Tag Archives: Barack

The Gang That Couldn’t Think Straight

Barack Obama seems to have shifted his position on offshore drilling. Yesterday in an interview with the Palm Beach Post he said,

“My interest is in making sure we’ve got the kind of comprehensive energy policy that can bring down gas prices. If, in order to get that passed, we have to compromise in terms of a careful, well thought-out drilling strategy that was carefully circumscribed to avoid significant environmental damage — I don’t want to be so rigid that we can’t get something done.”

There are few things in life you can count on. One of them is that when a politician uses the word “comprehensive” in referring to a plan or policy, there is going to be an assault on our treasury, our liberty and our constitution. This case is no exception.

Obama was referring to the plan put forth by the so-called “Gang of 10” made up of five Democrat and five Republican Senators. As is usually the case in “bipartisan” compromises, the Republicans got “snookered” by the socialist/democrats.

The congressional ban on drilling is important to the socialist/democrats, not so much for environmental reasons as for power and economic ones. Keeping the ban in place and restricting domestic oil production keeps the oil supply tight and helps maintain the high energy and food prices necessary to convince the American public to allow more control over the economy by government.

If Congress does nothing, the ban expires at the end of this fiscal year, September 30. In the current political climate the socialist/democrats hope to avoid a floor fight in attempting to renew it. The New Energy Reform Act offered by the “gang” would still keep most of the ban in place while at the same time giving the socialist/democrats many of the things they want but would have a difficult time getting through Congress otherwise.

While expanding drilling in the Gulf of Mexico off Florida’s northwestern coast, the new scaled down version of the ban would still forbid any new drilling off the west coast, ANWR and the east coast north of Virginia. The states whose coasts would be affected by the revised ban, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Virginia and Florida would still have the final say in allowing drilling off their shores. Florida however would have no say about drilling in the Gulf. After all, “states rights” only go so far.

As Senator Saxby Chambliss (R-GA) explained it, “It’s only a logical extension of what’s happening in the Gulf right now. Plus, that area has been identified as an area where resources are available right now.”

Senator Chambliss’ statement brings up a more important question: How far offshore does state sovereignty extend? Territorial waters extend twelve miles from the coast line. By treaty they go out another twelve nautical miles as a contiguous zone. The Exclusive Economic Zone includes territorial waters and contiguous waters, plus an additional 176 nautical miles for a total of two hundred, also by treaty. This treaty was intended primarily for protecting marine resources, i.e. fishing rights, etc.

States are forbidden by the Constitution from participating in international treaties. Waters in the Exclusive Economic Zone beyond the twelve mile territorial limit are technically under the jurisdiction of the federal government. It is interesting that in the case of drilling Congress is so sensitive to “states rights” while at all other times the Tenth Amendment seems hardly to exist at all. If states rights exist for off shore drilling elsewhere, why does it not in the Gulf? I do not remember Congress considering states rights when they implemented the ban in the first place, so, why are they so concerned about the states wishes when they repeal it?

It is not difficult to understand Obama’s seeming “flip-flop” when you look at all the “fringe benefits” given to the socialist/democrats in the Gang of 10 plan. They get to extend the ban on drilling without a floor vote on renewing the old one; they get to gouge big oil for even more tax money; they get to extend their control over the automotive industry; and they get to increase their control over energy production and use.

As things now stand the government only gets a forty seven percent tax bite out of oil company revenues, according to Exxon’s second quarter earnings report. That’s because of all those special tax breaks the Democrats are so fond of talking about. “Sharecroppers” during the depression got a better deal from their landlords than the oil companies get from the government. Under the sharecropper arrangement the landlord furnished the equipment, provided the seeds, supplied the land etc. The sharecropper did all the work and at harvest time the landlord took half the profits and the remaining half went to the sharecropper.

Under the government’s sharecropper plan for oil, the oil company finds the oil, supplies all the equipment and labor necessary for getting it to market and takes all the market risks. The government does nothing except share in the profits. Again according to Exxon’s second quarter earnings statement, on $138 billion in sales, Exxon took away a little over $11 billion in profits while the landlord took $32 billion in taxes as his share. A profit/tax ratio of three to one in favor of the government.

According to Obama and the socialist/democrats a three to one differential between profit and taxes is not enough, they want to expand it even more.

The $84 billion New Energy Reform Act also has the ambitious goal of converting 85% of America’s new car fleet to non-petroleum based fuel within twenty years. That will require increasing government control over the auto manufacturers as well as the oil companies.

There is no way they can reach this goal without losing the billions in windfall taxes from the oil companies, even if they succeed in forcing the oil companies into a different type of energy business. Even by Washington bookkeeping standards it’s going to be a losing proposition for the taxpayers.

Air, biofuels, geothermal, wind and even nuclear energy is not going to be the cash cow for the government oil has been. In fact, the return on these energy sources is more likely to be in the negative column due to the “incentives” Congress is planning to use to encourage their development. Government is going to have to make up the shortfall with increased taxes or increased deficit spending. It may take a little longer, but Congress could reach the same results by simply letting the free market system do its job and avoid the burden on the taxpayers.

Hugo Chavez straightforwardly nationalized the oil industry in Venezuela. America is not yet ready for so drastic a step. Instead the socialist/democrats in Congress plan to accomplish the same thing through a combination of coercion and bribes. The bribes to be paid by the taxpayers, of course. America can count itself lucky if we come out of the oil crisis with out at least the de facto nationalization of both the energy and automotive industries coupled with an astronomical tax bill.

If the Gang of 10 really wanted to do what was in the best interest of the American people they would just let the congressional ban expire at the end of September as scheduled.

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Obama’s Dual Citizenship

On Thursday, Barack Obama gave perhaps the most revealing speech of his campaign, even though the content of the speech was unexceptional and the delivery could only be described as professional and competent. A comparison of the speech with recordings of his impromptu remarks during the earlier part of his trip highlights the gap between his reading ability and his thinking ability. It is obvious that Obama was not picked for the role of President because of his intellect, his judgment, or his knowledge of history. He was picked because of his ideology.

He wasted no time setting the theme of the speech early on when he introduced himself to the crowd with, “Tonight, I speak to you not as a candidate for President, but as a citizen — a proud citizen of the United States, and a fellow citizen of the world.” The balance of the speech was mostly an elaboration on that theme. The phrase “citizen of the world” got a lot of play on conservative radio, but very little in the mainstream press. For most journalists and probably for most of his American audience the phrase was nothing more than “politically correct” pandering to his audience.

Taken in the context of Obama’s ideology and personal background, however, the phrase has a much deeper meaning and portends the type of presidency we can expect from Obama if he is elected.

Political observers continue to be impressed and sometimes puzzled by three aspects of the Obama campaign; the crowds he attracts, the large amounts of money he is able to raise, and his popular support in spite of his lack of government experience and the vacuousness of his message. It should not be that much of a mystery.

Obama is a dedicated international socialist and polling data indicates that at least 40% of the American public is in agreement with socialist’s principles. On specific elements of the socialist agenda, the percentage of agreement by Americans goes into the seventies.

For the past hundred years, the socialist movement in America has been working toward dominance of the government. Obama represents their first real opportunity to realize their long sought after goal. The number of hard-core socialists and their enthusiastic “dupes” probably amount to somewhere around 30% of the population. Add to that the number of Americans sympathetic to various elements of their agenda such as environmentalism, feminism, abortion, health care, and the gay agenda and you have the answer to the Obama phenomena.

If this sounds like the ravings of a “conspiracy theorist” consider this: The Hyde Park area of Chicago, home of the University of Chicago and the area represented by Obama in the Illinois Senate, is the Midwest hub of socialist activity. His introduction into state politics was backed by Hyde Park socialists and endorsed by the Democratic Socialist of America, the largest socialist organization in America and a close affiliate of Socialist International.

In addition to the DSA, Chicago also has active chapters of the Communist Party of America and the Socialist Party USA. The DSA website is a wealth of information on the socialist agenda. The Platform of the SPUSA for 2008 reflects almost all of the various agendas of Obama and the Democratic Party. Here are some quotes from the two websites.

Democratic Socialist of America

“The Democratic Socialists of America (DSA) is the largest socialist organization in the United States, and the principal U.S. affiliate of the Socialist International. DSA’s members are building progressive movements for social change while establishing an openly socialist presence in American communities and politics.”

“In the United States, we must fight for a humane public policies that will provide quality health care, education, and job training and that redirect public investment from the military to much-neglected urban housing and infrastructure. Such policies require the support of a majoritarian coalition of trade unionists, people of color, feminists, gays and lesbians and all other peoples committed to democratic change. Our greatest contribution as American socialists to global social justice is to build that coalition, which is key to transforming the power relations of global capitalism.”

“…Many socialists have seen the Democratic Party, since at least the New Deal, as the key political arena in which to consolidate this coalition, because the Democratic Party held the allegiance of our natural allies. Through control of the government by the Democratic Party coalition, led by anti-corporate forces, a progressive program regulating the corporations, redistributing income, fostering economic growth and expanding social programs could be realized.”

“…we are not a separate party. Like our friends and allies in the feminist, labor, civil rights, religious, and community organizing movements, many of us have been active in the Democratic Party. We work with those movements to strengthen the party’s left wing, represented by the Congressional Progressive Caucus.”

Socialist Party USA, from Party Platform

“We call for the United States to immediately and unconditionally withdraw its forces from Iraq and Afghanistan.”

“We call for an end to the U.S. occupation of the province of Guantanamo, Cuba.”

“We call for an end to the Israeli occupation of the West Bank-East Jerusalem and Gaza, and an end to all U.S. aid to Israel, as a precondition for peace.”

“We demand the immediate withdrawal of the United States from the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and the Central American Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA), and oppose the creation of a widened Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA).”

“We call for a steeply graduated income tax and a steeply graduated estate tax, and a maximum income of no more than ten times the minimum. We oppose regressive taxes such as payroll tax, sales tax, and property taxes.”

“We call for the restoration of the capital gains tax and luxury tax on a progressive, graduated scale.”

“We call for the end of all anti-gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender (GLBTQ) restrictions in law and the work place, the repeal of all sodomy laws, and the legalization of same-sex marriage.”

“We oppose all efforts to declare English an official language, and call for an end to all language discrimination. We demand that all public and private institutions provide services and materials in the languages of their communities.”

“We demand full support for every woman’s right to choose when, if, and how to have children, including the right to free abortion on demand at any stage of pregnancy, without interference or coercion.”

“We support public child care starting from infancy, and public education starting at age three, with caregivers and teachers of young children receiving training, wages, and benefits comparable to that of teachers at every other level of the educational system.”

Barack Obama has been closely associated with the socialist movement all his life. He was born in Hawaii to two University of Hawaii students and spent his formative years in the radical university climate of the sixties. After his mother’s divorce from his father when Barack was two, he moved to Indonesia with his mother and her new husband in 1967. He returned to Hawaii in 1971 where he lived with his maternal grandparents until he graduated from high school.

His first real contact with mainland America was when he moved to Los Angeles and later to New York to attend college. During his childhood in Hawaii, he became close with a family friend, the communist poet, Frank Davis. Davis is referred to in Obama’s book “Dreams from My Father” only as “Frank” who he describes as a close friend and mentor.

After graduating from Columbia University in New York in 1983, he sought employment as a Community Organizer, the backbone of the socialist movement in America. He was eventually employed by a church group in Chicago where he worked as a community organizer for three years until he enrolled in Harvard Law School in 1988. While working as a community organizer he also served as a consultant and instructor for the Gamaliel Foundation, a community organizing institute.

In his run for the Illinois Senate in 1994, he sought and received the endorsement of William Ayers, a former domestic terrorist and leader of the Weather Underground, an offshoot of SDS, a communist student front group of the sixties. He also received the endorsement and financial support from the Democratic Socialist of America. In his bid for the U.S. Senate in 2004, he ran practically unopposed, supported by the Chicago Democratic machine and the Chicago socialists.

In 2003 when he was considering running for President, he made the obligatory pilgrimage to the office of George Soros just as he had to William Ayers before running for the Illinois Senate. Soros, an international financier and founder of the Open Society Institute, withdrew his support for Hillary Clinton and focused his multiple political organizations on supporting Obama for President.

With this background in mind when reading Obama’s Berlin speech it is easy to see that he takes his “citizen of the world” statement much more seriously than a mere platitude to his European audience.

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Obama’s Excellent Adventure

Barack Obama continues his tour of the Middle East and Europe with his entourage of network anchors in tow. The avowed purpose of the trip was a “fact finding tour”, but evidently he has had trouble finding any thus far. That he has been unable to find any facts is probably not that important since he more or less announced his conclusions from the trip the week before he left.

Even in hindsight he has been unable to find any facts to support the surge. Although he admitted that things were more peaceful in Iraq than they had been, he maintains that he still believes the surge was a mistake, crediting the “Sunni Awakening” and the standing down of the Shiite Militias as the primary reasons for the surge’s seeming success.

It evidently never occurred to him that the overwhelming presence of additional U.S. troops from the surge may have been the inspiration for both the Sunni Awakening and the Shiite Militia’s losing their enthusiasm for fighting.

Obama continues to display an unbelievable lack of appreciation for the threats facing America. What makes this so astonishing is that he may very well be the next President, if we can believe the main stream media. When we read the poll numbers, read posts and comments on the Internet or listen to the talking heads on TV, it is easy to become discouraged about the prospects for America’s future.

On the other hand when we look backwards for the past fifty years or so we see that the American people have done a pretty good job of picking Presidents from the choices they were given. What would our country be like after a presidency of John Kerry, or Al Gore for example? The problem is, we are not given very good choices in most elections, and this one is no exception.

However, in spite of the shortcomings of John McCain, the candidate foisted on us by the Republican establishment, he is clearly the better choice of the two. We cannot expect every generation to produce a leader equal to the tasks imposed on the President of the world’s only super power. Along with the Washingtons, Reagans, Trumans and Lincolns, we also have to expect our share of Carters and Clintons.

In spite of evidence to the contrary I cannot believe the American voters will eventually choose Obama over McCain. The one good thing to come from Obama’s adventure is the added exposure the media is giving him. The more exposure he gets the better it is for McCain and for us. In spite of the fawning adulation given him by the leftist media, his carefully crafted image is beginning to blur. The more exposure he gets in the press the more his shortcomings for the job of President become evident.

Instead of the charismatic orator he appeared to be a few months ago, when in an unscripted setting it becomes more apparent that he has very little grasp of current problems and his reasoning abilities are sorely lacking. When properly scripted by his handlers, he is proficient in delivering a prepared speech composed of generalities and platitudes. However, when he attempts to deliver remarks extemporaneously or respond to unexpected questions on policy, it is apparent that he has extreme difficulty in organizing and expressing his thoughts.

The fact that he is unable to hold a consistent position for more than a few seconds is becoming apparent to even his most ardent supporters. At first his shifting positions were written off as simply a politician who was attempting to transition from the hard-line positions required in a primary campaign to the more moderate positions required for a general election. However, as you become more accustomed to his rhetoric it becomes apparent that there is little connection between what he really believes and what he is saying.

Another characteristic of Obama that is becoming more apparent of many is the extreme arrogance he displays in his rhetoric and his actions. For example, several weeks ago he was chided for having a “knock off” of the presidential seal displayed on the front of his podium while making a campaign speech. He did not repeat that little piece of presumptiveness. However, he cannot resist the temptation of pretending the election is over, and he won. This week the refurbishing of his 757 campaign plane was completed and flown to meet his entourage in Jordan. The refurbished plane has been dubbed “O Force One” and the American Flag on the tail fin has been removed and replaced with his logo, a large blue “O” with a red white and blue banner at the bottom.

More presumptive posturing can be found in his discussions with world leaders as he continually speaks as though he is actually President. He not only disparages the policies of the person he hopes will be his predecessor, Bush, but even attempts to negotiate with them concerning issues currently in debate. Individual citizens usurping the responsibilities of the State Department has been condemned throughout our history. However, in Obama’s case it is completely overlooked by the press, just as it was when Nancy Pelosi made her trip to the Middle East and attempted to negotiate with leaders of terrorist supporting countries.

Today (Thursday), he made his long anticipated speech at the Berlin Wall. As usual, the speech was little more than a string of platitudes and generalities strung together from great speeches of the past by Lincoln, Kennedy and yes, even Reagan. The one thing different in today’s speech was its focus. He expanded his Denver speech calling for citizen sacrifice and service to cover citizens of the world.

In his usual style he lectured his audience on their responsibilities concerning world poverty, genocide in Africa, the spread of AIDS, and of course, the future destruction of the world through carbon emissions and our opulent lifestyles. To someone who just arrived from another planet it would seem that Obama is campaigning to be President of the world. In his own mind, that may very well be the case.

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