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Friday, March 13, 2009

GOP Senate Whip Failed to Show Leadership on Obama Nominees

Check this article out: http://www.humanevents.com/article.php?id=31051

As Majority Whip, Senator Kyl has an opportunity to take a big breath, step in to the leadership vacuum in the GOP, draw a line in the sand and say "Enough." It is President Obama's absolute right to nominate whomever he believes is the best possible nominee for each available position. But it is also the absolute responsibility of the Senate to ensure that each nominee does not primarily rely upon extreme ideology as the decision-making guideposts rather than navigating by constitutional principles. Passionate activism has its place, but not in positions that demand thoughtful consideration and a deep respect for the Constitution. If Senator Kyl or someone, anyone, would stand on principle and plainly state the case, a tidal wave of Americans who are well beyond fed up would respect, support and remember what has become so tragically rare on today's political landscape -- bold action taken because of the courage of conviction and in defense of the Constitution.

Thursday, October 02, 2008

An American Carol opens Friday night!!!!

Go to www.americancarol.com
OR
www.americancarolers.com
OR
www.moovealong.org


























David Zucker on Hannity: http://www.foxnews.com/story
/0,2933,407021,00.html



Click the link below to see the trailer for An American Carol:
http://movies.yahoo.com/movie/1810011696
/video/9334213

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3CYSGCoflAA



Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Laugh like your country depends on it.

WHY, AS A CONSERVATIVE, YOUR MOVIE TICKET MATTERS
The courageous conservative comedy from David Zucker opens in theaters nationwide this weekend. Everyone is watching to see what happens.
Hollywood. The media. The Left. Yes, even Micheal Moore.
Will the pro-American, pro-military, and pro-faith movie AN AMERICAN CAROL beat Bill Maher's anti-Christian RELIGULOUS or Oliver Stone's anti-conservative W. in theaters?
Only you and I have the ability to answer that. Why? Because our decision whether or not to buy a ticket to AN AMERICAN CAROL will determine the outcome.
If we show up to the theater this weekend for AN AMERICAN CAROL, then more conservative movies with conservative actors will be made.
If we stay home, well, then more movies by Oliver Stone and Bill Maher will be at our local theater.
It's that simple. If you love America, support her men and women in uniform, and want to join like-minded people at the theater for some fun …
Then buy a ticket for AN AMERICAN CAROL at www.americancarolers.com
And laugh like your country depends on it.
Thank you for your support.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

A mell of a hess.

Mark Levin is always awesome. But he really hits it dead on in this piece today.

I'm no economist. But it is pretty readily apparent even to me that the government has gotten itself into a pretty pickle. Government insisted that "everyone should own a house" and set about putting all kinds of programs in place to make sure that credit was easy, terms were lax and money flowed for any Tom, Dick or Harry that wanted to buy a house.

Now I'm all for home ownership. Home ownership is a very good thing. But it used to be something that one would save for, work hard for and finally earn. It was valued.

Easy credit/easy loans for folks who may have bought either too much house or a house when they weren't financially ready is a symptom of the liberal disease. The disease centers around this notion that everyone has a right to a whole flood of things and it should be handed out like candy whether one works for it or not.

When the payments got to be too much, mortgage lenders were left holding the bag. So they tried extending more credit and getting into a whole slew of other menu items which only got folks further and further into the red. And now they want government to give precious tax dollars over to fix the problem.

A whole bunch of fancy accounting tricks later and we now find ourselves in what my grandfather used to call "a mell of a hess." What do the geniuses in Congress want to do now? Give more money to extend more credit which got us into the mess in the first place. Even worse, we owe more than a small fortune to countries like China....not exactly huge fans of America in particular and capitalism in general.

Many years ago when financial times were tight for me and my husband, we didn't go out and get more credit. In fact, we cut up the credit cards and put ourselves on a tighter budget. We found ways to save money, cut spending and pay down our debt.

Government isn't just in the business of tossing money around happily....well, it is, but not without exacting some kind of extremely steep cost, and it is usually at the expense of the free market, the individual, small business owners, etc. And the cost for this bailout seems to be handing the keys to the free market over to the government....which is in the business of basically killing the free market. And I have yet to see government run ANYTHING better than the free market. Let's see....Fed Ex or the Post Office? Not a close call.

With that, I can't really say that I even know the details of what is in this so-called "Bailout." Frankly, I don't think anyone knows. It probably is changing by the nanosecond. But I do know what my banker father would have said. He predicted years ago that the downfall of the banking industry would come from overextended credit, bad loans, banks getting into businesses that it shouldn't, and not just over-regulation but really really bad regulation.

This whole thing has been an absolute disaster. I have sat here and watched my stock portfolio with nothing but nausea. And here is the kicker....I've been paying my mortgage. I've paid my bills. I've done those things that I'm supposed to do and yet I'm now being punished by those who aren't paying their mortgage or credit card bills. I'm just sort of curious as to how that is fair. I pay my bills but apparently if I didn't pay my bills I'd be a heck of a lot better off.

Liberals are just not going to be happy until they make sure they kill every ounce of effort and ingenuity in this country. They just can't seem to grasp the idea that a whole lot of us just don't look to the government to solve our personal financial issues -- it just isn't the thought that hits us. In fact, a whole lot of us are pretty sick and tired of being punished for making any kind of effort to be successful.

Let's hope that a whole lot of us go to the polls in November.

Monday, September 29, 2008

"An American Carol" opens FRIDAY, OCT 3rd -- Go see it!

Please forward the following websites to your lists, your colleagues, your friends, your family.....

www.americancarolers.com

www.moovealong.org

www.americancarolgiveaway.com

And this FRIDAY, OCTOBER 3, 2008, go see this movie!!! Get a group together and go....you will have a blast!
____________________________________________________________________________

Chicago Tribune
September 28, 2008 Sunday Chicagoland Final Edition
Same goal at opposite ends of the spectrumBYLINE: By Michael Phillips, TRIBUNE CRITICSECTION: ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT ; ZONE C; Pg. 1LENGTH: 1036 words
On Friday a deeply divided America will have another round of new films to choose from at the theaters. One is "Religulous," a comic documentary in which Bill Maher, America's best-known agnostic humorist -- some would characterize him as the heretofore-undiscovered category beyond atheist -- travels the world and leaves us with a vision of the destructive forces of organized religion, a vision no less apocalyptic than the end-times scenarios promulgated by some of his targets.
Then there's "An American Carol," which its maker, "Airplane!" and "Naked Gun" alum David Zucker, describes as "the opposite of the Bill Maher movie."
Zucker's proudly conservative comedy, which won't be screened for critics before Friday's opening, isn't primarily about religion. It reworks the Charles Dickens "A Christmas Carol" scenario so that a leftist filmmaker based on Michael Moore, painted here as an unpatriotic, America-hating boob out to banish the 4th of July, is visited, schooled and slapped around by ghosts of Americans past, George Washington (Jon Voight) and Gen. George Patton (Kelsey Grammer), plus a ghost of the future, played by country star Trace Adkins.
According to Zucker, the film is more about supporting America's war in Iraq and taking down liberal filmmakers such as Moore and George Clooney than getting people into the churches and the synagogues. Nonetheless, the two movies, one a true believer and the other a true skeptic, pose similar questions. Can a polemical comedy bring the funny? And can a fiercely partisan message connect with audiences?
On "Politically Incorrect" and his current HBO series, "Real Time with Bill Maher," the son of a Catholic father and Jewish mother has made no secret of his feelings regarding organized religion, which he has likened, satirically, to a "neurological disorder." Nonetheless, Maher said in an interview earlier this month at the Toronto International Film Festival, "We're not taking a judgmental attitude in the movie. I mean, to a degree, obviously, we are. We have a point of view. But I think some people expected it to be mean-spirited and did not find it to be mean-spirited."
Under the direction of Larry Charles, the co-creator of "Seinfeld," "Religulous" (think "religion" and "ridiculous") begins in a North Carolina truckers chapel, with Maher mixing and mingling and questioning the churchgoers' beliefs. Maher goes on to joust with Vatican scholars, Orthodox Jews, Mormons, a Jesus impersonator taking part in a "Passion of the Christ" re-enactment.
"I'm sure religion in this country can withstand Bill Maher's satire," says Ari Geller, communications director of the Washington D.C.-based Interfaith Alliance, an organization advocating religious freedom on behalf on its members (75 faiths in all, Christian, Muslim, Jewish, he says). Geller notes that the alliance operates on the assumption that "religion and government are both at their best when they're kept apart."
The Toronto "Religulous" interviews took place shortly after Republican presidential candidate John McCain selected Sarah Palin as running mate. While the mood at the festival, among a largely Democratic crowd of filmmakers and actors, was typically fatalistic for a largely Democratic gang -- "It's over" was the mantra heard over and over -- Maher expressed some hope for his side.
"I know America's religious-cuckoo," he said, "but I don't know if we're ready for a vice president who's going to make Bush look like a religious moderate."
In an interview "Religulous" director Charles stressed the film's mission is "to reach beyond the converted, to people who might not ordinarily choose [to see] this movie -- people who are moderately religious or even very religious but who have a sense of humor, and realize there's a certain absurdity to some of this." Still, he says, the coming election offers a stark choice. "All the major Western religions," Charles says, "have an endgame built into them. In order to fulfill God's wishes, the world has to end. And if the Republicans get elected we're going to have two people in office who may believe that as well."
That kind of talk, you won't hear from David Zucker. The "American Carol" director may be Jewish, but he's had it, he says, with Christian-bashing in the popular culture, particularly Catholic-bashing. (Bill O'Reilly, America's front line of defense in the alleged war on Christmas, appears in "An American Carol.")
One bit in the movie, Zucker says, was inspired by a comment he heard Rosie O'Donnell make on "The View," to the effect that radical evangelicals were as dangerous to the world's health and well-being as radical Islamic terrorists. "So I thought, 'Great, Rosie -- I'll take you at your word.' We do a whole routine where Rosie shows a documentary to Bill O'Reilly about 'the truth about radical Christians,' where they're going on planes, hitting the pilots with their crosses and Bibles, and we have a nun blowing up a bus -- all these crazy things.
"I loved doing that scene."
Zucker acknowledges "An American Carol" could be called "strident." But the right wing of this country, he says, so rarely is offered something expressly for them -- why not this?
The money behind his movie, Mpower Pictures, made hay with Mel Gibson's "Passion of the Christ," and Mpower has chosen not to screen "An American Carol" for critics in advance of Friday's opening. "We'll get killed," Zucker predicts. But like Maher, he's proud of taking a stand. And uttering the one thing he and Maher could surely agree on, Zucker concludes: "In the comedy business you can't be mild."
"Religulous" and "An American Carol" open Friday.
- - -
Opening Friday
"RELIGULOUS"
In this comic documentary directed by "Seinfeld" co-creator Larry Charles, Bill Maher questions churchgoers, Vatican scholars, Orthodox Jews, Mormons and a Jesus impersonator about their beliefs, leaving us with a vision of the destructive forces of organized religion.
"AN AMERICAN CAROL"
In this conservative comedy by the creator of "Airplane!" and "Naked Gun," Kelsey Grammer plays Gen. George Patton, one of three ghosts who tries to enlighten a leftist filmmaker in a reworking of Charles Dickens' "A Christmas Carol."
[email protected][email protected]____________
The Washington Times
September 28, 2008 Sunday
BYLINE: By Jennifer Harper, THE WASHINGTON TIMESSECTION: NEWSMAKERS; M08LENGTH: 1115 words
Coming soon to a theater near you: It's colossal, it's stupendous. In exactly five days, Jon Voight will become the ghost of George Washington, leading a forward attack on those who would sully America.
"An American Carol," a frantic satire that takes on filmmaker Michael Moore, Rosie O'Donnell and a host of liberals, opens Oct. 3. And Mr. Voight, indeed, plays the first president of the United States in white wig and sleek Colonial uniform, taking the Moore-inspired character to task for his lack of patriotism, his paucity of Yankee vim. It is a very Scrooge-ian exchange.
Mr. Voight does not need to channel John Wayne or even Uncle Sam for the part. The Academy Award-winning actor is hard-wired with love of country, a silver screen conservative who pines for a Hollywood filled with stars who also are star-spangled. Celebrities and patriotism do mix in the Voight world; appreciation of the U.S. of A. is no sin. He is downright annoyed with his thespian peers.
"I'm very angry about our community, about anti-American films. I have to say that. I have to say, look guys, I know you think this and that. But we should have a dialogue, especially before you take a slap at America," Mr. Voight said recently.
"We're a force for good in the world, and we're a necessary force for good in the world. The world depends on us. Whenever there's a problem, who do people come to? They come to America. And does America respond? Every time," he continued.
He's not done yet.
"So stop slapping America and start understanding we have to be strong and united to be safe and sane," Mr. Voight said, adding, "You'd think Republicans were the enemy of the country. This is completely nuts."
He provides ample evidence that, yes, 70 is the new 50.
At 69, Jon Voight can stroll down the red carpet in elegant tuxedo with white satin scarf, somewhere between Errol Flynn and Van Johnson, with some Ronald Reagan-the-actor mixed in. He can take an ideological stand, charm the ladies, dance a spirited hora, fend off countless inane inquiries about his beautiful daughter Angelina Jolie and be brought to tears when he considers Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin and her very real family matters.
But wait, there's more.
"Getting to know Jon over numerous lunches and dinners, he often discussed his special affinity for George Washington and his desire to play our first president," said David Zucker, director of "An American Carol," along with "The Naked Gun," "Airplane" and other high-powered parodies.
"Fortuitously during the writing of 'An American Carol,' we created a scene in which Washington appears and speaks to the main character, Michael Malone. I knew Jon had to be our Washington."
But amid parody, there's history.
"George Washington of course is renowned for starting the American tradition of having no kings, quite revolutionary at the time. King George III, when informed of Washington's refusal of a crown was quoted as saying 'if this is true, he will be the greatest man in the history of the world.' I agree with Jon Voight that this is one of the many debts we owe George Washington and one of our greatest American traditions," Mr. Zucker said.
Mr. Voight's performance in the film will follow his high-profile appearance at the Republican National Convention earlier this month, plus his multiple guest shots on Fox News, talk radio and other news outlets, talking up America, Sen. John McCain and Republican causes in general.
He is a stalwart friend of "Friends of Abe," a group of Hollywood conservatives whose membership includes Gary Sinise and Pat Boone. As a public figure, Mr. Voight is fearless, suggesting that the Democratic Party made a "godlike" character out of Sen. Barack Obama - and that the lawmaker should drop out of politics altogether and become an actor.
But audiences are fickle, particularly in politics.
"I admire any public figure who sticks his or her neck out. I don't agree with Mr. Voight, but I will be consistent: I loved when the Dixie Chicks spoke out, I love when Barbra Streisand speaks out, and so I applaud Mr. Voight for having the courage of his convictions. Now, my right-wing friends who hammer artists on the left for speaking out are praising Mr. Voight. There's a word for that in politics: hypocrisy," said CNN analyst Paul Begala, a longtime Democratic strategist.
The timing is right for Mr. Voight, however. He has just completed his 60th film, has two more in the works and will appear this fall as a guest star on "24," Fox Entertainment's popular prime-time espionage show. But duty calls. He spent the last week campaigning in California for local Republican candidates.
"He's at a stage at his career where he has made such an impact in the industry that Hollywood won't excommunicate him for being a Republican. To have him as a Republican lends credibility to the campaign," said Republican strategist Ron Bonjean.
"We rarely have anyone with this kind of star power. We've been able to use the celebrity theme against Senator Obama, because he's got so many stars to support him. The fact that the GOP has few celebrities makes them highly visible. They stand out more when they're outspoken," Mr. Bonjean added.
And when did Mr. Voight become outspoken? He is open about the fact that he was once a vigorous anti-war protester in the late 1960s, but soured on the experience after realizing that peaceful organizers had little staying power in the aftermath.
"The radicals of that era were successful in giving the communists power to bring forth the killing fields and slaughter 2.5 million people in Cambodia and South Vietnam. Did they stop the war, or did they bring the war to those innocent people?" Mr. Voight asked in a July 28 editorial in The Washington Times.
In addition, the New York native became a staunch supporter of Rudolph W. Giuliani during his bid for the White House earlier this year, inspired by the former Manhattan mayor's resolve and dignity in his city after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.
Perhaps Mr. Voight will write a book about his beliefs. Or run for office or become a statesman and address the United Nations. Chances are excellent that the movies will keep coming. Perhaps one day he will assure persistent journalists that, yes, all is well between his daughter and himself, and that he has dandled the six grandkids on his knee.
Perhaps.
But he still had a line or two for the press, said in sonorous tones and with impeccable delivery.
"What would happen if America won a great war and no one reported it? That's what's happening right now," he told a group of reporters at the convention.
"What's going on here?" Mr. Voight demanded, his eyes traveling from face to face. "Let's get our priorities straight."_______________________________________________________________________________
9/26/08 Wash. Times (D.C.) B022008 WLNR 18294579
Washington Times (DC)
Copyright 2008 The Washington Times LLC

September 26, 2008


Section: SHOW BEYOND HOLLYWOOD
The right stuff
Conservative film fest returns for fifth year

THE WASHINGTON TIMES
For the second year in a row, the District will play host to the nation's biggest right-leaning film festival. American Film Renaissance Institute's 2008 festival kicks off Wednesday and runs through Saturday, screening films in locations around the city.Founded by the husband-and-wife duo Jim and Ellen Hubbard, AFR hosted festivals in Michigan, Hollywood and Dallas before settling in Washington."Basically, my wife and I had no background in film whatsoever," Mr. Hubbard says, "but we were probably more than the casual filmgoer, and we were pretty attuned to the social and political messages that were embedded in the films."Frustrated by the paucity of projects in tune with their political views, the Hubbards set out to create a festival that would bring together right-of-center filmgoers and give them something to celebrate."Our festival does cater to a more conservative audience," Mr. Hubbard says, "but we are a mainstream festival. And we do screen films that don't have a political or cultural message one way or the other."Consider this year's biggest attraction, "The Dukes." Directed by Robert Davi and starring him, Chazz Palminteri and Peter Bogdanovich, "The Dukes" isn't what one might traditionally consider a "conservative" film."Getting good, quality films before their theatrical runs" is the key for Mr. Hubbard. "It's what we're striving for. We're a small festival, but I can say we're really pleased with what we've been able to do."Past festivals have seen the Hubbards make similar efforts. Last year, they screened "Weirdsville," a kooky little feature about a pair of heroin-addled thieves; the year before that, they showed "The World's Fastest Indian," Anthony Hopkins' motorcycle picture.The Hubbards make sure to throw their core audience some red meat. Last year's festival featured the world premiere of "Indoctrinate U," Evan Coyne Maloney's tale of left-wing dominance on American college campuses. This year's program is no different.Those interested in looking at hypocrisy on an international scale can check out "U.N. Me," a documentary examining the United Nation's failure in preventing genocide and its legacy of massive corruption. Or they can see "Do As I Say," Nick Tucker's documentary about "the two-faced mantra 'Do as I say, not as I do' [that] has become the unwritten golden rule of modern liberalism."If conservative comedy is more your speed, there's "An American Carol," the new parody from David Zucker. Following the screening of "An American Carol," AFR is hosting a pub crawl.The extracurricular activities are among the highlights of the festival; in addition to the pub crawl, a series of parties invite audiences and talent to commingle (for a price). Tickets to the screenings and parties range from $15 to $40.For a full schedule of festival events, times and locations, check out the AFR Web site, www.afrfilm.org/ticket.cfm.- Sonny BunchAtwater: Life of the partyDemocrats ignore the rise of late Republican strategist Lee Atwater at their own peril, says Stefan Forbes, director of a new documentary about the charismatic political figure."Boogie Man: The Lee Atwater Story" recounts - from a decidedly left-tilting perspective - the stunning career and tragic death of the Southern-born strategist."Democrats don't understand the revolution that took place in the Republican Party under him," says Mr. Forbes, who says Mr. Atwater's playbook helped the party win the last two elections."I don't think Atwater is given sufficient credit for his influence on politics," Mr. Forbes says.Mr. Atwater's story arc - that of a blues-loving, take-no-prisoners Southerner who scratched and clawed his way to become Vice President George H.W. Bush's campaign manager for his presidential run in 1988 and later became chairman of the Republican National Committee - begs for a cinematic treatment."It's a legendary American story, a Greek tragedy arc," says Mr. Forbes, who previously directed 2004's "One More Dead Fish," a documentary about globalization. "If you tried to write it as a novel, they'd laugh you out of the room."Mr. Forbes' film traces Mr. Atwater's growth from his days playing fast and loose with local elections all the way to his use of the notorious "Willie Horton" ads, which helped Mr. Bush beat Massachusetts Gov. Michael Dukakis in 1988.Mr. Forbes spoke to Mr. Atwater's enemies as well as some of his longtime pals. Ultimately, viewers will have to sort out for themselves whether he achieved - or even sought - real balance."I ignored a lot of what had been written about Lee. I went with the people who knew him best," he says.That included Republican strategist Ed Rollins, whose intense relationship with Mr. Atwater provides the film's most compelling subplot. The two clashed mightily over the years but still forged a bond that affected both deeply. Mr. Rollins' recollection of Mr. Atwater's passing will touch hearts on both sides of the aisle."Boogie Man" also includes plenty of folks from the left, including polemicist Eric Alterman of the Nation magazine. The writer's voice helps shape the story, which unfolds without narration but tells a compelling, cohesive story all the same.Mr. Forbes says he wanted "Boogie Man" to show how Mr. Atwater represented a dark side of the American spirit. He needed to win and didn't care who suffered as a result, Mr. Forbes says, adding that the country also suffers when politicians apply dirty campaign tactics.Mr. Atwater's colorful life attracted Mr. Forbes, but his final days battling brain cancer persuaded the filmmaker to tackle the project. The illness transformed Mr. Atwater's physical appearance, but his inner metamorphosis might have been just as profound."He was desperately looking for meaning. His closest friends say he was racked by guilt. ... He was afraid he was going to hell," Mr Forbes says. "Winning at all costs wasn't enough for Lee in the end."Mr. Forbes' film details the contradictions and corrosive politics of its subject, but he came away with a grudging respect for Mr. Atwater.The late strategist had plenty of flaws, but he inspired deep devotion in his friends, worked near miracles on the political scene and, ultimately, tapped into exactly what worked in the political system, for better or worse."Maybe he knew us too well," Mr. Forbes says.- Christian Toto

Obama Dollars Tell Quite a Story.

http://www.americanthinker.com/2008/09/obama_dollars.html

September 23, 2008
Obama DollarsBy Mac Fuller
Watch the money flow. Obama dollars can tell us a lot.
1. $120,349. Other People's Money.
Senator Obama received more political contribution money from now-collapsed mortgage banks Fannie Mae [Federal National Mortgage Association] and Freddie Mac [Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corp] than all but one of the 353 other senators and congressmen who received political contributions from these two entities which were recently taken over by the federal government.
Even more dramatic is the fact that 19 years (from 1989 - 2008) of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac political contribution statistics show Senator Obama received his $120,349 despite having been in the U.S. Senate for just three years. Only Senator Chris Dodd, Democrat of Connecticut -- who has been in Congress for 33 years (1975-81, House of Representatives; 1981-Present, Senate) -- received more.[1]
2. $195,000. Other People's Money.
Soon after her husband was elected to the U.S. Senate, his wife Michelle Obama received a $195,000 raise (to $316,962 in 2005 from $121,910 in 2004); subsequently, in 2006, Senator Obama requested a $1,000,000 earmark for Mrs. Obama's employer, the University of Chicago Hospitals, where she handles "community outreach"[2] -- which is apparently akin to being a handsomely paid "community organizer" but with better contacts.
3. $1,000,000. Other People's Money.
Soon after her husband was elected to the U.S. Senate, his wife Michelle Obama received a $195,000 raise (to $316,962 in 2005 from $121,910 in 2004); subsequently, in 2006, Senator Obama requested a $1,000,000 earmark for Mrs. Obama's employer, the University of Chicago Hospitals, where she handles "community outreach"[3] - which is apparently akin to being a handsomely paid "community organizer" but with better contacts.
4. $250,000. Other People's Money.
When asked during the Democrat presidential nomination race how much money Chicago slumlord and now-convicted felon Tony Rezko had raised in contributions to his campaign, Senator Obama waffled and wafted like the slim timber he is and said his "best guessitmate" was $10,000 to $15,000. In fact, it was $250,000.[4] Mr. Rezko is a long-time associate of Senator Obama and was his first substantial financial backer. Also, "when Obama bought his $1.65 million South Side home, there was an adjacent landscaped lot, which Rezko's wife purchased on the same day for the full asking price of $625,000." [see #5 below].
5. $625,000. Other People's Money.
Senator Obama and his wife, Michelle, purchased a $1.65 million Georgian revival mansion in Chicago, where they now reside. While wealthy, Syrian-born Chicago slumlord Tony Rezko was already known to be under federal investigation, the senator approached Mr. Rezko about purchasing the two adjoining properties, then toured the home with Mr. Rezko (now a convicted felon on those charges). Soon after Senator Obama bought the mansion for $300,000 less than the asking price.[5] On the same day, Mr. Rezko's wife purchased the adjoining vacant lot for the full asking price of $625,000.[6]
6. $75,000. Other People's Money.
Senator Obama served as a paid director to a "progressive" Chicago-area non-profit organization, the Woods Fund, from 1999 until almost 2003. William C. Ayers -- who, despite the senator's protestations to the contrary, is a long-time friend and political ally -- served with Senator Obama on the organization's board of directors.
Mr. Ayers is an unrepentant and unpunished American terrorist. Mr. Ayers and his now-wife, Bernadine Dohrn, were leaders of the radical Left, terrorist group, the Weather Underground which was responsible for 25 bombings in the 1960's and 70's including bombings of the New York City police headquarters, the Capitol in Washington, and the Pentagon. After successfully fleeing to avoid prosecution for ten years, Ayers and Dohrn turned-in themselves in 1980 but were never prosecuted due to improper police investigatory actions. "Dohrn was once on the FBI's Top 10 Most Wanted List and was described by J. Edgar Hoover as the ¡most dangerous woman in America.'"[7]
"Both [Ayers and Dohrn] have written and spoken at length about their pasts, and today he is an advocate for progressive education and a professor at the University of Illinois at Chicago; she's an associate professor of law at Northwestern University."[8]
Almost unbelievably, but nevertheless true, on September 11, 2001, Mr. Ayers told the New York Times in an interview, "I don't regret setting bombs; I feel we didn't do enough."
In 2001 the Woods Fund gave a $40,000 financial aid grant to a group with ties to the PLO (Palestine Liberation Organization) -- the Arab American Action Network -- which was co-founded by radical Columbia University professor Rashid Khalidi and whose president is conveniently Mr. Khalidi's wife, Mona. In 2002, the Woods Fund gave the Arab American Action Network a second gift of $35,000. Mr. Khalidi and his wife are successful fundraisers for Senator Obama.
The Arab American Action Network opposes the existence of Israel as a state, calling its founding a "catastrophe." Mr. Khalidi, the Arab American Action Network's co-founder, "was reportedly also a director of the official PLO press agency WAFA in Beirut from 1976 to 1982, while the PLO committed scores of anti-Western attacks and was labeled by the U.S. as a terror group. Khalidi's wife, AAAN President Mona Khalidi, was reportedly WAFA's English translator during that period." Both deny this but Palestinian diplomatic sources have confirmed it.[9]
While both Senator Obama and terrorist William Ayers were on the board of the Woods Fund, it also made a $1,000,000 contribution to Chicago Annenberg Challenge (CAC) -- what essentially became Mr. Ayers' failed Leftist attempt to redesign education in Chicago schools in his own image. Senator Obama chaired the CAC from 1995 through 1999 [see #9 below].
7. $325,000. Other People's Money.
As a state senator Obama directed $225,000 of Illinois taxpayers' money, and later as a U.S. Senator earmarked another $100,000 in federal tax money, for programs run by radical political activist and Catholic priest (now removed from his church), Father Michael Pfleger of St. Sabina Roman Catholic Church on Chicago's South Side.[10] Senator Obama identified Father Pfleger, with whom he has been involved for 20 years, as "a key source of spiritual guidance."[11]
Father Pfleger's Catholic parish, like that of Obama spiritual mentor and advisor Reverend Jeremiah Wright's church, espouses a brand of black exclusivity based in the "black liberation theology" of James Cone and has done so, also like Reverend Wright's church, for two decades.
Pfleger is not only a long-time political associate of Senator Obama and Reverend Wright, but also of Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan[12] whom Wright described "as one of the...giants of the African-American religious experience" and praised for his "integrity and honesty" -- despite the well-known fact Farrakhan is an outspoken anti-Semite and admirer of Adolf Hitler. Wright and Farrakhan once traveled together to visit Libyan dictator, Muammar al-Qaddafi -- whose government was responsible for blowing up an airliner over Lockerbie, Scotland, killing everyone aboard. Nevertheless, in December, 2007 Wright's Trinity United Church of Christ awarded Farrakhan for his lifetime "achievements."[13]
National Review's Stanley Kurtz (among others) has written extensively about and revealed the extremist political interdependencies of Senator Obama, radical Catholic priest Michael Pfleger, Rev. Jeremiah Wright, and Nation of Islam's Louis Farrakhan.[14] In a lengthy, in-depth article about Trumpet, the slick, nationally-distributed magazine of Senator Obama's church (and one in whose issues he has frequency appeared) Kurtz noted:
...that Wright's theology and politics have more in common with black-nationalist sources (both Christian and Muslim) than with those of conventional Christianity. In particular, Wright is closely allied with a radical and highly controversial Catholic priest named Michael Pfleger, and with Nation of Islam head Louis Farrakhan. While his specific ties (if any) to Farrakhan are unclear, Barack Obama appears to be very much a part of the broader Wright/Pfleger/Farrakhan theological-political nexus. It is clear Obama was aware of Wright's views; indeed, the specifically political character of Wright's liberation theology is what drew Obama to Christianity.[15]
Kurtz continued:
Pfleger is just as far as Wright is from the majority of American Christians. Although Pfleger is white, he heads a largely black congregation on Chicago's South Side. Like Wright, Pfleger follows the black-liberation theology of James Cone.
As insightfully penned by James Taranto of the Wall Street Journal, here is what the hoopla over Senator Obama and his spiritual advisors ultimately boils down to and why it matters so much for America and her future:
Wright proclaims himself an exponent of "black liberation theology." He cites James Cone, a distinguished professor at New York's Union Theological Seminary, whom he credits for having "systematized" this strain of Christianity.
Here is a quote from Cone, explaining black liberation theology:
Black theology refuses to accept a God who is not identified totally with the goals of the black community. If God is not for us and against white people, then he is a murderer, and we had better kill him. The task of black theology is to kill Gods who do not belong to the black community. . . . Black theology will accept only the love of God which participates in the destruction of the white enemy. What we need is the divine love as expressed in Black Power, which is the power of black people to destroy their oppressors here and now by any means at their disposal. Unless God is participating in this holy activity, we must reject his love.
Could Obama really have been unaware for all these years that his spiritual mentor follows a racially adversarial theology, one that demands of God that he be "for us and against white people" and that he participate "in the destruction of the white enemy"? It doesn't exactly sound like the sort of "change" we can believe in.[16]
Stanley Kurtz further pointed out that none of Senator Obama's rhetorical dissimulating can explain away:
The nature and status of this kind of Christianity.... There is a profound difference between "black-liberation theology" and Christianity as conventionally understood. Trinity [Church] itself recognizes this difference, to the point where Wright, his followers, and his theological mentors often present conventional American Christianity as both false and evil.[17]
Senator Obama has said he never saw Wright's views as being "particularly controversial." Perhaps that is why he secured $325,000 in tax dollars for his radical friend's community (organizing?) events.
8. $15,000,000. Other People's Money (yes, you read that right, $15 million)
Over the past 15 years Senator Barack Obama's church, Trinity United Church of Christ in Chicago, Illinois, and its pastor, Senator Obama's "spiritual mentor" Reverend Jeremiah Wright has received $15,000,000 in grant money from the federal government.[18] Senator Obama has been a church member for 20 years.
Reverend Wright's church also espouses "black liberation theology" as systematized by James Cone. Black liberation theology's doctrines (only very briefly touched upon in #7 above) are not only extremely different from Christian spirituality but from Christianity as a whole. Reverend Wright has now become infamous due to the reportage of his widely-sold video-taped sermons in which he frequently makes anti-American and anti-white pronouncements from the pulpit, and repeatedly asserts (just as a small example) that: America is the USKKKof A; the United States purposefully invented the AIDS virus and infected Third World peoples with it in order to maintain America's standard of living; America brought the September 11, 2001 al-Qaeda attack in New York City upon itself by its own terrorism; and that the U.S. supports state [Israel] terrorism against the Palestinians.[19]
Reverend Wright even turned his "Pastor's Page" over to a member of the Muslim terrorist organization, Hamas, to use as a bully pulpit in a screed against Israel, and by extension, the United States:[20]
Sen. Barack Obama's Chicago church reprinted a manifesto by Hamas that defended terrorism as legitimate resistance, refused to recognize the right of Israel to exist and compared the terror group's official charter - which calls for the murder of Jews - to America's Declaration of Independence.
The Hamas piece was published on the "Pastor's Page" of the Trinity United Church of Christ newsletter reserved for Rev. Jeremiah Wright Jr., whose anti-American, anti-Israel remarks landed Obama in hot water.....
Hamas, responsible for scores of shootings, suicide bombings and rocket launchings against civilian population centers, is listed as a terrorist group by the U.S. State Department.
Now remember, Reverend Jeremiah Wright and Senator Obama's church received $15,000,000 in grant money from the United States government.
9. $100,000,000. Other People's Money (and again, yes, you read that right, $100 million).
The Chicago Annenberg Challenge (CAC) was established in 1995 after a $49.2 million grant proposal by Obama friend and unrepentant-terrorist-bomber-now-educator William Ayers [see #6 above] was awarded. Both Senator Obama and Mr. Ayers were deeply involved - Senator Obama as founding Chairman - in the failed, five-year CAC educational "reform" fiasco, which wasted over $100 million of other people's money on Mr. Ayers pet authoritarian educational theories.[21]
The C.A.C.'s own final technical report issued in 2003 repeatedly noted that it was an utter failure.
In order to receive the grant money, an equivalent amount of matching funds had to be raised. $110 million quickly was, $1,000,000 of which was awarded by the Wood's Fund -- the "progressive" non-profit organization of which both Senator Obama and William Ayers were board members.
Not coincidentally, not only was William Ayers one of the first CAC grantees despite being the co-chairman of one of its two operational arms, but his decades-long friend and political ally, communist Michael Klonsky who founded the American-birthed Maoist Communist Party[22] was as well. Mr. Klonsky initially received a $175,000 grant for his Small Schools Workshop, and was later given another $482,622.[23]
Until recently, Mr. Klonsky operated a blog at the official Obama Campaign website. All of its content has now been removed. Additionally, Senator Obama's official campaign web site contains an endorsement page entitled, "Marxist / Socialist / Communists for Obama"[24]
Education is a crucial policy issue in America. Its form and substance should never be left to either the Barack Obama's of the world, nor to William Ayers who, as news editor Ed Lasky noted, "Barack Obama has been attempting to burnish Ayers' reputation by characterizing him as a university professor -- still one of the more honored and respected professions in America. He peddled the notion that Ayers is an educator now and this should absolve him of the burden of his bomber background." Mr. Lasky observed that Ayers adopted an ideology of radicalism over education when he attended Columbia University's Teacher's College:
Ayers has subsequently written a best seller used in ed-school courses which focuses on the moral imperative of teaching "social justice" to students in K-12 classrooms. He has been active in ¡teaching teachers' that capitalism is a curse and imperialism is an American obsession. [....]
Instead of educating teachers to prepare their students for the real world, and to acculturate immigrant children into the civic culture of America, Ayers is helping to create a cadre of teachers who will promote a view that is radically at odds with the mores of most Americans and that is divorced from the traditions of education in America.[25]
Likewise, Sol Stern of City Journal has written extensively about the nexus of Senator Obama and William Ayers regarding education in America, and argues that the more critical aspect of the senator's affiliation with an unrepentant and unpunished terrorist is his refusal to acknowledge Mr. Ayers all-consuming political agenda:
The more pressing issue is not the damage done by the Weather Underground 40 years ago, but the far greater harm inflicted on the nation's schoolchildren by the political and educational movement in which Ayers plays a leading role today. [....]
Ayers's politics have hardly changed since his Weatherman days. He still boasts about working full-time to bring down American capitalism and imperialism. This time, however, he does it from his tenured perch as Distinguished Professor of Education at the University of Illinois, Chicago. [....]
Ayers's influence on what is taught in the nation's public schools is likely to grow in the future. Last month, he was elected vice president for curriculum of the 25,000-member American Educational Research Association (AERA), the nation's largest organization of education-school professors and researchers.[26]
Senator Obama, with the help of such people, attempted to radically change the entire Chicago, Illinois education system. Fortunately, he failed. If elected President, he might not.
10. $0 , at last,... Obama Dollars
Now remember, Senator Obama's campaign theme is "Hope" and "Change You Can Believe In," nevertheless, the senator's half-brother, George Hussein Onyango Obama, lives in dire poverty in a tiny, collapsing, dirt-floored hut on the outskirts of Nairobi, Kenya. According to Kenyan-born George Obama (who is pictured outside his hut in the Telegraph U.K. newspaper as well as Vanity Fair magazine (Italian edition) and the Chicago Sun-Times) he exists on approximately $1 a month. Senator Barack Obama met with him in 2006, and had already been a United States Senator for at least a year.[27]
Other people's money is one thing. Obama dollars are something else. There is a lesson here on the man's friends and family, and most importantly, his character.
[1] "Barack Obama's Fannie Mae/Freddie Mac Connection," by John Gibson, Fox News, September 16, 2008; available from http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,423701,00.html; accessed September 20, 2008; and "Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac Invest in Democrats," by Lindsay Renick Mayer, Open Secrets, July 16, 2008 and updated September 11, 2008; available from http://www.opensecrets.org/news/2008/09/update-fannie-mae-and-freddie.html; accessed September 20, 2008.
[2] "Obama's Odd Coincidence?," by Thomas Lifson, American Thinker, May 10, 2008; available from http://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2008/05/obamas_odd_coincidence.html; accessed May 10, 2008.
[3] "Obama's Odd Coincidence?," by Thomas Lifson, American Thinker, May 10, 2008; available from http://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2008/05/obamas_odd_coincidence.html; accessed May 10, 2008.
[4] "Obama's Poor Judgment and Poorer Excuses," by Peggy Shapiro, American Thinker, March 16, 2008; available from http://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2008/03/obamas_poor_judgment_and_poore.html ; accessed March 16, 2008; also see http://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2008/03/oooops_rezko_raised_at_least_2.html.
[5] "Obama Discloses New Rezko Details," by Rhonda Schwartz & Justin Rood, ABC News, February 20, 2008; available from http://abcnews.go.com/Blotter/Story?id=4315880&page=1; accessed, September 22, 2008.
[6] "Obama on Rezko Deal: It was a misake," by Dave McKinney & Chris Fusco, Chicago Sun-Times, November 5, 2006; available from http://www.suntimes.com/news/politics/124171,CST-NWS-obama05.article; accessed September 22, 2008.
[7] "Meet Obama's new Bill Ayers' associate: Ex-communist leader tied to terrorist eliminated from campaign website," by Aaron Klein, World Net Daily, September 14, 2008; available from http://worldnetdaily.com/index.php?fa=PAGE.view&pageId=75282; accessed September 15, 2008.
[8] "Obama once visited 60's radicals," by Ben Smith, Politico, February 22, 2008; available from http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0208/8630.html; accessed, March 17, 2008; "Ax on Ayers," by Ben Smith, Politico, February 28, 2008; available from http://www.politico.com/blogs/bensmith/0208/Ax_on_Ayers.html; accessed, March 17, 2008; "Terrorist Acquaintances," by Steve Chapman, Real Clear Politics, April 20, 2008; available from http://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2008/04/obamas_terrorist_connection.html; accessed April 20, 2008; and "Obama Worked with Terrorist," by Aaron Klein, World Net Daily, February 24, 2008; available from http://www.worldnetdaily.com/index.php?pageId=57231; accessed March 17, 2008;
[9] "Obama Worked with Terrorist," by Aaron Klein, World Net Daily, February 24, 2008; available from http://www.worldnetdaily.com/index.php?pageId=57231; accessed March 17, 2008.
[10] "Irrelevant Apologies," by Thomas Sowell, June 3, 2008, Real Clear Politics; available from http://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2008/06/irrelevant_apologies.html; accessed June 3, 2008; Also see: "Obama, Black Liberation Theology, and Karl Marx" Part 2, by Kyle-Anne Shiver, June 5, 2008, American Thinker; available from http://www.americanthinker.com/2008/06/obama_black_liberation_theolog_1.html; accessed June 7, 2008; and "The Demonic Father Pfleger," by James Lewis, American Thinker, May 30, 2008 [journal online]; available from http://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2008/05/the_demonic_father_pfleger.html; accessed May 31, 2008
[11] "Left in Church - Deep inside the Wright Trumpet," by Stanley Kurtz, National Review, May 20, 2008; available from http://article.nationalreview.com/print/?q=MjRhNDQ4MGFlYjk0YzUwNDk0MzYyNTE1ZDkwYmNmNDc= ; accessed June 2008.
[12] "Left in Church - Deep inside the Wright Trumpet," by Stanley Kurtz, National Review, May 20, 2008, supra.
[13] "Obama and His Minister, by Ronald Kessler, Wall Street Journal, March 14, 2008; available from http://online.wsj.com/article/SB120545277093135111.html?mod=opinion_main_commentaries; accessed March 14, 2008; also see "A Candidate, His Minister, and the Search for Faith," by Jodi Kantor, New York Times, April 30, 2007; available from http://www.nytimes.com/2007/04/30/us/politics/30obama.html?_r=2&pagewanted=all&oref=login&oref=slogin; accessed March 17, 2008.
[14] "Preaching Envy as Gospel," by Ralph R. Reiland, American Thinker, June 16, 2008; available from http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/opinion/s_572675.html; accessed June 16, 2008.
[15] "Left in Church - Deep inside the Wright Trumpet," by Stanley Kurtz, National Review, May 20, 2008; available from http://article.nationalreview.com/print/?q=MjRhNDQ4MGFlYjk0YzUwNDk0MzYyNTE1ZDkwYmNmNDc= ; accessed June 2008.
[16] "The Religious Wright," Best of the Web - Wall Street Journal, by James Taranto, March 17, 2008; available from http://online.wsj.com/article/SB120568855824539755.html?mod=Best+of+the+Web+Today; accessed March 17, 2008; also see "Obama, Black Liberation Theology, and Karl Marx," by Kyle-Anne Shiver, American Thinker, May 28, 2008; available from http://www.americanthinker.com/2008/05/obama_black_liberation_theolog.html; accessed May 28, 2008. In this article, Shiver makes the observation that "liberation theology is Marxism dressed up to look like Christianity." Part 2 of Shiver's article appeared under the same title on June 5, 2008 and is also available from American Thinker at http://www.americanthinker.com/2008/06/obama_black_liberation_theolog_1.html .
[17] "Left in Church - Deep inside the Wright Trumpet," by Stanley Kurtz, National Review, May 20, 2008, supra.
[18] "Obama's Ex-church Has Received $15M in Federal Grant Money," by Jeff Goldblatt, Fox News, June 2, 2008; available from http://elections.foxnews.com/2008/06/02/obamas-ex-church-has-won-15m-in-federal-grant-money/; accessed 6- 2-08.
FOX News has learned that over the last 15 years, Trinity [United Church of Christ] has received at least $15 million in grants from the federal government - in other words, taxpayer money. .... So, how did Trinity, given Wright's controversial criticism of the government, get millions of dollars in handouts from Washington over the years? .... Jay Shafritz, an author and professor emeritus of public administration from the Graduate School of Public and International Affairs at the University of Pittsburgh, says at some level, politics invariably influences how government grant money is awarded. "This is very much a sophisticated operation of convincing the people in government that you are the most deserving person, because these grants are very often competitive," he said. "It's very much like good old fashioned patronage. In the old days, political machines had jobs to give their constituents. Nowadays, they offer them grants," Shafritz continued. Shafritz examined the grant documents provided by FOX News and found no wrongdoing.
Yet, he said there's no way to know exactly how Trinity spent its millions in taxpayer money, since grant awards usually afford some latitude for discretionary use. He stressed that it's clear the grants have helped Wright grow his once tiny ministry into a massive empire. "Before he embarrassed himself on national television with his rantings, he was a very, very sophisticated guy in terms of growing organizations. He knew how the game was played and he played it very well.
[19] "A Candidate, His Minister, and the Search for Faith," New York Times, April 30, 2007, by Jodi Kantor; available from http://www.nytimes.com/2007/04/30/us/politics/30obama.html?_r=2&pagewanted=all&oref=login&oref=slogin; accessed March 17, 2008.
[20] "Obama church published Hamas terror manifesto. Compares charter calling for murder of Jews to Declaration of Independence," World Net Daily, March 20, 2008, by Aaron Klein; available from http://wnd.com/index.php?fa=PAGE.view&pageId=59456 ; accessed March 20, 2008.
[21] "Obama's Lost Annenberg Years Coming to Light, by Thomas Lifson, American Thinker, August 21, 2008; available from http://www.americanthinker.com/2008/08/obamas_lost_annenberg_years_co.html; accessed August 21, 2008; "¡That Guy Who Lives in My Neighborhood': Behind the Ayers/Obama Relationship," by Professor Steve Diamond, June 18, 2008; available from http://globallabor.blogspot.com/2008/06/that-guy-who-lives-in-my-neighborhood.html; accessed September 11, 2008; and "The Chicago Annenberg Challenge: Success, Failures and Lessons for the Future - Final Technical Report of the Chicago Annenberg Research Project," August, 2003, by Mark A. Smylie, Stacy A. Wenzel, et. al.; available from http://ccsr.uchicago.edu/downloads/p62.pdf; accessed September 21, 2008.
[22] "Obama's Boys of Summer: A Who's Who of 1968 Radicals Supports the Candidate," by Daniel Flynn, City Journal, June 29, 2008; available from http://www.city-journal.org/2008/eon0629df.html.
[23] "¡That Guy Who Lives in My Neighborhood': Behind the Ayers/Obama Relationship," by Professor Steve Diamond, June 18, 2008, supra.
[24] For many months the official Obama Campaign for President web site has maintained a page touting its support from, "Marxists/Socialists/Communists for Obama." The hyperlink on his campaign web site to is: http://my.barackobama.com/page/group/MarxistsSocialistsCommunistsforObama; accessed May 23, 2008. Also see "Communists for Obama," by Oleg Atbashian," Pajamas Media, May 23, 2008; available from http://pajamasmedia.com/blog/communists-for-obama/; accessed May 23, 2008. This article details how the 75,000 people who attended the Obama rally in Portland, Oregon apparently actually came to hear the communist-inspired rock band, "The Decemberists," who provided the pre-rally entertainment and who begin every concert with the old Soviet Union's national anthem. The 75,000 number is now being touted by mainstream media outlets such as the Chicago Tribune as the number drawn by the "electrifying oratory" of his "stump speeches."
[25] "Bill Ayers and the Subversion of Education," by Ed Lasky, American Thinker, April 25, 2008; available from http://www.americanthinker.com/2008/04/bill_ayers_and_the_subversion.html; accessed April 25, 2008.
[26] "Obama's Real Bill Ayers Problem" by Sol Stern, City Journal, April 23, 2008; available from http://www.city-journal.org/2008/eon0423ss.html; accessed April 24, 2008. Also see, "The Ed School's Latest - and worst - Humbug," by Sol Stern, City Journal, Summer 2006; available from http://www.city-journal.org/html/16_3_ed_school.html; accessed April 24, 2008. In this lengthy article, Mr. Stern details how William Ayers "social justice" and "urban education" curricula not only undermine American education but prove to be a "cruel hoax" on disadvantaged inner city youth who don't happen to live in the Ayers-Obama wealthy, ultra-liberal neighborhoods.
[27] "Obama's half-brother to Vanity Fair: ¡No one knows I exist," by Stephano Esposito, Chicago Sun-Times, August 21, 2008; available from http://www.suntimes.com/news/1119352,CST-NWS-brother21.article; accessed September 22, 2008; and "Barack Obama's ¡lost' brother found in Kenya," by Nick Pisa, The Telegraph, U.K., August 20, 2008; available from http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/uselection2008/barackobama/2590614/Barack-Obamas-lost-brother-found-in-Kenya.html; accessed August 20, 2008.Page Printed from: http://www.americanthinker.com/2008/09/obama_dollars.html at September 23, 2008 - 09:33:41 AM EDT

Saturday, June 14, 2008

What is truly, truly important....

I didn't know Tim Russert. But from what I have heard not only today but in years past, he was a truly decent man. His love of family as a son, father and husband was well known. This is punctuated by the fact that despite a pretty extraordinary career decorated colorfully by anecdotes that almost any publisher would crawl on bended knee to purchase.....he chose to write about fatherhood in not one, but both of the books he wrote during his short life.

My heart and prayers go out, of course, to Maureen, his wife and Luke, his son, as well as his father, "Big Russ", the subject of Russert's first book.

Father's Day is never the same for those of us who have lost their father, but I am hopeful that once the initial pain and grief subside, Luke Russert can turn this tragedy, just two days before Father's Day, into something remarkable that celebrates the irreplaceable role of fathers. Clearly, Tim Russert's love for his father and of being a father was at the central core of his being and when my father passed, I wanted to find something, somehow that could possibly celebrate who my extraordinary father was. I'm still workin' on it, by the way.

It is an unfortunate reality that death has not been a stranger in my world since I can remember. Faith keeps me from fearing my own demise, but when someone so incredibly full of life leaves it far too soon -- like Tim Russert -- it seems to be a taunting reminder of a far more ominous ticking clock than the one attached to procreation.

I knew from a very early age that my parents were different since they were older than almost any of my friends' parents. But for all the benefits of having older parents, I lived in absolute sheer terror of losing them. Losing grandparents started before I reached double digits in age. My mother started her slow demise from Alzheimers not long after my college graduation and my father only enjoyed an all too brief year as a grandfather.

Seeing the trend grow to have children later, I have read much about fertility issues and pregnancy issues......but not a great deal about what it will take to raise a child to be strong, resilient, capable, independent and truly responsible, financially and otherwise -- able to rise above the truly pathetic concerns that seem to preoccupy some of the younger generation today to handle issues associated with the passing of one's parents which was once reserved for folks in their forties, fifties and sixties.

There is even a financial angle to all of this. Imagine being just out of college, starting on your career and then suddenly having to deal with the health care issues and costs of your older parents. Now don't worry, I'm not even going down the liberal Obamaville path to socialized medicine, but having been through it, I have some serious concerns about the state of nursing home care. It took months for us to find even the least objectionable facility for my mother's nursing care and it cost a fortune.

For those who don't have my father's once legendary financial sense and Depression-era ability to hold onto (or stretch) a dollar, I truly do not know how anyone, much less a recent college graduate saddled with college loans would be able to manage that financial obligation. Those were the Top Ramen days for me.

Lest you think I am begging people not to have children after "a certain age", nothing could be further from the truth. Like my mother before me, I had my daughter at age 40. This little girl joins her two older brothers and they are the light of my life. But so aware am I of the reality of the situation that I took the last year and a half off to be with the children. It may have put my career, political involvement and bank account on hold, but time seems to be speeding up, not slowing down, with age.

I truly loved my career. But that isn't life. I grew up in the shadow of the Hollywood sign and although many comparisons between Washington and Hollywood are made, one clear, stark difference is apparent. In Hollywood, your success is measured by how little time you spend in the office and in DC, your success is measured by how many hours you spent doing blah blah blah for so and so and ooops, there goes the Blackberry buzz every 3 seconds to punctuate just how important you are.

For everything Tim Russert did and the amazing folks he met and the remarkable interviews he conducted....I would bet he was his happiest in Italy this past month celebrating his son's graduation from college and wouldn't trade it to exclusively interview anyone in Washington on live television while they are hooked up to a lie detector gizmo.

The comparison is probably unfair, though. Tim Russert died tragically young at 58. He should have had far more years on this Earth and there will be events from now on for the Russert family that will bring the loss into sharp relief. I would have given anything to have my mother there when I tried on my wedding dress, much less at my wedding. And I would have loved to have seen my former quarterback father teach his two grandsons how to throw a perfect spiral, or look into the deep brown eyes of his granddaughter (a mirror reflection of his own brown eyes) to see that the title of "Princess" had been relinquished to the next generation.

But I digress. A loss is a loss no matter the circumstance. I am still prayerfully hopeful, though, that those who do take on parenting at an older age recognize the special circumstances of the situation and take care not to let the things of the world interfere with what is truly, truly far more important.

In the meantime, I am truly hopeful that this Father's Day, you will not see it as merely another family obligation but a privilege -- a time to thank your father, stepfather, grandfather, godfather, etc. Hug your dad a little tighter this year. Give your father the gift of your time and attention -- maybe some awesome experience that will create a cherished memory. There are a lot of us out here who can tell you that no matter how many years pass since losing a father, we'd give just about anything for the chance for just one more phone call, much less an entire Father's Day!

So God bless all of you who are fathers out there and who do your job with patience, understanding and unfailing love but little thanks for the efforts. You truly are appreciated more than you know!

5-4. Again.

Not the best decision on Gitmo yesterday. But it should bring into sharp relief just how critical the judicial appointments issue truly is. One more appointment to the Court just might have been the difference. Who occupies the Oval Office in the next term will make quite an impact....let's hope that it is for good (Constitutionalist) and not evil (judicial activist).

The fact that Captain Obstruction, AKA Senator Leahy, and his pals are running out the clock on this President's term in the hopes that Senator "Yes, We Can" Obama ushers in a new New Deal, a new Camelot and his Miss America interview promise for world peace -- all rolled into one liberal blob -- should not necessarily go unchallenged, particularly on the nominations front.

The conservative malaise is not without its completely justified origins. But no matter who will be the occupant of 1600 Penn, the occupants of the various federal benches around the nation will have a massive impact far beyond a lifetime of elections.

The boys in Leahy's crew would like very much for it to remain nice and quiet.

Good for McConnell, and Cornyn, and Specter and all of the awesome grassroots leaders who are pushing this boulder back up the hill, much to the consternation of lefties everywhere who are frantically saying "Ssssssshhhhhhhhhhhhhh!"

Ed Whelan's and Mark Levin's responses from National Review Online are quite interesting. The NRO editors weigh in here. and Senator Cornyn's always timely release on all things judicial is here.

Here is the link to the opinion online:
http://www.scotusblog.com/wp/wp-content/uploads/2008/06/06-1195.pdf

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Service connected disability is NOT Social Security disability. Apples and oranges.

P.S. The numbskull tax attorney from the LA Times piece questioning John McCain's disability had better check his facts.



The law says quite clearly that it is immaterial whether a disabled veteran is working or not, 100% disabled or not, compensation is deserved and untaxable. They receive a check for life based upon the level of service connected disability, period. It is nothing like Social Security disability. To compare it is ignorant of the facts.



The Congress this very week is considering expansion of benefits for disabled veterans. If that tax attorney wants to take issue with this centurys old judgment of the US Congress that disabled veterans should be compensated for their service, then I wish him luck. Perhaps he should take it up with his liberal colleagues in the leadership of the US Senate who have even embraced disabled veterans.

Disability now a disqualifier????

Outrageous.

This is low, even for the LA Times.

Forget the bizarre notion that the LA Times apparently believes that a tax attorney is medically qualified to make a judgment on who is fit to be a POTUS and just think about how utterly outrageous the logic is for their argument.

The LA Times is actually asserting that a veteran.....a POW...... a decorated Navy pilot....... someone who receives a disability pension because of the injuries received during the ultimate service to our country is not fit to be Commander in Chief.

Frankly, I have been wary of John McCain's candidacy for several policy related reasons. His obstruction of extraordinarily well qualified judicial nominees has been more than frustrating. His participation in the so-called "Gang of 14" (truthfully more like a "Gang of 20" but apparently not everyone wanted to be caught officially plotting and scheming with the "Gang of 14"....but you know who you are....) is a huge bone of contention for those of us who have fought for fair up or down votes for all nominees. McCain's positions on immigration, taxes, and a laundry list of socially conservative issues on the Republican platform are close to unacceptable for many of us who embrace conservative values.

But.

One of the redeeming qualifications of John McCain that outshines all of the other would-be presidential candidates is his military service. As a POW, John McCain endured what far too few Americans are willing to endure for the love of the freedoms that they enjoy. To say that because he is a disabled veteran is a disqualification from the office of Commander in Chief is exactly backwards.

Frankly, I wish that military service was a requirement for a stint in the Oval Office. If there is anyone who understands the horrors of war better than someone who has endured it, I'd like to know who that would be.

So-called experts who rail against war simply because they have read about it hold no charms for me.

I wonder if the LA Times had similar questions about FDR or JFK? That would be an interesting little research project.

John McCain's military service is unmatched in this race and it may, in fact, be the one redeeming factor that will snare my vote. As far as I know, neither Barack Obama or Hillary Clinton have so much as worn a JROTC uniform for a day. (Unless they have worn one as a Halloween costume one year......)

Fact is, articles like the LA Times will serve only one purpose -- to galvanize the vote from those of us who may have serious questions about John McCain's voting record, but are humbled by his military service record.