that make him squirm. Average Americans are judged by the company they keep, and our leaders ought to be held to the same standard.
Even though Obama says the issue is resolved (and John McCain refuses to raise it) voters must consider the case of Jeremiah Wright. Think of it this way: Barack Obama has himself estimated that he attends church twice a month. He spent twenty years at Chicago’s Trinity United Church of Christ under the leadership of Rev. Wright. Within this metric, a rough calculation concludes that Obama sat through approximately 500 sermons at that church. 500. Still, he claims he never heard outrageous, racist, or anti-American comments from the pulpit. Watch the following clips—you probably saw them back when this controversy erupted—and ask yourself if you believe Obama’s self-serving selective deafness. The man featured in these clips is the same man who performed Obama’s wedding and baptized his children. Notice that his unhinged rantings did not elicit stunned silence from his congregation, but approving cheers. Is Obama’s “this isn’t the Jeremiah Wright I once knew” a credible excuse? Can you imagine anything like this being said at your church or house of worship—much less applauded?
Bill Ayers is another name many Americans have heard by now. He is a former terrorist who detonated bombs at federal buildings and plotted to blow up an army dance at Ft. Dix, New Jersey. He remains proud of his actions, and only regrets not having bombed more. Obama has been personal and professional friends with Ayers for more than a dozen years. When confronted with this association, Obama has said Ayers is (a) just a guy in his neighborhood, (b) a local professor, and (c) someone with whom he’d served on a charitable board. These are all true statements, but they obfuscate a much deeper relationship about which Obama is not being honest. In fact, the two served together on two boards—The Woods Fund and the Chicago Annenberg Challenge, where together they funneled huge sums of money to a who’s-who leftwing causes. Obama’s 1995 political coming-out party took place in the home of Ayers and his wife, a fellow unrepentant terrorist. Obama now denies this, but it’s a matter of record, confirmed by individuals who attended the party. Investigative journalist and Ethics and Public Policy Center Fellow, Stanley Kurtz, has written many thorough and indispensable articles on Obama’s substantial ties to Ayers. If you don’t have time to read them, consider the following videos.
First, CNN looks into Bill Ayers and the Obama connection. The report concludes that “the relationship between Obama and Ayers went much deeper, ran much longer, and was much more political than Obama says.” It also confirms the 1995 political party Ayers hosted for Obama.
Second, Obama repeatedly states that Ayers’ violence took place 40 years ago when he was just eight years old. This is true, and it’s irrelevant. Would you shake hands with, let alone work comfortably with, someone who bombed the US Capitol and Pentagon, and remains proud that he did so? It is implausible that Obama didn’t know about Ayers’ sordid past, just as it’s implausible that he was unaware that Ayers’ hatred of this country continues to fester to this day. The following video features a 1998 ABC News interview with Ayers and his wife that showcases their continued defiance. It also portrays Ayers at a 1960s radical reunion just last year during which he describes the United States as he sees it today. Why did Obama feel comfortable around these people, and is it any wonder that he’s been less than forthcoming about their relationship?
ACORN is a community organization whose fraudulent voter registration activities have drawn indictments and investigations in more than a dozen states. Their intimidation tactics in the 1990s forced banks into issuing unwise mortgage loans to low-income individuals, setting the stage for the recent mortgage crisis that send the economy into a tailspin. Barack Obama has denied any connection to ACORN beyond performing some minimal legal work on their behalf in the distant past. Once again, this is an intentionally misleading understatement. As it turns out, Obama was a top ACORN activism trainer for several years. The charitable boards he and Ayers controlled funneled hundreds of thousands of dollars to ACORN. His campaign paid ACORN more than $800,000 to register voters in the primary, but tried to disguise the purpose of those spent dollars in official expense reports. He’s since scrubbed his “fight the smears” website after these untruths were exposed.
This is a complicated issue, so it plays into Obama’s hands: Team Obama’s gameplan of spinning half-truths and muddying the water is in full effect as he tries to “run out the clock” on the election. Although Stanley Kurtz did the heavy lifting , syndicated columnist Mona Charen’s explanation summed up the issue quite well: Putting Obama in charge of cleaning up the mortgage mess would be akin to hiring an arsonist to put out a fire.
As we mentioned above, the Obama/ACORN nexus does not lend itself to quick and easy videos. Nonetheless, two stand out: CNN—not the other cable news channel Obama ritually bashes—filed an investigative report on Obama’s ties to ACORN, and once again found Obama’s explanation wanting. In addition, the McCain campaign produced perhaps the best succinct summary of Obama’s ties to ACORN in a 90 second web ad, the details of which have not been disputed. Watch and decide for yourself:
For fear of lingering too long on the “associates” question, we will refrain from exploring the convicted felonwho helped Obama buy his Hyde Park mansion.
Remember, though, these issues are “distractions.” Nothing to see here, folks.
FILE: FOREIGN POLICY JUDGMENT
Barack Obama gained much of his early traction by speaking out against the war in Iraq. He cites his initial opposition to the war as the crown-jewel example of his judgment on foreign affairs. Although many people credit him for being “right” on the war from the beginning, it’s indisputable that he did not have an actual vote on the war resolution. As a state senator from a liberal, antiwar district, one wonders how much political risk he assumed by speaking out against a Republican-led conflict. Regardless, after he was elected to the US Senate, Obama was faced with an actual vote on a controversial issue: The surge. John McCain and others said the strategy was the only way to salvage the war and recover from our missteps there. History has proven them correct. Obama not only opposed the surge, but actually predicted it would make matters worse. In other words, he was spectacularly wrong on his biggest foreign policy judgment call since joining the Senate. He stubbornly refuses to admit he was wrong. This may be the kind of judgment that’s expected from a partisan rookie Senator, but not a Commander-in-Chief:
During the CNN-YouTube debate in the summer of 2007, Obama unequivocally promised to meet without preconditions with the rogue leaders of America’s worst enemies—all within the first year of his administration. Hillary Clinton and John McCain have called this approach reckless, expressing concerns that Obama may be playing into our enemies’ propagandistic designs. In October 2008, the Iranian government announced its own preconditions for one-on-one meetings with the Unites States: Pull all US troops out of the Middle East, and abandon support for “Zionist” Israel. These absurd demands further expose Obama’s very poor judgment vis-a-vis a regime that is actively aiding and abetting terrorists in Iraq who are killing US servicemen. Iran’s “preconditions” prove that negotiating with bad-faith actors who hate Americans and Jews would accomplish nothing other than handing their regime a PR coup. In recent months, Obama’s campaign has continually claimed that he didn’t actually make the promise that he did. The tape does not lie:
FILE: DISDAIN FOR THE HEARTLAND
Barack Obama was rated the most liberal United States Senator in 2007 by the non-partisan National Journal — farther left than Ted Kennedy, Barbara Boxer, and self-proclaimed socialist Bernie Sanders. He rarely mentions this extreme voting record as he campaigns throughout the heartland, just as he refrains from telling middle America what he really thinks of those who live there. Obama waits until he’s in San Francisco to do that. At a chic fundraising dinner, Obama sniffed that average Americans get “bitter” and “cling” to their guns and religion—as if these were shameful crutches. He may look down his nose at you, but he still wants your vote:
Obama also expressed disapproval of Americans’ (apparently) selfish way of life, scolding his fellow citizens for doing awful things like driving SUVs, heating their homes to a comfortable temperature, and eating as much as they’d like. Note the return of John Kerry’s “global test” in his remarks. If this is how he lectures Americans while he’s still pandering for votes, one wonders how preachy a President Obama might get:
FILE: THE RACE CARD
Millions of Americans oppose Senator Obama’s candidacy for many different reasons. For a small number of bigots, one of them is almost certainly race. That being said, Obama’s surrogates and media supporters have shown very little reluctance to ascribe racism to virtually anyone who supports another candidate. This is shameful. Worse still, Obama has personally played the race card several times, accusing Republicans in general, and the McCain campaign specifically, of whipping up race-based ugliness. When McCain’s objects, Obama has disingenuously denied he was referring to race in his initial comments. Really? On one occasion, Obama accused Republicans of trying to “scare” voters by mentioning that he “doesn’t look like all those other presidents on the dollar bills.” At another rally he made a similar claim, adding “…did we mention he’s black?” to his interpretation of the GOP’s supposed scare tactics. As someone who presents himself as a unifying figure, what does it say that he shamelessly injects racial politics into the campaign, casting aspersions on his opponents’ motives? Watch and listen for yourself:
With the exception of one time each by the Washington Post and ABC News (on their blogs), the media did nothing to expose this tactic by Obama and his campaign employed on these occasions:
FILE: LACK OF ACCOMPLISHMENTS
After an embarrassing exchange on a talk show, the Obama campaign scrambled to arm its surrogates with talking points about Obama’s grand legislative record. What did they come up with? Two bills—and Obama talks about them endlessly. One deals with securing loose nuclear weapons and was so uncontroversial that it passed on a voice vote in the Senate. The other created a “google for government” system, allowing citizens to track government spending. Both were laudable efforts for a wet-behind-the-ears legislator, but Obama wants to be President. Beyond those two meager accomplishments, what has he done? It’s a question that has baffled official campaign surrogates and regular Americans alike:
All three of us have written many, many times on all of these issues. Taken individually, most of them would create doubt about the readiness and honesty of any political candidate. Put together as a narrative, we believe this paints the picture of a man who has few real credentials for the office he seeks beyond the Constitutional minimum, and a politician who has succeeded in obfuscating his hard-Left ideology.
Perhaps if Barack Obama had taken more time to build his resumé – especially with executive experience – he might have made a more compelling candidate, and might have demonstrated at least a little of the moderation he has claimed. Instead, Democrats want America to support at once the most radical and least qualified candidate for President in at least a century. They have tried to conceal this with the complicity of a pom-pom-waving national media that has shown much more interest in the political background of a plumber from Ohio than in a major-party candidate for President.
America deserves better than that. Voters deserve the truth from the press, not vague cheers of “hope” and “change” while willfully ignoring or air-brushing Obama’s record. We hope to set that record straight with our essay.
Update II: Here’s one video we forgot in our comprehensive argument. Barack Obama offered his insights into his military policy in the middle of a war — cut everything that might make us secure:
He’ll cut missile defense, new weapons systems, and just about everything he can.
Claim No. 1: Obama's campaign is funded by the rich, big corporations and foreigners.
“Barack Obama was the only major presidential candidate this year to completely reject contributions from The Washington lobbyists and special interest PACs that have dominated our politics for years,” the Obama site says of the persistent online criticisms of its fundraising.
“Instead, this campaign has been owned by the more than 3.1 million everyday Americans who have donated in small amounts.”
Not so, according to campaign finance records. Nearly half of the $600 million raised by Obama to date has come from wealthy donors and special interests. Obama's allies months ago dropped their ad linking Republican rival “Exxon John” McCain to Big Oil after it came to light that Obama had taken far more money from Exxon-Mobil than McCain.
“The Obama campaign has complied fully with federal election law,” claims the Obama site, “including donor eligibility and contribution disclosure requirements.”
However, one giant loophole the politicians wrote into the law allows contributions in amounts of $200 or less with no donor identification. Obama claims that $300 million in campaign funds was given by these small donors, and he won’t release their names and addresses.
McCain has released his whole donor database, including those who have contributed less than $200.
Critics argue that the other half of Obama’s campaign haul — the part not raised from big corporate donors and special interests — came in a small flood of anonymous donations that might be foreign or corrupt, or both.
Claim No. 2: Obama has had a close, ongoing relationship with domestic terrorist Bill Ayers.
The Obama site acknowledges that its candidate and Ayers ”served on the board of an education-reform organization in the mid-1990s,” but maintains most stories about the links between Obama and Ayers are phony or exaggerated.
It does not mention that Obama and Ayers worked together on the board distributing millions of dollars with the aim of radicalizing Chicago schoolchildren.
Nor does the site acknowledge that Obama kicked off his first political campaign in the living room of Ayers, the former Weather Underground leader. (Obama is currently saying it was not the first event. There is no dispute that one of Obama’s first political events in his first run for public office was held in Ayers’ home.)
There is also no dispute the Weather Underground bombed the Pentagon the Capitol, the home of a New York Supreme Court justice, and a police station, among other targets. FBI agent Larry Grathwohl, who infiltrated the group, has recounted Ayers teaching him how to make bombs and saying, “In the revolution, some innocent people need to die.”
“Smear groups and now a desperate McCain campaign are trying to connect Barack to William Ayers using age-old guilt by association techniques . . .” says the Obama Web site.
Actually, McCain and Obama critics are questioning why Obama would continue to associate with a man who, as recently as 2001, said he did not do enough and wished he had bombed more.
Conservatives also note that if Ayers had bombed abortion clinics, the liberal media would brand him a pariah forever. What does it tell us about the liberal media’s and Obama’s judgment and values that they see nothing wrong with embracing unrepentant terrorist Ayers today?
Claim No. 3: Obama takes advice from executives of troubled mortgage backer Fannie Mae.
“John McCain started smearing Obama about non-existent ties to Fannie Mae in some of his deceptive attack ads,” says FightTheSmears.com. The site downplays connections between Obama and two former heads of the giant mortgage-backing institution — James A. Johnson and Franklin D. Raines — whose corruption played a key role in the current financial crisis.
But an editorial in the Aug. 27, 2008, Washington Post described Johnson and Raines, as “members of Mr. Obama’s political circle.”
Raines advised the Obama campaign on housing matters. Obama chose Johnson to select his vice presidential running mate. But because neither are advising Obama today, this Web site’s present-tense claim that he “doesn’t [not didn’t] take advice from Fannie Mae execs” is technically, if deceptively, true.
Johnson also reportedly helped raise as much as $500,000 for Obama’s campaign.
And despite Obama’s lack of seniority in the U.S. Senate, he pocketed more than $105,000 in political contributions, the third-highest amount given to any lawmaker, directly from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Obama’s Web site leaves all this unmentioned.
Claim No. 4: Obama has close ties with the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN), a group suspected of massive voter registration fraud.
Obama’s site says the candidate was never an ACORN employee and that ACORN “was not part of Project Vote, the successful voter registration drive [Obama] ran in 1992.”
In defending Obama, the site resorts to smearing former Ohio Secretary of State Ken Blackwell — calling him a “discredited Republican voter-suppression guru” — for daring to fight the vote fraud so often associated with operatives of ACORN, among the largest radical groups in the United States.
As documented in ["Clever Obama Tries To Bury ACORN Past,"] Obama’s Web site is attempting to deceive when it says Obama was never “hired” to work as a trainer for ACORN’s leaders. In fact, he did the work for free from at least 1993 until 2003.
ACORN spokesman Lewis Goldberg acknowledges in the Oct. 11, 2008, New York Times that Obama trained ACORN leaders. And Obama worked as a lawyer for ACORN.
As to heading up Project Vote in Illinois, Obama said during a speech to ACORN leaders last November, "[When] I ran the Project Vote voter registration drive in Illinois, ACORN was smack-dab in the middle of it.”
Veteran journalist Karen Tumulty described Project Vote in the Oct. 18, 2004, issue of Time magazine as “a nonpartisan arm of the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now” after interviewing its national director.
The co-founder of ACORN, former Students for a Democratic Society official Wade Rathke, described Project Vote as one of ACORN’s “family of organizations.”
Over the years, ACORN and its front groups, like the one Obama ran in Illinois, have registered more than 4 million voters. When authorities in Virginia checked ACORN registrations, it found that 83 percent were fraudulent or had problems. This, in theory, could mean ACORN may have created the opportunity for stealing more than 3.3 million votes in this November’s election, a margin far wider than that by which Obama is likely to win.
Claim No. 5: Obama has shown only wavering support for individual gun-ownership rights.
“During Barack’s career in the Illinois and United States Senates, he proudly stood to defend the rights of hunters and sportsmen,” says Obama’s Web site, “while doing everything he could to protect children — including his own two daughters — from illegal gun violence.”
But the National Rifle Association, it continues, “is distributing a dishonest and cowardly flyer that makes confrontational accusations and runs away from verifying them.”
Actually, the NRA does a meticulous job of laying out documentation, as reported in September ["NRA to Fight Obama Over Gun Rights Flip-Flops,"] to show that Obama has supported handgun confiscation; the handgun ban in Washington, D.C.; a virtual ban on high-powered rifle ammunition; and many other draconian restrictions on Second Amendment rights.
If elected, wrote the NRA, Obama “would be the most anti-gun president in American history.”
Claim No. 6: A fervent supporter of abortion rights, Obama supports late-term and partial-birth abortions.
The Obama Web site dismisses such criticism as the work of “radical anti-abortion ideologues running ads against Barack.”
But as an Illinois state senator, Obama voted repeatedly against legislation to protect infants who, during a late-term abortion, were “born alive.” Such protection, he has argued, already exists in Illinois; it does, but is subject to the abortionist’s decision whether such an infant has a good likelihood of survival.
Nurses have reported instances in which surviving aborted babies were left by abortionists to die without water, food, or warmth.
Obama’s Web site notes that even the Republican author of one of these bills, former state Sen. Rick Winkel, has written that “none of those who voted against [his bill] favored infanticide.”
True, but Obama’s site does not quote the rest of Winkel’s statement: “[T]heir zeal for pro-choice dogma was clearly the overriding force behind their negative votes rather than concern that my bill would protect babies who are born alive.”
Obama has a 100 percent pro-choice voting record according to NARAL Pro-Choice America; his rating from the National Right to Life Committee is zero.
How extreme is Obama on this issue? In the U.S. Senate, he has voted against bills that would prohibit minors from crossing state lines for abortion without parental notification.
"Look, I got two daughters — 9 years old and 6 years old,” Obama has said. “I am going to teach them first about values and morals, but if they make a mistake, I don't want them punished with a baby."
Claim No. 7: Obama showed little interest or support for American combat troops during his overseas visits.
Doubts about Obama’s true support for the military cropped up during a campaign trip to Iraq, Afghanistan, and Europe.
A widely circulated e-mail, penned by Army Capt. Jeffrey S. Porter, described Obama's visit to Bagram Air Base in Afghanistan: “As the Soldiers lined up to shake his hand, he blew them off . . . He again shunned the opportunity to talk to soldiers to thank them for their service . . . I swear we got more thanks from the NBA basketball players or the Dallas Cowboy Cheerleaders than from [Obama].”
Porter later recanted, sending a follow-up e-mail that said, in part: “After checking my sources, information that was put out in my e-mail was wrong.” He did not specify which information was wrong, leading Obama skeptics to suspect that this officer has been disciplined by his superiors.
Heading home, Obama touched down in Germany, where he “was scheduled to visit the American hospitals at Ramstein and Landstuhl.” But as The Washington Post reported, Obama “canceled the trips after being told by Pentagon officials that he could only visit in his official capacity as a senator, not as a candidate” and could not have his visits with hospitalized soldiers videotaped by the media.
Prominent liberal mainstream media reporters such as NBC’s Andrea Mitchell rushed to defend Obama, saying that the press had never planned to cover his visits to military sickbeds. But Obama canceled both visits and used his free time instead to shoot hoops, with the media recording his best shots.
Claim No. 8: Barack Obama is a Muslim.
FightTheSmears.com states bluntly that Obama is a Christian, not a follower of Islam.
In fact, Barack Hussein Obama’s Kenyan father was raised Muslim, though he reportedly was not religious.
His mother divorced and remarried another man, a Muslim from Indonesia. As a youngster in Indonesia, Barack Obama attended two schools and was registered at both as a Muslim. He received religious instruction in both schools as a Muslim, including studying the Quran. According to a childhood friend, Obama occasionally attended services at a local mosque.
Obama’s Muslim upbringing has been detailed in a 2007 Los Angeles Times report (reprinted in The Baltimore Sun) headlined "Islam an Unknown Factor in Obama Bid." Middle East expert Daniel Pipes has studied the question of Obama’s Muslim faith and says he is “lying” when he says he was never a Muslim.
It’s important to note that Obama’s Web site does not say he was never a Muslim. But in the past, Obama’s site and FightTheSmears.com did make the claim Obama was never a Muslim. Since that claim is obviously false, it is no longer used.
Obama says he became a Christian in his late 20s. He now describes himself as Christian. Until recently, he spent two decades as a member of a Chicago United Church of Christ congregation that embraces Black Liberation theology. Somewhat like the Roman Catholic liberation theology of Latin America, the Chicago UCC church preaches elements of neo-Marxist class warfare. It combines these radical socialist elements with black racialism.
Claim No. 9: As president, Obama would raise taxes dramatically for most Americans.
Millions of Americans recognize that Obama is likely to raise taxes. But like a good conjurer, who tricks you into watching his right hand while doing things with his left, the Obama Web site assures readers with a red herring.
The Illinois senator will not tax your water, as claimed in some fringe e-mails, FightTheSmears.com maintains.
What Obama will do, however, is tax businesses and capital gains more heavily, even though America already has the world’s second-highest business taxes.
“Now our opponents tell you not to worry about their tax increases” said former Tennessee Sen. Fred Thompson at the 2008 Republican National Convention. “They tell you they are not going to tax your family. No, they’re just going to tax businesses! So unless you buy something from a business, like groceries or clothes or gasoline . . . or unless you get a paycheck from a big or a small business, don’t worry. It’s not going to affect you.”
During his campaign, Obama has promised to raise various taxes that will fall on most economic classes, including the dividend tax, the FICA tax cap, the capital gains tax, the estate tax, and new taxes on gasoline.
He also called for the Bush tax cuts to expire in 2010, which will automatically raise taxes on most Americans. By letting the Bush cuts expire, Obama would produce a $2 trillion tax increase that some economists predict will rumble through the already weakened economy like an earthquake.
Claim No. 10: Obama was born outside the United States and is ineligible for the presidency.
The Obama Web site dismisses the claim that the candidate was born anywhere but in the United States as “completely false” and “groundless.”
As proof, the Obama’s campaign has produced a “certificate of live birth” from Hawaii indicating that Barack Hussein Obama II was born Aug. 4, 1961. Critics, however say the document could have easily been forged and is not a substitute for a certified birth certificate.
No reporter has been allowed to see the original certificate of live birth or its certificate number, which is blacked out on copies of it on the Obama site.
Skeptics note that Obama’s “Father’s Race” is identified on this document as “African,” a geographic and modern politically correct term rather than a 1961 racial designation. The standard term used on American birth certificates until the U.S. Census changed it in 1980 would have been “Negro.”
Former deputy attorney general of Pennsylvania, Philip J. Berg, a Democrat with mixed credibility (he has supported conspiracy theories involving 9/11), has filed a lawsuit to force Obama to produce a certified copy of his birth certificate. According to Berg, Obama’s paternal grandmother has said she was present at his birth in Kenya, after which his mother promptly returned with her baby to the United States.
If that is true, Obama could be constitutionally ineligible to be president.