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Archive for February 29th, 2008


Posted by straight shooter on February 29, 2008 under Immigration, Political

McCain Retools Immigration Stance
Julie Hirschfeld Davis

John McCain faces a dilemma on immigration as he works to persuade conservatives he’s tough enough on the issue without erasing his historic appeal to Hispanic voters. Once a crusader for offering the nation’s roughly 12 million undocumented immigrants a way to get legal status, McCain now says his first priority is fortifying U.S. borders.

The metamorphosis reflects McCain’s intensifying effort to consolidate his support among conservatives, who deride the Arizona senator’s past proposals on immigration as offering amnesty to lawbreakers, and bitterly resent his work with Democrats, including Sen. Ted Kennedy of Massachusetts, on the issue.

Coming off a primary season where his immigration stance was seen as a major liability and GOP opponents hammered him for having an overly permissive approach, McCain is remaking his image with an eye toward the general election.

If he goes too far in the other direction, though, he could alienate the Hispanic voters who he’s counting on to siphon support from a Democratic rival in states like Arizona, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico, and to be competitive in California.

McCain infuriated the Republican base when he teamed with GOP moderates like Sen. Arlen Specter, R-Pa. and Democrats led by Kennedy in 2006 to push legislation … with strong backing from President Bush … that would have given illegal immigrants a path to citizenship. That measure died after the House, then dominated by conservatives, passed a bill that dealt only with border security and refused to consider provisions to address undocumented workers who are already in the United States.

The bipartisan group tried again last year … but this time, McCain kept his distance from the negotiations as he campaigned for president. He rarely showed up for the marathon round of meetings where the plan was shaped and seldom spoke publicly on the effort until a deal had been cut.

That bill, too, ultimately died in the Senate after being branded as amnesty by conservatives and condemned as too punitive by liberals.

Listen to McCain’s speeches or look on his campaign web site now, and there’s little mention of the fight to give illegal immigrants a way to stay in the U.S. lawfully. He instead emphasizes border security … the catch phrase of conservatives who scorned his earlier proposals.

It’s a difference of emphasis, not a change in stance, Republican strategists say.

“He’s in an excellent place with conservatives who are concerned about immigration, because his position … that he’ll secure the border first and have that security certified by the border-state governors, and then we’ll go back and deal with the 12 million … seems to have satisfied most people,” said Charlie Black, a McCain adviser.

He says, ‘Look, we got the message … the American people do not trust us when we say we’ll secure the border,'” Black added. McCain told congressional Republicans in a closed-door meeting recently that he had been badly bruised by his push for immigration reform and had learned the hard way that sealing the border should be his priority.

Republicans who support McCain say he has no choice but to abandon his past approach on immigration in favor of one that causes less consternation among conservatives virulently opposed to providing undocumented people with legal status. “What kind of an idiot can’t figure out the route that you took didn’t work? You don’t keep charging the center line when you’re getting your head bashed in, and John was on this,” said former Sen. Trent Lott, R- Miss.

Persuading Republicans that he can be trusted on immigration has been a slow process for McCain, and it’s not over yet, Lott added. “I don’t know if they’re happy yet, but they’ll get happier.”

Specter predicted that immigration, a main theme of the Republican primaries, wouldn’t have much influence on the broader presidential race, and that GOP voters … even those angry about McCain’s immigration stance … ultimately will turn out to support him. “I think conservatives will, because the alternative of either Senator Obama or Senator Clinton will persuade Republicans of all political views to support McCain,” Specter said.

Tamar Jacoby, who has worked with McCain on immigration overhaul efforts, said he has positioned himself well on the issue, taking the get-tough stance the party faithful espouse while stopping short of repudiating a broader solution that could address the legal status of those who are already here illegally.

“McCain is promising conservatives to do what conservatives most want done, which is to secure the border. Does that mean he will never go further than that to rationalize the system? No, but he doesn’t have to say that,” said Jacoby, the president of ImmigrationWorks USA, a coalition pushing for a broad overhaul.

McCain has won re-election in Arizona with large majorities of Latino voters. He has drawn backing from 45% of Hispanic Republicans this year … slightly better than the 39% support he got from whites … according to exit polls from 22 states that have held Republican primaries.

Only one in five Republicans name illegal immigration as the country’s top problem, half the number who name the economy but about the same proportion as those who named Iraq. But fewer than three in 10 of those have voted for McCain this year, his worst showing based on issues that concern GOP voters.

“He is obviously aware of where the base is on this issue,” said Sara Taylor, a former top political aide to Bush. “His challenge is bridging a communications gap that the base perceives they have with him.” At the same time, Taylor said, McCain’s position on immigration has a silver lining for Republicans: “His stance and the way he’s communicated it potentially puts a state like California in play.

Hispanic voters there and elsewhere, though, are listening with concern to the same change in tone that has gained McCain points with the GOP base. “His rhetoric has absolutely shifted, and people have noticed,” said Munoz of La Raza, “He’s going to have to figure out a way to talk to this community.”

I would say if the pro illegal Tamar Jacoby believes McCain has not really changed his position and still favors an amnesty, that should be an eye opener for all of us.


Posted by straight shooter on February 29, 2008 under Political, Terrorism

The Obama Files
By John Batchelor

What you need to measure about Barack Obama, a likely potent adversary for the presidency, is that while he is a politically junior and consciously liberal-voting member of the U.S. Senate, he is actually a veteran Chicago politician with a fertile record of surprising associations in controversial events well apart from his work in legislatures.

Some of these associations from his years in Chicago law work and urban development, and from his career in the Springfield, Illinois senate, speak to the quality of his judgment and to the strength of his character. Four associations in particular go to the heart of the inquiry ahead in order to ask and answer the fundamental questions about who is Barack Obama.

The story focuses on four astute men who have little in common other than Mr. Obama: Messrs Rezko, Ayers, Khalidi and Auchi. Finding facts about Mr. Obama’s exchanges with this quartet creates much of what can be called a political profile of candidate Obama.

Antoin “Tony” Rezko is the primary history to investigate for Mr. Obama’s political profile. According to Mr. Obama, Mr. Rezko contacted the young law student when he was elected editor of the Harvard Law Review in 1990 and offered him employment in Chicago. Mr. Rezko, a Syrian-born U.S. citizen described by the Chicago press as a “fixer,” is now in federal detention in Chicago and about to go on trial on March 3 for purloining up to $6 million from the people of Illinois with various kickback schemes while he was working for the present Democratic Governor, Rod Blagojevich. Mr. Rezko’s involvement with the rapid rise of the political career of Mr. Obama long predates his work for the governor and remains largely unexamined. Mr. Obama joined a small Chicago law firm in 1993, Davis Miner Barnhill & Galland, that was then headed by Allison S. Davis, a politically connected man who would go on to become a partner with Mr. Rezko in real estate deals in Chicago and, much later, a large donor to the current mayor, Richard Daley, and to Governor Blagojevich and Senator Obama.

Through the connection of this law firm, Mr. Obama became a paid director of the progressive Woods Fund of Chicago, a sixty-seven-year-old philanthropy that later committed $1 million to a lucrative project developed by Mr. Davis in 2000 in partnership with Mr. Rezko. Meanwhile, Mr. Rezko advised and raised funds for Mr. Obama from his maiden entry into state politics in 1995-96, when he won a state senate seat from the 13th District, to his unsuccessful campaign for the U.S House of Representatives in 2000, to Mr. Obama’s successful primary and general candidacy for the U.S. Senate in November 2004. Critically, Mr. Rezko became unusually entangled in the purchase of Mr. Obama’s present home while Mr. Obama was a U.S. senator in June 2005.

Of his association with Mr. Rezko and the purchase of the Chicago home in the Hyde Park-Kenwood area, Senator Obama told George Stephanopoulos of ABC News “This Week” on January 27, 2008, “This is a story that has been out there for a year and has been thoroughly gnawed on by the press, both in Chicago and nationally. Tony Rezko was a friend of mine, a supporter, who I had known for 20 years. He was a contributor, not just to myself, but Democrats, as well as some Republicans throughout Illinois. Everybody perceived him as a businessman and a developer. He got into trouble that was completely unrelated to me, and nobody has suggested that I’ve been involved in any of those problems. I did make a mistake by purchasing a small strip of property from him, at a time where at that point he was under the cloud of a potential investigation. I’ve acknowledged that was a mistake. But again, nobody has suggested any wrongdoing, and I think at this point, it’s important for people to recognize that I have actually provided all the information that’s out there about it.”

There is a deal to examine in this statement, offered coincidentally the day before Mr. Rezko’s re-arrest and detention by order of U.S. District Judge Amy J. St. Eve, acting on a warrant by the U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois, Patrick Fitzgerald, that argued successfully that Mr. Rezko was a flight risk to Middle Eastern countries that do not have an extradition treaty with the United States.

One detail needing scrutiny for its possible inaccuracy is that the “mistake” that Mr. Obama made was not “purchasing a small strip of property from him.” An established fact is that Mr. Obama did not purchase any property from Mr. Rezko. Mr. Obama bought a ten-foot-wide piece of a yard adjoining his home from Rita Rezko, Mr. Rezko’s wife; and Mrs. Rezko purchased that corner lot of the original estate in part with the help of a $500,000 loan against unclear collateral from a local bank administered by another Rezko political associate in the governor’s circle.

William Ayers is the second Chicago figure to consider in the political profile of Mr. Obama. William C. Ayers, known as Bill Ayers, is notorious as a terrorist bomber from the 1970s who, on September 11, 2001, in the New York Times was quoted as finding “a certain eloquence in bombs.” Now, at 62, Mr. Ayers, a former aide to the current Mayor Richard M. Daley, is an established professor of education at the University of Illinois in Chicago. Importantly, Mr. Ayers and his wife, the equally notorious Weatherman terrorist Bernardine Dohrn, hosted a crucial meet-the-candidate event in their Hyde Park neighborhood home in 1995 when Mr. Obama, also a Hyde Park resident, was sounded out by vital citizens, among them the retiring state senator Alice Palmer for the 13th District.

In 1999, Mr. Ayers joined the Woods Fund of Chicago as a director and served alongside Mr. Obama for modest remuneration until Mr. Obama left the board on December 11, 2002; Mr. Ayers was for a time the chairman of the board. Also of note is the fact that Bernardine Dohrn works for Northwestern University Law School’s Children and Family Justice Center, which received a grant from the Woods Fund in 2002.

Mr. Ayers, who has been described by one supporter as “friends” with Mr. Obama, openly speaks and writes of his role in the 1974 bombing of the U.S. Capitol Building where Mr. Obama now serves. Mr. Ayers is widely quoted from his reminiscence, which appeared in the New York Times on the infamous Tuesday, September 11, 2001: “I don’t regret setting bombs. I feel we didn’t do enough.” When asked in that same interview if he would set more bombs today, his response was, “I don’t want to discount the possibility.”

Rashid Khalidi is the third Chicago citizen to consider in the political profile of candidate Obama. Now the voluble Edward Saïd Professor of Arab Studies and head of the Middle East Institute at Columbia University, Mr. Khalidi is said to have made Mr. Obama’s acquaintance when they were colleagues at the University of Chicago, with Mr. Obama a lecturer at the law school and Mr. Khalidi a professor in Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations.

In Chicago in 1995, Mr. Khalidi and his wife Mona founded the Arab American Action Network (AAAN), a group associated with confrontational statements of support for Palestinians and antagonism toward Israel. In 2001 and again in 2002, the Woods Fund of Chicago, with directors Ayers and Obama, made grants of $40,000 and $35,000 to the AAAN. Importantly, the AAAN vice-president Ali Abunimah of Electronic Intifada has remembered Mr. Obama’s speaking in 1999 against “Israeli occupation” at a charity event for a West Bank refugee camp; and Mr. Abunimah, an American citizen, Hyde Park resident and Princeton graduate, has also recalled Mr. and Mrs. Obama at a fundraiser held for the then-Congressional candidate Obama in 2000 at Rashid and Mona Khalidi’s home, where Mr. Obama made convincing statements in support of the Palestinian cause.

There is also a report that Mr. Obama attended a farewell dinner for Professor Khalidi on the latter’s appointment to Columbia University and move to New York, at which Mr. Obama socialized with the Khalidis as well as with Edward Saïd, and at which Mr. Obama left a polite testimonial, as did Mayor Daley and Governor Blagojevich.

It is necessary to consider, in light of Mr. Obama’s politically rich relationship with Mr. Khalidi and his colleagues, that Palestinian sources in Ramallah confirm, for Aaron Klein of and my radio shows on WABC and KFI, that Rashid Khalidi was a paycheck-receiving PLO agent when it was formally named as a terrorist organization. In Beirut from 1976 to 1982, Mr. Khalidi headed the Palestinian press agency WAFA, for which his wife Mona Khalidi also worked. Mr. Khalidi also served Yasser Arafat’s PLO at the Madrid conference in 1991. Mr. and Mrs. Khalidi have yet to comment on their reported political, financial and programmatic association with Mr. Obama in Chicago; as recently as last week neither of the Khalidis would speak on the telephone when asked about Mr. Obama, Mr. Rezko or Mr. Auchi.

The fourth name that contributes to the political profile of candidate Obama is Nadhmi Auchi of London, an Iraqi-born billionaire investor who founded his global enterprise General Mediterranean Holdings (GMH) in 1979 before he left Iraq.

Mr. Auchi apparently enters the political stage of Mr. Obama in 2003, when he was introduced to Mr. Rezko and became involved in developing a sixty-two-acre vacant lot along the Chicago River with his undercapitalized partner Mr. Rezko. Mr. Auchi is a prominent, mysterious figure, who was convicted in a French court in 2003 of political shenanigans in Iraqi oil contracts with regard French government officials and the oil giant TotalFinaElf. There are suspicions, never proven, of Mr. Auchi’s commerce with Saddam Hussein, Muammar Qaddafi, and even the Byzantine and corrupt UN sanctions regime for Iraq called “Oil for Food.”

In liberated Baghdad, Mr. Auchi is still regarded as a “Saddam guy” by Iraqi politicians. Nonetheless, Mr. Auchi has been linked with troubled communications systems contracts in Iraq; also, according to published Chicago Business reports, from 2004 to 2006 Mr. Auchi was linked with an aborted project by Mr. Rezko and another adventurous Chicago resident and former Illinois Institute of Technology classmate of Mr. Rezko’s, Aihman Alsammarae, who in 2003 and 2004 was Iraq’s Minister of Electricity, to build a power plant in Iraq. In April 2004, Mr. Auchi traveled to Illinois to meet with Mr. Rezko, Governor Blagojevich, State Senate President Emil Jones, Jr., and reportedly with then-State Senator Obama, who had just won the Democratic nomination for the U.S. Senate.

Prevented from returning to Chicago in November 2005 by the U.S. State Department, despite the written pleas of Mr. Rezko and others, Mr. Auchi has continued to make connections with Rezko affairs. The chief reason Mr. Rezko was rearrested on January 28, 2008, was because of allegedly hidden wire transfers in April and July 2007 of $3.7 million from Mr. Auchi’s GMH via a Beirut bank to the accused and otherwise impoverished Mr. Rezko.

Considering the breadth and depth of the involvement of these four unusual men, Rezko, Ayers, Rashidi and Auchi, with the Chicago political journey and fortunes of Mr. Obama, it is reasonable to assume that more discovery will result in more anecdotes, comments, even electronic and paper records of the relationships. In April 2007, Mr. Obama, commenting about Mr. Rezko to the Chicago Sun-Times, anticipated many of the questions now being asked about his choice of political associations and his subsequent career decisions when he said, “One of the perils of public life is that you end up being responsible for, or you’re being held responsible for, associations that you didn’t necessarily know were a problem.”

Finally, it is surprising to observe that the Democratic Party looks ready to nominate for the presidency a gifted Chicago politician, from the remnants of the old Richard Daley (father of the current mayor) machine, who asserts, against Mr. Obama’s own established ideological and self-interested record, that he is “post-partisan.”

There is a flickering presidential campaign analogy from the 1970s while Mr. McCain was detained in Hanoi – while Bill Ayers and Bernardine Dohrn were setting bombs, Mr. Rashidi was in the Mideast with the PLO, Mr. Auchi was in Baghdad with Saddam Hussein and Mr. Obama was eleven years old in Hawaii. In March and April 1972, Democratic primary voters elbowed aside Chicago Mayor Richard Daley’s favorite, Ed Muskie of Maine, in order to nominate for the presidency the self-described “people’s president,” George McGovern of South Dakota. The Daley team telephoned Rowland Evans and Robert Novak to complain, “anybody but McGovern.” The prescient quote from the Daley partisan: “I think the nomination of George McGovern would mean the end of the Democratic Party we have known.”

Well, Richard Nixon defeated George McGovern, forty-nine states to one. Will the four horsemen of Mr. Obama’s November, Rezko, Ayers, Rashidi and Auchi, lead to a similar defeat for the spectacular candidacy of Barack Obama? If you are concerned about


Posted by straight shooter on February 29, 2008 under Abortion, Social Concerns

Racism Alive And Well At Planned Parenthood

A shocking set of recordings was released this week that could prove disastrous for Planned Parenthood’s ties with the African-American community. Lila Rose, a pro-life student and reporter at UCLA, launched an undercover investigation aimed at exposing the racism of the nation’s largest abortion merchant. With the help of an actor, she contacted Planned Parenthood clinics in seven states, inquiring if they would be willing to accept a donation earmarked for the abortion of black babies. The results were jaw-dropping.

Rose was appalled to discover that every last clinic agreed. Not one employee objected or questioned the request, even when the actor insisted that the purpose was to “lower the number of black people” in America. When the caller phoned an Ohio branch, he was told that Planned Parenthood “will accept the money for whatever reason.” Video: Planned Parenthood Racism Investigation.

Actor: …I really faced trouble with affirmative action, and I don’t want my kids to be disadvantaged against black kids.
Planned Parenthood: Yes, absolutely.
Actor: And we don’t, you know, we just think the less black kids out there the better.
Planned Parenthood: (Laughs) Understandable, understandable… This is the first time I’ve had a donor call and make this kind of request, so I’m excited and want to make sure I don’t leave anything out.

Students at UCLA are so infuriated by the investigation that they are petitioning the university to cut all affiliation with Planned Parenthood. What few people realize is that the organization has a history of racism that has been ingrained since Planned Parenthood’s earliest days, when founder Margaret Sanger advocated negative eugenics and spoke to a woman’s branch of the KKK (Margaret Sanger, An Autobiography , 1938, p. 336-367). However, as is customary for Planned Parenthood, the organization has managed for decades to cover its tracks – and the facts. That task has just been made monumentally more difficult. Abortion has taken the innocent lives of over 14 million black children – a national tragedy that has begun uniting and mobilizing African-Americans across party, state, and financial lines.

At the National Black Pro-Life Gathering in Washington, D.C., which drew pastors, parents, leaders, and activists from across America to commemorate Black History Month, abortion merchants like Planned Parenthood we called on to stop preying on their community.

As these abortion clinics continue to demonstrate that blood money is not colorblind, we need to call on Congress to de-fund and disavow Planned Parenthood. Taxpayers should not be forced to spend over $300 million on an organization whose scruples are for sale, even to those who seek racial genocide.


Posted by straight shooter on February 29, 2008 under Immigration, Political

New immigration plan ignores history’s lessons.

There are times when reason ceases and the mind is carried from the rational to the absurd. That is where the leadership of the U.S. Senate now resides.

What many once regarded as the world’s great deliberative body looks more like a flea market in which senators feverishly hawk betrayal and deceit as bright jewels of public policy. Comprehensive immigration reform is just such a trinket being sold for the real thing … buyer beware!

Most sinister among those merchants of deception is none other than Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, who has been peddling his wares at the Senate flea market for more than four decades. Kennedy’s counterfeit immigration views reach all the way back to his selling of the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965.

In signing that legislation into law, President Lyndon Johnson promised it would not be revolutionary or affect the lives of millions, even as it overturned 60 years of U.S. immigration policy of national origin quotas and led to the creation of explosive chain migration.

Twenty-one years later, President Ronald Reagan signed into law amnesty for more than three million illegal aliens who had entered the country. President Reagan then promised the new employer sanctions would “remove the incentive for illegal immigration by eliminating the job opportunities,” and that the law’s amnesty provision would allow millions who were hiding in the shadows to “step into the sunlight.” The sanctions were not imposed and the incentive was reversed.

And now, 21 years later, we hear the same trash as the pro-amnesty and open borders advocates demand that American citizens ignore history, reason and the national interest. They are again marketing the same false assurances about border enforcement and insist there will be no social or economic cost to the taxpayer or the nation. It has cost plenty … over 338 billion dollars a year. More than four decades of disruptive and destructive immigration policy initiatives should be a sufficient history lesson for all Americans.

The essential truth is clear: We cannot reform immigration law until we control immigration, and we cannot control immigration until we control our borders and our ports. This president and the congressional Democratic leadership refuse to recognize this reality and will not honor the known facts.

If we continue to follow the course they have set, true tragedy awaits us. And the fault will be ours.