Friday, June 27, 2008

Obama, the community disorganzer

In an example of what the MSM can do when it takes off its cheerleading outfits, the Boston Globe today published perhaps the most devastating story of the campaign.

The story methodically dissected a pet Barack Obama policy initiative├ó€”giving private developers government breaks to develop low-income housing├ó€”and found it worked disastrously for residents in Barack's own state senate district. But the initiative worked famously for Obama's circle of friends/fundraisers. As developers got rich and allowed properties to deteriorate, Obama did nothing, allowing his rich friends to prosper and fund his political campaigns and his poor constituents to pound sand.

As a state senator, the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee coauthored an Illinois law creating a new pool of tax credits for developers. As a US senator, he pressed for increased federal subsidies. And as a presidential candidate, he has campaigned on a promise to create an Affordable Housing Trust Fund that could give developers an estimated $500 million a year.

But a Globe review found that thousands of apartments across Chicago that had been built with local, state, and federal subsidies - including several hundred in Obama's former district - deteriorated so completely that they were no longer habitable.

Grove Parc and several other prominent failures were developed and managed by Obama's close friends and political supporters. Those people profited from the subsidies even as many of Obama's constituents suffered. Tenants lost their homes; surrounding neighborhoods were blighted.


The story is extremely powerful because it shows how a liberal policy that Obama espouses works exactly the opposite of its intent: The powerful get the spoils and the poor get the shaft. And it shows that Obama, our man of great "judgment," was either asleep at the switch or corrupt.

And, Obama wants to expand the concept if he becomes president. Even his friends shudder.

Jamie Kalven, a longtime Chicago housing activist, put it this way: "I hope there is not much predictive value in his history and in his involvement with that community."


Every person interested in this race needs to read this story.




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Thursday, June 26, 2008

Blago's desperation strategy

To occupy his time before the federal government indicts him, Governor Rod Blagojevich has begun employing the last-ditch pandering strategy of his predecessor, imprisoned former Governor George Ryan.

He is going straight to the African-American community, giving it a new program, and playing the victim. The paltry number of summer jobs he is talking about pales in comparison to the number of jobs he has driven out of Illinois since he became governor.

Blagojevich also is trying to pander to far Southern Illinois by yanking state jobs there from the State Capitol.

In his own delusional mind, perhaps he believes he is crafting some sort of political comeback using inner city Chicago and Southern Illinois as a odd-couple base of support. That base, even if he manages to secure it, is far too small to survive politically and useless as a defense from the advancing federal prosecutors.






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Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Durbin's a hell of an overstater

Some would say the hottest rings of hell are reserved for those politicians who compare troops who protect their freedom to Nazis. Illinois' Dick Durbin, however, is trying to supplant that space for those who would dare criticize Michelle Obama, who, I guess in Dick's world, is free to launch as many partisan attacks as she chooses.

Note how this whole "straw woman" argument evolved from a Maureen Dowd column in the NY Times. So a liberal columnist raises a bogus argument, which is picked up by a MSM reporter, who asks a liberal US senator for reaction. He then tells America that Michelle is off-limits.

Propaganda? Nah.




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Obama: One housing scandal is enough

The housing scandal candidate gets rid of his housing scandal vetter.




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House of canards

Chicago Tribune columnist Eric Zorn uses the tried and true "primer" format in an attempt to seal off damage over Barack Obama's same day home and lot purchase with convicted political fixer Tony Rezko.

Earlier, blogger ArchPundit tried the same technique.

Both Obama supporters don't even come close to answering all the questions about the shady deal. At Zorn's blog, there's a lively message board commenting on Zorn's column, including some comments from me. As I said there and here, my main question is whether Obama violated Senate Ethics rules that prohibit taking any gift of more than $50.

Hugh Hewitt asked the same question here.

This is one property transaction that is far from closed.




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Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Obama without the teleprompter

Caught in yet another contradiction, this one concerning why his vice presidential search chief profited from the mortgage crisis after he has demonized others for such associations, Barack Obama stumbles through answering a rare pointed question from the press.

He doesn't have much practice answering real questions.




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Sunday, June 1, 2008

Wash Post: We're winning

More bad news for Barack Obama and defeatist left: The Washington Post, in a strongly worded editorial this morning, notes that we are on the verge of victory in Iraq.

While Washington's attention has been fixed elsewhere, military analysts have watched with astonishment as the Iraqi government and army have gained control for the first time of the port city of Basra and the sprawling Baghdad neighborhood of Sadr City, routing the Shiite militias that have ruled them for years and sending key militants scurrying to Iran. At the same time, Iraqi and U.S. forces have pushed forward with a long-promised offensive in Mosul, the last urban refuge of al-Qaeda. So many of its leaders have now been captured or killed that U.S. Ambassador Ryan C. Crocker, renowned for his cautious assessments, said that the terrorists have "never been closer to defeat than they are now."


What will Obama say now about his vote on the surge? If he had his way, al Qaeda would be controlling Iraq, not the Iraqis.


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