October 8th, 2010
By Dinesh D'Souza
Friday, October 8, 2010; A17
If you want to understand what is going on in the White House today, you have to begin with Barack Obama. No, not that Barack Obama. I mean Barack Obama Sr., the president's father. Obama gets his identity and his ideology from his father. Ironically, the man who was absent for virtually all of Obama's life is precisely the one shaping his values and actions.
How do I know this? Because Obama tells us himself. His autobiography is titled "Dreams From My Father." Notice that the title is not "Dreams of My Father." Obama isn't writing about his father's dreams. He is writing about the dreams that he got from his father.
In his book, Obama writes, "It was into my father's image, the black man, son of Africa, that I'd packed all the attributes I sought in myself." Those who know Obama well say the same thing. His grandmother Sarah Obama told Newsweek, "I look at him and I see all the same things -- he has taken everything from his father . . . this son is realizing everything the father wanted."
But who was Barack Obama Sr., and what did he want? Do the views of the senior Obama help clarify what the junior Obama is doing in the Oval Office? Let's begin with President Obama, who routinely castigates investment banks and large corporations, accusing them of greed and exploitation. Obama's policies have established the heavy hand of government control over Wall Street and the health-care, auto and energy industries.
President Obama also regularly flays the rich, whom he accuses of not paying their "fair share." This seems odd, given that the top 10 percent of earners pay about 70 percent of all income taxes. Yet the president would like this group to pay more.
Some have described the president as being a conventional liberal or even a socialist. But liberals and socialists are typically focused on poverty and social equality; Obama rarely addresses these issues, and when he does so, it is without passion. Pretty much the only time Obama raises his voice is when he is expressing antagonism toward the big, bad corporations and toward those earning more than $250,000 a year. I believe the most compelling explanation of Obama's actions is that he is, just like his father, an anti-colonialist. Anti-colonialism is the idea that the rich countries got rich by looting the poor countries, and that within the rich countries, plutocratic and corporate elites continue to exploit ordinary citizens.
I know about anti-colonialism because I grew up in India in the decades after that country gained its independence from Britain. And Barack Obama Sr. became an anti-colonialist as a consequence of growing up in Kenya during that country's struggle for independence from European rule. Obama Sr. also became an economist and embraced a form of socialism that fit in well with his anti-colonialism. All of this is relevant and helpful in understanding his son's policies.
Consider the article "Problems Facing Our Socialism" that Obama Sr. published in 1965 in the East Africa Journal. Writing in the aftermath of colonialism, the senior Obama advocated socialism as necessary to ensure national autonomy for his country. "The question," he wrote, "is how are we going to remove the disparities in our country, such as the concentration of economic power in Asian and European hands . . .?"
Obama Sr.'s solutions are clear. "We need to eliminate power structures that have been built through excessive accumulation so that not only a few individuals shall control a vast magnitude of resources as is the case now." He proposed that the state seize private land and turn it over to collective cooperatives. He also demanded that the state raise taxes with no upper limit.
Just in case the point is unclear, Obama Sr. insisted that "theoretically there is nothing that can stop the government from taxing 100 percent of income so long as the people get benefits from the government commensurate with their income which is taxed." Absurd as it seems, the idea of 100 percent taxation has its peculiar logic. It is based on the anti-colonial assumption that the rich have become rich by exploiting and plundering the poor; therefore, whatever the rich have is undeserved and may be legitimately seized.
Remarkably, President Obama, who knows his father's history very well, has never mentioned this article. Even more remarkably, there has been virtually no media coverage of a document that seems directly relevant to the current policies of the junior Obama.
Yet when the senior Obama's article is placed side by side with the junior Obama's policies, it seems evident that the father's hatred of those on top, and his determination to confiscate their wealth, is largely replicated in the son.
Dinesh D'Souza is president of King's College in New York City. His new book is "The Roots of Obama's Rage."
October 8th, 2010
By Jia Lynn Yang and Ariana Eunjung Cha
Washington Post Staff Writers
Friday, October 8, 2010; 4:10 PM
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) called on major lenders to halt foreclosures across the country Friday following Bank of America's announcement that it will suspend all such proceedings until a review of possible paperwork problems is completed.
Reid, who had sent a letter to major banks asking them to suspend foreclosures in Nevada, extended his concern to include all 50 states.
"I thank Bank of America for doing the right thing by suspending actions on foreclosures while this investigation runs its course," he said. "I urge other major mortgage servicers to consider expanding the area where they have halted foreclosures to all 50 states as well."
Reid is the latest Democratic leader to join a growing chorus of lawmakers and state attorneys general who have called for greater scrutiny of the foreclosure process and a nationwide moratorium. Homeowner advocates say that lenders have used dubious paperwork to expedite the eviction of homeowners who are behind on their payments.
Pressure on the banks continues to grow on Capitol Hill, where Sen. Christopher J. Dodd (D-Conn.) said Friday that the banking committee he chairs will hold hearings Nov. 16 to investigate the foreclosure paperwork morass.
In its announcement, Bank of America, the country's largest bank, said it is halting all foreclosure sales and foreclosure proceedings nationwide while it reviews the documents being used to justify homeowner evictions.
It is the first bank to put a moratorium on foreclosures in all states. Previously, Bank of America, JPMorgan Chase and others were only pausing foreclosures in states where a court has to participate in foreclosure proceedings.
"Bank of America has extended our review of foreclosure documents to all fifty states," the bank said in a statement. "We will stop foreclosure sales until our assessment has been satisfactorily completed. Our ongoing assessment shows the basis for foreclosure decisions are accurate. We continue to serve the interests of our customers, investors and communities. Providing solutions for distressed homeowners remains our primary focus."
Momentum for a national moratorium grew Friday as more lawmakers and other public officials joined previous calls from labor unions such as the AFL-CIO and civil rights groups, including the NAACP and La Raza.
Rep. Edolphus "Ed" Towns (D-N.Y.), chairman of the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, said the top 10 mortgage lenders should immediately suspend foreclosure proceedings in all states.
"The implications of ignoring the foreclosure problems are far too great to be ignored. Bank of America did the right thing today and I expect to see every other responsible banking institution follow their lead," he said Friday.
North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper (D) also applauded Bank of America for doing "the right thing."
"Other banks that have questionable procedures should do the same while the investigation continues," he said in a statement.
The Obama administration this week convened two interagency meetings to discuss the growing foreclosure problem and how to best protect consumers, an administration official said.
One was made up mostly of the different groups that regulate the housing industry, including Housing and Urban Development, Treasury, the National Economic Council and the White House. The other one, which also involved U.S. attorneys from across the country, was focused on the question of whether any financial fraud was committed.
The Federal Housing Administration said Friday that it had asked FHA-approved mortgage servicers - which includes the nation's largest banks - to immediately audit of their foreclosure operations. The FHA can impose monetary penalties on companies that do not follow Department of Housing and Urban Development statutes and regulations.
MORE FROM THE WASHINGTON POST ABOUT THE TURMOIL IN THE FORECLOSURE SYSTEM:
Full coverage: Foreclosure system in chaos
October 8th, 2010
By Barry Secrest
The Democrats, in an uncharacteristically thoughtful mood, took care of their final arrangements for the upcoming elections very recently. The Democratic Memorial Service will be held on Tuesday November the 2nd, 2010 by the American people for those of you who might like to attend. A massive turnout is expected to be followed by, what will most likely be, one of the largest and most joyful Wakes in US history.
So what did they do, you might inquire? Nothing is the simplest and most direct answer. Had the Democrats chosen to clear their baffles and simply continue the current tax code "as is," this memorial would have been somewhat premature. However, as is typical, the Democratic Leadership could not hold their now unruly ranks together long enough to arrive at a tax code version that would have been satisfactory.
The Leaders in both the House and the Senate stated on Thursday that there was simply no consensus among Democrats in either House to support a continuing the effort towards resolution. Another looming fact being that the upcoming election atmosphere, once again, much like a funeral to many Democrats, has subdued what would previously be described as a robust legislative acumen among the Democrats. The other problem, rather ironically, is simply that members of both Houses have decided to adjourn this legislative session earlier than at any other time in recent American history.
Behold The House, A Malfunctioning Bowel of Malfeasance
Nancy Pelosi did weakly come out with a short diatribe in which she blamed the Republicans--who can't pass anything currently-- but also stated that some movement might still be possible for the House which, like a malfunctioning bowel, either passes its product at a frenzied pace or in painfully slow contractions, never quite finding the appropriate measure. The now remote possibility of passage, however, is a long shot at best with the pincered reptilian leader of the Senate, Harry Reid, dealing with his own problems in Nevada.
One of the factors which many Conservatives and Republicans were concerned about was the limited possibility that the Democrats could still garner enough momentum from a momentarily uplifted economy as a result of the tax-cut extensions, to actually pull momentum away from the Tea Party Candidates and the Republicans just in time for November.
But, as a result of all of this, the malaise that we find our economy in will continue to run in a depressed mode with virtually nothing to "look forward to" beyond what will probably happen in November, which is a Republican takeover of the House and possibly even the Senate. However, the specter of large tax increases, along with a dysfunctional healthcare system redesign, promises to confusedly mar businesses and individuals throughout the US in a tangle of question marks and red tape at best for the short-term. All of this even while still struggling in the depths of a recession that could now be headed into a deflationary cycle, according to recent reports.
To which we can only state yet again, Bravo, Bravo Mr. President! Your comments regarding a continuance of the current rate of taxation had a chilling effect, at best, on the possibility of giving businesses and individuals the good news that is needed to put the economy back on track, while thankfully empowering the Tea Party movement even further.
A Narcissistic Economic Gorgon With Limited History Skills?
The President, it would seem, has shown an amazing ability to turn anything that he either touches or even dispassionately gazes at for any length of time into either a pillar of stone or a pile of steaming spoor. It is, indeed, true that history has rarely recorded a leader who has a Medusa like gaze generously coupled with the universally dreaded anti-Midas touch. Both our subtle enemies and active allies most likely now blanch at the prospect of Obama's state visits to their various domains--much like the President's now reluctant Democratic brethren currently campaigning for office.
And yet Obama, still blissfully unaware that continually campaigning for his idea--long after becoming President--is unnecessary, if not rather droll, has been busily blaming and castigating members of the opposition party, while comically solidifying the ongoing mythic notion "to some" that Mexicans were somehow denizens of America before Americans were, which is a mystifying statement at best to most of us. We should now point out that Mexico did not actually become a sovereign Nation until the year 1821. The United States declared its Independence on July the fourth, 1776; therefore, "Mexicans" were not officially in existence until better than 45 years later (perhaps they failed to cover this at Harvard).
Even worse, maybe the President was suffering from a momentary bout of racism concerning those of a lesser degree in pigmentation, much as with his now "racially troubled" Justice Department, which apparently thinks that the redistribution of justice is just as important as tax dollars.
Regardless, we should also remind the President that we currently have 50 states, not the 57 that were cited in a speech of some time ago or was that 58 oh, thou great wizard of wit? The President's speeches, ad nauseum, much like the Liberals, have now seemingly morphed into a strange netherworldish commentary that makes little if any sense to most Americans.
This newer phenomenon was made readily apparent when the President, while in New York, actually failed to fill a hall of 650 people, even when the tickets were scalped down to a measly $50 dollars per heckling seat. Obama, being a quantifiable adept at giving things away, still apparently feels the need to charge admission for those wishing to see him in person. "Overexposure we can believe in," no doubt, which also seems to be a disease that the Congressional Liberals are suffering from if not in a slightly different way.
US Congress Officially Sanctions Position As Oafish Comedy Routine
Stephen Colbert, the anchor of Comedy Central's "The Colbert Report" --which is a show that essentially mocks Conservatism--was invited to testify in his "comedy character" before Congress by the Democrats. These particular Democrats, not only feeling the need to vilify Conservatives even in an Congressional hearing, thought to gain attention to the newly manufactured migrant problem by inviting Colbert.
But, what they actually accomplished was a testament to the change that the American people now painfully require, as Congress has become a clownish dark comedy of dis-popularity even unto itself as a result of it's non-stop chicanery.
This moves us to note--as the American political system now shifts into overdrive for the upcoming elections, we now are beginning to see the lines of ideological battle form. As these lines coalesce, the interesting thing about this particular election, as opposed to the many of our past, is the fact that many consider this 2010 off-term contest to be the most important election of our century, if not history.
We have all now seen firsthand the ramifications of allowing a few powerful ideologues to actually take control of a Nation, and while overriding the will of the People, bully and castigate the weaker members of their number into passing measures and legislating laws that go against the designs of prudence in addition to the engines of our economy.
Refunding The Shades Of Injury
While many, over this past course of 18 months, may have been able to construct compelling arguments in defense of this, America's most damaging season, the electoral Jury that is the American people will soon arrive with a decision. That decision does not bode well for anyone who stands in continuous critique of both America and her history. The Civil Society was, for a time, willing to listen patiently to those in positions of high power who seemed adept at subtly insinuating that America was guilty in many ways and must now pay.
But as with all constantly haranguing upbraiders, at some point the upbraidee grows tired, even listless at having to hear the same old arguments being plaintively leveled repeatedly. The simple fact is, that with this, one of the most harrowing economies that any--at least below the age of 40 can remember--the People, after a very long two years, consider their recompense to the injured ghosts of the past as paid in full. The sacrifice of our treasure, and even our way of life, not to mention our dignity, to those who think they know best to redistribute as they see fit has come to an end.
The people now realize that only those in positions to truly understand and care are actually qualified to make a determination of charity or economic judgment, certainly not those of the self-immolating Elites such as we find in the halls of power today.
The President, as if not understanding that his country is watching, has shown himself to be in large-part an avid Entertainer at best, with little if any true substance at worse. He has repeatedly tailored his various messages to be impactful only to the small measures who are immediately watching, while often in subtle vilification of both his supporters and detractors who are not. This seems to work fairly well as far as the media is concerned, but decidedly unwell with those Americans who pay even intermittent attention. Nothing is off limits, it would seem, to redress a perceived injury or insult of the past, especially if the President is rewarded with salutations of approval from the particular group he is before who might need to be reminded of their particular injury.
elite, or e·lites.
A group or class of persons or a member of such a group or class, enjoying superior intellectual, social, or economic status: (b) The best or most skilled members of a group: the football team's elite.
This redress of possible injury would seem to imply that a lack of principled character is at work much of the time. And so it is also with those elite members of the Republican party who are abandoning the judgment of the people, after their selections have been made as to who will best represent their interests in Government.
Largely as a result of the Tea Party's mandate, along with a reaction by the People for a now urgent need to return to the true Conservatives, we have seen those members of the Republican elites abandon principle and run for their own personal power, if not ego, as Independents--if not worse. The list seems to lengthen after each round as defeated candidates decide that the will of the Party and of the people who had vaulted them into positions of power in the first place, now are suddenly wrong.
Do these formerly stalwart "Republicans" think that those who elected them have suddenly changed? Do they believe that the Judgment of their electorate has become suddenly impaired? Or do they even dare to look inward and ask themselves why they have been abandoned by their supporters? The answer to each should be clear unless these candidates have been, in essence, faking it all along. Our process of selection within the US Electoral System has always allowed for certain idiosyncrasies that might occasionally pop up in this or that race, but probably failed to take into account this extreme lack of political character displayed by the guilty parties.
The Threat From Within Defined
But in this case we are beginning to see even Party Leadership commissions, either by state or national coalition, show a certain hesitancy, if not downright defiance, in going against a selection by the very Republican members of the populace which these organizations supposedly represent. Thankfully, we are now beginning to see which of these organizations are either those who consider themselves elite, which none of us recognize--as there is actually no such a thing in America--or perhaps those who are of the Republicrat ilk, which is even worse in many cases, than the Democrats. To these we would simply state, funding comes and funding goes and many of we hayseeds have actually managed to construct a platform that speaks from the heart of America rather than from the final stage of the alimentary canal.
We have also seen a Republican party leadership which has gone along with these faulty decisions. In the case of Lisa Murkowski, the Republicans in charge actually allowed Murkowski to go against the basic premise of the party--allowing her to keep her positions of leadership even while she runs against an avowed Republican selected by Republicans--that being Joe Miller. It's one thing to grant positions of leadership to Independents that routinely caucus with the opposition party but often vote with Republicans. But it is another thing altogether to allow what is technically a betrayal of the party itself to stand by one who is running against a selected Republican.
The Republicans, if indeed they do not consider themselves of the Elite, would do well to remember that the mandate of the People against the now clearly Socialist Democrats is but the first step. The American People, in their great wisdom, will first clear out those who represent what they consider to be a Clear and Present Danger to the Nation via their vote. The American people now clearly understand the danger of these certain irresponsible politicians, especially as it regards the threat to our Constitution, to the chagrin of many in Washington.
The next step will be to thresh out, via our vote, those who are a quantifiable threat to our Constitutional Republic, and this next step will go across all party lines.
October 8th, 2010
October 8th, 2010
A Duke student's risque PowerPoint has firmly implanted itself in the annals of legendary internet stories for generations to come.
Karen F. Owen, a 2010 Duke grad, composed an in-depth, thesis-like document titled "An Education Beyond The Classroom: Excelling In The Realm Of Horizontal Academics," in May. In the report, she describes the men she's slept with in near-scientific detail and even provides charts ranking their sexual prowess. She sent the show to a few friends after she wrote it and, from there, it went into a forward frenzy, ending up on fraternity listservs and making its way to the media.
Owen told Jezebel that she never meant for the show to go viral; since it has been posted she has gone into virtual hiding.
Some Duke students are less than pleased by the report's infamy. In a letter to the Duke Chronicle, Alyssa Granacki wrote,
"...the overall glorification of Karen Owen's PowerPoint and the implied sentiment that it was an act of sexual liberation equates "shattering the glass ceiling" with humiliating members of the opposite sex. Why should we congratulate Karen Owen for subjecting men to the objectification, embarrassment and harassment that women have fought against for years?"
Legal blog Above the Law questions whether or not Owen will be subject to lawsuits based on the number of incriminating details revealed in the PowerPoint, comparing Owen's situation to that of blogger Jessica Culter, who detailed her exploits on the blog Washingtonienne -- and was sued by one of her paramours.
See Owen's work in full on Jezebel.
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