"We could save all the oil that they're talking about getting off drilling if everybody was just inflating their tires and getting regular tune-ups. You could save just as much."
Wednesday, July 30, 2008
"We could save all the oil that they're talking about getting off drilling if everybody was just inflating their tires and getting regular tune-ups. You could save just as much."
Posted by Joyce Kavitsky at 7/30/2008 09:00:00 PM
By INVESTOR'S BUSINESS DAILY | Posted Monday, July 28, 2008 4:20 PM PT
Election '08: Before friendly audiences, Barack Obama speaks passionately about something called "economic justice." He uses the term obliquely, though, speaking in code — socialist code.
IBD Series: The Audacity Of Socialism
During his NAACP speech earlier this month, Sen. Obama repeated the term at least four times. "I've been working my entire adult life to help build an America where economic justice is being served," he said at the group's 99th annual convention in Cincinnati.
And as president, "we'll ensure that economic justice is served," he asserted. "That's what this election is about." Obama never spelled out the meaning of the term, but he didn't have to. His audience knew what he meant, judging from its thumping approval.
It's the rest of the public that remains in the dark, which is why we're launching this special educational series.
"Economic justice" simply means punishing the successful and redistributing their wealth by government fiat. It's a euphemism for socialism.
In the past, such rhetoric was just that — rhetoric. But Obama's positioning himself with alarming stealth to put that rhetoric into action on a scale not seen since the birth of the welfare state.
In his latest memoir he shares that he'd like to "recast" the welfare net that FDR and LBJ cast while rolling back what he derisively calls the "winner-take-all" market economy that Ronald Reagan reignited (with record gains in living standards for all).
Obama also talks about "restoring fairness to the economy," code for soaking the "rich" — a segment of society he fails to understand that includes mom-and-pop businesses filing individual tax returns.
It's clear from a close reading of his two books that he's a firm believer in class envy. He assumes the economy is a fixed pie, whereby the successful only get rich at the expense of the poor.
Following this discredited Marxist model, he believes government must step in and redistribute pieces of the pie. That requires massive transfers of wealth through government taxing and spending, a return to the entitlement days of old.
Of course, Obama is too smart to try to smuggle such hoary collectivist garbage through the front door. He's disguising the wealth transfers as "investments" — "to make America more competitive," he says, or "that give us a fighting chance," whatever that means.
Among his proposed "investments":
• "Universal," "guaranteed" health care.
• "Free" college tuition.
• "Universal national service" (a la Havana).
• "Universal 401(k)s" (in which the government would match contributions made by "low- and moderate-income families").
• "Free" job training (even for criminals).
• "Wage insurance" (to supplement dislocated union workers' old income levels).
• "Free" child care and "universal" preschool.
• More subsidized public housing.
• A fatter earned income tax credit for "working poor."
• And even a Global Poverty Act that amounts to a Marshall Plan for the Third World, first and foremost Africa.
His new New Deal also guarantees a "living wage," with a $10 minimum wage indexed to inflation; and "fair trade" and "fair labor practices," with breaks for "patriot employers" who cow-tow to unions, and sticks for "nonpatriot" companies that don't.
That's just for starters — first-term stuff.
Obama doesn't stop with socialized health care. He wants to socialize your entire human resources department — from payrolls to pensions. His social-microengineering even extends to mandating all employers provide seven paid sick days per year to salary and hourly workers alike.
You can see why Obama was ranked, hands-down, the most liberal member of the Senate by the National Journal. Some, including colleague and presidential challenger John McCain, think he's the most liberal member in Congress.
But could he really be "more left," as McCain recently remarked, than self-described socialist Sen. Bernie Sanders (for whom Obama has openly campaigned, even making a special trip to Vermont to rally voters)?
Obama's voting record, going back to his days in the Illinois statehouse, says yes. His career path — and those who guided it — leads to the same unsettling conclusion.
The seeds of his far-left ideology were planted in his formative years as a teenager in Hawaii — and they were far more radical than any biography or profile in the media has portrayed.
A careful reading of Obama's first memoir, "Dreams From My Father," reveals that his childhood mentor up to age 18 — a man he cryptically refers to as "Frank" — was none other than the late communist Frank Marshall Davis, who fled Chicago after the FBI and Congress opened investigations into his "subversive," "un-American activities."
As Obama was preparing to head off to college, he sat at Davis' feet in his Waikiki bungalow for nightly bull sessions. Davis plied his impressionable guest with liberal doses of whiskey and advice, including: Never trust the white establishment.
"They'll train you so good," he said, "you'll start believing what they tell you about equal opportunity and the American way and all that sh**."
After college, where he palled around with Marxist professors and took in socialist conferences "for inspiration," Obama followed in Davis' footsteps, becoming a "community organizer" in Chicago.
His boss there was Gerald Kellman, whose identity Obama also tries to hide in his book. Turns out Kellman's a disciple of the late Saul "The Red" Alinsky, a hard-boiled Chicago socialist who wrote the "Rules for Radicals" and agitated for social revolution in America.
The Chicago-based Woods Fund provided Kellman with his original $25,000 to hire Obama. In turn, Obama would later serve on the Woods board with terrorist Bill Ayers of the Weather Underground. Ayers was one of Obama's early political supporters.
After three years agitating with marginal success for more welfare programs in South Side Chicago, Obama decided he would need to study law to "bring about real change" — on a large scale.
While at Harvard Law School, he still found time to hone his organizing skills. For example, he spent eight days in Los Angeles taking a national training course taught by Alinsky's Industrial Areas Foundation. With his newly minted law degree, he returned to Chicago to reapply — as well as teach — Alinsky's "agitation" tactics.
(A video-streamed bio on Obama's Web site includes a photo of him teaching in a University of Chicago classroom. If you freeze the frame and look closely at the blackboard Obama is writing on, you can make out the words "Power Analysis" and "Relationships Built on Self Interest" — terms right out of Alinsky's rule book.)
Amid all this, Obama reunited with his late father's communist tribe in Kenya, the Luo, during trips to Africa.
As a Nairobi bureaucrat, Barack Hussein Obama Sr., a Harvard-educated economist, grew to challenge the ruling pro-Western government for not being socialist enough. In an eight-page scholarly paper published in 1965, he argued for eliminating private farming and nationalizing businesses "owned by Asians and Europeans."
His ideas for communist-style expropriation didn't stop there. He also proposed massive taxes on the rich to "redistribute our economic gains to the benefit of all."
"Theoretically, there is nothing that can stop the government from taxing 100% of income so long as the people get benefits from the government commensurate with their income which is taxed," Obama Sr. wrote. "I do not see why the government cannot tax those who have more and syphon some of these revenues into savings which can be utilized in investment for future development."
Taxes and "investment" . . . the fruit truly does not fall far from the vine.
(Voters might also be interested to know that Obama, the supposed straight shooter, does not once mention his father's communist leanings in an entire book dedicated to his memory.)
In Kenya's recent civil unrest, Obama privately phoned the leader of the opposition Luo tribe, Raila Odinga, to voice his support. Odinga is so committed to communism he named his oldest son after Fidel Castro.
With his African identity sewn up, Obama returned to Chicago and fell under the spell of an Afrocentric pastor. It was a natural attraction. The Rev. Jeremiah Wright preaches a Marxist version of Christianity called "black liberation theology" and has supported the communists in Cuba, Nicaragua and elsewhere.
Obama joined Wright's militant church, pledging allegiance to a system of "black values" that demonizes white "middle classness" and other mainstream pursuits.
(Obama in his first book, published in 1995, calls such values "sensible." There's no mention of them in his new book.)
With the large church behind him, Obama decided to run for political office, where he could organize for "change" more effectively. "As an elected official," he said, "I could bring church and community leaders together easier than I could as a community organizer or lawyer."
He could also exercise real, top-down power, the kind that grass-roots activists lack. Alinsky would be proud.
Throughout his career, Obama has worked closely with a network of stone-cold socialists and full-blown communists striving for "economic justice."
He's been traveling in an orbit of collectivism that runs from Nairobi to Honolulu, and on through Chicago to Washington.
Yet a recent AP poll found that only 6% of Americans would describe Obama as "liberal," let alone socialist.
Public opinion polls usually reflect media opinion, and the media by and large have portrayed Obama as a moderate "outsider" (the No. 1 term survey respondents associate him with) who will bring a "breath of fresh air" to Washington.
The few who have drilled down on his radical roots have tended to downplay or pooh-pooh them. Even skeptics have failed to connect the dots for fear of being called the dreaded "r" word.
But too much is at stake in this election to continue mincing words.
Both a historic banking crisis and 1970s-style stagflation loom over the economy. Democrats, who already control Congress, now threaten to filibuster-proof the Senate in what could be a watershed election for them — at both ends of Pennsylvania Avenue.
A perfect storm of statism is forming, and our economic freedoms are at serious risk.
Those who care less about looking politically correct than preserving the free-market individualism that's made this country great have to start calling things by their proper name to avert long-term disaster.
Posted by Joyce Kavitsky at 7/30/2008 06:06:00 PM
IDA (nee Sheinfeld) July 29, 2008 of Philadelphia. Beloved wife of the late Israel; mother of Allana Unger, Steven (Maxine) and the late Lois (William) Kaplan; sister of Irving Sheinfeld and the late Minnie Wiesberg. Devoted grandmother of Marc (Maria) Kaplan, Cynthia (John) Headman, Mindi (Michael) Hoffman and Jason (Wendy) Goldman; great-grandmother of Joseph Popiel, Ashley Lukacher, Scott Headman, Brittney Headman and Ayla Goldman. Relatives and friends are invited to Services Sunday 11:30 A.M.JOSEPH LEVINE AND SONS MEMORIAL CHAPEL, 4737 Street Road, Trevose. Interment Shalom Memorial Park. The family will return to the residence of Mr. and Mrs. Steven Goldman and respectfully requests that in lieu of flowers contributions in her memory may be made to Jewish War Veterans, Drizen Weiss Post #215 or to the Northeast Chapter of Fight for Sight.
Published in the Philadelphia Inquirer & Philadelphia Daily News on 8/1/2008
Goldman, Israel - GOLDMAN May 27, 2002, ISRAEL GOLDMAN, beloved husband of 62 years to Ida (nee Sheinfeld); loving father of Allana Unger, Steven (Maxine) and the late Lois (William) Kaplan; brother of Nettie Borkow and Pearl Arcelay; devoted grandfather of Marc (Maria) Kaplan, Cynthia (John) Headman, Mindi Shapiro and Jason Goldman; great grandfather of Joseph Popiel, Ashley Lukacher, Scott Headman and Brittney Headman. Relatives and friends are invited to Services Thursday, 2 PM, JOSEPH LEVINE AND SONS MEMORIAL CHAPEL, 4737 Street Road, Trevose, Bucks County, PA. Int. Shalom Memorial Park. The family will return to the residence of Mr. and Mrs. Steven Goldman and respectfully requests that, in lieu of flowers, contributions in his memory may be made to Jewish War Veterans, Drizen Weiss Post No.215, or to Northeast Chapter of Fight for Sight. Services by the Jewish War Veterans will begin promptly at 2 PM (www.levinefuneral.com)
Published in the Philadelphia Inquirer & Philadelphia Daily News from 5/29/2002 - 5/30/2002
Posted by Joyce Kavitsky at 7/30/2008 03:03:00 PM
Special to the Times
In print: Thursday, July 24, 2008
Americans should be outraged at the latest sweetheart deal in Washington. Congress will put U.S. taxpayers on the hook for potentially hundreds of billions of dollars to bail out Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. It's a tribute to what these two institutions — which most Americans have never heard of — have bought with more than $170-million worth of lobbyists in the past decade.
With combined obligations of roughly $5-trillion, the rapid failure of Fannie and Freddie would be a threat to mortgage markets and financial markets as a whole. Because of that threat, I support taking the unfortunate but necessary steps needed to keep the financial troubles at these two companies from further squeezing American families. But let us not forget that the threat that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac pose to financial markets is a tribute to crony capitalism that reflects the power of the Washington establishment.
Fannie and Freddie buy home loans from lending institutions and reissue them as marketable securities — creating a liquid market for mortgage debt that lowers borrowing costs for prospective homeowners. The two institutions have easy access to borrow at low interest rates because they were originally government agencies and continue to be viewed as being backed by the government. The irony is that by bailing them out, Congress is about to make that perception a reality, even though government backing is no longer needed for their original mission. There are lots of banks, savings and loans, and other financial institutions that can do this job.
Fannie and Freddie are the poster children for a lack of transparency and accountability. Fannie Mae employees deliberately manipulated financial reports to trigger bonuses for senior executives. Freddie Mac manipulated its earnings by $5-billion. They've misled us about their accounting, and now they are endangering financial markets. More than two years ago, I said: "If Congress does not act, American taxpayers will continue to be exposed to the enormous risk that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac pose." Fannie and Freddie's lobbyists succeeded; Congress failed to act. They've stayed in business, grown, and profited mightily by showering money on lobbyists and favors on the Washington establishment. Now the bill has come due.
What should be done? We are stuck with the reality that they have grown so large that we must support Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac through the current rough spell. But if a dime of taxpayer money ends up being directly invested, the management and the board should immediately be replaced, multimillion dollar salaries should be cut, and bonuses and other compensation should be eliminated. They should cease all lobbying activities and drop all payments to outside lobbyists. And taxpayers should be first in line for any repayments.
Even with those terms, sticking Main Street Americans with Wall Street's bill is a shame on Washington. If elected, I'll continue my crusade for the right reform of the institutions: making them go away. I will get real regulation that limits their ability to borrow, shrinks their size until they are no longer a threat to our economy, and privatizes and eliminates their links to the government.
It's time to get America on the right track by creating the jobs that will build a strong foundation under our housing markets. We need to address the high cost of gasoline and other energy sources, and transform health care to be cheaper, higher quality and built around the needs of patients. But most of all, we need to reform Washington and wrest control from the special interests that have created this problem.
John McCain, a U.S. senator from Arizona, is the presumptive Republican candidate for president.
Posted by Joyce Kavitsky at 7/30/2008 12:20:00 PM
Tuesday, July 29, 2008
Whitaker named NBC News' Washington bureau chief
By FRAZIER MOORE, AP Television Writer
2 hours, 5 minutes ago
Mark Whitaker has been named to replace Tim Russert as head of NBC News' Washington Bureau.
The former Newsweek editor, who joined NBC last year as senior vice president of news, will assume many of the off-camera duties held by Russert, who died of a heart attack in June.
As bureau chief, Whitaker will be in charge of "Meet the Press," as well as NBC News' election and political coverage. He also will make occasional appearances as an on-air analyst, the network said in its announcement Monday.
Whitaker, 50, worked as a summer intern at Newsweek while at Harvard University in the late 1970s and did a variety of jobs at the magazine before serving as its editor from 1998 to 2006.
While there, he supervised the growth of Newsweek's Web site, which is affiliated with NBC News' MSNBC.com. He was president of the American Society of Magazine Editors from 2004 to 2006.
With Whitaker's appointment, another decision remains in filling the gap left by Russert, legendary as a multi-tasker: Who will be the permanent "Meet the Press" host? Through the November election, the semiretired Tom Brokaw, who in the past anchored "NBC Nightly News," has stepped into the role.
NBC is owned by General Electric Co.
On the Net:
Copyright © 2008 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.
Monday, July 21, 2008
One would think that a presidential candidate who has no military service, who survived a public controversy about attending a church for 20 years where the pastor preached "hate America," plus a flap about his refusal to wear an American Flag pin, would bend over backwards to showcase his patriotism. But Barack Obama has just given his critics another reason to question his support of American identity.
Obama, the Democratic junior U.S. Senator from Illinois, said, "Understand this: Instead of worrying about whether immigrants can learn English ... you need to make sure your child can speak Spanish." But who "needs to make sure"? Parents? Public schools? Government nannies? Expanding on this theme, Obama added, "You should be thinking about how can your child become bilingual... It's embarrassing ... when Europeans come over here, they all speak English ... And then we go over to Europe, and all we can say is Merci beaucoup."
Embarrassed? We surely don't want a president representing our nation in foreign travels who is embarrassed about our country. We want a president who is proud to stand up for America, our culture, our language, our laws and our customs.
Most Americans look upon the English language as the No. 1 factor that defines our national identity: "e pluribus unum," one nation out of many peoples. We want English to be our national, official language, spoken by all who call themselves Americans.
The Zogby Poll reports that 83 percent of Americans favor legislation to make English our official language. Thirty states have designated English as the official language of their states, and 10 more states are considering such legislation.
Obama is pandering to Hispanic voters by suggesting that the rest of us have a duty to speak Spanish. Most Americans not only don't want to speak Spanish, we are annoyed by voices on the telephone telling us to "Press 1 (or sometimes 2) for English," and we are outraged at the thought that a president would try to impose a Spanish obligation on us.
Only 26 percent of Americans, according to a Rasmussen survey, believe that every American should be able to speak two languages. Even that low number would probably nosedive if confronted with the notion that the government might enforce bilingualism on us.
Why should that second language be Spanish? The United States today has immigrants who speak over 200 different languages. Should the Asian immigrants be forced to learn Spanish as well as English?
Obama's statement is not only out of sync with the big majority of Americans, but it is condescending and further evidence of the elitist attitude the Obamas displayed when Barack looked down his nose at Americans whom he said rely on religion and guns because they are "bitter," and when Michelle said that Barack's campaign was "the first time" she was "really proud of my country."
Americans are not backward hicks because we don't learn a second language.
We consider it a waste of time because English is fast becoming the worldwide language and because the ability to speak English is the litmus test of whether or not immigrants are assimilating into U.S. culture.
Obama conceded that immigrants should learn English but, unfortunately, many do not. The Pew Hispanic Center reported that only 52 percent of Hispanic naturalized citizens speak English well or pretty well, and that 28 percent of Hispanic immigrants speak only Spanish on the job.
Obama voted in the U.S. Senate against making English our official language on four roll-call votes. In 2006 and 2007 he voted twice against Oklahoma Republican Sen. James Inhofe's amendment to repeal Bill Clinton's Executive Order 13166, and voted twice in favor of Colorado Democratic Sen. Ken Salazar's amendment to make Executive Order 13166 stronger than it already is.
Executive Order 13166 discourages assimilation by committing all executive-branch agencies to provide all federal benefits and services in foreign languages, even though the Supreme Court held in Alexander v. Sandoval that immigrants have no right to demand this.
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission discourages assimilation by suing more than 200 employers for requiring English to be spoken by employees on the job, even though a Rasmussen survey found that 77 percent of Americans believe that employers should be allowed to do this.
Providing foreign language ballots discourages assimilation. That comes despite the fact only U.S. citizens are supposed to vote and to become a naturalized U.S. citizen, the immigrant must demonstrate "the ability to read, write and speak ordinary English."
Bilingual education, known as language apartheid, discourages assimilation by keeping children with Hispanic-sounding names for years in Spanish-language public school classes — even though the voters in referenda from California to Massachusetts have rejected bilingual education.
It's no surprise that the Rasmussen survey reports that 59 percent of Americans believe government actually encourages immigrants to retain their home-country culture instead of assimilating into America. Senator and Mrs. Obama should tell immigrants to assimilate and get the facts from the new Bradley Foundation report called "E Pluribus Unum: America's National Identity."
Phyllis Schlafly is a national leader of the pro-family movement, a nationally syndicated columnist and author of Feminist Fantasies.
Posted by Joyce Kavitsky at 7/29/2008 10:25:00 AM
Sunday, July 27, 2008
One world? Obama's on a different planet: The senator's Berlin speech was radical and naive. By John R. Bolton
July 26, 2008
SEN. BARACK OBAMA said in an interview the day after his Berlin speech that it "allowed me to send a message to the American people that the judgments I have made and the judgments I will make are ones that are going to result in them being safer."
If that is what the senator thought he was doing, he still has a lot to learn about both foreign policy and the views of the American people. Although well received in the Tiergarten, the Obama speech actually reveals an even more naive view of the world than we had previously been treated to in the United States. In addition, although most of the speech was substantively as content-free as his other campaign pronouncements, when substance did slip in, it was truly radical, from an American perspective.
These troubling comments were not widely reported in the generally adulatory media coverage given the speech, but they nonetheless deserve intense scrutiny. It remains to be seen whether these glimpses into Obama's thinking will have any impact on the presidential campaign, but clearly they were not casual remarks. This speech, intended to generate the enormous publicity it in fact received, reflects his campaign's carefully calibrated political thinking. Accordingly, there should be no evading the implications of his statements. Consider just the following two examples.
First, urging greater U.S.-European cooperation, Obama said, "The burdens of global citizenship continue to bind us together." Having earlier proclaimed himself "a fellow citizen of the world" with his German hosts, Obama explained that the fall of the Berlin Wall and the reunification of Europe proved "that there is no challenge too great for a world that stands as one."
Perhaps Obama needs a remedial course in Cold War history, but the Berlin Wall most certainly did not come down because "the world stood as one." The wall fell because of a decades-long, existential struggle against one of the greatest totalitarian ideologies mankind has ever faced. It was a struggle in which strong and determined U.S. leadership was constantly questioned, both in Europe and by substantial segments of the senator's own Democratic Party. In Germany in the later years of the Cold War, Ostpolitik -- "eastern politics," a policy of rapprochement rather than resistance -- continuously risked a split in the Western alliance and might have allowed communism to survive. The U.S. president who made the final successful assault on communism, Ronald Reagan, was derided by many in Europe as not very bright, too unilateralist and too provocative.
But there are larger implications to Obama's rediscovery of the "one world" concept, first announced in the U.S. by Wendell Willkie, the failed Republican 1940 presidential nominee, and subsequently buried by the Cold War's realities.
The successes Obama refers to in his speech -- the defeat of Nazism, the Berlin airlift and the collapse of communism -- were all gained by strong alliances defeating determined opponents of freedom, not by "one-worldism." Although the senator was trying to distinguish himself from perceptions of Bush administration policy within the Atlantic Alliance, he was in fact sketching out a post-alliance policy, perhaps one that would unfold in global organizations such as the United Nations. This is far-reaching indeed.
Second, Obama used the Berlin Wall metaphor to describe his foreign policy priorities as president: "The walls between old allies on either side of the Atlantic cannot stand. The walls between the countries with the most and those with the least cannot stand. The walls between races and tribes; natives and immigrants; Christian and Muslim and Jew cannot stand. These now are the walls we must tear down."
This is a confused, nearly incoherent compilation, to say the least, amalgamating tensions in the Atlantic Alliance with ancient historical conflicts. One hopes even Obama, inexperienced as he is, doesn't see all these "walls" as essentially the same in size and scope. But beyond the incoherence, there is a deeper problem, namely that "walls" exist not simply because of a lack of understanding about who is on the other side but because there are true differences in values and interests that lead to human conflict. The Berlin Wall itself was not built because of a failure of communication but because of the implacable hostility of communism toward freedom. The wall was a reflection of that reality, not an unfortunate mistake.
Tearing down the Berlin Wall was possible because one side -- our side -- defeated the other. Differences in levels of economic development, or the treatment of racial, immigration or religious questions, are not susceptible to the same analysis or solution. Even more basically, challenges to our very civilization, as the Cold War surely was, are not overcome by naively "tearing down walls" with our adversaries.
Throughout the Berlin speech, there were numerous policy pronouncements, all of them hazy and nonspecific, none of them new or different than what Obama has already said during the long American campaign. But the Berlin framework in which he wrapped these ideas for the first time is truly radical for a prospective American president. That he picked a foreign audience is perhaps not surprising, because they could be expected to welcome a less-assertive American view of its role in the world, at least at first glance. Even anti-American Europeans, however, are likely to regret a United States that sees itself as just one more nation in a "united" world.
The best we can hope for is that Obama's rhetoric was simply that, pandering to the audience before him, as politicians so often do. We shall see if this rhetoric follows him back to America, either because he continues to use it or because Sen. John McCain asks voters if this is really what they want from their next president.
John R. Bolton, the former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, is a senior fellow at the American Enterprise Institute and the author of "Surrender Is Not an Option."
Posted by Joyce Kavitsky at 7/27/2008 12:21:00 PM