Thursday, April 30, 2009

Obama Won't Declassify Memos Which Prove Waterboarding Saved Lives!

Suddenly, he rediscovers the need to protect secrets!

Obama's press conference last night has been likened more to beauty pageant questioning than serious journalism. However, in between softball questions such as how "enchanted" President Obama was with his new job, there were a few significant issues addressed. Jake Tapper of ABC News brought up the subject of waterboarding and torture.

In response we got a classic rambling Obama answer which reminds me of the 4 hour speeches Fidel Castro used to deliver.

The money quote from Obama's answer came when he suggested that his "no torture" policy would:
"Make us safer over the long term because it will put us in a -- in a position where we can still get information. In some cases, it may be harder, but part of what makes us, I think, still a beacon to the world is that we are willing to hold true to our ideals even when it's hard, not just when it's easy."
It's that "may be harder" part that really should stand out in the minds of every American. Especially those who work in tall buildings.

In a follow-up  by CBS's Mark Knoller, Obama was asked if he had read the memos which former Vice President Cheney described which document the information we learned from enhanced interrogations saved lives? Obama admitted he had read the memos but refused to go into detail about the information learned and the plots they stopped. No mention was made on whether he would release these memos for all to see.

Don't hold your breath.

The Obama Administration found it easy to release memos which they knew would cause a backlash against the prior Administration. They won't find it so easy to release the memos which show how vital Bush Administration enhanced interrogations were to saving American lives.

Somehow they'll claim protecting national security prevents them from declassifying those memos.

All I can say is THANK GOD FOR PRESIDENT BUSH! He so decimated Al Queda's ability to attack the U.S. that it might even save us from the inexperienced, naive and foolish Obama!

But if we are attacked again, it may be because Obama preferred to play politics with national security and pander to his left wing base rather than govern like an adult.

Obama Admin Releases New Terrorist Interrogation Training Film

This will make the bad guys talk!



And one more time.... We only waterboarded THREE terrorists and thousands of American lives were saved as a result!

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Grade Obama on the First 100 Days!

How do you grade Obama in the following areas:









Obama's 100 Days of Disappointment, Double Talk and Deception

He has squandered his chance to be a great president with attack on the right and knee jerk obedience to the left!

Wednesday, April 29 marks the end of Obama's first 100 days in office. All week long we can expect glowing tributes from the "news" media similar to the cheerleading we saw from them during the campaign. They seem to focus more on what Michelle Obama is wearing than what her husband is doing or more importantly, what he is NOT doing to address key problems in American economic, domestic and foreign policy.

To provide some counterpoint to media cheerleading the following list, in rough chronological order, reminds us all of how Obama has failed to live up to his campaign promises to be post partisan president who ushers in an era of cooperation and unity.

  1. The first sign that things might get ugly during the Obama years came on Inauguration Day when the crowd, well below the reported two million people or the five million forecast, turned the National Mall into a trash dump. So much for a "green" Inaugural.
  2. Obama supporters on the Capitol Grounds for the Inaugural boo President Bush demonstrating the level of class we have seen from many of them these first one hundred days.
  3. Minutes after taking office Obama's official White House web site was up and running with the first official attacks on the Bush Administration which had showed such graciousness to the Obama's during the transition. It was a clear signal that Obama intended to use Bush for a scapegoat and that he had no intention of ending partisan warfare.
  4. Obama's first major act was the signing of an executive order to close the terrorist detention facility at Guantanamo Bay within one year. The order was all show as it lacked any specifics on what to do with the terrorists many of whom have been described as "the worst of the worst" sort of killers. This order was an early signal that Obama intends to continue running a campaign against the Bush Administration rather than governing.
  5. Obama also demanded that the military tribunals of terrorists be put on hold until he could study the issue. This judicial process had already been reviewed by Congress and the Supreme Court over a number of years and had finally reached the stage where trials could begin. Much of that work has stopped.
  6. Obama overturned Bush era prohibitions on using federal money to fund abortions overseas and opened the door to harvesting embryos for stem cell research.
  7. How many votes can $1.2 TRILLION in federal spending buy? Obama and the Democrats introduce an economic stimulus bill that focuses more on satisfying a 40 year wish list of liberal demands than any sort of recognizable bipartisan effort to address pressing economic needs.
  8. Making it clear that he intends to dump his campaign promise to create a post partisan era, Obama tells Congressman Eric Cantor "I won... I will trump you on that" when Cantor requests a more bipartisan solution to the stimulus bill.
  9. In the same meeting Obama signals the first attack on Rush Limbaugh telling Congressmen: "You can't just listen to Rush Limbaugh and get things done."
  10. After campaigning against using fear as a political tool Obama unleashes the biggest scaremongering campaign ever to persuade Americans to accept his big government boondoggle masquerading as an economic recovery plan.
  11. Despite telling the rest of us to go green to save the planet Obama turns up the thermostat in the Oval Office so that visitors are comfortable in their shirt sleeves instead of the jackets required when Bush was in office. Chief strategist David Axelrod said “He likes it warm. You could grow orchids in there.”
  12. Obama nominates Tim Geithner as Secretary of the Treasury knowing full well the man he wants to put in charge of the Internal Revenue Service only paid $43,000 in back taxes when he was nominated. Senate Democrats call it an "honest mistake."
  13. Nancy Killefer, Obama's nominee to be Chief Performance Officer in charge of making government more efficient withdraws her nomination after it is learned she has a tax problem too.
  14. Senate Democrats briefly rally around former Majority Leader Tom Daschle who owed $100k in taxes for the benefit of a car and driver. Democrats called it another "honest mistake." Daschle later withdraws.
  15. Signaling that cutting defense will be a top priority even while government grows in every other area Obama requests Defense Chiefs cut military spending by 10% in a White House meeting on January 30th.
  16. Obama's order to halt terrorist trials at Guantanamo Bay results in charges being dropped against a suspect in the 2000 bombing of the USS Cole. Angry families meet with Obama one day later and want to know why?
  17. The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office announced that President Obama's economic recovery package will actually hurt the economy more in the long run than if he were to do nothing.
  18. Signaling yet another disturbing partisan move, White House officials let it be known they intend to control the census, which determines congressional district apportionment and federal benefits, from the White House.
  19. Obama's State Dept. praises the vote in Venezuela which gives dictator Hugo Chavez the ability to become president for life.
  20. After Obama bashed President Bush repeatedly on the federal government's response to Hurricane Katrina, any mention of the lingering problems in that disaster area disappear from Democrat stimulus bills.
  21. Obama's economic policy is so disturbing that even the Russians are warning us. Here's the money quote from Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin's speech in Davos Switzerland: "In the 20th century, the Soviet Union made the state's role absolute. In the long run, this made the Soviet economy totally uncompetitive. This lesson cost us dearly. I am sure nobody wants to see it repeated."
  22. Obama insults Great Britain, our #1 friend and ally in the world by banishing the bust of Winston Churchill from the White House. One Obama official went so far as to say that there is no "special relationship" with Britain.
  23. Eric Holder, Obama's Attorney General accuses us of being a "nation of cowards" when it came to race issues.
  24. Obama's Energy Secretary Steven Chu expressed total cluelessness about his job when he said this in February: "I will be speaking and learning more about this in order to figure out what the U.S. position should be and what the president's position is."
  25. As part of his campaign to undermine the military Obama further enraged military families by releasing Binyam Mohamed from Guantanamo Bay.
  26. After insisting that he would veto any spending bill with earmarks, Obama signs one in secret that contains 9,000 earmarks of pork.
  27. Making matters worse Obama acolytes claim the spending bill he signed was a "Bush holdover" completely ignoring that an entirely new congress was seated and that Obama would be the one signing it.
  28. Following up on his earlier efforts at fiscal responsibility, Obama introduces his budget blueprint which triples the national debt in ten years with deficits in the trillions as far as the eye can see.
  29. Obama's budget is based on rosy scenarios that directly contradict the analysis by the Congressional Budget Office and Blue Chip Economic Indicators.
  30. Obama delivered his first big speech on Iraq where he never used the word "victory.
  31. Hints that Obama may hand Russia a veto over NATO missile defense systems fails to gain any help with Iranian nuclear issue.]
  32. "I've been practicing bowling. I bowled a 129. It was like the Special Olympics or something." -- Obama on "The Tonight Show."
  33. Allies like Poland, the Czech Republic and Ukraine are left wondering if they can count on American resolve after hints of missile defense pullout surface.
  34. Rather than deal with mounting economic problems the White House organizes a campaign to attack Rush Limbaugh who said he doesn't want Obama to succeed in destroying the country.
  35. Continuing to show his contempt for the "special relationship" with Great Britain, Obama disses visiting Prime Minister Brown with a very low key White House welcome.
  36. Further inflaming already raw sensitivities Obama gives Brown a stack of DVD's as a welcome gift. DVD's that won't play on British DVD players.
  37. While America's unemployment rate continued to rise and Obama trashed bonuses for corporate executives his Vice President Joe Biden visits a Miami Beach resort and tells big union bosses: “You all brought me to the dance a long time ago, and it’s time we start dancing.”
  38. Obama's Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, embarrasses us all when she hands the Russian foreign minister a button that translates to "overcharge" when she meant "reset." Some way to start off a new tack in relations.
  39. Hillary sticks her foot in her mouth again by telling a group of European legislators "I feel the same way about our own democracy, which has been around a lot longer than European democracy." Apparently she's never heard of Greece.
  40. The 9/11 terrorists on trial at Guantanamo Bay make a mockery of Obama's plan to trash the Bush Administration for how it treated terrorists by declaring "With regards to these nine accusations that you are putting us on trial for; to us, they are not accusations. To us they are badges of honor, which we carry with pride. Many thanks to God, for his kind gesture, and choosing us to perform the act of Jihad for his cause."
  41. Treasury Secretary Geithner seems overwhelmed by his new job and Obama left nearly all of the key offices in that department unfilled for months.
  42. Obama pushes a "cap and trade" program which does nothing to save the environment but does allow for massive income redistribution and more taxes.
  43. Economists give Obama and Treasury Secretary Geithner failing grades for efforts to revive the economy.
  44. After bashing McCain on the same subject during the campaign the Obama Administration opens the door to taxing health care benefits.
  45. Wayward conservatives realize they were conned by Obama's promise to be a centrist and begin drifting back to the fold. They said we who warned Obama was a socialist were scaremongers. I guess they learned the hard way.
  46. The Pew Poll shows that Obama is the most divisive and polarizing president in the modern era.
  47. Early Obama backer investor Warren Buffet worries that Obama's effort to push a liberal wish list is "a mistake, I think, when you've got one overriding objective [the economy], to try and muddle it up with a bunch of other things."
  48. Business pundit Jim Kramer is attacked by the White House after saying Obama is "following a radical agenda" that led to the "greatest destruction of wealth by a President."
  49. Even the news media began to wonder if Obama had not gone too far. Stuart Taylor at National Journal said "The house is burning down. It's no time to be watering the grass."
  50. Even Obama cheerleaders like Paul Krugman at the New York Times was concerned: "Among people I talk to there's a growing sense of frustration, even panic, over Mr. Obama's failure to match his words with deeds."
  51. In March we learned of coordinated White House efforts to play attack politics towards critics rather than focus on governing.
  52. Annette Nazareth, who was nominated for Deputy Treasury Secretary withdrew her name for undisclosed "personal reasons" after a monthlong probe into her taxes.
  53. Obama calls the "fundamentals" of our economy "sound" after trashing John McCain for saying the same thing during the campaign.
  54. Continuing attack politics as opposed to governing, White House Press Secretary Gibbs rudely slams former Vice President Cheney after an interview he gave critical of the Administration: "I guess Rush Limbaugh was busy, so they trotted out the next most popular member of the Republican cabal."
  55. Obama's town hall meeting in the White House featured questions from a member of the pro-Obama Service Employees International Union, a member of the Democratic National Committee who campaigned for Obama among Hispanics during the primary; a former Democratic candidate for Virginia state delegate who endorsed Obama last fall in an op-ed in the Fredericksburg Free Lance-Star; and a Virginia businessman who was a donor to Obama's campaign in 2008." -- Washington Post, 3/27
  56. Obama becomes the butt of jokes and this classic web video for his unprecedented reliance on teleprompters.
  57. Showing how clueless Obama is even with a teleprompter he reads the wrong speech during a St. Patrick's Day visit by the Irish Prime Minister.
  58. Obama's Treasury Dept. was behind the change in the stimulus bill that protected bonuses for AIG executives.
  59. White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs is the only man in that job who could make Scott McClellan, the hapless Press officer for President Bush look good. This video shows that the man may need his own teleprompter.
  60. Obama's "punch drunk" performance on 60 minutes showed just how out of touch he is with the economic reality of what is happening to average Americans.
  61. Obama violates NAFTA and the U.S. Constitution by his ban on Mexican trucks on U.S. highways in another reward for his union cronies.
  62. From President Obama's news conference at the end of March:"This is a big ocean liner. It's not a speedboat. It doesn't turn around immediately. But we're in a better place because of the decisions we have made." So, full speed ahead on the most massive federal spending spree of all time!
  63. While Obama and the Democrats were publicly demanding that AIG executives return their bonuses, we learned that Obama's Chief of Staff, Rahm Emanuel, received hundreds of thousands of dollars in stock and options as a director in failed mortgage giant Freddie Mac. Appointed to the job as payback by President Clinton
  64. As the federal government takeover of General Motors got underway Obama declared: "Starting today, the United States government will stand behind your warranty."
  65. Kathleen Sibelius, another Obama nominee with tax problems admits "errors" and pays $7,000 in back taxes. Another honest mistake? The Senate confirms her anyway.
  66. Despite his pledge not to raise ANY of the taxes for people making less than $250,000 Obama raises cigarette taxes which impacts the poor and minorities the most.
  67. Obama bows to King Abudllah of Saudi Arabia at G20 meeting in London.
  68. Obama's press operation lies about Obama bowing making us wonder what else that isn't painfully obvious they are lying about?
  69. Michelle Obama violates Royal protocol and puts her arm around Queen Elizabeth II at Buckingham Palace.
  70. Obama gives Queen Elizabeth II an iPod with his speeches and some show tunes.
  71. In a speech in France Obama calls America "arrogant" and "dismissive."
  72. The North Koreans launch a missile over Japan despite the Obama Administration begging them not to.
  73. Obama demands united action on North Korea: "All nations must come together to build a stronger, global regime. That’s why we must stand shoulder to shoulder to pressure the North Koreans to change course.” The U.N. and every world government ignores him.
  74. Obama requests more help from our allies in Afghanistan. He is ignored
  75. French President Sarkozy sees what so many of us see and calls Obama "weak."
  76. Dismissing the North Korean missile threat, Obama orders the Pentagon to cut missile defense.
  77. Obama asks Pakistan for assurances aid will be spent to counter terrorism. Pakistand says "NO" and demands control of Predator drones.
  78. Reviews of Obama's first world apology tour are not good. One British writer calls him "President Pantywaist - new surrender monkey on the block."
  79. Hinting at more embarrassing family problems than Jimmy Carter endured, Obama's half brother is accused of sexual assault on an underage girl.
  80. Obama's Secretary of Homeland Security, Janet Napolitano, insults our troops and raises suspicions of a coming police state by releasing a report suggesting right wingers are at risk of becoming domestic terrorists.
  81. Secretary Napolitano later insults our neighbors to the north in Canada by wrongly saying the 9/11 hijackers crossed the border from Canada.
  82. Obama confuses Tax Day on April 15 with April Fools Day by declaring "families that earn less than $250,000 a year will not see their taxes increase by a single dime. And we have kept to those promises that were made during the campaign." See #59 above.
  83. Showing how out of touch he is, the White House admits that Obama was "unaware" of the tea parties that were protesting his big spending/big government boondoggle nationwide.
  84. The Obama White House demands that Georgetown University, a Catholic school, cover religious symbols before Obama speech.
  85. Obama buddies it up with Hugo Chavez, Venezuela's president for life, in photographs that send a clear negative signal to democrat and human rights activists in Latin America.
  86. Following up on that first succesful propaganda coup Chavez gives Obama a book "Open Veins of Latin America" which is widely regarded outside of leftist circles as "The Idiots Bible."
  87. The Obama Comedy Hour opened with his latest bid to take fiscal responsiblity seriously by making a miniscule $100 million cut in federal spending while running a deficit of nearly two trillion.
  88. Obama throws another bone to his left wing masters by releasing the Bush Justice Dept/CIA memos with the legal justification for the enhanced interrogation techniques which saved thousands of American lives.
  89. Obama raises the prospect of prosecuting Bush Administration officials for their role in formulating enhanced interrogation policy. But ignores requests to release memos which show how interrogations saved lives.
  90. Obama again trashes the military and risks inflamming Islamic terrorists by agreeing to release old photos of alleged abuse of Iraqi prisoners.
  91. Obama's muddled and confused signals on interrogations cause concern at CIA and risk agents not willing to connect the dots in future to stop terror attacks.
  92. Obama broke his promise to honor the campaign pledge he made to allow the public to have five days to read bills before signing. \
  93. Obama broke his promise to end income tax on seniors making less than $50,000.
  94. Obama broke his promise to prohibit lobbyists from working in his Administration in their former fields.
  95. Obama broke his promise to provide a $3,000 tax credit to businesses who hire new workers.
  96. Obama broke his promise to allow penaly free withdrawals for hardship from retirement accounts.
  97. Obama broke his promise to recognize Armenian genocide after criticizing Bush officals for not doing so.
  98. Obama continues to be in campaign mode and ignores the difficult work of governing. Results matter more than photo-ops. Someone should tell him.
  99. Showing total insenstivity on religious matters he tried to appoint pro-abortion Caroline Kennedy to be Ambassador to the Vatican.

And the big 100 is:

FORT MYERS, Fla. - Henrietta Hughes is still struggling to make ends meet.

Unemployed and homeless, she caught national attention during President Obama's visit to Fort Myers when she asked for his help. After her plea, Hughes was given a free place to stay, but she still can't find a job and may soon find herself homeless again.

From CNN to Fox to WINK News, her story was everywhere. Today though you'll find her at the Career Service Center in Fort Myers.
And Edith Childs, who led the "yes we can" brigades for Obama in South Carolina in the key primary phase is dissapointed. she's not interested in hearing his stories about flying to Europe or fighting pirates. "I guess he's just working his way down the list, and he'll get to us," she says.

Tell that to the millions out of work who thought Obama was going to solve all their problems with empty campaign slogans and broken promises. Remember the words of Peggy Joseph in Florida who thought all her troubles would be over and she wouldn't have to worry about putting gas in her car and paying the mortgage.

Peggy said: "If I help him, he's going to help me." How's that working out for you Peggy?

Benedict Arlen Specter Puts Power Before Principle

That makes him a natural choice for the Democrat Party!

“I’m not prepared to have my 29-year record in the United States Senate decided by the Pennsylvania Republican primary electorate, not prepared to have that record decided by that jury.” Senator Arlen Specter (DEMOCRAT-PA)
Arlen Specter officially jumped ship Tuesday and joined the Democrat Party. This is a man who depended on the money, organizational efforts and votes of Pennsylvania Republicans for nearly 30 years in the U.S. Senate. Tuesday, he turned his back on the people who made his Senate career possible.

It was little more than a month ago on March 17 when Specter insisted he would not switch parties because of the "very important principle" of maintaining a two party system with checks and balances instead of the one party state Democrats have been planning.

And let's not forget that in 2001 Specter proposed changing the Senate rules to diminish the impact of Senators switching party mid-session:

"When I first ran in 1980, Congressman Bud Shuster sponsored a fundraiser for me in Altoona where Congressman Jack Kemp was the principal speaker. When some questions were raised as to my political philosophy, Congressman Shuster said my most important vote would be the organizational vote. From that day to this, I have believed that the organizational vote belonged to the party which supported my election."
In other words, you leave the dance with the one who brought you.

But when it became clear that Specter would lose the Republican primary for his seat in 2010 all those years of principle went out the window. Thus making him a natural member of the Democrat party who have long believed in only one principle: the acquisition and maintaining of power.

Energizing Northeast Conservatives?

Pennsylvania conservatives were already energized by the defection of Arlen Specter on the stimulus bill. Now the battle lines for the 2010 Senate election are clearly drawn between Specter and, most likely, former Congressman Pat Toomey; who almost beat Specter in the 2004 GOP primary. Will Democrats be more energized to come out and vote for a man many of them have been voting against all these years? Or will conservatives, who finally have a candidate they can believe in come out in greater numbers?

There have been a raft of loses of moderate Republicans in the northeast the past few election cycles because conservatives in those states have sat on their hands rather than support someone who behaves like a Democrat-lite. There's hope that given a strong candidate they can feel excited about will re-energize Northeast conservatives and show that the GOP is not becoming a regional party.

After all, standing up for principles is always a winning idea!

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Leftist Latin Leaders Declare War on Capitalism

Emboldened by Obama's Latin American apology tour they unite to plunge the region into economic and political chaos.

Latin America, which throughout the 20th Century has been a hotbed of corruption, political instability and oppression, appears to be on the brink of repeating those mistakes once again. This latest dance into darkness was on display at The Bolivarian Alternative for Latin America and the Caribbean (ALBA for short). ALBA is the communist equivalent of the Organization of American States and the conference held in Cumana, Venezuela, hosted by the clown Hugo Chavez, President for life of Venezuela, is their version of the Summit of the America's recently attended by President Obama.

Photobucket

Leaders pose for a picture at the 7th ALBA summit in Cumana April 16, 2009. From L-R: Sant Vincent and Grenadines' Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves, Bolivia's President Evo Morales, Cuba's President Raul Castro, Chavez, Dominica's Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit, Nicaragua's President Daniel Ortega, Honduras' PhotobucketPresident Manuel Zelaya and Paraguay's President Fernando Lugo.

Unlike the Summit of the America's Cuba's leader. Raoul Castro (pictured right with the clown Chavez) was front and center.

Much of the ALBA declaration centered around demands that the U.S. lift economic sanctions on Cuba. No doubt Obama will follow suit shortly. Though few think such a move will change the anti-American rantings of this bunch of banana eaters.

Here is an excerpt of the declaration:
The Declaration of Cumaná: Capitalism 'threatens life on the planet'
April 24, 2009

1. Capitalism is leading humanity and the planet to extinction. What we are experiencing is a global economic crisis of a systemic and structural nature, not another cyclic crisis.
...
Until now, the economic crisis has generated over 100 million additional hungry persons and has slashed over 50 million jobs, and these figures show an upward trend.

2. Capitalism has caused the environmental crisis, by submitting the necessary conditions for life in the planet, to the predominance of market and profit. Each year we consume one third more of what the planet is able to regenerate. With this squandering binge of the capitalist system, we are going to need two planets Earth by the year 2030.

3. The global economic crisis, climate change, the food crisis and the energy crisis are the result of the decay of capitalism, which threatens to end life and the planet. To avert this outcome, it is necessary to develop and model an alternative to the capitalist system. A system based on:

- solidarity and complementarity, not competition;
- a system in harmony with our mother earth and not plundering of human resources;
- a system of cultural diversity and not cultural destruction and imposition of cultural values and lifestyles alien to the realities of our countries;
- a system of peace based on social justice and not on imperialist policies and wars;
- in summary, a system that recovers the human condition of our societies and peoples and does not reduce them to mere consumers or merchandise.
...
7. As for climate change, developed countries are in an environmental debt to the world because they are responsible for 70% of historical carbon emissions into the atmosphere since 1750. Developed countries should pay off their debt to humankind and the planet; they should provide significant resources to a fund so that developing countries can embark upon a growth model which does not repeat the serious impacts of the capitalist industrialization.

8. Solutions to the energy, food and climate change crises should be comprehensive and interdependent. We cannot solve a problem by creating new ones in fundamental areas for life. For instance, the widespread use of agricultural fuels has an adverse effect on food prices and the use of essential resources, such as water, land and forests.

9. We condemn the discrimination against migrants in any of its forms. Migration is a human right, not a crime. Therefore, we request the United States government an urgent reform of its migration policies in order to stop deportations and massive raids and allow for reunion of families. We further demand the removal of the wall that separates and divides us, instead of uniting us.

10. Basic education, health, water, energy and telecommunications services should be declared human rights and cannot be subject to private deal or marketed by the World Trade Organization. These services are and should be essentially public utilities of universal access.

11. We wish a world where all, big and small, countries have the same rights and where there is no empire. We advocate non-intervention.

12. With regard to the U.S. blockade against Cuba and the exclusion of the latter from the Summit of the Americas, we, the member states of the Bolivarian Alternative for the Peoples of Our America, reassert the Declaration adopted by all Latin American and Caribbean countries last December 16, 2008, on the need to end the economic, trade and financial blockade imposed by the Government of the United States of America on Cuba, including the implementation of the so-called Helms-Burton Act.
...
Additionally, we consider that the attempts at imposing the isolation of Cuba have failed

13. Developed countries have spent at least USD 8 billion to rescue a collapsing financial structure. They are the same that fail to allocate the small sums of money to attain the Millennium Goals or 0.7% of the GDP for the Official Development Assistance.

14. The legitimate struggle against drug trafficking and organized crime, and any other form of the so-called “new threats” must not be used as an excuse to undertake actions of interference and intervention against our countries.
What a load of ....

Let's go through a few of these points shall we?

Capitalism is responsible for the extraordinary improvement in the lives of nearly every person on this planet and has been a remarkable agent for progress and to support peace. On the other hand, communism has caused the deaths of 100 million people worldwide. Nearly double the number who died in World War II. Communist economic theory which is at the heart of the ALBA declaration has led to mass starvation, degrading poverty, political oppression and war.

Put aside for a moment U.S. economic sanctions on Cuba. We have no such policy towards Venezuela. In fact, according to the U.S. Dept. of State we are the largest importer of Venezuela's goods. Over $40 billion per year. Despite enormous increases in export dollars due to the skyrocketing price of oil, Venezuelans suffer food shortages of the basic staples like meat, milk, sugar, rice, coffee. All due to the communist economic policies pursued by Chavez.

And as for protecting the environment, it's worth pointing out that communist regimes are notorious in their disregard for the high standards of environmental protection which have been implemented in the United States. Upsetting U.S. lefties who typically lick Chavez's boots is Venezuela's plan to build a 5,000 mile natural gas pipeline through the heart of the Amazon rain forest.

Even more annoying is that the Declaration underscores how these socialist loons hate the United States on the one hand and seem to always have their hand out on the other. Readers will note in point #7 that to address climate change the "developed countries should pay off their debt to humankind and the planet; they should provide significant resources to a fund so that developing countries."

In point #10 they insist "Basic education, health, water, energy and telecommunications services should be declared human rights." Who do you suppose they are going to ask to pay for it?

The U.S. should also allow free immigration to all those who wish to enter. Of course none of these nations would permit unfettered immigration from any of their neighbors.

In point #11 we note that the ALBA members "advocate non-intervention." What a shame Venezuela's neighbor Columbia wasn't able to attend. They have been target of a direct policy by Chavez to undermine their government at every opportunity. Cuba also has it's own history of intervention in such places like Angola, Grenada and Nicaragua.

And last but not least point #14 where the ALBA leaders demand freedom to continue with their drug trafficking activities without the threat of U.S. "interference and intervention against our countries."

From start to finish the ALBA Declaration is nothing but an anti-American screed designed to provide ideological cover for the failures of oppressive communist regimes to deliver on promises made to the masses. It's likely that further economic, social and political upheaval will occur in the region. Spurred on by Obama's apparent indifference to offering Latin Americans anything other than an apology which only validates these leftist thugocracies and perpetuates them in power.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Put Nancy Pelosi Under Oath in Waterboarding Investigation

Pelosi knew all about waterboarding BEFORE it was used and did nothing to stop it!

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is trying to have it both ways on waterboarding. While she would like to tar and feather Republicans who worked in the Bush Administration and authorized enhanced interrogation techniques of a handful of Al Queda leaders she personally denies that she was ever informed that the techniques were being used.

Here's the cliff notes version of the story.

Attorney General Eric Holder's letter to Senator Jay Rockefeller, Chairman the Senate Intelligence Committee dated April 17, 2009 includes a timeline of how the issue evolved and partial documentation of when Congressional leaders were informed. This is not a complete description of the briefings for Congress.

Excerpt from: RELEASE OF DECLASSIFIED NARRATIVE DESCRIBING THE DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE OFFICE OF LEGAL COUNSEL’S OPINIONS ON THE CIA’S DETENTION AND INTERROGATION PROGRAM

According to CIA records, because the CIA believed that Abu Zubaydah was withholding imminent threat information during the initial interrogation sessions, attorneys from the CIA’s Office of General Counsel met with the Attorney General, the National Security Adviser, the Deputy National Security Adviser, the Legal Adviser to the National Security Council, and the Counsel to the President in mid-May 2002 to discuss the possible use of alternative interrogation methods that differed from the traditional methods used by the U.S. military and intelligence community. At this meeting, the CIA proposed particular alternative interrogation methods, including waterboarding.
...
On July 13, 2002, according to CIA records, attorneys from the CIA’s Office of General Counsel met with the Legal Adviser to the National Security Council, a Deputy Assistant Attorney General from OLC, the head of the Criminal Division of the Department of Justice, the chief of staff to the Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the Counsel to the President to provide an overview of the proposed interrogation plan for Abu Zubaydah.

On July 17, 2002, according to CIA records, the Director of Central Intelligence (DCI) met with the National Security Adviser, who advised that the CIA could proceed with its proposed interrogation of Abu Zubaydah. This advice, which authorized CIA to proceed as a policy matter, was subject to a determination of legality by Office of Legal Counsel.

On July 24, 2002, according to CIA records, OLC orally advised the CIA that the Attorney General had concluded that certain proposed interrogation techniques were lawful and, on July 26, that the use of waterboarding was lawful. OLC issued two written opinions and a letter memorializing those conclusions on August 1, 2002.
...
With respect to waterboarding, based on information provided by the CIA, the OLC opinion assessed whether it constituted, as a legal matter, one of the four predicate acts under the mental harm component of the anti-torture statute. The opinion concluded that the technique would not cause “severe mental pain or suffering” because, based on the U.S. military’s experience with the form of waterboarding used in its SERE program, the CIA did not anticipate that waterboarding would cause prolonged mental harm.
...
According to CIA records, after receiving the legal approval of the Department of Justice and approval from the National Security Adviser, the CIA went forward with the interrogation of Abu Zubaydah and with the interrogation of other high-value Al-Qa’ida detainees who were then in, or later came into, U.S. custody. Waterboarding was used on three detainees: Abu Zubaydah, Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri, and Khalid Sheikh Muhammad. The application of waterboarding to these detainees occurred during the 2002 and 2003 timeframe.

In the fall of 2002, after the use of interrogation techniques on Abu Zubaydah, CIA records indicate that the CIA briefed the Chairman and Vice Chairman of the Committee on the interrogation. After the change in leadership of the Committee in January of 2003, CIA records indicate that the new Chairman of the Committee was briefed on the CIA’s program in early 2003. Although the new Vice-Chairman did not attend that briefing, it was attended by both the staff director and minority staff director of the Committee. According to CIA records, the Chairman and Vice Chairman of the Committee were also briefed on aspects of the program later in 2003, after the use of interrogation techniques on Khalid Sheikh Muhammad.
...
In May 2004, the CIA’s Inspector General issued a classified special review of the CIA’s detention and interrogation program, a copy of which was provided to the Committee Chairman and Vice Chairman and staff directors in June of 2004. The classified August 1, 2002, OLC opinion was included as an attachment to the Inspector General’s review. That review included information about the CIA’s use of waterboarding on the three detainees.
More detail on the specifics of how Congressional leaders, including Pelosi were informed comes from this 2007 story in the Washington Post:

Hill Briefed on Waterboarding in 2002
In Meetings, Spy Panels' Chiefs Did Not Protest, Officials Say
By Joby Warrick and Dan Eggen
Washington Post
Sunday, December 9, 2007

...In September 2002, four members of Congress met in secret for a first look at a unique CIA program designed to wring vital information from reticent terrorism suspects in U.S. custody. For more than an hour, the bipartisan group, which included current House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), was given a virtual tour of the CIA's overseas detention sites and the harsh techniques interrogators had devised to try to make their prisoners talk.

Among the techniques described, said two officials present, was waterboarding, a practice that years later would be condemned as torture by Democrats and some Republicans on Capitol Hill. But on that day, no objections were raised. Instead, at least two lawmakers in the room asked the CIA to push harder, two U.S. officials said.
There were more than 30 meetings held with Congressional leaders to discuss the subject. We don't know how many Pelosi attended, but it's clear that Congress was well informed.

But, Nancy Pelosi said this on Thursday:

"We were not -- I repeat, we were not -- told that water boarding or any of these other enhanced interrogation methods were used.
...My experience was they did not tell us they were using that. Flat out. And any -- any contention to the contrary is simply not true. "

Perhaps a reporter needs to ask her what she means by the word "we" as it's clear we are entering Clintonesque word parsing territory here. It's clear from the timeline provided by Obama's Attorney General that members of Congress WERE briefed AFTER waterboarding was used and Pelsoi admits she knew about it BEFORE.

And yet, she did nothing to stop the practice from going forward. Congress holds the purse strings and could discretely have refused to fund the program. They did not.

In the same press conference Pelosi admits that Porter Goss, then a member of congress and her colleague on the Intelligence Committee has said " Well, if they say that it's legal, you have to know that they're going to use them."

In a Wall Street Journal titled "Presidential Poison: His invitation to indict Bush officials will haunt Obama's Presidency" Editors describe the drama this way:

The Speaker now says she remembers hearing about waterboarding, though not that it would actually be used. Does anyone believe that? Porter Goss, her GOP counterpart at the time, says he knew exactly what he was hearing and that, if anything, Ms. Pelosi worried the CIA wasn't doing enough to stop another attack. By all means, put her under oath.
Waterboarding SAVED AMERICAN LIVES!

And for those who cling to the shopworn shibboleth that waterboarding wasn't necessary a reminder from Obama's Director of National Intelligence:

“High value information came from interrogations in which those methods were used and provided a deeper understanding of the al Qa’ida organization that was attacking this country,”
Former CIA Director George Tenet put it this way in April 2007:

"I know this program alone is worth more than the FBI, the Central Intelligence Agency and the National Security Agency put together have been able to tell us."

We do need an investigation of what Pelosi knew and when she knew it. PUT HER UNDER OATH! Americans need to know whether their Speaker of the House is stupid, a liar or a STUPID LIAR!

Obama's Chief Financial Advisor Naps While Obama Speaks

Is it any wonder so few of us have any confidence in Obama's reckless economic policy?

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WASHINGTON - APRIL 23: White House National Economic Council Director Larry Summers (R) nods off while U.S. President Barack Obama talks to the press after a meeting with officials from the credit card industry at the White House April 23, 2009 in Washington, DC.

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Another minute and his head will hit the table!

This isn't the first time Summers has nodded off while Obama spoke. He did so in February at the White House Economic Summit.

We do have to credit Summers for being so unenamored of the hopey-changey routine that it sends him to sleep!

But Perhaps Obama doesn't mind. After all, he'd like more of the American people to fall to sleep while he implements his socialist schemes!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Obama Damages National Security by "Muddled" "Confused" Policy

The damage at CIA may have deadly consequences!

The Politico reports that Obama's missteps on "torture" are "muddled" and "confused." The idea that an incoming Administration will investigate and prosecute it's predecessor is wrong on so many levels. In this case, the direct impact may be felt hardest by those charged with the difficult job of discovering where the next terrorist attack will come.

Slow Roll Time At Langley
By David Ignatius
Washington Post
Wednesday, April 22, 2009

...Sad to say, it's slow roll time at Langley after the release of interrogation memos that, in the words of one veteran officer, "hit the agency like a car bomb in the driveway." President Obama promised CIA officers that they won't be prosecuted for carrying out lawful orders, but the people on the firing line don't believe him. They think the memos have opened a new season of investigation and retribution.

The lesson for younger officers is obvious: Keep your head down. Duck the assignments that carry political risk. Stay away from a counterterrorism program that has become a career hazard.

Obama tried personally to reassure the CIA workforce during a visit to Langley on Monday. He said all the right things about the agency's clandestine role. But it had the look of a campaign event, with employees hooting and hollering and the president reading from his teleprompter with a backdrop of stars that commemorate the CIA's fallen warriors. By yesterday, Obama was deferring to the attorney general whether to prosecute "those who formulated those legal decisions," whatever that means.
...
For a taste of what's ahead, recall the chilling effects of past CIA scandals. In 1995, then-Director John Deutch ordered a "scrub" of the agency's assets after revelations of past links to Guatemalan death squads. Officers were told they shouldn't jettison sources who had provided truly valuable intelligence. But the practical message, recalls one former division chief, was: "Don't deal with assets who could pose political risks." A similar signal is being sent now, he warns.

One veteran counterterrorism operative says that agents in the field are already being more careful about using the legal findings that authorize covert action. An example is the so-called "risk of capture" interview that takes place in the first hour after a terrorism suspect is grabbed. This used to be the key window of opportunity, in which the subject was questioned aggressively and his cellphone contacts and "pocket litter" were exploited quickly.

Now, field officers are more careful. They want guidance from headquarters. They need legal advice. I'm told that in the case of an al-Qaeda suspect seized in Iraq several weeks ago, the CIA didn't even try to interrogate him. The agency handed him over to the U.S. military.

Agency officials also worry about the effect on foreign intelligence services that share secrets with the United States in a process politely known as "liaison." A former official who remains in close touch with key Arab allies such as Egypt and Jordan warns: "There is a growing concern that the risk is too high to do the things with America they've done in the past."
...
[T]he country is fighting a war, and it needs to take care that the sunlight of exposure doesn't blind its shadow warriors.

How many Americans will die because Obama handcuffed the very people who could have saved them?

Happy Earth Day!

Have you got a big celebration planned for this phony left wing holiday?

Turns out it is also Lenin's birthday! What a coincidence that this environmental observance is also the anniversary of the birth of the founder of communist tyranny!

Helping you to celebrate Earth Day in a more sensible fashion, I recommend you play Charlton Heston's great reading of Michael Crichton's chapter from Jurassic Park called "Destroying the World." (see right)

Those who can do. Those who can't teach!

As a further aid to celebrate Earth Day, a meteorologist and an environmental lawyer write this opinion piece for the Washington Times.

In it they point out how heavily politicized the "science" of climate change has become and go on to suggest that the great divide on the issue is split between scientists who actually practice in the field of environmental science and academic theoreticians who are beholden to a liberal/socialist academic tradition.

And this:

Save Capitalism
Investor's Business Daily Editorial
04/21/2009

The Environment: Wednesday's airwaves, print media, cable news shows and Webosphere will be filled with nonsense about the scourge of capitalism, corporations and humanity. All of it will ignore the real truth.

Buried beneath all the badgering and fear-mongering about lavish Western lifestyles is a reality that the stuck-on-green left won't talk about and the average American isn't aware of: The world, especially in developed nations, is a cleaner — and greener — place than it was when the environmental movement began.

Every year Steven Hayward, a scholar at the Pacific Research Institute and the American Enterprise Institute, compiles his Index of Leading Environmental Indicators. And every year, his findings contradict the alarmists' warnings that the world is on the edge of environmental cataclysm.

From evidence "that tropical rain forests may now be expanding faster than they are being cut down" to the improving health of U.S. ocean fisheries to better outdoor air quality in American cities with the worst air pollution, Hayward shows there's more to be optimistic about than there is to be troubled about.

The Environmental Protection Agency has also published its own Report on the environment. Last year's report, the most recent, indicates outdoor air quality has improved, there's been a net gain in wetland acreage, public-source drinking-water problems are uncommon and forest land is expanding after declining for a century.

Americans are actually generating no more trash per-capita than they were in 1990, our production of hazardous waste has fallen from 36 million tons in 1999 to 28 million tons in 2005, and lead levels in our blood have shown "a steady decline since the 1980s."

And then there's carbon dioxide. We are pumping out more than ever. But there's no evidence, only speculation, that this weak greenhouse gas is having any effect on the environment.

"Overall, the health of the U.S. population has continued to improve," the EPA says. "Mortality rates continue to decline, and life expectancy continues to increase."

We're not saying the Earth, or even any part of it, is environmentally pristine. It's not, it never has been and never will be. Yet there's actually more positive news to celebrate than there are problems.

Of the estimated 1 billion people who will observe Earth Day worldwide this year, few will know about the progress that has been made. Fewer still will know how it was made. The media, uninterested in looking at the real story, will simply credit the environmental movement for the improvements.



Suggestion for celebrating Earth Day: Go out and buy a watermelon. Green on the outside, RED on the inside!

Video of Interview with Former VP Cheney

It's a reminder of what it was like when adults were in charge!

Part Two
Part Three
Part Four

Cheney would make a great President!

Program note: An interview with Former First Lady Barbara Bush will air Wednesday evening "On the Record with Greta Van Sustern."

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Timing of Obama Release of Bush "Torture" Memos Now Clearer as Investigation and Prosecution of Bush Officials Looms

Foolish Obama opens Pandora's box!

Obama's selective release of Bush Administration memos which demonstrated legal grounds for enhanced interrogation of a handful of Al Queda terrorists guilty of mass murder of American citizens raised eyebrows for the risk it posed by informing future terrorists of our interrogation methods.

But now, we learn that the timing of this release may have more to do with left wing partisan demands for Bush Administration officials to be prosecuted:
Senior Bush figures could be prosecuted for torture, says Obama
President says use of waterboarding showed US had 'lost moral bearings' as Dick Cheney says CIA memos showed torture delivered 'good' intelligence
By Ewan MacAskill and Robert Booth
guardian.co.uk,
Tuesday 21 April 2009

Senior members of the Bush administration who approved the use of waterboarding and other harsh interrogation measures could face prosecution, President Obama disclosed today .

He said the use of torture reflected America "losing our moral bearings".

He said his attorney general, Eric Holder, was conducting an investigation and the decision rested with him. Obama last week ruled out prosecution of CIA agents who carried out the interrogation of suspected al-Qaida members at Guantánamo and secret prisons around the world.

But for the first time today he opened up the possibility that those in the administration who gave the go-ahead for the use of waterboarding could be prosecuted.
...
Obama, taking questions from the press during a visit by King Abdullah of Jordan, reiterated he did not believe in prosecution of those CIA agents who carried out the interrogations within the guidelines set down for them. But "with respect to sho[w] who formulated'' the policies, "that is going to be more of a decision for the attorney general within the parameters of various laws". He added: "I don't want to prejudge that."

He also opened the way for a Congressional inquiry into the issue.
...
At a private meeting with 50 rank-and-file CIA members at their headquarters in Langley, Virginia, before his speech, Obama heard "understandable anxiety and concern" from agents fearful of prosecution.

The CIA's director during the Bush administration, Michael Hayden, who criticised the release of the memos, warned on Sunday that agents could be vulnerable because of the memos, facing civil lawsuits or congressional inquiries.
Readers will recall how Democrats excoriated the Bush Administration for their failure to "connect the dots" which might have prevented the September 11th attacks. Yet now, Democrats are doing everything they can to handcuff the very people responsible for preventing another attack.

By criminalizing the actions of his predecessor, Obama sets a dangerous precedent. Are we now to expect that after every change in Administration a politically motivated prosecutorial witch hunt will be launched to punish outgoing officials? Does Obama even understand the negative consequences of that for our democratic system of government? How would liberals feel if we began prosecuting them?

If we are attacked again on Obama's watch the first question we need to ask is how did Obama's reckless political witch hunt of successful Bush Administration efforts to protect us contribute to our failure to protect ourselves?

Just for laughs: Will we also be investigating or prosecuting Democrats who were clearly informed about enhanced interrogations and may have urged harsher measures?

Why Obama Won't Release ALL the CIA Memos on "Torture"

They show that enhanced interrogations saved thousands of American lives!

Last week the Obama Administration released a selected batch of memos detailing the Bush Administration's scrupulous efforts to maintain humane, yet effective interrogations of the most vile Al Queda terrorists in our custody. That move was opposed by former CIA Chief Michael Hayden as well as four current and former CIA chiefs and others who realized that it only served to help future captured terrorists resist providing the information needed to save American lives.

In an interview with Sean Hannity on Monday, former Vice President Cheney called on the Obama Administration to release additional memos which prove how effective advanced interrogation methods were in preventing future attacks:

CHENEY: "I know specifically of reports that I read, that I saw that lay out what we learned through the interrogation process and what the consequences were for the country.

And I've now formally asked the CIA to take steps to declassify those memos so we can lay them out there and the American people have a chance to see what we obtained and what we learned and how good the intelligence was, as well as to see this debate over the legal opinions.”
However, there was some evidence tucked away in the memos which hasn't been highlighted by the sensationalist media reporting over so-called "torture:"
The CIA's Questioning Worked
By Marc A. Thiessen
Washington Post
Tuesday, April 21, 2009

In releasing highly classified documents on the CIA interrogation program last week, President Obama declared that the techniques used to question captured terrorists "did not make us safer." This is patently false. The proof is in the memos Obama made public -- in sections that have gone virtually unreported in the media.

Consider the Justice Department memo of May 30, 2005. It notes that "the CIA believes 'the intelligence acquired from these interrogations has been a key reason why al Qaeda has failed to launch a spectacular attack in the West since 11 September 2001.' . . . In particular, the CIA believes that it would have been unable to obtain critical information from numerous detainees, including [Khalid Sheik Mohammed] and Abu Zubaydah, without these enhanced techniques." The memo continues: "Before the CIA used enhanced techniques . . . KSM resisted giving any answers to questions about future attacks, simply noting, 'Soon you will find out.' " Once the techniques were applied, "interrogations have led to specific, actionable intelligence, as well as a general increase in the amount of intelligence regarding al Qaeda and its affiliates."

Specifically, interrogation with enhanced techniques "led to the discovery of a KSM plot, the 'Second Wave,' 'to use East Asian operatives to crash a hijacked airliner into' a building in Los Angeles." KSM later acknowledged before a military commission at Guantanamo Bay that the target was the Library Tower, the tallest building on the West Coast. The memo explains that "information obtained from KSM also led to the capture of Riduan bin Isomuddin, better known as Hambali, and the discovery of the Guraba Cell, a 17-member Jemmah Islamiyah cell tasked with executing the 'Second Wave.' " In other words, without enhanced interrogations, there could be a hole in the ground in Los Angeles to match the one in New York.
There is more here and you will want to read it all.
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In September 2006 President Bush described how enhanced interrogation techniques spared us from the horror of another day like September 11th but few listened. The Democrats with their allies in the "news" media were more interested in scoring cheap political points by accusing Bush of "torture" for his treatment of the worst of the worst Al Queda terrorists which included Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the man who personally sawed the head off a screaming Daniel Pearl (pictured moments before in photo at right) and held it up to the cameras for all to see.

Democrats Fully Informed on Interrogations

In the selective memory of Democrats and their media allies it's easy to forget that Democrats had a much different attitude towards what some now call "torture." Via Peter Wehner at Commentary Magazine we are reminded of this:

Hill Briefed on Waterboarding in 2002
In Meetings, Spy Panels' Chiefs Did Not Protest, Officials Say
By Joby Warrick and Dan Eggen
Washington Post
Sunday, December 9, 2007

In September 2002, four members of Congress met in secret for a first look at a unique CIA program designed to wring vital information from reticent terrorism suspects in U.S. custody. For more than an hour, the bipartisan group, which included current House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), was given a virtual tour of the CIA's overseas detention sites and the harsh techniques interrogators had devised to try to make their prisoners talk.

Among the techniques described, said two officials present, was waterboarding, a practice that years later would be condemned as torture by Democrats and some Republicans on Capitol Hill. But on that day, no objections were raised. Instead, at least two lawmakers in the room asked the CIA to push harder, two U.S. officials said.

"The briefer was specifically asked if the methods were tough enough,"
said a U.S. official who witnessed the exchange.
Saved Lives Bush's Legacy and Democrat's Shame!

President Bush's finest legacy will be the thousands of lives saved as a result of foiled terrorist plots many of which were foiled because of intelligence we gained as a result of enhanced interrogations. Every day, the people who work in the Library Tower in Los Angeles (pictured above) or those who cross the Brooklyn Bridge into New York should contemplate how different their lives would be had the planned attacks succeeded.

And yet every day, Democrats pretend that these successes never happened and that Bush's policy made us less safe. What a shame they are not held to the same standard of accountability that Bush has been.

Obama Comedy Hour: Saving $100 Million in Paper Clips is Showing Fiscal Responsibility?

Meanwhile, Obama spends $TRILLIONS!

On Monday, President Obama held his first cabinet meeting where he instructed department heads to cut their budgets by $100 million. Apparently Obama feels such trivial photo ops will be enough to fulfill his promise to make the government more fiscally responsible.

Even the "mainstream" media had trouble containing their laughter:

Writing in the Associated Press, Andrew Taylor and Calvin Woodward remarked that Obama's cuts are "the equivalent of asking a family that spends $60,000 in a year to save $6" and are "less than meets the eye. Many of the savings he asked them to achieve are already under way and are included in the calculation."

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) noted: “
The Cabinet has been asked to find $100 million in savings in a $4 trillion budget. And any amount of savings is welcome. But according to Congressional Budget Office numbers, that’s about the average amount we’ll spend every single day on interest payments alone on the Stimulus package.
House GOP Leader John Boehner (R-OH) pointed out:
“The Administration’s new talk of trimming a meager .0025 percent from the $4 trillion federal budget just doesn’t square with its reckless record on borrowing and spending. Washington Democrats have spent the past three months doling out more taxpayer dollars than every previous President combined
Republican Alternative: Real Cuts Across the Board

It's not just enough to complain about the absurdity of Obama's big show of cutting the budget for paper clips. Republicans have an alternative. Congresswoman Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) introduced a series of bills which offer Congress a choice of cutting the budget in non defense/homeland security discretionary spending by either 1%, 2% or 5%.

Blackburn goes on to cite once again all the wasteful spending in massive spending bills recently signed into law by Obama. Easy savings could be found here that would quickly amount to real money.

As a former official with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, I learned you could easily cut 10% in wasteful spending from most federal agencies with little or no reduction in the services those agencies provide. Bulk buying of paper clips at DHS is a sound fiscal move but it shouldn't stop there.

Expect more dog and pony shows from Obama on fiscal responsibility. But until he reigns in runaway spending it won't make a dimes worth of difference!

Monday, April 20, 2009

Obama's Weakness in Foreign Policy Makes Us Less Safe

Blaming Bush and apologizing to dictators is not a succesful strategy!

Obama promised to restore America's reputation in the world and usher in a new era of international cooperation. Thus far, he's struck out every time.

A World Of Trouble For Obama
By Jackson Diehl
Washington Post
Monday, April 20, 2009

New American presidents typically begin by behaving as if most of the world's problems are the fault of their predecessors -- and Barack Obama has been no exception. In his first three months he has quickly taken steps to correct the errors in George W. Bush's foreign policy, as seen by Democrats. He has collected easy dividends from his base, U.S. allies in Europe and a global following for not being "unilateralist" or war-mongering or scornful of dialogue with enemies.

Now comes the interesting part: when it starts to become evident that Bush did not create rogue states, terrorist movements, Middle Eastern blood feuds or Russian belligerence -- and that shake-ups in U.S. diplomacy, however enlightened, might not have much impact on them.

The first wake-up call has come from North Korea -- a state that, according to established Democratic wisdom, would have given up its nuclear weapons years ago if it had not been labeled "evil" by Bush, denied bilateral talks with Washington and punished with sanctions. Stephen Bosworth, the administration's new special envoy, duly tried to head off Pyongyang's latest illegal missile test by promising bilateral negotiations and offering "incentives" for good behavior.

North Korea fired the missile anyway. After a week of U.N. Security Council negotiations by the new, multilateralist U.S. administration produced the same weak statement that the Bush administration would have gotten, the Stalinist regime expelled U.N. inspectors and announced that it was returning to plutonium production.

When the inspectors were ousted in 2002, Democrats blamed Bush. Now Republicans blame Obama -- but North Korea's strategy hasn't changed in 15 years. It provokes a crisis, then demands bribes from the United States and South Korea in exchange for restoring the status quo. The Obama team now faces the same dilemma that bedeviled the past two administrations: It must judge whether to respond to the bad behavior by paying the bribe or by trying to squeeze the regime.

A second cold shower rained down last week on George Mitchell, Obama's special envoy to the Middle East. For eight years Democrats insisted that the absence of progress toward peace between Israel and its neighbors was due to the Bush administration's failure at "engagement." Mitchell embodies the correction. But during last week's tour of the region he encountered a divided Palestinian movement seemingly incapable of agreeing on a stance toward Israel and a new Israeli government that doesn't accept the goal of Palestinian statehood. Neither appeared at all impressed by the new American intervention -- or willing to offer even token concessions.

Those aren't the only signs that the new medicine isn't taking. Europeans commonly blamed Bush for Russia's aggressiveness -- they said he ignored Moscow's interests and pressed too hard for European missile defense and NATO membership for Georgia and Ukraine. So Hillary Clinton made a show of pushing a "reset" button, and Obama offered the Kremlin a new arms control agreement while putting missile defense and NATO expansion on a back burner. Yet in recent weeks Russia has deployed thousands of additional troops as well as tanks and warplanes to the two breakaway Georgian republics it has recognized, in blatant violation of the cease-fire agreement that ended last year's war. The threat of another Russian attack on Georgia seems to be going up rather than down.

Obama sent a conciliatory public message to Iranians, and the United States joined in a multilateral proposal for new negotiations on its nuclear program. The regime responded by announcing another expansion of its uranium enrichment facility and placing an American journalist on trial for espionage. Obama told Iraqis that he would, as long promised, use troop withdrawals to pressure the government to take over responsibility for the country. Since he made that announcement, violence in Iraq has steadily increased.

Obama is not the first president to discover that facile changes in U.S. policy don't crack long-standing problems. Some of his new strategies may produce results with time. Yet the real test of an administration is what it does once it realizes that the quick fixes aren't working -- that, say, North Korea and Iran have no intention of giving up their nuclear programs, with or without dialogue, while Russia remains determined to restore its dominion over Georgia. In other words, what happens when it's no longer George W. Bush's fault? That's what the next 100 days will tell us.


A more detailed accounting of Obama's failures can be found at Real Clear Politics with a piece by David Paul Kuhn entitled: "The Illusions of Obama's Idealism Abroad."

Friday, April 17, 2009

Susan Boyle Lives Her Dream at Last

A good news story of the ugly duckling who sings like a swan!

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You may have already heard the Cinderella story of the 47 year old Scottish spinster who always wanted to be a singer. She got her wish on the British show Britain's Got Talent.

Video of her performance and background is here.

It's a feel good story that ranks right up there or surpasses the cell phone salesman Paul Potts who sang opera (here).

Proof that extraordinary, good things can happen to ordinary people!

Two Peas in a Pod: Obama and Hugo Chavez Meet

Chavez is slowly transforming Venezuela into a dictatorship and imprisoning his people. Is Obama looking for advice on how to do the same to us?


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U.S. President Barack Obama greets his Venezuela counterpart Hugo Chavez as Uruguayan President Tabare Vazquez (L) looks on before the opening ceremony of the 5th Summit of the Americas in Port of Spain April 17, 2009.



At least Obama didn't bow!

Documentarian Critical of Obama and Media Arrested for Asking Questions

The U.S. is looking more like Venezuela every day!

Documentary filmmaker John Ziegler, who blew the lid on how ill-informed Obama voters were and whose current film Media Malpractice describes describes how the "news" media helped Obama and targeted Sarah Palin, was arrested and manhandled by security personnel outside an event honoring journalistic excellence at the University of Southern California.

This is what you can expect if you dare to ask questions in the age of Obama:

Link: Ziegler Detained

Meanwhile, perhaps readers will recall that three years ago security personnel at the University of California at Santa Cruz were unable to prevent an angry violent mob of anti-war protesters from forcing military recruiters off campus despite the fact that university officials knew about the threat well in advance.

The lesson here is that liberal academics view free speech for conservatives and military recruiters as a greater threat than the mobs of radicals who routinely act in ways that deny others the full exercise of their constitutional rights.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Tea Parties Take the Fight for Freedom to the Streets!

Protesters take the first step from words to action!

On Tuesday, hundreds of thousands of American citizens took to the streets in a spontaneous movement to protest big government, big spending, big taxing and Obama whose policies are the embodiment of all of the above. See Five Thirty Eight for the lowball crowd total.

Unlike the Rent-A-Mobs that union, communist "peace" groups or immigration activists regularly employ in their orchestrated bids for media attention, this groundswell of democratic expression was genuine and authentically American.

And that's why the Obama media was arrogant, dismissive, even derisive towards the effort if they mentioned it at all. More at Newsbusters.

But in hundreds of towns and cities all across the nation the story was too big to ignore.

Blogger Dee Speaks at Kansas City Tea Party

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4,000-5,000 at Kansas City, Missouri Tea Party

Dee, who blogs at Conservatism with Heart was one of the featured speakers at a huge rally in Kansas City.

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Dee addressing the crowd in Kansas City

Dee is another fine example of someone who doesn't just talk about political issues she does something about it. Her tireless efforts to support conservatives in Missouri who believe in smaller government and lower taxes hasn't gone unnoticed. Go listen to Dee's speech at the video on her page. Dee closed her remarks with the words of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas who said: "We will need a brave "civic virtue," not a timid civility, to keep our republic." Amen sister!

People all over the country have realized that it's time to stand up and fight!

A photo review is posted at Flopping Aces. Please return here to comment.

Obama Demands Georgetown University Cover Christ Symbols Before Speech

And yet he visited the Blue Mosque in Turkey without a similar request!

Georgetown Says It Covered Over Name of Jesus to Comply With White House RequestWednesday, April 15, 2009
By Edwin Mora

(CNSNews.com) - Georgetown University says it covered over the monogram “IHS”--symbolizing the name of Jesus Christ—because it was inscribed on a pediment on the stage where President Obama spoke at the university on Tuesday and the White House had asked Georgetown to cover up all signs and symbols there.
...
Georgetown, which is run by the Jesuit order, is one of the most prestigious Catholic institutions of higher education in the United States.

Roman Catholics traditionally use “IHS” as an abbreviation for Jesus’ name.
PhotobucketThe pediment as it normally appears is in the photo at right with a highlight in red. The pediment as it appeared during Obama's speech is below.

It seems an odd request from the White House especially when you consider the protests against pro-abortion Obama's planned speech at Notre Dame University. Will he ask the Fighting Irish to cover their religious symbols during his visit? What's next? Will the Secret Service confiscate the Nun's Rosary Beads?

Obama Visits Mosque and Complies with Islamic EdictPhotobucket

And yet when President Obama visited the Blue Mosque in Istanbul earlier this month he "padded, shoeless like his entire entourage in accordance with religious custom, across the carpeted mosque interior."

Photos from that visit and this video do not show any religious symbols in the mosque covered.

Neither do we recall any requests to Israeli authorities to cover Jewish symbols when Obama visited the Western Wall in Jerusalem last year. On the contrary, Obama donned a yarmulke, the traditional Jewish headdress.

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Apparently, it's only Christian symbols that offend Obama!
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