A House Divided – Part 1 of 3

We’ve heard some pundits call Obama “Divisive.”  Why would they think so?   Well, let’s start with a  statement reportedly given  to Ryan Lizza of the New Republic, by Mike Kruglik, an early Obama mentor

“He [Obama] was a natural, the undisputed master of agitation….”   

O.k., but what does that have to do with divisiveness?

Saul Alinsky – author of Rules for Radicals and father of the school of Community Organizing practiced by Barack Obama – described the Agitator’s job as

“…first to bring folks to the ‘realization’ that they are indeed miserable, that their misery is the fault of unresponsive governments or greedy corporations, then help them to bond together to demand what they deserve.”

And what better way to evoke misery and divisiveness than by resurrecting  a historical tragedy that has long since passed its proper burial date.  As the Reichstag fire proved in 1933 Germany, creating a common enemy is a potent tool for consolidating political support and power – and is never intended to benefit the people whose lives will most likely be shattered by its effect.  Today’s common enemy is White?  Black?  Latin?  Police? How do you think President Obama answers that question?

Do you Remember when Obama said  that  the Cambridge Police Department acted stupidly and then followed that comment by saying

“…what I think we know separate and apart from this incident (Cambridge Police) is that there is a long history in this country of African-Americans and Latinos being stopped by law enforcement disproportionately.  That’s just a fact.”  

A  fact?  And the credible source is…

While visiting Ferguson, MO during the Michael Brown protests, with riots, looting  and for the innocents – fear – filling the hours of darkness, Attorney General Eric Holder took advantage of the opportunity to address an audience of local college students regarding his own alleged experience with police officers.  According to an L.A. Times article posted August 20, 2014, Holder told students:

“I am the attorney general of the United States. But I am also a black man. I can remember being stopped on the New Jersey Turnpike on two occasions and accused of speeding. Pulled over…. ‘Let me search your car.’ … Go through the trunk of my car, look under the seats and all this kind of stuff….” 

As police officers and members of the National Guard were putting their lives on the line to protect people and property – while cars and buildings were burning – while looters were gutting businesses that others spent their lives building – was this really the time and place for Mr. Holder to be giving this type of speech – to this kind of audience?  And, if someone died, or had their business destroyed because of that speech, who would hold him accountable?  Would people call for his indictment, or demand he be fired?  Probably not, because his actions would have merely set things in motion for another citizen/police confrontation and perhaps another shooting, indictment, riot – but nothing that would attach to Holder or to others who gain power and notoriety by fanning the flames of racism.

I had an experience similar to Mr. Holder’s – mine in Louisiana while serving in the U.S. Navy in the 60’s.  I was not speeding, but I was reminded that I was in a city that operated under French law and he [the officer] could put me in the jail and throw away the key – nobody would ever find me.  Perhaps, a little scarier than searching my trunk.  Like Holder, I was stopped by a white police officer.  Unlike Holder though, I happen to be white.

You may also remember when Obama  said that if he had a son, he would look like Trayvon.  Then, on Dec. 5, 2014, the President gave an interview to Jeff Johnson of the Black Entertainment Network, in which he further personalized the events in Ferguson and around the Country.

“When they described their own personal experiences of having been stopped for no reason, or having generated suspicion because they were in a community that supposedly they didn’t belong, my mind went back to what it was like for me when I was 17, 18, 20…”

He went on to say “It used to be, folks would say, “Well, maybe blacks are exaggerating, maybe some of these situations aren’t what they described.” What we’ve now seen on television, for everybody to see, gives us an opportunity, I think, to finally have the kind of conversation that’s been a long time coming.”(Emphasis added)

We should and must hold police officers to a very high standard and we should expect the best judgment, based on state-of-the-art psychological screening and the best training available.  Should we also hold politicians, judges and attorneys responsible?  Do teachers, social workers and parents also bear  responsibility for what ultimately explodes on our streets?  Should we also assign just a touch of responsibility to the criminals  themselves and to others whose behavior, while not criminal,  initiates the scenes we so often see played out with negative consequences.  Those who have read President Obama’s two books are aware of his provocative behaviors as a young man – behaviors that could easily have resulted in unfortunate confrontations.  Does his mind also go back to his own behavior and the potential consequences when he “…was 17, 18, 20…”?

Police officers are the uniformed representatives of government.  When police officers abuse their powers, or exercise poor judgment, citizens begin to distrust their government.  But, it also works in reverse.  When government is ineffective, corrupt, or abusive, the frustration and distrust of citizens is likely to find voice on the streets and in their attitudes and conduct towards police.  When President Obama and others talk about the need to improve relationships between police and the communities they serve, they should first also look to the actions of government and the relationship of those actions to the prosperity, freedom and satisfaction of the citizens they too are sworn to serve.

Recently, Mrs. Obama gave the commencement speech for the 2015 graduating class of Tuskegee University.  She warned the young graduates about the world they would soon face, saying in part:

To Be Continued…

Obama and his Constant Struggle for the Low Ground! – Reason #73

Only 82 Days Remaining!

When Convictions and Campaigns Conflict

During his 2010 State of the Union Address, President Obama startled America when he directed his displeasure directly at the black robed figures respectfully congregated a few yards in front of him and representing the Supreme Court of the United States and the third branch of government – the Judiciary.  Showing his ire, Obama placed the Justices on a “Hot seat” from which they were neither invited nor expected to respond:

“With all due deference to separation of powers, last week the Supreme Court reversed a century of law that I believe will open the floodgates for special interests –- including foreign corporations –- to spend without limit in our elections. (Applause.) I don’t think American elections should be bankrolled by America’s most powerful interests, or worse, by foreign entities. (Applause.) They should be decided by the American people. And I’d urge Democrats and Republicans to pass a bill that helps to correct some of these problems.”

Obama was addressing the issue of the so-called “Super PACs.”  Later, at a 2010 Campaign rally in  Philadelphia, Obama added to and clarified his State of the Union remarks, pronouncing:

“Now that’s not just a threat to Democrats, that’s a threat to our democracy.”[i]

Here was obviously a man of conviction.  Recall that in a 2007 campaign rally, candidate Obama excoriated John Edwards for saying he was against 527s (PACs), but, then having such a group, headed by his former campaign manager, purchase $750,000 in television time.  Obama righteously went on to say at that time:

“So, you can’t say yesterday, you don’t believe in them and today, you have ¾ of a million dollars being spent for you.  You can’t just talk the talk.  The easiest thing in the world is to talk about change during an election time.  Everybody talks about change during election time.  You’ve got to look at how do they act when it’s not convenient – when it’s hard…”[ii]

Still apparently protecting Democracy and standing on his convictions – even in hard times – oops!  It seems a funny thing happened on the way to the 2012 election…Obama’s Campaign Manager – Jim Messina – stated in February, 2012, that:

“With so much at stake, we can’t allow for two sets of rules. Democrats can’t be unilaterally disarmed.” [iii]

Unilateral disarmament in this administration, is apparently restricted to nuclear warheads and national defense – not for campaigns.  And with that, the Super PACs were alive and well in the Obama campaign.  Apparently, there was more at stake than walking the talk – more at stake than Democracy.  Apparently, President Obama’s principled stand is largely contingent upon his re-election prospects.

What a surprise.


[i] President Barack Obama, quoted in My Fox Orlando web-site, (Feb. 7, 2012), Team Obama Wants Super PAC Spending… So Obama Can Stop Super PAC Spending; Romney Attacks Elevate, retrieved February 7, 2012 from http://www.myfoxorlando.com/dpp/news/Team-Obama-Wants-Super-PAC-Spending-So-Obama-Can-Stop-Super-PAC-Spending-Romney-Attacks-Elevate-Santorum_67703630

[ii] FoxNation, (Feb. 9, 2012), video provided by TheRightScoop.com, Right Scoop: Obama Will Do and Say Anything to Get Reelected, retrieved February 9, 2012 from http://nation.foxnews.com/president-obama/2012/02/09/right-scoop-obama-will-do-and-say-anything-get-reelected

[iii] Jim Messina, quoted in My Fox Orlando web-site, (Feb. 7, 2012), Team Obama Wants Super PAC Spending… So Obama Can Stop Super PAC Spending; Romney Attacks Elevate, retrieved February 7, 2012 from http://www.myfoxorlando.com/dpp/news/Team-Obama-Wants-Super-PAC-Spending-So-Obama-Can-Stop-Super-PAC-Spending-Romney-Attacks-Elevate-Santorum_67703630

Obama Keeping Promise? – Reason #70

Only 85 Days Remaining!

Obama Keeps Promise to Circumvent Congress

President Obama, a man who taught the Constitution for ten years and who has clearly articulated the systems of checks and balances designed by our nation’s Founders, seems to have expanded his own view of Presidential power since taking that office.  His new line of reasoning says:

“But when Congress refuses to act, and as a result, hurts our economy and puts our people at risk, then I have an obligation as President to do what I can without them. (Applause.) I’ve got an obligation to act on behalf of the American people.”[i]

Citing this “obligation,” President Obama effected the so-called “Recess Appointment” of Richard Cordray on January 4, 2012, as the first Director of the newly formed Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.  The reality however – according to the Heritage Foundation – was that the Senate was not in “Recess,” but in a “Pro Forma” session, as proven by the fact that during the “Pro Forma” session, they had successfully passed the President’s two month extension of the payroll tax cut.[ii]   In effect, Obama was usurping the authority of the legislative branch in order to avoid the requirement of Cordray’s Senate confirmation.

Is this activity consistent with our image of American Democracy?


[i] President Barack Obama, (Jan. 4, 2012), White House web-site, Speeches & Remarks, Remarks by the President on the Economy, retrieved January 6, 2012 from http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2012/01/04/remarks-president-economy

[ii] Andrew Grossman (Jan. 5, 2012), Heritage web-site, The Foundry, Even Obama Agrees that the Senate was not in Recess, retrieved January 7, 2012 from http://blog.heritage.org/2012/01/05/even-obama-agrees-that-the-senate-was-not-in-recess/

Congress Now Optional? – Reason #69

Only 86 Days Remaining!

Obama Sees Congress as Optional

According to a recent New York Times article by Peter Baker, the President has now signed into law, a bill that gives him the right to immediately appoint scores of presidential appointees without Senate confirmation.  While many would agree that this bipartisan bill further erodes our system of checks and balances, few should be surprised.  We might even argue that the new law merely gives legitimacy to a practice already implemented by Obama – a practice exemplified by his appointment of Richard Cordray.

While Obama seems to have manufactured a “Recess Appointment” scenario in order to appoint Richard Cordray as the first Director of the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, the problem appears much worse than a single abusive action to avoid Senate Confirmation hearings on one appointee.  Indeed, in an interview with Rob Quirk, of KOAA, Colorado Springs, Colorado, the President commented easily on what has become his increasingly familiar position:

“Well, what we’re going to have to do is continue to make progress on the economy over the next several months. And where Congress is not willing to act, we’re going to go ahead and do it ourselves. But it would be nice if we could get a little bit of help from Capitol Hill.”[i]

While this may seem very action oriented, it also provides a clear distinction between the prerogatives of a President and the prerogatives of a Monarch.  If every President had the prerogative to decide when and why to circumvent congressional authority, our Democracy would soon be a historical footnote.  A vote for Obama in 2012 will take us one step closer to that day.


[i] President Barack Obama, (2011), Real Clear Politics web-site, Obama: “Where Congress Is Not Willing To Act, We’re Going To Go Ahead And Do It Ourselves”, retrieved January 7, 2012 from http://www.realclearpolitics.com/video/2011/12/14/obama_where_congress_is_not_willing_to_act_were_going_to_go_ahead_and_do_it_ourselves.html

Maxine Waters: Wall Street is “Shaking in their Boots!” – Reason #63

Only 92 Days Remaining!

Maxine Waters: Wall Street “Shaking in their Boots”

If there were ever a need to explain the importance of maintaining a Republican majority in the House of Representatives, Rep. Maxine Waters, (D-CA) has given it to us.

At a California Democratic Convention, Waters told her audience:

“…and guess what.  Let me let you in on a secret.  I am the senior most person serving on the Financial Services Committee.  Barney Frank is about to retire and guess who’s shaking in their boots – the too big to fail banks and financial institutions and all of Wall Street, because Maxine Waters is going to be the next Chair of the Financial Services Committee.”[i]

For those who may have forgotten, this is the same Maxine Waters who told an oil company executive that she would be about “…taking over and the government running all of your companies.” [ii]

 


[i] Representative Maxine Waters (D-CA), Breitbart TV web-site, Maxine Waters: Don’t Let GOP ‘Demons’ In ‘Our Hall’, retrieved February 19, 2012 from http://www.breitbart.tv/maxine-waters-dont-let-gop-demons-in-our-hall/

[ii] Representative Maxine Waters (D-CA), (May, 2008), originally broadcast on The Fox Report, posted on YouTube.com on May 23, 2008, by “ElephantOwnersDotCom,” Maxine Waters wants to “Socialize” Oil Companies, retrieved January 28, 2011 from http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=niJAkR_6tKQ

Reason 5 – A Charmed Life:Obama Glides Into State Senate

157 Days Remaining!

We normally don’t think of a person’s good fortune as a reason not to vote for him or her.  Sometimes, however, the way that good fortune comes leaves serious questions about what a candidate is willing to do in order to chalk one in the “Win” column.  It seems more than appropriate to weigh such tactics, when evaluating the candidacy of someone who, as a boy, was known for yelling “Curang, Curang” (cheater, cheater) and who as a man, blames so much on others.  The question, perhaps:  Is this a politician who lives by the spirit of the law, the letter of the law, or by what moves him most effectively towards his own ends?  Your answer may or may not leave you with a Reason Not to Vote for Barack Obama.  It will certainly leave you with another piece of the puzzle answering: Who is Barack Obama?

Reason #5

A Charmed Life – Obama Glides into State Senate

There can be little doubt that Barack Obama has lived a charmed life.  While apparently not from a particularly wealthy family, he was able to attend Punahou, an elite Hawaiian prep school and then move on to Occidental College in California, followed by Columbia University in New York and finally, after spending time as a Chicago community organizer, to prestigious Harvard Law School, where he was selected first black President of the Harvard Law Review.  After being selected President of the Harvard Law Review, he was given a book contract with Simon & Schuster and an advance of $150,000.[i]

But, in 1995, on top of all this good fortune, Obama was given the gift that has kept on giving.

Popular Illinois State Senator Alice Palmer had decided to run for a seat in the U.S. Congress against Jesse Jackson, Jr.  As a believer in Obama, Palmer encouraged him to run for her seat and endorsed him as her replacement.  When things went bad for her in the Congressional race, her staff contacted Obama, requesting that he withdraw from the race and allow her to recover her old seat.  Obama refused.  Undeterred, Palmer obtained sufficient names on a petition to be placed on the 1996 ballot, running against Obama in the Primary.

According to David Mendell, author of Obama: From Promise to Power, “a volunteer for Obama challenged the legality of her petitions, as well as the legality of petitions from several other candidates.”  All were disqualified and Obama finished the Primary unopposed.  With Republicans not well represented in the contested District, Obama walked across the finish line with an easy win.[ii]

Truly a moment for Democracy – eliminating all of your opponents on a technicality!

Your Turn


[i] Christopher Andersen, Barack and Michelle, (New York, 2009, Harper Collins E-Books),pp138-231

[ii] David Mendell, From Promise to Power, (New York, 2007, Harper) 108-110

Finding More Reasons Not to Vote for Barack Obama

161 Days Remaining

As  Our Free 50 launches, America is involved in a critical countdown.  That, of course, is the countdown to the 2012 Presidential elections.  We have 161 days  until voters have a chance to introduce commonsense into the national agenda – to eliminate the divisiveness, out of control spending, religious attacks, arrogance, class warfare and apologies for America, that have marked the Obama years.  We have 161 days until getting our chance to stop the Obama Administration from “Fundamentally Transforming the United States of America.”

Here, at Our Free 50, We are also looking at a second and parallel countdown of sorts, which has to do with the book 203 Reasons Not to Vote for Barack Obama.  While the title of this book may seem unimaginative, it’s a fact filled, quick read; comprised of the quotes and records of Obama, his political cohorts and those who know him best.  It’s all the little news pieces that when separated by time, don’t seem to mean much and are easily forgettable.  When rolled into a consolidated source as they are here, suddenly a broader picture emerges, showing a federal government out of control and in the wrong hands.  It’s not everything you should know before voting in November, but, it’s a lot of what you should know.

Now to business:  As the author of 203 Reasons Not to Vote for Barack Obama, I’d like you to buy the book!  There.  I’ve said it. It’s available now on Amazon.com as a kindle (including for the IPad) book, priced at only $4.99.  If you’re an Amazon Prime member, you can even read it for FREE!  203 Reasons Not to Vote for Barack Obama will also be available as a paperback in late June, or early July, priced at $11.99.

If you buy the paperback, please pass it around after you’ve read it.  The goal here is not money; it’s the future of our country.  If $4.99 is too much, stay tuned to  “Our Free 50” and bring your friends.  In the 161 days remaining before the election, I’ll be posting a portion of the book daily.  I regret that, without a complete re-typing,  the book’s finished appearance in the blog post is unequal to the Amazon version.  It is still however, perfectly readable.  Please read it, comment and add more reasons of your own.  In fact, I’d like you to add a lot more reasons.  That’s why I’m making the following commitment.

Here’s the small print: (it’s on my “About” page also): I will be donating 20% of all profits from the book to the Wounded Warrior Project (Please see “Notice” at the end of our “About” page).  Additionally, for every 10 unique reasons I receive from readers, showing why America should Not Vote for Barack Obama, I will contribute $1 to the Wounded Warrior Project, up to a maximum of $500.  The reasons cannot be the same as I have in the book and they must be real and based on fact – not personal feelings.  If you use quotes – and I encourage you to do that – you must attribute them to their source.  All such sources will be checked.  Sorry, but I’ll have to be the final arbiter of what counts.

By submitting these “Reasons,” you agree that they may be used by me, for publication; for sharing with the RNC; for sharing with any other person, or organization opposing Obama’s re-election; or for any other legal purpose.  You agree that these submissions and all rights thereto, are being given without claim for remuneration of any kind, and without claim of copyright.  In turn, I promise not to use your name in connection with such submissions unless you request, or otherwise give express permission for your name to be used.  If you would like to be identified with the Reasons you submit, I will gratefully acknowledge your contribution when sharing, or publishing the information.

So, to recap:  Save $4.99 and read the book right here – FOR FREE – in convenient installments.  But, even if you buy it, don’t go away.  There’s still a reason to be here.  First, in addition to the book, I’ll be covering other topics and hopefully, presenting a fresh point of view.  I hope you’ll consider submitting articles as well.  Then, there’s the “Reasons.”  Imagine if collectively, we could come up with – oh, let’s say – 10,000 Reasons Not to Vote for Barack Obama?  Imagine giving that kind of list to the RNC, the Romney campaign, CPAC, The Heritage Foundation, Sean Hannity, Glenn Beck, etc.?

That’s a Difference WE Can Make Together!   Join us here and “Like” our Facebook Page – 203 Reasons Not to Vote for Barack Obama.