Posts Tagged ‘Chicago Tribune’

Failed President Obama’s Hometown Newspaper Says He Should Step Down At End Of First Term

September 19, 2011

The story of the moment:

Chicago Editorial Writer Suggests Obama Step Down After First Term
Published September 19, 2011|

President Obama’s hometown newspaper has some startling advice for the commander-in-chief — quit while you’re behind.

Citing the president’s record-low approval ratings and unease in the Democratic base, a Chicago Tribune editorial writer recommended over the weekend that Obama need not feel obligated to run for a second term.

Steve Chapman said that with Obama facing the prospect of a double-dip recession and, if he wins reelection, a gridlocked second term, it might be better to call it a presidency and let someone else — maybe Hillary Clinton — carry the Democratic mantle in the 2012 election.

“I checked the Constitution, and he is under no compulsion to run for re-election,” Chapman wrote in the Tribune. “He can scrap the campaign, bag the fundraising calls and never watch another Republican debate as long as he’s willing to vacate the premises by Jan. 20, 2013. That might be the sensible thing to do.”

Chapman said the high unemployment already makes it difficult for Obama to run. He noted that his recently unveiled jobs bill has not yet lit a brushfire of support, and that his party just lost two special elections in Congress.

“In hard times, voters have a powerful urge to punish incumbents. He could slake this thirst by stepping aside and taking the blame. Then someone less reviled could replace him at the top of the ticket,” Chapman wrote.

Though ex-Obama rival and now-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has brushed off talk of presidential aspirations, Chapman said Clinton would be just the right fit.

“Her husband presided over a boom, she’s been busy deposing dictators instead of destroying jobs, and she’s never been accused of being a pushover,” he wrote. “Not only that, Clinton is a savvy political veteran who already knows how to run for president.”

Obama was the first Democratic candidate for president ever endorsed by The Chicago Tribune. Chapman was on the board at the time.

The words “caveat emptor” apply here.

Democrats not only seized dictatorial control of Congress – not only owning the House of Representatives (which they’d controlled since 2006) but also seizing a filibuster-proof Senate Majority (which they’d ALSO controlled since 2006) – and elected the most radical, leftist president in U.S. history.

And the ONLY possible thing that could go wrong was that the American people would see Democrats in action and reject them.

Things really weren’t going all that awful until Democrats took control of the House and the Senate.  Yes, George Bush had tried seventeen times to reform and regulate Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac – which ultimately caused our financial crisis – only to be continually thwarted by Democrats who used these Government Sponsored Enterprises as a cash cow for liberal social policies.  Yes, John McCain was one of the Republicans who in 2005 and 2006 had BEGGED Democrats to pass reforms on Fannie and Freddie before a crisis imploded the American financial system.

But nope.  Democrats would have nothing of it.  Barney Frank, July 14, 2008:

REP. BARNEY FRANK, D-MASS.: I think this is a case where Fannie and Freddie are fundamentally sound, that they are not in danger of going under. They’re not the best investments these days from the long-term standpoint going back. I think they are in good shape going forward.

They’re in a housing market. I do think their prospects going forward are very solid. And in fact, we’re going to do some things that are going to improve them.

For the factual record, our 2008 implosion officially began less than two months after Barney Frank said those words above on September 7, 2008 when Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac went bankrupt.  All the other players – Merrill Lynch, Lehman Brothers, AIG, etc.  – found themselves holding toxic assets that they had purchased from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.  The massive mortgage backed securities which ONLY Fannie and Freddie could bundle had so many bad/bankrupt mortgages and it was so difficult to extricate the bad mortgages from the good ones that the entire securities packages were no longer assets, but liabilities.  Collapse after collapse followed.

Americans listened to the mainstream media – even though most Americans KNOW that the mainstream media is little more than the propaganda mouthpiece for the institutional left – and blamed George Bush entirely for the problems he tried to fix but couldn’t due to Democrat intransigence.

They elected a demagogue who promised messianic transformation of our society.  The man-made all kinds of impossible promises.   And the American people were stupid enough and depraved enough to believe those promises.

Frankly, I remember another moment in history as found in the words of jailed journalist Stephen Laurent – who went against the massive tide to oppose the Führer of that time:

“I am writing this from cell 24. Outside a new Germany is being created. Many millions are rejoicing. Hitler is promising everyone precisely what they want. I think when they wake to their sobering senses, they will find they have been led by the nose and duped by lies.”

Obama DID fundamentally transform the United States of America, just as he promised he would do.  He imposed a “fundamental transformation” of our health care system with ObamaCare.  He imposed a “fundamental transformation” of our financial system with the Dodd/Frank Act.  Both of these monstrosities were well over 2,000 pages of power-grabbing legislation.  Both of these massive government takeovers have tens of thousands of additional pages that are literally still being written such that nobody knows what the law will truly look like by the time they are done.

When Obama couldn’t get his way with Congress – even the Democrat-controlled Congress prior to 2010 – he simply dictated his agenda by executive fiat.  He strangled businesses with EPA regulations that the Democrat Congress had rejected.  He decided that he was literally above the law: decreeing that he would not follow the Defense of Marriage Act that had been passed by Congress and signed into law by President Bill Clinton.  He decreed that he would abandon immigration law even after himself saying that doing so would be un-American, undemocratic and unconstitutional.  And, yes, he rammed home an incredibly unpopular ObamaCare takeover of the health care system that is also flagrantly unconstitutional.  And the ONLY reason that it hasn’t already been ruled unconstitutional by the U.S. Supreme Court is because Obama has used every procedural gimmick available to prevent it from going to that court for a decision which he knows will go against his power grabbing.

But finally, people are increasingly waking up to their sobering senses and finding out that they had been duped by lies.

But everything that’s happened has been Bush’s fault, we’ve been told over and over and over again.

And so now even Obama’s hometown newspaper is parroting a famous quote from the past given to an infamous failure and fool from the past:

“You have sat too long here for any good you have been doing. Depart, I say, and let us have done with you. In the name of God, go!”

In the name of God, GO, Obama.

And as long as the Obama regime continues to recklessly head this nation in the wrong direction, we are living in God damn America.

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Obama Continues Rampant Dishonesty With Stimulus ‘Jobs ‘

November 11, 2009

Want to see how Obama “created or saved” all the jobs he’s claiming?  Here’s how:

In June, the federal government spent $1,047 in stimulus money to buy a rider mower from the Toro Company to cut the grass at the Fayetteville National Cemetery in Arkansas. Now, a report on the government’s stimulus Web site improbably claims that that single lawn mower sale helped save or create 50 jobs.

I bought a new watch the other day; that’s got to be good for at least ten jobs saved or created.

Do you seriously trust these people to run your healthcare?  Are you that idiotic?  I mean, dang.

A newspaper editorial just damns Obama’s dishonesty and deceit the way it deserves to be damned.

Note: I added the html links to the other newspaper articles.

Union-Tribune Editorial
Stimulus dishonesty
Job numbers keep proving to be exaggerated
Wednesday, November 11, 2009 at 12:43 a.m.

First it was The Associated Press refuting the Obama administration’s claims for jobs saved or created nationwide by February’s $787 billion economic stimulus measure. Then it was The Sacramento Bee refuting the claims that state agencies had made for California. Then it was the Chicago Tribune refuting the claims that state agencies had made for Illinois.

The errors were not of a minor or technical nature. They were egregious.

AP reported that “some jobs credited to the stimulus program were counted two, three, four or even more times.” The Bee reported that California State University said “the $268.5 million it received in stimulus funding through October allowed it to retain 26,156 employees” – more than half its statewide work force. The Tribune reported that Illinois education officials grossly inflated job-saved numbers, sometimes saying school districts had saved more jobs than their total number of employees.

This is a scandal and should be treated as such. It’s not government as usual. Instead, it appears to reflect a decision to distort government data collection to support explicitly political agendas.

With U.S. unemployment now topping 10 percent, the Obama administration is struggling more than ever to fashion credible counterarguments to the assertion made by this editorial page and many pundits and economists that the massive stimulus measure was a poorly thought-out pork fest that wouldn’t work. What’s the easiest way to defend the stimulus? Make up claims about its glorious results.

Politics also appears to be driving state agencies in their willingness to prop up this bogus narrative. It helps them make the case that they should get even more borrowed money from the federal government that they never will have to repay.

Such dishonesty should be completely unacceptable – especially at the federal level. We trust the Office of Management and Budget to provide honest figures on the size of the deficit and the national debt. We trust the Labor Department to provide honest statistics on unemployment and job gains and losses by sector. We trust the Commerce Department to provide honest numbers on monthly imports and exports and the gross domestic product. We trust the Environmental Protection Agency to provide an honest accounting of air and water pollution levels.

All of these statistics end up helping shape the public debate on the most crucial issues of the day. If these numbers can’t be trusted, we can’t have an honest debate. When it comes to the economic stimulus package, it sure looks like the Obama White House doesn’t want an honest debate. Instead, it is going to relentlessly push the very dubious claim that the stimulus was a huge success – no matter what.

We are struck yet again by the contrast between the hopeful and idealistic tone of Barack Obama’s presidential campaign and the bare-knuckles Chicago-style politics of his White House. If this hardball approach goes beyond the usual arm-twisting to the routine twisting of government statistics for political purposes, that will be a grim day for America.

The first thing to do is congratulate the editorial board of the Union-Tribune for standing up for the truth.  That hasn’t happened a whole lot in the swooning, “thrill going up my leg” coverage of Obama.

Next, I’d like to begin by citing the complete paragraph that the Union-Tribune cites from AP:

The AP review found some counts were more than 10 times as high as the actual number of jobs; some jobs credited to the stimulus program were counted two and sometimes more than four times; and other jobs were credited to stimulus spending when none was produced.

Then I’ll provide the quote from the Sacramento Bee in its context, which makes it an even more damning indictment:

Up to one-fourth of the 110,000 jobs reported as saved by federal stimulus money in California probably never were in danger, a Bee review has found.

California State University officials reported late last week that they saved more jobs with stimulus money than the number of jobs saved in Texas – and in 44 other states.

In a required state report to the federal government, the university system said the $268.5 million it received in stimulus funding through October allowed it to retain 26,156 employees.

That total represents more than half of CSU’s statewide work force.  However, university officials confirmed Thursday that half their workers were not going to be laid off without the stimulus dollars.

“This is not really a real number of people,” CSU spokeswoman Clara Potes-Fellow said. “It’s like a budget number.”

And then I’ll provide the context for the Chicago Tribune findings:

Gov. Patrick Quinn on Wednesday dispatched officials from a new accountability office to investigate errors in a state database detailing stimulus-funded school jobs promoted by the Obama administration, a day after the Tribune raised questions about the job numbers’ accuracy.

The officials have asked the Illinois State Board of Education to verify the number of jobs created and retained in school districts detailed in the report, said Ashley Cross, a spokeswoman for Quinn’s office. Any necessary adjustments will be incorporated into the next quarterly report on the federal stimulus, she said.

Matt Vanover, a spokesman for board of education, said the flawed database actually had been washed of some glaring errors before being included in the official tabulation, which claimed 14,330 school jobs in Illinois had either been saved or created thanks to $1.25 billion in federal funds.

But the Tribune found that the database claimed far more jobs had been saved in some local school districts than actually existed on district payrolls.

Which is to say that, as egregious as the errors were that the Tribune reported for this story, the school board spokesman said they had actually been much, much more egregious before the Tribune was able to get its hands on the actual data.

When the Union-Tribune editors say:

This is a scandal and should be treated as such. It’s not government as usual. Instead, it appears to reflect a decision to distort government data collection to support explicitly political agendas.

You should recognize that we are talking about historic levels of dishonesty that match this administrations’ historic levels of spending and historic levels of debt.

And when they point out that:

Politics also appears to be driving state agencies in their willingness to prop up this bogus narrative. It helps them make the case that they should get even more borrowed money from the federal government that they never will have to repay.

Such dishonesty should be completely unacceptableespecially at the federal level.

You should realize that – counter to the Obama administration’s and Democrat Party’s demagogic attacks against businesses such as our health insurance companies (which make only modest profits, contrary to the frankly evil attacks repeatedly made by the left) – there is no greater or more powerful or more dishonest “special interest” than big government.

If you’re opposed to special interest, then whatever the HELL you do, don’t let the federal government take over health care.

And this garbage of deceit and lies about jobs and the fact that Obama has done NOTHING to create more of them is going on all over the country.

The Boston Globe says, “Stimulus job boost in state exaggerated, review finds.”  And it is simply damning.

While Massachusetts recipients of federal stimulus money collectively report 12,374 jobs saved or created, a Globe review shows that number is wildly exaggerated. Organizations that received stimulus money miscounted jobs, filed erroneous figures, or claimed jobs for work that has not yet started.

The Globe’s finding is based on the federal government’s just-released accounts of stimulus spending at the end of October. It lists the nearly $4 billion in stimulus awards made to an array of Massachusetts government agencies, universities, hospitals, private businesses, and nonprofit organizations, and notes how many jobs each created or saved.

But in interviews with recipients, the Globe found that several openly acknowledged creating far fewer jobs than they have been credited for.

One of the largest reported jobs figures comes from Bridgewater State College, which is listed as using $77,181 in stimulus money for 160 full-time work-study jobs for students. But Bridgewater State spokesman Bryan Baldwin said the college made a mistake and the actual number of new jobs was “almost nothing.’’ Bridgewater has submitted a correction, but it is not yet reflected in the report.

In other cases, federal money that recipients already receive annually – subsidies for affordable housing, for example – was reclassified this year as stimulus spending, and the existing jobs already supported by those programs were credited to stimulus spending. Some of these recipients said they did not even know the money they were getting was classified as stimulus funds until September, when federal officials told them they had to file reports.

“There were no jobs created. It was just shuffling around of the funds,’’ said Susan Kelly, director of property management for Boston Land Co., which reported retaining 26 jobs with $2.7 million in rental subsidies for its affordable housing developments in Waltham. “It’s hard to figure out if you did the paperwork right. We never asked for this.’’

The federal stimulus report for Massachusetts has so many errors, missing data, or estimates instead of actual job counts that it may be impossible to accurately tally how many people have been employed by the massive infusion of federal money. Massachusetts is expected to receive an estimated $1 billion more in stimulus contracts, grants, and loans.

When Obama was elected, unemployment was at 6.6%.  He promised that his stimulus would prevent unemployment from reaching 8%.  And now it’s 10.2%.
His plan completely failed.  His massive $3.27 trillion stimulus porkulus (according to what the CBO reported Obama’s stimulus would actually cost) did nothing more than create a bunch of pork projects and create a Democrat war chest of slush funds to buy the votes it needs.
Don’t believe me about the slush fund?

To get as far as the bill did so far, it appears the administration might have spread some money around. California Rep. Jim Costa was wavering but told a local newspaper last week that his vote could be contingent on getting some federal money for a new medical school in his district along with help for local hospitals.

When a constituent named Bob Smittcamp e-mailed him to complain about his vote for the House bill, the congressman explained he’d been offered the dollars he was looking for — $128 million in federal money.

“He responded to me by basically saying that he did not like many of the elements there were in the legislation. However, he was able to procure $128m for the University of California medical school in Merced,” Smittcamp told Fox News.

Democrats now have in excess of a trillion dollars in federal money to buy itself the votes it needs to impose the liberal agenda.Rather than actually fix the economy, all Obama has done is a) focus entirely on putting even more of the economy under government control through Obamacare rather than focus on creating jobs; b) make up a bunch of patent lies to make believe his policies are doing anything other than dismally failing; and c) keep blaming Bush for everything.It’s not working out, Obama.  YOU’RE not working out.

Obama’s Hometown Paper Says “Repeal 2nd Amendment”

June 30, 2008

You always got to like it when liberals show just how shockingly out of touch with reality – and with American life – they truly are.

It’s even better when it’s the hometown paper of a candidate for President who is solidly positioned as THE most liberal Senator in the country.

The Chicago Tribune today said, in its editorial titled, “Repeal the 2nd Amendment“:

No, we don’t suppose that’s going to happen any time soon. But it should.

The 2nd Amendment to the U.S. Constitution is evidence that, while the founding fathers were brilliant men, they could have used an editor.

I would argue instead that the editors of the Chicago Tribune could use a brain.

Once you decide to destroy one fundamental civil right, you pretty much open the door to destroying all the rest of them. I mean, what the heck, why go for second when you can get first? Why not repeal the 1st Amendment? Then we wouldn’t have to read the drivel from those idiotic morons over at the Chicago Tribune.

Okay, so the Chicago Tribune wants to go the way of the Nazis, the Fascists, the Communists, and every single other totalitarian regime throughout history that has ever sought to solidify power by taking away the ability of its citizenry to defend itself against tyranny.

The language of the 2nd Amendment is crystal clear to anyone who isn’t radically committed to overthrowing it. If “the people” is a synonym for a “a well regulated militia,” then it follows that whenever we see the term anywhere else, we should NOT consider it as an individual right, but rather only the right of some government supervised and organized group.

Stop and think about it: do liberals want some white supremacist group starting a “militia”? Would they honor the gun rights of that militia? How about a bunch of American radical Islamicists who want to start a militia? Obviously not. Only a government supervised and government controlled entity such as the National Guard would qualify for liberals.

But is that “the people”? I’m not in the National Guard, and you probably aren’t either. So you aren’t “the people”?

Clearly, the “well regulated militia” was intended to be comprised of private individual citizens, “the people.” You could play the same stupid game with the first amendment, and argue that only the organized press should have free speech, because “the people” should have the Constitutional rights of speech and assembly only by means of “the press.”

You start to see what asinine nonsense this view is. It is terrifying that the Supreme Court was composed of such hard-core judicial activists in the past that they pretty much did whatever they wanted to do with the rights of Americans.

This editorial openly demonstrates just how radical the Chicago Tribune is, and how radically leftist Chicago politics are.

And it provides a neon “pointing finger” sign aimed at Barack obama.

Obama has said that he believed the Washington D.C. complete ban on handguns was constitutional, even as he has tried to say he’s also for individual gun rights. It’s one of his better “I voted for that bill before I voted against it” moments.

During An Interview, Obama Acknowledged His Support For The D.C. Gun Ban. Questioner Leon Harris: “One other issue that’s of great importance here in the district as well is gun control. You said in Idaho recently – I’m quoting here – ‘I have no intention of taking away folks’ guns,’ but you support the D.C. handgun ban.” Obama: “Right.” (Leon Harris and Sen. Barack Obama, Forum Sponsored By ABC And Politico.Com, Washington, DC, 2/12/08)

But Obama has previously held views on gun ownership even more radical than this:

In Response To A 1996 Independent Voters Of Illinois Questionnaire, Obama Indicated That He Supported Banning The “Manufacture, Sale And Possession Of Handguns.” Question: “Do you support state legislation to … ban the manufacture, sale and possession of handguns?” Obama’s Response: “Yes.” (Independent Voters Of Illinois Independent Precinct Organization 1996 General Candidate Questionnaire, Barack Obama Responses, 9/9/96)

Obama Was Director Of Anti-Gun Joyce Foundation, Which Spent Millions On Gun-Control Causes. “Adding even further skepticism to Obama’s claim of support for the 2nd Amendment is his previous service as a director of the Joyce Foundation. Since 2000, the Joyce Foundation has provided over $15 Million in funding to radical gun control organizations such as the Violence Policy Center and the Illinois Council Against Handgun Violence. The Joyce Foundation is tightly linked to the Soros Open Society Instit ute — an extremist group that advocates a worldwide ban on civilian firearm ownership.” (Illinois State Rifle Association, “ISRA Blasts Candidate Obama On His Record Of Hostility Toward Law-Abiding Firearm Owners,” Press Release, 8/24/04)

In 2004, Obama Voted Against Self-Defense Rights. “[Obama] opposed letting people use a self-defense argument if charged with violating local handgun bans by using weapons in their homes. The bill was a reaction to a Chicago-area man who, after shooting an intruder, was charged with a handgun violation.” (Ryan Keith “Obama Record In State Legislature Offers Possible Ammunition For Critics,” The Associated Press, 1/17/07)

In 2004, Running For U.S. Senate Obama Called For Federal Legislation To Pre-Empt State Concealed Carry Laws. “In a February survey of Democratic primary candidates for the U.S. Senate by the Tribune, Obama said he opposed allowing ordinary citizens to carry concealed weapons and that a federal law banning concealed carried weapons except for law enforcement is needed.” (Liam Ford, “Keyes Backs Law On Concealed Guns,” Chicago Tribune, 8/25/04)

I in particular react to Obama’s vote against self-protection. There is a clear correlation between gun controls for ordinary citizens and sky-high crime rates. Washington D.C. – which had the most restrictive gun controls in the country for some 32 years – has spent most of those same 32 years as the murder capital of the United States.

If you force yourself into my home uninvited – and you are not a police officer exercising a lawful warrant – I will shoot you dead. That provides a rather powerful disincentive for you to try to break into my house, doesn’t it? But for most of his political career, Barack Obama has supported taking that right – and that ability to protect myself and my family – away from me and from other law abiding citizens.

Only law abiding citizens pay attention to laws; criminals don’t. That’s the difference between “law-abiding” and “criminal.” When it’s illegal for law-abiding citizens to own guns, then only criminals will have the guns.

People like Barack Obama are protected by armed Secret Service agents, or can afford to live in safe areas. But what about the rest of us? What about the millions of ordinary people who can’t count on their police arriving in thirty seconds or less? Shouldn’t they have the right to protect themselves in their own homes?

Barack Obama has come out of the radical leftist cesspool of Chicago politics. He’s trying to position himself as a centrist moderate for the general election, but the truth of the matter is, we simply shouldn’t trust this guy.

A Closer Look At Obama, Candidate of ‘Hope’ and ‘Change’

June 6, 2008

We have seen something unparalleled in modern politics.

No, I’m not talking about the first black nominee of a major American political party.  I’m talking about the effort to whitewash every negative aspect to the past of a nominee of a major political party.

Interestingly, this story came out during the early days of the primary season when Hillarly Clinton was the presumed nominee, and Barack Obama was a nobody.  We haven’t heard a peep about it since the Obama campaign gained ground, which is the precise opposite of what we would expect to see if journalism was politically impartial and objective.

The story begins with Alice Palmer and the the 13th District Illinois State Senate.  Alice Palmer had battled as a community organizer in some of the poorest areas of that district – such as Englewood – for decades while Obama was getting a sun tan in Hawaii and living in Indonesia.  As a state senator, Palmer had faithfully served her district as a good progressive through the early 90s, giving up her safe seat to run for Congress at the request of the party establishment.  She gave Obama his start in politics.

In her previous Democratic primary race for the 13th District, Alice Palmer had defeated her opponent, Charlie Calvin, 83% to 17%, or 29,115 votes to 5,987.  She ran unopposed in the 1992 general election, and received 69,989 votes.

After losing her bid for Congress, Alice Palmer returned to take back her seat in the 13th District.  She had to mount a hasty signature campaign (she only had 18 days) in order to get her name on the ballot.

So what did Barack Obama do, facing the prospect of running against a beloved, long-standing fighter and activist who was actually the sitting incumbant, who had won the previous election with 83% of the vote, and who would have slaughtered the unknown Barack Obama in a primary election?

He put his Harvard Law degree to the most cynical use imaginable, mounting legal challenges to every signature Palmer collected.

Barack Obama, who as a community organizer had registered thousands of underprivileged voters, proceeded to turn around and organize an effort to nullify the signatures of many of these same voters on such technicalities as printing a name rather than writing in cursive.

As a CNN story titled “Obama played hardball in first Chicago campaign” details, “As a community organizer, he had helped register thousands of voters. But when it came time to run for office, he employed Chicago rules to invalidate the voting petition signatures of three of his challengers.”

David Jackson and Ray Long, writing for the Chicago Tribune, begin their article, “Making of a Candidate: Obama knows his way around a ballot.  Some say his ability to play political hardball goes back to his first campaign” this way:

The day after New Year’s 1996, operatives for Barack Obama filed into a barren hearing room of the Chicago Board of Election Commissioners.

There they began the tedious process of challenging hundreds of signatures on the nominating petitions of state Sen. Alice Palmer, the longtime progressive activist from the city’s South Side. And they kept challenging petitions until every one of Obama’s four Democratic primary rivals was forced off the ballot.

Fresh from his work as a civil rights lawyer and head of a voter registration project that expanded access to the ballot box, Obama launched his first campaign for the Illinois Senate saying he wanted to empower disenfranchised citizens.

But in that initial bid for political office, Obama quickly mastered the bare-knuckle arts of Chicago electoral politics. His overwhelming legal onslaught signaled his impatience to gain office, even if that meant elbowing aside an elder stateswoman like Palmer.

A close examination of Obama’s first campaign clouds the image he has cultivated throughout his political career: The man now running for president on a message of giving a voice to the voiceless first entered public office not by leveling the playing field, but by clearing it.

One of the candidates he eliminated, long-shot contender Gha-is Askia, now says that Obama’s petition challenges belied his image as a champion of the little guy and crusader for voter rights.

“Why say you’re for a new tomorrow, then do old-style Chicago politics to remove legitimate candidates?” Askia said. “He talks about honor and democracy, but what honor is there in getting rid of every other candidate so you can run scot-free? Why not let the people decide?”

In a recent interview, Obama granted that “there’s a legitimate argument to be made that you shouldn’t create barriers to people getting on the ballot.”

But the unsparing legal tactics were justified, he said, by obvious flaws in his opponents’ signature sheets. “To my mind, we were just abiding by the rules that had been set up,” Obama recalled.

You Democrats are so mad at the will of the people getting overcome in Florida in 2000?  Well, it’s time for you to demonstrate the totality of your selective outrage yet again, because your glorious candidate of hope and change used crushing tactics to neutralize the clear will of the people.

The Chicago Tribune article addresses Obama’s own reservations about the tactic that he would come to fully embrace:

At the time, though, Obama seemed less at ease with the decision, according to aides. They said the first-time candidate initially expressed reservations about using challenges to eliminate all his fellow Democrats.

“He wondered if we should knock everybody off the ballot. How would that look?” said Ronald Davis, the paid Obama campaign consultant whom Obama referred to as his “guru of petitions.”

In the end, Davis filed objections to all four of Obama’s Democratic rivals at the candidate’s behest.

While Obama didn’t attend the hearings, “he wanted us to call him every night and let him know what we were doing,” Davis said, noting that Palmer and the others seemed unprepared for the challenges.

Obama defended his use of ballot maneuvers, arguing, “If you can win, you should win and get to work doing the people’s business.”

So Obama won by elimimating candidates Marc Ewell and Gha-is Askia in addition to Alice Parker.  Ewell filed a federal lawsuit contesting the election board’s decision, but Obama’s personal friend and fellow Harvard Law graduate Thomas Johnson intervened on Obama’s behalf and prevailed when Ewell’s case was dismissed days later.

Askia said, he was dismayed Obama would use such tactics.  “It wasn’t honorable,” he said. “I wouldn’t have done it.”  He said the Obama team challenged every single one of his petitions on “technicalities.”  If names were printed instead of signed in cursive writing, they were declared invalid. If signatures were good but the person gathering the signatures wasn’t properly registered, those petitions also were thrown out.  Askia came up 69 signatures short of the required number to be on the ballot.

So don’t you dare say anything nasty about George W. Bush and Florida, you liberal hypocrites.

And please stop whining about “the Right-wing political attack machine,” while you’re at it.

Please try to remember that the phrase, “The politics of personal destruction,” was coined to describe the vicious personal attacks the Clintons used over and over again to personally as well as politically destroy their opponents.

Democrats have more than enough blood on their hands that you would think they would feel more than a little bit self-conscious to point out the tactics of their opposition, but, no.  It’s a little like combining the conscience of a rattlesnake with the brazennous of a street hooker.

“He came from Chicago politics,” Jay Stewart [of Chicago’s Better Government Association] said. “Politics ain’t beanbag, as they say in Chicago. You play with your elbows up, and you’re pretty tough and ruthless when you have to be. Sen. Obama felt that’s what was necessary at the time, that’s what he did. Does it fit in with the rhetoric now? Perhaps not.”

Perhaps not“?

Let’s include the opinion of someone who demonstrates a little more honesty, veteran Chicago Tribune columnist John Kass:

Kass, the Chicago Tribune columnist, said the national media are naive when it comes to Chicago politics, which is a serious business.

He said they have bought into a narrative that Obama is strictly a reformer. The truth, Kass says, is that he is a bare-knuckled politician. And using the rules to win his first office is part of who Obama is.

“It’s not the tactics of ‘let’s all people come together and put your best ideas forward and the best ideas win,’ ” Kass said. “That’s the spin; that’s in the Kool-Aid. You can have some. Any flavor. But the real deal was, get rid of Alice Palmer.
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“There are those who think that registering people to vote and getting them involved in politics and then using this tactic in terms of denying Alice Palmer the right to compete, that these things are inconsistent. And guess what? They are. They are inconsistent. But that’s the politics he plays.”

My problem isn’t so much with Obama’s past tactics so much as with his message in light of those tactics, and in light of his past associations.

It’s bad enough that Barack Obama lectures us on race relations only after having been caught spending the past 23 years in as toxic of a racial environment as well, fellow Democratic Senator Robert Byrd, a former grand wizard of the Ku Klux Klan.

But to emerge from brutally and cynically stealing an office from a far more popular incumbent candidate and then calling yourself “the candidate of hope and change” is not only morally vacuous, but calls upon Americans to abandon their intelligence and common sense for smarmy, self-serving rhetoric.

Jeremiah Wright Sermons Transcripts: Context Doesn’t Help

April 26, 2008

I found a partial transcript of several of Rev. Jeremiah Wright’s controversial remarks in fuller context in the Chicago Tribune. I probably don’t need to say that the Chicago Tribune would tend to be as friendly toward Barack Obama and Jeremiah Wright as any paper in the country.

By and large, reading the context pretty much reads just like the “out of context” sound bites.

They have his “chickens coming home to roost” bit from 16 September 2001; his July 2003 “God damn America” tirade; and his “Bill did us just like he did Monica Lewinski. He was riding dirty.”

Too bad they didn’t have his sermon that blamed white Americans for creating the AIDS virus as a genocide against black people. I would have really liked to have heard that one in context.

From the interview with PBS’ uber-lib Bill Moyers, I understand that Rev. Wright believes he was taken out of context and that everyone in the media should feel very, very bad.

Let’s try to get past the blatant fact that Bill Moyers is – and always has been – a liberal hack with a taxpayer-funded power-base which he uses to rip at Republicans and conservatives (check out this link and then this one for speeches in his own far-leftist words [but WARNING: they are long, boring, and dripping with sanctimonious self-righteousness!]). Yes, Moyers does his liberal, Obama-loving best to help Wright whitewash his comments without raising the type of objections fair-minded journalists would be inclined to raise. In spite of all that, it was still interesting to hear Wright’s “woe is me for I have been wronged” remarks regarding his racist, anti-American rants.

Jeremiah Wright is a man who believes America is a terrible place, but – to his credit – at least he’s consistent: he believes America has ALWAYS been a terrible place. Reading these transcripts from the Chicago Tribune, and listening to several other remarks that have become public, Wright pretty much rips America upside-down from day one. Our founders were immoral slave-owning hypocrites, we have always been a racist country from day one, that sort of thing.

That’s the context, folks. There is simply no getting away from it. More context simply reveals more anti-Americanism and racism. Does the fact that he finds a quote from some former ambassador named Edward Peck in any way distance himself from the message he is presenting on 16 September 2001? Absolutely not. It is a fool’s argument. Wright simply found a quote to use as a leaping-off point – and believes me, he LEAPS OFF.

Let’s agree that America is not a perfect place (and keep in mind that if it is, you’d better leave, because YOU WOULD RUIN IT!). We’ve done bad things. And black people have been the victims of a number of those bad things that America has done. Just in case some of you didn’t know that, okay?

But this is a man who does not say ANYTHING good about America. Not a (to put it terms that Wright likes to use, “Not a G-D thing”). Listening to Wright – in context – you learn that the United States of AmeriKKKa is vile, it is hateful, it is racist, it is immoral, it is corrupt, and on and on and on.

More context only serves to reveal more of his blatant hostility to America.

It is because of the tutelage of the Rev. Jeremiah Wright that Barack Obama’s wife Michelle has never been proud of this country in her adult life, and believes “America in 2008 is a mean place.”

I read more of his sermon from FIVE DAYS AFTER INNOCENT CIVILIANS WERE ATTACKED BY MURDEROUS TERRORIST COWARDS, on 16 September 2001, and I frankly want to puke all the more. He goes back to World War II to prove how we bombed Japan and killed women and children to drive his point home. He omits the fact that the United States was simultaneously fighting the two most despicable regimes in the history of the planet, and had to go to the bloody mat to defeat enemies who were far too full of hate to ever surrender. World War II was our greatest hour: but for Jeremiah Wright and his followers, it is our greatest shame.

Read about the Holocaust, where 6 million Jews perished, the slave labor, the rape of Nanking, the Korean women forced into prostitution, the despicable medical experiments performed on human beings, and so many other ugly, ugly facts about these enemies, and draw your own conclusion. We live in a dark and terrible world, and we have often been called upon to stand up and fight; to fight for freedom, for what is ours, for what is right.

As for Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the Japanese would not surrender.  Period.  American intelligence estimated that an invasion of Japan would consume four million lives – and that fully one million would be ours.  After we destroyed one city, we gave Japan an opportunity to surrender; they refused.  It took a second city to shake them out of their confidence that they could never be defeated.

Allow me now to respond to Jeremiah Wright’s self-serving exegesis of Psalm 137:9 and put IT into context. Remember, this is the Bible. It’s the story of God and His people. You don’t just read one verse and think you understand the whole story. So let’s look at the greater story:

In Genesis 13, God promises the land of Israel to Abraham’s descendants [Interestingly, Israel is the ONLY land that God ever gave to a people as an “everlasting possession” (Gen 17:1-8); and yet it is the land whose possession by that people is most reviled and most doubted. Just a little food for thought]. In Genesis 15:13-16, God tells Abraham that his descendants will one day inherit the land – but not for another four generations, because “the iniquity of the Amorite is not yet complete.” After those four generations had passed (and the iniquity of the Amorite WAS complete), God commanded Moses and Joshua to take the land. He commanded them to conquer it, to drive out the inhabitants and kill them.

Missionaries talk about “power encounters.” In the time of the Old Testament, every people had their own gods. And if one people defeated another, it was because their god/gods were stronger. When the Amorite was as depraved and wicked as they could get, God sent His people into the land, and God played the game of “power encounter” with those people, and the God of the Bible demonstrated that He and He alone was the God of gods. These people were evil beyond persuasion. They could and would only understand violence. And so, in Exodus, Joshua, and in other sections of the Old Testament, God revealed Himself to all the peoples around through violence and war. And these wicked people got Jehovah’s message the only way they could understand it.

So when I read Rev. Wright’s exposition of Psalm 137:9, I see a man who is quite literally characterizing the VERY GOD HE CLAIMS TO WORSHIP AS BEING AS TERRIBLE AS HE SAYS THE UNITED STATES IS. There’s no such thing as a “just war” for Wright. America CAN’T be “just” for Wright. America is just – to again quote Michelle Obama – “a mean place.”

For Jeremiah Wright, there is no good in America. None whatsoever. There is no coming to the defense of his country. Even World War II was an example of an immoral United States of America for him. He is simply too bitter and too full of hate to see the good in this country.

Jeremiah Wright wants us to see how – in context – he’s really not such a bad guy. But he won’t give the United States that same basic privilege. He won’t allow any “context” to color his anger and bitterness against America, or against the white people who live in it.