Why the Obamas don't advertise their standard of living

By Jack Kelly

Jack Kelly, a former Marine and Green Beret, was a deputy assistant secretary of the Air Force in the Reagan administration

Campaigning for her husband in Zanesville before the Ohio primary, Michelle Obama described to a group of women how hard it had been for her and Barack to make ends meet:

"We spend between the two kids, on extracurriculars outside the classroom, we're spending about $10,000 a year on piano and dance and sports supplements. And summer programs...Do you know what summer camp costs?"

The burden was especially heavy because she and Barack had to repay the student loans for college and law school at Princeton and Harvard:    "The salaries don't keep up with the cost of paying off the debt, so you're in your 40s, still paying off your debt at a time when you have to save for your kids," Michelle Obama said.

Actually, Michelle's salary has kept up pretty well. The University of Chicago Hospital, where she is vice president for community affairs, bumped her pay from $121,910 in 2004 to $316,962 after her husband was elected to the U.S. Senate that year. National Review's Byron York, who covered her remarks at the Zanesville Day Nursery, noted that her new salary is roughly ten times the median household income in Muskingham County.

The Obamas also have Barack's salary as a U.S. Senator ($169,300), royalties from his two best selling books, and an undisclosed amount of income from her service on six corporate boards. But this hasn't brightened Michelle's outlook:    "We have become a nation of struggling folks who are barely making it every day," Michelle had said at a black church in South Carolina in January. "Folks are just jammed up, and it's gotten worse over my lifetime . . . The life that I'm talking about that most people are living has gotten progressively worse since I was a little girl."

Mrs. Obama was counting her husband and herself among the folks who are just jammed up, reported Lauren Collins of the New Yorker, who was at the Pee Dee Union Baptist Church in Cheraw when Michelle spoke there.   "You're looking at a young couple that's just a few years out of debt," Mrs. Obama said. "See, because we went to these good schools, and we didn't have trust funds."

It is, apparently, America's fault that the Obamas didn't have trust funds, and unfair that they had to repay their student loans. We're a country that is "just downright mean," Mrs. Obama said.

It is true that some people in America are having trouble making ends meet. Some people in America always are having trouble making ends meet. But what Michelle Obama said is astounding.

She was born in 1964. At the time, segregation was still legal. Governors in Alabama, Arkansas and Mississippi stood in schoolhouse doors to prevent blacks from attending college.

"The per capita income of African-Americans has risen sixteen-fold over the last 40 years," noted John Podhoretz of Commentary. "Black home ownership has risen tenfold. The black poverty rate has declined from 75 percent to 25 percent." But this is, I suppose, meaningless if you think piano lessons and summer camp are among the things government should guarantee everyone. Whatever gratitude Michelle Obama has for the opportunities America has provided her are overwhelmed by her resentment that some others have more than she does.

Husbands and wives often have different political views, so we should not assume Barack shares the chip on Michelle's shoulder.

But "Spengler," the erudite cynic who writes for the Asia Times, thinks the women in his life are a clue to the inner Barack. His mother, Ann Dunham, was a communist sympathizer, he noted. A childhood mentor who Barack praised in his autobiography was Frank Marshall Davis, a prominent member of the Communist Party USA. "Radical anti-Americanism, rather than Islam, was the reigning faith in the Dunham household," Spengler said.

"Barack Obama is a clever fellow who imbibed hatred of America with his mother's milk, but worked his way up the elite ladder of education and career," Spengler said. "He has the empathetic skill set of an anthropologist who lives with his subjects, learns their language, and elicits their hopes and fears while remaining at an emotional distance. That is, he is the political equivalent of a sociopath."

Spengler's is a minority view. But if he's right, we shouldn't wonder why Barack won't wear an American flag pin in his lapel.



Demcrat candidates at a Steak Fry in Indianola, IA, during the playing of our National Anthem.

The above is a photo that was reported to be credited to an edition of 'Time." It shows several of the 2008 Democrat candidates at a Steak Fry by Sen. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa) on September 17, 2007, in Indianola, Iowa. The photo was said to be taken during the playing of our National Anthem, the same song as mentioned in the above story . . . read source

So what should Americans look for in the role model that is going to lead our military as president starting January 20th of 2009?

In the end, you have to decide. But here are some comments from the pastor, Jeremiah Wright, of the church Obama has attended for 20 years. The pastor's comments may explain the real reason Obama will not wear a flag pin on his jacket or put his hand over his heart during the playing of the national anthem, as shown above. It may prove again you really are what you eat. (Please wait for national anthem to stop playing or use audio controls at the bottom of page before clicking on the above two links.) Now Obama said he didn't know, but a freelance reporter at a service says he did.

- Picture of Che flag hanging in Obama's office sends 'disturbing' message -

The United States Flag Code

History of the Star Spangled Banner

Marion, left, 12, sings the national anthem of Honduras with other children at a Texas shelter. On behalf of President Bush and the nation, I want to thank you for helping us celebrate the lives of those we lost on September 11.
Marion, left, 12, sings the national anthem of Honduras with other children at a Texas shelter. "I thought, 'How can a parent send a child on that long journey, not knowing what's going to happen?' " said one shelter official. " There is no hope, and the only way out of that environment is to come to America." (Washington Post / Linda Davidson) - Denver Post - October 2006 Laura Bush listens to the National Anthem with Bill and Elayne Bennett, left, and Secretary of Education Rod Paige, right, during a Best Friends for Our Children Event at Bertie Backus Middle School Nov. 7, 2001 in Washington, D.C. . . . White House Press Release - November 2001





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