Monday, 27 October 2008

IS BARACK OBAMA A SOCIALIST?

Ken Berwitz

I hate when terms like "socialist" are tossed around during a campaign.  Usually they are just examples of overheated rhetoric, apropos of nothing, which make the people using them sound ridiculous.

And, until now, that is how I have felt about the increasingly large chorus of Obama critics who characterized him as a socialist - in no small part because he told "Joe the plumber" that he would like to "spread the wealth around".  I took Mr. Obama's comment to mean that he wanted a larger number of people to be able to acquire wealth - something I wholeheartedly support. 

But what if there were an audio tape of Barack Obama being interviewed on Chicago public radio, during which he specifically indicated he was a socialist? 

What if, during that interview, Mr. Obama stated his desire to redistribute wealth (not "spread the wealth around", but literally redistribute it), which means take from the producers and hand over to the non-producers?

What do you call that, folks?

Here is the audio .  Please, please listen for yourself and please read the commentary provided by www,nakedemperornews.com, which appears to be the entity that uncovered it.

(I assume you are now listening to the entire audio.  I certainly hope you are)

Ok.  Now you've heard the interview. 

Am I in any way exaggerating what Mr. Obama said?  Is there any doubt about his commitment to redistributing wealth?

Now explain this to me:  If www.nakedemperornews.com, and The Drudge Report, and numerous other internet sources can find this devastatingly incriminating material, WHY ARE MEDIA SUPPRESSING IT?

They have to be suppressing it, don't they?  Because if internet web sites, with their limited resources, can uncover this interview, then how is it possible to believe that major media, with its dramatically greater resources, cannot?

The inescapable conclusion is that, for much of the mainstream media, there is no journalism during this election, not even an attempt at it. 

They are committed to electing Barack Obama, and if the effort requires burying damaging material about him, then so be it.

It is a disgrace beyond belief - one that will irreparably damage them long after this election is history.


BARACK OBAMA'S ECONOMIC PROPOSALS

Ken Berwitz

What will happen in Barack Obama is elected and manages to implement his economic proposals?

Jack Kemp and Peter Ferrara, writing for Investors Business Daily, can tell you. 

Of course you can skip it and take Barack Obama's word that everyone earning less than $250,000 will get a tax cut and his nearly a trillion dollars in new spending proposals will be funded entirely by rich people.  But if you believe that, you probably also believe that if Tinkerbell just spreads a little fairy dust we can eliminate the common cold, so its value will be lost on you anyway.

On the theory that you're not counting on Tinkerbell, here is their analysis:

Investors Flee From 'Change' Obama Hypes

By JACK KEMP AND PETER FERRARA | Posted Monday, October 27, 2008 4:30 PM PT

Are Barack Obama's proposed tax increases adversely affecting our financial markets? We say yes, unambiguously. The senator has done a masterful job distracting attention from his tax increases with his $500-per-worker tax credit supposedly for 95% of Americans.

Obama has also set forth more than half a dozen additional refundable income tax credits targeted to low- and moderate-income workers for child care, education, housing, welfare, retirement, health care and other social purposes.

These tax credits are devised to phase-out based on income, which will ultimately increase marginal income tax rates for middle-class workers. In other words, as you earn more, you suffer a penalty in the phase-out of these credits, which has the exact effect of a marginal tax rate increase. That harms, rather than improves, the economy.

With the bottom 40% of income earners not paying any federal income taxes, such tax credits would not reduce any tax liability for these workers. Instead, since they're refundable, they would involve new checks from the federal government.

These are not tax cuts as Obama is promising. They are new government spending programs buried in the tax code and estimated to cost $1.3 trillion over 10 years.

Obama argues that while these workers do not pay income taxes, they do pay payroll taxes. True, but his planned credits do not involve cuts in payroll taxes. They are refundable income tax credits designed to redistribute income and "spread the wealth."

Meantime, Obama has proposed effective tax increases of 20% or more in the two top income-tax rates, phasing out the personal exemptions and all itemized deductions for top earners, as well as raising their tax rates.

He wants a 33% increase in the tax rates on capital gains and dividends, an increase of 16% to 32% in the top payroll tax rate, reinstatement of the death tax with a 45% top rate, and a new payroll tax on employers estimated at 7% to help finance his health insurance plan. He's also contending for higher tariffs under his protectionist policies.

Finally, he would increase corporate taxes by 25%, though American businesses already face the second-highest marginal tax rates in the industrialized world, thus directly harming manufacturing and job creation while weakening demand for the dollar.

Obama argues disingenuously that his tax increases would only affect higher-income workers and "corporate fat cats." But it is precisely these top marginal tax rates that control incentives for savings, investment, entrepreneurship, business expansion, jobs and economic growth. While he wants to tax the rich, the burden will fall on the poor and the middle class.

In their new book, "The End of Prosperity," Art Laffer, Steve Moore and Peter Tanous argue that the threat of this tax tsunami is already destabilizing our financial markets and causing capital flight from America.

They write, "Hot capital is escaping over the borders out of the United States and flowing into China, India, Europe, and even Japan. . . Starting in late 2007, foreigners started pulling their money out of the United States, and Americans started investing more abroad. Global investors are losing confidence in the U.S."

The American economy was in shambles when Reagan entered office in 1981. Inflation had soared by 25% over the prior two years, unemployment was heading toward 10%, the prime interest rate hit 21%, poverty was on a 33% upswing and real family income had decreased by almost 10% due to the stagflation of the late 1970s.

Reagan cut the top income-tax rate from 70% to 50%, adopted an additional 25% across-the-board rate cut and sliced capital gains taxes in half. The 1986 tax reform left us with just two tax rates of 15% and 28%. Reagan slashed spending growth, lowered tariffs, reduced regulatory burdens and promoted anti-inflation monetary policies.

The result, the authors explain, was actually a 25-year, noninflationary economic boom, with only two brief, mild recessions in 1990 and 2001. "We call this period, 1982-2007, the 25-year boom the greatest period of wealth creation in the history of the planet," they write. "Adjusting for inflation, more wealth was created in America in the 25-year boom than in the previous 200 years."

By 1989, the economy had grown by almost one-third, the equivalent of adding the entire economy of West Germany to our U.S. economy. In 1984 alone, real economic growth boomed by 6.8%, the highest in 50 years. Nearly 20 million new jobs were created in the 1980s, increasing U.S. civilian employment by almost 20%. Unemployment fell to 5.3% by 1989.

Spectacularly, inflation was slashed to 3.2% by 1983. The prime rate fell to 6.25% by 1992, even though opponents had argued that Reagan's tax cuts would increase interest rates. Family income reversed its decline, poverty reversed its rise and tax revenues actually doubled.

This is the "Change We Need" today.

What you have just seen is a series of logical, reasonable conclusions based on facts.  It therefore has very little in common with Barack Obama's economic smoke and mirrors. 

Please take another good look at what Mr. Kemp and Mr. Ferrara have shown us.  Think about the implications.  And then be sure to tell your friends.   


THE PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER'S ACCEPTABLE RACISM

Ken Berwitz

The following was published in yesterday's Philadelphia Inquirer, which was once a great newspaper.  It did not appear in a Black supremacist web site or Barack Obama's church magazine.  It appeared in the Philadelphia Inquirer:

 

White people shouldn't be allowed to vote

It's for the good of the country and for those who're bitter for a reason and armed because they're scared.

Jonathan Valania

is editor in chief of the blog Phawker.com

As a lifelong Caucasian, I am beginning to think the time has finally come to take the right to vote away from white people, at least until we come to our senses. Seriously, I just don't think we can be trusted to exercise it responsibly anymore.

I give you Exhibit A: The last eight years.

In 2000, Bush-Cheney stole the election, got us attacked, and then got us into two no-exit wars. Four years later, white people reelected them. Is not the repetition of the same behavior over and over again with the expectation of a different outcome the very definition of insanity? (It is, I looked it up.)

Exhibit B is any given Sarah Palin rally.

Exhibit C would be Ed Rendell and John Murtha, who in separate moments of on-the-record candor they would come to regret, pointing out that there are plenty of people in Pennsylvania who just cannot bring themselves to pull the lever for a black man - no matter what they tell pollsters.

These people are ruining things for the rest of us white people who are ready to move on. Sure, they have their reasons, chimerical though they may be: He's a Muslim. He's a terrorist. He's a Muslim terrorist. He's going to fire all the white people and give their jobs to blacks.

But those are just the little white lies these people allow themselves to be told, a self-induced cognitive dissonance that lets them avoid saying the unsayable: I cannot pull the lever for a black man.

Hey, some people just aren't ready yet, even the governor said so. Just like some people aren't ready yet for computers or setting the clock on the VCR.

Or, to hear Murtha tell it, some people - specifically some people in Western Pennsylvania - will never be ready. But the fact is, if you did a statewide head count of racists, you'd find just as many in eastern Pennsylvania as you would in the western part of the state.

That's why this ban on white people voting I'm proposing has got to be statewide. And I'm sorry to say, it's going to have to include all white people, even those who would vote for Obama, because you can't just let some white people vote. That would be unfair.

By this point, you either think I am joking or are calling me an elitist. I assure you I am neither. OK, maybe a little of both. But it wasn't always like this. I come from the Coal Belt, from that Alabamian hinterland between Pittsburgh and Philadelphia, as per James Carville's famous formulation.

I am, in fact, just two generations out of the coal mines that blackened the lungs of my grandfather, leaving him disabled, despondent and, finally, dead at the ripe old age of 54.

So, understand that I am saying all this for the good of the country and, in fact, for the good of those hard-working white people that Hillary used to pander to.

I know those people, I come from them. They are not some shameful abstract demographic to be brushed under the rug of euphemism by Wolf Blitzer and his ilk.

I have broken kielbasa with those people. I went to school with their children. I have gone to Sunday Mass with a deer-hunter hangover with those people. They are bitter with good reason, and they are armed because they are scared. They mean well, but they are easily spooked.

I fear for what is to become of them after the campaigns leave town for the last time, and Scranton and Allentown and Carlisle go back to being the long dark chicken dance of the national soul they were before the media showed up.

Is it stupid, clumsy (albeit vicious) satire.  Yes, self-evidently.  Is the writer a hall of fame quality jerk and a half?  Yes, self-evidently.

Now:  does it belong in a major daily newspaper?

Let me answer my own question with another question:  Suppose a column was submitted to the Philadelphia Inquirer suggesting that Blacks should not vote and citing people like convicted thief  Mayor Sharpe James of Newark, child rapist congressperson Mel Reynolds, congressperson William "$90,000 in the freezer" Jefferson and a host of other similarly embarrassing Black people.  How likely do you think the Inquirer would be to ever print it.

That answer is every bit as self-evident as the other two, isn't it?

Although it seems to escape the Philadelphia Inquirer's brain trust (such as it is), there is a fundamental reality here.  Racism is racism, REGARDLESS of which race it is aimed at.  Racism isn't any more acceptable when used against Whites than it is when used against Blacks, even if the writer tells us he is White. 

A racist is a racist is a racist.  A racist by any other name would smell just as foul.  Got it?

What we have here is a third rate writer who read "A Modest Proposal", Jonathan Swift's satire on eating Irish children, and thinks he can write as cleverly about denying a race of people the vote.

The problem is, he is still a third rate writer.  And a racist as well.

My congratulations to the Philadelphia Inquirer for proving that, no matter how low a major daily can go, there is always a further sub-basement to shoot for.

YOU KEEP THE CHANGE IN PA. do not worry PRESIDENT OBAMA will be happy to throw black people under the bus as evidenced by JESSE JACKSON and Rev. WRIGHT. The man is a master of imagery. PHILADELPHIA experienced David AXELROD playing the race card before but it seems we have learned nothing. WHY.... not attack SARAH PALIN and her DISABLED BABY ....no stopping now The new game destroy women first HILARY NOW PALIN...... (10/27/08)


TED STEVENS: CONVICTED

Ken Berwitz

Republican senator Ted Stevens, one week away from an election that, he hopes, will give him a 7th term in the U.S. Senate, has been convicted on seven counts of corruption.

We can carp about the timing of this trial, but it won't change the fact that he is guilty. 

Here are the particulars, courtesy of www.legalnewsline.com:

Senator Stevens guilty of all seven corruption counts

WASHINGTON (Legal Newsline) -- A Washington jury on Monday found U.S. Sen. Ted Stevens of Alaska guilty of all seven corruption counts he was charged with over gifts he accepted from an oil industry contractor but failed to report.

Jurors said Stevens, who is running for a seventh term, deliberately failed to disclose on mandatory Senate financial disclosure forms more than $250,000 in home renovations and other gifts from the oil company VECO and its chief executive officer, Bill Allen.

The jury of eight women and four men deliberated for five hours Monday before returning the guilty verdicts.

The verdicts stemmed from a four-year federal investigation and a three-week trial that featured 24 government witnesses and 28 defense witnesses.

U.S. District Court Judge Emmet G. Sullivan has delayed sentencing for the longtime Alaska senator, who was indicted by federal grand jury in July.

Despite his conviction, Stevens, 84, is not required to drop out of his Senate race or resign his seat.

If he wins his re-election race against Democratic Anchorage Mayor Mark Begich, Stevens can continue to hold his seat because there is no rule barring convicted felons from serving in Congress. The Senate, however, could vote to expel Stevens on a two-thirds vote.

Stevens is the first sitting U.S. senator convicted of a felony since 1981, when Sen. Harrison Williams Jr, D-N.J., was convicted on bribery and conspiracy charges.

Stevens is the longest serving Republican senator in U.S. history. He was appointed to the Senate in 1968, won a special election to the seat two years later, and has been re-elected since.

Amid the federal investigation, Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, a fellow Republican, urged Stevens to tell Alaskans why he was the target of a federal corruption investigation.

Palin, who is now the Republican vice presidential nominee, said at the time that among her concerns is the perception that Alaska is a place where legislators may be bought.

Incredibly, Stevens not only is able to continue in the Senate, but possibly (though improbably I would think) can win re-election next week.

If these convictions do not cause Alaskans to dump Stevens it's hard to imagine what could.  But if he should win, the honorable thing to do would be to resign as soon as Governor Palin is legally allowed to replace him.

Then again, why would anyone think he'd do that?  After all, consider who are we expecting to be honorable. 


BARACK OBAMA'S SOCIALISM: BLACKOUT ON THE NETWORK MORNING SHOWS

Ken Berwitz

How far in the Obama tank are the major networks? 

Mark Finkelstein of www.newsbusters.org monitored the three netowork morning shows to monitor their coverage of the interview Barack Obama had on Chicago Public Radio, in which he specifically espoused redistribution of wealth (i.e. socialism). 

(In case you haven't heard the audio tape, just click below).

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here is Mark's report on how the NBC Today Show, CBS Early Show and ABC Good Morning America handled it:

Broadcast Morning Shows Bury Obama Redistributionist Radio Rap

Imagine that a week before a presidential election, a radio interview surfaced in which the Republican candidate had called for, say, the abolition of Social Security. Now imagine the broadcast networks' reaction to that nugget: "We interrupt regularly-scheduled programming for this Breaking News," followed by 24/7 coverage with talking heads pondering the devastating impact on America's seniors, the overall economy, the future of Western civilization, etc. Nobel laureate Paul Krugman would be booked from now till election day, offering his pained pronouncements.

But how do those same networks react when a radio interview [YouTube after the jump] surfaces of Barack Obama in a call for the redistribution of wealth, in which he laments the Supreme Court's insufficient radicalism in pursuing redistribution and refers to the civil rights movement's failure to develop a better strategy to bring about wealth redistribution as a "tragedy?

Insert cricket-chirp soundtrack here.

When, awakening, I saw the story up on Drudge, I made it a point to monitor the crucial first half-hour of Today, Good Morning America, and the Early Show, to see how much coverage they devoted to the radio interview. Results:
  • Today Show: zilch
  • Good Morning America: zip
  • The Early Show: nada

What makes you madder: the networks' burying of the story, or the fact that their deep-sixing of it was so predictable?

Note: While I was off watching the broadcast networks, my NB colleage P. J. Gladnick, who was on this story
early, and has also detailed the Kossacks panicky reaction to it, noted that Morning Joe, on cable-network MSNBC, did get into a discussion of the issue during its second hour. We'll update later with details.

Update: Mika Suggests Obama Using 'Marxist Dialect'

If NBC, along with the other broadcast networks, was too timid to broach the radio interview, over on MSNBC Morning Joe was not. Mika Brzezinski went so far as to suggest to Obama surrogate Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) that Obama's redistributionist rap amounted to "Marxist dialect." McCaskill claimed that all Obama was talking about was changes to the tax code. Either she hadn't read the radio transcript or she was, let's say, fibbing. In the interview, Obama advocated nothing less than a radical reinterpretation of the Constitution.

View video
here.

PS: we wish Mika well in her debate/discussion this evening at Fairfield University with Monica Crowley. Contrary to
a newspaper report that she would "represent" Obama, a university official has contacted me to state that while Mika "in general, she holds a liberal political view," she will not be representing any candidate but will instead share her "wisdom, experience and impartiality."

Note Not Income Redistribution, Wealth Redistribution: Be Very Afraid

My first edition of this item spoke of Obama's support for redistribution of income. But then I saw a reader speak of redistribution of "wealth." I went back and checked, and sure enough, that's what Obama said in the radio interview. And now that I think of it, of course he also told Joe the Plumber he wants to "spread the wealth" around.

As bad as income redistribution is, it pales in comparison to wealth redistribution. Income is what people earn. Income redistribution comes about through steeply progressive income taxes. Wealth is what people accumulate over the course of a lifetime of earning. Wealth redistribution implies nothing less than government confiscation of the nest eggs people have labored all their lives to build up. Be very afraid.

And don't think it can't happen. After all, Barack "Citizen of the World" Obama looks to Europe for inspiration. A number of European countries have a "wealth tax" in which people are required to annually pay a percentage of their net worth--on accumulated wealth that was of course already taxed at the time it was earned. Extra credit to France for its socialistic name for the levy: the "solidarity tax" on wealth. Vive la revolution!

Excerpt from transcript of Obama's 2001 interview with Chicago public radio station WBEZ [via Power Line]:

If you look at the victories and failures of the civil rights movement and its litigation strategy in the court, I think where it succeeded was to vest formal rights in previously dispossessed peoples. So that I would now have the right to vote, I would now be able to sit at the lunch counter and order and as long as I could pay for it Id be okay.

But 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 as people tried to characterize the Warren court, it wasnt that radical. It didnt break free from the essential constraints that were placed by the founding fathers in the Constitution, at least as its been interpreted, and the Warren court interpreted it in the same way that generally the Constitution is a charter of negative liberties. It says what the states cant do to you, it says what the federal government cant do to you, but it doesnt say what the federal government or the state government must do on your behalf. And that hasnt shifted.

One of the I think tragedies of the civil rights movement was because the civil rights movement became so court focused, I think that there was a tendency to lose track of the political and community organizing and activities on the ground that are able to put together the actual coalitions of power through which you bring about redistributed change and in some ways we still suffer from that.

Is that clear enough for you?  The Democratic candidate for President of the United States is found, on an audio-taped radio interview to support classic socialism.  His voice, his words.  And the three network morning shows bury it.  Every one of them.

Now that an internet firestorm has erupted over this and, I am told, Rush Limbaugh led with it on his show, is it possible that the networks' evening news shows will continue to bury this information to keep their viewers as ignorant of it as possible until election day?

It will be interesting to see.

free I have said it before and i will say it again, what the media are doing is nothing short of fraud. (10/28/08)


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