Friday, October 31, 2008

From Radarsite: An announcement to my readers

A message from Radarsite to my readers: Beginning today, October 31, 2008, I will be contributing to, and crossposting with, the excellent and widely-respected conservative website Faultline USA. Although I didn't make a formal announcement at the time, I earlier agreed to join with Snooper's Take Our Country Back and Findalis' Monkey in the Middle. This now brings the total number of great conservative websites in our family to eleven. I believe that it would not be an exaggeration to claim that we have gathered together under one roof some of the best conservative sites on the web. The combined experience and expertise of these authors is truly exceptional. I am so proud to be associated with this fine group of talented patriots, and I look forward to our future collaboration with great enthusiasm. Here is the roster of our new group. - rg

The Embarrassment of Victory? Obama Lowers Expectations

Barack Obama lays plans to deaden expectation after election victory
From the Times Online
October 31, 2008
Tim Reid in Washington

Barack Obama’s senior advisers have drawn up plans to lower expectations for his presidency if he wins next week’s election, amid concerns that many of his euphoric supporters are harbouring unrealistic hopes of what he can achieve.
The sudden financial crisis and the prospect of a deep and painful recession have increased the urgency inside the Obama team to bring people down to earth, after a campaign in which his soaring rhetoric and promises of “hope” and “change” are now confronted with the reality of a stricken economy.

One senior adviser told The Times that the first few weeks of the transition, immediately after the election, were critical, “so there’s not a vast mood swing from exhilaration and euphoria to despair”.

The aide said that Mr Obama himself was the first to realise that expectations risked being inflated.
In an interview with a Colorado radio station, Mr Obama appeared to be engaged already in expectation lowering. Asked about his goals for the first hundred days, he said he would need more time to tackle such big and costly issues as health care reform, global warming and Iraq. “The first hundred days is going to be important, but it’s probably going to be the first thousand days that makes the difference,” he said. He has also been reminding crowds in recent days how “hard” it will be to achieve his goals, and that it will take time.

“I won’t stand here and pretend that any of this will be easy – especially now,” Mr Obama told a rally in Sarasota, Florida, yesterday, citing “the cost of this economic crisis, and the cost of the war in Iraq”. Mr Obama’s transition team is headed by John Podesta, a Washington veteran and a former chief-of-staff to Bill Clinton. He has spent months overseeing a virtual Democratic government-in-exile to plan a smooth transition should Mr Obama emerge victorious next week. The plans are so far advanced that an Obama Cabinet has been largely decided upon, with the expectation that most of his senior appointments could be announced shortly after election day.

Yet Mr Obama and his aides are under no illusions about the size of the challenges the Democrat will inherit if he enters the Oval Office. Tom Daschle, the party’s former leader in the US Senate and a strong contender for the post of White House chief-of-staff in an Obama administration, said last month that the winner next week would have only a 50 per cent chance of winning a second term in 2012.

Not only will the next president take office with the country sliding into a potentially long recession — and mired in debt — but the challenges abroad are immense. There is an unfinished war in Iraq, a worsening situation in Afghanistan and an unstable and nuclear-armed Pakistan to contend with. Iran appears intent on acquiring the bomb and there remains the ever-present threat from al-Qaeda and Islamic extremists.

If he wins, Mr Obama will inherit a Democratic-controlled Congress, and might even have the benefit of a 60-seat filibuster-proof “supermajority” in the Senate. Such a scenario would allow him to push through legislation largely unfettered by Republican opposition. Yet it also means that should the country still be mired in recession in three years’ time, voters — who have short memories — will probably blame him and the Democrats on Capitol Hill. Those stakes have led Mr Obama to conclude that while expectations need to be tempered, big things need to be achieved very early in his first term, when he will still have the political capital to achieve some of his most ambitious legislative goals.

Having promised “real” change, the pressure will be on him to deliver. In the Colorado interview, Mr Obama added: “The next president has got to come quickly out of the box.”

The early priorities being lined up if he takes power are a mixture of symbolism and substance. He plans to make a major address in a big Muslim country early in his first term. Having pledged on the campaign trail to close Guantanamo Bay, he is also determined to make early moves to rid America of the controversial prison. Yet what to do with the remaining inmates looms as an intractable problem, as many of their home governments refuse to allow them to return.

Mr Obama’s first legislative goals will be to follow through on his pledge to cut taxes for the middle class and raise them for the wealthiest Americans, and to push through a hugely expensive Bill to provide near-universal health insurance.

Weathermen Violence: Someone Remembers

Cross-posted by Maggie at Maggie's Notebook

I received a comment from the daughter of police officer who lost his friend and fellow officer in a Black Liberation Army murder, known as the Brinks robbery of 1981, in Nyack, New York. Bill Ayers' fellow Weather Underground bomber, Kathy Boudin, as well as other Weathermen, was involved in the Nyack shootings. I've asked for permission to add the comment here, so let's begin with this from Christine:

The first time I ever saw my Father cry was the day his friend Officer Brown was shot in the line of duty by the Weather Underground, in my hometown of Nyack NY.

Later, Dad was asked to serve as a sharpshooter on the courthouse roof at the arraignment of the survivors (several of them died too at the shootout over a Brinks truck they were trying to steal).

Dad refused that job, he didn't trust himself to be just to the Greenwich Village protesters who'd traveled up from the city to hurl racial slurs at our dead in support of the criminals.

Officer Brown's fiancee worked at Nyack hospital with my Mom. The whole hospital was convulsed as they had to care for the wounded killers as well as their neighbors.

How ironic that a movement supposedly in favor of lifting up African Americans did their work by shooting an African American man well known for mentoring young men in our town.

Has Ayers repented from his works, or merely implemented them in a respectable place? I was in 6th grade when I saw where his ideas lead.
Christine has further clarified to me that it was not the Weather Underground but the Black Liberation Army that caused the deaths, but as I told her, there is a definite connection between the two.

William Ayers continues to say that the Weathermen ALWAYS notified their bomb targets that a bomb would be exploding within minutes. Hofstra University Professor Alan Singer, a spokesman for a recent petition in support of Bill Ayers' "character," a petition with some-3200 signatures, recently said in an interview that Ayers' actions placed no one's life was in jeopardy. We know that is not true.

Here is how Christine's story is related to Bill Ayers?

After the Weather Underground's extensive and successful bombings of U.S. Federal buildings, the group's bomb makers huddled in a New York townhouse basement, building a bomb to blow up a military dance at Fort Dix, NJ. The bomb blew early...killing three Weathermen - one of which was Bill Ayers' love interest, and sending one occupant who was taking a shower at the time of the explosion, into the streets, naked and bleeding. Her name is Kathy Boudin and she is a Weather Undergrounder. The townhouse owner, and also a Weatherman, Cathy Wilkerson, also survived.

The Townhouse
No lives at jeopardy?

Meanwhile, the fire consumed the townhouse as gas lines exploded and windows shattered into the street. But firefighters were able to get hoses on the inferno quickly and soon, it was brought under control. In the early evening, a man's body was found in the basement and a short time later, a woman's torso was discovered on the first floor. Police also found several handbags with personal identifications that were stolen from college students over the previous few months. Late that same night, cops located at least 60 sticks of dynamite, a live military antitank shell, blasting caps and several large metal pipes packed solid with explosives. Neighbors, including actor Dustin Hoffman, who lived next door, began leaving in droves. Read here.
Boudin and the Weather Underground were now forever tied with the first domestic terrorism building bombing in New York City. Eleven years after the self-detonation of the bomb makers in the townhouse, Boudin came out of hiding and for whatever reasons, and joined the Black Liberation Army.

In Nyack, New York the plan was to hold up a Brinks security truck. Boudin was slated to drive the getaway vehicle, and David Gilbert (at times identified as Boudin's husband) was there also. The heavily armed and trigger-happy Black Liberation Army quickly shot one security guard dead and critically wounded a second, took the money, and jumped in the back of Boudin's getaway truck.
Kathy Boudin

They sped away with the BLA in the back of the truck. In the resulting chaos, Gilbert was at the wheel and Boudin in the passenger seat. Two police officers stopped the getaway truck. Members of the Black Liberation Army broke from the back of the truck and mowed down the officers in cold blood. The dead were Sergeant Edward O'Grady, and Officer Waverly Brown.

Officer Brown was Christine's father's friend and fellow officer. He was an Air Force veteran of the Korean War. He was the first Black American member of Nyack's police department, and had served his community as a policeman for 15 years at the time of his murder. His friends called him "Chipper."
Later, Dad was asked to serve as a sharpshooter on the courthouse roof at the arraignment of the survivors (several of them died too at the shootout over a Brinks truck they were trying to steal).

Dad refused that job, he didn't trust himself to be "just" to the Greenwich Village protesters who'd traveled up from the city to hurl racial slurs at our dead in support of the criminals.

Officer Brown's fiancee worked at Nyack hospital with my Mom. The whole hospital was convulsed as they had to care for the wounded killers as well as their neighbors.

How ironic that a movement supposedly in favor of lifting up African Americans [BLA] did their work by shooting an African American man well known for mentoring young men in our town.

Has Ayers repented from his works, or merely implemented them in a respectable place? I was in 6th grade when I saw where his ideas lead.
Kathy Boudin said she was just a "white decoy" in the whole affair. She had a 14 month old son at the time of the Black Liberation Army murders. Boudin spent 22 years of a 20 years-to-life sentence. She was paroled in Fall of 2003 to loud protests. Her son, Chesa Boudin, was raised by Weather Undergrounders, Bill Ayers and Bernardine Dohrn.

From Outlaws of America, by Dan Berger,
In a communique, Weather urged people to support the BLA as one of many righteous expressions of Black anger at racism.
Sgt. Edward O'Grady II was the other Nyack policeman shot to death that day. He was a former U.S. Marine, he served two tours in Vietnam, he worked as a volunteer fire fighter, and he was the youngest member of the police force to achieve the rank of Sergeant. His son went on to graduate the U.S. Naval Academy.

The Black Liberation Army armed robbers were:
Mutulu Shakur, Duwasi Balagoon, Sekou Odinga, Cecilio Fergusan, Solomon Bouines

Former Weather Undergrounders and May 19th Communist Organization involved:
David Gilbert, Samuel Brown, Judith Alice Clark, Kathy Boudin, Marilyn Buck

Related Research:
Guardian Observer
Ambush: The Brinks Robbery of 1981
Officer Down Memorial Page - Officer Waverly L. Brown
Officer Down Memorial Page - Sergeant Edwar J. O'Grady, Jr.
Megyn Kelly Levels Hofstra Professor

Thursday, October 30, 2008

API's Bizarre Michelle Obama Tapes Story Finally to be Resolved Tonight?

Update: Well, it's 9:20 PM Eastern and the first returns are in. No mention of any API tape at Hannity& Colmes. Bye -bye API - rg

API/Fox News deal: Sean Hannity show and Greta Van Susteren’s show “On the Record” to air the Michelle Obama tape in less than 24 hours.

A note from Radarsite: Could it be possible that this bizarre API story is finally going to be resolved within a matter of hours? Well, not according to Greta Van Susteren. On her blog Greta has vehemently denied any knowledge of this story or even of API itself. Reporting on this ongoing mystery has proven to be a real challenge. Could it possibly be true, or is it just another wild hoax? We are supposed to have the answers to all of our questions tonight. Now, why do I tend to doubt that it will be that easy? We shall see.
Both Maggie Thornton of Maggie's Notebook and myself have been following this story since it first came out. But, speaking just for myself, if we are put off again this evening, I will not be spending much more time on this musty tale of the mystery tape. - rg


Posted by africanpress on October 30, 2008

Many have been wondering about what will happen to the Michelle Obama tape, now that API has received death threats for planning to have the tape aired. Death threats mounted after API refused an offer of 3 million US dollars by Senator Obama’s Campaign manager.
There has been speculations that Fox News may deny that there is an agreement already reached that gives the them permission to air the tape. The public who are aware of the existence of a tape should be aware that some elements in our society would not like the message in the tape to come out.
The agreement stipulates that any information on the day and hour the tape will be aired will only be announce 15 minutes to the airing time. This was agreed upon to avoid any pressure being directed to Fox News Network by individuals who would want to get the details about the tape in question.
The airing of the tape can take place any time from this day and due to its sensitivity, people who will inquire from Fox News and API for details will either get a no comment answer or that there is no agreement on the table.
We are aware of the fact that some people made inquiries today by emailing or telephoning Fox News and may have been disappointed with the answers they got. API is not here to mislead anyone and takes the responsibility to inform its loyal readers that the tape will be aired unless pressure wins over any of the parties involved, of which case that will amount to a breach of contract. Such a thing is unacceptable because API is committed to let the American people get the information in the tape and judge for themselves what value it may have in their political lives.
Although the parties had agreed that the particular shows going to air the tapes should not be made public before 15 minutes to airing of the tapes, public pressure has forced us to make this revelation earlier than we should. Both parties, API and Fox are in agreement that no further details will be released on the subject.
While we struggle to have the Michelle Obama tape, the McCain camp is struggling to have another tape that has information relevant to the campaign. The taped conversation has Mr obama when he was dining with friends considered radicals and supporters of terrorism.

By Chief Editor Korir

Breaking: First exit poll of actual American votes from Israel shows huge win for McCain

Coutesy of Naomi Ragen
From National Review Online
From journalist Tom Gross
Thursday, October 30, 2008, 08.53 AM

Within the last hour, the first exit poll of 817 Americans in Israel, who attended U.S. election voting events in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv on Tuesdayevening to vote by absentee ballot, has been released. A startling 76 percent of those polled said that they had voted for John McCain. This contrasts sharply with pre-election polls of American Jews in the U.S., which indicate a strong preference for Obama. The exit poll findings of American voters in Israel are all the more surprising because less than one in four were registered Republicans, and 46% of registered Democrats living in Israel said they had crossed party lines to vote McCain. By contrast, the Republican crossover to Obama wasminimal - just 2%. The votes are significant as almost half of the 42,000 registered U.S.voters living in Israel come from key swing states including Florida, Ohio and Pennsylvania.In the 2000 and 2004 elections, Israel had the third-largest group of American voters abroad, after Canada and Britain.

The exit poll was commissioned by, an independent,non-partisan organization dedicated to promoting voter registration and participation amongst American citizens living in Israel.


More than half of the respondents listed foreign policy (including Israel and Iran policy) as the most important factor influencing their vote.Separately, in a poll for the country's largest newspaper, Yediot Ahronot, most Israelis in general (not just Americans living in Israel) said they would prefer McCain because they are concerned about the anti-Israeli positions of many of the people Barack Obama has appointed to advise him onforeign policy, and because - in the words of French President Nicolas Sarkozy as quoted in Tuesday's Ha'aretz newspaper - Obama's stance on Iranis "utterly immature" and comprised of "formulations empty of all content." In most countries, according to opinion polls, if the local populations had a vote in next week's American elections, they would choose Obama over McCain. Among the exceptions (where McCain would win) are Israel, Iraq, Georgia and the Philippines (all countries that have had to cope with terrorism).

Family Values: Barack Obama’s 'Auntie Zeituni' Found in a Rundown Boston Estate

“I can’t talk about it... After the 4th, I can talk to anyone.”

From the Times Online
James Bone in Boston, Rob Crilly in Kogelo and Ben Macintyre
October 30, 2008
Found in a rundown Boston estate: Barack Obama’s aunt Zeituni Onyango
'Auntie Zeituni', who, with Uncle Omar, dropped out of sight after moving to the US, is backing the presidential candidate from her modest flat.

Barack Obama has lived one version of the American Dream that has taken him to the steps of the White House. But a few miles from where the Democratic presidential candidate studied at Harvard, his Kenyan aunt and uncle, immigrants living in modest circumstances in Boston, have a contrasting American story.

Zeituni Onyango, the aunt so affectionately described in Mr Obama’s best-selling memoir Dreams from My Father, lives in a disabled-access flat on a rundown public housing estate in South Boston.

A second relative believed to be the long-lost “Uncle Omar” described in the book was beaten by armed robbers with a “sawed-off rifle” while working in a corner shop in the Dorchester area of the city. He was later evicted from his one-bedroom flat for failing to pay $2,324.20 (£1,488) arrears, according to the Boston Housing Court.

The US press has repeatedly rehearsed Mr Obama’s extraordinary odyssey, but the other side of the family’s American experience has only been revealed in parts. Just across town from where Mr Obama made history as the first black president of the Harvard Law Review, some of his closest blood relatives have confronted the harshness of immigrant life in America.

In his book Mr Obama writes that “Uncle Omar” had gone missing after moving to Boston in the 1960s – a quarter-century before Mr Obama first visited his family in Kenya. Aunt Zeituni is now also living in Boston, and recently made a $260 campaign contribution to her nephew's presidential bid from a work address in the city.

Speaking outside her home in Flaherty Way, South Boston, on Tuesday, Ms Onyango, 56, confirmed she was the “Auntie Zeituni” in Mr Obama’s memoir. She declined to answer most other questions about her relationship with the presidential contender until after the November 4 election. “I can’t talk about it, I just pray for him, that’s all,” she said, adding: “After the 4th, I can talk to anyone.”

A photograph of Ms Onyango was later shown to George Hussein Onyango, Barack Obama’s half-brother in Nairobi, who confirmed that it was their aunt. George Onyango, 26, the youngest child of Barack Obama Sr, said that he had spent weekends with his Aunt Zeituni when he was growing up, and instantly recognised her.

George Onyango said that his aunt had left for the US about eight years ago but sent him e-mails. “She left to find work and I suppose she thought her life would be better there,” he said. “She was kind and caring.”

In his memoir Mr Obama describes the joy of meeting his father’s family during his first visit to Kenya in 1988. Aunt Zeituni, then a computer programmer at Kenya Breweries in Nairobi, is portrayed as a feisty woman who proclaims herself “the champion dancer”. Uncle Omar, by contrast, remains a mysterious figure who left for America and never came back. At one point in the book a half-sister tells Mr Obama that people “like our Uncle Omar, in Boston” move to the West.

“They promise to return after completing school. They say they’ll send for the family once they get settled. At first they write once a week. Then it’s just a month. Then they stop writing completely. No one sees them again.”

Aunt Zeituni and Uncle Omar are the children of Mr Obama’s grandfather Hussein Onyango Obama, by his third wife – the woman Mr Obama calls “Granny” because she raised his father. Mr Obama’s father, Barack Sr, was Onyango Obama’s son by his second wife, Akumu. That makes Zeituni and Omar a half-sister and half-brother of Mr Obama’s father, or Mr Obama’s half-aunt and half-uncle.

While Mr Obama was on his voyage of personal discovery in Africa, his aunt and uncle were engaged in their own journey in his homeland.

The Times could not determine their immigration status and an official at Boston City Hall said that Ms Onyango was a resident of Flaherty Way but not registered to vote on the electoral roll. However, that Ms Onyango made a contribution to the Obama campaign would indicate that she is a US citizen. Records at the Boston City Hall confirmed Zeituni Onyango’s birthdate as May 29, 1952.

It is not clear when Ms Onyango first came to the US. She said: “I have been coming to America ever since 1975. I always come and go.”

She is a frail woman who walks with the aid of a metal stick. Neighbours said that she lived alone in a ground-floor flat normally set aside for people facing physical hardship.

An Associated Press story about poor people buying lottery tickets at cheque-cashing shops, from Cambridge, Massachusetts, on May 25, 2003, quotes a Zeituni Onyango whom it describes as out of work and without much money. “It's like when I feel luck might fall I do that, like manna might come from Heaven. That’s when I buy it,” she told AP.

A staff member at the Boston Housing Authority office, 50 yards from her house, said Ms Onynango had been a volunteer resident health advocate between December 2007 and August this year. She worked six hours a week for a small stipend. Records show she used the housing authority’s address to make her campaign contribution.

Ms Onyango is also listed on the internet as a volunteer with Experience Corps, a programme in which adults over 55 mentor children in their communities. The “former computer systems co-ordinator” tells the group’s online newsletter: “I felt that I should help the children in my community. I love people and enjoy interacting with them . . . Also, I was idle, and this was a chance to get involved.”

A public record search lists an “O. Onyango Obama”, born on June 3, 1944, at 24 Colgate Road whose name matches that of the “Uncle Omar” in Dreams from My Father.

Nelson Ochieng, a cousin of Mr Obama who lives in the Kenyan city of Kisumu, near the family village of Kogelo, said that Omar had changed his first name after moving to the US. “Before he went to America we all knew him as Omar, but he dropped that bit, changing it to Obama Onyango, because he said he preferred his African name,” he said. Gail Greenberger, the landlady who bought the four-storey brick block of flats at a foreclosure sale in 1994, knew her tenant, however, by the name Obama Onyango. “We used to call him ‘Oh-bummer!’. That is how I pronounced Obama in 2000,” she said.

Ms Greenberger said she inherited him with the building but was forced to evict him in 2000 for nonpayment of his rent of about $500 a month. “I remember him being decent but I think he lost his job. When they lose their job, they just stop paying rent. He did not even go to court. He bolted from the apartment,” she said. Records of Boston Housing Court show a “summary process” was executed against Mr Onyango on February 23, 2000, for unpaid rent of $2,324.70.

Mr Onyango was a business partner in a “convenience store” called the Wells Market at 1760 Dorchester Avenue, now a Hispanic bodega, or grocery. Records list him as the treasurer of the corporation, which was set up without his name in 1992 and involuntarily wound up in 2007 after failing to file annual reports since 1997.

In 1994 Obama Onyango was attacked in an armed robbery at the Wells Market, the Boston Herald reported. According to a police report, two masked black males entered the store around 9.30pm on June 7, 1994, and “did assault and beat the victim, and did rob victim of an undetermined amount of US currency. Suspects were believed to be armed with a ‘sawed-off’ rifle, and did flee the area on foot .”

Asked why the man believed to be “Uncle Omar” went by the name Obama Onyango, Zeituni Onyango said that Obama was his true name. “That is the name his father gave him,” she said. Dershaye Geresu, the Ethiopian-born president of Wells Market Inc, confirmed that Mr Onyango was a “cousin” of Mr Obama.

Lennard Tenende, whose wife Lucy was secretary to the shop, said: “I don’t know where he is. It seems as if he is getting a lot of inquiries, a lot of people trying to find him and find out about his relationship with Obama and he just doesn’t want to be found.” Mr Ochieng said that he believed Mr Onyango ran a chain of stores.

The Obama campaign was repeatedly approached for comment yesterday but had not responded at the time of going to press. It is not clear whether Mr Obama has been in touch with his African relatives living in the US, or even whether he is aware that they are on US soil.

In the preface to the 2004 reissue, he writes: “Most of the characters in this book remain a part of my life, albeit in varying degrees – a function of work, children, geography, and turns of fate.”

“What is family?” he reflects. “Is it just a genetic chain, parents and offspring, people like me?” Twenty years after he first met Aunt Zeituni, and first heard of the elusive Uncle Omar, the man likely to be the next president will have the opportunity for another family reunion, rather closer to home.

How Barack Obama tells of his first meeting with his aunt
‘‘Barack!” I turned to see Auma [his Kenyan cousin] jumping up and down behind another guard who wasn’t letting her pass into the luggage area. I excused myself and rushed over to her, as we laughed and hugged as silly as the first time we’d met. A tall, brown-skinned woman was smiling beside us, and Auma turned and said: “Barack, this is our Auntie Zeituni. Our father’s sister.”
“Welcome home,” Zeituni said kissing me on both cheeks . . .
We went to drop Zeituni off at Kenya Breweries, a large, drab complex where she worked as a computer programmer. Stepping out of the car, she leaned over again to kiss me on the cheek, then wagged her finger at Auma. “You take good care of Barry now,” she said. “Make sure he doesn’t get lost again.”
Once we were back on the highway, I asked Auma what Zeituni had meant about my getting lost. Auma shrugged.
“It’s a common expression,” she said. “Usually it means that the person hasn’t seen you in a while. ‘You’ve been lost,’ they’ll say. Or, ‘Don’t get lost’. Sometimes it has a more serious meaning. Let’s say a husband or son moves to the city, or to the West, like our Uncle Omar in Boston. They promise to return after completing school. They say they’ll send for the family once they get settled. At first they write once a week. Then it’s just once a month. Then they stop writing completely. No one sees them again. They’ve been lost, you see. Even if people know where they are.”
Extracted from Dreams from My Father by Barack Obama, pp305-307 (Canongate)

Related Links
The search for Obama's missing relations
Grandmother roots for Obama 8,000 miles away
I like my Nairobi slum, says Obama's brother
BLOG: forget policy, it's all in the grooming

An announcement to my readers

As regular Radarsite readers will recall we have run a series of three article on the issues of alleged censorship at Real Clear Politics, here, here and here. These articles were written in response to many comments and emails Radarsite had received from people who felt that their articles had been unfairly deleted by RCP. Although Radarsite itself had not experienced this problem there were so many who apparently had that it seemed only right to take up this challenge and confront RCP. These articles got literally thousands of readers so I guess a lot of people thought it was worth bringing up.

However, even though I am still receiving comments and emails on this subject, I have begun to doubt the wisdom of continuing this crusade. Yesterday I posed this issue to a group of my close friends and fellow bloggers: Have we accomplished all that we can reasonably expect to accomplish in this confrontation? Is it time to drop it and move on? The responses were unanimous -- Nothing more can be accomplished by continuing this campaign. Now is the time to stop. Here is what one good friend and respected colleague had to say: "I've been thinking about this RCP thing and I've come to this conclusion. RCP owners have every right to make the rules for their site, just like we do for our sites. If they choose to remove articles, or block someone, that's technically their right. They don't HAVE to allow reader articles at all, this is something nice that they do. They could stop that completely. Just like you all, I have had articles removed, I have had to re-register three times, it's frustrating. However, I think after three articles on them, with no real reply or changes, if it were me I would let it drop."

So that's what I'm going to do. No more challenges to RCP. Although they certainly had the right to do it, I believe that we also had the right to question it. However, to continue on with this one-sided battle does seem pointless. The sentence from the above response that finally convinced me to change my position was this one: "RCP owners have every right to make the rules for their site, just like we do for our sites". That is inarguable. And I have to admit -- as you probably all know by now -- I have deleted many commenters here at Radarsite for a variety of reasons. It would therefore be hypocritical of me to challenge a site owner's right to post or delete whomever they wish.

I have no way of knowing whether these articles did any good or not. I can only hope that they did. To all of you have have come onto Radarsite to show your support, I thank you, and I hope you understand the reasons for this decision. We still have great battles ahead of us to fight. - rg

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

An Open Letter to Barack Hussein Obama

A note from Radarsite: The following letter was just forwarded to me from my friend Len P. Although Radarsite cannot verify the identity of the author of this open letter to Barack Obama, we can certainly verify the accumulative power of his outright lies and clever obfuscations. The key word here is of course character. And that is, it seems, the one essential ingredient missing in the Obama persona. God help us all if, after knowing all that we know about this man, we elect him anyway. - rg


To Barack Hussein Obama,

The New York Times carried a story on Saturday, October 4, 2008, that proved you had a significantly closer relationship with Bill Ayers than what you previously admitted. While the issue of your relationship is of concern, the greater concern is that you lied to America about it.

The Chicago Sun reported on May 8, 2008, that FBI records showed that you had a significantly closer relationship with Tony Rezko than what you previously admitted. In the interview, you said that you only saw Mr. Rezko a couple of times a year. The FBI files showed that you saw him weekly. While the issue of your relationship is of concern, the greater concern is that you lied to America about it.

Your speech in Philadelphia on March 18, 2008, about "race" contradicted your statement to Anderson Cooper on March 14 when you said that you never heard Reverend Wright make his negative statements about white America. While your attendance at Trinity Church for 20 years is of concern, the greater concern is that you lied to America on March 14.

In your 1st debate with John McCain, you said that you never said that you would meet with the leaders of Cuba, Venezuela, Iran, and North Korea without "preparations" at lower levels ... Joe Biden repeated your words in his debate with Sarah Palin ... while the video tape from your debate last February clearly shows that you answered "I would" to the question of meeting with those leaders within 12 months without "any" preconditions. While your judgement about meeting with enemies of the USA without pre-conditions is of concern, the greater concern is that you lied to America in the debate with McCain.

On July 14, 2008, you said that you always knew that the surge would work while the video tapes of you from more than a year ago show that you stated that the surge would not work. While your judgement about military strategy as a potential commander-in-chief is of concern, the greater concern is that you lied to America on July 14.

You now claim that your reason for voting against funding for the troops was because the bill did not include a time line for withdrawal, while the video tapes of you from more than a year ago show that you voted against additional funding because you wanted our troops to be removed immediately ... not in 16 months after the 2008 election as you now claim. While your judgement about removing our troops unilaterally in 2007 is of concern, the greater concern is that you lied to America about your previous position.

You claim to have a record of working with Republicans while the record shows that the only bill that you sponsored with a Republican was with Chuck Lugar ... and it failed. The record shows that you vote 97% in concert with the Democrat party and that you have the most liberal voting record in the Senate. You joined Republicans only 13% of the time in your votes and those 13% were only after agreement from the Democrat party. While it is of concern that you fail to include conservatives in your actions and that you are such a liberal, the greater concern is that you distorted the truth.

In the primary debates of last February, 2008, you claimed to have talked with a "Captain" of a platoon in Afghanistan "the other day" when in fact yo u had a discussion in 2003 with a Lieutenant who had just been deployed to Afghanistan . You lied in that debate.In your debates last spring, you claimed to have been a "professor of Constitutional law" when in fact you have never been a professor of Constitutional law. In this last debate, you were careful to say that you "taught a law class" and never mentioned being a "professor of Constitutional law." You lied last spring.

You and Joe Biden both claimed that John McCain voted against additional funding for our troops when the actual records show the opposite. You distorted the truth.

You and Joe Biden claim that John McCain voted against funding for alternate energy sources 20 times when the record shows that John McCain specifically voted against funding for bio-fuels, especially corn ... and he was right .... corn is too expensive at producing ethanol, and using corn to make ethanol increased the price of corn from $2 a bushel to $6 a bushel for food. You distorted the truth.

You and Joe Biden claim that John McCain voted like both of you for a tax increase on those making as little as $42,000 per year while the voting record clearly shows that John McCain did not vote as you and Joe Biden. You lied to America .

You and Joe Biden claim that John McCain voted with George W. Bush 90% of the time when you know that Democrats also vote 90% of the time with the President (including Joe Biden) because the vast majority of the votes are procedural. You are one of the few who has not voted 90% of the time with the president because you have been missing from the Senate since the day you got elected. While your absence from your job in the Senate is of concern, the greater concern is that you spin the facts.

You did not take an active role in the rescue plan. You claimed that the Senate did not need you while the real reason that you abstained was because of your close relationships with the executives of Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, Countrywide, and Acorn ... who all helped cause the financial problems of today ... and they all made major contributions to your campaign. While your relationship with these executives and your protection of them for your brief 3 years in the Senate (along with Barney Frank, Chuck Schumer, Maxine Waters, and Chris Dodd) is of concern, the greater concern is that you are being deceitful.

You forgot to mention that you personally represented Tony Rezko and Acorn. Tony Rezko, an Arab and close friend to you, was convicted of fraud in Chicago real estate transactions that bilked millions of tax dollars from the Illinois government for renovation projects that you sponsored as a state senator ... and Acorn has been convicted of voter fraud, real estate sub prime loan intimidation, and illegal campaign contributions. Tony Rezko has contributed hundreds of thousands of dollars to your political campaigns. You personally used your political positions to steer money to both Tony Rezko and Acorn and you used Acorn to register thousands of phony voters for Democrats and you. While your relationships with Rezko and Acorn are of concern, the greater concern is that you omitted important facts about your relationships with them to America .

During your campaign, you said: "typical white person." "They cling to their guns and religion." "They will say that I am black." You played the race card. You tried to label any criticism about you as racist. You divide America .

You claim that you will reduce taxes for 95% of America , but you forgot to tell America that those reductions are after you remove the Bush tax reductions.

You have requested close to $1 billion in earmarks and several million for Acorn. Your social programs will cost America $1 trillion per year and you claim that a reduction in military spending ($100 billion for Iraq ) can pay for it. While your economic plan of adding 30% to the size of our federal government is of concern, the greater concern is that you are deceiving America.

The drain to America 's economy by foreign supplied oil is $700 billion per year (5% of GDP) while the war in Iraq is $100 billion (less than 1% of GDP). You voted against any increases to oil exploration for the last 3 years and any expansion of nuclear facilities. Yet today, you say that you have always been for more oil and more nuclear. You are lying to America .Mr. Obama, you claimed that you "changed" your mind about public financing for your campaign because of the money spent by Republican PACs in 2004. The truth is that the Democrat PACs in 2004, 2006, and 2008 spent twice as much as the Republican PACs (especially George Soros and You are lying to America.

Mr. Obama, you have done nothing to stop the actions of the teachers union and college professors in the USA. They eliminated religion from our history. They teach pro gay agendas and discuss sex with students as young as first grade. They bring their personal politics into the classrooms. They disparage conservatives. They brainwash our children. They are in it for themselves ..... not America . Are you reluctant to condemn their actions because teachers/professors and the NEA contribute 25% of all money donated to Democrats and none to Republicans? You are deceiving America.

Oh, Mr. Obama, Teddy Roosevelt said about a hundred years ago that we Americans should first look at the character of our leaders before anything else.
Your character looks horrible. While you make good speeches, motivating speeches, your character does not match your rhetoric. You talk the talk, but do not walk the walk.
1. You lied to America . You lied many times. You distorted facts. You parsed your answers like a lawyer.

2. You distorted the record of John McCain in your words and in your advertisements.

3. You had associations with some very bad people for your personal political gains and then lied about those associations.

4. You divide America about race and about class.Now let me compare your record of lies, distortions, race baiting, and associations to John McCain: War hero. Annapolis graduate with "Country first." Operational leadership experience like all 43 previously elected presidents of the USA as a Navy officer for 22 years. 26 years in the Senate. Straight talk. Maverick. 54% of the time participated on bills with Democrats. Never asked for an earmark. The only blemish on his record is his part in the Keating 5 debacle about 25 years ago.Mr. Obama, at Harvard Law School, you learned that the end does not justify the means. You learned that perjury, false witness, dishonesty, distortion of truth are never tolerated. Yet, your dishonesty is overwhelming. Your dishonesty is tremendously greater than the dishonesty that caused the impeachment and disbarment of Bill Clinton. Your dishonesty is tremendously greater than the dishonesty of Scooter Libby. You should be ashamed.

Mr. Obama, it is time for us Americans to put aside our differences on political issues and vote against you because of your dishonest character. It is time for all of us Americans to put aside our political issues and vote for America first. It is time for America to vote for honesty.

Any people who vote for you after understanding that you are dishonest should be ashamed of themselves for making their personal political issues more important than character. Would these same people vote for the anti-Christ if the anti-Christ promised them riches? Would they make a golden calf while Moses was up the mountain? Would they hire someone for a job if that someone lied in an interview? Of course not. So why do some of these people justify their votes for you even though they know you are dishonest? Why do they excuse your dishonesty? Because some of these people are frightened about the future, the economy, and their financial security .... and you are preying on their fears with empty promises ... and because some (especially our young people) are consumed by your wonderful style and promises for "change" like the Germans who voted for Adolf Hitler in 1932. The greed/envy by Germans in 1932 kept them from recognizing Hitler for who he was. They loved his style. Greed and envy are keeping many Americans from recognizing you ... your style has camouflaged your dishonesty .... but many of us see you for who you really are ... and we will not stop exposing who you are every day, forever if it is necessary.

Mr. Obama, you are dishonest. Anyone who votes for you is enabling dishonesty.

Mr. Obama , America cannot trust that you will put America first in your decisions about the future.

Mr. Obama, you are not the "change" that America deserves. We cannot trust you.

Mr. Obama, You are not ready and not fit to be commander-in-chief.

Mr. Obama, John McCain does not have as much money as your campaign to refute all of your false statements. And for whatever reasons, the mainstream media will not give adequate coverage or research about your lies, distortions, word parsing, bad associations, race baiting, lack of operational leadership experience, and generally dishonest character. The media is diverting our attention from your relationships and ignoring the fact that you lied about those relationships. The fact that you lied is much more important than the relationships themselves .... just like with Bill Clinton and Richard Nixon ... Monica Lewinski and Watergate were not nearly as bad as the fact that those men lied about the events ... false witness ... perjury ... your relationships and bad judgments are bad on their own .... but your lies are even worse.
We need to expose your dishonesty so that every person in America understands who you really are before election day. Mr. Obama, in a democracy, we get what we deserve. And God help America if we deserve you.

Michael Master
McLean, Virginia

What Joe the Plumber Knows that Shep Smith Ignores: Israel

Cross-posted by Maggie at Maggie's Notebook

Photo Credit: Getty Images

Somewhere yesterday (10/28/08) at a McCain rally, a Jewish senior citizen stepped up to the Mike and told Joe the Plumber that he thought "a vote for Obama was a vote for the death of Israel." Joe said he could agree to that.

The story has morphed into Shepard Smith's (Fox News) indignant outrage directly at Joe the Plumber. How dare Joe put that dangerous idea in the heads of silly Americans. Joe said he had his opinions, and McCain could have his and Americans can research and make up their own minds.

Smith did his best to skewer Joe and intimated that Joe's opinions were formed from the "hateful things spread all over the internet." Smith shook his head in dismay and disgust and in theory declared that Obama has taken up the mantle of the Jewish people, and no one could be more concerned about Israel than Obama and, oh yes,...he quoted Obama: "nothing is more important than the U.S. friendship with Israel," and then Smith said "Obama would back Israel every moment of every day." View the video at the end of this article.

Here's the thing: Many of us believe that Barack Obama is not as concerned about Israel's welfare as he portends to be - and that uncertainty is a major caution. Perhaps we are wrong, but if we are, we don't know that, and neither does Shep Smith.

Joe refused to give the reasons for his opinions, except in general terms which were: Obama's actions and his associations - and those actions and associations are what Shepard Smith, sitting at his very important news desk, chooses to ignore - or perhaps "news" has nothing to do with his reporting - perhaps Smith just doesn't know the news.

While I can't put words in Joe's mouth, I bet just a few of my own observations may be on Joe's list of Obama's actions and associations.

(all the hyperlinks should open in a separate window, allowing continued reading)

1) In 2006 Obama published his book, Audacity of Hope. In his chapter titled Race, he talks about immigrants, and says that he is often invited to speak to immigrant groups. ..."I am often quizzed on my foreign policy views - where do I stand on Cyprus, say, or the future of Taiwan?..."
Whenever I appear before immigrant audiences, I can count on some good-natured ribbing from my staff after my speech; according to them, my remarks always follow a three-part structure: "I am your friend," "[Fill in the home country] has been a cradle of civilization," and "You embody the American dream."
Then he discusses the different tone taken as he met with Arab and Pakistani Americans after 9/11:
They have been reminded that the history of immigration in this country has a dark underbelly; they need specific assurances that their citizenship really means something, that America has learned the right lessons from the Japanese internments during World War II, and that I will stand with them [Muslims] should the political wind shift in an ugly direction.
All credit to Debbie at RightTruth for the reminder of the above quote. I have a trade paperback copy of The Audacity of Hope, and as with Debbie, this quote is also on page 261 of my copy.
This RightTruth post is packed with information, including more Obama quotes.

2) One of Obama's unofficial foreign policy advisors is Zbigniew Brzezinski, the former National Security Adviser to the antisemitic former President Jimmy Carter. Newsweek reports that Brzezinski's name is "toxic in the American Jewish community."

The next few items involve Barack Obama's church...and NO, Shep, we cannot separate Obama from his "former" church. He gave his money and his time to further the collaborations and the missions of this church. We are facing an election and many of us are facing these truths:

3) Obama's church of 20 years, Trinity United Church of Christ (TUCC), practices the very antisemitic Black Liberation Theology (BLT). The short story here is that BLT leans far more to Islam than it does to Judiasm.

4) Obama's church of 20 years, TUCC, through the church magazine, Trumpet, gave Louis Farrakhan, the Nation of Islam leader, a Lifetime Achievement award for "epitomized greatness!" Farrakhan has often excoriated the Jews as liars and thieves, and is accused of worse, to which he replied: "The Jews don't like Farrakhan, so they call me Hitler. Well, that's a good name. Hitler was a very great man."

Obama says he did not agree with giving the "greatness" award to Farrakhan, but in an interview with the late Tim Russert in February 2008, Obama lamely attempts to shield Wright by saying it was the Trumpet Newsmagazine that bestowed the award and not the church. This is not a minor point - and his point is wrong: the magazine is Wright's baby; he is the founder and CEO and his daughter is the publisher.

5) While a member of Trinity United Church of Christ, Pastor Jeremiah Wright printed the manifesto of Hamas co-founder, Musa Abu Marzook. Marzook, a man of many aliases, is the founder of of CAIR's (Council on American Islamic Relations) parent organization and the Holyland Foundation. The U.S. Treasury describes him this way:
His activities include directing and coordinating terrorist acts by HAMAS against soldiers and civilians in Israel and the West Bank and Gaza. Marzouk maintains relationships with other terrorist organizations.
Wright put Marzook's manifesto, retitled A Fresh View of Palestine on the Pastor's page of TUCC's Sunday bulletin in July 2007. Read the transcription.

In the manifesto, as you read it, you can almost feel Marzook shrug his shoulders as he says he doesn't "trouble" himself with recognizing Israel, and as you read it, you may feel ambivalent toward it, but remember this: The Hamas Charter is in tenacious control of the citizens of Palestine and there is no plan to ever recognize Israel - in fact, the Hamas Charters says:
The Day of Judgement will not come about until Moslems fight the Jews (killing the Jews),...
From The Investigative Project on Terrorism
Marzook moved to the United States to pursue a Ph.D. in engineering.[3] After leaving the United States in 1992, he moved to Jordan where he lived until being expelled in 1995.[4] While living in Jordan, Marzook is suspected of having played a significant role in planning and coordinating numerous terrorist attacks within Israel.[5] On July 25, 1995 after his expulsion from Jordan, Marzook was arrested at John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York, where he was detained by authorities until being returned to Jordan in 1997.[6] Following a nationwide crackdown on HAMAS activities within the country, he was once again deported by Jordanian authorities in 1999.[7]
Read more on Marzook.

6) Obama, in a speech to the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, said Jerusalem "must remain undivided." The Palestinian Authority hotly rejected the statement and Obama quickly maintained that he had a hands-off position and the parties must solve the issue themselves. There he goes again...saying what the crowd wants to hear. Naive and immature.

7) Senator Obama has a relationship with Rashid Khalidi, Professor of Middle East Studies at Columbia University, where he and the Obamas met and became friendly. The LA Times is refusing to release a tape of the event described below where much lauding of Palestine and denigrating of Israel is alleged to have transpired. Here's a snippet from an LA Times report:
It was a celebration of Palestinian culture -- a night of music, dancing and a dash of politics. Local Arab Americans were bidding farewell to Rashid Khalidi, an internationally known scholar, critic of Israel and advocate for Palestinian rights, who was leaving town for a job in New York.

A special tribute came from Khalidi's friend and frequent dinner companion, the young state Sen. Barack Obama. Speaking to the crowd, Obama reminisced about meals prepared by Khalidi's wife, Mona, and conversations that had challenged his thinking.

His many talks with the Khalidis, Obama said, had been "consistent reminders to me of my own blind spots and my own biases. . . . It's for that reason that I'm hoping that, for many years to come, we continue that conversation -- a conversation that is necessary not just around Mona and Rashid's dinner table," but around "this entire world."...

And yet the warm embrace Obama gave to Khalidi, and words like those at the professor's going-away party, have left some Palestinian American leaders believing that Obama is more receptive to their viewpoint than he is willing to say.
Below is a must-see video of Obama, put on the spot during a campaign event, when asked about Khalidi. Bring on the body language experts. Obama basically repeats the man's information...stalling for time, as he often does - you can his deception. Also in this video, other sources speak to Khalidi's antisemitic background, including arranging the recent speech of Iranian President, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, at Columbia University.

Video: Thanks to Live Leak

8) Obama had significant dealings with convicted felon Syrian-American Tony Rezko. At least one of those "dealings" was immensely profitable to Barack and Michelle Obama - and there was Rezko's fundraiser for Obama also. Rezko was raised in Syria in a Catholic home. Ali Baghdadi offered to post bail (his home as collateral), and did post some portion, for Rezko in April 2008. Baghdadi is a pro-Palestinian activist, who GUESS WHAT, has also been published in the Trinity United Christian Church Sunday bulletin. In that article, Baghdadi labeled Israel:
"an apartheid" regime and claimed the Jewish state worked on an "ethnic bomb" that kills "blacks and Arabs."
There are many links to TUCC's bulletin, but no surprise, they've been removed from the web. Sweetness & Light reported it first and has a transcript.

9) Obama's connections to Kenyan Prime Minister Raila Odinga. It's a violent story, and Senator Obama campaigned in Kenya for Odinga in 2007. Odinga agreed in writing the the Muslim Leadership Forum to hand over portions of Kenya to Sharia Law, including an admission that Islam is the true religion, and subjecting non-Muslim women in these areas to Islamic Law. It is a very ugly story...and one you should know if you are planning to vote for Barack Obama.

His connection goes way back with Odinga. Obama's father and Odinga's fathers were very close. Odinga claims they are cousins. Here are some critical links to the Obama-Odinga story. If you have time for only post on this subject, watch this video which tells you what you need to know. It is a violent news account of the violence of Muslims against Christians. Odinga is supposedly not a follower of Islam but his followers are. And another from the Washington Post.

10) Obama's willingness to enter unconditional talks with terrorist states.

Joe the Plumber and Shep Smith Video:

Thanks to YouTube and Pundital

Tenacious Liberalism: Obama Supreme Court Judges

Cross-posted by Maggie at Maggie's Notebook

Graphic credit: Chad Crow - Wall Street Journal

If Barack Obama wins the Oval Office, will America be so fed-up with Liberalism after four years of a Democrat President and Democrat-held Congress that we make a significant move back to Conservatism? Oh, if it were that simple.

Four years of Obama, Pelosi and Reid will entrench this country so deeply in Liberalism that it may take generations to turn the country around.

Within the first year of an Obama Presidency, three Supreme Court justices will likely retire, maybe four, and be replaced with Barack Obama's vision of political, social and economic justice.

I've listened to Greta Van Susteran's discussion of the replacement of Justices, and she believes two will retire, Obama will replace them with Liberal justices, and the current balance of Liberal judges will not change.

Greta is discounting the tenaciousness of Liberalism. I predict the older justices will retire sooner, rather than later, to enable Obama to stack the court in his first four years, infecting the remainder of our lives with social and economic justice. With a Democrat Congress and Obama as President:

1) there goes property rights to imminent domain
2) there goes the death penalty
3) there goes the Second Amendment and our guns
4) there goes the rule of law
5) there goes any semblance of judicial restraint
6) there goes any hope of stopping voter fraud

1) HERE COMES a bias for the treatment of enemy combatants
2) HERE COMES Constitutional rights to same-sex marriage
3) HERE COMES a thumb-of-the-nose to long-held State's rights
4) HERE COMES "redistributive changes."
Barack Obama expressed his regret that the Supreme Court hadn't been more 'radical' and described as a 'tragedy' the court's refusal to take up 'the issues of redistribution of wealth.' No wonder he wants to appoint judges that legislate from the bench," Holtz-Eakin continued [McCain spokesman].
In July 2007, Barack Obama speaking at a Planned Parenthood event said, speaking of the persona of a Supreme Court justice of his choosing:
We need somebody who's got the heart, the empathy, to recognize what it's like to be a young teenage mom. The empathy to understand what it's like to be poor, or African-American, or gay, or disabled, or old. And that's the criteria by which I'm going to be selecting my judges.
Speaking of the ruling of Gonzales v. Carhart, which upheld the ruling on partial birth abortion, Obama said the decision was "a concerted effort" on behalf of the Court to deny access to abortions. He was particularly harsh on the majority opinion written by Justice Anthony Kennedy, saying:
He knows many things but my understanding is that he does not know how to be a doctor.
Last I noticed, Obama lacks a medical degree. This was dishonest and inflammatory rhetoric but nevertheless, it brought favorable reactions from the activists attending the meeting. Remember, this was a decision made on the merits of partial birth abortion, not abortion as protected by law.

Let us give serious thought to Senator Obama's vision of a Supreme Court judge That judge will be empathetic to you? to me? because I'm young? I'm pregnant? I'm gay? I'm Black? I'm poor? I'm old?

"Our Constitution is colorblind,
and neither knows nor tolerates classes among citizens."
John Marshall Harlan
Civil government cannot let any group ride roughshod over others
simply because their consciences tell them to do so."
Justice Robert H. Jackson

Let us give serious thought to Obama's belief that our Constitution is a living, breathing document:
The layman's constitutional view is
that what he likes is constitutional and
that which he doesn't like is unconstitutional.
Justice Hugo L. Black


One's right to life, liberty,
and property, to free speech, a free press, freedom of worship and
assembly, and other fundamental rights may not be submitted to vote;
they depend on the outcome of no elections."
Justice Robert H. Jackson

It is my belief that there are 'absolutes' in our Bill of Rights,
and that they were put there on purpose by men who knew what the
words meant and meant their prohibitions to be 'absolutes.' "
Justice Hugo L. Black

The Constitution is not neutral. It was designed to take the government
off the backs of people.
William O. Douglas

An Obama quote from his book, The Audacity of Hope, page 92-93 in my trade paperback:
What the framework of our Constitution can do is organize the way by which we argue about our future. All of its elaborate machinery - its separation of powers and checks and balances and federalist principles and Bill of Rights - are designed to force us into a conversation, a "deliberative democracy" in America compels us to entertain the possibility that we are not always right and to sometimes change our minds;...
Definition of "deliberative" from having to do with policy; dealing with the wisdom and expediency of a proposal.

Senator Obama wants America to have a discussion, and to deliberate, about the wisdom of The Constitution and the Bill of Right. Think about it - deliberate on it.

Others talking about an Obama Supreme Court:
Conservatives Slam Obama's Misunderstanding of the U.S. Constitution
WSJ - Obama's "Redistributive" Constitution
Supreme Court Will Change Under New President

Obama's Mansion, Saddam's Money

Cross posted respectfully from Daniel

Obama's Mansion, Saddam's Money
by Daniel Pipes
Philadelphia Bulletin
October 29, 2008

Barack Obama appears to have personally benefited from funds originating in Saddam Hussein's regime. It's a complicated connection, but one that deserves the consideration of Americans voters.

Nadhmi Auchi (left) with Illinois' governor, Rod Blagojevich, in 2004.

Two similar figures, Nadhmi Auchi and Antoin S. "Tony" Rezko, served as the intermediaries. Both are Middle Eastern males of Catholic Christian heritage who left Baathist dictatorships for Western cities (Auchi from Iraq to London, Rezko from Syria to Chicago). Both became successful businessmen who hobnobbed with politicians and promoted Arab interests. Both have been convicted of taking kickbacks and both stand accused of other shady dealings.

Auchi, born in 1937, is the more successful. When young, he joined Saddam in the Baath Party. He founded his main financial instrument, the General Mediterranean Holding SA in 1979 – revealingly, while still in Iraq. A year later, he emigrated to the United Kingdom. GMHSA now describes itself as a diverse group of 120 companies with consolidated assets of over US$4.2 billion. The Sunday Times (London) recently estimated Auchi's personal wealth at £2.15 billion, making him the 27th richest person in Britain. He garnered many honors along the way.

On the dark side, a French court in 2003 convicted Auchi of taking kickbacks in the Elf Affair and handed down a suspended jail sentence and fine. One analyst, Hector Igbikiowubo, calls this "probably the biggest political and corporate sleaze scandal to hit a western democracy since World War II." Also in 2003, one of Auchi's firms was accused of taking part in a price-fixing cartel of prescription medicines. In 2004, a report by the Pentagon's International Armament and Technology Trade Directorate found "significant and credible evidence" that Auchi organized a conspiracy to offer bribes to win mobile telephone licenses in Iraq. He was barred from entering the United States in 2005.

Rezko, born in 1955, arrived in the United States in 1974 to study civil engineering. After some work on road construction projects, he went into the fast-food business, then into real estate, with help from Auchi. His political involvement began in 1983 with a mayoral campaign, after which he acquired a taste for cultivating up-and-coming politicians, notably Obama and the current governor of Illinois, Rod Blagojevich.

Rezko too has extensive legal problems, starting with a June 2008 conviction on sixteen counts of taking kickbacks from companies wanting to do business with the State of Illinois. He also stands accused of evading Las Vegas gambling debts and using false information in the sale of his pizza businesses. In contrast to Auchi's wealth, Rezko is said to be over $50 million in debt.

In three steps, these corrupt businessmen tie the Democratic Party presidential candidate to the executed Iraqi tyrant:

Saddam Hussein made use of Auchi:
Auchi's fortune largely grew through his Iraq government connection, much of it sub rosa. In the 1980s, he procured Italian military ships. By 1993, the Italian banker Pierfrancesco Pacini Battaglia testified about Auchi bribing Iraqi officials for an Italian engineering company and called Auchi "one of the most important intermediaries in the affairs of Middle Eastern countries." Auchi is also a major shareholder in BNP Paribas, the French bank deeply implicated in the U.N.'s corrupt Iraq oil-for-food program.

Auchi made use of Rezko:
Rezko lobbied for Auchi to be allowed into the United States. A wholly-owned GMHSA subsidiary, Fintrade Services Inc., transferred a loan of $3.5 million on May 23, 2005 to Rezko.

Rezko cultivated Obama:
Rezko offered Barack Obama a job in 1990, which Obama declined. Still, Rezko persisted, hiring him for legal work and hosting in 2003 an early fundraiser that, writes David Mendell in Obama: From Promise to Power, proved "instrumental in providing Obama with seed money" for his nascent U.S. Senate campaign. Then, on June 15, 2005, just twenty-three days after receiving Auchi's $3.5 million, Rezko partnered with Obama in a real estate deal: while Rezko's wife paid the full asking price, $625,000, for an empty adjoining lot which they then improved, subdivided, and partially sold to Obama, Obama acquired a mansion for $1.65 million, $300,000 under the asking price.

Summing up:
Barack Obama's house purchase depended on favors from Rezko, flush with a "loan" from Auchi, whose fortune derived in part from Saddam Hussein's favor.
When seen in the context of Obama's other dubious connections (Ayers, Davidson, Wright, Khalidi, et al.), this network is all the more alarming.

Oct. 29, 2008 update: has published an unsigned article, "Did Saddam bagman help Obama purchase mansion? Photo confirms Rezko financier in bed with late Iraqi tyrant," that asserts many new points salient to the Barack Obama-Saddam Hussein connection. Concerning Auchi, it asserts that:
Auchi and Saddam Hussein were cousins.
Auchi joined Saddam Hussein's regime as an official in the Ministry of Oil in 1967.
Auchi began bankrolling Rezko's real estate deals in the 1980s.
The 2004 Pentagon report quoted in my article also:
(1) Called Auchi someone "who behind the facade of legitimate business, served as Saddam Hussein's principle international financial manipulator and bag man."
(2) Stated that "significant and credible evidence has been developed that Nadhmi Auchi has engaged in unlawful activities," such as bribing "foreign governments and individuals prior to Operation Iraqi Freedom to turn opinion against the American-led mission to remove Saddam Hussein."
(3) Accused him of helping to "arrange for significant theft from the U.N. Oil-for-Food Program to smuggle weapons and dual-use technology into Iraq."

The Obama mansion in the Kenwood district of Chicago.

Concerning Rezko:
Rezko personally toured with Obama the house that Obama bought and advised Obama on the negotiations to purchase the house.
In 2005, at the time of his empty lot purchase, Rezko was "virtually bankrupt."
Obama attended two events hosted by Rezko honoring Auchi in 2004, one at the Four Seasons Hotel and another at Rezko's house; Michelle Obama also attended the latter occasion.
Comment: These additional pieces of information significantly confirm my conclusion that Obama "personally benefited from funds originating in Saddam Hussein's regime."