After Jeremiah Wright, I suppose he thought he could get away with it. But he is President now and needs to live up to his own hype. He is failing. And the controversy is still sizzling. The article below is one of two on the subject in the current issue of "The Times" of London. I was going to write no more on this subject but since it is still sizzling I think I should record some of that sizzle
They are calling it bar-stool diplomacy – a novel attempt by President Barack Obama to cool a heated racial controversy by inviting the offended parties to settle their differences over a beer at the White House. Yet the president’s efforts to limit the fallout from a row over the arrest last week of Henry Louis Gates Jr, a black Harvard professor, may serve to extend a furore that has shaken the White House and raised questions about Obama’s vaunted leadership skills.
The row showed no sign of diminishing yesterday as Massachusetts media pressed for the release of police tapes that could shed new light on the angry exchanges between Gates and Sergeant James Crowley, a white officer who arrived at the professor’s Cambridge home to investigate a report of a break-in.
The incident led to a rare breakdown of Obama’s previously impressive political judgment. Having spent much of the past two years steering clear of racial controversy and nurturing an image of so-called “postracial” conciliation, the president plunged unexpectedly into the Gates affair. He declared on Wednesday, when it was still far from clear what had happened, that the Massachusetts police had “acted stupidly” by arresting Gates, whom Obama described as a personal friend.
By Friday evening, Obama was back-pedalling furiously and his invitation to Gates and Crowley to join him for a beer was interpreted as an acknowledgment by the president that he had spoken too hastily in “maligning” the police. “I could have calibrated those words differently,” he said. Yet the move also ensured that a story he desperately wants to go away will continue to overshadow his domestic political agenda. No beer-drinkers are likely to make as many headlines as the president, the professor and the policeman. Gates said yesterday that he would accept the invitation and would meet Crowley.
Within hours of Obama’s televised press conference on Wednesday night it was clear the Gates incident did not exactly fit the shameful mould of thuggish white cop picking on an innocent black man.... The fact that Gates was hauled away from his own home despite having provided proof that he lived there fuelled the complaints of “racial profiling” – supposed police discrimination against blacks.
It then emerged that Crowley, 42, knew a great deal about police treatment of black suspects – he had been hand-picked by his African-American chief of police to teach a local academy course on avoiding discrimination.
Obama’s discomfort increased when Sergeant Leon Lashley, a black Cambridge officer who was at the scene, said he supported Crowley’s actions “100%”. Lashley added: “I was there. He did nothing wrong. There’s nothing rogue about him. He was doing his job.”
As police unions around the country took umbrage at Obama’s “stupid” remark, it was not just white conservatives who were happy to bash the president. Bill Cosby, the black entertainer who has criticised African-Americans for a “victim” mentality, said he was “shocked” by the president’s willingness to jump into the dispute. “If I’m president of the United States . . . I’m keeping my mouth shut,” added Cosby.
Crowley told a local radio station: “I think he’s way off base wading into a local issue without knowing all the facts.”
By Friday evening, Obama was back in character as the smooth and charming diplomat as he joked about Crowley’s problems with overwhelming media attention. “He wanted to find out if there was a way of getting the press off his lawn,” the president said. “I informed him that I can’t get the press off my lawn.”
Behind the humour lay an awkward reality for Obama. His approval ratings have been slipping steadily as Americans worry about his interventionist policies. In a Rasmussen poll released on Friday, he fell below 50% for the first time, and an ugly argument about race is not going to help him recover.
Is Henry Gates a crook who had good reason to fear the police?
Just an excerpt from a much bigger story below
Henry Louis Gates, Jr controls a tax-exempt, non-profit charity, Inkwell Foundation, Inc, that managed to raise hundreds of thousands of dollars in direct support in one year, yet only gave out $27,500 in grants, the bulk of which went to Gates' employees and Harvard colleagues. Also, as recently as September 2008, the Boston Globe reported that Gates' charity was not in compliance with the law for failing to register the proper paperwork, despite the charity existing since 2005. The charge at the time was that it was "bogus," as you'll see below. In fact, the state Attorney General's office told the Globe the charity was likely either inactive, or dissolved. Yet, documents below show the charity is healthy, wealthy and active.
Is it possible that Henry Louis Gates, Jr. was acting strange when law enforcement showed up at his door because he didn't want the story below to come out? It may take a tax lawyer to answer that question, but based on this research, it can't be ruled out. We know the press has questioned Gates about the charity in the past and gotten no response.
Acting on a tip and with an item at Instapundit in mind (much more at this link), I was curious when Joseph Culligan of Web of Deception emailed with a tip as to the home's ownership. It seems Harvard does own the home in which Gates lives. But it's also the address for his charity, see below.
Third, Harvard sent someone from the University maintenance department over to secure Gates’ house and/or fix the broken lock on his front door. How many people have an employer who’ll send maintenance staff over to fix up or watch over their house?
Scroll all the way to the bottom at this link for the actual documents, including the real estate information. Gates uses Harvard (12 Quincy St.) as his home address on the charity paperwork, as opposed to the same one as his charity, which is where he actually lives and was at when the recent police incident took place. It would seem to be incorrect. A wiki has this Inkwell below as it's center item and reports that a Globe reporter has accused it of being a "bogus" charity.
More HERE (See the original for links)
Voters in last November's election never really got a clear sense of just what candidate Barack Obama did during his years as a "community organizer." The phrase carries with it some vague suggestion of volunteers working selflessly to represent the downtrodden, the powerless in the community, as they seek to climb out from under the yoke of domineering and exploitative authority. Wikipedia gives us some sense of that notion:
"Unlike other forms of more consensual "community building," community organizers generally assume that social change necessarily involves conflict and social struggle in order to generate collective power for the powerless."
An Internet search for a definition of community organizing turned up someone named Mike Miller at something described as the Organize Training Center. Mr. Miller's take on community organizing comes extraordinarily close to the principles that Barak Obama, former community organizer, is applying to his role as the nation's new president. There is a remarkable carry-over from his earlier role to his present one:
Organizing does two central things to seek to rectify the problem of power imbalance—it builds a permanent base of people power so that dominant financial and institutional power can be challenged and held accountable to values of greater social, environmental and economic justice . . .
When viewed in this context, many of the Obama policies that defy logic begin to make perfect sense, even proposals and programs that on their face appear to be in perfect conflict with the common good—as well as common sense.
Some of these would, of course, include: degrading our health care system down to Canadian and British standards; turning on the money spigot in the form of an ill-conceived "stimulus" that will neither create jobs nor improve the economy; follow the forever-futile policy of trying to spend our way out of a recession; nationalizing bankrupt car companies on behalf of union interests, thereby preserving failed business models to the tune of tens of billions of dollars; supporting the despicable "card check" legislation that will foster retribution and, inevitably, violence against workers who would be deprived of the secret ballot; raising taxes to astronomical levels—on individuals, corporations, small businesses—in the teeth of a severe recession, a course that risks turning a crisis into a catastrophe; and touring the globe while busily ingratiating himself with every two-bit despot, dictator, and enemy of democracy he can find by repeatedly apologizing for America's past failings and transgressions.
I could go on but it would be pointless. Each of these policies, as well as others, is incompatible with even the barest degree of fiscal responsibility, job creation, personal liberty, and America's stature on the international stage. They stand as a perfect contrary indicator to traditional American values like individual choice and freedom from an intrusive government that stands in the way as an obstacle to individual achievement and its rewards. One can only conclude that since each and every one of them are so wrong-headed and patently antithetical to the well-being of the nation, there must be another agenda at work having nothing to do with setting the country on the road to recovery.
Another policy I failed to mention perhaps can give us some insight into the true agenda at work here. Part of the president's tax proposal provides euphemistically-dubbed "tax credits" to the roughly 60% of the populace that does not actually pay income taxes. This would create the perverse situation in which having no obligation to pay anything under the tax code becomes a profitable enterprise, leaving the non-payer with a net gain. The source of these credits, of course, is the 40% that enjoys no such immunity under the tax code.
Now we know what candidate Obama meant when he told Joe the Plumber that as good Americans we should "share the wealth." What he really meant was that government should act as an intermediary through which wealth is simply redistributed. Thus, a campaign comment that many interpreted to signify the candidate's belief that all Americans should share in the opportunity to achieve prosperity really had a darker meaning: that government's proper role is to expropriate by fiat the assets of one group of Americans and transfer them to a different group.
Go back for a moment and re-read the quotations on the function of the community organizer and it becomes evident that Mr. Obama is still acting in that role. He is working to build a "community" in which the influence of the "powerful" is diminished and that of the "powerless" is enhanced. "Solutions" like wealth redistribution and lowest-common-denominator health care serve to achieve that outcome. Hence the "dominant"—corporations, financial institutions, rich people—should be challenged and held accountable to values of greater social, environmental and economic justice. Scrutinized in that context, then, policies that don't meet the standards of rationality when viewed through the prism of their purported purpose—such as economic measures designed to address economic problems—take on new meaning as vehicles aimed at "fixing" what Mr. Obama thinks is the real problem with the country—the problem of power imbalance.
Perhaps Americans will in time despair of their flirtation with social and economic collectivism. If they do, however, this administration's legacy will not be simply that it pursued policies that the country eventually rejected. It will be remembered instead for its most egregious act—exploiting and exacerbating a genuine national crisis in the interests of pursuing a radical social and economic agenda.
Perhaps more than any of its 43 predecessors, the Obama administration provides a perfect illustration of Ronald Reagan's observation that government is not the solution to the problem, it is the problem.
Ignoramus in chief?
This week President Obama has caught a lot of flack for stating "I don't know all the facts", but then proceeding to provide unwarranted and inflammatory conjecture anyhow. Although that statement was concerned with a very specific incident, one might argue that this is a phrase that he might want to utter before speaking on major policy topics like economics and health care. For it seems that like many who emerge from liberal academic echo chambers, he is chock full of intellect, but lamentably short on actual knowledge.
The President has thus far admitted his ignorance as to what was specifically contained in the House health care but urged its rapid passage in order to do great things such as save the planet and not ruin the upcoming Congressional vacation. And Fred Barnes at the Weekly Standard calls Obama the "Know-Nothing-in-Chief" for his seeming total void of knowledge free-market economic theories:
There's no evidence Obama has even a sketchy grasp of economics. Is President Obama an economic illiterate? Harsh as that sounds, there's growing evidence he understands little about economics and even less about economic growth or job creation. Yet, as we saw at last week's presidential press conference, he's undeterred from holding forth, with seeming confidence, on economic issues.
Obama professes to believe in free market economics. But no one expects his policies to reflect the unfettered capitalism of a Milton Friedman. That's too much to ask. Demonstrating a passing acquaintance with free market ideas and how they might be used to fight the recession--that's not too much to ask. But the president talks as if free market solutions are nonexistent...
Getting back to the topic of health care, fairly intelligent and experienced men state that the President doesn't even do a good job faking that he knows what he is talking about.
Glenn Reynolds speaking on the Hugh Hewitt show said "Obama is an idiot when he talks about medical things...", as well as saying some of the President's prescriptions doled out when taking on the subject are like "...prescribing a laxative for lung cancer. This guy is making health care policy, and he's clueless."
On the same show, Charles Krauthammer (a former board certified doctor) said this:
"The real problem with Obama is he’s extremely intelligent, but he’s even more arrogant. And he trusts his own intelligence to get him through anything, even with a lack of knowledge. And it is amazingly arrogant. He’s standing up there, and he’s saying that there are doctors out there who will rip out a kid’s tonsils in order to make some money, without even knowing what are the indications for a tonsillectomy, and what’s not. He sort of made it up as he went along. You’re right. He operates on what he thinks he only needs, a minimal level of knowledge..."
Fortunately for us, but unfortunately for the President, his ignorance of a range of ideas on major policy issues may well be the undoing of his proposals. Much of this is due to the repeated public display of this ignorance in his self-induced hyper-exposure. If he were to keep from the spotlight, and only appear when escorted by a phalanx of teleprompters, he could limit the damage. But it may already have been done. But perhaps he is willing to sacrifice these things on the altars of vanity and narcissism.
Unfortunately it would not be a surprise if President Obama had spent all those years in academe becoming an intellectual, rather than a learned man.
Post above recycled from Charlie Foxtrot
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