Obama’s Problem Mentors

Obama’s Problem Mentors

Rick Moran
First there was Jeremiah Wright. Is Emil Jones next?

The press had a field day with Obama’s religious mentor and friend. But the story behind Obama’s political mentor also contains some disturbing elements. 

Emil Jones, the Democratic leader of the Illinois State Senate is the man who is credited with propelling the little known state senator to the political heights in Washington.

“You have the power to elect a US senator,” Obama told Emil Jones, Democratic leader of the Illinois state senate. Jones looked at the ambitious young man smiling before him and asked, teasingly: “Do you know anybody I could make a US senator?”

According to Jones, Obama replied: “Me.” It was his first, audacious step in a spectacular rise from the murky political backwaters of Springfield, the Illinois capital.

At one point during Obama’s 2003 Senate campaign, Jones set out to woo two African-American politicians miffed by Obama’s presumption and ambition. One of them, Rickey “Hollywood” Hendon, a state senator, had scoffed that Obama was so ambitious he would run for “king of the world” if the position were vacant.

When Jones secured the two men’s support, Obama asked his mentor how he had pulled it off. “I made them an offer,” Jones said in mock-mafioso style. “And you don’t want to know.”

Jones is now at the centre of a long row over his attempt to block proposed laws cracking down on his state’s “pay-to-play” tradition – whereby companies hoping to win government contracts have to contribute to the campaign funds of officials.

Jones staff say he blocked the bill because he intends to produce something tougher. No proposals have appeared.

Jones helped Obama prior to his run for the US senate by assigning high profile legislation to the candidate thus filling out his fairly pathetic record as a state senator. Most of Obama’s “accomplshments” in Springfield were the result of Jones allowing Obama a prominent role in getting legislation through the senate – legislation that in many cases had been introduced and championed over the years by other lawmakers.

Again, no one is accusing Obama of doing anything illegal. But as the evidence grows that he is just another politician and someone whose mentors are anything but paragons of virtue and probity, whatever otherworldly sheen that surrounded him begins to fall off and we can see him for what he truly is; a shrewd, politically gifted, far left politician.

HT: Ed Lasky

How Illegal Immigration Harms Arizona

How Illegal Immigration Harms Arizona

 1. Arizona’s 5.7 million population includes an estimated 500,000 illegal aliens. That means that nearly 1 in 10
     people are in Arizona illegally.

 2. Much of the violent crime in the Phoenix area involves illegal aliens.

 3. Illegal immigration costs Arizona taxpayers about $1.3 billion per year in education, health care and
     incarceration costs alone.

 4. Many illegal aliens work in skilled jobs at below market wages. This not only takes jobs away from citizens
     and legal immigrants but also lowers wages and benefits for all.

 5. Mexican immigrants alone will send as much as $20 billion in cash this year to relatives in Mexico, according to
     projections by Mexico’s Central Bank. That figure is three times what total remittances were five years ago,
     when the amount was $6.6 billion. If the 2005 estimates hold true, remittances probably would become the
     largest source of foreign exchange in Mexico, bank officials said, surpassing even oil. This outflow of cash
     hurts the Arizona and U.S. economies.

 6. Illegal aliens evade the medical exams that legal immigrants must take when entering the U.S. Consequently,
     illegal immigrants are bringing in communicable diseases that had previously disappeared in the U.S., such as
     multi-drug resistant TB, chagas disease, leprosy, dengue fever, polio and malaria.

 7. In recent congressional testimony, Adm. James Loy, deputy Homeland Security secretary, said al-Qaida
     operatives believe they can pay to get into the country through Mexico and that entering illegally is “more
     advantageous than legal entry.”

 8. Of the aliens caught sneaking over the border in the Tucson sector during the past 12 months, 31,000 had
     U.S. criminal records, Border Patrol figures show. The immigration trade is now dominated by professional smugglers
     who move humans and drugs north using vehicles stolen by organized gangs. The Phoenix area has the highest
     rate of auto theft in the nation, according to police and auto insurers. Smugglers resist arrest, sometimes with
     rocks or even gunfire…  (BusinessWeek Online 10/10/05)

9. Nearly one in five babies in Arizona is born to a mother living in the country illegally, according to a study of 2002
    birth records and other government data by the Center for Immigration Studies. Children born to undocumented
    immigrants “anchor” babies because when they turn 21, they can sponsor their parents for legal permanent residency.
    (Center for Immigration Studies reported in The Arizona Republic Online 11/25/05)

10. Arizona consistently has one of the nation’s highest rates of fatal hit-and-run crashes. And some statistical evidence
     suggests the state’s large number of illegal immigrants is one reason. (“The Hit-Kill-and-Run State: Arizona nears grim
     title” by Mitch Tobin and Tim Ellis, Arizona Daily Star,Tucson, Arizona, 12.18.2005 – Internet)

Latin America’s Leftist Menace

Latin America’s Leftist Menace
By Frank J Gaffney Jr.
The Washington Times | October 18, 2006

America’s preoccupation with the crises du jour — the rising terrorist menace to the liberation of Iraq, the Iranian regime’s determination to acquire the means to act on its genocidal threats against Israel and the United States and, most recently, North Korea’s nuclear coming-out party — has left Washington ill-prepared to deal with one of tomorrow’s major security challenges: the rise of the radical anti-American left in Latin America. The emergence of Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez as the oil-rich heir to Fidel Castro’s revolutionary ambitions has translated into a mortal threat to liberal democracy, freedom and economic opportunity in much of the hemisphere. With Mr. Chavez’s money and Mr. Castro’s coaching, the two have adapted the longstanding Cuban revolutionary program of violent overthrow of elected governments to meet present circumstances. Today, virulent leftists are seeking, and frequently succeeding at, obtaining power through the ballot box then using it to destroy their government’s constitutional processes and any checks on that power.

The United States government has paid scant attention as Bolivia and Argentina have moved squarely into the Chavez-Castro orbit. A similar disastrous outcome was narrowly averted in Peru but may well be in the offing at this writing in Ecuador. 

The region’s largest country, Brazil, is in the hands of a long-time Castro ally, Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva. Despite his differences with Mr. Chavez and generally moderate approach to economic policy, Lula can be expected to make renewed common cause with the leftist agenda if he is re-elected on Oct. 29. 

Particularly appalling, the region’s Axis of Evil is poised, all other things being equal, to return Nicaragua — the country Ronald Reagan did so much to help free from the Sandinistas’ communist rule — to the tender mercies of their long-time authoritarian comandante, Daniel Ortega. 

Washington’s inattention may also encourage the most strategically important reversal sustained to date by the Chavez-Castro axis to be substantially undone. Despite its concerted and well-heeled efforts to ensure the election as president of Mexico of an ideological soul-mate, Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, the results of a remarkably clean election gave the victory to a pro-American conservative, Felipe Calderon. There is, as a result, an unprecedented opportunity for constructive relations between the U.S. and Mexican governments. 

Unfortunately, this opportunity — with all it portends for economic prosperity, sensible immigration policies and a common front against the hemisphere’s radical left — could be squandered if Mr. Calderon yields to pressure to make the same mistake as his predecessor, Vicente Fox. That will be the effect if the new president of Mexico restores to office Mr. Fox’s first foreign minister, Jorge Castaneda. 

As a new analysis by Fredo Arias-King just released by the Center for Security Policy makes clear, Mr. Castaneda and his team (including such figures as Mexico’s former consul in New York, Arturo Sarukhan, Mr. Castaneda’s controversial half-brother Andres Rozental and Ricardo Pascoe, former Mexican ambassador to Cuba) are themselves radical leftists who did grave harm to U.S.-Mexico relations the last time around — and will surely do so again if given the chance. 

For example, they were instrumental in withdrawing Mexico from the decades-old mutual defense pact known as the Treaty of Rio, a decision announced ironically just days before the September 11 attacks in 2001. They seemed determined to find occasions to work at cross-purposes with the United States — notably, in connection with our effort to hold Saddam Hussein accountable to various Security Council resolutions. 

Most troubling, however, was the Castaneda cabal’s efforts to convert the initially pro-U.S. Fox and his government into friends of the hard left throughout Latin America. 

Mr. Castaneda personally engineered closer ties to the Castro apparatus in Cuba, encouraged the narco-terrorist FARC in Colombia and strove to rehabilitate Danny Ortega and his Sandinista Party in Nicaragua. It is not hard to assign responsibility for these initiatives, since they were abandoned immediately after Mr. Castaneda left the foreign ministry. 

As a result not only of their ideological bent but their incompetence, Mr. Castaneda and his team blew the opportunity afforded when the newly inaugurated George Bush assigned top priority to what he called a “special relationship” with Mexico and traveled there as his symbolic first trip abroad. Mexico dropped in the priority list for Washington, even before September 11, and has never recovered since. 

The possibility that the likes of Jorge Castaneda might return to power is especially dangerous for both Mexico and the United States at a moment when Mr. Ortega may triumph over a divided democratic-right in Nicaragua and the Chavez-Castro axis is making inroads in so many other places. Under Mr. Castaneda or his cabal, it is unimaginable that the Mexican government would play the constructive role it might otherwise perform in the post-Castro transition in Cuba. 

It would be a tragedy if, at this critical juncture — and despite the preferences a majority of Mexicans expressed at the ballot box, Felipe Calderon were to squander the chance for Mexico to serve as a bulwark against the combined dangers of Chavismo and Fidelismo and to enjoy a strong, constructive and mutually beneficial relationship with the United States. It is in the interests of both of our countries that President Calderon’s vision of a freedom-loving and -supporting Mexico be represented at the foreign ministry, not that of Hugo Chavez, Fidel Castro and Jorge Castaneda.