Obama supporters questioning ACORN?

I am going to write some more on this topic this week, but there are Obama supporters who are questioning the ACORN connections.
Read this exchange and see what you think.
In my conversations with former Hillary supporters, I am hearing that ACORN was active on Obama’s behalf during the primaries, with ACORN busing in outside people to caucuses.
Even if you agree with Obama’s policies, these ACORN issues seem reasonable to explore. I also think they are relevant to the current economic crisis given the lobbying ACORN has done to promote unhealthy mortgages.

Obama's connection to the Democratic Socialists of America: Is it relevant?

Barack Obama’s connections to the Democratic Socialists of America (check out some of the recommended readings at this link) has been the topic of much scrutiny just in recent days. As far as I know, this was first reported by a New Zealand based libertarian blogger, New Zeal, back in January, 2008.
The New Zeal site has a weath of background on the DSA and an affiliated socialist group called the New Party. Newsbusters reports that to be an approved candidate, one had to sign a contract and agreement with the party’s socialist objectives.
Obama sought the endorsement of the New Party for his 1996 state senate race and was referred to as a member by the Populist. After his victory, the Democratic Socialist newsletter indicated that Obama attended the New Party convention to thank them for their support and help.

New Party Update
by Bruce Bentley
The Chicago New Party is increasely becoming a viable political organization that can make a different in Chicago politics. It is crucial for a political organization to have a solid infrastructure and visible results in its political program. The New Party has continued to solidify this base.
First, in relation to its infrastructure, the NP’s membership has increased since January ’95 from 225 to 440. National membership has increased from 5700 in December ’95 to 7000. Currently the NP’s fiscal balance is $7,000 and receives an average of $450/month is sustainer donations.
Secondly, the NP’s ’96 Political Program has been enormously successful with 3 of 4 endorsed candidates winning electoral primaries. All four candidates attended the NP membership meeting on April 11th to express their gratitude. Danny Davis, winner in the 7th Congressional District, invited NPers to join his Campaign Steering Committee. Patricia Martin, who won the race for Judge in 7th
Subcircuit Court, explained that due to the NP she was able to network and get experienced advice from progressives like Davis. Barack Obama, victor in the 13th State Senate District, encouraged
NPers to join in his task forces on Voter Education and Voter Registration.

Notice what Obama’s task force work was – voter education and registration. Eventually, that work was with ACORN, who is the center of fraud investigations in 10 states now.
A bit more insight into the DSA/New Party ideology can be found in their purpose statement:

The purpose of The Corporation shall be to organize the activities of the members of the Democratic Socialists of America. Its activities shall include education and advocacy. We share a vision of a humane social order based on popular control of resources and production, economic planning, equitable distribution, feminism, racial equality and non-oppressive relationships.

Back in March of this year, the DSA became aware of the flap over Obama’s connections first reported in January. Writer Bob Roman provided this perspective on interest in Obama’s DSA/New Party roots:

Obamarama
This is interesting if you’re an extreme right-wing ideologue of if you’re a DSA member. It probably doesn’t mean much for mainstream politics. Right-wing bloggers have discovered Chicago DSA’s 1996 endorsement of Obama for the Illinois State Senate and Obama’s participation that same year in a University of Chicago Young Democratic Socialists townhall meeting on “Economic Insecurity”. This news started in New Zealand (it is the world wide web indeed) where a local libertarian has been obsessing over Chicago DSA’s links to mainstream Chicago politics. The news gradually (by web standards) spread to right-wing blogs here in the States. It even managed to pop up in a few conservative mainstream venues. More recently, the conservative Accuracy In Media combined this with some juicy Communist Party associations (communist mentor unmasked!) and threw it out as an example of how the news media has a liberal bias for not reporting the story.
Of course, many right-wingers had been convinced Obama is a “socialist” already. If you’re wondering why, it’s mostly because the term “socialist” for these folks has about as much content as “fascist” does for many lefties; it’s an insult not a description. So the news from New Zealand was greeted with an “Aha” by these folks more than anything else.
Much of this noise sounds pretty nice to lefty ears; you can’t buy this kind of publicity. But as it’s all been on right-wing sites, not too many folks bother to follow up on the links, even when they were provided.
On the other hand, this ten day wonder had been pretty much ignored by the left. Until recently when In These Times ran a story warning of the eventual “Red-Boating” of Obama should he win the Democrat’s nomination for President. They probably have it wrong. For influencing more than a handful of voters, the story has no legs. But because DSA and “socialism” generally has become a hate object among the sort of folks who blow-up Federal office buildings and reproductive health clinics (or would like to), the eventual implications for Barack Obama (and for the country) may be far more serious.

Well, I don’t want to blow up any buildings or health clinics but I do think a candidate’s intellectual and political philosophy matters. I don’t hate socialists but I do not want to live in a socialist nation. As Rudolph Penner said yesterday on C-Span, capitalism is not perfect but the alternatives have been worse.
I spoke to a former Hillary support this morning who said she believes her party has been taken over by the far left wing of the party. The party has left behind the centrists. Obama’s leftist heritage matters a lot to her.
As Joe Biden said in the VP debate, “past is prologue.” What does Barack Obama’s affiliation with the far left, socialist New Party say about the prologue of an Obama administration? What in his background and political record says he will now move to the center, and unite the nation? Will someone mentored by the DSA best lead us from economic crisis?
These are fair questions and I am getting increasingly frustrated that the mainstream media will not ask the Obama campaign about these issues. If Obama has moved away from his early mentoring, I would like to hear how, why and when it happened. Wouldn’t you?

One day Obama didn't know about Ayers, the next day he thought Ayers was rehabilitated

For days, the Obama campaign said he didn’t know of Ayers’ terrorist past when he attended the political event on his behalf hosted by Ayers, today (actually tomorrow) he says he thought he was rehabilitated.
Which was it?

Democratic Platform Committee member stumps for McCain in PA, MI

This October 7th article in the (Wilkes-Barre) Times-Leader follows up Shelly Mandell’s endorsement of McCain-Palin.

Dem group backing McCain
Prominent Hillary Clinton supporter helps open Democrats for McCain headquarters in Scranton.
BILL O ’ BOYLE
SCRANTON – A major supporter of Hillary Clinton and member of the Democratic National Committee’s
Platform Committee, on Monday said the Democratic Party has nominated “the worst candidate” while
Republicans have nominated the best.
Lynn Forester de Rothschild helped open the Democrats for McCain headquarters on Main Avenue in West Scranton. About 30 supporters turned out to welcome de Rothschild and speak out for the Republican ticket.

Although I read the about the de Rothchild endorsement of McCain, I didn’t post about it at the time. What surprised me was this statement:

One organization – PUMA, which stands for Party Unity My Ass – has more than 5 million members across the country, she said. Jamie Brazil, a longtime friend of the Clintons and the Rodham family, is serving as national director of Citizens for McCain. Brazil accompanied de Rothschild on her Scranton visit.

Five. Million. Members.
Despite the size of this group and these high profile Clinton-Democratic defections, today’s Wall Street Journal minimizes this movement, even as it briefly mentions de Rothschild.
de Rothschild also spoke to veterans in Fenton, MI regarding her support for McCain. What is striking to me is where de Rothschild is going. These are small venues and small media markets, which indicates to me that her support is sincere and strong.

Presidential debate – Mortgages, taxes and Israel

Differences on many issues were clear in the debate tonight.
The three issues which stood out to me involved McCain’s plan to directly assist troubled mortgage holders, tax policy and Israel.
Question 13 on Israel was striking to me. If Israel was attacked, would the candidate commit troops to support Israel? McCain was clear that we would defend Israel. I am not sure what Obama would do based on his answer; he said he would not options off the table but he would also sit down with the Iranian president.
For readers who are keen on how the candidates stand toward Israel, I am interested in your reactions. I was surprised when Obama said this:

Now, it is true, though, that I believe that we should have direct talks — not just with our friends, but also with our enemies — to deliver a tough, direct message to Iran that, if you don’t change your behavior, then there will be dire consequences. If you do change your behavior, then it is possible for you to re-join the community of nations. Now, it may not work. But one of the things we’ve learned is, is that when we take that approach, whether it’s in North Korea or in Iran, then we have a better chance at better outcomes.

In the context of the question of whether Israel could count on US support, I think this answer might raise concerns that an Obama administration would not be a ready ally in the face of aggression toward Israel.

Obama Junior Fraternity Regiment

I do not know if Obama knows about this or had anything to do with it, but I would like to find out.

This You Tube page has some information that I cannot verify at this time but you can read it there. This is the organization which the poster of the You Tube video says is responsible: URBAN COMMUNITY LEADERSHIP ACADEMY, 1524 PASEO BLVD, 18th & Vine District, Kansas City, MO.
And then there is this video making the rounds. I am a McCain supporter but my kids are not going to sing worship songs about him.
We’re gonna change the world…
UPDATE: The teacher responsible for this video has been located and suspended from his teaching job at the school listed above. More local coverage

"Let's not overreact…" Legislators talk about Fannie and Freddie

The Wall Street Journal has done a good service and excerpted comments about Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac from legislators now leading the effort to fix things.
It is getting increasingly clear that legislators charged with oversight of the GSEs (Government Sponsored Enterprises), were so focused on making housing available that they did not heed warnings of how such manipulations altered the market. We will now pay for this.
Here is a particular telling exchange:

Senate Banking Committee, Feb. 24-25, 2004:
Sen. Thomas Carper (D., Del.): What is the wrong that we’re trying to right here? What is the potential harm that we’re trying to avert?
Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan: Well, I think that that is a very good question, senator.
What we’re trying to avert is we have in our financial system right now two very large and growing financial institutions which are very effective and are essentially capable of gaining market shares in a very major market to a large extent as a consequence of what is perceived to be a subsidy that prevents the markets from adjusting appropriately, prevents competition and the normal adjustment processes that we see on a day-by-day basis from functioning in a way that creates stability. . . . And so what we have is a structure here in which a very rapidly growing organization, holding assets and financing them by subsidized debt, is growing in a manner which really does not in and of itself contribute to either home ownership or necessarily liquidity or other aspects of the financial markets. . . .
Sen. Richard Shelby (R., Ala.): [T]he federal government has [an] ambiguous relationship with the GSEs. And how do we actually get rid of that ambiguity is a complicated, tricky thing. I don’t know how we do it.
I mean, you’ve alluded to it a little bit, but how do we define the relationship? It’s important, is it not?
Mr. Greenspan: Yes. Of all the issues that have been discussed today, I think that is the most difficult one. Because you cannot have, in a rational government or a rational society, two fundamentally different views as to what will happen under a certain event. Because it invites crisis, and it invites instability. . .
Sen. Christopher Dodd (D., Conn.): I, just briefly will say, Mr. Chairman, obviously, like most of us here, this is one of the great success stories of all time. And we don’t want to lose sight of that and [what] has been pointed out by all of our witnesses here, obviously, the 70% of Americans who own their own homes today, in no small measure, due because of the work that’s been done here. And that shouldn’t be lost in this debate and discussion. . . .

I wonder how many of those Americans now have lost those homes.
Some of my readers will assume I am posting information which makes Democrats look bad because I am a conservative. While that temptation is there, I am truly hopeful that those responsible will see why the crisis is upon us and learn from it. It is the ideas that are at issue, not the intent. The desire to promote home ownership is a good one, but the manipulation of markets to pursue that aim has been a disaster. If Chris Dodd, Barney Frank, Barack Obama, etc., articulated this for the people, this would be hopeful. However, I do not see this; in fact, here is what Barack Obama says about the crisis:

The era of greed and irresponsibility on Wall Street and in Washington has created a financial crisis as profound as any we have faced since the Great Depression.

Whose greed and irresponsibility is he talking about?
Knowing how the mess started is a big part of knowing how to get out of it.