CNN media scandal publishes bogus report

CNN media scandal publishes bogus report

 

http://news.yahoo.com/nphotos/slideshow/photo//081021/480/73d55d014e2e4685a1271966f725973d/      PHOTO of woman holding a sign, . . . .”I’m not JOe the Plumber but I am Nan the small business owner

 

Media Scandal: CNN Tries to Suppress Colorado Vote(?) As Palin Sets Attendance Records

CNN reported yesterday incorrectly that the McCain Camp is ceding Colorado to Marxisant radical Barack Obama.
The report by CNN on the Colorado election was not true.  
http://www.thedenverchannel.com/politics/17766400/detail.html?rss=den&psp=news


And,
it came at the wrong time…

A Sarah Palin and Joe the Plumber supporter in Grand Junction, Colorado on Monday.
(AP /David Zalubowski)

CNN published this bogus report as VP Candidate Sarah Palin was setting all-time attendance records in Grand Junction just yesterday.
22,000 supporters showed up to see Governor Sarah Palin break a Grand Junction record!

“First Dude” Todd Palin is making four campaign stops in western Colorado and Denver on Tuesday. Todd will be at a Village Inn Restaurant in Glenwood Springs, the Eagle Diner in Eagle and the McCain-Palin campaign headquarters in Eagle on Tuesday morning.

Michelle Malkin has more on this outrageous fraud.

Orson Scott Card Rhinoceros Times Article Read All Of This Carefully It Is Excellent

Would the Last Honest Reporter Please Turn On the Lights?

An open letter to the local daily paper — almost every local daily paper in America:

I remember reading All the President’s Men and thinking: That’s journalism. You do what it takes to get the truth and you lay it before the public, because the public has a right to know.

This housing crisis didn’t come out of nowhere. It was not a vague emanation of the evil Bush administration.

It was a direct result of the political decision, back in the late 1990s, to loosen the rules of lending so that home loans would be more accessible to poor people. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were authorized to approve risky loans.

What is a risky loan? It’s a loan that the recipient is likely not to be able to repay.

The goal of this rule change was to help the poor — which especially would help members of minority groups. But how does it help these people to give them a loan that they can’t repay? They get into a house, yes, but when they can’t make the payments, they lose the house — along with their credit rating.

They end up worse off than before.

This was completely foreseeable and in fact many people did foresee it. One political party, in Congress and in the executive branch, tried repeatedly to tighten up the rules. The other party blocked every such attempt and tried to loosen them.

Furthermore, Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae were making political contributions to the very members of Congress who were allowing them to make irresponsible loans. (Though why quasi-federal agencies were allowed to do so baffles me. It’s as if the Pentagon were allowed to contribute to the political campaigns of Congressmen who support increasing their budget.)

Isn’t there a story here? Doesn’t journalism require that you who produce our daily paper tell the truth about who brought us to a position where the only way to keep confidence in our economy was a $700 billion bailout? Aren’t you supposed to follow the money and see which politicians were benefitting personally from the deregulation of mortgage lending?

I have no doubt that if these facts had pointed to the Republican Party or to John McCain as the guilty parties, you would be treating it as a vast scandal. “Housing-gate,” no doubt. Or “Fannie-gate.”

Instead, it was Senator Christopher Dodd and Congressman Barney Frank, both Democrats, who denied that there were any problems, who refused Bush administration requests to set up a regulatory agency to watch over Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and who were still pushing for these agencies to go even further in promoting subprime mortgage loans almost up to the minute they failed.

As Thomas Sowell points out in a TownHall.com essay entitled Do Facts Matter? “Alan Greenspan warned them four years ago. So did the Chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers to the President. So did Bush’s Secretary of the Treasury.”

These are facts. This financial crisis was completely preventable. The party that blocked any attempt to prevent it was … the Democratic Party. The party that tried to prevent it was … the Republican Party.

Yet when Nancy Pelosi accused the Bush administration and Republican deregulation of causing the crisis, you in the press did not hold her to account for her lie. Instead, you criticized Republicans who took offense at this lie and refused to vote for the bailout!

What? It’s not the liar, but the victims of the lie who are to blame?

Now let’s follow the money … right to the presidential candidate who is the number-two recipient of campaign contributions from Fannie Mae.

And after Freddie Raines, the CEO of Fannie Mae who made $90 million while running it into the ground, was fired for his incompetence, one presidential candidate’s campaign actually consulted him for advice on housing.

If that presidential candidate had been John McCain, you would have called it a major scandal and we would be getting stories in your paper every day about how incompetent and corrupt he was.

But instead, that candidate was Barack Obama, and so you have buried this story, and when the McCain campaign dared to call Raines an “adviser” to the Obama campaign — because that campaign had sought his advice — you actually let Obama’s people get away with accusing McCain of lying, merely because Raines wasn’t listed as an official adviser to the Obama campaign.

You would never tolerate such weasely nit-picking from a Republican.

If you who produce our local daily paper actually had any principles, you would be pounding this story, because the prosperity of all Americans was put at risk by the foolish, short-sighted, politically selfish, and possibly corrupt actions of leading Democrats, including Obama.

If you who produce our local daily paper had any personal honor, you would find it unbearable to let the American people believe that somehow Republicans were to blame for this crisis.

There are precedents. Even though President Bush and his administration never said that Iraq sponsored or was linked to 9/11, you could not stand the fact that Americans had that misapprehension — so you pounded us with the fact that there was no such link. (Along the way, you created the false impression that Bush had lied to them and said that there was a connection.)

If you had any principles, then surely right now, when the American people are set to blame President Bush and John McCain for a crisis they tried to prevent, and are actually shifting to approve of Barack Obama because of a crisis he helped cause, you would be laboring at least as hard to correct that false impression.

Your job, as journalists, is to tell the truth. That’s what you claim you do, when you accept people’s money to buy or subscribe to your paper.

But right now, you are consenting to or actively promoting a big fat lie — that the housing crisis should somehow be blamed on Bush, McCain, and the Republicans. You have trained the American people to blame everything bad — even bad weather — on Bush, and they are responding as you have taught them to.

If you had any personal honor, each reporter and editor would be insisting on telling the truth — even if it hurts the election chances of your favorite candidate.

Because that’s what honorable people do. Honest people tell the truth even when they don’t like the probable consequences. That’s what honesty means. That’s how trust is earned.

Barack Obama is just another politician, and not a very wise one. He has revealed his ignorance and naivete time after time — and you have swept it under the rug, treated it as nothing.

Meanwhile, you have participated in the borking of Sarah Palin, reporting savage attacks on her for the pregnancy of her unmarried daughter — while you ignored the story of John Edwards’s own adultery for many months.

So I ask you now: Do you have any standards at all? Do you even know what honesty means?

Is getting people to vote for Barack Obama so important that you will throw away everything that journalism is supposed to stand for?

You might want to remember the way the National Organization of Women threw away their integrity by supporting Bill Clinton despite his well-known pattern of sexual exploitation of powerless women. Who listens to NOW anymore? We know they stand for nothing; they have no principles.

That’s where you are right now.

It’s not too late. You know that if the situation were reversed, and the truth would damage McCain and help Obama, you would be moving heaven and earth to get the true story out there.

If you want to redeem your honor, you will swallow hard and make a list of all the stories you would print if it were McCain who had been getting money from Fannie Mae, McCain whose campaign had consulted with its discredited former CEO, McCain who had voted against tightening its lending practices.

Then you will print them, even though every one of those true stories will point the finger of blame at the reckless Democratic Party, which put our nation’s prosperity at risk so they could feel good about helping the poor, and lay a fair share of the blame at Obama’s door.

You will also tell the truth about John McCain: that he tried, as a Senator, to do what it took to prevent this crisis. You will tell the truth about President Bush: that his administration tried more than once to get Congress to regulate lending in a responsible way.

This was a Congress-caused crisis, beginning during the Clinton administration, with Democrats leading the way into the crisis and blocking every effort to get out of it in a timely fashion.

If you at our local daily newspaper continue to let Americans believe –and vote as if — President Bush and the Republicans caused the crisis, then you are joining in that lie.

If you do not tell the truth about the Democrats — including Barack Obama — and do so with the same energy you would use if the miscreants were Republicans — then you are not journalists by any standard.

You’re just the public relations machine of the Democratic Party, and it’s time you were all fired and real journalists brought in, so that we can actually have a daily newspaper in our city.

http://www.ornery.org/essays/warwatch/2008-10-05-1.html

Obama-praised-searing-timely-book-ayers/

 

 

Obama Praised ‘Searing and Timely’ Book by Ayers

 

 

Barack Obama provided a glowing endorsement of a

book by domestic terrorist William Ayers in the Dec. 21, 1997 Chicago Tribune.


“Barack Obama, who has consistently downplayed his relationship with William Ayers during his presidential campaign, once gave a glowing endorsement of a book by the former domestic terrorist and was mentioned by name in the book itself.

A blogger unearthed the Dec. 21, 1997, endorsement in the Chicago Tribune and posted photographs of the praise for Ayers’ book on Zombietime.com Saturday.

Featured next to a smiling photograph of himself, then-State Senator Obama called Ayers’ book, “A Kind and Just Parent: Children of the Juvenile Court,” a “searing and timely account of the juvenile court system, and the courageous individuals who rescue hope from despair.”

The book, which details life at the Chicago Juvenile Court prison school, mentions Obama by name on page 82 when it describes Chicago’s Hyde Park neighborhood:

“Our neighbors include Muhammad Ali, former mayor Eugene Sawyer, poets Gwendolyn Brooks and Elizabeth Alexander, and writer Barack Obama. Minister Louis Farrakhan lives a block from our home and adds, we think, a unique dimension to the idea of ‘safe neighborhood watch’: the Fruit of Islam, his security force, has an eye on things twenty-four-hours a day.”


http://elections.foxnews.com/2008/10/20/obama-praised-searing-timely-book-ayers/

Barack Obama, who has consistently downplayed his relationship with William Ayers during his presidential campaign, once gave a glowing endorsement of a book by the former domestic terrorist and was mentioned by name in the book itself.

A blogger unearthed the Dec. 21, 1997, endorsement in the Chicago Tribune and posted photographs of the praise for Ayers’ book on Zombietime.com Saturday.

Featured next to a smiling photograph of himself, then-State Senator Obama called Ayers’ book, “A Kind and Just Parent: Children of the Juvenile Court,” a “searing and timely account of the juvenile court system, and the courageous individuals who rescue hope from despair.”

The book, which details life at the Chicago Juvenile Court prison school, mentions Obama by name on page 82 when it describes Chicago’s Hyde Park neighborhood:

“Our neighbors include Muhammad Ali, former mayor Eugene Sawyer, poets Gwendolyn Brooks and Elizabeth Alexander, and writer Barack Obama. Minister Louis Farrakhan lives a block from our home and adds, we think, a unique dimension to the idea of ‘safe neighborhood watch’: the Fruit of Islam, his security force, has an eye on things twenty-four-hours a day.”

The Obama campaign said the blurb was not a full-fledged review of the book.

“He didn’t do a review. He provided one line about the book to the Tribune,” campaign spokesman Ben LaBolt told FOXNews.com.

A month before the item appeared, on Nov. 20, 1997, Michelle Obama, then dean of student services and director of the University Community Service Center, held a panel at the University of Chicago that featured both Barack Obama and Ayers.

“Ayers will be joined by Sen. Barack Obama, Senior Lecturer in the Law School, who is working to combat legislation that would put more juvenile offenders into the adult system,” the University of Chicago Chronicle reported on Nov. 6, 1997.

Obama has been criticized for refusing to elaborate on the extent of his relationship with Ayers and for claiming to have had no idea Ayers was a co-founder of the Weather Underground, which claimed responsibility for bombing the Pentagon, U.S. Capitol and a New York Supreme Court justice’s home in the Sixties.

The Obama campaign has noted that Obama was 8 years old when Ayers and the Weather Underground were active and has no link to their activities. Ayers has said he has “no regrets” about his participation in the domestic terror group.

“A Kind and Just Parent” was in stock at Amazon.com and ranked 51,273 in sales on Monday

 


http://elections.foxnews.com/2008/10/20/obama-praised-searing-timely-book-ayers/

Are the Polls Accurate?

Are the Polls Accurate?

Reading them right is more art than science.

Can we trust the polls this year? That’s a question many people have been asking as we approach the end of this long, long presidential campaign. As a recovering pollster and continuing poll consumer, my answer is yes — with qualifications.

[Commentary] Martin Kozlowski

To start with, political polling is inherently imperfect. Academic pollsters say that to get a really random sample, you should go back to a designated respondent in a specific household time and again until you get a response. But political pollsters who must report results overnight have to take the respondents they can reach. So they weight the results of respondents in different groups to get a sample that approximates the whole population they’re sampling.

Another problem is the increasing number of cell phone-only households. Gallup and Pew have polled such households, and found their candidate preferences aren’t much different from those with landlines; and some pollsters have included cell-phone numbers in their samples. A third problem is that an increasing number of Americans refuse to be polled. We can’t know for sure if they’re different in some pertinent respects from those who are willing to answer questions.

Professional pollsters are seriously concerned about these issues. But this year especially, many who ask if we can trust the polls are usually concerned about something else: Can we trust the poll when one of the presidential candidates is black?

It is commonly said that the polls in the 1982 California and the 1989 Virginia gubernatorial races overstated the margin for the black Democrats who were running — Tom Bradley and Douglas Wilder. The theory to account for this is that some poll respondents in each case were unwilling to say they were voting for the white Republican.

Further Reading

Tom Bradley Didn’t Lose Because of Race – Voters rejected his liberal policies.
By Sal Russo 10/20/2008

It’s not clear that race was the issue. Recently pollster Lance Tarrance and political consultant Sal Russo, who worked for Bradley’s opponent George Deukmejian, have written (Mr. Tarrance in RealClearPolitics.com, and Mr. Russo on this page) that their polls got the election right and that public pollsters failed to take into account a successful Republican absentee voter drive. Blair Levin, a Democrat who worked for Bradley, has argued in the same vein in the New York Times. In Virginia, Douglas Wilder was running around 50% in the polls and his Republican opponent Marshall Coleman was well behind; yet Mr. Wilder won with 50.1% of the vote.

These may have been cases of the common phenomenon of the better-known candidate getting about the same percentage from voters as he did in polls, and the lesser-known candidate doing better with voters than he had in the polls. Some significant percentage of voters will pull the lever for the Republican (or the Democratic) candidate even if they didn’t know his name or much about him when they entered the voting booth. In any case, Harvard researcher Daniel Hopkins, after examining dozens of races involving black candidates, reported this year, at a meeting of the Society of Political Methodology, that he’d found no examples of the “Bradley Effect” since 1996.

And what about Barack Obama? In most of the presidential primaries, Sen. Obama received about the same percentage of the votes as he had in the most recent polls. The one notable exception was in New Hampshire, where Hillary Clinton’s tearful moment seems to have changed many votes in the last days.

Yet there was a curious anomaly: In most primaries Mr. Obama tended to receive higher percentages in exit polls than he did from the voters. What accounts for this discrepancy?

While there is no definitive answer, it’s worth noting that only about half of Americans approached to take the exit poll agree to do so (compared to 90% in Mexico and Russia). Thus it seems likely that Obama voters — more enthusiastic about their candidate than Clinton voters by most measures (like strength of support in poll questions) — were more willing to fill out the exit poll forms and drop them in the box.

What this suggests is that Mr. Obama will win about the same percentage of votes as he gets in the last rounds of polling before the election. That’s not bad news for his campaign, as the polls stand now. The realclearpolitics.com average of recent national polls, as I write, shows Mr. Obama leading John McCain by 50% to 45%.

If Mr. Obama gets the votes of any perceptible number of undecideds (or if any perceptible number of them don’t vote) he’ll win a popular vote majority, something only one Democratic nominee, Jimmy Carter, has done in the last 40 years.

In state polls, Mr. Obama is currently getting 50% or more in the realclearpolitics.com averages in states with 286 electoral votes, including four carried by George W. Bush — Colorado, Iowa, New Mexico and Virginia. He leads, with less than 50%, in five more Bush ’04 states with 78 electoral votes — Florida, Missouri, Nevada, North Carolina and Ohio. It’s certainly plausible, given the current state of opinion, that he would carry several if not all of them.

Of course, the balance of opinion could change, as it has several times in this campaign, and as it has in the past. Harry Truman was trailing Thomas E. Dewey by 5% in the last Gallup poll in 1948, conducted between Oct. 15 and 25 — the same margin by which Mr. Obama seems to be leading now. But on Nov. 2, 18 days after Gallup’s first interviews and eight days after its last, Truman ended up winning 50% to 45%. Gallup may well have gotten it right when in the field; opinion could just have changed.

We have no way of knowing, since George Gallup was just about the only public pollster back then, and he decided on the basis of his experience in the three preceding presidential elections that there was no point in testing opinion in the last week. Now we have a rich body of polling data, of varying reliability, available.

And we will have the exit poll, the partial results of which will be released to the media clients of the Edison/Mitofsky consortium at 5 p.m. on Election Day. These clients should, I believe, use the numbers cautiously for the following reasons.

First, the exit polls in the recent presidential elections have tended to show the Democrats doing better than they actually did, partly because of interviewer error. The late Warren Mitofsky, in his study of the 2004 exit poll, found that the largest errors came in precincts where the interviewers were female graduate students.

Second, the exit polls in almost all the primaries this year showed Mr. Obama doing better than he actually did. The same respondent bias — the greater willingness of Obama voters to be polled — which apparently occurred on primary days could also occur in the exit poll on Election Day, and in the phone polls of early and absentee voters that Edison/Mitofsky will conduct to supplement it.

The exit poll gives us, and future political scientists, a treasure trove of information about the voting behavior of subgroups of the electorate, and also some useful insight into the reasons why people voted as they did. And the current plethora of polls gives us a rich lode of information on what voters are thinking at each stage of the campaign. But political polls are imperfect instruments. Reading them right is less a science than an art. We can trust the polls, with qualifications. We will have a chance to verify as the election returns come in.

Mr. Barone, a senior writer at U.S. News & World Report and a resident fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, is co-author of “The Almanac of American Politics 2008” (National Journal Group). From 1974 to 1981 he was a vice

Great Orators of the Democratic Party…

Great Orators of the Democratic Party

‘One man with courage makes a majority.’

  Andrew Jackson

 ‘The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.’

  Franklin D. Roosevelt

 
‘The buck stops here.’

  Harry S. Truman

 
‘Ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country.’

  – John F. Kennedy

 

 

And for today’s democrats

 

‘It depends what your definition of ‘IS’ is?”

  Bill Clinton

 

‘That Obama – I would like to cut his NUTS off.’

  – Jesse Jackson

 

‘Those rumors are false …. I believe in the sanctity of marriage.’

   – John Edwards 

 

‘I invented the Internet’

  – Al Gore

 

‘The next Person that tells me I’m not religious, I’m going to shove my rosary beads up their ***.’

  – Joe Biden

 
 
‘America is–is no longer, uh, what it–it, uh, could be, uh what it was once was…uh, and I say to myself, ‘uh, I don’t want that future, uh, uh for my children.’

   – Barack Obama

 
 ‘I have campaigned in all 57 states.

  – Barack Obama

 ‘You don’t need God anymore, you have us democrats.’

  – Nancy Pelosi     (said back in 2006)

The Transformative Pedagogy Of Bill Ayers

The Transformative Pedagogy Of Bill Ayers

By PHYLLIS SCHLAFLY | Posted Tuesday, October 21, 2008 4:30 PM PT

Will William Ayers be secretary of education in a Barack Obama administration? All parents should ponder that possibility before making their choice for president on Nov. 4.

After all, Ayers is a friend of Obama, and professor Ayers’ expertise is training teachers and developing public school curriculum. That’s been his mission since he gave up planting bombs in government buildings (including the U.S. Capitol and the Pentagon) and assaulting police officers.

"Communist street fighter," circa 2001.

“Communist street fighter,” circa 2001.

Ayers brashly admitted that he was “guilty as hell” in planting bombs in the 1970s, and that he has no regrets and feels that he and his Weather Underground associates “didn’t do enough.”

After successfully avoiding trial and prison because of legal technicalities, he picked up his Ph.D. at Columbia Teachers College for a second career, landing a tenured job as distinguished professor of education at the University of Illinois in Chicago.

Still An Extremist

Ayers’ political views are as radical now as they were in the 1970s. “Viva President Chavez!” he exclaimed in a speech in Venezuela in 2006, in which he also declared: “Education is the motor-force of revolution.”

From his prestigious and safe university position, Ayers has been teaching teachers and students in rebellion against American capitalism and what he calls “imperialism” and “oppression.” The code words for the Ayers curriculum are “social justice,” a “transformative” vision, “critical pedagogy,” “liberation,” “capitalist injustices,” “critical race theory,” “queer theory” and, of course, multiculturalism and feminism.

That language is typical in the readings that Ayers assigns in his university courses. He admits that he is a “communist street fighter” who has been influenced by Karl Marx, as well as Che Guevara, Ho Chi Minh and Malcolm X.

Ayers speaks openly of his desire to use America’s public school classrooms to train a generation of revolutionaries who will overturn the U.S. social and economic regime. He teaches that America is oppressive and unjust, socialism is the solution, and wealth and resources should be redistributed.

In Ayers’ course called “On Urban Education,” he calls for a “distribution of material and human resources.” His left-wing notions would be very compatible with those of Obama, who publicly told Joe the Plumber that we should “spread the wealth.”

Ayers’ books are among the most widely used in America’s education schools. Ayers even uses science and math courses as part of his “transformative” political strategy to teach that the American economic system is unjust.

Ayers is an endorser of a book called “Queering Elementary Education” by William J. Letts IV and James T. Sears, a collection of essays to teach adults and children to “think queerly.” The blurb on the cover quotes Ayers as saying this is “a book for all teachers . . . and, yes, it has an agenda.”

Unfortunately, Ayers’ far-out education theories are already having an effect in education schools. One after another, teachers colleges are using their courses to promote socialist notions of wealth distribution, “social justice,” diversity and environmentalism, and to punish students who resist this indoctrination by giving them low grades or even denying them graduation.

The U.S. Department of Education lists 15 high schools whose mission statements declare that their curricula center on “social justice.”

Propaganda about Obama is already finding favor with textbook publishers. The McDougal Littell eighth-grade advanced English literature book (copyright 2008, Houghton Mifflin Co.) has 15 pages featuring Obama and his “life of service.”

Define Change

Most of Ayers’ socialist propaganda is financed with taxpayer money at state universities and teachers colleges. Some of the schools that have adopted Ayers-style pedagogy have received grants from ACORN or from Bill Gates’ charitable foundation.

You might assume that Ayers’ political ideas would put him on the outer fringe of the left-wing education establishment. However, his peers recently elected him to serve as vice president for curriculum in the American Education Research Association, the largest organization of education school professors and researchers.

Is an appointment to the U.S. Department of Education his next career advancement? Is Ayers’ transformative public school curriculum the kind of “change” Obama will bring us?

Copyright 2008 Creators Syndicate, Inc

Obama’s donor credit card fraud problem

Responsibility for Fannie/Freddie

Responsibility for Fannie/Freddie

Richard Baehr
Everyone who is planning to vote Democrat in order to punish Republicans for the economic meltdown needs to watch this video clip. It shows the interim director of Fannie Mae (after Franklin Raines took off with his $90 million golden parachute) addressing black caucus, whom he calls the “conscience” of Fannie Mae. The guy’s name is Mudd– perfect.

Obama is given a special introduction.
Hat tip: a reader

The Joe-the-Plumber vote is bigger than you think

The Joe-the-Plumber vote is bigger than you think

By John Berlau

Joe the Plumber did more than add some levity to the last presidential debate. Joe, aka Joe Wurzelbacher of Ohio, just may have awakened a swing bloc of voters that could make the difference in this election. This voting group can be described as “the rich” and those who aspire to be, and believe it or not, they could actually represent more than 20 percent of the electorate.

Until Wurzelbacher launched into his challenge to Barack Obama’s rhetoric about the elusive “5 percent” of Americans whose taxes would be hiked, “the rich” seemed like some abstract, black-and-white concept. The U.S. economy, according to the Obama campaign and much of the media, was divided into either Wall Street fat cats or the rest of us Joe Six-Packs who barely had two nickels to rub together.

 

But Wurzelbacher put a face on the diverse class of voters could be classified as “rich” under a highly redistributionist tax plan such as that proposed by Obama. And the fact is that America has a dynamic economy with entrepreneurs and savers jumping back and forth into new income demographics all the time. As financial adviser Jim H. Ainsworth wrote on this site in August, “I know many people who have hit a high-income threshold only once in their lives.”

 

In their best-selling 1996 book The Millionaire Next Door, Thomas J. Stanley and William D. Danko documented that even most millionaires are difficult to distinguish from ordinary folks. Most “wear inexpensive suits and drive American-made cars,” the authors write. “Only a minority …drive the current-model-year automobile.” And 80 percent are “first-generation affluent.” What distinguishes them are frugality, disciplined investment habits, and entrepreneurial risk-taking. According to Stanley and Danko, “self-employed people make up less than 20 percent of the workers in America but account for two-thirds of the millionaires.”

 

What’s more, according to the authors, many of the millionaires’ businesses “could be classified as dull/normal. [They] are welding contractors, auctioneers, rice farmers, owners of mobile-home parks, pest controllers, coin and stamp dealers, and paving contractors.” It’s this not-so-exclusive club that Wurzelbacher wants to join by owning his own plumbing business. He may not make it to profits of $250,000 a year – the threshold at which Obama says his tax hikes for families will begin — but doesn’t want the tax system to penalize him if he does. Given the fact that unlike Wall Street titans, Wurzelbacher and others won’t get a taxpayer bailout if they fail, they probably want to put every penny they can into expanding their businesses further.

 

But with his reply to Wurzelbacher, Obama made it clear to him and many others in his situation that they would face higher taxes not because of pressing budget needs, but simply to advance the redistributionist notion of “spread[ing] the wealth around.” This fits in the with the observation of the highly sympathetic New York Times Magazine article on Obama’s economic policies that nevertheless noted that Obama’s proposed tax hikes were far more “progressive” than even those enacted by the Clinton administration. According to the article, “Obama’s agenda starts not with raising taxes to reduce the deficit, as Clinton’s ended up doing, but with changing the tax code so that families making more than $250,000 a year pay more taxes and nearly everyone else pays less.”

 

The $250,000 figure has also to this point made good politics. It has allowed Obama to maintain that 95 percent will not pay more taxes. But even assuming Obama holds to this promise, the “5 percent” — and those like Wurzelbacher who wish to join it — actually represent a substantial bloc of voters.

 

The rich as a voting bloc? The idea seems strange because one of the things that define the wealthy as a class is that there are supposedly so few of them. Thus, even some conservative writers take it for granted that their only importance in the electoral process is in giving money to candidates and causes. In arguing in his book Comeback that tax cuts are basically dead as an issue, David Frum argues that the top 1 percent of earners pay one-third of the taxes. He then adds, however, that “they still cast only 1 percent of the votes.”

 

Frum is certainly correct on his first point that the rich pay an overwhelming share of the tax burden. But the latter part of his argument contains a fallacy common in observing voters. That is, he assumes that all groups vote in proportion to their share or the U.S adult population, or even their eligibility to vote. The fact is that in elections with around 50 percent voter participation rates – and a 50 percent turnout would be high — upper-income voters still have recently constituted almost 25 percent of the electorate. As liberal financial columnist Daniel Gross has written in Slate, “Because we’re in an age of mass affluence, and because wealthier people tend to vote more frequently than poorer people do, the voting behavior of the rich can be almost as significant as the political donations they make.”

 

In the Congressional elections of 2006, those making more than $100,000 a year made up 23 percent of the voters, according to the CNN exit polls.  And those making more than $200,000 were 10 percent of the voters. And these upper-income voters were pretty evenly distributed across geographic regions, constituting more than 25 percent of the electorate in the East and West, 23 percent in the South, and 18 percent in the Midwest.

 

From the way the GOP is described as the party of the rich, you’d think Republicans would have this voting bloc in the bag. But in truth, upper-income voters have been drifting toward the Democrats in the last few election cycles. In fact, in the 2006 elections, Gross contends, rich voters may have been instrumental in handing back control of Congress to the Democrats.

 

That year, on a nationwide basis, GOP candidates won households making more than $100,000 a year by a bare majority of just 51 percent. “[I]t’s quite possible that the defection of angry rich folks might have tipped the balance in places like the Rhode Island and Virginia Senate races [where GOP incumbents Lincoln Chafee and George Allen were defeated, respectively by Democrats Sheldon Whitehouse and Jim Webb] and Republican House losses in Pennsylvania, Connecticut, New Hampshire, Colorado, and Arizona,” Gross wrote.

 

“The rich,” like other income demographics, are as a diverse political class. But this year, upper income voters are in play because of the direct threat of the vast and looming tax hikes Obama and other Democrats have explicitly promised. It’s not just Joe the plumber’s income taxes that will go up once his family hits the magic number $250,000. Obama’s plan would also subject his entire earnings above $250,000 to the 12.4 percent payroll tax for Social Security and Medicare. Currently this tax is capped at $102,000 per year.

 

As Andrew Biggs, former deputy principal commissioner at the Social Security Administration has written in the Wall Street Journal, “The U.S. already collects far more Social Security taxes from high earners than other countries do … and Mr. Obama’s plan would make it more so.” Financial Times columnist Rob Arnott has also pointed out “the proposed” tax hikes, combined with state and local taxes, total taxes “can quickly exceed 60 percent” for the affluent.

 

But note the Arnott’s use of the phrase “the proposed” without identification of the candidate doing the proposing. At the beginning of his column, he wrote, “High taxes are a near certainty in 2009, no matter who wins in 2008.” In addition to the FT, Kiplinger’s and USA Today’s “Money” section have featured articles about looming taxes next year. But like Arnott’s column, they both leave the impression that taxes will go up no matter who is elected, and don’t mention that one campaign has promised to leave current tax rates in place for everyone, while the other has proposed massive new tax hikes for “the wealthy.” 
Republicans and John McCain’s campaign have had trouble unclogging this media blockage of information about just who “the rich” are and how much they will likely be “soaked” under Obama. But Joe the plumber just may have opened the pipes and spread the message to those who don’t wish to see their newly acquired wealth go down the political drain.

 

John Berlau is director of the Center for Entrepreneurship at the Competitive Enterprise Institute and blogs at CEI’s Open Market.org.

Al-Jazeera for Obama

Al-Jazeera for Obama

 By Cliff Kincaid  Monday, October 20, 2008
Colin Powell’s predicted and expected endorsement of Barack Obama was transformed into big news by the pro-Obama media. But Arab propaganda channel Al-Jazeera’s intervention in the U.S. presidential contest is also extremely significant. Al-Jazeera, a mouthpiece for enemies of the United States, aired a Moammar Gadhafi speech praising Obama and followed with a story depicting supporters of Sarah Palin as white racist Christians. The channel is subsidized by the oil-rich Sunni Muslim plutocracy/dictatorship in Qatar

The Al-Jazeera “reporter” who did the hit piece on Palin was Casey Kaufmann, who surfaces in Federal Election Commission (FEC) records as a $500 contributor to the Obama-for-president campaign and is based in Doha, Qatar.

The first plank in Al-Jazeera’s “code of ethics” includes a statement about “giving no priority to commercial or political considerations over professional ones,” which would seem to preclude political activities and contributions.

Kaufmann apparently didn’t get a copy of the ethics code when he was hired by the terrorist propaganda channel and made his $500 contribution to Obama. The contribution was recorded by the FEC back in February, before he made his way to Ohio to a Palin rally in search of ways to smear the GOP vice-presidential nominee. It’s no wonder that former ABC newsman Dave Marash, once considered the “American face” of the English-language version of the channel, quit in disgust in March. He cited anti-American bias and other factors.

We’re probably asking too much if we request that Al-Jazeera take its ethics code down from its official website since it’s painfully clear that the rules don’t apply to Kaufmann or anybody else at the channel. It’s to Marash’s credit that he had the honesty and integrity to quit. 

Al-Jazeera is the mouthpiece for al Qaeda and other terrorist groups and inspires foreign Muslim fighters to go to places like Iraq and Afghanistan to kill Americans. Accuracy in Media produced a documentary about the channel, warning U.S. cable and satellite providers to beware of its incendiary programming. Our video showed clips of terrorists saying they went to Iraq to kill Americans because of what they saw on Al-Jazeera.

Among other things, we noted that Al-Jazeera’s first managing director was an agent of the Saddam Hussein regime and that one of its Afghanistan reporters, Tayseer Alouni, went to prison in Spain on terrorism charges. Al-Jazeera paid Alouni’s salary, legal fees and “related expenses” during his trial and continues to defend him.

Judea Pearl, father of slain Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl, has called Al-Jazeera “today’s greatest recruiter for terrorism.” Pearl was murdered by al Qaeda.

In July of this year, Pearl notes, Al-Jazeera threw a birthday party for Samir Kuntar, a released terrorist who had smashed the head of a four-year-old girl with his rifle butt in 1979 after killing her father before her eyes. Kuntar had been released by Israel in exchange for the bodies of two Israeli soldiers, who were kidnapped by Hezbollah in 2006.

Kuntar’s birthday party was “initiated and choreographed by Al-Jazeera’s bureau in Beirut and aired on Al-Jazeera TV July 19,” Pearl noted.

“Brother Samir,” the interviewer says, “we would like to celebrate your birthday with you. You deserve even more than this. I think that 11,000 prisoners―if they can see this program now―are celebrating your birthday with you. Happy birthday, brother Samir.”

One of the regular personalities on Al-Jazeera is Yusuf al-Qaradawi, who has inflamed Sunni-Shia tensions in the Muslim world, in addition to encouraging suicide bombings against Americans. He has been banned from entering the U.S.

Now the terrorist channel has turned its sights on the American presidential election, intervening in an effort to make those in the U.S. opposed to Obama appear to the outside world as white Christian racists. The YouTube video of Kaufmann’s report has been viewed by more than one million people.

In another interesting video that has surfaced on Al-Jazeera, Libya’s Moammar Gadhafi is shown giving a speech in which he describes Obama as someone with an “African and Islamic identity” running for president of the U.S. with Arab and Muslim backing.  WorldNetDaily was the first national website to highlight these comments, which were monitored by the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI).

“All the people in the Arab and Islamic world and in Africa applauded this man [Obama]… [and] may have even been involved in legitimate contribution campaigns” to his campaign, said Gadhafi. The Libyan dictator described Obama as “a black citizen of Kenyan African origins, a Muslim, who had studied in an Islamic school in Indonesia.”

The Gadhafi address aired on Al-Jazeera TV on June 11, 2008.

While Gadhafi is pumping up the crowds on behalf of Obama abroad, Casey Kaufmann’s assignment was to find some controversial Palin supporters making controversial comments, in order to depict Obama’s opposition in the U.S. as racist rabble. It was “mission accomplished” for Kaufmann’s Arab backers and financial sponsors.

Predictably, far-left websites such as the Huffington Post were quick to exploit the Kaufmann report in order to make anti-Republican points.

“Hate and fear are still powerful forces in American society,” stated Kaufmann, in a report that was headlined as revealing popular “misconceptions” about the Democratic presidential nominee.

What were those misconceptions? According to Kaufmann’s report, some of the people in Ohio thought Obama had links to terrorists. Is it possible they came to this conclusion because of Obama’s actual and documented association with terrorists?

Others in Kaufmann’s piece thought that Obama and his wife may harbor anti-white views. Could this conclusion be based on Obama’s association over a 20-year period with a racist like Rev. Jeremiah Wright?

The facts, of course, didn’t matter to Kaufmann.

We don’t know how many Palin people were interviewed in order to find the select few who surfaced in the report and made disparaging remarks about Obama and Obama’s supporters. But Colbert King of the Washington Post was sufficiently impressed by this propaganda piece that he wrote about Al-Jazeera’s visit to a “white working class community” in Ohio in an October 18 column under the inflammatory headline, “A Rage No One Should Be Stoking.” King, who is black, is offended that some white people don’t like Obama or what he stands for. King is himself angry because Palin and McCain have belatedly begun focusing attention on Obama’s ties to terrorists who killed Americans.

But realizing that he would look like a complete fool if he offered up anti-American propaganda from Al-Jazeera without any critical comment, King posed the big question: “Was this fodder served up by Al-Jazeera to feed anti-American sentiment overseas?” He answered himself: “To be sure. But the camera didn’t lie. Did Al-Jazeera, however, record the whole truth?”

King’s conclusion was that the only way the Al-Jazeera report would turn out to be untrue is if Obama is elected president. In other words, white people have to prove they’re not racists by voting for Obama. On the other hand, if record numbers of blacks vote for Obama, in the 90-95 percent range, that is not by definition racism. This is the double-standard that is being used to browbeat whites into voting for Obama. King knows that if Obama doesn’t get a significant percentage of the white vote, he will lose.

Kaufmann’s cameras did lie, of course, in failing to explain why Americans believe Obama has links to terrorists and racists. One point of Kaufmann’s piece was that Americans are racist if they take note of the racism that shaped Obama. So Palin’s supporters couldn’t come out looking good no matter what. This is what made Kaufmann’s story an amateurish piece of foreign propaganda. It was almost laughable.

Al-Jazeera has the right to produce such trash and distribute it around the world. But the Kaufmann “report” will serve as another reason why major U.S. cable and satellite providers should have second thoughts about putting this propaganda on the air on a regular basis. It’s too bad that columnists for the Post don’t have higher standards.
(0) Reader Feedback | Click here to get Canada Free Press in your email

Cliff Kincaid is the Editor of the AIM Report.

Cliff can be reached at cliff.kincaid@aim.org

Older articles by Cliff Kincaid

Cliff Kincaid most recent columns