Thursday, April 3, 2008

Barack Obama’s Radical Side

Over the past several months, numerous chain emails have circulated around the country. These emails make several misleading claims about Democratic Presidential candidate, Barack Obama. These emails made claims that Obama was a Muslim who took his oath of office on the Koran rather than the Bible, that he refuses to say the Pledge of Allegiance to the US flag, and that he was educated in radical Muslim schools. All of these claims were either totally false or exaggerated. The truth about Barack Obama would be almost as disturbing to most mainstream Americans.

Throughout his life, Barack Obama has kept company with leftist radicals and anti-Americans. Obama’s long association with Rev. Jeremiah Wright is now widely known and discussed in the media. Despite admitting to a personal friendship with Wright and attending his church for twenty years, Obama claims to never have heard any of the myriads of anti-American diatribes delivered by Rev. Wright.

Among the controversial comments of Rev. Wright are his claim that 9/11 represented “America’s chickens coming home to roost” as a result of US support of Israel and South Africa. He also claimed that the US government gave drugs to blacks in order to be able to imprison them and created the AIDS virus to kill black people. On at least one occasion, Wright claimed that blacks should sing “God damn America” rather than “God bless America.”

In his book, “Dreams From My Father,” Obama discusses his association with a poet named “Frank.” Obama describes Frank as a person who was much like a father and who gave him advice on his career. Frank has been identified as black poet and Communist Party-USA member, Frank Marshal Davis.

Davis was identified as a communist by the Commission on Subversive Activities report to the Hawaiian legislature in 1951. The House Un-American Activities Commission also identified Davis as active in several communist front groups. During its heyday of the 1950s and 1960s, the CPUSA was received funding and support directly from the Soviet Union.

While campaigning for elected office in 1995, Obama became friends with William Ayers and Bernadine Dohrn. Ayers and Dohrn were convicted members of the Weather Underground, a 1960s leftist terror group. The group was involved in a Brinks truck robbery in which a guard and two New York State Troopers were killed, as well as the bombings targeting US military officers. In 2001, Ayers told the NY Times, “I don't regret setting bombs; I feel we didn't do enough.”

More recently, a key Obama fundraiser, Chicago businessman, Tony Rezko, was arrested in January 2008 on charges of hiding assets while on a bond. He was originally arrested several years earlier on corruption charges relating to Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich.

Rezko’s association with Barack Obama goes back to 1990 when a Rezko executive read an article by Obama in the Harvard Law Review. The executive introduced Obama to Rezko when he learned of Obama’s interest in politics. When Obama ran for office in 1995, Rezko became one of his first contributors.

When the Obamas shopped for a house in the Chicago area, they found a $1.65 million dollar mansion with four fireplaces, a wine cellar, and a wrought iron fence. The problem was that the house was owned by a doctor who also owned a vacant lot next door and wanted to sell both properties at the same time. The Obamas could not afford both properties. The Obamas closed on their house in June 2005 and, on the same day, Rezko’s wife bought the vacant lot for $625,000. The Rezkos later sold a portion of the property to Obama for $104,500 and paid $14,000 to build a fence on the property line.

Obama remained a friend of Rezko throughout Rezko’s criminal investigation. The friendship finally cooled after Rezko’s indictment. Obama reportedly may be called as a witness in Rezko’s corruption trial due to the fact that he engineered $10,000 in illegal contributions to Obama’s campaign.

When we view Obama’s past associations, it is easier to understand Michelle Obama’s comment that “For the first time in my adult life, I am proud of my country.” Based upon the people whom Obama chooses to associate with, and whom he courts as political allies, he may very well share his wife’s pessimistic views of the United States in spite of his denials.

It is also interesting to note who Barack Obama’s supporters are around the world. Daniel Ortega, communist President of Nicaragua, said that Obama lays “the foundation for revolutionary change” in the US. Cuban dictator, Fidel Castro, called a hypothetical Obama-Hillary ticket “invincible.” Most Americans would probably prefer not to have the support of Communist dictators.

A closer look at Obama’s record as a public servant, both in Illinois and in the US Senate, would also disturb most Americans. National Journal named Obama as the most liberal senator in the entire US Senate in 2007. (Hillary Clinton was 16th.) He has ratings of 100% from the Planned Parenthood, NAACP, Illinois Environmental Council, and the National Organization for Women, as well as 92% from the AFL-CIO. Conversely, he was 0% by the National Right to Life Committee, Americans for Tax Reform, and Federation for Immigration Reform. He was also given 8% by the American Conservative Union and an ‘F’ by the NRA.

With respect to abortion, while in the Illinois state senate, Obama voted against a law that have guaranteed the right to life for any baby born alive. This law would not have affected legal abortions, but would have prevented the killing of any baby born living. Obama also said that he did not want his daughters “punished” with a baby for making “a mistake.”

On fiscal issues, Obama is a proponent of tax increases. Obama has floated plans to repeal the Bush tax cuts and to increase the Social Security payroll tax. Obama specifically plans to raise taxes on the “wealthiest Americans.” He also opposes ending the Death Tax, the Estate Tax, even though this tax causes many family businesses to fail. Obama voted to repeal the capital gains tax cut. The capital gains tax affects millions of Americans who sell homes or own retirement accounts. Tax increases have historically caused the economy shrink and reduced tax revenues.

Ironically, Obama used his influence as a senator to win tax breaks for companies in Illinois. His campaign stated that tax breaks "lower costs for customers and create jobs." This is correct, but it is not a policy that Obama seeks to implement beyond his home state.

Obama’s healthcare plan would reduce market forces in the health care industry and replace them with government mandates. His plan calls on government subsidies, which in turn require massive tax increases to provide funding. He also wants to define minimum benefits and place limits on deductibles and co-payments. These regulations would strangle innovation and efficiency. In spite of his claims, Obama’s healthcare plan is not truly universal coverage. It does retain some freedom to choose not to purchase coverage.

Obama’s energy policy is centered on cap-and-trade of carbon emissions and renewable energy. Cap-and-trade involves the buying and selling of pollution credits. Companies would be required to bid for a limited number of these pollution credits. In a growing economy, demand for these credits would send their prices skyrocketing. This would further increase the cost of consumer goods and drain the bank accounts of American families.

Renewable energy sources are inadequate and impractical with current technology. Biofuels require more energy to create and transport than they would supply. Creating enough biofuels to make a meaningful impact on oil imports would require that prohibitively large areas of the US be dedicated to crops for biofuel production. Diversion of crops to biofuels causes food prices to increase. Similarly, solar and wind power requires large areas of land dedicated to solar collection. There are also problems with storage of electricity from solar and wind power, as well as the changing nature of the winds and clouds. Nuclear energy, the most promising and cost effective renewable energy source, is seldom mentioned.

With respect to the War on Terror, Obama would remove all US combat troops from Iraq within sixteen months. This would create a power vacuum that would be filled by either Al Qaeda on Iranian-backed Shiite groups. The sacrifices of the US and Iraqi troops would be squandered. Thousands of Iraqis who have aided the Coalition-supported government of Iraq would be murdered. American prestige would suffer and our enemies would gain control of Iraq’s oil fields, further endangering the American economy.

Barack Obama is neither a moderate nor a consensus builder. His associates and his record portray him as an extreme leftist who is far from the American mainstream. His excellent public speaking skills are no substitute for experience and understanding of economics and diplomacy. Should we really expect the most liberal senator in the country to bring us together?


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