Back in July Delegate Todd Gilbert, former chairman of this very committee, caught alot of flack for suggesting that Barack Obama was a “borderline communist” and that he held “Marxist views.” Putting aside for a moment the complex arguments that could be held about whether or not Obama’s views fit into Marxist thinking (and the far simpler and petty argument that this is simply race or red baiting), the comments indicated how many conservatives view Obama as a radical, even dangerous, departure from the norm of American politics and conversely just how fiercely the left will defend their guy after losing many elections over these sorts of issues.
So it came as no surprise when Joe Biden chose to simply laugh off a serious question from a Florida reporter about how Obama’s views might be viewed by some as fitting into the mold of Marxist thinking:
What was the campaign’s response? From the Orlando Sentinel:
Biden so disliked West’s line of questioning that the Obama campaign canceled a WFTV interview with Jill Biden, the candidate’s wife.
“This cancellation is non-negotiable, and further opportunities for your station to interview with this campaign are unlikely, at best for the duration of the remaining days until the election,” wrote Laura K. McGinnis, Central Florida communications director for the Obama campaign.
McGinnis said the Biden cancellation was “a result of her husband’s experience yesterday during the satellite interview with Barbara West.”
And yet, as a State Senator in 2001, Barack Obama didn’t seem to want to shy away at all from questions about the redistribution of wealth. Or rather, just what the best way to do it is:
That’s the Democratic nominee for President agreeing, in principle, that the redistribution of wealth needs to occur in this country and that the civil rights movement didn’t go far enough towards that ends.
Over the past few days the Obama campaign has been highlighting a series of high profile “defections” (mostly retired Governors who disagree with many of the party’s platform planks to begin with). The being said, Obama still hasn’t impressed many, including America’s most famous non-Italian plumber:
Joe the Plumber all but came out of the water closet for Sen. John McCain on Friday, saying that his famous exchange with Sen. Barack Obama made him “scared for America” and that he doesn’t trust the Democratic presidential candidate on taxes.
The plumber, aka Joe Wurzelbacher, burst into the headlines after he buttonholed Mr. Obama less than two weeks ago during a campaign stop in his Holland, Ohio, neighborhood and quizzed him about his tax policy. On Friday, he said that he wasn’t impressed by the Illinois senator in their encounter.
“When I was face to face with him, my honest first impression was that I expected something more. I had heard so much about ‘his presence’ in the media that I was surprised to find that he seemed very average,” Mr. Wurzelbacher wrote in a live online chat on WashingtonTimes.com (read the transcript with Mr. Wurzelbacher here).
“My gut feeling as he answered my questions? I was scared for America,” he wrote in response to a reader who asked “When you were face to face with Obama, what were you thinking and how did it feel?”
From Delegate Chris Saxman (hat tip to Suzanne Curran:
Friends,Over the past few weeks, I have heard from many of you expressing concern and frustration over polling numbers. And while the other side is trying to distract voters by spending millions of dollars to plan a huge election night party, our team is continuing our hard work of contacting voters and sharing Senator McCain’s and Governor Palin’s positive plans for America- and that work is paying off as reflected in a number of polls this week showing that this race is much closer than the main stream media would have us believe.On the side bar, I have included several links to some of this week’s polling. Yesterday’s IBD/TIPP poll (which was found to be the most accurate pollster of the 2004 campaign season), showed the race tightening to just a 1.1% difference.Earlier this week, many were surprised by an Associated Press-GfK poll, which also showed the race within 1%.The truth is, this race is closing in fast, for many reasons:
- Joe the Plumber exposed Obama’s ideology to where the press HAD to report it.
- Voters are seeing that Obama is the most liberal member of the US Senate . There is no Teflon for a voting record to the LEFT of the only Socialist in the US Senate – Bernie Sanders.
- Voters are recalling just what socialism is and what it means. (Marx believed that socialism represents the transition between capitalism and communism.)
- Experience still matters.
- Biden and Albright admitted that because Obama is so inexperienced America would be tested with an international crisis. Biden: “Watch, we’re going to have an international crisis, a generated crisis, to test the mettle of this guy.”
- Voters are realizing that Obama/Pelosi/Reid is a REALLY bad idea and that bipartisanship is necessary to fix our problems.And finally, our message is coming home to voters because of you- because of our hard working volunteers who are out every day, knocking on doors, making phone calls, talking to their friends and family, and getting our message out. John McCain and Sarah Palin have the experience and the leadership to fix Washington, to get our economy back on track, to create jobs and to keep our country safe. They are the team we know and trust to fight for us, to fight with us, to fight for America.
In the survey, Obama receives 47 percent of the vote compared to McCain’s 45 percent. But the survey indicates Obama has been gaining ground in Virginia. In a Mason-Dixon poll earlier this month, McCain led Obama by a margin of 48 percent to 45 percent.
The poll finds Obama with a 30 -point lead in Northern Virginia, 61 percent to 31 percent. McCain leads by 23 percentage points in the Shenandoah Valley, and by 15 points in Southwest Virginia. He holds a smaller 11-point edge in the Richmond media market, but Obama now has a 5-point advantage in the critical Hampton Roads region.
All White Women Working Class Whites McCain 43.6% 48.3% 53.7% Obama 44.6% 40.5% 36.6% Someone Else 2.1% 1.3% 1.5% Undecided 5.9% 6% 7.5% Refused 3.8% 3.9% 0.7%
It’s not over till Election Day. Do your part by volunteering for get-out-the-vote calls and knocks all next week and during the 72 Hour period, Click here to see where we need help, then click here to sign up for shifts. Be sure to denote which shifts you can work in the message box on our form.
I think nearly every American would agree that the governance of the last eight years has been far from perfect, with mistakes, both small and large, on both sides of the aisle. However, change has far too often been used as a cover for a radical agenda. There have been few more eloquent letters written on the subject this year than the below piece:
Each year I get to celebrate Independence Day twice. On June 30 I celebrate my independence day and on July 4 I celebrate America’s. This year is special, because it marks the 40th anniversary of my independence.
On June 30, 1968, I escaped Communist Cuba and a few months later I was in the United States to stay. That I happened to arrive in Richmond on Thanksgiving Day is just part of the story, but I digress.
I’ve thought a lot about the anniversary this year. The election-year rhetoric has made me think a lot about Cuba and what transpired there. In the late 1950s, most Cubans thought Cuba needed a change, and they were right. So when a young leader came along, every Cuban was at least receptive.
When the young leader spoke eloquently and passionately and denounced the old system, the press fell in love with him. They never questioned who his friends were or what he really believed in. When he said he would help the farmers and the poor and bring free medical care and education to all, everyone followed. When he said he would bring justice and equality to all, everyone said “Praise the Lord.” And when the young leader said, “I will be for change and I’ll bring you change,” everyone yelled, “Viva Fidel!”
But nobody asked about the change, so by the time the executioner’s guns went silent the people’s guns had been taken away. By the time everyone was equal, they were equally poor, hungry, and oppressed. By the time everyone received their free education it was worth nothing. By the time the press noticed, it was too late, because they were now working for him. By the time the change was finally implemented Cuba had been knocked down a couple of notches to Third-World status. By the time the change was over more than a million people had taken to boats, rafts, and inner tubes. You can call those who made it ashore anywhere else in the world the most fortunate Cubans. And now I’m back to the beginning of my story.
Luckily, we would never fall in America for a young leader who promised change without asking, what change? How will you carry it out? What will it cost America?
Manuel Alvarez Jr. Sandy Hook.
Many Democrats have been blowing off the McCain campaign’s attempts to bring to light Barack Obama’s true relationship with Bill Ayers, head of the left-wing terrorist organization Weather Underground in the 1960’s. They say that Obama was 8, he had nothing to do with the attacks, Ayer’s is just an old reformed radical.
And there is some truth to that. Obama cannot be held morally responsible for Ayer’s actions. That would just be irresponsible for Republicans to make that claim. The larger, and far more important issue, is Ayer’s current work, and his vision for American education. From Investor’s Business Daily:
“School reformer” is how Brokaw identified the co-founder of the Weather Underground, the radical organization that, among other activities, bombed government buildings, banks, police departments and military bases in the early 1970s.
Yeah, right: Ayers is a school reformer in the same sense, as City Journal’s Sol Stern put it, as Joe Stalin was an agricultural reformer.
An idea of what Ayers has in mind for America’s schools was provided in his own words not 40 years ago when Obama was eight years old, but less than two years ago in November 2006 at the World Education Forum in Caracas hosted by dictator Hugo Chavez.
With Chavez at his side, Ayers voiced his support for “the political educational reforms under way here in Venezuela under the leadership of President Chavez. We share the belief that education is the motor-force of revolution. . . . I look forward to seeing how . . . all of you continue to overcome the failures of capitalist education as you seek to create something truly new and deeply humane.”
Ayers told the great humanitarian Chavez: “Teaching invites transformations, it urges revolutions large and small. La educacion es revolucion.” It is that form of socialist revolution that Ayers, and Obama, have worked to bring to America.
Ayers, now a tenured Distinguished Professor of Education at the University of Illinois, Chicago, works to educate teachers in socialist revolutionary ideology, urging that it be passed on to impressionable students.
As Stern points out, “Ayers and his education school comrades are explicit about the need to indoctrinate public school children in the belief that America is a racist, militarist country and that the capitalist system is inherently unfair and oppressive.”
If Ayers was just another nutty professor, we’d be lucky. But he wields great influence in academic circles and has had Obama’s ear. He’s the author or editor of 15 books. Chicago’s current mayor, Richard M. Daley, has employed Ayers as a teacher trainer for Chicago’s public schools and consulted him on the city’s education-reform plans.
Look closer. Ayer’s agenda remains a radical one, even if he has embraced the pragmatism of Saul Alinksy’s world view in his old age. Insiders have repeatedly admitted that Ayers served as the “guiding light” of the Chicago Annenberg Foundation, and Ayers’s own projects have recieved funding. One such project:
One of Ayers’ descriptions for a course called “Improving Learning Environments” says a prospective K-12 teacher needs to “be aware of the social and moral universe we inhabit and . . . be a teacher capable of hope and struggle, outrage and action, teaching for social justice and liberation.”
I’ll let that speak for itself.
Much has been made about the near “miraculous” fundraising totals that Obama has pulled in throughout the campaign. However, about a week ago, some major media outlets started seeing just who it was that donating to the Senator’s campaign. What they found was as disturbing as it was interesting. From the Washington Post:
The Republican National Committee wants the Federal Election Commission to investigate the source of thousands of small contributions to the presidential campaign of Sen. Barack Obama, a committee lawyer said yesterday.
The RNC’s chief counsel, Sean Cairncross, said that there is mounting evidence that the Obama campaign was so hungry for donations it “looked the other way” as contributions piled up from suspicious donors, and possibly even from overseas, which would be illegal.
“We believe that the American people should know first and foremost if foreign money is pouring into a presidential election,” Cairncross said.
He pointed to a report in the current issue of Newsweek magazine that documents a handful of instances in which donors made repeated small contributions using fake names, such as “Good Will” and “Doodad Pro.” FEC auditors told the campaign that Good Will gave a total of more than $11,000 and Doodad Pro $17,130 — far above the maximum allowable individual contribution of $2,300.
Newsweek also reported that earlier this year, two Palestinian brothers in the Gaza Strip paid $33,000 for a bulk order of T-shirts from the campaign’s online store. (Those purchases count as contributions.) The brothers had listed their address as “Ga.,” which the campaign took to mean Georgia rather than Gaza. The campaign later returned the money.
The donations included thousands of dollars in excess donations, made in increments of $25, from someone named Good Will in Austin, Tex., who listed his employer as “Loving” and his occupation as “You.” It also cited another donor named Doodad Pro, from “Nunda, N.Y.,” with the same employer and occupation.
Both donors were flagged by the commission in warning letters sent to the Obama campaign by August. The campaign was supposed to have responded within 30 days. But its campaign finance filing in September showed it had failed to refund more than $10,000 in donations from each, although Obama officials say all of the money has now been returned. A campaign has 60 days from when it receives an excess contribution to address it.
Republican officials asserted that if the Obama campaign had missed such obviously questionable itemized contributions, there could be much more in the form of fraudulent donations in the amounts below $200 that do not have to be reported.
The Democratic candidate’s donors also include “Derty Poiiuy,” an individual with a scatological sense of humor who has given $950. “Mong Kong” has contributed $1,065 and lists an address in a nonexistent city. “Fornari USA” gave $800 and listed the address of an apparel store of that name near San Francisco.
The Republican National Committee filed a federal complaint this week, alleging that some of Obama’s small donations are illegal because they come from foreign nationals or exceed the limit.
Obama’s contributions have also exposed a loophole in the law, which does not require disclosure of the identities of donors who give $200 or less, making it impossible to determine whether they are legitimate without a federal audit.
Lawrence Norton, a former Federal Election Commission general counsel, noted that the law was written when “no one conceived that a candidate could raise millions” in such small amounts. “It certainly is a case where the 1970s law is not in step with current campaign fundraising practices,” he said.
Exactly why a donor would use a name like Derty Poiiuy is not clear. “It’s part of phenomenon that we’ve never seen before,” FEC spokesman Bob Biersack said. People who make up names when donating to federal candidates violate laws against making false statements, but Biersack could not recall anyone being prosecuted for such a crime.
Biersack said the FEC cannot conduct an audit unless there are significant questions about a candidate’s fundraising. “Odd names by themselves aren’t enough. A lot of people have odd names,” Biersack said. “I have certain sympathy for that.”
The number of fake names attached to Sen. Barack Obama’s campaign contributions continues to inch up as news outlets and political researchers page through thousands of pages of donor listings.
Turns out, they’re not that hard to come by. New discoveries from a cursory review of the listings include Edrty Eddty, who donated $250 in July 2008 and Es Esh, who gave $325 in July. Esh hailed from this unusual address: “fhdfhdfh, Erial, NJ 08081” Eddty listed his, or perhaps her, employer as “Poiuyttrrewe / Qwertyuio” — the letters, more or less in order, found on the top line of standard computer keyboards.
The AP contacted 123 of those donors — in Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Israel, Italy, the Netherlands, South Africa, Spain and Switzerland — and interviewed them about their citizenship and donations. The review found that Obama’s campaign accepted contributions from at least three foreigners.
Last December, someone using the name “Test Person,” from “Some Place, UT,” made a series of contributions, the largest being $764, to Senator Barack Obama’s presidential campaign totaling $2,410.07.
Someone identifying himself as “Jockim Alberton,” from 1581 Leroy Avenue in Wilmington, Del., began giving to Mr. Obama last November, contributing $10 and $25 at a time for a total of $445 through the end of February.
The only problem? There is no Leroy Avenue in Wilmington. And Jockim Alberton, who listed his employer and occupation as “Fdsa Fdsa,” does not show up in a search of public records.
An analysis of campaign finance records by The New York Times this week found nearly 3,000 donations to Mr. Obama, the Democratic nominee, from more than a dozen people with apparently fictitious donor information. The contributions represent a tiny fraction of the record $450 million Mr. Obama has raised. But the questionable donations — some donors were listed simply with gibberish for their names — raise concerns about whether the Obama campaign is adequately vetting its unprecedented flood of donors.
Filed under: Domestic Policy, Election 2008, Events, Foreign Affairs, MSM, POTUS
Ok everybody, sorry it took me a minute to get set-up. Clogged wireless up here in H’burg (as it should be, with over 75 strong Republicans). So let’s cut to the chase:
10:34 Alright. I’ll post some analysis when I get home, but the short of it: McCain delivered.
10:33 McCain: Welcome to the real world, and fundamental belief in the power of America is what will save it.
10:32 Obama: the thing I don’t know really don’t matter. I’ll figure it out. But I do know it all needs to be fixed.
10:30 So we’re going to tax the same small businesses who are striving for the American dream?
10:30 Oooo, overtime. And we may finally see just how humble these guys are.
10:28 So what about conventional weapons aimed against Israel?
10:26 McCain gets the sham of the UN Security Council. With Russian and China, no non democratic nation will EVER be taken to task for their actions on the international stage.
10:25 Two questions in five minutes?
10:22 So now Obama’s time machine goes both ways. Obama: He can see through time.
10:19 The situation in Russia has gotten away from us. Do you really trust Obama to deal with such a complicated situation? McCain is absolutely right–Putin has formed a cult of personality fused with extreme nationalism fueled by a sudden surge in oil based wealth.
10:16 McCain had a great point–We’re on the edge of doing what we did in Afghanistan in Iraq. Iraq is a synthetic creation of the British; we are on the precipice of having a nation in Iraq that takes responsibility for it’s own destiny. Nationality doesn’t form over night…..even well into the 19th Century citizens of the U.S. viewed themselves as from their states first. This takes time.
10:11 I hope my juice lasts through the end of this debate
10:10 So you’re going to blow up one powderkeg in order to get to another? The situation in Pakistan is not cut and dry, Senator.
10:07 It requires someone who actually knows what’s going on.
10:06 The Obama Doctrine “Eh, we’ll deal with that when we cross that bridge”
10:05 So when you have an open act of aggression by a nuclear power or an ambitious country sitting on top of a powderkeg of natural resources, that doesn’t count?
10:01: Just as a brief aside, I want to point out this important piece from someone who was nearly killed by the terrorism of William Ayers. h/t Powerline
9:56 The free market will develop the products, Senator Obama. Is their unfairness in the system? Yes. But you can find the product you want and get the coverage you need if you’re willing to put out for it.
9:53 As someone who takes advantage of the free market for insurance, you can find what you need.
9:48 Barack Obama has never seen a piece of pork he didn’t like.
9:47 Wow Brokaw. Just wow.
9:46 Mind telling us what else was in those bills? You know, these things are a just a wee bit more complicated than saying “we’re going to fix x.” Logrolling happens, deals occur, and all of a sudden a good bill turns bad.
9:44 When we change, let’s do it as Americans. Let’s know lurch towards European socialism.
9:43 Hmmmm. Curveball. Let’s see where we go.
9:42 Well, see Senator McCain, we can only look at records when you have one.
9:41 Thank you for tackling this one.
9:39 So while we’re handing out all that money, we’re going to nail businesses to the wall? You mean these very same businesses that are PAYING these people?
9:38 Senator Obama: Already planning your re-election bid? Just have to get it out on taxes.
9:37 Here we go. Entitlement spending must be reformed.
9:36 Small businesses like eBay used to be. Small businesses are the economic engine powering what we have left.
9:35 That’s Obama sacrifice: Taxes.
9:34 More on class warfare.
9:32 So where are you going to find the money for this?
9:31 Back on the time machine.
9:30 John McCain: Reforming before reform was cool.
9:28 Either enforce the rules, or grow a pair and be like Leher and just let them go at it.
9:27: Again with priorities. Note what’s not on that list? Entitlements.
9:24: Bringing back the entitlement debate. I’d rather say “transfer payments,” but this is start.
9:22: Bingo. Keep on the reform train. This man has dedicated the last twenty years to honest reform. Not CHANGE. Reform.
9:18: Hop on Barack Obama’s time machine! Nancy: Remember 9/11? Might have caused some budget issues…..
9:13: McCain proving once again why he is best when he’s up against the wall. Calling Obama out as he sees it. Freddie and Fannie heart the Dems.
9:12: Here we go. Accountability for all. McCain has been there. Where has Obama been?
9:10: I’m here with Nancy Barnett from the County Committee. Her point: why does it always have to be about dividing the top and the bottom?
9:09: Again, speaking right to the people. Obama: Warren? Is he your drinking buddy? And what did McCain just say about people working their way up? America succeeds when we go back to those core values in times of crisis.
9:08: I figured Tom would throw the rules out on follow-ups. Word was earlier today that both campaigns were readying for this.
9:07: We needed this. McCain is showing why this is his format. He’s talking straight to the people, and talking about why we need to take a positive step towards stabilizing the house.
9:06: Economy the first question shocker. Senator Obama: Fire the executives? Umm, never heard of the Board of Directors?