Saturday, June 13, 2009

Pipeline, Not Pipe Dream: Credit Palin


By INVESTOR'S BUSINESS DAILY | Posted Friday, June 12, 2009 4:20 PM PT

Energy: Exxon Mobil's surprise decision to join Trans-Canada on a vast Alaska gas pipeline project is a big step toward making the U.S. self-sufficient in domestic energy. By defying naysayers, Sarah Palin is now vindicated.

Read More: Energy

It must be sweet vindication for Alaska's governor. Against critics who said her 1,712-mile natural gas pipeline project would never get off the ground, who should the project bag but the "big gorilla" of American energy — Exxon Mobil.

In a major surprise, Exxon announced Thursday that it had forged a partnership with TransCanada, the Canadian pipeline company that holds the state license for Palin's $126 billion Alaska Gasoline Inducement Act project.

It's a big vote of confidence in Palin's top project from a by-the-books company known for its rigid investment standards.

"We evaluated all the options and it came down to our belief that this approach with TransCanada and Exxon Mobil was going to be the most successful project," said Marty Massey, U.S. joint interest manager of Exxon Mobil Production Co. He said Exxon might look at expanding its participation.

Rival oil firms had whispered to IBD that it would never happen. "It's gonna happen and we're very excited about this development," Palin told "Good Morning America" on Friday.

Doubters of Palin's pipeline plan were numerous.

Some said the pipeline would be too big to work, and that a rival BP/ConocoPhillips project, called Denali, would doom Palin's plan because Alaska didn't have enough natural gas for both.

Exxon's tilt toward TransCanada suggests the oil giant believes that's not true. Exxon is America's largest company, with extraction rights to a third of all Alaska's gas reserves. It can use them to fill either pipeline. "We will make a decision based on commercial reality," Massey said. "But . . . why would we put our money and not our gas in the pipeline?"

Obama administration officials who had nothing to do with this, like Energy Secretary Ken Salazar, rushed to claim credit too.What better vote of confidence could there be?

Other doubters had suggested the pipeline could never happen because of a global gas glut, making the pipeline uneconomical. But with the project slated for completion in 2018, and the need for natural gas expected to rise between 20% and 40% by 2030, it's precisely now that such a project should be built.

"I think it's very shortsighted" to assume that "market conditions are going to stay as they are today," Palin told CNN. In an interview with IBD last July when gasoline hit $4 at the pump, she noted that if drilling had started in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge just five years ago, when policymakers were dismissing the idea of $100-a-barrel oil, "we wouldn't be in our predicament today."

This is another in a series of successful steps to build the world's largest commercial construction project. For this, credit Palin. Despite the too-hip ridicule of comedians like David Letterman, she was the one who got the pipeline past Alaska's legislature, something governors had tried — and failed — to do for 30 years.

Other partners are sure to join, and the near-impossible task of bringing Alaskan energy to the continental U.S. is that much closer.

If there are any doubts left, note that it's Alaska's officials giving Palin the most credit. As Deputy Natural Resources Commissioner Marty Rutherford told IBD, Palin relentlessly drove this project, walking the process through the bureaucracy, asking questions, even going to Texas on Thursday to hear from Exxon itself.

"We're sitting here and in a short two-and-a-half years we have two premier companies in the world moving this process forward," said Alaska Natural Resources Commissioner Tom Irwin. "Thank you Gov. Palin, thank you participants and thank you Alaskans."

With praise like this, maybe it's time Palin started getting some attention for helping to secure America's energy future — and less for having to defend herself from the dirty jibes of over-the-hill comics.

For Americans tired of high energy prices and dependence on foreign energy, Palin's hitting some very big home runs indeed.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Judicial Error


By INVESTOR'S BUSINESS DAILY | Posted Wednesday, June 10, 2009 4:20 PM PT

The Law: The Supreme Court's decision Tuesday to lift a bondholder stay in the Chrysler bankruptcy fails to grasp the value of legality in markets. It strengthens the hand of government but weakens the rule of law.

Read More: Judges & Courts

Chrysler's bondholders, who poured $6.9 billion into Chrysler coffers, now find themselves on the wrong side of the Obama administration's bankruptcy restructuring.

It's an outrage that undermines the very foundation of why bond markets exist at all.

Three Indiana pension groups did try to stop the feds' free-form bankruptcy at the Supreme Court Tuesday. But their case was inexplicably dismissed, the court saying they hadn't made a sufficient case to rule. That's a shame, because the law is clear: Bondholders' claims must be satisfied first when a company goes belly up.

Some think the Court worried about opening up a can of worms with other investor claims if they gave this one the time of day.

But bankruptcy liquidations have been part of the financial landscape since the 17th century in the Netherlands, where the idea of orderly restructuring came to the fore after the tulip mania of 1637.

Precedent was set from those days. However, it wasn't followed when Chrysler went bankrupt last April.

Instead of paying bondholders first, the cream of Chrysler's assets was skimmed up and handed off to Fiat in a deal brokered by government, its power derived from bailout cash, questionably so.

The Italian company formed a new debt-free company of Chrysler's remains in exchange for a possible 35% ownership stake, with taxpayer money letting U.S. and Canadian governments take 20% and the United Auto Workers Union 55%.

All Chrysler's bondholders were left with was the remaining shell of Chrysler LLC, along with all the product liability claims, outdated plants and legacy costs, meaning 29 cents on the dollar. The UAW glided off to the new debt-free firm and sacrificed nothing. It shows political clout matters more than rightful claims.

"There was a time when we would have called this a scandal," wrote former House Speaker Newt Gingrich in an e-mail. He points out the UAW contributed $4 million dollars to Obama's campaign in 2008, and $24 million to Democratic candidates since 2000.

He's right. This is little more than a socialist wealth redistribution scheme that rewards political cronies at the expense of others.

More than robbing the rich to give to the poor, it takes from the politically unconnected to give to the politically connected.

Contrary to stereotype, most bondholders aren't millionaires like Thurston Howell III, clipping coupons and living the high life. No, they're cops and teachers with pensions in places like Indiana who must now subsidize autoworkers from their own pockets.

The Court was too smart to call its decision a legal ruling, which would have rendered all bondholder contracts meaningless. But it damaged bond markets nevertheless by failing to address the essential issue around rule of law.

This undermines the reason for buying a bond at all, accepting lower returns in exchange for legal guarantees. That in turn will reduce the willingness to buy bonds.

It took 100 years for the U.S. to democratize its credit markets so that small investors and fat cats alike could buy bonds. Stiffing bondholders raises a red flag. Will government, not the savings of average Americans, be the main source of capital in the future?

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Union Bailout By Jennifer Rubin



The Washington Post makes clear just how gingerly the UAW was treated in the GM nationalization plan:

At a time when some American workers are facing stiff pay cuts, UAW workers gave up their customary paid holiday on Easter Monday and their right to overtime pay after less than 40 hours per week. They still get health benefits that are far better than those received by many American families upon whose tax money GM jobs now depend. Ditto for UAW hourly wages, though according to the task force, GM’s labor costs are now within “shooting distance” of those at nonunion plants run by Honda, Toyota and other foreign firms. Cumbersome UAW work rules have only been tweaked.

Also worrisome was the strong-arming of the company’s bondholders, who got far less equity in return for their money than the UAW, the president’s political ally. The administration wants to spin GM back to the private sector as soon as possible. But private investors may have been durably scared by the union’s display of clout. Indeed, the UAW boasted to its members that it blocked a plan to build GM cars in China and “negotiated new opportunities for UAW involvement in future business decisions.”

So when the president says he will be a hands-off manager, think again. One can’t believe that a bankruptcy court or a truly independent management team would have preserved the UAW’s standing to the degree to which the Obama administration did. This will, of course, make it that much more difficult for GM to regain its competitiveness. And it will once again leave the shareholders — that would be all of us taxpayers — holding the bag and likely to be hit up for still more subsidies.

We are led to believe that all of this is about saving jobs. But let’s get real. It hasn’t saved the car dealership jobs. And for $50B we could have sent all of GM’s workers back to school and set them up in training programs at companies with a future. No, this is about certain types of jobs — UAW jobs — and about rescuing a stalwart political ally.

Big Labor has gotten its money’s worth (hundreds of millions in campaign donations was able to snare billions from the federal government to keep the UAW afloat). The taxpayers? Not so much.

Lies, Damned Lies And 'Saved' Jobs


By INVESTOR'S BUSINESS DAILY | Posted Tuesday, June 09, 2009 4:20 PM PT

Economy: More than 1.6 million jobs have disappeared since the stimulus package was signed in February. Government can't create jobs, only dependency. Make-work jobs will not turn the economy around.

Read More: Economy

The Obama administration, totally unfamiliar with the first rule of holes, has announced it's about to really, really ramp up stimulus spending to create 600,000 jobs this summer. That's on top of the 150,000 jobs it has "saved," though there's no way to identify or measure such jobs.

The unemployment rate, which was never supposed to rise above 8% because of the stimulus, is now approaching 10%. The excuse given is that not enough of the stimulus money has been dispersed.

Monday's announcement of a new and improved stimulus is just old wine in new bottles. In the first 100 days of the stimulus, some $44 billion was spent as jobs continued to hemorrhage. Now we're asked to do more of the same and expect different results.

Obama's 600,000 figure includes 125,000 temporary summer youth jobs and is based on economic projections, not an actual count. The only thing you can accurately count is the number of Americans working — and that's going down fast.

The administration is playing a shell game with its "saved or created" job claims. Sen. Max Baucus, D-Mont., chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, said as much to the tax-challenged Timothy Geithner at a March hearing.

"You created a situation where you cannot be wrong," Baucus told Geithner. "If the economy loses 2 million jobs over the next few years, you can say yes, but it would've lost 5.5 million jobs."

We need only see how the Obama administration has mucked up the U.S. auto industry. If the administration wanted to save jobs, what about the car dealerships forced to close by Government Motors? What about the car salesmen and auto mechanics?

We could have just let GM and Chrysler go bankrupt. We were told they were too big to fail, that the job loss would devastate the economy. Yet how was it that after 9/11 we continued to fly bankrupt airlines that stayed in business till they got back on their feet?

Cars could have continued to be built and sold and dealers would have continued. But union contracts would have been voided by a bankruptcy judge. A key Democratic constituency would have been ticked off. Better to wait until tens of billions were squandered and the car companies had no choice but to sell themselves to the government and the unions. One hastened their demise with burdensome regulations, the other with horrendous legacy costs.

This is no way to run a railroad. And speaking of railroads, the U.S. car industry is about to be run by the people who gave us Amtrak, which loses so much money per passenger on some routes that it would be cheaper to buy them plane tickets. All this gives a new meaning to the phrase: Would you buy a used car from this man?

The way to create jobs is to do the things that actually work. Let people and businesses keep more of what they earn. Applaud profit as a reward for success and efficiency. Let the risk takers take the risks and reap the rewards. And when they fail, well, let them fail.

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Obama Tells American Businesses to Drop Dead By Kevin Hassett


June 8, 2009

I’ve finally figured out the Obama economic strategy. President Barack Obama and his team have been having so much fun wielding dictatorial power while rescuing “failed” firms, that they have developed a scheme to gain the same power over every business. The plan is to enact policies that are so anticompetitive that every firm needs a bailout.

Once that happens, their new pay czar Kenneth Feinberg can set the wage for everybody and Rahm Emanuel can stack the boards of all of our companies with his political cronies.

I know, it sounds like an exaggeration. But look at it this way. If there were a power ranking of U.S. companies, like the ones compiled by football writers for National Football League teams, Microsoft would surely be first or second to Google. But last week, Microsoft Chief Executive Officer Steve Ballmer came to Washington to announce what Microsoft would do if Obama’s multinational tax policy is enacted.

“It makes U.S. jobs more expensive,” Ballmer said, “We’re better off taking lots of people and moving them out of the U.S.” If Microsoft, perhaps our most competitive company, has to abandon the U.S. in order to continue to thrive, who exactly is going to stay?

At issue is Obama’s policy to end the deferral of multinational taxation.

The U.S. now has about the highest combined corporate tax rate, second only to Japan among industrialized countries. That rate is so high that U.S. firms have an enormous disadvantage versus competitors. The average corporate tax rate for the major developed countries in the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development in 2008 was about 27 percent, more than 10 percentage points lower than the U.S. rate.

Tax Burden

U.S. firms have nonetheless prospered because our tax code allows a business to set up a subsidiary in a low-tax country. When that subsidiary earns profits, they are taxed at the rate of that country, and don’t face U.S. tax until the money is mailed home.

The economically illiterate partisan Democratic view is that this practice is unpatriotic and bleeds jobs from the U.S. The economic reality is that American companies use this approach to acquire market share overseas. The alternative is losing the business to foreign competitors.

Don’t just take my word for it. A recent paper by Harvard economists Mihir Desai and C. Fritz Foley and Berkeley economist James Hines and published in the distinguished American Economic Review, gathered data on American multinationals to explore the impact of foreign investments on domestic U.S. activity.

Encourage Overseas Sales

Their conclusion was striking. The authors found that “10 percent greater foreign capital investment is associated with 2.2 percent greater domestic investment, and that 10 percent greater foreign employee compensation is associated with 4 percent greater domestic employee compensation. Changes in foreign and domestic sales, assets, and numbers of employees are likewise positively associated; the evidence also indicates that greater foreign investment is associated with additional domestic exports and R&D spending.”

So when firms expand their operations abroad, taking advantage of the lower foreign tax rates, it helps their workers in the U.S. Higher sales abroad (surprise, surprise) are good for domestic workers.

It is worth noting that this study, which is confirmed by a boatload of evidence elsewhere, was coauthored by the same James Hines who recently wrote a sweeping review of international tax policy with Obama’s top economist, Larry Summers. Summers has to know what the literature says.

Inexplicable Stance

So the question is, why does Obama advocate a policy that so flies in the face of everything that economists have learned? How could Obama possibly say, as he did last month, that he wants “to see our companies remain the most competitive in the world. But the way to make sure that happens is not to reward our companies for moving jobs off our shores or transferring profits to overseas tax havens?” Further, how could Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner call a practice that top scholarship has shown increases wages and employment in the U.S. “indefensible?”

I have to admit I am at a loss. Maybe it is good politics to bash American corporations, and Obama isn’t really serious about making this change happen. But if the change is enacted, and domestic corporate taxes aren’t reduced to offset the big tax hike, the result will be a flight from the U.S. that rivals in scale the greatest avian arctic migrations.

If that occurs, the firms that stay in the U.S. will be at such a huge tax disadvantage that they will absolutely need a “rescue.”

(Kevin Hassett, director of economic-policy studies at the American Enterprise Institute, is a Bloomberg News columnist. He was an adviser to Republican Senator John McCain of Arizona in the 2008 presidential election. The opinions expressed are his own.)

To contact the writer of this column: Kevin Hassett at

Monday, June 08, 2009

U.S. Pushed Fiat Deal on Chrysler: Internal Emails Reveal Resentment; Court Upholds Pact By Neil King Jr. and Jeffrey McCracken


JUNE 6, 2009

WASHINGTON -- The Obama administration rushed an alliance between Chrysler LLC and Fiat SpA despite Chrysler's worries about Fiat's financial health and its willingness to share technology, according to internal company emails.

The emails show Fiat ignoring requests for documents and trying to change contract terms late in the talks. A Chrysler adviser at one point said the deal risked looking as if the U.S. auto maker and the Treasury Department, which helped broker the pact, were "in bed with a shady partner." In another note, an official referred to the Treasury Department as "God."

The Emails

Emails about the Chrysler-Fiat deal reveal tense debate and last-minute attempts at negotiation just hours before Chrysler filed for bankruptcy. In one email, above, a top Chrysler financial adviser tried for new contract terms with a head lawyer for Treasury, who swiftly declined.

The documents, filed in the Southern District of New York as part of Chrysler's bankruptcy proceedings, provide a glimpse at the tense debates that shaped Chrysler's final days as it raced to find a suitor.

On Friday, a federal appeals court upheld Chrysler's Fiat deal, dismissing a challenge by dissident Chrysler debt holders. But the court also issued a stay until 4 p.m. Monday -- leaving a small window for Thomas Lauria, the lawyer pursuing the case, to appeal to the Supreme Court. One judge on the three-judge panel suggested the Supreme Court should have "a swing at this ball."

Mr. Lauria's persistence led one government lawyer in the Chrysler case to dub him a "terrorist" in an email to a Chrysler adviser.

In a written statement, Chrysler said "comments extracted from emails exchanged in the heat of negotiations reflect the normal hyperbole that occurs in the final stages of negotiating any complex transaction." Chrysler said its concerns about the deal were answered.

Fiat said it "provided full access to all information relevant to the due-diligence exercise performed by Chrysler and the prospective lenders."

The revelations come as the Obama administration is rushing to get a bankruptcy court to sign off on the Chrysler-Fiat merger as early as next week. Fiat has the right to walk away from the deal if it isn't consummated by June 15.

Related Documents

March 10: Chrysler Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Robert Nardelli writes a letter to the U.S. Treasury laying out his thoughts and concerns about a potential Fiat merger.

March 17: Chrysler advisor Robert Manzo passes along an email noting how the Treasury team seems to know little about Chapter 11.

March 25: Chrysler top brass discuss how the company will definitely go into Chapter 11.

March 27: Chrysler's advisers report that they have too little financial information to determine Fiat's viability.

April 4: Treasury's Ron Bloom chastises Chrysler's Nardelli for negotiating with Daimler.

April 14: Manzo urges all sides to reconsider a Chrysler alliance with General Motors.

April 22: Chrysler top officials are told that Fiat is still refusing to turn over key financial information, demanding they make a "written request."

April 23: Treasury's bankruptcy lawyer, Matthew Feldman, acknowledges that Fiat is holding out on a promised technology deal.

April 30: Manzo tells Chrysler President Tom LaSorda that for Treasury, "We are the gueni pigs unfortunately."

The same day, as Chrysler files for bankruptcy, Treasury's Feldman calls a lawyer opposing the bankruptcy a "terrorist"

Chrysler filed for bankruptcy protection April 30 armed with $12 billion from the government. Earlier this week, the government ushered General Motors Corp. into what it hopes also will be a speedy bankruptcy.

In an interview, an administration official said any concerns about Fiat were resolved in the final week. The Italian company gave Chrysler and the U.S. "total access to technology" and revealed enough about its financial status to persuade the U.S. the company was not just stable, but strong, the official said.

The official called the negotiations "a high-wire act" in which a small team of government advisers had to quickly pull together a complicated deal. In such situations, "people speak in elevated tones," the official said. "People get threatening."

The emails, which run from mid-March until early May, were put into the court record following a request by Mr. Lauria, the lawyer fighting the bankruptcy on behalf of various Indiana pension and investment funds that hold Chrysler bank debt. They argue that the case has trampled on established bankruptcy law.

In early March, both Chrysler and the government seemed unsure about Fiat. In a March 10 letter to the Treasury auto team, Chrysler Chief Executive Robert Nardelli said he shared some of the government's worries about a Fiat alliance, including that the introduction of Fiat in the U.S. "may have a negative impact" on General Motors and Ford.

Mr. Nardelli also noted how Treasury officials had complained Fiat was "not bringing enough to the table" and had to be forced to put up cash for an equity stake.

A Chrysler spokeswoman said Mr. Nardelli wouldn't comment beyond his affidavit. In the affidavit, he said that by April's end, "Chrysler's management became comfortable with entrusting our precious assets to Fiat."

Chrysler's advisers told the company their Italian counterparts were refusing to provide sufficient financial information to evaluate the deal. A team sent to Fiat headquarters in Turin, Italy, reported back on March 14 that "no financial due diligence ... has or can be performed."

Getty Images

Robert Nardelli, chairman and CEO, Chrysler

Associated Press

Tom LaSorda, vice chairman, former President, Chrysler

[Ron Kolka, CFO, Chrysler]
Associated Press

Ron Kolka, CFO, Chrysler

Associated Press

Ron Bloom, senior adviser to Timothy Geithner

Bloomberg News

Matthew Feldman, member of the Obama auto team

An internal memo 13 days later from Chrysler's advisory team also said Fiat's "off-balance-sheet investments" in joint ventures around the world posed an economic risk and a political risk," including the appearance that "Treasury/Chrysler" was "in bed with a shady partner."

Eight days before President Barack Obama announced his support for the alliance in an April 30 speech, Chrysler officials were still bristling over what they considered Fiat's unwillingness to provide even basic information about its finances. "They requested us to re-submit a written request" for the information, one Chrysler official wrote on April 22 to Mr. Nardelli, the CEO.

Treasury officials, meanwhile, worried about Fiat's willingness to share technology with Chrysler, one of the deal's underpinnings. Fiat stands to get an initial 35% stake in Chrysler, and potentially 50%, based on its ability to help upgrade Chrysler's technology. Fiat is putting in no cash.

On April 22, Mr. Manzo of Capstone, the Chrysler adviser, sent a note -- like some of the emails, containing misspellings -- to Matthew Feldman, a member of the Obama auto team, to complain that Fiat "is trying to be squirely" about sharing technology.

Mr. Feldman emailed back: "We know."

Mr. Feldman declined to comment on the emails.

At the outset, the Chrysler team appeared leery of the role being played by the Treasury, which was leading the effort to save the auto maker. "I think we are clearly getting more cooks in the kitchen," Mr. Nardelli said in an email.

However, Chrysler quickly learned to defer to the Treasury team. In one email chain, Ron Bloom of the Treasury chastised a Chrysler official for trying to hammer out some lingering issues with Daimler, Chrysler's former partner, without looping in the Treasury.

"I am more than a little surprised," Mr. Bloom wrote, that Chrysler was proceeding "without our approval."

Mr. Nardelli jumped in: "Ron, thought we were helping, how would you like to handle!"

Later, the Chrysler executives deleted Mr. Bloom from the address line, and continued talking. "I guess the UST is running it!" said Mr. Nardelli, referring to the Treasury.

"26 days and counting," said Tom LaSorda, Chrysler's then-president, referring to the April 30 deadline to either do a deal or file for bankruptcy.

"Amen!" responded Mr. Nardelli.

Mr. LaSorda didn't return calls seeking comment.

Despite the push to do a deal with Fiat, Chrysler advisers continued into April urging the Treasury to think again about a potential merger with GM. Earlier talks between the two auto giants had broken down in November, and the Obama administration put little stock in the idea.

On April 10, Mr. Manzo emailed Mr. Nardelli to say he told the Treasury to reconsider a GM pair-up. Four days later, Mr. Manzo sent an email to several Treasury officials, as well as Messrs. Nardelli and LaSorda, urging them to reconsider.

"We continue to believe that revisiting the combination/alliance discussion with gm from the fall is the best alternative for all parties," he said.

In an interview, Mr. Manzo said conflicts will happen when a company like Chrysler is asking for money from a lender, particularly the government. He also said the emails reflected his "fiduciary duty to get the best value" for Chrysler.

Just before the filing, tensions boiled over. Mr. Manzo offered a suggestion to Mr. Feldman about making a last-minute offer to Chrysler's debt holders. "I'm now not talking to you," Mr. Feldman wrote back.

The next morning, hours before President Obama announced the bankruptcy, Chrysler President Mr. LaSorda emailed Mr. Manzo asking if Chapter 11 filing was inevitable.

"Not good," Mr. Manzo replied. "These washington guys want to show the market (gm, delphi....) that they can be tuff. We are the gueni pigs unfortunately."

—Alex Kellogg, Stacy Meichtry and Jake Seward contributed to this article.

Write to Neil King Jr. at and Jeffrey McCracken at

Sunday, June 07, 2009

Who's Rescuing You? By Neil Cavuto


June 01, 2009

Do you want to know the trick to financial prosperity? Spend less than you make.

That's it. That's really it. Class dismissed.

Yet so many dismiss that; that it's better to have more money coming in than going out.

Yet so many folks forget that. Companies too.

Companies like General Motors.

Because you know what number tells you all you need to know about GM? This one: $172.8 billion. That's the company's total debt — what GM owes.

Now another number: $82.29 billion. That's the company's total assets — what GM has.

Put another way, GM owes a lot more than it has. It has more bills it must pay than bills to pay them.

Think about that. GM is that upside down. It owes more than twice what it has.

It's not alone.

Where it is kind of alone, is that unlike a lot of folks in similar situations, in this situation, the government came to the rescue and put more money in, so GM can dig itself out.

The Muslim President! BHO: "The United States is One of the Largest Muslim Countries on the Planet" By Pamela Geller


June 3rd, 2009

The United States and the Western world must learn about Islam, and indeed if we count the number of American Muslims, we see that the United States is one of the largest Muslim countries on the planet," he said. Interview with French Le Monde. (hat tip Boquisucio):

As Obama embarks on his much lauded (compliments of a dhimmi press) trip to address the Muslim world from Egypt (where 95% of the women/girls have had their clitorises cut off), select members of the mainstream media are surprised by Obama's pre-election deceit about his Muslim background and family.

When I started posting about Obama's religious Muslim background in January of 2007, every epithet was hurled at me from the left and mainstream circles. Islamophobe! Right wing nut! Racist? What race? He is really more Arab American than African American, but the racist charge was for his religion (Islam is a race?).

I continued to post through 2007 and 2008 evidence of his Islamic religious birth, his extremist Muslim family and his Islamic schooling. Terrorists supported him. There were the phone banks in Gaza. Oodles of jihad money from a Hamas controlled refugee camp in Gaza. Mosques in the US were preaching for Obama. Khalid Al Mansour sponsored Obama for Harvard. *crickets chirped*

Obama, the Muslim Thing and why it Matters

Israel National News, December 2007

That said, Barack Obama went to a madrassa in Jakarta. A madrassa in a Muslim country. Whether he was devout or secular, he knows what was taught. He knows what is in the Koran. Even if he is ambiguous, he knows the stakes involved. His father was a Muslim who took three wives (without divorcing). His stepfather and close members of his family are devout Muslims. Not an unimportant influence.

Every Muslim who left Islam is very definitive about leaving and why. They are quite vocal - Wafa Sultan , Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Walid Shoebat, Elijah Abraham, etc. If he left Islam, Obama must have very definite thoughts about it. He has to, he practiced Islam. That is not benign; it's big. And even if, as inferred by big media, it was not big to him, then he can still appreciate how important it is knowing what he knows about Islam and apostasy.

Obama would have had to make a decision to reject Islam. When did he make that decision? How? Why the silence? Why the reluctance to talk about it?

March 2008: Obama and Islam: The Third Rail in American Politics

I am not a racist. Tough to prove a negative. But I refuse to dhimmi down and STFU. Too much is wrong. Obama's narrative is being altered, enhanced and manipulated to whitewash troubling facts. The web is being scrubbed of Obama's ties to Islam. But America will know the truth, even if the mainstream media refuses to touch the third rail. The media is already in full spin mode. The racist charge is fallacious - Islam is not a race, but why split hairs, right?

America should be skeptical. America should question - intensely. We are in the fight for our lives against an enemy who has vowed to destroy us. Good faith is not good enough.

My objective is to unearth Obama's relationship to Islam. Islam is a political ideology and it is incompatible with democracy.

Mosques are being used to electioneer for Obama. Arabs and Muslims in Islamic countries endorse Obama. Unindicted co-conspirator and Hamas sympathizer CAIR endorses him. Why would they endorse an apostate? There is no record of Obama ever having been baptized. Did he leave Islam and become Christian?

It was taboo. I was "fear mongering". When Obama's Islam was discussed, it was romanticized. When he told Nicholas Kristof of the NY Times "the prettiest sound he [Obama] ever heard was the Muslim call to prayer at sunset," it was the epitome of multicultural tolerance, despite the barbaric intolerance of Islam.

When his anti-semitic, anti-American pastor Reverend Jeremiah Wright was exposed as a member of the haters, the Nation of Islam, prior to his leadership of his Black Liberation church, the mainstream media yawned. Obama was never vetted, his lies never exposed. And so we have our first Muslim presidency, fresh on the heels of 911. The motor of this presidency is submission to Islam and the conversion to a communist economy.

Today Jake Tapper over at ABC News broke the mainstream media taboo and actually stated the obvious.

The Emergence of President Obama's Muslim Roots

Jake Tapper and Sunlen Miller

The other day we heard a comment from a White House aide that never would have been uttered during the primaries or general election campaign.

During a conference call in preparation for President Obama's trip to Cairo, Egypt, where he will address the Muslim world, deputy National Security Adviser for Strategic Communications Denis McDonough said "the President himself experienced Islam on three continents before he was able to -- or before he's been able to visit, really, the heart of the Islamic world -- you know, growing up in Indonesia, having a Muslim father -- obviously Muslim Americans (are) a key part of Illinois and Chicago."

Given widespread unease and prejudice against Muslims among Americans, especially in the wake of 9/11, the Obama campaign was perhaps understandably very sensitive during the primaries and general election to downplay the candidate's Muslim roots.

The candidate was even offended when referred to by his initials "BHO," because he considered the use of his middle name, "Hussein," an attempt to frighten voters.

With insane rumors suggesting he was some sort of Muslim Manchurian candidate, then-Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., and his campaign did everything they could to emphasize his Christianity and de-emphasize the fact that his father, Barack Obama Sr., was born Muslim.

The candidate's comment at a Boca Raton, Florida, town hall meeting on May 22, 2008, was typical: "My father was basically agnostic, as far as I can tell, and I didn't know him," he said.

In September 2008, candidate Obama told a Pennsylvania crowd, "I know that I'm not your typical presidential candidate and I just want to be honest with you. I know that the temptation is to say, 'You know what? The guy hasn't been there that long in Washington. You know, he's got a funny name. You know, we're not sure about him.' And that's what the Republicans when they say this isn't about issues, it's about personalities, what they're really saying is, 'We're going to try to scare people about Barack. So we're going to say that, you know, maybe he's got Muslim connections.'...Just making stuff up."

Back then, the campaign's "Fight the Smears" website addressed the candidate's faith without mentioning his father's religion:

"Barack Obama is a committed Christian. He was sworn into the Senate on his family Bible. He has regularly attended church with his wife and daughters for years. But shameful, shadowy attackers have been lying about Barack’s religion, claiming he is a Muslim instead of a committed Christian. When people fabricate stories about someone’s faith to denigrate them politically, that’s an attack on people of all faiths. Make sure everyone you know is aware of this deception."

The website also provided quotes from the Boston Globe and Newsweek mentioning his father's roots.

Since the election, however, with the threat of the rumors at least somewhat abated, the White House has been increasingly forthcoming about the president's roots. Especially when reaching out to the Muslim world.

In his April 6 address to the Turkish Parliament, President Obama referenced how many "Americans have Muslims in their families or have lived in a Muslim majority country. I know, because I am one of them."

Who can forget his bold faced lies to the Jews?

For Barack Obama, it is an ember that he has doused time and again, only to see it flicker anew: links to Islam fanned by false rumors, innuendo and association.

And the praise he received Sunday from Minister Louis Farrakhan, leader of the black Muslim group Nation of Islam, prompted pointed questions during Tuesday night's presidential debate and in a private meeting over the weekend with Jewish leaders in Cleveland, Ohio.


The Democratic candidate says repeatedly that he is a Christian who took the oath of office on a family Bible. Yet on the Internet and on talk radio, and in a campaign introduction for Republican candidate John McCain this week, he often is depicted, falsely, as a Muslim with shadowy ties and his middle name, Hussein, is emphasized.

"If anyone is still puzzled about the facts, in fact I have never been a Muslim," he told the Jewish leaders in Cleveland, according to a transcript of the private session.

Is it any wonder that Obama will not stop in Israel as he bounces around the Middle East?