Lift the Ban-John McCain is finally starting to exploit Barack Obama’s weakness on the energy issue

The Obama/Pooh Photoshop collection

Is Hussein’s Birth Certificate Fake?

Obama Backtracks on Pledge to Consider Military Option Against Iran

Obama Backtracks on Pledge to Consider Military

Option Against Iran

Ed Lasky

Periodically, Barack Obama tries to bolster his foreign policy and national security credentials by making statements along the lines of “all options are on the table” regarding Iran’s nuclear efforts. This implies that one of those options would include military actions to disable its nuclear weapons research programs (such as surgical strikes similar to the successful Israeli attack on the Syrian/North Korean plant last year). 

This as a strategy  actually makes diplomacy more viable since the Iranians would have to contemplate the consequences following the failure of diplomacy.   However, Barack Obama explicitly rejected this military option in a discussion with New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof last year.  

Barack Obama in his own words:
    

If there was a way of disabling a nuclear facility without any collateral damage, then that would certainly be an option we’d want to take into account. You know, I don’t think that’s a particularly controversial statement. But the – but those options don’t exist.   

Those military options don’t exist?    

Barack Obama refuses to even consider such a strike because some collateral damage MAY occur. This is a recipe for all nuclear proliferators going forward. Cynically, move all your nuclear sites near civilian areas (hospitals, schools) so President Obama can reject any action meant to disable these plants.   Barack Obama would rather Iran have a nuclear arsenal to threaten its neighbors (and Europe, and America due to its ballistic missile programs) than risk collateral damage within Iran.    

Iran has already promised to wreak destruction upon America and Israel (which it has been doing for years through its own terrorists-The Iran Revolutionary Guards-and by terror proxies). Iran has called for the destruction of Israel. Even the so-called moderate Hashemi Rafsanjani has advocated the use of nuclear weapons against Israel  and its current President , Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, has openly boasted of his plans to “wipe Israel off the map”. (Let’s recall, by the way, that Barack Obama has dismissed Iran as a “tiny nation” and not a threat only to contradict himself the next day in front of a different audience). 

Here is the calculus that Barack Obama seems to be engaging in: I would rather not risk the death or injury of some Iranians for the sake of millions of Jews, Christians and Muslims who live (and would die) in Israel. Israel would be only the first victim; other nations would be targeted as well.   Obama’s stance against military options because of  the risk of collateral damage is ironic in the face of Barack Obama’s  plans to terminate the very high-tech programs that have been designed to minimize such collateral damage.

He willingly seems to be putting himself in a box: gut the programs designed to minimize collateral damage and then declare military options are off the table because we cannot avoid collateral damage. A President with an empty quiver will not be an effective negotiator.  
 
Memo to President  Obama: a Commander-in-Chief sometimes must make tough decisions. He may have to accept collateral damage to prevent greater harm and destruction .   Do you think that someone in the mainstream media might ever point out this inconsistency?

 

 

Obama’s Latest Proposal to Increase Taxes

Obama’s Latest Proposal to Increase Taxes

Nicholas J. Kaster

Barack Obama has unveiled his plan for saving Social Security and it consists, unsurprisingly, of a massive tax increase. In addition to his plans for raising tax rates on capital gains and dividend income and repealing the Bush tax cuts, Obama now proposes to increase the amount of income subject to Social Security payroll (FICA) taxes.

 

Under current law, Social Security taxes (6.2% for both employers and employees) are imposed on income up to $102,000, which is indexed for inflation in future years. Obama claims that it is “unfair” for middle-class earners to pay the Social Security tax “on every dime they make,” while millionaires and billionaires pay it on only “a very small percentage of their income.”  For some time, Obama’s website has stated that he “supports increasing the maximum amount of earnings covered by Social Security” as part of a plan to strengthen the system’s long-term solvency.

 

This would have the effect of raising taxes on millions of upper middle class voters; thus, last week, Obama made a more politically palatable clarification. Rather than simply raising the income level subject to FICA taxation, Obama would impose the tax only on those making more than $250,000.
If Obama has his way, therefore, Social Security payroll taxes would resemble a “donut hole” – i.e., only incomes up to $102,000 and above $250,000 would be subject to FICA taxation, while incomes between $102,000 and $250,000 would be spared. Obama claims that the tax would hit only 3% of the wealthiest taxpayers. However, there is one problem with this: he does not indicate whether the $250,000 threshold will be indexed for inflation. If the higher threshold is not indexed, then the donut hole will grow smaller and smaller in the years to come and eventually disappear. This is because the lower figure is subject to indexing and increases each year. In 2006, the FICA taxation threshold was $94,200; in 2007, it grew to $97,500, and this year it is $102,000. If the higher threshold remains static, more and more middle class taxpayers will be subject to FICA. A tax designed to punish the wealthy will end up ensnaring middle income earners.

 

Moreover, under current rules, Social Security caps both benefits and earnings. Thus, unless Obama also favors paying more Social Security benefits to the wealthier earners — highly unlikely — then his plan undermines Social Security’s historic role as a basic social safety net rather than a program that redistributes income. This realization has triggered criticism even from Democrats, including Henry Aaron of the liberal Brookings Institution and former Rep. Charles Stenholm of Texas. “When you say you’re going to begin means-testing the program,” Stenholm noted, “you begin to convert Social Security from an insurance program to a welfare program.”
The revenue boost that Obama seeks, of course, assumes that the most productive sector of the economy will supinely pay this tax. That’s unlikely too. Even before the plan was officially announced, financial planners were urging their clients to take evasive action. Among the options recommended:

 

• For those with discretionary income, take a bonus or exercise stock options this year before a new administration takes office

• For the self-employed (who have to pay both the employer and employee portions of the tax), consider reducing the amount of salary they pay themselves

• Consider putting more money in a deferred compensation arrangement.

Thus, Obama’s plan isn’t likely to do much to help Social Security, but it’s sure to provide plenty of opportunities for tax lawyers and accountants.

The Dems and their Lumpy Obama Bed

The Dems and their Lumpy Obama Bed

By Kyle-Anne Shiver

Politics makes strange bedfellows. And when you try the straighten the sheets afterward, stubborn telltale lumps remain. Before highfalutin’ pomposity went mainstream in America, we provincial folks on this side of the pond — across the big water from old Europe — were down to earth and downright contemptuous of in-the-clouds intellectualism. 

In former times, when a man’s situation turned suddenly bleak, due to obvious misdeeds or laziness, we provincials were wont to say, “Well, you’ve made your bed; now you’ll just have to lie in it.”

 

And I just can’t help thinking at this moment in history, with the Democrats about to nominate a socialist in sheep’s clothing, how perfectly apt this old truism remains.

 

Because the truth of the matter is that if the Democratic Party had not made a wanton habit of turning a blind eye to immorality and deceit, if they had not stopped checking resume claims on all candidates, if they had not been so utterly feckless and lazy in their rush to find a political messiah, then Barack Obama would not be their only remaining hope for 2008 and the White House.

 

The Democrats have made their ’08 bed, and right now there are so many lumps in it that one has a hard time imagining any effort whatsoever went into making it.  That they have spent millions and millions of dollars hurling verbal spitballs at one another, and appear much worse now than they did before expending a single cent, causes their bed-making efforts to seem all the more ludicrous.

 

But now that Obama is all but tucked in tight, it’s going to be one heck of a bad night’s tossin’ and turnin’ this fall as all the Dems, and their loyalist minions in the mainstream press, try frantically to smooth out the many big lumps that BO’s got in his Chicago-cesspool bed.

 

Last November, when Obama launched himself, I’m sure he told his Daddy Warbucks, George Soros, and all the other bigwig Dem donors that his new, clean political bed was neatly made up, corners all tucked, and with none of  the unsightly, dirty lumps that the Clintons had in their naughty beds. 

 

And I guess Soros and his ilk believed him.  Evidently John Dean et al believed him.  Maybe Obama even believed it himself; judgment and reality don’t seem to be his forte.   

 

BO must have thought that Farrakhan had already weaseled down to the foot of the bed and fallen right out on the floor.  Even when there was a bit of kicking under the covers from “Minister” Farrakhan, and the watchdog press lifted Obama’s blanky and took a quick peek, Farrakhan’s lump seemed to smooth out, at least temporarily.  That won’t last through the general election; be assured.

 

And certainly BO thought he had impressed upon Jeremiah Wright the necessity of staying quiet as a mouse right at the very foot of the bed until the election was over.  But as any experienced bed-maker knows, when you try to push a big lump down or move it over or smooth it out, it just shows up somewhere else when the next layer is pulled over it.  Same with ole’ Jeremiah; he just won’t stay quiet and lie smoothly.

 

Of course, Michael Pfleger, another huge lump under Obama’s covers, kept egging on Jeremiah and together they made two lumps seem like fifty, their words and shenanigans amplified by YouTube and bloggers, all anxious to peek under BO’s covers to see who else he might be hiding there.

 

Why, Obama’s little sack is looking so plum lumped up by now, that even Michelle is having a hard time fitting in that bed. So she is getting a bit of a makeover, according to the New York Times, with the help of The View yesterday

 

Whatever the case, BO and Michelle ought to have flashlights when they peer under those covers, because there’re a couple of domestic terrorists in there too, who have already shown a shabby disregard for what happens when revolutions go awry.  Innocent people get killed.  Billy Ayers and Bernadine Dohrn might not be too bad as distant, very distant, neighbors, but I wouldn’t want to get in bed with them or let them babysit my children.

 

Since slumlord, Tony Rezko, helped provide the home that’s housing the Obama’s lumpy bed, he might want to crawl in too, if he isn’t in a federal prison somewhere, forced to watch the election campaign of his protégé on the TV.

 

Oh, and then there’s that uncle (Or great uncle? Or granddaddy?) who was supposed to be freeing people at Auschwitz, except that that wouldn’t work, since then he would have been a Red, so now the uncle was at Buchenwald instead.  Obama seems to have such a penchant for digging up tall tales of relatives who were in historical places at precisely the right time for some noteworthy event, except that they are usually in the wrong place or at the wrong time, or some such anomaly with the truth.  So, I’m sure that there are any number of long, lost relatives who will suddenly appear in Obama’s bed covers between now and November. I’m hoping he has a spare bed in which to keep them.

 

Obama’s all-American, oh-so-historical story is starting to look like the novel, Forrest Gump, minus a fact checker.

 

Oh BO, Oh-bama, how many folks have you got hiding in that lumpy bed of yours?  If only the Dems had done their homework, it could stay a private matter between you and them.

 

But now y’all have made your bed, lumps and all.  And you’re gonna have a hard time sleeping in it this November, I fear.

 

Kyle-Anne Shiver is a frequent contributor to American Thinker.  She welcomes your comments at http://www.commonsenseregained.com/ 

McCain Scores With Offshore Drilling Proposal

McCain Scores With Offshore Drilling Proposal

By Dick Morris and Eileen McGann
FrontPageMagazine.com | 6/19/2008

John McCain has drawn first blood in the political debate following Barack Obama’s victory in the primaries. His call yesterday for offshore oil drilling — and Bush’s decision to press the issue in Congress – puts the Democrats in the position of advocating the wear-your-sweater policies that made Jimmy Carter unpopular. With gas prices nearing $5, all of the previous shibboleths need to be discarded. Where once voters in swing states like Florida opposed offshore drilling, the high gas prices are prompting them to reconsider. McCain’s argument that even hurricane Katrina did not cause any oil spills from the offshore rigs in the Gulf of Mexico certainly will go far to allay the fears of the average voter.

For decades, Americans have dragged their feet when it comes to switching their cars, leaving their SUVs at home, and backing alternative energy development and new oil drilling. But the recent shock of a massive surge in oil and gasoline prices has awakened the nation from its complaisance. The soaring prices are the equivalent of Pearl Harbor in jolting us out of our trance when it comes to energy.

Suddenly, everything is on the table. Offshore drilling, Alaska drilling, nuclear power, wind, solar, flex-fuel cars, plug-in cars are all increasingly attractive options and John McCain seems alive to the need to go there while Obama is strangely passive. During the Democratic primary, he opposed a gas tax holiday and continues to be against offshore and Alaska drilling and squishy on nuclear power. That leaves turning down your thermostat and walking to work as the Democratic policies.

McCain has also been ratcheting up his attacks on oil speculators. With the total value of trades in oil futures soaring from $13 billion in 2003 to $260 billion today, it is increasingly clear that it is not the supply and demand for oil which is, alone, driving up the price, but it is the supply and demand for oil futures which is stoking the upward movement.

The Saudis have made a fatal mistake in not forcing down the price of oil. We could have gone for decades as their hostage, letting their control over our oil supplies choke us while enriching them. But they got greedy and let the price skyrocket. The sudden shock which has sent America reeling is just the stimulus we need for a massive movement away from imported oil and toward new types of cars.

The political will for major change in our energy policy is now here and those, like Obama, who don’t get it need to rethink their positions. To quote FDR, “this great nation calls for action and action now” on the energy issue. What has been a back-burner problem now has moved onto center stage and McCain has put himself in the forefront.

The Democratic ambivalence stems from liberal concerns about climate change. The Party basically doesn’t believe in carbon based energy and, therefore, opposes oil exploration. That’s why Obama pushes the windfall profits tax on oil companies – a step that tells them “you drill, you find oil, and we’ll take away your profits.” But Americans have their priorities in order: more oil, more drilling AND alternative energy sources, flex-fuel cars, plug in vehicles and nuclear power.

With his willingness to respond to the gas price crisis with bold measures, McCain shows himself to be a pragmatist while Obama comes off as an ideologue to puts climate change ahead of making it possible for the average American to get to work.

Of course, the high price of gas makes it inevitable that the US will lead the world in fighting climate change. With $5 gas, Americans will switch en masse to cars that burn less gasoline. Already we have cut our oil consumption by 500,000 barrels a day in the past year (about a 3% cut). The move away from oil will be exponential from here on out, dooming radical Islam and reversing climate change at the same time. But while we are getting new cars, we need more oil and McCain has flanked Obama on this issue. Big time.


Dick Morris is a former adviser to Bill Clinton. Eileen McGann is an attorney and CEO of Vote.com. Together, they collaborate on books, columns and foreign political campaigns. To receive free copies of all of their commentaries, please sign up at dickmorris.com.

Obama and the Giant Blogosphere Conspiracy

Obama and the Giant Blogosphere Conspiracy

By Melanie Phillips
The Spectator | 6/19/2008

Today’s Guardian reports that Barack Obama is setting up an entire unit to combat ‘virulent rumours’ about him on the internet. Doubtless one of the blogs in the sights of team Obama is Little Green Footballs, which in the last few days has been excavating examples of wildly anti-Jewish and anti-American prejudice and conspiracy theories posted up by fans on Obama’s own website. LGF is making hay with the fact that the Obamanables are belatedly taking (some of) this stuff down from the site while simultaneously insisting that its presence is nothing to do with them because the website has no moderators. Yeah, right.The Guardian quotes the director of some monitoring outfit as saying that the blogosphere’s smears about Obama are particularly vicious.

He added that one of the most persistent is that Obama, a Christian, is ‘some kind of Muslim Manchurian candidate, planted by Islamic fundamentalists to betray the country and it is very widespread’.

Well now. Crazed Jew-hating American-loathing moonbats posting comments on Obama’s website are one thing. But the fact is that there are serious and troubling questions about Obama’s ancestry and associations and what he himself has said about them, which have surfaced in the blogosphere but have been almost wholly ignored by the mainstream media in its collective Obamanic swoon.

First is his childhood background. Last November, his campaign website carried a statement with the headline:

Barack Obama Is Not and Has Never Been a Muslim

followed by

Obama never prayed in a mosque. He has never been a Muslim, was not raised a Muslim, and is a committed Christian.

Obama has also said:

I’ve always been a Christian

and

I’ve never practised Islam.

But none of this is true. As is explored in detail on Daniel Pipes’s website, Obama was enrolled at his primary schools in Indonesia as a Muslim; he attended the mosque during that period; his friends from that time testify that he was a devout Muslim boy. A former teacher at one of these schools, Tine Hahiyary, remembers a young Obama who was quite religious and actively took part in ‘mengaji’ classes which teach how to read the Koran in Arabic. The blogger from Indonesia who reported this commented:

‘Mengagi’ is a word and a term that is accorded the highest value and status in the mindset of fundamentalist societies here in Southeast Asia. To put it quite simply, “mengaji classes” are not something that a non practicing or so-called moderate Muslim family would ever send their child to… The fact that Obama had attended mengaji classes is well known in Indonesia and has left many there wondering just when Obama is going to come out of the closet.

His father was a Muslim, as was his stepfather. His grandfather was a Muslim convert. His wider family appear to have been largely devout Muslims. Yes, we only know about Obama’s early years as a Muslim; and yes, twenty years ago he became a Christian. The issue, however, is why he has been less than candid about his early background and his family. Indeed, he appears to have actively deceived the public about it. That is why the blogosphere is so exercised about it.

Now here’s another curious thing. Much has been made of his membership of the Trinity United Church of Christ in Chicago whose former pastor and his long-standing mentor, Jeremiah Wright, Obama was forced finally to renounce on account of his obnoxious views (although he has signally failed unequivocally to denounce those views themselves and the no less obnoxious philosophy of the Trinity United black power church). But according to a passing reference in a profile in The New Republic last year, Pastor Wright was himself a Muslim convert to Christianity. He seems to have moved from being a Muslim black power fanatic to a Christian black power fanatic – which might go some way to explaining his close affinity to the Muslim black power ideologue Louis Farrakhan.

Then there is also Obama’s troubling support for the Kenyan opposition leader — and his cousin — Raila Odinga, the leader of the violent uprising a few months ago against the newly elected Kenyan government and who signed a memorandum of understanding with Kenyan Muslims to turn Kenya into an Islamic state governed by sharia law. At the time, the Evangelical Alliance of Kenya released a statement in which church leaders said Odinga

comes across as a presumptive Muslim president bent on forcing Islamic law, religion and culture down the throats of the Kenyan people in total disregard of the Constitutionally guaranteed rights of freedom of worship and equal protection of the law for all Kenyans.

As the Atlas Shrugs site reported, Obama actually went to Kenya in 2006 and spoke at rallies in support of Odinga, causing the Kenyan government to denounce him as ‘Raila’s stooge’. Why was Obama supporting such a person? Why has no-one bothered to find out??

Daniel Pipes makes another highly significant point about Obama’s Muslim background. He points out that, in the eyes of the Muslim world, Obama remains a Muslim regardless of what religion he now professes because he was born to a Muslim father. By his own admission (of Christianity) therefore, he is a Muslim apostate – a status regarded by the Muslim world as a sin to be punished by death. Pipes thinks this would put his life in danger and undermine his initiatives towards the Muslim world. But surely the more significant point is that much of that Muslim world has actually embraced him. Indeed the Muslim Brothers of Hamas – who most certainly would regard any Muslim apostate as someone to be eliminated – actually came out publicly in support of him (until Obama blotted his copybook by professing undying support for Israel).

We are entitled therefore to ask whether the Muslim world supports him because it believes he is still a Muslim. We are entitled to ask precisely when he stopped being a Muslim, and why. Did Obama embrace Christianity as a tactical manoeuvre to get himself elected? Why indeed has he dissembled about his family background if not for that end?

These multiple known deceptions by someone who may become President of the United States are deeply alarming. The concealment is the issue. To dismiss such concerns and the related questions they provoke as a smear campaign is to attempt to browbeat into silence those who legitimately raise them and require urgent answers as a matter of the most acute public interest.

Update: In this entry I originally included the following quote from the American Expatriate in Indonesia blog quoted above: ‘Another of Obama’s former classmates, Emirsyah Satar, now CEO of Garuda Indonesia, has been quoted as saying: At that time, he was quite religious in Islam but after marrying Michelle, he changed his religion.’ It has been pointed out to me that comments posted on that blog claimed that this was a mistranslation, and that the quote attributed to Satar was written instead by the author of the article.


Melanie Phillips is a British social commentator and author and a columnist for the Daily Mail. Her articles can be found on her website, www.melaniephillips.com.