Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Twenty Last Minute Questions for Senator Obama

Twenty Last Minute Questions for Senator Obama
Robert A. Hall

There are a few questions I wish Senator Obama would answer before the election. Doing so would really help his campaign, assuming he’s been telling us the truth. They fall under what journalists used to call “the Public’s Right to Know.”

1. Sen. McCain has promised as President he will veto any bill put on his desk that contains “earmarks,” that is, funding for special interest projects put in by individual Congressmen and Senators for their districts, regardless of party. Will you make the same promise?

2. You have said you will be a post-partisan president and will work with both parties, ending gridlock. What part of the Democrat/liberal agenda will you give up to compromise with Republicans? Or is your idea of working together that they give up all their positions and vote with the Democrats for all of the Democrat policies?

3. You have said that the Fannie Mae looters Franklin Raines, Tim Howard and Jim Johnson really don’t have a connection with your campaign. Fair enough. Will you promise that they will receive no positions in your administration?

4. I have never believed the Internet rumors that you were born outside the United States or were a Muslim. Will you instruct the clerk in Hawaii to release an original copy of your birth certificate to anyone who asks for it, to put this rumor to rest? If not, why not?

5. Republicans are claiming you won’t release any of your college transcripts? Is this true? Why not—shouldn’t the public have a right to know? Will you order their release?

6. You have said you have supported tort reform in the past. Will you fight the trial lawyers who contribute to Democrats and your own party, the leadership of which is almost completely composed of lawyers, to get a real national tort reform bill passed in order to control the costs of health care and everything else? Or may we expect to see an explosion of lawsuits under your administration?

7. I’ve read that some Democrats are calling for an across-the-board 25% cut in defense spending. Do you support that?

8. I could have qualified for a mortgage two or three times larger than I took out, and bought a much bigger home. Instead, we bought a smaller house and paid it off. Will I now be taxed to keep people in homes they couldn’t afford?

9. The Community Reinvestment Act forced banks to lend money to poor people who couldn’t afford them. Many are now in foreclosure, a contributing factor in the economic meltdown. Will you repeal this law and stop forcing banks to write bad mortgages?

10. Will your administration support racial quotas for admission to colleges and universities? Doesn’t the perception that blacks benefited from lower admission and graduation standards hurt them in the marketplace?

11. You have said the top 5% of taxpayers whose taxes you want to raise are those making over $250,000. The IRS reports that in 2006, the last year with complete numbers, the cutoff was $153,000 to be in the top 5%. Who’s lying, you or the IRS?

12. Will you promise not to pardon Tony Rezko, the Chicago fixer now in prison, who used to raise money for you, and who, by coincidence, paid full price for the lot next to your house the same day you bought it at a steep discount, from the same seller? Or has he already been promised a pardon for his silence?

13. One of the major factors in persistent poverty is young, unwed mothers. The birth rate for children born to single mothers is especially high among high school dropouts and minorities? Will you address this? How?

14. You have pledged to raise the Capital Gains Tax, popular with many voters as a way to “soak the rich.” But the history of Capital Gains Taxes is that increases drive job-creating investments out of the market, and reduce government revenue from the tax. How will you make up the revenue loss? Or will you quietly drop the plan? Would you consider increasing government revenue by decreasing the Capital Gains Tax, as JFK did?

15. Will any of the Chicago Daley Administration people be in your administration? Have you promised any favors or jobs to Mayor Daley or prominent members of his machine for his support? What steps will your administration take to clean up corruption in Chicago? Why have you never spoken out about corruption in Chicago?

16. You have promised the union bosses you will take the secret ballot on union elections away from working men and women. Will your administration vigorously prosecute intimidation and violence by union thugs against working people who vote against the unions? Will this be made a national crime, perhaps even a “hate crime”?

17. I’ve read that a young, black male in an American city is more likely to be murdered by another young black male, than a soldier serving in Iraq is likely to be killed by the enemy. Is that true? What will your administration do about gang violence, and the growing numbers of blacks murdered by blacks in Chicago and other Democrat-governed cities?

18. You have said that you want to appoint judges who are sensitive to minorities, gays and women. Will the judges you appoint decides cases on the facts and the law, or will they weight their decisions towards favored members of these groups? Will justice no longer be blind?

19. Do you support the death penalty for terrorists who murder and detonate bombs in the United States? Bill Ayers has admitted bombing the pentagon, capital and NYC Police Headquarters. Did you know that when you held a campaign function in his home, and served on boards with him? What penalty do you think he should have gotten, in a just world?

20. You are running for the top executive job in the executive branch of government. Would you explain how you have more executive experience than Governor (and former Mayor) Sarah Palin, whose experience your campaign has derided?

I could think of more, but we won’t get any answers. Such answers would have been demanded by journalists in the past. But “journalists” are now a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Obama campaign, too busy dumpster-diving in Wasilla, or interrogating Joe the Plumber over his licenses, taxes, marital problems and work history to ask tough questions of The One. So you’ll have to vote Tuesday without knowing Obama’s answers. God save the Republic.

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