October 2008

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Some insights into the inner workings of the Obama campaign from someone who says she’s seen enough to vote for McCain.  She says she became a strong Hillary supporter.  Interesting… and frightening

What do you think?

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Sarkozy says Obama “Utterly Immature” on Iran

by Bill O'Connell on October 29, 2008

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We have been led to believe that America needs Barack Obama to “repair” our reputation in Europe and the rest of the world.  In France, of all places, it doesn’t look like he’s off to a great start.  Although French President Nicolas Sarkozy, has tried to talk about it only in private, he has characterized Obama’s stance on Iran, “Utterly Immature.”  Joe Biden, call your office, I think you can add another crisis to your radar screen.

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Liberty in Obama’s Crosshairs

by Bill O'Connell on October 28, 2008

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[the Warren Court] “didn’t break free from the essential constraints that were placed by the Founding Fathers in the Constitution, at least as it has been interpreted.” — Barack Obama interviewed on Chicago Public Radio WBEZ-FM September 6, 2001

On January 20, 2009, Barack Obama may be standing before Chief Justice John Roberts, place his hand on the Bible and take the oath of office of the President of the United States and pledge to “preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution.”  Can he take such an oath with a clear conscience?

Obama’s View of the Constitution

Steven G. Calabresi writes in the October 28th, 2008 Wall Street Journal, describing how Obama’s philosophy is that justice should not be viewed by our courts in a legal sense, but rather in a social sense.  Social justice means just what he said to Joe the Plumber, spreading the wealth around is a good thing.  Not only is it a good thing, but it should be guaranteed by the constitution.

What this means is that he believes that if an individual goes to court and has a hard luck story to tell, the judge should rule in that individual’s favor, regardless of the legal merits of the case. As Mr. Calabresi writes, “Empathy, not justice, ought to be the mission of the federal courts, and the redistribution of wealth should be their mantra.”

The Threat to Liberty

How does this impact our individual liberty?  Well, liberty is defined as freedom from arbitrary or despotic control.  So if a homeless person, breaks into your house and eats your food, he should not go to jail or be punished.  Perhaps if he vandalizes your house, he may be punished, because that wasn’t necessary.  However, if you were his former boss and you laid him off or fired him, then maybe the vandalism is okay.  If you have food and can afford to buy more, then the homeless have a right, constitutionally protected, to take yours.  Now you may well say, that will never happen!  Maybe so, but then you will see the next best thing, the government will take the equivalent of your food in the form of your wealth and give it to the homeless person.  And just what is the difference between a criminal with a gun, and the government with the power to throw you in prison when the goal of both is to take your wealth.

What Did the Founders Think?

The reasons the founders incorporated what Obama calls “essential constraints” into the Constitution was their deep seated distrust of a powerful government.  They knew the power of a government that paid little heed to their liberty.  They threw off that government with the Declaration of Independence.  They were fearful of putting a similar one in its place.  They felt that individuals should be free to enjoy Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness, and that government is necessary, but should be minimal.

Listen for yourself:

Obama Redistribution of Wealth

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I watched every debate and I have been following this campaign closely still no one can point to his accomplishments. When interviewing a job candidate, you look at their resume, to see if what they have accomplished in the past would give an indication of what they will do in the future. Any job candidate can talk a good game about what they are going to do, but what experience of accomplishments can you draw on to validate their claims. But you can’t give me one accomplishment, other than to shoo me away to go read his website. Why does it take $600 million to make the case for Obama if it is such a slam dunk?
More on Sarah Palin
Read the Article at HuffingtonPost

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The 12% Solution

by Bill O'Connell on October 25, 2008

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Eleven days to go before the 2008 election and the talk seems to still revolve about this being a Democratic year and where big gains are expected in both the House and the Senate.  When you stop to think about it, does this make sense?  Sure, President Bush has extremely low approval numbers and regardless of who wins the Presidential election on November 4th, it won’t be him.  But what about Congress?

The 110th Congress, led by the Democrats, has the lowest approval rating in history, around 12%, and yet, the American people are expected to not only return them to Congress but increase their numbers.  Wasn’t it bad enough?  Do they need to reach zero in the approval department?

Just what, exactly have they accomplished?  Sure, they raised the minimum wage, which will help about 4% of the population, at least those who don’t also happen to lose their jobs as a result because their employer can’t afford the increase, especially now that we are looking at a recession. But what else have they done?

Nancy Pelosi promised the most ethical Congress in history.  How’s that working out, Nancy?

  • Well let’s start with a twofer.  Congressman Charlie Rangel of New York, who is chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, the committee that writes tax law, forgot that he had to pay taxes himself.  It seems he has this villa in the Dominican Republic, that he rents out but that he hasn’t reported the income on his tax filings.  Closer to home, it was learned that Congressman Rangel has not one, not two, not three, but four rent controlled apartments.  Democrats have staunchly defended rent control as being necessary to provide people with affordable housing.  Never mind that in the seventies it led to large swaths of burnt out buildings in New York and other cities because landlords couldn’t afford to maintain them when the rents wouldn’t keep up with the runaway inflation.  But Congressman Rangel needs affordable housing because his Congressional salary is only $169,300 per year.  Although he said he will give up one of the apartments that he uses as a campaign office, which may be illegal.  Does Nancy Pelosi know this is going on?  Because you don’t hear much about it.
  • As our financial system is on the brink of collapse, Barney Frank and Chris Dodd, chairmen respectively of the House Financial Services Committee and the Senate Banking Committee, are wondering how this all happened.  Despite calls for increased regulation by the Bush administration, shortly after they took office, Barney and Chris said that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were just fine.  Dodd may have even gotten a sweetheart mortgage from Countrywide mortgage for being a “friend of Angelo” Mozilo, CEO of Countrywide, but that was before Countrywide collapsed and was acquired by Bank of America.  But don’t worry, Henry Waxman of California is holding hearings on the whole financial mess.  He will also address Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac once he finishes pillorying the executives of every firm on Wall Street, but he probably won’t get around to it until after the election.  Busy, busy.
  • Have you heard about Tim Mahoney?  He won the seat formerly held by Mark Foley in Florida.  If you recall, Mark Foley was sending inappropriate e-mails to some congressional pages, and rightfully lost his seat.  Not to be outdone, Tim Mahoney steps in and ends up paying off, to the tune of $121,000 his mistress who he fired from a job on his congressional staff.  He met her during the campaign and hired her at $36,000 per year.  When she found out the married congressman was having affairs with other women, she broke it off and was then fired.  Is Nancy on the case making sure that the pristine ethical standard that she set isn’t besmirched?  Well, Rahm Emmanuel (D-IL), chair of the Democratic Caucus is working diligently to keep this buried, so that it doesn’t hurt Mahoney’s reelection chances.  Nancy Pelosi, call your office.

Have you had enough, yet?

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Is the Fairness Doctrine Fair?

by Bill O'Connell on October 23, 2008

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Republican John Boehner is challenging Senator Jeff Bingaman of New Mexico who is talking about bringing back the Fairness Doctrine.  Nancy Pelosi is on board as well as many other Democrats.  Like many laws that come out of Washington, the put a nice label on it (after all who’s against fairness?) to hide the toxic material within.

The Fairness Doctrine is really about the suppression of free speech with the fig leaf of a “Mom and Apple Pie” name.  What really would happen is that a radio station agrees to air, let’s say, Rush Limbaugh for two hours.  Ratings are great, the advertisement revenues are strong, and life is good for the radio station.  The Fairness Doctrine kicks in and the station is required to air two hours of an opposing viewpoint, say Air America.  Listeners bail left and right, ratings plunge, advertising revenue falls off a cliff, because just like the real Air America, no one tuned in.  Nobody really wants to hear two hours of dull, unimaginative, Bush bashing.

The next week the radio station says to Rush, thanks but no thanks.  You were great, but for every minute we put you on the air, we have to put the other guys on the air.  Our competitors switched to music and they are doing fine.  We will also change our format from talk radio to Top 40s.  Sorry, Rush.  Sorry, America.

So it’s not about fairness, it’s not about improving the exchange of ideas, it’s about suppressing one of the few media outlets that liberals don’t control.  Liberals have the main stream media, they have most of the newspapers, they have NPR, they have the broadcast stations, but they haven’t found a way to silence talk radio, which is the loudest voice that calls them to account on positions and challenges them.

It a way to consolidate their power.  Win the Presidency, control both Houses of Congress, with veto proof majorities, nominate liberal justices to the Supreme Court, tip the balance of the electorate so that the majority don’t pay taxes, and to make sure it is almost impossible to speak out, suppress talk radio.

What do you think?

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How Could He Pick Such a VP Candidate?

by Bill O'Connell on October 21, 2008

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One of the first tests of a presidential candidate’s judgement concerns who he or she picks for their running mate.  It’s hard to imagine how this presidential candidate could have possibly made a bigger mistake, and I am not talking about John McCain.

Much has been made about Sarah Palin’s qualifications, with Colin Powell being the latest to weigh in saying, “I don’t believe she’s ready to be President of the United States.”  But what about Joe Biden?  I am guessing that by now the Obama campaign has scheduled Joe Biden’s appearances over the next two weeks in Outer Mongolia.  For the Republicans, he’s the gift that keeps on giving.  His latest prognostication gave us the following:

“Mark my words. It will not be six months before the world tests Barack Obama like they did John Kennedy. The world is looking. We’re about to elect a brilliant 47-year-old senator president of the United States of America. Remember I said it standing here if you don’t remember anything else I said. Watch, we’re gonna have an international crisis, a generated crisis, to test the mettle of this guy.

“I can give you at least four or five scenarios from where it might originate. And he’s gonna need help. And the kind of help he’s gonna need is, he’s gonna need you – not financially to help him – we’re gonna need you to use your influence, your influence within the community, to stand with him. Because it’s not gonna be apparent initially, it’s not gonna be apparent that we’re right.”

So let me get this straight, if we elect Obama, his Vice President guarantees we will have an international crisis on our hands and it won’t be apparent that they will do the right thing.  Would that be like when Russia invaded Georgia and Barack Obama’s first comment was for both sides to exercise restraint.  When he came to the realization that one country invaded the other, he offered up that the U.N. Security Council should debate this issue and offer a resolution.  When he came to the realization that Russia has a veto over any U.N. Security Council resolution, he then lined up with John McCain’s position, that Russia should get out.

To summarize what Joe Biden said:

  • Obama is inexperienced
  • Our adversaries will see this inexperience as an opportunity for advantage and will purposely test the United States under a President Obama
  • It will be like when John Kennedy was President (where we came the closest in our history to nuclear war)
  • Whatever Obama does will probably be wrong
  • We need to stand behind Barack Obama until he finally figures it out and gets it right

This is the experienced half of the Obama-Biden ticket, telling us about an impending crisis and we’re supposed to pull the lever for Obama and what? duck for cover?

I don’t want leave you on such a depressing note so let me share some of the lighter Biden gaffes:

  • “Stand up, Chuck, let ‘em see ya” to wheelchair bound Missouri State Senator Chuck Graham.
  • “Hillary is as qualified or more qualified than I am to be Vice President of the United States of America.  Quite frankly, it might have been a better pick than me”
  • “When the stock market crashed, Franklin D. Roosevelt got on the television and didn’t talk about the, you know, the princes of greed.  He said, “Look, here’s what happened.”  When the stock market crashed, Herbert Hoover was president, not FDR, and television had not yet been invented.
  • “Look, John’s last-minute economic plan does nothing to tackle the number one job facing the middle class, and it happens to be, as Barack says, a three-letter word: jobs. J-O-B-S.” Uh, that’s four letters, Joe.

If Barack Obama wins, I can only quote Bette Davis, “Fasten your seatbelts.  It’s going to be a bumpy ride.”

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Obama’s Tax Plan — Smoke and Mirrors

by Bill O'Connell on October 21, 2008

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We’ve been hearing for a while about how Barack Obama is going to give 95% of families a tax cut, but at the same time we hear that some 40% do not pay income taxes.  So how does that work?

Today, Obama added some clarification by saying that although some people may not pay income taxes, they do pay all kinds of taxes.  All right, so how does his plan work?  Anyone who has a job pays a 6.2% payroll tax that goes for Social Security.  Senator Obama is proposing a refundable tax credit (meaning you get it even if you have no tax liability) of 6.2% of wages up to $8,000, which equates to $500 and if you are married up to $1000.  So here’s the twist, what this is really is a credit against Social Security taxes.  But it is political suicide to suggest that you are actually going to take money out of the Social Security trust fund, when that fund is a financial ticking time bomb.  So let’s call it an income tax rebate, even though they don’t owe any income taxes to rebate.  Are you keeping up with this?  If not, Andrew G. Biggs can spell it out in greater detail in his blog.

To sum it up:

  • Biggs says it’s technically not welfare because it is a refundable income tax credit to compensate for payroll taxes.
  • If Obama wants to cut payroll taxes he should cut payroll taxes, but then again he wants to get elected and cutting payroll taxes would end that quest in short order.
  • If Obama were to be honest and say he wanted to cut payroll taxes, there’s probably not may people who would agree with him especially when it is projected to cost $710 billion over ten years.

Are you listening, seniors?  And that means you, Baby Boomers, who will soon be senior citizens.

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The Untold Story

by Bill O'Connell on October 21, 2008

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This Sunday morning brought the news that Colin Powell had endorsed Barack Obama.  This was deemed as anywhere from a major setback for the McCain campaign to the final nail in his political coffin.  However, to most people paying attention to Powell’s career this is not really a surprise.    Colin Powell’s is a great American story.  Someone who rose through the ranks to the top of the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.  He wasn’t a West Point graduate, but rather went to City College in New York and joined the Army Reserve Officers Training Corps.  His service is worthy of our admiration and gratitude.

Politically, Colin Powell is not a conservative.  He is an advocate of Affirmative Action and he is pro-abortion.  He didn’t campaign for black conservative candidates like Michael Steele in Maryland or Lynn Swan in Pennsylvania.  He didn’t speak out about the treatment of Clarence Thomas in his Supreme Court hearings and the way those hearings where conducted by Joe Biden.  So his endorsement of Obama should neither be surprising or earth shattering.

In his Sunday interview he “expressed displeasure with the direction of the Republican Party.”  This, according to the New York Times, was “another dispiriting setback to Republicans.”  Really?  When do Republicans win elections and when do they lose them?

When Republicans remain true to conservative principles they tend to win elections.  When they move to the center to appeal to moderates they tend to lose.  Why is that?

A Battleground poll taken this past August shows it quite clearly.  When  asked the question, “When thinking about politics and government, do you consider yourself to be…”

  1. Very Conservative
  2. Somewhat Conservative
  3. Moderate
  4. Somewhat Liberal
  5. Very Liberal
  6. Unsure or refused to answer

The poll results were:

  • Very Conservative — 20%
  • Somewhat Conservative — 40%
  • Moderate — 2%
  • Somewhat Liberal — 27%
  • Very Liberal — 9%
  • Unsure/Refuse to Answer — 3%

What is most interesting is that only 2% consider themselves to be moderate, and yet conservatives are being repeatedly counseled to reach out to moderates.  Why put forth all that effort for 2% of the population?  If you combine the first two categories, those who consider themselves to be conservative or very conservative, it totals 60% of the population.  Republicans should be able to win elections all day long with those numbers.

The Battleground Poll is a well respected bipartisan poll jointly conducted by a Democratic polling group and a Republican polling group.  What is even more interesting is that they include this question in every survey, and the results have been very consistent over time.  In the thirteen Battleground polls taken between June 2002 and August 2008, those who consider themselves conservatives have ranged from a low of 58% to a high of 63%, pretty consistent indeed.

When Republicans stick to core conservative principles they generally win elections.  When they took control of Congress for the first time in forty years it was because they ran on Newt Gingrich’s Contract with America.  It advocated smaller government, personal responsibility, tort reform and term limits among other things.  This resonated with people who are fed up with Washington and a government that grows without bound.  When they got in power and started spending like liberals, they got tossed out on their butts, as well they should.  If the choice in the voting booth is between a professional liberal (Democrats) and the amateur liberal (moderate Republicans) most folks are going to go with the pro.

Reagan, the truest conservative won the Presidency twice, and easily.  George Bush senior won his first term and then raised taxes breaking his “Read My Lips” pledge.  Out he went.  Clinton won two terms and neither time garnered a majority of the popular vote.  George W. Bush ran as a conservative and won two terms, but they were close races.  Why?  He talked about being a “compassionate conservative” which many took as a code word for being a moderate and not that great a difference from the Democrats.

The untold story is that a significant majority of Americans consider themselves conservative and the closer the candidate adheres to conservative principles (e.g., Reagan) the larger the margin of victory.  The further they move a way, the closer the final tally.

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When is a Death Threat Not a Death Threat?

by Bill O'Connell on October 19, 2008

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The old adage goes, if a tree falls in the forest and there is no one there to hear it, does it make any noise? I guess today you could say, if a death threat is made toward Barack Obama at a McCain rally and the Secret Service agents who were present neither heard it nor can find anyone who did, did the threat really happen?  If you are holding a deck full of race cards, apparently so.

Race has overshadowed this campaign from the moment Barack Obama won his first caucuses.  The interesting twist is that those assumed to be the real racists in America, conservatives and by extension all Republicans, have scrupulously avoided any discussion of race whatsoever.  The ones who can’t stop talking about race are those on the left.

By continually bringing the subject up and the keeping the whiff of racism in the air, they hope to force those who fear being called racist to vote for Obama just to prove they are not racists!  Has John McCain given any speeches that brought up Obama’s race?  However, after the Reverend Jeremiah Wright blew up in his face, Barack Obama went on to give a major speech in Philadelphia on race in America (A More Perfect Union).

What prompted the speech was the anti-white, anti-American sentiment expressed by Obama’s minister.  In that speech Obama said that despite the positive and historic start to his campaign, race crept in.  “We saw racial tensions bubble to the surface during the week before the South Carolina primary.”  Wasn’t that Bill Clinton, a liberal Democrat, who was accused of that?  He went on to describe his candidacy as seen by some as, “the desire of wide-eyed liberals to purchase racial reconciliation on the cheap.” it’s pretty self-explanatary who’s talking about race here.  In another speech Obama talked about how he looked different than the Presidents whose faces were on our currency.

Congressman John Lewis, a hero of the Civil Rights movement, compared McCain and Palin to George Wallace.  Based on what?  Personal attacks, of course.  What were the nature of these personal attacks?  Well the Republicans said that Barack Obama was lying about his relationship with Wiliam Ayers.  I fail to see that as a personal attack.  Obama has hardly been forthcoming about his relationship with Ayers and only reveals another piece of the puzzle when he is forced to do so.  At first Ayers was just a guy in the neighborhod, but as more and more facts were revealed about the extent of their relationship, Obama would release another “clarification” such as, yes they served on the same board, but seldom met.  How is calling Obama on this considered a personal attack and where is the racism?  If you want to know what a personal attack feels like, ask Sarah Palin.

Now Sarah Palin is being attacked as a racist because she uses the terms “Joe six-pack” and “Hockey Mom.”  Apparently because blacks don’t play much hockey or drink six packs of beer, it is really a code word for “whites only” rather than meaning average Americans.  I guess to be politically correct she should should say, “Hockey Moms, Basketball Moms, Football Moms, Cricket Moms, Soccer Moms, Badminton Moms…”  and I don’t even want to get into the favored adult beverage of minorities for fear of that being a racist stereotype in and of itself.  I’d rather listen to a speech that has a good cadence and is well written and delivered than something leaden that touches all the politically correct bases.

The latest race card drawn from the bottom of the deck is the death threats at McCain and Palin rallies.  The U.S. Secret Service was unable to corroborate anyone shouting out “kill him”.  But that hasn’t stopped the Obama camp from playing it for all it is worth.  Why would they do that?  One reason would be to get some independents to move his way out of sympathy and guilt.  Another would be to keep those who are in his camp who are getting cold feet to stay in his camp rather than going over to the racists.  I thought the term was Commander in Chief, not Manipulator in Chief.  How do you feel?

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