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Bully Pulpit

The term "bully pulpit" stems from President Theodore Roosevelt's reference to the White House as a "bully pulpit," meaning a terrific platform from which to persuasively advocate an agenda. Roosevelt often used the word "bully" as an adjective meaning superb/wonderful. The Bully Pulpit features news, reasoned discourse, opinion and some humor.

Friday, October 31, 2008

‘Selfishness’: Obama Wages New Attack On Those Who Don’t Want Higher Taxes

"John McCain and Sarah Palin they call this socialistic. You know I don't know when, when they decided they wanted to make a virtue out of selfishness."
Barack Obama

Obama 2007: Use ‘Price Signals’ to Change Energy ‘Behavior’ Even if it Hurts Middle Class

(Breitbart.tv) - This video is from the same team at Naked Emperor News that uncovered the 2001 radio interview where Obama explained his strategy for "redistributing of wealth."

How Low Can It Go? Richardson Pegs Middle Class as Those Making Under $120,000

For the second time in a week, a prominent Democrat has downgraded Barack Obama's definition of the middle class.

(Fox News) - For the second time in a week, a prominent Democrat has downgraded Barack Obama's definition of the middle class -- leading Republicans to question whether he'll stick to his promise not to raise taxes on anyone making under $250,000.

The latest hiccup in the campaign message came Friday morning on KOA-AM, when New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson pegged the middle class as those making $120,000 and under.

Obama on low taxes: “Selfishness”

(By Ed Morrissey, Hot Air) - Barack Obama gave John McCain another pre-Election Day gift this morning in remarks made to a Sarasota, Florida audience. After telling Joe the Plumber in Ohio that he wants government to “spread the wealth,” Obama told Floridians that opposition to such policies amounted to “selfishness”:

“The point is, though, that — and it’s not just charity, it’s not just that I want to help the middle class and working people who are trying to get in the middle class — it’s that when we actually make sure that everybody’s got a shot – when young people can all go to college, when everybody’s got decent health care, when everybody’s got a little more money at the end of the month – then guess what? Everybody starts spending that money, they decide maybe I can afford a new car, maybe I can afford a computer for my child. They can buy the products and services that businesses are selling and everybody is better off. All boats rise. That’s what happened in the 1990s, that’s what we need to restore. And that’s what I’m gonna do as president of the United States of America.

“John McCain and Sarah Palin they call this socialistic,” Obama continued. “You know I don’t know when, when they decided they wanted to make a virtue out of selfishness.”

Not-So-Straight Ticket

Old Democrat voting rule may hurt Obama in N.C.

(By Doug Heye, National Review Online) - With North Carolina coming down to the wire, an obscure voting statute is coming into play. In the Tar Heel state, a straight-ticket vote does not include the presidential or statewide judicial candidates. Voters much make those votes separately to have their vote counted.

For the judges, their offices are officially non-partisan so that can be disregarded. But on the presidential level, where the campaigns are decidedly partisan, the law could have a definite impact on the outcome.

For many voters, the process is confusing. After all, why would a straight ticket vote not include all candidates from a particular party?

As Mike Baker of the Associated Press Raleigh bureau points out, the law was created by the Democrats.

Dementia patient allegedly pressured to cast ballot

(The Des Moines Register) - Reports that an 87-year-old Council Bluffs woman was allegedly pressured to vote absentee by a Democratic campaign volunteer raise suspicions that some people who have diminished mental capacity are being targeted, a Republican official said Wednesday.

The allegation by Chris Taylor, a spokesman for the Republican National Committee, refers to claims by Angela Murphy-Hayes, who said her 87-year-old mother, a dementia patient, was coerced to cast a ballot about two weeks ago.



(Drudge Report) - The Obama campaign has decided to heave out three newspapers from its plane for the final days of its blitz across battleground states -- and all three endorsed Sen. John McCain for president!

The NY POST, WASHINGTON TIMES and DALLAS MORNING NEWS have all been told to move out by Sunday to make room for network bigwigs -- and possibly for the inclusion of reporters from two black magazines, ESSENCE and JET, the DRUDGE REPORT has learned.

Despite pleas from top editors of the three newspapers that have covered the campaign for months at extraordinary cost, the Obama campaign says their reporters -- and possibly others -- will have to vacate their coveted seats so more power players can document the final days of Sen. Barack Obama's historic campaign to become the first black American president.

Some told the DRUDGE REPORT that the reporters are being ousted to bring on documentary film-makers to record the final days; others expect to see on board more sympathetic members of the media, including the NY TIMES' Maureen Dowd, who once complained that she was barred from McCain's Straight Talk Express airplane.

After a week of quiet but desperate behind-the-scenes negotiations, the reporters of the three papers heard last night that they were definitely off for the final swing. They are already planning how to cover the final days by flying commercial or driving from event to event.

Obama Lays Plans to Kill Expectations After Election Victory

Confident in an Election Day win, the campaign looks to lower supporters' expectations on concerns their hopes of 'change' are unrealistic, a senior aide says

(By Tim Reid, The Times of London) - Barack Obama's senior advisers have drawn up plans to lower expectations for his presidency if he wins next week's election, amid concerns that many of his euphoric supporters are harboring unrealistic hopes of what he can achieve.

The sudden financial crisis and the prospect of a deep and painful recession have increased the urgency inside the Obama team to bring people down to earth, after a campaign in which his soaring rhetoric and promises of "hope" and "change" are now confronted with the reality of a stricken economy.

One senior adviser told The Times that the first few weeks of the transition, immediately after the election, were critical, "so there's not a vast mood swing from exhilaration and euphoria to despair."

The aide said that Obama himself was the first to realize that expectations risked being inflated.

In an interview with a Colorado radio station, Obama appeared to be engaged already in expectation lowering. Asked about his goals for the first hundred days, he said he would need more time to tackle such big and costly issues as health care reform, global warming and Iraq.

"The first hundred days is going to be important, but it's probably going to be the first thousand days that makes the difference," he said. He has also been reminding crowds in recent days how "hard" it will be to achieve his goals, and that it will take time.

"I won't stand here and pretend that any of this will be easy -- especially now," Obama told a rally in Sarasota, Florida, yesterday, citing "the cost of this economic crisis, and the cost of the war in Iraq." Obama's transition team is headed by John Podesta, a Washington veteran and a former chief-of-staff to Bill Clinton. He has spent months overseeing a virtual Democratic government-in-exile to plan a smooth transition should Obama emerge victorious next week.

The plans are so far advanced that an Obama Cabinet has been largely decided upon, with the expectation that most of his senior appointments could be announced shortly after election day.

Rush Limbaugh's Morning Update: Sinkhole

This week, governors, mayors, and lobbyists went to Washington to demand more federal bailouts. At one hearing, former Goldman Sachs chairman Jon Corzine -- now Democrat Governor of New Jersey -- demanded $300 billion to be spent on "infrastructure projects." Corzine said that this economic adversity should be turned into "a time of opportunity," which he claimed would benefit "our children and grandchildren."

Corzine's neighbor, New York's Democrat Governor David Paterson, had his hand out as well to help cover a $13 billion budget shortfall that he blames on Wall Street going south. Paterson warned of painful cuts to health care and anti-poverty programs. And in a real tear-jerker moment, he said: "The cruel irony is that at the time when citizens need their state governments the most, state governments are least equipped to help them because of plummeting revenues." Well, boo-hoo, buddy!

These two "wizards of smart" have a lot in common, folks. Like most blue states, they have confiscatory tax rates and obscene property taxes. Their governments are awash in hundreds of massive programs that don't work but eternally suck up money. Their education systems are empires of failure. Despite 50 years of "renewal programs," large swaths of urban areas remain blighted. These states do all they can to punish businesses, and then complain when businesses suffer downturns or split and leave.

Now they want hundreds of billions to pour into the same sinkholes they've created. And if Democrats run Washington -- lock, stock, and barrel -- chances are, they'll get it. We're all going to pay for it.

Read the Background Material on the Morning Update...
AP: Governors, Mayors ask Washington for Fiscal Help

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Why Democrats Will Target the Investor Class in 2009

(By James Pethokoukis, U.S. News & World Report) - There are at least two pretty effective ways to turn someone into a Republican: (1) get them married with kids and (2) get them to invest in the stock market. So, if I were a highly paid Democratic political strategist, I would make sure to spend a few minutes every day thinking of ways to get Americans out of the stock market—the faster, the better. And that's why if Barack Obama is elected president next week, 2009 may well bring a concerted and all-out effort by the Obama administration and a Democratically dominated Congress to turn the generally pro-Republican Investor Class into an endangered class by, among other tactics, raising investment taxes and ending the tax preferences for 401(k)'s, IRAs, and other retirement accounts. Here is the emerging battle plan for Operation Investor Class Rollback...

Planned Parenthood admits infanticide happens

(By Ed Morrissey, Hot Air) - Students for Life of America released a video this morning that puts lie to the notion that late-term abortions do not result in infanticide when babies survive the abortion process. Barack Obama claimed that the law he opposed on four different occasions in Illinois was unnecessary, because he was certain that doctors wouldn’t just leave living infants to die — even though the Attorney General and Jill Stanek both testified that they did and that existing Illinois law didn’t prevent it from happening. Abortionists will not render medical assistance to such living infants unless forced to do so. Guess who else admits it?

A Joke And What It Reveals

(By John Hood, National Review Online) - Speaking in front of a huge audience at downtown Raleigh rally yesterday, Barack Obama threw off a humorous line about John McCain's accusation that the Obama tax plan is redistributionist:

McCain has “called me a socialist for wanting to roll back the Bush tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans so we can finally give tax relief to the middle class,” Obama said. “I don’t know what’s next. By the end of the week he'll be accusing me of being a secret communist because I shared my toys in kindergarten.”

Ha ha.

Only, in this passage Obama revealed precisely why he is vulnerable to such charges: he can't seem to tell the difference between a gift and a theft. There is nothing remotely socialistic or communistic about sharing. If you have a toy that someone else wants, you have three choices in a free society. You can offer to trade it for something you value that is owned by the other. You can give the toy freely, as a sign of friendship or compassion. Or you can choose to do neither.

Collectivism in all its forms is about taking away your choice. Whether you wish to or not, the government compels you to surrender the toy, which it then redistributes to someone that government officials deem to be a more worthy owner. It won't even be someone you could ever know, in most cases. That's what makes the political philosophy unjust (by stripping you of control over yourself and the fruits of your labor) as well as counterproductive (by failing to give the recipient sufficient incentive to learn and work hard so he can earn his own toys in the future).

Government is not charity. It is not persuasion, or cooperation, or sharing. Government is a fist, a shove, a gun. Obama either doesn't understand this, or doesn't want voters to understand it.

FCC Probe Signals Democratic Attack Machine

(Human Events) - A Federal Communications Commission investigation of on-air military analysts is providing a glimpse of what Democrats and an Obama administration will do to critics once they capture Washington.

The FCC has sent letters to some of the nation's most prominent military analysts -- some of them pro-President Bush and pro-war -- suggesting they may have broken the law when they appeared on television stations to comment on and explain the war on terrorism.

The FCC investigation raises the question of whether a Democrat-controlled Congress and White House next year will investigate -- and perhaps criminalize -- all sorts of actions taken by the Bush administration. Obama is leading in all presidential polls, while Democrats are set to greatly increase their hold on the House and Senate.

Checks on 'Joe' more extensive than first acknowledged

Tax, welfare info also sought on McCain ally

(The Columbus Dispatch) - A state agency has revealed that its checks of computer systems for potential information on "Joe the Plumber" were more extensive than it first acknowledged.

Helen Jones-Kelley, director of the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services, disclosed today that computer inquiries on Samuel Joseph Wurzelbacher were not restricted to a child-support system.

The agency also checked Wurzelbacher in its computer systems to determine whether he was receiving welfare assistance or owed unemployment compensation taxes, she wrote.

Bill Clinton Helps Out

(By Greg Pollowitz, National Review Online) - By letting America know that Senator Obama had no clue what to do when the financial crisis hit. At 3AM, how many people will a President Obama have time to chat with?

"You know what he did?" Clinton said, heralding Obama's reaction to the financial crisis. "First he took a little heat for not saying much. I knew what he was doing. He talked to his advisers – he talked to my economic advisers, he called Hillary. He called me. He called Warren Buffet. He called all those people, you know why? Because he knew it was complicated and before he said anything he wanted to understand."

Rush Limbaugh's Morning Update: Change?

My friends, should Democrats win the White House and a veto-proof Congress, one of their top priorities is the deceptively-named "Employee Free Choice Act"; it ought to be called the "Union End-of-Choice Act."

In return for the millions of dollars spent by unions electing Democrats, this measure would punish American businesses by allowing unions in with a simple majority vote. To make sure employees vote in favor of unions, the Act strips the right of workers to cast secret ballots! Union thugs would thus be able to identify workers opposed to unions so they could be harassed or intimidated into casting a pro-union vote.

Now, as hideous this Act is, don't view it in isolation. It's just one of the threats American businesses face from Democrats in power. Obama has promised a Big Government health care plan that will force business to subsidize the nation's uninsured. He has also promised to raise capital gains tax rates -- choking off investment -- and to raise taxes, which will also punish employers.

The options left for American businesses are predictable. To avoid higher labor costs, they will outsource millions of jobs overseas. Entry level hiring will slow dramatically. Layoffs will, of course, increase. Many businesses forced to unionize will endure labor strikes -- before caving in to demands. American productivity will slow down. Stifled by unions, individual high achievers will find their path to advancement blocked.

This is not change to believe in, folks; it's change to cripple this country for generations -- and they're doing it with that purpose.

Read the Background Material on the Morning Update...
NRO: Employee Free Choice Act and Joe the Plumber

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Wednesday Funnies :-)

Jay Leno: Just one week left to go until the election. To give you an idea of how long this whole thing has been going on, when John McCain started, he was just 47 years old. ... Colin Powell has endorsed Barack Obama. This is bad news for John McCain, because at his age, he has enough colon problems. ... Pundits say Colin Powell is the biggest political figure to endorse Barack Obama since Bill and Hillary. And the only one of those three who will actually vote for him. ... After his big speech in North Carolina [Monday], Senator Joe Biden said he was experiencing a sore throat and lost his voice. Boy, the good news doesn’t stop for Barack Obama. Just one lucky break after another. ... And Ralph Nader, God bless him, still out there campaigning. Ralph Nader said today he has set a record for the most campaign speeches given in one day. He gave 21 speeches in one day. Of course, we have to take his word for it, because there are no witnesses.

Will Obama's Tax Cuts Go the Way of Clinton's?

(The American Spectator) - The former Clinton chief of staff who will be helping Obama with the transition should he win, had this to say to the New York Times:

Leon E. Panetta, who was Mr. Clinton’s first budget director, said he had warned Mr. Obama of the realities ahead, should he win. “I’ve told him, Bill Clinton found this out. He walked into the Oval Office, and suddenly he found he had a bigger deficit than he even thought he had.” Mr. Clinton’s reaction, he said, was, “I’m not going to be able to do what I want to do!”

As you'll probably recall, one of the first things that Clinton did once in office was to abandon his middle class tax cut, which was central to his campaign. Reading between the lines of Panetta, I wonder how long it will take before Obama tosses aside his "tax cut" for 95 percent of Americans. You can already see the seeds of the justification: "When I checked under the rug, I found that eight years of George Bush has created more of a mess than I ever anticipated, and so..."

Rendell spokesman: Republicans have a “Jim Crow” attitude

(By Ed Morrissey, Hot Air) - Ed Rendell’s administration keeps the hate alive in Pennsylvania. After the state GOP filed a lawsuit to have Pennsylvania enforce voter-registration laws regarding thousands of entries filed by ACORN, Rendell’s spokesman said it displayed a “Jim Crow attitude”:

The head of the county bureau of elections hasn’t encountered any suspected voter registration fraud, but allegations in other parts of Pennsylvania have sparked a lawsuit and a verbal exchange between a state official and the Republican Party.

The Pennsylvania Republican Party filed a lawsuit to assure the vote count is accurate – a move that Gov. Ed Rendell’s press secretary described as a “Jim Crow attitude.”

Democratic priorities in the coming one-party government

(By Ed Morrissey, Hot Air) - According to The Hill, Democrats have their post-election agenda all set if they manage to win the White House and extend their majorities in Congress. Card Check? You bet. Expansion of S-CHIP to the middle class? That will get revived, too. Expect a flood of social-engineering policies in the Age of Obama — assuming it arrives:

A landslide victory next Tuesday would give Barack Obama, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and other Democrats a once-in-a-generation opportunity to reshape government policy dramatically.

By controlling the White House and expanding their Senate majority, Democrats would remove the most reliable weapons used by the GOP to block their agenda: the filibuster and the veto.

Those tools have thwarted Pelosi (Calif.) and Democrats since they won the majority in both chambers, leaving bills affecting labor law, healthcare and other issues to die in the Senate or on the president’s desk.

With those obstacles removed, Democrats could quickly push forward with legislation allowing labor unions to organize without secret-ballot elections and a bill expanding the State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP).

Other possibilities include the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, which would overturn a Supreme Court decision restricting equal pay lawsuits; a measure that would narrow the role of a “supervisor” for collective bargaining purposes; and a mandate for paid sick leave for companies with 15 or more employees who work at least 30 hours a week — all left over from the last Congress.

CNN says no thanks to Obama half-hour

LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) - CNN has rejected an attempt by the Barack Obama campaign to purchase airtime for its primetime ad Wednesday night.

"We did not want to pre-empt our programing lineup with a 30-minute spot," a CNN spokesman said Tuesday. "We'd rather use our air to continue to cover the campaign, candidates and issues like we always do from all points of view with the best political team on television."

MSNBC is planning to air the ad along with its broadcast partner NBC. Sources said Fox News was not approached by the Obama campaign.

CNN and Fox News said they plan to cover the ad as part of their usual nightly news programing. "CNN will cover it as a news story, just like we do with all the other campaign ads," it said.

The Obama campaign's unusual purchase of a half-hour of primetime has generated considerable curiosity about the ad's content. "Saturday Night Live" mocked the ad last week, sight unseen.

NBC, Fox, CBS, Univision and MSNBC will carry the ad in full. Fox will air the ad as lead-in to the disrupted conclusion of Monday night's World Series game, which was halted after six innings because of rain.

Half-Hour Obama Infomercial to Air on 7 Networks

Flush with cash, Democratic candidate to saturate prime-time television tonight with multi-million dollar ad buy

NORFOLK, Va. (Fox News) - Barack Obama will be a one-man television blitz on Wednesday, saturating prime-time with a 30-minute ad and popping up on the buzzy late-night TV scene.

He is also giving an interview to a prominent network news anchor, and appearing with fellow Democratic star Bill Clinton at a rally that is timed to hit the late-evening news.

So that line in Obama's stump speech about how parents need to turn the television off more at home? He might make an exception this day.

'Cutting though the Bull'

(CNN) - CNN's Campbell Brown sounds off on Sen. Barack Obama's unprecedented amount of campaign money.

Story Highlights
- Campbell Brown: Obama pledged to accept public financing last year
- But, she says, he switched when he realized he could earn more on his own
- He's rolling in dough earned on a broken promise, Brown says

Obama Accepting Untraceable Donations

Contributions Reviewed After Deposits

(Washington Post) - Sen. Barack Obama's presidential campaign is allowing donors to use largely untraceable prepaid credit cards that could potentially be used to evade limits on how much an individual is legally allowed to give or to mask a contributor's identity, campaign officials confirmed.

Faced with a huge influx of donations over the Internet, the campaign has also chosen not to use basic security measures to prevent potentially illegal or anonymous contributions from flowing into its accounts, aides acknowledged. Instead, the campaign is scrutinizing its books for improper donations after the money has been deposited.

The Obama organization said its extensive review has ensured that the campaign has refunded any improper contributions, and noted that Federal Election Commission rules do not require front-end screening of donations.

Rush Limbaugh's Morning Update: Graveyard

Well, folks, we're in the closing days of the longest -- and arguably most contested -- presidential race in our history. And, by accident or by design, this year's "October Surprise" is a financial meltdown of the world economy.

But American newspapers are in their own meltdown. Weekday readership, according to the Audit Bureau of Circulations, dropped an average of almost five percent since April. Sunday readership is off even more than weekdays. The Atlanta Urinal and Constipation suffered a 14 percent drop-off. The New York Times -- house organ, Democrat Party -- is still losing readers everyday. The LA Times has announced more layoffs, as they seem to do every month.

Many Drive-Bys have responded to hard times by raising their rates, further eroding their circulation -- just like their fellow liberal travelers in government, who insist on raising taxes despite the severe consequences.

Predictably, the Drive-Bys continue to misdiagnose their problem. This week, their industry experts are blaming shrinking news pages, the economic downturn... everything but the real reason for their decline, which is simple to understand: The customers just don't trust them anymore. They know they are not getting objective news. All people have to do is turn on the New Media -- listen to the radio -- to find out the news these papers refuse to print for purely ideological reasons.

So, we're sorry Drive-Bys; no tears for your continued fall from grace. You're digging your own graves -- and, frankly, there are a lot of us here happy to help throw the dirt on you. Heh-heh!

Read the Background Material on the Morning Update...
AP: Newspapers see sharp circulation drop of 4.6 percent

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Joe The Plumber, Ready For Interviews!

I actually received this press release in my work e-mail inbox this evening. Obviously Joe isn't doing too much plumbing these days; he seems to be devoting most of his time to securing interviews with the press. The McCain campaign is pathetic for making such a big deal out of this guy, but maybe he'll get lucky and end up eating bugs for money on NBC's 'Fear Factor' next summer. (Joe, not John — I think John's set for cash.) Anyway — desperate times, desperate measures, I guess.

Fox News Report On John Murtha Election Battle

LA Times Refuses to Release Tape of Obama Praising Controversial Activist

Video of farewell party for alleged PLO worker shows Obama toasting 'friend and dinner companion' with questionable past.

(Fox News) - The Los Angeles Times is refusing to release a videotape that it says shows Barack Obama praising a Chicago professor who was an alleged mouthpiece for the Palestine Liberation Organization while it was a designated terrorist group in the 1970s and '80s.

According to a LA Times article written by Peter Wallsten in April, Obama was a "friend and frequent dinner companion" of Rashid Khalidi, who from 1976 to 1982 was reportedly a director of the official Palestinian press agency, WAFA, which was operating in exile from Beirut with the PLO.

Judge rules Ohio homeless voters may list park benches as addresses

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) - A federal judge in Ohio has ruled that counties must allow homeless voters to list park benches and other locations that aren't buildings as their addresses.

U.S. District Judge Edmund Sargus also ruled that provisional ballots can't be invalidated because of poll worker errors.

Monday's ruling resolved the final two pieces of a settlement between the Northeast Ohio Coalition for the Homeless and Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner.

The coalition agreed to drop a constitutional challenge to Ohio's voter identification law until after the Nov. 4 election. In return, Brunner and the coalition agreed on procedures to verify provisional ballots across all Ohio counties.

The coalition was concerned that unequal treatment of provisional ballots would disenfranchise some voters.

Obama's Moving Tax Threshold: $250,000? $200,000? $150,000? What Next?

(By Byron York, National Review Online) - One of the things I've seen at Republican rallies is that people just don't believe Barack Obama when he says he'll raise taxes only on those who make more than $250,000 a year. It's not that these people make that much money or even think they'll make that much money sometime in the next four years. It's that they believe Obama, once in office, would lower the threshold and raise taxes on people who make less than $250,000.

Obama's position in the past was that he would raise taxes on families making more than $250,000 a year and individuals making more than $200,000. But in his new ad, "Defining Moment," he seems to lower it to $200,000 for families. "Here's what I'll do as president," Obama says in the ad. "To deal with our current emergency I'll launch a rescue plan for the middle class That begins with a tax cut for 95 percent of working Americans. If you have a job, pay taxes and make less than $200,000 a year, you'll get a tax cut." That seems kind of ambiguous, but the graphic on the screen says clearly: "Famlies making less than $200,000 get tax cut." Now, the McCain campaign is pointing out something that Joe Biden said in a Pennsylvania TV interview yesterday:

What we’re saying is that $87 billion tax break doesn’t need to go to people making an average of 1.4 million, it should go like it used to. It should go to middle class people — people making under $150,000 a year.”

This morning, in Hershey, Pennsylvania, McCain started pushing hard:

Senator Obama has made a lot of promises. First he said people making less than 250,000 dollars would benefit from his plan, then this weekend he announced in an ad that if you're a family making less than 200,000 dollars you'll benefit — but yesterday, right here in Pennsylvania, Senator Biden said tax relief should only go to "middle class people — people making under 150,000 dollars a year." It's interesting how their definition of rich has a way of creeping down. At this rate, it won't be long before Senator Obama is right back to his vote that Americans making just 42,000 dollars a year should get a tax increase. We can't let that happen.

Employee Free Choice Act and Joe the Plumber

(By Peter Kirsanow, National Review Online) - Proponents of the Employee Free Choice Act ("EFCA") maintain that card check unionization will protect employees from the alleged employer coercion and intimidation that accompanies secret ballot election campaigns. This, say proponents, is why card check better protects an employee's free choice than the present system of secret ballot elections supervised by the National Labor Relation Board.

Let's examine that proposition using Joe the Plumber (not Joe Wurzelbacher. I don't know where he stands on EFCA, although I have a hunch).

The Union targets Joe's employer for unionization. There are 100 employees in the proposed bargaining unit, so under EFCA the union only needs to convince 51 of them to sign authorization cards for the union to be certified as the collective bargaining representative for all 100.

The Union leaders are pretty sophisticated at organizing. After all, it's what they do. Pretty quickly they identify both the employees most receptive to unionization as well as those most opposed. Joe falls into the latter group so the Union never even attempts to get him to sign a card. In fact, since most of the pro-union employees work a different shift, Joe's not even aware a union drive is going on.

The Union gets 51 employees to sign cards and gets certified by the NLRB as the collective bargaining representative for all employees — including Joe, who had absolutely no say in whether he wanted a union.

The Union and Joe's employer begin negotiations but can't get an agreement within 120 days. Under EFCA, a government-appointed arbitrator then writes the "contract". The arbitrator puts a union security and dues check-off clause in the "contract", thereby requiring Joe's employer to deduct $45 a month from Joe's paycheck and remit the amount to the union. The arbitrator also orders Joe's employer to pay a 5% wage increase — an amount that squeezes the employer's margin. The employer considers lay offs to avoid losses. Joe is near the bottom of the seniority list.

Under EFCA, the arbitrator's order is binding for two years. Joe and his co-workers can't reject it. Joe's company can't reject it.

Let's review: Joe had no choice in being represented by the union. He had no choice in paying union dues. He had no choice in accepting the arbitrator's order that might lead to his lay-off.

Joe concludes that the correct title is the Employee No Choice Act.

Video: CBS follows Obama’s money

Look where it leads.

(By Ed Morrissey, Hot Air) - Katie Couric fronts this CBS News look at Barack Obama’s fundraising activities in the general election, and points out a few uncomfortable truths. First CBS reports on the issues surrounding the small donors and the lack of accountability, and then they move onto some revealing special interests:

CBS missed the story on credit-card fraud at Team Obama, and they had an opening for this in the otherwise good reporting on the differences in transparency between Obama and McCain on small donors. However, they did a good job in reporting the fact that Obama likes to rail about Wall Street greed but uses bundlers right out of Goldman Sachs. The disparity in fundraising between McCain and Obama with these well-connected Wall Street firms is eye-opening.

It’s not bad, and the CBS report puts a dent in the mythology of Obama’s transparency.

Ohio official OK’d records search on Joe the Plumber

Political probable cause.

(By Ed Morrissey, Hot Air) - The Columbus Dispatch reports that at least one culprit has emerged from the misuse of public information to attack Joe Wurzelbacher — and to no one’s surprise, she’s a Democrat and a big Barack Obama supporter. Helen Jones-Kelly decided to check on Wurzelbacher as soon as he became an issue in the third presidential debate. But this maxed-out donor to Obama swears that she had no political reasons for her sudden curiosity about Wurzelbacher:

Ohio’s inspector general is investigating why a state agency director approved checking the state child-support computer system for information on “Joe the Plumber.”

Helen Jones-Kelly, director of the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services, confirmed today that she OK’d the check on Samuel Joseph Wurzelbacher following the Oct. 15 presidential debate.

She said there were no political reasons for the check on the sudden presidential campaign fixture though the Support Enforcement Tracking System.

Amid questions from the media and others about “Joe the Plumber,” Jones-Kelley said she approved a check to determine if he was current on any ordered child-support payments.

Obama Affinity to Marxists Dates Back to College Days

Barack Obama shrugs off charges of socialism, but noted in his own memoir that he carefully chose Marxist professors as friends in college.

(Fox News) - Barack Obama laughs off charges of socialism. Joe Biden scoffs at references to Marxism. Both men shrug off accusations of liberalism.

But Obama himself acknowledges that he was drawn to socialists and even Marxists as a college student. He continued to associate with Marxists later in life, even choosing to launch his political career in the living room of a self-described Marxist, William Ayers, in 1995, when Obama was 34.

Obama's affinity for Marxists began when he attended Occidental College in Los Angeles.

‘Talk to Your Boss’: Obama Campaign Calls on Americans to Not Work on Election Day

"You can't make history from here."

Remembering the Gipper...

“The most dangerous myth is the demagoguery that business can be made to pay a larger share, thus relieving the individual. Politicians preaching this are either deliberately dishonest, or economically illiterate, and either one should scare us. Business doesn’t pay taxes, and who better than business to make this message known? Only people pay taxes, and people pay as consumers every tax that is assessed against a business. Begin with the food and fiber raised in the farm, to the ore drilled in a mine, to the oil and gas from out of the ground, whatever it may be—through the processing, through the manufacturing, on out to the retailer’s license. If the tax cannot be included in the price of the product, no one along that line can stay in business.”
Ronald Reagan

Rush Limbaugh's Morning Update: Oops!

Somebody screwed up -- big time. Mere days before the election, New York Times reporter Kevin Sack slipped an article critical of Lord Barack Obama the Most Merciful into Monday's edition.

The article, titled "Businesses Wary of Details in Obama Health Plan," details the hits that companies fear. As part of his "spread the wealth" philosophy, Lord Obama plans to force business to subsidize health care for the uninsured. These business owners will be tasked with providing coverage for people who don't work for them or have any connection to their success. The article quotes business owners who are planning hiring cutbacks. It cites economists' predictions that non-complying businesses will be penalized at up to 6 percent of their payroll costs!

Unanswered questions are also weighing heavy on owners' minds: How much is the "meaningful contribution" that Lord Obama has said he'll demand from them; what size businesses will be asked to pony up their so-called wealth; and how hard will they get whacked if the Lord doesn't like their attitude? They're also smart enough to know that any initial plan is just the beginning of rising fees, fines, and costs.

These are the realities that businesses are facing. But this was never supposed to find its way into print in The New York Times -- especially before the election! Kevin Sack, you might just get sacked for spilling the beans... along with the editor who assigned this glimpse of the truth. (We do wonder what happened here.)

Read the Background Material on the Morning Update...
NY Times: Businesses Wary of Details in Obama Health Plan

Monday, October 27, 2008

Palin deserves our respect

By Helen McCaffrey
The Philadelphia Inquirer

I cannot predict who will win the presidential campaign, but I already know who will lose big: all women.

I realized this when I saw a 20-something male student who attends a class in the community college where I teach, wearing a T-shirt that read, "Sarah Palin is a [C**t]." He wore it in public, in broad daylight, and without shame or even consciousness of what he was doing.

I took the time to advise him of the "error of his ways" and informed him of the consequences if he wore it to my class.

This encounter shook me right down to my socks.

Obama's Education Groups Funded Controversial Organizations in the '90s, Tax Returns Show

Barack Obama's boards gave tens of thousands to ACORN and more than $1 million to racially charged organizations, a study of tax returns shows.

(Fox News) - The Annenberg Challenge and the Woods Fund of Chicago funded numerous controversial groups while Barack Obama served on their boards between 1995 and 2002, an analysis of their tax returns shows.

In 2001, when Obama was a part-time director of The Woods Fund of Chicago, it gave $75,000 to ACORN, the voter registration group now under investigation for voter fraud in 12 states.

The Woods Fund also gave $6,000 to the Rev. Jeremiah Wright's Trinity United Church of Christ, which Obama attended. The reason for the donation to the church is unclear -- it is simply listed as "for special purposes" in the group's IRS tax form.

It gave a further $60,000 to the Children and Family Justice Center at Northwestern University, which was founded and run by Bernardine Dohrn, the wife of domestic terrorist William Ayers and, with her husband, a former member of the 1960s radical group the Weather Underground.

Other controversial donations that year included $50,000 to the Small Schools Network -- which was founded by Ayers and run by Michael Klonsky, a friend of Ayers' and the former chairman of the Communist Party (Marxist-Leninist), an offshoot of the 1960s radical group Students for a Democratic Society -- and $40,000 to the Arab American Action Network, which critics have accused of being anti-Semitic.

The Woods Fund did not respond to questions about the funding.

Jefferson on Banking

I believe that banking institutions are more dangerous to our liberties than standing armies. If the American people ever allow private banks to control the issue of their currency, first by inflation, then by deflation, the banks and corporations that will grow up around the banks will deprive the people of all property until their children wake-up homeless on the continent their fathers conquered.

Thomas Jefferson, 1802

Forget Joe the Plumber. Forget William Ayers. Forget Iraq, Iran, and Israel. The real issue of this election is that neither candidate will do a thing to reverse the rise of corporatism. In fact, McCain will seek to strengthen it and Obama will, at the very least, seek to sustain it.

There are a number of things I plan to do next Tuesday. None of them involves voting.

Jury: Stevens guilty on seven counts

(Politico) - Sen. Ted Stevens (R-Alaska) was convicted today on seven counts of failing to report more than $250,000 in improper gifts he received from 1999 to 2006, a stunning blow to a political career that has lasted more than 40 years and marked Alaska’s entire history as a part of the United States.

Stevens, 84, now faces a question over whether he will resign, and if he does not, whether he can win reelection Nov. 4 in an already tough race.

Stevens could also be sentenced to as much as five years in federal prison, although considering his age and lack of previous convictions, is unlikely to receive anywhere near the maximum sentence.

Stevens could also appeal the decision, but would likely to have to pay a heavy political price for such a move.

Sources: Like Orlando, Biden Bans Philadelphia Station After Tough Interview

"Whoa! Whoa! Whoa! Whoa! Whoa! Whoa! Whoa! Whoa! Slow down here, old buddy!"
Joe Biden

Father Jonathan: Obama’s No Robin Hood

(By Father Jonathan Morris, Fox News Forum) - Robin Hood is a legitimate hero, not because he robbed from the rich and gave to the poor, but rather because he returned to the poor what lawfully belonged to them.

This distinction is what separates the just goals of Robin and his band of “Merry Men” from the dehumanizing economic theory of “redistribution of wealth”—a hallmark of socialism—as explained and supported by Senator Barack Obama in his 2001 interview with Chicago Public Radio, just recently rediscovered by the media.

Obama and Wright: He Never Complained Once

Dem Playbook Shows Dirty Tactics

(By Amanda Carpenter, TownHall.com) - Dirty campaign tricks don’t die. They just become more refined with age.

Documents obtained by Townhall show the Democratic Party encouraged party activists to accuse the GOP of intimidating minorities on Election Day even if no evidence of intimidation existed in the 2004 presidential election. The tactic is being used again in 2008, this time to downplay fraud charges against a predominantly minority non-profit supporting Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama.

Weeks before the Nov. 4 election Barack Obama’s campaign said the Republicans are attempting to suppress votes by drawing attention to the Association for Community Organizers for Reform Now’s involvement in rampant voter registration fraud across the nation. The nonprofit actively supports Democratic causes, such as minimum wage increases and housing assistance. ACORN endorsed Obama for president last February and has been paid by his campaign to conduct get out the vote activities during the Democratic primary.

It Should Come As No Surprise

(By Jennifer Rubin, Commentary) - Much of the blogosphere is buzzing over a 2001 radio interview in which Barack Obama seems genuinely chagrined that redistributionist policies aren’t going to come from the courts. ( Ignore the captioning on the Youtube which is distracting and not altogether accurate — just listen carefully to Obama’s exact language or read the transcript.) I had a few reactions.

First, a person often identified for the Obama Supreme Court actually does believe in an extreme version of the Constitution, a version which confers all sorts of economic “rights,” so I’m not sure even his supposed caution about using the courts as welfare agencies is to be given credence. Second, it is fairly obvious that Obama was saying nothing extraordinary in his own mind. This is the sort of thing left-leaning “intellectuals” bandied about. It’s the outlook that underscored the bent of not just his closest comrades at the time ( e.g. Reverend Wright and Father Pfleger), but the activist organizations he and Bill Ayers supported through the Woods Fund. It is absurd, really, to write off all these associations as an aberration or exaggeration, or to ignore them as some imagining of paranoid conservatives. What comes through loud and clear was that Obama shared the classic anti-capitalist, redistributionist philosophy accepted as dogma by many on the Left.

Remember, this isn’t ancient history. Obama was sharing Socialism 101 with radio listeners just seven years ago. At the same time, he was sitting on the board of the Woods Fund, going to Trinity United Church, and a enjoying a robust professional relationship with Bill Ayers. Has he given all that up? We don’t know, because no one in the media has taken seriously Obama’s intellectual and professional development. No one has asked him basic questions about the past (e.g. Did he share the ideological vision of the Woods Fund grant recipients? Did he agree with Ayers’ radical educational theory?) or even his current economic philosophy. Doesn’t he still believe in spreading the wealth? He certainly did seven years ago.

Obama, in 2001 Interview, Lamented Failure of Civil Rights Movement to Redistribute Wealth

In a radio interview in 2001, Barack Obama said the civil rights movement failed when it became so dependent on the Supreme Court that it never got around to working toward redistributing income.

(Fox News) - A 7-year-old radio interview in which Barack Obama discussed the failure of the Supreme Court to rule on redistributing wealth in its civil rights rulings has given fresh ammunition to critics who say the Democratic presidential candidate has a socialist agenda.

The interview -- conducted by Chicago Public Radio in 2001, while Obama was an Illinois state senator and a law professor at the University of Chicago -- delves into whether the civil rights movement should have gone further than it did, so that when "dispossessed peoples" appealed to the high court on the right to sit at the lunch counter, they should have also appealed for the right to have someone else pay for the meal.

In the interview, Obama said the civil rights movement was victorious in some regards, but failed to create a "redistributive change" in its appeals to the Supreme Court, led at the time by Chief Justice Earl Warren. He suggested that such change should occur at the state legislature level, since the courts did not interpret the U.S. Constitution to permit such change.

Wayne Huizenga wants to sell Dolphins before Barack Obama raises tax

(South Florida Sun-Sentinel) - Dolphins owner H. Wayne Huizenga said Sunday no date has been set for selling up to 45 percent more of the team to Stephen Ross, but the presidential election is among the issues weighing on his decision.

That's because a Barack Obama administration is expected to mean higher capital-gains taxes.

"He wants to double the capital gains tax, or almost double it," Huizenga said. "I'd rather give it to charity than to him."

Ross purchased 50 percent of the team and Dolphin Stadium for $550 million earlier this year with the intention he would eventually become majority owner.

"If you do it this year or you do it next year, the difference is humongous because of the taxes," Huizenga said.

How did people get dirt on Joe the Plumber?

(By Ed Morrissey, Hot Air) - How did so much information about Joe Wurzelbacher’s taxes and licensing get out to the public so quickly? Officials in Ohio want to know the answer. They apparently suspect that state and local government systems got exploited in order to attack Joe the Plumber:

State and local officials are investigating if state and law-enforcement computer systems were illegally accessed when they were tapped for personal information about “Joe the Plumber.”

Samuel Joseph Wurzelbacher became part of the national political lexicon Oct. 15 when Republican presidential candidate John McCain mentioned him frequently during his final debate with Democrat Barack Obama. …

Public records requested by The Dispatch disclose that information on Wurzelbacher’s driver’s license or his sport-utility vehicle was pulled from the Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles database three times shortly after the debate.

Information on Wurzelbacher was accessed by accounts assigned to the office of Ohio Attorney General Nancy H. Rogers, the Cuyahoga County Child Support Enforcement Agency and the Toledo Police Department.

It has not been determined who checked on Wurzelbacher, or why. Direct access to driver’s license and vehicle registration information from BMV computers is restricted to legitimate law enforcement and government business.

Rush Limbaugh's Morning Update: Nut Cracking

Well, the Obama campaign's key PR firm, the New York Times, is working to downplay Democrat voter fraud (har-dee-har-har). The Times now reports that the 1.3 million new voters ACORN claimed to have registered at the beginning of the month "was a wild exaggeration." The real number, claims the Times, is "only" 450,000.

The truth is, the ACORN fraud is massive. There are over 200,000 questionable voter registrations in the battleground state of Ohio. In Pennsylvania, there are over 8,000 questionable registrations in Philadelphia alone.

Investigations of the Obama-linked group are underway in at least ten states, with close to a million falsely reported registrants. So, naturally, the Democrats are doing what they do: they're blaming Republicans for daring to object to the rampant cheating. Democrats charge that Republicans are fostering a race-based witch-hunt against these "community organizers." If this kind of fraud had been attempted by a Republican-connected organization (funded by the government), the Drive-Bys would be in a full-throated feeding frenzy that would last from here to eternity.

There have been reports of inappropriate phone calls, e-mails, and vandalism at Republican political operations. There have also been allegations of inappropriate phone calls, e-mails, and vandalism reported at a handful of ACORN offices. As is the case in every election, there are some nuts on both sides, but there ought to be no doubt in anybody's mind, here, folks: the real nut that needs cracking is ACORN itself -- once and for all.

Read the Background Material on the Morning Update...
New York Times: Group?s Tally of New Voters Was Vastly Overstated
The Bulletin: US Attorney Investigating ACORN

At the U.N., Many Hope for an Obama Win

UNITED NATIONS (Washington Post) - There are no "Obama 2008" buttons, banners or T-shirts visible here at U.N. headquarters, but it might be difficult to find a sliver of territory in the United States more enthusiastic over the prospect of the Illinois senator winning the White House.

An informal survey of more than two dozen U.N. staff members and foreign delegates showed that the overwhelming majority would prefer that Sen. Barack Obama win the presidency, saying they think that the Democrat would usher in a new agenda of multilateralism after an era marked by Republican disdain for the world body.

Obama supporters hail from Russia, Canada, France, Britain, Germany, the Netherlands, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Indonesia and elsewhere. One American employee here seemed puzzled that he was being asked whether Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) was even a consideration. "Obama was and is unstoppable," the official said. "Please, God, let him win," he added.

Obama Campaign Cuts Off Interviews With Florida TV Station

Biden gets asked tough questions by Orlando reporter

(Fox News) - Barack Obama's campaign killed all interviews with a Florida TV station after Sen. Joe Biden, the Democratic vice presidential nominee, faced tough and critical questions from a reporter at the Orlando station, the Orlando Sentinel reported .

During a satellite video Thursday, WFTV's Barbara West quoted Karl Marx and asked Biden how Obama's comment to "Joe the Plumber," about spreading the wealth wasn't being Marxist.

"Are you joking?," Biden asked.

West replied, "No."

Rep. Barney Frank wants 25% cut in military spending...

NEW BEDFORD (South Coast Media Group) — After the November election, Democrats will push for a second economic stimulus package that includes money for the states' stalled infrastructure projects, along with help paying for healthcare expenses, food stamps and extended unemployment benefits, U.S. Rep. Barney Frank said Thursday.

In a meeting with the editorial board of The Standard-Times, Rep. Frank, D-Mass., also called for a 25 percent cut in military spending, saying the Pentagon has to start choosing from its many weapons programs, and that upper-income taxpayers are going to see an increase in what they are asked to pay.

John Kerry wants New Deal II

Backs big fed stimulus

(Boston Herald) - The nation’s battered economy needs an old-fashioned “Rooseveltian lift” of regulatory reforms and government spending on the infrastructure, clean energy and other sectors, U.S. Sen. John Kerry said yesterday.

The L.A. Times Suppresses Obama’s Khalidi Bash Tape

Obama, Ayers, and PLO supporters toast Edward Said’s successor, but the press doesn’t think it’s quite as newsworthy as Sarah Palin’s wardrobe.

(By Andrew C. McCarthy, National Review Online) - Let’s try a thought experiment. Say John McCain attended a party at which known racists and terror mongers were in attendance. Say testimonials were given, including a glowing one by McCain for the benefit of the guest of honor ... who happened to be a top apologist for terrorists. Say McCain not only gave a speech but stood by, in tacit approval and solidarity, while other racists and terror mongers gave speeches that reeked of hatred for an American ally and rationalizations of terror attacks.

Now let’s say the Los Angeles Times obtained a videotape of the party.

Question: Is there any chance — any chance — the Times would not release the tape and publish front-page story after story about the gory details, with the usual accompanying chorus of sanctimony from the oped commentariat? Is there any chance, if the Times was the least bit reluctant about publishing (remember, we’re pretending here), that the rest of the mainstream media (y’know, the guys who drove Trent Lott out of his leadership position over a birthday-party toast) would not be screaming for the release of the tape?

Do we really have to ask?

So now, let’s leave thought experiments and return to reality: Why is the Los Angeles Times sitting on a videotape of the 2003 farewell bash in Chicago at which Barack Obama lavished praise on the guest of honor, Rashid Khalidi — former mouthpiece for master terrorist Yasser Arafat?


(Washington Prowler) - Former Mitt Romney presidential campaign staffers, some of whom are currently working for Sen. John McCain and Gov. Sarah Palin's bid for the White House, have been involved in spreading ant-Palin spin to reporters, seeking to diminish her standing after the election. "Sarah Palin is a lightweight, she won't be the first, not even the third, person people will think of when it comes to 2012," says one former Romney aide, now working for McCain-Palin. "The only serious candidate ready to challenge to lead the Republican Party is Mitt Romney. He's in charge on November 5th."

Romney has kept a low profile nationally since being denied the vice presidential nomination. He is currently traveling for the National Republican Congressional Committee in support of some House members, and has attended events for a handful of other House members who have sought his support, but he has traveled little for the McCain-Palin ticket. "He said the only time he'd travel for us is if we assured him that national cameras would be there," says a McCain campaign communications aide. "He's traveled to Nevada and a couple other states for us. That's about it."

Should McCain-Palin not win next week, Romney is expected to mount another presidential run, though it isn't clear that he has handled himself particularly well since losing the nomination. He failed to support or espouse conservative positions on the economic bailout bill in an effective or meaningful way, and he has turned down opportunities to endorse and work for conservative candidates in House or Senate seats unless they were assured of winning.

The most glaring oversight was Romney's refusal to do a phone recording for Massachusetts Republican Jeff Beatty, who is challenging Sen. John Kerry. "Mitt supposedly cares about Massachusetts, but won't even return phone calls asking for help," says a conservative working for Beatty in Boston. "It's a tough race, but the least he could do is help. He's showing his true colors."

Some former Romney aides were behind the recent leaks to media, including CNN, that Governor Sarah Palin was a "diva" and was going off message intentionally. The former and current Romney supporters further are pushing Romney supporters for key Republican jobs, including head of the Republican National Committee.


(Washington Prowler) - House Republican Deputy Whip, Eric Cantor has spent the last week making calls to fellow Republican House members he believes will survive next week's election, according to several members who received the call. "He is already lining up support for his next job," says one member who spoke to Cantor. "I'm not sure what it is, and he doesn't seem to know, but it's not going to be deputy job, that's for sure."

On the call, according to another member, Cantor apologized for the two economic bailout votes that were forced on some Republicans after the initial vote failed to gain passage. "He said the bailout bill and the votes were a mistake," a third member said. "He was apologetic about it, which was no big deal to me, I didn't vote for it. I thought he was wrong. I wish he'd call the folks who are losing right now. That's what a leader would do."

Cantor, a favorite among some conservatives, as well as what's left of the pro-Republican lobbying community in Washington, is expected to challenge either House minority leader John Boehner or whip Roy Blunt. Boehner is expected to seek another term as leader. Blunt has been less clear on his intentions. Blunt took a beating for his role in the economic bailout bill, a piece of legislation that was not popular with many House Republicans and less popular with Republican voters.

Cantor, however, has failed to distinguish himself with many House Republicans. He angered a number of members after the first bailout bill failed , by claiming the vote had nothing to do with principled objections to the bill, and more to do with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's floor remarks before the vote.

Cantor, as well, is known inside the Republican caucus for playing it safe on both policy and floor politics, something some Republicans don't believe the party can afford to do given the last two election cycles.

Obama: Redistribution of Wealth; Warren Court Not Liberal Enough

(Breitbart.tv) - In this newly uncovered radio interview from 2001, Barack Obama charts a 'reparative' strategy for wealth redistribution: "The Supreme Court never ventured into the issues of redistribution of wealth and sort of more basic issues of political and economic justice in this society. And to that extent, as radical I think as people tried to characterize the Warren court, it wasn't that radical. It didn't break free from the essential constraints that were placed by the Founding Fathers and the Constitution. At least as it's been interpreted..."

Friday, October 24, 2008

The Coming Democratic War on 401(k)s

(By Jim Geraghty, National Review Online) - As noted in the post linked below, you are now starting to hear Democrats talk about eliminating the tax detectability of 401(k)s.

Best of the Web has more. In exchange for $600 from Uncle Sam, you agree to give 5 percent of your income to them each year, which they will increase at 3 percent per year. You die, the government gets half. Some deal.

How ‘Joe the Plumber’ Could Cost Obama the Election

(By Fred J. Eckert, Pajamas Media) - Isn’t it interesting? It took a plumber to flush out Barack Obama’s economic philosophy and make Americans realize that the Democratic candidate’s ideas on taxes don’t hold water.

Samuel Joseph “Joe” Wurzelbacher, the suddenly famous 34-year-old plumber from suburban Toledo, Ohio, who asked Obama a simple but apparently inconvenient question about tax policy, could possibly end up having the same game-changing effect on the 2008 elections that Shekar Ramanuja Sidarth had on the 2006 elections.

Shekar Ramanuja Sidarth?

How quickly they forget!

Video: Rush [Limbaugh] on polling

(By Ed Morrissey, Hot Air) - Rush Limbaugh spoke to the Fox & Friends hosts this morning to discuss polling and the state of the race. Rush argues that pollsters want to shape opinion rather than measuring it, especially media-sponsored polls. Why? To produce a steady drumbeat of pessimism for Republicans:

Video: Barack Obama Praises Fellow New Party Member & Quasi-Marxist Danny Davis

(Gateway Pundit) - Founding Bloggers discovered this video of Barack Obama praising fellow New Party socialist Danny Davis at a political rally in Chicago in 2004.

Obama and Davis go way back to their days as New Party candidates:

The Obama (Stock Market) Discount May Be Real

(By James Pethokoukis, U.S. News & World Report) - Are investor concerns about an Obama presidency influencing the stock market? And by "concerns" I mean "existential panic." And by "Obama presidency" I mean "a tax-hiking and regulatory reign of terror." And by "influencing" I mean "eviscerating." At least that's the overwrought take I get from a few of my more skittish E-mailers. Chillax, y'all!

Now a few of my own (more tranquil) observations about a possible jittery Investor Class, the plunging market, and the now famous Obama Discount Theory...

Obama 1995 Interview Plays on White Fears of Paying Taxes to Inner-City Blacks

"My individual salvation is not going to come about without a collective salvation for the country."
Barack Obama

Rush Limbaugh's Morning Update: Go First!

This week, vice presidential pick Joe "Plugs" Biden was on the campaign trail in Colorado, promising a full-scale attack on corporate greed if he and Lord Obama win. Biden vowed to target executives of failing companies who draw big salaries: "Their pensions go first!" he told the cheering crowd. (And that is scary stuff, because next they can come for your pension.)

But this audience didn't hear Biden talk about the details of his own pension plan. The National Taxpayers Union recently took a look at the retirement packages for Joe Biden and his fellow legislators and discovered they're doing great, despite the financial turmoil in the rest of the country.

The plan Biden can choose has what's called a "defined benefit" option backed by the US Treasury. That means he's sheltered from the ups and downs of the stock market; he gets a generous pension no matter how bad liberal legislation screws up the economy for the rest of us. And Joe also has the option of drawing his benefits earlier than private sector employees, and his contributions accrue faster.

The private-sector greed that Biden attacks cannot hold a candle to the greed liberals have for your money. The failures in the private sector are miniscule compared to the continual massive failures of big government. So Joe, if anybody's pension deserves to "go first", it needs to be yours -- old buddy, old pal! And your liberal buddies right along with you. You "go first"! That's "fairness", Joe! You show us how it's done to lose a pension!

Read the Background Material on the Morning Update...
AP: Biden Lashes Out at Corporate Greed in Colo. Stop
AP: Meltdown Retirement Blow is Softer for Lawmakers

Thursday, October 23, 2008

First Colin Powell, Now NC's Andy Griffith

Sure, General Colin L. Powell was a valuable endorsement. But Ritchie Cunningham, The Fonz, Opie, AND Andy Taylor? This election is over. Seriously, though - regardless of your politics, this is a pretty funny effort.

See more Ron Howard videos at Funny or Die

What if 'Saturday Night Live' mocked Michelle Obama?

By Pat Buchanan
World Net Daily

Perhaps the only institution in America whose approval rating is beneath that of Congress is the media.

Both have won their reputations the hard way. They earned them.

Consider the fawning indulgence shown insider Joe Biden with the dripping contempt visited on outsider Sarah Palin.

New Documents Show Obama Was Member of Quasi-Marxist Group As Illinois State Senator

(Gateway Pundit) - New Zeal discovered more documents that prove that Barack Obama was a member of a radical quas-Marxist group while serving as a state senator in Illinois.

This article was published in the New Party News in the spring of 1996:

Would Obama, Dems Kill 401(k) Plans?

(By James Pethokoukis, U.S. News & World Report) - I hate to use the "S" word, but the American government would never do something as, well, socialist as seize private pension funds, right? This is exactly what cash-strapped Argentina just did in the name of protecting workers' retirement accounts... Now, even Uncle Sam isn't that stupid, but some Democrats might try something almost as loopy: kill 401(k) plans.

House Democrats recently invited Teresa Ghilarducci, a professor at the New School of Social Research, to testify before a subcommittee on her idea to eliminate the preferential tax treatment of the popular retirement plans. In place of 401(k) plans, she would have workers transfer their dough into government-created "guaranteed retirement accounts" for every worker. The government would deposit $600 (inflation indexed) every year into the GRAs. Each worker would also have to save 5 percent of pay into the accounts, to which the government would pay a measly 3 percent return. Rep. Jim McDermott, a Democrat from Washington and chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee's Subcommittee on Income Security and Family Support, said that since "the savings rate isn't going up for the investment of $80 billion [in 401(k) tax breaks], we have to start to think about whether or not we want to continue to invest that $80 billion for a policy that's not generating what we now say it should."

“John Galt” donating to Obama this year too, apparently

(Hot Air) - I’m ripping the content straight from Powerline. Ace actually had the story last night, but it was only a single source; PL claims in an update that other readers have replicated the experiment. Quote:

I went to the Obama campaign website and entered the following:

Name: John Galt
Address: 1957 Ayn Rand Lane
City: Galts Gulch
State: CO
Zip: 99999

Then I checked the box next to $15 and entered my actual credit card number and expiration date (it didn’t ask for the 3-didgit code on the back of the card) and it took me to the next page and… “Your donation has been processed. Thank you for your generous gift.”

This simply should not, and could not, happen in any business or any campaign that is honestly trying to vet it’s donors. Also, I don’t see how this could possibly happen without the collusion of the credit card companies. They simply wouldn’t allow any business to process, potentially, hundreds of millions in credit card transactions where the name on the card doesn’t match the purchasers name.

In short, with the system set up as it is by the Obama camp, an individual could donate unlimited amounts of money by simply making up fake names and addresses. And Obama is doing his best to facilitate this fraud. This is truly scandalous.

Radical Loon When Obama Was Only 47

(By Ann Coulter, Human Events) - The media are acting as if they completely and fully vetted Obama during the Democratic primaries and that's why they are entitled to send teams of researchers into Alaska to analyze Sarah Palin's every expense report.

In fact, the mainstream media did no vetting. They seem to have all agreed, "OK, none of us will get into this business with Jeremiah Wright, 'Tony' Rezko, Saul Alinsky, Bill Ayers and everyone's impression of an angry Michelle Obama on 'The Jerry Springer Show.'"

During one of the Democratic primary debates, Hillary Clinton was hissed for mentioning Syrian national Rezko, and during another, ABC moderator George Stephanopoulos nearly lost his career for asking Obama one question about William Ayers.

Was Biden talking about Obama’s plan for unilateral disarmament?

(By Ed Morrissey, Hot Air) - Plenty of people have been scratching their heads over Joe Biden’s warning to voters that electing Barack Obama would precipitate an international crisis to “test his mettle”. Investors Business Daily agrees with Biden, and notes that this wasn’t an off-the-cuff gaffe; Biden repeated the warning in two different venues. IBD points to this early Obama campaign video, in which Obama pledges unilateral disarmament on several fronts, as evidence supporting Biden’s hypothesis:

I Am Joe

IMF: Fuel from food a “very bad idea”

(By Ed Morrissey, Hot Air) - The International Monetary Fund has learned a lesson from its flirtation with biofuels, one that Barack Obama still has ignored. Turning food into fuel for cars not only takes sustenance from the people who can least afford it, it also wastes a tremendous amount of water. In short, biofuels are a “very bad idea”:

With many developing nations experiencing deep shocks and citizen unrest due to rising food and fuel prices, plenaries and breakout sessions during the Program of Seminars addressed causes, effects and solutions.

Commitments by members of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) to reduce carbon emissions through alternative fuels development, while well meaning, have exacerbated the global food crisis and contributed to world-wide water shortages, said Nestle chief executive Peter Brabeck-Letmathe.

The resulting drop in agricultural productivity has led to price increases, he said. “Water scarcity will be the most constraining element,” to additional production, he predicted. Replacing fuel with biofuel is “a very, very bad idea.”

Replacing even 6 percent of total fuel usage with biofuel would require doubling agricultural production to maintain current output. “Where are you going to get the land and the water for this? This is irresponsible policy,” Brabeck-Letmathe said. If the US alone would reverse its policy to replace fuel with biofuels, food prices would stabilize, he stated.

Democrats to kill 401(k)s for … privatized Social Security?

(By Ed Morrissey, Hot Air) - In 2005, George Bush proposed privatizing a portion of Social Security contributions to allow workers to control their own funds and hopefully outperform the woefully inadequate entitlement system. The partial privatization would eventually have helped postpone or eliminate the insolvency of Social Security, but Democrats screeched that the GOP wanted to steal benefits from Grandma and effectively killed the debate. To this day, they accuse Republican candidates of supporting Bush’s partial privatization plan as though it were the equivalent of Teapot Dome.

So why are Democrats now looking to partially nationalize existing 401(k) plans into the exact same kind of private/public pension system?

Powerful House Democrats are eyeing proposals to overhaul the nation’s $3 trillion 401(k) system, including the elimination of most of the $80 billion in annual tax breaks that 401(k) investors receive.

House Education and Labor Committee Chairman George Miller, D-California, and Rep. Jim McDermott, D-Washington, chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee’s Subcommittee on Income Security and Family Support, are looking at redirecting those tax breaks to a new system of guaranteed retirement accounts to which all workers would be obliged to contribute.

Obama Jedi Mind Trick :-)

Rush Limbaugh's Morning Update: Friedman

In the world of economics, Milton Friedman is an icon. His contributions to understanding how free markets work earned him a Nobel Prize and a reputation as one of history's most brilliant economists and teachers.

Now the University of Chicago, Freidman's academic home for 30 years, is embroiled in controversy over plans to honor Friedman by naming a new institute for him. Recently 70 protesters gathered to denounce free markets and the proposed institute. 100 faculty members signed a protest letter.

One of them, religion professor Bruce Lincoln, declared: "Friedman's over." He claimed the current financial crisis proves that Friedman's views are wrong. Now is "not the time to start building a shrine to him," he said.

Actually, Mr. Lincoln, there couldn't be a better moment. The financial state we're in demonstrates how correct Friedman is. The sub-prime housing bust is a direct result of government liberals tampering with free markets to satisfy their left-leaning political agenda; it's that simple. Requiring lenders to provide loans to unqualified applicants in the name of "social justice" and "equality" has nothing to do with free markets -- it is socialism. It hasn't worked anywhere else in the world, it didn't work here, and it will not work if the Messiah from Chicago wins this election and tries his hand at it.

Free markets work; socialism fails. Simple, true... but too much for the liberal brain to comprehend.

Read the Background Material on the Morning Update...
AP: Free-market Icon's Legacy Debated

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

MSNBC Teams Up With ACORN, La Raza

(TownHall.com) - MSNBC has launched a news project with a variety of left-wing special interest groups to boost their Election Day coverage and help viewers experiencing problems at the polls.

One of the groups involved in MSNBC's "Election Protection" project is the Association of Community Organizers for Reform Now. ACORN has been involved in rampant voter registration fraud across the nation this election cycle and is actively supporting Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama for president.

"Our partnership with Election Protection will play a major role in NBC News' 'Making Your Vote Count’ coverage, said Phil Alongi, Executive Producer of NBC News' Election Coverage in an Oct. 22 press release. "Not only will we be able to direct voters who are experiencing problems with a hotline to call, we will also have our team of reporters and producers follow-up on the information Election Protection is gathering."