October 31, 2008

I stand with the brilliant, irrefutable Charles Krauthammer

My Choice for President of the United States

By Charles Krauthammer

The Washington Post, October 24, 2008

Contrarian that I am, I'm voting for John McCain. I'm not talking about bucking the polls or the media consensus that it's over before it's over. I'm talking about bucking the rush of wet-fingered conservatives leaping to Barack Obama before they're left out in the cold without a single state dinner for the next four years.

I stand athwart the rush of conservative ship-jumpers of every stripe -- neo (Ken Adelman), moderate (Colin Powell), genetic/ironic (Christopher Buckley) and socialist/atheist (Christopher Hitchens) -- yelling "Stop!" I shall have no part of this motley crew. I will go down with the McCain ship. I'd rather lose an election than lose my bearings.

First, I'll have no truck with the phony case ginned up to rationalize voting for the most liberal and inexperienced presidential nominee in living memory - the "erratic" temperament issue, for example. As if McCain's risky and unsuccessful but in no way irrational attempt to tactically maneuver his way through the economic tsunami that came crashing down a month ago renders unfit for office a man who demonstrated the most admirable equanimity and courage in the face of unimaginable pressures as a prisoner of war. And, who later steadily navigated innumerable challenges and setbacks, not the least of which was the collapse of his campaign just a year ago. McCain the "erratic" is a cheap Obama talking point. The 40-year record testifies to McCain the stalwart.

Nor will I countenance the "dirty campaign" pretense. The double standard here is stunning. Obama ran a scurrilous Spanish-language ad falsely associating McCain with anti-Hispanic slurs. Another ad falsely claimed that McCain supports "cutting Social Security benefits in half." Furthermore, for months Democrats insisted that McCain sought 100 years of war in Iraq.

McCain's critics are offended that he raised the issue of William Ayers. What's astonishing is that Obama was himself not offended by William Ayers. Moreover, the most remarkable of all tactical choices of this election season is the attack that never was. Out of extreme (and unnecessary) conscientiousness, McCain refused to raise the legitimate issue of Obama's most egregious association -- with the race-baiting Rev. Jeremiah Wright. Dirty campaigning, indeed.

The case for McCain is straightforward.
The financial crisis has made us forget, or just blindly deny, how dangerous the world out there is. We have a generations-long struggle with Islamic jihadism; An apocalyptic soon-to-be-nuclear Iran; A nuclear-armed Pakistan in danger of fragmentation; A rising Russia pushing the limits of revanchism. Plus the sure-to-come Falklands-like surprise popping out of nowhere.

Who do you want answering that phone at 3 a.m.? A man who's been cramming on these issues for the past year, who's never had to make an executive decision affecting so much as a city, let alone the world? A foreign policy novice instinctively inclined to the flabbiest, most vaporous multilateralism (e.g., the Berlin Wall came down because of "a world that stands as one"), and who refers to the most deliberate act of war since Pearl Harbor as "the tragedy of 9/11," a term more appropriate for a bus accident?

Or, do you want a man who is the most prepared, most knowledgeable, most serious foreign policy thinker in the United States Senate? A man who not only has the best instincts but has the honor and the courage to, yes, put country first, as when he carried the lonely fight for the surge that turned Iraq from catastrophic defeat into achievable strategic victory?

There's just no comparison. Obama's own running mate warned this week that Obama's youth and inexperience will invite a crisis -- indeed a crisis "generated" precisely to test him. Can you be serious about national security and vote on Nov. 4 to invite that test? And how will he pass it? Well, how has he fared on the only two significant foreign policy tests he has faced since he's been in the Senate? The first was the surge. Obama failed spectacularly. He not only opposed it. He tried to denigrate it, stop it and, finally, deny its success. The second test was Georgia, to which Obama responded instinctively with evenhanded moral equivalence, urging restraint on both sides. McCain did not have to consult his advisers to instantly identify the aggressor.

Today's economic crisis, like every other in our history, will in time pass. But the barbarians will still be at the gates. Whom do you want on the parapet? I'm for the guy who can tell the lion from the lamb.

Posted by Jerome S. Kaufman at 01:35 PM | Comments (0)

October 27, 2008

Please read before you vote!

October 26, 2008

Redacted from an article by Joan Swirsky

Last week, during the crucial waning days of the presidential campaign, Obama left for Hawaii to visit his 85-year-old grandmother, Madelyn Dunham, who had broken her hip. In such bad shape was she - in spite of the hospital's sending her home to heal - that Obama told ABC's Robin Roberts, "I'm still not sure whether she makes it to Election Day." Filling in for Obama on the campaign trail in Ohio was his wife, Michelle, who told the crowd that granny was doing just fine.

Did Obama have a dual purpose in traveling to Hawaii, the other being to magically produce the birth certificate proving his eligibility to be president? While he's now back on the campaign trail, he has still failed to produce said certificate!

After a recent article I wrote, My Mother's Birth Certificate - And Obama's, a number of people e-mailed me with FactCheck.org's "proof" of the certificate. But, let's not forget that FactCheck is owned by the Annenberg Foundation, the same foundation that gave millions of dollars to Obama and his unrepentant terrorist pal William Ayers for an "education" project. To me, that makes FactCheck ipso facto the least credible source of information.

Infinitely more credible is the research done by, among others, Pennsylvania attorney Philip J. Berg (website), Chicago journalist Andy Martin, ContrarianCommentaryBlog and author Jerome Corsi (The Obama Nation), who have cast persuasive, data-provided doubt not only that the birth certificate(s) so far produced were blatant forgeries, but that Obama - and his leftwing media lapdogs - have been concealing the fact that he was born in a hospital in Mombasa, Kenya, a birth his Kenyan grandmother is on record saying she and Obama's half-brother and half-sister attended.

What else has Obama failed to provide to a public - and an electorate - that deserves to know everything possible about a presidential candidate?
· Occidental College records - not released.
· Columbia Thesis paper - not available, locked down by faculty.
· Harvard College records - not released, locked down by faculty.
· Selective Service Registration - not released.
· Medical records - not released (only a one-page report).
· Illinois State Senate schedule - 'not available.'
· Law practice client list - not released.
· Certified Copy of original Birth certificate - not released.
· Embossed, signed paper Certification of Live Birth - not released.
· Harvard Law Review articles published - None.
· University of Chicago scholarly articles - None.
· Record of Baptism-- Not released or 'not available.'
· Illinois State Senate records--'not available.'

No wonder Obama's critics have called him a Manchurian Candidate, a Trojan horse and a stealth candidate! If he has nothing to hide, why on earth is he still refusing to come clean with the American people? Answer: he clearly has a lot to hide.

WHAT'S HAPPENING NOW?

Big hat tip here to Matt Bruce, a retired fire-rescue captain, who provided the following information. Currently, lawsuits are being filed in nine states - California, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Washington - that are seeking to require Barack Obama to provide Certification of his Birth in the United States, or to be removed or to remove himself from state ballots. Hawaii, the state in which Obama was supposedly born, is seeking judicial authority to force the certifying or decertifying of Obama's qualification to run as a candidate for President as a natural born U.S. citizen.

What is Obama’s history?

· He was born in Mombassa, Kenya in 1961 while his mother, Stanley Ann Dunham, was married to Barack Obama Sr., a Kenyan.
· When his mother, divorced from Obama Sr., moved to Indonesia and married Lolo Soetoro, an Indonesian, Obama was adopted by Soetoro and became an Indonesian citizen.
· While in Indonesia, Obama had his name changed to Barry Soetoro.
· Obama traveled to Pakistan in 1981 under an Indonesian passport, when Pakistan was a no-travel zone for Americans.
· Obama's Kenyan grandmother is alleged to have claimed that Obama was born in Kenya and she was present at the birth.
· Muammar Gadhafi, leader of Libya, has publicly claimed that Obama was born in Kenya and studied in Muslim schools in Indonesia.
· Obama has also admitted on his website to hold citizenship in another country (the U.S. Constitution forbids dual citizenship).
· A lawsuit in Honolulu in the First District Court is seeking a court-order to open Obama's secret birth records.
· Obama has thus far neglected a Freedom of Information request for the records at two hospitals in Hawaii.
· Lawsuits in California, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Washington are asking state Superior Courts to force the each state's Secretary of State, as the chief state elections officer, to perform his or her state constitutional duty to require original certifying birth records from Mr. Obama that would verify his birth in Hawaii.

EXERCISE YOUR PRECIOUS RIGHT TO VOTE

Despite the threat that Obama and his supporters have leveled at the United States Constitution, we as voters have a fail-safe solution. If Obama continues to refuse to produce an authentic birth certificate, then we voters - on November 4th - can come out by the millions upon millions to end his candidacy simply by voting NO to Obama and Yes to McCain-Palin! Then we can work to get him out of the Senate!

Joan Swirsky (http://www.joanswirsky.com/) is a New York-based journalist and author who can be reached at joansharon@aol.com.

Posted by Jerome S. Kaufman at 10:57 PM | Comments (0)

October 26, 2008

Violence against Christians is a rising concern for Iraqis

By KIM GAMEL
Associated Press, October 9, 2008

BAGHDAD, Iraq — An Iraqi archbishop expressed concern over what he called a “campaign of killings and deportations” against Christians in the northern city of Mosul after police reported seven Christians killed in separate attacks this month.

A female suicide bomber also blew herself up near government offices in Baqouba, northeast of the capital, killing people, Iraqi officials said. The violence in both cities occurred despite U.S.-Iraqi operations launched over the summer aimed at routing Al Qaeda in Iraq and other insurgents from remaining strongholds north of the capital.

Iraqi police in Mosul, 225 miles northwest of Baghdad, have reported finding the bullet-riddled bodies of seven Christians in separate attacks so far in October, the latest a day laborer found on Wednesday. The others included a clothing store owner, a teenager, two other day laborers, a pharmacy employee and a handicapped man who owns a spare parts store, police said.

Iraqis have their religions listed on government-issued ID cards. ‘We are worried about the campaign of killings and deportations against the Christian citizens in Mosul,” Chaldean Archbishop Louis Sako said in a statement. “Such violations are damaging the national unity,” Sako said. “The Christians want only to live in peace and harmony and to work together with all Iraqis for the benefit of Iraq.” Sako is based in the northern city of Kirkuk but has overseen the community in Mosul since the killing of Archbishop Paulos Faraj Rahho, whose body was found in March, after gunmen, following mass, kidnapped him.

The Christian community has been estimated at 3% of Iraq’s 26 million people, or about 800,000 Christians. Many metro Detroit Chaldeans trace their roots to villages near Mosul. Islamic extremists frequently have targeted Chaldeans since the 2003 U.S. invasion, forcing tens of thousands to flee the country. Attacks had tapered off amid a drastic decline in overall violence nationwide, but concerns are rising about the deaths this month.

The Iraqi Democratic Assyrian Movement, the main Christian political group in Iraq, also accused local authorities in Mosul of failing to protect the Christian population. “We call upon the government to shoulder its responsibilities in providing security and in stopping the bloodshed of innocent people,” the group said in a statement. Christian leaders have been lobbying the Iraqi parliament to pass a law that would set aside a number of seats for minorities in upcoming provincial elections, saying they fear being further sidelined in the Islamic country.

The explosion in Baqouba occurred just before noon across the street from the city’s courthouse, shattering nearby storefronts and leaving pools of blood on the pavement. ‘We were inside the court building when we heard a thunderous explosion followed by people’s cries,” said Abu Mohammed, a 55-year-Old lawyer. “We rushed outside the building. We couldn’t see anything because smoke was everywhere.” Mohammed, who would not give his full name because of security reasons, said the target appeared to be Iraqi army Humvees parked nearby. Those killed included five Iraqi soldiers, three policemen and three civilians, according to police and hospital officials. They said 19 people were wounded.

The Iraqi official spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to release the information The U.S. military said seven people — five Iraqi soldiers and two civilians —were killed and 21 civilians were Wounded
A Company of U.S. soldiers was on its first combat patrol when it responded
“It’s a cold realization that it’s not just pictures,” said Spec. D. Watson, 24, of Houston


Posted by Jerome S. Kaufman at 03:33 AM | Comments (0)

October 24, 2008

Far fetched? But, can we take a chance? Not me! (jsk)

Obama – Manchurian Candidate?

By Klaus Rohrich

October 21, 2008

In October 1962 the film The Manchurian Candidate was released to rave reviews. Directed by John Frankenheimer and starring Frank Sinatra and Lawrence Harvey, the film was about a nefarious plot that involved
brainwashing, an assassin with a post-hypnotic trigger and a conspiracy to deliver the US presidency into the hands of foreign enemies whose plan it was to destroy the country from within. Eventually cracks began to appear in the plot and in the end, the evildoers met their just rewards.

Fast-forward 46 years into this year’s presidential contest between Barack Obama and John McCain. Out of no where Barack Obama appears on the scene full-blown and manages to snatch the democratic nomination from Hillary
Clinton, despite his complete lack of experience in both domestic as well as
foreign policy. In fact, Barack Obama’s experience is so thin that it isn’t even possible to ascertain exactly what he stands for, given that he voted ‘present’ on over 130 Senate bills.

Yet, the mainstream media have embraced Obama as the Messiah, the Chosen One, the One Who Will Bring About Hope and Change. No matter that there is no voting record or even a clear history of Obama’s activities since graduation, save and except that he was a ‘community organizer’. Most
candidates for political office including those running for dogcatcher of Gnarled Gulch, Montana face close scrutiny by the electorate and especially the media.

But, it appears that no amount of subterfuge and skullduggery with which
Barack Obama is associated, is enough to raise any questions about his
suitability to hold the highest office in the land.
Call me paranoid, but
suppose there is a vast left-wing conspiracy to take over the United States, there wouldn’t be a better time to do it than now and it seems that there’s
no better candidate to do it than Barack Obama.

Let’s look at some of the scandalous and tawdry affairs with which the
presumptive president has been associated. For twenty years Obama sat in the pews at the Trinity United Church of Christ, while the pastor, Jeremiah
Wright raged
against America proclaiming that the 9/11 attacks on New Yorkand the Pentagon were “America’s chickens coming home to roost.” When this came to light, Obama attempted to minimize the comment by likening Rev.
Wright to an ‘eccentric uncle’ who can’t be taken seriously. Then footage of the Reverend’s sermons appeared on You Tube, which made it a little more difficult to paint him as an eccentric, given the vitriol with which his rants were delivered. Still Obama attempted to make light of the scandal by continuing to refer to Wright as his mentor.

Then the Reverend Michael Pfleger went on a rant against Hillary Clinton at Trinity, which caused Obama to finally disassociate himself from the
church. In a letter of resignation written to the Rev. Otis Moss III, who
succeeded Wright upon the latter’s retirement; Obama wrote “Our relations
with Trinity have been strained by the divisive statements of Reverend Wright, which sharply conflict with our own views.” Really? And, it only took twenty years of listening to his sermons for Obama to decide that.

More ominous is the alliance Obama established between himself and Bill Ayers and Bernadette Dohrn, the former leaders of the Weather
Underground. Both Ayers and Dohrn were involved in bombing the Pentagon and other buildings occupied by the federal government, but managed to evade
justice on a legal technicality. Obama launched his political career in the home of these two radical activists, who held a fundraiser for his benefit. But when asked about his relationship with these domestic terrorists Obama made it sound like he hardly knew them, feigning ignorance of their past by claiming he was only eight years old at the time these crimes were committed. Of course, to this day neither Ayers nor Dohrn have expressed contrition for their crime. On the contrary, Ayers told the New York Times that he did not regret setting off the bombs and that the group did not do enough.

Another piece of crud that continues to stick to the soles of Obama’s shoes
is his links to ACORN (Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now). Currently Acorn is under investigation for massive electoral fraud in
14 states involving tens of thousands of bogus voters
. What’s worse, the
sub-prime meltdown, which has caused the most severe financial crisis since
the Great Depression, can in large part be attributed to the policies espoused by ACORN in their quest for attempting to ensure that even people who couldn’t afford to own a home, owned a home.

Of course Obama again pleads ignorance about Acorn and claims not to have any dealings with the group. For openers, Obama provided leadership training to Acorn and he sat on a number of boards of groups that provided funding to ACORN. ACORN is arguably much more radical and reaches deeper into the mainstream than MoveOn.Org or Code Pink because of the group’s practice of working in selected urban areas and keeping an extremely low profile. This is a
scandal that, for some reason, no member of the media has been particularly
interested in, as it could conceivably crater the Messiah’s quest for beatitude. Imagine the likes of Chris Matthews or Keith Obermann looking into the relationship between Barack Obama and ACORN—NOT! If anything, the
so-called mainstream media is helping the president-to-be keep his relationship with ACORN a personal secret.

Then there is the brouhaha about the constitutional eligibility of Barack Obama to hold the office of POTUS. Philip J. Berg, the former Deputy Attorney General of the State of Pennsylvania and two-time Democratic candidate for governor has filed suit in federal court in an effort to force Barack Obama to produce a valid birth Certificate. Rather than produce the certificate in federal court as ordered by a judge, Obama has provided images of the document to a friendly web site, ignored the judge and filed a motion to dismiss the case. He admitted that he holds dual citizenship with the US and Kenya, and file a Joint Motion for Protective Order to Stay Discovery, which should put the matter to rest until after the election.

Doesn’t it seem strange that if Obama is really qualified to hold the office
of president, that he refuse to provide the original copy of his birth
certificate to a federal judge, which would put the matter to rest once and
for all.


Then there is the guarantee by Obama’s running mate, Joe Biden, that within
the first six months of Obama’s first term a world crisis would arise that will be handled admirably by President Obama, albeit it will leave his poll numbers in the basement. Does Biden have a crystal ball or does he know things the rest of us don’t know? How could Obama’s second banana know and guarantee, at that a world crisis within six months?

Each of these factors taken individually is enough to raise an eyebrow or two. But, taken together they scream out loud for a closer look. The
American left has so committed itself to electing a black man president of the United States that he is virtually smear proof with a Teflon coating thicker than any politician’s in history. One would think with an election as important as this the American people would want to know everything they can about both candidates to ensure that the one they choose is right for the job.

As it stands, the candidacy of Barack Obama has placed America into a tough
spot. At worst, Obama is a duplicitous enemy of American democracy
controlled by a cabal of sinister puppet masters; at best, he is an idiot savant that has bumbled onto the national stage with the help of a love-struck media.

In victory or in defeat Obama offers the worst-case scenario. We cannot predict his impact if he wins, as he doesn’t have a sufficiently transparent background to allow us to venture an educated guess. And, if he loses, it will be claimed that it was because America remains racist to the core.

Klaus Rohrich is a senior columnist with Canada Free Press. He can be reached at: letters@canadafreepress.com.

Posted by Jerome S. Kaufman at 02:43 PM | Comments (0)

October 23, 2008

Correction of J Street article

Please be advised that the item sent to you yesterday, purportedly by Morris J. Amitay, should not have been distributed. It was taken without permission from a comment in his latest Washington PAC Newsletter—and included my own edits. The characterization of Jim Zogby as “fanatical” and as an “Arab American lobbyist” was my own, and should not be attributed to Mr. Amitay or the Washington PAC. If you have given this item distribution to your own list, Mr. Amitay and I would appreciate your informing them of this error on my part.

Jerome S. Kaufman


Posted by Jerome S. Kaufman at 02:01 PM | Comments (0)

October 22, 2008

What is J Street?

By Morrie Amitay
Founder, Washington Political Action Committee

The current election cycle witnessed the creation of “J Street” and the J Street PAC. J Street describes itself as the “political arm of the pro-Israel, pro-peace movement” seeking to “change the direction of American policy in the Middle East and to broaden the public and policy debate in the U.S. about the Middle East.”

J Street was formed to give a political voice to the more established “blame Israel first” groups, such as - Americans for Peace Now, Brit Tzedek V’Shalom and the somewhat less critical Israel Policy Forum. To no surprise, J Street’s creation was heralded as a “much needed, important new development” by American Arab lobbyist and fanatical Israel critic, James Zogby of the Arab American Institute.

This Congress, J Street took “pride” in supporting resistance to a “dangerous” non-binding House resolution (H.Con. Res. 362) -- co-sponsored by 280 members of the House -- “expressing the sense of Congress regarding the threat posed to international peace, stability in the Middle East, and the vital national security interests of the United States by ban’s pursuit of nuclear weapons and regional hegemony.”

The J Street PAC makes contributions and endorses members of Congress and candidates based on J Street’s principles. This year J Street PAC endorsed the following House members; Tom Allen (in his race against the very pro-Israel Senator Susan Collins of Maine), Earl Blumenaur, Charles Boustany, Lois Capps, Steve Cohen, Susan Davis, Bill Delahunt, Donna Edwards, Keith Ellison, Bob Filner, Rush Holt, Betty McCollum, David Price, Jan Schakowsky, Adam Schiff, Joe Sestak, Rob Wexler, and John Yarmuth. Also endorsed was the challenger to pro-Israel Senator Gordon Smith of Oregon.

A large number of J Street PAC endorsed members of Congress have some of the poorest Israel/Middle East related voting records in the House. Accordingly, many are also among the 33 House Members in the 110th Congress Pro-Arab “Hall of Fame” as determined by the virulently anti-Israel, “Washington Report on Middle Eastern Affairs.” Of interest also is that while J Street PAC claims to be “non-partisan” there was only one Republican (Boustany of LA) “pro-Israel” enough for them to endorse.

As a matter of policy, the Washington PAC has decided not to contribute to Members of Congress and candidates who accept endorsements by J Street PAC. We hope that truly pro-Israel political contributors will do likewise.

Morris J. Amitay

Posted by Jerome S. Kaufman at 05:58 PM | Comments (0)

October 20, 2008

Barack Obama and more ACORN fraud exposed

ACORN Whistleblowers

By Kenneth Timmerman, Newsmax.com October 13, 2008

New testimony obtained by a consumer advocate group from former employees of ACORN paints a startling picture of the apparent misuse of taxpayer dollars to further the group’s left-wing political agenda. Four former employees of ACORN and of ACORN Housing Corp. have supplied sworn affidavits to the Consumer Rights League that provide eyewitness accounts of how the two organizations have commingled funds and resources, in apparent violation of federal law.

ACORN has devoted $50 million to Project Vote activities in the current election cycle, primarily to register minority and low-income voters. Barack Obama ran the Chicago branch of Project Vote in 1992, and soon afterwards began teaching classes for "Future Leaders Identified by ACORN."
In 1995, Obama represented ACORN in a lawsuit against the state of Illinois for its supposed failure to implement the new "motor voter" law, the first piece of legislation signed by Bill Clinton after he became president in 1993.

In a statement now immortalized in a YouTube video, Obama promised ACORN and other community organizations in an Iowa presidential campaign forum for Democrats in December 2007 that if elected president, he would bring them into the White House to help shape the agenda of an Obama administration.

"Before I even get inaugurated, during the transition, we're going to be calling all of you in to help us shape the agenda. We're going to be having meetings all across the country with community organizations so that you have input into the agenda for the next presidency of the United States of America," Obama pledged.

ACORN endorsed Obama on Feb. 21, 2008, at the most critical point of the tough primary battle that pitted him against Hillary Clinton. Welcoming that endorsement, Obama said, "I’ve been fighting alongside ACORN on issues that you care about my entire career."

But now that ACORN’s alleged voter fraud activities have become public, the Illinois senator has sought to distance himself from ACORN, just as he has from other former allies, such as the Rev. Jeremiah Wright or former wanted terrorist William Ayers.

His "fight the smears" Web site now has a statement claiming that "ACORN never hired Obama as a trainer, organizer, or any type of employee," but acknowledged that he was hired by the organization in the 1995 lawsuit.
"Obama’s failure to disclose the true nature of his relationship with ACORN is very surprising and deeply troubling," the John McCain campaign said in a press release last week.

The Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN) bills itself as a non-partisan group, supported by tax-exempt contributions from individuals and corporations.

The ACORN Housing Corp. (AHC), an ACORN affiliate, receives more than 40 percent of its funding from government sources, ostensibly to promote affordable housing to low- and middle-income families.

But according to CRL, internal documents obtained from whistleblowers suggest that ACORN has failed to maintain the proper distinction between its tax-exempt housing work and its aggressive political activities. "ACORN and its offshoots take in millions of dollars in government grants under the guise of ‘consumer advocacy’ to line their own pockets," said Jim Terry, CRL’s chief public advocate.

The new testimony, from four former ACORN and AHC employees, provides "hard confirmation" that ACORN and its affiliate are in fact one in the same, Terry told Newsmax. "Here are people who have been in the room, testifying to the criminal intent of the people involved" in shuffling ACORN resources from tax-exempt purposes to political activities, he said.
"Everything they do and say, with the exception of filing their government reports, treats this family of organizations as one cohesive unit. They operated as one organization, controlled from the top down," Terry said.

One former employee, who was with ACORN for six years, including in a management position, testified that she has "knowledge that AHC has subsidized and believe that AHC continues to subsidize ACORN activities," in apparent violation of the law. "AHC subsidies to ACORN include office telephone service, fax, supplies and rental space paid for by AHC funds," she added.

In addition, AHC management routinely treated federal grants as money that could be shared with ACORN, Terry told Newsmax. "Between 2004 through 2006, AHC transferred $4.6 million to ACORN in grants and fees, according to their tax returns. This is inherently wrong." Since 40 percent of AHC funds came from government grants, that means that U.S. taxpayers were in effect paying for ACORN’s partisan political activities, he added.

AHC required employees to "solicit funds and cash from clients and real estate professionals to pay for AHC operations," one of the whistleblowers said, detailing what amounted to a "shakedown" operation. Another former AHC employee said he would testify in court to the fact that "AHC and ACORN have operated as one entity," and quoted internal e-mails detailing how federal grants were shared between the organizations.

The whistleblowers also stated that: AHC employees were instructed to hide documents from federal auditors with the Department of Housing and Urban Development. AHC employees were instructed on "steering" loans to partner banks, including Chase (for loans in the New Orleans area) and Bank of America for other areas around the country.

AHC National Field Director Lee Trujillo stated in the presence of several of these witnesses that "AHC and ACORN would be funded out of the same account." AHC and ACORN have also shared "voter initiative money." Internal AHC e-mails and other documents "clearly show that AHC is paying for lease space occupied by ACORN."

All of these are potential violations of the laws governing non-profit organizations. ACORN is currently under investigation for fraudulent voter registration and related activities in at least 11 key battleground states. Election officials in several states have said that 50 percent of ACORN voter registrations are fictitious.

Just last week, for example, ACORN’s offices in Nevada were raided by state law enforcement officials after reports that ACORN had registered the starting lineup of the Dallas Cowboys to vote in Las Vegas. In Connecticut, a 7-year-old girl was found to have been registered to vote by ACORN, which changed her age to 27.

ACORN announced last week that it had just completed "the largest, most successful nonpartisan voter registration drive in U.S. history," by helping "1.3 million low-income, minority and young voters across the country register to vote." The group insisted that the allegations of voter fraud are "bogus," and "aim to camouflage voter suppression," a term used by many groups on the left to describe alleged police roadblocks in black neighborhoods in Florida during the 2000 campaign.

Despite a two-year investigation by the U.S. Civil Rights Commission under the direction of Jesse Jackson protegé Mary Frances Berry, not a single eyewitness stepped forward who could corroborate the allegations of voter suppression or police roadblocks in Florida during that election. ACORN has paid more than 13,000 workers to sign up new voters this election season, and admits that "there are always some people who want to get paid without really doing the job." In any large voter registration operation, ACORN said last week, there will always be "a small percentage of workers who turn in bogus registration forms." But discrepancies in voter registration documents "has nothing to do with ‘voter fraud,’" the group insisted.

AHC gets U.S. government grants to provide free advice and counseling services to low and mid-income consumers on how to qualify for a mortgage.
In the advice it offers consumers, AHC warns about "predatory" lending. And yet, CRL alleges in a report issued earlier this year that AHC engages in many of the same practices it condemns.

"ACORN’s ‘financial justice’ operations attack lenders for ‘exotic’ loans, but AHC has recommended ten-year interest-only loans (which deny equity to the buyer) and reverse mortgages (which can be detrimental to senior citizens)," the report states. AHC also has worked to obtain mortgages for undocumented workers, and has advised intake officers to counsel consumers how to use "under the table" income not reported to the Internal Revenue Service in order to increase their borrowing ability.

© 2008 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

Posted by Jerome S. Kaufman at 03:12 PM | Comments (0)

October 16, 2008

Why They Hate Her

Redacted from article by Jeffrey Bell

The Weekly Standard, Sept, 2008

From the instant of Palin’s designation as VP candidate, the American left went into a collective mass seizure from which it shows no sign of emerging. The left blogosphere and elite media have, for the moment, joined forces and become indistinguishable from each other, and from the supermarket tabloids, in their desire to find and use anything that will criminalize and/or humiliate Palin and her family.

In sharp contrast to the yearlong restraint shown toward truthful reports about John Edwards’s affair bizarre rumors have been reported as news, and, according to McCain campaign director Steve Schmidt, nationally known members of the elite media have besieged him with preposterous demands.

The most striking thing in purely political terms about this hurricane of elite rage is the built-in likelihood that it will backfire. If is not simply that it is highly capable of generating’ sympathy for Palin among puzzled undecided voters and of infuriating and motivating a previously placid GOP base, neither of which is in the interest of the Obama/Biden campaign.

It also created an opening for Palin herself to look calm, composed, competent and funny in response. In her acceptance speech, anyone could see the poise and skill that undoubtedly attracted McCain’s attention months ago, when few others were even aware that he was looking. But, it was precisely the venom of the left’s assault that heightened the drama and made it a riveting television event. Palin benefited from her ability to project fill awareness of the volume and relentlessness of the attacks without showing a scintilla of resentment or self-pity.

This is a rare talent, one shared by Franklin D. Roosevelt and Ronald Reagan. For this quality to have even a chance to develop, there must be something real to serve as an emotional backdrop: disproportionate, crazy-seeming rage by one’s political enemies. Roosevelt was on his party’s national ticket five times and Reagan sought the presidency four times. Each became governor of what at the time was the nation’s most populous state. It took Roosevelt and Reagan decades of national prominence and pitched ideological combat to achieve the gift of enemies like these. Yet, the American left awarded Sarah Palin this gift seemingly within a microsecond of her appearance on the national stage in Dayton, Ohio. Why?

On August 29, in the immediate aftermath of the announcement by the McCain campaign, all that was widely known of the governor of Alaska was that she was married with five children, the last one of whom had been carried to term with Down syndrome, and that she was pro-life. No one knew that her oldest daughter was pregnant. No one knew much about what she had done as governor or in her previous career. No one knew how she had been drawn into politics, or that her sister had had a reckless husband and a contentious divorce. Above all, with the possible exception of John McCain, no one knew that Sarah Palin was both a married mother of five and a brilliant political talent with a chance not just to change the dynamics of the 2008 election but to rise to the top level of American politics, whatever happens this year.

The simple act of her being a pro-life married mother of five with a thriving political career was—before anything else about her was known—enough for the left and its outliers to target her for destruction. She could not be allowed to contradict symbolically one of the central narratives of the left. How galling it will be to Sarah Palin’s many new enemies if she survives this assault and prevails. If she does, her success may be an important moment in the struggle to shape not just America’s politics but also its culture.

Posted by Jerome S. Kaufman at 11:39 PM | Comments (0)

October 15, 2008

For Israeli supporters who care who becomes President of the USA

New York Post October 14, 2008

From Jesse Jackson of “Jew York” fame:

“Obama to end decades of putting Israel's interests first”

In an address to the World Policy Forum the week of October 6 in Evian,
France, Jesse Jackson stated that under an Obama administration there would
be 'fundamental changes' in U.S. foreign policy, and that America must 'heal
wounds' it has caused to other nations.

'The most important change would occur in the Middle East, where 'decades of putting Israel's interests first' would end, he said.

Jackson further stated that he believes that, although 'Zionists who have controlled American policy for decades' remain strong, they'll lose a great
deal of their clout when Barack Obama enters the White House.

Not surprisingly, you won't find coverage of this in the 'mainstream' media.

(In fact, that cute little blond Gretchen between the two guys was about to make the above statement on Fox News about 6:00 PM, when she was abruptly cut off by a commercial. When she came back, the subject was never mentioned again nor was her sentence completed? It seemed very fishy at time and now I know why, I think) jsk

The original New York Post article is at:

http://www.nypost.com/seven/10142008/postopinion/opedcolumnists/the_o_jesse_knows_133450.htm.

You have to copy and paste http address above to your Search Engine in order to open this quote.

Posted by Jerome S. Kaufman at 07:33 PM | Comments (0)

October 12, 2008

Thank you ACORN for defining the term “community organizer” for us.

We were never quite sure exactly what Barack Obama did in Chicago.

ACORN’S role in the Mortgage Meltdown
By MONA CHAREN

The Washington Times, October 6, 2008

The financial markets teetered on the edge of an abyss two weeks ago. The treasury secretary was literally on one knee begging the speaker of the House not to sabotage the bailout bill. The crash of falling banks made the Earth tremble. The Republican presidential candidate suspended his campaign to deal with the crisis. In addition, amid all this, the Democrats in Congress managed to find time to slip language into the bailout legislation that would provide a, dandy little slush fund for ACORN.

ACORN stands for the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now, a busy hive of left-wing agitation and “direct action” that claims chapters in 50 cities and 100,000 dues-paying members. ACORN is where 1960s leftovers who couldn’t get tenure at universities wound up. That the bill-writing Democrats remembered their pet clients during such an emergency speaks volumes. This attempted gift to ACORN (stripped out of the bill after outraged howls from Republicans) demonstrates how little Democrats understand about what caused the mess we are in.

ACORN does many things under the umbrella of “community organizing.” They agitate for higher minimum wages, attempt to thwart school reform, try to unionize welfare / workers (i.e., those welfare recipients obliged to work in exchange for benefits) and organize voter registration efforts / (always for Democrats of course).

Because they are on the side of righteousness and justice, they aren’t especially fastidious about their methods. In 2006, for example, ACORN registered 1,800 new voters in Washington State. The only trouble was, with the exception of six, all the names submitted were fake. The secretary of state called it the “worst case of election fraud in our state’s history?’

As Fox News reported: The ACORN workers told state investigators that they went to the Seattle public library, sat at a table and filled out the voter registration forms. They made up names, addresses and Social Security numbers and in some cases plucked names from the phone book. One worker said it was a lot of hard work making up all those names and another said he would sit at home, smoke marijuana and fill out the forms.

ACORN explained this was an “isolated” incident, yet similar stories have been reported in Missouri, Michigan, Ohio and Colorado— all swing states by the way. ACORN members have been prosecuted for voter fraud in a number of states. (See www.rottenacorn.com) Their philosophy seems to be that everyone deserves the right to vote, whether legal or illegal, living or dead.

ACORN recognized very early the opportunity presented by the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) of 1977. As Stanley Kurtz has reported, ACORN proudly touted “affirmative action” lending, and pressured banks to make sub-prime loans. Madeline Talbot, a Chicago ACORN leader, boasted of “dragging banks kicking and screaming” into dubious loans. In addition, as Sol Stern reported in City Journal, ACORN found a remunerative niche as an “adviser” to banks seeking regulatory approval.

“Thus we have J.P. Morgan and Co., the legatee of the man who once symbolized for many all that was supposedly evil about American capitalism, suddenly donating hundreds of thousands of dollars to ACORN.” Is this a great country or what? As conservative community activist Robert Woodson put it, “The same corporations that pay ransom to Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton pay ransom to ACORN?’

ACORN attracted Barack Obama in his youthful community-organizing days. Madeline Talbot hired him to train her staff — the very people who would later descend on Chicago’s banks as CRA shakedown artists. The Democratic nominee later funneled money to the group through the Woods Fund, on whose board he sat and through the Chicago Annenberg Challenge, ditto. Mr. Obama was not just sympathetic — he was an ACORN fellow traveler.

Now you could make the case that before 2008, well-intentioned people were simply unaware of what their agitation on behalf of non creditworthy borrowers could lead to. But now? With the whole financial world and possibly the world economy trembling and cracking like a cement building in an earthquake, Democrats continue to try to fund their friends at ACORN And, unashamed, they then trot out to the TV cameras to declare that “the party is over” for Wall Street (Nancy Pelosi)? The party should be over for the Democrats who brought us to this pass. If Mr. Obama wins, it means hiring an arsonist to fight a fire.

Mona Charen is a nationally syndicated columnist

Posted by Jerome S. Kaufman at 03:25 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

October 10, 2008

A Stark Contrast - McCain vs. Obama on Israel

By Yoram Ettinger

(Redacted from an article published in Israel’s newspaper, Yediot Aharonot)

Whatever the President's view of the world, in general, shapes his attitude toward Israel, either as a strategic asset or a liability, directly impacting Israel's national security.

For example, President Nixon was not initially a friend of the US Jewish community and was not a leader of pro-Israeli legislation in the US Senate. In 1968, he received only about 15% of the Jewish vote. However, his worldview recognized Israel's importance to US national security, as was demonstrated in 1970, when Israel rolled back a Syrian invasion of Jordan, preventing a pro-Soviet domino scenario into the Persian Gulf.

Nixon’s worldview led him to approve critical military shipments to Israel during the 1973 War - in defiance of the Arab oil embargo and brutal pressure by the Saudi lobby in Washington, and in spite of the Democratic pattern of the Jewish voters.

On the other hand, President Clinton apparently displayed at one time, an affinity toward Judaism, the Jewish People and the Jewish State. However, his worldview accepted Arafat as a national liberation leader, elevated him to the most frequent guest at the White House, underestimated the threat of Islamic terrorism and facilitated its expansion from 1993 (first "Twin Tower" attack) to the 9/11 terrorist tsunami, adding fuel to the fire of Middle East and global turbulence.

How would the worldview of Obama, McCain and their advisors shape US policy toward Israel?

1. According to McCain, World War III between Western democracies and Islamic terror/rogue regimes is already in process. According to Obama, the conflict is with a radical Islamic minority, which could be dealt with through diplomacy, foreign aid, cultural exchanges and a lower US military profile. Thus, McCain's worldview highlights - while Obama's worldview downplays - Israel's role as a strategic ally. McCain recognizes that US-Israel relations have been shaped by shared values, mutual threats and joint interests and not by frequent disagreements over the Arab-Israeli conflict.

2. According to Obama, the US needs to adopt the worldview of the Department of State bureaucracy (Israel's staunchest critic in Washington,) pacify the knee-jerk-anti-Israel-UN, move closer to the Peace-at-any-Price-Western Europe and appease the Third World, which blames the West and Israel for the predicament of the Third World and the Arabs. On the other hand, McCain contends that the US should persist - in defiance of global odds - in being the Free World's Pillar of Fire, ideologically and militarily.

3. According to Obama, Islamic terrorism constitutes a challenge for international law enforcement agencies and terrorists should be brought to justice. According to McCain, they are a military challenge and should be brought down to their knees. Obama's passive approach adrenalizes the veins of terrorists and intensifies Israel's predicament, while McCain's approach bolsters the US' and Israel's war on terrorism.

4. Obama and his advisors assume that Islamic terrorism is driven by despair, poverty, erroneous US policy and US presence on Muslim soil in the Persian Gulf. On the other hand, McCain maintains that Islamic terrorism is driven by ideology, which considers US values (freedom of expression, religion, media, movement, market and Internet) and US power a most lethal threat that must be demolished. McCain's worldview supports Israel's battle against terrorism, demonstrating that the root cause of the Arab-Israel conflict is not the size - but the existence - of Israel.

5. Contrary to McCain, Obama is convinced - just like Tony Blair - that the Palestinian issue is the core cause of Middle East turbulence and anti-Western Islamic terrorism, and therefore requires a more assertive US involvement, exerting additional pressure on Israel. The intriguing assumption that a less-than-100 year old Palestinian issue is the root cause of 1,400 year old inter-Arab Middle East conflicts and Islamic terrorism, would deepen US involvement in Israel-Palestinians negotiations and transform the US into more of a neutral broker and less of a special ally of Israel, which would drive Israel into sweeping concessions.

Obama's worldview would be welcomed by supporters of an Israeli rollback to the 1949 ceasefire lines, including the repartitioning of Jerusalem and the opening of the "Pandora Refugees' Box.” On the other hand, McCain's worldview adheres to the assumption that an Israeli retreat would convert the Jewish State from a power of deterrence to a punching bag, from a producer - to a consumer - of national security and from a strategic asset to a strategic burden in the most violent, volatile and treacherous region in the world.

Yoram Ettinger is a well recognized Middle Eastern and American affairs expert.

Posted by Jerome S. Kaufman at 04:42 PM | Comments (0)

October 07, 2008

How can you possibly feel safe with Obama’s personal history and “Pals”?

By Frank Gaffney Jr.

Townhall.com, October 6, 2008

Suddenly, the presidential campaigns are addressing an issue that should have been at the forefront of this year’s election long ago. Call it “characters count.” We know people – especially public figures – by the company they keep. Moreover, we need to know much more about, to put it charitably, the characters that have figured prominently for years in Barack Obama’s life.

Over the weekend, Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin brought the issue to the fore by observing caustically that the Democrats’ would-be commander-in-chief has “palled around with terrorists.” The Obama campaign immediately deployed talking points and a television ad conjuring up Charles Keating, a one-time friend and supporter of John McCain who was a driving force behind the 1980s-era savings and loan debacle.

The problem for Barack Obama is that convicted – and unrepentant – terrorist William Ayers is not the only person with a profound animosity towards this country with whom he has “palled around” since his youth. It is not, as the Democratic candidate maintains, a distraction or a sign of desperation on the part of his opponents that serious questions are finally being asked about the nature and the implications of the judgment he has exhibited in the past – and may exhibit in the future – as evidenced by his myriad and profoundly troubling personal ties. That is especially the case since so little is known about the junior Senator from Illinois and what he really means by “change.”

Take for example, the formative influence in Barack Obama’s youth that he calls in his memoirs simply “Frank.” As it happens, the Frank in question was Frank Marshall Davis, a well-known Stalinist Communist in Hawaii whose attachment to the Soviet Union and hatred for an America he loathed as racist and imperialistic caused the FBI to keep him under surveillance for at least 19 years. Evidently, young Obama and his father spent hours in the company of this mentor, presumably soaking in not only his alcohol but his virulent hostility towards America.

We now know that a similar view was espoused routinely from the pulpit of the Rev. Jeremiah Wright’s Trinity United Church of Christ. Sen. Obama maintains that somehow he had not heard any of Wright’s loathing of this country – epitomized by the latter’s notorious plea, “God damn America.” When confronted with evidence of it, he could not bring himself to disassociate from his pastor of twenty years until that tie properly threatened to scupper his candidacy during the Democratic primaries.

Thanks to the intrepid Stanley Kurtz, we also have learned of Sen. Obama’s longstanding ties to another fixture of the radical left, one emblematic of its enmity towards an America seen as oppressive and racist: the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (better known as ACORN). Obama trained ACORN personnel, worked with its activists on the group’s (often problematic) voter-registration efforts and consulted with its most aggressive operatives. Preeminent among the latter has been one Madeline Talbott.

Obama also secured, through his position on the Woods Fund and Chicago Annenberg Challenge boards (he served on the former with Bill Ayers), funding for ACORN’s intimidation campaigns against banks that failed to make sub-prime style loans to otherwise ineligible would-be homeowners. As Kurtz put it in the New York Post, “It would be tough to find an ‘on the ground’ community organizer more closely tied to the sub-prime-mortgage fiasco than Madeline Talbott. And no one has been more supportive of Madeline Talbott than Barack Obama.” To the extent that the economic effects of the sub-prime meltdown makes Charles Keating’s S&L raid on the Treasury look like a church social, Obama should be careful about casting stones in that direction.

Even more worrisome from a national security perspective are some of Obama’s ties to prominent figures in the world of radical Islam. These include another racist black nationalist, Don Warden, who converted to Islam and changed his name to Khalid al-Mansour. According to Kenneth Timmerman in Newsmax, al-Mansour has worked closely to advance the influence operations in America of one of Saudi Arabia’s most insidious royal billionaires, Prince Alwaleed bin Talal. The latter has appreciated for some time the help America’s higher education institutions could give his Islamist “soft jihad” – the effort to legitimate and insinuate Islamic law (Shariah) into this country. Toward that end, he has bought leading Middle East studies programs, notably at Georgetown and Harvard University, and reportedly helped advance Obama’s candidacy to the latter’s law school.

Then, there is the case of Rashid Khalidi, a former colleague of Obama’s at the University of Chicago and now a professor at Columbia. Khalidi is an enthusiastic supporter of the Palestinians, fervent critic of Israel (which he calls a destructive “racist” state), an admirer of suicide bombers and a driving force behind the Arab American Action Network (AAAN). This so-called pro-Palestinian “community organization” in Chicago is another beneficiary of the largesse of the Obama-Ayers team at the Woods Fund and promotes an agenda that would horrify many of Obama’s Jewish supporters.

Tuesday’s town-hall style debate between Barack Obama and John McCain offers the public an opportunity to explore a basic question: Have these and similar influences on Sen. Obama’s life in fact been influential – and, if so, will they translate into personnel, policies and practices that are inimical to our country, its people and security if he is elected?

We have a need to know. Characters count.

Posted by Jerome S. Kaufman at 08:18 AM | Comments (0)

October 05, 2008

Newt Gingrich analyzes income tax demagoguery

These numbers are astounding and the direct reverse of common understanding.

Tax Cuts - Real and Imaginary

Weekly Standard, September 15, 2008

By Newt Gingrich

Thirty years of Republican tax policy have now eliminated federal income taxes on the poor and lower middle income Americans, and almost eliminated them in Middle America. The latest data from the Congressional Budget Office and the Internal Revenue Service show that the lowest 40 percent of income earners, as a group, actually receive net payments from the federal income tax system. (They get 3.8 percent of total federal income tax revenues instead of paying any income taxes.)

The middle 20 percent of income earners pay 44 percent of total federal income taxes. Thus, the bottom 60 percent-of income earners together, on net, pay less than one percent of all federal income taxes. (These workers earn 26 percent of national income.)

The data show that the top one percent of income earners now pay 40 percent of all federal income taxes, which is almost double their share of the national income. The top 10 percent pay 71 percent of total federal income taxes, though they earn just 39 percent of the nation’s pretax income.

This is a result of the across the board income tax rate cuts adopted by Ronald Reagan and the current President Bush, plus the Earned Income Tax Credit first proposed by Reagan in the 1970s, and the child tax credit enacted into law as part of the 1994 Contract With America.

Barack Obama claims to be proposing income tax cuts for low and moderate income and middle class workers, but Reagan Republicans have already eliminated most of their income tax liability. What Obama is calling tax cuts for the middle class is really a slew of refundable federal income tax credits that would primarily go to those who are paying little or no federal income taxes right now!

Such credits would primarily not reduce tax liability but instead be checks from the federal government for child care, education, housing, retirement, health care, even outright giveaways. These are not tax cuts. They are new federal spending programs hidden in the tax code.

When Obama says that be will cut taxes for 95 percent of Americans, he is talking about his proposal for a $500 refundable income tax credit for all but the top 5 percent of income earners. For the bottom 40 percent of income earners, this will be just another check from the federal government rather than a reduction in tax liability.

It is another sharp increase in government spending rather than any sort of tax cut. An arbitrary cash grant does not, moreover, do anything to improve the economy or create incentives for productive business. That only comes from cutting tax rates. What Obama is proposing here is really quite similar to George McGovern’s 1972 plan to send everyone a $1,000 check, which voters rightly saw as a crass vote-buying scheme rather than serious policy.

Obama also proposes to increase the top marginal tax rates for virtually every major federal tax. These increases would not come remotely close to financing the trillion dollars of increased direct federal spending Obama is promising including a new national health insurance entitlement that would be bigger than any of the massive entitlement programs we already have and already have trouble paying. Indeed, if the tax rate increases cause a serious enough economic decline, they will lose revenues on net.

Obama’s plans are the opposite of tax reform. Instead of closing loopholes and lowering rates, be is creating new loopholes and raising rates that will immediately hurt those that his class warfare demagoguery promises to help.

But there is a real tax agenda that would benefit Middle America. America has the second-highest corporate tax rate in the industrialized world, a federal rate of 35 percent, rising to 40 percent on average with income taxes. The average corporate tax rate in the European Union countries is 24 percent. Even India and China have lower corporate tax rates. Ireland adopted a 12.5 percent corporate tax rate 20 years ago. Since then per capita income has soared from the second-lowest in the to the second-highest.

John McCain is proposing to reduce our federal corporate tax rate to 25 percent. The top income tax rates borne by non-corporate small businesses and investors should be reduced to 25 percent as well. Obama is taking the opposite tack, calling for increases in the income tax rates that small businesses pay and additional tax increases for larger corporations (such as the so-called windfall profits tax on oil companies that would only further hurt the American economy with higher energy costs).

With two-thirds of the American people now owning stocks, capital gains taxes are another Middle America issue. Obama proposes to increase the top capital gains tax rate by 33 percent, which will cause a decline in the value of stocks held by middle-income families.

History has also proven, time and again, that rising capital gains tax rates cost the federal government money. From 1968 to 1975, the capital gains tax rate was raised four times, and capital gains tax revenue fell by more than 50 percent. When capital gains tax rates were raised by 40 percent as part of the compromise in the 1986 tax reform act, revenues fell by 40 percent the next year, and by 1991, they had fallen by 63 percent.

McCain is proposing to retain the current capital gains rate of 15 percent. However, to maximize economic growth for working people and middle-income families, the capital gains tax rate should be zero. The capital gains tax is just another layer of taxation on capital income. It taxes the present discounted value of future income that will be taxed again, multiple times, in fact— when it is earned. That is not fairness or good economic sense.

Many of our international competitors maintain a zero tax rate on capital gains—including 14 out of 30 OECD countries, China, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Singapore. Eliminating the capital gains tax would cause the stocks held by two-thirds of the American people to soar in value.

The most important middle-income tax issue, however, is payroll taxes—the taxes withheld by your employer to pay for programs like Social Security and Medicare. The federal payroll tax is now the largest tax most workers pay. With federal income taxes already abolished for the poor and lower middle-income workers, and almost abolished for middle-income workers, the next big tax cut for these working people would be the ability to utilize personal accounts for Social Security. Over time, personal accounts could expand to replace the entire payroll tax and finance the same benefits. Instead of paying a tax, working people would be saving and investing in their own personal family wealth engine.

With fully expanded accounts, average families could expect to accumulate a million dollars or more, even while paying in about 25 percent less than the current 15.3 percent payroll tax. Such accounts are estimated to pay at least twice what Social Security currently promises and provide the only real hope of addressing the long-term funding problems of Medicare without harming retirees.

This would be nothing less than a revolution in the personal prosperity of working people. McCain at least favors starting such personal accounts. But, as is so typical of Barack Obama, he would just slam the door on a truly revolutionary change, and hark back to the stale ideas of the 1960s or even the 1930s. Obama’s tax policies would take America in exactly the opposite direction of the tax reform and threaten economic disaster in already difficult times.

Newt Gingrich is the former speaker of the House of Representatives and Chairman of American Solutions for Winning the Future.

Posted by Jerome S. Kaufman at 06:21 PM | Comments (0)

October 03, 2008

Finally, someone with the obvious facts speaks out.

Let us hope the benighted Israelis and American administration are listening and act accordingly.

DENNIS ROSS, FMR. CHIEF U.S. MIDDLE EAST NEGOTIATOR & GIORA EILAND, FMR. ISRAEL NATIONAL SECURITY HEAD: NEGOTIATIONS AIMING FOR PALESTINIAN STATE UNREALISTIC

Zionist Organization of America – News Release

In recent days, two senior figures involved with the Arab-Israeli situation, Dennis Ross, formerly America's chief negotiator during the Oslo process, and Maj.-Gen. (res.) Giora Eiland, former head of Israel's National Security Council, have each come out opposing the idea of a negotiated agreement leading to a Palestinian state under current conditions.

In a Washington Times opinion piece, Ross wrote about the impossibility of creating a peaceful Palestinian state while Hamas rules in Gaza, an argument first made in February 2007 by ZOA's Morton A. Klein to then-Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni at a meeting in Jerusalem of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations in February. The Director of the ZOA’s Center also elaborated the same argument July 2008 in an article for Middle East Policy, Dr. Daniel Mandel. ('No Time For a Palestinian State,' Detroit Jewish News, 17 July 2008).

Ross observes that, when Mahmoud Abbas' term as Palestinian Authority (PA) president ends in January, Palestinian laws would result in his successor being Abdel Aziz Dweik, a Hamas member who sits in an Israeli jail. The other possible successor is his deputy, Ahmad Bahar, who is also a Hamas member in Gaza [ZOA: Bahar, in an address in the PA legislature in April 2007, called for the extermination of Jews and Americans, saying, "Allah, take hold of the Jews and their allies, Allah, take hold of the Americans and their allies… Allah, count them and kill them to the last one and don't leave even one."].

Of this, Ross writes, "Hamas leaders have already begun to declare that Abbas will have no legitimacy after his term ends. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice … remains determined to try to produce an agreement between the Israelis and Palestinians on the permanent-status issues of Jerusalem, refugees, security and borders. While that might be desirable, it is simply not in the cards. As one senior Israeli official said to me, 'There are only two people in the world today who think that a deal is possible now: Ehud Olmert and Condi Rice'" (Dennis Ross, 'A Mideast Crisis to Avert,' Washington Post, September 15, 2008).

In addition, this week, General Eiland wrote in a paper presented at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy "Israel and the Palestinians do not truly desire the conventional two-state solution. The Arab world – especially Jordan and Egypt – does not truly support it either … Contrary to other disputes – where the devil is usually in the details – here the devil is more in the concept. What is the basis for believing that now we can resume the same [Oslo] negotiations and be more successful? … [The 2000 Clinton parameters for a peace settlement involving the creation of a Palestinian state is] a solution that not only can't be agreed on, but probably can't be implemented" (Hilary Leila Krieger, 'Eiland: Two-state solution "untenable,"' Jerusalem Post, September 23, 2008).

Another senior figure who has criticized the Olmert policy aimed at creating a Palestinian state is Knesset Member Dr. Yuval Steinitz (Likud). He is the former Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee chairman and said this week that the Government's offer to give away all of the Golan Heights and most of Judea and Samaria and eastern Jerusalem is a plan for "national suicide" and not for peace. ('Steinitz: PM's "Peace" Suicidal,' Israel National News, October 2, 2008).

Steinitz also said last month "For any foreseeable future I do not see a partner, or any possibility to leave Judea and Samaria or even part of it. ... The idea of a two-state solution should be dead, today, because unfortunately a Palestinian state in Judea and Samaria would bring about Israel's demise. … Such a Palestinian state would immediately become an outpost for Iran" (Tovah Lazaroff, 'Two-state solution should be dead,' Jerusalem Post, September 14, 2008).




Posted by Jerome S. Kaufman at 02:57 PM | Comments (0)

October 01, 2008

The New York Times’ Hit Piece gone awry

By Jason Maoz, Senior Editor

The Jewish Press, September 19, 2008

Perhaps sensing that the liberal media’s attack template of Sarah Palin as a lightweight rube had not made a discernible difference in the campaign polling numbers — and may in fact have driven swing voters to the McCain-Palin ticket — The New York Times appeared to be trying a different tack last weekend.

In Sunday’s edition the paper featured a seemingly interminable front-page piece by a trio of reporters designed to present Palin as a Machiavellian schemer of Nixonian proportions — a master manipulator of the tools of her office who rewards friends, punishes foes, and does it all in a cocoon of near impenetrable secrecy.

The writers made a perfunctory early attempt at even-handedness, acknowledging in their 10th paragraph, “Ms. Palin has many supporters. In Wasilla, many residents display unflagging affection, cheering ‘our Sarah’ and hissing at her critics,” but then spent the next several dozen paragraphs painting her as a steely and determined politico with a penchant for operating under the radar. Hardy readers who made their way (and how many did?) to the 67th paragraph of the piece finally came upon a break in the clouds - an acknowledgment that Palin is a highly popular governor with some impressive achievements:

“To her supporters — and with an 80 percent approval rating, she has plenty — Ms. Palin has lifted Alaska out of a mire of corruption. She gained the passage of a bill that tightens the rules covering lobbyists. And she rewrote the tax code to capture a greater share of oil and gas sale proceeds.”

In a spot-on dissection of the article on Commentary’s Contentions blog, Jennifer Rubin wrote:

In just the first, few paragraphs you have testimony that she was “effective and accessible. So where are we going here? Well, despite the testimony that she was “accessible,” others find her “secretive” and inclined to put a premium on “loyalty.” The evidence? The Governor’s office declined a request for e-mails that would have cost over $400,000. Proof positive. Oh, and the records sought (about polar bears and such) were in fact obtained.

Then there is the “she blurs personal and public behavior” charge. The evidence? A phone call from Todd Palin to a state legislator about the latter’s chief of staff, which Palin denies was mentioned. Pretty thin gruel. Next, we have her tenure as mayor, where again all heck breaks loose because— are ya sitting down? She brought in her own team. No! Unheard of.... Next, she’ll be firing the town museum director. Oh no— it’s true Palin says (“Oh yeah, she says,” you can hear the Times reporters harrumphing), she was cutting the budget.

This is pathetic, really. Is there something illegal here? Is there something nefarious? What is the point? The next offense, while she was mayor, city employees were told not to talk to the press. The horror! Might there have been a procedure, a public affairs or press person for that? We don’t know and the Times does not tell us....

Then on page four of this eye-popping account, we learn as Governor she had the temerity to have “surrounded herself with people she has known since grade school and members of her church.” No! She hired people she knew? And people she trusted because she had just run against a hostile machine of her own party? The Lieutenant Governor offers up that they were “competent, qualified, top-notch people,” but are you going to believe him?

Rubin had more, but you get the point. The Times article was a classic case of a hit piece gone awry. The paper had designated a huge chunk of space to fill with what the editors obviously hoped would be a treasure trove of Palm’s misdeeds or worse, and in the end all the writers could come up with were the typical if often jejune machinations of local government.

It’s hard to see this line of attack resonating with voters who aren’t already anti-Palin. It is remarkable that after attacking her for days on end in its news pages and editorial columns as a Dan Quayle in pumps, The New York Times would now have you believe Sarah Palm is in fact a cross between G. Gordon Liddy and Dick Cheney.


Posted by Jerome S. Kaufman at 11:24 PM | Comments (0)