October 29, 2008

HOPE ON Callout Campaign: John Boccieri Does NOT Support the Individual Right to Keep and Bear Arms

Filed under: Taxes & Government — Tom @ 1:49 pm

HOPEONlogoNOTE: The HOPE ON Callout Campaign will cite the vast differences between the stated positions of certain Democratic candidates for political office in Ohio and Barack Obama, the presidential candidate these Democrats have nonetheless endorsed.

The lucky person receiving today’s not-so-coveted callout is 16th District Congressional candidate John Boccieri.

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OVERVIEW: John Boccieri supports Barack Obama’s candidacy for president, even though Obama voted and spoke out consistently in favor of curbing individual gun rights as a state legislator and US senator, and even though a foundation where Obama was a director for eight years nearly succeeded in causing the Supreme Court’s recent Heller decision to end them.

Therefore John Boccieri does NOT support the individual right to keep and bear arms.

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Earlier this week, I spoke to a person at John Boccieri’s office. I asked that person if Boccieri has endorsed Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama. I was told that the two “share literature,” and that they are “100% a team.”

Barack Obama made what he called his Closing Argument speech Monday in Canton, Ohio. “Oddly enough,” he chose to make that argument in the city where, 90 years earlier, socialist Eugene Debs delivered the speech (HT Norma at Collecting My Thoughts) Wikipedia calls his “Speech of Sedition.” Norma’s right; I hear echoes, especially in the final section.

But this post is about John “100% a Team” Boccieri.

Boccieri spoke briefly at Monday’s rally, saying: “Change is coming to Canton, Ohio and America, and that change’s name is ‘Barack Obama.’”

John Boccieri is clearly okay with a number of “changes” Obama would make that he (Boccieri) says he opposes. One of the most important involves the recently, barely-affirmed individual right to keep and bear arms, something the Democrat claims to support at his web site (bold is mine):

John is a strong supporter of our Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms. Whether for personal security or hunting and recreation, John will stand up for the Second amendment.

Really? Why won’t he stand up for the Second Amendment by standing up to Barack Obama?

In February, the Associated Press’s Nedra Pickler wrote the following in her coverage of an Obama news conference (bolds are mine):

Although Obama supports gun control, while campaigning in gun-friendly Idaho earlier this month, he said he does not intend to take away people’s guns.

At his news conference, he voiced support for the District of Columbia’s ban on handguns, which is scheduled to be heard by the Supreme Court next month.

“The notion that somehow local jurisdictions can’t initiate gun safety laws to deal with gang bangers and random shootings on the street isn’t born (sic) out by our Constitution,” Obama said.

To be clear (because Obama wasn’t, and Pickler covered for him), the DC ban “took away (many) people’s guns.”

But after the Supreme Court’s Heller ruling that threw out the DC handgun ban, Obama said he supported the decision. All of this came after he refused to sign a friend-of-the-court Brief in support of individual Second Amendment rights in the Heller case.

This takes “having it all ways” to a new level.

Barack Obama’s earlier position supporting the DC handgun ban reflects his core beliefs. His record of career-long, dedicated, and persistent antagonism to individual gun rights is irrefutable, and overwhelming. The following is only a partial list providing more-than-sufficient proof:

  • Obama voted to allow reckless lawsuits designed to bankrupt the firearms industry.
  • Barack Obama wants to re-impose the failed and discredited Clinton Gun Ban.
  • He voted to ban almost all rifle ammunition commonly used for hunting and sport shooting.
  • He has endorsed a complete ban on handgun ownership.
  • Obama also supports local gun bans in Chicago and other cities.
  • Obama voted to uphold local gun bans and the criminal prosecution of people who use firearms in self-defense.
  • Obama opposes Right to Carry laws.
  • Obama supported a proposal to ban gun stores within 5 miles of a school or park, which would eliminate almost every gun store in America.
  • Obama favors a ban on standard capacity magazines.
  • Obama supports mandatory micro-stamping, one-gun-a-month sales restrictions, a ban on inexpensive handguns, gun owner licensing and gun registration, and mandatory waiting periods.
  • Obama supports a ban on the resale of police issued firearms, even if the money is going to police departments for replacement equipment.

You must be thinking that it couldn’t get worse. Oh yes it can, and it does — much, much worse.

You see, Obama was a director at an organization that worked mightily to make the Heller decision go the wrong way. They almost succeeded.

Obama was a member of the Board of Directors of the Joyce Foundation, the leading source of funds for anti-gun organizations and “research.”

A Pajamas Media column by David T. Hardy earlier this month revealed that the Foundation engaged in the law-review equivalent of push-polling:

During Obama’s tenure, the Joyce Foundation board planned and implemented a program targeting the Supreme Court. The work began five years into Obama’s directorship, when the Foundation had experience in turning its millions into anti-gun “grassroots” organizations, but none at converting cash into legal scholarship.

The plan’s objective was bold: the judicial obliteration of the Second Amendment.

Joyce’s directors found a vulnerable point. When judges cannot rely upon past decisions, they sometimes turn to law review articles. Law reviews are impartial, and famed for meticulous cite-checking. They are also produced on a shoestring. Authors of articles receive no compensation; editors are law students who work for a tiny stipend.

In 1999, midway through Obama’s tenure, the Joyce board voted to grant the Chicago-Kent Law Review $84,000, a staggering sum by law review standards. The Review promptly published an issue in which all articles attacked the individual right view of the Second Amendment.

(The Review) solicited only articles hostile to the individual right view of the Second Amendment. ….. Joyce had bought a veto power over the review’s content.

….. The plan worked smoothly. One court, in the course of ruling that there was no individual right to arms, cited the Chicago-Kent articles eight times.

….. The Joyce Foundation board (which still included Obama) ….. expand(ed) its attack on the Second Amendment. Its next move came when Ohio State University announced it was establishing the “Second Amendment Research Center” as a thinktank headed by anti-individual-right historian Saul Cornell. Joyce put up no less than $400,000 to bankroll its creation.

….. The Center proceeded to generate articles denying the individual right to arms.

….. The Joyce directorate’s plan almost succeeded. The individual rights view won out in the Heller Supreme Court appeal, but only by 5-4. The four dissenters were persuaded in part by Joyce-funded writings, down to relying on an article which misled them on critical historical documents.

John Boccieri, you are “100% a team” with a guy who almost took away the “Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms” you claim to hold so dear. This is 100% indefensible.

What’s more, John, you know full well that a president Obama will nominate federal judges who will overturn Heller at their first available opportunity. What good will your platitudes about supporting Second Amendment rights be then?

This leaves us at essentially the same place we were yesterday with Steve Driehaus’s objectively indefensible support of Barack Obama while claiming to be pro-life. The mountain of evidence just presented proves that John “100 % a Team” Boccieri’s claim to support individual gun rights and support of Barack Obama cannot exist in the same universe. As with Driehaus on life-related matters, Boccieri’s failure to speak out forcefully against the Second Amendment-hostile record and plans of Barack Obama cannot exist in the same universe. It is not arguable.

The points just proven hold for each and every candidate for public office who claims to be pro-Second Amendment but who also supports Barack Obama. You have nowhere to run, and nowhere to hide. Your support of Obama signifies acquiescence to the gun-grabbers’ fondest dreams.

Among many, many others, that includes YOU, Ted Strickland. Whether Obama wins or loses, you have totally forfeited your pro-Second Amendment credibility for the balance of your pitiful political career, and it will NOT be forgotten.

Though it is very limited, there is still time for Boccieri and others to get their political situation in alignment with their alleged values. All they have to do if forcefully repudiate Obama’s candidacy, as well as any and all financial and other support they might have received from him. Absent that, Boccieri, and the others, are unworthy of serious consideration. Their words are, well, empty shells.

I was going to go after Boccieri for being prolife and supporting Obama. But after this video, I don’t know what to think, because Boccieri clearly doesn’t know what to say (HT Weapons of Mass Discussion):

(Note to John: Before a prolife constitutional amendment gets to the people, it has to get 2/3 of both houses of Congress to vote it out. You copped out.)

16th District voters can be excused for thinking that John Boccieri is from another planet. Well, not exactly. But despite recent cosmetic attempts to make it look otherwise, he is from another district far, far away.

HOPE ON Project, Day 10: Let’s Never Find Out Part 10 — ‘Income Taxes’

Filed under: Economy,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 10:15 am

HOPEONlogo.jpgNote: This is the tenth of what will be 13 daily posts on why Barack Obama is a dangerous, objectionable, and objectively unfit candidate to be president of the United States (while many of the other candidates are not). Previous Posts — Part 1 (Obama “Part of the Problem” on Fan and Fred); Part 2 (“Energy”); Part 3 (“Punished”); Part 4 (“Number One”); Part 5 (“Earmarks”); Part 6 (’The Chicken Button’ and the Chicken Who Pushed It); Part 7 (”Trust” on Bill Ayers); Part 8 (”Middle Class”); Part 9 (“Not This Time”).

The daily videos involved are from NeverFindOut.org, a project of Let Freedom Ring (donation link is here).

This post is part of the HOPE ON Project (Help Ohio Prevent Electing Obama Now).

Today’s SOB Alliance author is Boring Made Dull.

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Video (direct YouTube link):

Transcript:

INCOME TAXES

MAN: Senator Obama, you have promised that you will cut taxes for 90% of America. But you’ve also voted to allow the Bush tax cuts to expire. So that means our income taxes will actually go up.

Did you think this was going to get past us?

So let’s make this real simple: if you allow the Bush tax cuts to expire, how many taxpayers would pay more taxes?

VIDEO: 100% of AMERICA

MAN: This is not good change.

ANNOUNCER: What happens when we elect a President who raises our taxes? Please, America, let’s never find out.

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Commentary from Boring Made Dull:

No, you won’t get to keep the change.

Well, what happens when we elect a President and Congress pledged to raise taxes?

Recession. And if they raise them enough, toss in some protectionist legislation, and near compulsory unionization for good measure, depression.

And what exactly does “share the wealth” mean? It means that some bureaucrat whispers to some politician in Washington how much of the income of your work you’ll be allowed to keep. Disagree? Well, sharing under the Obama plan means that the IRS and courts will have you tossed in chokey. Question The One? At minimum, some minor state official will be trolling through your records looking for dirt.

On the specifics of The One’s tax plan, Steven Malanga in Real Clear Markets notes that the primary question is where does wealth originate? With the State, or with the People? It’s the people. Free citizens and free markets produce wealth. Governments take a portion of that wealth in taxes, for some legitimate purposes (police, firefighters, national defense, courts), and some illegitimate (bridges to nowhere, Fannie Mae / Freddie Mac, ACORN, etc.), but they don’t create wealth. Wealth must be created in order to be taxed.

Ahhh, you say, but we can tax the rich to pay for benefits to the poor!

Well, who’s rich? Obama has been claiming that his tax proposals only hit those making over $250,000. But wait! As Jim Geraghty notes, Paul Krugman, the noted Nobel Laureate and Right Wing Extremist columnist for the NT Times says that The One’s real proposal starts hitting at about $182k per year. Keep looking for this number to continue to move downward. Tigerhawk and the New York Post now note that Joe Biden has now moved the bidding down to $150K. If they win on Nov. 4, look for a number close to $50K on Nov. 5.

Also, keep in mind that the truly rich have the luxury of employing the best tax lawyers available to keep their taxes down. They can structure their income streams to avoid The One’s grasp. Aspiring middle class types like Joe the Plumber? Forget about it.

Cesar Conda lays out the gory details in National Review Online. The essence of the Obama the Redistributor’s plan hits directly at the twin engines of economic growth and prosperity – capital formation and liquidity, and individual incentives.

And the much publicized Obama Middle Class Tax Cuts? Transfer payments designed specifically not to allow you to keep more of what you’ve earned or saved, but to make you dependent on government for checks.

Make too much? Say get a smidgen of a raise to make over $40,000? You could lose $0.40 on the dollar of tax credits that The One has condescended to grant.

The Heritage Foundation provides a handy side by side comparison of the McCain and Obama tax plans here.

Change you can believe in? Heck, these guys are out to take the change from your sofa cushions.

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BizzyBlog Comments:

Over and above what the vid covers, Obama’s plans to raise corporate income taxes and assess some form of windfall profits tax on oil companies would have the following effects:

  • Increase the costs of goods and services for everyone;
  • Increase unemployment at companies who can’t pass all of the additional tax burden on in the form of higher prices because of competitive conditions;
  • Depress wage growth.

As noted at many other places, Obama-Biden’s definition of who is going to get stuck with a tax increase is moving ever downward, from an original $250,000, to $200,000, to $150,000 in just a few days. At that rate, by Election Day, even people people earning no income will be paying “income” taxes. Hey, why not? That’s just as absurd as telling people who pay no income tax that they’re getting “tax refunds.”

Steep Newspaper Circulation Declines Continue

DownGraphExcept for the Wall Street Journal and USA Today. Even the New York Post had a big decline during the past 12 months.

Circulations as of September 30 for daily and Sunday with one-year changes, along with a chart showing 5-year results and percentage changes, are after the jump.

Commentary is at NewsBusters.

(more…)

Obama’s Redistributionist Obsession Revealed (PJM Column from Monday)

Filed under: Economy,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 7:41 am

A 2001 Chicago radio appearance reveals the candidate’s preoccupation with racially-tinged income and wealth distribution.

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Note: This column originally appeared at Pajamas Media on Monday. I understand, and am grateful, that it has gained a fair amount of e-mail circulation. A related BizzyBlog post from that day is here.

Follow-up: I noted at this NewsBusters post yesterday that Obama gave a redistribution-advocating speech at a meeting of the Chicago Democratic Socialists of America in 1996.

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Wow. Even by Internet speed standards, the reaction to the YouTube posting of a 2001 radio interview of Barack Obama on Chicago public radio station WBEZ has been fast and furious.

Based on when the first comment appeared, the YouTube post went up at about 8 PM Eastern Time Sunday. Within hours, it was the lead item at Drudge. As of 6 AM ET on Monday, the original post had over 2,500 comments. Proving that the Internet never sleeps, dozens of center-right blogs were on it before sunrise.

This is, and should be, a big, big deal, because it leaves Obama nowhere to hide. He clearly exposes himself as a far-left socialist who believes that income and wealth redistribution should have been an integral element of the 1960s civil rights movement.

Here’s a full transcript, following the show host’s routine introduction:

Obama: You know, if you look at the victories and failures of the civil rights movement and its litigation strategy in the courts, I think where it succeeded was to get formal rights in previously dispossessed peoples — so that I would now have the right to vote, I would now be able to sit at a lunch counter and order, and as long as I was able to pay for it I’d be OK. But the Supreme Court never ventured into the issues of redistribution of wealth, and more basic issues of political and economic justice in this society.

And to that extent, as radical as I think people try to characterize the Warren Court, it wasn’t that radical. It didn’t break free from the essential constraints that were placed by the Founding Fathers in the Constitution, at least as it’s been interpreted, and the Warren Court interpreted it in the same way that generally the Constitution is a charter of negative liberties. It says what the states can’t do to you, says what the federal government can’t do to you, but it doesn’t say what the federal government or the state government must do on your behalf. And that hasn’t shifted. And one of the, I think, tragedies of the civil rights movement was, because the civil rights movement became so court-focused, I think there was a tendency to lose track of the political and community organizing and activities on the ground that are able to put together the actual coalitions of power through which to bring about redistributive change. And in some ways we still suffer from that.

….. Karen (Caller): The gentleman made the point that the Warren Court wasn’t terribly radical with economic changes. My question is it too late for that kind of reparative work economically, and is that the appropriate place for reparative economic work to take place?

Host: You mean the courts?

Karen: The courts, or would it be legislation at this point?

Obama: Maybe I’m showing my bias here as a legislator as well as a law professor, but I’m not optimistic about bringing about major redistributive change through the courts. Y’know, the institution just isn’t structured that way.

You look at very rare examples where during the desegregation era where the court, for example, was willing to, for example, order changes that cost money to local school districts, and the court was very uncomfortable with it. It was hard to manage, it was hard to figure out. You start getting into all sorts of separation of powers issues, y’know, in terms of the court monitoring or engaging in a process that essentially is administrative and takes a lot of time.

The court’s just not very good at it, and politically it’s very hard to legitimize opinions from the court in that regard. So, I mean, I think that although you can craft theoretical justifications for it legally, y’know I think any three of us sitting here could come up with a rationale for bringing about economic change through the courts. …..

This is astounding stuff from a man who is one election away from the presidency. In politer tones, he is saying things that would make his mentors — Jeremiah Wright, “Fr.” Michael Pfleger, and William Ayers, not necessarily in that order — proud as peacocks. Fidel Castro and Hugo Chavez are probably beaming too.

Especially when bookended with his recent “spread the wealth around” comment to Joe the Plumber, Obama’s statements reveal a man who:

  • Looks at the Constitution as a real impediment to “justice.” Oh if we could just “break free” from those gosh-darned “essential constraints.”
  • By characterizing them as “more basic,” proves that he sees “political and economic justice” as more important than the fundamental human rights built into the Constitution. I wonder who gets to define “justice,” or who gets to decide what “necessary compromises” to basic rights have to be made to achieve that “justice”? Is ACORN’s election cheating justified because the so-called “justice” it is working to achieve is more important than playing by the rules?
  • Who is obsessed with “redistributive change.”

In fact, I suggest henceforth that every time readers hear the word “change” from Team Obama, they insert the work “redistributive” in front of it.

The Obama campaign’s key economic ideas revolve around income and wealth redistribution:

  • Their plan to let the Bush tax cuts expire — but (supposedly) only for those making $250,000 or more per year. Joe Biden, in his famously botched interview with WFTV’s Barbara West, characterized keeping the tax system that we’ve gotten used to for the past six years as giving hundreds of billions of dollars in breaks to the wealthy (her should have said “high earners,” but you shouldn’t expect too much from a guy who thinks the word “jobs” has three letters). No Joe, it’s simply continuing what’s been in place.
  • The accompanying plan to give “tax cuts” to 95% of Americans while tax the daylights out of the top 5%. The problem, unless you’re fixated on “redistributive change,” is that over 30% of Americans pay no federal income tax. The labyrinth of credits and other behavior-changing inducements Team Obama is offering will cause the IRS to write millions of checks to non-poor people who never paid in a dime of tax, and millions more to people who had to pay in very little. These aren’t “tax cuts.” They’re government handouts.
  • Their plan to impose the Social Security payroll tax on those earning $250,000 a year or more — without any provision to increase their benefits.

Oh, and there’s this little idea being bandied about by advisers and other Obama acolytes both in and out of Congress to end 401(k) plans as we know them. Some of their ideas include:

  • Ending the tax deductibiliy of employee 401(k) contributions.
  • Current year taxation of investment earnings.
  • A carrot-stick government takeover of what has been a privately-run system — “….. all workers would receive a $600 annual inflation-adjusted subsidy from the U.S. government but would be required to invest 5 percent of their pay into a guaranteed retirement account administered by the Social Security Administration. The money in turn would be invested in special government bonds that would pay 3 percent a year, adjusted for inflation.”

If you’re a 401(k) plan participant, you have real investments, in a real account, under your control. Does anyone really believe that the “guaranteed” government-run accounts under consideration will have those characteristics?

In the real world, the entire rationale for establishing or retaining 401(k) plans, and more than likely IRAs as well, would be eliminated. The plans would disappear. I suggest that this is the goal.

Many readers may be thinking that the creators of the current POR Economy (Pelosi-Obama-Reid) wouldn’t dare try to pull off what would amount to a multitrillion-dollar transfer of wealth to the government.

Really? Go to this YouTube video (starting at the 0:45 mark) of Obama mentor Father Michael Pfleger and watch him, at his animated, white guilt-addled worst, tell the audience at Jeremiah Wright’s Trinity United Church of Christ that (bold is mine):

I promised …. to address the one (white person) who says, “Don’t hold me responsible for what my ancestors did.”

But you have enjoyed the benefits of what your ancestors did. And unless your are ready to give up the benefits, throw away your 401 fund, throw away your trust fund, throw away the money you put away, and the company you walked into because your daddy, and your granddaddy, and your great-granddaddy ….. unless you’re willing to give up the benefits, then you must be responsible for what was done in your generation, because you are the beneficiary of this insurance policy!

“Fr.” Pfleger does have one thing right: If we gave our investments up to the government, we would indeed be “throwing them away.”

No wonder Team Obama is pushing the travesty known as “early voting” so hard. They’re praying that as many Obama voters as possible will cast their ballots without learning the true nature of the person they are supporting.

The final full week of this presidential election campaign has come down to whether or not enough voters, the vast majority of whom overwhelmingly reject the idea of income and wealth distribution, will learn the truth about the self-styled agent of (redistributive) change.

Positivity: Helmet saves teenager’s life in ATV accident

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 7:18 am

From Vernon, Arizona:

10/24/2008

A Round Valley High School teenager critically injured while riding an ATV last month is now touting the use of safety helmets. He and his doctors believe a helmet saved his life when a truck hit his ATV.

Cody Sommers, a sophomore at Round Valley High School, hopes to educate other teens about the importance of helmet safety.

“Wearing a helmet saved my life, and I hope that my story can convince others to wear helmets while riding ATVs and bicycles,” Cody said in a recent hospital press statement.

Sommers was driving his ATV on the morning of Sept. 17 on the way to a bus stop when he was hit by a truck. He was thrown about 100 feet on impact and airlifted to St. Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center with critical injuries, according to the press release.

“Trauma surgeons removed Cody’s spleen and kidney, and he received 13 units of blood in his first several hours at St. Joseph’s. He also suffered damage to his liver, numerous fractures, pelvic injuries and a collapsed lung, but he did not sustain any head trauma because he was wearing a helmet at the time of his accident.”

After spending just over a month in the hospital, Sommers was released Monday and is happy to be recuperating back at home. During the accident, he suffered many injuries including dislocating his pelvis from his spine. Doctors had to screw the pelvis back to his spine on both sides and, for the next three months, he is not allowed to put any weight on his legs.

For now, he’ll spend his time getting well. According to his mother, Candy Sommers, her son will spend time on the Internet attempting to get caught up on his sophomore year of studies. He plans to return to Round Valley High School next fall for his junior year. When time permits, Sommers plays with his PlayStation III, listens to music or wheels himself around the house in his wheelchair.

Sommer’s friends and family have held several fund-raisers on his behalf.

“At one of the car washes, they raffled off a safety helmet similar to the one Cody was wearing,” his mother said. “The Phoenix woman who won the raffle called to make arrangements to pick it up, but during the conversation she decided instead to donate the helmet back to Cody.

“The community has pulled together so much to help us. We really appreciate all their help, cards and notes. Cody’s hospital room was wallpapered with the pictures and cards he received. They really cheered him up,” Candy said.

Go here for the rest of the story.