Sunday, November 23, 2008
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
Monday, November 10, 2008
Friday, November 7, 2008
Tuesday, November 4, 2008
Sunday, November 2, 2008
We enthusiastically support John McCain's economic plan. It is a comprehensive, pro-growth, reform agenda. The reform focuses on the real economic problems Americans face today and will face in the future. And it builds on the core economic principles that have made America great.
His plan would control government spending by vetoing every bill with earmarks, implementing a constitutionally valid line-item veto, pausing non-military discretionary government spending programs for one year to stop their explosive growth and place accountability on federal government agencies.
His plan would keep taxes from rising, because higher tax rates are exactly the wrong policy to restore economic growth, especially at this time.
I can't fit the whole statement or all the signatures of the economists who signed it but visit the site below for a point by point discussion of both plans. The site also provides PDF's of the actual Economic Plans of the candidates. You owe it to yourself and your country to get educated on the facts...
Friday, October 31, 2008
Thursday, October 30, 2008
Wednesday, October 29, 2008
Monday, October 27, 2008
Yesterday on my way to lunch at Doe’s, I passed one of the homeless guys in that area, with a sign that read; “Vote Obama, I need the money.”
Once in the Doe’s my waiter had on a “Obama 08″ tee shirt. When the bill came, I decided not to tip the waiter and explained to him while he had given me exceptional service, that his tee shirt made me feel he obviously believes in Senator Obama’s plan to redistribute the wealth. I told him I was going to redistribute his tip to someone that I deemed more in need; the homeless guy outside. He stood there in disbelief and angrily stormed away.
I went outside, gave the homeless guy $3 and told him to thank the waiter inside, as I had decided he could use the money more. The homeless guy looked at me in disbelief but seemed grateful.
As I got in my truck, I realized this rather unscientific redistribution experiment had left the homeless guy quite happy for the money he did not earn, but the waiter was pretty angry that I gave away the money he did earn.
Well, I guess this redistribution of wealth is going to take a while to catch on with those doing the work.
Hillary Backers Decry Massive Obama Vote Fraud
Sunday, October 26, 2008 9:02 PM
By: Kenneth R. Timmerman
With accusations of voter registration fraud swirling as early voting begins in many states, some Hillary Clinton supporters are saying: “I told you so.”
Already in Iowa, the Obama campaign was breaking the rules, busing in supporters from neighboring states to vote illegally in the first contest in the primaries and physically intimidating Hillary supporters, they say.
Obama’s surprisingly strong win in Iowa, which defied all the polls, propelled his upstart candidacy to front-runner status. But Dr. Lynette Long, a Hillary supporter from Bethesda, Md, who has a long and respected academic career, believes Obama’s victory in Iowa and in twelve other caucus states was no miracle. “It was fraud,” she told Newsmax.
Dr. Long has spent several months studying the caucus and primary results.
“After studying the procedures and results from all fourteen caucus states, interviewing dozens of witnesses, and reviewing hundreds of personal stories, my conclusion is that the Obama campaign willfully and intentionally defrauded the American public by systematically undermining the caucus process,” she said.
In Hawaii, for example, the caucus organizers ran out of ballots, so Obama operatives created more from Post-its and scraps of paper and dumped them into ice cream buckets. “The caucuses ended up with more ballots than participants, a sure sign of voter fraud,” Dr. Long said.
In Nevada, Obama supporters upturned a wheelchair-bound woman who wanted to caucus for Hillary, flushed Hillary ballots down the toilets, and told union members they could only vote if their name was on the list of Obama supporters.
In Texas, more than 2,000 Clinton and Edwards supporters filed complaints with the state Democratic Party because of the massive fraud. The party acknowledged that the Obama campaign’s actions “amount to criminal violations” and ordered them to be reported to state and federal law enforcement, but nothing happened.
In caucus after caucus, Obama bused in supporters from out of state, intimidated elderly voters and women, and stole election packets so Hillary supporters couldn’t vote. Thanks to these and other strong-arm tactics, Obama won victories in all but one of the caucuses, even in states such as Maine where Hillary had been leading by double digits in the polls.
Obama’s win in the caucuses, which were smaller events than the primaries and were run by the party, not the states, gave him the margin of victory he needed to win a razor-thin majority in the delegate count going into the Democratic National Convention.
Without these caucus wins – which Dr. Long and others claim were based on fraud – Hillary Clinton would today be the Democrats’ nominee running against John McCain.
Citing a detailed report on the voting results and delegate accounts by accountant Piniel Cronin, “there were only four pledged delegates between Hillary and Obama once you discount caucus fraud,” Dr. Long said.
Dr. Long has compiled many of these eyewitness reports from the 14 caucus states in a 98 page single-spaced report, and in an interactive Web site: http://www.caucusanalysis.org.
The Obama campaign recently admitted that it paid an affiliate of ACORN, the controversial community organizer that Obama represented in Chicago, more than $832,00 for “voter turnout” work during the primaries. The campaign initially claimed the money had been spent on “staging, sound and light” and “advance work.”
ACORN is now under investigation by state and federal law enforcement in eleven states for voter registration fraud. ACORN workers repeatedly registered voters in the name of “Mickey Mouse,” and twice registered the entire starting line-up of the Dallas Cowboys – once in Nevada, and again in Minnesota.
A group that has worked with ACORN in the past registered a dead goldfish under the name “Princess Nudelman” in Illinois. When Beth Nudelman, a Democrat, was informed by reporters that her former pet was a registered voter, she said, “This person is a dead fish.”
ACORN was known for its “intimidation tactics,” says independent scholar Stanley Kurtz, a senior fellow with the Ethics and Public Policy Center in Washington, DC. who has researched Obama’s long-standing ties to the group.
Fully 30 percent of 1.3 million new voters ACORN claims to have registered this year are now believed to be illegitimate.
Dr. Long shared with Newsmax some of the emails and sworn affidavits she received from Hillary supporters who witnessed first-hand the thuggish tactics employed by Obama campaign operatives in Iowa and elsewhere.
Jeff, a precinct captain for Clinton from Davenport, Iowa, thought his caucus was in the bag for his candidate, until just minutes before the voting actually began.
“From 6-6:30 pm, it appeared as I had expected. Young, old males, females, Hispanics, whites, gay and lesbian friends arriving. Very heavily for Ms. Clinton, a fair amount for Edwards and some stragglers for Obama,” he said.
That makeup corresponded to what he had witnessed from many precinct walks he had made through local neighborhoods.
“My mind began to feel victory for my lady,’ he said. “THEN: at 6:50 pm, over 75 people of African-American descent came walking in, passed the tables and sat in the Obama section. I knew one of them from my canvassing. I knew another one who did not live in this precinct. And aside from 4 or 5 families that live on Hillandale Road, there are no other black people in this unusually white precinct. And one of those black couples were in my Hillary section,” he said.
Thanks to the last-minute influx of unknown Obama supporters, Obama won twice the number of delegates from the precinct as Hillary Clinton.
After it was over, “a very large bus was seen in the parking lot afterwards carrying these folks back” to Illinois, Jeff said.
Obama’s flagrant busing of out-of-state caucus participants from Illinois was so obvious that even Joe Biden – today his running mate, then his rival – pointed it out at the time.
At a campaign stop before the Jan. 3 caucus at the JJ Diner in Des Moines, Biden “said what we were all thinking when he got on stage and said, ‘Hello Iowa!’ and then turned to Barack’s crowd and shouted, ‘and Hello Chicago!’” another precinct captain for Hillary told Dr. Long.
Thanks to Illinois campaign workers bused across the border into Iowa, all the precincts in eastern Iowa went for Obama, guaranteeing his win in the caucuses, Dr. Long says.
Obama supporters were also bused into northeast Iowa from Omaha, Nebraska, where Obama campaign workers were seen handing out “i-pods and free stuff – t-shirts, clothes, shoes, and free meals” to students and people in homeless shelters,” according to eyewitness reports collected by Dr. Long.
In Iowa City, red and white chartered buses with Illinois license plates arrived from Illinois packed with boisterous African-American high school students, who came to caucus for Obama in Iowa after being recruited by Obama campaign workers.
2,000 complaints in Texas
In a change in the Democratic National Committee rules for this year’s election season, four states had caucuses and primaries: Washington, Nebraska, Idaho and Texas. “But Texas is the only one that counted both the caucus result and the primary result,” Dr. Long told Newsmax. “The others didn’t count the primary at all, calling it a ‘beauty contest.’”
Because caucuses are more informal, and can last hours, they tend to favor candidates with a strong ground operation or whose supporters use strong-arm tactics to intimidate their rivals.
“There is inherent voter disenfranchisement in the caucuses,” Dr. Long says. “Women are less likely to go to caucuses than men, because they don’t like the public nature of the caucus. The elderly are less likely to go to a caucus. People who work shifts can’t go if they work the night shift. And parents with young children can’t go out for four hours on a week night. All these people are traditionally Clinton supporters,” she said.
But Obama’s victories in the caucuses weren’t the result of better organization, Dr. Long insists. “It was fraud.”
In state after state, Hillary was leading Obama in the polls right up until the last minute, when Obama won a landslide victory in the caucuses.
The discrepancies between the polls and the caucus results were stunning, Dr. Long told Newsmax. The most flagrant example was Minnesota.
A Minnesota Public Radio/Humphrey Institute poll conducted just one week before the Feb. 5 caucus gave Hillary a 7-point lead over Obama, 40-33.
But when the Minnesota caucus results were counted, Obama won by a landslide, with 66.39 percent to just 32.23 percent for Hillary, giving him 48 delegates, as compared to 24 for Clinton.
“No poll is that far off,” Dr. Long told Newsmax.
Similar disparities occurred in 13 of 14 caucus states.
In Colorado and Idaho, Obama had a two-point edge over Hillary Clinton in the polls, but won by more than two to one in the caucuses, sweeping most delegates.
In Kansas, Hillary had a slight edge over Obama in the polls, but Obama won 74 percent of the votes in the caucus and most of the delegates. In nearly every state, he bested the pre-caucus polls by anywhere from 12 percent to more than 30 percent.
This year’s primary rules for the Democrats favored the caucus states over the primary states.
“Caucus states made up only 1.1 million (3 percent) of all Democratic votes, but selected 626 (15 percent) of the delegates,” says Gigi Gaston, a filmmaker who has made a documentary on the caucus fraud.
In Texas alone, she says, there were more than 2,000 complaints from Hillary Clinton and John Edwards supporters of Obama’s strong-arm tactics.
One Hillary supporter, who appears in Gaston’s new film, “We Will Not Be Silenced,” says she received death threats from Obama supporters after they saw her address in an on-line video she made to document fraud during the Texas caucus. “People called me a whore and a skank,” she said.
John Siegel, El Paso Area Captain for Hillary, says “some people saw outright cheating. Other people just saw strong-arm tactics. I saw fraud.”
Another woman, who was not identified in the film, described the sign-in process. “You’re supposed to sign your names on these sheets. The sheets are supposed to be controlled, and passed out – this is kind of how you maintain order. None of that was done. The sheets were just flying all over the place. You could put in your own names. You could add your own sheets or anything. It was just filled with fraud.”
Other witnesses described how Obama supporters went through the crowds at the caucus telling Hillary supporters they could go home because their votes had been counted, when in fact no vote count had yet taken place.
“I couldn’t believe this was happening,” one woman said in the film. “I thought this only happened in Third World countries.”
On election day in Texas, Clinton campaign lawyer Lyn Utrecht issued a press release that was widely ignored by the national media.
“The campaign legal hotline has been flooded with calls containing specific accusations of irregularities and voter intimidation against the Obama campaign,” she wrote. “This activity is undemocratic, probably illegal, and reflects a wanton disregard for the caucus process.”
She identified 18 separate precincts where Obama operatives had removed voting packets before the Clinton voters could arrive, despite a written warning from the state party not to remove them.
The hotline also received numerous calls during the day that “the Obama campaign has taken over caucus sites and locked the doors, excluding Clinton campaign supporters from participating in the caucus,” she wrote.
“There are numerous instances of Obama supporters filing out precinct convention sign-in sheets during the day and submitting them as completed vote totals at caucus. This is expressly against the rules,” she added.
But no one seemed to care.
Despite Clinton’s three-and-a-half point win in the Texas primary – 50.87 percent to 47.39 percent – Obama beat her in the caucus the same day by 56 to 43.7 percent, giving him a 38 to 29 advantage in delegates.
Dr. Linda Hayes investigated the results at the precinct level in three state Senate districts. Under the rules of the Texas Democratic Party, participants in the caucuses had to reside in the precinct where they were caucusing, and had to have voted in the Democratic primary that same day.
When she began to see the results coming in from the precincts that were wildly at variance with the primary results, “I could see that something was wrong,” Hayes said.
Dr. Hayes says she found numerous anomalies as she went through the precinct sign-in sheets.
“Many, many, many Obama people either came to the wrong precinct, they did not sign in properly, they did not show ID, or they did not vote that day.” And yet, their votes were counted.
In a letter to Rep. Lois Capps, a Clinton supporter calling himself “Pacific John” described the fraud he had witnessed during the caucuses.
“On election night in El Paso, it became obvious that the Obama field campaign was designed to steal caucuses. Prior to that, it was impossible for me to imagine the level of attempted fraud and disruption we would see,” he wrote.
“We saw stolen precincts where Obama organizers fabricated counts, made false entries on sign-in sheets, suppressed delegate counts, and suppressed caucus voters. We saw patterns such as missing electronic access code sheets and precinct packets taken before the legal time, like elsewhere in the state. Obama volunteers illegally took convention materials state-wide, with attempts as early as 6:30 am.”
The story of how Obama stole the Democratic Party caucuses - and consequently, the Democratic Party nomination - is important not just because it prefigures potential voter fraud in the November 4 presidential election, which is already under way.
It’s important because it fits a pattern that Chicago journalists and a few national and international commentators have noticed in all of the elections Obama has won in his career.
NBC correspondent Martin Fletcher described Obama’s first election victory - for Illinois state senate – in a recent commentary that appeared in the London Telegraph.
“Mr. Obama won a seat in the state senate in 1996 by the unorthodox means of having surrogates successfully challenge the hundreds of nomination signatures that candidates submit. His Democratic rivals, including Alice Palmer, the incumbent, were all disqualified,” Fletcher wrote.
Obama’s election to the U.S. Senate “was even more curious,” conservative columnist Tony Blankley writes in The Washington Times.
Citing an account that appeared in The Times of London, Blankley described how Obama managed to squeeze out his main Democratic rival, Blair Hull, after divorce papers revealed allegations that Hull had allegedly made a death threat to his former wife.
Then in the general election, “lightning struck again,” Blankley writes, when his Republican opponent, wealthy businessman Jack Ryan, was forced to withdraw in extremis after his divorce papers revealed details of his sexual life with his former wife.
Just weeks before the election, the Illinois Republican party called on Alan Keyes of Maryland to challenge Obama in the general election. Obama won a landslide victory.
“Mr. Obama’s elections are pregnant with the implications that he has so far gamed every office he has sought by underhanded and sordid means,” Blankley writes, while “the American media has let these extraordinary events simply pass without significant comment.”
Hillary Clinton supporters, belatedly, now agree.
Thursday, October 23, 2008
Larry Grathwohl was an underground agent who infiltrated Bill Ayers’ Weather Undergound movement. Here he discusses what would happen next after they overthrow the USA government.
“…… And they were dead serious”.
So, do too many MSMers and Democrats still think that an affiliation for years with Bill Ayers is a harmless little thing?
Tuesday, October 21, 2008
Ever since Hillary Clinton was thrown out of the race, I have been an undecided voter. I wasn't going to reward Barack Obama and the DNC with my vote, so I had a few other choices:
1) Simply not cast a vote for President
2) Write Hillary Clinton in
3) Vote for a third party candidate, Cynthia McKinney/Rosa Clemente of the Green Party came to mind
4) Vote for McCain/Palin
Ultimately, after months of deliberation and careful consideration, I decided to use my vote in the best way possible, and that is to vote for the McCain/Palin ticket.
Why did I choose McCain/Palin?
Well, here's why:
In John McCain we have a true patriot. A man who has time and time again put service to his country ahead of any personal considerations. Whether it was continuing in active duty despite nearly losing his life in the USS Foresstal fire, or refusing an early release from Vietnamese POW camp as a result of his father's high position in the Navy, John McCain served our country proudly, faithfully and unwaveringly.
Despite what were obvious opportunities to enter the private sector and engage in self service after leaving the Navy in 1981, John McCain chose to dedicate his time and energy to public service.
Even though he has always served as a Republican, John McCain has a track record of being one of the most moderate members of Congress, first as a member of the House, and later on as a member of the US Senate.
Time and time again, when forced to choose between the public good and party interest, John McCain had no qualms in standing with the people, challenging both the GOP Caucus in Congress and a GOP controlled White House in the process if the occasion demanded it.
If he brings his life experience with him to the White House, I am sure he will make a fantastic President.
Of course supporting McCain for President also means supporting Sarah Palin for VIce-President. This I gladly do for a few reasons, the least of which is that in close to two decades of public service, Sarah has never shied away from taking positions which might not be deemed popular, but which she personally believed in.
While entrenched politicians served their personal interests, Sarah always put accountability, fiscal discipline and the needs of her constituents first. Whether it was cutting down wasteful spending, approving the Alaska Gas Pipeline, or decreasing reliance on earmarks while simultaneously increasing state revenue to $10 billion in 2008, it is no surprise that she has the highest approval rating of any of the nation's 50 governors.
Lastly, I know that a McCain/Palin administration shall preserve the American way of life, one where the individual and not the government is the fundamental force which drives all endeavor. An administration where wealth is not "spread" around by the state, but given voluntarily by those who have acquired it legally. They shall have an administration where people are not afraid to speak out for fear of being considered "enemies of the President", and most importantly an administration which respects the most fundamental characteristic of US Democracy, our right to vote, and actually have our votes counted. A McCain/Palin administration shall NOT view elections as commercial affairs where votes can not only be bought, but also manufactured at will, something that Barack Obama and Joe Biden obviously have no qualms with.
Ladies and gentlemen, on November 4th, I intend to PROUDLY cast my vote for John McCain/Sarah Palin, I encourage you to do so too.
Monday, October 20, 2008
It is vital we remember what it is like to have a nice guy who is unprepared to handle a crisis in the White House. It also is instructive to remember that it was John McCain who bucked the Republican leadership and pressed the issue of having the 9-11 Commission. That would not have happened without McCain’s intervention.
Just another uncomfortable fact
Here is what Joe Biden just said at a fundraiser yesterday:
“Mark my words,” the Democratic vice presidential nominee warned at the second of his two Seattle fundraisers Sunday. “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,” Biden said to Emerald City supporters, mentioning the Middle East and Russia as possibilities. “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.”
Not only will the next administration have to deal with foreign affairs issues, Biden warned, but also with the current economic crisis.
“Gird your loins,” Biden told the crowd. “We’re gonna win with your help, God willing, we’re gonna win, but this is not gonna be an easy ride. This president, the next president, is gonna be left with the most significant task. It’s like cleaning the Augean stables, man. This is more than just, this is more than – think about it, literally, think about it – this is more than just a capital crisis, this is more than just markets. This is a systemic problem we have with this economy.”
“I’ve forgotten more about foreign policy than most of my colleagues know, so I’m not being falsely humble with you. I think I can be value added, but this guy has it,” the Senate Foreign Relations chairman said of Obama. “This guy has it. But he’s gonna need your help. Because I promise you, you all are gonna be sitting here a year from now going, ‘Oh my God, why are they there in the polls? Why is the polling so down? Why is this thing so tough?’ We’re gonna have to make some incredibly tough decisions in the first two years. So I’m asking you now, I’m asking you now, be prepared to stick with us. Remember the faith you had at this point because you’re going to have to reinforce us.”
“There are gonna be a lot of you who want to go, ‘Whoa, wait a minute, yo, whoa, whoa, I don’t know about that decision’,” Biden continued. “Because if you think the decision is sound when they’re made, which I believe you will when they’re made, they’re not likely to be as popular as they are sound. Because if they’re popular, they’re probably not sound.”
Biden emphasized that the mountainous Afghanistan-Pakistan border is of particular concern, with Osama bin Laden “alive and well” and Pakistan “bristling with nuclear weapons.”
“You literally can see what these kids are up against, our kids in that region,” Biden said in recalling when his helicopter was forced down due to a snowstorm there. “The place is crawling with al Qaeda. And it’s real.”
“We do not have the military capacity, nor have we ever, quite frankly, in the last 20 years, to dictate outcomes,” he cautioned. “It’s so much more important than that. It’s so much more complicated than that. And Barack gets it.”
Just what should we expect? And what is it that the Obama administration will do that we may question? Hmmm.... could he be refering to something regarding Israel, maybe Pakistan, maybe a US Draft... who knows with Obama, but we can certainly trust him, right? I mean he's so straightforward and upfront with the people... yeah right!
Friday, October 17, 2008
This is really funny...
Wednesday, October 15, 2008
Accusing API of colluding with American internet bloggers in an effort to bring down her husband, Mrs Obama said she decided to call API because of what she termed, API’s help to spread rumours created by American bloggers and other racist media outlets in their efforts to damage a black man’s name, saying she hopes African Media was mature enough to be in the front to give unwavering support to her husband, a man Africans should identify themselves with.
When API told her that our online news media was only relaying what the American Bloggers and other media outlets had discovered through their investigations, Mrs Obama was angered and she came out loud with the following: “African press International is supposed to support Africans and African-American view,” and she went to state that, “it is strange that API has chosen to support the racists against my husband. There is no shame in being adopted by a step father. All dirt has been thrown onto my husband’s face and yet he loves this country. My husband and I know that there is no law that will stop him from becoming the president, just because some American white racists are bringing up the issue of my husband’s adoption by His step father. The important thing here is where my husband’s heart is at the moment. I can tell the American people that My husband loves this country and his adoption never changed his love for this country. He was born in Hawaii, yes, and that gives him all the right to be an American citizen even though he was adopted by a foreigner; says Michelle Obama on telefon to API.”
This is a very interesting turn of events. The American man Dr Corsi was recently reported to have been arrested in Kenya because there was fear that he might reveal information on Obama when he wanted to hold a press conference in Nairobi.
The question now is why he was arrested and who ordered his arrest. Was Obama’s hand in this in any way? We will never know the truth but what is clear is that Dr Corsi was seen as a threat while in Kenya.
When API asked Mrs Obama to comment on why Dr Corsi was arrested by the Kenyan government and whether she thought Kenya’s Prime Minister Mr Raila Odinga was involved in Dr Corsi’s arrest, she got irritated and and simply told API not to dig that which will support evil people who are out to stop her husband from getting the presidency.
When asked who she was referring to as the evil people, she stated that she was not going to elaborate much on that but that many conservative white people and even some African Americans were against her husband, but that this group of blacks were simply doing so because of envy.
On Farakhan and his ministry, Mrs Obama told API that it was unfortunate that Mr Farakhan came out the way he did supporting her husband openly before the elections was over. That was not wholehearted support but one that was calculated to convince the American people that my husband will support the growth of muslim faith if he became the president, adding “even if my husband was able to prove that he is not a Muslim, he will not be believed by those who have come out strongly to destroy his chances of being the next President. Do real people expect someone to deny a religion when 80 percent of his relatives are Muslims?; Mrs Obama asked.
Mrs Obama asked API to write a good story about her husband and that will earn API an invitation to the innoguration ceremony when, as she put it , her husband will be installed as the next President of the United States of America next year.
Published by African Press International - API
Monday, October 13, 2008
Sunday, October 12, 2008
Saturday, October 11, 2008
Friday, October 10, 2008
Avid PUMAs may remember the article we had about Alexi Giannoulias alleged banker to the mob, Obama fundraiser, DNC Convention speaker, and Illinois' State Treasurer.
We got word earlier this week that Tony Rezko had started talking about Alexi as part of his plea-bargain negotiations. Earlier today, Michael Sneed, columnist for the Chicago Sun Times had this blurb:
Sneed hears rumbles political fund-raiser/fixer Tony Rezko, who is now singing sweetly to the feds from his cell at the Metropolitan Correctional Center, has been talking about his "dealings" with a Chicago bank, which has political connections.
Hmmmm. Hillbuzz it seems also got independent confirmation on the "bank" in this blurb being Broadway Bank. Giannoulias was the bank's vice president and chief loan officer under whose watch more than $15 million in loans was approved. Some of these loans went to Michael "Jaws" Giorango, a Chicagoan twice convicted of bookmaking and running a nationwide prostitution ring.
What the heck is the Rezko connection in here you may wonder, PUMA Pundit, aren't you merely grasping for straws you may think? Not at all, there is a major connection.
According to an article in The Chicago Sun Times , in 2006 Rezko wrote $450,000 in bad checks drawn to this bank, at a time Alexi Giannoulias listed himself both as President and as Chairman of the Board. Coincidentally, and I use this word lightly, in 2003:
Rezko also pushed for the appointment of Chicago banker Demetris Giannoulias, brother of Democratic state Treasurer Alexi Giannoulias, to the Illinois Finance Authority board, records show.
But wait, there's more. What do we know about Demetris Giannoulias? Well for starters, based on his profile at Crossroads Fund where he serves as a member of the Board of Directors:
Demetris Giannoulias, Chief Financial Officer of Broadway Bank in Chicago, is interested and involved in community organizing and economic development in low-income communities.
Community organizing? Guess which organization has been getting grants from the Crossroads Fund? ACORN of course… Incidentally, Bill Ayers and Bernardine Dhorn are active fundraisers for the fund. Last year when the fund held its 25th anniversary, Barack Obama was one of the Honorary Hosts.
But enough about the Crossroads Fund, let's get back to Demetris and Rezko.
Professionaly, here is what Demetris has been doing with Broadway Bank:
Since 2000, Mr. Giannoulias has been responsible for the administration and oversight of Broadway Bank… first as Chief Financial Officer, and currently as President and CEO.
Ok, that was kind of round-aboutish, here's the consice and condensed version:
In 2002, under the guise of funding a construction project, Rezko and his then-business partner, Daniel Muhra had borrowed $10.9 million from Broadway Bank an institution headed by Demetris and Alexei. In 2003, Demetris was recommended by Rezko to Governor Rod Blagojevich for a seat on the Illinois Finance Authority Board, for reasons yet unknown, Demetris was not appointed.
In 2003/2004 Tony Rezko was one of Obama's biggest fundraisers during his Senate run. Among the contributors to the Obama campaign fund other than Rezko were Demetris and Alexi Giannoulias, both still executive officers of Broadway Bank.
Obama's Campaign Funds were kept in … You guessed it, Broadway Bank.
In 2006, Alexi Giannoulias was endorsed by Barack Obama for Illinois State Senator. This is despite the fact that most other leading Illinois Democrats were puzzled as to what qualifications a then 28 year old Alexis had to run for such a position.
Between March and July of that same year, Tony Rezko was charged with writing over $450,000 in bad checks in Las Vegas. Checks which were drawn to Broadway Bank. On November 7th, Alexis was elected into office.
It is worthy to note that Rezko is not alleged to have gambled the money, merely to have gotten casino chips and cash in exchange for the checks. In other words; reverse money laundering, if there is such a term. $450,000 in unmarked, untaxed bills. Demetris was President and CEO of the bank at the time. Since even grocery stores have check verification capabilities, I am sure Vegas Luxury Hotels do to, therefore there is no way someone could have written $450,000 in bad checks over the course of 5 months and not had his account shut down, or the checks refused. In other words, to say the least, someone at Broadway Bank played a role in facilitating the verification of those checks.
Fast forward to 2008, without bothering to justify why, Obama gives Alexi Giannoulias a slot to speak at the DNC.
Rezko is now a convicted felon.
Obama is in the Senate, attempting to become President, Demetris is still "running" the bank, Alexi is still the State Treasurer and Rod Blagojevich is the Governor. Tony Rezko is now a convicted felon (yes, I'm saying it twice for emphasis).
Before he is convicted however, Rezko promises not to squeal as long as Obama and Blagojevich take care of him:
"Your Honor, the prosecutors have been overzealous in pursuing a crime that never happened," he wrote. "They are pressuring me to tell them the 'wrong' things that I supposedly know about Governor Blagojevich and Senator Obama. I have never been a party to any wrongdoing that involved the Governor or the Senator."
"Despite my belief in my innocence, I understand I may well lose this case, If I do, I am prepared to serve my sentence."
Unfortunately for him, his coded message fell on deaf ears, and Obama and Blagojevich decided not to intervene. Realizing jail is not such a fun place, Rezko has chosen to do what he threathened to do; squeal.
So there you have it folks. Connect the dots. Where this will lead, I don't know. The question one has to ask is whether George Bush will authorize the DOJ to indict the first "black" nominee of a major party, with less than30 days left to go before the election? I don't have the answer to that question, but if the spirit of the law is followed, Obama might be in federal custody in the not too distant future.
Posted by: Erick Erickson
Don't underestimate the McCain campaign.
What type of movie do Americans really like? Not the popcorn flicks, but the ones that leave you saying "holy sh--" at the end when the credits roll. The Usual Suspects comes to mind.
Here's a movie where you have multiple story lines coming together toward the end, all connected to a central character, and when it finally dawns on you what just happened, wow — it is one heck of a movie. Separate plot elements dramatically merge into one coherent narrative and you realize had you been paying attention all along you would have seen it.
It really works. Those stories have powerful staying power.
For more than two months the Republicans have pushed the ACORN story — a corrupt, radical organization that operates through voter fraud to disrupt American democracy, destabilize our financial system, agitate against business, etc. Just this week the FBI State Attorney General raided ACORN in Nevada and discovered how prevalent their voter fraud operation is. The FBI is expected to get involved.
Separately, the GOP started painting a picture of Obama's campaign donations. He's been extremely secretive. In a bit of Marxist doublespeak, the Obama campaign is saying it is the most transparent campaign ever, but won't provide a list of its donors, destroyed Obama's Illinois legislative files, won't provide his health records, etc. The more we learn about his small donors, the more questions we have about foreigners trying to sway the American democratic system.
And then there is the McCain campaign. It has gone zealously after Bill Ayers's connection to Obama. Ayers hired Obama to run the Chicago Annenberg Challenge, after launching Obama's political career in his living room.
Bill Ayers, in applying for the Annenberg Challenge grant, said the purpose of the money would be to radicalize students to agitate for change. Who did he put in charge of the program? Barack Obama.
Who did Obama give the money to?
And the separate plots begin to connect. The ACORN narrative, the Ayers narrative, the foreign donor narrative — they intersect, combine, tangle, and paint a very ugly picture of Barack Obama
What Obama did on the board with the Annenberg money and what he'd do with your money come in to the narrative.
But I'm told there will be a surprise twist in this plot that will make it even neater to watch unfold.
The next month is going to be tumultuous and fun.
The October Surprise is that there is no "surprise." It's been in front of us all along. Only now the various story lines are getting connected.
Friday, October 10, 2008
At the same time the Bush administration was negotiating a still elusive agreement to keep the U.S. military in Iraq, Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama tried to convince Iraqi leaders in private conversations that the president shouldn't be allowed to enact the deal without congressional approval.
Mr. Obama's conversations with the Iraqi leaders, confirmed to The Washington Times by his campaign aides, began just two weeks after he clinched the Democratic presidential nomination in June and stirred controversy over the appropriateness of a White House candidate's contacts with foreign governments while the sitting president is conducting a war.
Some of the specifics of the conversations remain the subject of dispute. Iraqi leaders purported to The Times that Mr. Obama urged Baghdad to delay an agreement with Mr. Bush until next year when a new president will be in office - a charge the Democratic campaign denies.
Mr. Obama spoke June 16 to Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari when he was in Washington, according to both the Iraqi Embassy in Washington and the Obama campaign. Both said the conversation was at Mr. Zebari's request and took place on the phone because Mr. Obama was traveling.
However, the two sides differ over what Mr. Obama said.
"In the conversation, the senator urged Iraq to delay the [memorandum of understanding] between Iraq and the United States until the new administration was in place," said Samir Sumaidaie, Iraq's ambassador to the United States.
He said Mr. Zebari replied that any such agreement would not bind a new administration. "The new administration will have a free hand to opt out," he said the foreign minister told Mr. Obama.
Mr. Sumaidaie did not participate in the call, he said, but stood next to Mr. Zebari during the conversation and was briefed by him immediately afterward.
The call was not recorded by either side, and Mr. Zebari did not respond to repeated telephone and e-mail messages requesting direct comment.
Mr. Obama has called for a phased U.S. withdrawal of all but a residual force from Iraq over 16 months, a position the Iraqi government appears to have embraced.
U.S. and Iraqi officials have been struggling for months to finalize a deal that will allow U.S. troops to remain after Dec. 31, when a U.N. mandate sanctioning the military presence expires. Iraqi officials have said that the main impediment is agreement over a timeline for U.S. redeployment and immunity from Iraqi prosecution for U.S. troops and civilians.
Obama campaign spokeswoman Wendy Morigi said Mr. Obama does not object to a short-term status of forces agreement, or SOFA.
Mr. Obama told Mr. Zebari in June that a SOFA "should be completed before January and it must include immunity for U.S. troops," Miss Morigi wrote in an e-mail.
However, the Democratic nominee said a broader strategic framework agreement governing a longer-term U.S. presence in Iraq "should be vetted by Congress," she wrote.
She said Mr. Obama said the same thing when he met in July with Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki and Mr. Zebari in Baghdad.
A recent article in the New York Post quoted Mr. Zebari as saying that Mr. Obama asked Iraqi leaders in July to delay any agreement on a reduction of U.S. troops in Iraq until the next U.S. president takes office.
Miss Morigi denied this. She said the request for Senate vetting was bipartisan and noted that the first Obama-Zebari conversation took place 12 days after four other members of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee - including Republican Sens. Richard G. Lugar of Indiana and Chuck Hagel of Nebraska - wrote to Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates urging consultation over any agreements committing U.S. troops and civilian contractors to Iraq "for an extended period of time."
When Mr. Obama spoke to Mr. Zebari, he was speaking in his capacity as a senator and a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Miss Morigi said. "It's obvious that others are trying to mischaracterize Obama's position, [but] on numerous occasions he has made it perfectly clear that the United States only has one president at a time and that the administration speaks with one voice."
Sen. Jack Reed, a Rhode Island Democrat who accompanied Mr. Obama in Iraq along with Mr. Hagel, said they made "no suggestion of any type of delay" in any agreements.
A congressional aide who was also present and spoke on the condition of anonymity said the senators asked for a congressional role similar to that required by the Iraqi Constitution for Iraq's parliament.
Still, the fact that the Illinois Democrat on June 3 clinched enough delegates to be assured the Democratic presidential nomination gives his comments special force - something that also applies to the Republican nominee, Sen. John McCain of Arizona, a key proponent of the surge of extra U.S. forces to Iraq last year.
As a U.S. senator, Mr. Obama "has a foot in both camps," said Ross K. Baker, a professor of political science at Rutgers University. "It's within the jurisdiction of his committee and something he's entitled to speak about. It doesn't raise a red flag for me."
White House spokesman Gordon Johndroe declined to comment on the matter.
Leslie Phillips, a press officer at the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad, also declined to comment even though an embassy note-taker was present during the senators' meeting in Iraq. "The embassy's role is purely to facilitate the meetings," she said.
Presidential nominees traditionally have not intervened personally in foreign-policy disputes, although campaign surrogates have done so.
Historian Robert Dallek has documented meetings with South Vietnamese diplomats in 1968 by Republican vice-presidential candidate Spiro Agnew and Anna Chennault, widow of Gen. Claire Chennault, the commander of "Flying Tiger" forces in China during World War II.
Mr. Dallek, author of "Flawed Giant: Lyndon Johnson and His Times 1961-1973," obtained tapes of the conversations from bugs the Johnson administration had placed in the South Vietnamese Embassy in Washington.
Negotiations to end the Vietnam War were taking place in Paris at the time between the Johnson administration and the North and South Vietnamese.
Mr. Agnew and Mrs. Chennault "signaled the South Vietnamese that they would get a better deal with Richard Nixon as president instead of the Democrat" Hubert Humphrey, Mr. Dallek said.
"Johnson was furious and said that Nixon was guilty of treason," Mr. Dallek said, but neither he nor Mr. Humphrey disclosed the matter before the election, which Mr. Nixon won.
Thursday, October 9, 2008
McCain Releases Letter to Obama
February 6, 2006
Washington D.C. – Today, Senator McCain sent the following letter to Senator Obama regarding ongoing Congressional efforts towards bipartisan lobbying reform. The following is the text from that letter:
February 6, 2006
The Honorable Barack Obama
United States Senate
Washington, DC 20510
Dear Senator Obama:
I would like to apologize to you for assuming that your private assurances to me regarding your desire to cooperate in our efforts to negotiate bipartisan lobbying reform legislation were sincere.
When you approached me and insisted that despite your leadership's preference to use the issue to gain a political advantage in the 2006 elections, you were personally committed to achieving a result that would reflect credit on the entire Senate and offer the country a better example of political leadership, I concluded your professed concern for the institution and the public interest was genuine and admirable.
Thank you for disabusing me of such notions with your letter to me dated February 2, 2006, which explained your decision to withdraw from our bipartisan discussions. I'm embarrassed to admit that after all these years in politics I failed to interpret your previous assurances as typical rhetorical gloss routinely used in politics to make self-interested partisan posturing appear more noble.
Again, sorry for the confusion, but please be assured I won't make the same mistake again.
As you know, the Majority Leader has asked Chairman Collins to hold hearings and mark up a bill for floor consideration in early March. I fully support such timely action and I am confident that, together with Senator Lieberman, the Committee on Governmental Affairs will report out a meaningful, bipartisan bill.
You commented in your letter about my "interest in creating a task force to further study" this issue, as if to suggest I support delaying the consideration of much-needed reforms rather than allowing the committees of jurisdiction to hold hearings on the matter. Nothing could be further from the truth. The timely findings of a bipartisan working group could be very helpful to the committee in formulating legislation that will be reported to the full Senate.
Since you are new to the Senate, you may not be aware of the fact that I have always supported fully the regular committee and legislative process in the Senate, and routinely urge Committee Chairmen to hold hearings on important issues. In fact, I urged Senator Collins to schedule a hearing upon the Senate's return in January.
Furthermore, I have consistently maintained that any lobbying reform proposal be bipartisan. The bill Senators Joe Lieberman and Bill Nelson and I have introduced is evidence of that commitment as is my insistence that members of both parties be included in meetings to develop the legislation that will ultimately be considered on the Senate floor.
As I explained in a recent letter to Senator Reid, and have publicly said many times, the American people do not see this as just a Republican problem or just a Democratic problem. They see it as yet another run-of-the-mill Washington scandal, and they expect it will generate just another round of partisan gamesmanship and posturing. Senator Lieberman and I, and many other members of this body, hope to exceed the public's low expectations. We view this as an opportunity to bring transparency and accountability to the Congress, and, most importantly, to show the public that both parties will work together to address our failings.
As I noted, I initially believed you shared that goal. But I understand how important the opportunity to lead your party's effort to exploit this issue must seem to a freshman Senator, and I hold no hard feelings over your earlier disingenuousness. Again, I have been around long enough to appreciate that in politics the public interest isn't always a priority for every one of us. Good luck to you, Senator.
United States Senate
Wednesday, October 8, 2008
I've been voting in Presidential elections for nearly 30 years, and always a straight Democratic ticket. Lord knows, the DNC has given me some doosies to vote for – probably why we've won so few of the last 10 contests. Whoever eventually wound up in the White House, I usually felt like it didn't matter. I did not exist for them. That is until 1992, when I got to vote for Bill Clinton. Even though I was certainly a lot less political then, I just had a sense that this was the first candidate who actually cared about me or what mattered to me.
Now, when I watch candidates speak to voters, I adopt Ani's 'who gives a crap-o-meter' regarding their rhetoric and their policies. Unfortunately, Democrat though he claims to be, Senator Obama, with his ceaselessly aloof and dispassionate behavior, leaves the 'who gives a crap-o-meter' pointing in the low single digits.
Likewise, Senator Obama's past voting record, his flip-flopping on so many important campaign promises, and his sidling up to Bush's policies, leave me feeling like I am watching nothing but a spin-meister, no matter how much the media lauds him or gives him 'style' points. How bizarre that McCain, the maverick Republican, came across as more connected to the American people and more empathetic to their concerns in last night's debate.
According to many news sources I checked, the debate produced no clear winner. The news media's bias notwithstanding, both pundits and bloggers alike kept looking for some sort of "knockout blow" by McCain to change the dynamic of the race. I honestly don't know what they expected. How about if he said this:
Senator Obama , you are an duplicitous, unrepentant liar who has spent the last 20 years associating with criminals, radicals and divisive, dangerous individuals. You don't have an original thought in your head. You don't have the savvy or experience to do this job and you couldn't stick to a policy or find loyalty to an idea or a person to save your soul.
Would that have done the trick? Fortunately, the crafty McCain was smart enough not to fall into this trap in a town hall setting. He would have been termed 'desperate' had he started in on all the Bill Ayers stuff – leave that to the campaign trail, and Gov. Sarah-'cuda' Palin to point out. I'm sure they'll be hammering Senator Obama on his associations for the next 27 days non-stop and keep him just off balance enough.
Last night, McCain needed to accomplish several goals
• Tie Senator Obama to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.
• Point out the sharp difference between rhetoric vs. record.
• Show he's got a grip on how to help our faltering economy.
• Remind voters he's the guy with the foreign policy bona-fides who will not make naïve mistakes.
• Be calm, cool and collected in the midst of a very difficult time for Americans both at home and abroad;
oh yeah, and…
• Show he actually gives a crap about the American people – not just about winning.
From various pundits' statements I read – he damned well did the job.
Commentary Magazine's Daniel Casse:
"McCain is delivering tight, crisp, and extremely effective answers. Every answer has a similar structure: (a) I care about this issue (b) I've stood up against Bush/special interests on this issue (c) Obama has never taken a stand, never acted on this (d) so let's compare records."
He scored points right away letting voters know that Obama was tied to the Freddie Mac/Fannie Mae debacle, whereas McCain co-sponsored a bill to provide stricter oversight. McCain warned of this crisis in 2005. Very interesting that Obama's opening remarks on the financial crisis brazenly placed blamed on John McCain while ignoring the fact that Obama and other Dems did not want regulations of Fannie and Freddie.
Balz, Kornblut, Abromowitz of the Washington Post weighed in:
McCain played the role of the aggressor throughout the 90-minute debate…"I have a clear record of bipartisanship," he said. "The situation today cries out for bipartisanship. Senator Obama has never taken on his leaders of his party on a single issue."
McCain statement was a good reminder to voters that he was willing to put country first by suspending his campaign in an effort to get the rescue bill passed, while Obama was content to declare "Congress will call me if they need me" and all of America got to watch one of Obama's biggest champions, the unpopular Nancy Pelosi, insult Republicans in order to sabotage the bill's passage – playing politics with people's livelihoods. Nice, Nancy — you get a ZERO on the 'who gives a crap-o-meter.' Obviously Nancy and Barack don't give a crap about you or me if they were playing shenanigans like this.
Most important, ABC's Charlie Gibson pointed out McCain made the one new proposal of the night:
McCain used the debate to promote another approach to solving the economic crisis, saying he would have the government buy up bad mortgages and renegotiate them at the current lower housing values, thereby allowing struggling homeowners to remain in their homes. He argued that until the housing markets stabilize, the economy will continue to falter, and he sought to use the idea to demonstrate his independence from the Bush administration.
"It's my proposal, it's not Senator Obama's proposal, it's not President Bush's proposal," he said. "But I know how to get America working again, restore our economy and take care of working Americans."
The plan, he said, would turn such mortgages over to the government, replacing them with "manageable, fixed-rate mortgages" for homeowners to reduce the chances of default. His advisers circulated talking points to Republican surrogates telling them to describe it as a "bold initiative" and to call it the "McCain Resurgence Plan."
ABC's George Stephanopoulos: "I thought Senator McCain started out very strong when he said we have to address this financial crisis by having a plan to buy up all of the bad mortgages in the country showed real compassion and empathy there..."
NBC's Andrea Mitchell: "[W]ith the economy in such a tail spin, [McCain] came armed with a new proposal to have the government buy up failing mortgages … That was a gutsy move."
Well, actually, I believe this was Hillary's plan – good move, John! And today, in the NY Times, the McCain campaign gives her credit for the same - better move, John!
Even Charles Krauthammer, no fan of Johnny Mac, thought "McCain won the first hour on domestic (issues)." Strange since Obama's ace in the hole is supposed to be the economic situation. McCain really hit Obama over the head about his tax proposals, so it could have been comments like this that did the trick:
"Nailing down senator obama's tax proposal is like trying to nail
jell-o to the wall" and "the last time a president raised taxes in an economic crisis like this was Herbert Hoover."
Ouch. McCain nailed Obama on the difference between talking the talk and walking the walk. But this was the comment that had all the pundits' tongues wagging:
"There was an energy bill on the floor of the Senate loaded down with goodies, billions for the oil companies. And it was sponsored by Bush and Cheney. You know who voted for it? You might never know. That one," McCain said, gesturing toward his rival. "You know who voted against it? Me."
They may be trying to make hay out of "that one" not sounding warm and fuzzy – but he got his point across. He also said it with a smile. If it sounds like McCain doesn't have a lot of respect for Senator Obama, well when a neophyte Senator keeps trying to outshine his opponent with pretty promises not matched by his actions, what do you expect?
According to WaPo:
Foreign policy occupied the last third of the debate, with the candidates clashing repeatedly on Pakistan and on their overall approaches to the use of U.S. military forces. McCain sharply criticized Obama's opposition to the troop surge in Iraq and his response to Russian aggression in Georgia, as he sought to sow doubts about his challenger's capacity to handle the commander-in-chief functions.
"In his short career, he does not understand our national security challenges," McCain said. "We don't have time for on-the-job training."
MSNBC's Pat Buchanan:
"I think McCain did come in with more heart and more fight. And I agree with you, he was the aggressor. He was throwing the punches. He did it in a better way than he did it last week when I thought he had won on points. Here he smiled. He looked at his opponent. He looked at Tom Brokaw. He talked to the audience, and he did it in a more calm fashion. And I think he clearly scored more points than Barack Obama did."
Another telling moment was described by The Politico's Jonathan Martin:
"McCain, taking a question from a naval retiree, gives him a pat on the shoulder and a firm handshake. 'Everything I ever learned about leadership, I learned from a chief petty officer,' says one old sailor to another. It was surely a moment that won a lot of nodding heads from vets all over the country."
When McCain shook the man's hand and said he appreciated his service, it came from his heart. Senator Obama walked over to the man, similarly thanking him for his service – another moment that had no resonance whatsoever. After the bracelet nonsense of the last debate, I would have thought Obama would find a way to be a little more genuine about addressing someone in our military. But there is still a fundamental disconnect between Obama's statements and any heartfelt conviction behind them. And that is always where he loses me. The trust issue. The 'does he really give a crap' issue. The 'what will he give away when I'm not looking cause it really doesn't matter to him' issue.
CNN's Bill Bennett said "The last comments [John McCain] made, I thought, were quite impressive and quite moving." Mr. Bennett is right. Senator McCain closing remarks were extremely moving.
Was the debate sort of boring otherwise, yeah. Is Obama a smoother speaker than McCain, sure. But what Senator Obama staccato style never ever communicates to me is the one thing we need in a President at this time more than ever: heart. Senator McCain's closing remarks about spending a lifetime serving his country and being lifted up by his comrades bespeak a gratitude and an allegiance and dedication to our country's principles that is undeniable and comes from a place of deep conviction. Likewise, every policy proposal, every idea that came out of his mouth last night may not have sounded like Shakespeare, but each one was concise, and spoken from a place of knowledge, caring and a record he could stand on. I never worry that McCain will flip flop at a crucial moment.
At the end of the day, whether or not we agree on all the issues, I trust McCain's experience and character to win the day more than I trust Obama's rhetoric.
Perhaps there was a winner after all.
Tuesday, October 7, 2008
By Matthew WeavercloseAuthor: Matthew Weaver
Name: Matthew Weaver
See Authors Posts (43) on October 7, 2008 at 6:09 PM in Barack Obama, Current Affairs
Did you know that Barack Obama was a member of the leading socialist party? In a small omission, Barack Obama apparently forgot to include in his resume, he entered politics as a socialist. This just keeps getting better and better. Barack Obama was active participant in the 1990s of the Chicago New Party and, importantly, the Chicago DSA, a group of socialists affiliated with the Democratic Socialists of America.
- Barack Obama attended and participated in meetings the Chicago New Party and the Chicago DSA, the local affiliate of the Democratic Socialists of America.
- Barack Obama sought the endorsement of the Chicago DSA.
- Barack Obama actively used the endorsement from the Chicago DSA.
- Barack Obama won his DSA-endorsed and backed campaign to secure his seat in the Illinois State Senate.
- Barack Obama continued his involvement with the Chicago DSA and received their endorsements in subsequent campaigns.
Obama's participation in and endorsement from the Chicago New Party and Chicago DSA, the local affiliate of the Democratic Socialists of America (which is the U.S. affiliate of the Socialist International) is quite clear:
- According to the write-up on the July 1995 meeting of Chicago DSA and New Party membership, Barack Obama was one of about 50 people attending out of their then-300 member local group. Other documents below will demonstrate Barack Obama attended and participated in subsequent meetings.
- The New Party rigorously evaluated its candidate endorsements and claimed "a winning ratio of 77 of 110 elections." This was no passive endorsement.
Candidates must be approved via a NP political committee. Once approved, candidates must sign a contract with the NP. The contract mandates that they must have a visible and active relationship with the NP.—New Ground
- Candidate Barack Obama participated as a panelist at the DSA-sponsored Town Meeting on February 25, 1996, entitled "Employment and Survival in Urban America". As reported in New Ground,
Barack Obama observed that Martin Luther King's March on Washington in the 1960s wasn't simply about civil rights but demanded jobs as well. Now the issue is again coming to the front, but he wished the issue was on the Democratic agenda not just on Buchanan's.
One of the themes that has emerged in Barack Obama's campaign is "what does it take to create productive communities", not just consumptive communities. It is an issue that joins some of the best instincts of the conservatives with the better instincts of the left. He felt the state government has three constructive roles to play.
The first is "human capital development". By this he meant public education, welfare reform, and a "workforce preparation strategy". Public education requires equality in funding. It's not that money is the only solution to public education's problems but it's a start toward a solution. The current proposals for welfare reform are intended to eliminate welfare but it's also true that the status quo is not tenable. A true welfare system would provide for medical care, child care and job training. While Barack Obama did not use this term, it sounded very much like the "social wage" approach used by many social democratic labor parties. By "workforce preparation strategy", Barack Obama simply meant a coordinated, purposeful program of job training instead of the ad hoc, fragmented approach used by the State of Illinois today.
The state government can also play a role in redistribution, the allocation of wages and jobs. As Barack Obama noted, when someone gets paid $10 million to eliminate 4,000 jobs, the voters in his district know this is an issue of power not economics. The government can use as tools labor law reform, public works and contracts.
- Obama subsequently secured his endorsement from the Chicago DSA
The local Democratic Socialists of America affiliate issued their Chicago DSA Endorsements in the March 19th Primary Election:
Barak Obama is running to gain the Democratic ballot line for Illinois Senate 13th District. The 13th District is Alice Palmer's old district, encompassing parts of Hyde Park and South Shore.
Mr. Obama graduated from Columbia University and promptly went into community organizing for the Developing Communities Project in Roseland and Altgeld Gardens on the far south side of Chicago. He went on to Harvard University, where he was editor of the Harvard Law Review. He graduated with a law degree. In 1992, he was Director of Illinois Project Vote, a voter registration campaign that made Carol Moseley Braun's election to the U.S. Senate much easier than it would have been. At present, he practices law in Judson Miner's law firm and is President of the board of the Annenberg Challenge Grant which is distributing some $50 million in grants to public school reform efforts.
What best characterizes Barak Obama is a quote from an article in Illinois Issues, a retrospective look at his experience as a community organizer while he was completing his degree at Harvard:
"… community organizations and organizers are hampered by their own dogmas about the style and substance of organizing. Most practice … a 'consumer advocacy' approach, with a focus on wrestling services and resources from outside powers that be. Few are thinking of harnessing the internal productive capacities, both in terms of money and people, that already exist in communities." (Illinois issues, September, 1988)
Luckily, Mr. Obama does not have any opposition in the primary. His opponents have all dropped out or were ruled off the ballot.
- Barack Obama Continued Attending Membership Meetings of the Chicago DSA New Party
Obama attended membership meeting on April 11, 1996 where he expressed his gratitude for their support. The report shared that "Barack Obama, victor in the 13th State Senate District, encouraged NPers to join in his task forces on Voter Education and Voter Registration."
- Obama won his election with the help of the Chicago DSA's New Party.
- Chicago DSA notes in 1998 that Barack Obama eulogized Saul Mendelson, co-founder of the Debs Dinner.
- In the fall of 1998, Chicago DSA's New Ground's editor offered nomination of Barack Obama for reelection.
- When Barack Obama challenged Bobby Rush for the 1st Congressional District in 2000, the Chicago DSA opted to recommend both:
For Congressman of the 1st Congressional District, the Executive Committee was faced with two very good candidates. As we are not making endorsements but merely recommendations, we felt no conflict in recommending both Bobby Rush and Barak Obama.
Bobby Rush is the incumbent Congressman. He was also a candidate for Mayor of Chicago in the last municipal elections, endorsed by Chicago DSA. While he hasn't always been the ideal Congressman from a left perspective (being a cosponsor of the "NAFTA for Africa" bill, for example), he's generally been quite good. To volunteer, call 773 264 7874. Contributions may be made to Citizens for Rush, 514 E. 95th St., Chicago, IL 60619.
Barak Obama is serving only his second term in the Illinois State Senate so he might be fairly charged with ambition, but the same might have be said of Bobby Rush when he ran against Congressman Charles Hayes. Obama also has put in time at the grass roots, working for five years as a community organizer in Harlem and in Chicago. When Obama participated in a 1996 UofC YDS Townhall Meeting on Economic Insecurity, much of what he had to say was well within the mainstream of European social democracy.
Barack Obama has a long-term and sustained relationship with the Chicago DSA, an affiliate of the Democratic Socialists of America, and with the Chicago New Party. He participated in multiple membership meetings and in DSA-sponsored events, repeatedly sought their endorsement. This does not answer all questions about Barack Obama's past relationships with multiple socialist groups. What the media needs to find out is has Barack Obama broken his ties with them. If so, when and why?
Cross-posted on my blog, The Independent View.