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Barack Obama: Strictly An Amateur

Quite a few people are talking about The University of Chicago Hospital's remarkable windfall. It was the beneficiary of a $1-million-dollar earmark from Senator Barack Obama. Coincidentally, this happened just shortly after one Michelle Obama (who, I believe, is somehow connected to Senator Obama, but not a blood relative) was promoted to vice president of community affairs and given a $200,000/year raise.

That's a hell of a return on an investment -- give the lady some bucks, get back five times as much.

Of course, that's just penny-ante stuff. The Obamas are pikers compared to Hillary Clinton. She parlayed $1,000 into almost $100,000 investing in cattle futures. All it took was arranging for her investment buddy to bundle her money with his and absorb all the losses, leaving her money to rake in all the profits.

Nice deal if you can get it.

And even that is dwarfed by Bill Clinton's mad investment skills. garnering millions and millions from shady characters around the world, from Dubai to Kazakhstan to Indonesia. In fact, the Clintons have managed to go from debtors when they left the White House to a net wealth of around $35 million.

THAT'S how things are played in the big leagues, Senator Obama. That is what you are expected to be able to pull off when you're a contender.

$200,000 for a $1,000,000 earmark? Please. That's the sort of thing we expect from someone like Representative William Jefferson (D-LA), not the leading Democratic presidential candidate.


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Comments (75)

You should get your facts s... (Below threshold)
erg:

You should get your facts straight. Politics and truth need not be mutually exclusive. It's important to have discussions on substantive issues, but there is no need for innuendos and half-truths to ground our discussions.

1. The $1 million dollars was never approved. The hospital, therefore, has never received any of the money.

2. The earmark request was made by the University hospital without Michelle Obama's involvement whatsoever.

3. Obama represents the state of Illinois. He made similar requests on behalf of other Illinois-based educational institutions and non-profit organizations.

4. Other senators, representing their states, make similar requests on behalf of their constituents. Quite natural in today's political environment. Whether this should be changed is another question altogether.

5. Obama wanted transparency and has asked Hillary Clinton to respond in the same way by revealing her requests over the years.

I thought liberals supporti... (Below threshold)
LoveAmerica, Immigrant:

I thought liberals supporting Obama because he is going to clean up Washington with the new politics. What is the "change" that they "hope" to have? Better porks?

4. Other senators, represen... (Below threshold)
LoveAmerica, Immigrant:

4. Other senators, representing their states, make similar requests on behalf of their constituents. Quite natural in today's political environment. Whether this should be changed is another question altogether.
-------------------------------------
McCain didn't ask for earmark. So Obama is simply another old politicians. Let 's be honest and not use this spin about "hope" and "change" and "new politics". Looks like these rhetorics are to fool people.

Now for the sake of transpa... (Below threshold)
LoveAmerica, Immigrant:

Now for the sake of transparency, Obama can release the earmarks he requested when he was an Illinois legislator.

http://www.cnn.com/2008/POLITICS/03/13/earmark.vote/index.html?section=cnn_latest

McCain had urged his Democratic rivals to reveal the earmarks they've asked for and turn back the money that hasn't been spent yet.

The Obama camp then joined McCain in calling for Clinton to release her requests.

Earmarks that are approved are a matter of public record, but information about earmark requests that do not get approved can currently come only from the legislators themselves.

...
McCain, who has refused to request spending for projects in his home state of Arizona, has long been a vocal critic of earmarks.

Clinton and Obama announced this week they favor the ban, despite their own use of earmarks.

McCain said the Democratic presidential candidates are late to the anti-earmarks position, saying both have requested earmarks using taxpayer dollars "that are absolutely outrageously wasted."

Oh, I dunno, Jay, looks to ... (Below threshold)

Oh, I dunno, Jay, looks to me that since the $1m didn't get apporved that the ol' Bammy Clan got $200k for nuthin'. Not a bad day's work, huh?

McCain didn't ask for ea... (Below threshold)
mantis:

McCain didn't ask for earmark.

No? Oh wait!

It is just the sort of parochial spending request that might lead Senator John McCain, nemesis of pork barrel projects, to give somebody an earful.

The bill would direct $2 million annually over five years to establish a center at a specified law school to honor a renowned jurist from the state. While the goal may be laudable, some critics say, the measure is a classic case of lawmakers' trying to funnel money directly to a home-state institution for a project that should find financing elsewhere.

But it is doubtful that Mr. McCain will weigh in against the idea this time: the legislation to support the project is being sponsored by him and Senator Jon Kyl, Arizona Republicans who are among those aggressively promoting new rules for handling Congressional spending requests.

Yes: Obama is definitely o... (Below threshold)
erg:

Yes: Obama is definitely on track to make significant changes in Washington. It is, I think, a very big deal that he has revealed his earmarked requests and has asked Clinton to disclose hers. There will be more to come--I believe in leadership by example and Obama, by demanding transparency, is being very consistent.

For the sake of the whole t... (Below threshold)
LoveAmerica, Immigrant:

For the sake of the whole trugh
More Hope and Change (h/t Hot Air)
Update: The AP says Obama has not responded to repeated requests to release his earmark legislation for six of his eightyears in the Illinois Senate. Yet, he's criticizing Hillary on this score:

Again, CNN is no fan of McC... (Below threshold)
LoveAmerica, Immigrant:

Again, CNN is no fan of McCain

http://www.cnn.com/2008/POLITICS/03/13/earmark.vote/index.html?section=cnn_latest

McCain, who has refused to request spending for projects in his home state of Arizona, has long been a vocal critic of earmarks.

Clinton and Obama announced this week they favor the ban, despite their own use of earmarks.

McCain said the Democratic presidential candidates are late to the anti-earmarks position, saying both have requested earmarks using taxpayer dollars "that are absolutely outrageously wasted."


So if I try to hold up a ba... (Below threshold)
Jeff:

So if I try to hold up a bank and ask for 1 million but they don't give it to me I'm not a crook ?

Actually he also requested $8 million for a Genome project (run thru the U of I at C) that was granted and was paid ...

The Goracle is the BIG winner ... his net worth appears to be north of 100 million ...

There's a big difference be... (Below threshold)

There's a big difference between earmarks and funding requests. "Requests" are the basis for appropriation bills. Earmarks are items slipped into bills ususally after it leaves committee. McCain has not and does not ask for earmarks. Obama does.

RE #6. If anyone cares to ... (Below threshold)
P. Bunyan:

RE #6. If anyone cares to read the entire article that Barney, no I mean JFO, no wait it was mantis this time, (they are impossible to tell apart anymore) posted, you'd see that that particular piece of legislation is nothing like the "earmarks" that McCain opposes and has consistently opposed. (Unlike Clinton's wife or BO who now suddenly decided they were opposed to earmarks too.)

But Barney, I mean mantis, is hoping that those who read his post will be like typical Democrat voters and just believe the NYT's disingenuous misrepresentations and not bother to look at the facts of the matter.

The United States of Americ... (Below threshold)
Adrian Browne:

The United States of America will be a better place to live when Barack Obama becomes President.

Why Adrian?What sp... (Below threshold)
P. Bunyan:

Why Adrian?

What specifically will be better?

Other than that we'll all be more "hopeful" and "changeful", I mean.

There's a big difference... (Below threshold)
mantis:

There's a big difference between earmarks and funding requests.

You are right. Upon further reading, it does seem that McCain has studiously avoided earmarks for many years, and that funding bill does not fit the definition. I shouldn't have been so quick to post that link.

I'm glad that this is an issue in this election, and maybe we can actually get rid of earmarks once and for all (congressmen will probably figure out another sneaky way to funnel money to their states, but still...).

I apologize for my earlier, misleading comment.

And I therefore, must retra... (Below threshold)
P. Bunyan:

And I therefore, must retract my comment that you can't tell Barney, JFO, and mantis apart.

#15 was the old mantis I've respected (though I've often disagreed)

What specifically will be b... (Below threshold)
LoveAmerica, Immigrant:

What specifically will be better?

Other than that we'll all be more "hopeful" and "changeful", I mean.
------------------------------------
Probably you don't have to salute the flags. And you can make a big deal of not wearing a flag pin on July 4th for example. I think Adrian is thinking of the communist utopia, where the leaders lead a double life: saying one thing, but doing another in practice. By his actions, Obama shared the worldview of his pastor: he didn't salute the flag and made a big deal of not wearing a flag pin. His wife considers America mean and hasn't not been proud. These are not mis-statements, but expression of their worldview (after drinking that Koolaid all these years). Also what is so sunny and optimitic about Obama? It seems like people close to Obama are so angry if not hateful. He seems to lead a double life at least.

Bunyan, Thanks for ... (Below threshold)
LoveAmerica, Immigrant:

Bunyan,
Thanks for reading the NYT article. I couldn't read it and didn't want to register with that liberal paper of record! Agree with you that Mantis deserved credit for acknowledging his mistake.

You can say a lot about BO,... (Below threshold)
P. Bunyan:

You can say a lot about BO, but you can't deny that he's been very generous... with our money, not his own.

It took a while to total that up, but it comes to $558,807,831. That's over a half a billion dollars of our money BO requested to buy himself political power and backing. He's no amateur Jay Tea. His many years in the corrupt Chicago political machine have honed him into a typical corrupt, bought and paid for, Chicago Democrat.

So Bo supporters, where's the "change" coming from again. Anyone? Larkin? Bueller? Bueller?

Or is speaking more eloquently, while screwing us just as badly and wasting our money just as extremely as the rest, all the change you really want in our government?

It sure doesn't give me hope...

His many years in the corru... (Below threshold)
LoveAmerica, Immigrant:

His many years in the corrupt Chicago political machine have honed him into a typical corrupt, bought and paid for, Chicago Democrat.
-------------------------------------
Did Pelosi try to pass legislation that would help her husband 's company? So Obama is a good fit for the dem party in general in any case.

I don't know about Pelosi (... (Below threshold)
P. Bunyan:

I don't know about Pelosi (though it would surprise me), but Feinstein sure used her political office to create great personal wealth.

Just FYI. Sounds like a tru... (Below threshold)
LoveAmerica, Immigrant:

Just FYI. Sounds like a true liberal culture of corruption in Washington now. It took Reid/Pelosi only 6 months to fully establish it. I guess Obama can expedite and expand this change.

Pelosi's Bill Could Benefit Husband's Stock Holding

Take it from someone who ha... (Below threshold)
yo:

Take it from someone who has been watching Obama, for years, and seen, first hand, what he does, has done, and probably will continue to do, he's a schmuck. And anyone who supports him is a sucker.

Since 1999, the only thing Barak Obama has changed has been his address.

He endorsed the IL governor (Blago). A corrupt as they come slider. Why? He's a democrat. Not because he's qualified (he isn't); but, because Barak's playing good ol' Chicago style partisan politics.

He also endorsed the Cook County Commission President, Todd Stroger. Why?

Because he's qualified? No? He's a democrat. he's also african-american.

So, this is a two-fer. Barak plays partisan politics and the race card, at the same time.
What has Todd done for Cook County (Chicago)? Well, most disgustingly, he just jacked up the sales tax so that now, Cook County has the highest sales tax in the nation. During a recession, no less.

Does Todd decide to cut waste and graft? Nope. Jack the tax to cover it. And what will Todd do with this money? He's going to add thousands of new governmental jobs.

Well, thanks Todd. You can't properly run the county with what you have, so let's take more money to add more jobs that people aren't doing in the first place.

And thanks, Barak. The poor in Cook County who are now going to be poorer since you've decided party and race trump experience and qualifications.

Did Barak ask for transparency in Cook County or Chicago, or Illinois? No.

Did he legislate against the obvious corruption in his district? No.

He simply kept status quo for his benefit.

If you want to see where you'll go with someone, look to where that person's been.

Barak came from corrupt environment and not only didn't CHANGE a darned thing, he helped propagate a failed system.

I can only HOPE that people will see through the scam that is Barak Obama before it's too late.

ERG, I hate to say it, man, but you've been duped. And duped hard.

That, unfortunately, makes you a sucker.

Correction on #21, I meant ... (Below threshold)
P. Bunyan:

Correction on #21, I meant to type: "(though it wouldn't surprise me)"

BTW LAI, thanks for the lin... (Below threshold)
P. Bunyan:

BTW LAI, thanks for the link. Since the Democrats came back into power in Congress the culture of corruption has expanded so quickly and to such great levels it's hard to keep track anymore.

Well at least it was a "change"! Still doesn't give me "hope" though...

I think this was the funnie... (Below threshold)
SPQR:

I think this was the funniest thing I've read today:

2. The earmark request was made by the University hospital without Michelle Obama's involvement whatsoever.

yo:My views on Oba... (Below threshold)
erg:

yo:

My views on Obama are constrained by certain realities, of which I am quite aware: the length of public service, relative lack of experience in foreign policy, etc. You seem to be quite passionate about your opposition to him--more so than I am about my endorsement of him, I would say.

Here is you speaking--hardly, a discussion about substantive issues; and not at all conducive to discussing matters of mutual interest to reach a common judgment:

"Barak came from corrupt environment and not only didn't CHANGE a darned thing, he helped propagate a failed system."

"I can only HOPE that people will see through the scam that is Barak Obama before it's too late."

Ad hominem attacks--smearing a person's character to discredit his positions--merely prolong the delay of dealing with important issues.

In some sense, we always get the kind of politics we want, don't we? If you want to be duped, you will be duped.

That Obama is just an old-s... (Below threshold)

That Obama is just an old-school, run-of-the-mill crook from Chicago is going to come as a terrible shock to those who swallowed the Kool-Aid™ about "a new kind of politics," but better they learn the difficult lesson now, during the campaign, than we all be forced to share their education after the election.

To recap, our story thus far: Old-style political earmarks to the hospital which promoted his wife and was his biggest source of donations, $625,000 favor from major Chicago "fixer," wife who hates America for giving her $1 million a year family income, preacher who hates America for being too white.

No wonder the morons went gaga . . .

"Barak came from corrupt en... (Below threshold)
LoveAmerica, Immigrant:

"Barak came from corrupt environment and not only didn't CHANGE a darned thing, he helped propagate a failed system."

"I can only HOPE that people will see through the scam that is Barak Obama before it's too late."
-------------------------------------
Surprised that you didn't list the FACTS that yo listed to support his conclusions.

I guess he is just trying to give you the WHOLE TRUTH from his own "study" of Obama. If you are interested in the whole truth, you would welcome these facts, I assume.


LoveAmericaI didn'... (Below threshold)
erg:

LoveAmerica

I didn't list such FACTS because one could do the same on behalf of Clinton, McCain, and, I would venture to say, anybody in America with any political interest. Where does that leave us?

I doubt that the WHOLE truth has been given us here (not by me or anybody). Not in this forum, in which time is limited and memorable phrases may substitute for real analysis . . .

The listing of FACTS about character interests me less than an analysis of the issues and ideas involved.

The listing of FACTS about ... (Below threshold)
LoveAmerica, Immigrant:

The listing of FACTS about character interests me less than an analysis of the issues and ideas involved.
-------------------------------------
So you don't care about the character of the president? In other words, you are willing to vote for a crook as long as he/she agree with your issues/ideas?

erg,Thanks for ass... (Below threshold)
yo:

erg,

Thanks for assuming that I don't know the definition of "ad hominem" is.

Now, what's the definition of "intellectual snob?"

Anyway - the trick with Obama is that he is running on his character since he has nothing of substance with which to run. So, there's really nothing left.


"If you want to be duped, you will be duped."

Indeed. Thank you for exposing the limit of your political acumen and saving me the hassle.


Quick note: Obama's come out and denounced Rev. Wright's statements, but he didn't say which ones he was denouncing.

Tricky, eh?

Character is, of course, im... (Below threshold)
erg:

Character is, of course, important.

But I'm willing to engage in the ideas that have been propounded by McCain, Obama, and Clinton, on how to solve our domestic and foreign policy dilemmas before making character judgments on any of them.

I would take caution in using "crook" and other incendiary terms, especially since none of us here, I would venture to say, has done a thorough study of each of the candidate's records (i.e., their voting record, their written text, their speeches, and other important biographical details, all which would be relevant for a fair character assessment).

There is enough character evaluation to go around--not enough critical interventions in our all-too-fragile democratic life.


yo:Made no assump... (Below threshold)
erg:

yo:

Made no assumption that you didn't know the definition. Nothing in my text suggests that. I merely wanted to emphasize a particular point--certainly, not the only thing about such attacks--about the regrettable deferral that often takes place when character judgment replaces genuine political discussion. And nothing in my posts questions your intelligence.

But I'm willing to engage i... (Below threshold)
LoveAmerica, Immigrant:

But I'm willing to engage in the ideas that have been propounded by McCain, Obama, and Clinton, on how to solve our domestic and foreign policy dilemmas before making character judgments on any of them.

I would take caution in using "crook" and other incendiary terms, especially since none of us here, I would venture to say, has done a thorough study of each of the candidate's records (i.e., their voting record, their written text, their speeches, and other important biographical details, all which would be relevant for a fair character assessment).
-------------------------------------
Do you need a detailed assessment of a used dealer who promised honesty to you but lied to you twice?

BTW, you don't even adhere to your own standard in this post. Your din't even do a detailed study of your list before you posted it. You simply spouted someone else 's talking points without even doing a detailed study at all.

I think we can use some intellectual honesty here. You should go back and do real detailed studies of the points you listed and come back here. At least Mantis has the honesty to admit his mistake insteading of spinning it away. We can respect that.

A fair assessment, yet not ... (Below threshold)
yo:

A fair assessment, yet not complete, I'll grant you that, would be to look to see if the candidate practices what he preaches.

Obama doesn't.

Was Stroger qualified for his position, or did Obama endorse him simply due to the fact that he's black, and his father held the position, previously?

Why did Barak endorse Blago when even then, his record was suspect and the rumours of indictments were already swirling?

IF Obama wants to change the face of politics, why didn't he start right at home?

And, without Emil Jones, could Obama have made his way up the ladder as quickly?

Obama has vaulted to his position utilizing the tools that he professes to denounce.

I don't need a character study and some lengthy research to tell me the man's full of crap.

Yo, Erg posted a li... (Below threshold)
LoveAmerica, Immigrant:

Yo,
Erg posted a list that have been shown false already. Erg should come back and do a detailed study of his own list first. That 's a minimum he should be able to do before we can discuss anything more complicated.

Posted by erg | March 14, ... (Below threshold)
yo:

Posted by erg | March 14, 2008 5:51 PM

Noted. I appreciate the clarification.

LAI, I'm just trying to sav... (Below threshold)
yo:

LAI, I'm just trying to save erg from wasting a lot time in trying to fill an empty suit.

Now, I'm goin' drinkin

He's hardly and "empty suit... (Below threshold)
P. Bunyan:

He's hardly and "empty suit", Yo. It's just that that suit is full of nothing but communism and socialism (yeah, I know those are just two names for basically the same thing, but whatever).

BO cannot talk about his true beliefs and his real agenda so he only spouts meaningless platitudes and empty rhetoric and thus appears to be an empty suit. If he talked about his real beliefs and agenda, about 82% of Americans would reject him.

As I've said time and again in the past, the Democrats are not the Party of no ideas or agenda, they are just a Party with un-American ideas and thus a hidden agenda.

Obama has plenty of charact... (Below threshold)
BarneyG2000:

Obama has plenty of character. When asked to denounce or support controversial statements made by his supporters he has denounced those views. McCain has not denounced the statements of Rev. Hagee and others. Obama has said he wants more transparency, and he released all his earmark requests (those that put him in a favorable light and does that do not). Obama has stood by his wife. McCain cheated and left his wife for a women 18-years his junior that turned into a junkie thief. Obama has stood by his positions while McCain has flipped on immigration, water boarding and loaded his staff with current and former lobbyists.

So who has character and who doesn't

But his whole appeal was th... (Below threshold)
Les Nessman:

But his whole appeal was that he was hopey and changey! If he loses that, why should anyone vote for just another politician?
At least Clinton and McCain don't try to pretend that they aren't politcians.

As usual, Barney does love ... (Below threshold)
LoveAmerica, Immigrant:

As usual, Barney does love "liars" (Clinton and now Obama). Obama loved his wife and children so much that he poisoned their mind with the racist and anti-semitic hate for 20 years. Again, Barney would't mind spouting lies. At least McCain was enduring real torture so that Wright, Obama, and Barney can indulge in their anti-American hate>

http://thehill.com/leading-the-news/lobbyists-on-obamas-08-payroll-2007-12-20.html

Three political aides on Sen. Barack Obama's (D-Ill.) payroll were registered lobbyists for dozens of corporations, including Wal-Mart, British Petroleum and Lockheed Martin, while they received payments from his campaign, according to public documents.


And for transparency
For the sake of the whole trugh
More Hope and Change (h/t Hot Air)
Update: The AP says Obama has not responded to repeated requests to release his earmark legislation for six of his eightyears in the Illinois Senate. Yet, he's criticizing Hillary on this score:


BTW, I think Barney just go... (Below threshold)
LoveAmerica, Immigrant:

BTW, I think Barney just got his talking points from Josh Marshall and Andrew Sullivan about how Obama can wiggle out of Wright dilemma and his pork for personal benefits. Let 's leave it as an exercise whether what Barney is trying say will match these talking points.

"Yet, he's criticizing Hill... (Below threshold)
BarneyG2000:

"Yet, he's criticizing Hillary on this score" Lovie

Lovie how could Obama criticize Hillary for not releasing her earmarks during her state legislation career when she was never elected to a state legislation position?

As usual you do not know what you are talking about.

Lovie the difference betwee... (Below threshold)
BarneyG2000:

Lovie the difference between Obama and McCain is that McCain has made a point of critising others for ties with lobbyists and then adds over 14 to his staff:
"For years, Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) has railed against lobbyists and the influence of "special interests" in Washington, touting on his campaign Web site his fight against "the 'revolving door' by which lawmakers and other influential officials leave their posts and become lobbyists for the special interests they have aided."

But when McCain huddled with his closest advisers at his rustic Arizona cabin last weekend to map out his presidential campaign, virtually every one was part of the Washington lobbying culture he has long decried. His campaign manager, Rick Davis, co-founded a lobbying firm whose clients have included Verizon and SBC Telecommunications. His chief political adviser, Charles R. Black Jr., is chairman of one of Washington's lobbying powerhouses, BKSH and Associates, which has represented AT&T, Alcoa, JPMorgan and U.S. Airways. "

Amusingly, JFO's redundant ... (Below threshold)
SPQR:

Amusingly, JFO's redundant "most corrupt" Republican Congress was replaced by an equally corrupt Democratic Congress. Funny he failed to mention that.

"I wondered how long Bun... (Below threshold)
P. Bunyan:

"I wondered how long Bunyan could keep his cork from popping and and tossing out the commie card"

Are you denying or can you refute the information in that link?

Barcommie, So you a... (Below threshold)
Love America, Immigrant:

Barcommie,
So you are saying that you expected Obama to be a typical corruption politician who will use government power to benefit himself with porks. So you know that all these rhetoric about "hope", "change", and "clean up Washington" are lies to fool the electorate. And you are willing to participate in that propaganda campaign because deep down you agree with the anti-American extremist agenda of "killing babies/the disabled, not terrorists" big gov?

At least McCain didn't request porks for his state as Mantis had the honesty to admit. At least McCain enduring real torture at the communist hands so that the radical leftists can indulge in their anti-American hate (and Michelle/Obama can enjoy the freedom/prosperity of this country while disparaging it with their actions/words).

And how Clintonesque Obama ... (Below threshold)
Love America, Immigrant:

And how Clintonesque Obama has become (maybe that 's why Barncommie wants carry the water for him).

In the handful of years he has spent in the national spotlight, Senator Barack Obama's stance toward his pastor has gone from fulsome praise to growing distance to -- as of Friday -- outright denunciation.
...


"The statements that Rev. Wright made that are the cause of this controversy were not statements I personally heard him preach while I sat in the pews of Trinity or heard him utter in private conversation," he said.

Yup, he only wrote about it!
Wright in "Dreams of My Father"
Before he ever thought he would have to deploy Clintonesque spin to try to get himself out of a campaign controversy, Barack Obama wrote (an achingly good) memoir. In the book, Obama makes it clear that Wright when he first got to know him was pretty much the same Wright we're getting to know now (the one that Obama is at pains to say is on the verge of retirement). Wright was striking some of the same notes, saying racially venomous things and attacking the bombing of Hiroshima. Note this passage about the first sermon Obama heard from Wright, the source ultimately of the title of Obama's second book and one of the central themes of his presidential campaign:


And this. Bunyan is right. ... (Below threshold)
Love America, Immigrant:

And this. Bunyan is right. There has been "change", but no "hope".

Rezko raised more money for Obama than previously disclosed (h/t Hot Air)

Also this is a more direct ... (Below threshold)
Love America, Immigrant:

Also this is a more direct refutation of Obama's claim of "innocence".

http://sweetness-light.com/archive/flashback-nyt-on-obamas-wright-disinvite

Mr. Wright said that in the phone conversation in which Mr. Obama disinvited him from a role in the announcement, Mr. Obama cited an article in Rolling Stone, "The Radical Roots of Barack Obama."

According to the pastor, Mr. Obama then told him, "You can get kind of rough in the sermons, so what we've decided is that it's best for you not to be out there in public."

SPQR - good point, you are ... (Below threshold)
JFO:

SPQR - good point, you are correct. So, I can expect you to condemn the graft, corruption and greed of the previous republican congress as I condemn the current pork and greed of the democratic congress?

Bunyan - nothing you say or anything you cite vis a vis your commie obsession has any validity anywhere except in your head and needs no refutation except perhaps from your doctors.

SPQR - good point, you are ... (Below threshold)
Love America, Immigrant:

SPQR - good point, you are correct. So, I can expect you to condemn the graft, corruption and greed of the previous republican congress as I condemn the current pork and greed of the democratic congress?
------------------------------
Yes, we did and we had porkbusters. What are the JFO moonbats are doing now? They are enabling the liberal culture of corruption run by Reid/Pelosi. These moonbats are trying to sell another corrupt politician Obama as the white-horse savior.

Bunyan - nothing you say or... (Below threshold)
Love America, Immigrant:

Bunyan - nothing you say or anything you cite vis a vis your commie obsession has any validity anywhere except in your head and needs no refutation except perhaps from your doctors.
------------------------------
The JFO moonbat simply cannot contain the garbage from within.

Jay, your facts are complet... (Below threshold)
Tungsten:

Jay, your facts are completely twisted around. For one thing, this REQUEST was never approved. For another, Michelle Obama was not involved in any way in this unfunded earmark request. And another thing: if it had been funded, it would have been a drop in the bucket of what UCH is spending to expand.

Your post is stupid and offensive: this funding SHOULD have been approved, since the need is GREAT. University of Chicago Hospital is one of the nation's finest, serving a huge medicaid population. Let's see. Would you object to funds going to Harvard Med to expand their care for the indigent? I thought not.

My wife is a resident at UCH, and I can tell you that they work unbelievably hard to serve one of the poorest communities in Chicago. Why not visit the southside to find out for yourself? Have a drive around the local community, sit for awhile in the emergency room. Seriously, man, think before you go off on your knee-jerk partisanship

I agree with Tungsten: the... (Below threshold)
erg:

I agree with Tungsten: the REQUEST should have been approved.

The hospital has great needs and it does quite a lot. This hospital, associated with the University, has proved itself in so many ways and is the site of some important biomedical firsts: the birthplace of chemotheraphy (Dr. Leon Jacobson), the origin of organ transplantation (Nobel laureate Dr. Alexis Carrel), the genetics of diabetes (Dr. Graeme Bell), the first blood bank (Dr. Oswald Robertson), pioneering work in the biology of large viruses (James W. Moulder), etc. This institution educated Mr. DNA himself (the Nobel laureate Watson).

The hospital provides medical care to some of the poorest in Chicago.

It's regrettable that the partisanship, by assuming the form of character assassination, not only distracts from genuine discussion of political issues of importance to everybody, it also seems to turn its back on actual needs. So important issues don't get talked about and important problems don't get solved.

Coincidentally, this happen... (Below threshold)
LoveAmerica, Immigrant:

Coincidentally, this happened just shortly after one Michelle Obama (who, I believe, is somehow connected to Senator Obama, but not a blood relative) was promoted to vice president of community affairs and given a $200,000/year raise.
------------------------------------
Yup, Michelle cared so much about the poor that she got $200K raise in that year. That was 20% of the funding sought. She could have taken $50K raise and gave $150K to the hospital for such a worthy cause.

Erg, you still need to do more detailed study still and please apply logic and all relevant facts.

BTW, medical research fundi... (Below threshold)
LoveAmerica, Immigrant:

BTW, medical research funding should go through the NIH with their merit approval process. Let 's not use medical research as an excuse for porks to gain personal power.

If America is such a racist... (Below threshold)
LoveAmerica, Immigrant:

If America is such a racist and shitty country where blacks will not be able to make it through life, then is it better to move to South Africa (for example) where we have black rule now? Many people have been risking their lives to escape the iron curtain.

Sorry about last one, wrong... (Below threshold)
LoveAmerica, Immigrant:

Sorry about last one, wrong thread!

BTW, medical research fundi... (Below threshold)
erg:

BTW, medical research funding should go through the NIH with their merit approval process. Let 's not use medical research as an excuse for porks to gain personal power.

--------------------------------

Clearly, this is a comment by somebody who knows little about how medical research funding is done . . . Again, a serious distraction, but one that pretends to be knowledgeabe about this and other matters.

Once again, you're missing the point. But then I dare say it'll be impossible to come to a common resolution with you about this or any of the other issues involved here--if only because all "facts" (first, political and now procedural / medical) are being twisted to "prove" what is already uncontested in your mind.

erg, I like how you pretend... (Below threshold)
SPQR:

erg, I like how you pretend to be serious but you want me to believe that Michelle Obama was not involved in the request.

Be serious yourself.

SPQR sum it up well already... (Below threshold)
LoveAmerica Immigrant:

SPQR sum it up well already. Erg tried to use the poor and medical research to justify this pork. When it is pointed out to Erg that Michelle should have taken only $50K and given $150K back if the Obama truly cared about the poor and medical research, Erg showed his true color. Still need to use logic and more detailed study.

Lots of confusion!... (Below threshold)
erg:

Lots of confusion!

1. Confusion of Ends and Means:

Whether the request should have been approved or not is independent of the Obama candidacy.

The resources were needed and would have been put to good use by an institution known worldwide for medical breakthroughs (see one of my previous posts), which benefit the world today, and one committed to solving the problems of the poor. The needs of certain institutions (educational, medical, and so on) are not always determined by those who seek to meet those needs or by the means through which those needs are met.

The request was defeated. That's fine--these institutions are always having to raise funds from lots of sources and they often get rejected. The point is: one should not conflate the ends with the means, which, in many cases, are multiple (e.g., hundreds or thousands of fundraising sources being asked at any one time), complex, and ongoing.

2. Conflation of All Possibilities into One:

Let's say Michelle Obama was not involved in the request to help the medical institution to come up with resources to meet its needs (medical research, aid for the poor, facility maintenance, etc). Now, funding a facility has impact on funding for research or funding for other expenses; this must be seen holistically. Would there still be an objection to the request? Then such an objection would necessarily be unrelated to Obama per se.

Now, assume Michelle Obama was indeed involved in the request. Setting aside for a moment the pay raise she received (which I will take up next), would there still be an objection to meeting the needs of this hospital by virtue of the fact that Michelle works for the hospital? That the hospital cannot raise money from the government because of the Michelle connection? Michelle was working for this hospital before the Obama candidacy; the hospital had these needs prior to the Obama candidacy; the hospital, like other hospitals, has been asking for, and receiving some help from, the government long before Obama's candidacy.

If the objection is then with her salary raise, who or what is this objection directed against? Michelle Obama? The hospital? Obama himself? A collusion between the hospital and Obama? Each one of these possibilities requires its own set of evidences and questions that have not even been addressed here!

3. Equitable Distribution Gone Awry!

The argument that a staff employee should be asked to give some of her salary back to help the poor is overly simplistic. There are many considerations that go into salary determination, rightly or wrongly, which often have to do with market realities, the particular skill sets, the responsibilities involved, qualifications, and so on. The question of equitable distribution (indeed, of what might be termed distributive justice) is a much more complex question.


Now, assume Michel... (Below threshold)
SPQR:
Now, assume Michelle Obama was indeed involved in the request. Setting aside for a moment the pay raise she received (which I will take up next), would there still be an objection to meeting the needs of this hospital by virtue of the fact that Michelle works for the hospital?

So, erg, you are going to pretend to be completely ignorant of conflicts of interest and Senate rules regarding such? You really need to work harder on this being serious thing.

Which conflict of interest ... (Below threshold)
erg:

Which conflict of interest clause (of rule XXXVII) do you have in mind, specifically?

(I was hoping that you would be more precise and that you would explicate the exact violations, given the latest series of distractions and innuendos, none of which substantiated. And which members of congress or which of the other candidates (both McCain and Clinton) are claiming ethical foul play?But alas, the innuendos and half-truths persist and we'll have to wait for substance . . . )


erg, how about this little ... (Below threshold)

erg, how about this little point:

Shortly after Barack Obama was elected to the Senate, Michelle Obama was given a substantial raise and promoted to a newly-created office.

When she resigned that position to help with the campaign, that position was left unfilled.

Apparently the hospital decided that it could get along without that position, once Michelle Obama didn't want/need it any more.

To me, that raises the question if that position was really necessary in the first place -- or if it was designed around Mrs. Obama's unique qualifications, which became apparent once her husband was in a position to steer millions of dollars in federal funding to the hospital.

Similar, say, to Hillary Clinton getting hired by the Rose Law Firm or named to the Wal-Mart Board Of Directors once her husband's political career was clearly established.

I thought politicians were supposed to avoid "the appearance of impropriety," but I guess that's not part of the whole "hopey and changeful" direction things are going...

J.

Jay Tea:Again, if ... (Below threshold)
erg:

Jay Tea:

Again, if you were interested in dispelling the innuendos and half-truths (so that we could move on to discuss the real issues), you would provide the following:

1. Michelle's date of promotion
2. Date Obama made request for the appropriation
3. Other similar requests made by Obama, some of which I include below.
4. You would also include amounts for these other requests for comparison (to see if indeed there is relative profit being made by the hospital) and show whether Michelle works for any of them; and you would note that she does NOT work for any of them.

Obama represents the state of Illinois and there is apriori nothing wrong with asking for funding for these hospitals.

OTHER REQUESTS MADE BY OBAMA (at least 25 million total for hospital improvement for state of Illinois):

Obama Requested $2 Million For The Thorek Memorial Hospital Cancer Treatment Center.

Obama Requested $1 Million For Alton Memorial Hospital To Support Its Riverbend Stroke Center.

Obama Requested $4 million For The Children's Memorial Medical Center's Electronic Medical Record Project.

Obama Requested $800,000 For A Training And Resource Center Of The Swedish Covenant Hospital

Obama Requested $2.5 Million For The Children's Hospital Of Illinois' Replacement Project.

Obama Requested $5 Million For Northwestern Memorial Hospital's Prentice Woman's Hospital.

Obama Requested $10 Million Over Four Years, Beginning With $2.5 Million In FY 2006, For The Children's Hospital of Illinois

Obama Requested $1 Million For A Community Center At The Palliative CareCenter & Hospice Of The North Shore

Let 's be honest here. 200K... (Below threshold)
LoveAmerica Immigrant:

Let 's be honest here. 200K increase after Obama became a US senator with the ability to request pork. The hospital can do without $1M and can afford $200K increase from 121K. Who are you trying to fool? THis $1M is pure pork! Again, if Michelle cares so much about the poor and the hospital, shen can give back $150K.


http://campaignspot.nationalreview.com/post/?q=OGRiMWFhNWY4MTgzMjI3NjEzNGQwMWFiMTlhYmRhN2Y=

As Byron noted, "In 2006, the Chicago Tribune reported that Mrs. Obama's compensation at the University of Chicago Hospital, where she is a vice president for community affairs, jumped from $121,910 in 2004, just before her husband was elected to the Senate, to $316,962 in 2005, just after he took office."


BTW, I also requested for o... (Below threshold)
LoveAmerica Immigrant:

BTW, I also requested for one of his big donors. there is apriori nothing wrong awarding your donors either! That 's new kind of politics? Obama and his supporters should be honest that Obama is simply another typical corrupt Chicago politician.

Again, I include the reque... (Below threshold)
erg:

Again, I include the requests made by Obama on behalf of other Illinois hospitals and others on behalf of Illinois (higher) educational efforts, including the amounts.

The request for the UofC Hospital was for $1 million. It would appear that Obama was favoring the other hospitals (hospitals which are competitors to Michelle's employer hospital, including Northwestern, which had over 5 times the UofC amount).

And which of the remaining candidates (McCain and H. Clinton) are claiming ethical foul play? Which congressmen are demanding an investigation into conflict of interest rules? NONE. (I would appreciate an explication of conflict of interest with respect to rule XXXVII since we have so many experts here on the issue.)

(Actually, if you look at the list, you might establish a connection with Bush, and perhaps throw a similar innuendo that Obama is really a Republican in disguise??? There are some very imaginative readings possible here!)

OTHER REQUESTS MADE BY OBAMA:

Obama Requested $2 Million For The Thorek Memorial Hospital Cancer Treatment Center.

Obama Requested $1 Million For Alton Memorial Hospital To Support Its Riverbend Stroke Center.

Obama Requested $4 million For The Children's Memorial Medical Center's Electronic Medical Record Project.

Obama Requested $800,000 For A Training And Resource Center Of The Swedish Covenant Hospital

Obama Requested $2.5 Million For The Children's Hospital Of Illinois' Replacement Project.

Obama Requested $5 Million For Northwestern Memorial Hospital's Prentice Woman's Hospital.

Obama Requested $10 Million Over Four Years, Beginning With $2.5 Million In FY 2006, For The Children's Hospital of Illinois

Obama Requested $1 Million For A Community Center At The Palliative CareCenter & Hospice Of The North Shore

Obama Requested $2 Million For Lewis University And Its Effort To Establish A Center For Academic And Community Learning

Obama Requested $2.5 Million For Governor's State University (GSU)To Establish A Center For Excellence In Health Professionals Education.

Obama Requested $1 Million For Chicago State University (CSU) HIV/AIDS Research Program.

Obama Requested $1.95 Million For The Will County Health Department To Support Its Mentally Ill Substance Abuse Programs

Obama Requested $6 Million For The Midwest Emergency Department Services' Rural Emergency Access Safety Net Program.

Obama Requested $700,000 For Expansion Of The Early Childhood Mental Health Consultant Project By The Illinois Department Of Public Health

Again, I show you the evide... (Below threshold)
LoveAmerica Immigrant:

Again, I show you the evidence you are trying to ignore
As Byron noted, "In 2006, the Chicago Tribune reported that Mrs. Obama's compensation at the University of Chicago Hospital, where she is a vice president for community affairs, jumped from $121,910 in 2004, just before her husband was elected to the Senate, to $316,962 in 2005, just after he took office."

Nothing illegal about what Obama is doing. But it is clearly improper, if not unethical, to use your position of power to benefit yourself. What candidate is claiming to bring ethics to gov? McCain at least didn't request porks for Arizona.

What kind of change that Obama claims to bring to Washington? This is a typical old politics of porks and corruption? What party has been so loud about money in politics and influcence buying?

If you cannot be honest about this, what else can we really be honest about?

I agree with you that "it i... (Below threshold)
erg:

I agree with you that "it is clearly improper, if not unethical, to use your power to benefit yourself." But you have not shown that Obama has used his power to benefit himself. That is what is contested here.

Obama made requests on behalf of several other Illinois hospitals to the tune of over $25 million dollars (as I listed in my earlier post), including hospitals considered to be major competitors of Michelle's employer; the Northwestern request, for instance, was for 5 times the amount.

So to insinuate that he made the request on behalf of the University of Chicago hospital because of the Michelle connection ignores the fact that he made those requests on behalf of several Illinois hospitals, none of which related in any way to Michelle. And Michelle's employer received the low end by comparison; again see my previous post for comparison of exact amounts.

Moreover, the University hospital is an internationally-renowned research center (birthplace of chemotherapy, of organ transplantation, of blood bank, etc.), which, like other respected centers, have been receiving some financial support from the government long before anybody ever even knew of Obama.

Actually, if having Michelle on staff is improper, it's wholly to the hospital's disadvantage to have Michelle since it, like others like it, relies (and has relied, for decades) on such government funding all the time.

To make the accusation that you're making (which nobody in Congress, including McCain, would challenge or has challenged as an ethics violation because it simply has no substance or truth) is possible only by ignoring these other facts.

Moreover, your so-called, cited "fact" is incorrect. You should look up:

1. Michelle's previous position and WHERE
2. Michelle's new position and WHERE
3. Date of request
4. Date of Michelle's new position

I happen to live in Hyde Park, where the University of Chicago and the University of Chicago Hospital are located. I distinguish the two because if you go the financial Annual Report available online, you'll notice that they are separated (and have been for years). They have separate web sites (for years). And if you ever try to go to any of the libraries (or any public facility) on campus, the two require different IDs. The two have different Human Resources offices.

Your "fact" assumes that she had the same position AND that she was working for the same organization. You're reading "collusion" or "conspirary" into the situation when there is none to be found. Just as there were no weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, there is no Obama conspiracy here.


Erg, Please give u... (Below threshold)
LoveAmerica Immigrant:

Erg,
Please give us your honest answer to this.

As Byron noted, "In 2006, the Chicago Tribune reported that Mrs. Obama's compensation at the University of Chicago Hospital, where she is a vice president for community affairs, jumped from $121,910 in 2004, just before her husband was elected to the Senate, to $316,962 in 2005, just after he took office."




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