Friday, November 14, 2008

And this at least partially explains my distaste for the part-time senator from Illinois.

From the Bulletin.

What To Expect From An Obama Administration
By Herb Denenberg, The Bulletin

I find one of the more amusing although important questions is how will President-elect Barack Obama govern? As a moderate and centrist, or as an extremist, radical and liberal?

I can answer such questions with another question: When your whole career and resume shows you are a leftist, an extremist, a radical, a liberal, and a 96 percent pure party line Democrat, are you are likely to be just that no matter what you say in the campaign?

Mr. Obama ran far-left to win the primaries and then veered quickly to the center to win the general election. And now the heavy odds are that he will revert to form, to his basic record, positions and values. He is adept at separating his rhetoric from his action and his speeches from his agenda.

I could answer the first question with another question. When you spend your whole career associating with radicals, bigots, racists, terrorists, subversives and crooks will you suddenly be transformed into the great centrist, moderate, uniter and non-partisan?

If those questions aren't enough to convince you and point you to the answer, let me try to provide some answers, clear and certain and not needing any further connecting of the dots.

Mr. Obama's designated chief of staff, Rahm Emanuel, said Mr. Obama "will push a comprehensive program of social and economic reform beyond an immediate stimulus package." (Financial Times, U.S. edition, Nov. 10) That's a double-barreled answer, as it suggests that not only will Mr. Obama trot out the full liberal agenda but also that he'll do it right away. Expect no gradualism and no moderation. If you're looking for the rule appropriate for a center-right nation, you're in for a rough ride on the wrong side of the street.

Mr. Emanuel made it clear that the new administration is not concerned about taking on too much too soon. According to Mr. Emanuel, Mr. Obama will seize on "the financial meltdown as an historic opportunity to deliver the large scale investments that Democrats had promised for years."

He said there would be no delay in moving for far-reaching education and health-care reforms. He is not going to heed the advice of Karl Rove, President Bush's political architect, who thinks any president should focus on a few items and avoid a total program that can often spell total failure.

Mr. Obama's own comments make it clear that he will push not only for a short-term stimulus package but also for long-term investments in infrastructure. In addition, the stimulus package will include the often-promised middle class tax cuts.

However, neither Mr. Obama nor Mr. Emanuel made any attempt to explain how all these goodies and welfare checks and new, expensive programs will be paid for, the coming deficit already estimated to be doubling to $1 trillion or more like $1.5 trillion. Yes, that's trillion with a "t." Mr. Obama better be the Messiah, as he is unlikely to carry out all his promises, and in a hurry at that, barring some miracle and a lot of divine intervention. Incidentally, that's not even to mention the $10 trillion national debt.

The head of Mr. Obama's transition team, John Podesta, also chimed in on why the new administration will go all out right away in pushing Mr. Obama's comprehensive leftist agenda. He argues that the support Mr. Obama received in Republican states and in some conservative counties gives the new president-elect, what he called a "transformational figure," a mandate to pursue his agenda aggressively. Again, when you hear the word "mandate" fasten your seat belt and guard your wallet.

Mr. Podesta also noted that without even waiting for Congress, Mr. Obama, as president, will be able to use his executive authority to get some things done on day one, without waiting for Congress to act. That would probably include executive orders ending drilling for domestic oil and opening up money and support for abortion, in any form and anywhere. As the record has demonstrated, Mr. Obama is the most radical abortion advocate in the Senate, and is on record as favoring the end of all restrictions on abortion and even the green light for infanticide, as per his vote in the Illinois State Senate. The pro-abortion groups are already beginning to turn on their campaign for legislation to eliminate all state restrictions on abortions, legislation which Mr. Obama has enthusiastically endorsed.

If nothing else, everyone agrees Mr. Obama ran a tight, disciplined campaign. So when all his top people are out on national television programs saying the things I've quoted above, you can be sure that they are stating Mr. Obama's clear intention, and, what's more, they are the opening wave of an attempt to sell his comprehensive, radical agenda to the American people. In addition, the nature of their pitch, suggests Mr. Obama's lieutenants are not only trying to sell his program, but trying to pressure for certain actions by the outgoing administration, even before Mr. Obama gets the key to the White House. The Obama people, for example, are pressing for bailing out the auto industry immediately, as they really want to bail out their benefactor, the United Auto Workers.

The Obama people also made their thinking clear when it was revealed they were studying FDR's first 100 days, in which the Great Depression was used to lever all kinds of legislation.

At the same time, the mainstream media is working hand-in-hand with the Obama transition team to sell his program. That media segment was a key cheerleader in getting him elected, and now they are cheerleading for his administration in transition. Consequently, the mainstream media is now painting a picture of total crisis and an atmosphere of the sky falling to lay the groundwork for immediate, comprehensive, radical reform. Rush Limbaugh pointed out that the Obama people and the mainstream media are now joined at the hip, both pushing the same liberal, radical agenda. And he adds that the mainstream media has so much invested in Mr. Obama, it is not likely to turn on him at any time soon no matter how he performs.

Perhaps the best example of that is the now infamous Associated Press dispatch comparing the environment Mr. Obama now confronts to that encountered by Abraham Lincoln and Franklin D. Roosevelt. When you set the scene as a combination of the Civil War and the Great Depression, you have pronounced "Open Sesame" for the most radical and immediate answers imaginable.

At the same time, the liberal pundits are also calling for aggressive and comprehensive moves immediately. E.J. Dionne Jr., writing in Investor's Business Daily (Nov. 11), calls for the kind of bold action taken by President Reagan after his election: "His first moves were bold, and Obama should not fear following his example ... In fact, timidity is a far greater danger than overreaching."

What this adds up to is that you can expect a full court press to get the radical liberal agenda enacted into law. The pressure from the Obama administration, from the heavily Democratic Congress, and from all the Democratic special interest groups is going to be turned loose without any restraint. Such groups as the ACLU and are already circling the wagons with their radical agendas. So Republicans, conservatives and others better be prepared to do battle against this agenda. Here are just a few of the pieces of that agenda that are about to become flying onto center stage:

Health Care
This top priority of the Obama administration is especially dangerous as it has so many reverberations throughout the economy and the health-care system. In addition, unlike tax increases that can be repealed, the damage to the health-care system inflicted by Mr. Obama's proposal will be much more difficult to fix and more lasting.

It will create a bankrupting cost, as we're talking about bringing about 47 million more people into the system, without increasing the supply of health-care providers. That is likely to lead to rationing, chaos and probably worse. Everyone will fare worse, but senior citizens will be hurt the most as they usually are last in line in a rationing system involving health care. In addition, it will create additional cost at a time of unprecedented deficits, national debts and spending.

We're still trying to figure out how to pay for Medicare and control Medicare costs. This will take a monstrous problem and compound it by a large multiple.

In addition, the health-care reform will wreck the health care delivery system. Finally, as documented by Dick Morris, whose works appears in The Bulletin, in his book Fleeced, it will grant coverage to about 10 million illegal aliens. And once enacted, it will be wrecking health delivery for a long time. Ronald Reagan knew that when he said, "The nearest thing to eternal life we will ever see on this earth is a government program."

Card Check For Union Elections
Cutting through all the technicalities, a card check union election is a way to eliminate the presently required secret ballot and a way to open to the way to getting unions authorized by coercion, intimidation and harassment into signing cards that if obtained in majority numbers result in union authorization. You don't need a secret ballot. You only need a majority of workers signing a card, in the presence of union organizers. I don't have to paint that picture for you of the possibilities for coercion and intimidation.

The Democratic Party and Mr. Obama are on record of abolishing the secret ballot in union elections, and they are pressured in this direction by one of their major special interest groups, the unions. This is a top union priority, as they are in the process of moving toward extinction. The card check authorization of unions may breath new life into the union movement.

The card check issue should enlighten observers as it shows that the Democrats are long on power and short on principle, and are quite willing to abandon something as important as the secret ballot in their quest for power and in their willingness to pay back special interest groups like unions that support them. The unions, by this legislation, would be able to grow again and organize on a massive scale. The Democrats would strengthen one of their key supporters that provide financing and manpower during election cycles.

Mandatory Arbitration
This proposal is usually coupled with the card check. It requires that if the newly authorized union and management can't agree to a contract within 120 days, then an outside arbitrator can decide on the terms of the contract. Steve Forbes (Forbes Magazine, Nov. 24) writes, "Naturally these arbitrators know on which side their bread is buttered - they won't get the job unless they've been approved by the unions."

The card check plus mandatory arbitration mean that any business, no matter how it treats its employees, will be subjected to unionization and a decreed labor contract, setting the stage for crippling work rules and bankrupting pension, health-care and other compensation packages. Observe what happened to America's auto industry, with work rules and compensation packages that made them unable to compete and now have brought them to the brink of bankruptcy.

Other Changes In Labor Laws
Mr. Obama has made all kinds of promises that would impose higher costs on business, especially damaging to business at a time of an economic downturn. For example, he would require all employers offer seven days of sick leave and raise the minimum wage to $9.50 an hour by 2009. The Democrats are not likely to say no to the unions. And along with his spread the wealth tax policies, such labor law changes are sure to contribute to further economic downturns and less job creation. The Democrats love these mandates, which along with their tax increases are still another way to spread the wealth around.

Fairness Doctrine
This is another favorite Democratic Party proposal that also shows it is willing to sacrifice any democratic principle to achieve and retain political power. The Fairness Doctrine, abolished by Reagan, would make it impossible for talk radio to operate. It would call for balancing every point of view, something that is often impractical economically, and too complicated and expensive administratively to comply with. Talk radio came into its own only after the Fairness Doctrine was abolished.

But it has become the one sector of all the media that is not dominated by the liberal left. But the leftists are not satisfied to control newspapers, television, magazines, and radio. They want total media control, so Rep. Nancy Pelosi, D-Cal., is leading the charge to reinstitute the Fairness Doctrine, and silence the one media voice of dissent to the liberal/radical agenda about to be imposed on America by the Democratic Party.

When asked what programs will be cut, Mr. Obama has never been able to give one specific example of any consequences although he was asked to do so on more than one occasion during the presidential debates. In fact, in one of the answers, while avoiding programs to cut, he talked about programs that need more funds. He has already proposed about $1 trillion in additional spending, and the Democratic Congress is warming up in the legislative bullpen to add all of their favorite projects.

Despite campaign rhetoric to the contrary, you can expect the White House and the Congress to go on the usual Democratic path of tax and spend and regulate and centralize. Mr. Reagan put it perfectly when he said, "Government's view of the economy could be summed up in a few short phrases: If it moves, tax it. If it keeps moving, regulate it. And if it stops moving, subsidize it." He added that the taxpayer is someone who works for the government but doesn't have to take the Civil Service exam.

Mr. Obama is on record during the campaign as saying the first bill he will sign, as president is the Freedom of Choice Act, which would nullify any federal, state or local restriction on abortion. This should surprise no one as Mr. Obama is well-known as the most radical advocate of abortions in the Senate, perhaps best exemplified by his vote in the Illinois legislature to legalize infanticide (when an infant is born alive during a botched abortion). He has never voted in favor of a restriction on abortion. Of course, even before legislation, Mr. Obama can advance his abortion agenda through executive orders, which he might sign as early as Jan. 20.

Defense Spending
Mr. Obama has already made all kinds of pronouncements on cutting back on defense spending, and his liberal, extremists in Congress are already calling for cutbacks. That anti-defense spending crowd is led by Rep. Barney Frank, D-Mass., who has already called for a 25 percent cutback in defense spending. Ironically, Mr. Obama can't seem to see defense as a priority, but he has made proposals to end world poverty, by a multi-billion annual contribution to the U.N., a corrupt, anti-American body, which has already demonstrated how it would administer such funds with the famous food-for-oil Iraq scandal. He would reverse the famous cry directed against the Barbary Pirates, "Millions for defense; not one cent for tribute," to "Millions for tribute; not one more cent for defense."

Patriot Act And Related Matters
"Barack Obama would water-down the Patriot Act dangerously, leaving Americans far more vulnerable to terrorism." That's the view of Mr. Morris and is documented in detail in his book, Fleeced. Here's an example that will give you the kind of changes Mr. Obama is likely to impose. Under the Patriot Act, the government can conduct a secret investigation of a terror suspect and need not give the suspect notice of that investigation for 180 days. Mr. Obama wants to change the period allowed for the secret investigation to seven days. This would be so early in the investigation, the suspect would have ample time to cover up, issue warnings, and escape if necessary. Mr. Obama views the U.S. Constitution as a suicide pact which makes it impossible to wage an effective war on terrorists and impossible to stop them before them repeat 9/11 or some like catastrophe.

This is one issue that was discussed to death. Mr. Obama promises tax cuts for 95 percent of Americans but heavy increases on the 5 percent of the wealthiest, which includes the small business that are the engine of job creation and prosperity. So even if he can deliver on this tax cut, despite his ever spiraling spending plans, those that got the tax cut might find that their jobs are disappearing as is economic activity.

I could go on, but the above is enough to destroy the economy, weaken national defense and make us vulnerable to terrorism and our enemies. So we can only hope public opinion can be mobilized so effectively it can stop all or major portions of the Democratic agenda. We can also pray that the Republican Party gets its acts and programs together so it can effectively play the role of the loyal opposition.

Herb Denenberg is a former Pennsylvania Insurance Commissioner, Pennsylvania Public Utility Commissioner, and professor at the Wharton School. He is a longtime Philadelphia journalist and consumer advocate. He is also a member of the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of the Sciences. His column appears daily in The Bulletin. You can reach him at advocate@

Tuesday, November 11, 2008


For twenty-four years veterans, historians, students and other citizens came together for Veterans Day, Tuesday, November 11, 2008 at 10 a.m. in Historic Elmwood Cemetery in Detroit, to honor the memory of members of the 102nd U.S. Colored Infantry. I’ve written about my visits before.

The Detroit Historical Society’s Black Historic Sites Committee, led by Beulah Ware Hamilton, conducts the ceremony. The memorial is held in Section S of the cemetery, where 18 members of the 102nd Colored Infantry are buried.

The idea for the ceremony was inspired by visits Beulah Hamilton made to her husband’s gravesite shortly after his death. Her husband, Karl Walker Hamilton, was an internationally noted historian and had guided numerous visits to the graves of these Civil War veterans. In fact, during her visits, Mrs. Hamilton noted that there was never even an American flag flying over this historic gravesite. “To honor their legacy and the legacy of my husband, I decided to hold a Veteran’s Day ceremony there every year,” Mrs. Hamilton said. Featured here third from left, she is a beautiful woman with style, grace, and dedication to our nation’s veterans.

The 102nd U.S Colored Infantry Regiment was formed in the summer of 1863 as the volunteer First Michigan Colored Infantry. Renamed the 102nd after mustering into the Union Army in 1864, members served with distinction in South Carolina, Georgia and Florida.

Participating in the ceremony are units of the JROTC from many Detroit area high schools, including the one at which I teach; members of the W.A.C. Veterans Association, Wolverine Chapter 67; the Detroit Chapter of the Tuskegee Airmen; the U.S. Marine Corps Montford Point and the U.S. Marine Corps Detachment #158; the Tom Phillips Post # 184; the James Europe Post #3080; the Colin L. Powell American Veterans Post # 910; and my personal adult favorite, the Detroit Civil War Re-enactment Group; the Buffalo Soldiers 9th & 10th Cavalry accompanied by Frederick Douglas; the Historic Daughters of the Union Veterans of the Civil War, Tent #3; the 1279th U.S. Combat Engineers Alumni Association; the Historic Triple Nickels; the Michigan National Guard; the 761st U.S. Tank Battalion; the Detroit Veterans of Desert Storm; the Coleman A. Young Post #202; the Gold Star Wives of America, Inc.; the Native American Association; and veterans of several wars.

It is an extraordinary and moving experience.

Honor a veteran today, young or old. Thank one or two or a dozen for their contribution toward making this the great nation it has the potential to be.

Happy Veteran’s Day, Paul. I still miss you.


William H. Carter

He was born in Cincinnati, Ohio, about 1841. He lived in Ypsilanti, Washtenaw County, Michigan On the 15th of November, 1863 at the age of 18, Carter volunteered for 3 years of service. He was mustered in Detroit as a Private on November 30, 1863 and promoted to First Sergeant of Company F, 102nd U.S. Colored Infantry, on February 2, 1864, as a substitute for Delos Davis, who had deserted. He was appointed Sergeant Major of the 102nd on August 18, 1865 and was transferred to a noncommissioned staff.

A letter written by his commanding officer requesting Carter be granted leave time praised him for being an exemplary and dedicated soldier. He was mustered out at Charleston, South Carolina on September 30, 1865.

There is a William H. Carter listed as a colored barber in the Detroit City Directories from 1868 to 1876, living variously at 68 and 91 Crogan Street; 230 High Street; and 253 Grand River.

He was 5' 8' tall; dark hair and eyes; light complexion. Marital status is unknown. He died in Detroit, October 16, 1876, of "phthisis" (more often known as tuberculosis) at the age of 35.

And he is also our history.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Thomas Jefferson

"The republican is the only form of government which is not eternally at open or secret war with the rights of mankind." —Thomas Jefferson, Letter to William Hunter, March 11, 1790

Sunday, November 09, 2008

YouTube, the Supreme Court and a necessary birth certificate.

There's this issue.

And Part II.

News report on lifelong Democrat Philip Berg's lawsuit

And the Supreme Court refuses to stay the election but orders the original birth certificate produced.

No. 08-570
Philip J. Berg, Petitioner
Barack Obama, et al.
Docketed:October 31, 2008
Lower Ct:United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit
Case Nos.:(08-4340)

Rule 11

~~~Date~~~ ~~~~~~~Proceedings and Orders~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Oct 30 2008 Petition for a writ of certiorari before judgment filed. (Response due December 1, 2008)
Oct 31 2008 Application (08A391) for an injunction pending disposition of the petition for a writ of certiorari, submitted to Justice Souter.
Nov 3 2008 Supplemental brief of applicant Philip J. Berg filed.
Nov 3 2008 Application (08A391) denied by Justice Souter.

~~Name~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~Address~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~Phone~~~
Attorneys for Petitioner:

Philip J. Berg 555 Andorra Glen Court, Suite 12(610) 825-3134

Lafayette Hill, PA 09867
Party name: Philip J. Berg
Attorneys for Respondents:

Gregory G. Garre Solicitor General(202) 514-2217

United States Department of Justice

950 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W.

Washington, DC 20530-0001
Party name: Federal Election Commission, et al.

And then there's his economic team advisors...

This one made my sister down in Florida curse out loud, repeatedly, even using the F-bomb - something that in nearly sixty-one years of life I have heard her use perhaps five times - and most of those as a teenager, of course.

Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm, whose tax and spend policies have only worsened her state's economic plight - and who heads up one of the most depressed, jobless and angry states in the union - is his girl for the transition at least.

Truthfully, most of us here in MI are torn. We're not sure whether we want her to stay here and continue to drive us right straight into the ground or send her to Washington where she'll be able to screw the entire United States right into the ground.

And on taxes....

I wonder... since I am now "rich" and should be required to support the "poor" what happens if I divorce my husband, retire and voila, without changing my long-term plans much at all, we become "poor."

Maybe then I, too, can suck the economy dry while sitting on my ass whining about those bad old Conservatives.

Got to be honest here - I'm sick of welfare rats. If this offends you because you are one, tough noogies. If you're not one, then you ought to be considering how long before you are taxed out of existence by the crap being floated on the toiled bowl of the part-time Senator from Illinois' agenda.

And please - if one more person that gets tax rebates, tax credit and ends up getting back more taxes than they ever paid tells me, "I pay taxes, too" I promise to puke on their $150 tennis shoes.

Spread the wealth indeed. Karl Marx would have been so proud.

So what other things do you suppose he's lied about?

Senator Barack Obama's presidential campaign slogan, "the audacity of hope," should have instead been "the audacity of deceit." After months of telling the American people that he supports the Second Amendment, and only hours after being declared the president-elect, the Obama transition team website announced an agenda taken straight from the anti-gun lobby--four initiatives designed to ban guns and drive law-abiding firearm manufacturers and dealers out of business:

(Since the NRA pointed to this page, it has been taken down - but if ANYONE thinks his agenda has done anything more than go into hiding for a bit, they couldn't be more wrong.)

"Making the expired federal assault weapons ban permanent." Perhaps no other firearm issue has been more dishonestly portrayed by gun prohibitionists. Notwithstanding their predictions that the ban's expiration in 2004 would bring about the end of civilization, for the last four years the nation's murder rate has been lower than anytime since the mid-1960s. Studies for Congress, the Congressional Research Service, the National Institute of Justice, the National Academy of Sciences, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have found no evidence that gun prohibition or gun control reduces crime. Guns that were affected by the ban are used in only a tiny fraction of violent crime-about 35 times as many people are murdered without any sort of firearm (knives, bare hands, etc.), as with "assault weapons." Obama says that "assault weapons" are machine guns that "belong on foreign battlefields," but that is a lie; the guns are only semi-automatic, and they are not used by a military force anywhere on the planet.

"Repeal the Tiahrt Amendment." The amendment--endorsed by the Fraternal Order of Police--prohibits the release of federal firearm tracing information to anyone other than a law enforcement agency conducting a bona fide criminal investigation. Anti-gun activists oppose the restriction, because it prevents them from obtaining tracing information and using it in frivolous lawsuits against law-abiding firearm manufacturers. Their lawsuits seek to obtain huge financial judgments against firearm manufacturers when a criminal uses a gun to inflict harm, even though the manufacturers have complied with all applicable laws.

"Closing the gun show loophole." There is no "loophole." Under federal law, a firearm dealer must conduct a background check on anyone to whom he sells a gun, regardless of where the sale takes place. A person who is not a dealer may sell a gun from his personal collection without conducting a check. Gun prohibitionists claim that many criminals obtain guns from gun shows, though the most recent federal survey of convicted felons put the figure at only 0.7 percent. They also claim that non-dealers should be required to conduct checks when selling guns at shows, but the legislation they support goes far beyond imposing that lone requirement. In fact, anti-gun members of Congress voted against that limited measure, holding out for a broader bill intended to drive shows out of business.

"Making guns in this country childproof." "Childproof" is a codeword for a variety of schemes designed to prevent the sale of firearms by imposing impossible or highly expensive design requirements, such as biometric shooter-identification systems. While no one opposes keeping children safe, the fact is that accidental firearm-related deaths among children have decreased 86 percent since 1975, even as the numbers of children and guns have risen dramatically. Today, the chances of a child being killed in a firearm accident are less than one in a million.

I'm definitely feeling this guy...

Message To Conservatives: You Are Racists And Should Be Silenced

For a while I thought it was just me. But in the final days leading up to the national election, I began to notice it on both local and national talk shows around the country.

And now that we are a few days past Mr. Obama’s election night victory, it seems quite clear: things have gotten more intense, not less.

I’m writing here about the attacks that are being telephoned-in to conservative talk radio hosts around the country. I’ve noticed a consistent increase of people that I’ll call “Obama enthusiasts” popping-up as callers on conservative talk shows, and no matter what the topic on the show may be, the assertions from the callers follow a predictable pattern.

The precise choice of words that the caller uses in their line of attack may vary, but the pattern essentially goes like this: A) The caller asserts to the host that “all you ever do is attack Barack Obama;” B) The caller then comes around to asserting to the host that “you are obviously a “racist” (or “you are a bigot,” or “you think Black people are inferior to White people,” or something of that sort); and then the caller concludes with C) “you should be removed from the ‘public airwaves’” (or some variation of the general sentiment that “you should just be silenced” or “you should shut-up”).

Read more - unless you think the blatant, hateful racism being promoted by the Left is A-Ok - as long as it's just those Bad Conservatives - because it's not just radio talk show hosts that it is happening to, not by far.