Recently in Barack Obama Category

Catching Up


Some good recent-ish reads:

  • 2 from the Claremont Review: "The Audacity of Barack Obama" -- a fairly balance view of Obama's governing and legal philosophies; and "Reforming Big Government" -- a sober assessment of the here-to-stay welfare state:

    Supply-side tax cuts did little to necessitate or even facilitate reducing the welfare state, and there is no reason to believe an explicit campaign for that goal will succeed where Barry Goldwater's failed. Given all that, conservatives need to weigh the costs and benefits of putting liberals' minds at ease by explicitly renouncing the war against the welfare state, the one that's barely being waged and steadily being lost. They could do so by making clear that America will and should have a welfare state, and that the withering away of the welfare state is not the goal of the conservative project, not even in the distant future. What libertarians will regard as a capitulation to statism is better understood as conceding ground conservatives have been losing for 75 years and have no imaginable prospect of regaining.

  • Rathering than listing them all, I'll just tell you to read everything John Zmirak writes at Inside Catholic (yo, Deal, add author archive links!)

  • Remember way back in... January 2008, when Ron Paul was widely dismissed as a nutjob for wanting to put the US back on the gold standard? Well, those loonies at the Wall Street Journal have given prime opinion real estate not once but twice to that fringe idea. Now, I'm not saying I'm a goldbug, but I'm not goign to hold my breath that many gold advocates will be acknowledging that Paul was out front on this.

That's all for now.I have many more I'll try to get around to in the next few days.

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The great uniter has apparently asked this guy to be his chief of staff -- ie, his presidential gatekeeper, one of the most powerful people in his inner circle.

That night, on the northwest side, Rahm Emanuel was elected to Congress. A former Clinton whiz kid who'd gotten his start as a fundraiser for Mayor Richard M. Daley, Emanuel was connected -- in the three years after leaving the White House (where he'd helped push through NAFTA), he earned $16 million putting together Wall Street mergers. He was also zealously partisan. He had once owned a consulting business devoted to finding skeletons in Republican closets. At a Clinton victory dinner in Little Rock in 1992, Emanuel celebrated by reciting a hoped-for necrology of Democrats who had "f***ed" the president-elect. After every name, he stabbed a steak knife into a table and screamed, "Dead man!"


When Emanuel took the job [getting more Democrats elected to Cognress], he never expected to win, but he knew a president's party usually loses seats in the sixth year of his term, and he figured if he could pick up 10 or 12, he'd be rewarded with a leadership position, a step toward his goal of becoming speaker of the House. (He is now chairman of the Democratic Caucus, the fourth-ranking post in the House.) If he makes it, C-SPAN may have to institute a seven-second delay. On Election Night, 10 minutes after CNN called the House for the Democrats, Emanuel climbed up on a table in DCCC headquarters and addressed his cheering, victory-starved staff, celebrating the party's biggest win since 1992. He wanted to wrap up the campaign with a message for the Republicans.

"Since my kids are gone, I can say it," he shouted. "They can go f*** themselves!"

"Change has come to America..."

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Obama 08


Without endorsing John McCain, which I will never, ever do, I present to you the awesomest bumper sticker ever.


Awesome. For my thoughts on the upcoming election, I refer you to these Zippy posts, though I'm not as sure as he that abstention is morally superior to voting third party or submitting a blank ballot.

For more on Obama, here's Steve Rhodes at The Beechwood Reporter:

As Phil Ponce put it, Barack Obama made a "rare" appearance before Chicago reporters on Wednesday, and he made a challenge to the locals that they failed.

"You will recall that for my entire political career here, basically, I was not the the endorsed candidate of any political organization here. That I didn't go around wielding a bunch of clout. That my reputation in Springfield was as an independent. And my reputation here was also as somebody who would to try to work with everybody. There is no doubt I had friends and continue to have friends who come out of the more traditional school of Chicago politics but that's not what launched my political career and that's not what I've ever depended on in order to get elected and I would challenge any Chicago reporter to dispute that basic fact."

Ooh, ooh! Me! Me!

"But you once told Emil Jones that he could make you a United States Senator. And you exchanged endorsements with Richard M. Daley - whom your wife once worked for - and your political career here was funded by Tony Rezko. You also endorsed the organization candidate over the reformer every single time and never spoke out against 'the more traditional school of Chicago politics', by which you mean 'corrupt,' or led an independent or reform movement. In fact, while traveling around America as the candidate of change, you recently told the Tribune editorial board that you would leave criticism of Chicago corruption up to others, like John Kass."

Not a single reporter said anything even close to that. In fact, in the video of this exchange I saw on Chicago Tonight, no reporter responded to Obama's challenge.

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The Chicago Noose


Ben Joravsky of the Chicago Reader has noticed that ridiculous Salon article I pointed out last month.

Joravsky's much more informed (that's why he makes the big bucks) take:

Soldier Field, Meigs Field, the proposed Children's Museum in Grant Park--these are just some of the better-known examples of Daley storming over his opposition. If he wants a project, he'll shove it down our throats. If anyone doesn't like it, he'll throw a temper tantrum. He'll call them names and scorn their leaders, playing the race card if that's what it takes. So much for overcoming a toxic political environment.

But those are the high-profile cases, where someone actually dared to mount an opposition. Much more insidious is the coercion we never hear about. Most aldermen are afraid to vote against him because they fear him and need him--they can't hold on to their seats if Daley messes with how well they serve their constituents. Several have told me that they typically don't know what they're voting on: if an ordinance comes from the fifth floor, that's all they need to know. Many still don't understand how TIF districts work, yet the City Council has been routinely approving new ones for the last ten years, sucking millions of tax dollars into slush funds. Now the city's gearing up to spend hundreds of millions of local property tax dollars on the Olympics.

Daley doesn't encourage discussion--he stifles it. He loathes criticism and disparages debate. He takes credit for the good and shucks responsibility for the bad. Just a few weeks ago I heard an alderman in an unguarded moment tell his northwest-side constituents what happens to bills that don't come out of the mayor's office: If Daley doesn't like a bill, he kills it. If he likes it, he rewrites it and claims it as his own.

As for Chicago in 2008 being a hospitable time for organizers "like the young Barack Obama," the truth is that Daley's pretty well destroyed community organizing in Chicago. Many of the fiercest groups have either disap­peared or been co-opted--they pull their punches because, like the aldermen, they don't want to get on the mayor's bad side. It took activists years to get the smoking ban passed over Daley's opposition, and even then the mayor forced them into water­ing it down. Despite backing from Cardinal George and would-be independent alder­men, activists still can't get an afford­able housing ordinance through the City Council, though they've been trying for more than a decade. There used to be several vigilant budget watchdog groups in Chicago, with the Neighborhood Capital Budget Group leading the pack. Now there are none.

Elsewhere in this week's Reader: Mad Libs -- Chicago Political Media Style!

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Obama's Winning Strategy: Embrace the Sleaze


That would seem to be Dan Conley's advice:

Various articles during this campaign -- including some in Salon -- have attempted to tie Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama to that outdated vision of the Windy City. But over the past 25 years, Chicago politics has evolved. The city is still divided along racial lines, and other layers of government here -- from the Illinois Statehouse to the Cook County government -- feature as much grandstanding and as many ad hominem attacks as anywhere. But anyone who doubts that a toxic political environment can be overcome should look to Chicago. Consensus has become more conspicuous than conflict. Deal-making is more important than showboating. In short, the city's politics has become post-partisan. It's a concept that should be familiar to anyone who has followed Obama's presidential bid.

Sure, when a corrupt mayor with extensive mob ties exerts the full weight of one of the nation's largest political machines to alternately intimidate and buy out all of his enemies, turning them into sniveling "yes"-men. we could call that "progress." We could also call it "Stalinism."

Here's the deal -- the author of the piece is a Daley goon, and his message to Obama is to be more like King Richard of Bridgeport. Give me a break.

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The uniter

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The Economist, on Barack Obama's attempts to help Kenya settle its elections problems (emphasis mine):

"Mr Obama's father was of the same tribe as the opposition leader. Mr Odinga even claims to be related to the Obamas, though Mr Obama has not confirmed this. Mr Obama's loyalties, however, are post-tribal...."

Yes, but John Edwards held a press conference at which he delivered a stirring "Two Kenyas" speech. And Hillary is prodding Kenyans to back 76 year old Mwai Kibaki over the younger Raila Odinga. She acknowledged Kibaki's corruption but argued that his experience gives him a leg-up.

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Will Oprah stump for Obama?

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I guess it depends on what the definition of broader role is.

Well, that just about settles it. Who's up in 2012?

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Now that I can relate to


I've made no secret of my dislike for Barack Obama, but I feel for the man.

Referring to their daughters, Mrs. Obama says: “We have this ritual in the morning. They come in my bed, and Dad isn’t there — because he’s too snore-y and stinky, they don’t want to ever get into bed with him. But we cuddle up and we talk about everything from what is a period to the big topic of when we get a dog: what kind?”
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The most damning take on Obama yet

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Mama-Lu's Etsy Shop

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