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Barack Obama surrenders to Russia on
Last updated: September 17th, 2009
I blogged a couple of
weeks ago that the Obama administration was about to abandon its plans for
Third Site missile defence installations in Poland and the Czech Republic. I wrote then that “if enacted, this would represent a huge
turnaround in American strategic thinking on a global missile defence system, and a massive betrayal of two key US allies in eastern and central Europe. Such a move would significantly weaken America’s
ability to combat the growing threat posed by Iran’s ballistic missile program,
and would hand a major propaganda victory to the Russians.”
It now looks as though the president has surrendered to Russian demands to kill
off Third Site. Michael Goldfarb at The Weekly Standard is reporting that:
to reliable sources, Obama administration officials are on their way to Poland and the Czech Republic
to deliver very bad news. The administration intends to cancel completely the
missile defense sites that had been promised to these governments by the
Goldfarb also links to a post by leading defence
expert Gary Schmitt, who writes:
who’s coming to dinner (in Warsaw)?
Four senior Obama officials, including Under Secretary of State for Arms
Control Ellen Tauscher and Assistant Secretary of Defense for International
Security “Sandy” Vershbow, are apparently in the air
right now on their way to Poland. Why? If the Washington hot rumor mill is
right, to deliver the news to the Poles and then the Czechs that the administration
has decided not to go forward with a missile defense system for Europe and the
United States against the budding missile threat from Iran.”
This is bad news for all who care about the US
commitment to the transatlantic alliance and the defence
of Europe as well as the United
States. It represents the appalling
appeasement of Russian aggression and a willingness to sacrifice American
allies on the altar of political expediency. A deal with the Russians to cancel
missile defence installations sends a clear message
that even Washington
can be intimidated by the Russian bear.
What signal does this send to Ukraine,
Georgia and a host of other
former Soviet satellites who look to America and NATO for protection
from their powerful neighbour? The impending cancellation
of Third Site is a shameful abandonment of America’s
friends in eastern and central Europe, and a slap in the face for those who
actually believed a key agreement with Washington
was worth the paper it was written on.
URGENT: Pentagon confirms 'major adjustment' to Bush administration's
European missile shield, scrapping radar sites in Poland, Czech Republic that
U.S. Senate Republican Whip Jon Kyl released a
statement Thursday morning accusing the administration of caving to
"The decision announced today by the administration is dangerous and
short-sighted," the Arizona Republican said. "Not only does this
decision leave America
vulnerable to the growing Iranian long-range missile threat, it also turns back
the clock to the days of the Cold War, when Eastern Europe was considered the
domain of Russia.
This will be a bitter disappointment, indeed, even a warning to the people of Eastern Europe."
administration will abandon the anti-missile shield in Poland and the Czech
Republic that was supported by the United States
Surrender Doesn't Make Us Safer
September 17th, 2009 at 9.17am in Protect America.
Last month we reported that
news outlets in Poland were
saying that the Obama administration had made the decision to abandon our
anti-missile shield in Poland
and the Czech Republic. Today Czech Premier Jan
Fischer confirmed those reports telling reporters
that President Obama phoned him overnight to say that “his government is
pulling out of plans to build a missile defense radar
on Czech territory.”
According to the Wall Street Journal,
the Obama administration is justifying its decision on their determination that
long-range missile program hasn’t progressed as rapidly as previously
estimated. This despite the facts that:
On February 2nd, Iran
successfully launched a satellite into orbit using a rocket with technology
similar to that used in a long-range ballistic missile.
On May 20th, Iran test-fired
a 1200-mile solid-fueled two-stage ballistic missile.
On July 15th, Germany’s foreign intelligence service, BND,
announced that Iran
will be able to produce and test a nuclear weapon within six months. BND also
stated that it has “no doubt” that Iran’s missile program is aimed
solely at the production of nuclear warheads.
On August 3rd, The
Times of London reported that Western intelligence sources concluded that Iran has not only perfected the technology to
build and detonate a nuclear weapon, could assemble a weapon in just six
months, and could deliver the weapon on Iran’s Shebab-3 ballistic missile.
Just yesterday French President
Nicolas Sarkozy said: “It is a
certainty to all of our secret services. Iran is working today on a nuclear
country other than Iran that
is happy with President Obama’s decision is Russia. State Duma
foreign affairs committee head Konstantin Kosachev
told the Associated Press:
president’s decision is a well-thought (out) and systematic one. Now we can
talk about restoration of (the) strategic partnership between Russia and the United States.” But, in fact, the
missile defense capitulation is just one in a long line of Obama surrenders to Russia.
Heritage fellow Ariel Cohen explains from Moscow:
concessions the Russians pocketed, smiled, and moved on to new demands:
European security reconfiguration; additional global reserve currency which
would weaken the dollar; and a strong push-back on sanctions against the
Iranian nuclear program. …. While the Russians clearly like the better
atmospherics, and somewhat toned down the shrill anti-American rhetoric, the
Iranians and the Venezuelans, who also received Obama’s “stretched hand” and,
in case of Hugo Chavez, a pat on the back, are refusing to play ball. They,
like their friends in Moscow,
are also pocketing concessions while continuing the mischief.
to abandon the “third site” deployment of 10 missile interceptors in Poland and a radar in
the Czech Republic
violates President Obama’s pledge
to support missile defense that is “pragmatic and cost-effective.” Ground based missile defense
is effective, affordable, and available now. According to the Congressional Budget Office,
alternatives to the third site do not provide a comparable level of defense.
The CBO concluded that the estimated $9-14 billion 20-year cost of the third
site was half of the estimated costs of a sea-based alternative. Abandoning our
best missile defense option in Europe only encourages Iran to speed up their ballistic missile
program so that they can get their threat in place before a European
missile defense system is available.
The Poles and the Czechs know what it means to live under the boot of Russian
domination. The third-site issue is of huge symbolic importance to both
nations, and if Moscow emerges the victor, with
an effective veto over U.S. policy
in Europe, it would represent a massive surrender of
American strategic influence and a betrayal of two of its closest
friends in the region.
Go to 33minutes.com for more on missile
defense, the threat posed to us and our allies by nuclear
weapons, and the action plan necessary to revive a strategic missile defense
system that only America
can develop, maintain, and employ for its own defense and the peace-loving
Video: 33 Minutes Trailer
in the New Missile Age
33 Minutes: Protecting America in the New Missile Age is a one-hour documentary produced by The Heritage Foundation
that tells the story of the very real threat foreign enemies pose to every one
us. The truth is brutal - no matter where on Earth a missile is launched from
it would take 33 Minutes or less to hit the U.S. target it was programmed to
Nuclear proliferation around the world, and the threat
of a ballistic missile attack of some kind is mounting as more and more
countries obtain nuclear technology. The ongoing threat toward America is also
accelerating due to the fact that there are many rogue nations and terrorist
organizations who either have or are seeking ballistic
missiles and nuclear technology.
The challenges of protecting America
and its citizens for President Obama's administration are great. Featuring rare
footage and in-depth interviews with leading experts in the field, 33 Minutes
is the definitive documentary exposing the untold vulnerability we all face and
the action plan necessary to revive a strategic missile defense system that America
uniquely can develop, maintain, and employ for its own defense and the
peace-loving world's security.
GATES: China could undermine US military power in Pacific...
Venezuela says signs new $16B China oil deal...
'Old friends' Cuba, China strengthen ties...
says will push space program to catch up West...
Obamacare 'violates Hippocratic Oath'
Survey: 65% of physicians disapprove of health-care 'reform'
45% of doctors would quit under Obamacare
Poll contradicts AMA claims medical profession backs proposed
--Investor's Business Daily
IBD Exclusive Series:
Condition Critical: What Doctors Think About Health Reform
Two of every three practicing physicians oppose the
medical overhaul plan under consideration in Washington, and
hundreds of thousands would think about shutting down their practices or
retiring early if it were adopted, a new
IBD/TIPP Poll has found.
The poll contradicts the claims of not only the White House, but also
doctors' own lobby — the powerful American
Medical Association — both of which suggest the medical profession is behind
the proposed overhaul.
It also calls into question whether an overhaul is even doable; 72% of the
doctors polled disagree with the
administration's claim that the government can cover 47 million more people
with better-quality care at lower cost.
The IBD/TIPP Poll was conducted by mail the past two weeks, with 1,376
practicing physicians chosen randomly
throughout the country taking part. Responses are still coming in, and
doctors' positions on related topics — including
the impact of an overhaul on senior care, medical school applications and
drug development — will be covered later
in this series.
Major findings included:
• Two-thirds, or 65%, of doctors say they oppose the proposed government expansion
plan. This contradicts the
administration's claims that doctors are part of an "unprecedented
coalition" supporting a medical overhaul.
It also differs with findings of a poll released Monday by National Public
Radio that suggests a "majority of physicians
want public and private insurance options," and clashes with media
reports such as Tuesday's front-page story in
the Los Angeles Times with the headline "Doctors Go For Obama's
Nowhere in the Times story does it say doctors as a
whole back the overhaul. It says only that the AMA — the
"association representing the nation's physicians" and what
"many still regard as the country's premier lobbying
force" — is "lobbying and advertising to win public support for
President Obama's sweeping plan."
The AMA, in fact, represents approximately 18% of physicians and has been hit
with a number of defections by
members opposed to the AMA's support of Democrats' proposed health care
• Four of nine doctors, or 45%, said they "would consider leaving their
practice or taking an early retirement" if
Congress passes the plan the Democratic majority and White House have in
More than 800,000 doctors were practicing in 2006, the government says.
Projecting the poll's finding onto that
population, 360,000 doctors would consider quitting.
• More than seven in 10 doctors, or 71% — the most lopsided response in the
poll — answered "no" when asked if
they believed "the government can cover 47 million more people and that
it will cost less money and the quality of
care will be better."
This response is consistent with critics who complain that the administration
and congressional Democrats have yet to
explain how, even with the current number of physicians and nurses, they can cover more people and lower the
cost at the same time.
The only way, the critics contend, is by rationing care — giving it to some
and denying it to others. That cuts against
another claim by plan supporters — that care would be better.
IBD/TIPP's finding that many doctors could leave
the business suggests that such rationing could be more severe than
even critics believe. Rationing is one of the drawbacks associated with
government plans in countries such as
and the U.K. Stories about growing waiting lists for badly needed care,
horror stories of care gone wrong,
babies born on sidewalks, and even people dying as a result of care delayed
or denied are rife.
In this country, the number of doctors is already lagging population growth.
From 2003 to 2006, the number of active physicians in the U.S. grew by
just 0.8% a year, adding a total of 25,700
Recent population growth has been 1% a year. Patients, in short, are already
being added faster than physicians,
creating a medical bottleneck.
The great concern is that, with increased mandates, lower pay and less
freedom to practice, doctors could abandon
medicine in droves, as the IBD/TIPP Poll suggests. Under the proposed medical
overhaul, an additional 47 million
people would have to be cared for — an 18% increase in patient loads, without
an equivalent increase in doctors.
The actual effect could be somewhat less because a significant share of the
uninsured already get care.
Even so, the government vows to cut hundreds of billions of dollars from
health care spending to pay for reform,
which would encourage a flight from the profession.
today has just 2.4 physicians per 1,000 population —
below the median of 3.1 for members of the
Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, the official club of
Adding millions of patients to physicians' caseloads would threaten to
overwhelm the system. Medical gatekeepers
would have to deny care to large numbers of people. That means care would
have to be rationed.
"It's like giving everyone free bus passes, but there are only two
buses," Dr. Ted Epperly, president of the American
Academy of Family
Physicians, told the Associated Press.
Hope for a surge in new doctors may be misplaced. A recent study from the
Association of American Medical
Colleges found steadily declining enrollment in medical schools since 1980.
The study found that, just with current patient demand, the U.S. will
have 159,000 fewer doctors than it needs by
2025. Unless corrected, that would make some sort of medical rationing or
long waiting lists almost mandatory.
Experiments at the state level show that an overhaul isn't likely to change
On Monday came word from the Massachusetts Medical Society — a group
representing physicians in a state that
has implemented an overhaul similar to that under consideration in Washington
— that doctor shortages remain
a growing problem.
Its 2009 Physician Workforce Study found that:
• The primary care specialties of family medicine and internal medicine are
in short supply for a fourth straight year.
• The percentage of primary care practices closed to new patients is the
highest ever recorded.
• Seven of 18 specialties — dermatology, neurology, urology, vascular surgery
and (for the first time) obstetrics-gynecology, in addition to family and
internal medicine — are in short supply.
• Recruitment and retention of physicians remains difficult, especially at
community hospitals and with primary care.
A key reason for the doctor shortages, according to the study, is a
"lingering poor practice environment in the state."
In 2006, Massachusetts
passed its medical overhaul — minus a public option — similar to what's being
proposed on a
national scale now. It hasn't worked as expected. Costs are higher, with
insurance premiums rising 22% faster than in
as a whole.
"Health spending in Massachusetts is
higher than the United
States on average and is growing at a
according to a recent report from the Urban Institute.
Other states with government-run or mandated health insurance systems,
including Maine, Tennessee
have been forced to cut back services and coverage.
This experience has been repeated in other countries where a form of
nationalized care is common. In particular,
many nationalized health systems seem to have trouble finding enough doctors
to meet demand.
a lack of practicing physicians means the country has had to import thousands
of foreign doctors to care for
patients in the National Health Service.
"A third of (British) primary care trusts are flying in (general
practitioners) from as far away as Lithuania, Poland,
Germany, Hungary, Italy and Switzerland" because of a doctor shortage, a
recent story in the British Daily Mail
British doctors, demoralized by long hours and burdensome rules, simply
refuse to see patients at nights and
Likewise, Canadian physicians who have to deal with the stringent rules and
income limits imposed by that country's national health plan have emigrated
in droves to other countries, including the U.S.
Tomorrow: Why most doctors oppose the government's plan — in their own words.
tax disguised as 'cap-and-trade'
Analyst: Typical American family will see minimum hike of
$1,761 per year
warn cap-and-trade bill slams taxpayers
discussions of what they are telling each other'
Sunstein: 'Desirable' to give
U.S. wealth to poor nations
Regulatory chief echoes ousted Van Jones
on promotion of 'environmental justice'
Cass Sunstein wants to spread America's
Echoes Van Jones on using 'environmental justice' to
September 16, 2009
8:25 pm Eastern
By Aaron Klein
© 2009 WorldNetDaily
JERUSALEM – It is "desirable" to redistribute America's wealth to poorer nations,
argued President Obama's newly confirmed regulatory czar, Cass Sunstein.
According to Sunstein, global climate change is primarily
the fault of U.S.
behavior and can, therefore, be used
as a mechanism to redistribute the country's wealth.
The argument bears striking
resemblance to comments made by Obama's former environmental adviser, Van
Jones. WND reported Jones used a major environmental convention to argue for
Now WND has learned Sunstein
made similar, more extensive arguments.
The Obama czar penned a 2007 University of Chicago Law
School paper – obtained and
reviewed by WND – in which he debated whether America
should pay "justice" to the world by entering into a compensation agreement that
would be a net financial loss for the U.S.
Sunstein heavily leans on the side of such an agreement, particularly a
worldwide carbon tax that would
heavily tariff the U.S.A prominent theme throughout Sunstein's
39-page paper, entitled "Climate Change Justice," maintains U.S.
wealth should be redistributed to poorer nations. He uses terms such as
"distributive justice" several times. The paper was written with
fellow attorney Eric A. Posner.
"It is even possible that desirable redistribution
is more likely to occur through climate change policy than otherwise, or to be
accomplished more effectively through climate policy than through direct
foreign aid," wrote Sunstein.
He posited: "We agree that if the United States does spend a great
deal on emissions reductions as part of an international agreement, and if the
agreement does give particular help to disadvantaged people, considerations of
distributive justice support its action, even if better redistributive
mechanisms are imaginable.
"If the United States agrees to participate
in a climate change agreement on terms that are not in the nation's interest,
but that help the world as a whole, there would be no reason for complaint,
certainly if such participation is more helpful to poor nations than
conventional foreign-aid alternatives," he wrote.
Sunstein maintains: "If we care about social welfare, we should
approve of a situation in which a wealthy nation is willing to engage in a degree of
self-sacrifice when the world benefits more than that nation loses."
Sunstein is not the only Obama czar to make such an argument. Jones made
similar remarks before he resigned earlier this month after WND exposed he is an admitted
Two weeks before Jones started his White House job in March,
he delivered the keynote address at Power Shift '09, billed as the largest
youth summit on climate change in history. A reported 12,000 young people were
at the D.C. Convention Center for the event.
During his speech, available on YouTube, Jones used terms such as "eco-apartheid" and
"green for some," and preached about spreading the wealth while
positing a call to "change the whole system."
In one section of his 29-minute speech, Jones referenced
"our Native American brothers and sisters" who, he claimed, were
"pushed," "bullied," "mistreated" and
"shoved into all the land that we didn't want."
"Guess what?" Jones continued. "Give them
the wealth! Give them then wealth! No justice on stolen land ... we owe them a debt."
"We have to create a green economy, that's true,
that's true. But we have to create a green economy that Dr. King would be proud
of," Jones exclaimed.
ACORN employee hard
Posted: September 17,
1:00 am Eastern
By Joel Barbee
Valerie Jarrett: The next Van Jones
Ben Johnson profiles woman who claims to have 'mind meld' with
Valerie Jarrett: The Next Van Jones By: Ben Johnson
FrontPageMagazine.com | Monday, September 14, 2009
Many have wondered how ANYONE AS EXTREME
AS Obama’S “Green Jobs Czar” Van Jones – a self-described “Communist” obsessed with racial
conspiracy theories – could have been named to head a federal agency. David
Horowitz described the radicalization of the Democratic Party
as the appointment’s subtext. Closer to the fore, Jones owed his elevation to
another new factor: the unparalleled influence of Valerie Jarrett. To call
Jarrett a presidential adviser, even a close adviser, is misleading. She is an
alter ego, an inner conscience, a touchstone of clarity for both President
Obama and first lady Michelle. In the frenzy of the presidency, she reminds
both Obamas of their identity and deepest-held
beliefs. In exchange, the president makes no decision without her and has said
she can “speak for me.” Unfortunately, she is also a racially polarizing
elitist. She obtained her first foothold in Chicago politics through the patronage of a
former SDS radical who regrets “nothing” about her role in the Days of Rage and
ventured in 2003 that she “would probably reject violence as a useful form of
revolution.” The same radical tried to persuade Rod Blagojevich to name Jarrett
to Obama’s empty senate seat. Instead, Jarrett has served as a conduit of
far-leftists into the administration.
“We Have Kind of a Mind Meld”
One thing is beyond
question: Jarrett’s unprecedented sway over the president. An Obama 2008
campaign official told the New York Times, “If you
want him to do something, there are two people he’s not going to say no to:
Valerie Jarrett and Michelle Obama.” Susan Sher, who
helped Jarrett recruit Michelle Obama to the Chicago mayor’s office before
Michelle married the president, said, “I don’t think either of them [the Obamas] made major decisions without talking to her,” adding that Jarrett failed to appreciate “how
incredibly instrumental she’ll be in virtually everything” in the White House.
The president confirms
Jarrett’s tremendous cache with him, personally and politically. In July, Obama told New York Times reporter Robert
Draper, “I trust her completely…She is family.” Obama trusts Jarrett “to speak
for me, particularly when we’re dealing with delicate issues.” When asked, he
admitted he runs every decision by her.
If Jarrett failed to
anticipate her power, she acknowledges her closeness to the leader of the free
world. “We have kind of a mind meld,” Jarrett said about Obama. “And chances
are, what he wants to do is what I’d want to do.” Chicago tycoon Martin Nesbitt identified the
source of Jarrett’s power in the fact that she establishes both Michelle and Barack’s “whole notion
of authenticity.” Nesbitt relates she channels the Obamas’
inner voice, telling them: “That’s not you. You wouldn’t say that. Somebody
else is saying that. Barack Obama wouldn’t say that.” Jarrett admitted to Vogue, “I kind of know
what makes them who they are.”
Part of who Jarrett is
can be seen in her obsession with racial issues. After the Jeremiah Wright
tapes threatened to sink his campaign, it was Jarrett who encouraged Barack to give his “race speech” at
Constitution Hall (the speech that sent the infamous thrill up Chris Matthews’
leg). African-American administration staffers have said without her patronage “their opinions and
the often-legitimate concerns voiced by black leaders like [Al] Sharpton would have been thoroughly disregarded by
the white-dominated senior staff.” (Emphasis added.) A black staffer claimed
“there’s a cultural nuance” white Obama officials “just didn’t get.” If so,
it’s not for Jarrett’s lack of hectoring. When Robert Gibbs tried to downplay
Obama’s statement that Republicans were emphasizing that Obama “doesn’t look like all those other
presidents on the dollar bills,” Jarrett instructed white staffers, “You
guys, you’re not getting this issue right.” After
Jarrett’s intervention, the allegedly post-racial candidate Obama brought the
white staff into line, telling them they were too “gun-shy on race issues.” A
campaign source revealed, “moving forward, the candidate made it
very clear to us that we were just a bunch of white people who didn’t get it –
which, by the way, was true.”
After the inauguration,
Jarrett successfully pushed to loosen restrictions barring officials from meeting with
lobbyists, a rule enshrined in Obama’s executive memo on the Recovery Act, for
fear other “legitimate” concerns – raised by “civil rights organizations whose
directors happen to be registered lobbyists – will not be heard.”
Without her patronage,
it seems Van Jones would not be heard. A White House official told Politico Jones “did not go through
the traditional vetting process”; instead, Jarrett interviewed Jones, a signal she bucked for his
appointment. Jarrett gushed to the Netroots Nation
conference: “We were so delighted to be able to recruit
him into the White House. We were watching him…for as long as he’s been active
out in Oakland.
And all the creative ideas he has. And so now, we have captured that, and we
have all that energy in the White House.”
Jarrett lobbied Obama
to create the office of Chief Diversity Officer within the FCC, a position
filled by Mark Lloyd, an Alinskyite and former senior fellow at the Center for American Progress, who appears fixated on silencing conservative talk radio. Her intent, according to some, was to
change policy by altering the structure of the FCC. Jarrett also helped recruit
Cass Sunstein, who believes in the Fairness Doctrine,
has argued we should “celebrate tax day,” and believes animals should have legal standing
to sue humans. (This is a growing movement on the Green Left. As I note in chapter seven of my book Teresa Heinz Kerry’s Radical
the Heinz Endowments gave $25,000 to the Community Environmental Legal Defense
Fund, which complains that “trees and forests and streams and cougars and bears
– they have no rights under our structure of governance.”) As David Horowitz
has noted, Saul Alinsky wrote, “From the moment an
organizer enters a community, he lives, dreams, eats, breathes, sleeps only one
thing, and that is to build the mass power base of
what he calls the army.” Part of that motion involves burrowing into existing structures
and changing them from the inside out – as has been done in academia, the major
tax-exempt foundations, the Democratic Party, and now the U.S.
Who is Valerie Jarrett?
Part of Jarrett’s
identification with the president is her international childhood and experience
as an African-American growing up abroad. She was born in Shriaz, Iran,
to a renowned physician father and spent the first five years of her life in Iran. There,
she said, she was treated as an American, not an African-American. Her family
lived in London for one year before settling in Chicago’s elite neighborhood, Hyde
Park, where she was teased for both her race and British accent.
Chicago-based journalist Lynn Sweet reports, “In the manner of privileged Hyde
Park-Kenwood children from smart families, Jarrett went to the exclusive University of Chicago Lab
School before transferring to her mother’s alma mater, Northfield Mt.
Hermon, in western Massachusetts for the last two years of high
school.” After graduating from the University
of Michigan Law School, she went to
work for Chicago’s
first African-American mayor, Harold Washington, whose election many Sixties
radicals attributed to themselves. After Washington’s death in 1987, she stayed on
under his successor, Richard Daley. In City Hall, she and her colleague Susan Sher recruited Michelle Robinson, then
engaged to Barack Obama, and Jarrett quickly melded her way into their lives.
administration in-fighting, Jarrett continued to serve Daley in a different
capacity and found a job at Habitat, a real estate firm headed by Daniel Levin.
(Daniel is the cousin of Sen. Carl Levin and Rep. Sander Levin of Michigan.) Michelle Malkin has noted the tracts of public housing – including
that bearing the name of her grandfather – have deteriorated after being run by Habitat. Although the New York Times lists
the stint as “baggage,” it proved profitable, and she has gone on
to sit on numerous corporate, civic, and academic boards.
Sweet noted to whom
Jarrett owed much of her success: “Activist public affairs consultant with
close ties to City Hall Marilyn Katz introduced Jarrett to Levin.”
With a Little Help from
my (Radical) Friends
Who is this person to whom Jarrett is so indebted – and who, we
shall see, she calls a personal friend? Marilyn Katz provided “security” for Students for a Democratic Society at the 1968 Democratic Convention.
policeman William Frapolly told prosecutors that
during the Days of Rage, Katz showed protesters a new weapon to use against the police: “a cluster of
nails that were sharpened at both ends, and they were fastened in the center.”
Police later reported being hit by golf balls with nails through them, as
well as excrement. Years later, Katz would insist her “guerrilla nails” were merely “a
defensive weapon” to prevent “possible bad behavior by the police.”
The SDS soon imploded. Bill Ayers – whom Katz has known since he was 17 – helped create the
terrorist Weather Underground from its ranks. In 1971-2, Katz would lead
another remnant to form the New American Movement (NAM),
a combined Old Left-New Left organization that included Communist Party USA members from the 1930s. Rabbi
Michael Lerner was among its early founders, though he left to start his own
organization. (His reaction when David Horowitz rebuffed his
recruitment efforts is described in Radical Son, p. 274.) NAM’s primary political text, entitled Basic Marxism:
What It Is & How to Use It, revealed the group’s devotion to Gramsci. For most of the Seventies, the
organization’s local chapters ran socialist “schools” open to the public with
little national structure. The L.A. school
listed as the first point in NAM’s “basic perspective”: its belief “that a socialist revolution
will be necessary to solve the problems of the U.S.” NAM
declared its “solidarity
with the Third World grew out of a correct reaction to United States
chauvinism.” A 1973 NAM manifesto declared: “We admire, and draw inspiration
from, many accomplishments from the Russian, Chinese, Cuban and Vietnamese
revolutions…as representing, on balance, very positive steps forward in human
history…we deeply value Lenin’s contributions to revolutionary theory and
practice…We identify with Lenin’s revolutionary spirit and determination;
we agree with his critique of mechanistic determinism and economism,
his writings on the nature of the state, his approach to creating a
‘revolutionary alliance of the oppressed,’ and his treatment of nationalism and
imperialism.” Katz, through NAM, founded the Reproductive Rights National
Network in 1977-8. A sympathetic author summed up R2N2’s motivation: “The long-term goal was
to develop an ‘offensive movement’ [against the pro-life movement] that could
fight for a more comprehensive set of demands as the conditions for ‘free
choice,’ including child care, national health-care, high-quality education,
and guaranteed income.” Sound familiar?
NAM’s local chapters merged with Michael
Harrington’s Democratic Socialist Organizing Committee (DSOC) in 1983 to form
the Democratic Socialists of America.
That year, Katz became an organizational entrepreneur herself, founding MK Communications, Inc., a public
relations firm. Its clients include the ACLU, Amnesty International, Chicagoans Against War & Injustice,
Harold Washington 1983-1987 Mayoral Campaign, Lloyd Doggett’s senate campaign, Human Rights Watch, Illinois Campaign for Choice, Illinois
Coalition Against the Death Penalty, the socialist publication In These
Times, the MacArthur Foundation, Mother Jones, National Community Development Initiative
(for the Rockefeller Foundation), UAW Local 719, and numerous City of Chicago
accounts. Katz did spin for the developers of the “Presidential
Towers,” a HUD-financed yuppie-heaven which moved homeless out of Skid Row in
hopes of moving the upper middle class into their place. The new Mayor Daley’s
rapprochement with SDS nail-throwers became most conspicuous in 1996, when he, Katz, and the Chicago Seven did PR for the 1996 Democratic National
Convention, which returned to Chicago.
The Chicago Tribune’s John Kass reported, even as he laid
off 1,000 city workers, he gave “Katz and other public relations firms
five-year contracts that could pay them as much as $5 million each.” As part of
Katz’s work for the city, she wrote press releases for the Chicago Transit Authority, then
headed by Jarrett.
Katz had a few other noteworthy clients: Project Vote, the ACORN-affiliated voter registry that
first brought Barack Obama to Chicago as a “communist organizer”; the Habitat Company;
The Joyce Foundation, on whose board Obama sat; and History
Makers, which interviewed Valerie Jarrett, her mother, and her father-in-law.
Katz called on her radical rolodex in 2002, when she
and former national secretary Carl Davidson started Chicagoans Against
the War in Iraq.
(He and and Tom Hayden founded the Venceremos
Brigades, a joint triumph of Cuban intelligence and the KGB. In
1992, he joined the Committees of Correspondence, now known as Committees of Correspondence for
Democracy and Socialism. He has also been active nationally with United for Peace and Justice. In December 2008, Katz was also elected to UFPJ’s national steering
committee.) Katz and Bettylu Saltzman organized the
2002 antiwar demonstration where the little-known state senator Obama gave his
famous speech opposing the Iraq war, calling it a “stupid” war, and a
conspiracy by Karl Rove to “distract” from the (by then recovering) economy.
This speech made Obama the choice of his party’s left-wing in 2008.
Katz knew of Obama politically and through Valerie Jarrett.
Davidson, too, knew of Obama, writing on the Marxism Mailing List he had “known
Obama from the time he came to the New Party to get our endorsement for his
first race ever. I've been in his home, and as an IL legislator, he's helped or
community technology movement a number of times.” He later assessed an Obama economic
speech, finding, “I probably couldn't written a better
one myself.” Together, he and Katz wrote the book Stopping War, Seeking Justice: Essays in a Time of Empire.
Now a longtime beneficiary of Democratic spoils, Katz put her new
organization to work for the party. CAWI – which lists “allies” like MoveOn.org, Code Pink, International ANSWER,
Rainbow/PUSH Coalition, and the World Can’t Wait – trained 200 people to register voters in 2003.
Katz and Davidson wrote an article, “From Protest to Politics,” urging radicals to support Democrat John Kerry.
Four years later, in a blog entry adorned with a picture of Barack Obama, Davidson urged readers of the CAWI
homepage to “[b]reak decisively with the ultraleft mindset, in order to deepen and broaden
left-progressive unity.” Davidson later attempted to defend Obama, writing:
Obama is a decent
liberal out of the Alinksky [sic.]
tradition of community organizers. Everyone knows there's nothing Marxist about
Alinsky. I’m simply an acquaintance of Obama, meeting
him three times for a few minutes over 15 years…Harold Washington's movement,
for instance, was launched by Black nationalists and independent Black
Democrats, hardly “connected” to the socialist left. Obama really does have
mentors, but certainly not me…It’s two very tough,
accomplished, influential and smart Black liberal women, Valerie Jarrett and
If Katz’s tactics have changed, her underlying ideology has not.
In the article, Katz and Davidson agreed: “it is true that the next president of
will represent one or another imperialist grouping…We should do this without
illusions. The day after Bush’s defeat, the U.S. will still be an imperialist
power.” (Emphasis added.)
Last August, Katz and her old SDS comrade Don Rose (who mentored David Axelrod, another friend of Katz) met with In These Times to discuss
the 40th anniversary of the Days of Rage. When asked if they learned
anything from the violence, she first charged the FBI with having 28 Black
Panthers “assassinated,” calling the mythical murders “a wakeup call where we
saw the underbelly of our own country.” She then offered her takeaway from 40
years’ reflection on the rebellion she led: “I would have to say for me permanently,
I would probably reject violence as a useful form of
Asked whether she regretted her actions “in this age of
terrorism,” she replied, “I regret nothing.”
Katz: Obamas’ Friend, Blagojevich’s
Katz is not merely a
friend of Jarrett’s but also both Obamas. The
president met Katz through his first job at a law firm run by Judd Miner. The New
York Times reports Katz “gave him entry into another activist
network: the foot soldiers of the white student and black power movements that
helped define Chicago
in the 1960s.” Michelle Obama has close social ties with her, as well.
Biographer Liza Mundy quotes Katz as saying the moment Jarrett
introduced Michelle Obama to her friends, Michelle “was recognized as brilliant
and beautiful, and immediately accepted into a very sophisticated social
circle.” Mundy writes Michelle “and Barack…enjoyed a range of relations with
people who shared their lifestyle, as well as their progressive views and
political involvement. ‘These are folks,’ says Marilyn Katz, a member of their
social circle, ‘who talk to their friends a number of times a day.” Mundy
describes a May 2008 fundraiser for DSA member Rep. Jan Schakowsky, which Katz
attended and Michelle Obama addressed.
From their common social
circle, Katz was welcomed into the Obama campaign. Like Code Pink radical Jodie Evans, Marilyn Katz became a bundler for Obama, as well as a member of his national finance
committee. According to Public Citizen, Katz raised at least $50,000 for Obama ‘08.
After seeing one friend
elevated to power, the graying radical tried to convince disgraced Illinois governor Rod Blagojevich to appoint Valerie
Jarrett to Obama’s open U.S.
Senate seat. The Times describes Katz as “a friend” of Jarrett’s who
encouraged Jarrett to step out of Obama’s shadow and “be the sun.” Katz tried
to schedule lunch with the governor’s wife, Patti, to
advocate for her friend’s appointment. When that failed to materialize, Rod
Blagojevich writes in his new book, Katz contacted the
governor and “indicated that if I appointed Valerie Jarrett to the U.S. Senate,
the Obama people would help me raise money from their network of contributors
across the country.” Federal investigators allege an unnamed individual
suggested a three-way deal for Blagojevich to appoint Jarrett to the
seat, take a position with the SEIU-affiliated “Change to Win” labor coalition,
and then have President Obama bolster the organization.
came of Katz’s overture. Jarrett opted to stay in the White House. (Why would
she want a demotion?) In late July, Katz joined Jarrett and Sher
at the Obama administration’s celebration of the 37th anniversary of
Katz, the unrepentant ‘60s nail-tosser, now has a
well-placed patron and a history as part of the first family’s inner circle.
All three are indebted to her, literally or figuratively, and she enjoys their
affections. Though she is the most disturbing to come to light, she is hardly
Jarrett’s only extremist influence.
It Runs in the Family
Her late father-in-law, Vernon Jarrett, was a pioneering black
journalist in “negro” newspapers, After graduating from Knoxville College,
Vernon Jarrett started at The Chicago Defender in 1946, where he wrote
columns extolling Communist poet Langston Hughes and lifelong Stalinists W.E.B. DuBois
and Paul Robeson. (Obama would write in Dreams of My Father that “I sought in myself, the
attributes of Martin and Malcolm [X], DuBois and
Mandela.”) A contemporary writer at Kansas City Star asserts by 1948 Jarrett “had been forced out [of journalism] by the Cold War, the
Red scare and racism.” He freelanced at Kansas City’s
The Call from 1954-58, then returned to Chicago to become
the first nationally syndicated black columnist for the Chicago Tribune,
and still later wrote for the Chicago Sun-Times. Valerie married
his son, William Robert Jarrett, who preceded his father in death.
Together, they had a daughter, who now attends Harvard. The elder Jarrett may
have been part of his daughter-in-law’s rise through Chicago’s political ranks. The Washington
Post called Jarrett “a key influence in [Harold] Washington's decision to run for the Chicago mayoralty.”
Vernon Jarrett later wrote of another up-and-coming political figure in the Chicago
Good news! Good news! Project Vote, a
collectivity of 10 church-based community organizations dedicated to black
voter registration, is off and running. Project Vote is increasing its rolls at
a 7,000-per-week clip. Just last Saturday it registered 2,000 during the Chicago Defender's annual
Bud Billiken Parade. But now, the not-so-good news:
If Project Vote is to reach its goal of registering 150,000 out of an estimated
400,000 unregistered blacks statewide, “it must average 10,000 rather than
7,000 every week,” says Barack Obama, the program's executive director…”There's
a lot of talk about `black power' among the young but so little action.”
When Vernon died in 2004, he was saluted in the pages of People’s Weekly Worker, the house
organ of the Communist Party USA.
A final point of confluence, perhaps more fortuitous than anything: Vernon
Jarrett once sat on a union publicity committee with Frank Marshall Davis, the Communist poet who occasionally counseled…the young Barack Obama.
Valerie Jarrett had more immediate radical ties. Her mother, Barbara Taylor Bowman, co-founded Her mother, Barbara Taylor Bowman, co-founded the Erickson Institute in Chicago and still serves on its Board of Trustees. Tom Ayers, the father of Bill Ayers, was
a one-time fellow trustee. According to WorldNet Daily’s Brad O’Leary, the Erickson board also
included Bill Ayers’ wife, Bernadine Dohrn. For his
part, Bill Ayers called Bowman “a neighbor and friend” in his book A Kind and Just Parent, noting his neighbors include Louis
Farrakhan (whose guard, The Fruit of Islam, patrols the neighborhood and “has
an eye on things twenty-four hours a day”), and “writer Barack Obama.”
Mr. Obama’s Neighborhood
Perhaps this last reference is the key to understanding Jarrett
and the Obamas: their common formation by Chicago’s elite Hyde Park
neighborhood. The University
of Chicago essentially
created the neighborhood from scratch, driving out its poor (and middle class)
residents, of all races, and creating a chic atmosphere of cultural elitism.
This bubble reflected the far-Left bubble of modern academia – though it would
not hurt Obama’s political fortunes. Katz would tell In These Times, “I believe that Barack Obama could only
have emerged in Chicago,” because of its
longtime confluence of radical organizations, culminating in Washington’s mayoralty.
One of Obama’s neighbors, the late, left-wing Rabbi Arnold Wolf – a Democratic Socialist who once invited the Chicago 7 to address his synagogue – described the Hyde Park environment and Obama’s
place in it to The Weekly Standard. “We had a party for him at our house
when he was just starting, back in the Nineties. I said right away: ‘Here’s a
guy who could sell our product, and sell it with splendor!’” And what is the Hyde Park “product,” the reporter asked? “It’s a
rational, progressive philosophy based on experience. You see it here. This
neighborhood is genuinely integrated. We did it here, we really did it! Not
just talk about it. Look around. And Barack and his family fit right in. This
is their neighborhood.” He then referred to Bill Ayers as “an aging, toothless
radical, a pussycat,” and Dohrn as “thoroughly
conventional, just very nice.”
That’s Jarrett’s product, and Obama’s. An international, rootless
wanderer abandoned by his father, and occasionally his mother, in search of
authenticity, he never felt at home until he found his roots, and himself, in
the milieu of Hyde Park – a neighborhood big enough to encompass everyone from
Marilyn Katz to Bill Ayers, from Tony Rezko’s vacant
adjoining property to Louis Farrakhan’s wandering “security” force.
And Valerie Jarrett.
Is this what Jarrett reminds the Obamas
of: the neighborhood that has been the president’s only true home and shaped or
reinforced their values and identity? An elitist sanctuary of pampered
radicals, racists, and terrorists, liberated of working class stiffs who
bitterly cling to their guns and religion?
Increasingly, it seems as though this is what “makes them who they
are,” and is becoming the atmosphere Obama, with Jarrett’s help, is recreating
in his administration.
THE OTHER RUSH
circle the wagons
Erik Rush rips 'rapacious oligarchs'
in Congress, 'criminals' in Obama administration
'There you go again, Jimmy'
GOP strategist: Carter used same tactic against Reagan during