(screen opens with video clip. Actor Michael Douglas is on the screen, portraying President Andrew Shepherd, in the movie "The American President".)
President Shepherd (Michael Douglas): America isn't easy. America is advanced citizenship. You gotta want it bad, 'cause it's gonna put up a fight. It's gonna say "You want free speech? Let's see you acknowledge a man whose words make your blood boil, who's standing center stage and advocating at the top of his lungs that which you would spend a lifetime opposing at the top of yours. You want to claim this land as the land of the free? Then the symbol of your country can't just be a flag; the symbol also has to be one of its citizens exercising his right to burn that flag in protest. Show me that, defend that, celebrate that in your classrooms. Then, you can stand up and sing about the "land of the free".
Thank you so much for joining us here at Headline America. I'm Mary Beth Sutter, and we are here with blogger and columnist d$ for the third of five discussions on the upcoming election and the candidacy of Senator Barack Obama (turning to me) Now that was a clip from the movie "The American President"... you're smiling and nodding, so I assume you enjoy that movie.
Very much so. Its my 29th favorite movie of all time. If Andrew Shepherd were real, I would be tempted to vote for him, despite the ACLU membership he proudly proclaims in the movie.
Even though he's a Democrat?
Well, the values and most of the ideals he portrays in this movie are moderate and some even right-leaning. He becomes the Democrat with the global warming, gun control and ACLU scenes, but for the most part, he's a guy we could like.
Do you think there should be a Constitutional Amendment flag burning? I only ask because most Republicans and Conservatives do.
No. Admittedly, I think flag burning is a stupid thing to do, really. If you hate the country enough to want to destroy its symbols, either leave or run for office and try to change things to the way you want them done. Personally, I'd rather Senator Obama have chosen the former than the latter, but that is what makes this country what it is.
That being said, don't burden the Constitution with it. I feel the same way with gay marriage. I don't agree with it, I think its wrong, but leave it out of the Constitution. Leave it out of the federal government, really. Let states decide, one by one. And when the states decide, let it be. Don't keep bringing it back up to get the results desired by the government.
Of course, there is a second part to the speech we just witnessed, is that correct? You asked that you be allowed to finish it...
Yes, there is. Watching that movie recently, I thought it would fit perfectly if you just took out the name "Rumson", played by Richard Dreyfus, and inserted Senator Obama's name in it. And then, you've got a great speech McCain should give...
"We have serious problems to solve, and we need serious people to solve them. And whatever your particular problem is, I promise you, Barack Hussein Obama is not the least bit interested in solving it. He is interested in two things and two things only: making you afraid of it and telling you who's to blame for it. That, ladies and gentlemen, is how you win elections. You gather a group of middle-aged, middle-class, middle-income voters who remember with longing an easier time, and you talk to them about family and American values and character."
Do you think John McCain can win this election? Seriously?
Absolutely. He's not leading right now, that's been made pretty clear by all the media, but I'm pretty sure its going to be closer than its being let on. Every one of my conservative friends have pretty much given up hope... even my wife has said, "Well, you know he's going to win". It seems like everyone is getting ready to do their Obama pose.
Bend over and grab your ankles.
So all is lost for the Republicans, I guess?
(smiling) No, not yet. I think it was looking pretty bad in the early stages... he wouldn't "go negative". But the thing is, telling the truth about your opponent isn't "going negative", unless your the Democrats. If your a Republican, than the Dems are trying to inform voters. If you are Democrat, then the Republicans are conducting a "smear campaign".
Lately, though, McCain and Palin both have been going after him. And that is what he needs to do--hammer away at who Obama is. At what direction Senator Obama wants this country to go in.
But every poll has Barack Obama assuming the presidency..
Very true, but almost every poll has the lead that was once double digits down to just a few points, many within the margin of error. Again, McCain is not leading, but this will not be the landslide that was predicted. Obama was campaigning in Vermont a few weeks ago--VERMONT! Shouldn't that be a state that was wrapped up long ago? I think Senator Obama is nervous, to be honest with you. He's done his very best to keep William Ayers and ACORN and Wright out of the news, but he can't hide who he really is forever.
Do you think constantly invoking the names of Ayers, or ACORN, or even Reverend Wright has helped McCain's campaign? Don't you think voters get tired of hearing those things over and over, especially when Obama hasn't done that to McCain or Palin?
First of all, McCain doesn't need Ayers or ACORN anymore, I don't think. Not now, not with the "spread the wealth" image that Obama has now gotten through his own words. I do think that McCain and Palin need to continually pound him on this, though. We need to hear Senator Obama tell this country how he plans to "spread the wealth". Through what methods he wants to take from "the rich people" and re-distribute to the "poor people", and he needs to clearly define who is "rich" and who is "poor". He won't do it, though. Senator Obama paints with broad strokes so as not to be pigeonholed into anything that might haunt him later.
That's a term we keep hearing, "spread the wealth". If I may clarify, Senator Obama's plan is not to "spread the wealth", its to help everyone get wealthy, not just those people who have money now.
Ah, see, that's the Democratic logic, isn't it? Thats what Obama wants you to think, thats what the message going out to all these high school and college students is... "I'm Barack Obama, and I'm going to help poor people", and you've got all these liberal teachers in high schools and colleges telling their students idealistic ideas of "helping the poor people", and those kids come out saying, "we've got to help poor people! People who don't have much!"
It's called Socialism. Pure and simple.
Let me stop you there, d$. That is a very strong word, Socialism, and its something that pundits, especially on the Republican side, have been tossing towards Senator Obama. Do we need to define the difference in Senator Obama's plan and actual socialism.
Fine. I'm ready for this one. (reaches down and pulls out a dictionary). Socialism... and this is important, because there are probably a lot of people out there that don't understand what this is... it says, "a theory or system of social organization that advocates the vesting of the ownership and control of the means of production and distribution, of capital, land, etc., in the community as a whole."
Simply put, a seizing of private possessions and wealth, redistributing to those with less so that everyone has close to a fair amount. And the kicker is that Senator Obama is NOT doing this for revenue, he's doing it because its FAIR. Fairness, is what he says.
And what does that mean?
It means that its not fair that someone who worked their whole life, starting out at minimum wage and moved their way up the company in 20 years and is now pulling in six figures should make that much money. Its not fair that a family who is working hard, providing for their families, should have great jobs making great incomes when so many people do not.
Here's a hypothetical. You are in a restaurant. You decide to not leave a tip, but not because of the quality of service. No, its because you notice the homeless guy on the street. You tell the waiter that, "Hey, you've got a job. You are making ends meet. You earned this money because you refilled my glass and brought me my food quickly and took care of my meal needs, but that homeless guy out there--he needs this more. He doesn't have a job. So I'm going to give it to him instead."
Oh, and one more thing. The next definition of socialism? "The stage following capitalism in the transition of a society to communism, characterized by the imperfect implementation of collectivist principles." Thought it was worth a mention.
And I'm assuming you are going to bring Joe the Plumber into this discussion. We all remember how he owns the plumbing business, and he asked about his business and taxes, and told Senator Obama how the new tax plan wouldn't help him. He has made national headlines, not only because its rumored that he's behind on his taxes, but also because he's not even a licensed plumber.
Number 1, he doesn't own the business, he wanted to buy the business, and was saving for it--and his concern was that buying the business would take him over the threshold of Obama's tax plan and hurt him severly. Number 2, he is, or was, I'm not sure, having tax problems, and Number 3, whether he's licensed or not, its not about whether Joe the Plumber has a license to re-pipe your bathtub... its about finally getting Senator Obama to admit what he is all about. Taking from those who make alot and giving it to those who don't. Making sure that achievement is punished in this country.
But didn't you find it a little suspicious? I mean, Joe the Plumber just happened to be there? Could he have been a plant to, for lack of a better term, ambush Senator Obama?
Senator Obama picked this guy out of the crowd. He found Joe, Joe wasn't called upon to ask a question in a town hall setting or something. Did you know that the media hates this guy so much, Ohio government computers were used to dig into this guy's life? They find out about and attempt to destroy the life of a plumber who dare have the audacity to challenge Senator Obama's tax plan, but you can't get one single newspaper, one single news channel to talk to Ayers, or Wright, or ACORN or anyone else.
I can imagine if Joe were a liberal, and had told Senator Obama how mean George W. Bush and his hurricane machine were making impossible for him to support his family. Democrats would have paraded him around like a sob story, and blame Republicans for his plight. But he asked the tough questions--and he must be destroyed.
I'm glad you mentioned Senator Obama's tax plan... we touched on this briefly before, and you mentioned the Bush tax cuts ending...
...which will make everyone's taxes go up, regardless of income...
...right. Well, we've heard the numbers being tossed around, and Senator Obama isn't going to tax any small business making $250,000 or under. Obama has been saying that 90% of small business fall into that catagory.
I've heard him say that, and that is an out and out lie. A complete lie. Again, I only assume Senator Obama is a very intelligent man, so I can only assume he's lying on purpose.
Let's say you run a small business, with maybe six or seven people. Add up your combined salaries, and figure how out fast $250,000 comes up. Many people think coffee shops or book stores that pay college kids $6 per hour to work there, but you have to remember, small businesses include marketing firms, public relation firms, some lawyer offices, some doctor offices, accounting firms, even some high end restaurants with expensive cooking staffs...
Senator Obama wants all the people out there who don't make that money in their business, or even in their own incomes, to think that is a huge amount of money--to some people, it is. But the US Small Business Association actually has different amounts of money as to what "qualifies" as a small business.
Well, for one, Forestry and Logging. Anything under $7 million per year income is considered small business. Fishing. $4 million. Irrigation, sewers, waterworks, $7 million
Forestry? Fishing? Are you serious?
I'm being dead serious. What about construction. According to the US SBA, any construction business that makes LESS than $33.5 million per year is considered small business. Some forms of housing contractors can make up to $14 million, and still be considered small. Car dealers? Their level is $22 to $29 million.
Now keep in mind that Senator Obama has told us over and over that 90% of small businesses make less than $250K per year. RV, motorcycles, boat dealers, $7 million. Furniture, hardware, sporting good stores, $7 million. Now I'm talking Best Buy or Circuit City, but if you are a mom & pop electronic store, you can make up to $7 million, as with pharmacies. Gas stations and supermarkets are $27 million.
Now there are alot of industries, such as manufacturers of food, beverages, apparel, print, oil, gas, plastics, plumbing, machinery, computers, on and on and on that are considered small businesses based on their total number of employees instead of average annual receipts. In those industries, the qualification line from small business to large business ranges anywhere from 500 to 1,000 employees. Now, I'm not a rocket scientist, but I'm guessing if you have 500 employees.. heck, if you have 100 employees, you are pulling in more than $250,000 per year in annual receipts.
This is A BARACK OBAMA LIE. Like many of them he has been spilling.
(Really quick... I have heard many people comment on this format of asking the questions and then answering, like in a real interview--but after this, I really don't even have a defending question about Senator Obama's tax plan for small businesses. Seriously. I've been sitting here for almost 5 minutes thinking of a way to spin this, and I can't. So I'll just go on to the next question... take it away, Mary Beth Sutter!)
What about Senator Obama's pledge to give every employer a $3,000 tax credit for each employee?
Its a joke. Its basic economics. I worked at Starbucks for over five years. Part time, hourly employees cost hundreds of dollars to train. Make it a management employee, and you are looking at possibly a thousand dollars or more to train, considering the salary-broken-into-hourly wages. Plus, if you offer benefits, you have to pay that, per employee. If you have insurance, much of it is based on the number of employees you have, and what they do. There's another cost. Then, add on the cost of any uniforms, supplies, computers and so forth... for someone that makes $35,000, it might cost the company $50,000 to employ them initially. Do you think $3,000 is going to entice anyone to hire anyone?
No, whats going to happen, and I've already been reading stories about how it is happening now, is that small businesses are discussing plans for after the election--figuring out who to lay off, figuring out how they will survive with less money and less employees. And when the people who are laid off turn to the government for help--make no mistake, this is what Senator Obama wants you to do--who's fault will it be? The small business owner.
Why do you think this $250,000 figure has been such a strong point for Senator Obama?
That $250,000 is key because he wants all of you who don't make that amount of money to think you're not going to get a tax increase. You have to remember, there is up to 35% of peole who don't pay any income taxes. Not only that, they want the rest of us to pay more. They've been told they're getting shafted. They've been told the rich are getting all the tax cuts. They have been told that the rich is getting all that wealth and prosperity out there. They pay no Federal income taxes. So they think they've been screwed, and Senator Obama is telling them that over and over.
So you are saying this is really about class warfare? Class envy?
Yeah, pretty much, as crappy as that sounds. Its about trying to make the people on the low end of the scale feel good about the people above them getting whats "coming to them". But how does that make you feel good? How do you make poor people rich by making rich people poor?
See, thats the big secret when it comes to Democrats in Congress. They don't want to lift the little guy up. They don't want to help the poor-stricken succeed, so they can be in competition with the group that is making it work. They want to push the people making it work down. Push them down to the same level as the poor-stricken, then we are all equal and all miserable and all depending on the government--and that is what socialism is all about.
We will talk more on Senator Obama's taxes, as its one of the most pressing issues in this election, but since we did promise to discuss abortion in the last segment, I wanted to go ahead and get to it...
In your opinion, should abortion be illegal?
Should or could? I mean, it should be illegal. Its murder. Could it be illegal? No, I'm not sure thats possible. If you make a blanket law across the country outlawing abortions, they'll still happen, in much less safer environments than they do now. However, I firmly believe that Roe v. Wade should be overturned. That Court decision has been turned into what amounts to a constitutional amendment in the minds of pro-choice people, guaranteeing the rights to an abortion anytime, anywhere.
I think you overturn it, pull the federal goverment out of it, and toss it back to states. Let the states decide.
Isn't that a little idealistic, though, to just overturn the law and give it to states, hoping it will turn out alright?
Might be, in some way. Bottom line is, our side--the pro-life side--has our side defined. Life begins at conception. For people who are pro-choice, including Senator Obama, they can't, or won't say. So, instead of not declaring where they think life begins, they err on the side of death.
Err on the side of death? Thats a little macabre, don't you think? I mean, that is an extreme statement, isn't it?
Not really. It is what it is. They cannot decide when to say "okay, after this point in a pregnancy, you cannot have an abortion, because the baby is now alive", so they just kill it whenever. For me, personally, I think if an abortion is to happen, it has to happen very early. I think 3rd tri-mester, or even 2nd tri-mester abortions are butchery. And there is no reason to not have a ban on partial birth abortions. I think the woman's right to choose slowly develops into the child's right to live. That line is grey for Democrats, and apparently, above Senator Obama's paygrade.
You are referring to, of course, the response Obama gave when asked that question. He did say in a meeting in Iowa last year that he feels that abortion is a personal subject and that one way to reduce abortions is to reduce unwanted pregnancies.
Thats all well and good, I'm sure, but his idea of unwanted pregnancy reduction is handing out more condoms at school. I think that abortion should be treated as a last resort operation, after the mother--which by the way, at what point does she become a mother for Democrats?--has had options like adoption presented to her. They need to be educated and counseled on the emotional toll this is going to take on them.
Well, Senator Obama has said that he opposes partial birth abortions, and thinks that states should decide for themselves.
Yes, he did say that a few years ago. Then he must have changed his mind, because in June of this year, he said that as President, he would sign the Freedom of Choice Act--legislation he co-sponsored--which would remove every ban or regulation in every state, nullify parental consent laws, any waiting periods, health and safety regulations for clinics and more. Total, unrestricted access to an abortion, anytime you want.
And honestly, the fact that Obama voted against the Born Alive bill four different times. Four. Each time, it was changed a bit to be more compromising, and he voted against it four times. This is the bill that give the child life, if the abortion is not done correctly and the baby is born alive, sometimes healthy. The Born Alive bill would ban these abortions. But not for Obama.
Well, he does have two beautiful daughters. Do you think he was trying to think of them, wanting their options to be available should something happen?
Why sure. In March of this year, he told the crowd, "Look, I got two daughters — 9 years old and 6 years old. I am going to teach them first about values and morals, but if they make a mistake, I don’t want them punished with a baby."
Punished with a baby. This is the man who might be our next president.
Coming up, we'll discuss this Constitutional argument that Senator Obama appears to have made, saying that document is "fundamentally flawed", and and on Friday, in our final segment, we'll discuss what might happen in an Obama presidency, and if the Democrats take complete control of Congress. Then we'll let d$ make his case to the American People against Barack Obama. This is Headline America, I'm Mary Beth Sutter, we'll be back.
(segment closes with another clip from The American President, with Michael J. Fox, playing Lewis Rothchild, and Michael Douglas, playing The President, onscreen)
Lewis: You have a deeper love of this country than any man I've ever known. And I want to know what it says to you that in the past seven weeks, 59% of Americans have begun to question your patriotism.
President Shepherd: Look, if the people want to listen to-...
Lewis: They don't have a choice! Bob Rumson is the only one doing the talking! People want leadership, Mr. President, and in the absence of genuine leadership, they'll listen to anyone who steps up to the microphone. They want leadership. They're so thirsty for it they'll crawl through the desert toward a mirage, and when they discover there's no water, they'll drink the sand.
President Shepherd: Lewis, we've had presidents who were beloved, who couldn't find a coherent sentence with two hands and a flashlight. People don't drink the sand because they're thirsty. They drink the sand because they don't know the difference.