Congress Passes $25 Billion in Loan Guarantees to Automakers

If you were distracted in the past week with the financial crisis, the political campaign, the debate, the baseball playoff picture, NFL football, your job or whatever and if you happened to blink for a moment, you might have missed it!

Like a magician using slight of hand while you were distracted by his lovely assistant, the United States Senate passed a bill authorizing yet another $25 billion in bailout money.  This one for loan guarantees to the automobile industry.

The bill, which was passed by the House of Representatives last Wednesday and which the President has indicated that he will sign, are the first loan guarantees to the automakers since Congress passed a similar $675 million measure to Chrysler Corporation in 1980.

The loan guarantees were tucked away inside a continuing resolution that included funding for the U.S. government and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.  That’s exactly where I would look, as an interested citizen, if I wanted to know about such legislation…NOT!

While I’m not surprised about the bailout (indeed I expected one), nor am I opposed to a bailout of the auto industry, I am appalled by how it is done.   I would have preferred that it be debated a bit more and reported by the media a lot more.

Racism In The Presidential Campaign

There seems to be a lot of discussion of race in the presidential campaign this month—all of it coming from the Democrats.  If you remember during the primaries, the Democrats brought race into the campaign frequently, so we shouldn’t be surprised.

 

What we’ve seen so far this month, in part includes:

 

On September 9th, New York Gov. David Paterson drew attention to a phrase used numerous times by speakers at the Republican National Convention to describe Barack Obama’s leadership experience: community organizer.

 

“I think the Republican Party is too smart to call Barack Obama ‘black’ in a sense that it would be a negative. But you can take something about his life, which I noticed they did at the Republican Convention – a ‘community organizer.’ They kept saying it, they kept laughing,” he said.

 

Paterson referred to McCain’s running mate Sarah Palin who compared her work experience to Obama’s.

 

“So I suppose a small town mayor is sort of like a community organizer, except with real responsibilities,” she said at the convention.

 

Paterson sees the repeated use of the words “community organizer” as Republican code for “black”.

 

“I think where there are overtones is when there are uses of language that are designed to inhibit other people’s progress with a subtle reference to their race,” he said.

 

On September 17th, Kansas Gov. Kathleen Sebelius has revived Democratic fears of a “Bradley effect” by suggesting that some Americans who claim to support Barack Obama will end up voting against him because he is black.

 

While campaigning for Obama in Iowa Tuesday, Sebelius was asked why the election is so close.

 

”Have any of you noticed that Barack Obama is part African-American?” the Democrat said. “That may be a factor. All the code language, all that doesn’t show up in the polls. And that may be a factor for some people.”

 

Sebelius appeared to be alluding to the “Bradley effect,” a political phenomenon in which African-American candidates fare better in opinion polls than in actual elections. The effect is named for black Democrat Tom Bradley, who lost the California governor’s race in 1982 even though he was ahead in the polls.

 

On September 22nd, former Massachusetts Gov. Michael Dukakis said that John McCain’s presidential campaign is using the same race-based tactics that were used against him in his 1988 presidential run.

 

The Brookline Democrat was referring to a recent McCain ad that claimed Democratic nominee Barack Obama received economic advice from Franklin Raines, the former CEO of the recently bailed out mortgage lender Fannie Mae.

 

Asked if he considered the ad to be in the same vein as the infamous ‘Willie Horton’ ad run by a third party group in support of George H.W. Bush in the 1988 presidential campaign, Dukakis replied: “Essentially, yes.”  Referring to McCain’s ad, Dukakis said “the same thing is happening again this year.”

 

Now on September 24th, Florida Democratic Congressman Alcee Hastings pointed to Sarah Palin on Wednesday to rally Jews to Obama.

 

 

“If Sarah Palin isn’t enough of a reason for you to get over whatever your problem is with Barack Obama, then you damn well had better pay attention,” said Hastings. “Anybody toting guns and stripping moose don’t care too much about what they do with Jews and blacks. So, you just think this through.”

 

Hastings, who is a member of the Congressional Black Caucus, made his comments in Washington, D.C., while participating in a panel discussion sponsored by the National Jewish Democratic Council.

 

Frankly, everyone I know who is opposed to Senator Obama becoming President of the United States tell me that it is his leftist positions on issues or his being perceived as being an elitist who is out of touch with common citizens.  Nobody seems to care about his being black.  They care more about the security of the nation and whether they are going to get hit with higher taxes.

 

I would hope that we could get over injecting racism into the political race.  Sure, there are racists out there on both sides.  They should be considered the kooks that they are and we should keep it out of the campaigns.

 

 

 

Ban on Offshore Drilling to Expire

The Democratic controlled Congress have apparently decided to let the 26 year ban on offshore drilling, which had to be renewed every year, die without any further fight.

The Democrats gave one final attempt at a victory when Speaker Pelosi and company introduced an energy bill in the dead of night and forced a vote the next day which passed through the House, but died in the Senate.  The bill was a sham of an energy bill that, while allowing offshore drilling, would only allow it in areas more than 50 miles offshore where the likelyhood of finding oil is in suspect.

Even the Democratic candidate for President, sensing the mood of the country, indicated that he would support limited offshore drilling.

Many Republicans are calling the failure of Democrats to continue the ban on drilling as a major victory.  Several conservative talk show hosts are saying the same.

I caution against claiming victory at this point.  The Democrat Party playbook tells them to try to win the day with votes and if that is not possible it tells them to stall for as long as possible.  When the inevitable happens and they cannot win with a fair vote, they will do what they always do.  They will take it to court.  Sometimes I think they would prefer to skip all that petty election stuff and just find a friendly judge to settle all matters!

Watch for any attempt to begin drilling to be met with legal action by some liberal, environmental group.

That, I believe is their plan until Barack Obama is sworn in and can issue another Presidential ban on drilling.  Ah, democracy in action the Democrat Party way!

Obama’s Global Poverty Tax

When asked what is the most significant piece of legislation Barack Obama has fathered since he has been in the United States Senate, most supporters of the Democratic Presidential nominee begin to dance around the issue or at best talk about an ethics bill that he supported.  The Senator’s campaign staff talks much the same way, but always seems to turn the issue back to Senator McCain’s voting record or what he has said on the campaign trail.

 

What they don’t talk about is a bill that Senator Obama has sponsored that is truly important to the American taxpayer.  Senator Obama is the sponsor of the Global Poverty Act which is working its way through Congress right now and I can’t figure out why they don’t talk about it more when reporters ask the question about Obama’s legislative leadership.  It is a significant piece of tax legislation that will affect the American public for years to come.

 

If enacted, the Global Poverty Act would commit the U.S. to spending 0.7 percent of the gross national product on foreign aid, which amounts to a 13-year total of $845 billion over and above what the U.S. already spends.  Let me repeat that.  The bill will amount to an increase of $845 billion in addition to what is already being spent on foreign aid.

 

The bill, which has the support of many liberal religious groups, makes levels of U.S. foreign aid spending subservient to the dictates of the United Nations.  The bill itself requires the President “to develop and implement a comprehensive strategy to further the United States foreign policy objective of promoting the reduction of global poverty, the elimination of extreme global poverty, and the achievement of the Millennium Development Goal of reducing by one-half the proportion of people worldwide, between 1990 and 2015, who live on less than $1 per day.”

 

You will also notice that the Obama supporter doesn’t bring up the Global Poverty Act when they talk about taxes either.  When taxes are being discussed, they only seem to mention that the middle class will get a tax break while they will make the rich do their “patriotic duty” and pay more…and more.  Somehow, I’m not sure that the middle class is safe from higher taxes with this candidate.  He is in favor of raising gasoline taxes (I think the middle class might have to pay those), he wants to raise Social Security taxes (the middle class will be involved in paying those), he is in favor of raising capital gains taxes (many from the middle class will have to pay those as well) and, well gee, he is in favor of raising the death tax too.  Senator Obama seems to have never seen a tax he doesn’t like. 

 

Now he wants to add an additional tax to take care of the poor around the world.  For years and years I’ve heard the left say that we can’t continue to be the policeman of the world.  I think they might be right to an extent with that argument.   With the current economic conditions we face, I think we can no longer afford to be the financial keeper or the social worker to the world.  It’s time to get our own financial house in order first and in a way that doesn’t drive the middle class into poverty.  We simply cannot afford to be in that role any longer.

Joe Biden’s Future Already Written?

Rumors are starting to circulate that Joe Biden, Senator Obama’s first choice as a running mate, is on the verge of getting the boot!

Depending upon the rumor, the plan calls for the Delaware Senator to make a series of gaffes and then step down “for the good of the party” or he will step down citing health reasons.  Senator Biden is apparently on board with the idea.  You will recall that he has already mentioned that Senator Clinton might have been a better choice for the number two spot on the ticket.

Either way, the rumors state that the change will take place some time following the Vice Presidential debate and that Hillary Clinton has been chosen to replace him on the ticket.

No word yet on how Michelle Obama feels about this plan.  She was said to have been a major voice against picking Hillary as a running mate originally.

What would make it interesting would be if, at some time during the debate between Senator Biden and Sarah Palin, the Governor would ask innocently if the Obama campaign has decided which of the plans they will use to remove him from the ticket and install Hillary!

Obama Tried To Pressure Iraqis To Slow US Withdrawal

While campaigning for the past 18 months, Senator Barack Obama has consistently called for an immediate withdrawal of US troops from Iraq.  Sen. Obama apparently tried in private to persuade Iraqi leaders to delay an agreement on a draw-down of the American military presence while on his whirlwind tour in July.

 

According to Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari, Obama made his demand for  the delay of withdrawing American troops a key theme of his discussions with Iraqi leaders in Baghdad.

“He asked why we were not prepared to delay an agreement until after the US elections and the formation of a new administration in Washington,” Zebari said in an interview.

Obama insisted that Congress should be involved in negotiations on the status of US troops – and that it was in the interests of both sides not to have an agreement negotiated by the Bush administration in its “state of weakness and political confusion.”

Obama has given Iraqis the impression that he doesn’t want Iraq to appear anything like a success, let alone a victory, for America.  One reason for this is that Senator Obama already has a problem with his consistent position that the “surge” in Iraq was a bad concept and could not and would not work being proved wrong.  Additionally, his private demands of the Iraqis is totally in opposition to his position a year ago when he was saying, “The best way to protect our security and to pressure Iraq’s leaders to resolve their civil war is to immediately begin to remove our combat troops, not in six months or one year – now.”

In trying to delay the withdrawal of American troops until after the election and establishment of the next U.S.administration, Obama, who hopes to be at the head of that administration, wants to get the credit for implementing the policy of U.S. withdrawal.

Praise for Obama From Saul Alinsky’s Son

In a September 1st letter to the Boston Globe, Saul Alinsky’s son, L. David Alinsky, noted his father’s influence at the Democratic National Convention.  Alinsky’s letter stated, “All the elements were present: the individual stories told by real people of their situation and hardships, the packed-to-the rafters crowd, the crowd’s chanting of key phrases and names, the action on the spot of texting and phoning to show instant support and commitment to jump into the political battle, the rallying selections of music, the setting of the agenda by the power people.  The Democratic National Convention had all the elements of the perfectly organized event, Saul Alinsky style.”

 

“Barack Obama’s training in Chicago by the great community organizers is showing its effectiveness,” the younger Alinsky wrote in his letter to the Globe.  “It is an amazingly powerful format, and the method of my late father always works to get the message out and get the supporters on board.  When executed meticulously and thoughtfully, it is a powerful strategy for initiating change and making it really happen.  Obama learned his lesson well.

 

“I am proud to see that my father’s model for organizing is being applied successfully beyond local community organizing to affect the Democratic campaign in 2008.  It is a fine tribute to Saul Alinsky as we approach his 100th birthday.”

 

It is a fact that the activist-turned-Senator Barack Obama started off his career as a community organizer for the Developing Communities Project (DCP) of the Calumet Community Religious conference (CCRC) in Chicago. Both the CCRC and the DCP were built on the Alinsky model of community agitation, wherein paid organizers learned, in Alinsky’s own words, how to “rub raw the sores of discontent.”

 

Barack Obama has earned the praise of someone who would know.  Though he and his people have modified and updated the teachings of the master, Alinsky’s leftist teachings are apparent if you look.  You’ll have to do that on your own, though.  The press isn’t interested in spreading the word!